1 Thursday, 13 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 Yes, Mr. McCloskey. You may proceed.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning everyone.
12 WITNESS: RICHARD JOHN BUTLER [Resumed]
13 Examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
14 Q. Mr. Butler, yesterday we were just beginning to get into 13 July
15 and some of the documents and intercepts that were part of your continuing
16 narrative into the events and issues. So let's just get right into the
17 next document, and I'll ask you about some of the surrounding events if it
18 seems appropriate. So let's just go to the 459 and tell us what this is
19 and what you find significant about it for the events on those days.
20 A. This document is an interim combat report from the command of the
21 5th Engineering Battalion of the Drina Corps on 13 July 1995. As I had
22 indicated in my testimony yesterday on prior exhibits, the police forces
23 and particularly the individual Dragomir Vasic had the impression that he
24 was all alone on that particular road stretch and that they were the only
25 forces engaged in the fighting. And as this document indicates, in fact,
1 there were army units not only garrisoned there but were also engaged in
2 some of the combat operations and taking casualties. So this is a
3 document that I used just to set some context that there were other forces
4 not only along the road but in Konjevic Polje and other places. And the
5 combat that occurred on the 13th of July, as we'll get into, was an
6 operation that the army and the police units were both involved in.
7 Q. Okay. Let's go on to the next exhibit which is an intercept 206/1
8 dated 13 July. Tell us about this.
9 A. I believe it's Prosecution Exhibit 206, and that's a /A.
10 Q. /A. Thanks.
11 A. This is a 13 July intercept at 1009 hours. The correspondents
12 noted are an individual named Beara and an individual named Lukic. Beara,
13 we understand, is in fact, Colonel Ljubisa Beara of the VRS Main Staff
14 security organ. He is the head of that security organ. In the context of
15 this conversation -- well, just backing up first, this is the first either
16 document or intercept which puts Colonel Beara involved on the ground with
17 respect the issues related to Srebrenica 1995. So from a documentary
18 point of view, this is the first hit that we have on this individual. And
19 as you read through the text of the intercept, it's clear that the issue
20 of discussion is numbers of Bosnian Muslim soldiers who are now showing up
21 in and around the area of Konjevic Polje being disarmed and are being
22 taken prisoner.
23 Approximately three-quarters of the way down the intercept,
24 Colonel Beara is noting that shove them all on the playground, and in that
25 respect I believe this Court has heard testimony that hundreds of Bosnian
1 Muslim prisoners were held at Nova Kasaba at an area we call the football
2 pitch or the soccer field.
3 Q. Is there also an aerial image from the 13 of July related to that
5 A. Yes, sir, there is. On the second page, as they're talking about
6 numbers of prisoners as well as the numbers of individuals in the column,
7 again halfway down you have references to the fact that there are
8 indications that some of the Bosnian Muslims are killing themselves and
9 that there are also, in fact, plenty of wounded. And towards the bottom,
10 more references to the numbers of prisoners at Konjevic Polje.
11 The third page starts to -- of the intercept starts to get away
12 from the issue of prisoners and starts to go into more topics related to
13 the general political situation with respect to the UN and visits to other
14 places such as Rogatica, Vlasenica. And that is the end of the intercept
15 as we have it.
16 Q. Now, does Mr. Beara statements indicate in part his -- an attitude
17 towards prisoners?
18 A. Certainly from the context of this intercept it indicates an
19 extremely negative attitude towards the prisoners.
20 Q. Which particular statement are you referring to?
21 A. Well, first on the first page with respect to references that
22 "They're killing themselves," Beara's phrase, "Well, excellent, just let
23 them continue. Fuck it" -- I'm sorry that was the second page. My
24 mistake. On the first page with respect to, "Shove them all on the
25 playground, who gives an fuck about them." And we could probably go
1 through for a few more references, but I believe that gives you the
2 general idea.
3 Q. Okay. Let's go on to the next exhibit. And this is Exhibit 208
4 and from the 13th at 1355 hours. What's the significance of this?
5 A. This particular intercept is the first intercept which I believe
6 specifically relates to the beginnings of the organised mass execution
7 process. It is a discussion between an individual Colonel Milanovic, who
8 was in fact Colonel Ignjat Milanovic, a Drina Corps staff officer and the
9 Palma duty officer. While part of the discussion with Palma is blank,
10 enough exists that you can determine that Colonel Milanovic is inquiring
11 from the Palma duty officer as to the availability of a bulldozer with the
12 scoop and is being informed that for whatever reason it is not available
13 before a certain time. He makes it clear that should one be found, it
14 should report to Konjevic Polje at that time to be there for us. This
15 corresponds in time to testimony that I believe is before the Court with
16 respect to this mass execution which occurs in the Cerska Valley area at
17 approximately 1300 hours on 13 July 1995. If I can relate to the map for
18 a second.
19 This is Konjevic Polje, and the Cerska Valley execution takes
20 place in this area right here.
21 Q. And for the record that was the orange dot just a few kilometres
22 below the village of Cerska. And can you just remind us just the high
23 points of the what we know about the Cerska Valley execution, just very
25 A. The information we have about the Cerska Valley information comes
1 from a witness who witnessed a convoy of three buses led by an armoured
2 personnel carrier and later followed by a piece of engineering equipment,
3 a back hoe, I believe, at the intersection of Konjevic Polje turning down
4 the road that parallels the Cerska River. We don't know much beyond that,
5 in so much as there are no known survivors of the Cerska Valley
7 Q. And just very briefly, the mass grave, what did it tell us there
8 at Cerska?
9 A. In respect to the mass grave at Cerska, a number of the bodies
10 exhumed, I believe a large portion of them, were exhumed with hands wired
11 behind their backs and it was generally an undisturbed grave. It was not
12 one that was secondary and had been disturbed. I believe Mr. Manning will
13 be coming on and will be able to provide more details about the condition
14 of the bodies. But certainly in a broad level it had all the hallmarks of
15 an execution. It was not a battle casualty related grave.
16 Q. Now, bulldozers, as noted in this intercept, can be used for
17 legitimate military functions. Is that right?
18 A. Yes, sir, it is.
19 Q. Do you have any indication of any such military functions
20 occurring at this time involving excavations or bulldozers?
21 A. No, sir. That is an issue that I specifically checked in
22 reviewing this intercept. I've done a considerable amount of research
23 trying to determine if there was any feasible military alternative or
24 evidence thereof that would relate to this, and I found no evidence to
25 demonstrate that.
1 Q. Are you aware of any other mass graves in the area of Cerska,
2 Konjevic Polje, Nova Kasaba?
3 A. There is a smaller, well not mass grave in this instance, but
4 there is a smaller execution site that we call the Jadar River execution
5 site that occurred approximately one hour prior to this.
6 Q. And did that involve any obvious signs of organisation?
7 A. My understanding of the facts behind that is that a bus pulled up,
8 escorted -- a group of Bosnian Muslims were loaded on the bus, taken to a
9 remote location, and executed. The fact that a bus at that time was
10 pulled out of the general process of continuing to remove the Bosnian
11 Muslims from the Potocari area and was made available for that use is an
12 indication that it was organised at a higher level.
13 Q. Okay. Getting back to -- do you know of -- the bulldozer
14 question, do you know of any mass graves in that area, Konjevic Polje,
15 Nova Kasaba?
16 A. As I said, from my understanding, and it's been a while since I've
17 had to do the mass graves part, but certainly the Cerska Valley mass
18 graves, they're -- further on towards Kravica you have the Glogova mass
20 Q. Okay. Now, this 13 July intercept regarding bulldozers, is there
21 another document from Zvornik that we'll get into later that mentions
22 anything along the same lines?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. What's that?
25 A. In an upcoming exhibit where we have the duty logbook of the duty
1 operations officer of the Zvornik Brigade, at approximately the 1300 hour
2 time frame, there will be a remark in that book that reflects bulldozers.
3 I believe that comment is directly related to this conversation.
4 Q. What's the next exhibit we've got?
5 A. Approximately two hours later, and Prosecution Exhibit 211, on 13
6 July, you had the synopsis of a conversation where Milanovic is calling
7 the customs house, which is the location of the headquarters of the 5th
8 Engineer Battalion, asking for Simovic or Avramovic, both whom are the
9 commander and deputy commander. Major Avramovic is the commander of the
10 Engineering Battalion, and as indicated from one of the previous exhibits,
11 Simovic is the deputy commander of the battalion.
12 Q. I believe the deputy commander's name was a little different than
14 A. If I can go back to P459, this is the deputy commander Mile
15 Simanic. Again, the topic of conversation is the location or the
16 acquisition of excavators or a bulldozer, being told that the answer is
17 negative, that they're all in use. Going to the second part of the
18 conversation, there is a reference to a Lieutenant Colonel Blagojevic, and
19 I'd just like to note that in this respect I believe the individual that
20 they're talking about is Lieutenant Colonel Nedjo Blagojevic, the Drina
21 Corps communications officer.
22 Q. All right. And what is the next exhibit you set aside?
23 A. This is an intercept between two correspondents at 1730 hours on
24 13 July 1995. And it's discussing gross numbers of individuals, men -- or
25 basically individuals of military age.
1 Q. This is Exhibit 213.
2 A. The correspondents discuss the fact that they're still
3 transporting women and children, and that at various places which are not
4 designated, there are roughly 1500 to 2.000. It does talk later in the
5 conversation about, "Okay, and then I send them and have them report there
6 in Kasaba to the last." Nova Kasaba is indicated as a collection point
7 for Bosnian Muslim taken on 13 July, 1995.
8 Q. "And have them report to the stadium," where do you think that
9 refers to?
10 A. I believe that's a reference to the football pitch, sir. Also
11 noting an unspecified job with respect to transportation. Is it finished?
12 And they're at the intersection of what I believe is Konjevic Polje/Nova
13 Kasaba road.
14 Q. All right. And what's the next document?
15 A. At this point in time at 1730 hours on 13 July, as the information
16 that is before the Court, one of the first -- or I shouldn't say first,
17 but one of the most significant incidents that occurs in the area of
18 Bratunac and specifically in the zone of the Bratunac infantry brigade is
19 an event that we call the massacre at the Kravica warehouse. As the Court
20 is aware, over a two-and-a-half-hour period, from approximately 1700 to
21 1930 hours on 13 July, a number of Bosnian Muslims believed to be between
22 750 and 1.000 who were being detained at that warehouse were killed. This
23 document --
24 Q. This is Exhibit 464.
25 A. Is an extract from the entry log of the Bratunac military medical
1 centre, covering the period 13 July 1995 in the afternoon. If you look at
2 entry 1489, it reflects that an individual by the name of Miroslav
3 Stanojevic was admitted at 1730 hours. He was wounded at Kravica. It
4 describes the injury as an entrance and exit wound, and reflects that he
5 is a member of the Red Beret unit. The Red Berets, as you're aware, is an
6 intervention platoon subordinate to the 3rd Battalion of the Bratunac
7 Light Infantry Brigade. Entry 1490 reflects --
8 Q. Mr. Butler, before we go there, do you have any other information
9 indicating what unit Miroslav Stanojevic belongs to besides this entry?
10 A. We have been able to cross-index his name on a listing of all the
11 soldiers of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade for July of 1995, which of
12 course is part of the records that the OTP has seized, and it, in fact,
13 confirms his association and that he is a member of that unit.
14 Q. And this medical record, how did the OTP get this medical record?
15 A. The OTP obtained this particular medical record in a search of the
16 Bratunac medical centre.
17 Q. And do you recall what eventually the fate of Mr. Stanojevic was?
18 A. I believe the investigation has determined that he died in an auto
19 accident approximately a year to two years ago.
20 Q. All right. If you could go down to the next one then.
21 A. This is item number 1490, reflecting an individual Rade Cuturic.
22 He came into the medical centre at 1740 hours on 13 July 1995. He is a --
23 from Sekovici and is identified as a member of the MUP special brigade.
24 In fact, as the information has indicated as part of my report, I don't
25 have it as an exhibit, but Rade Cuturic is in fact the deputy commander of
1 the Sekovici special police detachment. It reflects that he was also
2 wounded at Kravica and he's suffering from burns on the palm of his hand.
3 Closing the book on Mr. Cuturic, within a month he becomes the
4 commander of that detachment and I believe in late August, early
5 September, he is killed in combat on Mount Majevica. Continuing to entry
6 1491, it indicates the admittance of Krsto Dragicevic, also a member of
7 the special police brigade from Skelani, wounded at Kravica and in fact
9 Q. Do you know if during these early evening hours of 1730 to 1930,
10 do you know if there was any combat in the area of Kravica from the Muslim
11 column filtering through?
12 A. No, sir, again because of the dictates of terrain, the route of
13 the column did not come near the actual village of Kravica. It did not
14 come near the road until a point near Sandici a point a few kilometres up
15 the road. The investigation and interviews and the general body of
16 information surrounding the Kravica warehouse clearly indicates that there
17 was no combat activity at that time at that location.
18 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next exhibit.
19 A. This is Prosecution Exhibit 465. This is the details of the
20 welfare status of the familiar of Dragicevic, Krsto, reflecting his former
21 organisational unit as a 2nd Detachment from Sekovici. And again, the
22 identification of both those individuals, Mr. Cuturic and Mr. Dragicevic
23 as members of the 2nd Detachment of Sekovici at Kravica is consistent with
24 other information which the investigation has developed.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go on to the next exhibit, 466. And tell us what
1 this is.
