1 Tuesday, 18 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Good morning to you, too, Madam
6 Registrar. If you could call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All the accused are here.
10 From the Defence teams, the position is as it was yesterday; that
11 is Mr. Ostojic and Mr. Bourgon are absent.
12 Prosecution, we have Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Thayer, Mr. Nicholls,
13 Ms. Soljan.
14 All right. I don't see the witness in the courtroom. Why don't
15 we finish with the witness first and then deal with other matters
17 Mr. McCloskey?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I hear that the witness may be on
19 for another couple of hours on cross and perhaps redirect.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But that --
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the reason I was here was because of a -- the
22 next witness, and Mr. Haynes apparently has made a -- has started
23 discussing a challenge to the protective measures. I would prefer to be
24 with the witness trying to prepare, but I have had a chance to briefly
25 speak with Mr. Haynes; and if possible, I wouldn't expect to take up much
1 of your time this morning.
2 Any legal discussion about protective, Mr. Nicholls is prepared
3 for; but in speaking with Mr. Haynes, while we have some very different
4 ideas about this, we actually have some things in common that I think we
5 would like to share with you. It won't take long, I hope not more than
6 ten or 15 minutes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
8 Yes, Mr. Meek?
9 MR. MEEK: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. I just
10 would like to let the Chamber know that it's not just Peter Haynes who has
11 some issues with these protective measures issues with the next witness.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Meek.
13 All right. Then we start with these issues. Whoever wishes to go
14 first. Mr. McCloskey? Mr. Haynes? I don't know.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, if we could go into private
16 session for these issues?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 15530-15535 redacted. Private session
11 [Open session]
12 MR. JOSSE: I'm not unhappy. There is a short procedural matter
13 that I would like to raise, happy to do it now.
14 Yesterday, the Trial Chamber rendered an oral decision in relation
15 to the cross-examination issue, and directed us to Judge Kwon's decision
16 in the Milosevic case dated the 29th of April 2004. That we have found
17 and we have all seen. What we would quite like to view is the
18 confidential decision of the other members of that Chamber dated the 28th
19 of January 2004.
20 Now, Your Honour, we are quite content. I have, obviously, no
21 idea what is in that decision, and it may deal with a whole range of
22 issues. Coincidentally, it's very close to the decisions that have just
23 been alluded to in private session, but I assume that is a coincidence.
24 We would be quite content for one of Your Honour's Legal Officers to go
25 through that decision and excise or redact those parts that don't relate
1 to the issue that we are interested in.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we will need to do that, Mr. Josse.
3 JUDGE KWON: The reason you are interested in seeing that is to
4 look for any reasoning for the majority's view?
5 MR. JOSSE: Correct. I should make it clear we are contemplating
6 a certification application. That's why we would like to see the majority
8 JUDGE KWON: I think I can fairly say that, but unfortunately
9 there is none.
10 MR. JOSSE: There is none in it?
11 JUDGE KWON: There is none.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: It is conspicuously absent and you can take our word
13 for it because I ordered a copy this morning. So we went through it, not
14 the we did not believe Judge Kwon, but it is conspicuously absent.
15 MR. JOSSE: Well, Your Honour, I came into the courtroom happy and
16 I'm now unhappy. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
18 Yes. Now, this witness. Let's bring him in.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
21 MR. NICHOLLS: He will available immediately following this
22 witness, Your Honour, or tomorrow morning, should we go all day with this
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Good morning, sir. Can you hear me?
25 Good morning to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I can hear you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to finish with your cross-examination
3 today. Thank you.
4 Mr. Petrusic, your last words yesterday were that you weren't that
5 sure that you would have further questions. If you do, please go ahead.
6 If you don't, let us know that and Mr. Josse or Mr. Krgovic will take
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
9 General Miletic's Defence has no further questions for this witness, and I
10 would like to take this opportunity and apologise for exceeding the time
11 for the cross-examination of this witness. Originally, I asked for less
12 time, and I had to use more than I originally planned.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
14 Mr. Krgovic?
15 WITNESS: PETAR SKRBIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
18 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. If you could introduce yourself with
20 the witness, please?
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Good morning, General. On behalf of General Gvero's Defence team,
23 I'm going to have a few questions for you with regard to your testimony.
24 My name is Dragan Krgovic, as you know. Since the two of us speak the
25 same language, I would kindly ask you to proceed in the same way you did
1 yesterday with Mr. Petrusic. After my question, please make a pause
2 before you start giving your answer.
3 General, sir, yesterday, in response to my learned friend
4 Petrusic's question and the document that was shown to you, that was
5 information from the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
7 Exhibit number 5D431?
8 Can we put -- can we see the second page of this document, please?
9 Q. Sir, you can see that this liaison office for international
10 military representatives, it is between the commander and the staff.
11 According to my information, this department for liaison with
12 international military representatives was directly linked to the office
13 of the commander. Would you agree with that?
14 A. I agree, and this is exactly what I said yesterday.
15 Q. And you also told us that in 1995, Colonel -- Lieutenant-Colonel
16 Djurdjic was the head of that department.
17 A. I said that before that, it was Colonel Vidoje Magazin who was the
18 head of that department, and I am sure that he was followed by Colonel
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
22 Q. Sir, in answering my learned friend Petrusic's questions, you said
23 that below the commander there should be another square containing another
24 organ, the office. Could you please take a pen and put a square where the
25 place of that organ was and to link it with the commander in the way
1 explained to us that that organ should have been linked to him?
2 A. This square that should represent the office of the commander of
3 the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army should be here. [Marks] .
4 Okay. Let's put a K for office and there are no other links
5 there, and this square was excluded yesterday. This one containing the
6 Chief of the Main Staff.
7 Q. I'm not interested in that. Could you just put this Office for
8 Cooperation with Foreign Military Representatives there?
9 A. That's true, but that office only had one person. Nobody else.
10 And that person was in charge of liaising with foreign international
11 military organisations, and he was also the secretary to the commander.
12 Q. Yesterday, in responding to my learned friend Petrusic's question,
13 you explained the line before, with assistant commanders and chiefs of
14 administrations. I want to ask you one thing. The assistant commanders
15 were also chiefs of various branches. Would you agree with that?
16 A. Within the establishments, that's how they were not defined. They
17 were not defined as chiefs of branches. They were just assistant
18 commanders. The only person who was a deputy commander was the Chief of
19 the Staff Sector.
20 Q. But they were assistants for certain areas, for certain branches?
21 A. That is correct. I can even give you those areas, if you need me
22 to do that.
23 Q. No. Thank you very much. My question was of a general nature.
24 If any of these assistants in charge of certain areas was unable to
25 perform his duties, he would have a deputy to do that; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And it never happened that the assistants switched between the
3 jobs? For example, General Gvero could not perform your duties. He could
4 not discharge the duties of Tomic, who was in charge of the finances, or
5 Tolimir's duties. That was not the principle that the army of Republika
6 Srpska followed?
7 A. It was not a principle, and it did not happen in practice. The
8 assistants never interfered with the competences and duties of a different
10 Q. Thank you, General.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now be shown Exhibit
12 number 6D7 -- I apologise.
13 Q. Before we do that, could you please put your signature and today's
14 date on this schematic?
15 A. Do you want me to do it -- okay. [Marks] Today we are the 18th?
16 I apologise, the 18th?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Thank you, General.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see Exhibit number 6D7?
21 Q. General, this is a document, the Official Gazette of Republika
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please move to the next page
24 and show it to the witness? Scroll down a little, please.
25 Q. Sir, this is a decision on the establishment of the state
1 committee on cooperation with United Nations and international
2 humanitarian organisations. You know that this committee existed in the
3 course of 1995?
4 A. Various committees were established by the civilian authorities,
5 and I knew that this one existed; although, I was not aware of its precise
6 title, but now I can see it in the document.
7 Q. Can you please look at Article 6 of this document? It says here
8 that this committee is in charge of issuing permissions for the movement
9 of convoys, the officials of the United Nations and humanitarian
10 organisations. Do you agree with me, and would you say that it indeed
11 functioned in that way at the time?
12 A. That's how it reads; and if it is written in here, then this is a
13 legal obligation and everybody had to adhere by that.
14 Q. Can you please look at Article 1 of the decision to the right?
15 Nikola Koljevic was appointed president of that committee.
16 A. That's correct. It says: "President of the state committee."
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now scroll down a bit?
18 Q. Can you now look at number 7? The person under number 7, Colonel
19 Milos Djurdjic, the coordinator for the relationship between the committee
20 and the Ministry of Defence and the Main Staff. It is the same Colonel
21 Djurdjic that we have just mentioned?
22 A. Yes. That's correct. This is the same Colonel Djurdjic who was
23 the aide de camp of the commander of the Main Staff. Did I say Supreme
24 Commander? I meant the Main Staff.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now be shown Exhibit
1 number 6D147? I apologise, Your Honours. This document is still not in
2 e-court. We have distributed the document among the interpretation
3 booths, and we have also provided our learned friends from the Prosecution
4 with a copy of the document, which has been translated into English.
5 Could you please place a copy on the ELMO? Could we have a B/C/S
6 version on the ELMO?
7 Q. General, this is an instruction on contacts with international
8 organisations that was issued by President Karadzic. Kindly look at
9 bullet point 1 towards the end of the first page, and can you please read
10 it aloud for all of us?
11 A. "That's why I've decided, and the person who has decided is
12 President Karadzic. All permits for the movement of humanitarian convoys,
13 as well as the UNPROFOR supply convoys, will be issued in the office of
14 the Supreme Commander. Prior to that, the office will obtain all the
15 relevant opinions with regard to the matter at hand."
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the question?
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Just for the record, I asked you whether this document confirms
20 what I suggested to you about the competences with regard to humanitarian
21 organisations and their convoys?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I will no longer need this document.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE KWON: Sorry to interrupt you. I wonder if the witness
1 could help us in finding out who this Tant Mint U is.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did you hear Judge Kwon's question? Could you help us with this
4 name, Tant Mint U? Are you familiar with it?
5 A. No. But if I were to look at the document again, maybe I could
6 make some inferences, if that would not be a waste of time.
7 JUDGE KWON: I think the Prosecution wouldn't mind if you answered
8 the question directly, if you have -- if you know.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. If you know, Mr. Skrbic, of course, only if you know.
11 A. No, I don't. I repeat, I don't know.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I personally, Your Honours, I don't
13 know who is the person mentioned in this document.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Let's leave it there.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now be shown Exhibit
17 Q. Sir, yesterday, you spoke in general terms about this document in
18 response to Mr. Petrusic's questions, and now I'm going to ask you
19 something else. My colleague Petrusic mentioned some titles and some
20 topics in this document, and I'm going to go into some more detail.
