1 Friday, 20 October 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, technical booth,
6 interpreters; good morning, league assistants and registrar, the Office of
7 the Prosecutor, Defence counsel; good morning, General Krstic.
8 We shall resume our work now, and at the end of the day, perhaps
9 we can have a small Status Conference to see exactly where we stand with
10 relation to the translation of documents but for the moment, we will
11 resume, and, Mr. Petrusic, you have the floor, please.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, my
13 learned friends from the Prosecution, and good morning to all others
14 present in the courtroom.
15 WITNESS: RADISLAV KRSTIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Petrusic:
18 Q. To remind you of where we stopped with the testimony yesterday, we
19 will continue referring to the 13th of July and your movements, General,
20 on that day. So you reached the forward command post Krivaca, as you
21 explained to us yesterday, around 5.00 or 6.00 in the afternoon. Who was
22 present in the area of deployment of the units that were to be engaged in
23 that area?
24 A. In the area of deployment of units that were attacking from the
25 direction of Han Pijesak and Rogatica, the units of the 1st Zvornik
1 Brigade were present and deployed already, of the 2nd Romanija Motorised
2 Brigade, the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade, the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry
3 Brigade, the 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade, parts of the Mixed
4 Artillery Regiment, and from before, a battalion from the 65th Protective
5 Motorised Regiment had already taken up their positions.
6 Q. Did you meet with the commanders of those units?
7 A. Yes. That afternoon, as soon as I reached the forward command
8 post, all the commanders of the units that were attacking from the
9 direction of Han Pijesak and Rogatica were there, as well as the
10 commanders of the units that were going to attack from the area of
11 Podravanje, Brestovik, Orlov Kamen, towards Zepa.
12 Q. Was Colonel Blagojevic there as well?
13 A. Yes. At the forward command post, Colonel Blagojevic was also
15 Q. He was the Commander of the Bratunac Brigade, wasn't he?
16 A. Yes. He was the Commander of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry
18 Q. Did you issue him any orders?
19 A. As I did to all the other commanders. I assigned him his task as
20 well, handed him the order for the attack and for the engagement of his
22 Q. Did you, on that occasion, also issue any oral orders?
23 A. Yes, I did. I gave him oral orders relative to bringing one of
24 his battalions for the purpose of taking up positions behind the road. To
25 take up positions behind the Vlasenica, Han Pogled, Han Pijesak, Han Kram,
1 and further on to the village of Zljebovi. It can't be seen on the map,
2 but it is in the direction of Sokolac.
3 Q. What was his main axis of activity and movement? Just wait a
4 moment for the interpretation, please.
5 A. No. That was only -- this only related to a part of the Bratunac
6 Brigade, that is, to one battalion of that brigade, but it is also linked
7 to the task assigned to the brigade with regard to Zepa, the main aim
8 being capturing positions behind this line of communication to protect
9 Serb villages in that part of the territory from any possible activity by
10 forces from Zepa should they make a breakthrough toward Olovo and
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, could I ask you for
13 document 69, 70, and 71. D69, D70, and D71, please.
14 So Exhibit D69, issued by the army of the Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 205th [sic] Zepa Brigade. The number is
16 08-22-201/95, dated the 17th of June, 1995. It is a report signed by the
17 Chief of Staff, Ramo Cardakovic.
18 Q. General, could you please comment on this report in the context of
19 the overall situation in the area?
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, Judge Wald draws
21 my attention that the reference is not correct. The 17th of July, it
22 should say, and not June, and the 285th.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] So let me repeat. The document is
24 08-22-201/95, dated the 17th of July, 1995, issued by the Chief of Staff,
25 Ramo Cardakovic, on behalf of the 285th Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade
2 A. One of the possible directions for the breakthrough of the 28th
3 Division from the safe area of Srebrenica, in addition to the direction
4 Srebrenica, Konjevic Polje, Udrc, Tuzla was also the direction Srebrenica,
5 Podravanje, Brestovik, Zepa. A corridor had been established along that
6 route already which the forces of the 28th Division had used for various
7 purposes and to carry out various tasks.
8 This document, this notice, which the Command of the 285th Zepa
9 Brigade is sending to the Command of the 81st Division in Gorazde, says
10 that up to that date a total number of 201 soldiers had arrived from
11 Srebrenica. This report describes the condition of those soldiers, saying
12 that they are fatigued and that many have sustained wounds.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let us proceed to document D70,
15 Q. It is also a notification of the 285th Eastern Bosnia Light
16 Brigade Zepa, number 08-22-249/95, dated the 20th of July, 1995, issued by
17 Velid Delic. The acronym is SJB Srebrenica.
18 Do you link this document to the previous one?
19 A. Yes. It can be seen from this document that forces from the safe
20 area of Srebrenica are continuing to arrive in the area of Zepa, and on
21 the list we have their names and surnames and the number. The Command of
22 the 285th Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade in Zepa wants to check their
23 particulars, and to do so it is contacting those responsible, that is, the
24 addressee of this report.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] And so we come to document D71.
1 Q. This is also a report of the 285th Brigade from Zepa, dated the
2 22nd of July, 1995, addressed to the 2nd Corps, attention Brigadier
3 Dudakovic, and signed by the Chief of Staff, SS Major Ramo Cardakovic.
4 Does this document fit within the context of the previous two? Is
5 it another one in a series?
6 A. Yes, this document is another in the series of the previous two
7 that we have discussed.
8 The Command of the 285th Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade from Zepa is
9 sending to its Superior Command in Tuzla this list of fighters who had
10 arrived and who belong to the 28th Division from Srebrenica. From the
11 heading we can see that the vast majority come from the 28th Mountain
12 Battalion, which was an elite unit of the 28th Division in Srebrenica.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher for document
14 463, Prosecution Exhibit 463, please.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour. Microphone.
16 Microphone, please.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] There's a problem. I switched
18 to another translation channel. I think that the English court reporters
19 are not following the English. I was following the French and then I
20 suddenly got the English.
21 THE COURT REPORTER: There was no translation, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So let us see if things are
23 better now.
24 Mr. Petrusic, could you repeat your question, please?
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [No interpretation].
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] There seems to be a problem.
2 I'm switched to the French channel and I am receiving both the English and
3 the French. The two are being mixed.
4 Mr. Harmon, are you listening to the French or the English?
5 MR. HARMON: I was listening to the English, but I didn't get the
6 English on my headset.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] If you switch to the French
8 channel, you will be hearing the English. Wonders will never cease. Is
9 there a problem?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour. Can you hear me? Can you
11 hear the English? Are you receiving the English? No?
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, we can hear you. And
13 the French booth? Yes. I heard the English booth well and I also heard
14 the French booth well. So let us try once again.
15 Mr. Harmon.
16 MR. HARMON: Unfortunately, I didn't get the English booth. If I
17 can get a test so I can confirm that I can follow the examination, I would
18 appreciate it.
19 THE INTERPRETER: One, two, three; one, two, three; Mr. Harmon,
20 are you getting the English?
21 MR. HARMON: That's fine.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We have had problems. We change languages
23 here. I hope the French booth -- after this experiment, can we continue?
24 Mr. Petrusic.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No.
1 THE INTERPRETER: One, two, three. Can you hear me now?
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] There seems to be a problem with
3 one of the microphones.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Yes. We will switch to the other microphone,
5 Your Honour, for the time being. So we'll just use this microphone.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The French booth has suggested
7 that we keep working without interruption. Just use the same microphone,
9 Mr. Petrusic.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So this is the order dated the 13th of July, 1995. The number is
12 01/4-157-5, issued and signed by Major General Radislav Krstic, and the
13 heading is "Commander."
14 Could you please comment on this order, General, first in light of
15 the tasks that follow from this order.
16 A. On the basis of the intelligence that we had at our disposal that
17 had reached us until the 13th of July, 1995, which dealt with the
18 possibility that a part of the forces of the 28th Division might try to
19 break through from the direction of Srebrenica towards Zepa, and for the
20 purpose of protecting the process of assembling and bringing in the units
21 of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, the 1st Milici Light Infantry
22 Brigade, and the Independent Skelani Battalion in the area from which they
23 were to set off to execute their mission in Zepa, and that is the wider
24 area of Podravan, I issued an order in my capacity as the Commander of the
25 forces engaged against Zepa to search the terrain in the areas of assembly
1 and along the axis along which the units were being brought in, and that
2 is the wider area of Podravan.
3 The order for the execution of the task against Zepa clearly shows
4 that these units were engaged against Zepa, and in the execution of this
5 task -- and that in the execution of this task, they were subordinate to
7 Q. This order was signed by you in the capacity of the Commander.
8 Does that refer to the Corps Commander?
9 A. No. No. It has nothing to do with the duty of the Corps
10 Commander. But as the Commander of the forces that were engaged on the
11 execution of the task against Zepa, because according to the order issued
12 by General Mladic, I was assigned the Commander of these forces, and in
13 the execution of the task, I was subordinate to the Main Staff.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have the Prosecution
15 Exhibit 483 placed on the ELMO.
16 Q. Were you then the Commander of the forces in accordance with the
17 order number 02/04-185/1 [sic], and the forces are the 1st Zvornik, the
18 1st Bratunac, the 1st Birac, the 2nd Romanija, the 1st Prodrinje, the
19 5th Podrinje, the 1st Milici, the 1st Vlasenica, and the 5th Mixed
20 Artillery Regiment.
21 A. Yes, precisely. But when you mention the units such as the
22 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade, the
23 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, then only the elements of these units
24 taking part in the operation against Zepa are meant. And this order
25 indicates, taken as a whole, that the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 and the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade were wholly engaged against
3 Q. The 65th Protective Regiment was not mentioned in the order. Had
4 it been resubordinated to you?
