1 Tuesday, 10 May 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody, and especially to
6 you, Mr. McCloskey. Welcome back. I hope we find you well today.
7 We go briefly in private session, please.
8 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
9 The witness should be brought in, please.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, this witness I would also
11 request a caution for. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to the courtroom.
15 Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is -- which
16 is -- was given to you now.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
20 yourself comfortable.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Keserovic, on the request of the Prosecution,
23 I have to caution you and I will read out Rule 90(E) of our
24 Rules of Procedure and Evidence:
25 "The witness may object to making any statement which might tend
1 to incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness
2 to answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be
3 used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any
4 offence other than false testimony."
5 Sir, did you understand what I have read out to you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues]... thank you.
8 Mr. McCloskey is now commencing his examination-in-chief.
9 Mr. McCloskey.
10 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR KESEROVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
13 Q. Good afternoon, General.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. And could you state your full name for the record, please.
16 A. Dragomir Keserovic.
17 Q. And are you retired from the military?
18 A. I am not retired from the military. I was removed from the
19 military by the decision of the High Commissioner for
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. And when was that?
22 A. On the 30th of June, 2004.
23 Q. And what was the position that the high rep removed you from?
24 A. I was holding the office of the assistant defence secretary, and
25 I was in charge of security, and, at the same time, I was the chief of
1 the security section.
2 Q. And for what army?
3 A. The VRS, the Army of Republika Srpska.
4 Q. And what reasons were given by the high representatives to remove
5 you? Just very briefly.
6 A. The decision states that the function that I was performing, as a
7 chief of service, and that in that function I have not done enough, in
8 order to trace and arrest the -- those who were suspects of having
9 committed war crimes and that this was, in fact, a sign of my
10 non-cooperation with the national court, and with this court.
11 Q. All right. We won't be getting into any of that, General. But
12 can you tell us what -- what your rank was when -- when you left that
14 A. I was major general.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic? Okay. It's -- problem is solved.
16 Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
18 Q. And I should say, General, I won't be asking you about any of
19 that, but, of course, the Judges or General Tolimir may.
20 And before we get into your career further, do you recall being
21 interviewed by Mr. Jean-Rene Ruez back in October of 2000 about this
23 A. Yes, I recall that.
24 Q. And have you had a chance recently to review the transcript of
25 that audio-taped interview?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you recall testifying back in June of 2004 as a Defence
3 witness in this Tribunal for Colonel Blagojevic in a similar Srebrenica
5 A. I do.
6 Q. And have you had a chance to review or listen to the audiotape of
7 that testimony?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And is there anything significant that you would change in --
10 either in your interview or in your testimony?
11 A. During the interview and in my testimony, there was a dilemma
12 that had to do with my engagement in Bratunac. In other words, in the
13 area where the Krivaja operation was being carried out. And the dilemma
14 was in establishing the exact date when I was there, whether that was on
15 the 17th or the 18th of July. There were arguments for either of those
16 days, but after that, after actually checking and reviewing some
17 documents, I believe that it would have been the 17th.
18 Q. All right. We'll go over some of that in more detail. But did I
19 provide you, in the last couple of days, with some additional documents
20 you hadn't seen before and ask you to study those to see if you could
21 sort out which day it was?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. And is it, in part, based on that review that you've
24 made up your mind when the -- when this actually happened was [sic]?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. And you've got a little binder in front of you that you just
2 opened. Is there anything in there that might help you with that issue?
3 A. The binder contains documents that I was provided by you over the
4 last couple of days. There were some -- there is some intercepts in here
5 and they relate to the movement of the Bratunac Brigade commander,
6 Colonel Blagojevic.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... we'll get to that in -- in
8 an hour or two, I hope, and go over some of those documents. But I just
9 want to clear up, is there -- is your decision about what date this is
10 based purely on your own analysis and not by any suggestion or pressure
11 or desire on the part of the Prosecution or anyone else?
12 A. Well, it is hard to say that as I sit here. There was no
13 pressure of any kind exerted on me. However, I was shown these documents
14 which suggest that it would be logical for that day to have been the
15 17th. However, as far as I can recall, I'm not absolutely certain. I
16 cannot confirm this based on my own recollection.
17 Q. All right. You testified before, I believe, that you had a -- a
18 war notebook that you had consulted before testifying in Blagojevic.
19 Were you able to consult that war notebook recently on this issue?
20 A. No. I consulted that notebook and reviewed it before the
21 interview in the year 2000 with Mr. Ruez. And that helped me to
22 establish the time-line on what it was that I did on those days, those
23 ten -- some ten days in July. And since I still had that dilemma,
24 whether it was on the 17th or 18th, after I returned from the Blagojevic
25 testimony, testifying in that case, I went over that notebook again and
1 the chronology of events and the dates that are noted there although
2 there are -- some dates were skipped because there were no developments
3 on those days, so based on that, my stay in Bratunac should have been the
4 17th, actually.
5 Q. Do you still have access to that notebook?
6 A. No. At least when I received the summons for this testimony, for
7 this evidence, I tried to find that notebook, but that notebook remained
8 in the office where I never had access or and I never went back to
9 because when the high representative removed me, I was in Greece
10 [realtime transcript read in error "grace"] at the time and I never had a
11 chance to go back to the office and I was never given any of the material
12 that was in there.
13 Q. All right. Let's go over your military career. And normally
14 when I have asked you this before, you've started from the present and
15 gone back, so perhaps that is easiest for you. Can you just briefly
16 describe to us your career, starting, I think -- it may be easier for you
17 when you were removed from the high rep, how long had you that job that
18 you described?
19 A. Yes, I can. My last duty was chief of security, the security
20 administration, at the Ministry of Defence, which office I held as of
21 September or October 2002, up until the 30th of June, 2004.
22 Prior to that, from approximately February or March 2001, up
23 until September/October, I was the chief of the 1st Corps of the VRS.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Excuse me. I'm sorry to
25 interrupt. The 1st Corps, can you tell us what that corps was called
1 during the war in Bosnia?
2 A. The 1st Krajina Corps.
3 Q. And we heard that you were the -- the chief of that corps. Were
4 you the Chief of Staff or the -- or the commander of that corps?
5 A. I was the Chief of Staff of the corps.
6 Q. All right. Pardon me for interrupting. You can continue.
7 A. Before that, between September or October 1999, up until
8 February, approximately, in 2001, I was the chief of the
9 counter-intelligence department in the security administration of the
10 Main Staff of the VRS.
11 A year before that, on the 1st of September, 1998, up until
12 September 1999, I went back to school. I was in the college for national
13 defence within the Yugoslav Army, in Belgrade.
14 From February 1st, 1997 until August 30th, 1998, I held the same
15 position, the chief of the counter-intelligence department of the
16 security administration, which was at the General Staff of the VRS.
17 As of January 30th up until February 1996, and through 31st
18 January, 1997, I underwent training at the General Staff Academy with the
19 Yugoslav Army in Belgrade.
20 From September or in early October 1995, up until the 31st of
21 January, 1996, I was the commander of an armoured brigade of the
22 1st Krajina Corps of the VRS.
23 From February 1995, up until September 1995, I was the chief of
24 the military police department with the security administration within
25 the sector for security and intelligence of the Main Staff of the VRS.
1 Q. And what was your rank while you were in the Main Staff as the
2 chief of the military police department?
3 A. I was lieutenant-colonel.
4 Q. All right. And if you could continue --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
6 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a small intervention and
7 I think this will not be a matter of contention.
8 On page 7, line 6, it says -- it reads: "I was in grace," but I
9 believe the witness said: "I was in Greece."
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, this is what I heard. Thank you very
12 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. That -- that's a good thing to have
14 cleared up.
15 Q. And, General, if you could continue - thank you - what was your
16 job before the chief of the military police section.
17 A. From October 1993 up to February 1995, I was the commander of the
18 military police battalion in the 1st Krajina Corps of the VRS.
19 From the 14th of September, 1992 up to October 1993, I was the
20 commander of the military police battalion in the East Bosnian Corps of
21 the VRS.
22 From June, the 21st of June, 1992 to the 14th of September, 1992,
23 I was the chief of the security department in the armoured brigade of the
24 1st Krajina Corps of the VRS.
25 Q. All right. General, and I -- I think we can stop there. I'm
1 sure had you a distinguished career in the JNA with the -- and an
3 Can you tell us where were you born?
4 A. I was born in a place called Piskavice, some 20 kilometres away
5 of Banja Luka in Banja Luka municipality, in Republika Srpska, in
7 Q. And what was your rank when the -- in June of 1992?
8 A. Captain first class.
9 Q. All right. And I am going to be focussing naturally on that --
10 those -- that period of time when you were the chief of the military
11 police in the sector for intelligence and security of the Main Staff in
12 the security administration. But is it fair to say that you've had a
13 good education and background, both in -- in a classroom sense and in the
14 practical sense on what the job of the security officer is in the
15 Army of Republika Srpska?
16 A. For that army and for those conditions, I was really well
18 Q. And I want to show you a document to use as basically a
19 foundation for you to describe a little bit about the basics of the
20 security position.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And so could we have P01112.
22 Q. And, General, this is a document that was shown to you by the
23 Defence in the Blagojevic case. It's one of the documents, I'm sure you
24 will agree with me, that I provided you so you could take a look at it to
25 get ready for your testimony.
1 Can you tell us -- we can see that this document is dated
2 24 October 1994, and from -- no. For the commander, General Mladic. And
3 can you tell us, is this a document that you had a chance to see while
4 you were in the VRS?
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. And could we go to the last page in -- in this
7 document. It may be the third page in English and -- yes, you've got it
8 in the B/C/S. And that signature page, I we think can see this "za"
9 which we know is "for."
10 Can you tell us whose signature that is?
11 A. This should be General Tolimir's signature. As far as I can
12 remember, General Tolimir's signature that I had opportunities to see on
13 some documents. Judging by its appearance, this should be
14 General Tolimir's signature.
15 Q. We get a translation in English that is a little unclear. Can
16 you tell us, do you believe this is General Tolimir's signature? We
17 don't want to know what it ought to be or whose signature it should be.
