1 Thursday, 31 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, everybody. [French interpretation
7 coming over English channel].
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, however, that on the transcript, it's good
9 morning, everybody, French interpretation coming over English channel. I
10 hope that is not a problem. I don't think it is. If it is a problem,
11 could the interpreters please confirm? It's fine. Okay, fine. Thank
13 All the accused are here. General Pandurevic is back.
14 Defence teams, I only notice the absence of Mr. Meek and
15 Ms. Nikolic.
16 Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey. The witness is here, but before I
17 come to you, General, and say good morning, there are two small issues
18 that I would like to address. There is a motion from the Prosecution for
19 the testimony of witness number 88 to be heard via videolink. This was
20 filed on the 25th of May. I don't know exactly when the fortnight
21 lapses. Could I kindly ask you to file your response as early as
22 possible? I know that some of you will not be here in the course of next
23 week. I had in mind -- I had in mind the -- not later than the 12th of
24 June so that we give at least three weeks for the Prosecution to be able
25 to organise this, if the motion is granted. All right? 12th June is all
1 right for everyone?
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I can assure the Trial Chamber that we will
3 file it before the 12th of June.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. The other thing is that yesterday the
5 Prosecution filed a motion to amend the 65 ter exhibit list with nine
6 exhibits pertaining to witness number 4. Now, this witness is scheduled,
7 according to me, at least, to come after -- not after this witness but
8 after the next one. Is he still scheduled to come over after the next one
9 or not? Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. That witness was our
11 investigator, Mr. Blaszczyk and he was our sort of insurance witness for
12 this week, which we're probably not going to get to so --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. So we can allow the Defence teams
14 to file their response at their pleasure and leisure but within the
15 fortnight, okay? All right. So there is no urgency there.
16 Good morning to you, General.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's make an effort to conclude your testimony
19 today. It also depends on you, particularly on how concise you can keep
20 your answers.
21 Madam Fauveau, you had the floor yesterday. Go ahead.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 WITNESS: MANOJLO MILOVANOVIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau: [Continued]
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness Exhibit
2 number 5D372?
3 Q. Sir, yesterday you said that fuel was sometimes smuggled in the
4 double-sided tanks in humanitarian convoys and UNPROFOR convoys. Please
5 look at the document and tell us if you can confirm whether this document
6 was sent to the Sarajevo Corps and the Drina Corps on the 8th of November
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I shall leave you some time to peruse this document because I
10 would like you to confirm for us that this document states that there are
11 double-sided tanks in the vehicles.
12 Can you see the part where it says that it is well known that
13 there were cases of abuse when it came to the bottom part of the vehicle?
14 A. Yes. I have already said yes for this document. This is one in a
15 series of documents of which I spoke yesterday. Whenever we discovered
16 something suspicious or whenever it was proven at check-points that our
17 suspicion was justified, we had to draw the attention of UNPROFOR and
18 UNHCR to those facts and as for the Drina and Herzegovina corps and here
19 the Sarajevo Corps as well because from the area of responsibility of the
20 Sarajevo Corps the convoys usually departed from the sector of Sarajevo.
21 I was reading the document and I have forgotten what you want me to tell
22 you. What do you want me to confirm?
23 Q. Is it true that this document requires more stringent control of
24 the vehicles and especially its bottom part?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now I would like to show the witness Exhibit number 5D380.
2 Is it true that this document is information that was sent to the
3 corps of the VRS on the 18th of December 1993, and it regards the
4 permission to allow for the passage of convoys?
5 A. Yes. It was sent to all corps save for the 2nd Krajina Corps
6 because the -- no convoys passed through their area of responsibility.
7 Q. Can we now go to page 7 of this document, please?
8 I believe that there is a relevant part at the very beginning of
9 the page.
10 Sir, do you see the part which is under number 1, immediately
11 below the title, the title is, "Attention to all corps." Is it true that
12 this passage calls for a very precise control of all humanitarian convoys?
13 A. Yes. This is one in a series of such warnings whenever something
14 suspicious was discovered.
15 Q. And can we now scroll down to the bottom of the document? I would
16 like the witness to be able to see item number 4. Item 4, a bit further
17 up. Yes.
18 Is it true that special attention should have been drawn to the
19 convoys headed for Gorazde, Srebrenica and Zepa?
20 A. Yes, because those were enclaves unlike other security areas,
21 which were connected with other territories. For example, Tuzla was
22 connected with the territory under the control of Muslims. The same
23 applied to Sarajevo and Bihac said -- Bihac had a territorial connection
24 with Croatia.
25 Q. Can we now show the witness 6D7? And before this document appears
1 on the screen, I would like to tell you that this is a decision by the
2 president of the republic, published in the Official Gazette on the 14th
3 of March 1995. Can we show page 2 to the witness, the second page,
5 What I'm interested in is the title under number 28. This is a
6 decision on the establishment of the state committee on cooperation with
7 the United Nations and humanitarian organisations. Am I right?
8 A. Yes, you are.
9 Q. Can we now show the witness Article 5 on the same page?
10 Can we go back to --
11 According to this article, one of the working bodies of this
12 committee was the coordination body for humanitarian operations, wasn't
14 A. Yes. I spoke about that yesterday, but I was not sure of the
15 month and now I can see that this was the month of March.
16 Q. Can we now show the witness Article number 6 in the same document?
17 Sir, is it true that the article reads as follows: "[In English]
18 Permit for the movement of convoys and employees of the UN and
19 humanitarian organisations on the territory of Republika Srpska shall be
20 issued by the coordinating body for humanitarian operations pursuant to
21 committee decisions"?
22 A. Yes, which means that the army of Republika Srpska lost that
23 obligation. Up to then, we were the ones to issue such permits and the
24 obligation was passed on to the committee and we were just the executers
25 of the committee's decisions.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Can we go back to the first page of this
2 document? Can we blow up the top part of this page featuring the date?
3 The very top of the page, please.
4 This is the Official Gazette published on the 14th of March 1995.
5 In other words, it was published after directive number 7 was issued.
6 A. Directive number 7, as far as I can remember, was issued on the
7 8th of March, and this decision was passed on the 11th of March, as far as
8 I could see at the bottom, and it was published on the Official Gazette on
9 the 14th of March, which means that it was indeed published after the
10 publication of directive number 7.
11 Q. As a matter of fact, after the publication of this decision, the
12 army of Republika Srpska merely carried out orders by this committee and
13 performed procedures and controls in agreement with UNPROFOR?
14 A. I believe that the army of Republika Srpska no longer had to agree
15 upon anything with UNPROFOR. This was the duty of the committee. And the
16 committee simply issued orders to the army to let convoys through and to
17 perform controls. In other words, we could no longer decide, we could no
18 longer make a decision on whether we were going to let a convoy through or
20 Q. In any case, the army continued to control the convoys?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can we show the witness Exhibit number P2427 -- 2497.
23 The document that is now in front of you is information sent to
24 the military post 7111 with regard to the passage of the convoy on the
25 18th of June 1995. That is the date indicated on the document.
1 A. What am I supposed to confirm or deny with regard to this
3 Q. Is this indeed information which was sent to the military post
4 7111, in which this post is informed about the passage of a convoy and was
5 this information sent on the 18th of June 1995?
6 A. The date is correct. I can't remember the military post 7111. I
7 suppose that this was the command of either eastern Bosnia or the Drina
8 Corps, since the convoy was on its way from the Federal Republic of
9 Yugoslavia. I believe that this was the Drina Corps because the convoy
10 was supposed to enter through Karakaj and Zvornik.
11 Q. And this information was certainly drafted pursuant to a decision
12 of the committee which was in charge of humanitarian operations?
13 A. Correct. Only --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could see the entire document to get an idea
16 of the drafter at the end of it? The screen doesn't show it all.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No, it doesn't. Is it possible?
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm going to move to
19 page 2 because I have questions about that page, anyway.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's move straight to page 2, please, which we
21 have on the monitor now. Go ahead.
22 He had started to answer your question. I take it that he only
23 answered it in part.
24 General, Madam Fauveau asked you, and this information was
25 certainly drafted pursuant to a decision of the committee that was in
1 charge of humanitarian operations? And you started by saying, "Correct"
2 and then you said "only." You were seeking trying to explain something
3 else. Could you proceed and give us your explanation, please?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The author of the document did not
5 link the document with any source. Usually, military documents are
6 drafted in the following way: Pursuant to a decision of this and that
7 body, this information was obviously drafted based on somebody's
8 decision. So the author should have stated this: "Pursuant to the
9 decision of the committee" or "pursuant to the decision of anybody who
10 provided this information to the Main Staff."
11 So this is a shortcoming that arose from the lack of skills. I
12 can see that General Miletic in his own hand stated on behalf of the Chief
13 of Staff, Colonel Radivoje Miletic. On that date, I was in the western
14 parts of Bosnia, probably in Drvar. In other words, the only shortcoming
15 of this document is that it doesn't show the source based on which the
16 document was drafted.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Speaking of the penultimate paragraph of this document, which is
19 right in front of you, calling for better control, is it the case that
20 this control was in fact in keeping with the previously adopted rules and
21 regulations concerning the passage of convoys?
22 A. Correct. This paragraph follows from previous documents we have
23 reviewed, but regardless of the fact that actual people on the ground who
24 were effecting those controls have been warned already, in our language we
25 say it's never too much care or better safe than sorry.
1 Q. Is it true that such controls are neither unusual nor odd in a
2 state of war?
3 A. There is nothing irregular or unusual. This was agreed back in
4 1992 when it was decided to bring humanitarian aid to the warring parties
5 in the first place.
6 Q. But General Miletic, then Colonel, in any case, did not have the
7 power to decide whether a convoy would be allowed to pass or not?
8 A. In this document, nobody from the army had any more power to
9 decide whether the convoy would pass or not. It was up to the committee.
10 And Miletic and other officers in the army were duty-bound to see that
11 convoy and inspect it.
12 Q. I would now like to show the witness 5D371 -- sorry, just before
13 that, are you sure that the handwriting on this document is the
14 handwriting of General Miletic?
15 A. I'm not sure. General Miletic knows better.
16 Q. Can we now show 5D371 to the witness?
17 Could you please look at first paragraph only? We don't see the
18 date on this document, but I believe that in the first paragraph we can
19 read that it is about a medical evacuation that was authorised from
20 Srebrenica to Sarajevo on the 6th of April 1995.
21 A. I don't see 6 April 1995. I see my signature, in fact, my full
22 name, typed there, which I think is possible because in April I was at the
23 Main Staff. I see again this military PO box, 7111 and 7598, but I don't
24 remember those PO boxes. I don't know what exactly one would say.
25 Q. Could you please read this first paragraph that follows after the
1 numbers of PO boxes?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we do that, I notice that there is a
3 discrepancy between the original and the English translation. The English
4 translation merely indicates to military post 7111 so -- oh, this is a
5 different one, yeah, okay.
6 All right. Then my next question is: We see 7111 and then an
7 "i," and then 7598. What's that "i"? What does it stand for?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I'm asking you, yes.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the "i" that we discussed
11 yesterday. It's going to those two military post boxes only: 7111 and
12 7598. Those must be the Sarajevo and the Drina Corps, because the
13 evacuation of this woman Fatima Salihovic was to take the route
14 Vlasenica-Zvornik-Bratunac, if I'm reading correctly. Or maybe I'm
15 confused. I believe this lady was evacuated from Srebrenica to Sarajevo.
16 Yes, that's written there. So the command of the corps, through whose
17 territory this vehicle would pass, are being informed.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: When you see those two numbers with an "i" in
19 between, to you it means letter box 7111 and letter box 7598? That is
20 both of them?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. And also other corps are left
22 out of this notification. This was addressed only to those two units.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And I apologise to you, Madam Fauveau,
24 for having interrupted your question, which you can now proceed with,
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Sir, in this paragraph that you just read, that speaks of this
3 medical evacuation, do you see in line 3 the date, 6 April 1995 [realtime
4 transcript read in error "2005"]?
