Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14173

 1                           Tuesday, 17 May 2011

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.

 6             Mr. McCloskey, is the next witness ready?

 7             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Yes, Mr. President.

 8             Just a couple of housekeeping matters.

 9             I have been meaning to and I've forgotten to offer in the revised

10     Obradovic organisation chart, which you'll remember we did some revisions

11     based on his testimony.  We've discussed that with Mr. Gajic, and that

12     is -- it's now ready to go.  It's 65 ter 7295.  I think you had a hard

13     copy that is not quite complete and correct, so if you can throw that

14     away.  We can get you another hard copy, if you'd like.  We'll have a --

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I was assuming that you would use it with the

16     current witness.

17             MR. McCLOSKEY:  We actually have a very similar org [phoen] chart

18     helped -- that was helped developed by this witness, so it will be

19     reflective of the other one.  Everyone sees these things a little

20     differently, but he'll have it.  So this witness will have his own that

21     will come in soon.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  We would like to receive

23     the hard copy of it.  That would assist us.  And then we will decide

24     about your move to tender it.

25             The Court Usher will be so kind to -- do you have it available at

Page 14174

 1     the moment or at a later stage?

 2             MR. McCLOSKEY:  I don't have the hard copy right now.  It should

 3     be -- it's not hard.  We'll print it right out and it will come very

 4     soon.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Very good.

 6             MR. McCLOSKEY:  I don't know if he's going to give it a number or

 7     not, but --

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  We will do that at a later stage, when we have

 9     seen it.

10             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Okay.  All right.

11             And, Mr. President, as you know, the time estimates for this

12     witness have varied.  I have had a chance to speak to him now, and it is

13     my hope I can get direct done within two days.  He acknowledges he is --

14     uses a lot of words, and he understands I may interrupt him a bit, but --

15     and it's very difficult to estimate these things, but I really hope to

16     get this done within two days.  And I, as always, invite Your Honours to

17     ask questions.  It's such a broad topic that it's hard to always judge

18     specifically your interests.  So I have no problem being interrupted, and

19     that's always very helpful when you do that.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  You shouldn't be too optimistic in your

21     estimation, Mr. McCloskey.

22             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Well, that's true.  I want to leave myself some

23     room because I really -- it's so hard to tell, though.

24             And, lastly, I would request a caution for this witness.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

Page 14175

 1             The witness should be brought in, please.

 2                           [The witness entered court]

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning, sir.  Welcome to the courtroom.

 4             Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is

 5     shown to you now.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

 7             I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

 8     and nothing but the truth.

 9                           WITNESS:  MANOJLO MILOVANOVIC

10                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

11             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  Please sit down and make

12     yourself comfortable.

13             On the request of the Prosecution, I would like to give you a

14     caution.

15             In our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, we have the Rule 90(E),

16     and I would like to read it out for you.  I quote:

17             "The witness may object to making any statement which might tend

18     to incriminate the witness.  The Chamber may, however, compel the witness

19     to answer the question.  Testimony compelled in this way shall not be

20     used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any

21     offence, other than false testimony."

22             Sir, did you understand what I was reading to you?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

25             Mr. McCloskey is now commencing his examination-in-chief and

Page 14176

 1     putting questions to you.

 2             Mr. McCloskey.

 3             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 4                           Examination by Mr. McCloskey:

 5        Q.   And good morning, General.

 6        A.   Good morning.

 7        Q.   Can you please state your name for us.

 8        A.   Manojlo Milovanovic.

 9        Q.   And where were you born?

10        A.   I was born on the 21st of November, 1943, in the village of

11     Laminci, the municipality of Gradiska, entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

12     state of Bosnia.

13        Q.   And can you tell us, are you currently employed or retired or

14     engaged in something?

15        A.   I'm a lieutenant general retired for 10 years now.  At the

16     moment, I'm a senator of Republika Srpska.  That means that, in a way,

17     I'm involved in politics, and I mostly -- I'm dealing with the issues

18     relating to The Hague Tribunal.

19        Q.   And can you tell us what your title of your position was

20     throughout the war in Bosnia from 1992 through 1995?  Just your simple

21     title, and then we'll get into more details later.

22        A.   Throughout the war, from the 11th of May, 1992, until the

23     27th of April, 1997, I was the Chief of the Main Staff of the

24     Army of Republika Srpska, and at the same time I was the deputy

25     commander.

Page 14177

 1        Q.   And now can you take just a few minutes and tell us about your

 2     military career, just where you first started out, some of your

 3     significant promotions, and especially when you first met General Mladic.

 4     But if you could just take three, four, five minutes, perhaps, to give us

 5     that run-down.  I know we could spend a lot longer, and I don't mean to

 6     understate your record.  But if you could just take a few minutes and

 7     tell us, I think that's a good way to start.

 8        A.   When I completed my elementary school in 1959, I applied, and it

 9     was a miracle that I was accepted into the Military School in Banja Luka

10     for armoured units.  I completed that school, and I was sent to the

11     Benkovac Garrison for service, where I spent 14 months as the -- as a

12     non-commissioned officer, commander of a tank platoon.  Then I went to

13     the Military Academy of the Land Army --

14        Q.   As you know, you're being translated, and I can tell the

15     translator is having a bit of a hard time, so if you could slow down.  It

16     will be a little unnatural, but especially let's -- you and I need to get

17     a good pace, because it will get more difficult as we go.

18        A.   Very well.  I apologise.

19             I completed the Military Academy in September 1966, and I

20     remained in service in the Banja Luka Garrison, where I stayed until

21     1975, when I was sent for additional training to the so-called

22     Higher Military Academy or the General Staff School for Tactics, where I

23     spent two years.  I completed that school in 1977, and then I was

24     transferred to duties in the Prilep Garrison in Macedonia, where I stayed

25     for slightly less than four years.  Then I was --

Page 14178

 1        Q.   General, sorry for interrupting.  Can you tell us what rank you

 2     started out in, in Macedonia?

 3        A.   I went to Macedonia as captain first class.  And then in Prilep,

 4     I was promoted to major in September 1979.  In early January 1981, I was

 5     transferred to the Titov Velez Garrison.  Actually, in Prilep I was

 6     commander of the armoured battalion.  In Velez, I became an operative in

 7     the motorised brigade.  I stayed in Velez for nine years, and in

 8     1986/1987 I completed the Operations School or War School.  I completed

 9     that training, and I returned to the Velez Garrison and was appointed

10     commander of the 212th Motorised Brigade.  I stayed at that post for some

11     two and a half years, and then later --

12        Q.   Again, I'm sorry.  Could you tell us what rank you held when you

13     were commander of that post?

14        A.   As an operative, I held the rank of major until 1984, when I was

15     promoted to lieutenant-colonel.  And as lieutenant-colonel, I went to

16     complete the War School training.  When I returned from school, I assumed

17     duties in the already-mentioned 212th Motorised Brigade, where I remained

18     for two and a half years, approximately.  And then in January 1989 I was

19     transferred to the 3rd Army Command or the 3rd Military District in

20     Skopje, where I was the chief of the operations organ or the

21     Operations Administration.  In 1990 I was promoted to the rank of

22     colonel, and I stayed at that post until shortly before the withdrawal of

23     the JNA from Macedonia in 1992.  Then I was tasked with organising the

24     withdrawal of the combat section of the JNA from Macedonia according to

25     the agreement between the president of the newly-created

Page 14179

 1     Republic of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, and the Chief of the

 2     General Staff of the JNA, General Blagoje Adzic.  The condition was for

 3     the JNA to withdraw without firing a single bullet, which was done.

 4             Shortly before the withdrawal of the JNA, I was appointed as

 5     chief of the operations and training organ as a general.  I was promoted

 6     to the rank of general on the 26th of April, 1992.  And on the

 7     8th of May of that same year, I received a degree or, rather, an order

 8     for transfer to the Sarajevo Garrison to carry out the same duties that I

 9     was carrying out in the 3rd Army Command in Nis.

10        Q.   All right.  Can you continue your description until we get up to

11     May 11th and the creation of the Main Staff of the VRS?

12        A.   Well, in your previous question, there was a sub-question asking

13     me how long have I known General Ratko Mladic.  I met General Mladic when

14     he held the rank of major in April 1981.  He was working at the

15     3rd Army Command at the time, at the training organ, and he came to

16     inspect my brigade.  I was assigned to escort him that day.  Well, the

17     way we met was not all that great, actually, but later we co-operated

18     very well.

19             Together, we were transferred to the 3rd Army Command.  I was

20     transferred there from the Command of the 212th Brigade, and he was

21     transferred there from the duty of the Command of the 39th Brigade in

22     Stip.  I mentioned the decree by the SFR -- by the SFRY Presidency on my

23     transfer to Sarajevo.  According to that decree, I was to supposed to

24     perform/carry out the same duties in the 2nd Army Command in Sarajevo

25     that I was carrying out in the 3rd Army District.  The dead-line for the

Page 14180

 1     transfer was the 11th of May, 1992.

 2             Previously, I had to report to the General Staff of the JNA,

 3     which existed then still, in order to receive the original documents for

 4     transfer, for my promotion to the rank of general, and to receive an

 5     explanation where I was going and why I was going.  I reported to said

 6     administration.  Well, there was an agreement the previous -- for

 7     Ratko Mladic and myself to meet the previous day at the JNA Command.

 8     When I arrived, he wasn't there.  I reported to the chief of the

 9     Personnel Administration, General Gojko Krstic.  He gave me these

10     documents, but he also told me about some changes.

11             In the meantime, the Dobrovoljacka incident occurred in Sarajevo

12     on the 3rd of May, when JNA soldiers were victims, and the General Staff

13     of the JNA decided to replace the then commander of the

14     2nd Military District, General Milutin Kukanjac, and his Chief of Staff.

15     The change in the transfer order was to appoint Mladic as commander of

16     the 2nd Military District, and I was appointed as the Chief of Staff.  I

17     objected as to why I was going to Sarajevo when I was told at the time of

18     the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY that the JNA was withdrawing

19     from Bosnia-Herzegovina and it should be done by the 19th of May, meaning

20     that this had to be done in less than eight days.  I asked him, Why am I

21     going to Bosnia if the JNA was disappearing from Bosnia?  I was told that

22     a helicopter would take me where I'm supposed to go and that

23     General Mladic would explain all the details to me.

24             I flew into some forest.  This was Crna Rijeka, some nine

25     kilometres north-east of Han Pijesak.  I didn't meet up with Mladic or

Page 14181

 1     Kukanjac or that Chief of Staff who I was supposed to replace.  Mladic

 2     flew in from Herzegovina sometime in the afternoon, towards evening.

 3             Since I found out that General Perisic was withdrawing from

 4     Herzegovina as part of the JNA forces - up until that time he was in

 5     command of the Bileca -- the Herzegovina Corps - I thought that I would

 6     probably go to replace Perisic.  However, when Mladic flew in, when he

 7     landed, this was some 50 metres away from the hut.  We crossed this

 8     within some 45 minutes or an hour, and he told me during that time what

 9     all of this was about.  He told me that it was correct --

10        Q.   Excuse me, General.  Let me stop you there and just go back a

11     little bit.

12             You had mentioned that you had worked, I believe, well with

13     General Mladic, but it wasn't clear in what context you were working.

14     Were you in the same unit, were you in neighbouring units?  And can you

15     just take a minute or two just to describe for how -- what period of time

16     you worked with him and in what context, prior to the Crna Rijeka

17     helicopter.

18        A.   Well, after we met in April 1981, Mladic left the army command

19     soon after that and went to Ohrid to be the commander of the infantry

20     regiment.  We would meet during exercises, mostly the joint army

21     exercises.  And then I can't remember exactly what year this was, Mladic

22     was transferred when there was a reorganisation of the JNA and when corps

23     were formed.  Mladic was transferred to Stip to be the commander of the

24     39th Infantry Brigade.  I was still an operative in the 212th Brigade.

25     Stip and Velez are some 48 kilometres apart.  The AORs of our brigades

Page 14182

 1     actually touched at Ovca [phoen] and Bregovnice [phoen], so that we had

 2     frequent contacts.  Mladic would always be one step ahead of me in

 3     command and operative duties.  However, when we applied for the

 4     Operatics [as interpreted] School, the War School, we both found

 5     ourselves in Belgrade, he as the brigade commander, and I was still an

 6     operative in the brigade.  But we did complete this school together.  We

 7     travelled together from Macedonia to Belgrade and back.  We worked

 8     together, since we were close.  We did our homework together and prepared

 9     our seminars for school.

10             When we came back from school, I began my duties in the

11     212th Brigade, so from that time on we were equals.  We co-operated well.

12     But as far as the professional area is concerned, we always had opposite

13     views.  Our objectives were the same, but the way to get to that

14     objective was different.  So we would often clash on professional

15     matters, and then the chief of the army staff or the army commander would

16     have to reconcile us.  Then together we came to the army command, Mladic

17     as the chief of the training organ, and I was the chief of the operations

18     organ in the same operations and training organ.  That means that we

19     worked as equals and co-operated in our jobs.

20             The duties of the operations and training organ, among other

21     things, included the training of command superior officers.  We would

22     prepare the staff wartime exercises, command staff exercises.  When there

23     were problems in Kosovo, the two of us made the plans of the show of

24     force, the replacement of units in Kosovo.  We co-operated there

25     together.  There were always sparks between us, but we always managed to

Page 14183

 1     find a common language.

