1 Wednesday, 19 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar. If you could call the case,
6 please. Good morning to you.
7 THE REGISTER: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good morning, everybody. All the
10 accused are here.
11 From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic,
12 Mr. Bourgon, and Mr. Haynes.
13 Prosecution, I see Mr. Nicholls, Mr. Thayer, Ms. Soljan, but no
14 one else Haynes. Thank you.
15 I understand there are some preliminaries, Mr. Josse? MR. JOSSE:
16 Well, Your Honour, my learned friend, Mr. Nicholls, has distributed a list
17 to us of documents that he proposes to use with the present witness this
18 morning. Could I begin by saying, we are genuinely grateful to him for
19 doing that. He doesn't have to forewarn us of the documents he is going
20 to use. He has done that, and I mean that quite sincerely. He wasn't
21 going to distribute them to the Chamber. So they were a courtesy to us. I
22 invited him to provide copies to the Chamber, and he has done that. I am
23 very grateful for doing that as well.
24 Your Honour, we, on behalf of General Gvero, are both interested
25 and concerned to know where Mr. Nicholls is going with this particular
1 re-examination. We note that all eight of these documents relate to our
2 client. That is why we have an interest and concern at this particular
3 juncture. Perhaps I reserve the right to respond, but perhaps he could go
4 first and explain where he is going, and then I could make my short
6 JUDGE AGIUS: This is all news to us, so Mr. Nicholls, please.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: It is news to me, as well, Your Honour. Really, I
8 am -- first of all, I have provided the list. I am not sure that normally
9 I would need to give an explanation to the Defence before continuing with
10 this examination of where I am going and what I propose to use these
11 documents for. I don't where that is in the rules or practice that I am
12 familiar with.
13 However, my submission would be that each of these documents goes
14 directly to an issue raised through the cross-examination. I did, I
15 think, a fairly tight direct examination, focussing on some documents and
16 the witness's personal knowledge of those documents. The Defence then
17 went on a long cross-examination, only one part of which they told about
18 they planned to do in advance. Each of these documents, I think, fills
19 out, sheds light, and in some sense rebuts some of the arguments or themes
20 put forward by the Defence. We already saw some of that yesterday.
21 As I said, I think, in my view, the purpose of the
22 cross-examination in large part was to show, one, that General Gvero had
23 some kind of concern for the treatment of prisoners and civilians, and
24 passed out pamphlets, and he cared about. That was the 92 document. The
25 VRS treatment of people under their control; that he was marginalised,
1 sidelined, pushed aside because of this conflict with Karadzic and wasn't
2 a player; that assistant commanders would never perform any duties that
3 were not strictly within the purview of their particular department or
5 In other words, that assistant commander for X would never perform
6 a duty or a task that under the regulations or rules would fall under
7 assistant commander Y's duties. Each one of these documents goes to one
8 of those issues raised directly on cross-examination. And I can be more
9 specific but I really don't see why I should be called upon to do so at
10 this time. I'm going to ask the witness to talk about these eight
11 documents briefly.
12 It's going to be pretty fast, and I think that will be it. I
13 think if my friends look at the documents, which they will all have seen
14 before and will be familiar with, it's pretty obvious what these are
15 relevant to.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
17 MR. JOSSE: Well, I agree with what Mr. Nicholls said inasmuch as
18 he didn't have to go first there, and, again, I'm grateful to him and I
19 mean that. I'm not suggesting it is anywhere in the rules.
20 Your Honour, these documents, we concede, are all central in the
21 case of General Gvero. They are all important documents. All either have
22 or will be admitted into evidence in this case. Without conceding
23 anything for the purpose of either Rule 98 bis submission or in relation
24 to the final judgement in this case, of course, there is some evidence in
25 the case against General Gvero. He wouldn't be here otherwise. For us to
1 say otherwise would be unrealistic and absurd.
2 These documents, we really do emphasise, form a central part of
3 the case against him. By putting them in front of the Court again, or
4 through this witness, the case against our client doesn't become any
5 stronger. It remains exactly the same. This witness has no -- was
6 unlikely to have any personal knowledge of these particular documents.
7 He's unlikely to be able to help in relation to them at all.
8 What the Prosecution are doing is simply saying, "You've heard the
9 cross-examination of the Defence, in this case, Mr. Krgovic, there is
10 evidence to rebut that. There is evidence that goes the other way."
11 Well, of course, there is. We concede that. But if we are going to take
12 a mature attitude to this trial, the Defence come here to defend the case,
13 present their arguments, and the Prosecution will present their arguments
14 in due course.
15 This witness shouldn't be used as a vehicle to put these documents
16 either before the Court or back before the Court again. We also
17 appreciate - and I'm not being in the least bit sarcastic or facetious
18 here - that the Court has the time this morning to perform this exercise,
19 and that may be something you'll want to take into account on ruling the
20 submission that I make. But, realistically, this isn't a proper
21 re-examination, we suggest. It will become apparent in no time at all
22 that, as I've already said, all that's happening here is the witness is
23 being used as a vehicle to put these documents before the Court. There is
24 no need for that.
25 It's been done already and will be done in the future by the
1 Prosecution, and the Court should, in effect, say that a redirect
2 examination should not be used in this way and in this manner. That's our
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Nicholls?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: First of all, I think the time is irrelevant.
