1 Tuesday, 15 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am.
11 All the accused are here. From the Defence teams, I only notice
12 the absence of Mr. Meek. Yes, that's it. The Prosecution is
13 Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Mitchell. I can't see behind. Is that all?
14 Yes. Mr. Zivanovic, I see you're pretty much crowded.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, Your Honours. Here on my right is our legal
16 assistant, Mr. Djordje Kalanj. He's an attorney at law from Belgrade.
17 Here is also Mr. Petar Vuga. He's our expert for military and security
18 issues. Thanks.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So welcome, Mr. Vuga.
20 Also present are the following Defence experts; Mr. Trifunovic for
21 the Borovcanin Defence team. Good morning, Mr. Trifunovic. General
22 Kosovac for the Miletic Defence team. Good morning, General. Admiral
23 Antic for the Pandurevic Defence team. Good morning, Admiral. Are you
24 named after the famous footballer, because I remember a footballer famous
25 by that name from your country. He passed away, I understand, didn't he?
1 Anyway, let's start.
2 Good morning to you, sir. Welcome back. I hope you had time to
3 rest. We have a long journey ahead, which we have barely started.
4 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you and good morning, Mr. President, Your
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, everyone.
10 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
11 Q. Mr. Butler, yesterday, we left off -- we had just -- you had
12 talked about a law that regulated MUP forces in combat with the army; and
13 in looking -- we're now looking at a -- at a document that I just started
14 reading to you, and I'll try again.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is 65 -- or Exhibit number 4D00087.
16 Q. This is from the Drina Corps Command, from the deputy assistant
17 commander for logistics, Colonel Ljubo Sobot, and it is to the Main Staff,
18 as we see in the upper left-hand corner.
19 It's entitled: "Requesting Food Provisions for a MUP Unit
20 Monitoring the Srebrenica and Bratunac Enclaves."
21 It says: "Among others, a MUP unit comprising 400 policemen has
22 been engaged to monitor the Srebrenica and Bratunac area. We have been
23 informed that their engagement and, consequently, food supplies for them
24 have been arranged through the Main Staff, rather than organs and sources
25 of the civilian authorities of the RS and Bratunac municipality."
1 Then it asks for some direction: "Please advise who is in charge
2 of the food supplies. Is it the Drina Corps or the brigade," and it goes
3 on asking for advice from the Main Staff.
4 Can you relate this document in any way to any of the provisions
5 that we'd just seen in the previous law?
6 A. Yes, sir, I can.
7 Q. How so?
8 A. The --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
10 Yes, Madame Fauveau. I wasn't sure if you were standing or not,
11 actually. Yes, go ahead.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] It's always the same thing. There's
13 always a part of a sentence which we don't have, and I think the whole
14 sentence must appear. It's not only the brigade of the Drina Corps but
15 also the civilian authorities.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Madame Fauveau.
17 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I didn't read the whole document. I didn't think
19 it was necessary. I don't understand the point she's making. I mean, I
20 can read it, if she wants me to.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's read it. It will speed things up.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Everyone's looking at it, though.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a short document, it's on the record, we see
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the problem with this
3 document is precisely to know whether it is a civilian organ or the army
4 who are in charge of the food for the police. I think the presentation
5 made by the Prosecutor ignores this point in this document.
6 I'm not asking for him to read the whole document, but he can't
7 present the document, saying whether it is the brigade or the corps. It
8 has to be all the organs mentioned by the corps directly, and in
9 particular the municipality organs of Bratunac, and also the Ministry of
10 the Interior of the Republika Srpska.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think --
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I agree it's asking about that as well. That's
13 not something I was trying to cover up. I think we can all see that in
14 the document.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: But, anyway, the point has been made. Mr. Butler
16 has the document in front of him. He knows what the point is; he knows
17 what your question is. If he wants to move from the military to the
18 municipality or to the Ministry, he's free to do so, I mean, always
19 depending on his personal assessment, knowledge, and assessment of the
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Butler, having in mind the whole document, not just my
23 synopsis of it, of course, can you relate it to the previous law we saw?
24 A. Yes, sir. It is a reflection of the part of the law on the use of
25 the RS MUP in this nature, that when they're put under military command,
1 it's incumbent on the military to provide them with the necessary
2 logistics. That would include food, that would include ammunition, that
3 would include other forms of life support. So this particular document,
4 you know, reflects that manifestation of law.
5 Q. Okay. Let's move -- oh, one other area related to regs or
7 Can you tell us, in the beginning - very briefly - the JNA, was
8 there a concept for the corps related to the zone of responsibility? In
9 the corps rules, was there a concept laid out regarding the corps zone of
11 A. On the basis of the original rules of the JNA, they don't
12 define -- yeah, it's explicitly what's known as a corps area of
13 responsibility. The JNA was designed to fight as a modern military force
14 on the battlefield, not necessarily as the way that the VRS, you know,
15 fought on a more geographical basis and the Republika Srpska and how the
16 units were organised. So you don't have a direct -- a direct collateral
17 between the JNA doctrine and what the VRS ultimately used, which was areas
18 of responsibility.
19 Q. How about did the JNA talk about the areas of responsibility or
20 zones of responsibility for brigade units in the original material that
21 you're talking about from the 1980s?
22 A. I have to go back and actually look at that. I believe the answer
23 is, no, that the brigade rules don't specifically delineate that as -- as
24 an area.
25 Q. Okay. How about the VRS in the wartime period? Did you -- the
1 Court has seen many documents that talk about a zone of responsibility,
2 and we'll see some. But in your opinion, was there such a thing as a zone
3 of responsibility for the brigades?
4 A. Yes, sir, there was.
5 Q. Can you briefly explain that?
6 A. Much of it traces its origin back to the fact that most of the
7 brigades of the VRS, not only within the Drina Corps but in other areas of
8 the country as well, were initially organised and supported with respect
9 to soldiers from that area, funding from that area, by the individual
11 So what happened as the army matured was that these particular
12 brigades, not only were they given the names of particular municipalities,
13 but when you look at the VRS map graphics, you'll note that they have
14 designated areas or zones of responsibilities that, more often than not,
15 correspond with the geographical boundaries of the various municipalities.
16 Q. Okay. Now moving on to just some of the principal documents that
17 you've cited in your Main Staff report and you've discussed over the
18 years, let's go to 65 ter 2739, which should be in your mixed binder
19 volume 2, tab 1.
20 It's a document from the 5th Corps Command, dated 12 May 1992, and
21 it's referencing a decree of the SFRJ, and talks about General Mladic
22 assuming command. Can you just tell us what this document is?
23 A. This is the documents originated by 5th Corps to the commander and
24 commands to inform them that based on the order from above, in this case
25 the SFRY Presidency, noting that Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic has been
1 appointed to the position of Chief of Staff and concurrently the deputy
2 commander of the 2nd Military District, which was then the highest JNA
3 formation in Bosnia, headquartered in Sarajevo.
4 It also lists, as part of that same degree, assignments of General
5 Gvero, General Djukic, and Colonel Tolimir within the 2nd Military
7 Q. All right. Let's go to another document you've talked about. It
8 should be the next on your list, and it's 65 ter number 25. This is the
9 minutes of the 16th session of the Assembly of the Serbian People in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina, also dated 12 May 1992.
11 If we go to page 2 in the English, item 6, it mentions that the
12 Assembly unanimously elected Karadzic, Vlasic, and Kojovic as members of
13 the Presidency of Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 If we go on to item 8, it says: "The Assembly unanimously adopted
15 the decision on establishing the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina Army. Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic was appointed the
17 commander of the SRBH Army Main Staff."
18 How does that relate to the previous document, which appears to be
19 dated the same?
20 A. The former -- or the former JNA 2nd Military District ultimately
21 became the nucleus for what would later become the VRS Main Staff. So, I
22 mean, I believe some other witnesses, I believe Colonel -- I mean,
23 Colonel-General Milovanovic, testified previously about some of the timing
24 issues related to this. But there was an awareness particularly with
25 respect to this Assembly meeting, that those JNA officers who were being
1 appointed to the 2nd Military District were, in fact, going to be
2 designated as the senior leadership figures of the newly-organised Main
4 Q. All right. Now, I want to -- you've also, in this document, in
5 your reports, cited to -- mentioned something called the six strategic
6 objectives, which we have put, in part, in paragraph 19 of the
7 indictment. I believe you cite to what is English page 13 of this
8 document, B/C/S page 12.
9 I believe it's Karadzic saying, I think in the third
10 paragraph: "The Serbian side in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency,
11 the Government, the Council for National Security which we have set up
12 have formulated strategic priorities; that is to say, the strategic goals
13 for the Serbian people. The first such goal is separation from the other
14 two national communities-separation of states."
15 Then it goes on to say: "Separation from those who are our
16 enemies and who have used every opportunity, especially in this century,
17 to attack us, and who would continue with such practices if we were to
18 continue to stay together in the same state."
19 It talks about the second strategic goal which we did not mention
20 in the indictment, and then it mentions the third strategic goal on the
21 next page.
22 It's B/C/S 13: "The third goal is to establish a corridor in the
23 Drina Valley, that is, the elimination of the Drina as the border between
24 the two worlds. We and our strategic interest and our living space are on
25 both sides of the Drina. We now see a possibility for some Muslim
1 municipalities to be set up along the Drina as enclaves in order for them
2 to achieve their rights, but it must basically belong to Serbia, Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina.
4 "That belt along the Drina which, as much as it is strategically
5 useful for us in a positive way, helps us by damaging the interests of our
6 enemy to achieve their goal of gaining a corridor with which would connect
7 them to the Muslim International and render this area permanently
9 Mr. Butler, the -- the six strategic objectives referred to in the
10 indictment, especially the two that are in the indictment, how do these
11 comments relate to what we have put in the indictment? Are they the same
12 or different?
13 A. Yes, sir. They are the same.
14 Q. All right. I believe, and I won't bring it up, but the formal
15 document regarding the six strategic objectives is dated 1993. Do you
16 know how that -- we have this Assembly in 1992 and then they come out in
17 1993. Do you know anything about that?
18 A. My understanding is that while the actual strategic objectives
19 were articulated in May 1992, for whatever reason the Government of the
20 Republika Srpska did not decide to publish those in their own Official
21 Gazettes until 1993. I don't know the exact reasons why they elected to
22 do that.
23 Q. Okay. Let's go to another document you've talked about. It's
24 dated back in 1992. It's tab 3, 65 ter 29. This is a document that has
25 been brought up several times, I believe. It's from the Main Staff of the
1 Army of Republika Srpska, dated 19 November 1992.
2 It says: "Very Urgent: "Directive for further operations of the
3 Army of Republika Srpska to the commander (Chief of Staff) personally.
4 Directive operational number four."
5 It's in the name of Commander Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic and
6 drafted by Major-General Manojlo Milovanovic.
7 Now, Mr. Butler, you have --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think there is a
10 mistake in the transcription, because the Serbian version does not
11 say "personal," which has been mentioned in the English version, after the
12 commander and the Chief of Staff.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madame Fauveau.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, we can look into that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'm not in a position to help you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have the CLSS translation, and it
17 says "personally," but I don't know where that came from. There may be
18 another version of the document out there.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the meaning of the first two words, "na
21 THE INTERPRETER: "Personally."
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: "Personally" is what I just heard the interpreter
23 tell us. Anyway --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's move. But thank you for raising
25 the matter. The only two words that I had doubts upon were precisely, "na
1 licnost." So let's go ahead.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. And, Mr. Butler, did this document help you in your analysis of
4 looking into the intentions of the RS and the VRS towards the areas of
5 Srebrenica, Eastern Bosnia?
6 A. Yes, sir, it does.
7 Q. Okay. Let me -- you have -- and, first of all, can you tell us,
8 it says it's a directive. Can you tell us what a directive is?
9 A. At various times during the conflict, either keyed to a perceived
10 change in the political environment or a perceived change in the larger or
11 broader strategic goals of the nation, the Main Staff of the Army drafted,
12 for their leadership, a series of what are known as these operational
14 I believe there are a total of nine of them published through
15 either the course of the war or through the course of the war and then the
16 month beyond to begin the first transition into the postwar environment.
17 I believe the OTP has approximately seven of the nine.
18 These documents essentially lay out what the I would call the
19 strategic direction of the army in how it's going to, in broad terms,
20 fulfill the political objectives that had been mandated by the political
21 leadership of the Republika Srpska.
22 So in the first part of the war, you see a number of these, 1
23 through 4. In the second several years of the war, where the objectives
24 do not change radically, you see far fewer of these. Then by March of
25 1995, you see publications of further directives in order to deal with
1 new, changing situations on the political and military front.
2 Q. Okay. And as the Court has seen, in this document, laying out
3 some of the background, it says, on page 3 of the English: "I have
4 decided the following," and then it starts listing various corps, giving
5 them their directives.
6 Let's go to the Drina Corps section, which is page 5, in the
7 English it should be, and B/C/S, page 11, entitled "The Drina Corps."
8 It says, in section D: "The Drina Corps. From its present
9 positions, its main forces shall persistently defend Visegrad (the dam),
10 Zvornik and the corridor; while the rest of its forces in the wider
11 Podrinje region shall exhaust the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible
12 losses on him, and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas."
13 Now, I'm going to stop there for a minute. Is there anything, in
14 your view, illegal or improper, militarily, about that statement?
15 A. No, sir. If you were to stop there, there would be nothing wrong
16 with it, as far as I could tell.
17 Q. But it goes on and says: "... together with the Muslim
19 Now, I don't need you to get into a long discussion about that;
20 but in your view, what is that statement?
21 A. I believe that it - you know, I don't believe, I'm certain in
22 fact - it fundamentally defines the character of the campaign to follow;
23 that is, objective becomes, in part, the civilian population.
24 Q. Can you, and, again, just briefly, at the time that this was
25 written, 19 November, can you just give us a little historical background
1 in the -- in the -- what was happening in this area, Naser Oric's forces,
2 how they were doing, and what, if anything, this is responding to?
3 A. Yes, sir. In keeping in line with the earlier strategic
4 directives, the key priorities for the Army of the Republika Srpska at the
5 time pertained to areas with respect to the Krajina; Bijeljina; the
6 Posavina corridor; Sarajevo; and to a lesser extent, Hercegovina; and
7 then, finally, the area of the Drina Valley.
