1 Wednesday, 20 July 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom and
6 to those who are listening and watching these proceedings.
7 Before we start with the examination of the witness, the Chamber
8 will deal with the admission of two documents, one tendered through
9 Witness Rupert Smith and one through Witness Manojlo Milovanovic. The
10 Chamber will admit into evidence Chapter 9 of Rupert Smith's book titled:
11 "The Utility of Force: The Art of War in a Modern World." A discussion
12 of the admission of this book can be found in the transcript of the
13 28th of March, 2011, at transcript pages 11873 to 11875. The entire book
14 is currently 65 ter number 07246. Chapter 9, entitled: "Bosnia, Using
15 Force Amongst the People," should be uploaded into e-court as a separate
16 document, given a separate exhibit number, and is hereby admitted into
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Chapter 9 of the Rupert Smith
19 evidence under 65 ter number 7246 shall be assigned Exhibit P2561. Thank
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The Chamber will also admit into
22 evidence Exhibit D00256, currently marked for identification. As the
23 parties may recall, this exhibit was MFI'd pending a review by the
24 Chamber of the English translation of the document. The Chamber has
25 reviewed the document. The concerns it had with this document, as
1 discussed in the transcript of the 19th of May, 2011, at transcript pages
2 14363 to 14366 no longer exist. D00256 will, therefore, be admitted into
4 Another matter I would like to deal with is the translation issue
5 Mr. Gajic has raised yesterday. First, I would like to draw the
6 attention of the Defence to a number -- to paragraph 27 of our order
7 concerning guide-lines on the presentation of evidence and conduct of
8 parties during trial of the 4th of February this year. I read this
9 sentence into the transcript. I quote:
10 "The parties are encouraged to contact the Chamber's Legal
11 Officer and/or the Registry's Court Officer to resolve problems which can
12 appropriately be resolved informally."
13 That would have been the best way to deal with this problem, and
14 I'm sure the Court Officer would have given the necessary guidance.
15 However, as you, Mr. Gajic, yesterday referred to -- it was the
16 Registry's translation policy, it is clear that it is the best way to
17 deal with your problem of translation to refer the matter to the deputy
18 chief of CMSS in the first instance or the chief of CMSS, if required.
19 And only after a decision by the deputy chief of CMSS, and if that
20 decision is not satisfactory and for your needs, you may address the
21 Chamber with this problem. I am quite sure that this will be the best
22 way to resolve it properly.
23 Mr. McCloskey, yesterday you indicated you will tender ten
24 documents into evidence with the witness. The witness should be brought
25 in and we will resolve that problem, and then we will proceed.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, Mr. Butler, welcome back to the
4 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, sir.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Again, I have to remind you that the affirmation
6 to tell the truth still applies.
7 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, I understand.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, what about the documents you are
10 going to tender?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I can confirm to the Court
12 that the ten documents that we've identified and sent around are
13 documents, in fact, that were in Mr. Butler's binder and would have been
14 subject to -- or were subject to his answers yesterday. So I think that
15 if I simply read the 65 ter numbers that may be the simplest way to do
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
19 65 ter numbers 3245, 3248, 5231, 3253, 5230, 1952, 1954, 1955,
20 1760, and 1830. And we have the tab numbers as well, but those were sent
21 around to everyone so I think that should be fine.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
23 Mr. Tolimir, do you have any objections to accept these documents
24 as evidence?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have no objections.
1 I don't know what this is about. It would be best if this was presented
2 during the session and then I could state my opinion. Normally I don't
3 object to the admission of any of the documents that may be of use.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to remind everybody, we agreed on this
6 procedure yesterday at the end of the session. The numbers of these
7 documents were provided by the Prosecution, also to the Defence. The
8 Defence had the opportunity to look into all these documents.
9 Mr. McCloskey tried to save some time yesterday and presented these in
10 that way. However, I take it that you don't object to the admission of
11 these documents; is that correct?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour. In
13 principle, I don't object to the admission of any document because in
14 general terms I don't have any objections to the methodology of our work.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. These ten documents will be
16 received into evidence.
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 3245 shall be
19 assigned Exhibit P2562. 65 ter document 3248 shall be assigned
20 Exhibit P2563. 65 ter document 5231 shall be assigned Exhibit P2564.
21 65 ter document 3253 shall be assigned Exhibit P2565. 65 ter document
22 5230 shall be assigned Exhibit P2566. 65 ter document 1952 shall be
23 assigned Exhibit P2567. 65 ter document 1954 shall be assigned Exhibit
24 P2568. 65 ter document 1955 shall be assigned Exhibit P2569. 65 ter
25 document 1760 shall be assigned Exhibit P2570. And 65 ter number 1830
1 shall be assigned Exhibit P2571. Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 This concludes the examination-in-chief of Mr. Butler.
4 Now, Mr. Tolimir, you may commence your cross-examination.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. May there
6 be peace in this house and may these proceedings -- and with God's will.
7 I wish good afternoon to all those present. I wish good afternoon to the
8 witness as well as the Trial Chamber, and now I would like to put some
9 questions to you.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Butler, in the course of the
12 examination-in-chief on page 16301 of our transcript of 7 July 2011, you
13 said that the strategic objectives were put out at the Assembly session
14 on the 12th of May, 1991 [as interpreted], but that they weren't
15 published until 1993. My question is this: Did you actually examine why
16 this was so and why these goals were made public only a year after they
17 were actually adopted at this or some other session of the Assembly?
18 Thank you.
19 A. Yes, sir. Good afternoon. I believe you're referring to the 12
20 May 1992 versus 1991, but to answer your question: No, sir, I did not.
21 Q. Thank you. You're correct. That was 12 May 1992. Now, if you
22 did not have occasion to examine this or explore this issue, can you tell
23 us whether you have any knowledge to the effect that this document was
24 ever adopted? Thank you.
25 A. I take it by publication in the Official Gazette of the
1 Republika Srpska, that that constitutes ratification of that particular
2 document by the government. So if it was published in that particular
3 forum, given what the meaning of the Official Gazette is, I take that as
4 being an official ratification or an affirmation of those objectives.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you have occasion to see the minutes of that
6 Assembly session and did you actually examine and read the conclusions of
7 that document, because this is an important document?
8 A. Yes, sir, I am sure that I have at one juncture -- I did read
9 through a copy of the minutes that is available to the Office of the
10 Prosecutor relating to that.
11 Q. Thank you. If you did read them, did you find anywhere whether
12 these strategic goals were adopted by a decision of this Assembly?
13 A. Again, sir, it's been a while since I've read that particular
14 document. I don't know and I can't tell you if it was adopted on that
15 day by resolution or vote. Again, I just take it that it was published
16 by 1993. So I cannot explain the time between when those particular
17 goals were laid out and when they were officially published in the
18 Official Gazette.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. The minutes were adopted as a document, Prosecution document
23 number P4277 [as interpreted], through your testimony. Now, is it
24 necessary to read it again now, or can you recall whether this decision
25 was actually taken at that Assembly session? Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please repeat the document number. It
2 can't be the correct one. We haven't reached 4.000 documents yet.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Correct number is P2477. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank the Registrar and you,
6 Your Honour.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Now, my question is: Do we have to read and look at that
9 document again, the minutes, or can you recall its substance because you
10 read it recently, as it was adopted through you? Now, at this Assembly
11 session on the 12th of May, was the decision taken to adopt this document
12 on the strategic goals? Thank you.
13 A. Again, sir, I would have to look at the document. It is a rather
14 lengthy one; and again, I couldn't tell you off the top of my head
15 whether it was officially adopted or not and by what mechanism. So if
16 you could point me to the particular phrase or what you're getting at in
17 the document, it would be helpful.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. That's under tab 5 in your binder. And it is
21 precisely because there is no decision taken by this Assembly session
22 that I'm asking you whether you have any knowledge whether it was adopted
23 on some other occasion. If you like, you can take a look at this
24 document and read it. We have it before us now.
25 Now we can see what the agenda was and you can read for yourself.
1 A. Well, sir, again, I take your point and what I can tell you is,
2 again, what I've said before, which is that in 1993 the objectives were
3 published verbatim in the Official Gazette of the Republika Srpska.
4 That -- the Official Gazette of the Republika Srpska is an official
5 publication of the government. Publishing those particular strategic
6 objectives in that document, in my mind, is an official affirmation of
7 them by the government. If you're raising the contention that the
8 strategic objectives as outlined on 12 May 1992 were laid out in 1992 and
9 then not affirmed until they were published in the Republika Srpska, I
10 have no information that would either confirm or deny that. I just don't
11 know the answer.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Butler, do you know what conditions have to
15 be met for an Assembly decision to be published in an Official Gazette?
16 Thank you.
17 A. No, sir, I do not.
18 Q. Thank you. And is it your claim that they were adopted by the
19 Assembly or is it just something that you're assuming? Thank you.
20 A. I have not interviewed members of the Assembly, so I cannot tell
21 you what they may or may not have said about the situation. All I can
22 say is that when one looks at what was specified or articulated on 12 May
23 1992, one looks at various strategic directives that followed that. And
24 then when one looks at the publication of the -- of these strategic goals
25 in 1993, it does lead to the conclusion that they were adopted.
1 Q. Thank you. So that is a conclusion of yours and it's not a claim
2 based on irrefutable facts? Just answer with a yes or no. Thank you.
3 A. Not refutable facts by me, sir, if that answers the question. It
4 was just not an area of expert -- not an area that I studied, so I don't
5 know what the answer is.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Could you tell us one more thing. Do the
7 minutes conclude what decisions were adopted at that session held on such
8 and such a date? Is that something that should be in the agenda, and
9 should there also be a recommendation for something to be published in an
10 Official Gazette, or is it that there are only decisions that are adopted
11 and confirmed or affirmed at a parliament session that are published?
12 A. Again, sir, I'm not an expert at the workings of the
13 Republika Srpska parliament. What I would say is that given the context
14 of what was happening in May of 1992 with respect to the separation of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina into different states, it would make a certain
16 amount of sense that particularly with respect to the strategic
17 objectives of a newly forming country, that people might not see that as
18 something that should be publicly articulated that early in the fight.
19 So, I mean, there could be valid reasons why decisions that were made at
20 that and other Assembly meetings were determined to be either too
21 sensitive to be made public at that particular time.
22 Q. Thank you. Are these your assessments as well, or do you have a
23 document to corroborate that or some other source of knowledge? Thank
25 A. Sir, this is a conclusion that I draw. Had the -- had the
1 strategic objectives been clearly known to the military and political
2 forces that were in opposition to the creation of the Republika Srpska,
3 it would have allowed them to focus their efforts more precisely on
4 preventing the creation of the state. So I believe that it is a fair
5 conclusion to draw.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell us whether any secret decisions
7 were adopted or taken during that session and was a portion of that
8 session closed to the public, or is this something that you're just
10 A. Again, sir, I have no information one way or another on whether
11 or not any of this portion was public, whether it was closed, or what
12 media coverage it did or did not get. I just don't know the answer to
14 Q. Thank you. Please, in that case, tell me, when you were
15 preparing for this testimony, did you have occasion to read the evidence
16 provided by General Milovanovic in this case? Thank you.
