Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 28663

 1                           Monday, 24 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.  Could you call the

 7     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:  Thank you, ma'am.  All the accused are here.  The

11     Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.

12             From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic.

13     Mr. Bourgon I don't see, and Mr. Haynes.

14             Good morning to you, General.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

16             JUDGE AGIUS:  I told you to enjoy the weekend and the weather,

17     but there wasn't much to enjoy.  So you're back.  We'll try and do our

18     utmost to finish with your testimony as soon as possible.  I appreciate

19     your patience having been here for over two weeks already.  Yes.

20             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good morning to you and

21     Your Honours.

22             JUDGE AGIUS:  Good morning.

23             MR. THAYER:  Good morning, everyone.

24                           WITNESS:  NOVICA SIMIC [Resumed]

25                           [Witness answered through interpretation]

Page 28664

 1                           Cross-examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]

 2        Q.   General, good morning.

 3        A.   Good morning.

 4        Q.   Last Wednesday now, my learned colleague, Madam Fauveau, showed

 5     you a document authored by President Karadzic wherein he seemed to be

 6     trying to assert some control over the VRS, and you characterized it as

 7     an exclusively political document and said that you thought that those in

 8     power at that time feared a military coup or something to that effect; do

 9     you recall that, sir?

10        A.   I remember that, Your Honours.

11        Q.   Now, I want to show you a letter --

12             MR. THAYER:  And this is 65 ter 3928.

13        Q.   -- that you wrote to President Karadzic in May of 1995, and we'll

14     just wait for it to come up.  And I want to give you an opportunity to

15     review it.  There is a cover page transmitting it to the president from

16     General Mladic.  I think basically he put a cover letter on your letter

17     and then transmitted the letter.  Do you see that, sir?  Sorry, we just

18     need an audible yes or no?

19        A.   That's correct.

20        Q.   Okay.

21        A.   That's correct, Your Honours.  I received the letter in person

22     that in accordance with the military rules, I forwarded to my superior.

23        Q.   Okay.  Well, let's move to the second page of this document so

24     you can see the letter that you wrote to President Karadzic.  And just

25     take your time, and let us know when you've had a chance to read it and

Page 28665

 1     refresh your recollection about it.

 2             Are we ready to go down to the bottom of the page, General, if

 3     there is some more?

 4        A.   It's a little smudged here, so there is one sentence that is

 5     completely illegible.

 6        Q.   Okay.

 7             JUDGE AGIUS:  Do you have a cleaner copy.

 8             MR. THAYER:  Unfortunately we don't, Mr. President, this is as

 9     good as we have.

10             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  Otherwise we're -- it's not clear, we could

11     zoom in there.  And then --

12             MR. THAYER:  Alternatively, I could read the English translation

13     and see if that helps the General.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as item 3 in

15     is concerned, well, the second part, the sense of the sentence seems to

16     get lost.

17             MR. THAYER:

18        Q.   Okay, well, what I can do, General, is I can read you the English

19     translation.  We seem to have a -- a translation that was legible.

20             Paragraph 3 states:

21             "In all the armies in the world, the appropriate means of

22     official communication of the Supreme Commander are decrees, written and

23     verbal orders, congratulatory notes, et cetera, but not letters.  Because

24     of this, we do not know how to understand the evaluations and positions

25     presented in the letter -- or in a letter.  Are they intended for

Page 28666

 1     discussion rather than implementation, or are we to understand them as

 2     duties and orders?"

 3        A.   I've understood now.

 4        Q.   Okay.  Now, I see paragraph 4 is a little illegible, so I will

 5     the just go ahead and read the first couple of sentences of that

 6     paragraph for you:

 7             "This war we are waging has entered a new and decisive stage.

 8     Although the some total of your combat achievements is still very high,

 9     there are some extremely negative developments and trends which

10     increasingly undermine our superiority in weapons.  In a situation like

11     this, we must seek new solutions for the most important problems in the

12     further conduct of the war because the methods used so far can no longer

13     produce such good combat results."

14             And I'll just leave the document where it is, so you can scan the

15     rest of the letter and freshen your recollection.  And just let us know

16     whenever you think you are ready to answer some questions about it, if

17     you think it's jogged your memory enough.  If you need to read the whole

18     letter, please let us know and we'll give you as much time as you need,

19     General.

20        A.   I've read the second page, too.

21        Q.   Thank you.  We may have the last page, please.

22        A.   I've read through the entire document.

23        Q.   Okay.  Do you recall writing this letter, General, and the

24     general events which prompted you to write the letter?

25        A.   I do, Your Honours.

Page 28667

 1        Q.   To put it briefly, this letter, in response to

 2     President Karadzic's letter, came on the heels of the Sanski Most

 3     assembly meeting in April of 1995; is that correct?

 4        A.   That's correct, Your Honours.

 5        Q.   Now, apparently President Karadzic wrote his letter accusing the

 6     army and the Main Staff of plotting a military coup or a putsch of some

 7     kind, correct?

 8        A.   Your Honours, I'd like to explain this somewhat.  The main reason

 9     for Mr. Karadzic drafting his letter was that the generals weren't happy

10     about the decision of the president after the Assembly in Sanski Most,

11     the decision to replace General Mladic.  And they wouldn't replace him

12     with anyone else.  They would have some coordinator for the army of the

13     Serbian Krajina and the Republika Srpska army.  The generals met in

14     Banja Luka two days later and adopted a conclusion, according to which,

15     at that point in time, when the vital interests of the Serbs were a

16     threat, this was an unproductive act, a senseless act, the result of

17     which would be to weaken the ranks of the army.  And the consequences

18     could be serious, because to replace the commander at that point in time

19     when the end of the war was in sight, was not a good idea.

20             The decision that we signed and forwarded to him as the Supreme

21     Commander was taken by the president to mean that a military putsch was

22     being prepared, and he then sent a letter to all of us who had signed the

23     document.  I was prepared to be replaced at that point in time, Your

24     Honours, because in life there are times when you have to be held

25     accountable for your position.  So regardless of how serious the

Page 28668

 1     consequences might be, I believe that I acted correctly.

 2        Q.   And at paragraph 5 of the letter, you say that - and this is

 3     regarding President Karadzic's letter - quote:

 4             "Your letter is also inspired by the mistrust of the officers of

 5     the army of Republika Srpska nurtured by some representatives of the

 6     civilian authorities since the very beginning of the war."

 7             And is that the same mistrust that we spoke about the other day,

 8     General?

 9        A.   Your Honours, this is one way in which there was a lack of trust,

10     but this letter was written because of those events.  As for that lack of

11     trust, well, all I can say, is that something that has to do with the

12     beginning of the war.  I'll provide you with one example.

13             Sometime in September 1993 there was a revolt of a certain number

14     of soldiers in Banja Luka.  They revolted because some population had

15     been placed under a burden because of corruption, looting, and so on.

16     This was positive, but later on they went to the other extreme.  They

17     took over the Assembly building and they, in fact, tried to seize power.

18     In an interview on television one day later, Mr. Karadzic, President

19     Karadzic, told the journalists that the situation would calm down.

20             He said that these were justified demands made by the soldiers

21     and by some officers, and when asked whether this could happen in other

22     towns, such as Bijeljina, he categorically stated that was impossible in

23     Bijeljina.  He said he had a good commander there, Ljubisa Savic Mauzer,

24     and he would not allow this to happen.  Ljubisa Savic Mauzer was a

25     commander of a light brigade, 800 men strong.  It was under my command.

Page 28669

 1     I had 30.000 men under my command, but he believed that Ljubisa would

 2     present this.  Not the corps commander.  We who weren't in the party,

 3     obviously, weren't quite trusted by our president or by other government

 4     representatives.

 5        Q.   And we'll talk about Mauzer and his panthers in a little while,

 6     General.  I want to turn your attention to paragraph 6 of the letter, and

 7     again I'll just quote it or you can look at it there.  It should be in

 8     front of you.

 9             You say:

10             "Further to your order to prevent anything that is against the

11     constitution or the law, we assure you that this command shall continue

12     to operate in the spirit of law and thoroughly analyse the quality of

13     people employed in organs for morale, religious and legal affairs, and

14     organs for security and intelligence."

15        A.   Your Honours, I have already said that in the course of the war,

16     these organs were under a lot of pressure for them to become politically

17     engaged; or, rather, they wanted to have people joining them who followed

18     the party line, people from the SDS party, because it was obvious that

19     they were a thorn in the side of the local and central authorities

20     because they did not deal certain political problems at a local level by

21     having recourse to military means.

22        Q.   And on Friday you referred to the efforts to replace

23     General Gvero and, if you recall, at the Sanski Most Assembly meeting

24     there were also calls to replace General Tolimir.  I take it that that's

25     what that paragraph you just read refers to?

Page 28670

 1        A.   That's correct, Your Honours.

 2        Q.   And I've -- you told us on Friday that General Mladic refused to

 3     dismiss General Gvero; and you, yourself, weren't sure whether part of

 4     his reason for doing that was solidarity with General Gvero or

 5     General Mladic's - in your words - intolerance and dislike of the Supreme

 6     Commander; do you recall that?

 7        A.   I do.  I'm not sure what took precedence, but it's quite obvious

 8     that both these factors played a role.

 9        Q.   And the antipathy between President Karadzic and General Mladic

10     was mutual, was it not?

11        A.   That was the case.  It had its ups and downs in the course of the

12     war.  Sometimes they were a little closer and sometimes not so close to

13     be quite frank.

14        Q.   Now, I want to show you another exhibit --

15             MR. THAYER:  -- and this is 3931.

16        Q.   Take a moment and review the document if you would, General, it

17     was shown to you, I believe, during a 2007 interview with the OTP.  Do

18     you recognise what this document is?

19        A.   I do, Your Honours.  I'll tell you what the purpose of the

20     document is.  Before retiring, the superior officer has to have a

21     discussion and has to examine all the document that concern the person

22     who is retiring.  I did not have the possibility -- well, let me say this

23     first:  General Mladic at the time was placed at the disposal of the Main

24     Staff.  He maintained a certain status quo, he didn't come to work, we

25     didn't see him, but his position in service hasn't been changed; and the

Page 28671

 1     president of the Republika Srpska is responsible for his position, not

 2     the chief of the Main Staff.  When the president of the republic issued a

 3     decision on retiring, General Mladic, a personnel staff member told me of

 4     an error.  He had an assessment at the highest level of one's official

 5     assessment, and as a result of this assessment you have certain benefits.

 6     If you have such a grade after one-year's service, you have one salary

 7     level extra.  So this means you have a higher salary.  This wasn't done

 8     in good time and in a certain manner, we tried to correct the error.

 9             The assessment of General Mladic was made by President Karadzic

10     or the Ministry of Defence because they are responsible for it.  I, as

11     the chief of the Main Staff wasn't responsible for this matter.  So as a

12     result of this, his treatment was more favourable, at least as far as the

13     pension he was to receive is concerned.  So this is a quite regular

14     procedure that is followed whenever a member of the military retires.

15             MR. THAYER:  And if we could just scroll down on the original --

16        Q.   Then we see your signature there, correct, General?

17        A.   That's right, Your Honours.

18        Q.   Now, you referred to an assessment, is that assessment another

19     way of saying job performance appraisal?  Was it an evaluation of the

20     quality of General Mladic's work, is that what you were referring to,

21     General, that was conducted by President Karadzic?

22        A.   Yes, Your Honours.

23        Q.   And I take it that's because there was nobody higher other than

24     the Supreme Commander or the president during peacetime to do that,

25     yourself or had it been General Milovanovic wouldn't be in a position to

Page 28672

 1     evaluate his commander, correct?

 2        A.   Yes, Your Honours.

 3        Q.   And there is a box:

 4             "Conclusion of the latest performance appraisal and date of

 5     appraisal."

 6             It's the second box we see, and to the right of that it says:

 7             "Excellent -- 4.88, 10 January 1995."

 8             Can you explain what that means, sir?

 9        A.   It means that that was the last time his performance was

10     evaluated.

11        Q.   And what does "4.88" mean?  Is that a score out of a possibility

12     of some other score?

13        A.   The score is between 1 and 5.  This is almost 5.

14        Q.   And when this application by General Mladic through his assistant

15     came in 2002, he had been under indictment by this Tribunal for several

16     years; is that correct?

17        A.   Yes, Your Honours, but he was not relieved of his duties.  He was

18     still a professional officer.  He hadn't retired.  He was at the disposal

19     of the authorities before a decision was taken what would happen to him.

20        Q.   Okay.

21             MR. THAYER:  Let's move on to 65 ter 3938, please.

22        Q.   It's another assessment I'll be showing you, General.

23             MR. THAYER:  And, Mr. President, if we could not have this

24     particular document broadcast, please.

25             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  Madam Registrar.

Page 28673

 1             MR. THAYER:  My understanding for the record is that pursuant to

 2     the agreement entered into between the party that furnished the document,

 3     it is to remain in private session under seal.

 4        Q.   Sir, do you see what's on your screen before you?

 5        A.   I do, I see it.

 6        Q.   And what is this document?

 7        A.   This is an evaluation for Major General Gvero, Milan, from 1992.

 8        Q.   And would you take your time and please read this document, and

 9     continue through it as a -- as you need.

10        A.   I see this document for the first time, and could I be shown the

11     other pages as well, please.

12        Q.   Certainly, General.  If you are ready to move, we will turn the

13     page.

14        A.   I've reviewed the first page, can I have the second, please.  I

15     can't see the descriptive part.  The bottom part of the page, please.

16     That's fine, thank you.

17             I've read the document through, Your Honours.

18        Q.   Now, General, you correctly noted that the first page of the

19     document indicates that this the assessment was dated 1992.  Having read

20     the text of the document which refers to events subsequent to 1992 and,

21     if you look at the dates of the signatures being October 1995, October

22     30th of 1995, when General Mladic signed off on the assessment; and

23     November 5th, 1995 for when General Gvero put his signature on the

24     assessment, can we agree that this particular text here, this final

25     conclusion was done in 1995 for this period indicated?

