8615 Thursday, 9 December 2010
[The accused entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom. As you can see, we are only two judges. During the first session of today, because Judge Nyambe can't be with us. She has a serious emergency problem in her apartment that has to be resolved now. The Chamber decided to sit pursuant to Rule 15 bis during the first session today. Before the witness is being brought in, the Chamber would like to deliver an oral decision regarding the accused's motion for adjournment to study Mladic materials.
On Monday -- just a moment, I need the transcript. Now it's back. On Monday, the 6th of December, the accused made an oral motion that the trial be adjourned for approximately six weeks in order for him to study the Mladic notebooks and related materials which were recently added to the 65 ter exhibit list and subsequently admitted through the witness Tomasz Blaszczyk. In support of his request, the accused notes that other Chambers have granted other accused one to three months' adjournment to review these materials.
On the same day, the Prosecution responded by noting that the accused should be able to use the three weeks of the upcoming winter recess as part of the requested six weeks, and that the trial could then resume with the cross-examination of Witness Blaszczyk in late January. As a preliminary matter, the Chamber notes that the 29 documents 8616 at issue are listed in Appendix A of the Prosecution's 20 November 2010 motion to amend the 65 ter exhibit list and consist of the following: 19 notebooks purported to be authored by Ratko Mladic, which were seized in February of this year, then transferred to the OTP in March, and disclosed to the accused in April;
7 documents allegedly corroborating various entries in the notebooks;
2 demonstrative exhibits; 1 document that addresses the seizure of the notebooks by the Serbian MUP.
The Chamber notes that while the notebooks were disclosed to the accused in good time, this disclosure took place after the start of the trial. Furthermore, the motion to add the diaries to the 65 ter list was filed only very recently.
In sum, the accused received this arguably important material when he was actively engaged in trial preparation and was only very recently put on notice that the OTP would tender the documents through Witness Blaszczyk.
Therefore, the Chamber considers that the accused's request for an adjournment of the proceedings to study these materials is reasonable. The Chamber now turns to the length of adjournment. In this regard, the Chamber notes that, although the notebooks at issue comprise a substantial amount of material, the vast majority of the notebook pages amount to only half a page or less of a content, much of which is simple bulleted lists of other brief notes. Therefore, the Chamber considers 8617 that a review of the notebooks should take considerably less time than the six weeks proposed by the accused. Furthermore, while this Chamber is not bound by the decisions of other Chambers, it is important to note that adjournments in other trials have taken place for reasons other than allowing additional time to review the materials at issue here. With regard to the length of the adjournment to be granted, the Chamber does not agree with the Prosecution's suggestion that the winter recess period be used for this purpose. Like the Prosecution, the accused and his legal team are entitled to use the recess as non-working time should they so decide.
For the reasons stated above, pursuant to Rule 54, the Chamber considers that it is in the interests of justice for the trial to be adjourned for a period of three weeks after the winter recess to give the accused an opportunity to thoroughly study the documents listed previously. This means that the trial will adjourn for the winter recess at the scheduled time and reconvene on Monday, the 31st of January 2011. This concludes the Chamber's oral decision on the matter. Now, the witness shall be brought in, please.
[The witness entered court]
WITNESS: MIRKO TRIVIC [Resumed]
[Witness answered through interpreter]
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Please sit down.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth you made at the beginning of your testimony still 8618 applies.
And Mr. Thayer now is continuing his cross-examination -- his examination-in-chief. Sorry.
Mr. Thayer, are you able to indicate how much time you need?
MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President. I think about 20 minutes to half an hour, max.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. Please continue.
MR. THAYER: Thank you. Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
Q. Good morning again, Colonel.
A. Good morning.
Q. I think we need to give you a copy of your diary again, please, with the assistance of our friends.
MR. THAYER: Your Honours, we will be spending probably about 20 minutes going through the hard copies of the diaries that we distributed yesterday, and in the meantime, if we can get 65 ter 7108 on e-court, please. Now, if we could advance five more pages, or maybe six pages, to 0648-6777 is the ERN number that we are looking for, please.
Q. Colonel, have you found that page in your hard copy there? There will be --
Q. -- an eight-digit number, ending with 6777, in the upper right-hand corner. Do you have that page, sir? And it's also displayed at the moment on the computer. Do you see that, sir?
