1 Thursday, 29 June 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning; good morning to
7 the technical booth, to the interpreters, the legal assistants, court
8 reporters; good morning Mr. Harmon and Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Cayley, good
9 morning; good morning Mr. Petrusic and Mr. Visnjic; good
10 morning, General Krstic; good morning, Witness.
11 I think we with continue with Mr. Richard Butler and his
12 testimony. We suggested yesterday to make a bit of a re-evaluation to see
13 whether we can finish. I think that the Prosecutor can tell us a little
14 more about that and where we stand in the matter.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. We put our heads together
16 last night with the outline and the materials and crunched it as much as
17 we could. We believe that we can finish Mr. Butler's testimony by the
18 next Tuesday of the following session.
19 However, if you can give us any extra time this week, we would
20 certainly take that and be willing to work whatever hours you deem
21 appropriate to help meet this deadline. I'm sure we've all experienced
22 over the years lawyers' estimates of time are not always reliable, and I
23 hate to say I have been guilty of that in the past, but that is our best
24 estimate. But if we did have extra time, I think that would help ensure a
25 date by Tuesday, and that would leave us time to finish the rest of the
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. McCloskey. We
3 thank you for your efforts and we shall see the results. But to avoid
4 overstepping the time limit, we are ready to work today until 4.30. So
5 we're going to adhere to our schedule, which means that at 2.30 we're
6 going to have a half-hour break and resume at 3.00 and then go on working
7 until 4.30 this afternoon to avoid overstepping the time limit and the
8 agenda objectives that we have set.
9 So thank you for that information. It isn't Friday yet, so I'm
10 sure everybody is willing and ready to put in a bit more work.
11 Having said that, I would like to bid good morning to the
12 witness. Mr. Butler, we're going to continue. Let me remind you that you
13 are still under oath. You will be answering questions put to you by
14 Mr. McCloskey.
15 Mr. McCloskey, your witness and make the best use of your time,
16 please go ahead.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
19 Examined by Mr. McCloskey:
20 Q. Mr. Butler, in your narrative you have concluded that
21 General Krstic became Commander of the Drina Corps the late part of
22 July 13th, 1995 [Realtime transcript read in error June]. Can you briefly
23 summarise that opinion, some of the materials you based it on, and then
24 we'll go over each of those materials in detail.
25 A. In the narrative where I make that conclusion, what I'm basing my
1 information and the conclusion of that is off of a series of written
2 orders and intercepted communications, the orders which designate
3 General-Major Krstic as the Commander of the Drina Corps, and the
4 intercepts which in fact demonstrate the practical applications of command
5 and his command. That record starts in the early evening hours, late
6 afternoon hours of 13 July and continues through the 14th, through the
7 15th of July and beyond.
8 Using all of that and putting it together, the starting point for
9 his beginning of his exercise of command comes to those hours, those early
10 evening-late afternoon hours of 13 July 1995.
11 Q. I note the record in my statement said June 13, 1995. I may have
12 slipped. I should have asked about July 13, 1995.
13 All right. Mr. Butler, let's -- we left off yesterday with an
14 order that General Krstic issued as Chief of Staff on July 13th. Where
15 does that -- can you fit that into your analysis?
16 A. Again, reviewing that order, the times that are internal to the
17 text of that order, that is the final order that General-Major Krstic
18 signs as the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, and I believe that order
19 was published approximately noon on the 13th of July, 1995.
20 So within the framework of consistency, that order, the Zepa
21 operation order, does in fact fit with the theory of him assuming command
22 later that day, on the 13th of July.
23 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 462, which is a July 13th order by
24 General Zivanovic as Commander of the corps. If you could put that on the
25 ELMO and tell us about this order and how it fits into your analysis.
1 A. This order, 13 July 1995, represents the last written order that
2 we have where General-Major Milenko Zivanovic signs the document as the
3 Commander of the Drina Corps.
4 When you read into the context of the order, it's an order to all
5 the subordinate units of the Drina Corps as well as to the Drina Corps
6 forward command post, again for their information, and it references a
7 Main Staff order pertaining to Muslim formations and the information that
8 they understand pertaining to the column moving from the area of
9 Srebrenica towards Tuzla.
10 In looking at the second page of that order, I apologise, the
11 third page of that order, the issue of note here again is that it is
12 signed by Commander General-Major Milenko Zivanovic, and the other
13 interesting item that we have that is relevant to us is the stamp that is
14 put on that order by the relevant communications centre that gives us a
15 time indication of when the communication centre received and processed
16 that order.
17 What they have done, in order to do that, is they have translated,
18 in effect, this box, if I may show you, which represents on the original
19 B/C/S version the communication centre stamp.
20 Looking at this, the latest time on the stamp is 13 July, 1720
21 hours, and the time that they received the order is 1600 hours on
22 13 July. What this tells me, essentially, is that no earlier than or no
23 later than 1600 hours, General Zivanovic signed this order and it was
24 transmitted to the subordinate units of the Drina Corps by 1720 hours on
25 13 July.
1 Q. This stamp, can you tell whose stamp this is with these times on
3 A. We can't positively tell whose stamp it is by these times. Each
4 unit has its own specific stamp, but I believe this stamp to be the
5 outgoing processor, which in this case would be the command of the Drina
7 Q. Why do you believe that?
8 A. On other Drina Corps orders that we have, we see the stamp in the
9 exact same format.
10 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 463, which is an order dated 13
11 July in the command of the Drina Corps, signed by Commander Major General
12 Radislav Krstic. Can you explain this document and how it fits into your
14 A. Starting from the top of the document, again, the order is
15 labelled, "The Command of the Drina Corps, 13 July 1995." The context of
16 this document is a directive to three subordinate formations of the Drina
17 Corps, the Bratunac -- the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the
18 Skelani Separate Battalion, and the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, to
19 conduct search operations in and around the former enclave of Srebrenica,
20 to begin the search immediately and to finish it by 16 July 1995.
21 Moving further down this order, again, for the first time, this is
22 where we see General-Major Radislav Krstic signing as the Commander.
23 Further down we have the translation of the time annotations on the date
24 stamp indicating that the communications centre received the order at 2000
25 hours on 13 July and sent the order or processed the order at 2030 hours
1 on 13 July.
2 And if I could take you to the second page, which is the original
3 B/C/S version, again, in this case the order is in fact signed by
4 General-Major Radislav Krstic, and you can see the handwritten annotations
5 from the communications centre.
6 Because the order that we received -- and this order came from the
7 RS government -- came through a fax machine when they originally gave it
8 to us, we don't have the most clear copy, and what is lost is the
9 communication stamp overlay itself.
10 Q. Now, you mentioned that we obtained this document from the RS
11 government. Can you tell the Court how that process occurred, that we
12 were able to get this particular order from the government?
13 A. As a result of the search that we conducted on the headquarters of
14 the 513th Infantry Brigade, formerly the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade,
15 we received various -- a very large number of orders and documents. In
16 the case of some of those orders and documents, they referred back to a
17 Drina Corps order or directive.
18 One of the documents that we had that will be a later exhibit, I
19 believe the next exhibit, is an example of the Bratunac Brigade order
20 which refers back to this. Based on the process of now knowing what
21 orders were issued, essentially we requested initially from the government
22 of the Republika Srpska that documents be provided, and failing to get
23 response from that, the Prosecutor requested a binding order signed by the
24 Trial Chamber, which was in fact done.
25 Pursuant to that, we received approximately four of the 14
1 requested orders, this being one of them. For the remainder of the
2 orders, we have been told by the RS Minister of Defence that for reasons
3 unknown, that they're not available to them, and that they believe that
4 the records are no longer available.
5 Q. You have other records with General Krstic's name signed in a
6 signature fashion on them?
7 A. That is correct, sir.
8 Q. Now, you're not a handwriting expert, are you?
9 A. No, sir.
10 Q. But you have had a chance to review the handwritten signature
11 indicating Radislav Krstic; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, sir, I have.
13 Q. Now, the signature, this rough photocopy of Exhibit 463, does
14 this -- what you can make out of this rough photocopy, does it in any way
15 resemble the other photocopied signatures that you've seen of General
17 A. Yes, this does, sir. It very closely resembles the other
18 signatures that we have of General Krstic.
19 Q. Could this be a typo, a "Commander" when it should have been
20 "Chief of Staff", in your view?
21 A. In my view, an error like that is extremely unlikely, almost
23 Q. Why?
24 A. When you look at the internal context of the orders, and when you
25 understand how a military command and staff operates, one of the
1 fundamental things that has to occur is for both the commander and the
2 staff to know who was in command. For the most part, the staff drafts the
3 orders for the commander's signature. Clearly in the interests of time,
4 the commander cannot draft every single order that he does.
5 So in reading this order and looking at the signature and the
6 signature block on it, there are two things that are inferred. The first
7 thing is that the staff of the Drina Corps was aware that General-Major
8 Radislav Krstic was the Commander; and the second part is that when
9 General-Major Krstic signed the order, he signed the order with the
10 understanding that he was the authorised Commander.
11 Q. How about if General Krstic was the task force commander of the
12 task force designated to take out the Zepa enclave; could this be
13 commander as the task force and not as Commander of the Drina Corps?
14 A. In that aspect there are two arguments that mitigate against
15 that. If I can go back to the original English translation, first of all,
16 again looking at the header information, it specifies Command of the Drina
17 Corps. The second aspect is evident within the context of the order
18 itself. Within the context of the order, this order has absolutely
19 nothing to do with the operation occurring at Zepa, but has everything to
20 do with the operations still ongoing at Srebrenica.
21 Q. If there was another Commander of the Drina Corps at this time,
22 how would that Commander have viewed an order such as this signed as
23 Commander of the Drina Corps?
24 A. At a minimum, it would be a very bad reflection on both the staff
25 people who prepared the order and the individual who signed the order. At
1 worst case, it comes off as almost rank insubordination and mutiny.
2 Clearly the latter is not the case here as that, and we have no evidence
3 to suggest that it was, but an error like this by a military staff is not
4 an event that occurs with any frequency whatsoever, and the whole process
5 is designed to prevent things like this happening. I mean, you know who
6 your Commander is, particularly if you're a member of his staff.
7 Q. Now, taking you up to the front left corner of this document and
8 going to the number, strictly confidential number 01/4/157/5. We've
9 talked a bit about these numbers before, but what, if anything, are you
10 able to make out of this number?
11 A. In this case, with the numbers, and as I've noted before, because
12 we don't have enough operational orders from the Drina Corps, I'm not able
13 to conclude the 01 or the 4 piece as to who specifically drafted the
14 order, other than to generally be able to say that it comes from the
15 command Chief of Staff operations area within the framework of the staff.
16 The 157 middle numbers again clearly associate it with the series
17 of orders related to both Srebrenica and the following orders that related
18 to Zepa.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. McCloskey, for
20 interrupting you.
21 Witness Butler, if you compare this with the other exhibit, the
22 document 462, if you compare that --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President. I didn't get the French
24 translation. I can understand "excuse moi," but after that I'm pretty
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I was asking the witness to
2 compare this number, this exhibit number, that is to say, 463 --
3 THE INTERPRETER: You're not getting the English interpretation?
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can you hear? [In English]
5 Exhibit 463 and Exhibit 462. No. Yes. 462, 463, in this same aspect.
6 A. Again in this aspect, sir, the 156 series of numbers we have
7 related back to the original base order of Srebrenica operation, which is
8 the order 156-1, the preparatory order of 2 July.
9 In the case of the order series 157, we see the order 157 series
10 starting with preparations related to the sweeping of the terrain, the
11 issue of the column, as well as starting to see preparations for military
12 operations against Zepa. So clearly it ties back to a different base
13 order. And within the sequence of the Drina Corps numbers, 157, it would
14 be the next major order after the 156.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. All right. Mr. Butler, let's go on to the next exhibit, 464. If
17 you could tell us what that is and how it fits into your analysis.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: In this regard, could we have the next big exhibit
19 placed on the easel.
20 A. With respect to the last order and as we previously discussed,
21 this is the Bratunac Brigade order which, in effect, implements the prior
22 order, and you can clearly see the Drina Corps reference number dated
23 13 July 1995.
24 What this order does for the Bratunac Brigade is it takes the
25 broader guidance, or actually in this case the specific guidance of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 Drina Corps relative to sweep operations and boundaries, and makes them
2 more specific for the execution of the infantry battalions of the Bratunac
3 Light Infantry Brigade.
4 As you go to the second page of the order, again it indicates that
5 the tasks begin immediately, completed by 16 July as specified, and it is
6 signed by the Commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and
7 looking at, again, the actual order in B/C/S.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, could you take us back to General Krstic's order
9 of the 13th and just briefly, by this large exhibit that's in front of
10 you, whose number I will provide in a minute, point out the villages or
11 areas that are referred to in General Krstic's order, and then if you
12 could point out the response of the Bratunac Brigade in those villages and
13 how they tie in with each other.
14 A. The Drina Corps order, as is written, essentially identifies a
15 series of villages that we have in a shade of what's best described as
16 purplish or a form of dark red. Ravni Buljim, Zvijezda, Siljato Brdo,
17 Slapovici, Zeleni Jadar, Kostar, and Sed.
18 What these villages are used as, in the sense of the Drina Corps,
19 is they're designating unit boundaries to ensure that the forces of three
20 separate brigades operating within this entire area don't cross over in
21 each other's lines, where you don't have incidents of military confusion
22 or worse, incidents where you have friendly soldiers firing on each
23 other. In a military context, that's an absolutely proper thing to do.
24 What we next see in the Bratunac Brigade order, again the
25 implementing instructions beyond that, is the brigade Commander further
1 defining that guidance with the more lighter red or almost orange villages
2 where he's defining the boundaries of his own battalions. These three
3 villages here in this line defining the operating area of the 3rd
4 Battalion; this series of lines or series of villages, the operating area
5 of the 2nd Battalion; these series of villages, the operating of the
6 1st Infantry Battalion; and at the far edge, the operating area of the
7 4th Infantry Battalion.
8 So in a military context, what we see in the series of these two
9 orders is the Drina Corps providing broad guidance and directive on the
10 operation and the brigades implementing that in a more defined fashion.
11 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Butler, both of these orders talk about searching
12 the liberated area. What are they searching for? I mean the obvious
13 stragglers or what?
14 A. Yes, ma'am. Again through the context of this particularly, and
15 when you look at the other message traffic that we'll get into as
16 exhibits, there are a large number of Muslims who remained in the area
17 through the 17th, 18th, and 19th of July. And as a matter of fact, these
18 types of sweep operations will be occurring several months after the fall
19 of Srebrenica, simply because some of the Muslims honestly believed that
20 if they hid in the woods long enough and waited it out, they would be able
21 to return home. And you will see the manifestation of that as sweep
22 operations in this zone almost through September and October of 1995.
23 JUDGE WALD: So when they say "search," your interpretation is
24 that if they found Muslims there, they were supposed to take them
25 someplace else.
1 A. Essentially take them into custody, yes, ma'am.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. And on that subject, Mr. Butler, we will be getting into a more --
4 a talk about the substance of some of the superior command orders where
5 they are a bit more specific about who they're looking for and what to do
6 with them; is that right?
7 A. Yes, sir. We'll get into that in future orders.
8 Q. Now, I call your attention, at the bottom of General Krstic's
9 July 13 order of 463, paragraph 6. It mentions:
10 "At the end of the search submit a written report on 17 July 1995
11 until 1200 hours."
12 What is this?
13 A. Again, as a practical application of command, this demonstrates
14 the Commander giving the order and an expectation by the Commander that
15 the subordinate Commanders in units that will be carrying out the order
16 will report back to them the results of that operation.
17 Q. And there's a similar statement on the July 14th Bratunac order,
18 page 2, paragraph 7. Is that part of the same reporting process that
19 you've discussed earlier?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. Now, again, tell us how you conclude that the 14 July Bratunac
22 order supports the 13 July General Krstic order in that General Krstic is
23 the Commander?
24 A. Again, from the context. Clearly when you look at both orders,
25 we're talking about the same subject within the context of the order.
1 When you look at the reference, clearly we're referring back to that
2 specific order as the base for the operation to occur, for the sweep
3 operation to occur.
4 In a broader sense, when you look at these two orders you see the
5 normal exercise of command, a superior commander giving an order to a
6 subordinate, and a subordinate order -- or subordinate officer, commander
7 in this case, recognising it to be a legal, valid order from his
8 perspective, that it was issued and authorised to be issued by the person,
9 and is executing it.
10 Q. Are these two orders consistent with a theory that the Main Staff
11 was in direct command of the brigades, cutting out the Drina Corps in the
12 command chain?
13 A. No, sir.
14 Q. Now, the July 14th order, Exhibit 464, refers in the top of it to
15 on the basis of strictly confidential order number 01/4/157/5. That is
16 the exact number of the General Krstic order as Commander of July the
17 13th; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Now, let's go on to the next exhibit as part of your analysis,
20 466. It appears to be a 14 July intercept with a statement, a person
21 named Zivanovic. Can you tell us what your analysis is and your
22 conclusions you take from that?
23 A. The individual, in this case General-Major Zivanovic, having a
24 discussion with an individual named Slavko. I believe that to be Slavko
25 Ognjenovic, an operations officer in the Drina Corps staff. And in this
1 context, General-Major Zivanovic is making it known that, in a sense from
2 his perspective, he is getting ready to vacate the premises.
3 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, 467. It's a
4 communication from the command of the Bratunac Brigade. It's got various
5 dates on it, and can you tell us about what this is, how it fits into your
6 analysis, and explain the various dates, if you can?
7 A. The first aspect that I'd like to discuss is the issue of the
8 dates because there are inconsistencies in the versions, and before I can
9 get into the analysis of what the order means, I've got to solve the date
10 issue. And what I'd like to do first of all is direct your attention to
11 the second-to-last page of the exhibit, which is a handwritten version of
12 that order.
13 When we reviewed the material that we'd seized in Bratunac, and
14 this order comes from Bratunac, one of the consistent things that we saw
15 was that for the most part, the orders were all handwritten and then
16 passed to the communications centre. The communications centre then typed
17 up the order, and as a way of indicating that the order was typed up and
18 sent, sent that order back to the operations centre or whoever published
19 the written order. So in respect with all of the Bratunac Brigade orders
20 and directives that are of this type, we have two versions: We have the
21 original handwritten version by the drafter, and we have the electronic
22 version that was physically typed up by the communications operator.
23 When you review the original handwritten version as typed up or as
24 written, the date of publication of writing is 14 July 1995. Further, it
25 references Drina Corps order 05-2-295, dated 14 July 1995.