2 A. This is a Main Staff order that is dated 13 July, and with the
3 Court's indulgence I will be able to demonstrate that by the next exhibit,
4 which is from the Main Staff to the commands of the Drina Corps, the Drina
5 Corps forward command post and a number of the brigades of the Drina
6 Corps, directly to the command or chief of staff personally. This
7 document deals with the prevention of Muslim groups from crossing towards
8 Tuzla and Kladanj and is an order from the Main Staff.
9 Q. What about the Bratunac Brigade? I don't see that in the heading?
10 A. No, sir. It is not directed to them, this particular order, in
11 the heading. However, we are able to determine, and I believe this is
12 the -- a receipt stamp of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. So while
13 it was not directed to them, they did in fact receive a copy. Given the
14 fact that there was still a Drina Corps IKM at Bratunac, that may very
15 well explain why this copy went through Bratunac. This order directs --
16 is a component of paragraph 1 that the corps command and brigade commands
17 shall use all available able-bodied manpower in their zones of
18 responsibility in discovering, blocking, disarming, and capturing observed
19 Muslim groups as well as preventing their crossing into Muslim-controlled
21 Paragraph 3 specifically directs that the units place captured and
22 disarmed Muslims in suitable premises where they can be guarded by small
23 forces, and that this is to be reported immediately to the superior
25 Moving to page 2 of this document, it discusses that on paragraph
1 6, "Ensure through the competent organs of the authorities that all the
2 available manpower is engaged and that there is coordination in carrying
3 out the above aforementioned tasks."
4 Paragraph 7 directs that "Reports on captured and blocked
5 groups --" or "report on captured and blocked groups on secure lines of
6 communication." Again, we're talking here about the reporting of
7 prisoners in this particular and that it should not be discussed openly.
8 "Vigorously prevent all unnecessary and excessive conversations which may
9 lead to a leaking of confidential conversation and indicate to the enemy
10 our intentions and activities."
11 And of course paragraph 8, "Through interim reports, provide an
12 overview of the actual situation in all unit zones of responsibility in
13 order to enable the Main Staff to take measures in good time."
14 And this document is type signed by Lieutenant General Milan Gvero
15 who is, of course, the assistant commander for morale, legal and religious
16 affairs of the Main Staff.
17 Q. This document was not directed to the Bratunac Brigade. What does
18 that mean?
19 A. If it's not directed to the Bratunac Brigade specifically, it is
20 not an order that is directly applicable to them.
21 Q. All right. Is that how you view it?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. All right. Let's see what the next exhibit is.
24 A. This exhibit, Prosecution 467, is Drina Corps order 13 July 1995,
25 which is in effect their amplification of the Main Staff order that we've
1 previously discussed. You will note in this particular order it is
2 directed to all Drina Corps subordinate units now inclusive of the
3 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and for the attention of the Drina Corps
4 IKM 1 forward command post. In the first paragraph, it references the
5 Main Staff order which we've previously discussed. And it is on this
6 basis that I can conclude that this initial order was, in fact, a 13 July
7 order from the Main Staff and its number was 03/4-1629.
8 If you look at the actual text of the order itself, with very
9 slight modifications, it reads as almost a direct lift from the Main Staff
10 order. And as I had indicated in my earlier testimony, that is a
11 relatively common practice within the VRS, on the transmission of orders
12 from higher to lower. In paragraph 1 in this particular instance it
13 specifically notes that brigade commands in their areas of responsibility
14 will employ all available able-bodied men to discover, block, disarm, and
15 capture any Muslim groups observed and prevent their crossing into Muslim
17 It also discusses the setting of around-the-clock ambushes along
18 the entire Zvornik, Crni Vrh, Sekovici, Vlasenica road. Paragraph 3
19 indicates that they should put captured and disarmed Muslims in suitable
20 buildings that can be secured by small forces and immediately inform the
21 superior command.
22 Q. Mr. Butler, are you aware of Muslim prisoners being put in
23 buildings on the 13th of July in the Bratunac Brigade zone?
24 A. Yes, sir, I am.
25 Q. Where was that?
1 A. Notwithstanding the prisoners that were placed in the Kravica
2 warehouse, you had additional groups of prisoners that were in a facility
3 known as the hangar. You had groups of prisoners in a facility known as
4 the Vuk Karadzic school. Very rapidly as those facilities filled to
5 capacity, you had situations where the Bosnian Muslim prisoners were kept
6 inside trucks or buses that were grouped together in other locations in
7 and around the Bratunac area, which would include a grouping of buses and
8 trucks in the village of Kravica. It would include a grouping of buses
9 and trucks in the parking lot of the Vuk Karadzic school. It would also
10 include groupings of buses and trucks at the Vihor transportation
12 As you can go through the rest of the paragraphs, again it is a
13 direct lift from the Main Staff order, particularly with respect to
14 paragraph 7. And this order, again noting that interim reports are
15 required so that the command of the Drina Corps may be able to take
16 measures in good time. So from a perspective of the brigade commands, the
17 superior command in this case is the headquarters of the Drina Corps.
18 Q. And in your opinion would this order be directed to Mr. Blagojevic
19 as commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
20 A. Yes, sir, it would.
21 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit. I believe it's 468. Can you tell
22 us what this is.
23 A. This particular order, and as I've discussed earlier in my
24 testimony, at a meeting that took place at the evening of 12 July 1995, it
25 was determined that the army taking advantage of the current military and
1 political situation in Eastern Bosnia at the time was going to reorient
2 their mobile forces and attempt to capture the Zepa safe area. This order
3 dated July 1995, in fact, is the operations order for the Zepa operation,
4 which is known as Stupcana 95.
5 Q. And what is the Bratunac Brigade's responsibility for this?
6 A. If you go to page 3 of this particular order, paragraph 5/7, it
7 notes that the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade presently is allotted a
8 rather small part, that they are to allocate one company to join the
9 Milici Light Infantry Brigade and carry out tasks assigned to that
10 brigade. It notes that the company is to report to the commander of the
11 Milici Light Infantry Brigade in the area of Bracan by 1800 hours on 13
13 Q. And will we see this implemented in future exhibits?
14 A. Yes, sir, we will.
15 Q. Okay. And whose name is this order made under?
16 A. This order is signed under the name of General Major Radislav
17 Krstic as the chief of staff, and it will perhaps be more clear on the
18 B/C/S version of the original.
19 Q. And can you get an indication of any time associated with this
21 A. There is no obvious date, time stamp on the order, however, it is
22 my understanding that certainly the drafting of this order would have
23 occurred before General Krstic's assumption of command between 1800 and
24 2000 hours on 13 July.
25 Q. And why do you think he's not in command at this time of the
1 actual Drina Corps I should say, to be specific?
2 A. At this particular time, although it's rather close, General
3 Zivanovic is still the corps commander.
4 Q. In fact, what's the title that he drafts this document under?
5 A. "Nacelnik Staba," is in fact chief of staff.
6 Q. All right. And let's go to the next document, Exhibit 469, I
8 A. This document is the daily combat report of the Bratunac Light
9 Infantry Brigade for 13 July 1995 to the command of the Drina Corps.
10 Paragraph 1 discusses the enemy situation and the fact that their forces
11 are not meeting resistance. It also reflects the fact that the command of
12 the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade is aware of a large enemy group that
13 has been successfully encircled in the area of Konjevic Polje, Kasaba, and
15 Paragraph 2 reflects what the assignments of the brigade are. I
16 would direct your attention to the last sentence of paragraph 2 which
17 indicates that the brigade command is working on the formation of a
18 company to be sent to the area of Podravanje, the school, to carry out the
19 assignment. Podravanje is located in the Bacan area and, in fact, this is
20 an indication that the brigade is working on the task that has been
21 assigned to it under the Stupcana 95 order.
22 Q. Mr. Butler, yesterday you spoke briefly about Mr. Vasic's document
23 where he said on the 13th he was working alone dealing with the Muslim
24 column along the Konjevic Polje/Bratunac road. Does this document give us
25 an idea where the Bratunac Brigade forces were on the 13th at that time?
1 A. Yes, sir, it does.
2 Q. And can you just use the map again and tell us what it says and
3 what you believe that means.
4 A. The Ravni Buljim area is this general area in this location to the
5 south of Kravica. And as indicated in paragraph 2, the troops are, at
6 least at this point, beginning a limited movement out of their previously
7 held line of defence and are pushing forward against the remnants of the
8 Bosnian Muslim column.
9 Q. And as they push forward, the direction of the remnants of the
10 Muslims would go where?
11 A. The column is continuing to move towards the crossing points
12 between Konjevic Polje and Nova Kasaba. So it's becoming clustered in
13 this area, and in fact this is the larger region that is discussed in the
14 Bratunac Brigade report for paragraph 1.
15 Q. All right. And can you tell us anything about the signatures
16 or -- on this -- or drafts on this report, if we could go into the B/C/S
17 version of this.
18 A. On the handwritten version of the B/C/S draft of this -- my
19 apologies -- this again reflects a signature which I've come to recognise
20 as that of Colonel Blagojevic's.
21 Q. All right. Let's go on to the next exhibit. And just -- I'm
22 sorry, before we leave that, can you give us any time estimate related to
23 this document?
24 A. I'm sorry. If you go to the typed version or teletyped version,
25 it reflects the communications clerk processing this document at 1545
1 hours on 13 July 1995.
2 Q. Thank you. If we could go on to the next exhibit, 470.
3 A. This is an interim combat report from the command of the 1st
4 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade to the command of the Drina Corps,
5 reflecting that at 1700 hours "We sent a unit consisting of 92 soldiers
6 led by the chief of staff to carry out the following tasks in the area of
7 Bracan. The unit was sent in the direction of Bratunac, Milici, Bracan."
8 Q. Now, can you show us what route -- just tell us what route they
9 should have taken if they went in that direction, what roads they should
10 have gone on.
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. I'm not sure you need to stand up, but if you could just explain
14 A. The Bratunac -- I'm going to have to stand. They would have
15 travelled the road Bratunac, Konjevic Polje, Milici, and Bracan is
16 approximately in this area right here.
17 Q. That's due west a few kilometres from Zeleni Jadar on the map.
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Are you aware of any particular units that were assigned as part
20 of this group of 92 soldiers?
21 A. At this point in time, I'm not specifically aware of exactly which
22 group of soldiers is going at this particular time.
23 Q. Any indication that the Red Berets were part of this unit?
24 A. There are some indications that elements of the Red Berets were
25 part of this unit, and we will get more visibility on the Red Berets in a
1 future combat report which discusses their exact location.
2 Q. What indication do you have that they may have been part of this
4 A. On 14 July there will be a Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade report
5 indicating that the Red Berets are deployed with the Milici Brigade. And
6 there will be further references to them with the Milici unit in
8 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document.
9 A. One issue, if we could remain on this document.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. One thing of significance that I believe should be noted out with
12 respect to the command process is that by sending the brigade chief of
13 staff to carry out this mission personally, it leaves the commander as the
14 focal point for information now within the entire brigade. He has, in
15 effect, sent his deputy out of zone on a mission. And I just have to note
16 in respect to the issue of command, that by doing that, he then becomes
17 the sole focal point of any information that should be passed back and
18 forth within the brigade.
19 Q. Can you, in relation to that, give the Trial Chamber a basic
20 definition of the chief of staff duties in a brigade.
21 A. With respect to a chief of staff, as we've noted, he also performs
22 duties as the deputy commander, but he is the individual who is
23 responsible for organising and coordinating the activities of the brigade
24 staff. So he as an individual is the facilitator by which the brigade
25 commander gives instructions and by which they are carried out in the
1 process of orders to subordinates.
2 Q. And in the absence of the chief of staff, who takes over those
4 A. It would be the chief of operations.
5 Q. Do you know in the Bratunac Brigade who that might have been?
6 A. My understanding of the individuals of the Bratunac Brigade at the
7 time, I do not know who the designated operations officer was. The only
8 officer that I'm able to identify based on my documents who was performing
9 duties in July of 1995 during this period would be a Lieutenant Micic.
10 Q. And given the handwritten versions of this document, do you
11 recognise any of the -- any handwriting or anything like that?
12 A. No, sir. As you can see, there is no signature over the
13 handwritten signature block.
14 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you. Let's go on to the next document,
15 471. And tell us what this is.
16 A. This document is the 13 July 1995 regular or daily combat report
17 from the Drina Corps command to the Main Staff of the army.
18 Q. Where was this obtained from? Where did the OTP get this?
19 A. This document was obtained from Colonel Obrenovic.
20 Q. So you have just recently been able to review this document?
21 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
22 Q. And what do you find significant in it for your narrative?
23 A. With respect to paragraph 2, combat readiness, it reflects what
24 the corps' missions are at that time. Specifically it notes the 1st
25 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade and the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade
1 are combing the terrain of the Srebrenica enclave. It reflects that the
2 other groups or other combat groups from other corps units are carrying
3 out the final preparations or last preparations for resolving the issue of
4 the Zepa enclave.
5 In paragraph 3, situation in the zone of responsibility, it notes
6 that so far the transportation of 15.000 Muslims from Potocari to Kladanj
7 has been organised. It also notes in the next paragraph under 3 that the
8 corps command is aware that in Konjevic Polje and also in Nova Kasaba
9 reception of Muslim civilians and soldiers who surrendered is being taken
10 in an organised fashion.
11 The second page reflects more general information as to logistical
12 support, fuel, and ammunition usage. The third page reflects losses. It
13 discusses the conclusions and projections for further action in paragraph
14 8. And as the final paragraph of paragraph 8, it notes what the
15 commander's decisions are with respect to this. Particularly with respect
16 to the second paragraph, it notes that part of the forces in coordination
17 with MUP forces shall control the territory behind the lines, detect,
18 block, capture, and disarm dispersed Muslim forces, protect the population
19 and property, and at the same time secure the lines of defence from
20 attacks from behind.
21 It further notes that part of the forces in coordination with the
22 MUP forces will control and set up ambush operations along the Muslim
23 groups' axis of withdrawal, completely secure the Bratunac, Konjevic
24 Polje, Milici, Vlasenica, and the Zvornik, Sekovici, Vlasenica roads, and
25 make them passable around the clock.
