Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18585

 1                           Tuesday, 31 January 2012

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.  The

 6     witness should be brought in, please.

 7                           [The witness takes the stand]

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning, Mr. Skrbic.  Welcome back to the

 9     courtroom.  I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth

10     you made at the beginning of your testimony still applies.  Mr. Tolimir

11     is continuing his examination.

12             Mr. Tolimir, please continue.

13                           WITNESS:  PETAR SKRBIC [Resumed]

14                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

16             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  May the

17     Lord bring peace to this courtroom, and may the outcome of this trial be

18     decided by providence and not in accordance with my wishes.

19                           Examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]

20        Q.   [Interpretation] Yesterday, we were dealing with document

21     65 ter 0014.

22             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 65 ter 0014.

23     Thank you.  Thank you.

24             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, please tell us what sort of document this is.  Thank

Page 18586

 1     you.

 2        A.   This is a document from the Secretariat of the Defence Ministry

 3     in Zvornik, and it concerns an order that relates to the mobilisation of

 4     buses.  It's an order for other departments and secretariats.  It has

 5     been signed by -- Your Honours, I do apologise.  I have to rephrase my

 6     answer.  You can't see the memorandum above the number 0221.  It should

 7     say "The Memorandum of the Ministry of Defence of the Republika Srpska,"

 8     because given the signature, I've recognised the person who signed the

 9     document.  It was compiled in the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska

10     and forwarded to the Secretariat of the Defence Ministry in Zvornik.  The

11     contents of the document are quite obvious.  In the document itself it

12     concerns the mobilisation of buses.

13        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  I'll read out what it says here:

14             "Pursuant to a request by the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska

15     Army ... immediately mobilise buses."

16             "All available buses," I forgot to mention that.

17             My question is as follows:  Does this document correctly

18     characterise the request of the Main Staff as a request?  Thank you.

19        A.   Yes, this concept is correct.

20        Q.   What is the nature of this document and what's the difference

21     between the concept of a request, the concept of a proposal, and the

22     concept of an order?  Thank you.

23        A.   A request from the Main Staff, the request from the Main Staff

24     that we discussed yesterday was a matter of announcing the needs of the

25     VRS for buses, but this document from the ministry of Republika Srpska,

Page 18587

 1     forwarded to the Zvornik Secretariat is of an imperative kind.  It, in

 2     fact, represents an order according to which it is necessary to mobilise

 3     buses, that is stated categorically.

 4        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Did those who receive the document have

 5     the obligation to act according to what the document stated?  Thank you.

 6        A.   Yes, they were obliged to take action in accordance with the

 7     document.

 8        Q.   Was that a result of the request or, as you said, these documents

 9     here -- or, rather, these orders from the Ministry of Defence?  What was

10     the basis for this obligation?  Thank you.

11        A.   The Ministry of Defence of the Secretariat in Zvornik explained

12     its orders from the Main Staff and issued the order to mobilise buses.

13        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  In the last sentence it says:

14             "Keep this ministry informed immediately about the actions

15     taken ..."

16             I'll repeat what I said:

17             "Keep the ministry informed about actions taken ..." and do so

18     immediately.

19             So my question is as follows:  Can you tell us why this is stated

20     in the document, and whom do they have to inform, the Main Staff or the

21     ministry?  Thank you.

22        A.   Your Honours, allow me to read out the sentence correctly:

23             "Keep this ministry regularly informed about the actions taken in

24     connection with the aforementioned request."

25             The sentence quite clearly shows that the Zvornik Secretariat has

Page 18588

 1     the obligation to inform the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, not

 2     the Main Staff of Republika Srpska.

 3        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

 4             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this 65 ter 0014 document

 5     please be admitted into evidence?  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It will be received.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 0014 shall be

 8     assigned Exhibit D342.  Thank you.

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Could we now see the

10     following document 1D1029 in the e-court system.  Thank you.  Thank you.

11             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   We can see this document now, and we can see that it says

13     "Memorandum, Republika Srpska," 12th of July is the date.  That's the

14     memorandum you were mentioning, 12th of July, 1995.  It's a document from

15     the Ministry of Defence of the Republika Srpska and addressed to the

16     Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I interrupt you for a moment.  The English

18     version, the English part we have on the screen doesn't correspond with

19     the B/C/S one.  We need the correct translation.  I don't know which

20     problem we have.  Perhaps there is no translation.

21                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Possibly the wrong page or document was uploaded

23     into e-court because this one we just saw was from 1994 and didn't relate

24     to the B/C/S one.

25             Mr. Gajic, do you have any explanation for that?  Is there an

Page 18589

 1     English translation or not?

 2             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is a document from

 3     the Prosecution list, so they uploaded the document into the e-court

 4     system.  In the course of Mr. Tolimir's first or second question, it

 5     doesn't require a complete translation.  I will try and check to see

 6     whether it's possible to locate a full translation.

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, you should proceed without a

 8     translation.  I hope you will be able, with the assistance of Mr. Gajic,

 9     to show us the right page of the translation.  Please carry on.

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

11             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, please tell us, if possible, whose signature can be

13     found on this document and do you recognise it?  Thank you.

14        A.   In the lower right-hand quarter, it says "Assistant minister,

15     Momcilo Kovacevic."  It was probably typed out on a computer.  This can

16     be quite clearly seen.  But D. Kapetina, Dragan Kapetina, I think, signed

17     on his behalf, because it says "for" under assistant minister, and then

18     he signed it.  So he had the authority to sign this document in this way.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Skrbic, in the lower left-hand corner, can you

20     see the stamp, the telegram stamp with information about how it was sent,

21     and is there anything that you conclude on the basis of that stamp that

22     might be of interest to the Trial Chamber?

23        A.   Unfortunately, I can't interpret this stamp because there are

24     some figures that it contains that are confusing me.

25        Q.   Thank you.

Page 18590

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

 2             MR. McCLOSKEY:  We do have an English translation of this

 3     document which I would like to be put up.  It does have information in it

 4     that goes to another issue that the witness was asked about.  Or --

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Is that uploaded in e-court?  And if so, can you

 6     give us the respective number?

 7             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Ms. Stewart can put it on Sanction apparently

 8     right now.  And the issue is also in one paragraph, you could just read

 9     it, which says what time the bus -- or what date the buses are expected

10     to be at the Bratunac stadium, which was an issue yesterday.  But we can

11     get that on Sanction, too.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Now we have an English translation of this

13     document.  I hope it's the same document.  It's a document of the

14     12th of July, 1995, Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik.

15     Subject: "Request for Mobilisation of Buses."  And for the benefit of all

16     participants I read out the first paragraph:

17             "Pursuant to the request of confidential number," and then

18     follows the number 09/31/12-3/154, "of the VRS Main Staff, dated

19     12th of July, 1995, for the mobilisation of buses, immediately," in

20     capital letters, "mobilise at least 30 buses with drivers from Zvornik,

21     Visegrad, Vlasenica, Milici, and Bratunac Municipalities.

22             "The buses with drivers must report in Bratunac (sports stadium)

23     by 1430 on the 12th of July, 1995, at the latest.

24             "Immediately report to this ministry on activities carried out

25     pursuant to this request.

Page 18591

 1             "For Assistant Minister Momcilo Kovacevic."

 2             And then there is on the second page a translation of the stamp

 3     we saw earlier on the -- in the B/C/S version.

 4             Mr. Tolimir, you should continue and try to adhere with the

 5     documents we have had one after the other on the screen.  Please carry

 6     on.

 7             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank

 8     you, Mr. McCloskey.

 9             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   My question was:  Can one see from this stamp -- can one see

11     anything and can you draw any conclusions from the last line that we see

12     here, the last line of the translation?  Thank you.

13        A.   It is clear to me that the encryption people have filled out this

14     stamp, but it is really very difficult for me to try to discern

15     particularly those printed portions of the stamp.  So it's not legible.

16        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted into evidence,

18     65 ter 1D1029.  Thank you.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Since there is no English translation attached to

20     this original document, it will be marked for identification pending -- I

21     would say not pending translation, but pending attachment of the correct

22     translation.

23             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1029 shall be

24     assigned Exhibit D343, marked for identification pending provision of

25     correct translation.  Thank you.

Page 18592

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  Can we

 3     now have in e-court 65 ter document 2102.  Thank you.

 4             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   What we see here is another letter from the ministry of

 6     Republika Srpska.  You can see that in the letterhead.  It's dated

 7     12th July, 1995, and it was signed by the secretary.  Can you perchance

 8     recognise this signature?

 9        A.   This is the signature of Stevan Ivanovic who was the secretary.

10     Can I have the whole document back, please, so that I can see the

11     letterhead in the top left corner.

12             Your Honours, this is not the letterhead of the Ministry of

13     Defence of Republika Srpska but, rather, the secretariat, most probably

14     the one in Zvornik.  And this letter is sent to the sections.  And you

15     can see that it says under the Ministry of Defence departments in

16     Zvornik, Milici, Vlasenica, Sekovici, and Bratunac.  That is why this

17     letter was signed by the secretary.

18             Although the name of the secretariat that is in the letterhead is

19     not legible.  The secretariat is a lower-ranking organisational unit

20     within the ministry.  It pertains to specific regions and comprises a

21     number of municipalities where you have departments of the ministry.

22        Q.   Thank you.  Now, if you look at the upper right-hand corner,

23     there is another stamp there put by the Zvornik department confirming the

24     receipt.  Does that signify that the Zvornik department really received

25     it because it was indicated as a recipient and does that indicate that it

Page 18593

 1     was forwarded to the other departments mentioned below?  Thank you.

 2        A.   Yes, Mr. Tolimir.  This is exactly how it is, as you put it.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Under the word "order" it says:

 4             "1.  Mobilise immediately all buses except articulated ones.

 5             "2.  Bus drivers with the buses are to report immediately to the

 6     sports centre in Bratunac.

 7             "3.  If necessary, cancel all regular bus services until further

 8     notice.

 9             "4.  Report by telephone every 30 minutes to the Ministry of

10     Defence Secretariat in Zvornik about the actions taken pursuant to this

11     order.

12             "I shall hold department heads and managers of companies from

13     which the buses are to be requisitioned solely responsible for the

14     implementation of this order."

15             And then we have the signature.

16             Now, my question is, can you tell us what kind of document is

17     this?  Thank you.

18        A.   Judging by the word "order" used here, one can clearly conclude

19     that this is an order issued by the secretariat to its departments.

20     That's what we explained a minute ago.  This order stipulates the way of

21     reporting and who the recipient of the reports should be.

22        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can, please, this document be

24     admitted into evidence?  Thank you.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It will be received.

Page 18594

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 2102 shall be

 2     assigned Exhibit D344.  Thank you.

 3             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Can we now in e-court

 4     have document 1D1035.  Thank you.  We can see the translation as well.

 5             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   Please, can you tell us whose signature can you see on this

 7     document and whether the dispatch and the receipt of this document has

 8     been confirmed by the encryption service?  Thank you.

