1 Tuesday, 17 September 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. Madam Registrar, would
6 you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Mr. McCloskey, you're
10 on your feet.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
12 everyone. Yes, just a brief preliminary. Yesterday we put in an
13 intercept from February 1993 through Mr. Butler. It was admitted as
14 P02192. We noticed that the first page of that, that showed the date,
15 was not uploaded into e-court. We have now done that.
16 If that is all right with the Chamber, of course, and we would
17 ask that we be able to replace that in e-court. And also, it -- the doc
18 ID is 02020586 and we have been able to do the redaction of it, as the
19 Court wanted, so that we only see the relevant intercept.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, is this now the full, new document,
22 as you wish it to be admitted, which appears under this doc ID?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That is what was there plus now the information
25 about the date.
1 MR. LUKIC: No objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then leave is --
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Although Madam Registrar will still verify if we
5 have everything now but leave is granted and Madam Registrar is
6 instructed to replace the existing exhibit in e-court by the new one
7 known under the doc ID you just mentioned, Mr. McCloskey.
8 And then that new replacement is the admitted evidence.
9 Any other matter? If not, then could the witness be escorted
10 into the courtroom? And meanwhile I'll use the time.
11 Mr. McCloskey, the Chamber wanted to verify what can still be
12 expected from the Prosecution in terms of upcoming bar table and Rule 92
13 bis and quater filings. If we have understood everything well, the
14 Sarajevo and Srebrenica bar table motions will be filed in September
16 Then, there appears to be one miscellaneous bar table motion to
17 be filed in October and lastly it seems that there are Rule 92 bis
18 filings outstanding for eight witnesses, namely RM096, RM098, RM182,
19 RM183, RM184, RM378, RM379, and RM509. The Chamber expects that these
20 motions are filed by the end of September.
21 The Prosecution is requested to inform the Chamber, within 24
22 hours, whether any of the above is incorrect or not achievable or whether
23 there are any other expected filings.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Butler.
1 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
2 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
3 JUDGE ORIE: I again remind you that you are still bound by the
4 solemn declaration you gave at the beginning of your testimony.
5 Mr. McCloskey will now have a few more questions for you in his
6 re-examination. Mr. McCloskey.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
8 Re-examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
9 Q. And if we could go to 65 ter 17520, this is a document that you
10 were shown on cross-examination. And Mr. Butler there's a binder in
11 front of you. There's a series of about four or five documents that I
12 will be asking you about. The Defence has seen them and if you can take
13 a look at those, some of them are multi-pages that you may need to
15 Basically, what we are doing is -- there is a reference, as you
16 can see, in looking at this letter from General Mladic to General Janvier
17 of 12 June 1995, and in that second line, General Mladic references -- he
18 -- reference our agreement of 4 June, and the Trial Chamber has asked us
19 to look into any possible agreement.
20 So, given this assignment from the Trial Chamber, this was passed
21 on to Ms. Bretell who provided us with some documents and I'd like to ask
22 you about them and get some on real time analysis, if possible, and if
23 you need more time, let us know. But I think, if we study this briefly,
24 we'll see that the subject matter of this letter references, among other
25 things, the logistic needs of the enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, Gorazde
1 and Sarajevo, and mentions that there's an agreement and -- and approve
2 the transport of the most urgent supplies. There's a recommendation that
3 it go through the FRY, that it also talks about in the next paragraph
4 down, release four members of the RS army before your convoys start, and
5 then finally it says we could be -- we could precise the timings and
6 routes for these convoys.
7 So that's the subject matter, and let me go to the first document
8 that Ms. Bretell came up with in an attempt to answer or at least shed
9 some light on these issues.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can tell us -- we do not have a written
11 agreement that is referred to but if we could go to 65 ter 17697, and
12 this is the cover letter, we can see, and if we could now go to page 1 in
13 the English, the original document was apparently in French.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Which is page 2 in e-court. No, let me see. You
15 said page 1 in English.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: It should be page 1 in the B/C/S as well. And if
17 we could go to page 2 in the B/C/S.
18 Q. We can see that these -- if you can take a brief look at this, it
19 appears to be some sort of accounting of the meeting between Janvier and
20 General Mladic on 4 June which was -- we saw the date of that letter.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The B/C/S can't be the right page.
22 JUDGE ORIE: The problem, apparently, is caused by the fact that
23 the original French is preceded by one cover letter in English and
24 therefore, what is in French, page 2 in e-court, is in English page 1 in
25 e-court because there was no need to translate the cover letter which was
1 already in English. It's a bit confusing but we are there and I think
2 this also explains why page 1 in B/C/S is the cover letter, translation
3 in B/C/S on page 2 is the first page of the proper text.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. So we -- in looking at this briefly, Mr. Butler, can you just
7 tell roughly what you think this is?
8 A. Yes, sir. They appear to be minute notes of a meeting between
9 General Janvier and General Mladic on this date. It looks like, from the
10 part that I've got so far, they are discussing a very critical point in
11 time in June of 1995 where the VRS has taken a number of UN peacekeepers
12 hostage, NATO forces are conducting bombing operations, you have the VRS
13 withdrawing heavy equipment out of UN monitored facilities around
14 Sarajevo, and essentially, General Janvier is warning General Mladic that
15 at the rate things are going, events are rapidly spinning out of control,
16 which could cause, like everything else in combat, I mean, you know,
17 unintended consequences and escalations. So, I mean, that's what I've
18 got for you with reading General Janvier's positions and I'm reading
19 General Mladic's various positions on these now.
20 Q. All right. And we did not see any reference to an agreement
21 under the arguments of the force commander section.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: So if we go to General Mladic's position, it
23 should be 4 in the English. And if we could then go through to -- my
24 note shows that it's B/C/S page 4 and now English page 6 of what is noted
25 down as General Mladic's positions.
1 Can we turn the page in both to go into the next page in both?
2 And now let's go to the next -- the next page. I'm interested in
3 paragraph 2.3, the attitude of the Bosnian Serbs regarding the problem of
4 the enclaves. And we can see here that we're getting into a -- the topic
5 of the enclaves. And at the last paragraph, the -- at the bottom, it may
6 be the next paragraph in the B/C/S, General Janvier notes that General
7 Mladic said he was ready to allow the replenishing, as proposed,
8 transiting the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under the condition that
9 the latter agrees. He gave precise information on meeting points in each
10 of the eastern enclaves in order to carry out the replenishing.
11 Q. Can you connect, in any way, this statement with the letter that
12 we saw previously?
13 A. Yes, sir, I believe that this is the genesis of what they are
14 talking about in that letter.
15 Q. All right. And we don't see any reference to an agreement, but
16 in this -- if this paragraph is correct that General Mladic is allow --
17 is ready to allow the replenishing of the enclaves as proposed, would
18 that be something that, in your view, that UNPROFOR in this context would
19 agree to?
20 A. Yes, sir, certainly UNPROFOR was saying that there, you know, in
21 General Janvier's part, they were noting the fact that the situation with
22 the UNPROFOR forces in the enclaves is becoming critical with respect to
23 fuel and other -- and food and other supplies.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document in evidence.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 17697 receives number P2196,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence. The last portion we
4 looked at, Mr. McCloskey, was page 6 in English. Please proceed.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering the other document?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Stewart also informed me I need to tender
7 65 ter 17520, that apparently didn't get tendered during cross.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That was the one we looked at previously.
9 Madam Registrar?
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document 17520 receives number P2197,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we now go to P00345? These are excerpts of
14 the Mladic diaries. If we could have page 166 in the English and B/C/S
15 page 168?
16 And we can now see that this is dated 4 June 1995 at 1230 hours
17 and makes reference to a meeting with General Janvier. Could we go to
18 the next page, which should be 167 in the English, 169 in the B/C/S.
19 Q. And under the section that says General Janvier emphasised the
20 following issues and does -- do these issues, and I point out number 2,
21 supplies to the enclaves, comport with these other documents that suggest
22 issues under discussion?
23 A. Yes, sir, again this appears to be General Mladic's
24 contemporaneous notes on the subject.
25 Q. See any reference to anything that could be viewed as an
2 A. No, sir.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, it's 65 ter 17700.
5 And I'm sorry I don't have a B/C/S translation of this particular
6 document but we'll get one. And can we go to the next page in the
7 English? And we can see that this is a similar -- similar notes as the
8 last one of a meeting between Janvier and Mladic, this one dated 17 June.
9 And if you could briefly look at those first couple of pages. Let's go
10 slowly to the next page.
11 Q. And we see here specific demands by the force commander and under
12 23, it's entitled, "The delivery of new supplies to the soldiers in the
13 enclaves." And we can see in that second paragraph that, with the
14 approval of the authorities of Belgrade, the delivery of new supplies
15 will be done through the territory of the FRY. It's imperative that this
16 delivery, which was postponed several times, leave on Monday morning,
17 19 June, for the enclaves in the east. Then it says it would be -- have
18 a disastrous effect if it didn't make it.
19 Does this -- can you connect this to the last couple of documents
20 we have been looking at, Mr. Butler?
21 A. Yes, sir. Again, the high level of activity between
22 General Mladic and General Janvier, negotiating over the issue of
23 getting, for at least for the UNPROFOR people, getting food, fuel and
24 other material to those soldiers.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next page, which is
1 conclusion of the force commander, positions of General Mladic. First a
2 skim. And if we could go to the next page now, now page 5 and
3 Ms. Bretell has pointed our attention to paragraph 43. We can see that
4 for ourselves. Now let's go to the next page, page 6.
5 Q. And looking at that second paragraph, under the concession of
6 General Mladic, we can see that it's again talking about the delivery of
7 new supplies to the UN troops in the enclaves, food and fuel, the subject
8 matter. We see that General Mladic was concerned about the black market,
9 blatant abuses, then lastly we see, in this respect, the convoys of 19
10 June would be a test. So this document, dated June 17th, is this
11 reference to the 19 June convoys related to this other suggestions about
12 convoys that we have been looking at?
13 A. Yes, sir, it appears to be that they are going to set up -- they
14 have had previous movements that have been blocked. They are going to
15 try one more time on the 19th with again both sides trying to facilitate
16 the activity. In this particular context General Mladic is saying we are
17 going to inspect the convoy and if we turn it around because there is
18 contraband items on it, the hit would be on the UN, not on his people.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I'd offer this document into
21 MR. LUKIC: I may be mistaken but I'm not sure about the source
22 of the document. I couldn't see.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a -- it's a UN document, it's like the
24 other ones. They were notes that we received from the UN regarding
25 Janvier's meetings.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, from the cover page, it seems that it is
2 sent from Akashi in Zagreb to Annan in New York 20th of June, 1995.
3 MR. LUKIC: I see in e-court now. I didn't see it when it was
4 shown to us. No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I think the original is in French as well.
6 Madam Registrar?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document 17700 receives number P2198, Your
9 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence. Please proceed.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: The suggestion is MFI pending B/C/S translation.
11 To be consistent.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You're right. I should have thought about that.
13 Madam Registrar, it's not admitted, it's marked for identification
14 pending translation into B/C/S. Please proceed.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. The last one of these notes 65 ter
16 19542, another document provided to us from Ms. Bretell. And we can see
17 that this is something called an outgoing code cable to Mr. Annan from
18 Mr. Akashi dated 20 June. We can review that first page briefly and then
19 go into the second page, should be the second page in B/C/S as well.
20 Q. And we get to paragraph 5, it says problems with convoys, both
21 logistic resupply and UNHCR continue in many parts of the UNPROFOR AOR.
