Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7344

1 Monday 20 November 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.

5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and

6 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters, the

7 Office of the Prosecutor, the counsel for Defence. Good morning, General

8 Krstic. I think that today we will be continuing the testimony of General

9 Krstic, but I see that Mr. McCloskey has something to say. But I think it

10 would be Mr. Petrusic's turn.

11 In any event, Mr. McCloskey, you have the floor.

12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, thank you. Good morning.

13 There is a brief matter that the team felt was important to try

14 and clear up, if possible, regarding the end of the testimony of General

15 Krstic. And what I'm referring to is there was an exchange that I had

16 with Mr. Petrusic, and General Krstic also entered into it briefly,

17 regarding -- there was a suggestion that the Defence had requested

18 personal items from the Prosecution and that they had not received certain

19 personal items, including, as you recall, General Krstic mentioned he

20 had not received his mother's death certificate. And Dean Manning has

21 since returned, who is the investigator that handled those personal items,

22 and I would like to just provide you with some documents to show you what

23 occurred in that exchange shortly after General Krstic's arrest.

24 If I could first direct the Court's attention to what we have

25 marked OTP Exhibit 836/1, and to summarise, this is a brief report that

Page 7345

1 Dean Manning has made for us outlining some of the events. General Krstic

2 was arrested on December 2nd, and on December 3rd, 1998, we received the

3 personal items from ICTY investigator Plony Bos. And you can see from

4 this report that on 7 December 1998, Christian Rohde from the Registry

5 asked Mr. Manning for personal items to be returned to General Krstic, and

6 Mr. Manning went through the material and just pulled out what he believed

7 was not relevant to the case and provided it to Christian Rohde, and that

8 is in Exhibit 836/2. You can see, if you have that before you, that that

9 is just a list of several items that Mr. Manning provided to Christian

10 Rohde.

11 I would call your attention to the top of that list, photocopied

12 pages of newspaper articles and 21 pages of photocopied pages of printed

13 and handwritten paper, including medical reports.

14 So if we see OTP Exhibit 836/3, this is the 21 pages that are

15 referred to in that receipt, and on the fourth page of that 21 pages is,

16 in fact, General Krstic's mother's death certificate.

17 OTP Exhibit 836/4 is some kind of a medical document,

18 publication.

19 Exhibit 836/5 is some kind of a medical book for General Krstic

20 with his medical entries in it that was also returned.

21 Now, 836/7 is a note/memo to Mr. Harmon from Christian Rohde that

22 he just did recently for us basically saying that the goods that he got on

23 December 2nd he turned over personally to General Krstic, and it is our

24 understanding that this is the material that I just went over, including

25 his mother's death certificate.

Page 7346

1 Exhibit 836/6 is the complete listing of the personal property

2 which Mr. Manning did after he turned over the initial personal items, he

3 made a complete listing of all the material left -- well, everything that

4 we received from Plony Bos, and then he provided this final listing to

5 Christian Rohde as the complete list of the personal items of General

6 Krstic. And neither Dean Manning nor anyone from the Prosecution had

7 received any more word from Christian Rohde or from the Defence regarding

8 any request for any materials until it was brought up in court.

9 We have, of course, been in touch with Mr. Petrusic and Mr.

10 Visnjic and have provided other materials and will continue to provide

11 anything that they ask for in this regard, and I hope that will shed some

12 light on the matter.

13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.

14 Mr. Petrusic, have you any comments to make? It seems to me that

15 either these documents have been returned to you, to General Krstic, or

16 they are in the possession of the Registrar. Have you any comments to

17 make?

18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, Your

19 Honours. Good morning, my learned friends from the Prosecution.

20 It is hard to make any comments because we received this list only

21 a few minutes prior to the beginning of the hearing. Perhaps we need to

22 look through the list with General Krstic. I am recalled of our last

23 sitting when a dispute arose over a telephone directory, and that is when

24 I intervened, claiming that that telephone booklet has not been returned.

25 But now looking through the list, it is very difficult to say whether it

Page 7347

1 is quite complete or not, though of course I'm not expressing any doubts

2 into the best intentions of the investigator and the Registrar of this

3 Tribunal to act in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. But I hope

4 that we will be able to resolve this problem with our learned friends from

5 the Prosecution, as we have been able to do so far generally.

6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Perhaps you could include

7 Mr. Christian Rohde from the Registry who could help you to resolve this

8 problem, because after all, this is a problem that you need to deal with.

9 So we will not spend any more time on it, except if there really is a

10 problem, which I think is not the case.

11 I see Mr. McCloskey is still on his feet. Do you have anything

12 more to add on this matter?

13 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President. I will sit down.

14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Then you may be

15 seated for the moment.

16 So we're going to resume our work as agreed, that is, the

17 testimony of General Krstic today, and at the end of the testimony, we

18 will resume with the witnesses. Perhaps it would be fair to tell the

19 Prosecutor so that they can prepare that as we are going to hear other

20 witnesses, you must be ready to be very concise and concrete in your

21 examination, which means to act in pursuance with the provisions of Rule

22 90, which you are very familiar with, which says that the

23 cross-examination, I'm lost for the moment -- in any event, this is the

24 question of the cross-examination not going beyond the scope of the

25 examination-in-chief. I know that we are flexible in that respect, but

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Page 7349

1 flexibility still means that the cross should take more or less the same

2 amount of time as the examination-in-chief. There is the question of the

3 credibility of the witness and other matters that are relevant for the

4 case, but we must also bear in mind the obligation of the Chamber making

5 sure that the process is expeditious and fair. And I'm saying this in

6 advance to the Prosecutor so that they can prepare and make the best of

7 their time.

8 So we're now going to give the floor to Mr. Petrusic for his

9 re-examination.

10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher for Exhibit

11 428, Prosecutor's Exhibit 428, and D25. This is a map. I don't know

12 whether the Prosecution have this map.

13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic is referring to

14 Exhibit D25, I think.

15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] So as not to waste time, Mr. Usher,

16 would you be kind enough to give Mr. Harmon a copy of this exhibit.

17 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic.

18 WITNESS: RADISLAV KRSTIC [Resumed]

19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 Re-examined by Mr. Petrusic:

21 Q. Generally, according to the order for combat operations envisaged

22 by Operation Krivaja 95, the task was to narrow down the enclaves of

23 Srebrenica and Zepa. So would you please tell us briefly whether that

24 was, indeed, the task or, rather, the aim of Operation Krivaja 95?

25 A. Yes, that was the goal of the Operation Krivaja 95.

Page 7350

1 Q. Could you, on this map, show us which were the lines that were to

2 have been reached according to this operation plan? So take a pointer or

3 a marker, please, to show us.

4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think there seems to be a

5 problem with the ELMO. We are not having the picture on the monitor. No

6 one seems to be having it. There's a problem. Perhaps it needs to be

7 switched on. I don't know.

8 Has the technical booth tested the equipment prior to the

9 beginning of hearing, Madam Registrar?

10 THE REGISTRAR: Every morning before we begin we always check the

11 equipment, and there were no problems this morning.

12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But we still have work to do and

13 it's not working. Can the question be resolved, please.

14 JUDGE RIAD: I think it's on the wrong channel.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In any event, the picture is a

16 little bit like the weather here. It doesn't seem to have the proper

17 colours, as far as I can see. So let's look and read it, if we can.

18 Mr. Petrusic, let's try and proceed.

19 A. [Marks]

20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

21 If this picture is acceptable, and if the technical booth says this is the

22 best that they can do, shall I continue?

23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. General Krstic is always

24 doing his work. We just need to be told what it is he's doing.

25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed.

Page 7351

1 Q. General, will you please tell us which are the points that you

2 were to have reached according to this order? So could you please explain

3 what it is you have just drawn.

4 A. The aim of the Operation Krivaja 95 was for the units engaged in

5 the operation to reach this line Kak --

6 Q. Could you please move up to the microphone.

7 A. Kak, Alibegovac, Zivkovo Brdo, Banja Guber, Divljakinje, Predova.

8 Q. Was that the narrow area that the enclave should have been reduced

9 to, according to the order?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Will you please put your initials using the same marker that you

12 used to draw those lines.

13 A. [Marks]

14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to leave the

15 map there and to place Exhibit 463 on the ELMO. Leave the map, please.

16 Leave the map. Put it on top of the map. Yes, that's fine.

17 Q. So we now have an exhibit, your order issued on the 13th of July,

18 1995, at 2030, ordering the search of the terrain along the line Ravni

19 Buljim, Zvijezda, Siljato Brdo, Slapovici, along the right bank of the

20 Jadar River, Domastar [phoen], Zeleni Jadar. You are giving assignments

21 to the Bratunac Brigade, the Skelani Battalion, and the Milici Brigade; is

22 that correct?

23 A. Yes. What you have just read is the task for the Bratunac

24 Brigade.

25 Q. Could you, on this same map, draw the line along which the

Page 7352

1 Bratunac Brigade was to carry out a search of the terrain?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Could you please tell us the circles that you have made have the

4 lines, what features are they? And these are the assignments of the

5 Bratunac Brigade.

6 A. Yes, the Bratunac Brigade was to have carried out the search of

7 the terrain along the Ravni Buljim, the Zvijezda feature, Siljato Brdo,

8 the village of Slapovici inclusive, along the right bank of the Zeleni

9 Jadar River, not counting the factory compound of Zeleni Jadar.

10 Q. In relation to that line, was a direction of movement

11 southwards?

12 A. Yes, in relation to this line, they were moving in the southerly

13 direction searching the terrain towards the area of deployment towards

14 Zepa, and the area of use of that Brigade was Podovan [phoen], Stublic,

15 Brestovik.

16 Q. Please, will you please your initials on that line.

17 A. [Marks]

18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] For the transcript, for the record,

19 let me say that according to the order of the 13th of July, 1995, as shown

20 in Exhibit 25, this is the direction for the search of the terrain by the

21 Bratunac Brigade marked in red marker.

22 Q. In paragraph 2 of the same order, you are giving an assignment to

23 the Skelani Battalion. Will you please indicate in the same way as you

24 have done for the brigade their direction of movement? General, will you

25 use the same marker because it all applies to the one and the same order;

Page 7353

1 in other words, use the red marker.

2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, if possible,

3 could you tell us the locations that you are going to mark because in that

4 way we can follow. Very well. Thank you.

5 A. So the Skelani Battalion was assigned to search the terrain to the

6 village of Slapovici, not including the village itself; then Kostur, Zedz,

7 in this direction. It's not indicated on the map. The line of

8 separation in relation to the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade was the

9 right bank of the Zeleni Jadar River, so this is this area here.

10 Q. Will you mark it with a circle, please. So in this area, this is

11 the area where the Skelani Independent Battalion is operating.

12 A. Yes, the Independent Battalion Skelani.

13 Q. So will you please right down the word Skelani, SB Skelani.

14 A. [Marks]

15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Again, for the record, under

16 paragraph 2 of the same order, dated the 13th of July, 1995, the direction

17 of action by the Skelani Independent Battalion has been marked on Exhibit

18 25 with the letters SBS having been indicated.

19 Q. Under paragraph 3, you are giving an order to the Milici Brigade

20 as well. Could you please explain to us and draw the direction along

21 which they acted?

