1 Monday, 17 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Good morning,
7 everybody. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci. All the accused are here. Prosecution
11 today is just Mr. McCloskey on his own. From the Defence teams, I notice
12 the absence of Mr. Bourgon and Mr. Haynes and Mr. Lazarevic. Yes.
13 Good morning, Mr. Obradovic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll continue with your testimony today.
16 I'm doubtful whether we will finish or not, but anyway we are approaching
17 the end of your testimony.
18 Yes. Mr. Petrusic, I can't see you. Please go ahead.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
20 WITNESS: LJUBO OBRADOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpretation]
22 Examination by Mr. Petrusic: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General, sir.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Before I continue, I would like to make a correction and to go
1 back to 28 -- 279 page in the transcript. There is a mistake there which
2 obviously is the consequence of our overlapping. I suppose my questions
3 were delivered fast and your answer even faster, so I would kindly ask
4 you to bear that in mind in the future. On page 28279 of the transcript,
5 my question was ordered as follows:
6 "Who in the administration supplied you with the elements that
7 would allow you to issue your orders?"
8 I am absolutely certain, and I checked my notes, that I did not
9 say that. My question was rather as follows, and I am repeating it and
10 rephrasing it. Who was it in the administration for operations and
11 training who supplied you with the elements to draft your orders?
12 A. We received elements for the orders from our order issuer, the
14 Q. In case the commander was absent, who did you receive the
15 elements from?
16 A. From the person who the commander authorised to stand in for him
17 in his absence.
18 Q. Could you name the persons who stood in for the commander in his
20 A. It would be the commander's assistants by and large.
21 Q. General, does this also apply to the Chief of Staff?
22 A. The Chief of Staff is also the deputy of the commander of the
23 Main Staff, and this primarily applies to him. But he -- if he was also
24 absent, then it would be a person authorised by the commander from the
25 circle of his assistants by and large.
1 Q. So if such a -- an order draft was given, what would the
2 commander or the authorised person do?
3 A. Such a -- an order that was drafted would be read by the
4 commander and signed by him, then the document would be stamped and then
5 the document could be forwarded to the commands in the units to which the
6 order referred.
7 Q. A document prepared in such a way, could the commander change
8 anything in it?
9 A. Of course, of course.
10 Q. Please, General, sir, could you please hold on just a little.
11 A. Yes. If in the meantime he changed his opinion or if any of the
12 wording in the order did not please him, he would change that and then
13 the act had to be redrafted.
14 Q. You talked about your everyday duties as the chief of department
15 for operations, could you also tell us what the role of the chief of
16 administration was, the chief of administration for operations and
17 training in the part of the front line where the commander was also
19 A. He would not have any special role. If he was with the
20 commander, the commander was the one who was in command in that area, who
21 coordinated all the actions and performed all other tasks and duties.
22 Q. When it comes to the chief of administration for operations and
23 training, could he coordinate any work relative to that part of the front
25 A. In that part of the front line, coordination as a function of the
1 command would be in the hands of the commander, because the commander was
3 Q. And if the chief of administration for operations and training is
4 in his position in the staff, what was his role with -- in respect of
5 that part of the front line?
6 A. The chief of administration follows the developments across the
7 front line, and I suppose that his attention is less focused on the area
8 where the command -- the commander can be found and more on other areas.
9 If at any point in time, the commander showed interest in any of the
10 areas where he wasn't at the time, the chief of administration could then
11 provide him with quality and reliable information about those areas.
12 That's why he was more focused on such areas.
13 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the role of the Main Staff in
14 combat operations which are planned and carried out by the corps?
15 A. The Main Staff, i.e., the commander approves such operations, the
16 staff follows them, and reports the Supreme Commander, thereof, by way of
17 daily combat reports.
18 Q. And these concrete daily combat reports for the Main Staff, who
19 submits those?
20 A. The corps commands, the airforce, the anti-aircraft defence, and
21 the centre of military schools.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
23 D51015 [as interpreted]. 5D1015 in the document number.
24 Q. Could you please comment upon this document that you can see on
25 the screen?
1 A. This is a document issued by the Main Staff, and it was
2 registered in the administration for training and operations. It was
3 drafted on the 17th of November, 1994. It was sent to the Herzegovina
4 Corps, Sarajevo Romanija Corps, the Drina Corps, and the 1st Guards
5 Motorised Brigade. These are units engaged in the Krivaja 94 operation.
6 Their forces are engaged in that operation. The body in charge of the
7 planning of this operation was the Herzegovina Corps.
8 By issuing this act, the commander says that the decision of the
9 commander of the Herzegovina Corps for this operation has been approved
10 and that they can proceed immediately to carry out the operation that has
11 been approved.
12 Q. Would that be a customary procedure to approve any decisions made
13 by the corps on the part of the Main Staff?
14 A. This is one of the ways. There are also other ways and other
16 Q. We can see that this operation was approved by the commander. In
17 the case of the commander's absence, who would be the one to approve this
19 A. This operation could be approved by the Chief of Staff as deputy
20 commander by establishment.
21 Q. And in the absence of the both of them, would there be anybody
22 else who could approve such an operation?
23 A. I wouldn't know. While I was in the Main Staff or in general
24 terms, I don't know if a decision on operations was approved by anybody
25 who was either not the Chief of Staff or the commander himself -- of the
1 Main Staff. I suppose that this is due to the fact that the principle of
2 interchangeability has to be taken into account because operations are
3 not something that you plan every day.
4 Q. General, sir, the administration for operations and training,
5 does it have any role to play in the process to approve the commander's
6 decision to carry out an -- a corps operation?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. If documents are submitted in time, then the administration for
10 operation and training will look at all the orders, the completeness of
11 all the orders, and the decision of the commander on the map. And we
12 provide our possible objections to the quality of the documents that we
13 have perused. And then we forward our comments to the Chief of Staff.
14 The Chief of Staff will then forward that document to the commander for
15 his approval or he will return the documents to the corps commander
16 for -- for their inputs.
17 Q. When you mention the Chief of Staff and the commander in your
18 answer, are you referring to the Chief of Staff of the Main Staff of the
19 army of Republika Srpska and the commander of the Main Staff of the army
20 Republika Srpska?
21 A. Yes, precisely so, this is who I meant, because that would fall
22 turned scope of their powers.
23 Q. General, sir, in performing your tasks and duties as the chief of
24 the -- the department for operations, you would be familiar with the term
25 "monitoring." Are you familiar with the term, just please answer "yes"
1 or "no"?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Would the chief of administration for operations and training of
4 the Main Staff be involved in the monitoring of the operations carried
5 out by the corps?
6 A. No. The -- it is the commander in -- who commands the operation,
7 i.e., the corps commander, who also monitors the corps's operations. You
8 can monitor on the ground but not from the headquarters of the Main
9 Staff. When in the Main Staff, we followed the developments based on the
10 reports that we used to receive in the course of every day.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
13 Q. General, sir, take as much time as need to look at this document.
14 When you're finished, I'm going to ask some explanations from you.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Within the context of my previous questions regarding monitoring,
17 could you please comment upon this document?
18 A. This is a document by the Main Staff of the army. It was drafted
19 and filed by the administration for training operations on the 7th of
20 June 1995. It was sent to the Herzegovina Corps to the forward command
21 post of the Herzegovina Corps in Kalinovik, the Sarajevo Romanija Corps,
22 the forward command post of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps in Trnovo, the
23 logistics sector of the Main Staff, and the 65th Motorised Protection
24 Regiment. It is said in the preamble that:
25 "In order to assist the commands of the Herzegovina Corps and the
1 Sarajevo Romanija Corps in stopping the enemy offensive in the general
2 area of Kalinovik and Trnovo, the commander hereby issues the follows
4 "In the course of -- 7th of June, dispatch from the Main Staff
5 Colonel Nedjeljko Trkulja (team leader) and Colonel Mihajlo Durdevic to
6 the forward command post 1 of the Herzegovina in Kalinovik."
7 And the order also defines the time until which they are supposed
8 to stay.
9 Under bullet point 3, he also provides them with a task --
10 Q. I apologise for interrupting you, General. I would like to go
11 back to my previous question when we are talking about monitoring. Does
12 this document speak about the order of the commander of the Main Staff.
13 He is -- dispatches the aforementioned officers to provide monitoring
14 over this part of the front line?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Allow me, General, sir, let's not overlap. Could you please
17 answer along these lines?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Is there a problem?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: That was a leading question, but the overlap kind
20 of un-did it. So it's not worth it. I'll just bide my time.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] My intention was simply to avoid
23 the exercise of reading the entire document, but I believe that everybody
24 present will be able to draw their own conclusions from the document.
25 Q. After your return on the 17th of July, after your return to the
1 Main Staff, that is, what information did you receive about the
2 evacuation; i.e., about the situation in the Zepa front line?
3 A. We received information from the daily combat reports, the
4 regular ones.
5 Q. Did there come a time in the course of those days when you
6 learned that the civilian population was being evacuated from Zepa?
7 A. I don't recall when this information arrived, but I think we did,
8 yes. I think we did have it.
9 Q. And did this information come through the reports from that part
10 of the battlefield?
11 A. As I said previously, we got our information from the reports.
12 Q. When you say that you, in the plural, had information, does that
13 imply that General Miletic also had that kind of information?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know whether he had any special knowledge or information
16 which he did not convey to you and the others who were in the staff?
17 A. Well, to have any kind of special knowledge, he would have had to
18 be there. I don't know whether he did, but I think didn't.
19 Q. Do you know whether General Miletic participated in any way in
20 the negotiations concerning evacuation connected with Zepa?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you know who --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to clarify that it doesn't -- it's not clear
24 whether he doesn't have information or he wasn't involved based on that
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. Do you have any information as to whether General Miletic
4 participated in the negotiations concerning Zepa?
5 A. I don't have any information about that.
6 Q. Did you hear at a later stage that he participated in the
7 negotiations concerning Zepa?
8 A. No. I did not.
9 Q. Do you know who was in charge of the negotiations concerning
11 A. I'm not sure, but if you are referring to the Zepa area it might
12 have been General Tolimir or the commander; the commander of the Main
13 Staff that is.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to speculation. The witness should
15 know he shouldn't speculate, if that's what that is.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We agree with Mr. --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please. Microphone,
18 Your Honour, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Petrusic. So you either
20 rephrase your question or you move -- and he answered it in any case, or
21 you move. Yes, Mr. Petrusic. Whatever you want.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, do you have any information regardless of who the
24 participants were as to whether negotiations on the evacuation of Zepa
25 were held there?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You said that General Miletic, to the best of your knowledge, did
3 not participate in those negotiations.
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, that's not what he said. He said he
6 didn't have information.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic. I think Mr. McCloskey is
9 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's rephrase the question, please, even though
11 he answered "yes" to your previous question.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Microphone.
