1 Tuesday, 12 December 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.20 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
7 gentlemen, the technical booth, the interpreters; good morning, the
8 Prosecution; good morning to the Defence.
9 I see that we do not have General Krstic with us today.
10 Madam Registrar, could you inform us what's happening first?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President. I received a call early this
12 morning that General Krstic would not be present. Apparently, he has a
13 doctor's appointment this morning, and we weren't informed of that. So I
14 requested a written waiver to be sent.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours,
17 Mr. President. An appointment that should have taken place yesterday, for
18 reasons unknown to us, was not kept so that this appointment with the
19 doctor has been postponed for today, according to the information we
20 received from the head of the Detention Unit, and that is the reason for
21 the absence of General Krstic at today's hearing. And he has given his
22 approval that the hearing may be held in his absence; that is, he waives
23 his right to be present.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
25 Mr. Petrusic. I should like to ask the registrar to check what is
1 happening because, when General Krstic has medical consultations, they
2 should be organised well so that he is able to attend his own trial. So
3 please take care of that.
4 So good morning, General Radinovic. We hope to be able to release
5 you today, and in order to do that, we will work hard.
6 So, Mr. Cayley, you have the floor.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel.
8 WITNESS: RADOVAN RADINOVIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley: [continued]
11 Q. Good morning, General. Do you hear me, General?
12 A. Good morning. Yes.
13 Q. General, I'd like you to turn, please, to page 52 of your report.
14 That's Defence Exhibit 160.
15 MR. CAYLEY: If page 52 could be placed on the ELMO. I'm
16 interested in paragraph 3.4.
17 THE USHER: Page 32?
18 MR. CAYLEY: Page 52, Mr. Usher, and it's page 52 in the original
20 A. 3. --
21 MR. CAYLEY:
22 Q. 3.4, General. And I'm interested in the penultimate sentence of
23 that paragraph, and here you are referring to the ideal time for the
24 assumption of responsibility of command of the Drina Corps, and you refer
25 to conditions of transfer, and you state, and I quote: "These conditions
1 primarily mean pause or respite in the fighting, and in this case it meant
2 waiting for the end of Operation Zepa, which was in full flow between
3 July 15 and 20."
4 General, do you stand by that portion of your report?
5 A. I stand by my report to the effect that the operation started on
6 the 14th and that it was ongoing. This was the period when the Zepa
7 operation was ongoing.
8 Q. And there was, in your opinion, a lull on the 20th, was there, on
9 the 20th of July?
10 A. No. I didn't investigate the Zepa operation by hour and by day,
11 but in view of the decree that General Krstic received to take over duty
12 of Drina Corps Commander, the most appropriate time was looked for, and I
13 assume that time was the 20th since that was when it actually took place,
14 because, for that type of activity, the most suitable time is sought. So
15 if there is a lull on the battlefront, the conditions warrant the
16 possibility of such a meeting.
17 As you know, documents went to the commands of units to see what
18 time would suit them best for the takeover of duty. Some said the 23rd
19 would be appropriate; some, some other date; but probably the commander of
20 the Main Staff and the commander of the Drina Corps judged that this was
21 the most suitable date, that is, the 20th, when this ceremony took place,
22 an act marking the handing over and taking over of duty and the presence
23 of certain officers of a certain rank as prescribed in the rules of
24 service of the army of Republika Srpska and in the former JNA whose
25 principle provisions were taken over by those rules.
1 Q. General, General, as is tradition, you are wandering away from the
2 question that I actually asked you.
3 Are you aware, General, that General Krstic himself stated - and
4 this is in page 6265 of the transcript - that the operation in Zepa was
5 constant up until the 2nd of August? Are you aware? Have you read that
7 A. Yes, I have read it, but the constancy of an operation does not
8 mean that its intensity is the same every day and every hour. There was
9 this obligation to transfer duty on the basis of the decree of the
10 president of the Republic, and a date was looked for when this could take
11 place. Since it did take place on the 20th, I have no reason not to
12 believe that the conditions were the most appropriate at that time.
13 Q. General, if General Krstic stated that fighting was constant
14 between the 15th of July and the 2nd of August, there was no respite in
15 the fighting, was there, in order for the transfer to take place on the
16 20th in accordance with your theory in paragraph 3.4 of your report, was
17 there, General?
18 A. I have a key event, that is, the transfer of duty on the 20th.
19 That is a fact that has been proven without any doubt, that that is when
20 this event took place. Since the event did take place and the Zepa
21 operation continued, I assume that that was the most suitable time.
22 Q. General, please answer my question, and I'll repeat it for you,
23 because we have to get finished today.
24 General, if the fighting was constant between the 15th of July and
25 the 2nd of August, there was no respite in the fighting, was there, in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 order for the transfer to take place on the 20th of July in accordance
2 with the theory that you have set out in paragraph 3.4 of your report?
3 A. Sir, the fighting does not continue with the same intensity
4 throughout that period. There is lower intensity, regrouping of forces,
5 the introduction of new units, manoeuvring in defence, manoeuvring on the
6 offensive. So whether the greatest pause was on the 20th, I don't know; I
7 wasn't there. But in view of the fact that this transfer took place on
8 the 20th, I assume that there was a lull in the sense of lower intensity
9 and a lesser need for General Krstic to be in Zepa on that date.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, but according to your
11 theory, that means that it was possible to envisage lower intensity of
12 combat, but one cannot programme that. To have that ceremony, several
13 people have to be invited to attend on a particular date and at a
14 particular time; and I believe, but you are the expert, that it is not
15 possible to programme fighting in advance and to know in advance that it
16 would be of lower intensity on a particular date. You see, that is the
17 difficulty I'm having.
18 A. Since the party on the offensive has the initiative, it is
19 possible to plan the intensity or lower intensity for particular days, to
20 delay the introduction of other units, reserve units to lower the
21 intensity of operations. Of course, that does not depend exclusively on
22 the attacker; it also depends on the defender.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, that's an answer.
24 I'm sorry, I have to give the Prosecutor his time, so thank you very
1 Mr. Cayley, please continue.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
3 Q. General, if you would please look at paragraph 3.5 of your report.
4 MR. CAYLEY: And if you could move the report up, please,
5 Mr. Usher.
6 Q. General, if you would be so good as to read the final sentence of
7 paragraph 3.5, please.
8 A. "It has been undeniably established that General Krstic assumed
9 the duty of Drina Corps Commander on July 20, 1995, and this was properly
11 Q. General, have you seen that record of the takeover of command on
12 the 20th of July?
13 A. When I was working on my report, I was told that a record was made
14 and that it does exist. I believed it would be no problem to find it, and
15 in the final analysis, I thought that General Krstic would have that
16 record because whoever hands over duty and takes over duty takes a copy of
17 those minutes.
18 I really don't understand how those minutes could have disappeared
19 because it is an official document inaugurating a new situation in the
20 command. However, there are living witnesses who have testified and
21 confirmed that indeed that ceremony took place on the 20th. So I
22 personally have not had that record in my hands, but I trusted
23 General Krstic's statement and the statements of others who testified
24 about it.
25 Q. General, who told you that that record, who told you that that
1 record contained the date the 20th of July? Can you give me the name of
2 that person?
3 A. I could give you several names if that is absolutely necessary to
4 mention those names here in open session.
5 Q. Yes. Let's -- we'll have those names in open session. You can
6 give me those names of individuals who saw in that document the date of
7 20th of July of 1995.
8 A. I'm not saying that they saw that document. I'm saying that they
9 attended the ceremony.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, what is the
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no objection.
13 I'm withdrawing my objection.
14 A. I didn't say that they saw the record but they were present at
15 that ceremonial transfer of duty.
16 MR. CAYLEY:
17 Q. Do you know of anybody that actually saw that record with the date
18 the 20th of July in it, anybody at all, General?
19 A. A record is not shown to people attending a meeting. A record is
20 kept in the archives and copies are giving to the person handing over and
21 the person taking over duty to sign. It is not a document distributed to
23 Q. Now, General, you've spoken to Defence counsel and you're aware
24 from Mr. Petrusic that he has, in fact, confirmed that that record is
25 missing, the record of hand-over. Did you receive that information from
1 Mr. Petrusic and Mr. Visnjic that the record is missing?
2 A. No. I didn't investigate that. I asked for the record to be
3 given to me from the Defence documents and they didn't, and they told me
4 that it was missing. I asked where the record was, and they told me that
5 in some strange circumstances it had disappeared. I don't mean here in
6 the Tribunal, but it simply is missing. That's what I was told.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, excuse me.
8 In principle, General, how many copies should exist of such a
9 document? You said that one should go to General Krstic, the other to
10 General Zivanovic, and a third to the archives. Should there be three
12 A. There should have been three, yes. There must have been at least
13 three and maybe even more. Then there should be a copy in the archives of
14 the Main Staff as well.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And it so happens that all these
16 three or more copies have disappeared.
17 A. I must admit that I did not find the documents of the Main Staff.
18 I don't know where they are, and I was unable to gain access to them. It
19 is possible that in the Main Staff archives such a document exists, but I
20 have no access to those archives except what the Defence has.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but General Krstic,
22 according to you, should have a copy.
23 A. Yes. A copy is given to him. This record on the hand-over is a
24 document on the basis of which he gains certain benefits, not only in
25 terms of command but also in material, financial terms. He acquires
1 certain personal rights referring to that document.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I understand. Thank you very
4 Please continue, Mr. Cayley.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Now, General, you'd agree with me that this is an absolutely
7 fundamental document. Did you make inquiry with General Zivanovic to see
8 whether he had his copy of this document?
9 A. No, I didn't make any inquiries. When I contacted
10 General Zivanovic, at the time there was no question in my mind. I
11 thought that it would be easy to find the document. I did discuss with
12 him the Srebrenica operation, and this was in February or March this year.
13 Q. So you spoke with General Zivanovic in February or March of this
14 year, and you never asked to see his copy of the hand-over/takeover
15 document for the Drina Corps Command?
16 A. No. I didn't address that problem with that. I discussed with
17 him the strategic and operational aspect of the operation. He was Corps
18 Commander, and that is the type of contact I had with him. I didn't check
19 about that document. I never thought it would be a problem. When you
20 take the registration book of documents and look up the date July 1995, it
21 should be very easy to trace a document. Unfortunately, I was unable to
22 do that because I did not find the archives of the Main Staff at all.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, and having learnt that
24 the record was not in the archives, did you try to contact
25 General Zivanovic again to see whether he had a copy?
1 A. No. I lost contact with General Zivanovic. Where I used to
2 contact him, he is no longer there. I really don't know where he is. He
3 may not be in Yugoslavia any more.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
5 Please continue.
6 JUDGE RIAD: General, since this issue was really an important
7 one, did you pursue your inquiry to know what became of this document and
8 what lay behind this disappearance, being aware of all the circumstances?
9 Was there anything behind it? It looks like an intrigue.
10 A. Your Honour, in my inquiries and investigations, I looked for the
11 date when General Krstic took over the duty of Corps Commander and, quite
12 frankly speaking, my interest focussed on when that was rather than on
13 whether the paper exists, so in my preparations for my testimony and the
14 finalisation of my report, I had hoped that I would find it. Perhaps that
15 is my mistake. I actually assumed that somebody else should see to it, to
16 find that document. So believe me, I assumed that in the Prosecution
17 archives, among the Prosecution documents, this document existed, and that
18 they would find it, just as they successively produced numerous documents
19 in the course of these proceedings.
20 I'm really sorry that I didn't look into this matter more
21 thoroughly to be able to answer this question properly, but I thought it
22 was more important to establish the actual date - and we have the live
23 witnesses who actually attended that ceremony - than to focus on the
24 document. I wish I had found it, but unfortunately I have not, and I'm
25 unable to answer your question.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE WALD: General, in your discussion --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE WALD: In your discussion with General Zivanovic, did you
4 ever ask him directly when he relinquished his command, on what date he
5 stopped being commander? Leaving the document and the handover ceremony
7 A. Your Honour, no.
8 JUDGE WALD: You didn't -- in your conversation with him, you
9 didn't ask him, even though it was apparent in February or March from the
10 early pre-trial documents of the Prosecution that this was a critical
11 point for them, you didn't ask him when he stopped being commander?
12 A. I had no doubt in my mind that he was Drina Corps Commander during
13 the Srebrenica operation, and I focussed my attention on that operation.
14 JUDGE WALD: Were you aware that he had given an interview to a
15 magazine that some -- I'm sorry, I don't have it in front of me, at some
16 point in which he himself had placed his leaving the corps at a much
17 earlier date than the 20th?
18 A. No, I didn't know that.
19 JUDGE WALD: All right. So just to tie this down, you and he
20 never discussed specifically when he said he stopped being commander.
21 That's what you just said; is that correct?
22 A. We did not discuss it.
23 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, excuse me, another
25 question for you. If I understood you correctly, you said that your
1 concern was the date, to find out that date. Is that correct? Have I
2 understood you properly?
3 A. My concern, yes, was to establish the date when General Krstic
4 became Corps Commander because the assessment of his responsibility
5 depends on that fact.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So it is as of that date it is
7 possible to establish his responsibility. But my question is, as an
8 expert witness, an experienced military man, the director of
9 investigations, you have engaged in a great deal of research; doesn't it
10 seem to you to be normal when looking for a date to find the document,
11 above all when you knew that there was a trial? I'm sorry, when you know
12 that there's a record, going for the archives, a copy for the person
13 handing over and the person taking over duty.
14 So if your concern was the date, wasn't it normal to find the
15 document? Wouldn't that be the first thing to do? What do you think?
16 A. Of course it is important. It's very important, but from previous
17 contacts I had had with people who attended that ceremony, members of the
18 Main Staff, I had Krstic's testimony --
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry for interrupting you,
20 General, but wouldn't it have been more useful for you as an expert - you
21 knew you would be coming here to speak to the Judges - to say to the
22 Judges, "Your Honours, I have the document," instead of saying, "I spoke
23 to this or that or four or five or ten people who were present," and to
24 tell us that they told you that that was the date. Wouldn't it have been
25 preferable to bring the document to the Judges and say, "Here, Your
1 Honours, here are the minutes"?
2 You're telling us that you were primarily concerned with the date,
3 but you didn't make an effort to find the document. Am I understanding
4 you right?
5 A. Unfortunately, no. This did concern me a great deal as my
6 approach was a step-by-step approach. I first wanted to establish the
7 crucial facts for me, or the relevant facts. A relevant fact for me was
8 that, according to his testimony and what people I spoke to told me before
9 coming here, I established the fact that General Krstic became Corps
10 Commander on the 20th, and then I started working on my research.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry for interrupting you
12 once again. Did you ask General Krstic whether he had his document?
13 A. I have had no personal contact with General Krstic.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But did you take steps to find
15 out whether he had such a document?
16 A. Through the Defence, I did ask for this document to be given to
17 me, and it was not given to me.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Why?
19 A. Probably because they don't have it, either; otherwise, there
20 would be no reason why they wouldn't give it to me.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So General Krstic's copy has
22 disappeared. It so happens that the document that General Zivanovic could
23 have had, you have lost contact with him. It is not to be found in the
24 archives, and then all in all, all the copies have disappeared. Is that
25 what you are trying to tell us?
1 A. I'm just trying to tell you that I do not have that document. I'm
2 sorry, I regret not having it, but I don't.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much,
5 Mr. Cayley.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. So, General, in conclusion, the archive copy is missing, General
8 Krstic's copy is missing, and you don't know whether General Zivanovic has
9 his copy or not. And I would put it to you, General, that the reason for
10 that is because that document says the 13th of July of 1995, doesn't it,
11 rather than the 20th of July of 1995?
12 A. I do not agree with you because it's not just the probative value
13 of a document. It is not just the document that has probative value, but
14 also what all the people who are familiar with the situation say. I
15 didn't say that it has disappeared from the archives; I said that I didn't
16 gain access to the archives of the Main Staff. I'm sure that it exists
17 there, but to me, it is inaccessible. I have no access to those archives.
18 Q. We'll move on.
19 MR. CAYLEY: If we could have, please, Prosecutor's Exhibit 609,
20 please, Mr. Usher. You were adjusting the heating. It is a little
21 chilly, isn't it.
22 Q. Now, General, this is a document with which you are familiar and
23 on which you have commented, and if I could just encapsulate your comments
24 on this document.
25 You interpreted -- your opinion was, one, from this document that
1 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic knew that there were prisoners in his area
2 of responsibility. Do you recall concluding that from this document?
3 Could you say yes because --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And, secondly, you interpret this document as stating, or your
6 opinion was that he was using brigade resources to secure those prisoners
7 and clear the terrain. You came to that conclusion. Do you recall?
8 A. I didn't understand the second half of your question.
9 Q. In your professional opinion to the Judges, you came to the
10 conclusion from this document that the Brigade Commander, Lieutenant
11 Colonel Pandurevic, was using parts of the Zvornik Brigade to secure
12 prisoners and clear the terrain.
