1 Wednesday, 13 July 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody again.
6 I was told that the Defence wants to raise something.
7 Mr. Gajic.
8 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the translation of
9 some exhibits which have been MFI'd have now been up-loaded into e-court.
10 And with your permission, I would like to read which of those exhibits
11 have now been up-loaded that were previously MFI'd. This is D165, D172,
12 D178, D180, D186, D218, D230, D232, D233, D258, D259, and D292.
13 Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Gajic. These exhibits are now in
15 evidence and no longer MFI'd.
16 The witness should be brought in, please.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, Mr. Butler.
20 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome back.
22 Again, I have to remind you that the affirmation still applies.
23 Mr. McCloskey is continuing his examination-in-chief.
24 Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, and good morning, Mr. President, Your
1 Honours, everyone.
2 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
3 Q. Mr. Butler, we left off in our chronology at what we call the
4 tunnel attack which occurred in June the 23rd or 24th.
5 And could we now go to D00062. It should be tab 80.
6 And this is a 28 June report, this time from the BiH Army, from
7 the Zepa group, in the name of, if we see the last page,
8 Commander Colonel Avdo Palic. And I just want to call your attention to
9 the first paragraph, where it says -- where it refers to an order of the
10 deputy commander of the 28th Division, Srebrenica, Major Ramiz Becirovic.
11 And remind us, who was the commander of the 28th Division at that time?
12 A. The commander of the division was Naser Oric, but at this time
13 either in late May or early June, Oric, as well as a number of his
14 principal staff officers, left the enclave and were actually in Tuzla at
15 the time the operation began. So the deputy commander of the division
16 was, in fact, exercising control, and that is Major Becirovic.
17 Q. And Avdo Palic in this is referencing a confidential document
18 that was sent to him, and referring to it as dated 20 June 1995:
19 "... on measures to be taken for the execution of sabotage
20 actions aimed at inflicting losses upon the aggressor, in terms of troops
21 and equipment, and, in general, at turning Chetnik forces away from
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could the B/C/S version please be enlarged.
24 Thank you very much.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. Is this related to the topic that you have discussed earlier, I
2 believe, in connection to Srebrenica?
3 A. Yes, sir. Specifically, in May -- late April, actually, May and
4 June of 1995, BiH military forces around Sarajevo launched a major
5 offensive against the Bosnian Serb military forces encircling Sarajevo.
6 One of the goals in other areas of the country was for other Bosnian
7 Muslim military formations, to include the 28th Division, to conduct a
8 series of attacks within their areas to prevent the Bosnian Serb military
9 from pulling forces from other areas of the Republika Srpska and sending
10 them to reinforce the Bosnian Serb positions around Sarajevo. So this
11 particular document is a reflection of the operations taken by elements
12 of the 28th Infantry Division, primarily those in Zepa, to conduct raids
13 and other military operations in order to keep the surrounding Bosnian --
14 forces of the Bosnian Serb military surrounding Zepa in place there and
15 not allow for the circumstances for them to be transferred to a more
16 critical theatre of the war.
17 Q. And do you know the command relationship between, well,
18 Deputy Commander Becirovic in this case and commander of the Zepa forces,
19 Avdo Palic?
20 A. Yes, sir. Palic was one of the subordinate commanders of the
21 28th Division. Zepa was physically separated from the Srebrenica
22 enclave, but the Bosnian Muslim military unit in Zepa was considered to
23 be a subordinate formation of the 28th Division. So even though
24 Colonel Palic technically out-ranks Major Becirovic, by position
25 Major Becirovic is in command because he is the division deputy
2 Q. All right. And continuing in the chronology, let's go to
3 65 ter 2091. And what we have here is a document from the Main Staff of
4 the Army of Republika Srpska --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the number?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: 2091.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. And this is a report to the president of the Republika Srpska.
10 And if we flip through it, we see that it outlines the situation in the
11 various corps and other information. Can you, just very briefly, tell us
12 what you know about this kind of document? Not this one in particular,
13 really, but what is this, this kind of report?
14 A. Yes, sir. This is a report that the Main Staff did, I believe
15 daily, to the president of the republic which laid out the general
16 military situation within the Army of the Republika Srpska. It's
17 actually the end report of a series of lines of where all the reporting
18 goes. We've talked about earlier, for example, the brigade daily combat
19 report. We've talked about the corps daily combat reports. Those
20 reports, in turn, flow up to the Main Staff, which generates its own
21 report to the president of the republic as well as to the corps commands,
22 themselves, to lay out the country-wide picture so the entire army
23 leadership, as well as the political leadership, has the view of the army
24 as of what has happened today, what the current situation is, and what
25 projected plans are for the next day or next period.
1 Q. And we see this is in the name of General Miletic.
2 And if we could go to page 3 of this report in the English and
3 the B/C/S, page 3, where we have the Drina Corps section, and we see,
4 under "Situation in the Corps," the sentence:
5 "Unengaged forces are being prepared for forthcoming active
6 combat operations."
7 So on 2 July 1995, what do you believe this is a reference to for
8 the Drina Corps?
9 A. On the 2nd of July, you see the first orders published by the
10 Drina Corps to subordinate formations which discusses assembling military
11 forces for what will be the Krivaja 95 operation, the attack on the
12 Srebrenica enclave.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer this document into evidence.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2091 shall be
16 assigned Exhibit P2513. Thank you.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we can now go to P1202, 82 in the tab.
18 Q. And we now have from the Command of the Drina Corps, dated 2 July
19 1995. At the end of it, it's under the commander,
20 Major General Milenko Zivanovic, and it's entitled "Krivaja 95" in the
21 top right-hand corner. We see that it's to the commands of various
22 Drina Corps brigades. And then as it goes down, it's entitled "Order for
23 Active Combat Activities, Operation 1."
24 And just briefly, what is this?
25 A. This is the combat order to the various brigades that will send
1 units or who will participate in the actual military operations at
2 Srebrenica. It's a typical order that a corps would produce in this
3 sense. It lays out what the enemy situation is. It lays out what the
4 friendly situation is. It lays out, in general terms, first, what the
5 tasks of the corps are and what the objectives will be, and then it
6 starts to lay out the specific tasks for each unit, to include details
7 of, you know, how they will advance, which axes of advance they will
8 undertake. So, I mean, it's a relatively detailed document that is the
9 work of the entire corps staff in order to produce and send down to
10 subordinate formations, who will actually be engaged in the combat
12 Q. And, Mr. Butler, would the Drina Corps had made the decision
13 themselves to draw up plans and attack Srebrenica or would that have come
14 from somewhere else?
15 A. The decision to do this would have been made at the Main Staff
17 Q. All right. And I think as you mentioned, the first part of this
18 document talks about some of the enemy situations and where the enemy
19 units are, so I'll -- that's self-explanatory.
20 I'd like to go to page 3 of the English and page 2 of the B/C/S.
21 It's -- number 2 is how it's numbered in the document, and it says:
22 "The Command of the Drina Corps, pursuant to Operations
23 Directive 7 and 7/1 of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska,
24 and on the basis of the situation in the corps area of
25 responsibility ..."
1 And then it briefly mentions the task. But before we get to the
2 task: Can you remind us, what does this Operations Directive 7 and 7/1?
3 A. Those were the operations directives published in March of 1995
4 which, in part, laid out that the Drina Corps should engage in operations
5 in order to physically separate the enclaves, and as noted in
6 Directive 7, create the conditions for no further hope of survival within
7 the context of the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves.
8 Q. Okay. And as we go on, it says the corps:
9 "... has the task of carrying out offensive activities with free
10 forces deep in the Drina Corps zone, as soon as possible, in order to
11 split apart the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica ..."
12 And I'll stop there for now. Does that sound familiar, this
13 "split apart the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica"?
14 A. Yes, sir. I just indicated that that was language that was
15 incorporated in Directive 7 and 7/1.
16 Q. And in your opinion, was this a legitimate military objective?
17 A. Limited to that, yes, sir.
18 Q. And I believe you've talked about that before, so I won't ask you
19 again about that. But did it have some relationship to what the Muslims
20 were doing, as we saw in that other document, running sabotage operations
21 outside the enclave to tie down troops?
22 A. Absolutely, sir.
23 Q. All right. Then it goes on to say.
24 "... split apart the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica, and to
25 reduce them to their urban areas."
1 What do you take that to mean, "reduce the enclaves of Srebrenica
2 and Zepa to their urban areas"?
3 A. From the time of the creation of particularly the Srebrenica
4 enclave, the actual boundaries of the enclave were never really clearly
5 defined. By 1995, I think January or so, the Bosnian Serb military
6 position, at least as articulated by General Zivanovic, the corps
7 commander, on a number of occasions, was that the Bosnian Serbs felt that
8 the actual enclave boundary for at least Srebrenica should be limited to
9 the two- or three-square-kilometre area that encompassed the actual town
10 of Srebrenica, and nothing further. So in this context, when you read
11 that, they're again articulating their position that in their mind, the
12 actual true boundaries of the enclaves are the urban areas of Srebrenica
13 and, presumably, in the town of Zepa. They're not the much broader areas
14 surrounding those towns, which is, in fact, where the military forces of
15 the 28th Infantry Division are operating.
16 Q. All right. And if one was to take military actions, offensive
17 military actions, as it's described here, to reduce those borders, what
18 effect would that have on the populations in the enclave?
19 A. If one assumes that the Bosnian Muslim population in the enclave
20 would flee from the Bosnian Serb forces and fall back onto the town of
21 Srebrenica, what you would have happen is, effectively, 30 -- 35.000,
22 perhaps 40.000 civilians trying to crowd into that relatively small urban
23 area. It would create essentially the same situation and humanitarian
24 crisis that existed in Srebrenica in April of 1993 which caused the UN to
25 have to declare the safe area in the first case.
1 Q. Would the creation of this humanitarian situation you've talked
2 about be consistent with what you just mentioned from Directive 7,
3 creating an unbearable situation for the population?
4 A. Again taking the situation from 1993 as it existed, it was
5 unbearable then, and it would have been unbearable again in July of 1995.
6 Q. All right. Let's continue to look at this. If we go to
7 paragraph 4, we see a reiteration of the:
8 "... separate the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica by attacking
9 with a part of the free forces."
10 And then it provides the actual trig points for the attack.
11 And it also says under "Objective" on that same paragraph:
12 "By a surprise attack, separate and reduce in size the Srebrenica
13 and Zepa enclaves to improve the tactical positions of the forces in the
14 depth of the area, and to create conditions for the elimination of the
16 I think we can understand that their tactical position would be
17 improved if they took more ground, but can you tell us what you take this
18 line to mean:
19 "... and create conditions for the elimination of the enclaves"?
20 A. Yes, sir. When I read this particular document, my belief is
21 that it articulates that the initial goal of Krivaja 1995, as laid out in
22 this order, was not to capture the town of Srebrenica. It was, in fact,
23 to create this humanitarian crisis, in a similar manner that existed in
24 1993, as a way to force the United Nations to come to the conclusion that
25 the enclaves were not tenable and that it would be the United Nations
1 that would evacuate the civilian population from the enclaves.
2 Therefore, the Republika Srpska would achieve their particular objective
3 and do so in such a way that they would not be blamed for ethnic
4 cleansing. It would, in fact, be the United Nations that was withdrawing
5 civilians from a combat zone. So when one looks at the limited scope of
6 the order and how it does not include the actual capture of the towns, I
7 believe that that is the most logical reading of the document.
8 Q. Now, we note that this document, on the top right hand page, says
9 "Strictly Confidential." How secret is such a command plan?
10 A. There were two classification levels within the Republika Srpska.
11 "Strictly confidential" is the lower of the two levels. "State secret"
12 is a higher level of classification. However, classified material was
13 expected to be protected. Operation orders, particularly like this,
14 would be of particular value for hostile forces to try and get ahold of
15 so they could counter these operation. So, obviously, the fact that
16 this, as well as most military documents, have a classification of
17 "Strictly Confidential" reflects the fact that they are sensitive
18 military documents.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Now, if we could go to page 5 in the
20 English. It should be page 3 in the B/C/S.
21 Q. And I believe what I want to ask you about is the point that says
22 "Task," and it says:
23 "To be in readiness to launch an attack in order to strengthen
24 the force and enhance the success along the battalion's axis of attacks;
25 to repel an enemy counter-attack; to secure a hold on the features on the
1 lines reached; and to prevent an enemy withdrawal."
