1 Thursday, 21 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 in the courtroom and to
6 those who are following these proceedings.
7 At the outset of today's hearing, I would like to give some
8 guidance about the timings of the 98 bis proceedings.
9 We will soon be breaking for -- today, in fact, for four weeks,
10 and when we return, the Prosecution case can be expected to continue for
11 a relatively short amount of time. However, it would be premature at
12 this stage to set a dead-line by which the Prosecution case is to be
13 completed. The Chamber, nevertheless, considers that it will assist
14 everyone if it gives an indication of the time-lines that it is intending
15 to follow in the procedure pursuant to Rule 98 bis.
16 In drawing up these time-lines, the Trial Chamber has been
17 particularly mindful of its obligation under Article 20(1) of the Statute
18 of the Tribunal to ensure that the trial is fair and expeditious. The
19 time-lines that the Trial Chamber intends to implement are as follows:
20 If the accused wishes to make oral submissions pursuant to
21 Rule 98 bis, he should do so one week after the end of the Prosecution
22 case. The accused's oral submissions should last no more than three
24 On the court day after the accused makes his submissions, the
25 Prosecution may make oral submissions in response. The Prosecution's
1 oral submissions should also last no more than three hours.
2 On the court day after the response of the Prosecution, the
3 Defence should have an opportunity to reply, and the reply should be
4 limited to one hour.
5 On a day in the week after the end of the submissions of the
6 parties pursuant to Rule 98 bis, the Trial Chamber will issue its oral
8 Just to ensure that there is no doubt, I should say that by "a
9 court day," I mean a day on which the court sits. Therefore, weekends
10 and Tribunal holidays are excluded.
11 The Trial Chamber believes that the time-lines just given are the
12 most appropriate, but it does not rule out the possibility of minor
13 adjustments in light of future developments.
14 I don't see anybody on his feet. No comments by the parties. In
15 that case, the witness should be brought in.
16 Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
19 Just some translations I could -- should read into the record, as
20 per our practice.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps we can postpone that for a little bit.
22 The Chamber -- the staff of the Chamber is checking some problems with
23 that, and we could do that perhaps after the first break.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Certainly.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, Mr. Butler. Welcome back again.
4 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps there's no need for it, but I have to
6 remind you again that the affirmation to tell the truth still applies
7 also for today.
8 Mr. Tolimir, you may continue your cross-examination. You have
9 the floor.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
11 May there be peace in this house, and may God's will be done in
12 these proceedings. And I would like to wish a pleasant stay to
13 Mr. Butler here in this courtroom with all of us participants in the
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
16 Now, could we see P2369 in e-court, please. That's a document of
17 the Bosnia-Herzegovina Republic, the Main Staff of the Supreme Command of
18 the BH Army, and it was drafted on the 9th of November, 1995. And it is
19 entitled "The Basic Guide-Lines for the Mission," and it was submitted to
20 the --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear to whom it was
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Two matters.
24 Mr. Tolimir, the number of this document in the transcript can't
25 be the right one, and please repeat the end of your introduction:
1 "It is submitted to the ..."
2 And then it stops.
3 Mr. Gajic.
4 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is P2369. That is
5 the exhibit that we wanted to pull up.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Tolimir, you said:
8 "And it is submitted to the ..."
9 And then the transcript stops. Please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said the basic
11 concept for the mission, and it is sent to the Command of the Operative
12 Group in Srebrenica. And that's where I stopped - thank you - if that's
13 what was missing.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Butler, we gave you, at your request, this document so that
16 you can study it. Now, can you tell us whether you've been able to read
17 through it, and could you tell the Trial Chamber what this is about?
18 Thank you.
19 A. Yes, sir, and good morning.
20 I have reviewed this document. It is a detailed plan and
21 proposal which discusses a, rather, series of complex and synchronised
22 military attacks by forces of Operation Group 8, the ABiH 2 Corps, and a
23 number of other formations that they were planning to undertake at some
24 future point in Eastern Bosnia. It involved -- as military operations
25 goes, this one had a lot of moving parts, so it did require a good deal
1 of co-ordination between the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of the
2 BH, ABiH 2 Corps, and OG-8 in order to have a chance of succeeding under
3 the circumstances. So this particular document reflects, to a large
4 degree, part of the detailed planning that those three organisations were
5 undertaking in order to realise this operation.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Could you tell us now, please, whether we
7 can see from this plan that the Main Staff -- or, rather, the Staff of
8 the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina was in
9 direct contact with the Srebrenica Operation Group and that it
10 co-ordinated and planned its activities around Srebrenica together with
11 that operations group?
12 A. With respect to this document - and just to make one minor
13 correction: the document is dated 9 November 1994, the transcript said
14 "1995" - it does reflect that at least in this particular case the
15 Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of the BiH were communicating not
16 only to 2 Corps, but also directly to Operations Group 8.
17 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether Operations Group 8 is,
18 in fact, the 28th Division from Srebrenica? This is necessary from the
19 transcript because this is the first time that we've used this term.
20 A. That is correct, sir. And at some point in early 1995 the
21 organisation known as Operations or Operative Group 8 is redesignated as
22 the 28th Infantry Division.
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Butler, is this the basic plan for active combat
24 operations of the 28th Division from the demilitarised zone in
25 Srebrenica, the 2nd Corps from Tuzla, and other forces of the 2nd force,
1 including forces from Zepa?
2 A. It is a document that is still a conceptual plan. It is not
3 actually, with respect to the initiation of those combat operations, an
4 implementation order.
5 Q. Thank you. Please take a look at paragraph item 1 of this
6 document, where it says:
7 "The plan is -- the concept is: Liberate through active combat
8 part of the temporarily seized territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
9 municipalities of Bratunac, Vlasenica, Sekovici, Zvornik, Kalesija, and
10 link them up with the free territories of Zepa and Srebrenica," or,
11 rather, "link the free territories of Zepa and Srebrenica with the free
12 territories of Zvornik, Kalesija, and Sekovici in order to create a
13 permanent free corridor for the supply of the population and logistic
14 support to the units of the BH Army and the basis for further liberation
15 of North-Eastern Bosnia as a whole."
16 So is this the basic concept for future combat actions? Thank
18 A. Yes, sir, it was.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, please take a look at the following paragraph,
20 below the one that I've just quoted. It says:
21 "The borders of the corridor," "Corridor Borders." Now we see it
22 in the English version as well. And it says:
23 "The village of Podzeplje (the free territory of Zepa), the
24 village of Barice, Sokolica, from Gorijela [phoen] (trig point 431), the
25 village Brezova Glava, Koprivno, Rogac, Mratinjsko Brdo, Previla,
1 Nova Kasaba, Pobujica [phoen]" --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please slow down.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And so on and so forth. Are all these places of the corridor in
5 the territory that you studied in the Srebrenica and Zepa sectors, and
6 are the axes -- or, rather, the directions that lead to the 2nd Corps, is
7 this the indication of that? Thank you.
8 A. Not having the ability to plot these particular locations on a
9 map, it's kind of abstract. But I do recognise, obviously, a number of
10 villages as being in the territory of the Republika Srpska at that time.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, let's take a look at the right border of the
12 future corridor, or intended corridor. It says:
13 "Brestovik (trig point 1291)," and then another bracket" (Zepa
14 territory), Stublic stream, Krcevine (trig point 806), Pale village,
15 Bijelo Polje village, Bucje, Slapovic, Sarici village, further following
16 the border of the free territory of Srebrenica up to Borici village,
17 Zagoni village, Magasici village, Vladusici village, Tusto Brdo
18 (trig point 664), Ocenovici village, Panjevici village (trig point 665)
19 Drenjak (trig point 771), Graina (trig point 693), Kuslat village,
20 Kostjerovo village, Drinjaca village, the left bank of the Drina up to
21 the fortress ..."
22 Now, having the starting point in Zepa, which is Brestovik,
23 trig point 1291, and knowing the left border of the Drina all the way to
24 the forest, can you now orientate yourself to figure out what the border
25 of the corridor is?
1 And he goes on to then mention:
2 "... Kula, the town of Zvornik, Marcici village,
3 Markovaca (trig point 372), Kolovnik village, Percini, Jardan village,
4 Sapna River upstream to Vrela Strana village (these features are to be
5 connected by a line)."
6 Do you now have a picture of where the corridor is, in view of
7 the fact that it ends at Sapna River and begins at Zepa?
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one clarification.
10 I believe the document says "Kula Grad," and I don't know if the
11 translation didn't get that, but I just -- Kula Grad and Kula are two
12 very distinct and different places that are important in this case, so I
13 just want to make sure that that is clear. As I see this, it says
14 "Kula Grad Zvornik," and I think the general just said "Kula," but ...
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, would you agree that we see in the
16 document "Kula Grad Zvornik"? In line 22 of page 7 you are recorded as
17 having said "Kula."
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you,
19 Mr. McCloskey. It is Kula Grad in Zvornik, and that is why I read out
20 that name, so that the witness could recognise it; the location, I mean.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now, do you we see now that this area stretches all the way from
23 Zepa to Sapna River, which is in the territory of the BH Federation, and
24 is it, as noted here, the right border that should be drawn up?
25 A. Yes, sir. The document reflects that this is the right-hand
1 border of the proposed corridor or main axis of the attack. And as, you
2 know, both I note and, I presume at this juncture, the Court notes, many
3 of these villages that are mentioned are in the Bratunac and Zvornik
4 municipalities. So this territory is in what is at the time and still is
5 part of the Republika Srpska.
6 Q. Thank you. Now that we've seen the left and the right border of
7 the corridor that is supposed to run from Srebrenica and Zepa towards the
8 area of the Tuzla Corps, can we now -- let's now take a look at item 2,
9 where it says the manner of executing of this task:
10 "Liberate the temporarily seized sector of the corridor,
11 inserting large forces into the depth of the corridor sector, and
12 engaging in offensive operations from the free territories of OG-4, OG-6
13 of the 2nd Corps, and OG-8 Srebrenica."
14 Liberate the temporarily seized corridor along the lines as given
15 in item 1:
16 "Engage the already-prepared logistics support immediately
17 through the 2nd Corps."
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, these are -- you are reading many
19 technical and geographical terms. This is quite difficult for the
20 interpreters to get everything, and especially for the court reporter.
21 If you want to have it on the record, you should slow down while reading,
22 especially if you are dealing with so many technical and geographical
24 Now your question, please.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will do
1 my best to slow down.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Butler, we discussed many different technical terms here, so
4 now I would like to ask you what OG-4 and OG-6 of the 2nd Corps are and
5 what the OG-8 of Srebrenica is that are supposed to liberate the
6 indicated territory. Thank you.
7 A. I am not familiar exactly which particular units OG-4 and OG-6
8 are. I assume that just like OG-8 becomes the 28th Division of the
9 ABiH 2nd Corps, that OG-4 and OG-6 ultimately become the 24th and
10 26th Division of the 2nd Corps. Again, we've discussed
11 Operations Group 8, which later becomes the 28th Infantry Division.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for clarifying this.
13 Now, please take a look at item 3. It says "Engagement of
14 forces," and then 3.1, "OG-8 Srebrenica forces." And then it mentions
15 the 284th Eastern Bosnia Light Infantry Brigade which will be used in
16 order to insert itself into the depth of the corridor, and combat groups
17 of battalion strength.
18 Can you explain to the Trial Chamber what these operations group
19 of Srebrenica forces are, and what is the area of -- what was the role
20 and place of the 284th Eastern Bosnia Light Infantry Brigade in the
21 28th Division of the Srebrenica area? Thank you.
