1 Wednesday, 31 August 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom and
6 to those who are watching us. If there are no procedural matters, the
7 witness should be brought in, please.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, Mr. Butler. Welcome back. I
10 hope very much that this is the last time that I have to welcome you back
11 in the courtroom. If I have counted correctly, it's the 16th day that
12 you are with us here in the Court before and after the summer recess.
13 That's really a lot, and we thank you for your patience.
14 Mr. Tolimir is continuing and concluding his cross-examination.
15 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor. And please bear in mind that
16 you have used 23 hours and 17 minutes up to now for your
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
19 God's peace be with us. Let these proceedings end in keeping with God's
20 will, not mine.
21 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] I also wish to welcome Mr. Butler again in the
25 Last time, we were looking at 1D945, and I would like it to be
1 displayed in e-court again. It's a document of the Republic of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina, dated 23 September 1995. It says Brigadier Naser Oric,
3 information, and indicia. Sent to --
4 Have you seen this document? Have you reviewed it?
5 A. No, sir, I have not.
6 Q. Do you know why Naser Oric was in the federation before the
7 operation breakthrough, which he, by the way, had agreed, with the
8 2nd Corps, and why he was not with the 28th Division when they started
9 their breakthrough? Have you done any research into that?
10 A. I am aware that at some juncture he left the enclave. I believe
11 it was either April or May of 1995. I don't know the specific reason
12 offhand. I have heard a number of stories, but I have never come across
13 the specific reason why he left, and I have not done research on it
14 because it wasn't relevant for what I was doing with respect to the
15 particular topics I was engaged with.
16 Q. Thank you. And have you come across documents saying that the
17 28th Division and the units of the 2nd Corps were supposed to meet at
18 Han Pogled, near Han Pijesak?
19 A. The only document that I've seen that reflects that is a -- the
20 document that you showed me, I believe it, on the first or second day of
21 my cross-examination by you which reflects the draft plan that was under
22 consideration by the ABiH for that. I have not seen anything subsequent
23 to that where it's a formal plan or anything of that nature.
24 Q. Thank you. We'll show that a bit later. Let's just remove this
25 document from e-court.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to look at page 2 of
2 this document, paragraph 4.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Paragraph 4, I quote:
5 [As read] "After the withdrawal of the units of the 28th Division
6 from Srebrenica, Oric, in Tuzla, prohibits the organs of the military
7 security, the making of counter-intelligence assessments for the units of
8 the 28th Division, whereby he practically blocked the operative
9 investigation into the fall of Srebrenica and its causes. In addition,
10 he forbade the members of the 28th Division at the giving of any
11 statements to the organs of the military security of the 2nd Corps or the
12 MUP of the state security department in Tuzla. So most fighting men were
13 reluctant and fearful and spoke very little, if anything, about their
14 observations concerning Oric and his associates."
15 Do you have any knowledge about this -- about these prohibitions
16 he imposed on the members of the 28th Division?
17 A. No, sir, I don't.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us now look at page 6 of this
20 report from the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, paragraph 16.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I quote:
23 [As read] "Naser Oric and Enver Stitkovac from Zepa were taking
24 gold items from the population in exchange for food; for instance, 1 kilo
25 of potatoes in exchange for one golden ring. On the instructions of
1 Naser Oric, Nedzad Bektic took the gold items collected in this way and
2 melted them into small pieces the same size as a pack of cigarettes,
3 approximately, and then melted lead over it. These ingots were seen in
4 the apartment of Oric and Bektic by Safet Omanovic, also known as Mis.
5 The money and the gold, Oric allegedly took by helicopter to Tuzla when
6 he travelled there. Hajro Hasanovic said to our source that Oric is
7 worth 3 to 4 million Deutschmark."
8 Would you say that these mercantile interests of Oric had
9 something to do with his failure to appear with the 28th Division?
10 A. I can tell you that I have heard these stories, specifically the
11 one that gold that was supposedly appropriated by Naser Oric was flown
12 out of the enclave by helicopter. So these are well-travelled
13 allegations with respect to how Naser Oric did or did not make his money.
14 I can't speculate as to whether or not that was the reason why he was not
15 in the enclave in July of 1995.
16 Q. Thank you. Since you have seen document D145, paragraph 3, let's
17 look at it again. Thank you. D145, paragraph 3.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us see it in e-court. It's on
19 the screen now.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. The paragraph 3 says:
22 [As read] "According to our information, the return of Naser Oric
23 is connected with the planned commencement of operations from the
24 Srebrenica enclave which supposedly is conditioned by the possible taking
25 of the Vis elevation in the Serbian municipality of Kalesija by the
1 Muslim forces from the direction of Kalesija, whereby they would create
2 conditions for further penetration towards municipality of Sekovici.
3 Following this, combat would supposedly begin from the direction Kladanj
4 towards the VRS defence lines in the zone of responsibility of the
5 Vlasenica Brigade when the units of Srebrenica would insert themselves
6 towards Konjevic Polje, the other sector of Buljim in the Milici
8 Did Muslim units, armed Muslim units, really come out of the
9 Srebrenica enclave, especially in this direction towards Han Pijesak from
10 the direction of Kladanj, as indicated here?
11 It's not recorded that the attack on the Main Staff occurred on
12 the 26th. The attack was mounted by units from the demilitarised areas
13 of Srebrenica and Zepa.
14 A. Again, as I've discussed, I am aware that during the month of
15 June, a number of military units from Srebrenica and Zepa conducted a
16 series of raids outside the enclave. I am not aware that at the same
17 time that they were doing this that forces from Kladanj were trying to
18 attack towards the enclave.
19 Q. Let's also look at 1D346 in e-court. We can see it now. It's a
20 document of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, command
21 of the 2nd Corps, sent from Tuzla on 28th June, 1995, addressed to the
22 commands of the 28th Division and the command of the 285th Light Brigade.
23 I am reading from paragraph 2:
24 [As read] "In the period that follows, adhere to orders given so
25 far. Prepare plans for active combat operations for the given moment.
1 You will get orders for further or follow-up combat operations from us or
2 from the Main Staff of the BH Army. Because of problems with the entry
3 of convoys into Zepa and Srebrenica, it is important at this moment to
4 have contingency plans for combat operations but also to wait for more
5 favourable times because of the difficult situation with food for
6 civilians and members of the ABiH for further combat operations outside
7 the zones of Srebrenica and Zepa."
8 My question is: Have you noticed that the command of the
9 2nd Corps is sending this to the division without ever mentioning the
10 entry of the division or the presence of the division in the area where
11 the combat operations are to take place?
12 A. I am not sure I am understanding your question, sir. They are
13 mentioning Srebrenica and Zepa in the third paragraph. Is there another
14 location that you're referring to?
15 Q. They are saying that active combat operations would be mounted
16 from the areas of Srebrenica and Zepa. You noted that in your previous
17 answer; correct? If - and the is my question -- if the enclaves decide
18 to mount attacks behind the lines of the VRS, is that practically a
19 declaration of war against the VRS by the demilitarised areas?
20 A. I wouldn't agree to your terminology only because obviously a
21 state of armed conflict already existed, and certainly with respect to
22 the Srebrenica and Zepa safe areas, they were never demilitarised.
23 Again, in this context, it is not Naser Oric individually who is making
24 decisions on whether to make raids out of the enclave and, to use your
25 phrase, go to war against the VRS. These decisions are being made within
1 a broader military context of what is happen in eastern Bosnia.
2 Q. Thank you. That is why I displayed this document, to show that
3 this announcement is made by the 2nd Corps of the BH Army, this document
4 we are looking at now. And they say that these units should start combat
5 operations from Srebrenica and Zepa, but they should wait for the right
7 Have you studied any documents why Naser Oric did not join the
8 division then, and do you know that he was involved in the attack against
9 the VRS from the Zuka Barracks, the attack at Baljkovic?
10 A. I don't -- I did not study, and I don't why Naser Oric did not
11 rejoin his unit. I am aware that at some point following the fall of
12 Srebrenica, Naser Oric was among some of the officers involved with
13 working with the 24th Infantry Division in attacks against units of the
14 Zvornik Brigade holding the forward lines in an attempt to create a hole
15 for the column to get out.
16 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Butler. My time is running out. Is
17 it logical for the commander of the division to be with the division when
18 they are breaking out of encirclement, and can you think of any reason
19 why he wouldn't be with them?
20 A. One of the issues that's out there is not only with respect to
21 Naser Oric but why so many other senior ranking officers and staff
22 members of the 28th Division were also out of the enclave at the same
23 time that Naser Oric was. And those officers were also not available to
24 go or to work with the 28th Division as it was fighting its way out of
25 the enclave after 11 July 1995. Normally, from a military sense, the
1 commander is normally where the majority of his forces are, where he can
2 best exercise command. Obviously, there will be times when the commander
3 is called away for certain functions, it could be training, it could be
4 staff preparation for future offensive activities, there is a variety of
5 reasons. You normally, particularly in a combat operation, would never
6 want to take away so many officers from a unit that it would place that
7 unit at risk if it had to engage in significant combat operations and all
8 of the relevant officers were away from their posts. Again, I don't know
9 why Naser Oric and all of those individual officers were taken from the
10 enclave, and I don't know why they did not return.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Could it be considered an obstruction of
12 proper defence?
13 A. I assume you're referring to a military defence as opposed to a
14 legal defence? It -- like I said, when you take that many officers away
15 from a military unit, you are assuming a higher risk. In a defence,
16 obviously, you already generally have well-established plans and things
17 of that nature, but as you saw with the 28th, what started as a defence
18 quickly led to a situation where the Division had to offensively fight
19 its way through 50 kilometres at least of enemy terrain and territory to
20 try and breakout from behind the lines. Those are very dynamic
21 circumstances, and under those circumstances, you know, had those
22 officers been available it would have been to the -- it would have
23 certainly helped the 28th Division.
24 Now, whether it would have changed anything or not is
25 speculation, but going back to what General Tolimir has asked, yeah, it
1 certainly does have a detrimental effect of the military ability of the
2 28th Infantry Division.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I have no more time to discuss this
4 issue, but I would just like to ask you: Have you studied statements of
5 other commanding officers of the 28th Division concerning the
6 breakthrough and the reasons why they took so many losses? Yes or no.