2 Which unit had this task?
3 A. As you can tell in the order, the designated reserve forces,
4 which consisted of two or three companies of the MUP and one company from
5 the Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade, had that particular task.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, let's go to page 6 in the English. It
7 should be paragraph 9, sorry, in the document. It may be B/C/S page 3 or
8 4, but it's numbered paragraph 9. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should be -- yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. We see that under "Anti-Airborne Landing Combat," that it says:
12 "If NATO forces make an airborne landing in support of UNPROFOR,
13 the units closest to the landing place and reserve forces will engage in
14 combat with them."
15 What's that indicate to you?
16 A. As part of the planning process, that at least the Drina Corps
17 Command held open the possibility that NATO forces might seek to
18 intervene in the upcoming military operations.
19 Q. All right. And did NATO troops ever intervene in the upcoming
21 A. Not ground troops, per se. However, there was NATO aircraft
22 involved in operations against the Bosnian Serb military units. I
23 believe those were on the morning or early afternoon of 11 July 1995.
24 Q. All right. And now we come to the section of the report,
25 paragraph 10, which says "Combat Security," and A is "Intelligence
2 And if we go to page 7 in the English. I think we're still okay
3 for the B/C/S.
4 We see that B is under "Security," and it says:
5 "Secure the complete secrecy of the decision and preparation for
6 the execution of the task."
7 Does that fit the definition and the proper role of the security
8 branches in a combat report and in an actual combat operation, as you've
9 defined and helped remind us of those rules and responsibilities?
10 A. Yes, sir, it does.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we need to go to the next page in the
13 Q. And we see, in the English, as we go down a bit, it talks about
14 coding documents, and then it says:
15 "Security organs and military police will indicate the areas for
16 gathering and securing prisoners of war and war booty."
17 So here we have, in one sentence, the security organs, with the
18 military police, and indicating areas for securing POWs. Can you tell us
19 how that should work, under the rules? Well, is this according to the
20 rules? And then, practically, how this should work on the ground.
21 A. Yes, sir. It is, first, in accordance with the established
22 rules. In a more practical sense, it would entail brigade security
23 officers working with the military police to identify and designate
24 locations - they could be buildings, they just could be an open patch of
25 field - where they would hold prisoners of war that were taken during the
1 operation. Obviously, these locations would then be, you know, provided
2 to subordinate formations. So as prisoners were captured, these
3 subordinate formations could either bring the prisoners to that location
4 or, perhaps, a process put in place where the military police would go
5 down to that lower formation that captured the individual and return him
6 to that designated location. Those are the types of procedures that it
7 would be normal for the security officer and the military police to work
8 out in advance of the operation.
9 Q. Under a normal military situation, would the responsibilities of
10 the security branch and the military police end there or would they
11 normally involve further actions, proposals, anything?
12 A. No, sir. There would -- as part of the larger security and
13 intelligence function, there should be plans made whereas intelligence
14 officials would interrogate prisoners as they're being captured in order
15 to obtain relevant battle-field information that could be of value to
16 Bosnian Serb military forces as they continue the operation. You would
17 also have a more sustained mission of guarding and securing the prisoners
18 of war. You would be working, obviously, through the organs of the
19 commander of the unit with respect to providing food, medical care,
20 things of that nature, water, other forms of life support, and at some
21 juncture you would either be transporting them back to -- further to the
22 rear, towards a designated location, or other authorities who have been
23 designated will come and pick the prisoners up from you and relieve you
24 of that responsibility. Again, all of these types of activities would
25 normally be planned in advance of the operation.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next document in the
2 chronology. It's 65 ter 2097. It's another Main Staff report to the
3 president, dated 6th of July. And if we could just go to page 3 in the
4 B/C/S and page 4 in the English.
5 Q. It's, again, in the name of General Miletic. And looking at this
6 situation in the corps, at page 3 in the B/C/S, page 4 in the English, it
8 "The units of the corps stand are at the required level of combat
9 readiness. The forces have been prepared and grouped for active combat
10 operations towards the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa. Upon receiving
11 an interim report, we will inform you on the combat results achieved so
13 Can you explain how this reporting is working.
14 A. Yes, sir. While Main Staff is making this report, initially on a
15 daily basis, it's recognised that as the combat operations begin, which
16 they do on this day, that the situation will be changing with some
17 fluidity. What is normally the procedure within the VRS is that while
18 they will -- units will always do a daily combat report, when there is a
19 change of circumstance or when the situation otherwise warrants, they
20 will put out what's known as an interim combat report covering a shorter
21 period of time or to discuss a more discrete battle-field activity that's
22 affecting the unit. So at this juncture, everyone recognises that the
23 operation is starting, and this is the Main Staff informing the consumers
24 of this particular report, which would include the president, that they
25 are awaiting additional reporting in the form of an interim combat report
1 from the Drina Corps so they can start reporting up the chain the initial
2 results of combat.
3 Q. Now, to your knowledge, does the OTP have an interim report from
4 the Main Staff to the president?
5 A. I do not believe so, sir. I don't recall seeing one.
6 Q. And I think everyone's familiar that the Drina Corps archives was
7 obtained, at least in part. Are you aware of the OTP ever obtaining the
8 collection of the Main Staff archives or the archives of the president of
9 the Republika Srpska?
10 A. Again, not that I'm aware of. Those -- in the case of the
11 Drina Corps, those particular archives were accessed after my departure
12 from this institution. So while I've seen some of the material relevant
13 to it, I don't recall that I ever have a full accounting of everything
14 that was in it. Again, I'm not aware of any Main Staff archives or
15 presidential archives in that sense.
16 Q. And the Trial Chamber has seen many documents from the
17 Zvornik Brigade and the Bratunac Brigade. Did you have access to more
18 complete collections of those materials?
19 A. Yes, sir. Those particular documents, the Zvornik Brigade and
20 Bratunac Brigade collections, were obtained by the Office of the
21 Prosecutor during my period of service here, so, obviously, I had full
22 access to that material. And that material makes up a large part of the
23 foundations of my command reports and my narrative reports relating to
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I would offer this document into
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2097 shall be
4 assigned Exhibit P2514. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to D00052.
6 Q. And as that's coming up: This is from the Bosnian Muslim army,
7 the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this time the
8 2nd Corps Command out of Tuzla, dated 8 July 1995, and it's in the name
9 of the commander, Brigadier Sead Delic.
10 Now, we've seen -- you've discussed two other Muslim documents
11 from the lower-level units, Srebrenica and Zepa. I just call your
12 attention to the first paragraph, where, in the middle of it, it talks
13 about the 28th Ground Army Division located in Srebrenica and Zepa, and
14 that although completely encircled and facing big problems relating to
15 survival and the obligation to protect territory, decided to contribute
16 as much as possible to the fight against the aggressor, and stepped up
17 their activities deep in the PZT. And then it goes on to describe the
18 additional reason for the activities of the members of the 28th Division
19 was to prevent enemy forces from sending additional troops to the
20 Sarajevo theatre of operations from the area around Srebrenica and Zepa.
21 And then it describes how; by causing losses, primarily the loss of
22 manpower, which will force the aggressor to tie up troops in the wider
23 area of Srebrenica and Zepa.
24 Is this the same thing you've been talking about before, but just
25 at a higher level, from a general of the 2nd Corps of the Bosnian Army?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. And did you review these sorts of documents, and the intentions,
3 and the situation in the Muslim army as part of your review in your
5 A. I did, but to a far less degree than I reviewed that of the
6 Bosnian Serb military forces. I reviewed and have some knowledge of the
7 28th Infantry Division documents in the possession of the Office of the
8 Prosecutor, because as part of my narrative reports, it was necessary to
9 lay out, to at least a limited degree, the military forces that were
10 operating in and around the enclaves from the Bosnian Muslim perspective.
11 However, given what the goals and objectives of my reports were, which
12 primarily focused on the activities of the Army of the Republika Srpska
13 and how they related to the larger crime base of Srebrenica, what the
14 28th Infantry Division was doing up to the period of 10 July 1995 was not
15 a particularly relevant part of that. Where it becomes more important,
16 in the sense of the crime base, is what happens to the
17 28th Infantry Division and the accompanying civilians after the 10th of
18 July, when they make the decision to withdraw from Srebrenica and form a
19 column which then attempts to make its way from the former enclave to
20 ABiH territory around Tuzla.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's continue the chronology, and
22 I'm hoping we'll get to July 13th by today, July 13th. But let's start
23 with D69.
24 Q. And we see here that this is from the Drina Corps Command to the
25 now familiar General Zivanovic, 8 July, "Urgent," to the Pribicevac IKM,
1 forward command post, Chief of Staff Krstic personally, and the GS VRS
2 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, to
3 Major General Zdravko Tolimir, for information.
4 And just looking at this first paragraph, it talks about:
5 "The UNPROFOR Command in Sarajevo has filed a protest note with
6 the Main Staff over operations against UNPROFOR observation points,"
7 listing them near Zeleni Jadar.
8 As far as you know, briefly, did -- were there VRS operations
9 against UNPROFOR observation posts in Zeleni Jadar on this date, in and
10 around 8 July?
11 A. Yes, sir. From, actually, the beginning of the operation and
12 moving forward, the VRS forces engaged in the attack knew that they would
13 encounter the UN observation posts. And in a very similar manner to how
14 they took down Observation Post Echo in May of 1995, they engaged in a
15 similar tactic of firing close to or around the UN observation posts,
16 without directly engaging them, in an effort to coerce the UN forces at
17 those posts to deem the situation to be too dangerous for them to remain
18 and for them to ultimately withdraw. In some cases, as part of this, the
19 UN -- the personnel manning the UN observation posts fell back towards
20 Srebrenica. In other instances, they placed themselves in the custody of
21 the advancing soldiers of the VRS and were taken to Bratunac.
22 Q. And since you're telling that part of it: Did the Dutch suffer
23 any casualties in this process?
24 A. I believe on the 9th of July, one Dutch soldier was killed.
25 However, in that particular instance he was not killed by fire from the
1 VRS side. In fact, he was killed from fire by the Bosnian Muslim
2 military forces. The UN found themselves in the middle in that
3 particular situation.
4 Q. And what explanation do you have for the Muslim forces attacking
5 the UN forces?
6 A. When that issue was investigated by the Dutch, initially, and
7 others, the story that came out related to that was that a particular
8 Bosnian Muslim soldier and members of their unit became frustrated that,
9 in their opinion, the United Nations forces were not vigorously defending
10 the positions against the advance of the Bosnian Serb army. So out of
11 frustration, one particular soldier threw a grenade at a UN armoured
12 personnel carrier, which, in turn, caused shrapnel injuries and the
13 ultimate death of a Dutch soldier.
14 Q. Okay. Let's get back to the document.
15 We've mentioned that UNPROFOR had complained to the Main Staff
16 about attacks on the observation point, and then this statement:
17 "The Main Staff of the VRS answered that the Drina Corps Command
18 had informed it that the Muslims were using six armoured personnel
19 carriers, painted white and bearing UNPROFOR markings, and that the
20 Muslims had started offensive operations from Srebrenica in order to join
21 up the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa."
22 Have you or the investigation found any indication that the
23 Muslims had six armoured personnel carriers, painted white, bearing UN
25 A. No, sir. This is clearly a situation where a cover story, or
1 disinformation, if you will, is being laid out so the Republika Srpska
2 side has what they believe to be an adequate counter-argument to
3 complaints by the United Nations.
4 Q. And Zivanovic goes on to say, among other things, that:
5 "The Main Staff has ordered you not to attack UNPROFOR, but to
6 prevent any surprises and stop the Muslims in their intention to join up
7 Srebrenica and Zepa."
8 What do you make of this order or reference to "has ordered you"?
9 A. This is a reminder by the corps commander, General Zivanovic, to
10 General Krstic, who is the chief of staff and actually running the
11 operation at the time, that not -- his mission is not to become fixated
12 with dealing with the UNPROFOR, but that he's to continue on his military
13 mission, reminding him again that the UNPROFOR is not the objective of
14 the military operation.
15 Q. And we then see this comment:
16 "Good luck in war, and best regards from General Tolimir."