22 A. In this particular context, it was envisioned that the
23 284th Light Infantry Brigade would be the primary offensive force for
24 OG-8 in conducting this activity. As one reads down through the various
25 subcomponents of paragraph 3.1 - this goes to A, B, C, and on the
1 subsequent pages - it lists out in specific detail where various
2 subcomponents of the brigade are expected to attack, what their
3 objectives would be, and what axis they will travel to get to those
4 particular objectives.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. To avoid looking at each group and
6 subgroup, can you just -- you've mentioned them. We can just mention
7 that it says, under 8, "Combat group 1," as part of the
8 284th Eastern Bosnia Light Infantry Brigade, and then it goes on to say
9 the "first subgroup," "second subgroup," "third subgroup." Could you
10 explain to the Trial Chamber what these subgroups of the first combat
11 group are? And they are discussed in paragraph 3.1(A).
12 A. In this particular document, what it talks about in combat
13 groups, it identifies a combat group as an element that is the equivalent
14 of battalion strength. So when one starts talking about subgroups, you
15 are talking about elements below battalion. So, you know, in your first
16 subgrouping you would be talking about company organisations. If you
17 were to further divide that, you would be talking platoon-level
19 It says -- I should say "platoon." It says "balloon" on the
20 transcript. There you go. Thank you.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for the correction.
22 Please, let us look under "A, Combat Group 1," where it says:
23 "Elements of the 284th East Bosnia Light Brigade, the former
24 6th Detachment, Kamenica, upon the decision of the commander, go to
25 Snagovo and connect these points by a line in an irregular circle.
1 Divide this group into four subgroups. Send them along the axis, and
2 take control of the features as follows:"
3 And then he mentions what facilities will be taken by what
5 Please tell us, does this mean that the 284th Brigade is hereby
6 divided into several combat groups and that only the first combat group
7 is composed of its 4th Detachment? And is the 4th Detachment supposed to
8 advance to Snagovo and Djafin Kamen? Those lines are known to the
9 Trial Chamber from some previous testimonies.
10 A. First, what I would note is that it's not the only combat group.
11 If one looks through this order, there are a total of four combat groups
12 that are identified and tasks provided to them. But in this particular
13 context, I mean, these are the orders for the first combat group, and it
14 is envisioned under this plan that this particular combat group at some
15 point would depart from the former enclave, would make their way to these
16 various locations, and would occupy them.
17 Q. Thank you. Please, since we have just looked at the first combat
18 group, could you please look at B and tell us whether the second combat
19 group and the third combat group and the fourth combat group are also
20 from the 284th Brigade, and does this mean that the entire brigade was
21 supposed to infiltrate and advance to the borders of the corridor which
22 is specified in the basic concept or the basic plan?
23 A. Yes, sir. It does appear from this particular document that most
24 of the combat forces are coming from the 284th Brigade, and one of the
25 key items is, and as noted by General Tolimir, was that it's not
1 envisioned that this is going to be an assault. What this envisions is a
2 plan to, unit by unit, infiltrate these particular groups and subgroups
3 out of the enclave and that they were going to occupy these various
4 terrain features and locations, but they were going to seek to do so in a
5 manner that would not alert the VRS that they were undertaking this
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. After the infiltration of the brigade
8 within the corridor and within the boundaries that we mention, in
9 paragraph 3.2 on page 8 it says:
10 "The other forces of the OG Srebrenica ..."
11 We can see it now on the screen. It says here:
12 "The strength and units participating will be decided by the OG-8
13 commander. Organise and carry out the following tasks:"
14 And now we can see six tasks. For example, let us read out the
15 second task and even the first task:
16 "Organise stronger forces according to your decision, from the
17 free area of the villages of Bljeceva village ... organise an attack
18 along the Bljeceva village, Blazijevici village (trig point 532),
19 Radukici village, Magasici village axis, and destroy the Chetniks in the
20 sector of the Magasici village and along the axis of the attack.
21 Organise co-ordination with the inserted forces."
22 My question is this: After the insertion of the
23 284th Light Brigade and after they took the facilities that we mentioned,
24 was it envisioned that the OG-8 Srebrenica carried out attacks and link
25 up with the inserted forces? Thank you.
1 A. Yes, sir. In this context, once the infiltrated forces were in
2 position, it was envisioned that the remaining units of OG-8 would then
3 attack the VRS positions outside of the enclave, working their way to
4 link up with these units. And I would also note that, presumably as part
5 of this exact same operation and at the same time, you would have the
6 forces of OG-4 and OG-6 conducting offensive operations. Again, a rather
7 complex operation with an enormous amount of moving parts. But I suspect
8 that if the ABiH were able to pull this off, it would have made for a
9 very interesting few days for the Drina Corps trying to figure out just
10 what was going on.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Since you have just mentioned OGs 4 and 6
12 and since you said that they were also supposed to carry out attacks, can
13 you tell us whether those OGs were in the territory under the control of
14 the BH Army and whether they were supposed to carry out attacks from the
15 front-line and launch an attack against the Serb forces that were
16 defending themselves from the BiH Army? Thank you.
17 A. Yes, sir. That, in fact, would be the case.
18 Q. Thank you. We're not going to read out all the six tasks. We're
19 just going to read the second task because of the names of the places
20 that the Trial Chamber is already familiar with and because of the
21 activities that ensued.
22 Paragraph 2 reads:
23 "Organise stronger forces (according to your decision) from the
24 free area of the villages of the Jaglici, Susnjari, and
25 Kojsina (trig point 516) to carry out an attack along the
1 Jaglici village-Lupoglav (trig point 676 [as interpreted])-
2 Ravna Gora-Djermani village general axis, and proceed with an attack
3 along the following three axes:"
4 And I will stop quoting from the document at this point. I will
5 just say that under bullet point 2 on one of those axes there is also a
6 reference to Kravica village.
7 My question is this: Was the 28th Division starting to break
8 through from this position, from Jaglici village and Susnjari village,
9 and was it advancing in the direction of Lupoglav while it was trying to
10 break through from the enclave? Did you encounter this in your
11 documents? Thank you.
12 A. Yes, sir. In fact, these are well-defined routes by which
13 supplies did go in and out of the enclave, and, logically, they were the
14 paths that the 28th Division, or the column, as it were, in July 1995
15 took as it was leaving the Srebrenica -- the then fallen enclave and
16 attempting to make their way into ABiH territory.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for your explanation. Please, under 3.2,
18 there are 10 tasks covering 10 axes and 10 parts of the 28th Division. I
19 don't have enough time to read all that. Let's just look at 3.3,
20 referring to the Zepa forces, unless you have something else to add about
21 Srebrenica. I will gladly give you the floor to do that.
22 A. No, sir. I mean, the -- the tasks here in this document are
23 relatively straightforward with respect to 1 through 10, so I don't have
24 anything to add at this juncture, sir.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. And now we will just outline some of the
1 things from bullet point 3.3, entitled "Zepa forces." We can now see it
2 in English, 3.3, "Zepa forces," where it says in the first sentence:
3 "The strength and the unit to participate are decided by the
4 commander of the 1st Zepa Brigade. Organise and carry out the following
6 Does it show from this that Zepa was also involved in the
7 operation as part of the forces of the 28th Division, or the OG, as they
8 call it in here? OG-8 Srebrenica, to be more precise.
9 A. Yes, sir. This document does lay out a role for the Zepa Brigade
10 to participate and co-ordinate their combat operations with OG-8.
11 Q. Thank you. And now we are going to read from paragraph 2 of
12 Chapter 3.3.
13 Can it be shown, because I would like to read a very typical and
14 recognisable paragraph 2, where it says, and I read:
15 "Engage a certain strength (as decided by the 1st Zepa Brigade
16 commander) from the free area, from the Radava sector, along the
17 Radava-Oglavci-Jazavicija Rupa-Karaula-Podravno village-Rupovo Brdo
18 village axis, attack the Chetniks, disperse them on the axis of attack
19 (if there are any), and co-ordinate with OG-8 Srebrenica forces in order
20 to destroy the Chetniks in the sector of Rupovo Brdo village. Agree this
21 co-ordinated action personally."
22 My question is this: Do you perhaps know that forces from
23 Srebrenica and Zepa on the 26th of June, before those forces were finally
24 engaged, forayed along this axis and into the sectors which are outlined
25 in here? Are you familiar with that?
1 A. Yes, sir. In fact, I believe that one of the documents that I
2 talked about during questioning by the Prosecutor was a document from the
3 Zepa Brigade which may very well have, in fact, discussed this particular
4 operation and the results of that operation.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I kindly ask the e-court to show
7 D62. Let's see if we are talking about the same document. And let us
8 see if the activities evolved in keeping with the plan of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. I would kindly ask the e-court to display D62. Thank you.
10 I would like to thank the e-court.
11 We can see the document issued by the Republic of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has "Strictly
13 Confidential," there's a number. The document was issued in Zepa on the
14 28th of June, 1995. The operative time was 1315 hours. This was sent to
15 the 2nd Corps Command, to the 28th Division Command in Srebrenica, as you
16 can see.
17 And now could we please look at the signature -- or, rather,
18 whose name is indicated on the document. Can we show that for the
19 benefit of the witness. Thank you.
20 You can see that here at the end it says "Commander,
21 Colonel Avdo Palic."
22 Can we go back to the first page. Thank you.
23 I would like to read just one part of the combat report which was
24 sent to the 2nd Corps Command and the 28th Division Command in
25 Srebrenica. I'm quoting from the first paragraph, where it says:
1 "Based on the order of the deputy commander of the 28th Division,
2 Srebrenica, Major Ramiz Becirovic, Strictly Confidential number," so and
3 so, "dated 20 June, 1995, on measures to be taken for the execution of
4 sabotage actions aimed at inflicting losses upon the aggressor in terms
5 of troops and equipment, and, in general, at turning Chetnik forces away
6 from Sarajevo."
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question: Did the commander of the Zepa Brigade write that he
9 carried out the insertion of his groups in keeping with the orders
10 received from the 28th Division in the demilitarised zone of Srebrenica?
11 Thank you.
12 A. Yes, sir. The brigade command at Zepa did author this combat
13 report to, one, reflect what he did once he received the orders, as well
14 as discuss issues relating to their results.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. And now can we look at the second
17 "Upon receipt of the orders given me by brigade commanders
18 Major Zulfo Tursunovic and Major Ibrahim Mandzic, and by the assistant
19 for intelligence in the division, Captain Ekrem Salihovic, I reviewed the
20 overall situation with respect to this kind of combat action, and based
21 on earlier instructions issued to the Chief of Staff,
22 Major Ramo Cardakovic, by the Chief of General Staff,
23 Brigadier General Enver Hadzihasanovic, I decided, together with
24 Tursunovic and Mandzic, to proceed as follows:"
25 My question, based on the second paragraph, is this: Do you know
1 who Zulfo Tursunovic and Ibrahim Mandzic are? Does the name of
2 Ekrem Salihovic ring a bell? What I'm asking you is whether you have
3 ever come across their names in any of the documents you reviewed.
4 A. The names sound familiar. And where I would have come across
5 these names, for the most part, would have been either in
6 28th Infantry Division documents that I reviewed or in VRS documents
7 where they are identifying individuals whom are in positions of authority
8 within the 28th Infantry Division.
9 Q. Thank you. Does it transpire from the second paragraph of the
10 combat report sent by Avdo Palic that the members of the 28th Division
11 from Srebrenica, Zulfo Tursunovic, Ibrahim Mandzic, and Ekrem Salihovic,
12 acted in concert with Ibrahim Mandzic; in other words, did they follow
13 Mandzic's orders? Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There should, I take it, be a mistake.
15 Ibrahim Mandzic can't follow orders of Ibrahim Mandzic. Perhaps you
16 misspoke or it is an interpretation issue.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will
18 repeat my question.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Major Zulfo Tursunovic -- Mr. Butler, Major Zulfo Tursunovic,
21 Ibrahim Mandzic, and Captain Ekrem Salihovic acted in concert with
22 Avdo Palic, and did they work out the plan of attack which is mentioned
23 in here in paragraph 3? It says that they had set up nine different
24 groups and sent them out to carry out different tasks. Thank you.
