1 Thursday, 19 October 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.23 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen. Good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters. Good
7 morning legal assistants and registrar. Good morning to the Office of the
8 Prosecutor, Defence counsel, and General Krstic.
9 We shall be continuing your testimony, and I wish to remind you
10 that you are continuing to testify under oath, and please answer directly
11 as much as possible the questions put to you by Mr. Petrusic. If he asks
12 you, for instance, what you were doing on the 5th of July, your answer
13 should be, "On the 5th of July, I did such and such." So this is simply
14 to focus the debate a little on questions and answers.
15 So, Mr. Petrusic, you have the floor now.
16 I see Mr. Harmon on his feet.
17 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President. I wanted to raise this point
18 before we start the testimony again of General Krstic.
19 Yesterday and the two previous days, we have received a number of
20 exhibits that have English translations attached to them. I noticed in
21 the course of the presentation that there were errors in those English
22 translations in transposing dates and times from the original B/C/S to the
23 English. These are not official translations, and I've been informed by
24 colleagues of mine that there are errors in the text as well.
25 My request, therefore, for the sake of both the Chamber and the
1 sake of the Office of the Prosecutor in preparing cross-examination, is
2 that there -- that these documents that have English, unofficial English
3 translations be submitted to the Language Service Section and that we
4 receive official English language translations before we commence the
5 cross-examination of General Krstic.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, excuse me, but maybe
7 I haven't quite understood. What did you mean by official translations:
8 The translations should be reviewed by the translations service of the
9 Tribunal, or should they be certified in some way?
10 MR. HARMON: I think they should be reviewed, and if there are
11 errors, they should be corrected, and then an official certified -- not
12 certified in the sense of having a seal, but a Language Service
13 translation should be included in the record.
14 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Excuse me, this is just as a pure
15 formality, or for some kind of real merit, on the merits, you think.
16 Language can be official or unofficial.
17 MR. HARMON: Judge Riad, I'm not one that stands on formalities
18 for the sake of standing on formalities. I've been informed by members of
19 my staff that there are errors in the text itself which cause me concern
20 that motivated me to raise this issue with the Chamber. I don't know how
21 many there are; there are apparently a fair number. And I think the
22 Language Service Section, which is available for review of these
23 documents, has at its disposal the draft, the unofficial version, which it
24 can use as a draft, and it shouldn't be too much difficulty for them to
25 review those and prepare a final version of the translation.
1 But I think, for the sake of the record and for the sake of our
2 ability to prepare our cross-examination properly, and the Chamber's
3 ability to consider these documents for the record, there should be clear
4 and accurate translations of the documents that have been tendered into
6 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Harmon, we've had at least dozens now of these
8 English translations. I don't know the exact count. Is there realistic
9 expectation that they could be translated in time for your
11 MR. HARMON: I think, Judge Wald, I think the answer to that
12 question is "Yes." The drafts, the unofficial versions, are
13 comprehensive. The cross-examination, in all likelihood, will not start
14 until next Wednesday, so I do believe, if given those unofficial versions
15 today, we could have official versions to the parties and to the Court by
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic or Mr. Visnjic,
18 have you any comments to make?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, no particular
20 comments. The only thing I can say is, to give a brief explanation, that
21 from the moment the registry was officially informed, that the registry
22 cannot take upon itself to translate those documents, which was some ten
23 days ago, did everything it could to get those documents translated. The
24 translations were done by several translators, so this may explain
25 differences both in the quality and the use of certain standard terms that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 have become common usage in the Tribunal.
2 So the Defence, too, had certain objections regarding translation,
3 so we quite understand the Prosecution. The only question is, of course,
4 whether the translation and language section can accept the task in time,
5 but that is up to the registry.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, as far as I know, I
7 think there are translations which the Defence did themselves, and there
8 are others that were translated here in the Tribunal. Am I right?
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I cannot tell
10 you the exact date, but about two or three weeks ago the Defence offered
11 the registry for the first time a certain number of documents for
12 translation. The language section informed us that they cannot accept
13 that quantity of documents for translation. In fact, I think what I was
14 told was that they could do one document in three days. In the meantime,
15 knowing the schedule and our duty towards the Prosecution to service these
16 documents in time, to serve these documents in time, we took steps to have
17 these documents translated in Belgrade. Some of the documents translated
18 by the language section remain here, and I think Ms. Krystal knows exactly
19 how many documents were translated by the service. Some were translated
20 in Belgrade, and a third group, I'm afraid, remained untranslated.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Visnjic, can you identify
22 which documents were translated by yourselves and which were translated by
23 the Tribunal service?
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. During the
25 first break we shall inform the registry about that.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Krystal, do you have
2 anything to add on behalf of the registry?
3 THE REGISTRAR: I would just like to say that the registry
4 received the Defence's exhibits on October 1st, and it was approximately
5 275 documents. In translators' terms, it came out to be 300-and-some-odd
6 documents. Obviously, that wasn't possible to translate for an October
7 16th deadline, so 30 of the hottest documents were chosen to be translated
8 by our section, and that's what we did.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] For the moment, it should be
10 said that the translation service did a very good job. So we have to see
11 which of the documents that were translated here. I think we should not
12 repeat the work, and perhaps we could have the other documents reviewed so
13 as to speed things up a little.
14 Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: Perhaps I can add some additional clarity to this
16 discussion. Our principal interests are in the documents that are
17 documents of the Republika Srpska. We have less interest, although we
18 would like to see accurate translations of the documents from the army of
19 the -- Bosnian army. Our priority is, first and foremost, to have
20 official translations of all of the VRS documents, if that's of
22 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] And how much are they, Mr. Harmon?
23 MR. HARMON: I'm afraid, Judge Riad, I don't have that number at
24 my disposal. I'll take a look, with the assistance of Ms. Keith, and we
25 can inform the registrar as well during the break. Thank you.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you see, given good
2 cooperation, we can come to a solution. So we need to establish contact
3 between the Defence and the registry, who would tell us which documents
4 need reviewing. Also, the Prosecutor can contribute, and Ms. Krystal,
5 with the service, can establish an order of priority for the translations
6 and revisions. Perhaps at the end of the hearing, I don't know whether
7 Ms. Krystal could inform me what is the result of these contacts. For the
8 moment, I think we can continue.
9 Mr. Petrusic, you have the floor.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, Your
11 Honours, my learned friends from the Prosecution.
12 WITNESS: RADISLAV KRSTIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examined by Mr. Petrusic: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] So we had stopped at the date of the 5th of July
16 in the course of General Krstic's testimony yesterday. So, General, can
17 you briefly tell us what your activities were on the 5th of July?
18 A. What I did on the 5th of July was the following: Together with
19 the Corps Commander and the other assistant commanders of the corps, we
20 once again made an assessment of the overall situation in the area of
21 responsibility of the corps, particularly in the north-western part of
22 that area and within the area of responsibility of the corps. And we
23 reached the conclusion that it was possible that the forces of the BH army
24 would resume and continue the operation that had been halted and crushed.
25 Also, we came to the conclusion that, in view of the decision of
1 the Corps Commander regarding active combat activities, it was possible to
2 engage the forces which had been detached, for the purpose of active
3 combat action towards Srebrenica, on condition that those activities be
4 completed as soon as possible and that the detached forces be reattached
5 to their original units, according to the decision of the brigade
6 commanders. This went on for several hours, after which I engaged in
7 preparations myself personally for going to the forward command post at
9 Q. When did you leave for Pribicevac, or rather, when did you arrive
10 at Pribicevac?
11 A. I arrived at the forward command post at Pribicevac, together with
12 Colonel Vicic, or rather, I left for Pribicevac in the afternoon of the
13 same day.
14 Q. So on the 5th of July; you left on the 5th of July?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Had units envisaged in the order for combat activities around
17 Srebrenica reached their destination?
18 A. Before I left for the forward command post, I had no information
19 that the units had reached the areas where they would -- had been assigned
20 to in combat duty. But going to the Pribicevac command post and passing
21 through Bratunac, I caught up with parts of the Zvornik Brigade who were
22 heading towards Skelani and, from there, on towards the area of deployment
23 as assigned.
24 Q. When you reached the forward command post, did you meet with the
25 commanders of the units participating in the operation?
1 A. I only met with Colonel Blagojevic whose forward command post was
2 in the vicinity of the Pribicevac forward command post of the Drina Corps,
3 and that forward command post was at the Kvac feature. Regarding the
4 other brigade commanders that had been deployed, I did not meet with them.
5 Q. On what basis did the combat activities begin the next day, the
6 next morning? That's on the 6th of July.
7 A. The combat activities of all the units engaged in this operation
8 began on the basis of the order for active combat action that the unit
9 commanders had received as early as on the 4th during the reconnaissance.
10 In that order, there is the item specifying readiness for all the units,
11 and that was 0400 hours on the 6th of July. And that was the only
12 document, and there was no need for any other documents to be issued for
13 the beginning, for the launching of the combat activities.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the usher to place
15 Exhibit 77 on the ELMO.
16 Q. This is a document number 08/95, dated July the 6th, 1995. It is
17 addressed from the forward command post of the Drina Corps in Pribicevac
18 and signed by Chief Radislav Krstic.
19 In the English version -- this will probably be one of the
20 documents that Mr. Harmon referred to -- there is no indication of the
21 location. There is no indication that this is the forward command post in
22 Pribicevac, unlike in the original.
23 General, can you please say in this record of yours, which is not
24 signed, is this your report, and what does it refer to?
25 A. I apologise; this is a document of the 6th of July, 1995. I am
1 the signatory.
2 Q. Yes, it is typed out, but there is no signature.
3 A. This is an interim combat report that I sent from the forward
4 command post in Pribicevac to the Drina Corps command and the Main Staff
5 of the VRS. The reason why it is an interim report is the fact that
6 combat operations on the 6th of July, 1995, did not, did not go on in the
7 way that we planned and expected. The basic reason was that the forces of
8 the 28th Division on that day offered extremely strong and fierce
9 resistance along all the axes on which our units were engaged.
10 This report, among other things, contains the decision for further
11 activities which is exactly the same as the one issued by the commander in
12 his basic concept. So, it does not diverge from the decision and the
13 concept presented by the Corps Commander in his order for combat action
14 where it is specified that the line that I had shown earlier, Guber
15 Banja-Zivkovo Brdo-Alibegovac feature, Kak feature had to be reached and
16 taken. I can show it again.
17 Q. No, I think we're familiar with the locations, but could you
18 please tell us what, along what -- which axis this resistance came?
19 A. Especially fierce resistance, we encountered it on Zeleni
20 Jadar-Srebrenica Bojna-Srebrenica.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask Defence
22 Exhibit 97 to be placed on the ELMO.
23 Q. This is document number -- order number 04/95, dated 6th of July,
24 1995 issued from the forward command post of the Drina Corps in
25 Pribicevac. This order is not signed either -- or rather, it cannot be
1 seen. You cannot see it here in this text.
2 Can you tell us something about this order, and do you have any
3 knowledge about who issued it?
4 A. This is an order that was issued to all the subordinate units from
5 the -- taking part in the operation from the Pribicevac forward command
6 post. I signed it.
