1 Tuesday, 22 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.34 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, could you kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. For the record all the accused
10 are present. All the Defence teams, every member, is present.
11 Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
12 Now, we've got three problems. One is that we've already lost 20
13 minutes because of the technical problems that we had, and these 20
14 minutes happen to be very precious, given the circumstances.
15 The second is, I don't know if you have had further discussions
16 amongst yourself to resolve the issue that I foresaw coming yesterday,
17 namely what's going to happen with the next witness, the Defence expert
18 witness. Yes, Mr. Thayer?
19 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, good afternoon, Your
20 Honours, good afternoon, everyone.
21 Mr. President, we have --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you continue, Mr. Thayer, sorry to interrupt
23 you like this, but we are, as you may have noticed Judge Prost will be
24 with us -- Judge Stole will be with us after the first session. He's got
25 something personal that cropped up that he has to attend to and he'll
1 certainly make it by the end of this session.
2 So we are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Yes, Mr. Thayer?
3 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think I can get right down to the
4 gist of the matter. I think we are going to need some Solomonic guidance
5 from the Court.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what we were discussing and hopefully not
7 needing to resort to.
8 MR. THAYER: Well, we have been engaged in numerous communications
9 to try to resolve it and we actually thought we had a very workable and
10 unanimously satisfactory solution that we were about an inch away from
11 completing yesterday, which was, given certain problems that I had been
12 alerted to by some of my friends with respect to securing the extended
13 visa and expert fees and so forth that had been unexpected for Mr. Rodic,
14 given the likelihood of those difficulties, we had come up with a plan to
15 stop or temporarily interrupt Mr. Trivic's testimony at the end of the day
16 today so that we could continue -- or we could begin and complete
17 Mr. Rodic's testimony in the two days which I think everybody agrees we
18 can do.
19 That was ultimately contingent upon Mr. Trivic agreeing to that
20 unanimously agreed plan. He is firm that he wishes to go home and
21 complete his testimony while he's here. We won't hold that against him.
22 That's his decision. That is the rock.
23 The hard place that we are caught between now is Mr. Rodic has
24 advised my friends that he fears that he will lose his job if he is
25 required to appear on Tuesday should his testimony not be completed.
1 Now, and I've engaged in some discussion with my friends about
2 this topic specifically as well. I think our experience has been that
3 when we receive that type of information, frequently and in this trial
4 it's been the case that when the Chamber makes it clear or suggests that
5 it has an expectation that a witness is available for a particular day,
6 when that gets communicated to the employer, whether it's been the Dutch
7 Ministry of Defence or another employer, that that has a salutary effect.
8 However, in this case I'm being told that Mr. Rodic has a private employer
9 that may be more inured to the Court's statements on this topic. So that
10 is where we are.
11 We really don't have any further suggestions than that. We could
12 continue with Mr. Trivic's testimony, complete his testimony, begin
13 Mr. Rodic's testimony, and see how far we get by the end of the day on
14 Thursday and if we are not done cross-examining him, we can bring him back
15 at the earliest. Our collective preference was to begin and end
16 Mr. Rodic's testimony as soon as possible. We understand that that is
17 among the highest of priorities for everyone to get this intercept issue
18 resolved. So I think that's where we are.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's take it --
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take it bit by bit. Mr. Krgovic, how much
22 more time you need for your cross-examination of Mr. Trivic?
23 MR. KRGOVIC: I will do my best, Your Honour. I think I will
24 reduce my cross and I think I will have half an hour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes?
1 MR. HAYNES: I think I've asked for an hour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you have.
3 MR. HAYNES: But you should know that the schedule of documents
4 that I will serve in a short while contains no fewer than 24 documents for
5 this witness. I have nine separate headings of cross-examination for him,
6 and I think an hour is very optimistic.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Madam Fauveau? You requested two hours.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I would do my
9 best to finish in less time, maybe an hour 30, an hour 45 minutes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic? Thank you, Madam Fauveau.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: As for Mr. Borovcanin's Defence it is very likely
14 that we will have no cross-examination for this witness. However, I
15 cannot guarantee right this moment and we made an agreement among
16 ourselves that Madam Fauveau will go first and if she covers all the
17 topics that we have, then we'll have no cross-examination.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Bourgon?
19 MR. BOURGON: Good afternoon, Mr. President. The situation is the
20 same with respect as the Borovcanin team, that is, although we had
21 requested half an hour, we anticipate that all the questions that we
22 wanted to ask will have been asked by the end. But of course I cannot say
23 at this time and foreclose or say that I will not have a short
24 cross-examination. Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Meek?
1 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President. We have the -- we take the
2 same position as Mr. Bourgon and believe we'll have no cross-examination
3 but don't want to close the door on it, either.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic?
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I believe that 20
6 minutes will be enough.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So we are talking of three hours and 20 minutes, the
8 least. That's the most optimistic scenario.
9 So let's -- I suggest we go.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the best way to go is to proceed with the
12 testimony of Mr. Trivic and hopefully we try to manage the sitting in a
13 way as to call upon you to make an extra effort, those who will be
14 cross-examining, to finish by today.
15 Then there is this other aspect that regards Mr. Rodic, and this
16 is an expert witness for five of the accused, five Defence teams. And
17 still we see that there are five requests for an examination-in-chief.
18 Our suggestion to you - and this is by way of trying to come forward with
19 something practical that could perhaps make it possible for Mr. Rodic to
20 finish his testimony by the end of Thursday - is to liaise amongst
21 yourselves, the five of you, and there will only be one of you that will
22 examine the expert in chief, with the understanding that if there are any
23 leftovers that come to your mind en passant, as we go along, then, of
24 course, you will have the opportunity to put the questions but ideally,
25 you should agree amongst yourself what questions to put and there will
1 just be one of you that will examine this witness in chief, and you will
2 then be able to establish, to estimate the time you require. That's one.
3 Obviously, the Gvero team had indicated that they wish to
4 cross-examine this expert and you will have every opportunity to do so.
5 The Pandurevic team have indicated no intention to cross-examine the
6 witness and of course you will have cross-examination. So if you think
7 this is workable, then perhaps we can adopt this system. You can have one
8 day, complete day for your examination-in-chief and the Prosecution will
9 have another day minus ten minutes which will be reserved for the Gvero
10 Defence team.
11 Think about it. We don't want to know now. Let's proceed so as
12 not to lose more time. And perhaps the first break you will tell us.
13 While the witness is arriving, following the -- I know that
14 Mr. Bourgon wishes to address the Trial Chamber to clarify something about
15 the Defence motion he filed yesterday, but before he does so, there are
16 two urgent issues that arise out of that motion, namely the request of the
17 Defence for interim provisions to be taken. Since they -- in particular
18 as regards Witnesses PW-108 and 128, we are not in a position--
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher? We are not in a position to wait much and we
21 wish to hand down our decision by the end of this week. We are calling
22 upon you, Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Thayer, to file a response limited to that
23 part of the motion namely the last part, the interim -- the request for
24 the interim provisions by no later than the end of tomorrow, office hours.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Mr. Nicholls is working on that and we
1 should be able to do that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. The other thing is this: Reading
3 through your motion, Mr. Bourgon, now it seems very obvious to us that in
4 order to be able to evaluate some of the submissions that you're making,
5 particularly that what is contained in the witness summary provided by the
6 Prosecution does not tally with what the witness had previously stated in
7 his witness statement, we now definitely require the witness statement to
8 go through it to be able to make an assessment of your submission. So
9 since we had decided earlier to expunge that witness statement from the
10 record, and yesterday we had a confirmation that the witness statement has
11 indeed been expunged through a special procedure, we now want it back.
12 There is no way in -- we can ask Mr. Pimentel to do the whole exercise and
13 go in reverse mode. So Mr. McCloskey, please, could you also let us have
14 a copy of that witness statement again tomorrow, together with or
15 separately but no later than the end of the day tomorrow?
16 That's about it. Now, Mr. Bourgon, you intimated that you need to
17 address us to clarify something about your motion. Go ahead.
18 MR. BOURGON: Indeed, Mr. President, very quickly. There are
19 corrections I'd like to bring on the record concerning the motion. At
20 paragraph 119, subparagraph C and as well as footnote 36. This paragraph
21 relates to the 11 witnesses -- Mr. President, I need to go into closed
22 session for this, please.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go into private session for a short
25 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Trivic, good afternoon to you, sorry for
9 having -- for keeping you waiting.
10 Yes, Mr. Meek?
11 MR. MEEK: Sorry, Mr. President, before we start I just want you
12 to know before 4.00 the Beara Defence team will be filing a joinder, a
13 short joinder to that motion, that's all.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. The more the merrier, sort of.
15 Yes, Mr. Trivic, good afternoon to you and my apologies to you for
16 having kept you waiting but we had some procedural matters to attend to.
17 We'll now proceed, Mr. Krgovic. We will do our best to finish with your
18 testimony today. Mr. Krgovic?
19 WITNESS: MIRKO TRIVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic: [Continued]
22 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. We broke off yesterday when I asked you whether you remembered the
25 entry into Srebrenica on the 11th and the state of affairs as you found it
1 in Srebrenica. I asked you about the hospital, but did you pass by the
2 post office? Did you have occasion to look at the post office building in
4 A. There isn't anything in particular that sticks in my mind. I saw
5 the hospital. I'm not sure about the post office.
6 Q. Did you have occasion to enter the UN base in Srebrenica near to
7 the petrol station there?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you notice any shelling marks within the base compound or in
10 the yard itself?
11 A. No. I didn't notice any such thing.
12 Q. Let us briefly go back to your yesterday's answers. And it has to
13 do with your brief conversation with General Gvero. The reason why you
14 approached General Gvero was the morale levels in your unit and this is
15 something that is within the purview of the officer for morale?
16 A. Of course, yes. That is one of the duties discharged by such
18 Q. When you answered my question which had to do with the plans
19 entertained by some UNPROFOR members to provoke Serbs, do you know that
20 generally speaking, in Republika Srpska at the time, it was known that
21 UNPROFOR forces were trying to find a way of provoking Serbs in order to
22 have a reason to launch air strikes and were you aware of this and were
23 you aware of the fact that also for this reason you were to refrain from
24 any attacks against UNPROFOR members?
25 A. At the time, based on the intelligence that arrived from superior
1 commands and based on the intelligence we received from the people out
2 afield, there was some mention of it. Later on, as I studied some
3 documents, I came to know, based on General Smith's statement, that he, in
4 fact, proposed it to the UN units themselves, or rather, the UN
5 representative who was to convey this to the Security Council.
6 Q. When you were preparing for your testimony in the Blagojevic case,
7 it was at that time that you learnt this?
8 A. Well, I was also studying the military, political and other
9 matters, and in particular, when I was working and preparing for the
10 Krajisnik case. I was also in touch with some Defence counsel when I
11 stated that I was prepared to appear as a Defence witness in this
12 particular case too.