5 A. This battalion, which was part of the 65th Protective Motorised
6 Regiment that was engaged against Zepa -- I have already spoken about that
7 in my testimony so far -- it was deployed on the positions, defensive
8 positions, ever since the beginning of the outbreak of the conflict in
9 that area, facing Zepa. Although this battalion is not listed in this
10 order, the order had not been issued to it, it did take part in the
11 operation against Zepa, which was only logical, because it was deployed in
12 the area. So it was also a part of these forces.
13 Q. Who was in command of that battalion?
14 A. That battalion was commanded by the battalion commander, and more
15 specifically, in this situation it was commanded by the Chief of Staff of
16 the 65th Protective Motorised Regiment.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the Defence will
18 repeat the number that the document P483 bears. It was the order with the
19 number of 02/04-158-1, dated the 13th of July, 1995.
20 Q. General, do you know the name and the duty held by
21 Colonel Milanovic?
22 A. Yes. Colonel Milanovic was from the staff of the Drina Corps. He
23 was on the staff of the Drina Corps. He was the Chief of the air defence
24 in the Drina Corps.
25 Q. Was he involved in this time period that we're discussing now,
1 that is, the 13th of July and thereafter?
2 A. Colonel Milanovic was a very experienced commanding officer when
3 it came to exerting command over units even outside of his branch of the
4 military because before the operations against Srebrenica and Zepa began,
5 he was a Commander of one of the brigades in the Drina Corps, and then
6 after he arrived at the Drina Corps Command, he very frequently dealt with
7 the combat readiness of the units of the Drina Corps.
8 Colonel Milanovic was also involved in the crushing of the
9 offensive launched by the BH army that I have discussed earlier, from the
10 direction of Tuzla towards Zvornik and Srebrenica in the area of
11 responsibility of the 1st Birac Brigade. I primarily refer to the area of
12 Osmaci and the feature Vis.
13 Colonel Milanovic, in the Srebrenica operation, was engaged in
14 monitoring the operation of the forces of the 2nd Battalion from the
15 direction of Podravan towards Alibegovac and Kak throughout the operation
16 until the 11th of July, 1995.
17 As regards Zepa, Colonel Milanovic was also involved in monitoring
18 the preparations and the assembling of the units of the 1st Milici
19 Brigade, the 1st Bratunac brigade, and the Independent Skelani Battalion
20 and their deployment in the wider area of Podravanje and Zeleni Jadar for
21 the purpose of launching an action from in the are of Podravanje,
22 Brestovik, Orlov Kamen, Zlovrh, Zepa.
23 Q. Did you have any information from Colonel Milanovic? Did you have
24 any contacts with him either through radio communications or any other
25 type of communication?
1 A. Yes. Since Colonel Milanovic was in charge of monitoring the
2 units that I have just indicated, he did have a possibility to send me
3 written reports as well, written requests and similar documents, from the
4 movable communications -- rather, mobile communications centres, from the
5 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade and the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry
6 Brigade, whose centres were in the area of Podravanje, after they had
7 assembled; or from some previous locations, if I can call them the
8 peacetime locations, at the Commands of the 1st Milici Brigade, the 1st
9 Bratunac Brigade, that is, from Bratunac and Milici.
10 Q. On the 14th of July, in the morning hours of that day, this order
11 to launch an attack against the Zepa enclave is reaching the stage of
13 A. Yes. On the 14th of July, as it is indicated in the order, the
14 operation involving the units engaged towards Zepa began.
15 Q. On that day did you meet with or contact anyone from the Command,
16 from the Corps Command, or the Main Staff of the VRS?
17 A. I didn't have any physical contact with any of the representatives
18 of the Commands that you have indicated. I'm referring to the Drina Corps
19 Command and the Main Staff Command.
20 On that day I got a telephone call from the Drina Corps Commander,
21 General Zivanovic, and in very few words he said that the situation in the
22 area of responsibility of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade was very
23 complex and uncertain. He also ordered that the Commander of the Zvornik
24 Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, immediately, together with
25 one part of his brigade which was engaged towards Zepa, should return to
1 the area of responsibility of his brigade.
2 He also told me that in relation to the pull-out of this part of
3 the Zvornik Brigade he had had contact with General Mladic and that
4 General Mladic had approved of the pull-out of one part of this brigade.
5 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic together with a portion -- with
6 elements of his forces, did he return on that day to his area of
8 A. Immediately after I had received this order of General Zivanovic,
9 I called the Commander of the 1st Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade,
10 Lieutenant Colonel Pandurevic, I transmitted the order to him, and in the
11 course of that night, the night between the 14th and the 15th of July, he
12 executed the task he had received; that is, he pulled out his unit and
13 organised a march towards his area of responsibility along the Plane-Han
14 Pijesak-Vlasenica-Milici-Konjevic Polje-Zvornik route.
15 Q. At the time of those events, when the Zvornik Brigade was being
16 pulled out, did you have any knowledge, any information from the other
17 side, as regards the situation in the area of responsibility of the
18 Zvornik Brigade?
19 A. On that same day, I don't remember if it was before General
20 Zivanovic called me or after, at the Krivaca forward command post we
21 received a call from the Chief of Staff of the Zvornik Brigade who
22 submitted the same request as the one contained in the order of the
23 Command of the Drina Corps. I don't know whether it was Colonel Vicic or
24 Colonel Jevdjevic. I talked to one of them; I don't know who it was. But
25 there was a call that came at that time.
1 Q. On the 15th of July, were there any significant events happening
2 at the command post, around the command post? What did you do on that
3 day? What kind of information did you receive on that day?
4 A. On the 15th of July, as regards the activities undertaken towards
5 Zepa, I should say that they were being conducted according to the plan.
6 However, the combat operations were very slow due to the terrain features
7 along the axes that were used to launch the attack towards Zepa.
8 I remember that in the morning of the 15th of July, at the Krivaca
9 forward command post, General Mladic arrived together with General
10 Tolimir. Upon his arrival I made a report to him and briefed him about
11 the situation along the axes where combat activities were taking place
12 towards Zepa.
13 Q. Did those two officers make any comments, the officers who had
14 just arrived?
15 A. General Mladic said, after I had briefed him about the situation,
16 that the combat activities were indeed very slow and that they should be
17 continued, that the operation should continue.
18 Q. In the course of that day, did you receive any reports at the
19 forward command post?
20 A. On that day no report reached the Krivaca forward command post
21 either from the Drina Corps Command or the Main Staff. However, a report
22 arrived as early as on the 13th of July; I received it myself at the
23 Krivaca forward command post. The report was signed by General Tolimir,
24 and it said that the Main Staff was engaged in negotiations with the
25 representatives of the Bosniak authorities of Zepa, and also with their
1 military leadership regarding the situation with Zepa.
2 Q. That report was sent to the forward command post.
3 A. Yes. We received it at the Krivaca forward command post.
4 Q. Was that report commented upon during their visit?
5 A. It didn't get any particular comments. They just said that the
6 negotiations would continue depending, of course, on the situation that
7 was evolving at the time.
8 Q. The date is still the 15th of July, and as regards the visit --
9 we're still talking about the visit of these two officers, the Commander
10 of the Main Staff and his assistant. Was anything else said to you? Did
11 you receive any other piece of information? Was there any other talk on
12 that occasion?
13 A. Nothing except for what General Mladic told me. He said that he
14 was to take over the duty of the Corps Commander soon [as interpreted].
15 Q. Did you -- were you aware of the decree of the President of the
16 Republic regarding your appointment to that duty?
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic, there seems to
18 be a problem with the transcript.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that the
20 interpretation is incorrect. Perhaps the best way to deal with it would
21 be to repeat the question.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What is the error you're talking
23 about, Mr. Visnjic?
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Question, page 14, line 6.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I don't think that the
1 answer is complete.
2 Mr. Petrusic, you should perhaps repeat your question. The answer
3 of General Krstic was "Nothing except for what General Mladic told me ..."
4 I think that the General had said something else. But could you please
5 ask the question once again.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. On that occasion, did General Mladic tell you that a decree of the
8 President of the Republic, the then President Radovan Karadzic, had
9 arrived whereby you were appointed to the post of the Corps Commander?
10 A. As far as I understand the question of -- Mr. President, I should
11 answer the first question first and then this one.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, wouldn't this be a
13 convenient time for the break? We have an error here in the transcript.
14 Perhaps we should have a break now and then continue after the break.
15 A 15-minute break.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.35 a.m.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic, you may
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. So let
21 us eliminate any discrepancies from the record.
22 Q. Did General Mladic, when you met on that occasion, tell you that
23 you have to accept the duties of Corps Commander?
24 A. Yes. He told me that I would shortly need to take over as Corps
1 Q. Did he inform you that there was a decree of the president of the
2 republic -- at the time it was Radovan Karadzic -- on your appointment to
3 this position?
4 A. No, he didn't tell me that.
5 Q. Did you learn about your appointment based on the decree of the
6 President of the Republic?
7 A. Two or three days later, I think, I learnt about that decree from
8 the media.