8 Until the beginning of November 1992, that particular area, the
9 Podrinje and Drina River area, did not have its own dedicated corps. In
10 fact, that territory was split up between a number of corps courses, the
11 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the East Bosnia Corps.
12 It was recognised strategically to be important; but with the
13 forces on hand and the other objectives that the army needed to acquire,
14 it was not their top priority.
15 Beginning, as a result, by November of 1992, the Muslims were in a
16 far stronger military position in that particular area than certainly the
17 VRS was comfortable with. There were active Muslim military forces in the
18 Kamenica, Cerska, Bihac area which greatly threatened communications
19 particularly between Zvornik, Vlasenica, Sekovici, and those key areas.
20 Large forces were in south of that area under the command of Naser
21 Oric, who, of course, was expending his territory at the expense of the
22 forces in the area of Bratunac; and as history would show, a month and a
23 half later, was literally at the gates of the town of Bratunac itself.
24 So while ignoring this particular area, in light of more important
25 objectives nationally, the VRS recognised that it got itself into a
1 significantly adverse situation with respect to the Muslim military
2 forces, and this directive is the first mark -- you know, mark in the
3 sand, along with the establishment of the Drina Corps, that it was time
4 for the VRS to begin to focus a higher priority on this region.
5 Q. Okay. And in November of 1992, do you know where Vinko Pandurevic
7 A. Prior to this period, up through October 1992, then Captain First
8 Class Pandurevic was the commander of the Visegrad Light Infantry Brigade.
9 Sometime, I believe it's approximately 14 October, he is wounded in
10 combat, and he leaves the command of that particular unit. He shows up as
11 the commander of the Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade, as it was referred to
12 at the time, I believe 14 December 1992.
13 Q. All right. And let me just go back to the document and ask you
14 about the next line or two. It says: "First offer the able-bodied and
15 armed men to surrender; and if they refuse, destroy them."
16 What do you make of that, if anything?
17 A. That is -- within a military context, there's nothing wrong with
18 that phrase.
19 Q. Nothing wrong with destroying the enemy?
20 A. An armed combatant, as far as I understand international law, an
21 armed combatant is a legitimate military target.
22 Q. Absolutely. All right. I don't think I need to ask you about the
23 rest of that directive.
24 Now, let's go to the next document. It's 65 ter 3029, dated 24
25 November 1992, another document you've cited. This is a document from the
1 Drina Corps Command, dated a couple of days later than the previous one,
2 24 November: "Very Urgent: Decision for further operations," to the
3 Zvornik Light Infantry Brigade Command, personally to the commander or
4 Chief of Staff.
5 It says: "Pursuant to directive of the Main Staff of the Army of
6 Republika Srpska, strictly confidential number 02/3, of 19 November
7 1992: 'In an assessment of the situation, I have decided.'"
8 Now, this is a reference to a directive from the Main Staff. It
9 has the same date. The number is slightly different. The one that we
10 looked at was 02/5-10, and this one says "02/3."
11 In your view, what are they referencing? Well, let me not
12 say "they."
13 What is the commander of the Drina Corps, Colonel, at the time,
14 Zivanovic, referencing when he says this directive pursuant to the Main
16 A. If one looks at the -- the B/C/S version of that document, it
17 says "2-5." So, in fact, he is representing the strategic directive that
18 we've just discussed in the last exhibit. I don't know how it got
19 translated into "2/3," but in the original version, it does, in fact,
20 say "2-5" -- or "2/5."
21 JUDGE AGIUS: There's a simple explanation to that. That "5"
22 looks like a "3."
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Mr. Butler, when looking at an English documents over the years,
25 have you always required to have the B/C/S at hand?
1 A. Yes, sir, I do.
2 Q. And why is that, briefly?
3 A. While I can't claim, by any stretch, to be able to read the
4 language, looking at these documents over the years, the number that I
5 have, particularly those that are written in Latin text, I like to be able
6 to compare the numbers, the military unit designations, because I
7 recognise, from a translation perspective, that many of the military
8 abbreviations and acronyms, our translators don't work with them on a
9 routine basis like myself and the other military analysts do, and it's
10 just a function of trying to make sure that, in fact, military
11 abbreviations, like the 2nd Romanija Brigade or the 1st Zvornik Brigade,
12 get translated properly.
13 Q. All right. Let's just -- I don't want to go over this entire
14 document, but just looking at now in paragraph 1, it says: "Launch an
15 attack using the main body of troops and major equipment to inflict on the
16 enemy the highest possible losses, exhaust them, break them up, or force
17 them to surrender, and force the Muslim local population to abandon the
18 area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde."
19 What do you make of this?
20 A. This is a more detailed reflection of the intent that was
21 articulated in strategic directive 4.
22 Q. All right. And as we see down in paragraph 2.1, the Zvornik
23 Brigade is given specific instructions or orders, of course, as is the
24 Bratunac, the Birac unit, and some others.
25 Can you, again, very briefly, describe the military situation from
1 this November/December time frame in 1992, leading up to the spring of
3 A. Despite the issuance of this order in the middle of November, the
4 VRS, after a few fits and starts, was ultimately not successful in the
5 first month or through the month of December in being able to achieve
6 these objectives. However, at the beginning of January of 1993, they were
7 able to set the conditions and initiate what's generally referred to as
8 the Cerska campaign of 1993.
9 It was a major winter offensive by the Drina Corps which succeeded
10 in two parts. The first part was, you know, defeating the Muslim military
11 forces in the areas that was discussed, in Kamenica, in Cerska, and the
12 Bihac area; and, in effect, also pushing out the Muslim civilian
13 populations who inhabited those areas.
14 The general figures are that half the Muslim population chose to
15 try and go to free territory in Tuzla and the other half of the population
16 migrated south towards the territory under the control of Naser Oric, who
17 was also under significant pressure by the VRS and even some units of the
18 VJ federal army who had crossed across the border to engage in military
20 Many of those people who were forced out of Cerska and Kamenica in
21 January and February of 1992 found themselves, you know, in -- compressed
22 into the Srebrenica urban area when you got to March, April, and May of
24 Q. Okay. Really, in the briefest terms you can think of, can you
25 tell us what happened on the ground and especially with regard to what the
1 UN got involved with, just in some spring period?
2 A. I think the most detailed accounting is obviously going to be the
3 UN report on Srebrenica, which I think does an excellent job in laying out
4 the background information to that point. But what eventually happened
5 is, as a result of a series of successful VRS military operations, the
6 terrain up in Cerska was liberated.
7 They were able to militarily reverse Naser Oric's gains in the
8 Bratunac area. They opened up the road from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac.
9 They reliberated the Kravica village area, and essentially were able to
10 compress Naser Oric's forces into a small pocket centred on the town of
11 Srebrenica. This is what the situation looked like in late April, early
12 May of 1993.
13 Q. And did the Zvornik Brigade play a role in those military
15 A. Yes, in fact, they did. Their 8th Battalion was particularly
16 active in that area from its base at the time in Drinjaca, as well as
17 other formations such as the Wolves of the Drina, things of that nature.
18 So not only the Zvornik Brigade but all brigades of the Drina Corps used
19 manoeuvre units in order to achieve the necessary military success.
20 Q. Was Vinko Pandurevic in command of the Zvornik Brigade during
21 those campaigns?
22 A. Yes, sir. He was -- he was in command. Like I say, I believe he
23 assumed command in, roughly, 14 December 1992, and he was directing is
24 brigades military operations at the start Cerska campaign in January of
25 1993 and throughout the rest of the war.
1 Q. Again, just give us the brief conclusion of that story after the
2 Drina Corps was able to bottle up Naser Oric and his forces and the
3 civilian population in this area, what happened, in the spring?
4 A. Again, referencing the UN report on this particular subject, a
5 humanitarian crisis was created because of the upwards of 30, 35, 40.000
6 people who were compressed into that area. General Mladic at the time
7 agreed to a ceasefire in order to allow for the United Nations to evacuate
8 the civilians out of that particular region.
9 The political leadership of both the UN and the Muslim government
10 at the time, many parties viewed that as the UN being a part of ethnic
11 cleansing, and particularly the Bosnian Muslim government denied
12 permission for those evacuations to take place.
13 At that point, General Morillon, you know, unilaterally declared,
14 you know, the town and the population to be under UN protection, which of
15 course morphed into the future as the UN-protected safe area of
17 Q. Okay. I don't want to get into a lot of detail on all that at
18 this -- at this point or perhaps in the future, but let's go on to another
19 document that you've referred to, 65 ter number 731.
20 This is this publication called the "Drinski," which you've told
21 us is the Zvornik Brigade magazine. Can you just tell us why you've cited
22 this particular area?
23 A. The "Drinski" magazine, as I believe I've testified earlier,
24 particularly at this time, was the monthly military magazine of the
25 Zvornik Infantry Brigade. It was published, and, of course, its design
1 was to inform the soldiers of the brigade. It was designed to, in part,
2 help keep morale good.
3 This particular article is a useful -- is a useful history of the
4 combat -- you know, the origin and the combat service, commemorating the
5 third anniversary of the actual creation of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we can go to the B/C/S page 6, so we just don't
7 have the front of the magazine.
8 Q. Perhaps to save some time, we see an article that talks about the
9 leadership of the brigade, then moving in December to Vinko Pandurevic,
10 and then it outlines some of the -- some of the work he had done, some of
11 the -- can you just briefly describe how that -- what's said there, how
12 that fits into your analysis?
13 A. Yes, sir. It reflects, you know, the fact that Major Petkovic,
14 the prior commander of the brigade, was severely wounded. It talks about,
15 in broad terms, the arrival of then Captain First Class Pandurevic as the
16 brigade commander in December of 1992, his work in organising the brigade,
17 improving its combat effectiveness.
18 It talks about, in that second paragraph, the operation lasting
19 from 7 January to 20 February 1992, and the liberated territory with
20 respect to Zvornik and the Drinjaca Road and cutting off enemy forces in
21 other areas of the Cerska region.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Let's go to another exhibit you've cited. It's
23 the next one, 65 ter number 414, and this is a very big document that is
24 entitled "Republika Srpska, Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska,
25 Analysis of the Combat Readiness and Activities of the Army of Republika
1 Srpska in 1992." It's dated, in Han Pijesak, April 1993.
2 Now, can you just, first of all, tell us -- and then as we go
3 through it, at the end we see that it's in the name of Supreme Commander
4 of the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
5 Just briefly, what is this massive document?
6 A. In keeping with the professional requirements of, you know, the
7 former JNA and their military education and their understanding of the
8 command and staff functions, in early 1993 the leadership of the Main
9 Staff of the Army of the Republika Srpska engaged in this study to, in
10 effect, review their performance for the prior year.
11 Essentially, this is their look in the mirror and their written
12 determination of what happened in the course from their establishment to
13 the present, catalogue those things that they have done correctly and they
14 want to continue to expand on, identify those things that they did not do
15 correctly and learn the lessons from that.
16 Essentially, it is a branch-by-branch, department-by-department
17 review that covers all of the functional areas of the Main Staff, starting
18 from morale, going through operations. It talks about security, it talks
19 about logistics, it talks about training, it talks about ammunition
20 availability. It, essentially, is the army's report card of its own
21 performance for the first year.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, what's that "ANAGO 92." Any
23 explanation for it?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. Mr. Butler, do you know what that might mean on that front
1 page, "ANAGO 92"?
2 A. No, sir. They didn't translate it, for some reason, and I don't
3 know what it means, specifically.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: We'll check that out.
5 Q. It also, I left out, it says "Military Secret." Can you tell us,
6 who, in your view, this kind of confidential obviously study would go to?
7 A. This study was for the purpose of the Main Staff as well as the
8 political leadership of the Republika Srpska.
9 Q. All right. And we see, it's page 6 of the English, that the --
10 basically the table of contents; and then after the table of contents, it
11 says: "Chief of Staff, Major General Milovanovic?
12 Now, this is for 1992 and maybe some of 1993, so I don't want to
13 spend much time on it, frankly. But I do want to ask you about a couple
14 of things that are in here to see if it may have application to 1995.
15 Let's go to the beginning, entitled "Control and Command." It's
16 page 7 of the English, B/C/S page 8.
17 It starts out: "In the past year, the Army of Republika Srpska
18 has evolved into the highest strategic organisational formation of the
19 Serbian people in former Bosnia and Herzegovina, capable of realising the
20 strategic and other tasks assigned to it by the Supreme Command."
21 What do you think that's referring to, the strategic and other
23 A. The army is, essentially, reflecting, in that line, that it
24 believes it is developing to a point where it is capable and effective in
25 implementing the direction of the Supreme Command, the civilian leadership
1 of the country.
2 Q. Would you include the strategic objectives and the directives in
3 that or not?
4 A. Certainly, the strategic directives, as articulated in 6 May --
5 I'm sorry, on 15 May 1992, you know, are a component part of the strategic
6 direction of the civilian leadership of the Republika Srpska, where they
7 want to take the war aims.
8 Q. Okay. It goes on and says: "With its organisational structure
9 comprising seven operational and a number of tactical formations, it is
10 capable of protecting the Serbian people against genocide and of
11 protecting its heritage, of liberating territories belonging to it, and of
12 defeating the Muslim-Croat forces in a significant part of the war
14 Now, it goes on in one of the following paragraphs. I won't read
15 all of it, but again it refers to "defend the Serbian people against
16 genocide by the Muslim Ustasha forces." Throughout this document, there
17 is references to the Serb people being threatened by genocide.
18 What do you make of that repeated reference, protecting the
19 Serbian people against genocide?
20 A. One of the reoccurring themes, particularly through the public
21 announcements of the military leadership during the course of the war, was
22 that the military operations and the sacrifices that the soldiers were
23 being asked to make were not, in fact, offensive war aims but were
24 necessary in order to protect the Serbian people from the perceived threat
25 of genocide, raising the spectre of what happened in -- you know, during
1 World War II.
2 Primarily, it is a theme that permeates both military documents
3 and also media documents that are for the consumption of the Serbian
4 soldiers in the "Drinski" magazine or in other outlets of that nature. So
5 it is a constant theme throughout the war that, in fact, you know, the
6 reason why they're engaging in these operations is to, in fact, prevent
7 the extermination of their own ethnic group.
8 Q. In your view, is this propaganda or something else?
9 A. In this particular document, I don't know that I would call it
10 propaganda, per se, because this is not a document for public consumption.
