1 Thursday, 13 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Madam Registrar. Good afternoon,
7 everybody else. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
11 All the accused are here.
12 Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic and
13 Mr. Bourgon.
14 Prosecution is -- I see Mr. McCloskey, I see Mr. Nicholls and
15 Mr. Vanderpuye.
16 The witness is already in the courtroom. So I take it we can
18 General, we are going to proceed with your cross-examinations
19 today, and I'm confident that we will finish with your testimony
20 relatively soon.
21 Yes. Please remember that the solemn declaration still holds
22 good, and that in addition you ought to keep in mind what I told you when
23 you first started giving evidence, about your right to ask not to answer
24 some questions that may be put to you. So good afternoon to you.
25 WITNESS: MILOMIR SAVCIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Petrusic.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Petrusic: [Continued]
5 Q. Good afternoon, General. I would kindly ask Exhibit number P192
6 to be brought up on the screen for the witness.
7 Can we scroll up the document to show bullet point number 4?
8 Thank you.
9 General, we have talked a lot about this document. On the
10 assumption that you drafted it and sent it to the addresses indicated in
11 the document, would the conclusion on the role of General Miletic with
12 regard to bullet point number 4 be that he was only conveying the
13 information that he received from the assistant commander for security and
14 intelligence? Could you please look at the document?
15 A. Precisely so. This means that he was supposed to inform the
16 commander of the Main Staff of the existence of the document, of its
17 contents, and to seek from the commander his explanation as to whether he
18 accepted those proposals or not and to provide him with some information.
19 Q. In other words, just to convey the information?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would now kindly ask the usher,
22 before I proceed with my next questions, to provide the witness with three
23 documents that I will be presenting to him in a row, because it seems to
24 me that it would be much easier for everybody if we proceeded that way
25 than if we decided to put these documents next to each other on the
2 Q. General, you know that the documents pertaining to command orders,
3 directives, as a special type of order and instructions, you're familiar
4 with all those?
5 A. Yes, I am.
6 Q. Based on the general knowledge that you have on the command
7 documents, could you conclude that the common denominators for all these
8 documents is that the subordinated officers have to carry out the orders,
9 commands and directives received from the superior command without any
10 alterations to them or challenging them?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please see Exhibit P0005
13 on e-court?
14 Q. General, you see the document on the screen, and in the heading of
15 the document you can see that it was issued by the Supreme Command of the
16 armed forces of Republika Srpska on 8 March 1995.
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please look at the last
19 page of this document? We have a problem here. Can we have page 3179 in
20 the B/C/S version? Can we scroll up a little to see the signature on the
22 Q. General, you will agree with me, won't you, that this document was
23 issued by the Supreme Commander, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, and that this
24 document is signed?
25 A. Yes, signed and stamped.
1 Q. Under bullet point 8 on the same page, you can see that this
2 document was drafted by Colonel Radivoje Miletic?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. On the last page, page number 3181, you can see that the Main
5 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, on the 17th of March 1995, as very
6 urgent, sent the directive number 7, which is the document that we have
7 been discussing, through the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Manojlo
8 Milovanovic, sent it to the command of the Krajina Corps, of the 1st
9 Krajina Corps, that is?
10 A. Yes. I suppose that this document was also sent to all the other
11 operative units, but here we can see that this was sent to the 1st Krajina
13 Q. Yes. We have confirmation from the 1st Krajina Corps here. Also
14 you will agree with me that the directive, as a form of document, is sent
15 only to the operative organs, in this case corps, of the army of Republika
17 A. Yes, to the operative units or operative systems.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move to page 3173 of
19 this directive number 7? I apologise, 3171 is the page number.
20 Q. One of the components of every directive is the thing that you see
21 under bullet point number 5, which is the tasks of the units?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. If we now move two pages further, and if we come to page number
24 3173, if you could please look at that page, you will see that the Supreme
25 Command, in other words, the supreme commander of that command at the
1 time, President Dr. Radovan Karadzic, issued a task to the Drina Corps?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That task issued to the Drina Corps was as follows: "To carry out
4 a physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa in order to prevent
5 communication between these two enclaves, and this should be carried out
6 as soon as possible."
7 A. This is exactly what the tasks -- the task says.
8 Q. In other words, the Drina Corps was a unit subordinated to the
9 Main Staff, and also it was subordinated to the Supreme Command, i.e. to
10 the Supreme Commander?
11 A. Through the Main Staff. It was not directly subordinated to the
12 Supreme Command or the Supreme Commander.
13 Q. When it comes to the Drina Corps, was it duty-bound to fully and
14 without any alterations, modifications, convey the task that they had
15 received from the Supreme Command to their subordinated units?
16 A. Their duty was to convey the task in the form it was received,
17 without any alterations to it.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we now bring up on e-court
19 Exhibit number P838?
20 Q. General, you have that document under tab -- have you found it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can we then agree that this document was issued by the command of
23 the Drina Corps on 2nd July 1995, and that it was sent to the commands of
24 the 1st Zvornik Brigade, the 1st Bircani Brigade, the 2nd Romanija
25 Brigade, the 1st Bratunac Brigade, the 1st Milici Brigade and to the 5th
1 Mixed Artillery Regiment? The title of the document is, "Order for active
2 combat activity, OP number 1." Also, we will agree, won't we, that in the
3 right-hand corner, it is indicated, "Military secret, strictly
4 confidential," copy number illegible, probably 3?
5 A. I suppose so, most probably.
6 Q. And that there is the code name Krivaja 95. Is all that correct?
7 A. Yes, everything is correct.
8 Q. Can we now move to the last page of this document? Can we scroll
9 up a little in order to show the signature? On the last page of the
10 document, in the right corner, it says, "Commander, Major General Milenko
11 Zivanovic"; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Can we now go to page 2 of the document? Please look at the
14 bullet point 2 of the document, where on page 2 in the B/C/S version, and
15 in the English version it is on page 3 also, paragraph 2, it says that the
16 command of the Drina Corps issues this order quoting directives number 7
17 and 7/1. Further on, under this bullet point, can we agree that it says
18 that the Drina Corps is tasked with separating the enclaves Srebrenica and
19 Zepa as soon as possible and narrow both of them down to their inner urban
21 A. This is exactly what one can read under item 2 of this order.
22 Q. Can you please look at directive number 7 and let's go back to
23 page 3173 in e-court.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise, just one clarification on what I
1 think is an important translation mistake. It should be narrow down the
2 enclaves to its urban areas. Been translated for years as urban areas,
3 not inner areas.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree to that, Madam Fauveau or Mr. Petrusic?
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] In the original directive, i.e. the
6 order, it is indicated "urban area" in the order that I have shown to the
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we can proceed. Thank you. Thank you,
9 Mr. McCloskey and thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] All right. Could we see document
11 P5, please? Exhibit P5?
12 Q. General, sir, now you have this directive before you directive 7
13 and the order of General Zivanovic dated the 2nd of July. If you look at
14 directive 7, you will see that it issues a task to carry out complete
15 physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa, prevent individual
16 communication between these two enclaves.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And if you now take a look at the order of General Zivanovic dated
19 the 2nd of July, we see that in paragraph 2, as a task given to the unit,
20 I'm now referring to item 2 of this order, what is stated there, is that
21 the order specifying the task to the Drina Corps?
22 A. Item 2 of the order, as a combat document, command document, from
23 the level of a squad until the strategic level, is always the task given
24 by the superior command and it cannot be changed. So this is something
25 that is received from the superior command. This is the task and it is
1 literally copied down. It cannot be altered in any way. The task has
2 been defined by the document issued by the superior command, and that's
4 Q. So the directive given in directive 7 to carry out complete
5 physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa and prevent individual
6 communication between these two enclaves is the task that the commander of
7 the Drina Corps has to include under item 2?
8 A. That's absolutely correct.
9 Q. So based on what we have here, based on these two documents, one
10 could conclude that the commander of the Drina Corps gave up or rather he
11 altered the task in relation to the task he had received from the superior
13 A. Precisely so. He altered the substance of the task. The task was
14 clearly defined, the task given to him, namely to carry out complete
15 physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa by way of which they would also
16 prevent the individual communication between these two enclaves. That was
17 his task, not narrowing them down to any territory.
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see P361 in e-court,
19 please? I apologise, 5D361. Yes. That's the document.
20 Q. General, sir, this is the document issued by the General Staff of
21 the army of Republika Srpska on the Main Staff of the army of Republika
22 Srpska on the 31st of March 1995. It is entitled, "Directive for further
23 action, OPBR 7/1"?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Could we now see the last page of this directive, please? Would
1 you agree that this directive was issued by Lieutenant-General Mladic and
2 that it was prepared by Colonel Radivoje Miletic?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Could we see page 8781?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I would object to this
7 line of inquiry to the extent that I think it grossly exceeds the extent
8 of the direct examination.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But our rules do not limit cross-examination only to
10 questions or issues raised during the examination-in-chief. It's within
11 our discretion to stop or let Mr. Petrusic go ahead with the questions. I
12 can understand your concern in a way but because I think the questions
13 could be shortened and the issues dealt with in a much more direct manner,
14 but we are not going to stop Mr. Petrusic. Go ahead, Mr. Petrusic.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, sir, you can see here that item 5 lists the tasks given
17 to the units and on the next page, 8782, we can see the task given to the
18 Drina Corps.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Now, would you please read the task under 5/3?
21 A. "Item 5/3, the Drina Corps. By way of persistent defence and
22 active combat operation at the northwest part of the front and around
23 enclaves, prevent further incursion of the enemy in selected --
24 selective -- selected operative and tactical directions and by way of
25 evident action and by applying measures of operative and tactical
1 camouflaging, involve as many forces of the enemy as possible. In concert
2 with IBK, as soon as possible, implement the tasks given in the operation
3 Spreca 95 and in the first phase of the operation, reach the line going
4 from Vis to Kalesija and further on carry out regrouping of forces and in
5 concert with the forces of IBK, 1st KK and air force and air defence in
6 the second and third phase of the operation by using an appropriate
7 manoeuvre and by putting into action strong groups in the rear of the
8 enemy lines, and by introducing stronger armoured and mechanised forces,
9 carry out an attack on the general axis, Kalesija-Dubrava-Tuzla and as
10 soon as possible reach the line between the village of Serici, Zivinice,
11 Jasicak, Ravno Brdo, and in this way cut off the forces of the 2nd Corps
12 of the so-called army of Bosnia-Herzegovina south of the said line.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have the English
14 translation. This was on-sight translation.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Therefore, you will agree that this task does not mention by a
17 single word Krivaja 95 or anything else relating to any combat activities
18 in relation to Srebrenica or Zepa?
19 A. Except for these words, "By persistent defence." There is nothing
20 else to that effect.
21 Q. Could it be concluded that the commander of the Drina Corps did
22 not have any basis when, in his order, in item 7 [as translated], he
23 invoked directive 7/1?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: I object to this question on two grounds. First
1 it calls for speculation and secondly it calls for an expert opinion of
2 this witness he cannot testify to.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I stand to be corrected by my colleagues, but I
4 don't think we are with you. I think the question as it is is asking the
5 witness whether the invocation of or the reference to directive 7/1 in the
6 order to the commander of the Drina Corps was misplaced. I don't think
7 it's calling for speculation.
8 So, General, please if you could answer that question, thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is so obvious
10 that the commander of the Drina Corps altered the task that no expertise
11 is needed to establish this. This is simply evident on the face of it.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Correction for the transcript, page
13 10, line 25, there should be instead of "number 7" it should be item 2.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that. Let's proceed to your next
15 question, please.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, we will not be dealing with this topic any longer. While
18 you were on sick leave, your Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Jazic
19 stood in for you?
20 A. Yes. He was also deputy commander.
21 Q. Did he carry out his basic duty of Chief of Staff during that
22 period of time?
23 A. Yes. He carried out both the duty of the Chief of Staff and
24 served as the commander of the regiment.
25 Q. Is that a general rule?
1 A. Yes. That's the general rule. If a commander or some other
2 senior officer is unable to discharge his duties, then another person will
3 replace him as provided by the establishment rules.