1 Q. So the work of the part of the Drina Corps forces with the MUP in
2 this area, how does that fit into your previous analysis on that similar
4 A. I believe this in fact dovetails with my previous analysis that
5 the forces of the Drina Corps brigades and the forces of the deployed MUP
6 forces are operating under the command of the Drina Corps.
7 Q. All right. And who and what position has apparently written this
8 order, or at least authored it.
9 A. This order is signed by Major General Radislav Krstic as the
10 commander of the Drina Corps. And if you will go just below that, you
11 will note an incoming received time stamp from the communications office
12 of the Drina Corps reflecting that this document was received by them at
13 13 July at 1945 hours, was processed and sent by 2010 hours. And if I can
14 take you to the last page of the B/C/S version of the order, this is in
15 fact what it looks like.
16 Q. So in your opinion, who was commander of the Drina Corps at this
18 A. General Major Radislav Krstic.
19 Q. Okay. And let's go to the next document, if you don't have
20 anything else to say about that. This is 472. Now, just briefly, this
21 appears to be another order by General Krstic as the commander at -- on 13
22 July. Can you tell in terms of time frame how it relates to the
23 previous -- the daily combat report to the Main Staff that he signed.
24 A. The English language translation of the communications centre
25 stamp, again reflects it arriving at the communications centre at 13 July
1 2000 hours and being processed through at 13 July 2030 hours. And if I
2 can move to the B/C/S version of that, which unfortunately is not as
3 readable as it should be, these are the markings on that. And again, the
4 signature of General Major Radislav Krstic as the commander.
5 This document specifically is an order to the commands of the
6 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade,
7 and Skelani Separate Battalion with respect to carrying out sweep
8 operations throughout -- and search operations through the liberated area
9 of the former Srebrenica enclave.
10 Q. Now, you've interchanged the word "search" and "sweep." I know
11 that the translations may be different, but when it says, "Search the
12 terrain," what do you think is meant by that in this context of this
14 A. In this context, I don't believe it is a simple reconnaissance. I
15 believe the context is a sweep operation.
16 Q. All right. And will we see more on this order later?
17 A. Yes, sir, we will.
18 Q. And can you just briefly describe what that will be.
19 A. In the next series of -- or in the next couple of exhibits, there
20 will be a corresponding order from the commander of the Bratunac Light
21 Infantry Brigade, which implements the tasks outlined in paragraph 1 of
22 this order.
23 Q. All right. And let's go to the next exhibit, which I believe is
24 an evening intercept of 13 July, 1945 hours.
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Can you tell us about this.
2 A. This is Prosecution Exhibit 217. And it is a subscriber calling
3 from General Krstic's location, which, on the basis of the previous
4 documents will be the headquarters of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica,
5 looking for a Ljubisa who has gone to Bratunac. It discusses a bus from
6 Janja and it discusses ones arriving from Doboj. And based on those
7 references which are locations where there are detachments of the
8 Republika Srpska special police brigade, I believe this document reflects
9 a conversation or somebody is looking for Mr. Ljubisa Borovcanin, who is
10 the deputy commander of the special police brigade, and who is in fact in
11 the Bratunac area, as we discussed earlier, particularly in and around the
12 town of Bratunac at this time.
13 Q. And just the basic subject matter of this is what, again, just to
14 be clear?
15 A. Well correspondent X is looking for an update on the status of the
16 arrival of special police units, and specifically reflects that Ljubisa
17 should call me at General Krstic's.
18 Q. So it's about reinforcements?
19 A. In the context of that time, yes, sir.
20 Q. Let's go to the next document, another intercept a little later,
21 2040 hours on the 13th, Exhibit 220.
22 A. This is at 2040 hours. And it reflects a conversation between
23 General Krstic and Ljubisa Borovcanin. Borovcanin notes where his
24 location is at the time. When asked whether it is, he knows that he is
25 here at the command post. I believe that the command post he is referring
1 to is in fact the headquarters of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
2 Q. Why is that?
3 A. Given the general body of traffic that has been passed back and
4 forth and that these are intercepts from the military communications
5 network, indicates that if he's being intercepted in this conversation,
6 he's talking over that network, and that would of course be the command
7 post of the Bratunac Brigade.
8 Q. And just the subject matter of this conversation, what do you
9 think is going on here?
10 A. In this particular respect, this is police Lieutenant Colonel
11 Borovcanin updating General Krstic as to the situation with his units, and
12 also asking whether there is anything special for us from you, at which
13 point Krstic then replies he's working on that part. So this in context
14 is a piece of information that I believe continues to confirm the
15 relationship between the MUP, certainly special police brigade, and the
16 army that the army is commanding the MUP operations at that time.
17 Q. And at 2040 hours on 13 July, would that have been anywhere near
18 the time of the Kravica warehouse killings?
19 A. This conversation would be occurring approximately three hours,
20 three and a half hours from the beginning of the executions. And if
21 survivor accounts are accurate, approximately an hour after the last of
22 the series of shootings.
23 Q. And from your understanding, were Borovcanin's people involved in
25 A. My understanding of the evidence base that we have is that the
1 soldiers or the police of the 2nd Sekovici Detachment were principle
2 players in this execution.
3 Q. All right. Let's keep going on to the next document, Exhibit 221,
4 another intercept a little later in the evening, 2100 hours.
5 A. This particular conversation between Krsmanovic, who we've
6 previously identified as the chief of transportation of the Drina Corps,
7 and a correspondent Viskovic, whom I do not know his affiliation. The
8 text of the intercept discusses the fact that at 2100 hours, there are 700
9 people in Sandici village. These individuals are Bosnian Muslims. It
10 notes that buses need to stop there and load 10 pieces and bring them here
11 to me. I'm not sure what that particular phrase means in context.
12 On the broader level, it discusses the fact that there is still a
13 process ongoing where Bosnian Muslim prisoners are being collected from
14 these known collection points along the road and put in buses and trucks.
15 And as the information before the Court indicates, at this late hour, many
16 of the people who are picked up here will spend the evening of 13 July in
17 those same buses and trucks at various locations in and around the
18 Bratunac area.
19 Q. Now, this comment as we go down a little farther, "You go there.
20 Anyway, that's a Bratunac checkpoint. Have that loaded and brought here
21 because I don't have any communication with the checkpoint from here."
22 Can you make anything of what that means, that's a Bratunac
24 A. In this respect, I believe what they're discussing is a checkpoint
25 that was set up by the Bratunac municipal police along the road from
1 Bratunac to the Konjevic Polje intersection. I believe it was set up
2 before the Kravica in order to prevent civilian traffic from going along
3 that road.
4 Q. All right. Let's go to the next series of documents. Well, 476
5 is the first one.
6 A. The next series of exhibits are English language translations of
7 handwritten interrogation notes of Bosnian Muslim prisoners whom, as you
8 read the context of the conversation you're able to determine or at least
9 I'm able to determine that these people were taken prisoner during the day
10 of 13 July 1995. These interrogation notes were found in the security
11 office of the Bratunac -- or of the former Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade
12 during the OTP search.
13 Without going into many of the details of the information that's
14 derived, I would again illustrate a point that I made earlier in my
15 testimony about the identity of the prisoner. And that in each and every
16 instance here, the first information that is obtained from the individual
17 is his own personal identification to include his full name, date of
18 birth, and where possible, place of birth.
19 Q. Now, if you recall, do any of these individuals that you'll be
20 briefly discussing come from Potocari, from the crowd at Potocari?
21 A. No, sir. These individuals, based on their stories, are
22 individuals who were captured or surrendered from the Bosnian Muslim
23 column on or about 13 July 1995. Let me be clear on that, on 13 July
25 Q. Okay. Now, this first person Resid Sinanovic, can you give us --
1 we've heard his name before, in what context?
2 A. I believe that there is testimony before this Trial Chamber which
3 identifies this individual as having been captured at Konjevic Polje on 13
4 July 1995 and taken from the location at Konjevic Polje towards the
5 Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
6 Q. All right. And this individual and some of the others, did you
7 research their name in the various missing lists?
8 A. In the case of all of the individuals who we have records on as
9 being interrogated, I attempted to match their names to the names of
10 individuals who are on the ICRC missing list for Srebrenica 1995. As I've
11 indicated in my narrative, all of the individuals who are interviewed as
12 part of this interrogation are, in fact, on the ICRC missing list.
13 Q. Does that include Resid Sinanovic?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I notice I'm a little over. Sorry.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Mr. Butler, I think we finished with Mr. Sinanovic. And could you
23 briefly put up the next group just to confirm. Now, Nazif Avdic. It says
24 he was not a soldier, so is it possible he comes from Potocari?
25 A. No, sir. I believe he was part of the column.
1 Q. The rest of these, are there references that would lead you to
2 indicate that, Mr. Dedic, Mr. Husic, Mr. -- the other ones?
3 A. Yes, sir, I think the information taken from them indicates that
4 they're all from the column. And this is Prosecution Exhibit 477.
5 Q. All right. Let's then go to 478. Why is this different -- or do
6 you know why this was broken down, these handwritten notes, in different
7 exhibits like this? Or are they part of the same bunch, as far as you?
8 A. They are part of the same bunch but this is just a separate note,
9 as you can see on the B/C/S version.
10 Q. Okay. And Hasib Ibisevic is on the missing list?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. And just finishing with these three, just to point out that it is
14 an indication of some individual taking the effort to interview these
15 people and extract combat-related information for them that would
16 certainly be useful for the various commanders who were planning
17 operations against the column, hence the references to numbers and
18 destination of the column.
19 Q. Okay. And then 479, Mr. Husic is also missing -- from the ICRC
20 missing list.
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. And that -- can you tell the Court how people are identified in
23 Bosnia regarding their names and -- so how you can gauge -- I know there
24 may be another witness that talks about this subject of populations and
25 the ICRC missing list, but how is it that you can compare names like this
1 to a list with any sort of accuracy?
2 A. Given the general trend that there are many individuals who share
3 the first and last name, and in many cases sometimes even the date of
4 birth throughout the country, one of the key identifying features that is
5 used by the residents of the country themselves, is part of the naming
6 process to identify the individual as the son or daughter of -- and list
7 the parents. That's a customary feature that we see. So when we -- or at
8 least certainly when I and I know other researchers as well, when they
9 cross index the names, it is not considered to be a conclusive
10 identification until you get not only the family name and the first name,
11 but also the parents' names as a match.
12 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, Exhibit 480. We're
13 still on 13 July dealing with some command-type documents.
14 A. This is a document from the IKM of the Drina Corps, and if I could
15 just note on the original B/C/S teletype version, in fact it says IKM
16 Drina Corps Bratunac. And to point out the disparity on that, the
17 handwritten version up here reflects part of that and we're missing, I
18 think, one page of the handwritten version. I'll have to check. But
19 again, the teletype version identifying the IKM is still in Bratunac at
20 this particular junction.
21 Q. So the English version just missed that, it looks like?
22 A. It missed the phrase Bratunac.
23 Q. So we should write that in on your English version. All right and
24 tell us about this document, how it fits in.
25 A. It is directed to the command of the Drina Corps intelligence
1 department, and as you'll note from the signature, it's from
2 Colonel Radoslav Jankovic who we've previously identified as a member of
3 the Main Staff intelligence department.
4 Q. Now, do you mean signature or signature block?
5 A. Well, the signature block and if we go to the handwritten version
6 of this, I believe that these have been identified as his initials.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. This report informs the recipients that on 13 July 1995 at 2000
9 hours, the evacuation of the entire Muslim population was completed. It
10 also notes the status of 57 wounded from the UNPROFOR base at the hospital
11 of Bratunac -- I'm sorry there are noted 57 wounded are placed in the
12 hospital at Bratunac. 18 more are transferred later and that there are 54
13 more wounded at the UNPROFOR base. It discusses tomorrow the efforts that
14 will be organised pursuant to the evacuation of the 54 wounded from the
15 UNPROFOR base. And in this respect, the deputy command of the battalion
16 that we're referring to is not the deputy commander of the Bratunac
17 Brigade or any of the VRS units. It is, in fact, Major Franken of the
18 United Nations Dutch Battalion. It notes in the last paragraph or in the
19 last paragraph of the section that the MUP are stealing on a massive scale
20 from the UNPROFOR, noting they openly stole a Puch armour vehicle. They
21 wanted to participate in the search of the UN base after the departure of
22 refugees and reflecting that Colonel Jankovic categorically refused that.
23 Q. Does that tell us anything?
24 A. Again it dovetails with my earlier analysis that the MUP is under
25 army control during this period. The last paragraph noted as PS,
1 postscript, reflects that, "I think that if we want to take over the
2 enclaves of Zepa and Gorazde in the same way, it will be necessary to
3 present the operation in Srebrenica in the media so as to show that we
4 rendered adequate treatment to the civilians and even to soldiers who
5 surrendered their weapons."
6 Q. What significance do you give that comment?
7 A. Given the greater context of the situation, the only people who
8 were being accorded that type of treatment are those people who are at the
9 Bratunac medical centre and under the direct supervision of the UNPROFOR
10 and other international agencies. That is not the general sense of the
11 situation, particularly at this time, that is occurring everywhere else
12 with respect to Bosnian Muslim prisoners of war.
13 Q. All right. If we could go to the next exhibit, I believe it is
15 A. I'll try and keep this in somewhat of a temporal order. I did
16 want to bounce back just to the issue, because it is at this time roughly
17 when General Krstic is assuming command of the Drina Corps. And bringing
18 the Court's attention to this particular document, which in fact reflects
19 that act occurring.
20 Q. And where did the OTP get this document from?
21 A. This document was provided to the OTP during an interview with
22 General Zivanovic who was the former commander of the Drina Corps.
23 Q. And does the OTP have this document in what appears to be original
24 inked format?
25 A. Yes, sir, it does.
1 Q. And I should say the other document of the 13 July Drina Corps
2 daily combat report to the Main Staff provided by Mr. Obrenovic, does that
3 document appear to be in the original inked form?
