1 Wednesday, 9 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Good morning, everybody.
10 Before we hear the witness, are there any matters that the parties
11 would like to raise?
12 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I just have a short
14 matter, but I think it's rather important.
15 Yesterday we were served with a courtesy party of an ex parte and
16 confidential --
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, shall we go to private session?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Oh, yes. I'm sorry. I thought we were. I
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to private session, please.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you for reminding me.
22 [Private session]
12 Page 10578 redacted, private session
12 Page 10579 redacted, private session
12 Page 10580 redacted, private session
22 [Open session]
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
1 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest yesterday?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to continue?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: We won't be long. Thank you.
6 Now, Mr. McCloskey.
7 WITNESS: PETAR SALAPURA [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Salapura.
11 A. Good morning, sir.
12 Q. Now, is it your testimony that members of the 10th Diversionary
13 Unit that participated in Branjevo Farm killings were on leave at the time
14 of those killings?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you tell us how you know that?
17 A. Well, because I had received information once I arrived at the
18 command post in Han Pijesak that the elements which had taken part in
19 fighting back in Srebrenica had been released and allowed to go on leave.
20 The commander had been injured and was on sick leave, and the other troops
21 were allowed to go on leave. Only the guards remained.
22 Q. And when did you find that information out?
23 A. On the 13th, on the evening of the 13th.
24 Q. And who did you find it from -- find it out from?
25 A. It was at the command post that I managed to get through to one
1 of my assistants or administrators. I can't remember quite exactly who it
2 was that told me about that, but they said that only the three of them
3 were still there, and that Lieutenant Colonel Karanovic had been allowed
4 to go on leave prior to the commencement of the operation seven days
5 early, and that Lieutenant Colonel Jankovic -- or rather, Colonel
6 Jankovic, I think that was the rank he held at the time, that he had been
7 sent over to the Drina Corps to act there as liaison officer, and that the
8 detachment, the element had been involved in combat operations. The
9 commander had been injured because a vehicle had tumbled over, and all the
10 men had been allowed to go on leave for about ten days. I can't quite
11 remember, but I think ten days.
12 Q. Where were you when you found out about this information on
13 the 13th?
14 A. Han Pijesak.
15 Q. At about what time of day was this, just again roughly?
16 A. Well, it was sometime in the afternoon. I really can't say.
17 It's sort of difficult to say now what time it was in the afternoon.
18 Q. Mr. Erdemovic said that Pelemis was trying to drive an UN APC and
19 he rolled it and someone was killed. Is that what happened?
20 A. Yes. Yes. The APC. One soldier was killed and several were
21 injured. Pelemis himself was injured.
22 Q. So why do you think the soldiers on leave were the ones that were
23 at Branjevo Farm? Surely not the whole 10th Diversionary Unit was on
25 A. No, not the whole unit. Half of the unit was still in Modrica.
1 Q. So why do you think it's the people on leave that took part in
3 A. Everyone else was on leave except for the guards, the guards.
4 Q. So why do you think these particular people were the ones that
5 were at Branjevo Farm?
6 A. Well, there's no inherent logic in a guard leaving his guard
7 post. Two or three men -- the two or three men there, well, those were
8 the people.
9 Q. So how do you know that they were even there?
10 A. Where? Well, I don't know about that. I never said who had been
11 at the farm, at Branjevo, wherever, or at the command post.
12 Q. So how do you know the 10th --
13 A. This is something that I never referred to, and I really know
14 nothing about that.
15 Q. So you don't know really who was at the Branjevo Military Farm.
16 A. No.
17 Q. So you don't have any other information besides Drazen Erdemovic
18 about who was at Branjevo Farm.
19 A. No, I never looked into that.
20 Q. Did you know that a unit, as is customary, went to the funeral of
21 the soldier that were killed in the 10th Diversionary after that -- after
22 he was killed on the 13th?
23 A. Well, probably someone did go, yes.
24 Q. Does the name Mr. --
25 A. Whether anyone --
1 Q. -- Koljerat [phoen] ring a bell?
2 A. No.
3 Q. -- outside Trebinje?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You know, Trebinje is all the way -- as you know, all the way
6 across Bosnia over -- all the way to --
7 A. Trebinje, yes, sure. I know Trebinje. I know its location.
8 Q. I think we're probably going too fast for -- for the
10 Now, according to Mr. Erdemovic, he and part of his unit went all
11 the way across Bosnia to Trebinje and were at the funeral of Mr. Koljerat
12 on those days after the 13th but prior to going to Branjevo Farm. So they
13 wouldn't have gone there on holiday, would they, or on leave?
14 A. Yes. I don't know when they left for Branjevo. I don't know, or
15 that they did go. I don't even know where Branjevo is.
16 Q. Okay. I want to show you a document. It's been marked as P113.
17 If you could take a look at P113B. It's the -- I hope you can read it.
18 This is a 17 July document under the name of Ratko Mladic.
19 A. I can't read this. This is illegible.
20 Q. Why don't you give it a try. It doesn't look that illegible.
21 Are you able to make any of it out?
22 We might have a better one now. I apologise. Yes, we do.
23 Sir --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Wait for the better one. It's -- and it's got another
1 number, 539.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know if it's possible to get the English
3 on the -- on the ELMO.
4 Is that on the ELMO? I'm sorry, I can't -- I'm not getting
6 THE USHER: It is on the ELMO. There was a technical problem.
7 We're just sorting it out.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. I'd just like the Court to be able to see
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that. I've managed
11 to read this.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Have you had a chance to see that before today? Has anyone
14 showed it to you or ...
15 A. No, never. These documents never reached me.
16 Q. Okay. Sorry, we have a little technical problem with the booth.
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, shall we proceed and -- to see how far
18 we could go.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. And I would --
20 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you or you ask the witness to read the relevant
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I will -- I will do that. And if we could ask the
23 audio guys to just test the -- the machines each morning.
24 Q. Okay. I'll go -- I'll go slowly. Well, first of all, do you
25 remember any of the subject matter that -- talking about in this document?
1 Does any of this ring any bells?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Okay. Well, the first part of it talks about - and this is to
4 the Drina Corps Command for information -
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much, audiovisual --
6 Q. - and to the 1st Zvornik Brigade, Bratunac Brigade, Miletici
7 Brigade. And Mladic apparently in paragraph 1 is sending three officers,
8 Colonels Nedjo Trkulja, Milovan Stankovic, and Bogdan Sladojevic, from the
9 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. Do you know those three
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And where was -- what unit was Trkulja part of?
13 A. The Main Staff.
14 Q. Right. But what part of the Main Staff? What was his job?
15 A. Chief of armoured units.
16 Q. And how about Mr. -- or Colonel Stankovic?
17 A. Colonel Stankovic was with the Ozren Operations Group. And just
18 before that, he had come to the Main Staff, and I pointed him to -- to a
19 post in the administration. He was sort of beginning to work.
20 Q. Administration of intelligence?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And how about Bogdan Sladojevic.
23 A. Bogdan Sladojevic worked for the operational sector.
24 Q. All right. And are you aware that Bogdan Sladojevic had just
25 come over from the -- the VJ to join the VRS Main Staff?
1 A. I think he had just come from the Army of the Republika Srpska
2 Krajina back then.
3 Q. Well, he told us in an interview --
4 A. That's as far as I know, as to where he came from.
5 Q. He told us in an interview that he was on the 13th of July, 1995
6 a -- a member of the VJ and that on 13 July he and, I think, about 20
7 other officers of the VJ that were originally from Bosnia were ordered by
8 General Perisic of the VJ to go to the VRS and become part of the VRS.
9 You must have known about that.
10 A. I know that when Sladojevic arrived, when the group arrived, he
11 told me that he had been to Vukovar.
12 Q. Were you aware --
13 A. And in the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Now, where
14 exactly, I didn't know. I didn't go into that.
15 Q. Were you aware that he was a VJ officer --
16 A. I know about this group of officers arriving.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I know we're in Courtroom I, where President -- or
19 former President Milosevic is generally tried, but we're not into that
20 case. I don't know what the VJ has to do with this case, with this
21 individual at this point in time, so I think it's irrelevant.
22 Yesterday there was a whole series of questions as to the VJ. I
23 didn't object. But today I think -- you know, I'm always being reminded
24 how we need to be efficient. How does the VJ -- who belonged to the VJ --
25 at what point in time, what does it have to do with this case? Perhaps in
1 the Milosevic case it does. And I know we're in Courtroom I, but
2 Mr. Milosevic isn't here and this is not his case.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, this is a cross-examination. I
4 believe the Prosecution could ask any questions which might be related to
5 the credibility of this witness.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I fail to see, Your Honour, with all due
7 respect, how that relates to the credibility of the witness. If somebody
8 was a member of the VJ, I just don't see the connection. But okay, if
9 that's what he's trying to do - I don't know - I hope, maybe, perhaps, but
10 I doubt it. I have my doubts.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, your doubts is registered here, and -- and we'll
12 see how far, you know, we --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: -- could go in this direction. But thank you very much
15 for raising this issue.
16 You may proceed.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Sir, were you aware that some 20 or more officers had just been
19 ordered over from the VJ?
20 A. No. I was not aware of there being 20 officers who were. I know
21 that some officers came over. Whether that was pursuant to an order or
22 whatever, this is something I didn't know.
23 Q. Okay. Well, let's not --
24 A. Probably there had been an order, yes.
25 Q. Let's not worry about the numbers, then. So -- but you were
1 aware that several VJ officers came over to be part of the VRS at this
2 time period, around 13 July?
3 A. Well, I don't know when exactly this was, whether in June or in
4 May. That's when they came. I'm not sure when precisely Sladojevic came.
5 I can't give you the exact date. It's been nine years. It would not be
6 fair to start guessing now, whether it was back in 1994 or 1995, what the
7 time frame was, and when the whole thing happened.
8 Q. Don't worry about the dates. As I've said, you know roughly the
9 time period we're talking about that VJ officers came over to be part of
10 the VRS.
11 A. I'm not sure if it was in that period or in what period it was.
12 Those men, Sladojevic and I'm not sure who else had arrived, but there
13 were other persons who had arrived, or how many. I don't know. This is
14 something I can't say, and I can't specify the time period, whether it was
15 this day or that day. I can't give you the exact date or time of their
16 arrival, even if we're talking about years.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go for one more question on this into
18 private session.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
20 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. And in paragraph 3, it talks about Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic
10 getting appointed to the various units that were combing the territory for
11 the remaining Muslim forces. Who is Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic at the
12 time and what was his position?
13 A. Well, Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic at the time, he was with the
14 military police.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the last word.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I believe later he came to the
17 Main Staff as an administrator. Whether it was before or after -- but if
18 you look at this order, then probably it was prior to this.
19 Before all this happened, but I can't say exactly when.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. You were in Han Pijesak at the time of this order, weren't you?
22 A. Yes. On the 17th I was in Han Pijesak.
23 Q. And you've seen this intercept, which I won't go over in detail,
24 that was P265, where your name is mentioned, Keserovic is mentioned. Do
25 you know -- but you don't know anything about that intercept or this
2 A. No. You can't see anything from that, and I'm not sure what the
3 context is. I've said before and I'll say it again. I spent most of my
4 time in bed recovering at the time. I would go up to the room
5 occasionally, but I didn't go out very often on the 18th and the 17th.
6 That's one thing I know for sure. In the morning, I went to see a doctor.
7 I was feeling slightly better and I had been receiving therapy. And on
8 the 18th, on the afternoon of the 18th, I drove back to Banja Luka,
9 because on the 17th we had received word that the road was again open for
11 As for Karanovic, the analyst, that was on the 17th, I think, but
12 I can't say. I think it was on that day that he was back from leave.
13 Q. Before you left --
14 A. Therefore, well, as for the telex, I really can't make any sense
15 of that. So I can't see the name of the document and I have no idea what
16 it's about.
17 Q. Before you left for Banja Luka, had you heard about the over five
18 or 6.000 Muslim prisoners that had been murdered in the Bratunac and
19 Zvornik area?
20 A. No, absolutely nothing.
21 Q. And where were you on the morning of the 14th of July?
22 A. In Han Pijesak.
23 Q. Okay. And you -- you testified earlier that you did contact the
24 Zvornik Brigade; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. I mean, I told you. I just didn't tell you whether it's
1 the 15th. I cannot say exactly which date it is. Or is it the 16th?