13 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have in e-court P186. In
14 the Serbian and in the English version, could you please scroll down so
15 we can see the signature part of the document. It's on page 2 in the
16 English version. And now, please, take the English version back to page
18 Q. General, have you had a look at this document?
19 A. Yes. Could we see the heading as well, please? Yes.
20 Q. In the heading it says, "Main Staff," and this number here, 12 --
21 strictly confidential number 12/45. Do you know whose number that is?
22 A. That's the sector for security and intelligence.
23 Q. We have some addressees listed here: General Krstic, the command
24 of the 1st Podrinje Brigade, and Rajko Pusic, Captain Pecanac, the IBK,
25 and the 1st Krajina Corps. So the Eastern Bosnia Corps and the 1st
1 Krajina Corps. Do you know why the 1st Krajina Corps is among the
3 A. The date is the 29th of July, 1995, and the commander and most of
4 the assistants of the chief of the sector and administration were in the
5 western part of the war theater; and this is being sent to the 1st
6 Krajina Corps so that the commander of the Main Staff would be made aware
7 of this because that's where he was.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could you please scroll down so
9 that we could see the third paragraph.
10 Q. General, please take a look at this paragraph. Read it silently
11 to yourself, and then I will ask you to comment on it.
12 A. This paragraph amounts to an order. It says, "Continue combat
13 operations ..." and so on. And it's addressed to the Drina Corps, to
14 General Krstic personally, and to the command post of the 1st Podrinje
15 Light Infantry Brigade; and the other security organs listed here
16 belonging to certain units. The signatory who signs his name as the
17 chief is probably Major-General Zdravko Tolimir.
18 Q. Very well. We won't need this document anymore.
19 A. He's authorised by the commander to issue orders.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Can we have in e-court document
22 Q. Have you read it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Before you reply, I would like to ask you whether you know where,
25 on the 12th of August, where General Miletic was on that day?
1 A. In the Main Staff, in Crna Rijeka.
2 Q. And the remainder of the command?
3 A. Most --
4 Q. And the Chief of Staff, do you know where they were?
5 A. Most of the command was in the western part of the front, in the
6 area of the 1st Corps and the 2nd Krajina Corps.
7 Q. In relation to this document, can you tell us what this document
8 is about?
9 A. On the 12th of August, at 11.47, someone delivered to someone a
10 copy of a conversation between General Miletic of the Main Staff of the
11 army of Republika Srpska and the Chief of Staff of UNPROFOR in Bosnia
12 Herzegovina, General Nicolai. There was an interpreter mediating in
13 their conversation. General Nicolai thanked General Miletic for the
14 medical evacuation which had been successfully completed.
15 Q. Looking at this document, did General Miletic have authorisation
16 to issue decisions?
17 A. Well, from the conversation one can see that General Miletic was
18 unable to reply to the request from the Chief of Staff of UNPROFOR. He
19 says here: "You know what, I'll consult my superiors, and I'll let you
20 know." So he will receive a decision from his superior on the specific
21 issue that General Nicolai wants resolved.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
23 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
24 Q. In the course of this morning, General, we spoke about monitoring
25 of one's own forces. I'd like to ask you the following: The term
1 "monitoring," is it something that is part of military terminology in
2 relation to enemy forces?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell us who carries out that sort of monitoring?
5 A. Monitoring over the hostile or enemy forces is carried out by the
6 intelligence organs at all levels.
7 Q. In the administration for operations and training, or in the
8 staff, did you receive information about the enemy forces?
9 A. Yes. We received that information from the intelligence
10 administration because its an essential element of planning. And we also
11 received it through the regular combat reports from the corps command.
12 Q. You said that this was an essential element of planning, are you
13 referring to combat activities?
14 A. Yes, the planning of combat activities.
15 Q. Can you tell us who is in charge of planning combat activities?
16 A. The commander and the command organs are in charge of doing that.
17 Q. Can you tell us whether in the planning of combat activities the
18 operations organ plays a part?
19 A. The operation organ coordinates work on the planning, the work of
20 the other organs and draws up the combat documents.
21 Q. And when these combat documents have been drawn up, does he take
22 them to the commander or the Chief of Staff?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, leading.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic, please. Just rephrase your
25 question, unless you want to contest the objection.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you tell us how these combat documents are drawn up?
3 A. The documents that we drew up in the operations organs in the
4 administration and in the department, we delivered to the Chief of Staff
5 for his perusal. He inspects the documents and then takes them to the
6 commander for his approval and signature.
7 Q. Have you completed your reply?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And does the operations organ participate in the planning of all
10 the combat activities that the units of Republika Srpska carry out?
11 A. No. The operations and training organs of the Main Staff plan
12 operations at the strategic level, operations of a strategic
13 significance; whereas, at the operative level, it's the corps commands
14 that plan the activities.
15 Q. Can you explain to us what the strategic level is?
16 A. Those operations encompassing the entire army or the forces of
17 two or more corps.
18 Q. We are now talking about the operations organ in the Main Staff
19 of the army of Republika Srpska. Does he have any influence on the
20 planning of operations carried out by the corps?
21 A. No, except for the overview I mentioned when orders and decisions
22 are entered into a map and sent from the corps command to the commander
23 for his verification.
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] A correction. My question
25 referred to operations planned by the corps.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we don't participate in that.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Are you aware that the Main Staff, while you were there,
4 established various forward command posts? Are you aware of that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you explain to us why these forward command posts were
8 A. Forward command posts are established at all levels of command
9 with a view to gaining a better insight into -- and the more efficient
10 influence on the course of combat activities.
11 Q. Your information, based on the reports arriving from Zepa from
12 General Tolimir, according to this information, what was the size of
13 those operations? Were they large scale, small scale --
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, foundational and leading to a point.
15 He's not established these reports, what reports? General Tolimir's
16 involvement in them.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, which reports are you specifically referring
18 to? Forget about the leading, because to me, he hadn't finished the
19 question as yet. But for the time being I think we need that
20 information. Yes; Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a couple of foundational questions.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. Are you following, Mr. Petrusic? Do you
23 know exactly what's being required of you? Okay. Then go ahead.
24 Mr. Petrusic, this the column is really creating a problem. I
25 don't know, I mean I could interrupt you for two minutes, perhaps you
1 could move somewhere where I can have eye-to-eye contact with you which,
2 to me, as an experienced judge is very important. As it is, I can't see
3 you, I don't know what's happening. So if you could move near
4 Ms. Nikolic, for example, where I can follow you better it would be much
6 All right. Perhaps we can continue now, as Judge Prost is
7 suggesting, and we will do that in the break. Okay?
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] All right.
9 Q. General, did you receive combat reports from the Drina Corps in
10 the Main Staff?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did these reports contain, inter alia, information on certain
13 events in the Zepa war theater?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you also receive certain reports from General Tolimir from
16 that part of the war theater?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Based on these reports, as the chief of the department for
19 operations, could you conclude -- were you able to conclude what sort of
20 the combat activities and of what intensity were being carried out in
21 that part of the war theater?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us what that intensity was, meaning the intensity of
25 A. As far as the forces involved, go, it was not a large-scale
1 operation. It was within the zone of the Drina Corps. There were no
2 forces from other corps acting jointly with them except for one unit of
3 the 65th Protection Regiment, just a part of that regiment, they were
4 active in that area. But all the rest were Drina Corps forces.
5 Q. In this situation, do you know why General Mladic was there?
6 A. It's the right of the commander to decide where he will go and
7 where he will be at any point in time, to follow what's going on and who
8 he will send there.
9 Q. You said you also had occasion to see General Tolimir's report.
10 My question is: Do you know why it was General Tolimir who was there in
11 that part of the war theater?
12 A. Probably that area, as regards intelligence and security, was of
13 interest. The command there, for this reason, engaged the
14 General Tolimir.
15 Q. Bearing in mind your testimony, was General Tolimir then a person
16 who, acting on orders from General Mladic, monitored the operation at
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If you are talking about the right of the commander as to where
20 he wanted to be, do you know based on what he estimated and assessed the
21 situation and its significance for an area so as to be able to decide
22 where he wanted to be?
23 A. This would be based on the information that he received from the
24 command organs.
25 He would then make his own assessment and decide where to go.
1 Q. I don't want to lead you, although I am going to talk about
2 notorious facts. Who was your immediate superior commander?
3 A. General Miletic, the chief of administration for operations and
5 Q. Who was your second in command?
6 A. The chief of the Main Staff, Lieutenant-General
7 Manojlo Milovanovic.
8 Q. In performing your tasks and duties, did you have an occasion to
9 report directly to the chief of staff, General Milovanovic.
10 A. Rarely. My communication with him went through General Miletic
11 for the most part.
12 Q. In those rare occasions, did you have an occasion to deliver some
13 documents to him?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you please tell us something about the relationship between
16 General Milovanovic and -- or, rather, what was the attitude of
17 General Milovanovic towards the documents that he received?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just, foundational, what documents, when, what
21 they had to do with?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not sure whether this arises out previous
23 questions, but I have my doubts like you.
24 So perhaps, Mr. Petrusic, could you be specific as which
25 documents that you wish to refer the witness to or that you are referring
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You've already spoken about General Mladic and
4 General Milovanovic and preparing some combat documents for them. Did
5 you do that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And did you take these combat documents to General Milovanovic
8 for his approval?
9 A. Yes, those were mostly daily combat reports and orders,
11 Q. What was his attitude towards the documents that you would bring
13 A. At first when I arrived and later he -- he's a stickler for
14 detail. He would read all these documents. He would correct the
15 wording. He would even correct grammatical mistakes in these documents.
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the Court to
17 produce D5 [as interpreted], the first page in the English version and in
18 the Serbian version it will be the last page. P5. The document number
19 is P5.
20 Q. General, sir, you have the document in front of you on the
21 screen. As you are looking at the Serbian version of this document, do
22 you recognise the signature?
23 A. Yes, I do. This is the signature of the Chief of Staff of the
24 Main Staff, Lieutenant General Milovanovic.
25 Q. Could you please tell us something about the contents of this
2 A. This is an accompanying document which was enclosed with the
3 document of the upcoming directions which was submitted to the command of
4 the 1st Krajina Corps. A request is made for one copy of this
5 accompanying document in order to confirm the receipt of the
6 aforementioned directive.
7 Q. It says in this document that this is directive --
8 A. Number 7.
9 Q. -- number 7. Is it? So this is an accompanying document for
10 Directive number 7?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On the left-hand side you can see the initials "JK/SZ." Are you
13 familiar with the initials "JK"?
14 A. Yes, that's Krsto Djeric, colonel by rank. I believe that SZ
15 stands for somebody whose family is Zekovic, but I can't remember his
16 first name. I've forgotten. The first set of initials represent the
17 person who drafted the document, and the second set of initials
18 represents the person who actually typed it out.