 9        A.   I would like to draw everyone's attention that something very

10     important has been added in this letter which is "very urgent" that we

11     see in the top right corner.  You asked me about the signature.  This was

12     not signed by Momcilo Kovacevic but, rather, by an employee of the

13     Ministry of Defence whose name is Banduka because before the words

14     "assistant minister" you can see the word "for."

15        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

16             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can, please, this document be

17     admitted into evidence.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  First, I would like to have the chance to see the

19     content of this document.  Can we have the English translation, please,

20     on the screen.  The text itself.

21             Sir, Mr. Skrbic, can you tell us who is writing to whom in this

22     letter?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the letterhead you

24     see that it says the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska.  That's the

25     originating institution, and it is addressed to the Secretariat of the

Page 18595

 1     Defence -- of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Do you see any difference between this document

 3     and the document we have seen earlier from the Ministry of Defence to the

 4     secretariat of the ministry in Zvornik with the subject:  "Request to

 5     Mobilise Buses."  I remember that we have seen a similar one.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is no difference

 7     in the contents.  And the only difference that I see and that I pointed

 8     out is that it says "very urgent," and you can see that it's been

 9     translated into English.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Can you see from the stamp when it was sent to

11     the recipient?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is another difference there.

13     The previous stamp I wasn't able to read because there it said the

14     12th of June; whereas, here, in the bottom left corner you can see the

15     date the 12th of July.  And this stamp put by the teleprinter operator is

16     completely consistent with the dates in the letter itself.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And the time indication you can see there, what

18     does it tell you?

19             Can it be enlarged, please.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first line -- I am really

21     trying to read this as much as I can although it's blurred.  But

22     logically, I would say that it was received on the 12th of July at

23     1840 hours, and then you have a signature.  The next line is illegible.

24     Then beneath it says:  "Processed on the 12th of July," and the signature

25     is identical.  And finally it says:  "Forwarded on the 12th of July at

Page 18596

 1     1905," and again the same signature.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  The document will be

 3     received into evidence.

 4             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1035 - I repeat,

 5     1D1035 - shall be assigned Exhibit D345.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Can we please have D342 again on the screen.  Is

 7     there a second page of this document?  No, I take it there is none.

 8     Thank you very much.

 9             Mr. Skrbic, if you compare this document with the last one we

10     have seen on the screen, what is the difference between two?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, there is no

12     letterhead of the Ministry of Defence.  There is no designation "very

13     urgent," the signature is different, and there is no stamp put by the

14     encryption officer.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

16             Mr. Tolimir, carry on, please.

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

18                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have in e-court document

20     1D1036.  Thank you.  Thank you.

21             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, what we see here is a document produced by the

23     Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, dated 13th of July, 1995,

24     addressed to the Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Bijeljina.

25     And it's another request for mobilisation of buses.  Can you tell me who

Page 18597

 1     signed this letter?  Can you recognise the signature?

 2        A.   This was signed by the official whose name appears typed up; in

 3     other words, the Assistant Minister Momcilo Kovacevic.  So he signed the

 4     document itself and that's what the signature reads.  In Cyrillic it says

 5     "M. Kovacevic."

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Now, my question is this:  Does this signature,

 7     M. Kovacevic, appear on other documents?  Did it appear on the documents

 8     that we showed a few minutes ago?  Thank you.

 9        A.   The name Momcilo Kovacevic as assistant minister appeared in the

10     body of the document but the signature was different.  It was -- in those

11     other documents, the documents were signed by other individuals who were

12     authorised to sign on behalf of Momcilo Kovacevic, and I know this

13     because some of those signatures I recognise because I knew the people

14     personally.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Now, can you see here at bottom left an encryption

16     stamp, and is this stamp a bit more legible than it was on the other

17     documents that I showed you a bit earlier?  Thank you.

18        A.   Yes, I can see it, and it is more legible now.

19        Q.   Thank you.

20             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this

21     document.  Thank you.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It will be received.

23             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1036 shall be

24     assigned Exhibit D346.  Thank you.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.  I -- I am going back to D343.  This

Page 18598

 1     was some minutes ago received and marked for identification.  I was told

 2     by the Court Officer that this is now -- the translation is now attached

 3     to the original document, so this is now in evidence without marking it

 4     for identification.

 5             Mr. Tolimir, please go ahead.

 6             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Could we

 7     now pull up in e-court 65 ter document P16?

 8             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter is not sure that the number is

 9     correct.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, can you please repeat the number.

11             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Could we

12     see 65 ter 16, 1-6.  Thank you.  This is the document that we wanted.

13             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   Please take a look at the document.  It says that the subject is:

15     "Request for Mobilisation of Buses for Transportation of Personnel."  Who

16     was it signed by, do you recognise the signature?  Thank you.

17        A.   This is signed by Assistant Minister of Defence

18     Momcilo Kovacevic, and this is indeed his signature.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Can you tell from this signature where this document

20     came from, which organ?

21        A.   Well, judging by the signature and by the function, I can

22     conclude that this is a document from the Ministry of Defence of

23     Republika Srpska.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Is the letterhead missing?  Should it appear above

25     the date and the number?  Thank you.

Page 18599

 1        A.   Yes, the letterhead is missing.  The Ministry of Defence

 2     letterhead.

 3        Q.   Thank you.

 4             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this

 5     document, 65 ter 16.  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  This relates also to the subject: "Request for

 7     Mobilisation of Buses for Transportation of Personnel."  It will be

 8     received.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, the 65 ter document 16 shall be

10     assigned Exhibit D347.  Thank you.

11             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Could we now see in

12     e-court 1D13038.  Thank you.  I will repeat:  1D1038.  I'm sorry, I

13     omitted the 0.  Thank you to Aleksandar.

14             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   We see that this is a document from the Ministry of Defence, the

16     Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik, and it is addressed to

17     the Pale Ministry of Defence, and the subject is: "Report on Mobilisation

18     of Vehicles."  My question:  Can you tell us what this document is about

19     and why it is that the Zvornik Ministry of Defence is sending this

20     communication, this document, to the Ministry of Defence, Pale?  Thank

21     you.

22        A.   The Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence in Zvornik had the

23     obligation - and we saw this in the order that you showed me earlier - to

24     report the Ministry of Defence on what they had done in order to mobilise

25     these vehicles, and this is, indeed, that report, from which we can see

Page 18600

 1     exactly the number of buses that have been mobilised.  If you would like

 2     me to read it, I can do so.  But this is a report sent to the

 3     Ministry of Defence.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

 5             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Again, we do have an English on Sanction, and I

 6     see some important information on it.

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much for this assistance to the

 8     Defence.  It says, inter alia:

 9             "We wish to inform you that we have mobilised and sent the

10     following by 2200 hours on the 12th of July, 1995:

11             "6 articulated buses;

12             "34 50-seater buses;

13             "2 minibuses;

14             "21 lorries and articulated lorries."

15             And then it continues:

16             "Further mobilisation is not possible as all possibilities have

17     been exhausted and passenger transport has been paralysed."

18             Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

20             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, can you tell us:  Was this telegram acted upon by the

22     addressee and did they report to their ministry what their capabilities

23     were and what they did in order to implement the order?  Thank you.

24        A.   Yes, that's what they said, that all the possibilities were

25     exhausted.

Page 18601

 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this

 2     document.  Thank you.

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Is it possible to attach the translation to the

 4     original document in the same procedure as with did it with the last

 5     document?

 6                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D1038 shall be

 8     assigned Exhibit D348.  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.  Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  And thank

11     you to the secretary -- to the Registrar.  Could we now see P2121,

12     please.

13             THE INTERPRETER:  2521, interpreter correction.

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   This is a document from the Drina Corps command, dated the

17     12th of July, 1995, sent as a very urgent document to the Main Staff, the

18     command post and rear command post for information.  I will read the

19     relevant part:

20             "Pursuant to the Main Staff of the VRS commander's order to

21     provide 50 buses for evacuation from the Srebrenica enclave, we hereby

22     ask you for additional approval of the following types and quantities of

23     fuel.

24             "Diesel fuel:  10.000 litres.

25             "Petrol:  2.000 litres.

Page 18602

 1             "On 12 July 1995 and onward, buses will be used from the

 2     municipalities of Pale, Sokolac, Visegrad, Rogatica, Han Pijesak, Milici,

 3     Sekovici, Bratunac, and Zvornik.  The final destination is unknown at the

 4     moment.  A representative of the Drina Corps shall take delivery of the

 5     quantities approved immediately upon your approval."

 6             And it is signed by the commander Major General

 7     Milenko Zivanovic.  As we can see the stamp is quite legible here, so can

 8     you tell us what these abbreviations mean that I read.  Unfortunately, I

 9     did not quote them.  It says "PK" and "PKM."  It says "KM" and "PKM."

10     Sent to the Main Staff, and then "KM" and "PKM."  Thank you.  And what is

11     this "for information" a reference to?

12        A.   KM stands for "command post."  And it's the command post of the

13     Main Staff of the VRS.  The PKM abbreviation stands for "rear command

14     post."  You also asked about the reference to "for information."

15        Q.   That's right.  Thank you.

16        A.   For this quantity of fuel, the only authorised person to approve

17     them is the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS, and now since this is

18     something that falls within the purview of logistics, they are informed

19     of this information.  This is for their information so that they can

20     expect that this amount of fuel will be requisitioned.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Can you please tell me whether the Ministry of

22     Defence has anything to do with this, and the minister, and whether he

23     issued any orders to that effect?  Thank you.

24        A.   I don't know if I understood you correctly.  Did you ask about

25     whether my sector had anything to do with this?  Well, the sector where I

Page 18603

 1     worked had nothing to do with this.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you.  The instance that sent this telegram,

 3     this organ, did they -- did they actually take over the subject matter

 4     from some decision made by someone else, and if so, whose decision?

 5        A.   The command of the Drina Corps, or, rather, its commander,

 6     Major Milenko Zivanovic, makes a reference here to the order of the

 7     Main Staff of the VRS on the provision of 50 vehicles that will need

 8     fuel.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  So my question then is this:  Does this mean that the

10     corps commander received the document approving the use of the quantities

11     of fuel mentioned here?  Thank you.

12        A.   Mr. Tolimir, as I sit here I can't really -- and based on this, I

13     cannot conclude whether he received a document or an oral order, but in

14     any case it would have had to come from the commander of the Main Staff

15     of the VRS, which is clear from this document.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Now, please tell us, based on all these documents

17     that I showed you, did the VRS inform the Ministry of Defence of

18     Republika Srpska of the purpose of these vehicles, what they were went to

19     be used for?  The vehicles that were mobilised.  Thank you.

20        A.   No, they only received -- they were only informed that they

21     should mobilise the buses and where they should mobilise them from and

22     where they should send them to.

23        Q.   Thank you.  Now, the telegram that we saw earlier, the outgoing

24     telegram, your telegram, did you mention in that telegram -- did you make

25     any reference to any additional requests in terms of the time-frame or

Page 18604

 1     the needs of the buses?

 2        A.   I didn't add remarks of any kind to that document.  If the term

 3     "evacuation" was used, well, it's a general term and you wouldn't know

 4     what needs to be evacuated.  Buses are, in general, used to evacuate

 5     people.