A. Yes. 8619
Q. Okay. This is a continuation of the notes you took at the commander's reconnaissance on 5 July. This is just, as we have been referring to it, the flip side of the page 2 that you had marked and had spoken about yesterday. If you would care to confirm that that's the case.
A. This was entered at the command post in Bratunac, the command post of the Drina Corps in Bratunac, at 1800 hours on the 5th of July.
Q. And that was a meeting that was held in -- as you said, at the command of the Bratunac Brigade, led by General Krstic, present were the other brigade commanders, after which you went to that observation at Pribicevac; is that correct?
A. No. At the Pribicevac observation post, we were there before, before 6.00, and after having worked at Pribicevac, we received our orders in the evening and a few of these bullet points that we recorded. The orders were to carry out reconnaissance, to deploy units. That's the sequence that I noted. And one of the remarks was that we should organise coordination to secure the lines reached, that we could expect the activity of the air force, that we had to mask our movements, the positions and our vehicles, and a few other activities down to the issue of the evacuation. That was the issue that we had to deal with on our own in our units. We were supposed to have our own reserves during the operation.
Q. Okay. First let me just pick up on something you just said and I want to try to orient ourselves as to when exactly these particular notes were taken. You just referred to an evacuation. What are you referring 8620 to when you say "evacuation"?
A. Well, you see, to be very precise and up to the point, one of the issues that I as a commander was warned by General Krstic was to envisage and decide what the direction of the evacuation of the wounded would be. This is determined for every unit, what would be the route of evacuation in order to avoid mixing of units and crowds on the roads, and so on and so forth.
Q. Okay. Now, just to be clear about the sequence of events that we are talking about, before you went to the observation point in the area of Pribicevac, was there a meeting of the commanders involved in this operation at the Bratunac Brigade command?
A. No. There was no meeting. The sequence was as follows: I inspected my units on the 5th of July, and on page 1 I entered what you can see, the Zeleni Jadar sector, I checked the numerical strength with my officers. I noted some questions that I was going to pose to the operation commander, and that was the end of my work at Zeleni Jadar. And then we had the so-called reconnaissance at the Pribicevac operation -- observation post. We looked at the area where combat activities would take place, we looked at the axis, and at 1800 hours on that same day, after our work at the Pribicevac observation point, we held that meeting at the IKM at the command of the Bratunac Brigade, and that's where we made a note of all the tasks that lie ahead.
Q. Okay. I just wanted to clarify: You were at the Bratunac Brigade command on only one occasion that day; is that correct?
A. Yes. 8621
Q. Okay. Now, there is a reference on the page in front of us to, "At 0200 hours, a sabotage detachment of the VRS Main Staff will carry out an operation in the Jabucno sector." Can you tell us what the source of this information was and what you know about this notation. What can you tell us about it?
A. Personally, I can't say anything else, but that's the information that we heard from the operations commander. He said that the operation would be launched in the Jabucno sector, and the time was set for artillery attack, and that was supposed to take place at 4.00 in the morning.
Q. And can you tell us where the Jabucno sector is?
A. No. It was not on my axis, and I really can't tell you where that was, under whose command that area was.
Q. Okay. Let's go forward a few pages to 0648-6797. Actually, if we can go to page 25 in e-court, please. It will be the prior page so we can see the date, time and page. Colonel, we are going to be looking at the page with the eight-digit number of 0648-6796 first. And I see -- I don't know if anybody else is having this problem, but we don't have the English translation on e-court.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, as you can see, the technician is working very hard on it. It's a technical problem to get the pages on the screen. But we have all hard copies.
MR. THAYER: We can work with the hard copies, Mr. President, that's no problem.
Q. Sir, do you see a date and a time that you've entered for the 8622 beginning of another day?
A. Yes. 6796, that's the page number.
Q. And what is the date and time that you've entered here?
A. 0900 hours on the 12th of July, 1995.
Q. Okay. And just, again for the record, you've entered in red ink a page number when you placed the pages in the correct chronological order. What page number have you written here?
A. The day before, we agreed on the numeration of pages, how pages would be enumerated, and this is page number 12.
Q. Okay. And just to move things along, is it fair to say that the notes that you've written here, following this date and time of 0900 hours on 12 July reflect a meeting or a briefing that was held at that time in the area of Bojna at the TV repeater led by, I think it was Lieutenant Colonel Vicic? I can't remember his exact rank off the top of my head, but Vicic was the operations officer who was providing the information; is that correct?
