1 Wednesday, 12 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Mr. McCloskey, are you ready to start?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President, we are.
12 WITNESS: RICHARD JOHN BUTLER [Resumed]
13 Examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Butler. Yesterday you were talking about
15 prisoner responsibilities, and you had discussed one document. Could you
16 go to the next document you've chosen, I believe it's Exhibit 408.
17 A. This document is a Drina Corps document which takes the general
18 guidance that's found in the regulations and puts it into more specific
19 form. And as you can tell from the header information, it's to be sent to
20 the commands of all brigades and all the separate units of the Drina
21 Corps. What I'd like to highlight in this document is starting at the
22 second paragraph where it reflects that from the moment they are captured,
23 enemy soldiers who are put out of action must be treated as prisoners of
24 war in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
25 It also notes several sentences down that in addition to criminal
1 responsibility, persons acting in this way also incur other types of
2 responsibility. The responsibility rests not only with the immediate
3 perpetrators of criminal offenses and inhumane treatment but also by their
4 superior officers because prisoners of war are not the property of
5 individuals or military units, but the responsibility of the VRS and the
6 Republika Srpska.
7 Q. Mr. Butler, in your review of the material, did you -- have you
8 found any reliable indications that the Muslim men that were detained in
9 Potocari and detained in Bratunac on 12, 13, 14 July were ever not the
10 responsibility of the VRS?
11 A. No, sir.
12 Q. Okay. Did you want to say anything else on this document?
13 A. Just moving to the last paragraph, notwithstanding the practical
14 applications of the Geneva Conventions, it is also noted by the leadership
15 of the Drina Corps that one of the reasons why they're doing this is
16 because they're demanding that their prisoners of war be treated in the
17 same manner, because obviously during this period Bosnian Serb soldiers
18 had been captured by Bosnian Muslims and this is one of the major tenets
19 of the prisoner of war treatment. Just to finish, the document signed by
20 the deputy commander chief of staff of the Drina Corps at the time,
21 Colonel Skocajic.
22 Q. All right. And what's the next document you've got on this topic?
23 A. Well, based on this order of 15 July, two days later, the Bratunac
24 Light Infantry Brigade command publishes its own instructions on the
25 treatment of prisoners of war. Moving to the third paragraph, it again
1 notes the fact that according to these provisions, enemy soldiers who are
2 rendered unfit for battle by wounding or surrendered by laying down their
3 weapons are considered prisoners of war from the moment of capture. It
4 reiterates in the next paragraph that, again, prisoners of war are not the
5 responsibility of any one individual or unit but of the Army of Republika
6 Srpska and Republika Srpska itself. And it also notes that in addition to
7 the direct perpetrators of criminal offenses in inhuman acts, superior
8 officers in their unit will also bear any such responsibility.
9 It specifically indicates that the brigade command should be
10 informed when prisoners are taken and that the military police requested
11 to take over the prisoner. It also specifies that wounded prisoners
12 should be transported to the health centre as soon as possible, receive
13 medical treatment and the brigade should be informed of this. The last
14 paragraph on this page reflects the fact that while staying at the
15 military police as the responsibility of the security organs, they should
16 be provided with the accommodation and human conditions and treated in
17 accordance with the provisions of international law. And finally other
18 than the that officials interviewing the prisoners and those in charge of
19 their security, other individuals should be denied access.
20 This, of course, is to safeguard the prisoners. On this last
21 page, again it reflects the fact that Serbian citizens and soldiers are
22 being held captive by the other side and their treatment is reciprocal.
23 The last paragraph, inform all members of units as to how to treat
24 prisoners of war, immediately inform the brigade command of any violations
25 of the provisions. And it is signed by the commander at the time,
1 Colonel Vuksic.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, on the brigade level if large amounts of
3 prisoners are taken, such as in this case, the prisoners stored in
4 Bratunac on the 12th, 13th, 14th of July, what unit in a brigade command
5 structure would normally be -- would share in the responsibility for
6 feeding and caring for the prisoners?
7 A. Well, when you're looking at it in a brigade and a situation,
8 particularly where -- one where you have several hundred prisoners as a
9 minimum number, it is an activity that touches on almost every aspect of
10 the brigade staff. As I noted earlier, the security branch has primary
11 responsibility in sharing the security of the prisoners, the rear services
12 branch has responsibility in feeding the prisoners, attending to their
13 medical care. Certainly in the specific case of the Bratunac Brigade
14 which has a military police platoon of only 30 people, the brigade command
15 is going to have to delegate or designate other units to guard the
16 prisoners. It's a 24-hour job and you're going to have to rotate your
17 people, clearly. So in this particular instance the treatment of
18 prisoners of war, above the one or two or five number issue is going to be
19 an activity that is going to involve significant parts of the brigade
20 staff and components of the command.
21 Q. If the rear services was providing no food support and they were
22 providing no medical support for hundreds and hundreds of prisoners over a
23 two-day period, in your opinion would the commander of that brigade be
24 aware of that fact?
25 A. Given the scope of number of prisoners and the fact that they
1 weren't being cared for, I would find it very unlikely that the brigade
2 commander could not know that.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, at this point, I don't mean to
4 interrupt, and I haven't objected, I don't believe that the form of the
5 questions are proper because they assume facts not in evidence. Now, if
6 the gentleman wishes to state that all those prisoners were the
7 responsibility or belonged to the Bratunac Brigade, then I would like to
8 hear testimony. But the form of the question that was initially posed by
9 the Prosecutor assumes that all these prisoners belong to the Bratunac
10 Brigade. I didn't object in light of yesterday's rulings from the Court,
11 but I do think that a foundation needs to be laid so that at least we know
12 what this gentleman's opinion is. Whose prisoners are all these thousands
13 of people or hundreds or thousands or whatever the number may be that
14 they're talking about. Unless he's differentiating numbers from the
15 Bratunac Brigade that were captured at some point.
16 JUDGE LIU: I understand that this witness is an expert witness.
17 The expert witness is entitled to draw some conclusions in his testimony.
18 I think this is only the witness's opinions or conclusions on this
19 particular matter. I agree with you that it is an important issue in this
20 case. Mr. Karnavas, you have the full right to cross-examine this witness
21 at a later stage.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 Mr. McCloskey, you may proceed.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 THE WITNESS: One final issue, if I could, on this particular
2 document, is again noting its date of 17 July. And certainly this
3 document would have been in effect several months afterwards when we have
4 information that Colonel Blagojevic was the acting chief of staff of the
5 unit at the time. So this is certainly an instruction that as the acting
6 chief of staff he would have been aware of.
7 Q. All right. Now, let's change gears again as we -- in the
8 chronological narrative that we are going through. Can we -- can you give
9 us the briefest background as we approach the actual attack on the
10 Srebrenica enclave, and I noticed you've picked Exhibit 410, a Drina Corps
11 order dated 6 July, exhibit -- yes, 410.
12 A. By way of a quick background, the attack, while it was initially
13 planned to commence early on the 4th or 5th of July, in fact, began on the
14 morning of the 6th of July. And as much of the evidence that's in my
15 report indicates, the attack started off well, there was some resistance.
16 But by the 6th of July, the units involved in Krivaja 95 were relatively
17 decisively engaged in combat and were moving forward rather successfully.
18 What this document does represents a report from the Drina Corps IKM, or
19 forward command post to the commands of the brigades, one ordering the
20 continuation of attacks and updating where the units have reached their
21 positions for the day.
22 Q. Can you just concentrate on what the Bratunac Brigade was doing
23 according to this document, if anything.
24 A. In paragraph 4, the fourth bullet notes that with support, forces
25 in contact, the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and in this case we're
1 not talking about the entire brigade, just those auxiliary forces which
2 we've talked about yesterday, is taking over the Divljakinja area and
3 shall be ready to continue the attack towards Gradac.
4 Q. All right. Can you continue your brief through to this time frame
5 and just giving us the highlights so we can have a background as we
6 approach the fall of the enclave, specifically concentrating on what the
7 Bratunac Brigade is doing and anything you have about the commander of
8 that brigade.
9 A. Well, moving to Exhibit P411, reflecting what the Bratunac Brigade
10 is doing during that period, is the daily combat report for the Bratunac
11 Light Infantry Brigade. And it again notes that they're conducting fire
12 support activities. And in paragraph 2 reflecting that
13 the brigade commander is at the IKM in Pribicevac and notes that the chief
14 of staff and the staff are at the observation post of the 2nd Infantry
15 Battalion. One of the things I would like to highlight that we discussed
16 yesterday, on the handwritten version of the draft report, and I noted
17 where we talk about an instance where the commander was signed or an
18 individual signed for him, and I just wanted to illustrate where you have
19 the "za," and then you have the signature of another officer. In this
20 particular instance it's Lieutenant Micic, who is an operations officer of
21 the brigade, and he is designated to sign for the commander on the daily
22 combat reports.
23 There is another daily combat report on 7 July. It is Prosecution
24 Exhibit 412. Again, in paragraph 2 notes the location of the brigade
25 commander in the 3rd Infantry Battalion command post and the brigade chief
1 of staff at the observation post of the brigade command.
2 Moving on to 8 July, paragraph 2 again noting the location of the
3 brigade commander. And noting that other officers are located in
4 battalion command posts. And this reflects back to the Bratunac Brigade
5 daily reports log that we discussed earlier, noticing that the brigade
6 commander wanted elements of his brigade staff at the battalion command
7 post to ensure activities are being carried out, as per directive. And
8 this is Prosecution Exhibit 413.
9 This is Prosecution Exhibit now 414. And as we discussed in my
10 previous testimony and it's in my report as well, we've highlighted as a
11 result of the operational directives, particularly 7 and 7.1 that the
12 objective was not to ever take the urban area of Srebrenica, but it was to
13 separate the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves and to compress the safe area
14 for the Srebrenica enclave into the urban area itself. On 9 July, based
15 on the success of military operations to date, the president of the
16 Republika Srpska, as of course the supreme commander, changes the
17 direction of the operation and now directs that the operation is to
18 actually capture and occupy the very town of Srebrenica.
19 Q. Mr. Butler, we didn't go over it, but in the Krivaja 95 attack
20 plan, was there any section that mentioned the possibility of further
21 activities and the objectives noted to separate and reduce the enclave?
22 A. I don't believe so, sir.
23 Q. Was there any section that or any comments about going forward if
24 the chances arose?
25 A. There was in the op plan. They were to be prepared to take
1 advantage of a situation, but in this particular instance, I don't
2 anticipate that anyone had anticipated the success of the operation was
3 going to go and be as successful to actually lead to this as rapidly as it
4 did. The reason why I'll note that is when you see events in future days,
5 it becomes clear that the VRS did not anticipate the success of its own
6 military operation as fast as it occurred and the events that occur
8 This particular document is signed General Tolimir, and of course
9 he is the assistant commander for intelligence and security at the Main
11 Q. And I note this document in paragraph 4 insists that the UNPROFOR
12 members and Muslim civilian populations be guaranteed safety in the event
13 they cross over to the territory of Republika Srpska?
14 A. That is correct, sir. It also notes that they're banning the
15 torching of residential buildings, again in light of the fact that they
16 want to be able to occupy the area themselves now and don't want to have
17 to rebuild the city.
18 Q. And what's the next document in the narrative?
19 A. This is Prosecution Exhibit 415. This is the 9 July daily combat
20 report, so it's the same day. And again it notes that the commander of
21 the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade is still at the IKM in the 3rd
22 Battalion area. It reflects that the chief of staff is in the 1st
23 Battalion area and that other officers of the brigade command are at the
24 IKMs of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Battalion. One issue I would like to
25 highlight also is paragraph number 5 where we see one of the constant
1 occurrences there is a result of the minefields and everything else laid.
2 Soldiers are getting injured on mines and the location of minefields
3 becomes a priority issue further down the line.
4 Q. And paragraph 7 talks about 15 UNPROFOR soldiers fled to the RS
5 territory and were brought into the brigade command and then put up at the
6 Hotel Fontana. Do you have any information concerning that?
7 A. Well, notwithstanding the testimony of Captain First Class Nikolic
8 at the time, we do have references in the military police log of the
9 Bratunac Infantry Brigade that the military police do, in fact, have the
10 good job of guarding the soldiers at the Hotel Fontana during this period.
11 Q. Were those soldiers used in any way in the discussions between the
12 VRS command and the UN command?
13 A. The -- on the 11th of July when the NATO airforce at the direction
14 of UNPROFOR started bombing VRS positions just outside of Srebrenica,
15 those soldiers were effectively threatened with execution if the UNPROFOR
16 and NATO did not stop the bombing of VRS soldiers.
17 Q. Do you know why UNPROFOR soldiers might have fled to the RS
18 territory at around this time as opposed to going back through Muslim
20 A. Well, particularly on 9 July and afterwards, there was a
21 significant amount of resentment by the members of the 28th Division and
22 the Bosnian Muslims in general that the Dutch Battalion and UNPROFOR did
23 not protect them as they saw their mandate to be. And, in fact, was
24 falling back and giving up territory. As a result, in a lot of cases, the
25 Dutch Battalion soldiers felt safer putting themselves in the custody of
1 the VRS as opposed to trying to withdraw back through Bosnian Muslims
2 lines. I believe one case on the 9th that is borne out by the fact that a
3 Dutch soldier is killed by grenade fragments thrown by a Bosnian Muslim
5 Q. All right. Let's go on to the 10th of July. I believe the next
6 document you've chosen is Exhibit 417, a 10 July daily combat report on
7 the Bratunac Brigade.
8 A. I'm sorry this is Prosecution Exhibit 416.
9 Q. 416.
10 A. And it is the daily combat report from 10 July 1995. Looking at
11 paragraph 2, again it notes where the brigade commander is, where the
12 brigade chief of staff is, and the rest of the commanding officers are at
13 observation posts, according to plan. It also, for the first time,
14 reflects the physical presence on the ground in the brigade zone of
15 General Mladic, who of course is the commander of the VRS, Major General
16 Zivanovic, who is the Drina Corps commander. It notes the continuing
17 presence of Major General Krstic, as well as the commanders of other corps
18 level brigades who are participating.