1 Going back to the original translation of that on the front -- or
2 more accurately, if you go back to the prior two pages, you will see --
3 and I apologise it does not reproduce well. It was -- the order was done
4 in red, which doesn't reproduce well on a Xerox machine. The typed
5 version of that order reflects the date of 17 July 1995. So there is an
6 inconsistency there.
7 One of the things that helps resolve that inconsistency in favour
8 of the order being dated 14 July is, if you move further down the page,
9 you'll see a handwritten annotation which roughly translates as "sent" and
10 the signature of the operator and the day when it was sent. Again,
11 clearly indicating that this order was in fact sent on 14 July 1995.
12 So taking all of those things into account, the fact that we have
13 three references to the 14th on the order and only one typographical one
14 of the 17th, I'm concluding that what happened was that the person who
15 typed the order made a date mistake, and in fact the order was 14 July.
16 Having resolved that issue and now looking at the context of the
17 order, it clearly is a response to a Drina Corps that's previously
18 referenced. And again, the text indicates that what the unit is
19 attempting to do is to arrange for a meeting with municipal authorities in
20 the Bratunac area for a farewell for General Zivanovic recognised -- or
21 using very awkward English phrase "hitherto the Commander of the Drina
22 Corps." And they date as 2000 hours on 23 July [sic] 1995. Clearly this
23 order is not June of 1995. We believe that the ceremony in fact took
24 place on the 23rd of July, 1995, and that this was just a written error by
25 the drafter on the date.
1 Where it was found in the collection of documents from Bratunac,
2 which were in sequence and chronological order when we seized them, and
3 all of the other factors associated lends into the fact that this is
4 relative to July 1995, not June of 1995. So I'm attributing this to a
5 simple mistake on the part of the drafter who, clearly when you look at
6 the context of things that were going on, missed it, just missed the
8 The important part here clearly is the reference document,
9 05-2-295. As I noted previously, while I don't have enough documents from
10 the 01 and 04 range to be able to conclude where they came from, we have a
11 significant number of documents with the 05 range from the Drina Corps,
12 all of which are personnel- and administrative-related matters. Those
13 documents were clearly kept by the subordinate brigades because of
14 personnel and administrative issues. You know, individuals kept them if
15 they pertained to them: orders, appointments, things of that nature. So
16 the numbering there is consistent with an administrative type of order.
17 Further, when you read into this, what you can read into it is the
18 fact that this order was the order where the Drina Corps was specifically
19 notifying, at a minimum, the Bratunac Brigade, and most probably all of
20 the formations of the Drina Corps that effective at a designated point of
21 time, which is undefined, General Zivanovic is no longer the Commander of
22 the Drina Corps.
23 Q. Mr. Butler, do you in fact have Drina Corps order number
24 05-2-295 dated 14 July?
25 A. This order, like the previous order, was requested as part of the
1 binding order. That order has not been provided to us.
2 Q. So this term that has been translated into English as "hitherto,"
3 basically meaning "up until now," how does that fit into your analysis?
4 A. Working on the premise that General Krstic began to exercise
5 command of the Drina Corps on the evening hours of 13 July 1995, one of
6 the fundamental things that the Drina Corps command and staff had to do
7 was to inform all of the subordinate and relevant units that, in fact, a
8 change of command had occurred. What we see in this, and again since we
9 don't have a time when it was sent, but clearly the Drina Corps referenced
10 above is the manifestation of that process.
11 JUDGE WALD: Excuse me, wouldn't that have to have been preceded,
12 according to your earlier testimony, by some kind of order signed by the
14 A. Yes, ma'am, it would have -- something would have had to have
16 JUDGE WALD: Something, something, yes.
17 A. Yes, ma'am.
18 JUDGE WALD: And we don't have that something, either; is that
20 A. We have a --
21 JUDGE WALD: A later one, a later --
22 A. Yes, ma'am.
23 JUDGE WALD: Not one on the 13th or 14th?
24 A. No, ma'am.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. Mr. Butler, let's go to those later things that we do have, that's
2 OTP Exhibit 468, and could you explain what this is, and how it fits into
3 your analysis and, of course, Judge Wald's question?
4 A. This is the Presidential Decree dated 14 July 1995, essentially
5 the formal appointment of General-Major Radislav Krstic as the Commander
6 of the Drina Corps; and at the same time the appointment of Colonel
7 Svetozar Andric, formerly the Commander of the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade,
8 as now the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the Drina Corps.
9 Q. And the next exhibit, 469, is related to this exhibit in a way.
10 Can you explain what that is? And we see it, Exhibit 469, is a cover
11 letter, a more recent cover letter from the RS Minister providing this
12 particular document for us. And if you could go to the next page so we
13 can actually see the document, and just tell us about that, and how it
14 relates to the appointment order of General Krstic.
15 A. What this order, again from the President of the Republika Srpska,
16 places on disposal is the technical term, General Zivanovic, noting
17 formerly the Commander of the Drina Corps, and has made available
18 appointment to a position on the Main Staff on 15 July.
19 Q. So how do you account for General Krstic signing orders as
20 Commander and the formal orders authorising that which are referencing the
21 law that we spoke of the first day that requires the president to do these
22 kinds of appointments? What kind of an explanation do you have for this?
23 A. What had to have happened, based on the document and the event
24 train that I've projected out, is that sometime late afternoon, early
25 evening of 13 July, General-Major Krstic was made aware, either by
1 General Mladic or General Zivanovic or even a representative or even the
2 President of the Republika Srpska, that he would be assuming command of
3 the Drina Corps, most probably in the form of a verbal order.
4 What you see in the series of documents afterwards from the
5 President's office, is the paper manifestation or codification of that
6 order that tracks down through time the orders published on the 14th and
7 the 15th. There is an admitted sequence or gap where the exact chain of
8 events between the order of 13 July, 2030 hours, and the Presidential
9 Decree don't track. It is a bit ambiguous as to what happened within that
10 sequence there.
11 The best that I can note in my analysis of the series of events is
12 that while I, as the analyst, because I don't have enough information,
13 can't exactly tell the Court the entire series of events, what I can read
14 back is that it was not ambiguous to the command and staff of the Drina
15 Corps. They clearly knew and understood the series of events.
16 At best, what I can do is lay these series of orders out, offer my
17 analysis as to what I know, point out the facts that I don't know and that
18 we've asked, and leave it at that aspect. But during that technical
19 period, that 24-hour, 28-hour period between the issuance of an order as
20 him as commander and this paperwork, it remains, for me, somewhat
22 Q. Does it appear ambiguous to the command of the Bratunac Brigade
23 that received the July 13th order by General Krstic who the commander is?
24 A. Absolutely not. They understood who was the commander, and they
25 executed the orders accordingly.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 Q. Now, the next series of exhibits is some intercepts that you have
2 incorporated into your analysis, so let's go to the first one, 470. And
3 if you could tell us a bit about that.
4 A. This intercept, which is dated 15 July, and I believe that has
5 been established in prior testimony, is a short synopsis of a conversation
6 between Colonel Beara, again identified as the Chief of the Main Security
7 Administration, looking for General Zivanovic and being told that he was
8 not present but he could be -- I believe it's Colonel Beara asking General
9 Zivanovic to contact him at extension 139.
10 Q. And this is at 0952, intercept from the -- what date?
11 A. 15 July, sir.
12 Q. Now let's go to the next exhibit. If you could go to 472A.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: As the Court is aware, there are several versions
14 of this particular conversation, which I believe you've gone into in some
15 detail. I will choose certain ones that I think are the -- will fit and
16 be the clearest for the purpose of Mr. Butler's testimony. That first
17 would be the conversation with General Zivanovic, 472A.
18 Q. What can you tell us about that?
19 A. In this conversation, which occurs two minutes later, clearly
20 Colonel Beara has reached General Zivanovic. When you read through the
21 context of the discussion, Colonel Beara is informing General Zivanovic
22 that individuals -- one individual commander, Furtula, didn't send Lukic's
23 Intervention Platoon. Furtula, I believe, is Major Radomir Furtula, the
24 Commander of the Visegrad Infantry Brigade, a Drina Corps asset.
25 Q. Is he on your chart, the large exhibit to your left?
1 A. Yes, sir, he is. Moving further down into that, and clearly I
2 don't want to read the entire intercept to the Court, the issue that
3 they're discussing is that an Intervention Platoon, Lukic's Intervention
4 Platoon did not arrive at the designated place and at the designated time
5 to accomplish the mission, the mission as defined by Colonel Beara. And
6 clearly within the context of the discussion, while they don't talk about
7 it in detail, General Zivanovic and Colonel Beara are clearly aware of
8 what each other is discussing.
9 Q. Can you tell us who you believe or who Lukic may be?
10 A. I believe Lukic is, in fact, an individual known as Milan Lukic,
11 who investigation has associated with criminal activities in the Visegrad
12 area in 1992, at the very beginning of the war.
13 Q. And as it says in the intercept: "And Lukic is waiting at
14 Blagojevic." In this context, who do you think Blagojevic is?
15 A. In this context, Blagojevic is Colonel Blagojevic, the Commander
16 of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
17 Q. And then it says: "Lukic is here with me and his driver and we
18 urged that." What does that tell you? Lukic is where with who?
19 A. One of the correspondents, in this case Zivanovic, understands
20 that Lukic is with Blagojevic at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, and
21 the correspondent "B", Colonel Beara, informs him: "No, Lukic is here
22 with me with a driver." What we don't know is where Colonel Beara is.
23 Q. Now, I want to take you down to that conversation. Beara says:
24 "He simply doesn't give a damn about what the Commander orders him to
25 do. Well, now, that platoon has 60 men." Who do you believe the
1 Commander is that he's referring to?
2 A. In this case, I believe the Commander is, in fact, Major Furtula.
3 Q. "He simply doesn't give a damn about what the Commander orders him
4 to do. Well, now, that platoon has 60 men." Is that a higher Commander
5 or that Furtula or ...
6 A. In the context of the discussion, Beara referring to it as the
7 "Commander's orders", one can clearly infer that we're discussing the
8 orders of his commander, which would, in effect, be General Mladic.
9 Q. And then farther down Beara says:
10 "Have him send at least half.
11 Zivanovic: Yes, yes.
12 Beara: Say again?
13 Zivanovic: To send them immediately.
14 Beara: Yes.
15 Zivanovic: I can't arrange for that any more..."
16 What does that mean to you, "I can't arrange for that any more,"
17 when Zivanovic says that?
18 A. In that context, I believe that's General Zivanovic informing
19 Colonel Beara that he no longer has the authority to issue those types of
20 substantive orders to subordinate Commanders of the Drina Corps.
21 Q. And then the conversation goes on, and it's clear from the
22 conversation that Zivanovic is referring Beara to Zlatar 385. What is
24 A. Zlatar is the radio-telephonic code name for the headquarters of
25 the Drina Corps. The extension or drop 385, when you look at the
1 intercepts as a large grouping and do the analysis of the phone numbers
2 associated with them, exchanges 385 and 386 are drops or extensions that
3 conversations with the command frequently occur on, in some cases with
4 General Krstic personally.
5 Q. Now, I want to bring up a brief subject before we go on. We
6 have -- the Court has heard, I believe, that General Zivanovic is on the
7 radio net, both on the 14th and I believe on the 15th, talking to people
8 in Zvornik, and in at least one case giving orders. How do you
9 incorporate that into your analysis as to General Zivanovic's status?
10 A. Clearly, General Zivanovic is in the area and is actively
11 communicating on 14 July 1995. Again, as I've noted, after a period when
12 I believe he was no longer the Commander of the Drina Corps. When you
13 look at the pattern of those orders and messages, a lot of it goes into
14 looking at the internal context of the message and order and determining
15 what else was happening in and around the battlefield during those
16 periods. Clearly, some of the messages are nothing more than
17 administrative in nature. However, on the evening of the 14th and in the
18 late afternoon of the 14th, General Zivanovic is, in fact, clearly
19 involved in giving or having conversations which are clearly directive in
20 nature to elements of the Drina Corps.
21 In one sense, that's not unexpected. He is still a General. We
22 don't see very active communications with General Krstic on the 14th, for
23 a reason that I don't know. One of the inferences that can be made is
24 that in many aspects, General Zivanovic is (1) either passing
25 previously-made decisions by the Corps command to the relative Brigade
1 Commanders; or (2) due to the failure of the Brigade Commanders
2 particularly in the zone of the Zvornik Brigade, the Deputy Commander
3 specifically, to be able to reach the Corps Commander General Krstic, he's
4 going to the next highest senior officer that he knows, General Zivanovic,
5 and is getting instructions from him.
6 When you look particularly at the context of the 14 July 1995
7 orders that General Zivanovic is passing to, in this case, Major Jokic,
8 the duty officer of the 14th -- of the Zvornik Brigade to pass further to
9 Major Obrenovic, the Deputy Commander of that brigade, he clearly
10 indicates to Major Jokic, "You can take this as an order," indicating that
11 he should receive it as such. And further, when you look at the context
12 of the discussion pertaining to the movement of forces out of the Zepa
13 area and back to the Zvornik Brigade area and looking at other information
14 that we have, it's clear that there was some form of consultation between
15 General Zivanovic and General Krstic as to the withdrawal of these forces
16 and to the fact that they would be arriving in the zone of the Zvornik
17 Brigade on the morning of 15 July.
18 Again, rather than try to analyse those for you in abstract and
19 offer my opinion of those, what we'll be doing in time is we will, in
20 fact, review those intercepts within the context of the events that were
21 occurring on the battlefield so it's not abstract. It will be, in effect,
22 my interpretation of what it means in relative to the combat situation.
23 Q. All right. Well, we certainly hope to get to Zvornik, but before
24 we get there we have another few intercepts and other documents to go
1 So now we're at 0954 hours. Zivanovic says he can't arrange for
2 that any more and to call extension 385. Do you have any -- and let's go
3 to Exhibit 474, which is an exhibit that identifies -- at least identifies
4 the parties of this next conversation. And it is at 0955, by their
5 timekeeping, so it's almost immediately after. Do you have that
6 conversation? It's Exhibit 474/A.
7 A. Yes, sir, I do.
8 Q. All right. Now, this is a conversation that basically identifies
9 now Ljubo Beara speaking to someone named Krstic; is that right?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. All right. Now let's go to Exhibit 477/A, which is one of the
12 most complete versions of that conversation but does not have the
13 identifying factors like the last one.
14 Could you go through this conversation and tell us basically how
15 it fits into your analysis, and then I may ask some specific questions
16 about it.
17 A. In a timing sequence, clearly this discussion falls almost
18 immediately on top of the discussion that we previously had with Colonel
19 Beara and General Zivanovic, and again this is the application of Colonel
20 Beara calling extension 385 and reaching General Krstic.
21 Reading through the conversation, and again we don't have the very
22 beginning, it was a prior exhibit, it is clear now that Beara is
23 discussing the same issue that he attempted to get a resolution of from
24 General Zivanovic. Again, Beara now understanding that General Krstic is
25 the person who could resolve this issue.
1 As you read through the text of the conversation, the first thing
2 I would note is the reference to the names "Tasic" and "Sladojevic," which
3 on other intercepts shows up as "Nastic" and "Blagojevic." Again, clearly
4 in an effort to keep the validity of the interpretation as pure as
5 possible, the interpreters interpreted the conversation to the names -- or
6 translated the names as the intercept operators heard them.
7 I believe clearly, and the other intercepts support, that the
8 individuals we're dealing with here are Nastic and Blagojevic.
9 Major Miomir Nastic the Commander of the 1st Milici Light Infantry
10 Brigade, and, of course, Colonel Blagojevic, the Commander of the
11 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
12 Q. Both of whom are on your chart as Drina Corps subordinate units.
13 A. Yes, sir. And again, further down the conversation, the phrase
14 "Nasic" and "Blagojevic," it comes clear.
15 They also discuss the issue of the 15 to 30 men with Boban
16 Indzic. In this sense, and from prior investigations which have occurred
17 in the Visegrad area by the Office of the Prosecutor, Boban Indzic is very
18 closely linked to Milan Lukic in criminal events which occurred in that
20 Further down the conversation -- up to this point, what you have
21 General Krstic describing is the fact that because of the situations which
22 occur on the battlefield and now -- and again, this is unfortunately taken
23 out of context with the battlefield, but at this time units from the
24 Zvornik Brigade have already been withdrawn from the Zepa access and are
25 moving up to Zvornik. General Krstic is clearly indicating that he has no
1 available men to provide to Colonel Beara to accomplish any mission
2 without significantly jeopardising the military aspect of the Zepa
3 operation, and he clearly suggests to Colonel Beara that he should go grab
4 some of the MUP people. And Beara, of course, responds, you know, "They
5 won't do anything. I've talked to them."
6 One of the other issues is the fact -- the notation that Colonel
7 Beara says that these people were supposed to arrive on the 13th, and as
8 the investigation has gone through, the first series of executions, the
9 major, mass executions, start occurring in the area of Bratunac and Cerska
10 on the afternoon of the 13th.
11 The last piece of significance is the reference to -- that Colonel
12 Beara makes that he has 3500 parcels that he has to distribute, and he has
13 no solution. Looking at the phrase "parcels," when you look at the series
14 of intercepts that we've reviewed in their entirety, "parcels" and
15 "packages" is a clear inference to people.
16 When you put this message in time sequence with the criminal acts
17 as we understood them to have occurred in timing, this conversation takes
18 place after the completion of the main executions -- or the mass
19 executions at the fields of Orahovac and at the fields -- or at the Dam at
20 Petkovci, but prior to the executions that will yet take place on the 16th
21 at the Branjevo Military Farm, at the site in Kozluk, and at the Pilica
23 So in a sequence of time, half of the mass executions have been
24 completed, half remain to be yet completed, and within the context of the
25 battle occurring, the units are so engaged with now dealing with the
1 column, that there are no more resources to continue the mass executions.
2 And again, while at this point, the analysis in its abstract, as we move
3 further into the discussion of the executions in Zvornik, what I will be
4 able to do for you is to lay out in a timing sequence the movement of the
5 column, the position on the battlefield where the battlefield activities
6 took place in time and location, and further, where the criminal acts that
7 the military units took place in time and location.
8 Q. All right, Mr. Butler. Clearly this conversation has importance
9 regarding its substance and what it may mean substantively, but I -- as
10 you've pointed out, when we get to Zvornik, it will have more meaning.
11 What I would like to direct your attention to now, and then I think it --
12 or I could after the break, Your Honour. I know we're getting beyond the
13 point. Why don't we break, as I'm listening to myself.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey, it is quite
15 appropriate to have a break now, so we're going to have a 20-minute
17 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.12 a.m.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you may
20 continue, if you please.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Mr. Butler, I want to go back very briefly to Exhibit 410/A, the
23 definition of exercising command, and I've asked you to highlight that one
24 particular section, and I will read it. "The commander shall undertake
25 the command and control of units and institutions through command organs
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 and the commands of subordinate units and the institutions through orders,
2 commands, instructions, guidelines, and advice, as well as other forms of
3 command and control."
