1 Monday, 22 August 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody. Welcome back after
6 the long break. It's good to see you all again, and I hope very much
7 that we will proceed in the same constructive way as we did before the
8 summer recess and in the past of this trial. Yes. Let's look forward to
9 the last part of the Prosecution case, probable 98 bis submissions, a
10 possible Defence case, and let's co-operate in the same way.
11 And I would like to mention again, that we appreciate the
12 assistance and the support by all the staff of the different sections of
13 this Tribunal.
14 Before the witness will be brought in, I would like to raise one
15 matter. On the 4th of July this year, the OTP notified us regarding
16 remaining witnesses. One part of this notification was related to six
17 proposed 92 quater witnesses. In this chapter, in fact, there is a list
18 of seven witnesses. I quote:
19 "The Prosecution will file prior to the summer recess a
20 Rule 92 quater motion regarding the following six," in fact seven,
21 "witnesses, all of whom are suffering from bodily or mental condition
22 rendering them unable to testify orally."
23 We received one motion by the Prosecution regarding one witness,
24 PW-006, but we didn't receive any other motion by the Prosecution. And
25 therefore, I would like to ask you, Mr. McCloskey, if you can give us an
1 update if you are intending to file any other motions, which should be
2 quite urgent now as we are approaching the end of the Prosecution case,
3 or if the Prosecution intends to withdraw these six remaining witnesses.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
6 Hello. It's good to be back. General Tolimir, Mr. Gajic, everyone.
7 I have talked with the team about a couple of those witnesses,
8 and I will check with them and get a better answer for you at the break.
9 If we could go into private session just briefly.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
11 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the meantime, I would like to ask you,
23 Mr. McCloskey, about the witnesses to be called in September. Usually,
24 we receive such a list in the middle of the previous month. We didn't
25 receive something like that in the middle of August.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you can inquire what is the case.
3 Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Our list that we filed for
5 July, I am told it's the same. It's the same list of people that are
6 remaining and -- but we will file that over again, and I have gone over
7 the -- I saw six remaining witnesses, and I noted that they are all
8 scheduled and those schedules have been confirmed, and we had based that
9 on Mr. Butler testifying about the same time for the Defence as he did
10 for the Prosecution, which Mr. Gajic has just confirmed to me that they
11 expected to take the same time that the Prosecution took. So the
12 schedule for those remaining people, it seems to be fairly solid as these
13 things are based on the time that the Prosecution took for Mr. Butler,
14 and I will have those as a reminder for us and something we'll send to
15 you as well so you can see that.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would appreciate that. Thank you very much.
17 Good afternoon, Mr. Butler. Welcome back.
18 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, sir.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I hope for you, as well as all the other
20 participants in this trial, that you have had a good vacation with some
21 relaxation and recovery. Welcome back again, and I have to remind you
22 that the affirmation to tell the truth you made at the beginning of your
23 testimony still applies for this remainder of your testimony.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir is continuing his cross-examination.
1 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
3 there be peace in this house for all those present, and may God's will be
4 done in these proceedings and not mine. I extend my greetings to the
5 Trial Chamber, to Mr. President, Judges Nyambe and Mindua. I extend my
6 greetings to Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Butler, and all the representatives of
7 the Registry. And I wish all of you a good day's work today.
8 WITNESS: RICHARD BUTLER [Resumed]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Butler, last time we completed a portion of
11 the document concerning the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its
12 attempts to link up with the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica. You stated
13 that you had seen the document, and this was a document by the
14 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina which was, in fact, an activation of
15 attacks out of the protected areas, safe areas, against the Army of
16 Republika Srpska and the Main Staff.
17 Perhaps we should look at this document once more e-court, thank
18 you. And I have several questions for you on this issue. Thank you.
20 We can see it in both versions. This is a document issued by the
21 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its General Staff, Main Staff, dated
22 the 17th of June, 1995. In other words, it was issued 15 days before the
23 commencement of combat activities in the safe area of Srebrenica. It is
24 entitled "Preparations for offensive combat operations, order."
25 Let me quote this again:
1 "Based -- or pursuant to a verbal order issued by the commander
2 of the General Staff of the BH Army, army general Rasim Delic, and on the
3 occasion of the great success achieved by units of the BH Army in the
4 wide area around Sarajevo and Gorazde, as well as on the basis of
5 intelligence, et cetera, I hereby issue the following order:
6 "1. Execute all preparations in the command of the 28th Land
7 Army Division to execute offensive combat operations with a view to
8 liberating the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, overextending the
9 aggressor forces and inflicting losses on them, co-ordinating action with
10 the BH Army forces carrying out operations in the broader Sarajevo area."
11 This is my question for you: Does it follow from this order that
12 also the forces present in Gorazde as well as those in Srebrenica and
13 Zepa were activated under this order? Thank you.
14 A. Good afternoon, sir. I don't know if you could make that
15 conclusion specifically. As you can see at the bottom of the page, it is
16 addressed to the 28th Division Srebrenica, the 285th Brigade in Zepa, and
17 to the command of the 2nd Corps. There is not a specific designator or
18 anything that would indicate that the message or this order went directly
19 to the forces in Gorazde. It may very well be that the command of the
20 2nd Corps did, in fact, pass these orders on and make such plans, but
21 it's not inherent in this particular document.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. You -- do you know that there was only
23 packet communications systems present in Srebrenica and that it could
24 only communicate with Tuzla? Could there have been a circular
25 communication from Srebrenica via Tuzla to Gorazde, if you know? Thank
2 A. I am only aware of the communications as they existed with
3 respect to Srebrenica and Zepa. I do not know the specifics of the
4 communications network for the ABiH dealing with Gorazde.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. You do see that in line 2, behind the
6 comma, it is stated:
7 "... on the occasion of the great success achieved by units of
8 the BH Army in the general area around Sarajevo and Gorazde."
9 Does this mean that these units were involved in active combat
10 activities and that they were successful to a certain degree in the
11 Gorazde area? Thank you.
12 A. During that time-frame certainly the ABiH 1st Corps in and around
13 Sarajevo was very active, and by their definition, they thought they were
14 being somewhat successful. Although, quite frankly, they didn't achieve
15 their ultimate goals. There were military operations around Gorazde, as
16 indicated by the VRS documents, which necessitated the Drina Corps having
17 to send at least one composite unit to the Trnovo battle-front in order
18 to hold a portion of the line. So that is generally what I'm aware of of
19 this one. Again, defining success or not, I think, as it goes,
20 ultimately the ABiH 1st Corps was not successful because they ultimately
21 were not able to break through the VRS siege line around Sarajevo.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. My question didn't have to do with the
23 extent of their success, rather, whether from the demilitarised area of
24 Gorazde there were combat activities being carried out, as is stated in
25 this document. Would you deny what the document states? Because it does
1 allow for that possibility. Thank you.
2 A. No, sir, I mean the document says what the document says. I am
3 not aware of any of the specific details of ABiH military operations out
4 of Gorazde at that time. I just don't know the specifics of them.
5 Q. Thank you. Please answer my question. Were there combat
6 activities taking place from each of the safe areas in Bosnia; namely,
7 Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde? Were you aware of this and did you see
8 any documents to that effect? Thank you.
9 A. Yes, sir. During the course of this time there were military
10 operations out of the demilitarised areas by the ABiH, certainly from
11 Srebrenica. We've talked about at length operations out of Zepa at about
12 the same time. This has been the focus of my -- my study is in
13 Srebrenica and Zepa. Again, I assume that they were out of Gorazde, but
14 I am just not aware of the details in the same manner that I am for
15 Srebrenica and Zepa.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Do you know that Srebrenica, Zepa, and
17 Gorazde were in the rear of the Army of Republika Srpska and that they
18 were separated from the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina? In other
19 words, do you know that Zepa, Srebrenica, and Gorazde were enclaves deep
20 within the territory of Republika Srpska and separate from the Federation
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Thank you.
22 A. Yes, sir, you're correct. They all were.
23 Q. Thank you. Tell us as a soldier, should the Army of
24 Republika Srpska have tolerated the attacks out of the enclaves into its
25 rear, the attacks being directed against its population and the army?
1 Thank you.
2 A. Setting aside my own personal views, which aren't really relevant
3 to that answer, the fact is that the VRS did have to garrison the
4 perimeters of those safe areas. As noted in their own documents, they
5 were desperately short of manpower and believed that those forces could
6 be used more successfully in other areas of the battle-field. So having
7 to garrison those around the perimeters around those safe areas was
8 causing a problem for the Army of Republika Srpska. Along the same vein,
9 they were being attacked by the ABiH and having to respond to those
10 various attacks.
11 So whether or not they were tolerated or should have been
12 tolerated or could have been tolerated, from a military perspective, the
13 maintenance of those forces outside of the safe areas had a significantly
14 detrimental impact to at least the military forces of the Army of
15 Republika Srpska in Eastern Bosnia.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Can you tell us, did you arrive at a
17 conclusion that the Muslim army attacked out of the enclaves the rear of
18 the Army of Republika Srpska thanks to the fact that they could not have
19 been persecuted after the sabotage actions were taken in an area
20 protected by UNPROFOR? Thank you.
21 A. I am not sure I understand your question, sir. Could I ask you
22 to just repeat or it or rephrase it. I just -- I'm not sure what you are
23 trying to get at.
24 Q. Very well, thank you. Let me repeat the question. Could the
25 Army of Republika Srpska have destroyed the Muslim armed formations in
1 the enclaves or would it have been prevented from doing so by UNPROFOR?
2 And I mean as a result of these combat activities that would take place
3 in the territory of Republika Srpska.
4 A. Certainly as evidenced by the events of July 1995, the VRS could
5 and did have the physical capability of doing just that when the
6 United Nations Protection Forces did not defend the safe areas. Whether
7 the VRS recognised that earlier and could have done so earlier is always
8 going to a question of history. But militarily speaking, the VRS did
9 have the ability to do that. When they recognised that they had the
10 ability is the question.
11 Q. Thank you. Mr. Butler, did you come across documents where, for
12 instance, observers of the United Nations, like Kingori and others,
13 stated that there were no combat activities in Srebrenica up until the
14 commencement of the operation directed toward the strongholds held by
15 personnel involved in sabotage actions?
16 A. It has been a while since I've reviewed the actual UN reports for
17 the Srebrenica enclave for the first part of 1995. Keeping that in mind,
18 even if I assume your point is true, the reality is that starting in the
19 early part of 1999 [sic], the ABiH did start to restrict the ability of
20 the United Nations forces inside the enclave to actively patrol the
21 entire enclave and to monitor those forces. For example, restricting
22 movement of the UN so they could not go into the Bandera triangle area
23 where the bulk of the 28th Division was. So the fact that the UN may
24 have been reporting that there was no activity or very limited activity
25 is a reflection of what they were seeing because their view was limited
1 by the ABiH in many respects.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think Mr. Butler said "1999" and I think that
5 was just a mistake. It's page 10, line 14.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's "1999" in the record.
7 THE WITNESS: It should be 1995, sir.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. In view of the fact that in 1995, from
11 the spring until the fall of the Srebrenica enclave, the Muslim army
12 carried out sabotage actions and even restricted UNPROFOR movement within
13 protected areas, would you agree these were indicators that even within
14 the protected areas the ABH opted for offensive actions as this report
15 seems to indicate?
16 A. Yes, sir, to the degree that I've testified that the ABiH, the
17 28th Division, was not demilitarised and did continue to conduct
18 offensive combat operations outside of the enclave in support of broader
19 ABiH objectives to tie down as much of the VRS as possible. So I believe
20 that I've been consistent in that position that the 28th Division did, in
21 fact, conduct those offensive operations through the early spring of
22 January almost all the way up until July of 1995.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
24 JUDGE NYAMBE: It's not really a question, it's just for my
25 benefit. I am never very clear when people are talking about spring and
1 fall. This is both to the Defence, so for my benefit I would appreciate
2 if you could be more precise like mention a month and that sort of thing.