5 A. Yes. That's a reference to the commands to whom the documents are
6 addressed indicating the time when the evacuation would take place, and we
7 see below that it was actually sent on the 5th of April, 24 hours earlier,
8 at 2000 something hours. It doesn't matter, anyway. So this document
9 follows an earlier agreement between the UNPROFOR and the VRS that
10 notifications be submitted 24 hours earlier, with 24 hours' notice.
11 Q. Just one correction. Page 11, line 3 and the date is 6 April
13 So this evacuation that was authorised on the 5th of April 1995
14 was authorised after the delivery of directive number 7?
15 A. Correct. Almost a month later.
16 Q. I would now like to move on to another subject, namely the combat
17 reports that you discussed yesterday and the day before yesterday.
18 I would like to show you P2672. I would like to show the witness
19 the top of this document.
20 You have already spoken about this document and you said it was
21 sent to the Drina Corps. Is it correct that this document was not sent to
22 the Main Staff of the VRS?
23 A. What I said yesterday was that I don't know whether it was sent on
24 to the Main Staff by the command of the Drina Corps, but I checked. It
25 was not sent from the Main Staff to the Supreme Command. So the command
1 of the Drina Corps was the link. I don't know whether the command of the
2 Drina Corps sent this report to the Main Staff.
3 Q. And when you speak of the reports sent by the Drina Corps, in fact
4 the Drina Corps would not physically send on this report. It would just
5 take up this information from this report?
6 A. I never said that this document, in this form, the way we see it,
7 was sent by the Drina Corps to the Main Staff. I said I didn't know
8 whether the Drina Corps informed the Main Staff of the things it had
9 learned from this Engineering Battalion because I don't have any reports
10 from the Drina Corps to the Main Staff.
11 Q. This one is regular, daily report, from the battalion. Is it
12 correct that this information should have been reflected, taken up, in the
13 daily reports of the Drina Corps?
14 A. Certainly, because it's a large number of people killed.
15 Q. And this report is of 4th July 1995 -- 14th July?
16 A. Yes, yes, that's what's written there.
17 Q. Can we show the witness now 4D84, which is also P137?
18 What you have before you now, is it the report of the Drina Corps
19 dated 14 July 1995, addressed to the Main Staff of the VRS?
20 A. Yes. That is the report of which I said I didn't know its
21 contents, but now I see it, and I see that there is a reference to a
22 group -- sorry, this is not about Gorazde. Just give me a minute.
23 Yes. In paragraph 1, we read, "On the northwestern part of the
24 front, in the broader area of Kalesija," in brackets we see the details,
25 Pohunjak, Osredak, Kurtici, "Observers have noted large concentration of
1 enemy forces aiming to attack from the front and thus enable link-up with
2 the group that had broken out from Srebrenica enclave." Now, I suppose
3 that that is the group. I'm not sure. But we don't see here the number
4 mentioned by the commander of the engineering battalion, namely 1.000 to
5 1.500 people killed, which means that the Main Staff was not aware of that
6 information provided by the engineering battalion.
7 Q. Can we now show the witness P49?
8 It's a report of the Main Staff of the 15th of July 1995 that you
9 had occasion to see the day before yesterday, and I would like page 3,
10 please, the passage just under number 6.
11 So it's a report in which there is reference to Turkish forces.
12 You've already said that you didn't know how this reference to Turkish
13 forces found its way into the document, how this expression was used. Is
14 it probable that the person who drafted this report at the Main Staff
15 simply took up the phrase from the report sent them by the Drina Corps?
16 A. I would appreciate it if you could show me the signature.
17 Q. Could we then move to page 4, the next one?
18 A. I don't know who the person drafting this, according to these
19 initials, could be. I suppose it's Colonel Nedeljko Trkulja, initials
20 NT. I suppose he just copied this phrase, Turkish forces, I don't know
21 from where, but I already told you yesterday that we freely traded
22 insults. We called Muslims Turks. They called us Chetniks. Both of us
23 called Croats Ustashas, and Croats called us Chetniks and they called
24 Muslims either Turks or something even worse that I don't want to mention.
1 Q. I would like to show you the interim report of 15 July 1995 from
2 the Drina Corps, and I would like it placed on the ELMO so that the
3 witness can compare the two documents. It's P150.
4 And if we could go back to page 3 in P49?
5 Could you please look at the document on your right and find the
6 sentence that reads, "[In English] During the transport towards Zvornik
7 the Turkish pulling out from Srebrenica toward Tuzla in the Planinci
8 village sector opened fire on the ambulance and killed the driver Milos
9 Tesic and paramedic Nenad Stevic. The brigade will forward details on
10 enemy groups in a separate report about which we will be duly informed."
11 [Interpretation] This sentence is in the document. Did you find
12 it? Did you find the sentence?
13 A. Where? On the left screen or on the right screen?
14 Q. We are talking about P150, so I don't know where it is.
15 A. It is an interim report?
16 Q. Yes, sir. It is an interim report issued by the Drina Corps.
17 A. Are you referring to the sentence, "The attack ended around 5.30
18 but the enemy continued to open fire sporadically from artillery and
19 infantry weapons. During these operations three soldiers were wounded,
20 Velimor Peric, Dusan Stevanovic and Zoran Ristic. During the transport
21 towards Zvornik the Turk forces which were pulling out from Zvornik
22 towards Tuzla in the Planinci mountain sector opened fire on the ambulance
23 and killed the driver, Milos Tesic and the paramedic, Nenad Stevic. The
24 information on the enemy groups that are pulling out from Srebrenica will
25 be provided in a special report." Is that what you were referring to?
1 Q. Yes, sir. This is the sentence. Does it fully reflect the report
2 of the Main Staff? Was it taken over completely from that report, in
3 other words?
4 A. No. This is an interim report by the corps command to the Main
6 Q. I believe that we've had a problem in the interpretation. Is it
7 correct that the report of the Main Staff took over virtually completely a
8 sentence that can be found in the interim report of the Drina Corps?
9 A. I should be able to see the stamps, the four angled stamps on both
10 reports to see when the reports arrived, and then I will -- would be able
11 to answer your question. This is interim report and interim reports were
12 allowed, pursuant to the organisation of the army. There was a document
13 which stated that regular reports should be sent every day by 2000 hours
14 and interim reports as needed. Obviously this interim report was drafted
15 because of the people who were wounded and killed. This was the reason
16 for the interim report.
17 Q. I don't think that the report of the Main Staff carries that kind
18 of stamp but the interim report of the Drina Corps does have a stamp
19 towards the very end of the page.
20 A. Please, could I have a look at the regular report of the Main
21 Staff? Could I see the signature part?
22 Q. Could you please first look -- I'm sorry. Both have stamps, but
23 can you please look at the stamp on the report by the Drina Corps first?
24 A. Yes. This report was signed by General Major Radislav Krstic. It
25 was received on the 15th of July at 1945 hours, and now I should see when
1 the Main Staff report was sent to the Supreme Command, and I'm talking
2 about the report on the right-hand side screen.
3 Q. Can we scroll up the page or scroll down to enable the witness to
4 see the stamp?
5 A. I can see the stamp. The report of the Main Staff to the Supreme
6 Command was sent on the 16th of July on the following day, that is at 0207
7 hours. The difference in time is approximately five hours, if my maths
8 are good. Somewhere in this report of the Main Staff to the Supreme
9 Command, I saw losses. It is possible that the interim report of the
10 Drina Corps was included in that report but the author of the report to
11 the Supreme Command did not mention the names of the casualties. He just
12 mentioned the numbers of the wounded and the killed. It was not customary
13 to report to the Supreme Command the individual names of the casualties.
14 You can only imagine how far that would leave. For example, if the troops
15 suffered casualties of 50 or 60 killed and as many wounded, it would
16 really be too much to mention all of their names in the reports to the
17 Supreme Command. And let me conclude: I believe that this interim report
18 of the Drina Corps was included in the regular combat report of the Main
19 Staff to the Supreme Command.
20 Q. The day before yesterday, you spoke about the nature of combat
22 Can we please show the witness the first page of the document?
23 Is it correct that this combat report was not sent only to the
24 Supreme Command but also to the commands of all corps of the Republika
25 Srpska army?
1 A. Yes. I can see that in the heading, the commands of the 1st and
2 2nd Krajina Corps, the Sarajevo Corps, the Drina Corps, the aircraft,
3 anti-aircraft defence, in other words, to all subordinate units. I
4 suppose that General Miletic intended to inform about such specific
5 situations, even the subordinate units because the Main Staff doesn't send
6 any reports to subordinated commands. It rather receives reports from
7 them and when it writes to them it sends them decisions and orders. I
8 suppose the duplication of resources was avoided by copying this report to
9 the subordinated units which was a customary thing. When something
10 extraordinary was happening, all the units were informed about that.
11 Q. Can we now show the witness the last page of the same document?
12 This document has not been signed, but the name on this report is the name
13 of General Miletic, and his role was described as standing in for the
14 Chief of Staff. The day before yesterday, you told us that your name was
15 supposed to be on these reports because at that time you were the Chief of
16 Staff of the VRS, and the person who signed these reports should have put
17 the word "za" or on behalf of in front of their signature?
18 A. Yes. However, Miletic wanted to make sure that everybody knew
19 that this was his document so he came up with something. He could not put
20 VD, acting for. This is a legal category which had to be covered by an
21 order. He could have put replacing the Chief of Staff or something. He
22 came up with standing in for the Chief of Staff. We've discussed this at
23 great length. The important thing is that the signatory of this document
24 is General Miletic, and there are the abbreviations standing for the
25 person who drafted the document, NT, and MM is the person who typed the
1 handwritten document drafted by the person under the initials NT.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: General, at the time, during this period of time
3 when sometimes you were present for short time in the Main Staff, other
4 times, most of the time you're not, did you ever come across any of these
5 documents that you have seen here and also during your proofing session
6 with the Prosecution, allegedly signed by Radivoje Miletic with the
7 statement, "Standing in" for yourself? Did you come across those
8 documents at the time? And if you did, did you ever raise the matter with
9 then General Major Miletic at all? So two questions. I hope there is no
10 objection from Mr. McCloskey.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday or the day before
12 yesterday, I said that my absence from the staff was from the 29th of May
13 to the beginning of November, and that only on the 28th of July I came
14 back in order to see General Zivanovic off. Upon my return to the Main
15 Staff, I --
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt, General. We
17 just had an important date misstatement which we should probably get
18 straight before it gets --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- too much further.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not -- it says 28 of July here in the
22 transcript and that's not correct, because the witness said yesterday and
23 the day before 19th and 20th of July. So that's to correct the statement.
24 Otherwise, General, you may proceed. And thank you for the
25 interruption Mr. -- intervention, sorry, Mr. McCloskey.
1 Yes, go ahead, General.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday I stated that I had not
3 read these reports. During my short stays in the Main Staff I did not
4 read reports or any other documents. Usually General Miletic was
5 duty-bound to inform me verbally or to brief me of the general situation
6 on the front line so as to enable me to establish the facts. I did the
7 same for General Mladic when he returned from somewhere. I did not read
8 documents which were no longer topical. That's why I did not notice that
9 until the moment Mr. McCloskey showed them to me in Banja Luka. And then
10 I saw that all the documents bore that indication. I did not read the
11 reports, especially not the reports that were sent to the Supreme Command,
12 because they were the thing of the past. When you're in war you usually
13 look at the present and the future rather than the past. You don't look
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General.
16 Madam Fauveau?
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
18 Q. In any case, you were the Chief of Staff of the VRS in July 1995?
19 A. Yes. I was the Chief of Staff, and I said that I was the Chief of
20 Staff from the 12th of May 1992 to 23rd December 1996, 1.687 days in
22 Q. Starting with June 1993, up to the end of the war, you were
23 General Miletic's immediate superior, weren't you?
24 A. Yes. From the moment when he was appointed the chief of education
25 and operations administration.