4 Okay. Now, I want to take you back to the conversation General
5 Krstic had with Colonel Beara. We see General Krstic saying several
6 things to Beara, recommending him to talk to various units, and in the end
7 saying, "I'll see what I can do." Can you explain to the Court in your
8 opinion whether or not General Krstic was exercising any sort of command
9 role in that discussion?
10 A. When you look at the order, or in this case the intercept, in this
11 context, it is clear that in several instances General Krstic is giving
12 orders or, in effect, exercising command in giving orders or directives,
13 and in some cases, authorising Colonel Beara to take specific actions on
14 his behalf.
15 Q. Specifically what?
16 A. Looking at the first aspect of that again, I believe it's the
17 fourth line of the intercept, General Krstic is specifically directing --
18 it might be easier this way -- Colonel Beara to take additional men from
19 Nastic and Blagojevic, two of his subordinate brigade commanders; and
20 further noting down the conversation that if he pulls them out of the axis
21 that he's on, it will disturb a lot, and check with Blagojevic and Nastic
22 again, those two commanders.
23 He further very specifically directs Colonel Beara to check with
24 Blagojevic two lines down and take his Red Berets. The Red Beret unit is
25 specifically a reconnaissance unit subordinate to the 3rd Battalion of the
1 Bratunac Brigade. That is a military formation subordinate to one of his
3 Q. How about the section where Beara says, "They're not there. Only
4 four of them are still there. They took off. Fuck em, they're not there
5 any more." Krstic says, "I'll see what I can do." Then Beara says,
6 "Check it out and have them go to Drago's."
7 Now, how do you interpret Beara's statement, check it out and have
8 them go to Drago's?
9 A. In the context of the commission of the crimes, and in the context
10 of the time, there are two issues here. The first one is Krstic
11 indicating that, again, he'll try and assemble manpower for Colonel Beara,
12 and Colonel Beara indicating when -- you know, if he can do that or when
13 he can assemble the required manpower, that they should go up to Drago's
14 which I believe in context of where we know the criminal acts occurred is
15 the office or the location of Lieutenant Drago Nikolic, the Security
16 Officer of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
17 Q. Can the statement, "Check it out and have them go to Drago's," be
18 interpreted as an order from Beara to Krstic?
19 A. Based on the entire conversation, I would not interpret it as
21 Q. Now, you've talked a bit about the conversation and the substance
22 of it. From this conversation, in your opinion, does General Krstic
23 appear to know what Beara is talking about, or do they appear to be on the
24 same wavelength to you?
25 A. Clearly Colonel -- or Colonel Beara and General Krstic are, in
1 effect, on the same wavelength. As previously noted in the earlier part
2 of the conversation, General Krstic reminds Colonel Beara that the line
3 that they're having this discussion on is not a secure line; it is open to
4 monitoring. So clearly both parties are, one, talking around the subject
5 in an effort to try and protect some of the details, but clearly both
6 parties know exactly what the subject of the discussion is.
7 Q. Now, as the conversation ends with General Krstic saying, "I'll
8 see what I can do," this is around a 10.00 a.m. July 15th conversation,
9 did the 10th Diversionary Unit get any assistance from Drina Corps assets
10 on July 16th in the executions at the Branjevo Farm?
11 A. What we see in time sequence is on the morning of the 16th, first,
12 the 10th Diversionary is at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters; it then goes
13 to the Branjevo Military Farm; and according to the testimony of Drazen
14 Erdemovic, while they are in the commission of the actual execution,
15 members of the Bratunac Brigade show up at the execution site and assist
16 them for that phase of the execution, or, in effect, continue the
18 Q. And there are intercepts that support the presence of the Bratunac
19 Brigade at that site also, is that correct, that we'll get to later?
20 A. There are intercepts which support the Bratunac Brigade at that
21 site, and there are written orders which support the presence of Bratunac
22 Brigade units in the zone of the Zvornik Brigade during the period as
24 Q. Okay. Let's go to another exhibit, 479A. This is a 13 July
25 conversation between "X" and "Y". Can you just tell us briefly what this
1 appears to be and how it fits, if it does fit, into the previous
2 conversation between General Krstic and Colonel Beara?
3 A. In reading this conversation, and again matching it up with the
4 prior conversation between Colonel Beara and General Krstic, clearly what
5 you have here is the recounting of circumstances of an order to send Boban
6 Indzic and a group of people to the command at Bratunac, the command being
7 the command of the Bratunac Infantry Brigade, and the fact that their
8 transportation has broken down, and that they're not going to arrive when
9 they're supposed to.
10 Q. In the previous conversation, Beara said that they should have
11 been there by the 13th, and this shows the bus breaking down on the 13th;
12 is that right?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. Were buses hard to come by on July 13th in this part of Eastern
16 A. Within the context of the ongoing operation to move the Muslim
17 population from Potocari, buses were probably extremely hard to come by.
18 Q. Okay. Now I would like to go to another subject, if we could,
19 moving out of Potocari and out of that particular command issue towards
20 the military responsibility area of the Bratunac Brigade.
21 Mr. Butler, there is a large map that is exhibited in front of
22 you. Could you step to that map and just give us a little background --
23 unfortunately, we have to go back into time a bit -- and talk to us about
24 the column, but more importantly, the areas of military responsibility
25 that the column had to go through.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting,
2 Mr. McCloskey, but I think that this map was given to us as Exhibit 465.
3 I think when you presented it for the first time that you were going to
4 announce the exhibit, you didn't, in fact. Is that right or not?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct. We do need a number, Your
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
8 A. Based on the --
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Butler. Do you see the exhibit number on the map,
11 just to -- it may be on the back. Just to make sure we've got it, because
12 you may have the small version of that.
13 A. Exhibit 485.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. In context -- in context with the general military operation that
16 was occurring on the 12th and 13th and how the forces of the VRS were
17 arrayed in response to the movement of the column, what I'd like to do is
18 just kind of bring you around the general military area.
19 As previously discussed, in this area south, in the area of
20 Srebrenica, the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac Light Infantry
21 Brigade. The 2nd Infantry Battalion of the same Bratunac Light Infantry
22 Brigade, the MUP elements, as noted on the video, present in Potocari.
23 The 1st Battalion of the Light Infantry Brigade along the road
24 from Bratunac. The 4th Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade, which,
25 incidentally, is also the 8th Infantry Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade,
1 because of a shortage of manpower and units in the Bratunac area, this
2 particular brigade was essentially attached to the Bratunac Brigade and
3 performed the functions of the 4th Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade
4 during the relevant period.
5 As we continue to move up the road, we see numerous army and MUP
6 soldiers. Because our only view of that is the snapshots from the
7 Petrovic video, the identifications of the army soldiers along this road
8 is unclear. We believe them to be elements continuing of the
9 4th Battalion, as they had responsibility up this stretch of road.
10 At the intersection of Konjevic Polje, 5th Engineering Battalion,
11 and elements of MUP Special Police, and in some cases later, the municipal
12 police which have come in.
13 Moving from Konjevic Polje south to Nova Kasaba, the Military
14 Police Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment. South beyond that,
15 elements of the Milici Light Infantry Brigade along that road as well, and
16 again, as we've discussed in a previous order, where their positions and
17 sweep operations would be.
18 As noted in earlier testimony and in intercepts as to the movement
19 of the column which represents the mixed civilian-military column of the
20 28th Infantry Division, started assembling here the evening of the 11th,
21 and by the early morning hours of the 12th, between 3.00 and 6.00 a.m. on
22 the 12th of July, lead elements of the column were crossing the road and
23 pushing through ambush positions between Konjevic Polje-Nova Kasaba,
24 travelling up the Cerska Valley on a route that would take them ultimately
25 through the zone of the Zvornik Brigade and out towards Muslim-held
1 territory near Tuzla. The main body of the column, which was to follow
2 that, was still assembling and would essentially follow a route that took
3 them close to the road and through here, again the gap between Konjevic
4 Polje and Nova Kasaba.
5 In most aspects, and while not accurately depicted on the map,
6 this route was primarily dictated by the terrain. They essentially were
7 forced to follow a series of valleys which took them that route. It was a
8 very predictable route. They had been moving in and out of the enclave
9 since 1993 along that route. So as the forces deployed, it wasn't really
10 a big secret on the route that the Muslim column would be fleeing on their
11 way to Tuzla.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, we have a series of daily combat reports that
13 helped tell the story of the Bratunac Brigade and the column. Can you
14 start with 486A, and, as best you can, just briefly tell us what they show
15 us, and just move through them at your own pace, if you could. We'll get
16 to some photographs of the same area, and then we'll get to some
17 intercepts that add to the story. It's a long story, but if you can try
18 to pace yourself, we should be able to get through it.
19 A. Fixing the stage in context, this is the 11 July 1995 daily combat
20 report from the Bratunac Brigade to the command of the Drina Corps. It
21 reflects the situation on the day of the fall of Srebrenica.
22 As noted in previous discussion, again fuel and ammunition
23 consumption submitted in a separate report, the continued process of
24 keeping the command of the Drina Corps informed about the situation within
25 the brigade.
1 At a macro-level, what this represents is a standard daily combat
2 report, and all of the following combat reports will fall relatively
3 within this same type of organisational context.
4 If I can now move to Exhibit 487/A. This is a daily combat report
5 for 12 July, again to the command of the Drina Corps from the command of
6 the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
7 Paragraph 1 notes an awareness that the enemy forces, in this case
8 the Muslim 28th Infantry Division forces, are attempting to withdraw and
9 identifies their axis rather correctly toward Tuzla and Kladanj; notes
10 what their forces are doing; notes that no wounded or injured on their
11 side; and again further notes the aspect of the movement of the population
12 from Potocari to Kladanj.
13 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Butler, let me just ask one question. From here
14 on in, these reports seem to assume, if you read, or at least as an
15 outsider, and I want to make sure it's correct from you as a military
16 analyst, they seem to assume that the column, which we know had elements
17 of the 28th at the front but then had thousands of civilians who didn't --
18 who weren't, at least so far as we know, regular army members, on top.
19 They seem to assume that that's all a military -- the enemy, a military
20 operation. Is that a correct reading of some of these reports? They seem
21 to treat it as a combat -- the entire column as a combat operation, as a
22 combat unit or something.
23 A. That is correct, ma'am. When you look at this information as well
24 as other information, it clearly indicates that their frame of
25 reference --
1 JUDGE WALD: Their frame of reference.
2 A. -- was that the column was a military target in its entirety.
3 JUDGE WALD: I don't know whether it's within your scope to say
4 whether or not under their own military law you think that's justified.
5 If you don't think it is, don't answer.
6 A. I can comment that my reading of the SFRY Laws of Land Warfare, as
7 adopted by the VRS, does address that issue, and it does address the issue
8 of operations against mixed civilian-military targets. Within the context
9 of those definitions, the column, granted it was a mixed military-civilian
10 column, in their definitions, that column qualifies as a military target.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. And, Mr. Butler, the 12 July combat report, you refer to
13 paragraph 6, notes that there have been no wounded or injured.
14 A. Yes, sir. That is correct.
15 Q. And they refer to the population as the Turkish population.
16 They're not, in fact, Turkish, are they?
17 A. No, sir.
18 Q. That's the term we've heard before many times in this case.
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. All right. Let's go on to the next exhibit.
21 A. Moving to Exhibit 488/A, this is the 13 July 1995 combat report
22 from, again, the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade to the command of the
23 Drina Corps.
24 In this context, they're discussing the military activities
25 related to circling and crushing groups of Muslims attempting to escape in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 the relative directions; also notes that during search operations in other
2 areas they've not met any resistance.
3 Paragraph 2 discusses what the main forces of the brigade are
4 doing. And if you look at the last sentence, it notes the brigade command
5 is working on the formation of a company to be sent to the area of
6 Podravnje, the school, to carry out the assignment.
7 If you go back to the Zepa operations order signed by
8 General Krstic, it is specifically the company that they're assembling now
9 that he's referring to in the operations order. So again a manifestation
10 of the brigade informing the corps that they are assembling this company
11 and that it will be sent to the location as designated.
12 Again, going back to where that relates to the Zepa order, this
13 order was sent at 1545, again clearly indicating that they would have
14 received -- the Bratunac Brigade would have received the instruction
15 pertaining to the assembly of that company prior to 1545 hours on
16 13 July. As the last paragraphs note, as far as the command of the
17 Bratunac Brigade is concerned, the operation, while admittedly intense, is
18 functioning along the state that they expect.
19 Q. Now, before leaving that exhibit, which I cannot see -- hold on
20 one second. Can you tell who wrote that and where the commander is?
21 A. As I noted the previous practice of the Bratunac Brigade, to
22 handwrite the order and then have the electronic version stapled or
23 attached to it, by definition, these combat reports, these daily combat
24 reports, are either drafted by the Commander, the Chief of Staff, or the
25 duty officer as during the day the people who would be most cognisant of
1 the activities occurring.
2 The signature block is that of the Commander of the Brigade;
3 however, I cannot physically tell you that that signature is, in fact,
4 Colonel Blagojevic's signature. Looking at the context of the other
5 material and looking where we know elements of the people are located,
6 it's clear that Colonel Blagojevic is at his command post or at his
7 headquarters. One of the pieces that we have that helps to confirm that
8 is that when we look back upon this one company of troops that was formed
9 and attached to the Milici Light Infantry Brigade, it specifies in a
10 future message, and I'm not sure whether that's an exhibit or not, that
11 the person commanding that company was the Chief of Staff of the brigade.
12 So if the Chief of Staff of the brigade and the brigade Deputy Commander
13 as such is deployed with that company, logically the Commander is going to
14 remain with the rest of the brigade.
15 Q. All right, let's go on to the next.
16 A. And in fact, it is this exhibit. This is Exhibit 489.
17 Q. Okay. I think we can then go on to the next.
18 A. The next series of exhibits are a series of video stills that were
19 extracted from the Petrovic video, that video tape that was taken on 13
20 July 1995, both in Potocari and along the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road by
21 Zoran Petrovic in company of MUP official Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin.
22 What I have done, in an effect to save time, is rather than try and go
23 through that entire video, I have extracted stills from that to show the
24 Court vignettes or highlights of the army activity and the MUP activity on
25 that road, and how they're relevant.
1 Exhibit 490, on 13 July at the Sandici meadow, I think a lot of
2 people have seen this shot, and the only thing I'd like to point out is if
3 you look at the picture of this soldier, he has a Motorola walkie-talkie
4 stuffed into his belt in front; indicates, again, an individual in some
5 form of command. I cannot identify that individual.
6 Moving to Exhibit 491, as part of that same scene, in reality less
7 than two seconds later as the camera pans, is a grainy shot of a T55 tank,
8 and from the direction and the terrain, it's facing the hills overlooking
9 where -- the route that the column would be approaching. Clearly this is
10 an army piece of equipment, and I would qualify that by saying that to my
11 knowledge, the MUP Special Police Brigade did not have tracked vehicles,
12 certainly tanks, of this type or of any type.
13 Q. How about the MP Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment, did
14 they have any tracked vehicles as far as you know?
15 A. To my knowledge, they had no tracked vehicles.
16 Q. The 10th Diversionary Unit?
17 A. The only tracked vehicles that the 10th Diversionary Unit had,
18 according to Drazen Erdemovic, were those that were stolen from the UN on
19 the 11th of July.
20 Again, I apologise for the graininess of this, it was a rather
21 rapid camera pan across, but when we stopped it and we pulled the still
22 from it -- and it shows up much better digitally than on photo,
23 regrettably -- is again less than a few seconds later after the tank
24 looking across the meadow. This vehicle here, a BOV 3 anti-aircraft
25 vehicle. This car, which later shows to be the car that the photographer
1 and Colonel Borovcanin were driving in, and off to the far edge of the
2 frame, the top of a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. We will see both of
3 those vehicles a little later in the stretch of stills and down the road.
4 But again, clearly the military activity along the road.
5 Q. And these are all July 13th?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Could the witness mention the number of the
8 exhibit every time it is on the ELMO so that we can follow, please?
9 A. Yes, ma'am. The last exhibit was 492.
10 This exhibit is 493, and again, it's shown on the Petrovic video
11 on 13 July, a group of soldiers guarding Muslim prisoners at Sandici. One
12 of the things to note here is this soldier particularly as he's bending
13 down, clearly you can see he's wearing some form of a ballistic protective
14 jacket, flak jacket, bullet-proof vest type of clothing. This soldier
15 appears to have a similar one as well.
16 Q. Could you indicate where in the photograph various things are for
17 the record, please?
18 A. The soldier wearing the flak jacket is located in the centre of
19 the photograph, a little to the left of centre; the other soldier wearing
20 a flak jacket is located in the centre of the photograph, a little to the
21 right of centre.
22 Q. What does this tell you?
23 A. The information that we have from the records of the Bratunac
24 Light Infantry Brigade indicates that in July of 1995, their soldiers had
25 neither helmets or bullet proof jackets or flak vests. So knowing which
1 units were up along that road, and we know, for example, the Zvornik
2 Brigade Units, the 4th Battalion, which was a Zvornik Brigade Unit did,
3 this would indicate to me that the soldiers guarding these troops -- or
4 these Muslims are, in fact, members of that 4th Battalion.
5 Q. There's other units that may also have flak jackets in the area
6 also, isn't there?
7 A. Yes, sir, there is.
8 Q. And why don't you go to the next exhibit and tell us what it is.
9 Exhibit number please.
10 A. Exhibit number 494. As I previously noted, the BOV anti-aircraft
11 gun is the vehicle in the foreground, the vehicle in the background,
12 another self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, both of these now being used in
13 anti-personnel mode. These vehicles were seen earlier at the Sandici
15 If I can move to Exhibit 495, this is a close-up of that first
16 vehicle, the vehicle in the foreground. Notice the spray painted
17 identification "Loklok," and I hope I pronounced that correctly. We've
18 seen that video earlier in time, or that particular vehicle earlier in
19 time. It was identified and photographed by one of the Dutch Battalion
20 people from the window of the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac, that particular
21 photo being Exhibit 95. Again, the manifestation of these series of
22 photos showing the migration of the military vehicles out along the road
23 from Bratunac to -- from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje in order to deal with
24 the increasing number of Muslims surrendering along the road.
