1 Thursday, 2 February 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. Please be reminded that the affirmation to tell the truth
10 still applies. Mr. McCloskey is continuing his cross-examination.
11 You have the floor, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. And good morning, Mr. President,
13 Your Honours, everyone.
14 WITNESS: PETAR SKRBIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
17 Q. General. And I think we left off with P2520 up there, the
18 12 of July document. That was the request to the ministry for the
19 mobilisation of the buses. And as I recall it, general, you received a
20 verbal request from someone from the Main Staff the night before this
21 actual request, and then you spoke to someone from the ministry and they
22 wanted you to get it on paper. So on the morning of the 12th, you had
23 this typed off and sent it off. Is that roughly correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. And so the night of the 11th when you got this call, can you just
1 roughly give us any idea of about what time it was or was it after
2 dinner, was it late, was it before you ate? Any recollection about that?
3 A. Mr. McCloskey, my memory is not fresh, but it was certainly in
4 the afternoon and most probably in the evening hours.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: And just for a moment can we go to P1744.
7 Q. This is, I think, one of those aerials you were mentioning where
8 we have a date. Unfortunately, we don't have a time for this. But we
9 see it's Bratunac.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we zero-in on the centre of that -- right
11 there, yes. Where the marking is. Yeah, right up in --
12 Q. Now, we see -- I can tell you, sir, that Mr. Ruez and others have
13 identified -- we see -- stay there for one second. The football stadium
14 of Bratunac is up in the right-hand corner. You can sort of barely make
15 out that big field area with bushes around it. And as we go to the left,
16 yes, right there where the arrow is, that's the football stadium. And as
17 we go towards the left on the main road in the dark -- yeah, keep going,
18 good, good, and then down. Right there where that arrow is, that's a
19 line of buses on the 12th of July.
20 So it appears that your request, your oral request, and your
21 follow-up request was acted on very efficiently. And we've also seen
22 video on the 12th of July with General Krstic giving an interview [where
23 there's buses going by. So to your recollection, were buses able to get
24 to the stadium on the 12th of July, or are you learning it from me?
25 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I've heard about this from
1 Mr. McCloskey because I didn't monitor the implementation of our request
2 to the ministry of Republika Srpska. As you saw in the previous
3 documents, the Secretariats of Defence had to report to the
4 Ministry of Defence. The Ministry of Defence did not have to report to
5 the Main Staff on the manner in which our request for the mobilisation of
6 buses had been carried out. Your Honours, I didn't have the
7 responsibility to monitor the movement of buses -- of those buses.
8 This aerial photograph, Mr. McCloskey, clearly shows that these
9 are some kinds of vehicles. And if you enlarge them, they couldn't be
10 anything but buses. That's probably the case. But some look like
11 trailers. An expert for analysing such photographs - and you certainly
12 had such an expert - would be in a position to provide you with more
13 relevant comments.
14 Q. All right. Well, if this -- as everyone knows, as you've said
15 yesterday, this is General Mladic's request for buses for the army, isn't
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. So you -- who in the army would be responsible for monitoring
19 that this order would be carried out and to dealing with -- with the
20 buses? Certainly informing General Mladic and others whether this was
22 A. In the army, the operations centre would be responsible for
23 monitoring the situation, but on the roads themselves, Your Honours, it's
24 the civilian police, the traffic police, and the military police to a
25 certain extent that escort this convoy. Since this road was a threat
1 from combat activity, there was also security that was provided for that
2 column but that was indirect support. Some units were at their
3 positions - I can't name them - and they protected those roads. And the
4 military police also provided direct protection for the roads so that the
5 buses could reach their destinations.
6 Q. So I was asking about who in the Main Staff, and so you're saying
7 it's operations, so it's General Miletic's operation that would have been
8 in charge of monitoring this request and implementing it?
9 A. There is a duty officer in the operations centre who leads the
10 operations team. General Miletic couldn't do that all the time. He
11 couldn't have been there 24 hours a day, and this person is in charge of
12 the situation and is involved in communications. He's involved in the
13 communications between General Mladic and those who are responsible for
14 monitoring the task. He is a sort of mediator, in fact, a communications
16 Q. General, you told us that assistant commanders were experts in
17 implementing orders of General Mladic. So I know that -- of course, we
18 all know that you and others have subordinates, but are you saying that
19 it would be General Miletic that was overall and responsible for
20 implementing this order and monitoring it? Clearly 50 buses and them
21 coming to Bratunac is going to take some work.
22 A. No, not only General Miletic. All of us had our responsibilities
23 in a certain sense. You've quite correctly understood the duties, the
24 responsibilities I had. As for the other aspects of those duties, well,
25 these can be -- one can see how they are carried out when monitoring the
1 way in which the task is implemented. The logistics sector also has its
2 security. They had to obtain and secure 10 tonnes of fuel, I think.
3 Q. Were you involved in the mobilisation of fuel for these buses?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know who got the fuel for buses and where they got it
6 from? The Court knows how valuable and how rare fuel was in those days.
7 A. Your Honours, if it would be possible for you to protect me from
8 speculation. I could try and guess who obtained or who supplied the
9 fuel, but I don't know who did so.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, it's your obligation to answer the question
11 to the best of your ability and knowledge. And, as in the past days, you
12 should tell Mr. McCloskey everything you know. And if you don't know,
13 you should indicate it. It's not a question of speculation. You are a
14 well-trained army officer.
15 Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
17 Q. And, general, I don't want you to speculate. Just so you know
18 that my questions will not incorporate speculation.
19 On the morning of the 12th, when you were able to get the paper
20 work off to the ministry, what was your knowledge as to the purpose of
21 those buses?
22 A. I knew that the purpose of the buses was to evacuate people.
23 Q. Which people from where?
24 A. I didn't know which people or from where. Or, rather, I knew
25 that the buses were to arrive at the stadium at Bratunac at a certain
1 time, but I didn't know which people they were to transport.
2 Q. So you didn't know the ethnic group of the people?
3 A. No, I didn't.
4 Q. When did you demobilise these buses? As the mobiliser requester,
5 I would think that you would be the one that would do the paperwork
6 demobilising them, sending them back.
7 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. The Ministry of Defence has the
8 responsibility for demobilisation because they mobilised them.
9 Q. All right. When did General Mladic release those buses back so
10 that they could get back to their normal routes and pick up people and
11 take them to work and all the other disruptions that we saw caused by
12 your mobilisation request? Given that you are the one following Mladic's
13 order to mobilise, you would have, of course, known when General Mladic
14 didn't need them anymore and to be able to tell the ministry that they
15 were coming back, or am I wrong on that?
16 A. No, that's not correct. I didn't know when it would no longer be
17 necessary to have the buses.
18 Q. When did the buses go back to the ministry? You were on duty
19 those days.
20 A. I assume that they weren't returned to the ministry but were
21 returned to the secretariats and municipalities that mobilised them.
22 Q. That's what I meant when I said "to the ministry." When did that
24 A. I don't know the exact date.
25 Q. Just roughly tell us how many days or weeks you have knowledge
1 that they were used by the army for, General Mladic used them?
2 A. Well, Mr. McCloskey, perhaps about ten days at the end of July.
3 There were tasks that had to be carried out. They were essential and
4 this was the result of the attack of the Croatian army and the ABiH in
5 the west of Republika Srpska. So we no longer concerned ourselves with
6 that problem. When I say "we," Your Honours, I have all the generals
7 from the VRS Main Staff in mind and most of the officers from the
8 Main Staff.
9 Q. When did you first learn that the buses that you helped mobilise
10 were used to take the women and children and old men from Potocari and
11 Bratunac to Muslim territory?
12 A. I don't remember the first time, but I saw video recordings of
13 the event of that entire process. I saw such videos on the television or
14 on a computer. Well, the Tribunal, in fact, provided such a video, and
15 it's also possible to see these video recordings on the internet and you
16 can then see what actually happened. Or, rather, I could see that. I am
17 not referring to you. I do apologise. But in the Serbian language it's
18 sometimes possible to say "we" when you mean yourself. But I saw this in
19 this video recording.
20 Q. When? And I don't need exact, but when it was happening, a day
21 or two later, a week or two later?
22 A. Well, during those days, at that time there was a video recording
23 broadcast on television - I don't know which channel - in Han Pijesak.
24 We could watch the Republika Srpska television. I am not sure what its
25 name was at the time. We could also watch the Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 television --
2 Q. Excuse me, General.
3 A. -- and again I don't know the exact name.
4 Q. Excuse me. You've told us about your ability to watch the
5 television. I just need to know when you found out about the movement of
6 the population.
7 A. I can't remember, Mr. McCloskey.
8 Q. Now, the Judges in this case have heard that after some 20- to
9 30.000 Muslim women and children or a figure somewhere around that amount
10 were bussed and trucked out of the Bratunac and Potocari areas on the
11 12th and 13th. That on the morning of the 14th -- well, excuse me, on
12 the evening of the 13th continuing on to the morning of the 13th [sic],
13 some 5- to 6.000, at least, Muslim able-bodied men were bussed in a very
14 large number of buses and trucks from Bratunac to an area around Zvornik.
15 Were those the same buses and trucks that shipped the women out, or did
16 you have to mobilise new and different buses and trucks?
17 A. You've seen everything that concerns mobilisation and documents
18 that have been presented at this trial, and also documents that have been
19 presented in other cases. Fifty buses can transport 5- to
20 6.000 people -- well, it was necessary to mobilise other vehicles, and
21 you were able to see that in the documents, Mr. McCloskey, that were
22 presented by the Defence.
23 Q. Were you, yourself, involved in mobilising additional vehicles
24 for the able-bodied men that were taken to Zvornik?
25 A. I can't remember, Mr. McCloskey. But if someone did submit a
1 request, I wouldn't dispute the fact that that was transmitted through
3 Q. The Court has also heard evidence that many Muslim able-bodied
4 men were transported all the way across Bosnia from the Srebrenica area
5 in buses or at least a bus, if not buses, to the area of Trnovo, going
6 across. Now, how many corps zones would you have to go across from
7 driving from the Bratunac-Zvornik area to get to Trnovo at that time with
8 all the various front lines? How many different corps would a bus driver
9 have to go by or through?
10 A. Two corps.
11 Q. Which ones?
12 A. The Drina Corps and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
13 Q. And is there a rule when there are more than one corps involved
14 in a logistics situation or a battle situation that the Main Staff
15 normally gets involved to help co-ordinate that as opposed to just
16 letting the corps themselves do it without the Main Staff's knowledge?
17 A. Mr. McCloskey, it's not necessarily always the case that the
18 Main Staff would control the situation because such an action is called
19 neighbourly co-operation. They can co-ordinate certain activities
21 Q. If it was an order from General Mladic to take Muslims from
22 Srebrenica to Trnovo to be executed, would that be the kind of thing that
23 the Main Staff would do the monitoring and the co-ordination of?
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir. You have the floor. I said
25 "Mr. Tolimir."
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Peace
2 upon this courtroom, and I would like this trial to be completed in
3 according to providence, not according to my wishes.
4 Mr. McCloskey -- it seems that Mr. McCloskey is putting to
5 Mr. Skrbic that two corps had organised two trucks. First he asked
6 whether they crossed the territory of the two corps and now --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to stop you --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- this question calls for
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to stop you. That was not the question of
11 Mr. McCloskey. He was talking about involvement of certain units of the
12 VRS. He was not talking about two buses in that respect. Please don't
13 put anything in your objection to a question which could give an
14 indication to the witness how to answer the question.
15 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, as I think General Skrbic and
17 I understand, we are talking about this trip from the Zvornik area across
18 two separate VRS corps. We are not talking about 2 Corps or 2nd Corps.
