1 Thursday, 5 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Good morning,
8 Could we call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
10 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. All the accused are here. Amongst
12 the Defence teams I notice the absence of Mr. Meek, Mr. Bourgon,
13 Mr. Haynes, and Madam Tapuskovic. Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey,
14 Mr. Thayer.
15 Mr. Ostojic, did you receive any further news from registrar on
16 the appointment of Mr. Nikolic?
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. I am
18 writing them an e-mail this morning. I was supposed to by their e-mail
19 here at the end of the business day yesterday at 6.00, I sent them an
20 e-mail and didn't receive anything I called them after court, and this
21 morning I'm sending them an e-mail I now just to follow up, but we do not
22 have any news as of yet.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm hopeful it will come this week.
25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
2 Preliminaries, I understand there are none. Let's bring in
3 Mr. Lazic -- oh, he is here.
4 Good morning to you, Mr. Lazic, I didn't see you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Petrusic for General Miletic will continue his
8 Mr. Petrusic.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: MILENKO LAZIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Petrusic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lazic, towards the end of the day yesterday
14 we dealt with the issue of reporting, we spoke about all the problems
15 that occurred when it comes to reporting of subordinate commands to the
16 superior commands. I have just one more piece of evidence about that.
17 Could I please call up in e-court 5D1018.
18 This is a document issued by the Drina Corps on the 22nd of
19 March, 1995. If the document is scrolled down you will see that it's
20 signed by Major-General Milenko Zivanovic. I'm interested in the first
21 sentence, the first paragraph of the very beginning of the document. You
22 see, Mr. Lazic, that General Zivanovic says: "Several omissions have
23 been observed lately in the work of duty organs and poor reporting to the
24 Drina Corps on events reported by the units."
25 And we goes on to list some problems which refer to the lack of
1 information about the overflight of helicopters, the landing of
2 helicopters in the enclaves of Zepa, Gorazde, and Srebrenica, and he also
3 says that the reports of subordinate units are not delivered in due time
4 and so on and so forth.
5 First of all, let me ask you, are you familiar with this? And
6 could we say that those problems really did exist, the problems of poor
8 A. Yes, partially.
9 Q. Were any measures taken in order to remove the problem and
10 provide for objective and timely reporting from the front line?
11 A. One of the interventions by the commander towards the subordinate
12 units was also this document that he issued.
13 Q. Do you know that the belated and incorrect reporting may have and
14 did it produce some problems among the superior commands?
15 A. Obviously that was the case but I don't know to what extent.
16 Q. Mr. Lazic, I would briefly go back to the well-known document
17 that we discussed yesterday, the document number is P5, which is
18 directive number 7.
19 Could the document please be called up in e-court.
20 In the Serbian version can we have page number 15 in e-court and
21 in the English version it is page number 10.
22 And in your case, Mr. Lazic, it is page number 8.
23 Scroll down a little bit, please.
24 We will focus on the passage and the sentence which starts with
25 the words: "Up to the end of March ...
1 A task was given to the Drina Corps and it says: "By the end of
2 March in agreement with the IBK command take part in the planning of the
3 Spreca 95 operation which has the task of cutting off the Muslim armed
4 forces along the Kalesija-Simin Han line and then breaking up and
5 destroying them in the regions of Teocak, Sapina, and Vitnica, thus
6 finally removing the danger of a Muslim breakthrough towards the Drina
7 north of Zvornik. Planning and execution of combat operations in the
8 Spreca 95 operation shall be the responsibility of the IBK command."
9 Here you see the abbreviation IBK which stands for the East
10 Bosnian Corps and this goes on to say: "The operation shall begin after
11 completion of planning and preparation when material support is in place
12 and at the decision of the VRS Main Staff."
13 Mr. Lazic, do you know that a Main Staff moved the forward
14 command post towards the ending of April in preparation for the Spreca 95
15 operation, do you know anything about that?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you know anything about the planning and execution of the Spre
18 ca 95 operation?
19 A. I was not involved in that operation and I'm not familiar with
20 the course of that operation.
21 Q. If we go back to several passages forward in this document where
22 a task is given to the Drina Corps regarding Srebrenica and Zepa, please
23 look at the task in the first passage after the entry "Drina Corps" and
24 tell me whether the Main Staff is mentioned in any way. When it is said
25 here that an operation involving Srebrenica [indiscernible] and
1 Srebrenica will be carried out is the main task mentioned. Look at the
2 task, we've already discussed it.
3 A. Yes, it says here that in the direction of the Srebrenica and
4 Zepa enclaves complete physical separation of Srebrenica from Zepa should
5 be carried out as soon as possible, preventing any communication between
6 individuals in the two enclaves.
7 Q. My question to you is this: In this task is there any
8 participation by the Main Staff as it is mentioned for Spreca 95?
9 A. No, I don't think so.
10 Q. And now I would like to call up another document, 982, 5D982 is
11 the number of the next document.
12 Mr. Lazic, this document was issued by the command of the Drina
13 Corps and its commander Milenko Zivanovic. The title of the document is:
14 "Analysis of a month-long conduct of operation Spreca 95."
15 I'm going to point you to the relevant passage, which is actually
16 the first passage which says: "The analysis of a month-long conduct of
17 operation Spreca 95 took place on 28 April 1995 commencing at 1900 hours
18 at the DKIKM with the following in attendance: DK commander
19 Major-General Milenko Zivanovic, from the VRS Main Staff Colonel Pandzic
20 and Djurdjevic, from the IBK Colonel Gengo." The rest of this passage is
21 not relevant at the moment.
22 My question to you is this: How do you count for the presence of
23 Colonels Pandzic and Djurdjevic from the Main Staff of the VRS?
24 A. This is the analysis of one of the important activities which was
25 being carried out at the level of two corps and that's why the Main Staff
1 sent its people to attend and to hear about possible problems that were
2 put forth with regard to that activity.
3 Q. I would now kindly ask you to look at Exhibit 5D1010. There's
4 something wrong, 5D10 -- I apologise, my mistake, 5D1110 is the number.
5 I apologise. That's the document.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] This document does not have an
7 official translation, but we have the hard copies of the translation for
8 everybody so I would kindly ask the usher to distribute those hard
10 Q. Mr. Lazic, this document was issued by the command of the Drina
11 Corps on the 4th of August, 1995, by its commander, Major-General
12 Radislav Krstic, and it was sent to the 1st Zvornik Brigade, the 1st
13 Birac Brigade, the 2nd Romanija Brigade, the 1st Bratunac Brigade, the
14 1st Milici Brigade, the 5th Mixed Artillery Regiment, the 1st Podrinje
15 Brigade, and to the 5th Signals Battalion. The title of the document is:
16 "Analysis of conducted combat activities within the scope of operations
17 Krivaja 95 and Stupcanica 95."
18 These titles, Krivaja 95 and Stupcanica 95, are they encrypted
19 titles for what we call Zepa and Srebrenica?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Item 1 says: "After the conclusion of the operations Krivaja 95
22 and Stupcanica 95, you are duty-bound to perform an analysis of the
23 engagement of your units in these operations and to deliver one copy of
24 the analysis to the DK command."
25 Further on the commander says and lists all the items that have
1 to be incorporated in the analysis. If we contrast the previous analysis
2 for Stupcanica that were attended by the officers from the Main Staff,
3 would you have an explanation how come that this analysis did not --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President, again.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
7 MR. THAYER: Just a clarification for the record, I think my
8 learned friend may have misspoke and it was the Spreca operation, not the
9 Stupcanica operation that involved the participation of the Main Staff
10 earlier on.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
12 Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Do you agree with Mr. Thayer? I think he's
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Operacija Spreca is relative to
15 the period of April 1995. My question -- I will withdraw the question,
16 but in any case operation Spreca is a different operation and has nothing
17 to do with the other operation.
18 Q. Mr. Lazic, in this analysis, were representatives of the Main
19 Staff invited to take part in this analysis and to provide their
21 A. This is a document issued by the Drina Corps and sent to the
22 subordinated units and demands all the subordinated units to carry out
23 the analysis of the activities which were carried out in -- within the
24 scope of something that is mentioned at Krivaja 95 and Stupcanica 95. At
25 the brigade levels I don't believe that anybody was present from the Main
1 Staff. I suppose that somebody was present from the command of the Drina
3 Q. Yesterday you told us that you know General Miletic and that in
4 1995 he performed the duties of the chief of administration for
5 operations and training in the Main Staff. Did you say that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know whether General Miletic, or rather, do you know who
8 the Chief of Staff of the VRS was between 1992 and 1995?
9 A. Yes, it was General Milovanovic.
10 Q. Do you know whether General Miletic stood in for him in the
11 course of 1995?
12 A. I don't know. I did not see an order that would go to that
14 Q. Are you saying that there should have been an order to that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I would like to call up document 5D985 in e-court, please. This
18 is a document issued by the command of the Drina Corps on the 13th of
19 May, 1995, and the last page you see the signature of the deputy
20 commander, Colonel Radislav Krstic. The document, therefore, was issued
21 on the 13th of May. Mr. Lazic, at the time Colonel Krstic was the Chief
22 of Staff, wasn't he?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When he signed this document as the deputy commander, does it
25 mean that on the 13th of May the commander of the Drina Corps Milenko
1 Zivanovic was absent from the area or in another way prevented from
3 A. I suppose so, most probably.
4 Q. Please look at the last sentence under item 2 [Realtime
5 transcript read in error "D"] which reads: "The chief of the GS VRS
6 visited the positions of the POSS [as interpreted] and the fifth infantry
7 battalion in the 1st Zvornik Brigade."
8 Tell me, the chief of the Main Staff of the VRS, what does this
9 refer to, do you know who this refers to?
10 A. General Miletic -- pardon, General Milovanovic.
11 Q. Does this mean then that on the 13th May he was performing duties
12 in the area of the Zvornik Brigade?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At page 9 in line 1, instead of the letter D it should read item
16 Could we please have 5D431 next. Mr. Lazic, you see that this
17 bears the establishment number of 111.900, personnel and materiel, Army
18 of Republika Srpska Main Staff, 1993. Go to page 2, please. It says
19 "staff." Do you see it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you see item 10 where it says "Chief of Staff"?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In brackets also "deputy commander"?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did the legislator envisage that there should be a degree of
1 automatic rotation in the sense of deputy commander acting on behalf of
2 the Chief of Staff according to this establishment?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The next item is administration for operations and training. Do
5 you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In item 12 does it say "chief"?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did the legislator envisage any type of a role that would be
10 connected with the Chief of Staff?
11 A. No.
12 Q. The next chapter is operations department. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was this department within the administration for operations and
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In item 14 should there be a chief according to that item?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Does the legislator envisage that that person is also deputy head
20 of ONP administration, administration for training and education?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know whether these rules were implemented in the VRS?