25 A. Yes, sir. I mean, I agree with your assertion, in the second
1 paragraph, that Palic is working in concert with the other brigade
2 commanders. I take the phrase "upon receipt of the orders given to me by
3 brigade commanders" not to mean that Palic is somehow subordinate to
4 them, but I take it more on a linguistic -- he has got a copy of the
5 orders that they have given their particular units, and in reviewing them
6 with the chief of intelligence, he is now putting together his own plan
7 so they can, in fact, come up with a co-ordinated operation.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. But were you able to observe that in this
9 first paragraph of the document it says:
10 "Based on the order of the deputy commander of the
11 28th Division ..."
12 So does that mean that the 28th Division is a superior command to
13 the Zepa Brigade, where they sent these officers in order for the tasks
14 to be carried out? Thank you.
15 A. Yes, sir. Clearly, in this context, and again to be clear, I'm
16 not saying that Major Becirovic does not exercise control or command over
17 the Brigade Commander Palic, but I just want to be clear that, you know,
18 certainly he takes his orders from the 28th Infantry Division. But in
19 the context of the second paragraph, it reads that he was provided the
20 orders of the brigade commanders of the other two units in order for him
21 to co-ordinate his activities with those units and ensure that they were
22 operating in co-operation with each other.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
24 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps because of the
25 differences between the Serbian and English language there has been a
1 misunderstanding, and I would appreciate it if the interpreters did not
2 just read the text out from the screen, but, rather, to interpret what I
3 say. In other words, "after I received the order which was handed in to
4 me," in other words, this means that it was given by one person to
5 another person, from hand to hand.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Butler, thank you for your previous answer.
11 Now, I don't want to read out the rest, but you probably noticed
12 that in the third paragraph of this document that begins with the word:
13 "Form a number of sabotage groups ..." and then it lists out nine groups
14 below, and under number 1, as you can see, it says "Han Kram," among
15 other things in brackets, and then so on and so forth. Now, the
16 bracketed place names were actually features. Can we see that in
17 paragraph 6, it says that "Crna Rijeka" group, and then "(monument),"
18 does this show that these sabotage operations were carried out against
19 certain features of the VRS Army outside of the territory of
20 demilitarised zone of Zepa and Srebrenica? Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You were referring to paragraph 6, but I see this
22 term in the line starting with the words "Group 5."
23 Mr. Butler.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
25 And to answer the general's question: I recognise that a number
1 of these particular features, and again just off the top of my head, fall
2 outside the established boundaries of the enclaves. So in this context,
3 these sabotage groups are leaving the enclaves to conduct raids that
4 would be deep within the territory of the VRS.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we should stay with the previous page in
6 English. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Mr. Butler just answered my question, and now I would need the
9 next page in the English version for my next question, and we can stay on
10 the same page in the Serbian language because the text is right before
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Now, please take a look at paragraph 2 in the English version,
14 which is paragraph 3 below the numbers in the Serbian. And I'm just
15 reading the first sentence, and I quote:
16 "All DIV groups had the task of attacking at the same time of
17 day, at two-hour intervals, with a view to stretching Chetnik forces ..."
18 This report clearly says that all these groups, 1 through 9,
19 actually engaged and acted at the same time in this two-hour interval.
20 Is that what it says there? Thank you.
21 A. In fact, what the paragraph -- the paragraph notes that that was
22 the plan, that they were all going to carry out the actual combat part of
23 these missions within the same time. However, I think if you go to the
24 last two or three sentences of that paragraph, it does indicate that a
25 number of the combat groups, for different reasons, were not able to
1 undertake the combat actions and made a -- made a decision to withdraw.
2 So, in fact, it appears from this document that only about half of the
3 units actually managed to implement the plan.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. However, can you see, in the last
5 paragraph in Serbian, which is the third paragraph in English, where it
7 "About 40 Chetniks were killed and dozens were wounded. A
8 significant quantity of infantry weapons were seized ..."?
9 And then it lists what weapons. It says 5.000 rounds and other
10 military equipment. One aggressor soldier in the sector of Vrani Kamen
11 was captured, likely wounded in the chest. His name is Velimir Mrdjan.
12 My question is this: Can we see that the effect of these
13 sabotage groups was tremendous and that these were far -- that these were
14 higher losses than Zepa had throughout the rest of the war, according to
15 their reports? Are these enormous losses in two hours of fighting,
16 losses that were inflicted by this -- by a number of these sabotage
17 reconnaissance groups?
18 A. If this report is accurate with respect to the number of killed
19 and wounded, it would be a significant combat loss. Forty killed and
20 dozens wounded would represent a significant adverse impact to the unit
21 that fell into this particular ambush or loss. Where -- when I
22 recognised this and saw this, it's -- for me, at this juncture in time,
23 it's hard to confirm whether these were, in fact, the actual losses
24 incurred, because what I don't have possession of is the corresponding
25 VRS documents which would reflect, presumably, what their actual
1 casualties were during that operation.
2 I can't -- I can't tell from this particular passage alone even
3 what military unit of the VRS would have been garrisoned there, so I just
4 don't have an ability at this point to confirm that the losses that are
5 being reported by the ABiH in this document are, in fact, accurate, and
6 what the VRS is reporting in their combat reports.
7 I presume it can be a fact that is relatively easy to verify if
8 the Office of the Prosecutor has the corresponding combat reports for
9 whatever unit was attacked. But, you know, setting that issue aside, if
10 the report is accurate, it would represent a significant combat loss to
11 whatever unit was attacked.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now, are you aware that during the
13 demilitarisation of Zepa this same soldier, whose name is mentioned here
14 as having been captured, in other words, Velimir Mrdjan, was exchanged in
15 1997 and that he was in a position to begin with the evacuation, and then
16 the VRS demanded that all the captured prisoners be released, and that
17 this column was headed by this same soldier, Velimir Mrdjan? Would that
18 confirm or corroborate the validity of this report if you were shown that
19 other document?
20 A. The first answer that I have is, no, I'm not aware of that
21 particular situation. It certainly would confirm the validity of the
22 fact that this particular individual was captured. But, again, as you
23 are aware, General, reports of damage and casualties that military units
24 inflicted on other military units historically tend to be exaggerated in
25 the heat of battle.
1 So I'm not doubting that the incident occurred. What I'm saying
2 is that I think that the number of dead and wounded that are being
3 initially reported by Zepa seems higher than one might normally expect in
4 a combat operation like this, and that there is a chance that the
5 Zepa Infantry Brigade, either deliberately or inadvertently, exaggerated
6 the numbers.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I understand what you're saying. But
8 would you tell me, please, did the Zepa Brigade, which was in a
9 demilitarised zone, was it entitled, did it have the right, to carry out
10 combat operations against civilians? And I can tell you that we've heard
11 witnesses here who testified to the liberation of this soldier,
12 Velimir Mrdjan, and I also have to tell you that I have no reason to
13 conceal anything here or exaggerate, and that the losses were even higher
14 than shown here. Thank you.
15 A. No, sir. And to be clear, I'm certainly -- I hope it's not an
16 issue of translation. I'm not saying that you are potentially
17 exaggerating this. The point that I am saying is that in combat
18 environments there -- it is normal that the initial reports, particularly
19 relating to casualties that one unit inflicts on another unit, tend to be
20 inaccurate. I would recall back to the Kravica 1993, where, you know,
21 the initial reports of casualties suffered by the Serbs, as the situation
22 became clearer, those numbers went down to some degree. So it's simply a
23 situation of the initial reports are often inaccurate, and as time goes
24 by, more accurate reporting becomes available. I'm not implying that you
25 would be exaggerating the situation.
1 The second question is -- as I've testified with respect to
2 questions asked by the Prosecutor, it is never legitimate to make
3 civilians the object of a military attack, at least under the provisions
4 of International Law.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. But does it make sense to you, if
6 Han Pijesak was the place where the Main Staff was, and Crna Rijeka, and
7 if this was deep in the territory, and if the Zepa area was
8 demilitarised, was it logical that greater losses could be inflicted to
9 civilians and to the army which does not expect such raids deep on their
10 own territory? Would that make sense to you?
11 A. It would certainly make sense that raids conducted by surprise
12 against military forces that are not or have no advance notice of these
13 raids would generate a number of casualties. Surprise, as you're aware,
14 is something that is highly desired when planning military operations
15 because it gives you a significant advantage on the battle-field.
16 So in the sense of, you know, a raid conducted deep in enemy
17 territory against troops who might not be alerted to such a possibility,
18 it would make sense that they would incur a significant number of
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now, if an attack was conducted by a
21 demilitarised zone, for instance, in your country, against a civilian
22 population, would that demilitarised area lose its status as a
23 demilitarised area or would such attacks be tolerated? Thank you.
24 A. I'm not, again, an expert in International Law, but it is my
25 understanding that if one side or one opposing force militarises a
1 particular protected or civilian area, that, depending on the
2 circumstances, it would lose various protections under International Law.
3 Whether a UN-declared demilitarised area has or does not have weight as
4 protected under International Law is a question best left for a different
5 type of expert.
6 Q. Thank you for your answer. Can you now just tell us: How is it
7 possible that something could both have and not have the status of a
8 demilitarised area at the same time?
9 A. Well, to throw out a hypothetical situation: A hospital, by
10 virtue of it being a medical facility, would be protected and
11 consequently is supposed to be demilitarised. If a situation arose that
12 the adversarial military forces occupied that facility for a military
13 reason, perhaps because where the hospital is located and it gave them a
14 tactical military advantage, it would lose its protected status and
15 become a legitimate military target because it was now being used for
16 military purposes and not humanitarian purposes. Having said that, once
17 the military that are occupying that particular facility leave and it
18 again resumes a humanitarian and medical purpose, it resumes its status
19 as a protected facility.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now, do you know that we've heard the
21 commander of the units that were attacked in the area of the Main Staff
22 in Crna Rijeka testified here, and that from that day of the attack all
23 the way up to the 28th of August he was engaged in carrying out the
24 operations towards --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear what place.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. ... Han, in Zepa, and he remained there throughout the
3 operations, and was it a justified action by this commander to return his
4 forces to the demilitarised zone?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: There's more than one commander at the
7 Crna Rijeka. If the general could help us with -- I think I know who
8 he's talking about, but it would help Mr. Butler to know who, in
9 particular, he's talking about in this question.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would assist the Chamber as well. Whom are
11 you referring to, Mr. Tolimir?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
13 I'm referring to General Savcic, who testified here, and his
14 units were attacked.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And what I would like to ask Mr. Butler is: Have you read his
17 testimony and the documents and the transcript during your preparation
18 for your expertise here? Did you read all of this? And I'm referring to
19 Mr. Savcic's testimony and transcript and so on. Thank you.
20 A. I don't believe that I read General Savcic's testimony related to
21 this specific set of proceedings. I am generally familiar with
22 General Savcic, who's testified in a number of previous proceedings, and
23 I'm familiar with it there. So it will probably be hit or miss with
24 respect to any new material that General Savcic might have discussed that
25 I'm not aware of.
1 And if you can repeat the second half of your question because it
2 is just -- it's just running off the screen and I wasn't sure that I
3 understood what you were looking for the first time.
