1 Monday, 17 July 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
7 gentlemen. I would like to say good morning to the interpreters and to
8 the technical service. I can see that we're able to see each other so
9 much better. I also wish to say good morning to the representatives of
10 the Office of the Prosecutor and also to the Defence, and I would also
11 like to say good morning to General Krstic. We are now in the Krstic
12 case; I just want to state that for the record.
13 Good morning to you, Mr. Butler. I would like to remind you that
14 you're still under oath, and if I remember correctly, you will today be
15 answering the questions posed to you by the Defence.
16 Is that correct? No? Yes? Mr. McCloskey, could you please be of
17 assistance to me?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
19 counsel. We are on schedule to finish on time; however, the estimate is
20 that we have two more days on direct with Mr. Butler.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right. It is just my
22 frustrated desire.
23 Mr. Butler, you will continue answering questions posed to you by
24 Mr. McCloskey.
25 Mr. McCloskey, please take the floor.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I notice that
2 Mr. Petrusic was a little nervous thinking he had to start this morning.
3 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
4 Examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
5 Q. Mr. Butler, we had been going over the documents as they related
6 to the northern crime scenes. You talked about Orahovac and the documents
7 related to it, the military police, the engineering unit, the 4th
8 Battalion, and we had just started at the Petkovci dam area.
9 If we could start at Exhibit 590A. We had in Exhibit 590 of the
10 dam; however, it did not include everything of interest so I have a new
11 exhibit which is 590A, which I see you've got on the ELMO.
12 Could you explain the significance of the items on this exhibit,
13 though we need to make sure -- okay. There we go. Well, we've got a
14 rather bad -- the ELMO doesn't seem to be working, but maybe it will come
15 to life. I don't know if the technical booth can help us with that, but I
16 think it's certainly something inside the ELMO or the transmission.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. McCloskey, the video booth is aware and
18 they're working on it.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY:
20 Q. Well, I'm sure -- Mr. Butler, why don't we talk about the
21 geography of the Petkovci dam area, and hopefully this map will come up
22 for the public. I know everyone in the courtroom should have this
23 document in front of them. So can you just explain to us the area of
24 Petkovci and the dam, and how it relates to the military units in the
1 A. This particular exhibit shows --
2 Q. Don't worry about this exhibit until it comes to life. Why don't
3 you just sort of speak to us generally about the area of Petkovci knowing
4 that we have the big exhibit to your right.
5 A. The area of Petkovci falls within the zone of the 6th Infantry
6 Battalion of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. That includes the battalion
7 headquarters location and that also includes the school where Muslim men
8 were held and further includes the dam location where the executions took
9 place at the base of the dam.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we might want to take a break
11 because we do have some rather important documents, so this machine will
12 need to be fixed.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I would like to know,
14 Madam Registrar, whether the equipment has been checked before we started
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President, it was checked.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but we don't see any
18 results of that.
19 I think that we will have a five-minute break. Would that be
20 enough, five minutes, to solve the problem with the equipment?
21 --- Break taken at 9.45 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.00 a.m.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] As we can see, now we have
24 conditions to continue with normal work.
25 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Although the colour seems to be
3 changing from time to time.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: To try to save some time, I can tell Your Honours
5 that this exhibit, 509A, is a blowup of Exhibit 2, which is a map taken
6 from the Zvornik Brigade that indicated their various military
7 installations and some of the military activity that occurred related to
8 our events and others. We have added a yellow dot to this particular
10 Q. Mr. Butler, can you outline the unit headquarters, the yellow dot
11 and the dam, how they relate to each other?
12 A. The dam location here is a known execution site. Approximately 2
13 kilometres, 2.5 kilometres up the road, this yellow dot is the approximate
14 location of the facility known as the new school. It's not physically
15 located on this map. This map edition predated the construction of the
16 school but the yellow dot does, in fact, reflect its location.
17 Four-hundred metres, approximately, up the road from that, there's
18 a facility designated by "SK." This is the old school, as it's known, and
19 at the time it was the battalion headquarters for the 6th Infantry
20 Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade.
21 Q. All right. Let's go briefly to Exhibit 591 which we spoke about
22 last time, so I'll just briefly summarise it. It's a truck which, the 6th
23 Battalion records indicate, drove on the 15th of July from Petkovci to
24 Brana, which is a B/C/S word for dam, and to Petkovci and made about four
25 journeys. I believe we left off precisely last time going through the
1 records indicating who were the two drivers who are on that log sheet, and
2 if you could go to 592A, the second page, number 17, Milenko Topolovic.
3 Just briefly tell us, this record, what information it gives us,
4 Mr. Butler. If you see that, 592A.
5 A. Looking at the cover sheet real quickly, this is part of, or the
6 English translation of, the daily accountability roster for the logistics
7 platoon of the 6th Battalion for the month of July, 1995. Turning to page
8 2, it reflects the name of Milenko Topolovic as a driver in the 6th
10 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 593A.
11 A. This is a roster for the command of the battalion, not the
12 commander per se, although he's on this list, but that small unit or small
13 element that supports the commander is actually the battalion staff
14 representatives as well. In this case, item number 4 or name number 4,
15 Vlado Josic, listed as a courier with the battalion command.
16 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 594A. This appears to be a very
17 similar log sheet with the same two people on it, Topolovic and Josic.
18 However, it appears to be a different vehicle; is that right?
19 A. That is correct, sir. It's a TAM-80 truck as opposed to a
21 Q. And it makes six journeys on 15 July; is that right?
22 A. That is correct. If I go to page 2 of the English translation,
23 that activity is reflected, and I will specifically point it out. This
24 item here, between Petkovci, Brana, Petkovci, a total of six journeys.
25 Q. Based on your knowledge and review of the military records for 15
1 July, as well as the testimony of survivors for 15 July, was there any
2 military or other activity going on at the dam that would involve trips
3 like this?
4 A. At the physical dam location there was no military activity, or
5 certainly no combat activity that would have accounted for this multiple
6 trip movement.
7 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 595, and can you tell us what this exhibit is
8 and where we should look on it for the relevant information.
9 A. This exhibit is a copy of the English translation of a 10 November
10 1995 order from the command of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade to subordinate
11 battalions relative to the creation of a new unit. What it does is it
12 outlines a list of tasks for all the battalions to accomplish.
13 Turning to page 2 of the English language translation, paragraph
14 6, at the bottom, you will note that it identifies the new school at
15 Petkovci as a now military facility and specific instructions for the
16 battalion command, the 6th Battalion, to restore the facility so they can
17 move a new brigade or new unit into that facility.
18 Q. What does this do for your analysis?
19 A. This specific piece of information, in my mind, confirms the fact
20 that during the period and prior to the new school facility is what -- is
21 used or was used as a military facility under the control of the Zvornik
22 Infantry Brigade.
23 Q. All right. Now, I want to skip Exhibit 597 and 598, we'll come
24 back to those, and start into the intercepts which the first exhibit is,
25 Exhibit 598A. If you could go to Exhibit 598A, the intercepts for 15
1 July, and give us some background of some of the discussions between
2 military personnel and commanders on that day since we are now beyond the
3 records involving the Petkovci area.
4 A. This specific conversation takes place at 0818 hours on 15 July
5 1995. It is a subscriber Z, Zlatar, and as we've identified prior, Zlatar
6 is the telephonic code name for the Drina Corps headquarters or Drina
7 Corps command, and they are looking for Obrenovic who is the Chief of
8 Staff for the Zvornik Infantry Brigade during this period.
9 What this does is, again it's reaffirming or recounting that
10 Zlatar, the Drina Corps command, is sending reinforcements into the zone
11 of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade and that their job at the brigade is to
12 hold the line and await reinforcements to come up. At the same time, the
13 brigade is giving the corps command a rundown or a description of where
14 the enemy groups are located at the time.
15 At the bottom of the intercept, it notes that a MUP individual
16 "was captured by the Muslim column yesterday," they confiscated his
17 Motorola radio, his portable radio, and they're now talking on that as
19 Q. What do you mean "they"?
20 A. "They" being the Muslims of the column who captured him.
21 Q. Now, the enemy in this -- you referred to is as "enemy", is it the
22 Muslim column or is it the Muslim army on the border of the line of
24 A. In this respect, with this intercept, they're referring to the
25 movement of the Muslim column.
1 Q. All right. Let's go now to Exhibit 600A, the other exhibits being
2 just partly copies for potential cross-examination so we can go over
3 those. What is the significance of this 15 July conversation at 08 -- not
4 conversation, but just information basically.
5 A. This is a one-line synopsis of a conversation between an
6 unidentified subscriber and an individual identified as Jevdovic, who I
7 believe is Major Milenko Jevdovic, the Communications Chief of the Drina
8 Corps. It refers to an individual named Semso Muminovic asking for Vinko
9 Pandurevic to call him and a frequency number, 144.985.
10 What this relates to, is that we know from information that late
11 on the 15th and on the 16th, a general truce was declared between Vinko
12 Pandurevic, as the brigade commander, and Semso Muminovic, as a Muslim 2nd
13 Corps officer, in order to allow elements of the column to pass through
14 the lines. What this intercept or what this synopsis reflects is the fact
15 that this is the first indication that Semso is, in fact, trying to reach
16 authorities to put together some form of a cease-fire.
17 Q. All right. Now let's go to Exhibit 603A which is a conversation
18 on 15 July, a little bit later, 0855 hours. Can you tell us about this?
19 A. As I've previously noted in earlier testimony, Colonel Pandurevic,
20 the commander of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, accompanied the battle
21 groups that went down -- that actually participated in the takeover of
22 Srebrenica and then accompanied those same units for military operations
23 against the Zepa enclave.
24 What this particular intercept reflects is Colonel Pandurevic
25 calling back to the Zvornik Brigade headquarters on the morning of 15 July
1 to get a situation update on the zone of the Zvornik Brigade, specifically
2 noting what the situation is in the 4th, 6th, and 7th Infantry Battalions
3 which were taking the brunt of the combat activities from the Muslim
5 What this means to me, in the context of the events that are
6 occurring, is that Colonel Pandurevic has not yet rejoined his unit. He
7 is calling from somewhere to the south. We believe he's still at this
8 time out or around the Zepa area, and at this point in time and based on
9 these reports, he's getting this information prior to departing back to
10 the Zvornik area.
11 Q. Can you just briefly summarise what the information that he's
12 receiving is in this briefing, based on this exhibit?
13 A. He is essentially being told that the units are taking casualties,
14 that there have been some killed, a small number; there are some missing,
15 noting both military and Republika Srpska civilian policemen who were
16 operating under military control; looking for where the commanders of the
17 subordinate battalions are, specifically the 4th and the 6th; and also
18 he's receiving from the Zvornik Brigade their awareness of where they
19 think Muslim reinforcements from the line outside, on the other side of
20 the confrontation line, may be attacking in order to create an opening in
21 the defences for the column to come through. And at the end, Colonel
22 Pandurevic is directing the officers to immediately call the 4th, 6th, and
23 7th Battalion headquarters locations, get the most recent situations and
24 then report back to him.
25 Q. Who are some of these personalities mentioned, for example, that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 you feel you have some confidence and can identify? For example, in the
2 middle of the page, someone says "is Golic there? "
3 A. Going from the top, the individuals listed as Milosevic and
4 Mijatovic are both captains with the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. Golic, the
5 only identification of the name that we have for Golic is Major Golic, who
6 would be an intelligence officer from the Drina Corps command.
7 Q. And the morning of 15 July, what's happening on the surface of the
9 A. At the time this conversation is taking place, I believe the last
10 Muslim men who were being executed at the dam have either just been, or
11 are being, executed at this point in time.
12 Q. Let's go now to Exhibit 607A, 15 July, a conversation at about
13 10.00 in the morning. What can you tell us about this?
14 A. This conversation is related to the previous one where Pandurevic,
15 looking for the operations officer, is connected to Jokic who, as
16 previously identified, is Major Dragan Jokic, the engineer staff officer
17 who was also continuing to perform the duty officer function, as he had
18 duty the previous day. Colonel Pandurevic identifying he wants to talk to
19 Mijatovic, and Mijatovic indicates that he has talked to everyone, to
20 include the chief. We refer that to Major Obrenovic, the Chief of Staff.
21 And again getting a huge -- getting an update of the "huge forces, between
22 4.000 and 5.000 from the column."
23 There is a cut there which I believe is a line cut and a
24 reconnection. And we go through the same discussion. He's telling him,
25 or in this case Mijatovic is noting, that everything is good and stable on
1 the line, our men have set up ambushes here. There are problems, and
2 again the reflection of the huge column of Turks. The physical locations
3 being Snagovi, Planinac, and Vedove. These areas coincide with where we
4 understand the column to be on the early morning or mid-morning hours of
5 15 July 1995.
6 Q. Mr. Butler, I want to take you to a particular word. It's in the
7 middle of the conversation. It starts "Everything is in order on the
8 line. I have talked with the Chief," and that "chief" is capitalised
9 there, and you have testified that you believe that to be the Chief of
10 Staff, Obrenovic, of the Zvornik Brigade. Could you go over to 607B now,
11 which is the B/C/S translation.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, I bring this up, Your Honours, because the
13 word "chief" in English gets translated several times in these
14 conversations. However, the B/C/S word is not always the same. There is
15 a particular word, and of course I'm no expert and neither is Mr. Butler,
16 but I think this is probably the simplest way to discuss it and I don't
17 think the Defence will have an objection. This particular word in this
18 particular conversation, Mr. Butler, to your understanding, means what?