19 Q. This accompanying document, together with the directive, was it
20 submitted to General Mladic [as interpreted]?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Line 21, page 15, instead of
23 "General Mladic" it should read "General Milovanovic" -- line 14, I
25 Q. When this document reached him, did General Milovanovic
1 familiarized himself with this directive?
2 A. He should have been. He should have familiarized himself with
4 Q. As far as you were of his attitude towards documents that reached
5 him, did he read this directive?
6 A. Given his position and duties that he discharged as well as the
7 significance of the directive, as a general document issued by the
8 highest of commands, a document that should have been applied over a long
9 period of time, he must have read it.
10 Q. According to the best of your knowledge and military knowledge
11 that you have about the drafting of a document of this nature, did
12 General Milovanovic have to be privy to a document of this sort?
13 A. Yes, he had to be privy, especially in light of the fact that he
14 was in the zone of the 1st and the 2nd Krajina Corps where he should have
15 applied this directive, or at least he was supposed to apply it.
16 Q. Does it arise from this document that this Directive number 7 was
17 sent to this corps, precisely there?
18 A. Yes, it says the 1st Krajina Corps.
19 Q. Can you tell us in principle what the nature of a directive is,
20 what kind of a document is that?
21 A. A directive is a document used by high-ranking commands. It's a
22 general act. It doesn't provide any details of any tasks, but it
23 provides and outlines of the goals that a corps has to be aware of in
24 order to issue orders to its subordinated units. And these goals are
25 relative to the planned operations.
1 In other words, there is no detail provided as, for example, in
2 orders issued to the lower-ranking units.
3 Q. Can you tell us furthermore in principle, who are the persons
4 involved in the drafting of a directive?
5 A. The drafting of a directive involves the work of all the organs
6 of a command.
7 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Let's now move on to the last page
8 of the directive in both versions, in the Serbian as well as in the
9 English version of the document. I'm looking for the last page until the
10 English version and in the Serbian version it is page 11. In the Serbian
11 version, it is 21. The last page in the English version. Yes, very
12 well. In the Serbian version the page is correct, but can it please be
13 scrolled up, page 21. Very well, thank you.
14 Q. General, sir, you can see here the term, "Drafted by Colonel
15 Radivoje Miletic." Could you please interpret the term "drafted by" for
16 us; what does the term mean?
17 A. The term "drafted by" means that the person unified all the
18 elements received from other commands and merging those into a single
19 document, i.e., this person received elements from all the organs that
20 participating in the drafting of this document.
21 Q. A document merged in this way or unified in this way, could you
22 tell us what happens to it?
23 A. According to the procedure, such a document is then submitted to
24 the commander who was in charge of its drafting, who was responsible for
25 the drafting; and that person is supposed to sign this document.
1 Q. This directive was submitted for signature to the Supreme
2 Commander, then President Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could Dr. Karadzic change anything in this directive, i.e., the
5 submitted document?
6 A. His rights and powers allowed him to do so.
7 Q. Let me be completely sure. You said that his right and powers
8 allowed him to change the document?
9 A. Yes, he was the Supreme Commander.
10 Q. What about the chief of administration for operations and
11 training, did he determine the contents of a directive in any way?
12 A. The chief of administration for operations and training did not
13 determine the contents of a directive. The contents of a directive are
14 defined by the competent organs and they provide elements. What they
15 propose is accepted by the commander, and this is what is incorporate in
16 a directive as far as the administration for training and operations is
18 Q. General, sir, you were in Crna Rijeka. Where exactly were you
19 billeted during the discharge of your duties?
20 A. I said I had a room that I shared with another person which had a
21 bed and a desk, but most of the time I spent in the operations room.
22 Q. And what about General Miletic; where would he stay?
23 A. General Miletic, he had his own room, but he also spent part of
24 his time in the operations room.
25 Q. Are you familiar with the extension 155?
1 A. Extension 155 was used by the Chief of Staff, but it was
2 installed in two or three rooms; so it often happens in the operations
3 room when the phone rang. I would pick up the phone and then
4 General Milovanovic would tell me put the receiver down, because the same
5 exchange was in the room where he spent his working hours as well as in
6 the room where he rested.
7 Q. Who else would be in the operations room in addition to you and
8 General Miletic?
9 A. Colonel Krsto Djeric would be there and other organs of the staff
10 would also come, the organs for various branchs. And when it came to the
11 exchange of certain information and documents, some organs that did not
12 belong to the staff would be involved in that as well.
13 Q. And what about the duty operations officers, where did they spend
14 their time?
15 A. They had a special room in a special building below Zepa.
16 Q. Are you talking about the so-called G1 facility?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The underground facility?
19 A. Yes. When there was no imminent danger then we would be in the
20 prefabricated facilities, and when there was danger they would force us
21 to go up there to hide.
22 Q. What about this exchange 155, the telephone extension. Was this
23 installed in the underground facility as well?
24 A. Yes. Up there was the main communications hub, the main
25 communications centre.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will have a few
2 more questions. I know it's not the time for our first break; however,
3 if it does not interfere with your plans, I would kindly ask you to allow
4 us to have our first break now.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's have the break now, but since I
8 had an appointment, which now cannot be moved, the break will be of 30
9 minutes and not 25 minutes. Thank you.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. -- I apologise.
11 I will probably not have anymore questions, but I wanted still to have a
12 consultation with my client. So pending that consultation, I may not
13 have any questions after the break.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: No problem at all, Mr. Petrusic.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic, at least I can see you better
18 now. Please, go ahead.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no more
20 questions for the witness in the examination-in-chief.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. It will not be a problem
22 with Ms. Nikolic because Ms. Nikolic I can see. So she is not behind a
24 So let's do the round.
25 Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No question for the witness, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
3 Mr. Ostojic.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: I do have a few questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, go ahead.
9 Cross-examination by Ostojic:
10 Q. General Obradovic, my name is John Ostojic, and I represent
11 Ljubisa Beara in this case. I would like to ask you a few questions,
12 sir, if I may. Good morning, to you.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. Sir, in July of 1995, and I note that your first name is
15 Ljubomir, were you known by any nicknames by either your family or your
16 colleagues in the military?
17 A. My colleagues from the military usually addressed me as Obrad; in
18 my family they call me Ljubo.
19 Q. Did anyone in the military in 1995, July particularly, refer to
20 you as Ljubo, to the best of your recollection?
21 A. Some people did, but most of them called me Obrad.
22 Q. Thank you. I want to go back to your testimony of last week, the
23 14th of November, and particularly just for the record, it's on pages
24 28275, and you were describing for the Court when you were giving an
25 answer to my learned friend, Mr. Petrusic, an example where - it's on
1 line 10 - where you say: "The corps commander did not dare communicate
2 bad news to the commander of the Main Staff." And then you go on and
3 gave us what seems to be a firsthand account of a discussion you had in
4 the presence of General Tolimir; and you proceed to say where he called
5 Stevo Bogojevic and asked him whether the information that he had
6 actually received was actually true.
7 You go on the next page just for reference sir, on page 28276,
8 lines 2 through 5, you state as follows:
9 "The latter confirmed that, and when General Tolimir asked him to
10 write a report he said, 'Well, I can't. My commander won't allow me to
11 write a report of that sort. This is, for example, one way of
12 information reaching superior officers.'"
13 Can you, to the best of your recollection in describing the
14 situation, tell us when this event occurred that you were referencing?
15 A. This event occurred in October 1994, and I refer to it as a
16 typical example of something unusual happening.
17 Q. And can you just share with us again that Stevo Bogojevic, he was
18 in the 1st Krajina corps; would that be correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And he was a security officer in the 1st Krajina Corps, correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who was the commander at that time who is restricting him from
23 providing written reports to the Main Staff regarding certain situations?
24 A. The commander of the 1st Krajina Corps was General Talic.
25 Q. That's all the questions I have. Thank you very much, sir.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you Mr. Ostojic.
2 Ms. Nikolic.
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
4 questions for this witness.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic.
6 MS. NIKOLIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I have no questions for
7 this witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks, Ms. Nikolic.
9 Mr. Gosnell.
10 MR. GOSNELL: No questions, Mr. President. Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Krgovic.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: I have a few questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please go ahead.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Obradovic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Or general, that's how I should address you.
18 A. Well, I am retired.
19 Q. My name is Dragan Krgovic, I appear for General Gvero; and I will
20 ask you a few questions about your testimony.
21 General, you said during your examination-in-chief that you
22 arrived in the Main Staff around the 17th of July 1995. Do you remember
23 saying that?
24 A. Yes. That was the date when I came back from sick leave.
25 Q. That's what I was actually referring to. Let's go back to July
1 1995 when you returned. There was a command post in Crna Rijeka of the
2 Main Staff and a so-called auxiliary command post in Hans Pijesak; is
3 that correct?
4 A. The Main Staff was deployed in two locations, in Crna Rijeka and
5 in Hans Pijesak.
6 Q. In July 1995, when you arrived in Crna Rijeka, you didn't see
7 General Gvero there, did you?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. General, when answering my colleague's questions, the questions
10 of Mr. Petrusic, you spoke about the way documents and directives of the
11 Main Staff are drawn up. Do you draw a distinction between the documents
12 drawn up in the Main Staff and the documents drawn up in the Supreme
13 Command? There is a difference between those two types of documents, is
14 there not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you spoke about the way in which these documents were drawn
17 up, you were referring to the ones drawn up in the Main Staff were you
19 A. Yes, I was.
20 Q. Directive number 7, to be specific, that you were asked about,
21 was issued by the Supreme Command, was it not?
22 A. Yes, the one we saw was signed by the president of the republic,
23 Dr. Radovan Karadzic, who was the commander-in-chief.
24 Q. In the title -- in the heading, it says, "Directive of the
25 Supreme Command," does it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Your explanation as to the manner how directive could be drawn
3 up, was based on your knowledge and experience, but is theoretical is it
5 A. Well, I wasn't there when any of these directives were being
6 drawn up. I did not participate in drawing them up nor was I present
7 when they were being drawn up.
8 Q. Well, that's precisely what I was getting at. You arrived in the
9 Main Staff in September 1994; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The directive which was issued before Directive 7 was directive
12 number 6, and that was issued in 1993. I assume you were unable to
13 participate in its drafting?
14 A. No, I wasn't.
15 Q. And you were absent from the Main Staff from January 1995 until
16 July 1995 when Directive number 7 was be compiled, so you were not able
17 to participate in its drafting either?
18 A. Yes, I was absent from the 27th of January 1995 to the 17th of
19 July, 1995.
20 Q. Directives numbers 8 and 9 were drawn up in forward command post
21 1 and Drvar respectively; so you were not able to participate in the
22 drafting of these either, were you?
