1 Friday, 14 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, everybody. Good morning to you,
7 Madam Registrar. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. All the accused are present.
11 Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey.
12 From the Defence teams I notice the absence of Mr. Nikolic,
13 Mr. Bourgon, that's about it. Yes.
14 Mr. Obradovic, good morning to you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to proceed with your testimony.
17 Mr. Petrusic.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. And good morning, Your
20 WITNESS: LJUBO OBRADOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpretation]
22 Examination by Mr. Petrusic: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. General, I would like to ask you to slow down your natural rate
1 of speech and to wait to make a pause before you start answering my
2 question. You can look at the cursor moving on the screen in front of
3 you. That should be an indication as to when you can start speaking.
4 So first I would like us to eliminate some of the confusion
5 engendered by the transcript yesterday and the Prosecution also indicated
6 that there was some confusion. So my first question to you will be, did
7 you ever become a commander of the 283rd Armoured Brigade?
8 A. You mean the 327th?
9 Q. Yes, the one in Derventa?
10 A. No. I never became a commander. Twice in a period of six months
11 I stood in for the commander in addition to being a commander of the
12 327th Armoured Brigade, which was my usual duty.
13 Q. Now that we are on this topic of standing in for the commander,
14 could you please tell us how did you come in to stand in for the brigade
16 A. Well, according to my establishment, my post was the Chief of
17 Staff. At the same time, I was the deputy commander. That's what it
18 says in the establishment. When Colonel Suljic was the commander, Zitro
19 when he retired, then this post was temporarily vacant. And now, I don't
20 know why the commander of the corps, of the 17th corps, did not issue a
21 decision but issued an order for me to stand in. And that is why I stood
22 in for the commander in addition to my usual duties, and I had all the
23 powers and duties vested in the brigade commander. I also went into the
24 higher pay grade, and I also got the commander's supplement as was
25 stipulated. And also I had all the powers that inherent in this
1 establishment post.
2 Q. In 1993, so we are talking now about 1992, but let us move on to
3 1993. What I want to know is whether in 1993 and 1994 until the 1st of
4 September you still had the status or rather the command duty of the
5 Chief of Staff of this brigade in Derventa?
6 A. When the order to stand in expired, appropriate changes were
7 made. A new commander was appointed, and I was the Chief of Staff.
8 Q. And it is from this post that you come to the Main Staff; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Before we move on to the Main Staff, I would like us to clarify
12 one more issue. Your promotions that you had in the course of war and in
13 its aftermath, in 1994 you were promoted to lieutenant-colonel [as
14 interpreted]. Could you please tell me as your career progressed did you
15 receive any other promotions in terms of military ranks?
16 A. I was next promoted to the rank of colonel, that was in June
18 Q. There is a mistake in translation.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] At page 3, line 13, it says that
20 in 1994 you were promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. So you were promoted to that rank earlier; is that not right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So after you received the rank of lieutenant-colonel, when were
1 you promoted to the rank of general?
2 A. Well, I said that I received the rank of colonel in June of 1995.
3 And I was promoted to general after the war, that was in 2001.
4 Q. And finally, as regards your status, you are retired now?
5 A. Yes, I am retired.
6 Q. You said that you joined the Main Staff in 1994 on the 1st of
7 September to the administration for operations and training?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you please tell me, to put it quite simply, this
10 administration what did it consist of?
11 A. The administration for operations and training was part of the
12 staff, the Main Staff of the VRS, and it had three elements: The
13 operations department, the training department, and the operations
15 Q. You told me that the chief of the administration was
16 Colonel Miletic at that time. Could you please tell me what duty did you
17 take on when you joined the administration?
18 A. My duty was the chief of the operations department. And if you
19 are referring to functions --
20 Q. Yes, please. Could you please tell me what -- who was the chief
21 of the training department?
22 A. It was Colonel Krsto Djeric; he was the chief of the training
24 Q. And could you please tell me the third element, the third
25 department in the operations and training administration? What about it?
1 A. The operations centre is the third element of the administration,
2 in accordance with the establishment, had to have at its head the chief
3 of the training operations centre, two shift leaders, and one operator.
4 But because of shortage of personnel, that element was not set up in this
5 manner but what was set up was the operations duty element through the
6 operations duty officer of the Main Staff.
7 Q. When you are talking about the operations duty element, does
8 that involve the operations duty officers at all levels of the command?
9 A. The operations duty officers existed at all levels of command.
10 Q. Including in the Main Staff?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you please tell me, what were the staffing levels in the
13 operations and training administration?
14 A. In accordance with the establishment that was in force at that
15 time, the operations and training administration had to have 18 officers.
16 That was the officer complement. And our staff included four officers.
17 Q. Did the staffing levels remain the same up until the end of the
19 A. Well, for the most part, yes.
20 Q. Could you please tell me who was the fourth officer?
21 A. In the operations department, it was Lieutenant Dragan Micanovic.
22 He was a cartographer; he had a degree in land surveying and topography.
23 Q. So Krsto Djeric, who was the chief of the training department,
24 you and Dragan Micanovic, had Colonel Miletic as a -- you all had him as
25 your immediate superior?
1 A. Colonel Miletic was my superior and the superior of
2 Colonel Djeric, and I was the immediate superior of Lieutenant Micanovic.
3 Q. Now I would like to ask you in what sector or -- I withdraw that
4 question. What was the structure in terms of organisation of the Main
6 A. The command of the Main Staff had at its head the commander, the
7 cabinet, and the department for civil affairs that was linked with the
8 cabinet. It had five sectors and, also, administration, separate
9 administrations. The sectors were Sector for Staff Affairs, Sector for
10 Morale, Education and Legal Affairs, the Logistics Sector, the Sector for
11 Organisation, Mobilization and Personnel, Sector for Security and
12 Intelligence, the Administration for Airforce and Air Defence, and the
13 Administration For Planning, Development, and Finances.
14 Q. All those sectors that you listed, were they the command, in
16 A. Yes, the command of the Main Staff.
17 Q. And what sector did the administration for operations and
18 training belong to?
19 A. The operations and training administration was an integral part
20 of the Sector for Staff Affairs, that also included the organs for
21 branches of the army, the information technology organ, the office, and
22 the typing pool.
23 Q. Who was the chief of the Staff Affairs Sector?
24 A. In accordance with the establishment, it was also the deputy
25 commander, and it was General Manojlo Milovanovic. And the chiefs of the
1 other sectors in the command --
2 Q. Just a moment, sir. The chiefs of the other sectors in the
3 command, were they also assistants to the commander of the Main Staff?
4 A. Yes, they were in immediate contact with the commander and they
5 were members of the corps command and assistants to the commander.
6 Q. Can we then --
7 A. Well the only thing is that the chief of the sector --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop. Because this is becoming frustrating
9 to me. Frustrating to me, at least, I can imagine how more frustrating
10 to the interpreters. You need to slow down both of you. And I am not
11 making any distinction between the witness and counsel this time. You
12 need to allow, first and foremost, what Mr. Petrusic is asking you to be
13 translated to us. You will know if it's translated completely when the
14 cursor on your screen stops completely. Like this, you are creating
16 Let's proceed, Mr. Petrusic.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, for the counsel.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, we really have to abide by the instructions that we have
20 just received, and there is a mistake -- or rather it was impossible to
21 interpret one part. So let us go back to the personnel of the commands
22 of the Main Staff. You spoke about the corps command and the chiefs of
23 the sectors or assistants to the commander. So could you please explain
25 A. All the sector chiefs and the chiefs of the two independent
1 administrations were at the same time assistants to the commander. And
2 they were, in fact, the core [Realtime transcript read in error, "corps"]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction to the transcript:
5 It's C-O-R-E command.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] At page 8, line 3, the witness did
7 not say "corps command" but "core" as in C-O-R-E command.
8 Q. General, could you please confirm that this is, indeed, so?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have document
11 5D1039 up on our screens.
12 Q. General, you have this document in the folder in front of you.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] 5D1039.
14 Q. Could you please tell us who issued this document, what command,
15 and who issued this document?
16 A. Well, you can see from the heading that this is the Main Staff of
17 the army of Republika Srpska. The document was logged on the 22nd of
18 October, 1994.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at the last
20 page of this document, that's page 4.
21 Q. In the signature block of this document, does it say deputy
22 commander Lieutenant General Manojlo Milovanovic?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] In the English version that's the
25 previous page, page 4.
1 Q. So General Milovanovic, was he in the Main Staff at that time?
2 A. That's the 22nd of December [as interpreted] [Realtime transcript
3 read in error, "November"] -- or, rather, October [Realtime transcript
4 read in error, "okay"] I'm sorry. This was a document that was drafted
5 on the day or maybe a day or two before General Milovanovic left with a
6 group of officers from the Main Staff to the western front in order to
7 establish a forward command post pursuant to the decision of the
8 commander of the Main Staff.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Correction for the transcript. At
10 page 9, line 2, it should read not "November" but "October."
11 Q. Could you tell me, what was the reason why General Milovanovic
12 with this group of officers went to the western front?
13 A. Well, at that time, the defence was disrupted, and there was a
14 break through by the HVO units in the direction of Kupres; and the 5th
15 Corps of the BH army also carried out the breakthrough in the Bihac area
16 in the direction of Krupa and further down to Ripca. And after a brief
17 assessment, the commander made this decision to send his deputy to that
19 Q. This order bears the number 03/4, I am not going to read any
20 further, but could you please tell me what sector -- or, rather, what
21 administration was the originator of the memo?
22 A. This designation, numerical designation 03/4, it's the
23 designation of the trainings and operations administration.
24 Q. Can you tell us in administrative terms what does it mean?
25 A. It means that this document was drafted in the administration.
1 Q. Could you please look at the last page of this order.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] It should be the fourth paragraph
3 in the Serbian version, and in the English version it's the paragraph
4 marked (F).
5 Q. Now, for your reference it's also listed under (F) but this
6 sentence begins with: "In coordination with the IBK ..." have you been
7 able to find it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you please read to yourself this paragraph and then please
10 comment on it.
