1 Tuesday, 31 January 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom. The
6 witness should be brought in, please.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, Mr. Skrbic. Welcome back to the
9 courtroom. I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth
10 you made at the beginning of your testimony still applies. Mr. Tolimir
11 is continuing his examination.
12 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
13 WITNESS: PETAR SKRBIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. May the
17 Lord bring peace to this courtroom, and may the outcome of this trial be
18 decided by providence and not in accordance with my wishes.
19 Examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
20 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, we were dealing with document
21 65 ter 0014.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 65 ter 0014.
23 Thank you. Thank you.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Skrbic, please tell us what sort of document this is. Thank
2 A. This is a document from the Secretariat of the Defence Ministry
3 in Zvornik, and it concerns an order that relates to the mobilisation of
4 buses. It's an order for other departments and secretariats. It has
5 been signed by -- Your Honours, I do apologise. I have to rephrase my
6 answer. You can't see the memorandum above the number 0221. It should
7 say "The Memorandum of the Ministry of Defence of the Republika Srpska,"
8 because given the signature, I've recognised the person who signed the
9 document. It was compiled in the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska
10 and forwarded to the Secretariat of the Defence Ministry in Zvornik. The
11 contents of the document are quite obvious. In the document itself it
12 concerns the mobilisation of buses.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. I'll read out what it says here:
14 "Pursuant to a request by the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska
15 Army ... immediately mobilise buses."
16 "All available buses," I forgot to mention that.
17 My question is as follows: Does this document correctly
18 characterise the request of the Main Staff as a request? Thank you.
19 A. Yes, this concept is correct.
20 Q. What is the nature of this document and what's the difference
21 between the concept of a request, the concept of a proposal, and the
22 concept of an order? Thank you.
23 A. A request from the Main Staff, the request from the Main Staff
24 that we discussed yesterday was a matter of announcing the needs of the
25 VRS for buses, but this document from the ministry of Republika Srpska,
1 forwarded to the Zvornik Secretariat is of an imperative kind. It, in
2 fact, represents an order according to which it is necessary to mobilise
3 buses, that is stated categorically.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Did those who receive the document have
5 the obligation to act according to what the document stated? Thank you.
6 A. Yes, they were obliged to take action in accordance with the
8 Q. Was that a result of the request or, as you said, these documents
9 here -- or, rather, these orders from the Ministry of Defence? What was
10 the basis for this obligation? Thank you.
11 A. The Ministry of Defence of the Secretariat in Zvornik explained
12 its orders from the Main Staff and issued the order to mobilise buses.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. In the last sentence it says:
14 "Keep this ministry informed immediately about the actions
15 taken ..."
16 I'll repeat what I said:
17 "Keep the ministry informed about actions taken ..." and do so
19 So my question is as follows: Can you tell us why this is stated
20 in the document, and whom do they have to inform, the Main Staff or the
21 ministry? Thank you.
22 A. Your Honours, allow me to read out the sentence correctly:
23 "Keep this ministry regularly informed about the actions taken in
24 connection with the aforementioned request."
25 The sentence quite clearly shows that the Zvornik Secretariat has
1 the obligation to inform the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, not
2 the Main Staff of Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this 65 ter 0014 document
5 please be admitted into evidence? Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 0014 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit D342. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now see the
10 following document 1D1029 in the e-court system. Thank you. Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We can see this document now, and we can see that it says
13 "Memorandum, Republika Srpska," 12th of July is the date. That's the
14 memorandum you were mentioning, 12th of July, 1995. It's a document from
15 the Ministry of Defence of the Republika Srpska and addressed to the
16 Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt you for a moment. The English
18 version, the English part we have on the screen doesn't correspond with
19 the B/C/S one. We need the correct translation. I don't know which
20 problem we have. Perhaps there is no translation.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Possibly the wrong page or document was uploaded
23 into e-court because this one we just saw was from 1994 and didn't relate
24 to the B/C/S one.
25 Mr. Gajic, do you have any explanation for that? Is there an
1 English translation or not?
2 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a document from
3 the Prosecution list, so they uploaded the document into the e-court
4 system. In the course of Mr. Tolimir's first or second question, it
5 doesn't require a complete translation. I will try and check to see
6 whether it's possible to locate a full translation.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you should proceed without a
8 translation. I hope you will be able, with the assistance of Mr. Gajic,
9 to show us the right page of the translation. Please carry on.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Skrbic, please tell us, if possible, whose signature can be
13 found on this document and do you recognise it? Thank you.
14 A. In the lower right-hand quarter, it says "Assistant minister,
15 Momcilo Kovacevic." It was probably typed out on a computer. This can
16 be quite clearly seen. But D. Kapetina, Dragan Kapetina, I think, signed
17 on his behalf, because it says "for" under assistant minister, and then
18 he signed it. So he had the authority to sign this document in this way.
19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Skrbic, in the lower left-hand corner, can you
20 see the stamp, the telegram stamp with information about how it was sent,
21 and is there anything that you conclude on the basis of that stamp that
22 might be of interest to the Trial Chamber?
23 A. Unfortunately, I can't interpret this stamp because there are
24 some figures that it contains that are confusing me.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: We do have an English translation of this
3 document which I would like to be put up. It does have information in it
4 that goes to another issue that the witness was asked about. Or --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that uploaded in e-court? And if so, can you
6 give us the respective number?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Stewart can put it on Sanction apparently
8 right now. And the issue is also in one paragraph, you could just read
9 it, which says what time the bus -- or what date the buses are expected
10 to be at the Bratunac stadium, which was an issue yesterday. But we can
11 get that on Sanction, too.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have an English translation of this
13 document. I hope it's the same document. It's a document of the
14 12th of July, 1995, Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik.
15 Subject: "Request for Mobilisation of Buses." And for the benefit of all
16 participants I read out the first paragraph:
17 "Pursuant to the request of confidential number," and then
18 follows the number 09/31/12-3/154, "of the VRS Main Staff, dated
19 12th of July, 1995, for the mobilisation of buses, immediately," in
20 capital letters, "mobilise at least 30 buses with drivers from Zvornik,
21 Visegrad, Vlasenica, Milici, and Bratunac Municipalities.
22 "The buses with drivers must report in Bratunac (sports stadium)
23 by 1430 on the 12th of July, 1995, at the latest.
24 "Immediately report to this ministry on activities carried out
25 pursuant to this request.
1 "For Assistant Minister Momcilo Kovacevic."
2 And then there is on the second page a translation of the stamp
3 we saw earlier on the -- in the B/C/S version.
4 Mr. Tolimir, you should continue and try to adhere with the
5 documents we have had one after the other on the screen. Please carry
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
8 you, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. My question was: Can one see from this stamp -- can one see
11 anything and can you draw any conclusions from the last line that we see
12 here, the last line of the translation? Thank you.
13 A. It is clear to me that the encryption people have filled out this
14 stamp, but it is really very difficult for me to try to discern
15 particularly those printed portions of the stamp. So it's not legible.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted into evidence,
18 65 ter 1D1029. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Since there is no English translation attached to
20 this original document, it will be marked for identification pending -- I
21 would say not pending translation, but pending attachment of the correct
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1029 shall be
24 assigned Exhibit D343, marked for identification pending provision of
25 correct translation. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Can we
3 now have in e-court 65 ter document 2102. Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. What we see here is another letter from the ministry of
6 Republika Srpska. You can see that in the letterhead. It's dated
7 12th July, 1995, and it was signed by the secretary. Can you perchance
8 recognise this signature?
9 A. This is the signature of Stevan Ivanovic who was the secretary.
10 Can I have the whole document back, please, so that I can see the
11 letterhead in the top left corner.
12 Your Honours, this is not the letterhead of the Ministry of
13 Defence of Republika Srpska but, rather, the secretariat, most probably
14 the one in Zvornik. And this letter is sent to the sections. And you
15 can see that it says under the Ministry of Defence departments in
16 Zvornik, Milici, Vlasenica, Sekovici, and Bratunac. That is why this
17 letter was signed by the secretary.
18 Although the name of the secretariat that is in the letterhead is
19 not legible. The secretariat is a lower-ranking organisational unit
20 within the ministry. It pertains to specific regions and comprises a
21 number of municipalities where you have departments of the ministry.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, if you look at the upper right-hand corner,
23 there is another stamp there put by the Zvornik department confirming the
24 receipt. Does that signify that the Zvornik department really received
25 it because it was indicated as a recipient and does that indicate that it
1 was forwarded to the other departments mentioned below? Thank you.
2 A. Yes, Mr. Tolimir. This is exactly how it is, as you put it.
3 Q. Thank you. Under the word "order" it says:
4 "1. Mobilise immediately all buses except articulated ones.
5 "2. Bus drivers with the buses are to report immediately to the
6 sports centre in Bratunac.
7 "3. If necessary, cancel all regular bus services until further
9 "4. Report by telephone every 30 minutes to the Ministry of
10 Defence Secretariat in Zvornik about the actions taken pursuant to this
12 "I shall hold department heads and managers of companies from
13 which the buses are to be requisitioned solely responsible for the
14 implementation of this order."
15 And then we have the signature.
16 Now, my question is, can you tell us what kind of document is
17 this? Thank you.
18 A. Judging by the word "order" used here, one can clearly conclude
19 that this is an order issued by the secretariat to its departments.
20 That's what we explained a minute ago. This order stipulates the way of
21 reporting and who the recipient of the reports should be.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can, please, this document be
24 admitted into evidence? Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2102 shall be
2 assigned Exhibit D344. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now in e-court
4 have document 1D1035. Thank you. We can see the translation as well.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Please, can you tell us whose signature can you see on this
7 document and whether the dispatch and the receipt of this document has
8 been confirmed by the encryption service? Thank you.
9 A. I would like to draw everyone's attention that something very
10 important has been added in this letter which is "very urgent" that we
11 see in the top right corner. You asked me about the signature. This was
12 not signed by Momcilo Kovacevic but, rather, by an employee of the
13 Ministry of Defence whose name is Banduka because before the words
14 "assistant minister" you can see the word "for."