22 The 56 truck convoy, bound for the eastern enclaves, arrived in Belgrade
23 yesterday. Of course, that would have been the 19th. Does this suggest
24 to you, Mr. Butler, that this has anything to do with the previous
25 document and the reference to the test on the 19th?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. And then it says, however, the BSA has cut the number of trucks
3 from 56 to 23, has cut the amount of food by 50 per cent, and the amount
4 of fuel by 70 per cent, has rejected the passage of two ambulances needed
5 for the UN troops. And we can read the rest of that.
6 Preventing any troop rotation. What do you -- how does this fit
7 into your analysis and this continuing -- both the precise analysis
8 you've been doing for these documents and your overall analysis about the
9 restriction of the enclaves and any possible relation to directive 7?
10 A. Yes, sir, at least with respect to UNPROFOR, this particular
11 document in paragraph 5 of the report, clearly reflects the fact that the
12 VRS is continuing a pattern of not allowing the UNPROFOR forces in the
13 enclaves to be properly resupplied or to, essentially, bring their
14 manpower back up to the strength that it was because they are not -- they
15 want everyone who goes into the enclaves to come back out again. So this
16 is clearly, you know, the MO that is listed here is clearly consistent
17 with what we would see in the previous months, March, April, May, you
18 know, getting to this point.
19 Q. Can you have any opinion regarding whether or not General Mladic
20 would have been aware of this 50 per cent reduction?
21 A. Given the fact that the convoy clearances, as demonstrated in
22 other exhibits, went to the Main Staff and received the attention of the
23 highest members of the Main Staff, it's unlikely that General Mladic
24 would not be aware about this, particularly in this case, given his
25 direct involvement with General Janvier in the earlier documents, setting
1 up this convoy or this series of convoys on the 19th.
2 Q. All right. Let's go to the next page. We can see that briefly.
3 And then now let's go to the page after that. Now, looking at this big
4 chart that appears to be connected to this -- these notes, we see
5 Gorazde, Zepa, Srebrenica, and then BSA allowance for each one of those.
6 It goes from nine containers with food and water to four containers with
7 food and two with water. I won't go through all of this. Does this
8 appear to be related to the paragraph we just looked at?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. All right. Mr. Butler, if you could keep this document in front
11 of you, I would offer this document into evidence.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document 19542 receives number P2199, Your
15 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we now go to P01420? And this is a
17 document that's already in evidence.
18 Q. We see it's from the Main Staff and the second page is -- it's in
19 the name of Colonel Miletic dated 18 June, and Mr. Butler, if you could
20 take a look at 1, 2, and 3. If we can see that these are three convoys
21 that, from the first paragraph, we wish to inform you that we have
22 approved the movement of the UNPROFOR convoy from Zagreb via Belgrade to
23 the enclaves as follows.
24 And perhaps we could replace the B/C/S with this chart that we
25 just had up on the board so everyone can make a comparison. Could you
1 see if those three convoys are related, in any way, to the three convoys
2 on that chart? As with most such documents we can see for ourselves, the
3 first one was for Zepa, the second one was for Gorazde, and the third one
4 was for Srebrenica but do the amounts in it -- are they similar, or the
5 same, to the ones noted in the UN form? And I take it CUM is cubic
7 A. I believe that's correct, sir. Yes, sir. At least with respect
8 to fuel it looks consistent.
9 Q. All right.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, it is exactly now that you used
11 double the time you indicated yesterday. You said you would need 15
12 minutes, you've now used 30 minutes. Could you please stick to your time
13 limits and be more precise in that?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And you'll be happy to hear, Mr. President,
15 that's -- I'm finished. That was the last document.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That was the last question. Then you made it in 200
17 per cent of the time.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Important to answer your question. I'm sorry
19 I couldn't have done it shorter.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic I do understand that I have to address to
21 you ask whether there is any need for further questions.
22 MR. LUKIC: I think just shortly, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
24 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Butler, my name is
1 Branko Lukic. Due to medical or rather health reasons, my colleague
2 Mr. Ivetic could not be here today so I will have a few questions to put
3 to you in his stead.
4 You told us about P2196, which is actually a letter or, rather,
5 the minutes of the meeting between General Janvier and General Mladic
6 which took place on 4 June 1995. Earlier today in the transcript you
7 mentioned or rather you described the times, there were hostages, NATO
8 was bombarding the positions of the VRS, and the Serbs were withdrawing
9 weapons from the place where they were supposed to be under control. In
10 your analysis, did you see or did you notice that at that time the
11 Muslims also withdrew weapons from the points where they were supposed to
12 be under control, in Sarajevo? Did you notice that?
13 A. Again, sir, given the context of my focus was on Srebrenica,
14 I did not pay much attention to issues related to Sarajevo, so I didn't
15 know that.
16 Q. [In English] Okay. [Interpretation] You also spoke about convoys
17 earlier today, humanitarian convoys.
18 MR. LUKIC: I would like to call up in e-court 1D1024. I need
19 the following page in B/C/S, and I believe that the corresponding page in
20 English will also be page 2. Or, rather, this is -- the only translation
21 we have. Only the first page has been translated.
22 Q. In your work were you aware of the existence of the state
23 committee on cooperation with the United Nations and international
24 humanitarian organisations?
25 A. Yes, sir, I was. I believe I talked about it earlier.
1 Q. After the month of March 1995, did you observe or did you
2 establish who was it who made decisions on the passage of those convoys?
3 Was it still the VRS or was it somebody else?
4 A. As I indicated in my earlier testimony, this particular committee
5 was in charge of dealing with issues of approving the UNHCR and other
6 international organisation convoys but as I also again indicated, that
7 ultimately, the VRS, because they were the armed force on the ground and
8 controlling the roads, ultimately it was their determination whether
9 these convoys would pass or not because they are the ones who had to
10 clear them through. So, again, the decision may have been made by the
11 political organs, but given the fact that there was a conflict going on,
12 whether or not a convoy could proceed ultimately was at the discretion of
13 the VRS.
14 Q. Did you see an instance in which the VRS acted contrary to the
15 decision of political bodies in this particular sense, i.e. when it came
16 to the passage of convoys?
17 A. The documents that I looked at reflect the fact that the -- not
18 that they are acting contrary but they are trying to make sure that the
19 political bodies understand that these things do have to be coordinated
20 with them before they can allow these convoys to travel through the
21 territory of the -- of where the conflict was going.
22 Q. Who had the last say in all that?
23 A. Again, sir, my view is that the army had the final say because
24 regardless of whether the political authorities would grant clearance to
25 the convoy or not, it was the army's responsibility, if for no other
1 reason for safety and security of the convoy people, to decide to allow
2 them to go through. If there was fighting going on or something of that
3 nature, clearly the army wouldn't let them through. So again in that
4 context, the army had the final say because they physically were on the
5 ground and controlling the territory.
6 Q. You say that the army wouldn't allow passage and would not give
7 clearance to a convoy because of the ongoing fighting. Are you saying
8 that political body gave clearance to a convoy but the VRS decided to
9 oppose that decision and not allow the passage of that particular convoy
10 due to the ongoing fighting? Do you have an example to share with us?
11 A. No, sir. I was just using it as an example to your question as
12 to who had the final say on whether a convoy would transit through and of
13 using that as an example to illustrate why I believed that the VRS had
14 the final say, because ultimately they controlled the road network and
15 they controlled the check-points into the enclaves.
16 Q. The last part of my question was about an example you may be able
17 to share with us. Are you aware of any such example? Is there an
18 example which you can share with us?
19 A. No, sir. I have not seen a VRS document which has gone back to
20 the political organs saying that they denied access of a convoy going
21 through with respect to at least Srebrenica. They may have delayed it or
22 things of that nature, but I've not seen one that I recall where they
23 basically turned around and said we flat out deny access, we don't care
24 what you've said about it.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Mr. Butler, it was all we had for you.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
3 This, then, concludes the testimony of you, Mr. Butler, but
4 before we continue, we don't need the witness for tendering any of the
5 reports and decisions on admission?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I wouldn't think so, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Butler, I would like to thank you very
8 much for coming to The Hague, for staying quite a while in The Hague, and
9 for having answered all the questions that were put to you by the parties
10 and by the Bench. And I wish you a safe return home, although perhaps a
11 little bit later than you expected, a safe return home again.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, anything left to be tendered?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Butler's reports, which I have a list of. I
17 can give the 65 ter numbers.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we start with hearing from the Defence
19 whether there are overall objections or still --
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes, all our objections still stand.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- stand.
22 MR. LUKIC: And since you ruled that our objections go to the
23 weight attributed to the reports - there are three reports - we would
24 maintain objections to the remaining two reports and I could address
25 that. If you allow me, I would just read what Mr. Ivetic left for me to
1 be read.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Shall we then take them one by one? Is that
3 report-specific, to say so?
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then, Mr. McCloskey, if you introduce the first
6 one and then we will go through them one by one.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. The first would be 04624, the Corps
8 Responsibility Report.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic?
10 MR. LUKIC: Regarding this one, you ruled that our objections go
11 to weight.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The second one.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: 04625, the Brigade Command Responsibility Report.
14 MR. LUKIC: Same situation.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Same situation. Next one.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: 04626, the Srebrenica Military Narrative.
17 MR. LUKIC: We do object to this one. And if you want me, I can
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you have anything to --
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- you would like to bring to our attention before
22 we decide, please do so.
23 MR. LUKIC: This one and the one marked as 04627 --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. LUKIC: -- Srebrenica Trial Narrative Revised, we would give
1 the following additional reasons.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, for the two of them.
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So we are dealing now with both 04626 and 04627.
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
7 MR. LUKIC: The Srebrenica trial narratives are based on witness
8 testimonies from the Krstic case and the witness's interpretation of
9 documents. Our objections makes moot the grounds. Mere interpretation
10 of documents are not an appropriate expertise as it invades on the role
11 of the Chamber to interpret documents. In the Milutinovic and in the
12 Djordjevic cases, the Chamber decided to treat Mr. Phil Coo and the
13 Defence witness as experts because their only declined -- sorry, the
14 Chamber declined to treat Phil Coo and the Defence witness as experts
15 because they only interpreted documents. We believe the Srebrenica trial
16 narratives are of the same type and therefore should not be allowed.
17 For example, Milutinovic decision on Prosecution motion for
18 admission of evidence in connection of Philip Coo from 23 March 2007, and
19 in Djordjevic case, decision on Prosecution notice re Defence expert
20 witnesses from 24 March 2010. These reports rely on and recite evidence
21 from the Krstic case that has not been led in this case and which does
22 not take into account the state of evidence which was presented in this
23 case. The witness testified in the cross that 74 footnotes in the
24 revised Srebrenica narrative recite evidence of witnesses in the Krstic
25 case. It's on transcript page 16575 to 16576. We submit it is not
1 within the proper expertise of the witness to recite what witnesses said
2 in other cases. So, for both of those reasons, we object to the
3 inclusion of the two Srebrenica trial narratives into evidence. Thank
4 you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. Mr. McCloskey?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. We have reviewed the
7 narratives and counted that Mr. Butler has cited information or testimony
8 of 31 witnesses, and of those 31 witnesses, there is a total of 12 of
9 those witnesses that are not in evidence in this case or not been
10 presented as 92 bis or quater in this case, so that gets us to
11 fundamentally 12 witnesses. Six of those witnesses are Bosnian Muslim
12 civilians who identify neighbours of theirs that Mr. Butler was able to
13 tie to the Bratunac Brigade roster. So you have a witness that sees a
14 Serb neighbour, Mr. Butler takes that and tells us in his narrative that
15 that person is -- was in the Bratunac Brigade. Then of the remaining
16 six, he speaks briefly about something Ljubisa Borovcanin said,
17 Dragomir Vasic said, and Milos Stupar said at -- about a 15 July meeting
18 that you may recall that occurred at the Zvornik Brigade, and that
19 information comes in through other witnesses and none of those three
20 witnesses are we relying on for the truth of the matter. It helps put
21 the -- as Mr. Butler said on the stand and as he says in his report, it
22 helps put that meeting in context.