13 Q. On the 11th, you received an assignment to secure certain lines
14 and features. Let me show you a document now from the Drina Corps command
15 which, among its addressees also has your unit. Can we have P439 shown to
16 the witness, please?
17 This is an order dated 11th of July. Could you please read the
18 paragraph above the line where it says, "Order." It is quite obvious that
19 the order was also sent to your unit.
20 A. Yes. And to the 2nd Romanija Brigade as well.
21 Q. "With a view to preventing the return of the Muslim forces into
22 Srebrenica, I issue the following order."
23 Do you see that section of the document?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can we just scroll down a bit? In this particular order, it is
1 stated that the morale -- the combat readiness had to be raised to the
2 highest level, that ambushes had to be set, cooperation with MUP had to be
3 ensured, and units and positions had to be secured. Is this consistent
4 with the assessments you received from the ground?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. After the cessation of combat activities around Srebrenica, what
7 was your knowledge as to the effect how and why the civilian population
8 was being evacuated? Can you tell us something about what you knew of how
9 the evacuation of the civilian population came about?
10 A. In answer to a question by the Prosecution, I said that my only
11 knowledge of evacuation on that particular date was on the basis of my own
12 assessment and expectations, and when in the command of the Bratunac
13 Brigade General Mladic spoke to someone over the phone, and I overheard
14 this conversation, which had to do with the procurement of means of
15 transportation and fuel, I learnt more about it later on, but at the time
16 I didn't know anything else, save, of course, for what I was able to
17 observe of the evacuation on my way to Bratunac.
18 Q. Did you know that an agreement had been reached with the
19 representatives of the civilian authorities in Srebrenica and that an
20 agreement had been signed and that General Mladic offered the Muslim
21 population to choose whether they wanted to stay or leave and that they
22 decided to evacuate themselves from Srebrenica?
23 A. This was something we were briefly informed on during a briefing
24 in Bratunac, but I did not have any specific assignments in that regard
25 and I didn't give it particular thought, but I know that commanders were
1 briefed to that extent and to that effect, to know what was going on in
2 the area.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Please allow a short pause before you start
4 answering Mr. Krgovic's questions so that the interpreters can catch up
5 with their translation.
6 Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: I apologise, Your Honour. It's my fault I'm trying
8 to be as speedy as possible.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm glad you got the message, even though I
10 addressed the witness.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. On the 13th, you set out into the Zepa area. Did you receive
13 information, upon your arrival there, about the enemy forces you were
14 going to be facing? Were you given an estimate as to their strength and
15 weapons they had, as was indeed the case at the earlier briefing prior to
16 the action in Srebrenica?
17 A. Yes. The -- there was an estimate that there were around 1500 to
18 2.000 armed members of ABiH there, in the area of Zepa, that these forces
19 had organised their defences and that some 500 to 700 people were
20 estimated to have arrived from the Srebrenica enclave after our forces had
21 entered Srebrenica. These were elements of their forces who refused to
22 disarm and set out from Srebrenica toward Zepa, so I suppose that there
23 were around two to 2.500 members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
25 Q. Did you receive any instructions as to how you were to treat
1 UNPROFOR members and the civilian population?
2 A. The general position that had been conveyed from the superior
3 command, and which we as brigade commanders conveyed down the chain of
4 command, was that in any combat activity, UNPROFOR forces should not be
5 attacked, that the aim of those activities was to engage armed forces.
6 This position had always been presented to us in all the assignments,
7 including this one.
8 Q. Could the witness be shown Exhibit P114?
9 This is an order to launch an attack against the Zepa enclave
10 dated the 13th of July. Could we please turn to page 3 in the B/C/S and
11 page 4 in the English version? Can we scroll down, please? Very well.
12 Sir, look at the paragraph starting, "Civilian Muslim population
13 and UNPROFOR are not the objective of the operation of our forces." Have
14 you found that passage?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is this consistent with the instructions you received on the spot?
17 A. Of course, the orders I received followed from this one, as this
18 is a document that would normally be kept with the headquarters of the
19 unit issuing the order.
20 Q. In your combat activities, as far as you know, and as far as your
21 units are concerned, you adhered to these orders?
22 A. Yes, we did. Throughout combat activities, I didn't have any
23 contacts with UNPROFOR forces in the Zepa area, although I must say that
24 the UN APC which was at a hill in the settlement of Borak was used by the
25 BiH army to fire upon our forces. I conclude this because fire had been
1 opened from the APC upon us.
2 Q. Could the witness be shown 6D82, please?
3 The document before you is a report on intelligence concerning the
4 enemy in the enclaves of Zepa and Gorazde dated the 20 --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Yes, the 24th of
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Could we scroll down, please? Very well.
9 I'm interested in the bottom part, the sentence starting
10 with, "At any rate or at any event. It has been four days now that the
11 Muslims have been firing from heavy anti-aircraft machine-guns." There is
12 a brief description of the weaponry used and activities launched in that
13 period. Is this description of the weapons used by them at the time
14 consistent with what you know, from what you knew on the ground?
15 A. On the basis of the fire our forces had to put up with at that
16 time from the fortification on the elevation at Borak, I can say that this
17 is consistent with this particular piece of intelligence obtained by our
18 intelligence officers.
19 Q. Can we please go back to the top part of the document? A bit
20 down, further down, please.
21 There is one passage here which starts, and it's in the middle of
22 the second paragraph, "The Muslim forces have engaged and included into
23 their firing system the UNPROFOR hardware and weaponry which they laid
24 their hands on during the recent blockade."
25 A. I don't see this part.
1 Q. It's in the middle part, "The Muslim forces have also included the
2 UNPROFOR hardware and weapons."
3 A. Yes, yes. I see that.
4 Q. Is this consistent with the fire opened from the APC on your
6 A. Yes. There was this one APC on the elevation at Borak which
7 opened fire on my forces.
8 Q. The document goes on to say, and can we look at page 2, please?
9 In the second paragraph, toward the bottom, which says that the civilian
10 population, particularly in the central area of the enclave, that's fifth
11 line from the top.
12 A. Yes, I see that.
13 Q. Is there consistent with your knowledge that they had evacuated
14 the civilian population out of the combat area of your forces?
15 A. Yes. It is consistent because later on, it became clear when we
16 came out at Zepska Koliba, the houses there, there were still traces of
17 the civilian population having been there previously at that plateau.
18 Q. As you advanced in the Zepa area, how did you mark your own units
19 as they were on the move?
20 A. We mostly set hay alight and in one case there was a wooden
21 cottage or a hut. As we were trying to seize the stronghold organised at
22 Vis and the Borak hamlet, that was this particular case where we set this
23 hut alight; otherwise we would set fire to hay so that the operations
24 commander who was observing the operation from the observation post would
25 be able to follow.
1 Q. This served for you to identify the positions of units?
2 A. Yes, because the configuration of the terrain was such as did not
3 allow a line of visibility further than four to 500 metres, and the
4 observation post was closer to, let's say, Rogatica and a bit further from
5 Han Pijesak for the operation was taking place the following day. This
6 was a way of making sure that they could follow the advance of the units.
7 We had to use these, "Indian signs," in order to know where the units
9 Q. At one point, did not the Muslim forces also set fire to a
11 A. I can't talk about whether the Muslim forces set something on
12 fire. I know that General Krstic intervened and asked us to act
13 responsibly because several houses had been set on fire. This was in the
14 evening hours. And I was warned that I would be held responsible
15 personally unless I identified the perpetrators, those who set those
16 houses on fire and punished them. Ultimately, it became clear that none
17 of my units were responsible for this. I don't know whether this was done
18 by the defenders, by the ABiH forces of Zepa.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic, your 30 minutes will come to an end in
20 about eight minutes' time.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Sir, did you make note of this in your diary?
23 A. Yes. The entire incident involving the warning that I was given
24 by the operations commander, my subsequent inquiry which enabled me to
25 report back to General Krstic.
1 Q. Let me take you back to one stage at the end of -- toward the end
2 of the operation. At one point you were wounded in Zepa. This was after
3 the signing of the agreement and after the evacuation of the civilian
4 population, when the fighting continued; isn't that right?
5 A. Yes. My unit was given the mission to break through to Zepska
6 Koliba and I was wounded on the 29th, near the communications centre at
7 Zlovrh, below that centre, in fact.
8 Q. Let -- I will show you a document, 6D125.
9 This is a document, information about the attack on Srebrenica.
10 Can we look at the bottom part? Let us read a couple of paragraphs and
11 you will tell me if the contents of this document reflects what happened
12 on the ground. This document is ascribed to General Gvero. It's dated 10
13 July. It's a typo here. It's not June. It's July, 1995. In paragraph
14 2, we read that the area of Srebrenica was to be demilitarised in keeping
15 with the agreement that had been signed, and that all military and
16 paramilitary units were to be withdrawn with all weapons surrendered.
17 That was not done?
18 A. It wasn't.
19 Q. So this passage is correct?
20 A. It certainly is. In view of the fact that the forces of the 28th
21 Division continued to occupy positions in the area of Srebrenica and its
22 members lived there.
23 Q. So the UNPROFOR did not carry any of this out, it didn't disarm
24 Muslim forces and the Muslim forces continued to supply themselves with
25 arms, they continued -- they committed major crimes, acting out of the
1 zone --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Haven't we heard about this already from I don't
3 know how many witnesses? And I dare even think that this was something
4 that the Prosecution themselves acknowledged. It's one of the agreed
5 facts. I mean, do we have to go through all this again?
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] No. If the Prosecutor agrees. We
7 actually tried to agree with the Prosecution about this document and it --
8 the attempt was not successful. That's why I wanted to go through it
9 briefly. I have just one more question in connection with this document.
10 Could we show page 2? Sorry, page 3.
11 Q. Look at this passage in paragraph 2. "Our current combat
12 activities are only geared at neutralising Muslim terrorists. They are
13 not targeting civilians." Is this consistent with what you know and what
14 you yourself did in the Srebrenica operation and Zepa operation?
15 A. Like any army, I suppose in the world, in all the wars, the army
16 to which I belonged never had as its objective to target civilian
17 population, and in this particular case it didn't target UNPROFOR members
19 Q. If you had occasion to briefly look through this document, did you
20 find anything in it that is a lie, that is inaccurate?
21 A. From what I was able to see so far, there is nothing that would be
22 a lie.
23 Q. My last question: Can we see 6D127, please?
24 This is a combat report of 15th July. Could we scroll down,
1 This is a combat report of the 15th of July from which we see that
2 you signed it. It's in fact a telegram. Were you at the command on the
3 15th of July? Did you send and sign this combat report?
4 A. Yes, at the command. Maybe it was sent from the forward command
5 post, but I was not at the command at Knezina, at the original location.
6 Q. The fact that your name is signed here, does it mean that you
7 signed this document?