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can, please, this document be
17 admitted into evidence.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First, I would like to have the chance to see the
19 content of this document. Can we have the English translation, please,
20 on the screen. The text itself.
21 Sir, Mr. Skrbic, can you tell us who is writing to whom in this
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the letterhead you
24 see that it says the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska. That's the
25 originating institution, and it is addressed to the Secretariat of the
1 Defence -- of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you see any difference between this document
3 and the document we have seen earlier from the Ministry of Defence to the
4 secretariat of the ministry in Zvornik with the subject: "Request to
5 Mobilise Buses." I remember that we have seen a similar one.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is no difference
7 in the contents. And the only difference that I see and that I pointed
8 out is that it says "very urgent," and you can see that it's been
9 translated into English.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you see from the stamp when it was sent to
11 the recipient?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is another difference there.
13 The previous stamp I wasn't able to read because there it said the
14 12th of June; whereas, here, in the bottom left corner you can see the
15 date the 12th of July. And this stamp put by the teleprinter operator is
16 completely consistent with the dates in the letter itself.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the time indication you can see there, what
18 does it tell you?
19 Can it be enlarged, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first line -- I am really
21 trying to read this as much as I can although it's blurred. But
22 logically, I would say that it was received on the 12th of July at
23 1840 hours, and then you have a signature. The next line is illegible.
24 Then beneath it says: "Processed on the 12th of July," and the signature
25 is identical. And finally it says: "Forwarded on the 12th of July at
1 1905," and again the same signature.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The document will be
3 received into evidence.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1035 - I repeat,
5 1D1035 - shall be assigned Exhibit D345. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we please have D342 again on the screen. Is
7 there a second page of this document? No, I take it there is none.
8 Thank you very much.
9 Mr. Skrbic, if you compare this document with the last one we
10 have seen on the screen, what is the difference between two?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, there is no
12 letterhead of the Ministry of Defence. There is no designation "very
13 urgent," the signature is different, and there is no stamp put by the
14 encryption officer.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Tolimir, carry on, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have in e-court document
20 1D1036. Thank you. Thank you.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Skrbic, what we see here is a document produced by the
23 Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, dated 13th of July, 1995,
24 addressed to the Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Bijeljina.
25 And it's another request for mobilisation of buses. Can you tell me who
1 signed this letter? Can you recognise the signature?
2 A. This was signed by the official whose name appears typed up; in
3 other words, the Assistant Minister Momcilo Kovacevic. So he signed the
4 document itself and that's what the signature reads. In Cyrillic it says
5 "M. Kovacevic."
6 Q. Thank you. Now, my question is this: Does this signature,
7 M. Kovacevic, appear on other documents? Did it appear on the documents
8 that we showed a few minutes ago? Thank you.
9 A. The name Momcilo Kovacevic as assistant minister appeared in the
10 body of the document but the signature was different. It was -- in those
11 other documents, the documents were signed by other individuals who were
12 authorised to sign on behalf of Momcilo Kovacevic, and I know this
13 because some of those signatures I recognise because I knew the people
15 Q. Thank you. Now, can you see here at bottom left an encryption
16 stamp, and is this stamp a bit more legible than it was on the other
17 documents that I showed you a bit earlier? Thank you.
18 A. Yes, I can see it, and it is more legible now.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
21 document. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1036 shall be
24 assigned Exhibit D346. Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I -- I am going back to D343. This
1 was some minutes ago received and marked for identification. I was told
2 by the Court Officer that this is now -- the translation is now attached
3 to the original document, so this is now in evidence without marking it
4 for identification.
5 Mr. Tolimir, please go ahead.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could we
7 now pull up in e-court 65 ter document P16?
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure that the number is
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you please repeat the number.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could we
12 see 65 ter 16, 1-6. Thank you. This is the document that we wanted.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please take a look at the document. It says that the subject is:
15 "Request for Mobilisation of Buses for Transportation of Personnel." Who
16 was it signed by, do you recognise the signature? Thank you.
17 A. This is signed by Assistant Minister of Defence
18 Momcilo Kovacevic, and this is indeed his signature.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell from this signature where this document
20 came from, which organ?
21 A. Well, judging by the signature and by the function, I can
22 conclude that this is a document from the Ministry of Defence of
23 Republika Srpska.
24 Q. Thank you. Is the letterhead missing? Should it appear above
25 the date and the number? Thank you.
1 A. Yes, the letterhead is missing. The Ministry of Defence
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
5 document, 65 ter 16. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This relates also to the subject: "Request for
7 Mobilisation of Buses for Transportation of Personnel." It will be
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the 65 ter document 16 shall be
10 assigned Exhibit D347. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now see in
12 e-court 1D13038. Thank you. I will repeat: 1D1038. I'm sorry, I
13 omitted the 0. Thank you to Aleksandar.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. We see that this is a document from the Ministry of Defence, the
16 Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik, and it is addressed to
17 the Pale Ministry of Defence, and the subject is: "Report on Mobilisation
18 of Vehicles." My question: Can you tell us what this document is about
19 and why it is that the Zvornik Ministry of Defence is sending this
20 communication, this document, to the Ministry of Defence, Pale? Thank
22 A. The Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik had the
23 obligation - and we saw this in the order that you showed me earlier - to
24 report the Ministry of Defence on what they had done in order to mobilise
25 these vehicles, and this is, indeed, that report, from which we can see
1 exactly the number of buses that have been mobilised. If you would like
2 me to read it, I can do so. But this is a report sent to the
3 Ministry of Defence.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, we do have an English on Sanction, and I
6 see some important information on it.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this assistance to the
8 Defence. It says, inter alia:
9 "We wish to inform you that we have mobilised and sent the
10 following by 2200 hours on the 12th of July, 1995:
11 "6 articulated buses;
12 "34 50-seater buses;
13 "2 minibuses;
14 "21 lorries and articulated lorries."
15 And then it continues:
16 "Further mobilisation is not possible as all possibilities have
17 been exhausted and passenger transport has been paralysed."
18 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Skrbic, can you tell us: Was this telegram acted upon by the
22 addressee and did they report to their ministry what their capabilities
23 were and what they did in order to implement the order? Thank you.
24 A. Yes, that's what they said, that all the possibilities were
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
2 document. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it possible to attach the translation to the
4 original document in the same procedure as with did it with the last
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1038 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit D348. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. And thank
11 you to the secretary -- to the Registrar. Could we now see P2121,
13 THE INTERPRETER: 2521, interpreter correction.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. This is a document from the Drina Corps command, dated the
17 12th of July, 1995, sent as a very urgent document to the Main Staff, the
18 command post and rear command post for information. I will read the
19 relevant part:
20 "Pursuant to the Main Staff of the VRS commander's order to
21 provide 50 buses for evacuation from the Srebrenica enclave, we hereby
22 ask you for additional approval of the following types and quantities of
24 "Diesel fuel: 10.000 litres.
25 "Petrol: 2.000 litres.
1 "On 12 July 1995 and onward, buses will be used from the
2 municipalities of Pale, Sokolac, Visegrad, Rogatica, Han Pijesak, Milici,
3 Sekovici, Bratunac, and Zvornik. The final destination is unknown at the
4 moment. A representative of the Drina Corps shall take delivery of the
5 quantities approved immediately upon your approval."
6 And it is signed by the commander Major General
7 Milenko Zivanovic. As we can see the stamp is quite legible here, so can
8 you tell us what these abbreviations mean that I read. Unfortunately, I
9 did not quote them. It says "PK" and "PKM." It says "KM" and "PKM."
10 Sent to the Main Staff, and then "KM" and "PKM." Thank you. And what is
11 this "for information" a reference to?
12 A. KM stands for "command post." And it's the command post of the
13 Main Staff of the VRS. The PKM abbreviation stands for "rear command
14 post." You also asked about the reference to "for information."
15 Q. That's right. Thank you.
16 A. For this quantity of fuel, the only authorised person to approve
17 them is the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS, and now since this is
18 something that falls within the purview of logistics, they are informed
19 of this information. This is for their information so that they can
20 expect that this amount of fuel will be requisitioned.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me whether the Ministry of
22 Defence has anything to do with this, and the minister, and whether he
23 issued any orders to that effect? Thank you.
24 A. I don't know if I understood you correctly. Did you ask about
25 whether my sector had anything to do with this? Well, the sector where I
1 worked had nothing to do with this.
2 Q. Thank you. Thank you. The instance that sent this telegram,
3 this organ, did they -- did they actually take over the subject matter
4 from some decision made by someone else, and if so, whose decision?
5 A. The command of the Drina Corps, or, rather, its commander,
6 Major Milenko Zivanovic, makes a reference here to the order of the
7 Main Staff of the VRS on the provision of 50 vehicles that will need
9 Q. Thank you. So my question then is this: Does this mean that the
10 corps commander received the document approving the use of the quantities
11 of fuel mentioned here? Thank you.
12 A. Mr. Tolimir, as I sit here I can't really -- and based on this, I
13 cannot conclude whether he received a document or an oral order, but in
14 any case it would have had to come from the commander of the Main Staff
15 of the VRS, which is clear from this document.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, please tell us, based on all these documents
17 that I showed you, did the VRS inform the Ministry of Defence of
18 Republika Srpska of the purpose of these vehicles, what they were went to
19 be used for? The vehicles that were mobilised. Thank you.
20 A. No, they only received -- they were only informed that they
21 should mobilise the buses and where they should mobilise them from and
22 where they should send them to.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, the telegram that we saw earlier, the outgoing
24 telegram, your telegram, did you mention in that telegram -- did you make
25 any reference to any additional requests in terms of the time-frame or
1 the needs of the buses?