21 First of all, tell me, this is a directive issued by the Supreme
22 Command. Would you agree with that?
23 A. What I'm looking at is a copy of a directive issued by the Supreme
24 Command, and the number of the directive is 7.
25 Q. The Supreme Command of Republika Srpska consisted of several
1 persons at that time. I will tell you their names, and you will correct
2 me if I'm wrong. First, Supreme Commander President Karadzic? Is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The Minister of Defence, General Subotic at the time?
6 A. Yes. For a while, he was the Minister of Defence, to be later
7 replaced by Tomo Kovac, and Tomo Kovac was also part of the Supreme
8 Command, so you could put it as Defence Minister.
9 Q. The Minister of Interior?
10 A. Yes, the Minister of Interior.
11 Q. And no one from the Main Staff; do you agree?
12 A. I agree but I want to emphasise that the commander of the Main
13 [Realtime transcript read in error "plain"] Staff of the VRS was not a
14 member of the Supreme Command; and since the commander wasn't a member,
15 nobody else was a member either.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry. Just the transcript reads commander of the
18 "plain" staff of the VRS.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. No one is suggesting that it was plain.
20 Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, do you distinct between a directive from the Supreme
23 Command and a directive from the command for operations that is drafted
24 within the staff, the Main Staff?
25 A. It's not that I distinguish between the two. There is a
2 Q. And yesterday, when you were responding to a question from my
3 colleague, Mr. Petrusic, about directives, you were talking about
4 directives drafted at the Main Staff?
5 A. No, about directives drafted at the Supreme Command, because in
6 the Main Staff, or rather, in staffs, as far as I know, directives are not
7 drafted at all. Orders are, commands and decisions. Directives are
8 drafted only in Supreme Commands.
9 Q. That's what I wanted to hear from you.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness page 10 of
11 this directive? I think it's the next one, 00823177. Can we lower the
13 Q. Mr. Skrbic, speaking of this document yesterday, you spoke about
14 moral guidance and psychological support.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness the next
17 Q. Sir, Mr. Petrusic asked you general questions, and you dealt only
18 with subheadings and headings. You did not speak about the contents of
19 this passage. In this passage, marked moral and psychological support,
20 could you please read the last paragraph aloud: "Devote special
21 attention," et cetera?
22 A. I'm reading the last paragraph: "Devote special attention to the
23 training and full combat readiness of all the air defence systems and
24 units, train them and equip them for efficient fighting against all
25 targets in the air space, especially with the combat units of the NATO
2 Q. This passage deals with training and air defence systems. That is
3 certainly not an area dealt with by the Sector for Moral Guidance?
4 A. This does not fall under the purview of the Sector for Moral
5 Guidance by any criterion.
6 Q. It falls within the purview of Air Defence, and in part --
7 A. This item falls under the purview of the Administration for Air
8 Defence. That's what we said yesterday.
9 Q. That's why I stopped in mid-sentence, because I made a slip of the
10 tongue. Now, read the next passage about other forms of support, aloud,
12 A. I'm reading: "In applying other forms of support to combat
13 activities, take all the measures stipulated by directive OP-6 with a
14 proviso that the focus of logistical support in 1995 should be placed on
15 the support of units that are planned to execute operations at the
16 strategic level."
17 Q. This passage that you have just read is a passage that does not
18 fall within the purview of the Sector for Moral Guidance?
19 A. This is about logistical support and, therefore, belongs to the
20 Sector for Logistics.
21 Q. I showed you a couple of documents a moment ago dealing with
22 jurisdiction over humanitarian convoys. Can you read the passage that
23 begins with the words, "Through competent state and military authorities"?
24 A. That's the previous paragraph that reads: "Through competent
25 state and military authorities responsible for working with the UNPROFOR
1 and humanitarian organisations, use planned and discreet restrictive
2 granting of applications to reduce and restrict logistical support to the
3 forces of the UNPROFOR in enclaves and the supply of material resources to
4 Muslim population, and make them dependent on our goodwill, while at the
5 same time avoiding condemnation by the international community and the
6 public opinion in the world."
7 Q. This passage relates precisely to the organ whose competences you
8 explained a moment ago. That does not fall under the purview of the
9 Sector for Moral Guidance?
10 A. It certainly is not.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we have back the previous page?
12 Q. General, this first sentence, this first paragraph, read it aloud,
14 A. You mean 6.1?
15 Q. Correct.
16 A. I'm reading: "The state -- political and military leadership is
17 hereby placed under the obligation to demonstrate maximum readiness
18 initiative and to take all the necessary measures to reaffirm all Serbian
19 unity, to define a clear and unified national strategy to overcome the
20 existing differences, and to emphasise those things that unite us rather
21 than those that separate us."
22 Q. The Sector for Moral Guidance certainly cannot impose any
23 obligations on the highest state or political leadership, can it?
24 A. It can't.
25 Q. So this passage was not drafted at the Sector for Moral Guidance
1 either. Can you agree with that?
2 A. I cannot agree or disagree. I don't know where this was drafted.
3 But judging by the contents, it does not fall within the purview of the
4 Sector for Moral Guidance. I said, yesterday, that this whole sentence
5 could have been copied from some other document. Just look at this bit
6 that goes after "national strategy."
7 "To overcome the existing differences and emphasise the things
8 that unite us rather than those that separate us." That was indeed a
9 distinctive feature of Republika Srpska. All the rest are general phrases
10 that could have been copied from another document.
11 Q. In the text that you've just read, and the passage from the other
12 page, there is nothing about raising the -- boosting the morale of the
13 fighting men and the measures that can be taken to do that. That is
14 something that we would logically look for from the Sector for Moral
16 A. It's not here.
17 Q. And apart from the heading, "Moral and Psychological Support,"
18 there is nothing in this passage that would really be in the purview of
19 the Sector for Moral Guidance. Do you agree?
20 A. Yes, I agree.
21 Q. In preparations made at the Supreme Command for making certain
22 decisions, the president could also have used the intelligence sources
23 from the MUP, that is, the State Security, when he was preparing all sorts
24 of briefs and --
25 A. As the Supreme Commander, it was in his powers to consult whoever
1 he thought was the most qualified to help him with that kind of document,
2 but this kind of document is really something that is best developed by
3 experts. Experts could have produced this kind of directive. That should
4 apply to the entirety of the armed forces, not only the army. But we are
5 now discussing things that were already written, and I apologise if I'm
6 drawing on my experience and knowledge of staff work; although, I've
7 already pointed out I've never seen any of those directives.
8 So in conclusion, the Supreme Commander had the ability to use the
9 services of people who were familiar with the problems and who were able
10 to formulate these matters in summary form without any details. And he
11 would issue that as guidelines, as instructions, for the work of the armed
12 forces, but I don't see that the Ministry of Interior, the police, is
13 included in any way, at least, not as a unit to which assignments are
15 Q. Of course, the president would have used the services of people he
16 trusted, not people he was in conflict with. Do you agree?
17 A. Of course, I agree. That's a principle.
18 Q. Mr. Skrbic, let me move on to another topic.
19 You were examined by the Prosecution yesterday, and you spoke
20 about your meeting with President Karadzic on the 14th of July 1995. Do
21 you agree? Do you remember that? I'm sorry.
22 A. I remember discussing that.
23 Q. The Prosecution asked you about the persons who were present at
24 the meeting. I will read out a passage from your evidence. They asked
25 you about it in the interview as well, and that is -- it is now correctly
1 recorded. He read to you a passage from your interview, and I'll read to
2 you the next passage on page 39 in my version. I don't know which version
3 you have because there have been some revisions.
4 The Prosecution asked you whether Gvero had been at that meeting
5 with you.
6 Answer, you said: "To be frank, I don't remember."
7 Do you recall giving that answer to the Prosecution?
8 A. [No verbal response]
9 Q. Then a little further below, line 26, he asked you: "General, try
10 hard to remember. Was Gvero at that meeting or not?"
11 And you replied: "I really can't remember. You should ask Gvero
12 if he remembers." That was your answer to the Prosecution, if you
14 A. That's what I answered and I stand by this statement.
15 Q. After that, when you met again with the Prosecution here, you
16 spoke to them and you said that you believed Gvero had not been at that
17 meeting. Do you remember saying that during the proofing? And we know
18 that from the proofing notes we received.
19 A. As far as I can remember, I said to the Prosecutor that upon
20 subsequent reflection and logical thinking, I had come to the conclusion
21 that General Gvero was not present at the meeting. During the interview,
22 I could not remember exactly whether he was or whether he wasn't. I still
23 can't remember, but I concluded that, in view of the job that I had there,
24 he could not have been present.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
1 P2905? Scroll down a little, please.
2 Q. General, sir, in the interview, you also said to the Prosecutor
3 this was not the only time that you met with Karadzic, is that correct,
4 that that was not the only meeting that you had with him?
5 A. I remember having said that.
6 Q. And you said that General Gvero was with you only on one occasion,
7 and that he introduced you as Colonel Skrbic upon your arrival at the Main
9 A. That's exactly what I said.
10 Q. Look at the document and please find your name and the time that
11 you spent in that meeting. This is a list of the visitors who, on the
12 14th of July 1995, had appointments with President Karadzic, and your name
13 is among them.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry to interrupt. Can I just ask what my friend
16 quoted on page 24, line 15: "And you said that General Gvero was with you
17 only on one occasion, and they introduce you as Colonel Skrbic upon your
18 arrival at the Main Staff." Is that being represented as being in the
19 proofing note? I wasn't sure what he was quoting or not.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic would know.
21 Mr. Krgovic?
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] It is my mistake actually. One part
23 of that is in the witness's notes and the other part arises from the
24 interview, on one page of the interview. On page 34 and 35 in B/C/S, I
25 found this information, when Gvero said, "General, this is Colonel
1 Skrbic." --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "President, this is
3 Colonel Skrbic."
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] So I quoted both sources.
5 Q. Mr. Skrbic, on the 14th of July 1995, you were not colonel; you
6 were general; is that correct.
7 A. Well, yes, and it says so in the notebook. It says "General
8 Skrbic." I was promoted on the 23rd of June 1995. That's when I became
10 Q. General, only the names can be found in this list. If General
11 Gvero had been with you, his name would be there?
12 A. I agree, and you can look at the time, 12.15 to 12.36. Hardly
13 enough room for two generals there.
14 Q. And when he introduced you as Colonel, that was when you arrived
15 at the Main Staff. Would you agree with me?
16 A. That was my first meeting with the president. I don't know who
17 asked me about that, whether the Prosecutor or some of the Defence
18 counsel, and I said that the first time I met with the president was when
19 General Gvero introduced me to him and said, "Mr. President, this is
20 Colonel Skrbic, the assistant commander for moral guidance and personnel
21 matters. He had joined us from the 2nd Krajina Corps."