17 A. Yes, sir, I did read the testimony of General Milovanovic.
18 Q. Thank you. Let us look at the transcript on the 18th of May.
19 When he was asked whether the decision on strategic goals was passed at
20 the Assembly on the 12th of May, 1992, General Milovanovic stated, inter
21 alia, on page 14276, lines 5 through 23, and I quote -- I'm waiting for
22 you to see the text:
23 "The political leadership of the Republika Srpska met for the
24 first time with the representatives of the Main Staff, i.e., with Mladic,
25 myself, and Tolimir. I believe that that was on the 16th of May, four
1 days after the Assembly session was held.
2 "The first item they discussed were the objectives of the war.
3 We did that in order to be able to define the strategy of the
4 Main Staff's warfare. On that occasion, we had not received those war
5 objectives, so we had to construct them ourselves based on the tasks we
6 were given between the 11th and the 12th of May, in order to be able to
7 start the war and carry out mobilisation. That was the first time ever
8 that I heard that the strategic goals of the war in Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina even existed. That was during the case against Milosevic
10 when I heard that for the first time and they were pointed out by
11 Witness Sefer Halilovic. At the beginning of the war, he was the
12 commander of the Muslim forces. I also read the text for the first time
13 on the internet at the time which was sometime in 2004 or 2005. In the
14 newspaper where I was able to read the text, I also saw that the decision
15 was published in the Official Gazette in March 1993, meaning almost a
16 full year later, following the Assembly decision."
17 My question is this: Did you read this part of
18 General Milovanovic 's statement, or rather, did you notice this portion
19 when you were studying the transcript from General Milovanovic's
21 A. I can't say that this stood out when I read his testimony. I
22 would, however, find it odd that the general who in effect was the second
23 in command of the Army of the Republika Srpska would not have a basic
24 understanding of what the strategic goals as outlined during that meeting
25 might be and how they would matter to the creation of the Army of the
1 Republika Srpska. I cannot explain, obviously, his testimony. It would
2 seem odd that directives of such a strategic nature which deal with the
3 ultimate conduct of the war effort in support of the state as it was
4 evolving would escape his notice, at least until 1993 -- or, if his
5 testimony is correct, until 2004 or 2005.
6 Q. Thank you. Let us look at P22. This is the decision which was
7 published in the Official Gazette. When General Milovanovic was shown
8 this decision on the screen, he wanted to see the date of its
9 publication. I would like to draw your attention to the right upper
10 corner where it says "Friday, 26 November 1993." And again, let's go
11 back to page 14277, and I'm talking about his own testimony provided on
12 the 18th of May, 2001 [as interpreted], and let us look at lines 3
13 through 12 to see what he had to say once he saw the strategic goals.
14 Let's see what he says:
15 "Then it is even worse than I thought. The date here is the 26th
16 of November, 1993, which means that that was a year and a half later
17 after the decision or the date when the decision was made.
18 "None of the participants at the Assembly could confirm to me
19 that that decision was passed at that particular session. And even if
20 that had been the case, they couldn't say why this was not shown to the
21 Main Staff. We kept zigzagging, trying to pin-point our war time
22 objectives. It would have been much easier for us if we had had these
23 six goals because then we would have been able to organise the troops and
24 to direct the military in order to pursue those strategic objectives."
25 My question is this: During your research, sir, were you able to
1 find any minutes, showing that those, the so-called strategic goals, were
2 adopted which would contest General Milovanovic's testimony as a
3 Prosecution witness?
4 A. What I believe would qualify as -- that would be the language and
5 the goals as articulated in the various military strategic objectives
6 that were published by the Army of the Republika Srpska during the
7 relevant period of the armed conflict. Either the people who were
8 publishing those -- drafting and publishing those strategic objectives
9 had some knowledge of what the strategic war aims were and how they
10 dovetailed with these particular strategic goals, or it just happens to
11 be an amazing coincidence that without any guidance whatsoever from the
12 political organs of the state, the army's highest leadership correctly
13 guessed what these goals were and managed to implement them anyway. So
14 my evidence to that respect is the language of the strategic directives
15 and an analysis of how that language, in fact, coincided with these
16 specific strategic objectives.
17 Q. Thank you. We have just heard your opinion. However, let us now
18 hear what the president of the Assembly at the time,
19 Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik, said before this Tribunal. Let's look at 1D775
20 and let's look at the testimony of Momcilo Krajisnik, the president of
21 the Assembly, that was in the Popovic et al case on the 2nd of June. On
22 page 1 in e-court which is 21593, lines 13 through 20, you can see that
23 now, Mr. Krajisnik was asked:
24 "Mr. Krajisnik, I read the entire minutes of the Assembly session
25 of the 12th of May, 1992. However, I did not see any mention of any
1 decision being adopted regarding the strategic goals. I didn't see that
2 a vote was taken to accept anything of that sort. Can you tell me
3 whether a decision was made at the session, a formally -- a formal
4 legally binding decision?"
5 Mr. Krajisnik's answer was this, and I quote:
6 "There was no decision made and there was no vote on the
7 strategic objectives."
8 My question to you is this, sir: Do you have any kind of
9 information that a decision was passed on strategic goals at the Assembly
10 session which was held on the 12th of May, 1992? Thank you.
11 A. Again, sir, as I answered, I have no way of knowing whether or
12 not votes were taken and what the results of those and adoptions that
13 were taken on 12 May 1992. I can only, again, state that when one looks
14 at the strategic directives, I believe that they accurately reflect what
15 those strategic objectives are. So whether they were formally adopted or
16 not, the intention behind them made its way into the military planning
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Can we now look at page 2 in e-court,
19 which is 21594 in the Popovic case transcript. We are interested in
20 lines 5 through 13. Thank you. I quote the question:
21 "Can you explain what were the reasons that no decision was made
22 concerning the strategic goals?"
23 Mr. Krajisnik's answer was this, and I quote:
24 "The strategic goals were there as a type of information, the
25 goal of which was to acquaint the MPs with what the delegation's position
1 was at the negotiations. It could have happened that there was a vote on
2 the objectives because that was the first session, and we were under a
3 lot of pressure, the agenda was extensive. However, that did not happen
4 because it was not our goal to oblige anyone by adopting any decisions.
5 Our goal was to continue with the negotiations."
6 My question, sir, is this: After having read out the statement
7 by the president of the Assembly who said that that was just a discussion
8 on negotiating tactics and platform, is it possible that you understood
9 that platform as strategic goals? According to Krajisnik, this was just
10 a way to lay out the positions of the delegation at the negotiations.
11 Thank you.
12 A. I would in this text echo my previous answer. For whatever
13 reason, if I were to accept that these were not passed and ratified, as
14 you assert, I would again have to lay out the fact that the strategic
15 objectives as listed here or the intention behind them somehow made its
16 way into the military planning process for the creation of the strategic
17 directives that occurred during the war. Whether or not, again, they
18 were formalised on 12 May or on sometime afterwards, the presence of
19 General Mladic, General Milovanovic, and yourself at this particular
20 meeting affords you three individuals, as the senior leadership of the
21 army at the time, at least the opportunity to have heard them articulated
22 and take them into account as part of the larger strategic planning
23 process that was undertaken throughout the war. The other alternative
24 is, again, an amazing coincidence and quite fortunate for the
25 Republika Srpska, that the military leadership of the VRS was able to
1 guess or divine the strategic objectives and were able to craft a
2 military strategy in order to establish them.
3 I can't see how that type of disconnect can occur over the course
4 of an armed conflict between the political leadership of the state and
5 the military arm that serves the political leadership of the state.
6 Q. Thank you. My question is this: Does it transpire from what we
7 have just read out that no secret decisions were passed at the Assembly
8 session, but that, rather, there was a discussion on the negotiation
9 position; and then did you, yourself, transform those negotiating
10 position into strategic goals?
11 A. Again, sir, I can't comment on secret decisions or no secret
12 decisions at that or any other particular Assembly meeting. What I can
13 say is how I've answered this question before. The strategic objectives
14 were published at some juncture, and it is my opinion that the strategic
15 directives that were drafted and undertaken by the VRS reflect those
16 objectives and lay out the military strategy for achieving them.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. There is nothing in dispute, not even the
18 goals that you refer to as strategic goals. Let us look at P2475.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering 1D775?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. P2475, this
21 is Mr. Butler's report on command ...
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 1D775 will be received as an exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D775 shall be
1 assigned Exhibit D299. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
4 apologise once again for not having understood you properly the first
5 time around.
6 Can we now see P2475. This is Mr. Butler's report on command
7 responsibility in the VRS. We are interested in page 6 in Serbian and
8 page 9 in English, paragraph 116.
9 We do not see paragraph 116 in Serbian. I would like to be able
10 to read from it. We can see it only in English. Please, can you display
11 116 in Serbian.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That should be e-court page 5. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1.16. Thank you. Paragraph 116.
14 It has to be two pages further.
15 THE REGISTRAR: This is e-court page 9 in B/C/S. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise. I have
18 noted number 6 and that's what I asked for.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. This is what you say in this paragraph:
21 "... the SDS leadership was already envisioning far more
22 strategic goals as early as mid-May 1992. Concurrent with the creation
23 of an Army and the appointment of General Mladic to command ... the
24 Bosnian Serb Assembly laid out goals reflecting a more 'national'
25 character to this conflict. As articulated by Dr. Radovan Karadzic, then
1 the President of the National Security Council, these goals were as
2 follows ..."
3 And then you go on to list the goals. Please, you say in your
4 report that the Assembly set out the goals. Can you explain for the
5 benefit of the Trial Chamber, how does an Assembly adopt a decision which
6 will then be implemented by the executive and legal branches of the
7 government? Thank you.
8 A. I can't explain that, sir. The inner workings of the
9 Republika Srpska Assembly and the legal processes behind them were not an
10 area and are not an area of my expertise.
11 Q. Thank you. I would not even ask you that had you not said
12 yourself that the Assembly laid out the goals. That's why I'm asking
13 you: How does a discussion or a decision adopted by an Assembly go on to
14 become a law that will later be implemented by the army or by the
15 judiciary bodies of the state? Thank you.