2 Perhaps if you have some documents that could jog my memory. So that's
3 what happened. The information came before the counter-attack that the
4 Muslim forces were supposed to carry out from Tuzla vis-a-vis some
5 particular facility, but I can't remember the exact date.
6 Q. Well, if we use the very early morning hours of the 16th of July
7 as the -- the morning the Muslim forces surged across Serb lines and
8 killed more than 50 Serb soldiers, would it have occurred -- would you
9 have been contacting Zvornik prior to that time?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: It's asking the gentleman to speculate, Your
11 Honour. I don't object to the question, but it is rather speculative.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, I -- I don't think so, because there's some
13 basis there.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I'm just -- I'm just
15 suggesting that it might be speculative. I don't object to the question,
16 you know, to the form -- to the nature of the question, but the form,
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. Mr. Salapura, I'm just trying to -- you've indicated it might
21 have been the 14th, 15th, or even the 16th, so I'm just trying to help you
22 narrow the date a bit. So we know, and I'm sure you remember, that --
23 that morning of 16 July during that battle, but -- so can you tell us
24 at -- roughly how long before that horrible morning that you were in
25 contact with the Zvornik Brigade ?
1 A. I cannot remember. I really can't say. It's been quite a while,
2 hasn't it? I can just guess. I mean, it must have been before that. I
3 know that I consider that to be an important piece of information and an
4 urgent piece of information that should be forwarded to the command. As
5 for the exact date, I really don't know.
6 Q. Okay.
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the answer.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Sorry, could you repeat what you just said. The interpreters
10 missed that.
11 A. There would be an attack, a counter-attack from the direction of
12 Tuzla. It would be carried out by the forces of the Tuzla Corps and the
13 attack would be against a particular facility. I don't know exactly which
14 one. But this is what I remember.
15 Q. All right. And where did you go to actually communicate with the
16 Zvornik Brigade? Where -- what part of the facility at Han Pijesak did
17 you go to communicate?
18 A. I did not go anywhere. I just walked out of the room where my
19 analysts were working, out of the office.
20 Q. To where? To the radio room?
21 A. Oh, no. I had a room of my own where I was lying down, and that's
22 where I had a telephone. But I had a big room where the analysts were
23 working, with several desks, and that's where the telephone links were,
24 and that is where one could establish communication with different units,
25 different elements, the Drina Corps. I don't know exactly the ways in
1 which these communications would be established. I mean, I cannot define
2 that right now.
3 Q. Were you able to pick up your phone and contact the Drina Corps,
4 who patched you through to Zvornik, as is, we've learned to be, the normal
5 way ?
6 A. No. I'd have to call the switchboard, our switchboard at the Main
7 Staff, and then I'd have to ask them to put me through to the Drina Corps,
8 and then to ask from the Drina Corps to put me through to the brigade.
9 Q. And you remember that happened on one of these days, 14, 15 July?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Let's go to this document. It's the duty officer notebook, P507.
12 As was mentioned yesterday, sir, this is the rough notes of the duty
13 officer of the Zvornik Brigade that he scratched down as he got
14 information and various calls. And I want to ask you: Did you know --
15 and I think you've spoken about this before, but did you know a Major
16 Pavle Golic?
17 A. Yes. Yes, I did. Of course I did.
18 Q. And what was his -- what unit was he in and what was his
20 A. He was an officer in the intelligence department of the Drina
22 Q. Okay. So he was someone you were very acquainted with.
23 A. Yes. Yes, very well.
24 Q. Did you say "operations" yesterday, or am I misrecollecting
25 that? I thought you said he was in operations, or maybe it was a
1 translation error .
2 A. No. Sorry, I never said that. I couldn't have possibly said
3 something like that.
4 Q. He told us that he was in the -- in the intel branch, like you
5 say, so I just wanted to clear that up.
6 Now, are you aware of a Lieutenant Drago Nikolic from the Zvornik
7 Brigade, the chief of security?
8 A. Yes, I know Drago. I think I met him in 1992. I saw him two or
9 three times, I think.
10 Q. Okay. And now, if you will look at this conversation, and
11 figuring that the Colonel Salapura is you, Drago is Lieutenant Drago
12 Nikolic, Beara is Colonel Ljubisa Beara --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- and Golic is Pavle Golic. Now, Golic was at the Drina Corps
15 Command on the -- on the 14th of July, as far as we know. Do you have
16 any reason to believe he was somewhere else?
17 A. You know what? I really cannot say anything to you on the basis
18 of this: I really do not remember. I can just engage in guesswork now.
19 But if you want me to engage in guesswork and assumptions, then I can give
20 you 100 options, and then we can see what would come out of that. The
21 only thing I can tell you now is what I told you already; namely, that I
22 cannot give orders either to Beara or Nikolic. That is quite clear. Pajo
23 Golic particularly cannot. I know that for sure. So this was just a
24 transfer of information from one person to another, from superiors.
25 That's the only thing that could have happened, taking a message,
1 something like that. On the basis of this, it is impossible to say
2 anything. I can just guess.
3 Q. Sir, I just asked you if you knew where Golic was. I didn't ask
4 you to guess. I don't want you to guess. And so if you don't know,
5 that's fine.
6 So you say this --
7 A. I don't know at that particular moment. I cannot tell you where
8 the man was at that particular moment. Perhaps he was in the office;
9 perhaps he was in town; perhaps he was, I don't know, in Zvornik, in
10 Vlasenica. I don't know. I have no idea.
11 Q. Now, let me give you some facts, and maybe it will refresh your
12 recollection, but you said you think this was just merely information, you
13 know, passed from one to another, and I -- I think that's right. That's
14 what it looks like. So do you have any reason to doubt this, that you --
15 that you called and -- and gave the message that Drago and Beara were
16 supposed to report to Golic?
17 A. As I said, I'd have to guess. Well, we can guess. I've already
18 said so. There's a hundred options that are possible. But after all this
19 time to remember such details --
20 Q. I don't want you to guess. You're the one that said this is just
21 information being passed from one to another. Now, I'm asking you: Is
22 there any reason to believe this didn't happen, that you called these guys
23 and just passed on this information?
24 A. I did not say that it was only passing on information. I'm
25 telling you I cannot remember. I cannot remember what exactly happened.
1 I just gave you one of the possible options.
2 Q. Okay. Well, let me give you what the facts have shown here.
3 Maybe it will help your -- refresh your recollection. Okay, Colonel
4 Salapura, you are at Han Pijesak, the Main Staff headquarters. You are
5 the head intel man under Tolimir. You have been to the area, talked to
6 officers, including Mladic and others. You should be briefed on what's
7 going on.
8 Now, you call. From the headquarters you get patched through from
9 Vlasenica to Zvornik, you speak to the duty officer, and you tell that
10 duty officer basically that Drago Nikolic and Colonel Beara should
11 report --
12 A. Sorry. I'm sorry, do you mean by telephone?
13 Q. Well, that's -- by telephone or by radio, however you would
14 normally communicate.
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. And that you told the duty officer to -- to have Drago Nikolic
17 and Ljubisa Beara report to Major Pavle Golic of the intel branch, who
18 would be in Vlasenica that morning of the 14th.
19 Now, the morning of the 14th, Drago Nikolic was arranging for
20 prisoners, some five, 6.000 prisoners that were located in some four
21 schools all over the Zvornik area and preparing for their execution.
22 Beara was doing the same thing, first in Bratunac, then in Zvornik on the
23 14th. And we know that Pavle Golic was involved in that process because
24 we know from an intercept that he is assisting in providing 500 litres of
25 fuel to buses on the 16th of July from Mr. Popovic to transport prisoners
1 around Pilica.
2 So given that background, does that help refresh your recollection
3 about why you would have been calling and asking the duty officer to have
4 Drago Nikolic and Ljubisa Beara report to your subordinate, Major Pavle
6 A. No. No. I did not have anything that would be pointing to such
7 activities, not a hint. As for what this is about specifically, I could
8 not say. I did not have a single hint, as I've already said, that would
9 point to such activity.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Any redirect, Mr. Karnavas?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I do, just brief.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
16 Q. Good morning, sir.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. I just have a few questions.
19 The information that you received --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: If we could get the assistants to lower the --
21 thank you. Thank you.
22 Q. The information that you received from Belgrade, did you consider
23 that serious information?
24 A. Yes, absolutely. Very serious.
25 Q. And during that period of time, what were your main focuses? What
1 were you focussing on, being the intel person? What areas?
2 A. That's the western part. As an intelligence person as at the Main
3 Staff, only the western part. As for this zone, in the eastern part, that
4 was the task of the corps and of their intelligence organs .
5 Q. All right. Now, which part are we -- which part is that?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: This has been gone through, and it's really not
9 contested --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, excuse me. Excuse me, Your Honour.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is not just a green light to go into the
12 material all over again.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: The suggestion was why didn't this gentleman go to
14 track down prisoners in Nova Kasaba to talk to them. This is the highest
15 ranking officer in the intel. And I'm trying to show that there is a
16 reason why in the areas in which he was focussing, because there was a
17 huge suggestion being made that somehow this individual should have been
18 tracking down where the 28th Column was, and that's why I'm trying to
19 refocus the gentleman. It will be five minutes and we can all get on to
20 the next witness.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I understand that the parties
22 have different views on that, and I believe that we have -- already know,
23 you know, your point.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
25 Q. Sir, yesterday you were questioned about your connections with the
1 VJ as if you were a member of the Yugoslav army or had connections with
2 the Milosevic government at that point in time. Could you please tell us
3 whether you had travelled to other places, such as the Federation or
4 Croatia or other countries, to meet with sources to get intelligence
5 information on other occasions?
6 A. Well, I did travel to the area of the Federation for negotiations,
7 talks, et cetera, but this is an area, Your Honours, that I think is not
8 really relevant to this particular trial. I did travel, and also the
9 operations people involved in this particular line of work. We travelled
10 abroad too, to Hungary and to other countries.
11 Q. All right. That was --
12 A. If that means anything.
13 Q. That does mean quite a bit. Thank you.
14 Now, had General Mladic taken the information that you had been
15 trying to convey to him seriously, would that have changed the course of
16 events, perhaps later on, in what -- what happened in the Krajina area?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. These are just
19 open-ended -- this is a great concern to the Prosecution because we don't
20 have the Rules -- under the Rules re-cross, and this is not rebuttal, as
21 far as I can see.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, Your Honour, yesterday --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I know if there's going to be a long
24 explanation and -- and all that in front of the witness, I would prefer
25 that the witness be -- be left out. But it's very simple to --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: If I can, Your Honour --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: --rephrase the question .
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think this is a hypothetical
4 question, you know.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: You may put your question in another way.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. Yesterday the Prosecution was trying to suggest that you didn't
9 care about the Serb soldiers that were ultimately killed in -- by the
10 28th Division in Zvornik?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. And now I would like to ask you --
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: You know, in -- in telling this witness what the
16 Prosecution thinks about him, this is just absurd and inappropriate.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: This is what he was trying to suggest, Your
18 Honour, that the --
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have come over -- we have come over this
20 issue many, many, many times in the past.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: That was the suggestion, Your Honour, that I -- I
22 gleaned from the line of the questioning. And now I'm trying to suggest
23 that he was also concerned about other lies, a potential onslaught that
24 was about to happen and did in fact happen, and had Mladic listened to
25 him, perhaps, you know, things could have been avoided. That's what I'm
1 trying to suggest.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may ask the questions in -- based on that
3 "yesterday you were asked a question," so on and so forth, "what's your
4 view about it?"
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I think I'm going to need to
6 explain now what I was -- I was trying to suggest that this man would
7 have been concerned about those Serb lives and as a result would have
8 known about information in the column, not that he wouldn't have been
9 concerned about Serb lives. That's absurd.
10 MR. KARNAVAS:
11 Q. At the point in time when you met General Mladic and you were
12 trying to convey the information that you had learned from Belgrade, what
13 were you concerned about? Which area and for what events?
14 A. For quite a while I only dealt with the western area, the HVO and
15 the preparation of the Croatian forces for an attack and, of course, the
16 forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and their preparations in Trebinje, so that
17 area in Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is to say, I focussed on the western
19 My approach to all these problems was selective, because I had
20 very few people available. You could have seen that in the Srebrenica
21 operation. The key people were absent; they were not present at all in
22 that part.