8 A. No, it doesn't.
9 Q. Is it possible that when somebody signs and adds "for" Mirko
10 Trivic, is it possible that the recipient would not see the signature,
11 that they would only see the typed part?
12 A. It wouldn't be visible because this was obviously encrypted and
13 sent by fax -- not by fax. It was encrypted and sent that way, so it
14 wouldn't be visible.
15 Q. And on the 15th, you were obviously in Zepa?
16 A. Yes, in the Zepa area.
17 Q. So you couldn't have signed this document?
18 A. No.
19 Q. I see in my notes that I have one more short question for this
20 witness left, just three minutes perhaps, and that will be the end of my
22 Mr. Trivic, do you know General Miletic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know that Mr. Miletic's wife is Croat and she has Croat
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And his daughter is also of Croat citizenship?
3 A. Under the laws in former Yugoslavia, all children born in a
4 certain republic receive the citizenship of that republic regardless of
5 the current location of their parents.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Trivic. No further
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that, Mr. Krgovic, and for your
10 Mr. Haynes? Are you going next?
11 MR. HAYNES: No. I think in light of the fact that Madam Fauveau
12 estimates that she has two hours, we thought it was better that she
13 complete her cross-examination today and rule out the risk of somebody
14 being divided.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Madam Fauveau, go ahead.
16 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
17 Q. Sir, last Friday, you said that in end June, beginning of July,
18 you started other preparations for actions in Srebrenica. I'm speaking
19 about the end of June, July, 1995.
20 A. Yes. In end June or beginning of July.
21 Q. Could we show the witness P106?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: While that is being done, Madam Fauveau, we'll have
23 the break at 16 hours and five minutes and it will be a shortened break
24 this time, with your indulgence. Instead of 25 minutes, 20 minutes, try
25 to recover a little bit of the time lost. And then you will continue at
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Sir, the copy is not very good but could you confirm, please, that
4 this order before you is indeed the preparatory order that you received
5 and it's dated 2nd July? Could we just show the top of the document,
7 A. Yes. That is the preparatory order. And that is recorded in one
8 of the brigade commands but it was encrypted.
9 Q. Sir, for the moment what I'm interested in is this: Can we say
10 that this preparatory order was issued by the Drina Corps command?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And if we look at the first paragraph of this order, is it correct
13 that this first paragraph relates to a major offensive of the enemy that
14 began in mid-March?
15 A. Yes. One can see that in item 1, and this reflects the situation
16 that existed at the time when the agreement was signed in the spring -- or
17 rather in the winter time of 1995.
18 Q. And this offensive of the enemy mentioned in this paragraph was a
19 Muslim offensive launched on a number of fronts against Republika Srpska?
20 A. Yes. That can be seen from the introductory part of the
21 preparatory order.
22 Q. And according to what is written in the following paragraph, we
23 see that this offensive took place in the areas of the 2nd Krajina Corps,
24 the area of the Sarajevo corps, the area of the Drina Corps and the east
25 Bosnia corps area.
1 A. If you're reading paragraph 2, the 1st Sarajevo, Romanija,
2 Herzegovina and eastern Bosnian corps are mentioned, and it was expected
3 that the enemy was going to be active in Kladanj and Olovo, in the area of
4 responsibility of the Drina Corps.
5 Q. Is it true that the areas covered by the 3rd Corps cover almost
6 the entirety of Republika Srpska territory?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you remember of this Muslim offensive that was launched in
9 mid-March 1995?
10 A. Yes. There were offensives in different areas, among others in
11 the spring of 1995 an offensive was launched from the Tuzla area, I
12 believe, toward the eastern Bosnian corps and Drina Corps areas. I had to
13 send elements of my units to help in the area of the Zvornik Brigade, if I
14 remember correctly, because that particular brigade was under attack in
15 its own zone.
16 Q. You can see at the top of this document the units, in fact
17 brigades, to which this order was addressed. Is it correct that this
18 order, in fact, all the units, addressees, were the units of the Drina
20 A. In paragraph 3, the Zvornik Brigade, the 1st Bratunac Brigade, the
21 1st and the 5th Podrinje light infantry brigades, yes, in fact these units
22 were parts of the Drina Corps. The units to which this order was
23 addressed were all part of the Drina Corps.
24 Q. And to the best of your knowledge, in fact, from what you see
25 written in this preparatory order, this order was not brought to the
1 notice of the Main Staff of the VRS?
2 A. No, because such orders do not make it incumbent upon the
3 commander to send it to the superior command. This is something that is
4 within his discretion. He sends this order in order to inform subordinate
5 units of what they can expect in the forthcoming period.
6 Q. Can we show the witness page 2 of this order?
7 Sir, do you see item 5, para 5? Is it true that in conformity
8 with para 5, all the preparations for this operation had to be performed
9 by the Drina Corps?
10 A. Yes. The corps command was to carry out all the preparations for
11 activities from the forward command post and would make it operational by
12 the 4th of July.
13 Q. Is it true that as a result of this preparatory order, you also
14 received executive orders to move your troops into battle?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can we show the witness Exhibit P107?
17 Is it the order on the basis of which the operation around
18 Srebrenica took place?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. This order was sent to the units involved in the operation?
21 A. It was handed out when assignments were being issued upon the
22 arrival in the area where combat activities were to take place.
23 Q. And the units that are enumerated here, at the beginning of this
24 document, are, in fact, the units that participated in the operation
25 around Srebrenica?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And this order was not notified from what we see in the document
3 to the Main Staff of the VRS.
4 A. There was no need for that. The order by commander is not sent
5 up, since the decision approving these activities had been issued, I'm not
6 saying that the Main Staff did not need to know about this but the
7 activities were approved and the document is issued for the purposes of
8 the subordinate units and stays with the issuing headquarters.
9 Q. Can we see the lower part of the page? That's perfect.
10 Is it correct that item 1 of this order describes the situation in
11 the zone of the Drina Corps?
12 A. This was an assessment by the corps command. I cannot make it
13 different in any way. If this was something that was produced by
14 commanders who were aware of the situation on the ground, then the
15 receiving subordinate units would only take notice of it.
16 Q. And according to what is written in para 1 of this order, the
17 enemy was mounting attacks against the units of the Drina Corps?
18 A. Yes, from the protected zone, as was said in the preparatory
19 order, particularly intensified were the activities in the last or toward
20 the end of those four months when a cease-fire had been agreed, the corps
21 command and the forces were provoked to react by the many victims among
22 the civilian population and also among members of the units which set out
23 to separate the areas.
24 Q. Similarly, the Drina Corps had information that the forces of the
25 28th Division intended to cut the area of the Drina Corps in two and link
1 up with the eastern forces?
2 A. I said that on the basis of intelligence received, and assessments
3 of the command, such a conclusion was reached and they were guided by
4 these conclusions as they were preparing for action.
5 Q. Can we show the witness page 2 of this order? In English, it's
6 page 3. Can we see the lower part of the page, para 4?
7 You have spoken on Friday about the objective of this operation
8 around Srebrenica. Can you see the second paragraph in item 4? It states
9 the objective of this operation around Srebrenica.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And according to this order, the objective of the operation was to
12 separate the enclaves Srebrenica from Zepa and to reduce the size of the
13 enclaves as well as to create conditions necessary to eliminate them.
14 A. Yes. That transpires clearly from the document.
15 Q. Can we now show the top part, para 2, of the order? Yes. This is
16 the middle, in fact.
17 In para 2 of this order, the Drina Corps command, in fact the
18 commander who issued this order, invokes directive 7 and 7/1.
19 A. I see that.
20 Q. Is it correct that you were aware of this directive 7 and
21 directive 7/1?
22 A. The brigade commands did not receive the contents of the
23 directives, but undoubtedly the corps commands did, through the general
24 guidelines, based on the directives, the corps command, which produces an
25 autonomous assessment of the situation within its area of defence or let
1 me use the synonym, area of responsibility, the corps command makes the
2 decision by invoking the instructions contained in the directive.
3 Q. I would like to show the witness P5, but maybe we can put it on
4 the ELMO so the witness can have it before him. P5. Maybe in e-court we
5 can leave document, P107, and we can put P5 on the ELMO. I'm sorry about
6 this. And could we put page 2 on the e-court document so we can see para
8 Sir, what you have next to you on the ELMO, is that directive
9 number 7?
10 A. As far as I can see, it is.
11 Q. Could we say that this directive was issued by the Supreme Command
12 of the VRS?
13 A. Yes. I saw the heading, which says that the Supreme Command
14 issued the directive number 7.
15 Q. Do you know that this directive states the tasks of the -- states
16 the objectives of the VRS as determined by the Supreme Command?
17 A. Yes. But let me explain my position, if I may be allowed. A
18 directive is not a simple document. It's not a mission or a task. A
19 directive is issued as an instruction on how to proceed. It's guidance
20 given for the forthcoming period. It results from an analysis of the
21 Supreme Command of the situation on the entire battlefield in Republika
22 Srpska. Accordingly, it is formulated in accordance -- or rather, it is
23 formulated as general instructions to the army and depending on the
24 situations in different front lines also to the corps commands, in
25 particular front lines. It's a document issued by the Supreme Command, by
1 army commands, according to the procedure we adhered to and complied with
2 during the war in Republika Srpska, throughout the war.
3 I apologise. If I can only say this: This is exactly how things
4 were done. One would make an assessment of the other side and then -- and
5 that would be the basis for the directive that was sent to the Main Staff.
6 Q. Can we now show the witness page 8 of the directive? It is the
7 page marked is 8. And it's -- the last digits of the ERN number are
8 3173. And in English it's page 10. Could we see the lower part of this
9 page? Just a little bit further down. Perfect. Thank you.
10 Can you see the paragraph that begins with the word, "The Drina
11 Corps"? Is it correct that this part of the directive sets out in greater
12 precision the instructions given to the Drina Corps?
13 A. Yes. This part relates to the Drina Corps.
14 Q. I would now like to ask you to read the first paragraph, the one
15 that starts after the heading, "Drina Corps" and to compare it with para 2
16 of the 2nd July order that you see on the screen.
17 A. "The Drina Corps, with a highly persistent and active defence, with
18 elements of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps units, in the northwestern part of
19 the battlefield and around the enclave is to prevent the break-throughs of
20 the enemy in -- along certain selected operational, tactical axes, with
21 demonstrative and active combat activities by applying measures of
22 operational and tactical camouflage, carry out as strong as possible
23 actions toward the enclaves." Should I read further?
24 Q. Can we now see the bottom of page 2 so that the witness can see
25 para 2 in its entirety?
1 A. I've read it.
2 Q. Is it correct that this order envisaged reducing the enclaves to
3 the urban area?
4 A. Yes. Separation and narrowing down.
5 Q. And that separation is planned in that directive, but the
6 reduction or the narrowing down isn't envisaged by the directive?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Could we then say that the 2nd July order went beyond what was
9 written in the directive?
