1 Thursday, 10 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good
10 morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, good morning.
12 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest yesterday?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to continue?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We won't be long.
17 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR KESEROVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examined by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning, General.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Yesterday, when we left off, we were talking about the 17th, and I
25 just wanted to finish off the questions in that area before we move on.
1 You told us what you had done in Bratunac, and then that you went
2 back to Han Pijesak. Could you please tell us whether you made any
3 reports as a result of the tasks that had been given to you by General
4 Mladic, written or oral?
5 A. In writing, I did not receive anything. That's for sure. Orally,
6 I conveyed what I saw at the operation centre of the Main Staff.
7 Q. All right. Now, aside from that task, did you have any other
8 involvement on any activities related to Srebrenica? And we're talking
9 about the events in Srebrenica after its fall of July 11th.
10 A. No. Not at that time, no.
11 Q. All right. Now, I just want to go back to -- well, since you --
12 in light of your answer, let me just go into another area. Have you been
13 engaged at all in any commissions or fact-finding missions with respect to
14 what occurred in Srebrenica?
15 A. Well, if you've noticed, in response to one of your previous
16 questions, I said that I learned more from the past year when work was
17 done in Republika Srpska on revealing the truth concerning Srebrenica and
18 in relation to the Chamber of Human Rights with regard to that particular
20 So in these activities, I did take part, and I still take part in
21 them, but not as a member of the commission. But as a member of the
22 Ministry of Defence, which as an institution is charged with certain tasks
23 by the commission. Each and every one of us within the scope our
24 possibilities, tasks, and duties is trained to do their best.
25 Q. All right. Could you please tell us a little bit about what you
1 specifically do in relation to this commission. You told us you're not a
2 member. But what is the level of your participation or activities?
3 A. The security administration, or rather, the security service of
4 defence which organisationally belongs to the Ministry of Defence of
5 Republika Srpska, together with all the other parts of the system of
6 defence, that is to say, the Army of Republika Srpska, the General Staff
7 and its units, the administration for legal matters. I think those are
8 all the parts of the Ministry of Defence that respond to inquiries made by
9 the commission that is working on the decision of the Chamber on Human
10 Rights in relation to the Srebrenica case.
11 The service that I head does what it can do. Within the system of
12 defence, it collects information related to these events. So that is what
13 we have been dealing with over the past several months.
14 Q. All right. In relation to the information that your ministry
15 collects, could you please tell us what sort of information is it?
16 A. Well, the decision of the Chamber on Human Rights specifically
17 calls upon the Government of Republika Srpska to give answers to certain
18 questions. I cannot exactly quote the decision and all the requests
19 contained in it, but the key question in that decision is that questions
20 related to the fate of the people from Srebrenica between the 10th and
21 19th of July 1995 should be answered; that is to say, that the fate of
22 these people is the key question that has to be answered.
23 Q. All right. So to the extent that the Ministry of Defence may have
24 data in their archives, is that the sort of data that you would provide to
25 the commission if and when they request such data?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know what kind of an investigation this commission is doing
3 or how they go about in their investigation?
4 A. In principle, yes. The commission on the basis of the authority
5 vested in it by the government of Republika Srpska by virtue of its very
6 establishment initiated a great many activities, and it has been working
7 in several directions. Among others, it includes the following: One team
8 from the commission consisting of members of the commission deals with
9 archives in the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the
10 Intelligence Security Agency, the judiciary, or rather all archives from
11 that period of time. Another group collects information, or rather
12 interviews some of the participants in the events in and around
13 Srebrenica. Another group analyses the material that is accessible and
14 that was compiled either by the representatives of the international
15 community or various commissions, experts, et cetera. So all these
16 findings are contained among that material. This group studies everything
17 that is accessible and that has been proven so far through the work of the
18 International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, that is to say,
19 this Tribunal. So all of that is critically analysed and viewed and taken
20 as a point of departure for further efforts made along those lines. That
21 is my understanding of what this commission does.
22 They bring all of this together, and then submit their preliminary
23 reports. Very shortly, they are due to present their final report
24 concerning these events.
25 Q. I take it in light of your answer that the one team that examines
1 all this documentation or analyses it, that would include statements by
2 accused who have entered agreements with the Prosecution and have
3 testified based on the agreements and benefits that they derive from such
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That's not your task, is it? You're not included in that?
7 A. For the most part, no. Although I did have the opportunity to
8 look through a considerable portion of this material. As a matter of
9 fact, I even used it as a basis for some activities in that direction in
10 order to gain reliable knowledge about these events faster and more
12 I'm sorry, I have to add something to the previous answer I gave.
13 A very important institute, or rather, a very important way in which the
14 commission works is the introduction of the institute of a protected
15 witness. I believe that this is the first thing that made it possible to
16 make major headway in this direction. So that is how the commission has
17 been working.
18 Q. All right. The way I understand it, if I'm correct, and what I've
19 read in the press recently, the high representative was rather critical of
20 the pace and perhaps even the work of the commission. Are you aware of
22 A. I am aware of that. His assessment was, and he made a decision
23 along those lines; namely, his assessment was that the commission was not
24 working properly. It was dealing with questions that were not part of the
25 essence of the decision involved. He also assessed that things were
1 moving very slowly, and he adopted a few measures including personnel
2 changes within the commission itself. That is to say, the chairman of the
3 commission was removed, replaced, and the chief of general staff was
4 removed because, as he had put it, the non-possession of the war archives
5 of the Army of Republika Srpska.
6 Q. Okay. I believe that's all I have with respect to that topic.
7 And I just want to cover one last detail. If I could direct your
8 attention again, please, to Exhibit P389. And this was an exhibit that we
9 looked at yesterday, the instruction dated 24 October 1994, if you could
10 look at that. First of all, who signed this instruction? Can you tell
12 A. The signator is the signature of General Tolimir.
13 Q. That was for General Mladic. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You told us that General Tolimir was your superior officer.
17 A. General Tolimir was the second in the line of command, or rather,
18 he was head of the sector for intelligence and security affairs and
19 assistant commander of the Main Staff.
20 Q. And yesterday, you told us that you don't recall seeing this
21 instruction. And I failed to ask you how is it if you were working in the
22 security sector at that point in time in history, that is, 1994, how is it
23 possible that you did not see this instruction?
24 A. I came to that sector in the month of February 1995. That is to
25 say, that in the preceding period, I was not in the security service.
1 Q. And finally, just one other minor point or detail, in looking at
2 this instruction, I would like you to -- I will like to direct your
3 attention to paragraph number 2. And if you could tell us, based on this
4 instruction which I also believe you indicated is fundamentally based on
5 the existing laws and regulations of the VRS, could you please tell us
6 what other laws one would need to be acquainted with in order to fully
7 understand and appreciate this instruction, in particular, paragraph 2?
8 The full paragraph, that is.
9 A. There are many laws, regulations, and directions, but I will try
10 to list the most important ones. The law on the State Security Service,
11 the law on the interior, the law on Criminal Procedure, the Criminal Code,
12 the law on defence, the law on the military, those are the key laws. In
13 addition to that, there are rules, rules of service in the security
14 organs, rules of service of the military police, directions for the
15 combined application of methods of work, directions on methods of work in
16 the security organs, directions on the application of rules in the
17 military police, directions on the work of security organs during
18 exercises, during imminent threat of war and in wartime, and other
19 individual sets of directions. Those are the key documents.
20 Q. Do you know whether chief of security and intelligence sectors or
21 organs at the bringing levels, did they all have the requisite knowledge
22 and training on these laws in order to understand the application of this
23 instruction, particularly as it relates to the function with respect to
24 counter-intelligence activities?
25 A. No. Not all. The security organs from the previous state, from
1 the previous army who assumed their duties after initial training or after
2 having completed appropriate courses and after being appointed to certain
3 positions, they were familiar with all of this and they knew it for the
4 most part.
5 To a lesser extent and with variations from one individual to
6 another, this was something that the security organs were aware of as the
7 Army of Republika Srpska grew. At that time, it was the armed people, the
8 concept of the armed people that was prevalent, and then it grew into the
9 Army of Republika Srpska. They worked and trained themselves. And
10 through such instructions, they were gradually trained and educated. If
11 one looks at the overall staff in that service, it would be hard to say
12 which percentage was involved.
13 Q. One last question: Yesterday I believe you indicated that you
14 were not acquainted with Momir Nikolic back in July 1995.
15 A. No, I did not know him.
16 Q. Well, it begs the next question, which is how is it that you being
17 a member of the security organ at the Main Staff, albeit you had your own
18 specialty there, how is it that you didn't know someone the likes of
19 Captain Momir Nikolic?
20 A. Well, quite simply it was not only Momir Nikolic who was a
21 security organ that I did not know. There must have been tens of members
22 of the service, or perhaps even more, whom I did not know. This was a big
23 wartime army, and there were many members of the service in it, too. I
24 was really not involved in these personnel matters. So quite simply, with
25 the exception of the units that I served on and adjacent units, I did not
1 know people who served as security organs. At that time, I did not even
2 know the chief of security of the Drina Corps, Popovic. I met him only
3 later. I met him because he -- I actually knew Colonel Tomic,
4 his predecessor, who had come from Banja Luka and he was a security organ
5 in the previous army, too [as interpreted]. But persons who had joined
6 the service during the war from the reserve force, people I did not have
7 any contact with before the war and who served in areas where I simply was
8 not, I did not know them and I had no way of knowing them.
9 Q. General, I want to thank you very much for being frank and
10 forthcoming in all of your answers. I'm sure there will be some questions
11 by perhaps Mr. Stojanovic, the Prosecution, and the Judges. If you could
12 be equally as forthcoming and forthright with them, I would most
13 appreciate it. Again, thank you very much.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I have no further questions on
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any questions to this witness?
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
19 morning, Mr. Keserovic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Would you please kind enough to help us with
23 respect to the implementation of the regulations governing the activities
24 of the security service. According to those rules of service, do security
25 organs in the brigade have the duty to be on-duty operations officers in
1 the brigade?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Could you elaborate on that a little. Why is it so that security
4 officers as a rule have no obligations to keep duty service?
5 A. The security service has its own system of duty which means that
6 they are on duty, that is, duty service is organised on the basis of
7 garrisons, or in wartime, at the level of the corps. When the security
8 organs from the corps units and corps departments take turns being on duty
9 24 hours, that is, round the clock, without an assistant, which means that
10 they are alone round the clock, and they must be available to the duty
11 officer at the superior level of the security service. That is how it is
12 regulated by the rules. And during that duty service, the security organ
13 does not take part. That is at the operations level of duty service in
14 the brigade.
15 Q. I assume that assistant commanders for security in the brigades
16 were well aware of those rules.
17 A. I think so.
18 Q. Thank you. Is it possible for a security officer, because of the
19 needs of the service, to leave the area of his brigade and to cross over
20 to another brigade without his commander knowing it, for this to be done
21 without the commander being aware of it?
22 A. That is not the rule. He may leave, but he must tell the
23 commander that he's outside the area.
24 Q. If my understanding of your answer is correct, this means I don't
25 have to ask the commander for permission or approval, but I have to inform
1 the commander that I have left the area of defence of my brigade and
2 crossed over to the area of another brigade?
3 A. Yes. That I am leaving the area, so I must inform the commander
4 before I leave that I am leaving.
5 Q. Let me also add, if a security officer is given instructions to
6 travel beyond the zone of defence of his brigade, does he again need to
7 have approval of the commander to travel to Yugoslavia or somewhere else
8 outside the zone of defence of his brigade?
9 A. I'm not quite sure what you mean "travel to Yugoslavia." If you
10 mean any kind of travel, then it is normal and it is the rule for the
11 commander to know about it. And the commander will assess whether that is
12 necessary or not. And anyway, the commander will have to participate in
13 deciding whether such travel is necessary or does it affect his duties?
14 So the commander must grant him approval to make a trip of that kind.
15 Q. And if because of the needs of his own activities he goes to the
16 area of responsibility of another brigade, he has to inform his commander
17 before doing that.
18 Could I now ask the usher to assist us in showing the witness a
19 document. It is the text of the statement of facts when Dragan Obrenovic
20 pleaded guilty.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If necessary, Your Honours, we
22 have this statement in English should it be necessary for you to be able
23 to follow.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's customary that we have an English
1 copy so we can follow. Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, I think we have already
3 mentioned that before, if you are going to use a document in your direct
4 examination or cross-examination, especially in the direct examination,
5 you have to inform the Chamber and the other parties beforehand so that we
6 could be prepared in advance.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. That is my
8 omission. I thought that this was a text that has been published long
9 ago. It is not really an exhibit, nor do we intend to tender it into
10 evidence. I just wanted to use this statement for the witness to
11 assess -- assist us with the rules of service. But certainly, in future
12 even in such situations, we will provide the information on time.
13 Q. Mr. Keserovic, could we please jointly have a look at paragraph 5
14 and 6 of the statement of facts. It is 5 and 6 in the English, too, in
15 which it says -- it is a statement by Dragan Obrenovic in which he
16 acknowledges that he was in command of the Zvornik Brigade during the
17 absence of Commander Vinko Pandurevic until his return at about midday on
18 the 15th of July. And then he says: "On hearing of this plan to kill the
19 prisoners, I as acting commander took responsibility for the plan and
20 supported the implementation of this plan."
21 In the next paragraph, he says: "Then I decided to send a
22 commander of the military police company and five military policemen to
23 assist him."
24 My question would be in view of what you told us yesterday
25 regarding the rules of service, under the concept of "supported the
1 implementation of this plan," does that imply that there must have been an
2 order on the use of the military police?