23 A. As far as I know they were.
24 Q. Yesterday you mentioned that in the subsequent few days after the
25 activities in Srebrenica you went to the area of the Birac Brigade to
1 monitor the events, or rather, the movements of the enemy from the area
2 of the 2nd Corps or towards the area of the 2nd Corps. You also said
3 that you went to, as you called it, the Sokolac Brigade or the 2nd
4 Romanija Brigade. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. For you to be able to go from Sekovici, that is, from the
7 locality which housed the seat or the headquarters of the Bircani Brigade
8 or the Sekovici Brigade, as you called it, and in order to reach Sokolac
9 you had to go through Vlasenica?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you enter Vlasenica?
12 A. Most frequently, yes.
13 Q. And I suppose then you had some knowledge of what was going on at
14 the command?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Therefore, on a certain day, although you can't be specific, you
17 were in the area of the Zvornik Brigade, or rather, at its forward
18 command post where Colonel Pandurevic was?
19 A. I cannot be specific, but I think it was on the day when the
20 corridor was opened and when the forces of the 28th Division were let out
21 of the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade. Most likely it was
22 the 17th of July.
23 Q. On that day did you meet and see those Main Staff officers?
24 A. As I said yesterday, I saw three colonels from the Main Staff.
25 Q. Do you know what was the reason for their arrival to that zone?
1 A. I don't know exactly. I suppose they came to gather information
2 concerning the events in the area.
3 Q. On the 16th and the 17th was the highlight the opening of the
4 corridor and letting a column of armed and unarmed people to move from
5 the area of the Zvornik Brigade towards the positions held by the Army of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was that the main event during those couple of days?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Lazic, I am at the very end, but I wanted to ask you to go
9 back to the work concerning the order for active combat. You said that
10 the entire command was there and that you, as I read somewhere, used the
11 full method of work as stipulated there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. That meant including all command elements?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would that include the command himself -- the commander himself?
16 A. According to the rules, he should have been included.
17 Q. I believe it was Exhibit 107. Did the commander sign the order?
18 It is document 107.
19 A. Yes, but it doesn't mean that he was necessarily at the meeting
20 when the command gathered in order to carry out the preparations for the
22 Q. Was the commander familiar with the order for active combat which
23 he obviously signed?
24 A. I suppose so. It was done by the Chief of Staff together with
25 the commander; that's how it should be.
1 Q. Mr. Lazic, I have no further questions for you.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Presiding Judge, this
3 concludes General Miletic's examination-in-chief of this witness.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Petrusic.
5 I now turn to Madam Nikolic, do you have a cross-examination,
6 Madam Nikolic? You had indicated roughly 15 minutes.
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I indicated that.
8 However, after this examination-in-chief, I realized there was no need
9 for cross-examination of this witness.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much, Madam.
11 Mr. Lazarevic, you had asked for 25 minutes.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, and good morning, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning to my learned colleagues and good
15 morning to Mr. Lazic. I'm believe Your Honours will be pleased to know
16 that it will take less time than I initially expected.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please go ahead, Mr. Lazarevic, and
18 introduce yourself to the witness, please.
19 Examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Lazic. My name is Aleksandar
21 Lazarevic, and I appear on behalf of General Borovcanin. I will have a
22 number of questions for you. If you're ready, I would like to go ahead.
23 A. I am ready.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. You're welcome.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we have document number 1D379 in the e-court.
2 I was informed that there is an English translation of this
3 document, that it has arrived in e-court so --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the English version
6 be placed on the screen as well.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Lazic, have you had occasion to see this document?
9 A. No, I've never seen this document.
10 Q. Thank you. In order to have a clear transcript I'd like to
11 identify the following. The title is: "Overview of the manning strength
12 in the units of the Drina Corps for the month of July 1995." The
13 document has no date; however, it was signed by Commander Major-General
14 Radislav Krstic, as you can see on the bottom -- in the bottom right-hand
16 There is a point of interest for me in the -- in this document
17 which is in column 1. Can you see that, it says "unit." The fifth entry
18 it says 5 MAP, M-A-P. Can you confirm that for me?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Petrusic during his examination at a certain
21 point asked you of the fifth MAP. In order to have a clear record, can
22 you tell us what the abbreviation stands for?
23 A. The abbreviation MAP means mixed artillery battalion.
24 Q. Can you confirm to me that as part of the Drina Corps there was a
25 unit called the 5th Mixed Artillery Battalion?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The second column bears the title of: "Commander." If again we
3 go to entry number 5 it says: "Borovina Dragoljub colonel pv." Can you
4 tell me what pv stands for?
5 A. I can't tell you.
6 Q. Can you confirm then that Colonel Dragoljub Borovina was indeed
7 commander of the 5th MAP?
8 A. I suppose so.
9 Q. You say that you suppose. Does that mean that you're certain,
11 A. I am not fully certain because as of July I was no longer engaged
12 at the command. I was away from the command of the corps.
13 Q. Very well. However, until July, when you say you left, had
14 Dragoljub Borovina commanded the 5th MAP?
15 A. Again I can say that I suppose so. I wasn't interested in the
16 activity of the mixed artillery battalion because they had their own
17 branch head at the staff of the Drina Corps. He was their direct
18 superior of the 5th MAP. There was no need for me to concern myself with
19 that particular unit.
20 Q. Very well. Did you know this person, Dragoljub Borovina?
21 A. Just in the passing, not very well.
22 Q. Thank you. I will try to expand the topic. Since you were in
23 the Drina Corps staff, can you tell me where the 5th MAP was stationed?
24 A. I think in Vlasenica.
25 Q. Was the command in Vlasenica as well?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did that unit hold any positions? Did it cover certain
4 A. Yes, it did.
5 Q. Can you tell me where those positions were?
6 A. I couldn't locate the firing positions precisely held by this
8 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Lazic. I have no further questions
9 for you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
11 Mr. Krgovic or Mr. Josse -- Mr. Krgovic, you had asked for one
13 MR. KRGOVIC: I will be less than that, very briefly, Your
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please go ahead.
16 Examination by Mr. Krgovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Lazic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. My name is Vladimir [as interpreted] Krgovic. In this case I
20 appear on behalf of General Gvero. I will put some questions to you.
21 They will be formulated in a way that you should be able to answer with a
22 yes or no. I also caution you, much like my colleague Mr. Petrusic did,
23 to wait with your answer so there will be no overlap.
24 Colonel, as a professional career officer you can distinguish
25 between documents created by the army at various levels starting with
1 brigades up to the Main Staff, as opposed to the documents issued by the
2 Supreme Command and the supreme commander?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In answering Mr. Petrusic's question when you talked about the
5 way in which documents are drafted, you talked about the army documents,
6 that is, the VRS documents?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When answering my colleague's question, you said that in
9 directive number 7 during that time, 1995, you were not informed of it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I suppose that you saw that directive for the first time during
12 the proofing for this testimony, you were shown it by my colleagues?
13 A. Yes, I only saw the directives during the proofing.
14 Q. You have no direct knowledge of how the directive number 7 was
15 drafted at the Supreme Command?
16 A. I don't. I wasn't there.
17 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I have no questions.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
19 Mr. Sarapa, my indication is that you don't wish to cross-examine
20 the witness. Do you confirm that?
21 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I do.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 That brings us to you, Mr. Thayer. You had anticipated five
24 hours cross-examination. How long do you expect it to last now that you
25 have heard the three directs?
1 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, as I said yesterday, I've reduced the
2 examination. I think it will be less than five hours. It went down and
3 then it went up a little bit based on some of the new information that
4 came out during some of the directs. So I'll try to meet the three-hour
5 estimate, what I gave yesterday.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Thayer:
8 Q. Good morning, sir.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. My name is Nelson Thayer. We've not met, obviously. I'll be
11 asking you questions on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor. You've
12 been shown a lot of documents, sir, and I'm going to show you some more.
13 I'm going to try to move along as quickly as I can during my examination,
14 but I want you to know that if you feel the need to spend some extra time
15 looking at a particular document, reading a particular section, or
16 thinking about your answer to my question, please feel free to do so. I
17 don't want you to feel rushed at all. Okay?
18 A. I understood.
19 Q. And certainly if I ask a question that is unclear to you, please
20 say so and I'll try to make some sense. Okay?
21 A. I understand.
22 Q. Now, I want to go first to a document which you had a hand in
23 writing, in drafting, and that's 65 ter 203. Do you see it in your own
24 language, sir, on your screen?
25 A. Yes, I do, order for defence and activity combat operational
1 order number 7.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreters do not
3 have the benefit of the official translation either on the screen or in
4 hard copy.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the best thing is to put it on the ELMO as
7 well if we have -- you don't have a hard copy ... not even the
9 Mr. Thayer, do you have the hard copy of this document in
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Did we find a hard copy or not?
13 MR. THAYER: One's coming, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
15 In the meantime, interpreters I think will have to bear with us
16 and try to do their best. We are trying to gauge ourselves and try to
17 find out a solution because this will happen again and again and we want
18 to make your life much simpler.
19 Yes, please proceed, Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. Sir, are you familiar with this document?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If we could turn to the last page of each version, and that would
24 be page 20 of the English and page 10 of the B/C/S, please. And if we
25 could just scroll down.
1 Do you see your signature, sir, your line -- your name there,
2 where it says "drafted by"?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Okay. Now, can we agree that this corps order flowed from the
5 directive 7, P5 which we've spoken a lot about during your testimony,
6 which was sent to the corps from the Main Staff just a little earlier in
7 March? Can we agree on that, sir?
8 A. Well, I would like to clarify something.
9 Q. Certainly.
10 A. General Krstic was in charge of the drafting of this document, of
11 this order. This term, draft, concerns the technical side of the matter,
12 which means that the typist typed my name just because it was under the
13 rules. I was the technical person who collected all the inputs and
14 formulated the order to give it its present form. When the order was
15 drafted, what I did was crafting the scheme of the decision onto the map.
16 So I was not involved in dealing with the issues contained in the order.
17 I believe that Krstic used both directives and other documents that
18 wouldn't normally be used when drafting this order.
19 Q. Okay. You just mentioned that you believe that General Krstic
20 used some documents that weren't normally used. Could you tell the
21 Trial Chamber what you recall those documents were?
22 A. Those would be directives 7 and 7/1 which he mentioned at the
23 beginning of this order as the source from which he drew information to
24 formulate the contents of this order. Everything else is just an
25 established form that the career officers are familiar with and they can
1 use it very well.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would like if the witness could be shown the
4 text of this document, whole text of this document, to see a date because
5 I believe he speaks about another document in this case. He didn't see
6 the document.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't know the answer to that. Thank you,
8 Mr. Zivanovic.
9 Yes, Mr. Thayer, what's your comment on that?
10 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President, we can certainly show the first
11 page of the document. Again the date is right at the top, it's 20 March
12 of 1995, and I think he would agree that was just a couple weeks after
13 the directive 7 was issued by the Main Staff to the corps.