19 I don't know if that's the translation problem that it may be causing the
20 issue, but I think General Skrbic and I know, and it was fairly evident
21 because he named the Drina Corps and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
22 Q. But in any event, general, can you answer my last question: If
23 General Mladic had ordered busloads of Muslims be taken from the
24 Srebrenica-Zvornik area all the way across Bosnia to the Trnovo area to
25 be executed, would that have been monitored by his people from the
1 Main Staff and implemented? As you say, the assistant commanders are
2 experts in that.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
5 again a leading question. Let it be shown properly what is being
6 presumed. I didn't say "a leading question," I said it was a question
7 that calls for speculation, and I am kindly asking the interpreters to be
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: It is imperative for me as a questioner to have a
12 basis of fact when I am asking him such a question, and my basis of
13 fact - as I am sure the Court will recall - are the Srebrenica
14 able-bodied men that were murdered in the Trnovo film in late July.
15 You've seen that evidence. Those were Srebrenica survivors -- people
16 that survived up until the film, according to their relatives. We've
17 also heard from the cameraman who said that he had heard of others that
18 he had come across, not just those six, in buses.
19 Q. So my question is: If able-bodied men, several of them, in one
20 or more buses, were ordered by General Mladic to be taken across Bosnia
21 to be killed, as we saw in the film, would that have been monitored,
22 implemented, by members of the Main Staff?
23 And I understand the general does not want to believe such an
24 order happened, but I have the right to ask him that in any event, even
25 if he doesn't believe it happened. Would it have been monitored or
1 implemented by members of the Main Staff?
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would kindly ask
4 Mr. McCloskey to tell us whether he is talking about the transportation
5 about six soldiers in six buses or the transportation of six soldiers?
6 The question is unclear.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, can you clarify it?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I am talking about six able-bodied men that we
9 saw murdered. They came out of a truck. I don't know how they got
10 there, but I refer him specifically - and he will recall - the testimony
11 of the Serbian MUP videographer who said he had heard that there were
12 others in buses or a bus. I can't remember if it was one or more. And I
13 think we can all infer from the fact that it was more than just
14 six people that were sent to Trnovo, especially given the evidence by the
15 videographer. That's the basis of my question. He will recall that.
16 That's what I am asking about. I am not making anything up here.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, please answer the question of
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sorry. What was
20 the question? Could this question kindly be repeated to me.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
23 Q. If General Mladic ordered the transport of one or more buses of
24 able-bodied Muslim men from Srebrenica across the Drina Corps and the
25 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps to Trnovo to be executed, who or what unit in the
1 Main Staff would have monitored and implemented that order?
2 A. Your Honours, I am not able to answer this question using a
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic and Mr. Tolimir, we have heard the
5 last three days many questions during examination-in-chief about the
6 structure, about responsibilities in the VRS and in the different units
7 of the Main Staff. That was not -- that was related to the knowledge,
8 the deep knowledge of one of the six assistant commanders. During
9 cross-examination it is absolutely acceptable to put these kind of
10 questions to a witness.
11 So, Mr. Skrbic, if we take away the condition Mr. McCloskey put
12 to you, who would be responsible for monitoring the transport of people,
13 be it prisoners of war or others, from one area of responsibility of a
14 corps to another area of another corps? Who would be responsible to
15 monitor such a movement in the Main Staff?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that would be units
17 of the military police.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. And, general, does the security organ of the brigades of the
20 corps and of the Main Staff have a professional responsibility over the
21 actions and use of the military police?
22 A. Yes, professional responsibility. But in terms of command, no,
23 because it has been stipulated by a singleness of command and
24 subordination. I said, Your Honours, that members of the MUP as well,
25 but since no state of war was declared at the time, it is possible that
1 they were involved in this escort in a co-ordinated action, but I don't
2 know about that.
3 Q. Yes, general. We understand that the MPs have their own
4 commanders and they are commanded by their brigade commanders or their
5 corps commanders or their Main Staff commanders, and the question had to
6 do with General Mladic's issuing the command, and you've told us that it
7 would be the military police involved. And now you have agreed that it
8 would be the security organs that oversee the professional management of
9 the military police. So it wouldn't be General Mladic managing the
10 movement of these prisoners, it would be the military police and the
11 security organs that manage them professionally. Correct?
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, let's avoid
14 hypothetical questions. Can Mr. McCloskey give us any specifics
15 concerning General Mladic's order and confirm whether any such order
16 existed at all? So let us not force the witness to give answers based on
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I already explained the witness is
19 here to testify as that was -- as your witness to testify about the
20 internal structure and the chain of command in the Main Staff and in the
21 VRS. So you put questions of that kind to the witness and Mr. McCloskey
22 is entitled to do the same during his cross-examination.
23 Sir, please answer the last question of Mr. McCloskey.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the affairs of the
25 military police and the organs of the security are not identical.
1 Security organ from General Staff all to the brigade provide security of
2 the facilities, whereas the military police is involved in combat and
3 police work. Therefore, my answer is that these two kinds of jobs cannot
4 intermingle. Why would security organs monitor the passage of any convoy
5 whatsoever unless they suspected there might be some suspicious element
6 within the convoy that might lead to sabotage actions or alike? The
7 military police and the security organs did not discharge identical
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Colonel Ljubisa Beara was the chief of security in the
11 Main Staff, correct?
12 A. Chief of security administration was Naval Captain Ljubisa Beara.
13 Q. And for the Drina Corps it was Vujadin Popovic?
14 A. The security chief at the command of the corps was Popovic.
15 Q. And were you aware that from the 14th and the 15th and the
16 16th of July, that both Colonel Beara and Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic were
17 working very closely with the military police in the transport of the
18 able-bodied men to Zvornik?
19 A. No, I wasn't.
20 Q. Okay. I think we can leave that subject. Though, let me ask you
21 one question related to General Tolimir's --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you come to that, there is one thing
23 unclear for me. I just wanted to clarify that with the witness.
24 Mr. Skrbic, you were asked, and this was my question:
25 "Who would be responsible to monitor such a movement in the
1 Main Staff?"
2 Your answer was:
3 "That would be units of the military police."
4 Were the units of the military police part of the Main Staff?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, they were part of the
6 65th Motorised Protection Regiment, and this regiment was a staff unit of
7 the Army of Republika Srpska.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What do you mean by that, a staff unit of the
9 Army of Republika Srpska? A unit of the Main Staff?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who was responsible in the Main Staff to monitor
12 the actions of this regiment?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander of the protection
14 regiment, Colonel Milomir Savcic. He was directly subordinate to the
15 commander of the VRS Main Staff. As for professional part of work
16 involving training, deployment, and training of security organs was under
17 the auspices of the security administration.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. We've heard here that the military police battalion of the
22 65th Protection Regiment, which had their base in Nova Kasaba, was
23 responsible for hundreds and hundreds of prisoners on 13 July, and their
24 commander, Mr. Malinic, met with Colonel Beara who was - as you've just
25 told us - the chief of the security of the Main Staff.
1 Now, we've also heard from Mr. Keserovic. What was his job in
2 the Main Staff related to military police?
3 A. What was the duty of Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic? Was that your
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. He was charged with professional supervision of the military
7 police. Not only in the 65th Protection Regiment but all across the
8 entire structure of the Army of Republika Srpska.
9 Q. Okay.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to P02226.
11 Q. And, general -- well, this is another line-and-block chart. The
12 last one you saw with was used with Mr. Obradovic from the Main Staff.
13 This one was more complete. We asked more questions. I believe this was
14 General Milovanovic.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we zero-in on the section for rear
16 services, which is right there in the middle.
17 Q. As we know, that's General Djukic's sector. And I know this is
18 not very satisfactory, but we can see at the bottom there is a -- one of
19 the many separate units. It's called the transport service. And we see
20 a Lieutenant-Colonel Kerkez, Zeljko, in that.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: If that can be just blown up. Just that section
22 in each one.
23 Q. Is this, as far as you know, the correct diagram or the -- was
24 there a transport service in the rear -- the rear services section that
25 was led by Lieutenant-Colonel Kerkez?
1 A. Your Honours, the accuracy of the translation cannot be said to
2 be in the spirit of the Serbian language. It was translated as
3 "transportation service," whereas it should be "transport service."
4 Anyway, this is not in dispute. As for everything else that you said,
5 Mr. McCloskey is correct. The head of the transportation service in the
6 logistics was, indeed, the person whose name is entered here and his rank
7 is also correct. Later on he became a colonel, but that is irrelevant at
8 the moment.
9 Q. All right. And did -- as far as your recollection, was
10 Colonel Kerkez or his unit involved with these -- any of these buses or
11 transportation issues associated with the buses that you made the
12 mobilisation request for, Srebrenica?
13 A. Yes. It was their duty to supply fuel.
14 Q. And what did his unit do regarding this transportation of the
15 Muslims and the buses and the fuel, to the best of your knowledge?
16 A. Well, there were no more than two or three persons in that
17 transportation service, and I don't know what they did exactly,
18 Mr. McCloskey. I suppose that they co-ordinated all these activities
19 over the phone or whatever. I don't know.
20 Q. I am not asking for exacts and I don't want you to speculate.
21 Just tell us what you do know or you can reasonably infer. That's fine,
22 too. That's what -- General Tolimir was relying on your knowledge and
23 your ability to infer from his questions. I don't want you to speculate.
24 Supposing doesn't help. What did you know that this unit and these guys
25 were doing?
1 A. Apart from roads and co-operation with the civilian traffic
2 police, I know for sure that one of their responsibilities was to supply
3 fuel. And since we are talking about buses, I presume that it was diesel
4 fuel. As for the other aspect of their scope of responsibility, that is
5 something that I don't know about.
6 Your Honours, if I know and I am knowledgeable about the
7 structure of the army, its organisation and everything else, that's fine,
8 but nobody can have full knowledge about what every organ is supposed to
9 do. So if I receive a request to provide such information about any
10 specific organ, I comply.
11 Now, I would like to add that my specialty is air force and
12 missile units. Even if you ask me about my area of expertise, I couldn't
13 maybe give you always an answer because people tend to forget. But to
14 ask me what each individual did, this is way too much.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, there is no problem with that. This
16 is the situation for every witness. But you have to tell everything you
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to 65 ter 2738.
20 Q. And, general, this should be another one of those intercepts,
21 like the one that General Tolimir showed you between a Krsmanovic and a
22 Toso, but this one is -- that one was on 16 July, this one is on 12 July,
23 the day we know that you sent your written request. And we can see from
24 this that it's at 1425 hours, between a Lieutenant-Colonel Kerkez. And
25 we have the translation "traffic," and he's identified as K, and an
1 unidentified male, X. And he identifies himself over the air and is
2 speaking about a few trailer trucks needed to engage in the direction
3 down towards Bratunac. And X is -- they are talking about these vehicles
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think this document should not be broadcast.
6 Please continue.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. And then Kerkez says:
9 "Two buses report to you from the Eastern Bosnia Corps command,"
10 he gives the registration plates. "Have them tanked up a bit ..."
11 And so this is just -- in your view, does this have to do with
12 the buses going to Bratunac on the 12th, the same thing you sent your
13 mobilisation request out for?
14 A. Yes, there is a connection, Mr. McCloskey. Only I presume --
15 sorry, if I am too close to the mike, but I have to look at the document.
16 Only I assume that these buses had already been mobilised in Bijeljina
17 because I see they have civilian license plates. Let me draw your
18 attention to K entry where you have BN 110-147 and BN 110-20. These are
19 civilian license plates, whereas the army had designations VRS. But yes,
20 you're right. There is a connection.
21 Q. And your previous answer to me then would be correct because you
22 did say he was involved in this process and he's -- with fuel, and he's
23 at least saying tank up that one vehicle. So that would leave us to
24 believe that you were correct in your answer regarding that?
25 A. Yes, from the point of view of fuel supply, as I explained to
2 Q. All right.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer that into evidence.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I just wanted to inquire whether
6 this document is really under seal. If not, there is no need to redact
7 anything. Please clarify, because I can't find it in your list of
8 documents to be used with this witness. Please help me with that.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: It should be on my list. We did send a few lists
10 over as we were collecting, so you may not have a recent one. But we
11 cannot find any initials or any problems on it, so I don't think there is
12 a problem it being public.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then there is no problem with broadcasting it.
14 Please continue.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And -- and I would offer that 65 ter 2738 into
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go back -- oops.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2738 shall be
20 assigned Exhibit P2863. Thank you.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could now go back to Exhibit P2656.
