Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12131

1 Tuesday, 29 May 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The accused Pandurevic not present]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.28 a.m.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, Madam Registrar, and good morning,

7 Prosecution, counsel, and accused.

8 Can you call the case, please.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

10 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am. For the record, accused

12 Pandurevic today and tomorrow will not be present, and he has waived his

13 right to be present, so we can proceed accordingly.

14 For the record also, we are sitting for the first session only

15 pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Judge Stole is still on his way to the

16 Tribunal. He was travelling and he was delayed. So he will join us after

17 the first session.

18 From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Haynes. And

19 that's about it. And Ms. Nikolic, and Ms. Nikolic. Yes, Prosecution is

20 Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.

21 I think we still have to deal with the exhibits to be tendered

22 with Witness Mirko Trivic. Mr. Thayer, you have the floor.

23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, and good morning to you and

24 Your Honours. Good morning, everyone.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.

Page 12132

1 MR. THAYER: I believe everybody has a copy of our tender sheet.

2 There are a number of items which were used by my friends on cross and

3 then again on redirect so we've gone ahead and added some of those

4 documents -- obviously there are a number of them -- to the list.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there any document from this list that has not

6 yet been translated into English, please?

7 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I believe the relevant portions that

8 were used by Defence counsel and the Prosecution have been translated into

9 English. I do not believe that the entire personal diary of the witness

10 was translated into English but the relevant portions which were used

11 were. With respect to Exhibit 219, as well, that is a rather lengthy

12 document, memorialising meetings and other reports within the Bratunac

13 Brigade. Again, the portion that I brought to the witness's attention is

14 translated into English. I believe everything else has been translated.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Thayer. Any objections, Mr. Josse?

16 MR. JOSSE: First of all, in relation to the matter that's just

17 been raised, could I clarify? Are the remaining parts of the diary and

18 the brigade reports going to be translated? In other words, is it the

19 intention of the Prosecution to tender them all or only to tender those

20 parts that were cross-examined upon?

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, from what I see here, it's definitely not the

22 entire document. If we are talking of 219. Because it's bits and pieces

23 of it. But perhaps that answers part of Mr. Josse's question. You can

24 answer the first part, whether you intend to translate the whole document

25 or whether you're going to limit yourself to these pages.

Page 12133

1 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, with respect to Exhibit 219, it hadn't

2 been our intention to translate the entire Bratunac Brigade document; only

3 those portions that were used with a particular witness. With respect to

4 the diary, the answer is the same.

5 We do intend, however, to tender the entire diary, given that the

6 witness relied on various parts. I believe his attention was drawn to

7 various parts in terms of establishing the date. We have, I believe,

8 translated the entire section beginning with at least the 11th of July

9 through the 13th of July. If there are other portions that my friends

10 feel are necessary to be translated, we can go ahead and look at getting

11 those translated but the main portions establishing the dates and events

12 that he recalled at the time have been translated.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that satisfy you, Mr. Josse?

14 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.

16 MR. JOSSE: But I do have objections to two other documents.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: I understood that from the beginning.

18 MR. JOSSE: Yes. First of all, 108, Your Honour, this as far as

19 we can see was dealt with in re-examination at page 12.026 of the

20 transcript. The questions that my learned friend Mr. Thayer asked were

21 objected to at the time, both by Mr. Krgovic and by Madam Fauveau, and in

22 effect the Trial Chamber upheld the objection of the Defence and the

23 re-examination in relation to that document was not pursued. The witness

24 therefore didn't answer the question that he was asked and in those

25 circumstances, we submit that the document should not be admitted into

Page 12134

1 evidence.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. What do you have to say to that, Mr. Thayer?

3 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, my understanding of the Court's ruling

4 on that was that the Court had heard enough on the issue of air defence

5 preparedness and the willingness to engage in combat with NATO should they

6 come to the defence of UNPROFOR, reinforce UNPROFOR. The document has

7 probative value. It is of a piece with the similar language and intent,

8 the Prosecution would submit, contained in the other documents. We think

9 it does have probative value. It will be helpful to the Court.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Is it the kind of document that can only

11 be tendered with this witness, Witness 109, Trivic, or can it be tendered

12 by or through other witnesses?

13 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, it can probably be tendered through

14 other witnesses --


16 MR. THAYER: -- later on but --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: If he hasn't been asked questions on this document

18 and he hasn't offered answers on this document, why should it be tendered

19 with this particular witness rather than reserve it for later and have

20 other witnesses give explanations on it?

21 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think in line with some of the other

22 practice we've engaged in here, it -- we've had other witnesses with whom

23 my friends have examined, using documents that the witness had no answer

24 for, was unfamiliar with; yet at the same time it provides an overview or

25 completes a picture or adds some context to an issue. We believe that

Page 12135

1 similarly -- and I understand we've had this discussion before, whether

2 that particular document was objected to by a party or not at the time,

3 and I understand that's an operative difference for the Trial Chamber, but

4 again I would just submit that the witness was here, we raised an issue,

5 and this document is probative to that particular issue.

6 [Trial Chamber confers]

7 JUDGE AGIUS: So our decision on P -- 65 ter number 108 is that

8 since it hasn't been really used with Witness 109, Mirko Trivic, it will

9 not be admitted now. It will remain marked for identification until used

10 with some other witness. If not, it will remain marked for identification

11 and then it will disappear from the list.

12 Mr. Josse, I suppose you haven't finished your objection.

13 MR. JOSSE: I haven't. The only other objection relates to 1499.

14 Could I make the point first of all that I hope the Trial Chamber won't

15 regard as too churlish, but the description is particularly pejorative in

16 relation to this document. What my learned friend has done is he has used

17 this particular exhibits to tender list in order to reinforce the point

18 that he wanted to make by having this particular document admitted, and

19 that is unnecessary and frankly unnecessarily argumentative.

20 But leaving that observation aside, the objection is as follows:

21 It's similar to 108. I accept it's not quite so strong. What happened

22 here was that Madam Fauveau, at approximately page 12021 of the transcript

23 objected to the line of questioning of my learned friend. Her objection

24 was overruled, but ultimately Your Honour asked the witness the

25 following: Have you seen this map before? And the witness said, "No, I

Page 12136

1 haven't." And really, what the Prosecution are trying to do is to get

2 this piece in in order to make the point in the description column on the

3 right from a witness who knew absolutely nothing about it whatsoever, and

4 that in our submission shouldn't be permitted.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Your comments, Mr. Thayer? Yes,

6 Mr. Thayer?

7 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just two quick comments. One is we

8 have many, many maps that have been listed on our 65 ter list of

9 exhibits. This is the way it's described on our 65 ter list of

10 documents. It distinguishes this map from other maps. This is General

11 Krstic's map. These are his markings, and that is how we have described

12 it. We can in all likelihood use this map with another witness. However,

13 as my learned friend indicated, this issue was raised by Madam Fauveau.

14 The witness stated he didn't have any recollection of this map.

15 Nevertheless, we would offer it, but we understand that in line with the

16 previous ruling of the Court, the Court may wish to wait until we have a

17 different witness, and we certainly will accept that if that's the ruling.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Thayer. One moment.

19 [Trial Chamber confers]

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Our decision on this document, 1499, 65 ter number,

21 is that you shouldn't worry about the description because that is not

22 something that has -- that depends on how either of you wish to have it

23 described. We will direct -- it will be marked as a map signed by General

24 Krstic and that's it.

25 MR. JOSSE: Grateful for that.

Page 12137

1 JUDGE AGIUS: The other thing is that we quite agree that we

2 should follow the same line of approach as in the previous document.

3 We'll mark it for identification until some other witness deals with it

4 more thoroughly or more specifically.

5 So any further objections on any of the other documents that the

6 Prosecution wishes to tender on the part -- by any of the Defence teams?

7 None. The other documents are therefore so admitted.

8 We come to the documents that the Miletic Defence team wishes to

9 tender. There are four documents. Madam Fauveau, you don't need to

10 address us. Any objections to the admission of any of those four

11 documents on your part, Mr. Thayer?

12 MR. THAYER: None, Mr. President.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Any of the other Defence teams wishes to contest the

14 admissibility of these four documents? None? Have they all been

15 translated, Madam Fauveau?

16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam Fauveau. So these four documents,

18 P106, 107, 5D361, 6D127 are so admitted. Documents that the Gvero Defence

19 team wish to tender? There are two, 6D127, P439. Mr. Thayer, do you wish

20 to object to any of these two documents?

21 MR. THAYER: No, Mr. President. I just note that I think one of

22 them has just been admitted through Madam Fauveau's list, that's all.

23 6D127.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's correct. Mr. Josse?

25 MR. JOSSE: Grateful for that observation. Sorry we hadn't

Page 12138

1 spotted that.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And the Drina Corps order of 03/1574,

3 that's P439, has it been translated?

4 MR. JOSSE: Yes.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So we are only admitting that

6 document. And then there is the Pandurevic Defence team that wished to --

7 JUDGE KWON: Before we come to that, I would like to just clarify

8 with the Gvero team. You used Prosecution 33, 6D22 and 6D82 so you are

9 not minded to tender those documents?

10 MR. JOSSE: That's a deliberate decision not to seek tendering.

11 For what it's worth, Your Honour, I suspect that some if not all of those

12 documents will in due course be tendered into evidence through another

13 route but I can't promise it.

14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge Kwon. Thank you, Mr. Josse. We

16 come to the Pandurevic Defence team submissions. They wish to tender 18

17 documents that list of which has been circulated. First of all, have

18 these -- all these been translated already into English or not?

19 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] A certain number of documents has

20 been translated. Most of them have, in fact. If there are some missing

21 translations, we will provide a list of them.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. The Registry will coordinate --

23 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] The Registry does have a list of

24 documents and it's quite clear on that list what has been translated and

25 what hasn't.

Page 12139

1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. The registrar will coordinate with you

2 and we will then know which ones have not yet been translated, in which

3 case they will be marked for identification pending translation thereof.

4 Any objections on your part, Mr. Thayer, for the admission of any of these

5 18 documents?

6 MR. THAYER: No objection, Mr. President. Just one observation

7 with respect to -- and I'm going off of the prior exhibit list. We don't

8 have an actual tender list. It's number 24, the interview with Momir

9 Nikolic. I don't know whether the intention of my friends is to introduce

10 the entire interview or just the statement portion which I believe

11 referred to a date of a meeting. (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 So for the time being I have no objection as long as we are solely dealing

15 with those portions that my friend may have referred to on

16 cross-examination.

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 MR. THAYER: My understanding is without.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I just wanted to make sure. The other

21 thing -- sorry to--

22 MR. THAYER: Things may have changed, Mr. President, I'm sorry.

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 12140

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 Mr. Sarapa, I think you need to clarify this. We are talking of

9 7D550. Do you wish to tender the entire interview or only the relevant

10 part that you made use of in the course of your cross-examination?

11 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] The relevant parts that we used in

12 the course of examination.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. Mr. Thayer, do you have an

14 objection to that?

15 MR. THAYER: None, Mr. President.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Any of the other Defence teams wish to

17 object to the tendering of this or any other of the Pandurevic documents?

18 We hear none.

19 So one further confirmation from you. We have a note here that

20 7D550 and 7D551 should be in e-court today. Madam Registrar, are they in

21 e-court already now or not yet?

22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Do you know whether you have put them in

24 e-court, Mr. Sarapa?

25 MR. SARAPA: Just a moment.

Page 12141

1 [Defence counsel confer]

2 JUDGE AGIUS: They are not. We have been quicker, Mr. Sarapa.

3 Not yet. So please try to make sure that they are in e-court without any

4 further delay, especially since they are being admitted. So all the

5 documents on the Pandurevic list, that's 18 of them, are being admitted.

6 Thank you.

7 And any other Defence team wishes to tender any other document

8 with Witness Trivic? None. So that concludes the Trivic testimony.

9 We now move to the next witness, unless you have any preliminaries

10 that you wish to deal with. Mr. McCloskey is just replacing Mr. Thayer.

11 Usher, I think you can bring the next witness in. Thank you.

12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we hold off with the witness for one second,

13 please?

14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone.

16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a brief preliminary before the witness comes

17 in, sorry, if we could.

