1 Wednesday, 18 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 in and around this
6 courtroom. Madam Registrar, would 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. The Chamber is aware
10 that the parties want to raise preliminaries. From what we understood,
11 it would be about the Prosecution asking for one extra hour for the
12 present witness. The Defence, not objecting that much, if they get a
13 fifth hour as well. Is that a good summary?
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the issue I wanted to raise was
15 something different. Yesterday the Chamber asked us to report on some
16 matters within 24 hours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but let me see whether this is also an issue
18 apart from whether --
19 MR. GROOME: Yes, the Prosecution had given notice yesterday that
20 it was going to revise its estimate based on the pace at which things
21 proceeded yesterday.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Five hours.
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You don't object to five hours -- if you get five
1 MR. LUKIC: Exactly, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: That is granted.
3 Let's now move to the other issue you would like to raise.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, yesterday the Chamber asked the
5 Prosecution for information with respect to the remaining bar table
6 motions and 92 bis motions. So I provide the following information. The
7 remaining bar table motions can be filed as the Chamber set out
8 yesterday. With respect to Rule 92 bis motions for RM182, RM378, and
9 RM379, they can be filed by the end of the month. With respect to Rule
10 92 bis motion for RM98, that was filed yesterday.
11 The Prosecution requests slight variances in the Chamber's
12 timetable regarding the other four witnesses mentioned yesterday. With
13 respect to RM183 and 184, these are two witnesses the Prosecution has
14 sought leave to add to its witness list. Once the Chamber enters its
15 decision on these two witnesses, the Prosecution will be in a position to
16 submit its motion under 92 bis in a relatively short period.
17 For RM509, whether or not the Prosecution ultimately adduces this
18 witness's evidence is dependent upon the Chamber's decision on a pending
19 application with respect to the admission of exhibits through witness
20 RM506. A witness who testified on the 12th of July this year.
21 The Prosecution requests three days from the date of that
22 decision to review the Chamber's decision and for the Prosecution to make
23 its own decision whether the evidence of RM509 is still necessary. It
24 may be that the Prosecution withdraws that witness.
25 Now, with respect to the last remaining witness, 096, the end of
1 September falls on a Monday, the Prosecution is requesting that the
2 deadline for RM096 be moved to Friday of that week, the 4th of October.
3 The attorney working on that application is engaged with other tasks at
4 the moment. Should the Chamber enter decisions with respect to RM183,
5 184, and 506 in the near future the Prosecution would also endeavour to
6 file any 92 bis motions for these witnesses before the 4th of October as
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You earlier said for 183 and 184, relatively
9 short period. If we would deliver that decision for example today or
10 tomorrow or -- what is your relatively short period?
11 MR. GROOME: We would ask for the 4th of October then, Your
13 JUDGE ORIE: That might be a full two weeks.
14 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Anything else, Mr. Groome.
18 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, is there anything you would like to
21 submit, either in response to, or in relation to, what Mr. Groome just
23 MR. LUKIC: I'm just discussing with my colleagues. We don't
24 know who is RM183 or RM184.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you want to do that. And perhaps the
1 Chamber could, perhaps later today, also give some clarity as when
2 certain decisions, perhaps already very soon, could be delivered. That's
3 because everyone is working hard on these matters.
4 MR. LUKIC: At this moment the Defence is not in a position to
6 JUDGE ORIE: I see that. If after we have reviewed who the
7 witnesses are and if there is anything you'd like to raise, please do so
8 within the next day, not later than by tomorrow, I would say the
9 beginning of the session of tomorrow. Yes.
10 Then could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
11 Yes, I'd like to put a -- something on the record. That is a
12 follow-up concerning protective measures for Witness RM70. On the
13 2nd of July, the Prosecution sought the Chamber's permission to use the
14 name of Witness RM70 in a letter. The Chamber hereby puts on the record
15 that it made the necessary consultations, pursuant to Rule 75, and that
16 the Chamber granted the request on the 18th of July.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 WITNESS: MANOJLO MILOVANOVIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through Interpreter]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Milovanovic. I'd like to remind
21 you that you are still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at
22 the beginning of your testimony, that you'll speak the truth, the whole
23 truth and nothing but the truth.
24 Mr. Groome will now continue his examination.
25 MR. GROOME: Thank you.
1 Examination by Mr. Groome: [Continued]
2 Q. Good morning, General. General, before I begin, I am concerned
3 that at the pace we are going that I may not have time to ask all of the
4 questions in the allotted time that I have.
5 Can I ask you in particular with these next series of questions
6 related to meetings and reports received by the Main Staff to give brief
7 answers. At the end of those questions I'll give you an opportunity to
8 add anything else that you think is relevant for the Chamber to know.
9 Now, yesterday we were talking about the regular daily meeting
10 and there was some confusion about who were the regular attendees at the
11 regular daily meeting. Can I ask you to take the pointer that you were
12 using yesterday. I've asked that the diagram be placed on the easel once
13 again, and can I ask you to point to the people that attended the regular
14 daily meeting?
15 JUDGE ORIE: And could it be turned a bit because the witness
16 explained yesterday that he had difficulties in turning his head.
17 MR. GROOME: Just maybe not quite so much so I can see as well.
18 That's good.
19 Q. Can you please do that now?
20 A. Yes, I can. There were those early morning meetings which were
21 attended by the commander of the Main Staff. All the chiefs of various
22 sectors. And they could bring an assistant to those early morning
23 meetings, or if the commander so decided, the entire Main Staff could
24 meet and that depended on the agenda that was to be discussed, i.e. on
25 the problems in the various theatres of war.
1 Q. Now, if General Mladic was not present in the Main Staff, if he
2 was in the field or he was out of the country, would this meeting still
3 take place?
4 A. Yes. The meetings would still be held even if General Mladic
5 wasn't there. Then I would be in charge. However, sometimes it happened
6 that neither of us were there, when we attended the meetings of the
7 Supreme Command, it would be the most senior chief of sector who would be
8 in charge of the meeting, who would chair the meeting. In any case,
9 those meetings took place every morning and they started approximately at
11 Q. And just to be clear, who would chair the meeting when
12 General Mladic was in the Main Staff?
13 A. General Mladic chaired the meeting when he was present in the
14 Main Staff.
15 Q. Now, you said that on some occasions it was held more than once a
16 day. Can I ask you to direct your attention to the period of 1992 and
17 can you tell us with what frequency an evening meeting was also held, an
18 evening daily meeting was held?
19 A. Those daily meetings in the evening were held as necessary. They
20 were not mandatory. They didn't happen every day. But they did take
21 place two or three times a week, and they were scheduled if the situation
22 on the front lines so demanded.
23 Q. If we can think hypothetically, if there was a very quiet day
24 where nothing really happened on any battlefield and there were no issues
25 really to be discussed, would the morning daily meeting still take place?
1 A. Yes. Those meetings were always held in the morning. That's
2 when we analysed the plan of work for the previous day or we would
3 discuss the plan of work for the next day. In any case, those meetings
4 were taking place on a regular basis.
5 Q. Were decisions made during these meetings with respect to what
6 orders would be issued to the troops?
7 A. That also did take place. Those meetings were mostly the place
8 where we analysed the regular combat reports sent by the units for the
9 previous day. Then the commander decided who should be helped, who
10 should be assisted, which of the decisions had to be redrafted. In any
11 case, those meetings were held regularly.
12 Q. My final question on these meetings: Can you give us some sense
13 as to who were the primary speakers at these meetings, if there were
14 primary speakers?
15 A. Well, when he called the meeting to order, the commander actually
16 introduced the issues that were to be discussed. I was the first
17 speaker, as the Chief of Staff. I gave my assessment of the situation.
18 My conclusions, after the assessment of the situation. I also submitted
19 my proposals to the commander as to how to deal with certain issues and
20 then the other assistants to the commander voiced their objections to my
21 assessment or to my proposals. Then they added their own proposals or
22 something of the sort, and when that discussion was over, the commander
23 would make his decision and he would then issue tasks and orders.
24 Q. Now I want to turn your attention now to weekly reporting
25 meetings for the next few minutes. My first question is: When and where
1 were these meetings held?
2 A. Such meetings were held in the operations centre of the Main
3 Staff. That was the biggest room in those prefabricated buildings. It
4 could hold up to 30 people. As for the last part of your question, you
5 lost me. I didn't understand it.
6 Q. When were these meetings typically held? Was there a particular
7 day of the week or --
8 A. It would be at the end of the week, either on Fridays or on
9 Saturdays. What we did, first we lined up the working maps of the corps
10 commands with the map of the Main Staff. I would do that on the eve of
11 the meeting and then I would tell the commander whether there were any
12 discrepancies between the working map that was maintained by the corps
13 command and the map that was maintained by the operations administration
14 of the Main Staff.
15 We often looked at the corps map based on their reports, and they
16 did the same based on the reports of their subordinate units. There are
17 often discrepancies in that exercise. When that is discovered, we then
18 invite the corps commander to the Main Staff in the course of the week so
19 there could be an alignment of the maps, so that all of the maps that we
20 worked with depicted the same situation across the entire theatre of war.
21 Q. These weekly reporting meetings, who regularly attended these
23 Or, perhaps can I ask the question a little bit differently? Did
24 all of the people who attended the regular daily meeting also attend the
25 weekly reporting meeting?
1 A. We usually called our weekly meetings as briefings, and the same
2 persons attended as the persons who attended the morning meetings, plus
3 the entire operations administration, from the staff sector, as well as
4 the chiefs of the other sectors in the Main Staff, who also decided who
5 they would bring along among their assistants.
6 They had their subsectors and those would usually be the chiefs
7 of the subsector. For example, there was the personnel administration,
8 the mobilisation administration, and the chief of that sector could bring
9 all of his three assistants, who were in charge of the respective
10 subsectors. And as I told you, the operative administration attended
11 those briefings in their complete composition.
12 Q. And was the agenda for this meeting different in any way from the
13 daily meeting, and if so, can you describe the difference?
14 A. The agenda for those weekly meetings or briefings were drafted --
15 was drafted by the commander of the Main Staff and he would convey the
16 agenda to me on the eve of the meeting and then I would communicate the
17 most interesting points to the chiefs of sectors.
18 All of us prepared the reports that had to do with the work of
19 our own sector. When the commander started the briefing, he would invite
20 me first to give the assessment of the situation on the front line, and
21 to give my proposal for the use of the military or parts thereof. And
22 then if each chief of sector reported on his own sector as to what was
23 done in the course of the week, what is supposed to be done during the
24 next week, a discussion follows, and such meetings, such briefings
25 usually lasted for an hour and a half to two hours tops.
1 Q. Were -- at this meeting, were -- or this briefing, as you
2 describe it, were decisions taken and orders issued?
3 A. Yes. At the end of the briefing, the commander usually stood up
4 behind his desk and he would then say, "Tasks," upon the proposal of the
5 Chief of Staff. And then he added something of his own, something that
6 he had already came up with earlier.
7 At the end of the briefing, there would be seven, eight,
8 sometimes ten tasks given by the commander. However, if a plan for a
9 future operation was discussed at the briefing, then in addition to the
10 tasks that the commander gave to the staff, the commander would also
11 issue a decision on the use of the military based on the proposal tabled
12 by his assistants. He would then say, "I decided" and then he would say
13 what he decided. And then he would say whoever is opposed or -- whatever
14 was said during this discussion would then become moot because we would
15 all have to focus on the commander's decision and we would all have to
16 follow through.
17 Q. Now, can I ask you, can you give us a sense of whether Mladic's
18 subordinates would have felt able to have engaged in a significant
19 military operation, absent his decision or his order, with respect to
20 that specific operation?
21 A. No. I was the only one who could do that, if General Mladic was
22 not anywhere in the theatre or if he was not in Republika Srpska at all.
23 Q. Now, if General Mladic was unable to attend either the daily
24 meeting or the weekly briefing because he was away from the Main Staff,
25 would he be briefed at some point about the discussions and the decisions
1 taken by you at those meetings and briefings?
2 A. Yes. Immediately after the two of us met. Even if we had
3 communicated another means of communications, I would inform him about
4 the contents of the briefing, on what I had decided as his deputy. He
5 would then either give it a thought or not, he would accept some of the
6 things, he would reject some of the things. He would comport himself as
7 a true commander. He would usually accept my decisions but he would
8 always have something to add to them.
9 Q. Can I now ask you whether there was a briefing or meeting
10 referred to as a monthly reporting meeting?