23 And for 10, 11 and 12, one is a Dutch soldier that talks about
24 Muslim prisoners being brought from Potocari to the Vuk Karadzic school,
25 which is evidence that comes in in this case through another Dutch
1 soldier. 11 was a comment from Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans where he --
2 Mr. Butler passes on his remark that at the third meeting, Mladic said
3 that men between 16 to 60 would be screened. That evidence, you may
4 recall, came in through Boering. We are certainly not relying on that
5 comment from Mr. Karremans in any way. Again puts Mr. Butler's narrative
6 in context. And the 12th person was a survivor of the Orahovac execution
7 and talks about that and his experience at the Vuk Karadzic school which
8 is -- we are not relying on and that all of that evidence comes in
9 through other Orahovac survivors.
10 So I don't think it's a problem. It's not violating 92 bis or
11 92 quater. The Court will have the ability to take any of these
12 references and give it whatever weight it deems necessary. So that would
13 be my response to that, in particular, challenge by the Defence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. That's all as far as tendering is
15 concerned, Mr. McCloskey?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there were annexes to the
17 narratives which I'm sure will be the subject of the objections as well.
18 If I could go through those just briefly, the 65 ters of those annexes.
19 The annex A to the Drina Corps command report, 04629. Annex B to
20 the Zvornik Brigade structure, 04630. Annex C, the Bratunac Brigade
21 structure, 04631. Annex D, the police structure in the Drina Corps,
22 04632. Annex E Main Staff structure, 04633. And then a report entitled,
23 "Chapter 8, analytical addendum to the Srebrenica narrative, revised,"
24 04634. And a report entitled, "VRS Main Staff Command Responsibility
25 Report," 05601. And I had missed the narrative that was revised, which
1 was 04627.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I think that was addressed already together with
3 04626, I think.
4 Mr. Lukic, anything to add in relation to these annexes and to
5 the documents just listed by Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. LUKIC: Nothing to be added, just that we object and one of
7 these is not in this category, it's 05601, Main Staff report, since it
8 was -- has already been ruled that the objections to this one go to the
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we have all the arguments in favour and
11 objecting to admission. We have them on the table.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you -- one second, please.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Although there are a few which the Chamber could
16 perhaps already decide on immediately, the Chamber would prefer that
17 Madam Registrar provides MFI numbers, perhaps in a written document,
18 making a list and we'll then decide on admission.
19 Madam Registrar, if that -- could you -- you don't have to read
20 it now. If you prepare it -- -
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- then we'll deal with it once a decision will be
24 Mr. Groome?
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the next witness, General Milovanovic,
1 is a witness who the Chamber might consider it appropriate to give him
2 advice of the rights he has under Rule 90(E), so I would ask the Chamber
3 to consider that over the break.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We will consider that over the break.
5 We'll take the break and we will resume at five minutes to 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If -- is the Prosecution ready to call its next
9 witness, which we do understand is Mr. Milovanovic?
10 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution calls
11 General Milovanovic.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
14 [The witness enters court]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Milovanovic. Before you give
16 evidence, the rules require that you make a solemn declaration. The text
17 is now handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: MANOJLO MILOVANOVIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Milovanovic. Please be seated.
24 Mr. Milovanovic, before we -- the Prosecution will start its
25 examination, I'd like to draw your attention to the following. Under the
1 rules of this Tribunal, a witness, that would be you in this case, may
2 object to making any statement which might tend to incriminate that
3 witness, that is that would incriminate yourself. We, then, however, we
4 could compel you to answer that question, although an answer compelled in
5 this way could not be used against you in any way. I just want you to be
6 aware that you have the opportunity to object to making such a statement,
7 which might incriminate yourself. Is that clear to you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I add to this that if you are compelled to answer,
10 and if -- and that answer cannot be used against you apart from the
11 situation where you're not telling us the truth. So such a statement
12 could be used as evidence if there would be reasons to prosecute you for
13 false testimony.
14 Mr. Milovanovic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Groome.
15 Mr. Groome is counsel for the Prosecution. You'll find him to your
17 Mr. Groome, you may proceed.
18 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Examination by Mr. Groome:
20 Q. Sir, could I ask you to state your full name for the record?
21 A. Manojlo Milovanovic.
22 Q. Is it true that you are appearing here today pursuant to a
23 subpoena issued by this Chamber on 24 July 2013 and served on you in
24 Banja Luka several weeks ago?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. General Milovanovic, is there any agreement of immunity between
2 you and the ICTY Prosecutor? In other words, is there or has there ever
3 been any agreement between you and the Prosecution that if you provided
4 information related to its investigations and prosecutions, that you
5 yourself would not be investigated or indicted?
6 A. I have never reached any agreement with anybody from this
7 Tribunal. The only thing that happened was that I was interviewed on
8 27th of March, 2001, by your military expert, General Richard Butler who
9 has just left the courtroom.
10 That interview was about helping the Tribunal to see the other
11 side of the coin, as it were. I.e. how could military experts from the
12 VRS provide their statements before this Tribunal? That interview was
13 recorded on seven pages, which I handed over to the OTP of this Tribunal.
14 Q. Was anything ever said to you which you implicitly understood as
15 a promise that you would not be indicted?
16 A. No.
17 Q. General, I'm going to ask you to provide evidence on a number of
18 issues of importance in this trial. In order to do this in a way that
19 the Chamber can best understand your evidence, it is important that we do
20 it in an organised way. I would like to begin my questions to you this
21 morning by asking you some questions about your background. Can you tell
22 us the year and place of your birth?
23 A. I was born on 21st November 1943 in Laminci village in the
24 municipality of Gradiska, Republika Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that 65 ter 26000 be brought to our
2 Q. While that is being brought to our screens, can I ask you what
3 year did you enter military service?
4 A. The date when I entered the JNA was the 27th of July, 1961. That
5 was when I completed my education for non-commissioned officers.
6 I started that education on the 30th of August, 1959.
7 Q. And what year did you retire from military service?
8 A. I was pensioned off on the 31st of March, 2001.
9 Q. Now, General, if I can direct your attention to the screen before
10 you, you have had a lengthy professional career. While it is important
11 that the Chamber is aware of the positions you held, it is not necessary
12 that we discuss it in any great detail at this moment.
13 After you arrived in The Hague, were you asked to review a
14 summary of your professional assignments?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And is that what we see on our screens now before us?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that we go to the last page in both
20 Q. And, General, if I can draw your attention to the end of the
21 document. Upon reviewing this document, did you wish to amend it by
22 adding two additional pieces of information?
23 A. Yes. When it says career in the Army Republika Srpska and where
24 it says chief of the Main Staff of the VRS, I would like to add to that
25 that I was also the deputy commander of the Main Staff of the VRS.
1 And the second thing that I wanted to add was that I served as
2 the Minister of Defence in the government of Republika Srpska from the
3 18th of January, 1998, to the day when I was pensioned off, on the
4 31st of March, 2001.
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, with those amendments the Prosecution
6 tenders 65 ter 26000 into evidence as a public exhibit.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 26000 receives number P2211, Your
10 JUDGE ORIE: P2211 is admitted.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. General, are you willing to answer any additional questions
13 regarding your professional career that either the Chamber or the Defence
14 may have for you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, General, can you tell us how long have you known General
17 Ratko Mladic?
18 A. I met General Mladic in April 1981. We first met in the Titov
19 Veles garrison where he had arrived to inspect the unit where I served as
20 the chief of the operations organ.
21 Q. During the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, he was the
22 commander of the Army of Republika Srpska and you were his deputy. Can
23 you describe in a summary way his command style as well as yours? I'm
24 not asking you to tell us about any specific events at this moment, but
25 to simply summarise, in a sentence or two, your respective command
2 A. His command style will be best explained if I quote his own words
3 from those times. On one occasion, I asked him, "Why did you choose me
4 to be your deputy?" And he told me, "I am quick tempered, and you are
5 somewhat slower and as a tank man you know that that's the best way to
6 drive." And one of his statements, at meetings or when we were eye to
7 eye, he told me that the two of us were two bodies and one soul.
8 Q. General, can you please describe your relationship with
9 General Mladic during your tenure as his Chief of Staff and
10 deputy commander of the VRS?
11 A. Before the war broke out, we were friends. We were comrades. We
12 sometimes agreed to disagree in professional matters. However, during
13 the war, our relationship was that of a very strict military
14 subordination, a relationship between a subordinate and superior. Before
15 the war we were not on first-term basis, and as the war -- or rather, we
16 were on first-term basis before -- on the first-name basis before the
17 war, and then I started, out of respect, addressing him in a more
18 respectful plural form.
19 Q. General, I want to now turn your attention to the establishment
20 of the Army of Republika Srpska and I want to ask you to explain to the
21 Judges the events leading to the establishments of the VRS and your role
22 in those events. Can I draw your attention to February of 1992, in
23 particular the JNA's withdrawal of its forces from Macedonia? Can you
24 tell us what, if any, role you had in that event?
25 A. At the beginning of 1992, and you say that it was in February, at
1 that time, the JNA was withdrawing from Macedonia after an agreement had
2 been reached to that effect. We are talking about a 3rd Army. And the
3 troops were being deployed in the territory of Serbia, Kosovo, and some
4 of them in Montenegro.
5 I was tasked with supervising the withdrawal of the combat part
6 of the JNA, i.e. personnel, weapons, and ammunition, and I was supposed
7 to deploy them across the aforementioned areas. There was just one
8 condition, i.e. I received just one order, that during the withdrawal,
9 not a single bullet could be fired on the Macedonian people.
10 We did everything very efficiently, owing to the Macedonian
11 authorities, which were committed not to allow any provocations, ill
12 treatment of members of the JNA, something that was seen previously in
13 Slovenia, Croatia, and in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
14 process was completed on the 9th of March, 1992. We started withdrawing
15 on the 3rd of March from Skopje to Nis, and on the 9th of March the
16 logistics part of the 3rd Army eventually withdrew from Macedonia and
17 completed the whole withdrawal process.
18 Q. General Milovanovic, where were you stationed between March and
19 the 11th of May, 1992?
20 A. In the Nis garrison, in the command of the 3rd Army. I was the
21 chief of operations and education body, and I was the acting chief of the
22 army command because General Vukovic was supposed to arrive from
23 Banja Luka in order to become the chief of the army. Vukovic arrived in
24 Nis on the 20th of --
25 Q. General, I'm not sure that we need all that much detail in that
1 particular aspect. Could I draw your attention now to the
2 8th of May, 1992? Did you receive an order from the president --
3 Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on that day?
4 A. Yes. I received two decrees on that day, in the evening.
5 Q. Can you tell us what each one was?
6 A. According to one of the decrees, I was reassigned from the
7 Nis garrison to the Sarajevo garrison, where I was to serve in the
8 command of the 2nd Army District as the chief of the operations and
9 education body, and it said on that -- in that decree that General Mladic
10 was also assigned from Knin to Sarajevo to become the Chief of Staff of
11 the 2nd Military District. And the second decree, I don't know which was
12 one was the first and which one was the second, according to the second
13 decree from the Presidency of the SFRY, I was promoted to the rank of
14 Major General. On that same piece of paper, it stated that General
15 Ratko Mladic was also promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.
16 Q. Now, General, when you received this order, did you have an
17 understanding of any particular task you were to undertake when you
18 arrived in Sarajevo?