11 A. This was the task that was assigned to the Drina Corps where in
12 coordination with its neighbouring units to the right, that would the
13 Eastern Bosnia Corps, it should mount a decisive defence of the Zvornik
14 area, and also the axes leading from Olovo and Kladanj towards Sokolac,
15 Hans Pijesak, and Vlasenica.
16 Q. And does the Chief of Staff in this order provide any other
17 information to the Drina Corps?
18 A. Well, there is a conditionality here that if the UNPROFOR forces
19 withdraw from the enclaves that the Drina Corps forces should be --
20 should stand ready to liberate Srebrenica and Zepa using their own forces
21 and in a coordinated action with the Herzegovina Corps, they should also
22 liberate the Gorazde enclave. And it says here that the previous
23 operation, MAC
24 Q. And finally, please look at the paragraph number 7. And I would
25 like you to comment on the first sentence, which begins with the words:
1 "Based on this order ..."
2 A. Well, yes, what is ordered here is that the corps command should
3 plan their own operations with the exception of the corps -- corps that
4 actually carry out operations in accordance to the current plan. And
5 they are ordered to draft the secret commanding of troops documents. And
6 they should stick with those plans, abide by them. And as far as
7 communications are concerned, the communications are to be maintained in
8 accordance with the existing plans, with strict adherence to the
9 cryptographic -- encryption documents.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go back to page 1
11 of this document where it says quite clearly who the addressees are, who
12 this order is issued to.
13 Q. Now, bearing in mind that you had an opportunity to look at this
14 order and to inspect it in some detail, and what tasks are assigned here,
15 to the corps -- corps, since it is issued to the commands of all the
16 corps, what kind of combat documents -- how would you classify this
17 document in terms of combat documents?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, before you answer this question, yes,
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we get just a little foundation. This is
21 an operations document. At the time I believe he was operations, and
22 his -- if we are going to get his opinion on it, I think that's fine.
23 But if he remembers it, was involved in drafting it? I think it would be
24 a lot more helpful for his testimony if we knew that, or if he's just
25 reading it today for the first time and telling us what he thinks it
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if I could actually force or suggest
3 to Mr. Petrusic to do what you propose. I think you can do that yourself
4 later on.
5 On the other hand, I can barely understand what he means by:
6 "How would you classify this document in terms of combat
8 I don't know what you mean. Perhaps if you did go a little bit
9 deeper it would make it more understandable.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Could you tell us, in principle, what kind of combat documents
13 are there?
14 A. Directives, commands, orders.
15 Q. Well, in brief terms we will be dealing with that later at
16 greater length, but what are directives?
17 A. Directives are used by the highest level of the command,
18 strategic and operative levels of the command. And they differ from
19 combat orders in that long-term tasks are issued in terms of the
20 objectives that are set. So we are talking about a longer term here.
21 Q. In this document, do we have tasks that are longer-term tasks?
22 A. Well, in the formulations for the tasks assigned to the Drina
23 Corps and to other corps, the duration is longer than usual, and that is
24 why this kind of falls into the gap between the two kinds of documents.
25 It says "combat orders" here but the way in which the tasks are phrased
1 is more reminiscent of a directive.
2 Q. So be that as it may, you say that General Milovanovic left with
3 a group of his officers, either on that day or a day or two later, after
4 this order was issued. So could you tell us which officers accompanied
5 him to the western front?
6 A. I know that the late General Jovo Maric, who was the chief of the
7 administration for air force and air defence; the chief of the artillery
8 branch, Colonel Dragisa Masal. I can't recall who the others were. I
9 think that -- I know that an element from the communications regiment
10 went there to set up communications at a forward command post. The
11 officers from the military schools command were also involved. They were
12 sent to that area -- to that place, and I think -- or, rather, I am sure
13 that the assistant for morale from the East Bosnia Corps, Colonel
14 Slobodan Jelacic also went.
15 Q. And you remained in the Main Staff, did you not? And tell me
16 whether you stayed there until the very end of the war, did you remain in
17 the same position?
18 A. Yes, I remained chief of the operations department. However, at
19 the request issued by the Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic,
20 General Miletic, who was colonel at the time, referred me to Bijeljina;
21 and from Bijeljina where I spent the night, I travelled together with
22 Colonel Jelacic to the forward post of the Main Staff which had been
23 organised in the village called Jasenica in the hinder land of the
24 Bosanska Krupa.
25 Q. At that forward command post --
1 A. Yes, the forward command post.
2 Q. At that forward command post, General Milovanovic was posted
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. How long did you stay at that forward command post?
6 A. I stayed in Jasenica until the end of December 1994. At that
7 time, the four-month agreement on cease-fire was signed with the Muslim
8 side. And then we moved to Drvar.
9 That is where General Milovanovic planned combat operations to
10 return the positions that had been lost in the Livno Polje. The line was
11 from Capazrlje [phoen] to Celebic, that's the line that I am talking
12 about. And he left Colonel Masal in Jasenica. And that position was
13 then named forward command post 2. 2 as in figure 2.
14 And then sometime in January, Colonel Masal had been summoned to
15 urgently go back and visit his family for some reasons, I don't know what
16 reasons those were. And General Milovanovic asked me to replace him in
17 Jasenica. Colonel Masal returned on the 26th of January; and on the 27th
18 I broke my leg. And I was transferred to Brana Luka, to the clinical
19 hospital there, and I never returned to the previous position after that.
20 Q. And after that sick leave, where did you return?
21 A. I --
22 Q. Just a moment, please. Go ahead now.
23 A. I returned to the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka on the 17th of July,
25 Q. In Crna Rijeka, while you were there and were -- while the chief
1 of the Main Staff, General Milovanovic was there, and while
2 General Mladic was also there, the commander of the Main Staff, as well
3 as the other assistants and the chief of administration for operations
4 and training, General Miletic. Who was in charge of the coordination of
5 the organs of the command while you were all there?
6 A. It was testimony Chief of Staff who was in charge of the
7 coordination of the organs of the command.
8 Q. And who would be in charge of that coordination if
9 General Milovanovic was absent as the Chief of Staff?
10 A. It would be the commander because coordination is a function of
11 the command.
12 Q. Since on the 17th of July you returned from sick leave, i.e., you
13 were in the Main Staff at that time, do you know whether General Miletic
14 in July 1995, while there was fighting around Zepa, coordinated the work
15 of the organs of the command?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection leading.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. You need to rephrase the
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [In English] Yes, yes, okay.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know whether General Miletic in July 1995
21 indicated --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Off mike. Off mike.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Do you know who was it that coordinated the work of the command
25 in July 1995?
1 A. It was the commander. He coordinated.
2 Q. Do you have any knowledge of General Miletic ever being in charge
3 of the coordination of the work of the command?
4 A. General Miletic coordinated the work of the staff in the
5 administration, in the staff between the departments and when he was
6 standing in for General Miletic [as interpreted]. And as for the
7 coordination of the work of the organs of the Main Staff, it was not
8 something that he could do, especially in view of the fact that the
9 assistant commanders by their rank, function, and position would be
10 higher ranking than him.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is an important section, and it doesn't make
14 sense on the transcript. I think "standing in for General Milovanovic"
15 is what is supposed to be there.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know how best to go about this, but what we
17 have is, "General Miletic coordinated the work of the staff in the
18 administration" --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter misspoke and apologies. It was
20 General Milovanovic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Okay. Thank you, so we can proceed then.
22 What are we waiting for?
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] My mistake, Your Honour.
24 Q. General, sir, who was the one who was the officer -- strike that.
25 Would General Mladic, when he left the command post, appoint an officer
1 or a person that would be in charge of the coordination of the work of
2 the command?
3 A. The commander of the Main Staff, if his deputy is there, has no
4 reason to do that. But, if both the -- if the Chief of Staff is also
5 present -- absent because he has to leave, he will then appoint a person
6 who would stand in for him during his short absence from the command post
7 and who would be in charge of his duties and coordination. In other
8 words, he has to appoint one of his assistants to stand in for him during
9 his absence.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce
11 document number 5D1090.
12 Q. This is a document issued by the command of the Drina Corps on
13 the 14th of June, 1995, signed by commander -- corps commander,
14 Major-General Milenko Zivanovic. The document bears the title:
15 "Order to enable normal functioning of commanding by commanders
16 when the commander is away from the corps KM," standing for command post.
17 You've had an occasion to see this document, so I would kindly
18 ask you to comment upon it for us.
19 A. General Zivanovic obviously has some bad experience with order
20 and discipline at the command post. And that's why he issued this order
21 to regulate the situation. When he was absent from the command post, the
22 Chief of Staff had to remain in the command post; although, this would be
23 a customary matter regulated by the rules and regulations. And at all
24 levels, the principle of interchangeability should have been taken into
25 account; but here he reminds everybody of something that is a well-known
1 fact that the Chief of Staff should be there while he is gone. But he
2 also leaves an open possibility for the Chief of Staff to leave the
3 command post, to appoint a person that would stand in for him at the
4 command post until the moment when either the commander or the Chief of
5 Staff are able to return.
6 Q. What would be your comment of paragraph 3 of this order?
7 A. It is obvious that this speaks about the work at the command
8 post. Under bullet point 3, he orders the communications squad to
9 provide the commander with certain types of communication in the mobile
10 communications centre, because he does not actually give anybody the
11 authority to takeover the command over the corps. He just organises work
12 at the command post.
13 Q. We've had an occasion to hear people talking about a commander's
14 deputies to be able to act only in the spirit of the commander's
15 decisions. Would you agree with that?
16 A. Deputies at all levels, Chief of Staffs who also stand in for the
17 commander or are deputies to the commander, rather, have the right to
18 order units, but in the spirit of the general command or decision that
19 had previously been issued by the commander.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now see document
21 number P410. In the English version, I would kindly ask for page number
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Look at the screen, please.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Page 7. And page 9 in the English
2 version, as I've already said. In the Serbian version, it would be page
3 number 7, Article 11.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have page 4 on my screen.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] In the Serbian version it is page
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. In the English version, is it page 9
8 or not? Because to me they don't seem to correspond. I may be wrong,
9 but ...
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Mr. President.