23 Q. Incidentally, did your source, the one that you met in Belgrade,
24 tell you what we learned in this courtroom, that the HVO at the time had
25 been receiving arms from the United States and other countries in
1 preparation for this particular activity?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I cannot --
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is really going beyond anything, and it's
5 obviously deliberate. That -- and it cuts to the foundation of this
6 adversarial system, which I'm ready to give up on, frankly, but it --
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas --
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Because I'm going to need to have re-cross.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: He's more than welcome to have re-cross, Your
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think this question is out of scope.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Please drop it .
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Let me go back to a document that was shown to you by the
17 Prosecutor. It's P865.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: If we could have the assistance of -- I only have
19 my English version, so I suspect that perhaps -- oh, here's the B/C/S. I
20 apologise. Here we go.
21 And we could put my copy on the ELMO here so we can all see it.
22 Thank you, sir.
23 Q. Now, could you please look at -- you told us that General Tolimir
24 was both the head of intelligence and security at that point in time; is
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes. Chief of Sector for Intelligence and Security Affairs, and
2 at the same time he was deputy -- or rather, assistant commander for
3 these particular affairs.
4 Q. Is there a time -- do we see a time on this particular document?
5 We see a date, 13 July.
6 A. No.
7 Q. If we could look at -- look at the document closely. I don't
8 have my copy.
9 "2230 hours," at the top -- at the very top on the right-hand,
10 do you see where it says " 2230 hours"?
11 A. Yes, I can see that.
12 Q. And --
13 A. I'm just not sure who wrote it.
14 Q. If I'm correct, would that be 10.30 at night, July 13th, 1995?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And from looking at this particular document that was shown to you
17 by the Prosecution yesterday, would it not appear that General Tolimir is
18 suggesting that prisoners be sent and be put up in places where usually
19 Serb officers -- or Serb soldiers stay and to work -- to do this
20 agricultural work? Is that what he is suggesting?
21 A. If you look at this document, that's what it says; clearly, in
23 Q. And can you conclude from this document whether at that point in
24 time General Tolimir, who was both the head of the security and
25 intelligence sector, would have known about any killing operations on --
1 on the 13th of July at 10.30 p.m. that night?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: This witness says he doesn't know anything about
4 this document, and this is -- nor does he know much about anything, so
5 this has to be speculative.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour --
7 JUDGE LIU: Well -- well, it is a speculative question because,
8 you know, this document was issued by another person and we ask this
9 witness to tell us what's in the mind of that person. But -- but in this
10 circumstances, I would like to hear the answer from this witness.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can read this document. I
12 can have a look, just like you can. What it says is perfectly clear. I'm
13 not sure what the problem is. It talks about the existing capacities for
14 putting people up and then about these 800 or perhaps 80 prisoners of war,
15 because I can't read clearly.
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. Well, let me just rephrase my question. There's been testimony
18 here by Momir Nikolic that on the morning of the 12th he was informed by
19 Popovic and Kosoric that all of the men were to be separated and killed.
20 Looking at this document --
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're now going, you know, way out again, into
23 other witnesses, other testimony. You know, if he'd chosen this tact
24 on -- on direct, but how that has to do with -- with this getting --
25 speculation on this document is pretty far-fetched.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: This document was introduced by the Prosecution.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I don't have any problems with him
3 questioning about the document.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm questioning the document.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think the issue about this document
6 has already been solved. This witness answered the question, and we are
7 satisfied with this answer.
8 Shall we move on?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, we can move on.
10 I have no further questions.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any redirect?
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just two questions, Your Honour.
14 Good morning, first of all, Mr. Salapura.
15 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] During the cross-examination yesterday at one
17 point you stated that the job of a unit intelligence officer was to
18 interview prisoners in order to gather intelligence. You remember that;
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. In the context of the question, you were asked why were you not
22 the one who was interviewing those prisoners.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. As an officer attached to the Main Staff, it wasn't your job to
25 do that sort of thing on the ground.
1 A. No. As chief, I certainly wasn't expected to interview prisoners
2 of war. It wouldn't even have been an operational kind of job; although,
3 I did that sort of job, because I was short of staff. But that's a
4 different question altogether. It's more a complex one. Whereas, this is
5 something that anyone can do.
6 Q. It's precisely in that context that I want to ask you the
7 following: Hypothetically speaking, an intelligence officer attached to
8 the command of the Zvornik Brigade, Dusko Vukotic, receives information
9 that he is to interview a prisoner of war. He is duty-bound to do it.
10 And would I be right in stating the following: Once he has gathered the
11 necessary intelligence, the prisoner of war belongs to the security organ
12 who should then process the prisoner, as far as the operational aspect is
13 concerned? It would not be the duty of the intelligence officer, would
15 A. By no means would that be the job of an intelligence officer.
16 Each unit's commander determines the gathering place, a spot where the
17 prisoners of war are gathered and secured. The next step is camps are
18 determined and all the other logistics organs and security organs get
19 involved. The whole security system, how security is provided, taking the
20 prisoners there, the involvement of the police units, and so on and so
21 forth. But this is something that the commander determines in his order.
22 As for the unit intelligence officer, the intelligence officer
23 that's attached to the unit --
24 Q. Can you just please slow down for the benefit of the transcript.
25 A. The intelligence officer attached to a certain unit only comes up
1 with a request to interview a particular prisoner, if the prisoner is
2 suspected to contain essential information, to be in possession of
3 essential information, if there is the possibility that the prisoner may
4 be in possession of relevant information. Only in that case, because
5 that's relevant to security and to escorting the prisoners. Now,
6 whichever unit is in charge, intelligence or security, they must turn to
7 the superior commander for approval.
8 Q. Thank you very much. And the next question I have, something you
9 said today on cross-examination, that you personally in the morning on
10 the 14th had no information whatsoever concerning the activities of
11 Ljubisa Beara and Dragan Nikolic over those days in the area covered by
12 the Zvornik Brigade. You remember that, don't you?
13 A. Yes, by all means.
14 Q. So even if you had wanted to, you would have been in no position
15 to inform the person that you may have contacted at the command of the
16 Zvornik Brigade as to why, on which mission precisely those two persons
17 were in the Zvornik area to begin with.
18 A. Yes, that's certain. I didn't even know they were there. There
19 could have been possibly a message that had been conveyed, or something
20 like that.
21 Q. And the job of the duty operations officer would be to pass the
22 message on.
23 A. Precisely, just as much to pass it on. The message could have
24 been received, for example, by the duty operations officer at the Main
25 Staff receiving the message and saying, "Pass it on to Salapura and he
1 should call such and such person for this or for that," or it could have
2 been any other officer there. Based on that, you can't tell who the
3 message came from or who it was passed on by. It's very difficult for me
4 to say so many years later what exactly had taken place, because there are
5 a number of different possibilities, hundreds of them, actually.
6 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Salapura.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for
9 Your Honours, this completes my redirect.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 Judge Vassylenko.
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Good morning, Mr. Salapura. I have some
14 questions for you.
15 Can you explain us the functional differences between intelligence
16 bodies, security bodies, and military police in the VRS?
17 A. Intelligence bodies, as any other intelligence bodies, what they
18 do is only collecting, gathering intelligence on the enemy forces, the
19 sort of terrain they are dealing with; and with regard to the other side
20 of the front and enemy-controlled territory, of course, that sort of
22 As for security organs, they deal with security-related and
23 counter-intelligence-related issues. In our territory, in
24 enemy-controlled territory, and they apply the overall security system.
25 They propose measures to the commander, and they monitor the
1 implementation of those measures.
2 The military police are a unit with their own special tasks. I'm
3 not sure if I am able to list those in details. They deal with security.
4 They take part in combat, monitoring, escort, traffic, providing security
5 for facilities and persons, for camps, for prisons, and so on and so
6 forth, everything that happens at army level, or the tribunal, as the
7 police do here. Well, they have the same sort of authority as the police.
8 Only in zones covered by military units and in relation to military
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My next question: What units or elements of
11 the VRS were charged to deal with and care of prisoners of war and
12 enemies, refugees?
13 A. I'm not sure I understand the question. Taking prisoners to the
14 camps and providing security there, above all, the military police units
15 and the police units would be in charge of that. If that proves
16 insufficient - I'm talking about rules about the general principles, what
17 is envisaged as a rule - the commander may choose to appoint any other
18 unit, even a unit not taking part in combat activities at the time.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what was the role of intelligence bodies
20 and security bodies in providing, let us say, care of prisoners of war?
21 Or in dealing with prisoners of war.
22 A. Intelligence bodies have no jurisdiction over that, except if the
23 need arises for them to make a request. If they are in a camp, from the
24 camp command to perhaps interview one of the prisoners in order to gather
25 specific intelligence, or while a prisoner is being captured, if there is
1 an officer, a battalion officer who realises that this person may be in
2 possession of certain relevant information, they can call the battalion's
3 intelligence administrator, who will then gather the information on the
4 spot, which unit the person belongs to, where the unit was located. But
5 that's the only authority that the intelligence bodies have over prisoners
6 of war.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What about security bodies?
8 A. Security bodies regulate a whole number of different things:
9 Taking the prisoners there, providing security, and so on and so forth.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And military police? What is the role of
11 military police?
12 A. Well, security bodies make proposals, which forces should be
13 involved. That's up to the commanders, whether it should be the military
14 police, police units, some other units perhaps.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. My next question: What was the --
16 A. Well, as I said -- my apologies. My apologies. That wasn't part
17 of my job, the security detail. I'm no expert in that field. I'm not
18 familiar with details. But generally speaking, that's how it worked.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. And what was the chain of command in
20 relation to security bodies and intelligence bodies in the VRS?
21 A. Well, I can only talk about intelligence-related matters.
22 Intelligence bodies did not really have a centralised structure. At Main
23 Staff level, there was an administration, an administration which had its
24 own departments, and it was poorly staffed. This is something that I
25 could never successfully deal with. I couldn't find a solution. It had
1 operational officers, who gathered operational intelligence. So much for
2 the administration.
3 We had a unit attached section [as interpreted] and intelligence
4 officers who were attached to units, and they were only responsible to
5 their own commanders and Chiefs of Staff. The administration had no
6 authority to exercise command over them or to give them orders. They were
7 duty-bound to submit intelligence to the administration and the
8 administration would then pass intelligence on to corps-level bodies such
9 information as they had. Once it has been processed, it would be passed
10 on so it could be used. And all this would be envisaged in an order on
11 intelligence and security.
12 The administration dealt with training those people, getting them
13 to have proper qualifications for their work, and it also issued
14 directives on how their work should be improved. If there was something
15 that had to be done pursuant to a request made by the administration, then
16 the administration had to make this request and to send it to the Chief of
17 Staff at corps level, so that the Chief of Staff could then approve a
18 possible involvement.
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Salapura, as far as I know, in some units
20 of the VRS - for example, in the Bratunac Brigade - the security and
21 intelligence functions were performed by one person. Whom this person was
22 subordinated to?
23 A. This person was subordinated to the brigade commander -- or
24 rather, to the Chief of Staff of the brigade.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what about his superiors in the, let us
1 say, chain -- security and intelligence chain?
2 A. Well, you have the corps, the intelligence organ -- or rather,
3 the security organ of the corps, but the corps intelligence organ can only
4 submit their own information, and it is duty-bound to pass their
5 intelligence on to the corps intelligence organ. It can't give it orders.
6 That is under sole jurisdiction of the brigade staff, Chief of Staff, as
7 far as intelligence work is concerned.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My last question: Whose orders could have
9 precedence for the brigade security and intelligence officer? Those
10 issued by, for example, Colonel Beara and orders of brigade commander,
11 provided they had the same subject matter.
12 A. Well, this is a question for security organs, not for me, I
13 believe. They have their own methods, methods that my units didn't use.
14 They have their own communication structure, methods of reporting and
16 What my service did was totally transparent. Everyone received
17 our information, the Chiefs of Staffs, commands, and their information was
18 submitted in a different way, through different channels. This is
19 something that I don't feel competent to talk about. I think you should
20 ask someone who does this sort of job, because I could only be speculating
21 at best. It's difficult to say.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no more questions.
23 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judge's question?
24 Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Very briefly.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
4 Further cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
5 Q. So you are not -- well, Mr. Kosoric being the Drina Corps chief
6 intel officer; right? Svetozar Kosoric?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. You were not his commander. You wouldn't issue him orders.