19 A. According to that first decree, I believe that on the following
20 day, I called General Mladic and I asked him if he knew anything more
21 about that decree and about that order, because our names were on the
22 same piece of paper.
23 He told me, and you have to be aware that that was on the
24 8th of May, when the whole situation surrounding Dobrovoljacka Street was
25 completed, i.e. when the command of the 2nd Army District was withdrawn
1 from Sarajevo.
2 General Mladic told me that General Kukanjac, commander of the
3 2nd Army District, would probably be removed from his position as well as
4 his Chief of Staff, General Stankovic, I believe that his name was but I
5 don't know. He also told me that he would possibly become the commander
6 of the military district in which case I would become the Chief of Staff
7 of the 2nd Military District.
8 In practical terms, that meant that the second decree that we
9 received promoted us one step further in the command of the 2nd Military
10 District. The second decree was shown to me in Belgrade on the
11 11th of May, because General Mladic and I had agreed to meet in Belgrade
12 in the General Staff of the JNA building at 7.00 on the 11th of May.
13 Q. And can you tell us when it was that you agreed with
14 General Mladic to meet him on 11 May? When did that occur?
15 A. I believe that it was on the 9th of May, when I called him. The
16 day after I received my first decree. When I wanted him to give me more
17 detail. I arrived on the 11th of May at 7.00 but General Mladic was not
19 The chief of the personnel of the Yugoslav General Staff received
20 me. He was General Vojko Krstic, I believe. He then verbally
21 communicated to me the contents of the second decree about the vertical
22 promotion in the command of the Sarajevo Military District, and I was not
23 very happy and I told him, and I asked him how come that Mladic and I,
24 and some other people who had received those orders, were being
25 transferred to Sarajevo knowing that the 2nd Military District didn't
1 exist? I was told then that the JNA was tasked with withdrawing from
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina before the 19th of May, 1992. That was to be within
3 the next eight days. The way I saw it was that the JNA was disappearing
4 from Bosnia-Herzegovina and I really didn't understand why we should be
5 in Sarajevo if the command was no longer in Sarajevo and actually it no
6 longer existed.
7 I was told that General Mladic would be able to explain. I asked
8 him to put me through to General Mladic. I was put through to General
9 Mladic. The General was somewhere in Herzegovina at the time. He told
10 me this: Go to Batajnica. Go to the airport. A helicopter is waiting
11 for you there. Get on board and wherever the pilot stops, that's where
12 you should be. That's where you should be waiting for me.
13 Q. Just to ensure that it's not becoming confused, who was it that
14 told you that the JNA would be withdrawing from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. General Gojko Krstic. And that same evening, that was confirmed
16 to me by General Mladic himself, once we met.
17 Q. So did you in fact meet with General Mladic in Batajnica on the
19 A. No. General Mladic ordered me to go to Batajnica because there
20 was a helicopter waiting for me there and that helicopter took me to Crna
21 Rijeka, near Han Pijesak. As for my meeting with General Mladic, I met
22 him a few hours later when he arrived from Herzegovina. That was
23 sometime after 1600 hours.
24 Q. Now, can you tell us who else, if anyone, was present during this
25 meeting with General Mladic?
1 A. I was waiting for General Mladic near the helicopter. I don't
2 think that anybody else was present. We started walking towards a
3 prefabricated building that was closest to the place where the helicopter
4 landed. It was some 50 metres away.
5 And it took us about 45 minutes to walk the distance, if not
6 more. And while we were walking, Mladic told me about the situation in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, he put me in the picture, he told me more or less
8 what we were to expect. We walked into that prefabricated buildings and
9 in one of the rooms there, there were some other people, some ten people.
10 So all in all, there were about a dozen of us there, four generals,
11 Mladic, Djukic, Gvero, and myself, and eight or rather seven
12 lieutenant-colonels, colonels and one captain. There was a dozen of us.
13 Q. Before we get to the substance of this meeting, the record
14 records you as saying that Mladic told you: More or less what you were
15 to expect, what we were to expect. Can I ask you to give us a bit more
16 detail on what Mladic told you was to be expected?
17 A. As a matter of fact, when we greeted each other I asked him, "And
18 now what?" And then he told me that the war in Bosnia was inevitable,
19 that there were combat operations going on around Sarajevo, primarily
20 around Sarajevo and in some other municipalities of the future Republika
21 Srpska, that armed incidents had already started, mostly on the line
22 separating the members of the Muslim and Croat coalition on the one hand
23 and members of the JNA on the other.
24 The skirmishes started already on the 22nd of April when some
25 mortars opened fire on the Serbian settlements in Sarajevo and the fire
1 was opened from a brewery. And then on the bank holiday on the
2 1st of May there were some attacks on the command of the 2nd Military
3 District, on the military hospital, on the JNA hall, and a few barracks,
4 which accommodated cadets of JNA military academies. I don't know which
5 barracks existed in Sarajevo at that time -- at the time, by inter alia
6 military cadets were attacked in Pazarici shooting round.
7 General Mladic's conclusion was that the war is inevitable in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it would follow the same scenario as in
9 Croatia when the war broke out between the Croats and the Serbs. Up to
10 that time, Muslims --
11 Q. General, can I ask you now to tell us, or recount for us, what
12 occurred during the meeting that General Mladic had with yourself and
13 these other 12 people?
14 A. In the room where we were assembled, General Mladic first told us
15 what we had discussed en route from the helicopter to the building, the
16 conversation he and I had. He said that the war was imminent in all
17 likelihood, and that, since the JNA was prematurely withdrawing from
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina because previously it had been agreed that the JNA
19 would remain in BiH for the next five years, until 1997, in order to
20 protect the interests of all three majority peoples in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, acting as a buffer zone, which is something it had
22 done previously in Croatia and Slovenia.
23 Since the JNA had to withdraw that protection that was to be
24 accorded to the Serb people was no longer and that it was the position of
25 the BiH leadership, Serb leadership, decided to establish the army of the
1 Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The next day, on the 12th of May, a
2 decision was supposed to be made during an assembly session of the
3 Serbian people to be held in Banja Luka.
4 Q. Can I now turn your attention to that assembly session? Did you
5 attend that session?
6 A. I did not.
7 Q. Do you recall what you did that day, the 12th of May, 1992?
8 A. Yes, I do. However, it might be good if I told you what we did
9 during the night between the 11th and the 12th of May, just before the
10 assembly session.
11 Q. Yes, please do that.
12 A. That evening, we only supposed that General Mladic was going to
13 be appointed commander of the Main Staff by the assembly. We knew that
14 the Main Staff had no documents pertaining to its doctrine in wartime,
15 should the assembly decide in favour of the war option, which is what
16 indeed happened the next day. Those of us as peers acting together with
17 General Mladic as the first among equals, we discussed what was to be
18 done once the decision is in place.
19 Some 21 tasks became obvious. We formulated them and later on,
20 actually, they were not tasks but conclusions, and later on, I grouped
21 them into some ten guidelines, in terms of the future Republika Srpska
22 Army doctrine. It started with us having to rely, or make use of, all
23 what remained after JNA's withdrawal, so as to use it as the basis to
24 create the new armed forces of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Then, the conclusions and discussions further developed such
1 issues as armaments, unifying the armed forces, et cetera. And according
2 to General Mladic's words, the then-party in power, SDS, had distributed
3 weapons to the Serb military conscripts and according to Mr. Mladic's --
4 General Mladic's words, by that time we have already had between 85 and
5 90.000 people who were armed and who had to be made a part of the
7 We also discussed the issue of paramilitaries, of which there
8 were many in the territory of what today is Republika Srpska and at the
9 time was the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 It was agreed that the commanders, dukes or bosses of those
11 paramilitary forces be assembled, someone to have a talk with them, so
12 that they would be asked to place themselves under the command of the
13 Army of Republika Srpska. Whoever accepted that was welcome. Those who
14 refused had to leave the territory of Republika Srpska as agreed. Those
15 who opposed it were supposed to be dealt with.
16 Q. Could I ask you a few specific questions about that answer that
17 you've just given us? Did you consider that the group that had been
18 gathered together for this meeting, did you consider that group to be the
19 early formation of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska?
20 A. I didn't have to dwell on it too long. During our walk from the
21 helicopter to the building, I told General Mladic the following: I had
22 thought that I was supposed to be appointed commander of the Herzegovina
23 corps since General Perisic was withdrawing from the JNA and I told
24 General Mladic that I had sufficient time to arrive in Bileca by
25 helicopter but he said: You are not going anywhere, you are staying
1 here. If the decision is put in place tomorrow you will be the chief of
2 the Main Staff and my deputy. So by that point, it was all clear to me.
3 During the session, as you rightly noted, it was so decided and I did see
4 it as the nucleus of the Main Staff and of the future Army of Republika
6 Q. I want to ask you one more question about your recounting of this
7 meeting. You said that there was an assessment that there were 90.000
8 armed people. Was that an assessment of the number of armed people that
9 would be available for the VRS army or was that an assessment of all
10 people of all ethnicities who had arms in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. I did not think about the ethnic makeup but what I learned was
12 that the 85.000 to 90.000 armed men were put inside TO brigades in the
13 municipalities around the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Some of
14 the municipalities deeper inside the territories also formed their own TO
15 brigades. Their staffing strength and manning levels were very diverse
16 depending on the ethnic makeup and number of population in each of the
17 municipalities. The figure varied from a few hundred to a few thousand
18 armed men who, by that time, were still not under any kind of unified
19 command. The party in power had established Crisis Staffs in
21 Q. If I can just be a bit more specific in my question: That
22 90.000, did that figure, was that the assessment of the armed men that
23 were available to be formed into an Army of Republika Srpska? Is that
24 what that figure referred to?
25 A. General Mladic said this, more or less: Now we have between
1 85 and 90.000 men who are armed. I don't know where he received that
2 information from but we obviously saw it as relevant. He also said that
3 they were supposed to be placed inside military units, given structure,
4 and grouped into different corps.
5 So in addition to the remnants of the JNA, it was another
6 contingent or another element that we relied on or counted on when we
7 were structuring the army. It was also the most important, the most
8 significant, component.
9 Q. Can I now go to my --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Just to avoid any misunderstanding, the 85 to 90.000
11 men, armed men, were men to be recruited for what would become the VRS;
12 is that what you're referring to? Or at least available to be recruited?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Neither, because the decree on
14 general mobilisation in the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina followed
15 only ten days later. It was simply a potential that could be absorbed
16 into the structure of the newly created armed forces.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That answers my question. Please proceed.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. Can I now return my earlier --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just from my understanding does this number
21 include those who have previously served for the JNA? In the JNA?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Those who had served with the
23 JNA were included under the category of the remnants of the JNA. They
24 were supposed to remain with the armed force after the 19th of May, once
25 the JNA had withdrawn.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Can I now return to my earlier question about what you did on the
4 12th of May while the 16th Assembly session was taking place?