18 We want to know if you can tell us whose signature this is.
19 A. One cannot be certain about anybody's signature without an expert
20 graphologist's opinion. However, looking at the general characteristics
21 of this signature, I would be inclined to say that this is
22 General Tolimir's signature.
23 Q. Thank you. And having had a chance to review this document - if
24 we could go back to the first pages of both - does it, in your view,
25 reflect fundamentally the basic rules associated with security and intel
1 work at the time?
2 A. I looked at the document, or better said, I analysed it. What I
3 could say very briefly about it is that this is an instruction that
4 should have enhanced the efficiency of work of security organs. The
5 security organs should have been alerted by this instruction to what the
6 focus of their attention should be, and the commanders should have
7 understood from this document that the tasks of the security organs and
8 their members are complex and that they are not linked exclusively with
9 the work of the command, in terms of general military tasks. But,
10 rather, that there are also tasks that are within the purview of the
11 security organs.
12 In the first paragraph of this document, there's a little
13 discrepancy in terms of the percentages or rather, ratio, which is 80 to
14 20. According to the regulations that ratio was defined as two-thirds
15 for counter-intelligence, which would correspond to the 80 per cent here,
16 and one-third was for staff security tasks and other tasks in the command
17 and that also includes the administrative staff tasks, police tasks, the
18 cooperation with the courts and so on and so forth. So this is the only
19 discrepancy that exists in this document.
20 Q. So what do you mean by discrepancy? We see 80 per cent for
21 intelligence, counter-intelligence, and 20 per cent for administrative
22 and staff, military police, and criminal-legal. So how is that different
23 than something else you may have known about?
24 A. According to what I know, and according to what the rules
25 defined, the ratio should be two-thirds to one-third. So there is a 15
1 per cent discrepancy, because this ratio should be 66 to 33. That should
2 be the ratio in percentage terms.
3 Q. Do you see anything wrong with Generals Tolimir and Mladic,
4 facing their particular wartime situation, changing that percentages a
5 little bit to 80:20?
6 A. It's very difficult for me to talk about motives. The only
7 motives that I could mention is for the security organs to be alerted to
8 what the focus of their work should be, and that should be
9 counter-intelligence. And, to a lesser extent, all the other tasks.
10 I don't know what the motive was behind defining these motives.
11 It is very difficult -- behind defining those percentages. It is very
12 difficult for me to say.
13 Q. General, I wasn't asking you the motive but I was asking if there
14 would be anything wrong with General Mladic and General Tolimir, if they
15 saw fit for good reason, to change the percentages. Would there have
16 been anything wrong with that, militarily, under the rules, under the
17 ethics of the business, as you knew it?
18 A. When we're talking about any rules, the Army of Republika Srpska
19 used the rules that they had adopted from the former JNA. The VRS used
20 those rules. There were very rare cases when some new rules were drafted
21 exclusively for the VRS. Some were drafted like, for example, the rules
22 of service and things like that. However, I'm not aware of the fact that
23 rules were changed in the area of security.
24 Q. General, again, it's a very simple question. Do you find that
25 there is anything wrong or anything improper with Generals Tolimir and
1 Mladic changing the percentage slightly to concentrate more on
2 counter-intelligence and intelligence than the original JNA two-thirds
4 A. I understand your question. The instruction or any instruction
5 is a document with a lower force than rules, and rules are lower ranking
6 than laws. For an instruction to explicitly proffer these particular
7 percentages, there should have been a prior change to the rules. They
8 could have done it, but as far as I know, they didn't.
9 Q. All right. Let me just go over just a bit of these and ask you
10 some particular questions. And I probably didn't ask you what your
11 current profession is? Can you just tell us what that is? Your long
12 answers kind of reminded me of it.
13 A. I hold a doctoral degree in security and I teach at the security
14 and protection school of the University of Banja Luka.
15 Q. Okay. And thank you for that. And I -- and we will be relying
16 on your expertise on many of these questions so I appreciate those
17 scholarly responses but sometimes I'll get more particular and I think
18 you'll get the message when I am. But, thank you.
19 Okay, in looking at this first page, we see it's called
20 "instructions," and we see for what. And then it talks in that first
21 paragraph about:
22 "Because of frequent problems, failures, and irregularities in
23 command and control over security and intelligence organs," and it goes
25 And then it says: "With the aim of preventing these and similar
1 problems," he is issuing these instructions and then he talks about the
2 80:20 situation that we've spoken of. And mentioning intelligence and
3 counter-intelligence tasks and the Trial Chamber has heard a quite a bit
4 about that recently so I'm not going to ask you about that.
5 And -- but then we see in the -- also the section related to
6 military police. Can you tell us, under tasks related to military
7 police, what would the security organs in the -- well, let's start in the
8 brigade. The brigade security organs. We won't go down to the battalion
9 of the brigade. But the brigade's security organ and the corps security
10 organs, what are these military police tasks? Or how are they related to
11 the military police, the security organs?
12 A. A security organ, or, rather, the officer of the security organ
13 of either a brigade or a corps, in comparison with the military police,
14 is a professional, and he is tasked with the professional control of the
15 military police unit.
16 What does it mean in concrete terms? The security organ is
17 concerned with the staffing policy and materiel and equipment of his
18 military police unit. He is also concerned with the training of all
19 specialities in the military police. He directly controls the military
20 police services. In the military police, there were seven such services,
21 starting with the duty service, and ending with the crime prevention
22 service. And in between, there was the security service, the search
23 service, the patrol service, the escort service, the traffic, military
24 traffic control service, and, finally, the crime prevention service.
25 We can see the most direct link here between the security organ
1 and the military police unit. Some of the tasks the military security
2 organ can pass on to the commander of the military police unit and demand
3 compliance without talking to the commander of the unit first. This is a
4 direct relationship, or, rather, this is what the security organ does
5 with regard to the military police.
6 The second aspect of that relationship, or, rather, the
7 participation of the security organ in one way or another is his work in
8 the unit command as an assistant commander for security, the security
9 organ participates in the decision-making process, in terms of assessing
10 the security situation and proposing to the commander how to use the
11 military police unit in the unit. The commander can accept the proposal,
12 it -- he can partly correct it and then issue the task, or he can reject
13 the proposal.
14 Q. Where would the job of operational secrecy, keeping the
15 operations -- keeping the secrets of operations, you know, confidential
16 and secret from the enemy? Whose -- what role would the security officer
17 play in that?
18 A. Every activity, every operation, in addition to the basic
19 decision issued by the commander also entails a number of professional
20 enclosures or attachments to that decision. Every officer in their
21 respective sectors drafts such an enclosure. One of those enclosures is
22 also the plan of counter-intelligence protection measures, and it is the
23 security organ who is in charge of drafting that. He is the one who
24 plans measures of counter-intelligence protection for such an activity an
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Excuse me, let me just
2 interrupt and -- are you using the term "counter-intelligence" to include
3 operational secrecy? You know, keeping the -- the operation, the nature
4 of the operation secret, you know, from the enemy and the outside world?
5 Are you including that in this counter-intelligence plan?
6 A. No. No, not fully. The general plan for measures of an
7 operation protection is the duty of an operative organ, and he is the one
8 who is in charge of secrecy. It is not the security organ who does that.
9 He can only cooperate in preparing such a plan. However, when we talk
10 about counter-intelligence protection, this means that unit has to
11 counter all the intentions by the enemy to launch counter-intelligence
12 activities of their own, in order to learn the details of an operation.
13 At the plan of protection measures is a general plan, it's a public plan
14 and it applies to all the members that unit, and that plan elaborates
15 the -- all the measures that will be put in place to protect information,
16 and it is binding on everybody in the unit.
17 Q. And what role does the security officer play in that, in that
19 A. You mean in a general plan for protection measures or ...
20 Q. Both. What you just mentioned.
21 A. A general plan for protection measures is something that is
22 drafted by the operative organ in the command. And such a plan
23 prescribes certain general measures that will be put in place, in order
24 to protect the secrecy of data or documents or, for example, the secrecy
25 of the information channels, the protection of the secrecy of the unit's
1 movements, intentions and everything else. This is very general. And
2 all members of the command participate in that and possibly provide their
3 input. This is a general plan that is drafted, and it is binding upon
4 all unit members.
5 When it comes to the plan of measures for counter-intelligence
6 protection, that plan is exclusively channelled towards preventing the
7 counter-intelligence activities by the enemy against the unit and against
8 its activities.
9 Q. And would that include, in this -- in the case of 1995, UNPROFOR
10 or NATO?
11 A. Yes, probably.
12 Q. Of course. Well, yes or probably, General? You've got to make a
13 choice. Or I guess you can try to have it both ways, but I need a
14 serious answer on that.
15 A. The answer will be yes. However, if you are asking me why, I
16 could tell you how those things were governed and how that could be
17 hidden even from the international forces in the territory of the
18 Republika Srpska, how could that have been kept a secret.
19 Q. I don't think we need to get into the details of that, nor I do
20 think it's a big problem that your operational details, your military
21 operational details are being kept secret from anyone but yourself. So
22 that's, I don't think, a line I need to go down with you.
23 All right. Now you said -- you listed seven categories that the
24 security officer in the brigade and the corps had direct control and
25 didn't -- I think you said something, didn't have to consult or inform
1 the commander about. Would any of those seven include the escort of
2 prisoners of war?
3 A. If we're talking about the escort service, I can say that this
4 applies to all categories of persons who are to be escorted or moved from
5 one place to another place in the zone of the unit's activities, and
6 there are no restrictions to that. So those could have also been
7 prisoners of war.
8 Q. And how about the -- well, one of your seven was the escort
9 service, and you've just talked about that. What about the guarding of
10 prisoners of war at temporary sites when they were -- where they were
11 captured, if that was carried out by MPs with the direction or
12 professional supervision of the security organ. Would that be something
13 that would fit under these seven exceptions, or would that something that
14 the security organ would normally consult or inform the commander about?