3 A. I'm afraid I don't quite understand what he meant when he said
4 this. But if this was the assignment, then certainly the company
5 commander must have been issued such a task. We see from this that he was
6 in command of the brigade and that he has the right to issue orders to the
7 company commander. But that is not your question. Mija Mirasekovic
8 [phoen] who is mentioned as the company commander, regardless of
9 Obrenovic's order had the right and duty not to carry out such an order.
10 Q. But for him to be used, the order of the commander was
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. At one point yesterday, you said in answer to a
14 question by Mr. Karnavas that you never were told by Beara and Popovic
15 what they had been doing during those days. Do you remember saying that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. My question would be, security officers such as the chief of the
18 security service in the Main Staff, Mr. Ljubisa Beara, and the assistant
19 commander for security in the Drina Corps, Mr. Popovic, should they,
20 according to the rules, report to the duty operations officer in the
21 Zvornik Brigade about their activities?
22 A. To the duty officer in the Zvornik Brigade, they should not
23 report. They have no legal obligation to report to such a duty officer.
24 But they do have the duty and obligation to report to their corps
25 commander about what they were doing. That would apply to Popovic. And
1 Beara would have to report to General Tolimir as his superior.
2 Q. Would you agree with me that a duty officer in an infantry brigade
3 is not the level to which they should report to?
4 A. Yes, I agree with you.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Keserovic. Your
6 Honour, we have no further questions for this witness.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes cross-examination, Mr. McCloskey?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, could we move the machine.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
10 Q. Good morning, General Keserovic.
11 A. Good morning, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: They have the ability to make it go down. That's
13 okay, thanks.
14 Q. Just briefly where we left off, if Colonel Beara or Popovic or a
15 senior security person like that came to a brigade with a specific job
16 that he'd been ordered to do by his commander that involved prisoners and
17 guarding of prisoners and various assets and troops from that brigade and
18 other areas, would it be normal for him to check in with the duty officer
19 and get his assistance in communicating with the different units he might
20 need to help him organise the prisoners?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise. My
23 objection is the complexity of the question. I think it would be more
24 correct in accordance with the Rules to rephrase the question. If there
25 are no other superior officers, when they are there or when they are not
1 there, then the duty officer. That is my impression, that that is how the
2 question should be phrased.
3 In this way, the possibility's open whether they should contact
4 and ask the duty officer. We don't know whether the superior's there or
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object at this point.
7 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, I think you gave some hints to the
8 witness for the answer. This is a cross-examination, and the Prosecutor
9 could ask any questions they like if they are relevant. First, I believe
10 this question is relevant to your question; secondly, there should be -- I
11 think the follow-up questions on this. We'll see the witness's answer
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. General, do you remember the question?
15 A. Yes, more or less. The Defence attorney responded, but my answer
16 really would have been anyway that the duty officer in the unit at any
17 level can deal with certain matters only in the absence of the actual
18 commander or the person who is by establishment replacing him in that
19 position or through some other measure is standing in for him. The duty
20 officer may address certain matters. But he cannot take upon himself the
21 role of command of the unit fully. He cannot fully replace the commander,
22 nor can he decide on the use of the unit. For this, he has to get the
23 approval of the commander for each and every operation that he intends to
24 carry out.
25 Q. Yes. Absolutely. I think we understand the duty officer is not
1 the commander unless all the commanders are absent, and then he is the one
2 that gets stuck with that responsibility. Is that right?
3 A. Mostly, yes.
4 Q. When a person contacts the brigade by phone or communication, that
5 generally goes into the duty officer office. Is that right?
6 A. Along the line of duty service, yes. But according to the chain
7 of command, the commander would be the person that would be asked for
8 first. So it follows the line of subordination. If questions have to do
9 with the functioning of the duty service itself, that is, the tasks
10 provided for in the instructions for the duty officer, then yes. But it
11 is not right to say that one has to contact the duty officer first in each
12 and every occasion.
13 Q. Okay. So for example, if you're a general and you need to contact
14 directly a brigade, you would probably prefer to speak to the brigade
15 commander first if he's in?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Or the deputy commander if the commander's not in?
18 A. If I am using the communications devices or radio connections or
19 relay connections, whichever, in most cases I would call up the person I
20 needed. If I'm coming in person to the unit, to the command post, at the
21 first barrier, at the gate, I will announce my presence through the
22 soldier at the reception desk that I wish to see the commander, the Chief
23 of Staff, the chief of security, the chief of artillery, whoever it is I
24 wish to visit. And then the technical matters are taken care of.
25 Q. I'm asking about when you telephone in. When you telephone in,
1 you would want to speak to the commander first; if he's not available, it
2 would be the deputy commander. Right?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. So if you're communicating directly with the duty officer, that
5 may be some indication that the commander and the deputy commander were
6 not available. Is that a fair inference? You as a general calling in to
7 a brigade?
8 A. Yes, it could be so.
9 Q. Okay. Let's briefly go back to a bit of your discussion on some
10 of the rules. You, of course, concentrated on the security rules. And I
11 want to take you to the situation specifically of the rules and structures
12 of the light infantry brigade. And in the light infantry brigade, am I
13 correct to say that the jobs of the intel officer and the security officer
14 are one and the same, held by the same person?
15 A. In the rules, it says "brigade," and then in brackets, infantry,
16 armoured, mechanised, light, mountain, et cetera. All the different types
17 of brigade are listed. So the brigade is a unit of the army of combined
18 and variable composition, "variable" is the key word here. It is possible
19 that a light infantry brigade may have one person performing both those
20 functions; that is, both intelligence and security. But in such a light
21 brigade, which is by formation equivalent to a battalion, then there are
22 two or more persons sharing those duties, and then a department for
23 intelligence and security is set up which has a chief and an assistant in
24 charge of the intelligence. It is not identical in all units, but in a
25 specific unit it is possible for one person to be performing both those
2 Q. And those rules can be adapted to fit the situation of the
3 particular brigade I would take it, within reason.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Are you aware that at the time in the July 1995, the Bratunac
6 Brigade had one person that was covering both intel and security?
7 A. No. At the time, I didn't know how this was resolved in the
8 Bratunac Brigade.
9 Q. Okay. Well, then let's just assume that that's the way it was.
10 And I just want to ask you a couple of questions. If we do have a brigade
11 person that's covering both intel and security, does the intel person have
12 the same discretion in receiving combat intel information not to tell his
13 commander if he so chooses that he would in counter-intelligence
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't mean to --
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: -- to interrupt, but he's talking about
18 intelligence and counter-intelligence. I don't believe there's any
19 testimony that the intelligence officers are dealing with
20 counter-intelligence information. I don't know whether Mr. McCloskey
22 JUDGE LIU: This is a hypothetical question.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Yeah, but it has to be based on facts. You can't
24 have an intel officer dealing with counter-intelligence, albeit he has got
25 a split personality, you know, in a sense, that he's carrying two hats at
1 the same time, but -- very well.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, sometimes these things happen.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: The officer is in charge of counter-intelligence
5 and he's in charge of combat intelligence, the person that's wearing both
7 Q. My question is, is when this officer receives combat intelligence
8 information from a source, does he have the discretion that we have
9 learned about from Prosecution witnesses and Defence witnesses, does he
10 have that discretion not to inform his commander of combat intelligence
11 that he has in some situations as you've described in counter-intelligence
13 A. I will answer that question even though perhaps I'm not the best
14 person for doing so. But what is quite beyond doubt is that the
15 intelligence service is a staff service. As for intelligence combat
16 information, the organ, regardless of whether those two functions are
17 combined in one person or not, he cannot keep quiet about anything and not
18 tell his Chief of Staff or commander. He doesn't have the right to select
19 intelligence information and keep something to himself without informing
20 his superior command. So that service is always linked to the Chief of
21 Staff or the deputy commander. But anyway, that is the chain of command.
22 Q. Okay. And now getting to the security officer and this division
23 which I think you said was two-thirds counter-intelligence, one-third
24 investigation, military-police-type work?
25 A. The security service, yes.
1 Q. Now, the side of it that's mentioned in this document 389A, the
2 one Tolimir issued the instructions on this, that you've seen, I don't
3 think we need -- it says: "The remaining 20 per cent of their engagement
4 consist of administrative and staff, military police and criminal legal
5 tasks and duties." So tasks involving the military police don't come
6 under the counter-intelligence side of things. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And counter-intelligence, just to try to get a little better feel
9 for what this might be, we saw a document which I don't think we need to
10 bring out, but where the chief of security sent it to the -- of the corps
11 sent it to the chief of security in the brigades secretly, and it had to
12 do with a plot on Mladic's life. And is that the kind of
13 counter-intelligence that needs to be kept secret so that it can be sorted
14 out and resolved most effectively?
15 A. I don't know why if we're talking about General Mladic, I really
16 can't explain why this would go towards the brigades. In any event, it
17 should have gone in the direction of the sector for intelligence and
18 security affairs of the Main Staff. I'm afraid the question is not quite
19 clear to me.
20 Q. I believe it went there as well. But I'm just -- a plot on the
21 commander from within perhaps his own command, is that the kind of thing
22 we might keep commanders on the ground out of?
23 A. In such an event, there would have to be an assessment as to which
24 commander should be informed about it and to what extent. So it could
25 come under the area of counter-intelligence, highly specialised security
1 activities. Depending on the involvement of individual units and
2 commanders and who were behind this plot, a selection would be made as to
3 who would be informed, rather those who were not involved than those who
4 are. Therefore, such intelligence cannot be made public immediately, and
5 everyone cannot be made aware of them straight away.
6 Q. All right. You've talked about this -- I think you called it
7 perhaps a stumbling-block area where a security officer needs to decide if
8 he has received information that he should tell his commander about or he
9 shouldn't tell his commander about. Right?
10 A. I said that this is an extremely complex matter and that it is
11 very hard to find the right degree in estimating what should be said at a
12 given moment and what should not be said.
13 Q. And this has to do with counter-intelligence information. Right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And you also said that -- I think something to the effect
16 that when in doubt, it's best to inform your commander. Is that correct?
17 Something like that.
18 A. I really don't know how to answer that question. Depending on the
19 context. I think that if we're talking about counter-intelligence, that
20 the opposite would be true. If one has doubts, assumptions, some certain
21 initial indications or suspicions, on the contrary, the commander should
22 be spared at the outset because it could be counterproductive. We must be
23 misinforming him; maybe nothing will come of it. If we're talking about
25 Q. If we're talking about use of the military police or matters that
1 may involve operational issues related to troops and movements, would the
2 security officer inform his commander of that kind of information?
3 A. I really do not understand the question. Whose movement? What
5 Q. The movement of MPs to guard troops, for example. We're not in
6 the counter-intelligence area any more. We're in the area of MP units
7 guarding troops. Wouldn't that be something the security officer would
8 inform his commander about?
9 A. As for such engagement of the military police, it is not the
10 security organ who decides that that will be done. This has to be based
11 on an order issued by the commander to the military police unit.
12 Q. Okay. I understand that. In any event, it is within a
13 commander's responsibility to know what his military police are doing at
14 any given moment.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Let me ask you also, you talked about internal threats to the
17 security of a unit --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I want to ask you if this example I'm giving you is an internal
20 threat to a security of a unit. If prisoners within the custody of an
21 army are systematically abused by the people guarding them, can that
22 threaten the security and the safety of that army?
23 A. That is a public matter. That does not fall under
24 counter-intelligence information in the sense in which I mentioned it or
25 in the sense in which it is treated by the rules of service and relevant
1 laws. This is something that has to do with order, discipline,
2 responsibility. Something that may constitute a threat in relation to the
3 general security of the unit, but it cannot fall into the category of
4 secret counter-intelligence information. One's superior officer always
5 has to be aware of such information; that is to say, the commanding
6 officer of the unit and also the person higher up in the chain of command.
7 Everybody has to be informed about this, and everybody has to take
8 measures with a view to resolving the problem. But it's a public matter,
9 so to speak.
10 Q. I understand that. And I'm not asking about counter-intelligence.
11 My question was, is such abuse, does that threaten the very security and
12 safety of the army?
13 A. Every excessive use of force may produce negative effects or may
14 have a counter-effect. There can be a rebellion on the part of those who
15 are being guarded. So this could become a serious security problem.
16 Q. If the opposing forces found out about such abuse, they could also
17 inflict their own abuse, couldn't they? And that would affect the
18 security of the army or the civilians?
19 A. I agree. It can cause a reaction and an appropriate response by
20 the other side. Let's simplify matters: If one side abuses prisoners,
21 then it is to be expected that by way of reciprocity, it will be done by
22 the other side, too. From that point of view, I do agree with what you
24 Q. Okay. And so like what you have said, it is a commander's duty;
25 in fact, it's his imperative to know about such abuse and such threats for
1 the morale, for the safety. He needs to know about that kind of thing,
2 doesn't he?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, we've just seen Dragan Obrenovic acknowledging that he
5 authorised the murder of thousands of people. When Dragan Obrenovic said
6 that, he very simply acknowledged he was part of it, and he said he was
7 part of the vortex of hatred that led to that.
8 So on one hand we have a horrible situation of abuse of prisoners
9 that could actually lead to terrible problems; and on the other hand, we
10 have an organised system of killing prisoners because of the, according to
11 Obrenovic, the vortex of hatred.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object at this because at
13 this point in time now we're demonising the entire VRS and the entire Serb
14 population by virtue of that --
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely not. I resent that kind of --
16 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, let Mr. Karnavas finish.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. Obrenovic may have his own opinions, but he
18 cannot speak for the rest of the Serb people and the rest of the Serb
19 army. He can speak about his conduct. Maybe he had the hatred and the
20 dark heart and wanted to seek revenge on others. But he can't that
21 everybody who was in the VRS, every soldier, every officer felt the same
22 way. And so I think the question is rather broad. Now if he wants to
23 narrow it, I don't have a problem. But the way it's phrased, I think it's
24 overly broad. That's all I'm saying.
25 JUDGE LIU: I think the Prosecutor's question, if you see clearly
1 there's a phrase saying that "according to Obrenovic." And I guess, you
2 know, that is his view on that. I don't see that there's any blames on
3 the whole population or the whole nationality for the crimes of that.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: If you read the entire question that when it goes
5 on, Your Honour, he premises that. And then he goes on to frame it as if
6 that is an acknowledged fact and that's where I disagree. Obrenovic may
7 have those feelings, I don't have a problem. But then when he takes
8 Obrenovic's position and adopts it as a holistic position for everyone
9 else, I do object to that. Now, if he wants to --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm sorry, but I cannot stand here
11 and be defamed like that in front of the former Yugoslavia. I cannot. I
12 have to speak up.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: It's an overbroad question. That's all I'm saying.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.