14 Q. Now, sir, let me just follow-up on the comment you made about
15 directive 7 and 7/1 would not normally have been used by General Krstic
16 to draft such an order for combat operations as the one we're looking at
17 now. Wouldn't those two documents or at least directive 7 been precisely
18 the kind of document that the Drina Corps command would have relied upon
19 in implementing the intent of the Supreme Command as communicated by the
20 Main Staff through this directive 7?
21 A. It is good that Mr. Zivanovic intervened and said that it was a
22 different document, not the one that I meant. This is a different
23 document and this document was drafted in the month of March when Krstic
24 was not there, which means that this is a different document, and if you
25 wish we can talk about this document. Obviously I was in the operations
1 and training sector and I stood in for Colonel Krstic and I was in charge
2 of formulating this task. Obviously I did not have an insight into these
3 directives and that's why I did not mention them at all.
4 JUDGE KWON: Just a minute, Mr. Thayer.
5 Mr. Lazic, a while ago you mentioned -- you said that General
6 Krstic mentioned directive 7 and 7/1 as the source of this at the
7 beginning of this order. Could you show me the passage?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is precisely what I've just
9 explained. I meant that the order concerns Srebrenica, but this is a
10 different order which was drafted much earlier with regard to Srebrenica.
11 In the order about Srebrenica, Krstic relied on directive 7 and 7/1.
12 MR. THAYER:
13 Q. Okay, sir, let's see if we can agree on a couple of things. You
14 recall being shown P5 a number of times by my friends and the date of
15 directive 7 was March 8th, and that was transited to the corps on or
16 about March 17th. Is that correct? Do you recall that? I can show you
17 the document if you want to see it.
18 A. No, you don't have to show it to me. I agree with you, with your
20 Q. Now, this document that we have on the screen, 65 ter 203, which
21 is titled: "Order for defence and active combat operations operative
22 number 7," my question to you, sir, is: Doesn't this follow from the
23 Main Staff's directive 7 which was received by the corps, according to
24 your testimony sometime in March of 1995?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazic, before you answer.
1 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I believe that it would
3 be fair to show to the witness whole document. He has opportunity just
4 to see a few lines.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may explain.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazic, can you answer the question? Do
8 you need the document? Can you answer the question without the document
9 or do you prefer to have the document in front of you? In any case we
10 can provide you with it.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can explain. This number 7 is
12 obviously in -- may be associated with a directive but it has nothing to
13 do whatsoever with the directive. Here number 7 is -- just shows the
14 sequence of orders that the corps issued. So this operative number 7 has
15 nothing whatsoever to do with directive number 7.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
17 MR. JOSSE: We've got a slightly different but related point. We
18 are unhappy with the formulation of my learned friend Mr. Thayer's last
19 question when he calls it Main Staff's directive 7. The terminology in
20 this regard is very important. Could he be careful, please.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Josse, for that.
22 Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Sir, do you need to look at the whole document --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, but I think we need to make this clear.
1 Is it Main Staff directive number 7 or is it someone else's?
2 MR. THAYER: Well, Mr. President, I think it's fair to refer to
3 it as a Main Staff document or a Supreme Command document, we've heard
4 testimony about the participation in the Main Staff, by the Main Staff,
5 it's transited by the Main Staff to the corps.
6 MR. JOSSE: We of course say it's the Supreme Command document.
7 That's the point.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And indeed it is. Let's proceed.
9 Mr. Lazic.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Sir, do you need to look at this entire document before we
13 A. No, I don't have to look at it unless you want to point me to
14 specific parts of it and question me about those parts.
15 Q. Well, that's certainly what we're going to do, sir. So if you
16 would like to look at it before we do that, please feel free to do so,
17 otherwise I'll take you to the various portions.
18 A. Start with the specific portions, please.
19 Q. What I want to do first, sir, is look at some of the more
20 technical aspects of this order. I think you testified that one thing
21 you did participate in was the more technical aspects of this document.
22 Now, the directive 7 that flowed to the corps tasked the corps to plan
23 several operations and this order that you drafted refers to a few of
24 them. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, one of those operations was Spreca 95. Is that correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. That was mentioned in the directive 7 that the Drina Corps
4 received, and it's mentioned again in this document. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, if I recall, Spreca 95 was to take place in a location to
7 the north/north-west of Zvornik. Do you recall that, sir?
8 A. That operation's focus was to be in the area of East Bosnia Corps
9 and overlaps with parts of the Drina Corps, i.e., the north-western part
10 of the area of the Zvornik Brigade.
11 Q. And that information that you just provided is contained in both
12 the directive that -- the directive 7 that came to the corps and in this
13 document that you drafted. Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, sir, do you recall that Spreca 95 was actually begun -- was
16 planned and begun in the spring of 1995. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes. I have a vague recollection of that.
18 Q. Okay. And we'll get to some more Spreca documents a little bit
19 later. Now, according to this order that you drafted, sir, Spreca 95 was
20 to be followed by an operation to liberate Gorazde and to reduce Gorazde
21 to its urban area. Do you remember that, sir?
22 A. Again, very vaguely. I do remember but not very well.
23 Q. And according to this document, and we're looking at page 6 of
24 the English and page 3 of the B/C/S if we want to follow along, that
25 operation name was to be Zvijezde, if I'm pronouncing it all correctly,
1 sir, does that ring any bells with you? If you want to look at page 3 of
2 the B/C/S.
3 A. This is about a special operation, a different operation, that
4 was supposed to be carried out in cooperation with the Sarajevo-Romanija
5 Corps and the Herzegovina Corps. Zvijezde 95 got its name after the
6 mountain bearing the same name, I believe -- I'm sure of that. Mostly
7 when deciding on the names of these operations, the nearest features,
8 geographical features, would be taken.
9 Q. And that Gorazde operation was to be followed by a strategic
10 operation under the leadership of the Main Staff and you will recall that
11 this was found in the directive that flowed to you, directive 7 to the
12 corps, that strategic operation was to be called Prozor 95. Do you
13 recall that?
14 A. I can't recall the details of the contents, but I suppose I can
15 agree with you and say that that probably was correct.
16 Q. Now, you described a little bit about what your involvement was
17 in drafting this document. Could you be a little bit more specific.
18 What was your role as chief of operations and training at the Drina Corps
19 command in drafting in document?
20 A. Well, most probably I was in charge of drafting the document,
21 which means I had collected input from the organs who were duty-bound to
22 provide their respective inputs for the contents of the order. Since the
23 commander Zivanovic was at the command, I suppose that he was the one who
24 authored item 4 entitled: "Decision." I did not author the item myself,
25 and also item 5 which referred to the tasks of the subordinated units, it
1 was the commander's task to draft those items. My task was to
2 technically formulate and word the order, to shape it in the way it was
3 supposed to be shaped, and to complete it the way it was supposed to be
4 completed. That was my task.
5 Q. Now, sir, having discussed a little bit and taken a look at the
6 document in some more detail and having seen these operations which are
7 described here which were specifically referred to in the directive 7
8 that flowed to you at the Drina Corps, can we agree that this document in
9 fact flowed from directive 7?
10 A. It is obvious that this item was drafted by the corps commander
11 because he was privy to directive number 7 of the Supreme Command of the
12 armed forces of Republika Srpska, and he had used the opportunity to
13 inform all those who were the recipients of this order to inform them
14 about the long-term tasks of the Drina Corps.
15 Q. So if I understand you correctly, sir, what you're saying is that
16 this document that you helped draft at the Drina Corps level was used by
17 your commander to inform the corps about the overall strategic objectives
18 that were included, encapsulated, described in the directive 7 from the
19 Supreme Command. Is that correct?
20 A. Not the corps, but the corps commanders who were the recipients
21 of this order, to whom this order was sent.
22 Q. Okay, I'm not sure I understand your answer, sir. Let me try
24 A. Well, if you allow me, I can explain.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. This order was sent to the brigade commanders. It gives you the
2 list of addressees in the heading, and this served to inform the brigade
3 commanders with the things that awaited Drina Corps in the forthcoming
4 longer period. The commander had decided to do so and I don't see any
5 other reason why all this would have been included in an order of this
7 Q. Okay. I think I see where the confusion lies. When I asked you
8 a few lines ago - and I'll just repeat the question - what you're saying
9 is that this document that you helped draft at the Drina Corps level was
10 used by your commander to inform the corps, and when I say "the corps," I
11 just mean the Drina Corps, I wasn't referring to informing all the other
12 corps, to inform the corps and its subordinate commands about the overall
13 strategic objectives that were contained in directive 7 --
14 A. Not the corps, no.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
16 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, but the witness never mentioned strategic
18 objectives but long-term objectives.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But what's the difference between strategic and
21 MR. THAYER: Either way, Your Honour, I'll move on.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the difference?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We have --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One's strategy covers plans and the short and on
25 the long-haul.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Because first witness testified about strategic
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not waste time.
4 Go ahead, Mr. Lazic, if you could answer the question, please,
5 and we'll have a break in three minutes' time.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Strategic goals are something else.
7 A reference here is made to the tasks of the Drina Corps over a period of
8 time. Once again I may have used a wrong word when I said that corps
9 commanders should have been informed. The commander of Drina Corps could
10 not have informed his peers, the commanders of other corps, but just his
11 unit commanders. Maybe this order, combat order, was used to inform the
12 subordinated commanders in the Drina Corps about the tasks and duties
13 that await the Drina Corps in the forthcoming period. Did I make myself
15 MR. THAYER:
16 Q. You did, sir. I think we solved the confusion, which is
17 literally just a matter of a word. I was just referring to a single
18 corps. Now, just to finish up on this one question. When General Krstic
19 used this document to inform the Drina Corps and its subordinate commands
20 of these long-term goals and objectives, he was relying on the directive
21 7 that he received from his superior command. Is that correct?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that the
25 witness said three times that this document was used to inform the
1 commanders of subordinate units, and the Prosecutor repeats that this
2 document was used to inform the Drina Corps and the subordinate units. I
3 believe that this document stems from the Drina Corps, so I do not
4 believe that this document was used to inform the people who wrote it.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau.
6 Yes, Mr. Thayer, what's your comment to that?
7 MR. THAYER: Frankly, I don't understand the objection, Your
8 Honour. I think he's made it clear. I think we've solved whatever
9 confusion there was, so I don't understand that objection. I think it's
10 clear now on the record.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have the break now, 25 minutes. Thank you.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer, I am informed that the next witness is
15 already here, but having heard you before state that you will
16 approximately require about three hours, that means that you won't finish
17 this witness today or even if you do, there is no point in keeping the
18 witness, the other witness, here, so --
19 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President. I had informed my
20 friend that that would be the case.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. No, no, because I don't wish to keep him
22 waiting here in vain.