11 That's -- that's article or, rather, page 8.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: What we see in English is page 9, and page 9 is
13 what the transcript said you said. Initially you said page 7, but then
14 you said page 9. Okay. This is better. All right. Now they
16 So for the record page 8 in English, page 10 in B/C/S.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, this is the regulations on the authorities of the
19 commander in the ground forces in peacetime, and this is the chapter
20 dealing with the organs of the staff. The subsection is, "Chief of
21 Staff," and this regulates the obligations in Article 11. What I am
22 interested in is this Article 11, paragraph 9.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] So could we please move to the
24 next page in the English version. Could we please look at paragraph 9.
25 In Serbian version, it's again at the next page. Well, finally we are
1 getting there. Just a moment, please.
2 In the Serbian version, could you please move to the next page.
3 And in the English version, too, please.
4 Well, finally, that's it.
5 Q. General, could you please look at the last sentence after Article
6 13 where it says:
7 "The Chief of Staff in his absence shall have the Chief of Staff
8 for operations in training standing in for him."
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Petrusic, I believe misspoke in his question
11 or perhaps it was left out; but the regulations he's referring to are the
12 core regulations of the JNA from 1990; and so I think it's incumbent upon
13 a foundational question for this witness to say whether or not they are
14 applicable to the Main Staff.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, what do you have to say to that Mr. Petrusic?
16 I think Mr. McCloskey is right.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General, before providing an answer to my question, could you
21 please tell us what regulations, what laws applied to the procedures in
22 the Republika Srpska army?
23 A. In the Republika Srpska army, the procedures were adopted from
24 the legislation that was in force in the former JNA for the most part.
25 We, in the Main Staff, did not have the regulation on the authority. And
1 these regulations, the provisions for the corps, could not apply to the
2 Main Staff.
3 Q. Just a moment, just a moment. So you mean to tell us, and you
4 told us, that you followed the regulations from the JNA?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The -- this regulation deals with the authorities of -- within
7 the corps -- corps of the ground forces in peacetime. It was issued by
8 the Federal Secretariat of National Defence of the armed forces of the
9 Socialist Republic of the Former Yugoslavia. It was issued in 1990. So
10 the commands and installations of the army of Republika Srpska, and in
11 particular the corps, did they operate in accordance with this
13 A. The corps did, because the 1st Krajina Corps was the successor of
14 the former 5th JNA corps, the Sarajevo Romanija Corps succeeded or had
15 the same headquarters and also had some of the officers from the 4th
16 Corps of the JNA. So that they applied the same documents that had been
17 drafted by their predecessor corps.
18 Q. So my question to you is in the last sentence of this Article 13
19 of this regulation, it is stipulated that when the Chief of Staff is
20 absent, he shall have the chief of the operations of training organ
21 standing in for him. This provision of this regulation, did it apply in
22 the Main Staff?
23 A. It could not have been applied there, because in the
24 establishment where the corps was set up, the assistant Chief of Staff
25 for operations and training, has a designation of the deputy Chief of
1 Staff. That's always put in parenthesis after the original post. And in
2 the establishment that applied to the Main Staff Command of the VRS, in
3 this establishment, the chief of the operations and training
4 administration did not have the deputy chief of Main Staff as a
5 designation next to this function.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D431 up on
7 our screens. So here we have a document that is entitled:
8 "Establishment Number 111900, the Main Staff of the Army of
9 Republika Srpska."
10 In the Serbian version, we are looking at page 2. And in the
11 English version that would be page 3.
12 Q. Under 10, number 10, you can see the Chief of Staff.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Could you please comment on the previous decision or, rather,
15 your view that you expressed to us previously?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Again, could we have just some foundation from
19 what this piece of paper is, where it came from, does he recognise it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Especially to us who don't read the language,
21 because on the B/C/S version there seems to be a title which could be
22 indicative. But the English one that I am looking at myself doesn't have
23 a title. So -- yes, Mr. Petrusic, if you could go through this quickly,
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I want to say that
1 this document was obtained from the secretariat for the Cooperation with
2 the International Criminal Tribunal of the Republika Srpska at the
3 request of the Defence; and it has been in evidence for some months now.
4 Q. As regards the objection, I would like to ask you this, General,
5 having seen the first page of the document, do you recognise this
6 document? In the course of the your military career did you ever come
7 across this document, do you know what this document is?
8 A. Yes, this is the establishment organising the Main Staff of the
9 VRS; and it is on the basis of the establishment that I exercise some
10 rights, enjoyed some rights, based on the elements that were contained in
11 this establishment just like any other member of the Main Staff.
12 Q. Could you please tell us what did the legislator [as interpreted]
13 envisage in this establishment in terms of the organisation of the staff
14 or, rather, the operations and training administration, and your
15 operations department?
16 But please wait for the interpretation to finish.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, it may be a translation issue, but it
19 says, "what did the legislator, determine ..." I don't think we have a
20 legislator involved here.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't be able to answer that question myself.
22 And still I don't have a clue what document we are looking at. What
23 is -- can someone translate the title of the first two lines, three lines
24 of this document, please? I mean, in English we have don't have -- in
25 English we have part of it without the title.
1 I think we need to see the first page. Yes, that's better. Yes
2 okay. "Summary of duties and units of establishment elements army of
3 Republika Srpska Main Staff." All right. Okay. Let's proceed.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Microphone.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. When I said "legislator," I primarily meant the legal nature of
8 this document. This is a legal document, but at the insistence of the
9 Prosecutor, I will now ask you, General, whether this is an overview of
10 the various duties, unit by unit, and by establishment elements of the
11 Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army as is indicated in heading of
12 this document?
13 A. Yes, if you look at the first entry here it says, "Duties,"
14 that's the first column. And then it says -- you have the codes here.
15 And then there is a column with four sub-columns, and that's formation
16 elements, the number of formation elements, military specialty, rank, and
17 pay grade.
18 In other columns you have listed the weapons and vehicles that
19 belonged to either the individual or the establishment unit.
20 Q. What I am interested in is the first column, "Duties," and let us
21 go back to the staff now. Under number 10, we can see that we have the
22 Chief of Staff at the same time the deputy commander. I would now like
23 you to comment on item 12 where it says, "Operations and training
24 administration." That's a heading?
25 A. Well, it says here the chief. There is only establishment post,
1 the military specialities 31099, which means that this person appointed
2 to this post has to have the -- a degree from the National Defence
3 School. As for the rank, this person can be either a colonel or a
4 general, and the pay grade is six.
5 Q. In accordance with this establishment, is it envisaged that the
6 chief of the operations and training administration is at the same time
7 the deputy of the Chief of Staff?
8 A. No, you can see that the Chief of Staff is, in fact, the deputy
9 commander; and there where you see the chief of the operations and
10 training administration, there is no such indication.
11 Q. The next title is, "The Department for Operations." That is your
13 A. Move up, please.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could you please move the document
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I see it.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The next title is "Department for Operations." Is that your
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Under 14 you will see, which is on the next page, it's -- it
23 "Chief (at the same time deputy chief) of the administration for
24 the operations and training."
25 Would you please comment upon this entry as well as?
1 A. I've already said at the beginning that I was appointed to that
2 establishment post, that I was also the deputy chief of administration,
3 and this also provides a different establishment, elements, the rank, the
4 pay grade.
5 Q. After you left for Jasenica, i.e., to the western part of the
6 front line, did you have somebody who remained in your position in the
7 Main Staff?
8 A. My position was not vacant. I was still what it says here in
9 this establishment scheme. And I was dealing with some issues at the
10 forward command post of the Main Staff. I was attending to some tasks
11 there. I apologise.
12 Q. So you were physically not present at the staff of the Main Staff
13 in Crna Rijeka and that was all?
14 A. Yes, precisely.
15 Q. In the performance of your duties, did you come across with a
16 regular combat reports, i.e., with regular combat reporting? Tell us
17 just briefly, because we will dwell upon the details a bit later.
18 A. Yes, this was part of my regular duties.
19 Q. Who were the combat reports sent to?
20 A. Combat reporting is carried out at all levels, from the lowest
21 along the line of subordination, from brigades to the corps, from the
22 corps to the Main Staff, from the Main Staff to the Supreme Commander.
23 In that we resorted to a variant in order to achieve better and higher
24 quality reporting towards the corps, towards the airforce and the entire
25 Aircraft Defence and the military school centre. We sent our unified
1 reports intended for the Supreme Commander to them as well, as well as to
2 the forward command post of the Main Staff that were operational at the
3 specific moment.
4 Q. When you left to the forward command post in the western part of
5 the front, and when you were there, did you receive combat reports from
6 the Main Staff?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know who the signatory of these combat reports was?
9 A. According to the regular procedure, it was the Chief of Staff.
10 Q. In that part of the front line in the forward command post in
11 question, from Manojlo Milovanovic was there from the end of October,
12 wasn't he? Do you know whose signatures did combat reports bear?
13 A. Since it was an encrypted communication in the bottom left part
14 of each telegram, there was a so-called block signature featuring the
15 Chief of General Staff, Colonel General Manojlo Milovanovic, but we doubt
16 his actual signature.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now kindly ask the Court
18 to produce document P51. Let's please look at the first page and the
19 last page of this document.
20 Q. Having done that tell us, please, whether this would be one of
21 the combat reports that we've just discussed?
22 A. Yes, I drafted this one myself.
23 Q. Very well, then. We will come back to this a bit later.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I believe this is a
25 good time for our first break.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Petrusic. We will have a
2 25-minute break now. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Petrusic.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. General, sir, you said that this was a regular combat report
8 and that the block signature standing in for the Chief of Staff is
9 General Radivoje Miletic, and the date is the 24th of July, 1995. In the
10 English version, this block signature is on the last page.
11 Tell me, please, you were in the Main Staff at that time, were
12 you not?
13 A. I was.
14 Q. Do you know if General Miletic was indeed standing in for the
15 Chief of Staff Manojlo Milovanovic during that period of time?
16 A. He was not standing in for the Chief of Staff. In order for
17 somebody to stand in for somebody whose establishment post was vacant or
18 if that person was temporarily prevented from discharging those duties,
19 there should be proceeded by an order. And I know that General Miletic
20 did not have an authority to stand in for the Chief of Staff.