19 Paragraph 5 notes that individual named Sreten Petrovic, who is
20 the deputy commander of the 3rd Battalion, suffered serious injuries in
21 his thigh and forearm. And in this instance, then Lieutenant Petrovic was
22 one of the officers leading the Bratunac Brigade's auxiliary attack in
23 support of the main operation. As it turns out, his injuries are not as
24 serious as reported and within several days he is back on duty.
25 As a component of General Mladic being on the ground there, an
1 order is given by General Mladic that is Worker's Battalion or all people
2 eligible for compulsory work are to be mobilised and are to report to the
3 brigade headquarters by 1800 hours on 10 July. And as we've noted before,
4 this is an instance where an authorised staff officer signs for the
5 brigade commander. Again, in this particular case it is Major Eskic who
6 is the chief of personnel services for the brigade, and if you look just
7 under the brigade stamp there you can see the "za."
8 At this particular time we'll go back to this document which is
9 labelled Prosecution Exhibit 386. While the army is attempting to
10 mobilise as much manpower as possible, at the same time police units are
11 being designated to also go to Bratunac. And I believe we've discussed
12 this document in detail earlier.
13 Q. All right. So let's now go to 11 July.
14 A. This is the 11 July daily combat report for the Bratunac Brigade.
15 And while Srebrenica, the town itself, actually came under VRS control
16 approximately 1500 hours on 11 July, because of the drafting of the report
17 and when it was sent, it's not reflected in this. However, it does note
18 that the NATO airforce was active on a few occasions and that the brigade
19 commander in paragraph 2 is still in the 3rd Battalion area of
21 Q. And what area is Pribicevac in, which battalion area?
22 A. That is the 3rd Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade.
23 Q. And --
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, for the sake of the record, please
25 identify the number of the document.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry. That was 419.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: July 11th, daily combat report. Thank you,
4 Mr. President.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, have you reviewed the video of General Mladic and
6 others going through Srebrenica on 11 July?
7 A. Yes, sir, I'm familiar with that video.
8 Q. And do you recall the -- at one point in the video, General Mladic
9 is surrounded by some of his brigade commanders and others and says, "On
10 to Potocari, on to Bratunac." And then Vinko Pandurevic enters in briefly
11 and says, "But we need to take the hills," something to that effect?
12 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
13 Q. On 11 July, did the VRS actually follow General Mladic's orders
14 and actually take Potocari?
15 A. No, sir, they did not.
16 Q. And what -- how far did they get? Where did their positions
17 consolidate at the end of the evening of 11 July, the VRS, that is?
18 A. The VRS by 11 July had managed to consolidate their positions from
19 the Srebrenica area just beyond the town of Srebrenica and into the hills
20 above the town. One of the problems that had occurred is that on the 10th
21 of July, the forces of the Bosnian Muslim 28th Division made a decision to
22 break contact and to attempt to begin a withdrawal towards the Tuzla area.
23 This fact was not known to the VRS at the time. When you look at that
24 video and you have General Mladic exhorting his brigade commanders to move
25 on immediately to Potocari, what happens after that is his brigade
1 commanders meet in counsel and discuss with General Mladic and reflect the
2 fact that they've lost contact with the 28th Infantry Division, and that
3 it would not be prudent to move forward until they knew where it was and
4 what it was doing. So as I understand it, General Mladic relented to that
5 point and they spent the evening in and around the Srebrenica area making
6 plans to continue offensive operations on the morning of the 12th.
7 Q. From your study and analysis, do you have any indications where
8 the VRS first thought the Muslim 28th Division folks were?
9 A. At this point in time, the VRS decided or determined that the most
10 likely spot for the 28th Division was that they would have withdrawn into
11 an area of -- that the Srebrenica or former enclave known as the Bardera
12 triangle, which is roughly south-west of Srebrenica. And a very hilly
13 area which UNPROFOR had not normally been permitted access to. So during
14 the evening of the 11th, the plans were made, and on the morning of the
15 12th, the bulk of the VRS's military forces began sweep operations of that
16 area. In fact, the Bosnian Muslim forces of the 28th Infantry Division
17 did not go into that area at all and instead were withdrawing to the
18 Jaglici area where they were going to prepare for their breakout towards
20 Q. By the early morning hours of 12 July did the VRS start to get
21 some indications of where the Muslims were really going?
22 A. Yes, sir, they did. As the evidence will indicate, units that
23 were on the north and west side of the enclave opposite Susica and
24 opposite Jaglici were starting to pick up indications that there was a
25 large body of Muslim men in that area and that they were beginning to
1 break through the minefields there. What you see in a series of
2 intercepts is the reports by these units that they're seeing hundreds of
3 men in an area that they were not anticipating. And the flow of
4 information from that lowest level until it ultimately reaches the
5 leadership of the VRS in Bratunac at that time, unfortunately for the VRS
6 too late for them to be able to change the activities of the army that
7 they had planned that day.
8 Q. Okay. Let's go through some of those intercepts and documents
9 about the column, and I believe the first one is Exhibit 420, an intercept
10 from 12 July at 056 hours?
11 A. I'm sorry this one is 0656 hours.
12 Q. Yes, 0656 hours. What can you make of this intercept?
13 A. Well, technically the two subscribers are unidentified, but from
14 the context of the conversation you can clearly tell that subscriber X is
15 passing information on groups of hundreds of individuals and the route
16 that they're taking. It also talks about that one of the problems that
17 they're having is that the route that is being taken is a gap that has
18 existed between the deployed forces of the Milici Light Infantry Brigade
19 and the deployed forces of the Bratunac Infantry Brigade. And already the
20 army is discussing whether or not there are forces available from the MUP
21 that can be used to plug that gap.
22 Q. Can you just briefly describe for the Court where the areas of
23 Bokcin Potok and Kamenica and Pobodje are? What is that general area as
24 it relates to -- do you have that -- it's probably best that we just hand
25 you that map again. And that is P85.
1 A. If we can zoom in a little bit just on the Bratunac Brigade area.
2 That's good. Just to, again, orient the town of Srebrenica, now this area
3 right here just north of the Jadar River, there is the area that I
4 previously referred to as the Bardera triangle area. This village complex
5 of Jaglici and Susnjari, again at the north end of the former enclave at
6 this time, and the areas in question that we're talking about are along
7 this red line, these villages, it's roughly here. Now again, as I
8 previously discussed, movement in this area is very hilly and, of course,
9 it's dictated by terrain. The valley route that the column took was well
10 known to the VRS, and as a result while they did not have actual forces in
11 there, they had placed mines.
12 Q. This comment about, "They started passing through my battalion,"
13 what are the options for the battalions that could be?
14 A. At this particular juncture, you have one wing of the Milici
15 Battalion which begins here --
16 Q. For the record, that's just west of the red line, the route of the
18 A. And the other battalion in question is identified up here as the
19 4th Battalion of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
20 Q. Okay. And if you have nothing else to say about that, let's go to
21 the next exhibit, 421.
22 A. You can zoom out a little bit, please, on the ELMO.
23 Q. ELMO, ELMO, ELMO. Thank you.
24 A. This is intercept 12 July at 0740. Obrenovic is noted as one of
25 the subscribers. And in the context of the conversation, recognising
1 where this gap is and the police forces are starting to stream into that,
2 one of the issues that is coming up is, of course, command and control and
3 how to effectively communicate with them. And in this particular
4 instance, the unidentified subscriber indicates that Mane, and in this
5 instance we're talking about Mane Djuric, the deputy head of the CSB
6 Zvornik, will call and that the police in Konjevic Polje have been told to
7 the same as the engineering battalion are doing and that he can give
8 orders to them through the commander of the Engineering Battalion. Again,
9 the MUP is going to piggyback off of the communication's nodes of the
10 Engineer Battalion that exists there nodes.
11 Q. Can you show us the map again, and remind us where the Engineering
12 Battalion is.
13 A. The Engineering Battalion is located right at the intersection of
14 the Bratunac to Konjevic Polje road here, and it's located right at this
16 Q. And based on your analysis, what MUP forces were there that they
17 may have been referring to in this intercept?
18 A. As I had indicated in my narrative, back in March of 1995, because
19 of continuing deployment of the VRS Drina Corps to other locations, some
20 of the security of these key intersections or check areas, and in
21 particular Konjevic Polje, as it was known to be an area where Muslims
22 from the 28th Division exfiltrated out to Tuzla, some of the MUP units
23 were assigned responsibility to patrol these areas. I believe in July of
24 1995, there are elements of the 5th PJP Company from CSB Zvornik that are
25 providing a checkpoint and security at this intersection.
1 Q. Now, this comment that he can give orders to them through the
2 commander of the engineering battalion, does that tell us anything about
3 command, who's commanding who?
4 A. Well, it indicates that with respect to command that the army is
5 the agency that is directing the operations of everyone in that area.
6 Q. And if you don't have any other comments on that intercept, can we
7 go to the next exhibit, 422. And can you start with an explanation of the
9 A. Well, in this particular instance what you have is a conversation
10 between the duty officer at Badem, and Badem is the telephonic code name
11 of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and Zlatar, which is the code name
12 for -- the telephonic code name for the Drina Corps. And in this
13 particular instance, the Drina Corps headquarters is requesting an
14 information update as to the situation regarding the link with the
15 neighbour on the right. And in this particular instance, in the context I
16 believe that the neighbour on the right that they're referring to is the
17 Milici Light Infantry Brigade.
18 It also notes that X at Badem, Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, is
19 noting that General Krstic is present.
20 Q. Now, this is a 12 July intercept, is it not?
21 A. Yes, sir, it is.
22 Q. Now, when it says, "General Krstic, he is up there in his office,"
23 where do you think that would be?
24 A. My analysis of that indicates that the command staff of the Drina
25 Corps was using the headquarters of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade as
1 their own forward command post of the Drina Corps. And that is a practice
2 that is pretty well enshrined in the former JNA regulations as well.
3 Q. Could it mean that he's up there at the Pribicevac forward command
5 A. Potentially, but the phrase, "He is up there in his office," would
6 argue against that. Further, the fact that it's the Badem duty officer,
7 the Badem duty officer, assumably in this position has personal knowledge
8 of the location of General Krstic, otherwise he wouldn't be saying where
9 he is. He would have no way of knowing whether General Krstic was
10 physically at the IKM or touring with the troops. So I think the balance
11 of probabilities here is that General Krstic is physically at the Bratunac
12 Brigade headquarters.
13 Q. There has been some testimony that there was a possible forward
14 command post at the Hotel Fontana. What is your view on the possibility
15 that this is a reference to General Krstic being at the Hotel Fontana?
16 A. I don't believe that's the case. Looking at the documents and
17 falling back on even the testimony of the commander of the communications
18 battalion of the Drina Corps during the Krstic trial, there is no evidence
19 to suggest that a forward command post was established at the Hotel
20 Fontana. There are a lot of practical military reasons why you wouldn't
21 do that. First and foremost is the fact that all of the communications
22 through the military already go through the Bratunac Brigade. And one of
23 the most important functions of he command post, obviously, is the ability
24 of a commander and his staff to be able to communicate with their
25 subordinates and with their superiors.
1 Had the VRS or had the Drina Corps made the decision to establish
2 an operating command post at the Hotel Fontana, it would have required a
3 significant upgrade in the ability or of the communications ability to be
4 able to make that occur.
5 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, I'm sorry to interrupt you. Here
7 we come across the intercept documents. For those documents to be
8 admitted into the evidence, we need some background sources of those
9 documents, so as to know the reliability of those documents. I wonder
10 whether you could ask some questions to this witness concerning the source
11 of those intercepts, or if not, I believe that we still need some
12 corroboration evidence for those documents, the intercepts, to be admitted
13 into the evidence. Because it seems to me that just a part of a notebook
14 or something, we could not see the whole picture of those intercepts.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I had Mr. Butler briefly
16 describe that, but I can have him go into more detail on that. I thought
17 you might have been tired of intercepts, but obviously they're an
18 important piece of evidence and I understand. And I will ask him to go
19 into that in more detail regarding his knowledge, so that as he discusses
20 them you have a better feel for what he knows about them, as I understand
21 your question.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And as Ms. Stewart reminds me, Your Honour, all
24 these intercepts are intercepts that are in the two binders that we have
25 chosen, just for your reference.
1 Q. So, Mr. Butler, can you help us out, as Mr. Karnavas sometimes
2 says, and give us a more detailed background about your knowledge of these
3 particular intercepts. And let's start with -- well, the -- whether or
4 not you studied the ability, the technical ability of the Bosnian Muslims
5 to actually technically acquire the signals of these intercepts.
6 A. Well, starting at the beginning of the intercept story, as far as
7 the OTP is concerned, I was with a group of other individuals actually at
8 one of the sites and discussing the issue of collecting these intercepts.
9 As part of my work there, trying to acquire intercept information that we
10 believed was available, we were shown the wartime collection capabilities
11 of the Bosnian Muslim army. Now, while I obviously can't get into great
12 detail on the subject, as a military analyst, I do have a background in
13 basic communications intelligence capabilities. And in fact, as an
14 analyst, one of the requirements, at least within the U.S. military, is
15 that it is the analyst who ultimately validates the reliability of the
16 information coming from intercepts. So for me to be able to do that
17 effectively, even in my own armed forces, I'm required to at least have a
18 working background of basic communication intercept techniques, tactics,
19 and the procedures.
20 What I am -- again have a lot of confidence in is the fact that
21 the Bosnian Muslim members of 2 Corps and the associated MUP people who
22 were in the next office over understand and understood to a great detail
23 the target environment upon which they were collected.
24 Q. What do you mean by that?
25 A. In an intelligence parlance or terminology, your -- as a
1 collector, you're designated to go after a certain target. In this
2 particular instance, the collectors of the Bosnian Muslim 2 Corps and the
3 MUP were targeted against the multi-channel communications network of the
4 VRS Drina Corps. In particular, two or three specific communications
5 nodes or trunks where all communications went through.