4 A. Yes, sir, it does. The issue of note here is that this is sent to
5 all the subordinate formations of the Drina Corps, with the communications
6 processing stamp of again 2000 hours, 13 July. And certainly the
7 notification of subordinate formations of a change of command is a
8 consistent act within the military chain of command. Everybody has to
9 know who the commander is.
10 Q. Okay. On that same subject, I think is the next exhibit, 482. I
11 believe we are starting to get into the 14th of July. And I think the
12 Court has heard quite a bit about what's going on on these days, so unless
13 it's specific to a document, I don't think we need to go over that.
14 A. With respect to 482, I'd like to point out to the Court that while
15 it is dated 17 July and in fact you see that in the teletype version, and
16 I'll point that out here, the document as written is, in fact, written on
17 14 July. And as you can tell from the communications clerk's notation, it
18 was sent on 14 July. So I believe what you're looking at in that respect
19 is a simple typing error on the part of the communications clerk.
20 Q. Okay. So what is this?
21 A. It reflects another Drina Corps document, and it's simply noting
22 that the Bratunac Brigade command is going to secure the presence of
23 brigade members and members of the municipality authorities for the
24 official farewell of General Zivanovic who had been the prior corps
25 commander and that this function was supposed to take place at 1300 on 23
1 June. And in this respect when you go back to the written one, it does
2 also, in fact, say 23 June. So I suspect the drafter of this particular
3 message just missed that date. And in fact what we are talking about is
4 an official function of 23 July 1995.
5 Q. Now, the actual word that was used in your paraphrase was not what
6 is actually here. This word is "hitherto." What is your understanding of
7 that British word?
8 A. As an American I'm not sure I should be commenting on British
9 definitions. My understanding of the word "hitherto" is that it means up
10 until then.
11 Q. Okay. The next document.
12 A. Going back to the -- and referencing the 13 July 1995 order by
13 General Krstic to the Bratunac Brigade to sweep the terrain, on the 14th
14 of July, and this is Exhibit 483, the Bratunac Brigade publishes their
15 order 453-2, which is in fact that ground search order.
16 Q. Can you very briefly just point out the general area that is being
17 required to be swept by this order.
18 A. The 1 Battalion, which is located between the Bratunac and Glogova
19 area, from their defensive positions are being required to sweep in the
20 generally southern direction. The 2nd Battalion from its positions are
21 being -- to sweep in a south and westerly direction. The 3rd Battalion in
22 a westerly direction to the former enclave. And the 4th Battalion, which
23 has defensive lines off the road between Glogova and Kravica, is
24 essentially being directed to first south and then hooked towards the west
25 and to move up as far as the village of -- or the area of Sandici, in this
2 Q. All right. And we'll be hearing more about this order in the
3 various daily combat reports to come. Is that right?
4 A. Yes, sir, we will.
5 Q. Anything else that you wanted to comment on that order?
6 A. Broadly speaking, this is an excellent example of a commander
7 exercising command, designating lines, designating where command posts
8 will be. And this is completely consistent with the rules and regulations
9 of the former JNA that were applicable at the time we've discussed prior.
10 I would like to point out again on the original B/C/S version of this
11 document, it is, in fact, signed by or has the signature of what I've come
12 to recognise as that of Colonel Blagojevic.
13 Q. And do we have that original document in the evidence locker?
14 A. Yes, sir, we do.
15 Q. Have you had a chance to review that original?
16 A. Yes, sir, I've seen all of the originals.
17 Q. Now, can you tell from that document -- or can we can infer
18 anything about where Mr. Blagojevic might have been when he signed it?
19 A. I presume that the physical signing of this document would have
20 occurred at the headquarters of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
21 Q. Why is that?
22 A. That would have been the most logical place for him and his staff
23 or the remaining staff at the time to process the order, come up with the
24 specific task for the units, publish the order, and send it out to
25 subordinate battalions.
1 Q. Would that have been the same for one of the previous documents
2 dated 13 July?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. Would it have been also possible that he was in some other
5 location and the document was couriered to him too. Is that correct?
6 A. That is a possibility also, sir.
7 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit unless there's something
8 else you wanted to say.
9 A. No, sir. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 484, with respect to
10 other activities of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the operations
11 listed in the prior exhibit were not the only things that the brigade
12 command was engaged in that day. This particular document urgent to the
13 Drina Corps is a request for the relief of a unit of the Bratunac Brigade
14 that is currently attached to the 4th Drina Light Infantry Brigade. And
15 as I discussed previously in my testimony, the 4th Drina Light Infantry
16 Brigade was deployed on the battlefield at Trnovo.
17 This particular request indicates that the brigade still has prior
18 orders to relieve a unit by 20 July 1995, and they're inquiring to the
19 corps whether or not that plan is still in effect. And they wish to be
20 informed by 15 July if they still have to carry out the orders to relieve
21 that unit.
22 Again, in this particular case the document is personally
23 signed -- or again has the signature of what I believe to be
24 Colonel Blagojevic.
25 Q. Mr. Butler, this doesn't really appear to involve much in the way
1 of the specific issues of this case. Why have you chosen this particular
2 document to discuss?
3 A. These documents are consistent with the efficient and diligent
4 exercise of command and are illustrative of that, demonstrating that
5 despite the combat operations that are occurring, that the brigade command
6 and staff is continuing to function along the lines that would be expected
7 of a brigade command and staff under the circumstances.
8 Q. Okay. And is that important in determining whether communications
9 are open and functioning?
10 A. Yes, sir. I believe that it indicates that they are.
11 Q. All right. What's the next document?
12 A. This document is Prosecution Exhibit 485, and it is the daily
13 combat report to the command of the Drina Corps, dated 14 July 1995.
14 Paragraph 1, it reflects the enemy situation, reflecting that their forces
15 have not come across any forces as part of the operation. And notes that
16 a small part of the enemy forces are still surrounded in the area of
17 Bokcin Potok, Siljkovici and Mratinjci. Paragraph 2, it informs the Drina
18 Corps that pursuant to their order their forces are participating in the
19 encirclement of the enemy forces listed in point 1. It reflects that the
20 brigade's pioneer platoon, and in this context pioneer is combat
21 engineers, are de-mining the known mine fields along their defensive lines
22 or their last defensive lines, and further reflects that the Red Beret
23 platoon was sent at 1000 hours to the area of Milici to join the task in
24 the direction of Zepa.
25 Q. And so that would have been 1000 hours on the 14th of July that
1 they were sent in that direction?
2 A. That is correct, sir.
3 Q. That was the same direction that we saw the day before that the
4 chief of staff took a group towards Zepa also. Is that right?
5 A. I'm not sure I could make that conclusion. Presumably by the 14th
6 of July, the route from Bratunac through Srebrenica may very well have
7 been open. However, the quickest route to Milici would have from
8 Bratunac, Konjevic Polje, to Milici.
9 Q. Now, just the first paragraph, the area of Bokcin Potok that it
10 describes where the enemy forces are, can you just tell the Court roughly
11 where that is.
12 A. That area is to the south of the main -- of the highway, sort of
13 in the triangle between Konjevic Polje, Nova Kasaba, and Sandici, in that
14 series of terrained features there.
15 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next exhibit, which I think is -- takes us
16 back to an exhibit that we've been to before. Is that right? We marked
17 this as 456.
18 A. I think the base exhibit, if that is the base exhibit number, this
19 is 486 which is an extract from the main Bratunac military police log.
20 I'm not sure what the original exhibit number is.
21 Q. Thank you. You're right. I need to hold this closer to my eyes.
22 A. But this is an extract from the Bratunac Brigade military police
23 log indicating the activities from the 14th to the 15th of July, 1995. It
24 notes that the police were engaged in the escort of Muslim refugees. And
25 at this particular time, particularly referring back to the document from
1 Colonel Jankovic, the Bosnian Muslim women and children and elderly from
2 Potocari, their evacuation had been completed by 2000 hours on 13 July
3 1995. So in context, the only activity that this can be will be escorting
4 buses and trucks of Bosnian Muslim men from Bratunac to designated areas
5 wherein the Zvornik Brigade's area of responsibility.
6 Q. Are you aware of testimony in this case that corroborated that
8 A. Yes, sir, I am.
9 Q. You didn't have that corroboration when you testified on this same
10 point at the Krstic trial?
11 A. No, sir, I didn't.
12 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit.
13 A. It's Prosecution Exhibit 487.
14 Q. What organisation is this?
15 A. This is going back to the series of reports from the Republika
16 Srpska RDB or state security department. And I just raise it as an issue
17 of the general awareness of the situation in the Bratunac municipality,
18 which reflects that the state security people are aware that over that
19 night a large Muslim group, their number is 5.000 of whom 500 are armed,
20 which is present in the general area of Pobudje, Bratunac municipality, is
21 allegedly planning a breakthrough of the Milici/Konjevic Polje/Drinjaca
22 road in an attempt to advance towards Tuzla. It reflects the fact that to
23 their knowledge, there are cases of Bosnian Muslim soldiers killing other
24 Bosnian Muslim soldiers.
25 And the last paragraph notes that the reports were submitted to
1 the Zvornik SJB, the PJB special police unit, and the deputy commander of
2 the RS MUP special brigade in the field, indicating that the information
3 they are learning is, in fact, being passed to the 1st PJP company and the
4 deputy commander who we know is Lieutenant Colonel Ljubisa Borovcanin.
5 Q. What do you think as you're able to consider this many years after
6 the fact and after much study of this figure of 5.000 Muslims?
7 A. I suspect that given the time the figure of 5.000 is certainly
8 inflated. There really is no way of knowing, other than the fact of
9 trying to calculate how many people came out of the column when it crossed
10 through the lines of the 17th and 18th -- or from the 16th to the 18th.
11 Q. Do you ever get any rough figure for how many of the Muslim column
12 actually made it through to Nezuk on those days?
13 A. I believe the figures that I understand that are bandied around
14 are approximately somewhere between 7.000 and 10.000 Bosnian Muslims made
15 it out through the column.
16 Q. Has that ever been determined to be a reliable figure because you
17 say bandied about?
18 A. I'm not sure that even after all of these years that the Bosnian
19 Muslim government or now the Federation government has ever put that
20 number together. There are still to this day, my understanding, various
21 efforts to obtain surface remains of people who may be perished on the
22 route of the column and things of that nature. I just don't know that
23 that figure has ever been put out reliably.
24 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit then. It's 488.
25 A. This is the Drina Corps daily combat report for 14th July 1995.
1 Very quickly, paragraph 1, reflecting the enemy situation as they
2 understand it. Paragraph 2, the second paragraph in heading 2 actually
3 under combat readiness, reflects the corps command's knowledge that the
4 terrain is being combed or swept by the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade,
5 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and the Skelani Separate Battalion,
6 and that a large number of Muslims fleeing from the Srebrenica enclave
7 have been surrendering.
8 It notes in paragraph 7 under losses, two soldiers missing. I
9 believe these individuals are from the Milici Light Infantry Brigade. And
10 under paragraph 8, reflecting the conclusions and the decisions of the
11 corps commander. And in most cases, they reflect the same conclusions and
12 decisions that were listed on the 13th July report, so I don't need to
13 read them.
14 Q. And paragraph 2 relating to the Bratunac Brigade. What's --
15 concentrating on the Bratunac Brigade, of course, what's their
16 understanding of what they're doing?
17 A. Their understanding at the corps level is that the Bratunac
18 Brigade is implementing the order that was given to them by the Drina
19 Corps on the 13th of July.
20 Q. All right. Now I believe we're going to get into the 15th of
21 July, and particular intercepts involving Mr. Beara. If we could go to
22 the first one, 243, 15 July at 0952 hours.
23 A. This particular extract is -- or synopsis from which we have out
24 of one of the Bosnian Muslim intercept books is the first of a series of
25 three series of communications involving Colonel Beara, General Zivanovic,
1 and General Krstic, that discusses specifically issues relating to
2 prisoners of war and their execution. What I'd like to highlight in this
3 and as I've referenced in my narrative, at this point in time, I believe
4 that Colonel Beara is located at the headquarters of the Zvornik Infantry
5 Brigade. The instruction that he needs to be called or that he wants
6 General Zivanovic to call him at extension 139, that extension corresponds
7 to the phone number of the security officer of the Zvornik Infantry
8 Brigade, Lieutenant Drago Nikolic.
9 Q. On that topic, before we go into the next one, can you track for
10 us your knowledge about the whereabouts of Colonel Beara before this. I
11 mean, if this puts -- this speaks for itself. But before that, where do
12 you think he was and why?
13 A. In a series of intercepts that are later exhibits with respect to
14 the Zvornik Brigade, what becomes clear is that on the 14th of July,
15 Colonel Beara is in the Bratunac Brigade area. And specifically, during
16 the evening of 14 July 1995, Colonel Beara is contacted at Badem, which is
17 of course the headquarters of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
18 Q. All right. And how about the 13th of July.
19 A. As previous intercepts have indicated, Colonel Beara is in and
20 around the Bratunac area and the Nova Kasaba area with respect to
21 prisoners on 13 July 1995. And of course I understand that there has been
22 testimony before this Trial Chamber also relating to the physical presence
23 of Colonel Beara in and around the Bratunac Brigade area later that
24 evening -- I'm sorry, the Bratunac area later that evening.
25 Q. And we have -- you have -- well, we have organised some of these
1 exhibits in the context of the Zvornik Brigade, that's why out of the
2 chronological context. Is that correct?
3 A. That is correct, sir.
4 Q. So it's fair to say you and I helped try to put this together in a
5 chronological context and tried to make it make as much sense as possible?
6 A. That is correct, sir.
7 Q. All right. And let's go to the next exhibit.
8 A. This is Prosecution Exhibit P244. And this is a 15 July
9 intercepted communication between General Zivanovic and Colonel Ljubo
11 Q. Before we get into this, are there, as the Court knows, various
12 versions of these intercepts?