23 A. No, I wasn't.
24 Q. Sir, I will move on to another topic. When you were referring to
25 the organs of the Main Staff, you mentioned a term which has to do with
1 the corps. You spoke about command. According to the practice and the
2 documents of the army of Republika Srpska, the corps had commands and the
3 Main Staff was the Main Staff. And there was also the Supreme Command at
4 Pale. Do you draw a distinction among these terms?
5 A. The Main Staff was the command, because it had the commander of
6 the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska and the chief of staff of
7 the Main Staff of Republika Srpska. I do not deny the existence of the
8 Supreme Command.
9 Q. But the term usually employed was Main Staff?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When you spoke about -- well, according to my information, there
12 was a collegium in the Main Staff, a narrow collegium and an extended
13 collegium. Do you agree that the term used was "collegium"?
14 A. Well, the narrow part of the command, the collegium, is comprised
15 of --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the answer, the last
17 part of the answer, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Obradovic, the interpreters didn't catch the
19 last part of your answer. If you could repeat it, please. Well, I will
20 read out to you what we have in the transcript so far.
21 The question was:
22 "Do you agree that the term used was 'collegium'"?
23 And you answered:
24 "Well, the narrow part of the command, the collegium is comprised
25 of ..." that's where we need you to continue, from there.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a synonym. The collegium and
2 the narrow part of the command are synonymous. They refer to one and the
3 same thing.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but the collegium would be what is comprised
5 of what or whom, so that we make sure that we are on the same wavelength.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's comprised of, Your Honours,
7 the commander and the assistant commanders and the Chief of Staff.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let's go back to a topic we had mentioned previously. When you
11 arrived in July 1995 in the Serbian language, you told me you did not see
12 General Gvero at all, but it's not reflected in the transcript. So could
13 you repeat your answer?
14 A. On the 17th of July on my return from sick leave, I did not see
15 General Gvero on the 17th of July.
16 Q. And later on in the course of July, although you mentioned this,
17 the Main Staff went west; but you didn't see General Gvero in Crna
18 Rijeka, did you?
19 A. Well, when I said they went west, all the assistants went there,
20 the Chief of Staff and the commander.
21 Q. There is another point I wanted to clarify with you,
22 Mr. Obradovic. When you spoke about the right of the commander, or,
23 rather, the absence of the commander, and how the Main Staff functions in
24 his absence, you said that according to the establishment in the absence
25 of the commander, he is replaced by the Chief of Staff?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The command post of the Main Staff was in the zone of
3 responsibility of the Drina Corps, was it not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And when the commander was in the area of the Drina Corps, there
6 was no reason for him to be replaced by anyone because he was in constant
7 communication with the Main Staff, was he not?
8 A. Well, the commander, wherever he is on the territory of Republika
9 Srpska, has communications with the Main Staff and the subordinate units.
10 But he was nearby in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps.
11 Q. And when you spoke about the manner in which the Main Staff
12 functions, you spoke on the basis of your experience and your
13 professional knowledge?
14 A. Yes, experience and knowledge.
15 Q. And you never saw a written order where Mladic authorised someone
16 to stand in for him in his absence or to deputize for him; and I'm
17 referring to the time-period up to the point where we they have all went
19 A. I didn't see any order signed by him personally, but I didn't
20 need to see it. It wouldn't referred to me, so there would be no reason
21 for me to see it.
22 Q. You are not aware in a General Gvero ever deputized for
23 General Mladic?
24 A. I cannot assert that.
25 Q. But you're not aware of it?
1 A. No.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness said he was not aware
3 of it but it's not reflected -- ah, now it's in the transcript; I
5 Q. General, it's the commander's right, at any point in time, to
6 designate someone to carry out a certain QT or to entrust a certain
7 function to someone?
8 A. It's his right. But there is a hierarchy to be observed. He's
9 not going to designate me to deputize for him when he has close
10 associates who are senior in rank and position.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Your Honour.
12 Your Honours, I have no further questions for this witness.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic. Mr. Sarapa.
14 MR. SARAPA: No questions, thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. The ball is in your court,
16 Mr. McCloskey. You had asked for three hours; is that still your
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I hope it will be shorter than that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, is there a possibility that we will
20 send the gentleman back home today.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's proceed, thank you.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
24 Q. Good morning, General.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. So I take it General Gvero was a close associate of
2 General Mladic?
3 A. Yes, was his assistant for morale.
4 Q. With a long history of knowing each other and working together as
6 A. I don't know whether they had known each other for a long time,
7 but they worked together from 1992 onwards.
8 Q. Okay. Let me first ask you, you were obviously a -- a serious
9 officer as the chief of operations at the Main Staff in 1995. When you
10 wrote a document and submitted it to your superior, General Miletic, did
11 you take responsibility for that document, for its content, for its
13 A. My responsibility was to deal with a document professionally, but
14 the responsibility lay with my superior.
15 Q. Meaning General Miletic?
16 A. Yes, and his superior was also responsible for him because
17 whoever signs a document has to read it. If he trusts his subordinate,
18 he might do it without inspecting the document first.
19 Q. So documents containing suggestions, goals, analysis, that came
20 out of the operations branch in the name of General Miletic, General
21 Miletic would take responsibility for that information as it went up the
22 line to his superior?
23 A. Yes, and his superior was duty-bound to control him or to monitor
25 Q. All right. Now, just talk briefly about directives. We see that
1 Directive 7 came out of the operations branch. Before getting to
2 President Karadzic, did it -- did it go from its drafter, Miletic, to
3 Milovanovic or should it have gone to Milovanovic if he was around?
4 A. A directive is compiled based on certain assessments of the
5 relevant officer, the commander issuing it. There must have been a
6 discussion in a certain circle for General Miletic to be given the task
7 of drawing this up; and if his immediate superior was there, he would
8 show it to him, for him to check it and give suggestions, and then to
9 give him the green light to go to the commander who has to sign it.
10 Q. All right. Well, we know Directive 7 wasn't signed by Mladic,
11 but if -- let's just say for hierarchy's sake that Mladic, Milovanovic,
12 the assistant commanders, and the operations people, Miletic, got
13 together, had long meetings about what was going into this, perhaps they
14 had some input from the president's office; but then it gets drafted.
15 Let's say it goes to Milovanovic, then Milovanovic would send it to
16 General Mladic, wouldn't he?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you be one moment, before you answer I see
18 two Defence counsel to on their -- Mr. Petrusic.
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] It seems to me that this question
20 calls for speculation by the witness.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse.
22 MR. JOSSE: That was going to be our objection, in particular in
23 light of the answers the witness gave to Mr. Krgovic's questions; namely,
24 he wasn't there at that time.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey. Thank you, Mr. Josse.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think the basic procedure of following a
2 document is something that this witness can testify. He testified at
3 length in his direct examination about these sorts of issues. This is
4 nothing very mysterious nor I don't think very controversial.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course, the question does pose a hypothetical
7 case, and it's not based on an event that is alleged to have taken place.
8 Still, we believe that it would only call for speculation if the witness
9 doesn't know how to answer and he just provides us with a guess. But if
10 he knows the answer to such a question in such a hypothetical case, then
11 he should answer the question.
12 So we only want you to answer the question, Mr. Obradovic, if you
13 can give us an answer based on your experience in the VRS army and your
14 knowledge of how things proceeded during those times.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. General, we can start over again. It's probably easier. The
17 document comes out of the operations group. It should go from Miletic to
18 Milovanovic if he's around, General Mladic probably wants to see it as
19 well, correct, before it goes to Karadzic?
20 A. Your Honours, the directive was drafted on the 8th of March.
21 I've just seen it. I did not participate in the drafting of this
22 document. However, the tasks and the conclusions that were passed
23 towards the end of January, after the analysis of the combat readiness of
24 the army Republika Srpska, which involved the participation of the Main
25 Staff, which means the commander, his assistants, corps commanders, the
1 Supreme Commander and his organs. This analysis gave rise to certain
2 conclusions which were the basis for the drafting of the directive that
3 we are talking about.
4 Q. Thank you. General, I am just trying to get a -- what should be
5 the normal path of this directive before it gets finally signed off by
6 Karadzic. So if Milovanovic is there, you say he's a stickler for
7 detail, he wants to see it. Would Mladic want to seen it as well if he
8 was there before it goes to the president, or would he see it under the
9 rules that you were living by?
10 A. According to procedure, General Miletic should have shown the
11 proposal of the directive to the commander, if the Chief of Staff was not
12 there, before sending it off to Karadzic.
13 Q. Okay. And if the Chief of Staff was there, and he showed it to
14 the Chief of Staff, would it still be seen by Mladic in your view under
15 the way the procedures -- and you know General Mladic better than we do.
16 A. According to procedure, the Chief of Staff would be duty-bound to
17 show it to General Mladic of course, yes.
18 Q. Okay. And then it would go to the president's office in Pale, I
19 take it.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And do you know who -- who would first see it in Pale, a document
22 of this import coming out of the Main Staff?
23 A. I'm not sure. I'm not entirely sure. Maybe it would be the
24 Minister of Defence or maybe it would go directly to the president. I am
25 not aware of the methodology of the receipt of documents over there.
1 Q. Fair enough. And I think you've said of course that the
2 president, President Karadzic could take his pen to the directive and
3 write in what he wanted to, correct?
4 A. It was his rights to reformulate, rephrase, add something,
5 eliminate other things.
6 Q. Sure, but after he did that, if he did, it would go back to the
7 Main Staff for the final typing, correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And at that point General Miletic would certainly see any changes
10 that President Karadzic had made, correct?
11 A. Yes, but was not allowed to change anything, no.
12 Q. Certainly. How about would General Mladic want to look at it or
13 would General Mladic see it as well when it comes back from the
14 president's office, if it's not signed when it comes back and it's got
15 changes in it?
16 A. Just out of curiosity but there was no reason for him to look at
17 it. He will receive this document in its final form, anyway. Once it
18 was sent to the president, the president signed it, and the document will
19 end up with the commander of the Main Staff for his information.
20 Q. Now, as you said, the Main Staff assistant commanders all played
21 a role in putting -- making their input in this document - and we can see
22 that in the various headings of the document - so I take it the assistant
23 commanders would also be able to see this directive after it was
25 A. The previous question that you put to me, it's beside the point
1 to send it again to the Main Staff commander because he no longer had a
2 say in it; whereas, during negotiation he did have a say in it. That's
3 why he would eventually receive this document as the final document for
4 his information and perusal.
5 Q. All right. Understood. But my question was would the assistant
6 commanders that played such a role in providing information for this
7 document, would they see this document before it was signed off on by the
8 president? Would these the draft?
9 A. If they participated in the drafting, then yes. And maybe they
10 would ask for it out of curiosity, but I can't really give you the exact
11 procedure. I don't know what happened with this particular one.