11 It echoes the theme that I have seen in documents that were for public
12 consumption. So, like I said, I don't think in this context it's
13 propaganda. I mean, the general public is not going to have access to
14 this document; and, therefore, putting it in here for that purpose would
15 be pointless.
16 Q. Okay. Now, moving down the page to the fifth paragraph, it
17 says: "During the past year, the Army of Republika Srpska has been under
18 a single control and command structure, despite the fact that initially we
19 had a large number of different armies and paramilitary formations.
20 "This unity has been attained by the following well-known
21 principles, such as unity, continuity, flexibility, efficiency,
22 operationability, and security, with subordination and a single command
23 having a crucial bearing on relations in the control and command process."
24 I emphasise "single command here" because I want to ask you about
25 this. Is this -- is this anything to do with what you were talking about
1 before, when you were getting into the command issues?
2 A. Yes, sir. I mean, these -- these principles of command were not
3 only articulated in the relevant JNA documents on command and staff and
4 brigade command, but you also see these same principles articulated, I
5 believe, in paragraph 174 of the RS Law on the Army.
6 So, again, they reiterate the principles, in part, by noting the
7 fact that it's taken a considerable amount of time in the first year to
8 achieve these particular principles based on what was actually happening
9 on the ground.
10 Q. All right. Let's go to the next page. It's page 8 in both
11 languages; and there, at the top of the page, it says: "Decisions on the
12 engagement of the forces of the Army of Republika Srpska were taken at
13 meetings of bodies of the Main Staff, headed as a rule by the commander,
14 with the presence and active participation of the Chief of the Main Staff,
15 the assistant commanding officers, the heads of the departments, the heads
16 of the combat arms, and a number of operations officers.
17 "The principal decision-making method was the so-called full
18 method. This shows that the situation on the battlefields was regularly
19 monitored and thoroughly analysed, making it unnecessary to apply the
20 fast-track or some other known method."
21 Can you just briefly tell us what you know, if anything, about
22 this full method versus the fast method and what they're talking about
24 A. These particular methods are defined in detail in the 1983 command
25 and staff manual. The full method, in fact, is a comprehensive staff
1 evaluation process, which is the preferred method to want to be able to
2 make key decisions. It allows for the time to study the particular issue,
3 get the advice and input from all of the relevant staff officers and
4 principals so their expertise can be used to the maximum. It allows for
5 the development of various options and plans and decisions as to which
6 particular course of action will be the most effective course of action
7 under the circumstances.
8 It's -- it is the preferred course because, of course, it allows
9 for the full use of the broad range of experience and expertise of the
10 commander's staff. When possible, you don't want a situation where events
11 on the ground are occurring so rapidly that this process cannot take place
12 and your commander is forced to make snap judgements and snap decisions on
13 what are -- you know, could be partial or even erroneous information.
14 So, I mean, certainly this reflects, you know, the significant
15 professionalism and professional education of the army in understanding
16 and knowing this process and implementing it.
17 Q. All right. And we will get into more specifics, obviously, with
18 the Srebrenica operations in 1995; but as you look just generally at May,
19 June, July 1995, can you determine what method you saw at work during
20 those time periods?
21 A. I'm not sure I can make a broad statement in that respect. For
22 example, where you had the publication of operational directive 7 and 7-1
23 and the publishing of orders pursuant to the attack on Srebrenica in July,
24 that was, for the most part, this full method of command and staff
1 You have a situation on 12 July when, in the headquarters of the
2 Bratunac Brigade, the VRS army commander, in consulting with some of his
3 staff officers, not many, but his brigade commanders, makes a much more
4 rapid analysis, assessment, and decision to move on forward to Zepa. So
5 you had examples of both particular decision-making situations encompassed
6 in that.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you. We'll, of course get into that --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. McCloskey.
9 Ms. Fauveau.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm not sure this is the right time,
11 but I believe there is a problem in translation here. That's why I
12 decided to stand up, because the document is still here in front of us.
13 Earlier on, my colleague read out a portion of the text, ending
14 with the words: [In English] "... and the number of operations officers.
15 [Interpretation] Now, if I look at the text in B/C/S, there's no
16 mention of "operations officers" in this text. Mention is made of
17 administrative officers, officials, but no mention is made of "operations
18 officers." I don't know if the interpreters can be of any help here. The
19 word used in B/C/S is the following: "referent."
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: We can try to sort that out, but somehow I have a
21 feeling operations officers were involved in this military business.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't help you, so please go into this during the
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: We'll work with Madame Fauveau on that and try to
25 sort it out.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Is there -- is everything okay?
2 All right.
3 Then please try and check with whoever can help you over the break
4 and come back to us later on. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, sir.
6 Q. All right. Now, let's go much further into the document that
7 starts -- appears to start assigning tasks or priorities. General tasks,
8 I believe, as we see on 154 of the -- of the English.
9 But let's go to 157, because that's where they get to the Drina
10 Corps, and 137 for the B/C/S.
11 A. I'm sorry, what page in the English, sir?
12 Q. 157. Up there, it's got "Drina Corps."
13 It says: "Task: Shatter, as soon as possible, the Muslim forces
14 in the regions of Srebrenica and Zepa, and then regroup forces and orient
15 at any time them towards Gorazde."
16 So, in April of 1993, when this dated, can you set, again very
17 briefly, the time frame, that this is the task?
18 A. At this particular junction of time, VRS army forces are rolling
19 back the Bosnian Muslim forces of Naser Oric in a way smaller and smaller
20 encirclement around Srebrenica, their last stronghold in that particular
21 region. So their goal is to continue military actions against those
22 forces in Srebrenica and Zepa. Then once those military objectives have
23 been taken, you know, shatter those Muslim forces, you know, be able to
24 reorient and begin operations directed against those in Gorazde.
25 Q. Okay. And then we see, at the bottom of the English, the date and
1 Dr. Radovan Karadzic's name. Then, if we go over to the next page, 158,
2 it's entitled "Basic characteristics of the operational-tactical
3 utilisation of the Army of Republika Srpska," and it's the same ERN --
4 it's the continuing ERN series.
5 Then after several pages, this section appears to end in the name
6 of Colonel Dragutin Ilic. Do you know, is this connected to the previous
7 document, in your view, or do you know?
8 A. It's connected insomuch as the document signed by Dr. Karadzic is,
9 in fact, incorporated into this larger, you know, army evaluation and
10 study. Colonel Ilic at the time was the chief of operations of the Main
11 Staff of the VRS when this was published.
12 Q. Do you know where I believe it was then Colonel Miletic was?
13 A. I believe at this time Colonel Miletic was an operations officer
14 on the Main Staff. He was subordinated to Colonel Ilic at the time.
15 Q. All right. Now, let's just go in this part of the document to
16 B/C/S page 139, English 160.
17 On the -- well, on the last part of 159, it talks about priorities
18 and discharging set or approval tasks were selected depending on the
19 actual stage of the war. The situation in the various areas of the former
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina," now we're on page 160 of the English, "and
21 general social and economic circumstances."
22 I won't read the rest of it; but if people could read that part to
23 themselves, I just want to focus on this last sentence here: "In the last
24 month and a half, our operations have concentrated on the liberation of
25 Podrinje, as thereby the strategic objective of our war and would be
1 realised, one that could be defined as 'establishing contact with Serbia
2 on the River Drina, or the Drina ceasing to be a frontier,'"
3 quote/unquote, beginning with "establishing."
4 What do you make of that?
5 A. It's an example of how the aims -- you know, the aims and
6 operations of the military were not being conducted in isolation. They
7 were, in fact, being conducted in order to achieve the designated
8 strategic goals of the political leadership of the Republika Srpska, and
9 that ties right back to, I believe, strategic directive 3.
10 Q. Okay. And on another topic, just the next paragraph: "In
11 Posavina and Western Bosnia, we have put the emphasis on the grouping of
12 forces, air and artillery support; and in Podrinje, in a specific way, the
13 increased expenditure of ammunition and materiel and equipment, as well as
14 the use of reserves of the Main Staff of the Army of RS."
15 Now, this is the sentence I want you to concentrate on: "The
16 presence of the commander of the Main Staff, or a representative of the
17 Main Staff, in the units carrying out the mission of the liberation of
18 Podrinje, is a specific way of giving weight to and steering combat
19 operations towards a single goal."
20 Now, it's very clear what that says and means. This is 1992,
21 right, and perhaps a bit of 1993. Do you see this practice being used
22 relating to Srebrenica in July 1995?
23 A. Yes, sir, I do.
24 Q. Can you briefly explain?
25 A. From the beginnings of the military component of the operation, we
1 see references, I mean, not only to the issue of reporting back to the
2 Main Staff, but, certainly, by the 9th of July, there is a personal --
3 there is a reference in the reporting to General Gvero being personally
4 present at the IKM where operations are being conducted.
5 Beyond that, even later on the -- sometime during the period of
6 the 10th, General Mladic himself personally shows up at the IKM for the
7 final day of military operations on the 11th, which lead to the capture of
9 Q. How about Zepa, any Main Staff person there briefly?
10 A. Yes, sir. Once military operations began in earnest, and not only
11 military operations, with Zepa there was a concerted effort by the
12 military leadership to try and coerce the political leadership of Zepa to
13 surrender the enclave without military action; and very early on the
14 ground in that effort, Major -- or General-Major Tolimir was present on
15 the ground.
16 Q. How about at around the same time with the build-up of forces over
17 in the -- the Croat forces over in the Krajina?
18 A. Colonel-General Milovanovic's personal presence out there reflects
19 that same principle.
20 Q. Okay. Let's briefly now go to page 162 in the English, page 141
21 in the B/C/S. There's a bullet point: "By taking Kamenica, Cerska,
22 Glogova, the region of Osmace village, and Jadar, the Drina Corps has
23 considerably expanded the free territory and will shortly have achieved
24 the strategic task assigned to it by the Supreme Command, while at the
25 same time providing protection for the Serbian people."
1 Is this just a reiteration of what you've already said, this
2 document has said, basically, with perhaps more description?
3 A. Yes, sir. These are the same terrain features we had been
4 discussing that were involved in the Cerska 1993 campaign.
5 Q. Okay. All right. Now, I want to continue on in documents that
6 you have cited relating to the RS and VRS focus on these -- on these
7 areas. So let's go to the next document, which is 65 ter 2742.
8 This is from the Army of the Republika Srpska Main Staff. It's
9 now the 1st of May, 1993. It's to the -- to various corps and other
10 units. It's entitled: "Combat order for the liberation of Zepa and
11 Gorazde." It is signed off by deputy command -- deputy commander
12 Major-General Manojlo Milovanovic, drafted by Colonel Radivoje Miletic.
13 First of all, what significance, if any, is this deputy commander
14 designation of Milovanovic in this document?
15 A. It reflects that for the purpose that this order is being issued,
16 during the time of this order being issued, it reflects the fact that the
17 commander of the Main Staff, General Mladic, is unavailable to issue the
18 order himself; and, therefore, then General-Major Milovanovic is issuing
19 the order under his authority as the deputy commander of the Main Staff.
20 Q. All right. And this -- and, I mean, we'll get into some of this
21 document in more detail. It's entitled: "Combat order for the liberation
22 of Zepa and Gorazde." Can you put us in a bit of context, where we are
23 now in terms of Srebrenica, and just a very general synopsis of this
25 A. It reflects, particularly the first two pages of this document,
1 the understanding of the military leadership of where they are on the
2 ground in the Podrinje area with respect to what they believe the Muslim
3 objectives are to be able to hold on to certain parts of territory, what
4 they think the UN's involvement and actions are going to be; and that
5 based on that particular information, they want to begin to initiate
6 operations to preclude that, specifically as rapidly as possible, to take
7 the area around Zepa and follow on to Gorazde.
8 Q. But remind us, by May 1st, 1993, is there a Srebrenica enclave, a
9 UN enclave?
10 A. There is a UN safe area designated around Srebrenica. I don't
11 know whether they are calling it the enclave. You know, they never did
12 define the boundaries of it certainly during that period, so I'm not
13 exactly sure of the terminology of it.
14 Q. But at that time, would that have been in the mind of the authors
15 of this?
16 A. It reflects the fact that, you know, they're aware that the
17 foreign military intervention under the UN umbrella, and that's how they
18 viewed what happened at Srebrenica.
19 Q. Okay. Let's go into a little more detail on this. I want to just
20 go to the second page, which should be B/C/S still on the first page, but
21 the second page of the English. It gives a background about the interests
22 of the major powers in the first part.
23 Then it goes on to say: "Expecting more strict sanctions against
24 the FRY and the adoption of the resolution on expanding the mandate of the
25 UN forces from the forces for securing humanitarian assistance to
1 peacekeeping forces, but actually means foreign interventions under the UN
2 umbrella, the enemy is trying to keep the Muslim enclaves in Srednje,
3 Podrinje, Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde before the intervention begins,
4 and to take most favourable position on all fronts, especially in
6 Do you have any disagreements with that?
7 A. No, sir. That's their point of view of what's happening.
8 Q. And I don't know if you can the Muslim point of view, but is that
9 what the Muslims are trying to do?
10 A. I believe, within the context of how it's discussed in the UN
11 report on the events leading up to Srebrenica, this is exactly what the
12 Muslims have been trying to do.
13 Q. All right. And: "Considering their military defeats in Kamenica,
14 Cerska, and Konjevic Polje, and expecting the fall of Zepa within a short
15 period of time, the Muslim leadership is trying to internationalise the
16 problem of the Podrinje region at any cost by bringing the UN forces to
17 Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde and organising other humanitarian actions
18 which would enable constant presence of the representatives of
19 international organisations in those enclaves."
20 Do you agree with that?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Now, this is drafted by then Colonel Miletic. In your view, what
23 degree of sophistication and knowledge of the situation does this show on
24 his part?
25 A. It reflects a knowledge of both the military situation on the
1 ground in the Drina Corps, and it reflects a broader knowledge of the
2 larger political and diplomatic situation with respect to particularly the
3 United Nations ground forces as well as events that are happening up at
4 the United Nations Security Council.
5 Q. Okay. One last question before the break regarding the next
6 paragraph. It's perhaps the next page in the B/C/S -- well, I'm not sure
7 it is, but it starts: "Therefore, in the following period, the Muslims
8 plan to avoid the demilitarisation of Srebrenica, or overcome their
9 inconvenient operative and tactic position in Podrinje, by proclaiming
10 Gorazde and Zepa 'protected zones,' in order to link these areas and then
11 create conditions for continuing with their attacks, taking over Eastern
12 Bosnia and expelling the Serbs from this territory.
13 "For the time being, they are obviously not able to launch any
14 significant attacks, but we expect sabotage and terrorist actions ... on a
15 larger scale in the regions of Grebka, and they'll try to re-establish the
16 functioning of the Trnovo-Gorazde corridor."