1 Q. During the two days before your testimony before this Trial
2 Chamber, the Prosecutor showed you a number of documents allegedly signed
3 by General Miletic or where his name is indicated. Is it correct that
4 among these documents you did not see a single document that you might
5 call illegal or irregular, save for some minor administrative mistakes or
7 A. I don't know exactly what you are saying. I saw a document
8 bearing my signature in the binder with yellow stickers. The document
9 speaks about the appointment of Colonel Krstic as the person acting for
10 the commander of the Drina Corps. I don't remember the name of that
11 document. In my view, that document was illegal, irregular, against the
13 Q. But nothing shows or indicates that that document had anything to
14 do with General Miletic?
15 A. No. There is nothing in that document to indicate any such thing
16 that would make me think that.
17 Q. I'll move on to something else. Is it correct that General
18 Miletic, in June 1995, could not issue orders to the commanders or other
19 officers in corps and brigades?
20 A. I spoke of that yesterday. None of us, save for the commander of
21 the Main Staff, was able to issue executive orders to subordinate units,
22 unless the commander has authorised one of us to deal with one segment of
23 the front, like he, for instance, authorised me to handle operation
24 Lukavac 93, the counterattack in Bihac and the defence against Croatian
25 Operation Storm. Only in such situations did one of his assistants
1 receive a command role but not for the VRS as a whole but only as relating
2 to a certain area, one section of the front.
3 Q. You said the day before yesterday that while you were at the Main
4 Staff, and when General Mladic was absent, in fact when you were in the
5 headquarters of the Main Staff, assistant commanders reported to you. Is
6 it correct that when you were in Western Bosnia and General Mladic was not
7 at the headquarters of the Main Staff, assistant commanders did not report
8 to General Miletic?
9 A. They reported to the most senior general who happened to be around
10 at the Main Staff. So if it was General Djukic or General Gvero, they
11 reported to him. And of course, Miletic, as a figure who united and
12 coordinated the work of the Main Staff, was always present. However, in
13 view of the military chain of command and hierarchy, reports were received
14 by one of the assistant commanders who happened to be there at the time.
15 Q. You said the day before yesterday that in your absence, General
16 Miletic was not able to take over all your functions and, for instance, he
17 was not sent on field trips to inspect units. Is it correct that in your
18 absence, General Miletic was never deputy commander?
19 A. General Miletic was never deputy commander, or rather, he never
20 stood in for the commander.
21 Q. And General Miletic did not have the powers to coordinate the work
22 of assistant commanders?
23 A. When he substituted for me, he had to coordinate the work of
24 assistant commanders, but not in an order-issuing sense, but rather in an
25 advisory role. I don't know which word to use. Perhaps the best word is
1 a non-binding sense, as deputy Chief of Staff it was his duty to tell
2 General Gvero, for instance, General Djukic in logistical units has a
3 problem that your sector should deal with, for instance, crime, theft of
4 materiel, or he would tell General Djukic, as chief of logistics, General
5 Gvero has a problem with supplies in his sector, he has no paper, no pens,
6 no speakers, no radio devices, no television sets, whatever he needed for
7 security purposes.
8 So he was the one who coordinated but not in the sense of issuing
9 orders. That was something that General Mladic could do or I in Mladic's
10 absence but he could tell Gvero, "Go to that logistical unit and check why
11 there are so many violations and infractions, it's beginning to affect
12 morale." Or he could tell Djukic, "Find those supplies and materiel." So
13 he could not exactly speak in a commanding tone. He could tell others,
14 this or that sector needs such and such supplies or assistance.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Madam Fauveau. And he would do this
16 without consulting you? Is that a proposition that you would accept?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He would certainly do it without
18 consulting me, because in order to consult me he would have had to
19 establish contact with me across 600 or 700 kilometres, and there was no
20 need for the enemy to be allowed to listen in on our conversations about
21 Djukic needing pencils or some unit having a lot of offences, disciplinary
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And if you had been present, in the same
24 circumstances that you have just described, say needing to approach
25 General Djukic or needing to approach General Gvero, would your
1 intervention have been a command, an order, or would it still be an advice
2 to either or both of the two generals?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If General Mladic was at the Main
4 Staff, then my role would be the same as the role I have described for
5 Miletic a moment ago. I was also an assistant commander except that I was
6 the first among equals in a way. However, if Mladic was not around, then
7 I did have a command role. I could order Miletic or Djukic to give Gvero
8 what he needed, such things.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau?
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Just to clarify, I believe you've already mentioned it, but just
12 for everything to be clear, concerning General Miletic, even when General
13 Mladic was not at the Main Staff headquarters, his position was never one
14 from which he could issue orders to an assistant commander?
15 A. He was never in a position to issue orders to assistant
17 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] -- for interrupting you.
18 So as I understand it, if General Mladic was not there but you were there,
19 you would have been issuing orders? But if General Mladic was not there
20 and you also were not there, who would be in a position to issue orders,
21 for instance, in this case, to General Djukic and General Gvero? No one?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. No one. In that case,
23 General Miletic would have had to call me regardless of the distance, but
24 if the case in question called for it, if it was an emergency, he would
25 have called me or if Mladic was closer, he would have had to call Mladic
1 so that one of us could issue appropriate orders. However, in practice,
2 in the practice of the Main Staff, such situations never arose because,
3 after all, the Main Staff was a harmonious whole. We had a good mutual
4 understanding. And I can't imagine a situation in which General Gvero
5 would refuse the advice of General Miletic, and I can't imagine any of the
6 assistant commanders having any quarrel with what Miletic proposed. We
7 just never experienced such incidents.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General. Madam Fauveau?
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You already said on a number of occasions that in July 1995, you
11 were the Chief of Staff of the VRS, and at that time, General Miletic was
12 not an acting Chief of Staff, he was not in that position.
13 A. No, he wasn't.
14 Q. And equally, despite certain documents that were signed by General
15 Miletic as your representative, General Miletic did not represent you
16 legally, he was not your legal representative, your legal substitute, in
17 the Main Staff of the VRS?
18 A. I have already said a number of times that General Miletic
19 substituted for me in performing day-to-day staff duties during my
20 absences from the staff.
21 Q. But he never had all the powers that you disposed of when you were
22 present at the Main Staff of the VRS?
23 A. He never had such powers, and I just said a moment ago that he was
24 not in a position to command assistant commanders.
25 Q. You said the day before yesterday that the work of General Miletic
1 was important. Could we say that in times of war, in an army, all the
2 tasks at all levels are important?
3 A. The most important mission in a war is to keep the trench you are
4 holding. So Miletic's trench was to design documents, to make plans, to
5 coordinate the work of subordinated units, with a view to accomplishing
6 the uniform task of all VRS units, and that is to defend Republika
7 Srpska. Miletic did this as the officer -- an officer of the staff. The
8 value of every operations officer is great, is crucial, but operations
9 officers are considered to be the soul of an army. In this case, he was
10 the soul of the Main Staff of the VRS. He knows everyone, he is able to
11 advise everyone, to give them the appropriate information.
12 Q. I'm not asking you to describe the tasks of General Miletic but to
13 tell me if there is one kind of work or one mission or one task in an
14 army, any army, that you could describe as not important.
15 A. No.
16 Q. You said the day before yesterday that when you were at the Main
17 Staff headquarters, it was a rare occurrence for Mladic not to accept your
18 proposals. Could we say that General Mladic had a particular trust in
20 A. I believe so, since he selected me to be his deputy and he never
21 refused or significantly modified my proposals, and if I made any
22 decisions in his absence, he never cancelled my decisions upon his return,
23 which he had the right to do. On the contrary, he supported the execution
24 of my decision. Sometimes he made minor changes but he never cancelled a
25 single decision I made.
1 Q. Is it correct that the relations between General Mladic and
2 General Miletic were not of the same nature as your relations with General
4 A. You mean interpersonal relations?
5 Q. No. I mean work relations.
6 A. The working relationship of General Mladic to all members of the
7 Main Staff were professional, although I have an idea of what you might be
8 driving at. So tell me again, do you mean interpersonal relations?
9 Q. If you wish, perhaps we can put it that way.
10 A. Well, when General Miletic came to the Main Staff, he was
11 appointed to the administration from the artillery and rocket
12 administration, which was not very busy because rocket systems of air
13 defence were under the command of air defence and air force, and the
14 rocket systems themselves were dispersed across units. So we started
15 deploying Miletic on the front line, mainly around the Main Staff, units
16 defending the Main Staff and some other units but mainly there in eastern
18 And on one occasion, General Mladic was inspecting the front line
19 close to the Main Staff. I believe it was on the side of Zepa. And I
20 believe he yelled and hollered at Miletic, who was then Lieutenant
21 Colonel, and when he returned to the Main Staff, he told me, "This bloke
22 Miletic did not do anything. He could have but he didn't."
23 But I knew the situation well myself and I realised that
24 Miletic -- there was nothing Miletic could have done, and I told
25 Mladic, "In my mind, Miletic is a good staff officer. He's a good
1 officer. Let's not send him to the front any more. Let him rather help
2 out here in the Main Staff." Because at that time, I had been alone in
3 the staff sector for three or four months. Mladic did not say anything to
4 that, but that was the last time that he gave Miletic any tasks on the
5 front line himself. And since Miletic was a native of that area around
6 Foca, I always took him with me when I visited that area because he knew
7 the terrain well.
8 At the beginning of the war, Mladic did not have much use for
9 Miletic, and later on I did not have much insight into how their relation
10 developed. I don't know about Miletic, but I know that Mladic did not
11 have any great sympathy for Miletic.
12 Q. And is it correct that General Miletic was never Mladic's adviser
13 and certainly not his main adviser?
14 A. He was certainly not his main man, but whether he ever provided
15 any advice to Mladic, well, he probably did, sometimes when my functions
16 were distributed to others in my absence. Then Miletic would suggest to
17 Mladic how to use units, and advising the commander amounts to giving the
18 commander your opinion how that should be done and Miletic could do that
19 because he was the best-informed on the situation in various theatres of
20 war in Republika Srpska, when I was not there.
21 Q. You don't know to what extent General Mladic accepted Miletic's
23 A. I don't know. I was aware only of Mladic's executive decisions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we'll have the break now. How much more
25 time do you require, Madam Fauveau?
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Ten to 15 minutes, I believe,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we'll have a 25-minute break starting
4 from now. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, Mr. Meek has joined us.
8 Madam Fauveau?
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. The day before yesterday you told us that in July 1995 the Supreme
11 Commander, Radovan Karadzic, had started sending you orders directly, that
12 they no longer went via General Mladic. Do you know whether Radovan
13 Karadzic at the time sent orders directly to corps commanders as well?
14 A. The 1st and the 2nd Corps of Krajina did not receive direct
15 orders. I know that because I was in their zones of responsibility. I
16 was the only one who received them. I don't know anything about the other
18 Q. The day before yesterday you spoke about the Lukavac operations--
19 operation, and you told us that that operation had been planned. The
20 Lukavac operation, was it an operation by the Main Staff?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. According to your information, the Krivaja operation that took
23 place in July 1995 around Srebrenica was a spontaneous operation, wasn't
25 A. I am not aware of the existence of any plan for that operation, so
1 I would say that that was the case.
2 Q. In any case, based on your information, this was not an operation
3 by the Main Staff of the VRS?
4 A. At the beginning, this operation was an operation of the Drina
6 Q. When you were in Western Bosnia --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Just -- I think that's an incomplete answer to your
8 question. "At the beginning, this operation was an operation of the Drina
9 Corps," you said, General. And after the beginning, what was it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know what
11 happened after the beginning. I don't know how General Mladic found
12 himself in that part of the front. I suppose that he did it by design.