2 A. I didn't add remarks of any kind to that document. If the term
3 "evacuation" was used, well, it's a general term and you wouldn't know
4 what needs to be evacuated. Buses are, in general, used to evacuate
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, if the general is --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour. If the general is, as I
9 believe, and I think the witness believes, is asking General Skrbic about
10 his particular document, could we see that up on the screen? Because
11 he's referring to specific things in it, and I think it would be helpful.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, I would appreciate that. Can you provide
13 the Registry with a document number?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you,
15 Mr. McCloskey. Let's now see P2520. Thank you. And then Mr. McCloskey
16 will be able to see what he is interested in. Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And in relation to this document, Mr. Skrbic, you
18 were asked by Mr. Tolimir:
19 "Did you make any reference to any additional requests in terms
20 of the time-frame or the needs of the buses?"
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey, for
22 giving me the opportunity to have a look at the document. I don't have
23 to rely on my memory. I didn't send any additional requests to the
24 Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska. And here we have seen what the
25 document says, quite clearly, so it's not necessary to repeat these
1 things now.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The -- but the question was --
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- if you have added to the request for the buses
6 anything which could indicate the purpose of this request.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I apologise to Mr. Skrbic. Perhaps I wasn't precise. This
12 matter might be clarified. Is this the only request that you submitted
13 to the Ministry of Defence in relation to this issue? Thank you.
14 A. Mr. Tolimir, I can't remember exactly how many such requests
15 there were, but I quite clearly remember that we submitted a similar
16 request for the mobilisation of buses in the Banja Luka area towards the
17 end of 1995.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Could you please tell us which organisational units of the
22 VRS Main Staff are located in Han Pijesak? Thank you.
23 A. I think the question concerns the wartime period, from 1992 to
24 1995. During that period of time in Han Pijesak at the rear command
25 post, there was the logistics sector, the sector for mobilisation and
1 personnel affairs, and the editorial board of the Republika Srpska paper.
2 Towards the end of --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the year correctly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the sector for morale guidance
5 and legal affairs was also transferred there.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Wait a moment, please, Mr. Tolimir.
9 Can you repeat the year? The interpreters didn't catch it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From 1992 to 1995 --
11 THE INTERPRETER: From 1992 to 1996, said the witness.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Skrbic, please tell us, at the time of the event in
17 Srebrenica, were you involved in any extraordinary activities at the rear
18 command post? Thank you.
19 A. From the 18th of July, 1995, we had only organised defence for
20 the rear command post, direct and indirect defence.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. From whom did you receive an order
22 according to which you should only organise direct and indirect defence,
23 as you said, in order to defend, protect, the rear command post? Thank
25 A. We received an order from the commander of the VRS Main Staff.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you remember the reason for which it was
2 necessary to take the protective measures that you organised at the rear
3 command post? What was the reason for taking these measures?
4 A. It was necessary to take measures because of the information
5 according to which armed forces were breaking through the forest, via the
6 roads through Han Pijesak, and information according to which they were
7 in the immediate vicinity of the rear command post. And as a result of
8 this information, we, ourselves, had to organise our defence because the
9 65th Protection Regiment that had such a responsibility did not have
10 enough units to make it possible for it to protect that rear command
12 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us where this attack on the rear
13 command post was launched from and by which enemy forces, if you have any
14 such information? Thank you.
15 A. The forces that broke through these roads from Srebrenica and
16 Zepa in the direction of Olovo and Kladanj, these forces had to pass
17 through the forest through Romanija and Han Pijesak itself. And for a
18 stretch of the road, they had to pass through the area above Vlasenica.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, could we just double-check that we
22 have the date correct, that this happened after July 18th? Or is --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you please clarify that with the
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I asked the witness
1 which additional activities were taken at the rear command post at the
2 time of the events in Srebrenica, and he answered as he did. I don't
3 understand what additional questions I should put to him, but I'll put
4 other questions to him. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But in that case I will ask the witness: When
6 did that take place?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we received the order
8 to organise the defence on the 18th of July, 1995. That is when we
9 received that order to organise this defence ourselves.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And after that day you carried out this order?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
13 Just a moment, Judge Nyambe has a question.
14 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. I have a clarification for the
15 witness. At page 23, line 10 of today's transcript, the question from
16 General Tolimir was:
17 "Could you tell us where this attack on the rear command post was
18 launched from and by which enemy forces?"
19 Your answer doesn't seem to answer the second question which
20 refers to "by which enemy forces." Could you please answer that
21 question? Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe I was more
23 precise. An attack wasn't launched but a breakthrough of Muslim armed
24 forces from Srebrenica and Zepa was expected, and it was expected that
25 they would come down the roads from Srebrenica and Zepa, the roads that
1 went to Olovo and Kladanj and Tuzla, and the roads that pass through the
2 location where the rear command post is located, which is in Han Pijesak.
3 And there was, in fact, an armed conflict, but one wouldn't define that
4 or characterise that as an attack. They were breaking through,
5 Your Honours. They didn't have an organised attack. They hadn't
6 organised an attack of any kind. They were just breaking through, and if
7 they ran into our forces, then they would open fire and there would be a
8 conflict. Both sides would open fire.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much for your answer.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you help me to clarify it, finally. Which
11 enemy forces are you talking about?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the members of the
13 28th Muslim Division of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was in
14 Herzegovina, and I think there was the 324th or some other brigade from
15 the ABiH, from Zepa. The name is not that important.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Skrbic, where were the forces of the 65th Protection
21 Motorised Regiment that were supposed to defend the rear command post?
22 Could you tell us where they were?
23 A. Mr. Tolimir, I don't know where they were, but they weren't in
24 Crna Rijeka nor were they in Han Pijesak.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether on the 18th of July any action
1 was taken from Zepa in the direction of the Main Staff and its units, and
2 was any action taken by units from the Main Staff, for example, the
3 Protection Regiment? Was any activity undertaken in the direction of
4 Zepa, for example? Thank you.
5 A. I'm only aware of an armed conflict at the village of Mokro, on
6 the road from Han Pijesak towards Sokolac. As for what happened in
7 Crna Rijeka, I know nothing about that.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell us about what you know. Where was action taken
9 along the road we have been referring to?
10 A. The members of the Muslim forces broke through via that road.
11 About 5.00 in the morning they came across our defence forces. It was
12 dawning. When they saw them, they opened fire. And naturally, the
13 members of the Army of Republika Srpska responded. Two of their members
14 were then killed. When I say "two of their members," I'm referring to
15 members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to these Muslim forces.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether any buses were mobilised for the
17 evacuation of the inhabitants in Zepa when they were evacuating to the
18 territory under the control of the ABiH? Thank you.
19 A. Yes, I think that was the case.
20 Q. Thank you. Was this done in an identical manner, as was the case
21 for the evacuation of the population of Srebrenica? Or could you tell us
22 in what manner this evacuation was carried out? Thank you.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: That question assumes that the -- the general has
1 told us about the evacuation of people from Srebrenica and he hasn't said
2 that yet. We've got into buses to go to Bratunac, but he can't answer
3 that question without the foundation of it being brought out first.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is a formulation matter, I would agree. On
5 the other hand, this witness is capable to answer this question even in
6 this way, I suppose.
7 Do you intend to rephrase your question or would you repeat it,
8 Mr. Tolimir?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'll
10 repeat my question.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Skrbic, do you know whether buses were mobilised to evacuate
13 the civilian population from Zepa?
14 A. Yes, I know about that. But it's a matter of mobilising buses,
15 and they were mobilised in the same way as the buses for Srebrenica.
16 Nothing else is at stake, Your Honour.
17 Q. Thank you. There was an interpretation mistake because in my
18 first question I also asked the witness about the mobilisation of buses.
19 My question is as follows: Did Tolimir or anyone else play a role during
20 the mobilisation of buses, or was it only the organs responsible for
21 mobilisation that had a role to play in that? Thank you.
22 A. I hope that from the answers given thus far we all realise that
23 the mobilisation of buses was in the hands of the sector in which I
24 worked. General Tolimir had nothing to do with the mobilisation of
25 buses, and neither did his sector.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have in e-court
3 Exhibit P2656. Thank you. Thank you, but that's not the one. Can we
4 have the document that we saw a moment ago?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you give us the correct number? Are you
6 asking for P2521?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We see
10 the Prosecution document on our screens. That's the one that I
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Skrbic, let us take a look at paragraph 2 under the number
14 which begins with the name "Krsmanovic," colon, and then it says "Toso."
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the sake of the record, I would like to know
16 the document number of this document.
17 Mr. Registrar, please.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is document Exhibit P2656.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 Please carry on.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I quote what it says in this telegram.
24 "Krsmanovic in a discussion about the problem of transportation
25 made reference to 10 buses ... or trucks in relation to the means that
1 are not mobilised. 'That was the situation today.'"
2 So he's talking about to someone whose name is Toso. Now this is
3 my question --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you said that this is a telegram. I
5 have some doubt if this is a telegram. Can you please introduce this
6 document in a way that the witness is aware of the character of this
7 specific document? What is it about?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
9 a transcript produced by the Muslims -- actually, a transcript of an
10 allegedly intercepted conversation which took place at 11.00 on the
11 16th of July, 1995. If you look at the back page, you can see that.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I see a time indication of
13 2143 hours.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this note be
15 reversed so that the witness can see the exact time.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What do you mean by that?
17 Mr. Gajic.
18 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is only one page
19 of the document admitted through one of the previous witnesses. I think
20 this was a confidential document, and I think that at that time we
21 mentioned the date of the 16th of July, and this is how it's been
22 recorded in the e-court. Therefore, I don't think that the Prosecution
23 have any problem with that.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, and I was merely going to state that it
1 would help the witness to have the date, and I -- and General Tolimir did
2 that, and I agree that, um, as you recall how the dates are sorted out it
3 is -- I agree that 16 July is the -- is the date that's in the record in
4 this -- regarding this intercept.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Is this document under seal? It's
7 Okay, please now put your question to the witness.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Skrbic, based on the contents of this document -- of this
11 intercept, are you able to discern who Krsmanovic is and who Toso is and
12 whereabouts they were located?