18 So I don't forget, Mr. President, if we could have a caution for

19 this witness. I have explained to him that situation.

20 But the preliminary I wanted to mention, as you know, I wasn't in

21 court on Thursday, and there is an issue that I've been speaking with my

22 colleagues from the Defence about and that I wanted to clarify with the

23 Court because I think there was some -- a bit of confusion on both sides

24 that I believe we've cleared up.

25 But the Defence counsel and the Prosecution many months ago,

Page 12142

1 having your rules in mind about when we needed to turn over -- when the

2 parties needed to turn over documents used for cross-examination, we had

3 agreed among ourselves that the appropriate time to turn over materials to

4 be used in cross would be better at that period of time right before the

5 cross was to begin. And there may have -- and that was our understanding

6 that we've been going on. And there has been a bit of confusion. I've

7 spoken to the Popovic team and they acknowledge now and are a part of that

8 agreement. So that's the agreement we are under, as long as that's okay

9 with the Court. That's the way we've been going.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey. I trust that this is

11 clear now between the parties. Our position is very simple. We leave you

12 to let you to come on -- to an agreement on these, and the least time we

13 waste, court time we waste on these matters, the better it will be.

14 Yes, Mr. Zivanovic?

15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I

16 believe that this is not really the right time to put such a request

17 before the Trial Chamber, bearing in mind that a significant number of

18 Prosecution witnesses have already been heard in keeping with the rules

19 you set at the beginning of the trial. We observed on that procedure and

20 we believe that this now opens the door to the Prosecution to announce

21 their future witnesses in a different way. Sorry, documents, I mean.

22 Let me correct myself. It leaves the possibility to the

23 Prosecution to announce differently the documents they will be using in

24 cross-examining Defence witnesses, so I don't think this is the right time

25 to change these rules.

Page 12143

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not waste time on this, Mr. Zivanovic. We've

2 had this trial going on, proceeding smoothly, since August of last year.

3 To my knowledge, there has only been one, two, sporadic instances. Let's

4 proceed along the lines that we have been proceeding. There has been

5 cooperation between the parties, more or less. If there are problems, we

6 will encounter them, just like we did last week but I don't think there is

7 reason for wasting more of our court time, precious court time.

8 The witness is on his way, I hope, unless he has followed the

9 Stankovic trail.

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: He was in the room a few minutes ago, so I don't

11 think he's escaped.

12 [The witness entered court]

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir. Can you hear me? Are you

14 receiving interpretation?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]

16 JUDGE AGIUS: His microphones are switched off. So let's hear

17 your voice again. Good morning to you, sir.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I can hear you very

19 well.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: How do you wish to be addressed? As General

21 Milovanovic?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Any way you like.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will address you as General. So I

24 wish to welcome you here to this case, to this trial on behalf of the

25 Trial Chamber. Later on, we will be joined by the fourth Judge in this

Page 12144

1 trial, who couldn't be with us for the first session.

2 You're about to start giving evidence, and before you do so, our

3 rules require that you make a solemn declaration that you will be

4 testifying the truth. Madam Usher is going to hand you the text of the

5 declaration -- solemn declaration. Please read it out aloud and that will

6 be your solemn undertaking that you will be testifying the truth. Go

7 ahead.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

9 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


11 [Witness answered through interpreter]

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself

13 comfortable. Take a seat.

14 Very soon Mr. McCloskey will be starting with his series of

15 questions to you, but before you start testifying, since you were involved

16 in the events, you lived through the events that are the subject matter of

17 this trial, at least in part, it is our responsibility to draw your

18 attention to a particular rule that we have that spells out a right that

19 you have as a witness.

20 As I'm going to explain to you, it's not an absolute right. It's

21 a relative right. But basically, what this right is all about is one's

22 right against self-incrimination, which I'm sure you must have heard about

23 before and which has probably been explained to you. But in case it

24 hasn't, let me explain it to you in lay language.

25 If, in the course of your examination-in-chief or, for that

Page 12145

1 matter, also upon cross-examination, any question is put to you which, if

2 answered truthfully by you, might tend to incriminate you, then you may

3 object to answering such question. Your objection should be addressed to

4 us, the Judges, and we have two options. We may agree with your objection

5 and dispense you, exempt you, from answering such question on the basis

6 that such answers might incriminate you. Alternatively, we may decide not

7 to entertain your objection and compel you to answer such question. This

8 is why I have said that this right is not an absolute one.

9 However, if we compel you to answer such questions, such

10 incriminating questions, you have a further right. In that case, anything

11 that you would state because you are compelled to answer such questions

12 shall not be used as evidence in any subsequent proceedings against you

13 for any offence except if we are talking of perjury. In that case, this

14 further right doesn't apply any further.

15 Have I explained this right clearly to you or have you understood

16 me well?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you have.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, General. I think we can now

19 proceed. Mr. McCloskey will go first. He's got some questions for you.

20 I don't expect you to finish -- I don't expect to finish with your

21 testimony today.

22 Mr. McCloskey.

23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,

24 everyone.

25 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:

Page 12146

1 Q. Good morning, General. And can you first tell us your full name

2 for the record?

3 A. Manojlo Milovanovic.

4 Q. And we'll get into this in a bit more detail later but can you

5 just tell us, to begin with, what your position was during 1993, 1994 and

6 1995?

7 A. I was the chief of the Main Staff of the VRS, and I was also the

8 deputy commander of the Main Staff.

9 Q. And after the war, did you -- were you appointed to any political

10 positions?

11 A. Immediately after the war, after the implementation of the Dayton

12 Accords, the Main Staff was replaced and I was put at the disposal of the

13 VRS for the first six months, and then for the next six months I was put

14 at the disposal of the army of Yugoslavia. In 1998, in January of that

15 year, I was appointed the Minister of Defence of Republika Srpska. I

16 remained in that position up to the month of March, 2001.

17 Q. All right. Thank you. As you know, your words are being

18 interpreted and I can tell from the interpretation that the interpreter is

19 having to hurry a bit. So it's a bit unnatural, but try to slow your pace

20 a bit, if you could, please. And I'll try to do the same.

21 All right. Let's just start out with a brief personal

22 background. Can you tell us where you were born and raised?

23 A. I was born on the 21st November, 1943, in the village of Laminci

24 in the municipality of Gradiska, both in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I did not

25 grow up there, however. Until I was 16 I lived in my native village.

Page 12147

1 There I finished the first four years of the primary school and the second

2 part of my primary education, I did in Nova Topola near Gradiska.

3 After completing primary school, I applied first to attend

4 agricultural school, but because of some family problems I could not

5 attend that school, and then I applied for the school for non-commissioned

6 officers of the JNA. I was admitted and I completed that school in 1961.

7 Q. All right. So when you completed your military school in 1961,

8 what rank did you graduate with?

9 A. I was a Sergeant and I was assigned to duty in the Benkovac

10 garrison near Zadar. I stayed there for some 14 months and then I applied

11 to attend the military academy in Belgrade. I started education in

12 October 6, 1962, and I completed in September, 1966.

13 Q. All right. Can you give us a brief -- and I know this could be

14 a -- very lengthy, but if you could give us just a brief outline of your

15 military career, when you first finished up as -- and became an officer,

16 up until the beginning of hostilities in 1991.

17 A. Upon the completion of the military academy, where I was a very

18 good student, I had the right to choose my garrison and I chose Banja

19 Luka. In Banja Luka I spent the time between 1966 and 1975, I was the

20 commander of the 10th platoon, the tank company, the reconnaissance

21 company; then I was the commander in the class in the school for

22 non-commissioned officers and I was also the chief of the school of

23 reserve officers between 1973 and 1975.

24 In 1975 I was sent for continuous education to the so-called

25 higher military academy, which is now known as the General Staff tactics

Page 12148

1 school which lasted for two years. I completed that in 1977. Upon the

2 completion of that school, I was sent to serve in the Prilep garrison in

3 Macedonia. I was the commander of the anti-armour battalion and I stayed

4 there for four years in that position.

5 In 1981, at the beginning of that year, to be more precise, on the

6 7th of January, I was sent to the Titov Veles garrison. A motorised

7 brigade had been established there, the 212th motorised brigade, and I was

8 appointed the chief operative officer in that brigade. I stayed in that

9 position up to 1986.

10 That year, I was sent to the command staff school for operations

11 in Belgrade. You could call this a war school. It lasted for a year. I

12 completed it in 1987 and then I went back to the Titov Veles garrison

13 where I was appointed commander of the 212th Brigade. And I was also the

14 garrison commander. I stayed in that position up to January, 1989, and

15 then I was transferred to the command of the 3rd Army in Skoplje, and I

16 held the position of the chief of the operations division in the

17 operations and education organ.

18 I stayed there until the events that took place in the territory

19 of the former Yugoslavia up to March 1992, when I was appointed chief of

20 the operations and education organ, which was a position occupied by a

21 general, and I stayed there until the moment the agreement was signed for

22 the withdrawal of the JNA from Macedonia and I was one of the main members

23 of the team for the withdrawal of the JNA, pursuant to an agreement

24 between the leadership of Macedonia and the General Staff of the JNA,

25 according to which the JNA was to withdraw without a bullet being fired.

Page 12149

1 Q. Can you tell us when that was, that the JNA withdrew from

2 Macedonia?

3 A. The JNA started withdrawing in February, 1992, and it was

4 completed when the command of the 3rd Army withdrew from Skoplje to Nis,

5 and that was on the 9th of March, 1992. And as of that date, the JNA

6 withdrew completely from Macedonia. We did this without a single bullet

7 fired. And that's how a war in Macedonia was avoided.

8 Q. And can you continue that brief outline leading up to your

9 position with the VRS?

10 A. When the JNA withdrew from Macedonia, the command of the 3rd Army

11 was deployed in the Nis garrison. This is where I stayed for five weeks,

12 from the 9th of March up to the 11th of May, 1992. I occupied a position

13 of the chief of that operations and education organ and I was the acting

14 Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army, because the assigned Chief of Staff had

15 not arrived from Banja Luka, where he was in command of the 5th JNA

16 Corps. I believe that he arrived either on the 18th of March or the 21st

17 of March. He rested for sometime, and that's why I was the acting Chief

18 of Staff of the army during that period.

19 On the 8th of May, 1992, I got an order of the still functional

20 Presidency of the SFRY, i.e., the supreme command of the armed forces of

21 Yugoslavia, to be transferred from the Nis garrison to the Sarajevo

22 garrison and to occupy the same position I had occupied in the Nis

23 garrison. Together with that order, I also received an order by which I

24 was appointed a General Major. I was supposed to execute that order on

25 the 11th of May and that's when I was supposed to report to the General

Page 12150

1 Staff of the army of Yugoslavia, in order to receive the originals of

2 those orders and to be sent to Sarajevo.

3 However, in the meantime, there had been some changes. As a

4 result of that, when I arrived in Belgrade I reported to the chief of the

5 personnel. I believe that was General Ljubojko Krstic who informed me

6 about some changes that had happened to these orders. What was it all

7 about? In the meantime there had been an accident in Dobrovoljacka Street

8 in Sarajevo when the command of the 2nd Army came under attack while

9 withdrawing from Sarajevo. Whatever remained of that army withdrew in

10 haste. That's why I was told not to go to Sarajevo because the command of

11 the 2nd Army no longer existed in Sarajevo, but to go to Han Pijesak to

12 which the command had withdrawn.

13 The second modification to the order was this: Before that, an

14 agreement was reached between the rump Presidency of Yugoslavia and the

15 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to that agreement, the

16 JNA was to stay in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the next five

17 years, up to 1997, and it was to equally protect the three majority

18 populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was to prevent any conflicts,

19 and when you say protection, you know what that means. The JNA was

20 supposed to play a tampon zone role between the peoples who were in

21 conflict. However --

22 Q. General, I appreciate that, but could we try to keep to your

23 outline of your position and of course you can explain anything you need

24 to.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Can he give a date to this agreement between the

Page 12151

1 Presidency of Yugoslavia and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't tell you exactly when this

3 happened, but I believe that it was in March, sometime in March.


5 Q. And that's 1992?

6 A. 1992, yes.

7 Q. Okay. Sorry to have interrupted, but can you tell us how your

8 position evolved during these events?