A. Yes. He was a colonel. That's how I recorded it also. And the entry was made according to what Colonel Vicic told us. For my units and for my left and right-hand side neighbours, or in other words, the units that were engaged on my flanks. And they were to continue the attack on their own axis.
Q. Okay. If we could turn the page -- we can see you've taken a series of notes about the events of the day; is that correct?
Q. And can you just tell the Trial Chamber, approximately when would 8623 you make these entries in your diary during the course of these days? Would you do it during the events, later in the day of the events, or days later?
A. I believe that I've already told you or, rather, in my previous testimonies I said, when we spoke about that, I said that all my annotations were entered no later than the 13th. That's when I recorded all the tasks that I had issued to my officers and my units, for departure from the area towards the Zepa sector.
Q. Okay. I don't want to get hung up on a particular date. That's not my question, Colonel. My question was just simply when you were making your entries in this diary, can you tell us typically when you would make the entries in it? That's all I'm asking, without focusing on a particular day.
A. Thank you for your question. When it comes to page 12, what was entered below the date and below the time when that was entered, I did it while the meeting was going on. Otherwise, I would have flipped the page. And typically, I would do it in the evening, before I went to bed. I just looked back at what had happened before my bedtime.
Q. Now, if we look at 0648-6797, we see a reference to, "We left in columns along the road at around 1850 hours to the slopes of Jahorina," and that refers to your search activity that you were assigned; is that correct?
A. Yes. The units took off and it was almost at the end of the task. We were in columns, we were moving along the road around 1800 hours. Your copy may not be legible, maybe you don't see this little 8624 circle, but it was around 1800 hours when we came to the northeastern slope of Jahorina, and that was the feature that I was supposed to take during the day, according to my orders.
Q. Okay. And can you read the next entry that you've written, please, for us. Just read it out loud.
A. "We come across a column of refugees dead [as interpreted], of refugees - but only one grandfather, the rest fled to the woods."
Q. I'm sorry, if you could just reread that entry again. There was I think an oddity in the translation or the transcript, I'm not sure which. But if you could just read it again into the record for us, please, so we can get it 100 per cent correct.
A. "We came across a column of refugees - but only one grandfather or old man was left there, the rest fled to the woods."
Q. And the word that you've used for "refugees" here, sir, what is that in your language?
A. See here, I didn't really say "refugees." I used the word "Zbjeg" in the Serbian, which is used to refer to the area, to the sector where people were, so I used this word "Zbjeg" to indicate the area where a number of people have sought shelter, and the conclusion that it was indeed "Zbjeg" was made on the basis of the fact that these people used remnants of some of the equipment that they found, say tents, nylon bags, and whatever they could find as though they collected the picnic -- as though they collected all those things after a picnic where somebody left them, irresponsibly. So this is what we came across, and my soldiers came down to Vrteca [phoen] and they came across an old man who couldn't 8625 follow them, and they carried him to the road where I was with my platoon.
Q. So just clarify for us, how many people did you actually see at this location?
A. Just this old man. We didn't see anybody else either on the move or to that area underneath. This was some 100 metres from the road. One couldn't see, or we did not observe them on the move. I think that when they became certain that the troops of the Army of Republika Srpska were moving in that direction, they made a plan to continue on in a different direction, so when my people came along, they found nobody else there except for the old -- this old man, this grandfather, and nobody else was there. And this old man was of limited mobility. He could move but with great difficulty. He was quite old, and they carried him to the road.
Q. On so in this context here, where you've used this word "Zbjeg" are you referring to a group of civilians or military or mixed, or can you tell us what you mean here?
A. See, my conclusion was that this is where people stayed, this is where they had their makeshift accomodation. One could assume that they were soldiers but it was difficult to comprehend what this very old and very sick man was doing with them, so this is why we used this word, a column of people, "Zbjeg." We assumed that there were also some civilians there who were protected by the soldiers. We didn't see any women there. We saw the elderly as we passed by, in Potocari and also on the day when I saw them being transported on vehicles, and as for this instance here, I really couldn't say. I didn't see anybody who was armed 8626 or anybody who was not armed, any particularly young people. We really didn't see anybody special except for this elderly man in this sink-hole, and we could see that people had a sort of makeshift accommodation there before we arrived. And just to add, this statement here is a follow-up to what is written earlier, where I say that we were leaving in columns.