15 A. When it comes to POWs and guarding them, there's a slight
16 difference there. On the one hand, we have a situation where prisoners
17 of war are guarded immediately upon their surrender when they are guarded
18 and secured by the unit to whom they surrendered or who took them
19 prisoners. However, if we're talking about a task, to secure a certain
20 place, be it a prisoner of war camp that had been set up pursuant to a
21 decision by the commander, then that would fall or could fall under the
22 security service of the military police, to whom the commander issues the
23 tasks. So it is not the security organ alone that takes it upon himself
24 to guard prisoners of war in an area without that task having been
25 ordered to his unit.
1 Q. All right. Well, let's take a well-known example of Srebrenica
2 where we have large numbers, hundreds and hundreds of prisoners that are
3 guarded, in part, by military police with security officers from the
4 brigade and the corps directing them and they're being transported, in
5 part, by military police from one place to the next in vehicles. This
6 kind of large-scale activity of large numbers of prisoners, would this be
7 the kind of thing that a commander would be informed about from his
8 security officer or his -- the commander of the military police unit?
9 A. All such activities are something that the commander of the
10 military police unit can carry out without receiving a prior order or
11 task. So one must assume that the commander was informed about such
12 activities even before issuing a task to the military police unit.
13 Somebody must reach a decision as to where the prisoners of war will be
14 located or kept. Somebody must make a decision about their transfer from
15 one position to another position, and that person is always the
16 commander. It's not the senior officer of the security organ or the
17 commander of the military police unit.
18 Q. All right. And, yes, I -- I absolutely agree with you that that
19 kind of thing doesn't happen in a vacuum without the commander's
20 involvement. But what I'm asking you about -- a security officer,
21 especially like in the brigade, that perhaps does not know, in
22 particular, that his commander has been informed at a given time. Would
23 this be the kind of thing that he would inform his commander, if he
24 didn't know if the commander knew already? Large numbers of prisoners,
25 transport of large numbers of prisoners, guarding those prisoners.
1 A. Obligatory. All activities within the zone of the security
2 responsibility of a specific security organ or in the zone of
3 responsibility of the unit that may have influence on the security
4 situation are something that must immediately be told to the commander of
5 the unit. Prisoners of war, their condition, their numbers, that is
6 something that makes, to say the least or sometimes even endangers, the
7 security situation in the zone and security of the unit, and, therefore,
8 the commander must immediately be informed about it as soon as such
9 information is available.
10 Q. All right. So if we go back to those seven areas that you
11 described, including escorting of prisoners, where you have said that the
12 security officer doesn't necessarily have to inform the commander, are
13 those -- can those seven be described as your normal daily routine tasks
14 that the commander doesn't have to be bothered with, or why is it that,
15 as you've said, the commander has -- know these security issues, has to
16 know about large numbers of prisoners but yet these seven tasks, they
17 don't need to know about.
18 Can you give us a little bit of clarity on this seven tasks?
19 A. The escort service, for instance, when it's necessary, and,
20 you're right, it's not something that happens of its own. So when it's
21 necessary to conduct a transfer or an escort, this is not a regular
22 transport. It's military police escorting under arms a group of people
23 using vehicles, or on foot, providing security along the route, and this
24 is one task in regard to which the security organ can issue an assignment
25 to the commander of the military police unit. He can say, "Because of a
1 demonstrated need, you will organise and provide certain number of
2 military policemen to escort ten buses from Kasaba to Bratunac," for
3 instance. That means that he does not need to even address the commander
4 and inform him about organising the escort. He is carrying out this task
5 because there was a demonstrated need for it to be done, in order to
6 achieve the general task that the unit is carrying out. And as for the
7 modes of transfer, decision can be reached by the commander of the unit.
8 Q. Are you suggesting, for example, on -- and I know you've
9 testified a bit about this, on 13 July, a security officer could order
10 ten buses full of Muslim prisoners to go to Bratunac without telling or
11 making sure the commander of the Bratunac Brigade was informed of that?
12 Ten buses just showing up suddenly?
13 A. No, no, I'm not saying that. Not at all. The security officer
14 was not authorised and could not have determined that ten buses should
15 travel from Kasaba to Bratunac. However, providing that someone, meaning
16 the commander in the zone, has reached the decision that prisoners of war
17 need to be transported from Kasaba to Bratunac and through logistics
18 organ provided means of transport for this detail, and, in addition,
19 tasked either the security officer or directly the military police unit
20 to secure the POWs and escort them, then the security officer will get
21 involved in the escort service and act within that system. He will not
22 do it outside of the system of command, of course.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. If some unexpected development happens, if some prisoners of war
25 appear somewhere where they weren't expected and they need to be
1 transferred or transported to a more safe location, it has to be the
2 commander of the military police unit who reaches the decision, providing
3 he cannot get in touch with his superior officer. The security officer
4 cannot assume any command role instead of the commander, and he is also
5 duty-bound to inform the commander about all of his activities, if maybe
6 that was what you had in mind. There are no activities carried out by
7 the military police unit without the knowledge of the commander.
8 Q. Okay. Now you have described for us the basic duties of the
9 brigade and the corps security officer, in some sense, as they work with
10 the military police. Can you describe for us the job of the chief of
11 security of the Main Staff in 1995? But before we get into that, can you
12 first tell us, we all know that General Tolimir was the chief of the
13 Intel -- intelligence and security of the Main Staff and that it had an
14 Intel administration and a security administration. In 1995, who was the
15 chief of the security administration?
16 A. Frigate Captain or Colonel, I'm not sure, Beara. Ljubisa Beara;
17 he was chief of security administration. And intelligence
18 administration, it was Colonel Petar Salapura.
19 Q. And can you tell us what -- what sections were within the
20 security administration of the Main Staff?
21 A. I know that there was the first department or
22 counter-intelligence department. Then there was the analysis department.
23 Department for military police. And as an independent segment at the
24 level, it was the counter-intelligence group.
25 Q. Okay. For the period of the summer of 1995, can you tell us who
1 the top people, the chiefs of each of those sections, were?
2 A. In summer of 1995, the counter-intelligence section had
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Maric, I think, at the position -- well, not maybe of
4 a chief. I'm not sure. But he was the most senior officer within that
6 In the analysis section, in June -- well, maybe no one. But a
7 colonel was there, I'm not sure between which dates he was there. I
8 think his name was Skorupan, who died, and was replaced after a period by
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Cvijanovic, but I cannot tell you with any degree of
10 certainty when was what.
11 As of February 1995, the first officer in the military police
12 department was myself. I was on my own, so I was both the chief and the
13 clerk -- I was on my own. And the chief of the counter-intelligence
14 group was Colonel Pero Jakovljevic.
15 Q. Is Lieutenant-Colonel Maric, the head of the counter-intelligence
16 group, still alive?
17 A. I don't know. I do know that soon after the events, maybe even
18 the end of July, he left the VRS, moved to Serbia, and lived and was
19 employed in Novi Sad, but I lost contact with him, so I wouldn't know
20 what happened next.
21 Q. And can you briefly describe what the counter-intelligence group
23 A. The counter-intelligence group is, in a way, group specialised in
24 carrying out counter-intelligence activities and counter-intelligence
25 protection of the VRS in general, its operational components, and, most
1 important, facilities and features. It consisted of operatives officers
2 who were in charge of operative activities - in other words, gathering of
3 information, using means at their disposal - then a group of specialist
4 in charge for operative technology, such as audio and video devices,
5 surveillance, cameras, and other devices that comprise operative
6 technology and technics, as well as a group that was in charge for
7 something we call escort. This group would have vehicles and
8 communication means at their disposal, and they would monitor or survey
9 people of intelligence interest when they were in the area of
10 Republika Srpska. So those were three segments: The operational part,
11 the operational technology or technics, and the escort or surveillance
12 group. That was what the counter-intelligence group consisted of. Their
13 job was to protect the army in general and the most important features
14 and elements of it.
15 Q. Now, we've heard that there was a counter-intelligence sector at
16 the Main Staff and that there was a counter-intelligence group that was
17 part of the Main Staff that was in Banja Luka. Are you distinguishing
18 the two now, or are you mixing them up?
19 A. I do distinguish between them. Counter-intelligence department,
20 or section, was making summaries of the counter-intelligence work of all
21 security organs in depth in units. In other words, they would bring
22 together all the work of counter-intelligence activities of the corps,
23 which would, in turn, do that for brigades and so on and so forth. So
24 they were also in charge of counter-intelligence activities in relation
25 to units and institutions of the army, along that line; whereas, the
1 counter-intelligence group was not tied up to any specific unit or
2 feature. It was tasked with monitoring the entire territory of
3 Republika Srpska and dealing with all issues or gathering information
4 related to all issues of interest for the defence in general. For that
5 purpose, it was structured in a specific way. It had territorial
6 division, territorial deployment, and it had specific detachments through
7 which it could cover the entire territory regardless of the units that
8 were present in any segment of the territory, and it was active above
9 units of the army.
10 Q. I'm trying to get an idea of how many people were in the
11 counter-intelligence department at Crna Rijeka.
12 A. At Crna Rijeka, at the time when I'd be going there, I think, in
13 addition to Maric, there was one non-commissioned officer in charge of
14 administrative tasks, and that was it. Most of the activities were
15 carried out by the chief of administration. Colonel Beara was doing
17 Q. So tell us what Beara's job was then. From a practical level.
18 What was -- what did you see him doing?
19 A. Practically speaking, Beara's job was -- well, he spent most of
20 his time dealing with counter-intelligence activities. All the reports
21 reaching them that had security content would come to his desk, and his
22 task was to review the information and act upon the information. Namely,
23 he would have to provide feedback by giving guide-lines or tasks to
24 security organs. And now I'm talking about sending information down the
25 chain, and, as far as up the chain, he would make a summary and via the
1 sector or the chief of the sector for intelligence and security tasks, he
2 would inform the commander. Mainly according to suggestions by the chief
3 of sector but, in any case, the commander had the duty and the right to
4 be informed about all available information.
5 In addition to that --
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Who was Beara's direct
7 report? Who did he report directly to, first and foremost?
8 A. Immediate superior was General Tolimir.
9 Q. All right. And where were you -- where was your offices during
10 this period of 1995?
11 A. Military police section and the counter-intelligence group were
12 located in the command of the 1st Krajina Corps in Banja Luka. That's
13 where I had my offices, next to the counter-intelligence group.