17 Just going through this a little more slowly, "in the following
18 period the Muslims plan to avoid the demilitarisation of Srebrenica," did
19 the Muslims, in fact -- were they able to, in the words of Mr. -- or
20 Colonel Miletic, avoid the demilitarisation of Srebrenica?
21 A. Yes, sir, they were.
22 Q. Again, I won't get into how -- you know, what kinds of things were
23 taken or not taken, but the Court's, I think, heard more recorded in human
24 history at that point. How about the part about "or overcome their
25 inconvenient operative and tactical position in the Podrinje by
1 proclaiming Gorazde and Zepa protected areas"?
2 Did that happen?
3 A. Yes, sir. It did as well.
4 Q. "... in order to link up these areas and then create conditions
5 for continuing their attacks, taking over Eastern Bosnia ..."
6 Did they try to do that?
7 A. Particularly with respect to Gorazde and linking it up with the
8 other forces from Central Bosnia, the conduct of the operations out of the
9 Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves from 1993 to 1995 reflect the fact that while
10 they had combat power to conduct raids and operations of that nature, they
11 were never going to have -- they never generated enough significant combat
12 power to significantly take large swashes of territory that were then
13 under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska in that area.
14 Q. Okay. So then we get the next part "expelling the Serbs from this
15 territory." They didn't get to that part?
16 A. Certainly not in the -- the area that we're referring to from Zepa
17 to Srebrenica to the north.
18 Q. Were Serbs expelled from the Tuzla area?
19 A. Yes, sir. They were, early in the war.
20 Q. Completely?
21 A. I don't -- I can't tell you the population numbers specifically,
22 but my own --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think this is military expertise. It's
24 demographic expertise.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was just preparing for cross-examination is all,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Anyway, let's prepare for the break instead
3 for the time being.
4 So we'll have a 25-minute break. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 We heard, Mr. President, shortly after your request from
10 Translation, and with the agreement of at least some Defence counsel, that
11 this acronym for "ANAGO" is "Analysis of Readiness."
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that information, yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
14 Q. Mr. Butler, we're still on the Milovanovic, drafted by Miletic
15 document. I don't want to get into all the ins and outs of that. There's
16 discussions of more Muslim intentions and the Vance-Owen plan and issues,
17 which I don't want to get on to.
18 But on page 7 of the document, in B/C/S, it should be 5, it just
19 lists basically the order: "I have decided the following: The forces of
20 the Drina Corps," with the assistance of various units which I won't get
21 into, and "the support of the Main Staff reserve forces is to crush and
22 destroy the Muslim armed forces in the broader area of Zepa and Gorazde as
23 soon as possible, shall cut off Kladanj-Zivinici road, securing a firm
24 holding of the lines achieved around Srebrenica and on the north-west part
25 of the corps front and prevent the incursion of the Muslim forces from the
1 direction of Kladanj, Kalesija, and Vitnica."
2 It goes on in the next paragraph and gives objectives, one of
3 which is to crush enemy forces in Zepa and liberate Zepa.
4 Was this ever carried out, from this particular plan and this
5 particular time period?
6 A. The VRS tried to implement this; however, very rapidly, following
7 the creation of the Srebrenica safe area, both Zepa and Gorazde were also
8 declared UN-protected areas as well. So, you know, while preparations
9 were underway to do this, they were never able to actually achieve these
11 Q. Okay. Then going over to page 8, I think it's page 5 in the B/C/S
12 down at the bottom paragraph, it says: "The Main Staff of the Army of
13 Republika Srpska shall coordinate the operation from the IKM in Rogatica.
14 Colonel Dragutin Ilic shall be responsible for merging, planning, linking,
15 and RiK," which means command and control, "of the forces engaged in the
16 liberation of Gorazde and Colonel Radivoje Miletic of the forces engaged
17 in the liberation of Zepa."
18 Now, remind us, at this time, what you believe Miletic's position
19 at this time was?
20 A. At this point in time, I believe Colonel Miletic is either the
21 deputy -- I don't think at this point in time he's become the chief of
22 operations. I believe he's the deputy to Colonel Ilic.
23 Q. And this sentence is a bit short: "... and Colonel Radivoje
24 Miletic of the forces engaged in the liberation of Zepa." What do you
25 take that to mean that Miletic's responsibilities are, the document
1 drafted by Miletic?
2 A. In this context, I mean, it's not Miletic being appointed as a
3 commander. What they are saying is, in this -- in this situation, is that
4 these designated officers, Colonel Ilic and Colonel Miletic, will be
5 responsible for coordinating the combat activities from these two various
7 That reflects the practice that we've discussed before, where even
8 though the brigades and corps are conducting these combat operations,
9 there is a preference, where they can, at key locations to have a Main
10 Staff official or officer present at that site in order to de-conflict any
11 potential issues and to continually monitor the combat operations; and if
12 the situation changes, that particular officer is in a position to give
13 guidance as to how to deal with those changes.
14 It is, particularly within the context of the JNA and as we saw it
15 applied to the VRS, a common practice.
16 Q. All right. Now, let's -- as you've stated, those areas became
17 UN-protected areas. Let's skip ahead to July 1994 and a document that
18 you've cited. It's 65 ter 2667.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
20 MR. HAYNES: Just while this document is coming up, I was going to
21 raise this later but there's now an inconsistency. The transcribers have,
22 this time around, correctly attributed that document to Milovanovic. On
23 four previous occasions, page 7, line 19; page 10, line 2; and page 32,
24 lines 11 and 12, they attributed it to Mr. Milutinovic, which might in due
25 course prove confusing.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you for that.
2 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Thank you very much. I don't think the
4 press guy was doing these sorts of documents. I hope not. Thank you.
5 Q. Back to where we were, we were getting ahead closer to July 1995,
6 but we're still in July 1994, 65 ter 2667, a document from the Drina
7 Corps, under General Zivanovic, entitled "Very Urgent: "Defining tasks
8 from the briefing and urging their completion." It's to the Zvornik
9 Brigade and other brigades of the Drina Corps and some other units.
10 It says: "Pursuant to a briefing on 1 July 1994 to the VRS Main
11 Staff commander by Drina Corps commander and regiment/brigade commanders
12 about level of combat readiness in units and corps commands, pursuant to
13 the tasks issued and pursuant to the VRS Main Staff orders dated 22 July
14 1994, in order to regulate measures, actions, and tasks relating to the
15 Muslim enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde, I am issuing the
16 following order."
17 Then it goes down, under number 1, and reference is by the order
18 of the Main Staff, dated April 18, 1993: "It is now declared null and
19 void (the ceasefire and action around Srebrenica)."
20 What's that a reference to? Tell us about that, just a bit?
21 A. That is a reference to the actual ceasefire agreement that was
22 signed by General Mladic and, I believe on the Muslim side, I believe it
23 was General Halilovic, I'm not exactly sure, with respect to the military
24 ceasefire that was brokered by the United Nations in concert with the
25 establishment of the Srebrenica safe area.
1 Q. All right. And I'm not going to go into all the details of that,
2 but there is, I think, one paragraph that helps us understand some of it.
3 It's paragraph 13. It's number 5 in the English. It's B/C/S page 3.
4 It says: "Since Muslim forces and UNPROFOR from the enclaves of
5 Srebrenica and Zepa did not fulfill the discussed agreement on the
6 demilitarisation of Muslim forces, and since they continued to move around
7 armed and to open fire from infantry weapons and mortars against VRS
8 soldiers and our population, the brigade command (independent infantry
9 battalion) and units and units must take all measures to prevent that and
10 to reduce the enclaves to the area listed in the agreement - Srebrenica
11 town, Zepa, and Gorazde (the town and a three-kilometre area)."
12 What does that document do? What does it tell us?
13 A. It is instructing the brigades to start to enforce what the VRS
14 considered to be the designated boundaries of the particular UN safe
15 areas. They never recognised the much wider areas. You know, they
16 recognised them on their maps as de facto this was the borderline of the
17 UN protected area, but their own understanding of what they had agreed to
18 was that these protected areas would, in fact, be much smaller than the
19 UN's interpretation of them.
20 Q. So what is your view of what they mean when they say "reduce the
21 enclaves to the urban area"?
22 A. Specifically, with respect to Srebrenica, and I've testified
23 before, my understanding is what the VRS articulated was the one-kilometre
24 by two-kilometre, you know, area that was, in fact, the urban area of
1 Q. What would be the realistic effect of that?
2 A. You would be, essentially, looking at the same humanitarian crisis
3 situation that occurred in April of 1993 which triggered the decision to
4 declare the area a safe area in the first place.
5 Q. The statement that I just read out, that they did not fulfill the
6 discussed agreement on demilitarisation of Muslim forces, do you agree or
7 disagree with that?
8 A. I agree with that, yes, sir.
9 Q. And: "Since they continued to move around armed and to open up
10 fire from infantry weapons and mortars against VRS soldiers and our
11 population ..."
12 Do you agree or disagree with that?
13 A. Yes, sir. They in fact did.
14 Q. I'm not going to get into any detail on this, but did the UN
15 provide sufficient forces to protect the Muslim population in Srebrenica
16 and Zepa?
17 A. No, sir. They did not, not to protect them in a military sense
18 against an armed aggressor from outside and not in the sense of enough
19 military forces with a requisite mission to enforce the ceasefire
20 agreements or the demilitarisation agreements.
21 Q. Okay. Now let's -- continuing to move towards this, we're now to
22 March of 1995 and documents that you've identified relating to the
23 possible intentions of the RS and the VRS. A document that everyone is
24 familiar with is 65 ter number 5. It's directive 7. It's dated 17 March
25 1995, under a cover letter from the Chief of Staff Milovanovic, and we see
1 again drafted by Colonel Miletic.
2 As we saw before, there's the listings of the various corps. We
3 get to the Drina Corps listing, page 10 of the English, page 15 of the
5 When it gets to down at the bottom by "Drina Corps," it gets to
6 the area that we're concerned about: "While in the direction of
7 Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, complete physical separation of Srebrenica
8 from Zepa should be carried out as soon as possible, preventing even
9 communication between individuals in the two enclaves, by planned and
10 well-thought-out combat operations, create an unbearable situation of
11 total insecurity, with no hope of further survival or life of the
12 inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
13 Mr. Butler, I don't want to ask you a lot about that. Is that
14 consistent or inconsistent with directive 4, in your view?
15 A. I believe that's -- that's very consistent with directive 4.
16 Q. Okay. Let's go on to another -- another section in this. It's
17 page 14 of the English, and it's page 21. It's under this area: "Support
18 for combat operations" under the "Moral and psychological support" area.
19 I believe it's around the fourth paragraph down and it says: "The
20 relevant state and military organs responsible for work with UNPROFOR and
21 the humanitarian organisations shall, through the planned and
22 unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits, reduce and limit the
23 logistics support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material
24 resources to the Muslim population, making them dependent on our goodwill,
25 while at the same time avoiding condemnation by the international
1 community and international public opinion."
2 Do you see or infer any reference to the Muslim army in this
4 A. No, sir.
5 Q. Okay. And just how do you -- how do you take -- how do you take
6 this to mean, briefly?
7 A. I read it at face value for what it says.
8 Q. Okay. Fair enough, fair enough. Let's -- now, after this, which
9 is Defence Exhibit 5D00361, is something called "Directive 7-1", and this
10 is again drafted by Miletic, under the name of Mladic this time.
11 Can you briefly describe to us what this document is?
12 A. This is a common thing I've seen in connection with some of the
13 other strategic directives, particularly strategic directive 4, where
14 after the issuance of the original directive, the headquarters will issue
15 additional amplifying or technical instructions on how to accomplish these
16 specific goals related to the base directive.
17 What directive 7-1 does is, in fact, lays out a more military
18 technical series of orders and instructions for the corps to implement, so
19 it's exactly clear what they're expected to be able to accomplish.
20 Q. And are there any references in this document to the two
21 references I've just referred you to, and directive 7 specifically, making
22 life unbearable for the Muslim population, making it impossible, and the
23 reduction of aid to the Muslim population; any references to those two
25 A. No, sir, there are not.
1 Q. Does that -- how does that affect, if it does, those two
2 directives in directive 7?
3 A. I don't believe it does, primarily because the issues related to
4 the control of United Nations convoys, granting the clearance and
5 ultimately determining which convoys will pass and under what
6 circumstance, was not a responsibility that was delegated down to the
7 corps or other formations. It was a responsibility that the Main Staff
8 itself, you know, directed. As a result, given this order going down to
9 the corps giving them more technical guidance and instruction, since they
10 didn't have to deal with that specific aspect of the plan, they didn't
11 need to amplify those issues.
12 Q. Okay. That's the issue of restricting. What about the issue of
13 the first one, making life unbearable and impossible for the population?
14 A. Again, with respect to this is being a more technical document
15 with respect to military technical tasks, there's not a collateral
16 military order or terminology that equates to -- you know, there's no
17 military mission that says make life, you know, unbearable for a
18 population. You can attack, you can defend, you can advance, but there's
19 no collateral order to say that, so that's not exactly a military goal
20 that can be defined.
21 Q. Okay. Now, are you familiar with -- well, first of all, are you
22 familiar with a collection of convoy -- humanitarian and UN convoy
23 documents that was assembled by the OTP?
24 A. Yes, sir, I am.
25 Q. And can you briefly describe that collection and where it came
1 from, as best as you know?
2 A. The first few that we had, within the context of the Office of the
3 Prosecutor, was with the seizure of documents for the Bratunac Light
4 Infantry Brigade in 1998. There were a number of orders there to the
5 brigade from -- through the Drina Corps to the Main Staff, reflecting what
6 we call convoy clearance messages.
7 Those are messages from the Main Staff sent down to the relevant
8 formations that are responsible for the blockade or the control of convoys
9 back and forth out of the enclave, letting them know which particular
10 convoys and what particular cargo have been approved to go into the
11 enclaves, and which particular cargo and which particular convoys are not
12 approved, and in some cases the circumstances why they were not approved.
13 Bratunac had a collection of these documents because Bratunac controlled
14 the UN access into the enclave over the yellow bridge.