11 A. Yes. It would be the last meeting of the week, because it was
12 longer than the others, since the analysis of activities of the military
13 were done for the whole month. It wasn't necessarily scheduled monthly
14 but usually at the end of the week and it amounted to analysing the
15 month's work. It did make part of the overall work plan of the
16 Main Staff, monthly work plan, that is.
17 Q. Who regularly attended these meetings? And again could I ask
18 you, did all of the people who attend the daily meeting, did they also
19 attend this monthly meeting?
20 A. The monthly meetings were usually attended by all those members
21 of the Main Staff who were present, whoever was on the location.
22 Occasionally some of them were in some subordinate units and in different
23 theatres. So there was no classification per se. Whoever was present
24 attended the meeting, including the commander and chiefs of sectors,
25 their assistants, desk officers, everyone save for the stenographers.
1 Q. At this monthly meeting, did corps commanders also attend?
2 A. Not always, but when the Main Staff and the commander of the
3 Main Staff made key decisions on the implementation of an operation,
4 which touched upon one of the six strategic goals, we did so as part of
5 the collegium -- commander's collegium meetings which included all of his
6 assistants, that is to say all chiefs of sectors. And we regularly
7 scheduled extended collegium meetings and it was the corps commanders who
8 were supposed to attend such meetings to be present when the commander
9 made decisions. That type of meetings was referred to as the commander's
11 Q. I just want to make sure that I understand your evidence. There
12 were two additional meetings that were held on an ad hoc basis and these
13 were called the collegium of the commander of the Main Staff, and there
14 was also an extended version of this which had additional people attend?
15 Did I understand you correctly?
16 A. Yes. Yet there was another type of meeting, which was the
17 personnel council session. In addition to the commanders' assistants, we
18 could also summon the subordinate corps commanders.
19 Q. And what was the typical agenda at this council of commanders,
20 I think is what you've termed this. What was the typical agenda at this
22 A. At such personnel council meetings, personnel policy was
23 discussed most frequently, such as the appointment of commanders, the
24 appointment of certain assistants of the commander, if there were any
25 changes in the Main Staff. Then promotion or awarding ranks to officers,
1 implementation of stimulative measures, so to say, such as commendations,
2 awards and so on. And anything that had to do with individual officers
3 in the VRS. The corps commanders forwarded their proposals on promotion
4 or measures of discipline, and such matters were always discussed at
5 personnel council meetings of the Main Staff commander.
6 Q. So, do I understand you correctly that this would have been a
7 venue in which disciplinary matters would have been discussed?
8 A. No. It was the kind of forum where personnel matters were
9 discussed. Personnel policy was implemented through this council as
10 envisaged by the commander of the Main Staff.
11 Q. If there had been an allegation that an officer had engaged in
12 some improper conduct, was there a venue in which that matter would be
14 A. I did not see that during the war because disciplinary procedures
15 were in the hands of commanders of units. They were supposed to be in
16 charge of disciplining their ranks. Breaches of discipline can be
17 forwarded by subordinate commanders to the competent military courts of
18 their region, and it could so happen that the military court would return
19 the file to the commander, as their estimate is that no procedure ought
20 to be initiated. In that case, the commander in question can discipline
21 a soldier up to the level of a short prison sentence, since the state
22 of -- since the state of war was never declared, we still worked under
23 peacetime regulations.
24 Q. Now, if I can return to the collegium of the commander --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, if would you allow me to ask
1 clarification of part of one of your previous answers. You said the
2 corps commanders forwarded their proposals on promotion or measures of
3 discipline and such matters were always discussed at personnel council
4 meetings of the Main Staff commander.
5 On the following questions you said, more or less, that this was
6 -- discipline was not discussed. Could you give examples of the measures
7 of discipline you said were always discussed at the personnel council
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think I misspoke
10 when I said measures of discipline. The Main Staff commander did not
11 decide on how to discipline a subordinate, because there were regulations
12 in place for that. It was well known. A company commander may
13 discipline a soldier or a subordinate officer, and could apply certain
14 measures. The battalion commander could give seven days prison sentence
15 and then the prison sentence went up the higher the level was. So I
16 believe I misspoke when I mentioned disciplinary measures.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And did you intend to refer to something else?
18 Or was it just that you said promotion and then discipline was a total
19 mistake? Or did you intend to refer to something else?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I wanted to mention, and
21 perhaps this is what I meant when I said disciplinary measures. For
22 example, the commander's collegium decided on removals of individual
23 commanders, upon proposals of the subordinate commands. For example, a
24 corps commander requested or asked that a brigade commander from his
25 corps be removed. It is still a kind of disciplinary measure because
1 it's a forceful removal. Someone was not doing their job properly and
2 the brigade commander wanted that person removed. So it is a kind of
3 punishment. That's what I had in mind. But I did misspeak when I said
4 disciplinary measures.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. I have a very brief question with respect to the collegium of the
8 commander, both the normal and extended version of these meetings.
9 During these meetings, would General Mladic take decisions about how
10 operations were to proceed and to give orders?
11 A. The commander's collegium had a very strict purpose. The
12 commander or the Main Staff through mutual daily or weekly consultations
13 and briefings, reached certain conclusions. For example, an operation
14 had to be carried out in order to improve the position of the armed
15 forces in Republika Srpska.
16 For example, in Operation Lukavac 93 the goal was to connect
17 Herzegovina with the rest of Republika Srpska. The commander and
18 I always had a thorough discussion in the woods nearby and then we would
19 conclude that the collegium had to meet and at such collegium meetings
20 the commander would state his goal that he wanted to achieve by summoning
21 the people there. We always, or occasionally, called the corps
22 commanders as well in the extended version.
23 Since Lukavac 93 was to be carried out in the area of the
24 Herzegovina, Sarajevo and Drina Corps, we also invited the other corps
25 commanders so that the commander would put his idea to them, his general
1 concept of the operation. As well as what he needs for that. And the
2 other corps commanders not participating in the operation were there to
3 listen. In this operation specifically it was so decided that the 1st
4 Corps would lend two brigades, the 2nd Corps would lend one brigade and
5 in the Drina Corps, a separate so-called combined Drina Brigade was
6 supposed to be set up.
7 So we would put the corps commanders in a position to participate
8 in the process of decision making. The Main Staff can think up anything,
9 but if General Grubac, the commander of the Drina Corps, says, I can't do
10 that, it boils down to nothing. Then of course he had to explain why he
11 couldn't do it. That was the goal of the extended collegium meetings.
12 Every collegium meeting had a particular topic on its agenda, a
13 theme. It wasn't like we -- that we discussed just about anything that
14 was discussed at daily meetings but we dealt only with very specific
15 topics, assisting the commander in reaching the best decision.
16 Q. Now, after this rather detailed discussion that was held at these
17 collegiums, would, in fact, General Mladic then take his decision and
18 issue orders along the lines of the decision?
19 A. There were two possibilities. First, General Mladic could do it
20 immediately, at the meeting of the collegium. Thus concluding the
21 meeting. But General Mladic was no robot. He would usually take time.
22 He would say, "We now conclude this meeting, I will make my final
23 decision tomorrow. This part of the meeting is finished. And a decision
24 is to follow" at this and that time. So he needed time to analyse the
25 proposals of all subordinates including the corps commanders, in order to
1 come up with a vision of his own.
2 Usually, all decisions pertaining to collegium meetings were made
3 the day later because it were -- they were serious matters and
4 comprehensive operations which required time. In the meantime he would
5 even consult, perhaps, one of the assistants or corps commanders before
6 reaching his decision. It could happen that a decision was made
7 immediately but usually it was prolonged until he made a final decision
8 when he would take the time necessary.
9 Q. Now, General, you've spoken about these several different
10 meetings. My last question with respect to these meetings is the
11 following. Can I ask you to explain to the Chamber your understanding of
12 how these meetings contributed to good command and control over the VRS
14 A. First of all, the commander would be given an opportunity to hear
15 who thought what at such meetings, and then he would reach a conclusion
16 of his own as to who was wrong or who was right. He would also take into
17 account the different traits of his subordinates. He also took into
18 account - he actually had to take into account - our positions, our
20 Commanders are usually abrupt, and Mladic, for himself, would
21 usually say that he's easily jump started. But it was important that
22 such meetings are not concluded with people being dissatisfied. Those
23 whose proposals were not accepted were usually given an explanation why,
24 either it collided with the situation in the field or in collision with
25 the proposals of other commanders and so on and so forth.
1 We had some radical proposals of individual corps commanders,
2 which could simply not be accepted, and it would then be explained to
3 them why it could not be accepted.
4 Q. Now, General, I want to now move to the topic of reports and
5 I want to deal with written reports separately from oral reports. Now,
6 yesterday, you said that on the 12th of May, you began to receive combat
7 reports. So my first question to you in this regard is: Can you explain
8 what a daily combat report is?
9 A. Daily, or actually regular daily combat reports had to be sent by
10 every subordinate command before 8.00 p.m. That is to say, between 6 and
11 8.00 p.m. Such reports had to be forwarded to the Main Staff for the
12 last day in written form.
13 The contents of such reports were prescribed by regulation.
14 First, it contained enemy information, in other words what the enemy did
15 that day, did it attack, defend, make incursions. So overall enemy
16 activities during the day.
17 Item number 2: What he or his corps did that day. Attacked,
18 defended. So the same thing as the enemy.
19 Item 3, which we added later on, included information on adjacent
20 units, our neighbouring units. But that is how we controlled the corps
21 commands in terms of their ability to monitor the situation in the
22 theatre. If the commander of the Herzegovina Corps reported that the
23 enemy attacked the Vis feature in Srecko Polje, for example, the staff
24 sector would refer to the East Bosnia Corps commander's report to see
25 whether that piece of information would be found there, about the attack
1 on Vis, because it was on the border between the Drina and the East
2 Bosnia Corps. If in the East Bosnia Corps commander's report it is found
3 to be missing, it means that one of the corps commanders is not following
4 the situation. Or that General Simic, commander of the East Bosnia
5 Corps, was unaware of the attack on the Drina Corps. Or the Drina Corps
6 commander blew things out of proportion. And then the next day, teams
7 would be set up at the Main Staff to go to the location to see who was
8 right. So we made the corps commanders responsible for monitoring not
9 only their activities but those of their neighbouring units.
10 The next item, item 4, was the corps commander's decision for the
11 next day, that is to say what was to be done the next day.
12 Then we have an item on logistics supply, and first we would
13 always have the losses, the killed and wounded during the day, the sick.
14 That item was usually the most comprehensive one because it included
15 commanders' requests for materiel for the corps.
16 Then if there was anything in terms of morale and policy to be
17 discussed, and the item following that, it could be skipped if there were
18 no problems during the day.
19 The next item was security issues, say something was stolen,
20 there was a fight between soldiers, there were deserters and so on and so
22 Lastly, command and communications. Usually the commander would
23 say, the corps commander would say: The command post, unchanged. Or a
24 forward command post was established at this and that location. I can
25 add by saying that the corps commanders could not relocate their command
1 posts without an approval from the Main Staff commander. Forward command
2 posts, on the other hand, could be designated by themselves alone in
3 order to assist their units, but they had had to keep the Main Staff
5 So such were reports of subordinate units to the Main Staff.
6 However, this doesn't conclude the story of daily reporting.
7 Since in the armed forces, there is a separate term which
8 specifies that reports have to be sent as from 6.00 p.m., meaning by
9 6.00 p.m. they should have received reports from their subordinates,
10 brigade commanders.
11 Brigade commanders had to assemble their information based on
12 their battalion commanders' reports received previously. Battalion
13 commanders had to tour the positions of their company commanders.
14 So to cut things short, the process of reporting on the situation
15 at the front lines began early in the afternoon and then from the
16 battalion to the brigade, from the brigade to the corps, from the corps
17 to the Main Staff. It would all take about three hours. We were
18 supposed to receive reports before 8.00 p.m.
19 From 3.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. we have five hours during which the
20 commanders were duty-bound to report to their commander and to the Main
21 Staff by phone, by protected line, that I mentioned yesterday. They
22 would have to report that there were no significant changes in the
23 meantime or that there were changes, and they had to be specific.
24 However, they usually declined to speak openly on telephone lines and
25 they would say, it is included in the report.
1 So in terms of the meeting, the next morning, at 7.00 a.m., by
2 that time we would have the reports of all subordinate commands. So this
3 concludes the story of the subordinates' report.