19 A. The word in question is a variation or variance of the phrase
20 "naccel," or what it comes back out to is, and I believe I'm pronouncing
21 this at least close, "naccel," which is "the chief." It's used in
22 reference to the Chief of Staff, as a formal term. So in interpreting the
23 word as it is in the language with that -- with that or with a derivative
24 of the naccel, it's indicative of it being the formal term, "Chief of
25 Staff." And where this becomes of use is in other messages and other
1 ones, there will be a slang term which is also interpreted as chief or
3 So it's important for us when we look at this to differentiate
4 when we see the English word "chief," that we go back to the Bosnian
5 version and verify that we're talking chief in the formal aspect of the
6 Chief of Staff position, and chief or boss within the format of a slang.
7 Q. I know that comes up soon. Can you just tell us what the B/C/S
8 slang word is that we'll be seeing in the future, if you remember?
9 A. I believe the word is pronounced Sefe and is spelled S-e-f-e.
10 Q. And that means something like boss, but not, as far as we
11 understand, not Chief of Staff.
12 A. That is correct, sir.
13 Q. Let's go on now to exhibit 608A. It's a 9.30 in the morning
14 conversation. How does this fit into your analysis?
15 A. This particular intercept between two unidentified subscribers,
16 while not specific in who the subscribers are, represents a general
17 awareness by these individuals of the current situation that is occurring
18 in the zone of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. Subscriber X indicates that
19 he has or believes there's been misinformation pertaining to Naser Oric.
20 They talk about the fact that we have 200 men in the field and we're
21 trying to get more. They talk about the previous activities on the 14th
22 where they tried to break through a column.
23 Q. Now, they mention in the middle of the page, "We've pulled Vinko
24 out." Can you talk about what you believe that means?
25 A. In this particular sense, again not knowing who the subscribers
1 are, what I believe that we're discussing is somebody -- again, the
2 awareness that Vinko Pandurevic and the deployed elements of the Zvornik
3 Infantry Brigade have now been withdrawn or are moving away from the Zepa
4 operation and are returning to the zone of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
5 Q. Going on a little further down, they discuss the condition of the
6 people in the Muslim column, and it says, "Because they don't have enough
7 food or fuel or ammunition or anything else, and now they are becoming
8 like wild beasts and they can't break through." In reports after this, do
9 we have any information confirming that this is, in fact, the situation
10 with the column and the people in it?
11 A. From the future information that we'll review, the awareness on
12 the army of the Republika Srpska side that the Muslims in the column are
13 becoming extremely desperate pertaining to their situation. They are
14 running low on ammunition and certainly they haven't had any food or good
15 water since their breakout which occurred starting the evening of the
16 11th, the morning of the 12th. So a reflection of the fact that the
17 bitter combat that we see coming up today and tomorrow, being the 16th of
18 July, 1995, their awareness that they're facing an extremely desperate
19 military force.
20 Q. And at the same time, we know the school at Kula near Pilica is
21 filling up with Muslims, Muslim prisoners; is that right?
22 A. From the timing, that is correct, sir.
23 Q. All right. Now, I would like to remind the Court that it is at
24 this time, at about 0955, that the conversations between Colonel Ljubo
25 Beara of the Main Staff security and General Zivanovic, and then
1 subsequently right after that, General Krstic, took place. We've
2 discussed those earlier on the chapter regarding General Krstic as the
4 Mr. Butler, can you briefly remind us of those conversations and
5 what they mean to us substantively now, placed in this context at this
7 A. Putting it into context, we have the reflection of the three
8 different situations which are occurring at the same time in the zone of
9 the Drina Corps. In Zepa, the military operations related to the
10 reduction of that enclave, and now the reflection of the fact that Zvornik
11 Brigade units have been withdrawn and are now moving back into the zone of
12 the Zvornik Brigade to deal with the second significant issue, which is
13 the Muslim military column and the associated activities in the zone of
14 the Zvornik Brigade --
15 Q. Excuse me. Can you just briefly summarise those conversations for
16 the Court so we can put the substance of those conversations into the
17 overall picture.
18 A. These conversations, at this time Colonel Beara is asking first
19 General Zivanovic and later General Krstic for resources that he needs to
20 carry out activities. And what General Krstic is telling him is that he
21 cannot pull any forces from his attacks and that all of the military
22 forces are completely engaged. And within that context, Colonel Beara,
23 sensitive to that, notes to him that if he can only get them for the day
24 he'll return them that evening, indicating that what Colonel Beara needs
25 them for is not a rather long-term military operation, but it's something
1 that he believes he can deal with within the course of several hours.
2 And related to that, General Krstic instructs Colonel Beara to
3 discuss the issue with two of his subordinate brigade commanders, either
4 Colonel Blagojevic or Colonel -- or at that time Major Nastic, the
5 commander of the Bratunac Brigade and the Milici Brigade respectively.
6 Q. Again, at this time there are still many hundreds of Muslim
7 prisoners at the Pilica school and perhaps the Pilica Cultural Centre, at
8 this time.
9 A. At this time, relative to what we know based on the investigation
10 and witness statements, the prisoners held at Orahovac and Petkovci are
11 dead, but the prisoners held in the northern locations, the school at
12 Pilica, the Pilica Dom and possibly the school at Rocevic are still
14 Q. All right. Now let's go back to Exhibit 597A, which is the daily
15 combat report of the Zvornik Brigade which is done generally in the
16 evening hours, as we see here, 1925. Can you tell us what -- if you can
17 find that. What does this provide to your analysis?
18 A. This particular report is the normal daily combat report of the
19 Zvornik Infantry Brigade. It discusses the situation facing the brigade
20 from both the Muslim 2 Corps forces on the other side of the lines, as
21 well as the operations occurring against the column. It notes individuals
22 being killed and wounded, but further notes that information on the enemy
23 groups retreating from Srebrenica will be forwarded to the Drina Corps
24 command in a separate report.
25 Q. This report again is not going to the Main Staff.
1 A. This report is directed to the command of the Drina Corps.
2 Q. What does that indicate to you regarding the health of the Drina
4 A. It indicates that the Drina Corps is functioning as it's designed
5 and normally should be.
6 Q. Can you tell from these documents who wrote this report?
7 A. This particular document is a typed version. As you'll note there
8 in turning to the second page of the original, the typed signature block
9 is that of Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, but because it's an
10 electronic message, clearly it's not signed. So while I can infer that he
11 may have read the report because of this, I can't say that he has signed
12 the report.
13 Q. Where do you think Vinko Pandurevic is in the evening hours of
14 July 15th?
15 A. By tracking his vehicle log and subsequent information that we
16 have pertaining to him, we understand that Colonel Pandurevic arrived in
17 the zone of the Zvornik Brigade at approximately 1200 to 1400 hours on 15
18 July 1995. So at the time that this report is specifically authored, we
19 know that he is in the zone of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
20 Q. And is Colonel Pandurevic's vehicle log in the supporting
21 materials to your narrative report?
22 A. Yes, sir, it is.
23 Q. Now let's go to Exhibit 609A, and this is an interim combat report
24 which -- you've discussed the significance of interim combat reports
25 before, but can you remind us again of their significance? Let's go
1 through the first couple of paragraphs of this report to determine what
2 it's saying, and actually before we get into it, tell us who wrote it.
3 A. This is -- the interim combat report is alluded to in the previous
4 exhibit. In this specific case, when you look at the version, the text
5 version here is, in fact, handwritten and going to the back of it, if you
6 look at the signature block at the bottom -- for some reason, it just --
7 there it is -- the handwritten signature block of Lieutenant Colonel Vinko
8 Pandurevic and this signature located here.
9 Because of the very particular and peculiar way which he signs in
10 the Cyrillic signature, the way it looks, and having reviewed many
11 documents with his signature on it, it is my judgement that this is, in
12 fact, the personal signature of Colonel Pandurevic; indicating that he
13 either authored the report, or having read the report, signed it to be
14 released under his name.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, I note that this report also is addressed to the
16 command of the Drina Corps and that Colonel Pandurevic has just arrived
17 from the area of Zepa where General Krstic and other commanders were. Was
18 Colonel Pandurevic in a position to know who is in command of his brigade
19 at the time, whether it be the Drina Corps, as is normal, or the Main
20 Staff, having set aside the authority of the Drina Corps?
21 A. Colonel Pandurevic, as the brigade commander, should have been
22 fully aware of who was in command of his brigade and to whom his brigade
23 was subordinate.
24 Q. Let's go through the substance of the first couple of paragraphs.
25 What do we learn from those?
1 A. What this discusses is Colonel Pandurevic's understanding of the
2 situation in the zone of his brigade; specifically discusses his knowledge
3 of 3.000 armed and unarmed enemy soldiers and notes the fact that a few
4 hundred enemy soldiers have so far been liquidated.
5 What I would like to point out to the Court relative to the word
6 "liquidated" is that -- and having researched this with the various
7 translators, I'd just like to note for the record that the phrase in
8 Bosnian does not have the same sinister connotation which the phrase
9 "liquidated" in English would have. It is a more abstract phrase of
10 eliminating the enemy or something of that nature.
11 So in this document and other documents, when we will frequently
12 see the phrase "liquidated," it does not have the same sinister
13 connotation that it would normally have in English.
14 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Butler, can I ask you a quick question. Is that
15 true of the word "destroy" which was in the previous 597A, where they said
16 we're engaged in cutting off and destroying Muslim forces? Would that
17 fall under this "liquidated" interpretation too?
18 A. With respect to that word, ma'am, in a military context, there are
19 various degrees in which an enemy force is attacked, to degregate or
20 destroy. Destroy is a perfectly relevant military term.
21 JUDGE WALD: Meaning what?
22 A. In the US Army, for example, to destroy an enemy might indicate
23 that you're attempting to conduct military options to reduce that enemy to
24 a 60 per cent or 50 per cent strength ratio, where that enemy is no longer
25 considered capable of conducting any form of a coherent military
1 operation. It has similar, although I couldn't tell you what the
2 percentage is, within a military context for the army of Republika Srpska
3 as well.
4 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. Mr. Butler, the next paragraph starts to talk about the 2nd Corps
7 attacks. Could you briefly just use the big exhibit, which is 547, to
8 show -- illustrate what they're talking about, where the attacks are
9 coming from.
10 A. Within this regard, they're discussing the Muslim 2 Corps military
11 operations that are occurring in this region here to try and penetrate the
12 lines of the VRS.
13 Q. For the record, you're talking about the Nezuk/Baljkovica area.
14 A. That's correct, sir.
15 Q. While we're there, it mentions that "The 2nd Corps launched fierce
16 attacks," and it talks about Petkovci/Memici. What's the Petkovci/Memici
18 A. In the geographical context where it's discussed, the
19 Petkovci/Memici stretch refers to that line or axis that goes from the 5th
20 Battalion to the 4th Battalion to the 7th Battalion area. It's
21 essentially a geographic line that they designate, which encompasses the
22 three battalions that are being attacked.
23 Q. It says, "With simultaneous actions by the besieged forces." What
24 does that mean, in your view?
25 A. Those forces are the forces of the column.
1 Q. And where are they coming from and attacking?
2 A. At this point in time, on the 15th, they are enveloping the rear
3 areas of the 7th, and particularly the 4th Infantry Battalion [Realtime
4 transcript read in error "Brigade"], as well as some elements of the rear
5 area of the 6th Infantry Battalion.
6 Q. Just to describe this third paragraph, "Enemy attacks were
7 vigorously supported by all calibres of artillery and tanks. Attacks of
8 varying intensity followed one other from the direction of Nezuk and
9 Kalesija on Memici. The attack on Memici is still in progress." Do you
10 recall where Memici is? We don't have it marked on the map?
11 A. Memici is located, it's a small village located in the area of the
12 7th Infantry Battalion and along the boundary between the Zvornik Infantry
13 Brigade and the Birac Infantry Brigade.
14 Q. "All targets deep inside the territory in the suburbs of the town
15 of Zvornik have been under artillery fire. All attacks have been repulsed
16 successfully so far. So far, according to information received, we have
17 four dead and a dozen or so wounded. With all available forces, we have
18 sealed off the wider area of Crni Vrh and Planinci, and partially the area
19 of Kamenica. All brigade forces are fully engaged and we have no
21 What does this "have no reserves," -- what is the significance
22 militarily of that situation as it's described in this paragraph?
23 A. As I've discussed earlier, the issue of reserves with respect to
24 the Krivaja 95 Operation order, each unit maintains a reserve of troops or
25 forces to be used for unanticipated situations. That applies for the
1 brigades as well.
2 In this particular respect, what Colonel Pandurevic is telling the
3 command of the Drina Corps is that he has absolutely no more troops
4 available to deal with any new military situation that should arise in his
5 zone. All of his troops and all of his forces are engaged in combat
6 operations. So he is essentially asking for immediate reinforcement
7 before the defensive situation in his unit gets so bad that it risks
8 collapse and a military defeat.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could put up Exhibit 610 which should be
10 that one right there.