4 Q. While you were absent and while you were replaced by your Chief of
5 Staff, in cases when he was absent as well, who would substitute for him?
6 A. In principle, this can be regulated in two ways. One way is for
7 the commander to designate a senior officer who would replace him while
8 he's absent if we are dealing with a shorter period of time. And then
9 there is an unwritten rule, especially during war, that when the commander
10 is absent, and when his deputy is absent, the assistant commander for
11 logistics serves as the most senior officer. This is done for a very
12 practical reason. When the command post is developed within the combat
13 order, it has at least two elements. It serves as the basic command post
14 where the command group is located, headed by the commander, chief of
15 staff and the entire staff. And then in the logistics command post, which
16 is separated -- separated, it's detached, they are not next to each other,
17 there is the assistant commander for logistics together with his logistics
18 organ and chiefs of various services. The security organ and the organ
19 for moral guidance, religious and legal affairs, can be located either --
20 in either of those two command posts. Since combat operations inevitably
21 incur losses should the command post be destroyed, should the command
22 group be neutralised, this is the mechanism that was developed, namely for
23 the assistant commander for logistics to take over as the most senior
25 Q. In July of 1995, General Manojlo Milovanovic served as the Chief
1 of Staff?
2 A. General Milovanovic was the Chief of Staff from May 1992 until
3 sometime in 1996, including July of 1995.
4 Q. What we know is that during that period of time, that is to say
5 July 1995, was absent from the command post in Crna Rijeka, and he was
6 located at the forward command post of the 2nd Krajina Corps, where he led
7 certain operations. That is to say, in the western part of the front.
8 Did his -- was his post of Chief of Staff terminated when he was moved
9 from the main command post to the command post number 2?
10 A. Logically speaking, his post was not terminated.
11 Q. Very well, General.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do not have any
13 further questions for this witness. My cross-examination is completed.
14 General, sir, thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Petrusic.
16 Mr. Josse? Do you still require 40 minutes?
17 MR. JOSSE: At least 40 minutes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
20 Q. General, I'm asking questions on behalf of General Gvero.
21 You have been asked various questions about your military career
22 and indeed Mr. Petrusic dealt with the period up to July 2002 when you
23 retired from the VRS. I'm not sure anyone has asked you what rank you
24 were when you retired.
25 A. I was retired as a Lieutenant General.
1 Q. And it's right, isn't it, that you had a very distinguished war
2 record, which included being the youngest Lieutenant-Colonel in the VRS,
3 being appointed at the age of 35; is that correct?
4 A. Well, I did not really go into any statistics, but I believe so.
5 I believe you're right.
6 Q. And as you've alluded in the course of your evidence, you were
7 wounded on a number of occasions, but on each of those occasions you
8 returned to the battlefield after a period of convalescence?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And it's the 1995 battle in Zepa that I want to ask you a bit more
11 about. You've already told the Chamber a certain amount about your
12 activities there between the 15th and the 25th of July of that year, and
13 in particular, your activities at Brezova Ravan. How many men were under
14 your personal command when you were at that position?
15 A. Under my personal command, I had parts of the motorised battalion
16 who were permanently holding that position. There were some 200 plus
17 men. And 30 members of the military police, whom, after the attack
18 against the command post, I sent to the reconnaissance missions that I
19 spoke about yesterday. In other words, let me sum it up, I had up to 250
20 men under my direct command.
21 Q. And some of these men, am I right in saying, you had collected or
22 had been sent to you from the Sarajevo region?
23 A. I didn't collect them. I issued an order to the effect that from
24 the strength of the combat group that was in the area of responsibility of
25 the Sarajevo Corps that the most experienced and the best fighters, a
1 total of 30 of them, should report at the command post in Crna Rijeka.
2 Q. And these are what in English we would call crack troops. I hope
3 that translates properly.
4 A. Yes. You might call them that. According to our rules, the rules
5 that we applied, when it comes to carrying out certain tasks in order to
6 take fortified objects or facilities, you do form something that you might
7 call crack groups, as you call them in English, in order to perform those
9 Q. You had already seen action in Zepa in 1992, as you told the
10 Chamber yesterday, and you were aware of how difficult the terrain in that
11 area is to fight, correct?
12 A. The terrain was really difficult. Let me just illustrate by
13 saying that the village of Zepa is at an altitude of some 300 metres above
14 the sea level, and that straight above Zepa is Zlovrh facility which is
15 about 1500 metres above the sea level, which means that the difference
16 between the two is about 1200 metres. All the other facilities are at a
17 somewhat lower level. Still very perpendicular to the ground, which does
18 not allow the use of tanks or other artillery equipment. According to
19 some standards that were applied in the JNA, we usually had mountain units
20 that were sent to carry out tasks in such difficult conditions and on the
21 ground that did not really lend itself to an easy advancement.
22 Q. Since you couldn't use tanks or heavy artillery equipment, perhaps
23 you could briefly describe the sort of weaponry that was at your disposal.
24 A. In addition to the small arms that every foot soldier normally
25 has, and certain quantity of equipment for close battle that you can also
1 use against the fortified facility such as bunkers, yesterday I already
2 said that I had sent a request to the Drina Corps and from their units I
3 formed two fire units for direct fire support. I had two 120-millimetre
4 mortars and two cannons. Such tools could be carried by the soldiers.
5 They could be disassembled and then reassembled in place in order to
6 launch an attack and to open fire on different features.
7 Q. The two cannons that you've just mentioned, were these B-1 cannons
8 that you had got from the Bratunac Brigade?
9 A. No. The B-1 cannons were from the strength of the Rogatica
10 Brigade and as for the 120-millimetre mortars, those were from the
11 equipment of the Bratunac Brigade.
12 Q. What happened to these cannons?
13 A. I made an assessment of the situation and I was thinking of how to
14 neutralise the fire from the enemy, and I concluded that this would be
15 best done by opening fire from the Boksanica sector which is also very
16 difficult ground, forested ground, and that's why I sent a request to the
17 commander of the Rogatica brigade, i.e. to the command of the Drina Corps,
18 to mobilise on the 14th of July and in the night between 14 and 15 July,
19 the [indiscernible] to disassemble the equipment and to carry it to the
20 place. This was done with some difficulties so on the 15th, we opened
21 cannon fire and we eliminated the combat security of the enemy in the
22 Gusanica sector.
23 Q. That conveniently, General, leads me to ask you about your
24 assessment of the weaponry that Colonel Palic had at his disposal in
25 trying to repel your attack. What weapons did you see the ABiH have?
1 A. Once when we opened fire, we concluded, and also based on some
2 previous intelligence, we concluded that they had small arms, infantry
3 weapons, that they also had anti-armour weapons such as hand-held mortars,
4 60, 72 millimetres, that they had machine-guns and that they had light
5 rocket launchers, 128 millimetres. This is what we concluded based on the
6 fire that they opened. This was not our guess work. We could see that.
7 We could observe that.
8 Q. Did you see or infer from the artillery that your men was
9 receiving whether Colonel Palic's men had any UNPROFOR weapons at their
11 A. Yes. They had taken over their check-points and their entire
12 equipment or weaponry and they used all that in fighting our forces.
13 Q. Can you be more specific?
14 A. The arms that UNPROFOR had, they took over. The check-points of
15 the UNPROFOR were well-fortified features that was fortified with
16 sandbags, which usually repels infantry fire very well, as well as
17 hand-held grenades. So there is very difficult to come up with something
18 that could neutralise those fortifications. Whatever they could hold up
19 they used it. Since this was a Ukrainian battalion, they had BTR
20 transporters. They had 7.62 millimetres infantry weapons, and these were
21 the weapons that were used that had been taken from the UNPROFOR. They
22 also had machine-guns that they had taken from them.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Could we have, Mr. Josse, a date, if
24 it's within the witness's knowledge, when this arsenal sort of was
25 appropriated or misappropriated by Palic's men from the Ukrainian Bat or
1 UNPROFOR? And having established that, then I need to address another
3 MR. JOSSE:
4 Q. You've heard the question of the learned Judge, and you've also
5 already told us, General, that you only arrived in Zepa on the 15th of
6 July. Bearing in mind those two matters, can you assist as to when this
7 weaponry had been seized from the Ukrainian Battalion?
8 A. Your Honours, let me answer your question. According to the
9 intelligence information that we had, the weaponry was seized before any
10 combat operations that were displayed by the Republika Srpska army against
11 the Zepa Brigade, and I could see that the -- that this was true as of the
12 15th of July when we were engaged in immediate combat.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The other thing is I just want to make sure that
14 between 1992, when he was first engaged in the Zepa area, and mid-July
15 1995, when he was engaged again there, he was never engaged there in any
16 combat activity.
17 MR. JOSSE: Well, I in fact think the witness was engaged there in
18 the intervening period. Let me ask him.
19 Q. In fact, you fought there between 1992 and 1995, you saw action
20 there in 1993; is that right?
21 A. Yes. I spoke about that yesterday partly. After a series of
22 attacks, provocations, infliction of losses upon the army and the civilian
23 population in 1992, finally in August 1992, for the first time, we
24 responded to the fire opened by the Muslim forces in Zepa, and these
25 activities went on up to the autumn of that year.
1 Since this is mountain terrain and winter comes very early, there
2 is a lot of snowfall, the Main Staff issued a decision that the forces of
3 the Motorised Battalion should come closer to the populated areas and
4 villages populated by the Serbian population. The reason for that was the
5 long winter and a lot of snowfall and this would have enabled them to
6 provide logistical support to the units on the front line.
7 Your Honours, I always had a unit that was facing the Zepa sector
8 because of the vicinity of Zepa and the command post of the Main Staff.
9 In other words, we were continuously in contact of sorts up to the year
10 1995. I was not always personally there. I was not always present. But
11 that unit of mine that I've just referred to, that unit was always there
12 in close contact.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: My next question, over these years, the interim
14 period between 1992 and 1995, were you in a position to notice any
15 particular difference in the arsenal of the Muslim forces?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in conflicts that were
17 renewed sometime in May 1993, for the first time from the Muslim combat
18 positions we could notice fire being opened from some pieces that we had
19 not been able to register up to then. We are talking about mortars, 60
20 and 82 millimetres and light rocket launchers, 128 millimetres. Yes, now
21 this has been recorded. This is actually a light rocket launcher which is
22 one barrel of a multi-barrelled rocket launcher which is intended for
23 opening fire in this particular type of area, and on this particular type
24 of terrain.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. What about anti-aircraft weaponry? Are you aware of any of that
3 being used against your forces, and if so, what was the source of that
5 A. In one attack on the radio relay hub Veliki Zep which I believe
6 was at the beginning of August 1992, the Muslim forces captured 13
7 soldiers of the army of Republika Srpska with their complete weaponry that
8 they had at that feature, and amongst them was an anti-aircraft system
9 Strela 2-M. I can't remember how many systems there were but they had
10 them and I also believe that they had 20-millimetre cannons but I can't be
11 sure of that and I can't claim that for certain.
12 Q. Now, dealing with the enemy, when you were there in 1995 in
13 particular, how would you assess the capability of the Zepa Brigade to
14 deal with the difficult terrain that you have described?
15 A. This terrain was always much more conducive for defence, and
16 members of the Zepa Brigade were familiar with it, very familiar with it,
17 and they applied a tactic that absolutely prevented the army of Republika
18 Srpska to prevail in any elements they excluded the use of support systems
19 because their defence positions were positioned in the forested ground
20 which completely excluded any fire support on the side of the army of
21 Republika Srpska and prevented the Republika Srpska army from opening fire
22 with support on such features.
23 Q. What was your state of knowledge when you arrived in the Zepa area
24 in mid-July of 1995 as to where the Zepa civilian population was at that
1 A. I did not have information about that. I only knew that in that
2 part, there was a hot line between some structures on the Muslim side, and
3 some structures on the Serb side and some parts of the UNPROFOR. They
4 were heavily involved in smuggling of some things that were in short
5 supply. I didn't know anything apart from that. I only knew that there
6 was a shortage of certain goods, certain foodstuffs, and things like that.
7 Q. Bearing in mind the answer you gave, it may be that my question
8 wasn't very happily phrased, it was also translated slightly
9 inaccurately. Let me be more specific. Did you have any knowledge of the
10 fact that the population of the village of Zepa had left the village and
11 had actually gone up in the mountains in order to take refuge?
12 A. Yes. That's a different story. The terrain is such that from the
13 village of Zepa towards the River Drina - I believe that the villages are
14 called Slabi Pripecak - the terrain is such that you can go behind the
15 Zlovrh feature and the population or anybody who stays there is safe from
16 any fire activity because they are protected by that high elevation, by
17 that high rising ground, and they cannot be threatened.
18 Q. And can you confirm that there were intelligence reports within
19 the VRS that the population had gone to those places?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, I want to return briefly, if I may, to the cannons and I want
22 to ask you about an incident on the 24th of July when you reached Brezova
23 Ravan and what happened to two of your cannons.
24 A. They were not my cannons. They were from the Bratunac Brigade.
25 As they were moving from one firing position to another, they came to the
1 sector of Brezova Ravan, and while they were being deployed at that new
2 firing position, fire was opened from the top of a rock in Vratar village
3 behind the village of Zepa. As a result of that fire, in a split second I
4 saw a fire, and I managed to find shelter at the last moment, and the
5 cannon crews did not notice the same fire at that moment, that
6 128-millimetre rocket launcher opened fire with tragic consequences for
7 both crews. In other words, all the men were killed on the spot.