7 A. No, sir, I have not.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender 1D364, 1D945
10 as well. If they could be admitted into evidence while I move to another
12 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see in e-court --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please explain a little bit further,
15 1D945, despite the fact -- besides the fact that there is no translation,
16 I don't know if this can be tendered through this witness, Mr. Butler.
17 He clearly stated that he didn't see it before, that he didn't study it,
18 that he couldn't say anything about the content, about the absence or
19 presence of and the conduct of Naser Oric. How can that be admitted
20 through Mr. Butler? Could you explain that? I am referring to 1D945.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
22 witness answered, and he said that it had a negative impact on the
23 quality of defence and the organisation of defence of the 28th Division
24 in Srebrenica. He provided a number of other parameters which proved
25 that somebody deliberately took a number of officers from the area of the
1 28th Division in Srebrenica. It should be admitted for the benefit of
2 the Trial Chamber because it confirms some elements; namely, that there
3 was a deliberate obstruction of the defence of Srebrenica and the
4 division of the column in two parts.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understand this is your position, but I was
6 asking about the knowledge and the testimony of Mr. Butler in relation to
7 that document. One moment, please.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Both documents will be marked for identification,
11 pending translation.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D945 shall be
13 assigned Exhibit D310.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Marked for identification.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Marked for identification, pending translation.
16 And 65 ter document 1D364 shall be assigned Exhibit D311 marked for
17 identification, pending translation. Thank you, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
19 Mr. Tolimir.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Can we now look at D277 in e-court. D277. This is
22 Hakija Meholjic's interview. He was the president of the War Presidency
23 in Srebrenica, and the interview was given to the Sarajevo newspaper
24 "Dani." Let's look at D277. Now we can see it, and the title is:
25 "5.000 Muslim Lives for Military Intervention."
1 Yesterday, we read the first paragraph -- rather, the second
2 paragraph, the first five lines of it. I don't have much time, so I
3 don't want to waste it, but I would like to say that Meholjic said that
4 Alija Izetbegovic had offered him to sacrifice 5.000 Muslims and that
5 would be a pretext for a NATO intervention.
6 On the second page of the same document - could we please look at
7 it - in the second paragraph, the journalist asks Meholjic:
8 [As read] "After the fall of Srebrenica in 1995, you had a chance
9 to address President Izetbegovic."
10 Meholjic says:
11 [As read] "I requested then that a state commission be formed to
12 examine the responsibility of the international community, the president,
13 the army General Staff, the 2nd Army Corps and their responsibility. The
14 people are missing. He, President Izetbegovic, asked me what I would
15 achieve with that. Rasim Delic tried to say something too, but nobody
16 gave him a chance to speak. I did not interfere, but, General, I have a
17 very bad opinion about the majority of the General Staff members. Never
18 in the history of wars had the people 'processed' by other armies been
19 appointed commanders," so on and so forth.
20 [As read] "You spent five to six months in their prison, and then
21 you come through and exchange and become a commander. On the second day
22 after Srebrenica fell, we heard on the radio in the woods Rasim Delic
23 calling us to return as the situation in Srebrenica was normal."
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. My question: Do you know that Mr. Meholjic, after the fall of
1 Srebrenica, and after the people of Srebrenica came to the area of
2 responsibility of the 2nd Corps, asked Alija Izetbegovic about criminal
3 proceedings be issued on account of his statement that 5.000 Muslims
4 should be killed to provoke NATO intervention?
5 My question is: Did you study the plan to kill, or, rather,
6 slaughter the 5.000 Muslims in Srebrenica? Did you study it or not?
7 A. Again, as I said yesterday, I cannot speak to what Mr. Meholjic
8 may or may not have said or believed. I am generally aware that
9 throughout the course of the conflict one of the ideas that was always
10 available or brought up was that components of Srebrenica might be traded
11 for areas of the Sarajevo area that were under Bosnian Serb control. I
12 am not aware of any plan to slaughter 5.000 Muslims in Srebrenica by the
13 former president, and as a result I didn't study it.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In that case can we look at D122.
16 This is a report --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we move away from this document, it should
18 stay on the screen. Judge Mindua has a question.
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, I have a question about this
20 exhibit, D277.
21 General Tolimir's question to the witness was whether he was
22 aware of Izetbegovic's plan or idea to slaughter or massacre 5.000
23 Muslims, and the witness said that he wasn't aware of any such plan. But
24 I am addressing the Defence now: General Tolimir, your document is in
25 B/C/S. I don't have a translations into either English or French -- no,
1 no, there is an English translation, I apologise. But I would like to
2 know whether you have a paragraph where there is an explanation as to how
3 President Izetbegovic wanted to kill 5.000 Muslims in order to provoke a
4 foreign intervention. Is there a passage to that effect that explains
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Mindua. There is.
7 On the first page, we quoted from that paragraph before. Let's go back
8 to the first page. I would kindly ask e-court to go back to the first
10 Now we see it. In the second paragraph Meholjic says:
11 "We rejected this without any discussion."
12 This means that he rejected Izetbegovic's offer. And then he
14 [As read] "'You know, I was offered by Clinton in April 1993
15 (after the fall of Cerska and Konjevic Polje) that the Chetnik forces
16 enter Srebrenica, carry out a slaughter of 5.000 Muslims, and then there
17 will be a military intervention.'"
18 We quoted that last time. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] It will do for the time being.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: I have a question for Mr. Butler, just a
22 clarification so I can understand things better. Your research, you
23 study, did it encompass both sides to the conflict?
24 THE WITNESS: No, ma'am. My study was with respect to the
25 activities of the VRS with respect to the fall of Srebrenica and what
1 happened afterwards. It was not designed, and I never offered as such,
2 that it is a total historical re-accounting of everything that went on in
3 eastern Bosnia on both sides that led to those circumstances; that is, as
4 you are aware, many of those developments are political and diplomatic
5 developments that are beyond my expertise to comment on.
6 So my analysis is strictly related to the military issues related
7 to the Army of the Republika Srpska in this context. So while I do have
8 some knowledge of the surrounding ABiH military situation as it was
9 relevant, it only sets the context for what happens afterwards. I did
10 not engage in a study of the ABiH or the 28th Infantry Division, for that
11 matter, in the same detail that I did for the Army of the
12 Republika Srpska.
13 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. And
16 thank you, Judge Nyambe.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Butler, did you read the Secretary-General's report entitled:
19 "The Fall of Srebrenica"?
20 A. Yes, sir, I did.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. In that case, I would
22 like to call up D122, paragraph 115. Thank you. 51 in Serbian, 33 in
23 English. Thank you. Let's look at the page, please. 51 in Serbian, 33
24 in English, paragraph 115. We can now see the paragraph both in English
25 and in Serbian. I am going to read just the first sentence in that
2 [As read] "Representatives of the Bosniak community gathered in
3 Sarajevo on the 28th and 29th September ..."
4 This is just to pin-point the period.
5 And now line 9, where it says, and I quote:
6 [As read] "Some survivors from the Srebrenica delegation stated
7 that President Izetbegovic also told them that there were Serb
8 proposals that he had learned that a NATO intervention in Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina was possible, but could only occur if the Serbs were to break
10 into Srebrenica, killing at least 5.000 of its people.
11 President Izetbegovic has flatly denied making such a statement."
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. My question is this, Mr. Butler: In the Secretary-General's
14 report on the fall of Srebrenica, did you see this? Did you ever hear
15 anything about this? Did you ever study this matter?
16 A. Again, sir, I have read the report. The allegation is listed
17 here. I did not look into this particular allegation as I don't believe
18 it was relevant to the work that I was doing, and so I am not in a
19 position to offer any additional clarification as to whether it did or
20 did not occur or what it may or may not have meant.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. On the 8th of July, when you testified,
22 on page 16333, lines 8 through 19, you stated the following:
23 [As read] "I believe that the publication of crimes, the number
24 of missing, buried, and killed had a political effect on the willingness
25 of NATO to interfere with the politics of Republika Srpska. In the
1 ensuing months, up to the end of the war, due to the NATO activities and
2 Croatian Operation Storm, the war ended with the Dayton Accords and, as a
3 result of that, Republika Srpska was geographically smaller than it was
4 in July 1995."
5 My question is this: Bill Clinton and Alija Izetbegovic had an
6 idea for NATO to intervene in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Did
7 that come to fruition?
8 A. I cannot speak for the former president of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, and I certainly cannot speak for the former president of the
10 United States as to whether or not this was part of a plan or if it even
11 occurred. One of them is dead and one of them can be subpoenaed, I
12 guess. You can ask him that particular question. I have no ability to
13 comment on it one way or another, sir.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Could you please tell us whether there
15 was a NATO intervention against Republika Srpska, as you described in
16 here in August, September, October, up to the signing of the
17 Dayton Accords?
18 A. Yes, sir, there was.
19 Q. Do you know that I left in order to participate in the defence
20 against the NATO intervention? I went to Zepa and Drvar. Did you see
21 documents? Did you hear the testimonies of witnesses to that effect? Do
22 you know that?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the general could just be clear that he left
1 "what"? We can't tell from the English translation where he left, and I
2 don't think Mr. Butler should have to speculate on that.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- could you add this information to your
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I was in Zepa. Did I leave to defend the Republika Srpska
9 against the aggressions mounted by Croatia and NATO in the western part
10 of Republika Srpska, in Drvar and the surrounding areas? Did you read
11 documents about that? Do you know anything about that?
12 A. Again sir, as I have testified, I did not research your specific
13 movements within the VRS after Zepa. I know that while you say you left
14 to go to Drvar, I mean, but the reality is that you didn't displace
15 yourself. You were just performing your duties in a different location.
16 You did not leave the Main Staff. You were always still the assistant
17 commander of intelligence and security. The fact that you may be
18 performing your duties in a different location of the Republika Srpska
19 where the threat is more acute at the moment, in my mind, is not the
20 equivalent of saying that you left and did something else.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. It is neither here nor there. That was
22 not even my question.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us look at D187.
24 We can see a report where it says in the first sentence of the
25 report sent by the Rogatica Brigade on the 30th of August, 1995. I
1 quote -- this is a regular combat report. It says:
2 [As read] "This morning, around 0230 hours, NATO aviation
3 bombarded facilities that had housed the communications centre at Zlovrh
4 feature. The feature had been torched by the Ustashi, and over the past
5 ten days it had been used to billet our units that scared the terrain."
6 There is a reference to the number killed. It says that a total
7 number of casualties was 14. I don't have anymore time. Therefore, I
8 would like to move to another document, 1D617, on a similar topic.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. But let me ask you first: Fire opened on Zepa, did that fit in
11 with NATO aviation intervention? Could UNPROFOR open fire there or could
12 it just be NATO? Thank you.
13 A. No, sir. In that context you would be talking about NATO
14 orchestrated air-strikes.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to look at 1D769 now.