4 The Main Staff had an obligation, by midnight, to forward a
5 regular combat report to the Supreme Command. A person was designated in
6 the operations administration who was in charge of it. At first, it was
7 the position of the Supreme Command to have such reports signed by the
8 commander, but it proved to be too much of a burden because otherwise he
9 wouldn't be able to go to bed before 11.00 or midnight on any day. Thus,
10 that obligation was delegated to the Chief of Staff. And that is how we
11 were approached by our subordinate units as well.
12 So Karadzic would receive our regular combat report by midnight
13 at the latest.
14 Now as for the procedure of the Supreme Command and who studied
15 those reports and received them, it was their own business. The Supreme
16 Commander would probably receive information from that report the next
17 day. And if he had a request for clarification, or an order of his own,
18 he would announce it by phone to the commander of the Main Staff or to
19 me, if General Mladic was absent, and then further measures were taken.
20 So those are the two basic ways of reporting.
21 I'd rather not discuss interim reports because I have included
22 such possibilities in the description.
23 There was another way commanders could report. It was in the
24 morning before our meeting, before -- between 6.00 and 7.00 a.m. By
25 phone they could report whether there were any changes during the night
1 in their sector of the front or not.
2 Since no one of the three armies in Bosnia-Herzegovina engaged in
3 frequent night-time operations, usually there weren't such problems.
4 There were of course incursions by sabotage groups occasionally but that
5 could happen on any given side.
6 Q. General, thank you for that detailed explanation. We have two
7 minutes before the break. I'd like to ask you some very specific
8 questions and if possible could you answer in a "yes" or "no" answer.
9 You gave a description of the format of the report, the corps report to
10 the Main Staff. So my question now is: Did the reports from battalion
11 to brigade and brigade to corps, did they also follow the same format?
12 Did they have similar information that you've described?
13 A. Exactly the same. It's just that their contents were smaller in
14 terms of text size.
15 Q. What time of day would a battalion be responsible for having sent
16 the report to the brigade? Can you just give us the time of day?
17 A. Sometime in the afternoon, between 4.00 and 5.00 p.m.
18 Q. What time of day did the brigade have the responsibility to send
19 its report to its -- their superiors in the corps?
20 A. An hour later, so between 5.00 and 6.00 p.m.
21 Q. And finally the corps to the Main Staff?
22 A. I said that it was between 6.00 and 7.00.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Between 6.00 and
24 8.00 p.m.
25 MR. GROOME: Thank you. Your Honour, would that be a convenient
1 place to break?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I would have one additional question before
3 we take that break.
4 You explained to us the reporting at the end of the day to the
5 Supreme Command. And you said, I read from your testimony:
6 "At first it was the position of the Supreme Command to have such
7 reports signed by the commander but it proved to be too much of a burden
8 because otherwise he wouldn't be able to go to bed before 11.00 or
9 midnight on any day."
10 First of all, I understood your reference to signed by the
11 commander to be signed by Mr. Mladic. Is that correctly understood?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's how things were, to
13 begin with.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, even if General Mladic did not sign that report
15 to the Supreme Command on every day, would he still be aware of the
16 content of what was reported to the Supreme Command?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. As I've already told you
18 once, whenever there were any changes or whenever there were developments
19 in the military, I would report to him on the -- and them as soon as
20 I met him. Those reports that I sent to the Supreme Command would end up
21 on his desk, as well as the reports by the subordinate commands, if it
22 was my assessment that he should be put in the picture. I didn't send
23 him all of the reports because he would have ended up with piles of
24 paper. I made a selection and I only sent him those things that
25 I thought that he should be aware of.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But anything that was reported to the Supreme
2 Command, the events on which -- the developments on which reports were
3 based, were known to General Mladic on the basis of the meetings,
4 discussions, communications, whatever, on the day preceding the sending
5 of the late-evening report to the Supreme Command; is that how it went?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not necessarily. It wasn't always
7 so. For example if General Mladic was not in the Main Staff, if he was
8 not in his command post, the staff would continue to function as if he
9 had been there. However, I could not wait for General Mladic to return
10 for him to look at the report, to sign it, and to send it to the Supreme
11 Command. It had to be there by midnight. If General Mladic turned up in
12 the morning, during the regular meeting, he and the entire staff would be
13 informed about the reports that had arrived from the units and what the
14 Supreme Command received as our report. If in the meantime, after the
15 morning meeting and before the ad hoc evening meeting, there were some
16 discrepancies or changes, we would discuss things either in my office or
17 in his office. So he was kept abreast of all the developments.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
19 We will take a break. Could the witness be escorted out of the
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at five minutes to 11.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: The witness will be escorted into the courtroom.
1 Could I meanwhile seek from the Defence further information about
2 whether they identified the famous 11 lines in relation to the 14th
3 Rule 92 bis motion?
4 MR. LUKIC: You said that you seek information from us? But it's
5 the Prosecution motion to include those 11 lines.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: I think yesterday I said we do not object.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have missed that. I apologise for that.
9 Then we add those -- those 11 lines can be added to the selected portion
10 of the material submitted. I don't know whether that's already uploaded
11 in its new version.
12 MR. GROOME: I'll verify that, Your Honour, and perhaps at the
13 next break we can report on it.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so the court officer can include it. The court
15 officer is instructed to do so so that the portions become part of the
16 exhibit and I think a number still has to be assigned to it as well.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, if you're ready to continue, you may
20 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. General, I have a few very specific questions about the reports.
22 My first question is: Did the commanders of VRS battalions, brigades and
23 corps have the discretion to not file a daily report if, let's say,
24 nothing happened on a particular day?
25 A. No. They didn't have that discretion. They had to submit a
1 report. Even if all they had to say in it was, "No changes," which was
2 very often the case.
3 Q. Now, if I can draw you to what you refer to as item 4, can I ask
4 you to explain, in a little more detail, what was item 4 in a daily
5 combat report that the corps sent to the Main Staff?
6 A. That was the corps commander's decision on future activities and
7 actions. Usually that item stated that the corps would proceed pursuant
8 to a previous decision. If there was a new decision, then its contents
9 would be forwarded. For example, I decided that tomorrow I would launch
10 an attack on location A, and I gave that order to my units.
11 So this is where the corps commander actually drafts his idea,
12 his plan. And those of us from the staff sector who studied those
13 reports would first assess whether the decision was correct, whether it
14 was doable. And before the morning meeting, or if there was something
15 urgent in that report, I would do it immediately, i.e. by -- either by
16 telephone or I would go to him. I would inform had him that the corps
17 commander decided on something, but his decision was wrong because he was
18 supposed to change either the target or the procedure or the composition
19 of the units that would be engaged, and then the commander would usually
20 respond by saying this: "Tell him, in your telephone communication after
21 2000 hours, that his decision was accepted," or "rejected," if it was
22 rejected. But a sentence would follow after that: "In the course of the
23 night you would receive our decision," the decision of the Main Staff,
24 that is. And then in the course of that night, that had to be done, an
25 excerpt from a combat order or a combat command had to be issued to
1 change that decision and that would be communicated in a written form to
2 the corps commander that issued the wrong decision in the first place.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask to you slow down a bit? Because I feel
4 that the interpreters had difficulties in following your speed of speech.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. General, I want to clarify something you've just said. You --
8 the record records you as saying that the commander would usually respond
9 by saying this: "Tell him in your telephone communication after
10 2000 hours that his decision was accepted or rejected." My simple
11 question for you is, when you say "the commander," are you referring to
12 General Mladic?
13 A. Yes, because the commander was the only person who was authorised
14 to alter the decisions previously made by his subordinates.
15 Q. Now, if I can now move to the oral reports. So earlier today you
16 gave evidence that there would be a telephone communication, I believe
17 you said around 20 -- around 8.00 in the evening and also at 6.00 to 7.00
18 in the morning and the primary purpose of this was to update the main
19 command on whether there had been any change in the situation. Did I
20 understand you correctly?
21 A. Yes. That's more or less correct. And I was talking about any
22 changes that may have occurred during the night, for example whether he
23 came under attack or he attacked, which was rare. We're mostly talking
24 about the activities that happened during the night and concern the
25 infiltration of terrorist and sabotage units from the other side.
1 Q. Now, when you said that Mladic would instruct that the corps
2 commander's decision in item 4 be affirmed or amended, in a telephone
3 call, would that happen typically in this 8.00 p.m. phone call that -- or
4 this oral report?
5 A. Sir, first of all, let me tell you this: When you start
6 speaking, the sound is so loud at first that I get confused at first.
7 Later on, the loudness is reduced but when you first start speaking it's
8 too loud. And as far as your question is concerned, that would usually
9 be communicated in that telephone conversation that we had after
10 2000 hours and that would usually be communicated by the commander, if he
11 was at the Main Staff.
12 In the conversation in the morning, before the meeting started,
13 if there had been any alterations to the corps commander's decision he
14 would usually tell us this: I received your written decision and I am
15 proceeding pursuant to this. And in the evening, in the written report,
16 he would be duty-bound to include that amendment or alteration in his
17 report. Or if there had been any changes on the front line during the
18 night, irrespective of the fact that he communicated those changes to us
19 over the phone, he had to include those changes in his daily combat
20 report for that day. Had he not done that, that would not have -- those
21 changes would not have been recorded. Again --
22 Q. Regarding the level of my voice, I'm standing back from the
23 microphone now. If you still experience that loud noise, please let us
24 know and we'll try to adjust the equipment, okay?
25 This process that you're describing now, is this the way that the
1 Main Staff was able to verify whether its instructions were given --
2 whether the instructions that were given were indeed followed by the
4 A. The first measure of checking whether the corps commander took
5 those changes into account would be his regular combat report that he
6 submitted in the evening, because he was duty-bound to tell us how he
7 proceeded pursuant to the alterations introduced by the commander of the
8 Main Staff.
9 Q. Who would typically answer the phone and receive these oral
10 updates in the evening and in the morning?
11 A. In the morning, it would be corps commanders, who called the
12 commander of the Main Staff. If the commander of the Main Staff wasn't
13 there, they would call me. And the same was true of the evening calls.
14 However, if I was the one who answered, if General Mladic was not at the
15 Main Staff and they learned that, I don't know how they learned that, it
16 would be the chiefs of staff who would call me.
17 In any case, what concerned me most was for anybody from the
18 corps command to report to me because the commander himself could be
19 absent, so whoever contacted me, be it the chief or the duty operations
20 officer, who was privy to the situation in the corps, it was all okay, as
21 long as somebody called me.
22 Q. My final question with respect to these reports is the following:
23 You've told us in some detail the types of information that was
24 communicated through these reports; I'm asking you now, was one of the
25 pieces of information in these reports the amount of munitions that were
1 used by a corps, the amount of bullets, the amount of artillery shells?
2 Was that information that was reported to the Main Staff in these daily
3 combat reports?
4 A. When it comes to the daily combat reports, they were not
5 duty-bound to do that because our subordinate commanders of various corps
6 would submit to us an analysis of the operation once the operation was
7 completed, and there they included the consumption of ammunition, fuel
8 and so on and so forth.
9 However, what they were supposed to do was to ask for assistance
10 in materiel and equipment, and they had to specify what kind of bullets,
11 shells, and other ammunition they needed. They also specified the
12 quantity of fuel. They never skipped that. And if they said that they
13 needed 1 million rounds, 7.62, then we would conclude that it was about
14 one half of that quantity that he probably used in the course of the
15 previous day.
16 Q. Would the Main Staff have been aware of the quantity of artillery
17 shells that were being used by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
18 A. Not always. From time to time, we did seek reports or when they
19 submitted their monthly analytical reports, they would also specify that.
20 They would give us the quantities. And your officers saw schematic of
21 the ammunition that was available in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps that was
22 stitched to the working map. However, when it comes to the ammunition,
23 the available quantities and the consumption of the ammunition was
24 something that the technical service from the logistics sector dealt
25 with. So whenever the commander had to know the available quantities or
1 the consumed quantities over a period of time, he would receive that via
2 General Djukic who was the chief of the logistics sector.
3 Q. Now, my final question before we move on from this topic: Can
4 you say a few sentences about how this regime of meetings plus this
5 regime of reports, supported command and control over the VRS troops?
6 A. Yesterday I spoke about the command function in the VRS and
7 I told you that it is based on several principles. The first principle
8 was continuity which means that the command was a continuous exercise.