9 Q. So all this was happening on the 15th of July. Tell us, please,
10 how long did General Mladic and General Tolimir stay at the forward
11 command post at Krivaca?
12 A. They did not stay long at the Krivaca forward command post.
13 Q. Do you remember roughly what time of day it was when they left the
14 place where you were?
15 A. I think it was in the morning, before noon, when they left the
16 forward command post.
17 Q. Do you know where General Mladic went?
18 A. I think that he went in the direction of the UNPROFOR checkpoint
19 at Boksanica, which is about 10 kilometres away. This UNPROFOR checkpoint
20 at the Boksanica Mountain is between Rogatica and Zepa.
21 Q. Are you aware of what was happening at the UNPROFOR post?
22 A. On the basis of my telephone or, rather, radio contacts with the
23 Commander of the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade, which also
24 participated in this operation, I was told that negotiations were being
25 conducted there between General Mladic and -- General Mladic on one side
1 and Tolimir -- I'm sorry, General Mladic and General Tolimir on one side
2 and representatives of the Bosniak people and the military units from Zepa
3 on the other. I was informed about this by the Commander of the 1st
4 Podrinje Brigade, because his forward command post for operations on Zepa
5 was close to the UN position at Boksanica.
6 Q. On the 15th of July, did you talk to any of the officers from the
7 Main Staff of the VRS and the Drina Corps or to any officers, commanding
8 officers engaged in the Zepa operation?
9 A. I only talked to the commanders of the units that were engaged in
10 the Zepa operation, and I did so exclusively via radio transmitters,
11 RUP 12, which has encryption. I did not speak to anyone else on that
13 Q. Though we'll be coming back to that during these proceedings, but
14 tell us briefly, from the forward command post, was there an established
15 connection with the brigade commands, the commands of these brigades, that
16 is, their original headquarters?
17 A. By the establishment of the forward command post at Krivaca and
18 the communications centre there, this was carried out technically and
19 there were communications with the Main Staff and the Drina Corps and from
20 there on to the commands of the subordinate units.
21 Q. Did you have any need, during these days, to communicate with the
22 commands of those units, that is, to communicate with Zvornik, Bratunac,
23 Sokolac, Rogatica, and all the other locations where those brigades were
25 A. No. I had no need at all to talk to anyone from the commands of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 those brigades for the simple reason that the commanders of those commands
2 were at my side being engaged towards Zepa. So my principal task in those
3 days was the Zepa operation.
4 Q. Briefly, on the 16th of July, at the forward command post where
5 you were located and around the command post on the front where the combat
6 was ongoing, was anything of a major significance taking place which would
7 deserve to be highlighted?
8 A. Nothing in particular, except that the combat operations were
9 taking place according to plan and depending on the actual situation on
10 the ground. I think it was that day or the next day that we moved the
11 forward command post from Krivaca to the village of Godjenje, which was to
12 the south of Krivaca at a distance of about 6 to 7 kilometres.
13 Q. So was it the 17th or the 16th of July? Can you tell us on what
14 day exactly this forward command post was moved?
15 A. I cannot tell you exactly. I think it was the 16th or the 17th of
17 Q. You mentioned negotiations being conducted with representatives of
18 UNPROFOR and the population of Zepa. Were combat activities continued?
19 Were there any ceasefires? Were there any interruptions in the fighting?
20 A. While these negotiations and agreements were being conducted at
21 the Boksanica post, combat operations were suspended while the meeting was
22 going on. It all depended on what was being discussed and what the aim of
23 the talks was or, rather, what the result of the negotiations were.
24 Q. So during those few days, there were no major developments on the
25 front line. Could we put it that way?
1 A. No particular developments occurred. The battles were ongoing,
2 which were suspended during the negotiations, and the negotiations were
3 going on. So simply there was nothing of particular importance which I
4 would need to underline in response to your question.
5 Q. Did you go to that Boksanica post?
6 A. Yes, I was there once or, rather, close to that location, in fact,
7 at the location itself, because I have already said that the forward
8 command post of the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade was situated
10 Q. Did you have any contact with General Mladic during those days?
11 A. Throughout the duration of the operation when he was there, I did
12 have contact with him either when he came to the forward command post or
13 if one of the Brigade Commanders would inform me that he was in the region
14 of deployment of that brigade.
15 Q. Did you have any meetings with him in addition to the information
16 you received from the commanders?
17 A. No. There were no meetings at the forward command post at that
18 time either in Krivaca or in Godjenje or at the Boksanica location. We
19 didn't have any particular meetings.
20 Q. General, as far as you can recollect, can you now go back to the
21 time of the 20th of July or thereabouts in 1995?
22 A. Yes, I remember that far back.
23 Q. Can you tell us what was happening in those days?
24 A. On that day too, as regards the combat operations under way, they
25 were being carried out in accordance with the situation, but on the 20th
1 or maybe on the 21st of July, 1995, in the morning -- I don't know exactly
2 the time -- General Mladic arrived at the Godjenje forward command post
3 and ordered me to set off for Han Kram, to one of the restaurants on the
4 Han Pijesak-Sokolac road, in order to take over as the Commander from
5 General Zivanovic. There was to be a takeover of duty between the two of
7 Q. Did you go to that meeting?
8 A. Yes, I went there in my car to that meeting. When I arrived at
9 Han Kram, I encountered many guests there. By that I mean the
10 representatives of the military, of the Main Staff; representatives of
11 other operational formations from the VRS; some representatives of the
12 authorities and also of businesses from the area of responsibility; also a
13 TV team from the Main Staff; and there was also General Zivanovic there,
15 From the operational formations such as the Drina Corps, I saw
16 General Talic, the Commander of the 1st Corps of the VRS; then there was
17 the Commander of the Centre of the Military Schools in Banja Luka, General
18 Boric; then the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Air Defence, also from
19 Banja Luka, at the time he was still a colonel, Torbica; I think that the
20 Chief of Staff of the East Bosnia Corps, General Gavric, was also there;
21 from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, there were no representatives; and no
22 one was there from the Herzegovina Corps.
23 From the Main Staff of the army of the Republika Srpska, there was
24 General Gvero, the Assistant to the Commander -- to the Chief of Staff for
25 Morale, Legal, and Religious Affairs; then General Skrbic, Assistant to
1 the Commander for Organisation and Mobilisation, and for personnel; I
2 think there was also somebody there from the Information Directorate, from
3 the organ that General Gvero was in charge of, and I can't remember which
4 officer was there from that organ; and there were also the
5 representatives -- some representatives of the authorities and from the
6 economy in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps; I have already
7 said that General Zivanovic was there too.
8 So these were the persons, the officers from the military that I
9 encountered there when I arrived at the restaurant.
10 Q. Was General Mladic there?
11 A. After awhile, when I had arrived and greeted all the officers and
12 everybody else present, General Mladic arrived in a helicopter. He was
13 escorted by General Tolimir. He entered the restaurant and the meeting
15 As far as I remember, the meeting went on as follows: General
16 Mladic read out the decree of the President of the Republika Srpska about
17 my appointment to the post, and he said that this was the moment, the
18 right time to carry out the takeover of duty between myself and General
19 Zivanovic. He said that he had the -- that it was a great honour to
20 assume the duty of the Commander of the Drina Corps, which had until that
21 time been under the command of General Zivanovic. He expressed his wish
22 that I should be successful in my career as the Commander of the Drina
24 Then he turned to General Zivanovic and to everybody else present
25 and told them that General Zivanovic, from the time he assumed the duty of
1 the Drina Corps Commander, from the time when it was in fact established
2 until that very day, really had great credit for the successes achieved by
3 the Drina Corps. General Mladic in particular gave credit to General
4 Zivanovic for the Srebrenica operation, and he mentioned Zepa too.
5 After that the usual takeover of duty took place, the normal
6 procedure, between myself and General Zivanovic, and General Zivanovic
7 told me that I had his best wishes in my career as the Commander of the
8 Corps and that I should take good care of the Corps.
9 Then the decree of the President of the Republika Srpska was read
10 out on placing General Zivanovic at the disposal for further appointments
11 of the VRS, and of the highest military decoration of the Republika
12 Srpska, and the decree on his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant
14 The order of the Defence Minister was also read out at the
15 meeting, the Defence Minister of the Republika Srpska, about the
16 appointment to the post of the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps for
17 General, then Colonel, Andric.
18 Q. Did you and General Zivanovic talk at that occasion?
19 A. No, we did not have any particular conversation apart from the
20 procedural matters regarding the takeover of duty.
21 Q. Did you talk, perhaps, about a need to draft a record of the
23 A. No, we did not talk about that, nor was this the right time or the
24 right place to do so, because the Zepa operation was under way, the
25 meeting did not take long, and General Mladic made a point about that.
1 But the record was made after I returned to the Vlasenica command post.
2 Q. So after that meeting did you go back to the forward command post?
3 A. Yes, I went back to the forward command post at Godjenje in order
4 to continue my command over the forces advancing towards Zepa.
5 Q. Do you know where General Zivanovic went?
6 A. I really don't know where he went apart from what I have already
7 said; that in accordance with the decree issued by the President of the
8 Republika Srpska, he was placed under the disposal of the VRS.
9 I think that General Zivanovic said something about a duty to
10 which he should be appointed at the Main Staff. I think it was the post
11 of the Assistant to the Commander for Logistics.
