1 Monday, 29 August 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
6 Last week, on Thursday, I asked the Defence if they are able to
7 respond to the informal e-mail of the Chamber of the 2nd of August this
8 year, if the -- whether or not the Prosecution is in a position to
9 indicate if there will be a 98 bis submission, and I indicated that I
10 would like to know -- the Chamber would like to know the position of the
11 Defence in that respect this morning or this afternoon.
12 Mr. Gajic, I see you on your feet.
13 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. That was
14 precisely the reason why I didn't sit down once I stood up. The Defence
15 considered the application of Rule 98 bis as well as the case law, and we
16 have decided that we shall not submit -- make submissions pursuant to
17 Rule 98 bis.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it that there will not be a 98 bis
19 submission. Therefore, there is no need for a response by the
20 Prosecution pursuant to Rule 98 bis. There will be no decision by the
21 Chamber pursuant to Rule 98 bis. In that case, we will proceed with the
22 Prosecution case until we finish with all witnesses, and sometime before
23 the conclusion of the Prosecution case, we should consider the
24 continuation of the case. And we would then like to ask the Defence if
25 there will be a Defence case and how much time the Defence requires for
1 preparation of the Defence case and all the 65 ter material which will be
2 needed to prepare the Defence case.
3 Mr. Gajic.
4 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we are certain that
5 the Defence will lead its Defence case, but we need a bit more time to
6 come up with a more precise plan as to how much time we will need for
7 that part of the proceedings. What I can tell you already now, something
8 that should be borne in mind by the Prosecution, by the Defence, and by
9 the Trial Chamber, is that we have a lot of material to study. We have
10 just received evidence provided by the Defence in the Perisic case. We
11 have only received this recently. We have an obligation and need to look
12 at a large number of disclosure that we have received from the
13 Prosecution. Due to the pressure of time we have not been able to look
14 at all that. We also have to advise our experts on what Mr. Butler has
15 stated in the courtroom. We believe that approximately a week after the
16 end of Mr. Butler's testimony, we will be able to provide a rather
17 precise estimate as to how much time we will need for the Defence case.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You mean for the preparation of the Defence case.
19 Is that correct?
20 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. And also we will
21 be able to provide you with an approximation as to how much time we will
22 need for the Defence case itself. This will depend on a number of
23 factors, including things that will crop up during the preparation of the
24 Defence case. However, I hope that I will be able to provide the
25 Trial Chamber with a rather realistic estimate of the time needed.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Gajic, thank you very much for
3 this update, for this information you were able to give us. It's very
4 helpful for the other party, for the Prosecution and the Chamber, to plan
5 the future of this case and the needed activities. Thank you very much.
6 We will come back to that issue, as you yourself indicated, at a later
8 Is there anything else to discuss at the moment?
9 Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
11 Just to let you know our schedule and the e-mail we sent out remains
12 valid. There has been a slight switch in timing due to videolink issues,
13 and we'll get an e-mail out on that. In fact, it already has come out.
14 So everything looks good. There is light. Things will come to an end.
15 The Prosecution's case will come to an end very soon.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I was informed that the
17 Defence has used 20 hours and 7 minutes for the cross-examination of
18 Mr. Butler. There are, more or less, four hours left to reach the same
19 amount of time the Prosecution has used during the direct examination.
20 And the Chamber expects that, Mr. Tolimir, that you are in a position to
21 finish in the same time-frame as you indicated several times earlier.
22 The witness should be brought in, please.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Butler, again. You
1 are still under the same oath while you are testifying here in the
2 courtroom. We are slowly approaching the end of your testimony.
3 Mr. Tolimir is continuing his cross-examination.
4 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor.
5 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't receive --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May God's peace reign in this
8 courtroom and may his will be done in these proceedings, and not
9 necessarily mine.
10 Good afternoon, Mr. President.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to wish Mr. Butler a warm welcome
13 in our midst.
14 Mr. Butler, we left off with the statement of Colonel Malinic
15 about recording.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at D289. That is his
17 statement provided on the 14th of December, 2005, pages 14 and 15 in
18 Serbian and English respectively, lines from 1 through 13. Thank you.
19 Thank you. We can't see it on the screen yet.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Now we can see the statement. We can see lines 1 through 3.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is not the correct page. 14
23 in Serbian, please. Actually, I need page 15 in Serbian. Thank you. I
24 apologise, actually, I need 14. I was right. Page 14, lines 1 through
25 13, but I don't see it in front of me.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. This is what Mr. Malinic says:
3 "Did the teams arrive," he asks.
4 The answer is:
5 "Yes, they did arrive. And they shot, they recorded.
6 "Do you remember what teams arrived, from what channels?"
7 And Malinic answers:
8 "I think there were some foreign TV crews and also the crew from
9 Radio Television Srpska. So at least three crews all together. And
10 since we received the order that we were to allow them to tape anything,
11 there was no need to control them. We did not have the right to control
12 them, to check their IDs or anything. They all arrived together, all the
13 three crews.
14 "As far as I can remember, I believe that they did their job. I
15 believe that they also taped interviews with men who were together with
16 the detainees at the stadium. I can't remember exactly which TV crews
17 they were."
18 Mr. Butler, please. We have now read from General Mladic's [as
19 interpreted] statement. Would the Main Staff have sent TV crews to do
20 the recording if they had had the plan to kill people on the 13th? Thank
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, perhaps you misspoke or the
23 interpreter misspoke. In line 17 there is a reference to General Mladic,
24 but I think it was not General Mladic's statement but Zoran Malinic's
25 statement; is that correct?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
2 indeed Colonel Malinic's statement. He was a Prosecution witness in this
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He provided this statement on the
6 14th of December, 2005.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Butler, if, on the 13th, the Main Staff sent crews to record
9 the detainees in Nova Kasaba, which is what Mr. Malinic stated, and if
10 they even taped interviews with them, would he have killed them after
11 they had informed the general public that they existed? Would they have
12 devised a plan to kill them before they sent the TV crews in? Thank you.
13 A. As I noted in response to this question last week, I can't
14 explain the motivation behind the Main Staff to allow for the use of
15 video cameras in and around this area. I am aware that there were a
16 number of camera crews that were filming events. One of them, of course,
17 was a camera crew from the VRS. So it is not an issue that I am able to
19 I do not believe that the issues are linked, and I would again
20 remind you of what I said last week which is that in the context of the
21 ongoing conflict, certainly the Main Staff would have had the ability
22 to -- regardless of what they were allowed to film at the time, before
23 the information was publicly broadcast, members of the Main Staff would
24 be allowed to review and censor as appropriate any video footage that
25 they deemed to be embarrassing to the VRS or any video footage that might
1 provided useful information to the ABiH military as it was struggling to
2 figure out exactly what was going on under the circumstances.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Do you have a reference on which you base
4 what you have just said, or is this just your assumption? Thank you.
5 A. Colonel Milovan Milutinovic, if I have his name correctly, was
6 the Main Staff officer who ran the VRS public information centre. It was
7 his job -- it was his job to, one, work with the camera crews to take the
8 video coverage and to clear them to go into certain areas of the
9 battle-field, and at the same time he would work to make sure that images
10 that were not beneficial to the VRS would be edited out before they were
11 publicly broadcast. There is a number of documents which talks about the
12 fact that the VRS, particularly at the corps and at the Main Staff level
13 had to work diligently in order to ensure that information which could be
14 of benefit to the enemy at the time would not be inadvertently broadcast
15 over the television networks.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I kindly ask you to tell us whether you
17 have a reference showing that, on the 13th, Mr. Milutinovic or the
18 Main Staff were involved in the censorship of the material depicting the
19 detainees in Kasaba, yes or no? Is this just your assumption, in other
21 A. Again, I have not seen video footage of anyone in Kasaba. And
22 while I know that Colonel Milovan Milutinovic was in and around the area,
23 I don't know for a fact that he was in Kasaba.
24 Q. Mr. Butler, you are an expert for some things, you were in war.
25 This is not what we are talking about. We are talking about concrete
1 events, concrete things, if you don't, you say no. If you do, you say
3 My next question is this: Did you see the footage from Kasaba?
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: That assumes a fact not in evidence. If the
7 general has any evidence of any footage or even a photo from any of these
8 people in Nova Kasaba, aside from the aerial images, I would like to know
9 about it, because he has concluded that such existed in his question.
10 Yet, as far as I know, nothing exists in this record. I don't know
11 anything about that. So if he has got something he's referring
12 Mr. Butler to, we need to know about it. If he's just asking is there,
13 that's another matter, but he was concluding that there was. And if
14 there is, I would like to see it or know what he is talking about.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you please rephrase your
16 question and ask the witness if he knows of any footage about the
17 prisoners in Kasaba.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. Malinic, who was
19 a Prosecution witness, testified that there was footage, that there were
20 TV crews, and Mr. McCloskey pretends that he has never heard it before.
21 I quoted from the reference. And now Mr. Butler says that all the
22 footages were edited, and I am asking him whether he ever saw that
23 footage, and what does he base his statement on when he says that the
24 videos were edited, that there were pieces cut out from the material.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I didn't hear any answer with this content of the
3 Mr. Butler, may I ask you a question to save some time: Do you
4 know anything about any footage, about any videotapes of the prisoners in
6 THE WITNESS: No, sir. As I answered in the previous question, I
7 am not aware of any video footage of prisoners at Nova Kasaba. If it
8 exists, I've never seen it.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you see Mr. Malinic's statement about
13 that? Did you look at the testimony that he gave in this courtroom? Did
14 you ever look into the things that he said? Did you do any research on
15 that? Thank you.
16 A. First off, I am not sure I was still here at the Tribunal when
17 Mr. Malinic was interviewed for the first time by the OTP. I did not
18 follow his testimony during this particular trial, but I can tell you
19 that during the course of my time with the Srebrenica investigation, the
20 almost seven-year period, the Office of the Prosecutor and the
21 investigators with the investigation team spent a considerable amount of
22 time looking to try and identify and obtain all video footage related to
23 the Srebrenica crime base.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for this response. You must have seen
25 P125, because the Prosecutor showed it to you during the
1 examination-in-chief. The date on that document is 13 July 1995.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now see P125.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. When the Prosecutor introduced this document, he said that these
5 were General Tolimir's proposal from Borike on the 13th of July. I
6 objected to this. I am now asking you this: Whose proposal is this?