4 Q. Thank you. Now I will rephrase my question to make it clearer.
5 Do you know that General Savcic testified between -- or, rather,
6 from the 26th of June up until the 26th of July, he was tasked with
7 repelling the attack from Zepa and Srebrenica, an attack against the
8 Main Staff, and that he was engaged in the Operation Zepa? Thank you.
9 A. Again, I am aware from the documents that particularly with
10 respect to operations related to the Zepa enclave, that units of the
11 65th Protection Regiment did, in fact, play a major role. With respect
12 to Srebrenica, as I've testified before, at least one of his units, the
13 Military Police Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment, you know, also
14 played a role in at least the issues relating to not the actual attack on
15 Srebrenica, but prisoners.
16 So in the context of the date range that you have given me, while
17 I don't have specific visibility from the 26th of June to the
18 10th of July when orders are being issued specific to Zepa, I would
19 certainly not disagree with you by saying that the 65th would have still
20 been involved in at least defensive operations around Veliki Zep and
21 other facilities that they were charged to protect during that period.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. The time has come for our first break. I
23 suggest that you should read Mr. Savcic's testimony and the transcript of
24 that testimony, and after that I will invite you to tell me whether his
25 engagement was justified when he put up resistance against the attack of
1 the forces that had attacked him from the demilitarised zone. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would have no objection for Mr. Butler to be
4 able to review General Savcic's testimony at the break. But I think
5 Mr. Butler must need a break, like the rest of us, after all this
6 testimony, and to be doing that kind of work on the break I don't think
7 is realistic. But the large break, I think that would be another matter.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was worrying all the time, especially the task
9 you have to carry out during night-time to read through the document we
10 have dealt with just in the last couple of minutes.
11 Mr. Gajic.
12 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I believe there has
13 been a misunderstanding. Mr. Tolimir has just recommended to Mr. Butler
14 to read something, not to read it at the break, certainly not. He just
15 recommended Mr. Butler that he should perhaps read it over the summer
16 break, for example.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this clarification.
18 We must have our break now, and we'll come back at 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
22 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just briefly: On
23 page 14, line 20, instead of "trig point 676," it should be "675."
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
25 Mr. McCloskey, is this an appropriate time to deal with the
1 translation issue?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead, please.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: These are all P numbers: The first, 847C, then
5 199, then P770, P1569B, P1678, P1960, P2076A, P2116, P2231, P2351, P2361,
6 P2442, P2443 and, finally, P2448.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. These are now received in
9 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on with your cross-examination and try
10 to focus on matters related to the indictment.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 We can now see the document D62 still in front of us on the
13 screen. I would like to go to the second page. Can this be displayed.
14 Thank you.
15 We're still waiting for the second page in Serbian.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is on the screen now.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We now see the second page and the second paragraph, where
20 Mr. Palic, the commander of the Zepa Brigade, says:
21 "Our losses are as follows: Two killed, one seriously wounded,
22 and five lightly wounded."
23 Does this show that this report is, indeed, authentic and
25 A. Again, sir, I don't question the authenticity of the report or
1 the credibility of the information that Avdo Palic is passing up his
2 particular chain of command to his superiors. My only issue was that I
3 hold open the possibility that the reports that Commander Palic was
4 receiving from his soldiers as to how many killed or wounded they thought
5 they inflicted on the enemy may be higher than had actually occurred and
6 are certainly higher in numbers than I'm used to seeing for a combat
7 action of this type of nature.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Please look at the third paragraph on the
9 same page, which says, and I quote:
10 "In view of the state of affairs in this brigade's zone of
11 responsibility, we shall do our best to follow consistently the order of
12 the commander of the 2nd Corps, Strictly Confidential 02/1-604/95, which
13 is appropriate and realistic in our circumstances, as well as consistent
14 with the agreement reached at the command post in the Main Staff ..."
15 My question is this: Does this part of Avdo Palic's report show
16 that they had received an order on carrying out combat operations, and
17 that they had visited the command post of the Main Staff of the BiH,
18 where they had received their tasks verbally, which is confirmed by the
19 combat document that they then issued on the said date?
20 A. I agree with your assertion that the military operations that
21 occurred and future military operations envisioned are doing so on the
22 basis of Strictly Confidential Order 02/1-604/95.
23 I'm not sure that I agree with your assertion that members of the
24 brigade at Zepa personally met with individuals or had personally visited
25 the command post of the Supreme Command of the BiH Army. I suspect that
1 there may be a translation issue in your question that just is being
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Could you please look at the English
4 version and look at the fourth paragraph that we see in Serbian. In
5 English, it's the penultimate paragraph, and can you look at the fourth
6 line from the bottom, where it says this is consistent with the agreement
7 reached at the command post in the Main Staff. Does this sentence in the
8 report show, does it prove, that somebody, indeed, presented themselves
9 at the command post of the Main Staff? Thank you.
10 A. Yes, sir, I agree with that. It is my contention that the person
11 who would have presented himself or group that would have presented
12 themselves at the Main Staff are more likely to have come from the
13 Command of the 2nd Corps, speaking on behalf of the officers and
14 commander in Zepa, as opposed to those particular officers in Zepa
15 travelling to the Command of the ABiH Supreme Command.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you read Ramiz Becirovic's statement?
17 And he was the command of the 28th Division, he was a deputy chief of
18 staff during the breakthrough. Did you read it? And did you see that
19 certain officers from the 28th Division did, indeed, present themselves
20 at the command post?
21 A. Yes, sir. I am aware, not only from Mr. Becirovic, but from a
22 number of other documents and sources, that sometime in May or June,
23 maybe even as early as April, the commander of the 28th Division,
24 Naser Oric, as well as a number of his officers, left Srebrenica and the
25 28th Division and were moved to Tuzla and were outside the enclave. So,
1 again, I take your point that it is entirely possible that members of the
2 28th Division did personally represent Avdo Palic. My position is
3 that -- and what I'm trying to, apparently not so clearly, state is that
4 I don't think it's likely that Avdo Palic or members of his brigade staff
5 personally attended that meeting.
6 Q. Thank you. That's your opinion. However, in this report that he
7 sent to his subordinates, who knew whether they had been there or not,
8 why does he say, and I quote:
9 "... as well as consistent with the agreement reached at the
10 command post of the Main Staff"?
11 Thank you.
12 A. I take that that Colonel Palic is obviously aware of the meetings
13 that took place and that -- the decisions that were reached. It would be
14 natural, even if he was not personally present, that those discussions
15 and the decisions reached would be transmitted to him, as they would
16 impact his unit.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I don't think that this report was
18 sent to the subordinates of Avdo Palic, but to his superiors, if I'm not
20 Please carry on.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I may
22 have misspoken.
23 Avdo Palic wrote this to his superiors, and he says "consistent
24 with the agreement at the command post," which means that both him and
25 his addressees are aware of the fact that the operation had been
1 discussed and agreed at the command post where the details of the
2 operation had also been agreed. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Perhaps we could also look at D52 to show that activities were
6 being carried out in keeping with the November 1994 plan that the
7 Main Staff sent to the 28th Division.
8 Once again, could we please see D52.
9 Yes, we see it.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Now, this is also a document issued by the Army of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina, by the 2nd Corps Command. It was sent from Tuzla on the
13 8th of July, 1995. It was sent under the title "Information on Combat
14 Results of the Units and Commands of the 28th Ground Army Division of the
15 2nd Corps of the BiH Army."
16 Was this report, indeed, sent by the 2nd Corps to its units, and
17 was it sent in order to inform them about the successes of the
18 28th Division?
19 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
20 Q. Thank you. Let us look at the two bullet points under this first
21 paragraph. The first bullet point reads:
22 "Sixty Chetniks were liquidated, and according to unconfirmed
23 reports, the aggressor suffered even greater losses and had many wounded:
24 "Sixteen automatic rifles, three M-72 light machine-guns,
25 one M-53 light machine-gun, one carbine, two radio stations, three
1 pistols, 5.000 bullets, and dozens of head of cattle and small livestock
2 were seized, and one van was destroyed."
3 My question: Did the corps command at that point have access to
4 all information, and did it convey that information to all the other
5 members of the military to tell them what successes had been achieved by
6 the 28th Division?
7 A. The answer to your first question, I mean, certainly the
8 2nd Corps had access to the information it was receiving from the
9 28th Division reporting on the successes of its various activities. I
10 take from the title of this particular document and the fact that it's
11 to -- or from the deputy commander for morale - it's very difficult to
12 tell on the translation - that one of the purposes of this particular
13 document was precisely so that various morale officers could relay this
14 information, after removing any secret material from it, to the broader
15 soldiers and officers of the 2nd Corps in effort to inspire them to seek
16 to emulate the same type of military accomplishments that the soldiers of
17 the 28th Infantry Division were doing.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we scroll up to show the
20 signature block and also to whom the document was sent. Can the document
21 be scrolled up a little. Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You can see that the document was sent to -- we don't see it now.
24 We can see it in Serbian; that it was sent to all divisions - now we have
25 it in English as well - to the commanders of all divisions, to all
1 logistics units, to garrison commanders, to an air force brigade, and
2 this was signed personally by the commander of the 2nd Corps,
3 Brigadier Sead Delic. You can now see who he sent the document to. That
4 was sent by electronic mail, so we cannot see the signature, but his name
5 is typed up.
6 Please, based on everything that you have seen, meaning that the
7 commander refers to written and verbal orders and that operations are
8 carried out from Zepa and Srebrenica and in other parts of the
9 demilitarised zones, would you say that what General Savcic testified
10 about here is justified, and that was that they engaged in combat in
11 order to defend themselves, to prevent further forays, and to actually
12 return the forces that had forayed from Srebrenica and Zepa back to the
13 demilitarised zones? Thank you.
14 A. Well, sir, setting aside for the moment General Savcic's
15 testimony here, what I would say is what I believe I've been very
16 consistent about in the numerous times I've testified before this
17 Tribunal in other cases, as well as in this one, which is that the
18 28th Infantry Division was never demobilised or demilitarised. It did
19 conduct active military operations through the period of the end of
20 June 1995. And that from my point of view and my opinion, that VRS
21 military operations directed against the 28th Infantry Division were a
22 justified military act. I think I've been relatively consistent with
23 that position through the years.
24 So, again, while I don't know what General Savcic did or did not
25 specifically say, I certainly wouldn't dispute an assertion that he
1 believed that, you know, the military operations that he was conducting
2 against soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division would be legitimate. I
3 mean, I agree that they would be.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, after having received this answer,
5 I think, again, we see that there is no dispute about the conduct and the
6 acts of the ABiH in relation to this conflict. I would like to invite
7 you more to focus on the charges against you in the indictment and not so
8 much about combat activities. This is not in contest, I take it.
9 Please carry on.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Since the beginning of the day I have been looking at documents
12 which prove the attempts by Muslims and their Supreme Command to link up
13 Srebrenica and Zepa with the 2nd Corps in Tuzla and to link up the two
14 enclaves with each other, and I've also looked at documents which have
15 already been received by the Trial Chamber and which demonstrate that
16 that was, indeed, the case. And I'm now trying to proffer proof to show
17 why all the directives were issued, why all the tasks have been given and
18 assigned. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just would like to remind you that this trial
20 is not about a war. This trial is about certain criminal acts you are
21 charged with. This is the background of my intervention and my guidance
22 I tried to give you in order to make sure that you will use your time for
23 cross-examination in the best way for your defence.
24 Please carry on.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 I'll do my best. However, I have to answer all the questions or
2 all the issues that were raised by the Prosecutor during the
3 examination-in-chief of this witness.
4 Please, let us go back to the order issued on the 11th,
5 bearing number D300, and that was sent by Enver Hadzihasanovic on the
6 9th of November, 1994.
7 I misspoke. Aleksandar has just corrected me. Let's go back to
8 P2369, and D300 is Directive 6. Thank you very much. I apologise to the
10 This is a document which was sent by General Enver Hadzihasanovic
11 on the 9th of November, 1994. We were on paragraph 3.3, page 9. We had
12 covered paragraph 2 in Chapter 3.3, and that dealt with sabotage
13 operations that were being carried out in keeping with the order.