25 Q. Do you know what unit owns these, these anti-aircraft vehicles?
1 A. Again, going back to the Krivaja-95 operations order, what we're
2 looking at is -- we can identify the two units that had this type of
3 equipment: the Zvornik Infantry Brigade and the 2nd Romanija Brigade. To
4 my knowledge, this unit or this particular piece of equipment does not
5 belong with the Bratunac Brigade. Based on the vehicle movement records
6 that we do have of the Zvornik Brigade, we are aware that none of their
7 vehicles, certainly none of their combat vehicles, were along this stretch
8 of road. So by elimination, the only other logical unit that these could
9 belong to would be elements of the 2nd Romanija Brigade.
10 Q. And that is a Drina Corps asset?
11 A. Yes, sir, it is.
12 Q. What about non-Drina Corps assets, 10th Diversionary, 65th
14 A. To my knowledge, the 10th Diversionary did not have any equipment
15 of this such -- or of this type. It was specifically organised as a light
16 infantry sabotage type of outfit where equipment like this, anti-aircraft
17 defence, would not have been necessary. Again, with the 65th Protection
18 regiment, the military police battalion, this type of equipment would have
19 been inconsistent with military police-type roles and functions. This
20 equipment is specifically designed for air defence, and again, in the
21 context of the operation that occurred where they did in fact expect and
22 received air attack from NATO, it's completely logical that it would be
23 down there and in that context.
24 Q. We need to slow down a bit.
25 A. My apologies.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What is the exhibit number of
2 the exhibit on the ELMO, please?
3 A. Sir, this is Exhibit 95.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. You mentioned that the Zvornik Brigade combat vehicles were not
6 along this road based on their records. Can you tell us what kind of
7 combat vehicles you're referring to and where the records indicate that
8 they were on July 13th?
9 A. The records that I'm referring to are, in fact, the daily fuel and
10 mileage utilisation records that the drivers of each vehicle were required
11 to maintain on a daily basis. Again, as I previously noted, fuel,
12 particularly diesel fuel, was an extremely valuable commodity to the army,
13 and it was accounted for very closely.
14 When we conducted the search operation of the Zvornik Infantry
15 Brigade, we seized the vehicle movement records for the month of July
16 1995. Looking at those vehicle records, we're able to track the movement
17 of the tank company and the armoured personnel or armoured car company
18 that the Zvornik Brigade sent down to participate in the operation.
19 If I can step to the map. What those records indicate is that on
20 12 July and through the early morning hours of 13 July, the armoured
21 vehicles and most of the assets of the Zvornik Brigade in fact travelled
22 along a road through this southern quadrant of the former enclave, again
23 known as the Bandera Triangle, looking and conducting operations for where
24 they believed the 28th Division was. And as I've previously noted, they
25 had lost contact with it. They believed it was here, and it wasn't until
1 later on the 12th of July that they started realising the column was
2 coming out. This operation was already under way, led by elements of the
3 Zvornik Brigade, the Birac Brigade, and the Milici Brigade units that were
4 down here.
5 Continuing with those records, we were able to track the movement
6 of those vehicles from the road here, in the middle of the Bandera
7 Triangle on the 13th to this main road here, and then to Krivace along an
8 axis from here to Milici, through Vlasenica off the map, south through Han
9 Pijesak and then into the assembly areas near Krivace.
10 So in essence on 13 July 1995, the armoured vehicles, the tanks
11 and armoured personnel carriers and other heavy equipment of the deployed
12 Zvornik Brigade elements took themselves out of the battlefield area here
13 along the southern route. They did not travel along the northern route,
14 which would have put them along the road which Petrovic video we see now.
15 Q. Okay. Could you continue with the next exhibit, 496. It appears
16 to be a tank.
17 A. Exhibit 496 is a T-55 tank at the Sandici meadow. It may, in
18 fact, be the same tank that was seen in the earlier exhibit at Sandici,
19 but because of the graininess of the photograph from the first one, I
20 wouldn't conclude that.
21 Q. Do you have any idea who this tank belongs to?
22 A. Again by the process of eliminating which units did, in fact, have
23 tanks, I would say that this tank belongs to the 2nd Romanija Brigade.
24 Q. And could you go to the next exhibit, 497.
25 A. As the camera panned on the Sandici meadow less than a few seconds
1 later, a military truck comes into view. I'm unable to identify, because
2 there's no identifying marks or anything else on the truck, who this
3 unit -- who this truck belongs to, but by paint scheme, it's clearly an
4 army vehicle.
5 Q. Okay. If you could go to the next exhibit, 498.
6 A. As I noted in my testimony yesterday pertaining to a tank in
7 Srebrenica on 13 July 1995, related to the identification of that unit
8 patch that the tank commander was wearing, this is, in fact, a frontal
9 view of that tank as it's coming up the road past the cameraman.
10 Going back and putting this together with the part on the tank
11 commander's patch, this tank again falls under the control of the
12 2nd Romanija Brigade.
13 Q. Could we go to the next exhibit. It should be 186. If you could
14 double-check that.
15 A. Exhibit 186, again an extract from the same Petrovic video on the
16 same day, shows Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin of the MUP Special Police
17 along that same stretch of road.
18 Q. All right. And if you could go to the next exhibit. It should be
19 499/A. Now, this is a lengthy article from a Belgrade weekly that I
20 believe you've referred to earlier. Can you tell us briefly what this
21 article is, who wrote it, and what military information you obtained from
23 A. The article was written by Zoran Petrovic-Pirocanac -- I hope I
24 pronounced that correctly -- who, in fact, is the cameraman who is
25 responsible for the video footage taken in Potocari and along the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 Bratunac-Konjevic road on 13 July 1995. He notes in the interview that he
2 was accompanying the RS MUP Special Police Brigade and their Commander up
3 and along that highway.
4 It is a very long interview, but in reading the interview, it
5 identifies some of the MUP Commanders on the ground who had been
6 previously identified by witnesses. For example, Dusko Jevtic as a member
7 of the Special Police Brigade, and further it identifies Colonel
8 Borovcanin in the article, I believe.
9 The second page of the article, and while I certainly don't take
10 it to be authoritative in nature, the author discusses the fact that he is
11 aware that the person who engineered the actual military assault on
12 Srebrenica was named General-Major Krstic, identifying him as the Chief of
13 Staff of the Drina Corps commanded by General Zivanovic and discusses a
14 bit of background on this.
15 Q. If I could take one moment just to read a section of that for the
17 "Several months ago, he lost a leg in battle and now walks with a
18 prosthesis. That's all I managed to learn about him, and, ironically
19 enough, I do not even have his photograph for this article. But the world
20 should remember him. Of course not because of the refugees, but because
21 of the way he conducted the operations in Srebrenica. However drastic
22 this may sound, refugees are a peripheral phenomenon in war."
23 Okay, Mr. Butler.
24 A. What I would like to next point out is the -- on page 6, again the
25 reference to Streten Petrovic, previously identified as the Commander or
1 as the Deputy Commander of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac
2 Brigade. Here the author witnesses Petrovic noting he has, in fact, been
3 injured, who is limping and has a bandaged arm, and again notes the fact
4 that he was injured the day that the NATO aircraft flew over the
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Your Honours, I would like to take you back
7 to page 5, and with respect that this is in part a genocide case and that
8 ethnic bias is a part of the case, I would like to read into the record a
9 section that I think gives us some background into the ethnic climate
10 associated with this article and this situation. Starting from the top of
11 the page:
12 "Demographers will surely find interesting the fact that there
13 were approximately 10.000 children among the refugees. And out of that
14 figure, around 8.000 are under three years old. The 'war children,' as
15 they say. This is what they really do, their hkojas ... the
16 motherfuckers ... they are completely surrounded, no food at all, they
17 keep complaining, but they go on procreating ... is that normal? Would
18 you believe that? Now, you tell me, what kind of religion is that,
19 Islam. They made one more corps of soldiers right there, in the middle of
20 Srebrenica, who will be after us in 15-20 years. Just let them stay as
21 far away as possible, my friend, the motherfuckers ...."
22 Can you get anything else out of this article, Mr. Butler, or
23 should we go on to the next exhibit?
24 A. The last thing I would like to note on this article would be the
25 last item, page 7 of the interview, page 9 of the translation. The
1 author's understanding in gross numbers the casualties that occurred on
2 the Muslim side.
3 In the context of the battlefield environment, the number 2.000 to
4 3.000, obviously a steep number. Looking at that in comparison with the
5 VRS casualty figures for the southern part of the operation in context
6 along the Bratunac vein where he had access to, the casualties number less
7 than ten killed and wounded. When you take, in respect, the entire
8 operation to include the bitter fighting that occurred in the zone of the
9 Zvornik Brigade on the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th of July, where the Serbs
10 took an additional casualties of 40 to 50 dead, again it's just a number
11 of context, but clearly within this scope he's talking about the
12 activities around Bratunac, and again in comparison, the ratios are very
14 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, we're getting into a series of intercepts that
15 have relevance to the time period 12, 13 July, in this particular area.
16 Could you go through them and tell us what you can glean from those, and
17 if you could begin with Exhibit 500/A.
18 A. In most respects, a lot of these intercepts, and 500/A is
19 indicative of that, are no more than what I would say an awareness piece;
20 unidentified subscribers. However, the context of what they're talking
21 about, indicating the events that they are aware are happening on the
23 And again in this one, 0630 [sic] Hours on 12 July 1995, an
24 awareness of the column and its location.
25 Moving to Exhibit --
1 Q. Sorry, before we get there, I want to correct the record. The
2 Exhibit 500 is 0603 hours, not 0630 hours.
3 A. My apologies.
4 Q. And before an army can plan for prisoners and what to do with
5 those prisoners, they must know where the prisoners are coming from and
6 when they can anticipate getting them; is that right?
7 A. That is correct, sir.
8 Q. And that is a part of what this information is important for?
9 A. Yes sir,. Again, establishing the awareness of the column and a
10 continuing awareness of the growing number of prisoners that are taken
11 through the day of the 12th and through the day of the 13th.
12 Q. And could we go now to OTP Exhibit 502/A bis on my copy. It's at
13 0656 hours, 12 July intercept.
14 A. Again between two unidentified subscribers. The time is 0656
15 hours, 12 July, discussing the issue of groups of people from the column.
16 And in context of time, what I believe is -- the issue that we're seeing
17 here is the lead elements of the column, as it's called, the armed
18 elements of the column, the best armed elements whose job was to create a
19 path through the lines for the remainder of the column to follow over the
20 course of the next few days.
21 Q. I note that in the middle of this exhibit, "X" is saying:
22 "X: They informed me first at 3.00 a.m., but it was broken in
23 several parts and we couldn't determine exactly where it
25 So this is an indication, at 0300 a.m. on the 12th, is perhaps a
1 first indication that the VRS is getting?
2 A. That is correct. In the context of the fog of war, what you have
3 here again between the 0300 and 0600 hours are the initial indicators of
4 awareness that the front-line troops and their immediate commanders are
5 becoming aware that there is a new situation facing them.
6 Q. In addition, it says:
7 "Maybe we should see or you could see if the MUP can set up some
8 ambushes and so on."
9 How does that tie into your overall analysis of the MUP?
10 A. Again from two aspects: (1) the army recognising that the MUP is
11 operating as a part of it; and (2) recognising that at this point in time,
12 they're unprepared for the military activities that are going to occur.
13 Q. All right. And we could go on to Exhibit 504/A. This one, I
14 would like to read a section and ask you about it.
15 "O" says at a point:
16 "O: As far as I know, he's here."
17 Then another statement:
18 "He's not, he isn't answering. Listen, please tell him that
19 I called, that Mane, Laco's deputy, will call him, that the
20 police in Konjevic Polje have been told to the same as the
21 Engineering Battalion are doing, and that he can give orders
22 to them through the commander of the Engineering Battalion."
23 Now, first, can you tell us who you believe that Engineering
24 Battalion is and then what this means in the context of the overall chain
25 of command and where they may fit in?
1 A. In the context of the Engineer Battalion at Konjevic Polje,
2 clearly we're discussing the Drina Corps's 5th Engineer Battalion. In the
3 context of the MUP and how they fit in, as previously discussed, the
4 issues of why the MUP is subordinate to the army in combat activities to
5 integrate their operations and the control and communications function
6 clearly -- and it's indicative of the fact that orders are being passed to
7 the MUP units through the servicing -- the Engineer Battalion and their
8 communications suite there.
9 Q. Okay. If we can go on to the last exhibit for this binder and
10 perhaps the last exhibit before the break. I would direct you
11 specifically. It is OTP exhibit 506/A bis. He says early on:
12 "I spoke with Mane."
13 Then"G" says:
14 "G: Good."
16 "He left the hotel and is on his way home, and from there
17 he'll contact you to brief you on the current situation. One
18 of his companies is up there next to our man with the
19 bulldozers, over there in /?Konjevic Polje/ and his task of
20 doing whatever he does. So you can give orders what to do
21 through the Commander. For your information, he has reserve
22 forces, so if it's thought that reinforcements are needed, he
23 can do it."
24 Now, first, could you -- there's a lot of talk about reserve
25 forces, companies, reinforcements. Can you try to sort out, as best you
1 can, what analysis you can make, if any, of this paragraph?
2 A. In this respect, the command relationship that was fuzzy in the
3 first intercept becomes clearer. That looking at it within in case it's
4 specific that the army commanders understand that the orders can be passed
5 to the MUP units again through the Commander of the Engineer Battalion.
6 Again, again utilising his communications network, integrating their
7 operations into those of the army.
8 In the aspect of "For your information, he has reserve forces,"
9 again in this aspect, while it's unclear who has the reserve forces,
10 either the MUP or the Engineer Battalion, again the issue of the fact that
11 as the situation is developing, that the reserve forces are located in and
12 around that area and can be deployed as needed, that he can do it.
13 When you read further into this, it's possible, from an analytical
14 sense, to lean more in the direction of the fact that the MUP forces are
15 those being referred to as the reserves.
16 The next line: "It is not necessary yet on condition ... first
17 company from Konjevic Polje." And we know that one of the MUP Special
18 Police companies was, in fact, at Konjevic Polje.
19 Q. Of course, at the top of the page -- well, it starts out, "Hello,"
20 and then "G" says, "Yes," and then, "General, I spoke with Mane."
21 Now, we've learned that there are two Manes in the police. Can
22 you tell anything from this, who that might be?
23 A. In context with the entire intercept, I would say that that would
24 be -- it would not be Mane who is the Deputy Commander of the municipal
25 police in Zvornik. In all probability, it is Mane, and his last name is
1 Mane Djuric. I'm not sure off my notes, I don't have them here.
2 Q. For the record, that's "Djuric." It's the same last name as the
3 Deputy Police Chief in Zvornik.
4 A. He would be the individual, because it specifically refers, as the
5 MUP entity being a company, and municipal police wouldn't necessarily be
6 organised that way, certainly in a combat context.
7 Q. And again, this ends by referring to a large column of Turks
8 starting to arrive and gives various locations. What is your
9 understanding of the general location that they're referring to here at
10 0748 hours on the 13th?
11 A. Again in context, I believe this is -- in context of the date, I
12 believe this is the 12th, not the 13th.
13 Q. We'll clarify that at the break.
14 A. But I mean certainly again they're talking about the physical
15 location of the column, again an awareness of it.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, it may be a good time to take a
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. We're going to have a
20 20-minute break again.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, we can continue.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. We've checked the date, and you were correct, Mr. Butler, this is
1 12 July, not 13, and I want to ask you about one line in this. It's
2 Exhibit 506/A again, and in the middle of the page it starts at, "That's
3 it, and I'm sending this Praga, and I'm working on this with my police in
4 the depth of the territory." Can you make anything out of that?
5 A. Clearly in the context, it's the general zone identified. The
6 phrase "in the depth of the territory" again implies the rear area of the
7 zone where the combat is occurring. The fact that whoever this "general"
8 is, is referring to the police as "my" police, and again, in conjunction
9 with sending this Praga, concludes in that the general in question is an
10 army general.
11 Q. Okay. Now, I have to apologise at this point because we need to
12 go backwards in time a bit. I've inadvertently taken one of the key
13 documents out of Mr. Butler's analysis on his conclusion that General
14 Krstic was the Corps Commander, so we need to go back to Exhibit 481/A, a
15 July 17th order from the Drina Corps command by General Krstic. And
16 Mr. Butler, I apologise again, but could you work us back into that
17 analysis briefly?
18 A. This is a 17 July 1995, order from the Drina Corps command to the
19 command of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade dealing with general matters
20 pertaining to the mobilisation of all individuals in the zone of the,
21 specifically the brigade, but in the zone of the Drina Corps all
23 What this order does, is essentially delineates out the laws,
24 regulations, and guidelines pertaining to previous orders issued by the
25 Main Staff in June 1995, and further back to the laws of the armed forces
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 of the Republika Srpska pertaining to which able-bodied citizens can and
2 cannot be obligated to perform militarily in a state of war or imminent
3 threat of war.
4 While the actual context of the -- this particular order is not
5 relevant to any of the instances or any of the other parts of the
6 discussion on the crimes or anything of that nature, what is in fact
7 relevant is that the order is signed by General-Major Radislav Krstic,
8 again, as the Commander of the Drina Corps on 17 July 1995.
9 This specific order, when you look at the date stamp on the bottom
10 left, this order was acquired when we seized the records of the 503rd
11 Motorised Brigade, formerly the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. So in this
12 case, the stamp here indicates that this order was received by the Zvornik
13 Brigade on 24 July 1995.
14 Q. How does the 24 July 1995, date work with the July 17 date that's
15 on the front of the order? Is it not possible that this was written on
16 July 24th?
17 A. When looking at that aspect, the -- again, the two components and
18 the same issues that we reviewed with the 13 July 1995, order. It's the
19 dual aspect of awareness, the fact that when he signed the order,
20 General-Major Radislav Krstic understood that he was the Commander to sign
21 the order, and also it is important on 17 July that the staff component of
22 the Drina Corps that published this order, or, in effect, wrote it for his
23 signature, that staff component understood on 17 July that he was the
24 Commander of the Drina Corps. So again, it's the dual aspect of
1 Given the military situation that was occurring in the zone of the
2 Zvornik Brigade as a result of the column and activities afterwards, it's
3 not unreasonable to believe that what you're looking at with this date
4 stamp is a reflection of -- it took a while for the order to get from the
5 headquarters to the Zvornik Brigade. And considering that the context of
6 this order is not an urgent combat order, and it is not something that's
7 immediately militarily relevant, it may very well have just taken a
8 different and less-priority route to get from the headquarters at
9 Vlasenica to the headquarters in Zvornik.
10 Q. All right, thank you. Let's go back to where we left off. We are
11 continuing through a series of intercepts, we should be at Exhibit 507/A,
12 and these are intercepts related to those dates, the column and the
13 command. And if you could go through them individually and tell us how
14 they fit into your analysis, and I will ask you some questions on
15 individual parts, but we'll try to get through this as efficiently as we
17 A. Very quickly, again, this represents an awareness piece by an
18 unidentified general and an individual, last name Ognjenovic, whom I
19 believe to be Colonel Slavko Ognjenovic of the Drina Corps Operations
20 Staff; the code name Zlatar, again being the radio telephone code name of
21 the Drina Corps; and a general, again, asking members of his staff, or
22 members of the staff, to bring him up to speed, so to speak, on the
23 situation occurring in the area. Palma is the code name or the radio code
24 name for the 1st Zvornik Brigade command, that is, it's highlighted in the
1 And clearly, Ognjenovic is discussing the fact that he ordered
2 them, he ordered these guys to do, "to do and so forth. " It's unclear,
3 both the "MUP and these guys," again, showing the combined operations of
4 the MUP and the army within the sector. And the general again recounting
5 "Good, to the MUP in Konjevic Polje and in Zvornik. Okay, bye."