13 A. Your Honour, I think that this is a notebook with some
14 handwritten entries, and as Mr. Tolimir said, it relates to a
15 conversation between a Krsmanovic and a Toso. I knew two men by the name
16 of Krsmanovic. One was from the Ministry of Defence and the other was
17 the chief of staff of the 2nd Romanija Brigade of the VRS.
18 Now, I knew a lot of Tolimir's and Todovic's people from the
19 Drina Corps, the Banja Luka Corps, and so on and so forth, and it is
20 possible that this nickname, Toso, could have referred to any one of
22 Now, hypothetically speaking, if Mr. Krsmanovic from the
23 Ministry of Defence talked to someone, that means that he had even more
24 possibilities to talk with a person named Toso in Republika Srpska.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who is Toso?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we are talking about the
2 Main Staff, "Toso" would mean Zdravko Tolimir. And then in the
3 Republika Srpska and in the Republic of Serbia, Your Honour, there are
4 millions of people called Toso which is a derivative from their last name
5 Todovic or Todorovic or whatever. Well, I remember just now, in the
6 security detail of Manojlo Milovanovic there was a non-commissioned
7 officer with the last name of Todic and we also used to call him "Toso."
8 But in view of the context of this intercept, I don't think he was the
9 collocutor of Mr. Krsmanovic. I don't think he has anything to do with
11 Also, the president of the supreme military court of
12 Republika Srpska was a man called Novak Todorovic, and we used to call
13 him Toso as well, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 Mr. Tolimir, we are now at 10.30. I think it is time for our
16 first break. We will resume at 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Skrbic, can you please tell us whether the participants in
25 this radio communication, this Krsmanovic and Toso, did they have to be
1 within the same network in order to carry out this conversation?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. However, if they had been in different radio network,
4 was that a situation that would impose for those listening in to register
5 the relay between them?
6 A. Yes, that would be the proper procedure.
7 Q. Now, back to this Krsmanovic person whom you knew from the
8 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the other one. Was he in the same network
9 with the Main Staff where Toso, Tolimir, was, and was the Drina Corps
10 where General Tolimir, also known as Toso, could have been?
11 A. Thank you, Mr. Tolimir, for reminding me of Aleksa Krsmanovic who
12 was assistant commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps for logistics. He
13 was the one that elapsed [as interpreted] my memory. Had he been one of
14 the collocutors, they would have been in the same network.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, those conversing within the same radio network,
16 people from the Ministry of Defence and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, did
17 they have to establish a connection with the Main Staff through relay
18 devices or could they have done it directly?
19 A. The communication that you are talking about could not have been
20 established without a relay.
21 Q. Thank you. I was referring to a radio relay mediator or
22 go-between. Radio relay is a device or a switching board, and that's
23 what Mr. Gajic reminded me of.
24 Now, back to my question, did you have that in mind when you gave
25 me your answer?
1 A. The communication lines within the army were carried out via the
2 same radio relay, without any mediating devices. Other communications
3 had to go through some go-betweens for the purpose of clearances.
4 Q. Mr. Skrbic, can you please try and speak a little bit more
5 slowly, and I'll do the same, because this is causing problems for the
7 Can you please now look at the contents of the conversation
8 between Krsmanovic and Toso. Can you tell me whether those who were
9 intercepting this conversation recorded any words uttered by Toso in the
10 course of this conversation?
11 A. It says here "Krsmanovic," and then colon. And then we have the
12 text which says:
13 "Toso, concerning the problems of transportation mentioned in a
14 discussion 10 buses ... and trucks in relation to the means ... 'and that
15 was the case today.'"
16 Apparently there is no response coming from Toso.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, please, as a soldier, was this a
18 verbatim record of the conversation or is it just a summary of the
19 intercept between these two persons?
20 A. Apparently this is a summary.
21 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. We are now going to move to a
22 different topic, but it also pertains to July 1995.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Tolimir please repeat the second part
24 of his question. It was inaudible.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters had a problem with
1 the second part of your question. Could you repeat it, please.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I said: Mr. Skrbic, we are now going to move to another topic
5 concerning July 1995. We are going to talk about retirements that
6 affected your sector as well. My question is as follows: Who was
7 authorised to sign retirement documents for the officers of the VRS?
8 A. Your Honours, there are different levels of authority when it
9 comes to retirement of VRS officers. I wouldn't like to tire you with
10 lengthy explanations going from NCO up to the rank of general. I'd like
11 just to tell you what was within the responsibility of the Main Staff of
12 the VRS. Up to the lieutenant-colonel rank, the commander of the
13 Main Staff, General Mladic, was the authorised person. All the officers
14 with the colonel rank are retired and promoted by the minister of defence
15 of Republika Srpska. As for generals, they are retired or promoted by
16 Mr. Karadzic who was, at the time, the president of Republika Srpska.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic, for this answer. Do you remember that in
18 mid-July 1995, if anyone from the VRS was pensioned off?
19 A. Mr. Tolimir, your question is very broad. I can only remember
20 the generals who were retired then. As for other officers - and there
21 were others who were retired, too - I can't really recall.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Can you remember any general who was
23 retired in mid-July 1995?
24 A. Yes, that was General Milenko Zivanovic.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you remember when he retired and who was
1 responsible for the paperwork for his retirement?
2 A. The decree that I took to the president of the republic was
3 signed by the president of the republic, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, on the
4 14th of July, 1995. The decree defined specifically the date of the
5 retirement, and I believe that was on that same day; in other words, as
6 of July 14th, 1995, he was retired.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, on the 14th of July, 1995, in formal or casual
8 conversations with Dr. Karadzic when you took this decree for his signing
9 it, did you touch upon the topic of Srebrenica in any way? Thank you.
10 A. No, we did not talk at all about anything.
11 Now, Your Honour, may I put a question?
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, no, this is not possible. You are the
13 witness and you are here to answer questions.
14 Mr. Tolimir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you attend the send-off ceremony for General Zivanovic?
18 A. Your Honour, I would like to apologise for what I've asked
19 earlier, because I would just like to point out a matter that is
20 relevant, and I don't know what the procedure is going to be here because
21 I am supposed to testify in the Karadzic case as well. That was the only
22 question that I wanted to put. I had no other questions.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You were, as you told us, at the beginning of
24 your testimony, already a witness in two other cases. This is a normal
25 procedure and you have to provide us with your full knowledge about
1 things you are asked here in the courtroom. Perhaps you are asked
2 similar questions in the Karadzic trial, that may happen, but
3 nevertheless you are obliged to answer these questions.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I would like to thank Mr. Skrbic as well.
9 Mr. Skrbic, did you attend the send-off ceremony that was
10 organised on the occasion of General Zivanovic's retirement, and if so,
11 where was that?
12 A. The send-off ceremony was on -- at a restaurant on the way from
13 Han Pijesak to Sokolac on --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the date.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- 1995, and I attended personally.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the name of the
17 restaurant and the date when this took place.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the Jela restaurant, and
19 the date is the 20th of July, 1995.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And I would like to thank Mr. Skrbic as well.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now can we move on to another
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you move on to another matter, I would
2 like to put a question to the witness in relation to this topic.
3 You said you took the papers about the retirement of
4 General Zivanovic to the president of the Republika Srpska. You -- that
5 means in your sector these documents were prepared, if I am not mistaken.
6 Who ordered you to do all this work and to bring the documents to the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I received the order
9 from the commander of the Main Staff, General Mladic, to prepare the
10 paperwork and to take them to the president of the republic for his
11 signature. Otherwise, I could not do it without the commander's orders.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you handed these documents over to the
13 president himself, correct?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I was in the
15 office of the president waiting for him to sign the document.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did you meet him personally?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Judge Mindua.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Skrbic, a question regarding
21 the promotions and the retirement. You said that for ranks that are
22 inferior to the rank of colonel, it was the minister of defence that was
23 deciding for them; but we see that when it comes to a general, it's
24 General Mladic who was taking the initiative. He would ask you to bring
25 the documents to the president of the republic for him to sign them.
1 Now, when it comes to majors and lieutenant-generals, who would
2 take the initiative to prepare the documents and to bring them to the
3 minister for his signing?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no documents or
5 paperwork was prepared at the Ministry of Defence. Everything was
6 prepared at the sector at the Main Staff where I worked, both the orders
7 and the decrees. The orders for promotions and retirement -- for
8 promotions and retirement at the level of colonel, we would forward to or
9 take personally to the minister of defence; whereas for generals, we
10 would take them to the president of the republic.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I did not really understand your
12 answer, and also the transcript is not completely clear. On page 37,
13 line 21 and 22, we see that it says about majors and lieutenant-generals,
14 but I wanted to know what happens when it came to the promotion and
15 retirement of ranks that are inferior to the ranks of colonel,
16 lieutenant-colonel, major, captain, who was drafting those documents so
17 that the minister of defence can sign them? That is my question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the paperwork was prepared at
19 the sector for mobilisation, organisation, and personnel matters.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] For generals and also for ranks
21 that are inferior to the rank of colonel; is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For ranks below the rank of
23 colonel, we did not send them to the Ministry of Defence. From the level
24 of major to lieutenant-colonel, all the documents were signed by the
25 commander of the Main Staff of the VRS.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To clarify this matter, I take it that there is a
3 distinction -- or you made a distinction between "paperwork" and
4 "signature." All paperwork was done in your sector you were the head of
5 as assistant commander, and the signature, the formal decision was
6 sometimes made at a higher [Realtime transcript read in error "later"]
7 level in the Ministry of Defence or by the president of the republic; is
8 that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly so, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
11 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. And thank
13 you, Judge Mindua.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, Mr. Skrbic, please tell us, was the procedure -- was the
16 standard procedure, as it says here, that all documents on retirements
17 and promotions of generals should be -- are to be taken personally by the
18 chief of the sector for mobilisation, organisation, and personnel to the
19 Supreme Commander? Thank you.
20 A. That is what was ordered by General Mladic. Otherwise, he would
21 have had to go and take those documents and that paperwork himself.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to put a correction of the
24 transcript on the record. Page 38, line 25, I didn't say "made at a
25 later level" but "at a higher level."