17 And while we are waiting for the document to appear on the screen, I
18 would like to say that this is a document issued by the Main Staff of the
19 VRS on the 26th of December, 1995. The title is: "Casualties and
20 Damages as a Result of NATO Bombing." And this was sent to the Chief of
21 the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. It says here:
22 [As read] "In order to possibly pay compensation for property
23 damages as a result of NATO bombing and rapid intervention force in the
24 course of September of this year, here enclosed, please find a list of
25 killed and wounded citizen of the Republika Srpska."
1 This document was signed by commander Ratko Mladic. It has
2 several pages on which it says 37 VRS members were killed, 73 were
3 wounded, and there is a list from 1 through 73. There is a list of
4 names. There is also a reference to those who were killed but were not
5 members of the VRS, 1 through 5. And we don't want to actually dwell
6 upon all that. At the end, General Ratko Mladic signed that, stamped it,
7 and sent it to the General Staff of the army.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My question is this, sir: The consequences of NATO bombing and
10 the consequences of rapid intervention forces activities, did they also
11 include consequences of UNPROFOR intervention or were they exclusively
12 the result of NATO intervention? Thank you.
13 A. The NATO bombing and forces were clearly NATO air assets. Some
14 forces that were part of the UNPROFOR were -- who were already in
15 country, my understanding was that they were redesignated to be part of a
16 NATO rapid reaction force, which, if it occurred at that way, would
17 definitely blur the line between forces that were formally the UNPROFOR
18 and who were now taking a more active role in the conflict as part of a
19 NATO rapid reaction force.
20 Q. Thank you. Please, there is a reference to a NATO intervention
21 as well as to NATO rapid reaction forces.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at 1D -- D193.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. While we are waiting for the document to appear, let me tell you
25 that this is a statement by Mr. Rupert Smith. He provided it on the 14th
1 of August, 1996. My question to you, sir, is this: Do you know that at
2 the time --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, let me interrupt you for a moment.
4 Sorry for interrupting you. You used 1D769, the report of Mr. Mladic.
5 Are you tendering that document?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President. I
7 would like to tender it. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be marked for identification, pending
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D769 --
11 correction, 1D769, shall be assigned Exhibit D312, marked for
12 identification, pending translation. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. My question, Mr. Butler, is: In August, September, and October,
16 and all the way until the signing of the Dayton Accords, did the UNPROFOR
17 have a mandate in Bosnia and Herzegovina to keep peace or to enforce
18 peace, according to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council?
19 A. The UNPROFOR mandate was obviously a peacekeeping mandate. But
20 as I said previously, with the NATO intervention, as you use the phrase,
21 that occurred in August, September, October, particularly with respect to
22 the rapid reaction forces, many of the military forces that were
23 previously part of the UNPROFOR were redesignated as part of the rapid
24 reaction forces -- or, I shouldn't say many, but certainly some of the
25 more capable ones, and as a result the line gets blurred.
1 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, these rapid reaction forces and NATO
2 forces, did they have a mandate to impose peace in Bosnia by using armed
3 force and by taking the side of one of the warring parties?
4 A. If I remember correctly, the mandate of the rapid reaction force
5 was to apply military force against the VRS forces and against the
6 Republika Srpska in order to force them - I guess that's probably the
7 best word in this case -- force them to comply with previous
8 United Nations resolutions regarding -- and the agreements regarding
9 the -- I guess it's the 20-kilometre zone around Sarajevo and the
10 agreement to place all their heavy weaponry under international
11 observation so it can't be used for shelling Sarajevo. That is my
12 understanding of what the goal of the rapid reaction force, as well as
13 what the NATO bomb campaign was designed for.
14 Q. Thank you. We see now the statement of General Smith, the UN
15 force commander.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's see page 15 in English, the
17 last paragraph, and page 16 in Serbian, paragraph 4. Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Let's see what he says about the mandate of UNPROFOR.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, if I refer you to your last
21 question, you are now dealing with matters you have already dealt with in
22 an earlier part of your cross-examination. As I told you, you should
23 conclude your cross-examination within the first session of today. Now
24 you have had the opportunity to use the same amount of time as the
25 Prosecution did. You may have some more minutes, but please try to come
1 to an end. The best way is to avoid any repetition.
2 Your question, please.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I am quoting from Rupert Smith's statement about their mandate,
6 paragraph 5 in Serbian, and the last paragraph in English:
7 [As read] "Sarajevo remained under siege and the airport closed.
8 A decision was taken within the UN that that for the time being, the
9 force would continue to operate peacekeeping principles. Plans that I
10 had developed to use a degree of force to resupply Sarajevo via the Igman
11 route and to use helicopters to supply fuel to the enclaves where the
12 supply situation was worsening were not accepted by our headquarters in
14 My question is: Is it obvious from this that UNPROFOR's mandate
15 was to keep peace and that decision was made by the UN Security Council,
16 yes or no, or were they free to act at will?
17 A. General Smith's statement in that regard deals -- it deals with
18 his view in June of 1995 with respect to the UN mandate and the decisions
19 that were made in this case over his head by the headquarters in Zagreb.
20 How that evolved through the month of July and August of 1995, I believe
21 is well documented in the United Nations report.
22 Q. Thank you. Could you cite any resolution that allowed the use of
23 force in Republika Srpska? Did you hold such a resolution in your hands?
24 A. I have never held any resolution in my hands with that respect,
25 and I am not familiar with a United Nations Security Council resolution
1 specifically authorising a use of force in the Republika Srpska.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Can you tell us whether both UNPROFOR and
3 NATO and the Croatian Army and also the ABiH are allies against VRS? At
4 this moment, I am talking about August, September, October, all the way
5 up to the signing of the Dayton Accords.
6 A. I can tell you that in August and September and October and
7 through the Dayton Accords, the UNPROFOR, NATO, the Croatian Army, and
8 the ABiH, were all engaged in military operations, to one degree or
9 another, against the Republika Srpska and, specific, the VRS. I don't
10 know that I could specifically tell you whether they were allies in that
11 sense or whether or not that they were operating as some part of a larger
12 shared plan or intent. I believe that other witnesses in other trials,
13 specifically, have given their opinions on those issues, and I am
14 speaking specifically of Mr. Holbrooke, as to what the big picture was
15 because he was a part of it. That would be the most appropriate person
16 to ask that question to. I couldn't comment on it anymore than I have.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Since you mention Mr. Holbrooke, did you
18 see in that report that he was issuing tasks to NATO, which towns in
19 Republika Srpska they were to capture and to conquer?
20 A. Again, sir, I am not familiar with the details of his testimony.
21 I am not familiar with a lot of those reports, as you call them, and I
22 have not read his book, so I am just not in a position to lay out what he
23 did or did not do or is accused of doing in any more detail that I have
24 just given.
25 Q. In that case, let's only look at D122 to see what Mr. Holbrooke
1 says. Page 101 in English, page 183 in Serbian, paragraph 461. Just one
2 quotation, because I don't have much time:
3 [As read] "The United States continued its efforts to modulate
4 the military situation on the ground. Writing after the event,
5 Mr. Holbrooke recalled a meeting with President Tudjman of Croatia on
6 September 17. He says, 'I told Tudjman that the Croatian offensive had
7 great value to the negotiations. It would be much easier to retain at
8 the table what had been won on the battle-field than to get the Serbs to
9 give up territory controlled -- they have controlled for several years.
10 I urged Tudjman to take Sanski Most, Prijedor, and Bosanski Novi, all
11 important towns," et cetera, et cetera.
12 I have no more time. They are now part of the federation of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, these towns. Is it the case that
14 Richard Holbrooke, as a negotiator and a cosignatory of the
15 Dayton Accords, gave tasks to the Croatian Army and NATO which parts of
16 Republika Srpska territory to carve out so that his own situation at the
17 negotiating table would be better? Did he indeed play had a leading role
18 in the negotiating process which resulted in the Dayton Accords?
19 A. It's easier to answer the second question first, which is, yes,
20 he did, obviously, as history notes. As to your first question, what
21 this particular report says is what it says. If you need additional
22 information on that, I -- I said I can't offer anymore than what I've
23 seen in the report which I suspect either they interviewed him or cited
24 his book. It is what it is. I just don't have any amplifying
25 information on that.
1 Q. Just one more passage, paragraph 462, where Mr. Holbrooke speaks
2 precisely about those maps that he was drawing. He says, in
3 paragraph 462:
4 [As read] "Until the end of July, the Bosnian Serbs had
5 controlled approximately 70 per cent of the territory of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina. By 22 September, UNPROFOR assessed that the Serbs
7 controlled approximately 49 per cent of the country, while the federation
8 partners controlled approximately 51 per cent between them (approximately
9 30 per cent for the Bosniaks and 21 per cent for the Croats). The map of
10 the battle-field broadly resembled the territorial arrangements being
11 proposed by the United States team."
12 My question is: Is it the case that the operations mounted by
13 NATO and the Croatian forces and the ABiH all focus on achieving this
14 situation on the ground?
15 A. Again, sir, the military operations by the various parties had
16 individual goals. I mean, the Croatian force's goal was the liberation
17 of territory that they believe was integral to the Republic of Croatia.
18 The ABiH was liberating territory that it believed was occupied by the
19 VRS. NATO's goal was as I've discussed before. But it's -- you know,
20 again, as history notes, those three particular goals, you know, did
21 serve to roll back the territory that was under the control of the
22 Republika Srpska to a juncture that the negotiating parties believed was
23 fair for all sides.
24 Now, whether that was done as part of a master plan or whether it
25 just turned out that way is a question beyond my ability to answer.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Please, if we bear in mind this
2 partnership or this alliance, call it what you want, between NATO,
3 UNPROFOR, the Croatian Army, and the BH Army, my question is: Did
4 UNPROFOR members consciously tolerate the arming of supposedly
5 demilitarised areas of Srebrenica and Zepa so that at the time of the
6 intervention they would have armed forces behind the lines of the VRS,
7 forces that they could activate?
8 A. To the first segment of your question, the answer is certainly
9 the UNPROFOR was aware that the ABiH was not demilitarised in neither
10 Zepa or Srebrenica, so I guess that would check the box for consciously
11 tolerate. As for their motive, I can't talk to the motive of what
12 various UNPROFOR leaders were and were not doing and what they were
13 thinking. It's just beyond by competence to discuss.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, to be very clear, you have ten
15 minutes left, and then you should conclude your cross-examination.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Last time in your closing argument you
19 were saying something about what Tolimir knew or should have known.
20 Could he have been involved in Srebrenica at all if he was elsewhere
21 protecting Republika Srpska from an aggression that lasted a long time,
22 all the way up to the Dayton Accords?