13 A. Not to clear the terrain. I didn't say that. That does not
14 follow from this document. But that brigade resources were used to secure
15 the prisoners.
16 Q. Your third conclusion from this document was that
17 Colonel Pandurevic did not know that all of the prisoners, by the 15th of
18 July of 1995, had been liquidated. He did not know that fact. That was
19 your interpretation of this document.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, General, the Judges in this case have heard that there were a
22 large number of Muslim men who were executed at a place called Orahovac on
23 the 14th of July of 1995. Are you aware of that fact?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, General, are you also aware that the Prosecutor in this case
1 has presented to the Court records showing that ten members of the Zvornik
2 military police were present in Orahovac on the 14th of July of 1995?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And are you aware that it is the Prosecutor's contention,
5 position, that those members of the military police were guarding the
6 prisoners in Orahovac? Are you aware of that fact?
7 A. Yes, I am aware of that fact, that that is the submission of the
9 Q. Are you also aware, General, that that record showing the presence
10 of those military police in Orahovac was altered, was altered in order to
11 conceal their presence at that location?
12 A. I am aware that some markings were changed, but whether it was to
13 conceal their presence there it would be difficult for me to say, but I am
14 aware of the contention of the Prosecutor to that effect.
15 Q. General, secondly, are you aware that a survivor from the Orahovac
16 execution site identified one of his executioners, his would-be
17 executioners, by name? Are you aware of that?
18 A. I have read the testimony. I am aware of it, yes.
19 Q. And you're aware that the individual who that witness identified
20 was identified by the Prosecutor as a member of the 4th Battalion of the
21 Zvornik Brigade? Are you aware of that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Lastly, General, are you aware, thirdly, that the Prosecutor has
24 presented evidence in this case to show that the Zvornik Brigade
25 Engineering Unit was also in Orahovac and that witnesses -- the witness
1 who survived the execution site there stated that there were large
2 vehicles with lights shining on the execution site? Are you aware of that
3 evidence, General?
4 A. I am aware of that testimony as well.
5 Q. General, if all of those three facts that I've stated to you are
6 true, would you not agree with me that the Brigade Commander, Lieutenant
7 Colonel Pandurevic, on the 15th of July, could not have possibly not known
8 about the fact that Zvornik Brigade military assets were being used for
9 the liquidation of Muslim prisoners? Wouldn't you agree with that,
11 A. I agree with you partially, but I disagree in one respect, and
12 that is what I have conveyed to Mr. Visnjic, the Defence attorney. This
13 is a report which Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, the Commander of the
14 Zvornik Brigade, made on his return from Zepa. From the context of this
15 report, it can be seen that he does know. He knows that there are
16 prisoners in his zone and that he feels that this is engaging his
17 resources and that he cannot continue.
18 If he had known that they had been liquidated, he would not have
19 put that in this document because it is incriminating. It is in his area
20 of responsibility, and whatever happens in his area of responsibility, he
21 is aware he would be responsible for, and he would not incriminate himself
22 in that way.
23 So on that basis, I came to the conclusion that at that point in
24 time, he did not know that there had been an execution. Rather than
25 wishing on my part to relieve him of any responsibility because that is
1 his -- not only his responsibility, but it would be anybody else's
2 responsibility in the chain of command of the Drina Corps, but I'm
3 claiming that at that point in time he did not know, which doesn't mean
4 that he didn't find out later on. That is my interpretation of this
6 So there is no substantive disagreement between you and me on this
8 Q. General, this has a sent/received stamp of 1925 hours on the
9 15th of July. The prisoners have been liquidated by the 14th of July, by
10 the evening, and the burial process was ongoing.
11 Are you stating to the Judges that, by the end of the day on the
12 15th of July, Colonel Pandurevic had absolutely no idea what his engineers
13 were doing, what his military police were doing, and what one of his
14 battalions within his brigade was doing; that he had no clue what those
15 three units had been doing? Is that your evidence?
16 A. No. That is not what I am saying. I'm claiming, sir, that
17 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, Commander of the Zvornik Brigade, was at
18 Zepa on the 14th and that he was not in the zone of responsibility at that
19 time and that at that time he did not know what was happening in the zone
20 of responsibility. He returned to his zone of responsibility on the 15th,
21 and he was interested first and foremost as there was a crisis in the zone
22 of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade. That's why he returned. He was
23 primarily interested in --
24 Q. General, in Colonel Pandurevic's absence, who was commanding the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. The Chief of Staff was in command of the brigade.
2 Q. Don't you think, General, that when Colonel Pandurevic returned to
3 Zvornik that somebody briefed him, somebody told him - the Chief of Staff,
4 anybody in the headquarters - as to what was going on in the area of
6 A. At the time that Vinko Pandurevic was at Zepa, his Chief of Staff
7 dealt with all the major -- dealt with the major operative problem in
8 Snagovo where there was a conflict between the forces of the 28th Division
9 and parts of the Zvornik Brigade. And his Chief of Staff, that is to say
10 the deputy commander, was not in the areas in which the executions had
11 allegedly occurred, and it is certain that the Brigade Commander and Chief
12 of Staff, as his deputy, at that time could not have known about it
13 because they were busy with quite different matters and were not aware of
14 that fact. That, of course, cannot free them of responsibility, but I'm
15 trying to explain the situation.
16 Q. General, are you aware also on the 14th of July that a mass
17 execution took place at the dam near Petkovci? Are you aware of that
19 A. Yes, I am aware of that fact.
20 Q. And are you aware, General, that the Prosecutor has demonstrated
21 that members of the 6th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade were at Petkovci
22 on the 15th of July?
23 A. I read that finding by Mr. Butler, too.
24 Q. General, who is deploying all of these individuals? Give me a
25 name. What was the name of the person? If it wasn't the Chief of Staff
1 and it wasn't the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, who was giving them
2 orders to deploy to these locations, to Orahovac and Petkovci?
3 A. Well, taking care of prisoners is not a problem that the operative
4 part of the command deals with. The care of prisoners of war is something
5 that is seen to by the security system, the security organ and the
6 military police, or rather, the civilian police. And it is quite possible
7 and it is quite probable, indeed, that at the time that this took place,
8 the officers dealing with operative command, that is to say --
9 Q. General --
10 A. -- in charge of the combat operations --
11 Q. -- who were the people who were giving the orders? Give me the
12 name or names.
13 A. I was not on the spot for me to be able to know who implemented
14 the orders, executed orders. I'm just saying that why Pandurevic and
15 Obrenovic need not have known that on the 14th and 15th, the executions
16 had taken place. I'm not saying that the executions did not take place.
17 What I'm saying is that the situation in the area of responsibility of the
18 Zvornik Brigade was such that it could have happened, and it was quite
19 probable that it happened. At that moment when they made this report,
20 they did not know about the executions. They were not aware of them;
21 otherwise, they would not have written that down in this report. The
22 information would have gone through different channels and not in an open
23 system of communications in the system of command which is accessible to
24 everyone, because the document itself -- a document itself is the greatest
25 accusation of the command system in whose area of responsibility the
1 executions took place, and they did not know about this.
2 Q. So your evidence is that Colonel Pandurevic was aware of all of
3 these prisoners all over the brigade area of responsibility, but had
4 absolutely no idea whatsoever that most of his brigade was actually
5 involved in murdering these people on the 14th and 15th of July. Is that
6 your evidence?
7 A. I am quite certain that on the day he wrote the report, at the
8 moment he wrote the report, he did not know about it, but later on quite
9 certainly he did learn of it. He must have learnt of it, but at that
10 point when he wrote this, he did not.
11 Q. Now, General --
12 JUDGE WALD: Can I just ask one question?
13 MR. CAYLEY: Of course, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE WALD: I know this is irritating, to use a word to --
15 turnabout is fair play.
16 What I don't understand, General, is in this very dispatch that
17 we're discussing here, Pandurevic says, you know, "We can't handle this,"
18 and he said, "I will have to let them go." And he also discusses, I
19 think, although it's not high enough on the screen, that there are
20 negotiations going on, presumably with him and the Muslim army, as to
21 creating a corridor through which people will be let go.
22 Now, is it possible to have an army which allows a person in
23 command of a brigade to be negotiating with the opposite army and to
24 believe that he is in control of what's happening to the prisoners when he
25 says, "I will have to let them go," at the same time that a phantom
1 command structure is off liquidating the prisoners? I mean, you're a
2 military expert and you talk about military principles. How can you run
3 an army like that, that a General or a Colonel thinks he's in charge of
4 the prisoners, is negotiating with the opposite forces about possible
5 letting go of the prisoners, and there's a whole separate command which is
6 off, using his resources to take care of and liquidate the prisoners?
7 I mean, that's the only scenario that I can figure out from what
8 you're saying, and I'm really in a hard place trying to figure out how
9 anybody could run an army like that. Maybe you could help me out.
10 A. Your Honour, you're quite right. The situation was a very
11 difficult one, very difficult.
12 Negotiations. Now, the commander of the Zvornik Brigade was
13 holding negotiations with commanders of the 28th Division, the
14 representatives of the 28th Division, for opening up a corridor to let
15 through the column which was moving from Srebrenica towards Tuzla, making
16 this breakthrough. It was such a strong column that he didn't even dare
17 resist it, stand up to it, because at the front itself with the 4th
18 Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, three trenches had been taken control
19 of, and this was a dramatic operative situation in the area of
20 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade.
21 The negotiations were not conducted to let the prisoners go. He
22 did not have the mandate to do so. Therefore, the prisoners were not
23 under his competence and authority, but probably he had the responsibility
24 to be in charge of them and take care of them.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Judge Wald.
1 JUDGE WALD: But he said in this very dispatch, one paragraph
2 above, the negotiations, "If no one" -- "I can't take care of these
3 problems," when he's referring to the large number of prisoners. He said,
4 "If no one takes on the responsibility, I will be forced to let them go."
5 He thought he had the authority to take care of the prisoners; at least,
6 that's the way I read it, and to let them go.
7 A. No. He had the responsibility, or rather, his people while he was
8 at Zepa had the responsibility to be in charge of the prisoners, take care
9 of them, but then following pursuant to orders from the Main Staff, the
10 prisoners were taken over to the superior command. So the prisoners had
11 to go to the collection centres, the holding areas, which the Republika
12 Srpska had in the vicinity of -- in the northeast section, that is to
13 say -- I can't think of the name of the place now.
14 JUDGE WALD: Batkovic?
15 A. I can't -- Batkovic, yes, thank you. Batkovic was the place. So
16 it was a collection centre in Batkovici, and their responsibility was to
17 that. But as that was not what was undertaken, he had to use up resources
18 which he needed on the front, and that is why he is making this dramatic
19 appeal. From the context of this, I can conclude that he did not know
20 that those prisoners had been liquidated. Of course, that does not rid
21 him of his responsibility, and I do not wish to do so. That's not what
22 I'm trying to do. I don't want to justify him and rid him of the
23 responsibility of the fact that that occurred in his area of
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, I do apologise, but
1 I myself have a question at this point.
2 General, you are an expert witness, a military expert witness, a
3 professional man. Now, imagine the following situation: You're the
4 commander of a brigade, for example, and you reach the -- your various
5 installations where the brigade is located, deployed, and you see that the
6 Security Service, the Security Service has taken away the military police,
7 the transport service, and other battalions, for example, to do something
8 else that you don't know about.
9 Now, what would you do, following military rules and regulations,
10 faced with the situation like that? What would you do?
11 A. I would first see where they had been taken to, and I would take
12 steps. I would relieve them of their duties, bring them to task, and all
13 the other measures and steps that I am authorised to take given a
14 situation of that kind.
15 But the commander of the brigade, on the 15th, returns from Zepa,
16 and the first place he goes to is the command post and, from the
17 operations duty officer, he asks for a situation report because he -- the
18 circumstances are dramatic which brought him back to the zone of
19 responsibility, and he has established a front at Zepa. So he has
20 withdrawn the army, he's brought the units, and he's now seeking a
21 situation report. He wants to know where the weakest points at the front
22 towards Tuzla are, or rather, towards the column being withdrawn.
23 So that is the problem which occupies him at that point. He
24 focuses on that problem, how to close the void. And it is quite certain
25 that he cannot deal with any other matters because he thought that the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 system, the police and security system, was seeing to those affairs. And
2 from that situation, we received this information from him, this appeal.
3 He is asking somebody else to be in charge of the prisoners, and it must
4 be the superior command, the corps command -- or rather, the corps turns
5 it over to the army of Republika Srpska and Batkovic.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, just one moment. When
7 somebody informs the chief of the brigade with respect to the prisoners,
8 don't you think that information, specific information about the prisoners
9 should be imparted at this point?
10 A. Yes, of course. Yes, of course. And I don't justify the system
11 that did not give the proper information. But I'm just trying to explain
12 why the Brigade Commander at that point did not know and could not have
13 known, or to be more specific, need not have known, and that's how we come
14 to get a report of this kind. That's why it's written in this way.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, I apologise. Please
17 JUDGE RIAD: I have just a small inquiry. You said that the
18 Brigade Commander said that he would let them go and you inferred that
19 they would be going to the collection centres or holding areas. He did
20 not say that he was sending them there, did he? He just said, "I'll let
21 them go," but he didn't say where.
22 A. In the order or, rather, in the documents of the Command of the
23 Drina Corps for Operation Srebrenica, and also in the document of the Main
24 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, it is prescribed how one should
25 behave towards prisoners of war. So prisoners of war, by virtue of the
1 document of the Main Staff, are put into the proper facilities and are
2 handed over to the Superior Command. That was the duty, the
4 When the Brigade Commander returned from Zepa to the area of
5 responsibility, he was told that the prisoners of war were in his area of
6 responsibility, and he was asking why they weren't where they should have
7 been pursuant to the order and that they were using up resources that he
8 needed for the front. That's why he launched this appeal that he couldn't
9 be in charge of the responsibilities, that somebody else had to look after
10 them, which meant the Superior Command, and that if they did not take them
11 over, he would be forced to let them go. So this is an appeal to the
12 Superior Command to take over the prisoners of war. To our great
13 misfortune and our shame, we know how they dealt with them.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
15 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Judge Riad.
16 Q. General, we've already presented, put forward, that the 4th
17 Battalion of the Zvornik, the military police of the Zvornik Brigade, and
18 the engineers of the Zvornik were all engaged in Orahovac on the 14th of
19 July in murdering people.
20 Now, you're a military man. Put yourself in the position for one
21 moment of Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic returning to the brigade and the
22 meeting that he had that you've discussed with the President with the
23 operations officer.
24 Now, do you not think that Colonel Pandurevic would have asked the
25 operations officer, captain whoever, "Tell me, what has the 4th Brigade
1 been -- what has the 4th Battalion been doing? What have the military
2 police been doing? What have the engineers been doing?" Don't you think
3 that Colonel Pandurevic would have asked those questions?
4 A. Well, he knows exactly what the 4th Battalion was doing. It was
5 holding the front. He knows what the battalion was doing. The question
6 is whether somebody, whether anybody with parts of the 4th Battalion acted
7 contrary to his orders because he gave orders where the 4th Battalion was
8 to be. But quite obviously, somebody used the 4th Battalion for different
9 purposes, and that 4th Battalion had the most difficult situation at the
10 front and that is where the corridor was, in fact, opened up for the
11 column to move through because the 4th Battalion had lost its positions.
12 Q. What do you think the operations officer said to Colonel
13 Pandurevic about this robbed part of the 4th Battalion and the military
14 police and the engineers? What do you think he told Colonel Pandurevic
15 about what they'd been doing in Orahovac?
16 A. The operations officer told the Brigade Commander, gave him as
17 a -- brought him up-to-date with the situation on the front. That was the
18 urgent information which the commander was exclusively interested in at
19 the beginning, as soon as he arrived, to understand the situation facing
20 his brigade.
21 After that, he learnt -- somebody told him that there were
22 prisoners of war in his area of responsibility and probably he was told
23 the localities. He does not specify the localities. Whether he knew them
24 or not, I can't say, but I allow for the possibility that he knew the
25 localities as well. And he was informed that his people were there
1 engaged in security. But I'm quite certain that nobody told him his
2 4th Battalion was busy murdering prisoners of war. I'm quite convinced of
3 that, because he wouldn't have written an information of this kind. He
4 wouldn't have written a report of this kind. He would have written quite
5 a different report.
6 Q. General, let's go back to the order and the sort of key
7 paragraph. "An additional burden for us is the large number of prisoners
8 distributed throughout schools in the brigade area, as well as obligations
9 of security and restoration of the terrain."
10 I want to concentrate on the word "security" for a moment. Who
11 was the assistant commander for security in the Drina Corps?
12 A. The assistant commander for security, I believe, was Nikolic, for
13 security. Please help me if I can't remember his first name.