3 I would appreciate, thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes ma'am. And in this respect, I would say you
5 certainly start to see that uptick in offensive activities by early March
6 of 1995 consistent with the beginning of the major ABiH operation in and
7 around Sarajevo.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank Judge Nyambe for shedding
10 light on this issue and correcting my mistake.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Butler, were UN forces, with the authority of the
13 United Nations, able to stop offensive operations from protective areas
14 and thus prevent a conflict between the forces within the protected areas
15 and the VRS?
16 A. What I would say to that is, referring back to the United
17 Nations' own report dealing with Srebrenica, one of the underlying themes
18 that runs through that report is that there seemed to be a difference of
19 opinion between the various organs of the United Nations that were
20 responsible for administering the safe areas and defining what exactly
21 that mandate meant on the ground. For example, as General Tolimir
22 indicated, there was one group of people who thought that that particular
23 mission was to enforce the demilitarisation. There was another group of
24 people who believed it was to be a peacekeeping force.
25 Quite frankly, one of the lessons learned out of Srebrenica from
1 the United Nations' perspective is that they went into this particular
2 mission not having a clear vision of what they were trying to accomplish
3 after moving into Srebrenica and the other safe areas in 1993. With that
4 as the background, I don't know in that context whether or not the UN in
5 particular, or specifically the Dutch Battalion, felt it was their job to
6 stop those offensive operations.
7 Q. Thank you. Please tell us whose offensive operations, offensive
8 operations originating from the enclaves or the offensive operations by
9 the VRS aimed at the enclaves?
10 A. Yes, sir, that would be the ABiH military operations originating
11 from inside the enclaves.
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Considering that you've just
13 outlined the problems the UN faced within the enclaves, did you perhaps
14 come across documents where the UN forces, the UNPROFOR, informed the
15 United Nations that the Muslims wanted practically their protection from
16 the VRS while continuing to mount their own operations?
17 A. Yes, sir. I can't right off of memory come to a specific
18 document, but in doing this and doing this research, one of the themes
19 that the UN believed was occurring was that the ABiH from inside the
20 enclave was conducting military attacks and then seeking the shield of
21 the United Nations forces in the enclaves in an effort to potentially
22 forestall any retaliation by the Army of the Republika Srpska. The
23 degree that has happened or did not happen is always going to be a matter
24 of speculation, but it certainly was a generally widely-held opinion by
25 the UN that that practice was going on, at least with respect to the
1 Srebrenica enclave.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Before we move to the next document, I
3 should like to ask you: Does this order practically activate operations
4 from protected areas against the VRS on the part of the BH Army?
5 A. What it specifically says and implements, this document, is that
6 they want elements of the 28th Division, specifically the
7 285th Light Infantry Brigade in Zepa, to conduct offensive operations
8 with a goal of preventing the protection regiment in Han Pijesak, which
9 is the 65th Protection Regiment, from being able to disengage from that
10 area of the battle-field and be available for use elsewhere. So that is
11 what this document specifically says or directs.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Perhaps I was not very clear in my
13 question. If so, I'm sorry. But did the command of the BH Army
14 deliberately involve the protected areas in the struggle against the VRS?
15 A. Yes, sir. By virtue of the orders that were to the military
16 units with -- inside the safe areas, the command of the ABiH did, in
17 fact, involve them. That's correct.
18 Q. Thank you. Does this order refer to active operations from
19 Gorazde and Sarajevo, where they are scoring successes, and does this
20 speak of the commencement of an offensive and creating conditions for
21 linking up the enclaves of Srebrenica and Gorazde with the BH Army and
22 the territory held under its control?
23 A. No, sir. I believe it is a very limited order. While it
24 references many of those broader issues, I believe that the paragraph
25 that best illustrates that is paragraph 2, where it discusses the
1 planning of realistic tasks which will assure certain success on the
2 basis of an accurate assessment in the potential of our forces in
3 Srebrenica and Zepa.
4 At the time the forces in Srebrenica and Zepa did not have those
5 broad types of abilities. So in the context of what they could actually
6 accomplish on the ground, this order lays out the broader framework of
7 that but directs them to plan realistic combat operations which would
8 have the goal of preventing the VRS from moving forces from the
9 Srebrenica-Zepa area to Sarajevo and Gorazde. But I don't think that
10 they anticipated that those realistic tasks would be to link both of the
11 enclaves and liberate vast areas of territory then under control of the
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. My question was: Did the BH Army order
14 demilitarised zones to mount active operations behind the lines of the
16 A. As this document says, paragraph 2 is to plan realistic tasks.
17 Paragraph 3 is that the General Staff will regulate by ordering the
18 commencement of those tasks. So in that context, the General Staff of
19 the army is ordering the forces in Srebrenica and Zepa to come up with
20 realistic alternatives or realistic plans of what they can do and letting
21 them know that at some future point that the ABiH would direct them to
22 implement those tasks. That is what the order says.
23 Q. Thank you. Please tell us as a soldier, did the author of the
24 order realise that he would activate armed combat groups within the
25 protected areas which would in turn cause the VRS to start pursuing these
2 A. I don't ascribe to that type of a cause-and-effect situation,
3 only in part because the way that you phrased that question it implies
4 that before this, those particular combat forces were not active or that
5 they had somehow been deactivated. The reality is that well before
6 June of 1995, ABiH military forces did conduct combat operations and
7 raids out of the enclave. 2nd Corps, their apparent headquarters were
8 aware of those operations, and presumably the General Staff was aware of
9 them as well. So I don't take it as a point in time in June of 1995 that
10 the General Staff of the ABiH is flipping a switch with this order, so to
11 speak, and activating those units. They were never deactivated for that
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Please tell us, did the UNPROFOR then
14 know that the BH Army had combat units within demilitarised areas?
15 A. Certainly the United Nations leadership in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, as well as the Dutch, recognised that within the Srebrenica
17 enclave and the Zepa enclave, the ABiH military units did exist, were
18 armed, and did participate in combat activities. As I discussed earlier,
19 that wasn't a big secret, particularly given the fact that the Dutch in
20 the Srebrenica enclave were prevented by the ABiH from observing certain
21 parts of the enclave where those military forces were.
22 So while the UN might not have had an accurate picture of the
23 units and their combat capabilities, they obviously were aware that they
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. I apologise for not having shown you a
1 document about this, because this is the second time you speak of this.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D66 is the document I would like to
3 see in e-court. It's a document from the 28th Division, dated
4 29 January 1995. Here we'll see it now on the screen in both versions.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You see the document was signed by the commander of that brigade,
7 Naser Oric, in January of 1995. It says:
8 "In view of the situation in Podgaj village, the situation that
9 occurred on 9 January 1995, of which you have been informed in a timely
10 manner, the command of the 8th Operations Group has restricted the
11 movement of the UNPROFOR forces in the wider region of Suceska and
13 "At about 1100 hours today, the commander of the Dutch battalion
14 in Srebrenica ordered his patrols to enter the movement restriction area.
15 In co-ordination with the commander of the 8th Operations Group,
16 honouring the agreement reached with the UNPROFOR liaison officer after
17 the warning was issued not to move in the aforementioned area, the
18 commander of the 281st Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade blocked all UNPROFOR
19 patrols and is still keeping them blocked. The Dutch battalion commander
20 in this area was requested that ..." Et cetera, et cetera.
21 Commander Naser Oric.
22 Tell us, did you review such documentation? Why was the UNPROFOR
23 banned from moving in the area of these villages, Suceska and Podgaj?
24 A. I didn't review this document specifically, but again, as I have
25 testified, I am generally aware that the UN was being restricted from
1 various parts of the enclaves. I couldn't tell you in this particular
2 document or these particular villages. I don't know why they would have
3 been banned at that time.
4 Q. Thank you. Have you seen any documents showing that the command
5 of the UNPROFOR for Bosnia informed the UN Security Council that a
6 certain number of their men were detained and their entry into the
7 demilitarised zones was prohibited? And that was precisely what they
8 were there for. It was their mandate to be in the demilitarised areas.
9 A. I think -- I recall I am generally aware of the incident you are
10 talking about, but I don't know specifically that that issue was elevated
11 to the UN Security Council. I am just not aware of that fact.
12 Q. Thank you. As a soldier who has been in several theatres of war
13 and served in other countries as well, would you say that an army under
14 blockade and unable to perform its mission would inform its command, in
15 this case the UN, about the problem, like Naser Oric informed his
17 A. I am aware that the Dutch at some juncture elevated this to their
18 command in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Your specific question had to deal with
19 the United Nations Security Council and whether they were informed. And
20 my answer is, I don't know how far up the chain of the UN that that
21 particular notification went. I mean, I just don't know the answer to
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. But in the chain of command, does one
24 need to inform one's superior and was the superior authority for the
25 UNPROFOR commander the UN Security Council?
1 A. The chain of command as it deals with forces that are part of the
2 United Nations is a little less clear than that. And I guess maybe the
3 best example to use would be what happened in July of 1995. As the
4 various investigative commissions following Srebrenica at both the
5 United Nations and the Dutch government noted, the Dutch Battalion, when
6 their soldiers started to be placed under the custody of the VRS, on the
7 7th and 8th and 9th of July, those facts were being transmitted not only
8 to the UN to be elevated to the UN people in Bosnia and beyond, but were
9 also being transmitted to the Dutch national government through their
10 Ministry of Defence.
11 So clearly with respect to the Dutch military units in
12 Srebrenica, they were keeping the United Nations informed, at least their
13 superiors within the United Nations informed, as well as their own
14 national governmental organs here in Holland. Again, going back to your
15 question, did that elevate itself all the way up to the United Nations
16 Security Council? I just don't know the answer to that.
17 Q. Thank you. This problem of 9 July, when the UNPROFOR issued the
18 green order on operations against the VRS, will be discussed later when
19 we come to another subject. Now, in this set of questions I would like
20 to ask you: Did the UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo know that Muslims were
21 making it impossible for the UNPROFOR in Srebrenica to carry out their
22 mission? You say that Naser Oric is saying precisely this and he is
23 inviting UNPROFOR commanders responsible for Bosnia and Herzegovina to
24 come and solve the problem.
25 A. Again, sir, I am generally aware that the Dutch were reporting
1 this issue up to Sarajevo, to the UN command there. I don't know a
2 specific point in time where they would have gained awareness and I don't
3 have a document that I can say that they knew on this particular date.
4 But again going back to the United Nations report relative to
5 Srebrenica, it does discuss the fact that the Dutch were reporting back
6 to their superiors in Sarajevo that there were restrictions of movement
7 as well as other issues that they were having with the 28th Division.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell us as a soldier, did Rupert Smith as the
9 UNPROFOR commander and his successors have the duty to report to their
10 immediate superior, namely, the United Nations, that the UNPROFOR was
11 disabled from carrying out its mandate? Were they supposed to do that?
12 A. I suspect that would be a better question for General Smith than
13 it would for me. My knowledge of the UN and how it relates to Srebrenica
14 is pretty limited to the actual issues related to the enclave. The
15 broader issues of how the UN operated in Bosnia and the relationships
16 General Smith had with other people with regard to that was just not a
17 topic that I had to get into as part of my analysis, so I'm just not
18 aware of it.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe, please.
20 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. I just need to get back to the last
22 Based on your experience as a military analyst, and I would like
23 to believe expert, do you think the UN commanders, either in Srebrenica
24 or in Sarajevo, had a duty to report to their superiors in the
25 United Nations that the UNPROFOR was disabled from carrying out their
2 I would like your answer to that question, if I may. Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: I expect that they would have a duty to report this
4 up their chain of command. As I -- again, I recall from the
5 United Nations report, it was known in Sarajevo. It was known in Zagreb
6 [Realtime transcript read in error "Zvornik Brigade"], which was the
7 headquarters for the entire UN operation dealing with the former
8 Yugoslavia. What I don't know the answer to, and I expect it's readily
9 available, is whether or not the entire story from the UN command in
10 Zagreb was relayed in that manner to the United Nations Security Council
11 in New York.
