Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 17521

 1                          Tuesday, 6 November 2007

 2                          [Open session]

 3                          [The accused entered court]

 4                          [The witness entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.

 6            JUDGE AGIUS:  Good afternoon, Madam Registrar.  If you could call

 7    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.  All the accused are here.  From

11    the Defence teams I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Bourgon, and

12    Mr. Haynes.  Prosecution it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.

13            The witness is here.  We are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis

14    today.  Judge Stole needed to fly urgently to Norway, and he will be with

15    us tomorrow.  He couldn't be with us today.  So, yes, Mr. Thayer?

16            Good afternoon to you, General.

17            THE WITNESS:  Good afternoon.

18            JUDGE AGIUS:  We are proceeding with the examination-in-chief.

19            MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good afternoon to you and

20    Your Honours, good afternoon everyone.

21                          WITNESS:  RUPERT ANTHONY SMITH [Resumed]

22                          Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]

23       Q.   Good afternoon, General.

24       A.   Good afternoon.

25       Q.   May we just look at 65 ter 2941 again very briefly?  This is the

Page 17522

 1    report of the meeting on 13 July with Prime Minister Silajdzic, and if we

 2    could turn to page 2 of the English and page 3 of the B/C/S.

 3            Okay.  Do you have the document in front of you, General?

 4       A.   Yes.

 5       Q.   And if we could scroll down to the bottom of the page, the

 6    signature on this report is EL Bliss.  Who is that, sir?

 7       A.   Captain Emma Bliss.  She was a member of my staff.  She was a

 8    Serbo-Croat speaker.

 9       Q.   Thank you, General.  That's all for that document.  Thank you.

10    Now, again we're still on the 13th of July.  You've arrived back in

11    Sarajevo from leave.  You've met with the Prime Minister.  Processing the

12    information you've received, would you briefly share with the Trial

13    Chamber what were your primary concerns as a result of the taking of the

14    safe area and what were the options that you saw ahead of you?

15       A.   My first concerns were to do with the refugees, and the hostages

16    of the Dutch unit that were being held, and the Dutch Battalion in -- that

17    was still in Srebrenica.  In seeking to deal with those, one was also very

18    concerned to establish just what had happened, and I don't think I'd

19    formed this sort of view then and there, when these thoughts had started

20    to form after I'd been called off leave and as we -- I'd been travelling

21    for some time.

22            I recall that I had -- I thought there was -- that we must

23    understand this as a catastrophe in the first instance for all those

24    people, but secondly, for the United Nations and what it stood for and so

25    on.  And one could do what one could in the circumstances to ameliorate

Page 17523

 1    the consequences of the catastrophe for the refugees.  The -- and to

 2    extract the soldiers from the place and so forth.  But there was a bigger

 3    picture, a bigger issue at stake.  And apart from getting on with dealing

 4    with that amelioration, I think I can remember that I laid out in front

 5    of -- whether it was that night or very shortly afterwards, I can't

 6    recall, a -- I wrote out on a piece of paper that we had certain courses

 7    of action before us.

 8            We could -- essentially they involved making a decision at

 9    Security Council level, the level at which troops were contributed to this

10    venture, as to whether we were going to fight about this or not.  And in

11    any event, there was no way we were going to fight about it in our current

12    circumstances.  And I think I had three alternatives before -- that I

13    reckoned were practical to pursue.  The first was just to accept where we

14    were and do what we could to ameliorate the situation.  I recall calling

15    that lying back and taking it.  And then there were two other alternatives

16    and I can't remember quite how I those out, but they both involved greater

17    or lesser degree of being prepared to have a fight over these issues.

18       Q.   Okay, General.  Well, let's -- and I'll have to remind myself

19    mostly to slow down and leave a pause between my question or your answer

20    and my next question.  Let's look at PIC 00181.

21            And if we could go to page 2 of the English, please.  And that is

22    also page 2 of the B/C/S.

23            And again, General, I have a hard copy if that's easier?

24       A.   I would find that easier to read, I think.

25       Q.   Okay.  General, what is this document?

Page 17524

 1       A.   Just -- it's one that I would have written -- that I wrote, and I

 2    suppose we might describe this as me clearing my mind, if you like, at the

 3    end of a very long, almost 48 hour day.  And I'm setting out, if I could

 4    interpret it as I read rapidly through it, what I think the situation is,

 5    what the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnians are both setting out to do, and in

 6    the immediate -- the discussions I've had already with the Prime Minister

 7    and so forth.  I'm -- you can see if we turn the page to paragraph 4 --

 8       Q.   That's on page 3 of the B/C/S.

 9       A.   That I'm concerned that the -- that we have this battalion with

10    its commanding officer, a DutchBat, stuck with no one there to support him

11    or help him, and he shouldn't be the person dealing with the Serbs about

12    his own extraction or his, as I think -- I can't find it now, but I seem

13    to remember using the phrase, he's talking from the jail.  But I may not

14    have done it in this document.

15       Q.   Actually, General, it's right there in paragraph 4.  Take your

16    time, please.

17       A.   I've got it, yes, third, fourth line, yes.

18       Q.   Well, let's --

19       A.   And then we come to that bit where I'm laying out the broad

20    options open to us.

21       Q.   Well, let's start with the portion you just referred to where it

22    says the CO of DutchBat must not be left to deal on his own account.  He

23    is talking from the jail.

24            First of all, what did you mean by that and second, what if

25    anything did you try to do so that he would not be talking from the jail?

Page 17525

 1       A.   What I meant by it was that he is stuck sitting in Potocari

 2    surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces, he is in no way in control of his own

 3    circumstances anymore, and it isn't a very good position to be negotiating

 4    for your extraction, particularly if you -- he's still got some 30 men

 5    held hostage.  And my -- my argument was that some other agency should be

 6    supporting him and it wasn't me either because it was obvious that I

 7    owned -- I was as much in the jail as he was in these circumstances, and

 8    that the right level at which this should have been -- be dealt with was

 9    at the very least at Zagreb and if not, Mr. Bildt and higher levels than

10    that, not least because they too had been engaged with extracting the

11    hostages after the May bombing.

12       Q.   And were steps taken to involve people at those high levels?

13       A.   Very much so, within a day, I'm on my way to Belgrade to -- for a

14    meeting, I think took place on the 15th, where Mr. Akashi and Mr. Bildt

15    were involved with just such conversation.

16       Q.   Okay.  And we will talk about that meeting in a little while.

17    Let's -- if we might look at page 2 of this document.  It's actually the

18    first page of your memo but page 2 of the document in e-court.  And that's

19    also page 2 of the B/C/S.  If we look at paragraph 1, I think as you've

20    testified before, you saw the document, you note two immediate matters,

21    the reception and care of the refugees and the recovery of DutchBat, along

22    with its weapons and equipment.

23            You provide an assessment at paragraph 2(A) that the VRS is intent

24    on moving fast to present a fait accompli, they wish to remove the

25    enclaves among other things to free their rear area, to provide troops for

Page 17526

 1    a decisive blow and possibly to counter the rapid reaction force.  And

 2    then you refer in subparagraph (B) to the Bosnians and their actions, and

 3    I think you talked a little bit about that yesterday with respect to the

 4    Tuzla air base.  Now, paragraph 3, General, you state that the Bosnian

 5    Serbs are cleansing Srebrenica, DutchBat are doing what they can to

 6    monitor the situation but reports of abductions and murder unconfirmed as

 7    yet are beginning to be heard, men of military age are being separated

 8    from the refugees.

 9            I note that this is in the third paragraph of your memo and the

10    question arises, why weren't these reports of atrocities among the top two

11    immediate priorities and what steps did you take to follow up on these

12    reports of atrocities?

13       A.   The reason that things were being dealt with in that order is that

14    the immediate problems were the refugees and so forth, dealing with them

15    would potentially reduce the potential for other atrocities, and the -- I

16    wasn't really in a position to do much about finding out about these

17    atrocities.  I had no investigative capability whatsoever and so forth.

18            The -- secondly, you could expect a degree of allegation and

19    counterallegation in these circumstances, and this was an enormous affair.

20    This wasn't something we were regrettably familiar with of a small hamlet

21    or something being attacked and the people being moved out.  Even in those

22    cases there were allegations and counterallegations, and we could perhaps

23    do something about it.  Here, the event was very nearly overwhelming.  It

24    had overwhelmed DutchBat and the UN in Srebrenica, and it was fast

25    becoming very nearly overwhelming of the organisation as a whole.

Page 17527

 1       Q.   If we turn to the last page of the English, which is page 4 of the

 2    document, General, and look at paragraph 7, and that's on page 6 of the

 3    B/C/S, you say that in the immediate future the need for a UNHCR/CA, I

 4    presume that's civil affairs?

 5       A.   Yes, I think it was.

 6       Q.   Reinforcements to grip the refugee crises and high level advocate

 7    for DutchBat are critical.  The reference to UNHCR and civil affairs, is

 8    that the recce party and the efforts you were taking with respect to

 9    assessing the situation at the Tuzla air base that you referred to

10    yesterday, General?

11       A.   Yes.  I could direct and have my hand on elements of civil affairs

12    that were in my own headquarters and were directly associated with my

13    command.  I had no direct control or command over the UNHCR elements.

14    Nevertheless, those that were directly associated with us in Sarajevo and

15    Bosnia tended to conform with my wishes, but they were not going to be

16    able to do very much if they didn't have the active support of UNHCR and

17    civil affairs at higher levels within the organisation and that was a

18    completely outside my hand.  And those are the people I'm referring to in

19    this paragraph.

20       Q.   Okay.  And how about getting NGOs into Srebrenica itself?  Was

21    that something that you were considering at this point?

22       A.   No.  I don't recall precisely the steps in this -- in this event

23    in regards to UNHCR, Medecins Sans Frontieres and others, but with the

24    collapse in the pocket and the movement by the Bosnian Serbs of the

25    refugees out and into -- of Srebrenica and into central Bosnia, then those

Page 17528

 1    agencies needed to go where the people were, not where they -- where the

 2    people were actually going rather than where they had been.

 3       Q.   And at this point, to what extent was the fate of the men that

 4    you'd been hearing reports about being placed on buses and taken elsewhere

 5    part of your thinking, and if it was part of your thinking, was trying to

 6    identify their location something that you were working on at this point?

 7       A.   We, at this stage, and I'm not sure whether I mention it in this

 8    document, but at somewhere around this point, I understand that we have --

 9    there are some 2.000 men unaccounted for that had been taken to somewhere

10    in the vicinity of Bratunac.  I don't seem to have said it in this

11    document and maybe I didn't understand that until hours later or the next

12    day.  I don't recall.  These were known to have been or believed to have

13    been taken to Bratunac.  The balance of those who had been defending the

14    pocket, beyond having a recognition that they may have broken out, I don't

15    think I even, as it were, had that confirmed at this stage.

16       Q.   Okay.  Let's spend just a little bit more time discussing the

17    assessment of the situation that you provided here and what the options

18    were that you understood, and I don't want to take you through all of

19    paragraph 5.  Let's just look at paragraph 6, if we could, and that's page

20    3 of the English and page 5 of the B/C/S.

21            You state, "As to which to choose, I suggest, if the BSA continues

22    to move at their current speed and particularly if they hold DutchBat as

23    hostages, paragraph A will be chosen for us.  If we have more time then we

24    must decide whether or not we wish to fight a war.  If we do, it should be

25    for a greater aim than the defence of an enclave.

Page 17529

 1            "Furthermore, appropriate forces must be deployed and we must

 2    remove the white and vulnerable elements of UNPROFOR or we will continue

 3    to have hostages to fortune.  If we are not prepared to fight and escalate

 4    to achieve a desired end, then we must face the harsh and unforgiving

 5    truth that short of a peace settlement we must settle for either options 5

 6    A or B."

 7            When you talk about, "If we have more time then we must decide

 8    whether or not we wish to fight a war," what do you mean by that here,

 9    General?

10       A.   This is part of -- you must understand this is linked to other

11    debates that had been going on during the period from, I suppose, about

12    April.  And I am saying that we keep being told we, UNPROFOR, keep being

13    told to achieve something in the face of people who are prepared to fight

14    about it.  And unless we, and in particular our contributing nations and

15    the Security Council, are prepared to fight, then we're not going to

16    achieve the objectives we have been set.  And this is taking that

17    argument, as it were, and putting it in this particular set of

18    circumstances.

19       Q.   And when you refer to removing the white and vulnerable elements

20    of UNPROFOR, what do you mean by that?

21       A.   Well, all of the UN, again I address this slightly yesterday, were

22    deployed and understood to be part of a peacekeeping mission in the form

23    and texture, if you like, of the -- those that had been held in, for

24    example, Cyprus or other places.  Where the UN were definitely not part of

25    making something happen, they were identifiably different, they were in

Page 17530

 1    white vehicles and blue berets to show everyone so.

 2            Here, we had deployed in those bases and then had become hostages

 3    to fortune.  We were undefended in range of artillery fire which was fired

 4    at us.  Our positions were attacked and easily identifiable and so on and

 5    so forth.  If we were going to transition from that idea of peacekeeping,

 6    which manifestly wasn't working, then we had to stop being in our white

 7    vehicles and blue berets and start to behave as though we meant to fight.