6 Q. What do you mean by that, what is a communications node or trunk?
7 A. In multi-channel radio relays, it is not broadband communications.
8 Multi-channel radio relay is in effect a UHF band transmission that is
9 tried to make as directional as possible through the use of parabolic
10 antennas. I don't want to get into a large discussion as to the radio
11 frequency propagation of parabolic antenna, but what it effectively does
12 is it allows you to channel the majority of the power in one particular
13 direction, lending to clarity of communications between the two
14 subscribers. Now, obviously the Bosnian Muslim collection sites were not
15 located between those two and three trunks that were in existence where
16 the communications went through, and were collecting off of what are known
17 as side-lobe communications. Even with a parabolic antenna, while most of
18 the radio frequency power goes to the front, you have a phenomena known as
19 a side lobe or a back lobe where you have radiated energy that goes off
20 the side of the antenna.
21 Q. Just to clarify, which side is using the parabolic antenna to
22 power their communications?
23 A. That would be the VRS is using the parabolic antennas in order to
24 focus their communications between their multi-channel nodes. So in this
25 particular case, the collection equipment that the Bosnian Muslim 2 Corps
1 had, at least in my experience, was adequate to be able to collect the
2 signals that were emanating off of those antennas from the side. And in
3 retrospect, the VRS communications people actually made it rather easy for
4 them to do that. They did not take what in most militaries would be basic
5 fundamental steps to protect their communications to the most possible
6 degree. For example, in most prudent military situations, your
7 communications equipment, you try and use terrain as much as possible to
8 mask any excess signals that go out, make it harder for someone to
9 collect. In this particular case with the VRS Drina Corps, instead they
10 put the stuff on the highest mountains around ensuring that they could get
11 clear reception, and in doing so they also provided a lucrative target
12 environment for the BiH 2 Corps.
13 So at the first level I'm satisfied as an analyst that the BiH 2
14 Corps collectors at both sites had the technical ability to collect the
16 Q. Mr. Butler, did you actually get to see the kind of equipment in
17 your visit to one of the sites that the Bosnian Muslim army at least told
18 you they were using?
19 A. Yes, sir, I did.
20 Q. We've heard it described as ham radio equipment. Can you briefly
21 describe this equipment and why you believe it was capable of picking up
22 these transmissions?
23 A. Well, in fact, it was for the most part amateur short wave or
24 ultrahigh frequency radios that were modified to collect on these
25 frequencies. Talking to a number of the individuals, in fact they
1 discussed the procedures where, in some cases, the radios were modified by
2 cutting their own crystals in order to allow them to do this. Now, from a
3 technical perspective, while it may very well seem amateurish, the reality
4 is that radio communications is a technology that is almost 100 years old,
5 it is not rocket science, and you know, 14-year-old kids cut their own
6 crystals in countries all over the world to listen to radio. It's an
7 ingenious engineering solution and it is a very low-tech one in order to
8 meet the needs of the army.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, witness. I must confess that I could not
10 fully understand all those technical terms.
11 THE WITNESS: I apologise, sir.
12 JUDGE LIU: My question is very simple, and that is: Do you know
13 where these three particular intercepts come from?
14 THE WITNESS: I'm not particularly -- the intercepts that I use,
15 as a general rule, come from either the Bosnian 2 Corps material or some
16 of the MUP ones. For the most part, I used primarily Bosnian 2 Corps
17 intercepts. I cannot tell you every time I lay an exhibit down whether,
18 it came from the Okresanica site or the Konjuh site. I believe that the
19 witnesses in front of me have, with respect, testified to that already.
20 And as a result, for me as an analyst, what specific site that they
21 actually originated from is not relevant to the actual internal context of
22 the report.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Just one question on that. Were you present at Okresanica when
2 the notebooks were discovered, or were you not present at that time?
3 A. I was present when the notebooks were discovered, sir, yes.
4 Q. Can you briefly describe that.
5 A. After several hours of discussing the issue with the site
6 commander, who was authorised to assist us in any way possible but was
7 sure he didn't have such material, we asked for and gained permission to
8 actually inspect some of the old records and vaults which they had. In
9 the arms room of that facility where they keep their weapons, there was an
10 old vault, nobody knew what was in it, they opened it up and what we found
11 were, in a very haphazard manner, hundreds of notebooks. Clearly they had
12 never been indexed. They had -- doesn't look, at least from my
13 appearance, that they had been touched in years. And the site commander
14 was actually quite surprised that he even had them, because it was his
15 understanding that they had already been sent to Tuzla and the ABiH
16 archives years ago.
17 At that point, once we understood that they were there, we
18 re-closed the safe and immediately obtained permission from our contacts
19 in the ABiH 2 Corps to take the documents in toto or at least the books
20 from June to December of 1995, since our mandate at the time was only to
21 deal with issues relating to Srebrenica in 1995.
22 Q. The notebooks you're talking about, are those little almost square
23 notebooks with pink elephants and children's school notebooks that the
24 intercept operators wrote down the first transcriptions in?
25 A. Yes, sir, they are.
1 Q. And just one last question on that subject: Were you familiar
2 with the various statements that the intercept operators and supervisors
3 originally gave in the investigation as well as the testimony that they
4 provided at the Krstic trial?
5 A. Yes, sir, I am.
6 Q. And did you find any of -- any problems or significant errors in
7 any of their -- in the testimony or investigation record of that material?
8 A. No, sir. No significant errors. Clearly in some of the text
9 translations from various sites, there are minor discrepancies. And of
10 course that is to be expected under the circumstances, at least my
11 opinion. But I am -- as I said, I have a high degree of confidence
12 because I've spent several years working the validation process of these
13 intercepts. If I had any doubts to their authenticity, and again as I
14 said, I would begin the process extremely skeptical. If I had any doubts
15 about their authenticity and the fact that they are a reliable indicator
16 of what was being collected at the time, they would not have been before
17 the Court in the Krstic case and they wouldn't be before you now, sir.
18 Q. There's been mention of Croatian intercepts that were captured in
19 a search in Mostar. Have you, as the investigation team, been able to
20 carefully evaluate and analyse that material?
21 A. That group or that batch of material of intercepts is primarily a
22 series of intercepts that were seized by SFOR as a result of their own
23 weapons collection and intelligence activity in Mostar. And it has to do
24 with Croatian military or HVO intercepts of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian
25 Serb communications. We have reviewed that for the July 1995 and beyond
1 process as part of one looking for information that would lead generally
2 to Srebrenica, as well as our Rule 68 obligations. I don't believe that
3 any of intercepts - there may be one or two - that have even some
4 bearing to general issues of the Drina Corps at that time and nothing
5 that's Rule 68. Again, as a matter of their ability to collect, the Drina
6 Corps is the furthest location from where that collection was occurring.
7 We're still learning much about how they did that. There are still other
8 investigation teams who are presently doing activities are related to
9 that, which I don't think I can discuss in public session. However, from
10 sheer physical distance, the Drina Corps represented the least lucrative
11 target for the Croatian army intercept operators, and as a result we see
12 almost no traffic with respect to the Drina Corps during that period.
13 Q. So as far as you know, the Srebrenica investigation has -- have
14 they been able to study the material, the intercept operators of that
15 Mostar material, as we have for this set of Bosnian 2 Corps intercepts?
16 A. This particular investigation has not been able to do that with
17 the operators from the Mostar collection. That is being accomplished, I
18 understand, by their investigation teams for a different case.
19 Q. So have you used any of those materials in your analysis?
20 A. No, sir, I have not.
21 JUDGE LIU: A technical question, that is we have two pieces of
22 intercepts that bear the same exhibit number. Can you give us an
23 explanation on that. I think one with the 65 ter number is 894. The
24 other is the 907, but they have the same exhibit number, that is 422/A.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Stewart may be the expert on that, Your
1 Honour, and I'm sure we can sort that out at the break and make sure we
2 clear that up properly.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you. You may proceed.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. All right. Let's leave -- that was the last intercept of this
6 grouping that we were talking about. And we are on July 12 going in a
7 chronological order regarding the events of that day. Can you tell us
8 what the next document you chose for your narrative, unless there's some
9 other information you wanted to talk about in that intercept -- actually
10 perhaps we haven't gotten to that intercept yet. I'm slightly confused.
11 422, let's talk about that.
12 A. This is a 12 July intercept at 1345 hours. And again it
13 illustrates the fact that the duty operations officer Zlatar and another
14 subscriber, which I believe is the Bratunac Brigade --
15 Q. Why do you believe that?
16 A. In the lower end of the text here where it says, "O," it
17 indicates, "Please, I can just put you up there to General Krstic. He's
18 in charge of the attack."
19 General Krstic being at the Bratunac Brigade or in that area.
20 Nothing of significance per se, but again a general continuation of the
21 story that as the day wears on through 12 July 1995, the army in general
22 and the duty officers and then subsequently the leadership of the Drina
23 Corps and the other formations there are learning that the military threat
24 posed by the column on the north side of the enclave is growing. And
25 again, keeping in context that most of the manoeuvre forces at this time
1 are engaged in sweeping operations at the south of the enclave in the
2 Bardera triangle. So in simple terms, the most capable forces of the army
3 are in the wrong place.
4 Q. All right. Then switching gears from the intercepts of the 12th,
5 let's get into some of the documents that you've chosen to help illustrate
6 command-related issues, what various commands were informed of and
7 informing others.
8 A. This particular document Prosecution Exhibit 423 is a 12 July 1995
9 report by the main office of the RS RDB, which is the Republika Srpska
10 state security service to the deputy minister and the head of the public
11 security department personally, and the head of the RS MUP in Bijeljina
12 personally. What these reports are, are effectively intelligence reports
13 collected by the security service and being passed up the MUP chain of
14 command for the information of the political leadership. And what these
15 reports indicate is the general knowledge of the security people from the
16 state security service in and around Bratunac at the time pertaining to
17 the situation with respect to the VRS, with the Dutch, and with the
18 Bosnian Muslim civilians in and around Potocari.
19 Q. What can you tell us about -- do you know the identities or the
20 numbers of state security agents in the area of Potocari/Bratunac at this
22 A. It is my understanding that the investigation has learned and, in
23 fact, have interviewed two individuals who we know were state security
24 officers in the Bratunac at the time.
25 Q. All right. And what is you wanted to discuss in this document
1 related to knowledge issues or command issues?
2 A. Well, and taking into account the time attributed to the reporting
3 process, most of the information, even though this report is dated 12
4 July, pertains to events occurring on the 11th of July. And in the first
5 paragraph it notes that they're aware that 20.000 Muslim refugees came
6 into the UN Dutch headquarters in Potocari and they're also talking about
7 another 60.000 refugees left Srebrenica for the north.
8 Now, obviously that number is a bit inflated.
9 Q. Well, how, just in your review of these documents from state
10 security, how accurate are they? Relatively, not specifically?
11 A. Well, like all intelligence collectors, and in this particular
12 case the people writing the report are intelligence collectors, they are
13 reporting what they hear. At this particular level, they're not doing any
14 analysing within context or validating information, they're just reporting
15 the events on the ground as they hear them or understand them. So while
16 their reporting is accurate, in a sense that the information that they're
17 reporting is what they heard, it later becomes a judgement call as to just
18 how accurate that information is in context with the other events. And
19 there will be instances where they forward reports that are erroneous. In
20 this particular case, I am not asking that the information on this report
21 be relied on as the definitive answer of what was happening on the ground,
22 however, I'm using these reports to provide an idea of what the general
23 perception of events were as they were being reported by the RDB at the
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour. The gentleman indicated
1 that there were two state security officers on the ground. He didn't
2 mention any names. I understand the Court's rulings, however, if I'm
3 going to be cross-examining the gentleman, I should at least have advance
4 notice as to who he's referring to so at least I can be prepared in my
5 cross, as opposed to learning it on cross, asking him who were these
6 officers and then having to dig through. Otherwise I'm going to be in a
7 position of trying to find a needle in a hay stack. So if the gentleman
8 is going to be making references as to information received from certain
9 individuals, if he could reveal the names, and we can go into private
10 session, but it would be very helpful and I think it would be helpful also
11 to the Judges as well. Thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, could you please be kind enough to give
13 more information about names of those two persons. If you need, we could
14 go to private session.
15 THE WITNESS: I don't believe it's necessary. Right now I know
16 the two individuals and I can't remember their names, and I can get their
17 names over the break, sir, if that will make everyone -- it's not a
18 problem at all.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can give the names to Mr. Karnavas, no problem.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I would like the names on the record, Your Honour,
22 that's all. I appreciate the Prosecution's efforts to help us out here,
23 but I would also like it on the record. Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll come back to that issue after the break.
25 And we'll resume until quarter to 11.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I believe that those problems
4 have been solved during the break.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. And I can fix the three that
6 we've mistakenly given double numbers for on the record right now, I
7 think, if you'd like me to. We had mistakenly used 420 for original
8 Exhibit 179. We mistakenly used 421 as original Exhibit 181. And we
9 mistakenly 422 as original Exhibit 185. Now, there will be other
10 intercepts that were accidentally given a new number, and as we get those,
11 we'll correct them as we go and we'll fix the whole thing tonight and get
12 out a new list so we can change that and clear it up.
13 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Sorry, may I ask for a clarification. You said
14 that 422 is original Exhibit 185. Which of the two 422s we have? Can you
15 give the ERN number, because they are different. And there are different
16 channels and times, so perhaps you can rely on that.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I've got -- sorry, now I'm getting completely
18 confused. I've got new numbers in front of me now, so maybe we just
19 better fix this at the break. Now they're giving me new numbers and I
20 apologise. It's my fault. We thought we had it organised and we
21 apparently don't, I see. Janet will explain something very simple to me,
22 I'm sure, but right now it's not registering very well, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Just in case, the two 422s we have, the two
24 intercepts, one is the number -- the ERN number finished in 4936 and the
25 other one whose got the same number here finished in 5897. So which one
1 is the --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh, I've got you now. You're using ERN numbers,
3 you've got that all figured out. Good.
4 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Yes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: The 936 ERN is the -- originally was the 185. And
6 the 897 was originally P194. Now, are there other multiples -- that was
7 the only multiple, so that fixes that and we'll fix it as we go. Thank
8 you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. All right, Mr. Butler, let's now just clear up for the record, can
12 you tell us now who the two state security people were that you believe
13 were on the ground at the time.
14 A. Yes, sir. The name of one individual is Mr. Vitomir Tomic. And
15 the second individual is named Sinisa Glogovac.
16 Q. And do you know whether or not any of these people were
17 interviewed by the OTP?