9 A. I was just going to tell you about that. The next modification,

10 the third modification to the order, was as follows: Pursuant to the

11 first order, General Ratko Mladic, after having occupied the position of

12 the commander of the Knin Corps of the JNA, was to be appointed the Chief

13 of Staff of the 2nd Army in Sarajevo and I was going to be appointed the

14 chief of operations and education organ. However, on the 11th of May, an

15 alteration was made to this effect: General Kukanjac was removed from the

16 position of the commander of the 2nd Army to be replaced by General

17 Mladic, and I was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Army. I

18 objected to that and I asked the general to whom I was talking, why I was

19 being sent to Bosnia, i.e., to Sarajevo, knowing the JNA was in the

20 process of withdrawal and it was disappearing from Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina. I was told to go to Han Pijesak, to report to General

22 Mladic, who was supposed to brief me. I arrived in the afternoon, i.e.,

23 in the evening, in the place called Crna Rijeka, nine kilometres to the

24 east from --

25 Q. When did you first arrive in Crna Rijeka, if you haven't told us

Page 12152

1 already?

2 A. Around 11.00 on the 11th of May, 1992, and I was waiting for

3 General Mladic, who arrived late in the afternoon. I don't know how late

4 it was. There, in addition to General Mladic, I found ten more people.

5 There was a total of 12 of us, four generals, Mladic, Gvero, Djukic and

6 myself. And there were eight colonels, lieutenant colonels -- in any

7 case, in the evening there were 12 of us there.

8 General Mladic briefed us. He told us that the 2nd Army was being

9 transformed, that on the following day the Assembly of the Serbian

10 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Banja Luka would make a decision on the

11 establishment of the army of Republika Srpska and that we had been

12 appointed as members of the Main Staff. Mladic would be its commander, I

13 would be its chief, General Gvero would be assistant commander for moral

14 guidance, Djukic would be the assistant commander for logistics or the

15 rear, as we called it at the time. The staff was organised with seven

16 assistant commanders.

17 Q. All right. I don't want to go into detail on this but can you

18 just name the -- not -- the people, if you can, and the positions of

19 assistant commanders, and I know you've already done that for Generals

20 Gvero and Djukic. What were the other positions as you recall them and if

21 you know the names at that time?

22 A. I can try, but I don't know whether I will be able to follow your

23 scheme. We shall see. The chief of the staff sector was myself. I was

24 the chief of the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army. I remained in

25 that position throughout the war, up to 23 December 1996. The assistant

Page 12153

1 commander for moral guidance, religious issues and legal issues was

2 General Milan Gvero. The chief of sector and also the assistant commander

3 for logistics was Djordje -- General Djordje Djukic. The assistants of

4 intelligence and information sector was Colonel Zdravko Tolimir. The

5 operations --

6 Q. Excuse me. Let me just interrupt you. It was translated to me

7 that General Tolimir's position was intelligence and information. Could

8 you just repeat what your understanding was of General Tolimir's position

9 and --

10 A. This expression intelligence and information is not correct.

11 Tolimir was the chief of intelligence and security sector. He had two

12 administrations and within that sector he had the information sector and

13 the security sector or the intelligence and security sector. Petar

14 Salapura was the intelligence chief and the security chief was Colonel

15 Ljubisa Beara, who joined the Main Staff sometime in September.

16 Q. And is that September, 1992?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. All right. And those are the -- well, are there any other

19 assistant commanders that you can recall, the position?

20 A. The chief for the organisation, mobilisation and personnel matters

21 was Colonel Mico Grubor, later on General. He got retired in August, 1994

22 and was replaced by General Petar Skrbic and stayed in that position until

23 the end of the war. The next administration was the administration for

24 finances and budget headed by Colonel at the time, later on General Stevo

25 Tomic. And there was also the administration for air force and

Page 12154

1 anti-aircraft Defence headed by General Jovo Maric.

2 Q. All right. And can you again just briefly tell us when you first

3 met General Mladic and what -- how well you knew him before the war?

4 A. I met with General Mladic for the first time in 1977 when I went

5 to Macedonia. At the time, he was working in Kumanova. I don't know what

6 position he held but we met at some manoeuvres and we stayed together in

7 Macedonia for the next 15 years. We occupied very similar positions in

8 the war school. We were the same generation in that war school. And we

9 both commuted from Macedonia and back, and during the -- that one year of

10 education, we got better acquainted.

11 After that, Mladic was appointed commander of the 39th Infantry

12 Division in the Stipa [phoen] garrison and I was appointed commander of

13 the 212th motorised brigade in the Velez garrison. The distance between

14 the two garrisons is 48 kilometres. We cooperated as brigade commanders.

15 And then, on the same day, which I believe was the 30th of January, 1989,

16 we were both transferred to the command of the 3rd Military District. I

17 became the chief of the operations administration and Mladic became the

18 chief of the education administration, which means we belonged to the same

19 organisation of the command in the 3rd Army. We cooperated very closely

20 as up to the second half of the year 1990, when Mladic was transferred to

21 the Pristina garrison to the 52nd Corps of the JNA. He was the assistant

22 commander of logistics at the time. We got separated, but then we were

23 rejoined on -- in Crna Rijeka on that 12th of May. We knew each other

24 very well even before the Main Staff was established.

25 Q. Do you know if General Mladic played a role in you becoming the

Page 12155

1 Chief of Staff?

2 A. I believe so. And during my service in Macedonia, Mladic and I

3 had a lot of professional conflicts, although we were friends, which means

4 we socialised out of work, but on the job our opinions were different, and

5 on the 11th of May, when he informed me that I would be the chief of the

6 Main Staff and also his deputy, I was a bit startled and I had misgivings

7 about our future cooperation, given the fact that we did not really

8 cooperate very well while we were both in service in Macedonia. He told

9 me only six months later what had happened. He told me, "I took you

10 because I am very quick tempered and your reactions are somewhat slower

11 and we would work well, both as a team." He wanted our two mentalities,

12 two characters, to complement each other in a way.

13 Q. Okay. And again can you briefly describe to us how you worked

14 together throughout the wartime period with General Mladic? How would you

15 describe your ability to work with him and how well did you get along?

16 A. From the very beginning, the positions of the staff sector,

17 including my position as the head of that sector, was analysing, planning

18 and operations, which means as follows: The staff sector, i.e., myself,

19 prepared proposals for the commander, in this case General Mladic, on how

20 to use the army of Republika Srpska as a whole and how to use its units,

21 i.e., corps in various locations and at various times. The system of the

22 work of the staff was by way of collegiums, i.e., everyday meetings.

23 Usually all the assistants prepared proposals pertaining to their

24 respective areas and I prepared proposals for the combat use of the

25 units. It was very rare for Mladic not to accept my proposals, and when

Page 12156

1 he made his final decisions on the item tasks for the units, he would only

2 say, upon the proposal of the Chief of Staff. And this lasted throughout

3 the whole time up to the end of 1994. Then I was sent westwards to the

4 western front in Bosanska Krajina. That's when the Bihac operation took

5 place, and that was the first time we were separated for any longer time.

6 Upon the completion of that operation I was transferred from the Bihac

7 front to the Glamoc front, which means I stayed in the west of Bosnia.

8 Our separation was as prolonged. We contacted by the phone.

9 Q. Excuse me, General. You've jumped to a description of your job,

10 which is fine. We needed that. But what I'm after here, and just briefly

11 is, throughout the war period, did you have any problems with General

12 Mladic and, if not, can you describe your working relationship generally.

13 Then we'll get into some more of the details a little bit later.

14 A. I did not have any problems, at least not in the form of

15 conflicts. The only thing is that General Mladic was the kind of man who

16 even when you do something well, he always finds something wrong with it,

17 why wasn't it faster, why weren't the losses smaller, why so many

18 resources were expended. But that was normal for a commander. So that

19 there was no personal conflict between us.

20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, do you want to keep with the

21 original schedule?

22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Only because of the redactions. Otherwise we would

24 have it 20. If that is possible, we'll try to make up for some of the

25 lost time. Incidentally, just for public consumption and for the record,

Page 12157

1 we started late this morning, not because of our -- any shortcoming on the

2 part of anyone, but it's only because there was a technical problem with

3 the computers of some of the Defence teams that needed to be addressed.

4 So we'll have a short break of 20 minutes, I'm told, after which we'll

5 reconvene. Thank you.

6 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

7 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, now we -- Judge Stole has joined us,

9 so we are not sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis any longer. Mr. McCloskey,

10 you may proceed.

11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

12 Q. Now, General, can you tell us briefly -- we are still a bit in the

13 background section. Can you tell us what you know of the history of --

14 between General Mladic and General Gvero, where they first met each other

15 and/or worked together?

16 A. I don't know when they first met, ever. They started to work

17 together on that 11th of May, 1992, when we were all gathered in Crna

18 Rijeka.

19 Q. And do you know whether they worked together and knew each other

20 before that?

21 A. They probably knew each other because Mladic graduated from a

22 number of military schools, just like I did, and Gvero had served some of

23 his time as a lecturer in one of those schools, which is where I first met

24 him myself, in 1971 or 1972. So I don't know about their history before

25 their arrival at the Main Staff.

Page 12158

1 Q. Okay. And can you tell us when Mr. Miletic -- I believe he was a

2 Colonel at the time -- when he first joined up with the Main Staff?

3 A. Lieutenant Colonel Miletic arrived at the Main Staff, I believe,

4 in the second half of July, 1992, and he was appointed to the

5 administration of air force and air defence, to serve under General Maric,

6 and I believe he was Chief of Staff of rocket and artillery units of the

7 air defence. He served in that position, I don't know exactly how long,

8 but as soon as he arrived, he displayed a certain inclination towards

9 operative work and he often helped me because his own institution was not

10 very busy.

11 We didn't use our air force that much, and the systems of air

12 defence were mainly detached across various units, and he was inclined to

13 help me because the Main Staff was always understaffed. Our highest level

14 of staffing was 36 per cent in all that time. So every person did two or

15 three jobs at the same time. I singled him out as a very good staff

16 officer, as a very good operations man, so we soon transferred him from

17 that administration of rocket artillery units to the operations

18 department. He was first deputy chief of operations under Dragutin Ilic,

19 and when that man retired, Miletic took over as chief of operations in

20 July, 1993, I think.

21 Q. Okay. And can you briefly describe his advancement in that

22 position or promotions?

23 A. Well, he arrived at the Main Staff as Lieutenant Colonel. He

24 knows better than I do when he was promoted into Colonel but I believe it

25 was in 1993, and he received the rank of General on the 28th of June,

Page 12159

1 1995.

2 Q. All right. Now, you have briefly described your position as Chief

3 of Staff and making proposals to the commander for the use of the army.

4 Can you tell us a bit more detail what staff officers did you have working

5 under you? Now, you've mentioned operations, so you may want to start

6 there but can you tell us what the staff was made up of? And I'm really

7 more interested now in 1995 than I am in the earlier years so if you could

8 concentrate our answers to the year 1995. What staff units did you have

9 that answered to you as Chief of Staff?

10 A. I as Chief of Staff had under me only two persons on the staff,

11 General Miletic, as chief of operations and training, and the chief of the

12 training section, but since I stood in frequently for the commander when

13 he was absent, the other six assistant commanders also reported to me.

14 Not much reporting is involved, as far as the Chief of Staff is

15 concerned. Reporting is done to the commander normally. But in the

16 commander's absence, I received the reports. But I must say that in end

17 1994, and almost all of 1995, with the exception of a very few days, I was

18 absent from the Main Staff. I was at the so-called forward command post

19 in Drvar, Glamoc, Mrkonjic or maybe Banja Luka so I was not directly

20 participating in the work of the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka although I

21 continued officially to be Chief of Staff.

22 Q. All right. We'll get into that in a bit. Can you describe the

23 job of chief of operations? What was Miletic's job, especially in 1995?

24 A. General Miletic's job in 1995 was more of a technical staff

25 nature. Whatever the commander decided, Miletic translated into

Page 12160

1 documents, orders, notices, briefs, depending on what the commander

2 wanted. If the commander conceived a military operation in any part of

3 the theatre of war, he would notify Miletic and give him guidelines

4 reflecting his wishes, and Miletic then translated that into documents.

