1 Tuesday, 28 October 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case Number IT-99-36-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
11 Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you follow the proceedings, and I take it since
14 you answered, that you are following the proceedings in a language you
15 that can understand?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Appearances for the Prosecution.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Good morning, Your Honours. Julian Nicholls with
19 Denise Gustin.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Good morning to you both. Appearances
21 for Radoslav Brdjanin.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman with
23 David Cunningham, and Aleksandar Vujic.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to the three of you.
25 Any preliminaries before we proceed with the cross-examination?
1 All right. Mr. Ackerman, the witness is once more in your hands.
2 I don't need to ask you to repeat the solemn declaration. You will be You
3 will be continuing your testimony under the same solemn declaration that
4 you entered into yesterday.
5 WITNESS: Ewan Brown [Resumed]
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
7 Q. Good morning.
8 A. Good morning Mr. Ackerman. Sorry.
9 Q. It's okay. We're used to the delays because of the translation.
10 We were -- when we concluded yesterday we were talking about
11 the -- let's see if I can remember exactly where we were. It was actually
12 paragraph 1.114 of your report that we were discussing, and that had to do
13 with Brdjanin touring combat areas, as you put it. I was wondering if you
14 have ever heard of members of the British parliament visiting British
15 combat areas, visiting commanders, getting briefings about what's going on
16 militarily in conflicts that the British have been involved in.
17 A. Yes, yes, I have.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let me read this.
19 All right, okay. Go ahead, Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. And I take it you've also heard of or even seen on TV US senators
22 and congressmen visiting zones of combat that the American forces are
23 involved in?
24 A. Yes, I think I've -- I'm aware of that and seen it on TV.
25 Q. And I take it you wouldn't take the position that just because
1 they make these visits, it implies that they have some sort of control
2 over those military structures, does it?
3 A. I'm not sure that I can be in a position to fully answer that,
4 that question.
5 Q. Well, I think you certainly know the chain of command of both the
6 British and American military, and I think the Yugoslav military was
7 similar. The civilian control was in the commander in chief, nowhere
8 else, isn't it?
9 A. Maybe if I can break your statement down into its component parts.
10 I am aware to some degree of the British chain of command. I'm not quite
11 so au fait with the American military chain of command. The Yugoslav
12 military was not exactly -- it was similar in some respects, but it was
13 different in a lot of others, certainly to my military. Having looked at
14 their -- many of their documents and some of their doctrinal material, it
15 is notably different to the British Army. So I'm not sure that I would
16 necessarily agree with you fully there.
17 Civilian -- clearly civilian control, the commander in chief
18 controls the army. He's usually head of the army. And in the case of the
19 VRS, Radovan Karadzic was the commander in chief. But it's not quite as
20 simple as that, as I articulate, I think, in the report. And also, it's
21 articulated in many of the documentation -- much of the documentation.
22 The military documentation I've reviewed. There was significant influence
23 of civilian authorities at various levels, not just the commander in
24 chief. So in trying to break down your question into its component parts,
25 I think it's not as simple as you state in your question.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you basically telling us that it varies? It
2 depends on who actually visits the combat zone?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: For example, if it's your secretary for the defence
5 or minister for the defence who is a civilian authority, or your prime
6 minister, who is also a civilian, head of the executive, visits the combat
7 zone --
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Would that tie up with what Mr. Ackerman asked you
10 in the first place? The suggestion is visiting the combat zone doesn't
11 mean at all that there is any measure of control or command.
12 THE WITNESS: Well, to answer the question, I think you're right.
13 I believe that it depends who's visiting. In some respects it might not
14 necessarily indicate a degree of control over the military. But in other
15 cases, it might very well indicate some sort of influence or control over
16 the military. And your example, Your Honour, that you quote, the minister
17 of defence visiting British forces, for example, minister of defence is
18 not the commander in chief of the British Army. But clearly, when the
19 minister of defence visits the British Army and comes to get briefed, he
20 is a significant player and a significant actor and has significant
21 authority over the actions of the military. So I think the question is,
22 it does actually depend on who's visiting. It can mean that, but it also
23 might not mean that, to answer the question.
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. Let's see if we can -- let's see if we can clarify that issue by
1 looking at one of the military documents which I'm quite certain you've
2 seen. I think maybe you even refer to it in your report. It's
3 Exhibit P1569.
4 What you should be looking at is an order, 5th corps command order
5 dated 14 May 1992 signed by General Talic. And what I want to direct your
6 attention to is paragraph 4. Paragraph 4 reads: "All requests for
7 assistance, cooperation, and coordination of activities on the ground
8 issued by civilian structures should be forwarded to the corps command
9 which shall resolve them in cooperation with the municipal authorities or
10 pass them on to the 2nd military district command."
12 A. Yes, that's what the document says.
13 Q. And doesn't this indicate that civilian structures may make
14 requests only, not issue orders, that those requests must go to the corps
15 command, or maybe even to the 2nd military district command? That even
16 the local units had no authority to grant such requests. Right?
17 A. This instruction does state as it states, that requests for
18 assistance from -- or cooperation and coordination issued by civilian
19 structures should go to the corps command, and that may need to be
20 forwarded to the 2nd military district command. But there are many other
21 documents, are other documents which indicate, for example, that some of
22 the municipalities where orders were being issued at Crisis Staff
23 decisions. This instruction from Talic, I would imagine, is attempting to
24 formulate the relationship between the civilian structures and his corps.
25 Q. You've raised an interesting question to some extent by your
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13 English transcripts.
1 answer, and it's one that has, I suppose, great significance. There is
2 nothing in the world that would prevent me from ordering you to do
3 something. I could sit here right now and order you to, you know, stand
4 on your head in front of the Court. Whether or not I have the power to do
5 that's a completely matter, and that would depend on whether you believe
6 that you are compelled to follow that order. And so just because a Crisis
7 Staff issues some kind of an order to the military doesn't mean they have
8 the power to do so, does it?
9 A. I'm not sure that I can answer that. My report is not about the
10 nuanced or details about legal authorities of Crisis Staffs or political
11 institutions. So I'm not sure I can answer that from my competence.
12 Q. It's a common sense question. You mean, you have common sense.
13 It's a common sense question. Just because someone orders someone to do
14 something, doesn't mean they have the power to do that, does it? Just
15 like I ordered you to stand on your head doesn't mean I have the power to
16 make you stand on your head. The question is whether the person to whom
17 the order is directed believes that it's binding, isn't it?
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I see point he's trying to make, but I really don't
19 see the value of this type of hypothetical question.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: There is some value to it. I will allow it. What I
21 would add, to make it --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, what I could add to round it up is perhaps
24 that -- I've had some experience in diplomacy, too. The recipient of the
25 "order" might prefer to call it a "request." We could be speaking of the
1 same thing. From one point of view, it's an order, from the other point
2 of view it's classified as a request, in order not to enter a
3 confrontation, or even at least to give it some kind of recognition, and
4 not brush it aside as an unlawful or -- an unlawful order. I don't know.
5 I mean, I'm just suggesting this to the witness, perhaps the witness,
6 being a military analyst, knows better than all of us put together here.
7 THE WITNESS: I would hypothetically agree, yes, if someone issues
8 an order, then you would assume that there was some -- someone would, as
9 you say -- you know, if they were to execute that order, that they would
10 have some authority over it. In terms of this document, I believe what
11 Talic is doing is saying here we have a situation where we need to ensure
12 a coordinated approach. I have my competencies. We must ensure that
13 requests, whether coming from civilian authorities, are dealt with in the
14 appropriate chain. And I need to be aware of it. And if there are
15 difficulties, we might send up to the 2nd military district. The request
16 could include orders, decisions, simple requests for assistance. I'm not
17 sure. But I think this instruction is an instruction to improve the
18 command and control within the corps.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. Now, that's an answer giving it the best interpretation you can
21 give in favour of the Prosecution's position, isn't it, what you told us
22 when you started yesterday was not your task?
23 MR. NICHOLLS: That's not fair.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls. He's asking him whether this is
25 more in line -- no, it's a perfectly legitimate question.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I just think it's for Your Honours to decide how
2 the answers fall, not the witness. The witness is here to answer the
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman is suggesting that since the witness is
5 giving an interpretation to this paragraph number 4 from this document,
6 it's being suggested, it's being put to him that out of all the
7 interpretations possible, he's chosen the one which fits most or best your
8 case rather than the Defence. And I will allow it. Of course I will
9 allow it. He is perfectly capable of handling this kind of -- if he was
10 another kind of witness, maybe he would require some kind of assistance
11 from the Trial Chamber. But not the present witness.
12 THE WITNESS: I don't believe I'm trying to give the best
13 interpretation for the Prosecution at all. I'm looking at the document
14 from my military experience. And I see a document from General Talic
15 which is dealing with issues of command and control of his corps. He
16 clearly wants to ensure that requests for cooperation and assistance from
17 civilian authorities are dealt with in an appropriate manner. And that's
18 what I believe the document says.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. You told us you had seen some instances where local units seemed
21 to be responding to Crisis Staff orders or requests. Maybe this is an
22 effort by General Talic to stop that. Make it clear that they ought not
23 be doing that, that those requests should be forwarded up to higher
24 authority. Is that a possibility?
25 A. I'm not necessarily sure it's an attempt to stop those requests or
1 orders or decisions. I think it's an issue about General Talic as a corps
2 commander improving the command and control within his corps and wanting
3 to know what requests are coming into the units. It doesn't say in
4 paragraph 4, "all requests for assistance and cooperation are to be
5 stopped." I think this is an issue about command and control of the
6 corps. It's being ensuring that he's made aware and that the competencies
7 are dealt with in the appropriate way, and he's trying to improve or to,
8 as he states, improve command and control of units within the corps.
9 Q. Well, maybe you misunderstood my question. I wasn't suggesting it
10 was an order that requests should stop. I'm suggesting that it might have
11 been an effort on General Talic's part to remind the local units that they
12 are not to respond to those requests; they're to forward them on up the
14 A. Your question earlier on, you did say, this is an effort of
15 General Talic to stop that. I think --
16 Q. I meant to stop those units from responding to those requests. To
17 instruct them that they should be forwarded up the chain, not dealt with
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a straight answer. Yes or no. Reading that
20 paragraph --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Reading that paragraph again, and also reading
23 perhaps between the lines, that paragraph and the rest of the document,
24 could you agree with what is being suggested to you by Mr. Ackerman? And
25 you can just answer yes or no.
1 THE WITNESS: I don't think it's a request to stop responding to
2 these requests. It's to forward these requests to the corps so it can be
3 dealt with in the appropriate manner. And so that the corps is informed.
4 I believe that's what paragraph 4 is stating.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to something else, Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, that's what I'm doing. Let's look at a new
7 document, P227, please. And this is a long document. I'm going to refer
8 you to page 26 of that document.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Which page, Mr. Ackerman?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 26, Your Honour. It's item 15.
11 Q. This is about a week later. I think the prior document was 14
12 May. This one is 22 May. It's conclusions from a meeting of the Crisis
13 Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. The paragraph I want to direct
14 your attention to is paragraph 4 which reads: "In view of the present
15 poor coordination between the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of
16 Krajina and the newly established army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina, mandatory attendance of General Talic or a person
18 designated by him is requested - note the word`requested' - at the
19 meetings of the Crisis Staff."
20 Now, this seems to indicate that neither General Talic nor any
21 person from the 5th/1st Corps had been attending Crisis Staff meetings,
22 doesn't it?
23 A. I can't say whether they had been attending Crisis Staffs prior to
24 this date. That reference doesn't say that. The reference says there has
25 been poor coordination. That may well indicate that there was no
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13 English transcripts.
1 attendance or limited attendance.
2 Q. Well, does it make sense that they would be requesting
3 General Talic or a person designated by him to attend meetings of the
4 Crisis Staff if they had already been attending them? I mean, obviously
5 that implies that they hadn't been and they would like them to, doesn't
6 it? Why else write that paragraph?
7 A. Yes, clearly they want a representative from the corps to
8 attend -- or they're requesting an attendance from the corps. Whether
9 that -- prior to that there had been sporadic attendance or limited
10 attendance or no attendance, I can't say. But, yes, you're right. I
11 mean, clearly they want a corps member to attend the ARK Crisis Staff
12 based on this section. And in fact, I think I reference this in my
14 Q. 1.116, on page 51, is exactly where you referenced it in your
16 Let's go now to another document, P1461.
17 This is a -- and please understand as I told you yesterday that
18 you are always free to read the entire document if you feel you need to.
19 A. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
20 Q. I have no intention of restricting you to parts of it, but I will
21 direct your attention to parts of it. This is a document from the command
22 of the 1st Krajina Corps sent to the Main Staff of the VRS. It's a
23 regular combat report. And the date is 23 September 1992. I'm interested
24 in paragraph 3. The last sentence of that paragraph, the paragraph is
25 about the situation in the territory in the zone of responsibility.
1 "There are increasingly frequent raids by uncontrolled armed groups on
2 Muslim and Croatian villages (e.g. Cela village near Prijedor, and Majdan
3 village near Mrkonjic Grad) for the purpose of plunder and liquidation of
4 people." Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I see that.
6 Q. So by 23 September 1992, apparently there were Muslim and Croatian
7 villages near Prijedor and Mrkonjic Grad that still had their populations
8 and were being raided by these uncontrolled armed groups; I assume
9 paramilitaries of some kind. True?
10 A. Yes, it would seem to indicate that that was the case.
11 Q. All right. Let's go now to paragraph 1.128 of your report. And
12 you talk about the 16th Assembly meeting again of 12 May and the words of
13 Mr. Brdjanin. And what you report there what he said: "How can anyone
14 still believe it is right that we have a Muslim teaching political classes
15 in the Banja Luka Corps?"
16 Now, by this time, 12 May 1992, war has broken out between Serb
17 forces and Muslim/Croat forces, hasn't it?
18 A. Combat activity had occurred in April and in early May in some
19 municipalities in the Krajina.