8 Q. And was the cannon destroyed?
9 A. No. They were not destroyed, because fire opened from the light
10 rocket launcher is not that powerful. It has a lot of shrapnel, which
11 inflict consequences upon the manpower rather than the equipment.
12 Q. At some point in time, you were with General Mladic whilst this
13 fighting at Brezova Ravan was going on, and he commented to you about its
14 ferocity. If that's right, please tell the Trial Chamber.
15 A. Well, yes. He simply could not believe how fierce that defence
16 was until the moment he arrived at the place where I was and then he
17 personally convinced himself that the fire was really strong and then he
18 realised that we could not go on like that. That's why I said that the
19 battle for this Brezova Ravan feature lasted for some 10 days or so.
20 Q. And presumably, General Mladic was there simply viewing the
21 attack; is that correct?
22 A. Correct. He found himself there for a simple reason. The other
23 units from the Drina Corps that had been given their tasks and axes of
24 attack did not achieve any results for days. They could not move. They
25 could not advance. Then he saw by observing the situation that this was
1 very difficult. That's why he came to the spot, to see what the reason
2 was and why the task could not be accomplished within the specified space
3 of time.
4 Q. Two other specific matters in relation to Zepa. The first is: Do
5 you have any knowledge of attempts by the VRS to disarm UNPROFOR troops at
6 check-point 2?
7 A. I don't have any information to that effect. I believe that in
8 some of the reports by the army of Republika Srpska, this may be mentioned
9 but let me put it this way: This was not an attempt to disarm UNPROFOR.
10 At this check-point, at Boksanica, this check-point served as the first
11 point of contact for radio communication between the commander of the Zepa
12 Brigade and the commander of the Rogatica Brigade who knew each other from
13 before the war. The commander of the Ukrainian Battalion was there,
14 Dudnik, and he was the one who through whom this went. No UNPROFOR
15 members were disarmed. They were not attacked. Their base, to call it
16 that way, this check-point, was used in order to establish communication
17 and to start communicating with the officers of the Zepa Brigade and later
18 on, the local authorities of Zepa.
19 Q. Were you injured in this campaign, that is the 1995 Zepa campaign?
20 A. No. This was in 1992, on the 4th of September. That's when I was
21 wounded, in that Zepa campaign.
22 Q. One other matter in relation to Zepa, then.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. In my mind I think this needs some
24 clarification. Yesterday, when was testifying he explained that until a
25 particular day in June of 1995, he was in hospital for a long period of
1 time, I think from October until June, which would take it October 1994 to
2 June 1995, if that is correct. And the reason for that, he said that he
3 had suffered some -- he was injured. So now he's saying he was injured in
4 1992 but he must have been injured again later on. If he would repeat --
5 would explain --
6 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely, Your Honour. I dealt with that in
7 absolute summary at the beginning of my questions. I'm more than happy to
8 ask the witness to deal with it this in detail.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think he needs to because the way you have
10 put it in his answer that now begs the other question.
11 MR. JOSSE:
12 Q. General, perhaps bearing in mind the question or the observation
13 of the learned Presiding Judge, you could go through relatively briefly
14 the occasions you were injured during the course of the war of 1992 to
15 1995, how long it took you to convalesce and briefly what those injuries
17 A. I was wounded for the first time on the 4th of September 1992, as
18 I have told you, in clashes with the then-forces of the 4th of June from
19 Zepa. That recovery period lasted some 20 days or so. I'm not sure. But
20 I have my entire medical documentation, and if necessary, you can verify
22 The second time I was wounded slightly, in May of 1992 and that
23 did not require hospitalisation. In May of 1993.
24 The third time, as I've told you, was on the 12th of October 1994,
25 and that was the most serious injury. I left the hospital at my own
1 request. I wasn't done with my treatment. And until the very end I had
2 to deal with the consequences of that wounding, which are basically
3 permanent. So those were the three instances of me being wounded, just to
4 avoid any confusion.
5 Q. So far as these troops in the Zepa Brigade were concerned, were
6 many of them huntsmen by trade and therefore rather good shots?
7 A. Yes. But before I answer that question, just another remark
8 concerning your previous question. The three instances of me being
9 wounded did not all occur in the Zepa sector, to avoid any confusion. I
10 wasn't involved in combat only there.
11 As for your next question, my answer was yes, and I know this for
12 a fact. I'm not speculating. As I told you yesterday, I was born in
13 Sokolac but my parents lived in Han Pijesak, which borders part of the
14 Zepa enclave. As a boy, I went with my father to the Muslim villages
15 because my father used to be a driver by profession. A number of my
16 friends who worked in police before the war, both Serbs and Muslims, very
17 frequently told me stories, practically hunting heroic acts of those
18 people who had a liberal attitude towards the law when it came to hunting
19 regulations. They would frequently engage in unlawful activity regarding
21 Q. And here is my much-promised last topic in relation to Zepa.
22 MR. JOSSE: Could we have a look at 6D49, please? In fact, it's
23 going to be the report that begins at the bottom of that page, so we see
24 it's the 30th of October 1994. Up a little please. And we see it's a
25 report from the police security station in Zepa to the RBH Ministry of the
1 Interior in Sarajevo. And if we could go thereafter to the second page at
2 the bottom in the B/C/S, and it's page 3 in the middle in English.
3 Q. And the bit I'm going to take you to is about - no, right down at
4 the bottom, please. That's it, thank you - is the bit that we see there
5 that refers to the 8th operation group. Have you got that? It's about
6 ten lines up from the bottom.
7 A. Yes, I can see that.
8 Q. It goes on the way the Luka company operated, now is the important
9 bit, and the negotiations carried out by the commander of the local
10 brigade at Boksanica without the knowledge of the Presidency of the Zepa
11 municipality, during which the autonomy of Zepa, those three words being
12 in inverted commas, in the so-called Republika Srpska was discussed.
13 I want to ask you, General, whether you new anything about this
14 proposal for the autonomy of Zepa.
15 A. Yesterday, when I answered certain questions, I said that upon
16 arrival to the command post of the regiment on the 23rd of June 1995, I
17 was briefed about the situation in the unit, as well as in the area
18 surrounding the unit, focusing on areas where the regiment forces were
19 deployed, including the Zepa sector. I was informed in general terms
20 about the fact that there were some negotiations underway, negotiations
21 between our forces and the Zepa representatives, about resolving the
22 problem in that part of the territory to the satisfaction of both
23 parties. So it's not like I had some specific knowledge about people who
24 were involved and the places. I just knew about it in general terms.
25 Q. And beyond what you've already said and beyond what this document
1 reports, can you give the Trial Chamber any more detail?
2 A. I've already said that I didn't know all the details. I didn't
3 know everything to the full extent. I just knew that there was such an
4 activity and that it was underway. Now, who led it, both on our side and
5 on the other side, I didn't know that because I wasn't involved in it, so
6 I didn't inquire about it.
7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I'm moving on to a discrete topic which
8 will take me about 15 minutes. It's totally unrelated to what I've asked
9 about hitherto. I'd request the break now, if it meets with the Court's
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have the break now. And it will be of 25
12 minutes' duration, starting from now. Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
16 MR. JOSSE:
17 Q. General, you were asked yesterday by Mr. Vanderpuye to give your
18 assessment of a number of the gentlemen who are in the dock in this
19 particular case. For whatever reason, you weren't asked to give an
20 assessment of General Gvero, and that's the area that I wish to turn to
22 And perhaps we could put up on e-court 1D196. Whilst that's being
23 done, this is the interview under caution that you gave at the Banja Luka
24 field office of this Tribunal on the 17th of October of 2005. You were
25 interviewed by an investigator and also by Mr. McCloskey. I'm going to go
1 through the short passage where you talk about General Gvero, and brief
2 preamble if I may, I'm not seeking to embarrass either you or him because
3 what you say about him is some might say none too complimentary but
4 perhaps we could go to page 20 in the B/C/S, top of the page, and page 13
5 in the English.
6 And at the top of the page, we see that Mr. McCloskey says, "Oh,
7 no, we are still learning, so we appreciate what you do. Okay. Where did
8 Gvero fit in the command? What was his job as assistant commander for
9 morale, legal and religious affairs? In fact I take it the 65th did not
10 have a morale, legal and religious affairs person." And you say, "Yes,
11 there was. I forgot about it. Assistant commander for that job was Major
12 Milivoje Jankovic, assistant for morale, religious and legal." And just
13 stopping there for a moment, what you say is right, presumably, Major
14 Jankovic was the assistant commander for morale in your brigade or
15 regiment, perhaps I should say?
16 A. That's correct. He was assistant for moral guidance, religious
17 and legal affairs within the regiment.
18 Q. And you say "In that group of the command of the regiment -- I'm
19 so sorry, I simply forgot," because you'd forgotten about it earlier on in
20 the interview; is that right?
21 A. Yes. In the beginning of the interview, when Mr. McCloskey asked
22 me about the regiment and how he was -- how it was organised, I simply
23 omitted the assistant for moral guidance, religious and legal affairs.
24 Q. And then Mr. McCloskey says, "It's all right. It's good to
25 remember, because otherwise, you get stuck with Gvero." And you say,
1 "just one question, if you don't mind," and Mr. McCloskey says,
2 "Please." And you say, "No, I did not understand. I forgot the question
3 that you've asked. I simply forgot it. Then we moved into this. So what
4 was question before," and Mr. McCloskey repeats the question, "What was
5 your understanding of what Gvero's duties and job was in the Main Staff?
6 And I'm talking really what really -- what did he really do?" And could
7 the B/C/S be scrolled down, please?
8 And your answer is as follows: "Milan Gvero was director of the
9 military high school that I went to in the fourth year of studies. As
10 many people, I mean in their lives, they have nice, good opinion about
11 their teachers and professors, and to be honest, most honestly, that kind
12 of job, both in the JNA and in the VRS, I respected the least, me
13 personally. To be honest, I don't really know what in practice they were
14 doing except for some preparation for legal advice, some." And to stop
15 there, why did you say you had the least respect for that type of job? As
16 I say, I know this may be a little embarrassing, but be frank with the
17 Chamber, if you would.
18 A. Well, it's not anything disrespectful, but the closest way to
19 describe it would be some animosity towards that type of work. I simply
20 did not like that type of work. I don't know for what reason, whether I
21 was traumatised for some reason from the period -- from the previous
22 period of time. But I simply didn't like that type of work in the army.
23 It had nothing to do with Mr. Gvero. I said that he was the principal of
24 the school when I went to that school. I defended my graduation thesis
25 before him. So I had a lot of respect towards him as a teacher,
1 professor, and also as a senior officer.
2 Q. If we could go to the next page in the B/C/S, because the
3 interview continues, and Mr. McCloskey deals with the matter from another
4 angle and he asks you, "Well, he was the propaganda officer, wasn't he?
5 The combat veterans may not like combat, I mean propaganda, but it's an
6 important part of all military." And you say, "Yes. I understand. Not
7 only that, I didn't respect them but I literally hated their part of job.
8 My job, as a commander, everybody knows and they can see it. What
9 propaganda? He was defeated. Gvero was defeated at the beginning of the
10 war by someone who was not doing this kind of job ever."
11 Expand on that, please, General.
12 A. When speaking of propaganda, what I was referring there was the
13 fact that the assistant commander for moral guidance, religious and legal
14 affairs, had no funds available to him to carry out any propaganda
15 activities. One knows very well how effective propaganda is carried out,
16 in order to achieve its aim. You have to have powerful media on your
17 side. Not just at a local level. And he didn't have that type of media
18 available to him, even in his own country. So what Republika Srpska did
19 have was not available to Mr. Gvero. The state leadership did not put it
20 at his disposal. That's what I was referring to.
21 Q. And if we could scroll down, please, Mr. McCloskey goes on and
22 says, "So what did -- what kind of propaganda did Gvero do?" And you
23 say, "I really don't know. Logically, he was supposed to be doing some
24 kind of information, informing their own troop, own forces, to have
25 certain protocol duties of the army. If there was some big parades or
1 celebrations, but there were not that many during the war." And in fact
2 then the tape comes to an end and I can save everyone the bother of
3 looking on, because at that point Mr. McCloskey moves on to a different
5 The answers that you gave at that time were presumably your true
6 opinion of General Gvero; is that right?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And in the shortish period of time since that interview and
9 today's date, has your opinion changed at all?