23 A. The events with respect to Srebrenica occurred in July of 1995
24 prior to the period when you claim that you went to the Krajina area or
25 other parts of Bosnia. Whether the -- I am not sure if it's even a
1 Krajina area.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please switch off your microphone.
3 THE WITNESS: To the second part of your question is that even
4 after that time, you were still the assistant commander for intelligence
5 and security for the entire VRS, the fact that you are not present at the
6 headquarters of the Main Staff, does not mean that you do not have the
7 ability to find out what is going on or to issue orders relevant to those
8 types of issues; again, as we discussed, the prisoner issue. The fact
9 that you were not physically at the Main Staff headquarters does not
10 deprive you of the ability to know of all these things nor, in my
11 opinion, the responsibility to deal with them when you find out.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Let's see if that was possible to find
14 out, because I was in a different theater of war, not in the Srebrenica
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see D526. D526.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. While we are waiting -- and that's a letter from
19 Colonel Jankovic, dated 13 July, 1995, whereby he informs that the
20 evacuation of the entire Muslim population from the former enclave of
21 Srebrenica had been completed. And you spoke about that in your
23 Colonel Jankovic writing to the headquarters of the staff, the
24 Main Staff, I didn't see it but other people did, he says in the last
1 [As read] "I believe that if we want to take over the enclaves of
2 Zepa and Gorazde in the same way, it will be necessary to present the
3 operation in Srebrenica in the media to show that we had given adequate
4 treatment to the civilians and even to soldiers who had surrendered their
6 This report by Jankovic, does it indicate that he was not aware
7 of this report of the 12th, because he's planning to present things to
8 the media in quite a different way?
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, this is not D526 but P626. There
10 is no document with the number D526 in this trial.
11 Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I believe he's asking Mr. Butler to compare this
13 document and Colonel Jankovic's knowledge with a document from the 12th.
14 And if that's the case, it would only be fair to see that document and
15 which part of that document on the 12th he's referring to.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am not referring to the 12th,
17 Mr. McCloskey. I am referring to your claim that the killing plan was
18 made on the 12th.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I am asking if this report made by Jankovic fits with that idea,
21 that the plan to kill was made on the 12th.
22 A. Yes, sir. As I have testified before on this particular document
23 and that issue, I believe that that final paragraph is not a reflection
24 of the fact that Colonel Jankovic does not know. I believe it's a
25 reflection of the fact that Colonel Jankovic is aware of what's going on
1 and would have been, from his location at Bratunac, and that his
2 suggestion relates not to what is really happening but, more importantly,
3 how to portray the situation in the media in order to get the most
4 favourable results for the VRS with respect to the enclaves of Zepa and
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. That's your opinion.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see D298.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We see a decree by the president of Republika Srpska, pursuant to
10 Article 80 of the constitution of Republika Srpska and Article 369 of the
11 army -- of the Law on the Army. The following VRS officers are hereby
12 sent to retirement and transferred to the reserve force: Milan Gvero,
13 Djordje Djukic, Grujo Boric and Zdravko Tolimir. You tried to portray me
14 as somebody who is able to appoint and replace other officers during the
15 NATO intervention. Could I really have done that, because we see from
16 this that I was retired at the time and transferred to the reserve force?
17 A. One, I did not make the statement that you said I did: Has the
18 ability to appoint and replace officers during the NATO intervention.
19 Secondly, sir, as you are aware, ultimately this decision by
20 President Karadzic was rescinded. You know, the officers in question
21 remained on active duty.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did these officers remain actively in
23 service or were they transferred to the reserve force? Can a general
24 remain a general in the reserve force, be a military conscript and keep
25 the same rank?
1 A. Sir, as you're aware, particularly with respect to the authority
2 of the civilian leadership over the military, on 3 August 1995,
3 President Karadzic sought to appoint General Mladic to a different
4 position, as opposed to his role as the commander of the Main Staff. And
5 on subsequent days, a large section, or almost all of the active generals
6 of the Army of the Republika Srpska published a letter basically calling
7 for the military to ignore that order and throwing your support behind
8 General Mladic.
9 So, again, regardless of where you are in the Republika Srpska,
10 you certainly have the ability to participate in the relevant events that
11 are occurring. This particular document is a reflection of
12 President Karadzic and the SDS not being particularly happy with your
13 decisions with respect to the support of General Mladic. And, again, as
14 you are aware, this order was ultimately rescinded and you remained at
15 your position.
16 Q. Mr. Butler, thank you. My last question: Do you mean the
17 decision from August or do you mean this decision here, the one we are
18 looking at now from October, not August?
19 A. My understanding is that both decisions were ultimately
20 rescinded, and, to my knowledge, you remained the assistant commander for
21 intelligence and security for the VRS until you were relieved in November
22 1996 by then-President Plavsic [Realtime transcript read in
23 error "Pilavcic"] as well as all of the other officers who were then on
24 the Main Staff, or most of them, I should say. A few survived.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
1 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, page 30, line 12, the
2 name on the record is "Pilavcic," and that's what I heard in Serbian as
3 well. Was that a slip of the tongue in English or was it just wrongly
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Butler, could you please repeat the name of
6 the then-president.
7 THE WITNESS: Ms. Biljana Plavsic. Hopefully I am pronouncing
8 that correctly.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Butler.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have it now on the screen correctly.
11 Thank you.
12 Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Butler, and under the decision of Biljana Plavsic, was I
16 transferred from Republika Srpska to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
17 Rather than being retired, was I transferred from the VRS to the Federal
18 Republic of Yugoslavia?
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is now finally really the last question,
20 Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE WITNESS: I don't know the answer to that question, sir. I
22 can't say that I have actually seen the November 1996 order related to
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. That doesn't really matter at all, but
1 it's important, speaking of documents, to show that there are documents
2 of both kinds.
3 Thank you for testifying. I wish you good health and a safe
4 return home. I have no further questions.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence has
6 completed its examination of this witness. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We must have our first
8 break now, and we will resume with the re-examination by Mr. McCloskey at
9 20 minutes past 4.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 --- On resuming at 4.23 p.m.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, it is my hope that this poor
15 witness may leave today. That means that you conclude your
16 re-examination in the course of today's hearing, if possible.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is my extreme hope as well, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have the floor.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
20 Re-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
21 Q. Mr. Butler, General Tolimir, at page 17390, brought up the 15
22 July intercept.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could bring up that intercept, I
24 believe it's confidential.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No broadcast, please.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: 506B.
2 Q. If -- and that is the 15 July conversation between Colonel Beara
3 calling General Krstic requesting more troops and, in your analysis, to
4 take care of the remaining executions in the area of Zvornik Brigade.
5 And General Tolimir asked you at page 17392, when referring to this:
6 "Mr. Butler, how could General Tolimir know anything if he was
7 unable to read any documents and he had not received any calls from the
8 participants directly involved in these problems?"
9 And you respond in part:
10 "General Tolimir obviously had a means to communicate on a
11 variety of levels to individuals who were involved in this."
12 Now, can you remind us on the 15th of July --
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we have that document? Thank you.
14 Q. Can you remind us on the 15th of July if you recall what
15 General Krstic was doing and where -- where he was?
16 A. On the 15th of July at the time of this particular intercept,
17 which is 1000 hours, General Krstic is at the Drina Corps forward command
18 post, the IKM, I believe it's in the village of Kravica, if I pronounced
19 it correctly.
20 Q. Okay. And we've got Kravica. How about, I think we talked about
21 it before, Krivace? Does that sound familiar/similar?
22 A. That's the correct pronunciation of it.
23 Q. Okay. And what operation, if any, was he involved in?
24 A. At that time he was directing the Drina Corps's attack against
25 the Zepa enclave.
1 Q. And on 15 July, do you recall from the documents where or what
2 operation General Tolimir was involved in and where he was?
3 A. General Tolimir was involved in the same operation. I believe on
4 the 15th of July he was located at the forward command post of the
5 Rogatica Brigade. If I recall correctly, it's Borike.
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 2555 [Realtime transcript read
8 in error "2255"].
9 Q. And you'll see as this comes up, just to try to save some time,
10 that it's from -- up in the left-hand corner, the -- sorry, it's 2555.
11 And it should be, if the correct one comes up, a document from the
12 Drina Corps command dated 15 July. And it says: "Forward command post
13 Krivace," and it's to the Main Staff in the Drina Corps command, and it's
14 an extraordinary combat report in the name of General Krstic. And does
15 this support your conclusion that on the 15th of July General Krstic was
16 at Krivace?
17 A. Yes, sir, among other information that I am aware of.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I would offer this into evidence.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2555 shall be
21 assigned Exhibit P2572. Thank you.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. And can we briefly go to P129.
23 Q. Which you'll see is from the command of the 1st Podrinje
24 Light Infantry Brigade that we know as the Rogatica Brigade dated 15
25 July. It's a teleprinter document in the name of
1 Major-General Zdravko Tolimir. And does this document support your
2 conclusion about the whereabouts of General Tolimir on 15 July?
3 A. This particular document is dated 14 July, but I believe at the
4 time that he is still there on the 15th.
5 Q. Okay. We have got a number mix-up. I apologise.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. I meant to have P129 up. I misspoke.
7 All right.
8 Q. Well, we've got this one up, and so you've concluded this
9 supports your view that he is there on the 14th of July.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now let's go to P479.
11 Q. And this is the one I had previously mentioned, the 15 July, but
12 same question: Does this support your conclusion about his location?
13 A. Yes, sir. Again, this particular document is dated 15 July,
14 1995, type signed under his signature, and it's from the command of the
15 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade so that would put him in and around
16 the area of the command post of the Rogatica Brigade, whether it's the
17 main command post or the forward command post.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. And can we now go to P394B.
19 Q. This should be an intercept, and I believe you have spoken to it
20 already, so I will brief onto this point --
21 THE REGISTRAR: This is a confidential exhibit. It should not be
22 broadcast. Thank you.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. It's dated 16 July, 1000 hours, between Mico and Toso. And
25 according to this, a short way down, Toso states that: He can call Uran
1 on the same line that you are communicating with Uran and he can relay
2 the telegram for me through it and you know my call-sign.
3 Can you remind us who Toso is and what Uran was?
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
5 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I believe that we do
6 not have the correct page in Serbian displayed in e-court.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: It should be the one at 1000 hours, and we may
8 need to go -- I think he's correct, we need to go down the report so we
9 get the one at 1000 hours. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have it. Please continue.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, Toso is a nickname for General Tolimir,
12 and Uran was call-sign for the Drina Corps.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. And do you remember specifically what part of the Drina Corps?
15 A. That would be their IKM, the forward command post.
16 Q. And the fact of this intercept that General Tolimir is speaking
17 over this intercept and talking about communicating via Uran, as we've
18 seen in the first line, because the other one is not secure -- excuse me,
19 this one is not secure, does this support what you said earlier, that
20 General Tolimir did have means to communicate with the Drina Corps,
21 General Krstic, and others, in a secure manner?
22 A. Yes, sir, he could communicate with them both on the unsecure
23 lines as well as in a secure manner.