22 A. The Milici Brigade was assigned the task to search the terrain

23 from the line of separation with the Bratunac Brigade and the Independent

24 Skelani Battalion. So it is this line deep within its own territory,

25 behind the protected area, the safe area, towards Milici, Derventa, and

Page 7354

1 Mount Javor. So it is in this direction.

2 Q. Will you please indicate that? Move the map to the right

3 slightly, please.

4 A. [Marks]

5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the direction of

6 action of the Milici Brigade has been marked in red marker with 1 MLPBR.

7 Q. Can it be said that the assignment that you issued to these units

8 to search the terrain, what was it, within the Srebrenica enclave?

9 A. Yes, it was the assignment given to the units to search the

10 terrain within the Srebrenica enclave, whereas the Milici Brigade searched

11 the terrain to the south-west, deep within its own territory, that is, to

12 the south-west of the safe area of Srebrenica, towards Javor Mountain.

13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher for the

14 exhibit 464, Prosecution Exhibit 464.

15 Q. This is an order dated the 14th of July, 1995, issued by the

16 Commander of the Bratunac Brigade, Vidoje Blagojevic, who is referring

17 to your order of the 13th of July that we have just been discussing, and

18 when you drew it on the map the direction of activities of these units.

19 So in relation to this order, can you show us the units of the Bratunac

20 Brigade that are searching the terrain on this same map, using a blue

21 marker.

22 A. Yes. This is an order written by the Commander of the Bratunac

23 Brigade and addressed to his subordinate units, tasking them to search the

24 terrain and pursuant to the order that he has received from me. So he

25 divided up the tasks by battalions and he designated the features and

Page 7355

1 lines up to which they should search the terrain. So for the 1st

2 Battalion, the 1st Battalion was tasked to search the terrain, and he says

3 the junction of the road Konjevic Polje -- Bratunac-Konjevic Polje, and on

4 this map, Konjevic Polje is not indicated. It is along the road from

5 Bratunac in the direction I am showing, and roughly at the top of this

6 map.

7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon, I think we

8 can't see anything and I think we have to make a break.

9 Does the technical booth have the same picture as we have here in

10 the courtroom, Madam Registrar?

11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, they do.

12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But our picture, it's true that

13 we cannot see Konjevic Polje on the map, as General Krstic says. In

14 brief, we can't see anything. So perhaps it would be best to take a

15 15-minute break, and I would like to request that the conditions be

16 regulated so that we can work normally. That's the only thing we can do

17 now.

18 So we're going to have a 15-minute break.

19 --- Break taken at 10.00 a.m.

20 --- On resuming at 10.25 a.m.

21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I hope that the machine has

22 decided to work properly now, but we'll see.

23 Mr. Petrusic, you have the floor. Please proceed, if conditions

24 permit. I hope they will.

25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

Page 7356

1 Q. General, let us look at the order of the 14th of July, issued by

2 the Commander of the Bratunac Brigade, Vidoje Blagojevic - it is OTP

3 Exhibit 464 - and the tasks and assignments which he gave to his

4 subordinate units.

5 A. As I said, the Commander of the Bratunac Brigade related in

6 concrete terms what his subordinate units and battalions were to do. He

7 issued orders pursuant to the orders which he received from me. So that

8 the 1st Battalion was given the assignment of searching the terrain up to

9 the crossroads of the Konjevic-Bratunac-Konjevic Polje area. And Konjevic

10 Polje should be in this direction but I can't see it on the map. The map

11 has been cut.

12 Next there was Jerestica, Lupoglav, the village of Susnjari,

13 Potok Lamenac, the village of Pale, the Zvijezda feature.

14 The 2nd Battalion was given the task of searching the terrain

15 around Potok Lamenac and joining up with the 1st Battalion. Then we have

16 Potok Lamenac here. Then we have Prijemska Kosa, the village of

17 Cumanac -- Cumavic. Then Gradac, Prijemska Kosa, and connecting up with

18 Prijemska Kosa.

19 The 3rd Battalion received the assignment of searching the terrain

20 from Obli Vis, Gradac, Prijemska Kosa, and joining up with the 2nd

21 Battalion, not counting the Zvijezda feature. Next we have Zeleni Jadar,

22 the right bank of the river of Zeleni Jadar, the village of Slapovici, and

23 Siljato Brdo. I am going to mark this. The 1st Infantry Battalion; then

24 we have the 2nd Infantry Battalion; and the 3rd Infantry Battalion.

25 The 4th Battalion received the assignment to go to the former

Page 7357

1 defence lines where it was positioned and to control the area in front of

2 it from Lupoglav -- from Lupoglav to Ravni Buljim. So that is the 4th

3 Infantry Battalion, towards Mratinsko Brdo. So from its previous

4 positions to control that whole area, and also towards the village of

5 Sandici, which is in this direction up here.

6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the lines of action

7 of the Bratunac Brigade, that is to say, its battalions, the 1st, 2nd,

8 3rd, and 4th Battalions, on the map have been indicated by General Krstic

9 in a blue marker pen.

10 Q. I should just like to ask you to put your initials somewhere there

11 along those lines, please, General.

12 A. [Marks]

13 Q. General, looking at these two orders, that is to say, your order

14 of the 13th of July, which you determined the tasks, among others, of the

15 Bratunac Brigade, and the order of the 14th of July, which the Bratunac

16 Brigade sent further down to its subordinate units, was there any

17 deviation with respect to your order?

18 A. We could say there was deviation, especially when the order was

19 issued to the 1st Battalion. That goes outside the borders of the safe

20 area, the protected area. And according to my order, I specify the area

21 within the safe area to be searched, within the Srebrenica safe area, that

22 is to say, from the north-east towards the south and south-west, that is

23 to say, towards the area of deployment of the brigade towards Zepa --

24 engagement of the brigade towards Zepa.

25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] May I now ask the usher to place

Page 7358

1 OTP Exhibit 432 on the ELMO.

2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, I apologise for

3 interrupting, but perhaps I could take use of this pause to ask you a

4 question.

5 General Krstic, looking at this map here where you have indicated

6 the deployment of several units, especially the Bratunac one, you told us

7 that Konjevic Polje was not on the map. But the axis Konjevic

8 Polje-Bratunac, could you indicate that for us on the map? Can you see

9 the axis, the Konjevic Polje-Bratunac axis? Could you just indicate

10 that? Mark it, please.

11 A. From Bratunac to Konjevic Polje, I'll show you the road. As we

12 see Bratunac on the map, it is this road here.

13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. And now

14 another question: Looking at the path traversed by the column, what we

15 have been calling the column, there is Susnjari in the direction of

16 Konjevic Polje. Can you indicate that axis for us, please? Susnjari

17 Jaglici, towards the direction -- in the direction of Konjevic Polje.

18 A. I think you meant the village of Susnjari, most probably.

19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. I didn't

20 pronounce it properly.

21 A. Yes. This is the direction.

22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Can we,

23 therefore, say that there is this portion of the terrain where the

24 searching operations coincided with the road traversed by the column, the

25 route traversed by the column?

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Page 7360

1 A. Yes. But the time at which the searching of the terrain took

2 place was on the 14th, it began on the 14th, and on the basis of all the

3 facts, this can be seen from the report of the secretary. And there were

4 no vestiges of the column at that time, except perhaps some groups within

5 the protected area, armed groups.

6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, General.

7 Mr. Petrusic, please proceed.

8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, for purposes of

9 illustration, I should like to inform the Chamber that it was the

10 Defence's intention to make use of the big map of the Zvornik Brigade, but

11 we have been handicapped in that respect so we have had to make due with

12 the small map which is not the best possible choice, but that's what we

13 have.

14 We are now with Exhibit 432, which is a piece of information

15 General Tolimir sent to the forward command post, General Gvero, and

16 Krstic personally, on the 9th of July, 1995.

17 Q. General, at the time this report arrived, and we can see that it

18 was at 2350 hours, most probably, had you attained -- were the goals

19 attained with respect to the order for combat activity Krivaja 95?

20 A. I spoke about this earlier on. No, we had not achieved our

21 objectives at that particular time, that is to say, on the 9th of July.

22 We had not accomplished the assignment which the Corps Commander set in

23 his order, apart from the fact that the forces of the 1st Battalion, that

24 is to say, portions of the Zvornik Brigade, between the 9th and 10th of

25 July, took up Zivko -- positions at Zivkovo Brdo, Zivkovo Brdo here, but

Page 7361

1 the forces of the 28th Division, in the course of the night between the

2 9th to the 10th, refuted the forces of this battalion from these positions

3 and took control of it again. It was only on the early morning hours,

4 that is to say, at about noon on the 10th - I spoke about this - where we

5 were able to realise that goal, the goal of the Operation Krivaja 95,

6 which was set by the Commander of the Drina Corps, that is to say, to

7 emerge on the Kakali [phoen], Begovac, Dzevko Brdo [phoen] line, Banja

8 Guber, Petola [phoen].

9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask that

10 Exhibit 481 be distributed.

11 Q. This is an order referring to mobilisation. It was written on the

12 17th of July 1995, and it is signed by you and it was received by the

13 Zvornik Brigade on the 24th of July, 1995.

14 In your previous testimony, in response to a question from

15 Mr. McCloskey, you said something in this regard, that is to say, when you

16 signed the order. So let us clear up some matters. To the best of your

17 recollection, when did you sign this order? First of all, let us take

18 note that it is your signature, is it not?

19 A. Yes, it is my signature. In answer to the question I was asked by

20 Mr. McCloskey, I misspoke at one point and said that I signed this

21 statement -- this order on the 21st or 22nd, as far as I remember, after I

22 reached the command post at Vlasenica. What I wanted to say was: after my

23 return from handing over my duty between me and General Zivanovic, from

24 Han Kram, when I returned to the forward command post in the village of

25 Krivaca, that is to say, at the forward command post at that time which

Page 7362

1 was Godzenje. And this document was brought there, and another document,

2 I don't remember which one, but that is when I signed this particular

3 order, of course without looking at the date at all when the order was

4 registered.

5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher for

6 OTP Exhibit 792 now, please.

7 Q. This is a regular combat report of the Bratunac Brigade. I think

8 it will be easier for you if you look at that part in the handwritten

9 version. Colonel Blagojevic.

10 In the fourth paragraph from the top, in the English version it is

11 paragraph 2, the last sentence which states: "In the zone of

12 responsibility of the Brigade, the president of the Republika Srpska and

13 the Commander of the DK, Drina Corps, were in Srebrenica in the brigade's

14 area of responsibility today."

15 Now, in the course of your examination by the Prosecution, there

16 was some things that needed to be cleared up with respect to the

17 translation of this, as well as other things, and you contested the fact

18 that you were there with the president of the Republika Srpska at that

19 time. Can you tell us now how you would have written that report had you

20 been present when the president of Republika Srpska?

21 A. I did contest that. But I didn't even seen see the President of

22 the Republic, nor was I with him at all, nor did I even know that he was

23 in the area of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade at all. Had I been

24 there instead of Colonel Blagojevic, I would have written the area of

25 responsibility of the brigade, in the course of the day, that they were

Page 7363

1 there together, the President of the Republika Srpska, Dr. Radovan

2 Karadzic, and the Commander of the Drina Corps, General Krstic, that they

3 were there together. I would have put it this way. Because here, in this

4 order, you cannot see that we were there together, which we were not, in

5 fact. We were not there together.