 8       Q.   Okay.  I think we're done with this document, thank you.

 9            You mentioned a meeting that was held in Belgrade within a day or

10    so of you writing this memo.  Can you describe the circumstances of that

11    meeting, who was there and what happened?

12       A.   Late, I think it was on the day after this, like I had gone to

13    bed, we were contacted by Mr. Bildt in Belgrade and asked if I could get

14    to a meeting in Belgrade by mid-day on the 15th, which if I've got my

15    dates correct was the Saturday.  And so we set out to do that.  And we got

16    there, and with us at the meeting, of which I don't remember everybody,

17    but there was President Milosevic and General Mladic, there was Bildt,

18    Akashi, myself, General De La Presle, a plan called General Elliot, who

19    was the military adviser to De La Presle, there was at least one other

20    diplomat but those I think were the main players.

21       Q.   And who is General De La Presle, sir?

22       A.   General De La Presle was an ex-force commander, a French general.

23    I believe he'd retired by that stage, if my memory is correct but he was

24    acting as the military adviser to the EU mission, I think.  I think --

25    that's what I think he was doing.

Page 17531

 1       Q.   I'm sorry to interrupt, but if could you describe what happened in

 2    the meeting, what the purpose of the meeting was?

 3       A.   The meeting was always a consequence of Srebrenica.  The purpose

 4    of it was to, as I understood, is in the first instance to recover the

 5    Dutch Battalion and make all those arrangements, but, secondly, was to

 6    re-establish the UNPROFOR's position vis-a-vis the Bosnian Serbs and to

 7    get some form of modus operandi on the -- because it had quite manifestly

 8    broken down.

 9       Q.   Okay.  May we look at 65 ter 2942, please?  We are just waiting

10    for the B/C/S, General, to -- there we go.

11            If we look at the middle of this main paragraph on page 1, it

12    refers to an informal agreement being reached and that would be confirmed

13    at a meeting scheduled for the 19th of July, and then it goes on to state

14    that in view of the highly sensitive nature of the presence of Mladic at

15    the meeting, it was agreed by all participants that this fact should not

16    be mentioned at all in public.  And let me ask you the obvious question,

17    why was that a sensitive issue and perhaps a related question is what did

18    Slobodan Milosevic have to do with anything here?

19       A.   Well, that's essentially the answer for the first part, first bit

20    of your question.  The -- it was the fact that you had the commander of

21    the Bosnian Serb army sitting there in Belgrade with the president of

22    Serbia, and the connections between Belgrade and the Bosnian Serbs weren't

23    something that was, as it were, of general knowledge, I don't think, and

24    certainly neither the president Milosevic or Mladic wanted it to be

25    declared any more by such a meeting becoming obvious.

Page 17532

 1       Q.   And what role, if any, did any friction or tension between the

 2    Bosnian Serb civilian leadership and the Bosnian Serb military leadership

 3    play in this desire to keep President Milosevic's role a secret?

 4       A.   I don't -- I don't remember that being discussed.  That was

 5    clearly -- is clearly part of this sensitivity, but I don't remember that

 6    being discussed at this meeting.  In fact, the fact that it was sensitive

 7    was obvious to everybody and it wasn't -- didn't need discussion.

 8       Q.   If we could turn to page 2 of the document, in English, and it's

 9    also page 2 of the B/C/S, under the heading, "Srebrenica," General, there

10    is reference to the first item being full access to the area for UNHCR and

11    ICRC.  Was this an item that you discussed at this meeting, General?

12       A.   I perhaps should have said in earlier to answer an earlier

13    question, the meeting fell into two separate meetings.  I, or rather

14    General Mladic, was sent away by Milosevic and -- with me, to go and

15    discuss these details, which was essentially all about Srebrenica.  And

16    the broader issues were debated by the others separately.

17            And so all of what is under that heading is essentially what was

18    agreed in outline between Mladic and I, over the space of a couple of

19    hours, as I recall, and we were to meet again on that day to -- which is,

20    I think it was the 19th, to confirm that what we had agreed was practical

21    and doable and so forth.  And indeed, that's broadly what happened.  But

22    except that we never did get the access for ICRC and the others.

23       Q.   Now, if we just run briefly through these other items, there is a

24    reference to UNPROFOR resupply, the withdrawal of DutchBat to be scheduled

25    for the 21st, to be observed by yourself and General Mladic, and then ICRC

Page 17533

 1    to have immediate access to POWs.  Were those the items that you recall

 2    discussing, General?

 3       A.   Yes.  Those were all broadly the issues we discussed.  There were

 4    others, about whether I should be in charge of any air forces and should

 5    use them and so on and so forth, in the debate with Mladic, but you can

 6    see from the list, including the others in the heading, that the burden,

 7    the overall burden, is of course Srebrenica but underpinning the whole

 8    thing is to re-establish UN freedom of movement to be able to supply these

 9    enclaves, which was our primary purpose, and that runs through, it's all

10    about freedom of movement in practice.

11       Q.   Okay.  If we go to the last page of the document, which is page 3

12    of the B/C/S, it's not the last page of the B/C/S but page 3 of the B/C/S,

13    under coordination meetings, there is a reference to UNHCR to meet with

14    General Gvero 1200 hours Sunday, the 16th of July, at the Jahorina hotel.

15    Do you recall whether General Gvero, in fact, had such a meeting with

16    UNHCR or any other NGO on or about that date, the 16th?

17       A.   Yes, I believe these meetings took place.  I certainly don't

18    recall anyone telling me they didn't.  Yes, I think they took place.

19       Q.   And then the very last line there refers to this meeting which

20    you've already testified about, but at a location between Han Pijesak and

21    Sokolac?

22       A.   Yes.

23       Q.   Okay.  If we could have 65 ter number 2943, please?  And if we

24    just look at the -- if we scroll down on the B/C/S just a little bit, the

25    middle portion or the middle paragraph there refers to General Nicolai

Page 17534

 1    being present to supervise the withdrawal of DutchBat.  Do you recall

 2    whether he in fact was present there on the 21st?

 3       A.   Yes.  It's a -- it's a change from the original document where I

 4    was to do it, but by that time, we already knew I had to be in London for

 5    the London Conference, so the Chief of Staff went instead of me and to the

 6    best of my memory, he went and did that job and saw them away.

 7       Q.   And if we turn the page, please, to page 2 of the English, and I

 8    think we'll need to change -- go to page 2 of the B/C/S as well, the

 9    report here refers to this meeting on the 19th of July at the Jela

10    restaurant at Han-Kram.  Do you remember that location, sir, the Jela

11    restaurant?

12       A.   Yes, do I.

13       Q.   In fact, you were to have more than one meeting there; is that

14    correct?

15       A.   Yes, yes.

16       Q.   Okay.  And we note here that it's Mladic, Tolimir, and

17    Lieutenant-Colonel Indjic, who I think you've already talked about.

18       A.   Yeah.

19       Q.   Let's just move through -- I don't think we need to discuss the

20    agreement.  I think you've already covered that pretty adequately,

21    thoroughly.  If we go to page 2 of the English, and we'll have to turn the

22    next page of the B/C/S as well -- and I'm sorry, yes, it's actually going

23    to be page 3 of the English, page 2 of the report, sorry.  And if we can

24    scroll down, there's a subheading of "Srebrenica."

25            JUDGE AGIUS:  While this is being done, Mr. Thayer, I would like

Page 17535

 1    to take the witness back to the meeting he told us about that took place

 2    in Belgrade [Microphone not activated] General.  Can you tell us on whose

 3    initiative this meeting with President Milosevic and others was set up?

 4            THE WITNESS:  I believe it was the -- it was Mr. Bildt who sort of

 5    generated the meeting, if I can use it, I'm not sure whose initiative it

 6    was, but he was certainly the organising hand behind it.  And -- but

 7    whether he -- whether he got Milosevic to agree to it or the other way

 8    around, I'm not sure.

 9            JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you. I apologise, Mr. Thayer, for interrupting

10    you.

11            MR. THAYER:  Not at all, Mr. President.  Maybe if I may just

12    follow up on that.

13       Q.   General, were you aware of any efforts on the part of Mr. Akashi

14    or Mr. Annan to reach out to President Milosevic during these events to

15    seek his assistance during this time?

16       A.   I wasn't -- not in the sense that I was -- at the time, as it

17    were, but I certainly by the 13th or during the 12th as I'm travelling

18    starting to travel back from leave, I'm aware that there is telephone

19    calls going into Milosevic from Akashi and others.  Exactly in what order

20    they occurred and so forth, I don't know.

21       Q.   Now, under the heading Srebrenica, there is a reference here,

22    description of you asking General Mladic basically what happened after the

23    fall, and do you recall what he told you?

24       A.   In outline, he told me that -- I'm sorry, all that he gave me was

25    an outline, and he told me that he'd -- that there had been a breakout of

Page 17536

 1    forces, that these were all moving up a corridor, I think he described it,

 2    in the direction of Tuzla, and everybody had been handled and dealt with

 3    in a correct manner.  And I am still asking at this stage for access to

 4    those 2.000 people that I can't account for.

 5       Q.   Now, if we turn the page to page 4 of the English, and if we can

 6    scroll down a little bit on the B/C/S, we won't have to turn the page

 7    quite yet.  I'm sorry, if we could go back a page on the English, and stay

 8    where we are on the B/C/S.  Great, thank you.

 9            Do you recall that General Mladic told you that Zepa had fallen

10    that day at about 1330?

11       A.   Yes.  I remember him talking about that Zepa, because he left for

12    Zepa from that meeting.

13       Q.   And this reference here to the meeting in London is the London --

14    so-called London Conference, General?

15       A.   Correct, yes, that is, London Conference.

16       Q.   And what was the purpose of that meeting, General?

17       A.   I now know rather more about that meeting than I did when I set

18    out for it so -- which answer do you want?

19       Q.   Let's stick with what you recall happening at the conference at

20    the time, but we don't need to dissect the conference itself.  But just

21    what was the meeting about, why were you summoned to the meeting?

22       A.   My understanding was that this conference was called to sort out

23    the situation post-Srebrenica, in -- as to what the UN were going to do

24    about it, and what actions would then follow from these events.  I --

25    while I didn't suppose those courses of action I'd put in that note I'd

Page 17537

 1    written the previous week, were actually going to be before this

 2    conference, it was -- I was anticipating that sort of argument to be

 3    discussed, to find a solution as to what we thought we were going to do.

 4       Q.   Now, when General Mladic told you that Zepa had fallen, did you

 5    take that statement at face value or --

 6       A.   No, I didn't.  No I didn't.  I knew that it was close to falling.

 7    I knew that they were -- the Bosnian Serbs were encircling it and

 8    conducting operations against it, but I knew that it had not fallen.

 9       Q.   If we could have 65 ter 2944, please?

10            General, this is a code cable from Force Commander Janvier to

11    Mr. Annan, also forwarded to you, and it refers to a meeting that was held

12    between Generals Mladic, Tolimir, the Ukrainian company commander and some

13    Muslim representatives from Zepa at OP 2 in Zepa.  And I believe General

14    Mladic had in fact referred to this scheduled meeting before he got on his

15    helicopter as is reflected in the last document we looked at.

16            This document, if we go to page 3 of the English and it's also

17    page 3 of the B/C/S, this document attaches a letter that was forwarded to

18    you or written to you by General Mladic telling you again that Zepa had

19    not just fallen but surrendered in describing the meeting he had.  Do you

20    recall this letter, General?

21       A.   I recall the letter in rather more than the UNPF reporting

22    document that covered it.  Yes, I do.  It came in in the early hours of

23    the morning, as I recall it.  It's dated the 19th, so, yeah, I remember --

24    it must have -- I must have seen it on the morning of the 20th.

25       Q.   And again did you take any steps to verify whether this was

Page 17538

 1    actually the case, that Zepa had fallen and that there was a surrender

 2    effected?

 3       A.   Yes.  We established that this had not occurred, that there was

 4    and indeed, I'm -- if I recall, there was -- the whole thing was -- the

 5    whole arrangement was conditional upon the Bosnian army elements agreeing.

 6    They weren't present at this particular meeting, and my memory is that we

 7    were -- we treated all of this with considerable suspicion because the

 8    actual people doing the fighting weren't present at this particular

 9    meeting and gathering, and it struck us that the besiegers had, as it

10    were, got one group of people, the civilians, to start to negotiate with

11    before they'd actually dealt with the military.

12       Q.   And if we go back one page in the English and in the -- in B/C/S,

13    at paragraph 6 of the code cable, it refers to deploying a recce party to

14    Rogatica with ICRC and UNHCR.  Do you remember such a party being deployed

15    to get down to Zepa at about that time, General?

16       A.   I don't remember it but I'm sure that -- I mean, that's the sort

17    of thing I would have done, so I'm sure I did it or instructed someone to

18    do it.

19       Q.   And do you recall what that party consisted in?

20       A.   No.  I don't.  I don't.

21       Q.   Now, you're in London from approximately the 20th to the 23rd; is

22    that correct, General?