11 Q. Mr. Butler, if you could remain standing.
12 THE USHER: 610?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: 610, yes.
14 Q. Now, after describing the extreme military situation that he faced
15 to the command of the Drina Corps, he went on to say: "An additional
16 burden for us is the large number of prisoners distributed throughout the
17 schools in the brigade area, as well as obligations of security and
18 restoration of the terrain.
19 "This command cannot take care of these problems any longer, as
20 it has neither the material nor other resources. If no one takes care of
21 this responsibility, I will be forced to let them go."
22 Now, Mr. Butler, I know these two paragraphs are part of your
23 analysis. Can you tell us, looking at paragraph 1, and go line for line,
24 what you believe they're talking about -- he is talking about to the
25 command of the Drina Corps on 15 July?
1 A. With respect to the first line or paragraph, sentence, "an
2 additional burden for us is the large number of prisoners," at this time,
3 again in sequence, the prisoners that he is referring to would be those
4 Muslim military-aged men held up in the schools of Pilica, the Pilica Dom
5 area and again possibly the school at Rocevic. At the time he wrote this
6 particular report, the Muslim military-aged men who were held in the
7 schools at Orahovac and at Petkovci are already dead.
8 Q. And the burden of his brigade regarding the prisoners at Orahovac
9 and Petkovci, just briefly in your view is what?
10 A. The burden that he's referring to in this case is three-fold. The
11 first aspect is the burden of physically guarding the prisoners, and in
12 the case of Orahovac, as we've previously discussed, elements of the
13 Military Police Company were engaged in guarding the prisoners. In the
14 case of Orahovac specifically, the shooters or the members of the
15 execution squad were identified to be some members of the 4th Infantry
16 Battalion. The military police aspect, the execution aspect, and then the
17 final aspect is the burial operations which absorbed the resources of the
18 Engineer Company of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, at a time when many of
19 the engineers were, in fact, pressed into service as infantry and fighting
20 against the column.
21 Q. And Petkovci, it took some additional resources that we know about
22 it; is that right?
23 A. That's right. At Petkovci, the resources of burying them,
24 presumably as the school was in the sector of the 6th Infantry Battalion,
25 the resources of guarding the prisoners at that location as well. We
1 don't have any information as to who the actual executioners of the
2 prisoners are. If it's members of the 6th Battalion, those resources, but
3 we don't know that. So in this aspect, it's two phases; the burial phase
4 and the guarding of the prisoners phase.
5 Q. All right. So then as we continue through this paragraph: "As
6 well as obligations of security and restoration of the terrain," what do
7 you believe that sentence means?
8 A. In terms of the obligations of security, the most conservative
9 reading of that would imply the physical aspect of guarding the
10 prisoners. A more active interpretation would include the actual
11 execution of them. In my analysis, I stay with the conservative one
12 because the answer is, "I don't know," to the second piece.
13 The restoration of the terrain, particularly the phrase that's
14 used here, is found in the former JNA or the Yugoslav National Army
15 lexicon or military dictionary and it defines that phrase as the process
16 involved in the burying of bodies or other biological waste on the
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the Court could turn briefly to Exhibit 611,
19 you'll see the definition of "asanacija" as hygiene and sanitation
20 measures, and then it defines in wartime what asanacija means and it
21 includes finding, identifying, and burying the dead.
22 Q. So as you read that first paragraph, security obligations and
23 restoration of the terrain could be fairly interpreted to be guarding the
24 prisoners or killing the prisoners and then burying the bodies.
25 A. That is correct, sir.
1 Q. How about the next paragraph? It's fairly self-explanatory. What
2 do you think it means?
3 A. Again, within the context, Colonel Pandurevic complaining that
4 given the military situation and the significant military threat to the
5 Zvornik Infantry Brigade, he is informing the Drina Corps command that he
6 no longer has the material or resources to carry out these tasks. And
7 essentially says, if no one takes on this responsibility, no one either
8 assists him or no one sends resources, he'll be forced to let them go.
9 In many respects, again given the point in time, the only people
10 he could be referring to let go would be those surviving prisoners or
11 those prisoners who have yet to be executed in the northern part of the
12 brigade area. In many aspects, this could almost be looked at as an empty
13 threat to the corps, because given the battlefield situation and the
14 physical location of these prisoners, it would have been doubtful that
15 Vinko Pandurevic would have just opened the doors to these thousands of
16 prisoners and let them stream across, you know, eight kilometres of the
17 zone of the brigade to reach Muslim lines.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Then would the word "let go" have another meaning?
19 A. Not to my knowledge, sir, no.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
21 JUDGE WALD: How about the next paragraph, though? "I made an
22 offer to the commander of the other side to separate the civilians had the
23 others surrendered, but he refused saying they should all be released
24 together." It sounds like he really was involved in some negotiations to
25 see if they could separate the ranks.
1 A. As, again, alluded to in that earlier intercept, that is correct,
2 ma'am. What the VRS side -- or what particularly Vinko Pandurevic was
3 willing to do was a separation process to allow the combatants, the armed
4 fighters, to be held and the civilians of the column to be released. The
5 Muslim response, as articulated back to Colonel Pandurevic, was that they
6 wanted the entire column out.
7 JUDGE WALD: Thanks.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I think we can take this exhibit down and
10 put the big one back up.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I've been informed that we may have made a slight
12 mistake, Mr. Butler, at 10:54:16, referred to the 4th Infantry Brigade.
13 Should that have been the 4th Infantry something else?
14 A. If it indicates that, that's the 4th Infantry Battalion.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Would this be a convenient time
16 for you, Mr. McCloskey, to have a break?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour, it would be.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We will have a
19 half-hour break now.
20 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you may
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Butler, I just want to end this interim combat report of the
1 15th. Down near the bottom, I think you discussed it briefly with Judge
2 Wald: "I made an offer to the commander of the other side to separate out
3 the civilians and have the others surrender, but he refused, asking that
4 they should all be released together."
5 Now, we had a previous intercept that is related to this in your
6 analysis; is that correct?
7 A. That is correct, sir.
8 Q. What was that?
9 A. That was the previous intercept where Semso Muminovic was
10 attempting to contact Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.
11 Q. Who do you think Semso Muminovic is?
12 A. He has been identified as a member of the Bosnian Muslim 2nd Corps
13 out of Tuzla.
14 Q. There will be more information in the near future in these
15 documents that actually talk about the deal that was struck between the
16 Muslim forces and Pandurevic's forces; is that right?
17 A. That is correct, sir.
18 Q. Do you have any indications that this deal has anything to do with
19 the Muslim prisoners in the schools?
20 A. From my research and the analysis of the documents and everything
21 else relative to the investigation, I have no indication of that at all.
22 The Muslim military males who are still held in the school are not even
23 within the scope of awareness of Muslim 2 Corps yet, that they even exist
24 or are being held in any other location.
25 So considering that the Muslim military forces have no knowledge
1 about the Muslim men being held in the schools, there's no reason to
2 assume or believe that they would be part of the negotiations, and again
3 nothing that I've seen even remotely indicates that.
4 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 612. We're now into 16 July. We
5 have a regular combat report from the Zvornik Brigade again to the command
6 of the Drina Corps. If you can find that exhibit, briefly tell us about
7 how it fits into -- what it says to you and how it fits into your
9 A. This is the daily combat report for the Zvornik Brigade for 16
10 July 1995. Again, it discusses the enemy situation and the primary tasks
11 for the units of the Zvornik Brigade, still noting that while there are a
12 large number of enemy forces to secure in the zone, that the situation is
13 under control. Again, this is sent to the command of the Drina Corps.
14 Q. All right. Then let's go to the next -- well, 613, I don't think
15 you need to put up, it is a -- actually, do you have 613?
16 A. Yes, sir, I do.
17 Q. If you could put that up briefly. Again, this was a map that you
18 made to help any reader of the combat reports identify the various
19 locations that are mentioned in it; is that right?
20 A. That is correct, sir. Again, from the combat reports, the
21 locations that they're talking about in this area right here.
22 Q. Have you got Memici in the wrong place on this map?
23 A. On this particular map I have misplaced Memici. In reality, it is
24 further up to the north here, along the line the confrontation.
25 Q. All right. Then let's go to Exhibit 614, the interim daily combat
1 report from the Zvornik Brigade which is providing a lot more detail than
2 the regular combat report. Can you tell us what kind of detail it's
3 providing and what it tells us?
4 A. Again, first to the command of the Drina Corps. Paragraph 1
5 discusses the situation within the zone of the Zvornik Brigade. Paragraph
6 1 is normally the wrap-up of the enemy situation. So in this case, what's
7 being discussed is the fact that the elements of the 28th Infantry, while
8 it's listed as Battalion, it's Division, the Muslim Division, what they're
9 doing, where they're moving; and now noting, in the estimate of the
10 Zvornik Brigade, that the column strength in the zone is up to 7.000
12 They note the fact that in rather desperate fighting that elements
13 of the Muslim column are capturing self-propelled guns and other pieces of
14 equipment literally in hand-to-hand combat. And that while the enemy has
15 suffered major losses which are qualified in hundreds of dead, the fact is
16 that the column is still achieving its goal of fighting its way towards
17 the line of confrontation and to the 2nd Corps units that are trying to
18 relieve it.
19 Q. Now, before you get too far down the first page, I wanted to ask
20 you about -- it notes in the first paragraph, in parenthesis it says,
21 "Using their numerical advantage they surrounded the 4th Battalion," and
22 then in parenthesis, "counting soldiers and civilians armed and unarmed."
23 So they have acknowledged that there are unarmed people as well as
24 civilians in the column. Does that reflect your review of the materials
25 and the various statements of the witnesses?
1 A. That description, as written by the Zvornik Brigade, is accurate
2 with the other descriptions that we have of the column, yes, sir.
3 Q. Also, it is consistent with the previous intercept that said that
4 the column was running out of food and energy and becoming like wild
5 beasts. Does that connect, in your mind, in any way with the
6 synchronised, kamikaze attack, as they were earlier describing that? Wild
7 beast, kamikaze attack, does that have any connection to you?
8 A. Yes, sir. It illustrates the desperation with which the VRS
9 understands the Muslim column is conducting military operations.
10 Q. Paragraph 3, what do you make of that?
11 A. What this reflects in paragraph 3 is the fact that in view of the
12 enormous pressure on his brigade and the fact that he, being Colonel
13 Pandurevic, feels he's not getting adequate support from the Drina Corps,
14 that on his own volition he has elected to unilaterally open a corridor
15 through which the Muslim column can leave the territory or the zone of the
16 Zvornik Brigade. So in effect, he's essentially telling the Drina Corps
17 that he has declared a battlefield ceasefire to allow the column to depart
18 the zone of the Zvornik Brigade.
19 Q. Why do you think he's doing this unilaterally or on his own? Why
20 do you think he might not have got approval for that?
21 A. To be honest, other than knowing the circumstances, the fact that
22 his unit is taking a very large number of casualties in proportion to the
23 size of his unit and the casualties that they normally take in operations,
24 and a perception on his part that he's not being adequately supported, his
25 goal at this point is to try and protect his unit and the personnel of his
1 unit the best he can. Whether or not for another reason this action was
2 coordinated with either the Drina Corps or anyone else is unknown.
3 Q. There's also a comment made in parenthesis in the beginning of
4 paragraph 3, and paragraph 3 reads: "In view of the great pressure on the
5 Brigade's area of responsibility, the losses sustained, the inability of
6 the surrounded forces to hold out for long, the abandonment of the Zvornik
7 Command to deal as best it could with Srebrenica Turks," and then in
8 parenthesis, "(and served it right when it was the Brigade that forced
9 them out of Srebrenica into its own area)," what do you make of that
10 comment in the parenthesis coming from the commander of the Zvornik
12 A. Roughly, it's a rather gratuitous or snide comment on his part,
13 that as elements of his brigade were the ones who were primarily
14 responsible for the capture of Srebrenica and the elimination of the
15 Srebrenica safe area, that now, several days later, it should be his
16 brigade that is bearing the brunt of the effects of that.
17 Q. Going to the next page, "This procedure is in progress," going to
18 the top of the page of the English translation, "This procedure is in
19 progress and I think I will succeed. It is likely that a certain number
20 of soldiers got out among the civilians, but all who passed, passed
21 through unarmed." What does this concern for soldiers indicate to you, if
23 A. As part of what was discussed in the prior day's interim combat
24 report, the way the VRS, or Colonel Pandurevic in this case specifically,
25 was trying to arrange a ceasefire was to allow the civilians and
1 non-combatants out and to take custody of the soldiers of the Muslim 28th
2 Infantry Division.
3 In this case, what he's admitting is the fact that that is
4 impossible, but the best that he could hope for is that as the soldiers
5 pass through the lines, most of them, or in this case he's saying all, are
6 passing through unarmed; the implication that they're laying their weapons
7 down and moving forward with the column.
8 Q. Can you tell the Court just briefly what happened on this day, how
9 this corridor worked, just briefly, how it opened up and what happened
10 after that?