22 Q. That was immediately upon your arrival at the Main Staff?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. In 1994? You joined the Main Staff in 1994, didn't you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you, General, sir. You already spoke about President
2 Karadzic's opinion of General Gvero, when president said that he was not
3 an old lady and that he would remove General Gvero. Do you remember
4 saying that in your examination-in-chief?
5 A. I remember that I said that to the Prosecutor in my attempt to
6 interpret the words that were said to me by the president at that moment.
7 Do you want me to repeat?
8 Q. Let's just clarify. The way I understood you was that President
9 Karadzic said for himself that he was not an old lady and that he had an
10 intention to remove General Gvero from his position, and that was to show
11 his strict attitude towards General Gvero; at least, that's what I
13 A. My impression was just that. He was telling me how he would act
14 strictly with all the generals and that he would flex muscle with them,
15 primarily with General Gvero.
16 Q. General, when you joined the Main Staff and when you settled in,
17 could you tell us something about the relationship between General Gvero
18 and President Karadzic?
19 The Prosecutor asked you something about that and he asked you
20 whether President Karadzic was angry with General Gvero, and you said
21 that: "Yes, that happened very often." Can you explain? Can you
22 elaborate upon your words?
23 A. I would like to expand a little bit on that. I'll try to be as
24 short as possible. If the Court will allow me, I'll try and be as brief
25 as possible, but it will take some time to.
1 In Republika Srpska, officers were often referred to as communists
2 by a lot of people, or commies.
3 Q. General, I apologise. I need to interrupt you here. I'm asking
4 you very concretely about General Gvero, only about General Gvero.
5 A. If you will allow me, I know what your question was, but I have to
6 make a short introduction. It won't take long.
7 President believed that General Gvero was the main commie, the
8 principal commie. He thought that he was an Orthodox MPV. Let me explain
9 the abbreviation MPV. An MPV stands for something that was known in the
10 JNA as "moral and political education," which was one subject in the
11 education of soldiers. So those who were teaching that were MPVs.
12 President Karadzic also used the derogatory terms for Gvero. He
13 called him a red plague, the devil of the Main Staff, somebody who was
14 stalling the work of the Main Staff. So, really, I was puzzled at times
15 when I heard that, and I was wondering how come he did not proceed and to
16 remove him.
17 And the conflicts between the two of them went even deeper on two
18 very specific issues. The first of these issues was the fact that General
19 Gvero wanted to uphold the constitution and did not want to politicise the
20 army; whereas, the president wanted to appoint assistant commanders for
21 moral guidance in all levels, only members of the SDS, of the Serbian
22 Democratic party. Only those people were to be appointed assistant
23 commanders for morale by President Karadzic.
24 And the third issue that was a sticking point between the two of
25 them, which actually broke the camel's back, was the fact that the
1 president wanted to monopolise all information about the army and its
2 activities, and to remove the issuance of information from the framework
3 of the army and place it within a civilian body.
4 I apologise. One more thing that I need to say. I just need to
5 explain what I mean when I say "information." I mean informing the
6 general public about the army and the activities of the army. It's
7 something in the West would be referred as "porte parole" or something to
8 that effect. In the army, we called it "informing."
9 Q. And that's why he established a press centre with his daughter,
10 Sonja Karadzic, at its head in order to provide exclusive information. Do
11 you remember that press centre was established in Pale?
12 A. I heard of that. To be honest, there were stories to that effect,
13 but I don't remember. There were stories that he had done that.
14 Q. And he was going to replace General Gvero with Miroslav Deronjic.
15 Do you remember that?
16 A. He wanted to appoint a civilian instead of General Gvero. I'm not
17 sure that it was Deronjic; but if you say so, I don't have a reason not to
18 believe you.
19 Q. Deronjic was an SDS politician; he was not a soldier?
20 A. He was an Orthodox SDS member. He was not a soldier, indeed.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
22 Exhibit number 6D137?
23 Q. General, sir, this is a letter by President Karadzic sent to
24 General Gvero. The date, as you can see, is the 18th of December 1994.
25 Could you please read the passage on the bullet point 1, and see what
1 Karadzic says to Gvero in this letter? Can you do it aloud, please?
2 A. I saw the document the first time during the proofing for my
3 testimony, and now I see it for the second time.
4 I'm reading the bullet point 1: "In your first sentence, you have
5 refuted yourself because it ambiguously confirms that you do not respect
6 the institution of the President of the Republic and the Supreme
7 Commander, let alone the person who is currently discharging those
9 Q. General, sir, does this letter show the essence of the
10 relationship between General Gvero and President Karadzic during the
11 period between 1994 and the end of the war?
12 A. Only partially, because their relationship was even worse than the
13 document shows.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Again, sorry to interrupt, Your Honour, but just to
16 clarify, the Prosecution did not show this document to the witness. The
17 witness said during his proofing, he was shown this for the first time. I
18 didn't want the Court to be under the impression this was something --
19 just to be clear, it's not something that we used or showed to him. It
20 was shown to him by my friend, I believe.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
22 Perhaps, Mr. Krgovic, you could clarify that with the witness.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
24 Q. General, sir, the first time you saw this document was when I met
25 up with you here in The Hague, with the approval of the Prosecutor, and I
1 showed you this document?
2 A. Well, I said that I -- that Counsel Krgovic had shown the document
3 to me, only after the approval was given by the Prosecutor for Counsel
4 Krgovic to get in touch with me, and this was here, yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, we've gone through this before, and
7 no disrespect to the witness or my friend. We don't approve or disapprove
8 any meetings. Mr. Krgovic told me that he would like to meet with the
9 witness and I said I would convey that to the witness, and I told the
10 witness, "Various counsel would like to meet with you. That is entirely
11 up to you. Can I give them your mobile phone number?" And he, "Yes." I
12 don't approve or disapprove of any meetings with witnesses.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you for that explanation which we knew
14 already about.
15 Yes, Mr. Krgovic. Please go ahead.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: Agreement, let's say.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Next question, and we'll have a break in about two
18 minutes' time.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Skrbic, do you know the occasion after which this document was
21 issued? Do you know anything about Spasoje Zeljkovic, the assistant
22 commander for Moral Guidance in the brigade?
23 A. While I was in the 2nd Krajina Corps, I knew Spasoje Zeljkovic
24 personally. I believe that he was an assemblyman in the Assembly. I
25 don't know whether he was appointed the assistant commander for Morale in
1 Grahovo or something similar, and I can't remember whether that gave rise
2 to this document. I can't remember. I don't know.
3 Q. Thank you, sir.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, would this be a good
5 time for our break?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I misspoke. It has nothing to do
8 with this witness. At the very beginning of the hearing, the next
9 witness, Witness 4, I said he would be available as well tomorrow. I've
10 been told he is not available tomorrow. He won't be here tomorrow. Sorry
11 for that. He's available today.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You will face us with the same problems that you
13 faced us last week, on the basis of which we agreed with you that we
14 should not proceed with the hearing of his evidence in hiccups.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: In that case, I will go through with him whatever
16 time is left today. I will be happy to do that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Krgovic, let's proceed and try to conclude as
21 well, please. Thank you.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must inform the
23 Court that my cross-examination will take a bit longer than I had
24 originally announced for two reasons: Reason 1 is that a subject had been
25 opened up in the examination-in-chief that I had not planned to examine
1 on, and that's the issue of directives.
2 The second reason is your decision concerning my client directly.
3 We have in front of us a man who has assistant for Moral Guidance in the
4 corps and who performed similar duties as my client. He can tell us about
5 the document that the Court decided to admit, and that is the reason why
6 my examination will take a bit longer; that is, at least another hour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are a patient lot, Mr. Krgovic, so go ahead.
8 We'll not treat you any differently than we did treat Mr. Petrusic.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] General, you saw this heading. Isn't it a bit
11 unusual for the president of the republic and the Supreme Commander to
12 address directly General Gvero in this way? What is the usual line of
13 communication between a subordinate officer and the president of the
15 A. The president of the republic may address anyone he wishes, and
16 there are no restrictions on him in that way, but to leave a written trace
17 on the violation of regulations is something that is a great surprise to
18 me. Something like this should have been done through the commander of
19 the Main Staff who is his immediate subordinate, rather than addressing a
20 commander within the Main Staff.
21 Q. But that is something that was frequently done by the president;
22 at least, as far as General Gvero is concerned.
23 A. Regrettably, he violated a regulation and left a written trace of
25 Q. You mentioned two reasons why General Gvero and President Karadzic
1 were in conflict, but do you know about the argument that arose between
2 them when Gvero enabled the transport of Muslim General Hodzic from
3 Republika Srpska to Belgrade for treatment? He was called Yugo-nostalgic,
4 a partisan of brotherhood and unity, and that even gave rise to a
5 programme on the radio and television of Republika Srpska?
6 A. I thought it was General Emil Sarac, but now I hear you say you
7 say it was General Hodzic who went to the Military Medical Academy in
8 Belgrade, because General Gvero made that possible. He suffered criticism
9 from the president of the republic for doing that humane thing, and that
10 happened on an idealogical level where they seemed to diverge very deeply.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry. Could we just have a date or time frame?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We've heard other evidence on this, but,
14 Mr. Krgovic, could you put it within a time frame, please?
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I mentioned 1994, in fact, although
16 it's not on the record, and I believe the witness heard me.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: General, was it in 1994?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't remember.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
20 Mr. Krgovic?
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Was it after you came to the Main Staff?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. General, do you know that as a result of this conflict, the
25 National Assembly of Republika Srpska recommended or decided that General
1 Gvero should no longer be in active military service, the same as General
2 Boric, General Djukic, and Lieutenant-Colonel Milutinovic? That was
3 sometime in April 1995, at the Sanska Assembly session.
4 A. I know that it was at a session of the National Assembly, that it
5 was proposed that these generals be retired, but their retirement was not
6 in the hands of the National Assembly. It was in the hands of the
7 president of the republic, and, of course, he didn't do that. However,
8 the public at large in Republika Srpska was informed of that proposal.
9 Q. What was the reaction of General Mladic to this conflict and the
10 ever-more frequent demands that General Gvero be replaced?
11 A. The commander of the Main Staff, General Mladic, marginalised,
12 sidelined, General Gvero, to protect him from that unpleasantness, so that
13 General Gvero did not perform but a part of the duties that were actually
14 in his purview. For instance, I would go to a session of the government
15 or the Assembly when legal documents regarding the army were discussed.
16 Q. What about meetings with the highest state leadership? Tolimir or
17 General Milovanovic went to attend these rather than General Gvero, or
18 maybe some other officers?
19 A. When there were sessions of the Supreme Command and people from
20 the Main Staff were invited to attend, sometimes only the commander went,
21 sometimes all of us assistants went. I don't remember whether General
22 Gvero was left out later.
23 Q. As a consequence, was General Gvero transferred from Crna Rijeka
24 to Han Pijesak at one point?