18 A. I know that Mr. Vitomir Tomic was interviewed by the OTP.
19 Q. All right. Now, is there anything else you wanted to point out
20 regarding Exhibit 423, that first 12 July state security report?
21 A. No, sir. That's good.
22 Q. All right. And so we'll be going through the 12th of July, some
23 of the documents of the various entities and commands to indicate flow of
24 information and knowledge on this important day. What's the next exhibit
25 you want to discuss?
1 A. It will be Exhibit Number 424. It is another report from the
2 Sarajevo RDB. And in this particular instance, just drawing the Court's
3 attention to the first paragraph where it starts to become more broader
4 knowledge concerning the issues of the column, what the army is doing, and
5 I believe the third or fourth sentence it discusses the meetings on the
6 evening 11 of July between the Muslim representatives under the mediation
7 of UNPROFOR.
8 Further down it notes that new negotiations are scheduled for the
9 morning of the 12th and that the RDB is verifying reports of over 10.000
10 Muslims staying on the premises of the business companies in Potocari,
11 guarded by UNPROFOR DutchBat units. It also raises the issue that given
12 the fear of Muslim extremists and their attempts to break out, that the
13 road between Pale and Zvornik might become vulnerable.
14 Q. All right. The Trial Chamber has seen some documents with time
15 stamps or time indications at the end of them that give us some indication
16 of the time of the document. Is there any way to figure out the time when
17 this document was drafted or sent or received?
18 A. No, sir, there is not. There is not a time stamp on the original
19 B/C/S version. And other than the date itself, the only indication of
20 what time during the day that it might have been sent would have to be
21 derived from our own empirical knowledge of what events were occurring on
22 the ground that they're talking about in context.
23 Q. So when it says in the middle of that big second paragraph, "As a
24 result new negotiations for scheduled for the morning of 12 July." What
25 do you think that is a reference to?
1 A. Well, again, I take that as an indication that this report or this
2 piece of information was acquired and drafted out between the meetings at
3 the end of 11 July, and with the knowledge that there are scheduled
4 meetings on the 12th of July that have not yet occurred.
5 Q. And what particular meeting do you think that is, if you do?
6 A. Those are the meetings, the two that occurred on the 11th between
7 members of the VRS, the Dutch and the Bosnian Muslim representatives at
8 the Hotel Fontana. And the meeting on the morning of 12 July, is in fact,
9 what I call the third meeting of that series.
10 Q. And what is the next document in this series that you want to
12 A. Another one from 12 July, again moving on to generally set the
13 framework of what people are aware of in the area, noting that on 12 July
14 information that the RDB is getting from their sources is that the
15 humanitarian situation is worse than ever. They estimate that 30.000
16 people in and around the Dutch Battalion base and also that a group of
17 8.000 are trying to reach the UNPROFOR base at Gornji Potocari. So a
18 rough number of how many people are streaming into the Potocari area. One
19 sentence in particular, "According to reports by military observers, there
20 is not a single armed soldier of the so-called BH army among these
22 In this context, I believe the military observers that they're
23 talking about are information that they are gleaning from the UN military
24 observers. It also talks about issues related to the last meeting on the
25 12th of July, 1995, where that the Dutch Battalion commander proposed that
1 UNPROFOR provide 20 buses and complete the evacuation in rounds of a
2 thousand people.
3 Q. Okay. Let's go on to the next document and can you identify what
4 this document is, what entity or organisation it's from. This is Exhibit
6 A. Yes, sir. This is a series of orders that we have from the
7 Ministry of Defence of the Republika Srpska, in this particular case
8 Zvornik Secretariat, which references the general mobilisation of buses
9 from all over Eastern Bosnia. Those buses which will subsequently be used
10 for the movement of the Bosnian Muslim people out of Potocari and will
11 also be used subsequently for the movement of prisoners. This order went
12 out on the morning of 12 July. It references a Main Staff order regarding
13 the mobilisation of buses and you can see effectively the process by which
14 the Ministry of Defence is requisitioning civilian buses and directing
15 that they are sent to Bratunac.
16 Q. Do you have the Main Staff army order that's references here, do
17 you know?
18 A. No, sir, I do not.
19 Q. And is this -- you mentioned a series. Is this one, are there
20 others like it or related to it?
21 A. There are -- on 12 July, there are two additional ones, two other
22 areas. And on 13 July, there are three more mobilisation orders for
23 additional buses and transportation assets.
24 Q. You've just chosen this one as a representative example?
25 A. Yes, sir, 12 July.
1 Q. What's the next document, I believe 427.
2 A. This is a Drina Corps order also with respect to the provision of
3 buses to all of its subordinate formations. While the Ministry of Defence
4 was mobilising buses within the civil community, within the military
5 structure of the Drina Corps, the Drina Corps commander was directing that
6 all the units listed here mobilise their buses that are under military
7 control and again send them to Bratunac.
8 It's noted that this order goes to the commands of the 1st Zvornik
9 Infantry Brigade, the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade, the 2nd Romanija
10 Motorised Brigade, the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the 1st and
11 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade and the 1st Milici Light Infantry
13 Q. Should the commander of the Bratunac Brigade at this time know
14 about this order and this process of requisitioning buses to be used for
15 the transportation as stated?
16 A. Given that this order is sent by the commander of the Drina Corps,
17 this is something that the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade commander
18 should have been aware of.
19 Q. On 12 July, do you have any documents or intercepts to indicate
20 the location of Vidoje Blagojevic?
21 A. No, sir, I do not.
22 Q. All right. Does this actually make any reference to the Bratunac
23 Brigade providing any buses?
24 A. Yes, sir, it does in the second paragraph, where it notes that the
25 buses that are provided by the Zvornik Infantry Brigades and the Bratunac
1 Light Infantry Brigade shall be filled up at their own commands, which
2 means the units responsible have to make sure that they have appropriate
4 Q. And what part of the Bratunac Brigade would be involved in the
6 A. That would normally fall under the province of the assistant
7 commander for rear services, Major Trisic.
8 Q. All right. Now, let's go to the next document in the narrative
9 which should be original number and proper number P180, if we will ignore
10 what is marked on this exhibit. We will have that corrected.
11 A. This is an intercept on 12 July 1995 which reflects one of the
12 issues that I went into in detail in my narrative, which was the
13 involvement of the Drina Corps in the actual process of assembling the
14 buses and controlling the movement of those buses, making sure they are
15 showing up in the appropriate place at the appropriate time. In this
16 particular intercept, an individual called Krstic and an individual as
17 Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic. Now, Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic is
18 identified as the transportation services officer of the Drina Corps.
19 Q. And according to this intercept, these buses are supposed to
20 report at 1700 at the Bratunac stadium?
21 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
22 Q. Would the Bratunac Brigade normally be involved in any of this
23 process that Krstic and Krsmanovic appear to be involved in from this
25 A. Well, certainly as indicated by Krstic in this case, Bratunac is
1 sending buses. And given the location and physical proximity of the
2 Bratunac Brigade to the Bratunac stadium, it would have been logical for
3 the assistant commander of rear services to be greatly assisting the
4 transportation services chief of the Drina Corps in facilitating this
5 process. Logically they have the best knowledge of the situation in and
6 around Bratunac with respect to all of the requirements necessary to
7 accomplish this.
8 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit which should be properly
9 marked as 184. Again, let's ignore the marking in the right corner. And
10 just briefly, what is this?
11 A. This is a synopsis of a 12 July conversation which reflects,
12 again, Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, some subscriber, we're not sure who,
13 informing him that they only have two buses available and that they have
14 no fuel for these buses.
15 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one. It should be conversation
16 at 1200 hours on the 12th. It should be P186. Again, ignoring the
17 right-hand corner.
18 A. This is a conversation again discussing the process of collecting
19 buses from all over Eastern Bosnia. The individual listed there, Rado
20 Kovac, it is my understanding that he an individual associated with the
21 logistics organs of the Main Staff. And it notes the fact that they're
22 sending empty tanker trucks and also the request had been forwarded for
23 fuel to Krstic.
24 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one, P188, a conversation at 1210
25 hours or a brief reference, I should say.
1 A. Again in this brief reference, a conversation noted between Krstic
2 and Krsmanovic. And this is the first indication that rather than
3 beginning the movement of the population from Potocari on 12 July at 1700
4 or from the marshalling at the Bratunac stadium, that apparently the plan
5 has changed and they want to begin the movement immediately.
6 Q. Again, we hear the name Krstic. Who do you think this is?
7 A. This is General Major Krstic who at this time is still the chief
8 of staff of the Drina Corps.
9 Q. Okay. And let's go to another conversation on the 12th, P189. It
10 does not have a time on it in the exhibit that we have.
11 A. In this particular exhibit, it's just the continuing process that
12 a member -- the most logical member, in fact, of the Drina Corps staff is
13 involved in continuing to try to assemble transportation assets.
14 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next exhibit, P190, another intercept,
15 1220. This time it appears to be labelled as a CSB or MUP intercept.
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. What is it about this that you find significant in the narrative?
18 A. Well, again as alluded to in the narrative, and as I've testified
19 prior, one of the most significant resources in the VRS at the time or
20 lack of resources is the issue of fuel. With the embargo from Serbia in
21 place and fuel was a highly rationed and valuable resource, which units
22 there had to ration and report on daily. What they're doing here is this
23 is a conversation referencing an individual Miletic who, I believe, is
24 Major General Miletic of the Main Staff, chief of operations. And they're
25 talking about the acquiring of over 200 tons of fuel and in this case
1 they're not sure whether it's 200 litres or 200 tons, but the movement of
2 fuel with respect to the trucks and buses that are still leaving for these
3 areas and heading towards Bratunac.
4 Q. You have described General Miletic as chief of operations. On
5 July 12th, what position do you think he was filling?
6 A. Well, as I've discussed previously, on July 12th due to the
7 absence of General Milovanovic, General Major Miletic was also performing
8 the function of the acting chief of staff of the VRS.
9 Q. Okay. Going on to the next exhibit, P434.
10 A. In this case, again discussing the issue of fuel where the command
11 of the Drina Corps is requesting fuel from the Main Staff officially,
12 10.000 litres of diesel, 2.000 of petrol. And essentially
13 General Zivanovic is saying as soon as the fuel is made available, we'll
14 pick up -- we'll make arrangements to have it picked up.
15 The other interesting note in this particular instance is
16 second-to-last line of the paragraph starting on 12 July where it notes
17 that, at least in this respect, the final destination of the buses is not
19 Q. Can you tell whether that's the final destination towards where
20 it's going to pick people up versus whether or not it's final destination
21 towards where it was going to let them off? Can you tell that regarding
22 what the final destination might be?
23 A. Given -- in context with the earlier Drina Corps order which talks
24 about buses going to the Bratunac stadium, I read this in context then to
25 be that the final destination of where the buses will go after Bratunac is
1 yet to be determined.
2 Q. All right. And we still have General Zivanovic signing as
3 commander of the corps. Is that right? Or is that a "za" underneath
5 A. On the original B/C/S version, no, sir, that is
6 General Zivanovic's signature to my knowledge.
7 Q. Okay. Exhibit 435, what is this?
8 A. This is a document -- this is the English language translation of
9 a handwritten document that was found in the security office of the
10 Bratunac Brigade during the OTP search. What this document indicates is a
11 list compiled 12 July, 2100 hours, and it contains lists of bus companies
12 and licence plates and how much fuel was put in the buses on those days.
13 It indicates that in most cases the fuel, in fact, for the buses was
14 provided in Bratunac and not at other locations. And it totals up to
15 3.415 litres according to their calculations.
16 Q. Do you know --
17 A. And this is the B/C/S version of that list.
18 Q. Do you have any information on who actually compiled this list?
19 A. No, sir, I do not.
20 Q. All right. Going back in time to another intercept at 1240 hours,
21 it should be P191, what do you want to point out here?
22 A. This particular intercept between one subscriber, X, and it is
23 identified as Panorama. And Panorama is the telephonic code word for the
24 Main Staff, notes the fact that the evacuation is starting for those who
25 want to go towards Kladanj. And then later down subscriber Y, who we
1 don't know who it is, notes the fact that buses, trucks should be sent, a
2 water tanker should be sent to give them food and water. It's all been
3 organised here, and this subscriber reflects the fact that, "I talked with
4 them and will accept all the civilians who want to and they can stay and
5 those who don't want to can chose to go where they want to go."
6 So in this context, subscriber Y believes that the individuals who
7 are going want to go and that the individuals who want to remain can, in
8 fact, do so.
9 Q. All right. And how does that intercept relate to the charges of
10 forcible transfer in this case?
11 A. Well, clearly in that context, subscriber Y is indicating that to
12 his knowledge, people will have a choice whether they want to be evacuated
13 or whether they want to remain.
14 Q. All right. Let's go to the next intercept. It should be P192.
15 And this is 1250 hours. Ten minutes later -- I believe 10 minutes. Yes.
16 And the last exhibit.
17 A. This is an intercept where the people are identified as
18 General Mladic and an unidentified male person where the issue is again
19 being discussed. In one respect it says here, attributed to
20 General Mladic, monitor the situation, don't let small groups of them
21 sneak in. He notes they've all capitulated and surrendered and will
22 evacuate them all, those who want to and those who don't want to. X
23 reflects, "I understand, General." Mladic is cautioning, "Don't issue any
24 statements and don't interrupt them over the radio station. We'll open a
25 corridor towards Kladanj." And in the last line attributed to General
1 Mladic, making it clear, let them pass there, take a patrol out and make
2 sure that the mines and obstacles are removed from the road that connects
3 the area that we know as the tunnel, the Luke school area, with Kladanj,
4 which is Bosnian Muslim territory.
5 Q. So one of the previous exhibits where Zivanovic in an order notes,
6 I believe around 10.00, did not know where the final destination is, does
7 this seem to solve that issue?
8 A. At that level it does, and again at another level it highlights
9 one of the issues that one has to be aware of when using intercept
10 information, and when judging the reliability thereof. While it is
11 entirely possible that the information that is collected is accurate and
12 reliable, ultimately there is no way to know except in the context of
13 analysis whether or not the two subscribers know what they're talking
14 about. So in this respect, while the last intercept is an accurate and
15 valid description of the conversation, subscriber Y had a different
16 understanding of events as reflected than the subscribers in this
17 conversation. So when we talk about the issue of reliability, it's
18 reliability of process, and it's also reliability of information
19 contextually compared to events occurring on the ground.