23       A.   Yes.  The meeting -- yes.  I was certainly in London by the -- in

24    the late afternoon of the day before the meeting, which was -- would have

25    been, yes, yes on -- so late afternoon on the 20th I'm in London and

Page 17539

 1    sometime on the 23rd I'm in Split.

 2       Q.   And that's on your return?

 3       A.   On my return.

 4       Q.   Okay.  And do you recall meeting with minister Sacirbey at the

 5    airport in Split on your return?

 6       A.   Yes, yes.  This was not an arranged meeting.  Our paths happened

 7    to cross and we then had a meeting.

 8       Q.   And what did you discuss at this meeting, general?

 9       A.   I wanted to tell him about the outcome of the London Conference

10    and to generally get his understanding of what was going on in Bosnia

11    while I'd been away in particular and more generally.  But also, he very

12    much wanted to tell me what had just been decided at a meeting with -- of

13    the Federation that had been held if not in Split, close to Split, during

14    that day.

15       Q.   Okay.  And was any part of that meeting directly relevant to the

16    events in Zepa or the aftermath of the fall of Srebrenica or was this

17    subject matter something else?

18       A.   I don't -- I mean, we were talking about, as I recall it, I

19    explained the -- that the consequences of the -- of Srebrenica was this --

20    the London Conference and the decisions that had been made there.

21       Q.   I'm sorry, I asked a poor question, General.  The meeting to which

22    Minister Sacirbey referred, was that meeting, you said he was anxious to

23    tell you about a meeting that the Federation had?

24       A.   I'm sorry, yeah.

25       Q.   Was that meeting something that bore directly bore on the events

Page 17540

 1    in Zepa or the aftermath of the fall of Srebrenica?

 2       A.   It was certainly I'm sure was triggered, if not directly in part

 3    by those events but no, the meeting was about what the Federation was

 4    going to do next and while he didn't give it -- give me anything like any

 5    great detail of it, I was left in little doubt that they -- the Federation

 6    had decided to move on to the offensive and that this would happen fairly

 7    soon.

 8       Q.   Okay.  If we could turn to page 2 of the English we're going to be

 9    looking at paragraph 6, and that's on the page 3 of the B/C/S.

10            Okay.  I think we've got a problem with the document here.

11            We seem to have the wrong page uploaded.  I can put -- I can put a

12    copy before General Smith in English, and I can put a B/C/S on the ELMO

13    for the portions that we are going to look at.  It's one paragraph.  I

14    apologise for this.

15            JUDGE KWON:  I have your list but are you not dealing with 2945?

16    This is 44.

17            MR. THAYER:  Yes.  Yes, Your Honour, it's --

18            JUDGE KWON:  We are still on previous document now.

19            MR. THAYER:  With the Court's indulgence, I may have just gotten

20    ahead of myself.  Hold on.  Afternoon court.  I'm sorry, I forgot to call

21    for the next document.  You're absolutely correct.  Okay.  It's 2945.

22    Okay.

23       Q.   If we look at paragraph 6, there is a reference to a meeting you

24    had with Minister Muratovic later that evening, same day, the 23rd.  He

25    tells you that they would never allow the civilian population of Zepa to

Page 17541

 1    be transported out of the enclave in buses and trucks as happened in

 2    Srebrenica, as segregation and more atrocities would follow.  He refused

 3    that mode of transportation, demanded helicopter lift with the guarantee

 4    that the BSA would not have access at any stage.

 5            General, to what degree, if any, do you recall this specific

 6    concern on the part of the Muslims, that is that the BSA should not have

 7    access to the prisoners at any stage, being an issue in any of these

 8    meetings between the Bosnians and the Muslims over the men of Zepa?

 9       A.   It wasn't so much that they were prisoners.  It was that they were

10    refugees or -- and they -- and there was concern, yes, that -- that there

11    shouldn't be access by the Serbs to these people, and it -- it figures --

12    it's not only Muratovic, as I recall it, raising the matter.

13       Q.   And again, just to be specific, we're talking about not only any

14    men who may have been in the centre of Zepa but the men of military age

15    who were in the hills and still fighting; is that correct, General?

16       A.   I'm not sure that I was as clear that those two groups of people

17    in that -- in that geographic sense existed at this stage.  The -- I think

18    at that stage, I am -- there is a group of people who are fighters, who

19    are more or less armed, and are -- that is Bosnians who are fighters, who

20    are more or less armed.  There is the Bosnian Serbs around the outside.

21    And then in the pocket, in the enclave as well, there are the families and

22    so forth, and there are men of military age who may or may not be

23    fighters, and it was always going to be a problem of differentiating those

24    people.  That I'd always understood and wasn't going to be a problem you

25    could easily solve.

Page 17542

 1       Q.   Now, General, following or as a result of the London Conference,

 2    were there any new developments as a result of it that you felt you needed

 3    to communicate to General Mladic?

 4       A.   There were -- there was the major issue that the London

 5    Conference, although mainly centred on concerns about Gorazde, the

 6    decision had been taken and I'd been told that this would ultimately cover

 7    all the remaining safe areas, that should an attack take place on a safe

 8    area of any description, then -- and I think I'm quoting the words

 9    correctly, air power would be used continuously and -- continuously until

10    it stopped, the attack I meant stopped.  The -- and I wanted to tell

11    General Mladic that this was a very big change, and he should understand

12    it as such.

13       Q.   If we may have 65 ter 1320 on e-court, please?  And 1320 A is the

14    English and I believe B is the B/C/S.  And again, General, we are just

15    waiting for the B/C/S to pop up.

16            General, this is an intercept of a conversation in which the

17    participants are identified as Colonel Baxter and General Gvero as well as

18    a UN translator by the name of Darko.  Do you recall such a translator,

19    General?

20       A.   I recall Darko, yes.

21       Q.   And I would also note, just for the Court and my friends, I

22    noticed when I was going through the intercept that in the B/C/S original

23    printout, if we look at page 2 of the B/C/S, the UN Lieutenant-Colonel is

24    referred to as Daxter with a D and apparently somebody took the liberty in

25    the English of changing that to Baxter which is the proper name, but I

Page 17543

 1    just wanted to know note that that somebody went ahead and took the

 2    liberty of changing Daxter to Baxter, just so there is no confusion.

 3            If would you take a moment and read the intercept, General.  If we

 4    go down, scroll just a little bit on both versions, just a little bit

 5    more, I guess towards the  -- all the way to the bottom, thank you.

 6            Colonel Baxter tells General Gvero that you would like to meet

 7    with General Mladic to discuss Zepa and that you wanted to proceed to Zepa

 8    in order to mediate and also to explain the rapid reaction force and the

 9    London Conference.  Has Colonel Baxter correctly captured what you wanted

10    to communicate in -- to General Mladic, to set this meeting up, General?

11       A.   Yes, I think he did, yep.

12       Q.   And if we turn the page on both documents, General Gvero had

13    stated that -- made a reference to the extraordinary events, for instance

14    groundless and irrational bombing, and then on that second page on both

15    versions, Colonel Baxter says that if you're referring to the allegations

16    that NATO had attacked Pale, they had investigated that and it was just

17    the sound barrier.

18            Do you recall whether there was an allegation by the VRS that

19    in -- on or about July 23rd that NATO had bombed Pale?  Do you remember

20    anything about that?

21       A.   No, I don't.

22       Q.   Okay.  Let's move along general to the meeting.  Did you actually

23    have a meeting as a result of this conversation between Colonel Baxter and

24    General Gvero?

25       A.   Yes, I did.  I think it took about 36 hours, I think, before we

Page 17544

 1    had actually met, or thereabouts.

 2       Q.   And do you recall where that meeting was and essentially what

 3    happened at the meeting?

 4       A.   I think we went back to Han-Kram.

 5       Q.   And what's the location there, General?

 6       A.   Where is Han-Kram?

 7       Q.   Why don't we just call up the document and we'll move through it.

 8    May we look at 2747, please?  Okay.  This is a report of a meeting on the

 9    25th at the Jela restaurant again.  Do you recall that being the location,

10    General?

11       A.   Yep, yep.  And we then I think went on to Zepa.

12       Q.   Okay.  Do you recall General Mladic being accompanied by General

13    Gvero to this meeting?

14       A.   Yes.  And we -- yep, yes, I do.

15       Q.   Can you recall what occurred during the meeting and what you did

16    following the meeting?

17       A.   Well, I wanted to do what I'd come to do, to talk to him about the

18    London Conference and so forth, but the -- and I can't -- and to warn him

19    that this ultimatum would be received by him in -- and his people in due

20    course.  We also, I think, discussed whether ICRC and co. had had the

21    access they had been promised which they had not at that stage, and then

22    we went on to talk about Zepa and we went to Zepa, he by helicopter and me

23    by road.

24       Q.   And there is at paragraph 2, there is a reference to General

25    Mladic arriving carrying an agreement.  Do you recall learning that

Page 17545

 1    another agreement --

 2       A.   Yes.

 3       Q.   -- had been signed some time prior to the meeting?

 4       A.   Yes, I don't remember knowing about it before the meeting, but he

 5    certainly -- and all of that -- the -- the Zepa business began to overtake

 6    the meeting and -- which is one of the reasons we went to Zepa.

 7       Q.   Okay.  And please tell the Trial Chamber what you did when you

 8    went to Zepa?

 9       A.   We arrived separately, as I say.  Mladic flew there.  I went by

10    vehicle.  And I don't remember how long the journey took, but I was

11    certainly an hour or so behind him.  And the route in -- first of all, it

12    was clearly an area in which an operation was going on.  There were

13    check-points on the roads that were obviously temporary, they were there

14    because something was happening inside that area rather than for routine

15    control.  And we entered by the designated route, and you came to the top

16    of a very steep valley, quite a lot of fir trees at the top of it, and

17    then we then travelled down this winding road through the trees down into

18    the valley.

19            There was fire positions that had been recently occupied along the

20    road, and then about halfway, two-thirds of the way down into the valley,

21    you came to an area where there had been -- there was a dwelling, a fairly

22    substantial dwelling.  It had been destroyed.  It had been attacked at

23    some stage.  There was a Ukrainian painted white armoured personnel

24    carrier there, a number of other fire positions, and a lot of Bosnian Serb

25    forces, some of whom were evidently not of the ordinary soldiers.  They

Page 17546

 1    had much better vehicles, lots of equipment in the vehicles, and they all

 2    wore black uniforms.  Nevertheless, it was evident from their markings

 3    that they were all on the same side, they were all operating together.

 4    And there I met Mladic.

 5            We could see out over the valley into the main habitation, the

 6    main collection of buildings of -- that made up the community.  There were

 7    quite a lot of people in the streets being herded together, and lots of

 8    farms and so forth alight in the valley itself, burning farms and so on.

 9       Q.   And when you refer to farms, General, being on fire, what do you

10    mean exactly?

11       A.   There was -- the buildings were alight, the farm buildings were

12    alight.  You could see the flames and the smoke.

13       Q.   And would this include houses, residences, in addition to

14    outbuildings?

15       A.   Oh, no.  The -- in many cases, the farm, the outbuilding and the

16    house is all one and the same and they certainly all were alight.  Where

17    the farms were being burnt, yes.

18       Q.   And did you yourself ever go down into the actual village or town

19    of Zepa, General?

20       A.   No, I didn't go any further down the valley than that one -- ever,

21    and that we held our meeting at this -- at the point where I'd met him.

22       Q.   And who else did you meet at this time, General?

23       A.   I can't remember who else of the Bosnian Serbs were there.  But

24    the -- I think I met also, and I'm not sure of his name, but the leader,

25    or man who purported to be the leader, of the Bosnians in Zepa.

Page 17547

 1       Q.   And can you describe him at all, either his appearance or his

 2    demeanour or anything about him?

 3       A.   Well, he was clearly a worried man.  He was in shirt sleeves,

 4    fairly old, 40s perhaps, I said a little under six foot high, six foot

 5    imperial, so what are we, under 180 centimetres.

 6       Q.   Do you recall meeting a doctor at some point on that day or is

 7    this individual that you've described a doctor?

 8       A.   Yes, there is a doctor in my memory, but I -- I remember him at a

 9    rather later stage.  Now, these two may be one and the same men, but I'm

10    not sure they were.

11       Q.   Okay.  And this individual that you described as a worried man in

12    shirt sleeves, do you recall what his specific role, if any, had been in

13    the events leading up to that day that -- the 25th?

14       A.   Well, there is a -- what they had in Zepa was a wartime

15    Presidency, as I think what they called it, that took care of the

16    administration and so forth of the -- of the enclave, and answered to

17    Sarajevo.  The -- he was the leader or one of the representatives -- or

18    the representative of this group, and their -- what they were trying to do

19    was to get the population, and in particular the women and children, out

20    of harm's way.

21       Q.   General, did you return to Sarajevo that night?

22       A.   Yes, I did.

23       Q.   And did you return the next day to Zepa?

24       A.   Yes.  But the story - you might be taking me here - but I met with

25    Izetbegovic that night I think when I came back from Zepa.

Page 17548

 1       Q.   Okay.  Yes.  Let's --

 2            MR. THAYER:  Well, Mr. President, I see that we are nearing the

 3    break, and I've got a substantial document to work with so...