16 A. I cannot explain with any authority how that process might have
17 occurred. Again, what I can repeat is my earlier answer, which is that I
18 believe it did occur and that the reflection of that is found within the
19 language of the various strategic objectives that were published by the
20 army to guide the strategic military conduct of the war.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to call up 65 ter
23 04841. We would like to see what the military have and what guidance did
24 it use in its work.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. We see directive for further activities, operate number 6. So
2 this is a directive for further operations. My question is this: You
3 studied all kinds of military documents, is a directive the kind of
4 document that has to be complied with by the military and is it based on
5 the decision of the Supreme Command?
6 A. As I testified, the strategic directives are documents which lay
7 out in broad terms the military political goals and objectives for the
8 period of time that they are operative. Given the context of the fact
9 that they are military and political objectives, it would be that the
10 documents should be ratified or at least the intent behind the documents
11 ratified and in line with the political objectives by the
12 Supreme Command.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you see that this directive bears the date 11
14 November 1993? Thank you.
15 A. I see the date, yes, sir.
16 Q. Thank you. Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether the
17 demilitarised zones of Zepa and Srebrenica had already been established
18 pursuant to the agreement and pursuant to the decision adopted by the
19 Security Council?
20 A. Yes, sir. That would have been prior to November 1993. That
21 would have been the summer of 1993, spring/early summer.
22 Q. You're saying that the demilitarised zones were established even
23 before this directive was published; is that what you're saying?
24 A. Yes, sir. If I recall the dates correctly, by late April and May
25 of 1993 at least the votes had been taken by the United Nations Security
1 Council and the safe areas were established by resolution. I believe the
2 actual on-the-ground work of attempting to demarcate the safe areas, that
3 work was done in May and June of 1993. And I believe there is at least
4 one particular document reflecting that work that may already be in
5 evidence related to, I believe, the Srebrenica safe area.
6 Q. Thank you. We'll see the agreement on demilitarise dated
7 May 1993 a bit later. Can you tell us whether even prior to the passing
8 of this document, UNPROFOR forces had already been deployed in Zepa and
9 Srebrenica? Thank you.
10 A. I cannot speak with respect to Zepa. But if I remember
11 correctly, the first UNPROFOR forces which consisted of a Canadian
12 company were in the Srebrenica area by either late May or early June
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. And now let us look at the document.
15 Item 1 deals with the military and political situation in the Balkans,
16 and in the last line there is a reference to the division of Balkans.
17 This is the last paragraph of the first item. In the second paragraph,
18 it says that the USA forces had been deployed in Macedonia even prior to
19 the passing of this directive and that the goal of that presence was to
20 prevent the Islamic countries to link up and to create a strong strategic
21 position in the regions of the Pacific, Asia, and Africa.
22 My question is this: Even to this very day, are the USA troops
23 still present in the region and in the areas mentioned in here, and that
24 is the Pacific, Africa, and Asia? Thank you.
25 A. I believe the answer is: Yes, there is a considerable military
1 presence in the Pacific, certainly; Asia, if one were to include
2 Afghanistan and Iraq in Asia; less so in Africa.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. These are just assessments, far-reaching
4 assessments, envisaging some future developments in Africa. Is it true
5 that things like that are indeed happening in Africa? Look at Libya, for
6 example, wouldn't you agree with me?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't see the relevance of going into Libya
9 today, even tying it to this document.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document dates of 1993 and refers to the
11 situation in 1993, including Germany, Japan, Pacific, Asia, and north
12 Africa. You should bear that in mind that this is a document from 1993.
13 Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can give you the exact reference
17 from the examination-in-chief when Mr. Butler spoke about his visit to
18 Iraq and his deployment there. However, if this is of no relevance, if
19 you don't want me to dwell upon that, I will move on. I'm talking about
20 the credibility of assessments. Let us look at paragraph 3 --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you are, of course, entitled to
22 challenge the credibility of this witness. If I recall correctly, at the
23 beginning of the testimony of this witness, Mr. McCloskey were asked
24 about the CV of this witness, who is an expert witness, and he just told
25 us about his experience in other regions of the world. This has nothing
1 to do with this document, which was created in 1993.
2 Now you may continue to deal with this document, no problem.
3 Please continue.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. How am I
5 going to explain strategic goals if I'm not allowed to refer to that
6 period and the lapse of time between then and now? How am I going to
7 explain if anything from those strategic goals has ever been implemented?
8 Strategic goals are always based on assessments. Maybe Mr. Butler can
9 confirm that if I ask him: Mr. Butler, is it true that any strategic
10 goals are usually based on the assessment of the situation in a given
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Butler --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The interpretation should be: In
14 the given region or area and further afield.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Butler, are you in the position to answer
16 this question?
17 THE WITNESS: My answer would be that in the nature of strategic
18 documents, the objectives, as I understand them, are those objectives
19 defined by the state. How they are implemented in part is dependent upon
20 the actual situation on the ground as well as an assessment of potential
21 future activities by powers that would seek to counter that. So it's not
22 that the goals are based on assessments. The goals are based upon the
23 goals of the nation state. How those are implemented are in part done
24 based on assessments of risk versus gain and things of that nature.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. This is a state directive given to the
2 military, and there are assessments there as to how the situation may
3 develop. Let us look at the third paragraph:
4 "It is to be expected that the United States of America, NATO,
5 will leave the situation in the Balkans undefined and use it as a
6 stepping-stone to occupy more favourable positions in their overall
7 policy towards the east."
8 My question is this: When we're talking about the Balkans, would
9 you say that the political relations have been resolved through conflicts
10 and war, or would you say that the situation remains unresolved in that
12 A. What I would say is that I'm not qualified to provide an answer
13 to that. I take it that paragraph 3 is, I assume, the accurate view that
14 the political and highest military organs of the Republika Srpska had of
15 the situation at the time from their perspective. Whether I agree with
16 it or not is irrelevant, but I am not qualified to provide observations
17 as to what the political and diplomatic issues are related to the Balkans
18 today. It is not an issue that I study. There are far better people
19 qualified to answer that particular question.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, do you know that to this day that European Union
21 mediators and the US mediators, via the council for implementation of the
22 peace accord in Bosnia and Herzegovina, are calling for a redefining of
23 the Dayton Accords and are calling for the recognition of Kosovo which
24 was established as a state after a NATO aggression against Serbia and the
25 then-Kosovo. Are you aware of that?
1 A. I am aware from reading an occasional newspaper article that
2 there are discussions and calls by various people to re-look at the
3 Dayton Accords, but, again, it is not an issue I follow with any degree
4 of detailed interest. So again, I would say that I'm not qualified to
5 provide any substantive answer on present-day Balkans politics, certainly
6 not to this Chamber.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now, since you've had occasion to study
8 military documents in depth, I will no longer put any questions relating
9 to the international relations. However, what I would like to ask you is
10 whether the parties to the conflict in Bosnia would be at a disadvantage
11 or an advantage because all the arms have been destroyed there in the
12 event of a future conflict. Now, would that have an effect on the
13 political situation, both from the aspect or from the perspective of
14 those days as well as today?
15 A. Again, sir, I am aware that as a result of a variety of
16 confidence-building issues, there have been various disarmaments and
17 that, in fact, in many cases the army has been integrated. I do not
18 follow those issues in detail, and, as a result, I don't feel I'm
19 qualified to provide any form of a substantive answer with respect to who
20 would or would not be at any disadvantage militarily today in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. I just don't have a basis of knowledge to make informed
22 judgements on that.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. But we who live in the Balkans, we do
24 have to be concerned with those matters. Now, let us look at the first
25 paragraph, as you have been in position to study the BH military:
1 "The Bosnian leadership refused to sign the peace agreement in
3 Now my question is: This refusal of the peace plan, did that
4 have an effect on the further developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
5 did it actually help prolong that war? Thank you.
6 A. I am aware generally that the refusal to accept that peace plan
7 obviously had an impact on the VRS and the fact that they would be
8 continually involved in a conflict and had to be prepared to continue to
9 be involved in combat activities. I have no way of knowing and can offer
10 no opinion as to whether or not that may or may not have prolonged the
11 war. I mean, that's an area that's well outside of my competence to
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, this paragraph Mr. Tolimir was
14 referring to is paragraph 1 under item 2(a) of this document on the same
16 Please continue.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler, for your answer. Now can we have page 2,
20 please. In view of how you have answered my question, let us take a look
21 at page 2. In English that will be page 2 as well. We see in the first
22 paragraph where it says:
23 "During peace negotiations, they will try to secure the largest
24 possible territorial gains at the expense of the Serbs and the Croats.
25 And from the point of view of the war, they will try to defeat the Croats
1 militarily, primarily in Central Bosnia and the Neretva river valley;
2 obtain ammunition, weapons, and fuel; gain access to the sea by relying
3 on their own forces, and place the forces in Sarajevo under their own
4 command -- control ..."
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. "... prevent the Serbs around Sarajevo from carrying out active
8 combat operations; and create conditions for lifting the blockade of
10 My question is this: As you've had occasion to study documents
11 from this period, November/December 1993, did you find anything in them
12 that would indicate that a summer offensive was in the making and that
13 the Muslims, in fact, prolonged the war, as it is assessed by the
15 A. Sir, my -- as I've testified, the large bulk of my expertise
16 relates to Eastern Bosnia, not Central Bosnia. In fact, as the Office of
17 the Prosecutor was organised at the time, there were other military
18 analysts and other investigative teams dealing with that particular
19 geographic region and the events associated with it. So I have very
20 little knowledge about issues related to Central Bosnia and the Neretva
21 river valley and offensives related to that. I just don't know the
22 answer, sir.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. But the strategic objectives that you
24 mentioned, you also -- when discussing the strategic objectives, you
25 mentioned the Neretva, the sea, and so on. And that is why I'm asking
1 you whether the Muslims tried to capture all those points at the expense
2 of the other two ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thank you.
3 A. And again the answer is: I don't know.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Do you know perchance that for strategic
5 goals to work you have to be fully apprised of the overall situation on
6 the territory of the state where the war is being waged? Is it necessary
7 to be completely familiar with the situation on the ground, on the entire
8 territory? Thank you.
9 A. Yes, sir, and, in fact, if I were an officer in the Army of
10 Republika Srpska responsible for implementing those goals, I would be
11 expected to know that; however, I'm not. I am someone, an analyst,
12 military analyst, who was asked to look at the strategic directives and
13 how they applied to the situation in Eastern Bosnia. So my mandate as a
14 military analyst studying events after the fact is somewhat different
15 from the mandate of a senior VRS officer or commander who was charged
16 with implementing the war.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. We will now move on to the strategic
18 objectives that you mentioned in your statement, and I would now like to
19 see page 3, please. But before that, can you tell us whether an analyst
20 should know all these things when discussing strategic objectives and
21 when linking them up to a certain region or a part of the battle-field?