11 A. Starting on the afternoon of the 16th, between the 16th and the
12 late afternoon of the 17th, a corridor was opened to allow the first part
13 of the column, as I've discussed earlier, that being the armed portion of
14 the column to pass through the lines and into Bosnian Muslim-held
16 By the early afternoon of the 17th, those lines were closing as
17 the brigade was shutting those lines again, so while the bulk of the
18 column, or at least the bulk of the first part of the column went out,
19 once the lines closed and the bulk of the fighters were out, there were
20 still a good thousand, maybe 2.000 Muslims trapped behind the lines who
21 were now trapped in Zvornik Brigade territory after the column closed.
22 Q. Looking at paragraph 5: "The Brigade has exhausted all available
23 resources and urgently needs assistance from corps command level." Is
24 this request consistent with the Main Staff having taken over the command
25 functions of the corps or not?
1 A. This particular paragraph is not consistent at all with that. If
2 I could further refer you back to paragraph 2, it specifically notes in
3 that paragraph that they have already been receiving reinforcements from
4 the command of the Drina Corps, essentially, that are coming into zone;
5 specifically, elements of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade as well as
6 outside elements. So they're receiving reinforcements already that are
7 being rearranged by the command of the Drina Corps and they're looking for
9 So again putting this together, it sets the situation where the
10 corps command is doing the best that it can to get forces into the zone of
11 the brigade as fast as it can.
12 Q. Looking at paragraph 6, the last line: "I consider that the
13 Krivaja 95 Operation is not complete as long as a single enemy soldier or
14 civilian remains behind the front line." I think you've already mentioned
15 this briefly, but again, what does this mean to you?
16 A. With respect to the military operations, Krivaja 95 being the
17 takeover of the Srebrenica enclave, and Stupcana 95 being the takeover of
18 the Zepa enclave, what Colonel Pandurevic is reminding the corps command
19 is that, in his mind, the takeover of the Srebrenica enclave and the
20 associated military activities isn't finished until the security situation
21 in his brigade is solved. He wants to ensure that people don't start
22 reallocating forces, specifically the corps doesn't start reallocating
23 forces or think that the job is done and leave his brigade holding the bag
24 and having to deal with a difficult military and security situation.
25 Q. Now, on the evening hours of 16 July, throughout the Drina Corps
1 area of responsibility, is there anything in terms of combat activity or
2 anything else going on in the Drina Corps area of responsibility that
3 compares to the violence and the combat activity and the overall situation
4 in the Zvornik Brigade area that you know of?
5 A. Given the scope of combat that's occurring in the Zvornik Brigade
6 area and understanding what was occurring at the same time in Zepa, and
7 again considering the fact that many of the forces from Zepa had been
8 withdrawn and sent to the Zvornik Brigade area, the military operations
9 occurring in that area would have been the most significant operations in
10 the corps zone.
11 Q. Meaning the Zvornik area.
12 A. Yes, the Zvornik Brigade area, sir.
13 Q. Can you tell us briefly, the Zepa area, I know that's not been an
14 area of intense investigation, but what is your understanding of when that
15 operation started and what might have been going on there then?
16 A. Related to the Zepa op plan which we discussed earlier, the
17 operation was supposed to begin in the morning hours of 14 July, and our
18 information indicates that initial military operations did begin on
19 schedule. What happened within just the military context, not the
20 political context around Zepa, is that as operations were winding up, the
21 developing situation in the zone of the Zvornik Brigade required the
22 withdrawal of many of the military forces that were going to take part in
23 that operation.
24 While some of the Drina forces remained down there, particularly
25 the elements of the Visegrad Brigade and the Rogatica Brigade that are
1 normally garrisoned in the area or around Zepa, elements of the Zvornik
2 Brigade, which consisted of much of the combat power of the attack, were
3 withdrawn. So what happened in the Zepa area wasn't the decisive military
4 attack as it had been planned, but more along the lines of an incremental
5 advance trying to continue into the zone of the safe area with reduced
7 As you go into the future, 20th, 21st, and 22nd of July, as the
8 security situation settled down in the zone of the Zvornik Brigade, those
9 Zvornik Brigade assets which had been pulled returned to the area of Zepa,
10 and at that time we note again an increase in combat activities and the
11 final military actions related to actually taking over Zepa and forcing
12 the surrender of that enclave.
13 Q. Okay. We're still on July 16 now, so let's change our scope a bit
14 and go to, if you could, the Branjevo Farm and the documents and exhibits
15 related to the criminal events at Branjevo Farm, as we've charged them.
16 Exhibit 615 is a copy of a VRS map. If you could put that on the ELMO and
17 point out the various -- if you could point out the Branjevo Farm, the
18 Pilica Dom, and the Kula school so that we can orient ourselves to those
19 important locations.
20 A. The area -- this is the greater area of Pilica. This location up
21 here, with the small "SK," is identified as the location of the Pilica
22 Dom. In this general area here -- I'm sorry, in Kula -- I'll slide the
23 map over -- this school here is identified as the school in the greater
24 area of Pilica which was used to hold Muslim men, and to the south, this
25 area here is the Branjevo Military Farm.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I should note for the record there is a black dot
2 drawn in the area where the executions took place, but that is a dot that
3 was drawn by the Office of the Prosecutor and does not reflect what was on
4 the map originally. That's merely meant to help show where the executions
5 and burial took place.
6 Q. All right. Could we go to the next exhibit, 616, and if you can
7 just briefly describe, first of all, what Drinski Magazin is and what this
8 article tells you, and the dates, et cetera.
9 A. The Drinski Magazin was the military magazine of the Zvornik
10 Infantry Brigade through 1994 and through approximately September 1995.
11 What the magazine did is publish on a monthly basis articles of interest
12 to the soldiers of the brigade, promoting the military cause, identifying
13 nonsensitive, certainly, locations and personnel, generally a magazine
14 that military units would publish as part of the morale for their units.
15 This particular article that was published in June of 1995
16 pertaining to the Branjevo Military Farm and placing that farm under the
17 command of an individual or the unit of Milan Stanojevic. Our information
18 seized from the Zvorik Brigade, indicates that he is, in fact, the
19 commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade. Clearly
20 the article designates or identifies the Branjevo Farm complex as a
21 military farm complex run by and administered by the Zvornik Infantry
23 Q. All right. Going to Exhibit 617, this is a 1st Infantry Battalion
24 personnel roster. And if you could put that on there, and do you find the
25 person mentioned in the article?
1 A. Yes. The first person is Milan Stanojevic.
2 Q. I'm sorry. Go ahead.
3 A. And while the English language notes his duty as illegible, when
4 you flip through to the -- I believe it's the fifth page of the document
5 in question, you can see in the original language "K/DDT," which is the
6 abbreviation for commander.
7 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 618, and this is just a piece of a
8 larger document. Can you tell us what this represents and the larger
9 document that it relates to?
10 A. This document is a one-page extract from the daily orders book of
11 the military police platoon of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. The
12 journal itself reflects, like many of the other unit orders journals, what
13 various elements of the unit have been assigned to do that day and some of
14 the significant activities.
15 This particular notation on 17 July 1995 reflects the fact that
16 elements of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, particularly one police
17 patrol, remained in the area of Pilica to secure and guard the Muslims.
18 Q. First of all, tell us, going back to the 16th of July, what
19 militarily is going on in the Pilica area besides what we know to be
20 occurring from the survivor testimonies at the farm? Are there any
21 headquarters units? Is there any combat? Are there any other units up
22 there? What's the military situation up there around Pilica/Branjevo, on
23 this date, July 16th, 17th?
24 A. With respect to military combat activities, there's nothing
25 occurring in that area. It is the most northern battalion of the Zvornik
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Brigade, the geographically furthest away from the Muslim column. The
2 areas in question are almost on the Drina River, which puts them
3 diagonally the furthest away from any Muslim forces. This is, militarily
4 speaking, one of the most remotest areas in the brigade relative to combat
5 operations that are occurring with the column. So there is no military
6 combat activity whatsoever within ten kilometres of these locations.
7 Q. What about military facilities? Aside from the Branjevo Military
8 Farm, are there any other military facilities right around there or
10 A. The battalion headquarters of the 1st Battalion is located
11 approximately eight kilometres to the west, along the front-line areas.
12 So in effect, other than the schools, there's nothing of military
13 significance out there.
14 Q. Now, based on the survivor testimony, the people -- well, the
15 survivor testimony as well as Drazen Erdemovic's testimony, the people at
16 the school at Kula were all killed by the evening of July 17th, in fact,
17 by the evening of July 16th, and as well as the people at the Pilica
18 Cultural Centre. So are you aware of any prisoners that would needed to
19 have been guarded on the night of the 16th or the early morning hours of
20 the 17th, as noted in this particular report?
21 A. If the time of the executions, as we understand them from survivor
22 testimony and investigations is correct, by the morning of the 17th, there
23 were no live prisoners left.
24 Q. So what do you make of this comment, "One police patrol remained
25 in Pilica to secure and guard the Muslims," on the 17 July report?
1 A. In the same manner with the other reports that we see, the written
2 reports reflect the prior day's activities. So when I look at this
3 report, what it's telling me is that on the 16th, this patrol remained
4 there and then remained through the evening of the 16th. And certainly
5 during the day there were prisoners to be guarded until the late
6 afternoon, early evening hours.
7 Q. Now, let's go to Exhibit 619.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: For Your Honours, I have compiled these next few
9 intercepts not chronologically, as we have done in the past, but by
11 Q. Mr. Butler, if you could take a look at what is 620A and put that
12 on the ELMO, and if you can go through that -- let's go through this line
13 by line, if you could, and tell us what you make of it, what you think it
14 means, what's going on at the time of this conversation?
15 A. This conversation takes place in the afternoon hours of 16 July
16 1995. Zlatar, the telephonic code name of the Drina Corps, Palma, the
17 telephonic code name of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, which reflect here
18 in the third line, the Palma duty officer calling Zlatar and requesting
19 500 litres of D2, diesel fuel, to be released to Lieutenant Colonel
20 Popovic. As discussed, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is the Assistant
21 Commander for Security of the Drina Corps. And the line disconnects, the
22 switchboard operator is trying to reconnect it and he, in fact, does so.
23 Further down, the individual is identified as Basevic who he gets
24 connected to. Basevic, as we refer back to the Drina Corps chart
25 structure, Major Basevic is the Technical Services Chief for the Drina
1 Corps and it would be within his purview for fuel. The duty officer at
2 Palma is trying to get across the point that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is
3 at Palma and he requires 500 litres of diesel fuel urgently or else the
4 work that he's doing will stop. Major Basevic is basically reflecting
5 back, "Don't you have 500 litres? We're asking for more," and everything
6 else. It's a real cryptic part of the conversation. In some cases, you
7 can read that Major Basevic is being snide about the fact that, "doesn't
8 the Zvornik Brigade have that much diesel fuel." The accommodating
9 officer responding back that he, presumably Colonel Popovic, just called
10 me from the field and told me to pass you the message over there.
11 Going to the second page, it's noted that 2 tonnes are now
12 arriving by your place, and again Basevic, a rather snide comment, shall I
13 deliver them by helicopter. Clearly, the Drina Corps doesn't have
14 helicopters in this case. The implication of that, it's on the way over
15 by the fastest possible means.
16 Another individual, "Get in touch with Rosevic." I do not know
17 who that individual is. I have no indication of where he falls within the
18 scheme of the Drina Corps or the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. The line gets
19 cut again, the switchboard comes back on, and Palma is now looking for the
20 operations duty officer and asking if Major Golic is there. As previously
21 identified, Major Golic is an intelligence officer with the command of the
22 Drina Corps. The Palma duty officer is connected with Major Golic and is
23 relating to him that "Pop just called me and told me to contact you. 500
24 litres of D2 have to be sent up to him immediately otherwise his work will
1 Further down, Palma reflects or notes to Zlatar that "The bus
2 loaded with oil is to go to Pilica village." That's it. And how -- then
3 they start talking a little bit about the mechanics of how it's supposed
4 to get there and what mechanism to bring it.
5 Q. There's one more person mentioned at the bottom, Lieutenant
6 Colonel Krsmanovic.
7 A. Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, again as reflected by the Drina
8 Corps chart, is the Chief of Transportation, and it would be within his
9 purview to call over and arrange for the actual transportation of the
11 Q. Putting together your whole analysis, can you simply tell us what
12 you think all this talk about fuel and Popovic and Pilica means, in your
14 A. Putting this intercept together with the survivor accounts and
15 information that we have as to what happened up there, it's my analysis
16 that in this conversation, Colonel Popovic is dealing through the Zvornik
17 Brigade to the Drina Corps to get fuel to continue the execution
18 operations that are occurring up in the Pilica/Branjevo Military Farm
20 With this regard, we're looking more at the activity related to
21 the buses as they're bringing the prisoners into the execution site, as
22 opposed to the engineer work required to bury the bodies. That comes the
23 following day, on the 17th.
24 Q. Now, is there any other information that you have that would tie
25 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic to Pilica?
1 A. We have a second document and other intercepts which reflect that
2 in the case of the intercepts, Colonel Popovic being "up there," up at the
3 physical location from Palma, Pilica is 15 kilometres to the north of
4 where Palma at the standard Zvornik headquarters would be, and further
5 noting that where he is, "it's a hard place to reach them."