21 Q. You also said on page 27 that when General Milovanovic was in his
22 command post, and you -- in the forward command post where you also were
23 for a while, in the autumn of 1994, that combat reports with -- arrived
24 at the IKM featuring the block signature of the Chief of Staff
25 Manojlo Milovanovic. How long did this practice go on for? How long did
1 regular combat reports arrive featuring the block signature of
2 General Milovanovic?
3 A. In December 1994, when we moved to Drvar, every morning, just
4 like in corps commands, a report would await on General Milovanovic's
5 table at the IKM. While we were sipping our morning coffee, he would
6 read the report. General Maric was there, I was there, and then I will
7 have to be a bit vulgar now when I quote him, Why is this Miletic fucking
8 up with me? We looked at him in wonderment, and then he says, How am I
9 supposed to be sending reports to myself? Because the block signature
10 contained his name; and he, himself, was reading that report being
11 General Milovanovic at the IKM.
12 What happened after that, whether there were some oral orders
13 issued, I don't know, but after that a new practice was introduced in
14 which says, "Standing in for the Chief of Staff, Major-General Radivoje
16 Although, in my view, it should have been more appropriate if it
17 said, "Upon the approval of the Chief of Staff," rather than "Standing in
18 for." This would have been better in my view, and it would have been
19 more congruent with the regulations.
20 Q. Are you going to say something else, did I interrupt you?
21 A. No, you did not.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce the
23 following Exhibit, PD1194 [as interpreted].
24 Q. General, you will see the document on the screen in a minute.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The document is 5D1194. In the
1 English version, we are looking for page 24, and in the Serbian version
2 we are looking for page 43.
3 Can we please look at the page starting with number 65 in the
4 Serbian version, and that is page 43. Thank you very much. This is
5 excellent. The English version is okay. We have what we need. Please
6 scroll up the English version, scroll up a little bit more. We want to
7 see -- yes, perfectly.
8 Q. General, this document is the rule on official correspondence and
9 office operations in the Army of Yugoslavia dating back to 1994. Under
10 chapter 10, Article 65, it says, "Signing of Documents." Let's dwell
11 upon the first three paragraphs and let's comment upon them. Let us hear
12 your comment.
13 Could you please read the paragraphs to yourself.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objecting to relevance, unless there can be a
16 foundation that this VJ document had applicability in July 1995. So just
17 a question or two of foundation.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's start with the last -- with the
19 latter of the two points made by Mr. McCloskey. Was this still
20 applicable in July of 1995? Perhaps you can direct the question straight
21 away to the witness, if you can -- if you wish, Mr. Petrusic. Because
22 then the question of relevance or otherwise will fall in naturally.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, sir, you've heard first the suggestion and then the
25 question by the Presiding Judge. Could you please tell us whether these
1 regulations where you applied in the army of Republika Srpska in July of
3 A. Yes, Your Honour, we did apply this regulation.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So do you still contest the relevance at this
5 point? No, of course not. Thank you, let's proceed, then.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce
7 5D1198. We would like to eliminate any relevance of the objection that
8 we've just heard.
9 Q. General, sir, looking at this document issued by the Chief of
10 Staff of the administration for training and operations, Colonel
11 Radivoje Miletic, on the 12th of March 1995. Would you say that this
12 document refers precisely to the rules of office operation and business
13 that we discussed a minute ago?
14 A. Yes, this is an accompanying letter, which accompanied 21 pieces
15 of that instruction for office operations and business. And the
16 subordinated units who are the addressees of this instruction had to
17 confirm receipt by signing a -- this accompanying document, and the
18 instruction was sent to them in order to allow them to apply it.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let's go back to 5D1194 now,
20 please, page 43 in the Serbian version and page 24 in the English version
21 of the document.
22 Q. My question to you was to comment upon this Rule 65.
23 A. Article 65 in this instruction on office operations, speaks about
24 the signing of the documents created by the unit command or an
25 institution. It says that the documents should be signed by the officer,
1 the unit command, or the chiefs of the relevant institutions. It also
2 allows for the possibility that the -- establishment deputy or person
3 standing in for the person in charge is allowed to sign such documents.
4 In the second paragraph, it allows the commanding officer of an
5 institution the right to transfer his obligation and duty to sign a
6 document on to another person in the command or institution who is the
7 person to whom he has transferred part of his duties. The bolded part
8 specifically emphasizes that the authorised person cannot transfer that
9 authority on to anybody else.
10 Q. If we go back to the establishment that -- of the Main Staff that
11 you have had an occasion to see, and if you establish a relationship
12 between the chief of the Main Staff, Manojlo Milovanovic, and the chief
13 of the administration for trainings and operations, General Miletic, the
14 first paragraph of this document which speaks about the establishment
15 deputy and persons standing in for a commander, would this first
16 paragraph be a -- be applicable to that situation?
17 A. By establishment, a chief of administration is neither a deputy
18 nor a person standing in for somebody, but the Chief of Staff has the
19 right to transfer his duties and obligations to the most senior officer
20 and particularly the authority to sign documents. However, and I repeat
21 in the document, in the daily report that we've just seen, this was not
22 the best wording. It is a bit awkward where it says here, "Standing in
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I can feel the stress and the tension in the
25 interpreter's voice. Please slow down. They have already a very, very
1 difficult job. Amongst all the people that work here in the Tribunal,
2 the interpreters have a terrible job sitting in a small cubical and
3 having to cope with what we present them with. So please, try to
4 understand and make their lives a little bit easier.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll do my best, Your Honour.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Since you were with General Milovanovic at the forward command
8 post, would you say that General Milovanovic was in a position or whether
9 he, indeed, performed his regular duties as the Chief of Staff?
10 A. Yes. This could be applied to the Chief of Staff and the
11 commander at all levels.
12 Q. During that period of time, while he was in the western front,
13 could General Milovanovic have contacts with General Mladic?
14 A. Yes, he had daily contacts with him via protected connection
15 using KZU63.
16 Q. And as for the other members of the staff or the command, did he
17 have the same means of communications that he could use?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at 5D1278.
20 Q. General, sir, this is an intercept dated 18 April 1995. The
21 conversation took place at 9.46 in the morning. Could you please read
22 it, and then we will welcome your comments upon it.
23 A. Do you want me to read this aloud?
24 Q. No, you can read it to yourself.
25 A. Here the chief of administration for operations and training,
1 briefs the Chief of Staff. And here it says that he's probably in Sanski
2 Most, that there are no particular problems on the lines, and that the
3 forces of the Drina, and East Bosnian Corps, in the territory of Mount
4 Majevica. And I quote, for the most part did not do anything.
5 Q. Based on this document -- or, rather, could General Milovanovic
6 have a full insight into the developments of the staff as you are looking
7 at this document?
8 A. In addition to the regular combat reports that present the
9 situation at 1700 hours everyday, and individual exchanges via
10 communication means, the superior officers did learn about the
11 developments in the areas of responsibility of the respective corps.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please look at 5D1222.
13 This is a document from the Herzegovina Corps command, dated the 1st of
14 August, 1995. It is sent to the Main Staff of the VRS, "Attention
15 General Mladic." It is sent by the commander of the Herzegovina Corps,
16 Radovan Grubac.
17 Q. Do you know where General Mladic was at the time?
18 A. Well, it says here, "The Main Staff of the VRS, 2nd Krajina
19 Corps, attention General Mladic." So he was at the command post of the
20 2nd Krajina Corps.
21 Q. Was General Milovanovic also in the area?
22 A. Yes, in those parts, but whether he was actually there at the
23 time I don't know.
24 Q. So my question to you --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You are overlapping again, please.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. My question then is whether the corps commanders were able to
3 send reports directly to the commander or the Chief of Staff even when
4 they were not actually in the command post in Crna Rijeka.
5 A. Yes. Here we have a case where the commander of the Herzegovina
6 Corps, General Grubac, sends a request for the units of the Sarajevo
7 Romanija Corps to take some features. In order for that to be done, the
8 Sarajevo Romanija Corps has to receive an order from a person who is
9 actually authorised to assign tasks and issue orders to it.
10 Q. So could you tell me, why wasn't this sent to the Main Staff in
11 Crna Rijeka?
12 A. Well, obviously --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one moment.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the corps commander.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think the Main Staff is on this address list.
17 So I think that's a misstatement of the question.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me just check properly.
19 Yes, at least in the English translation, Mr. Petrusic, we do
20 have the Main Staff of the army of the VRS anyway.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Why was it not sent only to the Main Staff?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, leading. That's the problem with
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: It is leading as well. I mean, he could easily
2 rephrase his question.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Well, it appears to me that this
4 is not a leading question, because the question stems from it, and we
5 don't have the answer to it in it, but --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Listen, the document speaks for itself. It
7 indicates the addressees, okay? So if you - and we don't need the
8 witness to confirm who the addressees were - so if you have a question
9 arising out of that, put it, by all means. But otherwise, let's not
10 waste time.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it might be a
12 misunderstanding here. The question is not so much who is the addressee
13 but rather why has this document not been solely sent to the General
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Let him -- let me rephrase it
16 myself then.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone, Your Honour, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. I'm sorry.
19 Mr. Obradovic, if you look at this document you will see who the
20 addressees are. In addition to the Main Staff, there is also the 2nd
21 Krajina Corps and General Mladic personally. Why was it also sent to
22 these last two; that is, the 2nd Krajina Corps and General Mladic, if you
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, the Main Staff and
25 the staff of the Main Staff should be notified about the developments,
1 because we are following the developments in the whole theater, and we
2 have to be told about this request by the Herzegovina Corps.
3 The decision or the order to the Sarajevo Romanija Corps could
4 only be issued by the commander. The commander of the Herzegovina Corps
5 knows that General Mladic, his immediate superior, is at the command post
6 of the 2nd Krajina Corps. And that is why it is sent to him, so that he
7 could issue an order to the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
8 And it is also sent to the Main Staff in order to enable us to monitor to
10 That would be my response, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Just an amendment to the transcript
13 on page 36, line 16, it says here, "monitor developments," and the
14 witness said, "prati situaciju."
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Which means what?
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Follow the situation.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object to that -- this kind of --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but if you --
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- nitpicking for argument's sake is what that
21 appears to me to be.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but to Ms. Fauveau there is a difference
23 between "follow the situation" and "monitor the developments." We can
24 leave it at that and proceed. Come on.