7 Immediately after I sent the interim combat report to the
8 commander of the corps and after he received it and studied it, he called
9 me and told me, ordered me, that combat actions should continue in
10 accordance with his decision and his concept, and that, in this sense, I
11 was to issue additional orders, and I did that. And this is precisely the
12 order that I'm talking about.
13 So since on the 6th of July the combat operations did not go on at
14 a pace that we planned and expected, and after I reported to the
15 commander, I issued this order.
16 There is also the decision for the extension of the attack. The
17 attack was to continue on the 7th of July, 1995, and it is stated that all
18 units which had reached a certain lines on the 6th of July, that they
19 should stop where they are, fortify their positions, and set up their
20 support because there was a risk of attack on those units. And then, at
21 dawn on the 7th, they were to continue with their attack and put under
22 their control the line that they were ordered to in the order of the Corps
23 Commander. You can see that this is indeed so from the tasks that I
24 assigned to these units.
25 Q. Does that mean that this order is in the spirit of the basic order
1 for active combat action?
2 A. Yes, it is fully compliant with the order for active combat
3 action. You can see this from item 2 of the order of the Drina Corps
4 Commander for active combat action.
5 Q. General, on the 7th of July, what were you doing on that day, and
6 what were the units in the area doing?
7 A. My activities on the 7th of July, very briefly, were the
8 following: Together with Colonel Vicic, we carried out an additional
9 assessment of the situation, and we established the basic reasons why the
10 operation did not go on as envisaged in the decision of the Drina Corps
11 Commander, the basic reasons being that the 28th Division really offered
12 extremely strong and fierce resistance along all the attack axes, in
13 particular on Zeleni Jadar-Bojna-Srebrenica axis.
14 On the 7th of July, the weather conditions were extremely bad in
15 the area, so that the Drina Corps units were, so to speak, virtually
16 unable to carry out any combat activities except for those measures that
17 they were ordered to carry out on the 6th of July. That is what they were
18 to do at the lines that they had reached. There were virtually no combat
19 operations, but the commanders of subordinate units did carry out
20 additional reconnaissance for the purpose of continuing the attack.
21 Q. On the 8th of July, where were you and where were the units and
22 the subordinate commanders?
23 A. On the 8th of July, I was still at the forward command post, and
24 the subordinate commanders were with their units on the axes where the
25 attacks were carried out.
1 Q. Were there any significant activities?
2 A. On the 8th of July, the attack continued by all the units that
3 were engaged in the operation, so that, during the day, reports reached us
4 at the forward command post about the activities and successes achieved by
5 the units. On the 9th of July --
6 Q. I apologise, General.
7 A. So the commander of the Zvornik Brigade reported -- so the
8 commander of the Zvornik Brigade reported at the end of the day that his
9 units, in fact, the 1st Battalion, that was composed of parts of the
10 Zvornik Brigade, that it had managed to place under its control the
11 facility of Tri Sise. That is slightly behind and to the north of Zelini
12 Jadar. The unit commanders, Lieutenant General Andric and Trivic,
13 reported that the 2nd Battalion, composed of their units, managed to place
14 under its control the wider region of Podravanje and Kostur, and that they
15 were continuing their action as ordered in the decision of the Corps
16 Commander towards the Alibegovac and Kak features. The combat group from
17 the Bratunac Brigade did not have any success on that day on the
18 Kvac-Banja Guber axis.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now like Exhibit 78 to be
20 placed on the ELMO. This is a notice of the Drina Corps command. The
21 number is 04/156-5, 8th of July, 1995, signed by commander Major-General
22 Milenko Zivanovic, and it is addressed to the Pribicevac forward command
23 post, attention Chief of Staff, Major General Radislav Krstic, and to the
24 Main Staff of the VRS, attention Major-General Zdravko Tolimir, for his
1 Q. Can you please comment on this order, or rather, notice?
2 A. Yes. This document reached me at the forward command post in
3 Pribicevac. This is a document issued by the Main Staff, or rather,
4 General Tolimir, and it was sent to the Drina Corps command. And the
5 Drina Corps commander studied it and forwarded it to me in its original
6 version to the forward command post at Pribicevac. And also it sends the
7 feedback, the return information, to General Tolimir at the Main Staff,
8 informing him that he had studied the document and that the same warning
9 was sent to me at the Pribicevac forward command post. This is in fact a
10 warning to the forces of the Drina Corps engaged in the operation around
11 Srebrenica not to target UNPROFOR forces, because an order had -- or a
12 warning had been received from the UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo by the
13 Main Staff in which it was indicated that such things were happening.
14 At that time, I was not aware of the case. They specify a case in
15 which an UNPROFOR post in Zeleni Jadar area was targeted. At that time, I
16 was not aware of that fact, but I cannot exclude the possibility because
17 of the fact that the 28th Division forces were located in the vicinity,
18 that perhaps a round had gone -- had hit the UN observation post in the
19 Zeleni Jadar area.
20 Q. In the course of the 9th of July, was the composition of the staff
21 officers at the forward command post the same as at the time the forward
22 command post was taken up?
23 A. On the 9th of July, at the Pribicevac command post, the officers
24 are the same, that is, the officers belonging to the Drina Corps command.
25 However, in the afternoon hours of the same day, General Gvero arrived,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 assistant commander of the Main Staff, for morale, legal, and religious
3 After he had arrived at the forward command post, I briefed him on
4 the situation in the area of active combat action. I was, I must say,
5 surprised by his arrival. He had not been announced and I wasn't
6 expecting General Gvero to arrive at the forward command post. So after I
7 had briefed him about the situation, General Gvero actively joined in the
8 control of the situation. During the course of the combat activities on
9 that day, he made certain suggestions and he proposed the kind of measures
10 that were to be taken so that the active combat operations would be
11 conducted in the way that was envisaged.
12 I realised that General Gvero was not happy with the rhythm of the
13 attack of the Drina Corps units, and I also realised that the Main Staff
14 had had information about that earlier on and that he actually came there
15 to follow the situation on the ground and probably to inform General
16 Mladic thereof. He didn't take command in any way over the units of the
17 corps which were engaged for the purposes of that operation. He was
18 merely doing what I have just described.
19 Q. So you mean that he made suggestions, certain recommendations, and
20 that he consulted you, advised you, and that he in no way issued orders or
21 took command over the units?
22 A. Yes, you are right. He didn't take command; he didn't issue
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I should like to have the Exhibit
25 79 placed on the ELMO, please. This is a document which was issued by the
1 General Staff of the VRS on the 9th of July, 1995. The document bears
2 number 19/46-501. The document was issued by Major-General Zdravko
3 Tolimir. This document was addressed to -- was forwarded to the president
4 of Republika Srpska and also it was addressed to the forward command post
5 for the attention of Generals Gvero and Krstic and also to the Drina Corps
7 Q. General, could you give us your view and your interpretation of
8 this document?
9 A. This document confirms what I have just said, that on the 9th of
10 July, General Gvero arrived at the Pribicevac forward command post. It
11 can be seen from the document that both myself and General Gvero were the
12 addressees of the document, but that the document was also forwarded to
13 the president of Republika Srpska. Obviously, the general staff of the
14 VRS had received from the Drina Corps command certain information and
15 reports, and it's also clear that they were following the situation and
16 informing the general command of the army of Republika Srpska about the
18 In this document, one can also see that the president of Republika
19 Srpska is ordering that combat activities be continued, and that members
20 of UNPROFOR be protected as well as the Muslim civilian population in the
21 area of Srebrenica, and that safety should be guaranteed to them if they
22 crossed to the territory of Republika Srpska.
23 I don't think I should comment on this particular bit, if they
24 crossed to the territory of Republika Srpska. I think that they're
25 probably referring to UNPROFOR forces here.
1 In this order, one can see that the president of Republika Srpska
2 is also ordering that combat activities be continued towards Srebrenica.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] For the record and for the Chamber
4 and my learned colleagues, I should like to say that this document is
5 identical to the Prosecution document 432 as regards its contents;
6 however, these two exhibits differ as to the manner in which they were
7 typed and processed, so they probably come from two different sources.
8 This is just for your information.
9 Q. General, I should like to move on to the 10th of July at this
11 A. On the 10th of July --
12 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Excuse me, perhaps -- you said,
13 "Protect the Muslim population if they cross to Republika Srpska." If
14 they crossed or if they crossed to -- are they going to Republika Srpska?
15 A. I'm sorry, are you addressing the question to me, Your Honour?
16 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] If they crossed to the territory. Is
17 it just the passage, or --
18 A. I believe they're referring to the members of UNPROFOR here in
19 this portion of the text: If they cross over to the territory of
20 Republika Srpska, if they cross over to the army of Republika Srpska for
21 the purposes of their protection.
22 No, not the Muslim population because President Karadzic is saying
23 here how the civilian population should be treated inside the protected
24 area of Srebrenica.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we have exhibit number 432
1 placed on the ELMO, please.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Exhibit 432, let us try to clarify and to avoid any
5 misunderstandings. I'm referring to paragraph 3 of this document. Would
6 you read it out for us, General?
7 A. In paragraph 3 of this document, the president of Republika Srpska
8 ordered that combat operations be continued and that full protection be
9 ensured to UNPROFOR members and the Muslim population, and that they be
10 guaranteed safety in the event of their crossover to the territory of
11 Republika Srpska.
12 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you intend to
14 stick to the timetable that we adopted, I should like to suggest a break
15 at this point.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, we will have a 15-minute
18 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.32 a.m.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, please continue.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. Let us go back briefly to these two exhibits, OTP 432 and D79,
23 please. Please tell us when they were received at the forward command
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 A. The content of this document is the same as that of the previous
2 document, and it was received at 2350 hours on the 9th of July, 1995.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So we are talking about the document P432, and the document that
5 has been marked as 79?
6 A. I don't have that document in front of me.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, could you please provide
8 the witness with document 79.
9 A. This second document was received at 23 -- I'm afraid I can't read
10 the rest. It's illegible. It looks as if it's 2300 hours.
11 Q. Thank you. Before we go on to the 10th of July, tell us, please:
12 On the 9th of July, in addition to these reports that arrived at the
13 forward command post, were there any other activities of any significance
14 going on?
15 A. In addition to receiving these reports at the forward command post
16 of Pribicevac, reports were also coming in from subordinate units about
17 the progress in combat operations, so that the commander of the 1st
18 Battalion, which belonged to the Zvornik Brigade, reported -- this was a
19 report in the evening -- that his units had gained control of Zivkovo Brdo
20 feature and reached the line of deployment assigned to him in the order
21 for active combat action by the Corps Commander.
22 However, another report came from the same commander, Lieutenant
23 Colonel Pandurevic, that forces of the 28th Division, during the night,
24 sometime around midnight, had staged a counteroffensive and pushed back
25 his forces from this feature. A report came from the command of the 2nd
1 Battalion, that is, from the forces of the 1st Bircani Brigade and the 2nd
2 Romanija Brigade, which compiled this battalion, that their battalion had
3 continued combat action and was engaged in battle to gain control of the
4 Alibegovac feature and the feature Kak. The command of the Bratunac
5 Brigade reported from his forward command post at Kvac that on that day no
6 significant progress had been made towards Divljakinje and the Kupusna --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Banja Guber. The interpreter corrects herself.