22 Q. That's the 16 July intercept that the general told you about that
23 you spoke of for a while with him.
24 Now, did you know a Krsmanovic in the transport or traffic unit
25 of the Drina Corps or know of him? We know personnel guys may not know
1 everybody, but they certainly see a lot of names and promotions and such.
2 A. Mr. McCloskey, at the time I knew two individuals whose surname
3 was Krsmanovic. There was Aleksa Krsmanovic, assistant commander in the
4 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps for logistics, and I also knew another Krsmanovic
5 whose name I cannot remember. At the time he was the Chief of Staff in
6 the 2nd Romanija Brigade. At the time I didn't know any Krsmanovic's
7 from the Drina Corps. I don't exclude the possibility that there was a
8 Krsmanovic in that corps.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 7599. That is a new
10 65 ter number, Mr. President, that I -- we've identified this in our
11 responding to the questions of this intercept.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, any objection to add this document
13 to the 65 ter list?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
15 objections to anything that might help to establish the truth.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, leave is granted to add it to the
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. And, general, it -- this looks like a personnel-type document.
20 As we see, it's from the commander of the Drina Corps, dated the
21 1st of October, 1995, Radislav Krstic. And it has a person named
22 Rajko Krsmanovic, chief of the traffic and transport service in the rear
23 service organ of the Drina Corps and a colonel. I am surprised you
24 wouldn't know a colonel in the Drina Corps right next to you in
25 Han Pijesak. Does this help refresh your recollection?
1 A. Mr. McCloskey, it's a lieutenant-colonel, not a colonel. And he
2 wasn't with me in Han Pijesak, but you can see it's Rajko here. There
3 are two Krsmanovics. There is Rajko and the Chief of Staff in the
4 2nd Romanija Corps for a certain period of time, but here's the proof.
5 Why didn't you show me this immediately so that I could tell you that
6 it's a personal [as interpreted] document that concerns deployment.
7 Q. This is from General Krstic. This should have hit your desk.
8 Perhaps not.
9 A. I apologise. Let me just have a look at the document.
10 Everything is a bit muddled here, and it's not addressed to anyone. Why
11 would it be on my desk?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could I get some help, maybe.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, with the assistance of the Court Usher a
14 hard copy should be given to the witness.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we don't need to get into -- could he --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First to Mr. Tolimir.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. General, we don't need to get into whether this would be your
20 desk or not. Perhaps a recommendation like that this wouldn't get to
21 your desk. I just want to ask you about it.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please give it to Mr. Tolimir. Please give it to
23 Mr. Tolimir. Wait a moment, please.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's on the screen, so I'm not -- it's not an
25 original. I mean, it's fine, but --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's let Mr. Tolimir look at it, the first page
2 of it, of course. Only that is on the screen.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now please give it to the witness.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. And, general, please take your time to look at it and the second
7 page as well, and whether it's on your desk is not and really not an
8 issue, and I don't mean to suggest it is. So just take your time to look
9 at it a bit, and why I asked you the question first is because I would
10 ideally like your recollections as opposed to you just repeating what you
11 see on documents. So that's kind of normal in a trial. So have you had
12 a chance to look at it?
13 A. Mr. McCloskey, even before I was given the document, I wanted to
14 apologise. So please accept my apology. I didn't see the last sentence
15 which quite explicitly says that it was on my desk, because it's a
16 proposal for a promotion. Your Honours, under the word "healthy" it
18 "Fulfills the conditions stipulated by law for promotion ..."
19 And I immediately drew the conclusion that that had to be in the
20 sector where I worked with Colonel Malcic in the personnel domain, so
21 that's why I apologise, Mr. McCloskey. I didn't have time to have a look
22 at the whole document. And there is an explanation about this proposal
23 from the corps commander, this proposal for promotion.
24 Q. Yes.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to the next page in both languages.
1 Q. And here is --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it this is attached to the hard copy the
3 witness has in front of him?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it is, Mr. President. And we see that -- I
5 think we should see that they are -- they should be sequential
6 ERN numbers, meaning they were stamped from one to the other, which
7 indicates that when we got them they were next to each other.
8 Q. And what we see here, and I won't go over all of it in detail, is
9 a discussion about his history and the good job he was doing. And then
10 as we get down to the seventh paragraph -- it's actually the third from
11 the bottom. It says:
12 "He put a lot of effort and with great success organised and
13 transported Muslim population from Srebrenica and Zepa."
14 So with this personnel document that you say should have gone --
15 or did go on your desk because you've already told us the Main Staff had
16 to approve these kind of promotions, and that you can see he was a
17 Drina Corps guy. He was involved, according to General Krstic, with the
18 same kind of buses and stuff that Kerkez was that you just talked about
19 in the same unit, one -- Main Staff, Kerkez. Krsmanovic, the corps.
20 Does this help refresh your recollection as to your knowledge of this
21 man, either his existence as a personnel guy that you didn't know or
22 someone that you actually now remember you knew because you might have
23 had contact with him? Vlasenica and Han Pijesak being very close to each
25 A. Yes, but I didn't meet the gentleman until 1995, when he became
1 the commander of a brigade in Romanija. Or, rather, it was in 1996.
2 Q. Okay. So you do now. This helps you remember this person.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we briefly go to 65 --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: So I would offer that document into evidence as
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7599 shall be
10 assigned Exhibit P2864. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we now go to 65 ter 7597.
12 Q. This is a -- a listing of the people on the Drina Corps on
13 April 29th, 1995, which includes Veljko Krsmanovic.
14 MR. McCloskey: I would ask leave for this because it's on the
15 same topic.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am sure that Mr. Tolimir has no objection to
17 add this document to the 65 ter exhibit list. As he generally told us
18 that he has no objection to this kind of application. Please continue.
19 Leave is granted to do that this. Please continue.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. And this is a document, general, that we received from the
22 Drina Corps collection that we have. And is this the same
23 Veljko Krsmanovic we just saw being recommended for promotion?
24 A. Your Honours, we have to be precise about something.
25 Mr. McCloskey is using the name "Veljko" but here it says "Rajko."
1 Mr. McCloskey, could you please repeat your question, who do you have in
2 mind, Veljko or Rajko?
3 Q. I'm sorry, thank you for correcting me. Rajko, son of
4 Veljko Krsmanovic, who was the person on the promotion recommendation.
5 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Rajko Krsmanovic, son of Veljko, is on the
6 list, and that is the individual concerned.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this into evidence.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7597 shall be
10 assigned Exhibit P2865. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to P1539. Sorry, 1539C.
12 Q. And this will be an intercept from 12 July.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: In the B/C/S it's the --
14 Q. It's the middle one, general, that starts at 0922 hours.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And this one should not be broadcast. Yeah.
16 And --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it under seal?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: It does have the name of --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yeah, it should not be broadcast. That's fine.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Taking some time with the English, but I don't
21 need to spend too much time with this.
22 Q. As, again, we see a Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic, unidentified
23 person. And X tells him that they only have two buses, some other can be
24 mobilised without papers, without an order. But they have a problem with
25 fuel. They don't have enough of it. How would they be able to get buses
1 without mobilising them? What would the options be? I ...
2 A. From their own unit's sources.
3 Q. All right. Thank you.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next exhibit, P156 --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, can you please tell us, is this
6 document under seal?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I am told it is, yes.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. It is not -- there is no
9 indication that it is under seal in your exhibit list. That's the reason
10 why I am asking it. Okay.
11 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I was told that it was only marked
13 for identification. I don't know the reason at the moment. Are you
14 tendering it now?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: It had a P number, P1539C, so I didn't think we
16 got P number -- but I offer it.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There are quite a lot of documents marked for
18 identification with a P or a D number.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: We best offer that, I'm sorry. I should know by
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: After some years. It will be received now under
22 this document number. Please continue.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: So could we now go to P1563, and I believe it
24 should be confidential as well. And it's C.
25 Q. And, general, the one I'd like you to look at in the B/C/S is the
1 one that's at 1200 hours on 12 July. It's that first one between X and
2 Y. And it just is a lot of information about 25 buses, various places,
3 three from some place they are not sure, five from some place they are
4 not sure, nine buses from Pale and Sokolac, one tractor trailer from
5 Bratunac, three tractor trailers from -- is that Batkovici or Bratkovici?
6 I see it's Bratkovici, okay. And Radakovic is asking permission to use
7 14 trucks. He will keep them in reserve. They talk about the 35th base
8 in Bijeljina. Some more that I won't mention. And a request for fuel
9 has been sent to Krstic.
10 Now, if this is General Krstic, would this, in your view, be
11 related to the mobilisation or the -- if not mobilisation, the gathering
12 together of buses from all over to deal with the situation in Srebrenica?
13 A. Comme ci, comme ca. That's how I would put it. Yes, this is a
14 process that was initiated in relation to mobilisation. So the buses had
15 set off and it was necessary to obtain fuel for them and so on and so
17 Q. All right. And are you familiar with an auto battalion in
19 A. Yes, I think that this battalion was a part of the Drina Corps as
20 per establishment, that auto battalion.
21 Q. And did you know a Radakovic in that unit or had you heard of
23 A. I've probably heard of him, but I didn't know him, Mr. McCloskey.
24 It is a battalion, after all.
25 Q. Well, had you heard of him or not? You said "probably," or
1 that's ...
2 A. I said "probably" because he was in our personnel files, if he
3 was an officer. Since he was a battalion commander he was probably an
4 officer. I don't know whether he was a reserve officer or an active-duty
5 officer. If he was a professional officer, then he was in the personnel
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to another intercept.
9 Q. But prior to that, I just want to take us back to, briefly,
10 P2656. The intercept that you spent some time on with General Tolimir.
11 And I just want us to look at it. It is from 16th July, as we know from
12 the record, at 2143 hours, between Krsmanovic and Toso. And it says in a
13 discussion with Toso about the problem with transportation, Krsmanovic
14 mentioned 10 buses and 14 trucks in relation to the means that are not
15 yet requisitioned. And in quotes: "That was the situation today."
16 So we can see here these two people are having a discussion about
17 problems with buses and trucks on the 16th.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: So now let's go to 65 ter 2748.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I can
21 remember, in the course of my testimony I said that this was not --
22 please, could we go back to that.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey is conducting his
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. Yes, general, did you want to explain something about one of your
3 answers to General Tolimir? Because I haven't really asked you anything
4 yet on that.
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. All right. Go ahead.
7 A. I said -- I apologise, Mr. McCloskey. There is just something I
8 wanted to add that's all. You said that this was a conversation, but I
9 said - I don't know if I am right - that it wasn't a conversation. It
10 says Krsmanovic, and then it quotes what Krsmanovic said. That is the
11 only distinction I wanted to make, Your Honours. I do apologise.
12 Q. Yes. The English translation we have is: "In a discussion with
13 Toso ..." So I don't know how you're getting that, but conversation or
14 discussion, these in English are similar words. In any event, let's
15 now -- and we see this intercept, which is a little over two hours
16 earlier at 1859 hours between a Krsmanovic and Goran. It's between
17 Krsmanovic and someone named Goran. And Krsmanovic asked Goran to take
18 two buses back to him, which he did prior to this. And Krsmanovic
19 continues. And now it says:
20 "I also sent Golic and his ten," and that's just -- we don't know
21 a ten what, "back yesterday ... I was granted these ten upon Kerkez's
22 decision ... is it still ... does Kerkez know if this is still on?"
23 Goran says:
24 "What do you mean, you still need it? Why?"
25 Kerkez says:
1 "I need them to transport people. Today, my superior officer
2 demanded that he should go immediately to the region to transport ...
3 because the action is not completed."
4 Goran says:
5 "Do you have the remaining 20 --"
6 A. I can't follow you, Mr. McCloskey.
7 Q. Well, it's break time so I think if we can -- I can give a hard
8 copy to read, though, if you want to do that on your break, otherwise we
9 will start at the end of the break.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's fine. We all haven't seen this yet. If I
11 am correct, this document is under seal and we will see how to proceed.