25 Your next question, Mr. Petrusic.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, do you have any knowledge whether the representatives of
3 the command of the Main Staff have meetings with the civilian state
4 leadership of the Republika Srpska, the government of the Republika
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know who the representatives of the army were who took
8 part in those meetings?
9 A. In most cases, those were commanders and their assistants, but in
10 some situations we would go there as a team. So not in an individual,
11 but depending on what was being discussed by the government --
12 Q. Did General Milovanovic go to those meetings?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And did you know whether in the absence of -- do you know whether
15 in the absence of General Milovanovic, whether General Miletic did attend
16 those meetings as an individual?
17 A. Well, I don't know any specific examples, but it is possible.
18 Q. Do you know anything about the -- any jurisdiction that UNPROFOR
19 might have had in Republika Srpska in the territory that was controlled
20 by the VRS?
21 A. Well, I was not aware of the details but I did note that they
22 were peacekeepers; it was a peacekeeping force and they did have certain
24 JUDGE AGIUS: The problem is whether you are on the same
25 wavelength, you, Mr. Petrusic, and your witness, as to the extent of the
1 meeting of -- meaning of "jurisdiction." If you could be more precise --
2 in other words, you were referring to other issues other than the ones
3 that the witness referred to. You are free to put another question. I
4 want to make sure that you were on the same wavelength.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, in the description of its tasks as the chief of the
7 operations and training administration, did General Miletic also have
8 this role to attend the sessions of the government of Republika Srpska
9 and similar things?
10 A. No.
11 Q. In 1994 you joined the Main Staff, who received you at the Main
13 A. At the Main Staff, the chief of the operations and training
14 administration was not there. He was at the western front, and I was
15 received by Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic.
16 Q. What did General Milovanovic offer you by way of a job, possible
18 A. Well, he did not make this offer immediately, but two or three
19 days later. I accompanied General Milovanovic, General Tolimir, and
20 Colonel Magazin, to Pale, to the meeting with the Chief of Staff of
21 UNPROFOR. I believe his name was Brickman, General Brickman.
22 After that, General Milovanovic tasked me with processing this
23 meeting, which I did; and he told me on that occasion that he thought
24 since Colonel Magazin was about to retire to appoint me to his post. But
25 he also told me that he had changed his mind.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise, but "processing a meeting." That
3 has no meaning that I'm aware of.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It could also be a matter of translation, actually,
5 but if you could clarify this with the witness, please. Perhaps you know
6 better which words -- which terminology he used, and if that could be
7 translated again, the same or differently we would be in a better
8 position to know.
9 Here we have: "After that, General Milovanovic tasked me with
10 processing this meeting, which I did."
11 Yes, Mr. Obradovic, let's come --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was my task, Your Honour, when I
13 say, "to process it," I had to write down how the meeting progressed and
14 I had to write down the conclusions. And when I did that, when I handed
15 this in to him, told me that he had thought that I would do this job; but
16 then I changed his mind. I don't know for what reason. And then
17 Lieutenant-Colonel Milo Djordjevic [as interpreted] was brought in to
18 perform this job.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So process in the sense of covering and reporting
20 on. All right. Let's proceed.
21 Mr. Petrusic, your next question.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You mentioned Lieutenant-Colonel Milo Djordjevic, that's how it's
24 recorded in the transcript; but can you tell us his name, his actual
1 A. Milos Djurdjic.
2 Q. Let us go back to those meetings with UNPROFOR. In the absence,
3 to your knowledge, in the absence of General Miletic,
4 General Milovanovic, the then-Colonel Miletic, did he attend those
5 meetings with UNPROFOR?
6 A. Well, I don't have any knowledge of that, but I do know that --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: Could the counsel please
8 stop shuffling the papers, we cannot hear the witness from the noise.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Obradovic. You will need to repeat
10 your -- sorry, one moment, Mr. Obradovic. You will need to repeat your
11 answer because there was a problem that impeded the interpreters from
12 hearing what you were saying.
13 Mr. Petrusic, you are aware of what the interpreters complained
14 of, so let's come back to you, Mr. Obradovic. What we have here is:
15 "Well, I don't have any knowledge of that, but I do know
16 that ..." can you continue from there, please?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do know that care was taken if a
18 meeting was convened by the UNPROFOR Chief of Staff, then the chief of
19 Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska attend the meeting. If it was
20 the commander, then it was the commander who attended those meetings.
21 Now, whether general or then-Colonel Miletic did attend those meetings, I
22 don't know that.
23 Q. In the command of the Main Staff of the VRS, were there any
24 morning briefings of the command held?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you tell us who attended those meetings in the command?
2 A. Well, if the commander chaired the meeting, then the assistants
3 were present there as well as the administration chiefs. If it was a
4 meeting of the staff, then the officers -- the staff officers were
5 present there.
6 Q. You mentioned the administrations, what administration were you
7 referring to?
8 A. I was referring to the independent administrations. The chief of
9 administration for operations and training, which is not independent,
10 because the chief of the -- this administration usually took notes, kept
11 the minutes of those meetings.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at document
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we clarify the two independent entities.
15 That's the second or third time he's made that reference; and I don't
16 think it's clear who he is talking about.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic -- or Mr. Obradovic, you can deal
18 with it straight away. Can you explain?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The administration, well you use
20 the term "entity." I didn't understand, sorry.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, sir, when you were talking about morning briefings and
24 when you are talking about independent administrations, when you are
25 talking about assistant commanders, would you please allow us to go back
1 to those issues, and could you please explain what independent
2 administrations do you have in mind? I don't want to suggest anything to
3 you. Just tell us in your own words what are independent
5 A. Those were administrations for plan, development, and finances,
6 and administrations for airforce and the entire airforce. There were
7 also admissions which were not independent. The administration for
8 security, the intelligence security, and the education security. The
9 second one was in the Sector for Intelligence and Security.
10 Q. And let's round this off. The two administrations, the one for
11 the plan and finances and the one for airforce, who were they
12 subordinated to?
13 A. They were directly linked to the commander of the Main Staff.
14 Q. And what about the other two?
15 A. They were tied to the chief of --
16 Q. Just a moment, please. The other two administrations that you
17 spoke about, the security administration and the administration for
18 intelligence, who were they? Or, rather, what were they part of?
19 A. Those two administrations were a part of the Sector for
20 Intelligence and Security, and they are subordinated to the chief of that
21 particular sector.
22 Q. Who was that?
23 A. General Tolimir.
24 Q. Would that be the inner circle of the command?
25 A. The inner circle of the command consists of the assistant
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I don't know whether the -- my
3 learned friend is happy with this or whether he wants to explore the
4 matter any further, whether he want us to go into the greater details of
5 the structure? If not, let's move on to 5D1021. Could the Court please
6 produce 5D1021.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document is on the screen already.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, sir, this is a document issued by the Main Staff on the
10 17th of July 1995, and it bears the signature of General Mladic. Could
11 you please tell us -- I apologise, it is a block signature rather than
12 the signature of General Ratko Mladic.
13 Could you please tell us, first of all, whether this was the day
14 when you returned to the Main Staff from sick leave?
15 A. Yes, I returned to the Main Staff on the 17th of July in the
17 Q. Look at the first and second paragraphs of this document, which
18 is actually an order. My question is this: Your memory and this
19 document, do they help you remember whether General Milovanovic was
20 present on the 20th of July in Crna Rijeka?
21 A. It transpires from this document that in addition to this festive
22 part of the party, the commander orders the corps commanders to prepare a
23 short debriefing or briefing on certain issues. And that will you will
24 find in the second paragraph. This took place in Crna Rijeka, and
25 General Milovanovic attended this debriefing session.
1 Q. Do you remember whether there was anybody else present during the
2 debriefing -- or, rather, do you remember any other people who attended?
3 A. I believe that the commander of the East Bosnian Corps was not
4 there, but there was his Chief of Staff. As for the rest of the corps
5 commanders, if memory serves me well, were present. And the debriefing
6 was lead by the Chief of Staff, because the commander was absent.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Very well. We will no longer need
8 this document.
9 Q. What functions of the Chief of Staff were -- and did
10 General Miletic take them over in July 1995?
11 A. General Miletic took over certain tasks within the staff during
12 that period of time. The organisation of the work of the officers who
13 remained there and who were not with General Milovanovic; for example,
14 that was one of the duties that he had taken over.
15 Q. Could you please be more specific and provide us with some more
16 detail of that task?
17 A. What was taken over was tied to the signing of the daily combat
18 reports and the organisation of the work of the staff at the command
20 Q. And what about the other functions of the Chief of Staff? Did
21 the Chief of Staff transfer his other functions on to somebody?
22 A. I don't think so, and there was no reason for that, for that
23 matter. In the military we used to use a platitude, and we used to say,
24 Wherever the commander is, that's the command post. Wherever the Chief
25 of Staff is, that's where the place is, because both moveable and
1 stationary communications means enabled people to communicate. Only a
2 bad commander would not organise his communications to function from the
3 position where he is at any given moment, so there were communications
4 means that allowed us to communicate with the subordinated units.
5 Q. I'm sorry, I was going to interrupt you, but you did not finish.
6 Go ahead.
7 A. And when it comes to the forward command posts, these can often
8 be at the command posts of a subordinated unit for a corps command, for
9 example. And that's when you use the infrastructure that already exists
10 in the command post of the corps. So you would use their communication
11 means as well.
12 When this is not the case, however, pursuant to regulations, at a
13 forward command post, one has to organise the same types of
14 communications as one has at their normal command post. However, these
15 communication means are on a somewhat smaller scale at a forward command
16 post. What does this mean? You have to be able to communicate with your
17 superior officer pursuant to the plan of the superior command. As for
18 the subordinate commands, you should be able to communicate with them as
19 well as with your basic command post.
20 These are the communication lines that have to be established
21 from the forward command post towards other command posts.
22 Q. Did General Milovanovic establish such communication lines at the
23 western front from October 1994? Could he communicate with the Main
24 Staff, in other words?
25 A. Yes. I was often in a position to communicate with the commander
1 about the situation in that area in cases when General Milovanovic did
2 not come back until a certain deadline to the forward command post. That
3 communication line was protected by cryptographic protection; 63 was the
4 type of the device that protected that communication.