 6             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Excuse me, if the general is --

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

 8             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Excuse me, Your Honour.  If the general is, as I

 9     believe, and I think the witness believes, is asking General Skrbic about

10     his particular document, could we see that up on the screen?  Because

11     he's referring to specific things in it, and I think it would be helpful.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Indeed, I would appreciate that.  Can you provide

13     the Registry with a document number?

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Thank you,

15     Mr. McCloskey.  Let's now see P2520.  Thank you.  And then Mr. McCloskey

16     will be able to see what he is interested in.  Thank you.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And in relation to this document, Mr. Skrbic, you

18     were asked by Mr. Tolimir:

19             "Did you make any reference to any additional requests in terms

20     of the time-frame or the needs of the buses?"

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey, for

22     giving me the opportunity to have a look at the document.  I don't have

23     to rely on my memory.  I didn't send any additional requests to the

24     Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska.  And here we have seen what the

25     document says, quite clearly, so it's not necessary to repeat these

Page 18605

 1     things now.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  The -- but the question was --

 3             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   Thank you.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  -- if you have added to the request for the buses

 6     anything which could indicate the purpose of this request.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

10             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   I apologise to Mr. Skrbic.  Perhaps I wasn't precise.  This

12     matter might be clarified.  Is this the only request that you submitted

13     to the Ministry of Defence in relation to this issue?  Thank you.

14        A.   Mr. Tolimir, I can't remember exactly how many such requests

15     there were, but I quite clearly remember that we submitted a similar

16     request for the mobilisation of buses in the Banja Luka area towards the

17     end of 1995.

18        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.

20             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   Could you please tell us which organisational units of the

22     VRS Main Staff are located in Han Pijesak?  Thank you.

23        A.   I think the question concerns the wartime period, from 1992 to

24     1995.  During that period of time in Han Pijesak at the rear command

25     post, there was the logistics sector, the sector for mobilisation and

Page 18606

 1     personnel affairs, and the editorial board of the Republika Srpska paper.

 2     Towards the end of --

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't hear the year correctly.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the sector for morale guidance

 5     and legal affairs was also transferred there.

 6             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Wait a moment, please, Mr. Tolimir.

 9             Can you repeat the year?  The interpreters didn't catch it.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From 1992 to 1995 --

11             THE INTERPRETER:  From 1992 to 1996, said the witness.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

13             Mr. Tolimir.

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

15             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

16        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, please tell us, at the time of the event in

17     Srebrenica, were you involved in any extraordinary activities at the rear

18     command post?  Thank you.

19        A.   From the 18th of July, 1995, we had only organised defence for

20     the rear command post, direct and indirect defence.

21        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  From whom did you receive an order

22     according to which you should only organise direct and indirect defence,

23     as you said, in order to defend, protect, the rear command post?  Thank

24     you.

25        A.   We received an order from the commander of the VRS Main Staff.

Page 18607

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Can you remember the reason for which it was

 2     necessary to take the protective measures that you organised at the rear

 3     command post?  What was the reason for taking these measures?

 4        A.   It was necessary to take measures because of the information

 5     according to which armed forces were breaking through the forest, via the

 6     roads through Han Pijesak, and information according to which they were

 7     in the immediate vicinity of the rear command post.  And as a result of

 8     this information, we, ourselves, had to organise our defence because the

 9     65th Protection Regiment that had such a responsibility did not have

10     enough units to make it possible for it to protect that rear command

11     post.

12        Q.   Thank you.  Could you tell us where this attack on the rear

13     command post was launched from and by which enemy forces, if you have any

14     such information?  Thank you.

15        A.   The forces that broke through these roads from Srebrenica and

16     Zepa in the direction of Olovo and Kladanj, these forces had to pass

17     through the forest through Romanija and Han Pijesak itself.  And for a

18     stretch of the road, they had to pass through the area above Vlasenica.

19        Q.   Thank you.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

21             MR. McCLOSKEY:  I'm sorry, could we just double-check that we

22     have the date correct, that this happened after July 18th?  Or is --

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, can you please clarify that with the

24     witness.

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  I asked the witness

Page 18608

 1     which additional activities were taken at the rear command post at the

 2     time of the events in Srebrenica, and he answered as he did.  I don't

 3     understand what additional questions I should put to him, but I'll put

 4     other questions to him.  Thank you.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  But in that case I will ask the witness:  When

 6     did that take place?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we received the order

 8     to organise the defence on the 18th of July, 1995.  That is when we

 9     received that order to organise this defence ourselves.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And after that day you carried out this order?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.

13             Just a moment, Judge Nyambe has a question.

14             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.  I have a clarification for the

15     witness.  At page 23, line 10 of today's transcript, the question from

16     General Tolimir was:

17             "Could you tell us where this attack on the rear command post was

18     launched from and by which enemy forces?"

19             Your answer doesn't seem to answer the second question which

20     refers to "by which enemy forces."  Could you please answer that

21     question?  Thank you.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe I was more

23     precise.  An attack wasn't launched but a breakthrough of Muslim armed

24     forces from Srebrenica and Zepa was expected, and it was expected that

25     they would come down the roads from Srebrenica and Zepa, the roads that

Page 18609

 1     went to Olovo and Kladanj and Tuzla, and the roads that pass through the

 2     location where the rear command post is located, which is in Han Pijesak.

 3     And there was, in fact, an armed conflict, but one wouldn't define that

 4     or characterise that as an attack.  They were breaking through,

 5     Your Honours.  They didn't have an organised attack.  They hadn't

 6     organised an attack of any kind.  They were just breaking through, and if

 7     they ran into our forces, then they would open fire and there would be a

 8     conflict.  Both sides would open fire.

 9             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you very much for your answer.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Can you help me to clarify it, finally.  Which

11     enemy forces are you talking about?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the members of the

13     28th Muslim Division of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was in

14     Herzegovina, and I think there was the 324th or some other brigade from

15     the ABiH, from Zepa.  The name is not that important.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

17             Mr. Tolimir.

18             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

19             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

20        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, where were the forces of the 65th Protection

21     Motorised Regiment that were supposed to defend the rear command post?

22     Could you tell us where they were?

23        A.   Mr. Tolimir, I don't know where they were, but they weren't in

24     Crna Rijeka nor were they in Han Pijesak.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Do you know whether on the 18th of July any action

Page 18610

 1     was taken from Zepa in the direction of the Main Staff and its units, and

 2     was any action taken by units from the Main Staff, for example, the

 3     Protection Regiment?  Was any activity undertaken in the direction of

 4     Zepa, for example?  Thank you.

 5        A.   I'm only aware of an armed conflict at the village of Mokro, on

 6     the road from Han Pijesak towards Sokolac.  As for what happened in

 7     Crna Rijeka, I know nothing about that.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  Tell us about what you know.  Where was action taken

 9     along the road we have been referring to?

10        A.   The members of the Muslim forces broke through via that road.

11     About 5.00 in the morning they came across our defence forces.  It was

12     dawning.  When they saw them, they opened fire.  And naturally, the

13     members of the Army of Republika Srpska responded.  Two of their members

14     were then killed.  When I say "two of their members," I'm referring to

15     members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to these Muslim forces.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Do you know whether any buses were mobilised for the

17     evacuation of the inhabitants in Zepa when they were evacuating to the

18     territory under the control of the ABiH?  Thank you.

19        A.   Yes, I think that was the case.

20        Q.   Thank you.  Was this done in an identical manner, as was the case

21     for the evacuation of the population of Srebrenica?  Or could you tell us

22     in what manner this evacuation was carried out?  Thank you.

23             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Excuse me, Mr. President.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Sorry, Mr. McCloskey.

25             MR. McCLOSKEY:  That question assumes that the -- the general has

Page 18611

 1     told us about the evacuation of people from Srebrenica and he hasn't said

 2     that yet.  We've got into buses to go to Bratunac, but he can't answer

 3     that question without the foundation of it being brought out first.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  This is a formulation matter, I would agree.  On

 5     the other hand, this witness is capable to answer this question even in

 6     this way, I suppose.

 7             Do you intend to rephrase your question or would you repeat it,

 8     Mr. Tolimir?

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I'll

10     repeat my question.

11             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, do you know whether buses were mobilised to evacuate

13     the civilian population from Zepa?

14        A.   Yes, I know about that.  But it's a matter of mobilising buses,

15     and they were mobilised in the same way as the buses for Srebrenica.

16     Nothing else is at stake, Your Honour.

17        Q.   Thank you.  There was an interpretation mistake because in my

18     first question I also asked the witness about the mobilisation of buses.

19     My question is as follows:  Did Tolimir or anyone else play a role during

20     the mobilisation of buses, or was it only the organs responsible for

21     mobilisation that had a role to play in that?  Thank you.

22        A.   I hope that from the answers given thus far we all realise that

23     the mobilisation of buses was in the hands of the sector in which I

24     worked.  General Tolimir had nothing to do with the mobilisation of

25     buses, and neither did his sector.

Page 18612

 1        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have in e-court

 3     Exhibit P2656.  Thank you.  Thank you, but that's not the one.  Can we

 4     have the document that we saw a moment ago?

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Can you give us the correct number?  Are you

 6     asking for P2521?

 7             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Microphone.

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  We see

10     the Prosecution document on our screens.  That's the one that I

11     requested.

12             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, let us take a look at paragraph 2 under the number

14     which begins with the name "Krsmanovic," colon, and then it says "Toso."

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  For the sake of the record, I would like to know

16     the document number of this document.

17             Mr. Registrar, please.

18             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this is document Exhibit P2656.

19     Thank you.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

21             Please carry on.

22             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   I quote what it says in this telegram.

24             "Krsmanovic in a discussion about the problem of transportation

25     made reference to 10 buses ... or trucks in relation to the means that

Page 18613

 1     are not mobilised.  'That was the situation today.'"

 2             So he's talking about to someone whose name is Toso.  Now this is

 3     my question --

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, you said that this is a telegram.  I

 5     have some doubt if this is a telegram.  Can you please introduce this

 6     document in a way that the witness is aware of the character of this

 7     specific document?  What is it about?

 8             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  This is

 9     a transcript produced by the Muslims -- actually, a transcript of an

10     allegedly intercepted conversation which took place at 11.00 on the

11     16th of July, 1995.  If you look at the back page, you can see that.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, I see a time indication of

13     2143 hours.

14             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Can this note be

15     reversed so that the witness can see the exact time.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  What do you mean by that?

17             Mr. Gajic.

18             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is only one page

19     of the document admitted through one of the previous witnesses.  I think

20     this was a confidential document, and I think that at that time we

21     mentioned the date of the 16th of July, and this is how it's been

22     recorded in the e-court.  Therefore, I don't think that the Prosecution

23     have any problem with that.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

25             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Yes, and I was merely going to state that it

Page 18614

 1     would help the witness to have the date, and I -- and General Tolimir did

 2     that, and I agree that, um, as you recall how the dates are sorted out it

 3     is -- I agree that 16 July is the -- is the date that's in the record in

 4     this -- regarding this intercept.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.  Is this document under seal?  It's

 6     not.