20 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one which should be properly
21 marked as P193. Can you tell us about this intercept.
22 A. This is an intercept from 12 July 1995, dated -- at 1305 hours.
23 Initially the subscribers were identified as Krstic and Sobot. Now,
24 Major Sobot is identified on the chart as a member of the technical
25 services staff of the Drina Corps. It also discusses or alludes to the
1 fact that Krsmanovic set off towards Krstic 15 minutes ago. It discusses
2 at the first part the number of buses that are moving. And about
3 one-third the way through the conversation you could hear through the
4 switchboard being put through to the Vlasenica Brigade and General Krstic
5 asking for, in this case, Major Kosoric, who is a different individual
6 from Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, his intelligence chief. In this case,
7 Major Kosoric is the commander of the Vlasenica Brigade.
8 He is put through to an individual named Savo whom we understand
9 to be the deputy commander of the Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade, where
10 General Krstic instructs him to get out to the location towards the tunnel
11 and he uses the -- he talks around the issue, 12 kilometres towards Drava.
12 Drava is the telephonic code name of the Birac Infantry Brigade. So
13 putting this on context on the ground, we know which tunnel that they're
14 talking about --
15 Q. Mr. Butler, do you have that map.
16 A. I'm sorry.
17 Q. I can't recall if that map actually has -- goes as far as
19 A. No, I don't believe I have the map, sir.
20 Q. If we could maybe just take a moment and get the big map out, it
21 might be easier to see also.
22 Anyway as we're getting the bigger map, you can just -- well,
23 let's just set it up.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours can see that okay.
25 Q. So, Mr. Butler, can you help us describe the areas that you think
1 are being talked about in this. Don't get too far from the mike.
2 A. In this particular instance, the areas that we're talking about
3 are from Bratunac, the road to the intersection Konjevic Polje, towards
4 Milici, through Vlasenica. The area of Tisca. The small village of Luke.
5 And from here, the Bosnian Muslims walked through this tunnel and past to
6 the city or town of Kladanj on the Federation side.
7 Q. So where it says, "From where you are 12 kilometres towards
8 Drava," what does that mean, "From where you are"?
9 A. This is the zone of the Birac Light Infantry Brigade -- or Birac
10 Infantry Brigade, Drava, "From where you are," Vlasenica, 12 kilometres up
11 is approximately the Tisca area.
12 Q. So for the record, Mr. Butler has described the area of the Drava
13 Brigade being a few kilometres north of Tisca.
14 And where is this tunnel, again, Mr. Butler, just to make it
16 A. I believe the tunnel is located just at the boarder between -- or
17 the line of contact at that time between the Federation and the Republika
18 Srpska at the village of Luke.
19 Q. All right. And it says -- Krstic says: "That's where they will
20 be disembarking," and who do you think he's referring to?
21 A. In that context, he is referring to the Bosnian Muslim women and
22 children and elderly who are being moved out of Potocari on 12 July 1995.
23 Q. And he goes on to say: "Take care. Nothing must happen to any of
24 them." How does that fit into your knowledge of the overall situation?
25 A. Well, with respect to the overall situation, the Bosnian Muslim
1 women and children who were moving down as part of -- or who were being
2 transported out of the former enclave and from Potocari, were generally
3 not abused and were safeguarded through the process of putting them on the
4 bus and moving them out, dropping them off at the Luke village area, and
5 allowing them to continue on. There are only a very few isolated
6 instances where any individuals who were women and children on those buses
7 were subject to any form of abuse.
8 At the same time, particularly in the early series of buses, we've
9 been able to establish that some Bosnian Muslim men were put on those
10 buses or were able to sneak on. And when those buses were emptied at the
11 village of Luke, any Bosnian Muslim men who were deemed to be of military
12 age were separated out at that time and were subsequently held in an area
13 which we call the school at Luke. Subsequently, as indicated in the
14 Krstic record and in evidence that I believe is before this Trial Chamber,
15 those individuals were taken out and executed.
16 Q. And when did this separation at Luke first begin happening,
17 according to the information you have?
18 A. It started occurring on the afternoon of 12 July 1995.
19 Q. And that information comes from Major Boering who has testified in
20 this case?
21 A. That's correct, sir. Major Boering, of course, being the first UN
22 officer or accompanying those first UN convoys.
23 Q. For the record this large map Mr. Butler has referred to is 16.1.
24 All right. What is the next document that you wish to refer to in
25 the narrative of this 12 July time frame?
1 A. I'll move to my next binder. This is a document that was seized
2 by the OTP during a search of the Zvornik CSB centre, centre for public
3 security. And what it discusses is the report of the chief of the CSB,
4 Dragomir Vasic. And it discusses his recounting or his reporting of the
5 events as they occur in the beginning -- on the morning of 12 July. It
6 notes that paragraph 12, that there was a meeting with General Mladic and
7 General Krstic which was held at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters at 0800
8 hours, and it is readable on the B/C/S version at that time, at which
9 tasks were assigned to all those involved.
10 Paragraph 3 reflects that the military operation is continuing
11 according to plan. And it reflects that the Bosnian Muslim military is
12 fleeing towards the villages of Suceska while the civilians have gathered
13 at Potocari. And again in that respect, if I can with the larger map,
14 highlight the one thing that was occurring, that village complex that was
15 described is located in this area here, which is the Bardera triangle.
16 Q. That is the area of Suceska village?
17 A. Yes, the Suceska village. And in fact, in Susnjari and Jaglici is
18 where the column was forming, indicating that by their 8.00 in the morning
19 meeting, that certainly General Mladic, General Krstic and the military
20 leadership had not put the pieces of information yet together that were
21 being reported to bring them to the conclusion that, in fact, the 28th
22 Division was not where they thought it was, but was assembling in the
23 Susnjari and Jaglici area.
24 It also notes in paragraph 4 some of the more routine
25 police-related issues with respect to putting together civil authority for
1 the now-occupied town of Srebrenica. Paragraph 5 reflects that there will
2 be a meeting at 1000 hours and that agreement will be reached on the
3 evacuation of the civilian population from Potocari to Kladanj. So
4 certainly in the case of Dragomir Vasic, he understood walking away from
5 that 8.00 meeting in the morning that that was what the conclusion of the
6 10.00 meeting was going to be.
7 Q. Do we see Mr. Vasic at the 10.00 Hotel Fontana meeting?
8 A. Yes, sir. He is videotaped as present. It also notes in
9 paragraph 6, joint police forces are advancing on Potocari with the aim of
10 taking the UNPROFOR personnel prisoner, surrounding the entire population,
11 and cleansing the area of enemy troops. And paragraph 7, the main
12 military objectives are to ensure that all roads leading from Srebrenica
13 to Skelani, Bratunac, and Vlasenica are passable.
14 Q. Well, going back to paragraph 6, based on your knowledge, do you
15 find that statement to be credible?
16 A. Yes, sir, I do. We have information that indicates that, again
17 based off of the 10 July order by Acting Minister Kovac for the special
18 police brigade and the company from CSB Zvornik -- sorry, the company from
19 PJP, the first PJP company from Zvornik, those are, in fact, joint police
20 forces. They assemble in Bratunac. They spend the evening of 11 July
21 outside of the enclave near the Zuti Most checkpoint area and then on the
22 12 of July they are instructed to start walking towards Potocari.
23 Q. Surrounding the entire civilian population, did that happen?
24 A. In fact, a large number of the special police units did get to
25 Potocari, and as the Court understands, they are seen on videotape there.
1 Q. Were there other troops as well?
2 A. Yes, sir, there were.
3 Q. And what about this statement, "Cleansing the area of enemy
4 troops." What do you make of this term "cleansing," in this context?
5 A. In this context, the phrase "cleansing" does not have the same
6 legal connotation that is frequently used here. What we are talking about
7 in this respect is something more related to sweeping a particular area.
8 The military objective to be that after a particular unit passes through
9 that area, there will be no more enemy forces behind them. So by
10 cleansing that area or by sweeping through that area, it is in effect a
11 military operation to secure that area and make sure there are no
12 remaining military forces.
13 Q. So you don't see any ethnic connotation to this comment?
14 A. No, sir.
15 Q. Now, on paragraph 7, is that correct, that on 12 July at about the
16 time this was written that the objective of the military operations was
17 the main objective -- that's a question mark. It may have been a problem
18 in being able to view it.
19 A. Certainly with respect to as an objective, keeping the routes of
20 communication open is a normal military objective, and given the context
21 that they know they are going to be moving the civilian population out of
22 Potocari, the communication route from Bratunac through Vlasenica, which
23 is the road we've previously discussed, paramount to keeping that open.
24 Q. What were the other main objectives that day. I think you've
25 discussed some, but if you can just briefly remind us of the military
1 objectives as you were aware of them.
2 A. Well, again as discussed in paragraph 3, it notes the military
3 objective at that time is sweeping through the Bardera triangle where the
4 army believed that the bulk of the 28th Infantry Division was still
6 Q. All right. So if you could go to the next exhibit. I believe it
7 is 440.
8 A. This is an order from the command of the Drina Corps directed to
9 the commands of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade and the Bratunac Light
10 Infantry Brigade. And it specifies two tasks. Paragraph 1 directs that
11 the command of the 1st Zvornik Brigade will assign a motorised patrol of
12 military traffic police to regulate the traffic at the Konjevic Polje
13 junction, reflecting that the priority shall be given to buses travelling
14 from Srebrenica and that the military police should take over control of
15 the intersection or junction at 1630 hours on 12 July 1995.
16 The second one is directed to the command of the Bratunac Light
17 Infantry Brigade, and it says: Will, in cooperation with the Bratunac
18 SJB, public security station, regulate the traffic in both ways on the
19 Konjevic Polje/Bratunac road, and particularly around the stadium in the
20 town of Bratunac. Again, priority will be given to the buses for the
21 evacuation. The last line, be ready at 1630 hours.
22 Q. Now, I note this talks about in cooperation, the Bratunac Brigade
23 will in cooperation. Is this used in anything similar to the context of
24 the word "cooperation" as you had previously referred to in the JNA regs?
25 A. In this particular context, I believe what it means is the
1 Bratunac Brigade is being instructed to find and coordinate -- that's my
2 word not theirs, find and deal with the Bratunac SJB and deal with the
3 issues related to securing the route. That particular instance, it's not
4 an order directing the Bratunac Brigade to take command of the traffic
5 security service of the Bratunac SJB, but it gives the Bratunac Brigade
6 the primary rather role in ensuring that these events occur.
7 Q. Can we tell from this order who is in overall command of the units
8 mentioned in paragraph 2?
9 A. In effect, it is General Major Milenko Zivanovic, the commander of
10 the Drina Corps.
11 Q. Do you have any indications whether or not the Bratunac Brigade
12 followed this order?
13 A. Certainly by, as the intercepts indicate, the evacuation of the
14 Bosnian Muslims started taking place approximately noon. We know from
15 the context of other information that's become available and is before the
16 Court that Bratunac Brigade military police were active in Potocari as
17 well as active in escorting bus convoys. Bratunac civilian police were
18 also doing that. Certainly both the police and the military were in
19 position to regulate traffic along the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje road, so in
20 that respect it appears that the order as to securing the routes of
21 transportation and facilitating the movement out was, in fact, carried
23 Q. All right. What's the next document you wanted to discuss? I
24 believe it's Exhibit 441.
25 A. This is the daily combat report of the Bratunac Light Infantry
1 Brigade. It says St. Peter's Day. It is 12 July 1995. And it reflects
2 on 12 July 1995 what is occurring in the zone of the brigade.
3 Q. Can you remind us what time normally these things were supposed to
4 be done, and if you can, tell us if there's any way to actually get a
5 better -- better identify the actual time this was written.
6 A. If we look at the B/C/S teletype version of this report, while we
7 cannot identify the time the report was drafted or typed, we have on the
8 B/C/S version the initials of the communications clerk as to when it was
9 sent and as to what day it was sent.
10 Q. 1630 hours.
11 A. That is correct, sir.
12 Q. All right. And what can you -- what's the significance of this
14 A. Going back to the English language translation, that paragraph 7
15 indicates that the command is aware of the transport of the Bosnian Muslim
16 population from -- in Potocari, that it's underway, and that their number
17 is 10.000 refugees are expecting to be transported.
18 It also notes with respect to the enemy situation in paragraph 1,
19 that they're aware that during the day the enemy tried to break through or
20 withdraw from the former enclave along the Milacevici/Jaglici/Bokcin Potok
21 direction towards Tuzla. So by the afternoon of 12 July, it is now
22 becoming clear within the decision-making organs, the brigade, the Drina
23 Corps headquarters, and even the Main Staff, that in fact the bulk of the
24 Bosnian Muslim military forces are now trying to make their way from the
25 Susnjari/Jaglica area to Federation lines at Tuzla.
1 Q. We see that in this Bratunac Brigade report. How can you say that
2 about the Drina Corps and the Main Staff?
3 A. As we go on to further documents, we will see their own
4 reflections of reporting where they gain the awareness and where they're
5 reporting the situation as well.
6 Q. And this daily combat report is sent where?
7 A. It is sent to the command of the Drina Corps.
8 Q. And does the Drina Corps send on their own report?
9 A. Yes, sir. They send a daily report to the Main Staff.
10 Q. And we'll be going over some of those reports shortly, I take it.
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document you've got. I believe
13 that's 442, and what is this?
14 A. Yes, sir, it is. This is a document that was discovered during
15 the OTP search of the Bratunac Brigade headquarters in the office of the
16 security officer. This is a listing of -- I want to make sure I get the
17 number right, 387 individuals who are suspected of being individuals who
18 committed war crimes in the general area of the listed municipalities and
19 are believed to be in Srebrenica.
20 If you go to -- and I'm sorry the pages aren't numbered, but at
21 the last page of the English language translation, the final notation
22 indicates that this list was compiled on 12 July 1995.