12 I think when one goes and looks at that United Nations report
13 about Srebrenica, it is very clear that there was a difference of opinion
14 as to what should be reported and what to make of those reports and
15 proposals afterwards between General Smith, who was in Sarajevo starting
16 his tenure there, and the United Nations -- his superiors which were in
18 General Smith, I think as history notes, was not afraid to draw a
19 more clear line in the sand than some of his superiors were within the UN
20 framework and that caused a certain degree of friction. So while I can
21 say that certainly at the tactical levels that people like
22 Colonel Karremans or General Nicolai or General Smith would have been
23 reporting these facts up the United Nations chain of command, what I
24 don't have a picture on is how accurately their concerns at Srebrenica
25 and Sarajevo were being relayed to United Nations in New York by, I
1 believe it was, the UN command in Zagreb.
2 JUDGE NYAMBE: If I may have a followup question. Again, talking
3 to you as a military person with experience not only in the former
4 Yugoslavia but in other areas, would you say that the failure of the
5 commanders on the ground in the former Yugoslavia to report the
6 encirclement of the UNPROFOR soldiers, their disablement, was a failure
7 on their part? To the soldiers especially who were put in harm's way.
8 Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: Again, what I would say is I am aware of what the
10 military commanders do and did and what they reported. The problem that
11 you have, particularly within the United Nations chain of command as it
12 existed at the time, is that at some point above General Smith, the
13 military commander, his superiors were United Nations diplomats. They
14 were not soldiers. So again going back to the United Nations report,
15 there is a major disconnect between what the soldiers are reporting and
16 what they believe the proper remedies are versus what the diplomats and
17 the politicians in the UN bureaucracy are seeing or are perceiving the
18 situation to be.
19 So I don't know that the military commanders weren't reporting up
20 the chain of command. What is unclear to me, and I would again refer you
21 back to the United Nations report, is at what level their view of the
22 situation was being watered down or modified by their superiors for other
24 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you, Mr. Butler.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I add a very small issue. I need a
1 clarification to the transcript. On page -- you can't see it anymore, it
2 disappeared from the screen. Page 20, line 24. I read from the
3 transcript. Your answer was:
4 "As I -- again, I recall from the United Nations report it was
5 known in Sarajevo, it was known in Zagreb Zvornik Brigade, which was the
6 headquarters for the entire operation dealing with Yugoslavia."
7 I think there could be a little mistake or misunderstanding.
8 Could you clarify this sentence, please.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. When I said "Zagreb" -- I hope I didn't
10 say "Zvornik Brigade," but Zagreb was the apparent headquarters for the
11 United Nations forces dealing with the former Yugoslavia.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That was a necessary clarification.
13 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you to the Judges and
15 Mr. Butler.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Please answer this question: Is it possible that the UN
18 headquarters in New York was not informed of the restrictions imposed on
19 the UNPROFOR mandate in Srebrenica? Thank you.
20 A. Anything is possible. I mean, I'm kind of -- I suspect the
21 answer that everyone is looking for is in that UN report. I just can't
22 tell you off the top of my head at what point in time the UN leadership
23 in New York would have been made aware of that or if they were. Again, I
24 would refer you back to the UN report on that where I -- where I believe
25 the answer is.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe.
2 JUDGE NYAMBE: I'm sorry, Mr. Butler, I have to come back to you.
3 I have read the Secretary-General's report that you are referring to
4 which ultimately led to the establishment of this Tribunal to look for
5 the truth, and it's through people like you that we hope, to the extent
6 possible, that we can reach to the truth. So I come back to the last
7 question which was: Is it possible, in the normal line of chain of
8 command, whether it's military or in fact civil, that the events
9 surrounding UNPROFOR were not communicated to the UN command in New York?
10 Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: It is possible. But given the fact that not only
12 would one expect the United Nations to report that through their chain of
13 command but that the Dutch government, since their forces were in
14 Srebrenica, and they were receiving information directly from their units
15 there, that if the Dutch felt that the UN wasn't receiving an accurate
16 picture in the New York UN level, that the Dutch UN representatives would
17 take it upon themselves, if instructed by the government, to inform the
18 UN of just that. So there were two possible reporting mechanisms, at
19 least, that would have allowed for the highest levels of the
20 United Nations to be aware of those restrictions of movement.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you to Judge Nyambe and
24 Mr. Butler.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. If that was the case, if it was possible that the UN headquarters
2 in New York had not been informed, was it also possible that based on
3 incomplete information about the situation in the field, they made
4 decisions about the engagement of NATO forces against the VRS in 1995?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, yes.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: If I could just ask for a little more
8 particularity because NATO forces in 1995 is very general and they may
9 each have a different story each time it was used. If the general is
10 speaking of something in particular, it would be very helpful.
11 Otherwise, it's a vast area, as far as I know, NATO in 1995.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you help Mr. McCloskey to
13 clarify that?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Butler, if before the events in Srebrenica NATO forces
17 attacked the VRS forces, was it possible that this activity on their part
18 was the result of inaccurate information about the situation in the
19 field? Was it possible that they had incomplete information about the
20 balance of forces? Thank you.
21 A. It is my understanding, if you're talking about the NATO
22 air-strikes in June of 1995, the trigger to that military activity was
23 the withdrawal by the VRS of artillery from a monitoring area around
24 Sarajevo, and since that artillery could no longer be monitored by an
25 earlier agreement between the United Nations, the VRS, and the ABiH, that
1 that was the trigger to the bombing campaign related to June of 1995. I
2 don't know whether or not or how clear or how not clear that particular
3 picture was in New York versus in Sarajevo or Zagreb.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. If NATO forces were activated pursuant to
5 requests from the UN Security Council against the VRS, does this mean
6 that -- what does it mean, really? Was the UNPROFOR mandate in Bosnia to
7 maintain peace or to impose peace?
8 A. The UN mandate was peacekeeping and not peace enforcement, so
9 you're correct there. And certainly while there was a supposedly
10 separate chain of command between the United Nations forces and the NATO
11 forces, it certainly blurs the line when you have that situation occur.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Tell us, was the use of weapons pursuant
13 to requests from the United Nations a peacekeeping or a peace enforcement
14 operation? Thank you.
15 A. I am not sure how they characterised that at the time.
16 Q. We will now see what the testimony on this particular issue was
17 by Mr. Rupert Smith and what his understanding of NATO activities in 1995
18 in Bosnia was.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please call up D193, that's
20 General Rupert Smith's statement.
21 You can see page 1 here. Can we now show page 9, paragraph 5, of
22 the statement by General Rupert Smith.
23 Thank you, Aleksandar. It's page 9, paragraph 3 in English.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. It reads, and I'm quoting General Smith's words:
1 "At the end of this series of meetings I had come to the
2 conclusion that the Bosnian Serbs had concluded that further fighting was
3 inevitable and that they had to reach some form of conclusion within the
4 year. The eastern enclaves were too strong and the Bosnian Army within
5 them constituted a clear threat, particularly as the VRS felt that they
6 were likely to face attacks on multiple fronts."
7 And there's the sentence you referred to:
8 "In the enclaves the UN were being used as a shield by the
9 Bosnians and a hostage by the Serbs. The intention of the Serbs appeared
10 to be to force the UN into a position of abandoning the enclaves to
11 enable the BSA to defeat or at least contain the Bosnian Army in
12 Eastern Bosnia and to release vital manpower for other areas."
13 This is my question: Were you aware of Mr. General Smith stating
14 something like this? This was a conclusion drawn by him in March of
15 1995, and that's something you can glean from further up in the text. Do
16 you believe that the Security Council was informed of this too or was the
17 information concerning the combat readiness of the forces in the enclaves
18 withheld from them? Thank you.
19 A. The first part of your question, I am aware of this. I have read
20 this statement a number of times before. I believe that the particular
21 paragraph that you discussed is the view that General Smith had at the
22 time, and I believe it roughly correlates to the view that I have come to
23 based on separate materials.
24 As to your last question, I just -- I do not know if this
25 particular information was transmitted all the way up to the
1 Security Council in New York.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. It was -- it is for your sake and for the
3 sake of the Trial Chamber that I should draw your attention to
4 paragraph 2 on page 9 in Serbian, where Mr. Smith says -- and that's
5 page 8, paragraph 2:
6 "I met with Mladic at his request in a hotel in Vlasenica on my
7 return from Srebrenica to Sarajevo."
8 So I'm drawing your attention to the time-frame. So he went to
9 Srebrenica, and on his return, on the 7th of March, he met up with Mladic
10 and arrived at that conclusion, which was his general conclusion about
11 the forces of the ABiH in the enclaves.
12 This is my question: Is it possible that the UN Security Council
13 did not receive General Smith's report about the situation in the safe
14 areas and that he visited these areas, in fact, without the consent from
15 the Security Council?
16 A. This time I guess I will answer your second question first. As
17 the commander on the ground, General Smith should and would have had all
18 of the necessary authorities to visit any of the troops under his
19 command. So I don't believe that he would have had to have asked for the
20 United Nations Security Council's permission at any level to personally
21 view the situation in enclaves or any other of the military units, the UN
22 peacekeeping units, under his direction. So that would not have been
24 Again, going to your first question, I don't know how far up the
25 chain of command that the information or that these observations, these
1 specific observations by General Smith would have been transmitted. So I
2 mean, I know that he would have and should have reported these issues.
3 They would have gone to his superiors in Zagreb. What I just don't have
4 any clarity on is whether or not the UN command in Zagreb passed these
5 reports verbatim to the UN Security Council or the UN -- actually, their
6 intervening headquarters would be the Department of Peacekeeping
7 Operations in New York, not necessarily the UN Security Council, or
8 whether General Smith had the reporting ability and exercised it that he
9 would report directly to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. In his statement - and I don't want to
12 quote it in its entirety - Mr. Smith says that he met up with all the
13 sides to see what the possibility was for maintaining the cessation of
14 hostilities agreement which was in force between January and April of
15 1994 and he did that because the United Nations were looking into the
16 possibilities for this agreement to be prolonged. He says that he was in
17 meetings with civilian and military leaders on this particular issue.
18 So let's look at the very next paragraph, which reads -- and
19 that's page 9, and I'm quoting:
20 "The meeting with General Mladic" -- I'm sorry. "The meeting
21 with General Blaskic at the HVO headquarters in Posusje was held on the
22 8th of March."
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you please give us the
24 reference to the English page.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In English that's page 9,
1 paragraph 4. Thank you. My apologies. Thank you, Aleksandar.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I will quote again:
4 "On the 8th of March, a meeting was held with General Blaskic at
5 HVO headquarters in Posusje. The meeting was followed by a joint press
6 statement for Croatian TV. The main areas for discussion were the
7 cessation of hostilities agreement process, the UNPROFOR mandate in
8 Croatia, federation military matters, and the military situation
9 currently in Bosnia."
10 And now, next he lists a meeting with Mr. Muratovic and states
11 that he was in Zagreb on the 11th of March with Mr. Akashi. This is the
12 following paragraph. The fifth paragraph lists his meeting with
13 Muratovic; the sixth, with Mr. Akashi in Zagreb; and the seventh, the
14 meeting with Mr. Akashi at Pale, et cetera. Let us see when -- this is
15 what I quoted to you to see when exactly this happened.
16 Now, this is my question for you: Did you review documents where
17 you found that the BH Army violated the cessation of hostilities
18 agreement and launched a comprehensive offensive on all the fronts?