14 And now can we go on to look at the same page again, page 10 in
15 this document. Thank you.
16 We can now see that below the title "Zepa forces" it says "The
17 forces of the 2nd Corps of the BiH Army."
18 We have to go to the following page in English, and there we can
19 see tasks being issued under A to OG-6 Zivinice forces. There is a
20 reference to attacks from the territory of the BiH Army towards the
21 demilitarised zones of Zepa and Srebrenica, as well as of activities
22 aimed at linking up the two enclaves and their linking with the
23 2nd Corps.
24 Now let's look at page 11 -- or, rather, page 10, page 10, where
25 it says they are carrying out an attack, the beginning of page 10, where
1 it says Zivinice forces are carrying out attacks, and "insert armed
2 forces in the following zone." I skip the names of the places. And they
3 are tasked of acting in concert with inserted forces.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. My question is this: In this paragraph, the units of the
6 2nd Corps which bordered on the Republika Srpska, were they given a task
7 to act in concert with the forces of the 28th Division during the
8 breakthrough and during the operation that had been planned previously
9 for the 28th Division? Thank you.
10 A. In this particular document, which is dated November 1994, it
11 lists out specific tasks for OG-6 and OG-4 which, as General Tolimir
12 notes, would be along the border -- or along the confrontation lines
13 between ABiH 2 Corps and the VRS. It was envisioned in this plan that
14 all of the military operations would be synchronised and co-ordinated
15 with each other in order to have the maximum adverse impact on the VRS
16 when this operation was undertaken.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now please take a look at some three
18 lines or four lines below the "OG-4 Kalesija forces." We have before us
19 the Zivinice forces.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In English, that should be on
21 page 11, please.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Now, we see those four lines above "OG Kalesija." We see that it
24 says their task, and that's the task of the OG-6, and it reads as
25 follow -- and OG-6, that's the operations group in Zivinice. The task is
1 as follows:
2 "On the axis of attack, disperse and destroy the Chetnik forces
3 and secure the corridor along the right-hand side border of the zone of
4 attack. Link up the forces of OG-6 Srebrenica at this specified line and
5 prevent Chetnik intervention from the direction of Sekovici towards
6 Seliste village and the Borogovo feature (trig point 923)."
7 Now my question: Are these forces that had contact on the
8 territory that had -- these forces that had come from the territory on
9 the 2nd Corps of the BH Army, was it their task to link up with the
10 28th Division forces, as indicated here under "OG-8 Srebrenica"?
11 A. Yes, sir. If and when this plan was implemented or to be
12 implemented, their task was to link up with those forces of OG-8.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, was this the basic conceptual plan for the
14 entire operation to link up the enclaves and to link up the forces within
15 the enclaves with the 2nd Corps? Thank you.
16 A. Yes, sir. If we read this document in its entirety, I believe
17 you are correct that it does lay out the basic conceptual plan to achieve
18 that link-up.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now see the next page,
21 please. We can leave Kalesija aside.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Would you take a look at 4.3, that paragraph. That's under the
24 "General Notes and Tasks," which is Chapter 4. Thank you.
25 "The plan of operation," and I quote, "for time and place of the
1 execution of tasks will be worked out separately and delivered to you
3 And my question: Does this suggest that this operation was,
4 indeed, planned, and that the planning was in its final phases of its
5 implementation, and this is something that the units would be informed
6 of? Is that correct?
7 A. I agree with your assertion that it was planned, in the sense
8 that the basic concept existed. When you read this document, it goes
9 into probably even more detail than a basic concept. But, clearly, my
10 reading of paragraph 4.3 is that there are still other issues,
11 particularly when you read this in context with other statements in the
12 document, that have yet to be worked out, either planned or implemented,
13 that have to be achieved before this entire operation can move forward.
14 And, again, the last line being that, We're identifying those various
15 components that have to be done before we can move forward and we will be
16 alerting you to what our orders and decisions are in a future time.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for your answer. You are perhaps
18 referring to paragraph 4.5, which reads, and I quote:
19 "An important and basic precondition to carry out this operation
20 is your supply with the minimum quantity of ammunition and UBS," or
21 combat supplies.
22 Did you mean that?
23 A. In part, yes, sir. As you would obviously know, sending forces
24 out from the OG-8 and, later, 28th Infantry Division without adequate
25 amounts of ammunition and other material -- military materials in order
1 to accomplish these tasks would certainly result in a significant defeat
2 for those forces. So one of the preconditions before this could be
3 executed was that ammunition and other military materials would have to
4 be infiltrated into the enclave and stockpiled in sufficient quantities
5 to allow for these types of operations to take place.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now let's take a look at 4.7, which is
7 where what you've just mentioned is specified, and I quote:
8 "Apart from the task of bringing in the ammunition and war
9 materiel, immediately embark upon the organisation of reconnaissance in
10 the depth of the enemy and the features which are to be seized, and the
11 insertion of men who will later participate in the tasks. Report on the
12 results of the work regularly and promptly."
13 Is that what you have in mind?
14 A. Again, in part. I mean, obviously the task of bringing in
15 ammunition. But specific to paragraph 4.7, it notes that another
16 precondition, as it were, is that the OG-8 will need to send out small
17 reconnaissance teams to essentially observe and scout the terrain
18 objectives that they plan to seize at a later date. Knowing, first of
19 all, how to get to that terrain and what all the geographic and terrain
20 issues that have to be dealt with, as well as what VRS military
21 dispositions would be or might be around those particular objectives,
22 would be a vital element of information that would have to be known by
23 OG-8 if they were going to have any chance of success in this military
25 Q. Thank you. Can you agree with me if I say that the main issue
1 here is obtaining ammunition and lethal assets, and everything else is a
2 question of training and equipment -- or, rather, provisions of the army
3 and the units that are to be used for insertions and raids? Is that
4 correct or not?
5 A. Well, if I read this -- these points, and I think it goes all the
6 way to point 14, in their entirety, there are three or four basic themes
7 that are laid out here as significant concerns to the General Staff, or
8 the Supreme Command in this case, of the ABiH. One, obviously, is
9 whether or not they would be able to supply the requisite military
10 technical equipment, ammunition, and other military supplies in order to
11 undertake the operation, which, again, given the context of OG-8 being
12 located many kilometres behind enemy lines, was no easy feat.
13 The second one was ensuring that there was available military
14 manpower and soldiers to accomplish the task that had been directed. And
15 so, again, I take General Tolimir's point. It's not just men with guns;
16 there is an implied training requirement.
17 The third issue is, you know, a thorough reconnaissance of the
18 battle-field to include the objectives so that the OG-8 military forces
19 would know where they're going and what they should expect when they get
20 to their objectives.
21 And the last one is the issue of security, which hasn't been
22 discussed yet, but it is a key theme throughout this operations order
23 because it was recognised that with a plan of this complexity, if the VRS
24 were to learn of this plan, particularly at the early stages of the plan,
25 that they could relatively quickly either preclude or prevent the plan
1 from occurring by attacking the forces in the enclave, which would, in
2 effect, cause much of the plan to collapse. So they were very concerned
3 about not only accomplishing all of these things ready to undertake the
4 plan, but to do so in a way that would minimise the risk of the enemy
5 discovering what was being planned and later to be implemented.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now, in the course of your research, did
7 you come across documents that speak to or about the main command trying
8 to provide the right conditions in order to enable this operation of the
9 28th Division?
10 A. I did not look specifically at ABiH military documents related to
11 the attempts to logistically supply the 28th Infantry Division. However,
12 again referring to the United Nations report related to the fall of
13 Srebrenica, there is some discussion in that particular report where it
14 talks about the UN's awareness of efforts by the ABiH and, specifically,
15 2 Corps to smuggle military supplies and ammunition into the enclaves
16 during the period the first six months of 1995.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see D67 in e-court,
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I'd like to show you this document, and then I have some
23 We see here that this is a report from the
24 Intelligence Administration, Sarajevo, Counter-Electronic Warfare
25 Department, Communications and Electronic Counter-Measures Section, dated
1 the 13th of July, 1995, in which the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina --
2 rather, its Army General Staff, forwards, via the commander of the
3 1st Corps, to the president of the Presidency of the Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina this interim report after the fall of Srebrenica, in
5 which they report on what they had done so far for the enclave, and it
6 reads as follows:
7 "Dear Mr. President.
8 "In view of the situation of our enclaves during the preceding
9 period, the Army General Staff has undertaken a series of military
10 activities and procedures to organise the members of the army in the
11 enclaves and prepare them for possible developments, primarily the
12 defence of the existing free territory and a planned engagement and
13 preparations for future joint operations and planned operations."
14 My question would be this: Do we see here that the commander of
15 the army is pointing out to the president of the state that he's planning
16 planned operations for the defence of the enclaves and with the members
17 of the army in the enclaves? Now we'll see later on who this document
18 was signed by. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we just show the signature
20 page, please, by e-court. And then go back to the first page.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
23 If the general is, which it appears he is, planning on asking
24 Mr. Butler detailed questions about this, I am told it's a
25 four-page document, and I think it would only be fair to let Mr. Butler
1 review this document before questions are posed.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it depends on the question Mr. Tolimir is
3 putting to the witness. We will see.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank Mr. McCloskey and
5 Mr. Butler, as well as the Trial Chamber. We saw the signature page. We
6 saw who it was who signed this document.
7 Can we now have the first page again, please, in e-court.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. And, witness, sir, could you please tell us whether we see from
10 this document that Delic had informed Izetbegovic that he was preparing
11 the enclaves for future joint operations? Thank you.
12 A. Well, yes, sir. I mean, I have seen this document before. It
13 turns out in my previous testimony in the Perisic case there was a rather
14 spirited discussion about helicopter flights into the Srebrenica enclave,
15 so I am familiar with this particular document.
16 Again, in this context, as issues are coming up on the
17 13th of July, 1995, and questions are being raised, this is a report to
18 the highest levels of the BiH government, where the military justifies,
19 to some degree, the support that they have given to the enclave, and lays
20 out in some specific detail all of the activities that they undertook in
21 order to get supplies into the enclave. Clearly, in the context that
22 General Tolimir has raised, the language does imply that this was not
23 just routine supplies, so to speak; that there was at least some -- you
24 know, there was not only, I guess, you know, the primary defence of the
25 existing free territory, so I guess in some sense it is routine resupply,
1 but also discusses preparations for future operations.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. And now would you take a look, please,
3 below the first paragraph. It says:
4 "Specifically, the following has been done for Srebrenica and
6 And then bullet point 1:
7 "To start with, lethal assets and MTS/materiel and technical
8 equipment were brought in on foot in fairly small quantities."
9 And then the second bullet point:
10 "Seventeen helicopter flights were carried out, in each of which
11 a helicopter was hit."
12 And now can we see the page following a number of bullet points
13 there and see the last bullet point where the table begins. It says:
14 "The attached table shows exactly what MTS was delivered to
15 Srebrenica and Zepa."
16 And then it gives a breakdown of that materiel in a table.
17 Now, the question is this: Did the Main Staff of the BH ensure,
18 via these helicopter flights, that the enclaves in Srebrenica and Zepa
19 received sufficient equipment and supplies in order to carry out attacks?