 4            JUDGE AGIUS:  We've still got three or four minutes, but I agree

 5    with you, let's have the break now.  25 minutes.  Thank you.

 6                           --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.

 7                           --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.

 8            JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Thayer.

 9            MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  May we have 6D00108 on

10    e-court, please?  And if we could scroll up just a little bit on the

11    B/C/S, please, I think that will be more helpful.

12       Q.   Now, General, this is a report dated the 26th of July, but it in

13    fact summarises the events of the day we were just discussing, the 25th,

14    and I want to ask you a few follow-up questions.  If we look at paragraph

15    1, it is clear that at this point events are moving faster than the

16    Bosnian government and UNPROFOR are able to cope.

17            Now, General, other than General Janvier, you're the highest level

18    UN commander in theatre and you're on the ground there, you've got air

19    power, presumably, available, the multi-national brigade is somewhere,

20    moving.  How is it that you're unable to cope with these events?

21       A.   Well, none of those assets, always assuming they were available as

22    you've just said, are suitable for handling this particular issue.  This

23    was an issue of, again, of dealing with a collapsing enclave, a collapsing

24    pocket, and I was in the position, and therefore UNPROFOR was in the

25    position, of trying to ameliorate the consequences, it wasn't a question

Page 17549

 1    of putting anything back to where it was beforehand.

 2       Q.   Now, we are in the summary section of this document and we'll

 3    discuss in some more detail in a moment some of these themes here, but the

 4    one item I'd like to draw your attention to is in paragraph 3 and we'll

 5    need to turn to the second page of the B/C/S and we can stay on the first

 6    page of the English.  We just need to scroll down on the English a little

 7    bit, please.

 8            Looking at 3(B), on this understanding UNPROFOR carrying out the

 9    following actions, recognising a fait accompli by Mladic and register and

10    provide escorts for those refugees who wish to leave the pocket.

11            Is there anything more you'd care to add to that understanding in

12    3(B) beyond what you just answered to my previous question, general?

13       A.   No, I don't think so.  I think that was the situation, yeah.

14       Q.   Okay.  Now, if we go to the third page of the English, and that's

15    page 4 of the B/C/S, there is a reference to you meeting with a

16    Mr. Torlak, the civil representative of the population in Zepa, who signed

17    the agreement on the 24th, and that you met him at 1950 hours.  Do you

18    recall who this Torlak --

19       A.   I think this is the man I was referring to earlier in the -- in

20    the white shirt.

21       Q.   Now, it refers to him being the signatory on an agreement of the

22    24th of July, General.  Did you gain some understanding of the

23    circumstances or conditions under which he had signed that agreement?

24       A.   My impression was that he'd found himself between a rock and a

25    hard place, and that the easiest -- that the solution to this was to sign

Page 17550

 1    the document that was put in front of him.

 2       Q.   Now, you've already testified that you returned to Sarajevo that

 3    evening, General.  Do you recall with whom you met, if anyone, when you

 4    got back?

 5       A.   My -- I -- not entirely sure in which order the evening meetings,

 6    when I get back from Zepa take place, with the meetings that go on in

 7    Zepa.  There are from my memory three occasions that I'm in Zepa, and

 8    after I think the first one, but it may have been the second, I go to --

 9    and I should say that I've already been talking with Muratovic and

10    Izetbegovic about this potential of this prisoner exchange.  Both sides

11    are talking of a prisoner exchange.  They've got completely different

12    ideas of what's involved and what they want out of it, but they are both

13    talking about this.

14            On this particular occasion, in my memory, I go back to Sarajevo

15    and I meet with not only President Izetbegovic but subsequently with a

16    party of people from Zepa.  And both of those events occur in that same

17    night.

18       Q.   Let's scroll down just a little bit on the English, and we'll have

19    to I think actually turn the page on the B/C/S version.  Item or paragraph

20    13 refers to a meeting you had at 2340 hours with President Izetbegovic

21    and Ministers Muratovic and Masovic, and we'll have to pop up to the next

22    page of the English to capture that.  Just take your time, General, and

23    read the summary of that meeting.  And I would just ask you when you've

24    had a chance if that's one of the meetings that you were just referring

25    to?

Page 17551

 1       A.   Yes, that's one of them, yes.

 2       Q.   And there is a reference a Dr. Benjamin Kulovac?

 3       A.   Yes.  He was on a bus or one of the buses, and I can't remember

 4    whether it was just one bus load or more of the very first people to come

 5    out from -- from Zepa.

 6       Q.   And do you recall whether or not this doctor was one of the people

 7    from Zepa with whom you met in Sarajevo later that you just talked about?

 8       A.   Yes.  I believe I met him in the Presidency, yes.

 9       Q.   Now, there had been some discussion, I think you've already noted

10    the references to the helicopter evacuation that the Muslims wanted.

11    There is a reference here to Mladic refusing the request for that.  Do you

12    recall that, General?

13       A.   Yes.  Again, not in precisely when and where, but running

14    throughout this is this desire by the Bosnians for us to use helicopters,

15    and to bring everybody out, yes.

16       Q.   Now, in that paragraph 14, it states that you emphasised that your

17    two most critical requirements had been to get UN agencies and personnel

18    on the ground to monitor the situation and to establish what agreement

19    could be reached concerning the POW exchange.  Why were those so important

20    to you, sir?

21       A.   Well, I go back to -- I -- I didn't believe that there was any --

22    we couldn't reinstate the safe area.  It was a question of making the best

23    of a bad job and not making it any worse than it already was, and so one

24    of them was to get the people out, and if some profit could be taken by

25    exchanging prisoners of war then that would be a worthwhile thing to

Page 17552

 1    achieve as well.

 2       Q.   And there is also reference to Mladic even agreeing to allow a CNN

 3    team into Zepa.  Was that something that you played any role in?

 4       A.   That was a different -- there is a different reason for all of

 5    that and yes, I played for it in wanting to them there.  This again was to

 6    avoid or try to avoid any potential excesses by having the media on hand

 7    to limit the tendency for these things to happen.

 8       Q.   And General, do you have any recollection of the transportations

 9    of the Muslim population beginning the first day that you were there in

10    Zepa?

11       A.   The first -- I remember seeing lined up on the road long lines of

12    buses, already there waiting to take people out, and then subsequently

13    seeing them being loaded, yes.

14       Q.   When you returned on the 26th, did you meet with General Mladic

15    again, do you recall?

16       A.   Yes.  Yes.  We met a second time.

17       Q.   And do you recall anything specific about any of your discussions

18    on that second day?

19       A.   Well, I think -- if I remember correctly, this took place at the

20    top of the hill, at a check-point there that the Ukrainians had had, and

21    there were some tents and so forth, but I can't -- apart from the -- there

22    was the -- all the business of the prisoner exchange still being

23    discussed.  There was the -- we -- it was quite clear that the Bosnian

24    army fighters had not been involved in making this agreement, and that too

25    was an issue in this -- in the discussions.  Those are the two things I

Page 17553

 1    remember from that -- that meeting.

 2       Q.   Now, General, with General Mladic being on the ground as well, and

 3    someone I think everyone would agree has a reputation for being a very

 4    hands-on commander, was there from what you saw and understood, a VRS

 5    officer who was in charge during there period of time of the Zepa

 6    operation, to remove the civilian population?

 7       A.   The man who was doing -- that I saw doing -- being most involved

 8    was a General Tolimir, who was present on the ground there, as well as

 9    Mladic.

10       Q.   I want to turn your attention to the next day, the 27th of July.

11    Do you recall another meeting with three civilian representatives of the

12    local Muslim population, again Mr. Torlak, Mr. Mehmed Hajric and Amir

13    Imamovic, to try to sign yet another surrender agreement?  Do you recall

14    that, General?

15       A.   Yes.  I can remember the -- us going into the -- a next day's

16    worth of meetings, yes, and with those three men being there.

17       Q.   And do you recall discussing with those three individuals the

18    agreement that was being put to them and your assessment of that agreement

19    should they sign it?

20       A.   I think I was -- I was wanting to establish how far this was --

21    for my own purposes and understanding, how far this agreement had actually

22    been -- had actually involved the fighters in making the agreement or was

23    this only the -- these men representing the people in the village who

24    weren't fighting or in the town that wasn't fighting.  And also, to get

25    into their heads, that this deal with wasn't necessarily valid unless they

Page 17554

 1    could answer for the fighters or the fighters were going to do what

 2    everyone was contracting them to do.

 3       Q.   Well, let's look at 65 ter 2946, please.  And can you read the --

 4    that report, General, or will the hard copy be --

 5       A.   No, I can read this one.

 6       Q.   Okay.  And we have got the B/C/S up.  Great.  And if we could just

 7    scroll up.  Perfect, thank you.  This report summarises the situation in

 8    Zepa as of 0800 hours on the 28th?

 9       A.   Which is the third day we've been coming and going, yes.

10       Q.   Now, in describing these events that happened on the 27th, I want

11    to draw your attention to a couple of entries here.  There is a reference

12    at paragraph 2 about the ongoing talks at the airport in Sarajevo.

13            General, were you aware that there was a parallel set of meetings

14    ongoing to try to resolve the Zepa situation?

15       A.   I was certainly aware there were on going, and they go right back,

16    their genesis, if you like from my memory, starts with the meeting with

17    Muratovic when I returned from the London Conference.  And it's -- and

18    this is how do you manage the prisoner of war exchange and who has got

19    what prisoners and so on and so forth.  It wasn't so much to resolve Zepa

20    as to deal with the aftermath of Zepa.

21       Q.   Understood.  And if we continue in paragraph 2, there is a

22    reference again to the Bosnian government's position remaining that an all

23    for all POW exchange should occur but that the men of Zepa should be

24    immediately evacuated after surrendering their weapons without ever

25    actually falling into Serb hands.

Page 17555

 1            General, do you recall whether, by this time, on the 27th of July,

 2    we are now talking about the military-age men.  Do you remember this

 3    concern about falling into Serb hands becoming an issue?

 4       A.   Oh, yes.  And had been an issue throughout, as I remember it,

 5    throughout this particular affair.  Whether it was due -- because they

 6    hadn't been consulted or whether it's specific, as it's now stated in that

 7    document, after what, 48 hours of doing it.

 8       Q.   If we look at paragraph 4, and we'll have to scroll down a little

 9    bit on the English, please, and see if we can catch it on the B/C/S as

10    well.  There we go, thank you very much.

11            If we look at the last sentence of this paragraph, Mladic asked

12    General Smith to inform the Bosnian government that the agreement had been

13    signed and that's the agreement with those three individuals we spoke

14    about, and those men in Zepa who refused to surrender their weapons by

15    1800 hours would be liquidated.  Do you recall General Mladic telling you

16    this?

17       A.   Oh, yes.  No, I can remember this.  This is the -- we are coming

18    to the culmination of a series of these -- this negotiation when the

19    parties who can actually deliver on it aren't actually being party to the

20    consultation.

21       Q.   And if we continue on to paragraph 5, it describes your

22    conversation with these three local civilian leaders, and you expressed to

23    both Mladic and those leaders that UNPROFOR could not be written into the

24    agreement in any way as a participant or as a guarantor.  What did you

25    mean by that, General, and that's at the very end of paragraph 5?

Page 17556

 1       A.   Well, I wasn't about to accept responsibility for delivering on

 2    any of these agreements either.  I had no power to do so, or we wouldn't

 3    have got into the position we were in in Zepa if I had the power.  So to

 4    sign on to deliver something else when neither party was in any way likely

 5    to, you know, in any agreement with each other wasn't something I was

 6    prepared to do.

 7       Q.   And did you personally ever enter into any agreement with Mladic

 8    during these days while you were in Zepa concerning the surrender of the

 9    men of military age or the transportation of the civilian population?  Did

10    you personally enter into any agreement?

11       A.   No.

12       Q.   How did you perceive your role during the course of these three

13    days?

14       A.   My role was to try and ameliorate the consequences of the collapse

15    of this pocket, and that's what I was trying to do.

16       Q.   Thank you.  I think we are done with this document.

17            General, I want to turn your attention to when you were leaving

18    Zepa for the last time.  Do you recall encountering anyone as you were

19    leaving Zepa?

20       A.   Yes.  We were driving out from Zepa, and just as we were passing

21    one of the - I called them earlier temporary check-points that had been

22    set up - I saw a vehicle coming towards me that I recognised as one of

23    those ones used by the Main Staff, and a -- and we were at the

24    check-point, the vehicle stopped, and we got out and General Gvero got

25    out, and we met -- I met him there.  He was going into Zepa, and I was

Page 17557

 1    coming out.

 2            I was interested to know what he was doing there, because he

 3    hadn't been there the day before.  And Mladic had already left, and we'd

 4    understood that he was heading off to the Banja Luka, to the other side of

 5    Bosnian Serb territory, the other side of central Bosnia.  And I wanted to

 6    understand what the situation was.  And General Gvero said that he was now

 7    in charge of Zepa.

 8       Q.   Now, the status or fate of the military-age men of Zepa, I think

 9    everyone will agree, was not resolved over the next two or three or four

10    days.  Do you recall a meeting with generals --

11            JUDGE AGIUS:  One moment.  Ms. Fauveau?

12            MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I believe that the time has come to

13    finish with leading questions, and the last one was really been leading.