14 Q. It's -- the name is Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, Nikolic --
15 A. No. No, that's in the corps, sir. That's in the Drina Corps.
16 Q. That's the question I asked you. You must have got a
18 A. I understood you to be asking about the Zvornik Brigade.
19 Q. So we're agreed that the assistant commander for security in the
20 Drina Corps was Lieutenant Colonel Popovic.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who was the security officer, the chief of security, in the Main
23 Staff of the VRS?
24 A. The chief of security in the Main Staff of the VRS was Beara.
25 Q. So we're agreed it was Colonel Ljubo Beara.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, General, you're aware that it is the Prosecutor's position
3 that Colonel Popovic and Colonel Beara were involved in the murder of
4 thousands of Muslim prisoners in the Zvornik area? Are you aware of
6 A. From the documents which I studied, I did not come across that
7 kind of information nor did I glean it. But in reading some intercepts,
8 that kind of information is contained there, although I have my
9 reservations with respect to that material. But I am aware of the fact
10 which is contained in those conversations.
11 Q. Now, General, bearing in mind that Colonel Pandurevic is using the
12 word "security," you would agree with me that what he is referring to is
13 the murder of thousands of Muslims by Colonel Popovic and Colonel Beara?
14 That's what he's referring to in this report, isn't he, General?
15 A. In this report? No.
16 Q. General --
17 A. In this report -- please, sir. This report says, the last
18 sentence, "As well as obligations of security." "Obezbedjenje" means
19 "control," "supervision," and so on, and that implies -- that is what we
20 mean by the word in my language of "obezbedjenje."
21 Q. General, the word --
22 A. Not "bezbednost."
23 Q. General, the word "restoration," can you explain to the Judges
24 what that means in military terminology?
25 A. Clearing up of the battlefield is an action which is undertaken in
1 order to -- that in the area where there was fighting to clear up the
2 consequences of that fighting, and that means picking up the casualties,
3 both human and animal, and burying the bodies and usually the animal
4 remains are burnt. "Clearing up" means also control of drinking water.
5 It also implies taking control of the epidemiological situation, to avoid
6 any disease, epidemics from spreading. So that is the term that "clearing
7 up" means. It means to undertake all the necessary measures which would
8 enable an area which -- upon which combat had taken place should be
9 brought into a proper state. That is what we mean by clearing up the
10 battlefield. It implies a whole complex of steps and measures and also
11 means the taking of hygienic and technical measures with respect to people
12 in the area -- people who spent time in the area, once again to prevent
13 epidemics and so on and so forth. So that is what we mean in broad terms
14 by clearing up the battlefield.
15 Q. Now, General, I have the military lexicon in front of me of the
16 JNA. I'm not going to waste time showing it to you, but what I'm
17 particularly interested in is the meaning -- you've stated it yourself,
18 that "asanacija" means burying the dead, doesn't it General? That is one
19 of the meanings of the term "asanacija."
20 A. It is one of the acts undertaken within the framework of the
21 asanacija procedures.
22 Q. And indeed when Colonel Pandurevic is referring to restoration in
23 this report, General, he's referring to burying thousands of dead Muslims
24 who have been executed. That's what he's talking about, isn't he,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No. I do not make such a conclusion. Asanacija of the
2 battlefield is something that the operations commander has to address in
3 coordination with the Civil Defence, the medical corps, and so on. Bodies
4 found are buried as part of that procedure, but restoration of the terrain
5 or asanacija cannot be identified with what you are implying.
6 Q. Now, General, fighting in the Zvornik area, as you know, did not
7 cease until the 17th of July of 1995, did it?
8 A. There was fighting even later, but on the 17th of July, the
9 corridor was closed. Most of the column had passed through, but there
10 were battles later on as well.
11 Q. So are you suggesting to the Court that Colonel Pandurevic was
12 busily clearing up the battlefield with ongoing fighting against Muslims
13 in the area? Is that what you're suggesting? On the 15th of July, with
14 ongoing fighting, he's wandering the battlefield with his units, clearing
15 it up. Is that what you're suggesting?
16 A. Sir, this is a document dated the 15th, the 15th, and of course
17 Pandurevic is not doing asanacija on the 15th, but a part of the resources
18 of the brigade have to be engaged for that too.
19 Q. General, Colonel Pandurevic is reporting on the 15th of July that
20 one of the burdens that he has is the restoration of the terrain, and you
21 and I both know it's a fact that he was not clearing the battlefield on
22 the 15th of July. He's talking about burying the bodies of executed
23 Muslims, isn't he, General?
24 A. If that was the action he was engaged in exclusively, he would
25 call it that. He wouldn't say "restoration of the terrain," he would say
1 "burial of killed prisoners." However, as he's talking about restoration
2 of the terrain, I am prone to interpret it as activities which involve all
3 the actions that I have described.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President -- I'm sorry, Judge Riad.
5 JUDGE RIAD: General, would such things as burying the killed
6 prisoners be openly stated in reports or in correspondence? I think I
7 understood that differently, that these things are not to be said openly.
8 I think I even heard you saying that.
9 A. They are not said openly. But if the report really did refer to
10 liquidation of people, then there was no need to conceal it because if
11 everyone in the communications chain knew about it, then there would be no
12 need to hide it behind the term "asanacija," which implies much more than
13 burial. It also implies finding the casualties, collecting them in
14 particular places, and taking all the other measures, as I have no other
15 possibilities of interpreting this term in any other way but to include
16 all these other activities.
17 It certainly does not imply only that, but once the commander
18 finds out, then the term covers that, too. But I think, and I'm almost
19 sure, that at the time this report was compiled, he was not aware that he
20 had this problem, too, in his area of responsibility.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Do you wish to take a pause now?
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, perhaps this would be a
25 good time.
1 I should like to take advantage of the opportunity to give you
2 some good news, Mr. Cayley, that you have acquired 23 additional minutes.
3 This is the time the Judges took away from you.
4 So we're going to have a 20-minute break.
5 MR. CAYLEY: I'll be finished soon, Mr. President.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley, please proceed.
9 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 If the General could be provided with Prosecutor's Exhibit 614,
12 Q. General, this is an interim combat report from Lieutenant Colonel
13 Pandurevic from the 16th of July of 1995. Are you familiar with this
14 document? Have you seen this before?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'm particularly interested in the final paragraph, the paragraph
17 6. After you've read that -- do you have paragraph 6 there?
18 Could you read out the final sentence of paragraph 6, please.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Cayley, take care of the throat of the
21 MR. CAYLEY: I was thinking of my throat, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, okay. We have to balance these things.
23 MR. CAYLEY:
24 Q. I'll read it, General, in order to save your vocal chords. "I
25 consider that the Krivaja 95 operation is not complete as long as a single
1 enemy soldier or civilian remains behind the front line."
2 Now, General, you know that by the 16th of July of 1995, the
3 movement of the civilian population from Srebrenica was complete, wasn't
4 it? In fact, it was completed on the 13th of July of 1995, wasn't it?
5 A. On the 13th in the evening.
6 Q. So by that time, these 30.000 civilians had left the enclave and
7 were now on Muslim-controlled territory?
8 A. That is what follows from the document.
9 Q. And also by the 16th of July, you're aware that there had been
10 executions in the Jadar River, Cerska Valley, Kravica, Orahovac, the dam
11 at Petkovci, Branjevo farm, the Pilica school, the Pilica Dom, and
12 Kozluk. You are aware that there had been -- of the executions that we
13 know about, they had all taken place by the 16th of July, hadn't they,
15 A. Everything in connection with the locations, the dynamics, and the
16 dates of the executions contained in Mr. Butler's testimony is something I
17 agree with. I have studied it in detail, and I concur.
18 Q. So by the 16th of July, General, in essence, the Muslim community
19 in Srebrenica had been extinguished apart from the stragglers that were
20 left in Zvornik; isn't that right?
21 A. I wouldn't say extinguished or destroyed. According to the
22 documents, about 30.000 people were relocated, and by the 13th of the
23 evening, they were in territory under the control of the Muslim army and
25 Q. By the 16th of July, General, apart from the stragglers in
1 Zvornik, the population, including the male members, were either moved to
2 Tuzla, or they were dead. That's right, isn't it, General?
3 A. They were moved to Tuzla, plus the information on the executions
4 that I have studied and with which I concur.
5 Q. And that's exactly what Colonel Pandurevic is talking about in
6 this document, isn't he? He's saying that Krivaja 95 is not complete
7 until every single member of the Muslim army or civilians are either moved
8 or dead. That's what he's saying, isn't he, General?
9 A. Do you really think that a brigade commander can rule when an
10 operation is over? An operation is over when the aims set in the order of
11 the Corps Commander have been attained, and that is capturing the
12 prominent features around Srebrenica.
13 Q. General --
14 A. The operation was completed on the 11th.
15 Q. -- that is not what the brigade commander is saying. The brigade
16 commander is saying that, "Krivaja 95 is not complete as long as a single
17 enemy soldier or civilian remains behind the front line." And by that,
18 he's saying, "Krivaja 95 is not complete until all of the civilians have
19 been moved and we've killed all the Muslim soldiers." That's what he's
20 saying, isn't he, General?
21 A. No, he's not saying that. First of all, he doesn't know whether
22 the operation has been completed or not. The person who planned and
23 executed the operation knows that, and his superior commander, the
24 commander of the Drina Corps, or rather, the Drina Corps command, and the
25 Main Staff command. The commander of the Zvornik Brigade was only one of
1 the participants in the operation, and in a limited manner. And as of the
2 12th, he is already near Srebrenica and he certainly does not know when
3 the operation was completed. Other people know that.
4 His statement I interpret as meaning that he believes that some of
5 the consequences of that operation, such as the capturing of prisoners of
6 war and their settlement in his area of responsibility, is a consequence
7 of the operation. That is his interpretation. It doesn't mean that he's
8 right. It does not mean that the operation is not completed. The
9 operation was completed on the 11th.
10 Q. So your evidence is that one of the brigade commanders of the
11 Drina Corps had a completely different understanding of the purpose of
12 Krivaja 95 as compared to everybody else in the Drina Corps headquarters
13 and all of the other brigade commanders. Is that what you're saying?
14 A. What I'm saying is that the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade did
15 not consider the aim of the operation to be the destruction of the last
16 remaining Muslim. The aim of the operation is determined by the corps
17 commander, and he defined it in his order for active combat.
18 MR. CAYLEY: If we could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 675, please.
19 Q. Now, General, this is an order that you've already referred to in
20 your evidence, and, in particular, you referred to paragraph 4.
21 MR. CAYLEY: So, Mr. Usher, if page 2 could be placed on the
23 Q. And Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic writes, on the 18th of July:
24 "During the last 10 days or so the municipality of Zvornik has been
25 swamped with Srebrenica Turks." "Derogatory term for the Muslims" is the
1 translator's note. "It is inconceivable to me that someone brought in
2 3.000 Turks of military age and placed them in schools in the
3 municipality, in addition to the 7.000 or so who have fled into the
4 forests. This has created an extremely complex situation and the
5 possibility of the total occupation of Zvornik in conjunction with the
6 forces at the front. These actions have stirred up great discontent among
7 the people and the general opinion is that Zvornik is to pay the price for
8 the taking of Srebrenica."
9 Now, General, you would agree with me that by the 18th of July,
10 apart from the execution at Nezluk, all of the prisoners within the
11 Zvornik area of command have been executed, have they not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So by that time, you would agree with me that Lieutenant
14 Colonel Pandurevic, even if on your theory he didn't know on the 15th of
15 July that thousands of Muslims had been killed in Zvornik, he certainly
16 knew that a lot of Muslim prisoners had been killed in his area of
17 responsibility by the 18th of July of 1995, didn't he?
18 A. From this paragraph on page 3, that is, point 4, it is indeed
19 possible to infer that the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade is aware of
20 the executions in his zone, but also he says explicitly that he cannot
21 understand that someone should have brought 3.000 military-aged Turks, as
22 he says, and puts them in schools in the municipality. So he says
23 somebody, somebody else brought them there.
24 Q. And when he states that "these actions have stirred up great
25 discontent among the people and the general opinion is that Zvornik is to
1 pay the price for the taking of Srebrenica," what he's saying to the Drina
2 Corps Command is that there's a great deal of discontent in Zvornik
3 because everybody in Zvornik knows that thousands of Muslims have been
4 killed in the Zvornik area. That's what he's saying, isn't he, General?
5 A. Of course, that too can be inferred from the contents of this
6 paragraph, but he's also thinking of the 7.000 who had fled and who could
7 link up with the 2nd Corps and lead to the fall of Zvornik, but he does
8 have what you are saying in mind as well.
9 Q. He's angry, isn't he, General, because his whole area is soaked in
10 Muslim blood. That's what he's saying to the Drina Corps. The
11 population, the Serbian population was discontented with that situation,
12 weren't they, General?
13 A. Yes. The Brigade Commander, who probably learnt what had
14 happened, is furious that this had happened and that somebody did it
15 without his knowing about it.
16 MR. CAYLEY: We can move on, Mr. President, to another area, and
17 I'm gradually getting to the end.
18 If the following exhibits could be made available: Prosecutor's
19 Exhibit 435 and Defence Exhibit 151. If 151 could be placed onto --
20 Defence 151. Sorry.
21 Q. Now, General, my understanding of your testimony was that within
22 the Drina Corps, the Chief of Staff had no command authority over the
23 assistant commanders. He only had command authority over his own staff;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. CAYLEY: And if the witness could be shown, please,
2 Prosecutor's Exhibit 435.
3 Q. Now, General, on the 12th of July, General Krstic was the Chief of
4 Staff of the brigade, wasn't he? Of the corps, I'm sorry.
5 A. Of the corps, yes. Yes.
6 Q. Now, this is an intercept that you have seen before, and in it,
7 General Krstic is giving orders to Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, the
8 Chief of Transport of the Drina Corps.
9 Now, since Colonel Krsmanovic was directly underneath the
10 assistant commander for rear services, under your theory, General Krstic
11 should have had no authority to give this man orders, should he?
12 A. In principle, I have reservations towards intercepts, as a matter
13 of principle, and I can back this up with arguments. If I may be allowed,
14 I can tell you what I think about it.
15 Q. General. General.
16 A. I will answer your question. I will answer your question.
17 Q. Let us say this is a hypothetical situation. For one moment, put
18 your reservations about the intercepts to one side. Mr. Visnjic can deal
19 with that in his re-examination.
20 If this is correct, if General Krstic is, in fact, giving an order
21 to Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, then your theory that the Chief of Staff
22 has no authority over assistant commanders or their subordinates is
23 incorrect, isn't it, General?
24 A. No, sir. My theory is correct. But you have to bear in mind
25 another fact and that is that General Krstic is also the deputy commander,
1 and whenever the corps commander is not able to issue an order or is
2 physically not present or is away somewhere and a commander, a subordinate
3 commander requires explanations, the Chief of Staff, as the deputy corps
4 commander, has the authority to issue an order on behalf of the
5 commander. And if such a situation were to arise, as reflected in this
6 intercept, General Krstic would have full authority to order the assistant
7 for rear services because the Corps Commander has already issued such an
9 So he's acting pursuant to the order of the Corps Commander or on
10 the basis of his oral decision. We don't know the background, the context
11 of this order. Whether he had authority to do that or not, we would be
12 able to say only if we knew where the Corps Commander was at that point in
13 time, where General Krstic was, and where this officer Krsmanovic was.
14 And without knowing that, it is very difficult to answer your question.
15 I have said as a rule that the Chief of Staff of the Corps as the
16 Deputy Commander is authorised to issue orders when the commander is
17 unable to do so.
18 Q. And he's authorised to issue those orders to assistant commanders
19 and brigades when the commander is not available to issue those orders
20 himself, isn't he, General?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If we could now move on.
23 General, I want to discuss with you a little the rules of service
24 of the security organ which you discussed in the, I think, the final day
25 of your examination-in-chief. And you stated that paragraph 49 of those
1 rules, which deals with secret information, essentially creates a fissure
2 or crack within the command structure of military units of the VRS. Do
3 you recall your fissure or crack theory?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Now if, please, Prosecutor's Exhibit 418 could be
6 made available.
7 Q. Now, General, do you recall stating that prisoners of war are
8 essentially the responsibility of the assistant commander --
9 A. I didn't hear that, I'm sorry.
10 Q. Do you recall stating in your evidence that prisoners of war are
11 the responsibility of the security section, the assistant commander for
12 security, and also the chief of intelligence or the intelligence body of
13 the corps? Do you recall stating that?
14 A. Everything within the unit is the commander's responsibility, but
15 for certain departments, he has his assistants, and therefore the security
16 department covers the treatment of prisoners of war.
17 Q. Let me read to you your evidence, General, and this is on page
18 8064. "In the system of command of the prisoners of war, by nature of
19 this duty, it would have to be the security organs and intelligence organs
20 who would deal with this, but first and foremost the security organs."
21 Now, based on what you said, General, would I be right in
22 concluding that both the intelligence organ and the security organ were
23 involved in dealing with prisoners of war?