12 We must have our first break now, and we will resume at 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, please take your earphones.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. Now, we were at that intercept, 65 ter 2748. And I just want to
22 see if we can identify possible parties in this. And to remind us, this
23 is an intercept that is about two and three-quarter hours before the
24 intercept about the discussion between Krsmanovic and Toso and the
25 problem with ten buses.
1 So we see that -- and I won't read it all, but just starting from
2 the beginning Krsmanovic is asking someone by the name of Goran to take
3 two buses back to him.
4 And then Krsmanovic says:
5 "I also sent Golic and his ten back yesterday ... I was granted
6 these ten upon Kerkez's decision ..."
7 And it goes on. Do you know a -- and we know that Golic is a
8 common name, but do you know a Major -- did you know a Major Golic in the
9 intel section of the Drina Corps, Pavle Golic?
10 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. But I didn't know that he was in the
11 intelligence. I knew a Golic who was a communication chief at the corps
12 command for a certain period of time. I cannot remember. He may have
13 been transferred to the intelligence section, that same Golic.
14 Q. Okay. And then Krsmanovic says:
15 "I need them to transport people. Today my superior officer
16 demanded that he should go immediately to the region to transport ...
17 because the action is not finished."
18 So if Krsmanovic is an officer in the Drina Corps, who was the
19 commander of the Drina Corps at that time?
20 A. Mr. McCloskey, can you please remind me of the date of this
22 Q. Yeah, it's 16 July.
23 A. General Radislav Krstic was already the corps commander at that
25 Q. And on the 16th of July, did you know that General Krstic was
1 engaged in the -- commanding the operation into the Zepa enclave?
2 A. No, I didn't, Mr. McCloskey.
3 Q. And then it goes on. Goran says:
4 "Do you have the remaining 20 or something that is not from the
5 auto battalion from your region?"
6 We've already talked about the Drina Corps's auto battalion in
7 Zvornik. Krsmanovic says:
8 "Do you hear what I am asking you, man?"
9 And then he says:
10 "Is Kerkez around somewhere?"
11 And Goran says he's having dinner. And then Krsmanovic says:
12 "Tell him I was looking for him and that I will call him in a
13 while. I am trying to tell you something and you --"
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please slow down.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. "... and you ... fuck it, you are telling your story."
17 Goran says:
18 "And you are telling yours."
19 Now, if Krsmanovic is asking a guy named Goran about Kerkez and
20 Goran knows that Kerkez is at dinner, were you aware of any subordinate
21 of Kerkez named Goran? Would have been at the Main Staff because, as
22 you've told us, Kerkez is the Main Staff guy for transport. I think
23 you've told us Djukic is in Han Pijesak with you, so I would think
24 Djukic's guys are in the same Han Pijesak admin building with you, not up
25 at Crna Rijeka, but you know better than I.
1 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. It's right. They were in Han Pijesak, not
2 in Crna Rijeka. Now, back to your question. I cannot agree with you
3 with any degree of certainty that K stands for Krsmanovic, that G stands
4 for Golic and so on. I can see the letter K and then the letter G, then
5 again the letter K and so on and so forth. If someone has identified
6 these individuals for you, I have no problem with that. But I, myself,
7 cannot say that I know who they are.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, the question was:
9 "... were you aware of any subordinate of Kerkez named Goran?"
10 Please answer that question.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wasn't, Your Honours.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. And, general, we have heard from several intercept operators that
14 did these, and just so you know, when I ask you the question I -- the --
15 they have told us that the -- Krsmanovic would be K and G would be Goran
16 because that's how they did it. They would put it up on the top and then
17 it would go on like that.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I would like to offer this into
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2748 shall be
22 assigned Exhibit P2866.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Under seal.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Under seal. Thank you.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now could we go to D341.
1 Q. This is that list that General Tolimir gave you. It was your
2 Main Staff list that had all the people in it.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: This would be page 19 of that list. It's the one
4 the general wanted to have complete -- we are now translating the
5 complete one.
6 Q. And it should be the traffic and transportation service under 103
7 and then 4300.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And so if we could blow that one up. It's
9 103 4300. It says -- all right.
10 Q. We can see up there Zeljko Kerkez. What's his job?
11 A. Mr. McCloskey, up there you can see the title: "Transportation
12 and Traffic Service," and underneath it says, "Chief." First
13 Ostoja Stijepic, son of Novak, was before Mr. Zeljko Kerkez.
14 Q. Okay, so who was the chief in July of 1995?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. So Kerkez was the chief in July 1995?
17 A. That's correct, Mr. McCloskey.
18 Q. Now, let's go down to the referents. These men would have been
19 stationed at the Han Pijesak administrative building where you were,
20 where you would have spent a lot of your time. And we see one of those
21 referents is named Goran. Did you know a Goran that worked -- I will ask
22 the same question, does this help refresh your recollection of a man that
23 worked in the same building as you did and worked for Kerkez named
24 Goran Starcevic?
25 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Now I remember who Goran was. Now that you
1 told me that his last name was Starcevic.
2 Q. Okay. And I --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: The English is in e-court but I think that should
4 be clear enough for everyone and it's already in evidence.
5 Q. All right. General, just another topic I want to switch to, and
6 hopefully briefly. General Tolimir asked you on page 18636 about the
7 resubordination by the police to the army. And you answered, and I
9 "According to what I know, there was no resubordination
11 And then you say that the police are resubordinated to the army
12 only during a state of war and no specific document has been issued to
13 that effect because they become an integral part of the armed forces.
14 Because a state of war wasn't proclaimed in the territory of
15 Republika Srpska until the 20th of October, 1995.
16 Though I think somewhere else in your testimony you said that
17 they did declare a state of war about -- around Srebrenica in July. So I
18 won't hold you to that October. Do you remember when you talked about a
19 state of war in Srebrenica in July?
20 A. Precisely so, Mr. McCloskey. It was around July. And I think
21 you do have documents on the proclamation of a state of war, as well as
22 the order signed by the president of the republic. I believe I've seen
23 these documents somewhere.
24 Q. Yes, and I'll -- if I have time I may show that to you. And you
25 recall you and I discussed this topic in your interview, and I believe I
1 showed you some documents on it, this resubordination issue, but perhaps
2 we can just get right to the point. I -- let's not use this term
3 "resubordination." Let me just simplify it. Were you aware that special
4 police forces, in this case commanded by the deputy commander of the
5 special police force unit that was under the Ministry of the Interior,
6 were actually sent to Srebrenica and put under the command of
7 General Mladic on 11 July?
8 A. Mr. McCloskey, I did not dispute the documents showed me by you
9 in 2005, but up to that time I hadn't known that they were sent there.
10 Now I can only confirm the information contained in these documents that
11 they were there.
12 Q. But you told General Krstic for whatever reason he elicited from
13 you, and I quote -- sorry, from General Tolimir:
14 "According to what I know, there was no resubordination
16 And as you know resubordination puts a unit in the command of
18 A. That's correct, Mr. McCloskey. I have no reason to go back on
19 what I said, and I would like to repeat that I began my answer with the
20 words "According to what I know ..."
21 Q. All right. Let's go to P2516. We will just go through some of
22 these documents that I showed you before because we'll see if that fits
23 to what you know.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the number of the
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: P2516.
2 Q. And we can see that this is dated 10 July. It's in the name of
3 the staff commander who is from the Ministry of the Interior,
4 Tomislav Kovac.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could the B/C/S version be enlarged further,
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. And we see it's directed to a number of police forces. And it
9 makes reference to: "Pursuant to the order of the Supreme Commander of
10 the Republika Srpska armed forces," and that's Radovan Karadzic, correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And:
13 "In order to crush the enemy offensive being carried out from the
14 safe area of Srebrenica I hereby order ..."
15 And I don't want to go through the details of it, but we can see,
16 as I said, that it designated, in number 3, Ljubisa Borovcanin to be the
17 commander of these units.
18 And then if we go down to point 5, it says:
19 "On arrival at his destination, the unit commander is obliged to
20 make contact with the corps Chief of Staff, General Krstic."
21 So if this means Borovcanin is to make contact with
22 General Krstic, what does that mean, if anything, to you regarding who is
23 in command of who or working with who?
24 A. Mr. McCloskey, I understand this to mean that they were
25 co-operating with each other, although I cannot definitely say who
1 commanded whom. They were both commanders. They had to talk to each
2 other. They had to agree on further actions pursuant to the orders
3 received from the Commander-in-Chief.
4 Q. Do you think deputy commander, which is roughly equivalent to
5 colonel, Borovcanin -- that General Mladic had to agree with this -- with
6 Borovcanin, this colonel, before Borovcanin could be acted upon?
7 A. I don't understand why you have mentioned General Mladic. We are
8 talking about General Krstic and Mr. Borovcanin. I don't know whether he
9 had any rank or not.
10 Q. Well, the same thing holds for General Krstic. Do you think
11 General Krstic couldn't order Borovcanin after he reported to him that he
12 would have to agree and sort of work together in some sort co-operative
13 way in a military combat situation? Please, general, give us your best
14 military opinion on this.
15 A. Mr. McCloskey, at the time to which this document refers, which
16 was not sent to the Drina Corps command, you see on the top who the
17 recipient was, they were still within the relationship that involved
18 co-operation. What happened afterwards, I don't know. I do not rule out
19 the possibility that General Krstic, as the Drina Corps commander, and
20 given that this unit was sent to him, he might have become their
21 commander as well. I don't exclude that as a possibility.
22 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to P1335. This is Mr. Borovcanin's
23 after-action report of the events from the -- about the 10th of July
24 through about the 20th of July, and it should be looking at the first
25 page of the English there. Let's get you up --
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to the next page in the Serbian.
2 Q. And we can see in the English that he does mention the order that
3 we just looked at from on 10 July where he was sent to participate in the
4 Srebrenica operation. And then in the English he talks about his
5 travelling from the 10th and the 11th in July.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: We need to go to the next page in the English.
7 Q. And in the B/C/S you can find the part. The paragraph says:
8 "When we arrived in Bratunac at 1200 hours on 11 July, we
9 acquainted ourselves with the situation on the front, where intense
10 fighting was taking place at the very entrance to Srebrenica town from
11 the direction of Pribicevac and Zeleni Jadar.
12 "From the observer post in Pribicevac, I contacted
13 General Mladic, who personally commanded over the operation. On receipt
14 of combat papers, he ordered me to that same day with all available
15 manpower and equipment from the direction of Zuti Most to Potocari ..."
16 and onward.
17 Does that clear up this issue for you?
18 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Only obviously this date was added by
19 someone. I don't know who. Added by hand, 11th of July, by 1200 hours.
20 Q. So you now agree with me that Borovcanin and his MUP forces are
21 now under the command of General Mladic?
22 A. Yes, there was no way for them not to be.
23 Q. Okay. All right. Let's go to another part of this, where on
24 page 18618 you began speaking to General Tolimir about can -- and he
25 said to you:
1 "Can you remember any general that was retired in mid-July 1995?"
2 And you said:
3 "Yes, that was Milenko Zivanovic."
4 And you said you ... I'm sorry, let me just make sure we get this
5 clear. On the bottom of that page, the general says:
6 "Thank you. Do you remember when he retired and who was
7 responsible for the paperwork for his retirement?"
8 And you said:
9 "The decree that I took to the president of the republic was
10 signed by the president of the republic, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, on the
11 14th of July, 1995. The decree defined specifically the date of the
12 retirement, and I believe that was on the same day; in other words, as of
13 14 July 1995 he was retired."
14 Did anyone from the Defence show you those documents at this --
15 before this hearing? I think you've probably seen them before. I don't
17 A. Mr. McCloskey, no one from the Defence showed me that document,
18 that I created it, then it was signed. So if I saw it, then I would
19 confirm those dates, but I think the dates are correct. But I don't
20 remember whether it says that he retired on the 14th, but it is usual --
21 it's part of military practice for the date when it's signed meaning
22 that -- the date when the document was signed would show when the actual
23 person retired. If we could see the document, it would be easier to say.