20 Q. Between Serb forces and Muslim/Croat forces?
21 A. In some areas between forces, yes.
22 Q. Wouldn't you say from a military standpoint that this is a wholly
23 sensible position, a military security standpoint, that you wouldn't have
24 someone whose loyalties might be to those who you are fighting against
25 teaching political classes to your own corps? Isn't that a sensible
1 security thing?
2 A. Well, if you simply base it on his ethnicity as opposed to going
3 further in terms of checking his loyalty or whether he himself potentially
4 wanted to remain within the Serbian army, then I'm not necessarily sure
5 I'd agree with you. It's not always the case that just because -- they
6 should all be removed, all the non-Serbs should be removed necessarily
7 because of their ethnicity which seems to be the case that happened.
8 Q. We're not talking about all the non-Serbs. We're talking about
9 one person teaching political classes in the Banja Luka Corps who is a
10 Muslim. I'm not talking about all non-Serbs now. I'm talking about one
11 person. We know who that is, too. It's Colonel Hasotic, I think.
12 A. Yes, it was Colonel Hasotic.
13 Q. Maybe I can ask the question in a different way. I think it would
14 be highly unlikely that, especially during the times when there were open
15 hostilities going on, that there was a member of the IRA teaching
16 political classes in the British Army or a Syrian in --
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm going to object to this whole line. I mean, I
18 think it's just a silly analogy.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection sustained, Mr. Nicholls. I think the
20 witness had understood your previous question, Mr. Ackerman, and he
21 doesn't need to be referred to any particular example, especially
22 considering that he was part of the British Army in any case.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. Well, let me ask you this, then: Are you aware that at least one
25 Muslim officer in the JNA was passing sensitive information while serving
1 in the JNA to Muslim authorities in Sarajevo? Were you aware of that?
2 A. Can you be more specific in terms of --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, it's being suggested to you that perhaps
4 Mr. Hasotic himself was playing the double game.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I want to go into private session, and
6 then I'll be more specific.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session for a while.
8 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. Paragraph 1.130, we're now several days later. And the ARK Crisis
6 Staff expresses its concern with regard to a large number of Muslim and
7 Croat officers still serving in units in the Banja Luka area. Again,
8 expressing their concern from a security standpoint. Correct?
9 A. I wonder if it's possible for me to look at that document again.
10 Q. Yeah, P1582 I believe is the document.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: If I can tell Mr. Brown, that's footnote 221 in
12 your report, I believe.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. The document you see is a 9 June 1992 1st Krajina Corps document.
16 Colonel Milutin Vukelic reporting on the meeting of the ARK Crisis Staff
17 from the day before. Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I do, Mr. Ackerman.
19 Q. Now, if you look at the second paragraph, the second sentence:
20 "An ultimatum was issued requesting - and I note the word`request'
21 again - removing these persons from vital command posts by 15 June 1992 or
22 they will take over the control of the OS.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, we need to push the paper a little bit.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. So not only was the Crisis Staff expressing its concern, security
4 concern apparently, regarding the non-Serb officers serving, but even --
5 one way to read this is that it was the Crisis Staff that threatened to
6 take over control of the army. Right?
7 A. Yes, on the basis of this document. Yes.
8 Q. What do you think the likelihood was that a few guys sitting on
9 that Crisis Staff could take over the army? Zero?
10 A. I'm not sure I can competently answer that question.
11 Q. Well, if you look at the rest of the document, it says this:
12 "We - and I don't know exactly who `we' is, but it's Colonel Vukelic and
13 whoever he considers `we' - consider their demand to be justified. But it
14 is impossible to find adequate professional replacements among the reserve
15 staff and active officers of BH origin are not arriving from the Federal
16 Republic of Yugoslavia. Such action would significantly weaken the
17 above-named units from which it has been requested that the staff be
18 purged. We are aware of a certain degree of danger, and we are excluding
19 such persons from the more important decision-making processes. Our
20 recommendation is to accelerate the process of sending active soldiers of
21 BH origin over from FR Yugoslavia. The 1st Krajina Corps command should
22 make the decision as to which staff members from the ranks of Muslims and
23 Croats may still be temporarily kept at what posts."
24 So what Vukelic is saying there, the Crisis Staff issued this
25 ultimatum and a threat and everything else, and we're not going to do any
1 of that. It doesn't make sense, so we're not going to honour that
3 A. I don't think that's the case at all. And in fact, I believe this
4 request was actioned and that officers of Muslim and Croat nationality
5 were removed. And in fact, on the same day, there came down a request
6 from General Mladic that officers of Muslim and Croat nationality should
7 be sent on leave and their status should be reviewed in Belgrade. So I
8 think also from the language of the corps report, that the general thrust
9 is that the corps accept and agree that this is a policy that she should
10 be implementing, but that there are some practical limitations that they
11 may have in trying to replace these personnel because it would have some
12 affect on the units that they're serving in.
13 Q. Well, just looking at the document, I agree with you, Vukelic is
14 saying the demand is justified from a pure security standpoint. But all
15 we can do now is -- you know, he says there's a degree of danger. All we
16 can do right now is exclude them from important decision-making processes.
17 What we might be able to do later is another matter. But we cannot comply
18 with this request now. I mean, that's what it's saying, I think. I mean,
19 if I'm reading it wrong, please tell me.
20 A. But the corps are sending this to the Main Staff and the
21 Presidency of the SRBiH for a decision on what should happen. And what
22 does happen is what the ARK Crisis Staff had asked, which was that --
23 actually requested in their ultimatum was that Muslim and Croats were to
24 be removed from the corps. And Mladic's instruction which followed on the
25 same day, later that same evening, was quite blunt in saying send Muslims
1 and Croats -- nationality on leave and back to Belgrade where their status
2 would be reviewed.
3 Q. Do you know what happened to the 67 officers of Muslim or Croatian
4 nationality -- or where did you get that back to Belgrade business that
5 you just said?
6 A. If you can just bear with me for a second. I think -- I'd have to
7 look again at the document, it may not mention Belgrade as a place. But I
8 think footnote 223, the Main Staff instruction states that all superiors
9 of Muslim and Croat nationality were to be sent on leave immediately and
10 action was to be taken to refer them to the Army of the FRY where their
11 status would be resolved. Again, it might be worth looking at that
12 document to see if it does mention Belgrade.
13 But in essence, they were to be sent on leave.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it important, Mr. Ackerman?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: No.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could just say --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: -- I don't normally make this type of objection,
20 but Mr. Ackerman does quite frequently. He said a couple of times "from a
21 pure security standpoint from Vukelic," regarding this exhibit P1582
22 talking about removal from a pure security standpoint. Those words don't
23 appear in the exhibit.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm always grateful for the assistance of
25 Mr. Nicholls, Your Honour.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Brown, if you'll look what Vukelic says is we are aware
2 of a certain degree of danger. I assume he's talking about security
3 issues when he talks about being aware of danger. I don't think he
4 believes they're going to blow things up, is that right?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not make an argument. I mean, Mr. Nicholls
6 made a suggestion. You noticed Mr. Ackerman that the Trial Chamber did
7 not comment on it. I suppose it's not as important as Mr. Nicholls thinks
8 it is. Let's proceed.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Do you know what happened to the 67 officers of Muslim or Croatian
11 nationality mentioned in this document?
12 A. I do not know what happened to the 67 or who the 67 necessarily
13 are. I do know, again, from listening to some of the testimony, for
14 example, of -- one of the JNA colonels, he was -- they were removed. But
15 Colonel Hasotic no longer appeared on documents -- well, in fact, Colonel
16 Vukelic took his place. But as to the 67, I do not know. Having looked
17 at the -- many of the 1st Krajina Corps military documents, predominantly
18 corps-level material, some brigade-level references, I see -- I don't see
19 many Croat and Muslim officers in positions of authority based on those
21 Q. I take it you do know that a significant number of former JNA
22 officers of Muslim and Croat nationality wound up in the armies of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence Forces and units of that
25 A. Yes, I believe they did. Either Territorial Defence officers or
1 JNA. It's not within the competency to know it all, but I generally do
2 accept that that was the case.
3 Q. And you also will accept that Muslims and Croats also continued to
4 serve in the VRS throughout the entire conflict, won't you?
5 A. I don't know the ethnic breakdown of the VRS, and I don't know the
6 ethnic breakdown of the 1st Krajina Corps. I am aware of a limited
7 number, I believe, of Muslims and Croats, but a very, very small number
8 that I've seen. But I cannot be accurate in that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So the suggestion is and what you are agreeing with
10 is that the purge, if there was a purge, was not a complete, hundred per
11 cent one?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Take a look now -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let the witness answer that.
14 THE WITNESS: I think this document and the instruction from
15 Mladic that followed was targeted clearly at officers of command and
16 positions of authority. I cannot tell you what happened to those 67, but
17 I don't know who the 67 are. I can tell you in the documents that I've
18 reviewed from the 1st Krajina Corps, that I cannot remember seeing any
19 Croats or Muslims in positions of authority in the corps at the corps
20 level or in the brigade-level material that I've reviewed. I haven't
21 looked lower.
22 In terms of Muslims and Croats throughout the whole corps, I am --
23 I believe I would have to go back and refresh my memory, but I do believe
24 that there were a small number of Muslims and Croats who served at
25 low-rank soldiers. Maybe some were in mix marriages. Maybe some
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13 English transcripts.
1 responded. Maybe some wanted to stay in the VRS. I don't know. But I am
2 aware of a limited number, but in terms of the overall numbers, it was
3 very small.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. The next document I want you to look at is P675, please. Now,
7 this is another regular combat report of the 1st Krajina Corps command to
8 the Main Staff. And the part I want to refer you to is page 2, and this
9 is a section on state of security and morale again.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Top, top, top paragraph.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. Page 2, second paragraph on that page, beginning with the
13 language: "Another unfavourable influence is the general tendency to rid
14 the units of officers of Muslim and Croatian nationality because there are
15 people among them who have from the first days wholeheartedly fulfilled
16 all their assignments. Many among them do not have anywhere to go and
17 cannot return to their ethnic communities. We propose that the purging of
18 ranks be conducted openly, but based on the assessment of each unit.
19 Officers who have opted to leave the ranks of the FRY army are ever more
20 often asking when and how that will be done." And this is a report from
21 General Talic. Correct?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Dated when, Mr. Ackerman?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: It is 11 June 1992.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there a question, Mr. Ackerman?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, there is.
1 Q. If you look at 1.131 on page 56 of your report, you refer to that
2 exact language that we just read, and then you put in parenthesis this,
3 when you said they had no place to go. You say: "Presumably either
4 because they may not have been welcome or because many of the ethnic
5 communities referred to were damaged, besieged, or destroyed."
6 Now, purely something that you -- a presumption that you put in
7 your there yourself. That doesn't come from this report, does it?
8 A. No, it doesn't.
9 Q. The issue with the VRS regarding these Muslim and Croat officers,
10 I suggest to you, was a loyalty issue, a security issue, and not an ethnic
11 issue. Would you agree with that?
12 A. I think for some, there may well have been an issue of loyalty.
13 Some of these Muslims -- well, potentially many of the non-Serb officers
14 had served in the JNA for some time alongside officers within the -- who
15 had been JNA officers in the VRS, and for some, maybe they felt, as this
16 indicates, that, you know, they would fulfilled their tasks and there was
17 no real reason why they should be removed. There would have been
18 undoubtedly some element of security issue. So from the VRS's
19 perspective, yes, there might well have been. Whether that was the
20 driving factor for those outside the VRS, as I say in my report, I think
21 to some degree you can't separate out what had happened within the VRS as
22 to what was going on in other walks of life in the Krajina. Only a month
23 or two beforehand, you'd had the issuance of the law on internal affairs
24 which involved the division of the police and loyalty oaths and the like
25 being disseminated out within the branches of the police which in essence
1 separated and removed large numbers of police -- non-Serbs from the police
2 in the Krajina. You also had issues relating to individuals being in
3 positions of authority in civilian structures and managerial positions,
4 either slightly later than this or around this period of time.
5 So whether there may well have been issues from the VRS's
6 perspective that it did cause some difficulties both in terms of replacing
7 individuals from units that they might have felt were key or whether there
8 was residual loyalty to persons who they had served with over a period of
9 time during the JNA ranks, whether there were issues relating to
10 security. I don't think you can exclusively take those out without also
11 looking at the fact that this was as much about ensuring control over an
12 important organ of power in the RS. You know, in the same way that that
13 happened in the police and other situations. But I would agree that
14 the -- for the VRS, it may well have included issues of loyalty and
15 security. But I think the issue goes wider than just removing those
16 people based exclusively on a security issue.
17 Q. Let's take a look at what General Mladic thought about the
18 position of the ARK Crisis Staff regarding the removal of all non-Serb
19 officers and whether you still contend that it was implemented.
20 Look at DB271, please. As you said, that report of Colonel
21 Vukelic, it was sent up to the Main Staff. This is a document dated 16
22 July 1992 signed by General Mladic. He says this: "All officers of
23 Muslim or Croatian nationality who are judged by the commands of corps and
24 independent units to have proved themselves in combat action and who want
25 to sign the oath and give a written statement that they accept citizenship
1 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they remain in active
2 military service in the army of the Serbian Republic of BH".
3 And then if you look at DB272, the document simply three days
4 later signed by General Talic, responding to this document from General
5 Mladic, General Talic then says: "All officers of Muslim or Croatian
6 nationality who in the opinion of the brigade commands, independent units,
7 and corps command, or headquarter support units have proved themselves in
8 combat action who want to sign the solemn declaration and a written
9 statement that they will take on the nationality of the Serbian Republic
10 of Bosnia and Herzegovina may remain in active military service in the
11 army of the SRBH." Right?