Q. Okay. Now, let's briefly look at a couple of entries in your Zepa section.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a question to the witness before you move to another entry.
You were several times referring to this old man your men carried to the road. What happened to that man later?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I drove him in my vehicle to Potocari.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: And then?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I suppose he left your car. Where?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have told you, in Potocari, where they were all gathering, where it -- where they were told that the residents should gather.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
Q. Now, as you've explained to us already, when you started the Zepa portion of your notebook, you simply flipped it over and started making your entries in the reverse. So what we need to do in the hard copy is flip over the hard copy notebook so that the ERN that we see is 8627 0648-6847, and that should be the last page in e-court of the document. And Colonel, can you just confirm for us that what you see on the screen, which bears -- if we could just scroll up on the right-hand side, please, to catch the ERN, bears the ERN 0648-6847, is the back of your notebook where you began the Zepa portion of your diary.
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. Now, we are going to have to work backwards in e-court because this document was numbered, obviously, sequentially, so if we go back one page in e-court, and in the hard copy we just flip down the page, and if we see 0648-6846. Colonel, if I could ask you to just go to 0648-6846, that's just the flip side of the back cover; is that correct?
Q. And I see you have just confirmed that on your original notebook, just for the record; is that correct?
Q. Okay. Now, if we go back one more page in e-court, to 0648-6845, and that's page 74 in e-court, we see an entry with a date of 18 July 1995. I just want to ask you, is that page in chronological order or not?
A. No. It's not in chronological order. You can see in the original, and here, that there was a problem with the first page. Later on, reference points were recorded as an additional notation, but it really was not linked to the chronology of events.
Q. Okay. So if we go back one more page to 0648-6844, page 73, we see an entry with a number 1 in red ink at the top of the page and a date 8628 of 16 July 1995, 2000 hours. Can you explain to us what this entry shows?
A. This entry here reflects that I was at the meeting at the IKM of the Drina Corps concerning the assignments aimed at liberating Zepa. I prepared the facts on numerical strength of troops under my command.
Q. Okay. And you've written -- or can you just tell us who wrote this page number 1 in a circle in red ink at the top of the page, and what does that represent?
A. I did. That's the first page in recording the events concerning the assignments completed by my brigade at Zepa.
Q. Okay. And is it fair to say you used the same method in this Zepa portion when you numbered the pages, that you numbered just the -- we have referred to it, I think, as the top page of each page in red ink?
A. Every page was used anew. I did not use the flip page. I didn't put numbers on flip pages.
Q. Okay. But, in fact, you did use the flip page, you just didn't number it, just so we have it clear on the transcript.
A. Yes. We confirmed as much on the previous day, concerning Srebrenica and records of Srebrenica. I used both pages, and the chronology, the numeration of pages is done in red.
Q. Okay. If we could go back a couple more pages in e-court to 0648-6841, I want to just put a couple more questions to you about your diary. And that's page 70 in e-court. There is a reference here, if you have it in front of you, Colonel, to launching something concerning aerial bombs. Can you explain to us what this entry concerns? 8629
A. This entry pertains to the task to launch from an improvised launch pad on a vehicle, launching of an aerial bomb which could not be launched in the standard way but was, rather, used to produce psychological effects in a larger area, to affect the attitude of the people, not because it had chemical effects or anything of the sort but, rather, because it was supposed to produce a large explosion. It was supposed to be launched from a trailer. Its popular name was sow, "krmaca" in Serbian. That's what this aerial bomb was called but it wasn't really very accurate.
Q. And, sir, wasn't it the case that it was that inaccuracy that you just referred to that was part of the psychological effects that you just referred to that this weapon was intended to produce?
A. I don't know. I didn't use it, and I didn't know what effects it produced. It wasn't part of the standard ammunition of fire support as standard missile. Rather, it was used via some makeshift equipment in order to intimidate the other side. Both sides used it. These aerial bombs came from the ammunition that remained in various warehouses throughout Bosnia, the ammunition that hadn't been pulled out, and whoever came across it would use it. Here, they even mention the name of the person who was supposed to come and do the launching.