24 A. No, only the security organs. The intelligence organs provide
25 information for the Security Service when interrogating prisoners of war,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 information about the enemy. So they are only users of information about
2 the enemy side obtained through the interrogation of prisoners of war.
3 Q. Now, General, if you could --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
5 MR. CAYLEY:
6 Q. General, if you could look at paragraph 16, and I will read this:
7 "The security organ is directly subordinate to the commanding officer of
8 the command, unit, institution, or staff of the armed forces in whose
9 strength it is placed in the establishment, and it is responsible to that
10 officer for its work, while JNA security organs," and then it goes on to
11 talk about the federal secretary for national defence.
12 Now, General, who was the assistant commander for security in the
13 Drina Corps?
14 A. Lieutenant Colonel Popovic.
15 Q. Now, if we substitute Lieutenant Colonel Popovic's name in place
16 of "security organ," it reads, this document, "Lieutenant Colonel Popovic
17 is directly subordinate to the commanding officer of the command, unit,
18 institution, or staff of the armed forces in whose strength it is placed
19 in the establishment ..."
20 Now, General, since Colonel Popovic was the assistant commander
21 for security within the Drina Corps, on the basis of that regulation, he
22 was directly subordinate, was he not, to the commander of the Drina Corps;
23 that is who he answered to?
24 A. To the commander of the Drina Corps, yes.
25 Q. Now, going back to your fissure or crack theory, I wish to read to
1 you, and if the witness can be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit 399 -- so bear
2 in mind the theory that you put forward that there was, in fact, a fissure
3 in the command chain. I can read this to you if there's a problem in
4 finding it. This is General Krstic's interview, and this is what he
6 MR. CAYLEY: On page 61 in the English and on page 37,
7 Mr. Visnjic, in the B/C/S.
8 Q. "I cannot be responsible for the acts of Lieutenant Colonel
9 Popovic because he's an individual. In all this, he was activated by the
10 order of General Mladic and the chief of security administration going
11 along the line of the chain of command of security."
12 General, based on your crack theory, was Lieutenant Colonel
13 Popovic -- were Lieutenant Colonel Popovic and Colonel Beara and General
14 Mladic the individuals responsible for killing thousands of Muslim
15 prisoners of war?
16 A. I cannot answer your question whether they are responsible for the
17 killing of Muslims or not. I can talk about the role of the Security
18 Service in the system of command, and about the possible crack in the
19 command system which resulted in the independence of the Security Service,
20 but --
21 Q. General, these were the security officers in the Drina Corps and
22 the Main Staff, and General Mladic was in command of the entire VRS.
23 These are the very people. Were these the people, General, who were
24 responsible, Colonel Beara and Colonel Popovic; were they responsible for
25 killing all these people?
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I should like to
3 object to the question of my learned friend Mr. Cayley. It is the
4 submission of the Defence that this question belongs to a certain
5 investigation engaged in by the Prosecution, and I don't see how the
6 witness can, within the context of his answers, determine whether somebody
7 is responsible or not when he did not address that issue, as the witness
8 has told us several times.
9 If the Prosecution wishes to investigate, I would appeal that he
10 refrains from doing so in his questions to this witness.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, do you wish to
13 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, the witness, an expert, has put
14 forward a theory to the Court that there was a crack in the command chain,
15 and he's essentially inferred, said expressly, that this security organ
16 was working all by itself. Now, we know who the individuals are that were
17 in the security branch.
18 Now, if he's putting that theory forward, he can certainly make
19 that theory good by actually inserting the actors into his theory and
20 telling the Court whether or not his investigation indicates that these
21 people are responsible.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that
24 Mr. Cayley has provided the answer himself. If the witness has presented
25 a certain theory and the Prosecution knows who the people are holding
1 certain functions, I don't see why we should insist on this question,
2 especially as the witness cannot give the answer as to what the function
3 of those people were at that moment. He has said repeatedly that he has
4 not studied those individuals in particular, whether they were there at
5 the time, whether they knew about it or not, and so on and so forth. So
6 this process of drawing conclusions is up to the Prosecution, not the
8 A further point, Mr. President - I apologise - I thought that the
9 subject of this examination was the responsibility of General Krstic and
10 not the possible responsibility of other people involved. The question is
11 whether General Krstic is responsible or not and not whether somebody else
12 is responsible or not.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, bearing in mind the
14 fact that we have a military expert witness, you perhaps could rephrase
15 your question without using the term "responsible" because, after all,
16 that is a judicial term. So could you rephrase your questions, perhaps.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I can actually move on. I can move on
18 to a new area.
19 If the witness could be provided, please, with Prosecutor's
20 Exhibit 777 and also if you could have Defence Exhibit 142 available.
21 Q. General, this is not an order that you have seen before, and I'm
22 not particularly concerned with the content. I'm more concerned with the
24 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher, if you could place that on the ELMO.
25 Q. General, you're a senior military man. Is it normal in an order
1 from a battalion for the title of the unit, stated here "5th Engineers
2 Battalion Command," to be incorporated into the form of the order? Is
3 that standard practice?
4 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand your question, Mr. Prosecutor.
5 Q. If you look in the top, left-hand corner of this order, you will
6 see that it states "5th Engineers Battalion Command," and then it states
7 the location, "Konjevic Polje," and then it states the number of the
8 order, "9-4/94," and it also incorporates the date.
9 You were a commander of a battalion. Is it standard practice for
10 an order to be set out in this format?
11 A. It depends on the type of official correspondence. If it is open
12 post, that is to say sent by regular post, then the communication is with
13 the military post, and here 50/60/1. Then in the register they know what
14 unit it concerns.
15 If it is a confidential post and if the way in which it is
16 dispatched is confidential and controlled, then this is the manner in
17 which the communication is made.
18 Q. Would an order always contain the name of the unit and the number
19 of the order?
20 A. If it refers to an order from a superior, then it would be
21 customary for the number to be mentioned, or if there is no mention of any
22 number, then mention is made of what the order refers to. For example,
23 pursuant to the order on the transfer of the soldier of such-and-such a
24 date, in that case, you don't have to have a number. But it is customary
25 for a number to exist. That is the must customary mode of procedure.
1 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown Defence Exhibit 142.
2 Q. We've nearly finished, General. Now, General, you'll see that
3 this is an order in the same format as the previous one that we've seen,
4 but it is, in fact, missing the name of the command and the order number.
5 Would this order have had those markings on them in its original
6 form? Would it have had the "Command of the 5th Engineering Battalion"
7 and the file number on the original document?
8 A. Could you just give me a moment to read through the order to see
9 what it is about, because depending on what the order contains will depend
10 how the document is -- the appearance of the document.
11 Yes. I think I can answer now. This order has a series of
12 omissions. There are a series of omissions. First of all, he orders that
13 he will be replaced by his deputy. The deputy replaces or stands in by
14 definition, so there would be no reason for this to be stated. This is a
15 document for internal command, that is to say, it just makes public in the
16 unit that this man will be standing in.
17 His order on this standing in does not lead to the same kind of
18 consequences as would a document received from the Superior Command. No
19 personal rights from the service does this stand-in for the commander have
20 on the basis of this type of document.
21 Had the Superior Command compiled this document, the person taking
22 over the function would have the right to higher salaries, more rights,
23 perhaps the right to an apartment and so on, which goes with the post,
24 with the function. But this kind of paper, this document, only has the
25 function of informing that he will be replacing him and that he won't be
1 in the unit at that specific time.
2 Q. General, don't you think it's unusual that this order makes no
3 reference in the form of a caption like the last order to the
4 5th Engineers Battalion command and to the order number? There is no
5 reference on this document to the order number at all. Don't you think
6 that's unusual?
7 A. I said that this is an internal document. It's just a document
8 within the unit, an internal one. So the person compiling this document
9 did not do what you said, and that is an omission, a mistake of this
10 document. It wasn't shaped properly. But even if it were, the results
11 would be no different.
12 MR. CAYLEY: We can move on.
13 Q. General, do you recall in your evidence you stated, and this is at
14 page 8051: "If, in the command system and the system of informing, the
15 Command of the Drina Corps found out that these units committed something
16 that was proscribed under regulations, then they would be obliged, the
17 Drina Corps, and the command system would be obliged to act in accordance
18 or exactly the same way that any officer or any member of an army would
19 behave when they found out that somebody was acting against rules and
20 regulations, meaning that procedures would have to be initiated and
21 investigations which would be required in such a particular case. So only
22 in this regard can there be responsibility for the conduct of others in
23 their zone."
24 A. Yes, I did say that.
25 Q. Now, General, are you aware that General Krstic has stated to this
1 Court that he was informed about what happened in the Drina Corps zone in
2 late August? Are you aware of that, that he was aware of all of the
3 executions, of everything that had happened, in late August?
4 I'm sorry, I'll correct that. He was aware of a number of
5 executions in the corps area of responsibility by late August; are you
6 aware of that fact?
7 A. As far as I know, I'm acquainted with General Krstic's statement,
8 what he said was that he learnt of the executions when he returned to the
9 command post, which means that that was -- that before the end of the
10 operation, he did not know about it, if I got the meaning of your question
12 Q. General, General Krstic has stated that by late August, he was
13 aware of executions that had happened in the Corps zone of responsibility.
14 Are you aware of that fact?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, based on your theory that you presented to the Court, that
17 there is an obligation on all VRS officers to do something about alleged
18 atrocities, even if the unit is not one of your own, General Krstic had an
19 obligation to do something about these crimes that had happened within his
20 area of responsibility, didn't he, General?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Finally, General, I want to refer to a section of your report.
23 MR. CAYLEY: And this is page 66 in the English version,
24 Mr. Usher.
25 Q. And page 66 in your version, General. It's paragraph 4.3.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. CAYLEY: It's page 66, Mr. Usher, paragraph 4.3.
2 Q. And it's the section that begins "Goran Matic," and I'll read it.
3 "Goran Matic, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Information Minister,
4 talked about the massacre of Muslim civilians at a press conference when
5 giving information about results of the investigation conducted against
6 the arrested "Pauk" (or Spider) group. That group consisted of paid
7 Croats, Slovenes, Muslims, and Serbs. French intelligence service
8 organised, equipped, and trained the group to perform the massacre of
9 Muslim civilians with the aim of attributing that crime to the Serbs and
10 declaring the Serb military and political strategy to be criminal and
11 Republika Srpska as a political result of a world crime. After that
12 scenario, all violence against the Serbs became legitimate."
13 Paragraph 4.4: "Neither General Krstic nor any other Serb
14 commanding officer could have known about that criminal plan, and so
15 unfortunately they could," and it says "could prevent," I believe you
16 meant they "could not" prevent it.
17 General, do you really believe that the French intelligence
18 services used mercenaries to kill thousands of Muslims in the Zvornik and
19 Bratunac areas in July of 1995? Do you believe that statement by Goran
21 A. Sir, I, as a responsible individual, with a difficult subject to
22 study which is pregnant with terrible crimes over which there is a great
23 deal of controversy, I did not consider that I had the right to ignore the
24 fact that before the national public and the international public, the
25 authorised representative of any country whatsoever should present facts
1 and presented facts about the participation of a group of people which at
2 that point in time was under the control of the Yugoslav legal system and
3 Yugoslav courts, and as the direct --
4 Q. General, do you believe that Goran Matic was telling the truth?
5 It's in your report, General. You refer to this. Was Goran Matic telling
6 the truth when he said the French intelligence services were responsible
7 for killing of thousands of people in July of 1995?
8 A. Sir, I do not know or not know [as interpreted] whether he was
9 telling the truth. And as somebody that studied the topic, I could not
10 ignore the fact that that minister at that time spoke about that subject.
11 Therefore, I included it in my expert report without giving it too much
12 specific weight, but just indicating the fact, pointing this fact out,
13 because maybe that had an effect on the events that took place as well.
14 And that I was not totally wrong is borne out by the decision of
15 the French parliament to form an investigative commission about that
16 matter. I don't think that I influenced this, or the Yugoslav minister
17 either, but most probably the facts that became known and the intention to
18 have openly -- and precisely locate the events and perpetrators.
19 So my quotation and what I say goes along those lines. It is not
20 arbitration one way or another, either for or against. It is a
21 presentation of fact.
22 Q. General, thank you very much indeed.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, thank you. I've finished my
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Cayley, thank
2 Mr. Visnjic, do you have additional questions to pose to the
3 witness? Shall we take a break, depending on how much time you need?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I do have some
5 questions, but I should welcome a break because we're going to use some
6 exhibits, and perhaps it would be opportune to take a rather longer break
7 so that we can put all that in order. Thank you, Mr. President.
8 I don't think I will need more than 40 minutes, one hour to the
9 most, for my additional examination of the witness. Thank you.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It is now more or less time for
11 our long break of the day. So shall we have a 20-minute -- if we have a
12 20-minute break, we'll have to interrupt for the lunch break, or shall we
13 take the lunch break now? Perhaps that would be better. Yes?
14 I see that there is general acquiescence and support for the
15 latter proposal for the lunch break. Perhaps lunch isn't ready yet, but
16 anyway, that's why I was wondering, but let us take a 50-minute lunch
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 11.51 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic. You have the
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Re-examined by Mr. Visnjic:
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher to show the
25 witness Prosecution Exhibit 425, please.
1 Q. General, would you be kind enough to find - this is
2 directive 7 - the part related to the obligation to inform. It is toward
3 the end. Actually, it's the last page.
4 A. Yes, I see it.
5 Q. My learned friend Mr. Cayley, in the cross-examination, asked you
6 about the obligation to inform units as envisaged in this directive, and
7 you answered his questions.
8 My question is the following: Have you found in the course of
9 your research any report or any response addressed by a unit to the Main
10 Staff or the Supreme Commander directly linked to the order in the
12 A. I have not come across any such document. It would have been
13 natural for the Main Staff of the VRS to inform the commands of the
14 operations assigned to them and Commander of the Drina Corps and the Drina
15 Corps Commands, their Main Staff about the operations assigned to them.
16 So I have not come across any such document, and my conclusion is that
17 this is because those operations were mostly not conducted.
18 Q. General Radinovic, if the directive number 7 had been implemented,
19 would the plan for the Srebrenica operation been called Krivaja 95?
20 A. If the directive number 7 had been applied, then the plan of the
21 operation for Srebrenica would not have been called Krivaja 95 because
22 directive number 7, Krivaja -- the code name Krivaja was meant for the
23 Hercegovina Corps in the far south of Republika Srpska, and it was planned
24 that this operation be conducted in the Neretva River valley, which is a
25 completely different part of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. Let me go on to another topic now. I'm referring to the period of
2 the 12th and the 13th and the situation in Potocari.
3 The Prosecution asked you about the involvement of two or four
4 officers of the Drina Corps in this operation, and the question was
5 whether one could conclude that the Drina Corps conducted the operation.
6 Let me put a hypothetical to you. If two or several officers of
7 the Main Staff took part in the operation of the displacement of the
8 population from Potocari to Tuzla, that is, if two or more officers were
9 sighted on the spot or two or more officers engaged in active engagement
10 within the framework of that operation, would you agree with the
11 submission that the Main Staff was in charge of the operation?
12 A. Yes, I would agree with that statement because the presence of
13 officers of the Main Staff, including the Main Staff commander, is a sign
14 that the operation was conducted by the Main Staff, a very significant
15 sign, and the fact that resources of the Drina Corps were included is
16 quite natural because the Main Staff is not an abstract concept. It is
17 using the effectives of the VRS available to it in particular areas.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to show the
19 witness Prosecution Exhibit 77/6.
20 Q. General Radinovic, could you please look at the second sentence of
21 this report.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would read it in English so the
23 interpreters can interpret it for the General.
24 The second sentence. Could the exhibit be moved down a little.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, excuse me. Which
1 exhibit are we looking at? It says 77/6, but I am told by the
2 interpreters that they heard a different exhibit number. Which exhibit
3 are we talking about?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is Prosecution
5 Exhibit OTP 77/6.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General Radinovic, allow me to read the second sentence of this
9 report, and then I will ask you a question related to it. [In English]
10 "UNMOs have so far counted up to 31 explosions in Potocari but due to the
11 distance, there may be more that we have not heard."
12 [Interpretation] General Radinovic, in this Trial Chamber, two
13 Defence witnesses have testified, Witness DC and Witness Borovcanin.
14 According to the testimony of Witness DC, to be found on pages 7441 and
15 7442 of the transcript, on a number of occasions -- and I will paraphrase
16 the witness who said that she heard artillery fire but of a very limited
17 amount, and focussing most on Muslim bunkers.
18 The other witness, Borovcanin, spoke about this on ten pages of
19 the transcript, pages 7001 and 7 -- from 7001 to 7022 -- 7011, 7022.
20 Allow me to repeat it once again for the transcript. I see it's correct
21 now: from pages 7011 to page 7022.