12 A. Yes, I reference this document, I believe, in my report as well, I
14 Q. So both General Mladic, and then carrying out his directive
15 General Talic, say that you don't have to be a Serb to serve in the army
16 of the VRS. Muslims and Croats can serve in this army as long as we are
17 willing to be citizens of SRBH and be loyal to SRBH. So it's not an
18 ethnicity issue, it's a loyalty issue, isn't it?
19 A. Well, clearly he does modify his position a month or so later in
20 relation -- as the documents highlight. He does place conditions that
21 they have to be -- have to prove themselves in combat, and the issue of
22 loyalty oaths, and accepting SRBiH citizens, that they will be allowed to
23 stay in the army. And I would argue that he may well have felt that
24 removing so many key positions or some key positions may have had an
25 effect on the VRS. The VRS were always short of officers, active military
1 officers. And he may well have felt that the instruction that was passed
2 out immediately needed to be amended and that these conditions were to be
3 placed on Muslims and Croats in order for them to serve in the army.
4 Q. You just he modified his position later. Who are you talking
5 about that modified their position?
6 A. General Mladic's order is different, the one on the 9th of June
7 and this one in July.
8 Q. I think the question I asked you was probably relatively simple.
9 Based on these two documents, what these two generals are talking about is
10 not an ethnicity issue but a loyalty issue. Correct?
11 A. Well, this order allows for, under certain conditions, officers of
12 Muslim and Croat ethnicity to remain in the VRS if they fulfill those
13 conditions, which are loyalty, proven in combat, and are to take
14 citizenship or nationality of the Serbian Republic.
15 Q. Well, I take it you wouldn't suggest to this Chamber that the VRS
16 was required to keep officers of Muslim and Croatian nationality in the
17 army who were disloyal to the army. Certainly they're not required to
18 keep those people, are they? No army in the world is required to keep
19 disloyal officers. Don't you agree with that?
20 A. No, you're right.
21 Q. Okay.
22 Let's move forward in your report to paragraph 2.8. You say:
23 "It should be noted that the mobilisation of the Bosnia-Herzegovina TO
24 announced in early April by Alija Izetbegovic added significantly to the
25 level of distrust. And in some areas, Serbs and the military were also
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the target of attack. This occurred in some locations where the non-Serb
2 population had organised themselves or taken control. Serbs were moving
3 out of some Krajina areas. There were reports of intimidation and theft."
4 The first thing I want to ask you about that is: Isn't it the
5 case that Izetbegovic ordered mobilisation of the BH TO before there was
6 any order for mobilisation of TO units within the Serbian Republic of
8 A. Could you just direct me to the section of my report again because
9 you said 2.8, and I'm not sure that --
10 Q. Page 63.
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. I'm sorry. Maybe there are two 2.8.
13 A. There is. There is 2.8 and 2.80. Maybe I should have put it as
15 I do not know the full details of the Bosnian government's
16 activities and decisions. That wasn't within the remit of the report.
17 But I am aware that the Bosnian government announced a mobilisation of the
18 TO in -- I think around the 5th or 6th of April 1992. As a result of
19 activities that or in part activities that had gone on in Bijeljina
20 municipality and some of the Drina area municipalities in late March and
21 the first few days in April, the attacks in Bijeljina and Arkan arriving
22 in Bijeljina and other areas. Also activity had happened in Sarajevo. So
23 there was a series of events around late March and early April. And I
24 believe that the Bosnian government in response to that, I think,
25 potentially in part because they felt the JNA had not intervened in the
1 likes of Bijeljina, to mobilise or to announce the mobilisation of the TO.
2 So it was prior to, for example, the Serb mobilisation on the 15th and
3 16th of April.
4 Q. Let's look at another document now, P937.
5 What you should be seeing is a regular combat report of 30 May
6 1992. I want to first direct your attention to the first paragraph of
7 this report and the last sentence in that paragraph under number 1: "Last
8 few days, Muslim and Croatian families are stopping at nothing to find
9 ways of moving out of the areas affected by the war. Men fit for fighting
10 are remaining in the area, however."
11 And then if you go to paragraph 3, and that would be on the next
12 page, near the bottom of that paragraph, I believe again: "The situation
13 in Jajce continues to be unstable. The arrival of reinforcements from the
14 direction of Bugojno has been observed as well as the strengthening of
15 forces along the Donji can you have/Bugojno axis." Now, what's being
16 talked about there are the opposing forces, the Muslim forces; correct?
17 A. In this last reference in Jajce and Bugojno?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. I'm not sure if it was Muslim forces or Croat forces.
20 Q. Yeah, okay. But non-Serb. They're talking about the enemy
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then: "The emigration of the Serbian population from Bugojno
24 is continuing." So the two parts I'm interested in there are in the first
25 part we talked about families, Muslim and Croatian families are trying to
1 find ways of getting out of war-affected areas. We go over to the next
2 page, we find that the Serbian population is emigrating from war-affected
3 areas. Correct?
4 A. In this report, yes, the both of them do couch the movement as you
6 Q. I mean, that's a phenomenon of war, when hostilities are going on
7 in an area, the civilian population tries to get away to keep from getting
8 killed. I mean, that's not an unusual thing, is it, in any war?
9 A. It's not necessarily an unusual phenomenon in warfare that
10 refugees -- that you find refugees or people moving out. I think there
11 are other references that I quote in the report, both in terms of military
12 documentation, that also move to, or reference forcible movement,
13 expulsions, rather than just the refugees who happen to be trying to avoid
15 Q. Yes --
16 A. I think I discuss that significantly in the report.
17 Q. I think you'll agree that people just generally don't find it
18 comfortable to live in places where there's no food, no electricity, where
19 there are -- there's fighting going on, they're likely to get killed.
20 People tend to get away from things like that, don't they. I mean, that's
21 another common sense kind of question, I think.
22 A. Well, as a hypothetical yes, it is. In terms of this report, all
23 I can say is what I see from the military documents, is that yes, there
24 was an element that would indicate in some of the documents that refugees
25 were moving away from conflict areas or combat areas, but equally, there
1 are references which talk about forcible movement, which talk about
2 transferring people, exchanging people, which talk about the forcible
3 migration and phrases like that in the report -- which are mentioned in
4 the report. So to couch -- you've put one particular aspect here in one
5 particular report which does make reference to, if you like, emigration,
6 but I would suggest that you should balance that with the other reports
7 which talk about forcible movement and others. So...
8 Q. Now, go ahead. If you're not finished, go ahead.
9 A. No.
10 Q. I don't believe I asked you anything about expulsions and forcible
11 movement. I only asked you about these particular things in that
12 document. And I want to refer back again to the beginning of our
13 discussion yesterday when you explained your role to the Chamber as trying
14 to be an unbiased reporter. Were you being an advocate just now when you
15 decided to go beyond the question and point out that there were also
16 documents dealing with forcible expulsions? Were you kind of advocating
17 on behalf of the Prosecution at that point?
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Again, that's an issue for the Chamber. I think
19 it's a silly question. It's not a question about a fact in dispute.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer it, Mr. Nicholls.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: He can answer it.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you being biased, Mr. Brown? Do you think you
23 can accept the suggestion?
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm here to try and give as an
25 impartial analyst a contextual balance to them two I reviewed from the
1 military's perspective and the limitations that were placed on me and the
2 limitations I placed on myself in terms of this report. I've conceded
3 this document talks about emigration. Yes, it does. I've conceded that
4 this document talks about the movement of Serbs emigrating from non-Serb
5 areas and that that is a feature -- can be a feature of war. But to be
6 balanced and to put it into context, if you take that one document in
7 isolation, that's what it says. But I equally see other documents that
8 make reference to other issues talking about the movement of people. Some
9 documents make reference to forcible movements, mass emigrations, forced
10 transfers, deportations, including emigrations and refugees. So I'm
11 trying to articulate that it's -- yes, this is an issue. People do want
12 to move away from conflict areas, I'm sure, the hypothetical. When we're
13 talking about this document, you have to balance that with the other
14 documents I've also seen.
15 So that's all I can say, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So your answer is that Mr. Ackerman should not
17 interpret this as a bias on your part; rather, he should take it, and the
18 Trial Chamber should take it, that you are trying to put everything in its
19 own perspective.
20 THE WITNESS: I hope so, and I'm doing the best of my ability.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You've got your answer, Mr. Ackerman. You may
22 proceed with the next question.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. And with regard to forced transfers and deportations, that's not
25 just restricted to non-Serb persons. There were Serbs who were forcibly
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 transferred and deported too, weren't there, out of Central Bosnia, out of
3 A. That was not within the remit of my report to look at that. As a
4 generality, I'm sure that on all sides, that type of activity went on. I
5 can't tell you in detail about Central Bosnia and other areas because I
6 don't work on that area. But as a generality, that seems to be a feature
7 within the conflicts in the Balkans on all sides. My remit was to look
8 within the Krajina and look in particular at the military documents
9 predominantly, and I've done so. And where I've seen those types of
10 references, I've included them in my report. But I concede your point,
11 Mr. Ackerman.
12 Q. I assume you will agree that even though your remit was the
13 Krajina area, that what was going on throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
14 even more widely in Croatia, Serbia, and other places, certainly impacted
15 what was happening in the Krajina, didn't it?
16 A. Yes, of course it did.
17 Q. Please look at the last page of that document. And we get an
18 indication, at least on 30 May of 1992 what the total strength of the
19 corps was at the time. It indicates that the total strength, officers,
20 noncommissioned officers, and soldiers was 38.726, the effective strength.
21 A. Yes, I see that.
22 Q. Do you have any sense at all, any information at all that would
23 tell the Chamber what the effective strength of the opposing Muslim and
24 Croat officers in the zone of responsibility of the 5th Corps at that time
25 was? Do you have any idea?
1 A. No, I don't. The documents themselves make very -- surprisingly
2 make very little comment about often -- the strength of the enemy that
3 they would -- that they're facing. This comes at the 30th of May when
4 there were significant actions in places like Prijedor, Sanski Most,
5 Kljuc. But I don't see figures given in the Serb documents.
6 Q. Did you make any effort to look at other documents to see if you
7 could find out what the effective strength of the opposing Muslim/Croat
8 forces was during this period of time? Did you try to find out?
9 A. Well, I looked through the Serb documents, the Bosnian Serb police
10 documents, and I looked, for example, in some of the municipalities to see
11 whether there was reference to figures from armed groups that the Serbs
12 were -- when they were in action against. I know Prijedor to some degree,
13 having looked at Prijedor Municipality in the Stakic case, I don't see
14 much documentation. I saw some documentation in relation to Prijedor.
15 There were some references there to rudimentary armed groups, rudimentary
16 formations which were relatively ill-equipped, certainly in comparison to
17 the 5th Corps and 1st Krajina Corps. But I haven't come across large
18 documents or information that would give me an idea.
19 Q. How about up in the corridor? Did you make any effort to find out
20 what the opposition was like in the corridor, the Muslim and Croat forces
21 up there where all the fighting was going on?
22 A. No, again, many of the documents in the corridor --
23 Q. Sometimes no is really good enough, if it's good enough with you.
24 We do have a lot of ground to cover. I don't want to cut off your
25 answers, but if you could just say yes or no that could be helpful to us.
1 Maybe even easier on you because sometimes your long answers give me a new
3 A. I'll take your advice, Mr. Ackerman.
4 Q. Do you know that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was rapidly being
5 strengthened during the summer of 1992? If you don't know, that's fine.
6 A. I don't know. I do know that the army of the ABiH was not formed
7 until July, I believe early July. But as to its strength and its
8 structures and the units it commanded, I'm not aware of that. It's not
9 within the remit of that report or my competency.
10 Q. I'm going to ask you one more question about that. Do you know
11 that by August of 1992 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had a strength of
12 128.000 troops, 128.000 men? Are you aware of that?
13 A. No, I don't know that.
14 Q. Let's look at -- staying on this subject basically, let's look at
15 another document before we break, DB273, please.
16 Now, it is a regular combat report again, 7 May of 1992.
17 Paragraph 3 is what I'm interested in. Do you have it yet?
18 A. Sorry, this is the 7th of May --
19 Q. 7 May 1992 regular combat report?
20 A. 441/130?
21 Q. I don't see any -- yes, that is. That's the number.
22 A. I do have that in front of me.
23 Q. Under 3: "The situation on the ground, the situation in the
24 territory of Jajce, Donji Vakuf, Bugojno, and Gornji Vakuf municipalities
25 remains critical. And those parts -- we're just about to show that you
1 were correct earlier. The HOS Croatian defence forces and the
2 Green Berets, units are conducting an intensive mobilisation. There is
3 calm in Jajce municipality without any incidents, but there's a high
4 degree of concern among the population. The Serbs are mostly moving out
5 of these areas of the country. The Serbs in the Kljuc Municipality region
6 want to assert their authority over the entire area and are demanding that
7 the battalions 3/1 of the 30th partisan division carry out this task."
8 What I'm interested there again is just the indication that Serbs
9 are moving out of the area, but I thought in fairness you should look at
10 the entire paragraph. And it does show that, doesn't it?
11 A. Yes, it shows, as it stated, that Serbs appear to be moving out.
12 I'm assuming they're referencing the Jajce area there. But yes.
13 Q. With the Court's permission, we can take our break now, and then
14 we'll start back with P909. If we could have it ready when we come back?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, permission granted, Mr. Ackerman. We'll have a
16 25-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours are being handed the new DB269B.
21 You'll remember --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I remember, yes.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: -- yesterday pointing out that the B/C/S had
24 nothing to do with the English. Now it does.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, I've also provided, and you'll be
2 receiving I suppose, today, some additional exhibits that you see here on
3 the table, along with an updated exhibit list, submission number 2. And
4 it's just part of the ongoing process. The list will continue to grow,
5 but that's as much as I have been able to get done so far. So, I'm just
6 working away at it.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. Sir, the next document we wanted to look at is P909. This is a
10 document of 19 May 1992. It's a regular combat report. And I just want
11 to very briefly refer to an item on page 3, the second paragraph there.