Q. Just so we are clear what we are talking about, these are bombs that were fashioned from using rocket motors and so forth and attaching them to a large artillery shell and launching them off of the back of some kind of a truck; is that correct?
A. I really don't know what charge it had, and I wouldn't want to 8630 speculate on that. It was launched from a truck, not from the standard launch pad that such bombs were typically launched from.
Q. And in this case, who ordered the use of these aerial bombs?
A. It says here only that he should report to Rogatica at 800 hours, this was written by General Krstic, and that the firing should be completed by 9. Whether it was done or not, I don't know. This person was supposed to report by 800 hours to Rogatica. To whom really I don't know, probably to the command post of the brigade at Rogatica. It says here by 0900 hours firing, which means that somebody was supposed to show up within that hour with a powerful explosion. I suppose this refers to the firing, to the launching, of this aerial bomb. It was supposed to be completed within a certain period of time, because the launching of this missile was dangerous, both for the firing party and to the opposite side, because occasionally, when firing such missiles, there were accidents, and this is why this was supposed to be done by 0900 hours, because after that, there would be troops on the movement and it would be dangerous to launch it.
Q. And this individual, Mitar Komlenovic, do you know from which unit or which level of command he came?
A. He was from my unit but he wasn't there with me. He was an engineer. Most likely he did some work on that launch pad. He was in the logistics organ and this is why I recorded here that Mitar Komlenovic was to come to Gusinac on the following day and report by 800 hours. It's not that he was supposed to come with the missile, it's just that he was supposed to come. I assume that this aerial bomb was already in 8631 Rogatica, and Mitar was an engineer, he was a deputy, I think in charge of the technical service in the logistics organ of the 2nd Romanija Brigade. Prior -- or otherwise, he worked in a factory in Sokolac.
Q. Okay. Let's move along a few more pages to 0648-6833, please. We see here that on this entry from 1100 hours on the 23rd of July --
Q. -- there is a reference to a bridgehead. Can you tell us, if you remember, what this feature or location is?
A. Are you referring to the bridgehead?
A. If you have followed my previous testimony, and I suppose you did since you proofed me, in carrying out the assignment in the Purtici village sector, or in Borak, I wrote a couple of times that the axis of the deployment of my unit was intersected by a river which was an underground river in some locations, and this canyon, the canyon of that river, is what I called the bridgehead, in order to orient everyone better. And it was difficult to cross that water, to cross that river, because the river banks were quite rocky and on an incline, and it was quite difficult for those who were attacking as the defending forces could control the area very easily. This is why I recorded the task given by General Krstic indicating that the deadline was 1400 hours to bring the forces to the bridgehead. That means that my assignment was to take the forces on the other bank. The river had been dry by that point so we were supposed to cross the riverbed and get the forces on the other bank. 8632
Q. Okay. Now, Colonel, you and I may have talked about this several years ago when we met, but the -- this information has never been discussed in any trial, so can you tell us, as precisely as you can, where, when you refer to the bridgehead here, can you tell us as precisely as you can what that particular location is. I understand we are talking about the area near Purtici, but was there some particular feature or location that's more -- even more specific than that that you can orient us to when you refer to the bridgehead? If not, that's okay, but if there was some specific location that you were discussing here and elsewhere in the diary when you refer to the bridgehead, that would help.
A. Based on what I heard during proofing, and based on the task, the difficult task, that was given to me and that I recorded here on the 23rd of July 1995 at 1100 hours, and you can see that underneath, in quotation marks, I wrote, "Interrogation." I will tell you what it was about. It was difficult for me to cross the riverbed which was located under the Borak feature, and that was a level area, and how should I describe it? When one crosses the riverbed, it was as though one entered a football pitch that was level but there were stands for 100.000 people on each side of that level field. There was a settlement near Borak, and there was an elevation there, and when we managed to cross on the 23rd, we were able to defeat the forces of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to push them from Borak. A soldier of mine was killed in the process. So the left side of that elevation is -- the left side of that elevation is located under the Borak settlement.
Q. Okay. Colonel, just to follow up on one thing. You said, "Based 8633 on what I heard during proofing ..." That may be a translation or some other issue, but, in fact, just -- can you confirm that you and I actually haven't been able to have any proofing this time, other than just meeting briefly on Sunday to tell you what the procedure was going to be for introducing your prior testimony; is that correct?