9 Banja Guber.
10 A. Sometime in the afternoon, in the late afternoon, about 1700
11 hours, at the Pribicevac forward command post, without any prior
12 announcement, without me being informed about it, General Mladic, the
13 commander of the Main Staff, arrived, together with the commander of the
14 Drina Corps, General Zivanovic.
15 Of course, I reported to the Superior Commanders and briefed them
16 on the situation and the problems we had encountered up to then in
17 implementing the idea, or rather, the decision of the Corps Commander on
18 active combat action.
19 They continued to monitor combat operations because the Drina
20 Corps units had still not reached the line assigned to them, Divljakinje,
21 Banja Guber, Zivkovo Brdo, Alibegovac, and the Kak feature. They did not
22 interfere very much regarding the actual conduct of operations, they just
23 monitored them.
24 I said that this was a surprise for me, I mean their coming to the
25 forward command post, because General Gvero was there, and then General
1 Mladic, the commander of the Main Staff, arrived. So my conclusion was
2 that they were obviously dissatisfied with the course the combat actions
3 were taking. I also gathered after their arrival that General Gvero had
4 in fact come to control and check the Pribicevac forward command post, to
5 monitor operations, and to report the commander of the Main Staff about
6 the same, so he probably did do so.
7 Q. On the 10th of July, did all the senior officers you have just
8 mentioned, General Gvero, Mladic, and Zivanovic, did they all attend; and
9 what was happening in the surroundings?
10 A. On the 10th of July, 1995, at the Pribicevac forward command post,
11 all the senior officers who had been at the forward command post remained,
12 and that is myself, Colonel Vicic, Lieutenant Colonel Osoric, Major
13 Jeldjevic, and Lieutenant Amovic. General Gvero was no longer there.
14 General Mladic and General Zivanovic were also there.
15 Immediately after coming, they joined in observing and monitoring
16 the combat operations, and after the unit commanders had sent their
17 reports, the commander of the 1st Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade
18 reporting that he had regained control of Zivkovo Brdo in the early hours
19 of the morning, whereby he reported that he had accomplished his task.
20 The commander of the 2nd Battalion, Colonel Andric, and as I have
21 already said, that battalion consisted of the forces of the 1st Bircani
22 Brigade and the 2nd Romanija Brigade, so Colonel Andric and Colonel Trivic
23 were there. He is the commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade. And Colonel
24 Andric reported that they had reached the line formed by Alibegovac and
25 Kak, and that they had gained control of those points, and thereby
1 accomplished their task. Then the command of the Bratunac Brigade reports
2 that he's having a great deal of problems with his soldiers to persuade
3 them to embark upon their task of gaining control of Banja Guber and
5 After the commanders of the units had submitted their reports and
6 accomplished their tasks, then General Mladic, via a radio transmitter,
7 RUP 12, which was encrypted, called up each of those commanders who had
8 reported that they had accomplished the task, and he introduced himself by
9 saying, "This is Panorama 01. You haven't accomplished your task.
10 Continue the attack. Enter Srebrenica." He said literally, "I am now in
11 command of the forces engaged in this operation."
12 After this order, the commanders of subordinate units did indeed
13 undertake to accomplish their task. Sometime in the evening of the 10th,
14 early evening, the commander of the 1st Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade
15 reported that he had gained control of the Bojna feature on the route
16 Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica -- Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica, and that a part of the
17 forces were still at Zivkovo Brdo. The commander of the 2nd Battalion
18 reported that he had captured the feature Siljato Brdo.
19 So they continued their attack, the 2nd Battalion continued its
20 attack from the Alibegovac and Kak features, and they gained control of
21 the Siljato Brdo feature. This was in the early evening. It is already
22 dusk, and these units stopped at the lines that they had reached and
23 temporarily assumed the defensive position for -- because it was dark and
24 they were not in contact with the forces of the 28th Division.
25 I would just like to note that after continuing their attack from
1 their previous lines to the Bojna -- towards the Bojna feature and towards
2 the Siljato Brdo feature, there was no significant resistance on the part
3 of the 28th Division. There was just some sporadic fire. When they
4 reached the Bojna-Siljato Brdo line in the evening, the units temporarily
5 took up their defence.
6 And the Bratunac Brigade forces again had virtually no success at
7 all. They had gained control only of a part of the Divljakinje feature.
8 I would like to add the following: General Mladic really did take
9 direct control over -- command over the brigade commanders and issued
10 orders to them, to all of them. And I realised that he did not have the
11 role of a controller, that he was not there to monitor the combat
12 operations and to give guidelines to the units, or suggestions, but that
13 it was for him to have the role of a commander in the continuation of the
14 attack towards Srebrenica for the purpose of actually entering the town.
15 Q. Where was General Zivanovic after that? Do you have an active
16 role in the command?
17 A. After General Mladic assumed the command or the role of the
18 commander, General Zivanovic and myself no longer had this role. We were
19 merely following the orders of the chief of Main Staff and the way in
20 which the units were implementing these orders. Those who knew General
21 Mladic from previous events and cases, it was known that he very often
22 took over in certain parts of the front in Bosnia-Herzegovina of -- he
23 took upon himself the role of the battalion commander, or a company leader
24 even in some cases. He told us, "You see now, this is the way to exert
1 Q. The 11th of July, 1995, were there any combat operations going
2 on? Where were you, General Zivanovic, General Mladic? Was General Gvero
3 still there? Did he leave? Can you tell us something briefly about that?
4 A. General Gvero had left the Pribicevac forward command post in the
5 afternoon of the 9th of July. I have already said that. At the
6 Pribicevac forward command post, in addition to the group that we already
7 know of that was there from before, Generals Mladic and Zivanovic were
8 present there too.
9 On the 11th of July, at dawn, the units engaged in this operation
10 continued their attack in order to carry out the orders received by
11 General Mladic. He was in continual contact with them and he issued his
12 commands to them over a Motorola. On all the attack axes, and I'm
13 referring now primarily to the 1st and 2nd Battalions, there was virtually
14 no resistance by the 28th Division except again ahead of the front where
15 the first Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade attacked towards the Divljakinje
16 feature and in the location of Guber Banja. These were the only
17 features. They are very close to Srebrenica, and that is the reason why
18 there was still resistance that was slightly stronger.
19 Q. Were reserve forces committed to battle on this axis?
20 A. Since the commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade
21 reported directly to General Mladic that he was encountering problems with
22 his personnel that was assigned to carry out the attack and that they
23 simply were unable or did not want to go ahead, and some of them had in
24 fact fled, General Mladic ordered that, on this axis, an attack should be
25 launched at any cost, and he orders General Zivanovic to provide
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 additional forces from the Drina Corps for their engagement along this
2 axis. This was in the morning of the 11th of July, 1995.
3 General Zivanovic called the commander of the 1st Vlasenica Light
4 Infantry Brigade and ordered him to bring a unit, about 50- to 60-men
5 strong -- that would be a smaller company -- to the Kvac area of the
6 forward command post of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. The
7 commander of the 1st Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade detached the
8 required number of personnel and, with the company commander, sent this
9 unit to the Kvac area that I have just mentioned.
10 Q. These units that obviously continued with their attacks and the
11 actual entry into the town of Srebrenica, you said that they did not
12 encounter any significant resistance. So they enter Srebrenica. What
13 happened in that interval between the morning hours and the entry into the
14 town itself?
15 A. After the Drina Corps units, in my opinion, I would say, were on
16 the surrounding heights from the east -- to the east and south of
17 Srebrenica, the heights that are close to the city and around it, in the
18 afternoon, I think it was sometime between 1300 and 1400 hours, the
19 aviation started to target our positions, primarily in the Kvac feature,
20 Pribicevac feature, and Bojna feature. This attack, if I remember
21 correctly, lasted for about 30 minutes. And in light of the previous
22 overflights of the airplanes which did not fire, and after they did open
23 fire on the features that I have just mentioned.
24 When the airstrikes stopped, General Mladic ordered the unit
25 commanders to take all measures to air defence, to defend themselves from
1 attacks from the air space. I will give you an example. For instance,
2 the burning of haystacks in order to create smokescreens, this is one of
3 the measures, one of the air defence measures.
4 Q. At that time, you were at Pribicevac?
5 A. Yes. I was at Pribicevac. General Zivanovic, the Corps
6 Commander, and General Mladic was there, and the rest of the group that I
7 have mentioned earlier.
8 Q. Do you get information that the units have entered the town?
9 A. Sometime in the afternoon, I think it was around 1700 hours, the
10 commander of the 1st Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel
11 Pandurevic, reported to the chief of Main Staff that he had entered the
12 town, that part of his units had entered the town, and the other
13 commanders reported that their units are on the heights around the town,
14 in the vicinity of the town, very close to it.
15 Q. If I understand you correctly, not all of the units entered the
17 A. Yes. After Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic reported to the chief of
18 Main Staff that a part of his unit had entered the town, then General
19 Mladic commanded me and General Zivanovic to follow him to Srebrenica, to
20 come with him to Srebrenica. Of course, we immediately set off in our
21 respective vehicles along the Pribicevac-Zeleni Jadar-Bojna-Srebrenica
22 route. As we entered Srebrenica, we encountered Lieutenant Colonel
23 Pandurevic, who reported to the chief of Main Staff, saying that a part of
24 his unit, around a hundred soldiers, had entered the town.
25 Q. Who did you find in the very centre of the town?
1 A. In the centre of the town, in addition to Lieutenant Colonel
2 Pandurevic, who had already entered the town, we met with Colonel Trivic,
3 commander of the 2nd Motorised Brigade, Colonel Andric, and several other
4 officers from their units. Colonel Trivic, on that occasion, reported to
5 the commander of the Main Staff.
6 Q. So in the centre of the town, there's you, General Zivanovic,
7 General Mladic, and a report is being made to General Mladic. Was that a
8 regular thing to do in terms of ranks? Was it a customary thing, to
9 report to the highest-ranking officer?
10 A. Yes, it is a common military rule.
11 Q. As you entered the town, in addition to the officers that you have
12 mentioned, did you also see Lieutenant Colonel Popovic and Lieutenant
13 Pelemis who was the commander of the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
14 A. No.
15 Q. In the course of this operation, throughout that period of time,
16 did Lieutenant Colonel Popovic -- was Lieutenant Colonel Popovic present
17 in any way, either on a regular basis or from time to time, at the
18 Pribicevac forward command post?
19 A. No. Lieutenant Colonel Popovic did not at any point in time show
20 up at the Pribicevac forward command post.
21 Q. When you entered Srebrenica, did you see members of the 10th
22 Sabotage Detachment?
23 A. In Srebrenica, I did see soldiers, but I don't know what unit they
24 belonged to, the soldiers who were in Srebrenica. I thought that they
25 were the soldiers of the Drina Corps units. So I didn't notice, nor did I
1 pay any attention to, the unit from which those soldiers may have been.
2 Q. The members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment have a typical
3 uniform, if one can call it that way. It is a black uniform, and I should
4 like to know whether you could observe, whether you indeed noticed that
5 black uniform which would enable you to identify them as members of the
6 10th Sabotage Detachment?