24 Q. And as far as you know, did the VRS use couriers, basically men
25 taking messages back and forth?
1 A. Yes, sir, they did.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And last document on this topic, 65 ter 2580.
3 Q. And this is a document from the command of the Drina Corps
4 Krivace IKM dated 16 July. And I think we can just look at the Serbian
5 version, we see that this is under the name of Major-General Krstic. And
6 where would this indicate General Krstic was on 16 July, in your view?
7 A. Given that it's coming from the forward command post, the IKM, it
8 would be my opinion that this is evidence that shows that General Krstic
9 is still at the IKM in Krivace on 16 July 1995.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer that into evidence.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2580 shall be
13 assigned Exhibit P2573. Thank you.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. And my next topic would be going to the area that I think both
16 the Prosecution and General Tolimir spent some time on, and that was the
17 area regarding UNPROFOR and humanitarian convoys into the enclaves and
18 the state commission's responsibility and the VRS's responsibility and
19 the review and overview and various authorisations related to those
20 convoys. And in particular General Tolimir asked you at page 17162, onto
21 the following page:
22 "Mr. Butler, can you tell me when you were reviewing the
23 documents relating to the convoys, did you come across any document
24 testifying to the fact that the Main Staff failed to act in accordance
25 with the decisions of the state committee and that it acted contrary to
1 the decisions when it came to humanitarian convoys?"
2 And you responded:
3 "I don't recall that I did, off the top of my head."
4 And then you described the general process:
5 "As I understand it was -- the committee would, once they
6 approved the convoy, would pass the material onto the Main Staff where
7 they would ultimately clear the convoy for travel. There may have been
8 cases where that has occurred, but I don't recall any, off the top of my
10 All right. Since we are dealing with the Main Staff and the
11 commission, can you remind us what kind of body the commission was, just
13 A. My understanding is that the commission was primarily a civilian
14 body appointed by the Republika Srpska leadership whose job it was, was
15 to co-ordinate on behalf of the civilian organs of the Republika Srpska
16 issues related to the humanitarian organisations that were operating in
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.
18 Q. All right. And so given that our issue, as presented and
19 discussed with you and the general for quite a while, has to do with that
20 body and the VRS, I would like to take us back very briefly to
21 Directive 7.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Which is P1214. And the part I want is the --
23 under -- should be page 14 in e-court in the English and B/C/S page 21.
24 Q. And just to remind us of this language, near the end of the
25 document, but can you remind us who drafted this document, Directive 7?
1 A. This document was drafted by then-Colonel Miletic, who was the
2 chief of operations for the Main Staff.
3 Q. All right. And you have testified and the Court understands how
4 this document was put together by the military, and we see that it's in
5 the name of Radovan Karadzic. So the section I want to remind us of
6 related to convoys is:
7 "The relevant state and military organs ..."
8 We see this as -- yes, that paragraph that's identified by the
10 "... responsible for work with UNPROFOR and humanitarian
11 organisations shall, through the planned and unobtrusively restricted
12 issuing of permits reduce and limit logistics support ..."
13 And I won't go on reading it. We can all read it and we've heard
14 it many times. So in your view in looking at this paragraph, is the
15 civilian body -- well, is the civilian government of Radovan Karadzic
16 involved in any way with the army when it comes to this particular
18 A. Yes, sir. They would be. They are the state organs. Whether or
19 not individual members of the commission would see this document is
20 debatable or were even told that it existed, but certainly the
21 individuals who appointed them - the highest levels of government - would
22 know what the goal is and would be either through the witting or
23 unwitting control of that state organ applying it.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now let's go to P689 which is out of the Official
2 Q. And it's an Article 6 that General Tolimir directed you to,
3 which -- we see this Gazette was dated 14 March 1995. And we would like
4 to go to Article 6 that -- just mentions that:
5 [As read] "The permits for the movement of convoys and employees
6 of the UN and humanitarian organisations on the territory of Republika
7 Srpska shall be issued by the co-ordinating body for humanitarian
8 operations, pursuant to committee decisions."
9 All right. So that I believe you agreed --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, I see Gajic.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
12 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, again we don't have
13 the correct page in Serbian. I believe that we should be on the
14 following page.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have it now on the screen. Thank you
16 very much.
17 Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. And I believe you agreed with the general that this was the
20 co-ordinating body for the humanitarian operations.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And now could we go a bit further in the Gazette.
22 And it should be page 3 in the English, and I am told page 3 in the
23 B/C/S. This is dated March 14th as well. And we can see that it says
24 pursuant to Article 80, paragraph 1.
25 Q. And then it talks about --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, can you help us. Where on the
2 B/C/S version we will find that document? Now we have it.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's right. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise. And we will need to go up a bit in
6 the B/C/S, there is a number of individuals named there. Thank you.
7 Q. In any event, we see that this is the decision on the appointment
8 of the president, deputy president, and members of the state committee
9 for co-operation with the UN and international humanitarian
11 Is this the -- in your view, the committee that was just referred
12 to in the previous article?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. And we see the members on it. And do you see any members of the
15 VRS Main Staff that are actually on this body?
16 A. From the English translation, the first page of it, number 7,
17 Colonel Djordjic [Realtime transcript read in error "Dzurdzic"], I
19 Q. Do you recall what his position on the Main Staff was?
20 A. I recall that he was an officer who was involved in dealing with
21 issues related to the UNPROFOR as well as other humanitarian
22 organisations. I believe his name came up in concert with the ICRC issue
23 that came up on the 17th of July, 1995.
24 Q. All right. And the other six here, do you recognise any of them
25 as military folks?
1 A. No, sir, I do not.
2 Q. Okay. So if they are civilian -- or, political people, and we
3 have a -- we see a colonel from the Main Staff, what can you say, if
4 anything, about the potential workings of this co-ordinating body and its
5 either communication with or influence of the Main Staff?
6 A. Well, that -- there at least was, by virtue of having
7 Colonel Djordjic, a mechanism by which the Main Staff could keep apprised
8 of all of the discussions related to what that humanitarian body was
9 doing so they had a way of keeping informed. I would also note that that
10 Professor Nikola Koljevic as if deputy president of the Republika Srpska,
11 when I testified before about, you know, whether or not all of the
12 members of the commission would know about what the ultimate goal of
13 Directive 7 was, while individual members of the commission may not, as
14 the deputy president of the Republika Srpska, he is certainly somebody
15 who should have been very familiar with what was really supposed to
16 happen under Directive 7, 7(1).
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
18 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on page 41, line 20,
19 there has been an error in spelling. Instead of a Z, there should be a
20 letter J, so Colonel Djurdjic.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that.
22 Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
24 Q. And so when you say Koljevic should really know what was -- what
25 did you mean by "really know"? Could you just spell that out?
1 A. As a very senior leader of the Republika Srpska, he would have
2 been one of the individuals who would have seen Directive 7 and would be
3 familiar with the goals and objectives behind Directive 7. Arguably,
4 other civilians on the commission might not have been high enough within
5 the scope of the government to be privy to that document. But, again, as
6 the ultimate president of the state committee, he certainly would have by
7 virtue of his role as the deputy president.
8 Q. All right.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, could we next go to 65 ter 7516.
10 Q. And this is a document that we have recently identified, so it
11 did not have a 65 ter number, but it -- I think it's helpful in response
12 to the issues that we're talking about.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, do you have an objection to add this
14 document to the 65 ter exhibit list?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We have
16 no objection.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This may be added to the 65 ter exhibit list,
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
20 Q. And, Mr. Butler, this is a -- well, just take a look at it. You
21 can see in the English that it's from the Republika Srpska government
22 co-ordinating body for humanitarian aid. And if I could just give
23 Mr. Butler a hard copy, that may be helpful, and there is a B/C/S for
24 Mr. Gajic as well, I believe.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: With the assistance of the Court Usher, yes,
1 please, do so.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. So if we could go to page 2 in the English briefly so everyone
4 can see that. We see that this document from the body is in the name
5 of -- its President Dragan Kekic. Okay. So if we could go back to the
6 first page. And it notes, as we see in the English, that permission is
7 given for a request number and it talks about various numbers.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And now if we could -- I'm sorry, just to make
9 this clear, if we could go to B/C/S page 3 and English page 3.
10 Q. We'll see attached to this document is a document from the
11 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and --
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, out of an abundance of caution,
13 can we go into private session.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, we turn into private session.
15 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. -- attract your attention to a note that we see under the second
2 paragraph that -- it states on this document that:
3 [As read] "A weekly plan is hereby approved with the exception of
4 note 3 on the page 3 as printed:
5 "A satellite telex with equipment for use by the UNHCR office."
6 Now, so we see what this document says. We see what the
7 government or the co-ordinating body has done.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer this into evidence, and I have
9 another document relating to it that I want to base my question on.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we hear your question and the answer first?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: My next question is a document that cites this
12 particular document and makes reference to it.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. Go ahead.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And that is 65 ter 1946.
15 Q. And you can see that this document is now dated 19 May, two days
16 after the previous document which was 17 May. And this is from the
17 familiar group of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. And
18 it's to the command of the Drina Corps. And it's a notification to the
19 Drina Corps, and we see in that front page, and I quote:
20 "We have approved request number 1179-HCR-783."
21 So can you -- this particular document, Mr. Butler, can you tell
22 us just what it is in relation to the last document?
23 A. This appears to be the notification by the Main Staff to the
24 Drina Corps and to the East Bosnian Corps letting them know that they --
25 they are clearing a particular UN convoy, or a series of convoys, coming
1 into the Republika Srpska, and this is, as I've discussed before, to --
2 this was the notification to the military about these convoys so they
3 would know when these convoys would be arriving and what they would be
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: And can we now go to --
7 Q. Well, before we go to page 4, can you give us your brief
8 conclusion on whether or not this shows anything to do with the VRS
9 working with the co-ordinating body on these issues?
10 A. Yes, sir. Again, they would have to work in partnership on these
11 issues because even though the co-ordinating body was in their purview to
12 approve or disprove UNHCR convoys, ultimately the Main Staff controlled
13 access to the roads that were particularly related to where the battles
14 were ongoing and that the Main Staff had to be co-ordinated with, fully,
15 otherwise the convoys would not be permitted to enter through any
16 military zone, and they needed to be inspected, and they would be
17 inspected by the military members in those zones. So they obviously were
18 closely co-ordinated in that regard for the maximum amount of efficiency.