1 Now carry on, please, Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Skrbic, can you tell us, please, why is it necessary for
5 either the commander or chief of sector, the sector for organisation,
6 mobilisation, and personnel, why was it necessary for them to go to the
7 Supreme Commander in the cases where retirement or promotions of generals
8 were concerned? Why was that necessary?
9 A. Well, because -- my apologies. Because the -- it was within the
10 exclusive purview of the president of the republic, as the Supreme
11 Commander, to issue all documents that related to generals.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, at the farewell reception for General Zivanovic,
13 was there any discussion, did anyone talk about the events in Srebrenica?
14 A. As far as I can recall, there was no mention of it.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Since you were involved in mobilisation
16 issues at the Main Staff, can you tell us what exactly the term "general
17 mobilisation" implies? What does that mean?
18 A. The term "general mobilisation" implies that this is a process
19 that has to be announced via the public media. It is no longer
20 confidential. And this information is to be used by all elements, all
21 subjects within the Republika Srpska, including the military, so that
22 they can focus on mobilisation both of personnel and materiel. And all
23 subjects within the republic are duty-bound via the Ministry of Defence
24 to mobilise whatever it is that is required of them.
25 In general mobilisation, the army does not have to demand that
1 its units be fully staffed because that would depend on the situation on
2 the front lines or at the theater of war. Rather, the personnel levels
3 would be filled depending on the needs. When it was -- when the
4 requirements were greater, then the mobilisation would include a larger
5 segment of the population. But when general mobilisation is declared,
6 the state thereby, in fact, informs or let it be known by everyone in the
7 republic that people have to respond to the call-up.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, from your personal experience, do you know
9 whether the same principle for general mobilisation was in force in the
10 territories of other republics of the former Yugoslavia?
11 A. Well, yes, I am aware of that based on the various analysis that
12 our department prepared within the Army of Yugoslavia. The president of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, declared general mobilisation
14 on the 4th of April, 1992. Or, in fact, at the time, the JNA was still
15 in the area.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell us -- could you tell the
17 Trial Chamber -- or could you draw a parallel between that and when
18 general mobilisation was declared in Republika Srpska? Thank you.
19 A. As far as I can recall, it was similarly done in
20 Republika Srpska. The difference, however, was in that the
21 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina immediately declared a state of war
22 or imminent threat of war covering the entire territory under their
23 control; whereas the Republika Srpska did not declare a state of war
24 until 1995.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us what's the difference between
1 proclaiming a state of war and an imminent threat of war and mobilisation
2 and proclaiming an imminent threat of war? Thank you.
3 A. Mobilisation is a process that is included in the idea of an
4 imminent threat of war and a state of war. An immediate threat of war is
5 a concept that covers processes and actions that involve preparing all
6 segments of society for war. A state of war is the most serious category
7 in any state, since in such a situation, production, the economy, and
8 everything else is focussed on supplying the armed forces. Not just the
9 army, but the armed forces as a whole. And the armed forces in
10 Republika Srpska were -- consisted of the VRS and the units and members
11 of the Ministry of the Interior.
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. "General mobilisation," what
13 does that term mean? Could you please tell us what kinds of general
14 mobilisation, in fact, exist? Thank you.
15 A. There is an open mobilisation and a secret mobilisation. Public
16 and secret.
17 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Could you please tell me what the
18 difference is, since I interrupted you.
19 A. The difference is that secret general mobilisation is not
20 something that is made public over the media; but public mobilisation is
21 something that is made known over the media so that the entire population
22 of Republika Srpska, of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina could be
23 warned -- or, rather, informed about their obligations.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Could you please tell us, can you
25 proclaim mobilisation in only one part of the territory of a given
1 republic or state? Thank you.
2 A. Yes. Well, if that's what you had in mind, yes. You can
3 proclaim mobilisation in a segment of one's territory. You can proclaim
4 mobilisation and a state of war in a segment of the territory, but when
5 you proclaim such a state in part of the territory, then it's not general
6 mobilisation. General mobilisation concerns a state as a whole.
7 Since I know that this was the case, a state of war was
8 proclaimed in a segment of the territory before a state of war was
9 proclaimed for the entire republic. That was the case in the zone of
10 responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and then that was also the
11 case in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps, which is in
12 the western part near Drvar. And a state of war was also proclaimed in
13 the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps. I think that that state
14 of war was proclaimed after Srebrenica. Throughout the territory of
15 Republika Srpska a state of war was proclaimed in October 1995 and not
16 earlier than October. I think that was the case.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see the following
19 document on the screen, 1D962. Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you. We can see a document from the communication centre
22 of the Main Staff. It's the encryption department in Sarajevo. It's
23 dated the 14th of July, 1995, and at the bottom it says, "Republic of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina," the War Presidency, and the date, the
25 14th of July.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
2 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it would be
3 useful to see the English translation of the document 1D269. 1D269.
4 It's document D120 that was marked for identification; however, since
5 D109 was a reproduction in something that was published, this is a
6 document disclosed to us by the Prosecution. It's a better copy, a far
7 better copy, but the translation of these two documents is the same. And
8 we now have it up on the screen.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And can you give us the correct number of this
10 document we have on the screen? There were so many numbers mentioned.
11 Which is the document number we have on the screen in front of us?
12 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] The number, the original document's
13 number, to the left, is 1D962. And to the right, there is just the
14 translation of that very same document but that document isn't a copy of
15 the original. It's a copy from a book. In the meantime we found the
16 original document that was disclosed to us by the Prosecution, and this
17 document has now also been uploaded and this document's number is 1D962,
18 and that's the document we will be using now.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank Aleksandar.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was told that we have two versions of the same
22 document. One is in front of us, this is 1D962, with the English
23 translation. The document D102 was previously marked for identification
24 with another witness was unable to identify this document. So it would
25 be helpful if the translation would be attached to both versions, and we
1 can decide later. If you are tendering this version we have now on the
2 screen, then we could probably receive it and vacate the other one. That
3 would be one way of action.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, I correct myself. The previous one would
6 then just remain marked for identification because it was used. Okay.
7 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on and put questions to the witness.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I will read out part of the document before I put my question to
12 you. This document was sent from Zepa to the presidency of the
13 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it says:
14 "The following was adopted at the War Presidency of Zepa
15 municipality, held on 14th of July, 1995:
16 "I. General mobilisation is hereby proclaimed on the territory
17 of Zepa municipality.
18 "II. All available resources will be used for defence purposes.
19 "III. All citizens fit for work will be put at the disposal of
20 the Zepa municipality civilian protection staff.
21 "IV. All persons who are fit for military service and are
22 currently under work obligation will be placed at the disposal of the
23 5th Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade, except for the members of the Zepa
24 War Presidency who will be in permanent session and other employees who,
25 at the decision of the Zepa Municipal War Presidency, will remain at the
1 disposal of the Zepa Municipal War Presidency.
2 "V. Members of the Zepa Public Security Station will act in
3 accordance with the orders in the defence of the free territory of the
4 municipality of Zepa.
5 "VI. Members of the population who have firearms in their
6 possession are hereby ordered to place them at the disposal of the
7 brigade, otherwise they will be prosecuted.
8 "VII. This decision shall come into effect immediately."
9 It was signed by the president of the War Presidency of Zepa
10 municipality, Mehmed Hajric, and you can see the five addresses that it
11 was sent to. My question is as follows: Could you tell us whether this
12 is a typical general document on general mobilisation in part of a given
13 territory? Thank you.
14 A. Yes, Mr. Tolimir. And this is under conditions when a state of
15 war was proclaimed because this individual signed in his capacity as the
16 president of the War Presidency, which is possible only if a state of war
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Skrbic, please, could you tell us what it means
19 when it says that all resources available should be placed at their
20 disposal? And that's what it says under item II.
21 A. This was probably already done, but this subject is informing the
22 presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina that it shall place
23 all resources at the disposal of the army; that is to say, the Army of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Q. Thank you. I'd like to know what "all resources" actually means?
1 What does "all resources" mean?
2 A. "All resources" means weapons, artillery, food, everything that
3 they had. Everything.
4 Q. Thank you. Does that also include all men fit for the military?
5 A. Yes, of course.
6 Q. Thank you. If you, on this date mentioned here, the
7 14th of July, obtained information about such a decision, what would such
8 information mean for you as a general from the other side? Thank you.
9 A. This is a very revealing document from which one could draw the
10 conclusion that a large-scale offensive might be launched.
11 Q. Thank you. If such a document is issued then concerning part of
12 the territory that was supposed to be demilitarised, what does this mean
13 for those who attributed the status of a demilitarised zone to the area
14 in question?
15 A. Well, as for what it would mean for such a person, I -- or such a
16 body, I couldn't say, but it's quite obvious that the zone was not a
17 demilitarised one.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this document, 1D962, please
20 be admitted into evidence? Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is something I
22 would like to correct, with your leave.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please do so.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here it says "Amela [phoen], make a
25 summary public." And then you have the initials "A.I" and not "A.J,"
1 this is the handwritten part. I know what the letter I in the Latin
2 script looks like.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Did you see this document with this
4 handwritten note before?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Gajic's assistant
6 showed it to me, but I'd never seen it before.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to ask you to have a look at the
8 heading of this document on the left side.
9 Could it be zoomed in, please.
10 Do you see a date there, and which one is it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The date and the time. The date,
12 the 14th of July, 1995. Friday, 2229.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And below Republika Bosnia and Herzegovina you
14 see another date, which one is it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 14th of July, 1995.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that. We see in the English
17 translation the date of the 19th of July. And even the year was not
18 translated or written down correctly. The reason for that could be the
19 poor quality of the previous document or the copy of that document we
20 have seen before and marked for identification as D102, so I think this
21 translation needs to be checked again. Perhaps there are other mistakes.
22 We can't simply attach this translation to the much better legible
23 original document.
24 Mr. Gajic.
25 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is exactly what
1 the Defence has done. However, we are still waiting for the translation.