6 You can't read too much into this one. Clearly it is an awareness
7 piece that the forces are operating together.
8 Q. All right. Let's go on --
9 JUDGE WALD: Who is the Commander in this, and has the Commander
10 ordered them?
11 A. Because the general is unidentified, I can't make that
12 determination, ma'am.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. All right. Let's go on to 508/A, another 12 July, 1156 hours.
15 Tell us about this.
16 A. This intercept discusses the -- or parts of a conversation between
17 the duty officer at the Badem operation centre, "Badem" the telephonic
18 code name for the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and "Zlatar" the
19 code name, of course, for the Drina Corps command. Again, an awareness
20 piece discussing the situation. They're discussing, "Have you linked up
21 with your neighbour on the right?" In context of the Bratunac Brigade,
22 that neighbour on the right would, in fact, be some elements of the Milici
23 Brigade or elements of the military police of the 65th Protection
25 It notes that they're moving towards Konjevic Polje; notes that
1 the "X" subscriber, and again, that's Badem, the presence, "General Krstic
2 is here." And at the last part, while garbled in transmission, the last
3 part of it goes back to, "Let me put you through to General Krstic, he's
4 up there in his office. Hello," and the line disconnects.
5 Q. Now, in time, July 12th, almost noon, that's the time period of
6 the July 12th meeting with the Dutch, the Muslim civilians, and General
7 Mladic and General Krstic at the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac; is that right?
8 A. That is correct, sir.
9 Q. So when they say "Listen, the general is here," and that's been
10 identified as Badem from the Bratunac Brigade, that's consistent with
11 where we know from video where General Krstic actually was about that
13 A. That is correct, sir.
14 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 509/A, 12 July, it's now a little
15 later, 1345 hours.
16 A. The correspondents here, "Z" to indicate the duty officer at
17 Zlatar, the Drina Corps command, in the context, the duty officer talking
18 about "complications over there, the connection with the 4th Battalion,
19 those boys."
20 As I discussed earlier, the physical locations of that 4th
21 Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade on the road, in that general location
22 out from the area along the road from Kravica out towards Sandici as
23 depicted on the map. Again, more of an awareness piece as they're
24 becoming, again, not more aware, but the more refined knowledge pertaining
25 to the aspects of the column. And again, a conversation part relative to
1 putting "you" up through to General Krstic who was in charge of this
2 attack, and then the line disconnects.
3 Q. What significance, if any, do you put in this line that says
4 "Krstic is in charge of this attack"?
5 A. The difficulty with that line in isolation is relative to trying
6 to determine whether the correspondent is discussing Krstic is in charge
7 of the attack on the column, or, as we've already noted, the planning
8 piece for Zepa beginning as early as the afternoon of the 12th; whether
9 the correspondent is noting Krstic is in charge of the attack related to
10 Zepa. So while there are two options, I can't make a conclusion based on
11 just this information.
12 Q. And we have seen General Krstic in a leadership role as Chief of
13 Staff from the very beginning of the attack on Srebrenica in any event; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, you said the afternoon of the 12th. It's
17 not written here, the 12th of July. Is it?
18 A. My reference to the 12th was when we began to see the initial
19 planning process for the operation against Zepa. This specific intercept
20 I believe is dated 12 July 1995.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Okay, thank you.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. Mr. Butler, going to Exhibit 510/A, it's a relatively long
24 intercept with some mentions of Krstic at page 3. Can you briefly
25 describe what, if anything, we can get out of the first two pages of this,
1 and then talk about the last page?
2 A. What this intercept broadly discusses, and right now I've gone to
3 page 2 of the English language translation, is the correspondents
4 discussing the military situation as they understand it. Midway through
5 the page as correspondents are changing over, and you clearly pick up the
6 point where one correspondent is dropping off and another one is coming
7 on, looking at the individual's name, "Radika, Radika". The commander of
8 the 4th Battalion or 8th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, his first name
9 is in fact Radika, Radika Petrovic.
10 Further, down the page the discussion, "My boys are looking for
11 Zlatar operations duty officer. Is that you?" In many respects, what
12 you're listening to is somebody on a switchboard trying to make sure he
13 gets to the right extension, and in context with understanding how this
14 network was established, it was -- in many aspects it was not direct dial,
15 it was connection through a switchboard.
16 On page 3, the "Z" correspondent identifies himself as Krstic; the
17 "X" correspondent identifies himself as Komjenovic. He says, "Go ahead
18 General, sir." Clearly, "I asked to be put through to Komjenovic, is he
19 there," there appears to be communications difficulty between the "Z"
20 correspondent Krstic and the "X" correspondent in hearing each other; and
21 while the intercept operators are able to pick up that aspect of the
22 conversation, the two correspondents clearly aren't making contact.
23 Q. So this is, very minimally, perhaps General Krstic on the radio at
24 1440 hours trying to find Krsmanovic?
25 A. Krsmanovic or the individual Komjenovic, however it connects in,
1 but certainly he identifies himself as Krstic, and the other
2 correspondents identifies him, recognises him as General Krstic.
3 Q. Does this name Komjenovic come up in your records anywhere?
4 A. No, sir, it does not. The closest possible match goes to the name
5 Ognjenovic, again Slavko Ognjenovic of the Drina Corps operations staff.
6 Q. Let's go to the next intercept, Exhibit 511/A, again a 12 July
7 intercept at 1640 hours, talking about the column as it's going through
8 various places. And I would note in the -- just below the middle of it,
9 "O" says, "Some are armed. There are also civilians and who knows what
10 else." And then it goes on to talk about the police that set up an
11 ambush, then says:
12 "The civilian police.
14 The ambush on the Konjevic Polje-Hrncici stretch.
15 Just a moment.
16 So, the police is civilian.
17 Konjevic Polje.
22 One squad."
23 Now they're referring to police as a squad. Does that make any
24 connection to you regarding police? We've heard police referred to as
25 companies. Police as squads, can you make anything of this?
1 A. In a military parlance, a squad is one of the lowest components of
2 a company: individual, squad, platoon, and then company. However, again,
3 in this isolated context, it could just as easily be a squad of civil
4 police. So from that unit size designator alone, I would be extremely
5 hesitant to try and make a call as to who it is within the context of the
6 civil police or the civil police or the special purpose -- or the Special
7 Police Brigade units.
8 Q. Okay. Anything from that first page, anything else that adds to
9 your analysis?
10 A. The correspondent identified as Obrenovic is Major Dragan
11 Obrenovic, the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander of the 1st Zvornik
12 Brigade. Again, as previously noted, one of the Zvornik Brigade units,
13 the 8th Battalion, which was functioning also as the 4th Battalion of the
14 Bratunac Brigade, was located in that area and had a stretch of
15 responsibility on that road. As the Chief of Staff Deputy Commander of
16 the overall brigade, certainly at a microlevel, Major Obrenovic would be
17 interested in the events occurring with that unit.
18 Expanding that out, Major Obrenovic, as the man in charge of the
19 Zvornik Brigade with the absence of Colonel Pandurevic previously noted
20 south of Srebrenica on this day, is aware of the movement of the column
21 and is very aware that the column is now going to move into his brigade
22 sector. And what this conversation represents is a continual awareness
23 piece on his part of the column, the size of the column, and starts
24 discussing with other correspondents the things that he has to do as a
25 military commander in order to prepare to meet this enemy column which is
1 advancing on him.
2 Q. Could you go to page 2 and read down from the top? We'll get to a
3 "mention" after "Protection Regiment", and tell us what you can about
4 that after you read through that section.
5 A. What I believe this is is the manifestation of Major Obrenovic
6 attempting to coordinate the elements of his unit's defences with the
7 ambush elements of the defences established by the Military Police
8 Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment which are up along the Nova
9 Kasaba area. Again, a rather prudent thing for the Commander to do in
10 order to try to determine where all the defensive positions are going to
11 be located from a fratricide perspective; certainly you don't want to be
12 shooting at your own soldiers. From a tactical perspective, to make sure
13 that there are no gaps in the line through which the enemy column could
14 can pass. And again you see what he's doing is a series of these
15 conversations, is working that coordination piece.
16 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 513/A. We're now into the 13th of
17 July, 0905 hours. From the military aspect, what can you tell us?
18 A. The two correspondents are, in the text of this, discussing what I
19 believe is to be the issue of what to do with wounded Muslim prisoners.
20 In the aspect of, "Bring them to Zvornik, Milici is full," we know from
21 other information that the hospital facility at Milici did, in fact, fill
22 up quite rapidly and that some wounded were sent to the hospital in
23 Zvornik, and I believe that this intercept is a reflection of the two
24 correspondent's awareness of that.
25 Q. In addition, I would just read into the record two-thirds of way
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 down, and they're talking about the column, after mentioning, as
2 Mr. Butler said, dealing with the wounded:
3 "They are killing themselves. They're putting hand grenades
4 under them. There's a pile of them dead.
5 So what? The bigger the pile, the better for them. Okay.
6 Fuck 'em. Then they weren't human beings.
7 That's clear to me."
8 I go to the next intercept, 515/A, 13 July, 1009 hours, with Beara
9 speaking. Tell us what you can glean from this intercept, please.
10 A. I believe the time on this is 0910 hours, 13 July. I hope I have
11 the right exhibit. Mine is marked 514/A bis.
12 Q. This should be 515.
13 A. My apologies. This is an intercept of a conversation between
14 Beara, who is Ljubo Beara, Chief of the Main Staff, Main Security
15 Administration, and a correspondent named Lukic -- or Lucic, who I don't
17 The discussion pertains to, again, an awareness from Beara
18 explaining to the other correspondent if he knows that 400 Muslim
19 prisoners have shown up in Konjevic Polje, that they're being disarmed.
20 There are also numbers of them, and it's written "20," on a playground,
21 which we believed the reference as the Nova Kasaba soccer field.
22 Discusses lining them up in rows.
23 And looking at page 2 of that same intercept, Beara wanting to
24 speak to another individual who is later identified as Zoka, and I don't
25 know who that individual is by nickname. And again they're recounting the
1 number of Muslim prisoners who are in their possession as of the
2 early-morning hours of 13 July 1995. In one aspect, 500, in another
3 aspect, at Konjevic Polje, the individual Zoka discusses close to 200.
4 There is, at the top of page 3, there is one reference by Beara
5 to: "Okay, I'll call them in Zvornik now," which is not defined further.
6 And I think the last series of the discussion pertains to what has
7 been said to the UN or the UNPROFOR, and at the same time, that
8 information has been passed to Gvero, Gvero being Lieutenant
9 Colonel-General Gvero, the Main Staff Assistant Commander for Moral, Legal
10 and Religious Affairs. And the conversation ends at that point.
11 Q. Now this part about the Frenchman and the Russian, that's probably
12 General Janvier from the UNPROFOR forces trying to get in contact with
13 various people. That's a whole other chapter. Does that relate to your
14 analysis at all?
15 A. That does not factor into the analysis piece. No, sir.
16 Q. Now, back to the first page. Nova Kasaba, lining people up in
17 rows, four to five rows. Are you aware of an aerial image that is an
18 exhibit in this case -- and I'm sorry I don't have the exhibit number
19 right now -- that relates at all to this?
20 A. Yes, sir, I am.
21 Q. Can you just remind us of that?
22 A. Again, it's an aerial image taken the early afternoon hours of
23 13 July, which shows a block of individuals in a relatively well-formed
24 square, numbering several hundred, in the centre of the soccer field at
25 Nova Kasaba.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And for the Court again on the subject of
2 ethnic -- the ethnic environment, I would just briefly refer you to the
3 line where it says, Beara says:
4 "Do you hear me? Do you know that 400 Balijas have shown up
5 in Konjevic Polje?"
6 And also later on down the page, Beara mentions:
7 "Shove them all on the playground, who gives a fuck about
9 And I believe the Exhibit number for the aerial image was
10 Exhibit 12.
11 Q. And if we could go to the next exhibit 517/A, 13 July, 1355 hours,
12 participants Milanovic and Palma Duty Officer. What do you glean from
13 this conversation?
14 A. This is a discussion between Colonel Milanovic, who is the Chief
15 of Air Defence for the Drina Corps, and the Duty Officer at Palma. Palma,
16 of course, being the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
17 Colonel Milanovic identifies himself. The Palma correspondent
18 tells him to go ahead, and Milanovic identifies a need that they require a
19 bulldozer backhoe with a scoop, and it needs to be -- "report to Konjevic
20 Polje and it should be there for us."
21 Part of the conversation is unreadable, but it's clear from the
22 back of the conversation that Palma, the Zvornik Brigade, is unable to
23 comply with that order for whatever reason or at least within the time
24 frame specified, and Milanovic notes: "Nothing before then?" Palma
25 says: "No," and Milanovic rings off the net.
1 Q. What innocent reasons might there be for a defence officer to want
2 a bulldozer in these circumstances?
3 A. Certainly from the aspect of air defence, the air defence officer
4 might very well be looking for such a piece of equipment to prepare firing
5 positions for mobile air defence units or anti-aircraft units.
6 Q. How do you -- how do you evaluate that probability?
7 A. In this instance, I would rate that probability as low in so much
8 the fact that as part of the fundamental agreement or ceasefire between
9 the UNPROFOR and the VRS that occurred 11 and 12 July, one of the
10 provisions was NATO would not bomb the Serb forces within the area. So
11 within a military context at the time, the VRS and certainly the air
12 defence officer should have been able to judge the air defence threat in
13 that area as being particularly light.
14 Q. What other probable uses, legitimate military uses of bulldozers
15 might there be in the context of this roadway, 13 July, 1355 hours?
16 A. Again, within the context of the military operations and the fact
17 that those air defence weapons in many aspects were used as anti-personnel
18 weapons against the column, it would have been logical that they would
19 have been dug in or dirt revetments pushed up in front of them to provide
20 shelter for the crew and the firing.
21 Q. All right. Let's go on to the next exhibit, 519, 13 July,
22 1445 hours. What can you tell us about that?
23 A. This conversation discussing again, from the correspondents, the
24 awareness that buses are being stopped in the area of Zvornik. I believe
25 those are UN vehicles up there that are being stopped in Zvornik. We know
1 that they did stop them. There are talks about buses come into the area
2 at Konjevic Polje. Just generally, an awareness by the correspondents of
3 the number of a thousand more of them.
4 Putting this altogether, the context that what we're seeing here
5 is the assembling of buses in the areas where the prisoners are
7 Q. Okay. And on the next page of that conversation there's a mention
8 of Milanic down there called Major Savic. These are familiar names. Can
9 you remind us of those names and where this conversation may fit in?
10 A. Milanic is the Commander of the Military Police Regiment -- I'm
11 sorry, the Military Police Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment. He
12 notes talking to a Major Savic, while not an exact match, may very well
13 correspond to Lieutenant Colonel Savcic. That one's a difficult call
14 insomuch as they got the rank right but not the name. So I wouldn't go
15 very far to conclude that.
16 The issue next down of Pelimir. The close match is Lieutenant
17 Pelemis. And I have no awareness of an individual Gusic.
18 Q. Do you have any information about Pelemis being on this roadway at
19 this time?
20 A. Based on the previous testimony of Drazen Erdemovic, his
21 understanding is that elements of the 10th Diversionary are operating at
22 Nova Kasaba along this time frame. Further, he discusses, in his own
23 context, that elements of the 10th Diversionary that he was part of, part
24 of those who took the UN vehicle or who went up in trucks after the stolen
25 tracked UN vehicle, they went along this roadway as well. But the only
1 assets that I'm aware of from the 10th Diversionary that went to the other
2 direction to Nova Kasaba would be the elements under the command of
4 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 521/A. It should be 13 July, 1553 hours.
5 A. The intercept here, while clearly not an intercept, it in fact
6 represents a summary which the operator wrote as part of that, noting a
7 correspondent Milanovic looking for a Simovic or Avramovic. This
8 correspondent Milanovic still looking for an excavator or a bulldozer. He
9 can't get one. "They're all in the field," it's noted. He asks the
10 Zlatar duty officer, identified as Lieutenant Colonel Blagojevic, for a
11 typist. Colonel Vikic will come up later.
12 In this context, the Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Blagojevic is
13 not the same Colonel Blagojevic as the Commander of the 1st Bratunac
14 Brigade. He is, in fact, Lieutenant Colonel Nedjo Blagojevic, who is the
15 communications officer of the Drina Corps.
16 Q. How are you able to conclude that?
17 A. We have various documents from the Drina Corps that we got when we
18 seized from the Bratunac and Zvornik Brigade that identify him as that
20 Q. So the Commander of the Bratunac Brigade shouldn't be a duty
21 officer at the Drina Corps headquarters.
22 A. Absolutely not, sir.
23 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, 522/A. It should be the
24 same day, 1602 hours, the 13th. What can you tell us about that?
25 A. Two unidentified correspondents again. In this case discussing
1 the location of Kasaba where Milanic's unit, the Military Police Battalion
2 of the 65th Protection Regiment, is located, giving a number of over 1.500
3 presumed Muslim prisoners at that location.
4 There -- the more oblique reference that the duty officer said,
5 "They probably won't let anything get by. There are more. This hasn't
6 finished," again taken to the fact that the column is still continuing to
7 go by, the defence is solidified, and they are continuing to capture
9 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, 523/A, 13 July,
10 1730 hours, X and Y. What can you tell us about this? Though I can start
11 off by reading from the top:
12 "X: Is it possible for us to send about ten buses from
14 Y: Well, tell them right away to come. There are about 6.000
15 of them now.
16 X: Of military age?
17 Y: Shut up. Don't repeat."
18 What about that?
19 A. The aspect of military-aged men was first raised in the meetings
20 on 11 and 12 July 1995 by General Mladic, where it was made clear that
21 there would be some form of a vetting process of the military-aged men who
22 were suspected of being involved in war crimes or war crime related
23 activities. Again from the further broader context within what the VRS is
24 aware of, military-aged men to them, they're looking for that broad
25 category of men who are potentially soldiers.