7 Who wrote this, do you know?
8 A. It is under the signature of Colonel Savcic. However, at least
9 part of it is at least referenced back to a proposal from the assisting
10 commander for security and intelligence of the Main Staff of the VRS.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Let us now see what General Savcic said
12 about the document and about the event, the event being a video
13 recording. I am quoting from his statement, which is 1D744, page 42 in
14 Serbian and page 27 in English.
15 And I am now quoting:
16 "And second of all, the things that Major Malinic is doing with
17 this group of detainees differ considerably from the proposal, and the
18 proposal in this question is what we have just seen.
19 "And the difference is what?" says Mr. McCloskey.
20 And the answer is:
21 "Well, he asked for a medical crew from Milici to administer
22 first aid among the wounded to the detainees. He requested food and
23 water for these people, and he got both. They were in the football
24 stadium, and he allowed TV crews to make a video footage of these people
25 in the football stadium."
1 My question is this: Mr. Malinic and Mr. Savcic, did they both
2 know that TV crews recorded the detainees in the football stadium in
3 Kasaba, the same ones that were guarded by Malinic's men? Thank you.
4 A. I'm sorry, General Tolimir, I don't see -- either I'm missing the
5 wrong page or I don't see where you have read that passage from at all on
6 my screen.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I obviously made a mistake. I said
8 page 27. It should have been 28. It would have been displayed then. I
9 apologise again. It should be 28, lines 10 through 27.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you check the number of the lines again,
12 Mr. Gajic.
13 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in English those are
14 lines 1 through 10.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: Okay, sir. Your question?
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. The question was: Did both Malinic and
19 Savcic, in their testimony and their statements, say that the prisoners
20 of war at Kasaba had been filmed and was this documented?
21 A. Well, sir, I don't know what they testified to, but from this
22 particular statement, General Savcic is saying that he received the
23 information that TV crews were allowed to film them from Major Malinic.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please go back to P125.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. That's the document about the so-called order that has never been
3 signed and never been sent to the teletype operator. Have you read the
4 documents that speak to what Savcic said about this order?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object to the second factual recitation the
7 general made. I agree with him that -- we all know that there is no
8 evidence of this being signed, but the evidence was specifically that it
9 was sent to a teletype operator, so I don't know why he said that or --
10 and I would object to that as being part of the -- as an argument on the
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please switch off your -- thank you.
13 As you are not giving evidence, Mr. Tolimir, we should reduce the
14 question to the first part of the question.
15 Have you read the documents that speak to what Savcic said about
16 this order? That was the question, Mr. Butler.
17 THE WITNESS: What documents would he be referring to? Is he
18 referring to a statement by Savcic or testimony? I am just not clear on
19 what he's -- what he means by the phrase "documents."
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have nothing to say. You should
22 draw your own conclusions.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you in your question referring
24 to the document which is now on the screen, which means the document
25 signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Milomir Savcic?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I can only ask the
2 witness --
3 Q. Can it be seen from the original that this document was signed
4 and sent to the teletype operator?
5 A. I am aware that it is the proposition of the Prosecutor that it
6 was. I am not -- I don't have any first-hand knowledge with respect to
7 the testimony related to that particular issue, so I can't confirm or
8 deny that. I don't exactly know if this is the document that you're
9 referring to. I mean, I guess I am just not understanding the question
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, but when you were answering questions in
12 the examination-in-chief, you understood the telegram and the contents of
13 the telegram, and you even made appraisals, evaluations, how this meeting
14 occurred. I am asking you, have you reviewed documents and have you come
15 across a document where Milomir says he didn't sign it and it was never
16 sent by teletype?
17 A. I am not familiar with any documents. If he said that as part of
18 his statement or as part of his testimony, that is -- that is obviously
19 not my place to make a determination on whether he's being truthful or
20 not. But I am not familiar with another military document where it is
21 evident that that assertion is what's being made.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we look at the statement of
23 Mr. Savcic, 1D774 [as interpreted], page 41 in Serbian, and page 27 in
24 English. In Serbian it's lines 1 through 6.
25 THE REGISTRAR: One correction for the transcript: The OTP
1 statement with Mr. Savcic is 65 ter 1D744. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank the Registrar.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let me quote from that statement.
6 Mr. McCloskey says:
7 "Well, teletypes never have signatures on."
8 And Mr. Savcic says:
9 "Well, that's precisely it. It is not a teletype. If it had
10 been teletyped, there would not be any problem."
11 Have you studied this statement? Do you see that he denies it's
12 a teletype document?
13 A. General, as I said in the very beginning of my testimony, the
14 purpose of my report is to lay out, with respect, what the documents say
15 and what they mean in that regard, and that as part of my analysis I
16 specifically do not engage in the issue of reviewing relevant witness
17 statements and making observations as to whether or not those witnesses
18 are being truthful. That is beyond my role as a military expert for the
19 Prosecution. I am aware that General Savcic has indicated that he does
20 not believe that that document was ever sent, and I am aware that there,
21 you know, the Office of the Prosecutor has raised the issue and has led
22 evidence that reflects that it was. I am not sure that I can go any
23 further beyond that.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. We have here a document where we can see
25 what Savcic said. Let's not waste any more time. He said clearly even
1 how lower case and uppercase is used in teletype documents. But we'll
2 read what it says next:
3 "I don't know, I am not denying, I can't remember that. This is
4 really questionable, and why was this typewritten? I believe if it were
5 a teletype document, the signature would be here. You see? It makes a
6 lot of difference. And as for the contents, if it's my document I can
7 really not confirm now with 100 per cent certainty because, basically,
8 it's not mine. I am here, and on the assumption that I accept it's my
9 document, that means I am playing some sort of messenger. I don't know
10 why I would be doing that. Why General Tolimir wouldn't write it
11 himself? I don't know."
12 The Trial Chamber knows the rest of his testimony. But the
13 Prosecutor asked you, when reading from the document, he asked you on
14 page 8, line 7:
15 "Did General Tolimir know about the thousands of prisoners
16 mentioned in this document?"
17 And you said on page 8, 15:
18 "The officer who makes the proposal must have access to all the
19 information, all the documents. He must know the exact number of
20 prisoners and where they are held."
21 Do you remember that answer?
22 A. I remember generally what you're referring to, that if you're
23 making a proposal, there is a supposition that you're making a proposal
24 on the basis of established knowledge of not only the overall situation
25 but what various parties are capable of doing to influence that.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, in order to be able to find the
2 referenced part of the answers, could you please indicate on which day
3 Mr. Butler gave these answers? You said page 8, line 7 or 15, but you
4 didn't say which page of which document, which transcript.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I didn't mention. It
6 was on the 8th of July.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My question to Mr. Butler is this: If General Tolimir had known,
10 as you claim, where the war prisoners -- the prisoners of war were on the
11 13th, would he be writing a telegram on the evening of the 13th, at
12 Borike, that they should be sent to Sjemec, to residential buildings,
13 when they had no longer been in Kasaba on the 13th. They had been sent
14 to Bratunac. Did you do any research into when exactly they were
15 transported from Kasaba to Bratunac?
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it may be translation, but he said the
18 proposal to send to Sjemec was for residential buildings, and I'd --
19 that's the English that we got, and so I -- and I know the general knows
20 that that wasn't the proposal. It was something similar to that. So I
21 am thinking that was a translation issue, but we need to get that
22 obviously cleared up. It's an important point.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please repeat the term you have used to
24 describe the buildings in Sjemec where the prisoners should have been
25 brought to.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I used the term "facilities for
2 accommodating personnel," but let us see D49 and then we can see what
3 exactly I told him at that time on the 13th at 2213 hours. Can we look
4 at D49.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We see it on the screen now. It says: "Command of the
7 1st Infantry Light Brigade, 13 July 1995." The telegram was transmitted
8 at 2230 hours on the 13th July.
9 It says:
10 "If you are unable to find adequate accomodation for all
11 prisoners of war from Srebrenica, we hereby inform you that space with
12 pallets has been arranged for 800 prisoners of war in the
13 1st Light Infantry Brigade quarters in Sjemec."
14 Do you know were the prisoners of war still in Kasaba at the time
15 when this telegram was written?
16 A. Again, sir, as I testified I believe on Friday, I don't know what
17 time you actually drafted this particular document. The only time
18 reference on it is when it was sent from the communications centre.
19 There were a number of locations that were holding prisoners all through
20 the daylight hours of the 13th, so the document here talks about
21 Srebrenica and you've discussed Nova Kasaba, but I would also remind you
22 that there were still prisoners being held at Konjevic Polje as well as
23 prisoners being held on the meadow at Sandici after 1800 hours on the
24 13th. So again, without knowing exactly when you drafted this particular
25 document, it's hard to go back and then correlate to where prisoners were
1 and in what potential numbers they were at the time.
2 Q. Thank you. I am now asking you - and this my question - do you
3 know where the prisoners were on the afternoon of the 13th and when they
4 left Kasaba?
5 A. I don't know specifically -- I don't recall specifically when the
6 last prisoners departed from Kasaba. I believe one or two witnesses may
7 have testified that, but again, I just don't recall at the moment when
8 that would have been.
9 Q. Thank you. Let us now look at the statement. But before that,
10 in the right-top corner it says the telegram was sent at 2230 hours. In
11 your opinion, did the author of the telegram need two, five, or ten hours
12 to write such a telegram and give it to the encrypting officer?
13 A. Depending upon where you were at the time that you wrote this
14 particular document, which particular headquarters or forward
15 headquarters, I don't expect that it would take more than two hours,
16 maximum, from the time that you wrote it to the time that it would be
17 sent out.
18 Q. So it's around 8.00 p.m. in your estimate. Did you see the back
19 of this telegram? You know that it was written in longhand and sent to
20 the encrypting section immediately, without being typewritten first.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's page 2 in e-court, if we
22 could look at it.
23 You see it's written in longhand, that same telegram. But that
24 is not so important anymore. Let's see what General Mladic [as
25 interpreted] says in his statement 02781.
1 D289, Malinic's statement, page 20 in Serbian, and 21 in English.
2 Line 22 in Serbian.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I quote:
5 "In the afternoon, the commander of the Main Staff arrived,
6 Ratko Mladic. I was not there at the time. I was called to come in by
7 radio. It was that internal communications system that we had with
8 General Ratko Mladic who held a speech at the stadium. He practically
9 walked through the prisoners who were sitting on the field. He told
10 them, briefly -- I mean, roughly, I can't remember his exact words, but
11 he said that they would be exchanged and there is no reason to be afraid.