13 And I don't know how this operation expanded, how it went on.
14 I only know that at that time I suffered major losses in the
15 western front and that on the -- from the Main Staff, I asked for
16 reinforcement amounting to at least three brigades and every time, I got
17 an answer that I could not count on such reinforcement because the troops
18 were engaged in eastern Bosnia, i.e., on the eastern front. I was also
19 told that I would receive the requested brigades once the burden was off
20 that part of the front, and I indeed received them between the 1st and the
21 3rd August 1995, when it was already too late for me because by then I had
22 already lost Grahovo and Glamoc and VRS started withdrawing from that part
23 of the front line.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
25 Q. When General Miletic drafted regular reports, is it true that
1 these reports featured the situation in the entire territory of Republika
2 Srpska, in all of its front lines?
3 A. Yes. He received reports from the subordinate commanders. I've
4 already spoken about that. And he simply conveyed two or three items from
5 their reports. One of them was the situation on the front line, the
6 situation on the territory, and the planned actions for the following
7 day. He only united all these reports and conveyed them further.
8 Q. But in order to draft his report, he had to read all the other
9 reports, the reports of Drina Corps, the Sarajevo Corps, the 1st Corps,
10 the 2nd Corps, the Eastern Bosnian Corps and the Herzegovina Corps?
11 A. Yes. I apologise. Yes. He had to do that regardless of whether
12 he was to draft a report to the Supreme Command or not. He had to do it
13 because he was an operations man.
14 Q. As an operations man, he deemed all the front lines equally
15 important, am I right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it correct that based on the function that he had in June 1995,
18 General Miletic did not have any authority with regards to the prisoners
19 of war?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me. I think we have another date problem.
21 Excuse me for interrupting.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Yes, Madam Fauveau?
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] In July.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So the transcript stands corrected. Instead of June
25 1995, it should be July 1995. Go ahead.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please repeat your
2 question, Madam?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll repeat it to you myself. The proposition that
4 was put to you is whether it is correct that based on General Miletic's
5 functions in July 1995, he did not have any authority with regards to
6 prisoners of war. Would you agree to that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would. He did not have any
8 authority. He was supposed to register the number of enemy imprisoned and
9 also the number of our troops who were captured. There were other sectors
10 that were in charge of prisoners of war.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
12 Q. When you were in Western Bosnia, the information about the western
13 Bosnian front line were included into the report to -- of the VRS Main
15 A. Yes. But I did not send the written combat reports to the Main
16 Staff. This was done by the commanders of the 1st and the 2nd Corps.
17 Q. But this was the area in which you performed your operations, am I
19 A. You're right. This is the area where I was in charge of combat
20 operations, but it had been agreed that I would not write combat reports.
21 I only communicated orally with General Mladic. He would call me and then
22 I would inform him about the situation on that front line.
23 Q. General Miletic received information about the situation in
24 Western Bosnia. Can we then say that General Miletic did not have any
25 authority with regard to the operations that were carried out in Western
2 A. Yes. I can say that because General Miletic could not act as my
3 commander. He could not issue me orders.
4 Q. When it comes to the events around Srebrenica, can we say that
5 General Miletic did not have any authority or influence on the activities
6 that took place around Srebrenica and Zepa in July 1995?
7 A. No, he didn't.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. McCloskey? He's answered the
9 question but --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that question is, especially given his
11 precision definitions, vague. I think the question, if it was asked does
12 he have any command authority, I think it's a fair question, but authority
13 and his responsibilities I think have been clearly defined by the witness
14 so I think we -- in order for this to be a proper question, it should say
15 command authority.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I think -- my suggestion is that you take
17 this up on recross -- re-examination, redirect.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would agree that he has no command authority
19 so --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but he's also testified about General
21 Miletic's and everyone else's advisory powers within the Main Staff, and
22 that could fall under the question, under the aspect of influence, so you
23 may take it up on redirect. Go ahead, Madam Fauveau.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that the
25 witness has already answered my question. However, I would like to thank
1 the witness, because I have no further questions. But I would also like
2 to respond to the Prosecutor's objection. We are talking about the
3 immediate superior of General Miletic, who is certainly well-suited to
4 answer a question of that kind. And I don't have any further questions.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, General. Go ahead.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was interrupted
8 midway through my answer. I said no, he did not have any influence, and I
9 wanted to add "in command sense," but I was interrupted.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So do you wish to add anything to what you have just
11 stated? Do you think your answer is now complete or do you wish to add on
12 to it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've just added, "In command sense."
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, General.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in view of the
16 witness's answer, with your leave I would like to clarify this answer. I
17 would kindly ask you to allow me to put another question to the witness in
18 order to clarify the previous answer.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Please go ahead, Madam Fauveau.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Sir, when were you in Western Bosnia, what kind of influence did
22 General Miletic have on the operations in Western Bosnia?
23 A. None whatsoever, in command sense again.
24 Q. In what sense did he have influence?
25 A. For example, when I asked for the three brigades, he answered that
1 the Main Staff could not send me those three brigades and he explained
2 why. Also, if I approached the Main Staff in order to request additional
3 materiel, ammunition, fuel and so on and so forth, he would convey my
4 messages to the commander of the Main Staff on -- or the assistant
5 commander for logistics or if I had problems with the state of morale, he
6 would convey those as well. In other words, he was my intermediary in my
7 communication with the other members of the Main Staff, and very often
8 even with the Supreme Command.
9 Q. And just to clarify things further, the decision not to send
10 brigades, ammunition, fuel, and other things that you mentioned to you,
11 this was not General Miletic's decision, was it?
12 A. No, not at all. He only conveyed my requests to the commander and
13 the commander's response to me in turn.
14 Q. In other words, his influence or his responsibility was to convey
15 what you had requested to somebody else and to make sure that the request
16 was conveyed properly, am I right?
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
19 further questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I will put a question of my own on that, but in your
21 absence, during the meetings of the Main Staff, if they happened to be
22 discussing, for instance, the operation in Western Bosnia that you have
23 been referred to, apart from any messages that he would pass on on your
24 behalf, would -- was General Miletic in a position to contribute to the
25 discussion with his own advice, independently of you and independently of
1 any suggestions or proposals or messages that you might have conveyed to
2 him earlier on?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, he could participate in
4 discussions, because he was standing in for me and he could convey
5 proposals to the commander, just like me, because he was familiar with the
6 corps reports, he was familiar with the situation based on my
7 conversations with him, and he could explain the situation in Western
8 Bosnia as well as I could have myself.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, General. Thank you, Madam
10 Fauveau. Who is next? Have you discussed this amongst yourselves?
11 Yes, Mr. Sarapa. Could you introduce yourself to the General,
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General, my name is Djordje Sarapa,
15 appearing for General Pandurevic. I phrased my questions, at least I
16 tried, in such a way that most of them can be answered with a yes or no.
17 Let me begin. The army of Republika Srpska was formed on the 12th
18 of May 1992. Could you tell me if before that time, before the VRS was
19 officially established, there had already been established military and
20 paramilitary organisations of Muslims such as Green Berets, the Patriotic
21 League, and others?
22 A. You mean the Muslim army?
23 Q. I mean Muslim military and paramilitary forces.
24 A. Yes. There was the Patriotic League, Green Berets, and some
25 smaller, purely nationalist paramilitary groups called mosque pigeons,
1 jihad warriors, swallows, larks. Those are the ones I can remember.
2 THE TRANSLATOR: Microphone, please.
3 MR. SARAPA:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Would you agree that by the decision to establish
5 the army of Republika Srpska, only legal basis were given, only a legal
6 basis was given for establishing the VRS, whereas the task of establishing
7 actual units fell to the Main Staff?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: General, if you have understood the question, then
9 proceed to answer it. If you have not, you have every right to ask for a
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I understood. Before that
12 decision of the 12th of May 1992 to establish the army, or, rather, that
13 decision legalised what already existed, in terms of Serbs under arms, and
14 the Main Staff was given the assignment to organise a real army and that
15 was the 7th armed force on the territory of the former SFRY, because the
16 prior six had already been established, some as long back as one year,
17 others just a few months prior.
18 The self-organisation of the Serbian people began already in end
19 1991, when the assembly, the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, fell
20 apart. It was still called the assembly of the Socialist Republic of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, with equal, if it was equal, representation of all
22 ethnic groups in Bosnia, so that at the level of many municipalities, not
23 all but many, brigades were formed. At the time they were called TO,
24 Territorial Defence, brigades. Similarly, since it was people organising
25 themselves, those were paramilitary units because they fell outside the
1 official army that existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time, that is
2 the Yugoslav People's Army.
3 There also existed certain armed groups, typical paramilitaries,
4 that were organised on purely nationalist principles. With the
5 establishment of the Main Staff, it was decided and it was one of our
6 first decisions, that all those municipal units should be placed under the
7 command of the Main Staff. It was decided to organise commands of corps,
8 that all those nationalist paramilitaries, such as Arkan's Tigers,
9 Mauzer's Panthers, a group called Repici, I can't remember all of them
10 now, some Chetnik groups, of this or that political party, that all of
11 them should be summoned and placed under the command of the army of
12 Republika Srpska.
13 Those who failed to comply were to be broken up, disbanded and
14 expelled from our territory. With the exception of Arkan's Tigers and
15 that group called Repici, all of them placed themselves under the command
16 of the VRS. The tigers were expelled from the area around Bijeljina and
17 Zvornik, while Repici were crushed a month or two later and their leader,
18 as far as I know, was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. And
19 he died in Sremska Mitrovica, in prison. So some form of military
20 organisation existed even before the official decision to set up the army
21 of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. Thank you for that exhaustive answer.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: General, when did the formal presence of the JNA end
24 in Republika Srpska? Was it before the coming into existence formally of
25 the VRS or after?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Eight days after the decision was
2 made to establish the army of Republika Srpska, the JNA ceased to exist in
3 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was supposed to pull out by 15
4 May. However, there was a delay and the last soldier of the JNA left
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 20th of June. We consider that 23rd June is
6 the date of establishment of the VRS, when the Presidency of the Serbian
7 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the decision to call a general
8 mobilisation of Serbian people in the territory of the Serbian Republic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Sarapa.
10 MR. SARAPA: Thank you.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Could you tell us briefly, what were the main
12 problems that were demonstrated in establishing the VRS, especially in
13 terms of organisational, mobilisational readiness and combat readiness?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take them one by one, please, General. Start
15 with organisational problems.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first organisational difficulty
17 was due to the lack of capacity in the Ministry of Defence of the Serbian
18 Republic to conduct the mobilisation. So this task was shifted to the
19 Main Staff. For that reason we had to set up a special sector called the
20 sector for mobilisation, reinforcement and personnel, and we somehow
21 overcame that difficulty, because the -- there was already an awareness
22 among the people that we had to go to war, that the war had been imposed
23 on us, and we didn't have any problem with call-ups, save for some
24 deserters who escaped to their back-up homeland, Serbia. Through the
25 authorities in Serbia and Montenegro and through the Ministry of Defence
1 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its General Staff, we interceded
2 to have these deserters returned from the territory of Yugoslavia so that
3 all officers, NCOs and civilians be returned from Yugoslavia, be turned
4 back from Yugoslavia, if they were natives of Republika Srpska.
5 Another problem we encountered was financial. We had a problem
6 supplying the army with ammunition, weapons, fuel, uniforms, food,
7 everything that the army needs. As far as food and clothing -- sorry,
8 clothing and footwear were concerned, we kept what we had, what we were
9 wearing, and taking the example of other armies that were formed after the
10 break-up of the JNA, we also kept most of the materiel and equipment of
11 the JNA that happened to be on the territory of Republika Srpska when the
12 JNA left, starting with depots of weapons and ammunition, reserves of fuel
13 and even reserves of clothing and footwear, anything that was already on
14 our territory.
15 So that when the JNA left Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless from
16 which territory and regardless from -- regardless of which group
17 controlled the particular territory, the JNA could only pull out its
18 soldiers and the weapons that they were carrying. It was not that easy to
19 keep those JNA resources but we managed because we were the last armed
20 force to be formed in the Balkans, and we always invoked that when the
21 Slovenes seized things from us or Croats robbed us of the entire Varazdin
22 Corps, we said we are entitled to keep the materiel.
23 The next problem was the problem of command in the army. We
24 inherited the structure of command over the corps that happened to be in
25 the territory of Republika Srpska.