1 Q. Then what else are they talking about in this conversation?
2 A. As you go down the context of the conversation, what they're
3 dealing with is the issue of large numbers of prisoners, 1.500 to 2.000,
4 and the problem that the required transportation to start moving them
5 isn't available because all of the available transportation is still
6 moving the women and the children. "Have them report to the stadium," an
7 indication that what they're going to do to get around that is start
8 assembling all of the prisoners in central locations. One of those
9 locations presumably the stadium at Kasaba, as identified.
10 Q. And at about 5.30 p.m. on the 13th, we know that they are, in
11 fact, still transporting women and children from Potocari; is that right?
12 A. In the order or in the report that was completed by Colonel
13 Jankovic on the 13th, he notes in his report to the Main Staff that the
14 evacuation, as he calls it, was not completed from Potocari until
15 2000 hours on the 13th. So they would have been still moving the people,
16 the women and children, and the buses during this time frame.
17 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 525/A, 13 July, 1829 hours. It begins by some
18 unidentified people or someone named Zile talking about records on war
19 criminals. What do you make of this conversation?
20 A. Zile is a nickname that is frequently associated with
21 General Zivanovic. The -- discussing the issue of a list of individuals,
22 recognised or known by the local municipal police and the CSB, who are
23 suspected of committing war crimes. Reading into it, clearly the concern
24 is that as this column is moving out of the area and this vetting process
25 is not taking effect or under plan, that people might be getting away who
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 are, in fact, suspected of committing war crimes.
2 Q. Now, at this point on 13 July, people have been executed at the
3 Jadar River, people have been executed at Cerska, there are people at the
4 Kravica warehouse that are either being shot or about to be shot; a
5 process is well under way. But you have someone on this intercept that is
6 worried about war criminals and thinks they may get away scot-free. What
7 does that tell you, if anything?
8 A. It indicates, at a minimal level, that the correspondents in this
9 conversation may not have an awareness of what was happening relative to
10 those people who are being captured or any of the executions, and may
11 indicate that they're still working under the assumption that there will,
12 in fact, be a formal vetting process of the male prisoners.
13 Q. Are you aware of an actual list of alleged Muslim war criminals
14 that the -- was in possession of the VRS?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. What is that?
17 A. On 12 July 1995, the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade produced a
18 listing of approximately 400 individuals who were suspected by the brigade
19 command, specifically by the Office of the Security and Intelligence
20 people, of being suspected of committing war crimes against the VRS. That
21 list is dated 12 July 1995.
22 Q. In a military interrogation of prisoners for any number of
23 subjects, including this one, would the identification documents of the
24 prisoner be of value to the forces that held the prisoner in order to
25 determine whether they may be a war criminal or who they may be?
1 A. Those would be basic necessary documents, yes.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, excuse me for
3 interrupting you, but I think that we can't go on until 2.30 without a
4 break. So I'm wondering whether it would be convenient for you now to
5 have a 20-minute break.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] [No translation]
8 --- Recess taken at 1.33 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.55 p.m.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Butler, can you look at Exhibit 527/A, 13 July conversation at
13 1945 hours, "X" is calling from General Krstic's and looking for Ljubisa
14 who has gone to Bratunac. What can you tell us about that?
15 A. The name Ljubisa in context with the rest of the conversation
16 pertaining to a detachment from Janja and references to Bijeljina and
17 Doboj where we know police units originated from, the conclusion that I
18 make on that is Ljubisa is in fact Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin the
19 Deputy Commander of the Special Police Brigade.
20 The issue of additional MUP units coming in, as the combat
21 situation, particularly in the later afternoon, early evening hours of 13
22 July, continues to grow far more serious than was first anticipated.
23 Despite the very large number of prisoners being taken, again the
24 awareness on the part of the VRS that more are still slipping through, and
25 that the size of the column they underestimated initially.
1 And when we get into the context of the column moving up to the
2 Zvornik Brigade zone, one of the consistent themes that's found when you
3 look at the reports and the documents is that almost everybody, with the
4 possible exception of Major Obrenovic, the Brigade Commander of the
5 Zvornik Brigade or the Deputy Commander at the time, all of the relevant
6 VRS officers underestimated the physical size of the column and the
7 military threat that it posed to a point where, by the afternoon of the
8 13th, by the late evening hours of the 13th, it was a very significant
9 military threat, and additional resources had to be mobilised. What this
10 reflects is the assembly of additional police units from Janja and Doboj.
11 Q. Down near the bottom it says, "Have Ljubisa call me at General
12 Krstic's," do we have any idea where that is and where General Krstic
13 might be in the early evening hours of 13 July?
14 A. Based on this piece of information alone, no. Based on the other
15 pieces of information, there are three options. Option number one is that
16 he is in the forward command post of the Drina Corps in Krivaja in Zepa
17 which should have been established as of 1800 hours that day.
18 Q. Excuse me, I think you said Krivaja.
19 A. Krivace.
20 Q. Krivaja is the plan. Krivace, I believe, is the forward command
21 post, I believe; is that right?
22 A. That is correct, sir. The second option would be that he is still
23 in Bratunac at the command post there. The third option might be that he
24 is at the command post in Vlasenica which would be a logical stopping off
25 place between him going from Bratunac, the former command post, to
1 Krivace, the current command post. But again, based on the context of
2 this order alone, I can't make that determination.
3 Q. I believe we discussed an intercept on the 13th that we related
4 more to the previous testimonies where we were able to conclude that
5 General Krstic and General Mladic were together somewhere. Was that the
6 evening or afternoon hours of the 13th in your recollection?
7 A. I believe that was the afternoon and evening hours of the 13th,
8 yes, sir.
9 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 529/A, 13 July 1920 -- sorry, 1995 at 2040
10 hours. What can you tell us about this?
11 A. This conversation is a conversation between General Krstic and
12 Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin. In this case it's easy, both the
13 principals compromise their identities early. Essentially a conversation
14 where both sides -- or in this respect, General -- Colonel Borovcanin is
15 letting General Krstic know that he doesn't have any problems, essentially
16 briefing him up to speed on what the situation is.
17 Further, he asks, "Is there anything special for us from you," and
18 General Krstic notes that he's working on that, indicating that he has
19 some orders that will be coming down, but he's not prepared to issue them
21 Q. Do you have any indications whether Borovcanin went down to Zepa
22 to assist, or whether he stayed up in the Srebrenica-Bratunac area?
23 A. I have no information which puts Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin in
24 or near the Zepa area during this period. Considering that the MUP units
25 under his direction would be operating in the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje area
1 during this time frame, it's logical to assume that he'd be in that area.
2 Q. Would it have made sense on the evening hours of the 13th or 14th
3 to pull that MUP unit out of the area and taken them down to help out in
5 A. Given at that point in time the military had assembled or was
6 assembling a fairly robust capability with the military or the army
7 specific assets that had conducted the operation, the actual capture of
8 Srebrenica, and that those were being deployed or had already been
9 deployed to Zepa, the use of the MUP units down there would not have been
10 necessary at this particular state.
11 Q. I don't want to get into this subject in detail at this point, but
12 did the commander's responsibility change merely because his location
13 changes from one area of the corps responsibility to another?
14 A. No, sir, it does not.
15 Q. I believe General Dannit will go into that subject in more detail.
16 Okay, if we could go to Exhibit 530, 530/A, should be a 2100 hours
17 conversation of 13 July.
18 A. Krsmanovic again being one of the correspondents, the Lieutenant
19 Colonel Krsmanovic, Chief of Transportation Services of the Drina Corps; I
20 don't know who the correspondent identified as Viskovic is. In this case,
21 they're discussing the issue that as of 2100 hours, there are still 700
22 people, presumably Muslim prisoners, at Sandici, and the arrangements
23 being made for buses to pick them up and move them somewhere.
24 Q. Let's go to the next exhibit, 531/A, 2305 hours, 13 July.
25 A. I notice on this exhibit on the bottom that there are, in fact,
1 some initials, so I'm covering those initials up.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, we have apparently have Mladic's side only of
3 this conversation. What can you glean, if anything, from this Mladic
4 one-sided conversation?
5 A. Correspondent referred to as Ljubo, could be Ljubo Beara, the main
6 Security Administration Chief for the Main Staff. There is a reference to
7 having an order sent, for something at Krle's place to be sent. "It is
8 over there at Mladic's," another reference to the Military Police
9 Battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment. The issue of a lot of hungry
10 mouths, again it's a very oblique reference, and within the context of
11 looking at only one side of this, I'd be very hesitant to define what that
12 would mean.
13 Q. Did Dutch soldiers spend the night at the 65th Protection
14 Regiment, the night of the 13th?
15 A. A small group of Dutch soldiers did, in fact, spend the night at
16 the facility in Nova Kasaba on 13 July 1995.
17 Q. And do you recall anything in the record about Muslim prisoners
18 being held at the 65th on the 13th of July?
19 A. To my knowledge, based on the information, there were no Muslim
20 prisoners under VRS custody at Nova Kasaba the evening of 13 July 1995.
21 Q. How about during the day?
22 A. During the day there were several hundreds, up to a thousand if
23 the numbers are correct here.
24 Q. Have you seen anything in the records that you've reviewed or the
25 statements you've reviewed that indicate that the VRS provided any
1 sufficient amounts of food for prisoners at any point during this, this
2 series of days?
3 A. No, sir, there's no indication of that at all.
4 Q. Now, that takes us to the end of the intercept period that talks
5 about the column and the various commanders involved in this particular
6 area on these dates. And I want to take you to the next subject related
7 to the column, and that is at least two Main Staff orders of 13 July that
8 cover that subject and one Drina Corps order that we've briefly discussed
9 in the context, I believe it was Zivanovic's last order. But let's first,
10 if you could, discuss Exhibit 532. Tell us what that is, how it relates
11 to the topics that I've just outlined.
12 A. This order, dated 13 July 1995, and if I could refer to another
13 series of notes, we identified this order, I believe, as order number
14 1623. The translation of it is very poor. The actual numbers of the
15 order number, because of the copy that we received, and what gives me the
16 indication of what the order number is and what the actual date of 13 July
17 is, a future exhibit that is a Drina Corps order that is an almost
18 verbatim text match, and we'll discuss that next few exhibits, but I
19 wanted to set the stage of the date for 13 July.
20 What this order is, is to the commands of the Drina Corps, the
21 Drina Corps forward command post, and select elements of the Drina Corps
22 to their brigades to the Commander or Chief of Staff personally, and it is
23 an overall discussion or roll-up of the -- first, the understanding of the
24 situation by the Main Staff of the VRS, and further, a series of orders
25 pertaining to what the Main Staff wants the Corps Command to accomplish
1 relative to that.
2 Going to the second page of the order, the order is signed by
3 Lieutenant Colonel General Milan Gvero, and the stamp indicates that it
4 was received by the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade on 14 July 1995.
5 Q. Are you able to get any kind of a time fix on this order that --
6 dated 13 July but received by Bratunac on 14 July?
7 A. I believe this order came out on the morning of the 13th of July,
8 1995. By dating it, by virtue of the fact that with the Drina Corps order
9 that is a verbatim copy of this order further sent down to the units, that
10 order signed by Colonel Zivanovic was sent out by the Drina Corps at 1735
11 on 13 July.
12 So again, taking it in sequence and time, presumably this order
13 was received by the Drina Corps in order for them to retransmit it
14 sometime in the morning, early afternoon hours of 13 July 1995.
15 Q. What can you tell us about who this is addressed to? It's a Main
16 Staff order, it appears to be addressed directly to the Drina Corps and
17 the forward command post, the Zvornik Brigade, the Dutch brigade,
18 Vlasenica Brigade?
19 A. The first addressee, the Command of the Drina Corps, and the
20 second addressee, the Drina Corps forward command post number one, clearly
21 for the relevant general officers at the time.
22 Taking it further, to the commands of the 1st Zvornik Brigade, the
23 1st Birac Brigade, the 1st Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade, again, to the
24 Commander/Chief of Staff personally. A reflection that as far as the Main
25 Staff was concerned, this was an order that was relevant to all of them.
1 And given the military situation and the timeliness involved, it's an
2 order that the Main Staff wanted all of them to be aware of, in a military
3 parlance, we refer to as making sure everyone is reading off of the same
4 sheet of paper. By doing this, it's very unambiguous what the Main Staff
5 wants the corps to do, and what it wants the brigades to do in support of
6 that as well.
7 Q. Is it normal for the Main Staff to order brigades to do things
8 directly like this?
9 A. It is not normal for them -- or the Main Staff to order brigades
10 to do anything with -- certainly in isolation of the corps command. And
11 as I read this, I don't read this and I don't interpret it to be specific
12 orders and directions to the brigades independent of the corps command.
13 Reading this order as is, and further taking it in series with the Drina
14 Corps order that follows it, it's clear that it is a proper manifestation
15 of the chain of command: The Main Staff giving the series of orders to the
16 corps; the corps turning those orders and giving it around to the
18 In this instance, my interpretation is that because of the
19 timeliness issues, the Main Staff wants the brigades to be aware just as
20 fast as they want the corps staff to be aware what their view of the
21 situation is, and what steps need to be taken.
22 Q. Let me get into a little of the substance of the order. You've
23 described it generally. The first question I would have is on the first
24 main paragraph, this order is an order basically, as you've said, to have
25 these units capture the Muslim column. It mentions, in the first
2 "Among them are hardened criminals and cut-throats who will stop
3 at nothing in order to avoid capture and escape to Muslim-controlled
5 Is that a normal something -- how do you read -- do you read
6 anything into that?
7 A. Given the role of General Gvero as the Assistant Commander of the
8 Main Staff for Moral, Legal and Religious Affairs, and in many aspects the
9 public mouthpiece of the army of the Republika Srpska, and looking at a
10 lot of his past writings related to this, and in future months the types
11 of orders that he puts out on this basis, while it is unique in hyperbole,
12 it is not unique to him as an individual.
13 Q. All right, let's get into the substance of the orders. Basically,
14 the first paragraph:
15 "The corps command and brigade command shall use all available
16 able-bodied manpower in their zones of responsibility in discovering,
17 blocking, disarming, capturing observed Muslim groups, as well as
18 preventing their crossing into Muslim-controlled territory. Setup
19 ambushes along the whole Zvornik-Crni Vrh-Sekovici-Vlasenica road on a
20 24-hour basis."
21 Now, is this the same area that is outlined in the big map that
22 you've talked about earlier with all the various brigades and units
24 A. This entire zone, as described, falls into the zone of the Drina
25 Corps command.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 Q. And it also -- number 3, specific guidance to place captured and
2 disarmed Muslims in suitable premises where they can be guarded by small
3 forces and report immediately to the superior command.
4 A. In that context, I read the superior command to be the next
5 immediate command above the units that capture them, which would, in this
6 case, being that it would be the brigades on the ground capturing the
7 units, the Drina Corps command. The Drina Corps command, in turn, would
8 notify the Main Staff.
9 Q. We've got to slow down a little bit. I think it's getting late,
10 and I think people -- everything becomes more difficult.
11 So this is directed to Zvornik Brigade troops. What about the
12 Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. The Bratunac Brigade, in this message, is not an addressee.
14 Q. How do you account for that?
15 A. This order, for the most part, again in context, is dealing with
16 how they're going to deal with the aspects of the column that have already
17 moved or are moving from the Bratunac Brigade area, those -- as the column
18 goes up towards the Zvornik Brigade and it's alerting the brigades that
19 are in line of attack for the column.
20 In the case of the Bratunac Brigade, in this case, they are
21 already dealing with the issue in accordance with previous directives, so
22 there would be no need to identify for them specifically on this.
23 Q. Paragraph 7 talks about reporting on captured and blocked groups
24 on secure lines of communication, preventing unnecessary conversations
25 which may lead to leaking of information, and then the last paragraph
1 talks about, again, a subject that we've seen a lot in these reports.
2 What is that?
3 A. Again the discussion pertaining to the aspect of a responsibility
4 to report back through the higher chain of command very much to the top
5 level, the general staff or the Main Staff at the time of the Republika
6 Srpska. They stress the need for timely reporting to allow the superior
7 command elements the necessary time to make whatever decisions may be
9 Q. Is this order an indication to you that the Main Staff has taken
10 over direct control of the Drina Corps brigades, taking away the authority
11 of the Drina Corps?
12 A. No, sir. I don't see that in this order at all.
13 Q. And we'll be discussing more on that subject later. Can we go to
14 the next exhibit, which should be 462/A. Do you have that in front of
16 A. I do not have 462/A.
17 Q. If we could -- that is a prior order that we've already
18 discussed. It's Zivanovic's last order.
19 A. Thank you, sir.
20 Q. Now, we discussed this previously in the context of it being
21 General Zivanovic's last order in the context of General Krstic taking
22 over command. Now let's talk a bit more about the substance and how it
23 relates to the order you've just referred to.
24 A. When this order is matched up against the previous exhibit, it is
25 clearly an almost verbatim text transmission of that order, and, in fact,
1 it references the Main Staff order 03/4-1629, dated 13 July 1995. That is
2 how I go back and date and order time that prior exhibit.
3 In this sense, the command of the Drina Corps is taking that
4 order, essentially republishing it and now sending it to all subordinate
5 units of the Drina Corps and to the Drina Corps forward command post for
6 their information.
7 Q. So this would include the Bratunac Brigade?
8 A. Yes, sir, it would.
9 Q. And where is the geographic focus, if there is one, or where is
10 the focus of this order? It speaks of Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Milicic.
11 Could you explain that to us?
12 A. The geographic focus of this order corresponds with the projected
13 route that the Muslim column has taken and in time will take to go from
14 Jaglici-Susnjari, to Tuzla. This area, Nova Kasaba-Konjevic Polje, and
15 then further to the north and off this map the locations of Crni Vrh and
16 Cerska, which are major landmark features in the zone of the Zvornik
17 Infantry Brigade that track along the route towards Tuzla.
18 JUDGE WALD: Could I just one coalescence? Could you just put --
19 this order or these two orders that we're talking about which went out on
20 July 13th or you think were issued on July 13th, that's also the date in
21 which, toward the end of July 13th, we had some of the first mass
22 executions. Is there any way to figure out the time line, whether these
23 went out simultaneously, before, or after?
24 A. That is a piece of my analysis. It's rough insomuch as the
25 witnesses clearly don't know in exact time frames, but using the hard time
1 frame that I do have of 1730 hours and basing it back off that, my
2 understanding and my assessment on this is that the Jadar River massacre
3 and the Cerska valley massacres had occurred prior to the Drina Corps
4 publishing of this order, and further in sequence and time, as this order
5 is being published, the Kravica warehouse massacres are occurring.