9 A. No. That's the commander, Chief of Staff, his commander, corps
10 commander. He was a unit intelligence officer with the corps. All I
11 could do -- or rather, what I was duty-bound to do is to pass information
12 on to him and then his duty was to pass information on to the
13 administration. I may have told him, for example, that he wasn't doing
14 his job well enough, and my analysts, who'd come up with proposals as to
15 what should be improved, we could organise training session, a seminar
16 perhaps, get people in to talk about these things, to explain things.
17 That would have been the jurisdiction of the administration over that.
18 The commander was authorised, for example, to -- to get an
19 intelligence officer and appoint him to act as battalion commander for a
20 month, or for 20 days. There were cases like that, many. We had an
21 intelligence officer with the corps who spent six months working as the
22 chief of the operations group. That's up to the commander. This is
23 something that I -- that I had no authority over. I wasn't there to issue
24 tasks for him.
25 Q. The commander, be it the corps, brigade, or Main Staff, is
1 central to all this in the exercise of command; is that right?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: All what, Your Honour? All this regarding
3 intelligence, I take it? I would like to --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: He knows what I'm talking about, and he answered
5 the question.
6 JUDGE LIU: You.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I would expect Mr. McCloskey to show a little more
9 respect. I understand he's a little afraid lately, but, you know, he
10 could be respectful.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the context is very clear here in the
12 answers and the questions.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I just hope that tu quoque applies in
14 this area, if he's going to be behaving this way.
15 JUDGE LIU: I do not see anything abnormal, you know, happened
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Salapura and I are having a good discussion.
19 Unfortunately, the answer was interrupted by counsel and it didn't get on
20 the record.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe you could re-ask your question.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: So --
23 Q. So, Mr. Salapura, in this -- what you've been discussing, the --
24 the relationship between the intel branches and command, command is
25 central to this entire process and this entire decision-making process,
1 isn't it, the commander's role?
2 A. Yes. The commander takes the decisions and he's the one who
3 gives orders, and he's the one who bears all the responsibility for -- for
4 the overall implementation.
5 Q. That's the responsibility of command.
6 A. [No audible response]
7 Q. And what you said, your relationship with Kosoric is just as true
8 with Kosoric's relationship with Momir Nikolic; is that correct? The Main
9 Staff to corps and the corps to brigade.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, we lose something there. Your
11 question is: "So that's the responsibility of commander." I think the
12 witness answered that question, but we did not pick it up in the
14 JUDGE ARGIBAY: It doesn't appear.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Perhaps I interrupted that time.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Go slowly. We still have time.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sir --
18 Q. Sir, so my question was: The commander is central to this role
19 in making the decisions.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And what you described -- your relationship with Kosoric is it
22 works the same way between Mr. Kosoric and the corps and Mr. Momir Nikolic
23 in the brigade; isn't that correct?
24 A. Yes. I'm talking about the intelligence line. Absolutely.
1 Q. You have described the security line to us briefly, and you have
2 stated that the security officers also report to their commanders.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to -- I'm going to object at
4 this point. He's indicated --
5 JUDGE LIU: Wait.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me.
7 First of all, it's a mischaracterisation, a gross one at that.
8 Secondly, the gentleman indicated that he's not competent.
9 Thirdly, we have a security, you know, general coming in next and
10 he can ask those questions of -- of that. But the gentleman indicated
11 that he wasn't competent in that field. He's also indicated that they're
12 separate branches.
13 JUDGE LIU: I -- I believe that the witness will say something to
14 us. Let the witness tell us.
15 Witness, are you going to say something? Are you going to answer
16 that question?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said I was talking about
18 everything that was intelligence related. As for security, I'm no expert
19 in that field. I'm not qualified to talk about that. So that's all I'm
20 talking about, but that's how it worked.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY:
22 Q. You're familiar with the rules, and you testified in direct that
23 security officers also report to their commanders. You know that much.
24 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. Certainly the commander is responsible for the military police
1 platoons and units under his command.
2 A. He's responsible for everything that is under his command, all
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Nothing further.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
6 Well, at this stage, are there any documents to tender?
7 Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. Yes, Your Honour. D194/1, which is the
9 intelligence information; D195/1, another intelligence information;
10 D196/1, intelligence information; D197, an intercept. And in the
11 eventuality the Prosecution does not introduce P865, we would like to
12 tender it as D199. We believe it demonstrates Mr. Tolimir's state of mind
13 at the time and what his knowledge was with respect to whether any
14 execution plans were underway.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Any objections?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President. But I should -- I should note,
18 also if we could get those intercepts -- you've heard a lot about Bosnian
19 Muslim intercepts.
20 These -- just as for background on authentication, the intercept
21 referred to by Mr. Karnavas was obtained in a search of a -- I believe it
22 was a Bosnian Croat military facility, and we have -- do not have -- have
23 not been able to conduct the thorough investigation of those materials
24 that we have on the others. There are -- yeah, it was in Mostar.
25 There are, in fact, three sort of synopses of conversations on
1 this intercept. Mr. Salapura has actually spoken of the content of the
2 last one, and I think that is self-authenticating to that degree, because
3 he recalled that information. And so the other two I just wanted to let
4 the Court know that yes, you may -- I have no objection to this coming
5 in, but we do not -- do not know the processes and the people and how they
6 were all conducted, but I think given his testimony, that certainly the
7 third intercept should -- should be admitted, and I have no objection to
8 the other two coming in as well.
9 JUDGE LIU: And would you please indicate to us the -- the number
10 of that intercept. Here we have several. That is D197?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Yes.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we --
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think since there's no objections from the
15 Prosecution, those documents are admitted into the evidence; although, we
16 don't believe that the D194 is relevant. Maybe in the future we could see
17 the relevance by reading other documents, but at this stage those
18 documents are admitted into the evidence.
19 On the part of the Prosecution, do you have any documents to
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I -- just the one document
22 counsel referred to, P865, the Tolimir document. And he made a brief
23 argument on that document. And if I could be allowed 20 seconds to
24 respond to that.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, I don't think it's proper, you
1 know. Are you -- are you going to tell us about the background of this
2 document or the source of this document or something else?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was going to respond to Mr. Karnavas's argument,
4 but I wanted to get your leave to do it, because I agree with you, it's
5 not proper at this stage to be making an argument. But I think given that
6 counsel has made an argument, I could take 20 seconds just to alert you to
7 something in the document.
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, do you have any objections?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, he just indicated that it's improper for him
10 to make an argument, so I hope -- you know, I don't understand what his
11 problem is. He can offer the document or not. If he's not going to offer
12 it, I would like to offer it. If he wants to make an argument, there'll
13 be plenty of time in closing argument for him to make an argument.
14 JUDGE LIU: So you oppose it?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I don't think it's necessary, but I'm not --
16 you know, I leave it to the Court's discretion.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, since there is opposition from
18 Defence, I think we have to stick to the Rules.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE LIU: The document P865 is admitted into evidence, maybe
21 with the two numbers, one is for Prosecution and the other is for the
22 Defence. It is so decided.
23 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
24 your evidence. We wish you have a pleasant journey back home. When we
25 are adjourned, the usher will show you --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE LIU: And we are adjourned now, and we'll resume at 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
13 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR KESEROVIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas, the witness is yours.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
17 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
18 Q. Good morning, sir.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Would you please tell us your name.
21 A. My name is Dragomir Keserovic.
22 Q. And could you please tell us your last name letter by letter.
23 A. K-e-s-e-r-o-v-i-c, with a diacritic.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Keserovic. Could you please tell us, what is your
25 current occupation?
1 A. Currently I am a general in the Army of Republika Srpska, and I
2 hold the position of Assistant Minister of Defence of Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Could you please tell us what is the area of your expertise
4 within the VRS.
5 A. I am head of the Department of Security -- or rather, head of the
6 Security Service of Defence in the Ministry of Defence.
7 Q. All right. And how long have you held that position, sir?
8 A. Since the 10th of September, 2002.
9 Q. Now, if we could just briefly discuss your educational
10 background. Could you tell us after completing secondary education what
11 sort of education -- further education, higher education you received.
12 A. I completed the military Academy for Ground Forces Armoured Units
13 in 1981. I completed the General Staff Academy in Belgrade and the Army
14 of Yugoslavia in 1997. From the 1st of February, 1996 until the 1st of
15 February, 1997, that is.
16 I completed the School of National Defence, also in Belgrade, in
17 the school year of 1998-1999.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. As far as the military is concerned, I completed many educational
20 courses that have to do with the Security Service and the military police.
21 I also completed a post-graduate course at the Faculty of National
22 Defence, again within the Department of Security.
23 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, could you please tell us back in July 1995
24 what rank you had within the VRS.
25 A. Lieutenant colonel.
1 Q. Could you please tell us in which organ or in which capacity you
2 were serving.
3 A. I was in the military police department of the security
4 administration of the sector for security and intelligence affairs of the
5 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
6 Q. And where were you located at that point in time?
7 A. The headquarters of my department was in Banja Luka in the
8 building of the headquarters of the 1st Krajina Corps.
9 Q. Now, did you have any -- anything to do with the 65 Protection
11 A. Not with the regiment. But like with the other units of the Army
12 of Republika Srpska, I had professional links with the battalion of the
13 military police from the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment.
14 Q. And could you please describe to us in general those professional
16 A. Yes. The security department worked on training and equipping
17 military police units. It worked on the seven services of the military
18 police too, and it also worked on giving guidance to the duty services of
19 the military police. Those are the three directions of activity within
20 the military police.
21 From a professional point of view, that was channelled by the
22 military police department from the security administration, from the
23 Sector for Intelligence and Security Affairs of the Main Staff.
24 Q. You said that you worked on the seven services of the military
25 police. Could you please describe to us in general what those seven
1 services are.
2 A. I think I can do that. That is the service for providing
3 security, then the investigation service, the patrol service, the escort
4 service, the duty service, the service for crime prevention and control,
5 and the service for the control of military traffic.
6 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us, in light of your
7 position during that period of time - and I'm speaking of July 1995 in
8 general - what was your professional affiliation or link with Colonel
10 A. Colonel Beara was the chief of the security administration. In
11 that administration, there were four organisational entities. One of them
12 was the department for Military Police, and I was in it.
13 Q. And just so we -- we have a clear understanding, you said that
14 there were four organisational entities. Could you list the other two.
15 A. The other three: The counter-intelligence department, the
16 analysis department, and the counter-intelligence group.
17 Q. Okay. And then the military police being the fourth?
18 A. The fourth.
19 Q. Now, was -- who was your immediate superior officer?
20 A. Colonel Beara.
21 Q. So I take it he would be the one giving you orders?
22 A. It can be put that way, yes.
23 Q. Now -- well, did you report to anyone directly, other than Beara?
24 A. No.
25 Q. All right. Now, did you have a staff of your own?
1 A. Not in the department. Until I came to the military police
2 department, it only existed on paper, and there was not a single person
3 who was involved in military police affairs. At the time when I was in
4 that department, I was there by myself. So after I left, no one stayed
5 behind. It was only later that it was manned. So in the department
6 itself, I did not have anyone who would work with me on these particular
8 Q. And what was -- specifically or concretely, what was the military
9 police department -- or what were you in charge of in your capacity as the
10 head of the military police department?
11 A. At that time, we were primarily involved in manning military
12 police units and providing appropriate personnel, since there weren't
13 enough personnel. Also, we tried to equip the units with appropriate
14 materiel and technical equipment, and we were making efforts to bring
15 military police units into a position so that they would not be classical
16 military units, as they were primarily until then, but we wanted them to
17 carry out specific military police duties.
18 Q. Now, to what extent did your position reach down all the way,
19 say, to the brigade level?
20 A. There were criteria according to which this manning took place
21 and according to which both personnel and equipment were sent to
22 particular units and also members of military police units were sent for
23 training according to certain criteria. Recruitment was centralised, and
24 we took part in the decision-making process as to how many soldiers should
25 be sent to which units.
1 Procurement was centralised too. Military police equipment was
2 procured, and then we suggested how it should further be allocated to
3 different units. Then we also linked up the duty services from the
4 brigade through the corps, all the way to the battalion of the military
5 police in the Motorised Protection Regiment. These were links that were
6 based on the legislation and rules that were in force at the time.
7 Q. Now, at your level, would you be able to influence, say, a
8 brigade as to who would be placed in the military police, who would
9 command it, who would be the deputy commander, the numbers, and so on and
10 so forth?