6 Whether we have time today or not, I think the issue is whether these
7 documents can properly be used now, and the time should not be a
8 consideration when we are talking about things this important.
9 Secondly, with all respect to my friend, it's not for him - and I
10 know he's not saying that - but it's not for him to decide when the
11 Prosecution puts documents to a witness. And the central point, which he
12 has avoided completely, is that during their cross-examination of this
13 witness, they elicited information which they thought was favourable to
14 their case. Some of that information, in my view, in my submission, is
15 not correct, is not accurate.
16 I think, then, I have not just the right but almost the duty to
17 show where I think the witness has said things to the Trial Chamber which
18 are not entirely correct and which can be shown to be so through the use
19 of these documents. Whether the witness has seen the documents or
20 familiar with them is not the issue. The issue is whether these
21 documents, which I think the witness will concede are all genuine and
22 relevant, show the witness that some of his answers -- that he may want to
23 change some of his answers and modify some of them based on seeing the
24 information here about what General Gvero was doing during this time
1 The witness has said -- I won't go through what I said first about
2 General Gvero being sidelined, marginalised, a bit player, out of the
3 loop, all of that. They knew that was coming. The witness himself said
4 that he had been proofed by the Defence. It was very clear during the
5 cross-examination that the witness's answers were not of any surprise, so
6 they have elicited this information. It's the classic opening of the
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Basically, having heard both of you, our position is
11 that we agree with the position taken or submitted by Mr. Nicholls. We,
12 of course, reserve to you, for you, Mr. Josse, the right as we go, and
13 others, of course, as we go along, to raise issues as to the object or the
14 subject matter that could be dealt with in relation to each of these
15 documents and also in relation to the document itself.
16 So we can -- are there any other preliminaries? So I think we can
17 proceed; and as we go along, we will examine the case for or against each
18 one of these documents, if there are objections.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, General.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope you had a good rest and that we can now
23 continue and finish with your testimony today. May I just remind you of
24 the two advisories I gave you when you first started giving evidence. One
25 is that you are testifying that, in other words, that the solemn
1 declaration you made in the beginning of your testimony still holds good;
2 and, second, my advisory as to your rights should you be asked questions
3 that you consider to be potentially incriminatory in your record.
4 WITNESS: Petar Skrbic [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Nicholls?
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Nicholls: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning, General.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. I know you've been here sometime, and I will try to not keep you
12 here very long today. I have a few more questions for you.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we have 65 ter 192 up, please?
14 Q. General, this is the came document we were looking at when we
15 broke yesterday. Please take a moment to look at it.
16 It's quite short. Tell me when you've read it, if you could.
17 A. Can you scroll down a bit? Thank you. And now raise it again so
18 I can see the top. I've seen all of it.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. Now looking at the top, can you just tell
20 me which assistant commanders of the VRS Main Staff this was sent to for
21 their information?
22 A. Shall I read?
23 Q. Yes, if you could just -- well, it's just to the assistant
24 commander for Morale, Religious, and Legal Affairs, correct?
25 A. Yes, yes, for their information.
1 Q. Now, you're not on this distribution list; Logistics isn't;
2 Finance isn't. Given the role and job of General Gvero that you described
3 yesterday, why would he be on the -- on this distribution list for this
4 type of information? What aspect of this document goes to a Morale,
5 Religious, and Legal Affairs?
6 A. Only point 1.
7 Q. All right. Now, I want you to look at paragraph 4.
8 A. Yes, I see it.
9 Q. How would you describe in military terms, or in any terms you
10 wish, the activity which Miletic is called upon to perform there: "Once
11 the commander of the Military Police Battalion receives this order, he
12 shall contact General Miletic and receive from him additional orders and
13 verify if the proposal has been approved by the commander of the Main
14 Staff." What is this telling Miletic to do?
15 A. General Miletic here has the role of intermediary. He's to
16 transmit the commander's approval for these proposals. That's how I
17 understand it, Your Honours.
18 Q. And is that -- would that come under coordination or would it not?
19 A. Miletic is just to transmit the commander's approval.
20 Q. All right. And then you believe that under point 1, "Prohibiting
21 access to all unauthorised individuals filming and photographing of the
22 prisoners," that part is -- would be General Gvero's task?
23 A. It falls under the sector led by General Gvero, but only this
24 second part, "filming and photographing prisoners," because the banning of
25 all uninvited persons is something that the military police were to
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go to P33, please, another document.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you do so, Mr. Nicholls.
4 Wouldn't number 2 also fall within the functions or concerns or
5 responsibilities of General Gvero, having to deal with international
6 organisations, or not?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. This assignment
8 concerns right of passage. Local commands which receive orders from the
9 superior command would be in charge as to how to secure this passage.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I go to P33 now?
12 Q. This document, General, is from 9 July, Main Staff of the VRS,
13 Very Urgent, to the President of the RS for information to the Drina Corps
14 IKM, forward command post, Generals Gvero and Krstic personally.
15 Now, first of all, did you know whether Gvero was present at the
16 IKM on that day? Is that something you knew about?
17 A. I did not. I knew nothing.
18 Q. Could you just take a quick look at this document? It's only one
19 page. Why is this document being sent to General Gvero?
20 A. Please give me a minute to read it.
21 Can you raise it? I couldn't answer that question because I don't
22 see why this was sent to General Gvero.