15 Well, Mr. McCloskey, basically speaking, I think there's no
16 problem in your question, but it's not clear maybe to the others. Maybe
17 you could have it somehow modified so that, you know, you do not give a
18 wrong impression or do not let us to get a wrong impression of your
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I hope you're not suggesting that I
21 gave you the impression that I think all Serbs feel hatred.
22 JUDGE LIU: No, no. No, you did not. But we have to try our best
23 to avoid this, you know, collective responsibility matters.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, Your Honour.
25 Q. Sir, I am certainly not suggesting that all Serbs felt this, nor
1 would I suggest that all American soldiers felt bad after the Mile
2 massacre, or that all Americans felt it, or that all the forces currently
3 at war feel that. But clearly we see throughout history horrible things
4 done in a time of war, things that happen that people would never even
5 dream of in peacetime. And I was just asking you if you could help us
6 explain, if you know, how it is that such a terrible thing could happen
7 where despite the internal security threat that that would pose on its own
8 troops, despite the horrible effect on the people, the victims of the
9 crime, that soldiers and officers could allow this to happen and take part
10 in it. And you don't need to answer it if you can't.
11 A. I really cannot give an answer, but I did want to say that what
12 happened certainly does constitute a flagrant violation of all sorts of
13 rules of warfare, of humanitarian law, of human rights conventions.
14 And there is something else I wished to say: A few minutes ago I
15 talked about this commission that is now preparing its final report. We
16 indeed do not have an answer yet to the question how this started and
17 whose idea this was and who conceived of this.
18 Q. Okay. In speaking of prisoners of war, in your testimony you
19 emphasised I think the role of the rear services and how important it was
20 for the assistant commander for rear services to be able to provide
21 medical care, food, water, the essentials of the Geneva Conventions. And
22 I'm sure you stand by that. Is that correct?
23 A. I cannot say when this was abided by and when it was not abided
24 by. But that is how the rules regulates it.
25 Q. And it's not just the assistant commander for rear services that
1 has this responsibility for prisoners, is it? It's actually his -- the
2 commander for the assistant. Is that correct?
3 A. This involves responsibility for all questions and all elements of
4 functioning of a unit. That's what the commander's responsibility is.
5 According to the rules of service and the laws, some of these rights are
6 delegated to his assistant commanders. But generally speaking, it is the
7 commander whose responsibility all of this is.
8 Q. Okay. Now, let's go to the time frame that -- where you actually
9 were on the ground in some of the areas where some things happened. And I
10 just want to go briefly to Exhibit P113. And if we could show you P113B.
11 This is this order that you said you never saw. And I want to try to get
12 some clarity on the dates. We see that there's an incoming stamp, looks
13 like it's from the command of the Milici Brigade. And it says, looks like
14 18 July. And I'm not sure we can really make out a time. But the
15 document is dated 17 July, and it looks like Milici may have got it
16 sometime on the 18th. So that would indicate that sometime late on the
17 17th, that this order was in force and in effect, or at least someone
18 thought it was, and sent it off to the various units that it's addressed
19 to. And those would be the Drina Corps command, the Zvornik Brigade, the
20 Bratunac Brigade, the Milici Brigade, and the 67th Communications
22 Now, when we spoke to you in Banja Luka, you had told us that you
23 went to the area on the 18th, and you told us that you had been able to
24 check your diary. Have you been able to look at your diary before coming
25 and testifying now?
1 A. If you permit me, at the very outset, I would like to say that not
2 at any point in time did I say that I had never seen this document.
3 Q. I'm sorry. I thought you hadn't seen it. When did you first see
5 A. When you showed it to me in Banja Luka.
6 Q. Right, okay. I meant during the wartime you hadn't seen it.
7 A. At that time, I did not see it. I really did say yesterday that I
8 do not know on which day exactly I was in Bratunac, or rather, in that
9 area. As far as I can remember, when I spoke to Mr. Ruez, I told him
10 then, too, that I came to that date on the basis of some notes that I have
11 which were simply in a notebook, not a proper war logbook. And I have an
12 outline of the activities that were taking place during those days. I
13 also said that I was in a dilemma, and I know that this is an order that
14 was conveyed to me in the afternoon hours. And then bearing in mind when
15 this reached the units involved, that is to say, the 17th of the
16 afternoon, and you say that some units received this even on the 18th, on
17 the basis of that and on the basis of those notes of mine, I inferred that
18 it is more likely that it was the 18th. I really don't know which day it
20 But now that I have seen other documents as well, I still cannot
21 say with any degree of certitude that it is the 17th or the 18th, but it
22 must be one of those two dates. That's for sure. And that's what I said
23 yesterday at the very outset. I cannot say anything with any degree of
24 certainty because I did not remember that day in terms of its date.
25 Q. All right. I understand. My question is have you had a chance to
1 review those notes that you had reviewed before you were spoken to in
2 Banja Luka. If you recall, I think you've quoted us from those notes.
3 A. This little notebook does exist.
4 Q. Did you bring it with you by any chance?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you think you could provide us that notebook so we can copy it
7 and send it back to you?
8 A. At any rate, it does not contain anything that would prevent me
9 from handing it over to you. As a matter of fact, you can get in touch
10 with the office in Banja Luka and they can have it photocopied straight
11 away if you like, so you can see it any way you wish.
12 Q. Thank you. We probably should have asked you that a couple of
13 years ago.
14 All right. Now, you've told us that General Mladic modified that
15 order after Tolimir talked him out of it because it was according to you
16 and I guess Tolimir that this was not a reasonable order. So it was
17 possible to talk Mladic over things that were unreasonable?
18 A. I said that it was unrealistic. I don't know whether I used the
19 word "unreasonable." But Tolimir accepted it, and that is the position
20 that he took to Mladic. It is true that at certain points in time -- or
21 rather, not at certain points in time, always when somebody would try to
22 suggest things to him reasonably or to explain things to him reasonably,
23 General Mladic would change his decision in the sense of correct it or
24 simply say, "All right, it doesn't have to be that way." That could
25 happen. It did happen.
1 Q. Okay. Now, when you went to the area on the 17th or perhaps the
2 18th, were you aware of about a hundred, 150 prisoners gathered in the
3 area of Konjevic Polje or Lolici on the afternoon of the 17th or the
4 morning of the 18th? They were put in, I believe, three buses or trucks.
5 A. I did not know how many detainees or prisoners there were. But I
6 did see and know that in Konjevic Polje there were vehicles that had been
7 prepared, or rather brought there for the purpose of the evacuation or
8 transport of detainees if necessary. I did see some buses and trucks as a
9 matter of fact.
10 Q. Well, did you see detainees?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And the -- your understanding, who was the person, the commander
13 on the ground that was responsible for the sweep operations in the area of
14 Kravica and Konjevic Polje at the time you went?
15 A. I can say who was in charge -- I mean, I cannot say who was in
16 charge at the Kravica location but what I can say is what was said to me.
17 That with -- regarding activities in that zone, the sweep-up operation,
18 that that is the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, that he's in charge of
20 Q. Colonel Blagojevic.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And who told you that Colonel Blagojevic was in charge of the
23 sweep operation in that zone?
24 A. At the command post at the Main Staff. General Mladic quite
25 literally said, or perhaps I'm going to give an interpretation of what he
1 said. Blagojevic organised a sweep of the terrain. It is moving along,
2 but it is moving along slowly. It needs to be speeded up. You will go
3 down there and you will have an overview of this, and you will speed
4 things up. And Miletic is going to give you more specific tasks. That's
5 my knowledge in this respect.
6 Q. All right. Do you mean Miletic or Malinic.
7 A. Miletic. General Miletic.
8 Q. At the time, what was his position?
9 A. Operations officer at the Main Staff. Head of the operations
10 administration or whatever it was called.
11 Q. Was the Chief of Staff around during this time period?
12 A. No. The chief of the Main Staff? No. General Milovanovic? No.
13 Q. He was somewhere out in the Krajina somewhere, wasn't he?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know roughly -- very roughly what period of time
16 Milovanovic was out of the area of Han Pijesak and out in the Krajina?
17 A. Perhaps that little notebook is going to help us because already
18 from the 23rd or 24th of July, I joined him at the forward command post of
19 the Main Staff in Drvar. And also before that, there may be some notes.
20 I'm not sure about the period before that, but from that point in time
21 onwards, I'm sure that he was there.
22 Q. Do you know, was there an acting Chief of Staff, deputy commander
23 in Han Pijesak while Milovanovic was away?
24 A. I don't know if there was one officially. If you allow me, may I
25 say that --
1 Q. It's pretty simple. But go ahead. Go ahead. No, go ahead. If
2 you need to explain, you can always explain.
3 A. I meant to say that - and you probably have this information
4 anyway - that the Main Staff involved such a small number of people that
5 quite literally everybody did everything. So people could be replaced all
6 the time. If one person was not there, then somebody else could take over
7 for him. And people would have several duties. So it is possible that
8 from that point of view somebody did stand in for General Milovanovic, but
9 I'm not sure whether anybody was officially appointed.
10 Q. On those days, the 16th, 17th, 18th, who was basically in charge
11 over there when Mladic wasn't around?
12 A. I really don't know. Miletic was the most senior-ranking officer
13 as the operations officers. He would be the number three man on the
15 Q. Okay. And let's go to, I think, the area of Nova Kasaba. I think
16 you have told us that you spoke to Malinic, and that Malinic talked to you
17 about these 2000 or so prisoners that were at the soccer field on the 13th
18 of July in Nova Kasaba.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you told us that Mladic had -- he told you that Mladic had
21 given him an order to send them to Bratunac.
22 A. That Mladic came by, stopped, gathered these people together,
23 spoke to them, and said that they would be evacuated and that they would
24 go home following their families who were passing along that road
25 precisely at that time. Soon after that, buses and trucks came to that
1 place. And these people were evacuated, or rather driven to Bratunac.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Apparently it's break time, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And we'll resume at 2.00 this afternoon.
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 11.30 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 2.02 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. General, good afternoon. This shouldn't take too much longer.
9 We were talking about your recollections of what Major Malinic was
10 telling you when you saw him on the 13th of July in Nova Kasaba. Do you
11 remember just roughly what time of day it was when you first saw him there
12 in Nova Kasaba and he gave you some of this information?
13 A. Before noon.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. About the middle of the morning.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Are there any problems?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, I believe it's a misstatement. He never said
19 that he saw him on the 13th. I believe it was on the 17th that he saw
20 him, and the discussion was with respect to the events of the 13th.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct. That's correct. I apologise.
22 He's absolutely right.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we -- I think we all know that. Thank you,
25 Mr. Karnavas.
1 Q. Okay, General, that's, of course, what I meant to say. When you
2 saw him on the 17th and about what he had told you what was going on, on
3 the 13th.
4 Now, do you remember -- did he tell you anything about Colonel
5 Beara being in the area?
6 A. At a certain point in time, he or someone close to him mentioned
7 Beara in the context of the prisoners from the 13th, that apparently he
8 had passed on the order or ordered for them to be collected at the stadium
9 in Kasaba.
10 Q. So when you say "he had passed on the order," you mean Beara had
11 passed on the order?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. So Major Malinic or one of his -- someone close to him provided
14 you that information?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Have you had a chance to look at your statement that you
17 gave us in Banja Luka back in the year 2000?
18 A. Yes, I have.
19 Q. Okay. Let me just provide you a copy with it. There's just a
20 couple of things I just want to ask you about that you mention there. And
21 it should be on page 71 going over into page 72 in the B/C/S; and in the
22 English, it should be 01907127. And Mr. Ruez asked you a question about
23 what reports you received regarding Nova Kasaba on the 12th, 13th, 14th,
24 15th. And this is what you say: "I'm not sure if he told me on that
25 occasion, but around that time during those days he said that on the part
1 of the Kasaba-Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road, we captured a number of
2 soldiers of the 28th Division or the persons from Srebrenica. And then I
3 think he told me that Colonel Beara ordered that all of them should be
4 gathered in the soccer field in Nova Kasaba."
5 Now, at this point are you talking about Major Malinic, what Major
6 Malinic is telling you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And then to go on, he says: "In his assessment, because he
9 didn't count them properly, around 2.500 people were gathered. He
10 allegedly, because I didn't check it out, he allegedly started making
11 lists of the arrested persons, but this was stopped by the arrival of
12 General Mladic who gathered those people up and addressed them." Do you
13 remember that? Did he tell you that the lists were -- about the lists?
14 A. Yes. That is what I have already said.
15 Q. Okay. "Allegedly, he told them that they would all be evacuated
16 to where they wanted to go, toward Tuzla, because they had supposedly set
17 off for Tuzla. After that, it must have been the 13th, according to
18 Malinic, buses arrived in the area of Nova Kasaba, and that group was
19 driven to Bratunac. And then in a number of places, those people were
20 taken over by the troops of the Bratunac Brigade. There, he lost track of
21 them, and I don't know what happened after that."
22 Is that a fair statement of what Major Malinic told you?
23 A. It is a correct statement regarding the fact that they were taken
24 to Bratunac. I'm not sure now whether it is quite correct to say that
25 they were taken over by the forces of the Bratunac Brigade. That's the
1 only part I'm not quite sure about. Everything else stands.
2 Q. Do you see your words written there on that paper or what should
3 be your words?
4 A. I do not doubt the correctness of the transcript.
5 Q. So was your memory back in 2000 better than it is today about
6 these events and what was told to you?
7 A. My memory was certainly better, but my knowledge was not.
8 Q. Okay. But you did tell us that back in 2000. Correct?
9 A. That's what it says, yes.
10 Q. Okay. If you could now just go to page 79, it should be about
11 lines 14 through 24. And in our English, it should be 01907135. And
12 Mr. Ruez asked you one of his long questions about prisoners and ends it
13 with: "Within the Bratunac Brigade, who is especially in charge of
14 dealing with prisoners?"