22 The witness also said that he heard explosions occasionally, that
23 they were not numerous, that he also heard occasional detonations. And
24 also in a part of his testimony he said that the shelling was few and far
25 between, even when he got quite close to the town, and that was on the
1 10th, and he was at a distance of some two kilometres as the crow flies.
2 Through your cross-examination by the Prosecution, we referred to
3 the number of explosions on the basis of a variety of reports shown to you
4 by the Prosecution. My question is the following: What would be your
5 comment to the fact that both UN observers and members of the VRS come to
6 the same conclusion; that there is a possibility that they may not have
7 heard everything that was used, that was caused by artillery shelling, and
8 in that context, which reports do you have the greatest faith in?
9 A. It is true that it is possible for members of the VRS not to have
10 heard all the explosions in the broader area of Srebrenica, especially if
11 those witnesses learnt about the number of explosions from one particular
12 location. The causes can be different. There may be an obstacle in front
13 of them in the direction from which the shelling can be heard, then the
14 sound is pushed back. If they were so far away that an explosion could
15 not be heard, that could be a reason, too.
16 And also, the same could apply to UN observers who were in the
17 urban part of the area. And as you know, the operation was being
18 conducted on the whole area, that is, the whole breadth of the enclave,
19 wherever there were positions held by members of the 28th Division, and
20 the only people who could, with relative reliability, identify the
21 explosions were members of the Dutch Battalion who were at their
22 observation posts.
23 And as I have testified here, the number of those identified
24 explosions by the Dutch Battalion are considerably higher than the figures
25 given by the UNMOs. I think that the UN monitors mention a figure of 870
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 or 780, I'm not sure which, whereas members of the Dutch Battalion talk
2 about a number of 1.338. So the difference is quite considerable.
3 So I am confident that the members of the Dutch Battalion provided
4 much more precise figures, and I am prone to trust those rather than those
5 given by the members of the VRS and members of the United Nations
7 Q. Does the strength of the explosion depend on the artillery being
8 used? In other words, a higher calibre weapon would produce a more
9 powerful sound?
10 A. Certainly. I'm not an expert for artillery shells, but being a
11 member of the Engineers, and I have dealt with explosives, more explosives
12 and a higher calibre produces a louder explosion.
13 Q. Did members of the Dutch Battalion analyse the structure of the
14 explosions, where they came from, which artillery pieces were used, and so
16 A. No. Members of the Dutch Battalion approached the matter in an
17 extremely professional manner, and they reported on the number of
18 explosions, but you didn't go into any analysis as they were not -- they
19 did not study the craters, the ranges, the locations from which the fire
20 came. They didn't analyse the structure of those explosions, but they
21 simply registered the explosions themselves.
22 Q. General Radinovic, the Prosecutor has made a submission that
23 General Krstic became commander on the 13th of July, 1995. How does the
24 fact that the Chief of Staff - the new Chief of Staff, Colonel Andric, did
25 not take over duty at that time but remained Brigade Commander until the
1 end of the Zepa activities - fit into that theory?
2 A. That is an eloquent example how documents on appointments cannot
3 and mustn't be interpreted literally.
4 Colonel Andric, the Commander of the Birac Brigade at the time of
5 the Zepa operation, was the Brigade Commander when the appointment came
6 for the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, but he did not leave his
7 position as Brigade Commander but remained in that position until the end
8 of the operation and only then took over the duties of Chief of Staff of
9 the Drina Corps.
10 Q. General Radinovic, the Prosecutor has also made a contention that
11 the record on the takeover of duty is dated the 13th of July. What is
12 your comment?
13 A. I would be able to answer your question with precision if I had
14 that report. As, unfortunately, I don't have it, I can only rely on
15 undeniable arguments, and those are that the president of Republika
16 Srpska, in his capacity as Supreme Commander of the VRS, issued a decree
17 on the appointment of General Krstic to the position of Commander of the
18 Drina Corps. This decree is dated the 14th of July and it explicitly
19 issues the order that this should be on the 15th, and there is no army in
20 the world that would ignore the decree on appointment by its Supreme
21 Commander and organise the actual takeover of duty and report on the same
22 two days prior to the date mentioned in the decree.
23 In the report on the handing over of duty and in the preamble of
24 any document, all documents, reference is made to the act pursuant to
25 which this is being done. The handing over of duty is being done by the
1 decree issued by the president of the Republic, issued by the Supreme
3 How can a report be made referring to a document dated the 14th
4 and the actual transfer of duty to have been signed on the 13th? This is
5 something that cannot be found anywhere in practice, and according to
6 doctrine, that is explicitly prohibited.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown
8 Prosecution Exhibit 469, and at the same time could you prepare Exhibits -
9 this is a large group but we'll be through with them very quickly - 759,
10 Prosecution Exhibit; Defence Exhibits 76, 96, 77, 78, 98, and Prosecution
11 Exhibits 404/441 and 404/381.
12 Q. General Radinovic, you have before you an OTP exhibit. I think
13 this is an accompanying document but not the document itself. It must be
14 here somewhere.
15 General Radinovic, I think my learned friend Mr. Cayley asked you
16 whether in the period following the 15th, the 20th, or on some other date,
17 whether there is any information that General Zivanovic held a different
18 post, and you said that you have no such information.
19 My question is: In the period from the 15th to the 20th, if there
20 is no information that General Zivanovic did assume another position, why
21 is that so?
22 A. The only reason why General Zivanovic could not assume any other
23 position was that the position of Corps Commander is an obligation until
24 he hands over that duty to the newly-appointed commander. Since in the
25 period from the 15th to the 20th that appointment could not have been
1 carried out and it was carried out on the 20th, until then,
2 General Zivanovic cannot be appointed to any other position except the
3 position of Drina Corps Commander.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher now to prepare
5 for the witness, could you prepare for the witness this set of documents
6 that I have just listed.
7 Q. General Radinovic, before this document is removed, let me remind
8 you of a part of your answer in response to a question regarding the
9 numbers on the documents and to what extent those numbers are important
10 for identifying who the author of the document is, that is, who is issuing
11 the order.
12 A. While they're preparing the documents, so as not to waste time, I
13 understand your question --
14 Q. No, let's wait. Perhaps it's better to wait.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we begin with Exhibit 759, OTP
16 Exhibit. Please take my copy.
17 Q. General Radinovic, we're dealing with two documents, and
18 explaining the right half of this exhibit, Exhibit 463, you explained that
19 the number in the heading --
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher push the document
21 down a little. Thank you.
22 Q. You explained that the number at the top of the document can
23 identify the commander. Would you please now look at the left half of
24 this same exhibit.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher put it onto ELMO.
1 Thank you.
2 Q. General Radinovic, who was the commander of the Drina Corps on the
3 12th of July, 1995?
4 A. Major-General Milenko Zivanovic.
5 Q. General Radinovic, according to the number of this document, if we
6 ignore the content, can that be -- can it be established that this was a
7 document issued by the Drina Corps Commander?
8 A. No.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to place on
10 the ELMO exhibit, Defence Exhibit D76. Could the usher move the document
11 down a little, please, so that we can see the heading.
12 Q. General Radinovic, who was the commander of the Drina Corps on the
13 5th of July, 1995?
14 A. Milenko Zivanovic.
15 Q. On the basis of the number of this document, is it possible to
16 ascertain that it was issued by the commander?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher place on the ELMO
20 Exhibit D77, [In English] 77.
21 [Interpretation] Mr. President -- oh, here it is. It's all right
23 JUDGE RIAD: Could I just ask? How could you ascertain that it is
24 issued by the commander? Are there some methods or means, or is it
25 supposed to be evident that if it's there in the name of the commander, it
1 is issued by the commander?
2 A. Your Honour, in the heading in the left-hand corner of the
3 document, top left-hand corner, there is an indication of the unit and
4 which command system is issuing the document: the Drina Corps command,
5 referring to a particular number, a date, who it is addressed to, the
6 content of the document, and in the lower -- in the bottom corner, the
7 signature, the title and the signature.
8 Among the documents we have seen so far, there was a series issued
9 by the commander without any numerical indication in the top left-hand
10 corner that accompanies that position. As I have already testified,
11 documents issued by the commander should customarily bear the number "01,"
12 the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander "02." That is how those positions
13 are numbered, right down to number 12. But obviously they're not abiding
14 by that convention, and that identification in itself, numerical
15 identification, is not sufficient to establish who authored that document.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General Radinovic, you have before you Defence Exhibit 77.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could it be moved down so we can see
20 the number in the left-hand corner, please. Thank you.
21 Q. It is a document issued by the Drina Corps command, forward
22 command post Pribicevac, number 08/95. Who was Chief of Staff of the
23 Drina Corps on the 6th of July, 1995?
24 A. General Radislav Krstic.
25 Q. According to the numerical indication, ignoring the content, is it
1 possible to establish that this document was issued by the Chief of Staff?
2 A. No.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] For the benefit of Their Honours,
4 could the English translation of this document be moved up so that we can
5 see who signed it. In the bottom left-hand corner, it is stated "Chief of
6 Staff, Major General Radislav Krstic." Thank you.
7 Q. General Radinovic, could we go on to the next exhibit, Prosecution
8 Exhibit 404/441.
9 The first page of the document will be sufficient, please.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, perhaps there's a
11 problem with the number of this exhibit. I don't think there is such an
12 exhibit that is numbered 404/441. I think it doesn't exist.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is Exhibit 404,
14 footnote 441, but it is an attachment to the report of Mr. Butler.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise. Thank you very
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General Radinovic, this is a regular combat report of the Zvornik
19 Brigade, dated the 24th of July, 1995. Who was the Commander of the
20 Zvornik Brigade on the 24th of July, 1995?
21 A. Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.
22 Q. On the basis of the numerical indication at the top of this
23 document, if we ignore its content, is it possible to conclude that this
24 was a document issued by the Zvornik Brigade commander?
25 A. No.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher place on the ELMO
2 the last page of this document, please. The last page of the same
3 document. Perhaps we can find the version in Serbian.
4 On the last page, we see the signature of the commander,
5 Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.
6 Could the usher now place on the ELMO Defence Exhibit D78.
7 Mr. President, Your Honours, I have only two more exhibits to show
8 the witness very briefly. These are just examples of a large number of
9 documents that we have in our possession, but we have selected only a few
10 by way of an example.
11 Q. General Radinovic, the document is on the ELMO now. It is the
12 document issued by the Drina Corps with the number 04/156-5. Who was the
13 Commander of the Drina Corps on the 8th of July, 1995?
14 A. Major-General Milenko Zivanovic.
15 Q. On the basis of the numerical indication on this document, can it
16 be inferred that it was issued by the commander of the Drina Corps?
17 A. No.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher now please move the
19 document on the ELMO so we can see the bottom half and the signatory. In
20 the lower left-hand corner, we see "Commander, Major-General Milenko
22 Could the usher place on the ELMO Prosecution Exhibit -- no.
23 Sorry. Defence Exhibit D98.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Was there any signature on this document
25 of General Zivanovic? I didn't see any signature. Has the original got a
2 A. Yes. The signature is on the Serbian version. On the Serbian
3 version of the document, there is the signature.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Is his signature known? Was it -- if this was a
5 forgery, would it be known?
6 A. Yes. Probably, yes.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Was there any verification to know it was his
8 signature or not?
9 A. I didn't engage in any such expert analysis.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can just inform the
11 Trial Chamber that these are documents on which there is stipulation
12 between the Defence and the Prosecution that they are authentic, and some
13 of the documents are Prosecution exhibits, which is something I omitted to
14 say, and also the Defence had no query as to their authenticity.
15 So now we're talking about Defence Exhibit D98. The Serbian
16 version for the General.
17 Q. General, I must ask you to read first who issued this document and
18 the number under which it is registered, as I don't have a copy with me
20 A. This document was issued by the Commander of the Main Staff of the
21 army of Republika Srpska on the 11th of July, 1995.
22 Q. And under which number has it been registered?
23 A. "Strictly confidential number: 03/4-1616."
24 Q. General Radinovic, looking at this document, without entering into
25 its content, can you conclude that it was issued by the Commander of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Main Staff of the VRS?
2 A. According to the number in the left-hand corner, no.
3 Q. General Radinovic, who was the Commander of the Main Staff of the
4 army of Republika Srpska on the 11th of July, 1995?
5 A. Commander General Ratko Mladic.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to find the
7 last page of this document in the English version and to place it on the
9 In the bottom left-hand corner, we see the signature of the author
10 of the document, "Commander General Ratko Mladic." Thank you. And that
11 brings to an end this series of documents.
12 I should now like to ask the witness to be shown OTP Exhibit 467.
13 Prosecution Exhibit 467, please.
14 Q. General Radinovic, we have before us a document sent by the
15 Command of the 1st Bratunac Brigade, signed by Colonel Vinko Blagojevic.
16 Of course, this document too -- Vidoje Blagojevic. Yes, Vidoje
18 Of course, this document too has a number. It is 03, which does
19 not denote the commander, but that is not what I want to ask you. What I
20 want to ask you is the following --
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpetation] I think the document's well placed on
22 the ELMO now. Leave it like that, please.
23 Q. Could you comment on this document in the sense of its form and
24 contents, the form and contents of this document. May we have your
25 comments to that, please?
1 A. This document is a report from the commander of the 1st Bratunac
2 Brigade to the command of the Drina Corps in reference to a document which
3 the command of the Drina Corps -- in which it is checking out when the
4 command of the Bratunac Brigade, or rather, its commander is able to
5 attend the handing over and takeover of duties at the command of the Drina
7 In the heading, we see the date, the 14th of July, the 14th of
8 July 1995. And in the contents of the --
9 Q. General Radinovic, just a moment, please. May I interrupt you?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In the English version, the date in
11 the top corner is the 17th of July. As the Trial Chamber has already been
12 informed, this is an error on the typewritten page on the document in
13 front of you. So the document was issued on the 14th of July, but on the
14 document, it was typewritten that it was issued on the 17th of July.
15 A. Yes. I wish to draw attention to a more serious mistake, and that
16 is that, in the response by the commander of the Bratunac Brigade to the
17 command of the Drina Corps, it says that the commander of the brigade will
18 be able to attend the handing over of duty between the old and new command
19 of the Drina Corps on the 23rd of June, on the 23rd of June, 1995. So
20 that is a complete mix-up in the dates.
21 Q. In your opinion, what is the probative value, that is to say, how
22 did you -- how do you assess the weight of that document with respect to
23 its probative value in determination of the facts?
24 A. Well, I did not attach any great importance to it because it --
25 written in this form, dates in this form, is not a serious business. We
1 can't see which -- it's sloppy work.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should just like to draw attention
3 to the Trial Chamber that the translation of the words are also contested
4 in the one-but-last line of the document, which refers to the
5 interpretation of the statement -- of the status of General Zivanovic, and
6 the Defence would like to ask the interpretation service to give an
7 official explanation as to the word best suited to the original and what
8 it incorporates, what the term comprises.
9 A. If I may, I don't know what it is in the English version, but the
10 usual phrase, the customary phrase that is used in documents on the
11 handing over and takeover of duty, the transfer of duty, is to use in
12 Serbian the word hitherto, "dosadasnji." Dosadasnji commander and the new
14 "Dosadasnji" is the Serbian word, but that word does not mean
15 that at the time the document was issued, compiled and issued, that that
16 dosadasnji commander is no longer the commander. It is a phrase which is
17 always used in documents on the takeover and -- handover and takeover of
19 So this term "dosadasnji," "hitherto" is the accepted term without
20 any arbitration as to who at that point is the commander. It means the
21 outgoing and the one coming in, the one going out and the one coming in.
22 But in standard procedure for correspondence, the term "dosadasnji,"
23 "hitherto," is used.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] May the witness now be given Exhibit
25 402, please, and it is a report. It is Mr. Butler's report -- no, it is
1 403, not 402. Exhibit 403 next. And could it be placed on the ELMO,
2 please, showing, focussing on paragraph 7.60, paragraph 7 of that Exhibit,
3 point 60, please.
4 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Excuse me, the word "a c'est jour"
5 means -- does it mean that that day is not included? It is a day which is
6 not a day in the life of; it is the day between two days. Which day, no
7 man's land?
8 A. It remains the status quo until the transference of duty.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Which means he's still in power, he's still in
10 office? Status quo?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE RIAD: So the French word "jusqu'a present" was right,
13 that's what you mean?
14 A. Here it is falsely -- the demarcation line is false of the
15 handover and takeover. That is to say, when you inaugurate a new
16 commander, when a new commander is inaugurated, and the old commander, the
17 outgoing, the previous commander, is leaving his post or his duties, there
18 is a point -- an act of this transference of duty when they shake hands in
19 front of the assembled gathering, and that is the demarcation line. That
20 is the point from which the new commander takes on all responsibility --
21 all authority and competency, and the old one loses his authority and
22 competency. So that is the principle. That is the demarcation line or
23 point applied in the army.