23 Q. Okay. Would General Gvero go to the Drina Corps IKM on his own
24 initiative? Could he just do that or would that be on an order from
25 General Mladic?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Please don't speculate, General. If you know, you
2 know. If you don't know, tell us so much.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Let me rephrase that.
4 Q. Would an assistant commander go to an IKM without General Mladic's
5 knowledge or would that be something that General Mladic would be involved
6 in, in sending somebody there or knowing somebody was going there?
7 A. You've asked me ten questions in one, but I can still answer.
8 General Mladic should have known.
9 Q. Okay. Now, does this document indicate to you that General Gvero
10 was marginalised or sidelined by General Mladic during the Srebrenica
11 operation or does it indicate something else?
12 A. Your Honours, yesterday, I was asked a rather devious question
13 about the fact that General Gvero might have been sidelined. I'm being
14 asked the same thing again today, and I kindly ask you not to make me
15 answer that question, because it seems to me that I've already provided
16 the facts about the marginalisation of General Gvero, and those facts
17 cannot be refuted.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, do you want to pursue this?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I would request that the witness answer.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: If you could rephrase, then, or put your question in
23 a different fashion.
24 In other words, Witness, you have, yesterday, and just now,
25 confirmed your statement that at a certain point in time General Gvero was
1 marginalised because of his stance in relation to several issues. Reading
2 through this document, would this conform with the pattern of
3 marginalisation of General Gvero or would it rather show the opposite?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my view, this document confirms
5 that General Gvero was indeed sidelined, just like the order that was
6 shown to me yesterday, which from the military point of view is completely
7 irregular because it was signed by somebody who was not authorised to sign
8 it, and that was the assistant commander. No assistant commander was
9 authorised to sign such documents.
10 For that reason, historically speaking, that document is not
11 relevant. Why am I saying that in this document General Gvero was also
12 sidelined, because it was sent to him, as well, not only to the president.
13 So I suppose, Your Honours, that the signatory, the assistant
14 commander, General Zdravko Tolimir, because of that fact, sent this
15 information to General Gvero because the president, I'm sure, would not
16 have informed him on his own.
17 MR. NICHOLLS:
18 Q. Well, is it the president or General Mladic and the Main Staff
19 that informs the assistant commanders about conduct of combat operations
20 around Srebrenica?
21 A. General Mladic. But you will remember that we saw documents in
22 which the president of the republic directly addresses a general in the
23 Main Staff, bypassing the commander of the Main Staff.
24 Q. Yes. And I'll show you another one of those in a few minutes.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go to 191, please?
1 Q. Sir, this document is from the 25th of July 1995, very urgent, VRS
2 Main Staff, personally to General Gvero or General Miletic. It's about
3 the agreement. It says, "Disarmament of Zepa," and I'd direct your
4 attention to the second paragraph under -- well, paragraph 2. You can see
5 this one again is by assistant commander Tolimir.
6 A. Yes, I can.
7 Q. And, sorry, if we could go up again to paragraph 1, which states,
8 personally to General Gvero and Miletic: "You have received the text of
9 the agreement," and then it goes on with the suggestions.
10 Now, from your experience, why is this? What part of this goes to
11 General Gvero's duties? What's he got to do with this document? Why is
12 he -- why is this addressed personally to him?
13 A. It was addressed personally to him because he had to be informed
14 about the proposal, that it was recommended that no general should attend
15 this meeting.
16 Q. Well, are you aware of whether General Gvero represented the VRS
17 in discussions and negotiations with UNPROFOR? Did he do that or not? Do
18 you know?
19 A. I don't know that.
20 Q. All right. Having seen this document, does it make you think that
21 for this time period, for this topic, the Zepa operation or the
22 disarmament of Zepa, was General Gvero sidelined or marginalised from that
24 A. No. That's not my impression.
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go to the next document which is in
2 e-court, sorry, I don't know what number to call up for this.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: What Is the ERN number?
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. It's 00441567, if that can bring it up.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that help you, Madam Registrar?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry. It has been assigned a number. It's
8 Q. This is a telephone conversation, record of a telephone
9 conversation, between General Nicolai and General Gvero, from the 11 July
10 1995 at 1615. Take a look at that quickly, please.
11 Now, here you can see this is a discussion about UNPROFOR air
12 support or strikes on the VRS and whether the VRS is attacking UNPROFOR
14 A. The VRS is not mentioned here at all. What I see here is the BS,
15 and there was no such army.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That is the VRS. It used to be referred to by
17 UNPROFOR as BSA at the time; but wherever you read BSA, please take it as
18 meaning VRS.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I understand, Your Honours, but
21 now I've forgotten the question. Could you please repeat it.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. It's all right because I didn't ask it yet. I was telling you
24 this, as you can see, is about discussions between General Gvero and
25 General Nicolai about UNPROFOR air support or strikes and VRS attacks
1 on -- and attacks on UNPROFOR positions. General Gvero is saying it's the
2 BiH which is making these attacks.
3 My question is: If you remember back to 11 July, how important
4 was this topic to the command of the VRS, to the Main Staff, the
5 possibility of UNPROFOR air strikes on VRS positions?