9 The second principle was centralisation, which means from the top to the
10 bottom, from the Supreme Command across the Main Staff to the corps
12 And the following principle was the so-called command
13 relationship between the superior and the subordinate, or a senior and
14 the junior. The most prevalent principle was the relationship between
15 the superior and the subordinate. For example, General Talic was a
16 Lieutenant-Colonel, and I was his junior. However, according to the
17 principle of the military subordination Talic was not allowed to give me
18 orders or to decide not to carry out my orders if the commander of the
19 Main Staff was not there.
20 In that command relationship, there was a formal relationship and
21 a personal relationship. The formal relationship is what we saw on the
22 schematic that was before us just a while ago, and that was about the
23 chain of subordination or the chain of command, and the personal
24 relationship or the personnel relationship is a relationship within an
25 institution, within a command, within a staff. It is a personal
1 relationship between General Mladic and myself, General Mladic and the
2 other individual chiefs of sectors. The relationship between
3 General Mladic and each of the corps commanders. This would be the
4 personal relationship which reflects how much we respect each other, how
5 much we value each other, and to what extent we adopt the following
6 principle, and that is the principle of military subordination.
7 Let me go back to the part of the sentence where I said that
8 everything goes from the top to the bottom when it comes to command.
9 When it comes to reporting, it's just the other way around, from the
10 bottom to the top of the chain.
11 Q. General, during the existence of the VRS, from the 12th of May
12 until the end of the war, was there any period of time which, in your
13 view, the command and control structure, that you've described for us
14 over the last two days, did not function as intended?
15 A. There was a period during the final operations undertaken by the
16 VRS, i.e. during the Croatian Operation Storm in the western front. The
17 Supreme Command, i.e. the Supreme Commander, was giving me direct orders
18 in Drvar, either by sending me telegrams or by calling me. All the
19 orders that I received from him were forwarded by myself to
20 General Mladic. And I waited for his position because General Mladic was
21 my immediate superior. I warned Karadzic several times that what he was
22 doing, that that way of issuing orders, was a waste of time because every
23 time I received an order, I had to forward it to Mladic and then
24 General Mladic would respond. Usually he would say "execute" but I would
25 never proceed without General Mladic's opinion. And sometimes it took
1 24 hours for an order to be executed. I told you that I had warned the
2 Supreme Commander about the waste of time that that constituted and that
3 that was also a violation of military subordination. Sometimes he would
4 justify his acts by saying that General Mladic was too busy and that he
5 wanted to do it in his own way, to make a shortcut.
6 General Mladic and I did what we thought we should do. I.e.,
7 I always sought General Mladic's approval before I proceeded. If not his
8 approval, I at least wanted to make sure that General Mladic was abreast
9 of the situation. As far as the relationship in the VRS, from the
10 commander of the Main Staff to the commander of a squad in a corps, that
11 system of military subordination, or the system of issuing and receiving
12 orders, was never changed.
13 Q. Now, General, I want to change topics and I want to show you two
14 directives, military directives. Before I do that, can I ask you to tell
15 us, in theoretical terms, what is the purpose -- what is a military
16 directive and what is its purpose?
17 A. You started your question really good. What is a military
18 doctrine, you said. A directive is --
19 JUDGE ORIE: You are translated to have said, what is a military
20 doctrine. I didn't hear that to be part of your question. It was
21 military directive, which Mr. Groome was referring to. I don't know
22 where the possible translation problem is but --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether there was a
24 translation problem. However, Mr. Groome started by saying, doctrine but
25 then he changed his mind. Instead of finishing by saying doctrine he
1 changed his mind and said a directive. However, I think I understood his
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please answer it.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A doctrine -- or rather a directive
5 in wartime, is the highest form of doctrinally ordering or directing the
6 activities of any military including ours. Directives mean that there is
7 a turning point in the way war is run. Either in one part of the theatre
8 of war or the whole theatre of war. In principle, a directive is issued
9 by the political board -- body that conducts a war. This means that
10 something is changed in the warfare policy, in the warfare objectives, or
11 something is changed in terms of temporal determinants.
12 I told you it was customary for the Supreme Command as a
13 political authority to issue such directives. However, during my
14 proofing I also told you that our Supreme Command, i.e. the
15 Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, did not have enough personnel
16 and it didn't have personnel who was educated to draft such documents.
17 So more often than not, that would be the task of the Main Staff. The
18 staff sector had to do that more often than not.
19 The first version would be then sent to the Supreme Command for
20 their opinion and alterations. Such an altered version would be returned
21 to the Main Staff for the final processing. When it was finally
22 processed, it would be sent to the Supreme Commander for his approval and
23 signature. Sometimes the Supreme Commander could, if a directive such as
24 was directive number 4 -- constituted a military turning point in the
25 system of conducting a war, then he could --
1 Q. General, if I can interrupt you there, I think it looks like
2 you're beginning to tell us about directive 4 so I'm going to call that
3 to the screen so everyone can see that document.
4 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that 65 ter 709 be brought to the
5 screens before us. It is entitled, "Directive for further operations of
6 the Army of Republika Srpska" dated 19 November 1992, drafted by
7 Major General Manojlo Milovanovic. I note for the Chamber's reference
8 that a teleprinter version of this document is already in evidence as
10 Q. General, once you can see this, the first page of this document
11 on the screen, can I ask you, is this the document that you've just
12 referred to?
13 A. Yes. This is the document that I had in mind but I did not
14 intend to analyse it. I just wanted to offer it by way of example. As
15 to when it was the commander of the Main Staff who could actually sign a
16 directive. This directive was drafted over a space of several days. The
17 staff method was used. On the 10th of November, I told the
18 Supreme Commander that we were working on that directive. We discussed
19 some other army issues, and I told him that he would soon receive the
20 directive number 4, and I asked him to look at it urgently. I wanted the
21 Supreme Command to analyse it and sign it. He received the directive a
22 few days later, a few days after the 10th of November. We even met on
23 the 11th of November and he ordered me to wait for him in Han Pijesak.
24 He was en route to somewhere in the north. And then we travelled in his
25 car to Vlasenica and we discussed some military matters including this
1 particular directive. The directive was indeed sent to him. However,
2 one or two days later, the vice-president, Koljevic called us and told us
3 that the Supreme Command adopted a directive, but since the directive
4 contained very precise military matters, that the directive should also
5 be signed by the commander of the Main Staff, and that's what was done.
6 I told you that it was a political authority that issued the directive.
7 In our case it was the Supreme Command. There were such -- there were
8 exceptions, such was this directive, that were -- were also signed by the
9 commander of the Main Staff. That was my intention when I mentioned this
10 directive number 4.
11 Q. Okay. You're talking about the document being signed.
12 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that we go to the last page in both
13 versions and take a look at the signature.
14 Q. And when you are able to see the signature, can you tell us, do
15 you recognise it? And it's the signature below General Mladic's name.
16 A. I can see it. It is my signature.
17 Q. Can you explain to the Chamber the circumstances under which you
18 signed in place of General Mladic?
19 A. I tried to tell you before I was interrupted. It is my
20 signature. However, on the directive that we worked on, which was sent
21 by teleprinter, there is General Mladic's signature. I don't know how it
22 came to be that my signature was on this copy, because it is illogical.
23 First of all, on the 19th, General Mladic was in the field and I
24 can sign documents only when he was away outside of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 So being in the theatre was not sufficient. You ran some checks and it
1 turns out that General Mladic had negotiations with General Morillon at
2 Pale around noon that day.
3 Another thing which bothers me concerning the signature is this:
4 You showed me the original of this document which has a purple stamp. It
5 is well known that the archives -- that there is no archives of the Main
6 Staff. Now, how could then this original come from the Main Staff
7 archives? There is a possibility that, following the teleprinter
8 processing of the directive and its sending to the units, the teleprinted
9 part was typed -- retyped so as to remain in the archives of the
10 Main Staff, because the teleprinter documents usually did not make their
11 way into the archives. And then I signed it simply to have the document
12 stored or archived. Still, what remains unknown is how the Tribunal has
13 this original when there are no Main Staff archives.
14 Q. Should the Chamber ever be interested in that information it's
15 something the Prosecution can provide.
16 General, you've mentioned that you had an opportunity to see the
17 original. After having looked at the original, do you believe the
18 document to be authentic or not?
19 A. The document is completely authentic. I drafted it. Actually,
20 I compiled it. It was drafted by all of the commanders' assistants. I
21 have no objection to that.
22 Q. And, General, having looked at the original of the document, was
23 there some text above your signature which you were able to see in the
24 original that is quite difficult to see on the digital version of the
1 A. I don't understand. Is it item C or D?
2 Q. Let me ask the question in a different way. Did you have a
3 practice, if you were signing a document for General Mladic, did you have
4 a practice which you engaged in to indicate that was the fact, that you
5 were signing for him?
6 A. There is this word "for," but as far as I could see on the
7 original, although I don't see it here, this "for" is in the Cyrillic
8 script, whereas I sign my last name in the Latin script. And in the
9 original, I could definitely see the letter Z whereas the A is covered by
10 the stamp but one could infer that it is actually "for." If I had truly
11 signed this document in its original, it would have said "deputy
12 commander, Lieutenant General Manojlo Milovanovic." So the word "for"
13 indicated to me that Mladic was in the theatre. Now, why my signature is
14 there, whether I did so upon his approval or not, that's something I
15 don't know.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could the B/C/S version be zoomed in on the
17 signature block?
18 MR. GROOME: If Your Honours want to see the original, we could
19 produce that in about 15, 20 minutes.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 MR. GROOME:
22 Q. Now, General, you were aware from other times that you have
23 testified, that the interpretation of one particular passage in this
24 document is of some contention.
25 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that we go to e-court page 6 in the
1 original and 5 in the translation and for us to look at that passage.
2 Q. The passage is from section 5 of the document, a section
3 entitled, "The tasks of the unit." If we look at the passage beginning
4 at the letter D, you see:
5 "The Drina Corps. From its presents positions, its main forces
6 shall defend with utmost persistence Visegrad, the dam, Zvornik, and the
7 corridor, while the rest of its forces in the general Podrinje region
8 shall exhaust the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on them and
9 force them to leave with the Muslim population, the Birac, Zepa and
10 Gorazde areas."
11 General, since you are identified as one of the authors of this
12 document, it seems only fair that I give you an opportunity to tell us
13 what you intended by this particular passage.
14 A. This passage, from the directive, was used during my testimony in
15 the Srebrenica group trial, between the 29th of May and the
16 1st of June, 2007. The discussion of this passage was initiated by the
17 prosecutor, Mr. McCloskey, when we had an interview in Banja Luka on the
18 18th of October, 2005. Mr. McCloskey showed me the document, where this
19 sentence, beginning with "the rest of the forces" was smudged by the
20 toner used in its printing. So it was illegible. I asked for a clean
21 document, and he said, yes, indeed, it is smudged, but he did not have
22 another document. He could only produce its English version. He asked
23 me if I would agree to his reading out the English version, and to have
24 the interpreter, a girl from Tuzla, Danisa, I believe, translate it.
25 I consented out of curiosity.
1 The interpreter said something I couldn't agree with. I don't
2 have the transcript of the interview now with me but she said something
3 to the effect that the main forces should be used to defend this and
4 that, and then that the enemy and the Muslim population should be
5 exhausted. And then the word "exhausted" somehow ended up being as --
6 interpreted as "expelled" or "pushed out," and the whole sentence was
7 then viewed as my intention to have them forced out of the area.
8 Q. General, unless you think it would be unfair to answer my
9 question specifically, and perhaps skip this mistranslation of the past,
10 the text now you have before you, the original text, my question simply
11 is: What did you intend by that phrase, by that passage?
12 A. This is what I wanted to say. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, during
13 the war, wherever there was shooting, all of the population in the
14 perimeter of 20 kilometres would start to move. Muslims would move
15 towards majority-Muslim areas. The Serbs would cross the Drina into
16 Serbia or to some other areas with a Serb majority, for security reasons.
17 I don't know how Croats behaved in such circumstances but it is
18 irrelevant in terms of this situation.
19 We knew that there would always be population movement. The idea
20 was once there was movement by the Muslim population, they would usually
21 go to Srebrenica or Zepa, in that area, was to also have their armed
22 forces forced out, together with the population. The intention was not,
23 as you believe, to have the population expelled. The intention was to
24 have the Muslim forces pushed out because they had committed horrific
25 crimes before that time in Podrinje.
1 Q. Now, can you describe where the Podrinje region is with respect
2 to Srebrenica?