15 Later, as part of the Drina Corps collection, there was a wider
16 selection of these same types of documents, reflecting convoy clearance
17 messages for other parts of the country as well, Zepa, Gorazde, and even
18 Sarajevo, so you just had a much broader framework. But we've seen these
19 documents, from an analytical perspective, since 1998.
20 Q. All right. And were you asked to review that collection for this
22 A. Yes, sir, I was.
23 Q. And what were you asked to do?
24 A. Essentially, I was asked to review those documents and present
25 them as a way of providing a not necessarily comprehensive review but give
1 the Court an idea of the types of measures that the Main Staff and the VRS
2 forces undertook with respect to convoy clearance, why they cleared
3 certain convoys and why they did not, what some of their underlying intent
4 and goals were behind these issues, and how the actual practice occurred
5 on the ground.
6 Q. From this collection, did you -- can you in any way tie it to what
7 we saw in directive 7, that talks about restrict -- restricting convoys?
8 A. Yes, sir, I believe it does.
9 Q. All right. And you picked out several.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours, Mr. President, I have thought of a
11 way to try do this and save some time, but I -- so I'm going to try to go
12 through these fairly quickly. I just couldn't find a way to save time,
13 and I think it's an important area, given that many of them, as you know,
14 already are authored by General Miletic.
15 Q. Mr. Butler, can you tell us, before we get into the individual
16 documents, what do you know about how this system worked at the time?
17 A. At the time, there was a political body of the Republika Srpska
18 that would meet and discuss, in broad terms, issues related to what
19 material could come into the Republika Srpska as part of UN aid packages
20 or UN convoys. It dealt with issues on a nationwide basis, and it was
21 very much involved in ensuring that for aid that was going to the Muslims
22 and to the Croats, that, in fact, the Serbs also received their requisite
23 amount of aid.
24 At the same time, there was a military not body but military
25 officers at the Main Staff who were concerned and dealt with the actual
1 application of the movement of those convoys, designating specific routes,
2 designating specific times, designating specific cargoes; and, certainly,
3 that made sense with respect to the fact that, you know, the Main Staff
4 would have the best view on the ground of ongoing combat activities and
5 would know what areas would be safe for the UN to move convoys through at
6 what particular times. So that particular -- you know, that particular
7 apparatus was in place.
8 Once it was decided which convoys would be able to pass, what
9 times they would be able to pass, what their cargo was, those decisions
10 were then crystalised into orders which were sent to the military units
11 that were actually controlling the access of roads from the United
13 Convoys coming into Serbia -- from Serbia would either come in
14 through Zvornik or through the bridge at Ljubivoje, so those orders would
15 go there. Convoys going into Srebrenica would go across the yellow
16 bridge, so orders would be sent to the Bratunac Brigade so they could
17 adequately inspect the convoys before it entered the UN territory. Those
18 types of details, and that's how that apparatus worked.
19 Q. This political body that you talk about working with the VRS, was
20 there any member of the Main Staff on that body?
21 A. I believe that there was one member of the Main Staff on that
23 Q. When you say "I believe" --
24 A. Yeah. My understanding is it was Colonel - and I don't want to
25 butcher the name; I'm not good at it - Djukic -- not Djukic, Djuric.
1 Q. Djurdjic?
2 A. Close enough.
3 Q. I'll probably -- anyway, we'll get to some documents.
4 A. That helps. I'm not very good at the names, unfortunately.
5 Q. And you've seen the collection of documents that are here. Are
6 those documents that you've identified largely because they were excluding
7 materials, and some other reasons?
8 A. The documents that I've selected are there because they show what
9 type of material was included, what type of material was excluded, and
10 also because it gives glimpses into the rationale behind the Main Staff of
11 excluding certain material.
12 Q. Okay. And are there plenty of other documents in the collection
13 that you didn't refer to that actually, you know, allow convoys to go
15 A. Yes, sir, that's correct. It's not a comprehensive collection of
16 what I've assembled today.
17 Q. Okay. We're going to go through these, and I will probably do
18 some leading; but in coordination with my colleagues, just so we can try
19 to get through them.
20 Let's go to 65 ter 2522, a -- one of these Main Staff -- it's
21 entitled "Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska," 6 March 1995, to
22 the SRK and Drina Corps Command: "In our document of 6 March 1995, we
23 informed you of the convoys and movements of UNPROFOR teams approved for
24 7 March 1995."
25 Just so we know, this is going to be under the name of Radivoje
1 Miletic, standing in for the chief.
2 In order -- then on page 2: "In order to exercise strict control
3 over the movement of convoys and teams which alone have been approved, we
4 hereby provide details of the convoys which have not been approved, of
5 which you will promptly inform the check-points in order to prevent
6 unapproved movement, as follows."
7 What does this tell us about the process and who was involved in
8 it from the top?
9 A. It demonstrates the involvement of the Main Staff in some detail
10 with respect to, again, not only clearing which convoys, but deciding
11 which convoys are not cleared. It shows involvement at the highest levels
12 of the Main Staff.
13 Q. So we see this under the name of Radivoje Miletic. Do you have
14 any explanation why he, as it's said here, standing in for the Chief of
15 Staff, why he would be involved in this kind of matter?
16 A. I certainly can't say that he would have drafted this particular
17 order. But as his role as, you know, standing in now for the Chief of
18 Staff, this was something under the purview of the Main Staff operations
19 people and something that, you know, subordinate staff members would have
20 drafted and expected to go out under his authority.
21 Q. If he had signed this, would that be significant; if so, how?
22 A. I'm not sure how much more significant it will be. You know, a
23 superior is expected to know what orders are being issued in his name.
24 What should normally happen as a part of the process, that even if this is
25 signed for him by a subordinate officer, at some point in time he is
1 expected to review it because he's responsible for it. If he signed it,
2 personally, it reflects the fact that he would have read it, personally.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, Mr. McCloskey.
4 Madame Fauveau.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps it's a
6 technical detail, but I think it's important. I don't believe the
7 document we have here is in order. I don't think it is in order.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Madam.
9 Mr. McCloskey, can we see the first page, please?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Directive.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Mr. Butler, maybe you can clear this up for us. We see, in this
14 document, General Miletic telling people to do things, but how do you
15 evaluate that, from his position at the time?
16 A. No. He's not -- he's not directing the subordinate formations to
17 deny convoy clearance. What he's saying, in the context of this order, is
18 that, "We, at the Main Staff, have already decided that these convoys will
19 not pass. We are informing you of our decision. In the event that a
20 convoy shows up at a check-point and is one of these convoys that has
21 already been denied, you're to take the following measures."
22 Those measures are actually explained in detail in following
23 documents, where it specifically notes that, "You're to turn the convoy
24 around and you're to notify the Main Staff."
25 So, at this point, when you look at this document in isolation,
1 you know, there's an assumption that the brigades and the subordinate
2 commands already know what they are supposed to do in the event that a
3 particular convoy that has not been approved shows up at their doorstep.
4 Q. But when he's telling people to do things, like he is here, do you
5 view that as something that the subordinates that he's telling it to have
6 to follow?
7 A. Yes, sir. The subordinate commands are going to be expected to
8 follow these instructions.
9 Q. And I don't think at this time I'm going to ask you about the
10 standing in for and that whole area. I think that's been dealt with
12 All right. Let me just go to one of the restrictions. It's
13 number 4. It's page 2 in the English. As we see in the top paragraph in
14 the English: "The unapproved movement, as follows," and it describes the
15 Ukrainian Battalion from Sarajevo to Zepa, 7 March, returning 9 March, in
16 order to supply fuel to the Ukrainian Battalion in Zepa.
17 What do you say about this?
18 A. It's a reflection of part of the larger plan to slowly limit the
19 ability of the United Nations forces to effectively operate under their
20 mandate of policing the safe areas.
21 Q. Can you think of any military reason to prevent the Ukrainian
22 Battalion from getting fuel?
23 A. The only military justification that comes to mind, given the fact
24 that the UN's not going to militarily attack the VRS, would be their
25 suspicion that the Ukrainian military forces in this case might either be
1 providing fuel to the Bosnian Muslim forces or that the fuel that's going
2 there might in some way be hijacked or compromised and still end up in the
3 hands of the Bosnian Muslims.
4 Q. The Bosnian Muslims in Zepa, what armed forces were you aware of
5 that would actually use fuel in military vehicles?
6 A. They did not have military vehicles, per se; it was a light
7 infantry brigade. But there may well have been generators that would have
8 required diesel fuel to provide electricity, things of that nature, which
9 would have facilitated communications. So while they weren't doing
10 large-scale vehicle operations, you know, there certainly would have been
11 a potential for the Muslims to want to siphon fuel off the United Nations.
12 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one, 2678. Now, this is one that
13 we should take a look at the original B/C/S, which we see on the screen.
14 Like the other one, it was entitled "Main Staff, Army of Republika
15 Srpska," dated 2 April 1995.
16 Then we have this handwritten part in the upper right-hand corner
17 of the original, which says: "Not a single convoy or ICRC team or MSF may
18 enter Srebrenica without my permission and presence. M. Nikolic."
19 What do you make of this?
20 A. Momir Nikolic is the assistant commander for security affairs with
21 the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, which was also the focal point for
22 the Bratunac Brigade controlling the access of material going into the UN
23 enclave. It was an additional -- it was an additional duty he had
24 assigned to him, to perform this function.
25 This is a notation by him. I'm not sure whether this message was
1 actually posted at the yellow bridge or whether it would have been at the
2 Bratunac Brigade headquarters. But he's reiterating the fact that before
3 any particular convoy of these natures goes in -- or, you know, to the
4 enclave, he has to personally be there and give it permission.
5 Q. Okay. So is this -- this original, is that one of the documents
6 found at the Bratunac Brigade, in your view?
7 A. Yes, sir, it was.
8 Q. And how do you know that?
9 A. If it wasn't found at the Bratunac Brigade, one, it would be
10 unlikely that it would have Nikolic's handwriting on it; and, second, I
11 kind of recognise the ERN range that reflects the earlier document
12 collections that the ICTY had.
13 Q. All right. And we can see, on paragraph number 3, a reference to
14 an approved -- I believe it's an approved ICRC team going to Srebrenica.
15 All right. Let's go to the next, 2689.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we see the
18 signature on this document, please, the document that's on the screen
19 right now?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means, Madame Fauveau.
21 THE WITNESS: If the Registrar scrolls up on the right-hand image,
22 you should -- there it is.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that the signature you meant, because I didn't
24 understand you that way.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] You have understood very well. I
1 just wanted to see the signature at the bottom of this document.
2 Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we -- I do want to clarify who's -- what
5 superior officer is at the bottom of each page, and I didn't for that
7 Q. So, Mr. Butler, can you just tell us on that document, 2678, who
8 is the superior officer whose name this goes out under?
9 A. Yes, sir. This goes out under the name of General Lieutenant
10 Colonel Milovanovic.
11 Q. Can you explain, they seem to be sharing these duties?
12 A. It's not a question of sharing the duties, sir, it's a question
13 of, when Colonel Milovanovic is back in the headquarters for any period of
14 time, he's going to reassume his duties.
15 Q. All right. Let's go to 2689, dated 7 April 1995, again in the
16 name of Lieutenant-General Milovanovic, and I want to point out the part
17 that's on B/C/S 1.
18 It should be English, page 2: "We did not approve the following
19 in this weekly plan. Material for the Swedish construction project for
20 Srebrenica and Drinjaca on 9 April, 11 April, and 13 April for Srebrenica,
21 until we receive the position of the state for cooperation committee
22 regarding the matter. In addition to the above, we did not approve beef,
23 salt, oil, and clapboards for the enclave on 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 ..."
24 What do you make of this? In The first paragraph, they're
25 saying, "We didn't approve because we haven't -- we don't have the
1 position of the committee," that I think you've referred to, but then it
2 goes on to say, "but we did not approve those other matters."
3 Can you tell anything about this?
4 A. Yes, sir. It reflects the work, first of all, of the state
5 committee. It also reflects the fact that in addition to the above, you
6 know, other issues, these are all -- all food-stuff-related items.
7 Q. And can you remind us what the Swedish project is?
8 A. The Swedish ultra project was a project by the International
9 Community to construct temporary housing for Bosnian Muslim population
10 that was displaced back in 1993. I believe they had a construction site
11 going on to the southeast of the town of Srebrenica, towards the --
12 towards the end of the enclave area.
13 Q. Can you think of any militarily justifiable reason to not approve
14 beef, salt, oil, clapboards?
15 A. No. The clapboards, potentially, might have a military use; and,
16 again, the food stuffs, particularly within the context of the Swedish
17 ultra project, where they would be under the administration of the
18 International Community, the only potential justifiable reason would have
19 been, you know, a fear that this food stuff might have been stolen by the
20 BH Army.
21 Q. Okay. And his comment: "We wish to remind you that this is the
22 last batch of heating oil being transported to the enclaves as part of the
23 winter programme. According to this plan, our towns will receive 80.000
24 litres of heating oil and another 20.000 litres of heating oil according
25 to the plan for next week."
1 Why is that referenced there, in your view?
2 A. Again, it reflects the fact that it's not a matter of generosity
3 that the Republika Srpska is allowing heating oil into the enclaves. It,
4 in fact, reflects the fact that this was a concession that they had to
5 make in order to get their own supplies of heating oil that they didn't
6 have for their own population. So this was reciprocal.
7 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next one, 65 ter 2687, also 7 April, under
8 the name of Milovanovic.
9 On the first page, it says: "Please be informed that we have not
10 approved movement of the following UNPROFOR convoys and teams," and then
11 it's a list of various places.
12 Getting to number 9 -- sorry, to Srebrenica on April 8th and back
13 on the 9th, comprising seven vehicles and 18 persons which were supposed
14 to transport diesel fuel. That's B/C/S and it should be page 1. It may
15 go into page 2: "We told them that they had 79 tonnes of fuel with Oric."
16 What do you make of that?
17 A. It's pretty self-explanatory. Their view is that material that is
18 going into the enclave, even though it's supposedly under the mantra of
19 aid to the civilian population or supplies to the UNPROFOR, you know,
20 they're making the case in this context, somewhat flippantly, that, you
21 know, "We're not going to be party for the United Nations to supply our
23 Q. Did Oric have any weapons that you knew of that actually took
24 diesel fuel?
25 A. I don't believe Naser Oric's military forces had any motorised or
1 mechanised weapons systems that would have used diesel fuel.