12 Q. So you are now the Corps Commander. After the takeover had taken
13 place and you went to the forward command post in the new area, the area
14 of Godjenje, who was at the basic command post in Vlasenica then?
15 A. After that the situation changed somewhat and so did my
16 obligations, both as regards Zepa and as regards the Corps as a whole.
17 The command post in Vlasenica had to function and so did the forward
18 command post for Zepa, just as it was planned and envisaged. The most
19 senior person at the command post in Vlasenica, when it came to the
20 Assistants to the Commander, was Colonel Cerovic.
21 On that day, after returning to the forward command post at
22 Godjenje, I ordered Colonel Cerovic to be summoned to the forward command
23 post at Godjenje and he did accordingly. He gave me a very brief report
24 about the situation from the moment when I left the command post in
25 Vlasenica on the 12th, in the afternoon of the 12th, and he stressed that
1 the situation in the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade was
2 extremely complex; that there were quite a few problems after the
3 breakthrough of the 28th Division towards the areas of the Zvornik and
4 Birac Brigades. But he also said that the situation has been stabilised
5 to a great extent and that at that time the situation was, in fact,
7 He also told me that we had a lot of obligations towards the Main
8 Staff of the VRS, or towards other corps of the army, as regards the
9 detachment of units and their resubordination to other corps. I primarily
10 mean the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, because at that time the situation there
11 was quite difficult, and of the 2nd Krajina Corps.
12 He also told me that he had also taken appropriate measures,
13 studied the orders, issued preparatory orders to units, elements of which
14 were detached in order to form new units which were to be sent out of the
15 area of responsibility of our Corps.
16 Q. How long did you actually stay in Zepa and when did that military
17 operation come to an end?
18 A. The Zepa operation took unusually long, unlike previous
19 engagements of the Drina Corps forces, such as the engagement in the
20 Krivaja 95 operation. That length on the time that was spent was caused
21 by numerous interruptions in the conduct of the operation due to the
22 negotiations. Also because of the terrain features where the combat was
23 taking place, so that finally the operation came to an end on the 2nd of
24 August, 1995, whereupon I went back to the command post in Vlasenica.
25 Q. At the command post in Vlasenica, did you find Colonel Cerovic
1 there or who was the person who briefed you on the situation when you came
2 back to the Vlasenica command post and what did you do there?
3 A. After I'd returned to the Vlasenica command post, I assembled all
4 of the assistants to the commander except for Colonel Popovic, who was
5 absent at the time from the command post. I was briefed by them about the
6 situation, about the problems, duties, and responsibilities that they had,
7 and about the execution of their assignments.
8 According to what Colonel Cerovic had previously told me about,
9 the situation was described to me as normal, with a certain increased
10 dynamics concerning the conduct of preparations and the sending of troops
11 to the area of responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the
12 2nd Krajina Corps.
13 Q. Did they tell you that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was absent in
14 view of the fact that he was the Assistant Commander for Security?
15 A. Yes. They told me that he was on sick leave.
16 Q. Let us go back very briefly to the decree of the Minister of the
17 army of Republika Srpska. According to that decree, Colonel Andric was
18 appointed to the post of Chief of Staff. When you reach Vlasenica on the
19 2nd of August or thereabouts, when you went back to the command post in
20 Vlasenica, did you have a chief of staff at that point? I mean, was
21 Colonel Andric the Chief of Staff?
22 A. Yes. Pursuant to the order and the decree of the Minister of VRS,
23 I did have a chief of staff. However, after both of us had returned to
24 the command post, we started the procedure of the takeover of duty. We
25 toured all of the units that were deployed in the wider area of the
1 Romanija plateau. Here I refer primarily to the 2nd Romanija Brigade at
2 Sokolac and its area of responsibility.
3 We visited the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade and its area of
4 responsibility, in particular, the Rogatica Brigade, the 5th Podrinje
5 Light Infantry Brigade from Visegrad and its area of responsibility. We
6 also inspected a rear base of the Main Staff which was billeted in
7 Sokolac. I say the "Main Staff" because that base was in charge of
8 supplying the units of the Drina Corps in terms of logistics.
9 After we had made a tour of these units, we went back to the
10 command post in Vlasenica, and we didn't engage in any further tours of
11 units such as the 1st Birac Brigade and the 1st Sekovici Brigade, which
12 until then was under the command of Colonel Andric; the 1st Zvornik
13 Brigade, which was under the command of Colonel Pandurevic; the 1st Milici
14 Brigade under the command of Major Nastic; the 1st Bratunac Brigade, which
15 was commanded by Colonel Blagojevic; and the Skelani Battalion.
16 Why? Why we didn't tour any of these units? There are several
17 reasons. The first reason being my lengthy absence from my family and
18 because of my exhaustion. I had to go see my family.
19 The second reason was the fact that Colonel Andric, at that time,
20 was the Chief of Staff, and had he spent the previous period of time in
21 that area. He was the Commander of the 1st Birac Brigade, and ever since
22 the beginning of the outbreak of hostilities in that area, he was the
23 person who was conducting all of the operations in that area except for
24 the 1st Zvornik Brigade. All other brigades, at that time, were part of
25 the then Birac Brigade.
1 After we returned to Vlasenica, Colonel Andric officially took
2 over the duty of the Chief of Staff of the Corps.
3 Q. Was there any record made about that takeover of duty?
4 A. Yes. I believe that a record was made about the takeover of duty,
5 and officially, as of that day, he was the Chief of Staff of the Corps.
6 And pursuant to the record on takeover of duty, he was able to exert, to
7 make use of all his privileges and rights pertaining to him as the Chief
8 of Staff of the Corps.
9 Q. You mentioned that you left --
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. HARMON: It's unclear from the answer of General Krstic what
12 day General Andric took over control of the Chief of Staff. The answer is
13 "as of that day," and we've had a long discussion about Colonel Andric
14 and General Krstic returning to Vlasenica headquarters and then conducting
15 a tour of various brigades. So I'm not sure how long that took. But in
16 answer, I would request that there be a precision as to that aspect of his
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Petrusic -- I'm
19 sorry. Mr. Visnjic.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I made a note in
21 relation to the first response of General Krstic. I think that the
22 translation was not precise, but I think, and Mr. Harmon is quite right,
23 that we should clear up the issue.
24 A. I simply cannot recall what day it was.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You mentioned your visit to your family. When did that take place
2 and does it mean that you were temporarily absent from your duty, that is,
3 that you, at that time, were absent from your area of responsibility?
4 A. Yes. Immediately after the takeover of duty between myself and
5 Colonel Andric, I went to Kosovska Mitrovica to see my family that was
6 living there at the time, that is, throughout my tour of duty in Bosnia.
7 I stayed there for about ten days, I think, and after that, I went back to
8 my post.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, I should like to
10 go back to your previous question. General Krstic has just said, "After
11 the takeover of duty between myself and Colonel Andric." I should like to
12 know whether Colonel Andric took over the duty on the same day as
13 General Krstic, that is, as when he, General Krstic, took over his duty.
14 If there is a difference in time to that effect, we should perhaps ask the
15 General if he can be more specific in terms of dates and time framework of
16 the takeover of duty of himself and Colonel Andric.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, did you take over your duty as the Corps Commander on the
19 20th or on the 21st of July, 1995?
20 A. Yes. I took over the duty of the Corps Commander on the day when
21 the takeover of duty between myself and General Zivanovic took place,
22 either on the 20th or the 21st of July.
23 Q. In relation to that particular date, could you now tell us when
24 the takeover of duty between yourself and Colonel Andric took place,
25 Colonel Andric being the new Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps?
1 A. I have already said after my return to Vlasenica, we started the
2 procedure of the takeover of duty by inspecting -- by touring the units
3 that I have indicated, but I really cannot recall the exact date on which
4 it took place. It was in the month of August. I don't know on what day
5 of the takeover of duty between myself and Colonel Andric took place for
6 practical purposes, but on that day, Colonel Andric took over the duty of
7 the Chief of Staff of the corps and at the same time, the duty of the
8 Deputy Commander of the Drina Corps.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we should like to
10 suggest a break at this point.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Petrusic. We will have
12 a 15-minute break.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.20 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, you may continue.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. So after the handover of duty that we spoke about before the break
18 between you and Andric, what activities did you engage in at the Corps
19 Command? Generally, what did you do?
20 A. After touring the units that I listed already, and after the
21 takeover of duty between him and myself, I went to Kosovska Mitrovica to
22 visit my family. I returned from Kosovska Mitrovica towards the very end
23 of the month of August, after which I went to the area of responsibility
24 of the 2nd Krajina Corps of the VRS to tour the units of the Drina Corps
25 which were already there.
1 At the time in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Krajina
2 Corps, we had two brigades at the level of light brigades. The Commander
3 of one brigade was Colonel Pandurevic and the Commander of the other was
4 Colonel Predrag Jocic.
5 Q. Can you remember how long you stayed in the area of the 2nd
6 Krajina Corps?
7 A. I think I stayed for about ten days, when I went back to the
8 command post at Vlasenica.
9 Q. Returning to the headquarters in Vlasenica or the command post in
10 Vlasenica, did you learn anything about prisoners of war, if any?
11 A. Returning to the Vlasenica command post, I learnt that there had
12 been prisoners of war and that those prisoners had been sent to Batkovici,
13 near Bijeljina.