Page 28674

 1             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, before you answer the question, wait, please,

 2     General.

 3             Mr. Krgovic.

 4             MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object to the method

 5     of examination regarding the date, because the Prosecutor omitted to

 6     mention the period to which the assessment applies, and that is the 31st

 7     of August 1988, until the 31st of August 1992, which I think is of the

 8     greatest importance and that is stated on the 1st page of this document.

 9     So the assessment applies to this period.  This is a period that is not

10     covered by the indictment, though the actual assessment was given in

11     1995.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was just going to

13     draw your attention to this detail.  Obviously, in the Main Staff they

14     were late in the regular assessment of their officers.  Somebody failed

15     to do their duty, and, probably, because of their salaries and promotions

16     they were cautioned that they had to do these assessments because it is

17     normal to make assessments every two or three years.  So probably in 1995

18     there were two assessments, for the period up to 1992 and another one for

19     the period up to 1995.  So the person who wrote this assessment made

20     certain errors, because in the assessment for 1992 he could not have

21     mention the participation in Operation Lukavac in 1993.

22             I'm not saying it's incorrectly written, but there are errors.

23     He cannot be appraised for this particular activity when it came in the

24     following period.  Now, whether the error was made in the actual writing

25     or in the typing out, but obviously this is an assessment for the period

Page 28675

 1     up to 1992 even though it was signed in 1995.  There probably was another

 2     assessment, an official assessment, for the period up to 1995; and I

 3     don't know whether the gentleman do have that document at their disposal.

 4     I don't know what the official conclusion and assessment for the

 5     following period is.

 6             As for this first period, General Gvero was assessed with a 5.0,

 7     that is the maximum score that can be given to an officer, exemplary in

 8     every sense of the word.  And this assessment implies certain things,

 9     General Gvero could have a year later in 1993, have moved up on the

10     salary scale; and he could have already been promoted to the next rank,

11     lieutenant-colonel general.  So I'm talking according to the rules of

12     service, to indicate that such a high assessment carries certain

13     privileges and benefits for the person involved.

14             JUDGE AGIUS:  Does that cover your question, or do you wish to

15     add something to it, Mr. Thayer.

16             MR. THAYER:  I do have just one or two follow-up questions.

17             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Before you proceed, General, as far as

18     you can tell us, there was only one Lukavac 1993.  Was there any other

19     Lukavac, say, 1992, 1991, was there anything like that, or only 1993?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only 1993, Your Honours.  There

21     were no other similar operations earlier on.  So that's why I'm saying

22     that the text is incorrect.  It may have been copied from the next one,

23     but this is just a hypothesis.  I don't know.  I haven't seen the other

24     document.

25             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  Yes, Mr. Thayer.

Page 28676

 1             MR. THAYER:

 2        Q.   And General, again, that's why I put the question the way I did

 3     to you.  Because clearly this assessment involves or is assessing

 4     General Gvero's performance after August of 1992.  As we all know the

 5     series of battles for the Podrinje in the Drina river valley, the whole

 6     Cerska campaign that ultimately led to the creation of the safe area of

 7     Srebrenica, that all went into 1993, correct?

 8             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, Mr. Krgovic.

 9             MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object to this line

10     of questioning.  No mention of Cerska or campaign in the Drina river

11     valley mentioned, only the operation of Podrinje, which is a far broader

12     concept than the Drina river valley, and it could mean something else.

13     So when referring to the document, I think it is not correct to say

14     things that are not mentioned in the document.

15             JUDGE AGIUS:  We don't agree with the kind of approach you are

16     taking to this document, Mr. Krgovic.  Let the witness answer the

17     question, please.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Podrinje is the entire

19     territory along the Drina river valley, and operations were conducted

20     from Gorazde as far as Zvornik and including Zvornik.  So, of course, it

21     is your right not to agree with Mr. Krgovic, but I personally think that

22     in this context he is right; but I did understand the Prosecutor.  There

23     were certain operations in 1993, too, but this assessment is for 1992

24     inclusive and not 1993.

25             MR. THAYER:

Page 28677

 1        Q.   Now, let's talk about the paramilitaries a little bit more,

 2     General.  In your corps' area of responsibility, there was a paramilitary

 3     leader with the nickname of Mando.  His real name was Mitar Maksimovic.

 4     Do you recall him, sir?

 5        A.   I do, Your Honours.

 6        Q.   And he was a self-styled captain, one of these fellows that gave

 7     himself a rank, but he became formally part of the 1st Majevica Brigade

 8     in Ugljevik eventually; is that correct?

 9        A.   Your Honours, there was an order of the Main Staff saying that

10     all paramilitary forces have to be part of the army of Republika Srpska

11     and put under its command or, alternatively, to be disarmed.  When I was

12     arrived at the corps, there were several such forces, there was the

13     Lajnovic Brigade at Majevica, there was Crni Lugar in Samac, and around

14     Brcko as well, there were such elements who were not under the control of

15     the army.

16             With all our available forces and with the support of all

17     professional officers, we managed to disarm those who refused to be

18     placed under our command and to transform -- transport them across the

19     border and hand them over to the security forces of Serbia.  And in most

20     cases these were criminals who had already problems with the law.

21             Mando's unit varied between 4 to 1 battalion, but compared with

22     the others, he did place himself under the command of the command of the

23     1st Majevica Brigade.  I can't speak about his activities before he was

24     placed under our command, nor do I wish to have any responsibilities in

25     that regard, but after he placed himself under our command, he acted

Page 28678

 1     fairly and professionally even though he was not a professional soldier.

 2     And I must say, that all those paramilitary elements were in a certain

 3     sense party-oriented.

 4             I must say that at the beginning, I had problems with the

 5     Bijeljina Panthers; and I had to add to them a number of professional

 6     officers in order to be able to control them.  But, at times, they would

 7     learn about their deployment before I did.  That was the case with

 8     respect to a Bratunac and some other operations.  And I saw that they

 9     were preparing themselves, and I asked, What you are you doing?  And they

10     would say, Well, you will get the order soon, and then subsequently I

11     would get an order from President Karadzic that they were to act outside

12     the corps zone, which was a surprise to me.  Obviously, there were

13     certain lines that I did not belong to and I was the last to learn about

14     them.

15        Q.   Well, why don't we talk about the Panthers now for a couple of

16     moments.  When you refer to the Bratunac operation.  Correct me if I'm

17     wrong, I believe your referring to an operation in early 1993 when the

18     Panteri were sent to the area of Bratunac in response to some armija or

19     ABiH attacks in that area, specifically the attack on the village of

20     Kravica in January of 1993.  Is that what you're referring to, sir?

21        A.   That's right, Your Honour.  I later learned that Bratunac itself

22     was in jeopardy because of the activities of these units from the

23     Srebrenica enclave, and that is why they sought the assistance of the

24     unit, and they did go there; and upon the completion of the task, they

25     returned to the corps.

Page 28679

 1        Q.   And Mauzer's real name was Ljubisa Savic, correct?

 2        A.   Correct, Your Honours.  He was not the brigade commander

 3     throughout the war.  I think at the end of 1994 -- at the end of 1994, he

 4     started to show certain political ambitions, and I told him, if he wished

 5     to go into politics he had to hand over his military duties.  And he

 6     agreed, and Ljubisa Lazic was appointed to his position and who

 7     successfully led the unit until the end of the war.

 8        Q.   Now, again, he was a self-styled major but in actuality had no

 9     professional military qualifications that you're aware of; is that

10     correct, General?

11        A.   That is correct, Your Honours.  And General Mladic personally

12     ordered him to remove the rank at the meeting of the 2nd of September

13     1992 in Bijeljina.  And he received his first officer's rank of 2nd

14     lieutenant, then he was lieutenant, and finally captain.  So he never

15     reached the rank of major, maybe towards the end of the war; but I can't

16     remember now.

17        Q.   And did you ever hear, General, that in 1992 he and his unit at

18     that time were thought to be involved in the murder of Muslims in the

19     Bijeljina area?

20        A.   Your Honours, when I arrived in Bijeljina, I heard all kinds of

21     stories from various sources.  But I didn't have the real information.  I

22     learned about this in 2004 when I was interviewed by your colleagues from

23     the OTP; and they told me that there was a whole file of indictments,

24     accusations and charges against Mauzer for events that occurred before I

25     arrived in Bijeljina.  At the time I didn't have that knowledge.  Whether

Page 28680

 1     this was concealed from me, maybe I wasn't the suitable person for this,

 2     in any event I was not aware of those events.

 3        Q.   And Mauzer's Panthers were also referred sometimes as the special

 4     brigade; is that correct?

 5        A.   That is correct, Your Honours, until they were reformed to form

 6     the Bijeljina Light Infantry Brigade.  That was the official name, but

 7     they continued to call themselves the Panthers.

 8        Q.   So just before we move on to another topic, so both Mando and

 9     Mauzer eventually became absorbed into your corps; is that correct?

10        A.   Yes, Your Honours.

11        Q.   And I understand what you've told us that with respect to

12     Mauzer's unit, your experience was that President Karadzic had his own

13     line of communication with them on occasion, but in other respects they

14     were treated as any other element of your corps; is that correct?

15        A.   That is correct, Your Honours.  I did not wish to receive direct

16     orders from anyone except from General Mladic, so that they came to see

17     me too; but they obviously had a more direct line of communication that I

18     was not part of.

19        Q.   Now, on to another topic, General.  You told us last Thursday

20     that you studied the Geneva Conventions together with the foot soldiers

21     as well as the officers; is that right?

22        A.   Your Honours, at the very beginning of the war, from the Minister

23     of Defence, General Subotic, we received instructions and the integral

24     text of the Geneva Conventions, and a special section on treatment of

25     prisoners.  We copied this and we handed it out to each soldier, and we

Page 28681

 1     took some other measures; for instance, we didn't have those plates for

 2     identity markings, but we ordered a card to be filled in with basic

 3     information that every soldier must carry in the left-top pocket, just as

 4     he had to carry the first-aid bandage in his lower pocket.

 5        Q.   Now, in your 2004 interview with the OTP, you specifically stated

 6     that in 1989, when you were serving in the 329 Armoured Brigade, that you

 7     recall receiving the 1998 JNA Regulations on the Application of

 8     International Laws of War in the Armed Forces of the SFRY.  Can you

 9     confirm that, sir, that you recall receiving that document?

10        A.   That is correct, Your Honours.  Those documents in the training

11     process of soldiers and officers were all regularly studied.

12        Q.   And I think you told us that you actually planned the

13     brigade-wide training in accordance those regulations; is that correct,

14     sir?  Did you do that?

15        A.   That is correct, Your Honours.

16        Q.   And they were transmitted down to the battalion level; is that

17     correct?

18        A.   Your Honours, training was done at the level of the company and

19     platoons, so it was passed on to the level of every individual soldier.

20        Q.   You told us about the Batkovic prison camp and that when you

21     arrived to assume your duties as corps commander, you didn't like what

22     you saw and heard about it, so you commissioned a report to be done; do

23     you recall that?

24        A.   Your Honours, when I took over my duties I ordered and formed a

25     commission to establish the real state of affairs in the Batkovic camp

Page 28682

 1     because I heard some contradictory reports upon my arrival.  I personally

 2     never entered the camp.  The commission was composed of

 3     Lieutenant-Colonel Mitrovic, who is a Professor, who is still working at

 4     the fault in Bijeljina; a sociology professor; a physician; somebody from

 5     the security organ; and I think one person from the logistics department,

 6     to make an assessment of the logistics support there.  And the report I

 7     received from them the next day was alarming and unbelievable for me,

 8     because there were persons in the camp who could not be under any

 9     circumstances be considered prisoners of war.

10             There were 80 persons, civilians, among them a few were under

11     age.  They were simply picked up from their homes in Zvornik and Kozluk

12     and brought there.  Apart from that, the commission found that the

13     security was inadequate and composed of reservists from the surrounding

14     villages who were abusing the closeness of their homes and acting in a

15     non-military fashion; so that I ordered that the command of the camp be

16     arrested, that the guards be suspended and sent to the front lines, and

17     that military policemen be deployed who have the necessary training for

18     that purpose to guard the camp.

19             Unfortunately I found that a those policemen too, later on,

20     informed the commander what was in store for him and he fled to Serbia.

21     And then I had to dismiss the entire battalion and form a completely new

22     one because I could not trust them to perform properly their military

23     police role.  So, as you see, I had to do some really big spring cleaning

24     when I arrived.

25        Q.   Now, you were asked during your 2004 OTP interview, General,

Page 28683

 1     whether you sent that report up to the Main Staff, and you answered that

 2     you did report to them, and I'll just quote what you said:

 3             "It was incorporated into the morale report, and it was sent to

 4     General Gvero, while the security chief reported to Tolimir."

 5             And I just want to clarify, if we could --

 6             MR. JOSSE:  Page please, page.

 7             MR. THAYER:  Page 188.

 8        Q.   I just want to clarify that answer, if we could, because on

 9     Friday, I believe you testified that all reports went out under your

10     name, under your signature, to your commander.  So when you said in your

11     interview that the report was sent to General Gvero, I take it you mean

12     that it was forwarded to him by Mladic or somebody at the Main Staff

13     since it's obviously relevant to General Gvero's professional expertise,

14     is that what -- is that what happened, sir?

15        A.   Your Honours, I need to clarify something here for better

16     understanding.  I cannot directly respond.  The report was sent to the

17     Main Staff.  General Mladic received it when the mail was sorted.  We

18     would send -- forward those documents we felt needed to be sent there.

19     The report was sent to General Gvero, because I felt that it would cause

20     a certain political problem because those people ended up in the camp

21     because of the politics.  Had there been good will to release them, they

22     had three months time to do it.  They didn't have to wait for me.  And I

23     knew that once I released them, I would be exposed to major pressure from

24     the local and probably also the central political authorities, this is

25     why I forwarded it.