 7             Okay, please now put your question to the witness.

 8             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 9             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

10        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, based on the contents of this document -- of this

11     intercept, are you able to discern who Krsmanovic is and who Toso is and

12     whereabouts they were located?

13        A.   Your Honour, I think that this is a notebook with some

14     handwritten entries, and as Mr. Tolimir said, it relates to a

15     conversation between a Krsmanovic and a Toso.  I knew two men by the name

16     of Krsmanovic.  One was from the Ministry of Defence and the other was

17     the chief of staff of the 2nd Romanija Brigade of the VRS.

18             Now, I knew a lot of Tolimir's and Todovic's people from the

19     Drina Corps, the Banja Luka Corps, and so on and so forth, and it is

20     possible that this nickname, Toso, could have referred to any one of

21     them.

22             Now, hypothetically speaking, if Mr. Krsmanovic from the

23     Ministry of Defence talked to someone, that means that he had even more

24     possibilities to talk with a person named Toso in Republika Srpska.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Who is Toso?

Page 18615

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we are talking about the

 2     Main Staff, "Toso" would mean Zdravko Tolimir.  And then in the

 3     Republika Srpska and in the Republic of Serbia, Your Honour, there are

 4     millions of people called Toso which is a derivative from their last name

 5     Todovic or Todorovic or whatever.  Well, I remember just now, in the

 6     security detail of Manojlo Milovanovic there was a non-commissioned

 7     officer with the last name of Todic and we also used to call him "Toso."

 8     But in view of the context of this intercept, I don't think he was the

 9     collocutor of Mr. Krsmanovic.  I don't think he has anything to do with

10     this.

11             Also, the president of the supreme military court of

12     Republika Srpska was a man called Novak Todorovic, and we used to call

13     him Toso as well, Your Honours.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

15             Mr. Tolimir, we are now at 10.30.  I think it is time for our

16     first break.  We will resume at 11.00.

17                           --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

18                           [The witness stands down]

19                           [The witness takes the stand]

20                           --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, please continue.

22             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

23             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, can you please tell us whether the participants in

25     this radio communication, this Krsmanovic and Toso, did they have to be

Page 18616

 1     within the same network in order to carry out this conversation?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  However, if they had been in different radio network,

 4     was that a situation that would impose for those listening in to register

 5     the relay between them?

 6        A.   Yes, that would be the proper procedure.

 7        Q.   Now, back to this Krsmanovic person whom you knew from the

 8     Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the other one.  Was he in the same network

 9     with the Main Staff where Toso, Tolimir, was, and was the Drina Corps

10     where General Tolimir, also known as Toso, could have been?

11        A.   Thank you, Mr. Tolimir, for reminding me of Aleksa Krsmanovic who

12     was assistant commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps for logistics.  He

13     was the one that elapsed [as interpreted] my memory.  Had he been one of

14     the collocutors, they would have been in the same network.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Now, those conversing within the same radio network,

16     people from the Ministry of Defence and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, did

17     they have to establish a connection with the Main Staff through relay

18     devices or could they have done it directly?

19        A.   The communication that you are talking about could not have been

20     established without a relay.

21        Q.   Thank you.  I was referring to a radio relay mediator or

22     go-between.  Radio relay is a device or a switching board, and that's

23     what Mr. Gajic reminded me of.

24             Now, back to my question, did you have that in mind when you gave

25     me your answer?

Page 18617

 1        A.   The communication lines within the army were carried out via the

 2     same radio relay, without any mediating devices.  Other communications

 3     had to go through some go-betweens for the purpose of clearances.

 4        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, can you please try and speak a little bit more

 5     slowly, and I'll do the same, because this is causing problems for the

 6     interpreters.

 7             Can you please now look at the contents of the conversation

 8     between Krsmanovic and Toso.  Can you tell me whether those who were

 9     intercepting this conversation recorded any words uttered by Toso in the

10     course of this conversation?

11        A.   It says here "Krsmanovic," and then colon.  And then we have the

12     text which says:

13             "Toso, concerning the problems of transportation mentioned in a

14     discussion 10 buses ... and trucks in relation to the means ... 'and that

15     was the case today.'"

16             Apparently there is no response coming from Toso.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Can you tell us, please, as a soldier, was this a

18     verbatim record of the conversation or is it just a summary of the

19     intercept between these two persons?

20        A.   Apparently this is a summary.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  We are now going to move to a

22     different topic, but it also pertains to July 1995.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Could Mr. Tolimir please repeat the second part

24     of his question.  It was inaudible.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters had a problem with

Page 18618

 1     the second part of your question.  Could you repeat it, please.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 3             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   I said:  Mr. Skrbic, we are now going to move to another topic

 5     concerning July 1995.  We are going to talk about retirements that

 6     affected your sector as well.  My question is as follows:  Who was

 7     authorised to sign retirement documents for the officers of the VRS?

 8        A.   Your Honours, there are different levels of authority when it

 9     comes to retirement of VRS officers.  I wouldn't like to tire you with

10     lengthy explanations going from NCO up to the rank of general.  I'd like

11     just to tell you what was within the responsibility of the Main Staff of

12     the VRS.  Up to the lieutenant-colonel rank, the commander of the

13     Main Staff, General Mladic, was the authorised person.  All the officers

14     with the colonel rank are retired and promoted by the minister of defence

15     of Republika Srpska.  As for generals, they are retired or promoted by

16     Mr. Karadzic who was, at the time, the president of Republika Srpska.

17        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic, for this answer.  Do you remember that in

18     mid-July 1995, if anyone from the VRS was pensioned off?

19        A.   Mr. Tolimir, your question is very broad.  I can only remember

20     the generals who were retired then.  As for other officers - and there

21     were others who were retired, too - I can't really recall.

22        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Can you remember any general who was

23     retired in mid-July 1995?

24        A.   Yes, that was General Milenko Zivanovic.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Do you remember when he retired and who was

Page 18619

 1     responsible for the paperwork for his retirement?

 2        A.   The decree that I took to the president of the republic was

 3     signed by the president of the republic, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, on the

 4     14th of July, 1995.  The decree defined specifically the date of the

 5     retirement, and I believe that was on that same day; in other words, as

 6     of July 14th, 1995, he was retired.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Now, on the 14th of July, 1995, in formal or casual

 8     conversations with Dr. Karadzic when you took this decree for his signing

 9     it, did you touch upon the topic of Srebrenica in any way?  Thank you.

10        A.   No, we did not talk at all about anything.

11             Now, Your Honour, may I put a question?

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Sorry, no, this is not possible.  You are the

13     witness and you are here to answer questions.

14             Mr. Tolimir.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

16             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Did you attend the send-off ceremony for General Zivanovic?

18        A.   Your Honour, I would like to apologise for what I've asked

19     earlier, because I would just like to point out a matter that is

20     relevant, and I don't know what the procedure is going to be here because

21     I am supposed to testify in the Karadzic case as well.  That was the only

22     question that I wanted to put.  I had no other questions.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  You were, as you told us, at the beginning of

24     your testimony, already a witness in two other cases.  This is a normal

25     procedure and you have to provide us with your full knowledge about

Page 18620

 1     things you are asked here in the courtroom.  Perhaps you are asked

 2     similar questions in the Karadzic trial, that may happen, but

 3     nevertheless you are obliged to answer these questions.

 4                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.

 6             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 7             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   I would like to thank Mr. Skrbic as well.

 9             Mr. Skrbic, did you attend the send-off ceremony that was

10     organised on the occasion of General Zivanovic's retirement, and if so,

11     where was that?

12        A.   The send-off ceremony was on -- at a restaurant on the way from

13     Han Pijesak to Sokolac on --

14             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the date.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- 1995, and I attended personally.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Could you please repeat the name of the

17     restaurant and the date when this took place.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the Jela restaurant, and

19     the date is the 20th of July, 1995.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

22             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   And I would like to thank Mr. Skrbic as well.

24             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now can we move on to another

25     matter.

Page 18621

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Before you move on to another matter, I would

 2     like to put a question to the witness in relation to this topic.

 3             You said you took the papers about the retirement of

 4     General Zivanovic to the president of the Republika Srpska.  You -- that

 5     means in your sector these documents were prepared, if I am not mistaken.

 6     Who ordered you to do all this work and to bring the documents to the

 7     president?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I received the order

 9     from the commander of the Main Staff, General Mladic, to prepare the

10     paperwork and to take them to the president of the republic for his

11     signature.  Otherwise, I could not do it without the commander's orders.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And you handed these documents over to the

13     president himself, correct?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  I was in the

15     office of the president waiting for him to sign the document.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Did you meet him personally?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

19             Judge Mindua.

20             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Skrbic, a question regarding

21     the promotions and the retirement.  You said that for ranks that are

22     inferior to the rank of colonel, it was the minister of defence that was

23     deciding for them; but we see that when it comes to a general, it's

24     General Mladic who was taking the initiative.  He would ask you to bring

25     the documents to the president of the republic for him to sign them.

Page 18622

 1             Now, when it comes to majors and lieutenant-generals, who would

 2     take the initiative to prepare the documents and to bring them to the

 3     minister for his signing?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no documents or

 5     paperwork was prepared at the Ministry of Defence.  Everything was

 6     prepared at the sector at the Main Staff where I worked, both the orders

 7     and the decrees.  The orders for promotions and retirement -- for

 8     promotions and retirement at the level of colonel, we would forward to or

 9     take personally to the minister of defence; whereas for generals, we

10     would take them to the president of the republic.

11             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I did not really understand your

12     answer, and also the transcript is not completely clear.  On page 37,

13     line 21 and 22, we see that it says about majors and lieutenant-generals,

14     but I wanted to know what happens when it came to the promotion and

15     retirement of ranks that are inferior to the ranks of colonel,

16     lieutenant-colonel, major, captain, who was drafting those documents so

17     that the minister of defence can sign them?  That is my question.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the paperwork was prepared at

19     the sector for mobilisation, organisation, and personnel matters.

20             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] For generals and also for ranks

21     that are inferior to the rank of colonel; is that correct?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For ranks below the rank of

23     colonel, we did not send them to the Ministry of Defence.  From the level

24     of major to lieutenant-colonel, all the documents were signed by the

25     commander of the Main Staff of the VRS.

Page 18623

 1             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  To clarify this matter, I take it that there is a

 3     distinction -- or you made a distinction between "paperwork" and

 4     "signature."  All paperwork was done in your sector you were the head of

 5     as assistant commander, and the signature, the formal decision was

 6     sometimes made at a higher [Realtime transcript read in error "later"]

 7     level in the Ministry of Defence or by the president of the republic; is

 8     that correct?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly so, Your Honour.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

11             Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  And thank

13     you, Judge Mindua.

14             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Now, Mr. Skrbic, please tell us, was the procedure -- was the

16     standard procedure, as it says here, that all documents on retirements

17     and promotions of generals should be -- are to be taken personally by the

18     chief of the sector for mobilisation, organisation, and personnel to the

19     Supreme Commander?  Thank you.

20        A.   That is what was ordered by General Mladic.  Otherwise, he would

21     have had to go and take those documents and that paperwork himself.