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would
15 request at this stage a session closed to the public, and we would like to
16 explain our reasons for that.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, perhaps you can
18 give us an indication of those reasons in general terms so that we can
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Generally speaking, the reasons are
21 of a security nature. We're now entering a phase in the testimony which,
22 in the opinion of the Defence and also in the opinion of General Krstic,
23 could cause serious problems, and for these reasons we would like to have
24 the hearing closed to the public.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] For how long, more or less?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Until the end of the session.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, any objections or
4 MR. HARMON: I have a comment, Mr. President and Your Honours.
5 It's unclear from the general nature of what I've been told to give a
6 clear response. Perhaps we could go into closed session and more precise
7 comments could be made, and then I would be in a better position to
8 respond to the request for a closed session.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Let me confer with my
10 colleagues, please.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Bearing in mind that the
13 principle of hearings should be that they should be public, the Chamber
14 rules that we go into private session to discuss the reasons, and after
15 hearing the reasons, we will go back into public session to render our
16 ruling. So let us go into private session now for this discussion.
17 [Private session]
13 pages 6276-6290 redacted – private session
2 [Open session] 3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are already in public 4 session. Let me just announce that we will now have a one-hour break at 5 this point. The Chamber will be, therefore, able to render its ruling 6 and, if possible, have lunch as well. After that, starting at quarter 7 past one, we will have two blocks of work with a short break in between. 8 One-hour break. 9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.15 p.m. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are already in public
4 session. Let me just announce that we will now have a one-hour break at
5 this point. The Chamber will be, therefore, able to render its ruling
6 and, if possible, have lunch as well. After that, starting at quarter
7 past one, we will have two blocks of work with a short break in between.
8 One-hour break.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.23 p.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] After the discussion that we had
3 in private session, the Chamber is rendering its decision.
4 The Chamber believes that the explanations provided to it can
5 justify up to a certain point the holding of hearings in part in private
6 session. The Chamber recalls, however, that the principle is for hearings
7 to be public, and only exceptionally they are held in private or closed
9 The Trial Chamber also notes that it is important for
10 the equilibrium of the proceedings that the Prosecutor may use the
11 elements produced during the hearing.
12 The Chamber, in view of the fact that there is an exceptional
13 situation, would require of the Defence to divide the follow-up of its
14 examination-in-chief into two blocks; the first would deal with all the
15 matters which could be addressed in a public hearing; the second block,
16 which should be as restricted as possible, would allow the Defence to
17 address in closed session the issues which the Defence considers cannot be
18 addressed in a public session for security reasons.
19 That is the ruling of the Trial Chamber, which means,
20 Mr. Petrusic, that you should perhaps reorganise slightly your
21 examination-in-chief; in other words, that we should continue in public
22 session during which you will be able to ask all necessary questions
23 except those which you feel affect security. When you come to those
24 issues, those questions, you will try to group them together so that we
25 should go into private session only once, if possible.
1 So you have the floor now, Mr. Petrusic, and you may continue.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 With the help of the usher, I should like to show the witness
4 document D99.
5 THE REGISTRAR: The registrar needs a second to find the
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is a brief
8 document and the Defence can supply a copy.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. You may continue if
10 we have the document on the ELMO.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. This is an interim combat report issued by the Command of the 5th
13 Engineer Battalion, number 107-1, dated the 13th of July, 1995, signed by
14 the Deputy Commander, Major Milan Simanic.
15 General, could you comment on this document or interim combat
16 report? The number of the document is 107-1, but the exhibit that has
17 been entered in the record is D99.
18 A. In the course of my testimony, I have already said where the unit
19 of the Drina Corps, that is, the 5th Engineer Battalion, was located, and
20 I said that it was located in Konjevic Polje. I also spoke about the
21 tasks and duties of that unit which it engaged in prior to Operation
22 Krivaja 95 and during that operation, as well as the tasks it carried out
23 in the Zepa operation.
24 I said that the bulk of the forces of this battalion, before the
25 beginning of the operation and during Operation Krivaja 95, were deployed
1 to clean up the situation in the area of responsibility of the Birac
2 Brigade - when I use the term "clean up," I mean in the engineer sense -
3 after the forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina's offensive had
4 been halted and crushed.
5 I said that the main body of this battalion was working on the
6 construction of a command facility and the construction and repair of
7 roads in the area of responsibility of the 1st Birac Brigade. I also said
8 that the Road and Bridge Company of this battalion, prior to the Krivaja
9 95 operation and to some extent during the operation, was working on the
10 repair and construction of a macadam road going from Voljavica via Sase,
11 towards Pribicevac and Zeleni Jadar. And I also referred to the
12 involvement of this unit during the operation to demine the area to the
13 south leading to Srebrenica.
14 I also said that a part of the battalion remained in place at
15 Konjevic Polje exclusively to provide security of its own facilities,
16 warehouses and storage space, that was under the control of the engineers
18 This document which, as an extraordinary or interim report, was
19 sent by the Command of the 5th Engineer Battalion to the Command of the
20 Drina Corps, it can be seen that the Deputy Commander of this battalion,
21 Milan Simanic, is informing the Corps Command that an extraordinary event
22 has taken place, incident, in which two of his soldiers had been injured.
23 He also describes the way in which they had been wounded, and that is at
24 the guard post number 6, and they were wounded when a group from the
25 28th Division came upon them. Here it says that they were civilians, that
1 they had shot at the soldiers who were guarding this position number 6.
2 Q. Do you know how many soldiers there could have been in Nova Kasaba
3 in the 5th Engineer Battalion at the time?
4 A. Let me correct. Not in Nova Kasaba but in Konjevic Polje. On the
5 basis of the information available to me, there were no more than
6 15 soldiers. There couldn't have been any more than 15 soldiers in
7 Konjevic Polje at the time.
8 Q. So their duty was to secure the facilities?
9 A. Yes. Their exclusive duty was to secure the facilities of the
10 5th Engineer Battalion. Of course, at the time of the event, at the time
11 of the break through by the 28th Division, the forces had to be
12 reinforced. So it wasn't regular security but reinforced security as we
13 see that there were two guards at the guard post.
14 Q. Do you have any knowledge of what happened to the civilian Muslim
15 population that came to the United Nations camp in Potocari on the 11th of
17 A. At the meeting that was held on the 12th of July in the Hotel
18 Fontana in Bratunac, it was decided that the civilians should be
19 transported or evacuated from Potocari towards Kladanj.
20 Q. On the 11th of July, was there any discussion at the meeting with
21 the Muslim representatives and the representatives of the Dutch Battalion
22 about the evacuation?
23 A. On the evening of the 11th of July, it was already certain that
24 civilians would be evacuated towards Kladanj or Tuzla.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could I please ask the usher to
1 place Prosecution Exhibit 436 on the ELMO. This is an order of the Drina
2 Corps Command, number 22/96 -- 26 of the 12th of --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. 22/226.
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] 12th July, 1995, issued by Milenko
5 Zivanovic, the Commander.
6 Q. Could you please comment on this order?
7 A. Yes. This is an order of the 12th of July, 1995, dealing with the
8 provision of buses for evacuation from the Srebrenica enclave. It was
9 submitted to the subordinate units in the Drina Corps. That's the
10 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the 1st Birac Infantry Brigade, the
11 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade,
12 the 1st and 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigades, and the 1st Milici Light
13 Infantry Brigade.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, I'm sorry to
15 interrupt you. Perhaps we could speed up the things but, of course, in
16 such a way that you should not be prejudiced in any way. I don't think it
17 is necessary to state this in detail. The document has already been
18 identified and marked for evidence. It is perhaps not necessary to repeat
19 all of the addressees of this document. We have it in front of us. It
20 has already been admitted into evidence. You should perhaps focus on your
21 specific questions concerning this document and in that way we will
22 proceed faster.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
24 Q. General, does this order have to do with the provision of buses
25 for transportation and the transportation of persons from Potocari?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 A. This order deals with the provision of buses for the purpose of
2 transporting civilians from Potocari. It was issued by the Commander of
3 the Drina Corps, Major General Milenko Zivanovic.
4 Q. Did you take part in the provision of this order?
5 A. No. I did not have any activities relating to this order. The
6 person responsible for its implementation was the assistant to the
7 Commander of the Drina Corps for Logistics.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, could you please place
9 Exhibit 462 on the ELMO, and 532.
10 Q. So document 462 is an order for the search of the terrain. Are
11 you familiar with this order?
12 A. Yes. I knew about this order, and it also reached the forward
13 command post at Krivaca on the 13th of July, 1995. This order was issued
14 by the Commander of the Drina Corps pursuant to the order issued by the
15 Main Staff, and it relates to the capture and disarming of Muslims, as it
16 is stated here, their accommodation in appropriate facilities that can be
17 secured with a smaller number of troops, and the Superior Command is to be
18 advised thereof immediately.
19 This order shows that the Main Staff controls and governs the
20 whole -- manages the whole operation. I was only informed about it. I
21 did not have any obligations stemming from this order.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Order number 532 or, rather,
23 Exhibit 532.
24 Do you know anything about this order?
25 A. I can't see the date on this order very well.
1 Q. The date is the 13th of July, 1995.
2 A. Yes, I am aware of this order --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon. Did we manage
4 to establish the date of this document through the intercepts of the
5 conversations that you had?