5 A. I think it was the 19th session but perhaps it is not so
6 important. At dawn, General Mladic, General Djordje Djukic,
7 General Gvero, Colonel Tolimir, flew to Banja Luka. I was tasked to stay
8 in Crna Rijeka and during the day, out of the 12 who had met the previous
9 night and a number of officers from the 2nd Military District who were
10 extracted, who withdrew on the 3rd of May together with the rest of the
11 2nd Army Command, I was supposed to take all those men to establish and
12 make operational a body in charge of creating the armed force and waging
13 the war which was imminent. In other words I was supposed to create the
14 Main Staff.
15 Q. Who gave that you task?
16 A. I'm sorry, I haven't completed.
17 Q. Please continue.
18 A. My second task was to use those officers who had fled from
19 Sarajevo to work with them on the 21 conclusions I have mentioned. We
20 were supposed to transform them into appropriate orders, information and
21 notifications, that is to say to put them in written form which was
22 mostly dealt with. My next task was to establish communication with the
23 detached corps commands of the former JNA, to preserve their
25 There were already people in place who had been corps commanders
1 in the JNA. Thus, it was a key task, to establish direct links between
2 the Main Staff, corps commands, logistics, the logistics base, whose
3 infrastructure was inherited from the JNA, as well as some other parts
4 that were supposed to be directly linked to the Main Staff. That was
5 done before the team returned from Banja Luka.
6 There were some other minor things also, such as providing the
7 guards service, securing the Main Staff location, and so on and so forth.
8 Q. Could I ask you two questions about that last answer? Who gave
9 you these tasks?
10 A. Who else than General Mladic.
11 Q. And you said that -- the record records you as saying that was
12 done before they returned from Banja Luka. What was done before they
13 returned from Banja Luka?
14 A. All of the things I've mentioned. So the written orders were
15 drafted, as well as notifications, information, reports and so on and so
16 forth. Next, communication was put in place with the subordinate
17 commands. The security service around the Main Staff was set up. The
18 offices and premises in the two buildings we found were distributed, in
19 terms of who was to work where.
20 I did not go name by name but I simply assigned offices to the
21 commander of the Main Staff, his deputy, operations officer, command
22 centre, and so on and so forth. Because at the time, there were only 12
23 of us in the Main Staff, but we expected that our staffing levels would
24 increase once the Main Staff was fully established. I thought I would
25 have time to do that in peacetime. But, as we were establishing
1 communication with the subordinate commands, we began receiving combat
3 General Mladic had not warned me of this once he left, and I had
4 to make do. It turned out that there was fighting all over Sarajevo.
5 The Muslims were aware of JNA's withdrawal and they were attacking all
6 things JNA, including personnel, property and equipment. So from one
7 moment to the next, I kept receiving reports of combat. It was happening
8 along the way and we had to deal with it. I believe we managed.
9 Q. Now, General, when did the team return from Banja Luka?
10 A. I think it was already dark by the time they gathered in my
12 Q. And was it on the same day as the assembly session, on
13 the 12th of May?
14 A. I think so. Well, actually, it is, it was.
15 Q. And am I understanding your evidence correctly that before they
16 returned, effective communications had been established with subordinate
18 A. Yes. I began explaining about the corps commands when I was
19 interrupted. I don't know whether you want me to continue in that vein.
20 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. Yes, can you explain
21 what tasks you completed with respect to the corps commands?
22 A. First of all, communication was established, push-button
23 communication was established, protected communication, with each of the
24 corps commands. We had a command desk in the building, and we had a
25 button for each corps command. It was sufficient for the general to
1 press the appropriate button in order to be responded to by a colleague
2 from the subordinate command at the corps level.
3 Q. And where was this push-button protected communications set up?
4 In whose office?
5 A. There was literally a desk, rather than a specific point. It was
6 in the office where General Mladic and I sat.
7 Q. Now, when the men returned from the 12th assembly session, did
8 you have a conversation with Colonel Gvero regarding what some people
9 said at the assembly session and, in particular, something General Mladic
11 A. I have to correct you: General Gvero. All of them expressed
12 their views and impressions. It was important for me that General Mladic
13 said something to this effect: Chief of Staff, as from this day, we are
14 a legitimate, lawful Main Staff. I am part of the Main Staff. You are
15 the chief of that staff and my deputy. And he repeated what he had said
16 the previous evening. He told us who was to take up which duty out of
17 the 12 of us.
18 People expressed their impressions. They were discussing
19 different deputies' remarks, and in all that, General Gvero said that
20 following Dragan Kalinic's remarks, who was the Minister of Health in the
21 government of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who asked that the
22 Muslim people be proclaimed the enemy, the enemy side, saying that no
23 further life together is possible with them and that we had to deal with
24 them once and for all. Following his remarks, General Mladic reacted to
25 it, at least according to what General Gvero told me, and later on
1 I indeed found it in the transcript of the Assembly. It seems that
2 General Mladic said, he actually cautioned all those present that the
3 minister's proposal or position would amount to genocide and that it was
4 prohibited. One could actually find it on one of the transcript pages of
5 that session.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, would that be a convenient place to
8 JUDGE ORIE: It is a convenient moment for a break. We would
9 like to see you back in 20 minutes. You may follow the usher.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at quarter past 12.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.57 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: While the witness is escorted in, I have to make a
16 correction on something I said earlier today.
17 We were discussing P2192. There was a problem with the date and
18 a new version of P2192 was uploaded. I then said: And then that new
19 replacement is the admitted evidence. I had overlooked that it was
20 marked for identification. So therefore I should have said: And then
21 the new replacement is the exhibit marked for identification, because
22 there is still a general objection pending against the intercepts. That
23 is hereby corrected.
24 If there is anything to be distributed --
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, you may proceed.
3 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Could I ask at this time, P431 be brought to our screens? It is
5 a transcript of the 16th Assembly session held on the 12th of May. Can
6 I ask that we go to page 34 in the original and 35 in the translation.
7 Q. Now, General Milovanovic, just before the break, you said one
8 could actually find it on the transcript pages of that session. When
9 this transcript comes up before you, can I ask you to review it and, if
10 you see the portion of the transcript which you believe is what Gvero was
11 referring to, could I please ask you to read that portion?
12 A. The letters are really small. I can't see. Can the page be
13 zoomed in?
14 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that we zoom in on the top half and then
15 we will go to the bottom half.
16 Q. And see if you see the portion that you were referring to.
17 A. That's good.
18 Q. We won't be able to see anything you point to, so if you can
19 simply read the passage, if you do see it. Sorry it's gone from our
20 screens now. It's being returned.
21 A. Yes. But now I've lost that part that includes genocide. Scroll
22 up a little. I found it. It is on the screen now but I'm not supposed
23 to touch the screen. I can see.
24 Q. Are you able to read it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Please do that.
2 A. "Therefore, we cannot clean, we cannot have a sieve to sift
3 everybody but the Serbs, or for the Serbs to go through the sieve and the
4 rest to leave. This cannot happen. I don't know what Mr. Krajisnik and
5 Mr. Karadzic are going to tell the world. This is genocide. We have to
6 call everybody who has not been able to enter the territory of the state
7 that we want to create their places here with us. Mr. Ostojic said it
8 well. He noticed things very well. He saw that picture in my native
9 village and then there is a description of how we went to that village."
10 Should I go on reading?
11 Q. I'm just asking you to identify the passage that Gvero referred
12 to. If you've done that, then there is no need to continue reading.
13 A. Yes. That's that.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you.
15 Now, in my next series of questions, I will ask you to describe
16 your understanding of the legal structures of the VRS and the name -- and
17 name the individuals who held particular positions. I would ask you not
18 to volunteer too much detail at this moment. Once the Chamber has a
19 clear overview of the structure, I will then ask you more detailed
20 questions. So my first question --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Groome --
22 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- before you do that, is it possible to see what
24 the witness was reading in the English?
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, it's on -- about the middle of the
1 page, if we can go to the English.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The first third, at the end of the first third of
3 that page.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. So my first question about the legal structure of the VRS is:
7 Can you tell the Chamber what the Supreme Command was?
8 A. The Supreme Command was the political body of the Serbian
9 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in charge of warfare. It is said that
10 war is a thing too serious for generals to run it. It has to be run by
11 politicians and generals should only be executors.
12 As for the Supreme Command, from 12 May, it was the Presidency of
13 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the president of the
14 Presidency was Radovan Karadzic, the vice -- one of the vice-presidents
15 was Biljana Plavsic, and the other was Nikola Koljevic. The president of
16 National Assembly, Momcilo Krajisnik was also a member of the Presidency,
17 although I don't think that was really legitimate. That was the four
18 people who politically ran the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina. And before the Supreme Command -- or, rather, before the
20 Main Staff was set up, the Main Staff received its task from
21 President Karadzic, who told him how to run the Army of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. General, if you'll allow me, I want to ask some very specific
23 questions. If I could ask you to limit your answer to the particular
24 question just to ensure that the Chamber understands this Supreme
25 Command. When was it formed?
1 A. I learned about the setting up of the Supreme Command on the
2 6th December 1992, which means it was set up in the first half of
3 December 1992.
4 Q. Prior to December 1992, did Radovan Karadzic serve as the supreme
5 commander or political commander of the VRS?
6 A. Before the Supreme Command was set up, Radovan Karadzic was the
7 supreme commander, based on the constitution of the Serbian Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and subsequently drafted acts on the defence and Army
9 of Republika Srpska.
10 Q. Now, which members of the Supreme Command, once it was
11 constituted in 1992 -- in December 1992, could issue direct orders to the
13 A. When the Supreme Command was established, its members were the
14 four persons that I already mentioned, plus the prime minister of the
15 Serbian Republic, the minister of defence, and the minister of the
16 interior. At first, the vice-presidents or the vice prime ministers were
17 not members of the Supreme Command and neither was General Ratko Mladic,
18 although he should have been its members according to the act on
19 All People's Defence. The Main Staff held it against Karadzic that
20 Mladic was not a member, and then they included Biljana Plavsic and
21 Nikola Koljevic as members of the Supreme Command but not General
22 Ratko Mladic. The Main Staff insisted to no avail. They maintained that
23 General Mladic in the Supreme Command would mean that it would be the
24 Supreme Command of the Main Staff.
25 The first session was held on the 12 December. I attended that
1 session, and pursuant to an order of the Main Staff, I presented those
2 objections. Karadzic told me that he could not change that, that that
3 could not be changed, that Mladic could not be a member of the
4 Supreme Command because, allegedly, the military was not a political
5 body, whereas the Supreme Command was.
6 This is how things would be done during the war. All the orders
7 and directives and other combat documents would be issued to the
8 Main Staff and the Army of Republika Srpska only by him as the
9 Supreme Commander. No other members of the Supreme Command could issue
10 orders to the army save for the persons that he appointed to act on his
11 behalf in his absence when he was abroad, and the most often that person
12 designated by him would be Biljana Plavsic.
13 Q. Now, just so the record is clear, when you say that -- when you
14 refer to "him" as the Supreme Commander, are you referring to
15 Radovan Karadzic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And also to be clear, you said that General Mladic was not a
18 member of the Main Staff. Despite not having -- not being a member and
19 not having a vote on its decisions, did members of the Main Staff
20 regularly attend meetings convened by the Supreme Command?
21 A. Yes. At that meeting where President Karadzic and I tried to
22 convince each other of our respective views, he said that he would invite
23 General Mladic or one of his assistants to all of the Supreme Command
24 sessions depending on the topics on the agenda. If the Supreme Command
25 was to make a decision by voting, we were not to be allowed to take part
1 in the voting, i.e. we would be treated as observers only. That's how
2 things were done throughout the existence of the Supreme Command and the
3 Main Staff.
4 Q. Now, General --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, before we continue, could you have a
6 look at page 46, the first two lines of your previous question? You said
7 and also to be clear, I think -- 46, line 22, it's for me.