6 Q. Now, you have incorporated Drazen Erdemovic's testimony into your
7 analysis, have you not?
8 A. That is correct, sir.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to remind the Court, Drazen Erdemovic said
10 that a Lieutenant Colonel met his group of the 10th Aversion area on the
11 morning of the 16th at the Zvornik Brigade. Went with them to the
12 Branjevo Military Farm and then left during the executions and came back
13 at the end of the executions and then went back or went over to the Pilica
14 town area or cultural centre where executions continued.
15 Q. From the investigation, was Drazen Erdemovic shown photographs,
16 line-up photographs, of Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, to your knowledge?
17 A. My understanding is that is correct.
18 Q. Was he able to identify Lieutenant Colonel Popovic as the person
19 that was the Lieutenant Colonel?
20 A. To my understanding, Drazen Erdemovic does not identify Colonel
21 Popovic as the Colonel.
22 Q. All right. Let's go to the exhibit which I skipped for the
23 sequencing and go back to 619A. Does this exhibit involve Lieutenant
24 Colonel Popovic, and how do you incorporate it into your analysis?
25 A. This document is a material list for dispatch that was one of the
1 records that was seized by the Office of the Prosecutor at the Zvornik
2 Infantry Brigade during the search there. What this document does is on
3 16 July 1995 reflects that on the authorisation of the commander of the
4 Drina Corps, 500 litres of D2 was dispersed for Lieutenant Colonel
5 Popovic. It gives various numbers and everything else which other
6 documents that we have relate and confirm that in the books that the fuel
7 dispersal had actually occurred. It further reflects that of the 500
8 litres dispersed, 140 were returned. In this case, it notes that this was
9 also done on the order of Captain Milosevic who, at the time, on 16 July
10 1995, was at headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade, and he is a Zvornik
11 Brigade officer.
12 Q. There's a little box at the bottom called "Special service organ,"
13 and it's handwritten apparently, and "M. Krstic," who is that?
14 A. M. Krstic is an individual Milorad Krstic. He's a private, who is
15 functioning as a captain as part of the Technical Services Branch of the
16 Zvornik Infantry Brigade. It is not General Krstic.
17 Q. And how about Branko Bogicevic what does that name mean to you, if
18 that's the correct name even?
19 A. In this respect, the name is difficult to make out, being written
20 in cursive and while Branko or Branka Bogicevic does not show up on the
21 Zvornik Brigade roster, a Brano Bogicevic does. And he is associated
22 with, and in fact assigned to, the logistics battalion of the Zvornik
23 Infantry Brigade. So again, I believe it's that second individual, Brano,
24 as opposed to Branko. Again, consistent with the information that we know
25 that occurred in the listing of the names.
1 Q. So the beginning of this document is dated 16 of July but at the
2 bottom it's dated 17 of July. What does that mean?
3 A. The 16th of July aspect reflects when the fuel was dispersed and
4 when the fuel or the remaining fuel was returned. The 17 July parts at
5 the bottom here reflect the final administrative processing of the
7 Q. What does this document and this whole series of documents of fuel
8 going up to Pilica -- can you tell us what that means in terms of command
9 and control? Who commands valuable assets like fuel?
10 A. With respect to command and control and the chain of command,
11 putting these series of exhibits together, what I find very interesting to
12 note is the fact that while Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is the assistant
13 commander of the Drina Corps, the Assistant Commander for Security, that
14 still does not empower him and that he is not individually authorised on
15 his own to be able to draw resources or materials from subordinate
16 brigades of his own volition. Lieutenant Colonel Popovic as the
17 individual doesn't walk into the headquarters or phone to the headquarters
18 of the Zvornik Brigade, demand on his own authority the fuel and have it
19 be sent up to him.
20 Instead, what we see here is the practical application of the way
21 the system is designed to work. The subordinate brigade, on receiving the
22 request from Colonel Popovic, goes to the higher command that he works
23 for, the Drina Corps command, gets the required authorisations from the
24 Technical Services Branch and the Transportation Branch, those relative to
25 rear services, and then once those elements of the Drina Corps approve the
1 dispersal of fuel by the Zvornik Brigade, that fuel is dispersed to
2 Colonel Popovic. Within the scheme of how it's done in the military, this
3 is a reflection of that.
4 Q. Is this process consistent with the theory that the Main Staff has
5 taken over the authority of the Drina Corps and is exercising that
6 authority independent of the Drina Corps over the Zvornik Brigade?
7 A. Certainly the process as I've described doesn't fall into that
8 category at all.
9 Q. Let's continue with some intercepts on this subject, 622A. We
10 again, at 2116 hours on the 16th, we have another conversation. Can you
11 tell us about who this is between and how it fits into your analysis?
12 A. This conversation occurs between somebody at Palma, the Palma
13 subscriber, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is one of the correspondents, and
14 an individual Rasic at the operations centre. When you look at the first
15 synopsis of the conversation, what you read from that is that at the
16 beginning of the conversation part, that Colonel Popovic was asking to be
17 connected with General Krstic at Zlatar and as he was not there, he asked
18 to be connected with the operations centre. So in this respect, Rasic is
19 the Drina Corps operations officer, or at least an officer within the
20 operations centre of the Drina Corps.
21 Q. Mr. Butler, we've heard the term "duty officer," we haven't heard
22 the term "operations centre" or "operations officer." Can you account for
24 A. The operations centre is that area within the headquarters of a
25 unit, be it a brigade, be it a corps, where most of the operative bodies
1 function out of. In many respects, it's the nerve centre of the command.
2 Most of the communications lines go into there through the switchboard.
3 And generally speaking, the duty officer will perform his duties in the
4 operations centre.
5 Q. Okay. Could you go through each line of this conversation and
6 tell us what your analysis of each line is, the meaning.
7 A. Colonel Popovic at the beginning talking to Rasic who he
8 understands in an informal, calling him Rale, knowing that he's up there,
9 "there" being unspecified. He says that he was with the boss
11 Q. Where do you think he is talking about, and who do you think "the
12 boss" might be, if anyone that you know?
13 A. "There" or "up there," "up" would put them, in a sense, to the
14 north of Zvornik. "The boss" in this regard, I believe we're talking the
15 boss with Colonel Pandurevic.
16 Q. Okay. What else?
17 A. He notes further down in the conversation, Popovic noting, "Well,
18 you got his interim report," Rasic confirming that, and Popovic saying,
19 "It's just like he wrote it."
20 Q. Let me go up a little higher. It says, "Here where I am, you know
21 where I am," and then Rasic responds, "I know." What does that tell you?
22 A. A reflection of the fact that Rasic knows where Colonel Popovic
23 is, knows generally that he's in the zone of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade,
24 and further may know specifically that -- you know, if he's specifically
25 up in the Pilica area.
1 Q. Okay. This interim report and the next line, this is a 16 July
2 conversation at 2116 hours. Can you tell what that interim report is he's
3 talking about?
4 A. In this respect, it would be the 16 July 1995 interim report from
5 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
6 Q. Okay. What else do you get from this conversation?
7 A. Again, Popovic noting that he was personally on the spot and
8 convinced that he had received some numbers, discusses that it's not
9 important, but further notes that he will come there. Meaning Popovic
10 will travel to Zlatar, the Drina Corps headquarters, tomorrow, "so tell
11 the General ... I've finished the job."
12 Q. So on 16 July, if he's speaking to Zlatar, the headquarters of the
13 Drina Corps, what general -- what are the options on what general that is?
14 A. Considering in the beginning of the conversation he was looking
15 for General Krstic, my analysis in this respect is that the general he's
16 referring to, "Tell him I finished the job," is General Krstic.
17 Q. How about General Zivanovic? Have we heard from General Zivanovic
18 on any intercepts for a while, or any other information?
19 A. When we look at the material relative to General Zivanovic, the
20 last bit of information that we have on him is the 15 July intercept
21 conversation that we have between him and Colonel Beara. General
22 Zivanovic, from an information perspective, completely disappears after
23 that conversation. There are no further intercepts where he's attributed
24 as being a subscriber. There are no sightings of him in the corps zone or
25 outside the corps zone for that matter. There are no documents or any
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 other indications that anyone is in any way, shape or form looking for him
2 or looking for him to do anything. He effectively disappears by the
3 morning of the 15th, which would certainly be consistent with the written
4 order received by President Karadzic on his reassignment to the Main
6 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Was Krstic already promoted General at
7 that time?
8 A. General Krstic was promoted to the rank of General in June of
10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. And under your analysis, he became a commander of the Drina Corps
13 on what date?
14 A. I believe he became the commander of the Drina Corps in the late
15 afternoon or early evening hours of 13 July 1995.
16 Q. Were there any other Generals in the Drina Corps staff besides
17 General Krstic at that time?
18 A. No, sir.
19 Q. How many about General Mladic? Do you have any information that
20 General Mladic was around Zlatar on the 16th?
21 A. With regards to the affidavit filed by General Elliot, Mladic's
22 whereabouts are placed during that period in Belgrade.
23 Q. Now, the job that Popovic has finished on the 16th, assuming, for
24 the record, that he took a major role in the executions and the murders in
25 that area, what job do you think, taking that into account now, as well as
1 all the other evidence, what job do you think that he's talking about that
2 he's finished here on the evening hours of the 16th?
3 A. I would have to say that with respect to the combat activity and
4 everything else that's going on, that in this regard, the job that we're
5 referring to would be the criminal activity which occurred up in the
6 Pilica area.
7 Q. Okay. Let's keep going down, and we get down and it says, "Well,
8 in general there weren't any major problems, but up there, there were
9 horrible problems. And the thing the commander said, it was just the
10 right thing." Then Rale says, "Good." Then Popovic says, "Just the
11 thing, horrible, it was horrible," and then Rale says, "Listen, Vujadin,"
12 that's the first name of Lieutenant Colonel Popovic; is that right?
13 A. That's correct, sir.
14 Q. And then if you could turn the page, Popovic said, "What?" Rale
15 says, "Tell me, did anything arrive there now from Vidoje Blagojevic?"
16 Vidoje Blagojevic is who?
17 A. Blagojevic is the commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry
19 Q. And then Popovic says, "From Vidoje," and then he says "You mean
20 manpower?" To clarify the issue. And then Rale says, "Yes, yes, did
21 anything arrive? Something was supposed to arrive." Then Popovic says,
22 "Yes, it arrived. It's up there. It's up there but it didn't arrive on
23 time and it wasn't brought in on time. And the others who arrived, did
24 arrive, but they were late and so they weren't brought in on time and
25 that's why the commander who is here had problems." And then Rale says,
1 "When exactly did Blagojevic's men arrive?" To help further clarify the
3 So in any event, Vujadin Popovic says in about six different ways
4 that Vidoje Blagojevic's people were late. How does this tie in with the
5 testimony of Drazen Erdemovic?
6 A. As Drazen Erdemovic describes the execution process which occurred
7 at the Branjevo Military Farm on 16 July, he recounts that initially the
8 members of the 10th Sabotage Unit were conducting the executions. He also
9 further notes that at a point in time soldiers whom he believes to be
10 members of the Bratunac Brigade arrive at the Branjevo Military Farm and,
11 in effect, take over the execution process.
12 Q. Again, down near the bottom, Rale says, "When did Blagojevic's men
13 arrive," and then D says, "From Badem." What is Badem?
14 A. Badem is the telephonic code name for the Bratunac Light Infantry
16 Q. So that would mean from Badem or from Bratunac?
17 A. That is correct, sir.
18 Q. And it ends with they don't know exactly when the persons got
19 there but they're going to try to find out, I take it.
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. What does this conversation, aside from factually and how it ties
22 in with Drazen Erdemovic's testimony, what does it tell you about the duty
23 officer at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters and his knowledge?
24 A. In this regard, the duty officer being at the Zlatar not Zvornik
25 Brigade headquarters --
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. -- again, a reflection that the duty officer knows what's
3 happening and is able to relatively openly talk about it from a position
4 of knowledge with Colonel Popovic.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I don't know if you want to take a
6 break now or you want to keep going. Kirsten tells me it would be a good
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think it would be preferable to go to 1.00,
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Good.
11 Q. All right. Now let's go to Exhibit 624A, again a 16 July
12 conversation at 2233 hours. And if you could just give us a brief
13 synopsis of this, how it ties into where -- who these people are and how
14 it ties in to the subject matter we've been discussing.
15 A. The identification of one subscriber who's unknown, X, and Palma,
16 an individual Strbic who, in fact, is Captain Strbic of the Zvornik
17 Infantry Brigade.
18 "X: Hello Palma. Put Drago Nikolic or Strbic on."
19 Drago Nikolic is Lieutenant Drago Nikolic who's informing as the
20 Assistant Commander for Security of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. And in
21 this case, they put on Strbic because he's also today performing as the
22 operations duty officer.
23 Then subscriber X asking, "Tell me, was Pop over there." He
24 repeats the question and Strbic notes, "Yes, he was here and gone.
25 X: Where does he go?" He doesn't know. He suspects, "he may come to your
1 place as well." Then X subscriber notes, "U-huh, what about the other
2 one, the white one?" and Strbic replies, "I don't know about him."