A. Yes, that's correct. I said "proofing" but I meant my own preparations. I had read the original of the diary in order to refresh my memory of what I had recorded, and the images of all the events were indeed refreshed. I'm not much of an optimist and I don't think that my memory is clearer now than before, but in any case, I remembered many of the important things when it comes to the chronology of the events. My memory has been jogged by the diary when I read it.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt for a short moment? I was -- I would like to refer to this answer as well, page 18, line 13. "Based on what I heard during proofing," can you tell us -- now you explained what you meant by that, by reading your diary, but how can I understand the word "what I heard during proofing"? Can you explain a little bit further what you are referring to.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I listened to the prior evidence that I had given, before I entered the courtroom here.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: When you say, "what I heard during proofing," you are referring to listening to the audiotapes of the prior proceedings; is that correct?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Thayer. 8634
MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
Q. And again, the reason we weren't able to actually have a proofing session this time was because it took just too long for you to listen to that testimony; is that correct?
A. Yes, unfortunately. Maybe it would be better if I'd spent less time here, but that's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose.
Q. Let's -- just a couple more clarifications here about how this diary is set up. If we can go to page 0648-6828, please. We need to back up a little bit more. And that's page 57 in e-court. We can see a heading you've written of "Course of operations" and then the date of 18 July and 19 July. Do you see that, Colonel?
Q. And if we go back one more page to 6827 in e-court, and this is at page 56 of e-court, we see entries of 20 July, 21 July. And if we go back one more page to 6826, you're continuing your entry for the 21st of July. And if we back up one more page to 6825, we see entries for 22 July and 23 July. Can you tell us what you're doing in your diary here, when you've sort of bullet-pointed these various dates, starting on the 18th -- with the 18th of July, under "Course of operations" and continuing for all those other dates?
A. Let me put it this way: We were, on the 23rd of July at 1100 hours, I was given a task and I recorded the task that I'd been given on page -- on the previous page, that is 6833, and then there was a halt in the operations. I did not record why, whether there was some negotiations or talks or something else. 8635 And then on the 25th of July, I summarised what had happened before, of the work before. I recorded the numerical strength, first of all, at various features. Under 1, I recorded Purtici, and number 2 Strmica, and under 3 the command part of my brigade, command elements of my brigade, and then guests, meaning those who were under my command. And on the 24th of July, the day before, Bratunac is recorded. I also recorded the losses that we had suffered, and this is where I recorded who was killed at the bridgehead after we had managed to cross the riverbed. I recorded the names of those who were wounded and, finally, I recorded the course of the events, the course of the operation, and all that in a chronological order, starting with the 18th of July, 19th of July, 20th July. And here I can see that we started discussing the surrender protocol with the enemy side on the 20th and then on the 20th in the evening we started preparing to continue the operations.
On the 21st we received an order from General Krstic to pull out some of our forces, and then on the 22nd of July and the 23rd of July, again, I recorded what had happened during the morning and organised war group and that we worked on the breakthrough, and then around 10.30 hours we ended all that and we were called from the forward command post for me to report to General Krstic.
And then on 23rd of July, at 1100 hours, I met up with General Krstic, we already discussed that, so this was just a summary of the main activities that had taken place day by day. And here I also recorded the -- 8636
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Very sorry, I have to interrupt you. You are talking very fast again and it is very difficult for the interpreters to catch everything you are saying. Please slow down a bit. And carry on.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And finally, we come to the 23rd of July, where I recorded the fact that I was interrogated. I recorded the fact that General Krstic addressed me in a very harsh manner, in a very impertinent manner. He doubted the accuracy of my reports and he gave me certain tasks, or a task, which I recorded here, and I wouldn't go any further into the detail of that.
On the 24th of July, we started our breakthrough, my unit and me. And then we crossed over.
Q. Okay. What I'm interested in at this point, Colonel, is can you tell us when your diary entries resume in terms of stopping this recap of the course of operations and actually making a contemporaneous entry in your diary. Can you find that in your diary so that, when we go back and look at the diary later, we can tell from what you've told us today and looking at the diary, when your diary then picks up again with a contemporaneous entry of the events as opposed to this recap that you've just been telling us about. If you can just tell us what the eight-digit page number is, then we can go to that very quickly.