7 A. Due to the length of time that I spent at my post as the Chief of
8 Staff of the corps, I was not in a position, I was not in a situation to
9 know all of the officers at the corps, so I didn't know all of the
10 battalion commanders in subordinate units, let alone know the soldiers
11 from some other unit which was not part of the organisational structure of
12 the Drina Corps.
13 The fact that they were wearing black uniforms, I wasn't paying
14 any attention to that. In those times, various uniforms were being worn.
15 We had soldiers who wore uniforms which resembled the uniforms worn by
16 NATO soldiers. We even have uniforms which were similar to the uniforms
17 of the BiH army soldiers.
18 I simply didn't pay any attention to them, and the fact that I
19 passed by didn't enable me to notice anything in particular. It didn't
20 strike me as anything strange. I didn't even think about that. I didn't
21 think about what unit they may have been members of and what soldiers they
23 Q. While you were at the forward command post, did you at any point
24 in time receive any piece of information to the effect that that
25 particular unit might show up in Srebrenica and take part in the
1 operations around and in Srebrenica itself?
2 A. No. Neither myself nor any of my staff officers, I'm referring to
3 the group who came with me to the forward command post, we didn't have any
4 knowledge, any information to the effect that the 10th Sabotage Detachment
5 had arrived in the area of Srebrenica.
6 Q. Colonel Trivic reported to General Mladic. What happened next
7 amongst the officers who were there?
8 A. After Colonel Trivic had made a report to the commander of the
9 Main Staff and after we had greeted the present officers, the commander of
10 the Main Staff ordered the brigade commanders to continue immediately with
11 the attack in the direction of Potocari and Bratunac. After he had issued
12 such an order, we were confused, and we realised that his decision, his
13 order, was not a logical one. It made no sense, simply because, through
14 our intelligence data, we knew that the civilian population from the
15 surrounding villages of the town of Srebrenica, in particular to the south
16 of Srebrenica, on the previous days and on that very day, had already set
17 out in the direction of Potocari, towards the UN base.
18 This is what the brigade commanders said to the commander of the
19 Main Staff, and they explained to him that, should the units continue with
20 the attack towards Potocari and Bratunac, there would be extremely severe
21 consequences for the VRS and also for the civilian population which was
22 already in Potocari.
23 At the time, we still didn't know and we still didn't have contact
24 with the 28th Division. We didn't know whether they had managed to pull
25 out. We didn't know whether the members of the 28th Division were perhaps
1 at the UN base, around the UN base together with the civilian population.
2 And if we should continue with the attack, we thought that the
3 consequences would indeed be severe. I say consequences for both sides
4 because the soldiers who were engaged in the operation were euphoric, and
5 that euphoria was encouraged, and one could see it on that videotape by
6 the behaviour of General Zivanovic, because of his orders and his
7 behaviour in general.
8 So after the brigade commanders explained this to the commander of
9 the Main Staff, General Mladic ordered that the troops should stop at the
10 lines they had taken control of. I have already stated it, only about a
11 hundred soldiers had entered the town; however, the main body of the
12 forces from the south and the east side of Srebrenica had remained on the
13 surrounding heights.
14 Q. You said that General Zivanovic had issued an order and that there
15 was a danger because of the euphoric state of mind that the soldiers were
16 in. What General Zivanovic are you talking about?
17 A. I believe I said General Mladic and not General Zivanovic.
18 Q. You have probably misspoken, General. You were talking about the
19 activities of General Mladic.
20 A. Yes, I'm referring to the order which was issued by General
22 Q. This order concerns both you and General Zivanovic.
23 A. Yes. It concerns myself and General Zivanovic. After the brigade
24 commanders had received the order to hold the attack on the lines that had
25 been reached and to stabilise the deployment of the units, they indeed did
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 so, and they went back to their units. But General Mladic then ordered
2 that General Zivanovic and myself, the brigade commanders, and Major
3 Jevdjevic report to him at a meeting that was supposed to take place at
4 the Bratunac Brigade command in Bratunac on that same evening at 2200
6 Q. So you left Srebrenica and went to Bratunac?
7 A. No, I didn't leave Srebrenica for Bratunac. Immediately after we
8 had received the order and had been informed about the meeting -- the time
9 of the meeting and my presence there, I went back to the Pribicevac
10 forward command post along the Srebrenica-Bojna-Zeleni Jadar-Pribicevac
11 axis. So, I went back.
12 Q. Who did you find at Pribicevac?
13 A. At the Pribicevac forward command post, I found Colonel Vicic,
14 Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, and the commander of the staff command,
15 Lieutenant Amovic.
16 Q. So those were probably already evening hours?
17 A. Yes, it was already evening, around 8.00.
18 Q. Did you, at that point, leave Pribicevac and go to Bratunac?
19 A. After I had briefed Colonel Vicic about what General Mladic had
20 ordered, that is, that the units should stop at the lines and stabilise
21 their positions, I ordered Colonel Vicic to continue monitoring the
22 situation in the units. And after that, I left for Bratunac along the
23 Pribicevac-Sase-Bratunac route.
24 So I left along this route, Pribicevac-Sase-Voljevica-Bratunac,
25 and I arrived in the Bratunac Brigade command.
1 Q. So we can conclude that you did not take the route which goes
2 through Potocari?
3 A. No, this route didn't go through Potocari. This was the route
4 that we had used prior to the beginning of the operation in order to reach
5 the forward command post at Pribicevac.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] At this point, Mr. President, I
7 should like to suggest a break.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, let us have a 15-minute
10 --- Recess taken at 11.16 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Please
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Briefly, General, talking about the 11th of July, when the NATO
16 forces were operating, were there any casualties among members of the
17 Drina Corps?
18 A. After the NATO air force shelled Caus, Pribicevac, and the Bojna
19 feature, after they bombed these features, the forces of the Drina Corps,
20 in terms of personnel, did not suffer any casualties. There was only a
21 large number of soldiers who suffered contusions -- concussions because of
22 the explosions, and there was damage on motor vehicles.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have Exhibit 80, please.
24 Q. So you reached the forward command post at Pribicevac from
25 Srebrenica. You issued certain assignments to Colonel Vicic; is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Exhibit number 80 bears the number 03/4-1617, dated the 11th of
4 July, 1995. It is issued by the Main Staff of the Army of Republika
5 Srpska, by assistant commander Major-General Milan Gvero to the Drina
6 Corps command at the forward command post number 1. Were you familiar
7 with the contents of this document?
8 A. After I went back to the forward command post at Pribicevac from
9 Srebrenica, I was given this document and I was familiar with its
10 content. It is directly addressed to the Drina Corps command at the
11 forward command post number 1 of the Drina Corps at Pribicevac. Just as I
12 was familiar with the previous warning with respect to UNPROFOR, so I also
13 studied this document sent by the assistant commander for morale, legal,
14 and religious issues, General Milan Gvero.
15 I do not recollect what day it was prior to this date when the
16 commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, informed me
17 that forces, or rather soldiers of the Dutch Battalion who were at a
18 checkpoint near Zeleni Jadar had surrendered, or rather had crossed to the
19 forces of Republika Srpska, the reason being that they were afraid of
20 retaliation by troops of the BH army and of the 28th Division and that
21 they might be used against the forces of the VRS and that they simply
22 would be having trouble with them.
23 I was also informed by the commander of the Zvornik Brigade that
24 this group of soldiers was sent to Bratunac. I don't remember what day
25 that was. It could have been sometime between the end of the day of the
1 8th of July and the 10th of July, in the morning.
2 Q. So you arrived from Pribicevac to Bratunac, to the already
3 scheduled meeting. This is the evening by now, so could you explain what
4 was happening that evening and where the meeting was held.
5 A. The commander of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska,
6 as I have already said, ordered General Zivanovic, myself, Major
7 Jevdjevic, and the brigade commanders engaged in this operation to report
8 to him at a meeting of the command of the Bratunac Brigade at 2200 hours.
9 When I arrived to the command of the Bratunac Brigade, in the hall
10 where the meeting was due to be held, I found the following officers: the
11 commander of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel
12 Pandurevic; the commander of the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade, Colonel
13 Andric; the commander of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, Colonel
14 Blagojevic; the commander of the Milici Brigade, Major Nastic. Also
15 present when I arrived was Major Jevdjevic, who was not at the forward
16 command post Pribicevac when I returned there from Srebrenica.
17 After some time, around 2000 hours -- no, I'm sorry, about 2200
18 hours -- not later, it may have been a couple of minutes earlier than that
19 -- General Mladic arrived at the brigade headquarters, together with
20 General Zivanovic, when the meeting actually began.
21 Q. In addition to the commanding officers you have listed, were
22 officers from the Security Service also present at any level whatsoever?
23 A. No, not a single officer of any level from the Security Service
24 was present.
25 Q. What about the intelligence service?
1 A. No, no one.
2 Q. So the meeting began, and who chaired the meeting?
3 A. The meeting started, and it was chaired by General Mladic.
4 Q. Tell us, what was the topic of the meeting?
5 A. The first thing he told us was that he and General Zivanovic had
6 just returned from a meeting with a commander of the Dutch UNPROFOR
7 Battalion, Colonel Karremans. He did not provide any details regarding
8 the substance of that meeting; he just told us that it had been held.
9 After that, he ordered that the forces of the Drina Corps which
10 had participated in the operation Krivaja 95 until Srebrenica was entered,
11 should, during the night, be pulled out and gather in the area of Viogora,
12 in the area of Viogora to the west of Srebrenica, as indicated by these
13 arrows. This is the area he meant.
14 Q. So for the record, it should be noted that it is the area of the
15 mountain of Viogora which is to the northwest of Srebrenica; is that
17 A. West of Srebrenica, west of Srebrenica. And after that, that they
18 should organise a march and head for -- along the following route:
19 Viogora, Suceska, Derventa, Milici, Vlasenica, Han Pijesak, Plane, and
20 that they should prepare for offensive operations for Zepa.
21 In that connection, he also said the following: He ordered,
22 saying, "General Krstic will be the commander of these forces that will be
23 conducting the operation for Zepa."
24 Q. Did you or any of the others present comment on the decision or
25 order issued by General Mladic?
1 A. Yes. Immediately after this order was issued, Lieutenant Colonel
2 Pandurevic, the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, said the following:
3 "General, sir, we still have no contact with the 28th Division. We don't
4 know where it is situated. Possibly the 28th Division will make a
5 breakthrough towards the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade
6 which would have unforeseeable consequences for that brigade."
7 General Mladic immediately responded to this comment by Lieutenant
8 Colonel Pandurevic addressed to him and said, "Lieutenant Colonel, your
9 task is Zepa. The area of Bratunac and Srebrenica have been reached by
10 forces of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, a unit of the Main Staff, a police
11 detachment of a special MUP Brigade, and also there's the 65th Protective
12 Motorised Regiment in the area of Nova Kasaba."
13 Q. Were there any further questions or comments?
14 A. Yes. He said, "I will be in command of these and other forces in
15 this area, and you will go where I have ordered you to go." Also, General
16 Mladic, as soon as he had issued his order for the forces of the Drina
17 Corps to pull out and congregate in the area of Viogora mountain, he
18 ordered Jevdjevic to go to the next forward command post. Major Jevdjevic
19 immediately left the meeting and went to carry out his assignment.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, can we have exhibit
21 number D98.