20 A. Well, sir, either -- I mean, ultimately, just like in the context
21 of the VRS, it was the Main Staff that was undertaking those activities
22 through corps and other subordinate formations. In this manner, the
23 ABiH Supreme Command undertook, either directly or through 2nd Corps,
24 operations to try and get ammunitions and other military technical
25 supplies to Srebrenica and Zepa. The fact that military operations were
1 carried out to the degree that they were, you know, would reflect that,
2 at least in hindsight, they were getting enough ammunition and enough
3 supplies to conduct the operations that they did conduct. The unknown
4 question is whether or not they ever received an adequate amount of
5 materiel and supplies to reach the threshold to conduct the large-scale
6 operation that was envisioned down the road.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now please take a look at this table, and
8 will you see, under number 1, it says Zepa receives 173.600 rounds, where
9 Srebrenica receives 354.658; in total, 469.228 [as interpreted] rounds.
10 And then in the following rows we see 7.62-millimetre rounds - that's
11 number 2 - three 7.9 millimetres, 9.400 pieces. 4, we see that 7.9
12 rounds are mentioned -- or, rather, that's number 3. Number 4 is
13 "rifle-launched grenade." Cumulative contact-fuse grenades. And then
14 five contact-fuse rifle-launch grenades, and six hand-grenade, seven RPG,
15 et cetera, et cetera. You know what RPGs is. Perhaps you can explain it
16 to the Trial Chamber, where it says "390." So what is RPG-7 rocket?
17 A. As noted under asset seven, it's translated as
18 "rocket-propelled grenade." RPG-7 is the traditional Soviet military
19 model, which is ubiquitously copied by everyone of a hand-held
20 rocket-grenade launcher. It fires the RPG-7 rockets. So what this
21 reflects is a number of rocket-launchers as well as extra rockets for
22 them. It's a hand-held device. It's, again, pretty common within most
23 light military forces.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Could you please tell us whether you know
25 from the documents when the ammunition and weapons were air-dropped. Do
1 you know when Muslims started doing that in 1995 and for how long that
2 whole operation lasted? Thank you.
3 A. My knowledge of that is based off of the information in the
4 United Nations report. And if I recall correctly, I think those types of
5 resupply operations began sometime in the early part of 1995. I don't
6 think I could be much more specific than that. It's been a number of
7 years since I've dealt with that particular issue. I would again
8 refer -- if it is an issue -- a question that, in fact, needs to be dealt
9 with, I would refer the Court to that particular United Nations report,
10 where it is laid out in some detail.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Thank you for referring us to the
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now can we have in e-court, on
14 the right-hand side where the Serbian -- where the Serbian document is
15 now, can we see 65 ter 420 in English. I have the Serbian hard copy, so
16 I can read from it.
17 And now we can see the document. I would kindly ask for the
18 table to remain on the left-hand side.
19 This is a document issued by the 28th Division, the Command of
20 the OG-8 Srebrenica, dated 15 November 1994. The title of the document
21 is "The Main Plan for the Execution of Task/Opinion," sent to the Staff
22 of the Supreme Command and Enver Hadzihasanovic in Kakanj.
23 Can we go to the last page to see who signed the document.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please be instructed to slow
25 down. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, two issues.
2 E-court didn't understand your instruction correctly. You wanted
3 to have D67 in English on the left-hand side of the screen, and
4 especially the table; is that correct?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is correct, Mr. President. If
6 that is possible, fine. If not, we'll go back to it later. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just want to understand what your instructions
9 You wanted to have on the left-hand side D67 in English; is that
10 correct? And what did you want to have on the right-hand side? Is that
11 the document we have now on the screen, also in English, if I understood
12 you correctly, because you have the English -- the B/C/S version in front
13 of you? Is that correct?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. But on the right-hand side we
15 have a Serbian version, whereas I would like to have the English version
16 of the document, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, on the right-hand
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. And this is 65 ter 420 in
19 English, please, if that is possible.
20 You wanted to have on the left-hand side D67. Now we have it on
21 the right-hand side, D67. And on the other side of the screen we wanted
22 to do have 65 ter 402, both in English.
23 I think we have it now. Again, now this is identical.
24 There we are. I think we have it now on the screen.
25 Mr. Tolimir, please carry -- [Overlapping speakers]
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry -- [Overlapping speakers]
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have not finished. Just a moment.
5 The interpreters asked you to slow down while reading.
6 Now continue, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Could the document on the right-hand side, which is in English,
9 be brought back to page 1. We need to read just one sentence from that
10 page. Thank you, thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I'm reading the first sentence:
13 "I have received and carefully studied your basic plan to execute
14 the task. I wish to set out my views and suggestions in this respect.
15 "Item 1 - plan acceptable.
16 "Item 2 - acceptable.
17 "Item 3 - engagement of forces ..."
18 And so on and so forth. And now he says, and I will not go on
19 reading, he provides his opinion about the deployment of combat groups.
20 And finally at the end of the document where you can see the signature we
21 would like to look at the last paragraph on the last page in Chapter 12,
22 under the title "General Remarks."
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Look at the screen, at the transcript. You see
24 you are reading too fast. The interpreters can't follow. You want to
25 have everything on the screen -- on the transcript, and, therefore, you
1 should slow down.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 I apologise to the Trial Chamber and to the interpreters.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let's now look at what Mr. Oric says about what he needs for the
6 execution of the task. The following quantities of ammunition have to be
7 brought in to carry out the task. In the left-hand-side table, we can
8 see that he received 354.000 rounds, and he requested only 173.000, so
9 he's received three times more. He also asks for 55.000 other types of
10 rounds, and we see that he has 7.62, 24.000, and Zepa has 4.360. And
11 then further on he says that he needs 150 hand-held or rifle-launched
12 grenades, and he also has contact-fuse rifle-launched grenades, and so on
13 and so forth.
14 My question is this: Was Mr. Oric supplied by air with all the
15 necessary ammunition and weapons that he had requested for the operation?
16 Thank you.
17 A. I don't know that I can answer that, because the one outstanding
18 bit of information that's needed would be the answer of, well, you know,
19 consumption. In abstract, 469.000 rounds of ammunition delivered sounds
20 like a lot and would be sufficient to stockpile for an operation of this
21 nature. One has to take in account that these supplies are being
22 consumed in other military operations or in defence of the enclave from
23 VRS attacks. So from these two documents, you know, the one part of the
24 equation that's missing in order to determine whether or not he was able
25 to successfully stockpile what he needed for the operation is a view of
1 what the 28th Division was consuming as part of their normal military
3 So, I mean, if they're consuming 600.000 rounds during the same
4 period and have only been resupplied to a 469.000-rounds level, then the
5 answer is, no, he wasn't receiving the necessary supplies. If they only
6 used 100.000 rounds, then the answer might be, yes, he received three
7 times as many -- or three times as much ammunition as he thought he
8 needed. But without facts and figures relating to the consumption of the
9 military units, at the same time it can be misleading to answer the
10 question whether or not resupply was adequate.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Please, before the operation started, was
12 the demilitarised zone supposed to carry out any operations? Were they
13 supposed to use ammunition once it was demilitarised? Could we then, in
14 that case, talk about whether any ammunition was spent or not spent?
15 What I mean is -- mean to say is that it should have been demilitarised
16 and weapons should have been seized from them.
17 A. Again, in abstract, I agree. If -- if the zone was demilitarised
18 as envisioned, your ammunition consumption numbers would be zero. We
19 know, though, that that was not the case.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. You're a military analyst and a
21 researcher. Could you tell us whether the commander who has received a
22 task should stockpile for an operation, in view of the fact that he
23 received his stocks by air, under the control of the UNPROFOR, who were
24 in a position to control every helicopter sound in the air? Thank you.
25 A. Well, getting to your first question, a commander who envisions
1 on conducting military operations will obviously take the prudent and
2 necessary steps to stockpile not only ammunition, but what other military
3 supplies he believes he will need in order to conduct that operation. Of
4 course, he has to do so in context of the other military requirements
5 that he has at the time. So what he knows he needs to do and what may be
6 practicable under the circumstances could be different.
7 I don't know that I can answer the second question with respect
8 to the UNPROFOR having control of the air and things of that nature. I
9 mean, that's a -- I don't know that that has to be answered. It's
10 simply, yes, they did resupply not only over land, but by helicopter
11 resupply flights that have been documented, so, I mean, the answer is,
12 yes, they were getting resupplied. And, yes, a prudent commander would
13 stockpile his supplies.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D53 is the following document I
16 would like to call up. Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have used 65 ter 420. Are you
18 tendering it?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. Thank you,
20 Mr. President, for reminding me to do that.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 420 shall be
23 assigned Exhibit D302. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Can we now look at D53. Thank you.
1 Thank you, Aleksandar.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Do you see an order here? This order was issued by the BiH Army
4 on the 17th of June, and there is a reference to active combat
5 operations. And I'm going to read just the first paragraph:
6 "Pursuant to a verbal order issued --"
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment, please. Could the -- yes, thank
8 you. I was asking for enlargement of the B/C/S version. Thank you.
9 Please carry on.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. "Pursuant to a verbal order issued by the commander of the
12 General Staff of the BiH Army, Army General Rasim Delic, and on the
13 occasion of the great successes achieved by units of the BiH Army in the
14 general area around Sarajevo and Gorazde, as well as on the basis of
15 intelligence that the command of the aggressor forces of
16 the Protection Regiment in Han Pijesak is holding part of its units in
17 reserve to intervene in the event of an attack by our forces from Zepa, I
18 hereby issue the following order:
19 "Execute all preparations in the Command of the
20 28th Land/Army Division to execute offensive combat operations with a
21 view to liberating the territory of BiH Army, over-extending the
22 aggressor forces and inflicting losses on them, co-ordinating action with
23 the BiH Army forces carrying out operations in the general area of
25 And the second bullet point reads:
1 "Plan realistic tasks which will assure certain success, on the
2 basis of an accurate assessment and the potential of our forces in
3 Srebrenica and Zepa."
4 My question to you is this: The person who drafted this
5 document, who was issuing the order, as well as the person who received
6 the order, should both have the realistic view or should they have both
7 made a realistic assessment of their military capabilities for the
8 execution of this task? Thank you.
9 A. If I read your question correctly, sir, what you're asking is
10 that as an order is passed down from the higher levels through
11 intermediate levels to the command that's required to execute it, is
12 there a process by which the various commands evaluate orders that are
13 received and make determinations as to whether or not they can fully
14 carry them out, or partially carry them out, or carry them out only to a
15 limited degree. I mean, that is a normal command function. Is that the
16 question that you're asking, sir?
17 Q. This is what I asked you: The person who issued the order to
18 execute the task and the person who was supposed to execute it, did they
19 both have to have in mind realistic assessments of the consumption of
20 materiel, lethal assets, and other resources necessary for the execution
21 of the task? Thank you.
22 A. Yes, sir. In that sense, both the intervening individual -- or
23 intermediate individual, in this case General Budakovic, as well as the
24 individuals who received this order would be expected to tailor the tasks
25 to what is realistically possible. So in order to do that, they would
1 know whether or not they had all of the necessary equipment, supplies,
2 materiel, and manpower to accomplish that task. It doesn't make any
3 military sense to plan to execute a task that you know that you can't
4 accomplish because you're lacking in other components of military
5 ammunition or supplies.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you notice, in the first paragraph of
7 this order, that a reference is made to offensive operations, with a view
8 to liberating the territory? And when we're talking about these
9 assessments, did they also take into account the task to liberate the
10 entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina? In other words, was there an
11 opinion that the commander -- commanders of the BiH Army were capable of
12 ultimately doing that? Thank you.
13 A. This -- this particular order is far more limited than I would
14 take your question to mean. This order is simply, and quite cleverly,
15 actually, a reflection of the fact that the Bosnian and Herzegovina
16 military has learned that the 65th Protection Regiment has still managed
17 to maintain a considerable amount of reserve forces which could,
18 conceivably, be employed in the Sarajevo area, and, in fact, the
19 65th Protection Regiment was, throughout the course of the war, deployed
20 in many various areas of the Republika Srpska because it represented a
21 mobile and powerful reserve force. And so based on this information,
22 this reads to me like the 2nd Corps and their 28th -- and the
23 28th Infantry Division are being directed to put together a military
24 attack out of Srebrenica or Zepa, the primary purpose to ensure that the
25 65th Protection Regiment is held in place there or is engaged in that
1 particular location and that their reserves are then exhausted or
2 over-extended. And, therefore, it would not be available to be
3 redeployed to the Sarajevo and Gorazde battle-front area which, in the
4 words of the BiH Army at this juncture, was the critical battle that was
5 going on.