3 Q. Do you have any leads or any indications about who "the white one"
4 might be?
5 A. The one piece of information that we have that would relate to
6 "the white one" would be a physical description to Lieutenant Colonel
7 Beara of the VRS Main Security Administration, who is, by photograph and
8 by description, is a fair, light-skinned person with white hair. That is
9 the only significant piece that we have on that.
10 Q. All right. Let's go now to another subject. We're still on the
11 16th, up in the northern area, and if we could go to Exhibit 626A. We're
12 back to an engineering log with a torpedo excavator which is that
13 combination backhoe/loader machine that we saw being used in Orahovac.
14 Can you look at that exhibit, 626A, and tell us how it relates to the
16 A. The front page of the exhibit noting the torpedo excavator, and
17 one item of interest here, noting the phrase "Birac Holding." Birac
18 Holding is a state-owned construction and big industrial firm up in the
19 Zvornik area, indicating that this particular piece of equipment comes
20 from that company. The 16 July notation on fuel reflects 60 litres of
21 fuel put into the vehicle. The 14 July one reflects 40 litres of fuel put
23 Moving to the second page, and as we've seen before on this one,
24 the activity reflected on 14 July, "Base-Orahovac-Return," the digging of
25 trenches in Orahovac, the execution site there. And 16 July,
1 "Base-Kozluk-Base," digging trenches in Kozluk for a period of eight
2 hours on 16 July 1995.
3 Q. Now, are you aware of any legitimate military operation that would
4 have involved eight hours of digging in Kozluk, or was Kozluk under any
5 kind of military threat?
6 A. Kozluk is a rear support area for the Zvornik Brigade. It is
7 physically located on the Drina River and geographically located far away
8 from military activity or forces that would require trenches.
9 Q. All right. Now, we have eight hours of digging on 16 July. The
10 log doesn't indicate the time that the digging started. I think taking us
11 back to the exhumation evidence, it's pretty clear there were executions
12 performed at the area of Kozluk. Can this document help us time those
13 executions in any way?
14 A. Following the same model of the executions that occurred in
15 Orahovac, where the burial operations occurred at the same time the
16 prisoners were being executed, this document may be an indicator that the
17 executions at Kozluk occurred sometime during the day of 16 July 1995. It
18 could also, using the model of the Branjevo Military Farm, where the
19 equipment didn't arrive until after the executions were done, would
20 indicate that the executions at Kozluk could have taken place on the 15th
21 and the equipment came in the day later.
22 Q. All right. Now, we had scheduled at this time to have previous
23 Exhibits 165/2 and 165/3, if those are available.
24 Mr. Butler, if you could just briefly put those on the ELMO and
25 tell us how it fits into the time sequencing of this event in Kozluk.
1 A. This is Exhibit 165/3.
2 Q. Sorry. That's --
3 A. Is this the right exhibit?
4 Q. Well, it's not exactly. I think we wanted "/2" first.
5 A. This is 165/2.
6 Q. I thought that was going to be Kozluk. I'm sorry. Let's skip
7 this right now.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey, excuse me for
9 interrupting you, but I said 1.00. Perhaps it would be better to have a
10 break now. Does that suit you?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much. Yes, it would.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We'll have a
13 half-hour break.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.48 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 1.20 p.m.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. McCloskey, you
17 may continue.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Butler, first of all I think we need to clear up one issue
20 related to my question about -- on one of the intercepts of 16 July, when
21 I asked you where General Mladic might be on the 16th of July and whether
22 he might have been the General referred to. You spoke to General Elliot's
23 report, which is in evidence now, that discussed a time period where he
24 was with General Mladic in Belgrade. Have you had a chance to review
1 A. I have reviewed that specific affidavit again and what I realise
2 is that I misspoke on the timing aspect. The affidavit reflects General
3 Mladic's presence on the evening of the 14th and the day of the 15th in
4 Belgrade. So in relation to the initial question, on 16 July 1995,
5 General Mladic may not be in Belgrade, and in fact I don't know where he's
6 physically located on that day.
7 Q. All right. Now, if we could go to the -- I think we did find the
8 Kozluk imagery, and could you tell us the exhibit number and put those up
9 on the ELMO just to see how they fit in with our 16 July loader report
10 showing eight hours of digging on the 16th. This shows us the area, on
11 the 17th, of Kozluk where the graves were. Now, could you put the -- what
12 exhibit is this, Mr. Butler?
13 A. This is Exhibit 164/1.
14 Q. Could you put the other exhibit sort of next to it also, the next
15 Kozluk exhibit, so we can see 17 July and -- I'm sorry, yes, the other way
16 around -- September 7th and 17 July to show that they are basically very
17 similar holes.
18 A. This is 17 July and this is the 7 September image.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me. Could you please give me the exhibit
21 THE WITNESS: The second exhibit is 164/3.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. So from this we can roughly conclude that on 17 July, the digging
24 was finished until 27 September when the disturbance occurred; is that
1 A. That is correct, sir.
2 Q. All right. Now, if we could go over to Exhibit 627A. It's a
3 conversation. We're now getting into some of the conversations on the
4 16th involving some of the commanders. Could you give us a synopsis of
5 the people, the parties, and where this fits into your analysis?
6 A. Relative the personalities involved, Colonel Ljubo Beara, as
7 identified as the Chief of the Main Staff Main Security Administration and
8 Cerovic, who is Colonel Cerovic, and you'll notice on the chart here he is
9 the Assistant Commander for Moral, Legal, and Religious Affairs of the
10 Drina Corps. And this conversation reflects a discussion between Cerovic
11 and Beara at the latter half of the conversation.
12 In the first, the correspondent is identified as X, and it doesn't
13 note who X is. The first part, Cerovic is passing a message, "Hey, listen
14 to me. Triage has to be done today ..." relative to taken prisoners. X
15 repeats back to him to do triage. Cerovic notes: "Triage has to be done
16 on the prisoners." X notes that "Colonel Beara is right here by me."
17 Cerovic speaks to him directly. "Ljubo." "I hear you." Identifies
18 himself as Cerovic. "I hear you." The further line: "Trkulja was here
19 with me just now and he was looking for you. I don't know." Trkulja is
20 identified by my analysis as being a Colonel Trkulja of the Main Staff,
21 and I believe he is Chief of Armour Operations of the Main Staff. But he
22 notes that, yes -- Cerovic says: "He told me ... he had instructions from
23 above." "Yes." Triage has to be done on those. Beara cuts him off: "I
24 don't want to talk about it on the phone." "OK." "Take care."
25 Q. Now, if we assume that the investigation has established that
1 Colonel Beara, the Chief of Security for the Main Staff, is playing a
2 major role in the holding and murdering of the prisoners, on 16 July, at
3 about 1111 hours, what prisoners are you aware of, Muslim prisoners, that
4 are still in custody that may need triage, whatever that terms means? And
5 we'll get into that a bit later.
6 A. Again, operating under the lack of knowledge of when the actual
7 executions at Kozluk occurred, the two groups of prisoners that we know
8 that were probably left alive by the 16th would have been those coming
9 from the Pilica school to the Branjevo Military Farm and those prisoners
10 that were being held in the Pilica Dom.
11 Q. Now, we have, as you've noted, this Main Staff officer, Trkulja,
12 mentioned along with Beara, but this conversation also has Cerovic
13 speaking. Again, sir, could you point out where Cerovic is on the Drina
14 Corps chart.
15 A. Colonel Cerovic is the commander of the Department for Moral
16 Guidance and Legal Affairs. If you'd like, I could circle him as well.
17 Q. Let's get them all circled, if we could, that are involved in your
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Do you have any indication or reason to believe that Cerovic would
21 be acting outside of his normal capacity as a Drina Corps officer, has
22 somehow been corrupted and is no longer part of the Drina Corps chain of
24 A. From all the other information that I have that puts the context
25 of the events around this, I would say that, no, that is not the case;
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 that he is operating within the framework of the Drina Corps command.
2 Q. All right. Let's go briefly to Exhibit 629A which takes us back
3 to the JNA military lexicon for a definition of triage, and I think it's
4 traditional definition is, "the screening of injured and sick men on the
5 basis of type, gravity, and localisation of their injuries."
6 Let's continue on, then, to Exhibit 630A. Let's be careful of
7 initials. Again, this is a 16 July, 1355 intercept. We have a lot of
8 these to go, so if you could give us the guts of what you're getting out
9 of this, and point to the area of the intercept.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours if you have any particular questions,
11 please ask away, because if we go through every line, we won't make our
12 time frame here. But we'll try to get to what is most important to the
14 JUDGE WALD: Before you go on, can I just ask Mr. Butler: I just
15 saw the military definition of triage and that's the medical screening,
16 but it's hard to read the intercept and think that's what it means. Is it
17 possible that it's used in some other way, in shorthand, that it means
18 something different?
19 A. My interpretation of that is they're discussing some form of
20 sorting or separation process for the prisoners. I don't see it used in a
21 medical context, ma'am, no.
22 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thanks.
23 JUDGE RIAD: And this sorting has no criterion? I mean, can you
24 figure out what is the basis of this sorting?
25 A. We have, sir, in some other documents later down the line, the
1 documents or facts that some individuals were, in fact, taken not
2 necessarily out of the schools -- we're not exactly sure where they were
3 taken from -- but some individuals who were identified as knowledgable
4 individuals of the 28th Infantry Division, who were separated out once
5 they were identified and taken to the Main Staff or held for
6 interrogation. There are only two or three of those individuals that we
7 have identifications on.
8 But my understanding of it is, when I look at the whole aspect of
9 the information, that those were people who were captured from the column
10 not individuals who were already moved up and in the schools. So these
11 are the battlefield captured and not the captured in the schools.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
13 A. Relative to this specific intercept, as we've already identified
14 who Zlatar and Palma is, one of the things that is of significance here
15 are the numerical designations of 01. Palma 01 -- someone, or the X
16 subscriber looking for "Palma to give me the 01," and the Z1 wanting
17 information to brief on what's new for Zlatar 1.
18 When we look at the intercepts in the wide context, the designator
19 01 is used by the subscribers to specify the commander. So in this
20 particular one, somebody from Zlatar wants to speak directly to Palma 01
21 which would be Colonel Pandurevic and wants him to brief that individual
22 on what's new for Zlatar 01 which would, in that respect, be General
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. So would someone checking in at Zvornik at this time of the day,
1 either for General Krstic or General Krstic himself, be consistent with
2 what a commander should do under his job as commander?
3 A. Yes, sir, it would.
4 Q. Okay. I don't want to get into this at length, but if General
5 Krstic on the 16th is down near the Zepa area, involved in that operation,
6 but is commander of the corps, does that change his basic responsibilities
7 of commander as to the operations occurring in the corps?
8 A. No, sir, it shouldn't. If within the corps zone the operations
9 are being conducted by units subordinate to the corps, there's nothing
10 abnormal about that at all.
11 Q. Now, in the previous intercepts and documents, it's clear that the
12 combat situation is building towards a culmination on the 16th of a rather
13 dangerous situation. So would this be a normal time for the commander to
14 check in to find out what's going on?
15 A. It would be prudent for any military commander to be checking in
16 very closely with what's going on in this regard.
17 Q. Okay. Let's go now to the next new exhibit which, I believe, is,
18 635A, the others just being different versions of the last one. We're now
19 at 1602 hours. It seems like a similar short of exchange. Can you tell
20 us about this?
21 A. In the same context as before, somebody -- because of switchboard
22 problems, there's a go-between involved, or a relay. Palma wanting to
23 speak to Palma 01, again Colonel Pandurevic directly. "Tell him it's
24 Zlatar 01 calling to ask what's new ..." In this case, Palma is letting
25 the Zlatar exchange know that they cannot reach the commander and that
1 he'll call when he gets a chance. At this time, Palma asks: "... who
2 should he call when he gets a chance?" And they make the line extension
3 "Zlatar 385."
4 Now, again, in doing the analysis of the intercepts, General
5 Krstic is directly associated with the phone drop Zlatar 385 on three
6 different occasions, so my analysis is that phone extension runs directly
7 to where General Krstic is.
8 Q. Let me take you back just briefly to the conversation on the 15th
9 between Zivanovic and Beara. When Colonel Beara calls Zivanovic and needs
10 men to handle his problem, doesn't General Zivanovic refer Colonel Beara
11 to a specific extension number?
12 A. In that intercept, General Zivanovic refers Colonel Beara to call
13 extension 385, and when Colonel Beara does, the individual subscriber he
14 talks to is General Krstic.
15 Q. How long after the original conversation where he was recommended
16 to call 385?
17 A. I believe with the timing it was less than two minutes.
18 Q. Again, getting back to 635, we have a situation where Zlatar 01,
19 you say is General Krstic, is trying to reach the Palma commander, which
20 is Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic; is that right?