3 A. Srebrenica is in the centre of middle Podrinje. There is upper
4 Podrinje from Foca to Visegrad; the middle Podrinje from Visegrad to
5 Zvornik; and the lower Podrinje from Zvornik, Bijeljina, the estuary of
6 the Drina and the place where it joins with the Sava.
7 Q. Now, General, am I correct that this directive assigns tasks not
8 only to the Drina Corps but to the 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps, the
9 East Bosnia Corps, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and the
10 Herzegovina Corps? Is that correct?
11 A. Yes. This directive was a result of the Drina Corps being
12 formed, and by virtue of this directive it was introduced into the system
13 of defence of Republika Srpska. It came into being on November 1, 1992.
14 We wanted to find a place for it in the RS defence system.
15 Q. General, sorry, I'm just conscious of the time, so you've
16 answered my question. My next question to you is: Each of these corps
17 was also responsible for a geographical region in which there was some
18 conflict; is that correct?
19 A. Yes. Each of the corps had their own areas of responsibility,
20 which was -- which had its precise locations.
21 Q. Is it correct to say that this phrase regarding forcing the
22 Muslim population to leave is not used in describing the tasks to be
23 carried out by these other corps, only the Drina Corps?
24 A. In this directive, the tasks which had already been assigned to
25 the other corps are merely repeated so that the Drina Corps commander
1 would be aware of what the other corps were doing.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution tenders
3 65 ter 709 as the next public exhibit.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 00709 receives number P2217,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
8 MR. GROOME: Can I now ask that P2007 be brought to our screens.
9 It is a document dated 22 December 1992, entitled: "Raising the combat
10 readiness of units of the VRS, additions to directive 4," signed by the
12 Q. General, while that's being brought up to our screens, is it
13 correct that there were two additions made to directive 4?
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you repeat the number, please?
15 MR. GROOME: The number of the exhibit, P2007.
16 MR. LUKIC: If I may, I would like to get clarification because
17 I noticed before that the Prosecution is using documents that are not on
18 the list to be used with this witness. If I can -- I can be corrected if
19 I'm wrong.
20 MR. GROOME: No, Mr. Lukic is correct, and I apologise. This was
21 a document that the witness brought to my attention just the day before
22 he testified. And in fairness to Mr. Lukic, I will not deal with the
23 document now. It's already in evidence and the Chamber can read it.
24 MR. LUKIC: No, no. I just wanted to check. I would like to be
25 noticed if there would be more documents. You can proceed. I don't
2 MR. GROOME: I don't believe there are any. I apologise for
4 JUDGE ORIE: It's the only one, yes.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. General, the document that's on the screen, is this a document
7 which you brought to my attention just before you testified?
8 A. Yes. You said that it was an addition to the directive.
9 Actually, it's an amendment of directive 4, the first of several. It
10 came into being because there was a need to raise the level of combat
11 readiness of VRS to a higher level.
12 Q. General, the Chamber will be able to read the substance. What
13 I'm most interested with this document is can you explain its
14 relationship to directive 4? Did it void directive 4 or did it
15 supplement directive 4?
16 A. I believe I said that at the beginning. This document was used
17 to amend or supplement directive 4, because there was a fourth enemy to
18 the VRS. You can see that it refers to the meeting of commanders of the
19 NATO alliance and of the European Union. On the night between the 16 and
20 17 December 1992, they planned air strikes and a NATO intervention
21 against Republika Srpska. They even worked on some details. When we
22 learned of it in the Main Staff, and General Mladic was not present at
23 that moment, we made this addition to the directive because
24 Republika Srpska had just acquired its fourth enemy, the NATO alliance.
25 Q. Now, General --
1 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that we look at 65 ter 9807? It's a
2 combat order signed by General Milovanovic and dated 15 February 1993.
3 Q. General, when you can see this document, could I ask you to --
4 whether you've had an opportunity to review the document prior to coming
5 to court?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. GROOME: Can we take a look at the last page in both
9 Q. And when you can see this, my question to you is: Did you sign
10 the document as deputy commander?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And finally, can you tell us, this particular order, does it also
13 supplement directive 4 that we looked at earlier?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, at this time the Prosecution would
16 tender 65 ter 9807 as a public exhibit.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 09807 receives number P2218,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. GROOME:
22 Q. General, before I move -- I want to now move to Directive 7.
23 Before do I that, is there anything else of importance that -- regarding
24 directive 4 that you would want to bring to the Chamber's attention?
25 A. Perhaps I should complete my previous answer but maybe there is
1 no need. During the testimony between the 29th of May and the 1st of
2 June, the Prosecutor handed me again this directive number 4, with some
3 stress being placed on the disputed part of text. However, in that copy
4 of the directive, in terms of the words "the remaining forces," there was
5 nothing there. There was a blank space. There was no more smudging.
6 However, there was some shade that could be seen. I used all of my
7 glasses and table lamps, even the light in the toilet place -- while
8 placing it on the mirror. I managed to decipher the text, and Judge Kwon
9 asked me how I knew that the Muslim population would move, and
10 I explained it to the Chamber by what I told you, that the people in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina tended to move. I think the Chinese are the first who
12 follow their army in movement, the French are number two, and the Serbs
13 are number three in the world. And in this war in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
14 the Muslims learned it from us. Thus, they moved with their army too.
15 That is my explanation, in terms of why there is this part of the text
16 which says, "with the civilian population."
17 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, I'm about to move to Directive 7.
18 Would this be a convenient time to break.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's the perfect time for the break. We
20 take a break of 20 minutes.
21 Mr. Milovanovic, could you please follow the usher.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE ORIE: We will take a break and resume at quarter past
25 --- Recess taken at 11.56 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Groome.
4 MR. GROOME: Earlier today the Chamber inquired about the status
5 of 65 ter 29048. This was in reference to the 11 pages. I can inform --
6 JUDGE ORIE: 11 lines.
7 MR. GROOME: 11 lines, sorry, and I can inform the Chamber that
8 that now is fully uploaded into e-court.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And now the new version with the 11 lines may
10 replace the earlier uploaded version and it is the --
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ORIE: A final decision apart from the 11-lines issue will
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, just for the parties to know that the request
16 this morning for -- the request this morning for the four remaining
17 Rule 92 bis motions to be filed not later than the 4th of October, that
18 request is granted.
19 MR. GROOME: The Prosecution appreciates that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that Exhibit 1469 be brought to our
22 screens? It is an urgent memo signed by Lieutenant General Milovanovic
23 on 8 March 1995 forwarding directive 7.
24 Q. Now, General Milovanovic, before I ask you questions on this
25 document, the Chamber is very familiar with this document and it is
1 already an exhibit in the case.
2 Can I ask that we look at the first page in the original and the
4 Now, we can see what appears to be a transmittal letter dated
5 17 March 1995 sending a document attached to the command of the
6 1st Krajina Corps. It purports to bear the signature of
7 Lieutenant General Manojlo Milovanovic. My first question to you is
8 whether the signature we see is in fact yours?
9 A. Yes. But the date is not the 8th of March, as you stated. It is
10 actually the 17th of March.
11 Q. That is correct. At the top of the document, just under the
12 date, we can see the phrase, "Very urgent." Can you tell us what this
13 phrase indicates?
14 A. This means that the document was to be sent or carried
16 Q. The transmittal letter is brief and it says:
17 "Enclosed with this document, we are sending you the directive
18 for further operations. Op number 7. Confirm receipt of the
19 above-mentioned directive by returning a copy of this document."
20 Can we now go to the second page in both versions? And my
21 question is: Is the attached document the one that you were
23 MR. LUKIC: Just it's page 3 in B/C/S.
24 MR. GROOME: Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The previous document was a cover
1 page, or, rather, an order issued to the courier, to take this directive,
2 which was in an envelope, to the command of the 1st Krajina Corps. What
3 puzzles you is the phrase very urgent, if the directive was issued on the
4 8th of March and from the Main Staff it was dispatched only on the
5 17th of March, you're probably confused about the difference or the gap,
6 if I'm not mistaken.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If you just listen to the question, the question is:
8 Is the attached document the one that you were transmitting? There is
9 nothing about time or, et cetera, it's just is this cover letter about
10 this document? That's the simple question. If the answer is yes, please
11 say yes. If there is any other answer, tell us.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
13 MR. GROOME:
14 Q. You anticipated my question. The document is dated the
15 8th of March and once again marked "very urgent." My question is: Would
16 it be typical for a directive marked "very urgent" to take nine days to
17 be transmitted to subordinate commanders?
18 A. "Very urgent" is on the cover letter, and on the directive, you
19 can see "very urgent", and you're right, how come there is a difference
20 of nine days between the two dates? In the original of the directive, it
22 "To the command of the 1st and 2nd Corps," and all the other
23 corps which are enumerated here. I suppose that in the first cycle of
24 dispatching the directive, the 1st Corps did not receive it, the person
25 who actually put the document in the envelopes did not see number 1. He
1 only saw number 2. I suppose that the 1st Corps intervened or the
2 operative in the staff discovered that mistake had been made because he
3 was left with one extra copy. And that's why this phrase, "Very urgent"
4 was repeated, meaning that it should indeed be dispatched very urgently
5 to the command of the 1st Corps which had not received it yet by then.
6 Q. Could I ask that we now go to the last page in both versions?
7 I want to draw your attention to the signature of Radovan Karadzic. And
8 my question to you is: Can you tell us, do you recognise the stamp
9 that's authenticating his signature?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What stamp is that?
12 A. The stamp of the Main Staff of the VRS, not of the
13 Supreme Command.
14 Q. Now the Chamber is able to read the contents of this document but
15 I do want to seek your comment on a particular passage.
16 MR. GROOME: Can we go to the section for the setting out the
17 tasks for the Drina Corps? It can be found on e-court, page 17 in the
18 original, and 10 in the translation.
19 Q. Can I draw your attention to the sentence with respect to the
20 Drina Corps where it says, "By planned and well-thought-out combat
21 operations"? And can you indicate when you have found that passage?
22 A. Can you direct me? Can you tell me where I could find it in the
23 middle or at the bottom or at the top of the page?
24 Q. I'm sorry, I'm a bit --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think you'll find it in the lower part of the
1 first paragraph under the Drina Corps. Yes. It ends with "Srebrenica
2 and Zepa." That's the first paragraph and the few lines before that.
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. Let me read it to you but again I would want to you follow in the
5 original text so perhaps I will wait.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It is the last sentence of the first paragraph under
7 the heading, "Drina Corps."
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Would it assist you to have a hard copy of the document?
10 A. No. The most efficient way to proceed would be for somebody to
11 approach my desk and show me where to look.
12 JUDGE ORIE: On the ninth line under Drina Corps, the first
13 linear ends. It is the last sentence before that.
14 MR. GROOME:
15 Q. General, I'll read the passage and maybe by me reading it and
16 having it translated you'll be able to find it. The passage I want to
17 read is: "By a planned and well --"
18 A. No.
19 MR. GROOME: Does counsel have any objection to me providing a
20 hard copy with a mark in the side? Can I ask the usher.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could the usher assist?
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. I just handed you a hard copy with an arrow indicating the
24 approximate location of the passage.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now the B/C/S has disappeared from our screens.
1 I take it that it will be back in a second.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. "By a planned and well-thought-out combat operations --"
4 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. There seems to be a technical
5 problem. Nevertheless, the witness has a hard copy. The line has been
6 read over and over again. If you would slowly read it, Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME:
8 Q. "By a planned and well-thought-out combat operations, create an
9 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
10 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
11 Now, my question to you is: Would you agree that a plain reading
12 of this sentence would lead the reader to conclude that the civilian
13 inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa were intended to be the focus of
14 well-thought-out combat operations?
15 A. A target is a military term, and it indicates a target that has
16 to be shot at. The word here is similar to target but it's not a target.
17 This means that the activity is aimed at worsening the conditions of life
18 for the population of Zepa and Srebrenica and as a result of such adverse
19 conditions of life, they would be forced to leave Srebrenica and Zepa.
20 However, with your leave, I would like to proffer a comment on this
21 combat order issued by the Drina Corps.
22 Q. This is a directive now. This is not a combat order. This is in
23 the directive itself.
24 A. Okay. I understand.
25 Q. So my next question to you is: Based on your military training
1 and experience as a senior commander, do you have a view whether this
2 particular passage in this directive is a lawful military objective?
3 A. According to the Geneva Conventions, the civilian population is
4 not a legitimate military target or objective.