Page 28684

 1             In the report I said that I had established a permanent

 2     commission including personnel from the morale section.  There was one

 3     man from there who was responsible for monitoring, and I felt that he

 4     would be the best person to do that.  This was from the morale section.

 5     I didn't know how the Main Staff would make up such a commission, but I

 6     felt that these people were professional, and they would do the job

 7     properly.

 8             That man was in charge of humanitarian cooperation at my section,

 9     so was communicating with the UNHCR and UNPROFOR.  He also attended some

10     meetings of the civilian authorities where these relations were

11     discussed.  So for this reason, I sent it to General Gvero, by the nature

12     of their work, the security organs monitor the security aspects of the

13     camp via the military police; and that is why I wanted them to inform the

14     Main Staff along their line of reporting that we had relieved the old one

15     and were going to form a new police battalion.  This is a pretty drastic

16     measure, and it creates a kind of vacuum which can be dangerous if it

17     remains unresolved.

18             The military police also provide security for me, for the

19     command, and also carries out military security police in the field and

20     provides services for the military prosecuting organs, which are not

21     under my command.

22             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Josse.

23             MR. JOSSE:  I didn't want to interrupt, could we just be clear

24     that this is 1992.  That's clear from the context of the page 188.

25             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, do you agree to that, Mr. Thayer.

Page 28685

 1             MR. THAYER:  Certainly.  It's been clear, I think, from his

 2     testimony, Mr. President.

 3             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Let's proceed.

 4             MR. THAYER:

 5        Q.   And, sir, just to follow-up on the last thing you mentioned,

 6     General, and with respect to Batkovic, it was your MPs, your corps MPs,

 7     up through 1995 who were responsible for securing that facility guarding

 8     whatever prisoners were there from 1992 to 1995, correct?

 9        A.   Yes, Your Honour.

10        Q.   Now, you were asked in your 2004 interview about reporting on

11     morale to your superior command.  And I just want to read to you some

12     portions of the interview.  We don't have a B/C/S -- we don't have a

13     transcript in your language, General.  And I want to make sure that I'm

14     capturing this portion correctly so you understand the full context of

15     this part of the interview.

16             You're asked by the investigator, a man named Paul Grady, he says

17     and this is at page 172:

18             "We have a lot of reports from Gvero.  So does Gvero write a

19     morale report, send it to the corps, you give it to Jelacic and say,

20     'Give this out to my brigade commanders.'"

21             And you responded:

22             "Let's not confuse command levels.  I report to the Main Staff.

23     The Main Staff does not report to me.  They issue orders to me, just like

24     brigade commanders report to me, but I order them.  When Jelacic received

25     all the reports from the brigades with both positive and negative

Page 28686

 1     influences, examples of morale influences, which both had to be included

 2     in the report, Gvero would receive that report just like the reports he

 3     would receive from other units.  They would then assess morale on the

 4     whole, in the army, based on these reports."

 5             You were asked a follow-up question, let me -- the investigator

 6     wants to give you a couple of examples, and then he shows you an example.

 7     You look at it, and you say the following:

 8             "They would be sent on a monthly basis, and only there would be

 9     extraordinary exceptional reports only if there were really, really

10     serious problems.  First there would be the first elements, area to be

11     reported on was positive influences on morale.  So first you had to look

12     at this from a positive angle.  The second item was the positive example

13     of individuals and units.  Then the next one was negative influences on

14     morale, then exceptionally negative events that happened, and then there

15     was the assessment.  So you weigh out both the good and the bad and then

16     measures to be taken by our command in order to improve the situation."

17             Let me just stop right there.  I've spoken for a while.  And this

18     is still in the middle of your answer, so I want to let you process now

19     and then I will ask you about the rest of your answer.  In your

20     experience as the corps commander, General, is that how these monthly

21     reports were written in your corps and then transmitted up to the Main

22     Staff?  Is that essentially how it worked, or is there anything you would

23     like to add or subtract from what I've just read to you from your

24     statement?

25        A.   Your Honours, just like all the other combat readiness elements,

Page 28687

 1     I am responsible for morale as commander.  My professional organs writes,

 2     makes the assessments and so on, and comes out at the meeting with their

 3     assessment, and then if we agree with it then the document is drafted.

 4             The document is written, goes to the Main Staff with my signature

 5     at the bottom, and then is forwarded on to General Mladic, General Gvero,

 6     and they also look at those items that are of interest to them.  So based

 7     on all the compiled reports, they meet, assess morale, in the whole of

 8     the army and propose measures.  We need to separate certain things here,

 9     or differentiate between certain things.  There are proposals, what can

10     be done at any level or at all levels, to improve morale.  There are

11     things that can be done at the brigade level.  The brigade can do it on

12     its own, but they need to be directed to do that.  Where this is not

13     possible, we send somebody from my staff to help them in this or somebody

14     from the professional organ, or some of my other assistants.  There are

15     also things that can be done at the level of the corps.

16             And in our assessment there are also things that the main -- the

17     Supreme Command should do which would be essential to be dealt with and

18     which have an adverse influence on overall morale on the army.  This is

19     just the usual way to gather data on the morale in the units on assessing

20     it and proposals to the command organs what needs to be done to improve

21     it; but the ultimate decision rests with the commander.  The professional

22     organ can propose something, but the commander would need to decide what

23     to do.  Sometimes the commander personally needs to go to a unit where

24     there are problems.  We had a case where both the commander and the

25     deputy commander were killed, so the unit was left without leadership.  I

Page 28688

 1     personally had to go to deal with the situation, appoint new commanders,

 2     stabilize the situation, and so on and so forth.  This is very

 3     complicated.  It's a very subtle operation that has to be executed in a

 4     very professional manner in the shortest period of time as possible.

 5        Q.   Now, General, in the answer you just gave us, you talked about

 6     what can be done at the brigade level, sometimes they need your help,

 7     from your corps level professional organ, then you said:

 8             "There are things that can done at the level of the corps ..."

 9             And then you said:  "In our assessment there are also things that

10     the main..." and then you said:  "The Supreme Command should do" which

11     are essential to be dealt with.  I just want to talk about the other

12     level that's in there between the corps and the Supreme Command and

13     that's the Main Staff.  So can you give us some idea of what the Main

14     Staff morale organ would be doing in this process?

15        A.   Your Honours, an assessment would also be made on the basis of

16     these elements, look at the positive and negative aspects and propose to

17     the commander certain measures from their professional domain that they

18     felt would need to be done in order to improve the situation in places

19     where the situation was not so good.  So they would have the same

20     responsibility that we have at the corps level, except they are

21     responsible for the entire army.  Their procedure or method of work is

22     similar, but the concept of their security guards is a little bit

23     different than in my case.  I had a smaller group of people, but they had

24     more reports.

25             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat the last

Page 28689

 1     sentence.

 2             JUDGE AGIUS:  General, the interpreters didn't catch your last

 3     sentence, if you could repeat it, please.  What we have is:

 4             "Their procedural method of work is similar, but the concept of

 5     their security guards is a little bit different than in my case.  I had a

 6     smaller group of peoples, but they had more reports."

 7             Then you said something else which the interpreters didn't catch.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I thought that I

 9     had -- I improved but again I am making same mistake, Your Honours.  I

10     apologise.

11             The method of assessment is the same as in the corps, but the

12     morale organ at the Main Staff is not conceived in the same way as the

13     morale organ in the corps.  The corps, other than the morale duties, my

14     men there, like I said, also were overseeing the situation in Batkovic.

15             They had information activities, they had a press centre that was

16     publishing a paper called, "Cooperation with international organisations

17     and exchange of prisoners of war," which was not the case in other corps

18     or at the Main Staff.  It was not something that they will dealt with,

19     the morale organ, so I would like this to be taken into account there.  A

20     higher command at the strategic level, so they are organised in a

21     different way.

22             I can speak on the basis of my own experience.  Your Honours, I

23     did not attend any analysis that were carried out at the level of the

24     Main Staff.

25             MR. THAYER:

Page 28690

 1        Q.   Now, General, carrying on with your answer to Mr. Grady's

 2     question, when you were talking about the monthly morale reports that

 3     your corps sent to the Main Staff.  You said:

 4             "And then the last is our request for our superior bodies.  So

 5     the Main Staff and the state leadership to do -- to carry out.  So when

 6     Gvero receives these reports from the visual corps, he then compiles them

 7     into a document and then he would compile a report about the situation of

 8     combat morale of the army which is then first sent to Mladic and then the

 9     Supreme Command, Karadzic.  And based on the problems seen in the reports

10     and the requests submitted in the last item, we would usually receive a

11     document from the Main Staff regulating our request, regulating the issue

12     which would usually say ..."

13             And now you're quoting in your answer.  In your report, this

14     number, you indicated that you had these problems:

15             "We hereby inform you that since this problem is not in our

16     jurisdiction, we have introduced, we have made the Supreme Command aware

17     of it and expect to receive whatever you were requesting, additional men

18     or something, expect to be to receive them within ten days or something

19     like that."

20             So, in your experience, General, is that how it worked, the

21     request from the corps would go to the Main Staff up to

22     President Karadzic and then back down to you in terms of trying to solve

23     whatever the morale problems or issues that you were bringing to the

24     attention was your superior command?

25        A.   Correct, Your Honours, but we still need to differentiate one

Page 28691

 1     thing.  There were things that the Main Staff could deal with and to

 2     assist us with, and they would immediately respond; but what was not in

 3     their jurisdiction then he would they would send that as a request

 4     upwards.  They would not refer to the Supreme Command if they could deal

 5     with something themselves, I am speaking about these matters in

 6     principle.  And I did note certain problems there, especially in respect

 7     of the cadre -- the morale cadre when I had to replace my assistant and

 8     so on.

 9        Q.   And you told the OTP during your 2004 interview that

10     General Gvero often called you, and I know it's going back a ways; but

11     can you give the Trial Chamber an example, say, any time in 1995 of what

12     you're talking about when you're dealing with General Gvero regarding

13     morale problem or issue in your corps?

14        A.   Your Honours, General Gvero was one of our most senior generals

15     and he was very much respected.  He was extremely professional, and he

16     never called my morale organs and bypassed me.  If he had my requests for

17     them, he would first call me and then say, Commander, Jelacic did not

18     send such-and-such report to me.  We asked for this.  We still have not

19     received it.  Could you please see what is going on there with that.

20     Most often he would call when some deadline was looming that had to do

21     with some sort of consultation.  Often they would call me to attend

22     consultations where the municipal -- or the Mayor's would assemble and

23     where the Supreme Command members were present or the prime minister and

24     these matters or meetings had to do with conducting the war and he would

25     say it would be good for you also as the commander to attend or the

Page 28692

 1     commander ordered for you to report there at such and such a time and can

 2     you send me a report about what happened there.  These were these

 3     situations.

 4             Otherwise, when he was passing through my area of responsibility

 5     he would always stop at my command post, even if it was for ten minutes.

 6     He was a very professional officer, and I would always learn something

 7     from talking with him.  He would never issue orders, though.  I would

 8     just like to say once more, Your Honours, the nature of his duties and

 9     considering the kind of person he was, he was not a man who tended to

10     issue orders.  I think in the army only his first posting was a command

11     post, all the other posts he held were morale posts.

12        Q.   Now, General, I want to show you a document in the ten minutes we

13     have left.

14             MR. THAYER:  It's 5D974.

15        Q.   We looked at this last Thursday.  It's your attack order from the

16     Spreca operation, and I just want to ask you a couple of questions about

17     it.

18             MR. THAYER:  If we could go to page 5 of the English, and this

19     will also be page -- excuse me, 5 of the B/C/S, please.  And I think it's

20     pretty much towards the top of the document.

21        Q.   Do you see where it says:

22             "Military police units shall focus on providing security to

23     persons in the command post ..."

24        A.   I don't see that.  Could we scroll --

25             MR. THAYER:  We need to scroll up --

Page 28693

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- up please.

 2             MR. THAYER:  -- please.  Other way.  We need to go to the top of

 3     the document, please.  Thank you.

 4        Q.   Do you see the reference to the military police at the very top

 5     of the document, General?

 6        A.   Yes, I see it, Your Honours.

 7        Q.   And it -- it states that the military police will be responsible

 8     for security of the prisoners of war, and then the next paragraph we see

 9     it says:

10             "After brief interviews, the prisoners of war are to be escorted

11     to the Batkovic collection centre for further treatment and processing.

12     Prevent any abuse of the prisoners of war with a view to their possible

13     exchange for our captured soldiers."

14             With respect to these types of operations in your corps, was this

15     standard procedure, General, that the military police would be

16     responsible for POWs and that after a brief interview the POWs would be

17     escorted to a location here, the Batkovic collection centre?

18        A.   Your Honours, a prisoner of war is first brought in by the

19     brigade police to a certain location where the intelligence officers try

20     to find out interesting information from them in order to understand the

21     situation among the enemy, the number of troops, equipment, which is

22     regular procedure; and then they inform the corps command that they have

23     captured a prisoner of war.  The security organ of the corps immediately

24     sends a military police patrol, with a vehicle, and takes the prisoner of

25     war after the interview and takes him directly to the Batkovic collection

Page 28694

 1     centre.  And the camp commander immediately informs the International

 2     Committee of the Red Cross who also come then to take his particulars.

 3             When they are taking the person's particulars, this is usually

 4     done in the presence of a representative of the ICRC.  And once he

 5     provides his particulars, he's protected, he has certain rights to

 6     contact his family and so on and so forth.  In all the unfortunate

 7     circumstances that he finds himself in, he is allowed some certain

 8     measures that would make his life easier.  We had extremely good

 9     cooperation with the 2nd corps of the B and H army; and we would quickly

10     exchange these people for our fighters who are captured on the other side

11     or for our men who happened to be in prison; for example, in Tuzla, who

12     were detained for some political reasons.  That was how it was done.