6 So I repeat: I did not know that he was there; I did not see the

7 president, President Karadzic, at all.

8 Q. General, sir --

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I apologise, but the

11 translation -- the interpreters have read the translation from the English

12 text, they read out the English version of this exhibit which is how the

13 problem arose. Now I should like to ask Mr. Petrusic, for purposes of the

14 record, to read the sentence again and then the interpreters can interpret

15 what they hear and not what was written down in the report, to clarify

16 what the General was just saying.

17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.

18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Therefore, that sentence which has been contested, that is to say,

20 its translation in the Serbian version reads as follows: "In the zone of

21 responsibility of the brigade, in the course of the day, the president

22 of Republika Srpska visited it, as well as the Commander of DK."

23 There is no need, General, for you to say anything else because

24 you have given us an answer to that question already.

25 The Prosecution maintains, General, that you remained Commander of

Page 7364

1 the Drina Corps on the 13th of July -- became commander. If we start out

2 with the assumption, and the Prosecution will ask a hypothetical

3 question, I'm sure, as well, let us assume that that is so, would you

4 then, as Commander of the Corps, and bearing in mind everything that had

5 happened not only in the area of the Zvornik Brigade but also in the area

6 of the Vlasenica and Birac Brigade, that is to say, right down the front

7 line towards the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a

8 Commander, would you have undertaken any action? Because quite obviously

9 the situation there was very complex, highly complex.

10 A. Had I at that time been the Commander of the Drina Corps, my basic

11 preoccupation would have been the 28th Division of the army of

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is to say, its conduct and its breakthrough

13 towards Tuzla. And then my basic preoccupation uppermost in my mind would

14 have been the state of affairs in the Zvornik Brigade and the Birac

15 Brigade, and even the Vlasenica Brigade, because that was the area and

16 their zones of responsibility through which the 28th Division passed

17 through. So I would have written a series of orders to those brigades,

18 depending on -- as the need arose, and there was the need to do so.

19 Then I would quite certainly have set up a team with a corps

20 command which would have been on the spot with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

21 Brigade as reinforcement and assistance to those brigades in their battles

22 of the 28th Division, and the forces of the 2nd Corps of the army of

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, attacking from the Tuzla direction towards Zvornik and

24 Vlasenica.

25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

Page 7365

1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher for

2 the next exhibit now, please, 649B. This is an order of the Main Staff,

3 dated the 17th of July, 1995.

4 Q. And your response prompts me to ask you, in connection with what

5 you said, that you would have certainly formed a team that would have been

6 on the spot in the area of responsibility of those brigades. So my

7 question is: From this order, can we conclude that the Main Staff could

8 be said to be taking over the task of forming those teams, what you said

9 the Corps Commander should do or whoever is authorised by the Corps

10 Commander?

11 A. This order, issued by the Commander of the Main Staff, on the 17th

12 of July, 1995, is the most conspicuous example of the way in which the

13 Main Staff is taking over command of part of the area of responsibility of

14 the Drina Corps by forming its own command group which is taking over the

15 command role in the area, as indicated in this order.

16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could I now have Exhibit 402,

17 tab 3, footnote 34, the Rules of Service of the Security Organ in the

18 Armed Forces of the SFRY. I'm referring to Article 49.

19 Q. First of all, General, these Rules of Service, were they taken

20 over from the former army, that is, from the JNA, and applied to the army

21 of Republika Srpska?

22 A. That is the Rules of Service of the Security Organs in the Armed

23 Forces of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which was taken

24 over in its entirety by the army of Republika Srpska or, rather, its

25 Security Service that operated throughout the war.

Page 7366

1 Q. Would you please look at Article 49 of those rules, please,

2 paragraph 2, and could you briefly comment and explain that rule.

3 A. With the Trial Chamber's permission, I should like to read it.

4 THE INTERPRETER: We do not have a copy.

5 A. This is Rule 49 of the Rules of Service: "The data which

6 constitute an official secret, the officer in paragraph 1 of this Rule,

7 may inform other officers in the Security Organ or other persons only by

8 authority of his superior in the Security Organ."

9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. General, in view of the quotation you have just read out, do you

11 recognise in this rule a situation that applied within the Drina Corps or,

12 rather, the Security Organ of the Drina Corps?

13 A. In my earlier testimony I said something about this. I remember

14 saying that the Security Organs carry out certain tasks but that they do

15 not inform, nor did they seek permission from their commanding officer in

16 the command structure for this.

17 I think that I mentioned an example when one of the commanders in

18 the Drina Corps, and I am referring to the Commander of the 1st Zvornik

19 Infantry Brigade, when he reported to the Drina Corps Commander and the

20 Main Staff that his superior officer, his commander, was not reporting to

21 him regarding activities within his jurisdiction but that he was directly

22 reporting to the Security Organ of the Superior Command of the Drina Corps

23 and the Main Staff. I do not have that exhibit, and I think that the

24 Defence doesn't have it either. Perhaps we will be able to get hold of

25 it.

Page 7367

1 An obvious example of the implementation of Rule 49, paragraph 2,

2 of the Rules of Service of the Security Organ, by the Security Organ, is

3 the behaviour, treatment, and attitude towards prisoners of war from the

4 28th Division of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 The individual responsible for all these tasks that I have listed

6 was Colonel Beara, of course, designated by his superior, that is, the

7 Commander of the Main Staff. The same individual also engaged a certain

8 number of senior officers from the Security Service of both the Main Staff

9 and the Drina Corps, and together with them he carried out all the tasks

10 relative to the treatment of prisoners of war from the 28th Division.

11 Therefore, bearing in mind the provisions of this rule, all the

12 tasks that they carried out were, for them, an official secret, as this

13 rule is marked as "Military Secret, Strictly Confidential." Therefore,

14 they did not report up the chain of command about things that they did. I

15 am speaking at least with reference to the Drina Corps, so that the

16 command of the Drina Corps, and also subordinate brigade commands, were

17 not informed of what they were doing. Naturally and most probably Colonel

18 Beara did report to his superior officer regarding those activities.

19 This can be clearly seen also from the reports of the brigade

20 commands; in the first place, the Zvornik and Bratunac Brigades, where

21 there is hardly any mention of what is being done in their areas of

22 responsibility or by whom with reference to prisoners of war from the 28th

23 Division.

24 Of course, Colonel Beara and the others, in implementing the tasks

25 assigned to them by the Main Staff, did engage, in addition to officers

Page 7368

1 from the Security Service, some other individuals, some other persons

2 outside the Security Organ, and we were able to see that during the course

3 of these proceedings.

4 When it comes to Lieutenant Colonel Popovic as the Chief of the

5 Department of the Drina Corps, he received his assignments from Colonel

6 Beara, and he had no obligation, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 49,

7 nor was he allowed to report to anyone in the Corps Command without the

8 approval of Colonel Beara, because it is clearly stated here -- that is

9 clearly stated here when the rule says that the officer from the Security

10 Organ must not report to anyone without being authorised to do so by his

11 superior officer in the Security Organ.

12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, the

13 Defence would thereby end the re-examination of General Krstic.

14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much,

15 Mr. Petrusic.

16 Perhaps it would be convenient to have a break now. So we'll have

17 a 15-minute break and we'll come back for the questions of the Judges.

18 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.

19 --- On resuming at 11.19 a.m.

20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us resume.

21 Judge Fouad Riad, you have the floor, sir.

22 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

23 Questioned by the Court:

24 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, General Krstic. Do you hear me?

25 A. Yes, Your Honour.

Page 7369

1 JUDGE RIAD: First I would like to wish you good health, and I

2 hope you are in a condition to exchange some questions and answers with me

3 and shed some light on points which have been already raised here and

4 perhaps it can make us see more clearly.

5 I'll just -- I'll not repeat things which have been said but I'll

6 just refer to them. One, of course, we were just talking now about the

7 search operations around Srebrenica and the order you gave to the Bratunac

8 and Milici Brigades on July 13th. I believe you signed this order as

9 Commander. You wrote Commander beside your name. But you were not yet

10 appointed Commander, were you?

11 A. Your Honour, Judge Riad, I signed that order as the Commander of

12 the Operative Group of the forces engaged towards Zepa, and within that

13 group was both the Bratunac and Milici Brigades and the Skelani

14 Independent Battalion later.

15 JUDGE RIAD: So you would not be the Commander of the Drina Corps,

16 you did not sign it as Commander of the Drina Corps.

17 A. No, as Commander of the Operative Group forces engaged towards

18 Zepa. And within that group were these two brigades, the Bratunac and

19 Milici Brigades.

20 JUDGE RIAD: I see. I'm not a military man. That was not

21 supposed to be signed by the Commander of the Drina Corps himself?

22 A. No, it was not supposed to be signed by the Commander of the Drina

23 Corps, General Zivanovic, because I was appointed by General Mladic as

24 Commander of the Operative Group of forces engaged towards Zepa.

25 JUDGE RIAD: Now, it was also mentioned here by one of the expert

Page 7370

1 witnesses - you were present, of course - I think it was Mr. Butler, he

2 said that when the authorisation sent by President Karadzic was sent for

3 the VRS to take the enclave on the 9th of July, it came with the

4 instruction to be delivered personally to General Krstic. Was that true?

5 And why was that? Why not to the Commander of the Drina Corps?

6 A. Could you please repeat the first part of your question?

7 JUDGE RIAD: Good. When President Karadzic sent the authorisation

8 for the VRS to take the enclave of Srebrenica on the 9th of July, that was

9 Mr. Butler's testimony, it's mentioned, and it was accompanied with the

10 instruction that it should be personally delivered to you. In what

11 capacity was that?

12 A. From President Karadzic, through the Main Staff, I think it was

13 forwarded by General Tolimir, came the instructions to continue the

14 attack. This was a time when units of the Drina Corps had still not

15 reached the line designated by the order issued by the Commander of the

16 Drina Corps. I was at the forward command post; next to me was General

17 Gvero from the Main Staff, the Assistant of the Main Staff Commander for

18 Morale, Legal, and Religious Affairs. That same day at the forward

19 command post, General Mladic arrived together with General Zivanovic, in

20 the afternoon.

21 JUDGE RIAD: My question, perhaps you would not even answer it, so

22 was this the regular attitude in the army or was it some kind of bypassing

23 Mladic or bypassing Zivanovic and addressing everything to you directly?

24 Especially that President Karadzic praised you after that and apparently

25 showed great esteem?

Page 7371

1 A. It was not bypassing of higher levels of command, such as the

2 Commander of the Drina Corps and General Mladic. I don't know whether

3 General Tolimir knew that General Mladic and General Zivanovic would come

4 to the forward command post that day. I don't know that. But I am

5 repeating that the time -- at the time when this order was issued, the

6 Drina Corps units had still not achieved the tasks envisaged by the

7 Commander of the Drina Corps. But he knew that General Gvero was at the

8 forward command post and that I was at the forward command post, and that

9 is why he put first personally to General Gvero and then personally to

10 General Krstic. If he had known that on that day, that afternoon, General

11 Mladic and General Zivanovic would arrive there, then certainly they would

12 not have sent that document to me but rather to General Zivanovic or to

13 General Mladic.

14 JUDGE RIAD: Well, I will not dwell more on that, of course. The

15 order was rendered by you, and I believe you even asked to have a report

16 on the 17th of July, a report on the operation, what we call the search or

17 sweep operation. Did you get any report?