24 I think that decree exists, Mr. McCloskey.
25 Q. Yes, and we -- I want to get to it. But first I want to just
1 show you something. I mean, you said it was the 14th July that you saw
2 President Karadzic. What do you base that on? Is it just your memory or
3 where you had a chance to see a diary or anything?
4 A. Mr. McCloskey, in Belgrade I, in fact, told you that I made
5 certain notes on my computer and these notes were made from memory. And
6 it is on that basis that I drew the conclusion that I must have been
7 there on the 14th or around that date because of that decree that
8 concerned the retirement of General Zivanovic and the appointment of
9 certain other generals.
10 Q. What other generals?
11 A. The appointment of General Krstic as the commander of the
12 Drina Corps, and the appointment of Colonel Svetozar Andric as the
13 Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps. So only one general was concerned.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we have P2198. It should be e-court page 79,
16 B/C/S e-court page 91.
17 Q. General, this should be, if I got my numbers right, a diary that
18 the secretaries of President Karadzic put together and told us about.
19 And we should be seeing the entry for 14 July.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we go to e-court page 91. Thank you very
22 Q. And we see it's an appointment diary. Familiar name of
23 Miroslav Deronjic. It's before you. And then we see General Skrbic,
24 1215 hours to 1235 hours. So you got 20 minutes. Does that seem about
25 right? Or does it help you at all?
1 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 Q. And the secretary told us that if they put a plus by the person's
3 name, that meant that it actually occurred, that meeting. All right.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 811.
5 Q. And, general, we see that this is a decree from the president of
6 the Republika Srpska. It's signed in the name of Radovan Karadzic. And
7 it talks about placed at the disposal of the Main Staff
8 Milenko Zivanovic. Is this the decree that you were talking about?
9 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 Q. It doesn't say "retired," but can you just tell us what that
11 means, "placed at the disposal," in this context?
12 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. If the Main Staff has the need, they then
13 retain him and make a proposal to the president for a certain
14 appointment. This is again done by a decree. If there is no such need,
15 then his employment is terminated. The Main Staff didn't have the need
16 for Milenko Zivanovic, General Milenko Zivanovic, and as a result he
17 ceased to be fully employed. He was retired.
18 Q. Okay. And we can see a stamp over President Karadzic's
19 signature. And we also have a stamp on the original with the name
20 Radoslav Banduka. Is that the same Banduka that you spoke of the other
21 day when writing in that little box in a chart of the Main Staff? Can
22 you remind us who that is?
23 A. Mr. McCloskey, that's correct. That's the individual from the
24 Ministry of Defence who was, as far as I can remember, acting as an
25 assistant to Mr. Kovacevic. I don't know his exact position, but he was
1 in the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. So this isn't Rajko Banduka, Mladic's guy?
3 A. No, sir.
4 Q. And did you type this up? You said you typed up the paperwork at
5 the Main Staff and brought it over, when you were telling that to
6 General Tolimir.
7 A. Well, I didn't do that myself, Mr. McCloskey. It was done in our
8 department. A draft was made on the computer. These letters are letters
9 I can't really recognise, but within the Ministry of Defence, this must
10 have been typed out again and then taken to the president. I don't
11 remember which document I took to the president, whether it was this one
12 or the other one that we compiled. I don't know which document I took to
13 the president for him to sign.
14 Q. Because we see here this is 15 July, and from your memory and
15 from the appointments book, you were there on the 14th of July. Can you
16 account for why it's a 15 July date that he's signing off on this? Would
17 you have typed it up the day before -- sorry, the day after for him to
19 A. Mr. McCloskey, you've seen in the previous documents that I was
20 at the president's on the 14th. That is quite certain. Now, I cannot
21 remember this exactly, but given these documents perhaps it wasn't signed
22 at the very same time. But I took that decree to the ministry for them
23 to have a look at and then they signed it on the 15th. That might be a
24 reasonable explanation for me.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I think we can offer this into
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours 65 ter document 811 shall be
4 assigned Exhibit P2867. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: And can we go to 65 ter 18?
6 Q. And, general, you'll see as this one comes up it's another
7 decree. It's the same type, same Radovan Karadzic stamp signature. This
8 one has to do with the -- appointing General Krstic as commander, which
9 you've just told us about. And this -- this is -- has got a spot where
10 you handwrite -- somebody handwrites in the date and this is 14 July.
11 What can you tell us about this?
12 A. Mr. McCloskey, this is a document from the sector I worked in,
13 and this is what documents looked like when I worked on the computer.
14 This was in the sector of the Main Staff of the department for
15 mobilisation, organisation, et cetera. And this document was signed by
16 Dr. Radovan Karadzic. So, I wasn't quite sure which document he had
17 signed and hadn't signed.
18 Q. So, in direct examination you remembered going to see Karadzic
19 about the retirement of Zivanovic and now you've been able to recall that
20 not only it had to do with the retirement of Zivanovic but also the
21 promotion to General Krstic; is that right?
22 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. But I haven't remembered it now. I knew it
23 then. You didn't ask me about that.
24 Q. No, General Tolimir didn't ask you about Krstic and you were able
25 to remember it. So that's -- I appreciate that.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would like to offer that into evidence as well.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 18 shall be
4 assigned Exhibit P2868. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. So we've now established that you would have spoken to him
7 briefly at some point in that 20 minutes about the retirement of
8 Zivanovic and the promotion to General Krstic. And two days prior to
9 that, you had sent his ministry a request for buses that his ministry
10 acted upon, as we saw. And just to put you in bit of context, on the
11 14th of July -- excuse me, on the evening of the 13th of July, all the
12 women and children and old men had been shipped out by many buses and
13 trucks out of Potocari and are now in Muslim-held territory. But on the
14 night of the 13th, there are thousands and thousands of Muslim
15 able-bodied men in Bratunac and in the area and schools. And this Court
16 has heard evidence that President Karadzic that evening had a
17 conversation with Miroslav Deronjic, who met with him right before you
18 did on the 14th, about moving parcels out of the Bratunac area.
19 So my question is: When you see the president on the 14th at
20 about noon at which time thousands of men are being transported from
21 Bratunac to Zvornik in a column led by Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, did
22 you discuss or did Radovan Karadzic mention any of those details, the
23 buses needed for the transport of all those men, or anything to do with
24 that topic? That now, by the 14th of July, is being commanded by
25 General Krstic from the Drina Corps.
1 A. As far as I can remember, Mr. McCloskey, that wasn't discussed.
2 Q. When you say, "as far as I can remember" -- oh, excuse me.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Perhaps Mr. McCloskey
7 should indicate the time when Deronjic and Karadzic met, because it was
8 stated on the document that we had a look at. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is a proposal for Mr. McCloskey. Please
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I had -- I think I had said that right
12 before the general's meeting with President Karadzic that
13 Miroslav Deronjic had met with him. And if we go back to that exhibit,
14 we see that General Skrbic was 1215 to 1235, and Deronjic's was actually
15 1240 to 1310 hours. It was originally scheduled at 1100 hours. So it
16 was actually after his meeting. So thank you for correcting me on that.
17 Precision is appreciated.
18 Q. All right. So you had your questions said -- sorry, in your
19 answer to me, "As far as I can remember, that wasn't discussed." That's
20 the same thing you said to me when I asked you if Srebrenica had been
21 mentioned at Zivanovic's going-away party.
22 So, general, please, can you get back into your memory and give
23 us your best memory. Anything to do with the Srebrenica events. It was
24 a historical event, after all.
25 A. Mr. McCloskey, I can't remember the things you would like me to
2 Q. All right. One other personnel document on a related topic. Do
3 you know when General Mladic actually made General Krstic the commander
4 of the Drina Corps?
5 A. Mr. McCloskey, could you please put the question to me again?
6 Because General Mladic didn't have the responsibility for appointing
7 officers who had the rank of a general.
8 Q. When was General Krstic actually made commander of the
9 Drina Corps by whoever?
10 A. On the 14th of July, 1995, Mr. McCloskey.
11 Q. All right.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to --
13 Q. And I take it -- what do you base that on?
14 A. I base it on the president's decree that you showed to me a
15 minute ago.
16 Q. But as the personnel man, you would know the -- some of the
17 backdrop and background into how it was that a person gets retired right
18 between major actions, Srebrenica and then Zepa? And how it would occur
19 at such a volatile and complex time that one becomes a commander and one
20 is retired. So do you recall any other circumstances, aside from this
21 one document? Was this a planned event? I mean, most generals'
22 promotions are known pretty far in advance as well as retirements. Or
23 was he -- was Zivanovic retired suddenly without your knowledge? Can you
24 give us a little background. I don't want to go in -- I know personnel
25 issues can get pretty complex. I don't want to know that. But
1 basically, what else besides this document are you basing your testimony
3 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Just a few facts I would like to inform you
4 of. General Zivanovic was wounded. I think that was back in 1993. Or I
5 don't know the exact year. I remember that at a collegium, at a meeting,
6 on one occasion there was a discussion about who should be the chief of
7 the staff of the Drina Corps, whether it should be Colonel Krstic. He
8 was a colonel at the time, that was in mid-1994. It was also discussed
9 whether it should be Colonel Skocajic Milutin. We then suggested to the
10 commander that Colonel Radislav Krstic should occupy that position.
11 As far as the proposal for appointing General Krstic as commander
12 and also to retire General Zivanovic, this wasn't discussed at the
13 collegium as is customary. General Mladic acted within his purview, and
14 he suggested to the president of the republic, to Mr. Karadzic, that
15 Zivanovic should be retired and that the commander of the Drina Corps
16 should be General Krstic.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's go to P2357.
18 Q. Let's see if this may help refresh your recollection as to the
19 dates and the specifics of this transfer. And you'll have a chance to
20 study that, but can you first tell us: Have you ever heard of anyone
21 named -- chief of personnel and legal affairs of the Drina Corps,
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Radenko Jovicic?
23 A. Of course I have, Mr. McCloskey.
24 Q. Can you study this personnel document from Jovicic? We see it's
25 dated 13 July and it was received by a unit at 2325 hours on the
1 13th of July according to that stamp at the bottom. And it's pretty
2 self-explanatory, transfer of duties of the corps commander. And it
4 "Pursuant to the decree of the president of Republika Srpska, and
5 in the presence of the VRS Main Staff commander,
6 Colonel General Ratko Mladic, the transfer of duties of the Drina Corps
7 commander duties was carried out on 13 July 1995."
8 And it talks about Mladic -- excuse me, Krstic getting the job
9 and Andric getting the Chief of Staff job. And of course it says:
10 "Acquaint all members of your unit in the appropriate manner with
11 this document."
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Prosecutor kindly repeat his last
13 question, please, for the interpreters.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. It says -- I am getting at the point where I don't remember what
16 I just said. But I was just reiterating what the document was saying,
17 "Acquaint all members of your unit in the appropriate manner regarding
18 this document."
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the Chamber and the interpreters were
20 waiting for your question.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY:
22 Q. And do you recall -- what's going on here? This is the
23 13th of July. You just said the 14th. Does this help refresh your
24 recollection of what actually happened?
25 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I think that this is a rational explanation.
1 Let me draw your attention to the beginning of the sentence, "On the
2 basis of a decree by the president of Republika Srpska," but where is the
3 number of the decree? Why didn't this personnel officer write down the
4 number? So they were expecting a decree on appointment, but the transfer
5 of duties had already been carried out and I don't dispute that.
6 Although I don't know when this was done, but in the document you can see
7 that it was on the 13th.
8 Q. Well, President Karadzic and General Mladic could have agreed to
9 the promotion on the 13th, and President Karadzic said, "I do decree and
10 I will get the paperwork to you," and General Mladic could have gone on
11 and done it right there on the 13th. Is that one way it could have
13 A. Quite right, Mr. McCloskey. That was a possible scenario. It
14 wouldn't have been possible to do things differently.
15 Q. Have you heard the account that General Mladic on his way back
16 from the Bratunac area on the early evening of 13 July with some of his
17 people stopped at the Vlasenica command of the Drina Corps, lined up the
18 assembled officers who were there - Krstic, Zivanovic - and said
19 something to the effect of, "General Krstic, you are now in command.