17 And as noted previously, this is sent to General Tolimir for his
18 information at the Main Staff. What can you make of anything -- of this?
19 A. Reading this document in its context, it's evident that
20 General Tolimir had contacted General Zivanovic at some prior point and
21 laid out what the Main Staff was hearing and had laid out the complaints
22 that the UNPROFOR Command in Sarajevo were making, i.e., that protest
23 note from -- you know, to the Main Staff of the VRS. So in
24 General Zivanovic's response, he again lays all that out. It is sent to
25 his subordinate commander, General Krstic, and an information copy is
1 sent back up to General Tolimir so that General Tolimir is aware that
2 General Zivanovic has acted upon the instructions and that all three of
3 these general officers are fully aware of what was said, what the object
4 of the document was. So it's a good example of how these senior-level
5 officers of the VRS communicate with each other, and how they are making
6 sure that, you know, their understanding of the objectives, goals and
7 techniques of a particular issue are going to occur, and how they're all
8 going to synchronise their activities.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Now, this next document does not --
10 had not had a 65 ter number. We have marked it as 7254. It's one of the
11 reports from Vujadin Popovic, so I would ask the Defence if they had any
12 objections to its use.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, do you have any objection?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 I welcome everyone present, the Prosecutor, Witness Butler and
16 the Trial Chamber. May today end in keeping with God's will.
17 The Defence does not mind the use of any document that could help
18 establish the truth.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document may be added to the 65 ter exhibit
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, General Tolimir. Thank you,
22 Mr. President.
23 Q. All right. Mr. Butler, this is a document, as we can see, from
24 Lieutenant Colonel Vujadin Popovic, who we're now familiar with. It says
25 it's from the Drina Corps Command, the Intelligence and
1 Security Department, dated 9 July, to the VRS Main Staff, Security --
2 OB Sector, Security Administration, General Tolimir personally. And I
3 won't get into all the observation in it. We can see the references to
4 Zeleni Jadar and UNPROFOR forces pulling out from the check-points. And
5 there is a statement here that -- taken by the Serb forces of one of the
6 Dutch people which gets reproduced here.
7 And if we go to the second page in the English, there's a note
8 that the Muslim forces did not allow UNPROFOR to withdraw, and a
9 reference to the Dutch gunner that was hit by Muslim fire and that his
10 life could not be saved. Is this the reference -- is this the incident
11 you're referring to?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. And it mentions also that General Krstic sent a message out,
14 through the communications channel, to the Dutch that if they felt
15 threatened, they could safely withdraw to Serbian territory.
16 I think we need to go to the next page in the Serbian. Perhaps
17 not. It gets a bit cut off. There should be a list -- a clear list.
18 Maybe it's on the previous page, a list of seven soldiers.
19 There it is, yeah.
20 And it makes a mention of:
21 "After interview, the members of the observation posts were
22 accommodated at the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac, and their personnel
23 carrier was put on the grounds of the Bratunac Brigade."
24 Are you aware of anything, from your review of documents or the
25 materials or the investigation, whether or not, indeed, there were a
1 number of Dutch soldiers that left their observation posts and were taken
2 to the Hotel Fontana?
3 A. Yes, sir. I think at one point, by the 11th of July, there are,
4 perhaps, 20, 25 Dutch soldiers that are ultimately held at the
5 Hotel Fontana. That number might even be a bit higher.
6 Q. All right. And at the end, it says:
7 "We recommend that the VRS Main Staff take over further work and
8 contacts with the Dutch Battalion Command by dispatching a liaison
10 Do you have anything to connect this proposal for a liaison
11 officer with any officer that was dispatched to the Bratunac area?
12 A. Well, sir, initially the most immediate candidate for that would
13 be Colonel Jankovic, who starts to become visible on the 11th of July,
14 1995. One will notice his physical presence in meetings with members of
15 the Dutch that the VRS undertakes with General Mladic. So, I mean, he
16 was the first person that I would see as a candidate from the Main Staff,
17 based on the timing of when he appears on the -- in the area.
18 Q. And when you say "becomes visible," have you actually seen video
19 of him at the Hotel Fontana?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. All right. And in that same video, do you recall whether or not
22 there were Dutch soldiers shot and appeared on the video at
23 Hotel Fontana?
24 A. I presume when you say "Dutch soldiers shot," you're basic saying
25 appear on camera, as not physically shot.
1 Q. Shot by cameras, yes.
2 A. Yes, sir, on those same video clips, Dutch soldiers are present
3 at the Hotel Fontana.
4 Q. And, again, very briefly, because I know we've got to get
5 through, but does this fit within Vujadin Popovic's ambit, to be
6 reporting this kind of material personally to General Tolimir?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. And, again, just give us the brief outline of what it is in here
9 that has to do with security and intel, in your view.
10 A. First of all, from an intelligence perspective, the statement
11 that at that point the only UN casualty that had occurred was a result of
12 Muslim attacks, versus Serbian attacks, would be a valuable piece of
13 information for the Main Staff to be aware of and be able to report back
14 to the UNPROFOR Sarajevo as part of proof that, in fact, it was not the
15 Bosnian Serb side attacking the UN, it was the Bosnian Muslim side. The
16 Main Staff would certainly want to have a list of names of Dutch soldiers
17 who were in their custody to, again, be able to provide that information
18 to the UNPROFOR Sarajevo. So in the classic intelligence and security
19 sense, these -- this type of information is an excellent example of the
20 type of technical information that gets passed up and down the security
21 chain to assist in facilitating the overall operation.
22 Q. And if you recall, were these Dutch soldiers allowed to go back
23 to their base after they arrived in Bratunac, where all the other Dutch
24 soldiers were in Potocari, some - what? - five kilometres down the road?
25 A. Not immediately, sir.
1 Q. And were there, as -- the investigation, if you recall, revealed
2 any threats against their lives by anyone?
3 A. Yes, sir. On 11 July 1995, shortly after the first two NATO
4 aircraft dropped bombs near the advancing VRS soldiers coming in towards
5 Srebrenica, the Dutch indicate that over the UN radio network, they
6 received a threat that they understand was delivered directly by
7 General Mladic that indicated that if the NATO bombing did not stop, that
8 Dutch soldiers would be harmed.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I would offer this document into
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7254 shall be
13 assigned Exhibit P2515. Thank you.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to P590.
15 Q. We are still on July 9th, but we have a report from the
16 Drina Corps forward command post at Pribicevac, "Very Urgent," to the
17 Main Staff and the Drina Corps Command, entitled "Interim Combat Report."
18 And we see it's in the name of Chief of Staff General Krstic. And there
19 is a received stamp of "2320 hours." And from this, we can see a report
20 on the combat and the features mentioned. And then, number 3:
21 "Decision for further operations: Taking advantage of the
22 success achieved, regroup the forces and carry out a vigorous and
23 decisive attack towards Srebrenica."
24 Then it mentions the surrendering of some UNPROFOR folks to the
25 VRS, and a bit more discussion about UNPROFOR and check-points.
1 Can you -- what do you make of this -- of this document,
2 especially in relation to what you've said already occurred on July 9th
3 at higher levels by the higher command? And if you can remind us of what
4 you've said about that.
5 A. What begins to happen on the 9th of July is that the VRS,
6 themselves, are -- not only are they achieving their military objectives,
7 their first limited military objectives, to advance and narrow down the
8 enclaves, but they are beginning to realise that given the lack of a
9 coherent defence, that for the first time they might actually have the
10 military ability to capture the town of Srebrenica. So what starts to
11 happen on the 9th of July is a series of discussions from corps to the
12 Main Staff that ultimately reach the highest level, the president of the
13 Republika Srpska, where President Karadzic, as the supreme commander,
14 authorises the army to physically capture the town of Srebrenica.
15 Q. All right. And at the bottom of paragraph 4, we see a note that:
16 "UNPROFOR forces from the base in Potocari village did not
17 intervene at the check-points or attack our forces."
18 Did the behaviour of the UNPROFOR in this regard have anything to
19 do with this pending decision to further the attack, in your view?
20 A. Yes, sir. The fact that UNPROFOR would not vigorously defend the
21 boundaries of the safe area or their positions, and the fact that to that
22 point, the 28th Infantry Division was not able to provide for a coherent
23 defence, bolstered the idea in the mind of the VRS that they could
24 militarily take the town of Srebrenica.
25 Q. And I don't want to spend a lot of time on this, but can --
1 realistically, militarily, would the Dutch soldiers and their equipment
2 and the observation posts around the enclave, would they realistically be
3 able to defend from this major attack by the VRS?
4 A. An interesting judgement question. In isolation, they had the
5 equipment and personnel and the training to make a fight of it. They are
6 the modern army. Even under the circumstances of reduced strength and
7 limited ammunition, they certainly could have caused casualties among the
8 approaching VRS forces. Coupled with operations with NATO air power,
9 which would have acted as a significant force multiplier, it's entirely
10 conceivable that they would have been able to stop the VRS in their
11 tracks. But a decision to do so would have to be coupled with a
12 political decision that you would accept the necessary casualties to do
13 that and, at a broader political level, accept the fact that the UNPROFOR
14 would completely lose any cover of neutrality that it still possessed by
15 then, at least as far as the Bosnian Serbs would be concerned.
16 Q. So here we are on the 9th. The fighting is fierce. UNPROFOR is
17 surrendering. You say there's no air power until the 11th. After the
18 few bombs that were bombed on the 11th, and the threat went out about the
19 Dutch hostages, did any other air power come in?
20 A. Well, just to be clear, the air power was available prior to the
21 11th. The air power was always available. A decision wasn't made by the
22 UN to avail themselves to using NATO air power until the late evening of
23 the 10th. And once the threat was made after the first strikes on the
24 afternoon of the 11th against the Dutch soldiers, the United Nations
25 immediately withdrew the option of using NATO air. So that pretty much
1 ended any potential opportunity at that time of the UN defending the
2 enclave even at that late stage.
3 Q. So without air power, or, as you've said, without the willingness
4 to use air power or ability to use it on the 9th/10th, what chance did
5 the soldiers in the observation post have against the forces coming at
6 them if they tried to fight them?
7 A. All I can really say about that is it would have been -- it would
8 have been a fight, it would have been a stubborn fight. The abstract
9 variables, quite simply, that would have determined the fight would
10 revolve around how many casualties the VRS would have been prepared to
11 take from the Dutch in order to achieve their military objectives versus
12 how many Dutch casualties they would have been willing to accept in
13 defending the enclave. There certainly would have been significant
14 casualties on both sides, given the context of close combat. But I guess
15 it's just one of those unknowables of history to be able to say the Dutch
16 could have prevailed or that they would have been defeated regardless. I
17 just don't know the answer to that. I don't know that anyone can.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
19 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
20 At page 27 of today's transcript, lines 19 to about 25, you are
21 making a reference to air power was available prior to the 11th, and the
22 air power was always available. Do I understand those words to mean if
23 the UNPROFOR had wanted, they could have called upon NATO at any time to
24 come to their aid? That is the first question.
25 The second is: You state again the United Nations did not avail
1 themselves of NATO power, and once the United Nations -- sorry.
2 Ultimately, the United Nations withdrew their option for using NATO air.
3 Do you have -- can you assist? You may not have an opinion, but do you
4 have an opinion as to why, ultimately, the United Nations did not want to
5 avail themselves of NATO power and withdrew it at the point that they
6 did? Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: In answer to your first question, ma'am, yes, they
8 did have ability of NATO air power. While my opinion on the issue, I
9 don't know that it is relevant, what I would offer is that the
10 United Nations' own report on the fall of Srebrenica, which is included
11 in its entirety as part of my narrative reports and I reference them,
12 lays out in great detail the linkage between the United Nations forces on
13 the ground and their ability to call upon NATO for additional air support
14 when United Nations forces were at threat, and this particular document
15 lays out the thresholds of the use. And, again, because it's a
16 historical document, it also lays out in what I find to be excellent
17 detail the decision process that went on between the UNPROFOR staff in
18 Sarajevo, the UN Command in Zagreb, as well as other players in that
19 decision, to include the Dutch government, in the decision on when to use
20 air power and when to withdraw or when to stop using that air power.