8 MR. GROOME: I think we are only up, according to my LiveNote, to
9 page 25.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 25 in e-court, which is 46 or 47 in LiveNote.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, 25 on -- it would be page 25, line 11,
12 especially the fourth and the fifth word, also to be clear, you said that
13 General Mladic was not a member of -- and then I would expect you to
14 refer to the Supreme Command rather than to the Main Staff.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to clarify the confusion with the page
16 numbers, in e-court, page 22 ended at line 13 and then the entire
17 transcript started again with page 1.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. GROOME: Clarified now, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It's been clarified. You intended to refer to not
21 being a member of the Supreme Command.
22 MR. GROOME: That's correct.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That nevertheless members of the Main Staff being
24 invited to meetings although not voting there.
25 MR. GROOME: That's correct.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then this having been corrected now, let's
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. General Milovanovic, can you give us some sense of how frequently
5 General Mladic or other members of the Main Staff attended meetings of
6 the Supreme Command?
7 A. I can't tell you. I don't know how many times the
8 Supreme Command met. They may have met without inviting us. But I can
9 tell you that it was rather often that either General Mladic or I were
10 invited, if General Mladic was not in Bosnia, or one of General Mladic's
11 assistants would be invited. For example, on the 6th of December, I was
12 informed about the setting up of the Supreme Command by General
13 Djordje Djukic and Lieutenant-Colonel Zdravko Tolimir. They had been
14 invited to a meeting in Pale and that's when Karadzic told them that the
15 Supreme Command had been set up.
16 Q. General, I now want to turn to the structure of the VRS.
17 MR. GROOME: And while I do this, I would ask that 65 ter 26016
18 be brought to our screens. It's an organisational chart. I have a large
19 copy of this in the courtroom, which General Milovanovic will be invited
20 to point to to describe the organisation of the VRS, and I have
21 distributed copies to both Chambers and the Defence. They may find it
22 easier to have a version of this document in front of them as
23 General Milovanovic is asked to explain the organisational structure of
24 the VRS.
25 Q. Now, General Milovanovic, somewhere on the desk in front of you
1 there should be a pointer. There is no need for you to get out of your
2 chair, hopefully. Now, my first question to you is: Do you recall being
3 asked to review an organisational chart --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Milovanovic, Mr. Milovanovic, if possible,
5 please remain seated because the microphone will not catch your words
6 when you're standing, so to the extent possible, remain seated. If not
7 possible, then please stand and then return to your seat.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Do you recall being asked to review an organisational chart of
10 the Main Staff and other components of the VRS by the Office of the
11 Prosecutor in an earlier case?
12 A. Yes. That was in 2007, between the 29th of May and the
13 1st of June, when I testified in the Srebrenica group case. I was given
14 the same chart to peruse.
15 Q. Is the -- the diagram that's next to you, which is 65 ter 26016,
16 is that a copy of the chart that you reviewed in that earlier case?
17 MR. GROOME: Could the usher assist General Milovanovic? I think
18 he's asking for the thing to be adjusted so he can more easily point to
19 items. Could I ask it just be back a bit so that I can see the witness?
20 I'm unable to see the witness. Okay. Thank you. That's good.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot move my neck horizontally
22 which is why I asked for the chart to be closer.
23 Yes, this is the chart which I amended. For example, in the
24 first version some of the units were omitted. Some of the staff organs
25 were linked erroneously to wrong bodies. This has been corrected in the
1 meantime. I don't know what you would like to know more specifically.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. I'm going to ask you specific questions about this chart. Now,
4 this chart is comprised of a series of boxes indicating different
5 organisational components of the VRS. At the top of this chart, at the
6 centre, we see a box with General Mladic's name inside. Can I first
7 direct you to the two boxes to the right of General Mladic's box? The
8 first one to the left has the name of Warrant Officer Rajko Banduka. Can
9 you tell us who he was and what was the responsibility of the warrant
10 officer to General Mladic?
11 A. Warrant Officer Rajko Banduka was General Mladic's adjutant
12 throughout the war. He received his telephone calls, he received his
13 mail, he forwarded whatever mail needed to be forwarded to
14 General Mladic. So he was like a personal assistant to General Mladic
15 throughout the war.
16 Q. To the right of that box is a box containing two names and is
17 entitled, "Department for Civil Affairs." Can you give us a brief
18 summary of what was the area of responsibility of this department?
19 A. The Department for Civil Affairs was subsequently set up sometime
20 in mid-1994. The Supreme Command issued a decision that a commission
21 should be set up at the government level and that commission would be in
22 charge of cooperating with UNPROFOR in respect of the transport of
23 humanitarian aid into the enclaves. Our representative, the
24 representative of the Main Staff in that commission, was Colonel
25 Milos Djurdjic. His assistant was Colonel Slavko Kralj. I don't know
1 where Djurdjic was before that but I know that Slavko Kralj was a member
2 of the 1st Krajina Corps in the command and he was in charge in liaising
3 with foreigners, with non-governmental organisations that were involved
4 in humanitarian aid, with UNPROFOR and so on and so forth.
5 Q. Can I now direct your attention to the seven boxes immediately
6 below General Mladic's name and connected to him with a black line.
7 These are seven sectors or components of the Main Staff. I'm going to
8 ask you to go one by one and tell the Chamber what each sector or
9 component was responsible for. Please pause after each sector so I can
10 ask you some additional questions about it. I will work from left to
12 The first box is entitled "staff sector" and has your name at the
13 top. Can you summarise the areas of responsibility which came under this
15 A. The staff sector. It is one of the key sectors in the
16 Main Staff. It is in charge of combat readiness of the armed forces, the
17 use of the armed forces, carrying out analyses of the functioning of the
18 armed forces and anything else that is directly linked to combat
19 activities. It had its own administrations, such as the operational
20 administration, based on commanders' decisions. It was in charge of
21 issuing directives, orders and information.
22 The next sector is the training sector. Actually, sorry, it is
23 an administration, administration for training, in charge of training
24 soldiers and officers in the VRS.
25 The third segment, albeit it is not an administration, are the
1 heads of combat arms directly linked to the Main Staff. The chief of the
2 Main Staff is also deputy commander because, in this seven-box structure,
3 it was supposed to be the first among equals and that is why that person
4 also is tasked with being deputy commander, because he was also in charge
5 of combat activities on the front lines.
6 Q. Can I ask you to explain who Major General Miletic is and what
7 his responsibilities were?
8 A. General Miletic was the chief of the operations administration in
9 the staff sector. In terms of function, he was my deputy. That is to
10 say, deputy of the Chief of Staff, which does not automatically mean that
11 he was the deputy in the -- my capacity of deputy commander. The task of
12 his administration was to translate information into orders, as ordered
13 by the commander.
14 Q. Now, to help us understand the role of each sector, can you tell
15 us what would be the responsibilities of your sector in the case of a
16 hypothetical military operation to take control of a town called A?
17 A. The task of my sector, or, rather, my task, that I am supposed to
18 implement through the three administrations, the training administration,
19 the combat arms administration, and the operations administration, was as
20 follows: First of all, assessing the situation, having in mind the
21 enemy, the possibility of our own armed forces to act in a particular
23 Also, I had to submit a proposal to the commander, in terms of
24 how the operation should be carried out. If the commander accepts it, he
25 can accept it partially or as a whole. Once the commander has said, "I
1 have decided," irrespective of what my proposal was, these
2 administrations, and primarily Miletic's administration, is in charge of
3 issuing documents, be it directives, orders, information, or anything of
4 the sort. Later on, they would also be in charge of analysis, anything
5 envisaged by the commander is something the operations administration is
6 supposed to translate into combat documents.
7 Q. Now, between your sector the staff sector and the other
8 components of the Main Staff, we see a green line which, according to the
9 legend, indicates coordination. Can you briefly tell us how this worked
10 in practice, this coordination function?
11 A. In practice, coordination mainly took place at the Main Staff
12 meetings. General Mladic had, under his direct command, my sector, the
13 staff sector, then the sector for morale, religious and legal affairs,
14 headed by General Gvero, also the logistics sector providing materiel
15 support headed by General Djukic. Next, the sector for the organisation,
16 mobilisation and manning levels, headed by Petar Skrbic whereas initially
17 it had been General Grubor. The next sector is the intelligence and
18 security administration headed by General Tolimir.
19 He also had two administrations directly linked to him because
20 they could not be placed within any of the sectors. The administrations
21 being the one for planning and finance, headed by General Stevo Tomic,
22 and the administration for the air force and anti-aircraft defence headed
23 by Jovo Maric. Later, it was Colonel Radoslav Pantic, since Maric was
24 killed at some point. In any case, it was towards the end of the war.
25 Q. General, can we return to some of the sectors so that I can you
1 some specific questions. With respect to the sector on moral guidance,
2 religious and legal affairs, what would be the responsibility of this
3 sector with respect to this hypothetical operation to take control of
4 Town A?
5 A. That sector, first of all, had to ascertain the level of morale
6 in our ranks, i.e. whether the armed force is capable to fight, whether
7 it is willing to fight or reluctant to fight.
8 Secondly, he had to tour the units, which were supposed to
9 implement the task, in order to explain the soldiers, and I always told
10 General Gvero that he had to hold meetings to tell soldiers about the
11 importance of particular tasks, so as to encourage those with low morale,
12 in order to have it raised to an appropriate level.
13 In addition to working on their morale, his sector was also in
14 charge of legal affairs pertaining to the VRS. In other words, they
15 monitored the work of military courts, they initiated or launched certain
16 court proceedings, unless it was done by the military prosecutor's
17 office, and they also controlled and analysed their work.
18 The third task they had was -- were religious affairs. He was
19 supposed to be in contact with the various religious communities in the
20 territory of Republika Srpska in order to meet their requests or to place
21 requests before them. For example, to make it possible for the soldiers
22 to freely express their religious denomination, et cetera. So in general
23 terms, cooperating with the various religious communities in
24 Republika Srpska.
25 Q. With respect to the logistics sector, what would its
1 responsibility be in terms of this hypothetical operation, briefly?
2 A. The first task of the sector would be to tell us what we have at
3 our disposal. How many pieces of weapons, how much ammunition, how much
4 food, fuel, based on the calculations by the Main Staff. They were also
5 supposed to ensure that sufficient qualities [as interpreted] are
7 The sector was not tasked with distributing it to units
8 individually because it was done by the staff sector. It was in charge
9 of distributing the so-called strategic materiel such as weapons,
10 ammunition, fuel, food, clothing and footwear. That was within the
11 competence of the staff sector. Every soldier, every day, irrespective
12 of whether it is peacetime or wartime, has to be clothed and I delegated
13 that responsibility to the logistics sector, whereas I retained the right
14 of the staff sector to be in charge of distributing the three main
15 assets: Weapons, ammunition and fuel.
16 Q. Now if we go to the bottom of the diagram, we see 21 boxes, six
17 of them containing the name of corps, one the name the air force and air
18 defence and the remainder different units whose name is indicated in the
19 individual box. I want to draw your attention to some of those boxes,
20 which have more relevance to this particular case, and ask you to explain
21 their primary responsibilities. Can I first direct your attention to the
22 65th Motorised Protection Regiment? Can you tell us what its primary
23 responsibilities were?
24 A. The very name of the regiment speaks to its tasks. It is a
25 protecting --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- Motorised Protection Regiment
3 providing protection to the Main Staff or individuals from the Main Staff
4 temporarily detached from Crna Rijeka. It was headed by Milomir Savcic.