14 Q. Okay. So we know -- well, from the wartime map that it's quite a
15 distance to go from Crna Rijeka up around the RS over to Banja Luka
16 with -- with the lines and all. So how long a drive was that, to drive
17 from Crna Rijeka - within the Republika Srpska - to get to Banja Luka?
18 A. We would use Puch, a four-wheel drive vehicle, that I took from
19 my previous unit.
20 Q. But how long a -- give us an idea of how long a distance -- or
21 how long it took you? How long would it normally take someone? Just
22 roughly. I mean, you're talking about the everyday affairs of what's
23 going on in Crna Rijeka with Beara and others, but yet you're in
24 Banja Luka. So how far a drive is it?
25 A. It would take, in the wartime conditions, quite a long time.
1 Maybe five or six hours.
2 Q. And in just roughly -- I know this is difficult. In 1995, how
3 often would you go from Banja Luka to Crna Rijeka and actually see how
4 the work was going there?
5 A. I did not go to Crna Rijeka that often so that I would be well
6 informed about the activities there. I went there when it was either
7 necessary or when I was called. I think that in the period between the
8 transfer of duty and that was after I have reviewed the situation within
9 all the military police units in the VRS so maybe mid-March, or maybe end
10 of March, and the -- and that was the time also when we prepared the
11 report, so I may have visited Crna Rijeka after that two or three times
12 at the most. The rest of the time I was in Banja Luka.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed.
15 We must have our first break this afternoon, and we will resume
16 quarter past 4.00.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We go into private session, please.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 13887-13888 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please sit down again.
22 Our apologies for -- forth and back. We had to discuss a
23 procedural matter in your absence related to another matter.
24 Mr. McCloskey is continuing his examination-in-chief.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. General, you were just describing in sort of practical, simple
2 terms the various jobs of the various sections at the Main Staff
3 security administration and some of the people and their jobs. But --
4 and you were just describing the drive, the long drive, from Banja Luka
5 to Crna Rijeka.
6 So before I go any further, can you tell us of these sections --
7 well, where did -- where was your understanding that Beara worked out of,
8 that Colonel Beara, where did he work out of? What unit, what location.
9 A. Well, as far as the services are concerned, Colonel Beara was the
10 chief of the security administration, which was one of the units of the
11 security and intelligence sector. And he was with the Main Staff of the
13 As for military police units, if that's what your question
14 related to and us --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... General, hold on. Hold on.
16 I'll try to make my questions clear. All I wanted to know is where did
17 Beara go to work everyday, where was his work location.
18 A. He worked at the 233 hut in Crna Rijeka. That's where he slept.
19 And he also used the premises as his office.
20 Q. Okay. And how about the counter-intelligence person,
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Maric? Where did he work out of?
22 A. At the same office.
23 Q. Okay. And how about the analysis section chief, who you thought
24 was Skorupan?
25 A. I did not see him a lot, but we all worked out of two offices.
1 They were one across the other. And when I went to Crna Rijeka, I was in
2 the office with Maric and Beara, and there was also an administrative
3 assistant there. We were all in one office.
4 Q. And what was the name of the administrative assistant?
5 A. Her name was Ljiljana Stojanovic.
6 Q. All right. And you, as chief of the military police section, had
7 your main office in Banja Luka; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. So my question is for the chief of the analysis section,
10 where was his main office? Was it ...
11 A. His main office was in Crna Rijeka.
12 Q. Okay. And the chief of what you've called the
13 counter-intelligence group, I think you said Pero Jakovljevic.
14 A. In Banja Luka.
15 Q. Okay. So of the two sections, your section, the military police
16 and the intel group were in Banja Luka; and all the rest were in
17 Crna Rijeka. Is that right?
18 A. No, not the analysis group but the counter-intelligence group and
19 my section.
20 Q. Yes, the counter-intelligence group and your section, the
21 military police group, those are the only sections in Banja Luka.
22 A. Out of the administration -- security administration.
23 Q. Okay. Another point that might have -- I was slightly confused
24 about is when you were talking about counter-intelligence, and it may
25 have been a translation issue where we went from the counter-intelligence
1 section to the counter-intelligence group, but you talked about one
2 counter-intelligence unit that had several operatives that was doing
3 field-work. Do you remember that?
4 A. The structure of the counter-intelligence group, approximately,
5 was the following. There was the administration, which was in Banja Luka
6 at the headquarters, and it had two detached units, two or three detached
7 units - perhaps three - one was in Herzegovina, in Trebinje. The other
8 one was in Bijeljina, and I believe that there was one such detached
9 group or unit in Prijedor.
10 Q. All right. And was that the group that had several operatives
11 that did counter-intelligence work in the field, as you described?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And can you now describe briefly for us this intelligence,
14 counter-intelligence group that's in Banja Luka, and sort of distinguish
15 it, if you will, between the three groups you've just described?
16 A. Well, in Banja Luka, there was the chief of the
17 counter-intelligence group, his deputy when he was in, in fact. There
18 were times when he wasn't there. Then there was also an assistant for
19 technical equipment -- technical equipment or operative equipment. And
20 then there were several operatives who did field-work. And the operative
21 equipment group was there also. They were in charge of the equipment
22 that was used. And there was also the escort group.
23 Q. Okay. I -- I think we can figure out what equipment might be in
24 relation to counter-intelligence work. But what's escort? What does
25 that have to -- what does that group do?
1 A. No, no, no. Not escort. Not monitoring or surveillance in terms
2 of escorting. Rather, that was surveillance. This was undercover
3 monitoring of individuals who were involved in some activities that were
4 considered enemy activities or were about to engage in such activities.
5 So such individuals would be monitored according to a pre-defined plan,
6 and they would be monitored in the areas where they might engage in such
7 activities. That monitoring was undercover. It was covert.
8 Q. And can you give us a couple of examples of the kind of equipment
9 that the equipment group dealt with?
10 A. Well, at that time, it was rather outdated equipment. We had
11 cameras, still cameras, and movie cameras, record -- tape recorders, UHER
12 reel-to-reel tape recorders. There were some tape recorder, pocket tape
13 recorders, Olympus, which were used for covert recording of various
14 conversations and there, as well as some Nagra-type recording devices.
15 So basically we didn't have much. This was just what was inherited, as
16 it were, from the earlier army. This was from the 1980s, the equipment
17 that I mentioned.
18 Q. All right. Now, let's go to your section. How many people, if
19 any, did you have working with you, or under you, in the military police
21 A. It was only me, and I also had a driver at my disposal. He was
22 from the military police battalion of the 1st Corps. He would accompany
23 me, if required, when I went on such trips.
24 Q. And who was your direct supervisor or superior?
25 A. Colonel Beara.
1 Q. And can you tell us what your job involved in the year 1995?
2 What responsibilities did you have?
3 A. The military police section was assigned tasks as follows. There
4 was the personnel department and the department for equipment and
5 technology. And then there was also the training department of new
6 recruits. And then we also had to report using the duty office of the
7 military police, or the duty centre, the reporting went from the lowest
8 level units upward, all the way to the battalion, the military police
9 battalion, within the protection regiment which was part of the
10 Main Staff.
11 So these were the tasks that we were involved in mostly.
12 Q. All right. You mentioned the reporting requirements and yet you
13 received reports from the bottom up. And the Trial Chamber is familiar
14 with the military police battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment
15 located in Nova Kasaba. Is that what you were referring to?
16 A. Well, yes. That was the military police battalion, the command
17 of which was in Nova Kasaba. It belonged to the 65th Protection
18 Motorised Regiment. And this was a unit that was attached to the
19 Main Staff of the VRS, the Protection Regiment, I mean.
20 Q. And who -- you said it started at the bottom. Who did the
21 military police battalion at Nova Kasaba receive military police reports
23 A. It received reports from the duty service from the military
24 police battalion at corps level. So it received reports from each corps,
25 according to the various services of the military police, and depending
1 on how they were employed on that particular day. The corps would
2 compile reports from the brigades, from the platoons or detachments
3 within -- or companies within the brigades. So, in other words, they
4 would receive their reports from the corps battalions.
5 Q. So was this a daily reporting requirement?
6 A. Yes, this was daily reporting.
7 Q. So let me make sure I understand this. The brigade military
8 police units reported to their corps, and the corps military police units
9 took those reports -- made their own reports and sent those to
10 Nova Kasaba; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So Nova Kasaba gets reports from all six or seven corps, I -- of
13 military police. And what does the Nova Kasaba -- what do those people
14 do with all those corps reports?
15 A. They would compile a single report where they would sum up the
16 most important points, according to the methods that had been agreed on.
17 So they would pick out -- pick out the most important information from
18 all of those reports and then forward it to the Main Staff as one single
19 report, or, rather, to the security and intelligence department of the
20 Main Staff. In parallel to this, there should be also a report that
21 would go to the commander of the Main Staff, and I'm not sure if that
22 happened every time, and to the commander in charge of security and
24 So every day, they would have to be sent to the Main Staff.
25 Q. Okay. We got a translation that it should -- that it went to the
1 commander of the Main Staff, and I think we all understand that that was
2 General Mladic; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then our translation said that it went to the commander in
5 charge of security and intelligence.
6 A. To the chief of the security and intelligence services sector.
7 Q. And who was that?
8 A. General Tolimir.
9 Q. Okay. And we all agree that General Tolimir was not a commander
10 at that time.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And in whose name do you recall that the reports from Nova Kasaba
13 went out from? Who signed off on those -- those big military police
14 reports that came out of the Nova Kasaba MP unit?
15 A. They should have been signed by the commander of the unit there.
16 But I'm not ruling out the possibility that sometime they were signed by
17 the commander of the unit for the military police services, which united
18 all of those services. And that would happen in the absence of the
19 commander. He was the one who prepared those reports, but it should have
20 been the battalion commander who signed the reports and the reports were
21 dispatched on his behalf.
22 Q. So in July of 1995, who was the commander of the military police
23 battalion whose name these reports should have gone out under?
24 A. The name should have been Zoran Malinic.
25 Q. And if not Malinic, if he was absent or unavailable, who would be
1 the next person whose name you may see on a report?