19 You just couldn't have a situation where the co-ordinating body was
20 making unilateral decisions and that the Main Staff people who had to
21 transmit these clearances down to the subordinate corps would be unaware
22 of them.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Now let's go to page 4 in the
24 English. I believe it's page 3 in the B/C/S. It's right above the
25 signature block for Manojlo Milovanovic. And we have a note under of --
1 or above Milovanovic's name.
2 Q. And it says:
3 "We have not approved the transport of a satellite telex with
4 accompanying equipment to Srebrenica on 24 May."
5 Now this appears to be the same reference that the co-ordinating
6 body had -- did not approve. So, in this case, is the Main Staff doing
7 anything on their own or going against the co-ordinating body in any way?
8 A. No, sir, this reflects the fact that -- I mean, he's using the
9 phrase "we" collectively for the Republika Srpska, not the Main Staff or
10 the co-ordinating body. So it's a unified decision to allow the corps to
11 know that if they find, you know, satellite communications equipment,
12 that it should be confiscated.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: So, Mr. President, I would offer both these last
14 two 65 ter numbers into evidence. I think this would set out an
15 important distinction.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 65 ter 7516 will be received first.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7516 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit P2574. And 65 ter --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And 65 ter 1946 will be received as well.
20 THE REGISTRAR: And shall be assigned Exhibit P2575. Thank you,
21 Your Honours.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. All right, Mr. Butler. And you were -- on the same topic, you
24 were questioned and you answered several times about the restrictions on
25 humanitarian aid and personnel, and so I wanted to show you 65 ter 1955.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Just for the record this is Exhibit --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P2569. Thank you very much.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I --
4 Q. And in any event, we will let that get up on the screen,
5 Mr. Butler. You will see it's from the Main Staff dated 12 June, 1995,
6 to the Drina Corps, in the name of General Miletic. And basically, it
7 states that they agree with the authorisation of MSF, and then it gives
8 the numbers. But then it goes down to the bottom and reiterates that:
9 [As read] "In other words, no foreign MSF officials shall be
10 allowed to enter the enclaves, except for, perhaps, drivers who will
11 transfer the above-mentioned persons to Belgrade."
12 How does this fit into your analysis about personnel or -- or
13 being allowed out or into the enclave?
14 A. Yes, sir. It's just more information that supports the broader
15 pattern which was occurring was that -- is part of their operation
16 against the enclaves -- or their preparations against the enclaves, I
17 should say, what they were doing was limiting the capacities of the
18 outside organisations. One of the ways that they were doing this was by
19 allowing for individuals leaving the enclaves to leave, from both the
20 Dutch Battalion as well as the humanitarian organisations.
21 But what they were not doing was permitting those individuals to
22 be replaced. So particularly over time, you know, as military officers
23 and soldiers and civilians from the humanitarian organisations would
24 complete their tour, for whatever reason, they would of course be allowed
25 to leave the enclaves, but their replacements would not be allowed to
1 enter the enclaves. The predictable result was that with this drain of
2 personnel both the Dutch Battalion and the humanitarian organisations
3 became less and less capable of performing their jobs.
4 Q. All right. I want to go on to another area where General Tolimir
5 questioned you at length about his various responsibilities and duties.
6 And on page 17311, he quoted you from one of those rules from D202, from
7 the Rules on Land Corps Forces on Peacetime. And on that page he read it
8 out as stating:
9 "The organs of command may not assign their powers to other
10 command organs or transfer their responsibility to the organs of a lower
11 command unless specifically authorised to do so.
12 "My question --" now the question he was asking you as he states:
13 "My question is: In view of this stipulation, could
14 General Tolimir be held responsible for what was in the purview of
15 lower-ranking units, corps, and brigades, and were they able to transfer
16 to him affairs that were within their area of responsibility which would
17 make him answerable for what they were supposed to be responsible for?"
18 Now, I want you to take a look, if you could -- and you do have a
19 long answer for that, but at -- 65 ter 5891. And this is another
20 document that is about five pages in English, and I think we have a --
21 no, we don't. Well, I will try to just go over it slowly so you and
22 the -- everyone can get a view of it.
23 It's dated 6 of July from the Drina Corps command, security
24 department. And I'll tell you at the end, it's in the name of
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic. And it is entitled: "The Work of
1 the Military Police Check-Points and Instructions." And then it says --
2 if we could go back to the first page, thanks. And I will just go over
3 the high points as briefly as I can to see if this helps answer the
4 question that the general asked you or that he related.
5 Colonel Popovic is referencing an instruction from the Main Staff
6 of 4 July on the work of the military police. And we can see that there
7 is -- he says:
8 "In spite of a range of measures taken and orders and
9 instructions and guide-lines issued for the establishment," basically
10 noting a lack of understanding and problems.
11 And then he basically copies the instructions. And we see at the
12 bottom of the English: "Instructions for the Work of the Military Police
13 at Check-Points."
14 And if we could go to the next page in the English, this -- and I
15 think we can just briefly scan these instructions. It -- we can see that
16 it's talking about various subjects, including foreign citizens, foreign
17 journalists, Serbs living abroad, crossings in and out. And if we could
18 go to the last page, it should be B/C/S page 4, English page 5. I'm
19 sorry, in my scanning I skipped a section under:
20 "... the same shall apply to international humanitarian and other
22 So these instructions have to do with that as well. And then we
23 have a note marked E on that page 5 of the English and should be seen in
24 the B/C/S as well:
25 [As read] "Those responsible for the consistent implementation of
1 this instruction and acting in accordance with it shall be the assistant
2 for security of intelligence of the Main Staff, corps commanders ... and
3 their subordinate organs and military police units."
4 So what does this -- and then under that it's commander
5 Ratko Mladic, and then under that we see that the final signature is
6 Popovic after he's copied the whole instruction from General Mladic. Can
7 you just very briefly, very briefly, what, if anything, does this tell us
8 about General Tolimir's responsibility in these particular areas and
9 working with other members as noted here by General Mladic?
10 A. Well, again, it illustrates that the issue of command and the
11 issue of, you know, technical expertise and advice within the military
12 service, or the VRS specifically, is closely intertwined. It's not
13 designed to be separate or compartmentalised. General Ratko Mladic as
14 the commander of the Main Staff, you know, knows that the assistant for
15 security and intelligence of the Main Staff of the VRS or the primary
16 technical organ which covers the details of how these things are to be
17 done, and he's directing that his subordinate corps commanders as well as
18 their subordinate organs of the military police units, you know, work
19 with them on these particular issues. You know, take advantage of their
20 technical expertise and follow their technical guidance. The whole
21 command and staff process is interrelated. It's not designed to be
23 Q. All right.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document into evidence.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 5891 shall be
2 assigned Exhibit P2576. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
4 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask
5 Mr. McCloskey and the witness to slow down a little. The interpretation
6 is lagging a little bit behind, so I would kindly ask them to slow down.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
9 Q. Going on to another topic that the general spent a fair amount of
10 time on, and that is his questions about restricting UNPROFOR supplies
11 and its effect on UNPROFOR and restricting civilian aid and that affect
12 on the civilians. He asked at page 17190 in referencing a document,
13 65 ter 05170, he says:
14 "You spoke of various restrictions imposed on UNPROFOR convoys
15 that wants to bring in supplies. Tell us, was the population in any way
16 adversely affected by the restrictions that the VRS may have applied in
17 respect of UNPROFOR convoys?"
18 And the next page, he asks you:
19 "Had there ever been any fatality among the civilian population
20 because of the shortage of medical supplies?"
21 And he asked you if you'd seen any documents that had any such
22 information. And as you may recall, you cited to him, among other
23 things, the UN report, which is D122.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I want to go briefly to that to see if what I
25 have found -- yeah, if we could just go to the first page of that so we
1 can see if it's that report that we are all getting familiar with. Thank
2 you. And now if we could go to -- it should be page 56 in the English
3 and B/C/S page 93. And I'm interested in paragraphs 233, 234, and 235.
4 Q. And I don't want to read them all out. I think we just can all
5 read them ourselves briefly, but you can see that 233 -- when it's the
6 BSA we know that they are referring to Bosnian Serb army. It talks about
7 tightening the squeeze in the safe area, progressively limiting the
8 already restricted flow of humanitarian aid into the enclave and
9 constraining the provision of supplies to DutchBat. It goes on. Then to
10 234, the DutchBat commander expressed the exasperation at the
11 humanitarian situation. He stated that the warehouse in the enclave
12 would be empty within days. He goes on into more detail. And then 235
13 talks about not being allowed to leave the enclave and that there had
14 been no food delivered in March, no fresh dairy products, and he goes on
15 into detail.
16 When you referred the general, generally, in response to these
17 questions, had you read this part of the report and did these sections
18 have anything to do with your answer to the general?
19 A. Yes, sir, I had read the report and I am familiar with these
20 sections of the report. That's why with respect to my basis of knowledge
21 of what happened in the humanitarian aspect within the enclaves is drawn
22 in large part from the UN's own report on that.
23 Q. All right.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we now go to 65 ter 482. And that's -- if we
25 could blow that up a little bit in both languages, we see that it's an
1 11 July report.
2 Q. Can you make out who is writing this report, who it's to, who is
3 writing it, just from your review of it?
4 A. The UNMO headquarters, BH Sector North-East, so that would be
5 Tuzla, to BH command in Sarajevo, as well as the UN HQ command in Zagreb.
6 And it's a retransmital of a situation report for Srebrenica, presumably
7 drafted by the UN military observers in Srebrenica on that day.
8 Q. All right. Is this a document you recall reviewing?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And as we look at it again, I won't read all of it, but it talks
11 about a stream of refugees still come into the compound of DutchBat, the
12 food situation is hopeless. For the battalion we have food for a few
13 days. It's impossible to give any food to the refugees. Only water we
14 can supply. The situation will be separate in 48 hours. And at the end,
15 we see:
16 [As read] "DutchBat can't give much help because their supplies
17 are not coming in since the end of April."
18 And the only medical help is from MSF. And so does this help
19 answer the general's question to you about documents that are related to
20 how the restrictions on DutchBat may have affected the civilians?
21 A. Yes, sir. I mean, it helped over the prior months to create the
22 circumstances where, by the time you got to July of 1995, there were no
23 reserves supplies left for the battalion. There were no reserve supplies
24 left for UNHCR. And then when the military attack started and the
25 population began to move out of Srebrenica, they were showing up at
1 Potocari, placing themselves directly under the protection of the
2 United Nations organisation as well as the Dutch who had no ability to
3 feed them or to provide any sort of comprehensive medical care because
4 they simply did not have the supplies to do that.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this into evidence.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 482 shall be
9 assigned Exhibit P2577. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. And, Mr. Butler, do you recall reviewing the BiH Army documents
12 that were sent out from Srebrenica in those last few days of the fall of
13 the enclave after the 4th, the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th? Do you remember?