23 Q. So what significance do you give this?
24 A. Again, looking at the historical context of the area, over the
25 past three years, particularly late 1992, early 1993 time period, during
1 the rather intense fighting there, there were a lot of incidents that
2 occurred which the Bosnian Muslim -- I'm sorry the Bosnian Serbs
3 considered to be war crimes perpetrated against them by Bosnian Muslim
4 forces. As part of their own laws and internal reporting requirements,
5 lists were being kept of individuals, presumably that one day when they
6 had access to those individuals, criminal charges could be filed against
7 them. And this list obviously represents their roll-up names of
8 individuals that they believe are among those people in and around the
9 Potocari area or who were from Srebrenica as of 12 July 1995.
10 Q. On 12, 13, and 14 July when we know there are literally thousands
11 of Muslim prisoners in the Bratunac area, do you see in your analysis any
12 effort to identify the individuals on this list through any normal means?
13 A. No, sir.
14 Q. Now, we've -- this Court has seen evidence that there was
15 wholesale destruction of Muslim property, including identification
16 documents. Would identification documents be important in identifying
17 people amongst the Muslim prisoners that matched the identity of these
18 potential war criminals?
19 A. While it can't be denied that many of the members of the Bratunac
20 Brigade and other individuals in that area would recognise these people by
21 sight as they were their former neighbours, certainly the issue of the
22 wholesale destruction of identification documents would run counter to the
23 listed goal here of identifying these people for criminal prosecution.
24 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document. I believe it's 443.
25 What is this?
1 A. This is a document from the command of the Bratunac Light Infantry
2 Brigade to the Drina Corps command, attention Major Golic. Major Golic,
3 as indicated, is an intelligence officer with the command of the Drina
4 Corps. And during this period, he is in Vlasenica. What this document
5 indicates is a small bit of intelligence information that is known to an
6 individual called Captain Pecanac concerning what they believe are the
7 intentions of the Bosnian Muslim column.
8 Q. So do you know who Captain Pecanac is?
9 A. Captain Pecanac is an individual identified as an officer of the
10 Main Staff security organ, and is somebody who is closely identified as
11 being responsible for the personal security of General Mladic.
12 Q. Can you tell from this document where it was sent from?
13 A. As you look at the B/C/S version, it clearly indicates that it was
14 sent from the command of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. And as
15 we'll become very familiar, the signature of the code clerk of the
16 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. So while the document in question was
17 drafted by an officer of the Main Staff, it was sent through the
18 communications of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
19 Q. Can you tell from this document whether it would have been made
20 secret, like "for eyes only," of intel security like we've seen in these
21 counter-intelligence reports?
22 A. No, sir. It's just specifically directed to an intelligence
24 Q. And the information in it about prisoners, does that have anything
25 to do with counter-intelligence from what you see or could it?
1 A. No, sir.
2 Q. And if I could take you back briefly, I apologise, to Exhibit 441.
3 It was the St. Peter's Day, 12 July, daily combat report. This is under
4 the name of Vidoje Blagojevic. Can you make anything -- do you have a
5 handwritten version of that?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. And I notice it's cut off in the bottom, but can you make any
8 analysis regarding whether or not Mr. Blagojevic signed this?
9 A. In this particular respect, I recognise this signature as being
10 that of Major Eskic, who is the chief of personnel. There is another
11 partial signature, but because of the cut off, I could not tell you who
12 that could be. I suspect we have the original in the evidence vault.
13 Q. Does the one that's cut off look anything like the signature that
14 you've become familiar with with Mr. Blagojevic?
15 A. I would hate to speculate on that just based on the copy. We do
16 have the original handwritten version.
17 Q. We'll take a better look at that.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a minor point. I take it at some point the
19 gentleman will be qualified as a handwriting analyst as well? Because
20 he's testifying now to identifying signatures and I was unaware -- I know
21 he's an analyst, but now we're getting into a whole separate area of
22 expertise, handwriting analysis. So I take it, if he's not an analyst,
23 he's just giving his opinion based on his comparison and not necessarily
24 an expert opinion as to the signature.
25 JUDGE LIU: That's what I understand.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. As Mr. Butler said that
3 simply yesterday. We're not holding him out as an expert in that field.
4 He's just saying it looks like the one he's been looking at. I don't
5 think we should take -- we should take it for whatever value the Court
6 wants to give it.
7 Q. All right. What's the next document you have? And that is 444, I
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And what is this?
11 A. This is a 12 July document from the command of the Drina Corps
12 intelligence department to the VRS Main Staff intelligence sector and also
13 to the Drina Corps Bratunac IKM, listed as forward command post,
14 personally for Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric. And what this is is this is an
15 intelligence report which indicates that at 1300 hours on 12 July, an
16 enemy soldier was captured and they've extracted combat information from
17 that soldier, which discusses the future intentions of the column.
18 It also reflects the fact in the last paragraph that the Drina
19 Corps duty officer Lieutenant Colonel Jovicic and an operations officer
20 Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic are aware of this information. It also
21 notes that the intelligence organ presented the information to the chief
22 of the Vlasenica MUP so that MUP members could be sent to the generally
23 area of Konjevic Polje. And it's also indicated that the command of the
24 Milici Light Infantry Brigade has also been informed.
25 Q. Is this something that the command staff of the Bratunac Brigade
1 should be aware of?
2 A. Yes, sir, it is.
3 Q. Why?
4 A. Given that it's going to the Bratunac IKM and that it is
5 reflective strictly of intelligence related to the column as something
6 that would impact their area, this is information that they should be
7 aware of.
8 Q. Now, this says the Drina Corps Bratunac forward command post or
9 IKM. We've already heard about and seen documents related to the
10 Pribicevac forward command post. Are they related, these two places?
11 A. They are both considered forward command posts. The Pribicevac
12 command post on 12 July is still controlling military sweep operations in
13 the Bardera triangle. The Bratunac IKM or the Drina Corps forward command
14 post at Bratunac is now controlling operations with respect to the
15 evacuation or the movement of the Bosnian Muslim column -- or Bosnian
16 Muslim population from Potocari as well as now the growing conflict with
17 the Bosnian Muslim column.
18 Q. What can you tell us about the forward command post at Pribicevac?
19 How long was it up and operating as far as you know?
20 A. Our information indicates that by approximately 1800 hours on 12
21 July 1995, the forward command post at Pribicevac was shut down and that
22 the personnel were moved to the headquarters at Bratunac.
3 (redacted) . However, we have a number of documents that were received by the
4 IKM command post at Pribicevac throughout the day of the 12th July until
5 approximately 1800. That's why it is my assessment that that command
6 post, in fact, discontinued its operation by 1800 hours on 12 July.
7 Q. And can -- the fact that this is directed to Lieutenant Colonel
8 Kosoric, does this give us any indication where he may be at the time?
9 A. It does indicate that Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric is in or around
10 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters or at least close enough to where this
11 information can be made available to him.
12 Q. Is there any significant military reason that you know of for
13 people of high rank to be still at Pribicevac at about the time of this,
14 420 hours on the 12th?
15 A. Given what we know of the greater context, the only high-ranking
16 Drina Corps officer at the Pribicevac command post during the afternoon of
17 12 July 1995 is Colonel Ognjenovic, the operations officer, and several
18 staff involved in communications. Most of the general officers, including
19 General Krstic were in and around the Bratunac area in about this time.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Thank you. I think it's break time.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 12.30.
22 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Butler, we have been able to provide you with the original
2 B/C/S of Exhibit 441. Counsel have had a chance to see that and you've
3 had a chance to see it. Could you point out to us in the left corner what
4 you can make of the signature block and the information before that.
5 A. With respect to the signature, I do not recognise the signature.
6 I would note that, as indicated, there's the "za" there indicating that
7 this individual has signed for the commander.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. If we could go on to your next command
9 exhibit for 12 July, I believe it's 445. And could you tell us what this
10 is and what you want to talk about.
11 A. This is a Drina Corps command intelligence section document dated
12 12 July 1995. It was directed to the Main Staff intelligence sector.
13 It's directed to the Drina Corps IKM in Pribicevac, General Krstic. It is
14 directed to the Drina Corps IKM Bratunac Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. And
15 the chiefs of the intelligence organs of the relevant brigades, in this
16 particular case the Milici Light Infantry Brigade, the 1st Bratunac Light
17 Infantry Brigade, the Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade, the 2nd Romanija
18 Motorised Brigade, the Birac Infantry Brigade, the Zvornik Infantry
19 Brigade. It's also directed to the MUP in Vlasenica, Milici, and Zvornik
20 for their information. The last addressee is the MUP of Republika Srpska
21 and also the RDB state security department of the MUP.
22 Q. Who's it authored by?
23 A. This particular document is authored by General Major Zdravko
24 Tolimir, who we know is the assistant commander for intelligence and
25 security if the Main Staff.
1 Q. Where is he sending it from, by this document?
2 A. Based off of the header information, it's my assessment that he's
3 sending this document from the Drina Corps headquarters in Vlasenica.
4 Q. And what in the substance of the document do you want to point
6 A. This document is again a series of intelligence reports based on
7 information obtained from individuals who are surrendering or being
8 captured from the column. And in this particular place, it indicates --
9 in this particular document, it indicates the prisoner was taken at about
10 1800 hours on 12 July in the sector of the village of Kajici on the
11 Bratunac/Pribicevac road. That particular location corresponds to the
12 location of the 4th Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac Light Infantry
13 Brigade. It reflects, again, not only the prisoner of war's name, but
14 information that he has which will be of value to commanders who are
15 dealing with the column.
16 In paragraph -- the second paragraph of the second page, it
17 reflects the note that: "We have informed the organs of the MUP of RS in
18 Konjevic Polje about the illegal corridor use by the Muslims of the
19 Srebrenica, since it is their task to control the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje
20 road." So in this particular instance, it is the Drina Corps
21 acknowledging that they understand that the task of the MUP in this
22 particular instance is to control that road.
23 Q. How can it be Drina Corps if it's coming from a Main Staff
25 A. Again, as I've indicated, because the actual document originating
1 from the headquarters of the Drina Corps, it is from the Drina Corps. We
2 believe, or certainly I believe, that at this point in time, General
3 Tolimir is at the headquarters in Vlasenica and he directs this report to
4 the sent out.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. It also notes that the commands of the Bratunac, Zvornik, and
7 Milici Brigades, in cooperation with the SJBs and their areas of
8 responsibility shall regulate traffic during the night along the
9 Bratunac/Milici/Vlasenica and Zvornik/Kojevic Polje/Vlasenica roads. They
10 shall only allow passage that VRS and MUP vehicles and units on an
11 official or combat mission around the former enclave of Srebrenica.
12 Q. I'm sorry. I may have missed this, but I want to ask you
13 specifically about this comment in the third -- it looks like the second
14 large paragraph the way its been typed up where it says: "Intelligence
15 organs shall propose measures to be taken by commands to prevent armed
16 Muslims from illegally reaching Tuzla and Kladanj, such as setting up
17 ambushes along the routes they use in order to arrest them and prevent
18 possible surprises against civilians and/or combat units along those
20 Now, first of all is intelligence organs -- is that correct in
21 this -- a correct translation?
22 A. In the B/C/S version, right here you see after "za," you see the
23 letters "OBP." OBP is the acronym for intelligence and security, as
24 opposed to straight intelligence.
25 Q. All right. So what I want to ask you about is if intelligence and
1 security organs shall propose measures to be taken by commands to prevent
2 armed Muslims from illegally reaching Tuzla, how does that fit into the
3 definitions and the job duties of the intelligence and security organs
4 that you've discussed previously?
5 A. I think it reflects a very good example of how the intelligence
6 and security organs, given the information that is flowing through them
7 with respect to enemy prisoners of war, using that information to provide
8 the best possible advice to their commanders, as to where forces should be
9 deployed, where collection points should be set up, what procedures should
10 be taken, and again, that's the classical responsibility of the staff
11 officer, to make recommendations for the best possible uses of the
12 available assets to the commander for his decision. So in this respect, I
13 see this as a traditional application of the command and staff process.
14 Q. All right. Unless there is something else in this document, let's
15 go on to the next one. Exhibit 446.
16 A. This document is a report from the chief of the Zvornik CSB,
17 Dragomir Vasic, to his superiors in the Republika Srpska MUP. And it
18 discusses the situation from his perspective on 12 July 1995, noting to
19 his superiors that the evacuation and transport of the civilian population
20 is underway. It notes that intelligence information that they're
21 receiving about 300 men led by Zulfo Tursunovic and Dudic. It reflects
22 their knowledge that the Zvornik Infantry Brigade has been tasked at
23 blocking them on the hill feature Crni Vrh. In addition to other
24 intelligence information, it lays out the locations of the MUP units along
25 the road, reflecting that the Sekovici special detachment, the 1st company
1 of the PJP from Zvornik CJB, and the 5th company of the Zvornik CJB are
2 blocking that particular section of road with a goal of destroying these
4 Q. Is that consistent with other documents that we've talked about?
5 A. Yes, sir, it is. As we've discussed previously, part of the
6 problem was that through the gap in the lines between the Milici Brigade
7 and the Bratunac Brigade, this is where this column was going. And again,
8 as a function of terrain, the path of that column comes extremely close to
9 the road between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje, and perhaps it would be
10 better to show you on the map.
11 The path comes very close to the road here, and then ultimately
12 crosses the road around the Cerska River and then continues up. So in
13 order to fill that gap and place forces there, the most readily available
14 forces were those of the MUP and, in fact, they were deployed along that
15 road from roughly the village of Sandici to Konjevic Polje.
16 Q. Do you find any of the information in this short report incorrect?
17 A. No, sir. It actually appears to be a pretty accurate picture of
18 the column at the time.
19 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document. This should be 447.
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. What's this?
22 A. This is another command of the Drina Corps intelligence report for
23 12 July 1995. And the last of the series that we have from the Drina
24 Corps with this respect.
25 Q. Authored by who?
1 A. In this particular instance, if I can go quickly to page 2 --
2 well, I'm not sure who it is authored by. It is, in fact, released under
3 the signature of General Major Zdravko Tolimir again.
4 Q. What can you say about the time it went out or was received?
5 A. As you can tell from this particular translation -- well, you
6 can't tell which time it was sent, you have a series of received stamps.