6 MR. HARMON: I can't answer that question, Mr. President. But I
7 can't see a date on the B/C/S version of this, and if General Krstic is
8 able to point to a date that this is the 13th of July, I would be
9 grateful. There is a stamp, apparently, at the bottom of this, a receipt
10 stamp, dated the 14th of July. So the answer of General Krstic to my
11 colleague's question was that this is a document of the 13th of July, and
12 I don't come to that conclusion based on anything on the face of the
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, please continue.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I was in fact speeding things
16 up. Now I would like to have Exhibit 81 placed on the ELMO. That's the
17 Defence Exhibit. My mistake.
18 Q. So the Defence Exhibit 81, the heading is the Main Staff of the
19 army of the Republika Srpska, and the number is 03/4-1620. The date is
20 the 13th of July, 1995; also at the top of the document there is a
21 handwritten date, the 13th of July 1995, again.
22 "Operations, urgently prepared our order." This is what is
23 written in the heading of the document, handwritten. The document is
24 designed by Milan Gvero and there is a stamp.
25 So these two orders, are they identical in their contents?
1 A. These are two identical orders. The previous document that I had
2 commented upon is the result of this document. It is signed by the
3 Assistant to the Commander, General Milan Gvero.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Handwritten in the heading of the document, it is said that the
7 document is -- the order was forwarded. Does that mean that the order
8 had, indeed, been forwarded to subordinate units, as is stated in the
9 heading, on the 13th of July?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you receive this order on the 13th of July at the forward
12 command post?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know the contents -- what it says in the contents of this
15 order as regards the prisoners of war?
16 A. Yes, I am aware of the contents as far as they relate to the
17 prisoners of war in this order. This was the first information that
18 reached me that there were -- that people were being captured, and this
19 order specified the manner in which they are to be captured and the
20 premises where they were to be located. This order shows that the Main
21 Staff is in control of the whole situation.
22 Q. To whom are reports to be submitted? And who is, in layman's
23 terms, responsible for the implementation of this order?
24 A. The Corps Commander is responsible for the implementation of this
25 order, and on the basis of the information and the reports received from
1 subordinate units, he is to report to the Superior Command - in this case
2 it is the Main Staff; and the Main Staff determines the treatment of the
3 prisoners of war and they take appropriate action as they deem necessary.
4 Q. Does that mean that the treatment of the captives is in the sphere
5 of -- in the jurisdiction of the Main Staff?
6 A. Yes. From this order and the order of the Corps Commander, it is
7 quite obvious that it is in the jurisdiction of the Main Staff.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the usher to place
9 Exhibit 649, that's Prosecution Exhibit 649, and D109, Defence Exhibit
11 Q. General, the order contained in Prosecution Exhibit 649, do you
12 bring that order in relation to what had actually happened in the area on
13 the 17th of July, 1995?
14 A. Yes, precisely. I can establish a link between this order and
15 what I had testified to yesterday, when the continuation of the Krivaja 95
16 operation was ordered after the units had implemented the decision of the
17 Drina Corps Commander, and when General Mladic ordered the operation to
18 continue, and took over command of these units.
19 This order, I can also connect it with what the Chief of the Main
20 Staff said at the Command of the Bratunac Brigade, at the meeting, and
21 that is that hereinafter, he was in command of all the formations in that
22 area. This is precisely what this order shows; when he forms the command
23 group and Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic is at the head of this command
24 group, and all the units in that area are placed under his command, as is
25 stated in this order.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic, was he a Drina Corps officer?
4 A. Lieutenant Colonel Keserovic and the whole group, in fact, these
5 were all officers from the Main Staff of the VRS.
6 Q. You said that you can establish a link between this order and the
7 document dated the 11th of July, if I'm not mistaken.
8 A. Yes. This order is related to the order dated 11th of July that I
9 commented upon yesterday. That's the order that clearly assigns tasks to
10 all the units that are listed in the order in which the Chief of the Main
11 Staff, among other things, specifies that the 65th Protective Motorised
12 Regiment is to carry out these tasks in addition to the tasks it had
13 received earlier.
14 Q. Where are the other units?
15 A. The other units are engaged on the front facing Tuzla, Kladanj,
16 and Zivinice, facing Zepa and Gorazde.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: General Krstic linked Defence Exhibit 109 to an order
19 of the 11th of July. He referenced it being introduced yesterday. I
20 would request that we have an exhibit number so it makes it easier for us
21 to identify the document that is critically linked to Defence
22 Exhibit 109.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Petrusic, if it is
24 possible, would you please mention the exhibit number. That is the most
25 convenient way to identify the document. Otherwise, we might get lost.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The exhibit in question is
2 Exhibit 98, Defence Exhibit 98.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I don't know whether Exhibit D109
4 is still on the ELMO.
5 Q. General, these two exhibits, 109 and OTP number 649, as regards
6 their contents, are they identical and were they issued by the same
7 command and by the same individual?
8 A. These documents are identical. They were issued by the same
9 command and by the same individual.
10 With your permission, I would like to add something. In this
11 order, among other things, tasks are being given out to the Bratunac Light
12 Infantry Brigade and the 1st Milici Light Infantry Brigade, which is
13 absurd, because these two units were engaged on the front towards Zepa as
14 part of the Zepa operation.
15 Q. Who did these units receive --
16 A. From this document, one can clearly see that they received their
17 assignments from the Commander of the Main Staff.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, sorry to interrupt
19 you. I'm not sure you have described Exhibit 109. I think that we have
20 already mentioned it, but I don't think that you have actually described
21 that particular exhibit.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Document 109 was issued by the
23 general staff of the VRS, number 3/4-1670, dated 17th of July, 1995. The
24 document was issued by General Ratko Mladic.
25 My question in relation to this document was whether this
1 document, in terms of its contents, was identical to the OTP document
2 number 649, and the answer to my question was affirmative.
3 Q. You said that General Zivanovic had taken over the Drina Corps at
4 the time it was established. At the beginning of the Srebrenica
5 operation, was he, de jure and de facto, the Commander of the Drina Corps?
6 A. Yes. General Zivanovic, his duty was that of the Corps Commander.
7 Q. Did he hand over that duty on the 11th of July, 1995?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did he hand over the duty on the 15th of July when the decree of
10 the then President of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, arrived --
11 A. No.
12 Q. Let me please finish my question. -- which decree was drafted on
13 the 14th of July and was supposed to enter into force on the 15th of
15 A. No.
16 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to the fact that General Zivanovic,
17 from the 11th of July until the 20th and 21st of July, was issuing orders
18 on behalf of the Drina Corps and was actually at the Vlasenica command
19 post or in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps?
20 A. Yes. General Zivanovic, throughout that time, was at his command
21 post or in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps carrying out his
22 duty and issuing orders that we have already commented.
23 Q. The reports of the subordinate units at that time, were they
24 addressed to the Vlasenica command post?
25 A. Yes. All of the reports submitted by the subordinate units were
1 sent to the Vlasenica command post.
2 Q. Did he know about the events that were taking place in Potocari on
3 the 12th and the 13th of July, 1995?
4 A. Yes. General Zivanovic issued the order about the use of the
5 buses for the evacuation of the civilian population from Potocari. On the
6 12th of July, after the meeting at the Fontana Hotel in Bratunac had
7 ended, General Zivanovic came to Bratunac. On the 12th of July, his
8 Assistant Commander for Security was also in Bratunac. I'm referring to
9 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic. And at the same time, his Assistant Commander
10 for Logistics was also there in Bratunac.
11 Q. Did General Zivanovic know about what was happening in the area of
12 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade?
13 A. Yes. On the basis of the reports that he had been receiving from
14 that brigade, General Zivanovic knew or should have known what was going
16 Q. Did he know about the fate of the prisoners of war in the area of
17 the Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. I'm not sure about that. On the basis of the reports that I
19 studied later on, one cannot conclude that he knew about that because very
20 little, almost nothing, could be seen from those reports as regards the
21 issue of the prisoners of war.
22 Q. After the takeover of duty between yourself and General Zivanovic,
23 or, rather, between General Zivanovic and yourself, how long did you
24 remain on that duty as the Corps Commander after that?
25 A. After the takeover of duty, that is, after I had taken up the duty
1 of the Drina Corps Commander, on that post I remained until the 21st of
2 November, 1995.
3 Q. After the month of November 1995, did you leave the Corps?
4 A. Yes. After that date, that is, after the month of November, I was
5 relieved of my duty as the Drina Corps Commander and sent to the National
6 Defence School in Belgrade.
7 Q. Your deputy, according to establishment, remained there, the Chief
8 of Staff of the Corps?
9 A. Yes, Chief of Staff -- my Chief of Staff stayed behind, who was
10 also the deputy of the Corps Commander.
11 Q. When did you go back to the Corps?
12 A. I didn't go back to the Drina Corps because until that time -- I
13 believe it was until the end of April, late April -- the Corps had already
14 been disbanded as an operational formation. So I returned to the Main
15 Staff of the VRS for further appointment.
16 Q. I didn't hear you, General. When exactly did you go back to the
18 A. I went back in September in 1996.
19 Q. In an interview which was introduced into evidence in the course
20 of these proceedings, the then President, Mr. Karadzic, said that you
21 yourself --
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, give us the number
23 of the exhibit, please. Do you have it? It is always good to identify
24 the document.