23 So do you agree to that, Mr. Zivanovic?
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, of course, but I am not aware that he was
1 JUDGE AGIUS: He is.
2 So, Madam Registrar, if you could arrange for his transportation,
3 please. Thank you.
4 Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Colonel, good morning again. I just want to clarify some of the
7 confusion that we left at the break. Now -- and I've spoken with my
8 learned friend from the Miletic team to hopefully clarify some of the
9 confusion which is literally a matter of translations and word usage.
10 Looking at this document, the Drina Corps order number 7, when General
11 Zivanovic - and I think I may have misspoken before when I said General
12 Krstic - but when General Zivanovic used this document to inform the
13 Drina Corps's subordinate commands, that is, its brigades of these
14 long-term goals and objectives he was relying on the directive 7 that he
15 received from his superior command. Is that correct?
16 A. He received it from the Supreme Command through his superior
17 command. It was a Supreme Command directive which he received through
18 his superior command.
19 Q. And again, he was communicating to the Drina Corps brigades those
20 long-term objectives and goals contained in his superior command's
21 directive 7. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, at this time you testified that General Krstic was absent.
24 Can you tell the Trial Chamber why he was absent?
25 A. I believe that it is known that Krstic had a misfortune to have
1 lost his leg. I think it was before the 1st of January, 1995, and that
2 that is why he was absent, because he was being treated.
3 Q. And in relation to that I'd like to show you 65 ter 3329, if we
4 could. Take a moment, please, sir, and read the document. Let me know
5 when you feel comfortable talking about it.
6 A. I've read it.
7 Q. So this document which is dated March 20th of 1995, the same date
8 in fact as the last document we looked at, this is formally appointing
9 you standing in for General Krstic, the Chief of Staff of the Drina
10 Corps. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, as chief of operations and training you were always
13 simultaneously deputy Chief of Staff; is that correct, sir?
14 A. Yes, according to the establishment.
15 Q. So can you tell the Trial Chamber how being appointed standing in
16 for the Chief of Staff affects your duties and responsibilities?
17 A. Well, it increased the burden and the type of engagement at work;
18 however, that should not present a hindrance concerning my original duty,
19 this being the head of the operations and training organ. Part of the
20 job of the Chief of Staff was taken over by the corps commander as well.
21 As for the rest of the duties pertaining to Chief of Staff, I did the
22 rest as much as I could.
23 Q. And presumably, sir, with the absence of General Krstic during
24 this period of time, General Zivanovic relied upon you more often in
25 connection with your standing position as well as your standing-in
1 position. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, let's go back to 65 ter 203, if we could, please. And this
4 is the Drina Corps order number 7 that we were looking at before. Now,
5 it was you who coordinated all of the various organs, collected their
6 input and drafted the document that we're looking at now; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And it was you who assessed it, evaluated it, prior to submitting
9 it to your commander in terms of determining whether it made sense as an
10 order. Is that correct?
11 A. If I had the time to go through it in detail, then that may have
12 been the case; but one definitely needs to go through everything to see
13 whether all the items are in order as specified by the rules. Then if
14 there's any time left, you turn to the contents. I don't know, though,
15 whether I had studied this in detail.
16 Q. Now, let's talk about the Supreme Command's directive 7. That
17 came to the corps just prior to this document being drafted. When the
18 Main Staff was assisting the Supreme Command in drafting directive 7,
19 sir, who in the Drina Corps was consulted in order to draft the Drina
20 Corps's tasks in the Supreme Command's directive 7?
21 A. There was no such a practice in place that when the Main Staff
22 were drafting a directive to consult their subordinate units. I'm not
23 familiar with such practice. I suppose no one of the Drina Corps
24 participated in the assistance when directive number 7 was being drafted.
25 Q. So it's your testimony, sir, that it was entirely the Main Staff
1 that would have used its resources in determining what the various corps
2 assignments, duties, responsibilities were to be in this long-term
4 A. Yes. Maybe the corps commanders had some sort of cooperation
5 with the Main Staff. I don't know about it, though, because I couldn't
6 know what they were doing at that level of command.
7 Q. Now, this document 203 that we're looking at, sir, if we look at
8 page 8 of the English, and that's page 4 of the B/C/S, there's a
9 reference definitively liberating the Drina Valley region.
10 Now, my question to you, sir, is yesterday you testified that the
11 Krivaja 95 operation - and this was at page 21 of yesterday's
12 transcript - was the first attempt to carry out any kind of action in
13 relation to Srebrenica.
14 A. Yes, at that level and with such tasks and goals.
15 Q. Now, sir, liberating the Srebrenica and the upper and middle
16 Podrinje regions had been an objective of the Bosnian Serb government and
17 military for more than two years prior to you drafting this document on
18 March 20th, 1995, was it not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And liberating the region meant forcing the Muslim population out
21 of those areas; isn't that correct, sir?
22 A. The operation wasn't planned quite that way. If one looks at the
23 order to carry out that task, one can see that the goal was not to force
24 the Muslim population to move. The goal was to separate the enclaves.
25 As to what the operation subsequently turned into, I wouldn't know since
1 I didn't participate in it.
2 Q. Well, sir, we'll get to the combat order Krivaja 95 in due time,
3 but what I want to focus your attention on now is the political and
4 military leadership's focus for some time, for over two years, on forcing
5 the Muslim population out of the areas that included Srebrenica, the
6 upper and middle Podrinje region. Now, you served in the Main Staff
7 headquarters as assistant chief of the operations department from June of
8 1992 through May of 1993; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, I think you've testified that when you were there it was
11 understaffed. Do I have that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you describe how that lack of officers affected your duties
14 and responsibilities when you were at the Main Staff in the operations
16 A. Those organs that existed within the Main Staff were fully
17 engaged trying to meet all of their tasks. That meant that longer
18 working hours had to be put in and the hours would have been less had
19 they been staffed 100 per cent.
20 Q. And did you find that staff officers like yourself also on
21 occasions had greater responsibility than you might otherwise have had
22 because of the poor staffing situation?
23 A. That is not the case since due attention was paid to the
24 principles in place. The commander and the Chief of Staff were those in
25 command and there was no chance of anyone else being involved in that
1 area of command.
2 Q. Certainly, sir. I'm not referring to anybody jumping command.
3 I'm simply referring to within your specialty sector, did you find
4 yourself or did your colleagues find yourselves having to undertake more
5 responsibility as a result of the lack of staffing? That's what I'm
6 referring to.
7 A. One couldn't put it that way, greater responsibility. I would
8 only say more work.
9 Q. Now, are you familiar, sir, with directive for further operations
10 of the VRS, directive operational number 4?
11 A. I recall it superficially. I may be able to recall some of the
12 content, although it wasn't made available to me just like any other
13 directives. I could only learn from the Chief of Staff what some parts
14 of the directives contained.
15 Q. Well, let's go to directive 4. This is 65 ter 29, please.
16 Sir, you testified yesterday about your knowledge and your
17 experience and your familiarity with directives, both from the Supreme
18 Command and from the Main Staff. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber
19 what role you and your department played in drafting directive 4. And if
20 you need some time to take a look at the document, sir, please do so and
21 I can provide you with a hard copy if you need it.
22 A. Could you please scroll down a bit faster so that I can go
23 through the document more quickly. Go on.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have to say it is better to show the witness
1 hard copy of the document.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's available.
3 MR. THAYER: As I said, I've got a hard copy.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Usher, if you could assist, please.
5 JUDGE KWON: While he's reading, Mr. Thayer, I refer to your
6 question which appears on page 34, from line 19 to line 25, do you
8 MR. THAYER: Where --
9 JUDGE KWON: Page 34, line 19 to 25.
10 Although the witness answered yes, but he didn't -- I think he
11 didn't answer the first part of your question so you're going to pursue
12 that part further?
13 MR. THAYER: That is what I am precisely doing now, and I -- I
14 understood his answer to be to the second part of the question, not to
15 the first.
16 JUDGE KWON: I wanted to make sure.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. And just for the record I think he did
18 answer it immediately prior to that. He answered that specific question
19 and I don't think my learned friend was pleased with the answer. He
20 added it and then asked another question, but immediately prior to that I
21 think the witness does answer that question.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's proceed and let's wait for Mr. Thayer's
23 next question and we see how it goes.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Sir, let's go to page 5 of the directive in English, and that's
1 page 11, Colonel, of the B/C/S. I think you'll find it at the top of the
2 page. This is subheading D of paragraph 4. I've highlighted the section
3 for you and there's a blue tab there, sir. Do you have that?
4 I'll just read out the assignment for the Drina Corps.
5 "From its present positions, its main forces shall persistently
6 defend Visegrad, the dam, Zvornik and the corridor while the rest of its
7 forces in the wider Podrinje region shall exhaust the enemy, inflict the
8 heaviest possible losses on him, and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa,
9 and Gorazde areas together with the Muslim population."
10 When you were at the Main Staff, sir, do you recall that
11 assignment being given to the Drina Corps?
12 A. I cannot recall it because this directive was done by the Chief
13 of Staff and forwarded it directly to the corps commanders. At the time
14 I wasn't familiar with any details contained in the directive.
15 Q. Sir, do you recall what efforts --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one moment.
17 Madam Fauveau, please.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think it would be
19 equitable for the witness to be shown the complete paragraph to read it
20 for the record or at least leave him the time to read, give him this part
21 of paragraph without the following part. It may be in a way -- the real
22 meaning of the paragraph may appear as different if it's not the case.
23 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, this witness had an opportunity to
24 review the document. I'd like to continue my examination.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. I think this was out of place.
1 Let's proceed. Thank you.
2 In the meantime, Mr. Ostojic and Mr. Nikolic, we've just been
3 informed that the registrar has handed down its decision replacing
4 Mr. Meek as co-counsel by Mr. Predrag Nikolic.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. Now, sir, do you recall what efforts the Drina Corps took
8 pursuant to directive 7 to liberate the Podrinje region? I'm sorry, I
9 misspoke, that's directive 4 we're looking at, not directive 7. Do you
10 recall what efforts the Drina Corps undertook pursuant to directive 4 to
11 move out the Muslim population, liberate that region?
12 A. I think that the Drina Corps did not have the necessary forces
13 and ability to deal with these tasks. I believe the tasks were postponed
14 until 1995.
15 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at a couple of documents, sir. If we
16 could be shown 3029, please. Do you see the document in front of you,
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Now, this is a 24 November 1992 Drina Corps command order to the
20 Zvornik Brigade, and I note for the record there's a typo in the English
21 version in the very first portion where it refers to a confidential
22 number 02/3. If we look at the original B/C/S, it should be 02/5.
23 And, sir, you would agree with me, if you want to look at
24 directive 4 there, that this reference to 02/5 is a reference in fact to
25 directive 4. Is that correct? It refers to it by both order number and
1 the date.