14            JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes.  What's your comment on that?

15            MR. THAYER:  Well, Mr. President, I think I've been extremely

16    cautious about leading General Smith.  I don't think its -- I didn't think

17    it was a contested issue that there was difficulty in resolving the issue

18    of the men, but I can rephrase the question very easily for the general.

19    That's not a problem.

20            JUDGE AGIUS:  Please do.

21            MR. THAYER:

22       Q.   General, did -- do you recall whether matters with respect to the

23    military-aged men reached a point where you had another meeting with

24    Generals Mladic and Gvero on or about July 31st in Mrkonjic Grad?

25       A.   I recall -- I can remember that meeting as well.

Page 17558

 1            MR. THAYER:  Your Honour, there is no series contestation I

 2    believe that there was this meeting, and I'm just trying to move things

 3    along.

 4            JUDGE AGIUS:  You all know what the practice is.  As long as we

 5    don't hear specific objections, we usually allow leading questions.  In

 6    this particular case, the objection didn't come from the Gvero Defence

 7    team.  It came from the Miletic Defence team.  And we didn't comment on it

 8    except that we accepted your invitation to rephrase your question.  So

 9    let's move on.  And if there is a serious objection, we'll take account of

10    it.

11            MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  May we have 65 ter number

12    2947, please?

13       Q.   And general, do you recognise what this report is?

14       A.   Yes.

15       Q.   And it refers to a meeting at the Balkana motel near Mrkonjic Grad

16    on the 31st.  Do you recall such a meeting?

17       A.   Yes, I do.

18       Q.   And what was the purpose of that meeting, General?

19       A.   Well, it was the -- there was Zepa still to be resolved, if you

20    like, and there was still -- and there were other issues to do with

21    freedom of movement and -- of humanitarian convoys, and then I was also

22    very interested to find out what was going on with the fighting that had

23    started about two days before and, in fact, was the reason for Mladic's

24    absence on the 28th, if I recall correctly, that had broken out in the --

25    it was in the direction of Knin in the Krajinas, but it was in live know

Page 17559

 1    and Glamoc, if I recall correctly at the time.

 2       Q.   While we are on this topic, General, and this way we can also stay

 3    on this first page of the document, there is a reference at the first

 4    paragraph to you being met by General Gvero and him remaining throughout

 5    this meeting.  And if we look down at paragraph 4, which refers to this

 6    HV, HVO offensive I think you just referred to.

 7       A.   Yes.

 8       Q.   It states that the gravity of this problem to the Serbs is quite

 9    evident.  Mladic has appointed General Gvero to be responsible for

10    managing the humanitarian refugee problem.

11            Just briefly, what is the problem that's being discussed here as a

12    result of this Croat or HVO offensive against the Krajina Serbs?

13       A.   Well, as a result of the fighting, we have another ethnic

14    cleansing going on, only this time it's Croatian Serbs, for want of a

15    description, being pushed up into Bosnian Serb territory.  The -- and

16    there is another mass movement of refugees with all the problems that are

17    associated with that, and there was -- there was need for assistance.  And

18    so it's probably in there, in the paragraph, yeah, and we were already

19    starting to move UNHCR and people into the area, but they -- as I say,

20    they weren't mine to command.  We, the UN, were already doing that.  It

21    wasn't me, UNPROFOR.

22       Q.   If we go to page 2 of the English, looking at paragraph 7, and

23    that's page 3 of the B/C/S, please, under the heading of Zepa at that

24    paragraph --

25       A.   Hmm, yeah.

Page 17560

 1       Q.   The Zepa issue appeared to you not to be high on Mladic's agenda

 2    at the moment, and again this may be obvious but why did that appear to

 3    you to be the case or what is the reason that it was not on his agenda at

 4    that moment?

 5       A.   The offensive in the west was much more important.  The -- this

 6    was causing a great deal of difficulty, and although it hadn't started yet

 7    he might have had intelligence that the Croatian attack was about to

 8    start.

 9       Q.   Now, if we go to paragraph 7(B), that subsection there, Mladic

10    told you that the civilian population evacuation of that population was

11    complete, and that the BiH had started to break out of the pockets on

12    three routes to Gorazde, to Serbia, and to Kladanj.

13            Do you recall whether at this time on the 31st you had already

14    received such information or was this the first time you were hearing that

15    the Armija or military-age men were breaking out of Zepa in those

16    directions?

17       A.   Whether it was exactly at this time I don't know but at -- at a

18    point in -- in this -- in these events, and it would have been about now,

19    if not a little earlier, I was aware that a large -- that the intention

20    was to break out over the Drina, rather than in the other two directions.

21    In other words, to go out towards Serbia.  And that Mr. Bildt was making

22    arrangements for them, when people did come over, for them to be -- there

23    to be suitable reception arrangements.

24            The numbers involved and when this was going to happen, I didn't

25    know, and -- but I wanted -- I didn't want the UN to withdraw from this

Page 17561

 1    safe area until the business was done, as much for political and

 2    presentational reasons as anything else.

 3       Q.   And there is a reference in that same subsection to you requesting

 4    that UNPROFOR be able to patrol into the pocket but that General Mladic

 5    denied your request.  Do you recall whether he gave you any explanation

 6    for denying your request?

 7       A.   No.  I don't recall it and I don't think he did.

 8       Q.   And along these same lines, do you recall whether, by this time,

 9    July 31st, the VRS had granted ICRC or UNHCR access to any of the men that

10    had been taken prisoner following the fall of Srebrenica?

11       A.   No.  We still hadn't had access to those people by that time.

12       Q.   And if we go to page 3 of the document and that's paragraph 7(D),

13    you took General Mladic to task for the way some men had been taken off a

14    bus or who had been promised safe passage to Kladanj.  Where do you recall

15    learning this information from or from whom, General?

16       A.   I'm not -- I don't remember where I learnt about it, nor the

17    specific -- nor the specific incident.

18       Q.   Okay.  I think we are done with this document.  Thank you.

19            Now, you mentioned a couple of times General Mladic being very

20    concerned about these developments to the west.  Do you recall a

21    conversation you had with David Harland later that day, on the 31st, about

22    your meeting with Mladic at that time?

23       A.   I have a conversation -- this is David Harland acting in his -- as

24    the civil affairs officer of sector Sarajevo.  And sector Sarajevo is

25    responsible in the first instance for the Zepa enclave.  And if it's the

Page 17562

 1    conversation I'm remembering, it's a discussion as to whether or not we

 2    should pull the Ukrainian forces out of Zepa, and I've explained, this is

 3    something that's concerning me, as to when do we actually take the UN flag

 4    out of that place, and I think that's what I would have been having a

 5    conversation with him about.

 6       Q.   Okay.  May we say -- may we take a look at 2948, please?

 7            And let's move to the second page of the English, please, and the

 8    third page of the -- actually it will be the fourth page of the B/C/S.

 9            And if we could scroll up on the English, please?  And as well, on

10    the B/C/S, if we could scroll up a little, please.  Thank you.

11            General, this is a memo from David Harland to John Ryan and

12    General Gobillard dated the 31st.  Harland is telling that you Zepa is

13    neutralised and that UNPROFOR is sitting on a remote piece of

14    Serb-controlled territory with 150 potential hostages.  He suggests that

15    UNPROFOR should either withdraw or reassert the safe area and move in

16    strength.

17            He indicates that you agreed though you noted that the second

18    option was probably impossible.  Where -- do you recall whether there were

19    any efforts or initiatives to move out any of the UNPROFOR contingents

20    that were still in Zepa at or about this time?

21       A.   Oh, the -- before this, when I first started this -- that

22    three-day period of visits, I think on the very first -- after the very

23    first visit, I'd sent in a -- or told sector Sarajevo to send in an

24    element of -- and they sent in some of -- from -- a French -- I think a

25    company from a French battalion.  They were withdrawn before the 31st.  I

Page 17563

 1    think there was only the Ukrainians left in Zepa when this conversation is

 2    taking place.

 3       Q.   Now, looking at the very bottom of this first page on the English,

 4    I think this repeats what you've already said, that Mladic seemed very

 5    concerned about the developments.  And if we go over to the next page of

 6    the English, Harland saying that you noted that the entire Serb high

 7    command including Mladic, Gvero, Milovanovic, and Tolimir appear to have

 8    moved from the Srebrenica Zepa area to Banja Luka.  And what was that

 9    assessment based on, General, when you related that to Mr. Harland?

10       A.   Well, I think I already knew that Milovanovic was over there.  I

11    had just met Mladic and Gvero.  And I'm assuming one of them had told me

12    that Tolimir was over there as well.  The -- the significance of it was

13    that the complete main effort of the Bosnian Serb army had shifted from

14    the eastern enclaves to the south and west.

15       Q.   General, I want to show you a quick video clip, and this is at

16    P02491.  This is ERN V 00-3142.  And the transcript is at 2492A.

17                          [Videotape played]

18            MR. THAYER:

19       Q.   General, do you recognise anybody in this clip which began at 1

20    hour 2 minutes and 40 seconds and is now paused at 1 hour 2 minutes and

21    47.6 seconds?

22       A.   Yes, I recognise General Mladic, myself, and General Gvero across

23    the front three.

24       Q.   And that's moving from which direction to which direction?

25       A.   I beg your pardon, from left to right as you look.

Page 17564

 1       Q.   If we could continue running the clip, please.

 2                          [Videotape played]

 3            MR. THAYER:

 4       Q.   And we've paused at 1 hour 2 minutes 59.2 seconds.  Do you

 5    recognise anybody in this frame, General?

 6       A.   Two people.  The bald-headed man standing up looking at us in the

 7    picture is Colonel Baxter, and the right-hand of the two people sitting

 8    down with their backs to us is Captain Bliss, the lady you asked me about

 9    earlier.

10       Q.   And do you recall where this footage was filmed and when, General?

11       A.   This is the meeting at Mrkonjic Grad on the -- whenever it was,

12    the 31st, that we already talked about.

13                          [Videotape played]

14            MR. THAYER:

15       Q.   And General, do you recognise anybody sitting at the table based

16    on your recollection in reviewing this footage?

17       A.   Well --

18       Q.   In this clip?

19       A.   If we can enlarge it slightly, I might.  I'm not -- I really have

20    difficulty in fixing that picture.  If you can't pull it up --

21       Q.   Let's try to run it back just a couple of seconds.  Okay.

22            MR. THAYER:  Ms. Stewart is trying to work her magic with the

23    Court's indulgence and your patience, general.  Thank you.

24       Q.   Do you recognise anybody there?

25       A.   Yeah, that could be General Gvero sitting opposite, at least not

Page 17565

 1    quite opposite, but the left hand of the two men sitting down to the right

 2    of the -- on the right-hand, the far side of the table from Captain Bliss.

 3       Q.   Okay.  Thank you, General.  Do you recognise anybody else?

 4       A.   No.

 5                          [Videotape played]

 6            MR. THAYER:

 7       Q.   And again do you recognise anybody in this still?

 8       A.   Yes.  You've got General Mladic, Captain Bliss is the female face

 9    between Mladic and me, and you've got Baxter standing behind General

10    Mladic.

11       Q.   And General, do you recall who actually attended that meeting in

12    that meeting room?

13       A.   Yes.  There's apart from General Mladic, there was General Gvero

14    and the -- I don't remember his name, the Bosnian Serb air defence

15    commander.  There might have been others there but I don't remember that.

16       Q.   Okay.  Thank you.  We are done with the video clip, and this was

17    paused at 1 hour 3 minutes 16.9 seconds for the record.

18            Okay, General, I think you'll be glad along with everybody else

19    that we only have two more meetings to talk about.  If we might have 2949,

20    please?

21            This is a report of a meeting on 22 August, 1300 hours, at Borika

22    near Zepa.  Do you remember having such a meeting?

23       A.   Yes, I do.

24       Q.   I want to turn your attention to page 3 of the English.  We are

25    looking at paragraph 8.  And that's going to be a couple of pages in for

Page 17566

 1    the B/C/S.

 2            This report states that you pressed Mladic on the issue of how, as

 3    the report here states it, the excessive actions by him and the Bosnian

 4    Serb army had undermined what little support and sympathy they might have

 5    in the international community.  And do you recall what his reaction was

 6    when you pressed him on that issue?

 7       A.   This wasn't the first time that I'd raised this matter.  It was

 8    probably the most -- the time I was able to do it the most specifically.

 9    And it was certainly one in which I was able -- I think started to gain an

10    understanding in Mladic of the point that I had been trying to make to him

11    for some time.  The realisation that he and many of his people in the

12    leadership of the Bosnian Serbs had become almost isolated from the

13    reality as the rest of the world saw it, had become -- started to

14    crystallise into following this line when I met Mladic in Belgrade as

15    we've discussed already.  The thought had begun to occur much earlier but

16    as I say it crystallised at that point.