20 General Zivanovic, you are retired."
21 Have you heard that accounting?
22 A. I haven't heard that, but it's possible.
23 Q. All right. General, let's go to 65 ter 677. This should be the
24 "Decision on the Proclamation of a State of War in Srebrenica, Skelani
25 Municipality." It has a date of 14 July 1995 on it. Is this what you
1 were referring to when you were talking about the state of war, the
2 declaration there -- or the proclamation in the Srebrenica municipality
4 A. Yes, exactly, Mr. McCloskey.
5 Q. Did your office or the Main Staff have anything to do with the
6 drafting of this or would this have been drafted at the president's
8 A. No, our service didn't have anything to do with this document.
9 Q. Well, we can see that obviously this is 14 July, it's the
10 Srebrenica/Skelani area. We all know what events had taken place and are
11 taking place in that area, which roughly starts around Cerska all the way
12 down past Skelani. What -- what input did the -- anybody from the VRS
13 have in -- in this -- in this proclamation? Any discussions with the
14 army beforehand by the president? Did the president do this on his own,
15 as far as you know? What do you know about this, since it certainly
16 appears - as we look at it - it has a lot to do with the army's ability
17 to obtain men and materiel without mobilisation?
18 A. Mr. McCloskey, I know that we from the military constantly
19 recommended to the president to proclaim the state of war from 1992
20 onwards until the end of the war. The president ignored our requests.
21 Therefore, we did not know that a state of war would be declared in the
22 Srebrenica area, and when I say "we," I mean the military.
23 Q. So this is an indication of -- you finally succeeded in
24 convincing the president to do this. Who -- who succeeded? Was it
25 Mladic, was it Milovanovic, was it General Tolimir? Who has the success
1 on his belt, if anyone?
2 A. No. Nobody was consulted with regard to this decision.
3 Q. How do you know that?
4 A. Because the president did this on his own. We were all surprised
5 when a state of war was declared only in the area of Srebrenica.
6 Q. So were you with the other assistant commanders on the
7 14th of July where they were all surprised? Is that how you know that
8 none of them had any role in any of this? You actually did go to one of
9 these meetings?
10 A. Well, I don't know, Mr. McCloskey, whether we learned about this
11 decision immediately on the 14th of July. As far as my sector is
12 concerned, we discussed this much later after we had heard of it. The
13 war was in full sway, and then a state of war was declared only in the
14 area of Srebrenica. Wouldn't you, yourself, find it odd?
15 Q. General, I asked you because not but two days before you had to
16 go through this process of mobilising a request through Karadzic's
17 ministry. On the 14th of July this is happening, their buses are coming,
18 people are being transported. This has direct consequences - does it
19 not? - on the your work, the work of Kerkez down the hall in the
20 Main Staff, the other assistant commanders on other various levels. This
21 is something you would have found out immediately, if not before;
23 Now that you have had a chance to think about, general, don't you
24 think --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, he is always waiting for the
1 finalising of the interpretation. Now your answer.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I wasn't sure if the question was clear. I'm
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mobilisation is a process that
5 lasts throughout a war. In response to Mr. Tolimir's question, I
6 explained what kind of mobilisation is effected during a wartime and what
7 kind of mobilisation we have in other situations. Therefore, I don't
8 deny that we in the sector were aware of the pending mobilisation, that
9 it was potentially going to happen.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. And do you mean you were aware of the pending proclamation of
12 state of war before it happened?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. I don't want to spend a lot of time on this, but just to
15 help us get a little bit of an understanding of it, we -- we see it's for
16 a particular area, Srebrenica, Skelani. Paragraph 3 talks about:
17 "The armed forces in the zone of Drina Corps shall take all
18 necessary measures to accomplish the set goals by the organised and
19 effective use of available resources."
20 And then it goes on and says:
21 "In compliance with its constitutional and legal powers, the
22 government, ministries, and all other state organs in the republic are
23 obliged to fully implement the decision on general mobilisation and
24 provide the armed forces with the necessary human and material conditions
25 for the successful conduct of the war."
1 So this proclamation basically makes the civilian structures, as
2 mentioned here, they have to provide you with what you need to wage war.
3 Is that the bottom line? In this area.
4 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 Q. Now, if we go back to where we are on the 14th of July, the women
6 and children are no longer in Srebrenica. There is no old men, either.
7 And by the morning of the 14th of July, all the prisoners, the thousands
8 of prisoners have been shipped up to Zvornik which is not in the
9 Srebrenica/Skelani area, but there are still hundreds of Muslim men in
10 the woods probably north of Potocari, Susnjari, Jaglici, and around
12 So what's the big mobilisation of men and materials for
13 Srebrenica for, as far as you know? Zepa has just started, the attack on
14 Zepa has just started the morning of the 14th. Tolimir is down there.
15 He needs men and material as well. So what's this for?
16 A. There are no justified requirements. All the --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Witness please rephrase the answer. The
18 interpreters couldn't understand him.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. I will try to simplify it. With most of action in Eastern Bosnia
21 not being in Srebrenica and Skelani anymore, it's in Zvornik and in Zepa,
22 with hundreds of men running around the woods in the north part of the
23 enclave, what's the need to mobilise men and materiel in the Srebrenica
24 area? You're the mobilisation guy. You're at your desk. You know about
25 this. Just give us your best memory. What is needed? Why does the
1 president finally, after all this time, give you what you're looking for
2 in this area after almost everybody is gone?
3 A. Mr. McCloskey, you used a very good term that is appropriate, and
4 I don't see any point in proclaiming a state of war there.
5 Q. Do you know why it was done?
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. Would this state of war make it much easier for the army to use
8 the services of the civil protection services in Bratunac?
9 A. Mr. McCloskey, civilian protection is a separate service. It is
10 not under the jurisdiction of the army and that's the case all around the
11 world. Members of the civilian protection are not armed. They have
12 badges in the form of a triangle with the point upwards, and I think it's
13 the colour yellow. And I think that everybody should respect this
14 service because they are providing for the needs of the vulnerable
16 Now, if your question was whether it was easier for the army to
17 carry out its duties under such circumstances, then the answer is yes.
18 Q. Civil protection can also do asanacija, cleaning up the
19 battle-field of human and other animal remains and bury them to prevent
20 diseases; right?
21 A. Yes, correct.
22 Q. And since, like you say, they are a civilian organisation not
23 attached to the army, this decree requires them to give the army what
24 they want, if the army wants them to do asanacija or something else;
1 A. Correct, Mr. McCloskey.
2 Q. So if Colonel Beara on the night of the 13th met with the head of
3 civil protection or the other civil authorities and asked them for help
4 to bury bodies, they would not be obliged by this decree because it
5 doesn't come into play until the next day, right?
6 A. Of course it wouldn't be binding. But they have their ongoing
7 tasks, the civilian protection. Their ongoing tasks during a war is to
8 carry out these jobs that you mentioned and enumerated very nicely in
9 your previous question.
10 Q. Okay. The Court has heard evidence in this case that on the
11 14th of July, as a result of mass executions at the Kravica warehouse,
12 their civil protection assisted - with the urging of Colonel Beara and
13 others - in burying, digging holes and burying the dead on 14 July. So
14 if civil protection was working with the army on the 14th of July, and
15 the 15th of July, this decree would have been in place at that time,
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Can
19 Mr. McCloskey give the proper reference to the witness? Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: The question was my question. I think it's been
22 repeated in this trial unknown how many times, the digging of the graves
23 at Glogova on the 14th of July. Colonel Beara's involvement with the
24 civil protection. The graves were continued to be dug on the 15th July.
25 All I am asking him is whether or not the army was able to take advantage
1 of this proclamation that required the help of civil protection in that
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, please answer the question.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. They could have
5 used it.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY:
7 Q. General, let me try to get to it. We'll go to a topic that's a
8 little bit more related to structure, a little away from digging for a
9 moment. The -- you spoke a bit about the 410th and the
10 10th Sabotage Detachment. And you, I think, correctly pointed out that
11 they were units directly connected to General Mladic, the commander. And
12 right near the end of the -- your answers to those, you did say the
13 410th was not part of the intel and security. They were a separate unit.
14 But you did go on to say, on 18566, when you were asked:
15 "Did the commander exercise command and control over this body,"
16 meaning the 410th.
17 And your answer is:
18 "He did exercise command, that's for sure. But perhaps he
19 transferred certain authorities to the sector for intelligence and
21 This Court has heard quite a bit of evidence on the 410th and
22 especially the 10th Sabotage Detachment being, like you have said, under
23 the command of General Mladic. But, as you, I think, have told us, and
24 we have heard otherwise, General Mladic is a very busy man and, of
25 course, he can't follow the day-to-day management, "rukovodjenje," if we
1 might put it that way, of these units. So when you say Mladic has
2 transferred certain authorities over to the sector of intelligence and
3 security, can you tell us is that true, do you stand by that?
4 A. Yes, that is correct, Mr. McCloskey. And I stand by it.
5 Q. And would that have been the same thing, that it's true that he
6 transferred certain authorities over to the intelligence and security
7 section regarding the 10th Sabotage Detachment as well?
8 A. I don't rule out that possibility.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 07601.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, what about the last document,
11 65 ter 677?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I should offer that into evidence if it is not,
13 677. Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
16 Exhibit P2869. Thank you.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, this 07601 is something we
18 identified in response to the general's answers to General Tolimir about
19 the 10th Sabotage Detachment, and so I would wish to have this on our
20 65 ter list.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is my understanding that Mr. Tolimir never
22 objects to this kind of request. Leave is granted to add it to the
23 65 ter list.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could -- if that's up on the screen for
25 the general, and we could make it a bit easier because I -- sorry, I see
1 I am running out of time. Could we provide that to the witness.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, you have indicated that you will
3 need six hours. That time-limit is not reached yet. Of course, we
4 should try to conclude the testimony of this witness today, that's for
5 sure, but as was the same for Mr. Tolimir, there is no time pressure.
6 Mr. Tolimir should have enough time for his re-examination.
7 During the break, we could consider to have an extended hearing
8 today. The courtroom is available in the afternoon. That would be one
9 option. You have up to now used 3 hours and 48 minutes. So --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Take your time or we continue on Monday.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much. I was hoping to finish, but
13 I am now recognising I'm in some important areas. So thank you for
15 Q. All right, general. Just take a read of this as you will. And
16 we'll flip over the next page in a while so that General Tolimir can read
17 it fully, but it's a document that --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: We can go to the second page.
19 Q. It's basically an order from General Mladic on 4 December 1994,
20 to the organs of the security and intel affairs on all levels from
21 battalion to the Main Staff of the VRS shall commence with a selection of
22 personnel in accordance with the requirements below. And it's -- as we
23 see in the title, it's regarding the establishing and recruiting the
24 Main Staff 10th Sabotage Detachment.
25 This is clearly a personnel issue. It's when you were working.
1 So it's basically ordering - as we all know he has the right and
2 authority to do - to get these units together to properly recruit and get
3 the 10th Sabotage Detachment going and get personnel for it. Is that
4 basically it in a nutshell?
5 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 Q. All right.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: So I would offer that into evidence.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7601 shall be
10 assigned Exhibit P2870. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now let's go to P2141.
12 Q. This is a much simpler one-page document from the Main Staff,
13 21 December 1994. So over two weeks after General Mladic's order. We'll
14 flip that around for you. Blow it up a bit. You will see it's from the
15 intel and security centre from General Tolimir. And it's entitled:
16 "Warning, re: The selection of the candidates of the Main Staff
17 10th Sabotage Detachment." And it refers to the communication from
18 Mladic, and that's the same that we just saw, just so you know. And we
19 see General Tolimir saying he received an order from the commander with a
20 dead-line. Selecting candidates to be accepted on contract into the
21 Main Staff 10th Sabotage Detachment. And he says:
22 "Since you have not taken any action in this matter up till now,
23 nor have you sent this sector any report, I hereby warn you to take this
24 task extremely seriously and to begin realising it through your
25 subordinate organs up to the battalion level."