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just if -- if we could be made clear what year
22 this report is referring to? He said 1994, which may be correct, but
23 frankly, it's -- from what I see on the screen I can't tell and I'm not
24 sure which year he's talking about.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Tolimir, could you clarify it?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you to Mr. McCloskey for
3 mentioning this issue. It has to do with 1995, 1995.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So I repeat my question: Did the BH Army violate the truce and
6 the cessation of hostilities agreement that was in force in January
7 through to May 1995?
8 A. By April and May of 1995 there was a series of military
9 operations undertaken by both the ABiH 1st Corps in and around Sarajevo
10 and by ABiH 2 Corps in north of the Tuzla area, so what I'm just not
11 clear of is exactly when the scheduled date of the cease-fire was
12 supposed to end or -- so I don't know whether it was technically a
13 violation of the cease-fire, whether they jumped the gun early, or
14 whether they waited for the cease-fire to expire and then militarily
15 moved on. But I agree with your basic point, which is that by late
16 April, early May of 1995, at least in the 1st and 2nd Corps areas, the
17 ABiH did jump off to significant offensive military operations.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
19 Let's now look at page 9, paragraph 3, the last line. In
20 English, that's page 9, paragraph 1, which reads:
21 "The purpose of these meetings was to encourage the Bosnian
22 government to recommit itself to the cessations of hostilities agreement
23 and to inject new incentive to apply the agreement" -- or "comply with
24 the agreement."
25 This is my question: Can it be concluded, based on the statement
1 by General Smith, that the Muslims did not comply with the cessations of
2 hostilities agreement in the course of 1995?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's page 9, the penultimate
4 paragraph, the one that I quoted a moment ago, and I mean the English
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The last sentence of the penultimate paragraph.
7 Go ahead, please.
8 THE WITNESS: Well, sir, I mean, in that context, certainly the
9 UN's interest was in maintaining any cease-fire because that, of course,
10 kept down civilian casualties. Realistically, given the situation that
11 the ABiH found itself in its own territory, that a lot of the territory
12 it believed was theirs was, in fact, occupied by the VRS, I don't believe
13 the ABiH was ever serious about a long-term cease-fire that was going to
14 leave them in that particularly disadvantaged situation. So I suspect,
15 at the end of the day, the answer was exactly what everyone thought it
16 was going to be, which was that the Bosnian Muslim military forces were
17 using the cease-fire as a means to resupply themselves, to reorganise
18 their military forces, and then seek to go on the offensive in the early
19 part of 1995, March/April, when the weather gave them the ability to go
20 on these offensives, with the goal of trying to put the Army of
21 Republika Srpska at a disadvantage.
22 So in the broader context I agree with General Tolimir that the
23 ABiH probably was never serious about maintaining a cease-fire that was
24 going to go through the summer, you know, through May, June, July, and
25 August of 1995.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's the time for our break and we
4 will resume then. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Indeed, we must have our
6 first break now and we will resume quarter past 4.00.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir. Please continue your
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Butler, at the end of the last session you said that the
16 BH Army never had a firm intention of honouring the cease-fire, the
17 cessation of hostilities agreement. Did I understand this correctly?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The transcript is slightly different,
19 Mr. Tolimir. He said:
20 "... I agree with General Tolimir that the ABiH probably was
21 never serious about maintaining a cease-fire ..."
22 This is a bit different. Therefore, I just wanted to have the
23 correct version on the record. Please continue.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In that
25 case I don't need an answer.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So you said "probably." Now, concerning that whole situation, my
3 question is: With the agreement on the cessation of hostilities, did the
4 VRS sign with the ABiH, the Croatian Army, and the representatives of the
5 international community, such as the UNPROFOR commanders, an agreement
6 that was a guarantee that the ABiH also undertook to honour?
7 A. I don't know, sir.
8 Q. Thank you. We will also look at this agreement on the cessation
9 of hostilities.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P1011 is the document we need in
11 e-court. Here it is. In English and in Serbian, page 1. I should like
12 to ask for the last page to be shown, with the signatures.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you see on that last page that it was signed by
15 Alija Izetbegovic, Radovan Karadzic, Rasim Delic, and Kresimir Zubak and
16 Vladimir Soljic on behalf of the Croats, and it was co-signed by
17 Yasushi Akashi on behalf of the United Nations, and Michael Rose on
18 behalf of the UNPROFOR command?
19 A. Yes, sir, I do. Or it says "witnessed" by them not on behalf of
20 them. But just the same, I see their signatures.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the United Nations initiated and
22 advocated this agreement on the cessation of hostilities?
23 A. I don't know the origins of the particular cease-fire agreement
24 or which side advocated it first. I just don't know the answer to that
25 question, sir.
1 Q. Could we please look at Article 2. That's on page 1. I will
3 "The cessation of hostilities will be supervised and monitored by
4 UNPROFOR through the establishment of joint commissions. A central joint
5 commission shall be established under the chairmanship of the UNPROFOR,
6 with initial meetings at the Sarajevo airport. And regional joint
7 commissions shall also be established in permanent session as needed and
8 as determined by the central joint commission."
9 Paragraph 3:
10 "Liaison officers will be exchanged between UNPROFOR and the
11 parties by 15 January 1995 and afterwards where determined appropriate --
12 where deemed appropriate."
13 Is it clear from this that UNPROFOR was the guarantor and the
14 supervisor of this cessation of hostilities agreement?
15 A. I agree with your phrase "supervised and monitored" because that
16 is what it states specifically in Article 2. I am not sure,
17 contextually, whether that also means the guarantor of the agreement.
18 Q. In that case let us look at paragraph 4. It says:
19 "Cessation of hostilities will include the following measures:
20 "A. Separation of forces in conflict to mutually agreed positions
21 and the positioning of UNPROFOR forces for observation and monitoring to
22 include interpositioning."
23 My question is: Did the UNPROFOR deploy its forces between the
24 parties in conflict in order to enforce this agreement?
25 A. I am trying to picture back to Sarajevo, at least, where the UN,
1 if they ever actually managed to achieve that, where they were able to
2 put their forces or interpose them between the VRS and the ABiH. I don't
3 know if that ever happened. If it did, it didn't happen to a large
4 degree simply because, militarily, there was a lot of resistance to the
5 idea of giving up certain key terrain features that had been hard fought
6 over to a UN force that might then turn them over to the other side. So
7 there are a number of occasions that I'm aware of where there was serious
8 contention between the VRS, the UN, and the ABiH over [Realtime
9 transcript read in error "other"] the withdrawal of certain military
10 units or positions because of their perceived strategic value at a
11 certain area. So if it did occur, I don't believe it occurred in large
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, did you say "over the withdrawal" or "other
14 the withdrawal."
15 THE WITNESS: Over the withdrawal, sir.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this clarification. It relates to
17 line 21 of page 35.
18 Mr. Tolimir.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did you come across a UN document where
21 it says that in Sarajevo, during separation, the Serbs handed over the
22 Vrbanja bridge to UNPROFOR, which was followed by an incident when the
23 Serbs wanted to recover Vrbanja bridge into their control. Rupert Smith
24 talks about it in his statement. Have you read that?
25 A. I am generally aware of the bridge incident, as it's described,
1 but I do not know of the specific details of when the bridge was supposed
2 to be turned over and by which parties to whom.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
4 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, first of all, good
5 afternoon to everyone. On page 36, line 10, the name of the bridge is
6 not recorded correctly. The bridge is called Vrbanja, V-r-b-a-n-j-a.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Gajic.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Butler, if the river separated Muslims and Serbs, and the
10 Serbs and Muslims controlled parts of the bridge, each on their own side,
11 does it mean that the bridge was not, in fact, controlled by the Serbs
12 once the bridge was handed over? Let's look at what Mr. Rupert Smith
13 says about this.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you put a question to the witness.
15 Are you expecting an answer?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I asked whether the witness has
17 read the statement of General Rupert Smith concerning the problem of the
18 Vrbanja bridge, because he said he was not sure there was a separation of
19 forces in Sarajevo and that was done precisely in order to separate
20 forces. That's what I asked.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Butler.
22 THE WITNESS: My apologies, I assumed we were going to go to that
23 part of the statement. I don't recall offhand what General Smith said or
24 did not say about that. I would suggest we go to the statement on that.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the electronic
3 courtroom to display D193. When we see the first page, let's see also
4 page 15 of that statement in English. It's the first paragraph.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. He says:
7 "On the 27 May, Bosnian Serb troops disguised as French soldiers
8 seized a French position at Vrbanja bridge in Sarajevo, killing two
9 French soldiers and taking 11 prisoner. The French counter-attacked,
10 killing four Serb troops and taking six prisoners. At roughly the same
11 time, the Bosnian Serbs took 30 UNPROFOR personnel hostage with their
12 vehicles and equipment from the Gorazde area."
13 This was written by Mr. Smith. My question is: Were the French
14 able to hold any features in Sarajevo unless these had been handed over
15 by the warring parties, and was it their job to hold positions between
16 the warring parties and to separate them?
17 A. Given the broad mandate, where the UN forces were placed and what
18 territory they held was ultimately at the discretion of the various
19 warring parties. It was a peacekeeping mission, not a peace enforcement
20 one. For example, the UN didn't occupy the Sarajevo airport. It was
21 permitted to use that by the various warring parties for various
22 purposes. So the positions and the check-points that were maintained by
23 the United Nations were done so with the consent of the warring parties.
24 If the warring parties did not consent to that, then the UN would not
25 have been able to maintain those positions.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. You just mentioned the Sarajevo airport.
2 Do you know which one of the warring parties held the Sarajevo airport
3 before it was handed over to UNPROFOR? Have you found that in any of the
4 documents you reviewed?
5 A. My understanding is that the airport was initially held by the
6 Yugoslav National Army military forces that were there at the beginning
7 of the conflict. I believe they are the ones who turned it over to
8 the -- I believe they are the ones who turned it over to the UN forces at
9 the very beginning of the conflict.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. We'll show you that agreement and you
11 will see that it was handed over by Mr. Koljevic. But that's not the
12 purpose of my question. My purpose was to tell you that in Sarajevo
13 there also occurred a separation of forces at points such as Vrbanja
14 bridge, the airport and other points.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I am going to object to that style. If he wants
17 to impeach the witness on a particular point that he thinks is important,
18 he should do it at the time that he brings it up, not make a comment
19 contradicting the witness and -- for some later time. I mean, if he's
20 got something to contradict the witness, he should bring it up and use
21 it. Otherwise, he's just testifying and he knows that he shouldn't be
22 doing it.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, the way the last sentence was formulated
24 is problematic. "My purpose is to tell you that," and then it's not
25 properly recorded. You shouldn't tell him. You should ask him about his
1 experience and his knowledge.
2 Please continue your interrogation.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
4 you, Mr. McCloskey. It is not my intention to make the witness
5 uncomfortable. I am just speaking of facts that I am going to show him
6 in documents, such as this Vrbanja bridge incident. So I'm not going to
7 insist on getting an answer on these questions.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Let me ask this: Did UNPROFOR representatives hand over to the
10 VRS the positions they had received from them during the separation
11 forces in areas between the ABiH and VRS? If you know that.
12 A. If you're talking about Sarajevo, then I don't know the answer to
13 that. That was not a specific focus on what my military analysis was
14 doing on -- on the day-to-day with respect to what was going on with
15 Sarajevo, so I don't know the details of that.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know any details concerning Srebrenica? Did
17 Muslims did out of the Srebrenica demilitarised zone in order to get more
18 advantageous positions and to mount attacks against VRS units?