2 A. I didn't understand the question.
3 Q. My question is simple, sir. Does this document in its opening
4 language refer to directive 4 by its order number and the date, 02/5, 19
5 November 1992? And I'd invite you to look at the hard copy I gave you of
6 directive 4 if you want to verify that.
7 A. It is obvious that the contents of item 1, one would say, stem
8 out of the directive.
9 Q. Now, let's look at paragraph 1, sir.
10 "Launch an attack using the main body of troops and major
11 equipment to inflict on the enemy the highest possible losses, exhaust
12 them, break them up, or force them to surrender and force the Muslim
13 local population to abandon the area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica, and
15 Do you recall this objective that we saw in directive 4 being
16 communicated by the Drina Corps to one of its brigades, namely the
17 Zvornik Brigade? Do you recall that, sir?
18 A. I don't recall because in 1992 I was not in the Drina Corps but
19 in the Main Staff. I must note that the person who gave this task to the
20 Zvornik Brigade obviously did not take into account that the Zvornik
21 Brigade could not carry out such a task because it was too big a bite to
22 swallow for that brigade. But at that time Zvornik had been reduced to a
23 very narrow area and the road between Zvornik and Konjevic Polje was not
24 passable. That's why it was fully expected from the Zvornik Brigade to
25 make it passable, to liberate that road. And this is exactly what can be
1 read in the rest of paragraph 1.
2 Q. And so, sir, can you explain to the Trial Chamber how the local
3 Muslim population being forced to abandon these areas was at all related
4 to freeing up a road?
5 A. I said that I don't know how the author of this order could have
6 outlined such radical objectives for this brigade. The sentence is --
7 has -- was obviously copied or had been received from somebody. In my
8 view, this task should not have been given to any brigade because it's
9 too big. In any case, this brigade had nothing whatsoever to do with
10 Srebrenica, Gorazde, or Zepa for that matter.
11 Q. Okay. Well, we'll look at some more documents along those lines,
12 sir. In the meantime let's turn to page 2 of the English, and this is on
13 page 3 of the B/C/S which you'll see soon on the screen. And we're
14 looking at paragraph -- subparagraph (c) under moral and psychological
15 preparations. Do you see that, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. "Before initiating any kind of operation, inform the unit members
18 about the important aim of that operation and underline that the outcome
19 of minor actions and of the whole operation is of a crucial importance to
20 the realization of the aim of the Serbian people, namely, the creation
21 and establishment of the Serbian state in these areas."
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I notice that the accused Miletic is
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 General Miletic.
1 THE ACCUSED MILETIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't
2 understand why the Defence counsel don't react. The person, the witness
3 was not in the Drina Corps, he did not author the order, he can't say
4 anything about it, and the Prosecutor is putting in questions about
5 something that he is not in a position to talk about. They should call
6 somebody else who would be better suited to answer questions on this
7 particular and similar types of documents.
8 MR. THAYER: With the advice, Your Honour, if I may move on.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I have no comments on that. Please move ahead,
10 Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Sir, my first question is: The section that you just read under
13 morale, when you were at the Main Staff did you understand that to be an
14 objective of the VRS, that is, the creation and establishment of a
15 Serbian state in those areas? When you were at the Main Staff, did you
16 understand that to be an objective?
17 A. My personal view, you mean, about the creation of a Serbian state
18 in that area, well, I personally --
19 Q. Let me ask you first. My question was: Did you understand that
20 to be an objective of the VRS?
21 A. I think so. I think that it was, that this was to say that even
22 the minor operations should be carried out successfully in order to
23 liberate the areas where the Serbian population lived and in view of the
24 situation as it was in 1992 to separate the peoples in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina on ethnic grounds. In view of all of that, this could have
1 been a logical objective.
2 Q. My question to you, sir, was: Was that an objective based on
3 your experience in the Main Staff, the separation of people along ethnic
4 lines? Was that an objective of the VRS?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer that question.
6 Mr. Zivanovic.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I believe that the witness already answered the
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm following up on an answer which
10 was, in view of all that this could have been a logical objective. I'm
11 asking again whether it was an objective, based on the witness's
12 experience in the Main Staff, to ethnically separate the peoples of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, we are fine with the question. Please -- I
16 see you standing, Mr. Ostojic.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Well, I would like to join the objection. I just
18 note on page 42, line 12, I think the witness does answer it. He first
19 says "I think so." Then he proceeds to say "I think that it was," so I
20 think the objection, with all due respect, even though the Court
21 overruled, it has been asked and answered.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Mr. Ostojic may be right.
23 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the problem is at the end of that
24 answer he says: "In view of all of that, this could have been a logical
25 objective," and that's why I'm following up.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, go ahead.
2 Mr. Lazic, if you could answer the question, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I simply can share with you
4 my feelings in that sense.
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. Sir --
7 A. I can't talk on behalf of the VRS.
8 Q. Colonel, I'm not asking you to be a spokesman for the VRS. What
9 I'm asking you is, based on your experience at the Main Staff in
10 operations and training, based on the orders you saw coming in and going
11 out, was an objective of the VRS to separate the peoples of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina by their ethnicity?
13 A. I think that the main objective of the VRS was to defend the Serb
14 population from the attacks coming from the other side, and if there was
15 no other solution available, then to separate all of us on ethnic
16 principles. And I believe that that was the understanding of every
17 individual member of the VRS.
18 Q. And --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
20 General Gvero.
21 THE ACCUSED GVERO: [Interpretation] Your Honours, item (c)
22 mentions the creation of a state of the Serbian people, but it doesn't
23 mention the national separation of the peoples. Second of all, there is
24 no single state in the world inhabited by members of only one people. In
25 other words, the creation of the state of the Serb people does not imply
1 the separation of peoples along the ethnic lines.
2 This is a document of the Drina Corps and not of the Main Staff.
3 This was worded and formulated in the Drina Corps. That would be my last
4 remark and I thank you for you giving me the opportunity to voice it.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General Gvero.
6 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
7 One moment.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Thayer, please.
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Sir, do you recall that over the next few months following the
12 issuance of directive 4 from the Main Staff to the corps and in relation
13 to the Drina Corps order that you just saw, do you recall that the VRS
14 executed a campaign to force the local Muslim population out of the areas
15 in the Podrinje, including Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Kamenica, and
16 Srebrenica? Do you recall that, sir?
17 A. I don't remember that there was any pressure put on the
18 population, but there were actions being carried out in the area and I
19 remember that.
20 Q. Do you recall that that operation was called Proboj?
21 A. No, I don't remember any such thing.
22 MR. THAYER: With the Chamber's indulgence, I'm actually seeing
23 if I can cut some questions from my examination.
24 Okay, I've reduced my examination a little bit.
25 Q. Sir, I just want to show you one document.
1 MR. THAYER: If we could see 3373, please.
2 Q. Colonel, let me know when you've had a chance to review the
4 A. Yes, I've seen it.
5 Q. We have a 25 January 1993 urgent communication from General
6 Zivanovic from the command of the Drina Corps to the command of the Uzice
7 Corps. What was the Uzice Corps, sir?
8 A. The word is self-explanatory. It was a corps headquartered in
10 Q. And where is that, please?
11 A. In Serbia.
12 Q. And where geographically in Serbia in relation to the eastern
13 enclaves or the Podrinje is Uzice? How about in relation to the Drina
14 River, can you orient us a little bit?
15 A. This is in western part of Serbia, one of the towns en route from
16 the Drina towards central Serbia, one of the bigger settlements on that
18 Q. Okay. If we look at the first main paragraph it says: "In order
19 to complete the given tasks according to code Proboj as diligently as
20 possible I report that we launched active combat operation with all
21 available forces in order to contain as much as possible enemy forces so
22 that you and your neighbours can successfully carry out your tasks."
23 Now, sir, do you have any recollection as to why the Drina Corps
24 would be communicating with a corps located in Serbia, across the river,
25 having looked at this document and in your experience?
1 A. I don't know. I suppose that General Zivanovic, who was colonel
2 at the time, thought that he should inform them that on our side in the
3 territory indicated herein, there was combat going on so as to inform the
4 corps in Serbia what was happening in the area over here.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
6 MR. JOSSE: Well, Your Honour, let me immediately concede I
7 accept that we didn't make the objection I'm about to make in relation to
8 some of the examinations conducted by my learned friends who defend.
9 However, that question invited speculation. The answer of the witness
10 was entirely speculative. And in our submission, the Court should
11 curtail any speculation on the part of the witness. There appears to be
12 an attempt by a number of counsel to turn him into some kind of quasi
14 To be fair to Mr. Thayer, in the last set of questions, the ones
15 that objections were taken to by others, Mr. Thayer tried to do the
16 precise opposite and he tried to make it clear to the witness he was
17 after his personal view and his personal recollection. If the witness
18 has a personal recollection of things that have been put to him, then we
19 say fair enough; but if not, speculation should be curtailed.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Josse.
21 What's your comment to that, Mr. Thayer?
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I can just simply put the question to
23 the witness --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, he answered you I don't know, and from then
25 onwards he was trying to give some kind of thought of his how this could
1 be explained. But where does it get you?
2 MR. THAYER: I can move along, Mr. President. It's ...
3 Q. Sir --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. -- if you look at the next paragraph Commander Zivanovic
7 describes the line of contact with the enemy as including Kamenica,
8 Suceska, Cerska, and by the Bratunac Brigade along Kravica, Bratunac to
9 Zuti Most, and Sase. And if we look a little further down he says: "We
10 will try to cut the Zeleni Jadar-Zepa road in the course of the following
12 Sir, does this document jog your memory at all about whether the
13 VRS, and particularly the Drina Corps, was experiencing military
14 successes during this period of time in overtaking these locations
16 A. It is evident that the Drina Corps did have some successes. In
17 view of the fact that in 1992 and 1993 in these areas a lot had been
18 happening in terms of unilateral actions on the part of the 28th
19 Division. Maybe at the time that was not its name, that was not what it
20 was known as, but in any case the BiH army in Srebrenica inflicted losses
21 on the Serbian population in the area. And this could no longer be
22 tolerated. This behaviour of the Srebrenica units could no longer be
23 tolerated. Something had to be done to protect the population, and this
24 operation was aimed at saving the Serbian population in the area of
1 Q. Now, sir, in the months just prior to your taking command of the
2 Guards Brigade --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Thayer. Are you leaving this
4 document? Are you finished --
5 MR. THAYER: We're finished with that document, Mr. President.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: There is one question I would like to put. I will
8 refer the witness to the last paragraph of that document which reads in
9 the English version: "We will completely adhere to your proposal from
10 the points 3 and 4 in keeping with your document strictly confidential
11 number 171-05/1."
12 Does that mean anything to you, Mr. Lazic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't be able to know that. I
14 was in the Main Staff and this is correspondence between the Drina Corps
15 and the Uzice Corps, so I don't know.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it mean to you that there had been previous
17 correspondence between the Drina Corps and the Uzice unit?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judging from what I can read here,
19 there was but I can't say that for a fact because I don't know.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Thayer, you may proceed.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Now, sir, you took command of the Guards Brigade in May of 1993,
24 the 21st, I believe; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, I think so.