10 A. As I have said previously, I'm not in the military service any
11 longer, but when it comes to these specific questions, my position remains
12 the same.
13 Q. Now --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, sorry, I hate to interrupt you like
15 this, Mr. Josse. Probably due to the line of questions adopted or
16 followed by Mr. McCloskey, I think that the witness was at the time of his
17 interview presented with two different stages in General Gvero's career.
18 I want first to get this clear from the witness. The first question that
19 he was asked and which he answered related to the function or the role
20 that General Gvero filled at some point in time as director of the
21 military high school.
22 Am I correct in stating that when you said that you looked down on
23 that role, you were specifically referring to the role or the function of
24 the principal of the military high school and nothing else?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour. In the
1 period from 1977 to 1978. That's the period of time.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So your opinion then, and now, would still be that
3 there isn't much to say in favour of this role of director of the military
4 high school, in your opinion? Just answer yes or no, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now you're putting me in an
6 unpleasant situation. I didn't say anything bad about him as a person,
7 Your Honours. As I have said previously, most of the people in the world
8 harbour a positive opinion about their teachers.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not referring to Mr. Gvero, your judgement of
10 Mr. Gvero personally at the time. I'm referring only to your assessment
11 of the role of the director of the military high school at the time. Your
12 opinion was low, as regards that office, wasn't it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we completely
14 misunderstood each other.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you then make your position clear, please?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I mentioned the post
17 held by General Gvero from that period of time. When I met him back in
18 1977, he was the director of the military secondary school. As I've told
19 you earlier, at that time, I had no contact with Mr. Gvero except that I
20 defended my graduation thesis before him. I did not speak about the
21 office of the principal or director of the secondary school. I was not
22 referring to Mr. Pujic, who held the office prior to Mr. Gvero, nor to
23 Mr. Gvero.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but in the interview, you said, "To be honest,
25 most honestly, that kind of job, both in the JNA and in the VRS, I
1 respected the least, me personally." This you said in the context of
2 explaining that at the time General Gvero was director of the military
3 high school. So what job did you respect the least? What were you
4 referring to when you said that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was referring to the
6 job of General Gvero in his role as assistant commander for moral
7 guidance, religious and legal affairs. I was referring to the substance
8 of that work, not to Mr. Gvero personally, and that pertained to 1992,
9 when he was appointed to that post.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: That explains it and I don't need to go into the
11 second point because when he dealt with propaganda that was only one
12 aspect of General Gvero's function.
13 So I think I have got it clear from you now, and Mr. Josse can
14 proceed. Thank you, Mr. Josse.
15 MR. JOSSE: Thank you, Your Honour, I'm going to attempt to
16 clarify this and define it a little bit.
17 Q. What was the problem, as you saw it, with the role of the
18 assistant commander for morale in the VRS?
19 A. Please, I'm not talking about any difficulties when it comes to
20 the role of assistant. I'm just sharing with you my personal position
21 with regard to the substance of that job. Do you understand what I'm
22 saying? I'm talking about a job that involves moral guidance, religious
23 affairs. This is something completely new, something that had not existed
24 before in the army. I'm talking about the substance of that work that
25 inspires animosity in me. I simply don't care much about that type of
2 Q. Am I right, General, that you, as a fighting man, really viewed
3 morale as being created and led by the commander of a regiment rather than
4 a man sitting behind a desk at the Main Staff? Is that the essence of it?
5 A. Precisely.
6 Q. And I repeat for the last time, I'm not seeking to embarrass
7 anyone, least of all my client, but why was it that you felt that morale
8 needed to be done in the regiment itself rather than at the Main Staff
10 A. I'm afraid that we are talking at cross-purposes here. I'm saying
11 that the issue of morale can be best resolved by a commander, by way of
12 his personal example. You can't have somebody explaining the goals of the
13 fighting, theoretically and nothing of that sort can replace the role of a
14 commander who should be guiding his troops. Just-- just presenting
15 theories of how things should be done does not substitute real work on
16 combat morale. No theory can replace that.
17 Q. Perhaps we could have a look at a document, please, 6D129. This
18 is a document that emanated from General Gvero in June of 1992,
19 headed, "Prevention of reprisal and treatment of journalists and
20 representatives of international organisations." And near the top of the
21 page, we see it says, "Such actions are not and must not be characteristic
22 of members of our army because they tarnish the reputation and moral image
23 of the Serbian soldier. We cannot allow improper conduct towards
24 reprisals against innocents and helpless people merely because they are
25 not Serbs."
1 Is that sentence, the last sentence that I just read out,
2 reflective, in your opinion, of the views of General Gvero?
3 A. Yes, it is reflective of that. That's how I perceive him, and I
4 believe that as a result of this position of his, he had problems with the
5 state leadership of Republika Srpska. He was proclaimed as nostalgic of
6 the former Yugoslavia and I believe that he entered into a conflict at an
7 ideological level with the state leadership and so on and so forth. He
8 was perceived as the advocate of the fraternity and unity ideas that had
9 disappeared at the beginning of the war.
10 Q. Yes. Put another way, he, as far as you could ascertain, was a
11 proponent of brotherhood and unity, which had existed in the JNA prior to
12 its dispansion; is that right?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And how did you become aware of the problems with the state
15 leadership of the Republika Srpska? What was your knowledge of the
16 problems that General Gvero had with the leadership?
17 A. I know that there was even a TV programme, a special TV programme
18 on Serbian radio-television, or I don't know what its name was. In that
19 programme, members of the inner state leadership appeared in that special
20 programme and openly spoke about the problem that General Gvero had, and
21 they portrayed him as being guilty of many things. They said that his
22 place was not in the army. They tried to have him removed. In any case,
23 I learned on the media about these problems.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I would just like my
1 learned friend at least to put the question to the witness in a way that
2 we can ascertain specifically what period of time we are talking about or
3 specific dates. This particular question was not put in that manner and
4 it's unclear as to when the witness learned about the information he's
5 testified to, and so I would just like the record to be clarified in that
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that's a fair point.
8 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely, Your Honour, I have not problem with that
9 at all, perfectly reasonable observation.
10 Q. When did you become aware of the dispute between -- it's
11 Dr. Karadzic, isn't it, and General Gvero?
12 A. I believe that this was sometime in 1994, but believe me, it's
13 very difficult for me to specify the month. This escalated in that year
14 and continued until the end of the war. I believe that General Gvero was
15 actually once or even more than once removed from his position. You have
16 to understand that in conditions of war, there was very little possibility
17 for regular information programmes and information did not reach us on a
18 regular basis. It was pretty much a haphazard thing.
19 Q. When you talk of General Gvero being a proponent of brotherhood
20 and unity, please define, particularly for those of us who are not from
21 the former Yugoslavia, what that meant.
22 A. The idea of brotherhood and unity meant equality among the peoples
23 of the former Yugoslavia.
24 Q. Did you have any dealings with General Gvero in 1995?
25 A. I said that up to mid-1995, I was hospitalised and I really can't
1 remember whether I saw him that year. I suppose that we might have but it
2 was only towards the end of 1995. I really cannot remember at the moment,
3 but I'm sure that up to the 27th of July 1995, when I was in the western
4 front, I really can't remember when I saw him.
5 Q. From any dealings with him, anything you read about him or by him,
6 did you have any reason to conclude that General Gvero had ceased to
7 believe in brotherhood and unity in 1995?
8 A. I really did not have any information to the contrary. He --
9 General Gvero was already of a certain age when it is very hard to change
10 one's opinions. So I would dare say that in his case, it was also the
12 Q. Thank you for your time, General.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse. Mr. Sarapa?
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Savcic, I'm Djordje Sarapa
16 and I appear for General Pandurevic.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. I'm going to have only a few questions for you and I believe it
19 will be very simple for you to answer them. You just told us that you on
20 the 27th of July 1995, you went to Krajina, to be more specific, this is
21 the area of Drvar where you went; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Could you please tell us whether, during the course of August and
24 September 1995, met Vinko Pandurevic and his brigade in the area of
25 Grahovo and Drvar?
1 A. Yes, I did, but let me be clear on this. This was not the Zvornik
2 Brigade we are talking about. This was the 3rd Drina Brigade composed of
3 several units of the Drina Corps, and the commander of that brigade, which
4 was a temporary unit, a task force, so to speak, so the commander of that
5 unit was Vinko Pandurevic.
6 Q. Could you please tell us briefly what the task of your unit was,
7 the one that you were in command of? And also what was the task of this
8 brigade under Pandurevic's command? And could you also tell us what kind
9 of fighting were you involved there?
10 A. The 3rd Drina Brigade headed by Mr. Pandurevic arrived in the area
11 at the beginning of August. They arrived in the Drvar sector, i.e. on the
12 Drvar-Grahovo axis. Their task was to mount a defence on the line from
13 the border of Republika Srpska Krajina on the right-hand side and mount
14 Jadovnik on the left-hand side. The forces of the army of Republika
15 Srpska that had manned those lines were broken up and the defence had to
16 be stabilised. A manoeuvre detachment of that brigade, also known as
17 wolves from the Drina, and my unit, carried out a reconnoitring activities
18 and active combat activities in the direction of Grahovo. In front of us
19 at that moment we had the Croatian army composed of the most elite units
20 of the Croatian army that had previously taken Knin, i.e. the entire
21 Republika Srpska Krajina. In other words, the fighting was against the
22 Croatian army in the territory of the Republika Srpska, i.e. the territory
23 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. Thank you very much for your answers. I have no further questions
25 for you, sir.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I -- yes, Mr. Zivanovic?
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would ask additional
3 cross-examination of this witness just regarding the document shown to him
4 during cross-examination of Borovcanin team. It is document P107. I have
5 just few questions, not more than ten minutes perhaps.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, go ahead.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
9 Further cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Savcic.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. Yesterday you had an occasion to see Exhibit number P107, which is
13 an order for active combat operations dated 2 July 1995. I believe you
14 remember that document. We are talking about the operation Krivaja 95.
15 A. Yes, I remember that.
16 Q. I'm going to show you a different version of the same document but
17 I believe that since we are talking about two versions of the same
18 document, I believe that it would be best for you to look at both versions
19 at the same time. That's why I would kindly ask the document to be
20 provided to the witness on the ELMO.
21 Could you please look at the version that you saw yesterday? It
22 is on the screen, on the monitor, and if possible, at the same time, if
23 you could show the other version that I've just provided? Is it
24 technically feasible at all?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, Mr. Zivanovic, are you referring the witness
1 or are you going to refer the witness to a particular part of this
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you indicate where is it, whether it's on the
5 top, the middle or the bottom?
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is page -- fifth page of this document.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Fifth, we are talking of --
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Not this document but another one which I gave to
9 Madam Usher.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But Madam Usher would need to know exactly which
11 part from that page 5.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is page 04303380.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Which part of that page? Which paragraph, in other
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is first paragraph, fourth line on this page.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
17 JUDGE KWON: Before that, sorry, can I see the ERN numbers of
18 those two documents?
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes. That's it.
20 JUDGE KWON: Of the first page.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No. It is fifth page.
22 JUDGE KWON: I just -- we will come to that.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, no, no, no, no.
24 JUDGE KWON: And the other one.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: First page is -- yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 04303.
2 JUDGE KWON: Why ERN number in e-court is different from both of
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: There is two version of the same document.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: What Judge Kwon is suggesting is that there isn't
6 just two versions, that there is also another version. Which is the one
7 on e-court.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yeah, one at e-court and we asked to put it in
9 e-court also.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. What we are being told is the one on
11 e-court supposedly is the one the witness was shown yesterday.
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: That's correct.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The ERN does not correspond.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yeah, but it is --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So that's why there are three versions --
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yeah.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: -- and not two.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Savcic, could you please look at line 4 of
20 the document that is in front of you? Yesterday you had an occasion to
21 read that document. But you saw the version in which this line was not
22 crossed out.
23 A. You're talking about the security organs of the military police.
24 Q. Absolutely. I'm going to read it to you and you can just tell me
25 whether I have read it out correctly. This sentence reads, "The security
1 organs and military police will determine the sectors where prisoners of
2 war and war booty will be collected." Do you agree that this sentence has
3 been crossed out in this version?
4 A. Well, it seems that in this version it has been crossed out.
5 Q. Do you see that on the upper margin of this page, it was added in
6 handwriting and from that handwritten text to the crossed-out text, there
7 is an arrow leading from the one to the other?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. I'm going to read to you the handwritten text and you tell me
10 whether I have read it out correctly: "The sector of where war prisoners
11 will be collected is the sector of Pribicevac"?