17            And if my memory is correct, the reason it was raised in the sense

18    it appears in this paragraph was that Mladic was complaining that here had

19    been large numbers of Serbs, albeit Croatian Serbs, driven from their

20    homes in the Krajinas, and there was nothing like the same outcry at this

21    whatever count was at the time, 150.000 people or more, as opposed to what

22    had happened in Srebrenica.  And he, Mladic, was saying this was unfair

23    and why doesn't the world see the events in the Krajinas in the same way

24    as they've seen the events in Srebrenica and Zepa, and so I was able to

25    explain again that he had -- he and his fellows had painted themselves in

Page 17567

 1    this position as being the bad guys and they'd made part of their problem

 2    was the acts, their own acts and that was why I think at this stage we

 3    were beginning to get some understanding of the point I was making.

 4       Q.   And General, if we look a little bit lower, on the English, to

 5    paragraph 9, and we'll have to go to the next page of the B/C/S --

 6       A.   And that point, and there you see the same point coming up again,

 7    whether -- how I -- whether I then made the point about him not letting

 8    anyone in to see the people he'd taken prisoner and so on and so forth.

 9    And his response, and you get the Krajinas coming in there again, is

10    connected with that.  I suspect the author of the document has divided out

11    into two paragraphs, what was in effect one -- all wrapped up in one

12    conversation.

13       Q.   And there is a reference here to Mladic being clearly discomfited

14    by the mention of Srebrenica, claiming that ICRC had been allowed access.

15    Do you recall him being discomfited by your pressing him on the issue?

16       A.   Oh, yes.  I mean, the -- there was no doubt the whole of this

17    matter, whether the Srebrenica or generally that you by your own actions

18    have made this worse, was not a comfortable message for Mladic to receive.

19       Q.   And by this time General, do you recall what information if any

20    you had received about atrocities having been committed following the fall

21    of Srebrenica?

22       A.   Not with any certainty.  The -- the -- we knew that we were

23    never -- we knew that the 2.000 men or however many it was were -- we

24    weren't going to see them again.  Whether they had all been murdered or

25    not we didn't know, but we had almost stopped asking for access except in

Page 17568

 1    conversations such as I'm describing here.

 2            About the beginning of August, maybe very, very end of July, the

 3    Americans had started to publish satellite photography that was evidence

 4    of -- could be evidence of mass graves and so on and so forth.  What

 5    wasn't clear was whether this was clearing up after a big fight or

 6    wholesale murder.  There was -- and there was no evidence of which -- that

 7    people had been killed, there was now no doubt.  The circumstances of the

 8    killing was I think the matter under -- of doubt at the time.

 9       Q.   And in trying to perhaps make that determination, what efforts had

10    you been making?

11       A.   I wasn't pursuing an investigation into Srebrenica at that time at

12    all, no.

13       Q.   General, I want to show you one final report.  It's 65 ter 2950.

14    And while this is coming up, General, do you recall what efforts, if any,

15    there were ongoing on or about that date in late August to find out what

16    had happened to the men of Srebrenica?

17       A.   We'd -- there were already -- this Tribunal, if I remember

18    rightly, had already been established.  There was already the beginnings

19    of an investigation, and at some point in July or August, and again I

20    can't recall the date precisely, both Karadzic and Mladic were declared

21    war criminals or subject to Prosecution as war criminals and, you know, I

22    was in some doubt as to therefore should I be dealing with these people at

23    all and was told you ought to carry on as normal and that's for other

24    people to deal with.

25       Q.   This next document, General, memorialises a meeting you had on the

Page 17569

 1    25th of August, again at the Jela restaurant.  It notes that General

 2    Mladic was accompanied by Generals Gvero and Tolimir.  Do you remember

 3    this meeting, General?

 4       A.   Yes.

 5       Q.   And do you recall what the purpose of this meeting was?

 6       A.   Without reading the document, my immediate memory of it is that

 7    we -- I wanted to make sure that the Gorazde arrangements had been

 8    properly tied down, and to cover the -- where we were with the peace

 9    initiative, which was a United States effort which was ultimately

10    successful that had started in early August on the back of the Croat

11    offensive.

12       Q.   And if we could scroll down please to the bottom of each version,

13    please?  Thank you.

14            If we look at paragraph 3, there is a reference to General Mladic

15    giving General Tolimir orders during the course of the meeting for the

16    UNMO rotation to be approved.  What was that about, if you recall,

17    General?

18       A.   I'm not sure -- did the Court now understand the difference of the

19    UNMOs, they were on a different chain of command and that --

20       Q.   I believe so, General, yes.

21       A.   The -- in spite of that, I tended to find that I was asked to deal

22    with any, if you like, negotiations over their business if they were

23    required.  And there were three groups of UN people in Gorazde.  There was

24    a Ukrainian contingent, a British contingents, and the UNMOs.  The

25    intention was to withdraw the Ukrainians, and I'm not sure whether they

Page 17570

 1    hadn't -- they might have even gone by that stage but I'm -- I can't

 2    remember the dates of that.  There was all this -- these arrangements to

 3    make sure that there was to get the British out, but I wanted to leave the

 4    UNMOs in -- in the enclave, and they were needed to be got in and the

 5    people they were replacing got out, and that was what that was all about.

 6       Q.   Moving down to paragraph 4, particularly subsection (A), and we'll

 7    have to go to the next page of the B/C/S for that, please.  Thank you.

 8            You were discussing the peace initiative, I think you referred to

 9    a few moments ago, General.  "Mladic, according to this report, was at

10    pains to emphasise Bosnian Serb unity and carefully avoided your probing

11    questions on possible differences in approach between the Bosnian Serb

12    political and military leaderships.  However, Mladic again made it quite

13    clear that he expected his generals to be part of the process."

14            Let me ask you first, do you recall what information, if any, you

15    were receiving at this time about any divisions within the or between the

16    Bosnian Serb political and military leaderships?

17       A.   I don't think we were getting anything new.  What we were getting

18    is indications that the -- that there was a difference of view where --

19    were continuing that we had picked up much earlier in the year and

20    discussed in this place already.  And I'm using this opportunity to find

21    out where that stands and so forth.  It was also -- I'm also asking the

22    questions in order to understand how the negotiations with Holbrooke are

23    going in any event.

24            MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I note that it's a little ways from

25    the break.  I've concluded the examination on the factual issues and I'm

Page 17571

 1    prepared to enter General Smith's expert testimony.  I'll leave it up to

 2    Your Honours and basically to my friends as to whether we want to take the

 3    break now and then come back and start on the new area and go straight

 4    through.

 5            I may be in a position to complete the expert testimony.  Or we

 6    can just run right into it now.

 7            JUDGE AGIUS:  As far as we are concerned, we have always tried to

 8    accommodate your wishes and those of the Defence teams so we'll have the

 9    break now.  25 minutes.  Thank you.

10            MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

11                           --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.

12                           --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.

13            JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Thayer.

14            MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

15       Q.   Good afternoon again, General.

16       A.   Good afternoon.

17       Q.   General, as everyone is aware, the Trial Chamber has decided to

18    hear from you as an expert in the history, function, and importance of a

19    Main Staff.  In your expert statement, you note that the modern version of

20    the Main Staff began to emerge during the Napoleonic wars and reached its

21    apogee in the great German General Staff?

22            JUDGE AGIUS:  Are you suggesting that you know more about it than

23    the witness himself?

24            MR. THAYER:  Not at all, Your Honour, I'm just --

25            JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Go ahead.

Page 17572

 1            MR. THAYER:

 2       Q.   Now, General, given that history has produced dates and armed

 3    forces in vastly different forms and natures, can you elaborate a little

 4    bit on your expert statement and identify nevertheless among all those

 5    armies throughout history why a Main Staff is so important in your opinion

 6    and why you say in your statement all armed forces have something of a

 7    Main Staff?

 8       A.   The armed forces of a state will have something akin to a Main

 9    Staff or a General Staff, to perform and it's rather more the functions

10    they perform rather than the name you give the staff that is the -- is the

11    defining characteristics.

12            They act to form, to hold, to create the force, the armed forces,

13    in peace and war.  They act to -- as the representative of this capability

14    in relation to the other departments of state, if -- as a way of

15    describing it, to be their advocate for the manpower and the money and the

16    slice of the national treasure and effort in creating this force and so

17    forth.

18            They act as the -- on the interface between the political elements

19    of a state and the purely military, to translate the political intentions

20    into military acts, but also to represent the art of the military possible

21    and to explain what it costs in terms of treasure and manpower and so on

22    within that political forum.

23            And they act as the means by which this force is directed in

24    wartime to achieve its political purpose, and in peacetime to prepare for

25    that eventuality.  So the body of the Main Staff fulfils those functions

Page 17573

 1    or the General Staff or the army staff or whatever name you -- it gets

 2    given within that particular institution.  The -- it performs those

 3    inherent functions to the staff.  For -- identify the staff.

 4       Q.   Now, to the extent that premodern armies, Alexander the Great's,

 5    Caesar's may or may not have had something resembling a General Staff,

 6    what distinguishes the modern main or general staff from whatever its

 7    predecessors might have been.  I mean, some of those historical figures

 8    seemed to do pretty well without, perhaps, what you've been describing.

 9    Could you describe a little bit what the difference is in this modern main

10    staff --

11       A.   Well, there is two sides to that change.  I'll deal with the

12    first, that simply in those premodern times, to use your definition, the

13    state wasn't the same either.  And so you had a different relationship and

14    so on.

15            But the primary difference today is that the complexity of the

16    nature of the use of armed forces, the -- their dispersement across the

17    battlefield, the wide range of capabilities they have, it isn't just

18    short-range weapons and so on and so forth, the general cannot see the

19    whole of his battlefield, the battle doesn't last from dawn until dusk and

20    so forth.  And so the complexity of management, the logistical

21    requirements, and so on and so forth, are all a great deal more complex

22    and greater than they were in the times of, for sake of example, Julius

23    Caesar.  They are the same problems.  They just get writ rather larger.

24       Q.   Now, would you describe some of your personal experience working

25    with, as a member of, or being supported by a General Staff.  And if you

Page 17574

 1    think it's instructive to contrast your own personal experience with

 2    your -- in the British army with your personal observations of how the VRS

 3    Main Staff operated, please do so.

 4       A.   I --

 5            JUDGE AGIUS:  One moment, General.  Yes, Mr. Josse?

 6            MR. JOSSE:  Objection, that's exactly what he's not allowed to do

 7    in my submission based on your ruling.

 8            JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes.  Our decision, this is why precisely I'm going

 9    to refer the parties to our decision of the 11th of October, whereby we

10    made it clear that General Smith is allowed to testify as an expert with

11    regard to the history, function, and importance of a main staff in general

12    but not as an expert with regard to the function and operation of the VRS

13    main staff nor with regard to the command doctrine or structure of the

14    VRS.  That was our decision.

15            Now, your question is would you describe some of your personal

16    experiences working with -- as a member of -- being supported by a General

17    Staff, and if you think it's instructive to contrast your own personal

18    experience with, in the British army, with your personal observations of

19    how the main staff operated or VRS Main Staff operated.  So that's the

20    position.  Now, I need to confer with my colleagues.

21            MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, obviously, I carefully read the

22    Chamber's decision and I'm --

23            MR. JOSSE:  Could this take place in the absence of the witness,

24    please?

25            JUDGE AGIUS:  I don't think it is necessary because at the end of

Page 17575

 1    the day it's going to be a legal argument whether the question falls

 2    within --

 3            MR. JOSSE:  So be it.

 4            JUDGE AGIUS:  -- the parameters that we indicated or not.  He's

 5    not the kind of witness --

 6            MR. JOSSE:  So be it, Your Honour.

 7            JUDGE AGIUS:  -- that is going to be influenced one way or the

 8    other by the content of the discussion we are going to have.  Yes, please

 9    try to be as brief as you can.

10            MR. THAYER:  I will, Mr. President. This basically boils down to

11    what I thought would be the most efficient way of get this testimony to

12    the Trial Chamber.  The decision specifically notes that General Smith can

13    testify about his direct observations of the functioning of the VRS Main

14    Staff and its officers, nor will he be precluded from testifying to

15    reasonable inferences he drew from those direct experiences.

16            So I think I'm well entitled based on the decision to ask the

17    question that I asked, and as long as we are limiting it to General

18    Smith's personal observations, I'm well within my rights to do so.

19            JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, Mr. Josse?

20            MR. JOSSE:  This is my response, Your Honour.  Those words which

21    my learned friend quoted relates to the factual side of this witness's

22    evidence, and my learned friend has chosen, helpfully, to distinguish the

23    factual side of his evidence from his expert testimony.  The part of his

24    question that I object to is of course the contrasting with the VRS Main

25    Staff.  That's exactly, in our submission, what he's not allowed to do by

Page 17576

 1    reason of your decision.

 2            JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.

 3                          [Trial Chamber confers]

 4            JUDGE AGIUS:  It's a majority decision, Mr. Josse and Mr. Thayer.

 5            The majority feels that the question as phrased by you might lend

 6    itself, if not properly understood, to elicit from the witness an exercise

 7    in his mind based on his expertise of main staff structure in the British

 8    army and the main staff structure in the VRS army, and then to give us his

 9    opinion based on his observations on the ground.