11 A. I could not decide, I did not have the right to decide, but there
12 was a rule that the commander of a unit when deciding to appoint officers
13 to the military police should consult first and foremost his own security
14 organ and then, if necessary, the superior officer in the military police
15 chain. It could happen that the opinion of the corps would be sought for
16 appointing a military police officer in the battalion, but this hardly
17 ever happened in the case of companies and squads, but then it depends on
18 where they were too.
19 Q. Now, in light of your -- in light of your position, I take it you
20 had to work with the rules and regulations dealing with the security organ
21 in general. Is that correct?
22 A. Well, yes. But there are two sets of rules involved, and as you
23 said, generally speaking all members of the security organs were supposed
24 to adhere to them at all levels, regardless of their position and their
25 actual line of work. One set of these rules is the rules of service in
1 the security organs, and the second set are the rules of service of the
2 military police, the instructions for applying the rules of the military
3 police, and the laws that accompany these rules.
4 Q. All right. I want to speak at the -- at the brigade level, the
5 relationship, you know, between the security organ and the commander, or
6 how the security organ fits within the command. Could you please describe
7 to us in general what were the general -- what were the functions of the
8 security organ.
9 A. A security organ is a member of the brigade command and is one of
10 the assistant commanders too. As for his work, in terms of the security
11 of the unit, he is responsible to the brigade commander. At the same
12 time, he takes part in the work of the brigade command in the process of
13 planning and adopting decisions. In that context, he proposes measures
14 related to security and using the military police unit that may be within
15 the composition of that unit. That is his relationship vis-a-vis the
16 brigade commander.
17 The security organ of a brigade has another link, which is
18 professional -- or rather, functional. It is called professional command
19 and control, and that is vis-a-vis the superior security organ -- or
20 rather, the head of the superior security organ.
21 As regards these matters that have to do with professional command
22 and control, most often this is counter-intelligence, the security organ
23 is responsible to the superior security organ and only to a certain extent
24 that he or the responsible security organ believe it is necessary, so it
25 is only to that extent that he familiarises the brigade commander with
1 that particular matter.
2 Q. Thank you, General. Now, I want to go into a little more detail
3 on this aspect which you just covered. When you say, "Professional
4 command and control," could you please describe to us, to the best that
5 you can, concretely, that is, what are we talking about?
6 A. When we say "professional command and control" in the Security
7 Service, this entails many activities, mostly from the so-called
8 counter-intelligence area of activity. There are two elements that are
9 important in terms of understanding this: The first is that the security
10 organ in a certain period of time deals with information, data,
11 assessments, and evaluations of security challenges, risks, and threats
12 within the unit and addressed against the unit that were not expressed
13 very evidently, so they do not have enough valid evidence yet. They
14 cannot inform the commander and the others as yet about this, and also
15 ultimately this may lead to criminal prosecution before courts of law.
16 That is one side of it -- or rather, one element.
17 The second one is the following: When following these activities
18 and documenting them, the law prescribes the methods and means according
19 to which the principle of the inviolability of public information and
20 communication is deviated from. On the basis of special authority and
21 powers that security organs have, this falls under this professional
22 command and control and the professional line of work they are engaged in
23 in a particular unit.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, these two elements, did you just give us a
25 definition of what is considered counter-intelligence? Was that what that
1 was -- the two elements that you were describing?
2 A. For the most part, yes.
3 Q. Now, is there anything else about counter-intelligence that we
4 should know about in trying to understand this concept, what is
6 A. There is a broad spectrum of security threats. There are many
7 ways in which the enemy tries to endanger a unit. Sometimes this happens
8 within the unit itself; sometimes it happens in such a way that it
9 involves foreign elements. This also has to do with the protection of
10 confidential or secret military information at all levels, secrecy of
11 decisions. And also according to the rules that regulate this particular
12 matter, then there is activity related to opposing foreign intelligence
13 services, also activity involving internal undermining. Then -- then
14 there is the possibility of paramilitary organisations within the area or
15 the unit itself. All of that are concrete counter-intelligence affairs
16 that have to be followed, monitored, documented, and this should lead to
17 an epilogue that is prescribed by law in one way or the other.
18 Q. All right. Now, at which level -- or at what level, I should
19 say, is counter-intelligence determined within the security organ?
20 A. I'm afraid I did not understand your question.
21 Q. Let me be a little more concrete. Would the -- would a security
22 officer at the battalion level, would he make a decision as to what is or
23 is not counter-intelligence?
24 A. He does not make decisions as to what counter-intelligence
25 activity is, because counter-intelligence activity is precisely spelled
1 out in the instructions and the rules. However, he does register
2 activities and collect information which he deems to be of security
3 interest and which he feels may jeopardise his unit, the unit he is in at
4 a given point in time.
5 When information is collected in this way, he sends it further on
6 to the superior security organ, who re-evaluates this information, and
7 then professionally he gives guidance to the lower-level security organ,
8 in terms of what he should do with regard to a particular matter. He
9 himself does not always decide what he is going to do next. In most
10 cases, he is given professional guidance by the superior security organ.
11 Q. All right. Now, would -- before seeking this -- this guidance by
12 the superior security organ, this professional guidance, could the
13 security officer of a battalion go directly to his battalion commander to
14 seek some guidance or at least pass on that information?
15 A. At any rate, the answer is yes. There are a few serious security
16 issues that can occur at battalion level that would require the superior
17 security organ to be consulted before you go and talk to your own
18 commander, but it's very difficult to remember any practical example, but
19 certainly there are a few such problems, because all problems that are
20 likely to happen, to occur at battalion level, for the most part are
21 problems of a more public nature, and one could say that it is possible to
22 go and confer with the battalion commander. Of course, if one is looking
23 at the kind of information or data that could spread and become a more
24 general security problem and the battalion-level security organ is then
25 able to consider all of the potential consequences and predict how the
1 situation might evolve surrounding that problem, the rule is first one
2 goes to the superior security organ, confers with him and receives
3 instructions as to what to do next.
4 However, when serious problems are encountered, first you go to
5 the superior security organ. If it's a problem of a more public nature
6 and easier to spot and identify and document, then one can go directly to
7 one's own unit commander, and the unit commander, under all aspects of
8 combat readiness, is the responsible one, and this organ is there to help
9 with security-related issues.
10 Q. Now, let's move up to the brigade, the brigade level. And now
11 we're talking about the brigade security organ. With respect to
12 activities or information collected within the sphere of
13 counter-intelligence, to whom would the security organ first and foremost
14 inform or report to?
15 A. In the sense of security regarding the staff -- or rather, one
16 part of the activity, roughly speaking, one-third of the overall activity
17 undertaken by security organs in a given command, this would be up to the
18 unit commander, to the brigade commander only.
19 Q. What about the other two-thirds?
20 A. As for the remaining two-thirds, that merits a brief explanation,
21 but the remaining two-thirds constitute the so-called counter-intelligence
22 activities and tasks, and that is the focus of the work of security
23 organs. As I said before, in that respect, the security organ is,
24 professionally speaking, under the command and control of a superior
25 officer, in the security organ itself.
1 The security organ goes about these tasks and activities without
2 necessarily informing the brigade commander every single time. They do
3 provide some sort of general information as to their potential whereabouts
4 or the general nature of certain tasks and duties in the sphere of
5 counter-intelligence-related activity, or perhaps not even that much; they
6 can only say, "I have some jobs and duties that I have to carry out
7 personally or pursuant to an order from the security organ," and now a
8 professionally trained commander will not ask any further questions of the
9 security organ at this point.
10 Once the results of that work become apparent and once it is
11 possible to prove these results, then the security organ has the duty to
12 inform the unit commander accordingly. In some way, as far as the
13 relations between the commander and the security organ, it has always been
14 the stumbling-block of the exact ratio and the amount of reporting and
15 information that was supposed to go on. This is a matter of one's
16 assessment. This is a matter of the training level of the security organ
17 itself, as well as the trust that has been established between the organ
18 and the commander. However, the correct way to do it would be to inform
19 the commander so that the commander or the unit would not be liable to any
21 Q. All right. Now, at the brigade level, the superior security
22 organ for a brigade security officer would be where?
23 A. That is the chief of the security and intelligence or
24 intelligence and security-related tasks with the corps command.
25 Q. Now, you indicated that at some point there would be a duty if
1 and when the time came for the security officer or the head of the
2 security for the brigade to inform his commander about those
3 counter-intelligence activities. My question is: Would he take that
4 decision on his own, or would he need some sort of approval or guidance
5 from the superior security organ prior to disclosing the information that
6 he had -- or the work that he had been conducting?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, it's leading. The question should be
9 what advice, if any, does a person need to take, not offering a potential
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 You may rephrase your question, Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. But the way that Mr. McCloskey stated
14 it doesn't make any sense, so I'm afraid I can't ask it in that fashion.
15 Because that wasn't the purpose of my question.
16 JUDGE LIU: I'm not asking you to ask your question according to
17 the Prosecution's fashion.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm trying to see --
19 Q. After conducting this counter-intelligence activity -- or
20 actually, before the security organ at the brigade level can inform the
21 commander of his activities or information gathered from
22 counter-intelligence activities, does he need to get permission, and if
23 so, from whom?
24 A. A combined method of work or an operational combined method of
25 work is a very complex activity indeed. It is very difficult to provide a
1 brief answer to that question. However, in most cases, the superior
2 officer of the security organ can provide recommendations and advice to
3 his subordinates as to what extent exactly the brigade commander should be
5 Q. All right. What would be the relationship, if there exists one,
6 between the security organ of the brigade, at the brigade level, with the
7 security organ at the Main Staff level?
8 A. There is no direct relationship. Only through the officers of
9 the corps security organ.
10 Q. Well, let me ask you concretely, just to make sure that I
11 understand it. Is there a direct relationship between Beara, who was at
12 the Main Staff, and Momir Nikolic at the Bratunac Brigade? In other
13 words, can Beara or should Beara, under the rules, assuming that they are
14 followed, go directly to Nikolic and give him orders, advice, directions?
15 A. No.
16 Q. How should it work?
17 A. As long as the tasks arise from assessments and evaluations at
18 the level of the security administration attached to the Main Staff, these
19 should then be sent to the chief of the corps department, and the chief of
20 the corps department should pass them on to the section chief in the
22 Q. All right. What about the reverse scenario? Can Nikolic, or
23 should Nikolic, assuming that the rules are followed, go directly to
24 Beara, bypassing, in other words, Popovic, who's at the Drina Corps?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now, what about -- what about the general himself, Mladic? Can
2 he, assuming the rules as they were designed to be applied, can he, given
3 his position, being the commander of the VRS, go and directly give an
4 order to Momir Nikolic?
5 A. To all practical intents and purposes, this could be the case but
6 this is not the correct way to do it. The correct way to do it would be
7 for General Mladic to go to his assistant - specifically, General
8 Tolimir - give him a task, and then the task is passed on down the line of
9 communication that we have already described.
10 Q. Well, what if the general was in the vicinity, General Mladic?
11 Again, now the reverse. Would Momir Nikolic be entitled to go, under the
12 rules, directly to General Mladic to give him some sort of a security or
13 intelligence report, in light of his position?
14 A. At this point, this is a matter of direct communication and
15 perhaps a reflection of the situation, whatever the situation may be at a
16 given point in time. But in no way can this be applied as a rule, a
17 general rule, and in no way can one always act in this fashion.
18 Q. All right. Now, before we get to the relationship between the
19 security organ at the brigade level and the military police, I want to
20 show you what has come into evidence as P398. We could look at this. We
21 have a copy for the ELMO.
22 First of all, General, do you recall seeing this document at or
23 around the time when it --
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's 389, by our view.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. What did I say? Oh, okay, it's 389.
2 Q. Now, General, do you recall seeing this document when it was
3 generated? And from the date, you see 11 November 1994. 11 November
4 1994. I'm sorry --
5 A. Yes. But the 24th of October, 1994.
6 Q. I'm sorry. I apologise.
7 A. No. I've never seen this document before.
8 Q. All right.
9 A. Not at all, not back then.
10 Q. Okay. All right. Now, before coming to court today, have you
11 had a chance to look at it, at this document?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And have you had a chance to examine it somewhat?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And to the best of your ability, could -- in light of your
16 position, background, experience, knowledge in the field, could you tell
17 us whether this instruction in general or in principle follows the
18 regulations and the laws with respect to the security or security and
19 intelligence organ.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you please tell us -- you told us earlier about the
22 one-third, two-thirds distinction, administrative versus
23 counter-intelligence. Here we have this percentage of what would appear
24 to be 80 and 20 per cent. Do you know where these numbers were plucked
25 out of?