12 You'll recall that we've looked at a couple of documents before this
13 talking about the Bugojno and Jajce area. This is another such document.
14 This one says: "The authorities in Jajce are refusing to admit that the
15 Serbian population is exposed to pressure, that houses are being broken
16 into, that there is looting and the like. Adequate measures need to be
17 taken should such provocations continue."
18 From these documents and from other documents you might have seen,
19 in your view, were these places, Bugojno and Jajce, being ethnically
20 cleansed of their Serb inhabitants by the Croat/Muslim forces?
21 A. I really don't think I'm in a position to answer that question.
22 It wasn't within the remit of my report, and I don't feel I can adequately
23 answer that without researching that further and dealing with other
25 Q. All right. That's fine.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Let's look, then, at another document. P375, please. You can
2 also go to paragraph 2.17 on page 66 of your report where I think you
3 refer to this document.
4 What you say in your report is this: "From military
5 documentation, it is evident that the military were not only aware of the
6 details of the ARK deadlines and gathering information in preparation for
7 operations, but were also conscious that the planned actions to seize
8 weapons and disarm the population was adding to tension in the area and
9 increasing the likelihood of interethnic conflict breaking out."
10 Now, what you said there was that, if you leave out some
11 intervening language, the military were conscious that the planned actions
12 to seize weapons and disarm the population was adding to tension in the
13 area and increasing the likelihood of interethnic conflict breaking out.
14 Is that a fair assessment of what you're saying there?
15 A. Yes, I think it's based on the reference that's in that section.
16 I'm not sure -- is this the same document as I've quoted here?
17 Q. I hope it is. I think it is. But just give me a second and we'll
18 know. If you look at paragraph 3, it reads: "Since the deadline for
19 handing over illegally owned weapons has expired and the Banja Luka MUP
20 organs are making appropriate preparations to take away the weapons,
21 people fear possible interethnic conflicts." Now, it's my assumption that
22 that is what you're referring to when you make the statement that the
23 military were also conscious that the planned actions to seize weapons and
24 disarm the population was adding to tension in the area and increasing the
25 likelihood of interethnic conflict breaking out. Correct?
1 A. Yes, I think that's -- I think so.
2 Q. Where this report says, "people fear possible interconflict
3 conflicts." It doesn't say which people. It doesn't say whether it's the
4 Serbs that are fearing it or the Muslims that are fearing it or the Croats
5 or everybody. Would you interpret that that means that all citizens were
6 in fear of possible interethnic conflicts?
7 A. I can only go by what the document says, and it doesn't make any
8 specific reference to which ethnicity. I know that there were other
9 documents from the 5th Corps in early May and late April that talk about
10 tensions rising. I believe one or two, and I'd have to go through my
11 report, do make reference to particular ethnic groups. But this one does
12 not indicate. I'm assuming that it could include all ethnicities.
13 Q. Let's go now to paragraph 2.18 of your report on page 66. "It is
14 also evident that after the various ARK and CSB decisions were issued and
15 the 14 May 1992 deadline expired, it was not exclusively the police that
16 were to be involved in the disarmament process, but that the army also had
17 a role to play in the disarming of the non-Serb areas."
18 That's what you tell us. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, the first document that you say supports that is P195. So
21 can we look at P195, please. And that's the document referenced in your
22 footnote 272.
23 That's a two-page document, and you might want to take time to
24 look it over. What I'd like you to do is show the Chamber in that --
25 where in that document you find support for, one, the army having a role
1 to play; and two, the disarmament being limited to non-Serb areas.
2 A. There is a reference in the document that manpower and materiel
3 needed for the implementation of planned activities (this activity can
4 only be implemented by authorised officials and the military police of the
5 Banja Luka Corps)." So there's a reference there that certainly the
6 police of the Banja Luka military corps have got some involvement in
7 this -- in these making concrete plans.
8 In reference to the non-Serb areas, this document itself doesn't
9 highlight it as non-Serb areas. However, I can only state that in the
10 documents I've seen, in the actions that happened in May and late May in
11 relation to disarming, that those took place in and against non-Serb --
12 non-Serb areas. And from the documentation I've reviewed in the military
13 collections, I don't see or I didn't see any military activity directed
14 against Serbian villages or Serbian groups. But if you want to take that
15 one line in exclusion and say, "does this document and this footnote
16 reference specifically make a mention to non-Serb areas?", no, I concede
17 that it doesn't. But I've seen other --
18 Q. You've cited other documents, and we can look at those. We can
19 look at the one you cited in footnote 273, that is P706.
20 This is a report on the work of the Sanski Most public security
21 station for six months in 1992, January through June. Unfortunately, it's
22 quite a long report. I don't know if you'll be able to find in there
23 support for, one, the army having a role to play; and two, disarmament
24 being limited to non-Serb areas.
25 A. Can I read the report.
1 Q. I think it would be unfair if you couldn't.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course. Take as much time as you require.
3 THE WITNESS: Can I -- I haven't read --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Maybe if I can myself refer you to page 7 of the
5 report, the paragraph -- last paragraph in the first half of the page
6 starting with the words "in the second quarter." Is that maybe what you
7 were referring to or what made you refer to this document?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, I think there are a number of references.
9 There are one or two prior to that, too, Your Honour. On page --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 5 as well, last sentence of the first
12 THE WITNESS: Page 3, I think there's a reference to military
13 operations conducted by units of the JNA, the Serbian army, against Muslim
14 formations. There's a reference on --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I would ask you to restrict it to the tasks that
16 your paragraph 2.17, if I remember well, refers to and what you were
17 referred to by Mr. Ackerman in his question; namely, the involvement or
18 participation of the army in the disarming process and which part of these
19 documents show that the disarming was restricted to the non-Serb
21 THE WITNESS: There's a reference on page 4. This refers
22 primarily to territory populated by Muslims, the villages in question were
23 Polje, Hrastovi, and a number of others. And to a lesser extent some of
24 the places due to the military operations in some of those areas and open
25 clashes. There's a reference there.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. That doesn't say anything about -- I mean, you're talking in this
3 paragraph about the ARK and CSB decisions regarding disarmament and the
4 disarmament process, and you tell us that the army had a role to play in
5 that. And what I'm asking you is: Find in here where it says that the
6 army played a role in disarmament. And secondly, that it happened in
7 non-Serb areas.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: In actual fact, does this document speak of
9 disarmament as such, to start with? Let's start from there.
10 THE WITNESS: There's a reference on page 2, second quarter, a
11 state of emergency was proclaimed on the territory of Sanski Most
12 Municipality, and military operations were conducted by units of the JNA,
13 Serbian army, against Muslim formations, so the work of the public
14 security station was conducted under quite different wartime conditions
15 which were reflected, in fact, the policeman recalled wanted to disarm
16 people, search, mop up terrain, protect facilities.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Policemen. I'm asking you about army.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry to interject, but maybe to speed things up,
21 on page 5, there's a reference to the confiscation of weapons from
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I think Mr. Nicholls is referring to the paragraph
24 beginning "much of the work..."
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Exactly. But it still doesn't
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 say that this was done by the military, by the JNA.
2 So the question remains: Forget the previous document, 195, and
3 concentrate on this one, 706. Is there anywhere, any part in this
4 document that could justify you concluding that the JNA participated in
5 the disarming process and that the disarming was directed to the non-Serb
6 population as against the Serb population?
7 THE WITNESS: Before I answer that question, Your Honour, can I
8 just ask Mr. Ackerman which footnote reference you're referring to when --
9 I think you said footnote reference number 273 in relation to Sanski Most.
10 Footnote reference 273 I have is a Sanski Most Crisis Staff decision. It
11 is not the CSB decision. Now, that is one issue slightly to clear up.
12 Maybe I could look at footnote 273, which is the Sanski Most
13 Crisis Staff decision, rather than this one.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Well, you cite 01106424, and I think if you look, that is page 4
16 of this document. You're citing us to page 4 and 5 of this document in
17 your footnote 273. Now, you said it was a Sanski Most Crisis Staff
18 decision, but that was clearly in error; or your citation to those pages
19 is clearly in error. One or the other.
20 A. I think there is an error in the footnote because -- which I need
21 to clear up, I think. The Sanski Most Crisis Staff decision ERN 00471824
22 is different. This is the B/C/S ERN for the police document, an 00493711.
23 I've clearly mistaken the translation and put down the translation for the
24 CSB document.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And the date doesn't coincide either, huh?
1 THE WITNESS: No.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So maybe we are -- I don't know. But definitely we
3 don't have -- definitely 01106424 is the document that you're being shown
4 now. That's Exhibit P706. That's where we have those ERN numbers. But
5 then this is not a Sanski Most Crisis Staff decision, definitely not. And
6 the document itself is certainly not dated 22nd of May 1992. Because what
7 we have here is a Banja Luka security service centre report, six-monthly
8 report if I take it well -- if I read it well, and it is dated 20th of
9 July of 1992.
10 So --
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the document, I have found it
12 looking -- searching by the B/C/S ERN number. The document is P639. 23
13 May 1992.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I do not have this, usher, so I suggest you put it
15 on the ELMO and let us have a bird's-eye view of it.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: It's just a one-page document, Your Honour, so I
17 think it's going to be easy to see.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. I think that's the document you're referring to in the footnote,
21 is it?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. And I think you're probably referring to paragraph 3 of it.
24 A. Yes, and that Territorial Defence and members of the 6th Krajina
25 Brigade, which was a VRS or 1st Krajina Corps, also a JNA unit.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry to jump in, Your Honour. What I have is the
3 Sanski Most Crisis Staff decision dated 22nd of May of this ERN, 00471824
4 is P637. Again, 22nd of May. That's the number that matches the Exhibit
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And can I see the top of this document, have it on
7 the ELMO. This is a Crisis Staff of Sanski Most decision taken on the
8 22nd of May -- 22nd. The document is dated 23rd of May. But the decision
9 that it refers to is the one taken the day before. That's on the 22nd of
10 May of 1992. And supposedly, it's a decision taken by the same Crisis
12 So let's see 637 as well.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, 00471824, which is the document
14 he refers to in his footnote --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: -- I have here on my screen now in the B/C/S
17 version. It is -- that document that is designated something slash 24
18 slash 92, K something --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the previous one, the one we saw before.
20 This one that we have on the ELMO now which I'm seeing on my monitor, the
21 document itself is dated 22nd May. It has a reference number, Crisis
22 Staff 23/92, and the decision supposedly was taken the day before; that
23 is, the 21st of May. So again, the two -- while the date on the previous
24 document would coincide what we have here, it seems that this doesn't. I
25 don't know what we are talking about.
1 I suppose we should ask the witness. Have a look at 637 and 639,
2 the two documents -- last two documents that you have been provided with,
3 check the ERN number. Forget about the English translation ERN number
4 because definitely that doesn't coincide. And tell us which one of the
5 two you are referring to, if at all. Because you may have been referring
6 to the -- something else for all I know.
7 I can't see any of them because we don't have these two documents
8 available. So I can't help.
9 THE WITNESS: I believe what I did, I was referencing Document
10 Number -- ERN 00471824 to 1827, which is dated the 22nd of May which is
11 the conclusion from the Serbian Municipality of Sanski Most Crisis Staff.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Of the 21st.
13 THE WITNESS: Of the 21st. Now, clearly the other document, 23rd
14 of May referencing the 22nd of May, they're clearly linked.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
16 THE WITNESS: They are talking about the same issue.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You only mention one here.
18 THE WITNESS: I do only mention one, and I think what I did was
19 clearly put in the wrong translation ERN on the footnote. But I believe
20 I'm referencing in this particular instance the document dated the 21st
21 for the meeting that was held on 21 [sic]. But obviously those two
22 documents are linked.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, just to maybe shorten matters up.
24 Q. If you look at P637 paragraph 4, as far as disarming paramilitary
25 formations in Sanski Most is concerned, Colonel Basara and Colonel Ancic
1 are charged with putting this into practice.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's move forward, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. Let's see if we can get the right document if we look at P924.
5 This is, I believe, the document you cite in footnote 274.
6 Do you have the document?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Do you find the section you're referring to?
9 A. Yes. It's at the end of paragraph 2.
10 Q. Is it "because of the situation in Kljuc"? Is that the one you're
11 talking about?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. "Because of the situation in Kljuc, the 3rd Battalion of the 1st
14 infantry brigade was made fully combat ready as ordered. If the Muslims
15 do not surrender their weapons by 27 May 1992 at 1200 hours, the battalion
16 will carry out a mopping up operation. To this battalion, BG2, has been
17 attached and has been under our command since last night." Do you see any
18 relation there between what's stated in that paragraph and the ARK or CSB
19 decisions, deadlines? Isn't this purely a military operation here?
20 A. I do see a relationship between the ARK decision on deadlines, as
21 I've articulated in the report. I believe that you can document a flow
22 between the issue of -- the number of decisions that were taken at the ARK
23 region in relation to deadlines, the extension of deadlines, and action on
24 the ground that subsequently followed in a number of municipalities. I
25 articulated that, I believe, in my direct. I articulated that, I believe,
1 in the Stakic case. And in this report from a brigade of the 30th
2 Division, which was subsequently involved in operations in Kljuc, it makes
3 mention of surrendering weapons. And I would argue that that alone with
4 the other materials in other municipalities would indicate the decisions
5 taken at the ARK region had an effect on the ground, and that military
6 operations and also police operations because I believe a number of CSB
7 reports talk about disarming operations in those municipalities, too, that
8 those decisions were -- had an affect and resulted in military operations
9 against in this case Muslim areas in Kljuc.
10 Q. Well, the document itself doesn't make that connection. That's a
11 connection you make. That's a conclusion you draw, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, clearly the document itself does not say an ARK decision,
13 doesn't mention an ARK decision. But if you take that document in
14 isolation -- or if you take that document and place it with the other
15 documents, I would argue that you can draw a conclusion that the ARK
16 Crisis Staff decisions impacted and resulted in some municipalities on
17 operations to disarm groups in those municipalities. And in this case, in
19 Q. All right. Let's look at one more document. And this is another
20 big document, but I think we can work our way to where we need to be.