6 I don't take this particular document to read in such a
7 wide-sweeping manner as you suggested that, you know, this is their
8 expectation, that they're going to be able to liberate all of the
9 territory of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. Thank you. Please read paragraph 1 once again, where it says,
11 and I read again:
12 "Execute all preparations in the Command of the
13 28th Land/Army Division to execute offensive combat operations with a
14 view to liberating the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina ..."
16 This was signed by Brigadier Sulejman Budakovic. Does it mean
17 that he has in mind the liberation of the entire territory of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina and all those tasks that have to be executed during offensive
19 operations? Thank you.
20 A. No, sir. I take this simply as view of liberating the territory
21 of BH to the extent that they are already doing in the wider area around
22 Sarajevo and Gorazde. Obviously a war aim of the Army of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina was going to be to liberate all of their territory of all the
24 territory that they considered occupied, but I just -- in this particular
25 singular document, I just don't read as much into it as you do, sir.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think it's time for the second
3 We have to adjourn, and resume at 1.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Butler, I asked you whether the chief of staff of the
10 2nd Corps, Brigade General Budakovic, was referring to an oral order and
11 ordered the preparations, that they be made for combat operations. So
12 was he actually relying on Delic's order when he issued his order?
13 A. It appears, in part, as you look at the preamble on that first
14 paragraph, it says, one: "Pursuant to a verbal order ..." and, of
15 course, it also refers back to an earlier document. But looking at this
16 in its entirety, I would say that, again, this order was written in the
17 context of receiving a verbal order from Delic, who wanted various
18 supporting actions done to ensure that the ABiH military forces around
19 Sarajevo and Gorazde could continue to enjoy success.
20 Q. Thank you. And could that be the oral order that was issued to
21 the chiefs of staffs of command that was issued to -- in the Command of
22 the 28th Land/Army Division?
23 A. I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking that
24 this particular document, and as it was set out by General Budakovic, was
25 this document based, in large degree, to the oral order?
1 Q. Thank you. My question was whether Budakovic was talking about
2 the oral order from Delic that should be known not only to him, but also
3 to those who sent the document; in other words, members of the
4 Command of the 28th Division. And how could he refer to the order if
5 they were not -- if they didn't have information on what it contained?
6 A. Yes, sir. I mean, I agree with your assertion that this is the
7 order that Budakovic sent to the Command of the 28th Division. It was,
8 to a large degree, it appears, based on a verbal order. And I also agree
9 that given the document reference in question, that it does presuppose
10 that the Command of the 28th Division in Srebrenica has a working
11 knowledge of that particular document as well as the general situation.
12 Q. Thank you. Now let's see whether the Command of the
13 28th Division could have been informed of the oral order of the
15 Could we now see document D1, 1D1.
16 [Defence counsel confers]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should switch off your microphone during your
18 private discussion.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. We see here a statement from the Chief of Staff of the
22 28th Division where he speaks about his being at the command post in
23 Kakanj with the Chief of Staff and the commander, because that was their
24 command post, the BH Army command post, in April 1995. And maybe that is
25 when he received the oral order, because there was no other way he could
1 receive it.
2 Now, let's take a look at page 5 in Serbian and 7 in English.
3 Now we see in Serbian, in paragraph 4, which reads, and that's
4 the second paragraph in English --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That is not the second
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. "Towards the end of April, we flew out of Zepa in a
9 helicopter" --
10 My error. I was asking for the English page.
12 "In late April 1995, we flew by helicopter from Zepa and arrived
13 in Zenica. We were part of a delegation sent from Srebrenica, headed by
14 Commander Naser Oric ..."
15 And so on and so forth. He goes on to name all the others who
16 were there. They had a task, and so on and so forth.
17 Now, does this suggest that it was possible for him to have had a
18 contact, oral contact, with the Chief of Staff, including the order to
19 begin combat operations and try a break-out from Srebrenica towards the
20 2nd Corps in Tuzla?
21 A. I guess where I'm -- I'm having difficulty following the track on
22 this is the document that we just discussed, you know, how that relates
23 to this particular date and time. I mean, can we go back to that
24 original document? I mean, I just want to, in my own mind, go back to
25 the date of the document that you were referencing earlier and then try
1 and compare it to this particular oral order, or a written order, I mean.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you recall the document that was published on the
3 11th of November, 1994, relating to the break-out operation and the
4 linking up of enclaves? Do you remember that document?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, do you see that this document speaks of
7 April 1995, in other words, a period following that period from that
9 And now if you look at the seventh line below the line containing
10 the words "April 1995," where it says:
11 "Commander Oric and I were supposed to go back together, but
12 after a discussion with the commander of the General Staff, Oric received
13 permission to stay on in Tuzla for a while and to return to Srebrenica
14 after the training of officers, around the 10th of May, of officers who
15 had come for training earlier."
16 Now, can we see from this that there was oral communication
17 between the Chief of Staff of the 28th Division with the commander of the
18 General Staff, and that they were there from April 1995 until the
19 10th of May, 1995, when Naser Oric stayed behind?
20 A. Let me see if I can cut right to what I believe you are driving
22 If I understood the text of the various questions correctly, are
23 you asking me that do I believe that in this period of April/May 1995 the
24 activities that you are discussing here are, in fact, the verbal order to
25 implement this particular plan that we've discussed, 02-1/1394-1, dated
1 9 November 1994? Is that the question that you're asking?
2 Q. Thank you. My question to you is in line with what you've just
3 said. Now, was Commander Delic, the commander of the
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina Army, did he have oral communication with the
5 commander and Chief of Staff of the 28th Division, as stated here by
6 Ramiz Becirovic in his statement, in other words, from late April into
7 May? Thank you.
8 A. He could have communicated with him in a variety of ways. As you
9 know, the -- not only could they have done oral communications, but there
10 was the ability to do written communications or enciphered computer
11 communications, so I would not limit contacts just to oral
12 communications. Clearly, if the individual was out of the enclave, that
13 did increase or would increase the ability to communicate in person, let
14 alone orally over the telephone.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I pointed out a meeting that they had
16 where they had direct contact, and this is something that Becirovic
17 talked about. And then I said that it was not possible to have any
18 further contact unless there was communication or visits. Here, he
19 described a visit, and then it also says:
20 "... pursuant to an oral order from the BiH commander, carry out
21 preparations for combat operations in order to liberate the territory of
22 the BH Army."
23 That's how this letter or order began.
24 Now, my question to you is: Could Delic issue this oral order,
25 about when the operation was to begin and the plan implemented, could he
1 have done that earlier because they were there for training and
3 A. The -- just to qualify one point. As I noted, I do not read that
4 order in the same way that you did, that it qualifies as a full-blown
5 liberation-of-the-territory order. Having said that, having --
6 General Delic could have clearly issued the order, either orally or in
7 writing, at any time that he deemed that the conditions were met to begin
8 the final preparations for the plan that we've talked about for
9 9 November 1994. Having all of the relevant commanders physically
10 present, or many of them present in Tuzla, would have had an opportunity
11 to do that, if, in fact, he chose to do it there.
12 As a military practice, having the subordinate commanders and key
13 principals around and physically being able to brief them on the order
14 helps to ensure that everyone understands what the tasks are and what is
15 expected of them. So, you know, while the order may have been given at
16 that point in time, if I agreed to your time-line and assertion, the
17 actual final preparations for the operation would clearly not have
18 started occurring until such time that all of those relevant individuals
19 who were in Tuzla were brought back into the enclave so they could
20 undertake the preparations.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
22 Now please answer this question: Was the direct, personal,
23 physical, as it were, contact between Naser Oric, his deputy,
24 Ramiz Becirovic, and the commander of the BH Army, Rasim Delic [Realtime
25 transcript read in error "Naser Oric"] in existence, as it were, on this
1 date, on the 5th of this month, where Ramiz Becirovic mentions here?
2 A. I don't know the answer to that. I mean, I can't go into his
3 statement to verify what is or is not or would not have happened. I just
4 don't know.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I note we have a problem in the transcript.
6 In the last question of Mr. Tolimir, there's a reference to
7 "Naser Oric," his "principal." I don't know if he really said
8 "principal" or "deputy," Ramiz Becirovic, and the commander of the
9 BH Army. And we see again the name "Naser Oric." But I think we heard
10 "Rasim Delic." Is that correct, Mr. Tolimir?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We will
12 clarify all this by quoting the words of Ramiz Becirovic that can be
13 found in his statement in paragraph 3 -- or, rather, the seventh line of
14 that paragraph. That's the paragraph beginning with the words: "In late
15 April 1995." And the seventh line in that paragraph reads:
16 "Commander Oric and I were supposed to go back. But after a
17 discussion with the commander of the General Staff, Oric received
18 permission to stay on in Tuzla for a while and to return to Srebrenica
19 after the training of officers was completed around the 10th of May,
20 officers who had arrived earlier."
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now, my question is this: Mr. Butler, from this statement of
23 Mr. Becirovic's, can we conclude that there was oral communication
24 between General Delic, Naser Oric, and Ramiz Becirovic in the months of
25 April or May 1995, as described here by Becirovic in his statement, and
1 is it possible that it was at this time that he issued the oral order
2 that was mentioned in document D53 and that I quoted earlier, the
3 document dated 17 June? Thank you. In other words, were they already in
4 the know about the substance of Delic's oral order?
5 A. I don't mean to sound obstinate, but I'm not sure that I can
6 answer that question. This is a statement by a particular individual.
7 I'm not in a position to make conclusions based off of one statement,
8 particularly the conclusions that you're looking for. My answer would be
9 that maybe Mr. Becirovic would be the person that you should be directing
10 that question to.
11 Q. Thank you. I will not insist. You conducted an analysis here,
12 and my question now is very specific. Did Ramiz Becirovic state in his
13 statement that he and Naser Oric had direct contact with Rasim Delic?
14 Thank you.
15 A. I -- again, what it says in this statement, it says in the
16 statement. There's -- there's one particular line:
17 "In the meantime, the commander of the General Staff, Delic,
18 arrived, who enable us to go to Visca by helicopter, and we went to a
19 location in the corps command, where Delic received us."
20 Again, I can verify that it says what it says in the statement,
21 but I can't verify that what is said in the statement actually happened,
22 you know, at least in the context of that particular meeting.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. We will waste no more time on this. Let
24 the Trial Chamber have their own opinion of this.
25 But let's see now document D178. This is an intelligence
1 information or intelligence report.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before this will be brought up, please, I would
3 like to see the first and the last page of the current document, which
4 seems to be D1 or 1D1; I don't know.
5 THE REGISTRAR: This is D1. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 We have now only the B/C/S version on the screen.
8 Thank you. It's a document from the 11th of August, 1995.
9 And I would like to see the last page with the signature.
10 It says signed by Ramiz Becirovic. Thank you very much.
11 Now the other document, D178, should be brought up.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. D178 is on the screen now. It says here, in the title,
15 "Main Staff of the VRS, Intelligence and Security Sector." It says
16 "22nd of June, 1995." And, finally, we will see the stamp, on which the
17 date is the 23rd of June or April 1995.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The document should be enlarged, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Let's look at the fourth paragraph in this document on page 3.
21 Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I quote -- I apologise, and I quote from the fourth paragraph:
24 "It has been confirmed that the Muslim forces in Srebrenica,
25 Zepa, and Gorazde are continuing with preparations for offensive
1 operations, and that they are using the Srebrenica-Zepa axis for the
2 manoeuvre of forces and the movement of civilians and goods. They are
3 supplying ammunition and weapons by air. A great deal of the population
4 is expressing fear and the wish to leave the enclave because of the
5 announced escalation of combat operations and the feeling of isolation."