1 A. I can't be sure. I can't answer this.
2 Q. But the one-third that you were referring to, would that be, with
3 respect to what is being identified here as the tasks under 20 per cent?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So I take it the 80 per cent would be the 66 per cent -- or the
6 two-thirds that you've indicated earlier?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, I want to focus your attention, if I could, on paragraph 3,
9 under "Instructions," and in particular, I would like you to look at
10 the -- and this would be on page 2 in the English version, Mr. Usher. And
11 it's on the second page at the top of the page for both.
12 I'm looking at the second paragraph of paragraph number 3, and it
13 states here: "At the same time, to the extent and in the measure
14 necessary, members of the security and intelligence organs must provide
15 their immediate superiors with information, assessments and observations
16 regarding the security of units or institutions."
17 And what I want to focus your attention on is that particular
18 language, where it says: "...to the extent and in the measure necessary,"
19 that portion. Do you see that, General?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, could you please give us an explanation what exactly does
22 that mean? And I believe you already told us a little bit, but I just
23 want to hear your concrete observations.
24 A. Yes. As I've already said - I do not wish to repeat myself - the
25 extent and measure necessary, this is not easily quantifiable and not easy
1 to determine; however, the lower-level security organ is usually given a
2 definition of this by the superior security organ commander. Rather, it
3 is up to the security organ to assess what the extent and the measure
4 should be.
5 Q. At the brigade level, would that be the -- the head of the
6 security organ? In other words, to the extent and the measure he thought
7 necessary, he would inform his commander?
8 A. Sometimes, yes. But most often if he was told to do so by the
9 corps security organ.
10 Q. All right. Now, in looking at this -- that portion that we
11 focussed on, it would appear that it's subject to some interpretation as
12 to the latitude, the breadth.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you see any problems that that -- or any potential problems
15 giving someone at the brigade level, for instance, a security officer,
16 with this sort of latitude or discretionary power, if we want to put it
17 that way, with respect to what and at which time and how much he would
18 inform his commander on matters that would fit in with this -- in this 80
19 per cent or 66 percentile of counter-intelligence activity?
20 A. Yes. This can produce an effect with security organs, especially
21 in situations where the security organ is not sufficiently trained and is
22 not sufficiently familiar with the laws and provisions, the laws and the
23 rules. This can produce or lead to certain deviations or aberrations on
24 this issue, and this cuts both ways. It can be that he totally keeps all
25 information back from the commander or that he entirely neglects the basic
1 fundamental principles of counter-intelligence work and shares all
2 information at the very outset with the commander -- rather, informs the
3 commander about everything. This can be a source of certain forms of
4 negative behaviours, first and foremost by insufficiently trained security
6 Q. All right. Thank you. I believe that's all I have for this
8 Now, if we could focus our attention a little bit on the aspects
9 of the military police.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: And if I could have the kindness of Mr. Usher to
11 bring it down a little bit.
12 And before I go into this area too much, Mr. President, will we be
13 breaking at our normal time?
14 JUDGE LIU: I'm not sure when will be the normal time. But if you
15 feel, you know, time for a break, we will break at 12.00, or you just
16 finished a section.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I would -- I would appreciate around 12.00, in
18 light of my -- the situation on the ground here, my own physical strength
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. Now, I want to just briefly discuss with you this relationship
23 between the security organ and the military police. Could you please tell
24 us, at the brigade level now, first of all, who commands or who is in
25 charge of the military police?
1 A. The brigade commander exercises command and control over the
2 military police, as over all other subordinate units.
3 Q. That's his asset?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, we know that a -- the military police have a commander -- a
6 "komandir" of their own, but who is the commander of the military police,
7 who is their immediate commanding officer?
8 A. The brigade commander.
9 Q. To what extent does the security organ get involved with the
10 military police?
11 A. As I've pointed out, the security organ attached to the brigade,
12 as for the work of the command in terms of planning and decision-making is
13 concerned, it makes proposals for the deployment of military police units
14 and presents this proposal to the brigade commander. At the same time,
15 the security organ also has a role to play, in terms of professional
16 guidance, in relation to military police services; namely, the services
17 that we enumerated back at the outset.
18 In practical terms, this means that any deployment or use of
19 military police units is ordered and commanded by the commander of that
20 unit. As for specific tasks, throughout the military police services the
21 security organ has the authority to issue a task, an assignment to a
22 section, department, or whatever the military police has, so that these
23 tasks are then carried out by these individual services regardless of the
24 commander, but they could and should inform the commander about the
25 results of those activities, depending on the case or mission at hand.
1 Q. All right. Can the chief of intelligence and security issue
2 orders to the military police as he sees fit? In other words, however he
3 feels at the time.
4 A. No.
5 Q. Why not?
6 A. Command is single. That applies to military police units. As to
7 all other units, there is only one commander who exercises command over
8 these units. In the case of brigade, this is the brigade commander.
9 Q. All right. What about the superior security organs? Say, the --
10 the corps security organ, Popovic in this particular case? Can he under
11 the rules, assuming we follow them, can he reach down and give direct
12 orders to members of the military police of a brigade, such as the
13 Bratunac Brigade?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Well, what about Beara? He's at the Main Staff. He's --
16 A. No.
17 Q. All right. Okay.
18 JUDGE LIU: It's 12.00.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe -- I believe I just finished that
20 section, Your Honour. Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: So we'll have a break and we'll resume at 12.30.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas, please continue.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
1 Q. General, I want to switch to some -- switch topics and get more
2 focussed into the period that we are concerned with. And to start with, I
3 would like to show you a document that has been introduced as P543. And
4 if you could just look at it quickly, and then I'll -- I'll direct your
5 attention to the appropriate segment.
6 Now, sir, do you know what this document is?
7 A. The heading shows that this is an order of the commander of the
8 Drina Corps for active activities -- or rather, for the operation named
9 Krivaja 95.
10 Q. And I believe if we go all the way to the last page we see the
11 author of this document, or the person who is -- takes responsibility for
12 the contents of it. We see Major General Zivanovic. Do you see that,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And I take it you knew Mr. Zivanovic at that point in
17 A. I knew him, but most probably he didn't know me.
18 Q. Okay. All right. And it shows that he was the commander of the
19 Drina Corps at that particular time.
20 Now, if I could focus your attention, sir, I'd like to focus your
21 attention to paragraph number 10. It would be on page -- page 6 in the
22 English, page 4 in your version, with the title "Combat security." Look
23 at that.
24 Have you located it, sir?
25 A. Yes. It is security for combat activity. That's what it is.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, prior to coming here today, you -- I've
2 shown you this document, have I not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And, in fact, I've asked you to look at this particular
5 paragraph, paragraph number 10, and specifically to go to the latter part
6 of the paragraph that deals with the security organ in dealing with
7 prisoners of war; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, in looking at this paragraph or this section of the -- the
10 order by General Zivanovic, could you please give us your interpretation
11 or your expert analysis on this particular segment; that is, the dealing
12 of -- with prisoners of war by the security organ.
13 A. The second part reads as follows: "In dealing with prisoners of
14 war and the civilian population behave in every way in accordance with the
15 Geneva Conventions." That's fine. However: "Security organs and
16 military police will indicate the areas for gathering and securing
17 prisoners of war and war booty," which precedes the other paragraph I
18 read, this is incorrect and the corps commander did not specify this task
19 properly. This is improper. The rules regulate this in a different way.
20 Q. Could you please explain to us how the rules regulate this
22 A. In the process of decision-making, when war prisoners and war
23 booty are anticipated, the assistant commander for logistics makes a
24 proposal and the corps commander adopts this proposal related to the
25 localities where prisoners of war will be gathered and separately the
1 localities where war booty will be collected. The operations organ in the
2 staff proposes the way in which these localities will be secured. If the
3 unit concerned has a military police unit, then the security organ
4 proposes that the military police unit should secure the locations where
5 war prisoners and war booty will be collected. Then all of that is
6 translated into an order of this kind, and then the military police unit
7 is given a task, or if there is no military police unit, then another unit
8 is given the task specifically by the commander to provide security for
9 prisoners of war -- or rather, the locality where prisoners of war will be
11 In the order addressed to logistics and the rear services - and
12 that is an integral part of the commander's order - that is where the
13 place or locality where the war prisoners will be gathered and where war
14 booty will be collected respectively. That is the way it should be in
15 accordance with the rules.
16 Q. Now, let me -- let me touch on a couple of aspects of this
17 answer. First of all, why is it necessary to have the rear services or
18 the logistics sector or organ involved in this process?
19 A. First of all, logistics or the rear services have many
20 obligations regarding prisoners of war and war booty too.
21 As regards prisoners of war, the location where they will be
22 gathered, according to rules of combat, is usually in a different part of
23 the area of that unit, where their in-depth positions are, because
24 prisoners of war have to be fed; they have to receive proper medical care.
25 Then perhaps their transport has to be organised from the actual
1 collection point, and everything else. That means that they should have
2 all the prescribed logistics support, and they should be accorded the
3 treatment guaranteed by conventions dealing with the treatment of
4 prisoners of war. That is why this locality has to be established in such
5 a way that it is easily or readily accessible, so that the logistics or
6 rear services can carry out their tasks properly. That is one of the
8 Another one of the reasons is that such a place should not be
9 close to the front end or the first line because of the possible dangers
10 that could follow. That is the way it is regulated by the rules, and that
11 is the way it should be regulated as such.
12 Q. All right. Now, aside from what you just told us, in looking at
13 the way this is written, do you see any potential problems with giving the
14 security organ these tasks in the manner in which -- that are outlined in
15 this particular order?
16 A. I think -- well, actually, in this way, security organs are
17 charged with particular duties and tasks. They could take part in the
18 security activities of the military police and also in the treatment of
19 prisoners of war afterwards; that is to say, when they are interviewed and
20 so on. This goes beyond the possibilities and level of training of these
21 organs, in terms of producing results that would show that the task is not
22 carried out completely or was carried out in part only. Then there can be
23 other problems in this regard. Quite simply, security organs are not
24 trained for dealing with all the measures that have to be taken in terms
25 of this activity.
1 Q. All right. Thank you. I believe that's all we have at this
2 point in time with this document.
3 Now, I want to share with you another document that has come in as
4 P406, Exhibit P406. And to save a little time, I believe that you've --
5 I've shown you this document as well. It's dated July 5, 1995. And it's
6 Colonel Blagojevic's order for active combat operations. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And as I understand it, I asked you to look at the particular
9 segment in Colonel Blagojevic's order with respect to prisoners of war,
10 which would be -- I believe it's on page 5 of your -- of your document.
11 It's also page 5 in the English document. It's under paragraph 10.
12 Do you see that, sir, where it --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. Now, it says here that: "Prisoners of war and war booty
15 will be collected in Pribicevac -- in the sector," and it's
16 underlined: "Comply the Geneva Conventions in the treatment of prisoners
17 of war and the population."
18 My first question is: Sir, are you familiar with or acquainted
19 with the -- with the Pribicevac sector?
20 A. No.
21 Q. All right. Secondly, in reading this and in comparing it to what
22 was ordered or in the order in which -- the manner which it was drafted in
23 the order by General Zivanovic, can you please give us your expert opinion
24 as to the manner in which Colonel Blagojevic has drafted his order.
25 A. The order of Colonel Blagojevic -- or rather, the commander of
1 the Bratunac Brigade -- or rather, this particular position that we are
2 commenting upon is correct in both cases; namely, the commander adopted
3 somebody's proposal or decided independently when establishing an area, an
4 area where prisoners of war and war booty are to be collected has to be
5 established in the order. So from that point of view, this order is
6 correct, and it reflects the way the rules regulate this subject matter.
7 Q. All right. Now, if you went to paragraph 12, which would be the
8 last page - it would be page 7 - it says here that: "The IKM," the
9 forward command post of the brigade, "would be in the Pribicevac sector."
10 Do you see that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. And do you still maintain your position, the one that
13 you've just stated, that Colonel Blagojevic's designation, specific
14 designation of where the prisoners would be located, if and when any would
15 be caught?