6 A. I wouldn't know.
7 Q. Why wouldn't you know? I mean, I don't understand your answer.
8 You don't remember or you don't know whether that was discussed?
9 A. I don't know, Your Honours, where the commander was on the 11th of
10 July, if you are referring to 1995. And as for the air strikes on
11 Republika Srpska and talks about that, that started on the 28th of August
12 1994, at the meeting between General Wesley Clark and General Mladic in
13 Banja Luka.
14 I attended that meeting and the topic of air strikes on the
15 Republika Srpska and its army went back to that time, and you're only
16 asking me about the 11th of July. I don't know where I was, let alone
17 where the commander was on that day.
18 Q. Well, I don't really want to go into this, but you already
19 testified you were in Han Pijesak on that day. That's when you got the
20 telephone call for the buses and then you sent out your written document
21 the next day. Remember?
22 A. Well, thank you for reminding me. That's what I said, and now I
23 can see that that's exactly how it was.
24 Q. Okay. At that time, I'll just ask this again, now that you've
25 looked at the document, even if you didn't know about it at the time, are
1 air strikes, possible air strikes on VRS positions, is that an important
2 topic or a very unimportant topic?
3 A. That was a very important topic, not only at that time but
4 throughout the whole year, up to the end of 1995, when the air strikes
5 actually escalated.
6 Q. In paragraphs 2 and 4 of this document, General Gvero says that
7 the VRS hasn't fired on any UNPROFOR positions, that it's the ABiH. Do
8 you know whether that's true or not true, that statement?
9 A. I don't know whether it's true, but I know that the army of
10 Republika Srpska did not attack UNPROFOR. But my knowledge is not
11 comprehensive, and I cannot say for sure that there are no gaps in my
13 Q. I'm going to ask you this: Do you feel you were marginalised and
14 sidelined during the Srebrenica operation?
15 A. I told you when I heard of Srebrenica. Before that, we did not
16 hear about Srebrenica. We never discussed Srebrenica at any kind of
17 meetings, either the collegium meetings or at the briefings with the
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have the next document, 02907?
21 Q. It's a telephone conversation again between General Nicolai and
22 General Gvero, 12 July 1995, the next day, at 1445.
23 A. Do I have to read all of it? I've read the first passage. Can
24 you go up a little, if you want me to read the entire document.
25 Q. This one begins -- I'll wait until you finish.
1 A. I've read it, unless there is something else lower down that I
2 can't see on the screen at the moment.
3 Q. [Microphone not activated]
4 A. Your Honours, may I ask something? Since I'm not clear on what
5 this document is, it says it's a conversation but this is not a
6 conversation. In my view, this is a report of sorts, and it says here
7 "Military Council, Lieutenant-Colonel," so on and so forth. I don't see
8 this as being a conversation.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It is a report. You're right, General. It's
10 a report by General Nicolai of a conversation he alleges to have had with
11 General Gvero.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Correct. Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. It's not a transcript, General. And as you can see from reading
14 this, it's about evacuation of the refugees from Srebrenica and ends with
15 General Gvero saying that General Nicolai's requests would be taken into
16 consideration and that he hoped General Nicolai would restrain from making
17 further unreasonable decisions.
18 The question, again, is: How does this fall within the competence
19 or duties for an assistant commander for Morale, Religion, and Legal
20 Affairs, what we see General Gvero doing in this report?
21 A. This does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Sector for Moral
22 Guidance, Religious, and Legal Affairs, and I don't know how this
23 happened. However, I would have to invest a lot of brain effort in order
24 to understand some very complex sentences here, in order to be able to
25 provide some answers to your questions based on some informed conclusions.
1 Q. I won't ask you any more about it now. Thank you. You answered
2 my question.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go to 2753, please? Now, this is --
4 that's not it. Just a minute. That's it.
5 Q. Thank you, General. This is a document from the Information
6 Service of the army of the Republika Srpska Main Staff. It's dated typed
7 at the top 10th of June, but I think we've agreed it was 10th July 1995,
8 entitled, "Srebrenica the Muslim War Trump Card." And you can see the
9 body of the text in quotes is attributed to a statement from General
11 Now, unless you insist, I won't ask to you read this entire
12 document, but were you aware of General Gvero, as part of his position,
13 issuing such statements through the Information Service during the summer
14 of 1995?
15 A. I've read the title here, and I understand the title.
16 Q. My question is: Were you aware that General Gvero would issue
17 such statements through the Main Staff Information Service as part of his
19 A. Not only General Gvero, all of us assistants issued such statement
20 when General Gvero proposed that we were able to provide such statements
21 to the commander of the Main Staff. I also gave statements to a newspaper
22 called Novi Srpska on the organisation of the army.
23 Q. Yes. I've seen that and my friends have that. Have -- you talked
24 yesterday on cross-examination about how one of the -- and on redirect,
25 questions from me, about how a positive image was important and the army
1 would -- every army would seek to put forth a positive image to the
2 international media.
3 Is that part of General Gvero's job as assistant commander for
4 Morale, Religious, and Legal Affairs?
5 A. Yes. That was part of his job, professionally, and all of us in
6 the Main Staff, as well as all of the officers of the army of Republika
7 Srpska, made sure that there was a positive image of the Republika Srpska
8 army. I believe that things like that would be more than welcome today
9 and that they should be provided for, but I'm no longer -- I don't have a
10 say in that.
11 Q. All right. I'd like you to look at the second-to-last or
12 penultimate paragraph in this document.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: It's page 3 of the B/C/S, please.
14 Q. It begins with "Our combat activities at the moment." Okay. Read
15 the three sentences of that second-to-last paragraph, please.