22        Q.   Thank you.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I would like to put a correction of the

24     transcript on the record.  Page 38, line 25, I didn't say "made at a

25     later level" but "at a higher level."

Page 18624

 1             Now carry on, please, Mr. Tolimir.

 2             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 3             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, can you tell us, please, why is it necessary for

 5     either the commander or chief of sector, the sector for organisation,

 6     mobilisation, and personnel, why was it necessary for them to go to the

 7     Supreme Commander in the cases where retirement or promotions of generals

 8     were concerned?  Why was that necessary?

 9        A.   Well, because -- my apologies.  Because the -- it was within the

10     exclusive purview of the president of the republic, as the Supreme

11     Commander, to issue all documents that related to generals.

12        Q.   Thank you.  Now, at the farewell reception for General Zivanovic,

13     was there any discussion, did anyone talk about the events in Srebrenica?

14        A.   As far as I can recall, there was no mention of it.

15        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Since you were involved in mobilisation

16     issues at the Main Staff, can you tell us what exactly the term "general

17     mobilisation" implies?  What does that mean?

18        A.   The term "general mobilisation" implies that this is a process

19     that has to be announced via the public media.  It is no longer

20     confidential.  And this information is to be used by all elements, all

21     subjects within the Republika Srpska, including the military, so that

22     they can focus on mobilisation both of personnel and materiel.  And all

23     subjects within the republic are duty-bound via the Ministry of Defence

24     to mobilise whatever it is that is required of them.

25             In general mobilisation, the army does not have to demand that

Page 18625

 1     its units be fully staffed because that would depend on the situation on

 2     the front lines or at the theater of war.  Rather, the personnel levels

 3     would be filled depending on the needs.  When it was -- when the

 4     requirements were greater, then the mobilisation would include a larger

 5     segment of the population.  But when general mobilisation is declared,

 6     the state thereby, in fact, informs or let it be known by everyone in the

 7     republic that people have to respond to the call-up.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  Now, from your personal experience, do you know

 9     whether the same principle for general mobilisation was in force in the

10     territories of other republics of the former Yugoslavia?

11        A.   Well, yes, I am aware of that based on the various analysis that

12     our department prepared within the Army of Yugoslavia.  The president of

13     Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, declared general mobilisation

14     on the 4th of April, 1992.  Or, in fact, at the time, the JNA was still

15     in the area.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Now, could you tell us -- could you tell the

17     Trial Chamber -- or could you draw a parallel between that and when

18     general mobilisation was declared in Republika Srpska?  Thank you.

19        A.   As far as I can recall, it was similarly done in

20     Republika Srpska.  The difference, however, was in that the

21     Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina immediately declared a state of war

22     or imminent threat of war covering the entire territory under their

23     control; whereas the Republika Srpska did not declare a state of war

24     until 1995.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Could you tell us what's the difference between

Page 18626

 1     proclaiming a state of war and an imminent threat of war and mobilisation

 2     and proclaiming an imminent threat of war?  Thank you.

 3        A.   Mobilisation is a process that is included in the idea of an

 4     imminent threat of war and a state of war.  An immediate threat of war is

 5     a concept that covers processes and actions that involve preparing all

 6     segments of society for war.  A state of war is the most serious category

 7     in any state, since in such a situation, production, the economy, and

 8     everything else is focussed on supplying the armed forces.  Not just the

 9     army, but the armed forces as a whole.  And the armed forces in

10     Republika Srpska were -- consisted of the VRS and the units and members

11     of the Ministry of the Interior.

12        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  "General mobilisation," what

13     does that term mean?  Could you please tell us what kinds of general

14     mobilisation, in fact, exist?  Thank you.

15        A.   There is an open mobilisation and a secret mobilisation.  Public

16     and secret.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you.  Could you please tell me what the

18     difference is, since I interrupted you.

19        A.   The difference is that secret general mobilisation is not

20     something that is made public over the media; but public mobilisation is

21     something that is made known over the media so that the entire population

22     of Republika Srpska, of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina could be

23     warned -- or, rather, informed about their obligations.

24        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Could you please tell us, can you

25     proclaim mobilisation in only one part of the territory of a given

Page 18627

 1     republic or state?  Thank you.

 2        A.   Yes.  Well, if that's what you had in mind, yes.  You can

 3     proclaim mobilisation in a segment of one's territory.  You can proclaim

 4     mobilisation and a state of war in a segment of the territory, but when

 5     you proclaim such a state in part of the territory, then it's not general

 6     mobilisation.  General mobilisation concerns a state as a whole.

 7             Since I know that this was the case, a state of war was

 8     proclaimed in a segment of the territory before a state of war was

 9     proclaimed for the entire republic.  That was the case in the zone of

10     responsibility of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and then that was also the

11     case in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps, which is in

12     the western part near Drvar.  And a state of war was also proclaimed in

13     the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps.  I think that that state

14     of war was proclaimed after Srebrenica.  Throughout the territory of

15     Republika Srpska a state of war was proclaimed in October 1995 and not

16     earlier than October.  I think that was the case.

17        Q.   Thank you.

18             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see the following

19     document on the screen, 1D962.  Thank you.

20             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   Thank you.  We can see a document from the communication centre

22     of the Main Staff.  It's the encryption department in Sarajevo.  It's

23     dated the 14th of July, 1995, and at the bottom it says, "Republic of

24     Bosnia and Herzegovina," the War Presidency, and the date, the

25     14th of July.

Page 18628

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Gajic.

 2             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think it would be

 3     useful to see the English translation of the document 1D269.  1D269.

 4     It's document D120 that was marked for identification; however, since

 5     D109 was a reproduction in something that was published, this is a

 6     document disclosed to us by the Prosecution.  It's a better copy, a far

 7     better copy, but the translation of these two documents is the same.  And

 8     we now have it up on the screen.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And can you give us the correct number of this

10     document we have on the screen?  There were so many numbers mentioned.

11     Which is the document number we have on the screen in front of us?

12             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] The number, the original document's

13     number, to the left, is 1D962.  And to the right, there is just the

14     translation of that very same document but that document isn't a copy of

15     the original.  It's a copy from a book.  In the meantime we found the

16     original document that was disclosed to us by the Prosecution, and this

17     document has now also been uploaded and this document's number is 1D962,

18     and that's the document we will be using now.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank Aleksandar.

20                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I was told that we have two versions of the same

22     document.  One is in front of us, this is 1D962, with the English

23     translation.  The document D102 was previously marked for identification

24     with another witness was unable to identify this document.  So it would

25     be helpful if the translation would be attached to both versions, and we

Page 18629

 1     can decide later.  If you are tendering this version we have now on the

 2     screen, then we could probably receive it and vacate the other one.  That

 3     would be one way of action.

 4                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  No, I correct myself.  The previous one would

 6     then just remain marked for identification because it was used.  Okay.

 7             Mr. Tolimir, please carry on and put questions to the witness.

 8             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 9                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

10             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   I will read out part of the document before I put my question to

12     you.  This document was sent from Zepa to the presidency of the

13     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it says:

14             "The following was adopted at the War Presidency of Zepa

15     municipality, held on 14th of July, 1995:

16             "I.  General mobilisation is hereby proclaimed on the territory

17     of Zepa municipality.

18             "II.  All available resources will be used for defence purposes.

19             "III.  All citizens fit for work will be put at the disposal of

20     the Zepa municipality civilian protection staff.

21             "IV.  All persons who are fit for military service and are

22     currently under work obligation will be placed at the disposal of the

23     5th Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade, except for the members of the Zepa

24     War Presidency who will be in permanent session and other employees who,

25     at the decision of the Zepa Municipal War Presidency, will remain at the

Page 18630

 1     disposal of the Zepa Municipal War Presidency.

 2             "V.  Members of the Zepa Public Security Station will act in

 3     accordance with the orders in the defence of the free territory of the

 4     municipality of Zepa.

 5             "VI.  Members of the population who have firearms in their

 6     possession are hereby ordered to place them at the disposal of the

 7     brigade, otherwise they will be prosecuted.

 8             "VII.  This decision shall come into effect immediately."

 9             It was signed by the president of the War Presidency of Zepa

10     municipality, Mehmed Hajric, and you can see the five addresses that it

11     was sent to.  My question is as follows:  Could you tell us whether this

12     is a typical general document on general mobilisation in part of a given

13     territory?  Thank you.

14        A.   Yes, Mr. Tolimir.  And this is under conditions when a state of

15     war was proclaimed because this individual signed in his capacity as the

16     president of the War Presidency, which is possible only if a state of war

17     prevails.

18        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Skrbic, please, could you tell us what it means

19     when it says that all resources available should be placed at their

20     disposal?  And that's what it says under item II.

21        A.   This was probably already done, but this subject is informing the

22     presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina that it shall place

23     all resources at the disposal of the army; that is to say, the Army of

24     Bosnia and Herzegovina.

25        Q.   Thank you.  I'd like to know what "all resources" actually means?

Page 18631

 1     What does "all resources" mean?

 2        A.   "All resources" means weapons, artillery, food, everything that

 3     they had.  Everything.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Does that also include all men fit for the military?

 5        A.   Yes, of course.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  If you, on this date mentioned here, the

 7     14th of July, obtained information about such a decision, what would such

 8     information mean for you as a general from the other side?  Thank you.

 9        A.   This is a very revealing document from which one could draw the

10     conclusion that a large-scale offensive might be launched.

11        Q.   Thank you.  If such a document is issued then concerning part of

12     the territory that was supposed to be demilitarised, what does this mean

13     for those who attributed the status of a demilitarised zone to the area

14     in question?

15        A.   Well, as for what it would mean for such a person, I -- or such a

16     body, I couldn't say, but it's quite obvious that the zone was not a

17     demilitarised one.

18        Q.   Thank you.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this document, 1D962, please

20     be admitted into evidence?  Thank you.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is something I

22     would like to correct, with your leave.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, please do so.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here it says "Amela [phoen], make a

25     summary public."  And then you have the initials "A.I" and not "A.J,"

Page 18632

 1     this is the handwritten part.  I know what the letter I in the Latin

 2     script looks like.

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.  Did you see this document with this

 4     handwritten note before?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Gajic's assistant

 6     showed it to me, but I'd never seen it before.

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I would like to ask you to have a look at the

 8     heading of this document on the left side.

 9             Could it be zoomed in, please.

10             Do you see a date there, and which one is it?

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The date and the time.  The date,

12     the 14th of July, 1995.  Friday, 2229.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And below Republika Bosnia and Herzegovina you

14     see another date, which one is it?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 14th of July, 1995.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you for that.  We see in the English

17     translation the date of the 19th of July.  And even the year was not

18     translated or written down correctly.  The reason for that could be the

19     poor quality of the previous document or the copy of that document we

20     have seen before and marked for identification as D102, so I think this

21     translation needs to be checked again.  Perhaps there are other mistakes.