5 So he was a writing man. He translated the commander's words onto paper.

6 Q. Well, what was he involved in in terms of the operations that he

7 was involved in, overseeing? Once Mladic decided on a particular

8 operation, what did the chief of operations -- what was his normal

9 involvement? Surely it was more than just being involved in paper.

10 A. In my absence, Mladic was not able to -- in fact, it was not

11 appropriate for him to send Miletic to the front line to conduct or

12 control any of the military operations. Miletic would always stay behind

13 in staff headquarters, especially when both Mladic and I were absent and

14 that was a frequent occurrence in 1995. As far as I know, in 1995,

15 Miletic did not leave the Main Staff, although of course he's better

16 placed to know.

17 Q. Is it important to have a trusted general at the Main Staff

18 headquarters overseeing operations from that level?

19 A. Well, the general who would remain at the Main Staff, be it

20 Miletic or myself, was a person receiving incoming information from

21 theatres of war, analysing that information and suggesting solutions to

22 the commander for any possible problems. That is the person who is the

23 hub of all incoming information from various theatres of war. He brings

24 to the command's notice any problems that may have occurred, and

25 practically, I don't know how to put it but that's the main -- operator of

Page 12161

1 the information switchboard. He distributes information across various

2 sectors, depending of what is relevant to whom, receives proposals and

3 suggestions from subordinate commanders, wraps them up and gives them a

4 certain shape and transmits them to the commander.

5 Q. All right. And what is his -- his responsibility in implementing

6 the commander's orders? The chief of operations in this case, General

7 Miletic.

8 A. He has no responsibility for the execution of orders in the

9 field. His only responsibility is to accept reports from subordinates and

10 to transmit them to the commander. It is not up to him to do anything

11 with an order signed by the commander except to send it to the corps to

12 which it was intended. And then through daily reports, he monitors the

13 course of execution of that order and informs the commander on whether

14 it's going according to plan or not.

15 Q. And when it's not going to plan, would he be the person that

16 passed on the orders or the -- of the commander to clear up the problem?

17 Or would you? Who would do that?

18 A. If something is not going according to plan, or, rather, order,

19 then Miletic or I, if I am there, would inform the commander of the

20 problem, and at the same time we could also suggest a solution but the

21 final decision of course is up to the commander.

22 Q. All right. Let me -- before we go any deeper into this -- ask you

23 just a basic question about the rules of the VRS. Did you adopt any

24 particular set of rules from any particular army, as you got off the

25 ground in the VRS?

Page 12162

1 A. Yes, we did. All armies, all the three armies in

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Muslim, the Croat and the Serb army, inherited

3 most, if not all, the rules of the former JNA because those were the rules

4 according to which we had been trained. They were the only rules we

5 knew. And we just adjusted them to specific situations or specific needs

6 of the VRS.

7 Thus, for instance, in August, 1992, when the army was just

8 established, we created a so-called temporary rule of service of the VRS.

9 In fact, we selected certain details from the rule of service of the JNA

10 and adjusted them to the needs of the VRS, reducing the original size from

11 360 pages to 43 pages or something. I believe I gave this to the OTP

12 sometime in 2001. As for rules of engagement, we applied the rules of

13 engagement of the former JNA but only in the measure in which the size of

14 units corresponded.

15 For instance, we had some light infantry brigades and some

16 motorised brigades, who were much smaller than similar units in the JNA.

17 For instance, an infantry brigade in the JNA had 5500 men, and in the VRS,

18 it had 1500 or so, rarely 3500. So we took over from the JNA practically

19 all rules of conduct. The only difference was that we didn't make any

20 bones about that. We didn't make any bones about that, unlike all the

21 other armies who wanted to have nothing to do with the former JNA.

22 Q. All right. And can you tell us, in your job, did you have any

23 responsibilities relating to materials like ammunition and fuel and other

24 valuable commodities?

25 A. Yes, yes.

Page 12163

1 Q. Can you explain that?

2 A. The responsibility of the logistics sector was to procure all

3 equipment and materials necessary for the war. Now, there is a group of

4 materials, such as strategic materiel, that's munitions and weapons, fuel,

5 food, clothing and footwear. Those are the basic needs without which you

6 can't wage war. Now, the logistics sector -- or, rather, the

7 responsibility for distributing this material lay with the Chief of Staff,

8 that is me.

9 Now, for instance, General Djukic, that is the logistics sector,

10 procures, let's say, a million rounds for a rifle. He was not able to

11 distribute that across units, so I made the decision, the list, depending

12 on the size of corps, depending on the tasks they were performing, I would

13 say, "You'll give 300.000 rounds to the 1st Corps." To the 2nd Corps,

14 which was passive for the first three years of war, I would give only a

15 minimum, just enough to fill the combat set, as it was prescribed. That

16 was one combat set. To the Drina Corps which was constantly involved in

17 one operation or another, I would give 200.000 rounds. It would sometimes

18 happen that I gave nothing to certain corps because there were no combat

19 activities for them.

20 And the same went for fuel. Fuel and munitions were short. And,

21 for instance, when the logistics sector got hold of, let's say, 1.000

22 tonnes of fuel, I would apply the same criteria to distributing fuel as I

23 applied to distributing ammunition. As for other strategic materiel such

24 as food, clothing and footwear, I didn't meddle in that much, although it

25 was officially my responsibility, for the simple reason that every

Page 12164

1 soldier, whether he was waging war actively or not, had to be clothed and

2 fed. And I left it to the quartermaster of the logistical sector to deal

3 with the distribution. The only thing that was taken into account was the

4 number of soldiers in a unit.

5 Q. All right. And let me jump over and ask you another structural

6 question. Can you just briefly describe to us what the 65th Protection

7 Regiment was and where it fit into the structure of the VRS, just very

8 briefly? We don't need too much detail on this.

9 A. The purpose of the 65th Protection Regiment, motorised regiment,

10 was to provide security for the Main Staff. On its strength, as far as I

11 can remember, it had a battalion of the military police, a motorised

12 combat battalion, its own sabotage unit linked up with the 10th Sabotage

13 unit of the Main Staff. I may have omitted a less important unit but in

14 any case, this was the main purpose of the Protection Regiment. Since the

15 Protection Regiment was an elite unit, predominantly consisting of troops

16 who were doing their regular service and very few reservists, very often

17 that regiment would be used as a reserve for the Main Staff, for

18 interventions in the areas where we were not doing so well.

19 The regiment would often be split into two. Half of the troops

20 would be with the Main Staff and the other half would be somewhere on the

21 front line. We did not often need it for the physical security of the

22 Main Staff because there was a signals regiment who stayed with the Main

23 Staff all the time. In addition to their main purpose which was signals

24 maintenance, they were also trained to participate in combat and to

25 provide security for the Main Staff, which we often used whenever

Page 12165

1 necessary, that is.

2 Q. And who in the Main Staff was responsible for the 65th Protection

3 Regiment? Where did it fit into the structure?

4 A. The regiment commander was directly subordinated to the commander

5 of the Main Staff. If the regiment was engaged in the defence of the Main

6 Staff, which happened on three or four occasions throughout the war, then

7 its commander would have been the most senior general in the Main Staff,

8 and that was me more often than not, but this was only applied to the area

9 where the Main Staff was employed -- deployed.

10 Q. Okay. And who was the commander of the 65th Protection Regiment

11 in 1995?

12 A. Colonel Milanmir [phoen] Savicic. He was in command of that

13 regiment throughout the entire war.

14 Q. Just can you say the name again? It didn't -- we didn't quite get

15 it.

16 A. Colonel Milomir Savicic.

17 Q. Thank you. Okay. And for the 10th diversionary unit, can you

18 describe what its function was and where it fit into the Main Staff

19 structure?

20 A. The 10th diversionary detachment was established towards the end

21 of 1992 or the beginning of 1993. I know it was winter. I can't remember

22 exactly when it was. It was trained at the time. It was first billeted

23 at Vlasenica, that's where it was trained. It was used to collect

24 information and intelligence on the enemy. It would infiltrate behind

25 enemy lines. It was also used for anti-sabotage operations and also for

Page 12166

1 the defence of the Main Staff, if there happened to be there in the

2 vicinity. This was a very small but elite unit. I know that in the first

3 group that we trained, there were not more than 53 men. That detachment

4 suffered constant losses all the time. The last time I was in contact

5 with that detachment, they had only 24 men. This was sometime in July or

6 August, 1993. I don't know how it was replenished after that and how its

7 strength evolved after that.

8 Q. Who did it fall under or -- in the Main Staff?

9 A. When you interviewed me in Banja Luka, I made a mistake. I told

10 you that the person in charge was the security organ. However, the person

11 in charge of its use was subordinate to the intelligence service of the

12 Main Staff, which was headed by Colonel Petar Salapura. The ultimate

13 person in charge was General Tolimir, who was the chief of the

14 intelligence and security sector.

15 I told you in Banja Luka that it was the security administration

16 that was in charge and I did that, I made a mistake, because I had only

17 one occasion to issue an order to that detachment during the Lukavac 93

18 operation. The order was received by General Tolimir and he went to Han

19 Pijesak to execute the order, to move the detachment. In the meantime, he

20 had suffered a stroke and in his notebook, this mission was found as

21 having been recorded. Colonel Beara, the chief of security

22 administration, came to me and I issued a task to him. And based on that,

23 I told you in Banja Luka that it was the security administration that was

24 in charge of the sabotage activities of that unit, which is not the case.

25 It was not the case.

Page 12167

1 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification. Now, you've mentioned

2 twice that you've issued orders, and I don't need to get into the Lukavac

3 93 situation but can you explain, were you actually issuing orders or were

4 these orders that you had passed on from your commander, General Mladic?

5 A. The Lukavac 93 operation had been planned by the staff sector,

6 i.e., myself. During the execution of that operation, and during the

7 stage of the preparations on the ground from Visegrad to Ustipraca lasted

8 for some month and a half. However, officially, the operation to liberate

9 Trnovo or the Lukavac 93 operation started on the 6th of July, 1993.

10 Q. I don't want to get into the details of it. Can you just tell us

11 how it was you, as the Chief of Staff, could issue orders for that

12 operation?

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?

14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The witness

15 said at the beginning of his testimony that he had a dual function. He

16 was the Chief of Staff and he was the deputy commander.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Why would that be an objection?

18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Because the Prosecutor is now asking

19 him how come that he, as the Chief of Staff, was in a position to issue

20 any orders.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. McCloskey?

22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm asking him to -- so he can specifically

23 describe what his position was at that time, so it can be clarified. And

24 when I say Chief of Staff I'm referring to generally that was his job.

25 Perhaps he was acting commander then. Perhaps he was deputy commander.

Page 12168

1 Perhaps he was passing on orders. I mean there is several possibilities

2 here and I think the witness can answer it.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Then you can rephrase the question, omitting the

4 description of Chief of Staff and just ask him in relation to the Lukavac

5 93 operation whether he was in a position to issue orders, and if so, in

6 what capacity.

7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, it's my understanding that he is

8 always Chief of Staff, so I don't want to leave the impression that he

9 would not have been Chief of Staff.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he can answer the question. Let's proceed.

11 Could you issue orders in relation to the Lukavac 93 operation,

12 General?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was appointed.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: In what capacity?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As the operation commander. I was

16 in command of the Sarajevo Corps, the Drina Corps, and the reinforcement

17 of the two corps, four brigades from other corps, the Krajina Corps and

18 some from the East Bosnia Corps. General Mladic had decided that I should

19 be in charge of the operation.

20 The operation started as I've already told you, on the 6th of July

21 and General Mladic was with me from the morning. The operation started at

22 6.00. He was with me until 10.00 or thereabouts and then he told

23 me, "Chief, I am leaving to have some rest. You know where I'll be. You

24 carry on with the operation," and I continued until the 11th of July,

25 which means that I had the right to command over all units that found

Page 12169

1 themselves in the area and I've already told them which units those were.

2 On the 11th of July, we entered Trnovo. In the afternoon the

3 commander arrived. He took over the command, and he sent me to what he

4 called at the time a well-deserved four-day furlough. I returned to Han

5 Pijesak and rested and the commander continued carrying out the

6 operation. In other words, before he came, I had an absolute right of

7 command in the area.