1 Mr. President, I don't think it would be advisable for me to,
2 explain now how each of the corps command came into being. At any rate,
3 the numbers of those corps commands --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you explained enough. I would suggest you
5 go to the mobilisation problems, if you had any, and finally combat
6 readiness. These are the other two aspects that Mr. Sarapa asked you
8 When the VRS was -- came into being, did it have any particular
9 mobilisation problems that you are aware of? If not, could you try and be
10 brief in your answer so that we do our best to finish with your testimony
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said something about
13 the staffing problems. Those were desertion of conscripts to Serbia or
14 people who were hiding in the territory of Republika Srpska. We had no
15 other problems.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So then let's move to combat readiness.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't have almost any problems
18 with combat readiness either because our officers were well trained. Five
19 generals happened to be in the VRS there and four generals in the Main
20 Staff, and two of us had completed all military schools, including the
21 school of warfare. We had a sufficient number of highly educated
22 Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, and candidates for brigade commanders.
23 Most of them had graduated from schools of warfare or tactical schools,
24 unlike other ad hoc armies who had so-called artificial generals, as I
25 called them.
1 That applied to Croats and also Muslims, whose high-ranking
2 officers had been the opposition or deserters in the former JNA. Unlike
3 them, our senior staff was well trained. Those soldiers who happened to
4 be serving their military service in the JNA at the time when the VRS was
5 established just continued on, if they were natives of that area.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That's enough, unless Mr. Sarapa
7 disagrees. If you don't disagree could you proceed with your next
8 question, please?
9 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Absolutely. I believe that the
10 answer was quite extensive and I will move on to my next question.
11 Q. General, you spent a number of years in the JNA as a high ranking
12 officer and you're familiar with the structure of the army and the
13 relationship between the army and the state organs in the former
14 Yugoslavia. Also as the Chief of Staff of the VRS, of the Main Staff, you
15 were also familiar with the situation in Republika Srpska and for that
16 reason I believe that my next few questions will be easy for you to
18 Is it true that in the Socialist Federative Republic of
19 Yugoslavia, as it used to be called, the General Staff of the JNA was an
20 integral part of the Ministry of Defence?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it also correct that in Republika Srpska, the Main Staff of the
23 VRS was a state institution which was not part of the Ministry of
24 Defence. Rather, it was subordinated directly to the President of
25 Republika Srpska?
1 A. It was not part of the Ministry of Defence -- I explained that
2 yesterday -- because none of us were members of the Supreme Command. We
3 were subordinated directly to the Supreme Commander.
4 Q. Yesterday, you told us that within the Main Staff of the army of
5 Republika Srpska, there was a sector for intelligence and security and
6 that there were two administrations within that sector, the intelligence
7 administration and the security administration.
8 My next question with regard to this is as follows: Do you
9 remember that the security administration in the former Yugoslavia was
10 organised differently, that it was part of the Ministry of Defence,
11 whereas the intelligence administration was part of the General Staff of
12 the army of Yugoslavia?
13 A. I believe that that was the case. On the eve of the war, or
14 immediately before I was sent out of Macedonia, I know that a decree had
15 arrived about the unification of these two administrations and the
16 creation of the intelligence and security administration. And I know when
17 we established the Main Staff, a sector was established encompassing both
18 these administrations, the intelligence and the security administrations.
19 In other words, we adopted a last directive of the JNA about the
20 organisation of these two administrations.
21 Q. Can we then say that the chief of the intelligence
22 administration --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The security
25 Q. [Interpretation] -- was the assistant Minister of Defence whereas
1 the intelligence administration chief was the assistant commander of the
2 Main Staff?
3 A. Unfortunately, I can't answer this question because while I was in
4 the JNA, this was much too high for me. I just carried orders of the army
5 commander and lower-ranking officers.
6 Q. Thank you for your answer. Can we then say that the Main Staff of
7 the VRS army was directly linked to the corps and independent units?
8 A. Yes, and I was bragging about that and saying that I could -- had
9 to push a button.
10 Q. And the corps, did they have brigades and independent battalions
11 linked to them?
12 A. That's correct, but the links were not as automatic as they were
13 at the higher level, between the General Staff and the corps.
14 Q. At the level of the Main Staff, you established teams of officers
15 who controlled the situation in the unit; is that correct?
16 A. We did not have inspection for combat readiness like armies
17 normally have. We had ad hoc teams or groups which we would send to the
18 units in order to establish the level of their combat readiness and the
19 situation on the front lines in general.
20 Q. Did the corps commands do the same with regard to the lower units,
21 for example brigades?
22 A. They adopted the same principle and they used the same system as
23 the system that the Main Staff applied with regard to them.
24 Q. The officers who inspected the commands and units, did they have
25 their team leaders? In other words, was anybody of them in charge? Did
1 anybody of them act as the first among the equals?
2 A. Yes. The team leaders were well known. If the team was sent to
3 the corps, then it would be General Mladic who would head the team, or
4 myself, or one of their assistants, depending on what the focus of the
5 inspection was.
6 Q. In such cases, the commander of the Main Staff, i.e., the corps
7 commander, if the team was sent from the corps, could they authorise the
8 team leader or one of the officers to influence the situation in the lower
9 units on the spot?
10 A. Yes, they could, and they did, regularly.
11 Q. Can we say that the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS army
12 was an undisputable authority?
13 A. Yes. He was an undisputable authority in the armed forces, and he
14 also had authority among the people.
15 Q. Is it also correct that the officers from the Main Staff were also
16 respected by the lower-ranking commands and officers?
17 A. I am sure that in my case that was the case. I don't know about
18 the others, how they were perceived.
19 Q. You personally inspected corps commands and lower units during the
20 war and you spent a lot of time on the ground observing combat operations,
21 would that be correct?
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. Do you know whether there were any cases of an officer from the
24 Main Staff issuing orders to brigade commanders and that the corps
25 commander were not informed about such an order that had been issued?
1 A. It should not have happened. If it did happen, the officer who
2 did that would be taken to task for that.
3 Q. Are you aware of any such cases? Are you familiar with any of
5 A. I believe that there were one or two such cases. They were done
6 by Colonel Zivanovic, the chief of artillery. He was familiar with
7 Podrinje, and the commander would often send him to inspect the area from
8 Zvornik to Foca. On one occasion the commander of the 1st Bircani Brigade
9 Svetozar Andric, complained about Zivanovic. Zivanovic had supposedly
10 entered the brigade and issued orders about the redeployment of a
11 battalion, and I believe that there was another such case in the Visegrad
13 The commander at the time was Vinko Pandurevic. Zivanovic also
14 issued certain orders to that brigade, but around that time, Zivanovic was
15 seriously wounded and for that reason no measures, no disciplinary
16 measures, were taken against him. I don't know about any other cases. We
17 had 143 units at the level of either a regiment or brigade so I wouldn't
18 be able to tell you.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Your answer was quite detailed. Is it true
20 that --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Sarapa. Mr. McCloskey?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: May be helpful if we could just clear up which
23 Zivanovic this is and what his particular position was. People may be
24 confused about that as --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think the message is clear. It's in
1 your hands, Mr. Sarapa, or if the general wishes to proceed by clarifying
2 this, he may do so, without your intervention.
3 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I believe that the general
4 understands the intervention and that he will be able to answer.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The name is Milenko Zivanovic. When
6 he arrived from Benkovac, he was appointed the chief of artillery in the
7 Main Staff, during the formation of the Drina Corps, as the 6th Corps of
8 the VRS army, and this took place on the 1st November, when he was
9 discharged from the hospital, Milenko Zivanovic was appointed commander of
10 that corps. In other words, this was Milenko Zivanovic, the future
11 commander of the Drina Corps.
12 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is it true that rules and regulations provide a certain rank and
14 position for every position in the army?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you please tell us what is a position group?
17 A. A position group determined the salary. For example, two
18 lieutenant colonels, one would be a brigade commander and the other would
19 be an administrative officer in a command or in a staff. The Lieutenant
20 Colonel who acts as a brigade commander would have a higher pay than the
21 Lieutenant Colonel who works in a staff and who doesn't have any
22 responsibility for the personnel. A PG, position group -- a PG stands for
23 position group but popularly it was also known as a pay group amongst us
24 officers or a pay grade.
25 Q. Could we also say that a position group also denoted the duties,
1 the level of duties, of an officer?
2 A. Yes. That would be precisely so.
3 Q. Was it common, was it a common practice, that officers were
4 appointed to certain positions, to certain formations, not having the
5 required ranks? In other words, their ranks were lower than were required
6 by a certain formation or position group?
7 A. The Republika Srpska army did have such a situation. The
8 commander of the 1st Krajina Corps, General Momir Talic, was a higher
9 ranking officer than me and he was also older than me. For example, in
10 1993, he was Lieutenant General, and I was a General Major. However, my
11 PG, i.e., my function, was higher than his. Still, I never arrived in the
12 area of his corps's responsibility without General Momir Talic reporting
13 to me at the entrance into his area of responsibility, into the area of
14 responsibility of his corps.
15 In the eyes of the people who attended this act, this looked
16 strange. They wondered how it was possible for a higher ranking officer
17 to report to the General Major. Still, this was in keeping with the rules
18 and General Talic never violated that obligation that he had towards me,
19 whereas he did violate that obligation towards General Mladic, and he
20 accounted for that in the following words: "If I don't report to
21 Milovanovic, I will jeopardise his authority in the army, and if I don't
22 report to Mladic, I do not jeopardise Mladic's authority because Mladic
23 can punish me for that whereas Milovanovic does not have that
25 We avoided situations in which we would have such things happening
1 in the lower-ranking units. We had a staffing problem a few months into
2 the war. It was very difficult to find commanders for the three corps,
3 the Sarajevo, the Herzegovina and the Eastern Bosnian Corps, and we were
4 forced to appoint one of the most capable commanders of one of the
5 brigades for the commander of the east corps. At that time he was a
6 colonel, Novica Simic. He remained bearing that rank for only two or
7 three months. He took over that duty in the corps where there were some
8 older colonels who were close to retirement. The problem was solved very
9 quickly. The older colonels were sent to retirement or they were sent to
10 some other units, and very soon, the Eastern Bosnia Corps was regenerated
11 so to speak, and all the officers were of a younger generation.
12 Q. Were there cases that you were familiar with that brigade
13 commanders were captains or majors, although they should have been
14 colonels or high-ranking officers?
15 A. At the beginning of the war, that was a very common occurrence, I
16 dare say. Lieutenant colonels and colonels, Serbs and Montenegrins,
17 withdrew together with the JNA and we were left with the lower-ranking
18 officers. For example, the commander of the Protection Regiment, Colonel
19 Suput left with the JNA and the oldest officer in the Protection Regiment
20 was Captain First Class Milomir Savcic, and he was appointed the commander
21 of the regiment. Throughout the war he remained in that position as the
22 regiment commander. And at the end of the war he was promoted and became
23 a colonel and after the war, he was even promoted to the rank of a
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa, I hate to interrupt you. You know that
1 we very rarely do that, but what's the relevance of this? Can't we go
2 straight to what is really relevant to your case? I mean, if you can
3 explain the relevance, of course we can live up with all these questions
4 and long answers, but I don't know.
5 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I'll move on to other questions. But
6 as for this one, it was asked because General Pandurevic at the time when
7 he was appointed commander of the Zvornik Brigade, had the rank of Captain
8 First Class, and the idea of my question was to establish what the
9 situation was like generally and in what position he himself was.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think that's clear enough. Now I suggest
11 you proceed to more substantive matters. Thank you, Mr. Sarapa.
12 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Regarding the rules in the army of Republika Srpska, you wrote in
14 your book covering the issues of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that you
15 had taken the rules of the former JNA and adapted them. Does that
16 particularly apply to rules governing brigades?
17 A. I think I spoke of that yesterday. We didn't adapt our rules to
18 the rules of the JNA. On the contrary, we adapted the rules of the JNA to
19 our own needs.