12 They even applauded him. He said vehicles would arrive and all of them
13 would be sent out to be exchanged. He did not stay long, and immediately
14 after that speech, he went with his security detail in the direction of
16 And then he talks about who was in the -- who was accompanying
17 Mr. Mladic. And then Malinic says that it was such a short time, he
18 didn't even manage to make the lists before they were shipped out to
20 If the prisoners left Kasaba in the afternoon of the 13th, just
21 after Mladic's visit, would Tolimir need to write that telegram, knowing
22 about it on the 13th -- on the night of the 13th, if he already knew that
23 they had left Kasaba? Did he know it?
24 A. Well, sir, given the context of the telegram that you wrote, I
25 would again remind you that the phrase used was "war prisoners related to
1 Srebrenica," you did not specify - unless I am reading the document
2 incorrectly - Kasaba. So I am not sure why you're limiting the
3 applicability of that one particular document to only the prisoners at
4 Kasaba. As you're aware there were, on the 13th of July, a number of
5 other locations in and around that area, Konjevic Polje, Sandici, and
6 Bratunac, for that matter, where there were thousands of prisoners in the
7 custody of the VRS and there was a shortage of space for them,
8 particularly in Bratunac.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. We won't waste time on that anymore. I
10 asked you and you answered as you saw fit.
11 Would Tolimir have to know where the prisoners are even on the
12 14th of July? If he didn't know on the 13th at 2230 hours, would he have
13 to know at least on the 14th, when not even those who were accompanying
14 them knew where they were leading them?
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we go into private session just very
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
7 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let's see what happened on 15 of March, 2011, in this
8 courtroom -- or, rather, what a Prosecution witness, PW-075, said.
9 On page 1 he says, lines 8 through 13, he says:
10 "At that time I was even proud of the way those people were
11 organised to move safely. They were not ill-treated. They were allowed
12 to cross over to the territory where they wanted to go. It was logical
13 for me --"
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just one moment. We don't have it on the screen
16 Mr. Gajic, there seems to be a problem with a clear reference.
17 Please help us.
18 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, page number is 1137,
19 lines 8 through 13. The date is 15 March 2011.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Butler, do you see that page on the screen?
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, I do.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. To make things clear, I am going to read the entire part of the
25 transcript for the record. This is the witness's answer to a question
1 put to him by the Defence. He says:
2 "Well, to tell you the truth, at the time, I was even proud, in a
3 way, that those people were able to move in an orderly fashion, safely,
4 without being mistreated, and that they were allowed to cross to the
5 territory where they wanted to go. To me, it was logical that they were
6 going there, and it was probably because of that that I felt that pride."
7 My question to you, sir, is this: If this gentleman who provided
8 security for the transport of the prisoners of war who were being
9 transported from Bratunac to the place where they were going to be
10 exchanged, if he didn't know, how could General Tolimir have known given
11 that he was in a different place, involved in a different operation, in
12 different mission? If the participants didn't know, was there any way
13 for General Tolimir to know what was going on? Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, I don't mean to delay this, but since
16 he's asking specifically about this witness, can we go into private
17 session so Mr. Butler can be told who the witness is? That makes a big
18 difference in evaluating someone's statement.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We go into private session, but we -- the
20 Registrar told me that he needs the screen to make the redaction, and now
21 the screen is used for showing this transcript.
22 First we go into private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 17358-17360 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, now your question.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Butler, as a military expert, tell us, after having been
16 interviewed by the troops, are prisoners of war handed over to the
17 civilian authorities while the troops continue being engaged in combat?
18 Did you see a reference to that in the rules? What is done in practice?
19 Thank you.
20 A. In practice they remain in military channels; for example, your
21 notation on Bratunac, it is my understanding that the overwhelming
22 majority of the prisoners that were detained in facilities in Bratunac
23 were guarded by soldiers or members of the military police unit from
24 Bratunac or the Bratunac Brigade.
25 Now, I am aware that some civilians were brought into that effort
1 to guard the prisoners because of the numbers, but I am not aware that
2 with respect to Srebrenica that at any point in time the collections of
3 prisoners left military custody and then were subsequently handed over to
4 civilian authorities.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you come across Mr. Deronjic's
6 statement? Could you explain to the Trial Chamber why Beara and Deronjic
7 even talked, given the fact that Deronjic was not a soldier, an officer,
8 he was not a member of the military? Thank you.
9 A. As you know, on the late evening of 11 July, Miroslav Deronjic
10 was appointed to be, I guess, war president for the Srebrenica
11 municipality or the civilian commissioner for the Srebrenica
12 municipality. So in that context, Miroslav Deronjic would have had
13 reason, then, to talk to Colonel Beara on a number of issues.
14 Q. Thank you. Did he talk to him as a civilian commissioner for
15 Srebrenica or in a different capacity? Do you know that?
16 A. It has been a number of years since I reviewed the many
17 statements of Miroslav Deronjic so I don't know the details, but I take
18 it that in his capacities he was functioning as the civilian commissioner
19 for the municipality of Srebrenica.
20 Q. Thank you. Since he talked to him as a civilian commissioner,
21 could you remember that there was an issue in that in a conversation
22 about the location of the POWs in Bratunac or in Zvornik. A protected
23 witness of the Prosecution -- or, rather, he was not protected, it was
24 Momir Nikolic who said in his evidence that there was a dispute about
25 that involving Deronjic and Beara and that, as a result of that, the
1 order was changed and eventually they went to Zvornik. Although, Beara
2 insisted on POWs to be in Bratunac.
3 Do you remember that? Did you follow that testimony? Did you
4 read it subsequently? Do you remember it?
5 A. I did not follow Momir Nikolic's testimony in this trial. I am,
6 however, aware of his prior testimony in the Popovic case or even before
7 that, I take it, where he does raise the issue that there was a dispute
8 about whether or not to place prisoners in a certain facility in the
9 Bratunac municipality. It's been a number of years so I don't know the
10 details, but I am generally aware that there was a dispute on that issue.
11 At least according to Momir Nikolic's testimony.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. If he arrived on the 14th -- or, rather,
13 if the order was changed on the 14th after midnight, can you tell us
14 whether there was a plan at all, given the fact that the orders were
15 being changed as well as any decisions about prisoners of war? Thank
17 A. Could you clarify, sir, who arrived, and on the 14th? I don't
18 understand who you are talking about.
19 Q. I am talking about the meeting at midnight between Beara and
20 Deronjic. Nikolic spoke about that. Beara wanted POWs to stay in
21 Bratunac. Deronjic wanted them to go to Zvornik. You mentioned that as
22 well. So if positions on -- on the location of POWs was changed after
23 that, would that be a testimony to a plan or to a change to the plan?
24 Thank you.
25 A. My information, based on my analysis and work, is that the first
1 prisoner convoys started leaving Bratunac at approximately 2000 hours on
2 the 13th of July, heading for the Zvornik Brigade area. Matter of fact,
3 those first convoys went to the school at Orahovac, and I believe that
4 there has been other testimony related to that. So I don't make a
5 connection between the events that I know occurred starting on 2000 hours
6 on the 13th, when the first convoys left Bratunac for the Zvornik
7 Brigade, and this supposed meeting between Deronjic and Beara as
8 recounted by Momir Nikolic.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. We'll find this. Mind you, I did not
10 mean to discuss this, but now the matter has been raised in the answers.
11 I will ask my legal advisor to locate the exact page.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But now I would like to look at
13 something else, P126. Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. On page 12, line 2, on the 8th of July, you answered that Beara,
16 Keserovic, Jankovic, were all under Tolimir's command and so on and so
17 forth. My question is this: Did Tolimir send those officers to carry
18 out the mission? Did they report to him about the accomplishment of the
19 tasks and missions that they were supposed to carry out? Thank you.
20 A. Sir, I don't know the first part of your question, which is: Did
21 you send these officers to carry out the mission, what mission are you
22 specifically talking about?
23 Q. In order not to waste time, look at the document in front of you.
24 It is headed: "The Main Staff of the Army Republika Srpska,"
25 17 July 1995, to the Drina Corps command, and so on and so forth. The
1 title of the document is: "Integration of operations to crush lagging
2 Muslim forces, order."
3 Under item 1 it says:
4 "Send three officers from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika
5 Srpska (Colonels Nedo Trkulja, Milovan Stankovic and Bogdan Sladojevic)
6 to the command of the 1st Zvornik Brigade to assist in the joining of the
7 VRS and MUP forces, the planning and co-ordination of combat operations,
8 to block, crush, and destroy lagging Muslim forces in the wider areas of
9 Kamenica and Cerska."
10 And then under 4 it says that:
11 "This will be done by Lieutenant Keserovic."
12 I don't want to read the whole document. You can see that
13 Keserovic is mentioned. Under bullet point 3, line 8, this is where
14 Colonel Keserovic is mentioned. And it says:
15 "For the execution of the aforementioned task, I hereby appoint
16 an officer from the administration of Colonel Keserovic."
17 My question is this: Did Stankovic and Keserovic and others who
18 were referred to by this order which was signed by General Mladic, were
19 they sent out by General Tolimir or by the commander?
20 A. I apologise, sir, when you previously mentioned Jankovic and
21 Beara as part of this, that's -- I kind of thought you might be referring
22 to a different document. Specific to this document, I agree. These
23 individuals were sent out by or at General Mladic's order. They were not
24 sent out on the basis of your order.
25 Q. Thank you. Was I in a position to send officers on a mission to
1 carry out combat and military tasks? Were they under the authority of
2 the commander or, rather, who were they supposed to report to after the
3 accomplishment of the task, to the person who originally sent them out on
4 a mission or to somebody who didn't send them out on a mission? Thank
6 A. No, sir. In this context, the tasks given to Lieutenant-Colonel
7 Keserovic came from the commander of the Main Staff, and he would be
8 expected to report the results of those back to the commander of the
9 Main Staff upon their completion.
10 Q. Do you see that Mr. Stankovic's name is also referred to in this
11 order, Milovan Stankovic. You spoke about him in answering the
12 Prosecutor's questions. Thank you. Was he sent out by Tolimir or did he
13 go out on the order of the Main Staff? Thank you.
14 A. He went out -- just like Colonel Keserovic, he went out to
15 accomplish a discrete task at the direction of the commander of the
16 Main Staff.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I hope this is a convenient time for
18 our first break of today. We will resume at quarter past 4.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please go ahead with your
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Butler, as a military analyst, would you say that those
3 officers were supposed to report to Tolimir or to the person who sent
4 them out on the mission in the first place? Thank you.