 2             When I learned that I would be Mladic's deputy during the war, I

 3     was a little concerned that Mladic would have his revenge on me from

 4     everything from the peacetime period.  After six months, actually, he

 5     explained this by saying that he asked for me to be his deputy, and he

 6     literally said this:  I ignite in the first gear, and you ignite in the

 7     third gear, and the best driving is done in the second gear.  So before

 8     setting out on an assignment, I would always analyse the consequences.

 9     And Mladic always made his decisions much faster, so that he felt that

10     these two temperaments would actually work well together and balance each

11     other out.  During the war, we didn't have any problems between us.

12        Q.   All right.  And now let's go back.  I believe it's May 11th when

13     you both meet in Crna Rijeka, and can you briefly tell us about that?

14     Who was there, what happened there?  But briefly.  We need to, as you

15     know, get to the 1995 period relatively soon.

16        A.   As I've said already, I waited for him at the helio-pad.  We

17     greeted each other and congratulated each other on our promotions.  The

18     same decree pronounced me to major general, pronouncing him to lieutenant

19     general.  Forty-five minutes later, we entered one of the two existing

20     barracks.  In one room, there were some 10 people waiting for us.  There

21     were four generals in total: Mladic, General Djukic, General Gvero, and

22     myself.  There was seven colonels and lieutenant-colonels, and one

23     captain first class, Pecanac.  Among them was the then Colonel Tolimir.

24     Mladic introduced us.

25             I had known General Gvero from before.  He used to be a professor

Page 14184

 1     in the Political School of the JNA, which I completed in 1982.  I saw

 2     General Djukic for the first time.  He was an elderly gentleman of

 3     aristocratic poise.

 4             When Mladic introduced Colonel Tolimir, I may have pulled a face

 5     or made an expression because I used to work with another Tolimir in

 6     Banja Luka who was Slovenian, and I thought that this Tolimir was a

 7     Slovenian too.  But Mladic told me, Don't be afraid, he's a greater Serb

 8     than you are.

 9             Mladic told us that the next day, on the 12th of May, the

10     People's Assembly of the RS would hold a session in Banja Luka, during

11     which a decision was to be made to establish the

12     Army of Republika Srpska.  If there were going to be additional

13     explanations as to why the Serbs were establishing their army that late

14     in the war, we can discuss that later.  That evening, Mladic explained to

15     us what our respective tasks were.  He told me, although these were all

16     assumptions at the time only -- well, he said that I was to -- that he

17     was to command the Main Staff and that I was going to be his

18     Chief of Staff and deputy.  Gvero was supposed to be assistant commander

19     for morale and religious issues.  Tolimir was to be the chief of the

20     Intelligence and Security Administration.  General Djukic was to become

21     his assistant for logistics or, rather, chief of the Logistics Sector.

22             There was another colonel of artillery and rocket units by the

23     name of Krstic who was to withdraw from the JNA by the 19th of May, and

24     he was to be replaced by Colonel Jovo Maric, who was a pilot and was with

25     the Air Force Administration.

Page 14185

 1        Q.   General, let me interrupt you.  This Court is, of course,

 2     familiar with Radislav Krstic, the commander of the Drina Corps.  Is this

 3     Krstic you've just mentioned a different Krstic?

 4        A.   It's a different Krstic.  This Krstic that you are referring to

 5     was an infantryman.  The one I found in the newly-formed Main Staff was

 6     an artillery and rocket units colonel.  He was in the Command of the

 7     2nd Army, and we received him that evening, since he was well acquainted

 8     with the anti-aircraft and air force defence systems.  So it's not the

 9     Radislav Krstic you have in mind.

10             On the list for that evening, there was also

11     Colonel Petar Salapura.  Mladic told him that he was to be the chief of

12     the Intelligence Administration in the Intelligence and Security Sector.

13     However, he wasn't there that evening because he had already gone to

14     execute a task.

15             We discussed throughout the night.  We didn't have the war goals.

16     None of us, save for Mladic and perhaps Tolimir, was in contact with the

17     Presidency of the RS.  Therefore, we didn't know why the army was being

18     formed.  We could presume, though.  It was to be formed as the last armed

19     force in the territory of the former SFRY, the seventh force in a row.

20     We discussed, we made conclusions, we weighed proposals as to what the

21     army should be structured like and what it was to do.  We produced

22     21 conclusions.  One of them -- well, they basically laid foundations for

23     the VRS, although I don't remember them all by heart.  We also decided on

24     the doctrine, and I believe there were nine goals in total as part of

25     that.

Page 14186

 1             First of all, it was supposed to be a defensive armed force.

 2     Second, its task was to protect the Serb people and territory.  One of

 3     the goals was also to liquidate or eliminate the existing paramilitary

 4     forces as well as municipal TO units which had been formed by the party

 5     in power, the SDS, mostly in the municipalities on the outskirts of our

 6     territory, neighbouring majority Muslim and Croatian population

 7     municipalities.

 8             Crisis staffs were taken out of the system of command of army

 9     units, and there was another decision which said that if any of us was to

10     be replaced during the war out of the 12 of us, everyone would leave,

11     that is, if anyone was replaced for political reasons.  We decided to go,

12     all of us, in such a case and to go to the trenches to take up arms.  It

13     may have been a marketing decision of sorts at the time, but it was also

14     an obligation, an oath we undertook, which kept the homogeneity of the

15     Main Staff throughout the war.  It was also thanks to that that the corps

16     commands remained together, because they joined us later on in the

17     execution of those goals.  Thanks to that decision, I refused on three

18     occasions to assume General Mladic's position.

19             The next morning --

20        Q.   Okay.  If you want to get into the next morning, but be brief.

21     Remember -- I know those were very complex and important days in 1992,

22     but go ahead and tell us what happened the next morning, but in brief.

23        A.   The next morning, everyone flew to Banja Luka to attend the

24     Assembly session.  I remained in the Main Staff, however, to set it up

25     and to translate our discussions of the last night into bulletins,

Page 14187

 1     information, and orders.  I was also in charge of establishing

 2     communication and command links with the subordinate units and was

 3     supposed to monitor events of that day in the Bosnia-Herzegovina theatre.

 4             As for establishing communication links with the subordinate

 5     units, I was appalled to learn that the war was already underway, that

 6     there was fierce fighting, although the army had not been formed, around

 7     Sarajevo, for example.  There was also fighting in all municipalities on

 8     the outer rim of the RS territory.  So when Mladic came back that

 9     evening, I told him, Man, we're already at war.

10             By the end of that day, the Main Staff was formed and functional.

11     However, we were still short of staff.  In the course of the first few

12     days, we relied on officers from the 2nd Army Command who had fled

13     Sarajevo as they awaited their transfer or withdrawal to Yugoslavia.  The

14     gravest problems we had were in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica, because the JNA

15     units there were surrounded, especially in Sarajevo, where the

16     Military Schools Centre of the JNA was under siege.

17        Q.   Let me stop you there, General.

18        A.   [In English] Okay.

19        Q.   And did Colonel Ljubisa Beara join the Main Staff at some point

20     that year?

21        A.   [Interpretation] Ljubisa Beara, as a naval captain, he used to be

22     in the navy, but he was an equal to a colonel in the land forces.  He

23     joined us in September of 1991 -- 1992, although I am not positive.  In

24     any case, I think it was in early September.  He was introduced to us by

25     General Mladic.  The two of them were walking around the buildings there.

Page 14188

 1     When I came, I could see that they had known each other.  And Mladic told

 2     me that Beara worked in Split before the war, and in the Main Staff he

 3     was supposed to be chief of the Security Administration in the

 4     Intelligence and Security Sector.  Therefore, we met that day and agreed

 5     that any security issues that I had as the Chief of Staff should be dealt

 6     with through Colonel Tolimir, who was chief of the Intelligence and

 7     Security Sector.

 8             In other words, I was not supposed to have direct contact with

 9     the chief of the Intelligence and Security Administration.  However, that

10     had to be done later on because of the nature of work I performed, which

11     was planning operations, and I always needed latest information on the

12     enemy.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I interrupt you for a moment.  Judge Mindua

14     would like to put a question to the witness.

15             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, before we move on

16     [indiscernible] [microphone not activated].  There's one point I would

17     like to clarify.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Now it's better.

19             JUDGE MINDUA:  Okay, good.

20             [Interpretation] On the transcript, page 14, line 20 to 23, you

21     say that the war had already begun.  The Army of the Republika Srpska had

22     not been established yet.  Since you attended the meeting in Banja Luka

23     before the establishment of the Army of the Republika Srpska, who was

24     actually waging a war in Sarajevo?

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I'm afraid there's still a problem with the

Page 14189

 1     microphone, perhaps in the interpreter's booth for French.  I don't think

 2     that this is a problem here on the Bench for the Judges.

 3             Now it seems to be better.

 4             JUDGE MINDUA:  Okay, I will try again.

 5             [Interpretation] On the transcript, page 14, lines 20 to 23, you

 6     said that the decision to establish the Army of the Republika Srpska was

 7     taken at the Assembly meeting in Banja Luka on the following day, but you

 8     also said that the war had already started in Sarajevo.  What I would

 9     like to know is:  Who was fighting who in Sarajevo?  Who was waging a war

10     at that time?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Indeed, I said so, although I must

12     say I understood your question the first time around.  There was no need

13     for me, at least, to have it repeated.

14             When mobilisation was proclaimed by the Muslim-Croat coalition on

15     the 4th of April, it meant that on that day the armed forces of the

16     Muslims and Croats were formed.  The Presidency of the RS responded by

17     proclaiming the so-called immediate threat of war.  It organised its

18     Territorial Defence units in the areas neighbouring Muslim and Croat

19     territories.

20             On the evening of the 11th of May, on the eve of the

21     Assembly session, we had between 80- and 90.000 people who had arms.  At

22     least that was the information Mladic gave us.  They were organised in

23     two different types of structure or organisation.  The first one were TO

24     units which were formed ad hoc in the various municipalities.  The second

25     structure, which was smaller in size, were the various paramilitary

Page 14190

 1     units, which were mainly introduced from or came from Serbia and

 2     Montenegro.  I have already told you what we decided to do with those

 3     paramilitary units.

 4             As for the TO units in the municipalities, they were engaged in

 5     combat whenever the population of a village or town came under attack.

 6     Those brigades responded to attacks, to challenges.  They were headed by

 7     only a few professional officers who were mainly reserve officers and

 8     also members or people from the party in power.  They mainly operated

 9     under the command of municipal war staffs.  At the outset of my

10     testimony, I told you that one of the decisions of the Main Staff was to

11     remove that right of command from the municipal staffs.

12             Before we became engaged in the war, the war was waged

13     exclusively by these TO units which were there to protect the population.

14             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] If I have understood you

15     correctly, these TO units were, in fact, Serb units.  They were

16     protecting the Serb population; is that right?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were predominantly Serb units

18     or units comprising Serbs.

19             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey, please continue.

21             MR. McCLOSKEY:

22        Q.   General, going back to something you said, I was not exactly

23     clear.  You said that initially you were not supposed to have direct

24     contact with someone, but I'm not clear on who that was.  Can you explain

25     that again to me, briefly?

Page 14191

 1        A.   You mean when we discussed Beara?

 2        Q.   I think you were discussing the Security and Intel Branch and

 3     your position, that initially you were to have restricted contact with

 4     someone, but it came out sounding a little different.  So could you just

 5     explain that?  I'm not sure we got the translation correct.

 6        A.   I did think of that.  I may have misspoken.

 7             In principle, command and control excludes the possibility of a

 8     general or an officer having direct contact or co-operation with his

 9     subordinate two levels down.  The only need I had was to contact with the

10     Security or Intelligence Service which were in Tolimir's sector.  In

11     doing so, I didn't go through his chiefs of administration; I went

12     straight through Tolimir, who was chief of sector.  And then it was up to

13     him whether he would assign a particular task to the chief of his

14     Security or Intelligence Administration.

15             The principle of command and control is that one does not issue

16     commands to his subordinate two levels down.  As opposed to that, I was

17     supposed to meet Karadzic's orders, who was two steps up.  This is

18     another principle.  But upon receipt of such an order, I had to report it

19     to General Mladic.  By the same token, the chief of the

20     Security Administration, if he had an urgent matter to communicate to me,

21     he could, but he also had to acquaint Colonel Tolimir with having done

22     so, with getting in touch with me.

23             So this is a principle of subordination so as I could not meddle

24     in Tolimir's work or he in mine.  That's it.  Since when, on the first

25     day, I saw Beara, I could see that he was an imposing person, so to say,

Page 14192

 1     and under such circumstances I told him I was not going to co-operate

 2     directly with him but that we would communicate through Tolimir.  For the

 3     most part, it was so, although we did some direct contact in relation to

 4     front-line issues.  Even if we did so, it always had to be with the

 5     approval or knowledge of General Tolimir.

 6        Q.   All right.  And we will get into those command and subordinated

 7     relationships a bit more, but thank you for that fundamental part.

 8             Did that fundamental principle that you've just described remain

 9     throughout the wartime period?

10        A.   Yes, it did.

11        Q.   Now, I know you have helped the investigation -- or the

12     investigator work out what we refer to as the VRS structure, showing the

13     commander, the units, the various positions, and I'm going to get to that

14     with you to help us understand it.  I'm not going to spend a lot of

15     detail on that.  The Judges have heard from other officers much of the

16     basics, but I will go into that with you some.