22     We can't simply attach this translation to the much better legible

23     original document.

24             Mr. Gajic.

25             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is exactly what

Page 18633

 1     the Defence has done.  However, we are still waiting for the translation.

 2     And as soon as we get a correct translation of the document 1D962, we are

 3     going to upload it into the e-court.  And you correctly observed that the

 4     previous document was of very poor quality and many elements therein were

 5     illegible.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Therefore, this document will be marked for

 7     identification pending review of the translation.  And that should apply,

 8     also, for D102.  It's still marked for identification, but after a check

 9     of the translation it could be admitted at a later stage, too.

10             Mr. Registrar.

11             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D962 shall be

12     assigned Exhibit D349, marked for identification pending review of the

13     translation.  Thank you.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.  The document shall remain on the

15     screen, and Judge Mindua has the floor.

16             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Skrbic.  This document

17     1D962, which became D349, I'd like to have another look at it.  Have a

18     look at item IV:

19             "All persons who are fit for military service will be placed at

20     the disposal of the Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade except for ..." and the

21     sentence continues.

22             Given your experience as a general, could you tell us whether

23     this text says that these men fit for military service or -- had

24     ipso facto become soldiers or members of the armed forces, or would it be

25     necessary to have another document from the War Presidency?  What is the

Page 18634

 1     actual situation that these individuals, these men find themselves in?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it says here precisely

 3     that all those men fit for military service with work obligation are to

 4     be placed at the disposal of the 208 -- 65th Brigade, and without any

 5     additional conditions they become members of the brigade, they are issued

 6     weapons, their work obligation is terminated, and they become fully

 7     fledged members of the brigade.

 8             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] What does "work obligation"

 9     actually mean in this paragraph?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, "work obligation"

11     means an obligation that involves any work to be performed without

12     weapons; for example, toiling land or digging trenches, which was

13     forbidden, but I know that they, in spite of that, did it.  Now,

14     everything that contained -- was contained in that work obligation and

15     the people involved were just transferred from that status to the status

16     of members of the armed forces and they are issued weapons.

17             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

20             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, according to this decision, were all people fit for

22     work and military service placed at the disposal and engaged in defence

23     with the exception of the War Presidency?

24        A.   Mr. Tolimir, this pertains only to able-bodied men.  You asked me

25     about people fit for work.  I don't see from here who this referred to.

Page 18635

 1     This might be people over 65 years of age.  But those who are fit for

 2     military service became members of the brigade.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  But in item III it says that all military persons --

 4     persons fit for military --

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  Could Mr. Tolimir please repeat what it says in

 6     item III.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Item III is different from item IV

 8     because under III it says:

 9             "All citizens fit for work will be put at the disposal of the

10     civilian protection," not the brigade.

11             Probably in anticipation of large-scale works to be done.  So all

12     people fit for work are placed at the disposal of that civilian

13     protection.  That's the difference.

14             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

15        Q.   Thank you.  Now, were all the people fit for military service and

16     for work placed at the disposal of the civilian protection and the

17     defence within the region where a state of war had been proclaimed?

18        A.   Able-bodied are designated to be engaged in combat, whereas those

19     fit for work are assigned to the civilian protection.  And I think that

20     the Trial Chamber understands what the tasks and duties and

21     responsibilities of a civilian protection are, and that is something that

22     is applicable all around the world.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.  Mr. Tolimir, please avoid

24     overlapping.  You start mostly too early with your next question.  Now

25     carry on, please.

Page 18636

 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.  In order

 2     to avoid overlapping I am going to move to another topic.

 3             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 4        Q.   When you were interviewed by the OTP, you were asked about the

 5     resubordination by the police to the army.  Can you tell us now,

 6     according to what you know, was there any resubordination of the police

 7     to the VRS, and if so, how did that work?

 8        A.   According to what I know, there was no resubordination ever.

 9        Q.   Can you please explain that in more detail.  According to what

10     you know, does it mean that it never happened or maybe you don't know

11     about it?

12        A.   Mr. Tolimir, police is resubordinated to the army only during a

13     state of war and no specific document has to be issued to that effect

14     because they become an integral part of armed forces.  Because a state of

15     war wasn't proclaimed in the territory of Republika Srpska up until the

16     20th of October, 1995, then my conclusion is that there had been no

17     resubordination.  They participated in joint actions - and that is the

18     truth - but as adjacent units.

19        Q.   Thank you for this clarification.  Can you tell us -- do you know

20     if members of the MUP were included in army units in the course of

21     carrying out certain tasks?

22        A.   They were included but as a compact unit, not individually.  They

23     would report to the commander of an army unit, and they would carry out

24     their task and, finally, report the Ministry of the Interior.  If they

25     were given any information from the commander, they received this

Page 18637

 1     information as their collaborators, and that was also the case vice

 2     versa.

 3        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic, for these answers.  Now, can you tell me

 4     this:  Was the Main Staff of the VRS endangered by the operations

 5     launched from the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves?  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

 7             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Can we get some kind of time?  This was a long

 8     war.  And the last questions, I don't know even know if it had anything

 9     to do with Srebrenica.  And we know that there was attacks coming out of

10     those enclaves for a good while, so this doesn't help us, this kind of

11     question.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, can you give us a time-frame?

13             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  The time-frame is one

14     month prior to or after the events in Srebrenica.  Or, Mr. McCloskey, you

15     can take into account the whole war period.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

17             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Just want to get something the defendant --

18     excuse me, the witness can get his hands around.  The events in

19     Srebrenica.  We need -- it's very simple to pick a date.  The events in

20     Srebrenica, according to us, went on for quite a long time, so that

21     doesn't help us either for the witness.  And -- but July 11th, when they

22     came into Srebrenica, I mean, anything that would help the witness get a

23     time-frame would be helpful.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.

Page 18638

 1             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   I asked Mr. Skrbic whether the Main Staff was endangered by the

 3     actions taken from the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves, and you can start

 4     from 1992 until the departure of the army from those enclaves.

 5        A.   Your Honour, in order to respond to this question I am going to

 6     tell you how I obtained this information.  Now, prior to my joining the

 7     Main Staff in 1994, I heard there had been attacks coming from

 8     Srebrenica, Zepa, targeting the Main Staff.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please slow down when

10     providing lots of information.  Thank you.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the Han Pijesak-Crna Rijeka

12     road, I also received information that workers at a petrol station had

13     been killed.  This petrol station was used by the Army of Republika

14     Srpska, and it was in the village of Pod Plane, between Han Pijesak and

15     Crna Rijeka, and this was also done by a sabotage group.

16             When I came to the Main Staff, the basic command post was

17     threatened on a daily basis by fire coming from mortars or other weapons.

18     The rear command post in Han Pijesak was not in danger from those same

19     directions.  It was in danger from the direction of Pjenovac, which is in

20     a completely opposite way.  In addition to that, during the digging of

21     trenches for water-pipes, General Mladic and I found a place on a hill

22     where members of the BH Army had been staying, members from Zepa.  We

23     found a piece of paper, and then the commander told me, "You see,

24     general, how seriously threatened we had been."

25             In addition to that, Your Honour, the Crna Rijeka command post

Page 18639

 1     was fortified for defence.  But in spite of that, our soldiers were being

 2     killed every day.  Members of the protection regiment were recruits.

 3     They were not people who were drafted.  And I am talking about young men

 4     between the ages of 17 and 21.  This was particularly emotionally

 5     difficult for us.

 6             When expanded meetings of senior staff members with the commander

 7     of the Main Staff were being held, we would meet in an underground

 8     facility under the Zepa mountain particularly in order to avoid exposing

 9     ourselves to any danger.  Around the command post, we had defence lines

10     built with dugouts and trenches, and we had a round-the-clock combat duty

11     service in those facilities.

12             Now, these are these basic elements that indicate that there were

13     armed operations coming from Zepa and Srebrenica and targeting the

14     Main Staff.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Skrbic, you said:

16             "We found a piece of paper," and then the commander told me,

17     "'You see, general, how seriously threatened we had been.'"

18             Can you give us some more information about this piece of paper,

19     about the content of this piece of paper, from where it came from?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can't remember the

21     contents of the piece of paper.  I remember that there was a green

22     background and there was a crescent.  It shows that the Muslims had been

23     present there.  They had camped there.  And he said that because we

24     didn't know that they had been in that place, that they had stayed there,

25     and they had stayed there because there was a pot that had remained there

Page 18640

 1     that they had used to cook food in.

 2             We knew that sabotage groups were infiltrating the area, but we

 3     didn't know that they had spent longer periods of time there.  Three

 4     days, five days, half a month.  Your Honours, I can't remember the

 5     details.  I can tell you that I am sure that the VRS was not present

 6     there because we knew where our forces were deployed.

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Where did you find the piece of paper?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 3 kilometres away on a hill

 9     above Han Pijesak.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

11             Mr. Tolimir.

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

13             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

14        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Since -- could you tell me that whether

15     as a result of the sabotage activities in the Srebrenica and Zepa

16     enclave, the Main Staff suffered any losses immediately prior to the

17     events in Zepa?  Are you familiar with anything of this?

18        A.   Your Honour, I think I have answered this question already.

19        Q.   I had victims in mind, but I accept your answer.

20        A.   There were victims.  There were victims.

21        Q.   Did the Main Staff have to take protective measures to protect

22     from sabotage activity from Zepa and Srebrenica, from those two enclaves?

23     Thank you.

24        A.   I apologise.  Apart from what I have already mentioned in

25     relation to the fortification of combat positions in the vicinity of the

Page 18641

 1     basic command post in Crna Rijeka, apart from that I could add that the

 2     65th Protection Regiment and the 60th [as interpreted] Communications

 3     Regiment in addition to organising defence for the command post also

 4     organised patrols to which various tasks were assigned on various days.

 5     The tasks were very explicit.  They were told which areas to patrol and

 6     what to control.

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. McCloskey.

 8             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Could we just check with the number of the

 9     communications regiment?  I'm not sure we got the right translation

10     there, or maybe ...

11             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Skrbic, can you help us.  You mentioned a

12     protection regiment and a communications regiment.  Can you tell us the

13     numbers of these two regiments?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the

15     67th Communications Regiment and the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

17             Mr. Tolimir.

18             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Since you have already said something

20     about where the rear command post was, could you tell us something about

21     the security of the road that linked the basic command post and the rear

22     command post where you were located?

23        A.   Mr. Tolimir, that road was one that General Djukic and I mostly

24     used in the same vehicle.  We went from Han Pijesak to Crna Rijeka and

25     the other direction, too, at great risk.  On one occasion, a patrol from

Page 18642

 1     the protection regiment prevented us from going to Crna Rijeka and we

 2     couldn't go there, but they said that there was a -- a risk of us losing

 3     our lives on that trip.

 4             General Mladic ordered, especially in 1995, that the police

 5     should escort us.  So sometimes, when it wasn't urgent, we had a police

 6     escort.  It was to provide combat security.  It wasn't for transport

 7     purposes.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  Thank you.  Was this a normal way in which the

 9     Main Staff and its segments functioned in various areas or was that not

10     the case?  Thank you.