20 Q. Were there any planned announced controls and inspections of
21 subordinate units by the Main Staff?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were there any unannounced controls?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Does that apply to checks made by the Main Staff but also corps
2 A. Unannounced checks were made by General Mladic or I, upon his
3 orders. If any other people came to inspect units, such as team leaders,
4 their visits would be announced. I believe the same is true of corps
6 Q. In addition to usual inspections of units, were there also
7 inspections by chiefs of sectors?
8 A. Yes, but they had to ask for permission to do that, from the
9 commander of the Main Staff.
10 Q. Could the same be said of individual inspections by officers from
11 a corps?
12 A. Certainly, because the Chief of Staff of a corps, if he wants to
13 leave the command of the corps, has to require permission from his
15 Q. In such cases, these senior officers from superior commands, do
16 they have to report to the brigade commander, let him know they have
18 A. Yes. We've already discussed this when we talked of Milenko
20 Q. In the case of such a visit, would the brigade command be required
21 to provide all the necessary conditions for unhindered work of such a
22 visitor from a superior command?
23 A. As a brigade commander never knows whether the officer from the
24 Main Staff came announced or unannounced, whether it was a planned
25 inspection or an unplanned one. However, the brigade commander is
1 required to inform immediately the corps commander of such a visit, and
2 the corps commander knows whether the visit had been announced or not.
3 Q. In such a case, would the brigade commander be required to provide
4 all the facilities to that visitor who came to inspect?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So if we are talking specifically about a brigade, would he be
7 required to act in that way regardless of whether the inspector was coming
8 from the Main Staff or from the corps?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You personally frequently passed through Zvornik, and you stopped
11 by the command of the Zvornik Brigade; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. On such occasions, would the commander report to you about the
14 situation within the brigade, practically in the absence of anybody else
15 from the command of the Drina Corps?
16 A. If I required them to do so, yes, he would report.
17 Q. Thank you. Through a combination of circumstances you were aware
18 of the situation in the Zvornik Brigade, perhaps better than in other
19 brigades. Do you know that at the beginning of the war in Zvornik, the
20 Zvornik Brigade had quite a lot of problems?
21 A. Yes. We had a lot of problems selecting the brigade commander.
22 Q. Do you know that a lot of commanders of the Zvornik Brigade came
23 and went?
24 A. As far as I remember, Vinko Pandurevic was the third or the fourth
25 brigade commander.
1 Q. Do you remember that even parts of the 65th Protection Regiment
2 were engaged to deal with certain problems that had resulted from the
3 presence of paramilitaries and the poor discipline within the brigade?
4 A. I know that one unit from the regiment was engaged, whether the
5 battalion of the military police or the sabotage detachment, to break up
6 this paramilitary unit called Repici that consisted of about 70 men.
7 Q. Are you aware that after brigade commander Major Petkovic, Dragan,
8 was wounded in October 1992, there was a problem appointing the new
9 commander of the Zvornik Brigade?
10 A. Yes. When I mentioned that Vinko Pandurevic was the third or the
11 fourth, I had forgotten about Petkovic, although I know all about the
12 incident in which he was wounded and indeed there was a problem appointing
13 the new commander because municipal authorities considered that brigade to
14 be their own property and they tried to impose a commander of their own.
15 Q. You do know, don't you, that in December 1992, Vinko Pandurevic
16 became commander of the Zvornik Brigade?
17 A. I know that he did, but I take your word for it being in October
18 [as translated].
19 Q. Do you know that he was very young at the time, only 32 years old,
20 and that he had the rank of Captain First Class?
21 A. I knew all that, and I knew that Vinko Pandurevic had before that
22 successfully organised the Visegrad Brigade and he was successful in
23 fighting in middle Podrinje and as far as I remember, it was I who
24 suggested Vinko Pandurevic to be appointed commander of the Zvornik
25 Brigade to overcome all the problems that existed, including political
2 Q. Do you remember that due to his efforts to organise the brigade
3 along military principles, he came into conflict with municipal
4 authorities very soon after his appointment?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Sarapa, just for clarification, line 13, should
7 it not be 37 years old -- age?
8 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] 32, 32. He was 32 years old at the
10 JUDGE KWON: When?
11 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] When he was appointed brigade
12 commander in 1992.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, he couldn't have been a
14 Captain First Class at age 32. If he had completed the military academy,
15 he had to be -- he had only nine years to change four ranks. You have to
16 hold one rank for at least three years. In fact, never mind, I'm not
17 really interested.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: According to our records, he was born on the 25th of
19 June of 1959 and if we are talking of an appointment in 1992, I forget
20 exactly which month --
21 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] 33 years, then.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That solves the problem.
23 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Can we show Exhibit 7D460? Just a
24 little lower, please, so we can see the top of the document. It's all
25 right. Thank you.
1 Q. General, please look at this regular combat report, daily combat
2 report, dated 23rd of February 1993. It's addressed to you personally; is
3 that correct?
4 A. I see that's correct. I don't see February. I see 23 and 1993
5 but I believe you. Never mind that it's February.
6 Q. Can we see page 3 of this document? Could you please look at the
8 A. Major Vinko Pandurevic.
9 Q. Can we see page 2 now? Mr. Milovanovic, could you please read
10 paragraph 3, status of morale and security? Just the first one.
11 A. "Due to undue haste and the public character of the decision to
12 establish the manoeuvring brigade, and designating its commander in
13 advance, as well as the attempt to bring back the old brigade commander
14 through the back door without any formal legal basis, and as a result of
15 unlawfully designating persons substituting for the commander in his
16 absence on private errands, we are facing a double" --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Can the counsel be asked to stop so that we can
18 actually interpret this paragraph?
19 A. "We are facing the phenomenon of duplicated or double command and
20 control, the spreading of rumours, divisions among members of the units or
21 rifts among troops, denigration of the Chief of Staff, (the lawful deputy
22 commander, which the said person has in no way deserved; on the contrary),
23 which significantly contributed to the current sentiment within the unit
24 and its combat readiness."
25 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Could you please continue reading? Can you please read the second
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be instructed to read slowly,
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In the interests of maintaining the
6 high level of morale and combat readiness of the brigade, irrespective of
7 individual credits, interests, in the ranks of politics and the army, it
8 is necessary to honour the prevalent rules and regulations at all levels.
9 Hereby request that the corps commander clearly informs the organs in the
10 municipality as well as the planned new commander who the commander is and
11 what -- and on what basis and who holds the responsibility in the brigade
12 in order to avoid duplication, which is very" --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could you stop for a moment for the
15 A. --"to avoid duplication, which is very dangerous for the system of
16 command and control in the brigade."
17 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Could you please continue?
19 A. "In order to avoid duplication, which is very dangerous in the
20 process of command and control. On my own behalf, I shall try to prevent
21 this with all means and very energetically because I believe that this
22 phenomenon has been caused for the most part by the premature public
23 information, information for the general public, of the decision of the
24 corps commander upon the proposal of the president of the municipality.
25 By that act, the command and control over the army has been brought into a
1 rather [unintelligible] position. I expect from the corps commander to
2 protect the process of command and control and his subordinates and to do
3 so by helping the work of the brigade commander whose work has maintained
4 the situation under control.
5 "The regular and planned tasks as well as extraordinary tasks of
6 sending 150 troops to the 2nd Motorised Romanija Brigade are being carried
7 out. In the territory there is an attempt to undermine the work of the
8 brigade commander, by instigating dissatisfaction among the troops. This
9 is done by the official institutions of the municipality and also by some
10 vain individuals. The climate that has been created in the territory and
11 the way the official organs and institutions in the municipality work are
12 aimed at recruiting commanders and officers for their own interests, and
13 when this fails, in case of responsible and principled commanders who
14 tries at all costs to protect the unit and maintain a high level of combat
15 readiness, they are trying to deal with such a commander using even the
16 dirtiest methods. The highest number of officers of the brigade
17 commanders and the battalion commanders condemn such practices very
18 strongly, and they give full support to the brigade commander."
19 Sir, I really don't understand why you made me read this.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have an explanation, Mr. Sarapa?
21 MR. SARAPA: Yes, I have, yes, I have.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise, the general will go home unhappy. Let's
23 please try to finish with his testimony today.
24 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] By all means.
25 Q. Sir, do you remember this situation which was present in Zvornik
1 at the time of this report?
2 A. I'm not a computer. There is no way for me to remember this
3 particular report, but I do remember the situation, and I also remember
4 that between the brigade commander, Pandurevic, and the corps commander,
5 Milenko Zivanovic, there were always harsh words said, and there were
6 always misgivings and misunderstandings. Vinko was an educated man. You
7 see in his signature, the title, master of arts or sciences, which could
8 not be said of General Zivanovic. He did finish some military schools but
9 he did not have much of a general education. The only thing he knew was
10 cannons and howitzers.
11 I know when this telegram arrived, General Mladic called the
12 president of the municipality of Zvornik, Branko Djuric, if I'm not
13 mistaken about the name. What Mladic told him, I don't know. They -- the
14 two of them spoke. But I know that after that, Vinko no longer had any
15 problems with the municipal authorities. I know that currently, Djuric is
16 in prison in Belgrade, where he's being held responsible for some crimes
17 committed during the war.
18 Q. Do you remember that Pandurevic was denied the fact that he was
19 trained in the military school and the school of national defence?
20 A. Not only Pandurevic, but all the officers who developed to the
21 level of being entitled to such education, because of the war, this was
22 also denied to Novica Simic, the commander of the East Bosnia Corps. We
23 managed to send them to Yugoslavia where we educated our staff. The
24 cutoff age for war school was 42 but this did not apply to the members of
25 the army of Republika Srpska. We managed to agree with the schools in
1 Yugoslavia that we would send them for education once the war was over
2 irrespective of their age at the time. And Vinko was enabled to get his
3 Ph.D. while serving in the Republika Srpska army.
4 Q. When I put my question to you, and when I mentioned the school of
5 national defence, he was denied education in 1997, when the war was
6 already over, if you remember that.
7 A. Sir, I don't want to insult you but you were supposed to listen to
8 me yesterday. In 1996, I was removed from my position, not just me but
9 the whole of the Main Staff and up to 1998 I did not hold any functions, I
10 did not hold any positions, and in 1998 I was appointed a Minister of
11 Defence so I really don't have a clue why his education was denied, who
12 denied it or anything to -- of that sort.
13 Q. Can the witness be shown Exhibit P02509? The document has been
14 translated into English.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it a quick question and answer, Mr. Sarapa?
16 Because within two minutes --
17 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I apologise. I now see that the time
18 is -- has come for the break so maybe it would be best if we had our break
19 now and then I'll proceed after the break.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: How much time do you require, Mr. Sarapa?
21 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] In any case, before the end of today,
22 I will finish.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the position -- thank you, Mr. Sarapa.
24 What's the position with regard to the Beara team and the Nikolic team?
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, we have very few questions, if any.
1 We are still just consulting, so we will be limited -- reduced from what
2 we told the Court yesterday.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic. Mr. Bourgon?
4 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. On the basis of what we
5 heard, we will require 15 minutes with this witness but not more than 15
6 minutes. Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Can I suggest you consult a little bit with each
8 other to see whether you can then finish with Simic tomorrow, because if
9 it's unlikely, then I would prefer not to have him here, I mean, because
10 it would mean interrupting his testimony.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Good afternoon. We can definitely finish with
12 Simic if we start him tomorrow morning. I've spoken to my colleagues who
13 I think have the most interest and I think in fact he will be able to to
14 be completed probably in the first session for sure, in a session. We can
15 talk after the break. But that does bring up the issue Your Honour raised
16 earlier about the next witness and the motion to add some exhibits to the
17 65 ter list. We didn't think we were going to reach him but now it looks
18 possible, if not likely.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Then if that's the case, we will require a response
20 from the Defence, but we acted before on the statement of Mr. McCloskey
21 that that was not likely to be the case tomorrow. So we'll -- please, do
22 have some mutual consultations during the next 25 minutes when we will
23 have the break. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you come to an accord as to how we are going to
2 proceed? Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've added up some of the time and I may have 30
4 minutes, but if we are lucky we'll finish tomorrow morning with the
5 witness. Maybe tonight. It wasn't clear to me the estimate from the
6 Defence but I'm told Mr. Sarapa has no more questions so we may.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you confirm that, Mr. Sarapa?