25 A. Yes. He did move to Han Pijesak, to the office where I had room.
1 It was a hotel requisitioned to become some sort of logistical command
2 post, and that's how we referred to it in the war, logistical command
4 Q. But he moved to the cultural hall where the press centre was and
5 only later to the hotel?
6 A. I'm talking about the building that was next to the municipal hall
7 in Han Pijesak, and the press centre was based there throughout the war.
8 For a while, General Gvero was also based there.
9 Q. We are talking about 1995 and the period after the Assembly
10 session in Sanski Most?
11 A. Yes. We are talking about that period, but I cannot give you the
12 exact dates because I don't recall them. But we are talking about 1995.
13 Q. General, I'll move to another topic.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: I see the answer from the witness, but I wonder if
16 my friend, again, can give us a time frame for when he is saying that
17 General Gvero was not in Crna Rijeka and when he was in Han Pijesak or in
18 the -- this building adjacent.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. General, we are still in 1995. What we would
20 like to know when this move from Han Pijesak -- from Crna Rijeka to Han
21 Pijesak or vice versa took place in 1995. Are you in a position to
22 enlighten us on that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was in 1995. I'm
24 sure of that, but I can't give you the date because I don't remember it.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 Mr. Krgovic, if you have any material which could help assist the
2 witness in remembering the precise month in 1995 when that happened,
3 please go ahead.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't have the
5 document, but the session in Sanski Most was on 28th April 1995, so we are
6 talking about the period between April and the summer 1995.
7 Q. Could we say that it was then in that period that General Gvero
8 moved to the press centre and then to the hotel where you were.
9 A. Judging by what was said about General Gvero at the time, all the
10 things that were said about him, I'm surprised he didn't leave Republika
11 Srpska altogether, but he did leave Crna Rijeka.
12 Q. Do you know that at that time, in 1995, for these reasons, but
13 also for other reasons, General Gvero offered his resignation to General
14 Mladic and asked to be relieved?
15 A. General Gvero mentioned his resignation to me, and I warned him
16 that a general cannot resign. A general can only make an application for
17 termination of service. General Gvero, nevertheless, told me that he
18 submitted his written resignation; but regardless of this misnomer, such a
19 document never reached the personnel service.
20 Q. Because it was torn up by General Mladic?
21 A. Well, I don't know about that.
22 Q. Thank you, General. Now for a different topic.
23 In July 1995, how many persons responded to the name of
24 "President"? How many persons had the title of President? Give me all
25 their different functions and positions.
1 A. In Republika Srpska, there were more presidents than there were
2 generals. I'll enumerate them: The president of the National Assembly;
3 the president of the republic; the president of the government; in
4 English, prime minister; presidents of various committees and commissions;
5 presidents of municipalities. I believe there were over 50 municipalities
6 in Republika Srpska. Let me leave out the presidents of local communes
7 because in wartime they did not amount to much, in terms of power. That's
8 a large number of presidents.
9 Q. Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, member of the Presidency, and Nikola
10 Koljevic, member of the Presidency, would they be among those?
11 A. They were vice-presidents. They were vice-presidents. But I was
12 personally present during a conversation between General Gvero and
13 Mr. Nikola Koljevic, who was an expert on Shakespeare, on a European
14 level, when General Gvero addressed him as President.
15 Q. General Gvero held Mr. Koljevic in great esteem?
16 A. Great, indeed.
17 Q. Greater than President Karadzic?
18 A. I would rather not answer.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness Exhibit
21 JUDGE AGIUS: There will be no broadcast of this document, as it
22 is confidential, I'm told. Okay.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the lower part of the
24 page, please, the bottom.
25 Q. Sir, you've probably had no occasion to see this document before.
1 This is an intercept, an intercepted conversation, between General Gvero
2 and Karadzic, allegedly.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page?
4 Q. Read carefully these two intercepts, please, to yourself.
5 A. From beginning to end?
6 Q. Yes. Have you read it?
7 A. I have.
8 Q. Sir, only the title of the president is mentioned in the
9 intercept. The other details are not mentioned, and you can't hear the
10 president. His voice is not recorded in the intercept. This friendly
11 exchange and the relationship full of respect between the collocutors
12 would not reflect the relationship that General Gvero and President
13 Karadzic in July. Do you agree with me?
14 A. Yes. That would be my conclusion as well. This is a very correct
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I will no longer need this exhibit.
18 Q. General, sir, you joined the Republika Srpska army in 1993; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you were appointed the assistant for Moral Guidance,
22 Religious, and Legal Affairs in the 2nd Krajina Corps; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Who was your commander?
25 A. My commander in the 2nd Krajina Corps was General Grujo Boric.
1 Q. Up to the moment when you were transferred to the Main Staff, that
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. I'm going to show you a document which originates from 1992 and
5 concerns partly the organ that you were a member of.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
7 6D129? Can the witness please be shown the bottom part of the document?
8 Q. Sir, this is a document signed by General Gvero.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now go back to the
10 beginning of the document?
11 Q. Could you please read the second paragraph; i.e., could you please
12 read the entire paragraph starting with number 1?
13 A. Shall I read aloud, the first paragraph?
14 "In our previous documents, on several occasions, we have drawn
15 the attention to the need to prevent retaliation against the innocent
16 population, plunder, arson, destruction, and ill treatment. Such actions
17 are not and should not be characteristic of the members of our army
18 because they tarnish the reputation and the moral figure of the Serbian
19 soldier. We cannot allow the incorrect and vindictive behaviour and
20 actions against the innocent and powerless population whose only fault is
21 the fact that they are not Serbs."
22 I've read out the first paragraph.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we scroll down a little bit,
24 because there is another paragraph in the document that I would like to
25 show to the witness.
1 Q. Could you please read the part that begins with the words, "for
2 that reason"?
3 A. I'm reading: "For that reason, it is necessary, within the next
4 period of time, to pay a lot more attention to this activity. With this
5 regard, the attitude towards local and foreign journalists,
6 representatives of UNPROFOR, the ICRC, and other international
7 organisations has to be warm, humane, and extremely correct. Their
8 requests to have been met at all times. Their work has to be facilitated,
9 and they have to be won over as much as possible."
10 Q. General, when you joined the army of Republika Srpska, were there
11 the positions that you heard from General Gvero, the positions that he
12 himself applied in his work?
13 A. Since I joined the 2nd Krajina Corps somewhat later, I remember
14 that I found that document there. My predecessor, Colonel Galic, whose
15 name I believe was Marko, handed it over to me. Not only based on this
16 document, but also on the basis of some actions and the advice that we
17 received from the organ for morale, I can say that this topic was always
18 mentioned, not as the main topic but this topic was on the agenda all the
19 time. I have also shown you the propaganda material of the ICRC.
20 Q. General, we'll come to that.
21 A. Well, it's a part of the same topic, isn't it?
22 Q. We'll come to that topic, but I will introduce it in a somewhat
23 different way.
24 A. Very well, then. Go on.
25 Q. During your interview with the Prosecutor in Belgrade, you said,
1 and I quote from page 43: "General Gvero distributed the propaganda
2 material to the ICRC from Geneva in Serbian dealing with the treatment of
3 prisoners of war and the wounded. While I was a member of the 2nd Krajina
4 Corps, I also received such material. If I'm able to locate it, I will
5 bring it to you."
6 Indeed, you brought that material with you and handed it over to
7 the Prosecutor when you arrived in The Hague; am I right?
8 A. I brought the material. I was fortunate enough to be able to find
9 it in my library, which is rather rich. Fortunately enough, I found it;
10 and since I made that promise, I brought it with me.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
12 6D143? This document should be in e-court, but I've been informed that
13 there is some problems with the downloading from the e-court. That's why
14 we prepared hard copies. Unfortunately, the document is in Serbian only.
15 It has not been translated because we received it from the Prosecutor's
16 Office only yesterday. That's why I would kindly ask the usher to place
17 the document on the ELMO.
18 I could give my copy to the witness because in my copy the
19 chapters are marked.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Nicholls?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Just that I have the originals here which the
22 witness gave to us on Saturday, if he would prefer the witness to use the
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, do you agree to that?
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's use the originals, and thank you,
2 Mr. Nicholls.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we also have it on the ELMO?
4 Could you put on the ELMO the rule of behaviour for the troops?
5 Q. Sir, could you please describe the documents to the Trial Chamber,
6 the contents of the documents?
7 A. Are you referring to the first image?
8 Q. No. I'm referring to all the documents, if you could do it in a
9 short outline?
10 A. These are all documents of the ICRC from Geneva translated into
11 Serbian. There is a calendar there with some images.
12 Q. As you're talking about the document, can you place it on the ELMO
13 so that all of us are able to follow?
14 A. Look at this document and the images here. Inside is a calendar
15 for 1993 and 1994.
16 Q. Go back to the title page.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It says here, "Respect and protect the sick and the wounded
19 opponents." Do you agree?
20 A. Yes. Do you want me to read everything?
21 Q. No. I'll do it for you, to save the time. Can you go on and show
22 us the next document? These are the rules of behaviour for the troops.
23 The next document, please? This is, "Who are we? Delegates of the
24 International Committee of the Red Cross," speaking of the role of the
25 International Committee of the Red Cross; am I right?
1 A. Yes, you are.
2 Q. The next document, please. This is another brochure of the
3 International Committee of the Red Cross, speaking about the role of the
4 International Red Cross. Do you agree with that?
5 A. Yes, also its history, its founders, some basic information about
6 the International Committee of the Red Cross.
7 Q. And this document. These are the fundaments of the rules of war?
8 A. Yes, intended for the officers. And you can see here it says,
9 "Summary for the officers, the rules of combat, and the programme of
10 training." This is just an excerpt from a textbook authored by
11 F. Demulinej [phoen], about the rules of war for armed forces. Again, the
12 brochure was published by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
13 Q. Thank you very much, General.
14 One question now: When you mentioned the propaganda material, in
15 the English language, this word "propaganda" has a somewhat different
16 meaning than notice Serbian language. Its usage is somewhat different in
17 English than it is in the Serbian.
18 Let me just put it this way: This would be affirmative material
19 dealing with the conveyance of information with the intention to exert
20 positive influence on the Serbian soldiers and with the intention to teach
21 them how to deal with the prisoners of war in keeping with the
22 international conventions?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. In other words, the word "propaganda" does not have a negative
25 connotation here, but rather a positive connotation. It asserts to
1 reaffirm some positions that are put forth in all of these brochures;
2 would I be correct?
3 A. We called the material "propaganda" without referring to its
4 contents. In the West, this would be called marketing or something to
5 that effect. In other words, the word "propaganda" in the Serbian
6 language does not have a negative connotation.