5 A. These individuals would be expected -- in the sense of
6 Colonels Trkulja, Colonel Stankovic, and Colonel Sladojevic, they would
7 be expected to report back to General Mladic as the person who ordered
8 them to go out, at the completion of their mission to the Zvornik area.
9 Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic would be -- upon the completion of
10 his specific mission would also be expected to report back to the
11 individual who gave him that mission afterwards which, again, would be
12 General Mladic.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Let's look at the document that's still
14 on the screen, paragraph 3 of this document, the last four lines from the
16 The dead-line for the accomplishment of this mission is not later
17 than 2000 hours on the 19th of July, 1995. The order for further
18 engagement towards Cerska will be proposed by Lieutenant-Colonel
19 Keserovic on the 19th of July.
20 My question is: If they were supposed to file their reports only
21 on the 19th and a proposal for further action, were they able to inform
22 Tolimir before the 19th on any of these assignments on the situation on
23 the ground, or were they supposed to report to their superior?
24 A. Sir, if you look the document, the tasks given to the first three
25 officers, Colonel Trkulja, Colonel Stankovic, and Colonel Sladojevic, is
1 different than task given to Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic. The first
2 three officers were to go up to the Zvornik Brigade zone, ascertain the
3 situation, and then report back to the Main Staff as to -- or in this
4 particular case report back to General Mladic, presumably through the
5 Main Staff, what the results of that inspection was.
6 Colonel Keserovic was given the task to take control of a number
7 of combat units to complete different set of tasks, and his task was to
8 be completed by 2000 hours on the 19th of July, 1995. The three officers
9 who went to the Zvornik Brigade zone could have reported back through the
10 Main Staff to General Mladic and, consequently, you could have learned of
11 it as early as the evening hours of 17 July 1995, had you been informed
12 of it.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Could you tell us how can assignments or
14 reports be proposed through the Main Staff? Wouldn't they rather be
15 proposed directly and filed directly?
16 A. In this particular case, while one might expect in the case of
17 the three colonels listed in paragraph 1 that there would be or could be
18 a written report, the expectation would be that these officers, upon
19 returning from Zvornik, would verbally brief those individuals who were
20 responsible for sending them out on this fact-finding or on this
21 inspection mission. If General Mladic is absent, the next person who
22 would presumably be briefed by these individuals would be
23 General Miletic. And through that, other members of the Main Staff would
24 learn of issues that's pertinent to them.
25 Q. Mr. Butler, in your previous answer you said General Tolimir
1 should have been informed on the 17th. Look at this document, now,
2 please. It was written on the 17th and it was filed on the 18th. Was I
3 supposed to know before these officers completed their assignment, in
4 your view, or is it just your assumption? Is it the way you interpret
5 this document?
6 A. My understanding is that the three colonels who are mentioned in
7 paragraph 1 went to the zone of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade on the
8 17th of July, 1995, sometime during the morning or afternoon hours, and
9 that as a result, by the evening hours they would have assembled the
10 information that they had and that information would have been available
11 back to the people who sent them at the Main Staff. That's why I am
12 saying that information that they had collected up in the Zvornik area
13 would have started becoming available to the members of the Main Staff
14 presumably after General Mladic or Miletic had been spoken to on this
15 issue, whoever was there. So that is why I say as early as the evening
16 as 17 July.
17 Q. Mr. Butler, have you seen that report if you make such claims?
18 Just "yes" or "no," please.
19 A. I have never seen the results of this particular -- a written
20 document reflecting these. I am aware of the testimony related -- or the
21 statement related to one of the individuals involved with respect to
22 this -- in this inspection, which is Colonel Sladojevic.
23 Q. Thank you. Please give me as brief answers as possible. I did
24 not ask for information about Sladojevic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at 65 ter 668. On
1 page 10 in Serbian. 65 ter 668.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. On page 10, you said, in the last line -- last two paragraphs:
4 "Members of the army are required to execute orders of the most
5 senior officer present when their immediate superior is not present."
6 And then you said:
7 "After the execution of each order, first the immediate superior
8 is informed or, rather, the officer who issued the order."
9 Now, I am asking you, if Tolimir was not in the area where these
10 officers are executing their assignments, could they have informed him
11 about completing a mission given them by the commander of the Main Staff?
12 A. We are still referring to the three officers in the 17 July
13 document, sir?
14 Q. I mean the four officers, because four are mentioned, and you
15 mentioned that General Tolimir issued orders to them. I want to see who
16 issued orders and to whom they reported.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: That assumes facts not in evidence, that these
19 officers were where he says they were, and that assumes facts not in
20 evidence and is objectionable as a result.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Butler, are you able to respond?
22 THE WITNESS: I am not -- I don't recall ever testifying that
23 General Tolimir issued orders to Colonel Sladojevic or Colonel Trkulja.
24 I do recall testifying that Colonel Stankovic and Lieutenant-Colonel
25 Keserovic were subordinate to General Tolimir.
1 I think the question that General Tolimir is raising is that
2 would he have been informed, either before or after. My answer, as based
3 on the normal military protocols, is that even though General Mladic
4 personally gave them this order, as reflected in the document, whether it
5 was him personally or whether he relayed that through General Miletic,
6 the officers that are subordinate normally to General Tolimir should have
7 at least informed, if possible, General Tolimir that they had been given
8 a specific task by General Mladic which, at the minimum, would take them
9 away from their otherwise specified duties. So he would be informed of
11 Afterwards, depending upon the circumstances, and again in the
12 case of Colonel Stankovic, when the mission was completed for
13 Colonel Stankovic on the evening of the 17th, after he had finished his
14 inspection in the Zvornik area, he should have notified General Tolimir
15 that he was back, finished with the task that was given to him by
16 General Mladic. The same way for Colonel Keserovic when he completed his
18 Again, whether or not those two officers then informed
19 General Tolimir as to what General Mladic's task was and what the results
20 of their work was or not is a matter of speculation. Normally, there
21 would be no reason why they wouldn't have, because General Tolimir would
22 need to know these things even after the fact.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for this professional opinion. Tell me,
24 officers who received an assignment from the commander, would they report
25 to Tolimir on everything or just on the technical issues that concern
2 A. The expectation as professional intelligence and security
3 officers was -- would be that, you know, based on their own knowledge and
4 training, they would inform you of all of those issues which they felt
5 you needed to be aware of.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I know that this answer fits with your
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Tolimir please repeat the number.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please repeat the number.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 00651 is the 65 ter number.
11 Page 25, paragraph 5.5, the last two paragraphs.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. It says:
14 "Members of the army are required to execute the orders of the
15 most senior officer present in the absence of their immediate superior."
16 "Upon completion of a task, they report to the commanding officer
17 who issued the order."
18 What does this mean? If the commanding officer was not in the
19 area where the tasks were completed, if he did not issue the order, would
20 they report to him or would they report to the officer who issued the
21 task and to whom they were seconded?
22 A. In the case of the three officers mentioned in paragraph 1 of
23 that 17 July 1995 document, it would be expected that they would offer
24 their report, whether it be written or verbal, to General Mladic, who was
25 the person who sent them down. If General Mladic was not available, they
1 would provide their report to his subordinate, which would be
2 General Miletic. Again, that is how these individuals as professional
3 staff officers and officers within the VRS would react to that. They
4 would understand what their reporting requirement back would be.
5 Again, you're not in that particular document, so those officers
6 would not have an obligation to report everything back to you because you
7 did not give the order to go out there. However, particularly
8 Colonel Stankovic, on the 17 July document, was a subordinate officer in
9 the intelligence and security branch of the VRS and would have informed
10 you of particularly those issues that he observed up at the
11 Zvornik Brigade that would have fallen under the competence of the
12 intelligence and security branch and which he believes that you would
13 have needed to be aware of.
14 Now, whether that occurred directly on the 17th of July or in
15 subsequent days, I don't know. But you would have been informed to some
16 degree what the results of that particular discussion were, particularly
17 in light of what the actual purpose of that investigation commission was
18 that General Mladic sent out on 17 July 1995.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness. I understand the
21 principle that we saw in a document a moment ago, 65 ter 668, that
22 stipulates how interrelations function in the VRS and the process for
23 orders given and received. I've understood all that well. But I would
24 like to come back to P126, the document dated 17 July 1995. And there we
25 see, and correct me if I'm wrong, that General Mladic does not give any
1 orders to Colonel Trkulja, to Stankovic, or Sladojevic. The general
2 issues orders to the command of the Drina Corps, and the general tells
3 the command of this corps to send these colonels, Trkulja, Stankovic, and
4 Sladojevic, to a certain mission.
5 In my understanding, if I understand the principle you explained,
6 when they come back from that mission, don't you think that these
7 three colonels have to report to the corps command, and the corps command
8 in its turn would report to General Mladic? Because you seem to be
9 saying that the three colonels should be reporting back to
10 General Mladic. I wouldn't agree with that, if my understanding is
11 correct. What do you think?
12 THE WITNESS: Well, sir, looking at the document, and I agree
13 that the addressee listing is somewhat confusing, but these three
14 officers are Main Staff officers. They are not members of the
15 Drina Corps. The three officers in question are being sent from the
16 Main Staff. The Drina Corps and subordinate formations are being -- are
17 listed here not primarily for the purposes of paragraph 1 and 2, but they
18 are listed here primarily for the purposes of paragraph 3.
19 There -- I don't think there is any question that the officers --
20 those three officers, you know, are going down there at General Mladic's
21 order and are expected to report back to the Main Staff.
22 Paragraph 3, where Colonel Keserovic is being directed to take
23 command of various military formations that are subordinate to the
24 Drina Corps is why, primarily, that this is going out to other members of
25 the Drina Corps so that they are aware that when Colonel Keserovic
1 arrives, that he will be assuming command of those various formations.
2 So while the distribution list of this particular message lends
3 to a little bit of confusion, I think paragraph 1 and 2 make it clear
4 that these are officers from the Main Staff who are going to go directly
5 to the Zvornik Brigade area to report on a certain situation and that
6 their report is expected to go back to the Main Staff.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with you that the
8 listed addressees in this order are confusing, and maybe it really is
9 something that is included for the purposes of the third paragraph.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This answer by Judge Mindua and your response
11 triggered another question by me. I see that this document was sent to
12 the Drina Corps command for information purposes. And then there are
13 some addressees, some brigade commanders. And then we look at item
14 number 1 of this order: "Send three officers," which are listed then.