22 Thank you.
23 A. Again, sir, that would be a point-of-view argument. As an
24 analyst, I obviously strive to know as much as I can know with respect to
25 how it will impact the issue I'm dealing with. In this respect, I guess
1 I'm at a loss to see how a knowledge of military operations by the
2 Muslims against the Croats in Central Bosnia in 1993 gets you to
3 Operation Krivaja 95 in July of 1995 in Eastern Bosnia. I didn't make
4 that connection, therefore I don't believe it's relevant in this
5 particular situation.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Would you now please take a look at
7 number 3 on the page that is before us. At the very bottom, the last
8 paragraph, would you take a look at that, please.
9 "During offensive operations, regroup the main forces with the
10 following tasks:
11 "(1) To improve the operational and tactical position of the
12 units of the Army of Republika Srpska ..."
13 And my question in relation to this is this: Is this a realistic
14 goal in war for any party including the Army of Republika Srpska and its
15 Commander-in-Chief who is issuing orders to his forces? Thank you.
16 A. In isolation, it seems to be very broad and that's why I would
17 say that what follows behind me should be more concrete implementation
18 plans on how this particular broad order would be undertaken.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should switch off your microphone during
21 your --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Butler, since -- in view of your answer I will no longer put
25 these questions to you. Your answers are quite clear, but I wanted to
1 ask you about how these objectives were actually adopted. Because if you
2 look at the last sentence under 3, it says:
3 "Create objective conditions to implement the strategic
4 objectives of the war for the Army of Republika Srpska as follows ..."
5 Under (a):
6 "The liberation of Sarajevo ..."
7 Now, can you tell us whether this was a strategic objective and
8 whether it is unlawful? Thank you.
9 A. I'm not sure that the quote "liberation of Sarajevo" in this
10 particular context qualified as a strategic objective, although you can
11 easily compare it with the strategic objectives unless I'm misremembering
12 that. As an objective, an objective in and of itself generally is not
13 lawful or unlawful. What matters is how it is implemented militarily,
14 strategically, economically.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now let us see what it says under (b):
16 "Define the borders of the Republika Srpska on the Neretva river
17 and gain access to the sea in the Neum-Zaton and Cavtat-Prevlaka
19 And my question: Could this be a strategic objective for an army
20 at war? Thank you. And is there anything in it that would be
21 incriminating vis-a-vis the other warring party?
22 A. Again, broadly defined, defining the borders of the
23 Republika Srpska is not a strategic or is not a concrete goal of the
24 army. However, gaining access to the sea was one of the specified
25 strategic objectives. Again, my answer would be as before. The question
1 related to legality is an issue of how it is implemented, not what the
2 goal is per se, at least in this particular case.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, would you agree that this is the
4 appropriate time for the first break?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must take our first break now and we will
7 resume quarter past 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Can we now go to page 3 in Serbian, and I suppose it will be
13 page 2 in English. That's right.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now we see the goals under (a) and (b), and then on the following
16 page we will see goals (c), (d), and (e). We still need to see (c) and
17 (d). Thank you. I'm talking about the strategic goals. Let's see what
18 the strategic goal under (d) [as interpreted] was:
19 "Defining the borders of Republika Srpska in the Una river
20 basin ..."
21 Please, is there anything here that would point to the unilateral
22 approach of the Serbs in respect of the other warring parties that also
23 wanted to redefine their respective borders on the ground? Thank you.
24 A. I'm not sure I understand the question. Obviously all parties to
25 that particular conflict were looking to redefine the borders. I'm not
1 sure, and it might be an issue of translation, what you mean by
2 "unilateral approach of the Serbs."
3 Q. It may indeed be an issue of interpretation. I meant are they
4 any different to the other warring parties if they wanted to define
5 borders around the river Una basin, or would you say that that was a
6 legitimate goal of a party, to define the borders of an area where its
7 population lives?
8 A. Again, I would agree that all parties, all the warring parties,
9 were, in fact, involved in military operations which ultimately they
10 hoped would define their borders. Again, a goal in that sense is not
11 legitimate or illegitimate. It is how it is carried out.
12 Q. Thank you. Let us now look at goal under (d):
13 "Expanding the borders of Republika Srpska in its north-eastern
14 part and establishing firmer ties with Serbia."
15 Thank you. Can you tell us, is this a legitimate goal, wanting
16 to unite all the Serbs in north-eastern part and to liberate those
17 territories which were occupied in that area?
18 A. Again, as I've answered before, things like this aren't
19 legitimate or illegitimate per se. It goes down to the issue of how the
20 objective was carried out which defines whether or not it was lawful or
22 Q. Thank you. However, in your analysis you say that the
23 Republika Srpska defined the national character of the conflict and that
24 its ultimate goal was war. Does this part illustrate this national
25 character of the conflict? And this is described in your report on
1 page 9, where you say:
2 "They laid out goals which defined the national character of the
4 Can you see anywhere in these goals that the character of the
5 conflict was indeed national, as you put it in your analysis?
6 A. As I defined the national character of the conflict in my
7 analysis, what I mean in that definition is that when one looks at the
8 earliest stages of the conflict in April, May, and June of 1992, as it
9 was undertaken by local towns and municipal Crisis Staffs, the objectives
10 were, to a large degree, limited to town boundaries or municipal
11 boundaries. Later on, as the Army of the Republika Srpska stood up and
12 took a broader strategic view, military operations were undertaken beyond
13 the simple interest of what a municipality may or may not have wanted to
14 achieve. It became -- it had more of a national character, national
15 goals. So that is how -- that is what I mean when I say the conflict was
16 defined in more of a national character. The early years they weren't
17 thinking as a nation state -- or the early months they were not thinking
18 as a nation state as a context of how the combat was conducted on the
19 ground. By the later stages of 1992, it was clear that the military was
20 conducting operations with a larger, more national goal in mind.
21 So I hope that clarifies what you mean or what I mean when I talk
22 about the national character of the conflict.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you study the national goals of the Federation of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina and its army? Given the fact that immediately
25 prior to the publication of this directive, the Bosnian Federation
1 refused to sign the peace initiative, did you study their goals and why
2 they did that?
3 A. No, sir, I did not.
4 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber whether one
5 side defines its goals in respect of the goals of the other warring
6 party. Is that one of the parameters that are taken into consideration
7 when strategic goals are being defined?
8 A. That's a pretty abstract concept, sir. When one side creates or
9 drafts strategic goals, it is presumably those goals that are in their
10 interest, that they believe they must achieve, within the context of a
11 military conflict, at least. Whether or not they will have a direct
12 correlation to the goals of the opposition may or may not occur.
13 Q. Thank you, please. I wanted to show you one part of the
14 assessment, and I wanted to ask you whether there were any real elements
15 contained in it. When we were talking about the power in Bosnia, that is
16 in paragraph 2 under (a), where it says:
17 "Muslim military and military leadership supported by the USA and
18 Muslim countries refused to sign the peace accord in Geneva."
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat the question.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We didn't receive interpretation of your
21 question. Could you please repeat it.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The question was this: Would strategic goals of war be
24 unnecessary once a peace accord is signed? And let me remind you the
25 Muslims refused to sign the peace accord in Geneva as proposed by the
1 United States of America.
2 A. I don't know whether strategic goals would or would not be
3 necessary once a peace accord is signed. I hold open obviously the
4 option that all nation states or groups seeking to become nation states
5 are going to have broad overarching goals, some of them which could be
6 accomplished using means other than armed conflict, diplomatic, for
7 example. So I think that's a real broad question and I'm not sure that I
8 can answer that with any degree of detail.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Let us now look at document P104, page 3.
10 Thank you -- or rather, page 4 --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have used directive number 6.
12 Are you tendering this document, 65 ter 4841?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Yes, we
14 will be using it in -- in the future as well, but let it be admitted at
15 this point.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours 65 ter document 4841 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit P300 -- pardon me, D, Defence Exhibit, 300. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Can we now look at P104, page 4 -- or rather, now we are looking
21 at page 3. It can stay on the screen but can it be zoomed in, please.
22 Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Do you recognise or do you see where it says "Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina" in this map which denotes the territory of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina? Thank you.
2 A. Yes, sir, as I said.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you also see that here Bosnia and Herzegovina has
4 an exit to the sea in the Neum sector at the very bottom of the map by
5 the peninsula of Peljesac [Realtime transcript read in error "Pelisac"]?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
7 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the name has been
8 misrecorded on line 7. The spelling of this peninsula is Peljesac.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Butler, can you answer this question?
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, I do see it.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you know that Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 indeed had an exit to the sea in the Neum sector before the war?
15 A. I don't know if they did or not, sir.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you see this map that was created before the war?
17 It is a map of Yugoslavia and this is Bosnia and Herzegovina. Looking at
18 this map, can you see that Bosnia and Herzegovina indeed has an exit to
19 the sea? Thank you?
20 A. Yes, sir. If -- I take you at your word if this map was created
21 before the war, so that proposition is correct. It does have access to
22 the sea.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the Republic of Croatia during the
24 war in 1991 annexed Neum and took it over from Bosnia and Herzegovina?
25 Thank you.
1 A. No, sir, I have no information related to that. That was not
2 anything I am aware of.
3 Q. Thank you. Would a goal be legitimate if everything that had
4 been part of Bosnian territory were returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina as
5 per the decision of Badinter's Commission to that effect?
6 A. I don't know any detail of the Badinter's Commission or anything
7 of that nature. I would say that a -- a typical war aim for a nation
8 state might very well be to gain access to the sea. Historically, you
9 know, access to the sea and trade opportunities related to it are
10 considered to be of value. Again, I don't pass judgement on whether it's
11 legitimate or not legitimate, but it could be a viable war aim.
12 Q. Thank you. Is it realistic for a warring state to request for a
13 part of the territory that had been taken from it to be returned to it
14 and can that be considered a legitimate war objective?
15 A. It certainly would be -- again, a war aim or objective for a
16 nation state to go to war to regain access to the sea if it were denied
17 them. History will reflect that conflicts have been fought over that and
18 may potentially be fought over that in the future. So, I mean, it is an
19 aim that a state at conflict might seek to obtain or achieve.
20 Q. Do you know that the Austro-Hungarian Empire when it ruled Bosnia
21 did have access to the sea in the Ploce harbour and the Neum sector and
22 that situation remained the same in the Socialist Federative Republic of
23 Yugoslavia, and that the situation was also recognised when the
24 borders -- as state borders of the former Socialist Federative Republic
25 of Yugoslavia were recognised?
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
2 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] On page 36, line 25, the name should
3 read Ploce and now I can see that in the meantime the transcript has been
4 corrected. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You're too fast with your comment, Mr. Gajic.