7 Q. And General Gvero gave you all this to distribute among the troops
8 and to inform them about the contents of all that material?
9 A. Yes. He sent all that material to us. He did not give it to us
10 personally. He sent it to us.
11 Q. And then you went on and distributed all that?
12 A. We did not have enough copies for everybody, so the material
13 intended for the officers was given only to the officers, and the rest was
14 given to the troops. Let me tell you exactly what was given to the
15 officers: The basics of the rules of war. That's what was given to the
17 Q. Thank you, General.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honours. I haven't been completely
20 alert and following which documents are being referred to and put on the
21 ELMO. I just wonder for a clear record if these should be marked as he
22 talks. They are in B/C/S so I can't read them. Perhaps, it will be
23 completely clear when they are translated what is being referred to. It's
24 not a criticism. It's just something that occurred to me as I saw him put
25 something on the ELMO and then take it away and talk about it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: What I suggest, Mr. Krgovic, is that you prepare a
2 document, after you've finished with your cross-examination, in which
3 these documents are described and given a reference number, and I think we
4 can deal with that in that way. It shouldn't be difficult for you. I
5 mean, it's all in Cyrillic script, and it's difficult for us to follow.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] We sent these documents for
7 translation. They are in e-court. But for some technical difficulties,
8 the pages have not been marked. I will, therefore, follow your
9 instructions, and I will prepare the documents in the way you asked me to
10 do that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: The important thing is that if later on at any point
12 in time we need to go through this transcript and understand exactly which
13 documents you're referring to or you have been and the witness have been
14 referring to, we can make some sense out of it, because otherwise,
15 Mr. Nicholls is correct, there will be utter confusion.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. If you already know in your mind which 65 ter
18 number or which exhibit number you are going to assign to these documents,
19 then perhaps, as you go along and you refer the witness to any one of
20 these documents, you may just add, "This document will be assigned Exhibit
21 number so and so," and that will help us.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We gave this
23 document number 6D143.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But that doesn't help much, because if they are
25 going to be accumulated together in one document, it still leaves the
1 possibility for confusion.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] We will observe this instruction,
3 and we will properly mark all these documents.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's proceed then. Thank you.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, a moment ago, answering my question, you said you
7 performed the duties of assistant commander for Moral Guidance in the 2nd
8 Krajina Corps. You were in that position from your arrival to the army of
9 Republika Srpska until the time you went to the Main Staff to become
10 assistant for Mobilisation, to shorten the name of that body. Do you
12 A. Yes, correct. If necessary, I can repeat to the Court how it was
13 called. It was Sector for Mobilisation, Organisation, and Personnel.
14 Q. I will now show you one document.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Your Honours.
17 Q. Look at this document. If you wish, I can give you a copy, a hard
18 copy, because I wanted to go through a couple of details with you. Do you
19 see it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The title is, "Jurisdiction and filling of vacancies in the organ
22 for Moral Guidance, Religious, and Legal Affairs." It deals with the
23 jurisdiction of this organ in units. To which units does this organ
25 A. Units from the rank -- from the level of battalion up to the level
1 of the Main Staff, but only organs for Moral Guidance.
2 Q. But it doesn't apply to the Main Staff itself, only the
3 subordinated units?
4 A. Of course. The Main Staff stipulates the jurisdiction. It
5 doesn't need to tell itself what its duties are.
6 Q. And it stipulates how vacancies are to be filled in lower units?
7 A. That is not really the topic of this document because the filling
8 of vacancies is a problem in the purview of my sector. But they did
9 express, as far as I can see, some of their own wishes, as if they had not
10 taken into account establishment. Establishment prescribes it all. It is
11 year 1995.
12 They had to reorganise the army and they had to prepare the
13 material in order to fill the units in brigades, battalions, et cetera,
14 but they had to prepare the units. Officers were in short supply, even
15 for operations and other important duties, and they thought to themselves,
16 "We can't waste them on Moral Guidance."
17 Q. So this document was never implemented in practice?
18 A. Which part are you talking about?
19 Q. I mean the part that concerns personnel.
20 A. No. In terms of personnel, it was not implemented. As far as
21 these general sentences are concerned, these are ideal prototypes that
22 were sometimes not attained in wartime. And there is probably a
23 discrepancy, the kind of discrepancy that exists between school textbooks
24 and what happens in reality.
25 Q. Could you look at one passage, the one that concerns cooperation
1 with the authorities and other social entities, enterprises, and
2 institutions? Look at the last item, DJ. It says, "In keeping with the
3 positions instructions and orders from superior commands, there is to be
4 cooperation with UNPROFOR and other humanitarian organisations."
5 You were assistant for Moral Guidance on corps level. Did you
6 perform these duties that I've just read out?
7 A. I, as assistant commander for Moral Guidance, Religious, and Legal
8 Affairs, did not perform these duties. It was the Chief of Staff who did
9 that, the Chief of Staff in the command of the 2nd Krajina Corps.
10 Q. Towards the beginning on the same page, there is a passage that
11 says, "Shall have close cooperation with intelligence..."
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel read slowly or indicate what he's
14 MR. KRGOVIC: I apologise to the interpreters.
15 JUDGE KWON: And what page it is.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] It's page 4 in my version. In
17 e-court, it's 5. Sorry, it's 5 in e-court.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've seen this.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Did you perform these duties at any time?
21 A. This is an instruction that stipulates how to collect information
22 for the purposes of psychological and propaganda activities, but we had
23 neither material nor personnel capacities to ever organise that kind of
24 activity. We tried only to protect our fighting men from propaganda; but
25 regrettably, even in that, we were not particularly successful.
1 Q. While you were assistant for Moral Guidance, what kind of
2 resources did you have? Did you have men at your disposal? How did it
3 work? What exactly did you do?
4 A. I didn't bring that notebook that I had yesterday. I came to the
5 2nd Krajina Corps and brought that notebook and one pencil. That's all I
6 had in terms of material resources. I had one journalist, one cameraman
7 who brought his own camera, to make video footage and inform our public.
8 And whenever we had enough petrol, we sent that to the radio show which
9 was called, "At the Ramparts of the Home Land." Sometimes when we didn't
10 have petrol, we didn't do that.
11 But it was all very superficial because we did not have the
12 capacity to get real indicators of the state of morale in our units. We
13 also attended funerals and that was one of the hardest duties we had.
14 Once, in Drvar, I attended two funerals; in Glamoc, another two. And
15 there were five in total.
16 That's the kind of duties we performed. I won't go into
17 specifics. Of course, we always attended senior staff meetings of corps
18 commanders because we were directly subordinated to the commander of the
20 Q. But you didn't interfere in command, and you had nothing to do
21 with the execution of military operations?
22 A. No. Everything that was discussed at this senior staff meeting,
23 in the office of the corps commander, was covered by a particular person;
24 and, thus, our task was to report to the commander on issues that are
25 listed in this document as well but on a much smaller scale, but we did
1 not have the personnel capacities or material capacities.
2 Q. When you were an assistant, you were directly subordinated to the
3 commander and you reported to him?
4 A. Correct. I didn't send any reports to the Main Staff - I was not
5 allowed to, and I did not - without the knowledge of the corps commander,
6 and that's how it was in all corps.
7 Q. And in lower units?
8 A. Of course.
9 Q. Thank you, General. I will now take up another subject you
10 discussed with the Prosecution yesterday. It concerns certain documents
11 you were shown in examination-in-chief.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness P0013? Can
13 we see the lower part of the document?
14 Q. Look at the signature. We have in print, "Assistant Minister,
15 Momcilo Kovacevic." It's typewritten, and then we have in longhand,
16 "for," and somebody else's signature. Do you see it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When such a document is sent by teletype, and when the incoming
19 telegram is received, the recipient would only see the typewritten part,
20 and they would not see the word "for" and the signature, correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the recipient would conclude that this was signed by the
23 assistant minister?
24 A. Correct. If you allow me to make a link with our discussion
25 yesterday about standing in for or acting on behalf of, this is the
1 correct way to sign: To put the word "for" in front of whosever function,
2 and it was signed by Di Capa Tinja [phoen]; and after the word "minister,"
3 they added the proper suffix to indicate the noun case. But the
4 teletypist would not type that, if my knowledge of communication is still
6 Q. Now, for another matter, you spoke about senior staff meetings.
7 In 1995, after the senior staff meeting held regarding the celebration of
8 the army day, which caused some fatalities, were there any more?
9 A. The day of the army was celebrated on the 28th of June -- no,
10 sorry. It was not the celebration of the day of the army. It was a
11 ceremony of the patron saints day of the army, St. Vitus Day, which is the
12 28th of June. After that, in view of the situation on the front line, we
13 never held any more senior staff meetings that were attended by all the
15 Q. And the first next meeting was in the area of Krajina, which was
16 immediately jeopardised by war?
17 A. I don't remember that. We often held meetings in Banja Luka, but
18 they were attended only by those generals who were able to leave the front
19 line to attend. Those who couldn't did not attend.
20 Q. You spoke yesterday about documents concerning requisitioning and
21 mobilisation of buses. That announcement to prepare that number of buses
22 in a relatively short time came as a surprise to you, it seems, which
23 tells me that it was a sudden decision and it was an affair that had not
24 been planned in advance.
25 A. It was. It came as a complete surprise, and I agree with you.
1 Q. One more question, General. That summer, 1995, as far as I know
2 and you will confirm, there were 143 units in the VRS on the level of
3 regiment and brigade, and there were between 210 and 220.000 men in the
4 army. Do you agree?
5 A. No. There were 49 light infantry brigades in the VRS and other
6 brigades. I don't know exactly, but there were not -- there were not 140.
7 The strength of the VRS, not even when the state of war was proclaimed,
8 never reached 220.000. In end of 1995, especially from the beginning of
9 August until December, it was 209.000.
10 Q. Where was the fiercest fighting in 1995, in the summer? Where was
11 the focus of all operations, and where did you have the greatest problems
12 with morale?
13 A. The focus was on Orasje in the western part of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. And the largest number of brigades were engaged there?
15 A. And the greatest problems in terms of morale were with the 2nd
16 Krajina Corps.
17 Q. My last question, and I'm sorry to take you back to a subject we
18 discussed previously. When you went to see President Karadzic, you did
19 not discuss Srebrenica at that time, did you?
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Which time because there have been a few times.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] 14 July 1995.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls, and thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
24 You're being referred specifically to the 14th of July meeting.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 14th of July 1995, when I
1 went to meet with President Karadzic, nobody mentioned Srebrenica.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. And the critique addressed to General Gvero had to do with
4 something else. It had to do with information about the state of morale,
5 not with Srebrenica?