13        Q.   And in your 2004 OTP interview, General, you stated pretty

14     concisely, and let me just quote you:

15             "Once somebody surrenders, they are no longer a threat.  All you

16     can do with them is feed them, dress their wounds if they are wounded,

17     and send them to a collection centre."

18             Do you remember saying that in 2004?

19        A.   That is correct.  Once they surrender, they no longer pose a

20     danger to anyone.

21        Q.   And when somebody is unarmed and in your custody, General,

22     doesn't it kind of just come down to that, down to what you just said and

23     what you said in 2004, that that's how POWs should be treated?

24        A.   Your Honours, once he finds himself to be in such a situation, to

25     be captured, this unfortunate man is frustrated, frightened, afraid for

Page 28695

 1     his life.  He's sorry -- a person in a sorry state, and the only thing

 2     that needs to be done for that person is to provide protection.  You have

 3     to take them out of the combat action area.  You don't want them to be

 4     exposed to fire, and that is how one should treat that person.  I told

 5     all my commanders that a prisoner of war is also a Serb taken out of the

 6     POW camp from another side.  So keeping an enemy soldier alive means also

 7     keeping our own soldier alive, and throughout the war, we were very

 8     careful to act in that way.

 9             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I see we are about a minute away from

10     the break.  This might be a good time.

11             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  25 minutes.

12                           --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

13                           --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.

14             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Thayer.  How much longer do you think you

15     require?

16             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I reduced the -- my outline by

17     several sections over the break.  I think I will still need the rest of

18     my estimated time, though.  So I think I am at about two and a quarter

19     right now.

20             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Go ahead.

21             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

22        Q.   Good morning again to you, General.  We were looking at your

23     Spreca 95 combat order.

24             MR. THAYER:  It's 5D974.

25        Q.   And I see that it's still on your screen where it should be.  If

Page 28696

 1     we look at item 7.6.  Can we see that?  Did we scroll down a little bit.

 2     Thank you.  Do you see under the heading of "moral and psychological

 3     preparations" you order that:

 4             "Immediately before the commencement of the operations, inform

 5     all members of participating commands and units about the objective,

 6     importance, and tasks of the operation with particular focus on the

 7     following ..."

 8             And you have five bullet points of a military political nature

 9     listed there.  Where would you obtain this information and analysis that

10     you have contained here in your combat report -- combat order?

11        A.   Your Honours, in my previous answers I emphasize the fact that

12     this operation started earlier than planned because it was supposed to be

13     planned if the truce was violated; and our opponents violated the truce a

14     lot earlier than we had expected, in fact.  And this, in fact, was caused

15     by the problems that we had on Majevica where the enemy tried to take the

16     dominant elevations which included the Stolice relay.  This position

17     would have given the opponent very favourable conditions.  Those are the

18     highest elevations.  After those elevations, the terrain is a lot lower,

19     so the opponent would have had far more favourable conditions to continue

20     with his combat operations.  If those features in Semberija fell into

21     enemy hands, then the territory of Republika Srpska would have been

22     divided into two parts, and that would have meant that this territory

23     couldn't be integral.  There would be problems when it comes to logistic,

24     et cetera, and command.

25             As for the measures that have to be taken with regard to moral

Page 28697

 1     and psychological preparations, well, these are measures that are the

 2     result of experience and they are based on the assessment of morale for

 3     the previous year.  And it also concerns measures that have to be taken,

 4     usual measures that have to be taken when you engage in combat

 5     operations.  This was all decided on -- on the basis of consultations

 6     with my associates, the Chief of Staff and other assistants.

 7        Q.   Now, first bullet point refers to the international situation and

 8     refers to current activities of the contact group members and specifies

 9     Russia, where you would you, General, obtain, this type of information?

10     I take with all your other duties you didn't have time to read all of the

11     international political journals and so forth.  How were you kept abreast

12     of these types of political international developments?

13        A.   First part was information we'd get from the Main Staff, usually.

14        Q.   And who at the Main Staff would give you that information?

15        A.   The information would arrive by post.  The documents drafted by

16     the body that dealt with such subjects, such issues, and General Gvero

17     was responsible for this body.

18        Q.   And in your experience, General, why is it important to include

19     this type was information in a combat order?

20        A.   Your Honours, we were involved in a particular kind of war.  In

21     territory where our enemy used to be our friend, apart from defensive

22     purposes, the war also had the characteristics of a civil war and to a

23     certain extent the characteristics of a religious war, but it was a local

24     war for sure.  The enemy spoke the same language, they used the same

25     weapons, they had finished the same military academies, which rendered

Page 28698

 1     the entire situation more complicated when it came to preparing for

 2     combat operations and when it came to organising ourselves.

 3             The first item is a result of the of the fact that we didn't have

 4     time to follow the situation on the political scene.  It was so that the

 5     soldiers could understand the circumstances within which we were acting.

 6     Preparations had already been -- were already underway to finish the war.

 7     It was necessary to preserve the territory as it was at the time.  It was

 8     necessary to create favourable conditions for our negotiators so that

 9     they could put an end to the war without encountering any significant

10     problems or without having to make any significant concessions which

11     would be to the detriment to the people.  They had to take disciplinary

12     measures to contribute to such an outcome.

13        Q.   And, General, picking up on what you told us on Friday with the

14     level of morale being in -- in your own words second in importance only

15     to the training, is it fair to say that when you say that people -- the

16     fighters had to understand what it was that they were fighting for, that

17     that is an essential element of combat readiness.  That is that your

18     soldier in the trench understands what it is that he is putting his life

19     on the line for and that he agrees with the goals of the struggle?

20        A.   That's correct, Your Honours.  However, I have to correct

21     something here.  The first factor has to do with the control and command.

22     That's first item.  First you have the commander, then you have morale,

23     then you have training, and readiness.

24             Your Honours, I have to quote.  The Chinese military theoretician

25     who said that a line in front of a horde of donkeys is more important

Page 28699

 1     than vice versa.

 2             So the commander's role is of key importance.  Readiness for

 3     combat is also necessary, that is correct, but if you are willing to

 4     fight -- but if you don't -- if on is really prepared to sacrifice one's

 5     self for the war's objectives, then other problems will not be that

 6     important.  The task will be carried out regardless of extremely

 7     difficult circumstances, but I won't address the matter of other factors.

 8     But yes, this is very important.  It's also important that -- to say that

 9     the organ for morale doesn't act in this manner.  Morale is affected by

10     the Supreme Command, by the local community, by how one's family has been

11     taken care of.  Well, the kind of food one receives also affects one's

12     morale.  Unfortunately, we are only human and all these factors have an

13     influence on morale.

14        Q.   And, General, is it not the purpose of the morale organ from the

15     lowest level all the way to the Main Staff constantly to assess those

16     various factors that can affect morale to make sure that that fighting

17     spirit is kept at the maximum level?

18        A.   That's correct, Your Honours, and this is a suggestion made to

19     the commander.  The commander should take into consideration everything

20     that is positive.  He should support such positive factors and issue

21     orders to that effect.  In that spirit, if a commander doesn't adopt such

22     factors, well, he's risking the possibility of having results that aren't

23     that good or aren't as good as he expected.  Then it can't be an error

24     made by the organ of morale.  If certain measures weren't accepted,

25     measures that were put forward, well, then, one has to accept the

Page 28700

 1     consequences.

 2        Q.   Now, General, let's look at another document.

 3             MR. THAYER:  5D982, please.

 4        Q.   General, we have a -- another document relevant to the Spreca 95

 5     operation.  It's an analysis after about a month of the operation being

 6     underway that was conducted.  Take a moment and familiarise yourself with

 7     this document, General.  I don't know if you've seen it recently.

 8        A.   Can I see the other part of the document, too.

 9             MR. THAYER:  If we may scroll down please, thank you.

10        Q.   And, General, I might be able to save us little bit of time, but

11     do you remember -- and I don't want to go into all the details I think

12     we've spoken about some of them generally already in answer to some

13     questions, I think, from some of my learned friends.  But, is it fair to

14     say that for various reasons the Main Staff took other command of this

15     operation, and as a result of the analysis that's set forth in this

16     document certain conclusions were made in order, successfully, to

17     complete the operation?

18        A.   That's correct, Your Honours.  I wasn't present.  A

19     representative of mine was.  But yes, that would be the essence of it.

20        Q.   And just so the record is clear, the abbreviation that we have in

21     the original copy of this is NONO.  It's been translated one way, but can

22     you just tell us who that is, NONO; what that position is?  It's

23     identified as Colonel Gengo.  And again, in 1995, what was his position?

24        A.   It's Colonel Gengo, you might find his name a little difficult to

25     pronounce.  He was the deputy of Chief of Staff of operative and

Page 28701

 1     training; and here the abbreviation used was from the operations and

 2     training organ.  So he is a professional involved in documents on combat

 3     operations.

 4        Q.   Okay.

 5             MR. THAYER:  Now if we could look at item 3, and this is on page

 6     4 of the English and page 3 of the B/C/S, but it's item number 3.  Again,

 7     page 4 of the English page 3 of the B/C/S.

 8        Q.   It says that one of the general tasks to improve the operation is

 9     in addition to the officers from the VRS Main Staff, include one

10     operations officer from each corps in the Main Staff IKM as well as an

11     assistant commander for morale guidance and psychological propaganda.  Do

12     you see that, General?  Number 3.

13        A.   Yes, I can see it, Your Honours.

14        Q.   So my question to you is, General, do you recall why it was

15     important to have that assistant commander for morale actually located in

16     the Main Staff IKM?

17             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Krgovic.

18             MR. KRGOVIC:  Your Honour, there is some misleading question on

19     my learned friend, because this is assistant commander, the corps

20     assistant commander, not the -- for morale.  Not "Main Staff."  It says,

21     "Assistant commander for the Main Staff."

22             JUDGE AGIUS:  Do you have a comment, Mr. Thayer.

23             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I identify any organ or any level of

24     command in my question, so I think my friend is again making speaking

25     objections.  I simply asked why was it important to have an assistant

Page 28702

 1     commander for morale guidance and psychological propaganda in the Main

 2     Staff IKM.

 3             JUDGE AGIUS:  I think it's a perfectly legitimate question which

 4     the witness can answer, I am sure.

 5             General, could you answer the question, please.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know why the

 7     Chief of Staff from the Main Staff decided to adopt this conclusion,

 8     whether there was a problem when it came to information or motivating

 9     these units or something else.  I don't know.  I cannot claim for

10     certain.

11             MR. THAYER:  Well, let's look at page 6 of the English and page 5

12     of the B/C/S.  We're looking at item 8.

13        Q.   It says:

14             "By means of extra effort on the part of all subjects, especially

15     the command and control and organs in charge of morale, we have to

16     explain to the soldiers the goals, current results, and final

17     consequences of a successful completion of this operation thereby

18     reestablishing the level of morale from the beginning of the operation

19     and creating conditions for an even greater pace in conducting tasks from

20     Operation Spreca 95."

21             General, does that jog your memory at all as to why it was

22     important for General Milovanovic to place a morale assistant commander

23     in the Main Staff IKM for the remainder of this operation?

24        A.   First of all, I can't see what you have just read out.  Could you

25     show it to me, please.

Page 28703

 1        Q.   It's on -- it's number 8, General.  And we can blow that up if

 2     that helps?

 3        A.   Yes, I found it now, Your Honours.  Your Honours, I will have to

 4     explain the situation to you again, the situation that prevailed.  When

 5     the Spreca Operation commenced, we regained lost territory on Majevica;

 6     however, the imminent end of war, and we were all aware of this imminent

 7     end - that included the soldiers - and publically expressed idea that the

 8     Republika Srpska would accept the ratio of 51:49 and the fact that the

 9     weather was very bad, there was snow, a lot of snow; all these factors

10     had a negative influence on soldiers' morale and their desire to continue

11     with combat.  Soldiers would say, Well, if you want to have this hill, we

12     have more than about 30 per cent of territory than what we are supposed

13     to have according to the peace agreement.  If you want this hill,

14     exchange it for some other hill or for two other hills.

15             So, in a certain sense, we tried to motivate them, but we weren't

16     successful in doing this.  I was aware of the fact, especially, because

17     in accordance with an order from the Main Staff I had to send some of the

18     forces to other corps; and I didn't have sufficient men to engage in

19     maneuvers in that operation in tasks and to have reserve forces for the

20     corridor, which is where I was expecting a large-scale attack to be

21     launch, and I wanted to prevent this from happening.  So I personally was

22     not convinced that this operation would be successfully brought to an

23     end.  All the attempts we made, the attempts to raise morale and so on

24     and so forth, bore no fruit.  You know when soldiers adopt a certain

25     position, which was in fact correct, you know, we can chew over the fat

Page 28704

 1     here now, but the facts are such.  They weren't prepared to sacrifice

 2     themselves towards the end of the war.  They weren't prepared to

 3     sacrifice themselves for -- to engage in attacks, but they were prepared

 4     to defend the positions that we were already located at.

 5        Q.   Well, tell us what some of those attempts were, General, to raise

 6     the morale in line with this analysis here in this document.

 7        A.   Your Honours, going to low level commands, speaking to the

 8     troops, trying to persuade them, unfortunately a state of war hadn't been

 9     declared.  Legal elements more present.  The possibility of sanctions

10     wasn't a possibility; such a possibility has a good effect when it comes

11     to carrying out one task -- one's task.  When there are no military laws

12     or war laws, all one could do was try to persuade soldiers, explain

13     things to them.  This does not always bear fruit.

14        Q.   Now, if you look at the next paragraph, paragraph number 9,

15     General, it states:

16             "We believe that once the VRS Main Staff takes over the command

17     of the operation, the faith of all participants that this operation is of

18     great importance and that the further course of VRS operations this year,

19     or even in this war, depends on it."

20             Do you see that, General?

21        A.   Yes, I can see that, Your Honours.

22        Q.   Now, given the importance of these military developments and your

23     response to it, the importance of the Spreca 95 operation, given the

24     difficulties that you just told us about, raising combat morale of the

25     troops in connection with this important operation, with so much at

Page 28705

 1     stake, General Gvero was certainly kept informed of these developments,

 2     wouldn't you say?