17             But before we get there, can you just take a couple of minutes

18     and describe how the structure worked in 1995, basically?  And what I

19     mean by that is:  Can you start with Karadzic, the supreme commander, and

20     what authority he had, and then go to Mladic, your position, the

21     assistant commanders, and the various corps and other units?  Can you

22     just give us just a brief on how that structure worked and how the

23     authorities worked, starting with Radovan Karadzic?  And this would be

24     for 1995.

25        A.   Okay.  As early as 1995, Radovan Karadzic became well versed in

Page 14193

 1     his role of supreme commander because by that time he had spent some

 2     three years in that position.  At the outset, it wasn't quite clear to

 3     him that he couldn't issue orders directly to me or to a corps commander,

 4     but that all of his orders had to go through Ratko Mladic and then down

 5     to his subordinates.  These were some initial mistakes, which were

 6     understandable because he was not a military professional.  By 1995, he

 7     no longer made such mistakes unless he really intended to do so.

 8             There are stories/rumours about the relationship between Karadzic

 9     and Mladic.  I don't know whether we will touch upon that topic.  It very

10     much depends on you.  But in 1995, Karadzic had a circle of stable

11     military advisers around him who made proposals to him at the strategic

12     level.  Unfortunately, none of the advisers was trained and educated as

13     well as the Main Staff.  They did not have the breadth of military expert

14     knowledge, and frequently they suggested to Karadzic things that did not

15     play out, in military terms.  There was no military logic in it.

16             For example, I received an order that the VRS in the next

17     24 hours was to occupy a town.  First of all, that town was not even in

18     the RS.  Second, to occupy a larger settlement in 24 hours would require

19     at least a week's preparation.  In other words, their proposals were

20     unprofessional.

21             In 1994, when making such decisions, Karadzic began consulting

22     with us from the Main Staff before making a decision.  Such consultations

23     were supposed to be done in the Ministry of Defence, but even the

24     Ministry of Defence lacked trained personnel for such affairs, especially

25     since the minister of defence was a civilian, unlike before.  But already

Page 14194

 1     in 1995, but one may say even as of April 1994, with the beginning of the

 2     NATO air-strikes, Karadzic started thinking more deeply about military

 3     decisions.  And during 1995, the co-operation with him was very good, up

 4     until July or August 1995 when he again started meddling with the work of

 5     the Main Staff and the authorities of the commander of the Main Staff.

 6     I'm sure we will come to that during your examination.

 7             General Mladic -- I don't know who hasn't had this bit of comment

 8     on General Mladic, and I was also one of those people who had a lot to

 9     say about him.  He was a commander by nature, I cannot say from birth,

10     but he had charisma, he was persistent, decisive, a man who, whenever he

11     could or, rather, whenever it was necessary, so a man who protected his

12     subordinates.  He was a role model for his subordinated officers,

13     commanders of corps and brigades and so on.  During the war, he would not

14     reach rash decisions, and he would not reach decisions without having

15     consulted the Main Staff, up until mid 1994, when he did reach a few

16     decisions on his own, mostly because he wanted to achieve something

17     quickly, successfully.  But very often, it didn't work.

18             At the time of the end of the war, he started having kidney

19     problems.  He did not, however, spend much time in hospitals.  His

20     illness was something that he had to live with in command posts and on

21     the battle-fields, and we understood that and we tried to assist people,

22     and the army had unlimited confidence in him.

23             If there were any conflicts between him and Karadzic, and they

24     were never direct, of course, these conflicts were along the lines of

25     who's going to be the first man in the state, both of them very

Page 14195

 1     charismatic, both of them had great hunger for power.  And they had

 2     problems in understanding each other, but it would eventually happen.

 3     And Mladic was duty-bound, of course, because of the structure of the

 4     army, to carry out the government's decisions.

 5             And let me just add, to avoid any confusion later on:  I wrote to

 6     you about how the Supreme Command of the Republika Srpska was formed or

 7     established.  Bearing in mind its composition, one can see that it was a

 8     civilian body in charge of waging the war.

 9             Mr. Karadzic, President Karadzic, was the supreme commander, as

10     the Constitution provided for, and the command also included two

11     presidents, presidents of the Assembly or speaker of the Assembly and the

12     prime minister.  Do you want me to tell their names?

13        Q.   For 1995.  Anything that's applicable for 1995, yes, please.

14        A.   Yes, thank you.

15             The president of the Assembly in 1995 and throughout the war, as

16     a matter of fact, was Momcilo Krajisnik.  And in 1995, the prime minister

17     was Dusan Kozic, until, in late 1995, he was replaced by Gojko Klickovic.

18     No, I apologise, first by Rajko Kasagic and then by Gojko Klickovic.

19             In 1995, we had three prime ministers, and they were immediately

20     members of the Supreme Command because of their duty.  Then minister of

21     defence who was also a member, Milan Ninkovic; and the minister of the

22     interior, I think at the time it was Tomo Kovac, because the ministers of

23     interior changed very often, but I think then it was Tomo Kovac.  There

24     were also two vice-presidents of the republic who were at some stage also

25     included into the Supreme Command, Koljevic and Plavsic.  In the

Page 14196

 1     Supreme Command, there was no one from --

 2        Q.   Let me interrupt you.  Yesterday, we heard the name of, I think,

 3     Koljevic as a -- can you spell that name out, the vice-president person

 4     that you just mentioned?

 5        A.   Nikola Koljevic.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Now, I'd interrupted you, but had you just -- I think

 7     you'd just about finished that thought.

 8        A.   No one from the Supreme Command, with the exception of Karadzic,

 9     had the authority of -- had the order-issuing authority; only Karadzic.

10     All links between the Main Staff and the Supreme Command went through

11     Karadzic.  Members of the Supreme Command could make proposals, but

12     Karadzic was the one who was making all the decisions.  We never carried

13     out orders by Krajisnik, Plavsic, or Koljevic, only the directives issued

14     by Karadzic.

15        Q.   And was that established by the Constitution and Law of the RS,

16     Karadzic's authority to issue the orders to you?  When I say "you," I

17     mean the Main Staff, Mladic.

18        A.   According to the Constitution, the president of the republic is

19     also the commander -- the supreme commander of the armed forces.

20     However, the armed forces are not only the military.  They comprise of

21     military, the police, and civilian protection.  In other words, Karadzic

22     was in command of all these three segments, including the military, the

23     army.

24             Within his Supreme Command, he had people who were in charge of

25     police, mainly the minister of the interior.  There was also a person who

Page 14197

 1     was in charge of civilian protection.  I don't know who he was.  I think

 2     it may have been the minister of defence.  And he was the only one,

 3     according to the Constitution, who had any authority over the army, who

 4     could command the army.

 5        Q.   All right, General.  So I think that's helpful to give us a

 6     primer on the political structures upon which General Mladic was required

 7     to follow.  Can you just, in a -- and I know this is difficult, but just

 8     in one or two minutes describe General Mladic's job.  Just what -- and

 9     the Judges have heard quite a bit already on this, but can you just tell

10     us what his job was as the commander of the VRS?

11        A.   General Mladic was the commander of the Main Staff.  That was his

12     title; not the commander of the VRS, but the commander of the Main Staff.

13        Q.   Thank you for correcting me on that.

14        A.   That implied, because the Main Staff is the body commanding the

15     army there, for Mladic, as the commander of the Main Staff, was the

16     commander of the army.  So you didn't say it -- you didn't put it

17     wrongly.  He was, in fact, the commander of the VRS, but that was not his

18     title, and you couldn't find that in his personal files, for instance,

19     because in conditions of war, in a state that has not yet been recognised

20     internationally and that has not yet been fully organised and that is

21     initiating the struggle for national liberation, one cannot find a main

22     staff, a general staff, because the state has not been established yet.

23             During war, a general staff becomes the staff of the

24     Supreme Command, in fact.  So since we were at the beginning, the group

25     of people in charge or leading the armed struggle is called the

Page 14198

 1     Supreme Command.

 2             Tito, during the war, had a different body, but in different

 3     republics, then of course in all the republics of the former Yugoslavia,

 4     he had staffs that were in charge of liberating their areas from fascism.

 5     In the same manner, we had a Main staff during the war, and the idea was

 6     that after the end of the war, the Main Staff would become a

 7     General Staff, and that did happen, indeed, in 1996.

 8        Q.   Okay.  And can you just, as I said, in one or two minutes,

 9     describe what General Mladic's job was.  And after that, I'll ask you in

10     the same context, just tell us, as you've partly done, what the job of

11     the Main Staff was, the assistants and the other -- the sectors of the

12     Main Staff, but just generally and simply, just as a primer before we get

13     into the various sectors and describe more particularly what they did.

14             That may be confusing, so let me just -- just two minutes on what

15     General Mladic's job, as commander, was.

16        A.   The job of General Mladic was, in brief, to command the

17     Main Staff.  The Main Staff had 12 tasks.  I provided them to you

18     yesterday, starting with the mobilisation of the army, which normally

19     would have been something carried out by the Ministry of Defence.  But

20     since the Ministry of Defence was short-staffed, the Supreme Command or,

21     rather, the Presidency of Republika Srpska tasked the Main Staff to carry

22     that out because we did have a Sector for Mobilisation and Replenishment.

23             Furthermore, the Main Staff was in charge of establishing units

24     at all levels, from squads to corps.  It was another of our tasks.

25     Furthermore, training of officers and soldiers, in other words, preparing

Page 14199

 1     for combat.  Then we had another role that should have been the role of

 2     the Ministry of Defence, and that was the logistics for the army.  Then

 3     planning and carrying out combat operations, reporting to the

 4     Supreme Command, receipt and processing of reports received from

 5     subordinated units, approving or not approving requests from subordinated

 6     commands.  Or, in short, we did everything in charge -- everything that

 7     needs to be done when one's at war.

 8             One of the tasks was also security and intelligence support for

 9     the army, which was under General Tolimir.  Mladic was carrying out

10     orders by the Supreme Command.  All of us were carrying out his orders.

11     And that would be it.

12        Q.   And when you say you were all carrying out General Mladic's

13     orders, can you just give us a practical idea of how Mladic commanded?  I

14     mean, did he issue orders?

15        A.   General Mladic commanded by using the system or method of

16     meetings.  In the Main Staff, we had an institution, the college of

17     commander, commanders' college.  The staff would meet -- or collegium.

18     The staff would meet every morning and every evening.  Between 6.00 and

19     7.00, we'd be receiving reports from subordinated commanders, and based

20     on these reports, we would jointly, as the staff, review the situation.

21     We would try and see what needs to be improved, what was good, what needs

22     to be done completely from the scratch.

23             Us seven assistants were giving proposals each for his own

24     sector.  The logistics officer, the last one, would brief the staff on

25     the amount of ammunition and to tell us -- and I'll make it -- I'll

Page 14200

 1     reduce it to absurd, but how many 7.62-millimetre bullets could be used

 2     that day.  Then Tolimir would inform us about the security situation in

 3     the republic and the intelligence information about the intentions of the

 4     enemy and so forth and would give proposals how to counteract that.

 5     General Gvero would talk about the morale of the troops.  Or if there was

 6     a specific unit to -- that was carrying out any task, he would be the one

 7     to say, No, this unit can easily carry it out, or, It will have

 8     difficulties.

 9             The Chief of Staff listens to all the reports and then gives

10     proposals to General Mladic on how to use his troops, be it individual

11     units or the army in total.  I, for instance, would tell him, Let us

12     attack this specific hill or cut this specific communication.  I have to

13     also tell him what the cost of such an action would be, which was based

14     on having heard all the reports before that.  I provide my assessment of

15     the potential casualties on our side, and so on and so forth.

16             And then after having heard us, the General Staff would make a

17     break, and he would keep the most necessary among us for that decision to

18     stay with him and help him in reaching the decision.  And about half an

19     hour later he would inform us about his decision.  He might, on one hand,

20     tell us, word by word, what needs to be done, or he could say, Well,

21     we'll do what the Chief of Staff had proposed, or someone else.

22             When we were reaching major decisions about activities on

23     operational level, namely, when a corps or more corps are involved, then

24     we would call the corps commanders to the meeting, and that would be the

25     collegium in its extended version.  The Main Staff can reach a certain

Page 14201

 1     decision, but if the commander Novica Simic of the Eastern Bosnia Corps

 2     says we cannot carry it out, then we haven't gotten anywhere.  The corps

 3     commanders are those who know what their capacities are at the moment,

 4     and he can inform the staff if that is possible or not, and then we look

 5     for solutions.

 6             I think it was only our army that had this feature; namely, that

 7     corps-level decisions were reached with the presence of all corps

 8     commanders, which had its good consequence, this system.  Namely, we

 9     wouldn't have to inform other corps commanders, neighbouring corps, for

10     instance, what General Simic's task was because they were there at the

11     meeting.

12        Q.   All right.  Can I just --

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Just a moment, please.

14             Mr. Gajic.

15             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to ask

16     the witness to slow down a little bit.  It is very difficult to follow

17     him, especially when one does it the way I do while listening to both

18     languages.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  You want to have everything under control.  I

20     understand.

21             Please carry on, Mr. McCloskey.

22             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you.