6 A. You mean the criticism against General Gvero? Correct. I believe
7 it was a regular sort of brief, as I emphasised in my interview. It was a
8 regular brief sent to units to inform the troops, as well as commanders.
9 It was nothing extraordinary.
10 Q. Thank you, sir.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
12 Mr. Sarapa, I doubt if there is anyone else cross-examining this
13 witness actually. Yes, Mr. Sarapa?
14 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] We don't have any questions for this
15 witness, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So is there re-examination Mr. Nicholls?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Do you think you will finish today?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
21 Q. Let me go back a bit with you now, sir, to 1993 when you were at
22 the 2nd Krajina Corps as assistant commander for Morale, Religious, and
23 Legal Affairs, all right?
24 A. All right.
25 Q. You were asked a question about a document by my friend
1 originating from 1992, 6D129, in which - I'm looking for it - from General
2 Gvero, stating: "In our previous documents on several occasions, we have
3 drawn the attention to the need to prevent retaliation against the
4 innocent population, plunder, arson, destruction, and ill treatment.
5 And then it goes on to say --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- "The Attention paid towards local and foreign journalists."
8 Tell me, what happened to the Muslim population that lived in the areas of
9 what were to become the zones of the 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps in 1992
10 from April on into June 1993 when you got there? What happened to all
11 those people who lived in those zones?
12 A. What people are you referring to? The Muslims?
13 Q. Yes, and the Croats. People of those ethnicities.
14 A. In some places, the Muslims remained leading a normal life; for
15 example, Sanski Most, Kljuc, and some others that I can't remember at the
16 moment, and that was when I arrived there. The places from which they
17 left, if you're asking me about that, I'm sorry, I can't answer.
18 Q. Well, that's an interesting answer and let me ask you about that.
19 Make sure I'm correct on this. By 1992 and into 1993, Muslims in Sanski
20 Most and Kljuc were living normal lives? Did I hear that correctly?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, object. The witness
23 said that he arrived in 1993, so could the Prosecutor please focus on the
24 period when the witness arrived there?
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 Q. Well, at the moment, I'd like to focus on the period which my
2 friend brought out in the document from 1992 from Mr. Gvero, which talks
3 about unfortunate incidents towards people simply because they are
4 non-Serbs, and he had knowledge about that document. And this continued,
5 I would say, into 1993 when he was in Legal Affairs, so I think he has --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The fact that a person arrives in a certain place on
7 a particular day does not exclude prior or subsequent knowledge of prior
8 events in any case, so I will leave it in the hands of the witness.
9 Whatever information you had at the time or you obtained at the
10 time, which enables you to answer the question, then go ahead. You will
11 proceed by giving the information; and if you didn't have information, you
12 will just tell us so.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. So my question was, to make sure I got you right, and I think you
15 answered but it's not in the transcript, yes, that 1992 to 1993 the
16 Muslims in Sanski Most and Kljuc were living normal lives; is that right?
17 A. I said that, but I also said that I can't give you the names of
18 the places from which they left, which they abandoned, because I don't
20 Q. Okay. Just let me ask you this: What's your basis? How do you
21 know that things were -- that Muslims in Sanski Most and Kljuc were
22 leading normal lives during that period?
23 A. I passed through Kljuc and people pointed the Muslim houses to me,
24 and they lived in those -- their houses normally. General Bozic Novak is
25 from Sanski Most. He can confirm that they lived normally there. He told
1 me about that. I didn't mention Prijedor at all. I don't know whether
2 there was ill treatment in any of these places. I really don't know.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. I apologise. It's very difficult to say whether their life was
5 really normal in times of war, where there were two sides fighting each
6 other, but they did live in Kljuc, Sanski Most, Prijedor. They did not
7 leave those places. This would be a more precise answer; maybe more
8 precise than to say that they lived normally.
9 Q. Okay. Let me ask you this, since you were a VRS officer during
10 this time: Have you heard of a camp run by the VRS in Manjaca outside
11 Banja Luka? Do you know anything about that camp?
12 A. I heard of it after the war, and I read about it in the media.
13 While I was a member of the VRS army, I was not aware of that camp.
14 Q. All right. You had -- do you know under which corps that had
15 responsibility for that camp?
16 A. Manjaca was in the area of responsibility of the 1st Krajina
18 Q. And I'll -- I won't push you on your answer that you never heard
19 about it until after the war. After the war, when you heard about
20 Manjaca, did you hear who the population was that was kept in there after
21 it was set up in 1992? Who were the inmates of this camp?
22 A. I can't remember.
23 Q. What are the incidents that General Gvero's referring to in that
24 order about attacks on the population or - I don't have it in front of
25 me - against people simply because they are non-Serbs? What was he
1 talking about?
2 A. I don't know. I can't even be sure that the document was drafted
3 in 1992. I wasn't there.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I stopped the witness but we were still receiving
6 interpretation. So go ahead, Mr. Krgovic.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned friend
8 Mr. Nicholls mentioned an order. This was not an order. This was a
9 warning. General Gvero was not in a position to issue any orders of this
10 kind. He could only warn. He could not issue orders.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I should have just said document. Sorry. I don't
12 have the document in front of me.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
14 Thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. This document from General Gvero, now, are you saying, just to be
17 clear: "I'm not sure that document was drafted in 1992. I wasn't
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we bring it up, please, 6 developments 129?
20 THE REGISTRAR: It's the one published already.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Let me ask you this: When you met with my friend over the week
23 end for proofing, did he show you this particular document?
24 A. No. I've not seen this document before.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we scroll down a bit, and now up? I just
2 want you to be able to see the whole thing. Okay.
3 Q. Now we see 20th of June 1992. Do you believe this document is
4 genuine? Let me ask you that. I ask you that because you were saying
5 you're not sure about when it was drafted and what it is.
6 A. I see that it was drafted on the 20th of June 1992; but in that
7 year, I was not in the Republika Srpska army. That's what I have stated.
8 And as for the document itself and its authenticity that you are asking me
9 about, I can't tell you anything because this is a copy. There are all
10 sorts of copies that have been shown to me. Only if you collate those
11 copies with their originals can you only say whether they are authentic or
12 not, and that applies to all the other documents. I can't answer your
13 question because I don't know. I'm not an expert.
14 Q. Now, these pamphlets that General Gvero sent you in 1993 when you
15 were in the 2nd Krajina Corps that you handed out to officers, would
16 violations -- well, let me strike that.
17 Part of your section and part of your duties as the 2nd Krajina
18 Corps officer for Legal Affairs, did that involve cooperation and liaising
19 with the military courts, including, I suppose, the military court in
20 Banja Luka, which would be the one that had jurisdiction over the 2KK?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Right. Now, if soldiers in the 2KK continued to perpetrate
23 these - I'm looking for the language again - the attacks, or whatever, the
24 atrocities against the civilian population, retaliation against the
25 innocent population, plunder, arson, destruction, ill treatment, if,
1 nevertheless, having received these pamphlets, they continued in that
2 behaviour would that have been a crime, would that have ended up with the
3 military courts?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Now, from your memory, your presence there in 1993, can you -- can
6 you describe any prosecutions you remember of VRS soldiers for committing
7 crimes against non-Serb persons in violation of those pamphlets that you
8 handed out? Do you remember any?
9 A. I don't remember any.
10 Q. Now, would -- I'm searching back in my memory. I didn't expect
11 this detail to come up. But would reports be drafted by the military
12 prosecutors and military judges and then forwarded up to the supreme
13 military prosecutor's office and the head military judge for the VRS?
14 A. I believe that these kind of reports were written and sent out,
15 but there were a lot more proceedings against deserters, plunderers. But
16 I'm sure you can look into the Court's archives. I really did not have
17 access to documents, nor was I ever interested to look, at the number of
18 proceedings that were instituted for any kinds of misdemeanours or crimes.
19 Q. You weren't interested in that when you were 2nd -- 2KK officer
20 for Legal Affairs, looking at these statistics?
21 A. Kovacevic, who was an expert in law, was dealing with the
22 statistics. He was a member of the command of the 2nd Krajina Corps. He
23 had his own records. I may have looked at those documents but I can't
24 remember them now. I looked at a myriad of documents during the war, and
25 please don't make me try to remember the things that I can't possibly
2 Q. I won't try to force you to remember all those things that you
3 can't or don't want to remember now, because they are probably not things
4 you remember as being pleasant.
5 When these reports were sent up the chain, do you know whether
6 General Gvero, in his capacity as assistant commander for Legal Affairs,
7 would have been briefed on these reports, you know, the monthly reports,
8 the yearly reports, from the prosecutor's office?
9 A. I suppose he did receive them because they were also an indicator
10 of the state of morale. I'm telling you what he might have done but I
11 don't know what he did. He could have asked the supreme military court to
12 send him an overview for the entire military because breaches of
13 discipline, misdemeanours and crimes are also a sort of, and not only a
14 sort of but an indicator of, the state of morale that reigned in the
15 army. But I really don't know what the general did with that regard, and
16 how he did it.
17 Q. Okay. But as a legal affairs officer, and General Gvero as
18 assistant commander for legal affairs, would those reports be helpful in
19 finding out whether the soldiers were taking to heart what was in those
20 pamphlets that were passed out to them, don't attack civilians, don't burn
21 down villages, that sort of thing? Would it have helped to find out if
22 those had been followed?
23 A. I didn't get any feedback from the officers or the troops. I did
24 not learn about their reaction to the document.
25 Q. Okay. By any chance, since you were a legal affairs officer, do
1 you remember what the Article 142 of the Criminal Code of the SFRY was
2 for? It's okay if you don't.
3 A. You are emphasising my role as the officer for Legal Affairs, but
4 I was not only that. I was the officer for Moral Guidance, Religious
5 Affairs, and Legal Affairs at the end.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really don't know how
8 this question arises from my cross-examination, and I object to this line
9 of questioning. In any case, if the Trial Chamber believes that this line
10 of questioning arises from my cross-examination, then I would kindly seek
11 permission to clarify the position of military courts and military
12 judiciary with regard to the role of my client, because his position did
13 not have anything whatsoever to do with either the military courts or the
14 military prosecutor's offices or their respective authorities.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
16 Mr. Nicholls, why don't we proceed?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it's been directly opened up, and I've just
18 got another question or two and I'll move on.
19 Q. That number, 142, that code -- that Article, excuse me, is war
20 crime against the civilian population. Do you remember any successful
21 prosecution of VRS soldiers for violations of Article 142 either while you
22 were at the 2KK or later at the Main Staff?
23 A. The courts will hold this information. I myself can't help you.
24 I don't have that information.
25 Q. All right. Now, do you remember when it was that news articles
1 and news day, Roy Buttman and others, started publishing accounts of
2 terrible, terrible crimes occurring amongst other areas, some of the
3 places you talked about like Prijedor, in the zones and areas of the 2KK.