21 It's DB282.
22 In footnote 275 of your report, you refer to this as a 5th
23 Corps/1st Krajina Corps notebook. I can't find where it says that on this
24 document anywhere, that it's a 1st corps/5th Corps notebook. Is that just
25 a conclusion you drew from its contents?
1 A. I see the original document. It's a notebook. It does come from
2 the archive of the 1st Krajina Corps, and it is entitled "daily notes on
3 the situation in the battlefield in the zone of responsibility."
4 Q. All right. I accept that. That's fine.
5 I think the part you're referring to is on page 65 of the document
6 where it says: "At 2200 hours, security organ BOGD..." Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. "In Lisnja village, Prnjavor, the deadline for surrendering
9 weapons was set for 1800 hours. They have done this, handing over about
10 47 rifles, mostly AP and PAP, and about 90 hunting rifles. When a group
11 of about a hundred members of Prnjavor TO detachment, a group of
12 extremists took these weapons and took to the woods. An exchange of fire
13 ensued and the fighting is still underway. The road is blocked between
14 Laktasi Prnjavor." Do you agree that's the entry you were referring to?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, one could draw I suppose several different conclusions from
17 this. One could conclude that by 1800 hours, people from Prnjavor,
18 including Serbs, handed over their rifles in pursuance of the deadline.
19 And then presumably a group of extremists, presumably non-Serb extremists,
20 took the weapons, headed off into the woods, and there's a firefight going
21 on. Certainly one conclusion you could draw from that, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, I'd agree that there are a number of conclusions. It's notes
23 in a notebook. It's not a detailed report about the incident. It is some
24 ambiguity there, and there could be a number of interpretations. I used
25 this reference not necessarily for that, but to highlight that deadlines
1 as an issue were being set, and that this also happened in the case of
2 Lisnja village or Prnjavor.
3 Q. Let's just assume for a moment that there is an effort being made
4 to avoid fighting. If there's an effort being made to avoid fighting
5 where ethnic tensions are increasing, like we have discussed earlier
6 today, isn't trying to disarm people a possible way to avoid armed
7 conflict? Isn't that something you kind of think of might keep armed
8 conflict from breaking out? When a lot of people who are in conflict with
9 each other all have guns, the likelihood of conflict is pretty high.
10 Doesn't that make sense?
11 A. Yes, as a hypothetical, that would make sense, to attempt to
12 disarm. But if I can bring you back to what I view from the documents
13 that I've seen and bring it back to my report, what I see were deadlines
14 being imposed to disarm, deadlines being -- once those deadlines have
15 expired, action on the ground taken by military and police units in
16 certain municipalities to disarm groups or to conduct mopping up
17 operations. And I didn't see that occurring in non -- in Serb areas.
18 From the documents I've seen and the references to deadlines and the
19 actions that followed, I see those actions occurring in non-Serb areas
20 within the municipalities that I have been able to look at and that the
21 documents -- the Serb VRS documents would indicate that. What I don't see
22 here is a balanced attempt to disarm all groups in all areas either
23 forcibly or through negotiation in order to diffuse the situation as you
24 highlight in your hypothetical.
25 What I see is deadlines being imposed very quickly in terms of the
1 deadline, military action resulting from those. No long protracted period
2 particularly. And I don't see it -- I don't see those actions occurring
3 in Serb areas that I have been able to look at, able to see from the
4 documents that I've seen.
5 Q. Well, I think the one we're just looking at is illustrative of
6 what you're just talking about. If you just look at what's there, not
7 knowing any more, it appears that a deadline was set, that it was complied
8 with, that weapons were actually surrendered, and that the conflict broke
9 out when a bunch of non-Serb extremists then stole the weapons and started
10 a firefight. That's what it looks like there, doesn't it? So, it looks
11 like there was a successful effort to avoid it until these extremists
12 stole the weapons and started shooting.
13 A. Well, as I say, I can't tell you from -- from just this notebook,
14 what exactly occurred. It is an ambiguous entry. You portray a particular
15 picture that you could argue from this. There are others, no doubt, that
16 you could argue. I do know that there is a document and I believe from
17 the 1st Krajina Corps daily combat report which makes mention of the
18 operation in Lisnja and makes a mention that the population was expelled
19 as a result of this. I think there's a reference to this in the report.
20 Q. If we just look at the last part of that, I'm not sure that's
21 ambiguous. "A group of extremists took the weapons and took to the woods.
22 An exchange of fire ensued and the fighting is still underway." Now, it
23 doesn't say they are Muslim extremists or Croat extremists. I guess one
24 could conclude that it was Serb extremists and that there are Serbs
25 fighting each other. But I think it more likely that it's non-Serb
1 extremists who stole the weapons and that an exchange of fire followed.
2 Don't you?
3 A. Yes, if it is -- I would imagine more likely that it would be
4 non-Serbs, and they would couch often those armed groups as extremists,
5 and that may well have been the case. Clearly it doesn't tell you how
6 many weapons were stolen, clearly it doesn't tell you what happened during
7 that exchange of fire. Clearly it doesn't tell you a lot of things. But
8 that is one of the interpretations you could put on this slightly
9 ambiguous and bulletised reference from a notebook.
10 Q. But it does say 137 rifles were turned in, 90 hunting rifles and
11 47 mostly automatic rifles. And then it says that a group of extremists
12 took these weapons, and I assume "these" means the 137 that were turned
14 A. It would seem to indicate that, yeah.
15 Q. It would, wouldn't it. All right, there's one more document in
16 this line that we must look at quickly. It's DB283.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, this is another very long document.
18 I think it's 82 pages long or something. I've just extracted three pages
19 from it, because the witness gave a date and so I simply found the date
20 and I think found the part that he's referring to and I'll ask him if I'm
22 Q. It's on page -- I think you have the page 24 there, and there's
23 one reference to Kotor Varos which your footnote refers to. And it simply
24 says: "Kotor Varos, the village of Vrbanjci, they have not surrendered
25 weapons." I assume that's what you're referring to.
1 A. Yes, I believe that is probably is the reference. Again, I
2 would -- it is a long document, I'd have to go through it, but I think
3 that is the reference.
4 Q. It is not so long if you consider the date that you refer to in
5 your footnote, I don't think. You talk about the notebook entry for 15
6 June. And I tell you this is the only entry for 15 June that has anything
7 to do with Kotor Varos or surrender of weapons. And I've got the full
8 document here if you want to look at it.
9 A. Okay. No, I'd rather not look through another 80 pages of
10 document if I could avoid it.
11 Q. All right. So you accept that that's the reference that you were
12 referring to?
13 A. Yes, I think so.
14 Q. Okay.
15 We're going to move now to paragraph 2.24. In that paragraph, you
16 tell us about a little over halfway down: "in Sanski Most municipality,
17 for example, the SDS appeared to have been notably influential. And
18 according to their own documentation, at least, the Crisis Staff were in a
19 position to instruct the TO units in a number of areas." The example you
20 cite us to is Exhibit P621. And let's take a look at that, please.
21 Do you have it now?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. The first thing you told us in your report dealt with the
24 influence of the SDS. This document, however, is not an SDS party
25 document but a Crisis Staff document from the Serbian democratic party --
1 yeah, it is, too. Serbian democratic party of Sanski Most Municipal
2 board. Okay.
3 You say that based upon this document, the Crisis Staff were in a
4 position to instruct the TO units in a number of areas. Does this
5 document deal with a number of areas?
6 A. Well, no, it may not be a number of areas, but it does make
7 mention that the TO are to be placed at the disposal of the commander of
8 the Serbian Territorial Defence and engaged as a special unit of the
9 Serbian TO. I'll draw your attention also to the documents that we have
10 just been discussing in relation to the Crisis Staff meetings in May
11 whereby the Territorial Defence and 6th Krajina Brigade are being
12 instructed to operations.
13 Q. Well, let's look at the language, exactly the language. "The
14 Crisis Staff of the Serbian Municipality of Sanski Most here adopts the
15 conclusion that the Serbian Defence Forces are to be placed at the
16 disposal of the commander of the Serbian Territorial Defence and engaged
17 as a special unit of the Serbian Territorial Defence." Now, that's what
18 it says. Right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you have any evidence whatsoever that the Serbian Defence
21 Forces were actually placed at the disposal of the commander of the
22 Serbian Territorial Defence in Sanski Most or ever engaged as a special
23 unit of the Serbian Territorial Defence of Sanski Most?
24 A. I cannot remember if I have evidence. I'm not sure. I'm trying
25 to think. I don't think I've referenced that in my report. I can't say
1 one or the other, to be truthful.
2 Q. What you tell us is they were in a position to instruct. And I
3 suspect that's true. Almost anybody was in a position to instruct. The
4 question is not whether they were instructing or not, but whether those
5 instructions were being carried out, isn't it? It's the thing we talked
6 about earlier, about my ordering you to stand on your head.
7 A. Yes, but I would argue that other documentation, certainly other
8 references that I've put in this report would clearly indicate a
9 significant influence, certainly in the period of time before the, if you
10 like, the full and foremost establishment of the VRS, the significant
11 influence of Crisis Staffs and the SDS on activities in municipalities
12 that they wanted to control. The VRS themselves make a lot of references
13 to that. In fact, I'm quite happy to drag out some of those references
14 from the combat analysis readiness report of 1993 which talks
15 significantly about, well not significantly, but makes a number of
16 references when it's looking back to 1992 about the influence of the SDS
17 and Crisis Staffs and bodies during that initial period to take control of
19 Q. Well, the question I'm really trying to, and I think you've
20 answered it, you really don't have any evidence to indicate that this
21 particular conclusion in paragraph 6 of these conclusions was ever
22 implemented, that the Serbian Defence Forces actually were placed under
23 the command of the Serbian Territorial Defence and is engaged as a special
24 unit, do you?
25 A. As I say, I can only go -- I do not remember -- I can't remember
1 all the documents I've seen, so I can't say one way or the other whether
2 I've seen evidence or not.
3 Q. Well, the answer as you sit here right now, you know of none.
4 Isn't that a fair answer?
5 A. As I sit here now, I cannot remember seeing any that would
6 indicate that.
7 Q. I invite you after you leave here today if you can find any
8 evidence of that, please give it to Mr. Nicholls, and I will not object to
9 it being admitted in evidence in this case. Is that fair?
10 A. Yes, that's fair, Mr. Ackerman.
11 Q. Let's go now to another part of your report. Paragraph 2.58 on
12 page 82. In that document, you refer to an exhibit, P400. It's actually
13 in 2.59, I think.
14 This is a document of 28 July 1992 written by Colonel Zdravko
15 Tolimir, who was head of the department for intelligence and security
16 affairs of the BH army Main Staff. Correct? Serbian Republic of BH Army
17 Main Staff.
18 A. Yes, he was.
19 Q. And what he is apparently seeking to do here is provide a report
20 on the paramilitary formations operating in the territory of the Serbian
21 Republic of BH. Correct?
22 A. Yes, this is a report, as it's entitled, on paramilitary
23 formations on the territory of the SRBiH.
24 Q. You have quoted in your report a number of the findings that he
25 made in there, that they are individuals of low moral quality. I'm not
1 going to take the time to read everything you wrote there. But basically,
2 he hasn't got any good things to say about any of these paramilitary
3 groups, does he?
4 A. No, he clearly lists their characteristics, and some of them are
5 quite blunt.
6 Q. Now, this report came out -- let's go back and just make sure we
7 remember this date. This report came out on 28 July 1992. So keeping
8 that date in mind, I'd now like you to look at another document. Keep
9 that document with you. Look at another document, DB284, please.
10 This is an order issued by General Talic --
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, this is P2500 as well, just for the record.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. ACKERMAN:
14 Q. It's an order issued by General Talic two days later, on July
15 30th, is it not?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Now, in that order, General Talic is ordering disarmament of
18 paramilitary formations. Right? Let's just go through it, starting in
19 the first paragraph. In the first paragraph, he refers to some of the
20 things that are contained in that report. For instance, he refers to
21 looting as their principal motive. The second paragraph, he says: "A
22 large number of paramilitary formations have declared themselves
23 special-purpose units choosing tasks on which they spend one or two days,
24 and then willfully withdrawing from the front which corrodes the morale of
25 units that have been on the front line since the beginning of the war."
1 The next paragraph, last sentence: "These illegal formations have
2 also operated under the symbols of opposition parties, declaring
3 themselves Chetniks or guard units with the intention of avoiding the
4 front and organised armed combat under the command of SRBH Army."
5 Down at the bottom of that page: "I hereby order, offer all
6 paramilitary formations and their leaders if they do honestly intend to
7 serve the rightful struggle for survival of the Serbian people, an
8 opportunity to join regular SRBH Army units and assign them in accordance
9 with their military occupational specialties and military skills."
10 Number two: "Do not include in units individuals and groups which
11 have been involved in crimes and looting or have committed other criminal
12 acts, disarm and arrest them and bring criminal charges against them in
13 SRBH Army courts, regardless of their citizenship. In cooperation with
14 SRBH MUP, disarm and arrest paramilitary formations, groups, and
15 individuals belonging to them who refuse to come under the unified command
16 of the SRBH Army and bring criminal charges against them corresponding to
17 the criminal acts they have committed."
18 Number five: "I forbid the existence of any paramilitary units,
19 groups, or individuals in the territory of the SRBH. From now on, bring
20 criminal charges against those commanders, competent military territorial
21 organs and government organs which enable to paramilitary organising and
22 avoidance of recruitment and conscription in accordance with the law on
23 the army of the SRBH."
24 And in six: "By 15 August 1992 at the latest, disarm all
25 paramilitary formations and submit a detailed report on this."