21 So my best answer to that would be: I would refer you to the
22 United Nations' own report, and I believe they can give you the answers
23 to those questions in far better detail than I can recall them at the
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, ma'am.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
4 Q. And I'm not sure it's so clear, but if you'd answered -- the
5 second question that Judge Nyambe asked is: In your view, why did the
6 air power stop after the few bombs that you had mentioned hitting?
7 A. In my opinion, and I believe this is also referenced in various
8 reports, it was a direct result of the threat that the VRS made to the
9 Dutch soldiers who they were holding at the time in the Hotel Fontana.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And for your information, the UN report is P1226
11 MFI only, and it is a large report. Mr. Butler does cite it repeatedly,
12 and I would make it available and offer it into evidence at this time.
13 And, of course, I can discuss this with the Defence to see if -- their
14 view on that and see if there's -- perhaps it could be narrowed down.
15 But I will get back to you on that later.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We can ask the Defence if there is any objection
17 to that.
18 Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Gajic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Aleksandar will
20 present our views on that. I would say we should not narrow down the
21 evidence and then throw out what we want or don't want.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
23 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the report of the
24 Secretary-General, called "The Fall of Srebrenica" - I believe that is
25 the document discussed by the witness - is already in evidence, and I
1 would take the liberty of checking during the break under which number.
2 I believe it has a D number, and I think the entire report is already in
3 evidence. It was admitted a long time ago, in the first or the second
4 month of the trial.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that. It should be checked and
6 reviewed during the break. Indeed, this is a good proposal.
7 We are at the time of the first break, and we will resume at
9 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, I see you're on your feet.
12 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I owe you one piece of
14 The report of the Secretary-General, according to resolution of
15 the General Assembly number 53/35, under the title "The Fall of
16 Srebrenica," is Defence Exhibit D122. I'm sorry I said it was admitted
17 in the first or the second month of the trial, but it was another report
18 of the Dutch Army. This one was admitted a bit later.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was not very mislead be, Mr. Gajic. Thank
20 you very much for that clarification. And I take it that it is the same
21 document as P1226 MFI'd. If that is the case, the latter one should be
22 vacated by the Registry so that we have not -- this not in evidence
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the surrogate sheet will be
25 up-loaded in e-court with appropriate cross-referencing. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
4 And I have also been reminded, and I would remind the Court, that
5 for the actual direct evidence related to the issue, we need to go way
6 back for the review of General Nicolai's testimony, Major Franken's
7 testimony on these topics, where they spoke from very close knowledge.
8 All right. If we can now go to D41.
9 Q. This is, we will see, a now familiar document from the Main Staff
10 of the VRS, "Very Urgent," to the president of the Republika Srpska and,
11 for information, the Drina Corps IKM, Generals Gvero and Krstic
12 personally. And is this a document that you have made reference to
14 A. Yes, sir. Several days ago, when I was asked a question as to
15 what was the basis of my awareness that on the 9th of July, General Gvero
16 was physically located at the Drina Corps forward command post, IKM, this
17 was the document I had in mind which reflects the evidence that states
19 Q. And can you just tell us what you mean? We see this is from
20 General Tolimir. What is it about this, in particular, that leads you to
21 this conclusion?
22 A. It is copied to the president of the Republika Srpska for
23 information, but the primary document is sent to the Drina Corps IKM, and
24 it specifically says General Gvero and Krstic personally. Given the fact
25 that it is General Tolimir sending this message, it reflects an awareness
1 on General Tolimir's part as to where General Gvero is physically located
2 at that particular time.
3 Q. All right. And we see that it's entitled "Conduct of Combat
4 Operations Around Srebrenica." And, again, I won't read all of it, but
5 it notes that the president has been informed of successful combat
6 operations around Srebrenica, and that they've achieved results which
7 enable them to occupy the very town of Srebrenica. Has this changed from
8 the directive -- what we saw, Directive 7, and then what we saw in the
9 Krivaja attack plan?
10 A. Yes, sir. It significantly changes the objective to now, for the
11 first time, include the occupation of the town of Srebrenica by the VRS.
12 Q. And would this document that we can see that -- the referencing
13 by General Tolimir, the president being informed of the conduct of
14 operations and the president's decision, would this be along a normal
15 chain of command and functions, as you understand it, or is there
16 something odd or unusual about this?
17 A. No, sir. This is what I would consider to be a normal
18 application of both the political and military chain of command, insomuch
19 that President Karadzic is the supreme commander and that a decision
20 relating to the actual capture or occupation of the town of Srebrenica
21 would be one that, you know, he would logically be asked to agree with
22 and give the order of such the military would propose, and obviously in
23 this situation the military laid out the case that they had the ability
24 take the town, that the military resistance [Realtime transcript read in
25 error "assistance"] being offered was not countering that ability, and
1 recognising that it's more than a military decision to take the town due
2 to the various political ramifications. And that decision ultimately was
3 made by the president of the Republika Srpska, wearing his hat as the
4 supreme commander of the armed force, so it is a perfectly
5 well-documented application of the strategic command and control of the
6 Republika Srpska armed force.
7 Q. And in the last paragraph, we see that General Tolimir says:
8 "In accordance with the order of the president of
9 Republika Srpska ..."
10 And I won't read it all, but he says:
11 "... you must issue an order to all combat units," and,
12 basically, "to offer protection to UNPROFOR members and civilian
14 Then he says:
15 "You must order subordinate units to refrain from destroying
16 civilian targets unless forced to do so because of strong enemy
18 Then he says:
19 "Ban the torching of residential buildings and treat the civilian
20 population and war prisoners in accordance with Geneva Conventions of 12
21 August 1949."
22 Now, these statements basically -- I'm referring to "you must
23 issue" and "you must order," and "ban the torching," these very
24 definitive statements of General Tolimir, is that -- is he empowered to
25 issue such strong directions to Generals Gvero and Krstic? How would you
1 describe -- where does this fit into the chain of command and the giving
2 of orders?
3 A. Yes, sir, you're correct in that those are directive in nature.
4 But I would take you to the first line of that particular paragraph:
5 "In accordance with the order of the president of the
6 Republika Srpska ..."
7 In that particular context, these instructions are not going to
8 be read by General Gvero and General Krstic as an order from
9 General Tolimir. They are going to be read as General Tolimir rightfully
10 relaying the orders of the president of the Republika Srpska. So in that
11 particular sense, General Tolimir is acting within the competence placed
12 in him by the president of Republika Srpska to issue these specific
13 orders that the president wants issued.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, before you put the next question
15 to the witness, I have to take you back to page 33, line 23. I think
16 there is a correction necessary.
17 The witness said.
18 "... and obviously in this situation, the military laid out the
19 case that they had the ability to take the town that the military ..."
20 And now it reads "assistance being offered." I think the witness
21 said "resistance" instead of "assistance," just to have a clear record.
22 The witness is nodding, and --
23 THE WITNESS: That is correct, sir, yes.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. So in a similar vein, would General Tolimir be within his
3 authority to take orders or receive orders from General Mladic and pass
4 them on, in a directive manner, to subordinate units or other units of
5 the -- or people of the VRS, much like he's done here with
6 President Karadzic?
7 A. Yes, sir. Not only General Tolimir, but, has become apparent in
8 later documents, General Gvero and other officers engaged in similar
10 Q. And going back briefly to the rules reflecting the Geneva
11 Conventions that were in play in the VRS, as well as your knowledge of
12 the Geneva Conventions, when General Tolimir passes on an order such as
13 this, is he responsible in some way if that order is absolutely illegal?
14 A. Yes, sir. The SFRY regulations on the application of the
15 Law of War, as well as even provisions of the Republika Srpska
16 Criminal Code, lay out the fact that there is not an obligation to follow
17 an order, and in that context I say and to presumably transfer an order
18 as well, when it is viewed at its face as being unlawful.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Now let's continue in the chronology
20 and go to I believe it's 65 ter 54.
21 Q. And this is a document that's a bit of a different animal than
22 what we have been seeing throughout the case. As we see, it's from the
23 Republika Srpska Ministry of Interior, Cabinet of the Minister, with the
24 typed name "Tomislav Kovac" as staff commander. We've now moved on to
25 10 July, and we see that it's to the commander of the Special Police
1 Brigade and others from Trnovo, Vogosca, Bijeljina, Zvornik, Sarajevo,
2 Jahorina, and it's an order from Kovac.
3 Can you remind us who Kovac was at the time?
4 A. It is my understanding, if I recall correctly, that at this time
5 Kovac is the acting minister of the interior.
6 Q. All right. And I will -- I want to spend some time going over
7 this, but I'll paraphrase. The order is, roughly, an order to take some
8 MUP forces from one area of the battle-field and send them to report to
9 General Krstic in the Srebrenica area on 11 July; is that right?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. And can you tell us what you know about this order, why you
12 believe it was issued, and who are these various participants that we
13 see? We've heard your explanation about the Special Police Brigade and
14 the PJP, but can you give us your full explanation of this document? And
15 I'll probably ask you some follow-up questions.
16 A. Given the now change of mission, which will include the physical
17 capture or occupation of Srebrenica, somebody at the highest levels of
18 the Supreme Command has made a decision that in addition to military
19 forces, additional police forces should be engaged in the activities and
20 made available at that particular area. What this document is is to
21 various commanders and police components, directing them to detach
22 several police companies, some of which are engaged in combat operations
23 elsewhere, and to put them under the command of Ljubisa Borovcanin, as
24 the designated commander, and have those forces sent to Srebrenica
25 theatre. And the last -- you know, when they're supposed to arrive. And
1 then the last component is that once they arrive there, Borovcanin, as
2 the unit commander, is to make contact with General Krstic for additional
4 Q. And the Trial Chamber has heard evidence in this case that a
5 Ljubisa Borovcanin was with Zoran Petrovic when he drove by the Kravica
6 warehouse on the 13th of July and filmed bodies in front of the
7 warehouse. Is this the same Borovcanin that's associated with that film
8 footage and commanding the units along the road on the 13th?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And what was his position when he was called upon by this order
11 on the 10th to go to General Krstic with these units?
12 A. His formal position at the time was as the deputy commander of
13 the Special Police Brigade that was then headquartered in Janca [phoen],
14 Janjac [phoen]. At the time, in addition to his normal deputy commander
15 duties, he was also leading a particular battle group of police companies
16 that were engaged in the Sarajevo battle-front. Most of the units that
17 are designated in this order, in fact, were companies under his command
18 at Sarajevo. So for whatever reason, it was just deemed expedient to
19 leave him in command of those formations and to have those formations go
20 with him to Srebrenica.
21 Q. And do you -- have you -- do you know under whose command
22 Borovcanin was working at what you've called the Sarajevo battle-front?
23 A. Under various Republika Srpska laws relating to the use of the
24 police in times of armed conflict, the normal procedure is that when
25 police are fighting as part of military organisations or in the military
1 context of the battle-field, that the police units are placed under the
2 command of the military.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask you to repeat the name of the location
4 where the Special Police Brigade was headquartered, if you recall the
6 THE WITNESS: I believe the town is called Janjac, or Jajce,
7 or --
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Does "Janja" sound familiar?
10 A. That would be correct.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Now we have different versions on the
13 Please carry on, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
15 Q. So with those -- with the rule or rules you mentioned, which
16 we'll be seeing a bit later, in your view, under whose command was
17 Borovcanin fighting when he was at the Sarajevo front?
18 A. At that time, it would have been under the military command of
19 the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
20 Q. And have you reviewed documents where Mr. Borovcanin was
21 reporting on the battle situation prior -- at the Sarajevo front prior to
22 July 10th?
23 A. I may have, but at this juncture I don't recall the details of
25 Q. Do you recall any of the units that were working with him at the
1 Sarajevo front?
2 A. I do recall that in that same particular area, there was a
3 composite unit of the Drina Corps, named the 4th Drinski Battalion, or
4 Brigade, I think it was, that was also in a location at the same area.
5 But again, even in that particular case, for their day-to-day activities,
6 they would have fallen at the direction of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps.
7 Q. All right. Let me go through this a bit. We see number 1 is:
8 "Detach part of the RS MUP forces that are taking part in the
9 operations at the Sarajevo front and send them sometime tomorrow,
10 11 July, as an independent unit to the Srebrenica sector."