9 Q. And General, is it appropriate under the JNA rules and under the

10 VRS rules for a commander to appoint someone like yourself or someone else

11 as a temporary commander, thereby giving him the command responsibilities

12 of a commander?

13 A. Yes. That was possible pursuant to the JNA rules and pursuant to

14 our own rules, but not -- it does not apply to the entire military or to

15 entire theatre of war but only to some sectors of the theatre of war.

16 Such was the case for example, during the Lukavac 93 operation.

17 Q. Okay. And I want to go from Lukavac 93, the Trnovo, to the

18 situation in the Krajina, when, I think, the VRS was anticipating an

19 offensive in that area, and were you appointed any kind of command role to

20 deal with the upcoming offensive, I think what's been known now as

21 Operation Storm?

22 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question. Operation Storm

23 is -- was a Croatian operation and ours was a defence operation. What

24 period are you referring to? Are you referring to the year 1995 or to

25 some other period?

Page 12170

1 Q. I'm sorry, that was an awkward question. I am referring to

2 operation -- to 1995, and I wanted to know what position you were

3 appointed to, if any, in dealing with the Croatian offensive.

4 A. The situation was very similar as in the Lukavac 93 operation.

5 The problem started towards the end of 1994, to be more precise, in

6 October. The 5th Muslim Corps on the 23rd October 1994, with some 22.000

7 troops, left the secure area of Bihac and attacked the Serb positions on

8 the right bank of the river Una. The attack was sudden, very quick. We

9 had not expected that somebody would dare leave the security area, where

10 nobody was allowed to carry arms, and we did not expect anybody to attack

11 from there. They did that, and in the next seven days they took over some

12 of the Serb territories around Grmec, about 250.000 square kilometres in

13 size.

14 At the session of the Supreme Command on the 28th of October, or a

15 night later, which was held at the command of the Main Staff and was

16 attended by the president of the republic as the Supreme Commander, one of

17 the vice-presidents and I believe -- not that I believe. I know that it

18 was Nikola Koljevic and Mr. Krajisnik, who was the speaker of the

19 assembly, the then-president of the government whose name was Kosic, and I

20 don't know his first name, and the inner circle of the Main Staff.

21 We discussed the situation during the night and at 4.00, the

22 Supreme Commander decided upon the proposal of the commander of the Main

23 Staff that I should go west to Grmic will have to establish what had

24 happened and what was going on there. I told them that I knew what was

25 going on because we received daily combat reports from the area. However,

Page 12171

1 I told them if I was to go there, I wanted to take a few more officers

2 along and try and do something, not only to establish what the situation

3 was. I even set some conditions. I told them that if I were to do

4 something, the Supreme Command, before I arrived in the area, should at

5 least for the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps, proclaim

6 the state of war, because we had never proclaimed a state of war, whereas

7 the Muslims and Croats had done that on the 4th of August, 1992. They

8 waged their war pursuant to the rules of war and customs of war which we

9 didn't do.

10 The second condition was that I should be placed at my disposal

11 the reserve of the Main Staff which was the centre of military schools in

12 Banja Luka, and also, that I should be given two or three brigades from

13 the other corps, depending on what troops could be assigned to me.

14 On my travel towards mount Grmic --

15 Q. Let me interrupt you. Were you placed in command for this

16 situation, like you had been for the Trnovo operation?

17 A. I can't say that I was placed in command. I was ordered to stop

18 the Muslim offensive and, if possible, to launch a counterattack. This

19 type of order actually put at my disposal the troops of the 2nd Krajina

20 Corps which was withdrawing at that time, and newly brought forces. I was

21 even given two brigades from the Republic of Srpska Krajina, from the army

22 of Srpska Krajina. That's how I became the commander of some joint Serb

23 forces in the area.

24 Q. All right. Now, let's jump briefly, then, to July -- well, the

25 spring and July of 1995. Were you involved in that command during those--

Page 12172

1 during that period?

2 A. Upon the completion of the Bihac operation, which was towards the

3 end of December, to be more precise on the 25th of December, I was

4 transferred. The so-called Carter's four-month period had come into

5 effect in the Bihac region. In the southeast --

6 Q. Excuse me, sorry, was that December what year?

7 A. 1994. I was transferred to the Glamoc theatre of war because the

8 Croats had launched a small-scale offensive from the Livanjsko field

9 towards Glamoc and Grahovo. In practical terms, I again took over the

10 command of the 2nd Corps. Since the situation around Bihac was calm and

11 was conserved I took several units, I believe two or -- brigades and I

12 took them with me to the general area of Glamoc. In practical terms,

13 nothing changed. I still had the right to command over those forces in

14 Western Bosnia. And this lasted with short interruptions when I came to

15 the Main Staff in March, and finally on the 29th of May, I went to the

16 area and I got engaged in a defence operation against the Croatian

17 Operation Storm.

18 Q. Okay. And that's the operation I'm interested in. From the 29th

19 of May, were you in command of that defence operation against the Croatian

20 Operation Storm?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Now, when you are taking on the important responsibilities of

23 command, especially in such an important operation, can you tell us, did

24 you still retain your position as Chief of Staff?

25 A. Yes.

Page 12173

1 Q. All right. Now, if you're going to be commanding this important

2 operation, what person or persons would have taken over your important

3 duties at the headquarters as the Chief of Staff, if anyone?

4 A. In the Main Staff, when I was absent from the Main Staff, it was

5 the most senior in the staff sector, which at the time was General

6 Miletic. He would take over from me.

7 Q. Okay. So during that time you were dealing with Operation Storm,

8 was it --

9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Madam Fauveau. Sorry to interrupt

10 you, but Madam Fauveau?

11 MS. FAUVEAU: [No interpretation] -- [Interpretation] ... in the

12 lines 9 to 11, two words are missing because the witness said that those

13 were regular every day jobs and the most senior in the staff would take

14 over the routine every day jobs, and this is what we are missing in the

15 transcript. I would like this to be corrected.

16 This is the second sentence from [In English] [Microphone

17 not activated], it should say, "he took over routine, everyday duties from

18 me." This is what the sentence should read.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: General, would you accept that what Ms. Fauveau has

20 just stated, does it reflect what you actually had stated yourself? And

21 I'm asking you for the purposes of the transcript more than anything

22 else.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say that Miletic was the

24 most senior after me in the staff. I said that he was the most senior

25 officer in the staff's sector. In the staff, there were several other

Page 12174

1 sectors that I mentioned at the beginning of my testimony. In other

2 words, Miletic took over from me the routine daily task, which was

3 accepting reports from the subordinates, their processing, briefing the

4 commander, and other daily routine jobs that are normally performed by the

5 Chief of Staff.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General. Mr. McCloskey?


8 Q. And thank you for that clarification. Briefing the commander is a

9 rather important job, isn't it?

10 A. I didn't understand the interpretation, briefing the commander,

11 what do you mean? Are you referring to the commander receiving reports or

12 the commander reporting to somebody, briefing somebody? What did you

13 mean?

14 Q. We may have a translation issue. Your previous answer, you

15 mentioned that one of the jobs that General Miletic took over was briefing

16 the commander, and I was asking whether or not Miletic briefing the

17 commander, as you put it, was that an important job?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And did that briefing of the commander also extend to providing

20 daily reports to the Supreme Commander-- the Supreme Command, excuse me,

21 the Supreme Command, the civilian body headed by Radovan Karadzic?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Okay. And I know you have seen and I will show you what has been

24 described as a daily report from the Main Staff to the Supreme Command,

25 but can you tell us what those reports were, how often they went out?

Page 12175

1 A. Daily or regular combat reports of the Main Staff towards the

2 Supreme Command went every day. They were called regular or daily combat

3 reports. Their purpose was to inform the Supreme Command, since it was a

4 political body, not a military one. It was simply a description of the

5 events that took place in the past day on the battlefield.

6 Q. And what was the purpose of those reports?

7 A. The purpose of the reports was for the Supreme Command, since it

8 consisted of civilians, to be kept abreast of events on the battlefield.

9 They were not two-way reports, and the Supreme Command had no influence on

10 the situation in the theatre of war, unless the Supreme Commander decided

11 to do something on the basis of those reports.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Mr. McCloskey. Madam Fauveau?

13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I believe there is again an error in

14 the transcript, line 13, [In English] "influence" actually should be "and

15 the report had no influence."

16 JUDGE AGIUS: So according to you, they were not two-way reports

17 and the report to the Supreme Command had no influence on the situation in

18 the theatre and war, is that what you mean to say, Madam Fauveau?

19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: General, you have heard the exchange between me and

21 Madam Fauveau. Do you agree to that; in other words, that the reports to

22 the Supreme Command had no influence on the situation in the theatre of

23 war?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They did not, unless the Supreme

25 Commander decided to take an action in response to a problem notified by

Page 12176

1 the Main Staff. But the Supreme Command did not have any executive

2 functions.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, General. Mr. McCloskey?

4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

5 Q. So these daily reports were a -- were they a significant part of

6 the information received by the Supreme Command?

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Yes, Madam Fauveau?

8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the transcript

9 remains the same. It's page 45, line 5 [In English] "but the Supreme

10 Command did not have any executive functions," and actually the witness

11 told, "but the report did not have any executive function."

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. I think we can proceed. That will be

13 taken into account and we can proceed.

14 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

15 Thank you for pointing it out, Madam Fauveau.


17 Q. These daily reports, were they considered by you to be significant

18 information being sent to the Supreme Command?

19 A. I'm afraid I did not understand you.

20 Q. Was the information in these reports important for the Supreme

21 Command to receive?

22 A. Yes, yes.

23 Q. Did the Supreme Command in part use the information in those

24 reports to make their decisions?

25 A. I do not know that. I don't know whether they used those reports

Page 12177

1 to make important decisions, but occasionally the Supreme Commander or the

2 Supreme Command did take a voice, issuing tasks to the VRS and one could

3 conclude that they were in response to some of those reports, the reports

4 on decisive actions such as the report on the Muslim offensive, Muslim

5 attacks, originating from enclaves, the Croat offensive, Operation Storm,

6 and similar.

7 Q. Okay. Perhaps I've taken something for granted. Perhaps you

8 could briefly explain it to us if you could. Could you tell us the

9 authority that the Supreme Commander has over the army as designed in the

10 political system in place at the time?

11 A. Immediately upon the decision to establish the army on the 12th of

12 May, 1992, following an automatic course, the then-president of the

13 republic of -- Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Radovan Karadzic,

14 became the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the Serbian Republic

15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Armed forces also include the police and the

16 so-called civilian defence. So the army is one of the components of the

17 armed forces.

18 Now, having received Supreme Command over the army, the Supreme

19 Commander has directly under him the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff.

20 However, the Supreme Command was formed in end 1992. I received that

21 information from General Djukic on the 6th of December, and it was mainly

22 politicians who were included in the Supreme Command, president of the

23 republic, president of the parliament, Prime Minister, Minister of Defence

24 and Minister of the Interior. It did not include, I'm talking about

25 politicians now, the two vice-presidents and none of the members of the

Page 12178

1 Main Staff. The commander of the Main Staff, that is General Mladic,

2 should have been included in the Supreme Command automatically.

3 Following an intervention from the Main Staff, the Supreme Command

4 included both vice-presidents, that's Mr. Nikola Koljevic and Mrs. Biljana

5 Plavsic, but none of the generals. We were, in fact, invited to some of

6 the sessions of the Supreme Command but just as observers, to avoid

7 duplicating the task of conveying assignments from the Supreme Command

8 downwards. Usually General Mladic would go or I or one of the other

9 generals, depending on the specific agenda for that session of the Supreme

10 Command so as to avoid the possibility that the Main Staff would convert

11 into a headquarters of the Supreme Command.

12 There were parallel tracks in commanding the army. Both the

13 commander of the Main Staff and the Supreme Commander had command of the

14 army. Since at that time, in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

15 which later became Republika Srpska, the one-party system prevailed, the

16 then --

17 Q. Excuse me, General. I appreciate this is a complicated subject,

18 and it's an important subject, but can you tell us how it worked in July,

19 1995? I know there was developments throughout but can you just give us,

20 if there is anything you need to add than what you've already added, but

21 please focus on 1995.