1 So General Talic is responding to that report, and basically
2 ordering disarmament of the criminal formations and inclusion of other
3 formations into the army or their arrest or disarmament. I think that's a
4 fair appraisal, isn't it?
5 A. Yes, in generality, he outlines the issues of paramilitaries. He
6 also makes mention about the fact that many of them are hiding behind
7 legal forms of government and the likes. And he orders that they should
8 be given the right to join the army and come under the command of the
9 corps. He does in paragraph 2, as you rightly say, says don't include
10 units who have been involved in crimes and disarm and arrest those ones.
11 And in an attempt to bring these paramilitary groups into the VRS.
12 Q. Okay. Now, keep that date in mind, 30 July. Look at your
13 paragraph 2.65 on page 84.
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. It is evident that despite General-Major Talic's own order, that
16 individuals and groups that had been involved in crimes were not to be
17 included in the corps. Some of the paramilitary units indicated in the
18 Main Staff report were integrated into the corps structure. A good
19 example of this was Veljko Milankovic and his group from Prnjavor." Do
20 you see that?
21 A. Yes, I do, Mr. Ackerman.
22 Q. I guess your purpose in that is to show that even though General
23 Talic ordered on July 30th that paramilitaries that had been responsible
24 for committing crimes should not be incorporated into the corps, that in
25 spite of that order and in defiance of that order, Veljko Milankovic and
1 his group were incorporated and integrated into the corps. That's what
2 you're trying to suggest, isn't it?
3 A. Yes, I'm saying that in this case, Veljko Milankovic, who was a
4 known criminal, and there is CSB documentation that I refer to
5 highlighting that, he also caused difficulties and problems within the
6 military, but that he was integrated into the -- into General Talic's
7 corps, and there is other information and documentation that he was given
8 a rank and ammunition. And his group was given specific tasks, and in his
9 case, I believe, he went off to the Knin in Croatia under an order and
10 instruction by General Talic and to conduct an operation where he was
11 wounded and subsequently died of his wounds.
12 Q. Okay. 30 July, General Talic enters this order. You tell us that
13 General Talic himself violated that order by integrating Veljko Milankovic
14 into the corps structure. Look at your own report, 2.67: "On 5 June,
15 1992, Milankovic was given a rank, and his paramilitary group formally
16 integrated into the 1st Krajina Corps structure on the order given by
17 General-Major Talic." That's almost two months before this order, which
18 you say he violated by bringing Milankovic into the 1st Krajina Corps
20 A. I'm not saying he violated in that respect, but he's including a
21 character who from previous documentation had been involved in crimes.
22 And I believe I'd have to go back to the CSB report on Milankovic, but
23 there was reference to him being involved in looting --
24 Q. Wait a minute. I'm sorry. I don't mean to -- we have to be
25 clear. You just said to me I'm not saying he violated in that respect.
1 Look at 2.65. "It is evident that despite General-Major Talic's own
2 order that individuals and groups - that's referring to the July 30th
3 order - that individuals and groups that had been involved in crimes were
4 not to be included in the corps." Some of the very paramilitary units
5 indicated in the Main Staff report were integrated into the corps
6 structure. A good example was Veljko Milankovic. And the only time he
7 was actually integrated into the corps structure was on 5 June, which you
8 refer to in 2.67. So the connection doesn't exist, does it, that you're
9 suggesting in 2.65?
10 A. I think you're weaving and picking over some of the words. My
11 point is that Veljko Milankovic was a known criminal from 1991, and a
12 known paramilitary as well. General Talic's order on the 30th of July
13 talked about not taking those who had been involved in crimes within the
14 corps. And Veljko Milankovic was in the corps, and it would strike me
15 that General Talic, who clearly knew Milankovic because we have an
16 instruction in early 1992 where he is dispatched to Western Slavonia under
17 the authority of General Talic when he was chief of staff of the corps,
18 that here you have an acceptance that this man will play a part in the
19 corps and be sent off on operations as dictated.
20 Q. Let's move to a different subject. Paragraph 2.76. Prior to that
21 paragraph, you had talked about incidents in various areas. You're
22 talking in paragraph 2.75, incidents against Serb forces, and you describe
23 some of them in that paragraph. And then in 2.76, you say this:
24 "Although some of these incidents caused the deaths of Serb soldiers and
25 policemen and were carried out by armed Muslim and/or Croat groups who had
1 some responsibility in raising the tension in these areas, it would be
2 easy at face value to take their specific incidents and argue that they
3 alone were the reason for every municipality attack."
4 Are you suggesting here, and it's fine if you are, I just want to
5 make it clear, that the attacks on Serb soldiers and Serb policemen and
6 the killing of Serb soldiers and Serb policemen by armed Muslim or Croat
7 groups were not sufficiently serious to justify the actions taken in
8 response by Serb forces?
9 A. In attempting to answer that, what I'm seeing here is accepting
10 that there were a number of occasions where Serb soldiers and Serb
11 policemen were killed, clearly by armed groups, non-Serb armed groups.
12 But that that type of action didn't occur in every municipality that I've
13 seen and that the response after or around those actions appeared to be a
14 forceful, robust, and significant. And I would seem to -- it would seem
15 to me that they were disproportionate to the individual incident that I
16 have seen, such as in Prijedor, for example, they were disproportionate to
17 those specific instances that I have seen. I have not argued in my report
18 that -- and gone into the issues of disproportionality. That is a legal
19 issue that I feel I am not competent necessarily to deal with. But from
20 my perspective, from the documents I've seen, and from my own military
21 experience, the relatively small number of incidents where Serb soldiers
22 were killed and policemen were killed by armed Muslim groups, the response
23 to that seemed to be overwhelming and did result in movements out of
24 population, people move to detention camps and the like. So maybe if
25 that's an answer to your question.
1 Q. Well, in your military training, I suspect that you learned what
2 your obligation as a commander of a unit would be, if that unit were
3 attacked in any way, didn't you?
4 A. Yes. And not just military training, but practicality, yes.
5 Q. Sometimes those are called standing orders; sometimes I think
6 they're called rules of engagement. Sometimes they're just common sense.
7 But as a practical matter, if you are the commander of a unit that has
8 come under attack, isn't it true that it's your obligation as the
9 commander to completely reduce the threat so that your unit is no longer
10 subject to being attacked? That means disarming, capturing, eliminating
11 the opposing force so that the area is safe and the chances of your coming
12 under attack again are reduced dramatically. Isn't that a fair statement?
13 A. Yes, militaries do have standing rules or rules of engagement, as
14 they're often called, which dictate the level of force that can be applied
15 in certain circumstances or certain events. Those rules of engagement
16 from my own experience vary, depending upon the type of conflict, the type
17 of situation. But if I can draw you back to the report and what I'm
18 dealing with here, and if you look, for example, in Prijedor Municipality,
19 which is an example where there were deaths of Serb soldiers by Muslim
20 groups, the Serb documentation itself talks about planned operation,
21 before those actions had occurred, before the soldiers were killed,
22 planned operations to disarm the non-Serb -- or to carry out disarmament
23 operations in Prijedor Municipality in accordance with the ARK Crisis
24 Staff decisions, that those were planned prior to the attack on Hambarine,
25 for example. I believe one or two CSB documents talk the planned
1 operation was due to take place on the 22nd of May, but that the shooting
2 at the Hambarine checkpoint disrupted that plan.
3 So bringing it back to my report, I haven't seen rules of
4 engagement, specific rules of engagement as I would know, from my
5 experience. And, and -- but to answer your question in a hypothetical
6 way, yes, we have rules of engagement, clearly.
7 Q. Well, and in that context, if you're attacked, you might very
8 well -- you certainly probably are going to return fire, going to, if
9 possible, capture those people that are assaulting you, and confine them
10 as prisoners, keep them from doing it again, especially if you're dealing
11 with guerrilla kinds of operations -- armed groups that go in and out of
12 the hills, that sort of thing. True? I don't want to dwell on this for a
13 long time?
14 A. That may be true, but I want to draw it back to the report and the
15 documents that I've seen it. And I leave it to the Court, of course, to
16 make any judgement on the issues of proportionality or otherwise. But
17 what I do see in a number of municipalities like Prijedor and -- or in
18 Kljuc, for example, relatively from a military perspective, relatively
19 low-level action against Serb forces and large-scale military operations
20 over in some cases a protracted period of time, over -- well, initially
21 successful over a couple of days, but then follow-on operations, a large
22 movement out and often of personnel to various detention centres and
23 collection sites, the use of armour or artillery in response to
24 relatively -- relatively low-level incidents which from my military
25 perspective, you know, is not something I would have expected to see from
1 the rules of engagement that I have been used to and the likes. But I
2 clearly leave it to the Court to make the issues of proportionality. But
3 what I do see a number -- not all, about in a number of municipalities,
4 Serb soldiers and Serb policemen were killed, and this large military
5 operation that resulted in large numbers of people being moved out,
6 destruction of property referred to, the movement of people to detention
7 centres --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think you've both made your point. So
9 let's move ahead, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. Staying in paragraph 2.76, you say this: "In some municipalities
12 such as Prnjavor or Celinac, for example, there were no such incidents;
13 yet, the areas were subjected to similar military attacks." You don't
14 footnote that. What's your support for there having been similar military
15 attack in Celinac Municipality? Where do you get that idea?
16 A. I believe I have -- there is a couple of references to operations
17 in and around the Kotor Varos area, and those instructions talk about
18 operations in Celinac, too. I'd have to go back over there and find out
19 where they are. I'm a little bit unclear myself.
20 Q. Well, I suggest to you that there was no military attack in
21 Celinac ever. I put that to you. And again, if you want to go find
22 something that you think supports that statement and give it to Mr.
23 Nicholls --
24 A. I will prefer to do that.
25 Q. -- You can certainly do that.
1 A. Because I know there were military operations in Celinac from the
2 documents I've seen.
3 Q. You may be speaking about the Sugic brothers and an attack that
4 they themselves did on a village in the Celinac area. Does that ring a
5 bell with you?
6 A. I'm aware of the Sugic case in terms of the Court records, but I
7 know that there were military operations in Celinac and in particular
8 areas that bordered on the Kotor Varos municipality the borders.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: In 1992.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: [No microphone] In respect to this, perhaps if -- in
11 this case regarding Celinac, and in the previous instance where you
12 referred the witness to carry out further researches and then hand
13 information to Mr. Nicholls, I would prefer if we set a deadline for this.
14 And secondly if they are made available to you, Mr. Nicholls, that you
15 file a note confirming this. And if you do not receive any such
16 information from the witness, that you still file a note confirming that
17 you haven't received such information. Is that agreeable to both of you,
18 Mr. Ackerman, and Mr. Nicholls?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I think so, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: The whole idea is not to leave the matter in doubt,
22 not knowing whether we're still supposed to wait for it, for the
23 information, whether the witness is ready, whether he is not ready. That
24 way, we'll set a dead. And when you've finished giving your testimony, I
25 will ask you to set yourself a deadline and tell us what the deadline
1 should be, how much time you require, in other words.
2 THE WITNESS: Okay, thank you, Your Honour. Again, this may be
3 another example where my language is slightly nuanced.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, it's important for us to have this cleared
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm just not eager to open up another session of
7 direct or cross-examination --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, it's a question of -- it's a question I
9 myself don't recall, for example, an attack on Celinac. I'm speaking out
10 of my memory, of course. But I do not exclude that there may have been
11 some documents which the witness may have checked or consulted. And I
12 think that needs to be cleared up. So we'll give the witness enough time
13 to do that, and then you confirm to the Trial Chamber and to the Defence
14 whether the information has been forthcoming or not and what kind of
15 information, if at all. All right?
16 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Paragraph 2.91 on page 94, please?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you think you'll finish today, Mr. Ackerman?
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour. I've got about four more pages
21 of notes, and that's it.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Close.
24 Q. Before 2.91, you had been talking about the massacre at
25 Koricanske Stijene on Vlasic mountain. The first thing I think you'll
1 agree with me about is that there is no evidence whatsoever that any army
2 personnel were involved in these killings, is there?
3 A. Not from the documentation I've seen. I haven't seen direct
4 references to army personnel being involved in that killing.
5 Q. Now, if you look at 2.91, you say this: "Even though it was
6 possible that no soldiers from the area were involved in this crime and
7 that the local commander probably did enough in reporting the details, it
8 is clear that General-Major Talic did the bare minimum in reacting to this
9 event. Details were passed to the Main Staff but little else was done."
10 When you use this language, even though it was possible that no
11 soldiers from the area were involved, it seems to me you're trying to give
12 the impression -- although it's possible they weren't, it's highly likely
13 that they were, and you have no evidence whatsoever to support the
14 assertion that it's highly likely that they were. It seems like you're
15 trying to leave it ambiguous so that the Trial Chamber might believe that
16 the army was involved in that massacre.
17 A. Well, I don't know -- I don't know the full details of the event.
18 I'm going by the documentation. And it was possible that soldiers were
19 not involved in it. But, you know, I'm leaving open to whatever the
20 evidence may say.
21 Q. Well, it would seem to me that if that's what you know, that the
22 sentence you would write was "even though there is no evidence that
23 soldiers from the area were involved," rather than saying "it's possible
24 that they weren't." It raises the probability that they were, and I don't
25 think you have any source for that at all, do you?
1 A. Well, all I can say from the event was that a convoy went through
2 a military zone, that Bosko Peulic, the commander in the local area, was
3 aware of the incident, and the documents say that the MUP had been
4 involved. That's all I can really take you to.
5 Q. Have you looked at any of the testimony in this case about it?
6 A. I haven't, in fact, looked at the testimony in this case for this
8 Q. Okay. There's a section where you say this. It's the same
9 sentence. "The local commander probably did enough in reporting the
10 details." Do you think it might have been more fair and accurate to say
11 "the local commander clearly did his duty in reporting the details"?
12 Because the military had no jurisdiction over police activities, nor
13 arrest authority. They could only report what was done. And the local
14 commander did his duty by reporting this.