10 A. No. Let me explain. The Drina Corps command invokes only the
11 directive as an instruction to take certain measures to prevent activities
12 and break-throughs out of the enclave. And you see this part of the order
13 that the command of the Drina Corps, pursuant to the directive, makes an
14 independent decision because they did not use the part involving
15 coordinated action with Sarajevo Romanija Corps, because the directive
16 stated that this should be done in coordinated with action. They decided
17 not to proceed this way, because they did not want to wait for the Main
18 Staff to take measures to involve both the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and the
19 Drina Corps to deal with the enclave.
20 Rather, it was on their own discretion that they used the free
21 forces, as they put it, and these are parts of the 2nd Romanija Corps
22 which were not tied up with other forces, they were available units and
23 they used these available units without coordinated action with other
24 corps, including the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, and autonomously set out to
25 accomplish the mission with the approval of the commander of the Main
1 Staff. Therefore, they autonomously decided on how to proceed. They
2 merely used the document as the basis for making such a decision, namely
3 the directive.
4 Q. Is it correct that, in fact, if the 2nd July order represented an
5 execution of the directive, the 2nd Corps command should have written
6 precisely the same thing that was written in the instructions handed out
7 to the Drina Corps in the directive?
8 A. You said the 2nd Corps.
9 Q. The commander of the Drina Corps should have written in para 2 of
10 his order exactly the same thing that was written in the directive?
11 A. Yes. I'm going back again to the significance and the role of the
12 directive in the formulation of these assignments. The directive only
13 serves as guidance for a period of one year and the commanders take out
14 parts of it that they, according to their assessment, can carry through.
15 There were situations when none of the guidelines given in a directive
16 were, in fact, carried out. It wasn't a binding document. Had it been
17 binding, then the Sarajevo Romanija Corps should have had to be involved
18 in coordinated action.
19 Q. Could you now please look at the sentence where you just stopped
20 reading a moment ago concerning that directive? It's the sentence that
21 begins with, "... by planned and well-thought-out."
22 A. Yes, that's the sentence that follows the passage I read. "By
23 daily planned and well-thought-out combat activities create conditions of
24 total uncertainty and absence of any prospect for further existence as
25 well as intolerable conditions for the life of locals in Srebrenica and
2 Q. Do you agree that this has a particular significance in military
4 A. Well, the situation in that area was also very particular and
5 peculiar. I suppose that the Supreme Command made its own analysis in
6 certain theatres of war, and there were particular problems with
7 organising security against attacks from protected areas. Therefore, I
8 believe that this has something to do with normal treatment of forces that
9 keep a part of the population encircled in one of the theatres of war in
10 Republika Srpska. Namely, the doctrine with which we went to war
11 envisaged combat on one's own territory.
12 Those activities, that combat, also included encircling enemy
13 forces, in this case the forces of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
14 several locations where they were organised at the time when the political
15 leadership won the political recognition for Bosnia's independence and
16 left those forces of the then-proclaimed independent Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina in areas where the population did not have any choice whether
18 they wanted to stay or go. In this case, the population was trapped in
19 those areas that were proclaimed protected areas with the arrival of the
20 UN force.
21 The army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UN force as well were
22 responsible for the future fate of that population. To carry out the
23 demilitarisation, to create a situation where the population can be given
24 the choice whether to go or to stay in Republika Srpska, this kind of
25 sanction was applied that is still applied in the world today, when one's
1 own civilian population is trapped so that somebody can realise their
2 political goals. So in this area, a population was encircled by the enemy
3 and within the doctrine that we, not only we, applied, this is nothing
4 special. Since normal life was not possible anyway, this population had
5 to be put in a position where they would have to choose where they wanted
6 to live, because this was obviously an area of Republika Srpska.
7 Q. Is it correct that this sentence within a military logic cannot be
8 interpreted as a plan of attack on civilian population?
9 A. No. I said no.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer?
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I've let this questioning and
12 answering go on for a while. I think we're really now getting deep into
13 the area of expert testimony, which we had some discussions about avoiding
14 with respect to this witness who is being offered strictly as a fact
15 witness and I've let it go because obviously given some of his experience
16 at the time, some of it, I could tolerate, but this is really getting into
17 the area of expertise where he's been asked to opine on documents and
18 portions that I think we can hear more profitably from with respect to
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau? If you're moving to something
21 different, you don't need to answer this. Let's --
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I finished with this sentence but I
23 haven't finished with the directive, and I believe that we are dealing
24 with the core of the Prosecution case against my client. We have before
25 us a professional soldier of the VRS who has received at least one such
1 document and who is able to tell us what at least one of those documents
2 means and how we should interpret it. He can also tell us how he, as a
3 member of the VRS, interpreted the said document. I don't think it has
4 nothing to do with expert testimony. This is a commander of one of the
5 brigades that was in the field at the time.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We have come to a conclusion, anyway, but it's time
9 for the break, so we'll have a 20-minute break starting from now. I'll
10 tell you exactly what the time is according, it is 16 hours 04 minutes.
11 Please try to be punctual so that we start at 20 minutes from now.
12 JUDGE KWON: If I can clarify one thing which is very minor,
13 Mr. Krgovic, can I draw your attention to page 19, lines starting from
14 23? It's a -- did you ask about General Miletic or General Gvero.
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] General Miletic, and there is a
16 reason for this, and this is one intercepted conversation where my client
17 speaks of Miletic's daughter. That's why I put the question, because it
18 is the position of the Prosecution that there was an ethnic prejudice
19 involved there, and I wanted to raise the fact that Mr. Miletic's wife is
20 a Croat.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 20 minutes starting from now, please.
22 --- Recess taken at 4.05 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.29 p.m.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's decide this matter, this issue that was
25 raised in the wake of Mr. Thayer's objection. Our position is as
1 follows: If the intention of Madam Fauveau is to -- and for that matter,
2 of any other counsel, is to ask this witness and any other witness opinion
3 on documents that he was aware of at the time, also to elicit evidence of
4 his understanding and interpretation of them, that is indeed an
5 appropriate area of examination.
6 However, if the intention is to draw from this witness general
7 opinion evidence on the interpretation of military documents, orders, that
8 would not be acceptable given that the witness is not here as an expert
9 witness and he has not been qualified as such. In our judgement, in our
10 considered opinion, the last question of Madam Fauveau falls within the
11 first category and we are therefore allowing it.
12 Go ahead, please, Madam Fauveau.
13 I don't recall the witness -- the witness had answered. Yes, he
14 had answered your question, so you can move to your next, please.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Could we show the witness page 1 of P107? That is still in
17 e-court. No. It's P107. It was in e-court.
18 Q. Sir, you see at the top of this document, on the right-hand side,
19 the words, "Krivaja 95."
20 A. Yes, I see that.
21 Q. Is it correct that this name, Krivaja 95, is in fact the name that
22 the Drina Corps command gave to the operation around Srebrenica?
23 A. Yes. This operation was carried out under that name.
24 Q. Could we now show the witness the exhibit next to the witness, the
25 directive, page 9, the page marked as 9 in B/C/S and 12 in English.
1 Can we show the lower part of the page?
2 Do you see among the tasks that were given to the Herzegovina
3 Corps in the penultimate paragraph, something called Krivaja 95?
4 A. Yes, I can see that in the section spelling out the assignments
5 and guiding the activities of the Herzegovina Corps and the action for
6 breaking through to the Neretva River valley is named Krivaja 95.
7 Q. And that operation is in no way linked to Krivaja 95 as conducted
8 around Srebrenica?
9 A. Yes, that's true. It is in no way linked to that action.
10 Q. Can we now see the last page of this directive? Last page. No.
11 This is the one-but-last, in fact. Where the signature is.
12 Sir, if we look at point 8, para 8, of this directive, is it the
13 case that all the decisions of the corps commanders were to be sent to the
14 commander of the Main Staff of the VRS seven days prior to the execution
15 of that operation?
16 A. Yes. That's what item 8 stipulates.
17 Q. And that concerns all the operations conducted based on this
19 A. Yes. That applies to all the operations that the directive refers
20 to as possible, and decisions related to these operations have to be sent
21 seven days ahead of them.
22 Q. And you've already told me that neither the preparatory order or
23 the order for combat activities for 12th July were sent to the Main Staff
24 of the VRS.
25 A. The preparatory order and the ensuing order did not have to be
1 sent to the commander of the Main Staff, if I recall very well. However,
2 the decisions of commanders on the execution of certain operations have to
3 be sent to the superior commander for approval. In this case, that's
4 the -- in the case of the corps commander, they have to be sent to the
5 commander of the Main Staff.
6 Q. But in any case, the two orders that you received relating to the
7 Krivaja 95 in Srebrenica were not sent to the Main Staff?
8 A. There was no obligation to send them.
9 Q. This directive that you have before you, it was signed by Radovan
10 Karadzic, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska,
11 wasn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you can see that it was drafted by Colonel Radivoje Miletic?
14 A. Yes. That's what it says here.
15 Q. Is it correct that the text of the directive was to be designed by
16 Radovan Karadzic?
17 A. The text of the directive is drafted by someone else, by those who
18 formulate them on the basis of the conclusions of the assessment of the
19 state of affairs in Republika Srpska at the time.
20 Q. I will rephrase my question. Is it correct that Colonel Miletic
21 could write in that text of the directive only those things that were
22 decided by Radovan Karadzic?
23 A. What the Supreme Commander signs, regardless of the contents
24 thereof, if it -- it is not the person who drafts the document who is held
25 responsible for it but the one who signs it.
1 Q. So Radivoje Miletic could not have very well written his own ideas
2 in this text?
3 A. Of course not. It is not up to the person drafting the document
4 to present their own opinions in it or positions.
5 Q. Can we now show the witness 5D361?
6 JUDGE KWON: Can I interrupt a minute, Madam Fauveau?
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Trivic, you said -- answered to the counsel that
9 the order Krivaja 95 didn't need to be sent to the Main Staff. You
10 remember that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There was no need for the
12 written order to be sent. However, the decision therein had to be
13 approved by the superior person.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. You pre-empted my question. Thank you
15 very much.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: If I understand you well, the order itself derived
17 from a previous order or a confirmation from the Main Staff. Is that what
18 you mean to tell us?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Precisely. It derives from
20 the decision approved by the commander. The order is formulated once a
21 decision was made on the basis of a map. Now, the superior officer who
22 drafts the order places the decision inside of it and then sends it to the
23 subordinate persons.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's very clear. Thank you. Madam Fauveau?
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Now, concerning this operation, Krivaja 95, did you have occasion
2 to see the map that was supposedly approved by the commander of the Main
3 Staff of the VRS?
4 A. I saw the map, together with the decision issued by the operations
5 commander, namely the commander of the Drina Corps.