8 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Just one, please.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That's to disagree with Mr. McCloskey,
11 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] No, no. This was actually decided
12 even before we heard from Mr. McCloskey. I would have more questions but
13 I don't have the time. I have a question about document P02509 but it
14 doesn't have to be shown to the witness.
15 Q. This is my last question, General. Do you remember that one of
16 the brigades that at the beginning of August 1995 arrived in Krajina was a
17 brigade from the Drina Corps under the command of Vinko Pandurevic?
18 A. I remember this very well. It arrived on the 3rd of August 1995.
19 Q. Thank you very much for this answer and for all the others, and I
20 wish you a safe journey back home.
21 A. Whenever I actually go home. Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Who is next, Mr. Ostojic?
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, we have no questions for this
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Bourgon?
1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
3 Q. Good afternoon, General.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. My name is Stephane Bourgon and I represent the accused Drago
6 Nikolic in this case and I have just a few questions for you so I believe
7 that indeed you should be able to go home today.
8 Firstly, General, I'd like you to confirm, this is something that
9 you already referred to in your testimony, that the VRS inherited from the
10 JNA the doctrine that guided its actions during the war. I'm not talking
11 about the rules. I'm talking about the doctrine. Is that correct?
12 A. No. A doctrine is something else. And combat rules are a
13 different thing. A doctrine is a political position of the state with
14 regard to defence, whereas combat rules are combat rules.
15 Q. But would I be right in saying that what guided the actions of the
16 VRS during the war, you inherited for the most part from the JNA even
17 though you adapted it to suit your own needs; is that correct?
18 A. The only thing that is correct is that we adopted combat rules,
19 i.e., provisions of the combat rules, from the JNA. Everything else,
20 i.e., the higher forms of defence, were adapted to the army of Republika
22 Q. Thank you, General. Now, within those combat rules that you say
23 you adopted, would I be right in saying that the conduct of military
24 activities was divided between the strategic, the operational and the
25 tactical level?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And of course, when we speak about the Supreme Command, then we
3 are talking about a body that operates at the strategic level; is that
5 A. Yes. The Supreme Command and the Main Staff are strategic
7 Q. Thank you. That was my next question, in terms of you yourself,
8 in your capacity as Chief of Staff of the Main Staff, you also worked at
9 the strategic level but of course, the Main Staff has some responsibility
10 for overseeing operational level activities; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. The operative level of activities belongs to the corps and
12 their zones, and as for the tactical level -- and I'm anticipating your
13 next question -- are brigades and lower ranking units.
14 Q. Thank you, general. That was exactly my next question, that
15 brigades operate indeed at the tactical level. Now, the fact that a
16 brigade works at this level, I'm talking about the tactical level, would I
17 be right in saying that this implies that a brigade is given and expected
18 to accomplish specific tasks which somehow fit in into the overall
19 strategic plan issued by the Supreme Command?
20 A. Let me put it this way: The ensemble of technical actions is the
21 operative level. If two or more corps prefer one task, this is strategic
23 Q. It may be my question was not precise enough. If we are talking
24 about the brigade, at the tactical level, would I be right in saying that
25 a brigade will be issued some specific tasks and is expected to execute
1 and accomplish these specific tasks? Is that correct?
2 A. A brigade is given precise tasks with regard to the space, time
3 and level.
4 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like you to simply have a quick look at
5 Exhibit P2755, if we can call this up on the e-court, please. You are
6 familiar with this document, General, and I'd simply like you to confirm
7 that this is an example of a strategic-level document. And I refer you
8 specifically to where it says "the strategic objectives of the Serbian
9 people." So would I be right in saying that this is a strategic-level
11 A. No. This is a doctrine document. This has to do with the defence
12 policy, and every item from 1 through 6 are strategic tasks for the army
13 of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. Thank you, General. Now my question is that if I look at these
15 what you call strategic tasks being given to the army of Republika Srpska,
16 would I be right in saying that brigades have no input regarding the
17 adoption and/or drafting of such a document?
18 A. Not only brigades, but also the corps and the Main Staff do not
19 have any impact on this document. Not even the Supreme Command has any
20 influence because there is a decision by the assembly of the Republic of
22 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to move on now to another exhibit
23 which is Exhibit P5, and I believe you are also familiar with this
24 exhibit, if we can call this on the e-court, please, and, General, I'd
25 like you to confirm that this exhibit that will appear before you is an
1 example of a document which is prepared and issued at the strategic level,
2 although it is addressed to the corps?
3 A. Very well. This is okay. This is directive number 7. It could
4 be understood as a document at the strategic level and the doctrine
5 level. This concerns the defence policy, but some operative tasks are
6 being defined so we can say that we are talking about the operative level
7 as well.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, this document, as you probably know, is signed by
9 the Supreme Commander or Mr. Karadzic, and this document is dated on the
10 8th of March. Would I be right in saying that this document illustrates
11 how, as of 8 March 1995, the strategic objectives of the Republika Srpska
12 are to be accomplished by the corps of the VRS?
13 A. The Main Staff or the armed force as a whole performs strategic
14 goals and since the tasks are divided by the corps, they perform operative
15 tasks each in their respective area. Let me not go into what each corps
16 did at that given time.
17 Q. Fully agree with you. I don't want you to go into what each of
18 the corps was asked to do, simply to -- I'm talking about the nature and
19 the character of the document, and my next question is: Can you confirm
20 that this type of document, that once again brigades have no input or say
21 regarding the adoption and/or drafting of such documents?
22 A. No. They did not have any input or say.
23 Q. My next question, General, and I think I have only two or three
24 more questions and that will be it. You testified during the last two
25 days concerning the duties, responsibilities and the authority of
1 assistant commanders, of persons holding the position of assistant
2 commanders within the Main Staff. I'd simply ask you to confirm that you
3 would agree this also applies, albeit at a much lower level, to assistant
4 commanders at the brigade level?
5 A. The structure of the brigade command differs greatly from the
6 structure of the Main Staff and the corps command. Everything is at a
7 smaller scale but the principles remain the same. The main decisions at
8 the brigade level are made by the brigade commander. His deputy, i.e.,
9 Chief of Staff, has almost the same functions as I had in the Main Staff.
10 He doesn't have different sectors but he has assistants for morale and for
11 logistics and that would be that. In other words, the principle of work
12 is the same, only at a somewhat smaller scale.
13 Q. Thank you. My next question refers to a question which was posed
14 to you by my colleague representing the accused Pandurevic and that was at
15 page 44, lines 1 to 5, of the transcript of today. Now, this question
16 dealt with the inspections which may be conducted at lower levels than the
18 Now, I'll just read you the exact words which were mentioned and
19 it goes as follows: "If the team was sent from the corps, could they
20 authorise the team leader or one of the officers to influence the
21 situation in the lower units on the spot?" And your answer to this
22 question was, "Yes, they could, and they did, regularly."
23 Now my question is simply, would you agree with me that when we
24 talk about influencing the situation on the spot, that does not mean the
25 authority to command the lower units? So this is not in the command
1 sense. Would that be correct?
2 A. No, that's not correct. It could also be in the command sense
3 because the team is sent and when the team is sent no matter from which
4 level to a lower level it goes there not only to establish the situation
5 but also to remove deficiencies and in order to remove deficiencies they
6 have to be able to issue orders.
7 Q. And when that team issues orders, if you -- what kind of orders
8 would that be? Orders to improve the operational effectiveness of the
9 unit or actually combat orders? Would there be a distinction between the
11 A. I don't see the difference. If an inspecting body established
12 that the brigade or one of its battalions is not properly deployed, that
13 its tactical position is not good, the team leader has the powers to order
14 the battalion to move immediately or to give them a certain deadline to
15 move, forward, backward, left, right.
16 Q. And if we take that not in the context of an inspection visit but
17 simply in the context of an assistant commander coming from a higher level
18 and visiting the brigade, you would agree with me that such an assistant
19 commander cannot issue an order to that brigade; is that correct?
20 A. I couldn't agree with you. It depends on what assignment that
21 assistant commander received when he is going to inspect units on the
22 front line. His assignment could be only to size up the situation and
23 inform the commander upon his return. Another possibility is that he
24 receives an assignment to redress the situation. In that case, he must
25 have powers to issue orders.
1 Q. And then of course, General, he would deal with the commander of
2 the unit; is that correct?
3 A. At any rate, he would pass his orders through the unit commander.
4 For instance, General Milovanovic would not just show up and move the
5 battalion. He would take Vinko Pandurevic, the commander, aside, tell him
6 what needs -- what he needs to tell him and then Vinko Pandurevic would be
7 the one giving the order.
8 Q. Thank you, General. I have one last question and this one is
9 based on your experience as Chief of Staff, and I would ask you to -- I'd
10 like to give you a situation and ask you for your -- based on your
11 experience as Chief of Staff and your military experience. If I had a
12 brigade Chief of Staff who is standing in as brigade commander, who is
13 told by one of his -- one of the assistant commanders within the brigade
14 that he has been given an order directly by Mladic, would it be normal for
15 this Chief of Staff to act upon this order without verifying whether
16 indeed it had been issued?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: That hypothetical does not fairly reflect the
19 facts of this case.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we can discuss this in the presence of
21 the witness in the first place.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, given that is my objection, I will
23 then withdraw it as long as it's -- my position is known to the Court.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Do you wish to comment on that?
25 MR. BOURGON: Well, Mr. President, whether or not it matches the
1 facts of this case is a matter for argument at a later time. I'm asking a
2 question to the general. He was a Chief of Staff of the Main Staff. He
3 is in a good position to answer how a chief of staff would react.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Finished.
5 MR. BOURGON: And he can just tell us if it's normal for a Chief
6 of Staff to be told.
7 Q. General, I will say my question again just to try to make it
8 simple. The Chief of Staff at the brigade level who is standing in for
9 his commander at the time, and he is told by one of his -- well, one of
10 the assistant commanders that he has received an order directly from
11 higher level, would it be normal for that Chief of Staff to accomplish
12 that order or to give effect to that order without first checking or
13 verifying whether such an order had indeed been issued?
14 A. In the army, we are prone to say, first execute, then complain.
15 So that Chief of Staff has the obligation to carry out the order and
16 inform his immediate superior that he did it. So there is no delay in
17 executing orders, especially in war.
18 Q. I fully understand that war is a very -- represents very special
19 circumstances but indeed you would agree that the Chief of Staff in such a
20 situation would have at the first available opportunity to inform his
21 superior of that situation; is that correct?
22 A. Correct. But informing the immediate superior must not delay the
24 Q. And what if, General, this order that we are talking about
25 involves the commission of a crime? Does that change the scenario
1 around? Would he execute the order or would he first inform his
3 A. Mr. President, must I answer?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think unless you have reason that by answering
5 this question, you might incriminate yourself, you are duty-bound to
6 answer it because we have not stopped the question or asked you not to
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In principle, every officer has
9 enough training and education to decide what is wrong and what is right.
10 So it depends on the personality whether a specific person would carry out
11 such an order or not. I personally wouldn't. You could see in directive
12 7/1 that a commander of the Main Staff did not transmit to the units that
13 part of the directive number 7 which speaks of entering the enclaves,
14 Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde. Therefore, General Mladic practically, in
15 his order, refused or denied the order of the superior commander to enter
16 the enclaves. That's at least what it looks like on paper.
17 Q. Thank you, General. Just to make the situation clear, because I
18 want to make sure that we are answering the same question, the Chief of
19 Staff was told this not by assistant commander from the corps but he was
20 told this from one of the brigade assistant commanders.
21 Would he first immediately contact his superior before acting upon
22 such an order? Would that be what military both customs and the rules
23 call for?