22 A. I can put this more briefly. General Ratko Mladic was immediately

23 subordinated to the Supreme Commander, that is Dr. Radovan Karadzic.

24 Q. Okay. And in July, 1995, was that system working as it was

25 designed?

Page 12179

1 A. In July, 1995, the system functioned in principle. Karadzic was

2 still directly superior to Mladic but for reasons that I ignore, Karadzic

3 started sending orders directly to me, to the western front, and again

4 there were parallel tracks in exerting command. It was my legal

5 obligation to execute the orders of General Mladic and only exceptionally

6 in emergencies, to execute directly the orders of my superior commander,

7 who is my second higher superior. Whenever I received such direct order,

8 I was to inform Mladic immediately.

9 Since Karadzic continued to send orders directly to me, I was

10 duty-bound to return every such order to General Mladic and have him tell

11 me, "Do it" or "Do not do it." And if he told me to do it, then he had to

12 say how. I warned Karadzic, who visited the western front rather

13 frequently at that time, that this was a duplication of command and

14 procrastination because instead of 24 hours, an order took 48 hours to

15 execute. However, he did not heed my words and that continued for the

16 entire duration of the Operation Storm, until the 4th August 1995, in

17 other words.

18 Q. All right. But in July 1995, was there any member of the Main

19 Staff on the Supreme Command? Or had it remained separate, as you had

20 described earlier?

21 A. They were separate.

22 Q. Okay. I want to go to one of these reports that we've been

23 speaking of. It's number -- 65 ter number 44. That will be coming up on

24 your screen. And this is, as we wait for it to come up, it's

25 entitled "Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army, very urgent, to the

Page 12180

1 President of Republika Srpska" and then it has various corps and other

2 units listed as on the address sheet. And there is that part that I just

3 read up in the left-hand corner, and if we could just -- well, let's keep

4 it there for a second.

5 General, is this an example of the front page of one of these

6 reports we've been talking about?

7 A. I have before me a strictly confidential report, 03/3-193, dated

8 12th July 1995, if that's the one.

9 Q. All right. And does that look like the kind of daily report that

10 the Main Staff sent to the Supreme Command?

11 A. Yes, correct.

12 Q. All right. And if we could go over to the last page of the B/C/S,

13 and these -- the reports basically go corps by corps and describe the

14 situation; is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Could we just go through this report and get to the last page, if

17 possible? Okay. That's -- that's good.

18 And I'll just -- I want you to look, as you can, I know this looks

19 like a teletype so there is no signature but there are initials on the

20 report, MDJ/MM. Do you know what those initials mean or signify?

21 A. I don't think this is MADJ. I think it's KADJ.

22 Q. Okay. And do you know what those initials mean or what they

23 signify?

24 A. I do, I do. Before the line, it's the indication of the author of

25 the document. I believe it was Colonel Krsto Djeric. And after the

Page 12181

1 slash, MM, those are the initials of the person who typed up the report.

2 Q. And where -- what was Krsto Djeric's position?

3 A. Krsto Djeric worked in the operations and training sector. I

4 can't remember whether he was in training or in operations but I believe

5 he was in training, and that's probably why General Miletic used him as an

6 assistant, because Miletic could not handle all my work, processing

7 reports from subordinates, writing reports to the Supreme Commander,

8 reacting to requests from lower units and monitoring the execution of

9 orders issued from above. Those were the things that I did as well

10 together with Miletic.

11 Q. And where were you from July 1st through, I believe, about

12 September 4th, 1995? Most of the time, if I could say. I know that you

13 weren't only in one place but most of the time, where were you during

14 those dates?

15 A. From 29 May until end October, 1995, I was constantly on the

16 western front, in Drvar, at Ostrelj, at the Kula facility near Mrkonjic

17 Grad and in Banja Luka. On the occasion of the retreat of the Serb army

18 before the Croatian Operation Storm. I think it only happened once, on

19 the 19th and 20th July, that I came to Crna Rijeka to attend the farewell

20 party for General Zivanovic who was retiring and at the same time the

21 appointment of General Krstic as commander of the Drina Corps.

22 Q. I'll get into that in a bit, but on 12 July, where were you, 1995,

23 when this report was done?

24 A. On the 12th of July, I was at Krupa on the Una River. I remember

25 that time very well because the night before the 12th of July, I had lost

Page 12182

1 a bridge that we had been holding on the coast, on the same level as Krupa

2 on the Una River.

3 Q. Okay. Then getting back to this document, at the bottom, it says

4 under those initials, "Standing in for the Chief of Staff, Major General

5 Radivoje Miletic." Can you tell us what that means and the significance

6 of that, "Standing in for the Chief of Staff"? First of all, is that

7 correct? Is that what was going on?

8 A. That word "standing in" actually means replacing. But in military

9 terminology, and according to military rules, only one word would suffice

10 here, "for," followed by my full name, so it would be Chief of Staff,

11 Lieutenant Colonel General Manojlo Milovanovic and then Miletic could sign

12 but he wrote instead, "standing in for." That's a special legal category

13 called acting something, and that had to be regulated by an order. He

14 could be acting for me if I was absent from the theatre of war or if I was

15 on sick leave. But I was in the theatre of war at that time.

16 I don't see that this is a big deal. I believe that this is an

17 administrative error. And the initials indicating the author, as well as

18 the teletype operator who accepted the document, because this document,

19 like many others I've seen these days, does not have the initials of

20 Miletic because that's something the teletype cannot convey, but the

21 teletype operator who handled this had to put in the acronym SR standing

22 in Serbian for svojerucno, in his own hand. That would have meant that

23 Miletic had signed the document himself.

24 Q. Okay. Well, you have had a chance recently in my office to review

25 all of the reports to the -- from the Main Staff to the Supreme Command

Page 12183

1 for 1995 that are in the possession of the Prosecution, and is it fair to

2 say that literally hundreds of those reports are in the name of General

3 Miletic under the title, "Standing in for the Chief of Staff"?

4 A. Correct. There were 365 reports from the 1st of January 1995

5 until the 31st December 1995. All of them bear the same

6 marking, "Standing in for Chief of Staff." I found only one that is

7 signed, but that one was probably not teletyped, it was sent either by fax

8 or by courier, because it included Miletic's signature. So out of those

9 365, only one bears Miletic's signature.

10 Q. But not all 365 were Miletic's name. Weren't many of them under

11 your name as Chief of Staff as well?

12 A. Correct, you're right. A lot of them bear my name. I didn't

13 count them. But in the list of documents, I indicated some that I believe

14 were not mine. I placed the word "ne," no. Against some of the others, I

15 placed the words "possibly," but there were some that I don't remember

16 doing as Chief of Staff. Those that I marked as "possible," you can take

17 as my reports.

18 Q. All right. And you had a chance to sit down with this material

19 and work with an investigator in the last couple of days to note which

20 ones had your name and which ones had General Miletic's name on them; is

21 that correct?

22 A. Yes. And that's what I did, in pencil, on that list of documents,

23 in the part where my signatures are. As for the other documents, bearing

24 Miletic's signature, they were in files marked green, marked with green

25 stickers. I wrote my opinion, and I gave that to you yesterday.

Page 12184

1 Q. All right. So when we talk about this label, "Standing in for the

2 Chief of Staff," that same label was on those hundreds of reports that

3 went out under Miletic's name; is that correct?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. So was it well known to you and everyone in the Main Staff that

6 handled these reports that General Miletic was doing this?

7 A. No. When I returned to the Main Staff, or when I visited

8 occasionally, I had no need to look up those reports because they were

9 history. So I found about that for the first time two years ago in Banja

10 Luka when you sent me that invitation to attend an interview. Together

11 with that invitation or summons I received the indictment against Tolimir,

12 Gvero and Miletic, and that's when I read the clause where it says that

13 the documents were signed with "Standing in for Chief of Staff."

14 Q. Okay. If you didn't know but surely the other people in the staff

15 knew about this. I don't want to overemphasise this as I've already said

16 it's not a great sin, but this clearly was done hundreds of times, was it

17 not?

18 A. Yes, yes, you're right.

19 Q. Having reviewed that -- those documents very -- I know -- briefly,

20 is it -- can one make a fair conclusion that the times that General

21 Miletic's name are on these documents is the time when he is taking over

22 your duties in terms of this kind of responsibility, and when it's your

23 name, you're back temporarily at the headquarters taking over this duty?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. Okay. And I -- you may not remember this, but I'm just noting

Page 12185

1 from your -- your accounting work that you did, that you noted that from

2 31 May to 4 September, they were type-signed by Radivoje Miletic; is that

3 right?

4 A. Would you please repeat the date, from which May?

5 Q. 31 May to 4 September.

6 A. That is true, and that is justified because I arrived in Drvar on

7 the 29th May and I stayed there all the time up to the end October. Why

8 is the 4th of September important? I continued my stay in the western

9 part of Bosnia in September and in October.

10 Q. It may not be crucially important. I'm just looking at your

11 accounting report because it goes on to say from September 9th through

12 18th November, these reports were also type-signed by Radivoje Miletic.

13 Is that your recollection?

14 A. I noticed that yesterday or the day before yesterday, as I was

15 looking at the document. I saw that Miletic's signature appears on the

16 documents dating back to the 31st of December, whereas the second half of

17 November and the entire December I was in the Main Staff. On the 21st of

18 November the peace agreement was signed. Still, by some sort of inertia

19 Miletic continued to brief the Supreme Command, although combat activities

20 had stopped, but nobody ever ordered us to stop daily briefings. I

21 noticed that and I did find it a bit strange that this inertia procedure

22 continued. I can't explain how this happened. I believe that the people

23 with shortened initials continued doing their job and I suppose they

24 didn't deem it important who would sign these documents.

25 Q. Okay. I just want to go to some particular paragraph in this

Page 12186

1 number 44 document that we have. And if in the B/C/S we could go to

2 what's listed as number 6, entitled, "In the area of responsibility of the

3 Drina Corps" and it would be section B, "Situation in the corps." And I

4 think we see that up on the -- you can see the B/C/S. And I just-- I'll

5 read briefly some of the information that is contained in this. I'll

6 start with where it says, "Engagements of units in the execution of the

7 Krivaja 95 task. All the combat tasks are going ahead as planned. During

8 the day they liberated Potocari and they continue advancing in order to

9 liberate all the settlements in Srebrenica enclave. On the blank

10 access" -- we don't understand that word, sorry -- "part of our units and

11 MUP units have organised ambushes in order to destroy Muslim extremists

12 who have not surrendered and who are trying to break out from the enclave

13 towards Tuzla."

14 And it goes on and talks about, "In the situation of the

15 territory, in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps, the

16 population is being taken by organised transport from Srebrenica towards

17 Kladanj, during the day about 10.000 Muslims are estimated for transport.

18 In all the areas of responsibility of the corps, the situation on the

19 territory is stable and under control. During the day, in most populated

20 areas, recruits were being sent off to the army. All the planned and

21 approved convoys passed safely through the RS territory."

22 Now, can you tell us where that information that I just read,

23 where does that come from? How is it -- who does General Miletic receive

24 this information from?

25 A. First of all, I have an objection to the interpretation of the

Page 12187

1 words under Roman II, the situation on the territory. It says here, and

2 the sentence starts with the following words, "In the area of

3 responsibility of the Drina Corps, from the Srebrenica enclave," and I got

4 a somewhat different interpretation. The Drina Corps was omitted, and I

5 got the interpretation as "in the Srebrenica enclave."

6 Q. That's just a problem with me reading it. We put the interpreters

7 on the spot. The exact document is the one to make reference to. They do

8 a good job, as you can tell, but it can never be perfect.

9 A. It was not my intention to criticise the interpreters. I just

10 wanted to draw your attention to the fact that something was read out

11 incorrectly. Instead of "in the area of responsibility of the Drina

12 Corps," I heard it "in the area of responsibility of the Srebrenica

13 enclave." But this is a minor point.

14 As far as your question is concerned, how did Miletic obtain this

15 information? I told you that on that day, I was in Krupa on the Una in

16 the west and I really don't know, I can only assume how Miletic had

17 obtained this information. I suppose most probably, and I repeat I only

18 assume, he received this information from the regular combat report of the

19 corps commander.