16 It states, "Our combat activities at the moment are directed
17 towards simply neutralising the Muslim terrorists and are in no way
18 directed against civilians or members of UNPROFOR. Some UNPROFOR members
19 for their own safety have crossed into our territory and are our guests
20 now, well sheltered and safe. The civilians from Srebrenica who wish to
21 do so can in an organised and safe manner leave the settlement."
22 A. I've read this.
23 Q. Is any of that true?
24 A. And I've also heard you reading it.
25 Q. The question is: Is any of that true?
1 A. I can't answer that question, but it's true that General Gvero
2 wrote this. That's his style. What, in fact, happened, I really can't
3 answer. Maybe even General Gvero couldn't answer.
4 Q. I won't follow that up, but -- well, have you heard what happened
5 to some of the civilians from Srebrenica? Were they all safe?
6 A. After the war, I told you I heard that some were killed, but
7 others were safe.
8 Q. And who did you hear killed the ones who were killed?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
10 MR. JOSSE: Why is this relevant to a document dated the 10th of
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Because I've asked him if these statements were
13 true. He said, at the time, he didn't know anything but now he knows.
14 I'm asking him, and he said that he learned this afterwards.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But they also have to arise from the
16 cross-examination. I suggest you move to your next question.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we have 2756 up, please?
18 Q. And you'll see, sir, that, as you alluded to, this is a
19 communication and, in fact, an order from Karadzic to General Gvero. It's
20 short, if you could read this, please. And I think for some reason there
21 were double pages in the B/C/S.
22 A. Can you scroll down a bit? I've read this page.
23 Q. Could we have the next page, which should be quite short.
24 A. I've read it.
25 Q. All right. Now, here, if I can just lead on this question, I
1 don't think there will be an objection. This shows, again, Karadzic being
2 quite upset or angry with General Gvero and his actions.
3 A. I would make the similar conclusion.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to show you now the next document, 2757,
6 and --
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, could you confirm, again, the 65 ter
8 number of the previous document?
9 MR. NICHOLLS: 2756, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE KWON: With what I see in my e-court is different from the
11 monitor, if you could check it later. You don't need to do it right now.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could, with the usher's assistance, I'd like
13 to give the witness the original because it's much clearer. In e-court
14 the stamps are illegible.
15 JUDGE KWON: It's okay now. It was the last page. I didn't
16 notice that.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Unfortunately that one had extra pages mixed in.
18 Q. What you have now, sir, that's an original document. It's
19 General Gvero's response to General Karadzic's order, which we just saw a
20 moment ago.
21 It states, "To the president of the RS Pale. Subject, your highly
22 confidential document.
23 "I have carried out all the activities mentioned in your document
24 as ordered by my immediate superior, the commander of the VRS Main Staff.
25 All the activities were carried out and motivated by the need for the
1 fight of the Serbian people and army to be successful, as can be seen from
2 the success of the VRS in Srebrenica, Zepa, and other fronts."
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We are trying to stop this. I don't know exactly
4 what it is but it might take some time.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's proceed.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
8 And if I could just make a note for the record for Your Honours'
9 information, if you look at what's in e-court, it's very difficult to read
10 the received stamp in the B/C/S, because unfortunately a stamp, an ICTY
11 stamp on the back side bleeds through; in fact, the original which I've
12 handed to the general shows that what is in the English is correct.
13 The reason it's important is the number of the document on the
14 received stamp, 011391-1/95, matches the Karadzic letter to General Gvero
15 which we just looked at, 2756.
16 Q. Have you had a chance to read through that short response by
17 General Gvero?
18 A. Yes, I've read it.
19 Q. You said yesterday on cross-examination that -- I think your words
20 were to protect something General Gvero from Dr. Karadzic. Mladic
21 sidelined him and pushed him aside and didn't have him involved in things.
22 This response from General Gvero shows -- does it show that or does it
23 show just the opposite, that what General Gvero did he was ordered by
24 General Mladic and that is exactly what was upsetting Dr. Karadzic?
25 A. Your Honours, could the question be put more simply and more
1 understandably to me, or maybe could it be broken down into several simple
2 questions? I can't answer ad hoc, off the top of my head. But if you
3 want me to, I can tell you what I think of this document.
4 Q. I agree with you. That was a terrible question. Let me ask awe
5 different question. You commented on what the document shown to you
6 yesterday by my friend showed. It talked about Karadzic being upset with
7 General Gvero. Can you read this document -- you've read this document.
8 Comment on it, tell me what it shows about that conflict?
9 A. Yes. Regarding the previous document, as far as I remember it -
10 and I'm sorry to say that but my head is full of those documents - it had
11 to do with informing the public. And, in that area, they really had a lot
12 of conflicts.
13 That document shows that General Gvero is trying to remain polite,
14 but he is angry as well, and he's acting basically in the same way as the
15 president. According to regulations, he should not be addressing the
16 president like this. He should have done that through the commander of
17 the Main Staff, and the president should also have gone through the
18 commander of the Main Staff.
19 Q. Well, that may be, but, as you saw, the president ordered him to
20 respond, so I don't think we can be critical of that. But my point is, do
21 you see here --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
23 MR. JOSSE: That comment is just not fair.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Agreed. Please, Mr. Nicholls, refrain from such
25 comments, which are unnecessary in any case.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise.