6 JUDGE WALD: Okay.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, which should be very
9 brief. This is a 13 July order from the Main Staff to several different
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this may not be as brief as I
12 thought. This might be a good time to take a break.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
14 a half-hour break now.
15 --- Recess taken at 2.32 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 3.02 p.m.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, are you ready to
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Go ahead, then.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY:
22 Q. Mr. Butler, taking you very quickly back to Exhibit 532, the Main
23 Staff order that -- July 13th, it does not have the Bratunac Brigade as an
24 addressee. Can you tell us what the received stamp says about that?
25 A. Looking at this order, it does not indicate at face value in the
1 addressee listing the Bratunac Brigade as an addressee. However, the
2 received stamp from the message indicates that on 14 July 1995, it was
3 received by the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
4 Q. All right. Let's now go back to the Exhibit 533/A where we left
5 off, a 13 July Main Staff order from General Mladic. Can you tell us
6 about this order and how it may relate or not relate to the other couple
7 of orders which you've discussed this afternoon?
8 A. This order, again from the staff, the Main Staff of the army of
9 Republika Srpska, is another one of those series of orders that broadly is
10 dealing with the issue of the Muslim military column moving out of the
11 area of Bratunac and towards Tuzla, as well as the expanded conduct of
12 operations now in the area of Zepa as they are now preparing to go into
13 those operations.
14 From the addressee listing, the order is sent to the command of
15 the Drina Corps, the 65th Protection Regiment, the 67th Communication
16 Regiment, and the Sector for Morale, Legal, and Religious Affairs, and the
17 Intelligence and Security Services of the Main Staff; and for information,
18 the 1st and 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigades, the 2nd Romanija
19 Motorised Brigade, the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade, the 1st BLPPR -- it's a
20 repeat, in that case it's the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the 1st
21 Milici Light Infantry Brigade, and the 1st Vlasenica Light Infantry
22 Brigade, and in that context, it's for their information. Finally at the
23 bottom after a piece of garbled text, it's noted the 1st Zvornik Infantry
24 Brigade and notes to the Commander personally.
25 Putting that all in the context, this order is directed to the
1 commanders of the major units, the Drina Corps, the 65th Protection
2 Regiment, the 67th Communications Regiment, as well as the Main Staff
3 offices of the morale, religious, and legal affairs, and intelligence and
4 security; and for informational purposes, it's directed to the commanders
5 of these brigades, all of whom are subordinate to the Drina Corps.
6 Q. What's the military purpose of the "for information" to the
7 various units?
8 A. The general theory or the general practice on that, to be more
9 accurate, is -- again is, one, is part of a time saving function. As a
10 superior officer following the proper established chain, you're giving the
11 order to the next subordinate command level; and as a staff and officer,
12 you're going to know that ultimately it's going to be carried down to the
13 second level. So by doing this, in essence you're helping your own
14 planning process because you're giving the lower units time to prepare
15 because they understand that this order will be coming down from the corps
16 command as well.
17 A second aspect, and in this case the most likely aspect, is the
18 fact that when you look at the context of the message, particularly
19 pertaining to road closures, in most cases the roads that were closed are
20 in the zones of many of these brigades, either in their normal zone of
21 operation, or in the case of the Vlasenica and the Birac units, where
22 they're operating in relation to Zepa. So clearly an awareness of the
23 fact that while they're , the brigades, are not the implementing
24 authorities per se, this is something which the brigades need to be aware
25 of because it will have a military impact upon them.
1 Q. The Gvero order of the 13th could have done the same thing for
2 information, but from the order it appears it went directly to the
3 brigades. How can you explain that, if you can?
4 A. The Gvero order, the previous order in that respect, I place it,
5 again, in the same category as this one, that circumstance were in the
6 context of the proper chain of command being followed. The originator of
7 the order, in this case being the Main Staff, wanted a rapid awareness by
8 the brigades at the lowest level, those people who would ultimately have
9 to carry out the order and planned to do so, to have the maximum amount of
10 time available in order to accomplish that.
11 One of the really unspoken aspects of military plans and planning,
12 and I know that General Dannit will get into this later, is the aspect of
13 dealing with time. It's the one aspect that a commander cannot modify
14 somehow. So the emphasis when you do orders like this -- and at least in
15 my army it is a relatively common practice, and reviewing the documents
16 that I've noted in the VRS it's not a unique practice, these type of
17 things are done in order to ensure that the people at the lowest end who
18 will execute the orders or have to deal with the consequences of the
19 orders, have the maximum amount of time and warning to do just that.
20 Q. Now, going to paragraph 2, I note that it talks about closing the
21 roads in this general area to traffic, except for military vehicles
22 engaged in combat operations, and one of the units it refers to is MUP
23 units engaged in combat operations. Is this consistent with your
24 understanding of the MUP and its involvement in combat-related activities
25 with the column?
1 A. Yes, sir, it is.
2 Q. And I would note paragraph 5, "A ban and prevent the giving of
3 information," et cetera, "particularly on prisoners of war, evacuated
4 civilians, escapees, and similar." So this order from Mladic makes
5 particular attention not to let information about prisoners of war get
6 out. Is that also correct?
7 A. That is correct, sir.
8 Q. All right. That wraps up our informational segment from
9 intercepts, documents, daily combat reports for this particular area, the
10 southern crime scenes. But before having you discuss briefly each of the
11 crime scenes and what you can glean from the information relating to those
12 crime scenes, I would like you to go over the Bratunac Brigade daily
13 combat reports for the period of the 14th through the 16th of July to help
14 provide a context of that overall situation at that time period, and as
15 well, help us look into the situation on the 13th and see if there's
16 anything that those documents from the later period can tell us about the
17 activities on the 13th.
18 So with that in mind, could you go to Exhibit 534, 14 July daily
19 combat report from the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and tell us
20 what is the essence of what your analysis gets from this document.
21 A. First, as reflected, the combat report is addressed to the command
22 of the Drina Corps. Paragraph 1 notes that in the sector that they're
23 sweeping, that they're not coming into significant contact with the enemy
24 forces. They note enemy forces being surrounded in another geographic
25 area, this area following closer to Konjevic Polje.
1 Paragraph 2 again reflects that the brigade is continuing the
2 sweep operation which was previously referenced as the Drina Corps order
3 01/4-157/5, as we discussed, signed by General-Major Krstic as the Corps
4 Commander. The last part of paragraph 2 is a reference to the Red Beret
5 platoon being sent at 1000 hours to the area of Milici to join the task
6 and direction of Zepa.
7 As you recall from the discussions of the 15 July intercept
8 conversation between General Krstic and Colonel Beara, this is one of the
9 formations which General Krstic had recommended Colonel Beara to get in
10 touch with. Again, the fact that they're already on their way to Zepa.
11 And Colonel Beara recalls that back to General Krstic, that they're
12 already gone.
13 Further, again it's a hard linkage that the Red Beret unit is, in
14 fact, a member of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
15 Paragraph 3, reflecting the fact that the awareness that the
16 situation in the brigade zone of responsibility is not secure. However,
17 within the context of the military operation, it is becoming more normal.
18 And again at the bottom, the report signed by Commander of the
19 Bratunac Brigade and sent 14 July 1995.
20 Q. Also noting that in paragraph 6 that there was no VRS soldiers or
21 no Bratunac Brigade soldiers killed.
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Now, does this give us any indication where Commander Blagojevic
25 A. Looking at the original handwritten version of that and down at
1 the bottom the signature block, what I believe, and have discussed with
2 the translators the issue, what this marking here represents is for the
3 Commander and is signed by somebody else, presumably the duty officer who
4 drafted the report.
5 Having said that, and again based on the military activity that is
6 occurring, and based on the fact that the Chief of Staff has already been
7 noted absent, leading a separate company with the Milici Brigade, I would
8 have to conclude that while the Commander did not draft this report, he is
9 still physically present with the bulk of his brigade in the zone.
10 Q. And you learned a little bit more about where he is in the day or
11 two in addition; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. Let's then go to the next report, which is dated the same day,
14 14 July, and tell us about this. Exhibit 535/A.
15 A. This is a request from the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade to the
16 Drina Corps command pertaining to the relief of a unit attached to a
17 formation referred to or known as the 4th Drina Light Infantry Brigade.
18 As I discuss in my narrative but we don't address here because
19 it's not particularly relevant to the criminal acts as they're charged,
20 elements of the Bratunac Brigade and the Zvornik Brigade were formed
21 together to create a composite unit which is operating in the zone of the
22 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
23 This is a rather typical occurrence within the army of Republika
24 Srpska, again a reflection of their lack of manpower and how they had to
25 put together composite units from one corps formation to operate in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 zone of another to deal with military emergencies or gaps in the line.
2 One of the practices when soldiers were deployed in those units,
3 was to rotate them at a fixed period in order to bring them back and allow
4 them to get some rest.
5 This order on 14 July reflects the fact that there are a group of
6 Bratunac soldiers in the 4th Drinski Brigade, that they do need to be
7 rotated, and that based on everything else occurring, the brigade wants
8 guidance and how that rotation is to occur. And again, the order is
9 signed by Colonel Blagojevic, or request in this case.
10 Q. A request to bring the boys back home to Bratunac, is that what
11 this is?
12 A. In short, but the other piece of puzzle is that they have to be
13 replaced out of sector as well. So it's not a question of bringing them
14 home, it's a question of assembling another group of individuals to go
15 replace them.
16 Q. Would this document be consistent with the Main Staff having taken
17 over direct control of the Bratunac Brigade for this period of time?
18 A. No, sir, it wouldn't.
19 Q. How so?
20 A. If that, in fact, were the case, particularly pertaining to
21 manpower, you would expect that the order or request would be to the Main
22 Staff and not to the command of the Drina Corps.
23 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, 536/A, daily combat
24 report from the Bratunac Brigade, 15 July. What can you tell us about
1 A. In this instance and for reasons that I don't know, not only is
2 this report addressed to the command of the Drina Corps, but it is also
3 specifically addressed to the forward command post of the Drina Corps now
4 established at Krivace.
5 Paragraph 2 again reflects the fact that the Bratunac Brigade is
6 carrying out the sweep operations in accordance with the 13 July 1995
7 Drina Corps order.
8 Paragraph 2 also reflects that some elements of the brigade were
9 sent into the area of the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade, and it specifies
10 80 soldiers. Further, a S-2M platoon, which is a man portable air defence
11 weapon platoon, has been sent to the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade area
12 of responsibility.
13 Paragraph 7 notes that a soldier from the 4th Battalion was
14 wounded and later died in combat. And in continuing with the aspect of
15 the 4th Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade being, in fact, the 8th
16 Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, this individual soldier's name shows up
17 in the casualty reports and the death certificate is filed by the
18 Commander of the 8th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade.
19 The final aspect is in the issue dealing with the UNPROFOR.
20 Q. Now, I want to make clear at paragraph 2 it says:
21 "Our forces are still searching the terrain in accordance with
22 your strictly confidential order number 01/4-157/5, dated 13 July 1995."
23 That's the very order that General Krstic signed on the 13th as
24 Commander of the Corps, directed to this very brigade as well as others;
25 is that right?
1 A. That is correct, sir.
2 Q. And has the investigation revealed that General Krstic was at the
3 forward command post at Krivace on 15 July 1995?
4 A. Yes, sir, it has.
5 Q. So in the context of the military orders, should General Krstic
6 have received this order or this, excuse me, daily combat report?
7 A. Yes, sir, he should have.
8 Q. That's Exhibit 463, the Krstic July 16th order -- 13th. Excuse
10 Do we see the Bratunac Brigade sending any other combat orders,
11 excuse me, daily combat reports to the IKM or the forward command post in
12 this immediate period?
13 A. Within this immediate period, we don't see the Bratunac Brigade
14 sending one to the IKM per se. However, we have a report sent by Colonel
15 Milanovic, of the Drina Corps staff, from the Bratunac Brigade command
16 post to the IKM in much the same context.
17 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to Exhibit 537. I believe this is perhaps
18 the document you're referring to, dated 15 July, from Colonel Milanovic,
19 same, Bratunac. Tell us about -- again, remind us who this fella is or
20 who this officer is, and tell us about this document.
21 A. The person in question, Colonel Ignjat Milanovic, is the Chief of
22 the Aircraft Defence for the command of the Drina Corps. He was
23 previously associated with the Bratunac Brigade in late 1992, early 1993
24 as its Chief of Staff before coming up to the command of the Drina Corps.
25 Looking at the address line, it's delivered to the command, and in
1 this case, because of the vagary of the translation, it should be the
2 commands of the Drina Corps IKM forward command post to the attention of
3 the Commander, the Drina Corps command, the 1st Milici Light Infantry
4 Brigade, and the Skelani Separate Battalion.
5 And if I can direct you to the handwritten version of that, I can
6 clear up any ambiguity as to why it was translated as it was. The "To"
7 then the listing of addressees. So in this context, it's not a separate
8 command entity that exists out there, it's the context of "To the commands
10 Q. How do you know that? Where do you make those conclusions from?
11 A. In trying to come to an understanding of what that is, and, again,
12 not being fluent in this language and not being well acquainted with it at
13 all, I've spent several hours over the course of many days with the
14 revisers and the senior translators of the registry with various military
15 documents, trying to come to grips with the sometimes lack of consistency
16 with how these orders are addressed. In some sense, you have singular "To
17 the command of" and then multiple addressees. In some cases you have the
18 plural, "To the commands of," and one case -- and in some cases only one
20 In many aspects, again in dealing with the senior language
21 specialists of the Tribunal, their interpretations of these, which, in
22 effect, are reflected in the translations, are that this is, in fact, to
23 the commands of the units that follow.
24 The phrase komanda or komandi do not represent an individual
25 undesignated command somewhere.
1 Q. All right. This document is headed somewhere, because I -- as a
2 proposal. Is that your understanding of what this document is, a proposal
3 from the Colonel?
4 A. Essentially this document is first a report on the situation
5 within the zone of the Bratunac, the Milici, and the Skelani Separate
6 Battalion, and then a report of what that specific officer has ordered to
7 take place relative to that situation, and further, his recommendations to
8 the commander as to what steps should be taken over a longer term.
9 Q. Okay, let's go through this slowly. I want to take you back to
10 the part about -- that says in the English translation "delivered to the
11 corps IKM, to the attention of the commander." Who in your opinion is the
12 commander referenced here in this document, Exhibit 537?
13 A. That would be General-Major Krstic.
14 Q. And the forward command post would be where?
15 A. Located in Krivace, or Krivace.
16 Q. And then the next addressee, the Drina Corps command, what does
17 that mean in relation to General Krstic as the Commander?
18 A. The Drina Corps command represents essentially the broad
19 organisation of the headquarters of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica.
20 Q. General Krstic's staff?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Now, in the first paragraph, "In accordance with your orders, I
23 went to Milici and Bratunac." In your opinion, who is the "your"
24 referring to here?
25 A. In this context, I would say the "your" is a specific reference to
1 General-Major Krstic.
2 Q. And it goes on to say that he acquainted himself with the
3 situation to the east of the Milici-Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road.
4 Generally large groups of enemy soldiers are still located to the east of
5 this road. The 1st Bratunac Brigade is still searching this terrain and
6 is almost at the limit laid down.
7 So what is your understanding of the Bratunac Brigade being sent
8 to Zepa, or units of it? Where are they on this date?
9 A. Clearly, with the exception of the previously-mentioned company
10 under the command of the Chief of Staff of the brigade, the remainder of
11 the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade is conducting the sweep operations in
12 its zone.
13 Q. Can you give us an estimate of how many soldiers would be in a
14 company like this that went to Zepa, roughly?
15 A. I believe, going back to the exhibit, and I'm going to work off of
16 memory here, the number is, in fact, specified at approximately 90 or 80.
17 Q. Can you give us an estimate of how many combat soldiers -- or how
18 many soldiers, I should say, that would leave in the Bratunac Brigade area
19 of responsibility, of course accounting for the group that is with the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps elsewhere?
21 A. With that company out, with the element deployed with the
22 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, also noting the additional 80 soldiers that were
23 sent up to the zone of the Zvornik Brigade, and given a roster strength
24 that the unit itself reports at approximately 1400 soldiers at the end of
25 July 1995 as being on the roster, you're probably looking at a good 800 to
1 1.000 people of the brigade still conducting operations there.
2 Q. And referring back to the big map, can you give us an idea of
3 roughly where those forces would be located on the time period of July
4 12th, 13th, 14th?
5 A. Again, this specific order or this specific proposal notes that
6 the Bratunac Brigade forces have just about reached the search limit,
7 presumably that line that was designated in the 13 July 1995 order. That
8 line essentially runs from beyond Sandici into the former enclave, coming
9 around south of Jaglici, Susnjari, sweeping south into Srebrenica or
10 beyond Srebrenica to the east of it -- I'm sorry, west of it, to a point
11 where it would connect in with where the Skelani separate battalion from
12 the Zeleni Jadar access was conducting its sweep.
13 Q. Thank you. Under the section it says, "I have ordered," number
14 two, "the assignment you have given to the commanders to be carried out
15 without fail." Do you know what that assignment is, or can you give us
16 any indication of what it might be?
17 A. In the context of the military operations, re: a formation, that
18 the tasks designated to those military commanders and the lines given to
19 them must be achieved.
20 Q. Okay. And what is the colonel's proposal?
21 A. The colonel is proposing that the Commander authorise and appoint
22 the Commander of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade as the Commander
23 of all forces, participating in searching the terrain and sweeping the
24 battlefield to the east of the road in the control of the Kasaba-Drinjaca
25 road, noting that we have no one to appoint from the command of the Drina
2 Q. Where is -- do you know where the commanders from the command of
3 the Drina Corps are?
4 A. At this point in time, many of the senior staff officers of the
5 Drina Corps who are qualified to command ground forces type of operations
6 are either at the forward command post in Zepa, or are deployed with the
7 composite brigade with the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. In fact, the commander
8 of that brigade is identified as Colonel Veletic, the Drina Corps Chief of
10 Q. And we haven't gotten to Zvornik yet, but on 15 July there's quite
11 a bit of activity in Zvornik, and the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade has
12 been pulled out of the Zepa operation and gone up to the Zvornik area at
13 about this time; is that correct?
14 A. At this point in time, the Commander of the Zvornik Brigade,
15 Colonel Pandurevic, has been pulled out of the Zepa operation, and his
16 units have been moving back into the zone of the Zvornik Brigade to deal
17 with the issue of the column.