5 Q. And again if you can apply the Geneva Conventions to this
6 particular phrase, is it your opinion that this is a lawful or an
7 unlawful order?
8 A. Unlawful, if it is an order, but this is a political decision.
9 Q. So can you explain how this directive -- I'm sorry, let me
10 rephrase my question. So you are saying that the text as we read it
11 here, you would consider it unlawful if formulated into an order? Do
12 I understand you correctly?
13 A. Yes. If it is formulated into a combat order.
14 Q. Now, can you explain what is different or how is it different if
15 this same phrase appears in a directive issued by the Supreme Commander?
16 A. This is a political decision, because it was issued by the
17 Supreme Commander. It cannot be applied to military documents.
18 Q. Why can it not be applied to military documents?
19 A. Because, as I've already told you, the civilian population is an
20 unlawful military target or objective.
21 Q. Can I now ask that we see --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, could I seek on two points,
23 clarification? First, you said "it cannot be applied to military
24 documents." What cannot be applied?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This phrase that we have just
1 discussed cannot be used in military documents.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Clear answer. Then earlier you said you'd like to
3 proffer a comment on this combat order issued by the Drina Corps, and
4 then Mr. Groome said this is a directive now, it's not a combat order.
5 And then you said, okay, I understand.
6 Nevertheless, irrespective of the characterisation of the
7 document, would you still like to proffer a comment on this document? If
8 so, please do. And then specifically focusing on these lines.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, this document, and
10 I'm repeating this for the umpteenth time, was issued by the
11 Supreme Command. It was signed by the Supreme Commander. This directive
12 should not have left the Supreme Command to go to the corps commands. It
13 should reach -- it should have reached only General Mladic, the commander
14 of the Main Staff. Based on this directive, General Mladic was to issue
15 his orders, and I can see that he did issue directive 7/1 which was a
16 legitimate thing to do. However, during the proofing, I --
17 JUDGE ORIE: We'll come to that in a minute. I take it,
18 Mr. Groome, that you will pay attention further to directive 1. I was
19 just interested in your proffered comment on this document, and now
20 you're putting it in a different context which most likely will been
21 dealt with by Mr. Groome. Please proceed.
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. General, you ever mentioned directive 7/1.
24 MR. GROOME: I would ask that that be brought to our screens. It
25 is Exhibit P1470. It's entitled, "Directive for further operations,
1 operative number 7/1" dated 31 March 1995 and signed by
2 General Ratko Mladic.
3 Q. Now, General, could I ask you to take a look at this document?
4 Did you have an opportunity to review this document prior to testifying
6 A. Would you kindly repeat the second part of your question?
7 Q. My question was simply, for now, and I'll be asking you several
8 questions about this: Did you have an opportunity to review this
9 document prior to taking the witness stand yesterday?
10 A. Yes. During the proofing, before I arrived in the courtroom, and
11 I also had an opportunity to read it between the 29th of May and
12 1st of June, 2007, when I testified in a prior case.
13 Q. Can we go to the last page? Can I draw your attention to the
14 signature? And my question is: Do you recognise the signature which
15 purports to be that of General Mladic?
16 A. Yes. This is General Mladic's signature.
17 Q. Now, we can see that has been drafted by Colonel Radivoje Miletic
18 of the -- is he a member of the Main Staff?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, would you please refrain from already
20 nodding what the answer to a question might be? Would you refrain from
21 any gestures? And would you also refrain from communications with the
22 public gallery? Focus on what happens in court. Please proceed.
23 MR. GROOME:
24 Q. Is Colonel Radivoje Miletic a member of the Main Staff?
25 A. Yes. Colonel Miletic was the chief of the operations
1 administration. As we could see on -- when looking at the schematic of
2 the composition of the Main Staff earlier this morning.
3 Q. Is that the same Colonel Miletic who drafted directive 7 which
4 was signed by Karadzic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, before I ask you to tell us your understanding of this
7 directive, can I ask you to tell me what is the operational relationship
8 between directive 7 and directive 7/1? In other words, it would appear
9 that there are two possible relationships. The first, that 7/1 would
10 supplement directive 7 which would remain in effect, or, two, that
11 directive 7/1 would make -- would replace directive 7 and would make
12 directive 7 void. Can you tell us what is the relationship between the
13 two documents?
14 A. Directive 7/1 was a directive issued by the commander of the
15 Main Staff, General Mladic, which originated from directive number 7
16 which was signed by the Supreme Commander, Mr. Karadzic.
17 Q. And what is the relationship between the two? Does 7/1
18 supplement 7 or does it replace 7?
19 A. One does not replace the other. Actually, this means that the
20 elements of directive 7 were now being used by lower units. Unit
21 commanders could not take any measures based on anything that they
22 received from Karadzic, and I said that it was a mistake on the part of
23 the Supreme Command, when they sent the directive to all the corps
24 commands. They should have sent it only to General Mladic. This was an
25 instance of duality, or double lines, in the chain of command.
1 Q. General, when you say they should have sent it only to
2 General Mladic in the last document, wasn't it you that sent it on?
3 Wasn't it your signature on the transmittal letter?
4 A. Yes. My signature on the cover letter was only an instruction to
5 the courier to take it where he was supposed to, but I was not even
6 supposed to be aware of the contents of the envelope. I'm not accusing
7 Karadzic's administration. Corps commanders should not have reacted to
8 Karadzic's directive before receiving Mladic's orders as a result of the
9 directive. I believe that only one corps commander did that. That was
10 the Drina Corps commander, who did not wait for Mladic's directive that
11 was issued and I don't know how much later, how many days later -- based
12 on Karadzic's directive issued his order for defence or some such order,
13 I don't know what it was. So when he received Mladic's directive, he
14 could no longer react, and insofar as I studied both documents, in his
15 directive, General Mladic omitted the sentence that we just discussed,
16 where it says that the life for the civilian population of Zepa and
17 Srebrenica should be rendered unbearable or something like that, whereas
18 General Zivanovic literally copied that sentence from Karadzic's
19 directive. When that directive was discussed, one of the lawyers put a
20 question to me as to how General Mladic dared omit that sentence from his
21 own directive and I answered him that General Mladic assumed
22 responsibility when he decided not to put pressure on the population and
23 not to adopt every single element from Karadzic's directive. He assumed
24 that responsibility. He took it upon himself not to do that.
25 Q. General --
1 JUDGE ORIE: The simple question was whether it was your
2 signature. You answered that by one word, yes. We are not here in a
3 debating club where you present positions. You are here to answer
4 questions. I, by the way, have one question for you in this respect.
5 Who ordered you to send the transmittal letter? On whose instructions
6 did you send it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was standard practice in the
8 regulations. All transmittal letters accompanying mail to the
9 subordinate units are signed by the most senior general in the Main Staff
10 at that moment. That was my task because I happened to be there.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you earlier told us that if you received any
12 instruction from the Supreme Command, that you would never do anything
13 until you would have consulted with Mr. Mladic whether he agreed with
14 that, "yes" or "no". Now, here apparently, something arrives which is to
15 be distributed, you sign a distribution letter, you tell us that this was
16 not how it should have been because the Supreme Command should not give
17 any direct instructions to the lower level. Could you explain why, on
18 whose authority, you did send that distribution letter, that cover
19 letter, with the directive attached?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The signing of the accompanying
21 letter was not an order from the Supreme Command. I guess
22 Colonel Miletic brought the sealed envelope, as well as the cover letter
23 for me to sign so that the courier could lawfully go to the 1st Corps
24 command. It had nothing to do with the Supreme Command or with
25 General Mladic. It was Main Staff mail sent to a subordinate command.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So whatever Miletic would give you to be
2 distributed, you would just send it and say, this is mail? Is that your
3 position? Sealed envelopes, whatever the content would be, just send it
4 down the line without even bothering about content?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not quite. On the envelope, it
6 said directive number 7, the addressee was the 1st Krajina Corps.
7 Miletic explained to me that this particular corps had not received it,
8 whereas the others had, and that it was an extraordinary situation to
9 deal with.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you explained to us that directives were issued
11 by the political body, by the Supreme Command. Have you verified whether
12 General Mladic agreed with this distribution, as you earlier told us you
13 would always do?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't recall whether
15 General Mladic was in the Main Staff or whether I asked him anything.
16 It's a long time ago.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You earlier explained that it would only cause
18 delays if you would receive something directly from the Supreme Command
19 because you would not take action unless and up till the moment that you
20 had the approval of General Mladic. That's what you told us quite
21 extensively. Could you explain what happened here?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was not an order of the
23 Supreme Command, this transmittal letter. It was produced in the office
24 from which the directives were supposed to be sent to the different
25 corps. They skipped the 1st Corps and I don't know on whose request.
1 Miletic did find a copy of that directive, put it in an envelope, sealed
2 it, gave me the transmittal letter to sign, and then dispatched a
4 JUDGE ORIE: And you didn't know what was in it, apart from that
5 there was a directive?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew it was directive number 7 by
7 the Supreme Command because it said so on the envelope and Miletic told
8 me what it was. He said that a copy was omitted in the first round and
9 that it was to be sent to that particular corps. I don't know whether
10 the 1st Corps command intervened and requested it or if it happened on
11 someone else's request, though.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And content of the directive was known to you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't familiar with the content
14 of the directive. I wasn't familiar with it being produced. I didn't
15 even know people were working on it, because between the 6th and the
16 12th of March, I was on the western front between Krupa and Drvar. When
17 I came back, the directive had already been signed and put in envelopes.
18 Even if I had been aware of the contents of that directive, there is
19 nothing I could have changed in it because Karadzic had signed it.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Groome.
21 MR. GROOME:
22 Q. General, I want to take you back to something you said a few
23 minutes ago. You said that General Mladic -- when comparing the
24 difference between directive 7 and 7/1, you said General Mladic omitted
25 not to put this phrase which you have characterised as unlawful, and you
1 said, "He took it upon himself not to do that," in reference to removing
2 that from the directive 7.
3 My question to you is: Is it your evidence that Mladic's failure
4 to include that particular phrase was an intentional act by him not to
5 advance that particular part of directive 7?
6 A. It is my assessment, or conclusion, that General Mladic took over
7 responsibility for not implementing that part of the Supreme Commander's
8 directive, since he deemed it was unlawful.
9 Q. Is there anything in 7/1 which explicitly rescinds that part of
10 directive 7?
11 A. I don't think so. That sentence was simply omitted from Mladic's
12 directive to his subordinate commanders.
13 Q. Now, after directive 7/1 was issued, was the complete physical
14 separation of Srebrenica from Zepa still a military objective?
15 A. The physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa at Mount Susica,
16 had been our military goal ever since the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa
17 have been established -- had been established because the Muslim soldiers
18 and civilians kept going through the Drina canyon to the east of
19 Mount Susica between Srebrenica and Zepa.
20 Q. General, I'm not so much interested in the reasons why that was a
21 military objective. But directive 7 says the following:
22 "Complete physical separation of Srebrenica from Zepa should be
23 carried out as soon as possible."
24 I'm going to ask over the break that you take a look at
25 directive 7/1 and see is there any where in 7/1 that Mladic mentions
1 that? And I would suggest to you that upon reading it you'll see that
2 that's also omitted from 7/1. If after reading that, you verify what
3 I've just suggested to you, can I ask you: How would a subordinate
4 commander have been able to tell that the order to physically separate
5 Srebrenica and Zepa had not been rescinded but the order to target
6 civilians had?
7 A. I'm afraid I do not understand the question. That first
8 sentence, about exerting pressure on the civilians, that's fine. It's
9 not to be found in Mladic's directive. I have to go back again to the
10 Drina Corps commander's order. We find it in his order which means he
11 copies Karadzic's directive.
12 As regards the separation of Srebrenica and Zepa, it was a
13 standing idea ever since the enclaves were formed, and perhaps
14 General Mladic found it unnecessary to reiterate because we constantly
15 had this problem of troops moving between Srebrenica and Zepa and
16 according to the demilitarisation agreement pertaining to the two
17 settlements they were not supposed to have been in contact. It was
18 supposed to be overseen by UNPROFOR and not the VRS. However, since
19 UNPROFOR did not do that throughout the war, the VRS took upon itself to
20 do so.