2 A. I can't remember the family name of a commissioned officer -- a
3 non-commissioned officer who was the commander of the platoon for the
4 military police in the police -- in the military police battalion. I
5 know him -- I remember the face, but I can't put a name to that face. It
6 is possible it was his name that went on the reports.
7 Q. All right. And you've told us generally who these reports went
8 to at the Main Staff, but can you tell us whose desk they actually fell
9 on at the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka? Who would actually see these
10 report -- this -- this report from Nova Kasaba?
11 A. They should have arrived at General Tolimir's desk. And they
12 should have also landed at the desk of General Mladic, but that was not
13 always feasible. If is possible that they arrived at the operations
14 centre of the Main Staff. And then, from there, they were distributed
15 and sent to General Tolimir and General Mladic.
16 Q. And what was the means of communication of these reports from
17 Nova Kasaba to Crna Rijeka?
18 A. There was a courier service, there were vehicles, as far as I
20 Q. So hand-delivered by couriers in vehicles.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you get these Nova Kasaba reports in Banja Luka?
23 A. I did not receive those reports. Only occasionally I would get
24 excerpts, coded excerpts, through the counter-intelligence group when
25 something was really of some importance. But I did not receive those
1 reports on a daily basis.
2 Q. Let me ask you about these coded reports. We're familiar with
3 the simple system of teletyping and the code mechanism that was able to
4 encode teletyped communications over radio waves. This coding you just
5 referred to, is that different than that?
6 A. The system was technically the same. However, the
7 security administration -- or, rather, the sector for security and
8 intelligence, which also means the security and intelligence
9 administration, had a special code that they used with the corps
10 commands, or, rather, the security departments in the corps commands, and
11 that communication went along a parallel line with the line of command.
12 Q. Can you tell me, was that done by a machine like the one attached
13 to the -- to the teleprinter, or was it oral codes communicated via oral
14 radio lines or telephone lines?
15 A. No, no. Teleprinters were used. Machines were used. The code
16 itself was different. For example, if a message was coded and sent to a
17 unit, the same teleprinters were used but the code was changed, depending
18 on the sender and the recipient. For example, if they were sent by the
19 security organs, the code was different than the one used by the command.
20 But the equipment was the same. The teleprinters that were used were the
21 same ones.
22 Q. And we have seen in our collection of Muslim documents that
23 occasionally the electronic decoder attached to a teleprinter didn't work
24 and -- didn't work properly, and documents were sent out in the open by
25 mistake and were actually captured by the opposing side. Were you aware
1 of that possibility?
2 A. Well, I don't know of any specific instances. However, it is
3 possible that mistakes happened, like with any other piece of technical
4 equipment. I don't know much about that. In any case, every security
5 department in the corps had or at least should have had a person in the
6 intelligence part who dealt with the electronic equipment and the
7 equipment conveyance of messages which also implied the electronic
8 protection of the unit's communication. Those people were experts in
9 communication and if we are talking about mistakes I don't know what they
10 may have been. I am aware of the instances when a document could not be
11 opened which rendered it worthless. I'm not sure that a message was sent
12 in the open. At least, I've not seen any such messages. I was not aware
13 of them.
14 Q. Did the VRS have the capability of sending message -- messages
15 that themselves were encoded? For example, taking a message where,
16 instead of the word, the word was given different numbers to represent
17 the same word. So the message is coded. So even if the other side
18 manages to intercept the message, all they get is gibberish from the
20 Did you have the ability to do that?
21 A. That was the way we operated. There were two codes. An entry
22 code or the one that was used when messages were sent out, and that code
23 was used for a message to be translated into the code language and sent.
24 On the other side, the end user used a different code that he used to
25 decode the coded message. So an intercepted coded message was not easy
1 to open. That was the idea. Professionals and -- who dealt with those
2 things over a period of time were in a position to perhaps come up with a
3 key, if they had several hours at their disposal to decipher the 30
4 letters of the alphabet. However, it was a tall order and a strenuous
5 exercise and there was not always enough time to do that.
6 Q. Okay. And then -- we're talking about sending written
7 communications that you're coding, as you've said, twice like that. What
8 about oral communications? Just speaking into the telephone. Did you
9 have the ability for someone to speak into the telephone and speak in a
10 code instead of saying, The attack is at dawn, say, 1, 2, 6, 4, 5, 3.
11 Did you have the ability to speak orally in codes like that?
12 A. Well, there were code books. That's what we called documents in
13 which every term was changed, every word was replaced by a letter code or
14 a symbol or a numerical code and that code book was used for all
15 important telephone conversations and in all radio and radio-relay
16 communications. And so on and so forth. In other words, we used code
17 books. People were not allowed to use so-called open communication. And
18 that type of communications did not require the involvement of any
19 technical equipment.
20 Q. And are you aware that if a code book like this is only used
21 once, that, is it possible to break a code from a code book that is only
22 used once, the so-called one-time pad? Even today in today's technology,
23 does that remain a secure means of communicating?
24 A. Well, it was certainly more secure than the technical modulation
25 of information. It is still used today. The efficiency of such
1 protection is achieved by changing those code tables or code pads. Some
2 were changed daily; some were changed weekly; some were changed monthly.
3 But in any case, those code tables changed, and they were always changed
4 wherever -- whenever there was a suspicion that there was a leak of data
5 or when a code table was compromised. When that happened, another code
6 table was automatically introduced to replace the compromised one.
7 Q. Okay. While we're on this topic of reporting and coded reports,
8 could we go back to the document that should still be on the screen. It
9 is P01112. And if we could go to page 2 in the English. And it's under
10 paragraph 4 in the document, which I think is on page 2 of the B/C/S as
12 And it's just that first part of paragraph 4 I want to ask you
13 about, because it talks about reporting of the security organs. It says:
14 "The security and intelligence organs at all levels must submit
15 to ... superior organ in the professional sense, in a timely fashion
16 and ... prescribed form, security and intelligence reports in accordance
17 with the rules of service and the instructions on applying work methods
18 and means of the VRS OB."
19 It talks about keeping the material as a military secret and
20 strictly confidential.
21 In the year 1995, can you -- was there a secure reporting system
22 whereby reports from the security and intel organs of the brigades were
23 reported, the corps reported, and those were sent on to the Main Staff.
24 Or -- could you describe that briefly, as you just did the military
25 police set-up?
1 A. The military police is a unit which at least at the battalion
2 level had both technical and personnel equipment to comply with the
3 requirements of regularity and the form of reporting. The problem of
4 reporting in this way, as described under bullet point 4, could appear in
5 units such as brigades, which in their areas of responsibility, and on
6 their axis did not have or almost did not have any coding equipment or
7 teleprinters or any other way that they could use in order to convey
8 information. This means that security organs in those units encountered
9 problems. A lot of units, a good part of the units in the army - I don't
10 know how many - were without those pieces of equipment. No problems were
11 encountered at the corps level and at the level of those units which in
12 one way or another were either closer to the corps or those units that
13 had infrastructures that had existed before the war. All those units
14 that were set up during the war faced a lot of problem regarding the
15 communications equipment.
16 So this could be implemented conditionally, and this is how
17 things were envisaged. However, in practice, I don't think that there
18 were conditions in place for full compliance.
19 Q. Okay. Well, I'm particularly interested in the Bratunac Brigade,
20 the Zvornik Brigade, and the Milici Brigade. And this Trial Chamber has
21 seen reports, I think, from most all those brigades, the daily combat
22 reports, for example, from the command, being teletyped securely up to
23 the corps.
24 So given those brigade and if they had the -- that we've seen
25 before, the teletyping reporting ability, describe how the brigade
1 security reports start in the brigade, and go upward, if they do.
2 A. Well, in the same way, which means when somebody wants to send a
3 report, somebody in the security organ, somebody in the brigade, if they
4 want to send a report to the security department in the corps, they had
5 several methods at their disposal. One is to put a document in the mail
6 and address it to the security organ of the corps and a remark, Don't
8 The second way is to use the coding equipment, the teleprinter
9 that the brigade had but to use their own code in drafting the document
10 and sending it by means of that technical equipment.
11 Q. What I'm particularly interested in was there a routine reporting
12 requirement as you described for the military police reports. You said
13 that that was a daily requirement that all the military police had to
14 send daily reports and those went daily to the Main Staff.
15 Was there such a routine daily requirement for the security
16 organs of the brigades to send to the corps that you're aware of?
17 A. As far as I know, no. The security organs were not duty-bound to
18 send daily reports. They had to keep their superior security organ
19 abreast of developments and they sent out reports as needed when they had
20 information that needed to be sent out. In other words, there were no
21 formal reporting requirements. The security organs, as far as I know,
22 you have to bear in mind that I was not a member of any security organ in
23 the counter-intelligence part during the war, but I know that they did
24 not have an obligation of daily reporting.
25 Q. Okay. And my question was regarding the brigades. How about the
1 corps? Did the corps have an obligation to provide routine reports to
2 the Main Staff, the security branch of the corps -- that is?
3 A. The corps security department sent out daily reports to the
4 sector of the intelligence and security of the Main Staff.
5 Q. And whose desk would those fall on?
6 A. It depended on the method of sending. If they were sent out by
7 communication means, when they were received, they would be packed and
8 then they would be given exclusively to the chief of the security and
9 intelligence services department, or the person who replaced them or
10 stood in for them. In other words, such reports ended up on the desk of
11 the chief of the security and intelligence sector.
12 Q. And that would be, in 1995, who?
13 A. General Tolimir.
14 Q. All right. And I probably didn't give you a chance to really --
15 can you just describe your job briefly, as I ...
16 A. Are you asking me about my work in the police -- military police
17 department? During the six or seven months that I spent there, the first
18 month was dedicated to tour all the military police units in the VRS.
19 The commanders rallied in one place, in the zone of responsibility of the
20 corps. After that, we issued some documents, some instructions regarding
21 the staffing policy and enhancing the strength of the military police
23 My other tasks had to do in some way with the drafting or
24 checking and confirming the training programmes for the members of the
25 military police units, and that primarily concerned the recruit
2 My other tasks were daily tasks, as part of a process which
3 contained constant issuing of requirements and guiding the work of the
4 military police services. Those tasks concerned gathering reports and
5 feedback which concerned the work of certain units in the military
6 police, as well as certain services in the military police.