11        A.   Mr. Tolimir, I believe that nothing is quite normal in -- in war.

12     That it was essential, it was necessary, given the circumstances.  Given

13     all the dangers that were present, it was necessary for us to function in

14     that manner.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Did you at the rear command post know which routes

16     were used by the Muslims, and did you know where they organised ambushes

17     from between those two places, the basic command post and the rear

18     command post?  Thank you.

19        A.   Yes, we knew about this.  When General Mladic and I were

20     returning from Banja Luka from a meeting with General Clark, we were in

21     the same vehicle.  And then, above Vlasenica, we stopped at a curve, a

22     large curve, and the general then said, "Skrbic, I will take you to this

23     cave now."  There were mattresses in this cave, Your Honours.  And he

24     said Muslims from Zepa and Srebrenica have slept in this cave, and they

25     continually used this road here, and they called it Allah's road, and

Page 18643

 1     that road linked Zepa and Srebrenica and Kladanj and Olovo, in fact.

 2             Since General Mladic showed me these paths, it's quite obvious

 3     that they used them.  As for how they passed through and how they slept

 4     there, well, Your Honours, I am really not sure.  We could have been at

 5     risk.  They probably used these roads and these paths at night-time.

 6        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  What did they call that road?  It's not

 7     in the transcript.  Could you tell them which road it is, for the benefit

 8     of the Trial Chamber, and why it had the name that it had?  Thank you.

 9        A.   Your Honour, General Ratko Mladic told me about the name, but he

10     said that the Muslims had called the road "Allah's road."

11        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Could you please repeat the name of the

12     road because it hasn't been accurately recorded in the transcript.  Thank

13     you.

14        A.   The road of Allah, A-l-l-a-h.  You can put it in inverted commas.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.  Now we have it on the record.  Please

16     continue.

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

18             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   Could you please tell the Chamber whether you had an opportunity

20     to attend meetings with General Gvero, Tolimir, or Mladic, with foreign

21     representatives or UNPROFOR representatives?  Thank you.

22        A.   Not with UNPROFOR representatives but with the other

23     representatives you have mentioned, yes.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Could you then tell us whether you attended meetings

25     with the representatives of certain countries, certain foreign diplomats,

Page 18644

 1     and what could you tell us about such meetings?

 2        A.   Yes.  In Vlasenica, in mid-July 1995, there was a delegation from

 3     the Ukraine led by Mr. Alexander Alexandrovich, the diplomat Alexander

 4     Alexandrovich.  The UNPROFOR battalion commander

 5     Lieutenant-Colonel Dudnjik joined him.  And General Mladic,

 6     General Zivanovic, Colonel Skrbic - myself - and Jovica Karanovic, who

 7     was also a colonel, attended on behalf of the VRS.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Gajic.

 9             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 59, lines 23 to

10     25, there are some names that aren't correctly recorded.  Could the

11     witness just repeat the names so that they can be correctly recorded in

12     the transcript.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, that would be helpful.  Please repeat the

14     names, slowly, you just have mentioned as participants of these meetings.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'll look at the

16     English transcript.  It will be easier for me.  I am just looking at the

17     names, because I can't understand anything else.  Alexander

18     Alexandrovich.  Lieutenant-Colonel --

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Stop.  It was not -- sorry.  It was not properly

20     reported.  Alexander Alexandrovich, without an A in the middle,

21     Alexandrovich.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise for having to say this.

23     Alexandrovich.  Perhaps it's difficult for you to pronounce but there is

24     a difference between ch and ch, a soft ch and a hard ch.  Alexandrovich.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I think we have it now.  And the other names?

Page 18645

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lieutenant-Colonel Dudnjik, that's

 2     correct.  General Mladic.  General Zivanovic.  Colonel Skrbic, that's

 3     myself.  I apologise to the interpreters.  Colonel Skrbic, that's myself.

 4     Jovica Karanovic.  That's correct now.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

 6             Mr. Tolimir.

 7             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 8        Q.   Thank you Mr. Skrbic.  Could you tell us something about how the

 9     meeting went and what subjects were discussed at the meeting since this

10     is what you -- what you mentioned.

11             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the end of

12     Mr. Tolimir's question.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the usual courtesies that are

14     common in such circumstances, General Mladic said that the Muslims in

15     Srebrenica and Zepa were obtaining weapons through the so-called

16     parachute operation.  It was said that they were also receiving weapons

17     from the Ukraine.

18             Alexander Alexandrovich claimed that they really were receiving

19     weapons from the Ukraine but the -- but that the Ukraine wasn't trading

20     in those weapons.  General Mladic said that two members of the UNPROFOR

21     battalion from the Ukraine had crossed over into the territory that was

22     under the control of the VRS because they were under threat there.  And

23     Lieutenant-Colonel Dudnjik, the battalion commander, confirmed this.

24        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's the time for a

Page 18646

 1     break now.  Thank you.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Indeed, I agree.  We must have our second break

 3     and will resume at 1.00.

 4                           --- Recess taken at 12.29

 5                           [The witness stands down]

 6                           [The witness takes the stand]

 7                           --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Before the break, we have dealt with a document

 9     which was marked for identification under two different numbers.  In the

10     meantime, I noted that this document is part of the bar table motion of

11     the Defence, I think of the first bar table motion, and therefore I would

12     suggest that we decide about the admission, finally, by deciding pursuant

13     to your bar table motion.

14             Mr. Tolimir, please continue your examination.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

16             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, you talked about the meetings in 1995.  Now, during

18     1994, did you have an opportunity to be a member of any delegation from

19     the Main Staff of the VRS that had meetings with representatives of

20     foreign armies, UNPROFOR, and so on?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   Thank you.  Can you please tell us which ones?

23        A.   On the 28th of August, 1994, I was a member of a delegation led

24     by General Ratko Mladic.  We had a meeting with General Wesley Clark in

25     Banja Luka.  At the time, General Wesley Clark was an advisor to the

Page 18647

 1     president of the United States for defence.  As far as I remember, with

 2     him was General Rose and another two generals, a major, a captain, and an

 3     interpreter, but I don't remember their names.

 4             In the VRS delegation were General Mladic, Naval Captain Beara,

 5     Colonel Skrbic - that's me - and an interpreter, Lieutenant-Colonel

 6     Kralj, and also General Zivomir Ninkovic.

 7        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, do you recall --

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Gajic.

 9             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm afraid that the

10     name of one of the participants is misspelled.  Page 62, and the first

11     name is wrong, but I'm not going to suggest anything to the witness.

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, his first name is

13     Zivomir.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Is that correct now, Zivomir?  Can you see that,

15     line 4, page 63, sir?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it.  Yes,

17     Your Honour, it's correct.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  That means this General Zivomir Ninkovic took

19     part, too.  Thank you.

20             Mr. Tolimir.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

22             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

23        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, do you recall the content of those talks that you

24     mentioned a minute ago.  Do you recall anything about what was being

25     discussed?

Page 18648

 1        A.   Yes, Mr. Tolimir, but I am going to tell you briefly what I

 2     remember best.  General Wesley Clark told General Mladic that he had come

 3     to reach an agreement or to try to exert some influence for the contact

 4     group's plan to be adopted.  In that respect, he highlighted a number of

 5     facts that would compel the VRS to accept the plan of the contact group.

 6     He told General Mladic that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had

 7     450 tanks, 300 pieces of artillery, that it also had more troops than the

 8     Army of Republika Srpska.  He also said that he was not going to go into

 9     how skilled they were, but they were obviously having larger numbers and

10     that this was going to disrupt the balance of power and that eventually

11     the Army of Republika Srpska would find itself in dire straits.  He

12     suggested to General Mladic, being an influential man and an experienced

13     soldier, to do his best to have the plan accepted.

14             He also threatened with bombing and invasion by NATO pact in

15     order to provide support for the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the

16     event of the plan being rejected.  Before that, General Mladic spoke

17     about General Shalikashvili who was the chief of Joint Staff of the

18     US Army, and he said that obviously he had his finger on the trigger.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Skrbic, it's very difficult for the

20     interpreters to follow.  Therefore, please slow down.  You just said

21     General Mladic spoke to a general from the US army.  What was his name?

22     That was not recorded.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Wesley Clark.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, and about another general.  What was his

25     name?

Page 18649

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, General Mladic spoke

 2     about General Shalikashvili.  He said that he was the chief of the

 3     General Staff of the US Army.  I don't know if that is correct, and I

 4     don't want to debate that.  He also said that General Shalikashvili had

 5     his finger on the trigger.  General Clark responded to that by saying

 6     that it wasn't fair for General Mladic to say that the chief of the

 7     General staff of the US Army had his finger on the trigger, and he

 8     brought to his attention the fact that NATO was prepared to start or

 9     become engaged in the war unless the plan of the contact group was

10     accepted.

11             Then Mr. Mladic asked him, "General, do you genuinely and

12     honestly want to become involved in this war?"  To which General Clark

13     responded, "You will see what our reaction is going to be."

14             If I may add one more sentence, Your Honours, General Clark

15     claimed that their assessment was there was not the balance of power in

16     Bosnia-Herzegovina until 1995 and that he would do his best in order to

17     restore this balance of power or, rather, that the balance be tipped to

18     the advantage of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

19             Now, as for other pleasantries that were exchanged at the

20     meeting, I don't think there is any need to discuss that.

21             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Can you tell us this:  At the time, did

23     General Clark perform any duties within the peacekeeping force, or was he

24     strictly a US army general?  Thank you.

25        A.   Mr. Tolimir, I explained that the duty of General Clark was to

Page 18650

 1     act as an advisor to the president of the United States and the Congress,

 2     and I don't think he had any other role.  That is how he was introduced

 3     to us at that meeting.

 4        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  And did NATO indeed become involved in

 5     the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former SFRY as announced by

 6     General Clark while he was an advisor to the president of the USA?  Thank

 7     you.

 8        A.   Yes, it did.  Mr. Gajic, what is this SFRY?

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I don't know why you are putting a question to

10     Mr. Gajic.

11             Just continue, Mr. Tolimir.

12             It's not a proper question to you, Mr. Gajic.  We all know what

13     SFRY is.

14             Mr. Tolimir, please continue.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Can we correct the

16     translation?  I did not speak about the SFRY.  I spoke about the USA.

17             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   Can Mr. Skrbic now answer this question:  Did NATO take part only

19     on the side of one of the warring parties or was it involved on both

20     sides?  Thank you.

21        A.   NATO provided close air support to the Army of Bosnia and

22     Herzegovina as well as to the Croatian Army who carried out an offensive

23     against Republika Srpska.  Close air support involves reconnaissance,

24     electronic support, bombing, and transportation.  In addition to that,

25     they provided support through artillery and artillery ammunition.

Page 18651

 1             In 1996, above the village of Pecka, situated near Mrkonjic Grad

 2     and Mliniste, I managed to identify a firing position that had been used

 3     by artillery, and its shell casings had NATO numbers on them.