22 Q. This is the order number 03/4-1616, dated the 11th of July, 1995.
23 It is issued by the commander Lieutenant General Ratko Mladic. It is
24 designated as very urgent and it is addressed to the command of the Drina
25 Corps, the 65th Protective Motorised Regiment, the 67th Communications
1 Regiment, and for the information of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade,
2 the 1st Vlasenica, the 1st Milici, and the 1st Podrinje Brigades.
3 General, could you please comment on this order.
4 A. I have never seen this order before. In fact, I did study it so
5 that I can give you a comment. This is an order to the Drina Corps
6 command, to the 65th Protective Motorised Regiment, and the 67th
7 Communications Regiment -- this was also a unit of the Main Staff -- and
8 for the information of the Drina Corps units. That's the 2nd Romanija
9 Motorised Brigade; the 1st Vlasenica Brigade, Infantry, Light Brigade; the
10 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade; and the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry
11 Brigade. It refers to the information related to the request of the 28th
12 Division, of the command of the 28th Division, for the forces of the 28th
13 Division that had been transferred from Srebrenica and Zepa, as planned,
14 to the Sarajevo theatre, for them to immediately head to Srebrenica, or
15 return to Srebrenica.
16 This order also provides the axes along which they are to return,
17 and these are the shortest routes leading to Srebrenica and Zepa, and I
18 will mention them.
19 The first axis was Medov Do -- I will show it later -- Sljemenska
20 Planina, Devetak, Boksanica Mountain, Zepa, Srebrenica. This is the wider
21 area of the municipality of Olovo, Medov Do, then -- I'm showing it on the
22 map now -- Sljemenska Planina, Devetak -- it is not on the map -- the
23 Boksanica Mountain -- it is not on the map -- Zepa, and on to Srebrenica.
24 The second axis was Spiljanska Stijena, Igrista, Partizansko
25 Polje, Zezenica, Kupusna, and on through Stedra and Nurici, towards Kosovo
1 and Srebrenica. This is the axis here: Spiljanska Stijena, Tamburica
2 Kosa, Han Pogled, Zezenica, Nurici, Podravanje, Srebrenica.
3 So we're talking about the transfer of the forces of the 28th
4 Division, which had, according to the plan, been pulled out from
5 Srebrenica and Zepa to the Sarajevo theatre in order to take part in the
6 spring offensive. This indicates that they had assembled in the area of
7 Olovo and Kladanj and that they were to return from these axes to
8 Srebrenica and to Zepa.
9 This order also gives a task to the units of the Drina Corps, such
10 as the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, which was manning these positions
11 facing Olovo and Kladanj; and to the Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade,
12 which was also engaged on the front towards Kladanj; and to the 1st
13 Podrinje Infantry Brigade, which was engaged between Zepa and Rogatica on
14 positions facing Zepa; and to the 65th Protective Motorised Regiment,
15 which was engaged from the direction of Han Pijesak, towards Zepa, in the
16 defence. So through the areas of responsibility of these units, the
17 forces of the 28th Division were supposed to pass.
18 This order also shows, in a very obvious way, that the commander
19 of the Main Staff assigns separate tasks to the Drina Corps and separately
20 to the 65th Protective Motorised Regiment and to the 67th Communications
21 Regiment. As regards the tasks issued to the 65th Protective Regiment,
22 the commander reminds them that they will be carrying out this task
23 parallel to the task that they had received earlier. That is all I have
24 to say.
25 Q. Does that mean that this task had already been given to the 65th
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Regiment, or is it some other task that it had been given earlier?
2 A. This order specifies that this is a task that the regiment had
3 received earlier.
4 Q. So you received this order at that meeting, and did the meeting
5 end with this order?
6 A. No. The meeting did not end as yet --
7 MR. HARMON: The witness testified that he had never seen this
8 order before and the question says -- that was asked by my colleague was,
9 "So you received this order at the meeting," which appears to be a
10 conflict between the two, and we would object to the leading question.
11 And if there is a clarification that needs to be made, perhaps it should
12 be made by General Krstic.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, Mr. Petrusic.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, when I was asking my
16 last question to which Mr. Harmon objected, I was referring to the order
17 that General Mladic issued at the meeting on the 11th of July in the
18 evening at 2200 hours, and the order referred to the operation that was
19 supposed to be taken towards Zepa, and I was not referring to the order
20 that General Krstic has been commenting on.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Petrusic, but you
22 should try and ask your questions as clearly as possible in order to avoid
23 any confusion.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, after General Mladic in the evening hours of the 11th had
1 issued assignments regarding Zepa, did the meeting end?
2 A. No. The meeting went on for a little while, and during that time,
3 General Mladic informed all those who were present at the meeting of the
4 fact that he had received a decree from the president of Republika Srpska
5 to the effect that the civilian commissioner in Srebrenica should be
6 appointed, and that Mr. Deronjic should be appointed commissioner, and
7 that he was supposed to establish a civilian authority in the town itself
8 and in the territory of the Srebrenica municipality.
9 Q. Did you as Chief of Staff at that meeting, you and other officers
10 who were present at the meeting, did you know anything about the 28th
11 Division and the route via which it was leaving the enclave?
12 A. Even before this meeting, immediately after we had entered the
13 town and also during the meeting at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, we
14 didn't know anything, we didn't have any knowledge about the forces of the
15 28th Division.
16 Q. What were your activities after the meeting ended? What did you
18 A. After the meeting, General Mladic ordered me to come to a meeting
19 that was supposed to be held at 2300 hours at the Fontana Hotel in
20 Bratunac. After he had ordered me that, he left the headquarters,
21 together with General Zivanovic.
22 Q. That order, or rather, notice about a meeting, was it received by
23 any other officer who was present at that meeting?
24 A. No. None of the officers who were present at the meeting received
25 this order.
1 Q. That meeting was supposed to start at 11 p.m.?
2 A. Yes. The meeting began at 2300 hours on the 11th of July.
3 Q. Who were the participants of that meeting?
4 A. The meeting at the Fontana Hotel in Bratunac which started at 2300
5 on the 11th of July was attended by General Mladic, myself, then there was
6 a colonel whom we hadn't seen from before but later on. During the
7 proceedings in this case, mention was made of Colonel Jankovic, and that
8 was him. Present at the meeting was also the chief of security of the
9 Drina Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, and my assistant commander for
10 intelligence affairs, Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric.
11 There were several other individuals from the civilian
12 authorities, and I believe that the meeting was also attended by the
13 president of the municipal assembly of Bratunac, Mr. Simic.
14 Colonel Karremans, the commander of the Dutch Battalion, also
15 attended the meeting, together with one or two other of his officers, his
17 Present at the meeting was also the representatives of Bosniaks,
18 Mr. Mandzic, whom I didn't know, whom I hadn't met before.
19 Q. Was General Zivanovic present at the meeting?
20 A. No, General Zivanovic was not present at that meeting.
21 Q. Do you know whether General Zivanovic, the Corps Commander, and we
22 are talking about the 11th of July, was he the commander at that time?
23 A. Yes, he was the Corps Commander, and the reason why he was absent
24 was probably because he was involved in some other matters according to
25 his own plan or pursuant to orders of General Mladic.
1 Q. While we are still in the field of hypothesis, his involvement,
2 could it have been in the drafting of the orders for combat activities
3 which were to take place in the area of Zepa?
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, please, would you
5 ask your witness for specific information and do not engage in
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, at that time while this meeting was being held, do you
9 know whether anyone was involved in the preparations of everything that
10 should accompany an operation such as the Zepa operation?
11 A. No. At that moment, I -- all I could do was to think about the
12 manner in which the Drina Corps forces could be taken to Zepa and used
13 further on. That was my job. That was my responsibility. I was the only
14 one who could do that because General Mladic had issued a clear order to
15 the -- that I was to be the commander for those operations.
16 Q. Let us go back to the meeting. What was on the agenda?
17 A. The subject of the meeting --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, I'm sorry to
19 interrupt you, I don't know if I am right, but it seems to me that General
20 Krstic would need a break at this point. I don't know whether -- it seems
21 to me that he's in pain. I might be wrong.
22 Am I right or wrong, General?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, you are
24 right. I would need a break at this point.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, very well. We will have a
1 break now, quarter of an hour.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
3 --- Upon resuming at 12.32 p.m.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, you may continue.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, we had stopped at the meeting of the 11th, at 2300
7 hours. Could you tell us, what was the agenda of that meeting?
8 A. It is very hard for me to remember the exact contents of the whole
9 meeting, but I will tell you what I do remember. General Mladic, with the
10 representative of the Bosniak side, Mr. Mandzic, was having a dialogue.
11 Of course, he spoke much more than did Mr. Mandzic. He was saying to
12 Mr. Mandzic that the Muslims in the area, from the very beginning of the
13 conflict to that day, had committed great atrocities against the Serb
14 population and that is why the army of Republika Srpska had been forced to
15 carry out such an operation. He also said that he had nothing against the
16 civilian population, that the aim of the Republika Srpska and its army was
17 not the civilian population, but he wanted him to give him information as
18 to the location of the 28th Division, where they had gone to.
19 He also told him that all those who had committed crimes from
20 among the members of that division must be held to account for what they
21 had done. He requested that he get in touch with the 28th Division and
22 that he should advise them to surrender their weapons, to lay down their
23 arms and to surrender, and that it is quite normal that measures would be
24 taken against those for which there is available information that
25 they -- and evidence that they had committed war crimes. And he
1 guaranteed that all those who surrender would be safe and that nothing
2 would happen to any one of them.
3 Upon this address by General Mladic to Mr. Mandzic, Mr. Mandzic
4 responded very briefly. He mostly listened to General Mladic and told him
5 that he didn't know where the 28th Division was and that even if he did
6 know, if he were to convey General Mladic's demand on surrender and the
7 laying down of weapons, they wouldn't listen to him and they would not
8 comply to such a request.
9 He also told him that the civilian population, which was just then
10 in the UNPROFOR base, the base of the Dutch Battalion in Potocari, could
11 stay if they wished to, could stay in Srebrenica, to live there; or,
12 according to their own wishes, they might decide to go to the territory
13 under the control of the BH army. He requested that he contact the people
14 and communicate this to them.
15 Mr. Mandzic said then, I think, that he had no special influence,
16 as he had said in respect of the 28th Division that he had no particular
17 influence over the people to be able to influence their decision.
18 Mr. Mandzic said a number of times that they were not in touch with the
19 presidency in Sarajevo, because regarding the decision as to whether to
20 stay or to go to territory under their control, they would need to contact
21 them. General Mladic did not respond to this.
22 Mr. Mandzic also said that there were very serious problems in
23 Potocari, that there was a very large group of people there, that they
24 were mostly without food, and that they were even in short supply of
25 water. General Mladic said that he would take care of providing the
1 population with food and water, of course with the assistance of the Dutch
2 Battalion, of the UNPROFOR.
3 He also spoke to the commander of the Dutch Battalion, Colonel
4 Karremans, in connection with the laying down of weapons and the surrender
5 of the 28th Division. One could say that this was a kind of ultimatum,
6 that he had to contact them and convey to them his request.