12 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Now you have told us that General Miletic,
13 or Colonel Miletic for a time, was receiving the very important
14 information from the corps in the form of daily and interim combat
15 reports. He was getting phone calls from the 65th Protection Regiment in
16 the morning and in the evening. You told us that the corps commanders
17 would call and speak to Mladic in the evening, and when that happened
18 would important information that Mladic received through the corps
19 commanders be passed on to General Miletic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, when General Miletic receives this information, let's say
22 especially when he receives an interim combat report from a corps where
23 there is serious things going on, people's lives are being lost. He
24 doesn't merely just pass on information to his commander, does he? He
25 reviews this information, he studies it, and he analyses it; and he sends
1 that information on to his commander that is the result of his study and
2 his experience as a general, officer, or as a colonel, depending; is that
4 A. He passes on information. If combat operations call for a brief
5 review and his position on the course of the combat operations, he may
6 give his assessment; however, if he receives information, he has to pass
7 it on in its authentic form to the commander. He must not reshape this
8 information in any way, he must not tamper with it in any way.
9 Q. Of course. But he has the bigger picture than the commander does
10 because he's received information from various corps from is a lot more
11 information than the commander has had time to take up, so in many cases
12 the commander want to hear his evaluation and his analysis and his
13 identification of problems, doesn't he?
14 A. In the information, problems identified by the subordinate
15 commands, each with its respective zone was responsibility. I am talking
16 about corps commanders. A summary of those identified problems was sent
17 to General Miletic. Since our operations centre was not organised as it
18 should have been, then the administration for operations and training
19 received this information, merged this information, and informed the
20 Chief of Staff; and the Chief of Staff would then pass it further on.
21 Q. But the commander would want Miletic's evaluation on how to solve
22 those problems, wouldn't he? Especially if Milovanovic wasn't there.
23 A. At his specific request, he will certainly have his position as
24 an officer and will be able to meet the commander's request.
25 Q. In other words, the request to provide insight, analysis,
1 recommendations, and proposals. That's his job in part, isn't it, to
2 provide those things to the commander or the Chief of Staff?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. For example, an operation may be in great need of fuel. We know
5 fuel was a very tight commodity. Information could come up through the
6 corps to General Miletic that fuel was a big problem, and it would be
7 General Miletic's job to try to sort out how to get the fuel to where it
8 needed to go. Of course, looking to his superior's, Milovanovic and
9 General Mladic; isn't that correct?
10 A. No. Any requests for material and technical equipment would go
11 along the line of logistics support, and logistic organs of the corps
12 would then request from the operations logistics organ to supply them
13 with certain things. And replenishment is done based on daily
14 consumption, losses, and approved quantities that the commander approved
15 either by issuing a directive or an order, as well as based on certain
16 norms of expenditure. In their daily combat reports, corps commands
17 would also add their requests in addition to what they had already
18 written to the logistics sector of the Main Staff.
19 Q. General, I am not speaking of sort of normal situation. What I
20 am meaning to refer to is the situation, first of all, in Potocari when
21 there was thousands of Muslims that needed to be shipped out of the area
22 and fuel was in a difficult state.
23 Now, if General Milovanovic isn't at the HQ, he's off in the
24 Krajina, and the Drina Corps needs fuel, who is to coordinate with the
25 logistics branch and to get that fuel or to figure out a way to get that
1 fuel if it's not General Miletic, chief of operations and training, who
2 is standing in, in part for General Milovanovic?
3 A. Well, the basic activity of supply with fuels is not what
4 operations organs do. It is what logistics operations organs do.
5 Q. But when General Miletic -- when General Milovanovic is not
6 there, you've already acknowledged that General Miletic is doing many of
7 the daily tasks that General Milovanovic would normally deal with.
8 Clearly, your not suggesting Milovanovic from the western front is --
9 he's got his own problems with fuel, he wouldn't be the one that's sort
10 out fuel for a Drina Corps operation right near Hans Pijesak. It would
11 be Miletic who is if one that's doing lots of his daily tasks, wouldn't
12 it --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you answer or -- go ahead, answer the
14 question. Go ahead.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, supply with material
16 technical equipment, and fuel is a basic activity of the logistics
17 operations organs in the logistics sector. And this resupply is based on
18 daily consumption, losses, approval quantities, the quantities that were
19 approved by either director -- directive or an order by the commander and
20 norms applied in such case.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Earlier on, before you started giving
22 your answer, I noticed General Miletic wishing to communicate with his
23 counsel. Do you still wish to communicate with your counsel,
24 Mr. Miletic?
25 THE ACCUSED MILETIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, please.
1 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. McCloskey, you can proceed.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. General, on the subject of nicknames, you've told us yours.
5 We've heard the name Toso before, can you tell us who had that nickname,
6 if anyone?
7 A. I suppose it was General Tolimir's nickname. I believe that
8 that's what he was called for short.
9 Q. Well, you -- I've got translated "I suppose." But you're pretty
10 clear, you know that that's his nickname, right, back in July of 1995?
11 A. Well, I didn't call him that. He is my senior, those who could
12 did. Yes, they did call him Toso for short.
13 Q. And how about General Miletic? What did people sometimes call
14 him as a nickname?
15 A. Mico would be the customary shortened named of all Milovanovic,
16 Miletic, and people bearing similar family names. Mico would be the
17 shortened version of those.
18 Q. Well, my question wasn't what would be in the former Yugoslavia
19 the nicknames. I was asking specifically. We've seen the name Mile
20 referring, I believe, to General Miletic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
22 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we have foundation for this
23 claim, please -- this assertion.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, what's the foundation.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: My good faith belief, and the presence of it on
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't have a problem with the question, please.
5 So let's proceed.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY:
7 Q. General, have you heard General Miletic referred to as Mile?
8 A. Mico, not Mile. Mico.
9 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to go over some documents with you. The
10 first one I want to go over with is Directive 6, which was mentioned by
11 one of the Defence teams. It's also mentioned in Directive 7 which was
12 dealt with as well, and it was mentioned that it -- well, and we'll -- if
13 we could see it briefly.
14 Let me give a hard copy so you can take a look at it.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's 65 ter 3919.
16 Q. And just a few questions about this. If we -- it's dated 11
17 November, 1993, sent to all the corps. It's -- like Directive 7, it's
18 under the name of Radovan Karadzic, and also like Directive 7, you can
19 see at the end it's drafted by Colonel Radivoje Miletic.
20 So just a couple of things I wanted to ask you, because it's
21 referred to in Directive 7.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go, it's page 3 in the English,
23 it should be under paragraph 2(c), under prospects on the Serbian
24 version. But these are just short snippets, and I am not asking you to
25 evaluate this whole thing. It's a big, strategic, clearly well-thought
1 out major document. And it's page 3 in the B/C/S.
2 Q. It's talking about battles with the Muslims and the HVO, and it
4 "In further battles, the use of chemical agents, irritants, can
5 be expected. The production of more dangerous chemical agents, which may
6 be used at critical moments, can be expected in the next four to six
8 Can you tell us what is meant by the chemical agent irritants, is
9 that basically tear gas?
10 A. I believe that this is chemical agent that the normally used by
11 the units of the military police, tear gas as you've called it. Yes.
12 Q. It also says that: "The production of more dangerous chemical
13 agents which may be used at critical moments."
14 Surely your aware of the more serious chemical agents that the
15 JNA had in production. What is this referred to, what kind of dangerous
16 chemical agent are they referring to?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment before you answer the question,
18 Ms. Fauveau?
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I am just somewhat confused. Can
20 we see first of all to which army this is referring to? I think this is
21 somewhat problematic.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I said it in the question. It's their word that
23 the Muslims and the Croats had this stuff.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's clear enough, Ms. Fauveau. In any
25 case, if the witness has problems in understanding the question, he may
1 ask for a clarification and I'm sure Mr. McCloskey will comply.
2 Judge Kwon is drawing my attention that the witness said
3 something that does not show in the transcript, so I think we need to
4 do -- take care of the first.
5 I am going to read to you, Mr. Obradovic, what we have in the
6 transcript. [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No there is no discrepancy. It's
9 still not clear in my mind. We are talking about combat operations with
10 the Muslims and the HVO, but who, in fact, was taking part in combat
11 operations between the Muslims and HVO, were there Serbs involved as
12 well? This is what I would like to know, I find it problematic.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, do you wish to comment.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: As I mentioned, it's not my intention to get into
15 the details of -- of this, except to clearly point out like I did that we
16 are not talking about the Serbs having this stuff. It's what they are
17 concerned the Muslims are having.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that answers your question, Ms. Fauveau.
19 We still have got something missing from the question. Mr. McCloskey,
20 the last part of which, if you look at lines 23 and 24 of the previous --
21 of page 46, we have:
22 "What is this referred to? What kind of dangerous chemical
23 agents are they referring to?" And then there is something missing
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think I just cut I myself off. Sometimes I do
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Anyway, perhaps you can repeat
3 the question at this point to the witness who must have lost track, and
4 he can answer it.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. Sir, we know, and you know, that there is one of the branches or
7 organs is chemical, biological, and something else, I can't remember
8 right now, warfare, and clearly you, as an experienced officer, can tell
9 us what this more serious irritant that is referred to in this document
10 drafted by General Miletic?
11 A. Your Honours, I have not found this formulation in my copy. You
12 say it's 2(c). This concerns information about the enemy, about the
13 armed forces of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, and these are
14 assessments provided by the intelligence organ. But based on what
15 information this assessment was made, that the enemy has -- have these
16 means at their disposal, I don't know; and I don't know what means
17 precisely are being referred to. I only know what I learned in theory
18 about protection from chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons; but what
19 precisely is referred to here in this case, I don't know.
20 Q. Okay. Well, I'm glad they never dropped any on you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's move to your next question,
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Did you want to say something, General?
25 A. I just wanted to add that this part of the directive was drawn up
1 by the intelligence organ, the administration for intelligence affairs,
2 which is in the security and intelligence sector. General Miletic put
3 all that together in this document; however, the content belongs to the
4 intelligence officers.
5 Q. Okay. Now, keep looking, go to number 3. It's called, "The Task
6 of the Army of Republika Srpska." Which branch or unit would have drawn
7 up this section?
8 A. The army.
9 Q. But was one of the Main Staff branches? Is this operations?
10 A. This part of the tasks of the army is drawn up in the staff. The
11 proposal for the use of their own forces is done by the operations and
12 training organ, but also the organs of the various branches.
13 Q. Okay. This -- this directive, Directive 6 and Directive 7 are
14 stored at the Main Staff and available to you and others at the staff
15 that want to review it, I take it?
16 A. In view of the date of this directive, it's the end of 1993, and
17 I arrived in the second half of 1994. So I didn't use it. I didn't find
18 it necessary in order to actually see it. It was not at my disposal.