23        Q.   General, can we just clarify that.  These morning -- you've

24     described a morning staff meeting and an evening staff meeting.  Can you

25     just make clear for us:  Who was at the morning staff meeting?

Page 14202

 1        A.   The morning meetings were in an expanded composition.  All the

 2     commanders' assistants were also present there, then chiefs of

 3     administration.  For instance, from Tolimir's sector, we would have three

 4     people -- three persons present, Tolimir himself, and two administration

 5     chiefs.  From my sector, there would be the chief of

 6     Training and Operations Administration, and General Miletic could also

 7     bring his assistants, chief of Operational Department and the other one.

 8             So the meetings involved the first and the second level of the

 9     staff, including commanders' assistants and their subordinates.

10             In the evening meetings, because most of the officers would be in

11     their units and maybe last until midnight, they were held at 2.00 -- at

12     2000 hours and would last for a while.  It would definitely include

13     either commander or myself and chiefs of sectors, and in their absence

14     they would have a chief of administration who would replace them; Beara

15     or Salapura, for instance, for Mr. Tolimir.

16             And at that meeting, all those who were practically in the staff

17     would be present, and a duty team which included 10 to 12 officers,

18     mainly representatives of branches and services.  At that meeting we

19     would go through daily combat reports received from subordinated units,

20     and we would look for problems.  This was usually the last item in their

21     reports.  Mainly, it involved logistics, We need ammunition, we need

22     fuel.  And then either the logistics officer or the representative of a

23     certain branch would be tasked with making sure that in the morning the

24     required materiel would be available.

25             Extraordinary meetings, there was no need, actually, to have

Page 14203

 1     them, but there were some.  There were occasions when we'd meet at 4.00

 2     in the morning if the situation at the front-line was critical.  The

 3     Main Staff --

 4        Q.   Let me clarify something.  Pardon me for interrupting.

 5             You said the chief of sectors would meet.  And when you say

 6     "chief of sectors," were those the seven assistant commanders that you

 7     spoke of earlier in the formation of the Main Staff?

 8        A.   That's correct.  Chiefs of sectors were at the same time

 9     commanders' assistants.  Yes, I was the Chief of Staff and at the same

10     time a deputy commander.

11             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I ask a question to clarify another issue.

12             You told us that the meetings in the evening commenced at 2000

13     hours; is that correct?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They would commence upon the

15     arrival of daily combat reports received from subordinated units so that

16     we could read them all at once, although these documents were also

17     initially read by the chief of the operations, General Miletic or myself

18     if I were there.  So it was possible that at the beginning of the meeting

19     I would tell the commander, There's no need to read everything.  General,

20     the problems in the 1st Corps are such and such, in the 2nd Corps --

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I'm only interested in the time, because at

22     page 26, lines 24 to 25, I read:

23             "The staff would meet every morning and every evening.  Between

24     6.00 and 7.00 ..." whatever that means.

25             And later on you said in the evening you met at 2000 hours.

Page 14204

 1     Could you clarify that?  What was the usual meeting time in the morning

 2     and the usual meeting time in the evening?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The usual time of the meetings held

 4     in the morning was, as you said it, between 6.00 and 7.00 in the morning.

 5     Usually they would start at 7.00, because at 6.00 we would only receive

 6     the reports from the corps.  And by 7.00 we would be able to say what was

 7     happening in the corps during the night.

 8             Initially, the evening meetings were starting at 1800 hours, but

 9     the reports from subordinated units were never in time, and we slowly

10     pushed the beginning back.  And at some point we started having these

11     meetings as of 2000 hours because by 2000 hours all the meetings -- all

12     the reports were in.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much for this clarification.

14             Mr. McCloskey.

15             MR. McCLOSKEY:  I think just one more question before the break.

16        Q.   General, how consistent was General Mladic in having these

17     meetings?  I mean, when he was there, did he always have them or was it a

18     haphazard thing?

19        A.   When he was present at the staff, he would hold them on a regular

20     basis.  If he was absent, if he was somewhere away from the staff, then I

21     would be chairing the meetings, but he never skipped a meeting.  Even if

22     there was nothing to discuss, we would meet just to keep the habit going,

23     because you skip one meeting and then maybe we subordinates would start

24     not appearing at meetings, and God knows what, but the meetings were held

25     regularly.

Page 14205

 1        Q.   Okay.  Just to clarify -- I see we still have a minute.  And I

 2     don't want to -- we'll get into 1995 and where you were a lot of the time

 3     later.  But in a situation where General Mladic isn't there and you're

 4     not there, would there be someone that would normally chair the meeting?

 5        A.   If neither General Mladic nor myself were at the staff, the

 6     meetings should have been chaired by one of the commanders' assistants;

 7     Gvero if it involves issues related to morale, Tolimir if it's related to

 8     security, Djukic if it's in relation to logistics.  But they were mostly

 9     chaired by my assistant, because Operational Sector is a place where all

10     reports come in, all data come in.  And if sometimes it would happen that

11     it's necessary -- and I do know that Miletic, who was my deputy and chief

12     of Operational Administration, he was the one chairing the meeting.

13             There was no problem in hierarchy if you would have chief of one

14     sector reporting to a deputy, because he's reporting to the staff, not to

15     the person.

16             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you.

17             I see it's the time for the break, Mr. President.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

19             We must have our first break, and we'll resume at 11.00.

20                           --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

21                           --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please carry on.

23             Mr. Gajic.  Sorry, I didn't see you.

24             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just a brief comment.

25     I don't think it's a contentious issue, but it didn't get entered into

Page 14206

 1     the transcript properly.

 2             Page 23, line 10, in the last part:

 3             [In English] "No one from --"

 4             [Interpretation] That there was nobody from the Main Staff and

 5     that General Mladic was not a member of the Supreme Command.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Sorry, I didn't understand.  Could you please

 7     repeat your comment.

 8             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] The answer given by the witness

 9     wasn't interpreted fully, because he said that not a single officer from

10     the Main Staff was a member of the Supreme Command and that

11     General Mladic also was not a member of the Supreme Command.  That was

12     untranslated.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I would like to invite Mr. McCloskey to clarify

14     that in the course of his examination.

15             Mr. McCloskey.

16             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

17        Q.   General, to clarify that point, is it correct that no officer

18     from the Main Staff or General Mladic was a member of the

19     Supreme Command?

20        A.   Yes, that is correct.  The Main Staff was against it, and the

21     corps commands were also against it, because initially the

22     Supreme Command didn't even include the vice-presidents of the republic,

23     Koljevic and Plavsic, and it was only upon the intervention by the army

24     that the vice-presidents were appointed to enter the Supreme Command, nor

25     was General Mladic in the Supreme Command.  And we did not ask for

Page 14207

 1     General Mladic to become part of the Supreme Command because of our

 2     pride, but because the fact that General Mladic was not in the

 3     Supreme Command was something that had caused huge problems in the

 4     hierarchy of command.  Because Mladic was not in the Supreme Command, the

 5     Main Staff could not be the staff of Supreme Command, which is something

 6     that happens in any army during wartime.  The General Staff becomes the

 7     Staff of Supreme Command, becomes its integral part, and then you don't

 8     have the problems I told you about earlier; namely, that the

 9     Supreme Command didn't have professional expertise to draft orders and

10     make decisions.  It was done by the supreme commander, and he used his

11     assistants.  And that was a problem throughout the entire war.  The

12     conflict between the Supreme Command and the Main Staff was caused by the

13     fact that the Main Staff was not an organisational unit of the

14     Supreme Command.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I ask you, Who else, besides the president

16     and the vice-president, was a member of the Supreme Command?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The members of the Supreme Command,

18     in addition to the president and the vice-president, were the president

19     of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, president -- or, rather,

20     prime minister of Republika Srpska, the minister of interior of

21     Republika Srpska, and defence minister of Republika Srpska.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  I forgot you have explained

23     that already earlier.

24             Mr. McCloskey.

25             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

Page 14208

 1        Q.   And, General, going back briefly about the daily meetings, I

 2     believe you said that you would -- at times, there would be a second

 3     meeting with this smaller group, where the decisions were made or

 4     formulated.  Can you tell us, that smaller group, who was normally a

 5     member of that smaller group that met with General Mladic, if I have that

 6     correctly?  And, again, 1995 period.

 7        A.   Those meetings were attended with a narrow Main Staff officers,

 8     meaning the commander and his assistants.

 9        Q.   Okay.  And since you've started discussing these sectors,

10     specifically you started talking about General Miletic as the chief of

11     operations and training, let's go to the organisational chart that you

12     have recently looked at with the investigator.  And that is 65 ter 7397.

13             MR. McCLOSKEY:  And, Mr. President, this is revised from the

14     original that was on the 65 ter list of 65 ter 660, so this is a recent

15     proofing note revision of what's very similar to the older one that did

16     have a proper number.

17        Q.   And, General, this is always very awkward, because we try to show

18     on one page the whole -- well, the structure of the whole army.

19             And if we could provide the Court, of course, with the one that

20     General Milovanovic has reviewed, and I have a B/C/S -- a Serbian version

21     for the general because this really doesn't work.  It's hard enough to

22     see on paper; you need, practically, a magnifying-glass.  But we do want

23     to have one way to see it all, just so we can see it all like that.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  Will it be on the screen or

25     do we receive a hard copy of that as well?  No, we are dealing now with

Page 14209

 1     the one we just received?

 2             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Yes.  I hope you received the one that

 3     General Milovanovic -- we have General Obradovic's, but I don't want to

 4     mix you up with that one yet.  That's coming a little later.  And

 5     General Tolimir and Mr. Gajic should have copies as well.  We'd provided

 6     them a little bit earlier.  So --

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, did you receive a copy, a hard copy,

 8     of the chart?

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

10             I greet everyone here.  May God's peace reign in this house, and

11     may God's will be done in this proceeding and not mine.

12             I want to say hello to General Milovanovic.

13             And, yes, my assistant received the chart, if that's the one that

14     had been reviewed by General Milovanovic, and I can have it, yes.  Thank

15     you.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

17             Mr. McCloskey, please carry on.

18             MR. McCLOSKEY:  All right.

19        Q.   And, General, as I said, I don't want to go through every box and

20     every name.  But, first of all, we see, of course, as the commander of

21     the Main Staff, General Mladic, and you've discussed that.  We could have

22     also put on this chart President Karadzic and the Supreme Command, but

23     that's not there.  But you've discussed that, so I won't go into that any

24     further.

25             But let me -- we see on this box, it goes sideways to the right,

Page 14210

 1     the Department of Civil Affairs, and that seems to be set out from

 2     everything else.  Can you explain what that department is and why it

 3     would be set out like this?  Just briefly.

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters' notes:  We do not have the chart.

 5     Could we please have it?  It would be very useful.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Indeed, it should appear on the screen.  And if

 7     there are hard copies left, they should be given to the interpreters, if

 8     that is possible.

 9             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Yes, of course, that's absolutely correct, and we

10     do have some for them.  But let's see what it looks like on the chart.

11     With some fancy footwork, we'll be able to blow up the parts that we're

12     talking about.  So if we could blow up that top part.  But I have

13     these -- I have Serbian versions as well.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I think only the top part would be sufficient at

15     the moment.  Very well.

16             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Perfect.

17        Q.   So, General, just briefly, this department, it's listed as

18     Department for Civil Affairs, and it's got Colonel Milos Djurdjic and

19     Lieutenant-Colonel Slavko Kralj.  Where does this -- how does it fit into

20     the structure?

21        A.   This department was established later in the history of the

22     Main Staff.  Up until 1994, decisions on movement and access of

23     humanitarian convoys into enclaves and into Sarajevo was reached by --

24     were reached by the Main Staff.  I think it was General Tolimir who was

25     receiving requests from the UNPROFOR Command, and he would then forward

Page 14211

 1     such requests either to me or to the commander in most cases, including

 2     his proposal as to whether they should or should not be approved.

 3             But in 1994 a commission was formed attached to the

 4     Government of Republika Srpska, a commission for humanitarian aid, and it

 5     was not the Main Staff who would decide whether humanitarian convoys

 6     should be authorised to enter or not.  I think the chair of this

 7     commission was the vice-president Mr. Nikola Koljevic.  He was the one

 8     deciding whether a convoy would be allowed to enter Srebrenica or not.

 9     If he would decide that they should be let through, he would inform us

10     about it, and the Main Staff was in charge of then stopping all combat

11     activities that were happening along the route of the convoy.

12             Milos Djurdjic entered that department.  I don't know where he

13     was before, after the establishment.  And Slavko Kralj worked in a

14     similar department in the 1st Corps and was just transferred to the

15     Main Staff.  He spoke English really well, and that was the reason,

16     I think, that he became part of this newly-formed department.

17             The chief of the department, Colonel Djurdjic, then was present

18     at joint meetings with UNPROFOR when decisions were made about how many

19     convoys would be allowed, and it remained the duty of the army to make

20     sure that convoys have safe passage and to control whether the goods that

21     are stated in the documentation accompanying the convoy was the only

22     material carried by the convoy, so that we could avoid, for instance,

23     situations where different stuff would be smuggled in like it happened

24     during Operation Parachute.

25             And, now, why is this separately placed here and linked up with

Page 14212

 1     General Mladic directly?  I think it's because it was added later and

 2     they didn't know how to graphically put it in differently.  Many of the

 3     requests would come to me directly, and I would then send them back to

 4     Tolimir, who would then maybe include his proposals and send them back to

 5     me, or to the commander, who would then reach the final decision.