20 Q. All right. We don't want to you speculate or -- but my question

21 was what -- was there a normal procedure by which the corps sent this kind

22 of information up to the Main Staff so they could choose what they needed

23 and then send it on to the Supreme Command?

24 A. I believe that I have already spoken about the procedure, at least

25 in part. This was the procedure: Every day, the corps, up to 2200 hours,

Page 12188

1 sent their regular combat reports to the Main Staff. I would receive

2 those combat reports I was in -- if I was in the Main Staff. If I was

3 absent, they were received by Miletic.

4 When all the combat reports arrived from all the different corps,

5 the person who received them, either me or Miletic, would read them, and

6 while that person was reading, as of 2000 hours the corps commanders

7 started reporting in by telephone. Since these combat reports showed

8 situation at different times, the battalion commander sends reports to the

9 brigade commander around 1500 hours. The brigade commander needs about an

10 hour to study the report and to draft his own combat report to be sent to

11 the corps commander. The corps commander needs to study all the reports,

12 i.e., this is done by his staff organs, and based on the brigade reports,

13 he drafts a report to the Main Staff. The Main Staff receives that report

14 before 2000 hours but with the situation as at 1500 hours. Five hours in

15 combat means a lot. At 2000 hours, corps commanders report in by

16 telephone. We had direct telephone connections. And they say whether

17 there are any changes with respect to the combat report or not.

18 If there are changes, then they report about the changes orally.

19 And then General Miletic studies all the reports and separates things that

20 are important for each sector, what is important for General Gvero, for

21 the moral guidance, what is important for the logistics. Let me not go

22 through all the sectors.

23 Every morning at 7.00, there is a meeting of the Main Staff.

24 Usually it is the inner circle which means General Mladic with all his

25 assistants and regularly these morning meetings were attended by the chief

Page 12189

1 of the operations administration, the chief of the intelligence

2 administration, and the security administration, in addition to the

3 assistant commanders. And it would usually be the commander, General

4 Mladic, who would call the meeting to order and he would give the floor to

5 the General Miletic standing in for the Chief of Staff, and then we --

6 either me or him would inform all the present about the problems in the

7 theatre of war and we would draw each sector's chief to what they had to

8 pay attention.

9 For example, if a soldier deserted from a corps or if the corps

10 doesn't have ammunition, we direct chiefs of sectors' attention to such

11 things. We did not read complete reports, because this would have taken a

12 whole day. The Main Staff would have done nothing but read reports.

13 After the meeting, chiefs of sectors would study the details that their

14 attention had been drawn to and that they provide proposals to the

15 commander. Usually, it would happen immediately, during the first

16 meeting. If there was a lot of such thing, then there would be a need for

17 us to meet either once or even twice in the course of the same day.

18 This was a system that was in place and based on this system,

19 Miletic obtained this particular information. It did happen that the

20 commander was not in the staff, the Chief of Staff was not in the staff,

21 and then the most senior general would chair this meeting, but Miletic

22 again was the one who explained the situation, who provided an insight

23 into the situation based on the reports.

24 Q. Thank you.

25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I see it's break time, and I know

Page 12190

1 I'm well over my time. I hope to finish up in 40 minutes after the break.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now.

3 Thank you.

4 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.

5 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

8 Q. General, could we go to another document? It's 65 ter number 49,

9 and just a quick question about something that I saw. It's another report

10 from the Main Staff to the president of the Republika Srpska. This one is

11 dated 15 July 1995, as you can see as it's coming up on your screen, and

12 if we could go again to paragraph 6, the Drina Corps zone, which is page 3

13 of the English and we can just go into paragraph 6 of the B/C/S, page 3 of

14 the B/C/S as well, and I wanted to ask you about -- it's in section A, and

15 I won't go through all of it. It talks a bit about Zepa and a bit about

16 Srebrenica -- actually, as you can see, talks about the defence lines of

17 the 4th, 6th and 7th Battalions of the Zvornik Brigade and the trouble

18 they were in. Then it goes on to say that during transport towards

19 Zvornik, the Turkish troops pulling out from Srebrenica towards Tuzla

20 opened fire on an ambulance in the Planica village sector and killed the

21 driver of the vehicle and a paramedic.

22 Now, as you're aware, this term "Turkish" is a term that Muslims

23 find very offensive, as they are not ethnically Turkish, they are Slavs.

24 And we know that wars always generate these kinds of terms that soldiers

25 use, but why is this term -- how has this term found its way into a report

Page 12191

1 at the level of the Main Staff, to the Presidency?

2 A. May I answer?

3 Q. Yes, please.

4 A. The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in my view, was an attempt to

5 complete the Second World War, so to speak. At the very beginning, and in

6 1992 --

7 Q. I'm a little worried, General. I know history is important, but

8 it's a relatively simple question and I don't want to interrupt you too

9 much but go ahead.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau. One moment, General.

11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the question was not

12 simple by any count, and I would like the witness to be allowed to answer

13 the way he wants to answer.

14 [Trial Chamber confers]

15 JUDGE AGIUS: We tend to agree with Madam Fauveau. Let him

16 answer. Instead of taking you 40 minutes it will take you 45 and that

17 will complete the session for today. Thank you.

18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.

19 Q. Go ahead, General.

20 A. To make a long story short, let me put it this way: At the

21 beginning of the war, we all called each other names. The Muslims and the

22 Croats called us Chetniks. We called Muslims the Turks. And we called

23 the Croats Ustasha. That is the way it was. I can't see the initials

24 here. I don't know who drafted this document. But I suppose that the

25 document was drafted by somebody who just continued that practice.

Page 12192

1 However, my experience tells me that Muslims who are of Slav

2 origin were not offended if they were called Turks because they identified

3 themselves with Muslims of Islamic origin, whereas the Serbs were insulted

4 by the term Chetniks, and let me not go into explaining why. And Croats

5 equally were offended by the term Ustasha.

6 I do not have an explanation as to how this word could find its

7 way to the report. I suppose that one of the authors, somebody who

8 drafted the letter -- I'm sure it wasn't Miletic, I don't know actually --

9 used this word "Turks," I don't know why. But there is another side to

10 this coin and that is why somebody from the leadership or the military

11 command did not react or maybe they did but I don't know about that. This

12 is just my opinion, the only thing I can share with you as to how this

13 word came into the report.

14 Q. All right. And let's go to another series of documents. I'll

15 just ask you about one and they are called directives, something that I

16 know we have talked about before. Can you tell us what these directives

17 were that came from the president or General Mladic? Just generally tell

18 us and then we'll get to a couple of them.

19 A. These directives are documents issued by the Supreme Command.

20 They are political documents, war policy documents, rather than anything

21 else. They are recommendations or requests by the Supreme Command to the

22 armed forces. And they are documents that define the axes of activities

23 of the armed forces in a long run and they usually apply to the armed

24 forces as the biggest part of the armed -- or of the army or of the

25 military.

Page 12193

1 The directives were drafted in the following way: The Supreme

2 Command, through the Supreme Commander, talks to the team that is going to

3 be in charge of the directive and gives the team guidelines, either in the

4 written form, featuring some tasks or prospects for the army activities,

5 or this can be orally conveyed to the commander or to the person who will

6 be the directive team leader. That person jots down the guidelines and

7 then drafts the directive as a document.

8 Since our Supreme Command was not technically or in any other way

9 equipped to deal with military issues, they did not have the necessary

10 personnel which the Ministry of Defence had, and they were supposed to do

11 that, this job was handed down to the Main Staff. And the authors of all

12 these directives, maybe with one or two exceptions, the authors of all

13 these directives were members of the Main Staff. When an author using his

14 knowledge and capabilities drafts a directive, he sends it back to the

15 Supreme Command as a draft. The Supreme Command then analyses it, takes

16 out what is not necessary, adds what they deem necessary, and with certain

17 remarks and notes, they return it to the author.

18 The author then enters all the corrections, as ordered, comes up

19 with a final version. That is again returned to the Supreme Commander for

20 his signature. It is not up to me to say this, but I believe that the

21 Supreme Command should have met before any directive is signed and agree

22 with it by a show of hands, by voting, and then give it to the commander

23 to sign. When the Supreme Commander signs it, the responsibility for the

24 validity of the directive lies in the hands of the Supreme Command. The

25 Supreme Command can then send the directive to the Main Staff in its

Page 12194

1 entirety or he can send only its part to the Main Staff.

2 Pursuant to what they receive from the Supreme Command, the Main

3 Staff then issues their order, not directives but orders, and an order of

4 the Main Staff goes for execution to the corps command. It is the Main

5 Staff order rather than the directive that was signed by the Supreme

6 Commander.

7 Q. Okay. Let's go to one of these directives that you and I have

8 talked about before. It's number 65 ter 29. It's dated 19 November

9 1992. It's known as directive operational number 4, and if we could go

10 to -- let's just show you the first page of that so it --

11 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, Madam Fauveau?

12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know why the

13 Prosecution refers to the directive dated 19 November 1992. This is

14 beyond the scope of the indictment. I believe that there are other

15 directives that are more pertinent, more relevant for this case.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey? Unless you're going to offer

17 Madam Fauveau to exchange seats.

18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can simply say that we -- as the indictment

19 spells out and our trial brief spells out and I've said many times, this

20 area is pertinent and an important part of the indictment.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can proceed further by explaining the

23 relevance that you attach to this document more specifically at least

24 rather than generically as you have put it.

25 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's actually mentioned in the indictment as part

Page 12195

1 of the lead-up and the history of what culminated in Srebrenica.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: You can stop there. That's what we had in mind,

3 too, but you hadn't stated it. The witness can proceed to answer your

4 question, please. General?

5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

6 Q. So, yes, General, I just wanted you to see the first page so you

7 can recognise the date and the title, and let's go to the -- I think it's

8 the last page of the B/C/S version so we can see what that says. It may

9 be the second to the last page. It says who it was drafted by. Can you

10 tell us while we are getting to that, who drafted directive 4?

11 A. I did.

12 Q. Okay. And was that in your capacity as Chief of Staff?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. All right. Now, let's go to the Drina Corps section. Actually,

15 it's paragraph -- it's numbered 5 in the B/C/S but it's 5D, and the part I

16 want to ask you about is the part I've asked you about before, and if-- if

17 we can get it to 5D so that -- page 10 of the B/C/S, if that will be

18 helpful. Maybe we can blow up D so that it can be read a bit better. Not

19 sure that's D. I think that's E, sorry.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: There it is.


22 Q. There we go. And the -- I apologise. I hope the interpreters can

23 read that. I'll just -- it's not long so I'll just say it, "The Drina

24 Corps, from its present positions, its main forces shall persistently

25 defend Visegrad, the dam, Zvornik and the corridor, while the rest of its

Page 12196

1 forces in the wider Podrinje region shall exhaust the enemy, inflict the

2 heaviest possible losses on him, and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa

3 and Gorazde areas."

4 Now, I understand it, that's war, that's what war is all about,

5 but let me ask you about this next comment. "Force him to leave the

6 Birac, Zepa and Gorazde areas together with the Muslim population."

7 Why did you write in this, "To force the Muslim population out"?

8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the witness

9 answers, could the Prosecutor read the entire paragraph just to put it in

10 context, please?

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead, Mr. McCloskey. I don't think you

12 have an objection to that.

13 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.

14 Q. "Inflict heaviest possible losses on him and force him to leave

15 the Birac, Zepa and Gorazde areas together with the Muslim population.

16 First, offer the able-bodied and armed men to surrender, and if they

17 refuse, destroy them. After that, unblock and repair the Konjevic

18 Polje-Zvornik road, make it fit for traffic and stand by for intensive

19 combat against infiltrated sabotage, terrorists, surprise and ambush

20 attacks and paramilitary groups. Set up a command post in Vlasenica and a

21 forward command post as decided by the corps commander."

22 Now, I'm not asking you about this second section, about "offer

23 the able-bodied and armed men to surrender and if they refuse, destroy

24 them." But I would like to direct your attention to the part about "force

25 him to leave Birac, Zepa and Gorazde areas together with the Muslim

Page 12197

1 population."