19 Q. But you were able to review and see Directive 7 and Directive 7.1
20 while you were at work in 1995?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Now, Directive 7 you may not recall makes a reference to
23 Directive 6, but let's -- I don't recall exactly where it refers us to
24 Directive 6; but just briefly, if we can look under this task of the army
25 of Republika Srpska, the second paragraph. It talks about:
1 "During offensive operations, regroup the main forces ..." and
2 then there is a loft discussion about improving operational position,
3 shorten the front line.
4 And then number three, it says:
5 "To create objective conditions for achievement of the strategic
6 war goals of the army of Republic including ..." and then it lists --
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's page 4 of the B/C/S.
8 Q. It lists several war goals. Were you aware of the strategic
9 objectives of the VRS? Do you know what they are talking about here?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. One moment, sorry, sorry. Go
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was not familiar
13 with these strategic goals. I was not aware of their existence in this
14 directive because I didn't actually have the directive in my hands. Now,
15 I see four goals listed here.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Well, sir, we have seen significant documents in this case where
18 the -- there is a reference to the six strategic objectives, something
19 that was signed off by Mr. Krajisnik in 1992. Have you ever heard of the
20 six strategic objectives?
21 A. Yes, when the indictment against Mr. Krajisnik was published,
22 because the people around me asked me about this event; and I would often
23 say how can an army be successful if it doesn't have any goals, any goals
24 in combat. But didn't know about these goals before.
25 Q. All right. Now, I would like you to --
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would like to go to, we are under paragraph
2 number 5. It's page 5 in the English. And it's under the Eastern Bosnia
3 Corps --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. McCloskey. General Miletic, what's
5 the problem?
6 THE ACCUSED MILETIC: [Interpretation] May have two minutes to
7 consult with my counsel, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, of course.
9 Ms. Fauveau, if you wish to speak to him outside of the room --
10 it's okay. Then go ahead.
11 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, we can proceed. Sorry for you
13 interrupting you like this, Mr. McCloskey. You were, lines 7 to 9 of
14 page 51.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. There is a --
16 Q. Just looking at the section regarding the Eastern Bosnia Corps, I
17 don't want to read the whole thing, but as we get to about line 5, 4 and
18 5, it's talking about launching operations to destroy the enemy forces
19 around certain villages, roll them back towards Tuzla and Srebrenik,
20 other things, and within coordination with the Drina Corps and the first
21 KK, launch fierce attacks to crush the Ustasha forces on the northern and
22 eastern slopes of Mount Majevica.
23 Now, the forces they are talking about on the slopes of Mount
24 Majevica, the enemy forces. What does Ustasha refer to, is that Muslims
25 forces or Croat force or both, or neither?
1 A. Well, it would be most suitable if it referred to the Croatian
2 forces, because that was the term used to refer to the HVO forces.
3 Q. Yes, I think we all know that based on World War II. Are those
4 Croatian forces that they're talking about there?
5 A. There are mostly Muslim forces there.
6 Q. Okay. Now, looking at the Drina Corps, it's the next one down.
7 It says:
8 "Use some of the forces to maintain the blockade of enemy forces
9 in Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde enclaves, and constantly inflict
10 [Realtime transcript read in error, "conflicting"] losses on them and
11 disrupt their communications."
12 Now, the date of this, November 1993, its page 5 in the B/C/S,
13 what does that mean? I mean, this is a -- there is a --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Finish your question, and then we hear Mr. Josse.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. We think everyone will agree that there are protected enclaves at
17 that point, and I understand what "block them" means; and we know they
18 had enemy forces inside those enclaves. But what I would like you to
19 explain is why would you then be constantly inflicting losses on them?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
21 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, it may be an idea if the witness took
22 off his earphones, assuming he doesn't speak English.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I think I did ask him the question last
24 Friday, and Mr. Obradovic said he doesn't understand English. So could
25 you kindly remove your headphones, please.
1 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, we have already objected to this line on
2 the basis the witness was not involved in the preparation of this
3 document. But perhaps we could make a further objection and really
4 invite the Prosecution, through Your Honours, to say where this is going
5 and why they say this particular witness is competent to answer these
6 question, how it arises from the examinations hitherto, although, I
7 accept of course this cross-examination; but really where this is going
8 and why this is an appropriate witness to ask about this particular
9 document. Which, hitherto, as far as I am aware, hasn't been introduced
10 into evidence.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Josse. I am sure that you
12 would like to comment to that.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. First of all, I think they
14 brought up Directive 6, not me. It's amazing to me that these kinds of
15 arguments are made when they bring them up. But, more importantly, I --
16 because I don't think they brought it up very [indiscernible] frankly,
17 but they did. I think it's pretty clear to me that the point -- well, I
18 think the Court knows the Prosecution's position on Directive 7 and the
19 two paragraphs in it. One to make life miserable for the Muslims, to
20 make life impossible to be there; and then create a situation of permits
21 that restricts aid but doesn't make us look terrible in the international
22 community. Those are two bad para-phrases of the critical points in
23 Directive 7.
24 Now, I believe the direct examination of the witness was designed
25 to suggest that he merely was drafting it and that perhaps these bad
1 sections were added by somebody else and that he is not in the know and
2 is not part of Directive 7 and not a big player in Directive 7. I think
3 that's what's coming. I think that's what we've seen on direct
4 examination. So -- but you now know that Directive 6 was drafted by
5 Miletic. So he is an experienced draftsman in this area; and I think the
6 material, especially as it regards to the Drina Corps and the history as
7 it relates to the enclaves, is very important assist getting into his
8 mind as he is the drafter of Directive 7, a document that has been
9 historically incredibly important for this case and for the Trial
10 Chambers and for the Appellant Chambers that have reviewed it. So the
11 door is wide open on directives and the man's drafting of them.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, one moment. Yes, Mr. Josse.
13 MR. JOSSE: Could I briefly deal with the Gvero position on this.
14 Mr. Krgovic cross-examined on Directive 6 on an extremely limited basis,
15 as my learned friend has just conceded; namely, to illustrate that the
16 witness wasn't present in the Main Staff when that was drafted nor
17 Directive 7. Nothing else. Now, the rest of the response of my learned
18 friend relates primarily to General Miletic and the questions asked by
19 Mr. Petrusic on his behalf, and it's perhaps therefore -- it doesn't fall
20 to me to answer those points as such.
21 But, Your Honour, if it's suggested that by our cross-examination
22 of this witness on Directive 6, that's opened the door to this line, then
23 we refute that and invite the Court to say that simply isn't right and
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse, but I think that there is
1 more to it than that. Our rules provide limits and extensions to those
2 limits when it comes to cross-examination, and provided there is
3 relevance to anything that is an issue, we cannot stop the Prosecution
4 from putting such questions. But in any case I need to consult with my
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So we are unanimous again on this.
8 It's a perfectly legitimate question which the witness should be able to
9 answer. I think the -- you can either summarise it again or put the
10 question again, Mr. McCloskey; or I do it for you, if you want.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll try one more time, Mr. President.
12 Q. General, getting back to where we were on the --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: If you are looking for your -- the text of your
14 question, you need to go first to lines 11 to 14 of page 52, and then
15 lines 19 to 22; and I point out to you that the last line contains a
16 mistake. It's not -- it shouldn't be constant conflicting losses but
17 constant inflicting losses and you can take it up from there. It's an
18 easy question which can be put again to the witness.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. General, the question is, everyone understands that this was the
21 so-called protected enclave and, well, in particular Srebrenica; and we
22 understand that you would -- that there were significant enemy forces in
23 Srebrenica at the time and that they needed to be blocked, and their
24 communications disrupted. But can you tell me what is this reference to
25 constantly inflict losses on them. Why is that a goal, a strategic goal,
1 for an enclave where the -- we don't have active military operations?
2 A. From the enclaves, there are constant incursions with small
3 sabotage groups, there were ambushes on the roads, civilians were killed
4 and houses set on fire. For these reasons, it says here that such
5 activities should be prevented, activities of members of the army of BH.
6 Q. Well, if that's so, keep looking down the paragraph because then
7 it's talking about Gorazde. It says:
8 "Group your forces as you see fit. And with the appropriate
9 re-enforcements, improve your operational position in the Sarajevo area
10 in keeping with the approved decision."
11 And then this is what I want you to concentrate on:
12 "Use some of your forces to coordinate actions with the Drina and
13 Herzegovina Corps in crushing the Muslim forces in the Gorazde area."
14 And then next paragraph it also says:
15 "Use part of the force to crush and destroy the Ustasha forces in
16 the Gorazde area in coordination with the Drina Corps."
17 This seems like a lot more than just hitting the Muslim forces
18 and crushing them when they come out to wreak havoc. It is, isn't it.
19 It's more operational to keep them under military pressure?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, before you answer.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like the
22 witness to take his headphones off please.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Could you take off your headphones,
24 please. Thank you. Yes, Madam Fauveau.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I am a little bit confused, I
1 wanted the Prosecutor to let us know, does he mean holding the Serbian
2 forces of the opposing side under pressure? Is that the position of the
3 Prosecutor during wartime?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Madam Fauveau. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: My question was suggesting to him that this
6 indication is much more than just a prevention and a strike back at the
7 Muslim forces. That is an operational objective of offensive nature to
8 put pressure on them militarily by -- as described in this document, as
9 opposed to what he said earlier that this is just fighting with the guys
10 that come out and the wreak havoc.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Do you wish to comment further,
12 Ms. Fauveau or not?
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I still have the same problem. Why
14 is it a problem to hold these people under pressure, the Muslims forces.
15 The problem may relate to the population. But here we are talking about
16 the forces, I don't see why this is an issue. I real don't understand.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let me consult with my colleagues.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can point to specific evidence in the
19 indictment that makes it an issue, if you want to hear it. The names of
20 the victim that died under this kind of conduct.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We see no problem with the question, and we also
24 wish to point out that ultimately it's us that will need to decide what
25 weight to give to this consideration or opinion of the Prosecution. So
1 let's proceed, please.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. Sir, the question was: Isn't this language about using your
4 forces to destroy the Ustasha forces in the Gorazde area and crushing the
5 Muslim forces in the Gorazde area; doesn't that mean what it says, crush
6 the Muslims forces in the Gorazde area and get rid of the Gorazde
8 A. That's not my interpretation. You said a little while ago that
9 these were so-called protected areas because we had large forces of the
10 army of BH in these areas. It's as if there had been parachutes dropped
11 behind the lines of the army of Republika Srpska, because every day they
12 were wreaking havoc; and they were a legitimate target of the army of
13 Republika Srpska. I am referring to their forces which were in Gorazde,
14 Zepa, and Srebrenica.
15 Q. And, General, I am not sure that I would disagree with you on
16 that point. And this is whether or not the attack on Gorazde -- or a
17 potential attack on Gorazde, excuse me, or the Srebrenica attack on
18 Gorazde, was military -- militarily justifiable, is not something I want
19 to get into with you. What -- all I am asking you is Gorazde was a real
20 thorn in the side of the VRS, they had forces in there, and the VRS
21 wanted to take it out and get rid of it, correct?