15 To whom is this order addressed, "Send these officers"? It's a strange
16 wording. Who is the correct addressee of this order by General Mladic,
17 in your understanding?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, the way that I read this, it is sent to the
19 Drina Corps and then also for the information of the subordinate brigades
20 of the Drina Corps who will be directly impacted by parts of this order.
21 Again, the way that this document is actually drafted it discusses
22 two separate and distinct operations. The first one, in paragraph 1 and
23 2, discusses an inspection team from the Main Staff. So this particular
24 document would at least serve to make the Drina Corps and the
25 Zvornik Infantry Brigade aware that an inspection team would be coming
1 from the Main Staff.
2 The other parts, paragraph 3 and paragraph 5, refer to
3 Colonel Keserovic's assumption of command, and of course the
4 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade and the Milici Brigade and elements of
5 the 67th Communication Regiment would have an interest in knowing that
6 because he would be assuming command of some of their potential forces.
7 So again, in a perfect world it would be two separate documents;
8 one of them just encapsulating paragraph 1 and 2, informing the
9 Drina Corps and the Zvornik Brigade that an inspection team would be
10 coming; and then a separate document which would encapsulate the last two
11 paragraphs, 3 [Realtime transcript read in error "4"] and 5, where it
12 discusses the fact that this officer will be taking command of various
13 units. They chose to do it in one particular document, and it does lend
14 a little bit of confusion in reading it.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One correction for the transcript, you said
16 paragraph 3 and 5, because there is no paragraph 4. The other thing is
17 your understanding, if I understood you correctly, is that the words "for
18 information" don't relate to the Drina Corps command but to the brigade
19 communications -- no, the brigade commands; is that correct? The words
20 "for information purposes"?
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. The way that I take that they're -- they
22 are sending it directly to the corps command, but because of timeliness
23 issues and the fact that it will impact other units, they are also
24 sending it to those units for their information so they have an awareness
25 of what's going on. It's not necessarily -- it would be an abnormal use
1 of the chain of command, so to speak, for the Main Staff to send orders
2 directly to the brigade and then inform the corps that they are doing
3 this. It's normally customary that it's the other way around.
4 And it seems -- it's just generally viewed as a time-saving
5 device, and it saves the time necessary for then the corps to have to
6 turn around and take that same order and re-publish it to its brigades.
7 This way, everyone who is concerned or will be impacted receives the
8 order in as timely a manner as possible.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that comment.
10 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Butler, since this order was issued on the 17th, and we don't
14 know when the report was filed, you said you didn't read it, my question
15 is: Do you think that by the 17th, all the killings that you mentioned
16 in your expert report had been finished?
17 A. By the -- my understanding is that by the 17th, most of the mass
18 executions will have been completed. From the period of the 18th
19 through, roughly, the 22nd, there were of course a number of smaller
20 executions, but not anything on the scale that one saw from the 14th
22 Q. Thank you. And answer me this question: Was then
23 General Tolimir able to know that there had been violations of
24 international law if he had not ordered those violations and if he hadn't
25 ordered the perpetration of those crimes and he had received no report on
1 their perpetration?
2 A. I am not sure that I can answer that, one, because it gets to the
3 actual heart of the matter. My belief is that based on where you were
4 and the communication means available to you, you had the ability at some
5 juncture before the 17th to know what was going on. At what point you
6 learned about it is, of course, you know, one of the key questions. My
7 understanding, again, of your role within the army, and given the gravity
8 and the scope of these executions, is that I can't see a scenario where
9 you wouldn't have gained some awareness of this before the end of the
10 executions -- the mass executions on the 17th, in light of your position
11 and in light of the participation of your subordinates in this.
12 Q. Mr. Butler, do you have any proof of that, or is this just your
13 assumption or your opinion? Thank you.
14 A. I do not have a document which lays out that you,
15 General Tolimir, were informed of the fact that prisoners were being
16 executed on a certain time. All I can do, based on the documents that I
17 have reviewed, is lay out various points and times where I believe
18 circumstances would lead to that. For example, at what point in time you
19 gained an awareness of prisoners being taken. Later on, at what point in
20 time your documents reflect the fact that you're aware that it's not just
21 dozens of prisoners, it's, you know, according to your 13 July document,
22 over 800 prisoners you are minimally aware of, and how the number
23 800 prisoners being captured in one day by the Army of Republika Srpska
24 should have piqued your professional curiosity at a minimum. I am not
25 aware of the Army of Republika Srpska ever taking that amount of
1 prisoners in one day, for any reason.
2 So again, it is a constructive basis by which I make my opinion.
3 I do not have a specific document which says that General Tolimir was
4 briefed by a subordinate or by anybody else at this date and time that
5 the prisoners would be murdered.
6 Q. Thank you. The document you mention dated the 13th, where I
7 mentioned that facilities -- or, rather, instruments should be placed in
8 facilities, isn't that the proof that I wanted them to be placed there
9 and not killed?
10 A. I -- without more I don't take it as such. For example, the
11 first thing - and I have discussed this before - is what other provisions
12 were being put in place for those individuals. For example, and again I
13 am just moving this hypothetical forward, if General Tolimir knew at that
14 time that all they were looking for was a location to kill the prisoners,
15 such as picked in Orahovac, then the issue would have simply been nothing
16 more than finding individuals who could guard and execute them.
17 If the scenario was that they were going to be cared for for a
18 long time in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, then there would be
19 indications of that by orders going out from the commander of the
20 Rogatica Brigade, to his subordinates, which would reflect the necessary
21 steps to order food for these 800 people, which were beyond the means of
22 the Rogatica Brigade itself to deliver, medical care, water, and
23 registration of these individuals.
24 The other issue that I would lay out with respect to that
25 particular document is what, if any, follow-on actions you took when
1 these 800 prisoners didn't show up. I presume at some juncture somebody
2 would have informed you that the proposal that you made with regard to
3 where to house these prisoners was not being adopted because they were
4 being sent somewhere else or because there had been another plan made for
5 them. And again, that's not laid out in the documents anywhere, so
6 unfortunately, my ability to pass judgement on what that 13 July 1995
7 document means is very limited because I have no way of knowing the
8 various other intentions and various other orders that occurred in
9 relation to it.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you see a statement by the protected
11 witness who said that when he took the prisoners of war away, he took
12 them there to be exchanged, a fact that he was proud of. Did you see
14 A. I recall you showed me that statement. Yes, sir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us now look at a document that
16 you also authored, 00651.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Your own document.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is now the document P2470. It's already in
20 evidence, and at this point in time I would like to draw your attention
21 to 65 ter 668 we have seen earlier. I would like to ask you if you are
22 tendering that one.
23 Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Yes.
25 And now can we look at P2470 -- or D2470. I don't know anymore.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's P2470. And again, are you tendering
2 65 ter 668?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 668 shall be
6 assigned Exhibit D309. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Let us
8 now look at P2470. This is Mr. Butler's report on the command
9 responsibility of the VRS Main Staff.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Under 7.5, bullet point A, on page 35 in Serbian.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I have the relevant page in
13 English? Thank you. It is chapter 7.5, paragraph 2, also in English,
14 7.5 -- I can't see it. Paragraph 20. Thank you. We are now looking at
15 paragraph 20.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Where you say:
18 "Personal responsibility for the violations of the laws of war:
19 "Every individual (military or civilian) shall be personally
20 accountable for breaches of rules of the law of war, if he/she commits a
21 violation him/herself, or orders one to be committed. Ignorance of the
22 provisions of the rules of the law of war does not exonerate the
23 transgressors of responsibility."
24 You said that --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please slow down while reading.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. It is important to say that in paragraph 20 it says that those
4 who committed such crimes may be held responsible by an international
5 criminal tribunal if such a tribunal has been established. And you also
6 state in this paragraph that you referred to the regulations on the
7 application of the rules of international law of war in the armed forces
8 of the SFRY which were in -- despite the fact that somebody committed a
9 war crime, although Tolimir sent a document prohibiting that, would that
10 be a personal responsibility or would that be Tolimir's responsibility?
11 If somebody violates the law of war, is he personally responsible or is
12 there another person who is responsible for the transgressions comitted
13 by the former person? Thank you.
14 A. I think some of your question dropped out -- or wasn't caught on
15 the transcript, so could I ask you to repeat it again just so I am clear
16 what you are asking, sir?
17 Q. Is every individual personally responsible for the commission of
18 war crimes which are prohibited according to rules and regulations which
19 forbid such crimes, and if such crimes are comitted, is that person's
20 superior responsible for the commission of crimes by an individual who
21 was aware that he was not supposed to commit such crimes? Thank you.
22 A. To your first question, sir, yes, as envisioned under these
23 particular regulations, every individual would incur a form of
24 responsibility -- individual responsibility for their involvement in war
1 As to your second question, depending on the circumstances,
2 superior officers can also incur responsibility for the acts or omissions
3 of their subordinates with respect to war crimes.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Let's look at paragraph 2 as it was
5 regulated by the regulations on the application of the rules of
6 international law of war in the armed forces of the SFRY that you quoted
7 from, and I will also quote from it. And this is paragraph 20, personal
8 responsibility for violations of the laws of war, that's the following
9 page in English. And I'm reading:
10 "A military officer is personally responsible for the
11 transgressions of the rule of law if he knew or was in a position to know
12 that an inferior in a different -- a subordinate in a different unit or
13 subordinates were preparing to commit such crimes, and if they did not
14 take any measures to prevent such crimes when that was still possible
15 before the crimes were committed."
16 My question: Was Tolimir in a position to know at the time when
17 those measures of a crime were committed and was he in a position to
18 prevent those crimes if he knew of those crimes? Do you have any
19 information about that? Do you have any opinion on that?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is the umpteenth question about what
22 General Tolimir knew. I think Mr. Butler's answers on those, while they
23 go to your decision, have been exhausted. The part about what
24 General Tolimir could have done or would have done about prevent, I
25 think, is new, and I have no objection to that part. But if we go into
1 the knowledge aspect of it, we're just starting over again, which we've
2 already spent hours on.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, we should avoid repetitions.
4 Mr. Butler, are you able to provide us with your knowledge?
5 THE WITNESS: Are you just looking for the answer related to the
6 potentials for General Tolimir to have prevented the commission of such
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, you should answer that question and then
9 Mr. Tolimir may put additional questions in that respect.
10 THE WITNESS: I understand, sir. In that context, when if one
11 assumes that General Tolimir receives notice of the commissions of crimes
12 and, in this particular hypothetical, his subordinates are involved,
13 General Tolimir's first action would be or could be to order his
14 subordinates, as a first instance, not to participate and, at the same
15 time, from his subordinates get an understanding of who issued the
16 particular order.