15 And your response is: "I am not sure that they were placed under
16 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, but they were taken to the area of
17 the Bratunac Brigade, whether they were taken over by the Bratunac Brigade
18 or civilian police or both. From a professional point of view, the chief
19 of security of that brigade would be responsible for prisoners within the
20 brigade's zone. But everything is within the responsibility of the
22 Is that a correct statement?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you mean the commander of the brigade when you said that?
25 A. I meant the commander who is in control of the area of
1 responsibility. Yes, one could say brigade commander in whose area of
2 responsibility this was.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: General, thank you very much. I have nothing
6 JUDGE LIU: Any redirect, Mr. Karnavas?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
8 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
9 Q. Where is Major Malinic these days; do you know, General?
10 A. I don't know exactly. But I believe that Major Malinic is
11 somewhere in Serbia, or rather the last time I had any information about
12 him he was in Serbia in the Army of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. All right. Now, just a couple of questions: Did he specifically
14 tell you who ordered the men, the prisoners, to go to Bratunac? Who
15 issued that order?
16 A. He didn't tell me who issued the order. But he said that sometime
17 after the commander of the Main Staff had addressed the people, buses and
18 trucks appeared in the area of Nova Kasaba, that the prisoners were
19 boarded on to and driven off to Bratunac. He didn't tell me who told them
20 to go to Bratunac, or at least I don't remember him telling me. I don't
21 know. I don't know.
22 Q. Did he ever say anything about Colonel Blagojevic being handed
23 over these prisoners, or being involved at all in these prisoners?
24 A. No. No. A minor detail that comes to mind from subsequent
25 conversations is that there was no one there who could take over those
1 prisoners and that during the night they allegedly stayed in the vehicles
2 they were brought in, that the people guarded them or somebody from
3 Bratunac outside the brigade. I learned that from a subsequent
4 conversation. He never mentioned that he had handed them over to the
5 brigade commander.
6 Q. Did he say that -- did he ever say who handed over these prisoners
7 to whomever? In other words, when they left, who accompanied these
9 A. I don't remember, or rather I really don't know whether we
10 discussed that. I am unable to answer that.
11 Q. And if I understand your testimony correct on direct, you were not
12 around during that period of time, so you have no first-hand knowledge?
13 A. I don't. Yes, your understanding is correct.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much, General. I have no further
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any redirect?
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 Yes, Judge Argibay, please.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Good afternoon, sir. I have only one question.
22 It's a clarification.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 JUDGE ARGIBAY: You told us that General Tolimir was the number
25 four in the Main Staff, that General Miletic was number three, and we all
1 know that General Mladic was number one. But I'm not sure from the
2 transcript this morning, or yesterday, when you were talking about General
3 Milovanovic, was he number two in the Main Staff?
4 A. Your Honour, General Milovanovic was the number two, but General
5 Tolimir was not number four.
6 JUDGE ARGIBAY: You said so, that Tolimir probably was number
8 A. I really don't remember saying that. I think that I didn't give a
9 number. He is one of the assistant commanders of the Main Staff, and
10 there were five or six of them at the same level in the hierarchy.
11 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Could you give me more or less the order, then.
12 More or less.
13 A. For the first three, what you said is quite right. Mladic,
14 Milovanovic, and then Miletic. And then the assistants, according to
15 their departments, come in the following: Tolimir, Gvero, Dukic, Tomic.
16 I think those were the sectors represented at the time.
17 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you so much. I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Judge Argibay.
19 Any questions out of the Judge's questions? I see none.
20 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Mr. Karnavas.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a correction: I believe I referred to the
24 17 July document as P113. That was one of the earlier false numbers. It
25 should have been P500. But I think it's...
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.
2 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
3 your evidence. The usher will show you out of the room, and we wish you a
4 pleasant journey back home. You may go now.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, concerning the next witness, I have some matters
8 to discuss with the parties. And for the sake of the precaution, shall we
9 go into private session.
10 [Private session]
12 Page 10710 redacted, private session
12 Page 10711 redacted, private session
12 Page 10712 redacted, private session
12 Page 10713 redacted, private session
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE LIU: And after consultations with my colleagues, we'll lift
23 the protective measures granted in the previous testimony. So there's no
24 need for us to go into private session when we come across his testimony
25 he gave previously.
1 Yes, could we have the witness, please.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps when Madam usher comes. I see I'm being
3 assisted by the...
4 JUDGE LIU: By the way, is this the last witness for this week, or
5 we have another witness?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, this is the last witness, Your Honour. And
7 if, you know --
8 JUDGE LIU: Are you going to use one-and-a-half hours for the
9 direct examination? Because tomorrow, we have to sit in the afternoon.
10 And tomorrow is a Friday.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I am always making my tactical and
12 strategic decisions based on the moment. So we'll see how it goes. But I
13 hope that we can accommodate everyone's afternoon tomorrow.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
15 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Just one point about the exhibits we received
16 this morning, the exhibit list, and we noted there are two exhibits on --
17 the two last ones, two books, translation pending. But we haven't
18 received either book, so we don't know what it's all about. And it's very
19 difficult for us obviously to prepare for these exhibits.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I just received that list. Mr. Karnavas, would
21 you please give us an explanation on that. If without translation, how
22 could we proceed?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, there are always ways, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Okay. Give me your guidance.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: In anticipation, the gentleman came with two books.
1 We're having the entire books copied for the Prosecution so they can add
2 it to their collection. And the significant portions of them -- the one
3 has been translated. It's only one paragraph. It deals with the concept
4 of all people's defence. That's an unofficial translation that we
5 provided, that we did, although the official one is pending.
6 With respect to the other one, there are about five or six pages.
7 The translation is pending, but the gentleman is going to be making
8 reference to portions from those pages. We provided copies to the
9 translators. He's going to be reading rather slow. It really isn't
10 anything earth-shattering. It basically deals with the whole concept of
11 commanding. And we apologise, but this was brought to our attention last
12 night, late last night might I add. So our thoughts were to allow the
13 gentleman to speak. He can make reference. I'm going to ask him if he
14 has consulted any or looked at any books, can these theories that he's
15 telling us contained in any books. And of course he will say yes. He
16 will speak in general, and then that material will eventually - all of
17 it - be made available to the Prosecution. The entire text, not just the
19 I don't have a problem in not introducing those documents. I'm
20 certainly going to ask the gentleman who has studied what books are
21 generally referred to or used. And so it's the Prosecution that
22 continually objects not to having these books available to them. I'm
23 making the opportunity available to them now.
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Waespi.
25 MR. WAESPI: I think it's just not according to the Rules that we
1 are not even given these -- I'm not even talking about translations. We
2 don't have it. And while I think it's great that the interpreters have
3 copies, I think that's wonderful, but we need to have it, and not just
4 when it starts but sometime ago. They could have faxed it last night if
5 they realised it last night that he came with something. We simply don't
6 have anything, and I think that's not fair.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And just now you mentioned that you have certain
8 paragraphs translated.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
10 JUDGE LIU: Did you furnish it to the other party?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: They should have been, Your Honour. Of course, the
12 case manager was working past midnight as I understand. The one page, the
13 one book which is called "Strategy of Armed Combat," it's literally the
14 introduction, one paragraph, they should have it. It's supposed to be
15 D200/1. It doesn't take a whole lot to read that.
16 The second one is from the introduction to "The Theory of Military
17 Management," by Mr. Branislav Jovanovic. This is D201. And again, I can
18 work around this. I can merely say, "Are there any texts," and not
19 introduce anything, and -- but he can certainly discuss the theories of
21 Mind you that this witness was a Prosecution witness. The
22 Prosecution had available this witness to question him about commanding.
23 Now, the other document is a manual for the work of commanders and
24 staff, one which we received from the Prosecution. Where this becomes
25 relevant, all of this, is as you recall in the cross-examination of
1 Butler, one, he noted that he was not unfamiliar with the specifics of the
2 concept of all people's defence. Secondly --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour. We're getting into policy
4 and Butler and arguments, and this is way beyond where this should be
5 going. And I just want to point out that --
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Who is doing the cross-examination, Your Honour?
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, well --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: This is ridiculous.
9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think at this stage, I just want you
10 to explain why we don't have the translation and how could we proceed
11 without the translation? It's a very simple question.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I tried to give an explanation, and then I went a
13 little further so we can have context. And I would appreciate if you
14 would interrupt me, Your Honour. I don't mind that. But for the
15 Prosecution to just simply interrupt because they feel they have nothing
16 better to do, I do get upset about that.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I unfortunately will have to
18 continue to interrupt where we go off into the argument of his case and
19 the criticism of Mr. Butler. But to try to make things easy, if it's just
20 the introduction and there's not too many references, maybe we can just
21 see how we go and -- I just hope it won't happen again.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It's very cooperative. And
23 we'll go with those documents, but we have to remind the Defence counsel
24 that in the future whenever they want to use a document, especially in the
25 direct examination, you have to provide copies to the other parties and
1 have the proper translation for that.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Your Honour. I agree. And I don't want
3 to make an issue of, this but this particular week has been very
4 challenging for us, especially with the Court scheduling that we've had to
5 accommodate everyone else, including Madam Del Ponte. So, you know, I'm
6 doing my best. I learned of it late last night, as I think the Trial
7 Chamber knows, I try to be diligent. I don't like having to be here to
8 listen to these objections, and I don't really object to their objections.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I think they're legitimate.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's have the witness. Let's have the witness,
12 please. And before that, could we make sure that you furnish the copies
13 to the translation booths.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe they have been, Your Honour.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that they do not have any
16 documents whatsoever.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, all right.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE LIU: Maybe you could ask Madam Usher to furnish them with
20 the copies if you have them.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Yes, I was --
22 JUDGE LIU: You are not going to use it at this moment, right?
23 Maybe for the next sitting?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I was hoping that we could just -- you know, I was
25 going to do a tactical approach to this and be as efficient as possible in
1 light of tomorrow being Friday and an afternoon sitting.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: We do have copies, Your Honour. And it would only
4 take 30 seconds.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, good afternoon, Witness.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
7 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry for keeping you waiting outside because, you
8 know, there are a lot of matters that have to be solved.
9 And 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 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
16 WITNESS: MIRKO TRIVIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
19 Q. Good afternoon, sir, and let me apologise for being the cause of
20 this delay, or at least part of the cause. Could you please tell us your
21 name, sir.
22 A. Good afternoon. My name is Mirko Trivic.
23 Q. And for the record, could you tell us your last name letter by
25 A. My last name is T-r-i-v-i-c, C with a diacritic.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Trivic. Could you please tell us a little bit
2 about your educational background.
3 A. Military or general.
4 Q. We'll start from the general, and then we're going to get into the
6 A. Before the military academy, I completed high school, general high
7 school, of course. Then I completed the military academy in 1971. Then
8 the Command Staff Academy. And postgraduate studies in wartime skills.
9 Q. And first of all, your postgraduate studies, how long is that?
10 How many years?
11 A. It lasted two years. Just before the breakup of Yugoslavia and
12 before the war started, in 1992 I defended the project I worked on. That
13 was actually my master's degree. And it was accepted as such, and then I
14 was supposed to defend it.
15 Q. All right. Now, in total, how many years do you have in military
17 A. As for my military education, I spent four years at the military
18 academy, one year at the command and staff academy, two years doing my
19 postgraduate course, and one year approximately at different advanced
20 courses in order to keep abreast of the technical development and the
21 development of the overall concept of all people's defence. So it's a
22 total of eight years very briefly.
23 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us how many years -- how
24 many years of field experience you have in the military.
25 A. After graduating from the academy, until completing my
1 postgraduate course, I worked for 17 years in the field, in the troops.
2 And then after the -- after I got my master's degree, I worked in the
3 system of higher military education. And then from the war until the year
4 2000, that is to say, from 1993 until the year 2000, once again, I worked
5 in operative units.
6 Q. What was the rank -- your highest -- well, currently are you in
7 the military?
8 A. No. Not now. I'm not in the military now.
9 Q. At what rank did you retire?
10 A. The rank of colonel.
11 Q. Now, during those years, have you had an opportunity to teach
12 military -- at any military institutions?
13 A. Yes. The department of tactics at the military academy.
14 Q. And is that at the entrance level of cadets going to the academy?
15 A. No.
16 Q. What level --
17 A. No. This is general for the military academy and for courses that
18 were organised at the military academy for other schools as well. There
19 was a post-secondary education for NCOs who wanted to get further
20 training, et cetera. And then also at the Faculty of National Defence for
21 students of national defence. And at other institutions that were factors
22 in the system of all people's defence, like the MUP, or the police,
23 rather, and others.
24 Q. Now, since you mentioned already all people's defence, I would
25 like to start there. And first of all, let me ask, do you feel competent
1 enough to discuss this concept of all people's defence? Do you feel you
2 have the educational background, the military experience to discuss this
4 A. I think I can take part in discussions and reach conclusions on
5 the basis of the theory I know and the practice I went through. I can
6 reach appropriate conclusions with regard to relevant facts, and all of
7 this has to do with the further advancement of war skills and practice.
8 Q. Very briefly, so we can understand what this concept is, let me
9 first ask you, would you call the all people's defence a military
11 A. When speaking of all people's defence, a distinction has to be
12 made between two things: On the one hand, the concept of all people's
13 defence, which constitutes a sociopolitical and military strategic idea,
14 concerning the preparation and organisation of a society, a system, a
15 state, in relation to its defence from potential aggressors.
16 On the other hand, from this concept, from this sociopolitical and
17 military strategic idea, the doctrine of all people's defence is derived.
18 And it spells out in more concrete terms the concept itself, and it is
19 based on science, military science, and science in general in terms of
20 control and command aimed at the realisation of this concept.
21 From both comes the strategy which means the implementation of all
22 of this in an armed struggle, and it guides all factors in society how
23 they will participate in a general conflict. And then the rules of
24 conduct are based on this strategy that is pursued.
25 Q. All right. Would it -- if I understand part of -- the latter
1 portion of your answer, could you please tell us whether the rules for the
2 military, the rules, the laws, the regulations upon which the military
3 relies on, are they based in part on this concept of all people's defence?