 3        A.   Well, in the course of the operation everyone was informed, that

 4     included corps that weren't involved in the operation.  They were

 5     informed through reports from the Main Staff.  We sent out part of the

 6     report to the Main Staff, but there was a lack of knowledge; so there was

 7     a central report that informed us of what was happening at other fronts.

 8     So in addition to information on morale, well, General Gvero and everyone

 9     else in the Main Staff were in a position to follow the course of the

10     operation.

11        Q.   General, I'm not speaking about General Gvero being privy to

12     information as somebody that's simply being sent a copy of the report.

13     My question to you is given the import of this operation, the problems

14     that you had raising morale, isn't it the fact -- isn't it the case that

15     General Gvero was informed about these problems that you were having

16     raising combat morale naturally through either his professional line or

17     through somebody in the command structure at the corps level, such as

18     yourself?

19        A.   I didn't understand your question.  Naturally he was informed of

20     this, and he was the one who would follow and assess morale in the ranks

21     of the entire army.  So naturally he was informed of this.

22        Q.   Okay, General, I'd like to move to another topic.  There --

23        A.   This is the fifth topic.

24        Q.   And we have a few more to go, General, so have a drink of water

25     and I'll have one with you.

Page 28706

 1        A.   Thank you.  Cheers.

 2        Q.   Now, in Bijeljina there was an investigation prison.  I believe

 3     its name was Zitopromet; is that correct?

 4        A.   Your Honours, do you have a military or civilian prison in mind?

 5        Q.   Well, when I use the term "investigation prison," does that mean

 6     anything in particular to you?  Does that term connote anything to you as

 7     opposed to the Batkovic prison, for example?

 8        A.   Batkovic was a camp for POWs.  It wasn't a prison.  I'm sorry.

 9     There is a barracks prison, and there are prisons where you serve your

10     sentence for having committed a crime.  Such a prison, criminal prison

11     was in Zitopromet, near the train station; but it was the responsibility

12     of the Ministry of the Interior.  It was not the responsibility of the

13     military.

14        Q.   Well, let me ask you this, do you recall the Red Cross inquiring

15     about the fate of a Muslim man from Zepa sometime about the fall of

16     Srebrenica?

17        A.   Your Honours, well, first of all, I received a request from

18     Ms. Renn [phoen], who was an associate of the general secretary of the UN

19     for human rights or humanitarian affairs.  I can't remember the exact

20     name of the body.  She asked me to help her clear up the case of Mr. Avdo

21     Palic, a Colonel.  He was the commander for the defence of Zepa, as far

22     as I understood.  According to what Mr. Palic's wife said the last time

23     he was seen was in a prisoner called Vanikov Mlin in Bijeljina barracks.

24     That's where.  There was a barracks prison and there was a part of the

25     prison where those suspected of having committed crimes were interrogated

Page 28707

 1     regardless of their ethnic origin or of the army they belonged to.

 2             I immediately took certain measures.  I was provided with an

 3     original document in which one could see that the gentleman left the

 4     prison alive and good health, and he was handed over to Captain Pecanac

 5     from the Main Staff.  He came in a Golf vehicle, a red Gold.  I can't

 6     remember the number plate, and he set off in the direction of the Main

 7     Staff.  I told the lady that I had no other information on what happened

 8     to him afterwards.  I told the same thing to your colleagues when I had

 9     an interview with the Prosecution with regard to this case.  I didn't

10     know you would ask me about this.  Had I known, I could have brought

11     those documents that demonstrate that we acted in accordance with the law

12     and that he left these premises alive and in good health, but as to what

13     happened to him later on, I really do not know.

14        Q.   Do you recall approximately when Colonel Palic left that prison.

15     And again, I'm sorry, General, could you say the name of the prison

16     slowly for the record, because I don't think we got it, this prison where

17     he was being detained.

18        A.   Your Honours, the prison was called Vanikov Mlin or Vanex [phoen]

19     Mill, and I really don't remember the date because I didn't prepare for

20     all these questions.  The Prosecutor is guiding me through the whole war

21     and I'm an elderly man, and I can't remember everything.

22        Q.   Can you give us a year General, please.

23        A.   I do know the year.  It's 1995.  1995.

24        Q.   Now, it was Eastern Bosnia Corps military policemen who guarded

25     that facility where Mr. Palic was detained; is that correct?

Page 28708

 1        A.   Yes, that's correct, Your Honours.  But, monitoring this the

 2     facility was within the responsibility of the Main Staff.  The garrison's

 3     prison was within the responsibility of my chief of security.

 4        Q.   And who at the Main Staff had responsibility over that prison,

 5     General?

 6        A.   The security organ.  And who specifically, I don't know, Your

 7     Honours.

 8        Q.   And you mentioned a -- Mr. Pecanac, had you ever dealt with that

 9     individual before in your role as corps commander?

10        A.   Your Honour, I didn't have any contact with him when he took away

11     Palic either.  He did so with our professional persons.  He is a younger

12     officer.  I don't exactly know even what position he held in the Main

13     Staff, so I didn't have any contact with him.

14        Q.   New topic, General.  Last Friday you were asked by my learned

15     friend from the Gvero Defence some questions about why General Gvero was

16     at the Drina Corps IKM at Pribicevac on 9 July 1995.  You remember those

17     questions, right?

18        A.   I do remember, Your Honour.  I don't know why he was there.  I

19     learned later -- I heard that he was there in passing.  The road was

20     blocked, and he stopped by at the command post.  My statement to your

21     colleagues in this connection can be reduced to a hypothesis because I

22     didn't know whether the Main Staff post was formed nor whether

23     General Gvero was part of it nor why he was there.  Now, if the command

24     ordered him to be there at the forward command post and to carry out

25     certain tasks relative to information and morale, he would be there.  I

Page 28709

 1     really don't know whether he was there, know for how long he was there,

 2     so what I don't know, I can't tell you.

 3        Q.   Well, what I do want to ask you, General, is again you repeated

 4     today that you learned later -- and on Friday you said that you learned

 5     some years later, that General Gvero had just chanced to pass by

 6     Pribicevac.  When did you actually learn this and how did you learn this,

 7     from whom did you hear this account?

 8        A.   Your Honours, throughout the war I was the commander of the

 9     Eastern Bosnia Corps; and I followed the trial of my colleague,

10     General Krstic, with attention and from various answers and statements

11     there I could gain a picture as to who moved through the command of the

12     Drina Corps and who was where at what time.  So that is what I base my

13     knowledge on.  I have no other.

14        Q.   Can and did you ever tell my friends from the Gvero Defence team

15     that it was just your supposition based on just follow the Krstic trial

16     that that's how you came to the conclusion that General Gvero just

17     chanced to pass through?  Did you tell them that?

18        A.   Your Honours, I can confirm what I know, what I personally

19     witnessed, and things I can check out from several sources.  My

20     statements here are simply hypothetical suppositions.  I can't say for

21     how long, at what time, where people were at what time; so please I would

22     appeal to you not to ask me questions that I cannot answer.  I am under

23     oath, and I have to tell the truth here.

24        Q.   So, my last question then, General, is when you were answering

25     the question to my friend from the Gvero team about what General Gvero

Page 28710

 1     was doing at Pribicevac, that was just a hypothetical supposition when

 2     you answered his question, right?

 3        A.   That is right, Your Honours, because I really do not have

 4     knowledge as to what specifically General Gvero was doing there.

 5        Q.   Now, you testified last Thursday that you only learned about the

 6     Srebrenica operation by hearing the intensive artillery fire and then

 7     watching television.

 8        A.   Your Honours, I have to repeat what I have already said.  I was

 9     surprised, and to tell you quite frankly, to a certain extent insulted

10     because this was in my neighbourhood; and I wasn't informed of what was

11     going on.  I got the impression that I was not suitable and acceptable as

12     someone who should know that this operation was being conducted.  Earlier

13     on we would always be informed, and I could assist by certain measures,

14     actions, and so on.  But in this case, I was bypassed.

15        Q.   Now, as I understand it, General, to your best recollection as to

16     the date of this trip to Pilica by your MPs is sometime after the fall of

17     Srebrenica; is that correct?

18        A.   Your Honours, in view of the passage of time I can say that it

19     was about the middle of the month of July; but I cannot tell you the

20     exact date, perhaps if I were to see the document about the surrender of

21     those prisoners, that would jog my memory.  But speaking off the bat, it

22     took time, logically, for them to get there, because the combat

23     operations were not conducted there.

24        Q.   Okay.  Well, General, I'll be able to help you out with that

25     document, and we'll get to it, and then we'll be done today.  Okay.

Page 28711

 1             My learned friend from the Pandurevic team showed you an entry in

 2     the Zvornik Brigade duty operations officer's notebook, which indicated

 3     that 35 soldiers from the East Bosnian Corps were sent to the IKM.  And

 4     you don't need to repeat your testimony from last Friday on that, but you

 5     also testified that the POWs that Captain Vulin picked up were taken to

 6     Batkovic and exchanged a few days later for your men at Lisaca.  Is

 7     that -- do I have that right?

 8        A.   Your Honours, the questions of Defence counsel was probably a

 9     confusion between the police and the military police, because even when

10     the civilian police were there, they would say they were coming from

11     Bijeljina, from my zone, from the East Bosnian Corps, because I didn't

12     send a platoon there.  I sent a company there headed by the commander of

13     the company, and to make it serious, I also sent the battalion commander

14     with a group of officers, Major Vulin, with that assignment.

15             Secondly, they carried out that assignment within a period of

16     four to five hours and returned back.  So I don't even know where the

17     forward command post was, but obviously it wasn't in Pilica judging by

18     this.

19             And my final answer to your question is that they were exchanged

20     for soldiers captured at Lisaca, and not Vlasic.  It was one of the peaks

21     at Majevica where they were surrounded, and they couldn't break out; and

22     through the mediation of the Red Cross, they surrendered and they were

23     exchanged.  I needed a certain number of prisoners of war because I

24     didn't have a sufficient number for the exchange.

25        Q.   And, General, your recollection is that that exchange occurred

Page 28712

 1     very soon after those prisoners were taken to Batkovic, a matter of days;

 2     is that correct?

 3        A.   I can't tell you with precision, but I think it was soon.  We

 4     needed the men and that is why we intervened.  I know that Major Vulin

 5     went there once again, and I think that he brought back wounded prisoners

 6     of war from the hospital in Bratunac who were also brought to the

 7     prisoner of war camp in Batkovic and who were also exchanged, I think

 8     there were about 30 of them, one bus load of them.

 9        Q.   Now, other than Major Vulin, from whom did you receive any

10     reports or have any discussions for that matter about this trip with the

11     trucks to pick up the approximately 100 prisoners in the middle of July?

12        A.   Your Honours, I spoke also to my chief of security, because he

13     had professional monitoring over the military police battalion.

14        Q.   Now, you testified that the prisoners were being held in an

15     elementary school in Pilica.  Did Major Vulin tell you how they got

16     there, how they knew where it was located, how they found this location?

17        A.   Your Honours, in Pilica there was a police checkpoint which

18     stopped the column; and when he said who he was and why he was there, he

19     said that the school was in the immediate vicinity, and the prisoners of

20     war were there.  I was informed by him that he emptied out the gym in

21     that school and that all the people who were held in that gym, were put

22     on the vehicles and driven away.

23        Q.   And, General, as you sit here, you're certain that it was the

24     school in Pilica and not the cultural centre, the Dom?

25        A.   Your Honours, I really can't say with certain, but from a

Page 28713

 1     facility that was in the immediate vicinity of the road, I gathered it

 2     was the school but it may I have been the cultural centre also.  This may

 3     be important for the Prosecution, for me as the commander it wasn't so

 4     significant.

 5        Q.   Well, in your 2007 interview with the OTP, General, you related

 6     to the investigators something you were told.  And I just want to quote

 7     your answer, this is at page 90.  You said:

 8             "I heard from one of my commanders that they actually collected

 9     people from one school, and these guards were getting ready to kill them

10     all.  He told me that when he issued an order for them to enter the

11     trucks, that they were not using the steps.  They were jumping in.  They

12     were so happy to be imprisoned."

13             Do you recall telling the investigators that in 2007, General?

14        A.   Your Honours, I don't remember that I said that they were getting

15     ready to kill them, because I didn't know that; but it is true that

16     Major Vulin told me that they were running and jumping into the vehicles,

17     they even got stuck at the gates of the building.  They were hurrying to

18     leave because they were told they were going to be exchanged, and they

19     were happy to leave.

20        Q.   So, General, as you sit here today you deny telling the

21     prosecution and the investigators in 2007 that one of your commanders

22     told you that when they got to the school, that the guards there were

23     ready to -- or getting ready to kill them all, you deny saying that?

24        A.   Your Honours, in view of the passage of time, I can't be sure

25     whether I said that or not.  It is not my intention to mislead anyone,

Page 28714

 1     but most often I don't say what -- things I don't really know.  Maybe I

 2     did say that.  I'm not sure.  I still have the tapes from that interview,

 3     and I'll listen to them again to check; but I don't remember saying that.

 4        Q.   Well, General, that's a pretty significant thing to be told and

 5     to not be sure about whether you then told us about that.  I mean, you

 6     were get a report from one of your subordinates that they interrupted a

 7     mass execution.  How can you not be sure that you received that

 8     information?  It sounds ...

 9        A.   Your Honours, for executions and the things that happened, people

10     heard about this much, much later because it was covered with a kind of

11     veil of secrecy.  And during my service, I heard all kinds of things, but

12     I also checked out all kinds of things; and I'm telling you quite frankly

13     and sincerely that in view of the time I cannot claim with certainty

14     whether I actual said that or not.  I don't have the transcript in the

15     Serbian language of my statement, but I do have all the tapes, and I

16     really will listen to them all again when I get home.