7 That is as far as the departments or sections went. However, so
8 far, we haven't said anything about what I also did sometimes. It was my
9 obligation which sometimes lasted for longer periods of time. From the
10 security administration, I was seconded to various temporary bodies and
11 organs or command posts that had been set up by the Main Staff. For
12 example, the forward command post in the western part of Republika Srpska
13 in Drvar, in Mrkonjic Grad, and so on and so forth. There were times
14 during the sudden changes of the situation, especially in the units in
15 the western part, I would be sent out to analyse the situation and to
16 draft reports about the situation I encountered. For example, on the
17 19th of March, during an offensive launched by the 3rd and 7th Corps of
18 the BH Army against Mount Vlasic, I arrived at the command post of the
19 1st Corps on Mount Vlasic and I stayed there for nearly a month.
20 The second example would be a situation when I went to the
21 Novi Grad Brigade area of responsibility. And so on and so forth. That
22 means that I often went to the areas where things were happening in order
23 to take stock of the situation and to monitor the developments and report
24 on them. I did that, in addition to all of my other normal everyday
25 tasks. And those things happened very often. Such tasks were given to
1 me quite often.
2 Q. All right. And we'll get, as you know, to a couple of examples
3 of -- of those assignments. And let me go to one right now, which is
4 reflected in a document, 65 ter 7316. I think that may be one that you
5 have the actual physical copy of. It's a bit lengthy.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, this is something that was
8 not on our original 65 ter list but something I showed the General in
9 proofing that he was able to be helpful with. And I don't think there
10 will be a problem with the Defence.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't see any objection by the Defence to add
12 it to the 65 ter exhibit list. Leave is granted.
13 Mr. McCloskey, we note that the witness has a binder in front of
14 him. Could you explain what kind of binder of documents is it?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. Yes, General, I think you told us you had some of the documents I
17 gave you. And what else do you have? Can you just tell us what -- what
18 you've got in front of you for the Judges.
19 A. It's just an empty notebook; transcript of interview conducted by
20 Mr. Ruez in year 2000 in Banja Luka; this is the instruction we've seen
21 on the screen, I was given this document by Mr. McCloskey yesterday.
22 We've already seen it on our screens.
23 Then a transcript of intercepts - let me just find them - from
24 the command of the Bratunac Brigade, also given to me by Mr. McCloskey.
25 These are the notes for the witnesses, so it's of no importance. And
1 this is a copy of diary of events kept by the Zvornik Brigade. I also
2 received it yesterday. An excerpt from an order issued by the Main Staff
3 dated 17th of July, 1995, where I'm assigned to carry out certain
5 Those are the documents I have before me. I received them from
6 Mr. McCloskey yesterday, and I brought them along.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This is a good
8 clarification. All documents you have in front of you, you received from
9 Mr. McCloskey, except the empty notebook; correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 Mr. McCloskey, please carry on.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. All right. Now this is a bit of a lengthy document, and I don't
15 intend to go through it all. But we can see that it's dated 18th of
16 March, 1995 to the commander of the Main Staff and to the assistant
17 commander for security and intelligence of the Main Staff, and to the
18 commands of the corps. And it is entitled: The analysis of the situation
19 in the military police units in the Army of Republika Srpska. And it's
20 a -- in fact, a lengthy document that goes into the -- analysing the
21 situation of those units. And at the end of it, if we could go to
22 page -- should be 13 in the -- in the English and 7 in the B/C/S?
23 We see it under the name of chief, Colonel Ljubisa Beara, and
24 then we have initials DK/LJS. Have you had a chance to study this
25 document a bit?
1 A. I believed we -- I believe we looked at a different document
2 yesterday. I cannot remember all the elements of this document. This is
3 an assessment of the situation, whereas, yesterday we looked at a
4 document that had to do with the replenishment and reinforcement which is
5 a shorter document and is a consequence, it's something that arises from
6 this document. So I haven't seen this document before, but DK/LJS means
7 that I did take part in the drafting of the document. It took me almost
8 a month and that it was typed by my assistant Ljiljana Stojanovic. All
9 of this was monitored and finally signed by the chief of administration,
10 Colonel Beara.
11 Q. Do you remember the document you saw yesterday that was an
12 original document that we gave you because it was hard to read? And you
13 got an original document.
14 A. I did see a document yesterday, but not this document that's on
15 the screen right now.
16 Q. Do you remember seeing the document that had a handwritten
17 section in it that was addressed to Toso?
18 A. Yes, I do remember that. And that was in the document we've seen
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Well, let's -- let's go to the first
21 page of this document in both languages.
22 And now let's go to the second page in both languages.
23 So let's keep it in the B/C/S version where we see it says:
24 "Toso" in a handwritten format.
25 Let's go to the next page in the English. Yes, and bring up that
1 Toso part.
2 Q. Now it may have gotten a little confusing, General, but the
3 document you see on your screen now is a copy of what we gave to you of
4 the original of yesterday and it's the very document that is on the
5 screen, the one where you drafted the report on the situation of the
6 military police.
7 And you'll recall Mr. Janc was in the room, and I believe he
8 asked you who Toso was?
9 A. This part in handwriting I have no doubts I have seen that part.
10 But the first page of this document is different than the one we've seen,
11 because the documents we looking at yesterday was called replenishment
12 and reinforcements of military police units; whereas this document, which
13 has the word "assessment" in its title is a broader document, a document
14 that preceded the documents you've shown me yesterday. Although both of
15 the documents as page 2, have this page that's before us now.
16 Q. All right. General, I'll have our people check and see. I
17 thought there was only one document with this handwritten section
18 emplaced in it. But can you tell us who -- do you recognise the
19 handwriting in this -- this note addressed to General Tolimir?
20 A. If my memory serves me well, this is the handwriting of
21 General Mladic.
22 Q. All right. And I don't think we need to go through all the
23 comments of General Mladic, but just to give us a rough idea, we see from
24 number 1 that he begins by saying: "It is a disgrace to have a soldier
25 commanding a unit after three years."
1 And then at the end of the paragraph he says: "Ensure that every
2 MP unit has an educated and trained officer by 1 July, 1995."
3 And if we go to the next page in the English, we see he goes on
4 making other comments, ensure this, ensure that, including in number 3,
5 he says: "Commanders do not have the right to prevent security organs
6 and military policemen from doing their duties."
7 Then he underlined the -- underline the exclamation point in the
8 B/C/S: "On the contrary, they must assist them to the maximum!!!"
9 And then he goes on, and I won't go over it and I won't go over
10 all your report about the condition of the military police. What I more
11 want to get into it is what this can tell us about the way the Main Staff
12 worked. We see you -- can you tell us -- I think you made reference to
13 this briefly, but did you go anywhere with anyone to get the information
14 that allowed you to draft this report?
15 A. The section for military police, the military police section,
16 until February 1995 existed only on paper. There were no officers in
17 that section. And then a decision was reached for me to be moved from
18 the military police section or department of the 1st Corps to this
19 section. And the reasons can be seen in the very conditions in the
20 military police units, because the situation in some such units was far
21 below the required level.
22 There were many reasons for such a situation.
23 Very few units had original set-up even before the war. Most of
24 the units that comprised the VRS were set up during the war itself.
25 Q. General, General, I -- I -- I'm sorry to interrupt you, but
1 that -- the topic you're getting on is the subject of this document,
2 which will go into evidence and it is really too much for us for today.
3 And I think you have testified, as have others that there is
4 under-strength units and difficulties within the VRS in this regard and I
5 don't think that's -- that's an issue.
6 But getting back to my particular question was, in drafting this
7 document, did you go anywhere -- or before drafting this document, did
8 you go anywhere with anyone to allow you to obtain the information to
9 draft this document? Very simple question. Of course, you can always
10 explain it, but we need to get an answer first.
11 A. Yes, I did, together with Colonel Beara. I toured all the corps.
12 And in each of the corps, we brought together all level commanders of all
13 military police units, asked them to report about the situation in their
14 units and to provide written reports in addition to the oral report, and
15 all those reports we compiled them together into this report that we see.
16 Q. Do you recall whether or not you were shown General Mladic's
17 comments to your report?
18 A. I don't recall, but most probably, bearing in mind the fact that
19 this document is dated 18th, and, on the 18th, I was still at
20 Crna Rijeka. I left on the 19th. It is possible I've seen it. I cannot
21 say with any degree of certainty, but there wouldn't have been any reason
22 for me not to see it.
23 Q. All right. And can you tell us, just sort of functionally and
24 procedurally, why is it that General Mladic would be addressing the issue
25 of the condition of the military police in the VRS to General Tolimir?
1 A. The commander of the Main Staff is the commander of all troops.
2 Why is he addressing General Tolimir? Well, because General Tolimir was
3 his assistant for security and intelligence affairs, and a part of the
4 professional activities needs to be acted through the sector for security
5 and intelligence and security administration, but that cannot be done in
6 such a way that General Tolimir issues such assignments. Only
7 General Mladic can do that. Only the commander of the Main Staff can
8 issue -- or assign tasks to military police units. In this sense, you
9 cannot have within the chain of command -- you cannot have
10 General Tolimir appearing.
11 Q. We see that General Mladic is telling General Tolimir, Ensure
12 this happens, ensure that happens. When General Mladic issues that
13 directive to General Tolimir, is General Tolimir duty-bound to see to it
14 that General Mladic's wishes are carried out?
15 A. He is duty-bound, except in the cases when the law provides him
16 with an opportunity not to carry out an order, and there were such
18 Q. Of course. If it was an illegal order, for example.
19 A. Yes. Or carrying out an order that is illegal or a crime in
20 itself. In such cases, any individual could have responded by saying,
21 No, I will not carry out that order.
22 Q. In fact, you said any individual that receives such an order
23 could refuse. Is that correct? Aren't soldiers duty-bound that they
24 must --
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... which is correct? Could
2 refuse or must refuse an illegal order?