6 Mr. Butler.
7 THE WITNESS: That particular topic is well beyond my
8 understanding of the geo-political situation as it evolved from the
9 Austro-Hungarian Empire. I obviously take General Tolimir on his word on
10 this issue with respect to the history, but I just -- I have no way to
11 know what the details of that are. It's just not a topic that I am
12 versed in.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, just one observation. The witness
14 replied during today's hearing very often "this is beyond the scope of my
15 expertise," and, in fact, I note it was not part of the
16 examination-in-chief. Normally, cross-examination is meant to be a
17 challenge of the examination-in-chief and the credibility of a witness,
18 but if the witness has no expertise in certain areas, it's a waste of
19 time to try to challenge the credibility of the expert witness. This is
20 just an observation, but you may continue as you wish. You have enough
21 time, but you should use the time to the best of your interest.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
23 witness has told the Trial Chamber that the Republika Srpska defined its
24 goals as gaining exit to the sea and so on and so forth, and then it
25 defined it as its national goals. That's why I'm asking him whether that
1 particular area was a part of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
2 even before the war, to help the Trial Chamber to gain an opinion on the
3 witness's expert analysis and on his testimony in the part when he spoke
4 about the strategic goals of Republika Srpska. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to have a reference to
6 the testimony of Mr. Butler that one of the goals of the Republika Srpska
7 was to gain exit to the sea.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We can
9 now look at Mr. Butler's report.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Aleksandar will tell you. We just
12 had it on the screen.
13 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I just want to help with the
14 references; it's 65 ter 2001, page 9. This is now P2475, paragraph 1,
15 bullet point 16.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Aleksandar.
17 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] This specific goal is on page 10 in
18 e-court in the English version of the document, as the sixth strategic
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. You may put a question in relation to
21 this part of the report of Mr. Butler. He is here to testify about his
22 reports and his expertise by reviewing many, many documents in relation
23 to this trial and to the indictment against you. Please continue.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I was
25 trying to put this report to the witness and especially specifically the
1 page where this is mentioned. However, I would like to go back to the
2 map, and that's document P104, page 3. Thank you.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. We saw in your expert report the -- one of the goals, the
5 strategic goals that is mentioned there is the access to the Neretva
6 river. Do you recall that?
7 A. Yes, sir, I do.
8 Q. Now, can you see the Neretva river on this map?
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I'd -- the questions are
11 specifically designated regarding the Republika Srpska, not Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina before the war. So if there are going to be questions
13 regarding that, I -- for this to be properly relevant, the map should be
14 that of Republika Srpska, not that of Bosnia and Herzegovina; otherwise,
15 it's potentially misleading - unless that's where he's going. But he
16 didn't with the last issue about access to the sea.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there will be another
19 map of Republika Srpska that we will show later on, but here we are
20 talking about geography and Bosnia and Herzegovina is not mine nor does
21 it belong to the international -- various international powers. It is
22 the state of the people in Bosnia.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, can you please see where Mostar town is. If you
25 look at the river going from Neum upwards to a red dot where it says
1 "Mostar," can you see where that is? Here, now the cursor was pointing
2 to it.
3 A. I can see Mostar, yes, sir.
4 Q. And this is where the Neretva river actually flows from Mostar
5 into the sea. Can you see it?
6 A. Yes, sir. It's difficult with the scale of the map, but I think
7 I can see it.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, can we look again at the
10 map -- at the same scale that we had a little earlier on the map. Thank
11 you. And can you show Mr. Butler the meridian running under the word
12 "Herzegovina." Where it says "Bosnia and Herzegovina," there is a
13 meridian running underneath.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you see it?
16 A. Yes, sir, I do.
17 Q. Does it divide Bosnia and Herzegovina into two parts: The
18 southern and the northern parts; and is it possible to establish the
19 north -- the east and the west on the basis of it as well?
20 A. I assume if one wanted to divide up a country on longitude and
21 latitude lines, one could.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, is everything north of that line, or rather,
23 above that line, the horizontal line that we showed a little earlier, is
24 everything above it the northern part of Bosnia and below it the southern
25 part of Bosnia? Thank you.
1 A. I -- it could be defined that way. I never heard of it. I've
2 never heard of Bosnia being defined as northern and southern on the basis
3 of this particular longitude or latitude line.
4 Q. Thank you. But in your expert report, you pointed out the
5 strategic goal of expanding or extending the border of Republic of Serbia
6 [as interpreted] on its south-eastern part -- or north-eastern part and
7 its connection -- and establishing a connection with the Republic of
8 Serbia; in other words, gaining access to the Drina river, and so on and
9 so forth. Now, can you tell us what north-eastern borders were you
10 referring to, can you show them on this map? Is that above the word
11 "Herzegovina" and to the right of it? Is that the Sava River basin area
12 and Tuzla?
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: If the General could be more clear on when he
15 says "what Mr. Butler is referring to," I think that would be helpful. I
16 don't need an exact quote, of course, but it was just not clear from that
17 question what he was referring to. Was he referring to the -- one of the
18 six strategic objectives? He made specific references only Mr. Butler
19 was referring to, but I don't know what.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you help Mr. McCloskey and the
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Butler defined as
23 the third goal the establishment of a corridor in the lower part of the
24 river basin -- of the Drina river basin; in other words, eliminating this
25 river as a border between the two Serbian lands. And the directive we
1 saw a little earlier, directive number 6, had under (d) the extension of
2 the border of Republika Srpska and its north-eastern part and
3 establishing firmer ties with Serbia.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Now, my question is: What north-eastern part of Republika Srpska
6 would that be or north-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for that
8 A. In the context that I'm referring to it as, as a component of my
9 reports, I define that as the area generally known as the Drina or the
10 Podrinje valley area and that portion of Eastern Bosnia, which at the
11 time still had a significant Bosnian Muslim population. So when I use
12 the phrase "Eastern Bosnia," that's what I'm referring to. North-Eastern
13 Bosnia refers to the Bijeljina area. Now, how the Republika Srpska
14 defined that in their strategic objectives, again that's -- I can't
15 comment on what they thought they might have meant in Eastern Bosnia or
16 northern Bosnia. You know, I tend to go off of geographical reference
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Now, do you see how the Drina River runs
19 and does it run along -- does it actually correspond to the border of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia? Thank you.
21 A. It does to a certain point from Bijeljina south, as you get
22 further south toward -- and from beyond Visegrad, I believe the border
23 and the Drina River diverge slightly, and so the river is not exactly the
24 international boundary.
25 Q. Thank you. Is the river an international boundary between
1 Zvornik and the northern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the north of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina? Thank you.
3 A. Yes, sir. To my understanding, it is.
4 Q. Is that in terms of cardinal points, the north-eastern part, all
5 the way to the Sava River where -- to the confluence of the Sava and the
6 Drina Rivers?
7 A. I haven't looked at that particular portion of a map in many
8 years. I couldn't tell you whether or not there are some portions of the
9 river that don't correspond to the border. I -- from this particular map
10 it appears that it does, but again I can't be sure when we're talking
11 about areas north of Bijeljina. I just don't know.
12 Q. Thank you. And do you know what the north-eastern part of Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina is? Thank you.
14 A. I generally define it as the areas encompassing Bijeljina,
15 Doboj -- not much to the west of that because then once you start heading
16 towards Banja Luka you are in the area that is normally referred to as
17 the Krajina. So when I refer to north-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina,
18 I'm looking at primarily the area that's centred around Bijeljina and
19 those areas to the east -- I'm sorry, to the west.
20 Q. Thank you. Could you please mark on the map what part of Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina you considered the north-eastern part of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina. Would you please use the marker and mark it on the map with
23 the assistance of the usher.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: With the assistance of the usher.
25 THE WITNESS: Is it possible that I could have the map scale
1 reduced a little bit and slid to the appropriate area, please.
2 For my purposes --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's not working.
4 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. That didn't help.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please wait for -- the Court Usher will help you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE WITNESS: Will that suffice, sir? Can you see that?
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you. Would you please put a number 1 in the marked area,
11 the north-eastern part. Thank you.
12 A. [Marks]
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think anyone can really read any of those
16 towns based on this, and I'm not sure how much help that's going to be
17 later on. I don't have an answer for that, but a document -- I mean, I
18 know that area pretty well and I can't tell what he's talking about. So
19 I'm not sure that's very helpful. In fact, it may end up being
20 misleading -- not on purpose, but I'm just saying we can't read it.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think this is a real problem. All -- we can't
22 hardly find out the specific names in this map because it is enlarged too
24 Mr. Tolimir, you should consider to use another map with the
25 witness for this purpose. It's merely illegible.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Perhaps we
2 can resolve it by the witness putting the letters SI for "severo istok",
3 north-east. We're just talking about geography here and which part of
4 Bosnia is considered north-eastern. And for our purposes, it's
5 sufficient, for the Defence, I mean. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this was not the problem. We are
7 not talking about geography, but about locations. And of course
8 north-eastern is a direction but not a specific area if you want to have
9 marked it. And the witness needs some help by reading the names of the
10 villages and towns, and this is not very helpful for the witness to use
11 this map. You should -- and to put another letter on it, it's useless.
12 You may tender this marked map and use another one and we will see what
13 will happen. There are so many maps in evidence you may use.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. If we can
15 just have the witness mark the north-eastern part of Bosnia because
16 that's what the witness wanted to point out. My -- my goal was for the
17 witness to point out what the north-eastern -- what he considers the
18 north-eastern part of Bosnia because that's mentioned in his report.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And that was already done by the witness. He has
21 marked this map, with all the weakness of this map, for this purpose.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. If there's
23 a problem for the witness to put an S and I there, I won't insist;
24 however, it would be of some importance to show what the north-eastern
25 part is, "severo istok," and to see what the witness is marking here.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He may do that, but it's not necessary because we
3 have everything on the record.
4 Please mark it with the letters.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. And just in this context, it's obviously
6 not a full quarter quadrant that one might expect looking at all of
7 Bosnia, but in the context of my reports which deal with
8 Republika Srpska, this is how I would define the north-eastern component
9 of Bosnia.
10 I will obviously take it that other people might have a different
11 opinion as to how big or how small it might be.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness has marked the map.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. And I
14 thank the witness.
15 Now could we see P104, page 4, please.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering this marked map?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, yes.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours e-court page 3 of the Exhibit P104,
20 marked in court by the witness, shall be assigned Exhibit D301. Thank
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Could we now see page 4 of the same map that we have before us on
24 the screens. I mean the map collection, page 4. P104, page 4, please,
25 thank you. Thank you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now, do you recognise the boundaries of Republika Srpska or the
3 borders of Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
4 A. Yes, sir, I do.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you see a line to depict the war time border and
6 then another line which actually indicates what it was under the
7 Dayton Accords and as it is. Thank you.
8 A. I see one line that is indexed as the Dayton line, and I see
9 another line that is noted as the approximate VRS-HVO-ABiH confrontation
10 line as of 29 April 1995. I assume those are the two lines that you're
11 talking about, sir.