 6        Q.   All right, General.  And we'll get to this in a little more

 7     detail later, but you'll recall that you have been shown many of these

 8     convoy requests for 1995, and you've identified the initials and

 9     signatures of various members of the Main Staff; General Mladic,

10     General Tolimir, General Gvero.  So given that -- can you explain to

11     us -- in 1995, yes, we know about this civilian commission, but did the

12     Main Staff remain involved in this process, from what you've seen

13     regarding the initials and the various things that you have identified

14     that we'll get to later?

15        A.   By using the documents, the request, and the approvals or

16     non-approvals, I reached the conclusion that the commission was

17     functioning throughout 1995, especially when I was in the Main Staff.

18        Q.   And what was the Main Staff involvement with that?  Because, as

19     I think you'll agree, you noticed Mladic is making proposals, and

20     Tolimir's initials, Gvero's initials on these requests that were made

21     during the time of the commission, so can you describe what involvement

22     the Main Staff still had in this process, based on what you've reviewed,

23     and your knowledge, of course?

24        A.   First of all, one correction.  General Mladic wasn't the one

25     making proposals.  He was the one reaching decisions.  And the documents

Page 14213

 1     show that he very often would return a request either by the UNPROFOR or

 2     the commission to Tolimir and Gvero, asking them for their opinion.  In

 3     several instances, I could see that Tolimir would say, Yes, and Gvero,

 4     No, on the request, or the other way around, and then after that you

 5     would see Mladic's initials with his decision.  So he would either

 6     approve Tolimir's or Gvero's proposal, but Mladic was the one who would

 7     have the final say.  He would never issue proposals to his subordinates,

 8     but he was asking them for opinions.  But the commission was functioning

 9     throughout 1995, yes.

10        Q.   All right.  So who had final control, the commission or Mladic?

11        A.   The final control was in the hands of the army, Mladic, at

12     check-points.

13        Q.   All right.  So now we can -- let's look at the bigger picture.

14     And you've always talked about seven assistants, and so if we look at the

15     next series of boxes and count from -- well, if we -- let's go backwards

16     from right to left, starting with the Administration of the Air Force.

17     We have, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, ending with you, as the

18     Chief of the Main Staff, and all your staff administrations under you.

19             So are those the seven assistants that you spoke of?

20        A.   Let me explain.

21             The Main Staff, as an entity, had five sectors and two

22     administrations.  The five sectors had assistant commanders at its head.

23     One was the staff sector, my sector.  Then Sector for Moral Guidance,

24     Religious, and Legal Affairs; that was General Gvero's sector.  Then I

25     can see here the next one is Logistics, General Djukic.  The following

Page 14214

 1     one is Sector for Organisation, mobilisation, and Personnel Affairs.  In

 2     1995, it was General Petar Skrbic.  Sector for Intelligence and Security

 3     Affairs, General Tolimir, throughout the war.

 4             And we have two administrations that are directly linked up with

 5     the commander.  One is the Administration for Planning -- Development and

 6     Planning, headed by General-Major Evo Tomic; and Administration for Air

 7     Force and Air Defence, headed by Major-General Jovo Maric [Realtime

 8     translation read in error "Mladic"].

 9             So the five sectors and two administrations, they were directly

10     linked up to the commander, and the chiefs of these sectors and

11     administrations were commanders' assistants.  Other administrations were

12     linked up with their chiefs of sectors.  For instance, the

13     1st Administration for Operations and Planning, that's General Miletic's

14     administration, they're linked up to me.  For General Tolimir, there were

15     two, also, administrations; namely, Intelligence and Security.  That was

16     Beara.

17             Do you want to hear about any other administrations or sectors?

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I would like to make one correction for the

19     transcript.

20             Page 41, line 7, I read there the name headed by General Mladic,

21     but in fact it was General Maric, the chief of the Administration for

22     Air Force and Air Defence.

23             Mr. McCloskey.

24             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  One moment, please.  Judge Nyambe has a question.

Page 14215

 1             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

 2             At page 38, lines 23 through to 25, you have referred to

 3     Operation Parachute.  Can you just explain what that operation involved?

 4     Thank you.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Operation Parachute was supply of

 6     humanitarian aid into enclaves by air-lifts or, rather, by parachuting

 7     the materiel in the planes that I think were sent on the basis of a

 8     decision reached by the Security Council.  The idea was to provide

 9     humanitarian aid in a secure way, but I later started thinking that the

10     idea also included parachuting in materiel that was not allowed, because

11     the materiels were thrown out of the planes at a very high altitude, at

12     10.000 metres.  Some of the cases fell into the territory of

13     Republika Srpska, in two or three cases.  And were we opened each one of

14     those crates, we found, for instance, in one occasion, in the area

15     between Srebrenica and Milici, we found ammunition for machine-guns,

16     7. -- and -- 12.7 millimetres that was packed in bags that allegedly

17     contained flour.  But the person who found it said, Well, flour cannot be

18     that heavy.

19             The only thing we could do about it was inform UNPROFOR of such

20     instances.  We couldn't order anyone who was packing this not to do that

21     anymore because it was -- the bags were packed somewhere in Germany, but

22     we could inform UNPROFOR about such instances.  I'm not sure whether they

23     managed to correct the situation.  The operation went on for several

24     months, but I guess because we kept complaining about enclaves being

25     supplied with ammunition, and so on and so forth, they suspended the

Page 14216

 1     operation, saying that it was not an efficient way of supplying

 2     humanitarian aid, though.

 3             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

 5             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you.

 6        Q.   General, I seem to recall you saying that the assistant

 7     commanders would make proposals through you to -- that you would present

 8     to General Mladic.  Would those assistant commanders be able to make

 9     proposals directly to General Mladic if they so chose, even if you were

10     present?

11        A.   I think that we didn't understand each other.  The other

12     assistant commanders submitted proposals to the commander.  I listened to

13     those proposals and I would take what I believed I would need when I

14     submit my final proposal on the combat use of units.  So each one of them

15     would make their proposals directly to the commander.  It was another

16     matter that I was listening and that that would help me formulate my own

17     proposals, because proposals were being formulated during the actual

18     meeting.

19             Sometimes, exceptionally, I would prepare them myself, but during

20     the reporting, I would change them.  I'm not a bigger expert in security

21     or intelligence than Tolimir, so I would modify my own suggestions

22     according to what he said, for example, in providing support in combat

23     operations.  I would not be making up my own proposals.  I would be

24     formulating what Tolimir, for example, would bring to the table.

25             So assistant commanders did not make their proposals to me.  They

Page 14217

 1     made them directly to the commander.  I would only listen to that and

 2     take them into account or not take them into account when formulating my

 3     own proposal.

 4        Q.   Thank you for that clarification.  And what would happen to the

 5     proposals?  Just to finish the loop on that.

 6        A.   I mentioned that as well.  When the proposals were all made, then

 7     the commander would usually give a break.  I say "usually," but it

 8     wouldn't necessarily have to be like that.  Perhaps he could be

 9     monitoring the proposals right away and formulating the decisions right

10     away.  Then he would say, I decided, and then he would dictate the

11     decision.  That was one option.  But he could also give a break and take

12     the time for himself to reach his decision, and then he would call us

13     again and announce his decisions.

14             In the decision-making system, each one of us assistants would

15     fight for their own proposal; I would, Tolimir, Gvero, all of us would do

16     that.  However, when the commander says, I decided, all seven of us would

17     then fervently go about executing that decision, regardless of whether

18     that was in the spirit of our own proposal or not.  This was in the

19     spirit of subordination.  We had corps commands where the Chief of Staff

20     would propose something, the commander would decide otherwise, but the

21     Chief of Staff would continue to do what he wanted.  And then in that

22     case we would abandon/regroup such persons.  The Chief of Staff would

23     have to be along the same line as the commander.  They would have to

24     respect these rules of subordination.

25        Q.   Okay.  And in the event -- let's take the situation where

Page 14218

 1     General Tolimir makes a proposal that is adopted by General Mladic, and

 2     General Mladic makes an order that's consistent with the proposal and has

 3     something to do with the security and intel function.  What, if any,

 4     responsibility would General Tolimir have in the execution of or

 5     monitoring of that order, as I say, if any?

 6        A.   If Tolimir's proposal was not in line with Mladic's decision,

 7     Tolimir would carry out Mladic's decision no matter what it was.

 8        Q.   Well, in a situation where they were both on the same

 9     page - Tolimir makes a proposal, Mladic issues an order - how does

10     Tolimir carry it out?  What's his responsibility, as the chief of the

11     sector at the Main Staff, for something that would involve the corps, for

12     example?

13        A.   He would carry out the commander's decision regardless of whether

14     that was something that corresponded with his proposal or not.

15        Q.   I understand.  And how would he carry it out?  Give us just an

16     idea of just what his responsibilities would be generally.  I'm just

17     trying to get a general feeling for the responsibility of any assistant

18     commander whose proposal gets turned into an order.

19        A.   It states: "Order to the subordinate unit," and it would be -- he

20     would write it in the spirit of the commander's decision, and then he

21     would monitor the execution.

22             I don't know if I was clear enough.  If the commander did not

23     accept my proposal, I would execute his decision regardless of the fact

24     that I disagree with it, for example.  If he does accept the proposal,

25     then the job is easier for both sides.

Page 14219

 1        Q.   That's the situation I want to -- I'm asking you about.  And you

 2     said he, the assistant commander, in this case Tolimir, would monitor the

 3     decision.  What does that mean, militarily?  What's it mean to monitor

 4     something?

 5        A.   To monitor the execution of a decision means seeing if the

 6     subordinate unit that was issued the decision was implementing it in the

 7     way the commander had decided.  If the unit or the subordinate commander

 8     was doing something else, it was Tolimir's duty to direct him back to

 9     work in the spirit of the commander's decision, with addition orders,

10     explanations, by personally going and telling the commander, You're not

11     doing this in the spirit of the commander's decision, you're making up

12     something of your own.  So it is to keep him in the direction or in the

13     course of the commander's decision.

14        Q.   And how long will the execution of that order be monitored by the

15     assistant commander, in this case Tolimir?

16        A.   Until the assignment is completed.

17        Q.   All right.  Now, I just want you to provide just a little bit of

18     your knowledge and experience on some of these sectors or

19     administrations.  The Trial Chamber has heard some information and

20     evidence on some of them, but I just want to get your succinct and

21     brief testimony on these and some information on the chief of the various

22     sectors or administrations I'll be asking you about.

23             So let's, first of all, start with your side, on the left.

24     There, we have it.  And you've already spoken a bit about General Miletic

25     as the -- he was the chief of the Administration for Operations and

Page 14220

 1     Training; is that correct?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   And you have already spoken about that he was your deputy and

 4     would sometimes replace you, when you weren't there, to chair some of

 5     these meetings, but can you basically describe, simply, just in two or

 6     three minutes, what his responsibilities were as the chief of operations

 7     and training, aside from those that you've already told us?

 8        A.   His daily duties, as the chief of the administration, were -- and

 9     now I'm not speaking about the duties as my deputy -- were to compile and

10     analyse reports from subordinate commands.  At the evening meeting, he

11     would state the main problems from the reports by the subordinate

12     commands, and he would give his view as how to resolve each of those

13     problems.  He would draft reports and send them to the Supreme Command.

14     He would draft all combat orders, information, notifications relating to

15     the decision of the commander of the previous morning.  He would author

16     all the combat documents.

17             In my absence, besides these jobs, he would also carry out the

18     Chief of Staff's daily duties, which were to control the orders being

19     drafted by his administration, signing reports to the Supreme Command,

20     directly address the commander in relation to some problems in the staff

21     or the staff sector.  He would be carrying out the day-to-day duties

22     usually conducted by the Chief of Staff when he was there.  This was his

23     additional duty because, by establishment, he was standing in for the

24     Chief of Staff.  This could last up to a period of 30 days.  If the Chief

25     of Staff does not return to the Main Staff, there would usually be a way

Page 14221

 1     for me to appear at least once a month at the Main Staff in order that we

 2     would not have to make any personnel changes in the staff.

 3        Q.   All right.  And can you tell -- how important was that job, the

 4     job of the operations officer?  You may recall how you described it in

 5     the last trial, in the Popovic case.

 6        A.   I said then that an operative in a command or a staff was the

 7     soul of that command.  All the information comes to him from the

 8     subordinate unit, and all the information is dispatched from him to

 9     subordinate and superior commands.  So this person, in brief, would be

10     like a traffic cop at an intersection where a whole bunch of information

11     was arriving, and he is the one who would be directing this flow of

12     information.  He's a person who, at a given command, would know

13     everything or should know everything, including what the commander is

14     doing, what the last soldier in that army is doing, as the person who is

15     carrying out tasks.

16        Q.   All right.  And I think this is a good time, because you have

17     stated several times that in your absence he would have various other

18     important duties, where were you during most of 1995?

19        A.   From the 1st of January, 1995, until the end of February, I was

20     in the West, in Drvar.  Actually, from the 30th of October, 1994, until

21     the end of February 1995 I was in the West.  In early March, I appeared

22     at the Main Staff in order to prepare the annual analysis of the war or

23     the combat readiness of the Army of Republika Srpska.  And then from the

24     6th to the 12th of March I went west again because I was still

25     responsible for that part of the front, following the Bihac operation.