6 Q. I believe we are on the same page here, that it was the map of the
7 Drina Corps commander. But you never saw a decision or a map approved by
8 Ratko Mladic concerning the Krivaja 95 operation conducted around
10 A. I don't know if I saw it or not, but I believe I did. It
11 contained the axes of engagement and assignments of units. As a rule, the
12 commanders' reconnaissance that I mentioned a day ago was the occasion
13 when I saw the map, at the briefing there.
14 Q. Do you remember who signed that map that you think you saw?
15 A. I don't remember. As a rule it was to be signed by the person who
16 drafted it, corps commander, and it is approved in the upper right-hand
17 corner, the commanding officer, superior commander.
18 Q. But you don't recall seeing the signature of Ratko Mladic on the
19 map you saw?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Sir, what you have before you, is that the directive 7/1, issued
22 by the Main Staff of the VRS?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can we show the witness page 5 of this directive, and in English
25 it's also page 5.
1 Sir, do you see item 5.3? It relates to the Drina Corps?
2 A. I can see that.
3 Q. Can you read it to yourself, these two paragraphs that concern the
4 tasks of the Drina Corps?
5 A. I've read it.
6 Q. Is it correct that this directive does not contain any plan of
7 action against the enclaves?
8 A. That's correct. That's correct. What is mentioned here is the
9 defence and active combat activities around the enclaves, to prevent the
10 enemy from breaking through along certain axes and to engage them with as
11 many forces as possible, to keep them engaged. There is no mention of the
12 assignment that was to be carried out within Krivaja 95 operation.
13 Q. Is it correct that the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS, in
14 this directive, changed or adjusted the tasks entrusted to the Drina Corps
15 by the Supreme Commander, Radovan Karadzic?
16 A. Let me go back again to the role of directives as combat
17 documents. I've already said that directives are not binding documents.
18 They are not assignments. They are merely guidelines, food for thought,
19 about certain parts of the battlefields, and they normally suggest that
20 such and such problems be solved.
21 In directive 7/1, it was the assessment of the commander of the
22 Main Staff that, at that point in time, both for the Main Staff and the
23 VRS, there were tasks of greater priority, of higher priority than this,
24 and he relinquished the idea, the idea that had been entertained by the
25 directive and concluded that some other matters had to be dealt with as a
1 priority. There was, however, a possibility for the corps commands to
2 decide whether they wanted to engage forces within their own areas of
3 responsibility. Three months later, it is said -- this shows that the
4 corps commander fully comprehended the customary role of a directive as
5 merely a set of guidelines as to how to proceed.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. I'm going to move on to the events that just
7 preceded the operation and just before you entered Srebrenica. Last
8 Friday and yesterday you said that just after you entered Srebrenica on
9 the 5th of July, there was a meeting at which Colonel Vicic was present.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it correct that Colonel Vicic himself was not able himself to
12 issue orders to brigade commanders?
13 A. No. The role of Colonel Vicic as an operations officer was to
14 acquaint the commanders and convey to them the order and assignment set by
15 the commander. He was not able to issue his own assignments.
16 Q. You remember a meeting that you had on the 5th of July, 1995, just
17 before the operation around Srebrenica began?
18 A. Yes. I remember.
19 Q. And when you attended that meeting, you didn't see a map on which
20 unit positions and movements were drawn in?
21 A. I don't recall seeing it.
22 Q. You said yesterday that you had passed by Slapovici. Is it
23 correct that at Slapovici you didn't find any Muslim units?
24 A. That's correct. I did not come across any defence units of the
25 28th Division.
1 Q. And you didn't see anything burning, any houses burning, in
3 A. No. All the houses were intact.
4 Q. When you were passing by, did you see any burning haystacks? Was
5 that used to mark your positions?
6 A. Yes. That was a standard procedure, given the lie of the land.
7 That was almost the only way to see the lines reached by the units.
8 Q. Is it correct that when you entered Slapovici, the village was
9 empty, there were no residents there?
10 A. That village was completely empty. There was no one there.
11 Q. Could we then say that the population of Slapovici had pulled out
12 before the units of the VRS entered the village?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And when you arrived at Srebrenica, you didn't find the civilian
15 population of Srebrenica either?
16 A. My unit did not go into Srebrenica. This was not our assignment.
17 There may have been individual cases out of curiosity. There was no
18 population. There were several elderly persons moving about on foot.
19 Evidently, during the day, measures had been taken for the population to
20 pull out into the area under the command of the UN forces.
21 Q. When you say that measures had been taken for the population to
22 pull out, you're talking about the measures taken by the Muslim
24 A. Certainly it was them who took the measures, together with the
25 town command and UNPROFOR forces for the population to pull out.
1 Q. You personally did enter Srebrenica. Did you hear that the few
2 persons who stayed in Srebrenica were to assemble at the local stadium?
3 A. All these persons were directed to go toward Potocari, as far as I
4 heard. It turned out to be that way when I took along two grandmothers
5 who were waving at me to stop as I was driving in my vehicle. I put them
6 into my vehicle and drove them over to the place where the population was
7 gathering. They, of course, thanked me for it and got out of the vehicle
8 and stayed there in that area.
9 Q. And these two grannies asked you to take them to Potocari
10 themselves; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you met with General Mladic at Srebrenica, is it correct that
13 General Mladic gave units the order to continue on to Bratunac?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And that order was not carried out, was it?
16 A. Some of those present, I can't say who, I remember it being
17 mentioned and besides, we saw it in the video footage yesterday, that he
18 issued the task of moving in the direction of Bratunac. I told him that I
19 had already been executing assignments pursuant to the orders I received
20 before and somebody suggested that the units should not head for Potocari
21 since the civilian population was gathering there, and that was the end of
22 the story. General Mladic accepted the suggestion.
23 Q. And in fact, General Mladic accepted that suggestion so as to
24 avoid any mixing of the Muslim civilian population with the troops of the
1 A. Yes. One could make that conclusion.
2 Q. I would like to show you 6D127. It's a combat report from your
3 unit. You have already seen it.
4 Is it right that para 1 -- I suppose that you were a brigade
5 commander and as such you had occasion to see a lot of combat orders of
6 this format.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it correct that para 1 of this report describes the situation
9 in the area of your brigade on the 15th of July, 1995?
10 A. Yes. That was the situation of the day, put in so many words, in
11 the area of responsibility of the brigade.
12 Q. And this report was written based on the report that the brigade
13 received from battalions?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The person who wrote up combat reports in your brigade was the
16 operations officer, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes, the duty officer in the operations organ.
18 Q. If you look at items 3, 4 and 6 of this report, we see references
19 to the security situation, to the morale of troops, and the situation with
20 logistical support?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it correct that the officer who wrote up this report had to
23 consult with officers from these respective sectors in order to include
24 their inputs in their respective areas in his report?
25 A. At the level of the brigade command, yes, and that also went for
1 the superior commands.
2 Q. Can we see the top of the page? This report was sent to the Drina
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is it correct that the brigade did not send any reports to the
6 Main Staff of the VRS?
7 A. That's true. The -- there is the obligation to send reports to
8 the command that is immediately superior to the one issuing the reports.
9 Q. Is it correct that you, as brigade commander, had no direct
10 contact whatsoever with officers of the Main Staff of the VRS?
11 A. No. I did not in any capacity that I held.
12 Q. And during the operation in Srebrenica and Zepa, you never had
13 occasion to contact with General Miletic, did you?
14 A. I did not contact with him during operation Krivaja 95 and
15 operation Zepa.
16 Q. And if General Miletic had given you an order, you wouldn't have
17 carried it out, would you?
18 A. General Miletic, or rather the operations organ of the Main Staff,
19 was not in a position to issue orders, and I believe that he acted
20 accordingly, and I would not have carried out such an order had it been
21 issued by him or by somebody else. There are rules governing relations
22 between superiors and subordinates, senior and junior officers, in this
23 case, the superior command, and no structure will circumvent one step in
24 the chain of command and, for instance, issue orders to the second
25 subordinate structure.
1 Q. Do you know who was the head of the Main Staff of the VRS in July,
3 A. The chief of the Main Staff, throughout the war in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the VRS was General Milovanic.
5 Q. And you know that in July, 1995, General Milovanovic was in Banja
7 A. I know that he was not present in the area where the Main Staff
8 was stationed. He was in the area of Bosnian Krajina.
9 Q. Is it correct that as long as General Milovanovic was on the
10 territory of Republika Srpska, even if he was not in the headquarters of
11 the Main Staff, he remained Chief of Staff of the Main Staff of the VRS?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And in July, 1995, there was no need whatsoever for anyone to
14 stand in for General Milovanovic in his position of Chief of Staff of the
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
17 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, again, at this point I think we would
18 need some foundation laid as to whether this witness has the familiarity
19 at the time with what was going on in the Main Staff to know whether this
20 is in fact the case.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, before I ask you, are you in a position to
22 answer this question in any case?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I am. If you'll allow me
24 to explain why I believe I am, the theatres of war where the VRS army was
25 engaged covered the entire territory of Republika Srpska. General
1 Milovanovic, the commander of the Main Staff or someone else, chief of the
2 security offices would act throughout the war in his respective capacity,
3 namely that of the Chief of Staff, regardless of his whereabouts in the
4 theatre of war.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Madam Fauveau.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Sir, do you know that General Milovanovic was the immediate
8 superior of General Miletic?
9 A. Yes. The operations organ or rather the operations administration
10 was attached to the headquarters commanded by General Milovanovic.
11 Q. And since in July, 1995 General Milovanovic discharged his
12 functions, could we say that General Miletic could not take any decisions
13 without consulting with or without receiving the approval of his immediate
14 superior, General Milovanovic?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, can you answer that question? Are you in a
16 position to answer that question?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I am. If you'll allow me,
18 I studied the art of warfare in my post-graduate studies. I also took
19 part in a research team as part of the General Staff of the JNA in
20 Croatia. I dealt with these matters. I also dealt with these matters as
21 I was studying the theory for my post-graduate studies. I can answer this
22 question in principle because general --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
24 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, again, we have no objection to expert
25 testimony being presented on this and other related issues, but what we
1 clearly have here again is this witness continuing to be used as an expert
2 witness by the Defence and using cross-examination, leading questions, to
3 elicit expert testimony.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before you take a
5 decision, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I withdraw the question and I have
8 concluded my cross-examination.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Fauveau, for being
10 practical in the first place. So the time now is 1710.
11 Mr. Haynes, just to know where you are, where you stand, we will
12 have the break at 1755. It's 1711 now.