4 A. At any rate, a concept and a doctrine, if the doctrine is spelled
5 out in concrete terms in that way, they necessitate the adoption of laws
6 in terms of how all subjects will act in case of war. So laws on their
7 responsibilities are based on that. And also, for the special forces that
8 lead the armed struggle, there have to be rules of conduct through
9 strategy. But that also has to be within the framework of the law.
10 Q. Okay, thank you. Now, I want to show you what has been marked for
11 identification purposes as D200/1. If we could put the English version on
12 the ELMO, and if you could just look at it.
13 First of all, let me just ask you, I'm holding a book in my hands,
14 a red book. And the copies that you have, is that from this particular
15 book that I'm holding?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And if I could get you to look at the introduction part, and that
18 would be... First, I want to just read it out and you can follow along.
19 And then I would like to discuss this in some part.
20 It states here: "The strategy of armed combat is theory in
21 practice in the preparation in carrying out of armed combat as a whole in
22 the all people's defence war and the highest branch of war skills. It is
23 formed on the concept and doctrine of all people's defence, and social
24 self-protection which comes forth out of the socialist self-governing
25 social order a neutral foreign politics and experience in people's
1 liberation wars. The main points of the conception are entailed in the
2 SFRJ constitution, the programme and congress documentation of the Union
3 of Communists of Yugoslavia, the law on all people's defence, and the
4 directives for the defence of the SFRJ from aggression. A strategy of
5 armed combat is consistently taken from them, imposes their application
6 and elaboration in the domain of armed combat in an all people's defensive
8 Is this not the introduction from this particular book that I've
9 shown you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is this text a text that is used or that is -- that is used by
12 the military?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, we see the date. That's 1983. So this would have been for
15 the JNA in the former Yugoslavia. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I want you to now fast forward to 1992 and onwards in the VRS.
18 Was the concept that we just read in the introduction applicable at that
19 time for the VRS?
20 A. This concept was applicable for the Army of Republika Srpska.
21 Unfortunately, it was actually supposed to be applicable to all peoples as
22 they left the joint state. But all mobilisation decisions were based on
23 it concerning mobilisation of units for defence, not only in relation to
24 an aggression coming from the outside; that is to say, from an external
25 aggressor, but also when attempts were made to try to start a war among
1 different ethnic groups within the country. But it was not only
2 applicable, but it was actually applied. And it was carried through,
3 especially in reference to the law on all people's defence which governs
4 the system of all people's defence.
5 Q. All right. Now, let me ask you: Concretely, could you please
6 tell us how this concept of all people's defence works. Just if you had
7 to describe it to a foreigner, how would you describe it but in a very
8 concrete manner?
9 A. I've already said that all of this resulted in a law on all
10 people's defence. That is to say, both the concept and the doctrine
11 resulted in that. They're both regulated by law and are binding on all
12 subjects and forces of the state and society to take part in an all
13 people's defensive war. The forces as stipulated by law were all the
14 working people and citizens of the state, all the nations and
15 nationalities of the country, all sociopolitical communities at all
16 levels, from the very lowest cell, namely, the local commune, and then
17 through the municipality and republics and provinces all the way up to the
18 federation, then all sociopolitical organisations that were headed by the
19 League of Communists as this ideological force within the system, and the
20 others that can also be enumerated. That is to say, all the cells of the
21 society, all human and material potentials that these subjects have.
22 Especially with regard to waging an all-out armed struggle, it was the
23 duty of all on the basis of the law on national defence to organise
24 special forces that will take part in the decisive factor of resisting the
25 aggressor, and that is to say, a defensive war if a war were to happen.
1 So those were the armed forces.
2 The civilian defence, the observation and reporting system, those
3 were the forces that were stipulated as such. When all of this is viewed
4 and when all of this is laid as a foundation, then in this way the
5 following conclusion can be reached, that no one in the state was
6 excluded, neither an individual or collective or an organisation of
7 associated labour as they were called then, work organisations and so on.
8 Everybody had their own obligations and responsibilities. And they
9 carried them out in accordance with the law.
10 Q. All right. Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to move on, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Of course. I understand -- well, I have a difficulty,
14 you know, to your approach to direct examine this witness. This Tribunal
15 is a Tribunal, not a military academy. We spend a lot of time in those
16 obstructive concepts.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand.
18 JUDGE LIU: And I hope that maybe you could take incidents or take
19 documents if they mention all people's defence and the parties have some
20 different views on it, you could ask some questions to this witness,
21 rather than lay down such a profound background.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: It should be case oriented.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. That was going to be my very next question,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you.
2 MR. KARNAVAS:
3 Q. Let me just quote from the record of Richard Butler.
4 Cross-examination. He's being asked, and this can be found on page 4.789.
5 We have it for the ELMO. And for the record actually, you can go back
6 further than I'm reading. But I'm going to start at line 22. For your
7 information, Mr. Trivic, Mr. Butler was an OTP analyst, employee.
8 Line 22, he's asked: "When you say all people's defence, that
9 would be what you would consider the doctrine for the former Yugoslavia?"
10 Answer: "Yes, sir."
11 Question: "Okay. And I take it that would apply to
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina at this particular time frame?" Answer: "The -- well,
13 for -- I assume for 1995, with respect to the VRS, they were implementing
14 the JNA basis of the regulations. Whether or not on a broader level they
15 were encompassing all the principles of all people's defence, I don't
16 know. But certainly, where they would use it in the conduct of their
17 military campaigns and in the content -- conduct of their general military
18 strategy, they did so. It was all they had."
19 Question: "And I take it you're familiar with the all people's
20 defence?" Answer: "At a very broad level. Not at the specific, sir."
21 "Did you know of its applicability prior to the war in 1992?"
22 Answer: "Not in detail, sir, no, sir." And then I comment: "Well, I
23 guess we'll skip that part of the discussion."
24 Now, sir, an analyst who is trying to understand the VRS at that
25 point in time, 1995, in light of reading rules and regulations of the VRS
1 military that were actually JNA, and of course, other material, my
2 question is how significant would it be for an analyst to really
3 thoroughly understand and appreciate the doctrine of all people's defence?
4 A. I think that a good analyst must know the bases from which the
5 rules of service were developed, the way in which an army is organised,
6 under wartime conditions. Because it was the underlying basis for the
7 organisation of the army, and that system was applied in organising the
8 army. That is why it is necessary to have a full understanding of that
9 organisation to know what its sources are, to be able to make qualified
10 conclusions regarding the army.
11 Q. All right. Let me ask you, you know, had Mr. Butler consulted you
12 or asked you about the concept or military doctrine of all people's
13 defence, had he been interested, would he -- would you have been willing
14 to explain it to him thoroughly so he would fully understand it and know
15 how it should be applied in relation to understanding the rules and
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
18 MR. WAESPI: Objection. That's entirely inappropriate to ask this
19 witness. And the question is entirely full of remarks about
20 Mr. Butler, "trying to understand" and so on. I think that's not help.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may respond very briefly, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: There was a reason why I framed the question in
24 such a manner, because there was also a very good reason why I asked
25 Mr. Butler on cross-examination had he consulted with any JNA officers, be
1 they from Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, anywhere outside the conflict, not
2 necessarily Serbs. And the answer was no. And so I'm merely asking
3 whether he would have been willing to inform Mr. Butler and also, might I
4 add, a couple of days ago we heard from Mr. McCloskey that they have had
5 difficulty in locating these texts. And it would appear to me they had
6 access to the gentleman, he spoke to them, he's even testified for them.
7 And so when they have access to these sorts of assets and resources, one
8 would wonder why Mr. Butler would not want to take advantage of the
9 situation and learn as much as he could.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
11 MR. WAESPI: Here he has mentioned if we had access. Just again
12 to remind, not in the 65 ter summary or anywhere else was it mentioned
13 that the Butler report would be discussed, the all people's defence will
14 be discussed. I think it's impossible to prepare for an entirely new
15 field with this witness.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, Your Honour, that's incorrect. I
17 have been giving them messages left and right.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, first of all, the question you
19 asked is a hypothetical question. Secondly, I don't think it's relevant
20 to the case in this courtroom.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thirdly, you still did not establish any links between
23 the concept of all people's defence to our very case. This is what we
24 want to hear. I think I give you some directions. If you have some
25 documents we have already admitted that comment on this concept, you may
1 ask some questions which should not be within the academic circles, but
2 should be realistic, you know, closely related to our case, to your
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Your Honour. If I may respond very
5 briefly, and with all due respect, we had five days of Butler direct
6 examination. It was a long week, as you may recall. And he was analysing
7 documents and giving these profound conclusions and what have you. And at
8 some point, we're going to have to dissect all of this and put it together
9 and package it for Your Honours' consideration, both sides. And in order
10 to do that, I think because we're not military experts, we all need to
11 have those fundamental building blocks. And what I'm trying to do through
12 this gentleman, at least at this stage, is show the importance of all
13 people's defence because it goes to the mobilisation process, it goes to
14 all sorts of things that may not become necessarily obvious at this point
15 in time. But they are close -- everything is interrelated. You cannot
16 separate the two just because Bosnia separated from the former Yugoslavia
17 doesn't mean we've created a new army with a whole separate military
18 doctrine. You have the same doctrine. And that doctrine was transformed,
19 you know, to fit the situation. And that's what I'm trying to get at.
20 And then I'm going to ask in my next series of questions with
21 respect to commanding, the principles of commanding, because that's
22 important. So in a sense, this would have been my cross-examination had I
23 been able, but due to time constraints, we were not. These were perfectly
24 normal questions at that point in time. And as you recall, Your Honour,
25 you indicated that I would be given leave to recall this witness. And so
1 I don't think I have more than about an hour, an hour and a half tops with
2 this gentleman.
3 JUDGE LIU: I think, you know, the Trial Chamber is more
4 interested in the commander's relationship, the zone of responsibility and
5 the zone of defence, all those matters which are closely related to our
7 As for all people's defence, well, I fail to see any relevance at
8 this moment. At this moment.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: At this moment, good. All right. Your Honour, I'm
10 used to going from the general to the specific, and I'm going to be going
11 more specific from now on.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. The witness is not the first time to be a
13 witness in this Trial Chamber, so shall we come to specific documents,
14 specific orders. If they are mentioned, some commander's relationship,
15 zone of defence, you know, you could ask some questions.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I can restructure my direct, Your Honour, if you
17 wish for me to go into a particular topic at this point and discuss this
18 map. I could do that. But as I said, had I been allowed to do my
19 cross-examination at the time, it was Friday, it was the Prosecution's
20 last witness, we had waited two weeks because they were running into
21 problems, I accommodated. I do think that all of this is interrelated,
22 and it's very difficult to just say here's a document without knowing the
23 principles behind it. And so that's all I'm trying to do. Now maybe it
24 might be very obvious --
25 JUDGE LIU: I think the difference between us is just our
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I agree.
3 JUDGE LIU: Our approach is that we should be based on a document
4 as a starting point rather than to take the concept.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: As a starting point.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm trying to avoid Mr. Butler's errors in not
8 going to the fundamentals. But very well, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may move on.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
11 I'm told -- are we going --
12 JUDGE LIU: We have still 15 minutes to go for this sitting.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Very well, Your Honour. All right.
14 Q. Now, I just want to talk a little bit about the principle of
15 functional relationships within commanding. But before we do that, could
16 you please give us your definition of commanding so we know, you having
17 been a commander in the field at the brigade level.
18 A. I would rather not repeat definitions from textbooks because it's
19 a long time since I ceased to be a teacher. But commanding essentially is
20 a relationship between the commander, the leader, toward his subordinates
21 with a view to the execution of the assignment set in the order. So
22 commanding involves ordering, and the ultimate objective is to carry out
23 the goal assigned by the commander.
24 Q. All right. Now, prior to coming here today, did you have an
25 opportunity to give us a textbook which is titled "Introduction to the
1 Theory of Military Management" by Mr. Branislav Jovanovic?
2 A. Yes. "The Theory of Military Management."
3 Q. Now, is this Theory of Military Management taught at the academies
4 for commanders?
5 A. Yes, it is. As a subject, it was called control and command or
6 management and command.
7 Q. All right. Now, have you had a chance to look through this book
8 and make reference to any particular pages or sections in the book that
9 might be of relevance to us in understanding the theory of commanding?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. If I could show you now what has been marked for identification as
12 D201. Are these the sections from this book, and they are pages, I
13 believe, 94 through 101?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, without necessarily reading from any sections, could you
16 please describe to us the relevant portions, what you think that we need
17 to know in order to understand the theory of commanding.
18 A. I think that to operationalise the staff functions of the command,
19 anyone trying to understand the rules and the functioning of command in a
20 particular instance has to bear in mind, first of all, that the function
21 is a set of related activities whereby the special task of the command is
22 being implemented in the most efficient manner.
23 Also, on the following page, on page 95, the function of command
24 is a part of the system of the activities of the organisation. And there
25 is also -- it is important to say this because commanding integrates the
1 functions of all the members of the command.
2 Q. What do you mean by that?
3 A. What I mean is that the integration of the functions of all the
4 command members covers the overall organisation of the command which are
5 instrumental in implementing the decision of the commander or the
6 execution of a task set by the superior, and the commander has the duty of
7 implementing that assignment and carrying it out. And all the members of
8 the command need to act within their area, within their functional duties,
9 so as to ensure the implementation of that overall assignment in their
10 particular area.
11 Q. All right. Now, let me show you what has been marked as D84 or
12 what has come into evidence as D84. And perhaps we can follow up on what
13 you just told us. And I'm particularly referring -- I will be referring
14 to, on the English version, page 13. This document, sir, is from the
15 Manual for the Work of Commanders and Staff. Again -- and this is dated
16 1983. It's from the Marsal Tito JNA Military Higher Educational Centre.
17 Are you familiar with this text, sir?
18 A. Yes, I am.
19 Q. The principles that are contained in this particular manual, were
20 they being applied in the field in 1995 by the VRS?