Page 14222

 1             Then from the 12th of March until the 3rd of May, I was at the

 2     Main Staff.  However, I was responsible from the Main Staff to the front

 3     around the Sava towards Western Slavonia.  And then on the 3rd of May, I

 4     transferred to Gradiska in order to organise the defence of

 5     Republika Srpska from the direction of the Croatian territory.  We're

 6     talking about the well-known Croatian Operation Flash.  I think that I

 7     stayed in the West until the 18th of March.

 8             On the 18th of March, I appeared in the Main Staff again, and I

 9     was there continuously until the 29th of May.  In the meantime, I was

10     conducting defence operations from the aggression of the NATO pact

11     against Republika Srpska.  This is the 24th, the 25th, and the

12     26th of May.

13             And then at repeated intervention of General Tomanic, on the

14     29th of May I was sent again to the West, to Drvar, because the Muslims

15     had violated the well-known four-month Carter truce, and they crossed

16     again and violated the area of Republika Srpska across the Una River.

17     And the Croats began their offensive against Republika Srpska and the

18     Republic of the Serbian Krajina, which was known by the name of Storm.

19             When we're talking about Storm, I think it's incorrect.  I tried

20     several times also before this Tribunal and in the media to deny the

21     Croatian assertion that Storm began on the 4th of August, 1995, and was

22     completed on the 5th of August, 1995.  Storm began on the

23     4th of June, 1995, and was completed sometime on October 15th, 1995.  It

24     was completed not under the name of Storm, but under the name of

25     Juzni Potez, Southern Flank, but it was the same armed forces formation.

Page 14223

 1             From the 29th of May and then until the 15th of October I spent

 2     in the West.  I arrived a few days before the signing of the

 3     Dayton Accords.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Let me ask you:  You say, again, you spent the

 5     time between May and October in the West.  Could you specify what you

 6     mean by that again?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was conducting combat actions of

 8     the Army of Republika Srpska on the front in the Bosnian Krajina, on the

 9     River Una, the Dinara Mountain.  That was it.  I was conducting the

10     defence actions from Muslims from the Bihac Security Zone and defence

11     from the Croatian Army from the Livanjsko Polje and the

12     Golije-Staretina-Sator-Cincar-Vitorog Mountains.  Perhaps I skipped over

13     a hill or a mountain, maybe.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I would like to come back to an issue we

15     discussed earlier, about the meetings of the Main Staff in the morning

16     and in the evening.  Where did these meetings take place during that

17     time-period?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The meetings were held at the

19     Operations Centre of the Main Staff.  This was the largest room in the

20     prefabricated huts where we were located.  As I said, the meetings were

21     attended by the assistant commanders, if they were there.  If any of them

22     was not there, their deputy would be there.  And the leading leadership

23     team would also attend these meetings.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And where were these prefabricated huts located?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These prefabricated huts were in

Page 14224

 1     Crna Rijeka, some nine kilometres north-east of Han Pijesak.  At a slope,

 2     we found two such huts on the 19th of May, when we got there.  During the

 3     war, we built another one, the third one.  It was a small area, because

 4     we worked and slept in these huts.  And just to show how small a space it

 5     was, suffice it to say that General Mladic and I shared an office.  If

 6     Mladic was there, I wasn't, and if I was there, he wasn't.  Usually

 7     that's how it worked.  But we shared an office in order to save space or

 8     make best use of the space.

 9             Other than the huts, we also had an underground command post

10     which was 1 kilometre away from the huts.  It was dug out.  I think it

11     was 471 metres underground, under Veliki Zejg [phoen], where we would go

12     in case of threats of NATO strikes or during NATO strikes.  The entire

13     Main Staff would move to this underground command post, which would be

14     able to function for six months, with a number of persons there being

15     500.  It was completely self-sufficient.  It was like a small

16     subterranean town.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

18             Judge Mindua has a question.

19             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, General Milovanovic, I

20     see here that from May 1995 until October, the 15th of October, 1995, you

21     left and went east.  You were in charge of the battle against the Croats,

22     which was fighting against the Republika Srpska and the Krajina Republic.

23     The battle or the fighting had actually started in June of 1995.  And at

24     the same time, if I look at the organisation chart of the Main Staff of

25     the VRS in July of 1995, you are the deputy commander of the Main Staff.

Page 14225

 1     How are you able to reconcile your two jobs, i.e., as

 2     deputy Chief of Staff and in charge of the military operation against the

 3     Croats to the east of the country in 1995?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, it's the west of the

 5     territory, not the east.

 6             I was deputy commander for military operations, translated into

 7     NATO terminology.  My duty was to plan operations and, if the commander

 8     ordered so, to carry out operations.  In practice, this is how it was.  I

 9     would plan or my sector would plan an operation, and the commander

10     usually would allocate me, as the main planner, to begin the execution of

11     the operation because I had the right to change things if something was

12     not going right.

13             It's not easy to predict the course of combat.  So if something

14     does not proceed according to plan initially, the plan that I drafted and

15     that the commander or the supreme commander approved, then I can change

16     things immediately.  On the ground, I'm not going to send one brigade,

17     but two; instead of two, perhaps three.  So I was the person who could

18     change the initial plan as the operations went along.  If the operation,

19     in the beginning, proceeded quite well, then the commander would leave me

20     there to complete it.

21             But the command principle in the Main Staff was this:  If, in an

22     operation, there are two or more corps taking part, the operation is

23     under the command of the commander of the Main Staff.  However, if a

24     sector of the front, because the front of Republika Srpska was about

25     700 kilometres long and 150 kilometres wide, if operations at corps level

Page 14226

 1     are being executed in another place, then the commander usually stays

 2     where the bulk of the fighting is and then he would assign me or some

 3     other assistant of his to that other sector of the front in order to

 4     conduct the operation.  And this time, this was in the West.

 5             First of all, I spent late 1994 and early 1995 in the West,

 6     executing that initial strike towards Bihac.  I said that the

 7     5th Muslim Corps violated Carter's truce, and beginning from the

 8     13th of January, 1995, they started slowly eating away at our territory.

 9     They crossed the Una River, violated the truce, and by the

10     12th of February had taken up part of the territory on Grmec Mountain.

11     They had retaken that part of the territory.  I made a new counter-strike

12     plan towards Bihac.  The plan was approved by the Supreme Command.

13             The commander of the 2nd Krajina Corps asked twice that I

14     personally get to that part of the front.  I don't know what the corps

15     commander's motivation was for that.  I refused to do it the first time.

16     This was in early May, when I was in Gradiska fighting against -- Flash.

17             When I returned to the staff, on the 25th of May the corps

18     commander sent an ultimatum -- a request to the Main Staff that I would

19     have to come to that sector of the front.  Otherwise, he would leave

20     Bijecevica [phoen] Mountain.  And so I had made some reinforcements at

21     Krupa Na Uni before that.  Before that, I had told General Mladic and

22     Supreme Commander Karadzic that I didn't want to do this because I did

23     not want to be tied down, as the Chief of Staff, to one sector of the

24     front of Republika Srpska.

25             But General Tolimir, who is present here, convinced me to accept

Page 14227

 1     and to agree to that summons because I knew the corps the best and I

 2     understood the Serbian Army of the Krajina, which was acting in

 3     co-ordination very well, and I also was very familiar with that

 4     particular area.  And seeing that it was no longer a joke and that this

 5     commander was being very persistent, I accepted the summons and I went on

 6     the 29th of May.

 7             On the 4th of June, I initiated the counter-strike, the second

 8     one towards Bihac.  On the Croatian side, there was no threat from that

 9     direction.  I even took some artillery weapons from the Glamoc front,

10     transferred them to the Bihac front.  In the morning, we began, on the

11     4th, on Sunday at 4.00 a.m., and in about two hours we had broken through

12     the Muslim front towards Bihac.

13             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness, for

14     having specified what your military action to the West involved.

15             But you remember a while ago we discussed the collegium of

16     commanders.  Whilst you were in the West, did that mean that you were not

17     taking part or were not a member of the collegium of commanders at that

18     time?  Is that right?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't attend their meetings

20     and did not.  There was no need for it because I had received my task at

21     the Western Front.  It was a long-term task to repel the

22     Croatian Operation Storm.  Therefore, no needs were required on my end.

23     The only thing that happened was when I asked for reinforcements by

24     telegram or telephone.  I simply wasn't present at the meetings and there

25     was no need for me to.  I was only present there when I was particularly

Page 14228

 1     called by the commander, when analyses of combat readiness for the

 2     previous year were done.

 3             I was also at the Main Staff once when we saw General Zivanovic,

 4     commander of the Drina Corps, off because he retired.  The custom was

 5     that all generals got together on such occasions.  I arrived on the

 6     19th of July.  We saw him off on the 20th.  And on the 22nd, I was

 7     already back in Drvar.  So this was the only exception.  Yes.  So

 8     basically there were only two interruptions in the whole period.

 9             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

10             My last question now.  When you were not present, was someone

11     appointed to act on your behalf when you were not on the spot where the

12     operation was taking place?  Was a deputy commander, an acting deputy

13     commander, ever appointed?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was replaced by General Miletic,

15     per establishment.  My absence from the Main Staff up to 30 days did not

16     require any new orders for Miletic.  He would simply pick up where I left

17     it off in the Main Staff.

18             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] All right.  Thank you very much.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

20             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you, Your Honours.

21        Q.   Can you tell us, did you receive a specific order from

22     General Mladic authorising you to command that -- the operation you've

23     described from May 29th in the West?

24        A.   Yes, I did.  I received an order from General Mladic to go

25     westward to execute that counter-strike against Bihac.  I began doing so,

Page 14229

 1     but on the same day the Croats attacked the VRS from Livanjsko Polje

 2     through the villages of Peulje.  Their aim, and that is something I did

 3     not learn in the course of that day, but in the next following days, was

 4     not the RS.  Their goal was to occupy Knin.  They were unable to do that

 5     from the direction of Dalmacija, perhaps because of the lie of the land,

 6     so they came up with this idea of engaging in a comprehensive manoeuvre

 7     through the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 8        Q.   General, thank you.  Thank you.  And I just wanted to clarify

 9     that you had been given a command position for the Western Front.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey, I have to interrupt you.  We have

11     a problem with the transcript in e-court again.  It's not working at the

12     moment.  I hope it's working in LiveNote.  Yes, it is.

13                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  The Registrar makes the proposal that we have our

15     break now because we have so many problems now with the microphone, with

16     the e-court, the e-court record, and some other problems.  I think we

17     should have our break now, and during the break everything should be

18     resolved.

19             If this is convenient for everybody, we should have our break now

20     and resume 20 minutes before 1.00.

21                           --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.

22                           --- On resuming at 12.44 p.m.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please go ahead.

24             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you.

25        Q.   General, we had left off and I think you'd clarified that

Page 14230

 1     General Mladic had actually given you a command position on the

 2     Western Front on the end of May 1995.  And you have explained this a bit,

 3     and the policy of sending out a general from the Main Staff if there was

 4     two corps involved, and other things on that same topic, but,

 5     practically, throughout the war, were you and other assistants from the

 6     Main Staff sent out to take command positions or important positions in

 7     the various battle-fronts of the war?

 8        A.   It was standard practice of the commander to dispatch his

 9     assistants, be it as commanders or monitors, to control.  On one

10     occasion, he sent General Gvero to the Olovo front, between Sarajevo and

11     Olovo, where Operation Ring was being executed, and that ought to be

12     distinguished from Operation Ring 2.  Gvero was in command then, and it

13     included parts of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and some headquarters

14     support units, such as the 65th Protection Regiment.  It means that there

15     were more units than one single corps, and Gvero was in command.

16             I can't recall, off the cuff, anyone else being in command of

17     operations.  Sorry, yes, he also sent the then artillery chief,

18     Colonel Masala, to Gornji Podrinje.  He commanded the temporary

19     formations of the operations and tactical group.  The commander

20     authorised him to command those units.

21        Q.   All right.  And the Trial Chamber has learned, as we all have,

22     that the assistant commanders, well, at all levels, brigades, corps, and

23     the main staffs, have -- are experts in their field, be it artillery, as

24     you've just mentioned, or General Gvero in morale, legal, religious; or

25     General Tolimir in intel and security.  Can you explain, as a general,

Page 14231

 1     how it could be that a person that's an expert in a particular field

 2     would be effective in command or in monitoring a significant

 3     battle-front?

 4        A.   I'm afraid I didn't understand which expert you had in mind,

 5     because in the army there are two types of experts.  There are those who

 6     are versed in general military matters, that is, commanders; and then

 7     there are specialists, such as Tolimir, who was a specialist for

 8     intelligence and security, or Gvero for morale issues.  Some people are

 9     both.  By virtue of becoming general, irrespective of one's specialty,

10     the person is capable of exercising general military command.  A

11     colonel -- a quarter-master officer can also be in charge of commands

12     pursuant to orders.  He can also deal with general military issues.

13             As it happened in our army, we had six brigade commanders who

14     were traffic specialists.  We also had four of them from the

15     Financial Branch, and yet they were in charge of brigades.  We also had

16     six communications men who were in commanding positions.  They had

17     nothing to do with infantry or artillery, and yet they were successful

18     brigade commanders.