2 Q. Okay. Paragraph 10, another convoy related to Srebrenica. It
3 talks about water trailer, field beds, hospital beds, X-ray machine, beams
4 for construction, nails, light fittings, satellite telephone system. I
5 think this is self-explanatory.
6 So some of that can be used for military purposes and some of it
7 can't; is that a fair conclusion to get to?
8 A. Yes, sir. I mean, some of it has potential military utility and
9 some of it is strictly humanitarian.
10 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that UNPROFOR was providing
11 satellite telephone systems to the Muslims?
12 A. Not within the -- you know, the aspect of Srebrenica and Zepa.
13 They had already established their own secure communications system. They
14 didn't need it.
15 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next one, 2651A, 14 April 1995.
16 This says: "On behalf of the Chief of Staff Colonel Radivoje
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's just - perhaps my friends can tell me -
19 just the same standing in for and just a different translation. I
20 apologise for the inconsistent translation.
21 Q. I want to take you to page 3 in the English, page 2 in the
22 B/C/S: "We would also like to inform you that we did not authorise the
23 following convoys."
24 Number 1 was one to Zepa involving jeeps and trucks. Number 8 was
25 to Srebrenica, carrying 16 personnel and 17 motor vehicles supposed to
1 carry diesel fuel. Number 9 involves personnel. Number 10 involves
2 personnel and other things.
3 Your knowledge of the investigation, was there any -- was -- did
4 the -- this denying of personnel have any effect on the Dutch-Bat forces?
5 A. Yes, sir. In one of the -- one of the actions that was undertaken
6 over the preceding months that seriously compromised the ability of the
7 Dutch UN battalion to accomplish its own missions was the fact that there
8 was a practice where Dutch soldiers who were medically evacuated or who
9 left the enclave for leave or for other purposes were not permitted to
10 return back into the enclave.
11 Those numbers, of course, were always in the fives or tens or
12 fifteens, but over time it created a situation where the Dutch Battalion
13 had a significant shortage of its authorised manpower; and, as a result,
14 it was not able to be -- perform all the missions necessary that it was
15 supposed to do.
16 Q. All right. Now let's go to the next one, 2652B, 14 April 1995.
17 This is under Colonel Miletic's name, and it begins by agreeing to several
18 items, including some things to Srebrenica.
19 What I wanted to ask you about is: At the end, I think it's page
20 3 in the B/C/S and page 4 in the English, and here the document notes
21 that: "This convoy should have taken place on 13 April 1994," I don't
22 know if that's a typo on whose part but, "was unable to pass in Rogatica,
23 owing to our error. We hereby assign the competent person and command to
24 escort the seed programme and for it to take place in full. In the event
25 of any delay and at the check-points, call Colonel Djurdjic immediately on
1 telephone 249."
2 Is this the guy's name that you were trying to pronounce earlier?
3 A. Yes, sir, it is.
4 Q. Okay. And so what is this reference of Colonel Miletic mean to
6 A. It's a reflection that the plan to limit the convoys was not just
7 an abstract, and it was not something that was left to other units. There
8 was a great amount of detail placed in the execution of this plan. Those
9 convoys that the Main Staff did not want to travel did not go through, and
10 the collateral was that those convoys that the Main Staff had approved for
11 delivery, you know, there was the same expectation that they would be at
12 the point in time, you know, delivered when they were supposed to be.
13 And in this particular case, a convoy was delayed by error, and
14 the Main Staff, you know, was reiterating back the fact that this convoy
15 has been approved, ensure that it gets to where it's supposed to be when
16 it's supposed to be there.
17 Q. Who is your opinion of who Djurdjic works for, if you can tell?
18 A. I believe that the documents that I see in Colonel Djurdjic is a
19 Main Staff officer. I am not sure, at present, whether he, in fact,
20 worked directly for General Gvero or worked out of the operation shop for
21 Colonel Miletic.
22 Q. Let's go to the next one, 2714, a 2 June 1995 document. This is
23 under the name of Colonel Miletic.
24 On page 1 of the B/C/S, page 2 of the English, it's noting: "We
25 did not approve one truck with school supplies, Karakaj-Zepa," and a
1 listing. "We did not approve 60 litres of oil for saws." As we go
2 down: "We did not approve the Swedish construction project for
4 Then on 3 in English, near the end, it says: "Note: Persons in
5 the convoy may carry small quantity of cigarettes and food for four days
6 for their personal needs."
7 How was it that we have documents under the name of Miletic
8 controlling actually the amount of cigarettes a person can carry? What
9 does that tell you, if anything?
10 A. It reflects back to, one, a broader belief that the UN forces were
11 somehow complicit in supplying the Muslim armed forces and the Muslim
12 civilian population with -- by hiding excess cargo or additional food
13 stuff or fuel in their vehicles. It just kind of reflects the specificity
14 of just how closely and how seriously the Main Staff took this particular
15 issue, the fact that they're sending a reminder out to the units at the
16 actual check-point, you know, to ensure these people aren't bringing in
17 food beyond what their immediate needs are or cigarettes for what their
18 immediate needs are.
19 Q. All right. Now, I want to ask you, as we look through the
20 original, we see this is, of course, like the others. It's like a
21 teletyped format so no signature on it; but, then, at the end of it, we
22 found a handwritten note, which has got the following ERN number, meaning
23 it was somehow connected to this document.
24 Can you connect this handwritten note in any way to this document
25 and account for its potential meaning, where it says: "The RS Army
1 attacked,, we consider that an act of war against the UN and Dutch
2 Battalion," it's in quotes, "and then we want to get in touch with,"
3 illegible, "and obtain more information about your future intentions."
4 Then, in quotes: "'Is that it or does your side want to do
5 something else?'"
6 Now, again, in this first document, can you tell if that was that
7 picked up from the Bratunac Brigade?
8 A. Yes, sir. I can confirm that because, in fact, on the written
9 notation on the document, when we began our own handwritten indexing, it
10 actually has -- it's my handwriting on the document, reflecting that it's
11 one of the documents I personally indexed out of the Bratunac Brigade. So
12 I know it did, in fact, originate from that location.
13 On a broader level, at the time that this document would have been
14 around on 2 June of 1995, VRS forces were engaged in activities related to
15 the takeover of what is referred to as Dutch OP Echo. That took place
16 late May, early June of 1995, in order to set the framework for future
17 operations in Srebrenica.
18 So reading into it a bit, it sounds like this is, in part, the
19 context of a United Nations complaint to the VRS about those military
21 Q. All right. We'll get into more detail on OP Echo in the future.
22 Let's go to 2717, 12 June 1995, again under the name of Colonel
23 Miletic. It talks about: "The request contains data on unauthorised
24 rotation of personnel. Only the exit of the following persons from the
25 cited enclaves is authorised."
1 How does that fit into your knowledge of what happened?
2 A. I believe it's consistent with the practice that I've described
3 earlier, where they were -- you know, they were comfortable letting people
4 out of the enclave, but not putting people back into it.
5 Q. All right. Then 2497 is an 18 June 1995 document under the name
6 of Colonel Miletic. This one's addressed to the brigades.
7 The part I want to ask you about starts off: "We approved" some
8 UNPROFOR convoys, and then Colonel Miletic says: "I demand a detailed
9 check of all vehicles, including the inspection of cargo. Pay special
10 attention to the fuel and the fuel tanks and the fuel being brought into
11 the enclaves. Check the documents and identity of all persons on board.
12 Make a list of their names and their ID cards in order to ensure that the
13 persons who enter the enclaves must leave the enclaves upon the completion
14 of the task."
15 It goes on: "We informed the UNPROFOR Command about this demand."
16 Now, the Court has seen this before. I don't need a lot of
17 details on what that demand is, but I'm interested in, militarily, we
18 still have Colonel Miletic at this time standing in for the Chief of
20 What does the fact that he can make a demand to these brigades
21 mean to you regarding his authority, if anything?
22 A. I believe it's reflective of his authority, you know, standing in
23 for the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff. I think this is an accurate
24 reflection of his authority.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 2551, 29 June 1995, a document again
1 under now Major-General Radivoje Miletic to the Command of Military Post
2 seven11, and it talks about an approved movement of UN civilian observers
3 from Srebrenica to Belgrade.
4 It talks about where it's going, and then it says: "On 29 June
5 1995, we sent a separate letter to the Drina Corps Command and the
6 Bratunac Brigade-Captain Nikolic, in which we set out the manner of
7 inspection and requests in this connection once they leave the enclave."
8 So what can you infer, if anything, about General Miletic's
9 knowledge or military relationship with Captain Nikolic in this area of
11 A. They're -- they're aware that Captain First Class Momir Nikolic is
12 their point man on the ground dealing with the issue of personnel moving
13 in and out of the Srebrenica enclave. All of that traffic went over the
14 yellow bridge and, you know, the combined UN and VRS check-point at that
15 location. General awareness of the fact that, you know, "We know who's on
16 the ground, we who what's before us," and personal instruction to follow.
17 Q. Let's go to 2514. It's a 1 July 1995 document, again in the name
18 of General Miletic, and there's various approvals. I just want to ask you
19 briefly about this one comment. It's page 2 of the B/C/S, page 3 of the
20 English, in the middle. It talks about movement of the convoys, 5 and 6.
21 If you could read that to yourself, it starts with a note.
22 Then, near the middle of it, it says: "If the lorries come to
23 Zvornik without the said cargo, do not let them go to Sarajevo or
25 He spells it out and says: "In other words, when the convoy
1 arrives in Zvornik, check it, establish what its carrying, and inform the
2 commander, after which instructions regarding continuation of their
3 journey will be given."
4 Do you remember what this is about?
5 A. This is part of what I indicated earlier, that aid that did go
6 into the enclaves in some cases was tied to reciprocal aid that the United
7 Nations or the International Community was providing to the local Serb
8 population; and in this instance, basically, they're noting the fact that,
9 you know, "We're doing an aid convoy into Zvornik. If that convoy does
10 not arrive," you know, "do not allow the supplies to go into the enclaves
11 to follow through."
12 Q. All right.
13 A. Well, in this case it's not necessarily supplies, but I believe
14 they're talking about personnel rotation, so I just want to be clear,
15 going back to 5 and 6. Medical staff, okay. So they're making -- it's a
16 humanitarian issue, but they're making it reciprocal.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 Mr. Bourgon?
19 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Page 28, line 10, it's mentioned "Captain First Class Nikolic."
21 The witness says "Momir Nikolic." It's just that, in that area, Zvornik
22 is mentioned, and I'd like the record clear.
23 Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Everyone agrees with that, I suppose.
25 Okay. Thank you. Let's proceed.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Next is 65 ter 2556, 3 July 1995,
2 another one of these documents under General Miletic.
3 It starts out of: "We hereby inform you that we have approved
4 movement of UNPROFOR convoy" number so-and-so "of the Dutch from
5 Srebrenica to Zagreb on 4 July through Bratunac and Zvornik. We have not
6 approved the return of the convoy on 5 July."
7 It describes the composition. Where does this fit in?
8 A. Well, at this point, it's fairly overt. On the timeline for the
9 military operation related to Srebrenica, by the end of June and the 1st
10 or 2nd of July, the Main Staff of the Drina Corps are already into the
11 advanced planning of the military operation against Srebrenica. I believe
12 a warning order is issued on this very -- either on the 2nd or the 3rd.
13 So, you know, they recognise that they're planning, you know, a
14 military operation in that area in the next couple of days, and this is
15 part of the larger programme: Allow the UN forces out, not without a
16 problem, but nobody comes back.
17 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one, 65 ter 230. This is not one
18 of those documents. It's another document that you've talked about in the
19 past. It's a document under the name of Commander -- Colonel Vidoje
20 Blagojevic, dated 4 July, and is entitled "Analysis of Combat Readiness in
21 the First Half of 1995". I just want to ask you about one point. It's in
22 B/C/S page 31, English page 8.
23 It's the fourth paragraph down, and it says: "In the brigade's
24 area of responsibility, a check-point was established for the control of
25 all international organisations entering and leaving the enclave of
1 Srebrenica. This check-point functions in accordance with the orders of
2 the Main Staff of the VRS and instructions and orders of the brigade
4 Do you agree with that?
5 A. Yes, sir, I do.
6 Q. How does this fit into what you've been previously telling us
8 A. I believe it's an accurate reflection of that.
9 Q. And Blagojevic, is he Momir Nikolic's command at the time of this?
10 A. Yes, sir. In fact, Colonel Blagojevic assumed command of the
11 Bratunac Brigade in late May, early June of 1995, so he had been the
12 commander on the ground for approximately four or five weeks when this was
14 Q. Okay. Let's go back to these -- another convoy document and date
15 order, 65 ter 2558. This is dated 5 July 1995, under the name of General
16 Miletic, and there's one comment at the end of it, when it describes the
17 various approved -- I believe it's approved convoys: "Check them and
18 enable them to travel along the above-cited route. We wish to underline
19 that convoy," number so-and-so, "item 4, must be exhaustively checked at
20 Djuti Most, to prevent photo and video material from being taken out. If
21 you find such material, confiscate it and inform the VRS."
22 Now, in the context of July 5th, what is your analysis of this
23 statement by General Miletic?
24 A. On July 5th, 1995, the mobile forces of the VRS that had deployed
25 to Srebrenica, in order to begin combat operations the following day, by
1 this point of time they would have been approaching their final positions
2 and getting ready at what we would call their jump-off points and line of
4 Certainly, General Miletic is aware of that, and the concern is
5 that they want to make sure that no UN individuals or people leaving the
6 enclave might have taken pictures of these military forces in order -- and
7 somehow, you know, compromised the security or secrecy of the operation.
8 Q. Okay. Let's go to 2570, another convoy document, 18 July 1995.
9 So we've skipped a rough period of time and gone over to 18 July. This is
10 again General Miletic, and it's to the commands of the Military Post
11 Sarajevo, Vlasenica, and Ilaca. It talks about various convoys for other
12 places, as well as number three, which makes a reference to Bratunac on 19
13 July to monitor medical evacuation: "The following team will travel in
14 UNHCR vehicle," and then it lists a bunch of names.
15 It says: "Note: Related to this journey, security organs of the
16 1st Bratunac Brigade must constantly monitor their movement and
17 activities. They must not allow them to go anywhere on their own and must
18 restrict their movement, but be very polite. In other words, the security
19 organs must direct their movement."