17             I certainly have no intention of pre-empting anything.  I am

18     glad, if we did prevent an execution, which we probably did, because the

19     investigators told me that these were among the few that were exchanged.

20     But I do not wish to enter into polemics with you on this issue.  I agree

21     that it has its weight.  I am a serious person, and I have no intention

22     of denying something I said.  If I had said that, it would have probably

23     stuck in my memory.  Everything is possible though, Your Honours, I mean

24     one mustn't forget the time factor.  These things should have been

25     discussed three or four years ago or three or four years after the event.

Page 28715

 1        Q.   Let me show a photograph, General, and I'm going to move on to a

 2     new area.

 3             MR. THAYER:  It's 65 ter page -- sorry, 1936, and we'll be

 4     looking at page 36 of that.

 5                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

 6             MR. THAYER:

 7        Q.   General, do you have a paragraph buffer on your screen?

 8        A.   I do, Your Honour.

 9        Q.   The soldier on the right with the number 2 marking him, do you

10     recognise that individual?

11        A.   No, Your Honours.

12        Q.   His name is Radenko Tomic, and he was at the time a member of the

13     Panteri unit subordinated to your corps.  His nickname is Gargijia; and

14     this photograph was taken of him in Potocari on the 12th of July.  It's

15     actually part of a video showing him and other soldiers entering

16     Potocari.

17             General, as commander of the Eastern Bosnia Corps, did you ever

18     become aware that the Panteri unit was present in Potocari on 12 July?

19        A.   Your Honours, there were cases of large changes in the Panther's

20     unit, there was a constant fluctuation of personnel there of soldiers

21     coming and going.  The name of this soldier doesn't mean anything to me,

22     and I don't know whether he was a member of the brigade or had left the

23     brigade and joined one of the other units.  There were cases of soldiers

24     leaving a unit and going to another part of the front where combat

25     operations were ongoing.  There were people who wanted to be constantly

Page 28716

 1     on the go, to be active.

 2             The Bijeljina Light Infantry Brigade did not participate, but

 3     whether certain individuals may have participated without the knowledge

 4     of their superiors, I really cannot say.

 5        Q.   Well, I can tell you, General, that Mr. Tomic identified himself

 6     in that photograph and has told us that he was an active member of the

 7     Panteri unit at that time.  Does that change your recollection at all?

 8        A.   Can you hear me?

 9             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, please go ahead.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry.  I can't -- I don't have the

11     tone.  It's possible that he was.  It's possible that he was a deserter,

12     but that he was under the command of the brigade.  When he was in

13     Potocari, he was not.

14             MR. THAYER:  Okay.  Let me show you 65 ter 330, please.

15        Q.   And if you would, General, just have a look at this.  I don't

16     know if you've ever seen it before, probably not, so take your time.  And

17     I want to particularly direct your attention to paragraph 2 of this

18     interim combat report by Commander Pandurevic on 16 July 1995.

19        A.   Your Honours, I see this document for the first time, and this is

20     the first time that somebody from the military police of the Eastern

21     Bosnian Corps took part in the combat activities.

22        Q.   So, General, my question to you is you've been very clear in your

23     testimony thus far that no elements from the Eastern Bosnia Corps

24     participate in the Srebrenica operation.  Having seen this interim combat

25     report are you changing your testimony about that, or do you dispute what

Page 28717

 1     this interim combat report clearly states; that is, that a part of your

 2     military police platoon was involved in the cleansing operation, sealing

 3     off, and searching the terrain?

 4        A.   Your Honours, I state that according to what I know, no unit or

 5     part of the unit participated in this operation.  This is news to me.  I

 6     really don't know if it's true or not true, but this is the first time

 7     that I'm seeing a document like this.  As far as I know, no one went

 8     there or took part.

 9        Q.   Okay, General, this Trial Chamber has heard the testimony of

10     Drazen Erdemovic, a member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment who belonged

11     to the Bijeljina platoon of the detachment.  And he has testified that on

12     10 July he was in the Bijeljina barracks and was ordered to Srebrenica,

13     which he entered with his unit on the 11th was July.  And you testified

14     that you followed the Krstic trial, surely you know about Mr. Erdemovic's

15     guilty plea and his testimony; right, General?

16        A.   Your Honours, Erdemovic was a member of the 10th Sabotage

17     Detachment which was under the command of the Main Staff.  It was not

18     under the command of the East Bosnian Corps.  He could have happened to

19     be in the barracks after the activities in Majevica when they came as

20     reinforcements but that does not mean that he was under my command or

21     that he had gone there under my orders.

22        Q.   And, General, there is no suggestion from me that that was the

23     case.  My question to you is you must be familiar with his testimony that

24     on the 16th of July, the same date that Commander Pandurevic's interim

25     combat report indicates that your military police platoon is in his area

Page 28718

 1     of responsibility, that members of that 10th Sabotage Detachment

 2     participated in a mass execution at the Branjevo farm, and that later

 3     that day went over to the Pilica cultural centre and participated in

 4     another mass execution there before returning to his barracks in

 5     Bijeljina.

 6             Were you aware of that, General?

 7        A.   I didn't know, Your Honour.

 8        Q.   Now, there is also testimony from two survivors who testified

 9     from the 14th to the 16th of July, 1995, they were detained at the Pilica

10     school where prisoners were also shot.  Did you ever hear that

11     information, General, following the Krstic trial or any time since July

12     of 1995 when these events occurred?

13        A.   Yes, but I didn't hear it in 1995.  I heard about it when the

14     trial was going on, actually, much later.

15        Q.   And when you heard about these executions occurring in the Pilica

16     area, particularly in the school, where you've told us your military

17     policemen, in your words, probably saved people from a mass execution,

18     did you ever put that testimony and your recollection of those events

19     together in that members of your unit were present when this mass

20     execution occurred on the 16th of July?

21        A.   Your Honours, according to information I received from the

22     battalion commander, they didn't stay longer.  They returned immediately.

23     And I had no information that they were present then or took part in the

24     event.  Judging by how quickly they came back, I assumed that they

25     returned immediately, as soon as they took the people, they came back.

Page 28719

 1             JUDGE AGIUS:  Incidentally, General, since we are touching this

 2     area, here, and a few days have passed since you started your testimony

 3     here, I would like to remind you of the advisory I gave you in the

 4     beginning of your testimony in relation to your rights under our rules,

 5     rights against self-incrimination.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Thayer, General Simic's answer, which appears in

 7     line 9 on page 55, is not clear to me.

 8             The General answered that he didn't know, but what he didn't

 9     know, is what?  Whether the massacre at Pilica Dom in Branjevo took

10     place, or whether his platoon went there or not?  So if you could clear

11     that up, please.

12             JUDGE AGIUS:  A very valid point.  Could you -- thank you, Judge

13     Kwon --

14             MR. THAYER:  Thank you --

15             JUDGE AGIUS:  Could you take this up with the witness, please.

16             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Judge Kwon.

17        Q.   General, did you understand His Honour's question.  You testified

18     that you didn't find out in 1995.  You found out sometime later,

19     following the Krstic trial, so the question is what did you find out

20     later, that there were executions in Pilica, that your MPs were there

21     during that period of time, or what exactly did you find out later?  Can

22     you clarify that, please for the Trial Chamber, whether --

23        A.   Your Honours, I thought that I was clear.  I found out about the

24     execution much later when I found out the trial of General Krstic was

25     underway.  I had never heard yet that my unit or any part of it had

Page 28720

 1     participated in the operation itself or in the executions.  What I know

 2     is that we had picked up the prisoners and that I was told that there was

 3     still some left at the facility in Pilica, that they had just emptied the

 4     sports hall at the school.  Only later did I find out that there were

 5     some executions also at Pilica.

 6             MR. THAYER:  Your Honour, I don't know if --

 7             JUDGE KWON:  I'll leave it to you whether --

 8             MR. THAYER:  Okay.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Are you leaving this topic?

10             MR. THAYER:  I have a few more questions on --

11             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, please.

12             MR. THAYER:  -- this topic, Your Honour.

13        Q.   General, did you ever talk to General Miletic again after all

14     this information that you learned from the Krstic trial?  Did you ever

15     talk to General Miletic given this conversation that you had with him

16     sometime in mid-July that you've been telling us about when he said -- or

17     when he was listening in on the conversation and General Krstic said

18     there were no prisoners?

19        A.   Your Honours, I live in Banja Luka in Republika Srpska, and

20     General Miletic lives in Belgrade.  After the war, we never met, and we

21     were not able to speak about this.

22        Q.   General, did you ever make any effort to determine where those

23     executions occurred, either before the Krstic trial or certainly after

24     the Krstic trial, seeing as how it involved your neighbour and that your

25     forces, very likely, given your own recollection of the time-frame, were

Page 28721

 1     present during these executions in Pilica?

 2        A.   Your Honours, I didn't know that any -- or I don't know that any

 3     of my forces were present during the executions.  To this day, I doubt if

 4     any of my units participated in that operation.  I state with full

 5     authority that this did not happen, that I was aware of or that the corps

 6     commander was aware of.  So I do not want to have words put in my mouth.

 7     I heard about it during the trial of General Krstic.  I did have the

 8     opportunity to talk with him about it at some training, but this was not

 9     something that I had heard about.  I had found out about it from the

10     media, I asked him, Is this really what happened?  And he told me that

11     this is enemy or hostile propaganda.

12             Your Honour, my position is that no -- that a single prisoner

13     that is killed that constitutes a terrible crime, and I cannot justify

14     any of that.

15        Q.   Well, again, General, my question is much simpler than that.

16     You've told this Trial Chamber about a conversation you had with

17     General Miletic in mid-July of 1995 that led to your forces picking up

18     prisoners in Pilica.  You subsequently received information about

19     executions in Pilica.  My question is:  Did you ever make any effort to

20     determine whether or not your troops had any involvement in those

21     executions?  That's the question.

22        A.   Your Honours, when I learned about it, I was no longer working.

23     I had been retired for quite some time.  I did meet with the MP battalion

24     commander, the then-Major Vulin, who is now a colonel; and I asked him

25     again if our units had any part in that, because he was also put on some

Page 28722

 1     list as being one of the participants in the Srebrenica operation.

 2             Your Honours, he assured me and swore to me that they had nothing

 3     to do with the executions at Pilica.  Your Honours, I have my area of

 4     responsibility that is under my care, and it's not up to me to

 5     investigate what others did.  This is always something that is part of

 6     the duties of my superior or the prosecuting organs.

 7        Q.   Now, when you met with Major Vulin again and asked him if your

 8     units had taken any part in those executions, is that when he told you,

 9     General, that when they arrived there the guards were about to kill those

10     prisoners before they took them away?  Is that when he told you that?

11        A.   He didn't say that at that time.  Please, again I am saying that

12     I do not recall saying that in my statement, but the security -- and

13     there was a lot of the security staff and a lot of soldiers around the

14     school.  He told me that and they ran willingly out of that gym, and they

15     willingly entered the transport vehicles.

16        Q.   General, I want to show you --

17             MR. THAYER:  P334, 00334.  It's an interim combat report again by

18     Commander Pandurevic.  This one dated the 18th of July.

19        Q.   It will be up on your screen shortly.  If you look at paragraph

20     2, General, there is a reference, again, to two platoons of the Bijeljina

21     military police.  Do you see that?

22        A.   I see that, Your Honours.  Suddenly we have one platoon and then

23     suddenly we have two platoons.  I don't know if we are going to get up to

24     a battalion.  I don't know.  This is completely new, as far as I am

25     concerned.

Page 28723

 1             MR. THAYER:  If we may I have P151, please.  If we can look at

 2     paragraph 2 in both versions.  This is a Drina Corps daily combat report

 3     to the Main Staff, same day on the 18th of July.

 4        Q.   Just in case there was any ambiguity about the reference to the

 5     Bijeljina military police, this report specifically refers does it not,

 6     General, paragraph 2, to two Eastern Bosnia Corps military police

 7     platoons successfully repelling all enemy attacks from the front and

 8     carrying out the blockading and combing of the terrain in the Zvornik

 9     Brigade AOR.

10             And General, let me, before I put my question to you, and I am

11     going to save some time.  There is another couple of documents I was

12     going to show you, but the fighting during this period of time was

13     particularly fierce and costly to Commander Pandurevic's units.  It was

14     some of the most deadly fighting of the war, and your units were there in

15     that area of responsibility.

16             Is it your testimony that as Eastern Bosnia Corps commander, you

17     never became aware that military police platoons under your command were

18     involved in this fierce fighting, these scouring of the terrain

19     activities in mid-July 1995?

20        A.   Your Honours, this is a report of the Drina Corps, and this

21     paragraph is totally copied from the report of the Zvornik Brigade.  As

22     far as I am concerned this is a completely new document, and I didn't

23     have the opportunity, as yet, to see this document.  And for the 15th

24     time I am saying, Your Honours, according to my information, no unit of

25     the military police from the Eastern Bosnia Corps participated in the

Page 28724

 1     combat actions.  I don't know of it.  Once again, I say I have my own

 2     troubles.  And I was in the corridor, and I don't know that this unit

 3     participated.  Had I known that I would have probably had said that in my

 4     earlier interviews that I had.

 5             JUDGE PROST:  Mr. Thayer, could I just interrupt you for a

 6     second.

 7             General, assuming the reports are correct, do you have any

 8     explanation of how the two military police platoons could have been

 9     present from your command without your knowledge?  Do you have any

10     explanation for that?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in that period I had

12     my units in several sections of the front to assist.  I have a battalion,

13     a Bijeljina brigade in the Sarajevo Romanija AOR.  I had problems at

14     Majevica, also in the corridor and so on and so forth.  According to what

15     I know, I did not order them to go there, and I don't know about this.

16     Had I known of it -- I mean, I have no reason to hide anything, I would

17     have stated that in my interviews previously with the OTP.  I do not have

18     information if any of my associates ordered and implemented that.  I

19     mean, I am saying now I will just have to make inquires about it.  But,

20     at this point, I truly say that I don't know that that unit participated

21     in that.  I was surprised when earlier at General Pandurevic's, he asked

22     me that.