10            So what we have decided is that you need to rephrase your question

11    and put it in such a way as to make it fall in the -- within the

12    parameters that we set in our decision of October.  Basically, there is no

13    problem at all in asking the witness based on your expertise on the main

14    staff structure in the British army, what observations were you able to

15    make when you were -- had firsthand experience, firsthand encounter, and

16    meetings with the VRS Main Staff members or some of them.

17            And you proceed.  I'm not formulating your question but basically

18    you need to -- at least make it sound to fall within the parameters that

19    we set.  Okay?

20            MR. THAYER:  Mr. President --

21            JUDGE AGIUS:  And the majority, by the way, it's Judge Kwon and

22    myself.

23            MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, perhaps I could just uncomplicate what

24    I was seeking to simplify and start off simply with a question based on

25    strict observation outside the context of any expert testimony.  Maybe

Page 17577

 1    that -- if I just do it that way, make everybody happy and comfortable and

 2    I'll -- and then I'll pick up with the remainder of the question.

 3            JUDGE AGIUS:  The questions and answers then need to steer away,

 4    keep away, from an expertise approach, particularly on General Smith's

 5    side.  Go ahead.

 6            MR. THAYER:  And I'll just give it a shot here, Mr. President.

 7    This necessarily will be a fairly, I think, lengthy answer.  It's going to

 8    be a fairly general factual question.

 9       Q.   General, based on your interactions with the VRS Main Staff, your

10    contacts with them, your meetings with General Mladic and his assistant

11    commanders and other VRS Main Staff officers during your time in service,

12    based on those personal observations and experiences that you had with

13    them, can you share with the Court those -- any conclusions or factually

14    based observations that you had of how they operated, just strictly based

15    on what you were seeing at the time?

16       A.   What I observed, understood from what I observed, was that here

17    was a command and control system, a -- embodied in this staff that was

18    centralised.  The -- it gave, using my understanding of the words, and I

19    can explain those if you think that's necessary, orders rather than

20    missions, and there was a capacity within this structure to retain this

21    centralised control by splitting off from the main headquarters.

22            You could put out forward elements of the main headquarters so

23    that they could go and locate alongside the subordinate headquarters

24    that -- in whose area or in whose proximity this -- the event in question

25    was taking place, and could so -- and therefore retain that close central

Page 17578

 1    control over events.

 2            It appeared to be a very reliable system.  In my experience if an

 3    order was given at the top, you saw it happening at the bottom.  If an

 4    event had happened at the bottom, you could be confident that it was being

 5    reported up to the top.  The two ends of the machine understood each other

 6    and communicated.  The -- an example, there was a communication system

 7    that existed and there was an occasion, in fact, when I was going to

 8    Srebrenica, we had been given a route to follow and we got -- we got lost,

 9    we got off the route and we finished up in a check-point and clearly it

10    was a surprise to the people in this check-point that they had the

11    UNPROFOR commander and two of his vehicles and people all in amongst them.

12            It did not take very long, like about half an hour, before on the

13    telephone in that check-point we were talking directly to Mladic, and we

14    were back on the route and heading off to Srebrenica within about half an

15    hour, three-quarters of an hour.

16            So I know the system could work, did work, but I think it was a

17    very centralised one.

18       Q.   Now, just to pick up on a couple of elements of your answer,

19    General, and again sticking to what you observed during your time in

20    service in Bosnia, you referred to forward elements of the main

21    headquarters being located alongside subordinate commands or elements, and

22    would you share with the Trial Chamber some of your observations or

23    examples that you saw of that during your time there, and just in general,

24    please, General, err on the side of explaining versus not explaining.  I

25    think that's the spirit of why you're here.  So please feel free to

Page 17579

 1    elaborate.

 2       A.   Then perhaps I ought to elaborate on that point about orders as

 3    opposed to missions.  Or start with that.  In the -- an order by way of a

 4    definition, what I'm meaning by an order in this case is you are spelling

 5    out what you want done and the manner of the doing.  If you give someone a

 6    mission, you're telling him the result you want achieved, and the -- and

 7    leaving the achievement very largely up to the subordinate.

 8            Now, there is no -- it's not as precise as I've just described it

 9    and you can -- there is variations between the two.  But generally, the --

10    what I thought I was looking at was an organisation in the case of the

11    Main Staff, an organisation that operated rather more to orders than to

12    missions.  An example of a forward headquarters being put forward would be

13    at Zepa which we talked about before the break.  And there, there was

14    evidence of this.  You could see the communication vehicles there that had

15    been put forward so that there was the necessary communication links for

16    the forward headquarters to be there.

17            The ability to move round to the -- to the southwest when the

18    attack took place towards Knin would be another example.

19       Q.   And in those examples, who was -- who was it from the Main Staff

20    in each of those examples that you understood to have been moved forward

21    to these areas of effort?

22       A.   In the case of the -- of -- let me back track a bit.  If you have

23    a headquarters in which you have -- you or a command system in which

24    you're trying -- you have a central control, one of the reasons I -- I

25    think that's what I'm looking at in the case of the Main Staff is the

Page 17580

 1    existence of assistant commanders because this allows you to put these

 2    forward headquarters forward, if you are the main commander you can stay

 3    back and send someone forward or alternatively you can go forward with

 4    this advance element and a forward element, and leave an assistant

 5    commander behind.  And you've got relatively small group of people making

 6    these -- the decisions at the centre, by using your assistant commanders.

 7            In the case of Zepa, you asked me the question about who I'd met

 8    and I said I'd met General Gvero.  My understanding of what he was saying

 9    to me is further -- was reinforced by the knowledge of the communications

10    vehicles for a forward headquarters already being at Zepa.

11       Q.   And how about with respect to the events in the west, General?

12    Who from the Main Staff based on your recollection of events at the time

13    was in that area?

14       A.   Well, for a long time, I had the understanding that the Chief of

15    Staff, who I frequently muddle up, was -- whose name I can -- frequently

16    muddle up, the chief of staff was over at Banja Luka, as it were, covering

17    that side of the operation.  And when it all -- the Federation and the

18    Croatian attacks occurred, so the main effort moved over there and Mladic

19    moved as well.

20       Q.   And prior to encountering General Gvero outside of Zepa, who was

21    it from your understanding and your observations from the Main Staff who

22    was in charge of the Zepa operation?

23       A.   Oh, I believe that to have been Tolimir, General Tolimir,

24    before -- at the start of that operation.

25       Q.   At this point, if we could see 65 ter --

Page 17581

 1            JUDGE AGIUS:  One moment.  General, in my mind having followed

 2    what you've been testifying today, particularly with reference to some of

 3    the reports, are you sure we're talking of same responsibilities as far as

 4    the Zepa operation is concerned?  Because at one moment, I got the

 5    impression that there could have been a distinction between military

 6    operations and operations that followed, like the humanitarian issue or

 7    the settling of refugees or the transportation of refugees, et cetera.

 8    Did you at any time perceive that there were two roles that were being

 9    filled?  At different stages, maybe?

10            THE WITNESS:  Those were two separate matters, of course, but I

11    didn't understand them as being dealt with separately in the way I've

12    understood your question.  The -- it's certainly -- it was all being

13    handled by military officers.  There wasn't anyone else from the Bosnian

14    Serb administration or any -- anyone there.

15            JUDGE AGIUS:  My question, basically I should have put it very

16    straight -- in a very straightforward manner.  Did you at any time

17    perceive that once the main military operation was concluded, and that was

18    in the hands of General Tolimir, I'm not concluding that it was, but I'm

19    just basing on what your perception was, did you at any time understand

20    that following the conclusion of the military operation, then General

21    Gvero stepped in to deal with the rest?

22            THE WITNESS:  Yes.  That was an understanding but it wasn't for

23    the reasons you've given.  My understanding was that at this point, which

24    is right at the end of this series of three meetings that I've been

25    having, at the same time, this attack starts on -- by the Croats and the

Page 17582

 1    Federation, and the -- Mladic and Tolimir move over to the other side of

 2    the country to deal with it, leaving General Gvero behind to deal with the

 3    rest.  Just as you can have an advance headquarters, you can leave a

 4    little bit of your advance headquarters behind you to tidy things up.

 5            JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, General.  Mr. Thayer?

 6            MR. THAYER:

 7       Q.   And just following up on His Honour's question, General, do you

 8    recall what the nature of any military operation that remained in Zepa as

 9    of the 31st until the departure of the UNPROFOR troops once and for all

10    from the area was?

11       A.   I had little visibility of it because I wasn't being allowed to

12    patrol or anything like that, but my understanding was it was a

13    containment operation, it was to make sure this thing didn't explode again

14    and was shut down, if you like, rather than anything more offensive than

15    that, and as I was saying the whole emphasis, the main effort of all the

16    Bosnian Serb forces was switching rapidly to this other threat that was

17    materialising.

18       Q.   And to your recollection, General, at this period of time, on the

19    31st of July, was the whereabouts or the fate of the military-aged men of

20    Zepa resolved?

21       A.   No.  I think they were still -- at least some of them were still

22    up in the more inaccessible ground of the Zepa enclave, being prepared to

23    cross into Serbia.  Exactly when that happened, I don't recall.

24       Q.   And let me -- actually let me pick up again on His Honour's

25    question, maybe take it in a slightly different direction, though.  And

Page 17583

 1    that goes to the -- based on your observations, the range of

 2    responsibilities that an assistant commander who was forward had vis-a-vis

 3    what their title might have been, again based on what you were observing

 4    at the time?

 5       A.   I think an assistant commander that I -- as I observed it could --

 6    could cover the full range of the responsibilities for the matter for

 7    which he was put forward to handle.  The title covers the general area of

 8    a specific staff functions, and ensured that when the Main Staff are all

 9    together and forward headquarters aren't out there you've got someone

10    focusing on making sure that's going in the direction everyone wants it to

11    go.  But if you've put one of these forward headquarters forward and if

12    you've put one of these senior commanders in it, then he's commanding in

13    your name, in this case in General Mladic's name, across the whole range

14    of your -- of the responsibilities.

15            JUDGE KWON:  General, if you could give your basis of that

16    conclusion, my question is whether this is your assumption or based upon

17    specific facts.

18            THE WITNESS:  It is my observation, is when you had -- when you

19    had -- you were dealing -- that you could deal with the whole subject

20    matter, you couldn't -- with, say, General Tolimir or General Gvero, you

21    could address those issues to him whatever they were.  I understood him to

22    be a commander, albeit an assistant one, and dealing with the matter in

23    hand in the round.  What -- and that's how I dealt with them.

24            The -- whether he was dealing with the rest of his title, the

25    subjects says rest to the title, there I saw no evidence of that happening

Page 17584

 1    in the specific case.  I would have had to have been inside the

 2    headquarters to see that.

 3            JUDGE KWON:  So did you draw that conclusion in relation to

 4    General Gvero because you heard from him that he was in charge at the

 5    time?

 6            THE WITNESS:  In that particular case, yes.  But I also saw

 7    General Tolimir operating as well, and those -- and drew that conclusion,

 8    that understanding, from watching the pair.

 9            JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

10            MR. THAYER:

11       Q.   May we look at 65 ter 2908, please?  And before, actually before

12    we put that up, General, do you recall a meeting in September of 1995 with

13    the commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, Dragomir Milosevic?

14       A.   This was to go through what was required, the meeting I'm

15    remembering is a meeting where I -- we are going through what's required

16    of them to withdraw weapons and forces out of the Sarajevo exclusion zone.

17       Q.   And could you just spend a couple of moments to put this in a

18    little bit more context of why this meeting was being held and what was

19    the object of the meeting?

20       A.   The -- if my memory is right, the meeting is sometime towards the

21    end of September, I thought it was about -- certainly after the 15th, I

22    think, maybe as late as the 22nd, 23rd of September, and I'm -- we've --

23    the UN and NATO have been bombing -- the Croatian offensive is underway

24    into Bosnia-Herzegovina, it's entered Bosnia-Herzegovina, I think, by that

25    time, and the siege of Sarajevo has been lifted, and there is -- I can't

Page 17585

 1    quite remember the exact order of these events but we -- there is a

 2    cessation of bombing has been agreed provided -- or is about to be agreed

 3    provided certain things have happened.  And some of these things are that

 4    a certain weapons and forces have to be withdrawn by the Bosnian Serbs

 5    from the Sarajevo exclusion zone.  And this meeting takes place near

 6    Lukavica to spell out the modalities of how this was to be done and what

 7    was going to happen if it wasn't done.

 8       Q.   May we look at that document, please, 2908?  And if we could go to

 9    the second page of the English and the second page of the B/C/S, please?

10            At paragraph 1, it notes that General Smith today met with General

11    Miletic, COSBSAHQ.  And what does that mean, sir?

12       A.   Chief of Staff Bosnian Serb Army Headquarters.

13       Q.   Now, General, what is your recollection of what General Miletic's

14    position was in September of 1995?

15       A.   Again, I'm not sure in which order I've -- I came to this

16    knowledge because we weren't necessarily -- we weren't well informed of

17    the command and control arrangements of this organisation.  It was

18    something we were learning as we went along.  I think what was happening

19    is that when the chief of staff -- the real chief of staff, the person

20    formally in that appointment, was forward in Banja Luka, then General

21    Miletic stood in for, occupied that position, as a function.  And he was

22    in fact the chief of ops of the operations branch of the headquarters.