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] At this point, Mr. President, I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 don't remember the number. But let me paraphrase the document. I'm sure
2 that my learned colleagues from the Prosecution can help me.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think they already have an
5 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: It may be Prosecutor's Exhibit 99.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, do you have the
9 THE REGISTRAR: I was going to add that it was 99, Exhibit 99.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In that exhibit, President Karadzic said in an interview that you
12 had planned the Srebrenica operation and that he had personally approved
13 that operation and signed it, and he emphasises your contribution to that
14 operation and he cites you for your achievements.
15 Did you plan the operation, and did he personally sign the
16 appropriate document for the execution of the operation?
17 A. I place that statement of his in the context of his relationship
18 with General Mladic. President Karadzic was not present when the
19 operation was planned, nor did he plan the operation in question. It is
20 not possible in any army in the world for the Chief of Staff to plan an
21 operation on his own. It is the Commander who issues the decision, and on
22 the basis of that decision, on the basis of his decision, appropriate
23 documents are then made.
24 Q. After you had returned to the VRS, did you at some later point in
25 time take over command of the 5th Corps of the VRS?
1 A. After I had reported to the Main Staff of the VRS, I was appointed
2 to the post of the Chief of Inspection for Combat Readiness of the VRS.
3 That particular post or organ within the army was only getting organised
4 at the time, was being established, and at the time it wasn't structured
5 in organisational terms as yet.
6 Let me answer your question. During that period of time, the 5th
7 Corps of the VRS didn't yet exist. There were three corps: the 1st Corps,
8 the 3rd Corps, and the 7th Corps. So the former Drina Corps was no longer
9 there, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was no longer there, nor the 2nd
10 Krajina Corps.
11 Q. When you were arrested, your duty was that of the Commander of the
12 5th Corps, you were on that post.
13 A. Yes. Before I took up that particular duty, I was the Chief
14 Inspector for Combat Readiness within the army. I was appointed the
15 Commander of the 5th Corps in April 1998, and while I was on that duty, I
16 was arrested.
17 Q. While carrying out your duties at that post you were in constant
18 contact with representatives of the international forces deployed in the
19 area of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina, or, during that period of time, in
20 1998, in the territory of the Republika Srpska.
21 A. Yes. After I had taken over as Commander of the 5th Corps of the
22 VRS, I contributed as best as I could to the implementation of the peace
23 accords in those parts relating to the army. And to that effect I had
24 contact with all levels of command of the United Nations' forces in the
25 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the focus being on the contacts with the
1 Command of the north division in Tuzla and the Command of the
2 south-eastern division which was located in Mostar.
3 I had many contacts with them, both in the area of responsibility
4 of my Corps or in the territory of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 where I travelled, to places such as Tuzla, Orasje, Sarajevo, and Mostar.
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence should
7 like to suggest a break at this point.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I hope that ten minutes
9 will be enough.
10 --- Recess taken at 2.17 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 2.28 p.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, Mr. Petrusic, let us try and
13 finish roughly at ten to three so that we can have a small Status
14 Conference then. You have the floor.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Petrusic. Microphone,
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, in your contacts with representatives of the United
19 Nations' forces, you were constantly on the move, travelling through the
20 territory of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 A. I travelled most frequently escorted by SFOR vehicles, but there
22 were cases when I was travelling alone, on the way there or coming back,
23 when visiting a location in the Federation.
24 Let me give you just one example. During the hand-over of duty of
25 the Commander of Division North in Tuzla between General Ellis and General
1 Brns, and General Sinseki took charge of this hand-over procedure, when
2 all of it was over, I travelled in my own vehicle from Tuzla through the
3 territory of the Federation towards Sokolac. So I travelled from Tuzla
4 via Kalesija and also to Sekovici and Sokolac without any fear or a
5 feeling of any kind of responsibility for these things that had happened
6 during the war. I never gave those matters a thought because my
7 conscience was quite clear.
8 Q. In these proceedings so far, we have heard reference made many
9 times to the Zvornik and Bratunac Brigades and their Commanders,
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic and Colonel Blagojevic. On the basis of
11 your knowledge and everything you know about them, do you, as their
12 superior officer at the time, hold them responsible, as their superior
14 A. I was the superior officer to Colonel Blagojevic, even while I was
15 the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps for a certain time, because he was
16 the Chief of Engineers in the Command of the Drina Corps.
17 From that position, Colonel Blagojevic became Commander of the
18 Bratunac Brigade because the Corps Commander decided to replace
19 Colonel Ognjenovic in that position. And I can say freely that
20 Colonel Blagojevic is the personification of not only a Serb officer but
21 the personification of a good officer in any army. He is an epitome of an
22 officer. He is a good example of the way in which an officer needs to do
23 his duty as a professional soldier, and I am confident that
24 Colonel Blagojevic would never have allowed, in the first place because of
25 his own image and also because of that of his subordinates, for anything
1 to be done in his area of responsibility which would constitute a gross
2 violation not only of the Geneva Conventions but of all our own normative
3 provisions and rules with respect to the treatment of prisoners of war. I
4 said in his own area of responsibility. And I am quite sure that if he
5 was in a position to know or to do something, he would have prevented any
6 such thing being done in another area of responsible.
7 As for Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic, Vinko, all I can say is that
8 he was the best Brigade Commander in the Drina Corps, one of the best
9 commanders among his peers in the army as a whole, a professional soldier
10 in every sense of the word, and all that I have said in reference to
11 Colonel Blagojevic also applies to Pandurevic. I am quite certain that
12 Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, after the 28th Division made a breakthrough
13 towards his area, that he would have taken every possible step not to
14 allow the things to happen that did happen in his area.
15 He found himself in a situation that he didn't expect when he had
16 so many prisoners of war, and then in a report, he asks, in fact, "Who was
17 it who brought so many prisoners of war to my brigade?" And everything
18 that happened in the area of responsibility of his brigade, in view of the
19 fact that he was in Zepa when they were being transferred from various
20 locations, from the direction of Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, Kravica,
21 Bratunac, that he would have, in one way or another, prevented what had
22 happened there, so that when he returned, he focused on combat operations
23 on the front lines against the forces of the 28th Division and also when
24 an offensive was launched from Tuzla to link up with the forces of the
25 28th Division.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would
2 now request a private session, please.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] For ten minutes.
4 [Private session]
13 page 6314 redacted – private session
13 page 6315 redacted – private session
13 page 6316 redacted – private session
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see we are in public session
17 already, so let's go on to another matter now, and that is we will have a
18 brief Status Conference. There are two issues that I should like to
19 address as succinctly as possible. One is the problem of translation of
20 Defence documents, and the second issue is the question of timetable.
21 Regarding the first, I think that we gave some instructions with
22 the request that we hear from the Prosecutor, from Mr. Harmon, what are
23 the priorities for translation so that they may prepare for the
24 cross-examination. On the other hand, I think we also have to take stock
25 as to where we stand with relation to the question of translation in
2 I don't know whether Mr. Visnjic or Mr. Harmon wish to begin.
3 Mr. Visnjic?
4 In any event, before giving you the floor, Mr. Visnjic, I think
5 Mr. Harmon raised the question of certification of translation. It's not
6 a question of stamping those translations to show whether they're good or
7 not. If there are mistakes in the translations, it is not a seal that
8 will resolve the problem. So I wish to add that point to the debate.
9 Either we're going to have completely new translations, which will have
10 very serious consequences for the proceedings, or we'll adopt another
11 procedure to review and revise the translations that have already been
12 made, and I think this would help us.
13 Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wish to notify the
15 Trial Chamber that in the meantime, Ms. Tanja Radosavljevic and Ms. Keith
16 have listed the exhibits which are identical or very similar, that is,
17 Defence and Prosecution exhibits and that were already translated as
18 Prosecution exhibits, so that we have removed one set of problems
19 regarding translation.
20 As for the second matter, whether all documents should be
21 retranslated or corrected, I must say on this occasion that the Defence
22 was extremely short of time as we only had a few days available for the
23 translation of documents and, unfortunately, the situation in Belgrade was
24 such that there was a general strike on and this didn't help us any. We
25 managed to get together a group of translators but of different
2 Now, if the Prosecution does not mind, we are at their disposal to
3 deal with any questions that they may have without engaging the
4 translation section. We have mostly noticed that these errors relate to
5 names of brigades, the signatories of these documents, and things like
6 that. So we could do that together.
7 I have been informed that we have received a certain number of
8 documents which we have now and which we are reviewing, and we will serve
9 them on the Prosecution immediately after this Status Conference.
10 Out of a total of -- no. I'm sorry. Up to now, 74 documents have
11 been translated. Thirty-three remained untranslated until the beginning
12 of this session, and I think that in the meantime, that number has been
13 reduced because we have received some translations in the meantime.
14 So any request that Mr. Harmon may have to speed up proceedings
15 and if we can assist him, we are at his disposal. We will gladly do so.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we, first of all, attempted to
19 prioritise the documents that we thought were the most important
20 documents, and I identified those as the documents from the army of the
21 Republika Srpska. That's the set that we think should be accurately
22 translated. I understand that of that body of documents, nine are
23 documents that we have already translated or the CLSS has already
24 translated. Mr. Visnjic is correct. That removes that set of documents.
25 However, the remaining set of documents need to be accurately translated,
1 and I am in the position where I don't have them and can only rely on the
2 good offices of the CLSS to furnish me with sets of documents before I can
3 analyse them properly and conduct the cross-examination. So I understand
4 that the Registrar's office has submitted those remaining set of documents
5 to CLSS, and I'm merely waiting for a report back from either the
6 registrar or receipt of the documents that need to be translated.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So the question before us is,
8 and we find ourselves in a rather extraordinary situation: Either we
9 suspend the hearings until we have all the documents in translation or we
10 try to encourage cooperation to guarantee equality and the possibility of
11 us continuing the proceedings.