19        Q.   All right.  And you've outlined the basic time-periods where you

20     were away from the Main Staff.  And in preparation of the last trial, did

21     you have an opportunity to review the reports from the Main Staff to the

22     Presidency and see whose name they went to the president in?

23        A.   I think I reviewed all the reports sent in 1995.  They were sent

24     from the Main Staff to the supreme commander, Mr. Karadzic.

25        Q.   And whose names did those go out under?

Page 14232

 1        A.   Most of them were signed by General Miletic, as my deputy, but he

 2     signed them incorrectly as standing for the Chief of Staff.  However, he

 3     did not stand for me.  It is a strictly legal category.  He replaced me

 4     instead.  So he should have signed it differently, as "on behalf of the

 5     Chief of Staff."  However, he automatically just put down "standing in

 6     for."  When I followed some testimony here, I realised that

 7     Colonel Trkulja, who was the author of those reports, recognised his

 8     mistake.  He said he did so because he wasn't attentive enough.

 9        Q.   Did your review of all of those reports for 1995, and noticing

10     your name or General Miletic's name, did that help you at all in putting

11     together what days you were in the Main Staff and what days you weren't?

12        A.   When I returned to the Main Staff, I did not read such documents

13     that were of limited, temporal value.  I had no time to go back and study

14     everything.  I'm referring to those reports that I was expected to sign

15     at those times when I was in the Main Staff.

16             The things which expired is something I didn't bother with.  The

17     most important things were told me by Miletic himself.  There was simply

18     no time for me to leaf through the archives.  It's a different matter

19     that I read them later on here in this building.  However, that was a

20     number of years later.

21        Q.   And that's my question.  When you were able to review them in

22     this building, does the fact that your name was on some of them

23     throughout 1995 and Miletic's was on most of them, did that help give you

24     any indication of when you might have -- or when you were in the

25     Main Staff and when you were not?  I'm talking after the fact now.

Page 14233

 1        A.   For the most part, yes, because I was unable to recollect all

 2     those individual segments as to when I took him to the Main Staff.  But

 3     if I went by my signatures, then most of the time I could tell at what

 4     times I was at the Main Staff.

 5        Q.   All right.  And can you very briefly explain to us: You've said

 6     that this term "standing in" is, I think, an official or formal term and

 7     that it was not used correctly by Trkulja, so can you tell us, very

 8     briefly, what the formal "standing in" means and how it comes about?

 9        A.   The easiest way for me to explain would be by using an example of

10     a command role.

11             Say a brigade commander falls ill and abandons the unit.  Up to

12     30 days, he is replaced by his establishment deputy, that is to say, his

13     Chief of Staff.  If the commander's absence is longer than 30 days, the

14     superior officer to the brigade, that is to say, the corps commander,

15     appoints a person to stand in for him by virtue of an order.  The person

16     so appointed has all of the authority the brigade commander enjoyed.

17     Standing in, under the then law, could last for a maximum period of six

18     months.  Following that, there is either a new order on standing in or a

19     new person is appointed to act as brigade commander or another order is

20     issued to appoint the person standing in thus far as brigade commander.

21             So "standing in" is a legal category.  It also entails a change

22     of salary.  And one simply takes on all the responsibilities of a

23     commander.  If simply acting on behalf of someone, one would not have

24     such duties and obligations, and this was mainly done parallel to one's

25     own duties.

Page 14234

 1             Perhaps it is strange why Miletic was not accorded this status

 2     when I was absent for more than six months, but that was because I was at

 3     the front-lines.  I was not outside the VRS.  Irrespective of where I was

 4     at the front-line, I maintain my position of Chief of Staff, and Miletic

 5     only stood in.  I wasn't incapacitated, I wasn't ill, but I was engaged

 6     in another staff task.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Thank you.  And I think that is all I want to ask you

 8     about for the operations and training part.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey, Judge Nyambe has a question.

10             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Yes.

11             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Yes, thank you.

12             You've just now explained what happens 30 days and onwards.

13     What -- how is it described or called before the 30 days lapses?  What is

14     the person who acts or who stands in, in that position described?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I explained the term

16     "standing in for."  Due to the physical inability of someone to perform

17     his or her duties, a person is appointed to stand in for that person.  If

18     someone is attending another task as part of the same armed forces, then

19     that person is replaced by his next most superior person in his organ.

20             Miletic was the most senior person in the staff sector, and he

21     replaced me.  He was supposed to sign by stating "for."  So "Chief of

22     Staff Manojlo Milovanovic," that would be in the signature block, and

23     then Miletic was supposed to sign "for," and then he put his own name

24     under it.

25             JUDGE NYAMBE:  I think I was not clear in my question, and this

Page 14235

 1     is because I can't highlight where I'm trying to focus.

 2             In your explanation, in the explanation that you've given just

 3     now, in my understanding it relates to somebody who stands in for you

 4     after 30 days.  My question is:  What is the person standing in for you

 5     up to 30 days described as?  Is it the same?  Say, for example, somebody

 6     is standing in for you for two weeks or three weeks or 25 days.  Thank

 7     you.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not the same.  "Standing in

 9     for" is a legal category which requires an order.  Replacing someone for

10     a limited period of time requires no written order, but things simply

11     continue as it were.

12             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

13                           [French interpretation on English channel]

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I --

15                           [French interpretation on English channel]

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  No, we have not the -- there is now French

17     interpretation on the English channel.

18             Now it's working.

19             In this period of 30 days, the deputy just is in the position of

20     the person of the commander for whom he is the deputy, without a specific

21     term you are using?  He's just the deputy, is that correct, in this

22     period of 30 days?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, to put it in the

24     briefest way possible, he acts on behalf of the person who is absent.

25     Miletic performed my duties in the staff in my absence, such as reviewing

Page 14236

 1     correspondence, drafting reports, receiving subordinate reports, and all

 2     the other daily tasks.  If key decisions need to be made, he had no right

 3     to propose anything to the commander.  He could always get in touch with

 4     me.  And if the commander needed me personally, he could always summon me

 5     to the Main Staff.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

 7             Mr. McCloskey.

 8             MR. McCLOSKEY:

 9        Q.   Just one more thing to help clarify it in my mind.

10             You've described that Miletic was replacing you or acting on your

11     behalf, but those words don't need to be placed in the signature block,

12     is that what you're saying, just as long as the "for" word is mentioned,

13     the "za" word?

14        A.   Precisely.

15        Q.   And those terms that I just mentioned are not formal, legal

16     military terms, they just describe the situation; is that right?

17        A.   It seems I have to repeat.  If someone is standing in for

18     another, he or she has the same rights as the person he is acting for, or

19     standing in for, excuse me.  If Miletic stood in for me, then he could

20     exercise my powers.  However, if he was only replacing me, if the word

21     "for" was to be affixed to his signature, he did not enjoy the same right

22     as I did.  He could only deal with the daily routine tasks so to avoid

23     the staff coming at a standstill.

24        Q.   All right.  I think we understand.  And so let's move on from

25     that part to the next sector, which is the Sector for Moral Guidance,

Page 14237

 1     Religious, and Legal Affairs, headed by General Gvero.

 2             And can you very briefly describe what General Gvero's job was in

 3     the Main Staff, especially in 1995?

 4        A.   Throughout the war, including 1995, General Gvero was tasked with

 5     raising the morale of the VRS, maintaining it, that is to say, preventing

 6     the morale from deteriorating among the ranks.  That was one thing.

 7     Another thing that he was also in charge were religious affairs.  That is

 8     to say, he was there to provide conditions for the troops to attend

 9     religious ceremonies, et cetera.  He was also to liaise with the church

10     institutions.  Perhaps Mr. Tolimir would be better placed to explain

11     that.  In any case, he was supposed to make it possible for the officers

12     and soldiers to perform their religious rites, et cetera.

13             He was also an assistant commander for legal affairs, which means

14     that he had to keep an eye on the lawfulness of the work of the military

15     courts, and he was also in charge of establishing them.  This lasted

16     until sometime in 1994, when the military courts were no longer under the

17     competence of the Main Staff and the army.  They were returned to their

18     proper place, which is under the authority of the Ministry of Defence.

19     However, Gvero continued monitoring the work of the military courts,

20     although he no longer had to under the law.  He was in charge of

21     controlling their work, and he was responsible to the commander for the

22     work of the military judiciary.

23        Q.   And, personally, did he exhibit any religious affinity or did he

24     have any religious position in any religion, General Gvero, that is?

25        A.   I don't know anything about his religious affiliation, but I do

Page 14238

 1     know that in our political school he taught Marxism, which is a theory

 2     completely opposite to religion.  I have not noticed any changes in his

 3     views during the war, although it was his duty to provide conditions for

 4     the army members to do their religious things.  I don't think he was an

 5     atheist, but I've never seen him pray.

 6             There is a story that I can recount.  The archbishop of the

 7     Serbian Orthodox Church visited the Main Staff, Mr. Paulin [phoen].  I

 8     was not present in the Main Staff.  And in the underground command post

 9     there was an office of the Chief of Staff where the Chief of Staff would

10     work, but where also meetings were being held.  And when I joined them in

11     the afternoon, while the archbishop was still there, I found in my room a

12     religious painting and a candle, and I asked General Mladic who was it

13     who placed this here.  And he responded, Well, it was the archbishop, and

14     the proposal came from General Gvero, who was in charge on religious

15     issues.  And this office, this room actually, is a very busy room.

16     People yell, make phone calls, and I told General Mladic, Well, since the

17     candle is here in my room, let General Gvero properly light it up.  But

18     he didn't know how, so I would say that General Gvero was not a person

19     who was well versed in religious things.

20        Q.   How about General Tolimir; did you ever see him exhibit religious

21     beliefs or religious practices?

22        A.   No, I haven't seen him.  And as far as his knowledge about

23     religion, well, on one occasion when I was about to enter a church in

24     Vlasenica where something was going on, there was a procession about to

25     start, and we needed to discuss something, and the bishop told us, If you

Page 14239

 1     want, you can find a quiet corner in the church.  And then he made a

 2     joke, If the general wants to enter the church.  And I returned the joke

 3     by saying, I will go with the commander wherever he tells me.  But upon

 4     entering the church, we saw General Tolimir at the entrance, and he told

 5     me, You're not supposed to bring in any weapons.  I had a Hekler on me.

 6     I didn't know anything about these things, and I handed over the Hekler.

 7     But I also had four bombs in my uniform.  So, in effect, I did bring

 8     weapons into the church.  But I never saw Tolimir praying to God, and he

 9     cursed as much as everyone else in the Main Staff.  So, no, during the

10     war, in the time we almost lived together, I did not notice any special

11     religious proclivities on his part.

12        Q.   All right.  Going back to General Gvero, can you describe his

13     influence with General Mladic?

14        A.   I spoke about this during my last testimony in 2007.  Gvero did

15     not have any special influence on General Mladic.  On the contrary,

16     General Mladic, up until the time I went to the Western Front, often --

17     well, you see, the two of us would often have conversations privately,

18     outside of the staff.  We would walk around the huts, and he would always

19     tell me, Let Gvero be; he's a politician.  I also said just a moment ago

20     that Gvero was the officer in charge of the Operation Ring in Olovo or at

21     the Olovo Front-Line, and they were having a hard time.  It was

22     winter-time, and Mladic sent me on one occasion there, and I was escorted

23     by one of Gvero's officers, Vidoje Magazin, his name was, and he was a

24     colonel, I think.  And he told me, Go and see what Gvero is doing, and if

25     what he is doing is not efficient, suspend all the activities until the

Page 14240

 1     end of the winter.  And I got there, I found Gvero there at the forward

 2     command post.  He briefed me on the situation.  It was too much snow for

 3     any movement.  And I ordered Gvero to change the status to defence

 4     status, to take his forces in, and I don't think the operation was ever

 5     resumed.

 6             So, no, General Mladic was not under influence of General Gvero.

 7     Only after my arrival from the West Front, which was in second half of

 8     October, whenever we were not really busy in the staff, Mladic would go

 9     for walks, usually with me, around the Main Staff deployment area or he

10     would go to General Tolimir.  They knew each other from Knin, so I wasn't

11     paying that much attention to that.  But after my return, Mladic would

12     not choose me as his walking companion, but Gvero and Beara.  And I was

13     at first a little bit sore about that, but that was after Dayton, so it

14     wasn't very important anymore.

15             I don't know whether Gvero had some influence on Mladic at the

16     time.  I know that Gvero, on one occasion, told me -- after the

17     Dayton Accords and after a minor stroke that General Mladic had suffered,

18     Gvero told me, when we were on our own, the two of us, he said, I had a

19     stroke, and I'm not sure sometimes whether two plus two makes four.

20     Tolimir also had one, so you should not rely on him too much.

21             And I apologise to Mr. Tolimir now.

22             He added, You're probably the only one who's unaffected.  And he

23     told me about Gvero the following thing, Well, it's the end of the war,

24     so he's looking for some place where he can fit in into the political

25     structures.

Page 14241

 1             And Mladic at the time started insulting and cursing the members

 2     of staff.  He told me, Well, if you see me doing something like that,

 3     you're always next to me at the table, then just kick me under the table.