22 A. There wouldn't have been a problem had there been no armed forces
23 in Gorazde, but they were at division levels, and they were engaged in
24 combat against the army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. I agree with you, and therefore it was the aim of the VRS to go
1 in there and crush those -- that army and get that army out of there, to
2 stop them from -- from doing that, defeat them completely militarily.
3 A. In any way conflict, the aim is to defeat the opponent.
4 Q. And there is nothing wrong with that, I'm just saying that that's
5 what this is saying, let's defeat the Gorazde opponent, let's go in there
6 and crush them militarily, completely. Correct?
7 A. That would be a conflict with the enemy forces. I don't see any
8 problem there. If someone is inflicting losses on you every day, making
9 normal life impossible, attacking civilians, burning houses, they have to
10 be prevented.
11 Q. We are not making a subjective judgment, we are just trying to
12 determine what this says. So this says go in and clear out the enemy and
13 defeat them, correct? In Gorazde.
14 A. What passage is that.
15 Q. "Use part of the forces to crush and destroy the Ustasha forces
16 in the Gorazde area in coordination with the Drina Corps."
17 A. Yes, part of the forces to keep.
18 Q. And then the paragraph above that:
19 "Use some of your forces to coordinate action with the Drina
20 Corps and the Herzegovina Corps in crushing the Muslim forces in the
21 Gorazde area."
22 A. In the passage starting with the Drina Corps, there is no
23 statement of that sort, defeat finally. It says to keep them in the
24 enclaves of Zepa, Gorazde, and Srebrenica. To inflict losses, and to
25 disrupt their communication and put up decisive defence on the front
1 towards Kladanj and Olovo. There is a constant threat coming from
2 Kladanj and Olovo. Actually, the threat is that the forces from Kladanj
3 and Olovo would link up with the forces in the enclaves, and that was a
4 constant threat.
5 Q. We talked about that in Srebrenica, I am now talking at the
6 bottom here, Gorazde. There is no discussion like there is about
7 Srebrenica. Gorazde, all Gorazde says is crush and destroy the Ustasha
8 forces. And all I'm asking you is doesn't that mean defeat them
10 A. Yes, Muslim forces.
11 Q. And in this case the Ustasha forces are the Muslims forces?
12 A. The person who drafted this or typed this, I really don't know
13 why he put "Ustasha" there. I suppose that the reason was the fact that
14 the Ustasha forces in the second World War had a lot of Muslims as their
15 members. I don't see any other reason.
16 Q. You don't think it's because all sides in war come up with really
17 derogatory nasty names to call each other? We are not here because of
18 nasty names, General; but isn't this what is about? This is just a nasty
19 name being used in a document?
20 A. Yes, yes. Of course, yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As by the same token as they called
24 us Chetniks.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it's break time. 25 minutes. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President.
7 Q. Okay, General, let's go to Directive 7 now for a little while,
8 hopefully not too long. I think you told us --
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh, it's 65 ter number 5.
10 Q. And I think you've told us you did have a chance to look at that
11 because it had more application for your time-period when you got there
12 in July; is that correct?
13 A. I looked at 7/1, but then I saw this one as well.
14 Q. So you saw 7/1 but you also saw Directive 7, this one that we
15 have in front of us now?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And by seeing it did you review it, you know, back in July of
19 A. No. I saw it later.
20 Q. When did you see it?
21 A. In the course of August, September, of the same year, 1995.
22 Q. And how did -- how was it that you happened to review it in
23 August or September 1995?
24 A. It was in General Miletic's strong box.
25 Q. Okay. What else did he have in his strong box?
1 A. A pile of papers.
2 Q. Well, we won't explore his strong box this afternoon. Why did
3 you go to his strong box to get the directive?
4 A. He ordered me to find some other document. I came across the
5 directive, and I had a look at it.
6 Q. And did you read the whole thing?
7 A. I looked at the information about the enemy and the tasks of the
9 Q. Okay. Well, let's -- if you could, it's -- should be page 8 in
10 the English, page, I think it should be 11, but it's pretty much -- it's
11 number 4 where it says: "I hereby decide ..."
12 And just looking at the paragraph right above number 4, I just --
13 and I not -- I don't really want to go into this in detail, but we can
14 see that there is a comment that it says:
15 "And thus, by force of arms, impose the final outcome of the war
16 on the enemy, forcing the world into the recognizing the actual situation
17 on the ground and ending the war."
18 So is it fair to say that at the time this was written, the --
19 there was actually a belief that the war may end, that the planning for
20 the end of war is actually happening?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And we see number 4 -- sorry, number little (4) in that
23 same paragraph, it's the last line of below that part about ending the
24 war, it says:
25 "To create optimum conditions for the state and political
1 leadership, to negotiate a peace agreement, and accomplish the strategic
2 objectives of the war."
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, this is -- is this the same strategic objectives we saw in
5 Directive 6?
6 A. I wouldn't be sure, but I suppose so.
7 Q. Okay. Now --
8 A. I was not familiar with the goals. It's impossible for me to
10 Q. All right. Let's just go to -- it's number 5, it's "Unit
11 assignments." That's the one you are interested in, right, it should be
12 just below the part that you are looking at. It should --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is that the one that you looked at that you said you were
15 interested in?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And who would have put that -- put that part together, the unit
18 assignment section, 13 in B/C/S --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer this question,
20 Mr. Petrusic.
21 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Objection -- it is not an
22 objection, Your Honour, but the relevant page is not on the screen, so we
23 kindly ask for the page to be put on the screen. So this is not an
24 objection, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Fair comment. Can you help us --
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I just said 13, maybe it didn't get translated.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: There is 13; 13 in B/C/S.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Maybe 11. It's 13 -- no, Ms. Stewart is correct.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It's page 13, Mr. Petrusic. All right. Okay, I
5 think having -- I think I understand with Mr. Petrusic to be okay, and we
6 can proceed. Thank you.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. So which branch put together this unit assignment section?
9 A. I just said that it was the organ for operations and training and
10 arms organs that do that. They put proposals for the use of their own
12 Q. So General Miletic would have played a role in this?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go -- it should be the next page in
16 English, page 9. It's really the second -- there is just another
17 reference to the Ustasha forces, which I won't go into. So don't worry
18 about that.
19 Now, it's page 10 of the English under the Drina Corps section.
20 It's after the East Bosnian Corps, you probably know the order. I
21 believe it's page 15 of the --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- B/C/S. I don't -- I won't read this out
24 again. We've heard this quite a bit.
25 Q. Have you read the Drina Corps section part about making life for
1 the inhabitants of Srebrenica unbearable? Okay, I think that speaks for
2 itself. What I wanted to ask you about is the sentence that starts:
3 "In case the UNPROFOR forces leave Zepa and Srebrenica, the Drina
4 Corps command shall plan an operation named Jadar with the task of
5 breaking up and destroying the Muslim forces in these enclaves and
6 definitively and definitely liberating the Drina Valley region."
7 So is it fair to conclude at the time that this was drafted there
8 weren't any plans to really take on the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa
9 until the UN forces left?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, if we could go over to page 12 in the
12 English, it should be page 17 in the B/C/S. Just a small point under the
13 Herzegovina Corps section where they are talking about specific plans,
14 and the naming of specific plans.
15 Q. And it says, in the 7th paragraph down from what I'm reading,
17 "By the end of March 1995, the Herzegovina Corps command shall
18 plan operations for reaching the Neretva river valley named Krivaja 95
19 and for coming out on to the coast ..." and it goes on.
20 Now, who was responsible for naming these operations? In this
21 case it looks like clearly the Main Staff.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, we all know, and I think that you do, that the name of the
24 operation to separate the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves and reduce them to
25 urban areas was named Krivaja 95. So do you know who would switched the
1 names from this Herzegovina Corps title to actually giving this Krivaja
2 95 on to the Srebrenica operation?
3 A. I can't answer your question. I don't know.
4 Q. But it would have to be somebody in the Main Staff, I would
6 A. I don't know. The document may be signed only by the person
7 who -- the document may be altered by the person who signed it, and the
8 signatory of the document is the Supreme Commander, Karadzic. A
9 subordinate officer is not allowed to alter anything in his superior's
11 Q. So if General Zivanovic as he was, in his staff at the Drina
12 Corps, were beginning the operations and the planning - and I should say
13 General Krstic as well - in let's say June, they couldn't just pick
14 Krivaja 95 without getting Main Staff approval, could they?
15 A. The approval of the person who signed the directive in the first
16 place. This is the person that they should ask approval from.
17 Q. Well, the Drina Corps wouldn't go directly to the president's
18 office, would they, in that request? Wouldn't they follow the chain of
19 command, put their request through; or maybe they are getting it fed down
20 to them from the Main Staff. I understand you weren't there at that time
21 period but ...
22 A. That should not have been the case. However, I remember that on
23 television President Karadzic, and I will paraphrase his words, it
24 impossible to quote him. He said he had issued an order to
25 General Krstic who had planned the whole thing, and he commended him for
1 good planning of the whole thing. That's more or less how I heard it on
2 television. And according to the rules of subordination, they should not
3 skip one person in the chain. They should not go one step above without
4 the knowledge of their immediate superior.
5 Q. So if General Miletic is involved in drafting and sorting out
6 these different names for the operations which must be crucial important,
7 General Miletic should have been involved in the changing of the names
8 whether it be Karadzic or General Miletic?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
10 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Objection, there is no foundation
11 for this question. The Prosecutor only assumes, speculates, without
12 providing any foundation. So far the witness has not told us anything to
13 this effect.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's just a question based on all of his
16 testimony and logic that if General Miletic is and the operations unit
17 has drafted this part; and obviously we can see made very careful
18 consideration about names, that when a name change occurs on a plan
19 involving the corps that the drafter of those names would be involved
20 somehow in the name change so that it could be distributed throughout the
21 Main Staff and other corps so there would be no confusion. That's the
22 question --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- if he can't answer, he can't answer.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We agree 100 per cent with your reasoning,
3 Mr. McCloskey. Let's revert back to you, Mr. Obradovic. If you can
4 answer the question, please, go ahead and answer.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this may also be a
6 sign of a lack of discipline and unfairness of the corps command towards
7 their first immediate superior command.