20 Okay. That's pretty self-explanatory, but why is -- or can you
21 explain, you've got, well, continuing to stand in for the Chief of Staff,
22 Miletic, giving this direction clearly to the security branch. How does
23 that fit into the analysis we've talked about and the professional
24 overview of the security branch, the commander? I mean, this guy isn't
25 any of those things.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, Mr. Butler.
2 Madame Fauveau.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, this is a
4 leading question. I am not opposed to the witness explaining to us who
5 this document was sent to and how this document was then implemented.
6 That's okay. But it's not for the Prosecutor to say that these are
7 instructions given to the security organs.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: It says it right in the document, but I don't need
10 to quibble over it, over that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madame Fauveau.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if we have to continue
13 this discussion, the witness should not be present. But I don't believe
14 that it is for the Prosecutor to interpret this document in that
15 particular manner.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I can respond to that, and it
17 shouldn't -- I mean, just related to this journey, "security organs of the
18 Bratunac 1st Battalion must constantly monitor their movement and
19 activities." All I'm doing is repeating this direction to the security
20 organ. I mean, I don't think that's an unfair conclusion, based on what's
21 in the document.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] But was this document addressed to
23 the command of the brigade, to the security organs? Who was it addressed
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I think we are moving in circles. Let me
1 phrase the question myself.
2 Having read the paragraph yourself, Mr. Butler, what do you make
3 of it?
4 THE WITNESS: Well, sir, it's Colonel Miletic or Colonel -- in
5 this case, I'm sorry, General-Major Miletic, reflecting the fact that
6 while this medical team is in Bratunac, that he expects the Bratunac
7 Brigade security people to restrict their movement, which makes a lot of
8 sense, given the context of what's happening in Bratunac on that day.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was he telling this to?
10 THE WITNESS: The directive is sent to -- again, within the proper
11 context of the military, it's sent to VP 1111 Vlasenica, which is, in
12 fact, the military command for the Drina Corps.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We can then move to your next question. Thank you.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. My question is: We've heard about -- is it within the purview of
16 the -- a person standing in for the Chief of Staff to issue this kind of
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one, 2575.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You still have an ample ten minutes for the break or
21 until the break; however, if you -- any time you wish to have the break,
22 please let us know, Mr. McCloskey. It depends on your intention.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm all right. I got a little sit-down just then,
24 so I think we'll try to get through these documents, if we can. I'm not
25 sure we'll make it.
1 Q. But another document, 2575, 20 July 1995, to Military Post 711 and
2 7590. Again, we're now, of course, beyond some of our dates, but can
3 you -- and this, we see it has to do with the travel of a General Nikolai
4 to Potocari on the 21st, and this is again General Miletic.
5 What events can you relate this to?
6 A. It's just this -- this would be reflective of the final
7 negotiations and withdrawal of the Dutch Battalion from Potocari. I
8 believe it took place on 22 or 23 July.
9 Q. All right. So this area is a bit -- bit different than what we've
10 been talking about. It's not a convoy restriction, it's not something to
11 do with the security of their forces, it's not something to do, I don't
12 believe, with -- what area, if any, do we see General Miletic becoming
13 involved in now?
14 A. This is, again, the withdrawal of the UN Dutch-Bat forces.
15 General Mladic himself was involved with the agreements with General Smith
16 to implement this. This is General Miletic implementing the broad
17 guidance and direction of his commander, General Mladic.
18 Q. All right. The next document, 2573. I don't see a date on this.
19 It seems to be a similar document that you've picked out. Anything
20 different to state on that? Again, it mentions General Nikolai.
21 A. Yes, sir. It reflects the -- it reflects the convoy going in with
22 General Nikolai, and it reflects the convoy clearance with respect to the
23 withdrawal of the Dutch Battalion from Potocari on 21 July.
24 Q. All right. And going to 2661A, 26 July 1995, again it's General
25 Miletic involved. And the part I wanted to ask you about is at page 2 of
1 the B/C/S, and it talks about various -- another convoy, a group that was
2 allowed through. It says: "Note: I hereby charge the commander of the
3 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade to designate a representative of his
4 unit who will attend the meeting in Bratunac and Srebrenica and follow the
5 movement of the UNHCR team."
6 Can you just tell us what this is about, if you remember? Take a
7 look at it.
8 A. In the context of this message, this is the -- this is the
9 International Community, a series of teams that are coming in, looking for
10 prisoners, looking for individuals that the VRS capture pursuant to
11 Srebrenica, as part of their international duties to identify and
12 catalogue these individuals. And at this point in time, by the 26th, the
13 VRS is now acceding to the demands of the International Community and
14 letting these individuals in the country.
15 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one, 27 July 1995, and 2586. Do
16 you recall what significance you found in this document? It appears to be
17 allowing Russian soldiers to go on leave --
18 A. Yes. That was the significance, the fact that the applications
19 against the UN were not uniform. For the most part, Russian and Ukrainian
20 peacekeepers were allowed far more freedom of movement than Western
21 European counterparts.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this might be a good time to break.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means.
24 We'll have a 25-minute break, starting from now.
25 Mr. McCloskey, you've asked for 14 hours. How are you doing?
1 Yesterday, you spent three hours and 12 minutes. Today, I haven't made my
2 calculations as yet. But how are you doing?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think I'm doing okay. We get into the minutiae
4 of the documents on the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th, and it's hard to say
5 how long that's going to take. I'm feeling it's going to be most of the
6 week. I'll try to -- I'm going to try to get through it, and I will try
7 to cut down also, as I see how it's going, as I do. But it looks like,
8 like I said, most of the --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm telling you this because you are aware of the
10 filing from the Defence teams about the estimates.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I sure am.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So, okay, we'll have a 25-minute break.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Mr. Butler, let's go to a few Zvornik Brigade documents you picked
18 out on this same topic of convoy restrictions, the first being 5D00320,
19 and this is a 2 April 1995 regular combat report by Commander
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Vinko Pandurevic. It begins at 0703 hours: "The
21 poturice launched a minor infantry attack." I am not really interested in
22 all that, though I will ask you a little bit later on about this
23 derogatory comment.
24 Mostly, let's go number 10 of this, which talks about UNPROFOR and
25 other humanitarian convoys passing through the border crossing at Karakaj.
1 The last reference is: "An UNPROFOR convoy, The Dutch Battalion,
2 on route from Banja Koviljaca to Srebrenica, two vehicles, four soldiers.
3 They left at 2100 hours on 1 April. One field sterilizer was ceased from
4 the Dutch Battalion."
5 Why did you comment on this seizure of a sterilizer?
6 A. Well, in this context, in a larger sense, it shows that it's not
7 just the Bratunac Brigade at the yellow bridge check-point which is
8 implementing this policy directive against the UN forces in the convoys.
9 It's also the other units as well. In this particular case, you know, my
10 view is that it's hard to prescribe a military or dual-use purpose to
11 something like a sterilizer.
12 Q. All right. Let's go to the next one. It's 5D00321. It's another
13 regular combat report from the Zvornik Brigade under the name of Vinko
14 Pandurevic; and, again, I don't want to get into the military details.
15 But at paragraph 10: "Passage of UNPROFOR convoys and other
16 humanitarian organisations through the Karakaj crossing."
17 It lists a number of those, and then it talks about: "MSF team on
18 the Belgrade-Srebrenica route confiscated the following from this team:
19 Laundry detergent, floor detergent, shampoo, beer, towels, wine, coffee,
20 cigarettes, rolling papers."
21 Why do you comment on this?
22 A. Essentially, the same comment I made before. This is a reflection
23 of material that doesn't appear, at its face value, to have any military
25 Q. All right. Now, let's go to another area, getting into some
1 documents I want to ask you about, if they reflect the intentions towards
2 the Srebrenica area, and this would be 65 ter 2920. It's a report from
3 the Command of the 1st Zvornik Brigade under the name of Commander
4 Lieutenant Colonel Vinko Pandurevic.
5 It's entitled, to the Drina Corps: "The success of our forces in
6 combat operations aimed at crushing the enemy offensive."
7 And if we look at the original, it looks like - as well as the
8 English translation - Drina Corps seems to have written in on top of a
9 line. What do you make of that?
10 A. As I testified earlier, the practice for a lot of these documents,
11 particularly when they went to multiple organisations, was that they would
12 essentially put the command line, leave a blank, and then they would
13 hand-write in who each of these organisations it went to. So this was a
14 consistent practice with the administrative practices I understand took
16 Q. All right. Now, I'm not going to read this whole document, but I
17 do want to read portions of it and ask you about it.
18 It begins by saying: "The moment has come when the issue of
19 liberating the Serbian lands from poturice will be finally resolved in
20 this area by a resolute and successful action of our forces. Obviously,
21 the enemy cannot be allowed to threaten the fate of the Serbian people in
22 this area any more by countless violations of previously-signed truces."
23 Then it goes on to talk about things like media hype. It makes
24 more references to poturice.
25 The last sentence in that paragraph: "One should not be
1 short-sighted and fail to see that, precisely by doing this, they have
2 given us a unique chance to push them away from us for all time, as they
3 are asking for it, and put them under control in this area."
4 Then it goes on: "We must dash for all time their hope of
5 creating a "Muslimanija" extending to the Drina and the Sava, and make it
6 possible for our people to return to their centuries-old homes.
7 It makes more references to poturice, comments like: "The
8 adequate response of our forces meant that we realised that there would be
9 no peace and security in will be in Semberija and Donje Podrinje until the
10 poturice were completely defeated and driven out of this area."
11 What do you make of the messages in this document?
12 A. First, the -- this particular document illustrates what, in US
13 military terminology, would be the command climate of this particular
14 brigade. It is a reflection of the views of the commander on a lot of
15 these issues. I suspect that this particular message might have received
16 in -- while it's noted "strictly confidential," that it very well may have
17 been, in some sanitised form, received wider distribution among soldiers
18 and men of the Zvornik Brigade.
19 When -- you know, when I go back to my prior testimony on this
20 issue about command being personal, and those principles of command that
21 were articulated in the JNA regulations about, you know, personal courage,
22 personal attitudes, personal behaviour, and the effect that such behaviour
23 and attitudes had upon subordinates, this is a classic example of a
24 document that, you know, would be reflective of the type of behaviours and
25 attitudes that the brigade commander wanted to encourage through his
2 Q. All right. But we see in all wars, in fact we see on CNN, leaders
3 making comments of ethnic origin, vilifying people. Does this kind of
4 thing, this kind of example, have, in your view, any kind of a knock-on
5 effect or is it just so much words?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
7 MR. HAYNES: This is getting so far beyond the confines of this
8 man's expertise. Perhaps we ought to have some foundation if
9 Mr. McCloskey wants to ask him about this document. Does he know who
10 wrote it? Which organ from the brigade it's emanated from? Has he ever
11 spoken to anybody about its contents? Does he know what poturice is or
12 what Muslimanija is. This is way beyond the confines of his expertise and
13 it ought to be stopped.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Breaking my question down to its simplest form
16 is: Does a commander's actions, setting an example for his troops, have a
17 knock-on effect on his troops.
18 MR. HAYNES: Asked and answered yesterday.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, in the context of this document.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We got the point. Let me confer with my
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Haynes, we have discussed
24 this, and our position is that we don't find this kind of question as
25 necessary for our purposes.
1 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. Mr. Butler, let's go to the end of this document, where there's a
4 comment that I'd want to ask you about, right at the very
5 end: "Therefore, let us gather our strength with determination and focus
6 it on the most important goal at the moment, driving the enemy away from
7 this area forever and defeating him. That is the only guarantee of our
8 freedom and survival in these lands."
9 About 25 April, can you tell us what, if anything, you know from
10 documents? Is there anything beginning to move towards the Srebrenica
11 enclave, in terms of VRS forces or intent, either before, during, or
12 shortly after this -- this document?
13 Actually, we don't need to go before, I think we've talked about
14 before, but during or after this document, do we see any movement towards
15 this objective of --
16 MR. HAYNES: That's an outrageously leading question.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Do we see any documents that support this last
19 paragraph of the goal of driving the enemy from Srebrenica? That's --
20 MR. HAYNES: It's still an outrageously leading question.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's not in any way, shape, or form leading.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the second one is perfectly legitimate. The
23 first one was leading, by all means, but not the second one.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. The second one, Mr. Butler?
1 A. Make sure I have them straight.
2 Q. Well, when I'm using the terminology of Vinko Pandurevic, leave
3 that aside.
4 A. The documents reflect the goal as articulated in directive 7; and
5 as we get to the issue of the publication of the combat orders related to
6 the operation directive against Srebrenica, I'm not sure if you see it in
7 such blatant language, but, I mean, those are the military manifestations
8 of this goal.
9 Q. Okay. Let's -- let's go to another document that you've talked
10 about. It's 65 ter number 204, and this is a document from the Command of
11 the Drina Corps, dated 15 May, I think, or so after this last one.
12 It is to various brigades, I think all the brigades in the Drina
13 Corps. I'm looking for "Zvornik." Perhaps I don't -- oh, yes -- now I
14 don't see -- I'm sorry. I don't see "Zvornik," but to many brigades of
15 the Drina Corps.
16 It is in the name of Deputy Commander Colonel Radislav Krstic,
17 and I won't ask you about the "deputy commander." I think we've heard
18 enough about what that means.
19 This order is entitled: "Order to stabilise defence around Zepa
20 and Srebrenica enclaves and establish conditions for the liberation of the
21 enclaves." Now, what intention, if any, does the material in this
22 document indicate towards the enclaves?
23 A. Well, by 15 May 1995, the Drina Corps command and staff would have
24 been well aware of directive 7 and the objective that the enclaves were
25 eventually to be taken. They realised that from their current combat
1 positions, that they could not immediately begin military operations with
2 that goal in mind, that there would have to be, to some degree, a series
3 of preliminary orders and operations in order to set the framework for the
4 military operation to actually take Srebrenica to occur.
5 So this represents one of those orders to start taking the
6 necessary steps in order to conduct operations that will ultimately lead
7 to the setting up stage where a military operation against the enclave can
8 be accomplished.
9 Q. Okay. Let's go to page 2 in English, page 1 in the B/C/S, under
10 the order of General Zivanovic. I won't go into all the details and the
11 units, but it appears to talk about using the forces around the Zepa
12 enclave and talking about Zepa; and then, after that, from there, it goes
13 down and then talks about the continuation of the attack towards the
15 So what -- in what order is this -- is this plan of operations
16 going, in terms of the enclaves, as far as you can tell?