21 Q. General, I'm going to ask you over the break to reread 7/1 and I
22 will come back to this at that time. I want to move on to a different
23 topic, the topic of --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could I meanwhile ask another question? You have
25 explained to us that 7/1 contains a -- if I understood you well -- an
1 instruction or directive, whatever you call it, which was, as you
2 explained, was obviously illegal. Now, if you have --
3 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry to interrupt but I believe he was
4 referring to directive 7 not directive 7/1 as you just mentioned.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I made a mistake there. Directive 7 contains a
6 clearly -- lines which are clearly illegal, as you said, from a military
7 point of view, that is, making the civilian population an object rather
8 than a -- it not being a military target. Now, you told us that in 7/1,
9 this was left out on purpose because General Mladic did not want to take
10 responsibility for such a line.
11 Now, the awareness that directive 7 had been distributed to the
12 lower levels, should not a strong protest or a strong line saying,
13 "Whatever you read in 7, which was illegal, such as this and this and
14 this, ignore that because it is against the laws of warfare," rather than
15 to silently leave it as it is and that everyone should understand that
16 whatever they received earlier would not apply any further because it was
17 not repeated? Do you have any comment on those observations?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said already that General Mladic
19 took upon himself, at his own responsibility, to omit the unlawful
20 sentence. He was not under an obligation to direct his subordinates'
21 attention to the unlawful nature of it because based on Karadzic's
22 directive he issued his own simply omitting that. The subordinates are
23 duty-bound to implement Mladic's directive, not Karadzic's. That is why
24 I said at the beginning that it was Karadzic's administration mistake to
25 have sent it to all of the corps.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But you also told us that 7 was not replaced by 7/1.
2 It was still in existence. You knew, or at least it was known, that it
3 had been distributed to the lower levels, and then you say, well, it's
4 enough to omit it. And you say you assumed that -- you concluded that it
5 was omitted for that purpose whereas you now say again that you said
6 already that he took it upon himself to omit the unlawful sentence,
7 whereas earlier you said that you concluded without giving a basis for
8 your -- the knowledge on which you base such a conclusion. Any further
9 comments on those points?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I repeat that it is only my
11 conclusion, my presumption, that that was Mladic's reasoning. I can't
12 say that he did so because of that. It is my conclusion that he took
13 over responsibility not to implement or not to carry further that part of
14 Karadzic's directive.
15 JUDGE ORIE: He never told you, you never discussed it with him?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Groome. Judge --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question? Did you discuss
19 this question with Colonel Miletic, who was your deputy?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I saw this directive for the
21 first time in the Tribunal building sometime around the 29th of May.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you saying that the communication between the
23 drafter of directive 7/1, Colonel Miletic, and the commander,
24 Ratko Mladic, took place without involving you in any way?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was done completely
1 without me.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Groome.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. General, so that the Chamber understands -- I think it's
6 important for the Chamber to understand where you were at this time. I'd
7 ask you not to go into a detailed explanation of what you were doing or
8 where -- why you were where you were but simply tell the Chamber: Was
9 there a period of time that you were not physically present in the
10 Main Staff at Crna Rijeka?
11 A. From the 29th of October, 1994, until, I think, the
12 15th of October 1995, I was in charge of the western theatre, and I was
13 in the area of Bihac, Petrovac, Drvar, Glamoc, Banja Luka. I omitted
14 Mrkonjic Grad. Occasionally I came to the Main Staff for meetings or
15 when summoned personally by General Mladic, such as when we saw
16 General Zivanovic off or when we had analyses of combat readiness of the
17 VRS. I think it was on the 29th of January, if I'm not mistaken.
18 I was also there in late March and early April, before
19 Operation Flash on the Croatian side began, and then I went to Gradiska
20 where I was until 12 May. When I returned to the Main Staff, I found a
21 telegram which was a request of the 2nd Krajina Corps, General Tomanic's
22 message telling me that I should go to the western theatre because the
23 so-called Carter's truce was violated. I hesitated but a decision was
24 made and I left on 29 May where I remained until the end of the war.
25 Q. I want to switch to the topic of Sarajevo. Was there a period of
1 time that General Mladic was primarily stationed in Sarajevo in an effort
2 to establish the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
3 A. Yes. It was immediately following the decision on the
4 establishment of armed forces. General Mladic and Colonel Tolimir spent
5 a month or a month and a half in Sarajevo at Lukavica where they worked
6 on the issue of establishing the SRK. That is to say the translation of
7 the command of the 4th JNA Army into the SRK command. We communicated by
8 phone or by courier.
9 Q. General, would this mean that General Mladic was physically
10 present in the Sarajevo area from about mid-May of 1992 to mid-June 1992
11 and perhaps the end of June 1992?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that 65 ter 14730 be brought to our
14 screens? It is an order issued on 7 February 1994 and signed by
15 General Milovanovic.
16 Q. General, the copy of this order that is going to be brought
17 before you is a teleprinter copy, it does not bear your signature. After
18 you have familiarised yourself with the document, can I ask you whether
19 you indeed did issue this order?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, this order is addressed to all of the corps including the
22 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to order number 2. It reads,
25 "Rule out any possibility of uncontrolled shelling. Impose the most
1 severe penalty immediately for uncontrolled behaviour or offences."
2 Now, this order was issued by you within a few days of two
3 notorious shelling incidents charged in this indictment as schedule
4 G.7 and G.8. G.7 was an event in which three mortar shells landed in
5 Dobrinja and G.8 is the first time a shell landed on Markale market.
6 This order was issued two days after the Markale market shelling. My
7 question is whether or not you issued this order in response to one or
8 both of those shellings.
9 A. Neither. I issued this order based on the order of the Supreme
10 Commander, number 01278 and so on and so forth dated the 7th of February.
11 By the time I received it in the Main Staff, I had it translated into my
12 own order and sent it to these corps commands, to the Sarajevo command
13 for implementation and other corps commands for information.
14 Q. Now, your order threatens to impose the most severe penalties for
15 uncontrolled shelling. My question is: Can you recall any incident of
16 uncontrolled shelling after which such most severe penalties were imposed
17 on those VRS soldiers responsible?
18 A. I can't recall any. It was not in my department. It was within
19 General Gvero's purview, who was the assistant commander for morale and
20 religious affairs. I did not receive information from the corps in terms
21 of whether someone was disciplined, tried or anything of the sort. I did
22 not receive such feedback.
23 Q. What was your assessment of the level of uncontrolled shelling,
24 that is shelling not pursuant to an order, by Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
25 members around Sarajevo?
1 A. The term "uncontrolled", I would prefer to use the term
2 "unselectively" meaning targeting areas and settlements without a
3 stipulated military target or trying to engage a military target by
4 shelling areas where civilians suffer. This order precisely requests
5 that fire can be opened only on detected military targets or military
6 assets possessed by the enemy engaging our forces.
7 There is also a ratio, a shell for a shell, meaning that if one
8 mortar shell came from the yard around the Kosevo hospital, they cannot
9 respond with more than one.
10 Q. Can I take from your answer that there were instances where areas
11 were targeted and settlements were targeted without a particular military
12 target? That that was one of the problems you were seeking to address
13 with this order?
14 A. I did not see any such case. I stress again that this order came
15 as a result of the Supreme Commander's order. I don't know whether he
16 had any further insight.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, I'm looking at the clock.
18 MR. GROOME: That would be a convenient place to break, Your
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but again before we take the break I would have
21 one very short question, please a short answer as well. When you signed
22 the cover letter by which the directive 7 was contributed, where were
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my office. Miletic brought it
25 for me to sign, since the courier was supposed to leave for Banja Luka.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So you were at the Main Staff headquarters?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 MR. GROOME: Before we break can I simply tender 65 ter 14730 as
5 the next exhibit, public?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document 14730 receives number P2219, Your
9 JUDGE ORIE: P2219 is admitted into evidence.
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have a clean copy of directive 7/1 in
11 the original language if it's acceptable for the witness to have access
12 to this during the break.
13 JUDGE ORIE: So he can read it over the break.
14 MR. GROOME: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You're invited to read the directive over the break.
16 Could the usher assist in --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I also need directive number 7
18 so as to compare.
19 MR. GROOME: Directive 7 I believe is sitting on the desk next to
20 him if he be allowed to take that from the courtroom as well.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I take it that there is no need to
25 MR. LUKIC: Of course, no objections.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could it be given to the witness. You may follow
2 the usher.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE ORIE: We will take a break and resume at 20 minutes to
6 --- Recess taken at 1.17 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 1.41 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The witness is escorted into the courtroom.
9 Mr. Lukic, I've been a bit unfair to you today where you said I
10 cannot immediately respond on the deadlines, 4th of October, and then
11 I gave a ruling that it was granted. That is unfair. If there is any
12 reason to revisit those time limits, you have an opportunity to do so and
13 we will then consider whether the decision should stand.
14 MR. LUKIC: Time limits are never of our concern. We never
15 object to any extension of time.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, if you would have said this this morning.
17 MR. LUKIC: I didn't know what else to look into. I didn't know
18 that --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then the matter stands as it is, Mr. Groome.
20 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in the witness's last answer, about
21 P2219, he made reference to an order by Radovan Karadzic. I just want to
22 bring to the Chamber's attention that is 65 ter 14456 and it's the
23 subject of the bar table motion for Sarajevo documents.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for giving us this guidance. At the end
25 of this session I would need a couple of minutes to read a short
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Milovanovic, Judge Fluegge has one follow-up
4 question from before the break.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed. Mr. Milovanovic, you said this is
6 to be found on page 65, line 8, you said, "The term 'uncontrolled'
7 I would prefer to use the term 'unselectively,' meaning targeting areas
8 and settlements without a stipulated military target."
9 Why are you now using the term "unselectively" instead of
10 "uncontrolled"? Uncontrolled, we saw in the document which was signed by
11 you. Why are you now preferring another term?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The reason is simple. Uncontrolled
13 means opening fire without a prior order or being held accountable for
14 opening that fire. Unselectively means that there is an order but the
15 fire does not focus on a military target but, rather, it is dispersed
16 across an area. Non-selectively means to open fire, it is a military
17 term, but that fire is not selectively targeted.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is well understood. But in the document you
19 used the term "uncontrolled."
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that I copied that from
21 Karadzic's order, or, rather the operative who was working on the text,
22 his initials are MDj, I don't know who that may have been, it could have
23 been Mico Djapa [phoen]. We had two men with those initials, one was
24 Milos Djurdjic but at the time this was drafted Mr. Djurdjic was not a
25 member of the Main Staff so it was probably Lieutenant-Colonel Mico Djapa
1 who drafted that. When we discussed that document in the prosecutor's
2 office, my objection was that I would not have used the term the
3 strictest laws. This is not even a military term. A law, an act, cannot
4 be strict or stricter or the strictest. An act is an act. This person
5 who drafted this document must have had in his mind to emphasise that
6 whoever breaks this rule would suffer the severest of penalties.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you saying --
8 MR. LUKIC: I might help with the translation issue here and
9 that's why there is confusion, too.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, that would be helpful.
11 MR. LUKIC: If we can have that document on the screen that would
12 help both you and the witness, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should be --
14 MR. LUKIC: 14730.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which is now P2219.
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes. I think you are referring to number 2, rule out
17 any possibility of uncontrolled shelling.
18 In B/C/S, I will read so you get proper translation. I quote:
19 [Interpretation] "Rule out any possibility of shelling beyond control."
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Still I would like to know
21 from the witness if he signed this document without thinking about using
22 this or the other term, because it was prepared by somebody else. Is
23 that what you are saying?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so. I focused on this
25 ratio one for one, one shell here, one shell there. This said a lot to
1 me. I'm afraid I did not pay much attention to the linguistics of the
2 document. The most important thing for me was for the document not to
3 lose its meaning, its contents.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That's all from my side.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. General, I'm going to ask you to look at a video now, and then
7 I'll ask you some questions after it. This is 65 ter 22344.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] The 21st Sabotage Detachment has
10 realised and demonstrated in practice the use of artillery for sabotage
11 purposes. The 21st Sabotage Detachment was the first to use a mobile
12 rocket launcher in combat.
14 The strength of the detachment's fire power is shown by the
15 possibility to launch 18, 250 kilogram bombs in one fifth second burst of
16 fire as well as 152, 57 millimetre rockets."
17 MR. GROOME:
18 Q. General, can you tell us what munition we just observed being
19 assembled and fired in 22344?
20 A. I don't have anything on the screen. Can I start answering your
22 Q. If you heard my question. Did you hear my question - whether you
23 could tell us what munition that was and if you would like us to try to
24 put that up again?