2 Q. Does this response by General Gvero, when you read that, does that
3 show that he was marginalised and sidelined by General Mladic, to you?
4 A. I believe this question has nothing to do with it.
5 Q. Well, so it doesn't say anything to you about that?
6 A. What the document tells me is that he was sidelined.
7 Q. How is that? Can you explain that?
8 A. Again, the president is addressing him directly, and I said that
9 General Mladic had sidelined General Gvero to protect him from such
10 actions. General Gvero not only acted in this way but left a written
11 trace of irregularly addressing the president -- or rather, the president
12 left a written trace of irregularly addressing the general.
13 Q. You talked a little bit about how General Gvero distributed
14 pamphlets about cooperating, complying with the Geneva Conventions and the
15 laws of war that came from the ICRC. Do you know if he distributed any of
16 those pamphlets to the Drina Corps and the Zvornik Brigade before July in
18 A. Thank you, Prosecutor, sir, for giving me the exact term for these
19 pamphlets. I'm not aware, though, whether they were distributed to the
20 Drina Corps. I saw them at the 2nd Krajina Corps.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Josse?
23 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, Mr. Krgovic and I would like an
24 opportunity to talk to General Gvero, who has sent Mr. Krgovic a large
25 number of notes in the last hour or so, before Mr. Krgovic decides whether
1 he wishes to ask any further questions in the light of Your Honour's
2 previous rulings.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. By all means, Mr. Josse, shall we have a
5 MR. JOSSE: Well, If I'm going to participate in the conversation
6 we do need to have a break, because we will need to ask a translator to
7 come up here, and it becomes really quite a cumbersome affair. We will
8 need at least ten minutes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll have a ten minute break.
10 MR. JOSSE: Could I ask for 15.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's almost time for the break. In any case, we
12 would the 25 minute break in 15 minutes times.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll have a break of 15 minutes, then we see
15 what happens after that and subsequently adjourn. There being nothing
16 else on your table today.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.33 a.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
22 MR. JOSSE: Well, Mr. Krgovic is going to ask leave to answer any
23 further questions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 MR. JOSSE: I'm simply on my feet, if in due course there is a
1 procedural objection, I am going to deal dole with that, that's the
2 division of our labour, but Mr. Krgovic is going to continue with the
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for that information.
5 Mr. Krgovic, what are you going to address? Why do you want to
6 ask additional questions?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted to ask a few
8 questions regarding the documents just presented by the Prosecutor, who
9 asked the witness to put forth certain positions and interpret them,
10 because I had not discussed those documents with the witness, nor did I
11 show those documents in my cross-examination.
12 And in view of the fact that the Prosecutor cross-examined on
13 these documents, I would like to ask a few questions on them, and I will
14 deal exclusively with these documents. They are the ones the Prosecution
15 showed in redirect.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comments on that, Mr. Nicholls?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I think simply the fact that documents are shown to
18 a witness on redirect, documents which have been disclosed and which are
19 available to the Defence, does not necessarily justify re-examining
20 because I think the topics I redirected on, except for when the Trial
21 Chamber told me to move on, were all completely foreseeable and grew out
22 of the cross-examination. So I honestly don't see the need for it, but I
23 suppose I would have to wait and see what the question is.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's the -- I was just going to comment in
25 reply to what you just stated, that basically that leads to the conclusion
1 that first we see what the questions are and then we decide whether to
2 allow them or not.
3 That's provided my colleagues are in agreement, and my colleagues
4 are in agreement.
5 So Mr. Krgovic, please proceed and we will tell you when to stop,
6 if at all.
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
9 Exhibit 65 ter 2757?
10 Q. General, the Prosecution has shown you this document already.
11 Please look at it again. You had not seen the document before that, had
13 A. Before what? I just saw it.
14 Q. I meant before today.
15 A. Right. Your Honours, am I allowed to answer these questions,
16 because I understood I need your permission.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. We will tell you when we don't want you
18 to answer any of the questions.
19 Yes, go ahead.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. The Prosecutor asked to you explain why you believed this document
22 shows that General Gvero was marginalised, and now I want to ask you
23 directly: In this document, we see a general formulation wherein General
24 Gvero covers himself by superior authority without going into any detail?
25 A. What's the question?
1 Q. Do we see from this document that General Gvero covers himself by
2 the superior authority of the Main Staff to protect himself from President
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Because on the 16th of July 1995, there are no military successes
6 in Zepa.
7 A. I really don't understand the question. What are you asking me?
8 I know hardly anything about Zepa.
9 Q. Do you know that everything that happened in Zepa was far later
10 than this date, the 16th of July?
11 A. I don't know. I can't answer that.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] We won't need this document any
14 longer. Can we show the witness Exhibit 65 ter 2753?
15 Q. General, this document --
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the last page, please?
17 Q. It's a document emanating from the Information Service of the Main
18 Staff of the VRS. It is, in fact, a communique?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And, in fact, it presents the position of the army of Republika
21 Srpska on these issues, as formulated in this body?
22 A. I believe it presents the position of General Gvero and, through
23 him, maybe the position of the army of Republika Srpska. Could you please
24 bring back the first page, which begins with a quotation? That's how I
25 understood it.
1 Yes. "Made the following statement," then quotation marks;
2 although, there is no quotation mark to indicate the end of the quotation.