12 Q. Thank you, that's correct. Now, do you see the line before the
13 29th of April, 1995, in the area around Mostar running vertical from
14 Mostar downwards?
15 A. Yes, sir, I do.
16 Q. A few moments ago, we saw a geographic map of Bosnia, and we saw
17 that the Neretva River runs from Mostar all the way to the sea. Now,
18 does this line actually correspond to the Neretva River basin from Mostar
19 all the way down until the point where the river runs to the left,
20 towards Ljubinje and Trebinje?
21 A. I take your proposition at its face that it does. I obviously am
22 not in a position with this particular graphic to do a map-by-map
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you observe that those lines do not
25 correspond and that the part of Republika Srpska is actually separated in
1 that part, that it diverges, and that it did not come under the territory
2 that was agreed under the Dayton Accords, because it says there the
3 "Dayton line"?
4 A. I take it from your question that what you're asking is: Have I
5 noticed that as a result of Dayton, territory that was once under the
6 control of the Republika Srpska is now part of the Federation of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina; is that correct?
8 Q. That's correct, thank you.
9 A. Yes, sir, I noticed that.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, would you please take a look at the
11 north-eastern part of Bosnia to determine whether the corridor between
12 the Federation and Republika Srpska in the north-eastern part is rather
13 narrow. Thank you.
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. Thank you. In directive number 6, is it possible that that part
16 of the north-eastern part is referred to where it says that the borders
17 of Republika Srpska should be extended in its north-eastern part in order
18 to enable it to establish firmer ties with the Republic of Serbia? Thank
20 A. I am aware that the issue with what was known during the conflict
21 as the Posavina corridor and the efforts by the VRS to continue to widen
22 that particular corridor were of great significance. One can look at
23 this particular map and clearly see that the narrowness of the corridor
24 has a certain -- or lends to a certain threat that could be exerted to
25 split the Republika Srpska into two. So in the context of that
1 particular document, it certainly is possible that directive 6,
2 especially if one were to go look at the tasks of the East Bosnia Corps,
3 would have to do with the Posavina corridor. Again, rather than run
4 right off of memory of directive 6 which I haven't seen for many years, I
5 would again refer to the fact that the tasks related to the East Bosnia
6 Corps would be in directive 6, defining this in some detail.
7 Q. Thank you. Can we go back to 65 ter 0481 which is the directive.
8 It has now been adopted -- rather, admitted into evidence as D300. Thank
10 We can see again that the document was issued on the 11th of
11 November, 1993. As we already saw, the document that you called
12 directive was published in the Official Gazette 15 days later, after this
13 date, on the 26th of November, that is. My question to you is this: Is
14 the directive or any directive drafted for one-half of a month or for a
15 longer period, and would a longer period mean that the units bound by the
16 directive are able to do something during that longer period of time?
17 A. I agree with your statement that the Official Gazette publication
18 did come after this. How long a directive remained operative, in part,
19 was dependent upon the relevance of the objectives and tasks laid out
20 with respect to the situation on the ground. During the more fluid
21 stages of the conflict in 1992 and 1993, directives were published in a
22 period of perhaps three or four or five months, as necessary. At the end
23 of the war, for example, directives 7, 8, and 9 were published within
24 approximately an eight-month period. During this particular part of the
25 war, from November 1993 through the publication of directive 7 in March
1 of 1995, the situation - at least as far as the Republika Srpska was
2 concerned - was relatively static. So in that particular context it's
3 not surprising that directive -- operational directive 6 would remain in
4 force for approximately a 16-month period.
5 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us based on your research, does
6 a directive cease to be valid when a new directive is issued, unless the
7 second directive repeats a goal that was outlined in the previous
9 A. In the context of directive 6, for example, being superseded by
10 directive 7, I would agree. However, in the context of looking at
11 directive 7 and directive 7-1, it's clearly evident that directive 7-1 is
12 not designed to supersede directive 7; it is designed to supplement it
13 with additional and more detailed guidance.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us what happened to directive 5
15 when the directive 6 was issued, the one that we see on the screen at
16 this moment? Thank you.
17 A. I -- is there a way to post directive 5? I mean, I'm not
18 familiar offhand with the contents of directive 5. I mean, it is
19 possible in the abstract that directive 5's guidance was reiterated in
20 directive 6, but not seeing directive 5 and not having my memory
21 refreshed on it, it's difficult to answer that question.
22 Q. Thank you. I'm going to show you directive number 5. However, I
23 would like you to tell us as a military expert: Are directives issued as
24 a result of a newly arisen situation and dealing with the problems of
25 such a newly arisen situation? Is a new directive issued in order to
1 deal with the current situation or to deal with the previous situation?
2 A. In the context of the VRS, the directives deal with the current
3 and projected situation, and they're issued in that light. They're not
4 particularly historical in nature with respect to the tasks that are
5 issued to the units. Now, having said that, it is entirely possible that
6 the tasks issued in a previous directive might be once again issued in a
7 next-numbered-sequence directive if those objectives have not been
9 Q. If one directive has been implemented, does that mean that a new
10 directive is issued? And why is a new directive issued in respect of the
11 old one?
12 A. A new directive within this particular context could be issued
13 under two circumstances or would be issued under two circumstances. The
14 first one is that the situation on the ground in broad levels has changed
15 to a point where the guidance contained in that directive is no longer
16 relevant to what is actually happening. The second circumstance would be
17 if the political direction or the political strategic military direction
18 changed and might require more offensive or defensive operations or, you
19 know, changing the character of the conflict. So those are the two
20 situations where the VRS or the Supreme Command might issue a new
22 Q. Thank you. And now can you tell the Trial Chamber whether a new
23 directive is issued to reiterate an old directive, or is a new directive
24 issued as a result of a newly arisen situation? Thank you.
25 A. I would say that generally the directives are issued in the
1 context of a -- some form of a change of circumstance. Again, that is
2 not to say that for the tasks of specific units those tasks may remain
3 the same.
4 Q. Let me give you a practical example. You studied Srebrenica and
5 Zepa. Can we now see page 5, both in Serbian and in English,
6 paragraph 3. We're talking about directive number 6. Thank you. Do you
7 now see the part starting with "the Drina Corps ...," the third
8 paragraph? Thank you. If you haven't found it yet, I'm going to read
9 the paragraph for you. I quote:
10 "The Drina Corps used some of the forces to maintain the blockade
11 of enemy forces in the Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde enclaves, constantly
12 inflict losses on them and disrupt their communications, and put up
13 decisive defence on the front towards Kladanj and Olovo."
14 My question is this: Were the enclaves already areas where UN
15 forces were deployed, and did they already enjoy the status of protected
16 zones? Thank you.
17 A. Yes, sir. The UN forces were deployed in the Sreb -- sorry,
18 Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde enclaves. By November of 1993, they were
19 designated safe areas.
20 Q. Thank you. Is that the reason why the first sentence of the
21 third paragraph reads:
22 "The Drina Corps used some of the forces to maintain the blockade
23 of enemy forces in the Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde enclaves ..."?
24 Is that the reason why the maintain -- the blockade is
25 maintained, because those areas had been proclaimed -- had been
1 proclaimed protected zones and people should not be allowed to leave
3 A. I don't know that people should or should not be allowed to leave
4 them. What I am aware of is the fact that - and as I've testified - that
5 even within the enclaves, certainly the VRS was aware that the
6 Bosnian Muslim military forces did not properly demilitarise and did
7 conduct military operations out of them. As a result, notwithstanding
8 the UN's declaration that they were safe areas, particularly the
9 Drina Corps found itself in a situation where they had to maintain some
10 of their military forces around the perimeter of the enclaves in order to
11 counter potential military attacks out of the enclaves by Bosnian Muslim
12 military forces.
13 Q. Thank you. Did military forces in Muslim enclaves exit the
14 demilitarised areas and inflicted losses on the population? Did they
15 also do that in order to implement some other objectives that had to do
16 with other theatres of war? Thank you.
17 A. Yes, sir. First, at least with respect to Srebrenica, first
18 Operational Group 8 and then later the 28th Infantry Division did conduct
19 operations outside of the enclaves and attack military and civilian
20 objectives that were in Bosnian Serb territory. It was well-known that
21 the reason why these forces would attack was because they realised that
22 they were tying down Bosnian Serb military forces or units that could be
23 better utilised to meet the larger war aims on other areas of the
24 battle-field. So the ability of the ABiH to tie-down what would in
25 effect be almost four or five brigades of soldiers garrisoning the
1 perimeter around the enclaves gave them a military strategic benefit
2 versus what the VRS was seeking to accomplish.
3 Q. Thank you. Were combat activities by the 28th Division contrary
4 to the status that was accorded to the enclaves by the Security Council
5 and the interests of the other warring side?
6 A. The enclaves were supposed to be demilitarised, and clearly the
7 information that is available reflects that they were not. I'm not sure
8 of the second part of your question, the interests of the other warring
9 side. Are you referring to the interests of the ABiH -- or the BiH
11 Q. We're talking about the interests of the demilitarised areas.
12 Was it contrary to the interests and the status of the demilitarised area
13 that was recognised by the enemy side and by the Security Council? So
14 was it contrary to their own interests to leave the demilitarised zone
15 and carry out attacks outside of it?
16 A. The -- clearly the fact that they were not demilitarised had an
17 impact on the civilian population residing inside the safe area. The --
18 I guess because the people residing inside the safe area were Bosnian
19 Muslim, the question is whether it was in the interests of the
20 government, the Bosnian government, that these safe areas were not
21 demilitarised. And I guess the answer is best defined as: A calculated
22 decision was made by the government that the military benefits enjoyed by
23 keeping the ABiH military forces in the enclave armed and conducting
24 military operations were greater than the potential negative impacts they
25 would have on the Bosnian Muslim civilians residing in the enclave.
1 Q. Thank you. We will see what the agreement says about that. But
2 before we look at it, could you please look at the tasks of the
3 Drina Corps in the fourth paragraph. And can you tell us whether the
4 Muslims in Srebrenica maintained contacts with Zepa as well as with
5 Kladanj and Olovo. Are you aware of that from the research that you
6 carried out? Thank you.
7 A. Yes, sir, I'm aware and have testified that the Muslim military
8 forces in Zepa and Srebrenica were in constant contact with each other,
9 and the VRS of course recognised that by their ongoing efforts to seek to
10 separate the enclaves and prevent that type of contact. I am also aware
11 that there was, through the course of the conflict, many situations where
12 soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division would use various paths or
13 routes to leave the enclave and make their way to ABiH territory, and, at
14 the same time, military weapons or supplies that could be carried on foot
15 were brought into the enclave using those same routes.
16 Q. Thank you. When a strategic goal is set out to prevent a
17 military communication with Kladanj and Olovo, would you say that this is
18 a legitimate strategic goal, yes or no?