7 This particular one, if I can scroll down, reflects the stamp of the
8 intelligence communication centre where they received it, indicating that
9 it was received by them approximately at 2200 hours, 12 July 1995. Moving
10 further up, you have a stamp from the operations centre of the 2nd
11 Romanija Brigade, reflecting when they're logging it in for their own
12 administrative processes. Just to show you what that looks like in the
13 original. This is the text with the communications centre stamp, and this
14 is the stamp from the 2nd Romanija Brigade operations people, as they
15 assigned it a number for tracking.
16 Q. So what in particular about this document would you point out to
18 A. In this particular case, it is again sent to the intelligence and
19 security departments. It's also sent to the command of the Sarajevo
20 Romanija Corps and the Bosnia Corps. It is sent to the Pribicevac IKM and
21 it is sent to the Bratunac IKM. And at this time despite the fact that
22 it's being sent there, that communications centre shut down approximately
23 1800. So we have no evidence to suggest that it was ever received there.
24 It's also noted going directly to individuals General Krstic and
25 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. It's further addressed to the intelligence
1 and security OBP organs of -- again a number of units, the 1st Bratunac
2 Light Infantry Brigade, the Milici Light Infantry Brigade --
3 Q. We don't need to. We can see those.
4 A. Okay. This particular report discusses intelligence information
5 which the VRS is learning by monitoring the radio network of elements of
6 the 28th Muslim Division. And again, from this and prisoner of war
7 intelligence-related information, they're putting out the intelligence
8 picture as to what the intent of the column is. The last paragraph on the
9 first page, again noting that the OBP organs of the brigade commands will
10 propose to the commanders of the units along the line of withdrawal of
11 elements what measures to undertake -- or actually to undertake measures
12 to prevent the withdrawal and to capture enemy soldiers.
13 Going to the second page, the first paragraph reflects that
14 special attention should be paid to monitoring the gaps in our forward
15 defence line and possible escape routes along the illegal corridors, as
16 well as to possible sudden attacks on residential areas, rear areas of
17 combat formations and defence elements.
18 As the last issue, last paragraph, the OBP organs will brief the
19 MUP organs in their respective zones or area of responsibility on the
20 information received. They will draw up joint plans for breaking up and
21 liquidating the enemy formations trying to escape from the Srebrenica
22 enclave towards Tuzla and Kladanj.
23 Q. And what does that mean?
24 A. As part of the traditional role of the security organ in the
25 regulations, they are a coordinating interface, if you will, between the
1 military security organ and the civil police organ. So they are the
2 people who are charged to coordinate this type of activity with the
3 civilian police to ensure that everything is operating as it should be.
4 Q. I want to take you to the paragraph immediately above the command
5 of the Romanija Motorised brigade that says: "Although it is very
6 important to arrest as many members of the shattered Muslim units as
7 possible or liquidate them if they resist, it is equally important to note
8 down the names of all men fit for military service who are being evacuated
9 from the UNPROFOR base in Potocari."
10 Now, this is sent out late on the 12th of July. Do you have any
11 indications that this was being done?
12 A. No, sir.
13 Q. What about those names we saw out of the Bratunac Brigade dated 12
15 A. Those were a list of names of people who were to be screened.
16 Those are not, to my knowledge, a list of names of individuals who had
17 been collected. They certainly don't qualify as individuals fit for
18 military service who are being evacuated.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour, Mr. Blagojevic is raising
20 his hand.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, Mr. Blagojevic.
22 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would
23 just like to say one sentence. I can take a lot of things, and I'm a very
24 tolerant person, but when it is said here that this list is a list of the
25 Bratunac Brigade, that I cannot stand. They should say where this is
1 stated, and this is an opportunity to do so. Thank you very much, Your
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you Mr. Blagojevic. I believe that this
4 Trial Chamber has given you the instructions. If you have any problems,
5 please write down on a piece of paper and send it to your counsel.
6 But anyway, since this issue is raised by Mr. Blagojevic,
7 Mr. McCloskey, would you please ask some questions to this witness to make
8 it clear.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Butler, perhaps you could find that list and we can discuss it
11 again briefly.
12 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Exhibit 435, please.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Ma'am.
14 JUDGE ARGIBAY: No, that's not the list you're looking for.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: 442.
16 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Yes, 442.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. And again, if you could just show us what it says at the top of
19 that list. List of war criminals -- and also if you could put the B/C/S
20 top of the list so Mr. Blagojevic can see it. Put the English and the
21 B/C/S maybe next to each other so we can both read the top of the lists.
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. "List of war criminals known to the command of the 1st Light
24 Infantry Brigade, who committed war crimes in the area of Bratunac,
25 Srebrenica, Milici, Vlasenica, and Skelani municipalities and are believed
1 to be in Srebrenica."
2 So given that heading, would it make sense that this is a list
3 following the order of General Tolimir to make a list of the able-bodied
4 men from Potocari?
5 A. No, sir.
6 Q. And now it says "The 1st Light Infantry Brigade." That's the
7 English. Does it tell us in the B/C/S which one that is?
8 A. No, sir. It just says 1.LPBR.
9 Q. And how many light infantry brigades were in that area of units
10 listed, Vlasenica, Milici?
11 A. The Bratunac Brigade had a light infantry brigade. The Milici
12 municipality had a light infantry brigade. The Vlasenica municipality had
13 a light infantry brigade. Skelani had a separate battalion.
14 Q. And can we go to the end of the document in English.
15 A. And this is the English version -- this is -- both versions say
16 the same thing.
17 Q. So it's Bratunac, 12 July 1995. Now, where and when was this
18 document found by the OTP?
19 A. This document was found -- I can't tell you the exact date of the
20 search. It was, I believe, in January or February 1998. The document was
21 found at the headquarters of the former Bratunac Brigade and specifically
22 in the office of the security officer of the Bratunac Brigade.
23 Q. All right. That's all I have on that area.
24 So, Mr. Butler, if we could go back to where we were. Do you
25 recall where that was? I think we were just finishing up that document,
1 which I believe was 447. And if you don't have anymore to say about that,
2 we can go on to the next, 448. What is this?
3 A. This document is another report from the RS RDB state security on
4 12 July 1995, again reflecting the situation as they're reporting it in
5 the greater Bratunac area, and now extending towards the greater Zvornik
6 area. It indicates that their knowledge is being confirmed that large
7 groups of Muslims left the area on the night between 11 and 12 July, who's
8 leading the group, what their intentions are. It reflects that a third
9 group was set off at 1600 hours on 12 July and was ambushed near the
10 village of Sandici and that four Muslim soldiers were captured. It
11 discusses information from them. It reflects the fact that to their
12 knowledge, that they're aware of the knowledge that traffic has been
13 suspended on the Zvornik/Konjevic Polje/Han Pijesak road and the
14 Zvornik/Caparde/Sekovici and Vlasenica road. It notes the agreements
15 reach to evacuate the civilians from of Potocari and that approximately
16 8500 people were transported out. It also reflects the fact that the
17 transportation or evacuation was suspended at night and will resume on the
18 morning 13th of July. An indication, in this case, when this report was
19 drafted. The final sentence reflects that it is the knowledge of the
20 state security people there that among the people staying in Potocari,
21 there are hardly any men fit for fighting.
22 Q. That's not the final sentence in the document, but is that the
23 final sentence related to the Srebrenica area?
24 A. With respect to the Bratunac area, that is correct, sir.
25 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document. Now, we're going in
1 the chronology, and I believe the next document is the -- a document the
2 Court is familiar with from previous exhibits, 449, the Bratunac Brigade
3 military police log. If you could just go to 12 July. All right.
4 Are you familiar with this document?
5 A. Yes, sir, I am.
6 Q. Did you use it in your analysis?
7 A. Yes, sir, I did.
8 Q. And -- it seems to me we've discussed this already, but perhaps
9 I'm mistaken. If you could just briefly point out the important parts of
11 A. This documents reflects the activities of the Bratunac Brigade
12 military police during the day and evening and through the following
13 morning of 13 July 1995. It reflects that the police were engaged in
14 securing UNHCR, which is what we all have become familiar with
15 understanding as the UNPROFOR, and the surrender of the Muslim people from
16 Srebrenica in Zuti Most to the Serb soldiers in Bratunac. One part of the
17 police force has been secured sick and wounded in the clinic, and in that
18 respect, as I believe, testimony has been led about a number of
19 individuals, Bosnian Muslims, who were transported from the UN medical
20 centre in Potocari to the Bratunac clinic. And it discusses the passage
21 of trucks transporting refugees from the Srebrenica enclave through
23 Q. What do you think this means that "Muslim people from Srebrenica
24 in Zuti Most to the Serb soldiers in Bratunac." Zuti Most, where is Zuti
25 Most in relation to Potocari where all the civilians are known to have
1 been then?
2 A. If I may refer to the map. Where the United Nations forces
3 established Checkpoint Papa, just on the other side there was a VRS
4 Bratunac military police checkpoint at a location known as Zuti Most or
5 Yellow Bridge. So in that context, Yellow Bridge is just on the north --
6 slightly north-eastern side of the enclave.
7 Q. Do you have any information that Muslims specifically surrendered
8 at Zuti Most?
9 A. No, sir, I do not.
10 Q. Do you know what that might be a reference to?
11 A. It may infer to the fact that military police going from Zuti Most
12 proceeded into Potocari. And of course, I believe the Court has seen
13 evidence of Bratunac Brigade military police in Potocari on 12 July 1995.
14 Q. Then there's a mention of sick and wounded. Now, this Trial
15 Chamber has heard evidence of sick and wounded Muslims being tended to at
16 the UN base and I believe in the Bratunac health centre. And eventually
17 these folks were shipped out. Has the investigation revealed whether or
18 not there was ever any separation or abuse of the Muslims known as the
19 sick and wounded?
20 A. No, sir. To my knowledge, again summarising the investigation,
21 all of the individuals referred to the sick and wounded who were
22 individuals turned over by the UN and placed in the Bratunac military
23 health centre under the supervision of the VRS and the UN, were eventually
24 released and repatriated either through the ICRC or at the end of the war.
25 Only in one instance was an individual who was suspected of being a war
1 criminal separated from that group of individuals and taken into custody
2 by authorities from CSB Zvornik and he, too, did survive the war. So for
3 that collection of individuals, there's no evidence of any wrongdoing.
4 Q. Okay. And I think the rest of this speaks or itself, so let's go
5 on to the next exhibit. We may come back to that police log as we go
6 through the chronology, the military police log. So what do you have as
7 your next exhibit for the 12th of July narrative?
8 A. This is the daily combat report from the Zvornik Infantry Brigade
9 to the command of the Drina Corps. Where I believe the value of this
10 document is is related to Prosecution Exhibit 440, because in this
11 document it discusses, based on that document, it reaffirms the fact that
12 one military police attachment was sent to Konjevic Polje pursuant to your
13 order, and it also reflects the fact that the Zvornik Brigade sent to
14 Bratunac, again pursuant to your order, a total of eight buses from
15 Drinatrans, two buses from their own military post, and four of our own
17 Q. Again. Remind us what 440 was again.
18 A. 440 was the Drina Corps order which specified that the Zvornik
19 Brigade had to send a military police patrol to the checkpoint in Konjevic
20 Polje by 1600 and that the Bratunac Brigade was to coordinate with the MUP
21 on securing the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje highway.
22 Q. Okay. Anything else on that document?
23 A. No, sir. Most of the other information in this respect deals with
24 their understanding of the growing threat in Zvornik posed by the Bosnian
25 Muslim column.
1 Q. All right. Well, we'll get to that a little bit later, but let's
2 go on to the next exhibit which I believe is 451.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Just before we get to that, I just want to point a
4 correction. 440 talks about cooperation not coordination. I know it's
5 minor, but the gentleman indicated coordination. My notes and I believe
6 that the document will reflect, cooperation and there may be a distinction
7 at some point that we would highlight during the proceedings.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much. I think the coordination
9 may be a big issue in this case, since we have heard it before.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: This document which is Prosecution Exhibit 451 is
12 the 12 July 1995 report from the Main Staff of the Army of the Republika
13 Srpska to the corps as well as to the president of the republic, outlining
14 the daily activities of the army to the president.
15 Q. Where did we get this?
16 A. This document was provided by Colonel Obrenovic.
17 Q. And what's the significance of this document, in particular?
18 A. If we can go to page 3 of the English language translation,
19 starting in paragraph 6, this is the report reflecting the Main Staff's
20 knowledge of the overall military situation in the zone of the Drina
21 Corps. A, reflects the enemy situation. Subparagraph B reflects the
22 situation in the corps, specifically noting that all Krivaja 95 tasks are
23 going ahead as planned. It notes that during the day, they, being the
24 Drina Corps, liberated Potocari, and they continue to advance in order to
25 liberate all of the settlements of the Srebrenica enclave.
1 It has and is somewhat unclear, on an unknown word, axis, part of
2 our units and MUP units have organised ambushes in order to destroy Muslim
3 extremists who have not surrendered and who are trying to break out from
4 the enclave towards Tuzla.
5 Q. And why is that reference important?
6 A. It again reflects the interrelationship between the army and the
7 MUP and that the army is fully cognisant of what the MUP is doing and
8 where their role is in the operation.
9 Q. Will we see MUP documents on the same subject that have a little
10 different viewpoint of this?
11 A. Yes, sir, we will.
12 Q. Just give us a preview of what that issue is about so the Court
13 can understand, before we get to the document from the MUP.
14 A. What will happen over the next 12 to 24 hours in the July 1995
15 perspective is that on the evening of 12 July 1995, General Mladic
16 redirects large portions of the army forces in the Srebrenica enclave to
17 disengage from the operations that they're involved in and to redeploy
18 away from the Srebrenica area and to begin to initiate military operations
19 designed to capture the Zepa safe area. This leaves, as time goes by,
20 less and less army forces in the area to deal with the growing threat of
21 the column, and it leaves the police forces to deal with that same threat.
22 Q. All right. As we get into documents related to that area, we'll
23 discuss it specifically, and specifically you do have documents related to
24 the Bratunac Brigade's role in these events?
25 A. Yes, sir, I do.
1 Q. Okay. All right. What else, if anything, from this?
2 A. On paragraph -- or number 2, situation on the territory, the Main
3 Staff reporting to the president of the republic the information that
4 10.000 Muslims are estimated for transport. And in all areas -- that
5 sentence, we'll just leave it at that.