1 Q. Now, in fact in the months just prior to you taking command of
2 that brigade, your brigade, the Guards Brigade, played an important role
3 in these actions across this area of the Podrinje, this Operation Proboj.
4 Isn't that correct, sir?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. THAYER: May we see 65 ter 3369, please.
7 Q. I'd like to turn your attention to page 2 of both the English and
8 the B/C/S, please. And in the B/C/S if we could scroll down a little
9 bit, and, sir, I have a hard copy if that will be easier for you, but
10 that's good right there. This is a Srpska Vojska issue from January of
11 1994 in which the successes of the Guards Brigade are recounted in your
12 interview. If we look at this section, and let me direct your attention
13 to the portion which starts: "The commander of this elite unit Milenko
14 Lazic says: 'The order to form our brigade was issued already in
15 mid-December 1992 and all the preparations were completed by the 19th
16 January, which is why we commemorate the 12th night as the day of our
17 unit. And it is actually the RS in small. We share with our young
18 country all its problems and the successes too. This is a manoeuvre, an
19 assault, and a strong artillery brigade. We have executed all our orders
20 in time achieved great results and we are going to continue to do so and
21 it must never be forgotten. It is our natural right to possess all of
22 the Serbian territory.'"
23 Were you quoted accurately there, sir?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that an accurate recitation of your unit's successes?
1 A. Well, maybe there was a bit of propaganda in there, some things
2 may have been painted in somewhat brighter colours, but the journalist
3 was correct for most of the -- most of the article is correct.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apology.
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. Well, the unit had successes in Cerska; correct?
7 A. Before my arrival at the unit, the unit was active in the area of
8 Cerska and was successful in it.
9 Q. And successful in Bratunac?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Skelani?
12 A. Where?
13 Q. Skelani. I apologise for my pronunciation.
14 A. Okay, Skelani.
15 Q. Were there successes in Skelani, colonel?
16 A. Before I arrived in the unit I remember it had had a very
17 unfavourable situation in Ratkovici village. An operative officer of the
18 brigade was taken prisoner with another two soldiers. Up until the
19 present day their fate is not known.
20 Q. Okay. I understand why that would stick out in your mind, but
21 you did -- your unit did have successes in Skelani and then in Srebrenica
22 and Gorazde and Zepa during this operation; is that correct?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I do not believe that this unit may
25 be described as the witness's unit in this context because the successes
1 that the Prosecutor mentions happened way before the witness arrived in
2 this unit.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go on. I think that is -- the question
4 perfectly fits what is contained in that paragraph read from the
5 Vojska -- whatever the name of the paper is.
6 MR. THAYER: Srpska Vojska.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Srpska Vojska.
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. Sir, do you want me to repeat the question or did you understand
10 the question? Your unit did have successes in Skelani, Srebrenica,
11 Gorazde, and Zepa in the earlier months of 199 --
12 A. There were no successes in Srebrenica because the unit did not
13 enter Srebrenica. It also had nothing to do with Zepa and at that time
14 it had nothing to do with Gorazde either.
15 Q. Now, sir, do you know what happened to the Muslim populations
16 that had been living in Konjevic Polje and Cerska and Kamenica during
17 this operation?
18 A. During the period of time when the area was being liberated, I
19 wasn't there. I suppose the populace went to Srebrenica.
20 Q. Well, sir, I understand you weren't on the ground, but being in
21 the Main Staff and being in the area of Eastern Bosnia, sir, do you
22 suppose or do you know where those Muslim civilians went as a result of
23 Operation Proboj?
24 A. I must say that I'm not sure and I don't know it for certain;
25 however, I suppose that all of them must have moved to Srebrenica.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, trying to avoid Mr. Josse rising to object,
2 this is to an extent speculation. So let's try to avoid as much
3 speculation as possible.
4 Mr. Lazic, you either know -- you either have an answer to the
5 question or you don't. We don't want you to speculate. If you don't
6 know exactly what happened, just say: I don't know what happened, I
7 can't answer that question, and we'll move on.
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. Just one more --
10 A. I understood, thank you.
11 Q. Just one more question on this topic, sir. Do you recall that
12 that's, in fact, exactly what happened, that the people were forced into
13 Srebrenica and that created a humanitarian disaster in March and April of
14 1993? Do you recall hearing about that at the time, that people had been
15 forced and compressed, crammed into the urban area of Srebrenica?
16 A. I heard that things went along the lines you described concerning
17 Srebrenica, but before that some 100 villages inhabited by Serbs had been
18 driven out, houses set on fire, and losses inflicted upon the civilians
19 by the 28th Division and the units in Srebrenica. What followed was a
20 consequence of the events before the operation.
21 Q. Now, you indicated that in your recollection Zepa had not been a
22 successful object of the VRS as a result of Operation Proboj. Is that
23 your memory, sir?
24 A. I didn't mention the VRS. I mentioned the Guards Brigade.
25 Q. You're absolutely right, Colonel. Now, with respect to your time
1 in the Main Staff of the VRS, do you recall whether or not the VRS had
2 achieved any military successes with respect to Zepa before you assumed
3 command of the Guards Brigade?
4 A. So as not to be forced to speculate, I can tell you that I do not
6 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at 65 ter 2742, please. Now, this is a
7 somewhat lengthy document, sir. I have hard copy if that would be more
8 convenient for you to review. And please take your time, Colonel.
9 Again, as I said, I don't want you to feel rushed.
10 Are you ready to proceed, sir? In the interests of trying to
11 save some time, I'll just ask you a couple of questions about this
12 document. This is a Main Staff combat order for the liberation of Zepa
13 and Gorazde dated May 1st of 1993. Did you see that this was drafted by
14 General Miletic, then Colonel Miletic? Did you see that, sir? It's on
15 the last page if you didn't.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If you look at page 2 of the English - and that's on the first
18 page of your document, sir - do you see where it refers to the Muslims'
19 military defeats in Kamenica, Cerska, and Konjevic Polje?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember this combat order, this plan to liberate Zepa and
22 Gorazde, part of which was to be commanded by General Miletic? Do you
23 recall this, sir?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. And what, if anything, do you recall about this operation in
1 terms of its implementation? Do you recall whether it ever got off the
2 ground, so to speak?
3 A. These successes were achieved in the previous offensive or
4 operation. The goals to liberate Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde were not
6 Q. Okay, let's turn to another document. This is 65 ter 3177. This
7 is the last document I want to show you along these lines, Colonel,
8 before we turn to something else. Let us know when you're ready to have
9 the document scrolled down to continue reading. And I do have a hard
10 copy if that is easier.
11 A. It is difficult to read the text.
12 MR. THAYER: Then I'd kindly ask Madam Usher to hand up the hard
14 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime while he reads, is there any
15 special part of this document that you wish to direct the witness to; in
16 which case I would ask the technicians to zoom to that section and the
17 accused will be able to follow.
18 MR. THAYER: Absolutely, Mr. President. We can go straight away
19 to the bottom of page 2 in the English, which is page 2 of the B/C/S but
20 towards the top of that version.
21 Q. Sir, do you see the section that I just noted where the commander
22 of the Bratunac Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Slavko Ognjenovic, in this 4
23 July 1994 report for his brigade says: "We have won the war in Podrinje
24 but we have not beaten the Muslims completely, which is what we must do
25 in the next period. We must attain our final goal, an entirely Serbian
1 Podrinje. The enclaves" --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: In the English version we need to go to page 3.
3 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, top of page 3.
4 Q. " ... the enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde must be
5 defeated militarily. We must continue to arm, train, discipline, and
6 prepare the RS army for the execution of this crucial task, the expulsion
7 of Muslims from the Srebrenica enclave. There will be no retreat. When
8 it comes to the Srebrenica enclave, we must advance. The enemy's life
9 has to be made unbearable and their temporary stay in the enclave
10 impossible so that they leave the enclave en masse as soon as possible,
11 realizing that they cannot survive there."
12 Now, sir, you knew Colonel Ognjenovic and later served with him
13 in the Drina Corps command; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, I knew him.
15 Q. And were you aware in 1994 when you were in the Main Staff or in
16 1995 -- I'm sorry, in 1992 to 1993 when you were in the Main Staff or in
17 1995 when you served together in the Drina Corps command that Colonel
18 Ognjenovic had set these objectives for his brigade?
19 A. I didn't know of it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness answered
22 but I do not understand how could have the witness knew in 1992 and 1993
23 of something that somebody would have said in 1994.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Entirely correct. I stand corrected.
1 Q. I can clarify the question for you, sir.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, and still the witness answered.
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. In 1994 when this document was authored by Commander Ognjenovic
5 and when you later served with him in the Drina Corps command, did you
6 come to know that he had set these goals for his brigade?
7 A. As I said, I wasn't aware of it.
8 Q. But as we've seen in the documents and as you've testified, I
9 believe, is there anything inconsistent in this report by Commander
10 Ognjenovic from what you understood the goals of the VRS during these
11 operations beginning in 1992 that we talked about all the way through
12 here 1994?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
14 Mr. Petrusic.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I object to this question, Your
16 Honour - it again requires the witness to speculate - for the very simple
17 reason that something can be contradictory only if it is said or done by
18 two people at the same time. The witness said he wasn't aware of this
19 document and now the Prosecutor is asking him whether --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop, stop. There is a limit beyond
21 which you cannot go when you raise -- rise to make an objection.
22 Mr. Lazic, please answer the question if you can. If you're not
23 in a position to answer it, then tell us so.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Do you want me to repeat the question, Colonel?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I would suggest you do.
2 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I will.
3 Q. Sir, as we've seen in the documents and as you've testified, is
4 there anything inconsistent in this report by Commander Ognjenovic from
5 what you understood to be the goals of the VRS during these operations,
6 which as we've seen began in 1992 and continued all the way up to where
7 we are now, which is 1994?
8 A. In 1992 I wasn't of the opinion that Ognjenovic stated. I
9 thought that the Serbian people were endangered because there was a lack
10 of tolerance in terms of ethnic make-up and religious affiliation. I
11 believed it would lead to a separation along the ethnic and religious
12 lines. I also believed that that could be a solution of the conflicts
13 which were created in Bosnia-Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. I never
14 said that that excluded any co-existence if possible. If not, then
15 probably they have to go their own ways. In any case, what he said is
16 something I would not have.
17 Q. Well, sir, you just said at the end of your answer: If
18 co-existence isn't possible, then probably they have to go their own
20 What do you mean by that, Colonel?
21 A. I meant to say that if co-existence was impossible and if that is
22 proven by the situation in the field, then, just like General Milovanovic
23 wrote in the previous document, the Serbian population should be enabled
24 to live in the territory it did and the Muslim people to live in the
25 territory they lived at. This was not a goal or an intent to do that at
1 any cost. Once it is established that there are no other possibilities,
2 i.e., there was no possibility of a life together, then one needs to come
3 up with solutions. This is how I see the issue.