17 His next step upon following -- or finding out who would issue
18 the order would be conceivably to call that individual, in this case
19 General Mladic, and get a clarification to determine whether or not
20 General Mladic is really giving an order which General Tolimir, as his
21 assistant commander for intelligence and security, would believe is
22 unlawful at face value and seek clarification of that. If General Mladic
23 insists that this is his order, General Tolimir is still not without
24 recourse. General Tolimir could seek to use his offices to directly
25 contact the leader -- the president of the Republika Srpska and
1 General Mladic's superior, President Karadzic, and to lay out the
2 situation, to lay out not only the legal aspect, which is that
3 General Tolimir believes that this order is illegal and that
4 General Mladic should not be giving it, and that President Karadzic
5 should countermand it, and that General Tolimir could also lay out the
6 practical consequences for the state of the Republika Srpska if
7 President Karadzic doesn't countermand this particular order.
8 General Tolimir has a number of those options. President Karadzic could
9 then issue his particular orders, one of which might call for relieving
10 General Mladic of his command.
11 Along the same vein, President Karadzic may very well find
12 himself in a situation where he agrees with General Mladic and does not
13 agree with General Tolimir, in which case the law calls on, and as an
14 honourable man one would expect, that General Tolimir would immediately,
15 if he did not agree with the conduct of the order, resign his position
16 within the army so he would take no part of that particular order.
17 So in that context, even though General Tolimir is not the
18 commander of military forces, by virtue of his senior position on the
19 Main Staff and his access to the highest levels of the military and
20 civilian government within the Republika Srpska, as well as the highest
21 levels potentially of the military and civilian government of the nearby
22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which could potentially influence
23 General Mladic, he has some options.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for your assumptions. And now start from
1 the assumption that Tolimir didn't know and was not in the area. What
2 should have happened then? He wasn't there, he was in no position to
3 know. What was your assumption then? What should have happened?
4 A. Under that particular hypothetical, if we assume that
5 General Tolimir has no knowledge of these issues until after the fact,
6 once General Tolimir learns of these issues, he then, particularly with
7 respect to his role as the chief of intelligence and security, which has
8 a law enforcement function, by position he has the ability to begin
9 undertaking an investigation by members of the military police and the
10 security branch in order to determine what happened, the scope of the
11 crimes, and who was involved in them.
12 Now, that becomes slightly problematic under this scenario if we
13 assume that some of the individuals involved with them are
14 General Tolimir's subordinates or General Mladic, his superior. But
15 again, in the same way that he has the options before, he also has
16 additional options as well. He can go to the president of the republic
17 based on what he's learned and request other authorities within the
18 Republika Srpska take over portions of the investigation. He can go and
19 relieve officers that are under his command, at least temporarily. He
20 may be overruled ultimately by General Mladic or not. But he has -- he
21 has a responsibility, particularly in his position, to take those active
22 steps to investigate the crimes that occurred afterwards and seek to hold
23 individuals responsible for those criminal acts or, at least, move their
24 investigation forward to such a state that charges could potentially be
25 referred by the military prosecutor in the Republika Srpska or, for
1 officers who were also serving as members of the federal Yugoslav Army,
2 by maybe a military prosecutor in Belgrade.
3 And if at the end of that process General Tolimir is still not
4 able to effect any of those issues because the participation of his chain
5 of command, both his subordinates and superiors, are so pervasive --
6 again we go back to the option of, you know, his last course would be --
7 in order to show his disagreement would be to potentially resign from the
8 army to demonstrate that he is totally taking himself out of any
9 responsibility for that after giving his best efforts that he is able to
11 So those -- under that scenario, those are a list of the
12 potential actions that he could have taken.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. In the examination-in-chief you were
14 asked whether there was an investigation and you said, "Yes, Beara did
15 it." My question is this: Did the Main Staff carry out an investigation
16 on the crimes comitted in Srebrenica? Did an investigation take place
17 after that? Thank you.
18 A. No, sir. No meaningful investigation was taken by the Main Staff
19 to my knowledge.
20 Q. Thank you. I am going to find the reference to the page where
21 you were asked and what you were asked, and you answered that Beara
22 carried out an investigation.
23 Let me ask you this: In answering the Prosecutor's questions on
24 page 16364, line 22, through 16365, line 3, you say:
25 "It is an interesting question, and it is interesting that
1 according to military rules, even in the VRS an officer or a soldier were
2 not duty-bound to carry out an order which they deem to be unlawful. For
3 example, such as this one, you know that Colonel Beara obviously carried
4 out an order and what his next step would have been was to inform his
5 superior, General Tolimir, of the order that he had received, from whom
6 he had received it, and how he intended to carry it out."
7 My question is this: An officer or a soldier, are they, A, not
8 obliged to carry out an unlawful order; or B, are they obliged, do they
9 have to refuse to carry out an unlawful order? There is a significant
10 difference between the two, so I am waiting for your answer.
11 A. Yes, sir. Going back to your last point first, again, I am aware
12 that Colonel Beara was given a role to investigate, but I stand by my
13 answer that no meaningful investigation was done. Colonel Beara
14 obviously, given his role in the crimes, wasn't going to seriously
15 investigate them.
16 As to your second question, under the SFRY regulations and, in
17 fact, under the law that was applicable within the Republika Srpska, an
18 officer or a soldier who recognises at its face that an order that he is
19 receiving is unlawful has a legal responsibility not to carry out that
20 order. And again, the question there becomes the ability of a particular
21 soldier or an officer to recognise that an order that he is given by a
22 superior is patently unlawful. I mean, it is a line that has to be
23 walked because obviously all military organisations require, you know,
24 the immediate and full compliance with orders given by superiors to
25 subordinates. They don't have the option of questioning orders. But
1 under law - and this includes the law that was in place at the time
2 within the RS - it was recognised that some orders that would be given
3 would be so patently unlawful that any soldier or any officer would
4 recognise the unlawfulness of those orders and, as such, would not be
5 expected to carry them out.
6 Q. Can I then conclude that everyone is required to execute such an
7 order? Is that your answer? Is everyone under obligation to refuse to
8 execute such an order?
9 A. Yes, sir. If an order is recognised by the person who receives
10 it that it is clearly an illegal order or an unlawful order, they have an
11 obligation to not obey it. That is their legal obligation.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. In that case, if an offender, somebody
13 who violated some military rule, does not refuse to carry out an illegal
14 order, as it happened in this case, and if he's aware that such an order
15 is unlawful, is it then reasonable to expect that person to inform others
16 who are not in the know that he had done it, that he had carried out an
17 illegal order? Would it be reasonable to expect that person to inform
18 the Main Staff, for instance?
19 A. Again, I would say that it would be dependent upon the situation.
20 In an individual or an isolated instance, obviously one would expect that
21 the individual -- or the small group of individuals who carried it out
22 would seek to keep the fact that they participated in this crime quiet
23 for fear of being identified and subsequently held responsible.
24 In the particular crime base, the Srebrenica crime base, the
25 sheer number of people who were involved, hundreds of soldiers and police
1 officers of the Republika Srpska and the Army of the Republika Srpska,
2 the widespread involvement of various commands, the Main Staff, the
3 Drina Corps, the Zvornik Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, various police
4 units, would have made the fact that it would have been patently obvious
5 who was participating and the fact that they were doing so under orders.
6 So the fact that an individual like Colonel Beara, who was deemed
7 to have been significantly involved in much of the implementation of
8 this, it's not going to take much of a rocket scientist on anybody's part
9 at the Main Staff to figure out what his potential involvement may or may
10 not have been during the period of the 13th of July until the
11 18th of July, whether he personally informs them or not.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Do you remember the telegrams that were
13 introduced into evidence in the examination-in-chief? Who did Mr. Beara
14 contact when he ran into problems, did he contact Tolimir or Krstic?
15 A. To be clear, we are not talking telegrams. We are talking the
16 intercepts of 15 July. Is that the documents you're referring to?
17 Q. That's correct. I mean P5065, shown to you by the Prosecutor.
18 Does he address me in that document, Beara?
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There is no document P5065.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. 506B. My mistake.
21 THE REGISTRAR: This is a confidential exhibit. It should not be
22 broadcast. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't call for it. I am just
25 asking Mr. Butler.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Who is being addressed in that document?
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think with such specific questions it's only
5 fair to allow Mr. Butler to see this document. Make sure we know we are
6 on the same page as well.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's on the screen now.
8 Which is the part you are referring to, Mr. Tolimir?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I mean precisely this document,
10 it's very short, where he says in line 5:
11 "... Krle, please understand, I cannot explain it like this."
12 And then he says, line 7 from the bottom -- sorry, 8:
13 "Krle, I am at the end of my wits. I don't know what to do
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is he addressing Tolimir or the corps commander? And who is he
17 asking for help in dealing with these problems, Tolimir or the corps
19 A. In this particular intercept and in the one prior with a
20 conversation with General Zivanovic, the context is that a unit of the
21 Drina Corps did not send individuals that they were supposed to send who
22 would ultimately participate in executions. So because those orders
23 haven't been carried out, Colonel Beara contacts the commander of the
24 Drina Corps, General Krstic at this point in time, because he is the
25 person following the chain of command that should be able to order his
1 subordinate, Major Furtula, to send the appropriate troops as necessary.
2 So in this particular light, you are correct. He is not
3 addressing General Tolimir. He is addressing General Krstic because
4 General Krstic is the superior of the officer who was supposed to send
5 the aforementioned soldiers to participate in the task.
6 Q. Is he the superior or the subordinate? And did I hear it wrong
7 in the interpretation or did you make a mistake?
8 A. General Krstic is the superior to Major Furtula, so in this
9 context Colonel Beara is contacting General Krstic so that General Krstic
10 will subsequently direct Major Furtula to carry out the earlier order and
11 ensure that the individuals are made available.
12 Q. Does he report here about problems and the tasks to Krstic or to
14 A. In this intercept he is reporting the problems that he is having
15 to General Krstic.
16 Q. Thank you. Did Krstic report to the Main Staff about that? Did
17 you see it anywhere in daily and interim combat reports, or did he fail
18 to report about that completely?
19 A. If General Krstic did report these issues, he did not do so in a
20 written format.
21 Q. Mr. Butler, how could General Tolimir know anything if he was
22 unable to read any documents and he had not received any calls from the
23 participants directly involved in these problems?