25 A. No need to show it again. I saw this video-clip when it was
1 shown to me by you during the proofing. And that was the first time
2 I saw it. I know that aerial bombs were being launched and what the
3 speaker, the commentator, is saying about 57 millimetre rockets,
4 I haven't a clue what he's talking about.
5 I know that there were some anti-aircraft howitzers that were
6 57 millimetre so I don't know. I don't think that this belongs to the
7 Army of Republika Srpska but to the 21st Sabotage Detachment of the
8 Serbian Army of Krajina, i.e. of the 21st Detachment of the Serbian Army
9 of Krajina. Some operation group. It's mentioned here. I don't know
10 anything about that operation. I can only assume that those were aerial
11 bombs that we could see in action and that their weight is 250 kilos. In
12 our military, I never saw any such thing. There were no such assets in
13 our army.
14 Q. So the munition that we saw on the screen here, you're saying
15 that there was no such munition in the VRS?
16 A. We did not have any such assets or a launcher that could launch
17 four aerial bombs at the same time. We didn't have such a system, and I
18 don't believe, when the commentator says that in the space of five
19 seconds, it could launch 18 such bombs, those bombs weigh 250 kilograms,
20 you know what power and what weight we are talking about? I think it's a
21 bit of an exaggeration, in the space of five seconds you can hardly
22 launch one such projectiles let alone 18.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you first to focus on the question? It
24 is what you saw. What the comments was is a different matter. And the
25 simple question is: Do I understand that you -- the munition you saw did
1 not exist in the VRS?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The munition that we saw existed in
3 the VRS. Those were lethal assets that belonged to the anti-aircraft
4 defence and the air force. These are lethal assets that are usually
5 carried by an aircraft.
6 JUDGE ORIE: So that's the simple question -- the simple answer
7 now is one quite different from the answer you gave, which is --
8 Mr. Groome, please proceed.
9 MR. GROOME:
10 Q. Are you familiar with the phrase "skalamerija"? That's
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you explain what that phrase referred to when used in the
15 A. It's a makeshift device to transport aerial bombs from the firing
16 position to a target. So instead of using an aircraft to launch it, they
17 are launched from the ground.
18 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that we now take a look at 65 ter 1986.
19 It's a letter addressed to the chief of the Yugoslav Army from
20 Ratko Mladic dated 31 May 1995.
21 Q. General, my simple question to you now when it first comes on the
22 screen is whether you recognise the document and whether you've had a
23 chance to review this document in the week or the few days before you
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When you saw this document, did it remind you of a conversation
2 that you had with General Momcilo Perisic, the commander of the
3 General Staff of the Yugoslav Army?
4 A. Yes. With the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of
5 Yugoslavia and that conversation took place on the 6th of January, 1994.
6 Q. Can I ask you to summarise that conversation for us.
7 A. That was our first conversation after the New Year's holiday.
8 First we talked about a unit that the Army of Yugoslavia or, to be more
9 precise, General Mrksic had brought to the zone of the Sarajevo-Romanija
10 Corps. Perisic told me that he heard that I had decided that that unit
11 should go back home. It was not my decision. It was General Mladic's
12 order after I reported to him about the appearance of that unit. We
13 continued talking and he told me, I didn't call you about that, but
14 during the holidays, Ratko and myself - and he meant General Mladic -
15 socialised and we discussed the aerial bombs that we could use. What do
16 you think about those? That was the first time I heard the term, and
17 I told him, Listen, I'm not interested in the way you Herzegovinian
18 think. If anybody is to tell me anything about them, it will be
19 General Mladic, not you. And that's how we left it off.
20 Q. Now, the record records you saying reference to "discussed the
21 aerial bombs that we could use." Can I ask you for a bit of more detail,
22 if there is any, about how they might use aerial bombs?
23 A. First of all, I don't know whether they were actually aerial
24 bombs. I'm not familiar with the term. Those were air fuel bombs. When
25 I was at school, I learned about those bombs being able to change the
1 climatic conditions. For example, in Vietnam, they could stop the rain
2 or -- I don't know. So he used the term fuel air-bombs. I don't -- I
3 didn't know what he was talking about. So that's why I told him what
4 I did.
5 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that we now look at 65 ter 1985? Again a
6 letter addressed from Ratko Mladic to the chief of the Yugoslav Army and
7 it bears the same date, so it has the same date.
8 Q. Once you can see this document on the screen, it's in reference
9 to a request with respect to Colonel Ivan Djokic. Can I ask you if you
10 know him and, if you do, describe briefly who he was?
11 A. Before I answer, I should tell you that the previous document and
12 this document were both issued on the 31st of May, 1995, when I was in
13 Ostrelj, near Drvar. As for Ivan Djokic, I know him.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we are not asking you where you were on
15 that date. Mr. Groome puts a question to you. Would you please answer
16 that question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew Ivan Djokic.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. And what was his expertise or who was he in the --
20 A. He was an officer in the command of the air force and
21 anti-aircraft defence of the Army of Yugoslavia. He was an expert for
22 rocket anti-aircraft assets.
23 Q. He helped develop the modified air-bomb, skalamerija?
24 A. I used to see him in the theatre of war, and I believe that he
25 helped Colonel Rajko Balac in crafting a prototype of that skalamerija
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, at this time Prosecution tenders
3 65 ter 1985 and 1986 as public exhibits.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1986 receives number P2220. And
6 document 1985 receives number 2221, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P2220 and P2221 are admitted.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. General, are you able to tell us whether these skalamerija, these
10 modified air-bombs, were able to target precise locations or general
12 A. I did not see that asset in action. Nor did I see it after it
13 was manufactured and assembled. I only saw a model of that asset. It
14 could not be precise, and it could not target a precise -- precisely.
15 Like a bomb launched from an aircraft, it could target an area.
16 Q. Was the placement and use of air-bombs supervised at the level of
17 the Main Staff?
18 A. This was supervised by the chief of artillery of the Main Staff,
19 Colonel Rajko Balac.
20 Q. And can you remind us, if we were to look at that organisational
21 chart, in what sector would we find this person?
22 A. He was in the staff sector, in the group of military branches or
23 combat arms.
24 Q. General, my last series of questions is with respect to a chart.
25 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that 65 ter 26001A be brought to our
1 screen. This is a chart summarising General Milovanovic's observations
2 regarding seven documents he was asked to review prior to giving evidence
3 in this trial.
4 Q. General, while that's being called up, prior to giving evidence,
5 were you asked to review seven documents related to humanitarian convoys
6 and record any observations you had with respect to their authenticity
7 and substance on a chart?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is this the chart that we see before us now?
10 A. Yes. This is only the first document.
11 MR. GROOME: Can we go to e-court page 4 in both languages.
12 Q. And when you can see that, can you tell us whether you recognise
13 the signature?
14 A. Yes. This is my signature.
15 Q. General, having completed this chart several days ago, is there
16 anything else you would like to add to your comments before I tender this
18 A. No.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution now tenders 26001A into
20 evidence. It's the chart as well as the seven documents aggregated into
21 the same exhibit.
22 MR. LUKIC: We always object to documents of this nature.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: If I wasn't clear, we object this time as well.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No, that's clear. I'm not seeking -- you say
1 always of this nature. You mean charts or underlying documents or what
2 is it exactly?
3 MR. LUKIC: Is this -- I mean this should then be 92 ter
4 statement. Is it -- what kind of evidence is this? This is written
5 statement about something. This witness is a viva voce witness,
6 specifically for him.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Would that exclude the possibility of -- you can
8 cross-examine the witness on it. I mean, it is a written statement to
9 some extent, yes, but perhaps then Mr. Groome -- if Mr. Groome would ask
10 the witness whether he gave his comments to the best of his knowledge
11 and -- I mean, is a viva voce witness per se excluded from any written
12 statement given for very practical reasons? I mean, that's my question,
13 procedural question.
14 MR. LUKIC: For us, yes. If you rule differently, then it might
15 affect our Defence case as well. And we would object --
16 JUDGE ORIE: In what respect?
17 MR. LUKIC: That we might have viva voce witnesses with written
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, written statements, it is limited to -- but
20 you'd say: We would never use a chart with any of our witnesses if we
21 call them viva voce? Is that your position?
22 MR. LUKIC: I never did it before, no. I never used these charts
23 with any of my witnesses before, nor I saw it in any other trial.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: The chart and the underlying documents will be MFI'd
2 for the time being.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: You tendered only the chart, Mr. Groome?
5 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, to simplify matters, we aggregated the
6 seven documents and the chart into a single exhibit. The original
7 exhibit had the same 65 ter number with all of those documents but
8 without the suffix.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, this document will be MFI'd under
10 what number?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Document 26001A receives number P2222,
12 Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: P2222 is admitted -- is marked for identification.
14 Mr. Groome?
15 MR. GROOME:
16 Q. General, the last question I have, I wanted to return to the
17 topic of Directive 7 and 7/1 and give you an additional opportunity to
18 say anything that you might want to say about them now that you've had an
19 opportunity to look at them. So let me put essentially my question to
20 you again. Is it your evidence that you have concluded that the absence
21 of that offensive phrase from 7/1 that we found in Directive 7 is an
22 indication of General Mladic's intentional withdrawal of that part of the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you have factual knowledge that this is true or this is a
1 conclusion that you've drawn from looking -- your retrospective reading
2 of the documents?
3 A. My personal assessment and my personal conclusion.
4 Q. General, I want to thank you for your answers to my questions
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, that concludes my examination of this
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome. I would like to deal briefly
9 with a procedural matter but meanwhile, before you leave the courtroom,
10 I'd like to instruct you again not to speak or communicate with whomever
11 about your testimony, whether already given or still to be given. You
12 may follow the usher and we would like to see you back tomorrow morning
13 at 9.30 in this same courtroom.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to deliver a short decision. It might
16 take us three minutes into the time which is not ours. Nevertheless,
17 I already ask for the indulgence of all those assisting us.
18 It is a decision on the five Defence requests for extensions to
19 respond, a request which was filed on the 13th of September.
20 Having considered the current work-load of the defence and the
21 volume and complexity of the evidence proffered in each of the relevant
22 Prosecution's motions, as well as the Prosecution's standing submission
23 that it will not object to any reasonable requests for extensions, the
24 Chamber decides as follows:
25 For the Prosecution's motion to admit the evidence of
1 Witness RM218 and RM269, the Chamber grants an additional 14 days to
2 respond, setting the new deadline on the 27th of September.
3 For the Prosecution's motion to admit evidence from the bar table
4 with regard to military justice, the Chamber grants an additional 35 days
5 to respond, setting a new deadline of the 18th of October.
6 For the Prosecution's motion to admit evidence from the bar table
7 with regard to the municipalities component of the case, the Chamber
8 grants an additional 65 days to respond, setting the new deadline on the
9 18th of November.
10 For the Prosecution's 37th 92 bis motion, the Chamber grants an
11 additional 14 days to respond, setting the new deadline of the
12 27th September.
13 And the last one: For the Prosecution's 36th 92 bis motion, the
14 Chamber first notes that the response was due on the 12th of September
15 but that the Defence did not file its request for extension until the
16 13th of September. However, on an exceptional basis, the Chamber will
17 allow the request and hereby grants an additional 30 days to respond,
18 setting the new deadline of the 14th of October.
19 Finally, the Chamber notes with some concern the Defence
20 submission that it has been the guidance of the Chamber that bar table
21 motions must be limited to only ten documents and that the Chamber has
22 relaxed this guidance to permit the Prosecution to do as it wishes.
23 The Chamber takes this opportunity to clarify for the Defence
24 that it has never been the guidance of this Chamber that bar table
25 motions be strictly limited to ten documents and that where the Chamber
1 has given guidance, it has been an expression of the Chamber's
2 preferences with regard to the volume and focus of proffered evidence so
3 as not to not unnecessarily burden the Chamber or the evidentiary record
4 and not, as the Defence suggests, to protect or promote the interest of
5 one party over another.
6 The Chamber might find it helpful in this regard to revisit -- I
7 misread. The Defence might find it helpful in this regard to revisit the
8 Chamber's guidance of the 9th of July, 2012, where it clearly stated that
9 it would take a flexible approach in such matters and that what was most
10 important was the focused presentation of evidence and not any precise
11 limitation on the number of tendered exhibits. The Chamber hopes the
12 Defence will keep this in mind when making future submissions on whether
13 or to what extent the Chamber's guidance has been followed.
14 I apologise for those assisting us for going beyond the time.
15 We adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow, Thursday, the
16 19th of September, in this same courtroom, I, at 9.30 in the morning.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.18 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of
19 September, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.