13 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Would you just give me a few moments to
14 set up?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Trivic.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. Yesterday you were telling us something about your role as
20 commander of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade and the area in which it
21 operated. Do you recall that?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. And you told us that the Romanija Brigade was part of the Drina
24 Corps. I wonder if you'd agree with me that during the period we are
25 concerned with, namely 1992 to 1995, that the Drina Corps was defending an
1 operational zone which included upper, middle and lower Podrinje and the
2 Romanija plateau?
3 A. Yes. That was approximately the case.
4 Q. If you ever feel like correcting me or adding anything to that,
5 please feel free to do so, but I'm going to try to take this fairly
6 briefly. And it was defending those areas against the 2nd and 1st Corps
7 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the 81st Division in Gorazde and
8 the 28th Division in Srebrenica, would you agree with that?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And the main task of the Drina Corps was to defend its operational
11 zone; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, within the operational zone of the Drina Corps, each brigade,
14 of which you were commander of one, had its assigned combat zone; is that
16 A. Every brigade had its own zone within the corps area.
17 Q. And I want to ask you some questions about the zone for which you
18 were responsible for the defence. Are you familiar with the brigade rules
19 of the JNA of 1984?
20 A. Of course.
21 Q. I wonder, therefore, in order to assist you in this task, whether
22 we could have in e-court P408 at page 6 in the B/C/S, point 13. Sadly,
23 although this is a partially translated document, this section is not
24 translated, so I'm going to need your help, Mr. Trivic.
25 Are you able to read that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Then in order that those of us who don't speak Serbian can
3 understand it, I wonder if you would read for us point 13 so that it can
4 be interpreted?
5 A. "For the purposes of executing a task, the brigade is given a
6 combat area (an area of attack, area of defence, area of march and such
7 like). Depending on the task, the brigade may be designated the territory
8 of the combat area. The combat area is the land territory which is
9 limited by depth and by width, wherein the brigade organises and carries
10 out combat activities. The size of the area depends on the size of the
11 brigade, characteristics of the features of the terrain, task, place and
12 role in the combat disposition of several units, the situation and combat
13 possibilities, reinforcements, strength of TO units in the area, support
14 and such like. In the assigned combat area, the brigade commander, with
15 all the subjects of armed combat shall organise a single system of
16 fighting based on the objective, place and time."
17 Should I go on reading? There is the combat territory next.
18 Q. Yes. If you could just read that and move the page across so that
19 you can continue to the bottom of this point? And it will have to go up.
20 Just finish the paragraph for us, please. I don't think this is so
22 A. I haven't read the combat territory, if you want me to complete
23 the whole paragraph.
24 Q. I'm very sorry. Could the page be put back down and across to the
25 left, please?
1 A. "Combat territory is free territory on the temporarily occupied
2 territory, most often in the operational and strategic depth which is
3 assigned to the brigade for the purposes of carrying out a task. In the
4 combat territory the brigade commander shall, in principle, on his own
5 initiative organise and carry out various combat activities and other
6 activities as per the task received and in accordance with the concrete
7 situation. The assigned territory of combat activities -- or the assigned
8 zone of combat activities, the brigade cannot leave without the approval
9 of the superior commanding officer. In the area of combat activities the
10 commander shall".
11 Q. Thank you. I think you've read enough. Now, in relation to your
12 brigade, could you help us as to what you regarded as the area of your
13 combat activities to be?
14 A. The area of combat activities of the 2nd Romanija Brigade is the
15 territory to which the combat disposition for those particular activities
16 is deployed. The combat disposition is the positions of the subordinate
17 units of the brigade, that's to say battalions, where we have the forward
18 defence line which is organised by organising the firing system and by
19 deploying their parts of the combat establishment, logistics and so on.
20 In addition to the battalions who take up their positions of
21 defence, in the area of combat activity of brigade, other units are
22 deployed, such as artillery units, with their firing positions from which
23 they will be active, armoured and mechanised forces, command posts of
24 battalions and brigade, logistics units and their posts, and so on and so
25 forth. I didn't mention the anti-aircraft forces which are normally
1 deployed to provide support to the armoured mechanised units, artillery
2 and the brigade command post itself.
3 This zone, together with the front defence line and the area in
4 the rear is the designated area where all these forces are deployed.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Now, I've noticed during the course of your
6 testimony you've drawn a distinction between the phrase which has been
7 used a lot, zone of responsibility, and the one which you've chosen, area
8 of defence. Is it correct that during the course of the war, a
9 phrase, "zone of responsibility" crept into certain military documents?
10 A. It could be said, and I in fact explained it on one occasion, that
11 this term is synonymous with the area of combat activities and it covers
12 an area where units are deployed. The area of responsibility or the zone
13 of responsibility is a term that can be used, is, in fact, used only with
14 regard to reconnaissance units as an area where they ought to obtain
15 intelligence and information, and it is only in that context of
16 reconnaissance units that it is termed "area of responsibility," "zone of
17 responsibility." Now in every-day parlance, it is used as an
18 interchangeable term for an area where unit commanders deploy their units,
19 their forces, and where they make decisions as to their movement and
21 Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask you now to look at another document,
22 which is 7D441, please. Can that be placed into e-court?
23 This document has in fact been translated, but we'll have to tie
24 up the translation with the Serbian version later on. I want to you read,
25 please, for us for the time being the sentence that appears after number
1 1, and then I'd like you to go down to paragraph C and have a look at the
2 area of responsibility for combat operations of your brigade. If you
3 start by just reading out for us what it says at number 1?
4 A. "The areas of responsibilities for the brigades for carrying out
5 combat activities are as follows: Brigades," and there follow the items
6 which designate the areas more closely.
7 Q. And would you just, please, read out for us the first couple of
8 places that are attributed to your brigade at paragraph C?
9 A. The 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, exclusive of Kladanj,
10 inclusive of Olovo, inclusive of Borovac village, exclusive of
11 Podromanija, Kondina Glava and so on.
12 Q. That's fine. So the area for which you had responsibilities for
13 combat activities excluded Kladanj but included Olovo; is that right?
14 A. That's what it says here.
15 Q. But if you look above, at paragraph B, for the Bircanska Brigade,
16 did their area of combat activity responsibility actually include Kladanj?
17 A. I haven't found it. Oh, yes, it does say in the second line.
18 Q. Yes. Thank you very much. Now, I wonder if we could have into
19 e-court, please, P02109. I think we might try blowing that up just one
20 more time, please. And could we go up just a touch more? And to the
21 left. No, to the right, I meant. Thank you.
22 Now, if somebody could show you how to use the pen, which you may
23 or may not have used in your evidence so far, I can't remember, I'm going
24 to ask if you could mark one or two places on there for us. I'm going to
25 ask if, as best you can, you could put Olovo on that plan for us.
1 A. I don't know. Somewhere along this line, but I can't pinpoint
2 it. I don't know what purpose it will serve for you.
3 Q. Well --
4 A. That's southwest of Kladanj, along that axis.
5 Q. Southwest of Kladanj?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you just put a dot where you think Olovo -- or
7 an X where you think Olovo would be?
8 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
9 MR. HAYNES:
10 Q. Can I ask you a question about Olovo then? Was Olovo an area that
11 was entirely under your control or was it an area that was substantially
12 controlled by Muslim forces?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just if we could have some dates,
15 given that compositions may have changed ethnically over the years and so
16 forth. So if we could -- and given the length of this witness's command,
17 it may affect the answer.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think the witness has heard you and he can
19 specify that.
20 MR. HAYNES: I'm not sure he has.
21 Q. But do you see there is a date there the 29th of April, 1995 in
22 the left-hand corner of this plan. I wonder if you could tell us in the
23 spring of 1995 whether Olovo was an area that was substantially under
24 Muslim control?
25 A. Yes. Olovo at the time was under the control of the army of
2 Q. And do you agree that the black line that is marked on that plan
3 shows us the confrontation lines between your forces and those of the army
4 of Bosnia and Herzegovina as at the date the 29th of April of 1995?
5 A. I think that was the line between the VRS and the army of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
7 Q. And do you also agree that the line we -- the line we see marked
8 in red delineates the apparent zones of responsibility of the brigades
9 along that front?
10 A. If we take the position that those were zones for gathering
12 Q. What effective control could your brigade have over the area of
14 A. Observing that area from the front end, that was occupied by units
15 of the brigade, intelligence about movements, the bringing in of forces,
16 activities, et cetera.
17 Q. Perhaps we can look at Kladanj. Other than intelligence, what
18 effective control could any forces of the army of Republika Srpska have
19 over Kladanj?
20 A. In my opinion, none.
21 Q. And similarly, the large area of the area of responsibility of the
22 1st Zvornik Brigade which was behind enemy lines was effectively beyond
23 their control or management, wasn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Can we move on, please? The rules that you read out
1 referred to areas of free territory, didn't they?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because we need to save it, Mr. Haynes,
3 unless you're going to make further use of it now.
4 MR. HAYNES: I would not save it just for the moment but thank you
5 very much for your help.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
7 MR. HAYNES:
8 Q. The rules that you read out referred to areas of free territory.
9 That's right, isn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. We can see within the area of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade
12 two places noted: Nezina. Was that the place of your command?
13 A. That place is Knezina with a K. That's what I see. That was
14 where the brigade command was.
15 Q. Thank you for the pronunciation lesson. We also see there Han
16 Pijesak. What I'd like you to mark on the map, please, for us is the
17 location of Sokolac.
18 A. Sokolac is 20 kilometres east from Knezina. [Marks]
19 Q. I don't suppose that pen is small enough for you to write Sokolac.
20 So would you just put an S, maybe SO, under there?
21 A. [Marks] This pen obviously doesn't write where I want it to.
22 Q. I think you've done as well as any witness so far, Mr. Trivic. It
23 can't be easy. And under the first X that you wrote, would you just put
25 A. [Marks] That's it.
1 Q. Thank you. Now --
2 A. It was supposed to be a lower case letter.
3 Q. It's okay. We have got what you said about it in the transcript
4 so we'll be able to work out what it means later. Now, Han Pijesak and
5 Sokolac were areas that were almost completely untouched by the war;
6 that's correct, isn't it?
7 A. As settlements, yes. But as municipalities with their own
8 territory, they were both affected by combat activities to a certain
10 Q. Were they both municipalities that you would properly describe as
11 coming within the free territory, as defined by the rule you read out?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And as areas of free territory, would you, as brigade commander,
14 have had any responsibility for those areas in the absence of there being
15 some combat activity there?
16 A. Only insofar as members of the brigade were concerned or affairs
17 that were handled by municipalities for the needs of the brigade, such as
18 supply of food and some other issues, but were part of securing properly
19 organised life and work within the units.
20 Q. What about responsibility for preventing or investigating crime in
21 those areas?
22 A. Crimes fall within the purview of the police, the Ministry of the
23 Interior, the police and the judiciary. If you mean the members of the
24 brigade were offenders?
25 Q. No. Thank you. That's a perfectly fair answer. What about
1 buildings in those areas? Could you simply seize and control buildings?