5 Q. If I understand you properly, General Milovanovic also could
6 communicate with the subordinated units?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. General, sir, do you have any knowledge about humanitarian
9 convoys and about the passage of humanitarian convoys across the
10 territories under the control of the army of Republika Srpska?
11 A. Those convoys came from different directions, either from
12 Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, it all depended on where they were sent to.
13 Q. In principle did the administration -- or, rather, strike that.
14 Do you know who made decisions about the passage of humanitarian aid?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a rather huge area and a very vague
17 question as for time. During the key periods of convoys, it's my
18 understanding, this officer was not around. So I don't know what
19 time-period he's talking about and what the relevance of 1993 might be.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's take them one by one.
21 Do you understand English?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you -- could you kindly remove your headphones,
25 Mr. Petrusic, what's the relevance of 1993? Yes, but I don't
1 want to answer the question myself. Speak in the microphone, to the
2 microphone, please.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honour, maybe
5 I can help you. I think the question did not in any way relate to 1993.
6 1993, the witness, wasn't even serving at the Main Staff, so I can't
7 quite see why the Prosecution refers to 1993.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: That was the point of my objection. I can't tell
9 what he's talking -- what year he's talking about and what his knowledge
10 is of these things from his position at the forward command post on the
11 western front. There is just no foundation for these questions, and
12 there is no time-period. So we can tighten it up, there may be no
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Can you pinpoint exactly the
15 time-period you are interested in and about which the witness could
16 comfortably answer your question.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honour, I think
18 we have to understand the procedure before we can make any comments and
19 know whether there were any changes. We really need to understand what
20 happened at the end of 1994 and the way procedures went in the Main
21 Staff, because that is very close to the period that we are interested
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think we can simplify it.
25 The -- there was a first question to you, Mr. Obradovic, which
1 you answered. The question was -- oh, I see. I will try to simplify
2 matters for everyone. There was a first question to you, Mr. Obradovic,
3 which was as follows:
4 "General, sir, do you have any knowledge about humanitarian
5 convoys and about the passage of humanitarian convoys across the
6 territories under the control of the army of Republika Srpska?"
7 And you, according to the transcript, answered as follows:
8 "Those convoys came from different directions, either from
9 Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, it all depended on where they were sent to."
10 And then there was another question to which we don't have an
11 answer as yet, and the question was as follows:
12 "In principle, did the administration -- do you know, rather, who
13 made decisions about the passage of humanitarian aid?"
14 Now, I understand from what has been going on that you came into
15 the picture - as far as passage of convoys are concerned - at a certain
16 point in time. Let's starts from there.
17 There was a time when you somehow was involved in this whole set
18 up, or you were familiar with it. At that point in time are you aware as
19 to who made the decisions about the passage of humanitarian aid?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the commander who made those
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And can you tell us with some precision when you
23 first started being involved in this area or when you became aware of how
24 this area functioned? Was it in 1994, and if yes, what part of 1994?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Immediately at the outset, as soon
1 as I joined the Main Staff.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Now, can we take it up from there now,
3 Mr. Petrusic? You know what Mr. McCloskey's queries and concerns are;
4 and you also heard Madam Fauveau explain what they were -- what you
5 should be after. So let's proceed from there. Thank you.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have 5D884 up on the
9 Q. General, in the signature block of this document we can see
10 General Nikolai. And on this document, do you see the handwritten
11 initials? Can you recognise them?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask the usher
14 to give the witness the pen that he could use to write on the monitor, on
15 the screen, so that he could circle the initials that we are talking
17 Q. Just a moment General. On this document that you can see here on
18 the right-hand side of your screen, could you please circle the two
19 initials that you say you are able to recognise.
20 A. The one that I circled?
21 Q. Just a moment. Could you please mark it with number 1?
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. And could you please tell us whose initials are these?
24 A. That's General Tolimir's initials.
25 Q. Could you now please circle the other initials and could you
1 please mark it with number 2?
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Whose initials are those?
4 A. The commander of the Main Staff, General Ratko Mladic.
5 Q. To avoid any confusion, in the initials you circled the Cyrillic
6 letters where it says, "Yes."
7 A. Yes. Yes, above the initials.
8 Q. Now, I would like the usher to give you another pen. General,
9 wait a little bit, please. Things that are written in Cyrillic, where it
10 says "da," "yes," could you please circle that, and could you put number
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. So just to make things perfectly clear, the circle marked with 2
14 indicates the initials put there by General Mladic; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Again, on this document, mid-way down the page, we can see the
17 word, "da" written in Cyrillic alphabet.
18 A. Well, I don't know, are you referring to the thing that I marked
19 with number 3?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Yes, precisely. And here the commander gives his approval to
22 whoever is processing this document, and that is Colonel Djurdjic,
23 indicating that this is approved and that he can start drafting the
25 Q. Mid-way down the page, again in Cyrillic alphabet, there is a
1 note by Colonel Milos Djurdjic, can you please read that for us?
2 A. It says, Captain Novakovic, the data about the movement urgently,
3 this is underlined, report by phone to the checkpoints signed Colonel
4 Milos Djurdjic.
5 Q. To your knowledge, the knowledge that you have from the
6 administration, and you mentioned the person who processed this document,
7 when we have this document, what is done with it in the department ran by
8 Colonel Djurdjic?
9 A. Your Honours, if I may comment on what is written by hand in the
10 upper part of the document.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up there, Captain Novakovic, that
13 is my assumption, noted on this document that Caura was notified at 1135
14 hours, Domar was notified at 1138, and Bresa at 1140. Those are code
15 names of units that Captain Novakovic was supposed to notify because of
16 the urgency of the matter. He was supposed to phone them.
17 Q. General, Colonel Milos Djurdjic, what department was he in?
18 A. As I said at the beginning, he was appoint the chief of the civil
19 affairs department.
20 Q. Do you know who his superior was?
21 A. This department was linked with the cabinet or office, in other
22 words, he was under the commander.
23 Q. You mean the commander of the Main Staff?
24 A. Yes, the commander of the Main Staff. I do apologise.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Okay. We can remove this
1 document. Could we please have document 846 -- oh, yes, before you
2 remove it, could you please put today's date and your signature --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... yes, he has.
4 Mr. Obradovic, you have to sign it and date it, please. You can sign it
5 either at the bottom or top, whichever you prefer.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is it the 13th today?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: No it's the --
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] It's the 14th.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the 14th today.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could I just get clarification on who he thinks
11 wrote the Caura and the coded documents? That may save time.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
13 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be saved.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I think the Prosecutor did get the
16 answer. He said it was -- the witness said it was Captain Novakovic and
17 that was at page 51, line 15.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree with that, Mr. McCloskey?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: That was my clarification because I don't know
20 where he got that from, and I thought he may have been meaning Djurdjic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But it's clear, do you confirm that,
22 Mr. Obradovic, so that we can proceed?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, that's what I said. The
24 order to Captain Novakovic by Colonel Djurdjic. So he stated here the
25 times when he actually notified the units in question.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I don't think that we need this
2 document anymore. Could we please have document 864 [as interpreted].
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 846.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] 5D846. You can see on the first
5 page that this was issued by the Main Staff on the 25th of November,
6 1994. On the second page of the document in the Serbian and English
7 versions, we can see the signature block of General Ratko Mladic.
8 Q. General --
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] -- or rather, that would be page
10 3, the last page in the English version.
11 Q. General, please take some time and look at this document. Could
12 you please tell us first, where did this document originate from?
13 A. It originated from the Main Staff, the number designation 03/4.
14 That's the designation of the operations and training administration, and
15 it was drafted on the 25th of November of 1994.
16 Q. At any rate, this is an order?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you please give us your comment on this document in light
19 of the fact that it originated from your administration?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, vague.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. What's your comment to that?
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Well, I can rephrase the question.
23 Q. General, what is the demand contained in this order from the
24 commander of the Main Staff in accordance with this document?
25 A. This document was sent to the Drina Corps command, to the
1 commander in person. And in the preamble, the commander of the Main
2 Staff notifies the Drina Corps commander that he has approved the four
3 UNPROFOR convoys, and that all four would pass on the 26th of November,
4 1994. And then, the routes are listed, the affiliation, the number of
5 vehicles, and other data about the convoys.
6 And before it says, "I hereby order ..." the commander of the
7 Main Staff says:
8 "Having assessed the overall situation, the relations with
9 UNPROFOR, and the decision of the Main Staff ..." to effect a blockade of
10 four convoys. And in order to implement the said decision, he now
11 specifies in 7 items the assessment, the organisation, the procedure when
12 convoys are stopped.
13 Q. General, could you please tell us what are the reasons why the
14 four convoys are stopped and why those searches are carried out?
15 A. Well, there were cases when illicit goods were being transported
16 or when goods that were not declared and equipment that was not declared
17 was being transported. In some cases, it was even ammunition that was
18 being carried.
19 There probably was some suspicion since this long blockade is
20 envisaged for the search to be carried out, and in item 5 he prohibits
21 any arbitrary or disorganised behaviour on part of our troops that
22 participate in the implementation of this task.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like us to move to the
24 next document. We are not going to need this anymore. And that would be
25 5D1311. It's a document from the Main Staff. The date is the 6th of
1 March, 1995. In the English version, let us move on to page 3. And in
2 the Serbian version, could you please just scroll down the document.
3 Q. General, at the end of the document in the Serbian version, you
4 can see the signature block standing in for the Chief of Staff Colonel
5 Radivoje Miletic. Do you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Below the signature block, there is a signature in ink. Do you
8 know whose signature that is?
9 A. It was Colonel Pandzic, Radoslav Pandzic.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the usher to
11 provide the witness with a pen so that you could circle the signature.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we clarify whether there is a "za" in front
13 of that signature or not.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the witness can answer that question straight
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it is a little bit not clear,
17 but I believe that below the stamp you can see something. I think I can
18 discern the outline of the letter Z there, or maybe that's number 8. I
19 don't know.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we zoom in that part first before the witness
21 makes any markings. Further, could we zoom in further, and further. Can
22 we concentrate on the left part only, put it close to the centre; and
23 zoom further, please.
24 Does that help you any better, Mr. Obradovic?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it looks like a Z, letter Z,
1 but I'm not sure.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the second mobile that we've heard today.