14 Can you go way back? When did you actually review that material?
15 A. Yes, sir, I did review that particular group of material. I
16 believe some of them are referenced in my narrative because what the ABiH
17 military leadership in Srebrenica was doing and saying on those
18 particular days is relevant to what the VRS was doing on those particular
20 Q. All right. Well, that answer just reminds me of the question
21 Judge Nyambe asked you regarding the scope of your investigation. You've
22 testified here that your view -- you concluded that the enclave was not
23 demilitarised, that the Muslims were coming out of the enclave at the
24 relevant period of time, attacking Serb -- the Serbs, that the UN did not
25 or was not able to stop this, and that, as such, you felt that that was a
1 fair military target, and other items directly related to the Muslim army
2 and other issues.
3 Have those conclusions that you talked to, did you reach those --
4 at what level -- at what point, excuse me, in your investigation in your
5 work here in the Tribunal did you come to those conclusions? Was it
6 after trials, prior to trials? Did you reach them on your own? Were you
7 affected by anyone? Can you just very briefly tell us when you came up
8 with those issues that we tend to agree with General Tolimir on that are
9 directly related to the ABiH?
10 A. Most of those opinions were formed by me before General Krstic
11 was even indicted. As I did my research from arriving here in April of
12 1997, so by June or July of 1997 I was more or less working full time
13 with respect to the Srebrenica investigation. The issues, the
14 Dutch Battalion's reports, even the limited information we had at that
15 time all supported that particular conclusion. As we received additional
16 information, particularly the ABiH documents from the
17 28th Infantry Division, which we found at the headquarters of the Zvornik
18 Infantry Brigade, because apparently when the units of the
19 Zvornik Infantry Brigade captured the enclave -- or their part of the
20 enclave, they were the ones who went through and confiscated various
21 CD -- I thought they were floppy disks, that we ultimately ended up
22 seizing in 1998. They were in the possession of the Zvornik Brigade
23 which had captured them and had apparently never gone through them.
24 So when we put them on our computers and started looking at that
25 material we recognised that what we were seeing were digital backup
1 copies of the communications of the 28th Division that were sent to
2 2 Corps and the return flow. So, again, that further enforced the idea
3 that the 28th Infantry Division was fully performing in a military
4 manner, had not disarmed, and was conducting armed combat operations.
5 So, again, in specific terms those opinions were formed well before
6 General Krstic was indicted in -- was it late 1998 or early 1999.
7 Q. And had they been part of your reports and your testimony --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should pause a moment after the answer.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
10 Q. And have those opinions been part of your reports and testimony
11 since you first developed them?
12 A. Yes, sir, I've never changed my opinion on that.
13 Q. And in response to General Tolimir's questions about the
14 demilitarisation or lack thereof, and I don't want you to get into this
15 in-depth, but I just think it would be fair to touch upon it: Given the
16 small numbers that the UN put for UN troops in the enclave to deal with
17 the population and the issues related to those resolutions, was it -- in
18 this war in 1993, would it -- was it reasonable to expect the Muslims not
19 to harm themselves in some way or to try to have some way to protect
20 themselves against the Serb army that was surrounding them? And I just
21 want this to be very short. I don't want to take sides in this -- in
22 this case that is really not disputed on this issue.
23 A. Given the context of the allegations of Bosnian Muslim atrocities
24 against the Serbs which occurred in late 1992 and early 1993,
25 particularly related to Kravica in January 1993 and other massacres, had
1 it occurred, that were blamed on the Bosnian Muslims, their understanding
2 of the situation was that they felt they had to defend themselves because
3 if they were ever captured by the Bosnian Serbs there would be some form
4 of retribution for what they had done or what they were accused to have
6 Q. Okay. Let's get back to where we were. You said you had
7 reviewed some of these BiH documents.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 411.
9 Q. And I'll -- we see it's from the Army of the Republic of the BH,
10 28th Division Command, Srebrenica, dated 5 July. And it's in the name of
11 the Chief of Staff standing in for the commander, and the Chief of Staff
12 is Major Ramiz Becirovic. It's a combat report. And to make things --
13 is this basically a Muslim version of the combat report that we've seen
14 so many of from the VRS?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And the part of it I want to put your attention to is entitled:
17 "Humanitarian Situation." Had you reviewed this set of documents, the
18 combat reports from July 5th through the fall of the enclave?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. All right. And looking at - and I won't read it -- but the
21 description of the humanitarian situation, and does that support the --
22 well, the issue in the UN report and the other contention that their --
23 the Muslim civilian population was facing a humanitarian hunger
25 A. Yes, sir, it does.
1 Q. All right.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer this into evidence.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I will try to --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 411 shall be
7 assigned Exhibit P2578. Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. And, Mr. Butler, I want to go through, again, but I don't need to
10 spend much time.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to 65 ter 413. It's the --
12 another combat report from Becirovic of 6 July.
13 Q. It points out the elderly and weak persons are an exceptionally
14 difficult situation, due to starvation. We can see the rest of it. Is
15 this another document you reviewed on the same topic?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this into evidence.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 413 shall be
20 assigned Exhibit P2579. Thank you.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And 65 ter 414, dated 7 July.
22 Q. Again, looking at the humanitarian section on the bottom of the
23 first page, top of the second page in English. Same thing in B/C/S. Is
24 this another document you related -- you reviewed for the same subject?
25 A. Yes, sir. I would have seen this.
1 Q. All right.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer that into evidence.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 414 shall be
5 assigned Exhibit P2580. Thank you.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: And now let's go to 415. Same kind of document,
7 dated 8 July. If we could go to page 2 in the English, and it would be
8 page 2 in the B/C/S.
9 Q. And we see here that it -- there's a similar situation, but it
10 also -- Becirovic mentions that it is necessary to do everything to get
11 the international community to prevention a military and humanitarian
12 catastrophe. So he makes a specifying reference to the military needing
13 this material as well; is that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. So does this -- what does this say about Becirovic's knowledge
16 about the military getting access to humanitarian aid that's coming in?
17 A. Again, it was known by everyone, including the Chief of Staff,
18 that the 28th Division was taking a slice of the humanitarian aid to feed
19 its own soldiers. The problem, of course, that he has here is that with
20 no humanitarian aid there is no slice for him to take, and he's noting
21 the fact that, you know, they are down to their last few days, and not
22 even the army at this point is going to have adequate food supplies for
23 the troops on the front lines.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer that into evidence.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 415 shall be
2 assigned Exhibit P2581. Thank you, Your Honours.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the last document on this topic, 65 ter 416.
4 And if we could -- we see it's a 9 July report of Ramiz Becirovic. And
5 go to the second page in English, and we stay at the first page in the
6 B/C/S, initially. So if we could go to the -- for this 9 July document
7 go to the second page. Thank you.
8 Q. And again we see him saying -- now he's saying the humanitarian
9 situation is catastrophic. The population and soldiers have no food
10 reserves. So is this similar to the previous one he's now making -- he's
11 again making specific reference to soldiers?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this into evidence as well.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 416 shall be
17 assigned Exhibit P2582. Thank you, Your Honours.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now I'd like to go to -- if we could get D41 on
19 briefly. It's the 9 July document under General Tolimir's name, noting
20 that President Karadzic had agreed with the proposal to go forward and
21 take Srebrenica.
22 Q. And General Tolimir asked you about this beginning page 17297.
23 And he asked you at 17928:
24 "Can you answer this question: General Tolimir, as a signatory
25 of this document, did he not openly write about war crimes and propose
1 public measures aimed at preventing those from happening at the same time
2 as these measures are carried out?"
3 And then he goes on the next question continuing to talk about
5 "Are security organs here referring to what the lawful conduct of
6 these units should be? Aren't they publicly pointing their finger at
7 these issues or are they conceal and expressing these facts in the
8 documents sent out to the various units?"
9 And you answer his questions, but you do not refer to his comment
10 and regarding this particular document and regarding whether or not you
11 felt this is a public document. Is his reference to that this is
12 happening publicly and that this is publicly pointing this out?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we have D41 on the screen. Is this --
14 D41, is this a public document?
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
16 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I believe that we have
17 a wrong document on the screen. There seems to have been an error in the
18 transcript. Now we have it. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. So when the General says, "Aren't the security branch," I guess
23 he's referring to himself here, "Aren't they publicly pointing out their
24 finger at these issues?" So is this document that we see here public?
25 A. I believe that when I responded to General Tolimir on this I
1 noted the fact that this is not a public document that's openly
2 disclosed. This is a confidential military document. It notes "strictly
3 confidential" on it. So while within the context of the military those
4 individuals who are cleared to see the document would see the document,
5 it's not a public document in the sense that it's going to make its way
6 into, you know, the media, or things of that nature. I mean, this is a
7 classified military document.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I have one more section to
10 go. So I am getting more confident at this point that we will be able to
11 finish today.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We must have our second
13 break now, and we will resume quater past 6.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 --- On resuming at 6.19 p.m.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Butler, I think you will recall that you and General Tolimir
21 discussed at length your view of his authority to prevent war crimes, to
22 investigate the security branch's responsibility to investigate war
23 crimes, and at page 17387 he asked you this:
24 "My question is this: Did the Main Staff carry out an
25 investigation on the crimes comitted in Srebrenica? Did an investigation
1 take place after that?"
2 And you said:
3 "No, sir. No meaningful investigation was taken by the
4 Main Staff, to my knowledge."
5 And then there is a brief reference to Beara. Do you recall in
6 your narrative did you deal with this subject and identify some documents
7 related to this area of whether or not an investigation was carried out?
8 A. Yes, sir, I did.
9 Q. All right. Let's briefly go over some of the these documents.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: 65 ter 519.
11 Q. And this first note we'll see is from the Republika Srpska
12 military prosecutor's office, dated 26 March 1996, and it says in
14 "Notice from the VRS Military Prosecutor's Office to the
15 Main Staff of the establishment of a commission for the exhumation of
17 And it's in the name of military prosecutor Major Predrag Drinic.
18 And there's some stamps on it. And it says on the next page in the
19 English, and I think we should go to the next page on the B/C/S, as well.
20 A handwritten note:
21 "Order of the president of the republic, confidential," and the
22 number 23 March.