21 A. That is correct, sir.
22 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 636A. Now we're getting into
23 another intercept. Can you tell us a bit about this, where it fits in,
25 A. This one, again, is identified as a partially recorded
1 conversation between Main Staff duty officer and General Mladic who they
2 note is not audible. He --
3 Q. So what is the Main Staff -- what can we glean from what the Main
4 Staff duty officer is saying to General Mladic?
5 A. In this regard, he's informing General Mladic that they have
6 received information that a column -- or that the Muslim column is
7 departing territory, Republika Srpska territory, and that Pandurevic has
8 arranged for passage of the Muslims over that territory. The Main Staff
9 is noting that they have not had any communications with him and what
10 they're trying to do is get in touch themselves with Vinko Pandurevic and
11 find out what's going on.
12 Q. So does this go back to your previous discussion of Pandurevic
13 deciding under his own volition to allow the column through?
14 A. Yes, sir, it does.
15 Q. Can you get any indication from this how the President or the Main
16 Staff feel about that?
17 A. Clearly in the case where Mladic is not happy with the programme
18 of letting them through, the inference at least from the Main Staff duty
19 officer is they're sending him a telegramme that orders him, "not to do
20 anything without authorisation until he receives our answer."
21 Q. So is that consistent with the chain of command duties and the
22 structure of getting authorisations in the VRS?
23 A. This is, in fact, consistent with that, yes.
24 Q. Now, there's also a line in here, two-thirds of the way down, the
25 duty officer says: "I spoke to Krsto down there. He says it's going well
1 but he didn't say how far they got, but he says it's going well."
2 Now, who may Krsto be and what might that have to do anything
3 with? I know it's a bit vague, but what can you tell us about that?
4 A. If we operate under the assumption that "down there" is the
5 location of Zepa, which geographically would work out considering the Main
6 Staff location in Han Pijesak, we could infer that in fact the duty
7 officer spoke to General Krstic and received a situation update on how
8 things are going relative to the Zepa operation.
9 Q. This next line, it says: "This morning, last night, they captured
10 equipment at four UN check points down in Zepa." Who's the "they," as far
11 as you know?
12 A. Based on my research of the Zepa operation, the "they" in this
13 context are the Bosnian Muslims in Zepa. It was them who stole or
14 captured some of the UN equipment and checkpoints to use that equipment to
15 defend themselves against the VRS.
16 Q. All right. Let's go to the next intercept which should be Exhibit
17 637, 16 July, at 1653 hours, X and Y. It makes a reference to both the --
18 it appears the Srebrenica situation as well as the Zepa situation. For
19 the help on the Zepa situation, could we go to the next big exhibit, 368,
20 as well as there is a little small version that helps us with a little
21 translation for us on this.
22 Mr. Butler, if you could just step to this and give us a little
23 briefing on the Srebrenica enclave -- well, first of all, tell us what
24 this map is and then brief us on what it depicts regarding the Srebrenica
25 enclave and that operation and the Zepa enclave and that operation. But
1 first tell us what this is a blowup of.
2 A. This is a blowup of a map that was confiscated or seized during a
3 search of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. I believe it is Exhibit 2, is
4 where this originates from. The map in question -- this shows the former,
5 at the time, Srebrenica enclave and the military operations related to
6 it. It shows the Zepa enclave and the military operations down the road
7 from Han Pijesak relative to this operation.
8 Q. Can you point out where Krivaca is, which we've heard is the
9 initial forward command post and is mentioned in some of the earlier
11 A. Krivaca is located just at this point here where the operation is
12 said to begin.
13 Q. All right. The information noted on this map that's obviously
14 been added to the map, can you tell us just why that's there and what it
15 depicts? And if you have the other exhibit, the other small exhibit
16 there, if you could give us that number and it will help you for
18 A. Exhibit 368A, there are two notations. The first one, the smaller
19 one up here, which reflects the name that the VRS assigned the Srebrenica
20 operation in 1993, when they were trying to capture Srebrenica town. This
21 operation resulted in, of course, the establishment of the UN enclave and
22 the safe area. This larger one here reflects the liberation of Srebrenica
23 and Zepa. It lists the times, the participants, the individual who
24 commanded both aspects of the operation; that being Lieutenant Colonel
25 Pandurevic and it also lists or rolls up the casualties for the combined
2 And one of the things that that's noted in here as part of these
3 operations is that rolled up into the Srebrenica and Zepa-related
4 casualties are the casualties that were incurred fighting the column in
5 the zone of the Zvornik Brigade on the 15th, 16th, 17th July 1995.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. Getting back to Exhibit 637A, the
7 intercept, I noticed in the middle it speaks of: "I see that Krle is
8 giving orders to fire over there at Ribioci, Vratar, firing
9 activities ..." Would that be General Krstic involved in the Zepa
10 operation, in your view?
11 A. Those locations are in the north end of the Zepa area and are
12 directly related to the Zepa operation.
13 Q. And then further down in the conversation, it also talks about
14 groups and Konjevic Polje, so they are also talking about the situation
15 back around the former Srebrenica and Bratunac enclave.
16 A. That is correct, sir.
17 Q. Let's now go to -- you can sit down -- Exhibit 638A. All right.
18 Let's refer to the intercept as 638/1A, and what can you tell us about
19 this? I see a brief mention of Krstic at the bottom.
20 A. The identification of Basevic, Major Basevic of the Drina Corps
21 Rear Transportation or Logistics Branch, and he's already circled on the
22 chart. It notices -- they're discussing issues of fuel being gone. The
23 individual Miletic is General Miletic, General Major Miletic of the Main
24 Staff, Chief of Operations, and it discusses between Basevic and an
25 unidentified subscriber the issue of fuel for the Drina Corps operations.
1 At the bottom, it notes Major Basevic saying that: "Krstic has
2 just called me up there to keep some for tomorrow, you know." While
3 related to fuel, it's just an issue of the fact that General Krstic is, in
4 fact, keeping in touch with the elements of his corps staff, particularly
5 pertaining to making sure that enough resources are available for military
7 Q. Let's now go, then, to Exhibit 641 --
8 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. This "tomorrow," what date would that be?
9 A. This intercept, I believe, is 16 July 1995, so "tomorrow" in that
10 sense would be the 17th.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. So if we get to the last binder, Exhibit 641A, it takes us to 17
14 July and it is a Zvornik Brigade regular combat report, again to the
15 command of the Drina Corps. Can you briefly describe to us what this
16 tells you?
17 A. Paragraph 1 discusses their understanding of the enemy situation;
18 in this context, the enemy being the Muslim 2nd Corps units that are
19 outside of the line at this point. It notes that the units primary tasks
20 are still involved in cutting off and destroying the Muslim forces from
21 the remainder of the column. It further notes that all elements of the
22 combat disposition are fully functioning and it makes a reference to the
23 fact that wire communication with the 4th Battalion headquarters has been
24 disconnected due to active combat in that area. And as I've discussed
25 earlier, it's between the 16th and the early 17th that the command post of
1 the 4th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade was overrun by the Muslim
3 The remainder of the report is the normal daily roll-up of fuel
4 and munitions usage to the command of the Drina Corps.
5 Q. Now, I want to take you back briefly to the July 17th order from
6 the Main Staff that you've discussed whereby certain assignments regarding
7 the Zvornik Brigade area and the Bratunac Brigade area are mentioned. I
8 don't see any mention of that order in this report. Can you remind the
9 Court what that Main Staff order was about and why -- can you explain why
10 it's not mentioned in this, if you can, in this daily combat report?
11 A. That Main Staff order of 17 July 1995 discusses two specific
12 aspects of the Drina Corps. That first aspect is the coordination piece
13 between three officers of the Main Staff and the commander of the Zvornik
14 Brigade, and the second is the takeover of certain elements of command in
15 the Bratunac zone by a commander of the -- by the police commander of the
16 Main Staff.
17 With respect to the Zvornik Brigade area, this combat report does
18 not note the presence of those three officers in the zone, and more
19 importantly it does not note or indicate or give any indication that the
20 commander of the brigade, on 17 July, has been resubordinated to the Main
21 Staff or any other agency. So in effect, the 17 July 1995 combat report
22 reflects the same functioning of the command and staff and subordination
23 process as the earlier days.
24 Q. Okay. We'll get into that in a little more detail later. If we
25 can now move on to the exhibits that involve the activity around the
1 Branjevo Farm on July 17th.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I call the Court's attention to a survivor that
3 spent the night nearby the farm and in the morning heard heavy equipment
4 in the area where he had been shot at.
5 Q. Mr. Butler, if you could just explain to us 642A, what it is, what
6 it tells us.
7 A. Exhibit 642A is an extract from the Zvornik Brigade Engineer
8 Company daily orders book. I've previously discussed what that document
9 is and the relevance of it. What this particular page reflects is that on
10 17 July 1995, the company commander of the Engineer Company was aware that
11 a BGH-700 and a ULT-220, as well as the transportation of the BGH-700 to
12 Branjevo was occurring.
13 Q. All right. Let's go to the next exhibit, 643A. What is that and
14 how does it tie in to the exhibit you just mentioned?
15 A. This is the vehicle transportation log for a Mercedes 2626 flatbed
16 truck that belongs to the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. When you look at page
17 2, the item for 17 July 1995, it reflects the movement of a 700 loader
18 from base to standard, then Branjevo, and then back to base.
19 Q. And the day before, on the 16th, this person took the combination
20 backhoe/loader to Orahovac; is that right?
21 A. That is correct, sir.
22 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 644A. Now, this should be noted
23 that 643A showed a driver operator as Milan Milovanovic and the bottom of
24 this -- 644A shows Milan Milovanovic as a driver for the Engineering
25 Company, as well as Dragan Jevtic, the commander of the Engineering
1 Company who is the author of the engineering log that also is an exhibit.
2 Now let's go to 645A. What is this?
3 A. This exhibit is an extract from a hand-maintained book which
4 reflects fuel dispersal by the Technical Services Branch of the Zvornik
5 Brigade to all of the elements subordinate to the brigade. What you'll
6 see reflected in item 685 is on 17 July 1995, 100 litres of D2 diesel fuel
7 was put into the BGH-700.
8 Q. All right. Now, let's go to 646A. This is a log for the big
9 loader, the ULT-220. Could you put it up on the ELMO and tell us about
10 what it provides?
11 A. The front page of the document, the ULT-220 backhoe/excavator,
12 showing usage, or at least fuel consumption from the 15th to the 17th of
13 July. Turning to page 2 of the document, a reflection of five hours' work
14 digging trenches in Orahovac on 15 July and eight and one half hours' work
15 digging trenches in Branjevo on 17 July 1995.
16 Q. All right. Can you go -- you should have 165/2 up there. It was
17 one of the ones we used before by mistake. It should be the aerial of
18 Branjevo Farm of 17 July with -- it should be a shot of a digger digging.
19 Excuse me. That is another shot. This is a poor viewing of it, but a
20 careful look at the original document, you can see what appears to be an
21 excavation with mounds of dirt.
22 Can you point out on this document, Mr. Butler, or if you have a
23 better view of it -- yes, on this particular exhibit.
24 A. The mounds of soil are located right in this area, right here.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. And I have a closer view of that but on 21 September 1995.
2 Q. Let's not worry about 21 September. All right.
3 Let's go to the next exhibit, 647A. We're now getting away from
4 Branjevo and going to the village of Pilica and Kula; Pilica the home of
5 the cultural centre where the evidence has shown roughly 500 people were
6 killed on the 16th, and Kula, the school where, on the 16th, people
7 were -- some were executed on the 15th and 16th but many were taken from
8 the school. Can you tell us what this document is, 647A, and what it
9 might tell us in relation to the facts as I've just recited them?
10 A. This is the vehicle document for a TAM-130 truck. It notes that
11 the vehicle is owned by Metalno Zvornik, another state-owned firm.
12 Page 2 of the document for 17 July reflects a total of five
13 journeys back and forth, with a whole total of 110 kilometres, back and
14 forth between Zvornik, Pilica, Kula, Pilica, and Zvornik. And on 17 July,
15 two of those locations, certainly Pilica-Kula and back to Pilica, are
16 related to known holding and execution sites.
17 Q. Is it fair to conclude that there may have been bodies at the
18 cultural centre at Pilica on July 17th, as well as bodies at the Pilica
19 school in Kula on 17th of July left over from the executions there?
20 A. Given the -- certainly with the Pilica Dom, according to the
21 testimony of Drazen Erdemovic, where multiple hundreds of people were
22 executed, it is certainly reasonable to assume that there would be bodies
23 still left in that facility on 17 July.
24 Relative to the school, I don't believe we've got rather exact
25 numbers on how many people were physically killed at the school as opposed
1 to those transported to the farm. But it would be a reasonable assumption
2 as well.
3 Q. All right. Exhibit 648A is the log of the personnel of the
4 R Company showing Milenko Tomic being a member of the Zvornik Brigade, and
5 he is listed on Exhibit 645A as the driver of the TAM-130 truck. Do you
6 know what a TAM-130 truck is?
7 A. It's a larger version of the TAM-75 and TAM-80, the number being
8 the horsepower designator.
9 Q. And we should have a previous exhibit, 25/16, if we could put that
10 up on the ELMO. This is a 17 July photograph of the Pilica Cultural
11 Centre, and Mr. Ruez has previously testified that what he believed to be
12 a truck was parked near the cultural centre. Can you point to that?