24 JUDGE RIAD: But there is no vacuum? I mean, there is always
25 someone who is General, who is in command at any point. Even in any
1 country where there is a new president coming and the previous one, there
2 is always one who is in power. So --
3 A. You're quite right. There is no discontinuity of command.
4 JUDGE RIAD: And at that time, who would be the commander?
5 A. While they're holding hands like this, you mean?
6 JUDGE RIAD: Yes. That day, let's say.
7 A. [No translation].
8 JUDGE RIAD: We didn't get that answer.
9 A. [No translation].
10 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English? Something must be
11 wrong with the microphone.
12 MR. HARMON: Now we can hear it.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: When you say something is wrong with microphone,
14 we hear, so --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The General said, "Until the moment when they
16 shake hands, the former, the outgoing commander, is in command." And the
17 moment when they're shaking hands, he doesn't really know who is, that
18 very moment.
19 JUDGE RIAD: At that moment, would the decree decide, the
20 presidential decree decide?
21 A. The presidential decree prescribes, orders, on what date, as the
22 earliest date, the new commander may take over duty and the former
23 commander give up his duty. It cannot be done before that day.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
1 403, 760; and could the English version be placed on the ELMO, please.
2 And for the transcript, 403. That is the number of the OTP
3 exhibit. Paragraph 7.60.
4 Q. Have you found it?
5 A. Yes, 7.60.
6 Q. As I know you have a problem with your throat, let me read it:
7 "While he did not formally relinquish command of the brigade when he
8 assumed command of the `tactical group' deployed to Srebrenica, he left
9 the daily operations of the brigade in the hands of his Chief of Staff,
10 Brigade Deputy Commander, Major Dragan Obrenovic."
11 General Radinovic, this is analysis by the Prosecution expert
12 witness Mr. Butler. In formal terms, in any document was a tactical group
13 appointed which was led by the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade?
14 A. Are you referring to Krivaja 95?
15 Q. Yes, I'm referring to Krivaja 95. As we can see from this
16 paragraph, the period is from the 2nd to the 4th and onwards.
17 A. No. That phrase was not used for a part of the forces of the
18 Zvornik Brigade that were engaged in the operation Krivaja 95.
19 Q. Did the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade issue any kind of
20 document with the words "tactical group" in the heading?
21 A. No. I have not seen any such document.
22 Q. Did Major-General -- was Major-General Radislav Krstic commander
23 of the operative group for Zepa?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did Major-General Radislav Krstic issue any document with the
1 indication in the heading "Operative Group"?
2 A. No.
3 Q. The allegation by the Prosecution expert witness Mr. Butler, does
4 it completely coincide with your own submission? Only we're talking about
5 tactical groups here as opposed to operational group, which are different
6 in size, but in terms of formal command and documents issued by those
8 A. Regarding this assertion, Mr. Butler as the Prosecution witness
9 and myself are fully in agreement. He claims that Lieutenant Colonel
10 Vinko Pandurevic was commander of the Tactical Group for Krivaja 95, even
11 though he was not formally called that, just as I am claiming that
12 General Radislav Krstic was commander of the operative group for the Zepa
13 operation, even though it was not called that in formal terms.
14 But more important than the formal name is the actual state of
15 affairs. Indeed, they were forces that were, in terms of strength, area,
16 method of combat, an operative group, and that is why I have used that
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask that the
19 witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit 675 now, please.
20 Could we see point 4 on the ELMO, please. Could you focus on
21 point 4 of this report. It is an interim combat report of the Zvornik
22 Brigade, dated the 18th of July, 1995.
23 Q. General Radinovic, you answered questions put to you by the
24 Prosecution with respect to this document and this particular paragraph.
25 I should just like to ask you to explain to the Trial Chamber part of this
1 report, that portion in which Colonel Pandurevic says that someone brought
2 the prisoners, military-able Turks, and distributed them around the
3 municipality. What does that mean, "someone"? From this paragraph,
4 "someone brought."
5 A. From this paragraph, we arrive at the incontestable conclusion
6 that the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade, at the time when he issued this
7 document, knew that in his zone of responsibility in the last ten days
8 there were prisoners of war, and he sets a figure, that they were there.
9 He says that someone brought in -- brought them in, that someone brought
10 them in, that the command system of the Drina Corps -- if the command
11 system of the Drina Corps, Vinko Pandurevic as Commander of the Zvornik
12 Brigade, would have been informed of that through the chain of command,
13 and he would not send out a report to the Corps Command in the form of a
14 protest, because this is a protest. We have here a protest over the fact
15 that someone had brought in these prisoners of war to his zone of
16 responsibility. That means that he did not do so nor did he do so
17 pursuant to a command, an order. What is worst and what is most tragic
18 and worst of all, we can see that from the sentence, the last sentence, in
19 fact. We can really -- we understand that he knows what was done with
20 them because there is a great lot of dissatisfaction amongst the people
21 with this kind of conduct, probably thinking about the liquidation of the
22 prisoners of war.
23 Q. General Radinovic, as my learned colleague Mr. Cayley on several
24 occasions intimated this, let me ask you in the end what is your view of
25 the intercepted conversations, the intercepts, as probative value,
1 taking -- on the basis of your research? What would you have to say?
2 A. I owe the Trial Chamber an explanation, and the Prosecution as
3 well, why I did not use the intercepts as evidence and empirical
4 background and basis for arriving at my own conclusions despite the fact
5 that I studied them all, and let me say I studied them in depth. I will
6 present my reasons and it will be up to the Trial Chamber to assess
7 whether I was right or wrong.
8 I just had the transcripts in my possession. I did not have the
9 audiotapes, audio recordings, so I was not able to ascertain whether what
10 was written down was actually said.
11 Second, in many places in those intercepts I was not able to
12 ascertain the identity of the speaker -- the speakers, the colloquiters
14 Third, it was impossible for me to follow the context in which the
15 conversation took place and, first of all, I have in mind of the
16 operative -- operational context for me to have a full knowledge of the
17 situation and thus to be able to possibly evaluate what was contained in
18 those intercepts.
19 And the most important argument for me why I did not use and could
20 not use those conversations, those intercepts as an argument in drawing my
21 conclusions was the fact that, in preparation for this trial, I did not
22 come across the fact that a so-called primary interpretation of the
23 conversation had been carried out. And for me to be able to use those
24 intercepts as evidence and proof, I want to have myself been able to
25 conduct that primary interpretation.
1 In view of all the foregoing, of everything I have said so far,
2 these restrictions and limitations, I did not have this primary
3 interpretation. I was not able to conduct a primary interpretation.
4 Now, what do I mean when I say that? The conversations would have
5 had to be put in two statistical series, that means series on the basis of
6 theme and subject matter; second, their dynamics, that is to say, time,
7 time period, give a time frame; and the origins, who the speakers are.
8 According to hierarchical structure in the system of command and
9 by virtue of belonging to command systems, that is to say, the Main Staff,
10 the Drina Corps, the Drina Corps, the brigades, all these relationships,
11 one brigade to another brigade, the MUP, the operative command, parallel
12 participants within the staff structures, therefore, I was lacking in this
13 background. I did not have a primary interpretation of the facts for me
14 to be able to prepare them for analysis and the drawing of conclusions.
15 For that type of work, I did not even have the elementary
16 prerequisites, which means that I was not able to undertake all the
17 preliminary steps, studying authenticity, ascertaining authenticity, a
18 time frame, the subject matter, and so on. I was not able to do that, and
19 so I had to leave them out of my registry of basic conversations. And
20 they would have, of course, been welcome had they been properly prepared
21 for a proper analysis. But this would require extremely extensive
22 preparatory work which was not done for this particular occasion and for
23 this particular purpose.
24 Q. General Radinovic, you said that in the course of your research
25 you talked to General Zivanovic. When was that?
1 A. I can't give you an exact date. I don't know that. But it was
2 snowing. There was snow and it was -- that means it was February and
3 March, which is the snow period in the country.
4 Q. You mean the year 2000?
5 A. Yes, yes, 2000.
6 Q. At that time, how many documents did you have, including the
7 Defence documents and the documents disclosed by the Prosecution?
8 A. Well, unfortunately, at that time, I did not have very many
9 documents, the ones that I call primary source of data and information,
10 that is to say, the operational documents, operative documents. And if I
11 were to measure that in proportion compared to what I have now, it would
12 just be a fifth, a fifth of the documents that I have now.
13 The studies that I used, I had almost all the studies except Carl
14 Bildt's book, which came out later on, so I did have the books.
15 Q. When did you receive the bulk of the material, most of the
16 documents? When was that?
17 A. Well, I received the bulk of the documents for preparing my
18 findings and for my own personal preparations, I received the bulk
19 sometime in June, July, which I think coincides with the time, and let me
20 be quite frank and say that an invaluable contribution was the brilliant
21 expert report by Mr. Butler. It was a role model, and he must have had
22 enormous help from a series of assistants, each of whom did his work very
23 well in order to be able to come up with that kind of report.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have asked the
25 General these questions -- let me just remind you that most of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 documents were disclosed by the Prosecution in keeping with the rules and
2 regulations, but it was only prior to the testimony of Mr. Butler,
3 actually. I say that just by way of information to you, Your Honours.
4 Q. And my last question, General Radinovic: If we look at that whole
5 period of time from the beginning of the Srebrenica operation up until the
6 end of the operation for Zepa, at which points did the command composition
7 of the Main Staff interfere with the system of command of the Drina Corps?
8 A. The command system of the Main Staff, in keeping with its
9 authorisations and competencies, interfered with the Drina Corps command
10 in several ways, modalities, and points, points in the sense of dynamics,
11 and in space, the operations of the Drina Corps. The Main Staff did this
12 with the help of acts of command, orders via its -- through its authorised
14 In the documents, we can see that on different occasions, in
15 different localities, the representatives of the Main Staff would arrive
16 and become involved in the command posts and the process of
17 decision-making in the Drina Corps of the forward command post at
18 Pribicevac -- from the forward command post at Pribicevac further on.
19 However, there were decisions which directly either
20 disenfranchised or directly compelled the command of the Drina Corps, and
21 I think that that is meritorious for an assessment of the situation that
22 we are discussing here. The first radical decision --
23 Q. Just a moment. For purposes of the record, you said disempowered
24 or directly committed, disempowered or directly committed?
25 A. Both, I said both.
1 The first radical obligation, duty of the Drina Corps, on the
2 basis of direct interference of the Main Staff relates to an expansion of
3 the goals of the Operation Krivaja 95, as we have heard here on several
5 Q. General Radinovic, if that is not a problem, as we've already
6 heard a lot about each of these subjects, could you just give us a brief
7 review of what those points were.
8 A. First of all, an expansion of the goals of the Operation Krivaja
9 95, which meant the taking control of Srebrenica.
10 The second radical form of inclusion by the Main Staff into the
11 system of command of the Drina Corps was the realisation and leading of
12 the population -- of moving out the population from the UNPROFOR base at
14 The third instance was the order and assigning the mandate to
15 General Krstic and the Drina Corps to launch the Zepa operation and
16 implement it.
17 And finally, fourth, the direct disempowerment of the command of
18 the Drina Corps, and that was the order dated the 17th of July pertaining
19 to the formation of a provisional command led by the officer of the Main
20 Staff of the VRS, Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic, for joining up the
21 activities, linking up the activities in the Bratunac-Drinjaca-Milici zone
22 to search the terrain. There was the Milici Brigade there, the Bratunac
23 Brigade, the 65th Protection Regiment, and I think parts of the 67th
24 Regiment as well, and other units which found themselves there, along with
25 an unexplained, insufficiently known to me, role of the command system of
1 the Main Staff and individual elements of the security and police system
2 with respect to the prisoners of war.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further
5 Q. Thank you, General Radinovic.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Just to repeat what you are saying; all this would
7 still be under the command and the control of the commander of the Drina
8 Corps, or would it be a parallel, completely parallel line?
9 A. Your Honour, in this chain of events which I have enumerated,
10 there were decrees which completely excluded the Drina Corps as a command
11 in charge and at the head of the operation. The command of the Drina
12 Corps did not -- was not in charge of the operation to move out the
13 population. It was the Main Staff that was in charge of that operation.
14 Second, the Main Staff directly conjoined all the activities of the forces
15 engaged in searching the terrain from the 17th to the 19th of July. So
16 those are two episodes where the Main Staff really and actually
17 disempowered the command of the Drina Corps.
18 The other forms of interference that I spoke about earlier on were
19 decisions which were binding on the command of the Drina Corps which
20 obliged it to behave pursuant to the orders given, i.e., to expand the
21 goals of the operation and to launch a new operation on Zepa, which had a
22 vital effect on the whole command system of the Drina Corps in that whole
23 post-operative situation after Krivaja 95.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see that Mr. Visnjic has
1 completed his re-examination. Before we go on to the Judges' questions,
2 perhaps we should have a ten-minute break. So we'll now have a ten-minute
3 break and come back for the questions of the Judges.
4 --- Recess taken at 2.02 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 2.15 p.m.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Judge Riad.
8 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have no
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 Madam Judge Wald, if you please.
12 JUDGE WALD: Thank you. I want to open, Professor, by thanking
13 you to come to testify before us. I think your overview will be of great
14 assistance to us in the final analysis, but there are about seven or eight
15 questions I have, and I hope that we can get through them in the next
16 20 minutes or so.
17 The first one is that I believe you testified that if a VRS
18 officer were to receive an order that he recognised as violating law,
19 either his own law or international law, that his duty would be not to
20 execute it, to try to get it in writing, not to execute it, and to tell
21 the superior, as it were.
22 Now, what I would like you to answer for me is what we call a
23 hypothetical, and I'm sure you're familiar with a hypothetical, and that
24 is suppose that a law -- an order which was clearly recognised by the
25 officer receiving it as violating international law came from the
1 Commander-in-Chief of the army, of the entire army, what would be the
2 recourse of the officer who received that? This is a hypothetical. Under
3 your view of both the law in effect at that time for VRS officers and
4 international law. Does he have any recourse?
5 A. Your Honour, in the rules governing the execution of orders,
6 there's an explicit prohibition not to execute orders which violate the
7 law. Now, this concept of violation of the law, as a non-expert, I take
8 the liberty of saying that it is very broad. It can be interpreted in a
9 variety of ways, from mildest violations to war crimes. That is not my
10 speciality, and I won't go into it.
11 But what recourse does a soldier or officer or general or
12 commander have who receives an order, the execution of which would imply a
13 violation of the law?
14 Every officer is duty-bound to caution the person giving him that
15 order that that order is contrary to the law and contrary to the rules
16 that apply for that profession. The superior is duty-bound or, rather, it
17 is his right to respond or turn a deaf ear, but he must suffer the
18 consequences. The subordinate must not execute an order which implies a
19 violation of the law. There is nothing that can justify him. The
20 execution of laws which violate -- the execution of orders which violate
21 the law imply consequences for the person giving the order and for the
22 person executing the order. The principles are quite clear in that
24 JUDGE WALD: Does the officer, and you covered this in your
25 testimony as well, I believe, does the officer who sees a violation of
1 law, a clear -- let's posit a clear violation of law, no question in his
2 mind. When he sees that being committed by another officer in the same
3 army, perhaps not even the same level of command or the same brigade or
4 battalion, but when he sees that being violated by another officer even
5 though he is not the recipient of the direct command himself, does he have
6 a duty to report that violation to someone?
7 A. He does.
8 JUDGE WALD: And I will go back to my original question. Suppose
9 that hypothetically, suppose that the violation comes from the highest
10 levels of the command in the army, does he have an obligation to go above
11 the army into the civilian commander-in-chief, perhaps the president of
12 the company? Does he have some duty to go above the highest command if it
13 is the highest command that is doing the violating?
14 A. He does have that obligation, yes.
15 JUDGE WALD: I appreciate your answer very much. Now let me go on
16 to the second question.
17 You said at one point -- this is a -- more of a strategic tactical
18 question drawing upon your experience, both as a theoretician in military
19 matters and your practical experience in the army. I think you said at
20 one point that control of Srebrenica was considered to be a "to be or not
21 to be" situation in the Serbian objectives in 1995 of having contiguous
22 territory in which Serb populations could live.
23 My question would be, why would -- if that is true, why would the
24 VRS have been content to keep to the borders and to restrict them a little
25 bit, the territory of the enclave, and to try to prevent communication
1 between the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa, as you outline and we've
2 heard outlined by others, the original objectives for Krivaja 95, why
3 would they have thought that an adequate solution to the problem that had
4 been persisting, in their view, from years and years, that that wouldn't
5 deteriorate quickly back into the old situation where these enclaves would
6 become, in their view, the centre for activities, guerilla-like
7 activities, communication back and forth, and they would be right back
8 where they were to begin with? Why would the more useful, utilitarian
9 objective not be to get control of the territory?
10 I'm not now talking about doing it by illegal means, but to, in
11 other words, to get the people out of there and get control of the
12 territory? What was useful to them beyond the immediate in the original
13 objectives of Krivaja 95?