2 And as soon as we get a correct translation of the document 1D962, we are
3 going to upload it into the e-court. And you correctly observed that the
4 previous document was of very poor quality and many elements therein were
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Therefore, this document will be marked for
7 identification pending review of the translation. And that should apply,
8 also, for D102. It's still marked for identification, but after a check
9 of the translation it could be admitted at a later stage, too.
10 Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D962 shall be
12 assigned Exhibit D349, marked for identification pending review of the
13 translation. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The document shall remain on the
15 screen, and Judge Mindua has the floor.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Skrbic. This document
17 1D962, which became D349, I'd like to have another look at it. Have a
18 look at item IV:
19 "All persons who are fit for military service will be placed at
20 the disposal of the Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade except for ..." and the
21 sentence continues.
22 Given your experience as a general, could you tell us whether
23 this text says that these men fit for military service or -- had
24 ipso facto become soldiers or members of the armed forces, or would it be
25 necessary to have another document from the War Presidency? What is the
1 actual situation that these individuals, these men find themselves in?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it says here precisely
3 that all those men fit for military service with work obligation are to
4 be placed at the disposal of the 208 -- 65th Brigade, and without any
5 additional conditions they become members of the brigade, they are issued
6 weapons, their work obligation is terminated, and they become fully
7 fledged members of the brigade.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] What does "work obligation"
9 actually mean in this paragraph?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, "work obligation"
11 means an obligation that involves any work to be performed without
12 weapons; for example, toiling land or digging trenches, which was
13 forbidden, but I know that they, in spite of that, did it. Now,
14 everything that contained -- was contained in that work obligation and
15 the people involved were just transferred from that status to the status
16 of members of the armed forces and they are issued weapons.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Skrbic, according to this decision, were all people fit for
22 work and military service placed at the disposal and engaged in defence
23 with the exception of the War Presidency?
24 A. Mr. Tolimir, this pertains only to able-bodied men. You asked me
25 about people fit for work. I don't see from here who this referred to.
1 This might be people over 65 years of age. But those who are fit for
2 military service became members of the brigade.
3 Q. Thank you. But in item III it says that all military persons --
4 persons fit for military --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Tolimir please repeat what it says in
6 item III.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Item III is different from item IV
8 because under III it says:
9 "All citizens fit for work will be put at the disposal of the
10 civilian protection," not the brigade.
11 Probably in anticipation of large-scale works to be done. So all
12 people fit for work are placed at the disposal of that civilian
13 protection. That's the difference.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Now, were all the people fit for military service and
16 for work placed at the disposal of the civilian protection and the
17 defence within the region where a state of war had been proclaimed?
18 A. Able-bodied are designated to be engaged in combat, whereas those
19 fit for work are assigned to the civilian protection. And I think that
20 the Trial Chamber understands what the tasks and duties and
21 responsibilities of a civilian protection are, and that is something that
22 is applicable all around the world.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir. Mr. Tolimir, please avoid
24 overlapping. You start mostly too early with your next question. Now
25 carry on, please.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In order
2 to avoid overlapping I am going to move to another topic.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. When you were interviewed by the OTP, you were asked about the
5 resubordination by the police to the army. Can you tell us now,
6 according to what you know, was there any resubordination of the police
7 to the VRS, and if so, how did that work?
8 A. According to what I know, there was no resubordination ever.
9 Q. Can you please explain that in more detail. According to what
10 you know, does it mean that it never happened or maybe you don't know
11 about it?
12 A. Mr. Tolimir, police is resubordinated to the army only during a
13 state of war and no specific document has to be issued to that effect
14 because they become an integral part of armed forces. Because a state of
15 war wasn't proclaimed in the territory of Republika Srpska up until the
16 20th of October, 1995, then my conclusion is that there had been no
17 resubordination. They participated in joint actions - and that is the
18 truth - but as adjacent units.
19 Q. Thank you for this clarification. Can you tell us -- do you know
20 if members of the MUP were included in army units in the course of
21 carrying out certain tasks?
22 A. They were included but as a compact unit, not individually. They
23 would report to the commander of an army unit, and they would carry out
24 their task and, finally, report the Ministry of the Interior. If they
25 were given any information from the commander, they received this
1 information as their collaborators, and that was also the case vice
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic, for these answers. Now, can you tell me
4 this: Was the Main Staff of the VRS endangered by the operations
5 launched from the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves? Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we get some kind of time? This was a long
8 war. And the last questions, I don't know even know if it had anything
9 to do with Srebrenica. And we know that there was attacks coming out of
10 those enclaves for a good while, so this doesn't help us, this kind of
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you give us a time-frame?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The time-frame is one
14 month prior to or after the events in Srebrenica. Or, Mr. McCloskey, you
15 can take into account the whole war period.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just want to get something the defendant --
18 excuse me, the witness can get his hands around. The events in
19 Srebrenica. We need -- it's very simple to pick a date. The events in
20 Srebrenica, according to us, went on for quite a long time, so that
21 doesn't help us either for the witness. And -- but July 11th, when they
22 came into Srebrenica, I mean, anything that would help the witness get a
23 time-frame would be helpful.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I asked Mr. Skrbic whether the Main Staff was endangered by the
3 actions taken from the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves, and you can start
4 from 1992 until the departure of the army from those enclaves.
5 A. Your Honour, in order to respond to this question I am going to
6 tell you how I obtained this information. Now, prior to my joining the
7 Main Staff in 1994, I heard there had been attacks coming from
8 Srebrenica, Zepa, targeting the Main Staff.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down when
10 providing lots of information. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the Han Pijesak-Crna Rijeka
12 road, I also received information that workers at a petrol station had
13 been killed. This petrol station was used by the Army of Republika
14 Srpska, and it was in the village of Pod Plane, between Han Pijesak and
15 Crna Rijeka, and this was also done by a sabotage group.
16 When I came to the Main Staff, the basic command post was
17 threatened on a daily basis by fire coming from mortars or other weapons.
18 The rear command post in Han Pijesak was not in danger from those same
19 directions. It was in danger from the direction of Pjenovac, which is in
20 a completely opposite way. In addition to that, during the digging of
21 trenches for water-pipes, General Mladic and I found a place on a hill
22 where members of the BH Army had been staying, members from Zepa. We
23 found a piece of paper, and then the commander told me, "You see,
24 general, how seriously threatened we had been."
25 In addition to that, Your Honour, the Crna Rijeka command post
1 was fortified for defence. But in spite of that, our soldiers were being
2 killed every day. Members of the protection regiment were recruits.
3 They were not people who were drafted. And I am talking about young men
4 between the ages of 17 and 21. This was particularly emotionally
5 difficult for us.
6 When expanded meetings of senior staff members with the commander
7 of the Main Staff were being held, we would meet in an underground
8 facility under the Zepa mountain particularly in order to avoid exposing
9 ourselves to any danger. Around the command post, we had defence lines
10 built with dugouts and trenches, and we had a round-the-clock combat duty
11 service in those facilities.
12 Now, these are these basic elements that indicate that there were
13 armed operations coming from Zepa and Srebrenica and targeting the
14 Main Staff.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, you said:
16 "We found a piece of paper," and then the commander told me,
17 "'You see, general, how seriously threatened we had been.'"
18 Can you give us some more information about this piece of paper,
19 about the content of this piece of paper, from where it came from?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't remember the
21 contents of the piece of paper. I remember that there was a green
22 background and there was a crescent. It shows that the Muslims had been
23 present there. They had camped there. And he said that because we
24 didn't know that they had been in that place, that they had stayed there,
25 and they had stayed there because there was a pot that had remained there
1 that they had used to cook food in.
2 We knew that sabotage groups were infiltrating the area, but we
3 didn't know that they had spent longer periods of time there. Three
4 days, five days, half a month. Your Honours, I can't remember the
5 details. I can tell you that I am sure that the VRS was not present
6 there because we knew where our forces were deployed.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Where did you find the piece of paper?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 3 kilometres away on a hill
9 above Han Pijesak.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Since -- could you tell me that whether
15 as a result of the sabotage activities in the Srebrenica and Zepa
16 enclave, the Main Staff suffered any losses immediately prior to the
17 events in Zepa? Are you familiar with anything of this?
18 A. Your Honour, I think I have answered this question already.
19 Q. I had victims in mind, but I accept your answer.
20 A. There were victims. There were victims.
21 Q. Did the Main Staff have to take protective measures to protect
22 from sabotage activity from Zepa and Srebrenica, from those two enclaves?
23 Thank you.
24 A. I apologise. Apart from what I have already mentioned in
25 relation to the fortification of combat positions in the vicinity of the
1 basic command post in Crna Rijeka, apart from that I could add that the
2 65th Protection Regiment and the 60th [as interpreted] Communications
3 Regiment in addition to organising defence for the command post also
4 organised patrols to which various tasks were assigned on various days.
5 The tasks were very explicit. They were told which areas to patrol and
6 what to control.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we just check with the number of the
9 communications regiment? I'm not sure we got the right translation
10 there, or maybe ...
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, can you help us. You mentioned a
12 protection regiment and a communications regiment. Can you tell us the
13 numbers of these two regiments?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the
15 67th Communications Regiment and the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Tolimir.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Since you have already said something
20 about where the rear command post was, could you tell us something about
21 the security of the road that linked the basic command post and the rear
22 command post where you were located?
23 A. Mr. Tolimir, that road was one that General Djukic and I mostly
24 used in the same vehicle. We went from Han Pijesak to Crna Rijeka and
25 the other direction, too, at great risk. On one occasion, a patrol from
1 the protection regiment prevented us from going to Crna Rijeka and we
2 couldn't go there, but they said that there was a -- a risk of us losing
3 our lives on that trip.
4 General Mladic ordered, especially in 1995, that the police
5 should escort us. So sometimes, when it wasn't urgent, we had a police
6 escort. It was to provide combat security. It wasn't for transport
8 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Was this a normal way in which the
9 Main Staff and its segments functioned in various areas or was that not
10 the case? Thank you.