18 A. No, I did not receive any report. That report went to the command

19 post at Vlasenica. I'm sorry. That wasn't an operation. It is a

20 customary action of the search of terrain which was absolutely necessary

21 to make sure that the units engaged in the Zepa operation would not be

22 attacked from behind.

23 JUDGE RIAD: So if I understand rightly, after you give the order,

24 you are not concerned with what happens in the army.

25 A. I was not particularly concerned, but I was concerned to make sure

Page 7372

1 that these units that would be attacking Zepa should not be attacked, and

2 that was, among others, the reason that prompted this order. As I said

3 earlier, one of the corridors used by units of the 28th Division was

4 Srebrenica, Podravanje, Brestovik, Zepa, and this is also noted in the

5 reports of some of the commands of the BH army, when we read out a list of

6 people who crossed through this territory and reached Zepa or Gorazde.

7 JUDGE RIAD: On a personal level, were you more or less -- did you

8 attach importance to knowing what happened in this search which took

9 place, if men were arrested or anything?

10 A. I did think about it, but no specific reports about it reached

11 me. But later on, in the course of these proceedings, we saw that the

12 Commander of the Bratunac Brigade, in his reports, did not for a moment

13 point out that he had prisoners of war, nor that he had any problems in

14 that regard. But he had to carry out a search of the terrain.

15 JUDGE RIAD: Now, also it so happened that you were in Zepa with

16 General Mladic during the negotiations with the Muslim authorities, and it

17 became known that the Muslims refused to surrender, if I remember rightly,

18 and the claim that there has been a disappearance in Srebrenica and they

19 didn't want to go through the same fate.

20 Now, also did this raise any concern in your mind about what

21 happened, and prisoners, how they were treated and what happened to them,

22 being already the man who gave the order for the sweep or the search?

23 A. No, I had no information about prisoners throughout my stay in

24 Zepa. I spoke about that earlier on. The responsibility was taken over

25 by the Main Staff, headed by General Mladic and his assistants. My prime

Page 7373

1 concern was to carry out the assignment I had been given with respect to

2 Zepa. And after learning later what happened to those prisoners, and I

3 thought about it, such a thing could not have happened in Zepa.

4 JUDGE RIAD: You were also in Potocari, in the Fontana Hotel and

5 then in Potocari on the 12th. Did you watch or notice anything happening

6 when they were screening the men, or was it done in secret? Was it clear

7 that men were being screened and how they were screened? Just taking note

8 of it, noticing it, even if you did not interfere.

9 A. Your Honour, for the time I was there in Potocari, and this was a

10 very brief period of time, I simply was not able to see anything, nor did

11 I hear from anyone that anything in particular was happening with respect

12 to the separation of men from their families at the UNPROFOR base. I was

13 not able to notice that anything was being done secretly in that

14 connection.

15 Let me also add that General Mladic's order to continue the attack

16 and the takeover of the command of the Drina Corps after the entry into

17 Srebrenica, I understood that as a pursuit of the 28th Division members,

18 their disarming, and the demilitarisation of the safe area. That is how I

19 understood the whole issue. It never occurred to me that anything would

20 happen in connection with the prisoners of war such as I learnt about

21 later.

22 JUDGE RIAD: I don't want to pursue this, but didn't the people

23 negotiating or the Muslims there claim that they cannot surrender because

24 there has been killing? If I understood rightly, it was said also by the

25 media?

Page 7374

1 A. At the meeting in Bratunac, on the 11th in the evening, and on the

2 12th, I didn't hear anything like that from representatives of the Muslim

3 people who were attending the meeting. They simply expressed concern and

4 said that they could not carry out the demand of General Mladic for the

5 28th Division to surrender and lay down their weapons, but they

6 insisted that they should be transferred to free territory, that is, the

7 civilians.

8 JUDGE RIAD: Another point. You were in Potocari on the 12th, you

9 said that, and one of the expert witnesses, I think it was Colonel

10 Kingori, said that you were seen, and also another witness, Witness F,

11 from the Dutch Battalion, they said that you were seen near the white

12 house talking with high-ranking officers, Nikolic, I think, and in the

13 company of Vukovic, the 12th and the 13th, and there were shots being

14 heard around. Did you hear any shots? Did you have any idea of what was

15 happening?

16 A. Your Honour, as I said, I wasn't even near the refugees, not to

17 mention being close to any kind of white house or being in the company of

18 Nikolic or Vukovic. I didn't see those people then, nor did I hear any

19 shots. Immediately after the meeting in Bratunac on the 12th, I headed

20 through Potocari and Srebrenica and I returned after giving an interview

21 to Republika Srpska Television. I simply, for reasons of health also,

22 could not stand for long, nor could I move easily, such as some people

23 claimed that I walked around and spent any length of time there. That's

24 absurd.

25 JUDGE RIAD: Well, I'll ask you also about your visit to the

Page 7375

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8

9

10

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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.

14

15

16

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18

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Page 7376

1 families. Witness DA, if you remember, said that you visited his mother,

2 you went to visit, I think, his parents or his family, and then you

3 visited your mother-in-law. I don't remember the date but I think it was

4 the 13th.

5 Now, Witness DA said that he had received orders from Zivanovic on

6 the 12th that he should go immediately to Treskavica, and you persuaded

7 him nevertheless, when he met you in front of your headquarters, I think,

8 you insisted that he would go with you to these social visits. Now, was

9 that a priority? What was the importance of these visits at a time when

10 the tension was growing and you were giving orders for sweeping and

11 searches? What was the importance of these visits?

12 A. I didn't understand Witness DA as having said that he had to

13 return to Treskavica immediately. He acted in the way he was ordered to

14 by General Zivanovic. My intention was to visit the wounded in the

15 military hospital of the Main Staff in Sokolac, and our return towards

16 Zepa took us along the way where his parents lived and we stayed there

17 very briefly, maybe 15 or 20 minutes. That's all that we spent with my

18 wife's family, which was quite close to the forward command post of

19 Krivaca. It is a village between Han Pijesak and Krivaca. It is very

20 close by.

21 JUDGE RIAD: So the main purpose was with the hospital, the visit

22 of the hospital, and not the families; is that right?

23 A. Yes, the main purpose was to visit the hospital and the wounded in

24 that hospital. I felt it my duty to do that.

25 JUDGE RIAD: Was that part of -- did you do that often? Was that

Page 7377

1 part of your tours when you toured, to visit the hospital, to visit your

2 soldiers? I mean, many people do it, presidents of states do it too. But

3 was that part of your assignment?

4 A. Yes, I frequently visited the wounded in the Main Staff hospital,

5 and particularly when I was Brigade Commander in Sokolac, and that

6 hospital in Sokolac. I considered it my duty to visit the wounded since I

7 was in the area. It is the Romanija plateau. And hoping that my visit

8 would have a positive effect on them and their recovery. The majority of

9 the wounded were from the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade of which I had

10 been the Commander until August 1994.

11 JUDGE RIAD: I understand what you said. But was this on the

12 occasion of wounding, in particular, done to some of your soldiers or a

13 routine visit? Was it a consequence of a battle, of a great disaster

14 which required your visit?

15 A. At the time of the attack on Srebrenica, and later Zepa, from

16 Olovo towards Sokolac, an attack was carried out by forces of the 2nd

17 Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, the Olovo Brigade.

18 There were quite a large number of wounded soldiers and fighters from that

19 brigade. I learnt about that and I felt it my duty to visit them, and I

20 did visit them in the Main Staff hospital.

21 JUDGE RIAD: Now, speaking of visiting, you also visited -- when

22 you became a Commander, I think, you visited certain Drina Corps units,

23 the Birac, I think, Zvornik, Bratunac Brigades. I think you visited them,

24 and you did not visit other units. But other units, you asked for a

25 report, to be briefed by Colonel Andric. Now, I don't remember exactly

Page 7378

1 which units you did not visit. But why did you visit certain units and

2 not others and ask for some reports about some units and not about

3 others? And you can verify which ones you did not visit or did not ask

4 for reports. I think you did not ask for a report concerning Zvornik or

5 Bratunac and you did not tour them; is that right?

6 A. After I returned from Zepa and became Commander, I focused on the

7 units I knew least well as the Chief of Staff, because I hadn't had

8 occasion to familiarise myself with them and I was less familiar with that

9 territory than I was with the Romanija plateau area, and that is the area

10 of Birac and central Podravanje; the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade which

11 was engaged on the front towards Tuzla; and then the 1st Birac Brigade,

12 headquartered in Sekovici, which was also engaged towards Tuzla and

13 Zivinice. I also toured the Vlasenica Brigade towards Kladanj, and I

14 later toured with the Bratunac and Milici Brigades as well.

15 I had no special reason to visit the 2nd Romanija Brigade because

16 I knew it very well. I was its Commander and it was engaged on the front

17 towards Kladanj and Olovo.

18 JUDGE RIAD: Now, during all your roundabouts and whereabouts,

19 according also to Witness DB, you were supposed to have a signalsman, a

20 soldier with a mobile receiver, who would always accompany you to ensure

21 communication, and it was up to you to use him or not use him. Did you

22 always have him with you? Did you always take advantage of this

23 signalsman to know what was happening in your visit to the hospital, to

24 the families, to the units?

25 A. No, I didn't always have a signalsman with me.

Page 7379

1 JUDGE RIAD: Well, that's what DB said, Witness DB. You did not

2 have? You had no right to have it as a General? You could have -- it was

3 up to you to have him or not to have him?

4 A. Yes, that is true.

5 JUDGE RIAD: And you preferred not to have him sometimes?

6 A. It depended on the need. If I was going to units where something

7 in particular was happening, such as combat operations or a high intensity

8 of combat operations - this was mostly the front towards Tuzla, Zivinice,

9 Kladanj, and Olovo - then I did have a signalsman with me. On other

10 occasions I didn't take a signalsman with me.

11 JUDGE RIAD: I don't have the advantage of being a military man,

12 but don't you think during time of war you would need to know what

13 happened the next moment?

14 A. Yes, but one makes an assessment, daily assessments, long-term

15 assessments, as to potential developments in the area of responsibility of

16 the Corps. All the commands, brigade commands, are closer to the command

17 post in Vlasenica so that it was easy to reach their commands and

18 positions from Vlasenica, especially in the area of Birca and central

19 Podravanje.

20 As for units on the 2nd Romanija Brigade and the 1st Podrinje and

21 the 5th Podrinje Brigades, then I would take a signalsman with me because

22 they were further away. But in the car, I only had a radio receiver, a

23 RUP 12, and nothing more than that. I had no telephone line.

24 JUDGE RIAD: I would like also to ask you something concerning the

25 withdrawal of some of your soldiers from the Zepa operation. I believe

Page 7380

1 you heard from Colonel Milanovic that some of the troops from the Bratunac

2 Brigade were pulled out from Zepa, and the same happened to the Zvornik

3 Brigade troops. I think General Zivanovic called you, saying that

4 Pandurevic himself had to return because of the importance of the

5 situation.