18 Q. Now, going to page 2 of this document, paragraph 2, it says, "If
19 you agree with the proposal in item 1, send a telegram of confirmation to
20 the commands of the 1st Bratunac Brigade, the 1st Milici Brigade, and the
21 Zvornik CSB centre."
22 Now, again, the "you" that's referred to in your opinion is who?
23 A. General Krstic, sir.
24 Q. Can you provide any reason why the confirmation of this proposal
25 should be sent to the CSB in Zvornik, meaning the police department in
2 A. Again, it fits into the aspect of the broader issue of the units
3 having to know formally who is in command. In a military sense, it's not
4 a random, ad hoc designation of command; it is a formalised process. In
5 this sense of paragraph 2, Colonel Milanovic is indicating that an order
6 should be sent to the affected units, the 1st Bratunac Brigade, the 1st
7 Milici Brigade, and the Zvornik CSB, indicating General Krstic's decision
8 on the appointment of commander so all three of those units understand who
9 the designated commander is, and that they are, in fact, under that
10 officer's command.
11 In the sense of the Zvornik CSB singularly, it's another
12 affirmation that on 15 July 1995, the forces of the Zvornik CSB, those
13 being the municipal police specifically, are under the command of the
14 Drina Corps.
15 Q. Let me go to paragraph 3. "I am going to Bracan and on to Stublic,
16 and I propose taking those 200 or more soldiers from the 1st Milici
17 Brigade in the direction of Stublic besides the SB Skelani," and this is
18 the part I want to ask you about, "if Pandurevic settles his situation."
19 Now, in the next -- we're going to, in the next day, hear a lot
20 about that situation, but can you just give us a very brief outline of,
21 very brief, just the military situation and the -- well, just give us the
22 military situation in a very brief format to try and put this in context.
23 A. On the 15th of July and carrying into the 16th of July 1995, in
24 the zone of the Zvornik Brigade, what you have is an extremely significant
25 and very bitter battle between the elements of the Muslim column
1 attempting to break through to Tuzla and the Zvornik Brigade units who
2 are, at this point, not so much trying to maintain a cohesive defence, but
3 to keep themselves from being completely overrun by the column.
4 It is a very -- series of small vicious battles, and in the
5 context of casualties where we see an example for Bratunac deaths of one
6 or two soldiers over a three or four-day period, in these battles in the
7 Zvornik zone, we're looking at the deaths of 20 to 30 soldiers daily and
8 injury rates of well over a hundred and fifty.
9 So in context of the combat where you saw in the Bratunac zone,
10 which was very much a stand-off conflict where they remained on the road
11 and fired into the flank of the column, in the Zvornik zone it was very
12 pitched, and in some cases degenerated into hand-to-hand combat.
13 So within the context of paragraph 3 here, certainly that's the
14 situation that Colonel Pandurevic is attempting to settle.
15 Q. Did that situation in Pandurevic's area also involve thousands of
16 prisoners located in many schools and their eventual destruction at
17 Orahovac on the 14th, in Petkovci dam on the 14th and 15th, at the
18 Branjevo farm on the 16th, Kozluk on the 15th or 16th, and the Pilica
19 Cultural Centre on the 16th, and did that additionally complicate the
21 A. Yes, sir, it did.
22 Q. Could we go to the next exhibit, 538. Can you tell us about
24 A. This is an order from the command of the Bratunac Light Infantry
25 Brigade to the brigade staff pertaining to the organisation of a battalion
1 to be withdrawn from combat around Bratunac and sent to combat operations
2 in the zone of Zepa. It references Drina Corps order 05/95, dated 16 July
4 What it directs the brigade staff to do is to deal with the
5 battalions, to withdraw the first Infantry Battalion from combat, to
6 reinforce it, and to have the battalion prepared to move out combat
7 operations by 0700 hours on 17 July 1995.
8 Q. Okay. So Bratunac is finally gearing up to send more people to
9 Zepa on the 17th.
10 A. That is correct, sir. Or on the 16th when this order is
12 Q. Now let me take you very briefly back to Exhibit 537, Colonel
13 Milanovic's report and proposal to General Krstic regarding these
14 various -- putting these units in various organised fashion.
15 Is this communication in any way consistent with the idea that the
16 Main Staff and General Mladic have taken over direct command of the
17 Bratunac Brigade or other Drina Corps brigades in this area, leaving the
18 Drina Corps without authority over them?
19 A. This is in no way consistent with that theory.
20 Q. Now let's go to Exhibit 539, daily combat report, 16 July, to the
21 command of the Drina Corps from the Bratunac Brigade. Tell us what this
22 is and how it fits into Milanovic's proposal.
23 A. We do not have the order that was presumably sent by
24 General Krstic which in essence made Colonel Blagojevic the Commander of
25 those units that are operating in that sector. What we see, however,
1 particularly in an examination of paragraph 2, is a manifestation that
2 that order must have been given.
3 In paragraph 2, the officer who drafted this daily combat report
4 specifically notes that during the day, the brigade commander visited all
5 units which are blocking the enemy retreat, and he lists them, the
6 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, the units of the 65th Protection
7 Regiment, parts of the MUP, the 5th Engineer Battalion, and further notes
8 that he defined their tasks and organised their joint action and
10 He further notes that because of the engagement of forces of the
11 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade and the 1st Milici Brigade on other
12 tasks and assignments, presumably those related to Zepa, "the task of
13 searching the terrain has been slowed down and the actions to block enemy
14 forces in the aforementioned area have been hampered."
15 In this respect, not only has Colonel Blagojevic been given
16 control of the assets recommended by Colonel Milanovic, he's further
17 expanded those to include the military police elements which are the only
18 known elements of the 65th Protection Regiment operating in that zone, as
19 well as the 5th Engineering Battalion of the Drina Corps.
20 So in effect, he is giving Colonel Blagojevic what, in my
21 parlance, would be called operational control of the elements of those
22 units performing the specified tasks. And what you see reflected here by
23 the duty officer is Colonel Blagojevic physically performing the
24 coordination function as part of that.
25 Q. So we see these units, the 65th, the Engineering Battalion, the
1 other units not only now working together as would be expected in a normal
2 military situation of command and control as I understand it, but now
3 they're under the command of the Bratunac Brigade to organise, to better
4 organise that effort; is that right?
5 A. That is correct, sir.
6 Q. Does this tell us anything about what these units may have been
7 doing on the 15th, the 14th, the 13th in the area where, in the case of
8 the 65th, were living, and in the case of the 5th Engineering Battalion
9 were stationed?
10 A. Working back in time, you can infer and I do infer that all of
11 these units were involved with first combat operations against the Muslim
12 column, and supplemental to that, activities pertaining to the capture of
13 Muslim males from the column.
14 Q. Let's take the example of the 65th Protection Regiment. If
15 they're involved in capturing Muslims, on the 13th, that are coming
16 through the woods but they're not formally under the command, at that
17 point, of the Drina Corps, could they be expected to be working with the
18 other units around them in the Drina Corps and assisting each other in
19 their project?
20 A. If for no other reason other than the safety and security of your
21 own troops, those activities would have to have been very well
22 coordinated. You -- as a matter of military necessity, as a unit
23 commander, particularly in a line and certainly within the parlance of the
24 former JNA and VRS doctrine, close coordination with units adjacent to you
25 is a military necessity.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Now I'd like to take Mr. Butler to
2 another area. I'm sort of losing track of the time. I don't know if this
3 is the time for a break or do you want to keep going on? It's almost --
4 well, maybe we should just keep going.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Until half past.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY:
7 Q. Mr. Butler, I'd like you now to talk about, in a military context,
8 the various crime scenes and what you may be able to glean from them and
9 some of the information you've referred to, and I'm going to take you out
10 of chronology now, because of the topic that you were just discussing, the
11 coordination of units in the area of Kravica, Sandici, Nova Kasaba,
12 Konjevic Polje.
13 So I would like to first ask you about what you can tell us about
14 the Kravica warehouse and the early evening hours of 13 July. Whose area
15 of responsibility was that in, and what was the military situation around
16 it as you're aware?
17 A. With respect to the Kravica warehouse killings, that occurred,
18 timing-wise, around 1700 hours on 13 July 1995. The road
19 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje runs and is well in the zone of the Bratunac Light
20 Infantry Brigade. It is the major and only significant line of
21 communication from Bratunac-Konjevic Polje in that aspect.
22 At a lower level, the troops along that road, as the map depicts,
23 closest to Bratunac would be the 1st Infantry Battalion, and then closer
24 to Kravica, the 4th Infantry Battalion in those zones. Further, relative
25 to the 4th Battalion, going back to the 14 July 1995 Bratunac Brigade
1 order pertaining to sweep operations, the area of Sandici and curving
2 around to the south fall specifically in the zone of the 4th Battalion.
3 That would put the warehouse of Kravica within that zone.
4 Further, the MUP forces operating along that road as well would
5 have fallen within the framework of certainly the control of the Bratunac
6 Brigade, if for no other reason to be able to coordinate and control the
7 efforts of one fighting the column and to organise the holding, the
8 assembly, and the movement of what would be thousands of Muslim prisoners
9 taken the evening of the 12th and all day of 13 July 1995.
10 Q. Testimony has provided information that Muslims were bussed to the
11 Kravica warehouse from the Sandici area as well as marched in large
12 numbers up to perhaps 500, stored there at the warehouse, guarded, and
13 then shot by a large -- well, relatively large number of soldiers with
14 weapons, shooting through windows, throwing hand grenades.
15 What kind of coordination could you expect from a guarding,
16 transporting, guarding, shooting, removing operation which such a murder
17 must have involved or from the survivors we know involved?
18 A. In looking at the event as it occurred, and again, inferring the
19 military aspects which had to have taken place for various aspects that
20 were witnessed to occur, first with relation to the buses, as we've
21 previously gone through, the buses were operating under the command of the
22 Chief of Transportation -- or its control of the Chief of Transportation
23 of the Drina Corps, and ultimately the Drina Corps commander.
24 With the priority of effort, certainly through the day of 13 July,
25 moving the women and children out of Potocari, again, a reflection of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
13 French and the English
1 fact that the early people are walked to Kravice and the later people are
2 bussed there. As the day wears on, buses become available from the
3 movement of the women and children, and are then taken into service to
4 start moving the male Muslims who were captured.
5 Presumably local company commanders on the ground wouldn't have
6 had the authority to individually and at random stop buses to put
7 prisoners on them. They would have had to have approval to do that from
8 the entity that was controlling the overall movement aspect.
9 Looking to the next step at Kravica, we have from the survivors
10 two different aspects of how they arrived there. Again, working back to
11 the inferred planning process, what becomes apparent is that somebody knew
12 to send them there at different times. The implication there being that
13 Kravica, and the warehouse specifically, was designated as a -- first, not
14 assembly, but a storage area. Considering the activities of two infantry
15 battalions and the MUP on that road, and the fact that the road falls in
16 the zone of the Bratunac Brigade, the logical person or the logical office
17 to make that designation would have been the office of the Chief of
18 Intelligence and Security of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
19 In further examining the testimonies of the witness -- or the
20 witnesses, one of the witnesses recounts the fact that after the shooting
21 is completed, a military vehicle and a piece of engineer equipment, a
22 scoop or bucket loader, shows up at the warehouse, and in the failing
23 light, starts the process of removing the bodies.
24 Again, in that sense, those two pieces of equipment, particularly
25 the bucket loader, an engineer piece of equipment, not normally associated
1 with the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, do not show up as a random
2 event. Somebody who could have authorised those vehicles, and
3 particularly that engineer piece of equipment, to be there had to know to
4 send it there and had to know the purpose why it was being sent; again,
5 the implication being that either before, during, or shortly after the
6 fact, a relevant staff officer at either the command of the Bratunac
7 Brigade or the command of the Drina Corps was apprised of the situation
8 and took the required action necessary to begin the removal of the bodies.
9 Further looking at that in time sequence, as night fell and the
10 removal of bodies stopped and resumed again on the 14th, I would again
11 note that that being a major line of communications, the warehouse is
12 extremely visible from the road, less than 50 metres from the road, and
13 that as one of the survivors of another killing recounts, as his bus
14 passed on the 13th of July, he could see bodies outside of the warehouse.
15 Presumably, a large amount of military traffic had to have passed along
16 that road on the 14th. Again, a knowledge and an awareness piece.
17 The last aspect of that would be the physical removal and burial
18 of the bodies, and as the investigation has developed, the bodies buried
19 in Glogova, many of them originate from the killings in Kravica. Again,
20 the implied planning aspects behind that, somebody had to make the
21 engineer equipment available, somebody had to ensure the security aspect
22 of that was made available, and the military transport or civilian
23 requisition transport to move the bodies from the warehouse to the burial
24 site which is less than, by road distance, 400 metres from the command
25 post of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade.
1 So while all of the aspects of the planning for that aren't known,
2 based on the facts that are known and based on the things that I infer
3 from those facts that had to have occurred from the military perspective
4 in order to make those happen, I see from that aspect the involvement of
5 the command of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade and elements of the
6 command of the Drina Corps.
7 JUDGE WALD: Let me ask one last question on that. You've covered
8 every step of what might have been involved in the Kravica warehouse, I
9 mean, in terms of the preparation, except for the actual killing of the
10 people inside. We have two orders, you know, which came out on the same
11 day saying secure in a secure place and guard the prisoners, and then
12 you've -- what in your opinion or that you can tell from the material
13 before you, what level would have had to be involved if you are securing
14 people according to orders that have come down from the top before you
15 can, in effect, do away with them?
16 A. In possibly an overly simplistic way, but based on the orders and
17 everything else that were issued, somebody somewhere has to inform the
18 commander what happened to all these prisoners. Initially, somebody has
19 to inform the Commander of the 1st Bratunac Brigade and then somebody has
20 to inform the Commander of the Drina Corps that several hundred prisoners
21 who were secured are now dead.
22 JUDGE WALD: Okay.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. All right. Let's go to Cerska Valley, and it's, as you know, it's
25 down the road not very far from Kravica, involved about 150 people with
1 their hands -- most of them with their hands tied behind their back. The
2 witnesses - or the witness saw three buses with Muslims in it, a
3 bulldozer, and an APC with soldiers on it going down the Cerska Valley
4 road in the mid-afternoon of 13 July.
5 Now, of course, without repeating yourself, I know a lot of the
6 analysis may be the same for Cerska, but can you yourself plug in the
7 facts as provided by the witnesses and tell us again a bit what we can
8 tell about this, given the fact clearly we don't have the identity of the
10 A. Starting with the actual execution and burial site in the Cerska
11 Valley, for the most part I believe that falls in the zone of the Milici
12 Light Infantry Brigade. I cannot be 100 per cent sure of that, insomuch
13 as while I have the brigade boundaries from map graphics of the Zvornik
14 Brigade, and I have the map graphics from the Bratunac Brigade, I do not
15 have the map graphics of the Milici Brigade. So I cannot tell you with a
16 hundred per cent certainty that the execution site and burial site is in
17 that zone. But based on the geographic distribution of the units at
18 headquarters, I'm fairly comfortable being able to say that I believe that
19 it is the zone of the 1st Milici Brigade. Regardless, it still falls
20 within the broader zone of the command of the Drina Corps in physical,
21 geographic terms.
22 In reviewing the witness testimony related to that, in the sense
23 of, first, the actual movement of prisoners, the witnesses recount -- or I
24 believe a witness recounts the convoy moving up the valley of buses filled
25 with male prisoners and engineer equipment following those buses. Again,
1 the intent, after the execution, to bury them on the spot.
2 If you take the witness time in recounting when that event
3 occurred on the early afternoon hours of 13 July and link that to the
4 discussions of the intercepted military communications involving Colonel
5 Milanovic on 13 July with both the Zvornik Brigade/Palma duty officer
6 looking for engineer equipment, and later with looking for Captain 1st
7 Class Avramovic, the Commander of the 5th Engineer Battalion,
8 and while noting that there are, in fact, military uses for the Air
9 Defence Officer to be looking for bulldozers and have them sent to
10 Konjevic Polje, the fact is in reviewing the terrain based on the overhead
11 products that we have, the overhead imaginary products, we see no
12 evidence -- I see no evidence of any engineer-related activity consistent
13 with the digging in or the production of engineer vehicle equipment, or of
14 engineer positions. In short, I see no evidence along the battle positions
15 which are covered of any engineer-related preparation that would have a
16 military significance.
17 Putting those together, I make the inference that what Colonel
18 Milanovic is doing at that point in time is trying to find earth-moving
19 equipment to accompany the convoy up the Cerska Valley and to bury the
20 victims of the execution.
21 Q. Let me give you a hypothetical and ask you a question about it.
22 If we assume that an APC full of soldiers and three buses full of Muslim
23 prisoners followed by a bulldozer means that there has been a decision
24 made to murder and bury the people in the buses, does it make any military
25 sense for, let's say, the 65th Protection Regiment, or perhaps the 10th
1 Diversionary Unit, to have made that decision on 13 July in a vacuum
2 without informing the Drina Corps or the other units in the area that they
3 were going to take 150 people down that little road and shoot them?
4 A. In a military parlance, that doesn't make sense.
5 Q. Why not?
6 A. In that specific hypothetical, it assumes that the 10th
7 Diversionary has military armoured personnel carriers, which it doesn't
8 normally have. Somebody must have given it to them, or somebody who had
9 them must have had them accompany the 10th Diversionary. The 10th
10 Diversionary clearly doesn't have bulldozers or earth-moving equipment;
11 and certainly in the case of specific engineer equipment, not only do you
12 require the piece of equipment, you require a trained operator to use it.
13 The 10th Diversionary Unit in and of itself wouldn't be diverting
14 buses at that period in time from the flow taking the women and children
15 out and putting prisoners on them. Taking that a step further, the 10th
16 Diversionary itself would not have captured all of these prisoners in the
17 first place, the inference being somebody previously had captured them and
18 assembled them and then turned them over to the custody of that unit.
19 Again, the inference being somebody had to have ordered them to do that.
20 So within the context of that hypothetical, the assumption that a
21 unit like the 10th Diversionary could, in isolation, conduct all the
22 aspects of the criminal act as its described by the witnesses doesn't make
23 military sense.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. Butler.
25 Mr. President, we are just about where we hoped to be today. We
1 appreciate the extra time and all is going well, and obviously it's a good
2 time to go see some soccer.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I think that I
4 should also thank all the personnel and my colleagues.
5 And Madam Registrar, I think that everything is ready for tomorrow
6 morning at 9.00?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President, all the arrangements have been
8 made for our meeting to be resumed tomorrow morning at 9.00.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And we shall be finishing
10 tomorrow by 2.00 p.m.. We adjourn until tomorrow morning at nine
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
13 at 4.35 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday
14 the 30th day of June, 2000, at
15 9.00 a.m.