A. You're asking me to find your page number. The recap was on the 25th of July. Everything was recorded that had happened from the 18th through to 25th of July. And then on the 26th of July, I continue at 1900 hours. This is where I continue recording the events as they 8637 happened.
Q. Okay. And that's at ERN 0648-6821. And if we could have that page on e-court, just so we can confirm. That's page 50 of e-court, please. And we see here an entry for 1900 hours, 26 July 1995. Is that the entry you were referring to, sir, what we have here on the screen?
Q. Okay. Now, if we go to 0648-6808, page 37 in e-court, we see an entry for Saturday, 29 July 1995 and nothing else. Can you explain what's going on here, Colonel?
A. Obviously, on the 28th of July, I recorded precisely what was going on, or what had been going on on the 28th. And I entered the date of the following day, of Saturday. That's all I did for that day. I was wounded on that day, and that's how my records stopped with regard to the events at Zepa. Actually, that's when I stopped recording anything that was going on in terms of the war operations in the area.
Q. Okay. And in between the Srebrenica section and the Zepa section of your notebook, there were some various personal materials that were also in there. Is that what we could expect to see if we go beyond this date of the 29th, Colonel?
A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question. Could you repeat, rephrase?
Q. There is a -- in your prior testimony, you referred, for example, to a prayer and some lists of items that can be found in this diary. And some of these were items of a personal nature that weren't related to the 8638 -- either of the operations. My only question is: If we go beyond that last entry of the 29th of July, is that what we are going to see if we are looking in the diary beyond that date? Just so everybody understands what else is in here. I don't need to spend time looking at the prayer, for example, I just want to ask, is that what's in there?
A. There are a few more pages where I recorded some personal things. Amongst other things, a prayer that my daughter said for me while I was hospitalised.
MR. THAYER: Mr. President, as the Trial Chamber can see, it's a little bit counterintuitive how this had to be put together. If the Trial Chamber has no other questions, I just have one quick document to work with Colonel Trivic with and then I am completed. I didn't know if you had any questions, given how this is set up, that you'd like to put to Colonel Trivic now.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, just Judge Mindua has a question.
JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. I would like to ask a clarification to the witness. Sir, you stopped writing on the 29th of July 1995, and this was a Saturday, as I can see. And you said that you had been wounded. Could you tell us in which circumstances you were wounded.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was wounded in combat. By a bullet from a 5.56 rifle, from the Zlovrh elevation. That's where the communication centre of the former JNA was, and at that moment it was 8639 under control of the BiH army or, rather, the Muslim forces at Zepa, and in the final stages of that operation, as we were chasing the enemy during the final stages of our active combat, of our attack, I was in a combat formation with a few of my soldiers. We hit heavy resistance; one soldier was killed, a few were wounded, and I was among them on the 29th July in the afternoon, sometime between 1700 and 1800 hours.
JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. But please remind me something, sir. You are talking about the Zlovrh elevation and you said that this was the communication centre. Was that the communication centre that was later on bombed by NATO, or are we talking about a totally different elevation, near Zepa, in fact?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's the feature that was above Zepa settlement or the Zepa valley. During NATO activities, I was still undergoing treatment, so I don't know, but I suppose that that's the centre that had been built for the top command of the army of the former state, so I can only assume that that was one and the same because I am not aware of any other Zlovrh, and Zlovrh, as the name in our language says, it was a very evil position for us.
JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. May we have P1230 on e-court, please.
Q. Colonel, just take a moment and refamiliarise yourself with this document. You were shown this during your prior testimony. Let us know when you're ready to go to the next page. 8640
A. Yes. We can go on.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: We have it on the screen. Please carry on.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Yes, I've read it.
MR. THAYER: If we could go back one page in the English and stay where we are in the B/C/S, please.
Q. Sir, as we can see, this is a notification signed by General Miletic, then-Colonel Miletic, stating that they've approved the movement of an UNPROFOR convoy. You were asked about this paragraph where he writes, "I demand a detailed check of all vehicles," et cetera, et cetera. And when you were asked about this particular paragraph in the last trial - and this is at transcript page 12043 - you said that, and I quote, in reference to what would have happened if the subordinate units had not complied with this demand in this document, you stated: "I think it's inconceivable that they wouldn't comply. They were informed what they were supposed to do, and I presume that they reported back about what they did, to the Main Staff."