 4        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Since we were discussing NATO, did you

 5     have an opportunity to attend any other meeting with representatives of

 6     NATO members?  Thank you.  Representatives of NATO.  Thank you.

 7        A.   Yes, Mr. Tolimir.  I think this was already in 1996, when I was

 8     ordered by General Mladic to join you and that we go to the Jela to

 9     conduct talks with Admiral Leighton Smith.  He was, at the time, the

10     commander of NATO forces in Europe.  I remember that the admiral told us

11     that their role was to establish the balance of power between the Army of

12     BiH on the one hand and the VRS on the other.  When I made a remark to

13     the effect that this balance was disrupted to extreme detriment to the

14     Army of Republika Srpska, the admiral responded, respectfully, that that

15     was the outcome and the result of the war.

16        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Can you please repeat the full name of

17     General Smith because it was not recorded properly in the transcript.

18        A.   Admiral Leighton Smith.

19        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  General Clark and General Leighton Smith,

20     with whom you had talks in 1994, did they later become representatives of

21     the USA amongst the ranks of UNPROFOR or SFOR who were deployed in the

22     territory of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina?

23        A.   I don't know, Mr. Tolimir.

24        Q.   Do you remember anything else with regard to the meeting with

25     Mr. Leighton Smith?

Page 18652

 1        A.   Well, if it is important for you, Your Honours, I can say that

 2     the admiral told us that he was going to spend his next weekend in Rome.

 3     But before that, he would be flying by helicopter to Split, and then

 4     board a military plane there and spend some time with his wife after

 5     that.  The admiral asked us, "Where are you going to spend your weekend?"

 6     And the General Tolimir responded, "On the mountain."

 7             After the meeting ended, they gave an interview for a television

 8     station, but I did not participate in that interview.

 9        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  One moment, please.  I would like to clarify

11     something.  What is the rank of Mr. Leighton Smith?  Or was at that time?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He had the rank of admiral and he

13     was dressed in a naval uniform.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.  You said this meeting at the Jela

15     restaurant took place in 1996.  Do you recall which month or day?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't recall that, Your Honour.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Did I understand you correctly that Mr. Tolimir

18     was a participant of that meeting?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood me correctly.

20     Mr. Tolimir led a delegation and I was part of that delegation.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Who else from the Main Staff of the VRS took

22     part?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that only the

24     Lieutenant-Colonel Kralj who acted as an interpreter was also present,

25     and then the technicians, Your Honour, who were helping with technical

Page 18653

 1     issues, naturally, but they didn't participate in the discussions.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

 3             Mr. Tolimir.

 4             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 5             Could we now see P1011 on the screen.  Thank you.  Thank you.

 6             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   Mr. Skrbic, as we can see, the title of this document is:

 8     "Agreement on Complete Cessation of Hostilities."  And in the first line

 9     we can see the date when the document was signed.  Could you tell us when

10     it was signed, please.

11        A.   It was signed on the 23rd of December, 1994.

12             Your Honour, I have a problem with my glasses.  The lens has

13     fallen out, but I hope I will be able to read this.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Can the Court Usher assist in any way --

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  -- so that we are able to continue?

17             Mr. McCloskey.

18             MR. McCLOSKEY:  Your Honour, I can see that a little screw has

19     fallen out and so we have got a job for the witness section, and

20     obviously his glasses are important, but I leave this in your hands.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, indeed.  I think we should use the remaining

22     15 minutes of today's hearing in that way that you put questions to the

23     witness without directing him to specific parts of the documents.  And I

24     hope, very much, that the problem will be resolved during this afternoon

25     so that we can continue in a normal way tomorrow.

Page 18654

 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 2             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   I will read it out.  The title of the document is: "Agreement on

 4     Complete Cessation of Hostilities."  The first sentence reads as follows:

 5             "Following the cease-fire agreement signed on the

 6     23rd of December, 1994, the parties agreed to a complete cessation of

 7     hostilities with effect from 1200 hours on the 1st of January, 1995 ..."

 8     And this concerns all the lines of confrontation.

 9             Since agreement on cease-fire is mentioned in the first sentence

10     and in the second line reference is made to cessation of hostilities,

11     could you tell us what the difference is between a cease-fire and a

12     cessation of hostilities?  What is covered by the term "cease-fire" and

13     what by the term "cessation of hostilities"?

14        A.   A cease-fire means that the units on both sides remain at their

15     combat positions but they cease to open any kind of fire.  A cessation of

16     hostilities, however, means establishing a peace through a gradual

17     process of withdrawing the units and troops from their respective combat

18     positions.

19        Q.   Given what you have said and what we have just read out, were you

20     aware of the fact that this agreement on cessation of hostilities had in

21     fact been agreed, had in fact been reached?

22        A.   I couldn't answer that question.

23        Q.   Thank you.  We'll read out the second sentence now.

24             "This agreement will remain in effect for an initial period of

25     four months, subject to renewal under these same conditions with the

Page 18655

 1     agreement of the parties concerned."

 2             Thank you.  Was the witness [as interpreted] cease-fire

 3     respected?

 4        A.   No.

 5        Q.    Was the agreement on a cessation of hostilities respected, given

 6     that the agreement on a cease-fire was not respected?

 7        A.   Well, the cease-fire wasn't respected and that entailed a failure

 8     to respect the agreement on a cessation of hostilities as well.

 9        Q.   Do you know who violated the agreement on the cessation of

10     hostilities?  Thank you.

11        A.   Yes, the Muslim side violated both agreements with the

12     authorisation of the president, Alija Izetbegovic, and then the VRS

13     responded.  So neither side respected the agreement.

14        Q.   Thank you.  And were you a participant at the meetings of the

15     Main Staff when this subject was discussed and information pertaining to

16     the subject was provided?  Thank you.

17        A.   I did attend some of the meetings of the collegium or the meeting

18     of the commanders of the Main Staff of the VRS, and at those meetings we

19     were provided with a brief information, but at some meetings we were

20     provided with detailed information.  This information was usually

21     provided by Colonel Petar Salapura.

22        Q.   Thank you.  Did you receive any information, any intelligence

23     information, signed by Tolimir or Salapura?  Thank you.

24        A.   Mr. Tolimir, at the rear command post, as far as I can remember

25     we didn't receive any such information.  But when General Djukic and

Page 18656

 1     myself went to Crna Rijeka in the operations centre, it was possible for

 2     us to obtain such information.  So I, personally, made some notes with

 3     regard to this intelligence information.  I didn't copy everything.  I

 4     made some notes for my own personal use and in order to be able to inform

 5     members of the sector for organisation, mobilisation, and personnel

 6     affairs.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Was it possible for you and General Djukic to have

 8     access to all intelligence information when you required such

 9     information?

10        A.   Yes, but we didn't make such requests very frequently.

11        Q.   Thank you.  Given the access to information that you had when you

12     arrived at the command post, could you, on that basis, determine the

13     level of reliability of the information pertaining to certain events?

14     Thank you.

15        A.   Given the way the war developed in the territory of Croatia and

16     Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 90 per cent of the intelligence information

17     was, in fact, confirmed.  It was confirmed by the events in those

18     territories.

19        Q.   Thank you.  Given that intelligence in 1993 and 1994 [as

20     interpreted], did you find out certain things about the way in which the

21     Muslims armed themselves?  And the period of time I referred to was 1994

22     and 1995.

23        A.   Mr. Tolimir, I haven't fully understood your question.  Could you

24     please repeat it?

25        Q.   Thank you.  Did you receive intelligence about Muslims arming

Page 18657

 1     themselves in the course of the year 1994 and 1995?  Thank you.

 2        A.   Yes, information about Muslims arming themselves could be found

 3     in that information or we would be orally informed of the fact at the

 4     meetings in the manner that I have just described, Your Honour.

 5        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.  Could you please tell us, at the

 6     beginning of 1995, did the Main Staff have any information on plans for

 7     the ABiH and the Croatian Army launching large-scale combat operations?

 8     Thank you.

 9        A.   Yes, Mr. Tolimir.  The Main Staff had reliable information

10     concerning the ABiH and the Croatian Army launching an attack on the

11     western part of Republika Srpska.

12        Q.   Thank you.  And that information that you had at your disposal,

13     was that information subsequently confirmed by the way in which the

14     events unfolded?

15        A.   I have already answered that question.  Unfortunately, almost

16     90 per cent of the information that we had was confirmed by the

17     subsequent wartime events.

18        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please now have a look at

20     1D1111.  Thank you.  Thank you.

21             MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Here on the screen we can see the notes that you made in the

23     course of the war.  As you don't have your glasses, could you please tell

24     us how this document was created?  Thank you.

25        A.   This document consists of my own personal notes that were made

Page 18658

 1     from the 18th of March, 1995, until about the month of May of that same

 2     year.  O stands for "operative," and this represents some of the notes

 3     that I personally made for myself.  Everything that concerned areas

 4     outside the sector were marked with this letter O, and this shows that

 5     it's an authentic document that I, myself, created because no one in the

 6     VRS or in the Main Staff made such notes.  O1, O2, and so on and so forth

 7     are markings that I used because my intention was to add to these

 8     paragraphs at a later date or to use them for research purposes.  I

 9     haven't done any of that yet.

10             This document is an authentic one from that year.  Although it

11     was typed on a computer, there is nothing that I added or deleted from

12     the document.  Whatever I added I would mark.  I'd use my initials.  I'd

13     mark such sections with my initials, PS, and that is how one proceeds in

14     scientific works.

15        Q.   Thank you.  On what basis of what information did you compile

16     these notes?  Could you please tell us that.  Thank you.

17        A.   I made these notes on the basis of intelligence from the

18     Main Staff and on the basis of the oral presentations made at the

19     meetings of the Main Staff commanders.

20        Q.   Thank you.  A while ago you answered this question partially, so

21     I apologise for repeating my question.  After these notes had been made,

22     did you amend these documents in any way?  Did you add anything to the

23     document or to the notes or did you comment on these notes?  Thank you.

24        A.   No, I didn't, Mr. Tolimir.

25        Q.   Thank you.

Page 18659

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, we have to come to an end for today,

 2     but let me put a final question to the witness.

 3             I would like to know if you -- what we can see on the screen, if

 4     that is the original version of your notes, or did you make your notes by

 5     handwriting or how was it done?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had a laptop

 7     computer while working in the sector.  Sometimes I would take the laptop

 8     to the command post in Crna Rijeka, and then I would directly enter this

 9     information into the laptop.  When I didn't have the laptop on me, I

10     would make notes in a notebook.  And when I would then return to

11     Han Pijesak to the rear command post, I would transfer the information to

12     a computer, and I would then simply destroy or get rid of the handwritten

13     notes.  So this is the electronic version of my notes, the digital

14     version.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you for this explanation.  I am quite sure

16     that you are going on tomorrow dealing with this document, but for today

17     we have to finish our hearing.  We adjourn and resume tomorrow morning at

18     9.00 in this courtroom.  And again, no permission to contact either party

19     during the break.  Thank you.

20                           [The witness stands down]

21                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

22                           1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday, the

23                           1st day of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.