12 A. Yes. It says in Pribicevac.
13 Q. Yes in Pribicevac?
14 A. Yes, that's what is written.
15 Q. Can you scroll down a little, please? Can you scroll up, please?
16 Above that, you can see that it is also had written and also war booty?
17 A. Yes, the sector where prisoners of war and war booty will be
18 collected is the sector of Pribicevac.
19 Q. Thank you. Now when you look at this page, you will please see
20 another sentence that has been crossed out a little bit below, maybe two
21 lines below. Again I'm going to read it out and then you tell me whether
22 I have read this sentence out correctly: "The security organ shall define
23 and convey to the subordinated commands the application of the level of
24 security in the area of combat activities."
25 A. Yes, that's true.
1 Q. Is it also true that on both sides of this crossed-out lines,
2 words "no;" is that correct?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. That's all. Thank you very much.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Is this a document that you obtained
7 from the Prosecution, Mr. Zivanovic?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, it is from EDS.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
10 So I take it there is a re-examination, isn't there?
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead, please. How long do you expect it to
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think about a half an hour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, go ahead.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
18 Q. Good evening to you, Mr. Savcic. You were asked some questions
19 initially --
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. You were asked some questions about General Gvero being a
22 proponent of brotherhood and unity. Did you ever have a personal
23 conversation with General Gvero about those particular views?
24 A. We never discussed those views, but I am aware of those views
25 because I know the man. I've known him for a number of years.
1 Q. Could I please show you 2756 in e-court? Before I ask you to go
2 through this document, let me just ask you: Are you aware of what General
3 Mladic's views were with respect to brotherhood and unity?
4 A. I believe that they were very similar.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One question. Yes, Mr. Josse?
6 MR. JOSSE: How does that arise? I appreciate I cross-examined on
7 brotherhood and unity but the fact that I cross-examined on that doesn't
8 mean to say my learned friend is entitled to ask the witness about
9 Mladic's view about that particular concept, I would submit.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Would you like to comment on that,
11 Mr. Vanderpuye?
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Actually, I wouldn't. I think the question has
13 already been answered, and I have another document that I'm prepared to
14 present to the witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I also notice Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise, Mr. President, but these are larger
17 areas that is more my specialty than Mr. Vanderpuye's and I can provide a
18 clear response.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to stop, stop the discussion on
20 this. Let me confer with my colleagues.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The question has been answered already but even if
23 it hadn't, we have decided that we would have allowed it because it
24 would -- it tends to shed light on what exactly General Gvero's views in
25 respect of brotherhood and unity consisted in. So I don't know if you
1 want to pursue the matter or not. Perhaps you can move to your next line
2 of questions. Although you're free to pursue it if you want to.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think I can move ahead.
4 Q. All right. I was showing you, I believe it was 2756. You were
5 asked some questions about the relationship between General Gvero and the
6 Supreme Commander. Is this 2756 or 2757 in e-court? 2757. Could I have,
7 please, 2756 in e-court? All right. I think this is the correct document
8 and if I could just direct your attention to the second paragraph, if we
9 could just go down the page so he can read it.
10 A. Second paragraph?
11 Q. Yes, sir.
12 A. Just one sentence? Is that what you're referring to?
13 Q. No, I'm sorry, the second full paragraph. I guess it's the third
14 paragraph on the page. This is a communication to General Gvero from
15 Dr. Radovan Karadzic. It's dated 17th of July 1995. In particular, I've
16 referred you to the second paragraph in which it's indicated in this
17 letter to the general that he's sabotaged the order relating -- pertaining
18 to the information ministry's exclusive task of information and among
19 other things has made unauthorised contact with international
20 organisations without the presence and permission of authorised state
21 organs and it invites the general to respond with respect to this
23 Could I just show the witness the second page of this document?
24 It's the next page, please. Now, were you -- have you had a chance to
25 look at this page, sir?
1 A. Yes, I'm looking at it. I've read it actually.
2 Q. All right. Were you aware of the disagreement or the
3 dissatisfaction that the president had with the general's performance with
4 respect to the discharge of his duties?
5 A. I know that there was disagreement, that General Gvero was under
6 some pressure. As for the causes of this disagreement, I've already
7 shared my opinion with you. I don't know whether this was due to the
8 quality of his work, to the way he discharged his duties. I really
9 wouldn't like to go into that.
10 Q. If I could please show the witness 2757 in e-court? This is a
11 document that is dated 18th July 1995, which is the response to the
12 previous document, from General Gvero. Have you had a chance to see that?
13 A. I am reading it now. I've not seen it before. I also would like
14 to say that I have not seen the previous document before.
15 Q. In this document, there is an indication from General Gvero that
16 he's complied with all of the orders and evidence of that can be seen from
17 the successes of the VRS in Srebrenica, Zepa and on other fronts. Do you
18 see that on the document?
19 A. I can.
20 Q. If I could, I'd just like to refer you to part of your
21 cross-examination testimony with respect to some questions that were put
22 to you by my friend Mr. Meek. In particular, he asked you some questions
23 about the presence of senior officers in Nova Kasaba on the 13th of July
24 1995. In your response you indicated that you were aware that General
25 Mladic was there and that he was -- and that nobody else was mentioned to
1 you. Do you recall that response?
2 A. I recall my response.
3 Q. And do you recall what you specifically told Mr. McCloskey during
4 your October 2005 interview concerning what Major Malinic told you
5 concerning the senior officers present at Nova Kasaba on 13th July 1995?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you answer that question, yes,
7 Mr. Josse?
8 MR. JOSSE: This objection will require the witness to either
9 leave the courtroom or to take his ear phones off. I don't know whether
10 he understands any English.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a suspicion that he does. I watched him
12 yesterday. You don't understand English at all?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I speak Russian.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's remove the -- or if you prefer him
15 to be out of the courtroom, we'll escort him out of the courtroom. It's
16 as you prefer.
17 MR. JOSSE: I'm happy for him to take his ear phones off.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
19 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I know where this line of re-examination
20 is going and of course I know what this interview says and I'm going to
21 tell you in a moment, and I appreciate that one cross examines at one's
22 peril. And in the interview, the witness suggests - the extent to which
23 he suggests is a matter of some dispute - that General Gvero was in Nova
24 Kasaba on that day. Now, we have assumed that that has never been the
25 Prosecution's case. If the Prosecution are now in any way suggesting that
1 that is their case, that General Gvero was there, then first of all, why
2 haven't they led that evidence and why haven't they conducted the case on
3 that basis? If it's not their case, why does it matter at all that the
4 witness said that Malinic said that Gvero was at Nova Kasaba on that day?
5 Perhaps I missed the point and I jumped up prematurely but it's a matter
6 of course of real sensitivity and real importance as well.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise. I do not like doing this but since
9 he's --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not regular, too. I mean usually I would ask
11 the Defence witness -- Defence counsel whether they have any objection.
12 MR. JOSSE: I don't. In fact the reason I was rising before was
13 to say that from my point of view, I don't mind who responds to the
14 submissions that I make personally.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Then go ahead, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, Mr. President, when he directs it at the
17 Prosecution's case, that's something that I'm uniquely qualified to
18 respond to that. We are in the midst of a -- what is in a redirect
19 examination, and this tactic that counsel has used to give away the
20 answers and provide the answers to the trier of fact is interesting, but I
21 don't see how the Prosecution's case has anything to do with what this
22 person will answer.
23 First of all it goes to credibility, because we saw that he
24 responded on, I believe it was cross, when asked by Mr. Meek, that General
25 Mladic was the only one that Malinic said was there, and we know that he
1 told me Gvero was there too. So it comes in purely for that reason, and
2 whether it's part of our case or not is really irrelevant. He wants me to
3 get into a larger picture and blunt the -- blunt what's going on here. I
4 have no problem doing that, and I believe that there is evidence that
5 General Gvero was in Nova Kasaba because of what this witness told me in
6 Banja Luka.
7 To the degree that you will take that evidence of what he heard
8 Malinic say about General Gvero being in Nova Kasaba, I'm a realist. I
9 don't think that proves he was there beyond a reasonable doubt. I think
10 that shows that there is evidence that he was there and I think if you put
11 it with all the other evidence that comes in in the Prosecution's case and
12 the Defence case, it's going to be something I would like you to consider,
13 but I would like to be able to have a chance for it to come into evidence
14 in an appropriate way, without the bell being rung like it was by counsel.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. Yes, Mr. Josse?
16 MR. JOSSE: My response is, with respect, this is no way to
17 prosecute a case. He says either he adduces it to impugn the credibility
18 of his own witness, something which in my submission he's not entitled to
19 do because it's his own witness, or he says it may ultimately be the
20 Prosecution case that Gvero was there. Now, Your Honour, to some extent
21 it's a fundamental issue as to the nature of the system that this trial is
22 being conducted under, and --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if we are going to get into this,
24 can the witness leave the room because we are ready to roll our sleeves up
25 and exchange personal cracks but if the -- it's not appropriate to have
1 this in front of the witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't want this to go -- to escalate beyond what
3 is reasonable. And I think we are soon going to tell you where we are
4 heading. Thank you.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, sorry. I mean, I was cut off. All I
7 want to emphasise - I think I've done this already - is, as you can
8 imagine, this is a matter of real importance and I repeat, I appreciate
9 that one cross examines at one's peril but it's not a trivial matter
10 whether General Gvero was at Nova Kasaba on that day, and if it does
11 need -- if I've made an error of judgement and the witness should have
12 left the courtroom in the first place, then I certainly apologise to the
13 Chamber and in that also to my learned friend. But I perhaps made my
14 submissions and I don't need to repeat them further.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. JOSSE: But I do emphasise that it's not a trivial matter from
17 our point of view.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Meek, did you want to make a
20 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, if I might, just one thing, I think
21 Mr. McCloskey may be mischaracterising my cross-examination and the
22 witness's answer to a certain extent because on page 48 starting at line
23 24 going to 49 at line 2, Mr. McCloskey is putting forward that when I
24 asked that General Mladic was the only one that Malinic said was there,
25 and frankly my question was, and again it's on line 54 yesterday, that
1 when you say the commander, isn't it true that Malinic told you that
2 General Mladic had been there and had spoken to the prisoners of war on
3 the soccer pitch on the 13th? My question was never was -- did Malinic
4 tell you that General Mladic was the only one there? So I believe
5 Mr. McCloskey has misspoke.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Re-examination doesn't necessarily arise only from
7 the question. It arises also from the answer. But one moment. I need to
8 confer with my colleagues.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Our decision is as follows: As I said,
11 re-examination does not relate only to a question put on cross-examination
12 but also to any statement made by the witness in answering those -- that
13 particular question, which may go beyond the question itself.
14 As we see it, we think that the question is a perfectly legitimate
15 one and we also concede that it may also have to do with credibility
16 issues. However, we also wish to make it clear that once this chapter is
17 being opened - and General Gvero was certainly not mentioned when the
18 witness answered that question when being cross-examined by Mr. Meek - you
19 will have an opportunity to put further questions to the witness should
20 you feel like, Mr. Josse, after the redirect is finished.
21 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. Your Honour, I don't want to complicate
22 matters still further, but if Mr. Vanderpuye is going to take the witness
23 to the relevant part of his interview, there is, we think, a translation
24 issue and what I would invite him to do --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Then I think at this point in time, if you're going
1 into details, I prefer the witness not to be here.
2 MR. JOSSE: Well, all I was going to do, Your Honour - see if we
3 can do it this way - is the answer, the relevant answer, at the bottom of
4 page 36 in the English, could I ask Mr. Vanderpuye to ask the witness to
5 read it out in the original B/C/S so that it could be retranslated? If
6 that's what he is -- I don't want to -- if he was proposing to deal with
7 it in a different way, then it doesn't matter.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Are we ready to go?
9 MR. JOSSE: Because as you've said, I've always got the right to
10 do that myself in due course. Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Vanderpuye.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I was not going to
13 accede to my learned friend's request.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Well. But he is --
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think he is correct, he can put it --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: He is still free to do it himself.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Absolutely.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: As we said, that's why we reserved his right to
19 further questions.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Absolutely.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Vanderpuye.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Perhaps I should repeat my question, since it's been a while since
25 I asked it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated].
2 MR. VANDERPUYE:
3 Q. I had asked you do you recall specifically what you told
4 Mr. McCloskey during your October 2005 interview concerning what Major
5 Malinic told you about the senior officers present at Nova Kasaba on the
6 13th of July?
7 A. I don't know whether the question was formulated as to what Major
8 Malinic had told me or whether I was asked whether I knew which officers
9 of the Main Staff were there. I know that I replied that I knew that
10 General Mladic was there and then I said, "I don't know, I think but I
11 don't know for certain that General Gvero was there too."