11 I think that's pretty clear on its face.
12 Number 2:
13 "The unit shall consist of the 2nd Special Police Detachment from
14 Sekovici ..."
15 What is that, briefly?
16 A. Of this particular Special Police Brigade, there were a total of,
17 I believe, nine Special Police detachments that were garrisoned in
18 various areas of Republika Srpska. This particular one, the 2nd --
19 they're alternatively called anti-terrorism units, but this particular
20 one, the 2nd Special Police Detachment, was garrisoned in the town of
21 Sekovici, which is the Drina Corps area.
22 Q. Okay. And then the next unit is the 1st Company of the PJP of
23 the Zvornik SJB. Now, you talked a bit about this yesterday. What is
25 A. Yes, sir. As I discussed, the PJP companies are the companies
1 that are made up of, primarily, municipal police officers from a police
2 region, the CSB, and are organised in a number -- in a series of numbered
3 companies. In this particular case, previously, as a result of the
4 requirement for combat activities, police officers from the Zvornik area
5 had already been mobilised in at least the 1st PJP Company and were
6 already actively conducting combat operations in Sarajevo, under the
7 command of Borovcanin. So that is what this particular PJP company
9 Q. And we see, in the address, that it's "Commander of the
10 Special Police Brigade, Staff of the Trnovo Police Forces Command."
11 Where does Trnovo fit into this? That's a town we've heard of before in
12 this case.
13 A. Trnovo is the actual location around Sarajevo. It's actually
14 somewhere between Sarajevo and the Gorazde area, where the police forces,
15 as well as the forces of the 4th Drinski Brigade, were employed in combat
17 Q. All right. And continuing on my list or the list: We have now
18 the -- a mixed company of joint Republika Serbian Krajina, Serbian and RS
19 MUP forces. What is that a reference to, if you know?
20 A. I am aware that as part of the unit fighting under MUP control in
21 Trnovo, there was a composite group that was comprised of police from the
22 Republika Serb Krajina, which is that independent autonomous country
23 that -- it isn't Republika Srpska, it's further to the west, as well as
24 members of the federal MUP, a small number of those individuals who were
25 part of this composite company who were engaged in combat activities on
1 behalf of Republika Srpska.
2 Q. Do you remember the common name of any of the Serbian MUP units
3 that were engaged in the Trnovo area in this period before 10 July?
4 A. Yes, sir. They referred to themselves as the Skorpions unit.
5 Q. All right. Has the investigation revealed any evidence that
6 Serbian MUP units, as described here, actually came with Borovcanin to
7 the Srebrenica area on 11 July, if you recall?
8 A. I certainly do recall that that was something that the
9 investigation looked very deeply into, not necessarily for the
10 ramifications related to Srebrenica, but simply because at that point in
11 time it did have ramifications related to the prosecution of
12 Slobodan Milosevic. So there was, investigatively, a very high priority
13 placed on trying to confirm or deny that this particular federal
14 Yugoslavian MUP organisation went to Srebrenica. And at the time that I
15 departed in October/November 2003, to my knowledge, the investigation had
16 revealed no information which would confirm that.
17 Q. All right. And, lastly, a company from the training camp on
18 Jahorina, what is that?
19 A. The Jahorina facility was a police facility near Sarajevo that
20 was used to train newly-recruited or conscripted individuals in the
21 Special Police. In July of 1995, there were a total of two conscript
22 companies that were being trained at the facility at the time. We call
23 them conscripts, in a sense, because many of them were Bosnian Serbs who
24 had been apprehended in Serbia by the Serbian MUP in the previous months
25 and had been returned back to the Republika Srpska so they could be
1 inducted into military or police service.
2 Another name that you will hear associated with these two
3 particular companies is they're referred to as the deserter companies, a
4 reference to the fact that the police officers who are in them were
5 formerly those people who deserted to Serbia.
6 Q. All right. And in paragraph 5, we see:
7 "On arrival at --"
8 Well, 4, we see the logistics of how and when the units are
9 supposed to get to the area of Bratunac and Sarajevo -- excuse me, and
10 Srebrenica, and it says:
11 "On arrival at his destination, the unit commander ..."
12 And who would the unit commander be in this context?
13 A. That would be Ljubisa Borovcanin, sir.
14 Q. "... is obliged to make contact with the corps chief of staff,
15 General Krstic."
16 Have you formed an opinion on the command relationship, or lack
17 thereof, between Ljubisa Borovcanin, and his forces mentioned here, and
18 that of the VRS and General Krstic?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. And what is your view on that?
21 A. I believe this order correctly documents the relationship as it
22 was supposed to exist under the applicable Republika Srpska law. When
23 the Special Police unit under the command of Borovcanin arrived, he and
24 that particular unit fell under the control of the VRS. At the time,
25 General Krstic, as the chief of staff and later as the Drina Corps, and
1 as other information bears out in the next several days, the 12th, the
2 13th, 14th and 15th, you know, it becomes clear that the Special Police
3 unit is taking their orders from the army.
4 Q. Now, you say "the Special Police unit." Would that include the
5 PJP units and the Jahorina training unit as well?
6 A. Yes, sir, all of these particular units that are associated with
7 Colonel -- at this time, he's still Ljubisa Borovcanin, he's not a
8 colonel yet. But these police units fall under Borovcanin's command, and
9 Borovcanin takes his orders from the army.
10 Q. And can you explain your last comment, that he's not a colonel
12 A. I believe it's in August of 1995, in order to more appropriately
13 align the police and the army in rank structure, that the officers of
14 the -- at least the Special Police Brigade are given military ranks. In
15 the case of Borovcanin, in August of 1995 he is given the appointment of
16 the rank of a colonel, so many of the documents relating to Borovcanin
17 post-July 1995 will refer to him as Colonel Borovcanin.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document into evidence.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 54 shall be
21 assigned Exhibit P2516. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And can we now go to P1618.
24 Q. This should be a section of the Official Gazette of the
25 Republika Srpska referencing various laws. Is that correct, Mr. Butler?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's go to it's page 12 in the English,
3 and it's Article 14. In the Serbian -- I'm sorry, I've lost my reference
4 in the Serbian. It's Chapter 4, "The Use of Police Units in Combat
5 Operations," if that would be of assistance.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
7 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I'm not mistaken,
8 it's page 5 in Serbian.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much for helping out on that
11 point. I think you're correct.
12 Q. So this section, entitled "The Use of Police Units in Combat
13 Operations," was that something that you have referenced in your report
14 and have just spoken about briefly?
15 A. Yes, sir, it is.
16 Q. And if we look at Article 14, does that basically - and I won't
17 read all of it - set out what you have said? And just, again, if you can
18 just reiterate it, as you see it, from the language of this law.
19 A. Yes, sir. It lays out who assigns the police to these combat
20 operations, reflecting that it ultimately is the commander-in-chief of
21 the armed forces, who is President Karadzic. It lays out what orders
22 will be given when this occurs, and lays out conditions of what can and
23 cannot occur, which is important, in a sense, because the police can only
24 be used on tasks that have already been previously agreed to by the army
25 and the Ministry of the Interior. So the army does not have cart blanche
1 to do anything that they want with various police units. They have to
2 employ them within certain previously specified limits.
3 Q. Okay. And in this second paragraph, that says:
4 "Police units shall be under the direct command of a commander
5 who is a member of the Ministry of the Interior."
6 And who would that be, in our situation, related to the 10 July
7 document we just went over?
8 A. That would be Ljubisa Borovcanin.
9 Q. And what about logistic support? We see the last paragraph. Can
10 you explain that?
11 A. Yes, sir. Police forces, as you might expect, do not normally
12 have the complex logistics or the amount of munitions, food, and other
13 things necessary to sustain themselves over a period of days or even
14 weeks in combat operations, so this is an obligation that when police
15 forces are used in military operations, that the Army of the
16 Republika Srpska, you know, incurs the obligation to ensure that they are
17 properly supplied and re-equipped as necessary.
18 Q. All right. And this comment: "... the commander to whom a
19 police unit has been re-subordinated shall provide logistic support," in
20 your view, has Borovcanin's unit been re-subordinated to the Drina Corps?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Because I note, if we go back to the 10 July document from
23 Tomislav Kovac, there is no reference to the law, there is no mention of
24 the word "re-subordinated." It just -- it says: "Pursuant to the order
25 of the supreme commander of the Republika Srpska Armed Forces," and then
1 it says: "I hereby order:" So can you just briefly -- and, I'm sorry,
2 but I think you're just going to repeat what it is that you base your
3 opinion that Borovcanin and his forces are actually re-subordinated to
4 the Drina Corps.
5 A. Yes, sir. I mean, it is a reflection of my view that in the
6 context of military operations, that the relevant commanders and their
7 staff officers are going to operate in compliance with existing law and
8 regulations. It should not have to be stated in an order like Kovac is
9 given where he would have to specify which various acts of
10 Republika Srpska law are applicable and empower him to issue this order.
11 The president of the republic knows what the law is. Minister Kovac
12 knows what the law is. Borovcanin knows what the law is. The army knows
13 what the law is. This is not the first time, in July of 1995, that MUP
14 forces have been under army command in various sectors of the
15 battle-field, so this is not a unique situation, by any stretch. The
16 officers in the MUP, as well as the officers of the VRS, you know, from
17 past experience, and knowing these provision of law and regulations, know
18 exactly what is expected of them to properly undertake the relationship,
19 and in this context Borovcanin knows, by virtue of the fact that he's
20 told to report to General Krstic, that he's going to be taking his orders
21 from General Krstic.
22 Q. And I think when I asked you this same question in relation to
23 who Borovcanin was under the command of, you said something to the effect
24 of "the next few days" and what happened with this unit bore that out.
25 Does that answer also apply to this term of re-subordination? Does "the
1 next few days" also support your view that they were actually
3 A. Yes, sir. There will be evidence -- or I'm certainly aware of
4 evidence that reflects that the Special Police units are responding to
5 military orders. I am aware that there's at least one -- perhaps several
6 more intercepts - I don't know if they're in here - that reflect at least
7 discussions between Borovcanin and General Krstic, where General Krstic
8 is inquiring about the situation. I believe it's approximately 2030
9 hours on 13 July. There's intercepts related to discussions at army
10 level about how to resupply these various MUP units and who's responsible
11 for them. There is -- even going down further on the 15th, there is
12 military orders reflecting that Colonel Blagojevic at one point from the
13 Bratunac Brigade has been given responsibility for certain police units
14 operating in his zone in order to ensure that their operations are fully
15 co-ordinated with his.
16 So it is my view that there is ample evidence to support the
17 contention that -- within the context of Srebrenica, that the police
18 forces under Ljubisa Borovcanin have been formally re-subordinated to the
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question to that.
21 You said, in the second-last answer, at the end:
22 "... and in this context, Borovcanin knows, by virtue of the fact
23 that he is told to report to General Krstic."
24 Are you, by saying this, referring to the order of
25 Tomislav Kovac?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The language used by Mr. Kovac was a bit
3 different. It says:
4 "On arrival at his destination, the unit commander is obliged to
5 make contact with the corps chief of staff, General Krstic."
6 To make contact, is that the same that he has to report to
7 General Krstic?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. In my point of view, "obliged to make
9 contact" is the equivalent of "ordered to report to." He's -- from a
10 pragmatic point of view, he's going to General Krstic as the military
11 commander in charge of the operation. He's reporting his presence now on
12 the battle-field, and the implied behind that is that he is going to
13 request and receive his orders from General Krstic. If that were not the
14 case, there would be no reason to report to General Krstic. And, in
15 fact, as the 11th and the 12th and the 13th and the 14th go on, you see
16 evidence that, again, he is taking his orders as to where his units are
17 and what they will be doing from the army, not the police.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 Mr. Gajic.