6 Thank you. End of quote.
7 My question is this: Do you see that on the 22nd of April the
8 Main Staff had information that in Srebrenica preparations were ongoing
9 for an offensive aimed at linking up the enclaves and ultimately linking
10 up the enclaves with the forces of the 2nd Corps? Thank you.
11 A. What it says is that the Main Staff had confirmed that the forces
12 in Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde are continuing their preparations for
13 offensive operations. It does not say in this particular passage the
14 second assertion that you've made, and -- that it is that these
15 particular offensive operations are designed to link up with the forces
16 of 2nd Corps.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now can we look at D238.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Since you're an analyst, a soldier, I have asked you to analyse
21 certain data. That's what my questions have all been for.
22 And now let's first look at page 1. The document was issued on
23 the 26th of June, 1995. It is intelligence information by the Main Staff
24 of the Army of Republika Srpska, the Intelligence and Security Sector.
25 And now can we please look at page 2 in Serbian and 3 in English,
1 where it says in the second paragraph, and I quote:
2 "In the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Muslim Corps, an
3 additional mobilisation campaign is underway, including under-age,
4 elderly, and ill military conscripts. In the area of Majevica, Teocak,
5 Kalesija, and Kladanj, the units of the 2nd Muslim Corps have continued
6 their diversionary operations."
7 And so on and so forth.
8 My question is this -- end of quote. My question is this: Based
9 on this intelligence, can you conclude that when a mobilisation campaign
10 is underway, under-age, elderly, and ill military conscripts are being
11 mobilised as part of that campaign, can you conclude, based on that, that
12 that military is preparing for a serious or large-scale military
13 operation? Thank you.
14 A. Yes, sir. In the sense that offensive operations generally
15 require more from the attacking forces in defend -- than in terms of
16 manpower, equipment, and other issues, if the 2nd Muslim Corps, in this
17 context, is preparing for a significant military operation, it would be
18 logical that they would take whatever steps that they believed they could
19 take in order to ensure that, at least in terms of manpower, they had as
20 many soldiers available as they could in that particular context.
21 Now, having said that, if you're mobilising under-aged, elderly,
22 or ill individuals, particularly with respect to under-age or elderly, I
23 mean, you really are looking in a situation where there will have to be
24 some time spent training or re-training them in order to perform even
25 basic military functions. So it differs, in a sense, from, you know,
1 mobilising relatively well-trained reservists who can be put into combat
2 operations in a week or two, versus drafting a recent group of
3 16-year-old kids who were formerly in high school and who have had no
4 military service and expecting them to be available in the same
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for this military analysis. And now can
7 you look at the last paragraph on the same page.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the document in Serbian be
9 scrolled up a little. Thank you. In English, it's 5, page 5, the second
10 paragraph on page 5. Thank you.
11 Thank you, Aleksandar.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I'm going to quote from this paragraph:
14 "On 25/26 June of this year, Muslim forces of the 28th Division
15 started offensive operations from the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa by
16 infiltrating several sabotage and terrorist groups into our territory.
17 In Srebrenica, they blocked UNPROFOR, accusing them that they had not
18 protected the so-called demilitarised zone. It is not unlikely that
19 parts of UNPROFOR had been disarmed."
20 However, the next sentence reads:
21 "The objective of these operations is to link up our forces and
22 create more favourable conditions for operations by the 24th, 23rd, and
23 26th Divisions from the directions of Kalesija, Zivinice, and Kladanj."
24 My question to you, sir, is this: Does all this point to the
25 fact that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including its parts in the
1 demilitarised zone, had launched an operation to create a corridor to
2 infiltrate sabotage groups into the territory and that they had started
3 the operation which was planned already in November 1994? Thank you.
4 A. First, can I request a clarification on your question.
5 When you read that particular paragraph to me, the
6 English-language translation that I have said:
7 "The objective of these operations is to tie up our forces and
8 create more favourable conditions ..."
9 What I heard you ask -- or you say is:
10 "The objective of these operations is to link up our forces ..."
11 Is it a -- am I -- is the English translation correct, or ...
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I don't have an answer to that.
14 But if I could have just a minute or two at the end just to seek
15 a bit of clarification on a 98 bis issue before we leave.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, we should come to an end. We have only
17 three minutes left, and I would like to say some words as well before we
19 I think this is going to be a longer discussion and examination
20 of the witness on this document. Is that correct? And, therefore, you
21 should reserve this kind of questions for the next hearing in August. Is
22 that acceptable for you, Mr. Tolimir?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Everything is acceptable to me. However, I would really
25 appreciate to receive an answer at least to my last question before we go
1 to the recess. The recess is going to be long, and the witness can be
2 influenced in all sorts of ways, so I would really appreciate an answer
3 before we break up for the summer.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then you should please say again if -- read this
5 part of the sentence where we see -- which starts with: "The objectives
6 of these operations is to tie up," or "to link up." That was the
7 question. Otherwise, the witness is not able to answer your question.
8 Read this part into the transcript again, please, but only the beginning
9 of the sentence.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 I am reading that part of the text that you requested. You have
12 it in English:
13 "The objective of these operations is most probably to -- the
14 linking up of our forces and creating more favourable conditions for
15 operations by the 24th, 23rd, and 26th Divisions from the direction of
16 Kalesija, Zivinice and Kladanj."
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It was only the question of "link up" or "tie
19 up." Now we heard for the first time "it is most probably." Did you say
20 that? I don't see it in the English text.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the English translation it
22 should read "most probably the linking up of our forces." Thank you.
23 This is what the English translation should read.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
25 Could you comment on that, Mr. Butler?
1 No, we don't have so much more time. Let's hear the answer of
2 Mr. Butler, if he is able to provide us with the answer.
3 THE WITNESS: If I were to take it that the actual phrase is
4 translated as "linking up" versus "tying up," the short answer would be:
5 It's possible. I wouldn't necessarily conclude that, because the problem
6 over this whole course of questions and pieces of evidence was that we
7 have one particular document dated 9 November, and in this particular
8 practice I'm being shown disparate pieces of information, to a degree out
9 of context, in a manner to try and to determine whether or not it
10 supports or doesn't support a specific conclusion. As an analyst, that's
11 a particularly bad practice, because you're going to -- you're going to
12 find what you're looking for in this particular case. Now, if you want
13 it to be this way, you can always make a case that it is.
14 You know, it is possible. And if I were to review all of the
15 relevant material, I might even conclude that General Tolimir would be
16 correct. But I would certainly not be comfortable in doing it off of
17 three or four or five pieces of data and jumping to that particular
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this answer.
20 That should conclude now the interrogation of the witness.
21 I give the floor to Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 I have been speaking to Mr. Gajic about the 98 bis, and he is
24 unable to tell me whether or not the general has decided to make a 98 bis
25 argument. I would request the Court require them to tell us before the
1 close of the period until the recess so that we know, in the recess,
2 whether or not we need to be starting to get prepared, because if so,
3 that's when we'll start to get prepared.
4 And I would also like to know: Are you anticipating that this be
5 an argument, if it does happen, by General Tolimir or Mr. Gajic? I've
6 got to go back and read your ruling on that, but I don't -- I'm not sure
7 it will answer the question, but it would be nice to know.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I clearly can answer your second question. The
9 98 bis submission should be made by Mr. Tolimir, not by Mr. Gajic. It is
10 not his role in the courtroom to address the Chamber on that.
11 Mr. Tolimir, you have heard the question of Mr. McCloskey. Can
12 you give us an indication if there will be an oral submission pursuant to
13 Rule 98 bis or not?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 I heard your remarks this morning. The Defence has not proffered
16 all its evidence, and we've seen the practice here that even in
17 re-examination new documents were being shown, and the Prosecution has
18 not yet completed its case.
19 Now, after the Prosecution has completed its case, the Defence
20 will decide, and only then, whether or not it will offer its oral
21 submissions within the three hours, as the Trial Chamber informed us.
22 That was in accordance with the Rules. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
24 Mr. McCloskey, there is no possibility to put any pressure on the
25 accused today. We will consider this situation, but I would like to
1 invite Mr. Tolimir to consider the situation as well, because it will be
2 not only a burden for the Defence, but also for the Prosecution and the
3 Chamber, to prepare these submissions and decisions. And, therefore, we
4 and the Prosecution would like to know, as soon as possible and as early
5 as possible, about your intentions to make these submissions or not.
6 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 The phrase itself, "oral submissions," suggests that its content
9 does not need to be advised of in advance, because it is oral arguments
10 and they will be made at the time when they are made. So this will be
11 within the three hours, as recommended by the Trial Chamber, and it
12 shouldn't pose any problem either to the Prosecution or the
13 Trial Chamber. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber has not considered this proposal yet,
15 but there are Trial Chambers in this Tribunal who set a time-line, a time
16 until which you should indicate if you will make such a submission or
17 not. Today we will not issue any such order.
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, briefly, one last request that I would make
20 to the general is that if he would please consider providing a targeted
21 98 bis decision -- or argument to the specific areas that he is concerned
22 with. This has been the practice among Chambers and -- in the past, to
23 direct the Defence to be targeted. Otherwise, it's the Prosecution's
24 burden to respond to everything in the indictment, from the crime base to
25 each element of the crime, which, of course, in three hours is not
1 possible. So that if -- I would request that they make every effort to
2 provide a targeted approach to any submissions. That would be of great
3 help. And I will, of course, discuss this with Mr. Gajic. And if it
4 looks like we're going in that direction, fine. If not, we may
5 request -- we may provide you a filing on that in order to help us be
6 able to direct our three-hour submissions. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber will consider the situation and
8 certainly not issue any order today, but we are open for any proposals by
9 the parties and invite the parties to discuss the matter further. But we
10 have to consider the best way to prepare any 98 bis submissions and
12 This is, I think, an appropriate time to -- although we are
13 running out of time, to thank many people and to express our gratitude
14 for their patience and their support.
15 First of all, the witness, Mr. Butler, you have spent many, many
16 hours and days here in the courtroom, and it will not be the end of this
17 exercise. We thank you very much for your attendance here and for
18 providing us with your experience and the results of your review of
19 documents. Thank you for that.
20 Please be reminded, and I say that with all respect after the
21 comment of Mr. Tolimir, it is not allowed to have contact with the
22 Prosecution or the Defence during the break about the content of your
23 testimony. I think you know that, but I just want to remind you because
24 of the length of the break.
25 THE WITNESS: I understand, sir.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We, the Chamber, would like to thank others as
2 well, and I would like to mention them.
3 First of all, the Security, please forward that to the other
4 members of the Security who help us, that everything is going very
6 I would like to thank the interpreters for their hard work and
7 for their support.
8 Not to forget the technical staff. We have sometimes faced some
9 technical problems, and they helped us without disturbing the proceedings
10 in the courtroom, but especially behind the scene.
11 I would like to thank the Court Officer and all the Court Ushers
12 who have helped us during the last months.
13 And I would like to thank the team of the Defence for preparing
14 the procedure, and the team of the Prosecution, as well as the team of
15 the Chamber.
16 Deliberately I left out one man who is sitting here, and he
17 should write it correctly into the transcript. I would like to thank all
18 the court reporters who had really done a tremendous job to have a
19 correct record of everything that was said, and especially the court
20 reporter who is present today, because it's his last day in this
21 Tribunal, and we wish him all the best for his future and for the next
22 stages of his personal career.
23 Thank you very much to everybody.
24 We adjourn. And we will resume on Monday, the 22nd of August,
25 this year.
1 We adjourn.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.55 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 22nd day of
5 August, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.