19 A. With respect to 1995, I would characterise most of the military
20 operations by the ABiH out of the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa more
21 along the lines of raids. Go out, launch a specific attack against a
22 discrete target, achieve those objectives, and then fall back into the
23 enclaves. They did not have the military power necessary to go out of
24 the enclaves, generally, and hold territory in the face of a sustained
25 VRS counterattack.
1 Q. Let us look at the situation in Srebrenica on the 13th of July,
2 discussed by Mr. Smith in his statement. It's page 16.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which paragraph?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Paragraph 3 in Serbian. Page 16 in
5 Serbian, last paragraph. It's the 3rd paragraph in English.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let me quote it, then you will maybe find it more easily.
8 "Until 13 July, I believed the Muslims had managed to escape, but
9 whether successfully or not I didn't know. The BH Army told me nothing
10 about it."
11 And before that he says they had occasionally left the enclave
12 and taken up certain positions.
13 My question is: Have you read any documents, any UNPROFOR
14 reports saying that Muslims in the enclaves went out of the enclaves,
15 across the front line, and took up positions in the territory held by the
17 A. I'm sorry, sir, I am still not finding the paragraph that you're
18 referring to.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am in the same position.
20 Mr. Gajic.
21 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's the second half
22 of the last paragraph.
23 THE WITNESS: Okay. I've read the paragraph. Now what was your
24 question again, sir?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The question was, I quote:
1 "Have you read any documents, any UNPROFOR reports saying that
2 Muslims in the enclaves went out across the front line and took up
3 positions by the territory held by the VRS?"
4 That was the question.
5 THE WITNESS: Are we talking in the period before the fall of
6 Srebrenica or afterwards?
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. What about before the fall of Srebrenica?
9 A. As I testified earlier, before the fall of Srebrenica, the
10 military operations conducted by the ABiH were in the series of raids,
11 where they would go out, do discrete military operations, and then fall
12 back into the enclave. It was not a goal of holding territory, so to
13 speak, and defending that territory.
14 Q. Thank you. Please, does that mean that they had to go across the
15 front lines to get behind the lines of the VRS?
16 A. Well, sir, as you're aware, despite the military forces that were
17 around the enclaves from the VRS, there was never a cohesive series of
18 lines. There were a number of gaps between various military units. So I
19 suspect that the tactic that was used was not necessarily to breach
20 through where the military positions were, but it was to essentially
21 exploit the gaps in the lines and to go around those military positions
22 to get behind the VRS units.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Do you know that part of the agreement we
24 read envisaged the deployment of liaison officers from one territory to
25 the other? Thank you.
1 A. Yes, sir. I believe in the agreement that was the prior exhibit,
2 the phrase was that there would be liaison officers and other regional
3 commissions as deemed necessary or as determined necessary.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Let me tell you that General Smith
5 mentions this.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at page 11, the last
7 paragraph of his statement, the version in Serbian -- or, rather, it's
8 paragraph 3 of his statement in Serbian. Page 11. And that is page 11,
9 the first three paragraphs in English. Thank you, Aleksandar.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. "I informed Dr. Karadzic that as I could no longer guarantee the
12 safety of the Bosnian Serb liaison officers in Gornji Vakuf, I intended
13 to return them. I delivered a letter to this effect. Karadzic agreed to
14 this, and the BSA liaison officers were returned to the Bosnian Serb Army
15 at 1900 hours that evening."
16 This is my question: A warring party, in this case the Muslims,
17 did they not give a clear indication of violating the cessation of
18 hostilities agreement by this and that they returned the liaison officers
19 to the territory of Republika Srpska? Thank you.
20 A. This particular document just mentions one instance at
21 Gornji Vakuf. I don't know whether this applies to all of them or not,
22 and without knowing any of the context around that, I am just not able to
23 answer the question as whether or not this should be an indicator that
24 they were going to violate the cease-fire. It's just not enough
25 information to go on.
1 Q. Thank you. Let me avoid testifying and giving information. It
2 is not my purpose. What I would like is to show you elements of the
3 agreement that were violated. This is what I tried to do.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us look at page 10, the last
5 paragraph of the statement by General Rupert Smith where he speaks about
6 the offensive activities of the Bosnian Muslims. Page 10, paragraph 3,
7 and page 9, paragraph 1, clearly indicates that this was on the
8 13th of March.
9 All these events happened on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of March,
10 as expressed in Mr. Smith's statement. And page 9, the last paragraph
11 clearly indicates that it was the 13th of March.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page in English?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 9, the last paragraph.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It says:
16 "On the 13th of March ..."
17 Let's move to page 10 now, please.
18 I was showing you this to indicate the time-frame only. We don't
19 want to go through the entire statement. Let's look at the last
20 paragraph of page 10 in Serbian, which is paragraph 3 of page 10 in
21 English, which reads:
22 "Matters continued to deteriorate during the following week when
23 the Bosnian Army mounted an offensive in two directions claiming that it
24 was designed to relieve pressure on Bihac. One attack on the Vlasic
25 feature was ultimately successful, but the attack on the Majevica hills
1 from Tuzla was not."
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. This is my question: Four locations are referred to here.
4 Namely, Bihac; Vlasic, near Travnik; Majevica, on the border between
5 Republika Srpska and the Federation, near Tuzla; and the offensive out of
6 Tuzla in the direction of the borders of Republika Srpska. Is that not
7 the case, that these four locations are mentioned here? Thank you.
8 A. Yes, sir, you're correct. It mentions those four locations.
9 Q. Thank you. Let's see what General Smith has to say further down.
10 "I took the view that the Bosnian government had no intention of
11 extending the cessation of hostilities agreement beyond the end of
13 He goes on to say:
14 "On the 22nd of March, I met with Dr. Ganic, Mr. Muratovic and
15 General Hajrulahovic. I was accompanied by Mr. Aguilar. The purpose of
16 the meeting was to assess the political stance of the Bosnian government
17 in relation to the cessation of hostilities agreement following the
18 Bosnian offensive in the Tuzla area.
19 "On the 23rd of March, I met with General Delic in order to gain
20 a clearer understanding of the Tuzla and Travnik areas and assess the
21 potential for maintaining the cease-fire in Bosnia."
22 This is my question: Does it not follow clearly from this
23 portion of General Smith's statement that, in March, the Muslim army did
24 not want to honour the cessation of hostilities agreement? Thank you.
25 A. Yes, sir. I mean this is General Smith's interpretation of
1 events that were occurring on the ground at the time. And again, as I've
2 testified before, within the context of what was happening on the ground,
3 how much territory the VRS controlled versus the ABiH, I don't believe
4 that politically there was a will to maintain the cease-fire by the
5 Bosnian government at the time. It would have been politically
6 unfavourable for them to do so, and militarily, they would not have been
7 able to sustain those line indefinitely.
8 Q. Thank you. Does this not constitute a violation of the cessation
9 of hostilities agreement? Thank you.
10 A. I guess in a technical sense it would constitute a violation.
11 If -- when one party goes over to the offence, again, depending on the
12 specifics of the agreement, you're -- you're violating the cease-fire by
13 taking offensive action. That would be a technical violation.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's move to the next page, which
16 is page 12 in Serbian. The last paragraph. And the corresponding page
17 in English is 12, paragraph 4.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I quote:
20 "Consultations with the Bosnian government included meetings with
21 Silajdzic, Muratovic, Ganic, and Sacirbey. The Bosnians were quite clear
22 that an extension of the cessation of hostilities agreement was not in
23 their interest, and they took the opportunity again to criticise the weak
24 and contradictory UNPROFOR mandates and the strangulation of Sarajevo by
25 the Bosnian Serbs."
1 Can you perhaps tell the Trial Chamber what the distance is
2 between Sarajevo and the locations we mentioned earlier, Majevica,
3 Vlasic, Tuzla, in order for them to have an understanding of it? Thank
5 A. I can't give you a kilometre basis. They are not in the Sarajevo
6 area is what I can say. They are in different areas of the country that
7 are outside of the normal area that you would consider part of Sarajevo.
8 So they are not related in that sense.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's move on to the next page. In
11 Serbian, that's page 12, paragraph 1, the last sentence of the paragraph.
12 That's page 12 in English, paragraph 3 from the bottom. Thank you.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I quote the last sentence of that paragraph. There is a
15 reference to a meeting between Karadzic and Smith, and it is stated here:
16 "Again he offered a permanent cease-fire on condition that they
17 were treated equally in relation to the Bosnians and that sanctions
18 against themselves were lifted."
19 He said that:
20 "If the international community treated the Serbs like beasts in
21 a cage, then that is how they would behave."
22 Did General Smith state in this statement in the Serbs had agreed
23 to a permanent cessation of hostilities, unlike the Muslims, who refused
24 to do so and violated the cessation? Thank you.
25 A. In this paragraph he does reflect that that is what -- he sources
1 that back to President Karadzic.
2 Q. Thank you. As a military analyst, tell us this: If a warring
3 party agrees to a cessation of hostilities and the other does not, which
4 of the two parties would be deemed responsible for the continuation of a
5 war? Thank you.
6 A. If only life were that simple. The problem that you have to look
7 at when you look at this in context is that, frankly, from November of
8 1992 onwards, the Bosnian Serbs were, for the most part, looking to end
9 hostilities. Their position was that they had achieved all of their
10 territorial gains, they had unified their population group in areas that
11 they wanted under their contiguous control, but the other side of the
12 party didn't. The Bosnian Muslim government particularly was
13 significantly disadvantaged by the military situation on the ground and
14 the political one. That was inherent in that.
15 So the fact that the side -- or one party of the conflict, which
16 is achieving all of their war aims and has achieved them in their mind,
17 wants to end hostilities doesn't make it necessarily the fault of the
18 other party which is on the losing end of that stick to come to peace
19 because it's not advantageous for them. In this particular context,
20 militarily neither side could administer the knockout blow; however,
21 neither side could sue for peace under the circumstances.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Tell us, if both parties signed a
23 cessation of hostilities agreement and one of the sides wishes to
24 continue complying with it whereas the other does not, which of the two
25 would be responsible for the continuing war? Thank you.
1 A. Well, it would be -- the side that continued to conduct military
2 operations would be technically in violation of the cease-fire. So
3 whether being in technical violation of the cease-fire equates to being
4 at fault for the continuation of the war is a harder question. Again,
5 within the context of what was happening on the ground, I believe that
6 the ABiH engaged in this cease-fire for the tactical purpose of being
7 able to re-equip and resupply and retrain their military forces. I don't
8 believe they ever had the position was that the cease-fire and the
9 military positions that they possessed when they agreed to it in late
10 1994 -- in November or December of 1994 and in early January of 1995,
11 were the military positions that they planned to end the conflict on. I
12 don't believe that they believed that those positions, in December of
13 1994 and January of 1995, would have left them with a viable state.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe, please.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: I don't see in the body of your answer the answer
16 to the question, which was:
17 "If both parties signed a cessation of hostilities agreement and
18 one of the sides wishes to continue complying with it whereas the other
19 does not, which of the two would be responsible for the continuation of
20 the war?"
21 Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: Rather than in the abstract, technically let's just
23 say what it is. The Bosnian Muslim side was not willing to live with the
24 cease-fire beyond a certain point when they believed that they could
25 achieve their objectives militarily. That point started in March of 1995
1 with the resumption of large-scale military operations in various
3 The cease-fire, it was just what it was. It was a temporary
4 agreement to stop military conflict. It was not a precursor, and I don't
5 believe the Bosnian Muslims ever viewed it to be the pre-cursor to a
6 permanent peace agreement.
7 So when the conflict began again in earnest in March of 1995 by
8 the offensives in 1st and 2nd Corps area, they were done so by the
9 Bosnian Muslims for their purposes.
10 JUDGE NYAMBE: Which were the purposes?
11 THE WITNESS: Their purpose was primarily to regain territory
12 that they believed was theirs. Particularly with respect to Sarajevo,
13 when you look at where the Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Muslim military
14 positions were and the stranglehold that the Bosnian Serbs had over the
15 city, there should be no question that that situation would -- could
16 somehow continue in a non-conflict -- or in a post-conflict stage. That
17 would not have left the Bosnian Muslim side with a viable capital, let
18 alone a viable country.