24 A. A smart Chief of Staff would do exactly that. When he receives an
25 order, he would first inform his immediate superior.
1 Q. Thank you very much, General. I have no further questions. Thank
3 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. I take it that there are no
5 other Defence teams that wish to cross-examine the witness. Do you have
6 redirect, Mr. McCloskey?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you
10 Re-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
11 Q. Following on Mr. Bourgon's questions, would a smart Chief of Staff
12 in this situation that he gave you, that had a trusted, for example, chief
13 of security, if he'd asked his chief of security when he hears about this
14 order from his chief, when he asked the chief, we've got to check with our
15 commander about that and the chief says our commander knows about it, it
16 comes from the highest, would that Chief of Staff normally trust his --
17 the word of his chief of security?
18 A. A smart one wouldn't. He would address his own commander, because
19 the security chief is not superior to the Chief of Staff. On the
20 contrary, in some cases, it is quite the opposite. Chief of Staff is a
21 senior position. So he cannot ask a lower positioned person for approval.
22 Q. Well, he wouldn't be asking him he would -- in this --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
24 MR. BOURGON: Maybe my colleague should add, because if he's going
25 to follow up on my question, he should say that at that moment the Chief
1 of Staff is standing in for the commander of the brigade. That's very
2 important. Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I thought I had meant to adopt Mr. Bourgon's
5 full question so he would have been the deputy commander actually of the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I agree that that wouldn't be very smart just
9 to go on the word of the Chief of Staff.
10 Q. But don't you have to -- or excuse me, your chief of security. In
11 many contacts, especially in war, don't the commanders have to trust their
12 subordinates, especially their chief of security?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon. One moment, General.
14 MR. BOURGON: Again, Mr. President, the question is incomplete, do
15 you trust your subordinate who tell to you accomplish a crime? That's
16 very different. He's not giving all the exact question.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I agree with Mr. Bourgon. I don't want to repeat
19 the whole thing again, but I agree with him. No problem.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we all know which context we are talking
21 about. So -- and the General too. He's heard the exchange and he can now
22 proceed to answer the question.
23 Thank you, Mr. Bourgon, and thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This exchange between counsel
25 clarified the issue for me a little bit. We are talking about the Chief
1 of Staff who is standing in for the brigade commander. In that case, his
2 immediate superior is the corps commander and he would address the corps
3 commander and inform him of the order he had received. He doesn't even
4 need to ask the question, "Shall I execute or not," because it's obvious
5 that a war crime is in question. It is the duty and the responsibility of
6 the corps commander, that's why he was trained and appointed to that
7 position, to say to him, "Carry it out or don't carry it out," if he is
8 the same sort of person as the one who ordered the commission of a war
9 crime in the first place.
10 The difference is that I had understood Mr. Bourgon as saying that
11 this person was a Chief of Staff acting in his own position rather than
12 standing in for the brigade commander. Actually, he is functioning as the
13 brigade commander and his first immediate superior in that case is the
14 corps commander and there is absolutely no dilemma here. There is another
15 situation involving an order that shouldn't be executed or wouldn't be
16 executed. That is when executing an order poses a risk of material
17 damage. For instance, a truck has a carrying capacity of 16 tonnes, and
18 somebody orders that the truck be loaded with 20 tonnes. The truck can be
19 destroyed. In that case, you don't execute the verbal order. You ask for
20 an order in writing.
21 It's the same thing in wartime. If somebody verges on unlawful
22 action or possible war crime, you don't execute the order immediately, if
23 it's verbal. You ask for that order in writing. In this way, the
24 responsibility does not lie on the person executing. It moves to the
25 person who issued the order. And that latter person is also protected in
1 a certain way by having the order in writing.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. You talked a bit about the obligation that an officer has when he
4 receives an order or a direction from a superior, that it was his
5 obligation to do what he was told. I think you said that in the
6 connection when General Miletic received directions in drafting directive
8 Now, had General Miletic received directions or orders from a
9 superior in the drafting of directive 7 that were illegal, would he have
10 had any duty to draft those illegal orders in the directive? Under the
11 JNA rules and the rules the VRS we are working under.
12 A. In any case, when General Miletic received such guidelines from
13 the Supreme Commander, he had to inform General Mladic and ask for his
14 permission or approval to do that because while doing that he was absent
15 from the Main Staff and it would have been normal to inform General Mladic
16 of the guidelines. But neither Mladic nor Miletic can influence the
17 guidelines as such. The commander of the Main Staff can influence it,
18 which he did with his own order. He deleted or omitted some clauses from
19 that directive, risking court martial and God knows what other
20 consequences, because he could have been tried for not strictly executing
21 the orders of the Supreme Commander.
22 Q. General Miletic gets an illegal orders from President Karadzic and
23 that illegal order is backed up by General Mladic. Is that a defence to
24 General Miletic if he places that illegal order in the directive?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I see Madam Fauveau. Doesn't that become an
1 argument later on, Mr. McCloskey? Yes, Madam Fauveau?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if a clear answer can be given, no
3 problem. If it's not a clear answer, I'll go to the next topic.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe the
6 Prosecutor is misstating the evidence and the facts, that General Miletic
7 received orders to write something. Writing something is not illegal in
8 itself. It remains to be seen what actually happened to that directive
9 later and we saw what happened in view of what General Mladic did, but the
10 order to write something cannot be regarded as an illegal order.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to pursue the question, Mr. McCloskey,
12 or shall we proceed to the next one?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would of course adamantly disagree
14 with her argument. That's a legal argument, and given that's the
15 situation maybe we should just proceed to the next question.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So we are proceeding to the next question.
17 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. General, let's go to a document, it's 65 ter number 28. It's not
21 one that I've -- I don't think I've shown you before. You may have seen
22 it or not. It's, as we are waiting for it, hopefully the B/C/S will come
23 up on your screen. It's entitled, "Main Staff of the armed forces of the
24 Republika Srpska, military Prosecutor's Office at the Main Staff of the
25 armed forces, guidelines for the determining criteria for criminal
1 Prosecution." And it's dated 1992. I have a hard copy that -- it's
2 coming but it will be easier for the general, I think, if he has something
3 in his hands.
4 Thank you, General, if you could just flip through that a bit see
5 if you remember it. I know this is a while back. I'm particularly
6 interested in section number 3.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
8 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, a number of us are discussing this. We
9 would quite like to know where Mr. McCloskey is going. I don't know
10 whether he's prepared to indicate before he asks the question.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: We are talking about the duty to pass on orders
13 regarding criminal offences, and this is the guideline to criminal
14 offences, just asking him if it was in effect at the time.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead. We'll proceed unless we hear --
16 MR. HAYNES: Well, if he's going to go ahead, can we all see the
17 section on the screen?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, of course.
19 MR. HAYNES: It's not in English or in B/C/S at the moment.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it does exist in B/C/S. And it exists also
21 in English. Which part is it?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: The part I wanted to ask the general about was
23 section 3 entitled "Criminal offences against humanity and international
24 law pursuant to chapter 16 of the Criminal Code." It's page 7 of the
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
2 MR. BOURGON: I object to this kind of question if we are trying
3 to finish today with this witness. This is beyond the scope of what was
4 asked. I don't know where -- this document was not on the list that was
5 given to us. It's a new document. And I don't know what kind of
6 questions he wants to ask. I could wait for the question.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's wait for the question first and then see
8 afterwards. It may become a simple question.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a very simple question.
10 Q. Just do you recognise this document? Was it in effect at the
11 time, General?
12 A. I don't recognise the document and I don't know whether it was in
13 force but I'm glad it existed.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. I think that settles that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think so. Storm in a tea cup.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
17 Q. Now, you've also spoken at some length about the various positions
18 at the Main Staff and, in particular, you were asked questions about Gvero
19 and Miletic. And I have a couple of documents from our time period that
20 actually have their names in it and I think, if we could get your comments
21 on that it would help us identify whether or not it fits the descriptions
22 that you told us about their jobs. The first document I would go to is 65
23 ter number 33 and -- excuse me a second.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. All right. And this document -- there is the B/C/S. It's from
2 the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, strictly confidential, I
3 won't get into that. It's dated 9 July, as you can see. If that -- maybe
4 bring that up a bit for our eyesight. And it's very urgent to the
5 President of Republika Srpska, for information, the Drina Corps forward
6 command post, Generals Gvero and Krstic personally. And I won't go into
7 the document or read it too much but it's a document that we have become
8 familiar with here. It appears that General Tolimir is passing on
9 information that the president has decided to go forward in the attack on
11 And can you tell us, General, well, first of all, have you ever
12 seen this before?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. Now, given that it is addressed to the Drina Corps forward
15 command post, Generals Gvero and Krstic personally, what can we tell, if
16 anything, about the location of Generals Gvero and Krstic at the time that
17 this was written?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
19 MR. JOSSE: We submit that this calls for speculation, Your
20 Honour. And in the circumstances, this shouldn't be allowed.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You rephrase the question. Does the reference to
22 General Gvero and Krstic indicate their location, and I think -- I think
23 you can rephrase it. I personally -- but I speak for myself, I don't see
24 any problem with the question as is but I'll confer with my colleagues.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't see any problem. It's a question that
2 doesn't call for any hypothetical answer. It's a straightforward question
3 that can be answered by the general, if he can answer it.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of what I see before
5 me, I don't know the actual state of affairs on the ground, as it was at
6 the time the report was written, but it reads, "To the President of
7 Republika Srpska, for information," you don't know -- you didn't say who--
8 it was signed, General Tolimir, yes, I can see that. Could you now show
9 the top again? So General Tolimir is responding to some order issued by
10 Karadzic and he's letting Karadzic know that his order is being executed
11 or has been conveyed and is in the process of being carried out. Now, the
12 address is the forward command post of the Drina Corps addressed
13 personally to General Gvero and Krstic. That means that Tolimir knows
14 that they are at the forward command post of the Drina Corps, because if
15 Tolimir had been thinking they were at the Main Staff, it would have been
16 addressed to the Main Staff, not the forward command post out there in the
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. Okay. And so, given that, and given what you've described about
20 the positions of Generals Gvero and others, can you tell us, if you can,
21 what would -- would Gvero have been there on his own or would he have
22 received orders to go there, in your opinion, or in your view? Based on
23 the military practice at the time?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge -- Mr. Josse?
25 MR. JOSSE: Same objection, Your Honour. We submit this is
1 speculative. The witness wasn't there at the time and he's being asked to
2 assume something which is beyond the scope of his own personal knowledge.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It could become speculative, I agree, but he could
4 also answer the question without speculating, if he can. Go ahead,
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know whether
7 Gvero was there or not.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, we have to stop here.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise we will be invading the time of the other
11 Trial Chamber. We'll continue tomorrow. I'm sorry, General, we didn't
12 finish, but there are only a few minutes left, I would presume. And then
13 you're free to go back home.
14 Have you also made up your mind as to what's going to happen? The
15 general can be escorted. Madam Usher, you can escort the general. Thank
16 you. Have you --
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I have discussed the situation with my colleagues,
18 Your Honour. Some of them have no objection to the motion to add
19 documents to the 65 ter list for witness number 4. Others are not sure
20 yet. What the consensus seems to be is that they would prefer witness 4
21 not testify tomorrow. And I think this has now taken longer than we
22 expected. So the plan is, if it pleases Your Honours, to start off with
23 Witness 165 tomorrow after the general finishes and that will be the only
24 witness for tomorrow.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And how long do you anticipate the Simic testimony
1 to last between the two of you?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: If total, I believe it will last less than an hour
3 and a half, an hour to an hour and a half. I will have, unless things go
4 a little bit funny, my direct will be I think about half an hour and my
5 understanding from my friends it's probably the same on cross, maybe a
6 little more.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll visit this tomorrow morning. Okay.
8 Thank you. Have a nice afternoon and evening. We'll reconvene tomorrow
9 morning at 9.00. Thank you.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Friday, the 1st day of June,
12 2007, at 9.00 a.m.