17 A. Well, in this particular order, it's envisioned that the initial
18 military operations are going to be oriented in the direction of Zepa, as
19 opposed to Srebrenica; and in context of what was happening on the ground
20 at the time, that made a certain amount of sense.
21 Q. All right. Now, let's go to document 2892. It is from the Drina
22 Corps Command, 16 May, the same date, "Urgent," regular combat report to
23 the Main Staff. Is there any -- this is at about 6.30 p.m., is how we see
24 it being received from someone, thereabouts.
25 Is there any indication in this document of knowledge of the -- or
1 communication to the Main Staff of this operation related to Srebrenica
2 and Zepa, and particularly looking to the combat readiness status comments
3 on the first page?
4 A. Yes, sir. It reflects that they're continuing preparation in
5 accordance with "your order."
6 Q. All right. And what's the purpose of the combat report from the
7 Drina Corps to the Main Staff, in your view?
8 A. The purpose of the reports, the regular, the interim combat
9 reports, they're a vehicle in order for the subordinate command to keep
10 the superior command informed about what actions are being taken, what the
11 situation is on the ground.
12 It's the report -- the orders and the report phase is part of that
13 larger command doctrine, for lack of a better word, on the issue of
14 verification. This is one mechanism by which the superiors verify that
15 the orders and instructions that they have given are being carried out by
16 subordinates. So reports are a function of verification.
17 Q. How important is that?
18 A. It's a fundamental tenet of command. I believe I testified
19 yesterday that orders and directives, instructions, cannot be given in a
20 vacuum, that superiors have a responsibility, under JNA and VRS doctrine
21 as it was applied, to ensure that their orders were accurately complied
23 Q. Now, we'll see -- well, we'll see very soon after this documents
24 coming from the Main Staff to the office of the president in much the same
25 format we've seen the other reports. Do you have anything to add to your
1 analysis for those particular reports?
2 A. Well, sir, in -- the military was not the only agency that was
3 mandated to report on activities within the combat zones. Particularly by
4 this juncture of May 1995, there was close to if not actually an open
5 distrust between leadership of the army and the political leadership of
6 the Republika Srpska.
7 So in order to ensure that the story and the situation in they
8 were getting of the combat zones from the army was accurate, the RS
9 political organs used the offices of what we know as the RDB, the
10 Republika Srpska internal security apparatus, to also report on actions
11 and activities on the battlefield through the Ministry of the Interior
13 This would, of course, provide the president of the Republic and
14 the political leadership with another source of information by which they
15 could use to verify that what the Main Staff and army were telling them
16 were, in fact, accurate representations of the situation.
17 Q. Okay. Now, let's go to 65 ter 205. Now this is dated 16 May
18 1995. It's a little later in the day. It's about 8.25 -- at some point,
19 about 8.25 is noted in this document, at the end, and it's again
20 entitled: "Stabilisation of defence around Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves,
21 addition to the order."
22 As we go down through it, we see: "Due to a lack of forces to
23 fully succeed in closing of Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves and create
24 conditions for liberation of the enclaves, the above mentioned order is
25 supplemented and changes as follows: Do not perform the planned offensive
1 operations on Srebrenica," and it talks about the units involved,"until
2 the forces are sufficiently reinforced."
3 What does indicate to you of what's going on on the ground?
4 A. At the time these series of orders are going out on the field, the
5 Bosnian Muslim 1st Corps out of Sarajevo is beginning a major offensive in
6 that part of the battlefield. What you see in other documents related to
7 this time is that a number of these forces that were initially earmarked
8 to participate in these activities are, in fact, withdrawn and sent to
9 that more critical sector of the battlefield.
10 Q. Okay. Now I want to draw your attention to some map graphics that
11 you've commented on that came out of the Drina Corps collection related to
12 the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, and we'll try, through e-court, to see
13 how this works out.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have three of these maps both in
15 full size and in a very simple A3 size, if you would like them. We will
16 be able to see this on e-court, but you don't get the whole picture when
17 you do it on e-court. So we have them here, if you would like them.
18 Counsel has been provided documents in the past.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. Have they also been made available to
20 the Defence teams?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, they have. They have full-sized colour
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That's good. Thank you.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have full-sized colours, but we have the
25 smaller versions that are right on the top for you if -- that are a little
1 easier to deal with in a courtroom.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm told those are the small ones. We have the
4 bigger ones or -- if you'd like them.
5 So the first one, let's see how we can do it with e-court. It's
6 65 ter 1500.
7 Q. But as we're getting to that, Mr. Butler, we have a
8 miniaturised --
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise. We meant to have four, and we do
10 not. That's my mistake.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You have ample time to remedy that by tomorrow.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: We certainly will, Mr. President. We may have
13 given the fourth to Mr. Butler by accident.
14 In fact, just to -- all right. There is an English translation
15 version of this as well that people should have, but if we can start with
16 the Srebrenica enclave, like you have, in the centre there. Could we blow
17 that up a bit more. Okay.
18 Q. This is entitled, at the top: "Disposition of our enemy and
19 UNPROFOR forces around the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa." If we look
20 carefully at that, we see various markings.
21 Mr. Butler, have you had a chance to look at this document in
22 preparation for your testimony?
23 A. Yes, sir, I have.
24 Q. Were you able to date it at all? Is there any date on this
1 A. The documents are not dated, per se. There is a plan -- there's a
2 comment there with respect to Susica 95, as well as Major General Milenko
3 Zivanovic. So it's my belief that these documents were probably produced
4 originally around March or April of 1995.
5 Q. We haven't got to the documents that say "Susica 95" yet.
6 A. Sorry.
7 Q. This 65 ter is just the one with the disposition of forces on it?
8 A. Sorry, my apologies. Yes, sir. In this context, when you look at
9 the Srebrenica enclave and the Zepa enclave, and the forces that are
10 listed there, they are -- or they fairly well match up to the units of
11 the -- the units and the strengths of the 28th Division and the units in
12 Zepa as we understood them in early July of 19 -- I'm sorry, in early
13 January, February, March of 1995 as well.
14 Q. All right. And what I'm most interested on this document is that
15 we see, in little circles around the perimeter of the enclave, it looks
16 like "UN" is marked in the circles. Have you had a chance to study that
17 and any other materials to determine what those markings mean?
18 A. Well, on this particular map, there, in the lower left-hand corner
19 an English-language translation, it reflects what the symbol is as a UN
21 Q. And do you know if that accurately depicts where the UN
22 check-points were in, say, June 1995?
23 A. Yes, sir, as far as I know, it does.
24 Q. Okay. And can you -- can you tell us which one --
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go back to Srebrenica for now,
1 really. Thank you.
2 Q. Can you tell which one of those is, if any of them are, OP Echo?
3 A. OP Echo is, if you look --
4 Q. Well, you're going to be able to mark now. We've got a new system
5 I may have mentioned to you, if the usher could help you. Just if you
6 could circle the mark that you think reflects OP Echo.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. And if you could just put your initials and date it in the
9 right-hand corner.
10 A. Today is the 15th?
11 Q. Fifteenth.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Had you had a chance to look at any other documents, UN documents,
14 and compare the locations of the OPs to this map?
15 A. Yes, sir. My primary source of the UN information are those --
16 those UN documents related to the initial Dutch -- the initial Dutch
17 report on the fall of Srebrenica that's dated approximately 1996; and in
18 that there is a document, at the back of that document, which annexes out
19 what the identifications are of the check-points.
20 Q. All right. Now I want you to go to the next document, which is
21 65 --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Please save that. I'm sorry.
23 Q. The next document, which is 65 ter 2885. And as that's coming up,
24 I'll just give us a slight -- a short brief on the English. It's
25 entitled: "Drina Corps Command, Battle Plan, Susica."
1 Over on the left-hand corner, it says: "I approve Commander
2 Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic," but there is no signature.
3 Then on the right-hand corner, it says: "Military secret.
4 Strictly confidential. Susica."
5 It has what the Court has seen before, similar from other maps,
6 the various markings on it, blue, red, red arrows. Can you -- before we
7 get into any more detail on this, have you ever heard of Operation Susica?
8 A. I believe this particular operation is referenced in either
9 directive 7 or directive 7-1.
10 Q. All right. Do they sometimes change the names of their battle
12 A. Yes, sir, they did.
13 Q. Okay. Did you -- can you -- is there a date on this that you were
14 able to find?
15 A. Again, I don't believe there's a specific date on this.
16 Q. All right. Can you reference it to any sort of time frame, with
17 your analysis?
18 A. I can't specifically -- as I discussed before, I believe it would
19 probably have been around the March or April 1995 time frame that the
20 original graphic was created. However, if you look at the area of the
21 Zepa enclave, you'll notice a series of pencil marks. And if you
22 cross-index those between the last series of exhibits we talked about with
23 respect to the Drina Corps in May of -- May 15th and 16th of 1995, these
24 pencil marks and unit designators tend to --
25 Q. Excuse me.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just for everyone else, could we bring this up a
2 bit, and right there, and then blow that up, and you'll see pencil marks.
3 You're going to have to go north of Zepa a bit. There you go. That's
4 perfect right there.
5 Q. Okay. I'm sorry for interrupting. What do you make of those
6 pencil marks?
7 A. They tend to correspond with the units identified in some of the
8 initial axes of advance in those 15 and 16 May orders. So it looks like
9 somebody essentially pulled this plan off the shelf, whether it had been
10 approved or not, and very quickly started using, you know, part of it is
11 for the basis of this operation in May.
12 Q. Okay. And just very briefly, I don't want to get into the
13 military manoeuvres, but you know the -- where the attack came from in
14 July 1995. Is this attack plan at all similar to that for Srebrenica?
15 A. There are some -- there are some differences with respect to
16 Srebrenica. In this particular context of the way the attack came,
17 there -- more of the forces were on the southern and eastern parts of the
18 enclave. Here they have the attack coming in more from a -- from a
19 northeasterly direction -- or, yeah, from the northwest to the -- to the
21 Whether it was a reflection of the terrain or whether it was a
22 reflection of other combat forces, they chose to go in slightly different
23 routes in July of 1995.
24 Q. All right. How about Zepa, from what you know about that?
25 A. In Zepa, it is remarkably consistent; and, again, considering the
1 terrain around Zepa, that very much limited where military forces could or
2 could not go. I mean, that's a valid explanation why it would be.
3 Q. Okay. Let's go to the last map in this series, 65 ter 2884. As
4 that's coming up, this is entitled: "Extract from Drina Corps artillery
5 firing plan towards the enclave of Srebrenica and Zepa." And, again, it's
6 strictly confidential, Susica 95, and it's got target tables and listings
7 and little marks all over this thing.
8 Have you had a chance to review this map?
9 A. Yes, sir, I have.
10 Q. Can you relate it to any of the -- well, the previous map
11 marked "Susica" in some way?
12 A. This is the -- a graphic representation of the fire support plan
13 for this particular operation.
14 Q. Okay. And what are -- can you explain to us -- and if we could --
15 let's start with Srebrenica.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's blow up the enclave a bit; on the screen,
17 that is.
18 Q. Can you tell us what these little red rectangles mean?
19 A. Those red - those orange, in my case - rectangles are -- they're
20 what are known as target boxes.
21 Q. All right. And did you have an opportunity to compare the
22 locations of the UN OPs for Srebrenica and where the target boxes are on
23 this particular map?
24 A. Yes, sir, I did.
25 Q. Did you find any targeting that was at or near any of the OPs for
1 this plan?
2 A. Yes, sir, I did.
3 Q. Okay. Could you take that pen again and just circle the different
4 areas that you're talking about? Now, I don't know if it's easier for you
5 to circle the target plan or go back to the OP, the UN map.
6 A. [Marks]
7 I think I can -- I think I can kind of try it this way. This
8 particular location is in very close proximity to what's known as UN OP
10 Q. What do you mean when you say "very close proximity"?
11 A. From the map distance indicated, within several hundred metres,
12 200 metres in some cases.
13 Q. Now, when you say that, let me just try to clarify it. Does that
14 mean it's targeted within 200 metres or you're saying it's a 200-metre
15 area of accuracy?
16 A. No, sir, it is the actual target box itself, some part of that box
17 comes -- in some cases it's on top of, but in other cases it's within 100
18 or 200 metres of the locations on the map.
19 Q. This first one, "M," the target box is within how close to the OP,
20 in your view?
21 A. In this particular case, it looks like it's no more than -- the OP
22 is no more than 100 metres to -- let me make sure I get this right. It
23 looks like it's no more than 100 metres away to the south and east of the
24 target box.
25 Q. Okay. Why don't you go to the next one.
1 A. [Marks]
2 This is what is known as UN check-point or OP Alpha; and in this
3 case, it looks like the actual UN check-point is located up on the hill
4 above the town of Slatina -- or, in this case, it's the actual village.
5 The village is the centre of the target box, so this looks like it's 150
6 metres, 200 metres up the hill.
7 Q. All right. Any others?
8 A. [Marks]
9 This particular one, I'm not sure what to make of it, because
10 while it is identified on the Bosnian Serb Army map as a UN check-point,
11 and there is a target box within several hundred metres of it, maybe 200,
12 there's no corresponding -- on the Dutch list of check-points, there's no
13 corresponding UN check-point.
14 Q. Why don't you put a question mark next to that, so we know which
15 one you're talking about.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Any others?
18 A. [Marks]
19 Moving further to the south, this corresponds almost exactly on
20 what is known as Check-point Charlie or OP Charlie.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. [Marks]
23 The last one, I believe it is this one right here, which
24 corresponds to a notation on the artillery map. There's a green flag
25 there with the annotation that says "UN" on it, and it looks like to be a
1 headquarters annotation.
2 Q. In July 1995, were you aware of any UN facility in that location?
3 A. I don't believe the UN facility was physically located that far to
4 the east. I believe it was closer to the road at the battery factory
5 complex at Potocari.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to stop here.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: If he could sign off on it before I forgot.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, please.
11 And while you are signing and it's being recorded, I see next to
12 all these triangles that you were referred to, a reference number,
13 like "122," "342," "340." I tried to see, from the rest of the document,
14 whether there is a table or a legend which corresponds or explains those
15 numbers, but I don't see anything. If you can give us some information on
16 that tomorrow, I think it will be useful.
17 So we stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00. I thank you
18 all, and have a nice afternoon and evening.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of
21 January, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.