19 So their purpose was the same purpose that they had since
20 November of 1992, which was to continue military activities against
21 primarily the Bosnian Serbs for the purpose of recapturing or regaining
22 territory that they believed was rightfully theirs.
23 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much, Mr. Butler.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Nyambe.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Butler, do you know that the Muslims fought in Bosnia both
3 the Serbs and the Croats before the cessation of hostilities? Thank you.
4 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know that during the cessation of hostilities
6 an agreement was signed between the Muslims and the Croats about the
7 establishment of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and a cessation of
9 A. When you say "cessation of hostilities," you're referring to the
10 cessation of hostilities between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian
11 Muslims; correct, sir?
12 Q. That's correct, Mr. Butler. Thank you.
13 A. Yes, sir. I am aware of that, sir. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know who it was who imposed the cessation of hostilities
15 agreement in Bosnia? Did it come about spontaneously among the warring
16 parties or was it imposed by someone?
17 A. Are we talking about the one between the Bosnian Croats and the
18 Bosnian Muslims again?
19 Q. Now we have moved on to the comprehensive cessation of
20 hostilities agreement in Bosnia. Was it imposed by anyone, and if so, by
22 A. I don't know the answer to that.
23 Q. Thank you. Let's see what General Smith has to say about it in
24 his statement.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 11, paragraph 2 in Serbian,
1 and we will move on to paragraph 3. As for paragraph 2, we are only
2 interested in the date. It's page 10 in English, the penultimate
3 paragraph, as well as the last one.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. It reads:
6 "On the 5th of April, I met privately with Dr. Karadzic at a
7 hotel near Pale."
8 So he's referring to the 5th of April during his term of office
9 in 1995. I referred you to this paragraph merely for the date. In the
10 subsequent paragraph he speaks of the substance of the meeting and says:
11 "Karadzic took the opportunity to deliver a message to me in the
12 knowledge that I would pass it on through the UN chain of command. The
13 message was that the Bosnian Serbs had decided that the cessation of
14 hostilities agreement had failed and that the Bosnian Serbs felt that
15 they had been let down by the former US President Carter, the
16 United Nations, and the international community."
17 This is my question for you: Does it follow from this who was it
18 who exerted pressure on the Serbs to agree to the cessation of
19 hostilities agreement during the time when the Muslims were fighting both
20 the Serbs and the Croats? Thank you.
21 A. I don't know whether this particular phrase is meant to imply
22 that the former President Carter, the UN, and the international community
23 imposed the agreement or whether President Karadzic is reflecting his
24 disappointment because they had not been more forceful in trying to keep
25 the agreement. So I don't know that I can answer your particular
1 question there. Also with respect to your last comment, "the Muslims
2 were fighting both the Serbs and the Croats," I am not aware that that
3 was happening as late as April of 1995.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To bring clarity to this, let's
6 look at page 19 of the statement of Mr. Smith. Paragraph 5 in Serbian,
7 and in English it's page 18, the penultimate paragraph. Thank you,
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I quote:
11 "On the 23rd of July, on my way back from London, I met with
12 Mr. Sacirbey at Split airport. The meeting was at Sacirbey's request and
13 followed the meeting and the Split agreement between Bosnian, Croatian,
14 and Federation ministers. Sacirbey explained this agreement. We also
15 discussed the situation in Zepa, the fighting in Bihac, the army of the
16 RSK offensive, and the arrangements for the rapid reaction force."
17 Can you tell on the basis of this reference to 1995 that this was
18 following the cessation of hostilities agreement when the so-called Split
19 declaration was signed by the Croats and the Muslims? Thank you.
20 A. Okay. That helped clarify it for me, because I thought in your
21 prior question you were referencing the Bosnian Croats and Muslims. I
22 didn't realise that you were discussing the actual Republic of Croatia in
23 that context. So I am clear on that, yes, sir.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Since we are now clear on that, can you
25 tell us, as a military analyst, did the Muslims violate the cessation of
1 hostilities agreement because they believed that they had created the
2 necessary conditions for contiguous territory, for linking up with the
3 enclaves, and liberating Sarajevo? Thank you.
4 A. I don't know if all of those conditions are met, but they
5 violated -- or they basically terminated the cease-fire and initiated or
6 reinitiated hostilities against Bosnian Serb military forces because they
7 believed that militarily they could defeat them and to achieve the
8 territorial aims that they were looking for. Liberating Sarajevo or
9 breaking through the VRS siege lines that were there was one part of
10 them. Enclaves were another part of the them, but there were territorial
11 aspects to it as well that were even beyond that.
12 Q. Mr. Butler, did the enclaves then constitute a great problem in
13 the territory of Republika Srpska because they mounted attacks against
14 civilians at that same time that we are discussing, after the cessation
15 of hostilities agreement?
16 A. They were a problem in the sense that, yes, they did target
17 civilians coming out -- or military forces coming out of the enclaves did
18 target civilians or civilian objects. But within the framework of what
19 the larger levels of the VRS was looking at, and again as I discussed in
20 my report, along this same time-frame, the VRS, just as the Bosnian
21 Muslim military forces are seeing themselves growing stronger every day,
22 politically with their alliance with the Bosnian Croats and later with
23 Croatia, the Bosnian Serbs see themselves weakening every day. The
24 Bosnian Serbs as early as March and April of 1995 were recognising the
25 fact that 1995 would be the decisive year of the war for them. They were
1 running to the end of their tether with respect to manpower, military
2 equipment, so going back to well prior testimony, the military forces
3 that were tied down around the enclaves were believed by General Mladic
4 and the Army of Republika Srpska being squandered, if you will, when they
5 could be used more profitably in other areas of the battle-field for the
6 Republika Srpska.
7 And, in fact, when one looks at what happens starting in August
8 of 1995 with Croatian Operation Storm, in part, you know, they are
9 successful because they are able to generate -- or I should make it clear
10 that the Republic of Croatia is successful, because it's able to generate
11 superior military force on those areas of the battle-fields that it
12 needed to while large components of the VRS are still tied down dealing
13 with the issues related to the eastern enclaves.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. You have now clarified this problem in
15 Krajina and Croatia. You probably meant the western part of Republika
17 My question is: Did Serbs rightfully demand the demilitarisation
18 of these areas in keeping with the agreement if the Muslims were
19 attacking behind Serb lines from the enclaves?
20 A. Yes, sir, in the sense that the cease-fire agreement -- and again
21 using Srebrenica as an example, the cease-fire agreement did call for the
22 forces to be demilitarised inside the enclaves, and it was recognised by
23 the local Bosnian Serb military forces that they were not demilitarised
24 and that the UN was not meaningfully enforcing the demilitarisation. So
25 the Serbs did frequently raise that issue.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Do you know that Serbs also raised it
2 officially at meetings with UNPROFOR? Do you know this from the
3 documents you've seen?
4 A. I am aware, generally, that the VRS did complain about it. I am
5 not sure off the top of my head which documents would illustrate that,
6 but I agree that on many occasions the VRS military leadership raised the
7 issue of the failure of the United Nations to demilitarise forces inside,
8 specifically, the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Let me try to assist you by showing you
10 the statement of Mr. Smith, page 13, last paragraph, where you can see
11 that this issue was raised officially more than once.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at page 13. It's the
13 fourth paragraph in English. Thank you, Aleksandar.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Quote:
16 "On my return on the 21st May, I had a further private meeting
17 with Dr. Karadzic. The discussion covered the future of UNPROFOR and in
18 particular the UN presence in the eastern enclaves as well as the
19 stabilisation process after the recent hostilities in Sarajevo."
20 I stress this covered the future of UNPROFOR.
21 "Karadzic confirmed that the Bosnian Serbs had effectively
22 withdrawn consent for the UN operation stating that he had no belief in
23 the impartiality, efficiency, and credibility of the UN. On the issue of
24 the enclaves he said, 'They are a time bomb about to explode.' He
25 maintained that the UN should get out but that UNHCR would be safe to
1 remain. UNPROFOR presence, he stated, was welcome only if the enclaves
2 were demilitarised and became safe areas for the population."
3 My question is: In this specific case did the Serbs, the
4 president of the Bosnian Serbs, make it clear to UNPROFOR commander that
5 the UNPROFOR would not be welcome to stay there unless the Muslims
6 stopped attacking from these enclaves and the enclaves were to be
8 A. What it specifically says is that UNPROFOR has no credibility in
9 this respect anymore because it has not demilitarised the particular
10 enclaves and that their presence would be welcome only if the enclaves
11 weren't demilitarised. I take it from your comment that obviously if
12 they are demilitarised, then the attacks would stop, but I mean, just to
13 be clear, it does not specifically say that's not why they are welcome.
14 It makes it clear that President Karadzic is upset about the fact that
15 his position was that the UN never effectively demilitarised the enclaves
16 and, as a result, they are no longer a credible peacekeeping force there.
17 Q. Thank you. I quoted a moment ago the words of Mr. Karadzic to
18 Mr. Smith, and Mr. Smith repeated it when he gave a statement to this
19 OTP. But I don't mind if you look at it differently.
20 My question is: Do you find it normal, as a military expert,
21 that demilitarised area be full of troops and weapons and mount attacks
22 against the side which granted it the status of a demilitarised zone?
23 A. From a military perspective a demilitarised zone is supposed to
24 be just that. It is supposed to be demilitarised for a purpose, and when
25 one party demilitarises an area, that area is afforded the protections of
1 a civilian or open area. Sadly, not only in the conflict in Bosnia but
2 in many areas globally, apparently the new normal is that demilitarised
3 areas are not effectively demilitarised and, as a result, combat activity
4 continues to occur from it. It's not supposed to be that way.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. This is an area that was controlled by UN
6 forces. So I'm asking you, was the entire international community
7 supposed to be involved in their demilitarisation?
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think such a broad -- "this area is controlled
10 by UNPROFOR forces," what area has been controlled by UNPROFOR forces?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, if you want to have a precise answer
12 you should put a precise question to the witness. Could you clarify it,
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank Mr. McCloskey, and I thank
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Since the Srebrenica area was controlled by UN forces called
18 UNPROFOR, were they supposed to involve the entire international
19 community in the demilitarisation of this area that they were supposed to
20 control? Thank you.
21 A. Several different answers to that question. The first one is, I
22 guess from a United Nations perspective, they are not sure, and when I
23 say "them," I mean the Dutch Battalion, they are not sure they ever
24 controlled the enclave. They are certainly not sure if that was ever
25 their mission to do it. The whole context of the United Nations' own
1 evaluation of the Srebrenica enclave is full of -- is full of assertions
2 about the fact that they were unclear themselves at both the political
3 level in New York at the department of peacekeeping and in Bosnia exactly
4 what the mission and the roles of the forces inside the enclave were
5 supposed to be. Whether they were there as merely a presence, which in
6 effect was not much, or whether they were there to enforce a cease-fire,
7 or whether they were there to enforce the demilitarisation of both
8 parties or, in this case, of the Bosnia Muslim party.