5 He was promoted from Captain First Class to Colonel.
6 They had units trained to defend the Main Staff and the main
7 command post and they also used it frequently as the Main Staff's reserve
8 to intervene at such front lines where there was need to do so. In any
9 case, they were used to reinforce other corps. We rarely used it to
10 provide security at the command location. We mainly used it to assist
11 other units, depending on where the situation was at its worst at a
12 particular point in time at the front lines.
13 MR. GROOME:
14 Q. Under that box, we can see Military Police Battalion. Can I ask
15 you to describe what its responsibilities or function was?
16 A. The MP Battalion was part of the Motorised Protection Regiment.
17 The Intervention Unit was a unit supposed to keep internal order and
18 discipline in other units. In addition to the MP Battalion there was the
19 Protection Regiment had two motorised battalions which were supposed to
20 go in combat. They were also in charge of regular policing that the
21 military police usually does, including providing security for the
22 prominent officers of the army.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly repeat which
24 particular officers he mentioned.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. The interpreters are asking to you repeat the names of the
2 officers that you mentioned. They didn't hear it.
3 A. The commander of the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment, as we
4 can see here is Lieutenant-Colonel Milomir Savcic. The MP Battalion
5 commander is Major Zoran Malinic. He was there throughout the war.
6 Q. Now could I draw your attention to the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
7 Could I ask you to describe --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, I'm wondering whether -- what the
9 interpreters asked, whether that is -- I got the impression that they
10 were asking for the prominent officers of the army which were included in
11 the security system. Now, the answer seems to be about who was the
12 commander of that 65th Motorised Protection Regiment.
13 Witness, did you -- when you said that the military police
14 provided security for the prominent officers of the army, did you mention
15 any prominent officers?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not. That is why I think
17 the interpreters intervened. For example I did not mention the
18 MP Battalion commander's name but I did say that his military police was
19 to provide security for the prominent figures in the VRS who were mainly
20 from the Main Staff because the corps had their own military police in
21 charge of it. Do you want me to specify the names of the people that the
22 military police was supposed to provide security for?
23 JUDGE ORIE: There is no need to do that unless Mr. Groome would
24 ask you for it.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. General, did General Mladic have the authority to give a direct
2 order to anyone in the army?
3 A. Yes. One can find it under item "command" in the military
4 lexicon. A commander has the right to issue orders to anyone in the
5 armed forces.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The commander.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Mladic abided by that
8 rule. For example, if he wanted to issue an order to someone in the
9 brigade, he went through the corps commander. Karadzic, as the Supreme
10 Commander, by the same token, had the right to order -- issue orders two
11 levels down, say to a corps commander, but he was duty-bound to inform
12 General Mladic of it. When such a person received an order from the
13 Supreme Commander, at the earliest opportunity, he had to notify
14 General Mladic of having received such orders from the Supreme Commander.
15 In this case, General Mladic needed not to go through me as his deputy to
16 issue a task to, say, another sector. For example, to Skrbic, who was in
17 charge of organisation, mobilisation and manning levels. He could do it
18 directly because Skrbic was his direct subordinate. He was his assistant
19 for mobilisation. By the same token General Djukic was also his
20 assistant for logistics.
21 Q. General, could I return to my earlier question about the
22 10th Sabotage Detachment? Can you tell us what its area of
23 responsibility and function was?
24 A. Yes. I realised there was a mistake. The 2nd Sabotage
25 Detachment --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The 10th Detachment.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were in -- directly linked to
3 Colonel Salapura in the intelligence administration. The intelligence
4 administration was supposed to collect data on the enemy, neighbours,
5 et cetera. They engaged in the so-called forceful acquiring of
6 information. When that was necessary, they would engage the sabotage
8 Forceful acquiring of information, in other words, means
9 provoking a conflict with the enemy in a particular area to observe its
10 reaction, and based on the intensity of fire or the width of the front
11 line and its depth, the sabotage and reconnaissance personnel could
12 assess the enemy's strength, size, power, et cetera.
13 One can acquire information in two ways: By observation,
14 following documents and so on, or by forceful reconnaissance. Each
15 subordinate unit, such as the corps and brigades, had their respective
16 reconnaissance units for that. The sabotage detachment was used by
17 Colonel Salapura for the very thing, to acquire forcefully information on
18 the enemy.
19 Q. Now my final question on this diagram is -- the Chamber has heard
20 evidence about municipal Crisis Staffs. Did municipal Crisis Staff have
21 any role to play in the command structure of the VRS?
22 A. No. During the first meeting of the Main Staff, I think the
23 third conclusion that was reached was: To remove the power from the
24 Crisis Staffs to command the armed forces, including the 85 to 90.000 men
25 I mentioned, who were armed at the time.
1 That intention of ours was not implemented quickly, though,
2 because the brigades, and later on when the VRS was established, had
3 strong links with their respective municipalities in terms of food
4 supply, clothes and even fuel supply. Those people who provided
5 financial assistance believed that they had the right to command the
6 brigade that they supported.
7 Q. I apologise for interrupting you but I'm conscious of the time
8 and my only query was whether or not they had a role to play in the
9 command structure.
10 Could I now turn your attention to your office and General
11 Mladic's office? Can you describe that office and where you sat in
12 respect to General Mladic?
13 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry, while the witness is changing his
14 glasses, could I tender 65 ter 26016 into evidence as a public exhibit?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 26016 receives number P2212, Your
18 JUDGE ORIE: P2212 is admitted.
19 MR. GROOME:
20 Q. So, General, can you describe where your desk was in relation to
21 General Mladic's?
22 A. The very first evening when we gathered, General Mladic, inter
23 alia, said the following: I probably won't quote him precisely. But it
24 was to the effect that General Milovanovic was supposed to be his deputy.
25 He said everything I know he needs to know too. Alluding to the
1 importance of that with his assistants, saying that they ought to keep me
2 informed as well as General Mladic unless it is done during a common
3 meeting. He said that the room where we assembled, which was at the
4 entrance to the northern building in the first office on the right-hand
5 side, he said that it was to be our joint office, that is to say his and
7 He said that there may be opportunities when he would with be at
8 the front lines and I would be there, and vice versa, so he was trying to
9 save space. We had a single desk, which faced my seat, that is to say
10 the drawers were on my side, whereas General Mladic always sat on the
11 opposite side. If one of us was away from the Main Staff,
12 General Miletic came to be there instead of the person who was absent.
13 That is how we rotated throughout the war.
14 Next to the office was my resting room, so from the office one
15 could enter the room where I rested, whereas General Mladic had his
16 resting premises about a kilometre away. Under the regulations, the
17 commander and his deputy could not spend the night in each other's
18 proximity so as to avoid having both of them killed.
19 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that 65 ter 26005 be brought to our
20 screens? After the Chamber has had an opportunity to see the title of
21 the document, could I ask the usher to move to the second page of the
23 Q. General Milovanovic, when you see the document on the screen, can
24 you familiarise yourself with it? I'm not interested in the substance of
25 the document. What I'm interested in is for you to review the list of
1 telephone extensions belonging to members of the Main Staff. And my
2 question is simply whether these extension numbers are accurate, to the
3 best of your recollection.
4 A. It is dated the 28th of September, 1995, which is when I was on
5 the western front, be it in Drvar, Mrkonjic Grad or Banja Luka. I can't
6 tell you precisely. But I don't see any phone numbers here. You may
7 have mentioned another page?
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have to go to the next page in B/C/S.
9 MR. GROOME:
10 Q. I believe I see them on the page in B/C/S on the screen if I'm
11 not mistaken. It's just below the middle of the page?
12 A. I see it. Okay. I see them there.
13 Q. So it records your telephone number as extension 155. Do you
14 recall that as being accurate?
15 A. It is accurate.
16 Q. And with respect to the other extension numbers of the other
17 people there, do you recall those extensions as being accurate?
18 A. I can't say whether they are correct or not. I even forgot my
19 own extension, and in one of my testimonies, I was reminded by the
21 Q. Did General Mladic ever use your telephone extension with respect
22 to either making phone calls or receiving phone calls?
23 A. The extension 155 was the extension of the Main Staff. It is
24 next to my name here because I was the chief of the Main Staff. That is
25 to say the most senior person. It was in my and General Mladic's office.
1 Whenever the phone went off, if General Mladic was there, we did not have
2 an assistant or secretary to answer the call, and it was always done by
3 the most senior person in the office. In this case, the person being
4 General Mladic. So in other words, yes, he did use it.
5 I also had a line installed in my bedroom, as well as in the
6 operations centre, where there were between 12 and 15 people on a daily
7 basis making up the team that was on duty. It was also installed in the
8 building where General Mladic was during the night. It was also
9 installed in the subterranean command location in the operations room.
10 So on a daily basis, there could have been some 30 people who
11 passed by that phone. To conclude, General Mladic regularly used this
12 extension whenever we were in the office together.
13 Q. To clarify, you've now mentioned a physical location, several
14 physical locations of phones. Am I correct in understanding your
15 evidence that if someone rang 155, the appropriate phone would ring,
16 whether you were in your office or your bedroom or some of these other
17 locations that you've described?
18 A. No. We had an automatic switchboard. If somebody wanted to talk
19 to me personally, then the switchboard operator would first dial the
20 extension in my office. If I wasn't there, especially during the night,
21 he would then dial the number in my bedroom. If I wasn't there either,
22 then he would dial the extension number in the operations centre.
23 Those people, the duty officers, always knew where to find me.
24 If somebody wanted to talk to General Mladic, the procedure would be the
25 same. The only thing that they would skip would be my bedroom. I don't
1 know how the switchboard operators did that. In any case, it never
2 happened that all the telephones that responded to the number 155 rang at
3 the same time.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, I'm looking at the clock.
5 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, just before the break could
6 I tender this Exhibit 65 ter 26005 as a public exhibit?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 26005 receives number P2213, Your
10 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
11 Mr. Milovanovic, you may follow the usher. We'll take a break.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 1.17 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 1.42 p.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The witness will be escorted into the courtroom.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, you may proceed.
19 MR. GROOME: Thank you.
20 Q. General, I'd like to return for a moment to that period of time
21 when the VRS was being established and ask you: What role did the
22 existing JNA rules and doctrines play in the establishment of VRS rules
23 and doctrines?
24 A. Since most of us had been trained in the JNA, we were familiar
25 with those rules and regulations, and that's why it was decided that we
1 should continue applying them in the Army of Republika Srpska.
2 Obviously, to a lesser extent, in accordance with the size of the
3 army, the territory where it operated, the conduct of the enemy towards
4 us, and the material or financial circumstances of the state, and of its
5 army. We adopted all the rules and regulations of the JNA and adapted
6 them to our needs, obviously.
7 Q. Now, General, you've made a reference to the two roles that you
8 held. One was Chief of Staff to General Mladic, and also deputy
9 commander. Could I ask you to spend a few moments describing the
10 different responsibilities that each of those titles held?
11 A. As Chief of Staff, I managed the staff sector, first and
12 foremost, and then the staff as a whole. This means that I organised its
13 work, submitting reports to the commander about the work of the staff,
14 and as the deputy commander, I stood in for the commander when he was not
15 in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Or if I was authorised by
16 him to be in charge of a sector, either in the western front or the
17 eastern front, in the Podrinje area, in Herzegovina, wherever he sent me,
18 I would have the right to make fully legitimate decisions instead of the
20 Standing in for the commander could last for up to 30 days,
21 according to JNA rules. And if the commander didn't return within 30
22 days, either somebody else would be appointed, or I would be appointed as
23 fully fledged commander, and then my replacement would be appointed.
24 Luckily enough no such thing happened.
25 Q. In Mladic's absence, when you're serving in the capacity of
1 deputy commander, did you have the authority to issue an order to anyone
2 in the VRS?