24 A. Again, sir, I don't know that General Tolimir did not read any
25 documents or that he did not receive any calls from the participants
1 discussing these issues. General Tolimir obviously had means to
2 communicate on a variety of levels to individuals who were involved in
3 this. So the problem that I have is, again, with respect to verbal
4 communications, there is often not a record of those outside of the
5 intercepts. So I can't necessarily agree to the hypothetical that you've
6 laid out because I don't know all of the documents that you've read and I
7 don't know all of the conversations that you had.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for this assumption. I have the following
9 question for you now: If an offender or offenders, violators of laws and
10 regulations, do not refuse to carry out unlawful orders, would it be in
11 their interest to keep such acts secret?
12 A. Yes, sir. As I have stated before, in the context -- in the
13 conduct of crimes, you know, it is generally in the interest of the
14 criminal not to advertise his participation in them. The more people who
15 become aware of his participation, in a perfect world, the higher the
16 likelihood that law enforcement authorities would be able to apprehend
17 him and ultimately he would be charged for those crimes.
18 Q. Thank you. You were saying a moment ago what General Tolimir
19 should have done if he had known. What about those offenders, would they
20 report their actions to General Tolimir if they were aware what he could
21 have done if he had known, or would they keep secret their unlawful
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could he be more specific? The number of
25 offenders from the Main Staff, the Drina Corps, the various units, is
1 immense and so this question needs to be specific, in my view.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think this witness is capable to distinguish
3 between the different possible groups Mr. Tolimir is referring to.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: But we don't know from the question which group
6 he's referring to. If he's referring to everyone, we'll be here forever
7 answering it. I mean, even if it's a person from each one of the various
8 units or strata, it could be a different question.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's hear the answer of Mr. Butler, and then
10 Mr. Tolimir may put additional questions.
11 THE WITNESS: Well, again, in part Mr. McCloskey did nail it. I
12 mean, given the -- and as I've said before, given the fact that so many
13 people at so many levels were involved in the commission of this crime,
14 and again I don't want to be flippant, but it wouldn't take a rocket
15 scientist to figure out that something had happened. But even at the
16 Main Staff level, for example, setting aside General Mladic, other
17 officers clearly had involvement, many of them general officers;
18 General Miletic and General Gvero, for example. Various numbers of
19 colonels had degrees of knowledge or involvement. Colonel Beara,
20 Colonel Jankovic, Colonel Salapura had knowledge of some of these issues.
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic had knowledge of some of these issues.
22 I mean, when you start widening out the circle of all of these
23 individuals at just the Main Staff level who would have had some
24 knowledge, maybe not the whole story but some knowledge, and if you were
25 to actually just lay out a chart of all of the senior officers and start
1 circling them, at some point you are going to have very few officers left
2 who had no knowledge whatsoever.
3 So again at some point in time, an individual, particularly the
4 army's head of intelligence and security, should theoretically be able to
5 piece this all together at some point. I mean, again, not to sound
6 flippant, you know, General Tolimir all the way up to July 1995, as
7 demonstrated in a number of the documents that the Office of the
8 Prosecutor has laid out, has shown an interest in the exchange of
10 Well, General Tolimir, on 13 July is aware of a minimum number of
11 800 prisoners who are in the custody of the VRS. He's no longer
12 interested in them anymore? I mean, with 800 prisoners, every single
13 VRS soldier who was captured by the ABiH could have been returned back to
14 the army and exchanged. And certainly in the months of August and
15 September, other units of the VRS are asking for accountings of the
16 prisoners captured at Srebrenica and later Zepa for precisely that
18 So, even in an abstract hypothetical that General Tolimir does
19 not know that the prisoners are all executed by the 18th, there is no
20 evidence of any professional curiosity on his part, on the 19th or on the
21 follow-on days, to get a number of all the prisoners that were taken, to
22 find out if the number of prisoners they have taken are all fitting in
23 the Batkovic detention centre or does he have to make other arrangements
24 for them. Who are those prisoners who are senior officers of the
25 28th Infantry Division and would be of high value to the Army of the
1 Republika Srpska for interrogation as well as exchange.
2 So -- and I guess and I don't mean to the prejudiced in my own
3 view of this, because I am also a professional intelligence officer,
4 these are things that intelligence officers do. We do them because we
5 are trained to do them. We are trained to be aware of these issues
6 because they benefit us as intelligence officers providing support to our
8 So, again, you know, it would be stunning, as a matter of a
9 professional intelligence and security officer, that General Tolimir gets
10 back to his headquarters and has absolutely no questions of anybody about
11 what happened to all of the prisoners that were supposedly taken at
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, now you see the result of such a
14 speculative question you have put to the witness. To remind everybody of
15 that question:
16 "What about those offenders, would they report their actions to
17 General Tolimir, if they were aware, what he could have done, if he had
18 known, or would they keep secret their unlawful conduct?"
19 My problem with this question was that it was highly speculative,
20 and you see -- you have heard the answer of the witness. Please carry
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Do you know, Mr. Butler, that from Zepa, General Tolimir went to
25 Krajina immediately to counter the NATO aggression against
1 Republika Srpska and that he only returned in October after the signing
2 of the Dayton Accords after the conflict was ended. Did you find that in
3 the documents?
4 A. No, sir, I don't -- I did not follow your -- where you were
5 physically located within the Republika Srpska post Zepa.
6 Q. You said this was the plan. Were the killings in Kravica part of
7 that plan or did they result from an incident?
8 A. I am aware that a number of individuals have testified, not only
9 before this Court but in other legal forums, that the Kravica warehouse
10 was not part of the overall mass executions but it was part of a specific
11 incident. For a variety of reasons, I do not believe that that's the
12 case and that I believe that the Kravica warehouse, while perhaps not the
13 intended location for all the prisoners to be killed, that it was part of
14 the overall executions. Had it merely been a result of an incident where
15 one or two prisoners were seeking to escape, you know, while the army
16 would have been able to lawfully use appropriate force to prevent those
17 escapes, the fact that every single person held in the Kravica warehouse,
18 save three survivors -- or four survivors were killed, seems to be a
19 disproportionate use of force with respect to the actions of several
20 prisoners seeking to escape.
21 So for me to accept the idea that it was merely an incident and
22 not part of the larger plan, I would have to see evidence that once the
23 incident was controlled, the remaining prisoners were safe-guarded. I am
24 aware from my own research on that particular issue that, while
25 Serbian -- or Army of the Republika Srpska and police forces were treated
1 at the Bratunac medical centre, surprisingly, there were no Muslim
2 wounded. Everyone was killed in the escape attempt, which is a bit of a
3 statistical challenge to get to unless the goal was to kill everybody.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we need the second break now and we
5 will resume quarter past 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Butler, you mentioned an execution plan. Did that include
14 those who were killed by Pobudjanksa Kamenica and at all those other
15 places en route followed by the column?
16 A. I have always differentiated the killings with respect to those
17 that occurred in various mass execution sites with those that occurred
18 with respect to the activities of the column fighting itself -- fighting
19 its way out from Srebrenica to then free territory near Tuzla. In that
20 particular context, while there are clearly a number of civilians who are
21 part of that column, and a large number of civilians that are part of
22 that column, I believe that overall the character of that column is
23 military in nature. And as a result, when I view that particular issue,
24 I have always testified that it is my view that with respect to the
25 column, it did represent a military threat to the VRS as it was fighting
1 its way through the rear territory of Bratunac Brigade and later the
2 Zvornik Brigade, and as a result, the VRS was justified to use military
3 force against that column despite the presence of civilians accompanying
4 the column.
5 Q. Thank you. In your statement on the events surrounding the
6 breakthrough near Baljkovica, did you say that the Muslims refused to
7 separate civilians from the troops as was proposed by Pandurevic? Did
8 you come across reports to that effect? I am sure I found it in your
9 expert reports and analysis.
10 A. Yes, sir. In that particular context I was commenting on an
11 interim combat report, I believe, where Colonel Pandurevic -- excuse me,
12 was discussing the fact that he was in contact and -- he was in contact
13 with his counterparts on the ABiH side and that, as part of various
14 proposals that were going back and forth, he had raised the issue of the
15 fact that the ABiH, you know, military and civilians split, so to speak,
16 and that the civilians would be free to leave but the military would not.
17 And, of course, the ABiH's position was that they wanted the entire
18 column containing both military and civilian personnel to be allowed to
19 go to free territory.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Butler, in that case, if civilians become part of
21 the military column, if they don't want to separate from that column,
22 would the person who ordered that be responsible for making them a target
23 pursuant to the Geneva Conventions?
24 A. Presumably to the extent that that decision was made, there would
25 be some assumption of responsibility. It's a particularly murky issue
1 with the column given the fact that, under past experience, many of the
2 civilians accompanying the column chose to do so because they did not
3 want to fall in the custody of the VRS.
4 So from my perspective, and again why I always am careful in
5 dealing with the column, because of the very mixed nature of it, was --
6 is the issue of not necessarily what happens in the column, but what is
7 the fate of individuals who, from the column, do elect at some point to
8 surrender to the VRS and what happens to them afterwards. So that is how
9 I -- when I look at the column as to the context of what happened and
10 why, it's not necessarily related to the fighting of the column, it's
11 what information happens afterwards when individuals are captured or are
12 wounded from the column and then ultimately fall into the custody of the
13 VRS or the Republika Srpska police, who were also operating in the
14 Zvornik area starting the 15th of July.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Do you know that there were a lot of
16 victims at the very beginning of the breakthrough and the very end of the
17 breakthrough? I am talking about the victims within the column. Were
18 those victims also taken into account as victims of the execution, and if
19 so why was that the case? Thank you.
20 A. My understanding of the methodology involved by the Office of the
21 Prosecutor in determining a number of individuals who were victims for
22 the crime is that those are individuals who can be categorically excluded
23 from being potential combat casualties. So in that context, we are
24 talking about those individuals who were in the major mass graves or the
25 identified secondary or tertiary graves that were installed after the
1 main primary grave sites were dug up in the subsequent months. I am not
2 aware that the Office of the Prosecutor has ever included individuals
3 who -- I believe we categorised them as surface remains at the time
4 because they were never found in a mass grave, they were just left on the
5 surface after the battles. I do not believe that they have ever included
6 surface remains as the overall number of victims for the Srebrenica
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at D207 now.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. This is a statement. The statement provided by the person whose
12 name I am not going to mention because he was protected; however, he
13 signed each page and he signed at the end of the statement. He provided
14 it on the 1st of February, 2006. If we look at the second paragraph,
15 which starts with the words, "Near Kamenica."