13 A. I believe in this instance, there are two versions of the
15 Q. Just why did you pick the particular one that you've chosen?
16 A. I believe that the particular one that I've chosen is the most
17 complete version. I understand as a part of the process that, depending
18 on which site collected it, some parts of the conversation may have been
19 omitted or some parts of the conversation may have been omitted by
20 operator. So the versions that I am picking to display as exhibits are
21 those versions which I believe are the most complete in context.
22 Q. All right. So tell us about this intercept, in particular the
23 participants at the top?
24 A. Well, General Zivanovic, who we know was at the Drina Corps
25 headquarters at Vlasenica on the morning of 15 July, even though he was
1 no longer the commander. And of course the conversation, the other
2 person is Colonel Beara.
3 Q. How do you know Zivanovic was at the Vlasenica headquarters?
4 A. The OTP has interviewed General Zivanovic and he has in fact
5 confirmed being at the Vlasenica headquarters that morning. I would have
6 to note, however, that when showed this conversation he had a somewhat
7 different reaction at that point.
8 Q. Well, Mr. Butler, have I instructed you to try to, unless
9 specifically asked, to limit your answers regarding witnesses that have
10 not testified on potentially important issues?
11 A. Yes, sir, you have. And I've tried to do so as much as possible.
12 Q. Clearly you have had access to all the interviews of the various
13 people in this case. Is that right?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. Okay. All right. What can you tell us about this conversation?
16 A. Without going through line by line, the context of this
17 conversation is Colonel Beara talking to General Zivanovic and going
18 through the problem that Colonel Beara is having that one of the
19 subordinate commanders, Furtula, did not send Lukic's intervention
20 platoon, as was instructed.
21 Q. Remind us who Furtula -- and who you think Furtula and Lukic are?
22 A. Colonel Furtula, or at that time Major Furtula, was the commander
23 of the 1st Rogatica Light Infantry -- I'm sorry, the 1st Visegrad Light
24 Infantry Brigade. And Lukic, I believe, is a reference to Milan Lukic who
25 is, in fact, a member of that unit in July 1995.
1 Q. All right. And after that comment about Furtula and Lukic,
2 Zivanovic says: "And Lukic is waiting at Blagojevic." And then Beara
3 said: "Lukic is here with me and his driver and we urged that."
4 So the question: "And Lukic is waiting at Blagojevic." What do
5 you think that means?
6 A. That indicates that General Zivanovic had some prior knowledge of
7 what the context of this conversation was and believed that in this
8 particular instance Lukic would be going to the headquarters of the 1st
9 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
10 Q. Would that be Nedjo Blagojevic from the Drina Corps?
11 A. In the context of the events, I don't believe that it would be
12 that individual.
13 Q. But does Beara clear up the location situation in the next line?
14 A. Yes, sir, he does.
15 Q. Can you explain that.
16 A. Beara indicates that Lukic is here with me as well as his driver,
17 and that instead of sending a group of individuals, they only sent two
19 Q. Where do you think Beara is at the time he's having this
20 conversation with Zivanovic?
21 A. As I've indicate previously, I believe this conversation is
22 occurring and Colonel Beara is at the headquarters of the Zvornik Infantry
24 Q. Okay. And let's just keep going down it.
25 A. Beara reflects that he, Furtula, in this instance doesn't give a
1 damn about what the commander orders him to do and that he has a platoon
2 of 60 men. And Beara is asking that have him at least send half that
4 Q. Who do you think Beara is referencing when he says "the
6 A. I believe that Colonel Beara is referencing his commander, which
7 would be General Mladic.
8 Q. Okay. All right. And then Beara -- Zivanovic says something that
9 we can't hear and Beara says: "Have him send at least half." Zivanovic
10 says: "Yes, yes." Beara says: "Say again?" Zivanovic says: "To send
11 them immediately." Beara says: "Yes." Zivanovic says: "I can't arrange
12 for that anymore."
13 What do you make of "I can't arrange for that anymore"?
14 A. I believe in that same time that General Zivanovic is informing
15 Colonel Beara that he is no longer in a position to give orders to brigade
16 commanders of the Drina Corps.
17 Q. And then what happens in this conversation?
18 A. Beara notes that and Zivanovic says the number 385.
19 Q. Do you know what the significance of 385 as we go down, it says
20 Zlatar 385 and V. What do you think that means?
21 A. Zlatar is the telephonic code name for the headquarters of the
22 Drina Corps. And 385 is an extension that we come to associate with
23 General Krstic, further brought down to the IKM, which is now in Krevic.
24 So extension 385 is a line that runs to the Drina Corps IKM in Krevic
25 controlling to Zepa operation.
1 Q. Why do you think that?
2 A. I believe a series of intercepts we have in the future, and I'm
3 not sure that I have them as exhibits, but they're in context in my
4 report, indicates that other subscribers in other intercepts will instruct
5 people to call for General Krstic and they are instructed to call at the
6 IKM, extension 385, and indicate that that's where General Krstic can be
8 Q. All right. Before going on to the other conversation, what do you
9 make of the fact that we have in this case what appears to be Main Staff
10 chief of security Beara contacting General Zivanovic for troop resources?
11 A. My interpretation of that conversation is that what you're seeing
12 is reflective of the normal command and staff process. While Colonel
13 Beara by, I believe everyone's account, is a major principal in the
14 commission and controlling or should I say behind many of the executions
15 and the greater organisation thereof, Colonel Beara does not control
16 troops or resources. Those belong to the commanders.
17 In this particular instance, Colonel Beara is complaining to
18 General Zivanovic because a brigade commander, formerly his brigade
19 commander, had not followed the order of the plan. And as a result,
20 Colonel Beara's operations were impacted. Colonel Beara in and of himself
21 does not have the authority to directly ring up the brigade commander and
22 demand that troops be sent. He has to do this explicitly through that
23 brigade commander superior officer who, in effect, is the corps commander.
24 In this particular context, Colonel Beara, for whatever reason,
25 obviously isn't aware that General Zivanovic is no longer authorised to
1 give orders to his brigade commanders or that, in effect, General
2 Zivanovic is no longer the Drina Corps commander.
3 Q. Well, while we're on this subject, do you see anything similar to
4 this, this relationship that you've talked about between a security
5 officer and a commander occur in the next conversation, without getting
6 into the detail of the conversation we'll do that?
7 A. Yes, sir, it is consistent with the next conversation.
8 Q. Can you just set the scene for us. Why -- I don't want to get
9 into the detail right now, but what -- who is that conversation between
10 and how is it similar to what you've just talked about?
11 A. What will happen is that in a few minutes, Colonel Beara,
12 following General Zivanovic's instructions in this matter, calls and is
13 connected -- and talks to the corps commander, General Krstic. In that
14 particular series of discussions, Colonel Beara will relate the same
15 problem, that one of now General Krstic's subordinates, Furtula, did not
16 send the required assets. And that he is asking that General Krstic
17 become involved and make available additional resources to solve
18 Colonel Beara's problem. It is a reflection again of the fact that the
19 security branch does not have the authority to directly contact and take
20 assets away from either the corps or subordinate brigades, that these
21 individuals and resources are under the command and direction of
22 commanders who have to make them available themselves.
23 Q. Now, again, just very briefly, fast forward to the situation that
24 you know about now regarding a security officer for the Zvornik Brigade,
25 Dragan Nikolic and his communication with his commander, Dragan Obrenovic.
1 A. I believe the context of that communication is, again, reflected
2 in my analysis of those types of conversations. A security officer having
3 to request from the commander that resources be made available for him to
4 carry out his mission, that he does not have the independent authority to
5 take from subordinate or to take from his own brigade command. So I
6 believe that you have a consistent pattern of this at all levels, which
7 indicates the practical functionality between the commands and their
8 security officers.
9 Q. One more example, and I know we'll get into some more specifics a
10 little later, but Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, the chief of security of the
11 Drina Corps and his commander General Krstic, do you have any insight into
12 their communications of the subject at hand?
13 A. In a series of future exhibits, one of the features that will --
14 or one of the circumstances that will occur during the date of 16 July
15 1995 is that Colonel Popovic will require additional fuel resources to
16 complete the execution operations which are occurring at the Branjevo
17 Military Farm. And in a series of intercepted communications between
18 Palma, which is the Zvornik Brigade, and Zlatar, the headquarters of the
19 Drina Corps in Vlasenica, you see the Zvornik Brigade relaying Colonel
20 Popovic's request for fuel to the Drina Corps chief of technical services
21 for approval. And of course that approval is being given and the Zvornik
22 Brigade is authorised to disperse the fuel.
23 It again demonstrates the limits of a security officer with
24 respect to his ability to take resources from a particular brigade. In
25 this case, Colonel Popovic of his own authority could not demand fuel from
1 the Zvornik Brigade, it has to go through the proper chain for approval.
2 Q. Again, briefly, on a related issue, do you see Colonel Popovic
3 communicating with his commander, General Krstic, about this operation to
4 kill and bury prisoners?
5 A. On the later afternoon or early evening hours of 16 July, while we
6 do not see a direct conversation between Colonel Popovic and the Drina
7 Corps commander, what we will see is a conversation where Colonel Popovic
8 is calling the Zlatar duty officer and basically requesting that the
9 Zlatar duty officer inform the commander that the job has been completed.
10 So in this instance you have the security officer making sure that his
11 commander is informed about the events that are occurring.
12 Q. So these communications that you've just made reference to that
13 I've asked you about, is it important to understand those communications
14 when looking at the communications or potential communications between
15 Momir Nikolic and his commander?
16 A. Yes, sir, I believe they are fundamental.
17 Q. Well, with that background, let's go into this next conversation
18 and whichever of the versions of it you've chosen to discuss. Just let us
19 know the exhibit number. I know you have brought forward some of the
20 other versions of it in case you're asked about that or need to mention
22 A. There are a number of versions. I believe that the version I'm
23 going to display is the one that I believe is listed in my narrative. I
24 tried to be as consistent as possible in that respect.
25 Q. Okay. And just tell us --
1 A. If I'm not, I'm sure you can bring that to my attention. I
2 believe it is. Since there are four or five versions of this conversation
3 in the form of exhibits, I want to try and make it as extremely clear as
5 Q. And what exhibit number is this?
6 A. This is Prosecution Exhibit 245.
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Excuse me, which 245?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: There's more than one 245 as I understand it.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Going to the ERN number might be helpful.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, maybe you could ask some
13 questions to this witness asking him to identify which is which, because
14 we see so many 245s, we don't see the /A, /B, /C, /D.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you Mr. President.
16 Q. Can you and I think, as we've learned yesterday, it's a good idea
17 to refer to the ERN number along with 245, since they all have those.
18 A. In this particular instance, the document that we're referring to
19 from the original notebook is ERN 00804535 and the English language
20 translation is 009126 -- and I believe that is a 11. It may be a 14. I
21 cannot tell. It's kind of unclear.
22 Q. We'll check that out. Okay. Now, can you relate again in -- I
23 know I've diverted you slightly, but in terms of time, how long is this
24 conversation after the one between Beara and Zivanovic, according to
25 these -- this information?
1 A. Depending on which version or which site has collected it, one
2 reflects the conversation occurring at 1000 hours, six minutes afterwards.
3 And on another site collection, you will see a time pack that says 0955
4 which is less than 1 minute. So certainly no more than six minutes from
5 the first conversation, Colonel Beara immediately gets in touch with
6 General Krstic.
7 Q. Okay. Can you take us through this conversation and give us your
8 analysis of its meaning.
9 A. In this particular version, it reflects that Beara is discussing
10 and informing General Krstic that Furtula did not carry out the boss's
11 order. And again, I understand the boss being General Mladic in this
12 particular instance. General Krstic replies, "Listen, he ordered him to
13 lead out a tank, not a train."
14 For me, this indicates that General Krstic had an awareness of
15 what resources or how many people that Major Furtula was supposed to send
16 up for this mission. And of course Beara in the next line says, I need 30
17 men, just like it was ordered. General Krstic then responds about taking
18 them from Tasic or Sladojevic. In this particular instance, whom I
19 believe he's referring to are the individuals Nastic and Blagojevic, and
20 you will see them again further down. I believe the effect you're having
21 here is the operators did not hear the names clearly.
22 Q. Do you know of any Tasic?
23 A. Not within the context of the command entities of the Drina Corps
24 or subordinate brigades.
25 Q. How about Sladojevic?
1 A. That name is associated with an officer of the Main Staff who we
2 see on 17 July 1995.
3 Q. And what kind of an officer is that? Would that be the kind of
4 officer that had troops?
5 A. No, sir. He is an officer from the Main Staff operations section.
6 Q. All right. Let's keep going then.
7 A. He notes that he can't pull anything out of here for you. And
8 perhaps to understand this in context, on the morning of 15 July, as the
9 gravity of the situation in the Zvornik Brigade zone has become clear to
10 everybody in the Drina Corps, General Krstic has already at this point
11 released the units of the Zvornik Brigade, which will be the Drina Wolves
12 the two battle groups of the Zvornik Brigade including the Drina Wolves
13 from the Zepa battlefront and has directed them to proceed to Zvornik as
14 rapidly as possible to defend that area from the threat from the Bosnian
15 Muslim column. So in this context he has already pulled two battle groups
16 out of the Zepa operation and is clearly at the point where he is not
17 willing to pull anything else out if he doesn't have to.
18 Colonel Beara responds that he doesn't have anyone here. He needs
19 them today and he is prepared to release them back to General Krstic
21 Q. We see this "Krle, you have to understand. I can't explain it to
22 you." You've talked about Krle before?
23 A. Yes, sir, I have. That is a nickname, of course, of General
25 Q. What does that indicate to you, if anything, that Colonel Beara
1 can refer to a corps commander by his nickname?