2 A. No.
3 Q. I'm going to seek somebody's help here. I'm told that the answer
4 that the witness gave to the question before last was not properly
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Perhaps I can assist Mr. Haynes. It is the answer
8 of the witness recorded on page 54, line 24, "Crimes fall within the
9 purview of the police, the Ministry of the Interior, the police and the
10 judiciary." And this part of the answer was correctly recorded, but the
11 rest of the answer, the witness says, "Unless we speak about brigade
12 members." So it's basically changed.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you agree with that, Mr. Trivic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I agree with that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that help you enough, Mr. Haynes?
16 MR. HAYNES: I shall move on. If that's the answer he gave,
17 that's the answer he gave.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
19 MR. HAYNES: Could the witness please now be shown 4D478? And we
20 are moving on to a slightly different area.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, can we save these markings?
22 MR. HAYNES: Oh, yes, thank you very much.
23 Q. Mr. Trivic, would you do us the favour of just putting your
24 initials in the bottom left-hand corner and placing today's date on that
25 document, which is the 22nd of May.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Thank you. Can that exhibit now please be preserved?
3 A. May I just ask to come back to this again?
4 Q. What is it you want to come back to, the plan or some other
5 question I've asked you?
6 A. The map where Olovo is marked. Olovo was outside the zone. If
7 this black line marks the zone, the existing separation line, then Olovo
8 should be on the other side. Because I couldn't handle this pen very
9 well, it turned out that Olovo is inside the zone on the opposite side of
10 the separation line. So that should be corrected.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay, Mr. Trivic. You don't need to worry
12 about it. Once we have this statement from you, that's enough.
13 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. HAYNES:
16 Q. And we are just waiting for another document to appear,
17 Mr. Trivic, which is 7D478, and I want to ask you a question or two about
18 that. Again, this is a document which for today's purposes, Mr. Trivic,
19 we are going to ask you to read for us, and I wonder if you could start by
20 reading the very top of the document so that we know what it is.
21 A. "Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, 30th July, 1995,
22 obligations of units, commands and establishments of the VRS in the
23 circumstances of the state of war that has been proclaimed in the RS.
24 Order: Pursuant to Article 175 of the law on the army and the decision of
25 the president of the republic proclaiming a state of war, number 011473-95
1 of 28th July, 1995, with a view to creating conditions for a full and more
2 efficient execution of combat missions of army units, I hereby order:
3 One, corps command, command of the, et cetera".
4 Q. Please stop and go down to paragraph 4 if we can be helped with
5 that, and read that out for us.
6 A. "All units on brigade level, whose area of deployment is on -- in
7 border municipalities, are required to mark war zones along all
8 thoroughfares, including local roads, by putting up visible
9 hoardings, 'war zone.'"
10 Q. Again, I better check this with you. Is this a document you were
11 familiar with as a brigade commander in 1995?
12 A. Unfortunately, I was wounded on the 29th of July and this, as far
13 as I can see, was written after that date, so that I didn't see this
14 document before.
15 Q. Were similar provisions in force prior to the time of your
17 A. Similar provisions appeared in some areas covered by the Sarajevo
18 Romanija Corps, although not in all theatres of war in Republika Srpska,
19 and now allow me a minute to recall this. Since the 2nd Romanija Brigade
20 had a peculiar role, a special role, in relation to geographical and
21 establishment structures, in May I believe it fell within the Drina Corps
22 organisationally. But territorially it fell within the Sarajevo Romanija
23 region, so that I did come across one order regarding the Sarajevo
24 Romanija region where the brigade was required to comply with that order,
25 namely in keeping with the proclamation of war in the Sarajevo Romanija
1 region, and to that end I took certain measures to comply with this order
2 of the Supreme Commander in my area. I hope this was a clear answer.
3 Q. Thank you. Well, therefore, I think you can tell us what is the
4 effect as a brigade commander of declaring a war zone?
5 A. At any rate, there is much more authority when the commands and
6 authorities work together and wartime commands are established. This
7 helped commanders in their efforts to engage troops, and we know that
8 after three years of war, by that time there was a lot of fatigue among
9 troops and they tried to spend as little time as possible on the lines,
10 defending lines, preventing ambushes, et cetera.
11 Q. I mean, does it amount to this: That once you declare a war zone,
12 the brigade commander has certain powers to overrule local civil
14 A. Yes. You could put it that way. I believe also military courts
15 are established in that situation, but it affects the entire treatment of
16 unit members and other personnel engaged in defence, to secure that they
17 fulfil their tasks and if not, that certain measures can be taken.
18 Q. But was it the case, as with this document in your experience,
19 that to declare a war zone, you quite literally had to mark out the area,
20 mark the roads, et cetera?
21 A. We have a term here, it's not the state of war, it's a war zone.
22 I think that's a significant difference. In border areas, it is
23 specifically said brigades in border areas are required to mark war
24 zones. The 2nd Romanija Brigade was not deployed in a border
1 Q. Thank you. I'll move on. Can we please now have in e-court
2 P408? This section of the document which we've seen before is translated
3 and we need the English page 7 and the B/C/S page 15. While this document
4 is being put on the screen for you, Mr. Trivic, it's right, isn't it, that
5 at the time you were commander of the Romanija Brigade, you had a Chief of
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. And in accordance with the rule that I'm about to show you, which
9 is Rule 116, he was also your deputy commander; that's correct, isn't it?
10 A. I think, yes, in the motorised brigade, in the organisational
11 establishment, when persons with certain responsibilities are enumerated,
12 the Chief of Staff is at the same time deputy commander.
13 Q. And whilst you were away on operation Krivaja 95 and Stupcanica
14 95, your Chief of Staff was in command of your brigade; that's right,
15 isn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I wonder whether -- before we go any further whether the screen
18 could be moved across to the left as we look at it so that Mr. Trivic can
19 read Rule 116 before I ask him any more questions. Maybe I should have
20 said "right." Can we see Rule 116, please?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's time for the break, Mr. Haynes. Perhaps you
22 can --
23 MR. HAYNES: We'll sort it out while we are having a break, then.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. 20 minutes again, please, 20 minutes
1 --- Recess taken at 5.55 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
4 MR. HAYNES: Before I continue with this witness, I've had the
5 opportunity of reflecting on where this cross-examination is going, and I
6 think I should say for everybody's benefit now, it's very unlikely I will
7 finish it this evening. I will require some of tomorrow to conclude. It
8 may well be that the fault is mine in underestimating the amount of time
9 my cross-examination would take, but I wouldn't be the first person to
10 have underestimated how long they would take with this witness, and I hope
11 people will bear with me. I apologise to everybody for any inconvenience
12 this might cause, but there it is.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how it will be. At the same time I would
14 like to you think a little bit on what's going to happen with the next
15 one. Go ahead, Mr. Haynes, and please allow five -- would five minutes be
16 enough for you?
17 MR. BOURGON: Plenty, Mr. President, thank you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Please allow five minutes towards the end for
19 Mr. Bourgon, Mr. Haynes.
20 MR. HAYNES: Absolutely. Mr. Bourgon had mentioned that to me.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 MR. HAYNES:
23 Q. Anyway, Mr. Trivic, we were just before the break in the process
24 of talking about the role of the Chief of Staff within the brigade and it
25 was the Chief of Staff who acted as commander of your brigade while you
1 were out performing operations at Srebrenica and Zepa. Do you remember
2 saying that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you'd agree, wouldn't you, that the Chief of Staff, in
5 accordance with his commander's order, has the power to issue orders to
7 A. Yes, he does, in the absence of the commander, of course.
8 Q. I was moving on to that. That's a rather different situation.
9 When the commander is absent, the Chief of Staff is in fact commander
10 himself, isn't he?
11 A. Yes. When the commander is not present, the Chief of Staff is the
12 person in command of the brigade.
13 Q. Now, some of the orders of the command are what we could call
14 permanent orders, for example the order to defend the line is a permanent
16 A. Yes. That is an order in accordance with the decision issued by
17 the commander and he is in command to -- and is duty-bound to act in
18 accordance with the decision. It is in fact his duty to carry out the
20 Q. Thank you. But other orders of the Chief of Staff that do not
21 derive from permanent orders from the commander taken by him in the
22 absence of the commander are his commands, aren't they? They are the
23 command of the commander?
24 A. I don't quite understand you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Mr. Thayer?
1 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, my objection is that there are a couple
2 of pronouns in there. We are discussing a very technical area of command
3 in which it is imperative that the record is absolutely clear about who
4 we're talking about at any given time. So when we have -- when we are
5 referring to the commander or his commands, I think we need to really
6 specify whether we are talking about the Chief of Staff in a particular
7 role or this individual commander, the witness himself, just so we
8 absolutely have no question about what's being discussed.
9 MR. HAYNES: I'll clarify it by moving on.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead, then. I mean it did require some
12 MR. HAYNES: Yes. It was not the greatest question I've ever
14 Q. In your absence, your Chief of Staff communicated directly with
15 the Drina Corps as commander, didn't he?
16 A. My Chief of Staff, in my absence, communicates with the command of
17 the corps in the capacity of the most senior officer and deputy commander
18 and acts accordingly. Evidently, you wish to clarify something that I
19 tried to explain in my earlier statements.
20 All the duties that derived from the decision of the commander to
21 engage units in the area of defence, if that is what you have in mind, my
22 Chief of Staff has to act in accordance with my decision. Should he wish
23 to change anything, due to a newly arisen situation, he has to inform a
24 superior command of that and then goes on to act in accordance with the
25 feedback he received from the superior commander.
1 Q. Thank you. And by superior command, would you include corps
2 command and Main Staff command?
3 A. Above all, the corps command. He does not address the Main
4 Staff. He does not communicate with them.
5 Q. Thank you. And I want to ask you about periods for which the
6 commander is away. The commander might be away for a few days, say 10
7 days or so, or he might be away for a longer period, say a period of more
8 than three weeks. There is little practical difference between the
9 authority vested in the Chief of Staff, whether the commander is away for
10 a few days or whether he's away for a period of a few weeks, is there?
11 A. There is no significant difference, save for the fact that, like
12 for instance when I was wounded, the issue of commanding over the brigade
13 due to a prolonged absence, this is something that is regulated by
14 commands governing prolonged absences. This isn't something that is
15 regulated in the rules governing the establishment of the unit pursuant to
16 which he is designated as the Chief of Staff and deputy commander in the
17 absence of the commander, if I have been clear. In the case where I was
18 absent, I was outside of the area of defence of the brigade but I was
19 within the area of the corps, with the part of the unit that was detached
20 and reassigned to a different area. This isn't regulated in the order on
21 proxy. Rather, it is regulated --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part of
23 his answer?
24 MR. HAYNES:
25 Q. Did you hear that the translators would like you to repeat the
1 last part of your answer, please? After, "Rather, it is regulated."
2 A. For prolonged periods of absences? Is that what you have in
4 Q. I believe so, yes.
5 A. For prolonged absences, the duties are regulated pursuant to an
6 order on standing in, or proxy, whereupon that person takes over the role
7 of the commander until such time as a new commander is appointed formally.