1 Is this an example of General Tolimir implementing the order of
2 his commander in the area of intelligence and security?
3 A. Yes, that's an example, only I don't see to whom it is addressed.
4 You don't see the name of the recipient.
5 Q. Now if we go back to the document he is referring to, we can see
6 who that one was sent to. But I would -- that's already in evidence. So
7 we see here, don't we, that on this particular date General Tolimir has
8 some management authority and involvement with the 10th Sabotage
9 Detachment in terms of its formation and getting it together?
10 A. And what is your question? I'm sorry.
11 Q. Do you agree with me on that, this shows that General Tolimir has
12 involvement as the chief of intel and security with the management of the
13 10th Sabotage situation? In this case, the formation of its personnel.
14 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. But he was not responsible for the
15 formation. That was part of my sector's duty. He was only in charge of
16 providing good quality personnel.
17 Q. And he was in charge of getting the security people's attention
18 so they followed Mladic's order - right? - as he is doing in this
19 document? Nobody had done anything for two weeks and --
20 A. [No interpretation]
21 Q. -- Tolimir let them have it.
22 One last question. The Mladic document we see, the order to get
23 personnel, and then the Tolimir document we see implementing that, can we
24 say that the Mladic document is a good example of "komandovanje" and the
25 Tolimir document is a good example of "rukovodjenje"?
1 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 Q. And whether it's a command or a "rukovodjenje," the people that
3 are on the other side of these communications have to do what they are
4 told to do, don't they?
5 A. Well, you can see that, first of all, they didn't do what they
6 had been told to do, and then the general reminded them that they had to
7 take action. And I probably reminded the individuals who were to act in
8 a certain document. I probably told them to accelerate the preparations
9 for having contracts drawn up with members of the 2nd -- members of the
10 10th Detachment. But in answer to your question my answer is yes.
11 Q. There is no doubt in your mind whatsoever, is there, that they'd
12 acted on Tolimir's reminder? Or warning, as he called it?
13 A. There is no doubt in my mind but they worked slowly.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. We inquired, in the
17 meantime, if it would be possible to have an extended third session
18 today, that means from 1.00 to 2.30. We didn't get a response from the
19 relevant people yet, because this involves interpreters and the whole
20 support staff. We will let the parties know as soon as possible as we
21 get this information, at least at the beginning of the next session.
22 We must have our second break now and will resume at 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is very grateful for the staff who is
3 now prepared to sit until 2.30 today, but just to make it clear to both
4 parties, there is no time pressure at all. We can try to finish the
5 testimony of this witness today. If it is not possible because there are
6 remaining questions, especially in re-examination, we can continue on
7 Monday. Just to let you know how things stand.
8 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Can we go to D248.
10 Q. And this is a document that the Defence has introduced. It's
11 a -- it's entitled: "Intelligence Support of the Armed Forces," general,
12 1987. So I think you will see it's an old JNA document. There's the
13 front of it.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to page 24 in the B/C/S and page 18 in
15 the English.
16 Q. And this should be the chapter entitled: "Organisation of
17 Intelligence Support of the Armed Forces," and I just want to ask you
18 about this -- it's paragraph 14 that you see up there.
19 "The intelligence organ of the superior command staff of the
20 armed forces directs and co-ordinates the expert work of the intelligence
21 and reconnaissance organs and reconnaissance units in directly
22 subordinate commands, staffs and units, provides expert assistance, and
23 controls their overall intelligence and reconnaissance activity."
24 Was this basic rule used in the VRS?
25 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
1 Q. Okay. Moving on to another subject briefly. You spoke about
2 rather important topic briefly. It was on page 18541 [Realtime
3 transcript read in error "48451"]. And the general asked you:
4 "Since you were an assistant commander in both the Main Staff and
5 at the corps level, can you tell us whether the assistant commander at
6 the Main Staff could issue orders to assistant commanders at the corps
7 level; in other words, did they have command ability or capability?"
8 And your answer was:
10 Now, of course, as I think you have reiterated and I have agreed,
11 we know that assistant commanders are not commanders and they don't have
12 command ability, correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. But as we've already seen --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
16 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on page 64, line 22, I
17 think the page of the transcript noted down is erroneous. We haven't yet
18 reached that page, in fact.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I hope we will never reach that in this trial,
20 Mr. Gajic. I don't know if the -- now the microphone is working. That's
21 true, but that will be corrected. You see the sign after the page
22 number. And the Registrar found the relevant page.
23 Mr. McCloskey, continue, please.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. So we agree on that, but as you've seen, we have seen an example
1 of General Tolimir speaking in documents to his subordinate assistants.
2 So I want to see if we can just clarify that because it slightly muddied
3 the way that question was asked.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: So let's go now to 65 ter 7556. And this is a
5 document with a new 65 ter number that we brought up in response to this
6 very important issue, and it is a two-page document. It may be easier if
7 the -- if the witness had both pages, though the second page is only a
8 few lines. And for the benefit of everyone, the English is also
9 two pages, but this is from Chief Colonel Zdravko Tolimir. So if we --
10 and it's taking this issue back in time.
11 Q. As we see, this is a -- it goes back into at least December of
12 1992. But it's from the VRS, at that time, administration for
13 intelligence and security affairs, entitled: "Procedure with Prisoners of
14 War in the Manjaca POW Camp." And it's General Tolimir again, as we have
15 seen him do on July 9th, 1995, he is passing on or saying something
16 relating to a decision by President Karadzic. And we see here that he
17 says President Karadzic has decided to disband the Manjaca LRZ on
18 25 December 1992, Catholic Christmas, as a token of goodwill and in order
19 to reduce the tensions among the international general public caused by
20 nonobjective reporting about the LRZ situation in the Republika Srpska.
21 He will announce his decision via the media.
22 And now this is what General Tolimir is telling to, as we see,
23 the 1st Krajina Corps, the department for intelligence and security,
24 personally, to Bogdanovic, regarding the procedures for prisoners of war.
25 After the decision has been publicly announced, all prisoners in
1 the Manjaca LRZ will be handed over to the ICRC and will leave our state
2 in a way that they organise. However, our position that we cannot
3 release certain number of Croats because of the large number of our
4 soldiers in Croatian camps, as well as extremist Muslims and Muslims
5 against whom criminal reports have been submitted for serious criminal
6 offences and crimes against humanity has been respected by
7 President Karadzic. In accordance with this, it is necessary that you
8 proceed as follows.
9 And now he's directing people as we can see.
10 By 15 December 1992, investigate and report whether you have a
11 suitable place in your zone for the relocation and accomodation of the
12 aforesaid categories of prisoners of war.
13 With respect to the Muslims for whom you have operational and
14 technical documentation that they have comitted serious crimes, crimes
15 against humanity, and for whom you possess information that they are
16 extremist and will rejoin their hostile formations on being released, and
17 against whom you have not submitted criminal reports, do so immediately.
18 Also separate these Muslims and prepare to relocate them and accommodate
19 them outside the Manjaca camp.
20 So it goes on on the second page. It talks about carry out the
21 above with full secrecy measures. I won't go through the rest of it, but
22 it does underline at the end:
23 "In the event of any lack of clarity in this telegram, contact
24 Colonel Tolimir or Captain First-Class Pecanac."
25 Now, this is clearly a direction, isn't it, of General Tolimir to
1 the intel and security department of the 1st Krajina Corps for, among
2 other things, to separate the potential war criminals from the group
3 going to the ICRC and hold them? Very directive in nature, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, these are instructions, directions.
5 Q. So this is not "komandovanje" but it's "rukovodjenje," this
6 assistant commander at the 1st Krajina Corps has to do what Tolimir tells
7 him to?
8 A. Mr. McCloskey, these are professional instructions. The
9 assistant of the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps has to show these
10 instructions to the commander. The commander of the 1st Krajina Corps or
11 all the other corps who receive this - but this was addressed only to the
12 1st Corps -- should I slow down?
13 Q. I can't quite hear the interpreter very well, but it doesn't hurt
14 to slow down. We are all probably getting a little tired.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apology. The interpreter will
16 try to speak more loudly.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that. Please carry on with your
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Let me be
20 brief. The assistant commander of the 1st Krajina Corps, upon receiving
21 such instructions or directions, has the duty of making the corps
22 commander aware of the fact. He has to suggest measures to him, and when
23 he received the authorisation from the corps commander, then he can
24 implement the instructions in question.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. Can or must?
2 A. Must.
3 Q. Okay. Just as I -- I see this thing at the end. Basically it
4 says in the event of clarity, contact Tolimir or First Class Pecanac. Is
5 that Captain First Class Pecanac the same Pecanac that was part of the
6 Main Staff in 1995? I think you put him in one of the little boxes.
7 A. I think so, Mr. McCloskey. And I am pretty certain that it is
8 the same person. If his name was Dragomir in addition to that, then I
9 would be completely certain.
10 Q. As far as I can tell, Dragomir Pecanac stayed as a captain,
11 either a captain first class or a captain, throughout the entire war, but
12 yet he remained in the Main Staff in a fairly trusted position. Can you
13 tell us why -- why so little promotion for Mr. Pecanac?
14 A. Well, perhaps he was promoted to the rank of major just before
15 the end of the war. I don't remember exactly. But in the Main Staff he
16 was part of the personal security for the Main Staff commander.
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this into evidence.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7556 shall be
21 assigned Exhibit P2871. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
24 Q. And another document on this same point, 65 ter 3840. And this
25 is a two-page document which -- and again, I am not at the point where I
1 want to go through all the details of this, but just fundamentally what
2 it is, but to the degree that it will be easier for you to see what it is
3 in two pages.
4 It is from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska,
5 intelligence and security sector, on 27 January 1994. Again, it is from
6 Assistant Commander Colonel Zdravko Tolimir, entitled: "Providing
7 Security for a Military and Political Consultation." And it talks about
8 on order of the deputy commander of the Main Staff of the Army of RS, and
9 it talks about security measures for people in Vlasenica at the
10 Hotel Panorama. And it says "Order."
11 And we can see that it is an order to the 5th Military Police
12 Battalion from the Drina Corps to assign an officer. And it's a very
13 particularised order and it won't in through all of it, guard posts and
14 things. And then it goes to the commander of the 65th Motorised
15 Protection Regiment shall assign one officer and others and gives them
16 very particular orders, including six military policemen, as well as a
17 whole series of specific orders.
18 As we get to the second -- second page in English, second page in
19 B/C/S that I won't go over. Paragraph 7 near the bottom -- at the bottom
20 of the page it talks about: "I hereby assign Captain First Class
21 Dragomir Pecanac to carry out this order."
22 So we clearly now have an order from General Tolimir regarding
23 security, military police forces, and all. So, is this, in his position,
24 his "rukovodjenje" or is he in some kind of command position now?
25 A. Mr. McCloskey, it was part of "rukovodjenje."
1 Q. He is implementing the order of the -- of the deputy commander by
2 developing his own orders consistent with that, correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this document into evidence.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 3840 shall be
7 assigned Exhibit P2872. Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I have similar documents, Your Honour, going
9 up to 95, but that the Court has seen over and over again, so I think my
10 point is made clear. So I will go to my last area because those
11 documents that I would ask him about are in evidence and I think are
12 pretty clear.
13 Q. So you in speaking with General Tolimir spoke -- you both spoke
14 at length about these drones that NATO had that were -- you, yourself, I
15 think may have seen them. And you described how they, as far as you
16 knew, were taking pictures of an area, and that you had -- you would
17 agree with me that these were a potential -- let me take you to
18 July 1995, when you had been bombed by NATO, both, I think, in May and in
19 July, around Srebrenica. I won't go into the whole hostage crisis, but
20 we have drones flying around your combat areas of Srebrenica and Zepa.
21 This is an extreme intelligence threat and security threat for the forces
22 that could be photographed and potentially bombed by NATO aircraft,
24 A. That's absolutely correct, Mr. McCloskey.
25 Q. And so any significant military operation that was taking place
1 in the areas around Srebrenica, Zepa, and Zvornik, these drones were a
2 serious potential security problem for your people, correct?