3 So we don't see where the statement of General Gvero ends and where the
4 body of the text issued by the information service begins.
5 Q. Thank you, General.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness, please,
7 Exhibit --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, sorry, just to assist, I don't know
10 if my friend wants to clear this up. It might be blurred here, but there
11 is an end quotation mark. I just want the record to be clear on the face
12 of the document.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic?
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown the last
16 Q. Do you see it?
17 A. Mr. Krgovic, I have the same document. Is that what you mean?
18 Yes, I see it.
19 Q. There is either an end quotation mark or it's another mark.
20 A. Yes, it's a quotation mark: "Their advisers from an Islamic
21 headquarters are the same," end quotation mark.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we show the Exhibit 65 ter --
23 ERN 00441567.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Do you have the 65 ter number?
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] 2906.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] A bit further below.
3 Q. General, look at the last paragraph. General Gvero responds to
4 General Nicolai that he cannot and does not have to stop anything. Does
5 this show that General Gvero has no powers whatsoever, and that he is
6 marginalised in all these events?
7 A. De facto, he has no power.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
9 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we read the whole sentence, please, because
11 it changes -- I won't comment.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. General, have you identified the paragraph to
13 which Mr. Krgovic referred you to?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, do you want me to
15 read the whole passage aloud?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. You don't need to do that. Read it for
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Your question, Mr. Krgovic, please.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. My question was this: You can see from this passage that General
22 Gvero couldn't and was not in a position to stop anything; in other words,
23 he was -- did not have the authority to stop anything on his own. Would
24 that arise from this passage?
25 A. Yes, it would to me, just as it would to you. It says
1 categorically here that he can't and he doesn't have to.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I take this
4 opportunity in this document to tell you something, to give you some more
5 details? You told me that this abbreviation, VBS [as interpreted], means
6 the army of Bosnian Serbs, and that is the army of Republika Srpska, and I
7 have taken that into consideration, but let me say, Your Honours, that the
8 army of Republika Srpska was not the army of Bosnian Serbs. There were
9 Muslims and Croats as members of the VRS, both in the professional as well
10 as in the military ranks.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Don't worry about that, General.
12 Mr. Krgovic, your next question.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
14 Exhibit number P02907? I apologise. Very well, yes. Go down a little,
15 please. Can we see the next page of the document?
16 Q. Could you please read the document for yourself? Here General
17 Gvero again insisted on a meeting.
18 A. I'm reading. I've read it. Just that passage?
19 Q. Yes, only that passage. It arises from this passage that General
20 Gvero invokes all the decisions and actually directs the events to General
21 Mladic and an agreement that should have been reached by these persons.
22 Would that arise from this document?
23 A. Yes, precisely so.
24 Q. And that the authorised persons should discuss everything and
25 agree on everything. In practical terms, he only conveys the information
1 and refers to the person who should be the decision-maker?
2 A. And this is confirmed by the military adviser and the Chief of
3 Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel de Ruiter. He confirms this in this document.
4 Q. General, sir, you've seen quite a lot of these documents. I don't
5 want to go through all of them again; but the few documents that I have
6 just shown you, do they make you stick to your impression that General
7 Gvero did not have an important position, that he did not have a lot of
8 influence, and that he was marginalised in all of these developments
9 starting with spring 1995 to the end of the war?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment before you answer that question.
11 Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Just procedurally, Your Honour, I think that
13 question is not a legitimate question for recross. That's something that
14 was dealt with extensively on cross. I talked about it on redirect. I
15 think he is now just trying to go back to that same topic in general; and,
16 although he's referencing these documents, I don't think that question
17 arises from my redirect.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you need to reply to that,
19 Mr. Krgovic. I mean, it's true that the question, the issue was dealt
20 with on cross-examination, but it's being redealt with because you dealt
21 with the same issue based on these documents, and he's referring the
22 question to the witness based on these documents.
23 So let's proceed and conclude, please.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would not change anything in my
25 testimony. I adhere to everything that I have said so far.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. Thank you, Your
2 Honours. I have no further questions for this witness.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
4 I have just one question for you.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE AGIUS: General, were you present or did you attend the
7 farewell party for General Zivanovic in July 1995?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And you were present also during the speeches made
10 on that occasion?
11 A. I was there throughout the meeting.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 We don't have any further questions, which means you are free to
14 go. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, my colleagues, Judge Kwon, Judge
15 Prost, Judge Stole, and myself, of course, I wish to thank you for having
16 come over to give testimony; and on behalf of everyone, we wish you, I
17 wish you a safe journey back home.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, documents. Mr. Nicholls, a list has been
22 distributed. I just want to make sure, first and foremost, that this has
23 been circulated amongst the Defence teams.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: It has, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: No changes to the list.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No changes. All these documents have been
3 translated into English?
4 MR. NICHOLLS: You're correct, Your Honour. 2902 has a
5 translation pending, so that one would need to just be marked.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Any objections?
7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, excuse me, because I'm looking at this
8 list as I address the Chamber, but the last two entries, 2906 and 2907,
9 clearly they are going to be adduced through General Nicolai, who is due
10 to give evidence in this case. My only observation is, in keeping the
11 previous decision in relation to intercepts, I'm wondering if these should
12 be marked for identification. I accept that they are not intercepts as
13 such. There is an accompanying intercept document, however.