2 A. It indicates a certain amount of familiarness. Moving down,
3 General Krstic again indicates that he will be disturbing the --
4 everything on his axis, again his attack --
5 Q. What is this -- I'm sorry. What is this axis? What does that
7 A. In a military respect, an axis is a particular direction of
8 attack. So in the greater context, General Krstic is talking about the
9 ongoing military operations against Zepa.
10 Q. Okay. The next line.
11 A. Colonel Beara reiterates that he needs 15 to 30 men with Boban
12 Indjic and he cannot do anything. Now, Boban Indjic is known to be a
13 subordinate of Milan Lukic from the Visegrad Brigade. And as the Court
14 may be aware, they have been -- both of those individuals are under
15 indictment for events that occurred in the Visegrad area in 1992. Krstic
16 or General Krstic at this time reminds Colonel Beara that this phone line
17 is not secure, and Beara acknowledges that.
18 In the next line, General Krstic again responds, "I will see what
19 I can do, but it will disturb a lot." He then says: "Please, you have
20 some men down there at Nastic's and Blagojevic's." In this context, he's
21 referring to two of his subordinate brigade commanders, Major Nastic, the
22 commander of the Milici Brigade, and Blagojevic, the commander of the
23 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
24 Colonel Beara is saying: But I don't have any, and if I did -- or
25 if I did, I wouldn't still be asking for the third day.
1 Q. Now, what do you make of this "third day"? What does that -- what
2 do you think that means?
3 A. Subtracting backwards in time, today being the 15th of July 1995,
4 depending on whether you count this day as the beginning of the third or
5 the day prior, what you have as an indication is that by the 12th or 13th
6 July of 1995, everyone knew what the plan was going to be. And in this
7 particular case with Colonel Beara, the plan is the elimination of the
8 Bosnian Muslim prisoners of war.
9 Q. Where do you get that from? How do you make that conclusion?
10 A. Again, everyone who we've talked to for the investigation, and
11 even with respect to General Krstic himself as a component of his trial,
12 have indicated that they all consider Colonel Beara to be one of the
13 principal organisers of these mass executions.
14 Q. Does the information in this intercept as we go down and other
15 information, is it consistent with that conclusion?
16 A. Yes, sir, it is.
17 Q. Well, let's go down --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I could just --
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Mild objection. If we could just get to the
21 information, the Trial Bench can reach that conclusion. It is leading in
22 nature. I've been patient, I think. But I would prefer if we just go
23 through the information and then the gentleman can be asked: What do you
24 conclude from that? And he can give us a conclusion as opposed to
25 forecasting a conclusion and then we hear it. That's all I'm asking. I
1 know he's an expert but even experts should abide by the fundamentals.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, if there is an objection from the
3 Defence team, I believe you have to go slowly step by step.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour. And as the Court knows, we're
5 at day -- July 15 now, so this conclusion is well into the events. And I
6 will -- it's my purpose and I think the Court and counsel probably see, I
7 am not asking Mr. Butler to make the Court's conclusions. We are
8 generally pointing out the facts, and some conclusions are inevitably
9 made. But it is not my purpose to have Mr. Butler be the trier of this
11 Q. All right. Let's -- after this comment about he's been asking --
12 still asking for the third day, what do you think he's been asking about
13 for three days?
14 A. In this particular instance, he's asking for resources necessary
15 to commit the executions.
16 Q. And then the next line, "Check with Blagojevic, take his Red
17 Berets." Which Blagojevic do you think that is?
18 A. Certainly the connection with Blagojevic and the Red Berets
19 clearly identifies that individual as Colonel Blagojevic, the commander of
20 the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. The Red Berets, again, being a
21 formation subordinate to his 3rd Battalion.
22 Q. Then Beara says: "They're not there. Only four of them are still
23 there. They took off," expletive. "They're not there anymore."
24 So what do you make of that sentence?
25 A. Two issues on this particular sentence. One, clearly
1 Colonel Beara already has an awareness that the Red Berets are not
2 available. That would not be surprising, given his presence at the
3 Bratunac Brigade headquarters the prior evening as the --
4 Q. Can you remind us of the Red Berets from the previous document.
5 A. Yes, sir. The Red Berets, as you're aware, were listed in the
6 Bratunac Brigade daily combat report of 14 July, as going to the Milici
7 area where they would subsequently become involved in military operations
8 as Zepa.
9 Krstic responds: "I'll see what I can do." Beara: "Check it out
10 and have them go to Drago's." This is another indication in the greater
11 context that the location of Colonel Beara and where he wants the
12 reinforcements sent is Drago Nikolic of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
13 Again, General Krstic indicating that he cannot guarantee anything
14 and I'll take steps. Colonel Beara, apparently showing some form of
15 exasperation, noting that "Krle, I don't know what to do anymore."
16 General Krstic responds: "Ljubo, take those MUP guys from up there."
17 Q. Who do you think General Krstic means by the "MUP guys from up
19 A. The "MUP guys from up there," in this context will be either one
20 of two categories of police. They will either be the special police
21 brigade under Borovcanin's people or they will be the PJP companies under
23 Q. And Beara's response: No, they won't do anything. I talked to
24 them. So what does that mean?
25 A. It is evident in that sentence that Colonel Beara has discussed
1 that issue of obtaining resources from the MUP and that they have turned
2 him down.
3 Q. What is the significance of that to you in this overall
5 A. I suspect that putting it in the greater context of the situation
6 that's occurring, while the MUP understood themselves to be under army
7 command for the combat operations that were occurring, the local MUP
8 commanders on the ground or their superiors, be it Colonel Borovcanin or
9 Dragomir Vasic, were not prepared to interpret that as also being under
10 the army's command to commit mass executions.
11 And Beara then further says: "There is no other solution but
12 those 15 to 30 men with Indjic," again reflecting that they were supposed
13 to arrive on the 13th but didn't.
14 Q. Is there another intercept that helps us with Mr. Indjic and his
15 non-arrival on the 13th?
16 A. Yes, sir, and in one of the following exhibits there is an
17 intercept that sheds some light as to why those individuals did not arrive
18 on time.
19 Q. Just briefly, what's that?
20 A. Essentially their bus broke down and there was no replacement bus
21 available to go get them.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours, do you want me to finish this
23 conversation or this is also time to break in the conversation if you
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe you could finish this document.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
2 Q. All right. Then it -- Krstic says: "Ljubo, you have to
3 understand me, too. You guys have fucked me up so much."
4 In the context of what General Krstic is doing, what do you think
5 this means?
6 A. Given the context of the army now having to deal decisively with
7 the Bosnian Muslim column and at the same time having to continue
8 offensive operations with the goal of trying to eliminate the Zepa
9 enclave, the issue now of executing the prisoners and the manpower
10 involved behind that has now become a significant drain on the forces --
11 or on the ability of General Krstic to accomplish his mission. And that
12 is what I believe he is complaining about.
13 Q. All right. And the next line: "I understand, but you have to
14 understand me, too. Had this been done then, we wouldn't be arguing over
15 it now." What -- does that fit with what's been said?
16 A. I believe that's consistent within the context of both parties
17 understanding what was supposed to have been accomplished then.
18 Q. Okay. Then Krstic does an expletive. "Now I'll be the one to
19 blame." What blame would there be in this situation?
20 A. There are several ways to interpret this. Clearly as the
21 commander, if something is not accomplished with respect to any one of the
22 three things that are up in the air right now, one being the column, two
23 being Zepa, and three being the executions, he feels that he'll be the one
24 to blame if something goes wrong in any one of those.
25 Q. Then Beara says: "I don't know what to do. I mean it, Krle,
1 there are still 3500 parcels that I have to distribute and I have no
2 solution." This term "parcels" which I believe is the Bosnian word paket,
3 what is your understanding of the meaning of what he's referring to here?
4 A. When we see that phrase in the intercepts, that's generally the
5 phrase that they will use for people. We see it in two contexts in the
6 intercepts. With respect to reinforcements moving back and forth across
7 the battlefield, they will refer to them as packages of 20 or 30 from a
8 certain location. In this particular context, I believe what he is
9 referring to is that he has 3500 prisoners. The phrase "distribute," the
10 euphemism to kill, and he has no solution to that.
11 Q. Finally before we take our break, can you tell us at about 10.00
12 a.m., the time of this call on 15 July, what is the prisoner situation in
13 terms of their location and their fate, and as rough as you can tell us,
14 the numbers.
15 A. Generally speaking, given the situation of prisoners moving into
16 the Zvornik Brigade on 13 and 14 July 1995, there are five locations -- or
17 four locations -- five locations, I'm sorry, where we see them collected.
18 As the sites fill up, the first one is Orahovac, the second one is
19 Petkovci, the third one is the school at Rocevic, the fourth one is the
20 school in Pilica, also known as the school in Kula. And the fifth one is
21 the dome of culture in Pilica which begins to fill up once the school is
22 full in Pilica.
23 In time from when we know the executions occur, and we'll be able
24 to go into that in detail in future exhibits, by the time this
25 conversation takes place at 10.00 on 15 July, with the exception of the
1 four survivors from Orahovac, the close to 800 to 1.000 prisoners who were
2 at that facility are all dead and they are still being buried. By the
3 morning of 15 July, the roughly 500 to 800 prisoners that were held in the
4 new school at Petkovci are dead, with the exception of our two known
5 survivors. There are still roughly 500 to 800 people, we estimate, at the
6 school in Rocevic whose executions have not yet occurred. There is also
7 roughly 1.000 people in the school at Pilica who we know will not get
8 executed at the Branjevo Military Farm until the 16th and also
9 approximately 300 to 500 people at the Pilica dome of culture.
10 So roughly speaking at the time this conversation takes place,
11 almost half of the prisoners in the Zvornik Brigade zone of responsibility
12 are already dead.
13 Q. But there are still many, many survivors at this time, is that
14 right, or many people that have not been killed?
15 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
16 Q. And Krstic appears to end the conversation with: "I'll see what I
17 can do."
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: This would be a good time to stop, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes. We'll resume at 20 to 1.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.07 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Butler, if we could go to the next exhibit, 216, it's an
1 intercept from 13 July. Is this what you were referring to earlier about
2 the problem with Boban Indjic?
3 A. Yes, sir, it is.
4 Q. Can you just briefly tell us about what you think is happening in
5 this intercept.
6 A. It reflects the discussion between two unidentified subscribers,
7 whether or not there is a bus available at that time. And the Y
8 subscriber indicates that there is in fact one and that it needs to be
9 sent down towards Visegrad, Podravanje and Rogatica, and further. And
10 then when they come across a bus of soldiers, those are the ones from
11 Visegrad, Boban is their commander, later it's Boban Indic, and X says
12 they are then to bring them to the command in Bratunac. The rest of the
13 conversation reflects that they need to send a bus and driver immediately
14 and notes that their vehicle has broken down.
15 Q. So how do you fit that into the information where Mr. Beara is not
16 very pleased with Boban Indjic's commander Furtula on the 15th of July?
17 A. Reading that in context with this intercept it is evident that at
18 least for his part Major Furtula did, in fact, send some people and that
19 the bus broke down and as a result they were not able to make it to where
20 they were supposed to be at the designated time.
21 Q. And 13 July at 1919 hours, what was the situation with buses? And
22 as I know, the Court probably already knows but ...
23 A. At this point in time, the last of the Bosnian Muslims would have
24 been moved out of Potocari and buses and trucks were rapidly being filled
25 up with Bosnian Muslim prisoners taken along the road. And as we have
1 discussed as events will occur, because there was no room at the
2 facilities in Bratunac, these prisoners spent the night on those vehicles
3 at various locations in and around Bratunac.
4 Q. And on the 14th, those buses and trucks were used for what?
5 A. Beginning with the first known movement of prisoners out of
6 Bratunac at approximately 2000 hours on 13 July 1995, from that point to
7 the 14th and even on some part of the morning of the 15th, those buses and
8 trucks were used to move Bosnian Muslim prisoners from the Bratunac area
9 into the zone of the Zvornik Brigade.
10 Q. All right. Well, let's -- with that little background, let's now
11 continue to the next exhibit which should be 489. It looks like another
12 one of the CSB Zvornik from Mr. Vasic.
13 A. Yes, sir. This is his -- or a report on 15 July 1995. And in
14 this report he discusses the situation in his zone, the police zone, and
15 where all of the MUP forces are deployed.
16 Paragraph 1 notes that the second company of the PJP forces is
17 securing the town of Srebrenica and conducting police affairs. And just
18 to note in that instance, in this context I would add that in Srebrenica
19 in conducting police affairs, I do not consider that to mean that the
20 second company is under any form of command of the armed forces. So when
21 we talk about the police and MUP forces, at this time, the second company
22 is excluded. They are conducting their normal Ministry of Interior
23 related issued.
24 Paragraph 2 reflects two companies of the MUP from Jahorina on
25 the -- or in the road Kravica, Konjevic Polje, Kasaba. And I believe the
1 Court is aware of the origin of those two companies and in this particular
2 instance I note that they are under army control. It also reflects that
3 one platoon from the PJP company from Zvornik, a tank and a crew, as well
4 as elements of the police centre for dog breeding and training, are
5 engaged with tasks to block the terrain and are engaged in combat with the
6 remnants of the Muslim forces.
7 Paragraph 3 starts to discuss the police dispositions around the
8 town of Zvornik. And of course on 15 July, the situation was very tense
9 in the Zvornik Brigade zone as the Bosnian Muslim column was at the point
10 of now being able to engage in significant combat operations against the
11 Zvornik Infantry Brigade. And the town of Zvornik was under a very real
12 risk of being captured or invested by this column, had they chose to do
14 So paragraph 3 reflects those dispositions and where police
15 companies have been moved in from.