23    That was his formal appointment.  But when the chief of staff is away, you

24    still need a chief of staff, and he became that man in that -- in those

25    circumstances.

Page 17586

 1       Q.   So General, based on the experiences that you've described so far

 2    in the last half an hour or so, observing the way that the Main Staff

 3    deployed its assistant commanders or officers, were you surprised or not

 4    to see the chief of operations take a meeting with you in Sarajevo?

 5       A.   No, not at all, and he -- I'd understood him to be there as the

 6    chief of staff.  He was more than the chief of operations now, he was

 7    acting as the chief of staff of that headquarters.

 8       Q.   And if we could turn to the next page of the English, and we'll be

 9    looking at paragraphs 6 and 7.  Those are on page 3 of the B/C/S, please.

10    At paragraph 6, the report states that General Miletic confirmed that

11    planned UNHCR convoys to Gorazde would be approved, and you reported your

12    intent to send Russian Battalion APCs as escorts?

13            JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, before you answer, yes, Madam Fauveau?

14            MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am against this

15    document being shown to the witness.  We would like to see the particular

16    part of the document.  I'm asking why?  Because these events are beyond

17    the scope of the geographical scope and the charges against General

18    Miletic.  Here we are talking about Gorazde.

19            JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, thank you Madam.  Yes, Mr. Thayer?

20            MR. THAYER:  Your Honour, this is relevant in at least two

21    respects, the first is with respect to the observations that General Smith

22    has already been testifying about in terms of how the VRS operated in his

23    experience and the role that General Miletic played during the course of

24    these events and during the time period in question.

25            The second area of relevance is we have, in the Prosecution's

Page 17587

 1    evidence will show, that the Main Staff was involved in and directing the

 2    reburial operation all the way through November.  So it's relevant to show

 3    how involved General Miletic was overall in the activities of the Main

 4    Staff during this period of time.  It's relevant for both of those

 5    reasons.

 6            JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, Madam Fauveau?  Thank you, Mr. Thayer.  Madam

 7    Fauveau?

 8            MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This was not a part of the

 9    indictment against General Miletic.  It is part of the indictment against

10    some other accused but not against my client.  As far as the first part is

11    concerned, I have nothing against but maybe the witness could tell us

12    whether he did meet General Miletic or not.  If he did meet him, then he

13    can talk about his role but only for the relevant period.  But I really

14    don't see how this meeting could now be transferred to the month of July.

15    First of all we need to hear from the witness whether he ever encountered

16    General Miletic or not.

17            JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  Do you wish to respond to that or do you

18    leave it at that?

19            MR. THAYER:  My next question was going to be precisely his

20    encounter with General Miletic during this meeting.

21            JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  One moment.

22                          [Trial Chamber confers]

23            JUDGE AGIUS:  We can't agree with your objection, Madam Fauveau,

24    provided the Prosecution keeps it within the limits that they have

25    indicated and not go beyond covering matters that are not the subject

Page 17588

 1    matter of the indictment.  Mr. Thayer.

 2            MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 3       Q.   General, we just reviewed this encounter as memorialised in

 4    paragraph 6.  Do you recall this discussion and can you elaborate what

 5    this topic was about?

 6       A.   The whole -- we still had the remaining enclave of Gorazde.  It

 7    still needed to -- we still needed to get to UNHCR conveys in there.

 8            JUDGE AGIUS:  Stop, one moment, yes, Madam Fauveau?

 9            MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Gorazde is not part

10    of the indictment against my client.  I repeat.

11            JUDGE AGIUS:  Let's hear what Mr. Thayer has to say about that.

12    Thank you, Madam Fauveau.  Mr. Thayer?

13            MR. THAYER:  Two things, Mr. President.  First, there was a

14    complaint that we didn't have a factual basis that General Smith had met,

15    had any encounter with General Miletic, and this is precisely what we are

16    talking about here.  This is part of the meeting he had with him.  I'll

17    just leave it at that.  I mean, he's meeting with the accused.

18                          [Trial Chamber confers]

19            JUDGE AGIUS:  I think there must be a misunderstanding of our

20    ruling.  The ruling that we gave needs to be understood as follows:  If

21    there was this meeting between General Smith and General Miletic on a

22    particular day, even if the topic of the discussion was Gorazde, the

23    question becomes relevant insofar as it tries to elicit from the witness

24    not information on what happened in Gorazde but information on what the

25    response and the attitude of -- and the attitude of General Miletic were

Page 17589

 1    during the discussion and how the manner in which the discussion itself

 2    went ahead.

 3            So do proceed with answering the question.  If you need to repeat

 4    it, Mr. Thayer, do so by all means.

 5            MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 6            If I may just draw the Trial Chamber's attention to one thing, and

 7    in the indictment does refer, frankly, to Gorazde and the other eastern

 8    enclaves which were the object of what is being alleged in this

 9    indictment.  And that is the cleansing of the Muslim populations from

10    these three eastern enclaves, and when we refer to eastern enclaves as

11    General Smith has done during his testimony, I think the Trial Chamber has

12    heard that's what we are talking about.  So we are not talking about some

13    far off unrelated enclave.  It's an eastern enclave and I'll leave it at

14    that.

15            JUDGE AGIUS:  What we meant is that in your questions and in his

16    answers one needs to avoid getting into details on particular events, in

17    this case that may have happened in Gorazde, that General Miletic is not

18    charged with or may not be charged with.  That's all we meant.

19            MR. THAYER:  Understood, Mr. President.

20       Q.   Now, perhaps it will be more productive if we move through these

21    three areas that refer to General Miletic, and I'll ask you for your

22    perception based on your interaction with General Miletic.  Paragraph 7,

23    General Miletic asks you what information you had of Serb civilians

24    surrounded and cut off by the BiH offensive in Donji Vakuf, and you agreed

25    to pass any details once you had access to that area.

Page 17590

 1            And then there is a summary of your encounter with General Miletic

 2    and the meeting, "A productive and satisfactory meeting, General Miletic,

 3    intelligent interlocutor, a man to do business with."  Now, general,

 4    having reviewed these three paragraphs and recalling this meeting you had,

 5    what were your perceptions based on your encounter with him and in terms

 6    of his role, his authority, or his portfolio if you want to refer to it

 7    that way, at this meeting?

 8       A.   It was here was a man if not the chief of staff acting as the

 9    chief of staff, that he represented a headquarters that was definitely

10    trying to make what we were trying to do work while, of course, reflecting

11    his own or its own position.  They were being at that stage, and he

12    representing this, a great deal more cooperative and focused than I had

13    found the headquarters and its representatives before.

14       Q.   Now, the remaining time we have left, General, I want to spend a

15    little time, if we could, discussing the importance of the chief of

16    operations and the relationship of the chief of operations to the chief of

17    staff, and I think at this point, I'll revert back into more of the expert

18    testimony mode as opposed to specifically facts-based or observation-based

19    testimony.  You emphasise several times in your report or in your expert

20    statement, general, that the chief of operations is first among equals.

21    Would you please expand on that a bit for the Trial Chamber?

22       A.   In one way or another, the staff of an army are divided into

23    branches or departments, typically there is a personnel one, there is an

24    operations one, there is an intelligence one and so on.  The chiefs or

25    heads of those branches or departments deal with that specific issue

Page 17591

 1    within those -- within the headquarters.  And in the headquarters of the

 2    superiors and their inferiors, they link down those operationals or

 3    logistics or intelligence branches, communicate and link with the

 4    appropriate branch in the next headquarters above and below.

 5            The business of operations is the functional purpose of the army,

 6    and in one sense, all the other branches are there to support the conduct

 7    of operations.  And for that reason, the chief of operations is -- and the

 8    operational branch, is the first amongst equals in those branches in that

 9    headquarters.  And so if you're looking for the most senior of those

10    chiefs of departments or branches, then he tends to be the one who does

11    the operations branch, who heads the operations branch, as opposed to the

12    one who heads the logistics branch or one of the others.

13            And it is usual that he is the one who stands in for the chief of

14    staff if there is one.  The business of the Chief of Staff is to command

15    the headquarters as a whole and to coordinate its activities into a whole.

16       Q.   I want to spend a few moments on another one of the functions of

17    the Main Staff that you've identified in your expert statement, and that

18    is linking up with the political organs of government, and I think you

19    referred to that briefly in the beginning of your testimony.  Would you

20    expand on that role of a main staff a little bit and discuss how that

21    relates, if it is a separate concept, from your theme in your expert

22    statement of military objectives needing to nest inside the overall

23    political objectives?

24       A.   Well, the answer to the first part of the question demonstrates

25    the answer to the second part of your question.  The translation of the

Page 17592

 1    political objective of deciding to use military force into military acts

 2    is, as I said earlier, one of the defining functions of having such a

 3    staff.  The -- this is a two-way process.  The chiefs of staff or -- which

 4    is what they are called in the British practice, the Americans, the

 5    chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his fellows, all their

 6    equivalents in other countries and other arrangements sit on that

 7    interface.  And it is their business not only to translate the political

 8    desire into the military act, but also to explain and to contribute to the

 9    formulation of the political purpose as to what is practical or explaining

10    the costs of what is involved in taking this action.  There is an

11    interchange across that interface.  That is the -- is managed, handled,

12    and -- by the staff and conducted by the personalities who sit in those

13    appointments at that time.

14            The need to -- for your military acts to sit within some political

15    construct is in effect what legitimises them, at least in the eyes of your

16    political construct.  If they aren't nested within that construct, they

17    are without reason.  They are merely a military act, and are -- sorry,

18    they are merely a forceful act, they are not even necessarily military.

19    And certainly, in the conduct of operations, unless these -- the military

20    act is very firmly connected and coherent with the political purpose, then

21    these things become separated very fast and to your disadvantage.

22       Q.   Now, general, back to your personal observations and experience

23    during your service in Bosnia, based on what you saw, how would you

24    characterise the relationship between the political and military

25    leadership of Republika Srpska, based on your extensive meetings that

Page 17593

 1    you've discussed with both the high political leadership and the high

 2    military leadership, and if it's helpful, you know, perhaps to distinguish

 3    between the relationship between the two entities as they worked together

 4    versus the personal relationship between the two respective leaders,

 5    President Karadzic and General Mladic, if you need to.

 6       A.   Inevitably, the personalities colour the -- one's observation but

 7    also in the practice of these relationships.  But I think what I saw was a

 8    close relationship between the two, the political and the military.  There

 9    was a clear -- this was clear right at the beginning, when I went up to

10    meet them, they were all there at the same table, the same military and

11    civil were in the same meetings at Jahorina, and I met with them in there

12    together.  It is -- I am, as we've heard in -- earlier, I am looking all

13    the time for this relationship between the two, and whether it is

14    coherent, and if it -- because if I could see that there were cracks in

15    that relationship, if there was some form of disagreements and so forth,

16    here might be an opportunity that I could take advantage of.  So I'm

17    looking and not finding -- I'm finding more often than not that it's

18    fairly close.

19            I am also conscious that there is a political connections there

20    that are not -- as we have discussed already and I've answered questions

21    about, how you could detect that there was discord in this -- in this

22    relationship, but at no stage did I see it as one that was fragmenting.

23    This was still inside the family, if you like, that they were disagreeing.

24    This wasn't something that was going to make the family break up.

25            And there was -- it was evident on a number of occasions that

Page 17594

 1    the -- in the meetings we had, that the political context in which the

 2    military acts that we were discussing were being debated, was in the

 3    forefront of the Mladic or whoever I was talking to in the forefront of

 4    their minds.

 5       Q.   And General, do you have any examples you could share with the

 6    Trial Chamber with respect to the agreement, as you've just mentioned, or

 7    the consistency between what the political leadership was telling you or

 8    what you were seeing from their message and from what the military

 9    leadership was telling you or what you were hearing from their message?

10    Can you provide some examples of any coordination or unity of message that

11    you saw?

12       A.   Oh, go back to the accounts of the meetings with President

13    Karadzic during April.  There, you could see, although it was coming from,

14    as it were, from his side, from his point of view, it was still supporting

15    the general line of what I'd deduced at that stage as -- and called the

16    thesis.  He was acting, as it were, and speaking within that idea, within

17    that thesis.  Again, if -- I suppose some of the reporting of the meetings

18    with Mladic from Mrkonjic Grad and onwards into August, there, again, you

19    can see the political content of that being discussed.

20            MR. THAYER:  Mr. President --

21            JUDGE AGIUS:  You have five minutes left.

22            MR. THAYER:  I know we have five minutes left.  I have another

23    area to go into which is going to require a couple of exhibits, and I'm

24    not sure I'll be able to finish this other area before the break.

25            JUDGE AGIUS:  How much more time do you have?

Page 17595

 1            MR. THAYER:  I think at most about 15 minutes left of the

 2    examination, Mr. President.

 3            JUDGE AGIUS:  Who is going first tomorrow, cross-examination?

 4    Madam Fauveau?

 5            MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, I will, Your Honour.

 6            JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, Madam.  And so we stop here, General, for

 7    today.  Have a good rest.  You have a long day ahead tomorrow.

 8            THE WITNESS:  Thank you.

 9                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.,

10                          to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of

11                          November, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.