3 A. Well, not just a security problem but a general problem because
4 they could gather information in various ways. And this information
5 could be placed at the disposal of all those interested in it, apart from
6 the VRS army.
7 Q. It could also potentially -- NATO could have potentially released
8 photographs to the media, correct?
9 A. That was also a possibility, Mr. McCloskey. I didn't notice
10 that, but it's possible and in technical terms it's quite possible.
11 Q. Do you remember when Madeleine Albright did just that on the
12 floor of the United Nations? It was in August 1995, showed pictures from
13 in and around the Srebrenica area?
14 A. Yes, I remember that. But it was described as being -- or they
15 were described as being satellite photographs, but it's not important. I
16 do remember that.
17 Q. Okay. So let's go to P124. And my previous -- all right. Let
18 me just let you take a look at that. This is 14 July, a date we're,
19 well, very familiar with in many respects now. And we see that it's from
20 the command of the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade which, as you
21 know, is in Rogatica. And you can -- well, you can't see it right now,
22 but it's in the name of General Tolimir. And I want to take you to
23 the -- what's the second page in English and almost near the bottom of
24 the document in the B/C/S.
25 And it says:
1 "Early this morning, since 0500 hours, in the area of
2 responsibility of the 1st Plbpr," as we know is the Rogatica Brigade,
3 "and above the Muslim enclaves of Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde, there is
4 an unmanned aerial vehicle whose flight path we can determine only by
6 "It is probably recording the positions and movement of units.
7 Radio communication interference is registered. The orders for
8 camouflage measures and organisation of multiple communications systems
9 have been issued."
10 So is it clear from this that on the 14th of July - we see this
11 is handwritten around 1045 hours - that in the morning General Tolimir is
12 fully aware of the threat of photography from, in this particular case, a
13 drone in the areas of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde?
14 A. Yes, Mr. Tolimir could have drawn the conclusion as to what the
15 results would be of this aerial reconnaissance. And what the results
16 would be of having taken these aerial photographs.
17 Q. And in this he is passing on the information that orders for
18 camouflage measures and organisations of multiple communications system
19 has been issued. So he is passing on the fact that action has been taken
20 regarding this threat, correct?
21 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey, only it's not quite clear to me why a letter
22 from the brigade is linked to a signature of General Tolimir.
23 Q. You didn't know that General Tolimir had been sent by Mladic as
24 he is -- tends to do when big operations are present to have a Main Staff
25 officer on the ground helping co-ordinate with General Krstic in this
1 case, or others? That practice was fully laid out in the 1992 report
2 that you referred to earlier. So you weren't aware that General Tolimir
3 was sent down to that area at that time to help out?
4 A. No, no, General Mladic sent each and every one of us to various
5 tasks. Therefore, I am not disputing that.
6 Q. All right. Let me go to another document. It's P121. This is
7 a -- another document from the Rogatica Brigade, dated 14 July, and
8 General Tolimir's name. There is a stamp on it, 1845. So it appears to
9 be a few hours after the previous document. And its strictly
10 confidential number is 520-54 and the previous one was 520-53. So in
11 this one we have coming out from General Tolimir from the command of the
12 Rogatica Brigade all subordinate units of the Drina Corps.
13 And if we see the back of this one, the next page in English, we
14 can see that it has a stamp of the Zvornik Brigade, so they received it.
15 And in this document to all the brigades, it points out that:
16 "There is an unmanned aircraft in the air-space reconnoitring and
17 jamming radio communications. Since the aircraft has been there since
18 0500 hours this morning and has probably taken pictures of certain
19 features and movements, the following needs to be done." And it talks
20 about various things Tolimir is saying should be done, alerting people.
21 Maintain all radio communications.
22 Number 4:
23 "If spotted, the unmanned aircraft should be immediately
25 So this is a clear order from Tolimir to destroy this aircraft,
1 is it not?
2 A. Yes, this is a clear order.
3 Q. So would you agree with me that ordering the shoot-down of a
4 NATO aircraft who is potentially and most probably photographing what's
5 going on on the ground in the area of the Drina Corps is a rather
6 significant order in terms of General Tolimir's position and the
7 situation you were facing?
8 A. Mr. McCloskey, members of the aircraft defence do not have to
9 wait for anyone's order. If they spot the target, an enemy target, call
10 it what you will, there is no need for them to await an order from
11 anyone. Their duty is to destroy it if they have the resources for that.
12 But we didn't have such resources to destroy unmanned aircrafts in high
13 altitudes. We didn't have missile units in that area. We only had
14 artillery units that had weapons that had a range of up to 3.000 metres.
15 Q. So the VRS at that time had carte blanche to fire on any
16 NATO aircraft, manned or unmanned?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Please,
19 this is a representation claiming that this is an order issued by
20 Tolimir, and I think that it should be put to the witness that this is an
21 order only passed on by Tolimir.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you may deal with this in your
24 Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. And, general, given that the troops on the ground, as you say,
2 had the ability to shoot this down without orders, General Tolimir would
3 have had the ability to issue such an order even without Mladic's
4 approval, wouldn't he?
5 A. No.
6 Q. So who would General Tolimir need to be in communication with on
7 this point before sending this order out on the 14th of July?
8 A. With the commander of the Main Staff of the Army of
9 Republika Srpska or his deputy.
10 Q. And I will go back to my original question: Is this order, be it
11 directly from Mladic through Tolimir or Tolimir on his own - I will take
12 him at his word it's coming from Mladic - this is a significant order to
13 do a significant thing, is it not?
14 A. Yes, it is, Mr. McCloskey.
15 Q. So if General Tolimir on the 14th of July had knowledge that
16 thousands of able-bodied men were being transported visibly in vehicles
17 from Bratunac to Zvornik, and being assembled in schools around the
18 Zvornik area, and being taken out that afternoon and summarily executed,
19 an order to prevent any potential photographing of those operations and
20 activities would be a significant part of such an operation, to cover up
21 this crime, wouldn't it?
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have an objection?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I kindly ask Mr. McCloskey to give
24 us a reference. Where does it say that I knew about this? And then it
25 would be relevant, just like the first sentence is not clearly relevant.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey started his question by the words,
2 "So if General Tolimir ..." and so on. You may raise this question with
3 the witness in your re-examination.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. Can you answer the question, general? I can simplify it: If
7 General Tolimir knew that there was this very visible operation to
8 transport thousands of people up to Zvornik that could be photographed by
9 this thing, this is a significant order to shoot it out of the sky so it
10 couldn't do it, isn't it?
11 A. I cannot agree with you about the motives, Mr. McCloskey, because
12 anti-aircraft defence's task is to destroy targets marked with an X. I
13 didn't speak about NATO aircraft at all. And there is a service within
14 anti-aircraft defence that marks such targets and they are legitimate
15 targets that can be fired at. However, we all in our minds can connect
16 the dots between various events which might logically seem correct.
17 However, your supposition that this has to do with the digging or
18 whatever you referred to, I cannot confirm that.
19 Q. Well, you would agree with me that from these two documents we
20 can tell that General Tolimir is naturally concerned about NATO taking
21 photographs above the Srebrenica, Gorazde, and Zepa areas for natural
22 military reasons?
23 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey, that was the case throughout the whole
24 territory over which drones flew.
25 Q. And if those -- if that drone or those drones flew over the
1 positions of General or Colonel Pandurevic's troops as they were going
2 into Zepa, and later on, as it flew up to Zvornik showed the movement of
3 Muslim prisoners from a school to a field nearby, both such activities on
4 the ground would give General Tolimir good cause to blow that thing out
5 of the sky? Not that he's doing it.
6 A. I don't know about General Tolimir, but I think that would be a
7 reasonable conclusion for everyone.
8 Q. Okay. One last -- last area in response to something
9 General Tolimir said. If we have the situation we have from a period of
10 13, 14, 15, 16 July, the steady and constant summary execution of
11 6.000 able-bodied men between Bratunac and Pilica, could such a thing
12 occur without superior orders from the highest levels of the VRS?
13 A. What are you referring to? The destruction of aircraft? Can you
14 please repeat your question, and if possible, please, can you be a little
15 more brief so that I can follow you?
16 Q. Could 6.000 able-bodied Muslim men be butchered over a four-day
17 period by the VRS without orders from the highest levels of the VRS?
18 A. As far as I know, there was no order to kill people, regardless
19 of the figure that is involved.
20 Q. How did those over 6.000, 7.000 men get murdered in four days
21 without orders from on high?
22 A. I don't know about that. I am not a forensic expert.
23 Q. Thank you, General Skrbic, for all your time. And I know it's a
24 tough spot to be in, and I don't have any further questions on
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 Before Mr. Tolimir gets the floor for his re-examination, I have
3 one question for the witness.
4 Sir, you will remember that during your examination-in-chief you
5 were asked about your war diary. This is D350, marked for
6 identification. It started -- the entry started on the 18th of March and
7 it ends somewhere in May, if I am not mistaken, 1995. Today you told
8 us -- and you told us the day before that later on you didn't take any
9 notes; is that correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Today, this is transcript page 42, lines 11
12 through 16. You said the following, I quote:
13 "In Belgrade, I, in fact, told you that I made certain notes on
14 my computer and these notes were made from memory, and it is on that
15 basis that I drew the conclusion that I must have been there on the 14th
16 or around that date because of that decree that concerned the retirement
17 of General Zivanovic and the appointment of certain other generals."
18 When did you take these notes?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Throughout the entire war,
20 Your Honour, I took notes that referred to personnel issues and
21 organisations. And these notes that you referred to, operative notes,
22 were without the scope of my responsibility, and I said that this kind of
23 operative notes I did not keep after May. And I am talking about
24 intelligence notes.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And these notes about matters of your area of
1 responsibility, you wrote down on your computer; is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
4 Mr. Tolimir, please, your re-examination.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In order
6 for us to complete within the working hours, could we please start with
7 Exhibit P121.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Skrbic, take a look at line 1 of this
10 document, and can you tell me whether this order that you see here had
11 come from the Main Staff of the VRS and then passed on by the signatory
12 of this document?
13 A. Yes. I'm sorry for not waiting for the interpretation to finish,
14 my answer is yes.
15 Q. Thank you. So was this order then issued by the Main Staff or by
16 Tolimir? Thank you?
17 A. Well, Mr. Tolimir, this is a little bit a leading question, but
18 one can see that this was issued by the Main Staff.
19 Q. Thank you. During combat operations, was it legitimate to
20 destroy NATO drones in our air-space?
21 A. As soon as NATO took sides and sided with the opposite side, it
22 became legitimate.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Tolimir, I just stopped you
25 because when you finished your question, the translation was not finished
1 yet. Please don't overlap between question and answer. Now your
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Skrbic, was the activity of anti-aircraft defence systems of
6 the VRS legitimate in these instances and was it ordered by the
7 Main Staff of the VRS?
8 A. Mr. Tolimir, I am not a lawyer. Therefore, I am not able to tell
9 you whether something is legitimate or not legitimate. However, the
10 anti-aircraft defence of Republika Srpska had an ongoing order to shoot
11 down enemy flying aircraft, starting from drones and other aircraft, if
12 found in their air-space and provided they had technical capability for
13 that. But as for legitimacy, please don't ask me to judge that.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Thank you, Mr. Skrbic, for all your answers. Thank you for
16 coming to testify here. I wish you a long life and success in your
17 retirement period. And on behalf of the Defence team, I would like to
18 thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no further
20 questions because we want to abide by the allocated time.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you will be aware of the fact that
22 we have an extended time available until 2.30. If you have more
23 questions, you are entitled to put these to the witness, but it's up to
24 you to decide.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
1 understand what you told me, but the Defence has no further questions for
2 this witness. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
4 Sir, this concludes your testimony in this trial. You are now
5 free to return to your normal activities. The Chamber would like to
6 thank you for the assistance you were able to give us in our tasks.
7 Thank you very much.
8 We have to adjourn and we will resume on Monday at 2.15 in this
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
12 1.54 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday, the
13 6th day of February, 2012, at 2.15 p.m.