23             JUDGE PROST:  Thank you.

24             JUDGE KWON:  How will you investigate if necessary?  Who will you

25     ask about this?

Page 28725

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am going to ask my

 2     deputy, General Gavric first, because he was at Majevica, and I was in

 3     Posavina.  So he was in Bijeljina more often than I was, and this prompts

 4     me to go to the archives where the documents of my corps are archived.

 5     This is in the Bijeljina barracks, and I would like to go through all of

 6     these reports to see if I, perhaps, am mistaken.  This is totally new, as

 7     far as I am concerned, because as a commander, I am ashamed in a way to

 8     be given certain information that I really was not aware of.

 9             MR. THAYER:

10        Q.   General, you testified that your conversation with

11     General Miletic, trying to locate some prisoners to exchange, whatever

12     that actual day was, you testified that General Miletic didn't seem to

13     have any knowledge of what was going on regarding the Srebrenica

14     operation much less knowledge about prisoners of war.  Although, he

15     agreed to coordinate your MPs into that adjoining corps; is that correct?

16     And let me just ask that again.  I'm sorry, that was a terrible question.

17     It's actually two questions.

18             When you spoke with General Miletic on that occasion, he didn't

19     seem to have any knowledge about what was going on with respect to the

20     Srebrenica operation much less information about prisoners?

21        A.   That is correct, Your Honours.  That was the impression I got.

22     Had he known that there were prisoners of war somewhere, he would have

23     probably told me to go and pick them up and not to go and capture them

24     myself.

25             MR. THAYER:  May we have 65 ter 192, please.

Page 28726

 1        Q.   General, take a moment and look at this document if you would.

 2     Have you seen this before?  And don't answer until you've had a chance to

 3     look at it.  I want to give you are an opportunity.

 4        A.   Your Honours, I haven't seen this document before.

 5        Q.   Okay.  Well, this communication from Colonel Savcic to

 6     General Mladic and General Gvero, refers to General Tolimir proposing

 7     several measures; do you see that?

 8        A.   I see it, but I cannot see the date here.  All I can see is 14

 9     hundred hours, but I can't see the date.

10        Q.   We can help you there, General.

11             MR. THAYER:  If you scroll down a little bit in the original, and

12     scroll over to the left just a little bit.  There we are.  You see July

13     13th at 1510 hours.

14        A.   Yes, I see it, this is probably the operator noting down when

15     this was submitted.

16        Q.   And if we scroll up to the top, General, it says:

17             "That there are over a thousand members of the former 28th

18     Division of the so-called BiH army captured in the area of Dusanovo

19     (Kasaba)," do you see that, "Under the control of the military police

20     Battalion of the 65th.

21        A.   I see it, yes.

22        Q.   And if we scroll down, or if you look at number 4, it states

23     that:

24             "Once the commander of the military police battalion receives

25     this order, he shall contact General Miletic and receive from him

Page 28727

 1     additional orders and verify if the proposal has been approved by the

 2     commander of the Main Staff."

 3             Now, General, this document shows does it not that

 4     General Miletic, by the 13th, certainly knew about at least a thousand

 5     prisoners that the VRS had under its control, does it not?

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, one moment, before you answer the question,

 7     Ms. Fauveau.

 8             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Objection, Mr. President, this

 9     document wasn't even addressed to General Miletic.  We don't know whether

10     he received this information.  One doesn't know ever received this

11     information.

12             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, Mr. Thayer.

13             MR. THAYER:

14        Q.   General --

15             JUDGE AGIUS:  No, no.

16             MR. THAYER:  I'm going to rephase -- I'm going to add more.

17             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Let's hear the rephrasing of the

18     question.

19             MR. THAYER:

20        Q.   General, given your experience, your extensive command

21     operational experience, knowing how the communications worked throughout

22     the VRS, this document bears no indication that there would have been any

23     reason for the normal course of communications to have been interrupted

24     for any reason, is there?  You've got a set stamp, you've got all the

25     addressees.

Page 28728

 1        A.   Your Honours, first of all I don't see the stamp.  All I can see

 2     is that this was sent off or dispatched by telegram or however.  From

 3     this document -- I mean you say that I am experienced, so we can see from

 4     this document that General Miletic is only mediating between that person

 5     and the commander, and that the commander will receive the document and

 6     will say to Miletic, When they call you tell them I approve it.  He

 7     doesn't even have to know what it was.  Whatever Savcic was requesting

 8     was approved.  This is how I understand this.  I cannot say here that he

 9     knew about it or that he received the whole integral document.

10             JUDGE AGIUS:  It's 12.30, Mr. Thayer, shall we have the --

11             MR. THAYER:  Certainly, Mr. President, and I am very close to the

12     end.

13             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Okay.  So we'll have a -- very close by

14     how much?

15             MR. THAYER:  By about 15 minutes, I would say.

16             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  And there will be a redistrict, I am sure,

17     Ms. Fauveau.

18             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, but I'll do my

19     best to conclude by the end of the day.  This will be possible, I think,

20     if the Prosecution really doesn't take up more than 15 minutes.

21             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  We'll try to shorten it to 10 minutes.

22     Thank you.  We'll have a 25-minute break.

23                           --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.

24                           --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.

25             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, Mr. Thayer, if you could conclude in ten

Page 28729

 1     minutes it will be better.

 2             MR. THAYER:  I will do my best, Mr. President.

 3             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, thank you.

 4             MR. THAYER:

 5        Q.   General, good afternoon again.

 6             MR. THAYER:  May we see P02082, please.

 7        Q.   General, I am going to show you a document, and it's related, I

 8     believe, to something you mentioned earlier today in your testimony, and

 9     that is a second trip that your MPs took to the Zvornik Brigade AOR.  I

10     beg your pardon, the Drina Corps AOR.  And that was with respect to some

11     wounded who had been evacuated from the Bratunac hospital.  I think you

12     told us a little bit about that, General.

13             MR. THAYER:  I see we have the wrong document up on the screen.

14     Bear with me one moment.  Forgive me, I called up 2080, it's 2082.

15        Q.   So you can disregard the document that's currently on your

16     screen, General.

17             General, we can see that this is a list of persons to be

18     transferred under guard, and it indicates that it is your 3rd Battalion

19     of your military police who are doing that.  And this is on the 18th of

20     July.  I don't think my friends will disagree that these 22 individuals

21     were wounded persons who were being treated at the Bratunac hospital and

22     were evacuated on the 17th.

23             And do you recall, General, your military policemen escorting

24     these individuals to Batkovic on the 18th of July?

25        A.   Your Honours, I do remember this because it was the Main Staff

Page 28730

 1     that issued an order to this effect.

 2        Q.   And do you recall who at the Main Staff issued that order?  Who

 3     or which organ?

 4        A.   Your Honours, I can't remember that.

 5             MR. THAYER:  If we may have Exhibit 7D712.

 6        Q.   General, I am going to show you a document that my friend from

 7     the Pandurevic Defence showed you on Friday.  It's a document we've used

 8     before in this Court both by the Prosecution and the Defence.  And this,

 9     as you'll see if we could go to the second page, is the list of prisoners

10     who had been police in the Batkovic camp.  And if we look at the second

11     and third right-most -- forgive me, the -- if we go all the way to the

12     right, there are two columns, one that says "dolazak" and one that says

13     "odlazak."  Do you see those columns?

14        A.   I do, Your Honours.

15        Q.   And the one on the left -- dolazak, basically means when they

16     came in; and the second column, odlazak, basically means when they left

17     the camp; is that correct, General?

18        A.   That's what it says.

19        Q.   Now, you can take my word for and if my friends disagree, I am

20     sure they will correct me, but on that list that we just saw of the 22

21     wounded who were escorted by your MPs to Batkovic, we can find each one

22     of their names on this list entering Batkovic on the 18th.  And they are

23     the first prisoners to arrive, according to this list, in July of 1995

24     and then we see prisoners, if you look at the dates, arriving on the

25     24th, 26th, and so forth of July.

Page 28731

 1             And that coincides with your recollection, General, does it not,

 2     that prisoners didn't start trickling into Batkovic until two or three

 3     weeks after the Srebrenica operation ended.

 4        A.   Your Honours, I wasn't commander of the Batkovic camp.  I also

 5     tried to get rid of that, but the Main Staff told me it should be in my

 6     area of responsibility.  I wasn't happy with it being there.  As to how

 7     they came and how they left, well, my commission followed that matter,

 8     but to be quite truthful I never entered the Batkovic camp.  But if you

 9     allege that this is correct, it probably is correct.

10        Q.   But, my question, actually, General, was more simple than that.

11     Do you recall - throwing your memory back to this time-period - do you

12     recall that prisoners didn't begin arriving at the Batkovic camp until

13     some period of time after the Srebrenica operation had concluded; that

14     is, they didn't start arriving until towards the end of July 1995?  And

15     if it -- if you can't remember, then you can't remember, that's fine and

16     I'll move on.  But that was the question I was asking.

17        A.   Your Honours, I can't remember.  This was not really a matter of

18     interest to me.

19        Q.   Okay.  Well, if we look at this list, there are no exchanges in

20     July, and there are no exchanges in August; and if we look at this last

21     column, the word "razmena" means "exchanged"; is that correct?

22        A.   Your Honours, the people who were brought in to the camp were

23     exchanged with the command of the 2nd Corps, and I think that the

24     Prosecution has the relevant list.  Major Vulin handed them over, but

25     this is just a list.  I don't know where those who are brought in from

Page 28732

 1     Pilica are listed, but they were certainly exchanged in a short period of

 2     time, that was intended.  I don't know which list they are on, but I know

 3     there is a list according to which they were all handed over for an

 4     exchange.  I was provided with that list and I have also noticed the

 5     Prosecution has the list.  I was asked whether I knew these individuals,

 6     I don't know them, I cannot confirm their names, but I can confirm that

 7     my commander of the military police handed them over.

 8        Q.   What I wanted to press your memory, just a little bit about,

 9     General, is whether this exchange actually occurred very soon after these

10     prisoners were brought to Batkovic or whether it was sometime after they

11     were brought up.  And just bear with me for a moment, if you would.  Let

12     me just explain a couple of things that you can take my word for, if you

13     would.

14             As I said, this list indicates that there are no exchanges in

15     July, this are no exchanges in August, but there is an exchange in

16     September; that is, September 12th.  If you look just on this page right

17     here, you will see a few entries for 12th September 1995 and then the

18     word "razmena," exchanged.  And I counted up all those exchanged names,

19     and it totals 102 prisoners, which is pretty much what you told us was

20     the number that your MPs picked up.

21             Now, let me show you one final document, General, and I'll put my

22     last question on this issue to you and tie this up a little bit.

23             MR. THAYER:  If we could see P3940.  And if we could scroll up

24     just a teeny bit so we can catch the -- a little bit higher.  Perfect.

25     Thank you.

Page 28733

 1        Q.   General, just take a look at this document, if you would.  And

 2     unfortunately we do not have an English translation, so I will have to

 3     ask you some questions to make some sense of it.  And whenever you are

 4     ready, General, if you could just tell the Trial Chamber what this letter

 5     is about.

 6        A.   Your Honours, this is a document that I drafted in which I

 7     informed General Mladic that we have problems with the families of these

 8     captured soldiers.  It's obvious that the exchange was late.  Everything

 9     had been agreed, but the Main Staff objected to the exchange for reasons

10     that are unknown to me.  This has really refreshed my memory that the

11     exchange wasn't carried out.  I personally had problems, on a couple of

12     occasions I received these families.  We had people for an exchange but

13     there was a problem when it came to communications between the commission

14     for exchange and the Main Staff.  I don't know why, but we had problems

15     as a result.  I don't know why, because everything had been prepared for

16     this exchange.

17        Q.   Okay, General, so just to be clear, so having looked at this

18     document is it your belief now that those hundred-or-so prisoners that

19     your MP company went down to pick up, weren't exchanged until after this

20     letter, certainly, as suggested by the list that we just looked at that

21     showed 102 prisoners being exchange on September 12th.

22        A.   That's correct, Your Honour.  That's what these documents show.

23     We were really willing to solve this issue, but the Main Staff objected

24     to this exchange; and we couldn't carry it out without their agreement.

25     The situation was complex, there was shelling, there were problems at the

Page 28734

 1     western front and so on.  I really can't remember everything now, Your

 2     Honours.  I'm quite tired, so I can't be precise, but I know that I

 3     personally had problems with these parents.  On a number of occasions I

 4     had to calm them down, et cetera, in order to carry out the exchange as

 5     soon as possible.

 6        Q.   Okay, General, just one last set of questions for you.  My friend

 7     from the Pandurevic Defence asked you on Friday what the date was of this

 8     conversation you say you had with General Miletic, and as you affirmed

 9     today when I followed up on that, you testified, and let me quote:

10             "I thought it was before the fall of Srebrenica, but following

11     the trial of General Krstic, I thought that these prisoners would not be

12     able to arrive in the primary school in Pilica before the fall of

13     Srebrenica.  So this was after the fall of Srebrenica."

14             Do you remember testifying to that on Friday, General?

15        A.   I remember that, Your Honours.

16        Q.   And so is it your testimony that following the Krstic trial was

17     the key for you to figuring out the date of this conversation?

18        A.   That's correct, Your Honours, because I really didn't know that

19     they had prisoners.  I had prepared my unit to go and capture troops, and

20     luckily, for me and for them, they were already down there; and that's

21     how this was solved, otherwise they would have participated in combat.

22        Q.   And your memory of the date of this conversation was triggered

23     while you were following the trial as it progressed.  I don't know if you

24     were following it on television or on the internet, but it was triggered

25     at the time the trial was go on; is that right?

Page 28735

 1        A.   That's correct, Your Honours.  I'm not very good at memorizing

 2     dates, given the time that has passed, I can provide you with approximate

 3     dates; but if I can consult certain documents, I can refresh my memory.