6 That is almost a direct read, that number 10.000, from the
7 previous 12 July report from the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. An
8 indication of how the reporting chain goes from the brigade level to the
9 Main Staff and of on items of significance or interest to the president of
10 the republic.
11 The last thing I'd like to highlight on this document is the
12 signature, and as I've previously testified, reflecting that on 12 July
13 1995, Major General Miletic is functioning as the acting chief of staff of
14 the VRS.
15 Q. You say "signature," but is that what you meant?
16 A. I'm sorry, the signature block. We do not -- because this is an
17 electronic version, we do not have his physical signature on the document.
18 Q. All right. And what's the next document for 12 July?
19 A. This is a 12 July 1995 intelligence report from the Zvornik
20 Infantry Brigade intelligence organ to the Drina Corps command
21 intelligence section, reflecting the intelligence officer's view of the
22 situation in his zone, notes that he's keeping his brigade chief of staff
23 and another individual, the commander of the Tactical Group Osmaci
24 informed of the situation, as he understands it. And towards the bottom
25 of that rather large paragraph, it notes that based on radio intercepts,
1 who are talking on the same frequency, they're following events of the
2 column, it notes that they are fleeing in panic without any control, in
3 groups or individually, and giving themselves up to the MUP or the VRS.
4 So notwithstanding the actual information that they have on the column,
5 this document indicates, again, the common knowledge that prisoners in the
6 hundreds are being taken by the army and the MUP, and that it is an issue
7 of general awareness throughout the region.
8 Q. And what is the next document? I believe it's 453.
9 A. Yes, sir. This is the last document, I believe, for 12 July 1995.
10 And this is from the command of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade to
11 the command of the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade requesting that they
12 be informed by midnight where their forces are deployed on their left
13 flank with respect to us, the forces of the Bratunac Brigade, and
14 regarding the gap between us, which the column is passing through.
15 As you can tell, this document in fact does not go out until 15
16 minutes after midnight on the 13th. And it is typed signed for Colonel
17 Blagojevic, and on the handwritten copy there is no indication of who
18 might have signed the document.
19 Q. Mr. Butler, in the military context when documents like this and
20 documents like the daily combat report go out under the name of the
21 commander, in this case Blagojevic, even in cases where the commander
22 doesn't sign it, is the commander supposed to know about the information
23 that's in such reports that go out under his name? How does that work in
24 a military context?
25 A. Certainly in a general military context, if a report goes out
1 under a commander's name, it is assumed that the commander is aware of the
2 contents of that report. More specifically, even to the VRS, in 1994
3 there are a series of instructions from the Main Staff, and I have to say
4 that I have not included those as a part of my narrative, because I didn't
5 believe this was an area that was going to be discussed, so I can provide
6 the documents if they are required, there are issues where the Main Staff
7 is making directives to ensure that when daily combat reports go out, that
8 the commanders are aware of the contents of them, and if necessary, to see
9 them personal. That is a normal military practice, to my knowledge, if a
10 document goes out under the commander's name, he is expected to be aware
11 of the contents of that document.
12 Q. In your review of the daily combat reports for this time period,
13 and I don't expect exact numbers on this, but how often do you see the
14 derogatory terms for Muslim, such as "Poturice and Turks," or "Turkish
15 population," things like that, on the official daily combat reports?
16 A. It is a consistent feature, sir.
17 Q. All right. Let's go to the next -- I think we're now getting into
18 13 July, and I think you have set the scene for us briefly, and I know
19 this Court has heard lots of evidence on these dates, so I don't think we
20 need to go into it in detail. So if you could, let's start with this
21 exhibit, which has the correct number on it which is P203, an intercept
22 from 13 July at 0700, which I know this Trial Chamber has seen quite a bit
23 of, so I don't want to go into a whole lot of detail on this.
24 But is this an intercept that you have previously incorporated
25 into your analysis for the Krstic trial?
1 A. Yes, sir, I have.
2 Q. And have you changed your analysis since that time?
3 A. With respect to this intercept, yes, sir, I have.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there's a request, we'll go to private
16 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. Mr. Butler, you were telling us about your analysis of this the
21 first time around with General Krstic.
22 A. Yes, sir. As I indicated previously, my prior analysis of this
23 conversation in the case of General Krstic was that the general was
24 General Krstic (redacted)
25 (redacted) . Based on evidence that has come before the Court, I no longer
1 believe that that is, in fact, the case. And one of the reasons why I
2 wanted to bring this out was to make it clear that in this particular case
3 I subscribe to the interpretation that a number of witnesses have already
4 given to this exhibit. And I guess it would be easier if I don't have to
5 go into the details of that.
6 Q. I don't think we need to go into the details of this anymore,
7 either. It's been heard several times. All right, Mr. Butler, so let's
8 go on to the next exhibit, that is Exhibit 207,13 July intercept.
9 A. In this particular intercept you have one of the identified
10 correspondents being Krsmanovic who, as I've indicated, is the
11 transportation officer of the Drina Corps. And again, talks to somebody
12 else while I find Krstic for you, and he ends up speaking with
13 Krsmanovic. One of the things I like to point out is with respect to the
14 intercepts that people should also be aware of is that the nickname of
15 Krle is occasionally attributed to Krsmanovic as well. So in examining
16 the intercepts, and in some of them we will have Krle as a nickname for
17 General Krstic, again it's just something I'm aware of when I review these
18 intercepts that it's not the sole use of that nickname and who it can be
19 attributed to.
20 One of the interesting things - and at this point I confess I
21 don't have a logical explanation for it - is references in the
22 conversation for, over there, you know, those in Batkovic. To my
23 knowledge the only reference of Batkovic in any of this context is the
24 prisoner of war camp up in Batkovic in the Bijeljina area. And it appears
25 from looking at this intercept that there was discussion that at least one
1 batch will go there. It says from Sekovici, but on the morning of 13
2 July, even at 1100 hours, my understanding of the movement of the column
3 that there should not have been anyone from the column in the Sekovici or
4 Birac Brigade area, which would lend to their being captured.
5 Q. Can you again just point out, remind us where Sekovici is. We
6 didn't put it on the map.
7 A. The Birac area is this general area here, and Sekovici I believe
8 is a small town located in approximately this area.
9 Q. Just roughly midway between it looks like Cancari and Tisca. We
10 have other maps that have that more clearly labelled.
11 All right. Anything else you want to point out on that subject or
12 this intercept?
13 A. In this intercept, it again reflects the fact that the Drina Corps
14 officers are quite well-informed about the status of the movement of the
15 Bosnian Muslims, reflecting that two turns have already gone by, they have
16 another 5.000, and everything is full for two turns. So they stopped the
17 movement last night and started again at 6.00 in the morning on 13 July.
18 Q. Well, it says, I stopped at 0830 hours. Can that be correct?
19 A. No, sir, it's not. I believe that's 2030, given the context that
20 it says, I stopped last night.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. And at the bottom of it, again the reference that, We'll ask
23 UNPROFOR for fuel. You can count on that.
24 The final part of the conversation attributed to Krsmanovic,
25 noting that the maximum amount of rotations that they can do are two per
1 day. Now, he accurately also reflects that they're not able to do it last
2 night as a result of security reasons. And certainly from other
3 information that's available in both documents and in testimony before
4 this Court, the security situation on the road starting the evening of the
5 12th would certainly preclude running buses down that highway at night.
6 Q. Meaning in particular what?
7 A. The evening of the 12th is when they started to have the first
8 significant contact with Bosnian Muslim forces from the column near the
9 road approximately near the Sandici area. So that would have effectively
10 cut the road off for bus communications, particularly at night.
11 Q. All right. What's the next document we want to go to for the --
12 so we get more into the 13th of July?
13 A. This is Prosecution Exhibit 456; it is a 13 July report by the RS
14 RDB. And in this particular instance, the first paragraph is the
15 paragraph of interest reflecting the general knowledge. Specifically, as
16 I just noted earlier, it reflects that on the night of 12 to 13 July,
17 members of the VRS and the MUP captured a large number of Muslim soldiers
18 numbering over 300 in ambushes set up in the general Konjevic Polje area.
19 Q. Aside from this specific reference, do you have any other specific
20 references to this many prisoners being captured that night?
21 A. No, sir, I do not.
22 Q. Do you have any indication, if this is true, what happened to the
23 300? Any information that would follow on this 300 reference?
24 A. Certainly not with respect to documents, but I believe that is
25 Court is aware of testimony with respect to individuals who were on that
1 road and will discuss -- who have discussed the process by which they were
2 captured starting the morning of the 13th, collected in various areas and
3 moved towards Bratunac during the afternoon and late evening of the 13th.
4 Looking at it in the general context, these prisoners obviously would have
5 been merged in with the continuing number of prisoners who were taken
6 during the day of 13 July. They would have alternately been assembled
7 from Konjevic Polje, would have moved to Nova Kasaba or Sandici which were
8 the larger collection areas.
9 Q. But for these 300 on the evening of 12, 13 July, you don't have
10 any specific information on?
11 A. No, sir.
12 Q. Anything else besides this general outline of the -- with some
13 specifics that you need to discuss?
14 A. No, sir.
15 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit. I believe it's 457,13 July, another
16 one of Mr. Vasic's reports.
17 A. Yes, sir. This is a report -- well, it's not -- we don't have
18 a stamp indicating when it was sent, in the context, it indicates
19 certainly the morning of 13 July and reflects that at 0400 hours on the
20 morning of 13 July, large enemy group was in contact at the Sandici and
21 Konjevic Polje areas, and reflects the police casualties in that battle.
22 It reflects that they have no cooperation or assistance from the VRS in
23 sealing off or destroying the large number of enemy soldiers, so that a
24 lot of problems can be expected until the operation is completed, because
25 the MUP is working alone in this operation and both the area and the
1 number of Muslim soldiers is large.
2 Q. Now, is that -- based on your knowledge is the MUP working
4 A. No, sir.
5 Q. What do you mean?
6 A. Certainly from within the context of Dragomir Vasic and the MUP
7 forces that are deployed from Sandici to Konjevic Polje, it just so
8 happens that their units were destined to bear the brunt of the military
9 assault of the column. From his perspective, I can certainly understand
10 why he believes he is working alone. In reality, when you look at the
11 broader situation in context - and perhaps it's more useful to do -- the
12 map here - while the MUP forces are holding the road from Konjevic Polje
13 to Sandici and somewhat to the south, in the woods along the defensive
14 lines you have the 4th Battalion and then the 1st Battalion of the
15 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. You have the 5th Engineer Battalion or
16 the caretaker elements at the garrison as well as elements of the Zvornik
17 military police in this area. And you have the military police battalion
18 of the 65th Protection Regiment from the intersection area south towards
19 Nova Kasaba. And of course, from Nova Kasaba south you have elements of
20 the Milici Light Infantry Brigade.
21 So I could understand in isolation, Dragomir Vasic feels his
22 forces are alone and fighting the column entirely on their own, in fact in
23 context they're not. Although, to be fair, his forces are receiving the
24 brunt of the damage.
25 Q. From the description you've just given us Bratunac Brigade forces
1 play any role in the direction of the Muslims, where they were going? How
2 does the Bratunac Brigade forces work into what the MUP are trying to do
3 along the road?
4 A. As documents that will be published later in the day on the 13th
5 and the morning of the 14th indicate, the Bratunac Brigade units will be
6 directed to begin sweep operations. And if I again may go back to the
7 map, what in effect will happen is that the MUP will maintain blocking
8 positions, and the 65th Protection Regiment, the military police, will
9 maintain positions along the road. And what is envisioned by the command
10 of the Drina Corps and ordered at the Bratunac Brigade level is a series
11 of movements by the Bratunac Brigade into the former air zone of the
12 enclave from their positions in an effort to essentially sweep the
13 remnants of the Muslim column out and away.
14 Q. When you say "out and away," for the record can you tell us what
15 direction --
16 A. Away from this particular area, away from the roadway and to push
17 them out towards Nova Kasaba.
18 Q. For the record when you say "this particular area," can you
19 describe it so the record will be clear?
20 A. Essentially as the remains of the column from Susnjari and Jaglici
21 to push them north-west towards Nova Kasaba and towards the Muslim lines
22 and essentially they're sweeping their terrain.
23 Q. Why don't you have a seat. You've used this term "Sweeping the
24 terrain." What do you mean by that?
25 A. In a military context, particularly as its translated from the
1 terminology of the former JNA, and I believe that I've discussed before,
2 it's very much like the cleansing type of the terrain. What we're in
3 effect referring to is a military operation that engages or pushes the
4 enemy before you so that once your troops have passed an area, it is
5 secure or at least that there are no significant remnants of enemy troops.
6 Q. Okay. We perhaps have time for one more document, Exhibit 458.
7 A. Yes, sir. This is a 13 July report from Dragomir Vasic, noting
8 another meeting in the morning on 13 July with General Mladic where we,
9 the MUP, were informed that the VRS is continuing operations towards Zepa
10 and leaving all other work to the MUP as follows. It lists that the MUP
11 are now being given responsibility for the evacuation of the remaining
12 civilian population from Srebrenica, killing of about 8.000 Muslim
13 soldiers whom we blocked in the woods near Konjevic Polje, and I'd like to
14 just point out in this context that we're not talking in this respect as
15 killing as anything unlawful. I believe what he is envisioning here is
16 the legitimate combat operations of engaging and destroying this column.
17 It notes this is going on and fighting the job is being done solely by MUP
18 units. He also notes his previous orders which are securing all key
19 buildings in the town of Srebrenica, controlling entry and setting up
20 checkpoints. And he's requesting in paragraph 4 that special detachments
21 of the -- or detachments of the special police brigade from Srbinje or
22 Doboj be sent to Konjevic Polje and noting that they'll be informed of
23 further developments.
24 Q. Now, again was this job being done at this time solely by the
1 A. With respect to both the evacuation listed in paragraph 1 and the
2 engagement of the Muslim column in 2, it was not being done solely by the
3 MUP. In fact, the army maintained -- remained as the primary apparatus by
4 which this was accomplished.
5 Q. It also says at the meeting with General Mladic this morning, we
6 were informed, et cetera. Do you have any documents or intercepts or any
7 other reliable information indicating where this meeting was held?
8 A. No, sir, I do.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that might be a good time to break.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
12 at 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
13 the 13th day of November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.