21 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to use
22 this opportunity. I didn't want to interrupt Mr. McCloskey earlier. But
23 the Exhibit 151, it's a law. Considering that there are many laws
24 governing the use of the police in state of war, and Mr. McCloskey only
25 presented the Law on the Application of the Law on the Internal Affairs
1 During a Threat of War or State of War. I found this, and it's
2 noteworthy also because in e-court it says that this exhibit, P1618,
3 relates to the Law on the Application of the Law on the Army During the
4 Threat of War or State of War, and I think we should have this for the
5 transcript, for clarity purposes, and so that we can later find our
6 bearings more easily.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
9 Mr. President, I'm not familiar with how it's defined in e-court.
10 That -- and I'm not sure how -- perhaps if there's a problem, we can fix
11 that. But this is a clear -- clearly set out in the law. Mr. Butler's
12 discussed it. He's discussed it in his reports. He has testified about
13 this numerous times. And if there are other applicable laws on this
14 subject, in Mr. Gajic's view, Mr. Butler, I'm sure, will be able to give
15 whatever knowledge he has on that in cross-examination. It's my view
16 this is the most relevant law, as it is entitled "The Use of Police Units
17 in Combat Operations," and the first page of the Gazette that we're
18 talking about, it says "Decree on the Promulgation of the Law on the
19 Implementation of the Law on Ministries During an Imminent Threat of War
20 or State of War." I don't think it serves our purpose -- my purpose now
21 to try to go into the intricacies of RS law and the state of war and all
22 this. We found the part that we believe is the most relevant, we've
23 talked about it. Mr. Butler is open for cross-examination on -- on any
24 other rule or law.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, we have in our binder, behind
1 tab 90, a compilation of different laws. I just want to inquire if these
2 laws are all published in the Official Gazette of the 29th of November,
3 1994, as we have it behind the English translation; is that correct?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we can ask Mr. Butler. He would be the best
5 person to know that. And, yeah, how it is we photocopied this group
6 is -- I'm not exactly sure. The key part, of course, is the one section
7 that we've gone to, and all the previous material is really just to try
8 to put it in context.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: All the pages we have in front of us in the
10 binder have the same date, 29th of November, 1994.
11 Mr. Gajic.
12 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first I just need to
13 intervene in the transcript, and perhaps this is what has led to
15 I said that this was a collection of laws on the implementation
16 of other laws in a state of war or even in threat of war, and my
17 intervention was limited to pointing out the specific law that
18 Mr. McCloskey cited; no more than that. And I believe that it's
19 absolutely clear that this Official Gazette actually promulgated the set
20 of laws that were adopted at an Assembly session, so there is nothing in
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this clarification.
23 Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Stewart tells me that the entire
25 Official Gazette in this area came in through Witness PW-052.
1 Could we go into private session for one moment?
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. Private.
3 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we'll get back more into the Special Police
21 and this crew as we get along in our chronology.
22 But keeping up with the chronology, could we go to 65 ter 174
23 behind tab 91.
24 Q. It's dated 10 July, from the Main Staff of the VRS, in the name
25 of the commander, General Mladic. It has a time stamp of 1300 hours, and
1 it's to the Command of the Drina Corps and the 65th
2 Motorised Protection Regiment, taking a defence line and improving the
3 tactical position, and it is an order from General Mladic. And it says:
4 "As a result of the newly-arisen situation around the Srebrenica
5 enclave and the VRS success in that part of the front, separation of the
6 enclaves and narrowing the area around Srebrenica and an order to close
7 the Zepa enclave and improve the tactical position of our forces around
8 the enclave, I hereby order:"
9 And he orders the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade, known as
10 the Rogatica Brigade, to do some things, as well as other folks.
11 So what is this and why, in your view, is this taken by
12 General Mladic at the time?
13 A. As the situation is developing rather favorably for the VRS
14 around Srebrenica, General Mladic is strategically thinking and is
15 already starting to envision that the success that is occurring at
16 Srebrenica is going to quickly create the circumstances that would lead
17 them to be able to successfully take the Zepa enclave as well. What this
18 particular order is is a reflection of the fact that he's already
19 starting to think through, in his own mind, the possibilities that exist.
20 He knows the situation down there, and he's putting both some units of
21 the Drina Corps, and again this directed to the Drina Corps Command, as
22 well as the 65th Protection Regiment, telling them that they need to take
23 several specific steps and consolidate lines in various locations in
24 order to potentially take advantage of the fall of Srebrenica or the
25 capture of Srebrenica, and, again, laying the groundwork for the next
1 potential operation. I mean, it's a very prudent and, again,
2 strategically-oriented view that General Mladic has.
3 Q. It says, on -- it's page 2 of the English, under paragraph 4:
4 "Start taking up defence lines immediately and launch offensive
5 combat activities on the 12th of July ..."
6 Do you know when the major offensive actually -- from the
7 Drina Corps forces started in Zepa, if you recall?
8 A. In fact, when the Drina Corps pushed together its own formal plan
9 for the operation at Zepa, they're not able to assemble the forces
10 necessary to conduct offensive operations around the Zepa enclave until
11 the evening of the 13th. So the operation actually formally kicks off
12 the morning of the 14th.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: So I would offer this document into evidence.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 174 shall be
16 assigned Exhibit P2517. Thank you.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And now if we could go to 65 ter 7297. But I
18 would first, again, ask for the Defence's view on this. This is another
19 document from the Pecanac collection that is in the name of
20 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, and it's personally to General Tolimir, from
21 11th of July.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. As Mr. Tolimir stated earlier, he has no
23 objection to add any document. I take it it will be -- he will remain in
24 this position.
25 There's no objection. You should add this document to your list.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. So as we have seen before, this is a document from
3 Lieutenant Colonel Vujadin Popovic -- well, it says "V. Popovic." Would
4 that be Vujadin Popovic, the chief of Security of the Drina Corps?
5 A. Yes, sir, I believe that's correct.
6 Q. And it says "Drina Corps IKM Bratunac." We have heard of
7 Drina Corps, IKM Pribicevac, and now we see "Drina Corps, IKM Bratunac."
8 What do you make of that on similar days?
9 A. The main command post or, in this case, the forward command post
10 of Pribicevac is where the combat operation directed against Srebrenica,
11 the enclave, take place. You have various officers of the Drina Corps to
12 include the chief of staff, General Krstic, the chief of operations,
13 Obradovic, is there. Other officers are there. At some point, and
14 I think it's either the 10th or the 11th of July, the Drina Corps
15 establishes a second forward command post in the town of Bratunac. In
16 fact, they designate their forward command post as the same facility
17 that, you know, the Bratunac Brigade uses as their headquarters. Again,
18 that's not uncommon. It's just a mechanism by which corps officers can
19 exercise control and influence over subordinate formations. The fact
20 that you will have one or two or even three forward command posts or
21 other command posts is not uncommon at all.
22 Q. And again we see Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is reporting directly
23 to the Main Staff, to General Tolimir personally. Is there anything out
24 of the command chain or unusual about that?
25 A. No, sir.
1 Q. And in this very few lines we see:
2 "A column composed of thousands of Muslim civilians going in the
3 direction of Potocari towards Zuti Most was seen from our observation
4 post (Borici) in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Infantry Battalion
5 on the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade."
6 And it says:
7 "Two UNPROFOR trucks with tarpaulins are going towards them."
8 This was received at 1710 hours. Now, the Trial Chamber has
9 heard quite a bit of evidence about the large group of Muslims moving up
10 from the Srebrenica town area towards Potocari and the UN base. Have you
11 seen any evidence or any documents, aside from this one, that suggests
12 large groups of Muslims were going from Potocari towards what I think we
13 all recall as the Zuti Most check-point, the demarcation between the
14 enclave and north towards Bratunac?
15 A. No, I don't necessarily read this particular document like that.
16 I think he's referring to Potocari village, which, if I recall correctly,
17 is on the other side of -- what we call Potocari, the UN base, is
18 actually not located physically in Potocari. So I think it's just a
19 mixture of terminology. I don't -- I don't believe I recall a column
20 moving from the UN base to yellow Bridge and towards Bratunac.
21 Q. Would that make sense, for Muslim civilians from Srebrenica to be
22 moving towards the RS area of Bratunac?
23 A. No, sir, it wouldn't.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. We'll check the map on that. Thank you
25 for that observation.
1 Let's now -- I offer that into evidence.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7297 shall be
4 assigned Exhibit P2518. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to P688. We're still on the 11th
6 of July.
7 Q. And can you just briefly connect to us: On the 11th of July,
8 did -- very briefly, what happened on the ground, just to connect us,
9 where we are in the chronology, in Srebrenica?
10 A. On 11 July, the morning hours, the VRS military begins its final
11 push into the town of Srebrenica. The remnants of the
12 28th Infantry Division from the ABiH had withdrawn completely the evening
13 before and were actually now assembling in the Susnjari area of -- you
14 know, in the north side of the enclave or at this north-west side of the
15 enclave. There's a small rear guard left, but by approximately noon,
16 Srebrenica's left militarily undefended, and the remaining UN forces in
17 Srebrenica, Bravo Company, are escorting a large column of civilians from
18 the town of Srebrenica towards the United Nations base.
19 By approximately 1500 hours, the lead elements of the VRS
20 essentially come into town. Shortly thereafter, there is extensive video
21 footage General Mladic and a group of other senior officers,
22 General Zivanovic, General Krstic, and a number of corps staff officers
23 as well as brigade commanders, who are videotaped in and around
24 Srebrenica as their forces essentially occupy the town.
25 So at the time this particular order is going out and received,
1 the situation on the ground is that the Bosnian Serb forces, the VRS, are
2 occupying Srebrenica.
3 Q. You mentioned NATO bombing earlier. Do you recall, roughly, what
4 time of day that would have occurred on -- I believe you did say the
6 A. Yes, sir. If I recall correctly, those bombing raids took place
7 just prior to 1500 hours.
8 Q. All right. And we see that this document from the Main Staff, 11
9 July, we see a received stamp at 1735 hours on the 11th, to the
10 Drina Corps Command and the Drina Corps IKM 1 -- do you know which IKM
11 that would be, Drina Corps IKM 1?
12 A. This should be the Drina Corps IKM at Pribicevac.
13 Q. All right. And it's entitled "Treatment of UNPROFOR members in
14 the Srebrenica enclave," and it's from Assistant Commander
15 Major General Milan Gvero. You've talked about who he is. And it's
16 entitled "Treatment of UNPROFOR Members in the Srebrenica Enclave," and
17 it says:
18 "Regarding the overall situation in the Srebrenica enclave, and
19 observing the reaction of responsibile UNPROFOR representatives and the
20 international public, the focus of interest is directed towards the
21 treatment of UNPROFOR individuals and forces in the Srebrenica enclave by
22 members of the VRS."
23 And then he goes on to say:
24 "In this respect, through subordinate commands, the Drina Corps
25 Command shall ensure the utmost correct treatment of UNPROFOR members,
1 our guests, and prevent any operations and provocations against UNPROFOR
2 forces, regardless of their behaviour. In performance of the assigned
3 task and the declared objective, at this moment such treatment of
4 UNPROFOR forces has multiple significance."
5 So the first paragraph, what's he talking about there regarding
6 the overall situation, international public, the focus of interest is the
7 treatment of UNPROFOR?
8 A. At this point in time, the international community is rivetted, I
9 guess for lack of a better word, on what is happening at Srebrenica and
10 the pending situation that the VRS is going to capture the town.
11 General Gvero, being at the Main Staff headquarters, getting and being in
12 communication with the UNPROFOR Sarajevo as well as other organs of the
13 RS government, is obviously cognizant of the political and diplomatic
14 ramifications of what is occurring, as well as simply the military ones.
15 Q. And then the second paragraph, where he clearly sets out that the
16 UNPROFOR members, you know, should be treated with the utmost correct
17 treatment, that's clear. And then he goes on to explain:
18 "... at this moment, such treatment of UNPROFOR forces has
19 multiple significance."
20 What do you make of that last comment, "UNPROFOR forces has
21 multiple significance"?
22 A. It's, in his mind, understanding the situation that's developing,
23 again, beyond the military situation, he is aware that there are larger
24 discussions about a NATO intervention, and he's keen to try and prevent
25 anything from occurring against the UNPROFOR which NATO might use as a
1 provocation or as an excuse to begin their own operations. So this is a
2 reiteration of his order that, Regardless of what's happening with the
3 UN, we cannot react to it because the UN is waiting for that type of
4 reaction so they can then justify an additional reaction on their part.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the last document of the
6 second binder. So we will -- we are moving forward. This is
7 65 ter 2210. It is another combat report from the Main Staff to the
8 president. This one is dated 11 July.
9 And if we could go just to the Drina Corps section of that
10 report. It's page 3 in the English, and it's paragraph 6 in the B/C/S,
11 which should be the next page or two. One more. Thank you.