16 "... before the asphalt road leading from Konjevic Polje to Nova
17 Kasaba, in the village of Kaldrmica, fire from Praga self-propelled
18 anti-aircraft guns, artillery and infantry weapons was opened on the
19 column from all sides. In some places the Chetniks were very close, from
20 which I deduced that we were surrounded. After organising ourselves we
21 put up resistance and broke through the encirclement, opening a narrow
22 passage through which the majority of people passed. In my estimation
23 about 1.000 people were killed as a consequence of the Chetnik attack and
24 several hundreds more were wounded. Since it was already getting dark, I
25 was unable to see or recognise any of those who'd been killed."
1 There were six other statements talking about the event in which
2 people said that there were over a thousand killed. My question is this:
3 Where were they -- their bodies buried, and how come based on their DNA
4 there are assertions that they, too, were killed? Meaning executed.
5 A. I don't know where those bodies are buried. I seem to recall
6 some time about 1996 or 1997 there were efforts to recover the surface
7 remains, and I am -- again, I am out of my expertise with any discussion
8 relating to the basing of their DNA and, as a result, why they may or may
9 not be claimed by somebody as part of those executed. That's beyond my
10 expertise to comment on.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go into private session
13 because I want to quote a statement provided by a protected witness.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Butler --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 17403-17404 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Butler, since you don't know anything about the number and
6 the problems, you didn't study that, could you please tell us whether you
7 read Ramiz Becirovic's statement? Did you study that? He was the
8 commander of the column that was breaking through. If you did, I have
9 some questions to put to you.
10 A. If I did read that statement, and I probably did, it was a number
11 of years ago. I don't remember any specifics from it.
12 Q. Very well.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In that case can we please look at
14 D1 in e-court. Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. We see the statement. This is the statement, Ramiz Becirovic's
17 statement. Did you look at it? Do you remember having reviewed it, and
18 do you remember that he spoke in this statement about threats, inner
19 fighting, and killings among the Muslims that happened during the
20 breakthrough? Do you remember that?
21 A. Again, I suspect I read this statement a number of years ago.
22 But if there is an area that you want to draw my attention to, that's
23 fine, but my memory of this statement is pretty vague at the moment.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at page 15 in English.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. We will start with the part where it says:
3 "The commander of the 284th Brigade, Zulfo Tursunovic ..."
4 That's in the middle of the statement. Line 36, and I'm quoting
5 from that statement. It's at the beginning of the 15th page in English.
6 "The commander of the 281st [as interpreted] Brigade,
7 Zulfo Tursunovic, who told me that there were preparations for his
9 So -- actually:
10 "He told me that I was the one who was preparing his murder and I
11 saw that he was panicking and he wanted for his scouts to return from the
12 284th Brigade. They had been scouting the area. I didn't allow that.
13 He told me that he had designated 10 lads of whom some will certainly
14 cross to the free territory, and he gave them the task if I crossed that
15 they should kill me."
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you help us where we can find it
17 on that page on the screen? I don't find it. At least in the English
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The beginning of the 15th page, of
20 page 15. Page 15 in English, the beginning of page 15 in English.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, that is not correct. Now we see it on
22 page 14. We see a reference to Zulfo Tursunovic, which was not on
23 page 15. Look at the last ten lines of page 14. That could be that
25 Mr. Gajic.
1 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] You are right, Mr. President. The
2 passage begins at the very end of page 14 and then spills over onto
3 page 15.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Now your question, Mr. Tolimir.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. My question is this: Do you know that there were killings within
7 the column and that this person, Becirovic, was killed a year after the
9 A. I am aware that there are reports that there were killings in the
10 column, certainly in the sense that a number of individuals in the column
11 comitted suicide or potentially, in some cases, seriously injured
12 soldiers who were not expected to survive may have been killed by their
13 mates. I am aware that -- my understanding, if I remember correctly, was
14 that Becirovic was killed in Sarajevo in either late 1996 or 1997. If
15 that's the incident that you're referring to.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. And do you know from his statement that
17 he was saying the column had split into two? If you don't recall it, I
18 can remind you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at page 17, where he
20 says -- 17, please. Paragraph 6 on page 17.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. He says:
23 "Huso Salihovic, as brigade commander ..."
24 It's displayed now, the last paragraph in English:
25 "Huso Salihovic, as brigade commander, joined the group which
1 included Ibran Mustafic and was replaced as a result. What I heard is
2 that he set out in the direction of Tuzla, together with us ... going to
3 Zepa. There was with him Fahrudin Alic, assistant commander of the town
4 command, and he too took Ibran Mustafic's side. Criminal charges were
5 brought against him and Huso Salihovic by the security organ of the
6 division because they had attempted, through UNPROFOR, to send a letter
7 to the BH Presidency throwing mud at Commander Oric. The members of the
8 General Staff were informed about the content of the letter, and I
9 believe the letter was attached to the criminal complaint."
10 Have you read that letter, and why is Becirovic accusing, in his
11 statement, his fellows who were trying to contact the Presidency,
12 including this Ibran Mustafic?
13 A. I have never read that letter and I have no detailed knowledge of
14 why Mr. Becirovic would have been making various statements about other
15 individuals and their contacting the Presidency.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Tell us, please, did you read the
17 statement of Mehovic [as interpreted] and his accusations that he makes
18 and his observations about mutual killings in the column? It's the end
19 of the day. Please give us a yes or no answer.
20 A. That name does not sound familiar as something that I've come
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey -- Mr. Gajic?
23 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] There was an error. The name is
24 Meholjic [Realtime transcript read in error "Meholic"].
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Aleksandar, for this
2 Could we now look at 1D921.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Let's read the statement of Mr. Meholjic. That's an interview he
5 gave to the television. This is just the report. It's "Dnevni Telegraf"
6 from 24 April 2010. He says in line 2:
7 "I was part of the Srebrenica delegation 1993 in Sarajevo, when
8 Alija Izetbegovic suggested that Srebrenica be laid as a sacrifice for
9 the sake of Vogosca, and that is unfortunately what happened in 1995,
10 when somebody cashed in on our victims. But after that there was a lot
11 of -- lot more cashing in on the tragedy of Srebrenica Bosniaks."
12 Then let's move to the next line below the picture, where
13 Meholjic says, speaking to the television:
14 "Back then, in 1993, Alija Izetbegovic asked that 5.000 Bosniaks
15 in Srebrenica be not just killed but slaughtered by slitting their
16 throats. We were sitting at Sarajevo hotel, Holiday Inn, when I got up
17 and asked if he was crazy and who was going to kill so many people.
18 After that, they were just waiting for the right moment for the
19 international community to get involved and it was decided that it would
20 be Srebrenica. Alija Izetbegovic gave a green light to allow this
21 genocide; whereas, Serbs took the bait that had been prepared in
23 Have you read this assertion and have you read about
24 Alija Izetbegovic giving this approval that 5.000 Muslims be killed,
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, you gave a different name. We see
2 here the name Hakija Meholjic, and you are recorded as having given the
3 name Meholic. Please help us again.
4 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that's correct, it's
5 Hakija Meholjic, spelled with a J, as we see here. On line 19, page 74,
6 there is this little sign in the transcript which means that the spelling
7 is perhaps not correct, but I hope Mr. Butler heard the correct name and
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Butler, your answer, please.
11 THE WITNESS: Given the fact that it's in Serbo-Croatian, I can
12 categorically state I have not read it. I am not familiar with who this
13 individual is or how he pertains to anything related to July 1995.
14 However, I -- as working this investigation over the years that I was
15 with it, the investigation team, and we did hear that there were always
16 rumors related to one potential option that the ABiH -- or not
17 necessarily the ABiH, the civilian leadership of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 had occasionally held open was the idea that they would be potentially
19 willing to swap Srebrenica for territory more contiguous to what would
20 later become the federation in and around Sarajevo. I have never heard a
21 proposal that the Muslims slaughter 5.000 of their own individuals in
22 Srebrenica in order to create a pretext for something.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. In that case, may I ask you to look at
25 D277, another interview given by Mr. Meholjic to a newspaper, where he
1 says in paragraph 2 --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We are still waiting for the
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Second paragraph:
6 "We rejected it without any discussion."
7 "Then he said," meaning Alija:
8 "'You know, Clinton offered me in April 1993 (after the fall of
9 Cerska and Konjevic Polje) that the Chetnik forces should enter
10 Srebrenica, slaughter 5.000 Muslims, and then there will be a military
12 My question is: Have you ever done any research into any
13 documents about the US role or involvement in the crimes in Srebrenica?
14 A. No, sir, I am not aware that the United States is involved with
15 the crimes related to Srebrenica with the exception of information
16 provided to the OTP after the fact. If you're referring to something
17 specific, please ask, but I am not sure what you're referring to if
18 you're implying that there was a more direct involvement in the
19 commission of the executions.
20 Q. Thank you. Have you had access to any information indicating
21 that the US and Bill Clinton looked for interlocutors for this idea in
22 Srebrenica and outside Srebrenica? Have you ever come across anything
23 like that?
24 A. No, that was well above the scope of what I was asked to do by
25 the Office of the Prosecutor.
1 Q. Thank you. And did you know that a criminal complaint was filed
2 against Naser Oric and that there was surveillance by the BH Army against
3 him concerning his role in Srebrenica?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We need to see document 1D945.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think it's too late to deal with a
6 new document. It's 7.00. We have to adjourn for the day.
7 Since tomorrow is an UN holiday, we will continue on Wednesday
8 this week, I think in the morning, in this courtroom again at 9.00 -- in
9 the afternoon, I was just corrected, on Wednesday -- yes, indeed, on
10 Wednesday in the afternoon, 2.15 in this courtroom.
11 Mr. Tolimir, you indicated several times that you would need the
12 same amount of time for cross-examination as the Prosecution did in
13 examination-in-chief, that means you should conclude your
14 cross-examination in the course of the first session on Wednesday to
15 enable Mr. McCloskey to conduct his re-examination.
16 I take the opportunity to thank one staff member, this is the
17 Court Usher. It is the last day he is with us in this trial, and he will
18 leave the Tribunal at the end of the month. I would like to express my
19 gratitude for his great work and the assistance he was able to provide
20 all of us with. Thank you very much. Good luck for your future.
21 We adjourn and resume on Wednesday in the afternoon.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 31st day of
24 August, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.