12 I think that we are all aware that it is frequently necessary to
13 do many things which are not, strictly speaking, our own duty. Let me
14 tell you, I do many of those things myself simply to speed things up.
15 So it is in that light that perhaps we might suggest - we cannot
16 order, of course - request, appeal, to someone to invest some additional
17 effort so as to help us move forward.
18 It is in that context that I should like to ask Madam Registrar
19 whether she can tell us what measures have been taken to deal with the
20 problem, knowing that it is not, strictly speaking, your duty.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. President, I have spoken with translation, and
22 they said that they would try their best to make the corrections.
23 However, I have not had the opportunity today to speak with them. So it
24 would be after this session that I would know more information.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's go on to the
1 second point, being brief, of course, having to do with the timetable.
2 As you know, our philosophy is that the timetable is our tool and
3 we need to adjust it to circumstances. I think that we're a bit behind in
4 our forecasts even regarding General Krstic's testimony.
5 I'm not trying to interfere, however, but maybe we can already
6 envisage that at the end of this session, at the end of this three-week
7 period, there may be witnesses here present in the Tribunal, and because
8 of the breaks that we have to make, there is a risk of them having to go
9 back to their place of residence without being heard; and I wish to do
10 everything to prevent that.
11 So what I would like to suggest: We will keep the week -- the
12 week from the 5th or the 6th, I don't know, Monday, the 5th of November,
13 and we are inclined to keep at least one, two, or three days for hearing
14 those witnesses so as to avoid them having to come back, without having
15 heard them. So I think that suits everyone, the witnesses whom we have to
16 respect and also the Tribunal itself, because after all we don't have to
17 bring people and then send them back and have to bring them back again
18 because we haven't heard them.
19 If we take that into account, it would be in the interests of the
20 Chamber not to sit on the 3rd of November. But I know that the Defence
21 requested a period of time between the two blocks of hearings.
22 If we reach a point when we have to work during the week of the
23 5th of November to avoid having witnesses going home without being heard,
24 I would suggest that we have Tuesday, which I think is the 7th, Wednesday,
25 the 8th, Thursday, the 9th, and I think Friday the 10th. So I am talking
1 off the bat; I don't have the calendar in front of me. In that way we
2 need not sit on Friday, the 3rd of November. We can make up for that the
3 following week and at the same time guarantee that all witnesses here
4 present will, indeed, be heard.
5 That is a suggestion having to do with the organisation of the
6 Defence, so that is why I should like to hear them first.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the first working
8 day -- our next working day, within an hour or an hour and a half we will
9 have completed our examination-in-chief, and as far as we have been
10 informed by Mr. Harmon, their cross-examination would ensue and last, I
11 think he said, three days; so that would bring us to next Friday as the
12 last day of their cross. We do have witnesses planned and they are about
13 to come, and we will do everything to bring them over in the third week as
14 originally planned.
15 But I have a question: If we come to the conclusion that on the
16 3rd of November, Friday, the 3rd of November, we might complete all
17 witnesses, and of course we would inform you of the same in advance, in
18 that case, could we have that day as a working day; or would that Friday,
19 the 3rd of November, be a free day and we would have to resume on Monday
20 or Tuesday the following week?
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. The question,
22 Mr. Petrusic, to be more precise, is regarding the 3rd of November.
23 Independently of this discussion, that applies to me personally only. My
24 colleagues would be available. If the parties accept to have a hearing
25 with my colleagues and in my absence, no problem; if not, we would not sit
1 on the 3rd and would go on to the following week to make up for this day,
2 and also have the possibility of hearing witnesses which perhaps had not
3 been heard the previous week. There's always the problem of having a
4 delay or lagging behind the timetable, because I wouldn't like a single
5 witness to have to go back home without being heard. So as we're a little
6 late already, such a situation may arise. And as I tell you quite
7 frankly, it would suit me not to sit on the 3rd of November. But my
8 colleagues are available.
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Of course we will miss you a great
10 deal, but we don't mind going on, continuing with the hearings. That is
11 the position of the Defence, that we could continue. I don't know what
12 the position of the Prosecution is, of course.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Harmon, please.
14 He is going to say that he will not pressure me.
15 MR. HARMON: I have two answers. The first is we have no
16 objection to sitting with two Judges on the 3rd of November. We have done
17 that in the past in other cases, and we accept that in this case as well.
18 In respect of how long the cross-examination will last, I don't
19 want to put us in a box. We will conduct the cross-examination with all
20 due diligence and speed, but I'm not absolutely confident that it will end
21 on Friday. It could well go over until Monday.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can we conclude then that
23 regarding the question of translation, the parties, according to a
24 suggestion from Mr. Visnjic, will get together to make a balance of what
25 remains to be done, and Mr. Fourmy can be of assistance if necessary, and
1 we will sit on the 3rd of November but without me.
2 Mr. Fourmy, are you available to help with this question of
4 MR. FOURMY: [Interpretation] Yes. I will be here on Monday but
5 not on Tuesday, as you know.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Harmon.
7 MR. HARMON: The issue of translations I don't want to leave
8 totally at the responsibility of the Office of the Prosecutor because we
9 have cross-examination to prepare, and sitting down and doing proper
10 translations of documents is a burden that is, I don't think, completely
11 fair to the Office of the Prosecutor. It is my hope that the CLSS will
12 indeed provide us with complete translations before we are obligated to
13 commence our cross-examination. I need a report from them. How many of
14 the documents they will complete and which ones they will not complete so
15 I can then take steps that I need to do to resolve the problem.
16 There are two sets of documents. There are sets of documents that
17 the Defence has, through their own good offices, attempted to have
18 translated properly that may contain inaccuracies and there is another set
19 of documents that have not been translated at all. And quite frankly, for
20 the Office of the Prosecutor to have to sit down over the next few days
21 and worry about the translation of documents that have been tendered by
22 the Defence seems to me to be something that is unnecessary. It seems to
23 me that the Language Service Section, they do extraordinary work, I,
24 frankly, think that they're overworked and they don't have sufficient
25 resources to provide all of the documents that are necessary, but we're in
1 the middle of a trial and we're about to start a very critical part of
2 this trial, cross-examination of the accused who has tendered documents,
3 and it seems to me that there is a priority in this case. The priority is
4 that these documents need to be available to the Office of the Prosecutor
5 as soon as possible but before the cross-examination of General Krstic,
6 and the Office of the Prosecutor should not be put in a position where it
7 has to do work in addition to the very important work of preparing for the
9 So in my view, I would again request of the Chamber that there be
10 an order issued that those documents that have been prioritised, there's a
11 limited set, that they be translated and provided to the Office of the
12 Prosecutor before the commencement of the cross-examination of
13 General Krstic. I don't see any other way that we can effectively do our
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon. I quite
16 understand. I agree with you. I cannot interfere with these things
18 Either we continue the discussion, but we have no more time, or,
19 and that was my idea, that the parties can get together with the legal
20 officer of the Chamber to take stock of the situation and establish
21 priorities and then organise the possibility for the CLSS to respond. And
22 there's also another idea. The Chamber would never agree to the
23 Prosecutor starting the cross-examination without having everything it
24 needs to do so. So the Chamber is ready to do everything it can to that
25 end. So we're fully aware of that, but we're just trying to find a
1 solution which would not prejudice the Prosecutor, and that is why we have
2 tried to strike a balance.
3 So I think the practical way to proceed would be to have a meeting
4 between the Defence and the Prosecutor, with the assistance of the legal
5 officer, and afterwards establish the priorities for the translation
7 MR. HARMON: And, Mr. President, after we do that and after we
8 establish the priorities, the next question is will the Language Service
9 Section do the translations that are necessary and give them back to the
10 Office of the Prosecutor prior to the commencement of the
11 cross-examination, because that's the only way that we can work
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Madam Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: I am deeply aware of the situation, and I have
15 rendered -- the registrar has rendered help in trying to expedite the
16 translations of these documents.
17 I'd first like to say that with regards to the documents that were
18 submitted yesterday for corrections, I will be talking with translation
19 after this hearing to see what documents could be done and how long it
20 will take. That is where we stand right now. As I mentioned previously,
21 there was no time in the interim to find out.
22 But I was want to make it clear that the position of the registrar
23 is to be of assistance when it's possible, but we cannot take on the role
24 of preparing for either the Prosecution or the Defence. To that end, if
25 help is needed from us with the translation of documents and working with
1 CLSS, I would also like to have some oral order or written order that
2 mentions the same thing as Mr. Harmon said, to have these documents done
3 for cross-examination.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Have you finished, Mr. Harmon?
5 MR. HARMON: Yes, I have, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Fine then. I leave it there. I
7 think that is the only way for us to try and avoid any suspension of the
8 proceedings. So the parties will meet with the mediation of the legal
9 officer and then you will see what needs to be done, whether an order need
10 to be issued, whether a request needs to be made, whether we need to
11 appeal to them. We will see, and we will have a realistic idea of the
12 situation. That is my advice to the parties.
13 But we must conclude for today and thank all the personnel who
14 stayed longer than planned. Have a good weekend.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.18 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day
17 of October, 2000 at 9.20 a.m.