4 Q. And what are those solutions, Colonel?
5 A. Well, again you'll tell me I'm speculating. I didn't deal with
6 such issues --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop.
8 Madam Fauveau.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I do not believe that this is an
10 appropriate question for this witness. This witness is not an expert
11 witness and he cannot answer, therefore, to this question.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, he's living experiences -- he's testifying on
13 experiences that he lived through as a military man at the time.
14 So please go ahead, but we don't need any speculation, we don't
15 want any speculation from Mr. Lazic.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Sir, as the President of the Chamber just said, in your lived
18 experience and as a military officer during this time, in these locations
19 did you find during this period of time from 1992 to 1994 that this
20 co-existence that you spoke about became impossible?
21 A. Yes, but I have the feeling that the Serb side was not to blame
22 for that.
23 Q. Understood that those are your feelings, sir. And looking at
24 this document that Commander Ognjenovic wrote, isn't it the case that
25 when he says: "We have won the war in Podrinje but we have not beaten
1 the Muslims completely. We must attain our final goal, an entirely
2 Serbian Podrinje ..." that's what he's talking about, isn't it, that that
3 hope for co-existence, in his eyes, was lost?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't think it was
6 appropriate to answer. It would be interpreted as what he feels, his
7 feelings, and if he asked this question what somebody else thought, I
8 don't think it's appropriate. Perhaps one should call in Colonel
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Madam Fauveau.
11 Let's move to your next question.
12 MR. THAYER: I can rephrase the question, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, move to the next question, please.
14 MR. THAYER:
15 Q. Sir, isn't this --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's time for the break anyway. Change the
17 subject, in other words, Mr. Thayer. Thank you.
18 25 minutes.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's move to a new subject, Mr. Thayer,
23 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President. And just to advise the
24 Court, I've greatly reduced the rest of my planned examination. I think
25 I will take Colonel Lazic up to the rest of the day today, maybe a little
1 bit into tomorrow. It took a little longer than I expected, but I was
2 able to really cut down the examination. So I think we'll be able to
3 come in pretty close to the three hours.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 MR. THAYER: If we may have 65 ter 203.
6 Q. And good afternoon again, Colonel.
7 A. Good afternoon to you, too.
8 Q. Colonel, this is the document we started the morning out with,
9 and I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions about one particular
10 section and then we'll move on. And I have a hard copy, with
11 Madam Usher's assistance.
12 Colonel, I direct your attention to page 3 of your document, and
13 we'll be looking at section 2: "Tasks of the Drina Corps." I just want
14 to ask you two or three questions about this one section. Do you see
15 where it says: "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations create
16 an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further
17 survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa"?
18 Did you see that section, sir?
19 A. Yes. This is towards the end of the first paragraph.
20 Q. Okay. Now you would agree that that language sounds a lot like
21 the language from the Ognjenovic report that we were just looking at
22 before the break? You would agree with me, sir, would you?
23 A. I agree.
24 Q. Did you draft this section, sir?
25 A. The corps tasks are copied from the directive number 7 that was
1 valid at the time. They are copied word for word from there.
2 Q. Now, I understand, sir, as you sit here today do you have any
3 knowledge as how -- as to how the Main Staff or the Supreme Command came
4 up with this language that we saw in this previous Bratunac Brigade
5 report? Do you have any knowledge how that language made it into
6 directive 7, sir?
7 A. I wouldn't know the answer to your question because I don't know
8 who the author of these words is.
9 Q. And in your experience serving on the Main Staff and in your
10 experience in the VRS, do you know which organ or which department would
11 have come up with that language for directive 7, sir?
12 A. It was customary for these items of the orders or directives
13 relative to the tasks of the subordinate units to be drafted by the
14 commander or possibly from the Chief of Staff.
15 Q. And are you referring, sir, to the commander or possibly Chief of
16 Staff of the Main Staff of the VRS?
17 A. If we're talking about directives, then the Main Staff; if we're
18 talking about orders, then the command subordinated to the corps command.
19 Q. Well, sir, I'm talking about this specific language in the
20 directive. Which department or organ would in your experience have been
21 tasked to come up with that portion of the directive?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] The witness has just answered the
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I asked him to clarify when he said
2 that it was customary for those items of the orders or directives
3 relative to the tasks to be drafted by the commander. I asked him if it
4 was the commander of the Main Staff or the Chief of Staff of the Main
5 Staff, and his answer to that question was: If we're talking about
6 directives, then the Main Staff; if we're talking about orders, then the
7 command subordinated to the corps command.
8 So I'm afraid that his answer --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: He's told you that if you're talking of a
10 directive, it's directed to the Main Staff.
11 MR. THAYER: Very well, Mr. President. Then I'll follow-up with
12 one final question on that.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MR. THAYER:
15 Q. If the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff is responsible for
16 authoring that section, who would assist him in your experience with
17 drafting that language?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This is speculation --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not speculation --
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] -- this is not the Chief of Staff
22 who --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer the question, please.
24 Go ahead, Mr. Lazic, please answer the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that in this kind of work,
1 the only people who could assist were those who had the expertise, i.e.,
2 if it's the commander or the Chief of Staff who performs this job, nobody
3 else can help them. The only thing that can be done is to do his leg
4 work for him and take that draft to the typist to type it up. That's
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. So is it your testimony then that if the Chief of Staff is
8 drafting this language that we're looking at, that there is no other
9 input in your experience from any other member of the Chief of Staff's
10 staff, any of his subordinates, who assist him other than a typist? Is
11 that your testimony, sir?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Now, you testified yesterday - and this is at the
14 beginning of page 35 - that you can't remember a 25 May 1995 VRS shelling
15 attack on Srebrenica, which was memorialized in a report from the
16 artillery chief of the Bratunac Brigade to the Drina Corps. Do you
17 remember that testimony yesterday, sir?
18 We need an audible answer, I'm sorry, Colonel.
19 A. Yes, I remember.
20 Q. Now, let me see if I can help jog your memory about the events of
21 that day. Do you recall that at approximately 1630 hours that day NATO
22 executed air-strikes which destroyed two bunkers and an ammunition depot
23 in Pale. Do you remember that happening, sir?
24 A. I heard that that had happened.
25 Q. And do you recall that soon after those NATO air-strikes the VRS
1 took 200 UN peacekeeper hostages?
2 A. I saw that in the media.
3 Q. And I'm sure, sir, you're referring to the pictures, the
4 video-clips, of UN personnel being chained to various military
5 facilities. Is that what you're referring to, sir?
6 A. I'm referring to TV.
7 Q. Understood. And what you saw on TV, sir, was the UNPROFOR
8 personnel being chained to various military installations or facilities
9 by the VRS; correct, sir?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Now, do you recall, sir, that on that same day that all this was
12 happening, in addition to the shells being fired on Srebrenica that the
13 VRS shelled Sarajevo and Tuzla where 130-millimetre shell injured 200 and
14 killed 70 young people who were celebrating Tito's birthday and Youth Day
15 in Tuzla. Do you remember that happening, sir?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I will let you go ahead, but what's
17 the relevance of this now?
18 MR. THAYER: The relevance, sir, Mr. President, is -- and
19 actually if I may ask the witness just to remove his headphones for my
20 answer, if I may.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Does he understand English in the first place?
22 MR. THAYER: I don't know. I've not met him previously.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazic, do you understand English? Do you
24 understand English, Mr. Lazic?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Could you remove your headphones.
2 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm simply trying to orient the
3 witness's recollection to this particular day which he has indicated
4 previously and in his testimony he simply can't recall. So I'm going
5 through these significant events to see if that will help him recall or
6 not certain other events.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But you have advanced far already. So let's
8 put the question, please.
9 MR. THAYER: I'm there, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Sir, I just want to show you two documents and then I'll put my
13 question to you. The first is 65 ter 3358. As we can see, this is a
14 very urgent report from the artillery chief of the Bratunac Brigade, Mico
15 Gavric, to the Drina Corps command and it's dated 25 May 1995. In it he
16 says that: "At 1907 hours we opened fire on Srebrenica on Colonel
17 Lazic's orders."
18 Sir, are you aware of any other Colonel Lazic in the Drina Corps
19 command? And I don't mean to be facetious when I ask that question. Are
20 you aware of any other Colonel Lazic in the Drina Corps command?
21 A. No, I did not hear of any other Colonel Lazic in the Drina Corps.
22 Q. Now, the next document I'd like to show you is 65 ter 3359. We
23 can see this is an interim combat report from Commander Blagojevic to the
24 Drina Corps command. Paragraph 1: "In accordance with an oral order
25 from Colonel Lazic we fired two shells from two 105-millimetre howitzers,
1 a total of four shells, on the town of Srebrenica at 1907 hours.
2 Artillery observers at Pribicevac reported that two shells fell near the
3 Domavija feature. The other two shells were not observed but they fell
4 on Srebrenica."
5 Now, sir, you don't have any basis to doubt the authenticity of
6 these records, do you? And I can show you the handwritten versions of
7 these reports before they were finalised if you like.
8 A. No, I don't have any doubts.
9 Q. And you don't have any doubts that this shelling actually
10 occurred on that day, do you?
11 A. No doubts.
12 Q. Sir, I want you to think very carefully before you answer. Who
13 gave you the order to pass on to the Bratunac Brigade to fire those
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: The witness already answered to this question
17 yesterday. I put him this question.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: This is a cross-examination, so let him proceed,
19 and I take it that there are more questions to follow.
20 So, Mr. Lazic, please, if you could answer the question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Already in 2004 in an interview
22 given to your organs in Banja Luka I answered that question by saying
23 approximately the following: I did not have the right to order -- to
24 issue orders, and this is evident. I was not an organ who could issue
25 orders. How come I mention -- my name is mentioned with regard to this
1 order, given the fact that both of them were professional officers and
2 knew very well that they were not supposed to receive orders from
3 somebody who did not have the right to issue orders? How and what
4 happened in the operations room and how the duty operations officer
5 passed on the order referring to me and mentioning my name, I really
6 wouldn't know. I only know that I did not have the right to issue this
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. Well, Colonel, as standing in for the Chief of Staff were you in
10 a position to pass on an order from a superior command?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, he was representing
13 the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps on that particular day.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This was just to correct -- we have
16 no evidence that on this specific day he was representing the Chief of
17 Staff of the Drina Corps. We have no evidence of that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps he can answer the question and we'll get
19 the necessary information.