16 A. Since this has to do with the forward command post and that it is
17 the area of Pribicevac, I'm not familiar with the area, but what has to be
18 taken into account is the proximity of the first line -- or rather, the
19 area where combat activities take place. I stand by what I said, that
20 this is closer to the other end, that it is further away from the first
21 line. It is closer to the rear command post.
22 Q. And if I were to tell you that at that location that would be
23 where the commander would also be located during the critical period, the
24 commander of the Bratunac Brigade, that is, would that in any way affect
25 your -- the opinion that you've already stated in either a positive or a
1 negative fashion?
2 A. I could not give any comments as to the reasons why the location
3 was established in such a way.
4 Q. Now, I want to focus your attention on -- on paragraph 5.6, and
5 this would be on page 4, at the top of page 4, and it would be page 3,
6 sir, General, it would be page 3 for you. 5.6, it says here: "The
7 reserve: If necessary, have the Military Police Platoon ready for
8 deployment in the sector of the Command Post of the 1st Bratunac Light
9 Infantry Brigade."
10 Now, I have a pretty general question for you: Is this proper to
11 have the Military Police Platoon as the reserve, or is this an abuse of
12 that particular asset, a violation of the rules and regulations?
13 A. No. This is an order for active combat activities and the unit
14 was used in the right way -- or rather, it was given the right kind of
15 task. In combat activities, only in exceptional cases, and in a situation
16 of initial grouping, an effort is made always for this kind of reserve,
17 and this was done quite correctly from the point of view of the rules that
18 regulate the use of military police units.
19 Q. Thank you, General.
20 Now, before I go on to the next segment - and that would be the
21 activities that took place after the fall of Srebrenica - could you please
22 tell us where you were during that period of time.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Sir, I believe that's -- you can -- that would be
24 enough. And I'm through with this document as well.
25 A. Until the 15th of July, the evening of the 15th of July, I was in
1 the area of responsibility of the 1st Infantry Brigade Novi Grad of the
2 1st Krajina Corps -- or the 2nd Krajina Corps, since in a certain period
3 of time the brigade went from one corps to the other. But at any rate, it
4 was the 1st Infantry Brigade Novi Grad. And on the 16th of July, I came
5 to Han Pijesak -- or rather, to Crna Rijeka, the command post of the Main
6 Staff, that is.
7 Q. Could you please tell us how long you had been gone from the
8 area. You told us you arrived back on the evening of the 15th of July.
9 What was the period of your absence from this area?
10 A. Without any interruption from the 5th of July -- or rather, the
11 4th of July, when I was given the task in relation to the 1st Brigade
12 Novi Grad. Before that, I came every now and then from the 19th of March
13 that year, and for the most part I was in the area of responsibility of
14 the 1st or 2nd Krajina Corps.
15 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us what exactly you were
16 doing from the 4th to the evening of the 15th of July. What were you
17 engaged in?
18 A. I was on the team of the Main Staff that was viewing the causes
19 and consequences of the loss of positions by this brigade where major
20 losses were sustained, in terms of manpower and materiel at part of the
21 positions of this brigade. That was the task, and that is what was being
22 done. The deadline for carrying out this task was the 15th of July. That
23 was the set deadline.
24 Q. Did you during that critical period, the ones that you've
25 outlined, from the 4th until the -- the 15th, the evening of the 15th, did
1 you in any way participate in any activities dealing with Srebrenica?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Prior, prior to leaving for this particular task, that is, prior
4 to July 4th, were you in any way consulted or did you in any way get
5 involved in the activities regarding the -- the events surrounding
6 Srebrenica, that were to follow, that is?
7 A. No.
8 Q. During that period, were you ever contacted by Colonel Beara?
9 A. No.
10 Q. All right. Now, in your -- during that -- that period while you
11 were absent, were you getting any reports or any information with respect
12 to what had happened in Srebrenica?
13 A. No.
14 Q. During that period of time, were you engaged with in any way,
15 with the military police, with respect to any activities that would be
16 connected or linked to Srebrenica and the events that followed afterwards?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Now, during that period of time - and let me just focus your
19 attention on two critical days, the 12th and the 13th of July, 1995 - did
20 you ever visit Potocari?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Or were you in the Bratunac area?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Could you please tell us the area that you were in, what would be
25 the distance? How far away would you be?
1 A. The road one usually takes, it would be between 450 and 500
3 Q. Now, since you weren't there on those days, the 12th, the 13th
4 and onwards, perhaps I can give you some -- some information with respect
5 to Potocari and maybe you can help us.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, providing a witness information is -- it
8 would be leading.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: That's why I phrased it that way, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, it depends on what kind of information. This
11 witness testified that he was not even there during that period. I don't
12 know the purpose for you to provide those information to this witness.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, I -- I phrased it in such a way
14 that at least I would be alarming everybody of what I was about to do.
15 JUDGE LIU: We are alarmed.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I was -- well, let me put it this way, Your Honour:
17 In light of the gentleman's position, even though he was absent, I was
18 going to pose a series of questions with respect to who would be
19 responsible for the individuals in Potocari and then the prisoners that
20 were separated, keeping in mind that he wasn't there. Now, in order for
21 me to do that, I would have to give him some -- some of the facts that
22 have already come in.
23 Now, if I'm not permitted because the Court may decide that the
24 gentleman, since he wasn't there and has no firsthand knowledge would not
25 be competent at least to discuss that, I -- I will accept that, but I
1 certainly don't want those questions being asked on cross-examination.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's -- it depends, you know. Sometimes the
3 hearsay evidence is also admissible, so you may try. But -- but I'm not
4 sure about, you know, the results.
5 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, it sounds like Mr. Karnavas is using
7 this person as perhaps an expert witness on the very fundamental issues of
8 the case. First of all, we haven't had any notice of anything like that,
9 and it's perfectly appropriate for him to talk about the rules, as he has
10 done, and how they are applied, and we can all take our knowledge of this
11 case and apply them, but to take him to some place where he says he knows
12 nothing about and was not there at this stage really is not appropriate.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may briefly respond.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman, years ago - I'm using the plural -
16 was questioned by the OTP, so they certainly knew this gentleman.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if we're going to get into that, I
18 think we need to -- we need to start having discussions outside the
19 presence of the -- the witness. I just don't know what comes next when we
20 start getting into the history.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I was merely responding because they said
22 they had no notice. The gentleman lives in Banja Luka. They questioned
23 him. They talked to him about those events. So certainly -- it's not as
24 if, you know, I've just introduced somebody that they had absolutely no
25 knowledge of. And they've questioned the gentleman.
1 Now, if I'm forbidden into that area, I can accept that decision,
2 so long as the Prosecution is forbidden from venturing into those areas.
3 That's all. I just want to know what the rules of engagement are. So ...
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President --
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: You are being, as I'm sure you understand, being
7 put in a position where Mr. Karnavas is trying to make deals with the
8 Court, which -- that he wants to get a pre-emptive ruling against what I
9 can go into on cross-examination. That's absurd and improper and is --
10 should be out of the question.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we allowed you to go into this
12 area, but bear in mind that this witness was absent during that time and
13 all we heard will be the hearsay evidence. We will see how far you could
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I'll just ask some foundational questions
16 and take it from there, Your Honour.
17 Q. General, I know you weren't there, but since that period, did
18 you -- have you had a chance to learn about meetings that were held
19 between General Mladic and the DutchBat and representatives of the Muslim
20 community there?
21 A. No.
22 Q. My next question: Do you feel sufficiently knowledgeable or
23 confident in being able to discuss as to who would be responsible for the
24 individuals that had left Srebrenica and had gathered to Potocari, some of
25 whom were evacuated, some of whom were separated and eventually killed?
1 A. Based on what I know, I can't say who was responsible.
2 Q. All right. Just one question. I think you -- since you -- and
3 you might be able to assist us here. Would Nikolic in that critical --
4 those critical days, would he have been in a position to directly order
5 the military police to go and perform various tasks in Potocari without
6 first seeking the approval of the commander, that is, Commander
8 A. Would he have been in a position? I don't know. But if he had
9 done that, that would not have been a correct thing to do, not a proper
10 thing to do.
11 Q. All right. And I believe you told us earlier, but just in case I
12 wasn't -- I'm not clear on this. Would he have been able to conduct
13 activities with Popovic and Beara on his own without consulting or getting
14 the approval of his commander?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's rather vague "would he have been able."
17 MR. KARNAVAS: The rules.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Would he have been able. But if your question is
19 according to the rules, that's perfectly non-objectionable.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I did qualify it, but I'll rephrase, Your Honour.
22 Q. During these critical days when all sorts of activity went on,
23 was Momir Nikolic free to go about and carry on or carry out tasks and
24 orders issued to him by Popovic and Beara without first notifying his
25 commander and perhaps even getting the approval of his commander?
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object to that.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: To bring in the concept of free and freedom, that
4 really throws a monkey-wrench into the question.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps the gentleman could -- if he understood my
6 question, perhaps he can answer it. If freedom is such a very difficult
7 concept, something that we hear every day from -- you know, on TV,
8 especially these days, coming out of Iraq, I think the gentleman can --
9 can certainly answer that question.
10 JUDGE LIU: I think without that word "free," the sentence still
12 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
13 Q. Could you answer the question, General.
14 A. No. Based on the existing laws and regulations governing service
15 in the military, he would not have been allowed to do that.
16 Q. All right. Thank you.
17 Now, I just want to show you one document. It has been introduced
18 already. It's P687. It's a document that was generated by President
19 Karadzic addressed to Miroslav Deronjic, president of the SDS, who was
20 appointed the commissioner. And I want you to look at it, and
21 particularly if you could pay close attention to paragraphs number 4
22 and 5.
23 Okay. Now -- and again, if you feel sufficiently confident and
24 competent to answer this question, in light of your position and
25 background, even though this is a document to a civilian organ, in reading
1 paragraphs 4 and 5, do you have an opinion as to what Deronjic's
2 responsibility would have been or should have been or were in fact, based
3 on what President Karadzic's decision [sic]?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. This document speaks for itself. I
6 don't see how this witness is in any position to be commenting on it.
7 JUDGE LIU: And as you pointed out, Mr. Karnavas, this is for the
8 civilian branches, not for the military ones.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I qualified it, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: I understand. So we don't know the purpose, you know,
11 for you to ask this question to this particular witness.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: May I just -- very well, Your Honour. But I take
13 it since Mr. McCloskey said the document speaks for itself, it's speaking
14 to me that Deronjic was in charge. Would that -- is that what
15 Mr. McCloskey meant by that?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, we could read the document by ourselves. As for
17 what kind of conclusion we draw, it's another matter.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: So I -- I take it I should move on?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. All right. I think this document --
21 Q. All right. I think this document -- we shouldn't have any
22 problem, General. It's Exhibit P500, a document given to us by the Office
23 of the Prosecution.
24 Have you seen this document before, sir?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what does this document refer to, at least with respect to
2 you specifically?
3 A. This document refers to the fact that at one point in time,
4 specifically on the 17th of July, the commander of the Main Staff ordered
5 that part of the Krivaja 95 operation, or rather, the completion of the
6 search of the terrain along the line of movement of the 28th Division from
7 Srebrenica, I should be the one to take over command over all units within
8 the area -- or rather, the units enumerated in this document.
9 Q. Okay. Now, let's talk about those events. First of all, were
10 you ever given an order? And if so, by whom?
11 A. I never received personally this written document, but I did
12 receive the order in this form at the command post in the Main Staff from
13 the commander of the Main Staff. As for who wrote the document, that was
14 done by the chief of the operations organ in the Main Staff.
15 Q. All right. Now, specifically, what were the orders given to you
16 as you understood them?
17 A. The task given to me by General Mladic was roughly as described
18 in this document. I'm not sure if this is a totally accurate
19 interpretation, but essentially it is accurate, yes. Myself, I don't know
20 about this other thing concerning involvement at stage 2 between Drinjaca
21 and Cerska. This is something I don't remember.