12 Q. And I won't ask you about the comments in the Tuzla and Olovo and
13 Gorazde sections, but it says:
14 "In the Srebrenica enclave, the enemy has been putting up fierce
15 resistance to VRS units. The NATO air force has been pounding our forces
16 in the following sectors: Kvarac, the villages of Bojna and
17 Zivkovo Brdo. An interim report on the situation in Srebrenica and the
18 NATO air force is forthcoming."
19 It goes on under the next section, "The Situation in the Corps."
20 It talks briefly about the offensive operations around Srebrenica and
21 that the course of the day, they entered Srebrenica. And it says again
22 they'll forward an interim combat report on the results achieved and
23 other details and repelled all attacks.
24 Does that --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should go to the next page in English.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, yes, the next page in the English.
2 Q. Does that roughly reflect what was going on at the time or not?
3 You're sort of smiling, Mr. Butler, and I know sometimes you get
4 nervous or amused, but -- and it's been a long time, so --
5 A. It's just so -- it's a bit of an over-statement, I would say, as
6 to what was actually happening in the enclave. In fact, the actual
7 conduct of the military operation to take over the city, it was, for all
8 intents and purposes, abandoned when the VRS walked in.
9 And the phrase "NATO air force pounding our forces" as history
10 notes, two NATO aircraft dropped two bombs, and I guess from my own
11 perspective, in the United States military, two singular air-bombs
12 doesn't qualify as a pounding.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, I won't ask you, but I would think if you
14 were on the ground when those bombs went off, you might think
16 But I would offer that document into evidence. And on that note,
17 it's probably a good time for the break.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2210 shall be
20 assigned Exhibit P2519. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, have we reached the end of dealing
22 with the second binder?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I have one more binder, but
24 I also have some more convoy documents to get through. And I'm seeing if
25 there's a way to provide those documents into evidence, but so far the
1 plan is to get back to them at the end and go through them.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Of the second binder?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, some of the convoy documents.
4 As you can tell, while we're two-thirds -- almost two-thirds of
5 the way done, we -- I don't know what the exact time is, but I'm probably
6 going to be over my time. But as you can also tell, this is a very
7 difficult process to estimate. So I hope you will take that into
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I appreciate the low speed you are talking
10 and the witness is talking. That assists the interpreters very much.
11 You have now used approximately 13 and a half hours of the 15.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. And I have spoken to Mr. Gajic, and I know
13 he is -- or I believe he's consulted with General Tolimir, and they have
14 graciously said they had no objection with us going over the time, that
15 they understood that, and that's much appreciated.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 We have to adjourn now, and we will resume at 1.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was told, in the meantime during the break,
21 that the document D122, this is the document, the Official Gazette we
22 have looked at, has no B/C/S translation. No, no, this is not the
23 Official Gazette. Sorry, I mixed it up. This is the report of the
24 United Nations. It has no B/C/S translation. But P1226, which was
25 previously marked for identification, has a B/C/S translation, and,
1 therefore, I would like to instruct the Registrar to combine D122 with
2 the B/C/S translation which is available in e-court.
3 Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
5 And just for your information, Mr. Gajic and I spoke briefly
6 about the last document, 2515, the -- 2519, the combat report from the
7 Main Staff to the president, and I checked with a reliable translation
8 source and it appears we best get that section revised, because Mr. Gajic
9 stated that he did not see any reference to NATO aviation pounding
10 anyone, that it was a reference of NATO aviation conducting combat
11 activities, which is fundamentally what my resource agreed with. So
12 we're not sure where "pounding" came from, so that was a bit of a storm
13 in a tea cup, but perhaps it won't take long to have a brief re-look by
14 CLSS to get that sorted out.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please indicate the specific page and
16 paragraph number of that document? That will assist everybody.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: If Mr. Gajic can help me on that. That was in my
18 other binder.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He is getting the floor now.
20 Mr. Gajic.
21 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
22 First of all, I just have to make a preliminary remark.
23 We've just heard the word "pounding" from the interpretation
24 booth, where it was interpreted as "bombing," so it would seem that the
25 NATO did not bomb anyone when you receive the translation in B/C/S.
1 On page 3 in Serb on this document, and I believe that's also
2 page 3 in English, I have a remark about the translation of this
3 document, this document 2210, and there is a mistranslation.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We're all talking about the same document, I take
5 it, P2519, which was previously 65 ter 2210.
6 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, so, Your Honour.
7 So page 3, both in Serbian and in English. In English, it
8 reads -- it's in line 3 from the bottom:
9 "The NATO air force has been pounding ..."
10 Et cetera. In place of the word "pounding," it should be
11 replaced by "they were carrying out combat activities."
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 I would agree that we should task CLSS with some assistance in
14 the correct interpretation of this sentence.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
16 My source tells me that they don't find "pounding" and that it's
17 something similar to what Mr. Gajic is saying. But as you know, this is
18 a difficult task for the CLSS, but I'm sure they'll be able to help us on
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 Now carry on, please.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. All right. Mr. Butler -- oh, yes, we're at binder 3, so we have
24 binders for you, if you would like them.
25 Mr. Butler, do you have binder 3?
1 A. Yes, sir, I do.
2 Q. All right. And as part of your reports and your testimony, you
3 have identified various intercepts for 12 July and onward, like you have
4 the previous days?
5 A. Yes, sir, I have.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, does the Defence have one binder?
7 Yes, I see Mr. Gajic nodding. Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. They, both the general and Mr. Gajic,
9 should have binders.
10 If we could go to P1537C.
11 Q. And we can see that it should be in 1995. The first page of the
12 English is one intercept at 0608 hours, and then --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should not be broadcast. It seems to be
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, thank you, Mr. President. I see why.
16 Q. And then there's a second conversation at 0658 hours. And the
17 first one we see early in the morning on the 12th of July is from X and
18 Y, and it says:
19 "From Jaglici towards Buljim up there, towards our neighbour on
20 the right. Let them know. They need to be warned. Do you understand?"
22 X says : "... a column."
23 Y says: "Okay."
24 And then if you look at the second intercept, and I won't read it
25 out, it talks about moving groups from Jaglici, along certain areas, it's
1 another X and a Y conversation.
2 What do you make these out to be, Mr. Butler, these two
4 A. These two intercepts, and I believe there are several more that
5 come either slightly before or slightly after, are a reflection of the
6 activity that's happening on the ground on the north-western side of the
7 enclave. As I noted earlier, the ABiH 28th Division made the decision to
8 abandon the enclave on the evening of 10 July. Late that evening and
9 through the day on the 11th of July, thousands of soldiers from the
10 28th Division, as well as able-bodied men and others who chose to
11 accompany them, assembled in Susnjari and Jaglici areas -- or the
12 Susnjari and Jaglici areas and began, in narrow columns, going through
13 the minefields, and beginning an over-land track from the former enclave
14 to what they consider to be free territory.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt you for a moment.
16 Can you please repeat the names of the two locations?
17 THE WITNESS: I believe it's Jaglici and -- Jaglici and Susnjari
18 are the names of the locations.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 Please carry on.
21 THE WITNESS: So these intercepts represent these initial series
22 of observations that VRS military commanders, who are in charge of troops
23 on that particular area, are observing of this column and starting to
24 talk about it among themselves, and ultimately start reporting this
25 information to their superior commands.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to P244. We are still on 12
2 July and another intercept at 0735 hours in the morning.
3 Q. And this one is noted to be between, as they say in quotes
4 "someone called Krstic and Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic." And as we see
5 this conversation between Krsmanovic and Krstic, Krstic is talking about
6 several towns, and 50 buses are to be at the stadium at Bratunac by 1700
7 hours, and he makes sure that Krsmanovic understands that.
8 Who are these people, in your view?
9 A. The "Krstic" in this context, I believe, is
10 Major General Radislav Krstic, and Lieutenant Krsmanovic is the chief of
11 Transportation Services for the Drina Corps.
12 Q. And what do you think they're talking about in the larger
14 A. At this particular point in time, a decision -- and actually
15 several hours prior, a decision has been made that all of the population
16 from the former enclave is going to be removed from that particular
17 enclave. In written orders one sees orders going from the IKM and the
18 Drina Corps Command to the brigades, directing them to send buses and
19 trucks to Bratunac. You will see orders from the Main Staff -- or
20 requests from the Main Staff going to the RS Ministry of Defence,
21 requesting the requisitioning of buses from various civilian enterprises,
22 and that they be sent to Bratunac. And this is a particular conversation
23 between General Krstic and the corps chief of Transportation Services, is
24 a reflection that orders have been going out to assemble buses from
25 various locations and where they need to report to at various points of
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt you again.
4 There is a problem in the transcript, page 67, lines 2 and 3. We
5 received a response, and it was written in a different way first, and
6 then it has changed, but there was something left out.
7 You, Mr. McCloskey, asked Mr. Butler:
8 "Who are these people, in your view," referring to Krstic and
9 Krsmanovic, and therefore I would like to ask Mr. Butler to repeat his
11 THE WITNESS: I can see, in the answer, that General Krstic is
12 Major General Krstic. Krsmanovic is Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, who
13 was the chief of the Transportation Services for the Drina Corps Command.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. And what is your understanding where General Krstic would be at
18 this time discussing buses and such?
19 A. This particular intercept on the morning of 12th July at 0735
20 hours: one, I'm aware from the investigation that General Krstic's
21 location is at that particular area, actually in Bratunac. And further,
22 within, I guess, two hours of this point in time, General Krstic is
23 visible as a participant in what is referred to as the third meeting
24 relating between the VRS and General Mladic as well as the Dutch, the
25 UNPROFOR forces, and Muslim representatives. So I believe there's ample
1 evidence that shows that General Krstic is, in fact, in Bratunac during
2 this period of time.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And General Tolimir had raised his hand,
4 Mr. President.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Sorry, I didn't see it.
6 Mr. Tolimir.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank Mr. McCloskey. Thank you,
8 Mr. President.
9 On page 66, when the discussion began about the intercept between
10 Krstic and Krsmanovic, the question was:
11 "Who was involved in that conversation?"
12 And the witness answered:
13 "The discussion was about the removal of population from the
15 I would like Mr. McCloskey to clarify with the witness if this
16 was after the talks between General Mladic and the representatives of the
17 civilian population or before.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This can be raised during cross-examination, but
19 it's up to you, Mr. McCloskey, to deal with it.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. And I think Mr. Butler did just refer
21 to a meeting between General Mladic and civilian representatives that
22 took place at the Hotel Fontana at 10.00 a.m. that day, so a couple of
23 hours after this, as Mr. Butler said.
24 Q. But, Mr. Butler, had there been a meeting between General Mladic,
25 General Krstic, and a person by the name of Nesib Mandzic, who -- at the
1 Hotel Fontana the evening before?
2 A. Yes, sir, that -- what we refer to as the second meeting, and
3 that took place at the Hotel Fontana at, roughly, 2200 hours on the
4 evening of 11 July.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next document, P2282.
6 Q. And we have, as it comes up, a document from General Zivanovic,
7 from the Command of the Drina Corps, entitled "The Provision of Buses,"
8 and it says "For evacuation of Srebrenica enclave, order to:" And it
9 lists several brigades, and talks about getting all available buses to
10 the sports stadium in Bratunac. It mentions the command has sent a
11 request to the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska and others. I
12 won't read it all.
13 Do you relate this, first of all, to any intercepts or -- that
14 we've just heard about or what was going on on the ground?
15 A. Yes, sir. This is an example of the various orders that were
16 going out related to the intercept that was just discussed.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next one, P1539C. We
18 have an intercept dated 12 July. It shouldn't be broadcast. And I want
19 to go to the one on English that starts at 0922 hours, and it's between
20 an unidentified person, X, and Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, where X
21 tells them they only have two buses. Some others can be mobilised
22 without papers, without an order. And then there's this statement:
23 "They had a problem with fuel. They do not have enough of it."
24 Q. What do you make of this? Is this the same
25 Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, in your view, that you spoke of before?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. And what about this problem with fuel? Were you aware of any
3 problem with the fuel, aside from this one small reference?