20 Yes, Mr. Lazic. Perhaps you can -- yeah, go ahead.
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. Colonel --
23 A. I apologise. Go ahead, yes.
24 Q. Please go ahead.
25 A. I certainly did not stand in for the Chief of Staff during that
1 period of time because Colonel Krstic had already come to work and was
2 performing his duties. So at the time I did not stand in for the Chief
3 of Staff. There is proof to that effect. Yesterday evidence was shown
4 in the form of a piece of document that was signed by Krstic on the 13th,
5 meaning a few days before this shelling took place.
6 Q. Now, sir, isn't it a fact that you didn't even need to be
7 standing in for the Chief of Staff to have passed on that order from your
8 superior command to the Bratunac Brigade. You could have been instructed
9 by your superior command at any time to pass on that order, and I'm not
10 talking about issuing an order, sir, I'm talking about passing on an
11 order to the Bratunac Brigade. Isn't that true?
12 A. I've said it that I cannot remember such a possibility although
13 I'm not ruling it out. I'm not ruling this out but I'm saying that I
14 can't remember having passed this order personally on. I may have been
15 in the operations room when the duty officer was passing on this order
16 and he may have said something to the effect, Here you have Colonel Lazic
17 here, so execute the order. That may have happened, but I don't have any
18 recollection of that and that's why my answer was what it was.
19 Q. Just as a point of clarification, Colonel, as a matter of how the
20 VRS and organized armies operate, isn't it the case that simply as chief
21 of operations and training you would have been in a position to pass on
22 such an order from your superior command to the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. I personally believe that if the Main Staff had issued an order
24 to this effect then the order was passed either to the commander or the
25 Chief of Staff. I don't believe that somebody would have looked for me
1 to communicate the order to me and to ask for me to pass it on. That's
2 why I'm saying that it is possible that I was in the operations room and
3 that the duty officer said something to the effect, Here Pukovnik Lazic
4 is here, and that's why my name is mentioned because the two senior
5 reporting officers had to mention somebody who could have passed on the
6 order. And I personally say and I repeat, I don't know how this could
7 have occurred because I had not issued the order.
8 MR. THAYER: With the Chamber's indulgence, one moment, please.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Colonel, I want to turn your attention now to this meeting at the
12 Drina Corps command where President Karadzic, as you testified, came and
13 gave this order. Okay.
14 Now, as I understand it you were the first to brief the president
15 according to your recollection?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And just to clear the record, you referred to someone's wife who
18 was also present. Whose wife was present for this meeting?
19 A. President Karadzic's wife was there.
20 Q. And you were present for this entire meeting with President
21 Karadzic; is that correct?
22 A. While we were sitting in that room I was there. When they left
23 the room, I was not with them; so when they were outside that room.
24 Q. I understand that when General Krstic showed the president out,
25 you weren't with him. Is that -- that's what you're saying?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Now, you told us yesterday that President Karadzic asked how long
3 would you need to set off for Zepa. That's what we have in the
4 transcript at page 20, and the answer was: "Three to five days,
5 depending on what the objective was."
6 And his response was: "Well, make it as short as possible"; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes, that's exactly what happened.
9 Q. Sir, please tell the Trial Chamber in as much detail as you can
10 remember as you sit here today exactly what the order was that came out
11 of President Karadzic's mouth at this meeting.
12 A. I can only repeat what I have stated so far. The president
13 asked: How much time will it take you to set off to Srebrenica -- you
14 said Zepa and I say Srebrenica. And the answer was: Depending on the
15 target or the objective, it will take us three to five days in
16 preparations. And he said: Make it the shorter time.
17 And while they were sitting in that room they did not go into any
18 further details of that future activity. The conversation that ensued
19 was informal. I don't know whether the reason is the fact that the
20 others were present there, so he did not want to go into any details.
21 Whether the president said anything else to Krstic as they were moving
22 towards the vehicle, I don't know. So I never heard any other discussion
23 with this with regard save for the words that I have already repeated for
25 Q. Sir, are you aware of any other communications between President
1 Karadzic and General Krstic or General Zivanovic or anyone else at the
2 Drina Corps concerning, as you've testified, his order to move on
4 A. I don't know, although I know that there is a possibility of
5 direct telephone communication or via encrypted messages between
6 President Karadzic and the corps commander or the Chief of Staff. So I
7 really don't know whether they had some exchanges because I was not in
8 their respective rooms so I am not able to answer this question in any
9 other way.
10 Q. Well, you testified that immediately upon President Karadzic's
11 departure General Krstic returned and gathered the staff and right away
12 tasks were assigned, drafting begun and work was on its way to create
13 what ultimately became the July 2nd Krivaja 95 combat order. Is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So let me just ask you again, see if you have any recollection.
17 Other than asking how long it would take to get to Srebrenica, what do
18 you recall President Karadzic saying about any active combat operations
19 towards the enclave?
20 A. Unfortunately, as I said, there was no further discussion in that
21 room concerning the operation. There was no mention of any other
22 military topics. I heard what I heard. The rest of the conversation was
23 informal, there were questions about Krstic's leg and his health, but
24 there was no further discussion on the upcoming tasks.
25 Q. Well, again, Colonel, how is it that the Drina Corps command was
1 able to begin planning for this operation based on what President
2 Karadzic, as you recalled, said during this meeting?
3 A. Obviously it is visible from the combat documents that General
4 Krstic drew reference for the documents concerning that operation from
5 directives 7 and 7/1. That was his basis. All that was needed then was
6 an order to be sent out. If as far as I understood, the president
7 ordered to go ahead with the task and he dealt with the format by taking
8 pieces of information from relevant documents otherwise used to draft our
9 combat documents.
10 Q. So is it your testimony then, sir, that President Karadzic's
11 order as far as you could understand it from what you saw in the meeting
12 and from what you saw General Krstic doing and producing was that he was
13 relying on directives 7 and 7/1 in fulfilling this order from President
14 Karadzic; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And would you agree that this order that you received was
17 consistent with the goals that had been set out in directive 7?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is it fair to say that with directives 7 and 7/1 in place that by
20 the time that President Karadzic came to the Drina Corps command, the
21 Drina Corps command already had a very good idea of what it needed to do
22 to move on Srebrenica?
23 A. I think so.
24 Q. Now, Colonel, you were asked at page 38 yesterday if General
25 Krstic informed the Main Staff of this order from President Karadzic and
1 your answer was that: "I can't tell you that precisely because he had a
2 direct line from his office to the Main Staff. I can't tell you if he
3 informed the Main Staff in what way, but I presume that he did."
4 Now, Colonel, when you were interviewed by the Beara Defence team
5 on November 30th of last year, you said on the bottom of page 1, and this
6 goes up to page 2 of the English and unfortunately I wasn't furnished
7 with the B/C/S if there was a B/C/S, I don't know, if it was just taken
8 in English. But the statement says that after Krstic saw Karadzic off, I
9 quote here: "Krstic then ordered," and this is in English 65 ter 3376 if
10 people want to follow along.
11 "Krstic then ordered for the corps command to assemble and said
12 that after an order is received from the supreme commander the corps will
13 get on with the job. Immediately thereafter the VRS Main Staff was
14 informed via telegram that a combat order had been received and
15 subordinate commanders were ordered to come to the command the next day
16 at 0800 hours."
17 Colonel, I put it to you that your recollection six months ago
18 was very precisely, that immediately upon receiving this order from
19 President Karadzic that the Drina Corps informed the Main Staff by
20 telegram. Do you have an explanation for your changed memory about that?
21 A. My memory is not changed. If that is what I said six months ago,
22 then it is so. As time goes by I seem to forget many details. I am not
23 certain sitting here today of everything that had taken place. In any
24 case, if I said that a telegram message was sent out, then it was so.
25 Q. Colonel, you also said in your statement to the Beara team - and
1 this is at the top of page 2 of that document - that President Karadzic
2 said during the meeting that: "Anything that is lacking, a request
3 should be put in through the Main Staff and everything will be provided."
4 Do you recall President Karadzic saying those words, Colonel?
5 A. I recall that Krstic said that we were short of ammunition, fuel,
6 and food. The president responded by saying, Put in a request and you
7 will be given everything.
8 Q. Sir, are you aware of participation by the Main Staff, either the
9 command staff -- I'll start there. Are you aware of the participation of
10 the command staff of the Main Staff in the Krivaja 95 operation once that
11 operation got underway? I'm not talking about the preparation that
12 happened at the Drina Corps command, but once the active combat
13 operations were underway, are you aware of the participation of the Main
14 Staff command staff in assisting the Krivaja 95 operation?
15 A. I did not participate in the operation. I didn't see anyone. I
16 did hear that General Mladic came there to the forward command post. I
17 only heard that, but I didn't see any of the members of the Main Staff.
18 Q. Now, you were shown an exhibit by my learned friend from the
19 Miletic team, 5D1110, and I won't ask that it be shown. That was General
20 Krstic's order for an analysis of the Krivaja 95 and Stupcanica
21 operation, the Srebrenica and Zepa operations respectively. That was an
22 afteraction analysis; is that correct, sir?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I think you contrasted that to some of the analysis that you
25 participated in in terms of the Spreca 95 operation in the spring of
1 1995. Is that correct?
2 A. There is a difference. Spreca 95 was carried out by two corps.
3 Krivaja 95 was the result of the Drina Corps' actions.
4 Q. Exactly. And the analysis that we were talking about with
5 respect to Spreca 95, that occurred while that operation was still
6 ongoing because the Main Staff had encountered problems implementing
7 Spreca 95 and that required Main Staff officers to be sent forward and
8 actually create a Main Staff forward command post, two of them, in fact,
9 in the Zvornik area. Is that correct, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, this afteraction report from General Krstic, do you recall
12 responding to that afteraction report seeking an accounting of everyone's
13 activities during the course of the operation?
14 A. I didn't understand the question.
15 Q. That document requested specific responses to specific topics
16 ordered by General Krstic. Do you recall whether or not you responded to
17 account for your activities and the other actions and analyses that
18 General Krstic ordered in that document? Do you remember whether or not
19 you responded to that?
20 A. I was not asked to analyse. I briefed orally the Chief of Staff
21 about what had taken place. The document was sent to brigade commands to
22 carry out analyses at their levels. The brigade commands will probably
23 mention what was done. Those that were on the western front would say
24 that I came by to control and regarding the issues included in my task.
25 So that is where you can find a reference concerning my coming over and
1 inquiring about my tasks; however, I was never asked to carry out a
2 separate analysis.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm afraid the time has come.
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I just have a couple more questions.
5 I'll pick it up tomorrow.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Be prepared for the next witness tomorrow,
7 Mr. Zivanovic.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: How much longer do you have?
10 MR. THAYER: [Microphone not activated].
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. THAYER: If I may, I'd prefer to look at the transcript
13 tonight and see if there's one or two follow-ups that I might would need
14 tomorrow morning rather than finishing it up now, if I may be granted
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there any re-direct?
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we'll have to adjourn to tomorrow. We'll
19 continue tomorrow. Thank you.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Friday, the 6th day of
22 June, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.