11 A. Mr. Tolimir, I believe that nothing is quite normal in -- in war.
12 That it was essential, it was necessary, given the circumstances. Given
13 all the dangers that were present, it was necessary for us to function in
14 that manner.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you at the rear command post know which routes
16 were used by the Muslims, and did you know where they organised ambushes
17 from between those two places, the basic command post and the rear
18 command post? Thank you.
19 A. Yes, we knew about this. When General Mladic and I were
20 returning from Banja Luka from a meeting with General Clark, we were in
21 the same vehicle. And then, above Vlasenica, we stopped at a curve, a
22 large curve, and the general then said, "Skrbic, I will take you to this
23 cave now." There were mattresses in this cave, Your Honours. And he
24 said Muslims from Zepa and Srebrenica have slept in this cave, and they
25 continually used this road here, and they called it Allah's road, and
1 that road linked Zepa and Srebrenica and Kladanj and Olovo, in fact.
2 Since General Mladic showed me these paths, it's quite obvious
3 that they used them. As for how they passed through and how they slept
4 there, well, Your Honours, I am really not sure. We could have been at
5 risk. They probably used these roads and these paths at night-time.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. What did they call that road? It's not
7 in the transcript. Could you tell them which road it is, for the benefit
8 of the Trial Chamber, and why it had the name that it had? Thank you.
9 A. Your Honour, General Ratko Mladic told me about the name, but he
10 said that the Muslims had called the road "Allah's road."
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Could you please repeat the name of the
12 road because it hasn't been accurately recorded in the transcript. Thank
14 A. The road of Allah, A-l-l-a-h. You can put it in inverted commas.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Now we have it on the record. Please
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Could you please tell the Chamber whether you had an opportunity
20 to attend meetings with General Gvero, Tolimir, or Mladic, with foreign
21 representatives or UNPROFOR representatives? Thank you.
22 A. Not with UNPROFOR representatives but with the other
23 representatives you have mentioned, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you then tell us whether you attended meetings
25 with the representatives of certain countries, certain foreign diplomats,
1 and what could you tell us about such meetings?
2 A. Yes. In Vlasenica, in mid-July 1995, there was a delegation from
3 the Ukraine led by Mr. Alexander Alexandrovich, the diplomat Alexander
4 Alexandrovich. The UNPROFOR battalion commander
5 Lieutenant-Colonel Dudnjik joined him. And General Mladic,
6 General Zivanovic, Colonel Skrbic - myself - and Jovica Karanovic, who
7 was also a colonel, attended on behalf of the VRS.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
9 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 59, lines 23 to
10 25, there are some names that aren't correctly recorded. Could the
11 witness just repeat the names so that they can be correctly recorded in
12 the transcript.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, that would be helpful. Please repeat the
14 names, slowly, you just have mentioned as participants of these meetings.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll look at the
16 English transcript. It will be easier for me. I am just looking at the
17 names, because I can't understand anything else. Alexander
18 Alexandrovich. Lieutenant-Colonel --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Stop. It was not -- sorry. It was not properly
20 reported. Alexander Alexandrovich, without an A in the middle,
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise for having to say this.
23 Alexandrovich. Perhaps it's difficult for you to pronounce but there is
24 a difference between ch and ch, a soft ch and a hard ch. Alexandrovich.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have it now. And the other names?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lieutenant-Colonel Dudnjik, that's
2 correct. General Mladic. General Zivanovic. Colonel Skrbic, that's
3 myself. I apologise to the interpreters. Colonel Skrbic, that's myself.
4 Jovica Karanovic. That's correct now.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
6 Mr. Tolimir.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you Mr. Skrbic. Could you tell us something about how the
9 meeting went and what subjects were discussed at the meeting since this
10 is what you -- what you mentioned.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of
12 Mr. Tolimir's question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the usual courtesies that are
14 common in such circumstances, General Mladic said that the Muslims in
15 Srebrenica and Zepa were obtaining weapons through the so-called
16 parachute operation. It was said that they were also receiving weapons
17 from the Ukraine.
18 Alexander Alexandrovich claimed that they really were receiving
19 weapons from the Ukraine but the -- but that the Ukraine wasn't trading
20 in those weapons. General Mladic said that two members of the UNPROFOR
21 battalion from the Ukraine had crossed over into the territory that was
22 under the control of the VRS because they were under threat there. And
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Dudnjik, the battalion commander, confirmed this.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's the time for a
1 break now. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, I agree. We must have our second break
3 and will resume at 1.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.29
5 [The witness stands down]
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before the break, we have dealt with a document
9 which was marked for identification under two different numbers. In the
10 meantime, I noted that this document is part of the bar table motion of
11 the Defence, I think of the first bar table motion, and therefore I would
12 suggest that we decide about the admission, finally, by deciding pursuant
13 to your bar table motion.
14 Mr. Tolimir, please continue your examination.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Skrbic, you talked about the meetings in 1995. Now, during
18 1994, did you have an opportunity to be a member of any delegation from
19 the Main Staff of the VRS that had meetings with representatives of
20 foreign armies, UNPROFOR, and so on?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us which ones?
23 A. On the 28th of August, 1994, I was a member of a delegation led
24 by General Ratko Mladic. We had a meeting with General Wesley Clark in
25 Banja Luka. At the time, General Wesley Clark was an advisor to the
1 president of the United States for defence. As far as I remember, with
2 him was General Rose and another two generals, a major, a captain, and an
3 interpreter, but I don't remember their names.
4 In the VRS delegation were General Mladic, Naval Captain Beara,
5 Colonel Skrbic - that's me - and an interpreter, Lieutenant-Colonel
6 Kralj, and also General Zivomir Ninkovic.
7 Q. Mr. Skrbic, do you recall --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
9 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm afraid that the
10 name of one of the participants is misspelled. Page 62, and the first
11 name is wrong, but I'm not going to suggest anything to the witness.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, his first name is
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that correct now, Zivomir? Can you see that,
15 line 4, page 63, sir?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it. Yes,
17 Your Honour, it's correct.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That means this General Zivomir Ninkovic took
19 part, too. Thank you.
20 Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Skrbic, do you recall the content of those talks that you
24 mentioned a minute ago. Do you recall anything about what was being
1 A. Yes, Mr. Tolimir, but I am going to tell you briefly what I
2 remember best. General Wesley Clark told General Mladic that he had come
3 to reach an agreement or to try to exert some influence for the contact
4 group's plan to be adopted. In that respect, he highlighted a number of
5 facts that would compel the VRS to accept the plan of the contact group.
6 He told General Mladic that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had
7 450 tanks, 300 pieces of artillery, that it also had more troops than the
8 Army of Republika Srpska. He also said that he was not going to go into
9 how skilled they were, but they were obviously having larger numbers and
10 that this was going to disrupt the balance of power and that eventually
11 the Army of Republika Srpska would find itself in dire straits. He
12 suggested to General Mladic, being an influential man and an experienced
13 soldier, to do his best to have the plan accepted.
14 He also threatened with bombing and invasion by NATO pact in
15 order to provide support for the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
16 event of the plan being rejected. Before that, General Mladic spoke
17 about General Shalikashvili who was the chief of Joint Staff of the
18 US Army, and he said that obviously he had his finger on the trigger.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, it's very difficult for the
20 interpreters to follow. Therefore, please slow down. You just said
21 General Mladic spoke to a general from the US army. What was his name?
22 That was not recorded.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Wesley Clark.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, and about another general. What was his
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, General Mladic spoke
2 about General Shalikashvili. He said that he was the chief of the
3 General Staff of the US Army. I don't know if that is correct, and I
4 don't want to debate that. He also said that General Shalikashvili had
5 his finger on the trigger. General Clark responded to that by saying
6 that it wasn't fair for General Mladic to say that the chief of the
7 General staff of the US Army had his finger on the trigger, and he
8 brought to his attention the fact that NATO was prepared to start or
9 become engaged in the war unless the plan of the contact group was
11 Then Mr. Mladic asked him, "General, do you genuinely and
12 honestly want to become involved in this war?" To which General Clark
13 responded, "You will see what our reaction is going to be."
14 If I may add one more sentence, Your Honours, General Clark
15 claimed that their assessment was there was not the balance of power in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina until 1995 and that he would do his best in order to
17 restore this balance of power or, rather, that the balance be tipped to
18 the advantage of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Now, as for other pleasantries that were exchanged at the
20 meeting, I don't think there is any need to discuss that.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Can you tell us this: At the time, did
23 General Clark perform any duties within the peacekeeping force, or was he
24 strictly a US army general? Thank you.
25 A. Mr. Tolimir, I explained that the duty of General Clark was to
1 act as an advisor to the president of the United States and the Congress,
2 and I don't think he had any other role. That is how he was introduced
3 to us at that meeting.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. And did NATO indeed become involved in
5 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former SFRY as announced by
6 General Clark while he was an advisor to the president of the USA? Thank
8 A. Yes, it did. Mr. Gajic, what is this SFRY?
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't know why you are putting a question to
10 Mr. Gajic.
11 Just continue, Mr. Tolimir.
12 It's not a proper question to you, Mr. Gajic. We all know what
13 SFRY is.
14 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we correct the
16 translation? I did not speak about the SFRY. I spoke about the USA.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can Mr. Skrbic now answer this question: Did NATO take part only
19 on the side of one of the warring parties or was it involved on both
20 sides? Thank you.
21 A. NATO provided close air support to the Army of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina as well as to the Croatian Army who carried out an offensive
23 against Republika Srpska. Close air support involves reconnaissance,
24 electronic support, bombing, and transportation. In addition to that,
25 they provided support through artillery and artillery ammunition.