3 A. Should. Should have refused.
4 Q. Okay. That's -- better you choose your words as opposed to mine.
5 Fair enough.
6 So in this particular directive, is General Tolimir expected to
7 issue instructions or orders pursuant to what Mladic has told him to do?
8 For example, ensure proper training for the military police.
9 A. What we see here is expectations, and I think that's what we did.
10 It was expected from General Tolimir to prepare, draft a document, that
11 General Mladic would later issue as an order, including the guide-lines
12 that we can see in this list in the document before us.
13 General Mladic is not drafting documents here. Everybody is
14 making sure and, in this case, we're talking about General Tolimir, he
15 was duty-bound to use our assistance, of course, in drafting an order, a
16 document, that would have General Mladic as the signatory and which would
17 then be sent out to units because the units, the subordinate units, know
18 that it's only General Mladic who can issue orders to them.
19 Q. We've heard quite a bit of evidence that an assistant commander
20 makes a proposal to his commander, gets an order based on that proposal
21 by the commander, and that he is -- the assistant commander is duty-bound
22 to monitor the carrying-out of that order to see to it that it gets
23 carried out properly, because of their expertise they're the ones that
24 should know best whether that order is carried out properly. Is that
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And we actually saw in the case of Colonel Salapura that he was
3 able to order people to do things pursuant to orders he'd received from
4 his superiors, as long as it was consistent with the orders he received.
5 Is that possible as well?
6 A. I wouldn't know if the sabotage detachment was under directing or
7 control of Colonel Salapura. The relationship was the same and legally,
8 he couldn't have been issuing them assignments. But, in certain
9 conditions, in certain situations where units would recognise
10 Colonel Salapura as an authority for sabotage and reconnaissance tasks.
11 They would maybe accept it. The same things may have happened within the
12 military police but, legally speaking, that is not allowed.
13 Q. An assistant commander, can they pass on an order of their
14 commander? Not issue it themselves, but if Mladic issues an order
15 saying, I want this hill taken, General Tolimir, pass that order onto
16 Colonel Pandurevic. In that case, can General Tolimir pass on the order
17 to General Pandurevic? Anything wrong with that?
18 A. The rules allow for the commander - specifically, in this case,
19 General Mladic - to tell General Tolimir, You go to the Zvornik Brigade
20 and you will convey my orders to him. And then he tells him the order
21 itself. But that is still an order issued by the commander that was only
22 conveyed by an authorised officer from the Main Staff. So it is possible
23 to do it indirectly. However, as soon as possible, a written order
24 issued by General Mladic and signed by General Mladic should follow.
25 Q. You mentioned briefly that there were instances of -- I'm not
1 sure you said "illegal orders," but it sounded like that. Did you say
2 that there were instances of illegal orders?
3 A. I'm not saying that I know of existence of such illegal orders.
4 What I'm saying is that I cannot rule out the possibility that some
5 professional officer organs, for instance, chief of artillery, issues an
6 order to move an artillery group or chief of security to send out a
7 military police unit, things like that were happening, but that does not
8 encroach upon the rights provided by the rules. I'm saying that things
9 may have happened but it's not according to the rules. If they did, it
10 wasn't according to the rules.
11 Q. All right. One last short topic before -- before the break, I
12 believe. I should know by now when the break is.
13 You talked about a relationship between Mladic, Tolimir, and
14 Beara in the last trial. Can you tell us what -- what their relationship
15 was, how it was forged in the history of the conflict? It was a very
16 brief historical backdrop of -- relating to General Tolimir and
17 General Mladic and Colonel Beara?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And we would appreciate if you could switch off
19 your microphone while receiving the answer and if Ms. Stewart is typing.
20 We always hear this noise.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I will -- we will make sure
22 that there's no typing during that, but turning it off and on every time,
23 unless I'm making -- if I'm making noise -- well, of course, I will do
24 whatever I'm told. We will try very much not to -- not to make any
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Your answer, please.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, I'm not going to use this document
4 anymore, so I would like to tender 7316.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7316 shall be
7 assigned exhibit number P2216. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now your answer, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, what I know is the following.
10 General Tolimir and Colonel Beara were officers of the
11 security administration in the Naval Military District in the former
12 state, and they'd known each other from back then. I think Beara was the
13 chief of security of this Naval Military District, and General Tolimir
14 was member of either one of the sectors or one of the units there.
15 In the meantime, as far as I know, General Tolimir moved to the
16 Knin Corps of the JNA in Croatia, where General Mladic was also serving.
17 He was first Chief of Staff -- or, no, operative officer, then Chief of
18 Staff, then the commander of the corps.
19 I also know that when Colonel Beara was in the blockade in Split,
20 the Knin Corps came to assist them, and from that time, I know that
21 Colonel Beara was always grateful and expressed his gratitude to
22 General Mladic and the 1st Knin Corps. So their relations and the
23 friendship arises from the situation in Split and the attempts to lift
24 the blockade of the Split unit.
25 I could also observe that they had fair relationships. Between
1 General Tolimir and General Mladic, the relationship was more
2 professional, military type, more strict, according to hierarchy.
3 Although they may have been friendly as well, but only at the second
4 level; whereas, Colonel Beara was a kind of officer who would very much
5 act in a less military manner, not strictly according to the rules, so to
6 speak, but I've never noticed that there were any problems because of
7 that. But they were certainly three officers who had been brought
8 together by different situations and conditions and who were doing their
9 best in the position that they were. It may have seemed that they were
10 more friendly than other officers between themselves, but that's about
11 all I can say about their personal relationships.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Just to clarify something. When the Knin Corps, General Mladic
14 at its head, broke the blockade that was -- that Colonel Beara was caught
15 in, was that during the -- the war years of 1991?
16 A. No. That was in 1991. They didn't even manage to get into Split
17 but they achieved the release of the officer. He managed to get very
18 close to Split but not enter it. But all that was in 1991, during the
19 armed conflict in Croatia. That was in no way related to Bosnia and
21 Q. Yes. And that's what I said, so I don't know what translation
22 you got, but I think that's clear. And just one last point before the
23 break that you had mentioned on this same topic when you testified
24 before. You also had mentioned at some point in the career, General --
25 or Colonel Beara was superior, or Mr. Beara was superior to Mr. Tolimir.
1 And then in the VRS, Tolimir became superior to Beara. Is that right?
2 A. I heard 1992. And, yes, according to my information, Beara was
3 higher in the hierarchy than General Tolimir; whereas, in the VRS,
4 General Tolimir became the chief of service and chief of sector. He
5 joined before General -- or Colonel Beara joined the VRS. Maybe six or
6 seven months before him. Tolimir was already chief when Beara came.
7 Sometimes you could hear Beara mention it within the premises of
8 his office, office of the administration, but it didn't amount to much.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time. And, Mr. President, I
10 do have an update on the last situation that should resolve the issue,
11 and I can give that to you, of course, at any point.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is perhaps better to receive this information
13 before we break.
14 Then, in that case, we should ask the witness to leave the
15 courtroom for the break. And then we go into private session.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have our second break and will resume
18 --- Recess taken at 5.54 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 6.28 p.m.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private session, please.
21 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness should be brought in, please.
10 Mr. McCloskey, would you please indicate the length of the
11 remainder of your examination-in-chief?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we're done with the -- the part
13 about rules basically, and I wasn't really sure how long that was going
14 to take. You could see how he was taking his time, which was fine. Now
15 I have documents related to the events, and it's not as many as
16 Mr. Salapura but I think it's going to be a similar awkward situation, I
17 think, in these discussions. How long that will take, it's got to be
18 within the three hours that's fundamentally left over, and I'm hoping it
19 will be done sooner than that. It really is hard to say. I'm hoping an
20 hour, an hour and a half, two, would be nice, but there's intercepts,
21 there's documents, and it depends on how long his answers are, really,
22 but it is not as much material as the witness before that.
23 But I would hope -- I would hope two hours, maybe the full three
24 more, but I hope not. I would like to -- you know, sit down sooner than
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Though I do have one issue to clear up with him
3 from the last topic.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for your information.
5 We hope you will be able to finish as soon as possible. Please
6 continue your examination-in-chief.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. Okay. General, I want to go back to that document that you
9 thought we'd given you a different one than you were looking at on the
10 screen. But for our purposes it should be -- P2216 is the one on the
11 screen. But we've gone to the investigator, Dusan Janc, who is the one
12 that gave you the original copy of that document, and he's allowed us to
13 retrieve it. So I want to give you the same one he believes he gave to
14 you. It's the only thing we have, just so we can try to clear that up
15 if we could get some help from the usher --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, with the assistance of the usher, yes,
18 Now it was handed over to the witness. Please carry on.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
20 Q. So that's what we handed you I think yesterday. Though, as you
21 know, we handed you a few other documents, so you may have got it mixed
22 up or there may be something within that group that you're thinking of.
23 But just take your time, take a look at it, and ...
24 If you could, for just one second look at the screen, you can see
25 the Serbian screen there's that rather distinctive handwritten section in
1 the right-hand corner with the little box around it. Is that the same
2 thing you've got on the original, on that front page of the original?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So any -- can you clarify that for us? Does that look like the
5 one that we showed you yesterday, now that you've had a chance to look at
6 the original?
7 A. Yes. Yes, this is probably the same document. What confused me
8 subsequently was the fact that at one point you called for page 13, or
9 something like that, and now, as I look at it, I do believe that it's the
10 same document. However, it doesn't have as many pages as I was led to
11 believe, 13 or more. So I thought that there were some attachments to
12 the document, but it's quite all right. Yes, I probably got confused.
13 Q. Yes, there's 13 pages in the English translation, and it
14 stretches out the document a lot. That's probably the trick.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The document should be given back to the
16 Prosecution, I think.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. All right. Let's get onto basically June and July of 1995 and
19 some of the events. Can you tell us, General, what your assignment was
20 prior to the attack and fall of the Srebrenica enclave? Basically June,
21 July. Do you remember what you were doing before being sent over to the
22 Bratunac area?
23 A. Just before I arrived at the Main Staff and was sent to Bratunac,
24 I was in the Novi Grad Brigade of the 1st Krajina Corps with a team from
25 the Main Staff which was tasked with performing an analysis of the causes
1 and reasons for the brigade to lose its positions in the Bihac theatre.