15 A. I don't know what the relationship between the police and the
16 military is in terms of their responsibility, or the duties, or whether a
17 short report from -- paragraphed report from Colonel Peulic was enough or
18 what other activities he should have done.
19 Q. Well, in --
20 A. He clearly reported the incident through the chain.
21 Q. In 2.90, you refer to a document, a 1st Krajina Corps document.
22 It's in footnote 434. This document reports a massacre in the Skender
23 Vakuf area of over 150 men. This action caused indignation not only among
24 citizens but also among 1st Krajina Corps soldiers. This dark stain which
25 was created did not have support, but it's very fortunate that the
1 international community did not find out about it in more detail.
2 So General Talic is reporting that to the Main Staff, isn't he?
3 A. Yes, I believe so. I'd have to check the document again, but I
4 think it is a report that goes to the Main Staff.
5 Q. And again, that's his duty, his duty is to report incidents like
6 this to the Main Staff. And you refer to what he did as the bare minimum.
7 But if he had done more, I mean, wasn't it his duty to report it and await
8 orders from the Main Staff as to whether he should do more? I mean, once
9 he reported it, wasn't he in a position to await orders from the
10 Main Staff? That's my question.
11 A. I think the emphasis in the report is that the reference that it's
12 fortunate that the international community didn't find out about it more
13 detail is somewhat revealing. Also, I believe General Talic later on was
14 interviewed, and the question was put to him, and he made, you know -- he
15 didn't I believe say that, you know, this has been fully investigated and
16 I have done my part or whatever. But --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The whole point, if the soldiers were not involved,
18 if the army was not involved in the Mount Vlasic massacre, what did you
19 expect more from General Talic than what he actually did?
20 THE WITNESS: I mean, going by the regulations --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Because -- which regulations? I mean, he was --
22 none of his men were responsible for this massacre. Proper reporting of
23 the event seemed to have been done or made. I mean, what else was he
24 supposed to do?
25 THE WITNESS: Well, I have said that he appeared to have done the
1 bare minimum.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: If you consider that to be the bare minimum, what
3 goes beyond that which would have been acceptable behaviour to you?
4 THE WITNESS: In terms of his own command, his own instructions,
5 I see very little emphatic reporting following on from this event down his
6 own instructions and his own corps saying this type of behaviour is
7 absolutely intolerable. I have already made the Main Staff informed of
8 this and any type of activity that comes out in a similar manner will be
9 prosecuted through the military chain. Highlighting this sort of activity
10 through his own chain, flagging it up to his soldiers to say this is going
11 on and we are not going to be tarnished with this type of activity. I
12 don't see any of that. What I see is a comment by one of his staff
13 officers in his report that, in essence, saying thank goodness the
14 international community didn't find out about it or we really would have
15 been in trouble. And that's what I mean by the bare minimum. Yes, maybe
16 by regulations and in terms of reporting up the chain, that was it. But
17 it seems to me that this is a particularly -- a particularly notorious
18 incident, particularly important because it was made known to the
19 international community later on. And it seems that what happened was
20 that it was reported up the military chain and forgotten about. And when
21 you place that incident, which is the reason I flagged it up, alongside,
22 for example, Vecici, in Kotor Varos a month or two later which did involve
23 the military and which was a massacre of a similar magnitude, we have
24 reporting General Talic simply articulated that massacre as some kind of
25 combat casualties. So that is my point, I think, in raising this issue.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You've made that clear.
2 We'll have a break --
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, can I ask just one more question and
4 then we'll go to a different subject. I'll just --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Ackerman. Except I need the thumbs
6 up from the interpreters for a further question before we -- and the
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Just three or four minutes, Judge.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, let's proceed, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. Still talking about this incident at Koricanske Stijene, did you
12 know, in fact, that army personnel assisted some of the victims who
13 survived that, took statements from them, assisted them getting to medical
14 treatment? Did you know that?
15 A. I heard about that in a recent -- in a recent transcript by
16 following the case.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You heard about it.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all I have, Your Honour, for right now.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I just wonder during the break I could speak to
21 Mr. Brown confined only to the additional documentation we have been
22 invited to provide just in case we're able to do it today or immediately.
23 Otherwise, I'm happy to wait. But during the break, I -- we might be able
24 to find --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I would rather, until he finishes his testimony,
1 I would rather if you have any indication that you can give to Mr. Brown,
2 you can make a statement here in open Court. It will achieve the same
3 result --
4 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't have right off the top of my head.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: -- And I think it's more correct. So let's have a
6 25-minute break, and then we hope to finish with your testimony. Thank
8 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, may I bring something to your
11 attention before Mr. Ackerman starts. We have been informed by victim
12 witness that our witness for tomorrow is delayed in Zagreb. There's some
13 sort of problem with the flight. It won't be here until much later this
14 afternoon. We have yet to proof this witness and was wondering if there
15 would be any way, and I bring this up believing that you have a sentencing
16 proceedings tomorrow afternoon wondering if there was a way --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Not sentencing, I have a Status Conference.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I know you're looking forward to that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: But I was wondering if there was any way we could
21 sit in the afternoon, if those settings could be switched.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: During this break, I was discussing with my -- a
23 member of my legal staff, tomorrow's Status Conference, the details, going
24 through the agenda bit by bit. And I don't anticipate that Status
25 Conference to be over in a short time. I reckon I need an hour and a
1 half, two hours for it easily. And that's if everything goes -- runs
2 smoothly. In other words, if no new problems arise and no new submissions
3 are made, and I'm told to expect anything. So I don't know.
4 [The Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's try and do this: Let's see if we can switch
6 the Status Conference to the first part of the day, or the morning, 9.00.
7 Then try and start Brdjanin, say, at 11.30. That should give you enough
8 time between this afternoon and tomorrow.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: We'll do our best, Your Honour. We appreciate
10 you're making the effort.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: But if we start at 11.30 with Brdjanin, then we
12 don't need to stay here until 7.00 in the afternoon. We'll have the part
13 of the afternoon session, say we start at 3.00 instead of 2.15. And we go
14 right through 5.00.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That sounds very fair to us, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I'm just looking to my right at the moment.
17 I haven't consulted --
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I would think it's not a problem. I can't give a
19 definitive answer right now, but I would think we would be flexible and
20 work with whichever hours work.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start from here. Let's start from here.
22 Madam Chuqing, we need to verify. Availability of courtroom should not be
23 a problem because I was sitting in the morning and in the afternoon in any
24 case. So I had the whole courtroom available. With regard to
25 availability of counsel, we only need a confirmation from Mr. Nicholls.
1 Will you be in charge of the cross-examination of the next witness?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour, that's why I hesitate, because
3 it's not my witness.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If you can check that out for me.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: We're doing that right now.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Assuming we start at 11.30 and continue then at 3.00
7 until 5.00.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: This witness is going to last for how many days?
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: He's scheduled for two to three days, and we
11 anticipate it will last a day and a half.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. So we better not take risks.
13 That's number 2. Then availability of interpreters and technical staff,
14 plus, which is very important, in the Status Conference that I have, it
15 shouldn't make any difference to the accused because he's defending
16 himself. But there is one lawyer that the Trial Chamber has appointed as
17 an amicus curiae, not exactly so, and we must make sure of his
18 availability. And in any case, he needs to be notified. Okay?
19 Otherwise, I think it is feasible.
20 And I also want to make sure that the fact that we'll be sitting
21 until, say, quarter to 2.00 in the morning, in the Brdjanin case, and then
22 resume at 3.00 does not in any way create any difficulties for
23 Mr. Brdjanin to have his lunch and whatever. It's all right if we don't
24 have enough time to have lunch ourselves, but we can't allow that to
25 extend also to the accused.
1 So yes, Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour. I can give you an answer right
3 now. That's fine with us.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So provided we have interpretation services plus
5 also the other services. We don't have the same problem.
6 THE REGISTRAR: I don't see any problem there in the
7 interpretation and other services.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But I need the confirmation. Also, all the
9 technical services that we need for a sitting must be in place, and we
10 must have that assurance.
11 Okay, yes, Mr. Cunningham.
12 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I just wanted to say thank you to the
13 Chamber for your efforts and working with our schedule. We really
14 appreciate that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
16 Let's continue, Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. All right, Mr. Brown, we're nearing the end of this. I've just
19 got a few more things to talk to you about. We've heard over and over
20 throughout this case about the huge military capabilities of the VRS,
21 tanks, artillery, sometimes perhaps even some air support. And we've also
22 heard about the Muslim forces in the Krajina area, hunting rifles
23 primarily, maybe some old World War II weapons. Those are the kind of
24 things that have been set out for this Trial Chamber.
25 I want to refer you to paragraph 2.92 because this is something
1 that has always baffled me and maybe you can help us with it. You're
2 talking about the village of Vecici: "The local non-Serb population had
3 armed and defended Vecici through the summer months, through the summer
4 months - in other words all summer - they held out there against this
5 vaunted VRS." How did that happen?
6 A. I'm not sure of the exact details from the defence --
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, I see Mr. Brdjanin waving his arms. I
8 think he's indicating that he can't hear.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the problem?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: No B/C/S translation, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No B/C/S translation.
12 I'll say something in the hope that the translation now is
13 functioning, is reaching Mr. Brdjanin. Can you hear anything,
14 Mr. Brdjanin? You haven't touched any of those buttons. Is it on the
15 right number? Can we have another set of earphones. Can you hear me now?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's okay now.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Let's proceed. Thank you,
18 Mr. Nicholls.
19 Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. I think you were starting to answer the question. Just to make
22 sure that it gets translated, you said that "the local non-Serb population
23 had armed and defended Vecici through the summer months, throughout the
24 summer months." And I'd asked you basically how that happened, how they
25 were able to hold out there against the VRS for that long of a time.
1 A. Because I don't actually have that much information from the
2 defenders' perspective, and I can only go on the documents that I've seen,
3 they may well have organised themselves into some defensive structure that
4 held out. I know the area is also particularly mountainous and wooded.
5 And I don't believe there are many roads that really run through there.
6 It may well have been terrain that suited the defender, to be honest.
7 That type of terrain may well have suited those who knew the area well.
8 And hence, the reason they were able to hold out for some time. I do know
9 that some of the VRS documents -- come autumn, we're talking about -- this
10 military -- the 1st Krajina Corps documents themselves, talk about the
11 fact that food was low, and morale was low, and obviously there was a
12 negotiation process going on as can be seen from some of the documents.
13 Q. All right. In paragraph 2.103, and I hope we can move through
14 this fairly quickly because it's a fairly simple point. You quote from a
15 document, and the document is P661. And I don't need show it to you
16 unless you want to see it. You talk about categorising of prisoners. And
17 the first document you refer to is the Sanski Most Crisis Staff that
18 categorised prisoners into three categories. First category:
19 Politicians; second category, nationalist extremists; and third category,
20 people unwelcome in Sanski Most Municipality, which might include you and
22 You then, after speaking of that, go to paragraph 2.105 and say:
23 "This categorisation - the one you referred to there - is similar to that
24 reported in a Banja Luka CSB document reporting on Omarska camp." And
25 then you again quote that, and again, if you want to look at the document,
1 we can make it available to you. But there, there are three categories
2 which maybe is all you're referring to with regard to similarity. But
3 beyond that, I see absolutely nothing similar between those two
4 categorisations, do you?
5 A. Well, as you say, there are three categories which are for both.
6 And category one in the Omarska camp -- reporting on Omarska camp talks
7 about people who have directly organised and taken part -- or organised,
8 presumably referring to politicians. And --
9 Q. That's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?
10 A. Well, you may be quibbling over the word "similar." There is a
11 categorisation process going on in two municipalities. These
12 categorisations are broken down into three areas. So if you want to
13 quibble over the word "similar" then yes, maybe you have a point. But I
14 don't think I'm necessarily saying more than just there was a
15 categorisation process that seemed to be going on in two municipalities.
16 Q. You talk then in 2.106 about significant cooperation and
17 coordination between the military police and civilian bodies in relation
18 to the establishment of camps. And in 2.108, you talk about military
19 cooperation with the police and civilian bodies with regard to Omarska
20 camp, which you say was established after a Prijedor Crisis Staff decision
21 as a result of Keraterm camp not being able to hold enough prisoners. The
22 document regarding that is P1237. I'd like you to take a look at P1237,
24 Now, this document is dated 31 May 1992. And this is not a
25 Prijedor Crisis Staff document, but a Prijedor public security station,
1 SJB, document. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. It refers in the first paragraph to a decision of the Crisis
4 Staff, doesn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And that's what you mean when you say "after a Prijedor Crisis
7 Staff decision in late May...", I think?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You also tell us that it was -- that decision was a result of
10 Keraterm camp not being able to hold enough prisoners. That language
11 isn't in this particular document, is it?
12 A. No, I believe it's in another CSB document, talking about the role
13 of the CSB in Prijedor. I'd have to go back to my report.
14 Q. I'm not going to ask you to do that because I'm not particularly
15 interested in that. Now, this document is issued by Simo Drljaca, the
16 chief of the SJB in Prijedor, isn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'm interested in having you look at paragraphs 15 and 16 on page
19 3 of this document where Drljaca says this: "I most strictly prohibit" --
20 this is after he has ordered the setting up of this camp at Omarska. "I
21 most strictly prohibit giving any information whatsoever concerning the
22 functioning of this collection centre. All official documents shall be
23 kept at the collection centre and may be taken out or destroyed only with
24 the permission of the chief of the Prijedor public security station - in
25 other words him. This shall be the responsibility of the public security
2 And then in 16, he says this: "I demand most energetically that
3 all the personnel and authorised officials in particular strictly observe
4 these instructions. Failure to do so shall result in severe disciplinary
5 and other measures." And when he says strictly observe these
6 instructions, he's obviously referring to the prohibition of giving any
7 information whatsoever concerning the functioning of this collection
8 centre. Do you agree with that?