9 The problem in answering your question directly is the -- the
10 problem that I have is that when the United Nations themselves, as
11 evidenced in their own report, isn't clear on what their own political
12 objectives are with respect to their presence in the enclave, that lack
13 of clarity travelled all the way down the military chain of command so,
14 ultimately, the military commanders of the various Dutch battalions that
15 cycled through there themselves weren't clear exactly what their mission
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. And did they know which agreement they
18 were implementing?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us look at D21.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the meantime Judge Nyambe has a question.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: I am not quite sure whether I have a question
22 or -- I'm a bit confused by the last answer by Mr. Butler. I thought
23 there was a specific UN resolution describing what the mandate of
24 UNPROFOR was, no?
25 THE WITNESS: There is a specific resolution, I agree. However,
1 one cannot escape the reality that UN resolutions are written very
2 broadly and they do not readily translate themselves into military
3 missions. I cite as an example, the recent UN mandate to protect
4 civilians in Libya was not viewed by many of the people who voted for
5 that mandate as an opening for NATO to engage in a bombing campaign in
6 that country.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to invite you to refrain from
8 testifying about Libya. You should come back to this specific question
9 by Judge Nyambe about the mandate of UNPROFOR.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir, and I only do it as a point of
11 example. I mean, the UN, in their report, was very -- the one thing that
12 they were clear about was that at the political levels they didn't know
13 what the mandate meant with respect to being in the enclaves. As you
14 will recall, it was not a United Nations Security Council decision to
15 declare Srebrenica a safe area. It was an after-the-fact ratification of
16 a declaration and a commitment made by General Morillon.
17 I suspect that had they to do it over again, they would have
18 tried to provide General Morillon with more specific guidance about what
19 he was or was not authorised to declare. Of course, you can't go back in
20 history and fix that. In a perfect world, you could say and make the
21 argument that the UN had the mission of demilitarising the safe area and
22 that the Dutch military forces -- or first the Canadian military forces
23 and later the Dutch would then consequentially have the mission of
24 forcing the demilitarisation of that area. And if they could not or did
25 not believe that forcing it was their job, they withdraw.
1 But it's more than just a military problem. The phrases were
2 used generally. First the Canadians and later the Dutch did not see it
3 as their mission to enforce a cease-fire and to force compliance at the
4 force of -- at the point of a gun, if necessary. And the UN, for its
5 part, didn't see that it was going to be in a position to either make
6 national contingents risk their soldiers' life to enforce that, and at
7 the other side, they didn't see that it was in their interest to actually
8 pull their military forces out completely and have no presence there.
9 It is a particularly confusing situation and it is a particularly
10 frustrating situation for military commanders who are used to very
11 concrete mission orders and objectives from their national commands.
12 I am not sure that the answer I am giving you helps to clarify
13 the situation. I don't know that any answer could actually clarify it,
14 given the confusion that the United Nations themselves at all levels of
15 command had with respect to what they were supposed to be doing.
16 JUDGE NYAMBE: Nevertheless, I thank you for your answer.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, indeed.
18 Mr. Tolimir.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Butler, here we see the agreement on the demilitarisation of
21 Srebrenica and Zepa concluded between Lieutenant General Ratko Mladic and
22 General Sefer Halilovic on the 8th of May, 1993. It says exactly what
23 Judge Nyambe asked about. It says:
24 "Confirming Resolution 824 of the Security Council in which it is
25 declared that the towns of Zepa and Srebrenica and their surroundings
1 should be treated as safe areas by all the parties concerned and should
2 be free from armed attacks and from any other hostile act."
3 Now, does this say that the Security Council dictated what
4 Srebrenica and Zepa should look like?
5 A. What it says is, and again it is a perfect illustration of the
6 problem, that it declares them to be safe areas and to be treated by all
7 parties as such. What it doesn't say is who is going to enforce this
8 decision if one of the parties does not comply and how that enforcement
9 will take place.
10 Q. Thank you. Let us look at section 1 of this agreement. It says:
11 "To demilitarise the areas of Srebrenica and Zepa.
12 "The demilitarised areas will include the area within the current
13 lines of conflict."
14 Following consultations:
15 "The precise boundaries will be marked by the UNPROFOR commander,
16 and the demilitarised zone shall be marked on the ground by UNPROFOR by
17 means of boards on which it is stated in English, Serbian and Bosnian,
18 written in Cyrillic and Latin, as follows:
19 "Demilitarised zone."
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page of this
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. "Any military operation is strictly forbidden (Article 60,
24 protocol 1, additional to the Geneva Conventions)."
25 Does this say clearly who is to designate the boundaries of the
1 demilitarised area on the ground?
2 A. The document says -- at least the English language one says it
3 clearly, and I'm hoping this isn't an issue with translation, but it
4 specifically notes that:
5 "The precise boundaries will be marked by the UNPROFOR commander
6 on the ground after consultations."
7 I assume in this context the consultations they are talking about
8 are between the Bosnian Muslim and the Bosnian Serb sides. And then:
9 "At a later stage the contracting parties can agree, verbally or
10 in writing, to enlarge the demilitarised zone."
11 As you are aware, all the way through to the beginning of the
12 military operation in July 1995, both the Bosnian Muslim side and the
13 Bosnian Serb side disagreed as to what the demarcated boundaries of the
14 enclave would be.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
16 Would you please look at paragraph 3, with the leave of the
17 Trial Chamber, or perhaps we should do it after the break.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should indeed do that after the break. We
19 must have the second break now and we will resume quarter past 6.00.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 --- Recess taken at 5.44 p.m.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Butler, we left off dealing with Article 3, which reads:
3 "Every military or paramilitary unit will have either to withdraw
4 from the demilitarised zone or submit/hand-over their weapons.
5 Ammunition, mines, explosives, and combat supplies in the demilitarised
6 zones will be handed over/submitted to UNPROFOR. After
7 submission/hand-over of all weapons, ammunition, mines, and combat
8 supplies in the demilitarised zones, the contracting parties will declare
9 that the demilitarisation is complete. Submitting/hand-over will be
10 completed in Srebrenica by the 10th of May and in Zepa by the 12th of
11 May. Submitting/hand-over of weapons will be observed by a team of
12 officers from both sides together with UNPROFOR officers who will arrange
13 the places where the hand-over will be done."
14 And one more line from Article 4:
15 "UNPROFOR shall take the handed over/submitted weapons into
16 custody." And ammunition.
17 This is my question: Article 4, does it not define the UNPROFOR
18 mandate in very precise terms in relation to the demilitarised zone?
19 Thank you.
20 A. The answer to your question is that that particular question
21 itself raises the entire crux of the issue related to the UN forces in
22 Srebrenica and this particular cease-fire agreement. The Bosnian Serb
23 side believed that these particular -- Article 3 and Article 4 gave the
24 United Nations forces in Srebrenica the mandate and mission to enforce
25 the cease-fire. The broader United Nations didn't agree with that in
1 that context. Their view was that the contracting parties would turnover
2 the weapons, the United Nations would monitor those weapons' containment
3 areas, but they did not view it as their role to take the next step,
4 which was to enforce compliance with this agreement in particular cases
5 where particularly the Bosnian Muslims did not turnover all their
7 Q. Thank you for this interpretation, Mr. Butler. Based on the
8 provisions of the agreement, were they supposed to turnover all of their
9 weapons to UNPROFOR? Thank you.
10 A. Yes, sir. Article 3 is very specific. It specifically says:
11 "All weapons, ammunition, and mines."
12 Q. Thank you. Let us now look at Article 5:
13 "UNPROFOR shall control the demilitarised zone.
14 "To be able to implement this, an UNPROFOR unit and United
15 Nations Military Observers with sufficient strength to control the area
16 shall be present in the demilitarised zone. Until the contracting
17 parties agree otherwise, the UNPROFOR strength shall be of at least a
18 company group with command and supplying elements in each demilitarised
20 "In order to be able to resupply and rotate the unit, UNPROFOR
21 shall have freedom of movement to and from the demilitarised zone."
22 This is my question: In view of Article 5, was UNPROFOR supposed
23 to furnish the forces which would make sure that the area is
24 demilitarised and which would provide units of a company level and that
25 they would have their companies complete with the respective commands?
1 Thank you.
2 A. Article 5 specifies the minimum size will be a company. And, in
3 fact, the force that was initially in Srebrenica was a Canadian infantry
4 company. Later, it was increased to a battalion-level-sized force, a
5 larger force because all the parties, for the most part, didn't think
6 that a mere company could control the size of the area. So Article 5 did
7 set the framework for the size of the UN force that was believed to be
8 sufficient to control the area.
9 Q. Thank you. Pursuant to the Security Council resolution, was
10 UNPROFOR able to provide sufficient forces for the demilitarised zone or
11 was the situation, in fact, such that they would say that they were
12 unable to control a demilitarised zone?
13 A. Again, it started as a company level and that was increased later
14 on to a battalion-level force. Whether or not a battalion, or even as
15 the Dutch a reinforced battalion, had the ability to control effectively
16 an area that big is always going to be a matter of dispute. That's an
17 awful lot of territory for a battalion to control. So while the UN's job
18 was to go in there and control that particular area, again, given the
19 ambiguity of what the phrase "control" meant in the context, it was
20 initially believed that a battalion was enough. In fact, a battalion
21 probably was too little.
22 Q. Mr. Butler, do the United Nations normally operate on the
23 principle of one soldier to one soldier, one civilian to one civilian, or
24 do they normally assess the situation as to how they would be able to
25 demilitarised an area -- demilitarise an area? And do they, at that
1 level, define the strength of the forces that are to demilitarise a zone,
2 or is that left to those who are, in fact, present on the ground with the
3 purpose of demilitarising an area?
4 A. I think the reality is that, one, there is no United Nations
5 principle; and two, the cold, hard fact of the situation is that there is
6 no United Nations army either. The United Nations is completely
7 dependent on donor military -- or donor countries to allow their military
8 forces to be used under a UN mandate.
9 One of the -- again, referring back to the UN report on this
10 issue, one of the underlying themes that is also part of that report is
11 that even after declaring these various areas safe areas, there was a
12 distinct reluctance by a number of countries that had loaned forces to
13 the United Nations for the mission in Bosnia to actually then agree that
14 their military units can be used inside of these enclaves. It was seen
15 as being particularly -- having some particular risk to it. So as a
16 result, there was a bit of an a shuffle and a serious amount of
17 diplomatic work involved at the UN trying to come up with the adequate
18 number of forces for the safe areas.
19 Again, if I recall the UN report correctly, the UN at some point
20 in time came up with a number of how many military forces it thought it
21 needed to adequately enforce the safe areas. And again, if I recall
22 correctly, the forces that donor countries made available were
23 significantly less than what the UN thought it needed.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. If the party which designates an area
25 demilitarised is going about that business, is it not the obligation of
1 the United Nations to state whether they are able to do that or not?
2 Thank you.
3 A. One would think that if you're going to make that obligation that
4 you're going to be able to back up that obligation. In fact, again,
5 going to the situation with Srebrenica, the UN Security Council was
6 reacting to events that had already occurred on the ground with the
7 establishment of the Srebrenica safe area. It wasn't coming up with its
8 own plan independently. So to some degree, had it to do themselves, the
9 United Nations Security Council may never have come up with this whole
10 safe area idea, but they were reacting to a decision on the ground
11 already made by General Morillon.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at D193 again, page 9.
14 That's the statement by General Smith, who was UNPROFOR commander at the
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. At page 9, paragraph 2, he states as follows -- that's page 8 in
18 English, the penultimate paragraph. I quote:
19 "On the 7th of March, upon my return, I met up with Mladic."
20 Rather than me reading the whole paragraph, let me just read the
21 important line:
22 "The third most important issue that was discussed was the
23 demilitarisation of the safe areas of Gorazde, Srebrenica, and Zepa. On
24 the issue of Srebrenica, Mladic asked that I should order the withdrawal
25 of all the UNPROFOR forces from the confrontation line south-east of
1 Zepa. He maintained that the movement of observer missions of UNPROFOR
2 in this area made it possible for the Bosnians to occupy the area and a
3 very important road that was under the control of the Serbs. I refused
4 to do so and explained that it was my duty to observe the confrontation
6 This is my question: If the side which conferred upon Srebrenica
7 the status of demilitarised area, if it's asking to be withdrawn because
8 its unable to control the area, under the Geneva Conventions, is the
9 UNPROFOR commander able to say simply that he is unable to do so or
10 should he report that back to the authority that empowered him to be
11 there to begin with?