4 Do you remember when those stories started coming out?
5 A. I only remember the case of Omarska because this was a journalist
6 plot about the whole thing, and this attracted my attention.
7 Q. Okay. I'll -- I'm not going to move on but I have to ask a
8 follow-up on that. What's the plot of journalists about Omarska? What's
9 the journalists' plot?
10 A. People who were behind the wire were actually in free territory,
11 and the cameraman was within the area surrounded by the wire. The general
12 public found that quite interesting, and that's why I remember that. It
13 was some sort of a trick.
14 Q. Were Muslims held in Omarska, or was it all a trick?
15 A. Well, the Muslims were there, but they were not within the area
16 surrounded by the wire. They were outside of it.
17 Q. Okay. That document from General Gvero talking about concerns
18 with foreign journalists, that we started talking about, what is the
19 concern there? Is it concern for the well being of the journalists or
20 concern that these journalists are going to be able to tell the world
21 what's happening at that time in the VRS or what? What is-- why is
22 General Gvero saying to take particular care with journalists? That's
23 6D129 I'm referring to.
24 A. Could you scroll up a little, please? Which paragraph is that?
25 Q. I can't read it, sir, I'm afraid. You'll have to look at it and
1 see. I think it's the second paragraph.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] If I can assist my learned friend
3 and say that the paragraph starts with the word "Radi."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it now. I can see
5 paragraph 2: "The previous experience speaks about the significance of
6 the media in times of war." Am I reading the right passage?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] It starts with the word "Radi."
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where is that, Mr. Krgovic?
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] The next paragraph.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm reading this on purpose because
11 I want to give you the motive, and I repeat: "The previous experience
12 speak that in times of war and while the activities are taking place on
13 the front line, the media also play a significant role because they can
14 affirm the goals of our struggle. This is the motive. This is the
15 objective, the picture that needs to be conveyed to the world about the
16 goals of the struggle of the Republika Srpska army."
17 In order to conclude, let me just say that this was the main
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's time for a break. General, what you have just
20 stated, is it exclusively reading that paragraph, or does it also have
21 your comments? Because not knowing the language, I couldn't distinguish
22 whether you were just reading from that document or whether you are adding
23 also your own comments to it.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't add anything.
25 I read from the document.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That's very important for us to know. Thank you.
2 It looked or it's a bit longer, so we'll have a 25 minute.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a 25-minute break starting from now.
5 Thank you.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
10 Q. Sir, just before we broke, we were reading the paragraph about the
11 need to portray the struggle in the media and the world, and you finished
12 off at page 63, lines 5 to 8: "This is the objective, the picture that
13 needs to be conveyed to the world about the goals of the struggle of the
14 Republika Srpska army." And then the line says, "In order to conclude,
15 let me just say that this was the main motive."
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I believe that last line, "In order
17 to conclude, let me say that this was the main motive" was the witness's
18 comment. Is that correct, sir?
19 A. When I quoted the passage you just mentioned, I added "it was the
20 main motive." That was the only thing I said in my own name, that it was
21 the principal motive.
22 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to make that clear for our transcript
23 and our record.
24 Let me ask you now: How important was it to the Main Staff media
25 information service to put forward this same motive, this same positive
1 picture of the goals of the struggle of the VRS in their -- in their work?
2 Let me add: How important was it, as far as you know and recall,
3 from your service in the Main Staff, to have a positive image of the VRS
4 in the international community? Was that something important or not
6 A. I believe that it's important to every army in wartime to project
7 a positive image in international and local public opinion, and I believe
8 that the effort to ensure that on the part of the VRS fits into that.
9 Q. Now, on cross-examination, you spoke a lot with a lot of detail
10 about Mr. Gvero's -- General Gvero's career, and about his relationship
11 with different organs and with President Karadzic.
12 Can you tell me, just -- I have a question about that. How well
13 do you know General Gvero? When did you meet him? What's your
14 relationship with him?
15 A. I know General Gvero very well. I believe we first met in 1981,
16 when I went to Visoko to attend the higher political school. He taught
17 there. He taught the subject, international relations. When I graduated,
18 we became colleagues because I was admitted into the faculty of that
19 school, and that's how I know him. So we've known each other a long time.
20 Q. And how would you describe your relationship or your view of him
21 as what you think of him?
22 A. General Gvero and I have the relationship of work colleagues. We
23 finished similar schools. We both graduated from the teacher's college.
24 I have a degree in political science and so does he. We did the same work
25 for a long time before I left to join the Sector for Mobilisation,
1 Organisation, and Personnel. So we have been good colleagues, and I
2 believe we have respect for each other.
3 Q. Did you ever talk to General Gvero, either at the time or later,
4 about where he was, what he was doing, the period 10 to 20th of July, or
5 around that area, 1995?
6 A. We really did not have time to discuss that. I left on the 27th
7 July 1995, for the western part of Republika Srpska, where the situation
8 on the front line was very bad, very difficult, and General Gvero was
9 there already. We discussed the problems we were facing there, including
10 the fall of Mrkonjic Grad into the hands of the Croat army.
11 It was a difficult time for me because my home town also ended up
12 in the hands of the enemy. So, on the rare occasions we were together, at
13 that time we really did not discuss that subject.
14 Q. All right. And what were -- what was General Gvero doing in this
15 period around 27 July on the western part of Republika Srpska, where you
16 say you -- he was there already and you went there? What was his -- why
17 was he there? What was he doing?
18 A. All of us there mostly toured units, trying to calm down the
19 fighting men and get them to return to the front line, because many
20 fighting men were on the run with their families. It was the same
21 syndrome as with the troops in Croatia who were fleeing the front line.
22 We tried to do something there as well but without much success.
23 That's why General Gvero was there, too, doing the same job, exposing
24 himself daily to the danger of being hit during an air strike or by a
25 mortar or by a bullet. It was a very difficult time.
1 Q. All right. I'll come back to General Gvero and have some more
2 questions about him a little bit later.
3 Let me ask you some questions now about General Miletic. During
4 July 1995, during the Srebrenica campaign and the events which followed
5 the successful attack on Srebrenica, did you -- were you on the same level
6 of command with Miletic or did you feel he was sort of above or below you
7 in the Main Staff?
8 A. He was below me in the hierarchy.
9 Q. And how was that?
10 A. Well, the commander of the Main Staff is the upper most level,
11 assistants in the Staff Sector are the next level, and the third level is
12 General Miletic.
13 Q. Now, same questions regarding General Gvero: Did you discuss with
14 General Miletic what his activities were, what he was working on and doing
15 during the period of the attack on Srebrenica and what happened
17 A. No, I did not.
18 Q. You discussed this a little bit, and you talked a lot about on
19 cross-examination about the role of standing in for Chief of Staff, but
20 when Milovanovic was not there at the Main Staff at Crna Rijeka, who would
21 he normally assign to fill in for him, and standing in?
22 A. General Miletic.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic?
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Well, my objection would -- is not
25 making any sense now, but it was a leading question, obviously.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't agree with you, Mr. Petrusic. It was a
2 clear, regular question.
3 Yes, go ahead, Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. You also talked on cross-examination, I think it was today, about
6 who would issue permits for convoys and who was in charge for humanitarian
7 relief. Do you remember talking about that a little bit?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to have 65 ter number 5, directive 7, up,
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before I answer any
13 more questions, can I go back to this issue of standing in for or filling
14 in for somebody, because counsel Petrusic interrupted me when I said that
15 he designated General Miletic.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead, by all means, General.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Milovanovic, indeed,
18 designated General Miletic to stand in for him, but he had the right to
19 pick any senior officer from his sector to fill in for him while he was
20 temporarily absent from that part of the command post. Out of respect for
21 General Miletic, he did not actually use this option but he had the power
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. I don't quite understand that answer. You stated before that the
25 person who would usually fill in was Miletic, and let me take you back for
1 a moment to your interview. This is page 22 of the English, also of the
3 JUDGE KWON: Before that, if he could clarify his statement, he
4 said he did not actually use this option. Who is it that did not actually
5 use this option? Milovanovic or General Miletic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Milovanovic did not use the
7 option of designating someone other than General Miletic.
8 JUDGE KWON: All right. Thank you.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
10 In that case, can we go to page -- it should be page 8. It's ERN
11 00823173 is on the top of that page. 65 ter 5.
12 Q. I think, again, sir, just to be clear, the first time you ever saw
13 or heard of Directive 7 was during your interview in 2005 with the OTP,
15 A. Right.
16 Q. Okay. I'll just read out the portion I'm interested in and then
17 go to another one. Under tasks, Drina Corps: "While in the direction of
18 the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, complete physical separation of
19 Srebrenica and Zepa should be carried out as soon as possible, preventing
20 even communication between individuals in the two enclaves by doing
21 planned and well-thought-out combat operations, create an unbearable
22 situation of total insecurity, and no hope of further survival or life for
23 the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, if I could go to what's page 14 in the
25 English, this is under section 6.1.
1 Q. And this is a part that was read out to you before by my friend,
2 so I'll just read it out: "The relevant state and military organs
3 responsible for work with UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations shall,
4 through the planned and unobtrusively restrictive," it's the last page of
5 B/C/S, "issuing of permits reduce and limit the logistic support of
6 UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of the material resources to the
7 Muslim population, making them dependent on our goodwill while at the same
8 time avoiding condemnation by the international community and
9 international public opinion."
10 Do you remember my friend showing you that section?
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it's on the next page from what is on
12 e-court for the witness. Wrong page.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I'm looking at now is the
14 directive, 00823179, is something I've seen before.
15 Q. Right. My question is, and you talked about how the Supreme
16 Command would issue directives, and my friends put to you that the
17 civilian and Supreme Command was in charge of issuing permits: Which body
18 would actually carry out, fulfilling these goals which we've read, as it
19 related to controlling convoys going in and out of the enclaves? Who
20 actually enforces these permits and makes sure that they are acted on?
21 A. I don't quite understand the question. Could you put it more
22 concisely, because it's a complex question.
23 Q. That's a fair comment and let me show you a document, 2497, and
24 then I'll ask to you look at that and ask a question. This is 18th of
25 June 1995, Main Staff of the VRS, Open Message.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: And could we go down to the bottom to show the
2 general, next page, please.
3 Q. And handwritten, we have here, "Standing in for the Chief of
4 Staff, Colonel Radivoje Miletic." All right.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go back to page 1?
6 Q. Here is the part I want you to focus on, sir.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, back two. It's on the next page, page
9 Q. It begins: "Convoy leaders shall have list of staff members,
10 weapons, and cargo manifest. I demand a detailed check of all vehicles,
11 including the inspection of cargo." I'll let you read that.
12 Wait for the question. Just tell me when you've read that
13 paragraph. Have you read it?