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. I think that's a car. I think the truck is in the northern
16 A. There it is right there.
17 Q. That's such a bad photograph.
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. Okay. And that is on 17 July 1995. Let's go to the next exhibit,
20 649A. This is the 17 July Main Staff order that you spoke of earlier.
21 Without getting into the detail on this, is this consistent with the
22 theory that the Main Staff took over control of the Zvornik Brigade and
23 the Bratunac Brigade and left out the authority of the Drina Corps?
24 A. In a broad sense, this doesn't reflect that. This order is rather
25 specific pertaining to several aspects, one of which discusses a specific
1 resubordination. What I'd like to do is bring you through that with
2 paragraph 1, identifying three officers of the Main Staff who are being
3 detailed of the command of the Zvornik Brigade to assist in joining the
4 army forces and the MUP in destroying the column forces. It notes that:
5 "The team shall assess the situation on the brigade's front line in the
6 rear, the available forces, hear out their proposal, and then in
7 conjunction with the brigade commander come up with a plan to destroy
8 those groups."
9 So in that respect, paragraph 1 and 2, there is nothing in
10 paragraph 1 and 2 which specifically designates any of those three Main
11 Staff officers to take command of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade or in any
12 way usurp the command authority of the brigade commander, Lieutenant
13 Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.
14 Moving down to paragraph 3, in this regard the order designates
15 specific forces of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the Milici Light
16 Infantry Brigade, the 67th Coms Regiment, the Military Police Battalion of
17 the 65th Protection Regiment, and MUP forces to conduct certain missions.
18 In this paragraph, the Main Staff specifically and clearly appoints an
19 officer to take charge of these forces for a designated period of time and
20 working in a designated area. Again, not taking command of the entire
21 group of forces but only those forces that are operating within a
22 specifically designated geographic zone.
23 So while in one case in paragraph 3 you have a notation which
24 designates a specifically detailed and detached resubordination relative
25 to the units I've just discussed, in paragraph 1 with the Zvornik Brigade,
1 you don't have that.
2 Q. On July 16th, in Bratunac, you mentioned from previous records who
3 was actually in command of some of these same forces.
4 A. On the 16th of July, the information reflects that Colonel
5 Blagojevic was put in command of the elements of these same forces that
6 were conducting these same operations. And then on 17 July, the command
7 of those formations on that task are transferred to Lieutenant Colonel
9 Q. Do you know what happened to Colonel Blagojevic?
10 A. In reviewing the Bratunac Brigade message traffic and orders, what
11 occurs late on the afternoon or early evening hours of 16 July 1995 is
12 that Bratunac Brigade forces are now being detailed towards Zepa in
13 addition to the one company that went down on the 14th. We see the
14 activity on the 16th and the 17th of the brigade in establishing a very
15 strong battalion force to move to the Zepa area. Later documents reflect
16 that that battalion was led by the brigade commander, Colonel Blagojevic.
17 What this may very well be a reflection of is the fact that
18 Colonel Blagojevic, as he's now coming down to the Zepa area leading a
19 battalion, would no longer be a suitable person to take control of these
20 other assets. And as the earlier 15 July order from Colonel Milovanovic
21 notes, the Drina Corps still has no officers who can do this. That's why
22 they appointed Colonel Blagojevic.
23 So now with the impending absence of Colonel Blagojevic, the Main
24 Staff is appointing one of its officers to take charge of the units
25 conducting these tasks within the designated zone, and he is given command
1 of those units in the zone until 19 July 1995, at 2000 hours.
2 Q. The situation up in Zvornik, the subjects of paragraphs 1 and 2,
3 prior to July 17th, you've just discussed reports indicating that --
4 actually, requests for help for additional forces because of the situation
5 up there. Can that be tied in to this document at all, those previous
6 requests for help?
7 A. We know from looking at the material that the requests for help
8 started as early as the 15th and that by 16 July 1995, at least 2
9 Company -- or 2 Platoon and maybe a company-size element of the Bratunac
10 Brigade had arrived in the zone of the Zvornik Brigade. But in paragraph
11 3, the forces that we're specifically dealing with are those in the
12 geographic area that are searching, in the former zone of the Bratunac
13 Brigade, those people who are coming out of Srebrenica, up the road
14 towards Konjevic Polje.
15 Q. All right. Now we have a series of intercepts on July 17th. If
16 you can start with 650A, a 0615 conversation, and tell us what you get out
17 of this conversation?
18 A. This is a conversation between General Krstic and Captain Trbic of
19 the Zvornik Infantry Brigade. Krstic, or General Krstic in this case, is
20 discussing the issue of what the situation is in the zone. One of the
21 quotes noted is: "Okay. You've killed the Turks up there," and in this
22 regard, I interpret that to be we're referring to the military column.
23 Captain Trbic notes in response to that: "Well, I guess you got the
24 report. What more can I tell you?" General Krstic notes that he got it.
25 That reflects either the 16 July 1995 combat report, or more probably the
1 16 July 1995 interim combat report, both which discuss the details of the
2 unit. So in this sense, General Krstic is acknowledging that he is, in
3 fact, receiving reporting from the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
4 Further down in the conversation, General Krstic is connected to
5 an individual identified as Vinko, that being Vinko Pandurevic, the
6 commander of the brigade, where Colonel Pandurevic and General Krstic
7 discuss if there are any changes to that report, and Colonel Pandurevic
8 notes that there's no significant changes: "We'll probably finish this
10 Q. What do you think he means when he says "finish this"?
11 A. Again, as I noted previously when I did my analysis, in respect to
12 things like this, my inclination is to basically bring it back to a
13 military interpretation meaning that we're talking about finishing the
14 issues with the column. As there's nothing blatantly criminal in here, I
15 will infer in both senses that the topic of the discussion is the movement
16 of the column and the mop-up operations against the remnants of the column
17 in the zone on 17 July 1995.
18 Q. Going on the next page, page 2 of that conversation, the top
19 paragraph, Pandurevic in fact is discussing military items here, the
20 defence line, the trenches, et cetera.
21 A. That is correct, sir.
22 Q. I notice that K says, down towards the bottom, when Pandurevic
23 asks how things are going, K says, "It's going fine but it would be better
24 if you were there too." What's that mean?
25 A. I believe that's a reference to General Krstic saying that he
1 would like to have Colonel Pandurevic and his elements back down in the
2 Zepa operation as soon as possible, that he needs their combat power to
3 accomplish the mission successfully.
4 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 652A, a 0910 intercept, 17 July. Tell us
5 about this.
6 A. The subscriber in this case, X, being identified as Bedem, Bedem
7 is the telephonic code name of the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade. The
8 subscribers are identified as General Krstic and Veletic, Colonel
9 Veletic. Colonel Veletic, by position, is the Chief of Artillery for the
10 command of the Drina Corps; however, in this context he is also the
11 designated commander of an organisation called the 4th Drinski Brigade,
12 which is an ad hoc brigade organisation formed by the Drina Corps and
13 conducting military operations in the zone of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
14 in the location of Trnovo specifically.
15 In this case, Zlatar 01, code name identifying himself, General
16 Krstic wanting to speak directly to Colonel Veletic and get in touch with
17 him. Now, at this time Colonel Veletic is in the zone of the
18 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. The topic of the discussion is the return of
19 Lieutenant Colonel Vlacic to his unit. Lieutenant Colonel Vlacic was the
20 designated Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander for this temporary Drinski
21 Corps formation in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. He is also, by position,
22 the Deputy Commander of the Birac Infantry Brigade, which was at that time
23 commanded or formally commanded by Colonel Svetozar Andric. Colonel
24 Andric during this period is now performing duties as the Chief of Staff
25 of the Drina Corps down in the Zepa area. So in this case, General Krstic
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 is ordering the designated brigade commander to release the Chief of Staff
2 so he can return back to his unit, the Birac Brigade.
3 Q. So this is getting a little involved. How does this fit into your
4 analysis of who's in command on 17 July?
5 A. It demonstrates General Krstic exercising effective and prudent
6 command of his corps to a point where he is calling the commander of
7 another brigade that belongs to him but is out of his zone and making sure
8 that a specific officer gets sent back, a critical officer in this case,
9 because the brigade commander is now performing as his Chief of Staff, to
10 get that experienced senior officer back to his brigade. Considering the
11 rank of the individual and his position, this is logically something that
12 the corps commander would be very involved in.
13 Q. Even if he's down in Zepa, involved in that operation?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. All right. Let's now go to Exhibit 654. This is a short
16 conversation, just some vague references. Can you make anything out of
18 A. In this response, the only thing that could be made out is an
19 individual identifying himself as Krstic, somebody calling him Krle.
20 Being it's his nickname, you can infer that whoever is calling him this is
21 of either equal rank or superior rank or stature than General Krstic.
22 Notes that he's alive and kicking. Further notes that "While the weather
23 is bothering us, everything is going according to plan."
24 Q. Do you know what that might have to do with?
25 A. While it's very vague, I would infer that this is related to the
1 Zepa operation.
2 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 657A. Another conversation, 17 July, 0950
3 hours. What can you make of this?
4 A. I use this particular conversation as, what I will call, an
5 awareness piece. We don't know who X is and the other subscriber cannot
6 be heard. But by listening to X's version of events, it shows that
7 whoever X is, he's aware of what's going on in the area.
8 He notes the significant battle in the first paragraph and that
9 Pandurevic's men got killed. Many were killed, in fact 20. He notices
10 that at one point in time, the number of 5.000 Muslims in part of the
11 column and concentrated around the area Crni Vrh, Kamenica, Cerska. He
12 further notes that Pandurevic says that there are hundreds of them dead
13 and that he can't kill them, there are so many of them.
14 If one looks at this and then one thinks back to the 16 July 1995
15 interim combat report, many of the same themes are resurfaced here. The
16 fact that when they run out of ammunition, people start climbing on the
17 guns as an enormous mass of people, and in that 16 July interim report,
18 Colonel Pandurevic makes a similar reference.
19 But at the end of the day with this, what I use it as is, again,
20 another individual whose identity is not known is aware of the series of
21 events that is happening in the zone of the Drina Corps.
22 Q. All right. Let's go to Exhibit 659A. This is just a reference
23 that General Krstic ordered a video camera to be sent over somewhere.
24 What can you make of this, if anything?
25 A. The only thing that I use this for, analytically speaking, is a
1 continual reinforcement of the fact that General Krstic has an awareness
2 of the activities in the zone of his corps and is giving instructions.
3 Q. All right. Let's go to 661A, 17 July, 1242 hours now. Zlatar
4 01 -- excuse me, Zlatar 1 and Major Golic, and a General, is it, Zlatar.
5 What can you tell us about this?
6 A. The subscriber is initially not identified, as X. "Is Pop
7 there?" "Who wants to know?" Identifies himself, "Zlatar 01." We've had
8 that reference before as the commander. Major Golic, who again is an
9 intelligence officer with the Drina Corps, is noting that "he's not here,
10 he has not returned but will be back," and further notes that Popovic is
11 still in Zvornik. You have the phrase "Listen, chief," and as we've
12 previously discussed, in this case "chief" is the slang for boss or
13 something, it's not in reference to chief as in Chief of Staff. Golic
14 wants to know who he's talking -- I'm sorry. The subscriber wants to know
15 who he's talking to. "This is Major Golic, General." So clearly the
16 subscriber knows that he's talking to General Zlatar 01, which is Krstic,
17 and General Krstic instructs him: "Find Popovic and have him report to
18 the forward command post," and reaffirms that: "Find him. Have him
19 report immediately."
20 Q. Now, let me ask you about that line. It says: "Listen, Golic,
21 find this Popovic chap and have him report to the IKM." Now, the English
22 translation of that, in English terminology this suggests that General
23 Krstic does not really know who Popovic is. Is that possible if Popovic
24 is his Security Chief, and how do you explain that?
25 A. Clearly, if Popovic is his Security Chief, he knows who he is. We
1 raised this issue with the various translators because of the way that it
2 reads in the English language, and in discussing it with the language
3 experts, what they've essentially told us is that in the Bosnian language,
4 it doesn't have the same connotation. It's, again, a slang, something
5 you'd say to somebody you know very closely. So it's one of those
6 language idiosyncracies.
7 Further, if you look at the first line, subscriber X is saying,
8 "Hello, is Pop there?" Clearly, the bottom subscription, if he doesn't
9 know who Popovic is, he wouldn't be referring to him in his common slang
10 name of Pop. So our interpretation, based on what the language people
11 tell us, is that it's not to be interpreted in English as an unfamiliarity
12 with the individual.
13 Q. Again, can you point to where Popovic is on the organisation chart
14 so as it's very clear who this fellow is and where he fits?
15 A. Popovic is the Assistant Commander for Security for the Drina
17 Q. How about Golic?
18 A. Major Golic is a member of the Intelligence Staff. If you would
19 like, I can circle him. He's not circled yet.
20 Q. Let's circle him.
21 A. [Marks]
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I note it's 2.30, Mr. President. That half an
23 hour this morning hurt, I have to say, but we're close.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. McCloskey, we can't
25 make up for it today. So we're going to adjourn for today, and tomorrow
1 we'll be here at 9.30 to continue. Until tomorrow, then.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.30 p.m.
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of July,
4 2000, at 9.30 a.m.