7 Also, he requested from Colonel Karremans that, should the
8 population decide to abandon the territory of Srebrenica, or rather, the
9 UN compound, that the Dutch Battalion must help them to a certain degree
10 to address all problems, and especially those related to fuel supplies,
11 petrol, which would be necessary if motor vehicles were to be used.
12 The meeting did not last long, and General Mladic was talking most
13 of the time; the others were silent. All the other representatives of the
14 Serb side were silent. He was the only one to speak, with occasional
15 responses to demands by General Mladic being given by the commander of the
16 Dutch Battalion and by Mr. Mandzic.
17 The meeting ended I think about, as far as I can recollect, 2400
18 hours without any kind of decision having been made at that meeting.
19 Q. You and the others attending the meeting did not take the floor?
20 A. No. No one except General Mladic took the floor about anything at
21 that meeting.
22 Q. After that meeting, did you have any contact or conversation with
23 General Mladic?
24 A. No, I had no contact, but he only told all those present that
25 there would be another meeting the next day, on the 12th of July,
1 beginning at 1000 hours. He didn't tell me at all that I needed to attend
2 the meeting of the 12th.
3 Q. Where did you go after that meeting?
4 A. When the meeting ended, I went to the headquarters of the Bratunac
5 Brigade, to sleep there.
6 Q. The next day, the 12th of July, what did you do?
7 A. My activities were primarily linked with the tasks assigned to me
8 in connection with the Zepa operation. I got up early, at 6.00. I
9 dropped in to see the duty officer, and he told me that General Mladic had
10 ordered that I should attend again the meeting at 1000 hours.
11 After that, I immediately went to the forward command post at
12 Pribicevac, where I found Colonel Vicic and the commander of the staff
13 command, Lieutenant Amovic, at the forward command post Pribicevac. I
14 went to Pribicevac from Bratunac, taking the same route I had taken to go
15 to the meeting, and that is Bratunac, Voljevica, Sase, Pribicevac.
16 When I reached the Pribicevac forward command post, I conveyed to
17 Colonel Vicic immediately the tasks we had been assigned linked to Zepa,
18 and I told him that, in that connection, we had very, very little time
19 because the units had to be congregated, led to the deployment lines, and
20 that we needed to prepare the most fundamental documents linked to that
22 On the spot, we discussed this assignment. I gave Colonel Vicic
23 the basic guidelines as to what he had to do while he was still at the
24 Pribicevac forward command post in that connection, and I passed on to him
25 certain points regarding the drafting of the order and the specification
1 of tasks for subordinate units.
2 When I reached the Pribicevac forward command post and having
3 completed these activities, I went back to the meeting I had been ordered
4 to attend at the Fontana Hotel in Bratunac.
5 Q. Can you tell us who attended that meeting?
6 A. That meeting was attended by the same persons, almost by the same
7 persons who had attended the previous meeting, except for one additional
8 representative of Bosniaks, a lady that was there as well. As for the
9 Serb side, the participants were mostly the same as those present at the
10 previous meeting.
11 Q. So the Muslim side was represented by Mr. Mandzic?
12 A. Yes. Mr. Mandzic and this lady whose name escapes me at the
14 Q. As regards officers of the Drina Corps or the Main Staff?
15 A. From the Main Staff, present was General Mladic, Colonel
16 Jankovic. I can't remember whether anyone else was present. As for the
17 Drina Corps, I myself was there, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, and
18 Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric. Yes, I remember. There was one other officer
19 from the Main Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Milutinovic, who was chief of
20 intelligence service at the -- information service at the information,
21 morale, and religious department, religious issues department. The
22 meeting was also attended by the president of the Bratunac Municipal
23 Assembly and the newly-appointed commissioner for Srebrenica, Mr.
25 Q. What about the Dutch Battalion?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 A. The Dutch Battalion was represented by Colonel Karremans.
2 Q. Could you tell us something about the agenda of that meeting.
3 A. The agenda was more or less the same as during the first meeting,
4 and again General Mladic spoke at some length, or rather talked to the
5 representatives of the Bosniak community, especially with the lady who
6 attended the meeting. He requested that Mr. Mandzic and the lady, that
7 they should tell him what the residents of Srebrenica, or rather the
8 protected area of Srebrenica, had decided. As far as I remember, the lady
9 said that they had decided that they would go to the free territory.
10 General Mladic said the same he did at the previous meeting. He told
11 Mr. Mandzic that they could decide to remain in the territory of Republika
12 Srpska or to leave for the free territory. I think that she said that
13 they had decided that they would go to Tuzla and Kladanj.
14 The lady engaged in a conversation for some time with the people
15 whom she knew. I believe she talked to Mr. Deronjic, but I cannot
16 remember the details of their conversation. And as far as Colonel
17 Karremans is concerned, he told him the same thing as at the previous
18 meeting; he requested fuel again and the surrender of the 28th Division.
19 But I can't remember what Colonel Karremans told him about the fuel, but
20 as far as the 28th Division is concerned, he said he was unable to meet
21 his request because it was simply impossible. He also said that should
22 the population be moved, or rather evacuated, that in that case, as far as
23 the escort is concerned, the UNPROFOR forces should also take part in
25 At that time, it was already obvious that the evacuation would
1 take place very soon, on the basis of all the questions that General
2 Mladic asked and the comments that were made in relation to that, and also
3 because of what the lady said, that they had decided, that is, that they
4 would go to the territory under the control of the BH government.
5 During this meeting, at least as far as the military personnel is
6 concerned -- I'm referring to the Serb side -- nobody said anything.
7 Nobody took the floor or engaged in any discussion. It was General Mladic
8 who spoke all the time. As for the civilians, I already told you that
9 Mr. Deronjic spoke with the lady who was representing the Bosniak
11 Q. After the meeting had ended, where did you go?
12 A. After the meeting, which I believe ended around 1200 hours on that
13 day, I went back to the Pribicevac forward command post. My intention was
14 to pass through Srebrenica on that occasion, but I ran into a checkpoint
15 at Potocari which was manned by the troops of the 65th Protective
16 Motorised Regiment, and the soldiers there told me that nobody could pass
17 through the checkpoint before General Mladic and that that was his order,
18 and indeed this is how I interpreted that: as an order. So I respected
19 it, because the soldiers are supposed to respect orders issued by their
20 superiors. And also I thought -- I didn't have anyone with me as my
21 escort except for my driver, and I actually didn't know what was happening
22 with the refugees up there, so I respected the request that was made by
23 the soldiers manning the checkpoint.
24 While I was there for this very brief period of time, I listened
25 to those soldiers, but at the same time I noticed the presence of a TV
1 crew there. They asked me to get out of my vehicle, and I gave them a
2 brief interview, and it was indeed a very brief interview.
3 The moment I got out of the vehicle, I realised that Lieutenant
4 Colonel Kosoric was there as well, together with Lieutenant Colonel
5 Popovic, and I ordered Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric to report to me at the
6 forward command post on the 13th in the morning.
7 I didn't order anything to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic because I
8 was not his subordinate officer. He was an assistant commander of the
9 corps, like myself.
10 Q. What did you order to Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric?
11 A. Well, Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric is my -- I'm superior officer to
12 him. He was the assistant commander for intelligence section.
13 Q. After the interview -- actually, tell us about the contents of the
14 interview, first of all.
15 A. The topic of the interview concerned the task that we were
16 accomplishing. They wanted to know what I thought about NATO air strikes,
17 and I gave my opinion. They asked me about the civilians, and I told them
18 that a meeting had just been completed and that it had been agreed that
19 they would be transferred to the free territory, and also that safety and
20 security was guaranteed during the evacuation through their
21 representatives who attended the meeting.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, you're on your feet.
23 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President, and my apologies for the
24 interruption. I'm not sure if this is a mistake or not, but on line
25 12:56:08 is a reference, "Colonel Popovic because I was not his
1 subordinate officer." I'm not sure if that is an error or if that's the
2 way the record should stand.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Obviously the record is not
4 correct. Let us try and clarify it through a question. Thank you,
5 Mr. Harmon.
6 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, is he your subordinate?
7 A. I said that he was not my subordinate officer and that I was not
8 his superior officer. He was an assistant commander to the Corps
9 Commander with the same level as myself, who was the Chief of Staff; and
10 he had the same authority as myself when -- in terms of relationship with
11 the commanders from his section.
12 Q. Thank you. So you saw those officers at the checkpoint, Kosoric
13 and Popovic, and after the interview, where did you go?
14 A. After I gave the interview and after I told Colonel Kosoric to
15 report to me at Krivace, I went back in the direction of Bratunac, but I
16 turned in the direction of Voljevica and took the same route to go back to
17 Pribicevac, the same route I had used to come to the meeting: Bratunac,
18 Voljevica, Sase, Pribicevac.
19 Q. Did you find Colonel Vicic there?
20 A. Yes. That's where I found Colonel Vicic.
21 Q. Did Colonel Vicic report to you about what he had done in the
22 meantime as regards the task that he had been assigned?
23 A. Yes. He briefed me or reported to me that he had carried out work
24 in the spirit of the order that he had been -- the task that he had been
25 given, and that he had drafted the basic combat documents for the command
1 of the forces that were supposed to engage against Zepa.
2 He also told me that he had been monitoring the preparations of
3 the staff command for the removal of the command to the forward command
4 post in Krivace.
5 Q. Is this where you -- is this the point from which you went to the
6 new forward command post at Krivace?
7 A. When I arrived at the forward command post at Pribicevac from the
8 meeting in Bratunac, it was around, I think, 1330 or maybe 1400 hours. I
9 stayed there for a while, acquainted myself with what Colonel Vicic had
10 done, we had lunch together, and then we went together to Viogora, where
11 the units were supposed to assemble. This was the assembly area for the
12 units engaged in the operation. We headed towards Viogora on the route
13 Pribicevac, Zeleni Jadar, Srebrenica, Viogora.
14 Q. General, there's no need for you to point at the map; it is
15 sufficient for you to name the locations along the route.
16 A. I just wanted to indicate that the part of the route from
17 Srebrenica to Viogora, as I said, Viogora is to the west of Srebrenica,
18 and there is a road leading from Srebrenica-Viogora-Suceska-Derventa to
20 Q. So did you, on your way to Viogora, catch up with the units of the
21 Drina Corps, or in general, where were these units at the time?
22 A. At the moment when we were just very close to Viogora, we caught
23 up with the -- some of the units that were pulling out from their previous
24 positions. But at the time when we came to the Viogora itself, I was
25 informed that all the units had already gathered in the area, in
1 particular, those units that were conducting attacks from the southern
2 side. That's the 1st Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade and the 1st
3 Battalion and parts of the Milici Light Infantry Brigade, which were
4 cooperating with the 2nd Battalion in gaining control of the Kak feature.