14 A. When the Drina Corps command was assigned the task of executing
15 Krivaja 95, and when this was defined in the order for active combat for
16 Krivaja 95, the limited objectives were indicated. The most important
17 military operational goal then was to prevent military activity by forces
18 of the 28th Division from the enclaves towards the VRS which held the
19 front line around the enclaves. So that was the logic behind the
20 determination of the military objective.
21 Why? I do not consider it to have been productive, in military or
22 political terms, to set as a goal the capture of Srebrenica, and I think a
23 similar analysis was made by the army of Republika Srpska in 1995, and
24 that is that these were safe areas protected by the United Nations. And a
25 radical goal, that is, capturing the whole area fully, was incumbent with
1 the risk of clashing with the United Nations mechanism which was, of
2 course, not in the strategic interest of Republika Srpska or its army.
3 JUDGE WALD: Okay, thank you.
4 A. And there's one further point, if I may make, in response to your
5 question. It was quite clear that whatever the outcome of the war in
6 accordance with the objectives that I presented them or some objectives as
7 seen by others, but peace had to come to Bosnia-Herzegovina eventually,
8 and this means that there was absolutely no possibility of any
9 territory -- any part of Bosnia-Herzegovina remaining ethnically pure.
10 Cohabitation had to be re-established, and any violence which involved
11 violence towards the civilian population postponed that peace for a long
12 time. And I assure you that in 1995, and much before that, but in 1995
13 certainly it was the greatest interest of the Serb people everywhere, and
14 especially in that part of Republika Srpska, to have peace restored as
15 soon as possible.
16 JUDGE WALD: Okay. You testified, I believe, that you concluded
17 that Krivaja 95, and we've just talked about this, was never intended
18 originally to capture, we just talked about that, Srebrenica; but of
19 course, as you -- your report shows and the others, General Mladic did
20 change the objective in midstream, as it were, and he extended the
21 objectives of Krivaja 95 to cover -- or, at least, he went ahead to order
22 the capture of Srebrenica. And indeed, he was on his way to extending
23 that down to Bratunac and Zvornik, but his Generals, including General
24 Krstic, prevailed upon him not to do that for many of the same reasons
25 you've just detailed.
1 My question is: If indeed all of the necessary rules and
2 regulations and papers and documents that usually accompany the
3 implementation of a formal plan such as Krivaja 95 could be, in effect,
4 dispensed with, dispatched with, overruled by the on-the-spot decision of
5 the single person in command, why couldn't that have been equally true
6 about many of the other points of decision that you said could not happen
7 because the rules and regulations wouldn't permit them, such as the change
8 of the date of General Krstic's appointment to be earlier than the
9 effective date on the document or some of the objectives of the
10 evacuation? Why are we to believe that, in fact, there was a general, a
11 general tenor of following the rules and regulations when we have such
12 dramatic instances before us where they were completely thrown to the side
13 on the on-the-spot decision of the Commander-in-Chief of the entire army?
14 A. Of course, this is a hypothetical but also a practical question.
15 It is hypothetical in the sense that whether that is possible in
17 The senior commanders, in this particular case the Commander of
18 the Main Staff, has the power to extend goals and objectives. It is not
19 in the power of the subordinate to check the correctness of the
20 commander's ideas regarding the conduct of the operation, on condition
21 that it is militarily legitimately executed. They have an obligation to
22 draw his attention to all the negative consequences, but his is the last
23 word, except, of course, regarding decisions which, as you said in your
24 question, are flagrant violations of the law and conventions.
25 This particular case and this example and this right also applies
1 to the appointments by the Supreme Commander and no one may, in his name
2 or sidestepping him, appoint a commander to a command position.
3 In the course of the execution of decisions, a decision may be
4 corrected if that proves to be necessary or if it is judged that a
5 correction would be productive from the strategic point of view. Of
6 course, it is only eventually that that assessment can be verified. But
7 decision on appointment cannot be changed. A decree on appointment cannot
8 be changed by anyone's decision except by the person who issued that
9 decision or that decree, and nothing may be changed in the structure of
10 the decree without the knowledge and consent of the person issuing it.
11 I don't know whether my answer's satisfactory.
12 JUDGE WALD: Yes. You've answered my question. Thank you.
13 My next one is that you said at one point that, unlike the
14 situation in some other armies, the Main Staff in the VRS had some command
15 responsibility. I think that's correct.
16 Now, my question is: Is it your understanding that Main Staffers
17 or people who are officers of the Main Staff had the power to requisition
18 the assets and the personnel of corps such as the Drina Corps for their
19 own purposes? They did have the power. In other words, a Main Staffer -
20 again you can call it hypothetical if you want but I think you've
21 discussed the possibility yourself - a Main Staffer could go to one of the
22 brigades in the Drina Corps and say, "I want some equipment, I want some
23 personnel to do something that's part of my Main Staff responsibility,"
24 and at that point the Drina Corps personnel would have to accede? I mean,
25 assuming his level was high enough. And if so, did they even have to
1 report that to their own command or they just took the men and the
2 equipment and went with him without leaving any records or report behind
3 to their own command structure? How did that work?
4 A. In principle, the senior command does have the power to use the
5 resources of a lower-level command. In this particular case, the Main
6 Staff of the VRS does not have any army of its own. It only has the army
7 of Republika Srpska, which means in the areas of responsibilities it has
8 its corps and it has some units that were under their direct command, like
9 the 65th Protection Regiment, the 67th Communications Regiment, the
10 10th Diversionary Detachment, and so on.
11 So if the Main Staff plans an operation and executes an operation,
12 it cannot do so without relying on the resources on the ground, and in
13 that sense, I don't think there is nothing in dispute. But --
14 JUDGE WALD: My question, if I can interrupt you, would be how
15 that's done. In other words, assume exactly what you said, that the Main
16 Staff has an operation. It needs some of the assets, both personnel and
17 equipment, of one of the brigades.
18 Now, does it just go in itself -- say it's a high enough person,
19 an Assistant Commander from the Main Staff. Does he just go and say, "I'm
20 ordering you to give me your equipment," or does he have to go through the
21 top levels of the brigade, go to the Brigade Commander and say, "I want so
22 many trucks and so many men," and so that a record or report is kept, or
23 but does he just go in and take it by dint of his rank?
24 A. In principle, all activities are planned if they can be planned
25 unless they are sudden situations, unexpected situations, contingencies.
1 And in regular procedures, one should act in the way you indicated in your
2 question, that is, you would request an asset from the command that has
3 the decision-making powers. The command approves and orders execution of
4 the task and that is how things are kept under control. However --
5 JUDGE WALD: So the command would normally -- normally the command
6 would know. The command of a brigade would know that the Main Staff was
7 requisitioning certain of its assets to perform a task of the Main Staff.
8 A. If we're talking about regular operations which had been planned
9 in the system of command. However, on the battlefront, there are
10 situations which are not regular and which cannot be foreseen and
11 sometimes things have to be done ad hoc, without fully respecting the
12 chain of command.
13 JUDGE WALD: If they have to be done ad hoc in an emergency
14 situation, would the Main Staffers just be able to go and take the order
15 of the people from the brigade to come with them, the equipment, or would
16 they still have to at least file something or communicate with the command
17 of the brigade to let them know they were doing this so that they didn't
18 suddenly find 15 of their trucks weren't there any more or 50 of their men
19 weren't there any more? Would there be any obligation, even in an
20 emergency, to at least inform the regular command that they were
21 requisitioning their material for their own tasks?
22 A. In order to use the assets of subordinates in emergency, in
23 emergencies, the authority of the superior is quite sufficient.
24 JUDGE WALD: Okay, thank you. I've got three or four more
25 questions and I'll be done.
1 You mentioned when we were discussing the evacuation out of
2 Potocari that I think you concluded, and you can correct me if I'm wrong,
3 that this was an evacuation which the civilian representatives themselves
4 wanted. They wanted to get their people out of Potocari and over into the
5 Muslim territory. And I believe at one point you said that the civilian
6 representatives sought the meetings which were held with General Mladic
7 and many other people in the Hotel Fontana on the 10th and 11th.
8 And I'm wondering if you would just very briefly go over your
9 basis for that. My perplexity arises from the fact of the videos that we
10 have seen of the Fontana Hotel meetings would show General Mladic saying
11 "Bring me the representatives of the 28th Division." Twice he said, "I
12 want to have these meetings," to the civilian representatives. "You bring
13 to me these representatives of the 28th Division." And General Krstic
14 himself testified he wondered at the meeting that he was present how those
15 civilians were supposed to be able to bring the representatives of the
16 28th Division.
17 So the general impression that was left by the videos could well
18 be that these were meetings that were called on the initiative of General
19 Mladic, and that it wasn't something that the civilians were seeking. If
20 you could just briefly give me your reasons for thinking to the contrary.
21 A. I base that statement on several facts. The first fact is that
22 the forces of the 28th Division, in defending the enclave, did not show
23 and prove that they wanted to retain control over the enclave by a
24 decisive defence, so that this population had their reservations vis-a-vis
25 the 28th Division. Sometime on the 9th, this was followed up by an
1 initiative of the representative of the civilian population of Srebrenica,
2 the civilian authorities, and sought contacts with the VRS in order to
3 move out the population, evacuate the population.
4 And I did not claim in my statements that the choice to evacuate,
5 that this was not caused by the fear of the consequences of a war. Of
6 course fear played a role there, but on the part of the representatives of
7 the civilian authorities, they did launch the initiative to have the
8 population evacuated, probably for reasons of fear as well. So I don't
9 actually have any illusions that fear did not play a part. Fear did play
10 a part, a significant one.
11 JUDGE WALD: Thank you. I have two more questions and then I'll
12 be done.
13 Now, when a commander, a commander of a corps, or commander of
14 a -- yeah, of a corps, is at a forward command post -- let's say he's in
15 charge of an operation, there's combat operations; he's set up a forward
16 command post. This is the commander of the corps now.
17 Now, even though a combat operation is going on and he's running
18 it, as it were, from the combat -- from the forward command post, are we
19 to expect that he will have established communication facilities
20 sufficient so that he will be able to get reports from all the other parts
21 of his command where he can't be physically present, and even outside
22 information about what's happening to the civilians, what the enemy is
23 saying, all of the kind of information you would think that the commander
24 of a corps would need to know?
25 I mean, can we assume when a commander is at a forward command
1 post, if he is commander of the entire corps, he will be set up to get all
2 of the reports of what's going on in the rest of his area of
3 responsibility? Would that be militarily the objective?
4 A. I'm not sure I understood your question fully, so please excuse me
5 if I am not going to answer what you actually asked me. I'll go back to
7 But the forward command posts are established, are formed, for
8 only given assignments to be implemented effectively and efficiently, that
9 means for the operations for which it is indispensable to be able to
10 command from a forward command post. They do not always have to be
11 formed. And in that case, the number of communications are reduced
12 towards that forward command post, that is to say, those which could
13 hamper the effectiveness of the command communications in the operation.
14 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Let me try to rephrase it.
15 Let's assume the commander of the corps -- I don't care whether we
16 assume at the moment it was General Krstic or we assume it was still
17 General Zivanovic. Okay. He's running the Zepa -- he, whichever one is
18 commander, is running the operation from the command post, but he's still
19 the commander of the Drina Corps and all of the area that it entails. My
20 question is simply, would you expect that, even though he was at a forward
21 command post running the particular combat operation, he would have the
22 facilities in place so that he would be getting the regular reports he
23 would need to know what was going on in the rest of the area of his
24 responsibility, as well as any outside information about the activities of
25 civilians or the UN or the outside world that you would expect him to need
1 to know in order to still be the commander of the corps?
2 A. No, because the possibility of simultaneous communication in the
3 system of command is considered to be an optimum number -- an optimum
4 number of communications is between five and seven. That means that the
5 commander at the same time can have operational contacts and commands with
6 five to seven lines. Over and above that, the system of command does not
7 function properly. It is stifled. And that is why a forward command post
8 is set up to limit the number of information coming in to the forward
9 command post, and all other information which is not relevant,
10 sufficiently relevant for that particular operation that is being
11 undertaken from the forward command post are redirected to the basic
12 command post.
13 And then that is where they are analysed to see whether they are
14 urgent or not. If they are urgent, deemed urgent, they are dispatched to
15 the forward command post; if not, they wait for his return. So they don't
16 go towards the forward command post directly, except the ones directly
17 linked to the operation being undertaken.
18 JUDGE WALD: So somebody, somebody at the regular command
19 headquarters, not the forward, makes a decision as to whether or not a
20 communication is important enough to send on to the commander in the
21 forward command post, right? Somebody has to make that decision. If all
22 of the reports are coming in to the regular command post, somebody has to
23 make the decision as to what goes over to the commander at the forward
24 command post, right?
25 A. Well, the command post is never without people, left without
1 people who are able to command.
2 JUDGE WALD: Okay, all right, all right.
3 Now my very last question is the following: You have made your
4 case for believing that General Krstic did not become commander until the
5 handover ceremony on August 20th [sic].
6 I want you for just a moment to assume, assume the opposite just
7 as the predicate for a question. Let's just assume that in fact, as the
8 Prosecution has itself tried to prove, he did become the commander on,
9 let's say, July 13th, I think is the date they used. Would your
10 assessment of his lack of responsibility for anything that happened after
11 that date be changed at all if in fact he had become the commander as of
12 the 13th? Would that change - and if so, how - your assessment of his
13 lack of responsibility for any of the ensuing events after that? In
14 short, would that change your assessment of the total responsibility
15 situation, if he had become commander on the 13th?
16 A. Not essentially. And this is why: For responsibility, it is
17 essential to know whether he could have known what was happening in the
18 broader area of responsibility.
19 If we bear in mind my answer to your previous question on the
20 reduction of information, then he truly could not have known. But whether
21 he has to know or not, that is up to legal qualifications and not
22 operational qualifications for which I am professionally competent. I am
23 not competent in the legal field. I don't think it would be --
24 essentially or substantially change my vision of viewing the
25 responsibility of the General Krstic because, at that time, he was at
2 JUDGE WALD: Just to follow that up with one follow-up question.
3 In short, to make sure I understand your answer, if he had been the
4 commander on the 13th and was at Zepa running the -- getting ready for and
5 running the Zepa operation and everything else happened just as it
6 happened down in the rest of the area of responsibility of the Drina
7 Corps, you don't think that, one, he would have been likely to have
8 received information about what was going on in those parts as commander;
9 and, two, that he would not have a greater responsibility to follow up or
10 even make initial inquiries as to what was happening in the rest of the
11 area had he been the commander and not, as you posit, just the operational
12 commander of the Zepa part?
13 A. Had he been the corps commander, it could have happened that he
14 could leave his deputy at the forward command post and then go personally
15 to tour the zone of possibility, and then possibly he could have become
16 acquainted with the events in the broader zone. But for as long as he was
17 at the forward command post, information did not reach him except from the
18 units within the composition that was engaged towards Zepa.
19 So in that sense, I consider that it wouldn't -- I wouldn't change
20 my stand -- position with regard to responsibility substantially because,
21 for me, it was important whether he could have known when the actual
22 events took place.
23 JUDGE WALD: Thank you very much, Professor.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
25 Judge Wald.
1 Judge Fouad Riad, I think you have a question.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. President, thank you.
3 I would like to dissipate some confusion which your answers --
4 something said to my colleague Judge Wald. Of course you were speaking as
5 a Professor and she called you a Professor. I want you to speak to me as
6 a General in a specific army.
7 Now, you said in order to use -- I'm quoting you: "In order to
8 use in emergencies, the order of the superior is quite sufficient."
9 Now, applying this to our situation, it means that the Main Staff
10 could help himself, could help himself and grab anything from the Drina
11 Corps when they wanted it, being superior? Just in a few words, is it
12 possible to happen without even coordination or information?
13 A. They have that right, but it is assumed that they would have
14 informed somebody. It is the right of the commander to utilise resources,
16 JUDGE RIAD: Either the Drina Corps or the other corps would have
17 been having other plans and then they come and just grab their transport
18 or -- their transportations or anything. Wouldn't that cause a real -
19 What can I say? - disturbance even in the execution plan of the corps? Is
20 it within the military discipline?
21 A. The Superior Command coordinates the work of subordinates and it
22 has the right to set the priorities. So it can, according to its right of
23 command to utilise any resource, but it is implied that this goes through
24 the commander, through the system of command, except in emergencies when
25 the whole chain of command is not functioning properly and there are
1 certain deviations. And as we saw in this operation, these were
3 JUDGE RIAD: Another thing you said was that the subordinate must
4 not execute the order which violates the law and that he can, if need be,
5 surpass his command and report to the higher -- to the highest or to the
6 higher authorities.