21 A. Yes, it was.
22 Q. Now, in relation to what you told us before with respect to the
23 previous text, could you please tell us, are those concepts found in this
25 A. I didn't quite understand your question. Could you repeat it,
2 Q. Okay. You've discussed a little bit the principles from
3 Mr. Jovanovic's text, "Introduction to the Theory of Military Management,"
4 and you were talking about relationships as I understood. Now, looking at
5 this actual manual that is being applied in the field at the time, and if
6 I direct your attention to chapter 1, where it says, "functions of control
7 and their interdependence," do you find anything in there that is relevant
8 to the previous discussion?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And what paragraph number would that be, sir?
11 A. Under 3, control is a function of the organisation of the armed
13 Q. All right.
14 A. Whose aim is direct individuals, et cetera.
15 Q. Now, I want to direct your attention to the second paragraph
16 that's contained within paragraph number 3. And in English, it
17 says: "Control in the armed forces is essentially characterised by two
18 forms: Control as a social relationship and control as a work process of
19 commanding officers and command staffs in other organs."
20 Can you explain this paragraph for us. What exactly is this
21 referring to, the two forms?
22 A. Control as a social relationship implies an organisation within
23 which the leader or manager has as his associates other people who carry
24 out their duties without waiting for the commander, but have their own
25 attitude towards control based on conscious discipline on their
1 ideological options, on the need for them to participate in an organised
2 resistance or armed struggle or some other form which contributes within
3 the military organisation, because that is what we're talking about, to
4 the execution of the tasks of the military, as opposed to the theory which
5 deals with the managerial form of control in the armed forces. And as
6 stated in this manual for the work of commands and staffs in which there
7 is a different approach to control, it is already implied that organs of
8 the command, all the assistants, all the senior officers engaged in the
9 execution of the same assignment, it doesn't matter what title each of
10 them have.
11 So the theory of control, according to Taylor, implies the
12 selection of associates for the implementations of the assignment set by
13 the commander. That is the social relationship. Whereas the functional
14 one of control as a process of work, I think, needs no further
15 explanation. It just means what has to be done and that there must be
16 control over the work process and the need to intervene should there be
17 any failure to carry out the tasks assigned.
18 Q. All right. Now, how important is the relationship between the
19 commander and, say, some of his assistant commanders or the chief of the
20 head of the security and intelligence organ?
21 A. Relationships between any organ and the commander constitute the
22 essence --
23 Q. Why is that?
24 A. -- of control because, depending on the correctness of those
25 relationships, through a military conversation or free conversation, one
1 can get insight into the activities of the unit, the general state of
2 affairs regarding preparations, the attitude towards assignments, and
3 especially, I would underline, the need to have a good relationship
4 between the organ for morale and those collecting information about the
5 enemy, that is, intelligence information. This is very important for the
6 general atmosphere in the unit from the psychological point of view. And
7 one has to know what needs to be done before an operation is embarked upon
8 so that no problems should arise once the operation starts.
9 Q. All right. Let me give you concretely what we have heard in this
10 case, and perhaps you can tell us whether this is a proper relationship.
11 Momir Nikolic testified that from the 6th of July to the 11th of July
12 while the operations were going on with respect to Srebrenica, he had
13 absolutely no contact with his commander, his commander being in
14 Pribicevac, Momir Nikolic being in Bratunac town. How would you describe
15 that relationship? Is that a proper social relationship as you would
16 understand it necessary in light of the functions carried out by Momir
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
19 MR. WAESPI: Objection. There's no foundation that this witness
20 was present. That's pure speculation of what he is asked to do that. And
21 he certainly hasn't had any background knowledge about what has been said
22 in Court so far. I don't think there's any basis for him to comment on
23 what the witness has said in this Court.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, Mr. President --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: -- we've heard testimony from Mr. Nikolic who was
2 thoroughly cross-examined. Surely, surely the Prosecutor is not stating
3 that I'm mischaracterising the evidence. There's ample -- it's in the
4 transcript where he said he didn't have any contact. We're talking about
5 the importance of the relationship between the commander and his assistant
6 commanders. That becomes very, very important what happens later on. So
7 it's a fact that we've already heard. Now I'm giving the gentleman a
8 hypothetical based on the facts that we know. So the hypothetical is not
9 outside the realm of evidence that we've heard. But he's a commander,
10 he's taught at the academy, he should be able to provide us with an
12 Now, we have Mr. McCloskey standing up, too. I think at this
13 point, it's really -- I mean, I don't mind. But I don't know who to -- I
14 feel like this is big-time wrestling in the United States where they tag
15 team, you know, one jumping up and then the next. It's really...
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: They're wearing me down, Your Honour. This is war
18 by attrition.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Karnavas has never been worn down yet as far
20 as I can see.
21 This is such a significant potential policy situation that he is
22 now talking about that I feel I would request the Court allow me to speak
23 briefly on. What Mr. Karnavas is now doing is going through individual
24 bits of testimony and having this person who wasn't there, wasn't involved
25 in this part of it, judging the witnesses themselves, that's absolutely
1 improper. We could go on forever doing that. Having this witness
2 describe the importance of the relationship is fine. But for him to
3 comment on each portion of the trial like this is absolutely improper in
4 an adversarial context.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I know where you are heading to.
6 But I don't think your question is formed in a proper way. And in this
7 issue, as for the commanding relationships, we're only interested in three
8 matters: One is the effective control as a commander which the witness
9 testified in the previous statement. We heard it just now. The second
10 area is about the parallel, you know, commander chain because we heard a
11 lot of evidence on that. So maybe you could ask some questions in that
12 direction. And thirdly, it's the commander's responsibility, whether the
13 law says something about the commander's responsibility or not. You may
14 ask some questions on that.
15 I think this is the three points in the commanding relationship in
16 this area. And I know you tried to come to a specific case to show this
17 kind of -- to show your case which -- it's a good practice, but you have
18 to find a proper example for that. The safest thing is to find some
19 documents, because the documents are there and ask some questions to these
20 documents rather than the testimonies, because during the proceedings
21 maybe one witness said in this direction, the other said in another way.
22 There must be some conflicts.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I know it's time for our break, and
24 I certainly do appreciate all of the guidance that you're giving me. The
25 reason I chose this particular example are - well, two in nature - one,
1 early you wanted me to use an example, I used one. Okay, wrong example,
2 but I tried. I think -- the words came out of Nikolic's own mouth. Had
3 they been hearsay, I would say, well, you know, we have a problem here.
4 But Nikolic himself said, "I had no contact with my commander." And I'm
5 asking based on this gentleman's experience, what would that reflect?
6 Does that demonstrate --
7 JUDGE LIU: Can you make a hypothetical example to show that?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I could try. Perhaps during the break I
9 could think about it.
10 JUDGE LIU: I hope you could reorganise your direct examination
11 during the break.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I'm going to have to, based on ... Yes.
13 JUDGE LIU: We'll have a break, and we'll resume at 10 minutes
14 past 4.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.36 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Trivic, I want to go back to where I left off, and I just
20 want to ask you a simple question: During the activities of Srebrenica or
21 activities such as the ones that occurred, you know, where you have battle
22 activities, where would you expect to find or have your chief of
23 intelligence and security? Where would he normally be located? You being
24 the commander, that is.
25 A. The security chief?
1 Q. Yes -- well, in this instance, you have one individual sharing
2 both security and intelligence.
3 A. In this case, the security chief was with me because it was the
4 basic assignment for the brigade. He was with me at the forward command
6 Q. But I'm not asking you in particular; I'm asking in general, where
7 would you expect, where would a commander expect to have his chief of
8 security and intelligence during a combat operation?
9 A. When I was commenting on the social relationship, it meant that
10 all members of the command should take part in the implementation of
11 decisions and are responsible for the execution of the tasks. The chief
12 of the security and intelligence service should be, in accordance with the
13 commander's command, controlling the implementation of tasks assigned to
14 him and his body. So it is difficult to say when he should be at the
15 command post and when he should be at the location where the tasks are
16 being carried out pursuant to the orders of the commander.
17 Q. All right. Would it be normal given your experience and in light
18 of the social relationship that exists in this military doctrine as it
19 were, within the J -- the VRS, would it be normal for the chief of
20 intelligence and security to be totally incommunicado with his commander,
21 not bothering to report, check in, visit, but simply be in his office
22 tending to his business as he saw fit?
23 A. Of course it is not normal.
24 Q. All right. Let me go on to the next section -- well, before I go
25 on, because you mentioned a particular name; I believe it was Taylor. If
1 you could tell us, is there a difference between the way - if you know,
2 that is -- the way armies are managed and controlled in the west than the
3 way the JNA and then the VRS was -- you know, had their armies
5 A. Taylor's theory deals with the problem of control, or rather
6 managing organisations. That is studied by officers in western countries,
7 too, during their education and training. So even those who study on the
8 basis of different doctrines. So in this case, we're talking about
9 military doctrines. The societal relationships as such are not like those
10 that existed in the JNA and later on in the Army of Republika Srpska.
11 This is a managerial theory of a leader who has the opportunity of
12 choosing the people who are going to work with him, whereas this idea
13 which stems from the concept of all people's defence, the commander does
14 not have the possibility to choose. He comes to a command where
15 relationships have already been developed and where people have already
16 been appointed as his assistant commanders. It can be said on the basis
17 of these social relationships that these people are supposed to act like
18 the commander does. Well, that is the fundamental difference between
19 these two different theories in terms of managing an organisation.
20 Q. Okay. Why is it important or how is it supposed to work when a
21 commander comes in, he hasn't chosen his own team, the team already exists
22 there, why is the social relationship so important?
23 A. It's not only important; it is essential for carrying out
24 decisions that have to do with the task that is placed before a unit. In
25 this case, waging an armed struggle as the basic task. And everything
1 that takes place before activities related to armed struggle serves the
2 purpose of preparation, improvement in order to carry out the task as best
3 as possible if one is charged with it. Trust is supposed to be generated.
4 The commander should trust his subordinates, along all these lines, and it
5 works the other way around. The people who receive orders should trust
6 the commander knowing that he will act in the most reasonable fashion in
7 order to have the task carried out; that is to say, that all organs in the
8 command and all the subordinates in accordance with the task on the basis
9 of the commander's decision make their own decisions. They are autonomous
10 in the way in which these tasks and decisions are established within
11 units, but they realise that this autonomy cannot jeopardise the idea, the
12 objective, and the concrete task that is supposed to be carried out fully.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you.
14 Now, what about this concept of functional relationships? How
15 does that fit in to command and control?
16 A. The functional relationship as a process implies the participation
17 of all the organs in a command, all the organs of a unit as an entity in
18 accordance with its organisational structure. All together, they take
19 part in preparing the commander's decision from the point of view of their
20 respective interests and tasks that they have anyway. Once a decision is
21 reached, every one of these organs within the command takes upon himself
22 his own part of the task, reaches his own decision for his own sector and
23 is in this way part of this organisation that contributes to the
24 discharging of the actual tasks. So this works from the Chief of Staff,
25 through the operations officer, the organs of different arms and services,
1 the security organ, the rear services organ, in accordance with the
2 commander's decision, they all reach their own decisions. So in terms of
3 staff and in terms of the line itself, they are in communication, and each
4 and every one of them is responsible for their respective segment of the
5 commander's decision, and they also took part in the formulation of that
7 Q. All right. Let me ask you: What about the concept of functional
8 relationship as it applies from, say, the corps to the brigade within the
9 various different organs. And we can pick one, say, for instance, rear
10 services. How does that work?
11 A. [No Interpretation].
12 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry, we did not get any interpretation.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English booth now?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, now we can hear it.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Sir, we may need you to start all over again. We had a technical
17 difficulty in catching your answer.
18 A. The functional relationship between the logistics organs of the
19 operative command, in this case, a corps, and the command of the brigade
20 on the other hand, which is a joint tactical unit, is carried out through
21 a managerial function and a command and control function; namely, the
22 logistics organ within the brigade and the rear services as such have an
23 executive structure and a managerial structure.
24 In case of the Drina Corps, it was supposed to involve control
25 over all the rear services of the Drina Corps, and it is realised for
1 units that are attached to the staff, and in communications, in terms of
2 supplies from the rear services of the brigade. Lower down in the brigade
3 there are similar organs which follow the same analogy; that is to say
4 again, there is the managerial and the executive function. The
5 realisation of these two functions during the implementation of the task
6 can be illustrated as follows: The units have a command which is issuing
7 commands in relation to a particular task. They submit a list of certain
8 needs. Then that command uses its own reserves, so they supply a report
9 on the necessary replenishment, and then the command provides materiel
10 supplies to the closest unit where the process of supplies can evolve. So
11 they use the existing network in the area where combat activity is taking
13 Q. Concretely, during the events in Srebrenica when you were there,
14 if you needed, for instance, ammunition, where would you get your
15 ammunition? Or if you needed fuel, which rear service would you go to to
16 get it?
17 A. I would go to the corps command.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. My rear services organs are in touch with them.
20 Q. But now you're in the field; you're away from your own command
21 post and you're in the field in the battle. Where would you go to get,
22 for instance, ammunition, if your men needed ammunition in the middle of
23 these activities?
24 A. The forward command post of the corps.
25 Q. Now --
1 A. And supplies would come from the closest rear unit. The executive
2 unit that has developed executive organs in that area.
3 Q. All right. Concretely for Srebrenica, where would you go, for the
4 events that took place back in July 1995? Which rear service?
5 A. The rear service of the command -- of the corps that supplies the
6 brigade in Bratunac where this structure has already been developed, or
7 rather this infrastructure for providing supplies.
8 Q. All right. But the corps -- the corps is located -- the
9 headquarters of the corps are located in Vlasenica. Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And would that be where the rear services of the corps are
13 A. The rear services of the corps and the executive organs are in
14 Vlasenica, except --
15 Q. All right. But now I'm speaking specifically about Srebrenica.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
17 MR. WAESPI: I think the witness wanted to add something,"except,"
18 and I don't think it's appropriate that the Defence counsel is testifying
19 saying where these services are.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Nobody's testifying, Your Honour. I understand the
21 tactics of the Prosecution. It has been going on for the last couple
22 weeks. They're very insulting, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I was hoping to finish today. But -- you know, I
25 think I'm entitled to carry on my direct.