3 One had jingle bells, this one is ... it's good judges have got the gift
4 of patience. Let's proceed.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Well, we won't need the signature
6 to be circled, and I apologise to Madam Usher in light of the fact that
7 the General was able to identify the signature as that of
8 Colonel Pandzic.
9 Could we please have both documents on the screen. Could you now
10 go to the next page in both documents. The English version too, please.
11 Can we go to the next page.
12 Q. General, you see the initials that are outside of the circle
13 where it says "A/A" in Cyrillic. Could you please tell us whose initials
14 are those?
15 A. These are the initials of the commander of the Main Staff.
16 Q. Could you please leaf through this document. It contains eight
17 more pages. Have you gone through all of them? Could you please tell us
18 then whose initials are there?
19 A. These are the initials of the commander of the Main Staff,
20 lieutenant-general -- or, rather, Colonel-General Ratko Mladic.
21 Q. What does he want to do with his initials?
22 A. Well, he read -- well, Your Honours, if you'll allow me to
23 explain the procedure. The facts from the civil affairs department is on
24 at all times, and these requests come in through that fax machine. And
25 then Colonel Djurdjic takes them to the commander for his information,
1 and then the commander reads all of them, and he underlines things; and
2 then he either approves them or he puts them -- he instructs them that
3 they should be put in the files, A/A or put some restrictions.
4 For instance, here he says, No fuel; and then Colonel Djurdjic
5 uses this as a basis for his own document that he's going to draft.
6 Because every number that is listed in the memo written -- signed by
7 Colonel Pandzic contains the numerical designation of each convoy.
8 Q. Just one more question before the break, are you saying that the
9 signature, General Mladic's signature is in fact an order tantamount to
10 an order to Colonel Djurdjic?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection, yes. I don't think that needs a
13 follow-up by way of explanation. Could you rephrase your question,
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Colonel Djurdjic, is he duty-bound to comply with the
17 instructions that are given in this fax by General Mladic?
18 A. Yes, Your Honours. We had the rules on office work a little
19 while ago, and it gives powers to the commander to give instructions to
20 whoever is processing the documents on the margin.
21 And these are, in fact, notifications of convoy passage and
22 instructions what to do about them. This was just one document, two
23 documents in one. And since General Miletic was away standing in for the
24 Chief of Staff, this was signed by Colonel Pandzic from the airforce and
25 air defence administration.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to
2 suggest what we have our break now, and we will go back to this document
3 after the break.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. We will have a 25-minute
5 break now.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's continue, please.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] We can set aside this document.
10 Q. General, I would now like to ask you once again to slow down and
11 to make pauses before answering my questions.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we please move on to document
13 5D1312. In the English version you can see the heading. Could you
14 please put the English version on page 7, and in the Serbian version that
15 would be page 4.
16 Q. General, in both versions the signature block reads as follows:
17 "Stands in for the Chief of Staff, Colonel Radivoje Miletic."
18 Could you please look at the document that you have in front of
19 you, the one in Serbian; whose signature is it, the signature in ink?
20 A. Colonel Pandzic, Radoslav Pandzic.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Now, I would like the -- for some
22 technical assistance, could we please zoom in the part where the
23 signature is affixed.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just -- sorry, it's not working. Okay. Just we
1 can see from the English translation, it says, "Deputy chief of staff."
2 That may be a translation issue. We will sort that out and get back to
3 you on that to determine whether that's standing in or that -- and make
4 sure we get that done correctly.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
6 Mr. Petrusic.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. This is the signature of Colonel Pandzic, and do you see just
9 before the area where the stamp is, is there anything handwritten there?
10 A. Yes, it says, "for [Realtime transcript read in error, "4"]" and
11 the signature is that of Colonel Radoslav Pandzic.
12 Q. And the person listed in the signature block is
13 Colonel Radivoje Miletic?
14 A. Yes.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel is kindly asked to speak into the
16 microphone. Microphone, please.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] At page 59, line 12, instead of
18 the figure "4" should read "for," F-O-R.
19 Q. General, could you please leaf through the attachments to this
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could you please put page 1 on the
22 screen -- or, rather, page 8 of the English version.
23 Q. Have you gone through the document, General?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us whose initials are affixed to these documents?
1 A. All those documents bear the initials of the commander of the
2 Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army, General Mladic.
3 Q. On the front page of this document, in the Serbian version, we
4 see an instruction written in Cyrillic. Could you please read it.
5 A. On the right-hand side it is written in Cyrillic, yes, and then
6 it is stricken through.
7 Q. No, no. General, on the first page of this document.
8 A. Of the typed-up document?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Hand over only to the Drina Corps because I faxed it to the
11 Sarajevo Romanija Corps, Colonel Djurdjic. This is notification to the
12 encryption operator that he needn't send an encrypted version of this
13 document to the Sarajevo Corps because it had already been faxed. The
14 only encrypted version is to be sent to the Drina Corps.
15 Q. For the record, this note that you talked about, who is it
16 addressed to?
17 A. To the encryption operator.
18 Q. In the chain of command of the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska
19 army, did Colonel, later General Miletic allow to issue orders to
20 Colonel Djurdjic?
21 A. No, they were not part of the same chain of command. In fact,
22 Colonel Djurdjic was subordinated directly to the office of the commander
23 or the person of the commander.
24 Q. Let us go back to the 17th of July, the day when you returned to
25 the Main Staff. Upon your return whom did you find there, and could you
1 please describe briefly your return to the staff of the Main Staff or to
2 your office?
3 A. I travelled in my own car. The driver was a retired police
4 officer from Bosanski Brod, and Colonel [as interpreted] Dragan Micanovic
5 was a passenger. Upon my arrival I reported to the chief of the
6 administration, and I told him -- I asked him what was happening, and he
7 told me about that. And there were very few people there the --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: It is Lieutenant
9 Dragan Micanovic.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Could you please tell us who was the other passenger?
12 A. It was Dragan Micanovic, a lieutenant.
13 Q. Did you receive information as to what was going on? Were you
14 briefed about what was going on in the area of the army of Republika
15 Srpska in that time?
16 A. From Lieutenant Micanovic we received information in the course
17 of our trip, that from Zvornik to Hans Pijesak we should be careful
18 because we might encounter armed groups of BH army troops from
20 Upon our arrival in the Main Staff, I learned that there were
21 problems in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Corps, in the area of
22 responsibility of the 1st Corps around Vlasic, the East Bosnian Corps up
23 there at Majevica, the Stolice repeater, in the Drina Corps where there
24 was combat ongoing for the Zepa area. In the Sarajevo Romanija Corps
25 area, there was a critical situation to the south and northwest of the
1 area. And in Herzegovina Corps, the situation was difficult in
2 Treskavica and in the area towards Trnovo.
3 Q. Let us now dwell on the Drina Corps. Did you know, were you
4 aware, who was engaged in combat around Zepa?
5 A. Drina Corps was engaged in combat in the Zepa area.
6 Q. What do you know about the involvement of the Main Staff in the
7 planning and execution of combat, first planning then execution?
8 A. Well the combat operations were not planned at the level of the
9 Main Staff. The combat operations were planned by the Drina Corps.
10 Q. Can you explain to us, given that we know that the operation
11 started on the 14th of July, 1995, and you returned on the 17th, how did
12 you know that the operations were not planned at the level of the Main
13 Staff? Just a moment, just a moment.
14 A. Well, the obligation of the operations department and the
15 operations and training administration to follow the combat operations in
16 the whole theatre, operations that are planned at the level of the Main
17 Staff are plotted on the work map of the Main Staff. We did not have any
18 details about the combat operations in Zepa, and we didn't have any
19 written orders in the form of an order in order to be able to follow that
20 more closely.
21 Q. There is evidence to the effect that General Mladic was in that
22 part of the theater as was General Tolimir.
23 A. This is an area in the Zepa sector. The name is Pribicevac.
24 This was a forward command post of the Drina Corps for combat operations
25 in the territory of Zepa.
1 Q. We also have information that -- that Pribicevac was not a
2 forward command post of the Drina Corps for Zepa operations -- just a
3 moment, but that it was rather a forward command post for a different
4 operation. I would just like to make sure that you did not misspeak.
5 A. Yes, I did misspeak. It was a Boksanica, they were at that area
6 of Zepa, called Boksanica, I believe. I am not sure though.
7 Q. While you were at the Main Staff, General Miletic was there every
8 day, was he not?
9 A. Yes, he was.
10 Q. Do you know what his role was at the time and could you,
11 yourself, take a look at the operation around Zepa?
12 A. No, he did not have anything to do with the Zepa operation. He
13 was involved in current things at the staff.
14 Q. Did you receive any reports from the Zepa theater?
15 A. Regular combat reports arrived from the Drina Corps because that
16 was the area of their responsibility, and these reports also contained
17 information about the developments around Zepa.
18 Q. Who was the one who drafted those combat reports?
19 A. Those to the Supreme Commander, it was General Miletic, myself,
20 or possibly Krsto Djeric's, if he was there. And as for the corps
21 command, I really don't know who drafted the reports.
22 Q. Did you find Colonel Trkulja there?
23 A. As I arrived, together with Micanovic, I inquired about
24 Colonel Trkulja because he was deployed together with us and he also
25 belonged to the staff. I asked, Where is Trki? That was his nickname.
1 General Miletic told me that he had sent him together with some other
2 officers to the area of the Zvornik Brigade upon the order of the
3 commander of the Main Staff.
4 Q. And what about General Milovanovic, was he there at the General
5 Staff at the time?
6 A. On the 17th, no he was not.
7 Q. Could you please answer the previous question and tell us what
8 General Miletic told you about Colonel Trkulja upon your arrival in the
9 Main Staff?
10 A. He told me that he had sent him together with some other officers
11 of the Main Staff upon the order of the commander of the Main Staff to
12 the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] And now I would like the Court to
14 produce 5D1205. If this could be placed on the screen, please.
15 Q. General, sir, this document is about reporting. Or, let me put
16 it this way. Do you know the definition of the staff units at the
17 General Staff?
18 A. In the area of the deployment of the Main Staff, there was the
19 67th signals regiment and the 65th protection motorised regiment. The
20 1st guards brigade was resubordinated to the command of the Herzegovina
21 Corps, and it was deployed in Karnovink [phoen].
22 Q. The combat reports that are mentioned in this document, why were
23 they sent to Colonel Miletic?