8 Q. Thank you. Now I want to move on to something else, please.
9 During the course of the war, was it commonplace for your brigade command
10 to be visited by officers from superior command, either from the corps or
11 from the Main Staff?
12 A. Yes. There were such cases, and of course previously it was --
13 Q. And if a commander or a Chief of Staff came to your brigade
14 command, they would come directly to you as commander of the brigade,
15 wouldn't they?
16 A. If my superior were to come to the brigade command, he would first
17 approach the brigade commander, if he's there.
18 Q. But if we were talking about assistant commanders or chiefs of
19 organs from the corps or the Main Staff, they would generally come to see
20 their corresponding officers within the brigade; that's right, isn't it?
21 A. Yes. Although such cases were rare. In any event, if any organ
22 comes from a superior command, the brigade commander would be informed of
23 this officer's coming to the command. That's a rule.
24 Q. That may well be the case, but when officers from superior command
25 came to the brigade, you didn't have the right or power to stop them doing
1 their job at the brigade, did you?
2 A. I didn't say that if they announced their arrival I can stop them
3 or prevent them from doing their job. At any rate, they would do their
4 part of the job with the organ who is his functional corresponding post.
5 Of course, the commander would not prevent him from doing his duty, but it
6 is the rule that such an arrival has to be announced. Sometimes due to
7 absence, such organs who belong to the superior structure would contact
8 directly their -- the officer in charge of that line of job in the
9 inferior command.
10 Q. Thank you. And if officers from superior command wished to avail
11 themselves of your communications and other resources, you had no right to
12 disable them by refusing them that access, did you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You mean yes, you could refuse them that access or no, you had no
15 right to stop them having access to your communications and other
17 A. I don't see why I would prevent them from doing anything, if they
18 are coming from superior command. Since we all knew each other, there
19 were no such cases of anyone preventing anyone else from doing anything,
20 at not in my brigade.
21 Q. Thank you very much, indeed.
22 A. And I believe that was the case in other brigades as well.
23 Q. Thank you. Now I want to move on to another topic, please, and
24 could we have in e-court 7D480, please?
25 Can I ask you firstly, so that we cross the appropriate hurdle,
1 whether you were, as a commander, familiar with the instructions on
2 sanitation or asanacija of the battlefield?
3 A. Yes. During my studies and in my career before the war broke out,
4 these instructions were familiar to me, of course.
5 Q. And I wonder whether we could go to page 4 of this document,
6 please. I wonder, Mr. Trivic, if you could look at paragraph 4 of these
7 instructions. Does that make sense to you? Or are there some words
8 missing there? I think they are all there, aren't they?
9 I wonder whether you'd agree with me that first and foremost,
10 asanacija is an operation which is uniquely concerned with the
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And I wonder whether you would further agree with me that it is
14 not simply a question of hygiene but something rather more important than
15 that, which we might understand if you read to us paragraph 4, please?
16 A. I agree. Item 4: "The application of measures of sanitisation
17 has not exclusively to do with hygienic and technical matters of removing
18 the source of the infection. Rather, above all, it is a matter of general
19 moral and humanitarian rights of people and respect for the dead and care
20 for their families."
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: For the fallen rather
22 than the dead.
23 MR. HAYNES:
24 Q. And do you agree that that is how it was applied by your brigade
25 and the brigades of the army of Republika Srpska during this war?
1 A. Yes. Where necessary, it had to be done.
2 Q. I'm going to come on to when it had to be done now, please, and if
3 we could go to page 7 of this document. Could it go up just a little bit,
4 please? Thank you. And I wonder whether you would be good enough to read
5 to us paragraph 3.
6 A. Item 3: "Sanitisation is carried out immediately after the end of
7 combat, bombing, ABH attacks and such like, as soon as the personnel
8 designated for the conducting of a sanitisation is enabled to move freely
9 along the battlefield, because corpses are exposed to the decomposition
10 process outdoors, which is why their burial and cremation is made more
11 difficult. In order for the sanitisation unit to be allowed freedom of
12 movement before the start of their work, the battlefield ought to be
13 cleared of mines, contaminated areas, unexploded mines, shells, aerial
14 bombs and such like."
15 Q. Could we now go down to paragraph 4 and I'd like you to read for
16 us the second paragraph under paragraph 4, which should help determine who
17 is responsible for asanacija.
18 A. Second paragraph.
19 Q. Yes, please.
20 A. "Sanitisation in combat zones of the operations elements of the
21 armed forces lies within the purview of the commanding officers of these
22 particular operations, elements of the armed forces, and in addition to
23 these, also within the purview of the authorised organs of the DPZ.
24 Sociopolitical communities."
25 Q. So it would follow from that, wouldn't it, that in the aftermath
1 of a battle, a brigade commander would have to sanitise the battlefield
2 both for reasons of hygiene and reasons of human dignity and have to
3 commit significant manpower and specialist manpower to carry out that
5 A. Yes. That is the obligation of commands, to carry out that task,
6 within their respective zones, of course.
7 Q. Thank you. And is the requirement to carry out asanacija of a
8 battlefield something which you as a brigade commander would feel it
9 necessary to report to corps command?
10 A. As part of reports that are sent to superior command daily, these
11 matters are informed about, if the unit concerned has been carrying out
12 such activities.
13 Q. And I'm sorry to mix my terms, but I wonder whether we could now
14 show the witness the page of this document which has the ERN numbers
15 concluding 3980. I think it's page 5 in e-court. Thank you.
16 A. Page 5 or paragraph 5?
17 Q. It's page 5. Don't you worry about that, Mr. Trivic. I'd like
18 you, if you would, to read us the very top paragraph before paragraph 5.
20 A. That's the start of the page.
21 Q. If you'd be so kind.
22 A. "The feeling on the part of every soldier and officer that in the
23 event of his wounding he will be timely provided for and in the event of
24 his death that his remains will be taken care of with due piety and that
25 his family will be informed in time and taken care of constitutes one of
1 the elements of moral firmness of soldiers and officers."
2 Q. Thank you. And would you agree with the sentiment of that section
3 of these instructions?
4 A. Yes, of course.
5 Q. Now can we move away from that, please? I want to ask you --
6 JUDGE KWON: If Mr. Haynes could deal with the source of this
7 document, for example, whose instruction it was.
8 MR. HAYNES: Yes. This is an instruction of the army of Republika
9 Srpska issued in 1991, and we are in the course of having the relevant
10 passages of it translated.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 MR. HAYNES:
13 Q. Now, you've looked on a number of occasions at this document, but
14 I'm going to have put back into e-court, please, if we can, P106. You
15 recall this document, I imagine. This is the Drina Corps preplan relating
16 to the operation Krivaja 95 dated the 2nd of July.
17 You've been asked to look at it by a number of my colleagues, so
18 I'm not going to ask you to look at it in detail, but if you could just
19 familiarise yourself, please, with paragraphs 2 A to E if that could be
20 put up for you. You recall the document now, do you, Mr. Trivic?
21 A. Yes, yes, I do.
22 Q. Now, the Krivaja 95 was an operation that was put together very,
23 very quickly, wasn't it?
24 A. I can conclude that it was. This is the order that was issued on
25 the 2nd and as far as I remember, that command was issued on the 5th.
1 Q. Well, if we go to the next page in paragraph 4, I might be able to
2 help you with a few of the dates that were significant to the operation.
3 So if we could do that, please.
4 Let's see if we can agree this: The preorder was issued on the
5 2nd of July; that's right, isn't it? The forces had to be ready that day
6 and all preparations had to be complete by the 4th of July on which date
7 at 2.00 the IKM had to be established, and the operation had to commence
8 on the 5th of July?
9 A. Yes. That is set out in this order.
10 Q. Also, I think that the level of reconnaissance carried out prior
11 to the operation was the lowest level known to the army, namely commander
12 reconnaissance. Do you agree with that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So that we understand that, can you just explain to us what better
15 levels of reconnaissance could be carried out in relation to any military
17 A. Well, so-called commander reconnaissance could be performed. In
18 this case it boiled down to work on just one item, where units were given
19 assignments and acquainted with the assessed disposition of enemy forces,
20 whereas units that came from other areas that had not been in direct
21 contact with enemy forces in that area, the commander thought it would be
22 enough time to acquaint commanders of those units with it, since units
23 were not large and it would not take up more time. That's why I think
24 they decided to take this option. Subordinates could always, of course,
25 use more time to find out about their axes of future engagement, to learn
1 more about the terrain, but this was hasty organisation for performing a
2 given task.
3 Q. Thank you very much. I'm going to ask you to be shown one more
4 document now, which is 7D136, which, curiously, is in English as 7D312.
5 And I'm going to be asked if -- I'm going to ask if Mr. Trivic could see
6 paragraph 10 of that particular document, and in particular, 10 B. Can
7 this document go down a little bit, please, or up, or on to the next page
8 so that he can see the whole of 10 B?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we may still require the last line on the
10 previous page.
11 MR. HAYNES: Well, if that is achievable, then that would be very
13 Q. Tell me when you've read that, Mr. Trivic, would you?
14 A. I've read it.
15 Q. Given the time available for preparation of this operation, would
16 you regard that as a very brief and probably inadequate plan for security?
17 A. Yes. The time was very short, in view of all that had to be done
18 prior to the beginning of combat operations.
19 Q. Do you agree with the suggestion that Krivaja 95 was very much an
20 ad hoc operation?
21 A. Yes. I agree completely. It was an action that was provoked, a
22 response to a provocation, and the corps command proceeded with a move
23 that was defined as active combat operation and that implied short
24 preparations and engagement of smaller forces from the corps. So this
25 happened precisely as a result of those provocations targeting the front
1 end of the defence line and the units that were guarding the civilian
2 population in that area. It was a hastily organised operation because it
3 turned out later that this part of the action, namely the separation of
4 enclaves, could have been done in this way as well and with the engagement
5 of larger forces.
6 Q. I've got one last question this evening, which is: Was it
7 difficult for you to gather these forces, and did you have sufficient
9 A. In my previous answer, I just said that subordinates could always
10 use more time. It's a general rule. At any rate, there were other jobs,
11 other work that had been done, although the forces were already out in
12 keeping with the deadline that was set, 1200 hours on the 5th, parts of
13 the rear support, reconnaissance of the terrain, and even axes for
14 infiltration into that territory, all that was not completed within the
15 time given, so you cannot say that the unit was prepared to act
16 autonomously on the terrain, to be there and to perform all the tasks it
17 was given.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We need to stop here for today. Mr. Trivic,
19 you will return tomorrow in the afternoon, like today, at 2.15.
20 Hopefully, we'll finish then.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon?
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
25 MR. BOURGON: May we move into closed session, please?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, let's go into private session.
2 [Private session]
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of May,
24 2007, at 2.15 p.m.