12 Q. Let me read back to you your response. Perhaps this will help
13 you --
14 MR. JOSSE: That's my point. I would invite him to let the
15 witness read it back in B/C/S, please, and it can be retranslated.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm simply asking him whether what I read him
17 will refresh his recollection. That's independent of whether it's
18 accurate, whether it's been accurately transcribed, et cetera. It's a
19 completely separate issue.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And deal with it later, Mr. Josse. You can confront
21 the witness later. Yes, Mr. Meek.
22 MR. MEEK: Just for the record, Your Honour, and I know you're
23 going to overrule me, but if you go back to Mr. Vanderpuye's question to
24 this witness now at line 24, page 47, he says, by my friend Mr. Meek, in
25 particular he asked you some questions about the presence of senior
1 officers in Nova Kasaba on 13th of July.
2 If you look at my question, I never asked him about senior
3 officers plural. I asked him about one officer, that was General Mladic,
4 and frankly, Your Honour, the Prosecution had -- this is his witness, it's
5 a Prosecution witness. They can ask the questions they want to. What
6 they are doing, Your Honour, and I don't appreciate it, is they are
7 bringing witnesses in front of this Tribunal and then they are trying to
8 discredit them and show that they're not credible, and if they bring
9 witnesses, Your Honour, that they know are not going to tell the truth or
10 not going to be honest with the Court, then they shouldn't call them. It's
11 not ethical.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, my concern is this --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. --
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: -- matter's been translated to the witness and I
15 think this is a huge problem at this point.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not a huge problem at all. As I explained
17 before, the right to re-cross -- re-examine the witness arises also from
18 the answer given by him and not from only or exclusively the question.
19 You may have and actually you did put the question as you put it,
20 Mr. Meek, but the witness's answer went beyond that.
21 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye? You were about to read to the witness part
22 of his statement.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I was.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: If we could be able, we are put in a position to
25 follow at least, is it available only in B/C/S or is it also in English?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is an English translation of the statement,
2 I think.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And presumably, you're going to read from it, no? I
4 don't think you read B/C/S, do you?
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: No. I'm going to read from it. I have a hard
6 copy. I'm just checking to see if there's one --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I saw you wondering whether there was an English
8 translation of the statement.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: In e-court is the wonder.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: No. In e-court it wouldn't be, I think.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: It is.
12 MR. JOSSE: It's 1D196.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: 1D196.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: 1D196. And if you could --
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you. What I was going to read was on the
16 English transcript, page 36.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: It should be lines 25 through 31.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The way we are going to proceed is you're going to
20 read it in English.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's going to be translated by the interpreters in
23 the -- in B/C/S.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right.
25 MR. JOSSE: And I repeat, we do not accept this translation.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. This is precisely where I was heading.
2 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We would give you the opportunity of the witness not
4 having the B/C/S text in front of him now, and you can confront him with
5 that later.
6 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: The -- just as a matter of -- just to be
8 accurate, it is a transcription as opposed to a translation. That is,
9 somebody wrote down the words that were actually spoken.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not discuss that in front of the witness.
11 Let's move. Could you please read what you have there.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yeah, sure.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And then put your question to the witness.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE:
15 Q. The question was put to you: "What, if anything, later on did
16 Malinic tell you about Beara?" Your answer was: "As far as I can remember
17 Beara was not mentioned. He only said that on the 13th, Mladic appeared
18 at the soccer field, he addressed war prisoners and Gvero was also
19 appearing somewhere with TV crews."
20 Question: "Where was Gvero appearing?" Answer: "In Nova Kasaba,
21 both Gvero and Mladic. That was the only location that I'm talking
23 Does that refresh your recollection as to what it is you told
24 specifically Mr. McCloskey in 2005, October?
25 A. As I have said just now, I told you what I remember saying, namely
1 that I said that I know for a fact that General Mladic was there and as
2 for General Gvero, I said that he may have been or that it seems to me
3 that he was there. Those were the two formulations that I used, as far as
4 I can remember.
5 Q. My question really goes to whether or not Major Malinic told you
6 that General Gvero was there, not what you know independently of Major
8 A. Major Malinic knows for a fact only that General Mladic was there,
9 and if he, if somebody who was present on the spot says that he doesn't
10 remember whether somebody else was there, then I certainly cannot claim
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Savcic. A few questions were put to you by my
13 learned friend Mr. Petrusic on cross-examination concerning the attack on
14 the Srebrenica enclave. Now, you correct me if I'm wrong but it appeared
15 from your testimony that you were suggesting that there was not an attack
16 on the Srebrenica enclave before July the 2nd. Is that the substance of
17 your testimony?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Petrusic?
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is not a true
20 objection. I just want to draw your attention to the fact that I did not
21 put questions to the witness about the attack on the Srebrenica enclave,
22 but I rather put to the witness a document that speaks of the attack on
23 the Srebrenica enclave. That document is 838, paragraph 2. This is why I
24 ask that the Prosecutor rephrase the question.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Vanderpuye?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: My question is just to the witness as to what his
2 testimony with respect to that attack or attacks was. His recollection of
3 what his testimony was. That's the extent of the question. I haven't
4 implied anything in it. I just want to know if it's accurate.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: As I understand, Mr. Petrusic -- what he wants you
6 to rephrase the first part of your question where you premised that few
7 questions were put to you by my learned friend Mr. Petrusic concerning the
8 attack on Srebrenica enclave. He's telling you, "I never put any
9 questions as such on the attack on the Srebrenica enclave." So you need
10 to rephrase that you can say yesterday you were shown a document which
11 inter alia dealt with the Srebrenica attack on the Srebrenica enclave S it
12 your position that before, June, July the 2nd, there was no attack on the
13 Srebrenica enclave. I mean I've rephrased it for you and I think
14 hopefully I have simplified matters.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: You absolutely have.
16 Q. And if you've understood the learned Judge's question could you
17 please answer it?
18 A. I understood the question, Your Honours. I answered Mr.
19 Petrusic's question only in relation to the written documents, not in
20 relation to specific combat activities in Srebrenica and around
21 Srebrenica. I'm not familiar with that. I went to Srebrenica only once
22 in my life and that was sometime in 2000. Therefore, I do not know
23 whether there were any attacks before the 2nd of July. I don't know
24 anything else. In Bratunac, sometime in 1992, we defended ourselves from
25 the attack launched in Srebrenica. As for everything else, I was not a
1 participant in any other events and what I said pertained to the document,
2 not to the events.
3 Q. Thank you for clarifying that, Mr. Savcic. You were asked some
4 questions concerning the weaponry that was held or used by the Muslim
5 forces during the Zepa operation. Now, with respect to that weaponry, I
6 think those questions were put to you by my learned friend Mr. Josse, and
7 he'll correct me if I'm wrong. Now, what I'd like to know is what
8 weaponry did you have at your disposal?
9 A. I answered that question too when asked by somebody from Defence.
10 What we used was infantry weapons, equipment for close anti-armour combat
11 which are hand-held rocket launchers. I also had two firing groups of
12 mortars, 120 millimetres, and two -- and also cannons B 176 millimetres.
13 This is what we used. Rather this is what I used. I don't know whether
14 other people used something else. I don't think they did. As I told you,
15 this is a very inaccessible terrain.
16 Q. I do have a document I'd like to show the witness but I see that
17 it's 5.30.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You still have another quarter of an hour. Our
19 break is at quarter to 6.00.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. Thank you. Could I have 251 --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
22 MR. JOSSE: Same observation that Mr. Vanderpuye made in relation
23 to some of my questions, could we have a time frame in relation to that
24 last question?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Correct. He is going to show up a document in any
1 case, I suppose, that it would be dated. Is that right, Mr. Vanderpuye,
2 or not.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: The document is dated.
4 Q. But before I show it to you, let me just ask you: Are you aware
5 of whether or not chemical weapons were used or whether you had chemical
6 weapons at your disposal to use? And this is in July of 1995, on or
7 around the 21st.
8 A. We didn't have chemicals weapons except for a very limited amount
9 of police gases, which were intended to be used against large number of
10 people in the proper police circumstances, which are used in every country
11 when dealing with crowds. Thus, except for these gases, typically used by
12 police, I'm not aware of anything else that we had. These police gases
13 were used by me twice, and both times against Serbian forces when we had
14 to re-establish control.
15 Q. All right. Can I please show you 2517 in e-court, please? All
16 right. Mr. Savcic, this is a document that's dated the 21st of July
17 1995. It is -- if we go to the bottom of it, I think we can see -- all
18 right. We can see that it is issued by General Tolimir. I want to refer
19 you, if I could, to paragraph numbered 4. In that paragraph states that
20 "We believe we would be in a more advantageous position for direct
21 negotiations after we inflict losses on enemy's military personnel. We
22 request means for crushing enemy defence in the areas of Brezova Ravan and
23 Purtici." Do you see that?
24 A. I do.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
1 MR. JOSSE: The translation is e-court is different to the one
2 that was read out. "Manpower" is used rather than the word that my
3 learned friend used. It's something that needs to be sorted out in due
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: I appreciate that. I'll read it right out of
6 e-court then. I think I have a slightly different version.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, go ahead. Thank you, Mr. Josse and
8 Mr. Vanderpuye. That's the word we have in front of us as well.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE:
10 Q. In any event, I would refer you to paragraph 5 where you can
11 probably see it says, "The most convenient means for their destruction
12 would be the usage of chemical weapons or aerosol grenades and bombs."
13 Is this consistent with the chemical weapons that you've described
14 that were available to you during that particular campaign?
15 A. Mr. Vanderpuye, I didn't say that that was at our disposal during
16 combat. In order to understand this better, these police poisonous gases
17 for temporary disablement of enemy require that certain weapons exist in
18 order for them to be used. One has to have a chemical rifle Shermalin
19 [phoen] and it cannot be used in the open space at all. This is what I
20 was referring to. These types of equipment. I have no knowledge of any
21 other weapons or equipments. I did not use them myself because in the
22 open space they are of no use.
23 Q. Could you just tell us first what is an aerosol grenade?
24 A. We did not have it in the military police. We did not use it.
25 And I'm not familiar with it. I don't know what this is.
1 Q. All right. And so when General Tolimir has made this apparent
2 proposal to use chemical weapons, do you have any understanding of what it
3 is he's talking about in this document?
4 A. I truly do not understand what he had in mind, what he proposed.
5 What I know for certain is that in addition to the equipment that I
6 mentioned several times already, I did not hear of others, nor did I know
7 that they existed in the army of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Well, if you look at the last paragraph where it says, "We believe
9 that we could force Muslims to surrender sooner if we would destroy groups
10 of Muslims refugees fleeing from the direction of Stublic, Radava and
11 Brloska Planina," does that give you an idea as to what this proposal is
13 A. These sectors mentioned here were quite far away from our forces.
14 As far as I could see, the date, it was the 21st of July, correct?
15 Q. That's correct. And we could just maybe zoom out a little bit so
16 we can all see it.
17 A. The positions that were held on the 21st of July, the positions of
18 the army of Republika Srpska and the Zepa Brigade, were the same as those
19 on the 15th of July in the afternoon. Only the line in the direction of
20 Gusanica was moved. So physically we were unable to reach the civilians
21 fleeing. Between that population and our forces there were the forces of
22 the Zepa Brigade who were present there, just like in the beginning of the
24 Q. All right. Thank you for that, Mr. Savcic. I wanted to have
25 P0005 in e-court, please. And I can refer you to page 15 on the B/C/S
1 version and page 10 on the English version. All right. Maybe I can
2 direct your attention to the paragraph on this page referring to the Drina
3 Corps and I believe you were asked some questions about that on
4 cross-examination. Are you familiar with this paragraph, Mr. Savcic?
5 Correct me if I'm wrong, but from your testimony on cross-examination, it
6 appeared that you suggested that the order that was issued on 2nd July
7 1995 changed the directive that was issued to the Drina Corps.
8 A. Yes, because in the order on July the 2nd, it says that the task
9 of the Drina Corps was to carry out, as soon as possible, complete
10 physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa and to narrow down, which is
11 missing here, to narrow down the Srebrenica enclave to the urban area.
12 And you can see that it's missing in the task given to the Drina Corps in
13 the directive.
14 Q. I see. So you would agree, then, that the objective of the
15 operations that were directed -- that the Drina Corps engage in, which, as
16 is written in this document, is to prevent communication between
17 individuals in the two enclaves by a planned, well-thought-out combat
18 operation and create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no
19 hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and
20 Zepa, you would agree that that objective is in fact in the order that was
21 issued on July the 2nd, 1995?
22 A. That was the task given to the Drina Corps.
23 Q. The objective in the July 2nd order that you looked at was to
24 reduce those enclaves to their urban areas; isn't that right?