3 A. Yes. But I had to inform General Mladic about everything that
4 I undertook, that I ordered, or any similar thing that happened during
5 his absence. And then he would either approve my move or he would evoke
6 [as interpreted] my decision, but in most cases he approved my decision.
7 Q. Now, when General Mladic is present, and you're serving as his
8 Chief of Staff, do you have the authority to issue an order to anyone in
9 the VRS without informing him or without his consent?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Now, if General Mladic left the country on a particular day, and
12 you became deputy commander, would you have changed or withdrawn orders
13 that Mladic had issued just prior to leaving the country?
14 A. No, not even in a condition that something happened to Mladic.
15 For as long as his decision was in effect, it would have been fully
17 Q. General, one of the terms used by military organisations is
18 "command and control." Can I ask you to explain to the Chamber, in
19 theoretical terms, what the understanding of this concept was to the VRS?
20 A. Command and control is a common term in the definition for
21 managing military in wartime and in peacetime. But let me talk about
22 wartime. Warfare is something that politicians do. It was the
23 Presidency of the Serbian Republic until the command was set up. And
24 then it was the same people when the Supreme Command was set up, it was
25 the Supreme Command who was in charge of war.
1 So the Supreme Command issues a decision to start a war or to
2 launch wartime activities, to determine war objectives and targets, and
3 to declare the war over. However, the command and control functions
4 exist in the army as well, especially when it comes to strategic and
5 operative commands. It is there that the Main Staff and the corps
6 commands, to a certain extent, run the war policy, they collect
7 information on the enemy, they propose to the Supreme Command as to how
8 the military as a whole should be used, how its separate parts should be
9 used. It is very difficult to separate the two functions, the control
10 and the command functions. I take the liberty to say that command means
11 to implement control, or it is a direct element of the control function.
12 And now on to the command function. Command is centralised,
13 first and foremost, and it goes top to bottom, from the Supreme Command,
14 across the Main Staff, corps commands, brigade commands, battalion
15 commands, to the commands of companies, squads. Persons in charge are
16 commanders in units higher than the battalion and komandirs for units
17 that are smaller than a company, including a company.
18 The command function has to be and it was in our military
19 centralised, it was continuous, and every activity had to finish with an
20 analysis exercise. In the meantime, between the analysis and the
21 previously issued order - which means that issuing order is also an
22 element of the command function - there is or -- the supervision or
23 control of how the order is implemented. Some militaries in -- of the
24 world have the so-called control organs in their staffs. We didn't have
25 that. We only introduced that towards the end of the war, after the
1 Dayton Accords were signed, we set up a group that controlled combat
3 During the war, we did that through our command system. If an
4 operation involved several corps, somebody from the Main Staff would be
5 assigned, it would be either the commander or his assistant, who would be
6 in charge of that operation that involved two or more corps.
7 The commander would authorise us to be in full command in such
8 sectors. It was usually one of the two of us, either General Mladic or
9 I, that would be sent to such a sector.
10 If war operations involving two or more corps were taking place
11 in two separate areas, then one of us would be sent to one place, and the
12 other to the other. Or the commander, in order to ensure the continuity
13 of the work of the Main Staff could assign one of his other assistants,
14 apart from me, to be in charge or rather to command such a combat
16 I believe that that happened only once during the war,
17 General Gvero was assigned to be in command of the operation Pancir that
18 involved the Sarajevo-Romanija and Drina Corps who were both engaged on
19 the front line facing Olovo [phoen].
20 Q. Now, General, earlier today --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, could I take the parties back to page
22 44, line 6, where it reads: And then he would either approve my move or
23 he would evoke my decision. I understood that logically to be revoke my
24 decision, but since evoke is an existing word as well.
25 MR. GROOME: If the Chamber likes I could clarify that with the
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we -- could do it right away.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter confirms that the word should
4 have been "revoke."
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then it has been confirmed by the interpreters that
6 we have to understand the answer as revoke.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Now, General, earlier today, you described that one of the first
10 tasks that General Mladic assigned to you was to establish
11 communications, and that you did this on the 12th of May. Can I ask you
12 to tell us, what is the relationship between effective communications and
13 effective command and control?
14 A. Orders and information that were issued by the superior bodies to
15 the inferior units are conveyed in several ways. The first way is using
16 telephone. Obviously, it has to be a protected telephone line during the
17 war. The second way was to be -- was to send coded texts. The third way
18 was to use radio communication system. We used this very little between
19 the strategic and operational level. It is normally used on a tactical
21 And the fourth way was using couriers, i.e. couriers would be
22 physically carrying mail. When I spoke about establishing communication
23 with corps command using a button, the push of a button, I wanted to
24 emphasise the speed of conveying a message from superior command to all
25 the subordinated -- subordinate units and vice versa.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Clarification of a matter which appears in the
2 transcript as between brackets with a question mark.
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. Could I clarify something to make sure that the record accurately
5 records your evidence. When you said radio communications were used, in
6 what types of operations were radio -- was radio communication typically
8 A. Radio communication means were most commonly used in tactical
9 conditions, i.e. in actions, I can't say operations. However, in the
10 course of fighting that involved brigades and battalions. That would be
11 the tactical level because those units were on a tactical level and they
12 were the ones who most commonly used radio communication means.
13 Using the command code for the secret command of units. So this
14 was a coded message. They would say one thing when sending a message,
15 and the receiver would understand the message although the words that
16 were used were completely different. So there was a coded message. For
17 example, the message could be: Launch an attack 555. The subordinated
18 unit would understand that 555 is actually the code for launch an attack.
19 Q. Now, General, between the time that you established
20 communications on the 12th of May, 1995, until the very end of the
21 conflict, at the end of -- I'm sorry, 1992, 12th of May, 1992, until the
22 very end of the conflict at the end of 1995, was there ever a time that
23 communication systems failed?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When was that?
1 A. I believe that it happened on the 29th of August, 1995, when NATO
2 started bombarding the Army of Republika Srpska. It lasted for 17 days.
3 On the first day, 13 Tomahawk projectiles were launched, all of them at
4 the same time, and they hit all of our 13 communications hubs. For two
5 hours after that, we did -- our system was not operational, all of our
6 systems were down. That was the only interruption. In the course of the
7 war, there were small interruptions here or there in a smaller area but
8 they were never total interruptions in the communication system.
9 Q. Without going into detail, how many levels of backup were there
10 in the event the primary communication system failed? How many
11 independent systems were there?
12 A. I would like to call them communication system sets. We
13 inherited our communication systems from the 2nd Military District, i.e.
14 the command of the 2nd Military District. We also inherited the
15 communication system of the republican staff of Territorial Defence of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was headquartered in Pale. And we also had a
17 communication set of the brigade of the Supreme Command, which had
18 withdrawn from Sarajevo back to Serbia, i.e. the personnel and the
19 vehicles withdrew and what remained behind were the communication system.
20 That's how we ended up with one set always operational, the second at the
21 ready, and a third set was usually out for repairs in one of our
22 factories, either Cajevic or Kosmos in Banja Luka. The fourth set, the
23 courier communications is what I didn't mention because the only thing
24 that we had as parts of that system were couriers and their vehicles.
25 Q. Do I understand your evidence correctly that between the
1 12th of May, 1992, and the end of the war in 1995, there was only one
2 complete interruption of the communication systems for two hours and then
3 there were some minor interruptions that were restricted to a particular
4 geographic area? Do I understand your evidence correctly in this regard?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, General, I want to return to the concept of command and
7 control, and would I be correct in saying that the conduct of regular
8 meetings was an important feature of how General Mladic exercised his
9 command and control over VRS troops?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I will ask you detailed questions about these meetings. To
12 assist the Chamber, can I ask you first to list all of the regular
13 meetings and then all of the ad hoc meetings and then I will ask specific
14 questions about each one, including who was present and what was the
15 typical agenda. My first question is: Did Mladic have a regular daily
17 A. Yes. When he was in the Main Staff.
18 Q. Did Mladic hold a weekly reporting meeting?
19 A. General Mladic had regular meetings, every day, every morning.
20 Those meetings started around 7.00 in the morning. If needed, those
21 meetings were also organised in the afternoon, if anything had happened
22 during the day that required such a meeting to take place.
23 Q. I'll ask you some very specific questions about this meeting.
24 First, who were the regular attendees at this regular daily meeting?
25 A. The commander and all of his assistants. It also happened that
1 deputies of the commanders' assistants were present. For example,
2 General Miletic would sometimes attend with me. Colonel Kovacevic was
3 sometimes with General Djukic. Later on, Colonel Milanovic would also
4 attend. Savo Sokanovic sometimes attended together with Gvero. In other
5 words, us assistants were allowed to bring on our assistants or deputies,
6 but most often it was only the commander and his assistants.
7 Q. And to be clear, when you use the phrase "assistant," you're
8 referring to the assistant commanders in charge of the different sectors
9 and components of the Main Staff; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. Those were the deputies of the chiefs of various sectors.
11 There were no sector commanders. There were sector chiefs.
12 Q. Now, you've mentioned that during certain periods, it was held
13 more than once a day. Can I ask you to summarise which periods of the
14 conflict this was and at what time of the day would such meeting
15 typically be held?
16 A. Those evening meetings would take place if something changed on
17 the front lines. For example, if we had lost some territory or we -- if
18 we had suffered major losses. Or if in the meantime the Supreme Command
19 had requested something from us or ordered us to do something, it was
20 then that the commander would invite us to an evening meeting in order to
21 decide as to how to react, whether to try and return the lost territory,
22 how to carry out and implement the Supreme Commander's order, i.e. how to
23 remedy any situation that may have occurred during the day.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to clarify one matter in relation to
25 the regular morning meetings. Mr. Milovanovic, you told us who were the
1 regular participants, and I think the last question of Mr. Groome was not
2 properly understood and answered. You said the assistants were present,
3 and the question of Mr. Groome was were the assistant commanders in the
4 Main Staff present during these morning meetings. The assistant
5 commanders meaning the chiefs of administrations.
6 Did you understand my question?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did understand it, but I'm
8 waiting for your permission to speak.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When I finished my question, you were allowed to
10 speak. Please answer my question.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The way I understood your question,
12 or Mr. Groome's question, was that Mr. Groome misspoke when he said
13 "commanders." It was not commanders but chiefs of sectors. There was
14 just one commander in the staff, and that was General Mladic. All the
15 others, including me, we were all chiefs. So when I said "assistants,"
16 Mr. Groome interpreted that as commanders' assistants but those were the
17 assistants of the chiefs. In the army, we speak about the person's
18 titles starting or ending with a K.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understand that but exactly that is the
20 misunderstanding. I understood the question of Mr. Groome to be: Are
21 these the assistant commanders who are the chiefs of sectors in the
22 Main Staff? Are they called assistant commanders of the commander of the
23 Main Staff?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Each of the sector chiefs is
25 also the assistant commander for that sector. Just as I was also the
1 deputy commander.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is now well understood. Thank you very
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, I'm looking at the clock. It would be
5 time to adjourn.
6 MR. GROOME: That would be a suitable place to break.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Milovanovic, we will adjourn for the day. We
8 would like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.30 in this same
9 courtroom. I would like to instruct you that you should not speak with
10 anyone or communicate in whatever other way about your testimony, whether
11 that is testimony you've given today or whether that's testimony still to
12 be given. If that is clear to you, you may follow the usher.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. Thank you.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow,
16 Wednesday, the 18th of September, at 9.30 in the morning in this same
17 courtroom, I.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day of
20 September, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.