6 Now, having been already at the source of the order in Srebrenica,

7 and since soldiers from your own battalions, your own units, were being

8 withdrawn, did you find out why they were withdrawn, or you did not

9 bother? Because that could have caused you a lot of harm too.

10 A. Your Honour, when it is a question of the return of units who were

11 engaged towards Zepa and had previously been engaged towards Srebrenica,

12 it was only parts of the 1st Zvornik Brigade, commanded by Brigade

13 Commander, at the time Colonel, Vinko Pandurevic. General Zivanovic, the

14 Corps Commander, called me on the 14th and ordered that that part of the

15 Zvornik Brigade led by the Brigade Commander must return to its own area

16 of responsibility immediately.

17 Now, when it comes to the Bratunac Brigade, it was engaged towards

18 Zepa, but at the same time, and we saw this on the basis of the exhibits,

19 somebody from that brigade pulled out one to two companies and sent them

20 to the area of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade. I don't know who

21 did that, nor do I have any reports about that. But pursuant to orders to

22 engage towards Zepa, that brigade as a whole was engaged there as a

23 whole, in its entirety.

24 JUDGE RIAD: I mean, you were the General. Would it have been an

25 obstacle if you asked to know what was happening, to ask for a report?

Page 7381

1 Wouldn't that have been their duty, to give it to you, and to know what

2 your men were taken to do?

3 A. General Zivanovic was the Corps Commander. It is his right. If

4 he would have ordered me that Colonel Pandurevic, with his part of the

5 unit, should return straight away to its area of responsibility, that for

6 me was sufficient, because he was in the area, he was able to monitor the

7 situation, and he knew what was necessary to be done at that time and what

8 should be undertaken.

9 JUDGE RIAD: All right. I'll not dwell on this point. Now, just

10 during the last session this morning, you mentioned an order of the

11 Commander of the Main Staff of the 17th of July, General Mladic, to take

12 over some of the command. Now, could you clarify -- of course, we know

13 General Mladic was a very powerful General, that he went all over the

14 place and his word was law. But there is also a regulation in the army.

15 Was he entitled to take over, or should this pass through the chain, the

16 normal chain of command?

17 A. Your Honour, he had the right to take over command in the part of

18 the area of responsibility of the Corps; that is his inalienable right,

19 according to the existing rules, the rules prescribing this. It is on the

20 basis of them that he took action with respect to the concrete situation.

21 At the meeting of the Bratunac Brigade, on the 11th, in the

22 evening, he said that that area, that the 28th Division was his concern,

23 and "all of you others should move in the direction to Zepa." This order

24 of the 17th is the most obvious example of taking over the command in part

25 of the zone of responsibility of the Corps.

Page 7382

1 JUDGE RIAD: Well, then, perhaps you don't agree with Witness DB.

2 Last week, I think he said that the chain of command and the Srebrenica

3 operation remained intact despite the intervention or the presence of

4 Mladic. So you don't agree with that.

5 A. Well, I don't know to what extent that witness was able to follow

6 the conduct of General Mladic. He was not with Generals Mladic,

7 Zivanovic, and myself at all at any time; I was. And I saw and heard what

8 General Mladic was ordering and what his behaviour was like, what his

9 conduct was.

10 JUDGE RIAD: To your knowledge, he took over only for one

11 operation or for the totality?

12 A. General Mladic took over command when he ordered that the entrance

13 into Srebrenica should be prolonged and later on, when it came to the

14 evacuation of the population from Potocari, when it came to that question,

15 and everything else that happened with the prisoners of war, as well as

16 later on; the command in the zone of responsibility of the Bratunac and

17 Zvornik Brigades, that too.

18 JUDGE RIAD: Now, the fact that everything happened according to

19 his planning, was this done in secret or was it known by everybody, what

20 was happening?

21 A. Your Honour, I don't know about any secret plans. I have already

22 stated that the order to continue the attack and to enter into Srebrenica,

23 I came to know because of the 28th Division, and the disarming of the

24 protected area. That is how I came to understand it.

25 JUDGE RIAD: Well, then, you heard, in fact, about what happened,

Page 7383

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1 [redacted]. You heard about the killings at Nova

2 Kasaba stadium, and you said that was in August. That was the first time?

3 A. [No interpretation]

4 JUDGE RIAD: Madam Registrar, can we go in private?

5 [Private session]

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5 [Open session]

6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Just one

8 moment, please.

9 I think that this is an opportune moment to take a break. We're

10 now going to have our long break, which means one hour.

11 --- Recess taken at 12.14 a.m.

12 --- On resuming at 1.20 p.m.

13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us resume our work, and we

14 have questions by Judge Wald.

15 JUDGE WALD: Thank you, Mr. President.

16 General, I have only about eight or nine questions and I don't

17 think they'll detain you too long.

18 My first question is: When you found out about the column of

19 Muslims that was moving toward Tuzla, did you know that it was containing

20 mostly civilians and only a lesser portion of actual military members of

21 the 28th Division?

22 A. Your Honour, I learnt about the column moving towards Tuzla. What

23 I learnt was that in the column there were members of the 28th Division of

24 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that they were armed. I did not know

25 that in the column there were civilians as well.

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Page 7392

1 JUDGE WALD: So what was your assumption - assumption - when you

2 found out about the column and you began to find out that, indeed, some of

3 the members of the column were being captured as they made their way

4 through Tuzla, which we do have various exhibits showing that that

5 information, that their capture was at least relayed on? What was your

6 assumption of what was being done with those that were captured?

7 A. I did not have any earlier assumptions, up until the time, the

8 moment, that I learnt in what area and in what direction the capture had

9 taken place of those people. So prior to that I had no information at all

10 that capture had taken place on the route between Nova Kasaba, Konjevic

11 Polje, Kravica.

12 JUDGE WALD: So you don't remember during that week -- during the

13 week of the 13th to the 17th, when you were admittedly conducting the

14 operations for Zepa, you didn't know that anybody or you didn't receive

15 any information that any captures were made of people in that column? I

16 just want to make sure I understand your answer. You didn't know that

17 they'd captured anybody from the column during that week; is that your

18 testimony?

19 A. I didn't know at all, no. I just learnt that there had been a

20 breakthrough towards Tuzla, and that was on the 12th, in the evening, when

21 I arrived at the command post in Vlasenica. I learnt that from the duty

22 operational officer in the Corps command who received information from

23 the duty officer of the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska. But I

24 did not know at all, I had no knowledge or information whatsoever during

25 that period that any capture had taken place, and I did not know what had

Page 7393

1 happened to those people who had been captured.

2 JUDGE WALD: As regards your July 13th order which dealt with

3 searching the terrain, which you have explored with us just what

4 responsibilities certain brigades had for searching the terrain to follow

5 up on your July 13th order, did you ever inquire or get any information

6 whether any remnants were picked up in that terrain search? Not from the

7 column, in that terrain search, whether they picked up anybody.

8 A. As far as I recall, and there was an exhibit about that here, only

9 one of the reports from the command of the Bratunac Brigade reached the

10 forward command post at Krivaca and me. And the situation in the area was

11 represented as being normal, nothing special, according to that report,

12 which would allow conclusions to be made of any kind that the brigade was

13 collecting up any remnants after the breakthrough of the 28th Division.

14 JUDGE WALD: If anybody -- any remnants had been picked up

15 pursuant to the July 13th, the terrain order, of searching the terrain, if

16 anybody had been captured, what would your orders have required would

17 happen to those people? On the search of the terrain order, if they

18 picked up anybody, how would those people have been disposed of?

19 A. I spoke about that earlier on. It is my position, and in fact I

20 was duty-bound by the Rules and Regulations of International Laws on War,

21 and the Geneva Conventions as well, that I behaved towards these persons

22 as prescribed and determined, and that those people should be taken to the

23 collection area for prisoners of war, which is precisely what the Zvornik

24 Brigade did during a certain period of time with a number of prisoners of

25 war that were collected up. And they handed them over to the collection

Page 7394

1 centre at Batkovici, near Bijeljina.

2 JUDGE WALD: Now, when you heard about the column marching towards

3 Tuzla, you tell us that you never heard that anybody was captured from

4 that column. But under what -- your understanding, if somebody had been

5 captured from the column, what would you have assumed would be done with

6 them?

7 A. What should have been done was in the spirit of the Rules and

8 Regulations, that was the conduct that should have prevailed, of the

9 Geneva Conventions. And had I been in the area, that certainly would have

10 been how it would have been.

11 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Let me just ask you one other -- well, I have

12 more than one, but one question which refers to your earlier testimony

13 this morning, when you said that if you had actually been given an order

14 to dispose of these Muslim prisoners by execution or the like, you would

15 have, under the laws of your own army as well as international law,

16 refused the order. I think that was the substance of your testimony. You

17 would have refused to obey the order.

18 My question to you would be: If you had been actually standing on

19 the spot of one of these execution sites and General Mladic was there and

20 General Mladic was giving the orders that resulted in the execution of the

21 prisoners, but he was not ordering you to do it, he was ordering it

22 directly to people in your command, but if you were standing right there

23 beside him, do you think you would have had any obligation under your own

24 army code or under international law to do anything, or would you have

25 been equally impotent and just have to stand there?

Page 7395

1 A. I personally feel that General Mladic, in front of me, would never

2 have issued anybody an order of that kind because I, as a General -- I am

3 a General and I was surprised by his order that the forces of the Drina

4 Corps at that time should be engaged towards Zepa. And it is not by

5 chance that I was assigned to be the Commander of that Operative Group,

6 and it is not by chance that all the brigade commanders from that area

7 were engaged towards Zepa.

8 JUDGE WALD: But indulge me: If you had been, we know it's an

9 assumption, but if you had been there, do you think there would have been

10 anything you could have done under the laws of your own army and

11 international law?

12 A. Perhaps I could have done something. But let me go back to what I

13 already said, that the continuation of the attack, I understood to be, by

14 the 28th Division, the demilitarisation of the zone, and I understood it

15 in no other way but that. So I could not have even dreamt of what would

16 happen after that in the area when it comes to the question of the

17 prisoners of war.

18 JUDGE WALD: If I understand you correctly, General, your answer

19 is had you actually been standing there on the spot when General Mladic

20 issued some of these orders, maybe there was something you could have

21 done. Is that a correct interpretation of your testimony? You said

22 "Perhaps I could have done something."

23 A. Well, if I could not have done something, I would have left the

24 area on pain of all the consequences that would have happened to me.

25 JUDGE WALD: All right. Thank you. By the 20th of July, when you

Page 7396

1 participated in the formal takeover ceremony of the command, according to

2 your narrative of the account, from General Zivanovic, did you have some

3 expression, either express or implied, from General Mladic that he had, in

4 effect, returned the command of the entire Drina Corps to you, that he was

5 no longer in charge of any part of its operations? And if so, was that

6 something express, or did you just imply that from the circumstances? In

7 other words, when did he give you -- to your knowledge, when did he give

8 up the part of the operation that you say he took away from you?