4 A. The availability of fuel for this fleet of buses and trucks that
5 were going to be descending on Bratunac was a major concern to the staff
6 officers who were putting together all of these various pieces. It's
7 well known that fuel was in short commodity as a result of the embargo on
8 the Republika Srpska from fuel and other supplies coming over from the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and that fuel products were highly
10 rationed. It was going to take a significant amount of fuel in order to
11 provide enough for the buses, a large number of buses, to make multiple
12 trips back and forth carrying individuals to be removed from the former
13 enclave, and that, in an immediate sense, the Drina Corps did not have --
14 and the Drina Corps subordinate units did not have those qualities of
15 fuel available. So these discussions represent the work of various staff
16 officers and other officers involved in the process of not only seeking
17 to acquire the necessary transportation assets, but identifying where the
18 fuel needed to make that happen would come from.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to 65 ter 2101 which we see
20 is a VRS Main Staff document from the Sector for OM and PP Organisation,
21 Mobilisation, and Personnel, to the RS Ministry of Defence.
22 Q. And it's talking about the utmost urgency order to mobilise all
23 buses available from these listed municipalities, and it talks about at
24 least 50 buses needed to be mobilised and sent to the Bratunac sports
25 stadium. Is -- well -- and we see that it's under the name of
1 Assistant Commander Major General Petar.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we blow up the B/C/S version so we can get a
3 look, because we see the translator put a question mark by that name, and
4 I think we need to -- it's the B/C/S that I would like to be blown up a
6 Q. And as I read that, it looks clear to me S-k-r-b-i-c, and there
7 are no diacritics on it, but I don't believe we ever see diacritics on
8 these documents. Is there such a person as we see here, Petar Skrbic?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Who is he, and what's he doing in this order -- or this document,
11 excuse me?
12 A. I guess he is as advertised, he is the head of the Mobilisation
13 and Personnel, as it's translated, Sector of the Main Staff. One of his
14 functions by position would be dealing with the broader issues of
15 mobilisation of equipment with the Republika Srpska Ministry of the
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this into evidence.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 2101 shall be
20 assigned Exhibit P2520. Thank you.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, 65 ter 149, the next document, and the
22 tab is 100.
23 Q. It's another -- a document from the Drina Corps Command to
24 General Zivanovic, 12 July, a stamp of 1000 hours. It's to the VRS
25 Main Staff and to the command post and rear command post for information,
1 and it says:
2 "Pursuant to the VRS Main Staff commander's order to provide 50
3 buses for evacuation from the Srebrenica enclave, we hereby ask you for
4 additional approval of the following types and quantities of fuel:"
5 Now, we don't see an order from General Mladic regarding these 50
6 buses. But given what Zivanovic is saying here, do you believe
7 General Mladic made such an order?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Could it, under the military practices, been oral or written?
10 A. The order issued by General Mladic could have easily been oral.
11 That wouldn't have been a problem.
12 Q. And on the morning of 12 July at 1000 hours - I think you've
13 already said - can you just remind us where General Mladic was, as far as
14 the investigation has revealed?
15 A. At this point in time, he is participating in probably more
16 accurately directing the course of events in the third meeting that is
17 occurring at the Hotel Fontana between the VRS, representatives of the
18 Dutch Battalion, and representatives of the Muslim population from
20 Q. And then under the part about the fuel, it says:
21 "On 12 July 1995 and onward, buses will be used from the
22 municipalities ..."
23 And it lists all these municipalities.
24 "Their final destination is unknown to us for the moment."
25 What does that mean? What final destination?
1 A. In the context of the removals that take place on the 12th and
2 13th, at least here at this point, General Zivanovic does not know yet
3 where the buses, after they pick up these individuals, will be directed
4 to take them.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. I offer that in evidence.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 149 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit P2521. Thank you.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now let's go to 65 ter 13.
10 Q. And we see another 12 July document. This time, in the left-hand
11 corner, it says "Secretariat of the Ministry, Zvornik." Subject:
12 "Request for Mobilisation of Buses." And it says:
13 "Pursuant to the request by the Main Staff ..."
14 And then gives the number of the request, for mobilisation of
15 buses. It talks about the drivers, and it's in the name for
16 Assistant Minister Momcilo Kovacevic.
17 What is this?
18 A. This is another in the series of orders that's reflecting the
19 process by which General Mladic's order to obtain the buses and have them
20 sent to Bratunac is working its way through the military chain of the VRS
21 and then over to the Ministry of Defence, and now being transmitted down
22 the Ministry of Defence to their subordinate organs in order to make this
23 order happen. It shows, if nothing else, the complexity and the number
24 of different organisations and individuals who are involved in making
25 something that people may perceive as simple as having 50 buses show up
1 at one place and one time, how it actually works in a military context.
2 Q. And I'm sure you would agree with me that if we look back to the
3 Skrbic document, which had been 65 ter 2101, but has another number
4 now - I'm sorry - P2520, that the order number referred to here,
5 09/31/12-3/154, is the confidential number of the Skrbic order?
6 A. Correct, sir.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this into evidence.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 13 shall be
10 assigned Exhibit P2522. Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to P245, an intercept from 12
12 July at 1220 hours, a conversation between X and Y.
13 Q. X says:
14 "What are we going to do about fuel?"
15 Y says:
16 "I don't know. I told Miletic."
17 Then there's a discussion about trucks leaving from various
18 places, and then 200 litres or 200 tonnes.
19 Who do you believe this "Miletic" is?
20 A. I believe this reference to "Miletic" is General Miletic from the
21 Main Staff.
22 Q. And what does this indicate to you about fuel?
23 A. The correspondents in this discussion are actively trying to sort
24 out just where the necessary fuel is going to come from, and that their
25 awareness, at least one particular correspondent, stating, you know, he
1 told -- he told General Miletic this is a problem. So the highest levels
2 now of the Main Staff are aware: one, of General Mladic's order to
3 assemble the buses and get the necessary fuel; and, two, that there are
4 no ready supplies of fuel available to do this.
5 Q. Well, in your view, this is General Miletic. Does it make sense
6 for a General Miletic from the Main Staff to be involved this sort of
7 issue? I mean, Miletic -- you know, as I think we all know, there are
8 other Miletics in Bosnia.
9 A. General Miletic is the chief of operations for the Main Staff.
10 When one looks at how the Main Staff functions with respect to almost all
11 operations, at some point in time they go through General Miletic and his
12 Operations Department. Most incoming requests start there and then are
13 later farmed out to various other sectors. So the fact that
14 General Miletic is being involved in this process, in an attempt to
15 acquire the necessary fuel, he is the logical person to start the ball
16 rolling at that level for him to reach out to the Main Staff logistics
17 organs and figure out where they're going to get the fuel from to comply
18 with the existing orders.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to 65 ter 56. And this is
20 a -- I believe this is a new sort of document for us, because we see it's
21 from the Zvornik CJB, Public Security Centre.
22 Q. You have also used the term "SJB." In your mind, do you
23 distinguish the two?
24 A. Yes, sir. The "CJB" is the regional Public Security Centre which
25 encompasses a number of different municipalities. The "SJB," as I
1 understand the way the term is used, is for the Public Security Centre --
2 Public Safety Centre in one particular municipalities. So while CJB
3 Zvornik may control the police in six or seven different municipalities,
4 the individual in the municipality would be an SJB, and every -- that SJB
5 is the level of -- organ of control for the individual municipality. A
6 local organisation, the SJB, and then the regional one is the CSB.
7 Q. Going back to your discussion about --
8 A. Or CJB, I'm sorry.
9 Q. Going back to your discussion about PJP units, these police units
10 that came out of various cities to form combat units, what relationship
11 do they have, in your recollection, to the Zvornik -- or the Zvornik CJB.
12 And I specifically mean the first and second PJPs that we've seen
13 reference to.
14 A. Those particular PJP units are organised from police officers
15 from within the broader Zvornik CJB.
16 Q. And we see that according to this document, the chief of the CJB
17 is Dragomir Vasic. And to your knowledge, is that correct at the time?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. And is there a related Ministry of Interior organisation? We see
20 here the "Public Security Centre." Is there another section that is
21 related to this called the -- I believe it's called the State Security
23 A. That organ is often referred to as the RDB. It is also an organ
24 of the Ministry of the Interior. Its role is to collect information,
25 both domestically and -- primarily domestically, although there's some
1 foreign collection, related to the security of the state. It is,
2 essentially, the Ministry of the Interior's own domestic intelligence
4 Q. All right. And what is this that Vasic is doing? What kind of
5 document is this? It's called a dispatch. It's dated 12 July. We don't
6 really see a time stamp or anything like that that we're used to from the
7 army. Do you see other documents like this? Can you tell us what the
8 document is without -- before we get into the substance?
9 A. Yes, sir. Just as the army had a chain of command and a
10 responsibility to report, the police forces, whether they're
11 Special Police, whether they're the municipal police or even the RDB,
12 also had a responsibility to report the events that were occurring.
13 There are a number -- Dragomir Vasic physically came down to the Bratunac
14 and Srebrenica areas during -- you know, from the 12th of July, and he
15 remained there for several days. Vasic, as part of his own reporting
16 about what is happening there, you know, is going to author a number of
17 reports related to areas within his competence. Those will include
18 meetings with prominent civilians in an effort to establish police
19 stations in Srebrenica. It will deal with the issue of security along
20 roads. As the days wear on and as the MUP is directed to engage more in
21 combat activities, Vasic's reports will detail the actual combat
22 situation that the police are involved in.
23 Q. Now, you've conclude -- concluded that he came to Bratunac. Can
24 he be seen on any video on 12 July, in your recollection, in Bratunac?
25 A. Yes, sir. He is a participant in the meeting that occurs at the
1 Hotel Fontana at 1000 hours on 12 July 1995.
2 Q. All right. Let me just ask you one more question about this, and
3 we'll go into it in a bit more detail tomorrow.
4 Number 1, it says:
5 "Acting in accordance with your dispatch, I contacted the
6 civilian commissioner in Bratunac, Miroslav Deronjic."
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, Your Honours, I believe the former testimony
8 of Miroslav Deronjic is in evidence in this case as 92 bis -- excuse me,
9 92 quater, because he is no longer with us.
10 Q. So, Mr. Butler, can you tell us briefly who Mr. Deronjic is? I
11 mean, we see this "civilian commissioner in Bratunac," but can you add to
12 that a bit?
13 A. Yes, sir. Miroslav Deronjic was a prominent member of the party
14 in and around the municipality of Bratunac from the very beginning of the
15 conflict. He is appointed by President Karadzic on 11 July 1995 to be
16 the civilian commissioner for Srebrenica municipality.
17 Q. And when you say "the party," do you remember the name of that
18 party, Karadzic's party?
19 A. The SDS, sir.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I think on that note, Mr. President, we've
21 run out of time.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, we have to adjourn for the day.
23 I take it you will deal with binders 2 and 3 tomorrow. Is that
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, that's the plan. We -- I hope to get
1 through binder 3, and then we'll have the remaining convoy documents
2 which are out there as well. And I'll do my best to get through this as
3 efficiently as possible.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you have any time estimation?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm afraid anything I say is going to be wrong,
6 and I probably won't finish tomorrow. Looking at these documents,
7 there's -- because there's 92 bis witnesses involved, like Deronjic,
8 I think Mr. Butler can help really put together some of the facts that
9 will help make this make more sense, because your volume of 92 bis and
10 92 ter and 92 quater is such that without this discussion, it becomes
11 much harder to make sense out of. So I think it's going to take me
12 probably tomorrow and a good part of the next session that we have, which
13 I know is Monday.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I only want to draw your attention that the next
15 week is the last week before the summer recess, and we all, the parties
16 and the Chamber, should be aware of that fact and we have to finish with
17 this witness before the summer recess.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I hope we will be able, and Mr. Tolimir must have
20 enough time for his cross-examination.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely. And I know these topics are very
22 important for all of us, especially the general, so I will, of course --
23 will hope the United States, Mr. Butler's employers, will bear with us,
24 as they have over the years, if that's -- not to mention Mr. Butler, in
25 case he has to come back. But, yes, let's -- I will really try to get
1 through this material efficiently so that we can get done with it, if
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 The last document you used was 65 ter 56. I take it that you
5 will continue discussing this document tomorrow.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just asked it -- asked because you didn't
8 tender it yet.
9 We have to adjourn, and resume tomorrow, in the morning, at 9.00
10 in this courtroom.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day of July,
14 2011, at 9.00 a.m.