14 A. I have.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic?
16 MR. NICHOLLS: I think Mr. Meek is having a problem with his
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness also
19 read the first paragraph on the first page, to see what kind of document
20 that is? Is that just an information, is it an order?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I stated it was "Open Message," but I was
22 going to bring him back to the first page any way, so that's fine.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You can start from there perhaps,
24 Mr. Nicholls, and then you can proceed to the relevant part for your
1 MR. NICHOLLS: For my friend, could we go to page 1 in the B/C/S?
2 Q. You can see here, sir, on the right, the distribution list, and it
3 states: "Open Message, to military posts 7111, we wish to inform you that
4 we have approved the movement of the UNPROFOR convey from Zagreb via
5 Belgrade to the enclaves," et cetera.
6 So my question is: It's the army, so who is physically acting on
7 the permits and the flow of supplies into the enclaves and UNPROFOR?
8 Civilian or military?
9 A. Permits for entry of convoys were given by that committee that we
10 discussed a moment ago; whereas, passage through zones of combat activity
11 was to be approved by the army, depending on the level, brigade, corps, or
12 Main Staff; but in order to take anything through the area of
13 responsibility of a certain unit, the command had to be asked for
14 approval. I have no particular experience with this, but I can only tell
15 you on the basis of my military knowledge.
16 Q. And not just approval, but inspection, as it states here, in
17 checking what's going in and out, as Miletic demands in this case.
18 A. That's what's written.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we look at 65 ter 2748, please?
21 Q. Take a look, sir, at the heading, just so you can familiarise
22 yourself with what this document is. My English version says, "VRS Main
23 Staff 12 July 1995, Very Urgent, to the president of the Republika
24 Srpska," and then continues, "and to various commands and the situation on
25 the battlefield." Can you just see that heading?
1 A. I see it all as you read it.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we now go to, I think it's, page 3 of the
5 Q. Under B it should state there, "The situation in the corps." Do
6 you see that, sir?
7 A. Yes, I see it.
8 Q. Okay. Could you please read that paragraph to yourself?
9 A. I've read it.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: And if we could go down a little bit more to C --
12 perhaps up a bit, it should say -- or number 2, I'm sorry, "The situation
13 in the territory." That should be down somewhat. It's at the bottom of
14 the page, I'm told. Yes. "Situation in the territory."
15 Q. This starts off, sir: "In the Drina Corps zone of responsibility,
16 the population is being taken from the Srebrenica enclave to Kladanj in an
17 organised manner, and it estimated that on this day there were about
18 10.000 Muslims to be transported."
19 Can you read that paragraph?
20 A. I've done it.
21 Q. Okay. Let me ask you about these two paragraphs. When did you
22 personally hear about the attack on Srebrenica, the VRS attack, to
23 liberate or take Srebrenica was under way?
24 A. I don't remember, but I believe that it was after the war.
25 Q. All right. Did you know, on July 12th, 1995, what Krivaja 95
1 stood for, what that was, if you recall?
2 A. I don't know what Krivaja 95 is. I don't know it today, and I
3 didn't know it then.
4 Q. All right. Well, we talked a little bit about your order for the
5 buses and how you weren't sure what use they were going to be put to
7 The detailed information in the two paragraphs you've read out,
8 did you have that, did have you access, or did you have that type of
9 information yourself on 12 July 1995, about what was going on with the
10 Drina Corps and the attack on Srebrenica?
11 A. Such reports never came to my sector, and I did not have any
12 information about this.
13 Could you please go up to the heading? Maybe there is no need.
14 It says directly who the document was sent to, and I'm sure you'll see
15 that it wasn't sent to my sector.
16 Q. I wasn't asking actually whether it was sent to your sector but
17 whether you had this detailed knowledge yourself at the time.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I go now to 65 ter number 45, please? I've
19 got a similar question.
20 Q. Now, sir, this is a Main Staff of the VRS document. It's an order
21 labelled "Strictly Confidential, 13 July 1995, Very Urgent."
22 You can see that it's to the Drina Corps and various brigades and,
23 it's entitled, "Order to prevent the passage of Muslim groups towards
24 Tuzla and Kladanj."
25 Just read, if you can, the first paragraph, which in English
1 begins, "Based on the instructions received and following the defeat in
2 the Srebrenica enclave." Can you read that paragraph?
3 It concludes with "among them are inveterate criminals and
4 villians, who will stop at nothing just to avoid being captured and reach
5 Muslim-controlled territory." You don't need to read the whole document
6 unless you want to. I'm interested first in that first paragraph and then
7 I'll show you another one.
8 A. Yes. I've read it.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: If you go to the next page, paragraph 8.
11 Q. And here it says: "Sent interim reports with all specific details
12 of the situation in the area of responsibilities of all units, so that the
13 corps command and VRS Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska can act
14 in a timely manner." And it's type signed by General Gvero and then we've
15 got a Zvornik Brigade stamp on the bottom right.
16 Please don't --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't remember that
19 the question about the operation Srebrenica was put in the
20 cross-examination in any way, and I don't know why the witness is being
21 asked questions about the operation Srebrenica. So I would kindly ask
22 the -- my learned friend to explain how this line of questioning arises
23 from my cross-examination.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I think it's obvious, Your Honour [Microphone
1 not activated].
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it's obvious, Your Honour. My friend spent
4 a great deal of time trying to detail what General Gvero's
5 responsibilities were, what his tasks were, what the limits were, of the
6 position of Morale, Legal Affairs, and Religious Affairs.
7 In my view, he talked about how General Gvero had been sidelined
8 and pushed out of the inner circle, how he was not in favour with General
9 Karadzic, and had all these difficulties.
10 So this document goes directly to General Gvero's knowledge and
11 what he was drafting and doing during a critical period. It's one of his
12 tasks, and I think it's completely appropriate for redirect given the
13 nature of the cross, which frankly was trying to limit General Gvero's
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not put a single
17 question about General Gvero, his duties and what he did. My questions
18 were only about General Gvero's relationship with President Karadzic.
19 I would kindly ask my learned friend to show me the page where I
20 asked the witness about General Gvero's duties or position. I only asked
21 him about the relationship between General Gvero and President Karadzic.
22 That's all.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls?
24 MR. NICHOLLS: He asked about a lot more than just the
25 relationship with Karadzic over how many hours that was. I don't have a
1 page. I can take a moment and look, but he did try to paint a picture of
2 what General Gvero's's duties were and where he fit into the Main Staff.
3 And this document is directly relevant to General Gvero's activities right
4 on an important date.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Give us a moment.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'm sorry. Could I direct to you
8 page 13, line 18, where the question was put to whether General Gvero
9 could perform the duties of anybody else or whether he was solely -- could
10 be solely fixed in classical morale, religious, and legal affairs as
11 defined by my friend. So it was put that he could not perform any other
13 JUDGE AGIUS: During the sitting, we have of course marked several
14 parts of the transcript to which we have just referred; and apart from the
15 part that you referred us to, Mr. Nicholls, I think what is on page 34,
16 particularly from lines 10 to 17, roots the legitimacy of your question.
17 It's true that Mr. Krgovic did concentrate more on the
18 relationship between Karadzic and his client; but within those parameters,
19 the functions of General Gvero also came to be highlighted.
20 So please go ahead.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Thank you, sir. You can answer the question which I'll ask now:
23 Were you aware at the time that General Gvero was undertaking the duties
24 we see in this document, 65 ter 45, as assistant commander?
25 A. Yes. General Gvero was assistant commander all the time,
1 assistant Commander for Moral Guidance, Religious Affairs, and Legal
3 Q. My question is: Were you aware that he was also engaging in
4 drafting, passing on orders of this type in July 1995, in addition to
5 other duties like passing out pamphlets and things like that?
6 A. General Gvero did not draft them. I suppose that it was not
7 within his purview. He typed this document just to allow the signalsman
8 to send it in code. Can you please go back to the beginning of the
10 Q. Yes.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we show the witness page 1? If he'd like to
12 see it, that's fine.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. General Gvero was
14 never in a position to utter this word, "I hereby order." He did not have
15 the authority to do that. Do you see this word with the spaces between
16 the letters?
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Yes. What my question to you was, and you said that he had it
19 type set. My question was: Were you aware that he was passing on,
20 conveying orders of this type, which is type signed by his name and went
21 to the Zvornik Brigade?
22 A. I was not aware of that. I was not aware of the information that
23 you are just sharing with me.
24 Q. I'd like to show you 65 ter 192, please. This is a short
25 document. We don't have much time but you can probably read it all quite
2 A. Can you move the document up a bit?
3 Q. So this is a document to the commander of the VRS Main Staff, as
4 well as for his information, to the assistant commander for Morale,
5 Religious, and Legal Affairs of the Main Staff and the commander of the
6 65th. And it contains proposals, as you can see, from General Tolimir.
7 Have you had a chance to look at it?
8 A. Yes. I've read the document. Can you go back to the heading?
9 I'd like to look at the addressees. I wasn't paying too much attention to
10 that before.
11 Q. They are the ones I read out to you.
12 A. Okay. Now I can see everything.
13 Q. All right. Now, give me your opinion on whether this kind of
14 document, proposals from Tolimir being sent to General Mladic, Gvero, and
15 the 65th Battalion commander --
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I finish my question?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. That's why I haven't inconvened in the
19 MR. NICHOLLS:
20 Q. Does this indicate that General Gvero was sidelined and out of the
21 loop to you or that he was kept, that he was, in fact, not pushed aside by
22 General Mladic?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, before you answer.
24 Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness is now
1 being asked to provide his opinion, and he's not an expert. He's not here
2 to provide his opinion. The question should have been much simpler. My
3 learned friend said, "your opinion," and that's how it was interpreted to
5 If the witness can answer, if he knows something about the
6 document, then he should be asked to do so. He shouldn't be called to
7 provide his opinion about the document.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
9 I'm sure this can be rephrased in the easiest of ways, but I think
10 we'll have to deal with it tomorrow.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. I'll just say it actually doesn't need
12 to be rephrased. I didn't use "opinion." That may have been in the
13 translation. I just asked what indicated to him. Obviously, based on his
14 experience and his knowledge, he's been answering questions all day.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But we'll have to take that up tomorrow. How much
16 more time do you have, do you require, for the redirect?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't think very much. I have a few more
18 documents and questions I wanted to put to the witness but not much. And
19 as I say, unfortunately, we do not have Mr. Blaszczyk available. Could I
20 have one moment before I answer you?
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm told maybe I did use the word "opinion."
23 That's my error. I'll rephrase it tomorrow.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: You definitely did use the word.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: My mistake. Sorry.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00 and
2 see what happens. Thank you.
3 General, the same advisory as yesterday. You're not to contact
4 anyone on the subject matter of your testimony.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
8 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.