16 Paragraph 4 notes that offensive forces of the MUP contained in
17 parts of the second and fourth -- it says "SOP," that is the acronym or
18 abbreviation for the special police brigades. As well as the special
19 police brigade, the 2nd and 4th Detachments, as well as the 1st company of
20 the PJP Zvornik, reinforced by the tank, Praga, a BOV, which are armoured
21 fighting vehicles, and a mortar company or in this case it would just be a
22 mortar section, are heading up in the direction of Crni Vrh, Bokrevica
23 [phoen] to block the terrain together with the army and to destroy the
24 forces trying to push out from Srebrenica.
25 And I believe in the context of the testimony of
1 Colonel Obrenovic, the Court is very familiar with the interrelationships
2 in that part, so I don't need to get into those.
3 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit for the 15th of July. It
4 should be --
5 A. P490.
6 Q. P490, the 15th of July, the regular daily combat from the Bratunac
8 A. This report is directed, of course, to the command of the Drina
9 Corps. And rather uniquely, it is directed to the IKM of the Drina Corps
10 in Krivaj. Not only are they ensuring that the headquarters of the Drina
11 Corps in Vlasenica sees this report, but that it is being sent to the IKM,
12 presumably for General Krstic. It notes that strong enemy forces in front
13 of the forward positions of the 4th Battalion on the brigades right flank
14 are carrying out combat activities and are regrouping in the direction of
15 Konjevic Polje.
16 Paragraph 2 reflects what their forces are doing, searching the
17 terrain in accordance with the Drina Corps order from 13 July. The second
18 part of paragraph 2 also reflects that part of our forces has been sent to
19 the area of the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade, in fact it is Infantry
20 Brigade. It designates that it is 80 soldiers and an S-2M platoon has
21 been sent to the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade area of responsibility.
22 So during this period and while I do not have a specific order
23 that designates it as such, clearly the commander of the Bratunac Brigade
24 has been directed to send reinforcements to the zone of the Zvornik
25 Brigade on the 15th of July. In fact, we know from other records that the
1 unit that was sent is, in fact, the 4th Infantry company of the 2nd
2 Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade. It notes the general
3 situation in the territory, paragraph 3. And notes that a soldier from
4 the 4th Battalion was wounded and later died as a result of combat
6 Q. And just regarding the signature of this document.
7 A. If you look at the original in this particular case, you will note
8 that it is not signed by the commander, but instead there is a "za" and a
9 signature here. And I believe, as I previously indicated, that signature
10 I recognise as that of being of Lieutenant Micic who is an operations
11 officer in the Bratunac Brigade.
12 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document, I believe is 491.
13 A. Yes, sir. This is the 15 July 1995 regular combat report of the,
14 Drina Corps to the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. Again, it,
15 details the enemy situation in the zone of the Drina Corps.
16 Q. And could you just tell us about the Bratunac Brigade.
17 A. Okay. With respect to the issues of Bratunac, in the third,
18 paragraph of topic 1, it notes that the remains of dispersed Muslim
19 formations from the former Srebrenica enclave are moving towards Kravica
20 and Konjevic Polje with the objectives of, of course, crossing Mount Udrc
21 towards Tuzla.
22 Moving further down to combat readiness, in the second paragraph
23 it reflects that the Milici Brigade, Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and
24 Skelani Separate Battalion are combing the terrain with part of their
25 forces in order to find these residual soldiers and groups.
1 Situation in the zone of responsibility notes, again, that some of
2 the roads are endangered by enemy groups. And one particular road Caparde
3 Crni Vrh, Zvornik is already disconnected. It also notes a reference that
4 we also saw in the Bratunac Brigade report that 51 UNPROFOR soldiers were
5 moved to the FRY during to the day and those, or course, are members of
6 the UNPROFOR that were in the custody of the VRS and had been taken into
7 custody in the days proceeding the fall of the enclave.
8 On the last page of the English language translation, also
9 reflecting the death of a soldier from Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade,
10 and the conclusions and projections for further activity.
11 And if I can go to the original B/C/S version, the report is
12 signed by Radislav Krstic as commander of the Drina Corps. And the date
13 processing is roughly 15 July between 1915 and 1945 hours.
14 Q. Where did this document come from?
15 A. This document was provided by Colonel Obrenovic.
16 Q. And have you seen what appears to be an original inked version of
18 A. Yes, sir, I have.
19 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document, 492.
20 A. Following that daily combat report, the Drina Corps command also
21 publishes an interim combat report, reflecting that due to the late report
22 from the Zvornik Brigade, they're submitting additional information. With
23 respect to this, the only issue that I think is relevant that I'd like to
24 draw the Court's attention to is the last line of the third paragraph,
25 noting that the brigade, meaning the Zvornik Brigade, shall forward
1 details on enemy groups in a separate report about which you will be duly
2 informed. That is significant in so much as we know that the interim
3 combat report of 15 July from the Zvornik Brigade is the report by Colonel
4 Vinko Pandurevic which discusses the issue of guarding the prisoners and
5 the burial of bodies after their execution and reflects that his brigade
6 can no longer handle that task and that he needs additional resources.
7 Q. Just to be clear, that report, does it actually mention
9 A. No, sir. It mentions the phrase "security obligations," which I
10 take to be guarding the prisoners. And it mentions the phrase
11 "asanacija," which I take to mean the burial of bodies afterwards.
12 Q. Well, I think we'll get to that. And I think the Chamber has seen
13 that previously, as well. So is this significant?
14 A. Again this is signed by Radislav Krstic between 1945 and 2000 --
15 or 2010 hours is when it was processed. And in looking at this report, it
16 is clear that the Drina Corps command in general and General Krstic in
17 particular have some knowledge of what is occurring in the Zvornik Brigade
18 and are alerting the Main Staff that they know that Colonel Pandurevic's
19 interim report is coming and they will be forwarding it to the Main Staff
20 as soon as they get it.
21 Q. Is that reference to guarding prisoners and asanacija in an
22 official report unique to the various documents and materials you've seen?
23 A. It is one of the few documents by which a commander in writing
24 actually lays out the involvement of units under his command in unlawful
1 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit, which I believe is 493. Can you
2 briefly tell us what this is, why you've chosen it, what its significance
4 A. This is an order dated 15 July 1995 for the formation of a combat
5 unit to be deployed to Trnovo. As I had testified and noted in an earlier
6 exhibit, the Bratunac Brigade was requesting direction from the Drina
7 Corps whether or not they would still have to send this unit. And while
8 we do not have the response from the Drina Corps, I believe it's evident
9 from this document that the answer was that they were expected to send a
10 unit. And it reflects that on 15 July, the brigade command was active in
11 that process of selecting the individuals who would be going as part of
12 that unit.
13 This particular document, if you go to the B/C/S version, is also
14 signed by the signature of what I believe is Colonel Blagojevic.
15 Q. Have you seen the original of this document?
16 A. Yes, sir, I have.
17 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit then. I believe it's
18 P494, which is what we can now recognise as a page out of the military
19 police log of the Bratunac Brigade. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, sir, it is.
21 Q. What can you tell us about this?
22 A. Simply what it says, it's a reflection that the military police
23 are working on the searching and combing of the area as well as
24 apprehending getting Muslims found hiding in the area. A very nondescript
25 and traditional mission for them.
1 Q. Are you able to find any documents or intercepts or reliable
2 information regarding Muslim prisoners taken by the MPs on this date?
3 A. No, sir.
4 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit, P495, and if you can just briefly
5 tell us about this exhibit and how it's significant to your analysis.
6 A. Places this in time context of the events occurring, in the zone
7 of the Drina Corps, what has been occurring through the day of the 15th is
8 a situation where the forces of the Drina Corps are being stretched to the
9 absolute limit with respect to the military and the unlawful execution
10 operations which are occurring. In this particular report, the individual
11 who is drafting it is Colonel Ignjat Milanovic, who you will remember was
12 a figure in the 13 July intercepts looking for bulldozers and is, of
13 course, a Drina Corps staff officer. He is the air defence chief of the
14 Drina Corps. This is delivered to the command, directed to the forward
15 command post, attention the commander, which would be Colonel Krstic, the
16 Milici brigade and the Skelani Separate Battalion, and is noted in the
17 header information it is being written from Bratunac.
18 As part of the function of this report, he's laying out: In
19 accordance with your instructions, and in this particular instance "your"
20 is General Krstic, he travelled to Milici and Bratunac to acquaint himself
21 with the situation to the east of the Milici/Konjevic Polje/Bratunac road.
22 He discusses what the mission of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade
23 is doing and he notes what the 1st Milici brigade is doing as well.
24 He indicates orders that he has given on behalf of General Krstic
25 and he's making General Krstic aware of what those orders are. Paragraph
1 4 specifically pertains to the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. Then in
2 this document he makes a series of proposals to the commander of the Drina
3 Corps. And the first one is that the commander of the Drina Corps
4 authorised and appointed the commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry
5 Brigade as the commander of all forces participating in search operations
6 in searching the terrain and sweeping the battlefields to the east of the
7 road and in control of Kasaba/Drinjaca road. And notes that: "We have no
8 one to appoint from the Drina Corps command to do this."
9 In the second paragraph he notes that: "If you agree with this
10 proposal, send a telegram of confirmation to the commands of the 1st
11 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade,
12 and the Zvornik CSB centre." And in the third paragraph he informs the
13 commander what he's proposing to do with the number of soldiers with
14 respect to the Zepa operation. And as you can see reflected, the coms
15 centre and the Bratunac Brigade processed this at 15 July 1995 at 1615
16 hours. Of course here is the original.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, it appears in this proposal he has volunteered
18 Mr. Blagojevic to command all these units and he has done it apparently
19 from the Bratunac Brigade. Can you -- what can you conclude, if anything,
20 about that?
21 A. Well, with respect to that individual piece, from a military
22 perspective I have to presume that Colonel Milanovic discussed the issue
23 with Mr. Blagojevic before recommending him for that task.
24 Q. Why is that?
25 A. It would be very unusual and it certainly wouldn't be the proper
1 function of a staff officer to make a recommendation or a proposal that
2 subsequently would not be able to be carried out. As a matter of military
3 professionalism on the part of staff officers, you don't make proposals
4 that you know aren't going to be able to be executed. So as a matter of
5 military common sense, as you will, one would not expect Colonel Milanovic
6 to make this proposal if he did not already believe that
7 Colonel Blagojevic would agree to the proposal or would be incapable of
8 carrying it out.
9 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next document then. I believe it's 496.
10 Regular combat report from the Bratunac Brigade, 16 July. Can you point
11 out the relevant portion of this.
12 A. With respect to paragraph 1, the enemy forces, I would direct your
13 attention to the last sentence where it notes that from statements taken
14 from enemy soldiers, there are about 2.000 in the wider area of the
15 village of Pobudje and I believe the Court is familiar where that is
16 located on the map at this point.
17 Q. Can you remind me.
18 A. My apologies. That village complex is located in this general
19 area here.
20 Q. Right under where it says Nova Kasaba.
21 A. Or right to the west of -- or the east of Nova Kasaba.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. And what else?
23 A. In paragraph 2, it notes what their forces are doing and reflects
24 the fact that a MUP unit was pulled out this morning from the
25 Kravica/Konjevic Polje direction, that the Bratunac Brigade had to
1 dispatch a company to block that direction. It reflects that on the 16th
2 of July they're making preparations to dispatch two additional companies
3 of 100 soldiers to the Zvornik Infantry brigade or as they say, Light
4 Infantry Brigade, as well as elements of the 4th Reconnaissance Platoon of
5 the 1st Battalion. The next sentence indicates that during the day the
6 brigade commander visited all units which are blocking the enemy retreat,
7 and they're listed as being the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, units
8 of the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment, which is in this instance is
9 the military police battalion, parts of the MUP, and the 5th Engineering
10 Battalion, define their tasks and organise their joints acts and
12 Finally it reflects that because of the engagement of forces of
13 the Bratunac 1st Light Infantry Brigade and the 1st Milici Light Infantry
14 Brigade on other task assignments, execution of the task of searching the
15 terrain has been slowed down, and actions to block enemy forces in the
16 aforementioned area have been hampered. From the communications centre
17 stamp, this document was handled by them at 1640 on 16 July 1995.
18 Q. Can you relate this -- any part of this document to the previous
19 proposal of Mr. Milanovic?
20 A. This indicates that the proposal was accepted by the corps
21 commander, and that Colonel Blagojevic was, in fact, put in command of all
22 these forces from these units that were sweeping the area.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. One more issue on this, if I can direct the Court's attention to
25 the handwritten version of this document. You'll note a considerable
1 amount of scratch outs as this document was being drafted, however, I
2 would draw your attention to the signature down here under the signature
3 block, again the signature I've come to recognise as that of being
4 Colonel Blagojevic.
5 Q. All right. Let's go on to the next exhibit. I believe it's 497.
6 And going in the chronology, can you remind us what this is and what you
7 wanted to talk about here for the 16th.
8 A. This document, as previously discussed, is the reports and
9 meetings book from the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. That document
10 where notes from the meetings of the command and command staff are jotted
11 down. I draw the Court's attention to this one, the notations for a
12 meeting on 16 July 1995, where it is evident that the commander is
13 informing the commander and his corps command staff that he has just
14 received an order to form a battalion for operations at Zepa by 0700 hours
15 on 17 July 1995. And he is designating the 1st Battalion will be that
16 battalion as well as a small anti-tank detachment. And finally,
17 reflecting that they'll give battalion commander the orders during that
18 evening or during the evening of 16th July in this instance.
19 Q. All right. And let's go to 499, that we again recognise as a page
20 out of the Bratunac military --
21 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I forgot I turned it off.
23 Q. Again, this appears to be a page of the Bratunac MP log dated 17
24 July. And what is significant in this?
25 A. In this respect, it notes that patrols are continuing on the
1 apprehension and securing of Muslims in the municipal areas of Bratunac
2 and Srebrenica. And it further indicates that one police patrol remained
3 in Pilica to secure and guard the Muslims.