24 A. Since the area was very small and it contained both the command
25 of the signals regiment command and the motorised regiment command, in
1 order to avoid confusing the code, I believe, this was the order of the
2 chief of the General Staff that the chiefs of the staffs of these two
3 units should report to Colonel Miletic and to brief him instead of
4 writing daily reports. And this document here, signed by Savcic, the
5 commander of the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment regulates this issue.
6 And I believe that he had previously received this order either in
7 writing or orally from the commander [as interpreted] of the staff. I
8 wouldn't be able to tell you what kind of order it was.
9 It says here that Lieutenant-Colonel Jazic would be in charge of
11 Q. Could you please read --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we better clear up some of the those
14 titles. We got it translated as the commander of the staff, and I don't
15 think that's correct.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Chief of staff.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Is everyone in agreement with that,
18 particularly you, Mr. Obradovic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said "chief of staff," I did.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay, let's proceed then. Thank you.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. It says in this document that it is issued by Major Savcic based
23 on a verbal order by the chief of the Main Staff of the VRS, Manojlo
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was that common practice in 1995 when you were --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- in the staff? Tell me, please, what is the basis of regular
4 and interim combat reports? How are they drafted, based on what?
5 A. It was common practice and obligation on the part of the
6 subordinated units to report on the developments and the course of combat
7 activities. Regular combat reports are drafted once a day, interim as
8 needed. And sometimes unified or combination reports are written at
9 higher level units, when combat takes longer and one report follows at
10 the end of those combat operations.
11 Q. To what extent is a combat report important for the superior
13 A. According to military rules, a lot of emphasis is put on
14 reporting. It has to be timely and correct or accurate. Why is that?
15 This is in order for the commander to be able to correct his decision
16 with respect to the original decision in keeping with the development of
17 situation on the ground.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
19 P207 [as interpreted].
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the number.
21 Due to the background noise, the interpreter is afraid that she did not
22 catch the number.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to repeat the number, please.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] 5D1007.
25 Q. General, sir, take your time, look at this document.
1 General, sir, are you familiar with the -- with situations of the
2 kind described by the Chief of Staff Manojlo Milovanovic?
3 A. Yes. This is a document issued by the Main Staff, dated 4 June
4 1993, by which chief of the general staff, Manojlo Milovanovic, warns all
5 corps commands VNPBO, as well as the staff brigades about the weaknesses
6 that have been noticed in daily combat reporting, about some inaccuracies
7 and the low usage value of these reports.
8 And after this clause:
9 "I order ..." he says, and I quote that:
10 "Combat reports should be sent daily in accordance with the time
11 as regulated before." And it also says that: "Before combat reports are
12 sent they must be checked and signed by the commander." And only in his
13 absence by the chief of staff.
14 Q. Thank you, General, sir.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The following document is 5D1010.
16 This is another document by Manojlo Milovanovic.
17 Q. Tell us briefly, please, whether in 1994 the practice persists
18 and that poor reporting continues and the poor usage or value of regular
19 or combat reports?
20 A. This is confirmed by the document which was drafted for that very
21 reason. I -- the super command cannot make decisions based on a poor and
22 inaccurate combat reports that they receive.
23 Q. What was the basis of the knowledge that the reports were
25 A. There are different situations. There are even some trivial
1 situations. It was common practice for the commander of the Main Staff,
2 everyday, 2000 hours, to talk to the corps commanders, airforce, the PVO,
3 and the centre of military schools.
4 In those immediate contacts, the corps commander would, for
5 example, ask his commander for a leave to visit his family or deal with a
6 private business; whereas, in the combat report of that same unit, it
7 says that the commander went to inspect his units. And it turned out
8 that this was not correct. There were some intentional omissions of
9 certain events or developments for various reasons.
10 For example, the corps commander did not dare communicate bad
11 news to the commander of the Main Staff, and an example of that was when
12 I met Lieutenant Bora Djordjevic, who worked in the Main Staff press
13 centre. He hailed from Blatnica which is south of the town of Teslic.
14 And since I had spent some time in that area before joining the Main
15 Staff, I asked him about his family and his area down there. He says, I
16 just came back yesterday. Everything has fallen, Djokic [phoen] to
17 Perici. And then I said, Well, it's nonsense. I read the report of the
18 1st Krajina Corps and there is no reference to such a bad situation at
20 As we shook hands, I reported to my superior, the chief of
21 administration, General Miletic, then he went to the Chief of Staff; and
22 then they called me to convey the message to the Chief of Staff, so to
23 speak, from the horse's mouth as I heard it, myself. And then they
24 called General Tolimir as well. And then he went down the security line
25 and called Colonel Stevo Bogojevic and asked him whether the information
1 that he had actually received was actually true.
2 The latter confirmed that, and when General Tolimir asked him to
3 write a report, he said, Well, I can't. My commander wouldn't allow me
4 to write a report of that sort. This is, for example, one way of
5 information reaching superior officers.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at P37. You've
7 already spoken about that document before. Can the document be scrolled
8 down, please, to the signature block. It should be on the following page
9 in the English version. And the Serbian version can be moved to the
10 beginning of the page or the beginning of the document. Since the
11 document contains just one page in the Serbian, we need the beginning of
12 that first page.
13 Q. You've already spoken about this situation, General, could you
14 please look at number 03/4-1670 in the heading of this document. Do you
15 see that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. What administration is this? Whose number is this?
18 A. 03/4-1670, this is the administration for training and
20 Q. Would this be an order that belongs to the group of combat
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Which documents were originated from this administration?
24 A. Orders relative to the activities of the administration for
25 training and operations. Orders are issued in other organs and pertain
1 to their respective activities but they are signed by the commander.
2 Q. And you are saying that this is obviously an order by
3 Ratko Mladic?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Who has given the administration for training and operations
6 elements for composing this order?
7 A. It was the order giver or order issuer.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to some foundation. I mean, this is
9 his first day back. Can we get foundation on how he is answering these
10 questions? Is it just by reading the document or something else?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, he needs to explain that. Mr. Obradovic, on
12 what basis are you in a position or you feel you are in a position to
13 give the answers that you have been giving?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my subsequent
15 information about these events provide me with the right to speak the way
16 I do. When I arrived, it was said because of an unclear situation in the
17 zone of the Zvornik Brigade, it was ordered for Trkulja with a group
18 officers to go there to the Zvornik Brigade area of responsibility.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that still does not tell us
20 anything about his relationship to this document. In fact, his answer is
21 somewhat concerning because it says, "My subsequent information."
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The way I understood him was precisely that he
23 thinks he's in a position to answer questions on this document based on
24 the information he gained later on, not at the appropriate time.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I knew that
1 Colonel Trkulja had gone there. I didn't know at the time what other
2 officers were with him. Because my arrival and contact with the chief of
3 the administration was to learn about Trkulja. That was my specific
4 question. And then he told me that he was sent upon the order of the
5 commander of the Main Staff to the Zvornik Brigade because the situation
6 was rather unclear there. This is my recollection and then the
7 information that I received on the 17th at the administration.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's clear.
9 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, because there are so many
11 documents coming, I think it's incumbent --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We are still halfway through.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's incumbent upon counsel to at least
14 determine whether this person drafted this document, whether he's seen
15 it, before he starts commenting on it. As a pure matter of foundation, I
16 understand what he's saying, and I have no problem with it. He's said it
17 a long time ago, but we still don't know how he relates to this document
18 and before he starts talking about it foundationally, he must in an
19 ordered system, at least tell us if he's authored it or seen it or he
20 knows anything about it.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think I -- we can order Mr. Petrusic to put
22 that question, unless he thinks it will speed up things and he can get an
23 answer. Otherwise, you deal with it on cross-examination.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] My foundation for the question was
25 the nature of the documents, i.e., whether they are normally generated in
1 the administration for training and operations, and whether the number of
2 this administration is 03/4. That was the foundation for my question.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] And then I asked who it was in
5 that administration who --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Who?
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] And furthermore who is it in the
8 administration who drafts orders. That was my question to the witness,
9 and I'm still waiting for his answer.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the administration for training
11 and operations, the orders are drafted by the chief of administration,
12 and I, as the chief of department, but I did not draft this because the
13 document was drafted on the 17th, on the day when I was still on the way.
14 And the person that I inquired about had already been sent out on a
15 mission. And the document probably was not -- not in the administration
16 itself. It must have been sent for coding.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. My next question would be this: Who in the administration
19 provided you with elements to allow you to issue your orders?
20 A. It would be the commander, sometimes the Chief of Staff, after
21 their conversation. They would give us their starting points and
22 elements for any orders; and based on such conclusions, we would draft
23 our orders.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Unless we are -- you have one final
25 question on this subject matter, I think we need to finish here and
1 continue Monday because in less than 30 minutes, I have another sitting.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, and it may be translation issue, but I
4 doubt this man said that he was issuing orders and that's what the --
5 when they were very quickly going through this, that's what we end up
6 seeing on the translation, so it may --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- need clarification.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You will see to it between now and
10 Monday, and we will clarify it on Monday.
11 Just to have an indication of, especially for your colleagues for
12 planning purposes, Mr. Petrusic, how much more time do you think you will
13 require? This is inconvenient speaking to a column, but ...
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I believe that I will be able to
15 stick to my original time, or maybe a bit longer, maybe a bit over
16 four-and-a-half hours; but I believe I won't be able to finish before the
17 end of the first session. It will probably go over into the second
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. So the next in line,
20 Mr. Zivanovic, Mr. Ostojic, you have advance notice on that. Yes.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, it is unlikely that I will
22 cross-examine the witness.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then Mr. Ostojic.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: A half hour, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I did this exercise so that you and others
1 will be prepared knowing that you will be cross-examining the witness
2 Monday. We stand adjourned until Monday.
3 Same advisory, Mr. Obradovic, as yesterday, you are not to
4 discuss this with anyone or let anyone talk to you about these issues.
5 Okay? Thank you. Have a nice weekend, all of you.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
7 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday, the
8 17th day of November, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.