 4     And I was pleased to hear that, because his behaviour started causing

 5     problems in the staff.  And after this conversation, we went out.  And

 6     there was a table there, and quite a few officers used to sit there, and

 7     there was a sheep that came that was lame, and there was a veterinarian

 8     colonel there who Mladic asked about, Why is this sheep lame?  And the

 9     officer said, Well, this is a sheep from Kalinovik, and the climate here

10     is different from there, and they're having difficulties.  And Mladic,

11     who was from the area of Kalinovik, started cursing the colonel, and I

12     kicked him with my boot.  But then he said, What I told you earlier is

13     not really in effect anymore.

14             But I don't think, to come back to your question, that Gvero had

15     any special influence on Mladic.  I don't think he had that.

16        Q.   General, I didn't -- I'm sorry, I wasn't, perhaps, clear.  I

17     didn't mean special influence.  But you may remember, when you were asked

18     questions in the last trial and describing your -- in providing proposals

19     and guidance and advice to General Mladic, you described yourself as the

20     first among equals and something about all the assistants had influence.

21             Do you remember that?

22        A.   Yes, I remember saying that I was the first among equals.  And

23     the question was put to me by Mr. Krgovic, the Defence lawyer, and he

24     asked me whether Gvero had been Mladic's right hand, and my response was

25     that according to establishment I was General Mladic's right hand.  If he

Page 14242

 1     had additional right hands, that was his thing, not mine.

 2        Q.   All right.  So my question about influence really has to do with

 3     advice, proposals, whether Mladic listened to you and acted on you in

 4     that kind of a context.  So if -- can you describe what you meant?  When

 5     you said "first among equals," that all the assistant commanders had

 6     influence, what did you mean by that?  Could you explain that a little

 7     more fully, but as briefly as you can?

 8        A.   "First among equals" means that I, in addition to being assistant

 9     commander for staff affairs, I'm also deputy commander.  In other words,

10     I have a title that other assistant commanders don't have.  That's the

11     issue.  They were all part of the Main Staff, but I was in charge of the

12     staff itself.  That means first among equals.  I didn't mean first among

13     equals that Mladic would listen to most.

14             Mladic appreciated my proposals, but my role was to summarise all

15     the proposals of other assistant commanders.  And, of course, Mladic was

16     listening also to the proposals of all of his assistant commanders,

17     including the Chief of Financial Administration Colonel Tomic.

18     General Mladic devoted due attention to all of us when we were making

19     proposals.

20        Q.   Did you and the assistant commanders and General Mladic work as a

21     team?

22        A.   Yes.  Mladic treated his entire staff as one team.  All seven

23     assistant commanders were a part of a team.  But he would also do that on

24     an individual basis, one on one.  Especially when issues relating to our

25     specialties were at stake, it would be one-on-one discussions.  For

Page 14243

 1     instance, with me when combat operations were in charge; with Tolimir

 2     when security and intelligence affairs were at stake; with Gvero about

 3     morale and legal affairs.  He didn't care much about religious parts.

 4     With Djukic in relation to logistics, and so on and so forth.  He didn't

 5     make any distinctions, at least to my knowledge, between us in that

 6     sense.

 7        Q.   Let me go over now to the Sector for Security and Intelligence.

 8     And the Trial Chamber has heard a lot about that from the brigade level,

 9     the corps level, even the Main Staff level, but can you tell us, briefly,

10     what General Tolimir's job practically consisted of?  What was his job

11     throughout the war, and especially in 1995?

12        A.   The task of Tolimir's sector, the Intelligence and Security

13     Sector, and therefore of Tolimir himself, because he was chief of the

14     sector, was Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence Service activities;

15     namely, gathering information about the enemy and prevention of any leaks

16     of information.  He had two assistants.  One would collect information,

17     that was Intelligence Administration, headed by Colonel Salapura.  So it

18     was Salapura's task to gather information by analysing daily reports,

19     media, by getting reports from his subordinated intelligence officers

20     from lower units like corps and brigades.  He also had to organise

21     so-called forcible gathering of information by moving combat deployment

22     and similar activities.  In other words, there are two types of gathering

23     of information, active and passive.

24             The other administration under Tolimir's administration or

25     command was the Security Administration headed by Colonel Beara, and

Page 14244

 1     their task was to make sure that military information at the disposal of

 2     Republika Srpska and about the Republika Srpska Army would not leak to

 3     the enemy.  This was something done in the passive manner, so to speak.

 4     That's, at least, how I understood it.  But part of the active part of

 5     these duties, interrogating prisoners of war, securing them by using

 6     military police and the such.

 7             So Tolimir's sector was in charge of intelligence and

 8     counter-intelligence affairs; in other words, gathering information and

 9     making sure that information about us does not leak to the enemy.

10        Q.   All right.  You just said that:

11             "The other administration under Tolimir's administration or

12     command ..."

13             So is it fair to say that General Tolimir was in command of the

14     Intelligence Administration and the Security Administration?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   All right.  Can you describe General Tolimir's relationship with

17     General Mladic?  And, first of all, on a professional basis.  For

18     example, did they -- like you've described yours with General Mladic, how

19     you saw things differently, but your temperaments fit, how would you

20     describe the professional relationship that you saw during the war years

21     between Generals Mladic and Tolimir, and, again, especially in 1995, if

22     there were any changes?

23        A.   I can't speak about the relationship between Mladic and Tolimir

24     for the duration of the entire war.  I cannot speak specifically about

25     1995 because I did not spend all of the year with them there.  But upon

Page 14245

 1     my return, I did not notice there had been any major changes.

 2             I already told you that I made a mistake on the occasion when

 3     Tolimir was introduced to us by Mladic, when I showed that I believed

 4     Tolimir was a Slovene, but they were together in Knin and they had maybe

 5     nine months or up to a year of joint combat experience together.  They

 6     knew more about war than those among us who joined in on the 12th of May.

 7     I know that they would consult with each other often.  For instance, I

 8     make a proposal, or something like that, and before making a decision,

 9     Mladic would say, I'll go and talk to Toso, as we used to call Tolimir,

10     and see what he thinks.

11             Whenever Mladic had to do something, he would always ask the

12     assistant commanders to analyse the matter and to, in a way, give a green

13     light to him in relation to his intentions.  And on one occasion we got a

14     letter General Mladic wrote to General Wahlgren, who was the commander of

15     the UNPROFOR forces for former Yugoslavia, who had his headquarters in

16     Zagreb.  So Mladic read this letter out to us from his manuscript, asking

17     for our input, whether something needs to be removed or put in, and the

18     letter was drafted in a manner of a commander, without nice turns of

19     phrase or political balancing.  It was rather arrogant and sounded like

20     an ultimatum, Unless you do this, I will do that, and so on and so forth.

21     And I remember Gvero and Tolimir making comments about, Why didn't you

22     phrase it like this or like that?  As I was listening to that, I was

23     getting more and more agitated.  I don't know whether Tolimir remembers

24     that.  We were sitting around those tables between the huts, and I told

25     everyone, You are telling the commander this is not right, instead of

Page 14246

 1     giving a proposal as how it should be drafted.

 2             I don't know what happened next with the letter, whether Mladic

 3     changed it or not.  I can't remember that anymore.  But what I'm trying

 4     to say is that both Tolimir and Gvero had the courage to criticise

 5     Mladic.  In other words, General Mladic, although he was the commander,

 6     he viewed things democratically and would listen to proposals by others.

 7             We in the Main Staff knew that General Mladic trusted

 8     General Tolimir a lot, and I didn't mind that at all.  And that's the

 9     reason why I told the Trial Chamber in the previous trial about if there

10     were any other right hands, it's his thing.  He had trust in -- he

11     trusted Tolimir and he trusted Beara, and I never understood why Beara.

12        Q.   You stated that a part of the responsibility of the Intel and

13     Security Sector, General Tolimir, would be the prevent of any leaks of

14     information.  Can you tell us what that means?

15        A.   For instance, if we're preparing an operation, Tolimir's task or

16     his sector's task, not objective, was to make sure that the enemy would

17     not find out about the operation before we start with the operation

18     itself.  In other words, to cover up the intentions of the VRS, to make

19     the enemy believe or to make the enemy reach wrong conclusions.  In

20     accordance to what Napoleon had said, If you see the enemy making

21     mistakes, assist him in making mistakes.

22             And I think the sector was rather successful in its task until,

23     of course, the Logistics Service got involved, because then they would

24     start making requisitions or getting the materiel, and then, of course,

25     it would come out, Oh, yes, because the VRS is planning an attack against

Page 14247

 1     Zuc.  But, in any case, their main task was to hide the intentions and

 2     all elements involving the functioning of the army.  The enemy should not

 3     have found out anything our intentions before we hit them.

 4             There was one thing that they failed to uncover.  The

 5     Intelligence Service did not inform me about preparations of the

 6     Croatian Army for their Operation Storm.  They informed me about

 7     Operation Flash, but I didn't know anything about Operation Storm until

 8     it started.  And it is impossible; they couldn't have linked things up,

 9     because Croats were bringing their forces from Rijeka, Bjelovar, and

10     Varazdin, and Osijek, Omis, Split, bringing them all to the area of

11     Glamoc.  They had 75.000 troops there, and it's impossible for the

12     Intelligence Service not to have noticed that, and they should have told

13     me about it.  Instead, they let me attack the Muslim forces in the area

14     of Bihac, and that is one thing that will remain on their souls forever.

15        Q.   Do you recall how you, just in a few words, described

16     General Tolimir's job in the Popovic trial?

17        A.   I did review the transcript before coming here and partially

18     listened to the CD recording, but I'm not sure what context you are

19     referring to, in terms of me describing Tolimir.  I think I said more or

20     less the same thing; perhaps not in so many words, though.

21        Q.   I recall some -- one of us - it may have been a Defence

22     attorney - asking you if someone was General Mladic's eyes and ears.  Do

23     you remember that?

24        A.   Yes, I think that was Counsel Zivanovic's question.  He asked me

25     whether Tolimir was Mladic's eyes and ears, and I said that this was

Page 14248

 1     precisely Tolimir's duty.  He was in charge of gathering intelligence.

 2     Those would be Mladic's ears.  He also prevented any leaks of information

 3     from the VRS, meaning he was there to open Mladic's eyes.  Tolimir, being

 4     an intelligence officer, was supposed to act as the ears and eyes of the

 5     commander.

 6        Q.   And aside from this failure for you to get good intelligence on

 7     the Western Front, how good was Tolimir -- General Tolimir at his job?

 8        A.   Yes, he was.

 9        Q.   We've just got five more minutes.  Could you briefly explain how

10     effective General Tolimir was at accomplishing the tasks that you've

11     described and how intelligent he was in going about that work?

12        A.   General Tolimir, in his own sector, did not hire his assistants,

13     the chief of the Intelligence Administration and the

14     Security Administration, to the --

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  He did not involve

16     them.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ... in his work to the extent he

18     should have, I believe, because he always knew more than the two of them

19     did.

20             However, throughout the war, General Tolimir worked on the

21     relationship of the VRS and foreign militaries, such as UNPROFOR, since

22     we did not have separate bodies to deal with it.  He accompanied

23     General Mladic at all negotiations and talks, be it at home or abroad.

24     I think he became exhausted in liaising with UNPROFOR generals, albeit it

25     was justified.  All contact with other armed forces went through

Page 14249

 1     General Tolimir.  I think he was quite successful in doing so, and this

 2     relieved Mladic and myself to a great extent.  He had a feel for

 3     diplomacy.

 4             Another thing:  General Tolimir wrote down everything.  I don't

 5     think I'll exaggerate if I told you that he had his note-book even at

 6     lunchtime, and we always teased him, asking him, Why do you write so

 7     much?  And he would always say, It's for posterity; it should remain for

 8     history's sake.

 9             MR. McCLOSKEY:

10        Q.   Did his responsible for the prevention of leaks of important

11     military information extend to preventing leaks to the international

12     community and the public media?

13        A.   I couldn't know what it was he was doing vis-ą-vis the

14     international community.  He was in charge of preventing any leaks,

15     including anyone, not just the enemy, but anyone else who wasn't supposed

16     to now.  That is what "prevention of leaks" means.  Information must not

17     leave the organisation.

18             If the enemy, the Muslims or Croats, are not supposed to receive

19     a certain piece of information, it meant that the foreigners were not

20     there to receive it either, because then they would pass it on to our

21     enemy.  I don't know whether they ever passed information on our enemy to

22     us.  To the extent of my contact with them, that was not my experience.

23     But I do know that the information I gave them they regularly conveyed to

24     the Muslims and Croats.

25             When Mladic or I spoke on the phone, Tolimir was always there

Page 14250

 1     tugging at our sleeves, mostly Mladic's, saying, They're eavesdropping;

 2     they're intercepting; don't say that.

 3             I had occasion to listen to a tape including a conversation

 4     between Mladic and a Colonel Vukovic, telling him to fire at the

 5     Presidency building and to hit the Muslims hard, and then Mladic also

 6     says, All right, all right, Tolimir, just let me be.  So he was probably

 7     there, telling him not to say such things.

 8             Later on, you could hear that particular conversation.  At

 9     Radio Sarajevo, for half a year they would regularly start their

10     broadcast of the day with that.

11             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Thank you, General.  It's break time.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Indeed.  We have to adjourn for the day, and we

13     will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this courtroom.

14             Please be reminded that there is no permission for you to have

15     contact with either party about the content of your testimony here in

16     this trial.

17             We adjourn.

18                           [The witness stands down]

19                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,

20                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day

21                           of May, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.