9 A. General Mladic never gave me back part of the operations after

10 withdrawing the forces of the Drina Corps from Srebrenica and sending them

11 towards Zepa.

12 JUDGE WALD: So --

13 A. I apologise.

14 JUDGE WALD: Go ahead.

15 A. The very fact, the very fact that he, on the 17th, wrote the order

16 and formed a command group to command that and implement the order goes to

17 bear out what I've been saying, because it was his intention after the

18 19th to continue cleaning up the area from Konjevic Polje to Cerska, to

19 Udrca and the positions of the units at the front towards Tuzla, and that

20 is what, in fact, it says in the order. He ordered that a plan be

21 devised; he ordered the commanding officer of that group in the Main Staff

22 to do that.

23 JUDGE WALD: So are you saying that as long as you remained

24 Commander of the Drina Corps, General Mladic still had charge of this

25 cleanup operation, or until it was completed, whenever that was? Is that

Page 7397

1 what you're saying?

2 A. At the Vlasenica command post, I returned there on the 2nd of

3 August when the situation in that area, and I'm thinking of the

4 Bratunac, Srebrenica, Zvornik, Sekovici, Vlasenica area, when it was

5 almost quite normal -- almost normal. And after that I commanded the

6 forces not only in that area but all the forces in the area of

7 responsibility of the Drina Corps. I do not know when the command group

8 designated by General Mladic left the area. I must be quite frank: I did

9 not even know at that time that that particular command group had been

10 formed and that an order for that existed. I learnt about that -- it was

11 only later that I learnt about that.

12 JUDGE WALD: You answered one of Judge Riad's questions about why,

13 when you did -- after the formal takeover of the command on the 20th, you

14 did not visit some particular areas personally, Zvornik and Bratunac, and

15 you said that was because in many ways you were already familiar with

16 those parts of the command. But my question to you would be: Given that

17 by that time, according to your testimony, I believe, you had some notion

18 from your source as to what had actually happened in that part of the

19 territory during this week of July, did you not have some feeling of

20 necessity to go visit that area and see what remained, what effect it

21 might have had on the troops, et cetera, once you found out what had

22 happened and it had primarily happened in those areas?

23 A. At that time I still had responsibilities towards Zepa. As for

24 the situation in the area of Bratunac, Srebrenica, and Zvornik, Milici,

25 Vlasenica, and Sekovici, I was informed about that by Colonel Cerovic on

Page 7398

1 the 20th, when the hand over of duty took place and when he came to the

2 forward command post at Godjenje and said that there were problems in the

3 area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade which were caused by the

4 28th Division; and that the situation had now been normalised in the area

5 and that things were functioning and that the command was functioning

6 properly, the command of the brigade. And I did not feel the need, nor

7 did I have the time, to leave the Zepa area and to go to that other area,

8 because the Zepa operation at that time was, I would say, in its final

9 stages.

10 JUDGE WALD: After Zepa was completed, and going later into

11 August, and even into September, did you ever hear anything about mass

12 graves, burials, exhumations, that sort of thing, in the months -- in the

13 fall months, late August/September, after the campaigns had been

14 finished? Did you ever hear any reports - radio, newspaper, just rumour -

15 that there were graves and burials and reburials?

16 A. Your Honour, I said earlier on that everything that happened later

17 on the grave sites and digging again, that this was done in far greater

18 secrecy than the killing itself of the war prisoners.

19 JUDGE WALD: Okay. You testified this morning that it was

20 possible for security officers, even of the Drina Corps, or intelligence

21 officers, rather, to carry out projects that went just straight up the

22 line through the security device and that were kept secret from the

23 regular Corps Command. I'm trying to understand: If one of those

24 intelligence security operations which was directly under the supervision

25 of the Main Corps security head, if those were carried out with the

Page 7399

1 necessary assets, both men and machinery vehicles, of the Corps, like the

2 Drina Corps, would that mean that no record would be kept in Drina Corps

3 records of the commandeering of those men or those vehicles? In order for

4 that to be secret and kept secret from the command, how could it happen?

5 If they needed five men to work for them or they needed three vehicles to

6 work with them on something that was secret, how could that be kept

7 totally outside of the knowledge of the regular Corps Command? I mean,

8 wouldn't there be a record, as we saw before, that a vehicle went from

9 here to there or these people were requisitioned to go here and there?

10 A. Yes, I did speak about the application of paragraph 49 of the

11 Rules of Service for the Security Organs, and that paragraph was made use

12 of fully by them when it came to the relationship and treatment towards

13 prisoners of war. I also said that they, and this was enabled them by

14 paragraph 49, that they probably had engaged a portion of men outside the

15 Security Service. Perhaps, I say perhaps, they were people that they had

16 associated with before in the Security Service. Perhaps they thought that

17 everything was evolving in secrecy. But actually it was impossible to

18 hide it all from the eyes of the public. The command of the Drina Corps

19 never saw any records about the engagement of people or vehicles,

20 requisitioning them, for this assignment headed by the Security Service

21 and the head of the Security Service in the Main Staff, Colonel Beara.

22 The situation did not allow us at the time, that is to say, in the

23 area of responsibility of the Corps, to make inventories of any kind or

24 look through documents of that nature, and it is for the first time here,

25 after the Prosecution presented its evidence and exhibits, I learnt that

Page 7400

1 there were cases when vehicles were engaged from the Zvornik Brigade.

2 Now, whether the Chief of Staff of that brigade knew about that,

3 and later on the commander, I don't know, I can't say.

4 JUDGE WALD: The rest of my questions, General, are very specific,

5 factual questions and shouldn't take very long. I just have a few of

6 them.

7 As Commander of the Zepa operation, who did you report to and

8 when? When you were conducting the Zepa operation, who were you making

9 your reports to and where, when?

10 A. Your Honour, they were daily reports which were sent to the Main

11 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska for the simple reason that General

12 Mladic designated me to command the units that were engaged towards Zepa.

13 JUDGE WALD: Okay. My next question is: You indicated some

14 visits to your family in the area at the relevant time. I think on July

15 12th and 13th. When you visited your family or your wife's family, did

16 any discussion come up of these news reports which, we are told by other

17 witnesses, were going on about what was suspected to be happening in the

18 area, to the column and to the prisoners?

19 A. On the evening of the 12th, after I went from the Vlasenica

20 command post, I visited my mother, went to visit my mother, and she lives

21 near my wife's family in the village of Leskovac, on the road towards

22 Zepa, further on. And that same night I went to spend the night with my

23 wife's family, and at the time nothing was talked about for the simple

24 reason that nobody knew anything about it. It was between the 12th and

25 13th of July. Nor was there anything on the information media at all

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Page 7402

1 which they could have heard or that I could have heard. There was

2 nothing.

3 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Given that you were designated, according to

4 your testimony, by General Mladic to take over the Zepa operation on, I

5 believe it was, the night of the 11th - I mean he told you about it; maybe

6 it was the morning of the 12th - did you ever hear from General Mladic why

7 he needed your presence at the Fontana Hotel meetings, if you were to have

8 nothing to do with the evacuation or anything that happened and he wanted

9 you to move on and go on up to Zepa? Why did he say that you needed to

10 come to those meetings at all?

11 A. Well, on the 11th, in the evening, at the Bratunac meeting, I was

12 designated the commander of the forces towards Zepa. I did not know that

13 I would be attending the meeting on the evening of the 11th or the 12th,

14 because he didn't tell me that after the meeting on the evening of the

15 11th, most probably due to certain reasons concerning General Zivanovic,

16 perhaps, who was there, and on the 12th, wrote the order for the

17 engagement of the buses for the evacuation of the population from

18 Potocari. So probably General Mladic assessed that somebody ought to

19 attend the meeting. Now, whether he gave him the task to go to the

20 command post at Vlasenica and what he was to do there, at the time, on the

21 11th -- on the evening of the 11th, and 12th in the morning, I did not

22 know.

23 JUDGE WALD: Okay. You testified, I think, that for some

24 reasonably sizable blocks of time, you were without communication

25 facilities. For instance, from 6.00 to 10.00 on the 12th of July, because

Page 7403

1 the Pribicevac command centre had been disbanded, and then again from the

2 afternoon to the evening of the 12th of July. I'm wondering how could

3 that be. If you were in the middle of getting ready for the Zepa

4 operations, how could you afford to be without communication facilities

5 for any number of hours?

6 A. Your Honour, I did not need any communication facilities because

7 the commanders of the brigades attended the meeting of the 11th, in the

8 evening, at the command headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade, and they

9 also heard General Mladic's orders, what they were supposed to do. And on

10 the 12th I went past the units at Viogora, and I saw a number of their

11 commanders and units along the road. I spent a short space of time there

12 and continued on to Vlasenica, to the command post there.

13 JUDGE WALD: But wasn't this the time period when you were just

14 learning about the column moving toward Tuzla, and there was some fear

15 that, in fact, some of the 28th might move in the direction of Zepa?

16 A. I said earlier on that there was no assignment of that kind from

17 General Mladic or General Zivanovic that I received. I didn't receive

18 anything like that. And so I didn't consider it to be my responsibility

19 to follow anything in that regard because General Mladic was there, his

20 assistants were there, General Zivanovic was there, they were all there

21 and there was just me, one person who had received an assignment to pull

22 out forces from Srebrenica and the area and to engage them towards Zepa.

23 So that was my prime preoccupation. My sole preoccupation was Zepa.

24 JUDGE WALD: Okay. I only have two short questions. One, you

25 mentioned that you did see Kosoric at the Potocari checkpoint briefly on

Page 7404

1 the 12th of July. Did you ask him or did he tell you what he was doing at

2 the Potocari checkpoint on the 12th of July? Did he give you any notion

3 of what was his involvement, if he had any, in the Potocari evacuation,

4 since I believe you said he was fully involved in the Zepa operation as

5 the head of intelligence?

6 A. Yes, I said something about this previously. He did go with me to

7 pass through Potocari, through Srebrenica, to Pribicevac, and further on

8 to Viogora and towards Vlasenica and Zepa. After I stopped at the

9 Potocari checkpoint, I ordered him to report to me at the forward command

10 post in Krivaca which he did do on the morning of the 13th. As to any

11 information that could have happened at 12 -- on the 12th at noon in

12 Potocari and Vlasenica, he told me nothing about that.

13 JUDGE WALD: Was Kosoric with you most or all of the time starting

14 when you got to the forward command, for that entire week that you were

15 there, or did he come and go?

16 A. I apologise. Are you thinking of the Pribicevac or Krivaca

17 forward command posts?

18 JUDGE WALD: Wherever you were. I mean, the basis of my question

19 is: Was he close by to you for most or all of that week?

20 A. He was with me the entire time at the forward command post, both

21 at Pribicevac and later on at Krivaca.

22 JUDGE WALD: So he was with you all the time during that week.

23 My last question refers to something one of the Defence witnesses

24 said. He said that in the VRS, as in most armies, you have a lot of

25 written rules and regulations, but very often in combat, in emergency

Page 7405

1 situations, those rules and regulations have to go by the board and oral

2 commands take their place. In other words, a person in command may make

3 an oral order that doesn't follow out all of the written requirements that

4 are in the rules. I just want to know if you would agree with that

5 statement, if that's your experience too, that in combat command emergency

6 situations, very often oral orders are given that do away with

7 requirements in the regulations that they be done in writing and have all

8 sorts of technical requirements to them? It's a general question.