19 A. In the context of seeking to prevent the 28th Infantry Division
20 from receiving military supplies, equipment, and personnel, there's
21 nothing inherently unlawful with that as an objective. Now, I guess
22 maybe I should clarify because you didn't ask unlawful, you asked
23 legitimate. So in a military sense, it would be a legitimate object.
24 Q. Thank you. I will help you clarify, but let me ask you this
25 first: When we're talking about tasks given to the Drina Corps over the
1 eight or nine lines, is there a reference to the civilian population in
2 the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica or to the civilian population, in
3 general terms? I'm talking about this directive that we in front of us
4 at the moment.
5 A. Yes, sir. There is no reference to civilian population in that
6 particular portion of the directive, yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Before we move on to the agreement on
8 demilitarisation, I would like to invite you to share with us any more
9 information that you have about the Drina Corps and this decision.
10 A. I don't have any additional information except for what it says
11 in the document, sir. I mean ...
12 Q. Thank you. In that case, can we look at D21, Article 3. Let's
13 see what this document has to say about demilitarisation. Thank you.
14 This is the agreement, actually. Thank you. Now we can see it. You can
15 see the title: "The Agreement on Cease of Fire," signed by Ratko Mladic
16 and Sefer Halilovic. This is on the title page. And now let's look at
17 the third page because you wanted to see the document. Let's see the
18 third page then, Article 3. Article 3. We can now see 4. I apologise
19 for having called up page 3, although I wanted page 4. Now we have
20 Article 3 where it says:
21 "Every military or paramilitary unit shall have to either
22 withdraw from the demilitarised zone or surrender their weapons.
23 Ammunition, mines, explosives, and combat supplies in the demilitarised
24 zones will be handed over to the UNPROFOR."
25 And my question is this: Does this show very clearly that the
1 Muslim troops in the enclaves or in the protected areas were not allowed
2 to keep any weapons or explosives or anything of the kind? Thank you.
3 A. Yes, sir, it clearly reflects the fact that there was an
4 expectation that these types of war supplies and equipment, including
5 weapons, would be handed over to UNPROFOR.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir --
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we can have our next
10 break now. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, we should have the next break now and we
12 will resume at quarter after 6.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Could we now again see D300, please, the first and the last
18 pages, please. Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Here we have before us directive number 6, the first page. We've
21 already looked at it earlier. Can we now see the last page, please.
22 That would be page 8. Thank you.
23 We see that it was signed by Dr. Radovan Karadzic as the supreme
24 commander and that it was typewritten in one copy only. Now, item 8
1 "The decisions of corps commanders are to be submitted to the
2 commander of the VRS Main Staff for approval seven days before a planned
4 My question is the following: When you studied these directives
5 and other combat documents, did you also study this directive, directive
6 number 6 when -- where you discuss the strategic goals?
7 A. I'm sure that I -- as part of my analysis, I did review this
8 particular document.
9 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us, if you know, why directives are
10 produced in one copy only and why they are sent to commanders alone.
11 Thank you.
12 A. I expect, because I'm not completely sure -- but I expect that
13 the particular reason why these documents are tightly regulated is
14 because they lay out in very well-defined terms what the political and
15 military objectives are for the state and for the army during the
16 relevant period. One of the things or one of the features that I've
17 noted in these is that in most of these, rather than being classified
18 "strictly confidential," these directives are classified as "state
19 secret." So, again, I expect that the reason has to do with the
20 sensitivity of these documents and the damage that would be incurred with
21 respect to the ability of the army and the Republika Srpska to achieve
22 its goals if a copy of this document somehow was compromised and made its
23 way to the ABiH or HVO entities.
24 Q. Thank you. Is it classified as state secret because it provides
25 specific information on one's own units as well as enemy units, and so
1 on? Or is it because it is forwarded to the commander exclusively
2 because he would be in charge of carrying out the task, and if it were to
3 be done via other individuals, then the commander himself would be unable
4 to actually pursue it immediately. Thank you.
5 A. I would disagree with your first assertion because I have seen
6 other documents, for example, operation's orders produced by corps which
7 are strictly confidential but also lay out the situations in one's own
8 units. I know that the classification of "state secret" is higher than
9 the classification of "strictly confidential." So because of that and
10 because these particular documents in great detail lay out the
11 political-military objectives of the Republika Srpska and VRS, that they
12 are much more sensitive to the military to protect, hence why their
13 access is limited to fewer individuals.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now see P1214, please.
16 That's directive number 7. And I would appreciate it if we could see
17 page 1 and then page 5 in Serbian and 4 in English, the last paragraph.
18 Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Here we see the cover page, page 1. Then we can see what the
21 Muslim armed forces are engaged in. And now if we look at the first
22 paragraph, it reads as follows:
23 "After the signing of the agreement on the cessation of
24 hostilities and the cease-fire, the Muslims have begun reorganisation of
25 their armed forces by creating operative and tactical manoeuvre units,
1 divisions, intense training, manning up to normal levels ...," and so on.
2 Now, in documents of BH army, of the BH army, did you come across
3 this detail that in this year, in the spring of 1995, the Muslims began
4 reorganising their armed forces and creating operative and tactical
5 units? Thank you.
6 A. I'm not sure laid out in that language, but I am aware that - and
7 I believe I've testified to the fact that - the ABiH military,
8 specifically the 1st Corps in and around Sarajevo and even the 2nd Corps
9 in Tuzla, had plans to launch significant campaigns which would, of
10 course, adversely impact the VRS.
11 Q. Thank you. Would you please then take a look at paragraph 4
12 which reads:
13 "The Muslims are planning a spring offensive along selected lines
14 of attack in the direction of Sipovo, Srbobran, Vlasic, Teslic, Doboj,
15 Brcko, Majevica, Kozluk, Sekovici, Vlasenica, and Han Pijesak."
16 And then it says:
17 "Trnovo, Olovo, Trnovo, Borci Krupa, on the Una river and Ripac."
18 Can you recognise any of their offensive activities as part of
19 the spring offensive in the territories which you did research on, such
20 as Zepa and Srebrenica, if you're not aware of other areas? Do these
21 place names mean anything to you? Do they ring a bell?
22 A. Yes, sir, and they would correspond to logical military
23 objectives by the ABiH 1st and 2nd Corps. Most of these names are in the
24 2nd Corps area.
25 Q. Thank you. Are you referring to the 2nd Corps of the BH army or
1 of the VRS?
2 A. BH army, sir.
3 Q. Thank you. And does the mention of Sekovici, Vlasenica,
4 Han Pijesak say anything to you about the areas that you are aware of; in
5 other words, Sekovici, Vlasenica, and Han Pijesak, do those names mean
6 anything? Thank you.
7 A. Yes, sir. I mean, those particular names are a part of the
8 Drina Corps' zone, particularly in places like Vlasenica where it would
9 bump up against ABiH 2 Corps. So those particular areas are where one's
10 going to expect -- when you talk about from Zvornik south, you're talking
11 about areas where ABiH 2 Corps and the Drina Corps are going to be, you
12 know, in direct confrontation.
13 Q. Thank you. Was -- was the 2nd Corps in Sekovici, or was it a VRS
14 army unit, and do you know which units were in Sekovici, Vlasenica, and
15 Han Pijesak and which army they belonged to? Thank you.
16 A. Sekovici was the municipality and the unit there was the
17 1st Birac Brigade of the VRS Drina Corps. Vlasenica was the light
18 infantry brigade, also of the Drina Corps. And Han Pijesak was not part
19 of the Drina Corps area but was, in fact, the garrison location for the
20 VRS Main Staff. One unit that it was and around that area was the
21 65 Protection Regiment, which is a Main Staff asset.
22 Q. Thank you. Do you remember whether there was a garrison higher
23 or of more significance than the Vlasenica Brigade in Han Pijesak --
24 command of greater significance than the Vlasenica Brigade command?
25 A. Are you talking about in Vlasenica, the Drina Corps command was
1 also headquartered in Vlasenica. If you're talking about Han Pijesak,
2 that was the headquarters of the Main Staff.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, we see here that this assessment mentions the
4 places where the main commands of those brigades and Main Staff commands
5 were. Now, if we look at page 5 in English, we see the intentions of the
6 BH army, the probable objectives and plans. And it says - we can see
7 that in paragraph 3 from the bottom - in the second phase they will
8 probably continue with their operations in order to take control of the
9 rest of the territory of Republika Srpska and link-up the Muslim
10 territories in order to create a unitary state in an attempt to link-up
11 the enclaves, gain access to the Drina River, and then continue the
12 attack in the direction of Jajce, Kljuc, and so on, in order -- with the
13 aim of joining up the forces with the 5th and 2nd [as interpreted] Corps
14 and seizing Borak and Nevesinje. This would enable them to carry out the
15 offensive further towards the sea.
16 Now, my question is: In the second -- at the second stage, is
17 that what the Muslims did, in the second stage of their spring offensive,
18 and I'm talking about 1995 towards the end of the war?
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is, in fact, not the third paragraph from
20 the bottom but from the top.
21 THE WITNESS: I am aware that towards -- that during 1995,
22 particularly the spring, there were military actions undertaken by the
23 ABiH to link-up to the ABiH 5th Corps, which at that time was isolated in
24 an area known as the Bihac pocket. I don't believe that they were
25 successful in finally doing that until August or -- I think mid-August or
1 even late August before they ultimately realised those goals, but there
2 was from -- literally from November 1994 onwards combat related to the
3 5th and 7th Corps out west, much of it involving the 2nd Krajina Corps.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. The directives state they will receive support from
6 elsewhere, the Croatian side and other parties, including NATO. I did
7 not read out that portion because then I would -- there would be a
8 question as to why I'm reading that. But now I'm asking you whether
9 Jajce, Mrkonjic Grad, Kljuc, and Sanski Most, whether these places are
10 now in the territory of Republika Srpska or the Federation of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, and I'm referring to these places that are mentioned in the
12 paragraph where it speaks about the second stage. Thank you.
13 A. My geographic knowledge of that part of Bosnia is not so good
14 that I would give you an answer off the top of my head without seeing a
15 map. However, I think it's part of the historical record that as a
16 result of the military operations by Croatia during Operation Storm as
17 well as military operations by the ABiH forces in Western Bosnia, that a
18 good deal of territory that was held by the VRS prior to 1 August 1995
19 was captured by them. I -- if General Tolimir were to say that those
20 towns were lost as part of that, I wouldn't disagree with him. They did
21 lose a substantial amount of territory during the period August,
22 September, and October to those forces.
23 Q. Thank you. Were those territories of Republika Srpska lost with
24 the support of NATO air force and the land forces of Croatia and the BH
25 army that captured it? Thank you.
1 A. The primary land component was the land forces of the Croatian
2 army. NATO at the same time was engaged in an air campaign against the
3 VRS related to what they perceived or what they justified as violations
4 of the Sarajevo cease-fire in the heavy weapons area. I think history
5 goes one way or another on whether or not NATO forces and Croatia
6 operated in concert during that period.