1 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: The witness said "except" and he stopped. I
3 waited. And then I went on. But then --
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas.
5 I believe that the witness wants to tell us something. Let the
6 witness finish his answer.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't have a problem with that. I do have a
8 problem with the insinuation by Mr. Waespi there.
9 JUDGE LIU: Don't point your fingers. It's not a good suggestion
11 Yes, Witness, continue.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The supplying of my unit, my unit in
13 Srebrenica, that was the way you put your question, started from the
14 moment when the materiel was being used. You mentioned ammunition. My
15 report goes to the rear services of the command of the operation in this
16 case, which established its own forward command post at the Bratunac
17 Brigade. If they were there, then it goes to them. And I assume that
18 that is what they did.
19 This command, that is to say, these rear services organs, give
20 orders to have the restocking of supplies take place from the
21 already-developed infrastructure of warehouses in Bratunac. And they, on
22 the other hand, get replenished automatically from the command post in
23 Vlasenica. So that's the dynamics. That's the process that is underway
24 once the spending of materiel resources starts; not only ammunition, but
25 also food and other supplies.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. What about fuel?
3 A. Fuel, too. All materiel resources that are required for carrying
4 out the task. The executive organs of the Bratunac Brigade will keep
5 records of what they issue. And they will keep records of what they get
6 from the corps base. The resources of the Bratunac Brigade cannot be
7 jeopardised in any way because of the fact that there are other units that
8 are using their supplies for the purposes of this particular operation.
9 Q. And to your understanding, at least if I understand your answer
10 correctly, where would the forward command post -- the forward command of
11 the rear services I guess of the Drina Corps would have been back in July
12 1995 when the events concerning Srebrenica took place?
13 A. At the forward command post of the corps.
14 Q. And where was the forward command post of the corps at that point
15 in time, to your understanding?
16 A. At Pribicevac.
17 Q. But the rear services of the forward command post --
18 A. The rear services were at a different location.
19 Q. Do you know where exactly? I mean, what location? That's what
20 I'm trying to figure out.
21 A. A part of the rear command post was functioning in Bratunac, I
22 think. I'm not sure. I wasn't in direct contact with them. And I assume
23 they were in Bratunac where the infrastructure was developed for rear
24 supplies of the units engaged in this operation.
25 Q. All right. Thank you.
1 Now, I want to switch topics at this point, and I want to go to a
2 particular document. It's P543. This is an order for active combat
3 activities, 2nd July 1995. Have you seen this document before, sir?
4 A. I have.
5 Q. Now, what I'm interested in is the aspect with respect to the
6 prisoners, the security organ. And that would be found in paragraph
7 number 10. It's -- it would be 4, page 4 in your version, which is P543B.
8 So if you could look at that section dealing with prisoners, and
9 if you could please tell us in your opinion what is General Zivanovic
11 A. As far as I can see, this is an order by General Zivanovic, the
12 commander of the Drina Corps, and he's not proposing; he's issuing
13 assignments by this order.
14 With respect to prisoners of war, the security organs and the
15 military police are tasked to designate collection areas and security of
16 war prisoners and war booty. And he also says that the Geneva Conventions
17 must be fully complied with in treating and dealing with the prisoners.
18 This is a paragraph relating to prisoners of war.
19 Q. All right. Now, in light of your experience and background, do
20 you have an opinion as to whether this was a proper order in a sense with
21 respect to having the security organ be involved in this fashion, to this
22 extent with respect to the prisoners? And I'm not referring to how they
23 should be treated. It's axiomatic that the Geneva Conventions are
25 A. In my view, it is not the job of the security organ to designate
1 the area for the gathering of prisoners of war. As for security, I think
2 it is correct.
3 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you another document. This is the
4 order for active combat operations that Colonel Blagojevic prepared. It's
5 P406. And you will be looking at 406B. And again, I am only interested
6 in the portion with respect to prisoners that would come under paragraph
7 number 10, and it would be on page -- it's page 5 in the English version.
8 And it would be page 4 of your, page 4 or page 5, somewhere there, where
9 it's stated that -- page 5, top of page 5 for you, and it
10 says: "Prisoners of war and war booty will be collected in the Pribicevac
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then if we look at paragraph number 12, in conjunction with
14 this paragraph, it says: "The IKM of the brigade in the Pribicevac sector
15 will be operational." Now, do you have an opinion as to the correctness,
16 Colonel Blagojevic's order, to have the prisoners collected or brought to
17 Pribicevac where he had been located throughout this period, that is, the
18 period from 6 to 11?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. WAESPI: Just one correction, it doesn't say Pribicevac; it
21 says Pribicevac sector.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Pribicevac sector.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. What is your opinion?
1 A. I think it is quite correctly worded. This paragraph, the brigade
2 commander has every right, and in fact, it is his duty, to determine where
3 prisoners of war will be collected.
4 Q. All right. We also heard some testimony here by Nikolic that he
5 was troubled by the -- in this order that his commander had indicated that
6 the reserves would be the military police. And I'm trying to find the
7 location. It's 5.6. And that would be on page 3 of your document. Now,
8 given that you were a commander of a brigade, keeping in mind the
9 circumstances, particularly with respect to the men, manpower available to
10 the brigades, do you have an opinion as to the correctness of 5.6 where it
11 says: "The reserves, if necessary, have the Military Police Platoon ready
12 for deployment in the sector of the command post of the 1st Bratunac Light
13 Infantry Brigade."
14 A. Everything that individual organs can contribute and give an
15 opinion regarding the decision of the commander may be done when the order
16 is being drafted. And once the order has been written, it is binding on
17 all the members of the command, all the organs as I have already said,
18 within the chain of command in the process of the execution of the
20 Q. I understand. But Mr. Nikolic indicated that had he known,
21 because he told us that he never saw this order, but had he known that his
22 commander had placed a military police platoon to be the reserve force if
23 necessary, that he would have contacted his superiors within the security
24 sector. So my question is, is this an improper usage of military police
25 in this particular order by the commander such that the security chief
1 would bypass to contact higher echelon security officers to complain?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
3 MR. WAESPI: I believe the question is inappropriate. He could
4 have asked him, in fact, he did, is that the correct wording, 5.6? He
5 shouldn't have tied in Mr. Nikolic into that. That's the proper way to
6 put it to the witness, not sort of around it with assumptions and with
7 what other people said. I think the Court should be interested in what
8 the witness says in his assessment and not comment on what somebody else
10 JUDGE LIU: I think the question itself has no problem, especially
11 the last part of the question. I think this is the main issue here.
12 Mr. Karnavas, maybe you could repeat the last section of your
13 question, especially the last sentence, to this witness.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. So my question is: Is this an improper usage of the military
16 police in this particular order by the commander such that the security
17 chief would bypass his commander in order to contact a higher echelon
18 security officer to inform them that his own commander is abusing those
19 resources, those assets?
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. Please explain why.
22 A. It is the absolute right of every commander at all levels for
23 units under his command to be engaged in accordance with his assessment of
24 the situation and the assignment before them in view of the resources he
25 has at his disposal and consequently he may engage those forces. If the
1 brigade commander feels that he is no other forces as a reserve, it is
2 better to have something rather than nothing. So it's absolutely correct.
3 It is the inalienable right of the commander. It is his obligation to
4 think about this and to make appropriate decisions. The corps commander's
5 assessment is that the security organ, and as put here - how did he word
6 it here - would carry out certain tasks, but it doesn't mean that that
7 organ has the right to issue orders to the organisation, in this case, the
9 The basic duty that is taken over from the order of the commander
10 is the assignment of my unit. Only this part that relates to my brigade,
11 it is my duty to fully include it in the order as the task of the unit.
12 Everything else is my inalienable right; that is, I am entitled to
13 organise the unit, the elements of combat, formation, to group forces in
14 accordance with the assignment given to me.
15 Q. All right, thank you.
16 Now, I want to switch to another document. Perhaps you can help
17 us out here. This is P389. I'll be showing you 389B, a much-discussed
18 document in this particular case. And you may wish to keep with you there
19 handy P543. Just leave it there, please, kindly, Madam Usher.
20 First of all, have you ever seen this instruction which is dated
21 24 October 1994, an instruction that was issued by General Mladic but was
22 signed by General Tolimir for him?
23 A. Yes. But on two occasions when I received it, I remember that it
24 existed. I've forgotten the contents of it. And the second time, when
25 you showed it to me before coming here.
1 Q. Very well. Now, in looking at this document, this instruction,
2 first of all, what do you find noteworthy about it? What is it an
3 instruction to, or to whom is it issued?
4 A. The title indicates that these are instructions on command and
5 control over the security and intelligence organs of the Army of Republika
6 Srpska. And it is addressed to the commands, subordinate commands, the
7 aim being for all commanders to be familiar with it right down to the
8 level of the battalion.
9 Q. All right. Now, I'm looking at the first paragraph. What
10 conclusions are you drawing or can you draw from this first paragraph?
11 Who needs to be clear on the functions or this relationship between
12 commanders and the security intelligence organs?
13 A. The preamble to these instructions refers to certain problems and
14 shortcomings and irregularities in the control and command over these
15 organs at all levels and in the army as a whole. Certain problems are
16 mostly due to insufficient knowledge of the responsibilities of these
17 bodies, the responsibilities on the part of the commanders. So it relates
18 to the commanders, and it is to them that this document is addressed.
19 Q. All right. So in other words, it's the commanders that have the
20 insufficient knowledge and not the security organs or members of the
21 security organs. Is that -- am I clear on that?
22 A. That is the inference to be made from this document, yes.
23 Q. All right. And just so I'm clear, was that your understanding at
24 that particular period, back in 1994, that the commanders of the various
25 brigades in the VRS lacked a sufficient understanding of how the security
1 organs operated?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Waespi.
3 MR. WAESPI: Objection. It's leading as he did before. He made
4 the conclusion and asked the witness to follow him, and again, he can ask
5 him what was your understanding at the time.
6 JUDGE LIU: Looking at this document, I think the first paragraph
7 indicated some problems, failures and irregularities, so that's why the
8 counsel asked this question. Maybe the form of the question should be
9 modified, but the gist in this question has no problem.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour, very well.
11 Q. Just concretely with you, did you have insufficient knowledge at
12 the time being a commander with your level of education, background,
13 experience, all those years in being in the field under various commands,
14 did you have an insufficient knowledge of how the security organs
15 functioned within the VRS?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You did not understand how the security organs functioned?
18 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question then.
19 Q. My question is did you have an insufficient amount of knowledge at
20 that point in time, you being a commander, after all those years of
21 experience, that General Mladic through General Tolimir had to issue this
23 A. I had sufficient knowledge as to how the security organ should
24 operate. And from these instructions, once I received these instructions,
25 I had no need to focus on them.
1 Q. All right. I want you to focus now on paragraph 3, particularly
2 where it says -- the second part of paragraph 3, and this would be on
3 page 2 in the English version for the ELMO. It says: "At the same time,
4 to the extent and in the measure necessary, members of the security
5 intelligence organs must provide their immediate superiors with
6 information, assessments and observations regarding the security of units
7 or institutions."
8 A. This is the second paragraph.
9 Q. The second paragraph. From reading this, it would appear that
10 there's some latitude, is there not, with respect to what information or
11 to -- how much information the security organs can or should pass on to
12 their commanders.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
14 MR. WAESPI: Objection. I don't see the word "latitude." He can
15 ask the witness, you know, how he understanding the paragraph. If this
16 person is brought here to give his opinion, he should give the opinion,
17 not just confirm what counsel says.
18 MR. KARNAVAS:
19 Q. How do you understand this paragraph, sir?
20 A. The instructions as a document emanate from and follow certain
21 discussions, coordination of views or counselling about problems that had
22 been identified. And it is drafted as a document with guidelines
23 regarding future activities, and that means that both commanders and the
24 people in these organs participated. So these instructions viewed
25 one-sidedly is addressed only to commanders because of their shortcomings,
1 but it didn't mean anything to me at the time because I cooperated very
2 well with my security organ. And that is why I -- it hasn't stuck in my
3 memory in any way.
4 As such, it reiterates parts of the rules of service governing the
5 security organ almost verbatim. And what -- and this phrase, to the
6 extent and to the measure necessary, is to be found also in the rules of
7 service for the units and the security service that is available to the
8 commanders and to others. This "necessary measure" is such as it is
9 assessed to be, to the extent that it is necessary and significant for the
10 operational work of the command.
11 Q. All right. Now, in looking at this instruction, keeping this
12 instruction in mind, that the commanders are being told that they have
13 insufficient knowledge and that this is an instruction to them, and that
14 this instruction doesn't say anything about whether the security organs
15 have insufficient knowledge with respect to how they should behave towards
16 their commanders, keeping that in mind, I would like you now to refocus
17 your attention on P543, the earlier document, which is the one that was
18 drafted by General Zivanovic, go back to paragraph 10 where now he is
19 entrusting this responsibility with respect to the prisoners in the hands
20 of the security organ.
21 And please tell us whether you see any potential dangers or
22 connections or links between the document, this instruction, and this
23 particular order for active combat activities.
24 A. One can establish a connection. That is, that they are directly
25 linked together.
1 Q. Please explain to us.
2 A. If the security organ of the Drina Corps, in its documents, based
3 on the order of the corps commander, took over this assignment but
4 together with all the other security organs and judging by these
5 instructions, then the security organ of the subordinate unit, when
6 receiving assignments of a security and intelligence nature, may interpret
7 this as his main task, being to secure prisoners of war, but on the basis
8 of a plan drawn up by the security organ of the corps.
9 Q. Okay. I'm told that perhaps we need to go back to line -- to
10 page 9 [sic], line 20. I just want to make sure that ... in the
11 transcript itself, you say: "If the security organ of the Drina Corps in
12 its documents are based on the order of the corps commander took over this
13 assignment, but together with all the other security organs," are you
14 suggesting that -- in which line of command are we talking about?