23 And then the next page of the document, if we could go to that.
24 Both languages. And now we see the basically the same date, and it's the
25 Military Prosecutor's Office still, Zvornik, 26 March, 1996. And we can
1 see that it's to the VRS Main Staff, the department of intelligence and
2 security affairs. And then if we briefly scan it we can see that the
3 prosecutor had been informed that a mixed military and civilian
4 commission for the exhumation of bodies in the area of the village of
5 Pilica had been established with the co-operation of a forensic medicine
6 and pathology expert. And it talks about the commission and a meeting
7 and that Duty Operative Milorad Trbic attended the meeting on behalf of
8 the Zvornik Brigade.
9 Can you remind us who Milorad Trbic is or was at the time?
10 A. Yes, sir. He was the assistant to Drago Nikolic. So he was the
11 deputy of Drago Nikolic, the chief of security for the Drina Corps. He
12 was his number two person.
13 Q. And this military prosecutor, Major Predrag Drinic, do you
14 remember what he was the military prosecutor for, what area or ...
15 A. It was the eastern Bosnia area. If I recall correctly, he was --
16 in July 1995 there was the -- the military prosecutor was in Zvornik at
17 the time.
18 Q. And he -- Drinic, as we see here, goes to this meeting, and
19 reports, and he says, and I quote:
20 "None of the people present knew any details of the locality and
21 of the actions that needed to be undertaken. Nor was anyone informed
22 about what would be found on the site, or else no one wanted to know."
23 And then it says:
24 "In view of this state of affairs, I propose ..."
25 And then he proposes a three-part -- a three-member part of
1 commission of intelligence and security organ who would obtain accurate
2 information about the above mentioned order of the president. And we see
3 that after obtaining information, if the matter is in the competence of
4 the military judicial organs, the competent military prosecutor and
5 investigating judge must be informed immediately.
6 And then we see it's signed and stamped.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to the next page where we have another
8 version of this same document. Which is -- says the same thing, but we
9 see handwritten up in the right-hand corner: "For Beara."
10 Q. Do you know where these two documents came from, why one has this
11 "for Beara" on it and the other doesn't? Do you recall that?
12 A. If I recall correctly, this set of documents was found during a
13 search of the archives of the RS MOD in Banja Luka. All these documents
14 were found in one particular file, one of them said handwritten "to
15 Beara," the other ones did not. I don't recall what the difference was.
16 I think when the files were consolidated, one copy that went to the Main
17 Staff had writing on it, and a copy from Mr. Drinic obviously didn't go
18 to the Main Staff and it didn't have the writing on it.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next page in both
21 Q. Now, apparently on the back of the document we have written with
22 the initials:
23 "After the fax was sent, no answer was received from the
24 Main Staff."
25 And then we see those same initials that if we go back to the
1 previous page for the signature of Drinic, on the original.
2 In any event, what do you make of this?
3 A. This supports my phrase that there was no meaningful
4 investigation undertaken. Both in the case of Milorad Trbic and
5 Colonel Beara, both of them were well aware of what had happened at
6 Pilica and when it had occurred, and I think the paragraph or phrase
7 which lays it out the best was they are looking for guidance on not
8 only -- you know, they didn't know what was supposed to be, quote, "found
9 there," and nobody wanted to know what was going to be found there.
10 Everyone knew what was there. So, again, they were reacting to the RS
11 president's orders to investigate, but it wasn't a meaningful
12 investigation. And the investigation, when one looks at the
13 investigative file, it stops at the end of this document. There are no
14 additional reports from the military prosecutor or the investigative
15 judge. There are no witness statements. It dies at this point.
16 Q. All right. Let's go to the next page in the series of documents.
17 Okay. We've seen that. Let's go on to the next one.
18 Now, I believe there had been a reference in the previous
19 document. And we now see an order from the -- from Karadzic. And this
20 is dated March 23rd. And we see a reference to an order of
21 President Karadzic in the previous Drinic document, which was number
22 01-445/96 of 23 March, 1996. So this apparently is a copy of that order
23 referred to by Drinic, would you agree with that?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. So what is this order by Karadzic?
1 A. The order, again, is reacting to the alleged discovery of
2 decomposing bodies at the scene of earlier battles with the Muslim side
3 in the Pilica area, and they have also -- or, basically, what the
4 president is ordering, both the military organs as well as the MUP, to
5 conduct an investigation and report back to the president of the
6 republic. The previous documents were the military's version of that
8 Q. And we note that earlier battles with the Muslim side in the
9 Pilica area, have you discussed this in detail previously in your direct
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Can you just remind us what you said about Pilica and where it
13 was in relation to the battle-front and any battles?
14 A. Pilica was in the zone of the 1st Infantry Battalion, well to the
15 north of the places where the column went through and where the battle
16 took place. So in July of 1995, there was no combat occurring at Pilica.
17 Consequently, there are no battle casualties from Pilica.
18 Q. There is also a reference we see here that -- to
19 Madeleine Albright, and you have also mentioned Madeleine Albright, I
20 believe, and her publication of photos in the Pilica area and before the
21 UN in New York. Can you -- again, does this have anything to do with
22 that previous testimony, this reference, in your view?
23 A. Yes, sir. They are aware that, like everybody else, that in
24 August of 1995, at the United Nations the United States representative to
25 the UN Security Council, Ms. Albright, laid out a series of overhead
1 imagery products which reflected, particularly in the Pilica area, and
2 Branjevo, the fact that hundreds of individuals had been killed and were
3 being subsequently buried there.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document into evidence, this
6 series of documents into evidence.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 65 ter 519 will be received as an exhibit.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 519 shall be
9 assigned Exhibit P2583. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we now go to 65 ter 21.
11 Q. Is this another one of the documents you recall analysing and
12 discussing in the past? Take a look at it.
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. We see that it's -- it's from the President Radovan Karadzic.
15 It's to the Main Staff and several other addressees. And it's saying:
16 "Pursuant to Article 80 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska, I hereby
17 order," and it talks about ordering a detailed investigation into the
18 locations where the victims of armed conflict in and around Srebrenica
19 are to be found.
20 And as we can see, it talks about finding them, trying to
21 identify the cause of death and the circumstances relevant to their
22 demise. Paragraph 2 says it should be properly investigated, especially
23 the intentional murder of civilians. It mentions the Geneva Conventions
24 and identifying the perpetrators so that proceedings can be brought, and
25 it should be implemented by, and then they list the Main Staff of the
1 VRS, the minister of defence/interior and various other folks, including
2 the military prosecutor.
3 Do you remember whether or not they -- there was a document
4 reflecting the results of that investigation order?
5 A. Yes, sir. I believe that Dragomir Vasic, the head of CSB Zvornik
6 did, in fact, put together a response to this document with respect to
7 the results of his investigation.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I would offer this document 65 ter 21
9 into evidence.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter document 21 shall be assigned
12 Exhibit P2584. Thank you.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could now go to 65 ter 23. And I think
14 it -- we need to start with -- now, let's see, it may be page 2 that we
15 need to start with. No, that looks right in the B/C/S. Now the -- yeah,
16 we need to go to page 2 in the English. There we go.
17 Q. So we see that this is from the Republika Srpska Ministry of
18 Interior, office of the minister in Pale, 23 September 1996. Ministry of
19 Justice and Administration, Mr. Goran Neskovic, and:
20 "Enclosed a report of the Ministry of the Interior with
21 information concerning the period when Srebrenica was liberated."
22 Minister Dragan Kijac. So let's go to the next page, and maybe the
23 previous page in English. It should be page 2 in the B/C/S.
24 Just in scanning this, Mr. Butler, does this look like the report
25 you were referring to? And take your time. This is the last document.
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. You mention Dragomir Vasic. Do you see him on this anywhere
3 or ...?
4 A. No, sir, I don't see his name on this particular page.
5 Q. And so if we see this report of the Ministry of the Interior, how
6 is this document, in your view, related to the -- Karadzic's request for
8 A. Well, the first paragraph, essentially, lays out the situation;
9 whereas, their view was that most of casualties that are being viewed
10 here are, in fact, Muslims killing themselves for various reasons.
11 Q. Are you referring to the -- when it says:
12 [As read] "... Buljim-Konjevic Polje-Cerska-Kamenica-Baljkovica
13 stretch, there were several individual and mass killings among the
15 A. Yes, sir, the next sentence.
16 Q. And, "Those killings were organised by senior officers ..."
17 Is that -- senior officers of which army, as far as you can tell
18 from the way this is written?
19 A. That would be the ABiH army. And then, of course, the fourth
20 paragraph down they are already working to potentially discredit
21 testimony of at least one of them, Mevludin Oric, who was a survivor
22 from, I believe, the Orahovac execution, if I recall correctly. So they
23 can work on discrediting that as well as, you know, providing information
24 on what they think the Tribunal is looking for.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the name of the person.
1 THE WITNESS: Mevludin Oric.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Yes, aside from this President Karadzic order for investigation,
6 and this to the minister of justice, among others, and this brief report
7 on the Srebrenica conclusions that the Muslims did this to themselves,
8 among others things, were you aware of any other indications of any
9 investigation or review by the VRS or RS during the time-frame of the
11 A. During the time-frame of the war and the period shortly
12 thereafter, this is it. I don't believe that the RS ever investigated
13 the issue with respect to Srebrenica until perhaps 2002 or 2003 when the
14 RS commission responsible for investigating Srebrenica published their
15 initial report, which was then subsequently withdrawn and rewritten.
16 Q. All right.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would then offer this document into evidence.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we please see the last page with the
19 signature block.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: We don't --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If there is any.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's it, Mr. President. No signature block on
23 what we have.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 23 shall be
1 assigned Exhibit P2585. Thank you.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I have no further questions, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that. It's even quarter
4 before 7.00.
5 Mr. Butler, the Chamber would like to thank you for your
6 attendance here and that you have provided us with your expertise as a
7 result of your review of your documents. It was a long time since the
8 beginning of July, with a break in between. Thank you very much for your
9 patience, and it was very helpful for both parties and the Chamber that
10 you were able to come here and to testify.
11 Now you are free to return to your normal activities and to your
12 home. And again, thank you very much, and a safe trip home.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, and I appreciate the time and
14 patience that the Trial Chamber has had with me.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Everybody was patient, indeed.
16 We have to adjourn for today.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, we have some minutes left, the Registrar has
19 to put something on the record in relation to one document -- or two
21 Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. On 25th of August, 2011,
23 the Registry was instructed to attach the transcript under 65 ter 1D217
24 to an Exhibit P2125. Considering that this 65 ter document was already
25 part of an exhibit, D72, the transcript has been uploaded by the
1 Prosecution and subsequently has been attached to Exhibit P2125. Thank
2 you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that. And that was related to
4 transcript of a video-clip we have seen in the courtroom.
5 We have to adjourn for the day. It's not sensible to start with
6 the next witness. We will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this
7 courtroom. We adjourn.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.47 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st day
11 of September, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.