2 So that was my task, some ten days before this period.
3 Q. All right. And from the -- from that theatre, were you directed
4 to go somewhere else?
5 A. No. From that theatre, I returned on the 16th, together with the
6 team, I returned to the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka, and I went there,
7 bringing with me the information that we had gathered while we were in
8 the field.
9 Q. And what month was that? The 16th of what?
10 A. July.
11 Q. Now, you've already talked about corrections made to your
12 previous testimony about this, whether you went to the Bratunac area on
13 the 17th or 18th. Knowing what you know now, having reviewed the
14 documents, your own material, can -- are you sure that you got back to
15 Crna Rijeka on the 16th, or could it have been on the 15th of July?
16 A. I think, as far as I know, it was the 16th. It could not have
17 been the 15th. Out of the question.
18 Q. And about what time did you arrive in Crna Rijeka?
19 A. We arrived in Crna Rijeka sometime during the afternoon. I can't
20 tell you exactly what time it was, but it was in the afternoon.
21 Q. And you say "we." Who did you come back with? Who did you
22 arrive to Crna Rijeka with.
23 A. Well, from the organ, or, rather, the sector for morale and legal
24 affairs, there was Lieutenant-Colonel Dubovina. And there was another
25 officer from the operations administration, the operations organ, whose
1 name I cannot recall, and I could not actually trace back or find any --
2 anything that would suggest what his name was. And there was the driver,
3 of course.
4 Q. And where did you report to when you came to Crna Rijeka that
5 afternoon of 16 July?
6 A. We went to the command post in Crna Rijeka, the two huts that I
7 mentioned earlier, and when we got there, I can't recall who the first
8 people we got in touch with were, but I know that we were directed to go
9 to an underground command post because the work of the command was
10 actually transferred. It was moved from those huts to the underground
11 command post because of the possibility of some of the forces going,
12 moving from Srebrenica to stumble upon these huts and the command post
13 there, and from there, we went, or at least I did, I can't recall if
14 everyone else went with me, I went to the underground command post and to
15 the operations room.
16 Q. Why?
17 A. Well, because, as far as I can recall, there were no officers
18 there who could be the recipients of the report that we were preparing
19 and who would be able to debrief us on what we -- what it was that we had
20 been engaged in.
21 Q. So what happened when you got to the operations room?
22 A. Well, we did our part of the job there. I can't recall every
23 detail, but we handed over whatever material we had gathered on our
24 previous mission. And sometime in the evening, about 6.00 or 7.00, or,
25 rather, 1800 or 1900 hours, the commander of the Main Staff entered the
1 operations room, and he told me right away that I was more than welcome
2 and that he had a mission for me.
3 Q. And so this was General Mladic, I take it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And did you receive any information where he had come from?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And what did General Mladic tell you?
8 A. Well, I'll try to recap, in view of the fact that I have already
9 testified about this on a number of occasions, so I will try to relay
10 as -- to the best of my abilities the words that he said to me.
11 He said, You will go to the Bratunac Brigade area of
12 responsibility, you will take over command of the units that are now
13 blocking and searching the terrain, and you will speed up that whole
14 thing. Everything has been organised. The Bratunac Brigade -- or,
15 rather, Colonel Blagojevic has organised it. It is under way, but it is
16 going on -- it's too slow, and we have to speed it up and complete the
17 whole thing in a day or two. A written order will be prepared by
18 General Miletic and forwarded to all units.
19 General Miletic was present. He heard everything that was being
21 Q. Anyone else present besides you, General Mladic, and
22 General Miletic?
23 A. I'm not sure whether he was there from the outset, but
24 General Tolimir appeared there at some point. Also present there were
25 the then-Colonel Sladojevic, who had joined the VRS a few days ago, and
1 the then-Colonel-later-General Ljubo Obradovic. I don't remember if
2 anyone else was present. It's a huge area with several entrances, but
3 these are the people I remember being present.
4 Q. Did you hear at that point that Colonel Sladojevic had a -- also
5 had a job from Mladic on that date?
6 A. I did hear Sladojevic and also Trkulja, both of them colonels,
7 and another one, Stankovic. I heard Mladic say that Sladojevic, Trkulja
8 and Stankovic will go to the Zvornik Brigade, assess the situation, and
9 see if they need any assistance.
10 Q. And when did he give them that assignment, in relation to your
11 assignment, to go to the Bratunac area?
12 A. I believe it all happened within a few minutes. He addressed me
13 directly. Now I'm not sure whether he directly addressed Sladojevic or
14 did he actually ask Miletic to put the three of them within the same
15 written order. But it all transpired within a very short period of time.
16 Q. And when is it you recall seeing General Tolimir arrive in
17 this -- in the -- in the bunker?
18 A. I remember that General Tolimir was in there, in the ops room.
19 Now was he there already upon my arrival or did he join us later, I can't
20 remember that. But he was present there at some period of time.
21 Q. Can you tell if he was there before, during, or after Mladic gave
22 you the order to go to the Bratunac area?
23 A. I know it was after; that I know for sure. I don't know whether
24 he was present during or before, but I'm sure that he was there after,
25 because I turned to him and asked him to assist me in clearing up the new
1 situation, and I also wanted to him to assist me in avoiding this
2 impossible task.
3 Q. So, first of all, what do you mean "clearing up the new
5 I'll ask you about the impossible task next.
6 A. Well, the situation was impossible because an officer appears and
7 then immediately he is issued a task that is so serious, so demanding,
8 that it would require a serious command, a Joint Command even, in any
9 army and not for a single lieutenant-colonel. That made the situation
10 impossible, and in any explanation that I tried to give to the commander
11 of the Main Staff was simply ignored by the commander. He just told me
12 what he wanted to tell me, he told General Miletic what he wanted to tell
13 him and left the room.
14 Q. So when did you contact General Tolimir in regards to General --
15 the order General Mladic had given to you? Was it before or after Mladic
16 left the room?
17 A. To the best of my recollection, this was all within very short
18 period of time. The whole conversation between myself and the commander
19 of the Main Staff and -- that General Tolimir was actually present when
20 we had our conversation, but I'm not sure about that anymore.
21 Q. Well, when you spoke to General Tolimir, was General Mladic
23 A. I think I've already recounted that one part of the conversation
24 did take place in such a way, but the other part, where we finally
25 reached certain views or decisions, I think then General Mladic was
1 already absent, so I don't think he was present when General Tolimir told
2 me that he will have a word with General Mladic and see if he can change
3 the situation. By that time, Mladic had already left the room.
4 Q. So did you seek Tolimir's assistance in avoiding or changing the
5 order that General Mladic had given you?
6 A. I sought General Tolimir's assistance, since he was my second
7 commanding officer in the hierarchy. My first commanding officer was not
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 A. So I was --
11 Q. Sorry, could you just remind us who that -- who your first
12 commanding officer was who wasn't present?
13 A. My first commanding officer was Colonel Beara.
14 Q. I'm sorry, go ahead and finish your answer then.
15 A. I was not an officer, a commander, who would pick and choose his
16 tasks, but I was also not one of the officers who would carry out any
17 order received. I asked General Tolimir, and I believe I received his
18 support, I asked General Tolimir to help me get an assignment that can be
19 achieved instead of something that was impossible to achieve, no matter
20 how one tried.
21 Q. Can you do your best to tell us what you would -- what you
22 mentioned, what you said to General Tolimir? Because this order, on its
23 face, doesn't sound impossible. So what was it that you told
24 General Tolimir about this order and what ...
25 A. I told both General Tolimir and, prior to that said the same or
1 similar thing to General Mladic, that it's not acceptable and that it's
2 not right to have me take over command of a group of brigades, although
3 I'm not a commander in any of these brigades. I'm an individual there
4 then. I don't have a command. I don't have a staff. I don't have a
5 command post. I have nothing. I don't know the zone or area of
6 responsibility. I would have to get familiarized with it. The group of
7 brigade [as interpreted] already had two colonels serving in them. There
8 was no justification for takeover of command of one such group of units.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... who were the those two
10 colonels that were already in the group, in your view?
11 A. Colonel Blagojevic, who was the commander of the
12 Bratunac Brigade; and the commander of the communications regiment,
13 Colonel Gredo. Think his first name was Dusan. He was the commanding
14 officer of the communications regiment, a units that was under blockade.
15 And the Chief of Staff of the special brigades of the Ministry of
16 Interior who was of a rank equivalent to a colonel, his units were there
17 to carry out active operations or to call it more directly, search of
18 terrain. They were --
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Excuse me. Excuse me.
20 A. -- commanders of brigade, all of them colonels present there.
21 Q. I heard you give the name, I believe, of the special brigade of
22 the Minister of Interior, the MUP. Can you tell us the name of that
24 A. Ljubisa Borovcanin.
25 Q. And as best as can you recall, can you tell us what other units
1 General Mladic told you to go and take over. You got the Borovcanin
2 special MUP. You've got -- you've mentioned the communications regiment.
3 Can you tell us the number of that so we get the specific name of that
4 for the record.
5 A. I think we had the Bratunac Brigade there; the Milici Brigade,
6 the Light Infantry Brigade from Milici; the MUP forces, I will not
7 specify which unit, I cannot; then some of the forces that were part of
8 the communications regiment; and some of the military policemen from the
9 battalion of the military police of the 65th Protection Regiment.
10 I think those were the units present there.
11 Q. Do you remember the number of the communications battalion?
12 A. Communications regiment, hmm, it had designation 70th and
13 somewhere else it was the 65th. I'm not sure what its number was,
14 because there were seven such regiments in the former Yugoslavia, so it
15 may have received a new designation as 70th, or maybe 65th. But that was
16 the only communications regiment under the Main Staff of the VRS. So the
17 best way of describing it is the communications regiment of the
18 Main Staff of the VRS.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you, General.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's time to quit for the night.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. Thank you very much.
22 We have to adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow in
23 the afternoon, 2.15, in Courtroom III.
24 We adjourn.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 11th day of May,
3 2011, at 2.15 p.m.