25 A. To separate and to reduce. That was the task, the task that was
2 Q. And the objective of that task was to create conditions for the
3 elimination of the enclaves, right?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
5 MR. JOSSE: This is a cross-examination, in our submission, this
6 series of questions indicate that.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: I could --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the -- yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'll just put the other document up. Maybe he
10 can read that. I think it would probably be more efficient for me to read
11 it than to put it on the ELMO and -- or in e-court and have the witness
12 read the document and ask him what it says.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the gist of the line of questions is to find
14 out whether, indeed, they were different or not, but I'll need to consult
15 with my colleagues.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We think that insofar as Mr. Josse's objection
18 indicates that you are using a leading question, then he is perfectly
19 correct. So that -- the way you choose to do it is your problem. We are
20 not going to tell you how to do it. But I think you need to rephrase your
21 question in the first place. And it's time, anyway --
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: It is.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: -- for the break. So we will have a 25-minute break
24 starting from now.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.14 p.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. After reviewing the
5 record and conversing with my colleagues, I'm going to move to a different
6 area, if I may.
7 Q. Sir, you were asked several questions about the movement of the
8 population in and around Zepa in mid-July. I want to put to you a few
9 questions concerning that. I have a document here, it's an UNPROFOR
10 document, it's dated July 15th, there is no translation for it but let me
11 put to you this. Throughout the week, meaning the week preceding the 15th
12 of July -- the 65 ter number is 2875.
13 "Throughout the week," meaning the week preceding the 15th of
14 July, "there had been sporadic artillery, mortar and heavy machine-gun
15 fire directed at the safe areas' population centres, particularly Zepa
16 town and the villages of Riovici [phoen] and Perpecki [phoen]. Last
17 Saturday, 8th July, the Bosnians asked UNPROFOR to return the 127 weapons
18 that had been handed over to UNPROFOR following the demilitarisation
19 agreement of 8th May 1993. The weapons were released but were not
20 assessed to be of any significant military value."
21 Were you aware of that particular situation as I've just read it
22 to you?
23 A. As for the sporadic activities, I told you that I arrived on the
24 14th of July. I told you what I did and I also I told you what I did
25 between the 15th and the 24th and 25th. I elaborated on that. I told you
1 what equipment and weaponry I used. Anything beyond that I really
2 wouldn't be able to tell you anything about because I don't know.
3 Q. All right. Is it your testimony that you were completely unaware
4 of the situation that existed at the time that you arrived in the area of
6 A. I had a general idea of the situation. I arrived after the attack
7 that ensued, not in the territory of Zepa but on the separation line
8 between the warring parties. The village of Zepa is somewhat further away
9 from that very line.
10 Q. Let me ask you -- I'm going to read to you some other facts as are
11 indicated in this document. "UNPROFOR's position in the pocket has also
12 been difficult. The 79 Ukrainians in the pocket have been under Serb
13 bombardment since the 27 June with the tempo increasing this week.
14 Earlier in the week the Serbs tried to force the Ukrainians out of OP 9 at
15 the southern end of the pocket. Later in the week OPs 1, 2 and 3 at the
16 south-western end of the pocket were also attacked."
17 Do you have any knowledge of those circumstances and did you have
18 that knowledge at the time that you arrived?
19 A. I did not have any knowledge about this. On 27th of July [as
20 interpreted], I was still at the command post in Crna Rijeka and I really
21 didn't know what was going on on the confrontation line. I know that my
22 forces did not have any support, they did not have any artillery support,
23 that is, that would enable them to shell any areas at any considerable
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
1 MR. JOSSE: I'm told the witness said June, as would make more
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You did say 27th of June and not 27th of
4 July, did you?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that it says here, in
6 line - how do you do that - 66, 2, that I said 27th of July. Maybe I
7 misunderstood Mr. Prosecutor's question. The shelling that is mentioned
8 here when the 79 Ukrainians were exposed to the Serb shelling, something
9 that happened on the 27th of June? Is that what you were asking me about.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE:
11 Q. That's correct. What I wanted to know is if you had knowledge of
12 that or came into knowledge of that in and around the time that you were
13 in the Zepa area.
14 A. My answer was clear. On the 27th of June, I was still at the
15 command post in Crna Rijeka. I remember that on the 26th was the day when
16 there was this attack on the command post of the Main Staff and I really
17 didn't know what was going on somewhere else, away from the position where
18 I was at the time.
19 Q. Did you know on the 15th of July that the 79 Ukrainians that are
20 referred to in this document had been under bombardment since 27th of
22 A. They were not exposed to bombardment. Our officers, General
23 Mladic and General Tolimir were in direct contact with Lieutenant-Colonel
24 Dunik, the commander of the UNPROFOR. They were in daily contact and I
25 don't remember him complaining of any incorrect doings on our part,
1 especially not of any bombardment.
2 Q. Did you know, in July, around July 15th, did you know that these
3 attacks on the OPs, OP 9, OP 1, OP 2 and OP 3, came after the delivery of
4 an ultimatum on the 30th of June?
5 A. I am not aware of the position of these features that you're
6 referring to and I really don't know who was it who gave any ultimatum, so
7 I can't tell you anything about this.
8 Q. All right. If I'll just refer you to another -- another area for
9 a moment. You were asked some questions about whether or not specifically
10 check-point number 2 in Boksanica was under the control of the VRS or
11 under UNPROFOR's control and I want to put this to you. It's 2671. It's
12 2671 in e-court, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
14 MR. JOSSE: Having had a moment to think about it, it may be
15 semantics and if it is, I apologise, but is my learned friend allowed to
16 say, "I want to put this to you? Isn't he allowed to show the witness a
17 document and invite the witness to comment upon it? Because the questions
18 that have preceded that, he's asserted facts. The witness, for the most
19 part, hasn't even accepted those facts or had no knowledge of them. He
20 needs to be a bit careful bearing in mind this is a re-examination.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: I appreciate my learned friend's comments. I
22 don't subscribe to them, however. I think I've put the facts to the
23 witness in a fair way for the witness to pass on. I haven't led the
24 witness. I haven't invited a particular response or an answer. I've
25 simply asked him to comment on it as it has arisen directly out of the
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if this is a case of two great
3 countries divided by the same language. So I'm not sure whether it's
4 semantics as well, Mr. Josse. I haven't got it clear in my mind.
5 MR. JOSSE: I'm not asking for a ruling, Your Honour. It was an
6 observation and I will continue to observe the situation.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for your eagle eyes, Mr. Josse. Let's
8 proceed. I think we got the message as to what you wanted to ask the
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's proceed, but thank you, Mr. Josse, for the
12 observation .
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: What I wanted to do is refer the witness if I
14 could to the paragraph if we could just page down a little bit, okay, to
15 the paragraph following UNPROFOR which you can hopefully see on your
16 screen. That paragraph reads, "Check-point number 2 Boksanica where
17 UNPROFOR commander or the UNPROFOR commander is located has been put under
18 the control of our forces. An agreement was reached with him not to
19 attack with the condition that they should not open fire on our battle
20 formation B/B, which he accepted with a request to leave his positions
21 where they are and he would in return provide information on enemy
22 activity and would not call in NATO air force."
23 Q. Were you aware of those circumstances on or around the 15th of
24 July when you were in the area of Zepa?
25 A. I know of the presence of the NATO air force, a comical situation
1 arose as a result of combat inexperience. The aircraft at first flew at
2 the speed, sonic speed. We sought shelter, but later on, we realised that
3 they were not going to engage. This is not my document. I told you a
4 while ago what the position was at this UNPROFOR check-point in
5 Boksanica. Lieutenant-Colonel Dunik was there all the time. He
6 maintained contact with his forces in Zepa, he would go to Zepa, he would
7 go back to the check-point and so on and so forth.
8 Q. All right. Could we just page up for a moment? All the way up to
9 the top, please. Thank you very much.
10 Are you able to determine, are you able to read to whom this
11 communication is addressed?
12 A. To be honest, I don't know what this GSSRS stand for. It was sent
13 to the forward command post of the Drina Corps and the command of the 65th
14 Motorised Regiment and this is a combat report which was apparently sent
15 to me by the brigade which is quite odd.
16 Q. Okay. Just bear with me for one moment, Mr. Savcic. Just bear
17 with me for one moment, please, Your Honours.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Your Honours, and thank you,
20 Mr. Savcic. I have no further redirect examination.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Josse, would you like to put any
22 further questions to the witness?
23 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
25 Further cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
1 Q. Could we have 1D196 back in e-court? And it's page 56 in the
2 B/C/S and 36 in the English. I want you, General, to cast your mind back
3 to this interview. And I want to go through in some detail with you the
4 procedure that was adopted in that interview. Mr. McCloskey speaks
5 English, you speak Serbian, correct?
6 A. Unfortunately, save for some Russian, I don't speak any other
7 foreign languages.
8 Q. There was one interpreter present; is that right?
9 A. Yes, one interpreter.
10 Q. So that we all understand, that interpreter was not interpreting
11 simultaneously. In other words, Mr. McCloskey would ask his question,
12 that would be translated into Serbian, you would then give an answer in
13 Serbian and that would be translated back into English?
14 A. That was the procedure, precisely so, yes.
15 Q. And a tape was running of everything that all the participants to
16 the interview said at all material times?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, we can see that Mr. McCloskey asks a question four lines down
19 on the page that we have in front of us. This question therefore was
20 asked in English and what we see here, tell me if you're able to agree
21 with this, is what was translated to you by the interpreter at the time.
22 In other words, it's not what Mr. McCloskey said but it's what the
23 interpreter interpreted Mr. McCloskey as having said, correct?
24 A. That's true. Otherwise, we would not have been able to
1 Q. Indeed.
2 A. Because we do not have a language in common, do we?
3 Q. Indeed. Could you read out Mr. McCloskey's question as translated
4 to you, slowly, please?
5 A. Is this the question starting with "later"? "Later in the
6 conversation with Malinic, did he tell you anything? Did he tell you
7 anything in relation to Beara?" Is this what you had in mind?
8 Q. That was what I had in mind. And I'm now going to ask you to read
9 out your reply, but please do this extremely slowly because it's a
10 translation of this answer that General Gvero's Defence is particularly
11 concerned about. So very slowly, please. I would do it for you but I
12 have the same disadvantage as Mr. McCloskey. I'm afraid I don't speak or
13 read your language.
14 A. The answer reads, "To Beara, to be honest, I don't remember
15 because on that day, the 13th of July, only General Mladic arrived there.
16 He addressed this -- these prisoners of war, and as far as I know, and it
17 seems to me that somewhere there, General Gvero might have appeared with
18 some TV crews."
19 Q. So in your answer, you used the words "as far as I know"?
20 A. And "it seems to me that somewhere there, General Gvero might have
22 Q. Now, it's right, isn't it, that that information that you relayed
23 in that answer came from a conversation that you had had with Major
25 A. Yes. But kindly bear in mind that this took place in 2005, which
1 means ten years after the events, and to be honest with you, I really
2 can't remember save for the conversation on the 27th of July, and when I
3 stayed there for some half an hour, we talked about that, but this was not
4 something that came up very often in our conversations, and in any case,
5 we did not see each other that often to be able to discuss things at any
7 Q. In your examination-in-chief, you told the Trial Chamber when
8 being questioned by Mr. Vanderpuye that you had had a conversation more
9 recently with Major Malinic about the subject matter of your testimony.
10 Do you recall that?
11 A. Yes, but I didn't say recently.
12 Q. When was that conversation, please?
13 A. I can't remember exactly. Maybe a few months after my interview
14 in Banja Luka with Mr. McCloskey.
15 Q. And at that time, or during that conversation, did you discuss
16 General Gvero at all?
17 A. No. Believe me, I was only interested in whether Malinic
18 remembered whether he had received that telegram that is in dispute that
19 we have discussed here, whether he remembered that, and then he confirmed
20 to me that he was sure that he had not received that telegram. As for any
21 other details, believe me, we absolutely didn't discuss any.
22 Q. At that time, when you had that conversation with Malinic, were
23 you under the impression that Malinic was going to be a Prosecution
24 witness in this case?
25 A. Well, I know -- actually I don't know whether he had already
1 received the summons, whether he had already been interviewed. I was not
2 aware that he might appear as a witness in these proceedings, but it would
3 have been only more logical for somebody who was a participant in the
4 events to provide some answers rather than somebody who knew of the events
5 from second or third hand as a hearsay.
6 Q. And as you sit here today and give your evidence, are you aware
7 that the Prosecution have made a conscious decision not to call Major
8 Malinic in this case and have dropped him from their witness list?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye, before you answer the question,
10 please, Mr. Vanderpuye.