12 A. Well, with respect, I am not sure what, if anything, the
13 Geneva Conventions have to do with that. What I would say - and again,
14 not wanting to put words in General Smith's mouth - the fact is that
15 General Smith was the UN commander on the ground and would not make -- or
16 not make a commitment, but would not basically lay out what his position
17 were in that regard unless he believed that it was the position of his
18 superiors and that they would support his decision on this.
19 Q. Thank you. Mr. Butler, I said in keeping with the Geneva
20 Conventions, because each and every Geneva Convention envisages the
21 status of a demilitarised zone which can be conferred upon a given area.
22 You were able to see here a reference to Article 60 of the
23 Geneva Conventions in that very agreement we were reading.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have 1D1005. That's
25 Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention. 1D1005, thank you. Article 60. At
1 page 20 in English and 26 in Serbian. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: I agree with the context of -- that it mentions the
3 Geneva Conventions. Where I take issue is the fact that while those
4 particular articles will deal with what are -- what is a safe area and
5 how it's established, I mean, the same thing applies. I mean, the
6 Geneva Conventions don't have a particular enforcement mechanism. For
7 these provisions to work, it requires the willingness of both parties to
8 agree to follow the concepts.
9 So whether or not General Smith believes that his forces there
10 are enforcing a cease-fire or keeping warring parties apart, and the
11 decisions that General Smith takes in that regard are not enforceable by
12 the Geneva Conventions is the point that I'm trying to make. And that's
13 why I say I don't see how one has to do with the other. In
14 General Smith's decisions as to where he's going to maintain forces in an
15 effort to try and comply with the cease-fire agreement is dictated by
16 what his superiors in the United Nations are telling him, not by the
17 Geneva Conventions.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. You've started answering before I put my question to
21 Let's now look at item 1 of Article 60:
22 "It is prohibited for the parties to the conflict to extend their
23 military operations to zones on which they have conferred by agreement
24 the status of demilitarised zone if such extension is contrary to the
25 terms of this agreement."
1 This is my question: Was it contrary to the provisions of the
2 agreement for the Muslims from the demilitarised zones to carry out
3 sabotage actions within Republika Srpska? Thank you.
4 A. Again, not being an international law expert but just being a
5 military analyst, I mean the common-sense answer is that if you were
6 conducting military operations out of a demilitarised area, it is no
7 longer demilitarised, or at least the real estate that you are conducting
8 your operations off of. You open yourself up to military attack or
9 retaliation in that effect by your armed enemy.
10 Now, whether or not conducting one or three or five military
11 attacks out of the safe area invalidates an entire safe area is a
12 question I am not capable of answering.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let's look at paragraph 7 of this same article, which continues
16 on the following page. I am quoting item 7 of Article 60:
17 "If one of the parties to the conflict commits a material breach
18 of the provisions of paragraphs 3 or 6, the other party shall be released
19 from its obligations under the agreement conferring upon the zone the
20 status of demilitarised zone. In such an eventuality, the zone allows
21 its status but shall continue to enjoy the protection provided by the
22 other provisions of this Protocol and the other rules of international
23 law applicable in armed conflict."
24 This is my question: If the Muslim side violated the provisions
25 of the agreement, would the Serb side then be released from its
1 obligation arising from the agreement? Thank you.
2 A. In that context I believe that they would, and certainly within
3 the framework of my own analysis, I've always conceded the fact that the
4 28th Infantry Division was never disarmed and that it was an armed entity
5 and, therefore, was subject to attack by the Army of Republika Srpska. I
6 mean, the division itself represents a legitimate military target. So I
7 don't believe we're in disagreement on that issue.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And just to try to make clear, nor is the
11 Prosecution in disagreement, as for many years now that's been our
12 position. Just to remind the general on that particular point.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Prosecution has repeated this position quite
15 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 In that case let's turn to page 9 of the statement D193, which is
18 General Smith's statement. Page 9 in Serbian, paragraph 4. Thank you.
19 That's page 9, paragraph 2 in English. Thank you, Aleksandar.
20 Thank you. We can see it. In the paragraph above, which we
21 quoted a moment ago, Mladic referred to the need to demilitarise the zone
22 and stated what boundaries they should be reduced to.
23 And now paragraph 4 in Serbian and 2 in English.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I am quoting Mladic's -- or, rather, Smith's words:
1 "Mladic said that his concerns about Bosnian Army's intentions
2 had led him to restrict the amount of food, medicine, and fuel for the
3 enclaves and claimed that the United Nations was supplying the
4 Bosnian Army. I replied that any attack on the UN safe areas would be
5 condemned by the international community ..."
6 This is my question: Is it the case that here Mr. Smith
7 responded to Mladic's statement or in fact retorted by referring to the
8 possibility of threat applied by the United Nations? Thank you.
9 A. Well, again, not wanting to put words in General Smith's mouth, I
10 mean, what General Smith was -- at least in his own statement was saying
11 back to General Mladic was that any attack on the UN safe areas would be
12 condemned by the international community and would risk a response by
13 NATO air power against the Bosnian Serbs. Whether that qualified as an
14 abstract laying out of the consequences or whether it's a retort with
15 nothing behind it is something you would have to ask General Smith.
16 I would say that when you look at what happened in June and July,
17 certainly in Sarajevo and to a far lesser degree in Srebrenica, NATO air
18 power was employed. So General Smith was at least accurately laying out
19 that he had a capability to deal, or at least to inflict, those types of
20 consequences if he believed the safe areas were violated.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. As you can see, General Mladic cautioned
22 about the Muslims violating the agreement, and Smith said that they would
23 be bombed if they attack. Although, this is permitted for a party
24 conferring upon an area the status of a demilitarised zone under
25 Article 6 of Protocol 1.
1 This is my question: Did, by acting this way, General Smith
2 comply with the provisions of the Geneva Conventions or did he in fact
3 side with the Muslims who were mounting attacks out of the demilitarised
4 zone, an issue that we were discussing earlier today? Thank you.
5 A. Again, I can't tell you whether or not General Smith was or was
6 not in compliance with the conventions. What I can say is that the
7 Bosnia Serb military leadership and political leadership at the time
8 believed, particularly with respect to the enclaves, that UNPROFOR was
9 biased towards the Bosnian Muslims in them and that this would be a
10 reflection of that. That was a widely-held belief by many of the senior
11 leadership of the VRS, that, either directly or indirectly, the
12 United Nations forces were helping the Bosnian Muslim military forces in
13 the enclaves and in and around the Sarajevo safe area.
14 Q. Thank you. Let's see what the position of the political
15 leadership of Republika Srpska was in respect of the enclaves and what
16 Mr. Karadzic had to say.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 11, paragraph 4
18 in Serbian, which is page 11, paragraph 1 in English. Thank you,
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I am reading from the third line of the paragraph.
22 "Karadzic said that the VRS would not be respecting the safe
23 areas and claimed that they were unlawful under international law. He
24 also claimed that the BH Army was attacking them on a regular basis out
25 of Srebrenica and that the VRS was -- had sustained casualties."
1 Is it not the case that here both the political and military
2 leadership told General Smith that the areas were not demilitarised, that
3 they were used for mounting attacks against the party which conferred
4 upon them the status of demilitarised zones?
5 A. I agree with the fact that both General -- I'm sorry,
6 President Karadzic and General Mladic were both consistent in their
7 message back to General Smith that their view was because of the fact
8 that the zones were not demilitarised, that they believed that they had
9 the ability to militarily attack into them. So both President Karadzic
10 and General Mladic delivered a very consistent message to General Smith
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler. Did they also send a message that they
13 would restrict the supplies to the enclaves, not only the message that
14 they were under attack?
15 A. Again, as evidenced by the earlier paragraph that we read,
16 General Mladic made it clear that he was going to restrict humanitarian
17 supplies going in to the enclaves because it was his belief that those
18 humanitarian supplies were being used for military purposes.
19 Q. Thank you. Let's look, while we still have time, at page 12 of
20 this statement by Smith, paragraph 2, the last three sentences. It's
21 page 11 in English, towards the bottom of the page. It says:
22 "He made a series of unrealistic demands such as the lifting of
23 sanctions in return for an extension of the cessation of hostilities
24 agreement. I raised the issue of direct attacks on UNPROFOR and the
25 denial of supplies to the UNPROFOR troops in the enclaves. Karadzic
1 denied responsibility for attacks on UNPROFOR personnel, but accepted
2 that there had been mistakes. He then made the point that he could not
3 respect United Nations safe areas, claiming them to be illegal in
4 international law.
5 "On the issue of fuel, General Gvero said that fuel was to be
6 denied to UN troops in the enclaves because he had evidence that in
7 particular the UN troops in Srebrenica were supplying the Bosnian Army
8 with fuel. Gvero also said that he had intelligence that UNPROFOR had
9 adequate reserves of fuel."
10 At these meetings also with the political leadership, was it
11 announced to General Smith that supplies to the UNPROFOR in the enclaves
12 must be limited because they were making them available to Bosnian Muslim
14 A. Again, given the fact that this is General Smith's statement, he
15 is certainly coming away with that message. So I take it from notes and
16 his recollections of the meetings that he was very clear in the context
17 of who was saying what and what the basis for those discussions were. In
18 this particular case, he makes it clear that President Karadzic is citing
19 General Gvero and information that he has about fuel being diverting to
20 the Bosnian Army.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Butler.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us now look at page 13, if you
23 please, paragraph 3 in Serbian. And that's page 12 in English, the last
24 paragraph. Thank you, Aleksandar.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I quote the beginning of that paragraph:
2 "On the 9th of May, I had a further private meeting with
3 Dr. Karadzic. The discussions covered the recent Bosnian Serb army
4 attacks on Sarajevo and the Bosnian Serb sanctions on the UN contingents
5 in the eastern enclaves."
6 And then he says:
7 "I explained why I had recommended NATO air-strikes," et cetera.
8 In this paragraph 2, isn't it the case that president of
9 Republika Srpska announces and informs General Smith that he had imposed
10 sanctions on the UN troops in the enclaves -- in the eastern enclaves?
11 A. Maybe it's just a language issue. I take this that -- not
12 necessarily Dr. Karadzic making a declaration that he has made formal
13 sanctions against the UN contingents, but General Smith's discussion
14 which is, you know, his understanding of basically why that he considers
15 the -- that there are to be Bosnian Serb sanctions on the UN contingent.
16 Now, I guess taking this in line with the other exhibits that we've
17 discussed during the Prosecution case where as a matter of policy the
18 Main Staff was doing these types of things, I guess at the pinnacle of
19 that you're correct in saying that President Karadzic ultimately made
20 this decision. But, I mean, when I read this paragraph in isolation,
21 that meaning doesn't come out.
22 Q. Thank you. I am forced to quote again his exact words. He says:
23 "The discussions covered the recent BSA attacks in Sarajevo and
24 the Bosnian Serb sanctions on the UN contingents in the eastern
1 He doesn't say the army imposed sanctions. He says
2 Bosnian Serbs. And he discussed these two problems on the 9th May with
3 President Karadzic, didn't he?
4 A. Yes, sir, the issues came up on the 9th of May. The exact
5 phrase, again, from -- this isn't General Smith quoting
6 President Karadzic. This is General Smith's statement where he says:
7 "The discussions covered the recent attacks on Sarajevo and the
8 Bosnian Serb sanctions on the UN contingents."
9 Now, I don't know whether that's an exact quote from
10 President Karadzic or not. I did not follow General Smith's testimony.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we have to come to an end for today.
12 It's 7.00. We have to adjourn and we will resume tomorrow morning at
13 9.00 in this courtroom. We adjourn.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
16 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the
17 23rd day of August, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.