14 That's the point and extent, and the Prosecution used these to
15 corroborate the intercept. If I've misunderstood the point, then no doubt
16 my learned friends will put me right. But I thought both these
17 conversations had been intercepted; and, in addition to that, these are
18 notes from aids of General Nicolai. I thought Your Honour said to the
19 witness they were General Nicolai's notes. Technically, they are not.
20 They were the aide of another senior UNPROFOR officer.
21 And in keeping with previous decision, we wonder whether these
22 should be marked for identification. Bearing in mind previous rulings in
23 relation to knowledge of witnesses and documents put to them, we can no
24 longer object on the basis that the witness knew nothing about them. So
25 I'm not pursuing that line of objection; and, any way, I recognise,
1 subject to the intercept point, these are going to be admitted into
2 evidence sooner or later.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Josse.
4 Mr. Nicholls?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't think anything he said is a reason not to
6 introduce them now. They were used by both parties. The fact that they
7 have corroborative value for intercepts doesn't mean that they shouldn't
8 be introduced now, neither the fact that later on we will be calling
9 another witness to talk about these documents. I think they were -- they
10 were properly used, properly tendered, and should be admitted now. The
11 fact that they have other value with the intercepts is neither here nor
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse and Mr. Nicholls, of course, the question,
16 as it might relate to the intercepts, that may be relevant for the purpose
17 of these documents or vice versa. That will remain unprejudiced of
18 course, but we see no reason for not admitting these documents now. And
19 they will, of course, be admitted, unless we hear other objections on a
20 different ground.
21 Any other objections in relation to the other documents? None.
22 So all these documents will be admitted with the understanding that P02902
23 will be marked for identification pending translation thereof.
24 Miletic team, Madam Fauveau or Mr. Petrusic? You have four
25 documents here, two of which have not yet been translated. Any objections
1 on the part of the Prosecution? We are talking of 5D431, 5DIC 147, 5DIC
2 148, and 5D447.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Any objection from the Defence teams, other
5 Defence teams? None. So number 1 and number 4, that's 5D431 and 5D447,
6 will be marked for identification pending translation thereof. The other
7 two are being admitted.
8 Gvero Defence team?
9 MR. JOSSE: Let me help as I look at this. Again, Your Honour,
10 excuse me, I've not prepared this as I might have done, but 6DP 2905, as
11 far as I can make out, has just been admitted as P02905, so that should
12 come off the list. They have the same ERN number, and they were used by
13 both parties. It's the extract from Dr. Karadzic's appointment calendar.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes. Okay. You are right.
15 MR. JOSSE: So far as the five pamphlets issued by the ICRC are
16 concerned, we have sent those for a complete translation as we feel that
17 is necessary in order for them to be admitted properly into evidence.
18 What we propose to do, as our schedule makes clear, is give them new
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
21 MR. JOSSE: That's already been done. I'm sorry. I'm looking at
22 the updated list prepared by our case manager. That's already been done,
23 but they will need to be marked for identification at this stage because
24 they haven't yet been translated. So they go from 6D148 through to 6D154.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
1 MR. JOSSE: The other documents speak for themselves.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The first one, 6D137, hasn't that been admitted or
3 tendered by the Prosecution already?
4 MR. JOSSE: We think that's a different document to the
5 Karadzic-Gvero collection that has been tendered hitherto.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: If that is so, let's not waste time on it. I just
7 drew your attention to that.
8 Any objection on the part of the Prosecution to the admission of
9 any of these documents?
10 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection on the part of the other Defence
14 teams? None.
15 So let's start with the first one, 6D137, it is being admitted.
16 6D148 to 6D154, both numbers included, they will be marked for
17 identification pending translation. 6D147 is being admitted. And what
18 you indicated as 6D5D438 should have another number which will be
19 6DIC 149.
20 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And it is also being admitted. All right.
22 Any other Defence team? I don't imagine so. I don't think so.
23 All right. That concludes the testimony of Petar Skrbic.
24 Now, where do we stand? I understand that Mr. Blaszczyk is not
25 available today.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I apologise. I won't go into what was discussed
2 earlier about the schedule for this week. We had anticipated that another
3 witness would be starting today, and Mr. Blaszczyk is not available
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Will he be available tomorrow?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't believe so, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And any news about the other witness who was
8 supposed to start today and is unwell?
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I will have to check on that, Your Honour. I don't
10 have anything new to tell you at the moment.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And we spoke yesterday of, unless it has been filed
12 in the meantime, another motion to include amongst the protective measures
13 also the closed session.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. If it has not been, it will be filed
15 immediately, I believe.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyone of the Defence team wishes to comment?
17 MR. JOSSE: As Your Honour knows, Mr. Haynes is very much dealing
18 with this. He's forwarded some correspondence on the subject to other
19 counsel in the case, and he's really the man who needs to address the
20 issue to the Chamber.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Since we are not privy to that kind of,
22 correspondence, therefore, we need to ask questions. Let's leave it like
23 this: You will check again if Mr. Blaszczyk is available for tomorrow; in
24 which case, you will inform us forthwith and also the Defence teams; and
25 in which case, of course, we will hear his testimony tomorrow.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Otherwise, we stand adjourned
3 until Monday, but we would prefer to sit tomorrow to hear the testimony of
4 Mr. Blaszczyk if he's available.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.07 a.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 24th day of
9 September 2007, at 9.00 a.m.