4 Q. Okay. Do you have any indication from documents or intercepts
5 or -- of the fate of any Muslims that were apprehended by the MPs on this
6 date, in the Bratunac area?
7 A. Specifically by the MPs, no, sir.
8 Q. All right. And we've heard about the Pilica before, so let's just
9 go on to the next exhibit that you've chosen and you have, is it 268?
10 A. Yes, 268.
11 Q. And this is a 17 July intercept and can you tell us why you've
12 chosen this. What's significant? What do you find in this intercept
13 that's significant?
14 A. In this particular intercept at 1220 hours, there's a conversation
15 from Badem, which is of course the headquarters of the Bratunac Light
16 Infantry Brigade, and Micic, the operations officer from that brigade is
17 talking to an unknown correspondent. And clearly from the text you can
18 hear it's not a very good line and there's some confusion between Micic
19 and Trisic. And finally, he clarifies that by saying M. Mostar
20 In the context of the conversation Micic is letting this unknown
21 correspondent know that 400 have set off at 1130 hours in seven buses and
22 reflects that Blagojevic is at the head and Micic knows that he'll be
23 leaving with the last one. For me, the significance of this is that at
24 this point in time, Colonel Blagojevic is leaving the Bratunac Brigade
25 zone at the head of this battalion and will be engaged in combat
1 activities related to Zepa.
2 Q. So do you relate this back to the previous documents on the same
4 A. With respect to the formation of that battalion, yes, sir.
5 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, which I believe is 500.
6 It appears to be a Main Staff document with the signature block under the
7 commander Ratko Mladic coming in to the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry
8 Brigade. What is this?
9 A. Well, given the absence of the brigade commander and as discussed
10 earlier the absence of the Bratunac Brigade chief of staff on combat
11 operations, there's a significant shortage of commanders left in and
12 around this area who can do some functions. As indicated earlier, there
13 were no Drina Corps officers who could perform this task. In response to
14 this situation, the Main Staff directs that on 17 July, the forces of the
15 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the Milici Light Infantry Brigade, the
16 67th Communications Battalion -- I'm sorry, the 67th Military Police
17 Battalion. Let me read this again, 67th Communications Regiment and the
18 Military Police Battalion of the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment and
19 MUP forces will continue their operations, but that the Main Staff is
20 appointing Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic an officer from the military
21 police of the Main Staff security administration as the commander of these
22 forces during the conduct of the tasks.
23 It notes that the deadline for the completion of these tasks is 19
24 July 1995. And it also notes that Colonel Keserovic is required to
25 propose an order for further engagement towards Cerska on 19 July 1995.
1 Q. Is this task related to the task that Mr. Blagojevic was doing the
2 previous day as outlined in the Bratunac daily combat report?
3 A. Yes, sir, it is.
4 Q. This 67th communications group, is this the first time we hear
5 about them?
6 A. Yes, sir, it is.
7 Q. Do you know where they come into this?
8 A. The 67th Communications Regiment is the communications regiment
9 for the Main Staff of the VRS. It is not a combat formation. But
10 apparently in this particular case, given the extreme shortage of manpower
11 a composite unit was put together from even that formation and thrown into
12 the battle area.
13 Q. Does this paragraph 3 suggest in any way that the Main Staff has
14 taken over direct command of the Bratunac Brigade?
15 A. They have not taken over direct command of the Bratunac Brigade.
16 It does specify that they're in charge or he's in command of the forces
17 during the conduct of the task. That means that those forces that are
18 engaged in the sweep operation will fall under his direct command. It's
19 not Colonel Blagojevic or Major Nastic or any of the other unit commanders
20 relinquishing command of their units.
21 Q. And can you tell us briefly about what paragraphs 1 and 2 relate
22 to, as I know we're coming up to the Zvornik area soon, hopefully.
23 A. Paragraphs 1 and 2 reflect another series of officers who were
24 sent to the zone of the Zvornik Brigade responsibility to assist the
25 command in planning and coordinating combat operations. Looking at this
1 in context, on 17 July 1995, the brigade commander of the Zvornik Brigade,
2 Colonel Pandurevic, has already allowed the column to pass through. And
3 as the history part indicates, he was not authorised to do that. That was
4 a decision that he, in fact, made on his own. These three officers from
5 the Main Staff were sent, my understanding is, by General Miletic to write
6 a report about this situation and that this report was to be provided to
7 General Mladic.
8 In the greater context, when you read the 18 July interim combat
9 report from Colonel Pandurevic, it is in part in response to this
10 commission coming down and investigating his activities. And it is his
11 response to the corps commander, General Krstic, that he expects the corps
12 commander's support in this matter.
13 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit. It should be 501. Tell
14 us what this is.
15 A. This is a document from the command of the Bratunac Light Infantry
16 Brigade to the Drina Corps command, noting that the brigade among the
17 Muslim prisoners that the brigade has captured that day, there are four
18 underaged children, and it lists their age, who are being held in military
19 custody in Bratunac. It notes that one of them told the commander of the
20 unit who was searching the area about the large number of Muslim troops
21 committing suicide or killing each other. And that the author, we, the
22 brigade, propose that this testimony be recorded by cameras from your
23 press centre, that being the Drina Corps press centre.
24 Q. Now, these four children, can you briefly relate what you believe
25 their capture is related to, any particular operation by any individuals
1 in the area.
2 A. I believe that these four individuals we know from various
3 investigations and interviews that a group of Bratunac Brigade soldiers
4 was searching the greater Pobudje area on 17 July and had captured a
5 number of prisoners, among them these four individuals.
6 Q. Were Bratunac working with another unit on that, to your
8 A. They were working with the MUP.
9 Q. Okay. And did these four children survive, as far as you know?
10 A. It is my understanding that these four children survived. If we
11 can examine the handwritten version of that, we'll notice on the B/C/S
12 version that it was processed very late on the night of 18 July -- very
13 early in the morning of 18 July at approximately 0010 hours -- no, I'm
14 sorry 0040 hours. And this is the original handwritten version. And
15 there is no signature to indicate the officer who signed this.
16 Q. All right. And would you go to the next exhibit you've chosen,
17 502, if you've got it.
18 A. This is also from the command of the Bratunac Light Infantry
19 Brigade on 17 July, and again reflected in the communications centre
20 stamp, that it was not processed until 0040 hours on the 18th of July.
21 Again to the Drina Corps noting that the brigade command does not have at
22 its disposal a single vehicle or motor vehicle suitable for transport of
23 wounded Muslim prisoners from the Bratunac health centre to Bijeljina. It
24 requests the command send a suitable vehicle for transport of the 23
25 wounded Muslim prisoners.
1 Q. Are these the prisoners you've spoken of before in part?
2 A. Yes, sir, they are.
3 Q. And as far as you know, they all survived?
4 A. Yes, sir, they did.
5 Q. Can you make anything from these various documents on whether --
6 who signed it or authored it?
7 A. Again -- I will reserve a judgement on the handwriting comparison,
8 but certainly it's the same situation as the last one. There is no
9 signature to indicate which officer would have signed it.
10 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, I believe it's 503. It
11 appears to be an 18 July daily combat report from Bratunac. What's
12 significant about this?
13 A. Just as part of the overall situation, paragraph 1 reflecting that
14 the Bratunac Brigade command is still aware of small enemy groups
15 retreating in the area of Pobudje in Konjevic Polje in the direction of
16 Cerska and Kuslat towards Tuzla noting that on that day units of the 3rd
17 Infantry Battalion, the 4th Infantry Battalion and people mobilised from
18 compulsory labour are searching the terrain. And again it was processed
19 through at 1620 hours on 18 July.
20 Q. And is there any indication that Mr. Blagojevic signed or drafted
21 this document?
22 A. No, sir.
23 Q. Now, if Mr. Blagojevic left the head of the column on the 17th
24 towards Zepa, can you tell us when or where you think he is on the days
25 following the 17th.
1 A. Based on my reading of the continuation of Bratunac Brigade daily
2 combat reports for the rest of the month of July, while he may well have
3 made occasional trips back to Bratunac, I believe that he spends the
4 majority of his time dealing with the situation with Zepa.
5 Q. Does that affect his responsibility over the command of his
7 A. No, sir. In effect, it's the same situation that we talk about
8 with Colonel Vinko Pandurevic. When he and his battle group goes from the
9 Zvornik Brigade to the zone of the Bratunac Brigade to be involved in the
10 operations at Srebrenica. Colonel Blagojevic, as in the case of Colonel
11 Pandurevic, is not formally relinquishing command of their unit. However,
12 it is understood that the appointed deputy is going to be the person in
13 charge of day-to-day operations.
14 Q. All right. Let's go to the next document, 504. And tell us what
15 this document is, where it came from, and what you find significant about
17 A. This document, again from the command of the 1st Bratunac Light
18 Infantry Brigade intelligence organ to the Main Staff intelligence sector
19 and the command of the Drina Corps intelligence sector. And it reflects
20 that at 1515 hours on 18 July, 22 wounded Muslim prisoners from the 28th
21 Division were evacuated with a police escort provided by the Drina Corps
22 from the health centre and their destination is ultimately the Batkovici
23 prisoner of war camp.
24 Q. Now, this is under the name of Momir Nikolic. Are you familiar
25 with Mr. Nikolic's testimony on this point?
1 A. Yes, sir, I am.
2 Q. And who do you think the author of this document was?
3 A. If we can go to the last page of the B/C/S draft version, we see
4 the same initials that are on the 13 July 1995 report under the name of
5 Colonel Radoslav Jankovic.
6 Q. All right. Is there anything else you want to comment on this
8 A. No, sir.
9 Q. Okay. Finally for this segment about Bratunac, let's go to
10 Exhibit 505. Again, it's a page out of the meetings of the Bratunac
11 Brigade that we've become familiar with. And if you could go to October
12 16th. Now, first of all, can you from your -- in your opinion, can you
13 tell us who was present at this working meeting of the command with
14 command staff and battalion commanders.
15 A. Colonel Blagojevic is listed. Major Nikolic is listed.
16 Lieutenant Micic, who of course is an operations officer. Major Trisic,
17 who is the assistant commander for rear services of the brigade. I don't
18 know the identity of M. Cvetinovic. P. Jovanovic is the acting commander
19 of the 2nd Infantry Battalion at the time. I believe Beatovic is the
20 acting commander of -- let me back off that one. I'm not familiar with
21 that one. Petrovic is the acting commander of the 3rd Battalion and
22 Ostojic is the battalion commander of the 1st Battalion. And at this
23 period in time the 4th Battalion, which is normally associated during July
24 1995 with the Bratunac Brigade, has been resubordinated back to the
25 Zvornik Infantry Brigade, so they don't have that as their 4th Battalion
2 Q. And what in this is significant to the historical events that are
3 going on at the time?
4 A. The observations listed under Nikolic, noting that they're trying
5 to block the village of Slapovic today and trying to catch remaining
6 Turks, who should be there according to the statement of detainees,
7 reflecting the fact that the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade has seven.
8 Q. Was the investigation, to your knowledge, able to determine the
9 fate of those seven?
10 A. Yes, sir, it has. And I understand that the seven, in fact, did
11 survive the war.
12 Q. Okay. What's next?
13 A. It also notes at the last bullet that we are currently engaged in
14 tasks issued by the Army of Republika Srpska. It's General staff, it
15 should be Main Staff, and sanitation. And if I can go to the original
16 B/C/S version of this. The phrase reflected is one we are accustom to,
17 "asanacija," which is the phrase associated with the burial of the dead
19 Q. So are you aware of any photographic and forensic evidence that
20 would relate to this statement about asanacija?
21 A. Within the context of the time involved, what I know to be
22 occurring on the basis of that information, is that the elements of the
23 Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade and other elements of the civilian
24 protection are involved in the process of exhuming the primary mass grave
25 at Glogova and is installing the remains from that grave in seven
1 identified secondary -- or six identified secondary graves and one grave
2 that we call a tertiary grave because the remains were moved from that for
3 a third time.
4 So this, in context, is related to the process of robbing the
5 bodies out of the mass grave that was established at Glogova and
6 dispersing the bodies in hidden sites along the road to Zeleni Jadar.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a minor clarification.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman was asked if he's aware of any
10 photographic or forensic evidence and he then began to give an explanation
11 of something that was not in concert with the question that was posed. Do
12 they have a yes or no -- I would prefer him answering the question as
13 opposed to him giving a rendition to what he thinks we all should know.
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think this question should be asked
15 during the cross-examination, but we still have two minutes left. Maybe
16 Mr. McCloskey could ask some questions to this witness so that we could
17 get a complete record of this document.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour, the reason I raise the
19 objection at this point is because at some point I anticipate
20 cross-examining and I would appreciate if the witness would be responding
21 to my questions as opposed to giving lectures.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can see we're getting ready for
23 cross-examination already, and I certainly hope we can tone down the
25 Q. Mr. Butler, can you help me out on this. Can you answer the
1 question about the photographs?
2 A. Yes, sir. I'm quite familiar with overhead imagery provided by
3 the United States government which reflects the activity of the opening
4 and the removal of bodies from Glogova and the installation of the
5 secondary graves in Zeleni Jadar. I am familiar with the activities of
6 the investigation team with respect to the OTP's activity in exhuming
7 those graves and the forensics involved around them. And I am familiar
8 with the interviews by members of the OTP with individuals who
9 participated in that operation.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this does end the presentation of
11 this evidence on the Bratunac area. Just to give you -- if we're lucky,
12 we may get through Zvornik tomorrow. We may go into Monday a little bit,
13 but certainly the Prosecution doesn't anticipate going very far into
14 Monday on its direct examination.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much. It's time for the break.
16 So we'll break now and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
18 at 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
19 the 14th day of November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.