9 A. An oral order can be issued, especially if it is a short order.

10 But when it was up to me, I never stepped outside the frameworks of what

11 was prescribed by the rules and regulations as to the control and command

12 of the units, the troops.

13 JUDGE WALD: All right. My very last question has to do with the

14 takeover.

15 I believe you testified that during General Mladic's visit to the

16 Krivaca forward command post on the 15th of the July, he told you that you

17 would be "soon taking over as Corps Commander." At that point did you ask

18 him for further details of when that would happen, or did he offer any, or

19 did he simply say: "Soon you will be taking it over," and you just waited

20 to see what would happen after that?

21 A. Your Honour, it never burdened me, this taking over of higher

22 duties. The duties I had and the post I had, this was not something that

23 I thought about, nor was I happy to take on any extra duties. I didn't

24 ask him for any explanations. I continued to perform my duties and tasks

25 which emanate specifically in connection to the Zepa operation.

Page 7406

1 Perhaps ...

2 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you, General.

3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Wald.

4 I think perhaps it would be convenient to have a break now, not to

5 begin, since we only have five minutes. So we'll have a quarter of an

6 hour's break.

7 --- Recess taken at 1.55 p.m.

8 --- On resuming at 2.15 a.m.

9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, I will now have

10 a few questions for you. It is true that one is at an advantage when

11 speaking last, but I do have a few questions.

12 You explained at the beginning of your testimony that you followed

13 your education and your career in a multiethnic environment without any

14 hatred or animosity between the various ethnic groups. In that

15 connection, you expressed your surprise when, upon returning to

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, you were able to note that only Serb soldiers

17 were members of the VRS army ranks.

18 My question is the following: In your opinion, what was the

19 objective of this war between the BH and the VRS, specifically?

20 A. Your Honour, with respect to the ethnic composition of the army of

21 Republika Srpska, I said that my brigade, the one which I took over

22 command of from another commander was monoethnic; however, I know for a

23 fact that many units in the VRS had among their ranks members of other

24 ethnic groups, that is, Bosniaks and Croats.

25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But, General Krstic, was

Page 7407

1 this true for 1995 or only for the beginning of the conflict?

2 A. Even in 1995 this was true. In my opinion, I am, in the first

3 place, a career soldier. I have never been a politician, though a General

4 in a certain sense should not get involved in politics but should be

5 familiar with politics. And I said that I found it extremely hard to

6 accept everything that had happened in the area of the former Yugoslavia,

7 and particularly so in the territory of my republic, where I was born and

8 where I grew up in a multiethnic environment. The war in Yugoslavia and

9 in Bosnia-Herzegovina was provoked by the policies pursued by all three

10 parties.

11 Why did the war break out? I spoke about that at the beginning.

12 And the person most responsible for all this were the politicians who, in

13 those days, represented all three ethnic groups and all the other

14 ethnicities inhabiting the former territory of the former Yugoslavia.

15 For me, as a person who was born and grew up in a multiethnic

16 community, and especially being an officer who was in command of units

17 that were multiethnic, this was extremely painful, especially when I

18 reached the area and took over control of this command, the members of

19 which were only Serbs at the time.

20 I came voluntarily to the army of Republika Srpska, as did all my

21 colleagues of other ethnic groups who abandoned --

22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General, I'm sorry for

23 interrupting you. You said that politics was for politicians, and the

24 war, for Generals, and that the Generals do not determine policies.

25 However, are you aware of the political objectives which you did not

Page 7408

1 determine, but are you aware of the political objectives of that war?

2 A. No, I did not know. I could just think about it. The objective I

3 was aware of was the defence of the people I belonged to, and nothing more

4 than that. Nothing more.

5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So are you telling me that --

6 when I'm asking you what was the objective of the war, are you telling me

7 that the objective of the war -- the objective of the VRS was to defend?

8 A. Yes.

9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But to defend who?

10 A. I came to the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina when the war was in

11 full swing already.

12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Perhaps we can

13 develop this question on another occasion.

14 You spoke about your return to Bosnia-Herzegovina. When exactly,

15 and I mean what month, did you return to Bosnia-Herzegovina?

16 A. I returned in the month of June to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, fine. Did you take the

18 decision to return to Bosnia-Herzegovina on your own personal initiative,

19 or were you obeying an order or following anybody's suggestion in that

20 respect?

21 A. I decided on my own accord to return to the place where I was

22 born. And as I said earlier on, I had hoped and was convinced, in fact,

23 that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina would not escalate to the extent it

24 did, but unfortunately that was not to be the case.

25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] General Krstic, do you know

Page 7409

1 other military people who were not of such high rank as you, perhaps,

2 other military men originating from Bosnia, Serbs from Bosnia, who

3 remained in the former JNA?

4 A. I came from the Pristina Corps, that is, from Kosovo, and I

5 testified about that earlier on. I was the most responsible there as the

6 Brigade Commander, in Kosovska Mitrovica, and I couldn't have left until

7 it was -- it collapsed ethnically into its component parts. And then I

8 realised that I had nothing more to do in the army of Yugoslavia, so that

9 I had to go back to where I was born and where I came from. I do not

10 believe that any officer from the Pristina Corps who was born in the

11 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, regardless of what ethnicity he was,

12 remained in the army of Yugoslavia. So I am not aware of that. In my

13 brigade, not a single officer remained, be he a Serb, a Croat, or a

14 Muslim.

15 Before all these things happened in the former Yugoslavia and

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that brigade was a multiethnic brigade, and I can say

17 in all sincerity that as the Brigade Commander, I was proud of that fact.

18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. General Krstic, did you

19 know or did you hear reference to an order, maybe it could have been

20 secret, a secret order, dated January 1992, an order by Milosevic to

21 transfer to Bosnia-Herzegovina all JNA officers born in Bosnia?

22 A. No, I was not aware of any such order. All I knew was that once

23 the war had broken out in the former Yugoslavia, first in Slovenia and

24 then in Croatia, that there were transferals of a certain number of

25 officers to the war-swept areas. I cannot say, nor do I know, what ethnic

Page 7410

1 group those officers belonged to.

2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Upon your arrival in

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you were appointed Commander of the Romanija Brigade

4 which you have referred to. What exactly was the area of responsibility

5 of that Romanija Brigade?

6 A. When I was appointed Commander of the 2nd Romanija Motorised

7 Brigade, at the time it was fully engaged on the front lines towards

8 Kladanj, Olovo, and Vares. That was the area of responsibility of that

9 brigade. It's the western part of the Romanija plateau, closer to Central

10 Bosnia.

11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Was there any correspondence

12 between this area of responsibility that you have just mentioned and the

13 self-proclaimed autonomous region of Romanija, proclaimed in 1991, and

14 then integrated with the self-proclaimed province of Srpska?

15 A. While I was still in Kosovska Mitrovica, I heard of certain

16 regions being formed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. As for

17 the area of responsibility of my brigade, it has nothing to do with that

18 Romanija province, self-proclaimed Romanija province, because anyway, that

19 is not the same area because Kladanj, Olovo, and Vares do not belong to

20 the Romanija plateau. The Romanija plateau includes the municipalities of

21 Pale, Sokolac, and Han Pijesak.

22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You qualified as short the

23 one-month-long period from the 1st to the 28th of September, when you were

24 transferred from the Commander of the Motorised Brigade of Romanija to the

25 Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps. You also said that this period of time

Page 7411

1 was fixed in advance. And you also qualified as normal the period of four

2 years that you served as Lieutenant Colonel before becoming promoted to

3 Colonel. Could you tell us how long, generally, it takes to be promoted

4 from the rank of Colonel to the rank of General, in practice?

5 A. I had the rank of Colonel for almost three years after being

6 Lieutenant Colonel. As far as I know, the time it takes to be promoted

7 from Colonel to Major General is not fixed in any way or by any rules and

8 regulations, instructions, orders, or laws. My promotion to the rank of

9 Major General, I do not consider to be anything exceptional because I had

10 served as Colonel for all of three years, and the position of Chief of

11 Staff, according to establishment in the army of Republika Srpska, is held

12 by a Major General. And I was promoted to that rank in May 1995 after

13 returning from treatment at the Military Academy in Belgrade. And before

14 that I was appointed to the position of Chief of Staff of the Corps in

15 1994, in August.

16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] At a certain point in time, and

17 even today, you said that during the wartime period there were many rules

18 that were not observed. Could it happen, could the same situation occur

19 in relation to the transfer of responsibilities between the former Chief

20 of Staff and the new chief of a corps, a Corps Commander, between the

21 former and a new Corps Commander?

22 A. Mr. President, as far as I know, I didn't say that the rules were

23 not implemented in wartime, at least as far as I am concerned. It was

24 customary in the former Yugoslav People's Army, and later in the army of

25 Republika Srpska, that after one is appointed to a certain position, a

Page 7412

1 process has to take place, a process of takeover duty between the former

2 commander and the new commander that is being appointed to that post. I

3 was appointed to the position of Corps Commander by President Karadzic on

4 the 15th of July, 1995, and the takeover of duty between me and General

5 Zivanovic was carried out on the 20th of July, 1995, on the 20th or the

6 21st of July, 1995.

7 It was customary at the lower levels of command, lower levels in

8 relation to a corps command, that upon the takeover of duty, the whole

9 ceremony takes place in front of a lined-up unit; however, the corps

10 command is an operational unit and a war was going on which did not allow

11 for such a takeover of duty to take place in a ceremony in front of

12 formally lined-up units. But present at that takeover were the most

13 responsible officers on behalf of the Main Staff, the Commander of the

14 Main Staff, his assistants, and the corps commanders -- some of the corps

15 commanders of the army of Republika Srpska, as well as representatives of

16 the authorities. So that everything was done as prescribed and as was

17 customary in the former army, the Yugoslav People's Army, and in the army

18 of Republika Srpska.

19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But, General, you

20 explained that when you were in command of the 2nd Romanija Motorised

21 Brigade, sometimes you would take prisoners of war. What were the centres

22 where these prisoners of war were held in captivity?

23 A. Your Honour, I spoke about that. There are two places, when we

24 are talking about the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, where prisoners of

25 war were detained or, rather, where they lived, and those were Knezina, a

Page 7413

1 locality west of Sokolac, in the direction of Olovo; and before that

2 I found the Brigade Commander in Sokolac itself, and the prisoners of war

3 were held in a locality called Cavarine, near Sokolac. So they were in

4 appropriate facilities, in dwelling apartments -- in a building with

5 several apartments. And in Knezina too there was a proper building,

6 which was a building belonging to the agricultural cooperative that used

7 to house the administration of that agricultural cooperative, in that

8 locality.

9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What was done exactly when

10 prisoners of war were captured, according to your experience?

11 A. I have testified about that earlier on. When prisoners are

12 captured, the units that captured the prisoners, and this would usually

13 occur on the front lines, they would report to the Superior Command, that

14 is, the brigade command, and then the Chief of Security or his officer

15 would go to the subordinate unit that carried out the capturing of

16 prisoners, take over those prisoners and bring them to the place where

17 they would be put up or where some war prisoners were already being held

18 in detention.