22 Q. Please continue, General.
23 Okay. Let me go on to my next question. Now, in this particular
24 task, were you going as part of the security organ or in some other
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. And as --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: What's the objection about?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: How -- in what capacity are you going? I mean --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it could have been going in a variety of
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is the proper way to ask the question, and
8 I just -- to try to help prevent me having to jump up.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think this is the direct examination,
10 Mr. Karnavas. You should not put a leading question to this witness.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Your Honour, if I was suggesting
12 information. Now, as I indicated, OTP questioned the man, and we had lots
13 of testimony that he's from the security organ, so that wasn't leading. I
14 wasn't suggesting. And I said if he was going in another -- in another
15 capacity. I didn't give a suggestion as to what other capacities he might
16 have been going, so I don't see the problem, but I'll ask -- I'll
17 rephrase, Your Honour. I'm rephrase.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yeah. Rephrase your question, please.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. In what capacity were you going?
21 A. I'm not sure -- or rather, I can't say in what capacity I was
22 going. What I can say is that, as I said at the outset, I was working
23 with the security administration of the military police of the Main Staff,
24 if what's what you mean by "capacity."
25 This specific task that is set out in this document is redefined
1 and modified. If I had pursued this task, I would have gone there as the
2 commander of units, as stated in the document, but it was not in the --
3 the capacity of commander that I went, because in the evening hours the
4 task had been modified.
5 Q. Could you please explain how it had been modified.
6 A. This task is unrealistic, and that was my assessment at the time,
7 and I let the commander of the Main Staff know how I felt about it and
8 that I was not able to carry it out, like this. I did this in the
9 presence of two of his assistants. He did not accept this. He walked out
10 of the room in which we were talking.
11 The role of mediator to have this decision modified was taken up
12 by General Tolimir. He followed the commander out, and in his own room,
13 in front of the building itself, he stayed with him for several hours. It
14 was late in the evening that he told me that I would still go and tour
15 this area, that I would not take over command over those units. He said
16 that I would talk to the superior officers of the units under the blockade
17 and that we would search the terrain and that then I would be able to
18 assess how the operation was going and I would report back to him on that.
19 So that was the redefined task.
20 Now, in which capacity I was there exactly, I really can't say.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you -- thank you, General. Now, did you go to
22 the -- did you go to Bratunac?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you recall what day it was that you went to Bratunac?
25 A. I have not memorised the date. I know that it was one day, based
1 on some documents, this particular document also, and other similar
2 documents from other units. I narrowed the time span down to two possible
3 days, the 17th or the 18th, but I can't say which of the two it was.
4 Q. When you went to Bratunac, did you meet with anyone?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. With whom did you meet?
7 A. At the command of the Bratunac Brigade, I looked for the brigade
8 commander in the morning hours, give or take an hour or two, I'm not sure,
9 but I located him. I found him at the command post, and that was also
10 where we met, because we had not known each other previously.
11 Q. And what happened when you met the commander of the Bratunac
12 Brigade at the command post of the Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. He told me that activities on that day were unfolding the same
14 way as the previous day, in relation to searching the terrain. He said
15 that some units had been blocked and that some of the military units, the
16 army's units and the MUP units, a small fraction of those, were searching
17 the ground along the Bratunac-Milici-Konjevic Polje road.
18 Q. All right. And based on that information, what did you do?
19 A. Following my return to the Main Staff, I passed on the
20 information and said that those activities were well underway and that
21 probably they would be completed by the end of that day or perhaps the
22 following day.
23 Q. All right. Now, did Colonel Blagojevic at any point in time
24 describe to you the relationship between MUP and the VRS troops?
25 A. I don't remember that.
1 Q. Did you on that particular day go to the field to give any orders
2 or to make an inspection as to how the activities were being carried out?
3 A. In part I did carry out an inspection. But as for going to the
4 field and visiting the units who were searching the ground, no, I did not
5 go there.
6 Q. Can you please tell us how and to what extent you carried out
7 this inspection.
8 A. By talking to the units, starting with the first unit, which was
9 a military police company belonging to the military police battalion of
10 the Protection Motorised Regiment, between Nova Kasaba and Konjevic Polje,
11 I spoke to the battalion commander, Major Malinic. Further down to
12 Konjevic Polje, I met one of the officers from the communications
13 regiment, whose identity, or rather, name I can't remember.
14 Finally, in Konjevic Polje itself, I learned -- I didn't talk to
15 anyone in particular. I learned that the Engineers Unit of the Drina
16 Corps, and then further down from Konjevic Polje, outside Bratunac or I
17 can't say where precisely there were some forces of the Bratunac Brigade
18 at -- along that road. That was as much as I was able to see, especially
19 the blockade along the route where it was supposed to occur.
20 Q. Did you carry out any inspection with MUP units, assuming that
21 that was part of your portfolio?
22 A. No. I found out then that some of their units were on the
23 ground. I didn't see them, but in Bratunac I met who I believed was the
24 Chief of Staff of the Special MUP Brigade, Mr. Borovcanin, and another
25 officer from the same units, whose name I really can't remember. This MUP
1 officer, I saw him somewhere along the road between Bratunac and
2 Konjevic Polje. I never had any other contact with MUP units.
3 Q. Now, on that day, did you learn whether any prisoners had been
4 taken or captured?
5 A. The only thing I did learn about prisoners on that day was in
6 relation to Major Malinic, who in our conversation told me that on the
7 football pitch in Nova Kasaba between two and 3.000 people had been
8 assembled, between two and 3.000 prisoners, and that they had been taken
9 to Bratunac.
10 Q. Had Major Malinic told you who had issued those orders?
11 A. Yes. The order for the prisoners to be taken from the football
12 pitch in Kasaba to Bratunac had been issued to him personally by the
13 commander of the Main Staff when he was passing by the football pitch, and
14 he personally addressed those prisoners.
15 Q. All right. Did you ever learn what happened to those prisoners?
16 A. Not at that time.
17 Q. Would you please tell us what you learned.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection as to foundation.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could have an idea when he learned this, it
21 would make more sense.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I think I can do my direct in the fashion in
23 which I wish to, because the following question is when -- I don't need to
24 ask it in the order in which the Prosecutor is directing me to.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, just so far as -- to have a better understanding
1 of the issue.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand --
3 JUDGE LIU: Maybe -- maybe if the time frame, you know, comes
4 first would be much better.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it might -- okay, very well, Your Honour. If
6 I'm being given instruction by the Court, not a problem. But, you know,
7 usually what, when, how, we get to those eventually.
8 Q. For the Prosecutor's sake, could you please tell us when you
9 learned what happened to the men.
10 A. As for the fact that something had happened or that a crime had
11 occurred, there were rumours just after the war. The first direct
12 personal knowledge that I had about this was from the trial of the
13 Sabotage Detachment, when Erdemovic and Kremenovic were tried before this
14 Court. As for more comprehensive information on all these events, that
15 was over the last year, following a decision of the human rights council
16 in relation to the events surrounding Srebrenica and an investigation
17 undertaken by Republika Srpska in relation to those events, and this is
18 the first time that these matters have been discussed openly.
19 Q. All right. Did you at any point in time conduct your own
20 investigation, a separate one? And I'm not asking you about what the RS
21 is doing but one within the security organ.
22 A. Well, I'm afraid I do not understand your question. But
23 specifically I do not know of any investigation being conducted by the
24 security organs in relation to the events that took place in and around
25 Srebrenica or that they did that independently.
1 Q. Did Colonel Beara ever tell you what he had been involved with
2 during those days?
3 A. No.
4 Q. What about Popovic? I believe he was a lieutenant colonel with
5 the Drina Corps.
6 A. Yes. He was a lieutenant colonel in the Drina Corps, and he
7 never talked to me specifically about what happened or the circumstances
8 concerning his engagement at the time.
9 Q. All right. Now, staying with the -- with the day that you went
10 to Bratunac to carry out these activities, whether it was the 17th or
11 the 18th, to your recollection, could you please tell us what else you did
12 on that day, if anything.
13 A. Well, on that day, in addition to this, I had a few other
14 engagements. One of them was to find Colonel Jankovic from the
15 intelligence administration of the Main Staff, which was done, since when
16 asked to do so, he did come to the command post of the Bratunac Brigade
17 shortly after my arrival. I was supposed to tell him of a few engagements
18 that he was supposed to carry out. One was to return arms and equipment
19 that the units of the Army of Republika Srpska took from the UNPROFOR
20 troops - that is to say, the Dutch Battalion - at checkpoints. The other
21 task he had was to go to the command of the Dutch Battalion in order to
22 convey information -- or rather, reach agreement on the evacuation,
23 because in the meantime it was decided that the evacuation of the Dutch
24 Battalion would take place across the Drina River -- that is to say, via
25 Serbia -- or rather, via the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, not via
1 Sarajevo or Sarajevo airport.
2 Jankovic and I were also supposed to find someone from the
3 Ministry of the Interior in order to convey to them that the evacuation of
4 the Dutch Battalion would be the responsibility of the Ministry of the
5 Interior and of Mr. Tomo Kovac personally. Those were my activities in
6 that day -- on that day.
7 Q. Now, where did you go after that? Where did you spend the night?
8 A. I don't remember, but I think it was at the command post at
9 Crna Rijeka.
10 Q. All right. Now, did you at any point in time go to Zvornik, to
11 the Zvornik area?
12 A. No. No, no, no.
13 Q. And Han Pijesak is in the opposite direction, once you get to the
14 intersection of Konjevic Polje; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now, you said that you were somewhat unclear about --
17 as to the date. I want to show you Exhibit P265. Could you please look
18 at this. Perhaps this may assist in some way. It's a document given to
19 us by the Prosecutor, an intercept. The date we have been told is
20 the 17th, and it has "1115 hours," so that would be 11.15 in the morning.
21 Could you please look at that. First of all, do you see your name
22 on this document?
23 A. Yes. I can see that I'm mentioned.
24 Q. Would you just please look at it and tell us whether this
25 intercept would have any relation to your visit to the Bratunac Brigade
1 pursuant to the order that you had been issued by General Mladic.
2 A. The message shows that I was being sought. I cannot see from the
3 message where I was at that moment, but I do not preclude the possibility
4 of being on that day, the 17th, on that road, precisely due to the fact
5 that I'm not sure which date this was.
6 Q. But assuming that this was the 17th, as we've been told, it says
7 here -- there's a question: "Has Kremenovic set off?"
8 And then it says: "Well, we met him when we were on our way
9 here." "Well, he hasn't come to me yet." "Well, in that case, what will
10 happen is that he first went ahead over there to Momir Nikolic."
11 Now, from this, can you help us out here. First of all, we have
12 here a time, 11.15. Your arrival at the Bratunac Brigade, would that have
13 been at this -- at around this time, before, or after, to your
15 A. At that time, in the morning -- it must have been in the morning,
16 because in the early afternoon hours, again at the command post I was
17 looking for Colonel Blagojevic. I don't know why, but I no longer managed
18 to find him there.
19 Q. All right. And what about Momir Nikolic? It says here
20 something -- something about: "Well, in that case, what will happen is
21 that he first went ahead over there to Momir Nikolic." Why would you go
22 to visit a captain, who was not even a first class captain, a reservist,
23 even though he's in the security organ, to a colonel at the time from the
24 Main Staff?
25 A. There could have been reason for me to see Nikolic, but I did
1 not -- or rather, I don't know. I did not know Momir Nikolic at all. Had
2 it not been for this trial, I probably never would have got to know him.
3 So why he was not at the command at that point in time and why he was not
4 in Bratunac is something that I don't know. I cannot say at all, in
5 relation to him, where he was and what he was doing, but I don't know -- I
6 don't remember ever having been in contact with him in any way, not
7 personally. So before Blagojevic or afterwards, I did not see Nikolic.
8 Q. One last question: Based on the order that you had received from
9 General Mladic, with whom were you supposed to make contact with or to
10 whom were you supposed to report once you arrived at the Bratunac Brigade?
11 A. I was supposed to report to the commander of the brigade, Colonel
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm afraid we won't be able to finish
15 today. I have just a little bit left for tomorrow, and so I -- I think
16 this is a good time.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I'm afraid that you have to stay in The
18 Hague for another day, and during your stay please remember that you are
19 still under the oath, so do not talk to anybody and do not let anybody
20 talk to you about your testimony. Do you understand that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 There's an announcement for the schedule for tomorrow, and
24 tomorrow we'll sit in the Courtroom II for the whole day, and the morning
25 session will start from 10.00 until 11.30, and we'll have a long break,
1 about two hours and a half, and we'll resume at 2.00 until 5.30 in the
2 afternoon, which means that each sitting will last 90 minutes.
3 Well, the hearing for today is adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of
6 June, 2004, at 10.00 a.m.