5 The Bratunac Brigade was, at that time, in the course of
6 assembling at its previous position, just like the Milici Brigade, except
7 for the part that took active part in combat. They were assembling at
8 their previous positions while at the same time they provided protection
9 to the Serbian villages towards Milici from the direction of Suceska and
10 Ravni Buljim.
11 Q. Did you find the commanding officers of these units there?
12 A. Up there, I found Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, then Colonel
13 Andric, Colonel Trivic, and Major Nastic, the commander of the Milici
15 Q. Did you issue any orders to them for the purpose of the next
17 A. I stayed there for a very short time, and I ordered them to speed
18 up the process of assembling and moving the units in order to execute the
19 next task.
20 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the security or protection for the
21 march route towards the Krivace forward command post?
22 A. Since Major Nastic was at the meeting in Bratunac and since he had
23 heard the axis along which the forces from Viogora were to organise
24 themselves and to march on the Milici-Vlasenica-Han Pijesak route,
25 immediately upon his return he took appropriate action to secure the
1 Viogora-Derventa road and to facilitate safe and secure passage of units.
2 He told me that the road was completely secured and that his
3 Sapper platoon from the brigade was inspecting the road to check the road
4 for anti-tank mines, and he told me that they had not found any such
6 Q. So the units of the Drina Corps, or parts of the Drina Corps, were
7 assembling in the area of the Viogora Mountain. What road will they
8 use -- or rather, who designated the road that they were to use to get to
9 the point where they would be executing their next mission?
10 A. General Mladic ordered which route should be taken, the march
11 route that was to be taken to the area of deployment or the area of
12 engagement, towards Zepa, of course for those forces that would be
13 carrying out the attack on Zepa from the direction of Han Pijesak.
14 However, I had been thinking ever since that time about many more
15 things, about what the Bratunac and Milici Brigade would be doing, because
16 Colonel Vicic and myself, while we were still at Pribicevac, we had been
17 discussing the possible routes and the forces to be engaged along those
18 routes or axes. That is why the forces of the Zvornik Brigade, of the 2nd
19 Romanija Brigade, the 1st Birac Brigade, were organised, and they marched
20 from Viogora, along Viogora-Suceska-Derventa-Milici-Vlasenica-Han
22 As regards the Milici Brigade and the Bratunac Brigade and the
23 Skelani battalion, the order was that, taking all safety precautions, they
24 should assemble and go to the wider area of Podravanje, Bracani and Rudnik
25 -- or, I'm sorry, the bauxite mine.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 As regards the Bratunac Brigade, the Milici Brigade and the
2 Skelani Battalion, the assembly area that was designated to them was the
3 wider area from Ravani, Bracani, and Rupovo Brdo. This is the area here.
4 And they were to bring in their units using the route Pribicevac-Zeleni
5 Jadar-Kostur-Podravanje. This is part of the Bratunac Brigade and the
6 Skelani Battalion too.
7 As regards the Milici Brigade, it was using the known routes
8 Derventa-Besica Brdo-bauxite mines-Rupovo Brdo. But I already mentioned
9 that they had a lot of work to do to ensure the safety both of their units
10 and of the population there.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would
12 like to stop here, and we suggest that we have the lunch break now.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. We will have
14 our one-hour break at this point.
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.16 p.m. ---
16 --- On resuming at 2.17 p.m.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic, please
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. General, before the break, you talked about the Bratunac Brigade,
21 the Milici Brigade, and the Skelani Independent Battalion and their
22 assembly area. Why this area, the area of the Podravanje-Bracani-Rupovo
23 Brdo is a different area from the area in which other units taking part or
24 preparing for the combat operations against Zepa are being assembled?
25 A. This was done for the following reason: When I was with Colonel
1 Vicic at the Pribicevac command post after my return from the meeting from
2 Bratunac, I discussed the grouping of forces with him in view of the task
3 that we had been given, the task that had to do with Zepa, and we defined
4 the forces that would take part in the operation and the axes along which
5 they would attack, and also the assembly areas the attacks were to be
6 against Zepa.
7 So for these three units, so for the Bratunac Brigade, the Milici
8 Brigade, and the Independent Skelani Battalion, the wider assembly area of
9 Podravanje, Rupovo Brdo, and Bracan was determined because in the
10 execution of the task on Zepa, they would be attacking along the line of
11 Podravanje-Orlov Kamen, which is not on this map, Zlovrh and on to Zepa.
12 So that was the main and the only reason for which I assigned this
13 assembly area for these units.
14 Q. Was this an order that was issued to these units?
15 A. No. At that time, the order had not yet been issued to these
16 units, but as I passed through the Viogora area, I conveyed all this,
17 communicated all this, to Major Nastic, and he was to communicate this to
18 Colonel Blagojevic. And later on, we will see that when they gathered at
19 the Krivace forward command post, that I did issue that order to the
20 brigade commanders.
21 Q. Where did you go after this assembly was over, and can you
22 describe the routes that you took -- you don't need to show us on the map
23 -- and where did you arrive? What happened, briefly, on that day? I
24 think it's the 12th.
25 A. Yes, this is still the 12th of July, 1995. After a brief stay at
1 the Viogora mountain with the commanders I encountered there, I, together
2 with Colonel Vicic, went on to Vlasenica to the command post. We took the
3 route Viogora-Suceska-Derventa-Milici-Vlasenica. We arrived in Vlasenica
4 sometime between 17 and 1800 hours on that day.
5 Q. Sorry, did you arrive at the command post in Vlasenica, you mean
6 the Drina Corps command post?
7 A. Yes, that's correct, the Drina Corps command post in Vlasenica.
8 Q. Whom did you find there at the command post?
9 A. At the command post in Vlasenica, I'd say that the situation there
10 was business as usual. I did not notice any increased presence of
11 officers. I did not go to all of the offices of the organs of the command
12 to determine in any way which of the officers were present there, but in
13 the operations room I did find the duty operations officer of the Drina
14 Corps command.
15 Q. Did he brief you or submit any kind of report to you?
16 A. I think that, on that day, as far as I can remember, the duty
17 operations officer was Colonel Jocic, Predrag Jocic. He was also from the
18 corps staff in the operations and training section. He was there as the
19 duty officer on that day. He gave me a brief report about the situation
20 in the corps, in particular as regards the area of responsibility of the
21 corps, which I had not visited for several days.
22 He said that in the Romanija plateau, which is an area on -- in
23 the direction of Sarajevo from Vlasenica where the forces of the 2nd
24 Romanija Motorised Brigade were defending their positions against Kladanj
25 and Orlovo, and the 1st Podrinje Brigade from Rogatica towards Gorazde and
1 Zepa, that there were no particular developments there except for an
2 attempted attack using the forces from Orlovo at the Orlovo-Sokolac axis.
3 But the attack was successfully repelled. He also told me that between
4 the 11th and the 12th July, the 28th Division had managed to break through
5 in the area between Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, Kravice, and Glogova, and
6 that these forces are headed towards Tuzla, mostly towards the Zvornik
7 Brigade, and partly towards the Birac Brigade, the 1st Birac Brigade.
8 Q. At the Vlasenica command post, did you encounter General Zivanovic
10 A. No.
11 Q. How come that the report was submitted to you by the duty
12 operations officer? Was this in accordance with the rules?
13 A. Yes, that was the rule. It was his duty to monitor the situation
14 in the area of responsibility of the corps and to take appropriate
15 measures that are within his jurisdiction. The problems that he is unable
16 to solve, of course, he has to report to the superior officer.
17 Q. After his report, did you take any measures in light of his
19 A. No. I did not take any measures to that effect.
20 Q. In light of the situation, was there any indication that the
21 combat operations against Zepa would be cancelled, aborted?
22 A. No, there were no indications. I did not get any signals from
23 anyone that it was possible, that there was any possibility that the
24 operation against Zepa would be postponed.
25 Q. What was your opinion in this respect?
1 A. My opinion in this respect was similar to the way that Colonel
2 Pandurevic reacted at the meeting at the headquarters of the Bratunac
3 Brigade. If I were in General Mladic's shoes, I would not have issued
4 such an order because we did not know where the 28th Division was and what
5 it could do. It would have been much more useful and efficient for the
6 forces that had taken part in the operation in Srebrenica, after their
7 entry into Srebrenica, to go on looking for the 28th Division, to pursue
8 those units, and to get into contact with them in order to avoid the
9 problems that occurred later and which had serious consequences for the
10 1st Zvornik Brigade and partly for the 1st Birac Brigade.
11 Q. How long did you stay at the corps command?
12 A. I stayed there for a very short time. After I received the report
13 from the duty operations officer, I personally carried out some
14 preparations for my departure for Zepa.
15 Q. Was Colonel Vicic with you there?
16 A. Yes, Colonel Vicic was with me. In addition to carrying out these
17 preparations, I also ordered him draft the text and to prepare a graphic
18 overview of the documents regarding the Zepa operation, as we have agreed
19 at the Pribicevac forward command post.
20 Q. Where did you go after you left Vlasenica?
21 A. After I left Vlasenica, I went to Han Pijesak.
22 Q. So this is still the 12th of July?
23 A. Yes. This is the evening of the 12th of July. I went to Han
24 Pijesak to visit my brother and my mother, and then my wife's family in
25 the village of Kusace, near the forward command post at Krivace. The
1 distance is about five to six kilometres.
2 Q. When did you arrive at Krivace?
3 A. I said that I visited my brother and mother. That's the village
4 of Ljeskovac, four kilometres to the south of Han Pijesak. Then this is
5 the village of Kusace, further down the road, where my wife's family
6 live. That's near the road Han Pijesak-Pozeplje-Zepa. The village of
7 Krivace -- that was the forward command post of the Drina Corps -- is on
8 the eastern slopes of the Zep Mountain, immediately to the east, and the
9 forward command post was between the feature itself and the village of
11 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Mr. President. I apologise for
12 interrupting, but we never got an answer to the question that was posed by
13 my colleague. The question was: When did you arrive at Krivace? And we
14 still have not heard the answer to that question.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Continue,
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes. That was my next question.
18 Q. When did you arrive at the forward command post at Krivace?
19 A. I arrived between 2200 and 2300 hours at the forward command post,
20 after having spent quite some time with my brother, my mother, and my
21 wife's family.
22 Q. Can you tell us: What was going on at the forward command post
23 and where did you go after that?
24 A. It was quite late at night already. I just came to the forward
25 command post. I saw several soldiers from the staff command, from the
1 battalion -- from the communications battalion. The others were all
2 asleep because they did not get any sleep the night before. They were all
3 very tired.
4 After that, on my way back from the forward command post at
5 Krivace, I went through Plane, where I saw elements of the units that were
6 arriving there and assembling there. After that I went to my in-laws' in
7 the Kusace village and I spent the night there.
8 Q. So now we go on to the 13th of July. What happened on that day?
9 A. On the 13th of July, after I had spent the night, I went straight
10 to the forward command post at Krivace.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask the usher
12 to place the Prosecution Exhibit 483 on the ELMO.
13 Q. So, General, you arrive at Krivace. Where did you go after that
14 that morning?
15 A. After I had arrived at the Krivace forward command post, I
16 established what the situation was at the forward command post, what its
17 capacity was to be used as the command and control post before the actual
18 beginning of the operations. At the Krivace forward command post I found
19 Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric; Lieutenant Colonel Jevitski; Major Jevdjevic;
20 the commander of the staff command, Lieutenant Amovic; and the soldier of
21 the communications battalion and the staff command.