9 A. Paragraph 16 doesn't necessarily indicate that it's exclusively to
10 do with paragraph 15. It may well be that paragraph 16 has to do with the
11 whole document.
12 Q. I totally agree with that. I hope I didn't suggest that it only
13 had to do with 15.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. It clearly has to do with the whole document, including 15.
17 A. Yes, that's what it would appear to say.
18 Q. We can see then on the last page the distribution list for this.
19 The Crisis Staff received it, the security services coordinators received
20 it, the Security Services Centre in Banja Luka, the police chief, the
21 security chief, and the general manager of the mines. Correct?
22 A. Yes, that's what the distribution list says.
23 Q. It appears that Drljaca was trying to keep knowledge about what
24 was happening here in this Omarska, as he calls it, collection centre, I
25 think, keep what was happening there, the fact of its existence or
1 anything else, pretty much under wraps, prohibiting any information from
2 being given out about it. Correct?
3 A. Well, he clearly states in paragraph 16 that information
4 concerning the functioning of the centre should be -- should be
5 prohibited. But your question -- clearly on the distribution list, it
6 goes to wider than just himself. It's going to a large number of people,
7 Security Services Centre Banja Luka, presumably his superior headquarters.
8 It's going to military personnel from the distribution list. Clearly, the
9 Crisis Staff in Prijedor presumably is getting a copy. And the manager
10 from the iron ore facility and -- where the camp was established.
11 Q. Okay, I'm finished with that document now. I want to go now to
12 Document P380.
13 A. I would also, just to add, clearly the issue of Omarska camp was
14 not kept exclusively to Simo Drljaca. There are references in military
15 documents about Omarska camp not long after this. And clearly, later on,
16 it became exceptionally well known in terms of press reporting and the
17 like. So it didn't appear to be kept exclusively within his office.
18 Q. Well, the press reporting didn't appear until, like, August, I
19 don't think, did it?
20 A. Well, that's true. But the references in the military documents
21 were occurring -- referencing Omarska camp prior to August.
22 Q. I mean, this secrecy he was trying to enforce might explain why it
23 did take until August for the press or anybody else to find out about that
25 Let me ask you this --
1 A. That could have been a contributing factor, but also I do know
2 that the press were exempt from RS territory for a period of time, and the
3 fact that the press couldn't get there at all may have been also a reason
4 why it wasn't reported. But it strays from the parameters of my report to
5 talk about that because I'm not as aware of the details.
6 Q. Were you aware that the -- that the ICRC had had -- had heard
7 rumours about such a camp in the latter part of July, spent a lot of time
8 looking for it and were unable to find it?
9 A. I'm unaware of that.
10 Q. You should have now Document P380. Do you have it?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. I'm interested in paragraph 3 of that document, I think.
13 Yes, it's the paragraph that begins with "within the Banja Luka
14 region..." The next sentence: "A portion of the Muslim and Croatian
15 population is moving out, and the region of Bosnian Krajina has issued a
16 decision to facilitate such departures providing that the Serbs from
17 Central Bosnia and places with predominantly Muslim and Croatian
18 populations were also allowed to move out. Those departing will not be
19 allowed to return." You see that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. It seems to be saying "we'll let Muslims and Croats go to Central
22 Bosnia if the authorities in Central Bosnia will let Serbs from there come
23 here," doesn't it?
24 A. Well, that's part of what it says.
25 Q. And that's the part I'm interested in. And what I'm going to
1 suggest to you is this: We've seen --
2 A. I wonder if I could finish.
3 Q. Please go ahead.
4 A. I'd argue it's only just part of the comment. It's putting a
5 restriction saying that process can happen only if Serbs are allowed to
6 leave. So there is a qualification there. And obviously, the last
7 sentence, those departing will not be allowed to return, I think is
8 particularly important, bearing in mind your comments earlier on about
9 refugees and people moving out and war. This for me cuts back as much to
10 some of the discussions that were happening at the 16th Assembly
11 session --
12 Q. That's where I was just going. You beat me there.
13 A. -- Where you had people like Miroslav Vjestica talking about
14 Bosanska Krupa and people not being allowed to return. Resettlement and
15 my issue earlier on that yes, there may well have been significant numbers
16 that did feel they wanted to move out because of the war. But that when
17 you put this type of document and others in context with what was said at
18 the 16th Assembly session on the issue of resettlement, people not being
19 allowed to return, Miroslav's comment about people not coming back, I
20 think it is key to understanding the issues relating to the movement out
21 of the population in the Krajina area and that this was as much about
22 moving those people out and ensuring a Serb state that they controlled.
23 As Karadzic saying, they don't want large number of people who are in a
24 state who are against that state. So I think this statement, yes, there
25 is an element of people moving from Serb areas into non-Serb areas, but
1 there is also this issue that these people are not going to be returning.
2 And I think that is as important.
3 Q. Well, you were thinking of a different part of the 16th Assembly
4 session than I was, but let me suggest this to you. You'll recall that
5 General Mladic at that session said: Better -- I'm just going to
6 paraphrase it now, but. Better to have them with us than over there in
7 the trenches fighting against us. And I suggest to you that what's being
8 said here is what dictated a great deal of what was going on; that was a
9 fear that if Serbs were allowed to leave the Muslims areas of Bosnia, they
10 would wind up in a VRS, a fear that if Muslims and Croats were allowed to
11 leave the Bosnian Krajina, they would wind up in the Croatian and Bosnian
12 armies. And that would explain why men of military age were held in
13 places like Manjaca, regardless of whether they had been combatants or not
14 in some cases, I think. That would explain this statement in here,
15 saying, okay, we'll send some people over there who might be soldiers for
16 you, but you got to send the people who will be soldiers for us back over
17 there. And I think that explains a lot of what was going on over this
18 period of time with regard to these movements of people back and forth
19 between Muslim-controlled areas and Serb-controlled areas, doesn't it?
20 A. Well, I would agree that from Mladic's statements that he clearly
21 has concerns in those areas, but I would disagree that that was the
22 primary reason. I think that through the documentation I have reviewed in
23 the military documents and looking at the 16th Assembly session amongst
24 others, that it's clear that there was a policy to establish control in
25 territory designated as Serb, and that there was a belief and an
1 implementation that a method of control was to move significant numbers of
2 people out of that territory that weren't Serb. And the documents, the
3 military documents themselves talk about mass departures, emigration,
4 organised removal, those not being allowed to return, destruction of
5 property, the involvement of the military police, and as noted here,
6 civilian instruction, about the facilitation to remove people who they
7 believed -- that they wanted to remove from territory that was to be
8 controlled by the Bosnian Serbs.
9 Q. Well, I assume you'd also concede that there are a number of
10 documents that deal with the difficulty people had who were trying to
11 leave -- being able to leave. They were not permitted to leave. I'm
12 talking about Muslims from the Krajina were not permitted to leave. Do
13 you recall any of those documents?
14 A. I don't recall any specifically. If you have some to show me,
15 then I'm more than willing to comment on them.
16 Q. I don't want to do that right now. I want to finish with you
17 because I want to make sure we finish today if we can.
18 I want to go to 2.161 for the final thing that I want to ask you
19 about. Beginning at 2.161, you speak about a visit by Cyrus Vance and
20 David Owen to Banja Luka on 25 September 1992. Correct?
21 A. Yes, I remember that.
22 Q. And during that meeting, they met with a number of people. Among
23 them, the Mufti Halilovic, the bishop of Banja Luka, Catholic bishop of
24 Banja Luka, and so forth, right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Plus the orthodox bishop. And at page 122, you quote from
2 Lord Owen's book the following: "We had one meeting which gave us a
3 measure of hope with the Roman Catholic Bishop, the Muslim Mufti, and the
4 orthodox bishop of Banja Luka, all three of whom were unanimous in saying
5 that totally unacceptable pressure was being put on both Muslims and
6 Croats in villages around Banja Luka, particularly Prijedor." Now, when
7 he says all three of them, one of those was the orthodox bishop of Banja
8 Luka. Right?
9 A. Yes. That's what he says in his book.
10 Q. Yeah. And then he goes on to say this: "On whether ethnic
11 cleansing was being applied in Banja Luka itself, there was less unanimity
12 but none of the three denied that undue pressure was present. And then he
13 says he made our intense displeasure abundantly clear to Karadzic. Right?
14 A. Again, that's what he writes.
15 Q. So, this indicates there was a great deal of concern of what was
16 going on in places like Prijedor, but less unanimity regarding what was
17 going on in Banja Luka itself?
18 A. Less unanimity in relation to ethnic cleansing. That's what he
19 writes in his book.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you very much for your answers to my
21 questions. I have no more.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman. Is there re-examination,
24 Mr. Nicholls?
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 There is, Your Honour. I won't be able to finish in 10 minutes.
2 I think I probably have -- it's hard to guess because I just have been
3 writing notes. 30 minutes, something like that, or 40. I'm happy to
4 start, but I won't finish in 10 minutes.
5 What I'd like to do is flag up some of the documents which I think
6 the witness referred to but didn't have at his fingertips when he was
7 answering questions, and also there are several areas which I think can be
8 made clearer.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start anyway. We've got 10 minutes, and we'll
10 make use of them.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I was wondering if Mr. Nicholls might give us some
12 idea how long he thinks he will take --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: He said half an hour.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: 30 to 40 minutes is my guess.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. I missed that, I'm sorry. I can see it
16 now right here in the transcript.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
18 Q. Mr. Brown, the first thing I'd like to do is try to clear up a
19 couple points from yesterday. And the first one relates to paragraph 1.17
20 of your report.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: And I'd like the witness to be shown P365.
22 Q. You were questioned about this area on the transcript page 21491
23 yesterday. And the assertion by Mr. Ackerman essentially, showing you his
24 Exhibit DB195 which I don't think I need to show you again right now, was
25 that you had insufficiently demonstrated or that your citation did not
1 support adequately that what you say in that paragraph is true, that the
2 5th Corps, to quote you, and the JNA was adamant, to paraphrase actually,
3 that it would not be withdrawn from Bosnia-Herzegovina at any price.
4 Do you remember that conversation?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, P365 is a document which is footnoted as footnote 21 directly
7 on the next page under paragraph 1.18. Here, both these paragraphs, we're
8 dealing broadly with the 5th Corps development from January to April 1992.
9 If you could just look at P365, which is a 5th Corps command report from
10 the 3rd of April 1992, that's about a week after the date of the report in
11 DB195, 26 of March, does this document also support your conclusion that
12 the 5th Corps was adamant that it was not going to abandon
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina? If I can say, it doesn't speak specifically about
14 leaving, but about a guarantee to the people of the Bosnian Krajina that
15 it will protect them from destruction.
16 A. Yes, it's one of the documents, one of the number of documents
17 that I have seen that talk about this during this period of time.
18 Q. And can we conclude that in paragraph 3 where General Talic who
19 signs this -- writes: "Make sure that the Banja Luka Krajina Corps remain
20 a reliable defender of all peoples and nationalities in the Bosnian
21 Krajina. " They were also talking about the 5th Corps not leaving the
23 A. Yes, I think he's talking about, in essence, maintaining Bosnia
24 with the other republics in Yugoslavia.
25 Q. Thank you. The next paragraph that you were questioned about that
1 I want to come back to is paragraph 1.105 in your report. Page 45. And
2 here you were shown the Dzeric instruction footnoted in footnote 151,
3 which is Exhibit Number P157. Mr. Ackerman showed you a document to try
4 to show that this instruction was carried out or followed in Prijedor and
5 to suggest that there was a separation between military and civilian, in
6 terms of chain of command.
7 I'd like to show you P1243. We can put my copy on. It will be
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Usher.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: The B/C/S is on the back, so maybe you can flip if
11 he needs to read it.
12 Q. Now, can you just - it's a short document - review that for me,
13 give me your assessment about what that document tells us about the
14 separation of the military police and civilian command structures, whether
15 the Prijedor Crisis Staff was able to issue orders to those bodies.
16 A. Yes, on face value of this document, in June 1992, Milomir Stakic
17 under a decision of the Prijedor Municipality Crisis Staff is issuing an
18 order which is directed to military police and civilian police bodies.
19 And it's distributed to the military command and to the police, and one
20 for the files. So in this case, it would indicate that Prijedor
21 Crisis Staff is giving an instruction of a military -- or to military
23 Q. If I'm correct, you've discussed this topic, not this specific
24 document, but this topic in your testimony in the Stakic case. Is that
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. I believe that is at pages 8782 to 89 of that transcript.
3 Finally, well -- you don't need to look at it now, but you were
4 also shown today by Mr. Ackerman P637. Do you remember that document?
5 It's the Sanski Most Crisis Staff decision issuing orders to
6 Colonel Basara of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, I recognise what's happening. I
8 think, though, these questions are kind of silly because I have conceded
9 that these bodies issued orders. My point was they had no effect, nobody
10 followed them. So that's the point I'm trying to make. And I think this
11 is kind of a silly inquiry to go into saying-- cause I've already conceded
12 that can happen.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I see Mr. Ackerman's point and I suggest he's right.
14 So I suggest you direct, or redirect your questions to cover the last
15 point that Mr. Ackerman points out, namely that they were sort of orders
16 which were in themselves ineffective.
17 MS. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Well, you don't have much time, Mr. Brown, but I'll ask you just
19 regarding the two documents we've talked about. Can you --
20 MR. ACKERMAN: If we're going to stop on schedule, I don't think
21 he can answer this question.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stop here. And we will resume tomorrow at
23 11.30, as agreed. I'm afraid you will have to come again tomorrow. I had
24 hoped that we would have finished with your testimony today.
25 Unfortunately, that is not the case. In the meantime, should the need
1 arise, just think about how much time you require to conduct further
2 researches on the two matters.
3 THE WITNESS: I will, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And let us know tomorrow morning.
5 Thank you. We stand adjourned until tomorrow, 11.30.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
7 To be reconvened on Wednesday, the 29th day of
8 October, 2003, at 11.30 a.m.