1 In 1996, above the village of Pecka, situated near Mrkonjic Grad
2 and Mliniste, I managed to identify a firing position that had been used
3 by artillery, and its shell casings had NATO numbers on them.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Since we were discussing NATO, did you
5 have an opportunity to attend any other meeting with representatives of
6 NATO members? Thank you. Representatives of NATO. Thank you.
7 A. Yes, Mr. Tolimir. I think this was already in 1996, when I was
8 ordered by General Mladic to join you and that we go to the Jela to
9 conduct talks with Admiral Leighton Smith. He was, at the time, the
10 commander of NATO forces in Europe. I remember that the admiral told us
11 that their role was to establish the balance of power between the Army of
12 BiH on the one hand and the VRS on the other. When I made a remark to
13 the effect that this balance was disrupted to extreme detriment to the
14 Army of Republika Srpska, the admiral responded, respectfully, that that
15 was the outcome and the result of the war.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Can you please repeat the full name of
17 General Smith because it was not recorded properly in the transcript.
18 A. Admiral Leighton Smith.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. General Clark and General Leighton Smith,
20 with whom you had talks in 1994, did they later become representatives of
21 the USA amongst the ranks of UNPROFOR or SFOR who were deployed in the
22 territory of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 A. I don't know, Mr. Tolimir.
24 Q. Do you remember anything else with regard to the meeting with
25 Mr. Leighton Smith?
1 A. Well, if it is important for you, Your Honours, I can say that
2 the admiral told us that he was going to spend his next weekend in Rome.
3 But before that, he would be flying by helicopter to Split, and then
4 board a military plane there and spend some time with his wife after
5 that. The admiral asked us, "Where are you going to spend your weekend?"
6 And the General Tolimir responded, "On the mountain."
7 After the meeting ended, they gave an interview for a television
8 station, but I did not participate in that interview.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment, please. I would like to clarify
11 something. What is the rank of Mr. Leighton Smith? Or was at that time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He had the rank of admiral and he
13 was dressed in a naval uniform.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. You said this meeting at the Jela
15 restaurant took place in 1996. Do you recall which month or day?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't recall that, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did I understand you correctly that Mr. Tolimir
18 was a participant of that meeting?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood me correctly.
20 Mr. Tolimir led a delegation and I was part of that delegation.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who else from the Main Staff of the VRS took
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that only the
24 Lieutenant-Colonel Kralj who acted as an interpreter was also present,
25 and then the technicians, Your Honour, who were helping with technical
1 issues, naturally, but they didn't participate in the discussions.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Could we now see P1011 on the screen. Thank you. Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Skrbic, as we can see, the title of this document is:
8 "Agreement on Complete Cessation of Hostilities." And in the first line
9 we can see the date when the document was signed. Could you tell us when
10 it was signed, please.
11 A. It was signed on the 23rd of December, 1994.
12 Your Honour, I have a problem with my glasses. The lens has
13 fallen out, but I hope I will be able to read this.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can the Court Usher assist in any way --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- so that we are able to continue?
17 Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I can see that a little screw has
19 fallen out and so we have got a job for the witness section, and
20 obviously his glasses are important, but I leave this in your hands.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed. I think we should use the remaining
22 15 minutes of today's hearing in that way that you put questions to the
23 witness without directing him to specific parts of the documents. And I
24 hope, very much, that the problem will be resolved during this afternoon
25 so that we can continue in a normal way tomorrow.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I will read it out. The title of the document is: "Agreement on
4 Complete Cessation of Hostilities." The first sentence reads as follows:
5 "Following the cease-fire agreement signed on the
6 23rd of December, 1994, the parties agreed to a complete cessation of
7 hostilities with effect from 1200 hours on the 1st of January, 1995 ..."
8 And this concerns all the lines of confrontation.
9 Since agreement on cease-fire is mentioned in the first sentence
10 and in the second line reference is made to cessation of hostilities,
11 could you tell us what the difference is between a cease-fire and a
12 cessation of hostilities? What is covered by the term "cease-fire" and
13 what by the term "cessation of hostilities"?
14 A. A cease-fire means that the units on both sides remain at their
15 combat positions but they cease to open any kind of fire. A cessation of
16 hostilities, however, means establishing a peace through a gradual
17 process of withdrawing the units and troops from their respective combat
19 Q. Given what you have said and what we have just read out, were you
20 aware of the fact that this agreement on cessation of hostilities had in
21 fact been agreed, had in fact been reached?
22 A. I couldn't answer that question.
23 Q. Thank you. We'll read out the second sentence now.
24 "This agreement will remain in effect for an initial period of
25 four months, subject to renewal under these same conditions with the
1 agreement of the parties concerned."
2 Thank you. Was the witness [as interpreted] cease-fire
4 A. No.
5 Q. Was the agreement on a cessation of hostilities respected, given
6 that the agreement on a cease-fire was not respected?
7 A. Well, the cease-fire wasn't respected and that entailed a failure
8 to respect the agreement on a cessation of hostilities as well.
9 Q. Do you know who violated the agreement on the cessation of
10 hostilities? Thank you.
11 A. Yes, the Muslim side violated both agreements with the
12 authorisation of the president, Alija Izetbegovic, and then the VRS
13 responded. So neither side respected the agreement.
14 Q. Thank you. And were you a participant at the meetings of the
15 Main Staff when this subject was discussed and information pertaining to
16 the subject was provided? Thank you.
17 A. I did attend some of the meetings of the collegium or the meeting
18 of the commanders of the Main Staff of the VRS, and at those meetings we
19 were provided with a brief information, but at some meetings we were
20 provided with detailed information. This information was usually
21 provided by Colonel Petar Salapura.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you receive any information, any intelligence
23 information, signed by Tolimir or Salapura? Thank you.
24 A. Mr. Tolimir, at the rear command post, as far as I can remember
25 we didn't receive any such information. But when General Djukic and
1 myself went to Crna Rijeka in the operations centre, it was possible for
2 us to obtain such information. So I, personally, made some notes with
3 regard to this intelligence information. I didn't copy everything. I
4 made some notes for my own personal use and in order to be able to inform
5 members of the sector for organisation, mobilisation, and personnel
7 Q. Thank you. Was it possible for you and General Djukic to have
8 access to all intelligence information when you required such
10 A. Yes, but we didn't make such requests very frequently.
11 Q. Thank you. Given the access to information that you had when you
12 arrived at the command post, could you, on that basis, determine the
13 level of reliability of the information pertaining to certain events?
14 Thank you.
15 A. Given the way the war developed in the territory of Croatia and
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 90 per cent of the intelligence information
17 was, in fact, confirmed. It was confirmed by the events in those
19 Q. Thank you. Given that intelligence in 1993 and 1994 [as
20 interpreted], did you find out certain things about the way in which the
21 Muslims armed themselves? And the period of time I referred to was 1994
22 and 1995.
23 A. Mr. Tolimir, I haven't fully understood your question. Could you
24 please repeat it?
25 Q. Thank you. Did you receive intelligence about Muslims arming
1 themselves in the course of the year 1994 and 1995? Thank you.
2 A. Yes, information about Muslims arming themselves could be found
3 in that information or we would be orally informed of the fact at the
4 meetings in the manner that I have just described, Your Honour.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Could you please tell us, at the
6 beginning of 1995, did the Main Staff have any information on plans for
7 the ABiH and the Croatian Army launching large-scale combat operations?
8 Thank you.
9 A. Yes, Mr. Tolimir. The Main Staff had reliable information
10 concerning the ABiH and the Croatian Army launching an attack on the
11 western part of Republika Srpska.
12 Q. Thank you. And that information that you had at your disposal,
13 was that information subsequently confirmed by the way in which the
14 events unfolded?
15 A. I have already answered that question. Unfortunately, almost
16 90 per cent of the information that we had was confirmed by the
17 subsequent wartime events.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please now have a look at
20 1D1111. Thank you. Thank you.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Here on the screen we can see the notes that you made in the
23 course of the war. As you don't have your glasses, could you please tell
24 us how this document was created? Thank you.
25 A. This document consists of my own personal notes that were made
1 from the 18th of March, 1995, until about the month of May of that same
2 year. O stands for "operative," and this represents some of the notes
3 that I personally made for myself. Everything that concerned areas
4 outside the sector were marked with this letter O, and this shows that
5 it's an authentic document that I, myself, created because no one in the
6 VRS or in the Main Staff made such notes. O1, O2, and so on and so forth
7 are markings that I used because my intention was to add to these
8 paragraphs at a later date or to use them for research purposes. I
9 haven't done any of that yet.
10 This document is an authentic one from that year. Although it
11 was typed on a computer, there is nothing that I added or deleted from
12 the document. Whatever I added I would mark. I'd use my initials. I'd
13 mark such sections with my initials, PS, and that is how one proceeds in
14 scientific works.
15 Q. Thank you. On what basis of what information did you compile
16 these notes? Could you please tell us that. Thank you.
17 A. I made these notes on the basis of intelligence from the
18 Main Staff and on the basis of the oral presentations made at the
19 meetings of the Main Staff commanders.
20 Q. Thank you. A while ago you answered this question partially, so
21 I apologise for repeating my question. After these notes had been made,
22 did you amend these documents in any way? Did you add anything to the
23 document or to the notes or did you comment on these notes? Thank you.
24 A. No, I didn't, Mr. Tolimir.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we have to come to an end for today,
2 but let me put a final question to the witness.
3 I would like to know if you -- what we can see on the screen, if
4 that is the original version of your notes, or did you make your notes by
5 handwriting or how was it done?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had a laptop
7 computer while working in the sector. Sometimes I would take the laptop
8 to the command post in Crna Rijeka, and then I would directly enter this
9 information into the laptop. When I didn't have the laptop on me, I
10 would make notes in a notebook. And when I would then return to
11 Han Pijesak to the rear command post, I would transfer the information to
12 a computer, and I would then simply destroy or get rid of the handwritten
13 notes. So this is the electronic version of my notes, the digital
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this explanation. I am quite sure
16 that you are going on tomorrow dealing with this document, but for today
17 we have to finish our hearing. We adjourn and resume tomorrow morning at
18 9.00 in this courtroom. And again, no permission to contact either party
19 during the break. Thank you.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
22 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday, the
23 1st day of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.