7 Q. Thank you. You studied documents. Do you know if the
8 Security Council gave approval to the Croatian state to attack Bosnia and
9 to NATO to support Croatia in that attack? Thank you.
10 A. I didn't study any documents related to that particular campaign.
11 Again, the way the Office of the Prosecutor was organised,
12 Operation Storm and the human rights abuses associated with that fell
13 under the purview of a different investigative team and they had their
14 own military analysts. So I have no knowledge whether or not the
15 Security Council did or did not give any approval for any reason related
16 to this.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, as I did already earlier in this
18 trial, I would like to note that the Operation Storm and the war in
19 Croatia or with Croatia is not part of this trial and not part of the
20 indictment. Bear that in mind, please.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'm
22 talking about one part of the Republika Srpska. The Croatian Army was in
23 the Republika Srpska occupying territories of the Republika Srpska and
24 Bosnia. I'm not talking about Croatia. The witness also speaks about
25 the Croatian Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e., in the
1 Republika Srpska. The cities that are mentioned in paragraph 3 in
2 English, the third paragraph 3 from the top in English and the third
3 paragraph from the bottom in Serbian, were in the Republika Srpska,
4 Jajce, Mrkonjic Grad, Kljuc, and Sanski Most. The Croatian army opened
5 fire on those cities. They were occupied towards the end of the war --
6 or rather, they were taken towards the end of the war, which is exactly
7 what the witness himself stated. Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Butler, since we cannot discuss that part of the
10 Republika Srpska, can I then ask you this: Did your research yield the
11 result to the effect that the Muslims wanted to link-up the enclaves of
12 Srebrenica and Zepa and that they also wanted to link-up the enclaves
13 with the parts already under the control of the BiH army; for example,
14 the territory under the control of the 2nd Corps headquartered in Tuzla.
15 Were you able to ascertain that from any of the documents?
16 A. I didn't specifically look at detailed 2nd Corps documents on
17 what their broader military objectives were in that context. However, I
18 am aware from my studies of the VRS material that certainly the
19 Drina Corps and, to an extent, the Main Staff, believed that those were
20 the intentions of the ABiH army. Given the context of the actual battles
21 and what had happened there from 1992 through to 1995, that's not
22 unrealistic, that the VRS would believe that those were the goals of the
23 ABiH in that area. And, in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if those were,
24 in fact, the actual goals of the ABiH in that area.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Exhibit P2369.
2 Thank you.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. We see the document. It says here the Republic of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, Supreme Command Staff of the armed forces of the Republic of
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was issued in Kakanj on the 9th of November,
7 1994. The title of the document is "The Basic Plan for the Execution of
8 the Task." And further on it says -- we will now read from this basic
9 plan. If you look at the last line, you will see number 1 in English.
10 The rest of the bullet point is on the following page; whereas in
11 Serbian, we already have the entire bullet point on the page on the
12 screen. I'm quoting:
13 "The plan is to carry out active combat in order to liberate the
14 temporarily seized territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina - the
15 municipalities of Bratunac, Vlasenica, Sekovici, Zvornik, and
16 Kalesija ..."
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please slow down because you are reading names of
18 certain towns and villages.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I will repeat the names of the towns:
21 "... Bratunac, Vlasenica, Sekovici, Zvornik, and Kalesija. And
22 link-up the free territories of Zepa and Srebrenica with the free
23 territories of Zvornik, Kalesija, and Zivinice, in order to create a
24 permanent free corridor for the supply of the population and logistics
25 support to the units of the BiH army and a basis for the further
1 liberation of north-Eastern Bosnia as a whole."
2 My question to you is this: This is a document sent by the
3 Muslim side, does the Muslim highlight north-Eastern Bosnia as one part
4 of the state that they wanted to liberate? Thank you.
5 A. It would be what I would consider as my studies Eastern Bosnia,
6 but their phrase and their use of the phrase "north-Eastern Bosnian"
7 includes those specific towns.
8 Q. Thank you. We had a map on the screen. We saw what is meant by
9 north-East Bosnia in geographic terms and we saw what that area meant to
10 the Muslims. After we have read out bullet point 1 and the plan for
11 combat operations, would you say that this confirms the credibility of
12 the documents issued by various bodies in Republika Srpska in which
13 documents the Serbian side refers to the Muslim plans and desires? Thank
15 A. Yes, sir. I mean, it -- placing those two documents together in
16 that context, you certainly are left with the view that the intelligence
17 abilities of the VRS were functioning quite well and were able to
18 accurately depict what they believed to be the strategic military goals
19 of the ABiH with respect to how it lays out here. So in that particular
20 context, the VRS was well-served by its assistant commander for
21 intelligence and security.
22 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at the document that we have on the
23 screen. Let's look at the second paragraph. There are five bullet
24 points there, and the last bullet point reads:
25 "The Chetnik decision" --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's the previous page in
2 English. I apologise.
3 Thank you, Aleksandar.
4 The previous page in English, please.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Look at the last bullet point in the second paragraph where it
8 "The Chetnik decision to attack your free territory before our
9 joint active combat operations would compound the situation entirely,
10 especially for you, if they would go for a direct attack against you.
11 "With regard to the aforementioned, we propose that you think it
12 through and give your proposals regarding the following basic plan and
13 parts of the decision, whereupon we will send you the decision in its
14 entirety, following which the preparations will need to speed up."
15 My question: The Chief of Staff of the BH army, Hadzihasanovic,
16 is the author of this document. Did he clearly express the Muslim intent
17 to attack the VRS on the axis that I mentioned when I was reading from
18 the document, including the one of the Main Staff of the Drina Corps and
19 the other brigade, and that their goal was to liberate the territories of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina and that they intended to do that before the VRS
21 was given an opportunity to thwart their intentions. Thank you.
22 A. I don't think I read it quite that way, sir. If you look at the
23 first paragraph as a whole, what they're saying is that they have
24 carefully studied the plan and they list a number of conclusions. When
25 you look at these conclusions, they note several issues which are going
1 to be problems, one of which is: We don't believe you have -- or what it
2 says is: The forces that you have probably not sufficient to link-up.
3 It notes that they're restricted by the use of the supply of -- or
4 they're restricted by the supply of ammunition and other war materials.
5 And also noting that a Chetnik or Bosnian Serb military decision to
6 attack your territory before you carry these out would complicate your
7 situation. Which then brings you to the last part of that first
8 paragraph which is a -- essentially request back to them, saying that:
9 We propose you think through and give your proposals following the basic
10 plan of the decision, again saying: Please take into account the factors
11 that we have raised, re-evaluate your plan, and determine whether or not
12 the plan is still viable after you make these re-evaluations. That's how
13 I read that particular paragraph in its entirety.
14 Q. Thank you. Is this document a proposal made by the
15 8th Srebrenica group to the Main Staff, co-ordinated with the plan of the
16 Main Staff -- actually, the document itself refers to a plan, does it
18 A. Yes, sir. The document refers to the plan that was originated by
19 OG 8 and reflects the fact that the plan has been reviewed, and in
20 co-ordination with the 2nd Corps, there are a number of conclusions. It
21 certainly was a practice, both in the VRS as well as the ABiH, that
22 formations would be asked to create a plan and that that plan would be
23 reviewed by higher headquarters. This document is a reflection of just
24 such an activity, where the plan was apparently created by OG 8 and it
25 was sent for review by various higher headquarters; and this particular
1 document, at least this first paragraph, reflects some of the comments
2 back from those higher headquarters to what they see are issues relative
3 to the plan that must be re-thought or evaluated by OG 8 before a final
4 decision can be granted.
5 Q. Thank you. Before we end today's session, can we see pages 10
6 and 12 in Serbian and English respectively. We are interested in bullet
7 point 4.2 of the plan released by the Chief of Staff of the BiH army. He
8 says here, and I quote 4.2:
9 "The operation is very complex and requires relentless
10 persistence and precision. It is complex to carry out and especially to
11 prepare, and it requires a very great deal of persistence, where your
12 place and role are irreplaceable and of great importance. With respect
13 to the operation, devote yourselves to it to the highest degree with your
14 associates, to whom you will occasionally give only extracts from your
15 tasks, as and when they crop up and in the measure and scope required."
16 Please, does it show here that they were given tasks and
17 guide-lines in the measure and scope required and those needed to be
18 implemented and carried out before the start of the operation? Thank
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I'm sorry to interrupt the General, but when
22 we have -- could I ask that when we have long documents like this with
23 specific questions that the -- Mr. Butler be given a chance to review the
24 document before making analysis on -- or answers on particular parts of
25 it? Because it's really important for a document to be reviewed in
1 whole, I think, before an answer is made. Mr. Butler's obviously doing
2 his best to be helpful here. But it should be -- especially for
3 tomorrow, if there's a three- or four-page document if we can get the
4 English and give it to Mr. Butler, he can probably get through it so we
5 don't have to do it on the screen and take time.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is a proposal for further dealing with these
7 documents, but we are at the end of today's hearing. But we would like
8 to hear your last answer.
9 Do you recall the question?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, but my actual answer was going to be the
11 exact point Mr. McCloskey just raised. I'm really not comfortable
12 commenting on a one-paragraph block on a 12-page document. There's a
13 whole lot of -- I use the phrase "context" constantly. There's a whole
14 lot of context in that document that I'm not seeing, so, again,
15 Mr. McCloskey pre-empted my answer, which was going to be: I'd like to
16 see the whole document and be able to read the whole document before I
17 seek to answer General Tolimir's question.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
19 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence does not
20 object to Mr. Butler receiving this document from the Registry in both
21 English and Serbian and to be given an opportunity to study it before we
22 resume tomorrow morning.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it your intention to use this document in more
24 detail during the examination tomorrow?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Normally it's not the task of the Registry to
2 provide hard copies for witnesses.
3 Mr. Gajic, are you able to do that via the Registry?
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Registrar kindly agreed to it, to do it - and
6 I would underline it - on an exceptional basis. And then, indeed,
7 Mr. Butler may use the whole night-time to prepare his answer for
9 Mr. Gajic.
10 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is precisely what
11 I had in mind. Mr. Tolimir and I have our own copies of the document,
12 but they're practically unusable because we have jotted on them. That's
13 why we are not in a position to provide Mr. Butler with his clean copy.
14 Therefore, I suggested that perhaps the representative of the Registry
15 could provide Mr. Butler with a copy. Whatever we would be able to do
16 would be rather late in the evening, perhaps too late.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that. We are grateful
18 for the Registry, for the assistance in this respect.
19 We have to adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow in the
20 morning at 9.00 in this courtroom again for the final session before the
21 summer recess. We adjourn.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 21st day of
24 July, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.