7 Now, practically speaking, if he knows -- the subordinate knows
8 that it is a policy that is being executed, what could be his reaction and
9 what would be the risks he takes? Practically speaking, not as a
11 A. Practically speaking, one can ask for an explanation that he be
12 told why this is being done. He can caution of the consequences. He can
13 write a document to the superior, requesting that he be relieved of the
14 execution of the order and he can resign, simply give up his position if
15 he does not wish to have a part in it. And the worst consequence is to
16 lose his life, and it's better to sacrifice one's life than one's honour.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me for interrupting, but
18 there's a problem with the transcript for some time now. What's
20 [The Presiding Judge and the registrar confer]
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, tell us what's
22 happening, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: I spoke with the technical booth and they said
24 they're working on it right now and it will take a couple of minutes to
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You suggested a break. That is
2 when I said it could be sabotage. How much time do we need?
3 I think it's working now. Good.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Your answer, General, is extremely enlightening, but
5 without asking somebody to be a hero and sacrifice his life, as you said,
6 in a regular army, in particular this regular army, was there any danger
7 of sacrificing one's life if you resigned or if you bring up the
8 violation? Was there a real risk?
9 A. I'm really not able to answer that question whether there was such
10 a risk or not. I really don't know. I don't know.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Judge Fouad
14 JUDGE RIAD: [Intepretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, Krivaja 95, we already
16 know that its objective was to essentially separate the two enclaves of
17 Zepa and Srebrenica and reduce them in size. So to attack Srebrenica was
18 not part of the plan.
19 If I tell you that such an operation would have required
20 preparations lasting 20 to 30 days, what would be your reaction?
21 A. I would say that it wouldn't need 20 to 30 days. It would need
22 less time, but certainly more time than was used.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] If I tell you that the person
24 who made this statement was precisely the person who planned Krivaja 95,
25 that is, General Krstic, would you revise your response or would you abide
1 by it?
2 A. I wouldn't because I know how operations are planned, just like
3 General Krstic, because this was command staff who were directly in the
4 area of responsibility. There are no great marches that require a long
5 time for the movement. They were units that were in contact. They were
6 units from the area. They were people who were mostly familiar with the
7 area. And except for the materiel side, replenishment of fuel, supplies,
8 armaments, logistical development, in that sense more time would be needed
9 if such a radical operation was involved. But I think a month is too
11 For the actual preparation of the preparation for bringing in the
12 forces and deploying them wouldn't need so much time, but General Krstic
13 probably bore in mind the condition in which the corps was, their
14 equipment, their materiel, their ammunitions. So he felt that, for the
15 reinforcement and replenishment, he would need more time, but not in terms
16 of the staff actually.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Another question, General. You
18 have told us there wasn't a town or village, a Serb town or village in
19 Podrinje. What period are you referring to when you say that?
20 A. I'm referring to the 7th of January, 1993.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So on that date there wasn't a
22 town or village occupied by the Serbs?
23 A. On that day, the last Serb village in Central Podrinje was
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. But how do you
1 combine the defensive nature of the VRS, how do you reconcile it with the
2 attack on Srebrenica?
3 A. It is nothing unusual there or strange.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry for interrupting you,
5 but you did say that the objective of the VRS was not to conquer territory
6 which was not Serb territory.
7 A. Yes. I said that the army of Republika Srpska or, rather, its
8 political strategy had in mind their own ethnic territory, a vision of
9 their own territory. It is questionable whether they were right, but when
10 they reached those borders with their army, the borders of the territory
11 which they laid claim on without entering into whether they were right or
12 not, then they switched to a strategic defensive. They captured defensive
13 positions, which meant holding on to defensive lines. But Republika
14 Srpska had a very small population. It still has a small population. So
15 after that, they never carried out a single offensive operation which
16 would mean capturing additional territory beyond those borders which they
17 had taken possession of.
18 Within that territory where the VRS has a strategy of defence, so
19 it no longer has any further ambitions, nor does it believe it should
20 conquer fresh territory, there were certain areas that were still under
21 the control of the Muslim army, such as the enclaves. Within the
22 territory that they considered their ethnic territory, they did engage in
23 military actions which were tactically of an offensive nature. One such
24 action is Krivaja 95.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. We have
1 discussed at length the number of soldiers of the 28th Division, as you
2 will remember probably. You said that you took Muslim documents because
3 they were more reliable, and you added they had no reason lie to their
4 commanders. Do you remember saying that?
5 A. Yes. I was referring to the Muslim commanders, yes.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Take the example of the
7 intercepts. When the soldiers or the technicians were intercepting radio
8 communications in order to inform their superiors, their commanders, do
9 you think they -- that they had a reason to lie to their commanders?
10 A. You have asked me a question which it is difficult for me to
11 answer logically without making an error. Theoretically speaking, they
12 need not have, but they could have lied. They could have presented the
13 situation as being more dramatic than it was, that they were more exposed,
14 that they were holding on better than they were. This is possible, but it
15 need not be so.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But do you think that these
17 persons who are doing this work, were they or not fully aware of the
18 importance of their information for the decisions to be taken by the
19 commanders; so if they lied to their commanders, they are exposing
20 themselves to danger? What do you think about that?
21 A. As far as I remember, I said that the Muslim leaders and
22 commanders from Srebrenica more correctly reported about their own
23 effectives than did the soldiers of the VRS in their estimates based on
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm not talking about that
1 information. I'm talking about intercepts, intercepted communications
2 that you have read. You said that you have read all of them, and in
3 detail. But theoretically, those people who were doing that job, do you
4 believe that it was in their interests to tell the truth to their
5 commanders, or do you think that they may have deliberately lied to their
6 commanders? It is this type of information that I am referring to.
7 A. I personally think that it would be more realistic to expect them
8 not to lie than to lie.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I have another question. Did
10 the VRS intercept radio communications of the enemy army, if I may call it
12 A. All armies do that, so I assume that they did, too.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Fine. How did they use those
15 A. They are used in intelligence work, but they are never used with a
16 high level of reliability. They always have to be verified.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I have some shorter
18 questions now.
19 Do you know what was the time required for the handing over of
20 duty between corps commanders and his deputy?
21 A. If we're talking about people belonging to the same command, if it
22 is the same command, then it doesn't take long. It can be done in an
23 hour, in a day. But the normal procedure would be for the old and the new
24 commander to tour the units on the occasion of the handing over the duty,
25 when that is possible. When it is not possible, it's not done.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, another question. Is it
2 possible to make a distinction between a de jure position and a de facto
3 position? For example, General Krstic could have been the corps commander
4 and have the official ceremony subsequently to confirm that position; or,
5 in other words, is it possible for the Supreme Commander of the army to
6 give a verbal order, "I designate you the corps commander," to issue a
7 decree later, and still later to have the ceremony? Is that possible in
8 theory, according to the rules?
9 A. No. No, that is not possible.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Imagine that the commander falls
11 ill and he's unable to exercise his duties. What happens from the
12 standpoint of his replacement?
13 A. Automatically his duties are taken over by the Chief of Staff,
14 that is, his deputy. So that excludes the possibility of having hasty
15 decisions because this system has already been built into the system, that
16 is, of the Chief of Staff being the deputy.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So is it possible for General
18 Krstic de facto to be the acting corps commander because somebody has said
19 to Zivanovic, You cannot -- "You go, and the commander will replace you";
20 having verified this, the decree is published, and after that, the
21 official ceremony is held? Would that be possible from the legal
23 A. Legally, no. It is only possible if you wish to violate the law.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Why not? If the Deputy
25 Commander automatically replaces him, why not legally?
1 A. That is automatic when the commander is unable for personal or
2 other reasons to execute his task.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, that is my hypothesis. He
4 is prevented by somebody telling him, "You go." General Mladic could have
5 said that, President Karadzic could have said that, or not?
6 A. There is no need to do that when a decree on appointment can be
7 issued quickly.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, General, I have
9 another question.
10 Why was General Zivanovic replaced in the middle of the war? Why
11 should a corps commander be replaced; can you imagine a reason?
12 A. I don't know of any reason.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but on the basis of your
14 military expertise, doesn't it seem to you to be strange to replace a
15 corps commander, and then also to discuss which is the most convenient
16 date for the ceremony? Because, after all, the war is continuing. Why?
17 When General Zivanovic is not urgently needed for another position, why?
18 Don't you find that strange?
19 A. Personnel changes are made in wartime, Your Honour. There are
20 appointments, changes on the personnel -- in the personnel structure.
21 This is also normal in wartime. There is a personnel service in wartime.
22 The Main Staff of the VRS had assistant corps commanders for personnel
23 matters, and lists are made, forecasts of personnel development, and the
24 best combinations are made in terms of personnel. In the process of these
25 personnel changes, it was decided that General Krstic should become corps
1 commander. There is nothing strange in that.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, that is your opinion
3 and your position.
4 As a military man, as an expert, a military expert, how do you
5 view General Krstic's career? Did he -- was he promoted quickly or
7 A. Neither quickly nor slowly. I was a younger general than he was.
8 Even though it was peacetime, I became a general at a younger age than he
9 did. It was not an extremely successful career nor an unsuccessful
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But in any event, can it be said
12 that the promotion to the position of corps commander was, in a sense - I
13 don't know how to put it - a way of remunerating or recognising his good
14 work in the previous period? Could we reason it that way?
15 A. Unsuccessful people are certainly not appointed to be commanders,
16 that's the first principle. People who are successful in their positions
17 are appointed to such positions.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Are there any other conditions
19 to be promoted? Are there any other conditions to be promoted, for
20 instance, those linked to the Security Service, anything to do with the
21 Security Service?
22 A. The principle in the army I served in, and a very similar doctrine
23 was adopted by the VRS, that the Chief of Staff, the outgoing Chief of
24 Staff should be appointed to the commander, precisely in order to more
25 easily adjust to his new position. So one of the conditions is success,
1 ability, and the previous position that he held which qualifies him for
2 that duty, which means being Chief of Staff. Also, he needs to have a
3 certain education and training behind him for that position.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but we heard people here in
5 the courtroom who told us that the opinion of the Security Service was
6 required. If someone was successful and the Security Service was against
7 it, he couldn't be promoted. Are you aware of that? Is that true or
9 A. The Security Service does not verify expertise. It does not have
10 the ability to do that.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But what does it verify? I
12 understand not the professional qualities of the person, but tell me what
13 the Security Service does verify as a precondition for a senior officer to
14 be promoted.
15 A. In armies in democratic societies, the Security Service does not
16 have that role, but in ideologized and politicised systems the Security
17 Service does screen people which in normal armies should not be done.
18 Unfortunately, this also applied to the army I served in and also in the
19 VRS. This was verified.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So it means that the Security
21 Service did check whether General Krstic met all the requirements for
22 promotion. Yes or no.
23 A. In this particular case, I don't know. I cannot tell you. But
24 let me say that the assistant for security of the Superior Command which
25 initiates proposals for personnel is a member of the personnel council of
1 the Main Staff. So he's consulted, as are the other assistant
3 Secondly, that service, by nature of things, as in a certain sense
4 a Secret Service, can act outside the institutional structure to speed up
5 somebody's promotion or to slow down somebody's promotion.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, General.
7 I would also like to have a final question for you. I don't know -- I
8 don't want to know whether you answered my learned friend Madam Wald as a
9 professor, but Judge Riad asked you to answer in your capacity as general,
10 which means you have both qualifications. You are a professor and you are
11 also a general.
12 At the end of your expert testimony, do you feel that you referred
13 more to your qualities as a professor or to your qualities as a general?
14 Which did you rely on most in your testimony?
15 A. You really put me in a dilemma, but I shall take the liberty to
16 give you an answer.
17 My career as a professor and my studies and the references I
18 required in that area of my life made it possible for me to address this
19 problem better as a general. So it helped me. Therefore, in this Court,
20 in this honourable Tribunal, I testified in the first place as a general,
21 but being a professor, I did my best to make recourse to all my knowledge
22 and all the means available to me through that career to address this
23 predominantly military problem as best I could. To what extent I was
24 successful it is up to you to judge.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. I see that
1 Judge Riad has another question.
2 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Actually,
3 it's a question that follows on a reply that you gave to the President.
4 In any event, I have to comment on what you said.
5 You're a general but you have all the art of a professor. I was a
6 professor all my life and I can see you are a true professor. In the
7 reply that you gave to the President, and I'm almost quoting what you
8 said, you said the rules do not allow a commander to assume powers de
9 facto prior to his official appointment and that is normal when you were
10 speaking as a professor and talking about regular conditions. But now, in
11 a practical situation, if - it is a hypothesis - if a commander is not
12 well seen, is more or less a persona non grata by the authorities, and
13 he's going to be replaced, doesn't that successor de facto play an
14 important role? Of course, if it is according to the rules, then it is de
15 jure, but I'm talking a de facto situation when the commander is suspect
16 and not in people's good books. What would be your comment, as a
18 A. You want me to speak as a general or as a professor?
19 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] You are both at the same time,
20 because after all, the professor does not live in an ivory tower. He has
21 to have his feet on the ground.
22 A. Yes. I would act as a general and I would replace the commander
23 who I consider not to be appropriate for the position he holds.
24 Therefore, I would not be guided by my personal feelings but by his
25 abilities. If a corps commander is not suited to that position, I would
1 replace him immediately, and I would inform my personnel officials to draw
2 up a decree, to make that decree public immediately that a commander is
3 being replaced and a new one appointed, this on condition that that is my
5 If that is not my position, if I consider that someone else would
6 be a better solution than the person in office, then I would wait for more
7 favourable conditions and do it through the regular procedure without
8 provoking any kind of a personnel incident.
9 There cannot be any discontinuity in command because there are
10 deputies who can take over the duties normally. So the legislator has
11 made sure that the system functions automatically, regardless of whether
12 the person who nominally has a position is present or not.
13 JUDGE RIAD: One more question, but I relieve you of the
14 obligation to answer if you don't want to.
15 The appointment of General Krstic as a commander, according to
16 your research, and you were there, was there any opposition between the
17 leaders over that appointment, that is, between Karadzic and Mladic, in
18 your opinion? And this could have slowed down the official nomination.
19 A. I think there was no disagreement whatsoever.
20 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE WALD: It provoked one last question, Professor/General. If
22 you were, in fact, the appointing authority and you had the authority to
23 appoint the commander of the corps and you really -- hypothetical -- you
24 really thought the present commander was inadequate and you wanted to get
25 a new one on the spot as fast as you could and you were ready to take the
1 full responsibility, would you be able to put out a decree which said, "I
2 am appointing `X' to be the commander effective immediately and I don't
3 want the hand-over period to go into operation, I want this first man out
4 and the second man in immediately," and you had the -- you were the
5 appointing authority, you could do that? Could you dispense with the
6 holdover period and put your new man on the spot effective immediately
7 with the time of the decree if you thought that was the right thing to do
8 for your command?
9 A. The Supreme Commander has that right too.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, General, it is 3.30. We
11 promised to finish at 3.30. I see that we can't do that. I see that
12 Mr. Visnjic has something to say.
13 The documents that you wish to tender, can we do that tomorrow?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I was just -- I
15 just wished to notify you that the witness service has informed us that
16 the General will be staying here tomorrow as well, so we can take
17 advantage of the first ten minutes tomorrow to tender the documents in his
18 presence, if that is required by the Rules of Procedure.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think it is not necessary.
20 Mr. Cayley?
21 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, as far as the Defence documents are
22 concerned, I have no objections to any of their documents. I don't know
23 if they have any objection to mine. If there are no objections, then I
24 don't think the General needs to be here.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Do you have any objection to the Prosecution
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, no, no. We have no
3 objections at all. And we have a list of documents ready, so we can
4 exchange it with the registrar. The lists have already been provided to
5 the registrar, and I can simply ask for the record that the documents on
6 the list be tendered.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What I wish to do, Mr. Visnjic,
8 is to adjourn at 3.30 and also to release the witness. Because our aim is
9 not to prolong but rather to release the witness because we were told that
10 he had to leave. So, so long as there are no objections, we can address
11 the matter tomorrow. We do have another witness for tomorrow. Otherwise,
12 I did say that we would be working an extra half hour; otherwise, we can
13 go on for a whole hour. So we can do that tomorrow. So please be seated
14 for us to say good-bye to the witness.
15 I don't know how to call you now, "General" or "Professor" or
16 both. I have taken note of the fact that you had a dilemma here. I think
17 you had a trilemma because, in addition to your qualifications as a
18 professor and a general, you have a certain problem with your voice.
19 But I think you have contributed to eliminate this stigma that you
20 spoke of, the stigma that all the Serbs have as a result of these events.
21 I think you have the words and the throat to contribute to the process of
22 peace, as you have done here, and I thank you very much, General and
23 Professor, for having come and for having clarified many questions and
24 many matters on which we have to decide.
25 So I wish you a happy journey back to your country, and much
1 success in your work on peace, pacification, and reconstruction. Thank
2 you, General, and thank you, Professor.
3 Thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.36 p.m., to
5 be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day of November,
6 2000, at 9.20 a.m.