15 A. We are talking about the line of command in the professional
16 sense, the chain of command within the security organs system. This
17 relates exclusively to assignments of a security and intelligence nature.
18 Q. That would be the functional relationship --
19 A. Yes. The functional relationship with respect to the professional
20 aspect of these activities.
21 Q. All right. Thank you. Now I'm going to move to another area. I
22 want to show you this exhibit, P369, a map that has been the topic of
23 immense discussion. It's falling a part a little bit. Hopefully it will
24 last through the Defence case.
25 First of all, if you would just look at that map, and you will see
1 at the top of the map, I believe if you flip it over maybe, you'll first
2 see that it says: "Zone Of Responsibility," you see that of the Bratunac
3 Brigade, and you see it has the name of Colonel Zivanovic. Do you see
4 that, sir?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. First of all, based on your understanding, when was General
7 Zivanovic a colonel? Up to what period? That is, at what point in time
8 did he go from colonel to general?
9 A. I think in the spring of 1993. Or in the first half of 1993.
10 Q. All right. Did the situation on the ground in the RS change
11 between the spring of 1993 and July 1995?
12 A. Yes, it did.
13 Q. Now, in looking at that map, first of all, you being a commander,
14 knowing the rules, relying on maps, commanding in the field, could you
15 please tell us, is that map a valid map based on what you see there in
16 front of you?
17 A. No. This is not a valid map.
18 Q. All right. Now, before we go into the specifics, how much weight
19 should the honourable members of this Trial Chamber give that map in their
20 deliberations as to whether that area that's called the zone of
21 responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade is true, accurate, and complete?
22 How much weight should they give it?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
24 MR. WAESPI: It's obvious from the phrasing of this question that
25 it is inappropriate.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour. I was trying to do
3 your job a little bit. I understand.
4 JUDGE LIU: It's not proper for you to ask the witness to do our
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I was helping, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Just put your question to this witness.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I was going for the bottom line but... All
10 Q. Now, first of all, does a brigade have a zone of responsibility
11 such as the one that's reflected on that document?
12 A. The brigade does not have a zone of responsibility. It is not
13 formulated as the zone of responsibility in terms of any task or aspect of
14 combat activity.
15 Q. All right. And I take it if we were to go into the rules, we
16 would be able to establish that fact.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, in looking at that map dated 19 -- well, we don't have a
19 date. We don't have a date. We don't have a signature there either. But
20 in looking at that map, now I want you to fast forward to 1995, July 1995,
21 and please tell me how relevant is that area that's circled as the zone of
22 responsibility? How relevant is it?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
24 MR. WAESPI: I don't understand the word "relevant" in this sense.
25 Relevant for the case or does he mean accurate? Does it reflect reality?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll take that.
2 Q. Does it reflect reality? That's a good one. Based on the rules,
3 is that the zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade in July 1995 as
4 some Prosecution witnesses would have us believe?
5 A. This map, or as it says here, the zone of responsibility, does not
6 reflect the situation as it was in July 1995.
7 Q. All right. Now, perhaps if we could push it up a little bit, the
8 map, and let's look at this area. So I take it if it doesn't reflect
9 reality, it must be surreal in a sense that maybe in someone's imagination
10 this would be a zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade in July
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. WAESPI: Again, it's totally argumentative. Surreal. Why
14 can't he just ask why you think it doesn't reflect, and then he can
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, that's a good point.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Ask why. I take it I can't get an answer as to
18 whether it's surreal. All right. Very well, Your Honour.
19 Q. Why is it not -- why does it not reflect reality?
20 A. I would kindly ask you to make it possible to give one answer with
21 regard to my position regarding this map. This map does not show anything
22 that is of relevance in 1995 or any other year. It does have some content
23 of its own that can be read with this that is not its basis. But it does
24 not have any relevance for anyone. It was not formed as a document.
25 Q. All right. Now, at that point in time, if you look at this
1 geographical region that's mapped out, do you see any areas within that
2 region, that area, that are part of any lines of defence of other
4 A. Just a moment, please.
5 Yes, yes. If this is treated as a zone, then it does not reflect
6 the zone of other units that were put into this zone, or rather that have
7 their zones within that zone. And that is the independent scale on the
8 battalion, and the Bircanska Brigade [phoen], but the Milicka Brigade is
9 not there. That's it.
10 Q. If you look at this geographical area, do you know whether back in
11 July 1995 during the activities with respect to Srebrenica other brigades
12 or other units had zones of activities or lines of activities?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And that would be in that particular region that's mapped out?
15 A. In that area, or rather in the zone of defence of the Bratunac
16 Brigade, part of the units that came from outside that territory are in
17 accordance with -- got a part of their own zone in accordance with the
18 order issued by the corps commander and they carried out their tasks in
19 these zones assigned to them. They do penetrate the then zone of the
20 Bratunac Brigade.
21 Q. When you're speaking of zone, what zone -- what type of zone are
22 we speaking of?
23 A. Zone of defence of the Bratunac Brigade. That is how I understood
24 your question; namely, whether the units that came got part of the
25 already-existing zone of defence of the Bratunac Brigade for the task that
1 is in accordance with the order.
2 Q. Just so we understand, could you please explain to us to the best
3 of your ability, in light of your position as a commander, educated
4 officer, knowledgeable with the rules, what is a zone of defence? How
5 would you describe it?
6 A. A zone of defence of a joint tactical unit, in this case, a
7 brigade, is an area in which forces are grouped. It accords with combat
8 deployment and tasks for defence. It consists of the front end, namely,
9 the front line, where all the units are. But now we're talking about this
10 unit, the Bratunac Brigade. And that's the front line that was held by
11 the Bratunac Brigade towards the enemy, so they have the front line, and
12 in accordance with certain boundaries developed elements of a combat
13 deployment in depth, which is how it is depicted on a map in accordance
14 with the rules. A map graphically depicts the order that is relevant.
15 All the elements are depicted on the map and that should correspond to the
16 text of the order.
17 Q. All right. Now, after the fall of Srebrenica, do you know whether
18 the Bratunac Brigade zone or line of defence remained as it was or as it
19 had been?
20 A. After the fall of Srebrenica, a day after the fall, part of the
21 task that was carried out when the forces of Republika Srpska entered
22 Srebrenica -- do you want me to start with that day?
23 Q. Yes, yes, in general.
24 A. When the first part of the task involving the units that took part
25 in the operation was carried out, on the basis of the newly created
1 situation and the conditions created for entering town, all units received
2 new tasks, which is to say that they adjusted to the new situation, and
3 then each and every one of them continued carrying out their tasks, again
4 getting zones and directions of operations. This is required by the rules
5 anyway. It is natural that in accordance with a newly created situation,
6 the initial tasks should be corrected. And there should be further
7 adjustment to the new situation, and this is accompanied by new orders
8 defining new tasks and directions.
9 Q. All right. Now, perhaps a little bit more on a concrete level,
10 what would you expect or what would a commander be expected to do after
11 the -- these events, the fall of Srebrenica? What are his tasks and his
12 main responsibilities in light of the situation as it was evolving in the
13 field based on your understanding of the events?
14 A. The main task that the units had when entering town, after having
15 entered town, in view of the fact that the forces of the 28th Division did
16 not disappear but were rather geared towards their own activities in
17 accordance with the situation that they found themselves in.
18 The main task of the commanders was to secure their own units from
19 enemy actions. The enemy was withdrawing in an unknown direction. We do
20 not know of those directions. We don't know. That is retreat, as it is
21 called in tactics. So then an analysis had to be carried out of
22 expenditures, and it was almost dark, and one had to make sure that the
23 units could spend the night without any surprises and without any
24 unnecessary losses.
25 Once that is organised, then there should be logistics, security
1 and preparations that would inevitably follow; namely, the assessment of
2 any commander that the following day the task would certainly be to
3 continue and build upon that success in terms of the combat tactical
4 operation of pursuit. In this case, it was called the sweep operation of
5 the area. So it is a question of assessment, what the dangers are, new
6 short orders to units, and recording to the commander about the situation,
7 about everything that is going on, and this is always done in such
8 important situations, crucial points.
9 Q. And during that period, where would you expect the commander to
11 A. In the brigade. With the units of the brigade.
12 Q. Okay. Now, when you say -- I'm sorry.
13 A. And that is -- and that is how the commander of the operation did
14 act. On that day, knowing that subordinate commanders have many tasks, he
15 did not organise any meetings. He did not call in the commanders. He
16 geared them through his own actions to deal with their own units.
17 Q. Would you expect a commander to visit the lines, visit where the
18 men are and give them new instructions? Would that be --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in light of the situation as it was evolving, was that an
21 important task, or something that was just pro forma?
22 A. Yes. Well, when I said in the unit, that is precisely what it
23 meant. It is necessary, and most important at that moment to visit the
24 units and to work on the protection of one's own forces from the enemy
25 whose ranks were broken, to use military terminology, and to bolster the
1 confidence of the troops so that they would be prepared to continue their
2 operations. That is the key issue that the commander deals with at that
3 moment, touring the units, adjusting the combat deployment, and
4 regrouping. There have to be certain relocations and so on.
5 Q. All right. Now, I just want to go back to your previous
6 testimony. You were asked a question. I believe it was the last question
7 of your testimony. And that can be found on page 7.556. And it was on 27
8 of February 2004. And you were given a hypothetical. And I want to give
9 you an opportunity to explain this answer because at that point we more or
10 less ended for the day.
11 You were asked, and I'll read slowly. We have a copy for the ELMO
12 so everybody can follow along. I just want to make sure that we have a
13 clear understanding and we don't leave anything for chance.
14 I'm reading from line 12, page 7.556: "Now, please don't take
15 this as a personal question, but as a hypothetical. In the zone of
16 defence of your unit or any unit, and there are civilians who have been
17 taken prisoner, secured by the police unit under your command and pursuant
18 to your orders, can the following happen in an organised, well-disciplined
19 army, that a soldier or group of soldiers from that same unit of yours on
20 his own decision kills these POWs without the knowledge of the commander
21 of the unit? Can that happen ever?"
22 And your answer was: "No." I would like you to give an
23 explanation as to your answer.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. WAESPI: I'm not entirely sure whether that's proper because,
1 as you may recall, this was a question raised by Defence counsel for
2 Mr. Jokic after the cross-examination of Mr. Karnavas. So unless there is
3 something entirely new coming, I don't know what happened in the meantime,
4 he gets a second shot at something. So I'm not entirely sure what he
5 wants, whether he asks him whether he stands by that or not. But I think
6 that's not something why this witness has been recalled, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think procedurally speaking, Mr. Karnavas,
8 there's some problem.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I would agree with you if we were back then on 27
10 February 2004 I might have a problem. But now I've recalled the witness.
11 I'm doing direct. I have been objected to left and right on cross -- as
12 if I was doing cross-examination for leading. I'm not leading. I'm
13 asking the gentleman to give an explanation to a previous answer. And if
14 you recall, right after that, we ended the session and the Prosecution
16 Now, frankly, I think in the interests of justice the Judges might
17 want to hear whether this gentleman stands strictly by his answer, no,
18 with no qualifications or explanations, or whether there is an explanation
19 as to this because I don't want it to be taken out of context. And I
20 think it's only proper that he be given an opportunity because he wasn't.
21 And had I been doing the examination, I might have asked the follow up.
22 So I think it's in the interests of justice that he be given this
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
25 MR. WAESPI: He was given the opportunity at that time. He could
1 have added if he wanted. But the question was very long and very
2 specific, and his answer was very short. And I don't think, in my
3 opinion, that there is any need for him to explain anything.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't given an opportunity, Your Honour. That's
5 the point. I wasn't given an opportunity to at least make my record and
6 ask whether I be permitted to allow -- to ask a question, to allow the
7 gentleman to explain. And may I ask why is the Prosecution so afraid of
8 this? Why do they continually try to obstruct the truth?
9 JUDGE LIU: That is another matter. Mr. Waespi, do you want to
10 say something?
11 MR. WAESPI: These are just the rules in the courtroom, that we
12 have direct, as Mr. Karnavas knows, who explains all the time he's
13 teaching. These are the rules. You know, you have direct examination,
14 cross-examination by counsel, questioned by the Judges. He had the time
15 to explain it. I am not afraid, but I am just asking to Your Honours
16 whether that's a reason to recall this witness, so he can explain or be
17 made explain what I think seems to me clear.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I consult with my colleagues, and we believe
20 that this issue is one of the most important issues in this case. And
21 although at the very beginning, the Defence counsel promised us that he
22 will turn to another subject, not go back to any questions in the previous
23 testimony of this witness, however, we think that this case may be
24 important, that we would like to give an opportunity to this witness to
25 give a full explanation on that issue. In the meantime, the Prosecution
1 will have the right to cross-examine this witness on this very issue. It
2 is so decided.
3 You may proceed. Witness, can you give an explanation on your
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question that was put requires a
6 brief conclusion. The question was the unit under your control, it's an
7 equivocal question. My answer was no. Because the question was whether
8 it concerned a unit or a soldier under my control, and then my answer was
9 no. But let me just add one thing: If I gave this unit the order to
10 guard and secure prisoners of war, then it cannot happen that I'm not
11 aware of that.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. Is that your answer?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. To your knowledge, was the VRS at that point in time an organised
16 and well-disciplined army?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions. Thank you very much,
20 sir, for coming and testifying on behalf of the Defence. I'm sure they
21 may have some other questions for you. If you could be as frank and
22 forthright with them as you have been with me, I would most appreciate it.
23 Thank you.
24 I have no further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, time is up for today. So I'm afraid
1 that you have to stay in The Hague overnight. We will continue tomorrow
2 afternoon. I just want you to know that during your stay in The Hague,
3 you are still under the oath. So do not talk to anybody, and do not let
4 anybody talk to you about your testimony today. Do you understand that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I fully understand.
6 JUDGE LIU: And we wish you have a good rest tonight.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll resume at 2.15 in the Courtroom I tomorrow
10 The hearing for today is adjourned.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.35 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Friday, the 11th day of June,
14 2004, at 2.15 p.m.