19 I said that they were treated fully in accordance with the Geneva

20 Conventions and other rules and regulations. They were given the same

21 food as our troops and our officers, and --

22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. I apologise

23 for interrupting you, but to speed things up a little because we are

24 pressured by time: Did you have any experience with prisoners of war as

25 the Commander of the Drina Corps?

Page 7414

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Page 7415

1 A. As the Brigade Commander and as the Chief of Staff or Corps

2 Commander, I did not -- I did not have occasion to have any kind of

3 experience when I held that position [As interpreted]. And I've already

4 said who was responsible for the treatment of prisoners of war. I think I

5 spoke about that at length. Even those prisoners of war that were

6 captured in the area of responsibility of the Zvornik and the 1st Birac

7 Brigade, they were regularly handed over at Batkovici to the centre where

8 they were taken over for exchange, Batkovici being near Bijeljina.

9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Visnjic.

10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, a minor remark for

11 the transcript. The General said that as the Brigade Commander he did

12 have experience, but as Chief of Staff and Corps Commander he had no

13 experience with prisoners of war, and I think that the transcript needs to

14 be corrected to that effect. That would be my suggestion.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. That is what the General

16 said, except with regard to the Zvornik and Birac Brigades.

17 General, you explained during your testimony that the Chief of

18 Security was an essential component of the command of the 2nd Romanija

19 Motorised Brigade when you were its Commander. The Chief of Security, did

20 he have a major role in all units and at all levels, be it brigades or

21 corps, or was it something specific to your way of command, or was it

22 specific to that particular brigade? What I mean is, when you say that it

23 is an essential component, does that mean for you personally or in the

24 organisation as a whole?

25 A. Let me say that as Brigade Commander, for me it was a very

Page 7416

1 important element both in peacetime and wartime with regard to the overall

2 activities of the Security Service, whose main duties are linked to

3 intelligence. So he's an advisory body in any command. And when this

4 is functioning properly, there are no major problems, especially in

5 conditions of war.

6 Let me also add that as Chief of Staff and Corps Commander, and

7 especially as Chief of Staff, I had no occasion to be in charge of the

8 Security Service. In those days I was not the Corps Commander, because

9 the Chief of Security was subordinated to the Corps Commander and to his

10 own Security Service, according to the chain of command, as indicated in

11 the Rules of Service of the Security Organ. Therefore, he is an important

12 link in the counterintelligence activities in any unit.

13 After taking over duty as Corps Commander, and I think I spoke

14 about that too, I simply did not want to have anything to do with that

15 officer, having learnt from my experience with the exceptionally good

16 quality of the work of the head of security in the 2nd Motorised Romanija

17 Brigade. So how that officer came to have that duty, I don't know. I'm

18 not aware of his qualities. I found him in Vlasenica. And I'm not aware

19 of his qualities as an officer in the Security Service.

20 But I also know that I did have certain problems with him, and the

21 head of the Security Administration, as the Brigade Commander, who had, in

22 a sense, accused me that together with a president of a municipality, I

23 had collaborated with the Muslims while I was Brigade Commander, while I

24 was undergoing treatment at the Military Academy. And in Meljine, they

25 arrested this municipality president. And because of their attitude

Page 7417

1 towards me, that they wanted to get me involved in all that, this dispute

2 between them and me continued.

3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In any event, General Krstic,

4 you explained that Colonel Popovic, the head of security of the Drina

5 Corps, was placed under the direct orders of the Commander-in-Chief, that

6 is, of General Mladic. On what date did that take place? Have you any

7 precise idea about that?

8 A. I learnt about that later, when I learnt about all the events that

9 I have mentioned with respect to the prisoners of war of the 28th

10 Division. Most probably the date was the day when the separation started

11 of men in Potocari from their families, the separation of men from their

12 families in Potocari. The officer that I mentioned told me this, that he

13 was -- that he was ordered personally by General Mladic to place -- that

14 he is being placed under the command of Colonel Beara.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, General Krstic, but knowing

16 that the security officer is such an important element and almost an

17 indispensable element, and if General Mladic is appointing you as

18 Commander of the Zepa operation, how do you explain the fact that General

19 Mladic took away from you this officer when he himself had Colonel Beara?

20 A. Mr. President, General Mladic did not take him away from me. He

21 remained in the command in Vlasenica together with the Corps Commander. I

22 did not have a security organ in Zepa all that time. I didn't know where

23 that man was, what he was doing, and under whose orders he was doing what

24 he was doing. I have said I don't know how many times that all my

25 knowledge came much later. Whether General Zivanovic, as Corps Commander,

Page 7418

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Page 7419

1 gave any instructions from the 12th onwards, I don't know.

2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But did you feel the need for a

3 security officer in the Zepa operation?

4 A. No, I didn't feel such a need. I didn't feel it. But perhaps it

5 would have been normal for that person to come by occasionally to that

6 area. But I was not the one deciding about that. It was only the Corps

7 Commander, General Zivanovic, who had any authority over him or, according

8 to the chain of command, right up to the Main Staff.

9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But was there someone who

10 replaced Colonel Popovic in his duties in the Zepa operation?

11 A. Mr. President, no. He was not at the Pribicevac forward command

12 post even during the Krivaja Operation. He only came on the 11th, as we

13 saw. He arrived in Srebrenica on the 11th. Prior to that, he didn't even

14 visit the forward command post at Pribicevac, which seems to imply that

15 someone else was giving him instructions, the Corps Commander and his

16 superior security department.

17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We have already spoken today

18 about the checkpoint at Potocari, on the 12th of July, and you admitted

19 that Popovic was with you at that checkpoint; is that true?

20 A. When the meeting ended in the Fontana Hotel, I headed forward and

21 I was followed by the head of the Intelligence Department, Kosoric. I

22 didn't see that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was following us. And when I

23 reached the checkpoint to give that interview, I noticed him. I had no

24 contact with him. I didn't ask him what tasks he had been assigned; I had

25 no right to ask him that, because that was the right that his Corps

Page 7420

1 Commander had or his own Security Service.

2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But, General Krstic, do

3 you know where he went from that checkpoint in Potocari? You left. Do

4 you know where Colonel Popovic went?

5 A. No, Mr. President, I had no idea, nor was I interested where he

6 would go.

7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] At that point, at that Potocari

8 checkpoint, you gave an interview to the television; is that true?

9 A. Yes.

10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Were you in a position to grant

11 that interview? And why did the TV choose you, to interview you; do you

12 know that?

13 A. I can say quite freely that this was a coincidence, that I was the

14 first. They weren't waiting for me, they were waiting for General Mladic

15 and the Corps Commander, or someone else from the civilian authorities

16 from the area. Maybe somebody from the MUP. But I happened to be the

17 first to come along. I gave that interview, but as usual I didn't do it

18 gladly because I don't like to speak to journalists and to appear on

19 television. I simply had no incentive to do that. But they simply came

20 across me. The interview was brief; maybe it took seven or eight minutes

21 in all, as you saw.

22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you know the journalists, the

23 reporters?

24 A. No.

25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Did the reporters know you?

Page 7421

1 A. I don't believe they did.

2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Were you aware that in answering

3 the questions of reporters, or in agreeing to give an interview, you could

4 have been seen as one of the major protagonists of the operation against

5 Srebrenica, or at least of implicitly approving that operation?

6 A. I never gave the matter any thought, and I don't regret granting

7 that interview, because they introduced themselves as being a crew from

8 Republika Srpska Television. They asked me for an interview, and you are

9 aware of the contents.

10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, we know the interview.

11 Were you in a position to refuse to grant that interview? Could you have

12 refused to be interviewed?

13 A. Maybe I could have refused to be interviewed, but there was no

14 reason for me to avoid granting that interview since they were there.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You also said that Colonel

16 Popovic was sick after Srebrenica. Can you tell us when he took up his

17 duties again?

18 A. Mr. President, I really cannot say on what date he took up his

19 duties again.

20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But in any event, he did go

21 back.

22 A. Yes, he did. I think this was at the end of August or the

23 beginning of September; I don't know the exact date. But before he came,

24 I had already learnt what I have told you about.

25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You also explained that you

Page 7422

1 tried to punish Colonel Popovic for his participation in the Srebrenica

2 events. We've already discussed that today. Why did you "choose" - if I

3 might say so in quotation marks - why did you "choose" Colonel Popovic?

4 A. There can be only one reason: Because he was part of the Corps,

5 and at the time I had learnt only about his involvement, so such an

6 officer had to be removed in accordance with the prevailing conditions at

7 the time. I tried in the way I have described but I did not succeed.

8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, we know that already. Were

9 there any other persons in the Corps who also took part?

10 A. I didn't learn anything to the effect that anyone else from the

11 Drina Corps had taken part in that, especially what he had done together

12 with Colonel Beara.

13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So can it be said that your

14 source mentioned only Colonel Popovic as having participated in those

15 events?

16 A. Yes, precisely so, and that he used units together with the

17 Security Department of the Main Staff that were not part of the Drina

18 Corps. I was convinced that he was the only one from the Drina Corps.

19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let me move on to another

20 topic.

21 What was the customary procedure for a transmission of orders

22 coming from the Commander-in-Chief when they have to be carried out by a

23 brigade unit? What is the normal procedure of transmitting such an order,

24 briefly?

25 A. The customary procedure, if an order is issued from a command

Page 7423

1 post, is for orders to be in writing, with all the necessary parameters

2 that an order needs to contain. However, an order may also be issued

3 orally on the spot if the commanding officer happens to be in the area of

4 responsibility of one of his subordinate units. Oral orders are most

5 frequently brief orders.

6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't know. We have this

7 order of the 14th of September, Prosecution Exhibit 704. Do you remember

8 that order?

9 Perhaps the usher can show General Krstic this order, Exhibit 704.

10 General, should this order have passed through the Corps

11 Commander, then through the Zvornik Brigade Commander, even if the person

12 expected to implement the order, in this case Captain Trpic, was directly

13 named in the order?

14 A. I beg your pardon, Mr. President.

15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that is not the order;

16 it's not the right one. Maybe some references have been incorrect.

17 I also see that it is now 3.00 so perhaps we have to make a break,

18 because the questions that I still have cannot be finished by 3.30 or

19 something like that. General Krstic has to go to the hospital tomorrow, I

20 think.

21 Is that so, Mr. Visnjic and Mr. Petrusic? Can you tell us

22 something about that?

23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. If we can go

24 into private session, I will explain my reasons.

25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, very well. Let's go into

Page 7424

1 private session, please.

2 [Private session]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

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12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 7425

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [Open session]

4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see we are in public session

5 now.

6 We are going to adjourn for the day. Tomorrow we will have a

7 witness, and when that witness completes his testimony, we will resume my

8 questions for General Krstic. Because I was unable to complete my

9 questions today, I don't have the courage to ask the staff to stay on, so

10 we have adjusted our programme accordingly, that is, in accordance with

11 current needs.

12 We will stop there for today and we will resume tomorrow at

13 9.30. We wish you a good recovery, General Krstic. Thank you.

14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.07 p.m.,

15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of

16 November, 2000, at 9.30 a.m.

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