8 Q. Okay. Well, let's go on. Do you know lieutenant-colonel -- at
9 the time Lieutenant-Colonel Slavko Ognjenovic? He was commander of the
10 Bratunac Brigade.
11 A. I met him only when he arrived in the command of the East Bosnian
12 Corps. This may have been even after the war, I don't know when exactly.
13 Q. He was a career JNA officer, wasn't he?
14 A. I know what he looks like. I know him personally, but I believe
15 that I met him in the command of the East Bosnian Corps.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. And I don't know when this was. I believe that it was after the
18 war as I've said.
19 Q. Do you know at what rank he retired, assuming he's retired?
20 A. I believe that he was a colonel when he retired, if we are
21 talking about Slavko Ognjenovic.
22 Q. Okay, I ask you because in on the 14th of July he made a report,
23 it's 65 ter number 3177, basically to the members -- to report to his
24 brigade members. And he made a comment to them remarkably similar to the
25 comment that we saw in Directive 7. He said:
1 "There will be no retreat when it comes to the Srebrenica
2 enclave. We must advance. The enemy's life has to be made unbearable
3 and their temporary stay in the enclave impossible so that they leave the
4 enclave, en mass, as soon as possible, realising that they cannot survive
6 So aside from what I just read to you and what you read in
7 Directive 7, have you heard this idea, this goal, this thought, in these
8 very particular terms? Have you heard of it, and at your stay in the
9 Main Staff or in the VRS?
10 A. No, nothing like this.
11 Q. Just a coincidence?
12 A. I would not wish to speculate.
13 Q. Okay. And I'll withdraw that. I'm sorry, I shouldn't ask that.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 3043. This is Directive 7.1.
15 So let's trade again.
16 Q. And as we recall, this is something that you said you did -- you
17 did read. Is that the one that you read in August or September when you
18 looked at Directive 7; or did you look at it before?
19 And yes, take your time to look at it if ... so is this the one
20 that you've had the chance to see for the first time in August or
21 September 1995 like you've said before?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. All right. And we see that this is dated on the 31st of March,
24 1995. Directive 7 is dated 8 March 1995. And if we go to the end of
25 this we see that this is also drafted by Miletic, but now we have the
1 commander, Ratko Mladic signing off on this one.
2 Okay. Just a couple of things I want to check with you. So
3 let's go to the second page in the English and the second page in the
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just the last line of kind of the -- what is the
6 first numbered paragraph. It says, as it describes a whole lot of
7 brigades, basically, talking about the Muslim units, I think.
8 Q. And it says:
9 "Other details of the intentions and possibilities of the enemy
10 forces are in Directive number 7, and the daily intelligence reports of
11 the VRS Main Staff."
12 So is it fair to say that when Miletic was assembling this,
13 drafting this, that he must have clearly read and known what was in the
14 signed version of Directive 7 when he was drafting this?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in fact, under this "Tasks" part of it, the first line is on
17 the basis of the Directive number 7, the VRS has the task. And so it
18 cites Directive 7 and then it gives more task and more particularity,
19 isn't that right?
20 A. Yes, because the original document is Directive number 7 of the
21 Supreme Command.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. And let's go to page 4 in the English, it
23 should be page 3 in the B/C/S. It's under number 4, but it's one of the
24 last big paragraphs before you get to number 5.
25 Q. And it says:
1 "Other forces of the VRS shall contribute to the conduct of
2 Operation Sadejstvo 95 with the goal of operative strategic camouflage
3 and correcting the operative tactical position by carrying out planned
4 combat, battles and operations in accordance with Directive 7. And
5 active combat operations towards Bugojno, Travnik, Kladanj, Olovo, and
6 Vares, and around the Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde enclaves and the Bihac
8 So now we have this saying that combat operations should happen
9 around the Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde enclaves. What do you think
10 that means? And it's citing in accordance with Directive 7.
11 A. It implies that at a certain moment, and it says the moment is
12 withdrawal of UNPROFOR, to -- for operations towards the enclaves to be
14 Q. So do you see a reference to the withdrawal of UNPROFOR in this
15 document, or are you just taking it from Directive 7?
16 A. From Directive 7 where it actually says so. In this document no
17 references made to the UNPROFOR withdrawal.
18 Q. All right. That's your interpretation.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next page, 5, in English; and it
20 looks like it should be B/C/S 5 as well. And it's paragraph 5.3, and
21 we're at the Drina Corps section.
22 Q. It says -- well, I won't read the whole thing. Well, I might as
24 "The Drina Corps: Prevent an enemy break through along selected
25 operative tactical axes with persistent defence and active combat actions
1 on the northwest part of the front and around the enclaves, and tie down
2 as many enemy troops as possible through diversionary actions and
3 operative tactical camouflage measures."
4 Okay, we've talked about a similar reference, so I don't want to
5 go into most of this. I just want to ask you about this term,
6 "Diversionary actions." That means sabotage action, doesn't it? Going
7 into the enclave and conducting sabotage.
8 A. Well, there is no reference to sabotage here. Shall I read it
9 back to you, will you allow me to do that?
10 Q. Let me ask you, I've heard the 10th Sabotage Detachment referred
11 to as the 10th Diversionary Detachment, and I've heard the words used
12 interchangeably. So that's what I'm asking you about.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer the question,
14 Ms. Fauveau.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I think there is a mistake in the
16 translation. I would like the witness to read this in B/C/S and make
17 sure we can check the translation.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection to that? I suppose not.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, he's got it front of him. I think that's
21 JUDGE AGIUS: But we need to know, too. Especially if there is
22 an alleged error in translation; we know we have need to know if that's
23 correct and where it is.
24 Which is on the screen we have the English and the French -- and
25 the B/C/S.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. What's a diversionary action I think --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Fauveau.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think the
5 witness can understand what the Prosecutor is saying. I think it's
6 important that the witness reads 5.3 in B/C/S --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] -- so that everything is clear.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So we have 5.3 in B/C/S in front of us.
10 I would assume that the witness has it too. We could actually have just
11 the B/C/S on the screen, and we zoom in that part of the document.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, its just the last line, basically. And --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Last line of which of those paragraphs?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: The last line of --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the comma, Your Honours.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- 5.3.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Perhaps the witness can read it out
18 aloud and we can have a translation of it or interpretation of it.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it says here:
20 "Demonstrative actions and application of measures of operative
21 and tactical masking to tie up as much of its force."
22 So the word is "demonstrative" not diversionary, so this is not a
23 real attack but just to demonstrate in order to tie up as much of their
24 force. It is not a diversion but a demonstration. And also operative
25 and tactical masking measures are ordered in order to cover up the real
1 intention so as to leave the enemy with an impression that an attack
2 would follow soon, so this is the intent of the measures of operative and
3 tactical masking and demonstrating force.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Thank you. Yet we might have had a translation problem there,
6 General. But let me ask you what I was getting to. Surely you've heard
7 of the famous incursion by the 10th Sabotage Detachment through the
8 tunnel into the Srebrenica enclave in early 1995?
9 A. I am not aware of the detail of those activities, but I know. I
10 have heard of the 10th Sabotage Detachment.
11 Q. Well, I am sure you have given its a Main Staff asset, but have
12 you heard of their operation when they went into the enclave through that
14 A. No, I am not privy to the details. I know that there was the
15 10th Sabotage Detachment which was tied to the intelligence
17 Q. Well, you say you're not privy to the details, but have you heard
18 anything about the 10th Sabotage going into the enclave in 1995 before
19 the Srebrenica operation?
20 A. No, I did not hear anything about that.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to page 7 in the English, page 7 in the
23 B/C/S, just a quick question about something in the engineering support
24 section of this important document. And it's the -- 6.4 is the number of
25 the paragraph where the engineering support is. And the last line of
1 that second paragraph.
2 Q. It says:
3 "The VRS Main Staff will approve mines and explosives for
4 erection of obstacles and for demolition in response to specific demands
5 and availability."
6 So did the -- this is correct, I take it, the Main Staff actually
7 watched very carefully and wanted -- or required -- excuse me, required
8 approval before people used explosives for the demolition in response to
9 specific demands and availability? So explosives for demolition were a
10 very carefully controlled item by the Main Staff; is that correct?
11 A. The first paragraph here, under 6.4 speaks about the focus of
12 engineering support, and that should be to safeguard the movement of the
14 And the second important thing is to fortify the achieved lines.
15 Also, a references is made to particular attention to be paid to opening
16 pass through our own obstacles and so on and so forth. And as for what
17 you have asked me, it says here that the Main Staff will approve
18 explosive -- explosives for these -- for the engineering support. The
19 personal tactically in charge is the head of engineers in the Main Staff
20 of the -- of the Main Staff of the VRS. He's the one who worded this
21 bullet point 6.4 about the engineering support of combat activities.
22 Q. Okay. But it means what it says, the Main Staff has to approve
23 demolition materials in response to various -- or specific demands? It
24 means what it says, right?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Okay. Sir, it's the position of the Prosecution that there
2 became a -- a real demand for demolition material, probably right around
3 the time you got there on 17 July, because somebody - maybe you can tell
4 me - blew up every mosque that was in Srebrenica, and dropping a minaret,
5 so it hits the dome takes a lot of skill if its done right. Same thing
6 happened in Zepa; it took a lot of demolition equipment. Clearly, with
7 major operations to blow up these big buildings, the operations branch
8 would have known about it, correct?
9 A. The person in charge and the person who is the one recording all
10 the mines and explosives is the chief of engineers of the Main Staff of
11 the army of Republika Srpska. What were the tasks underlying the request
12 for demolition materials and explosives, I don't know; I wouldn't be able
13 to tell you.
14 Q. General, you are not going to put the blowing up of the mosques
15 on the chief of engineers, are you? Is that what you're saying, he's the
16 one responsible for this?
17 A. Your Honours, I am not blaming anybody. I am not putting down
18 responsibility on anybody. I am just telling you what I know. We are
19 talking about bullet point 6.4 which was defined and provided to the
20 administration for operations and training the chief of engineers.
21 That's who did it. As for mines and explosives and demolition materials,
22 these are all things that are operatively monitored by the chief of
23 engineers. The decision as to what facility will be blown up and when is
24 not his. I didn't -- I never said that he was the one who said to blow
25 up things, but this is within his purview, and the resupply of the
1 explosives and demolition materials is his call upon requests received
2 from subordinated units.
3 Q. Do you have any information whatsoever who was involved in the
4 operations to blow up the mosques of Srebrenica and Zepa?
5 A. I don't know.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You haven't finished. How much more do you think
7 you require?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: One second, Mr. President. Let me take a look at
9 my binder. I will need another hour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So, as I expected, Mr. Obradovic we
11 haven't finished. We will continue tomorrow. And same advisory as last
12 time. Please don't discuss the subject matter of your testimony with
13 anyone between now and tomorrow morning, at 9.00 when we are to
14 reconvene. Thank you.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
16 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the
17 18th day of November, 2008, at 9 a.m.