22 After I had made a tour of the post, I went back and proceeded on
23 to Vlasenica, to the command post in Vlasenica, in order to establish how
24 far Colonel Vicic had gone in his drafting of the combat document, and
25 also in order to take him back to the Krivace forward command post.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Q. Who do you find there at the Vlasenica command post?
2 A. At the Vlasenica command post, like on the previous day, I found
3 the duty officers, the operations duty officer, a number of other
4 officers, and a number of civilians who were there as part of their
5 military obligation.
6 After a while, General Mladic arrived, together with General
7 Zivanovic, from the direction of Bratunac and Milici, and upon their
8 arrival, General Mladic orders that all of the officers and civilian
9 employees who were there should assemble, the people who were there in the
10 corridor of the Corps command.
11 He asked me about the preparations for the Zepa operation, and
12 after I told him that the preparations were underway and that it was
13 possible to proceed with the attack that had been ordered by him, he spoke
14 to the officers and civilian employees who were there. He congratulated
15 them on the success of the Drina Corps units in the Srebrenica operation,
16 and he told me, "Krstic, you are the commander of the forces engaged
17 towards Zepa." So he told me, actually, the same thing, the same thing
18 that he had ordered me in Bratunac: "Until the completion of the Zepa
19 operation, you should not be coming back to the Vlasenica command post."
20 Q. After that, after he had spoken those words, what did you do?
21 A. After that, together with Colonel Vicic but in two separate
22 vehicles, we set off in the direction of Han Pijesak. Together with
23 Lieutenant Savic who also went with me, I went to the hospital of the Main
24 Staff in Sokolac to visit the wounded there. As for Colonel Vicic, he
25 continued to the Krivace forward command post.
1 Q. So you went to the Sokolac military hospital?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How long did you stay there?
4 A. I stayed for about one hour at the Sokolac military hospital. I
5 visited the wounded, and I left the hospital after that, together with
6 Lieutenant Savic. And on the way to Sokolac from Han Pijesak, we passed
7 through the village of Sokolovici, Sokolac-Han Pijesak. So on my return
8 journey from Sokolac towards Han Pijesak, we stopped at the village of
9 Sokolovici where Lieutenant Savic's mother lived.
10 So we went to his mother's place; we had lunch together, and
11 thereafter I returned to the Krivace forward command post. We stayed at
12 his mother's for about one hour, not more than that.
13 Q. In the afternoon hours of the 13th of July -- actually, I should
14 like you to tell us the time when you left the Sokolac military hospital
15 and came to the Krivace forward command post, having passed through the
16 village of Sokolovici.
17 A. After our visit to the village of Sokolovici, together with
18 Lieutenant Savic, I visited my in-laws in the Kusace village. We had
19 coffee there. We stayed there for a short time, and after that, I went to
20 the Krivace forward command post.
21 Q. Could you tell us the time it was?
22 A. I think that it was sometime between 17 and 1800 hours that day.
23 Q. So what did you do once you arrived --
24 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Mr. President. It's unclear to me whether
25 the last answer related to the time that he visited -- that General Krstic
1 visited his in-laws in the village.
2 The question that was asked at line 14:40:29 was, "On the
3 afternoon of the 13th, could you tell us the time when you left the
4 Sokolac military hospital and came to the Kravica --" I mean, sorry, "the
5 Krivace forward command post." So there's essentially two questions what
6 time in there: What time did he leave the Sokolac hospital, and what time
7 did he arrive at the forward command post at Krivace. And I don't know if
8 the answer that was offered by General Krstic is responsive to that or to
9 the time that he left and visited his in-laws in the village.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I will repeat my question. Yes,
11 Mr. President?
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, I think that we
13 need some clarification. I think it is always possible to clear up any
15 General Krstic said that he had arrived at Krivace around 17 or
16 1800 hours, but before that, they had had lunch in the village of
17 Sokolovici at the place of the mother of one of his officers. We have two
18 places here, and we need to know the time. If you can help us with that,
19 please, Mr. Petrusic.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. General, could you perhaps remember the time when you left the
22 Sokolac military hospital?
23 A. So I'm talking about the 13th of July, after I had left Vlasenica
24 together with Lieutenant Savic and went to the military hospital of the
25 general staff. That happened on the 13th of July.
1 Q. Yes, General, but could you be more specific. Could you tell us
2 the time of date or the hour of the day when you left the Sokolac military
3 hospital and went to the village of Sokolovici?
4 A. I believe that it was sometime between 14 and 1500 hours.
5 Q. My next question is, what was the time when you left the village
6 of Sokolovici and went to the forward command post in Krivace?
7 A. After we had spent one hour with the mother of Lieutenant Savic,
8 we left for the village of Kusace to see my in-laws, so this could have
9 been sometime around 1600 hours. We stayed there for a short period of
10 time on that same day in the village of Kusace, and we finally arrived at
11 the Krivace forward command post between 17 and 1800 hours.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I hope that the issue has been
13 clarified with respect of time.
14 Q. So General, finally, you reach the forward command post. What do
15 you do then? Who do you find at the forward command post, and what is the
16 situation there at Krivace?
17 A. When I arrived at the Krivace forward command post, the place was
18 fully functional, and it was possible to exert command and control from
19 that post. And I received a report by Major Jevdjevic to that effect and
20 also by the commander of the staff command, Lieutenant Amovic.
21 Together with Colonel Vicic, once again I had a look at the
22 documents that had been prepared by Colonel Vicic in the meantime, and
23 after that we called -- that is, Colonel Vicic had already told the
24 brigade commanders to come to the forward command post in order to receive
25 their assignments and to execute a command reconnaissance.
1 Q. You have an exhibit in front of you, the Exhibit P483, which was
2 issued by the Drina Corps command and bears the number 02/04-158-1 of the
3 13th of July 1995. Is this an order, that is, is this order the document
4 that Colonel Vicic worked on together with yourself as part of the
5 preparation activities for the Zepa operation?
6 A. Yes, that is the document in question, and that is the order.
7 Q. This document, General, was it handed over to the unit commanders,
8 and if so, to which units and what units were to take part in the
9 operations that would start the next day?
10 A. Yes. After the brigade commanders arrived at the forward command
11 post, they were given this order for the Zepa operation, which had the
12 secret codename "Stupcanica 95." The order was given to the following
13 commanders: the commander of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the
14 commander of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, commander of the Birac
15 Infantry Brigade, commander of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade,
16 commander of the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade, commander of the 5th
17 Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade, commander of the 1st Milici Light
18 Infantry Brigade, commander of the 1st Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade,
19 and the commander of the 5th Mixed Artillery Regiment.
20 Q. Pursuant to this order, did parts of the basic units of these
21 brigades take part in the operation, and what was the strength of those
22 units that were engaged in this operation?
23 A. Except for the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade and the 1st
24 Milici Light Infantry Brigade, which were engaged in their entirety in
25 this operation, as far as other brigades are concerned, only certain
1 elements of those brigades took part, whereas the main body of their
2 forces of these brigades were still deployed along the front line towards
3 Tuzla, Zivinice, Kladanj, Orlovo, and Gorazde. So as regards these
4 brigades, I think that some 20 per cent of the overall strength of those
5 brigades was engaged.
6 Q. So we are talking about 20 per cent of those brigades, so that
7 20-per-cent portion of the brigade was commanded by the brigade commander?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. General, isn't that somewhat illogical, in view of the fact that
10 the major part of the said units had remained at their defensive lines?
11 Who commanded them?
12 A. Seen from the military perspective, that is entirely logical,
13 because we are talking about offensive activities here. It is correct
14 that the main body of forces of these particular units are in their
15 original areas, securing defence of those areas, and they were commanded
16 by the Chiefs of Staff of these brigades. The officers in question are
17 very experienced officers with many years of experience on their post.
18 They were always ready to replace the brigade commander at any point in
19 time. Furthermore, they were commanding the forces who had been at their
20 defensive positions, at their defensive lines, ever since the beginning of
21 the conflict. So we are talking about very well-fortified lines. So for
22 these reasons, this set-up is not illogical at all, as far as I'm
24 Q. You said, if I'm not mistaken, that the Milici and Bratunac
25 Brigades -- strike that. Could you tell us the whereabouts of these two
2 A. The 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade and the 1st Bratunac Light
3 Infantry Brigade are still assembling in the area that was -- that had
4 been ordered to them as the starting point to execute their task as part
5 of the Zepa operation.
6 Q. Were they complete or did they arrive in parts?
7 A. Except for these two brigades -- these two brigades were
8 completely engaged in the execution of their assignment towards Zepa.
9 Q. In this order that you yourself prepared, on page 2, paragraph 7,
10 the text is as follows: The first Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade was
11 supposed to detach a unit to the strength of a company which would be made
12 part of the Milici Brigade and carry out assignments, the same assignments
13 that were given to the Milici Light Infantry Brigade, and that they should
14 report to the commander of the Milici Brigade in the area of Bracani by
15 1800 hours on the 13th of July, 1995.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Why?
18 A. Because of the situation in which the Milici Brigade had found
19 itself. I have already spoken about the problems this brigade was faced
20 with regarding infiltration and sabotage activities in its rear. It had
21 to be reinforced with one company from the Bratunac Brigade in order to
22 successfully conduct the search of the terrain in the depth of its area of
23 responsibility, and it was later engaged in an attack on the wider
24 frontage towards Zepa. As I already said, it had to be reinforced because
25 of that.
1 Q. Let me go back to the same order, page 3, paragraph 9, item C.
2 Mention is made of units that were supposed to cooperate with the MUP.
3 General, could you give us your comment or your analysis of the
4 assignments, if any, that were given to the MUP.
5 A. We are not talking about engaging these forces but about a
6 cooperation with the MUP forces that had been deployed for the purposes of
7 the Zepa operation. The area in question is deep in the area of
8 responsibility, which was west to the Zepa enclave, towards Han Pijesak
9 and Vlasenica. It is true that the MUP is mentioned here, and as I have
10 already stated, those were its common assignments: to protect the
11 villages or certain facilities, communication lines, and other features
12 and facilities that were essential for the life and work of the population
13 in a given area.
14 Q. This order, at least in its introductory part -- or let me
15 rephrase the question. Was this order forwarded to the MUP units?
16 A. No. Except for the brigades that can be found in the title of the
17 document, no, the order was not forwarded to these units.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence should
19 like to suggest that we break at this point and continue tomorrow. I hope
20 that tomorrow we will be able to proceed at somewhat faster pace. And I
21 cannot promise that we will be able to complete the testimony, but on the
22 next day I'm sure -- on the day after that I'm sure that we will be able
23 to finish the examination-in-chief.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Thank you.
25 It's always good to hear good intentions and wishes. Let me just remind
1 you that you said that you would need 15 hours for the
2 examination-in-chief. You said that it might take a little longer. But
3 let me just tell you that the 15 hours will soon expire, so you should
4 perhaps speed up with your examination. But, of course, it is really up
5 to you to decide.
6 We will adjourn for the day and come back tomorrow morning at 20
7 past 9.00.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.05 p.m., to
9 be reconvened on Friday, the 20th day of October,
10 2000, at 9.20 a.m.