2 Why would you put in forcing out the Muslim population?

3 A. Prosecutor, sir, exactly 18 months ago, you kept me at a stage or

4 in a position of anxiety over this text when you questioned me on that

5 18th of October in Banja Luka. You know that the text was not legible,

6 the copy was very bad, just as it was now. But at that time, because I

7 was unable to read it myself, you read it and the interpreter, Ms. Adisa,

8 interpreted it as you read it to me, and I came away with the impression

9 that what was written there was exhaust or wage a war of attrition with

10 the civilian population.

11 Now, when I heard it for the second time, I heard a G instead of

12 N, so that it came as "izgoravite" [phoen] instead of "iznoravite,"

13 [phoen] which means push out, not exhaust. Now, the things I want to say

14 now is that first of all, it is not said anywhere in this text, exhaust

15 civilian population. It says exhaust the enemy, maximise his losses, and

16 force him out, with the civilian -- with the Muslim population, the areas

17 of Birac, Zepa and Gorazde. So the first thing that has to be clear is

18 there is no attrition against the civilian population.

19 Second, as the war began, and sometime into the war, let me say in

20 the first third of the war, the entire population of all three ethnic

21 groups started moving across Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbs were withdrawing

22 to areas with a majority Serb population for their own personal safety or

23 they crossed over to Serbia. Muslims moved in three directions, sometimes

24 under agreement, sometimes out of fear. One direction was into central

25 Bosnia, just as with the Serbs, to places with a majority Muslim

Page 12198

1 population. Another part moved out to third countries, European

2 countries, Islamic countries, the US, Canada and so on. The poorer part

3 of the population in Podrinje tended to move out into larger places like

4 Srebrenica, Zepa, Gorazde.

5 This directive is 15 years old. The objective was, once the

6 civilian population moves out, to have no army left in that area, and it

7 says, "Force able-bodied men to turn over their weapons." It doesn't say

8 "capture," as you put it. Those who do not turn over their weapons, and

9 intend to stay in the area, were to be destroyed. And I think that is

10 perfectly all right.

11 Q. So do you agree with me that this is a reference to forcing the

12 civilian population from the area?

13 A. No, no. It's about forcing armed units, that is troops, to move

14 out from that civilian area.

15 Q. How do you explain the last section of that comment that

16 says, "Force them to leave, together with the Muslim population"?

17 A. I do not see that it means -- that it says force them out with.

18 It says, "Force the enemy, with the Muslim population, to leave." So if

19 the Muslim population is leaving, the troops should too.

20 Q. All right.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: I had noticed you standing up, but you sat down

22 again. That's why I didn't intervene. Okay, thank you.

23 Go ahead, Mr. McCloskey.

24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.

25 Q. Now, General, we had also talked briefly in Banja Luka about

Page 12199

1 directive 7, which was dated 8 March 1995, and is 65 ter number 5, and

2 perhaps we can save some time, but like your directive, at the end, it

3 says, "Drafted by Colonel Radivoje Miletic." Do you have any reason to

4 believe that it was not drafted by Colonel -- at the time Colonel Miletic?

5 A. I have no reason to believe one way or another. General Miletic

6 is best placed to know whether he drafted it or not. I did not

7 participate in the drafting of this directive. I was not familiar with

8 it. And Miletic is the one who knows best whether he wrote it up or not,

9 just as I told you that I wrote directive number 4.

10 Q. Well, at the end of the document, and we can go there if would you

11 like -- if fact, we better, I think. It's number 5, 65 ter number 5, it's

12 right at the end, and like your document, it says, "Drafted by" and we'll

13 go to that so you can see it. Well, you can take a look at that document.

14 It's the heading, and we'll get back to that a little bit later because

15 we can see your name on that one, but I'll ask you about that later.

16 If we could go to page 21 in the B/C/S. Just near the bottom

17 there. And can you see, just above the stamp, it says, "Drafted by

18 Colonel Radivoje Miletic, typed by Staff Sergeant Spasoja Zeljkovic" This

19 is a pretty important document. Any reason to believe this would be a

20 mistake?

21 A. What could be a mistake? I don't know what you mean.

22 Q. That they mistakenly put in General Miletic's name as the

23 drafter.

24 A. I told you a moment ago, I have no reason to believe one way or

25 another or to believe or disbelieve, because General Miletic is the one

Page 12200

1 who knows best whether he wrote this directive or not.

2 Q. Okay. Now, you said you didn't have anything to do with it

3 earlier. And if we could go back to that first page that was shown, and

4 this is -- appears to be some kind of a cover letter, the document

5 itself -- all right. The letter I've got is page 23 in the B/C/S, and the

6 cover letter is dated 17 March, where the actual directive is dated 8

7 March, and the cover letter, this particular one, is marked "very urgent,

8 directive for upcoming operations to the command of the 1st Krajina

9 Corps," and it says, "Enclosed with this document we are sending you the

10 directive for further operations, number 7." And it says, "Confirm

11 receipt of the above mentioned directive by returning a copy of this

12 document." And it says, "Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Manojlo

13 Milovanovic." Is that your signature, if you can tell from this?

14 A. Yes, yes.

15 Q. So you at least were involved in sending this directive out to the

16 1st Krajina Corps, I take it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. All right. So you had read this directive by the 17th of March,

19 1995?

20 A. I don't know if I read it or not. I believe not. Because I write

21 the accompanying letter with the directive that is sent to the corps

22 command, which means the directive has already been signed, legally

23 validated. I don't even know why it was sent to the corps. The corps

24 should have received the order of the Main Staff proceeding from this.

25 It's probably that I was around. This was probably sent by courier

Page 12201

1 because it obviously didn't go by teletype, and even if I had read it, I

2 would have been unable to change, modify anything in that directive. I

3 wouldn't have dared to.

4 Q. Why wouldn't you have dared to?

5 A. Well, I wouldn't have dared to because it was signed by the

6 Supreme Commander. I was not the author. I did not participate in any

7 way in its drafting. And this cover letter is just giving authority to

8 the courier to send it to the -- to take it, in fact, to the command of

9 the 1st Krajina Corps and it's written here that the corps received it on

10 the 21st of March, 1995, which means that the courier, the messenger,

11 whoever took it there, took four days.

12 Q. All right. Let's go to another document. This is 65 ter 2672,

13 another one we had talked about, and oh, just to clear up, on directive 4,

14 were you able -- I gave you copies of that last night. Were you able to

15 read that copy I gave you last night, to be prepared today?

16 A. You mean directive number 4?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. We just discussed it.

19 Q. I just want to make sure you were able to read that copy, because

20 you said the one in Banja Luka, you were not able to read.

21 A. Yes. I have managed to read it last night by combining all

22 possible and impossible spectacles, combining desk lamps and somehow I

23 managed to read it and that is why I opposed your suggestion that the text

24 said something about exhausting or pushing out the civilian population.

25 Q. Okay. All right. Here is another document that we had talked

Page 12202

1 about before. It's dated 14 July, from the command of the 5th Engineering

2 Battalion, and it's transmitted by courier, apparently. It's called a

3 regular combat report. And it says, "The enemy." Now, before I read what

4 it says and ask you about that, is it fair to say the 5th Engineering

5 Battalion is part of the Drina Corps?

6 A. Yes, yes.

7 Q. And they were located at this time in the area of Konjevic Polje?

8 A. I don't know exactly where he was, but he was certainly in the

9 area of responsibility of the Drina Corps, maybe Konjevic Polje because

10 that's where part of the -- where the part of the Protection Regiment was

11 located, or maybe he was closer to Milici or in Bratunac, but it was

12 certainly somewhere in that area, east of the Zvornik-Vlasenica-Han

13 Pijesak road, on the Drina side.

14 Q. Okay. Let me read this to you. It says, "A large enemy group was

15 infiltrated in the region of Pobrdje Brdo and the region of Konjevic

16 Polje. Units of the 5th Engineering Battalion and the MUP successfully

17 resisted the enemy. About 1.000 to 1500 enemy civilians and soldiers were

18 arrested and killed."

19 Now we talked about this before. Is there any justification to

20 kill people after you arrest them?

21 A. No, there isn't. It's a war crime.

22 Q. And when I asked you last time whether or not you thought this

23 could be a war crime, that's what you said, isn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And this regular combat report was sent -- it says it's sent to

Page 12203

1 the Drina Corps. Is that part of its normal reporting chain, as far as

2 you know?

3 A. Yes. It's a normal reporting chain because the 5th Engineering

4 Battalion was an independent unit directly linked to the corps command,

5 not to any of the brigade commands.

6 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you had mentioned in one of your answers

7 that you had come back to go to General Zivanovic's retirement function,

8 and can you tell us what date you came back for that?

9 A. First of all, if you would be so kind, could you remove this

10 because it's distracting me, unless we need it some more.

11 Q. No, we don't, and I think that's a very good idea.

12 A. Could you please repeat your question?

13 Q. Can you tell us what date you came back to go to General

14 Zivanovic's function?

15 JUDGE AGIUS: He said it's 19th and 20th. He said it already. He

16 gave us the dates before.

17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.

18 Q. What did do you when you came back on the 19th?

19 A. I arrived at the Main Staff, the above-ground part of the barracks

20 sometimes close to dark on the 19th. I didn't find anybody in the house,

21 none of the officers. And I asked the duty person who was the most senior

22 person around at the Main Staff, and he said General Gvero. So as a

23 disciplined soldier I reported to General Gvero because he was the most

24 senior in the staff automatically.

25 I asked him where Mladic was, and General Gvero if I remember

Page 12204

1 correctly said that Mladic was negotiating with somebody about Zepa and it

2 was most likely that Serb forces would also go into Zepa. After that

3 exchange, I went to sleep and I saw Gvero the next day, not only Gvero but

4 all the people who had gathered to see General Zivanovic off, at the Jela

5 restaurant. That's between Sokolac and Sarajevo.

6 Q. When you reported to General Gvero on the 19th, was it in person

7 or by telephone, if you remember?

8 A. I really can't remember. Maybe we talked in person. General

9 Gvero is here. Maybe he can confirm. But we had that conversation,

10 although I don't remember whether it was over the phone or in person. But

11 I think it was in person, because Gvero had just come out of the

12 bathroom. I probably wouldn't have that image in my mind if somebody had

13 told it to me.

14 Q. Okay. Now, do you remember at the Jela restaurant the next day --

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic?


17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just an answer, a bit

18 of the answer missing. [Microphone not activated]. [In English] "I don't

19 know," this part is missing from the transcript.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but I think now we've got more missing in the

21 transcript of what you said. That's because you changed, switched from

22 one language to the other. What is missing, Mr. Krgovic? As I understood

23 to you say, it's that the witness had said it, I don't know, but where

24 exactly?

25 MR. KRGOVIC: I don't know.

Page 12205

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Where did he say that?

2 MR. KRGOVIC: In the end -- it's line -- it's 73, number 10.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: He said, "I don't know" what? When you said, "I

4 don't know," General, you still in other words are not certain whether you

5 actually met him in person or whether you spoke to him on the phone or

6 some other kind of communication or are you now sure that you met him in

7 person and you're not sure, you don't know about something else?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have answered the Prosecutor's

9 question, whether I contacted with Gvero in person or on the phone, and I

10 answered to the Prosecutor, "I don't know" and that "I don't know" was not

11 in the transcript because I just uttered it now.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. McCloskey, we've got two minutes

13 left, if they can serve you any purpose.

14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have one little office diagram

15 sketch. It won't take me very long but give than we don't want to crowd

16 into the next case. It's not on e-court. It will be on the ELMO and I

17 think we can do it quicker if we -- I'll just take five or ten minutes and

18 I know my credibility on that score is not good today, but I won't take

19 more than 10 minutes, I'm sure, if we start up tomorrow on this. One

20 exhibit, that's the last area I want to ask him about.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. General, we are going to adjourn

22 today. We'll meet again tomorrow morning same time, hopefully earlier,

23 9.00, without any technical hitches, hopefully and we will continue. In

24 the meantime, General, between now and tomorrow since you haven't finished

25 your testimony, you're not to communicate or allow anyone to communicate

Page 12206

1 with you to discuss or even mention the subject matter of your testimony,

2 of the events that you're testifying upon. Is that clear?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Clear.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Nice afternoon and evening, everyone.

5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of May,

7 2007, at 9.00 a.m.