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: I object to the question. It has no basis or
12 relation to the redirect examination that was conducted or relevancy to
13 this witness's testimony in that regard.
14 MR. JOSSE: It goes to his state of mind, in our submission, in
15 relation to the various answers he's given as to General Gvero's alleged
16 presence at Nova Kasaba.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: The statement that is at issue was made in 2005
18 and so unless my learned friend wants to establish what the witness's
19 state of mind was in relation to the specific time that the statement was
20 made, it is irrelevant to these proceedings.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop, because we have the witness here.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We are unanimous here. We don't see the relevance
24 here so we suggest you move to your next question, Mr. Josse.
25 MR. JOSSE: There are no further questions, although I will have
1 some submissions about the matter which can be dealt with when we deal
2 with exhibits.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Josse.
4 General, we've come to the end of your testimony. We have no
5 further questions for you, which means that you are free to go. Our staff
6 will assist you. Before you leave the courtroom, however, on behalf of
7 the Trial Chamber and the Tribunal, I wish to thank you for having come
8 over and also I wish you a safe journey back home.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Documents. Prosecution?
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. For the direct
13 examination, we have no documents. They have all been already admitted or
14 marked for identification. As to the redirect examination, I have P02756,
15 P02757, and that's it.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. One is the Karadzic and the other one is the
17 Mladic -- no. Gvero -- Karadzic to Gvero, Gvero to Karadzic?
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct. Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections? Mr. Josse, you still have some
20 energy left.
21 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm in a position now to deal with Colonel
22 Trkulja's exhibits. So far as these are concerned, again, I would
23 appreciate a little time to think about them. Your Honour, they were used
24 in re-examination and --
25 JUDGE KWON: The first one was used in chief.
1 MR. JOSSE: The first one was used --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I have -- sorry to butt in like this but I haven't
3 2756 and 2757.
4 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, it was used in cross-examination.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Haven't 2756 and 2757 been already tendered?
6 MR. JOSSE: I think one of them, I think one of them should --
7 there is an attempt to have it tendered through the last witness.
8 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes.
9 MR. JOSSE: So in fact sorry, Your Honour, I'm literally thinking
10 aloud. The submissions I'm going to make about Trkulja will cover Malinic
11 as well, so I'm actually happy to submit in relation to both of them if
12 the Court is ready for that. It will take me a few moments' time.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it's okay, Mr. Josse. In the meantime can we
14 dispose of the documents that two of the Defence teams wish to tender with
15 this document -- with this witness? One is from the Popovic Defence team
16 and it's document ID382.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, 1D382.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: 1D, sorry, 1D382. Any objection? This is order for
19 active combat activity.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is no objection.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. No objection from the other Defence teams so
22 it's admitted. Then there is the Borovcanin Defence team who wishes to
23 tender three documents, namely 4D120, 4D8, 4DP8 and 4D1D197. The details
24 of these documents have been circulated. Any objection?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is no objection.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic? Yes?
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a sentence, Your Honours.
3 4D120 is still awaiting translation and we were told it would be ready on
4 Monday and it would be in the system on Monday.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. No objection, so these are
6 all admitted and obviously in relation to 4D120, it will be marked for
7 identification to be upgraded to full admittance once the translation has
8 been filed or made available.
9 Okay. Mr. Josse, to make it clear, we are now moving -- yes,
10 Mr. Petrusic?
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since we are dealing
12 with the tendering of documents through Witness Savcic, the Defence of
13 General Miletic tenders into evidence P35 -- which is already in the
14 system under P1033, which is the order dated the 13th of July 1995. The
15 Defence used it during cross-examination of this witness. In addition to
16 this, I wish to draw attention of the Chamber to the fact that P838, which
17 the Defence also used in cross-examination, is already in the system under
18 number P107. Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic. Perhaps we could verify--
20 P1033 hasn't been admitted already? Or -- please two documents, P35,
21 which is also P1033, any objection? I don't know if it has been tendered
22 already. This is what I asked. Sometimes it's in the system without
23 having been tendered. Having a 65 ter number. It hasn't been tendered,
24 you see, no, it hasn't. So any objection, Mr. Vanderpuye? To either of
25 tease two documents?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: We are having some trouble identifying which
2 document it is.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It has two numbers. Madam Fauveau, I'm sure, will
4 help us. I saw her --
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: It might -- if she had actually a copy I could
6 just look at it briefly.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This is the document which was on
8 the Prosecution list. This is document typed up by General Mladic and we
9 do not oppose to showing a copy to my learned friend should he wish to see
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I think you have simplified it
12 sufficiently well to avoid having --
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is no objection, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. No objection to that. And the other one was
15 838? Can you repeat the number, please, Madam Fauveau?
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] The second one is P838, which is
17 identical to P107, which has already been admitted and this is the order
18 of General Zivanovic dated the 2nd of July 1995.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need it tendered again.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: No objection to that either. It's fine as it is.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Any other Defence team wishes to
22 tender any other document with this witness, Savcic? None? All right.
23 Do you think you can finish your submissions in ten minutes,
24 Mr. Josse?
25 MR. JOSSE: Yes. I think I can, Your Honour, save one thing which
1 I'll come to at the end. Could I begin by making it clear that I am
2 slightly loathe to make submissions on points of principle when I'm about
3 to concede that take the two examples the two documents in relation to the
4 last witness Savcic that the Prosecution wished to introduce, they are
5 clearly important documents in the case of General Gvero, and they are
6 clearly going to be admitted into evidence at some point in time. And as
7 I've already said, one of those appears on the Trkulja list as well.
8 So far as they are concerned, and the Trkulja documents are
9 concerned, the witnesses in question had no knowledge of any of those
10 documents and really it's up to the Trial Chamber, as to the extent to
11 which they want to keep a tight rein on the exhibits introduced into this
12 case. Hitherto, tight control has been placed on the parties introducing
13 documents, particularly where disagreement occurs.
14 Where a witness says that he knows nothing about a document, in
15 reality, we submit, it's exactly the same as if that document was being
16 tendered from the bar table rather than through the witness. That is
17 particularly true when the party calling the witness is doing that. It's
18 rather different if the opposing party does it to impugn the credibility
19 of the witness.
20 Now, the issue as to whether the Prosecution are entitled to
21 impugn the credibility of their own witnesses is a very big issue and not
22 one that I'm going to address now. It's alluded to in the motion filed
23 yesterday jointly by the Defence teams in relation to 65 ter documents
24 used in re-examination. It's paragraphs, I think -- excuse me, I don't
25 have a note of it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We have seen it.
2 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. And the Trial Chamber, in our submission,
3 really need to decide whether the Prosecution are entitled to do what they
4 are purporting to do.
5 So far as the list in front of me is concerned, we would invite
6 those three documents put to Trkulja, which were not on the 65 ter list,
7 to be marked for identification pending the resolution of the motion filed
8 yesterday. So far as the other three documents are concerned, my
9 submission yet again is more by way of an observation. It is up to the
10 Trial Chamber. But in reality this way of going about things is no more
11 than the parties simply saying, "Here is a document, we wish it to be
12 admitted into evidence."
13 But, Your Honour, I do concede that all of these documents,
14 subject to authenticity, which isn't the issue here, are documents which
15 are contemporaneous and prima facie relevant and admissible in this case.
16 To say otherwise would be absurd. And could I contrast that, and this is
17 where I said I may need more than ten minutes, you might recall that on
18 the 27th of August, it was a Monday, Mr. Thayer said that he had reached
19 an agreement with the Defence, primarily with me, frankly, in relation to
20 various Zepa documents and he, and I make no criticism of him in this
21 regard, is no doubt still in the process of preparing those. He then
22 asked the Trial Chamber to consider admitting P528, which is the 107-page
23 United Nations report on the events in Srebrenica. That having now
24 considered the matter, I do oppose strenuously and will need a bit more
25 time to develop.
1 But the reason I'm mentioning it now is it really fits into the
2 submission that I'm just making because I do have to concede that that
3 document, which is a report of events prepared years after the events, is
4 in stark contrast to these particular documents. But it's more a question
5 of how the Trial Chamber is content with contemporaneous documents being
6 introduced into evidence, and we submit that if a witness is shown a
7 document, particularly by the party who calls that witness, and the
8 witness says, "I know nothing about it," that's an improper way for a
9 document to be so admitted into evidence.
10 Perhaps the Trial Chamber will schedule a short period of time in
11 due course for us to argue 528. I would invite the Prosecution to go
12 first in relation to that when it is scheduled.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
14 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour's microphone, please.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry, just clarify this. Which are the three
16 documents that you wish or ask to be marked for identification only for
17 the time being pending the resolution of the joint urgent motion filed
19 MR. JOSSE: The three that Ms. Stewart very helpfully marked with
20 a double asterisk.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, okay.
22 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Josse, can I ask you a question? I'm attracted
23 by the words you used near the end here, "particularly by the party who
24 called the witness." Are you drawing a distinction between documents put
25 to a witness in cross-examination, for example, where the witness's
1 response is "I've never seen the document before, and I don't know
2 anything about it," because I have a strong recollection of several
3 documents of that nature going in through the cross-examination with those
4 kinds of responses. Are you saying there is a distinction, whether it's
5 the party calling the witness or the party cross-examining the witness as
6 to the admissibility of the document?
7 MR. JOSSE: Yes, I am. I have to do that partly for the reason
8 that Your Honour has just indicated but I also do it because we maintain
9 that the party calling a witness is not entitled to impugn the credibility
10 of their own witness. We have seen a great deal of that over the last few
11 days. And whether these exhibits is the way to grapple with frankly that
12 difficult evidential issue, I don't know. Probably not.
13 JUDGE PROST: I'm just trying to ascertain if the essence of your
14 argument is that the document can't go in if the witness is not familiar
15 with it when the witness's credibility is being impugned or if you're
16 saying it's a more general principle, that the party calling the witness
17 can't introduce a document through that witness if the witness says he
18 doesn't know anything about it as distinct from a party cross-examining.
19 MR. JOSSE: Only when the party calling the witness is impugning
20 the credibility of their own witness.
21 JUDGE PROST: So that limited category, not when they use it for
22 some other purpose, perhaps just to expand on an area of
24 MR. JOSSE: That's correct.
25 JUDGE PROST: Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you've got two minutes. If you
2 prefer to speak tomorrow we will adjourn.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can take the two minutes. I think the issue of
4 the UN report, Mr. Thayer will be prepared to argue with Mr. Josse
5 tomorrow. I would just like to give our view point on this idea of
6 impugning the credibility so you see where both sides are coming from and
7 perhaps if need be we with argue further on it, but it's the Prosecution's
8 view point that a party can always impugn his own witness now. This idea
9 or this concept that one cannot impugn its own witness is an ancient
10 concept that goes back to the roots of the adversarial system that in most
11 jurisdictions that I'm aware has been set aside. The term "hostile
12 witness" has now been rejected. It's been replaced by "an adverse
14 So I think we are a bit old fashioned on the other side here and
15 as I said in my opening statement, as we said in our trial brief, many of
16 our witnesses were directly involved in the events and they will be not
17 being completely credible with Your Honours, and that I think we should
18 all face the reality that what is going on here, especially when we see --
19 when a witness -- when we -- when a witness is taken by the Defence in an
20 area completely outside of the direct, which we understand and we
21 generally don't object to, and is led, that this is fundamentally the
22 Defence calling the witness and we would rather have it be done now
23 frankly than later.
24 And so when we are questioning Mr. Savcic, for example on the
25 areas it's fundamentally cross-examination and it's not more than -- it is
1 cross-examination. We've chosen not to take the leading question route in
2 most cases because of the President's preference, and the fact that I
3 think leading questions sometimes aren't the most reliable questions in
4 the world. We get -- sometimes we get more reliable answers from
5 non-leading questions, so we have chosen not to take that but I think we
6 need -- the reality is this is cross-examination. So that's our view
7 point on it. If you want to hear us any further on it I'm sure we can
8 talk for a long time but as for the documents, tomorrow is another day.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Tomorrow I take it we'll discuss this. We'll
10 discuss also the UN report, 528.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Will you have the next witness available tomorrow,
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: He is available. He is our witness that we have
16 been saving for when we need him. So we can bring him on tomorrow if
17 you'd like or we can just argue tomorrow. However you -- we are ready to
18 go or he could go Tuesday. I might get a break on Tuesday.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I see there is anxiety on the faces of some of the
20 Defence teams. You wish to have the witness come first and then we
21 discuss the rest later, Mr. Josse?
22 MR. JOSSE: All I can say is I like an argument, but I don't think
23 I can keep the argument going all of tomorrow.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00
25 tomorrow morning.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of
3 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.