 4        Q.   Well, the Krstic trial ended in 2001, so my question for you is

 5     why did you say during both your 2004 and 2007 interviews two and five

 6     years after the Krstic trial ended, that the conversation with

 7     General Miletic occurred before the VRS had entered Srebrenica?

 8        A.   Your Honours, to be frank, I didn't think that was important,

 9     because the discussion had to do with me and General Miletic was referred

10     to.  I really didn't pay any attention to -- to that.  When preparing to

11     come here, I went through my personal notes and the documents I had at my

12     disposal.  But there is no other secret reason for which I said this to

13     the general.  I didn't think that it was of any importance for me.  I

14     wasn't aware that this would be used in connection to General Miletic,

15     but now I am a Defence witness, and I thought it was necessary for me to

16     go into the matter in greater detail.

17             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  Will you please try to conclude,

18     Mr. Thayer.

19             MR. THAYER:

20        Q.   General, I thank you for your testimony.  I have no further

21     questions.

22             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  Ms. Fauveau.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

25                           Re-examination by Ms. Fauveau:

Page 28736

 1        Q.   [Interpretation] General, I will really do my best to conclude

 2     today.  With regard to the last question put to you by the Prosecution,

 3     do you remember what the position of Mr. Krstic was when you spoke to him

 4     when General Miletic put you in touch with General Krstic?

 5        A.   Your Honours, I first spoke to General Mladic, and he gave me the

 6     cold shoulder very rapidly.  When the commander says, That's it, that's

 7     it.  It's the end -- end of the discussion.  I asked General Miletic to

 8     put me in touch with General Krstic.  I didn't know that they were next

 9     to each other, standing next to each other.  General Krstic was probably

10     listening to my conversation with General Mladic because he practically

11     repeated the very same words, and he also told me that they didn't have

12     any prisoners.

13        Q.   Do you know what position he held at the time that you spoke to

14     him?

15        A.   Who do you have in mind?

16        Q.   General Krstic, in the Drina Corps.

17        A.   General Krstic was the commander of the Drina Corps.

18        Q.   And now, I would like to ask you something about the proofing

19     session that we had just prior to your testimony.  Do you remember me

20     putting your question as to whether your corps units were in the area of

21     responsibility of the Drina Corps in July 1995?

22        A.   Yes, I remember that.

23        Q.   And could you tell me what your reply was to that question?

24        A.   I said that they did not participate in the action.

25        Q.   You had two interviews with the Prosecution in 2004 and 2007.

Page 28737

 1     Did OTP representatives ever suggest to you that your units participated

 2     in the combat in question?

 3        A.   No, they didn't, Your Honours.  I was persuaded of the fact that

 4     they didn't, and I'm still persuaded of that fact to this very day.

 5        Q.   With regard to the prisoners that your corps officer, the officer

 6     for your military police, Dragisa Vulin, took -- or rather, escorted, do

 7     you remember what the OTP representative said about this in 2007?  It's

 8     page 90 of the corrected version of the transcript was provided to us

 9     recently by the Prosecution --

10             THE INTERPRETER:  Of the interview, interpreter's correction.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think they said unfortunately

12     these were the only prisoners who were exchanged.

13             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   General, I'll read out what we were provided with, and it appears

15     that the OTP representative told you the following:  [In English] "You

16     saved all those people's lives."

17             [Interpretation] Are those the words that you can, in fact,

18     remember?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it was put

20     differently.  Unfortunately, they are the only members of the army of

21     Bosnia and Herzegovina who were captured in this operation and were

22     exchanged.  That's what I remember.

23             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would now like to move on to an

24     entirely different subject.  I would like to show the witness 6D311,

25     document 6D311.

Page 28738

 1        Q.   This is the response that you sent to General Subotic.  My

 2     colleague suggested that it was a presentation that you had made when

 3     analysing the combat in January 1995.  Can you tell us, very briefly,

 4     what elements constituted your presentation when you made this analysis?

 5        A.   Your Honours, first of all, I have to say that these themes

 6     weren't part of Directive Number 7.  These thesis, in fact, were supposed

 7     to be part of a special directive from the Supreme Command and this was

 8     to have to do with the problems that it appeared in the territory of all

 9     units; that included my corps.  It had to do with the problems relating

10     to continuing with combat activities.  If you are asking me about this --

11     I don't know, are you asking me about the directive?  I haven't fully

12     understood your question.  I do apologise.

13        Q.   I don't think I was very clear.  Does this have anything to do

14     with analysis of combat at the end of January, the analysis by the Main

15     Staff of Republika Srpska?

16        A.   Your Honours, this arrived when the analysis had been made, when

17     we received the document in the units.  This was an entirely new document

18     that has nothing to do with the analysis of combat readiness.  This is

19     the analysis of the situation in the territory.

20        Q.   You said that afterwards you didn't receive any directives, but

21     do you remember receiving an order from the president ordering you to

22     take certain measures?

23        A.   Yes, Your Honours, we did receive an order.

24             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at document

25     5D1397.  This hasn't been translated, but we have an unofficial

Page 28739

 1     translation.

 2        Q.   You see the date on this document?  It is the 6th [as

 3     interpreted] of March, 1995, two days after you sent the response to

 4     General Subotic.

 5             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] And could we show the text of this

 6     order, and look at it, and tell us --

 7             JUDGE AGIUS:  Yes, in the meantime for the record on line 25,

 8     page 75, it's not "6th of March," it should be "26th of March."

 9             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

10        Q.   Could you tell us whether this order has anything to do with the

11     suggestion that you sent to General Subotic?

12        A.   Very little, very little.

13        Q.   When you say that there is very little connection, you already

14     told you us that the president did not accept your suggestions, but

15     doesn't this order deal with the same subjects as your proposals?

16        A.   Your Honours, we proposed concrete measures, and what was sent to

17     us was in such general terms it was all in forces up to then, too; but it

18     wasn't implemented.  So I can say, in general terms, it was accepted but

19     in concrete terms no order was given to carry it out, so I personally

20     believe that my proposals were not adopted.  Because I had proposed

21     concrete measures, and this is a political document in which everything

22     is described in very general terms.

23             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would now like to show you

24     document 5D1322, page 33 in B/C/S and page 32 of the English version.

25        Q.   Before we get this document, it is the journal of the secretary

Page 28740

 1     of President Karadzic, but before you look at it, you remember that

 2     Directive Number 7 was dated the 8th of March 1995.  And we've also seen

 3     that it was sent on the 17th of March 1995.  If you look at the top of

 4     the page, you can see the date of the 15th March 1995.  And then, we see

 5     the date 16th of May, but I think everyone agrees that, in fact, it

 6     should be the 16th of March 1995.  One can verify this very easily.

 7             If you look at this date, the 16th of March 1995, and the entry

 8     for 1100 hours, you see, General Miletic [as interpreted], Tolimir, and

 9     Subotic.

10        A.   Yes, I see it, Your Honour.

11             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I wish to correct the transcript.

12     On page 77, line 5, it's "General Milovanovic."

13             Thank you, Your Honour.

14        Q.   These persons, these generals, Milovanovic, Tolimir, and Subotic,

15     were they qualified to have a discussion with the president regarding the

16     directive?

17        A.   Your Honours, I don't know where they were there at all, please

18     don't make me speculate.  There is a Simic here, but that's not me, he's

19     Drago Simic.  You can see him mentioned here from 1605.

20        Q.   Yes, we know that it's General Milovanovic.  There is the

21     abbreviation before his name.

22        A.   That is true, we can see that it's generals Milovanovic, Tolimir,

23     and Subotic.  They are all generals.  But it doesn't say here what they

24     were doing.

25        Q.   And this meeting lasted from 1100 hours, 1105, until 1505 hours,

Page 28741

 1     that is what it says here -- 16.  I'm sorry, I know that my next question

 2     is hypothetical, but you have answered a lot of hypothetical questions

 3     regarding the directive.  According to your own experience, as a military

 4     man, as a general, do you have any idea what these generals may have

 5     discussed with General Karadzic on the eve of descending of Directive

 6     Number 7?

 7        A.   Your Honours, probably about the conduct of the armed struggle.

 8     If a state of war had been normally declared, they would have become

 9     their advisors.  I don't know whether he treated them now as his advisor.

10             JUDGE AGIUS:  Basically, Ms. Fauveau, we are in the sphere of

11     pure speculation, so let's move to something more concretely, please.

12             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   You spoke of the assistant commanders of the Main Staff who moved

14     two units.  What were the best means of commander General Mladic

15     [Realtime transcript read in error, "Milovanovic"] to know what the state

16     of those units were?

17             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] General Mladic, page 78, line 11.

18        A.   You'll have to repeat the question now, because I got lost with

19     the transcript.

20             JUDGE AGIUS:  Let's try and speed it up, because it is obvious

21     that the witness is very tired.

22             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm going to finish very soon, I

23     assure you, Mr. President.

24        Q.   What were the best means for General Mladic to get acquainted

25     with the situation in his subordinate units?

Page 28742

 1        A.   Your Honours, the best way is personal insight, to go on site and

 2     then no one can lie to you or mislead you or belittle the seriousness of

 3     the situation or anything else.  So the best way is to go there

 4     personally and to see what's happening, and he did that very often.

 5        Q.   Could he, himself, personally go and visit all the units, always?

 6        A.   Your Honours, he even exaggerated.  He went personally to

 7     investigate the enemies.  He had absolutely no fears in that respect.  He

 8     over-did things.  I was responsible for his security while he was in my

 9     zone of responsibility, but it was a great problem to secure his safety.

10        Q.   Did he occasionally send his collaborators, his assistant?

11        A.   Yes, he did, Your Honours, he would send his associates.

12        Q.   Thank you very much, General.  I have no further questions.

13             JUDGE AGIUS:  I thank you, Madam Fauveau.  Judge Kwon, do you

14     have any questions?

15                           Questioned by the Court:

16             JUDGE KWON:  General Simic, one of the answers you gave to

17     Mr. Thayer in the course of cross-examination drew my attention.

18             In answering the events that happened in Srebrenica in the

19     summer, you answered this way.  It's page 51, line 11 to 14.  You said, I

20     quote:

21             "Your Honours, for executions and the things that happened,

22     people heard about this much, much later, because it was covered with a

23     kind of veil of secrecy."

24             And then you said:

25             "And during my service, I heard all kinds of things, but I also

Page 28743

 1     checked out all kinds of things."

 2             What did you mean by that, that you checked out all kinds of

 3     things?

 4        A.   Your Honour, I can link my answer to the question by

 5     Madam Fauveau.  I get reports from the units, but I go and check them

 6     out, too.  That is what I had in mind.  As for these events, my

 7     possibilities were limited to check out those things.

 8             JUDGE KWON:  I understand that your testimony is that you didn't

 9     know, you were not aware of the operation that happened in Srebrenica.

10     And you heard about those killings much, much later, but given your

11     position and rank, would it be correct for me to assume that you may have

12     some information with hindsight?  Who did the killing and who did those

13     reburial?  Are you in the position to answer that question?

14        A.   Your Honour, I saw most of the information and reports about

15     these things in the foreign media.  It appears to have been a taboo topic

16     amongst us in Republika Srpska.  At the level of the Main Staff, an

17     analysis of the Srebrenica operation was never carried out so that we,

18     from the other bodies, did not know at all how the operation was carried

19     out.

20             JUDGE KWON:  What was your basis on your part when you

21     recommended withdrawal to General Mladic when you learned that indictment

22     had been issued?

23        A.   Your Honour, when the indictment was issued, the president of the

24     republic, who was also indicted, and General Mladic, were required to

25     leave their positions because they had been indicted.  In a military

Page 28744

 1     career, regardless of the kind of application, whether it's criminal or

 2     judicial proceeding, the person has to withdraw from his position until

 3     the proceedings are completed.

 4             MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 5             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  All right.  That, General, brings us to

 6     the end of your testimony.  You've been here quite a few days with us,

 7     and you've been very patient with us as well.  On behalf of the Trial

 8     Chamber, I wish to thank you for having accepted to come over and give

 9     evidence in this trial as a Defence witness for General Miletic.  And on

10     behalf of everyone present here, I wish you a safe journey back home.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, it was an

12     honour for me.

13                           [The witness withdrew]

14             JUDGE AGIUS:  I don't suppose we can finalise the documents in

15     the remaining two or three minutes.  Shall we leave them?  Let's try,

16     anyway.

17             Mr. Haynes.

18             MR. HAYNES:  I suspect my list is the shortest.  To my surprise,

19     I discover that P702 and P703 had not yet been admitted into evidence, so

20     I will do so through this witness unless anybody's got any objection.

21             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  Would there be an objection,

22     Ms. Fauveau?

23             MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President.

24             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you.  Mr. Josse.

25             MR. JOSSE:  Could I invite, with no objection to that

Page 28745

 1     application, could I invite the rest of these applications be put over to

 2     tomorrow.  We would like to see and review --

 3             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right --

 4             MR. JOSSE:  -- the lists of both the --

 5             JUDGE AGIUS:  Fair enough, fair enough.  We accept the previous

 6     requests.

 7             Yes, Mr. Thayer.

 8             MR. THAYER:  We have no objection, Mr. President.

 9             JUDGE AGIUS:  All right.  So those two can be admitted, because I

10     understand you, Mr. Josse, your reservation did not refer to those?

11             MR. JOSSE:  Correct.

12             JUDGE AGIUS:  Correct.  So those two documents, Mr. Haynes, are

13     being admitted.  The rest we will deal with tomorrow when we reconvene in

14     the afternoon at 2.15.  By the way, in case you are not aware, we will be

15     sitting in the afternoon tomorrow and Wednesday, but Thursday the sitting

16     is in the morning and not in the afternoon.  All right?  Thank you.  We

17     stand adjourned until tomorrow morning -- afternoon at 2.15.

18                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

19                           1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

20                           the 25th day of November, 2008, at 2.15. p.m.