My question to you, Colonel, is: Can you describe for the Trial Chamber the importance of this concept of reporting back, reporting back from a subordinate to a superior command.
A. I don't see anywhere here in the document that reports -- the report had to be submitted. And your question is what a unit is duty-bound to do, and I answered that in my previous testimony, that a unit is supposed to report on anything that goes beyond the scopes of the tasks given to it by the Main Staff. Could you please rephrase your question? Put the question to me again. I would like to see the first 8641 page, just to check the heading of this document.
Q. Okay. And while you're doing that I'll read the questions and answers at issue in the prior trial. I asked you --
JUDGE FLUEGGE: The prior trial was the Popovic trial and this is P1196 and -97.
MR. THAYER: Yes, thank you, Mr. President. This is at transcript page 12043, beginning at line 15. I asked you: "Q. I'm asking you, if you had not followed these procedures as demanded in this paragraph, what would the consequences have been if you had permitted these vehicles simply to go through?"
And obviously when I said "you" I didn't mean you personally, I meant the recipient of this demand, the subordinate unit. And you answered:
"A. There is no mention here of units. This refers to the military post 7111. This notice was addressed to it as was the demand for it to adhere to proper procedures, or proper procedure, and I don't know if they complied."
And then I followed up and I asked you: "Q. Well, what do you think would have happened if they didn't comply, sir?"
And your answer was: "A. I think it's inconceivable that they wouldn't comply. They were informed what they were supposed to do, and I presume that they reported back about what they did, to the Main Staff." Okay. So without getting hung up on this particular document, my 8642 question is simply: Can you tell the Trial Chamber, in the context, for example, of this answer that you gave in the last trial, what the importance is of this concept of reporting back.
A. I will pick it up from what I said previously. The -- this document was sent to some brigades to whom it was not intended, and you can see the list of the brigades in handwriting. And as for the military post 1711, this was sent as an official document or, rather, information that the movement of the convoy had been approved along different axes, and so on and so forth. And finally, on the second page, something that you emphasised in your question, there is a list of requests or demands, so this document is both information as well as a list of requests from the military post. One of them is a detailed control of all vehicles, and so on and so forth.
The officer who sent this document or, rather, the Main Staff, informed the unit to do that, but also it informed it that the same thing had been sent to the UNPROFOR command, so any misunderstanding is avoided when checks were carried out. The military post that received that task, I'm sure, and I adhere by that, if they told that something was not in keeping with the procedure and goes beyond the scope of what had been agreed, that unit was duty-bound to send back a report and then UNPROFOR would decide how to deal with the things that went beyond the procedures and how the procedure would go on in the future.
I must say that the brigades which are listed in handwriting received that only by way of information, because we did not have check-points at which vehicles would be controlled. My unit didn't have 8643 a check-point. I don't know if any other had. So the passage of convoys was under the authority of other organs and commands, not of the brigade commands.
I can just share my positions with you, and my position is that a report had to be drafted if something was not in keeping with the procedures. We had to record the quantities of fuel and how the documents were drafted. I suppose that the last request arises from the fact that there were some aberrations from the procedures in some previous instances.
Q. Colonel, again, my question is a much simpler question, and please don't get hung up on this specific document. Just as a general military matter in your experience, can you explain to the Court the importance of the concept of reporting back, this term that you used in your prior answer, as it applies more generally. I'm not talking about this situation that is in this document. When a superior gives an order to a subordinate, can you tell the Trial Chamber about the importance of this idea which you spoke about, this term "reporting back"? What is the importance of that? And how does that fit into the proper functioning of the military?
A. I believe that I have already answered that several times. In any case, my position is unchanged. A report has to be accurate, it must not be drafted in a way to please me, and there shouldn't be any doubts about the credibility of a report, because otherwise, the army could not function properly, especially not in combat. Some minor details may differ from the truth. For example, if I came at quarter to 7, I can 8644 still say that I arrived at 7, but these are very specific tasks that had an impact on the functioning of the system. And when it comes to the functioning of the system, accurate reporting implies or, rather, demands that the entire system relies on accuracy, credibility, timeliness. If all those are not in place, the army cannot function and tasks cannot be coordinated properly.
Q. And was it the case that when an order was given, that order was expected to be executed and a report sent back from the subordinate unit to the superior, indicating that the order had been complied with or otherwise executed, or that there had been some problem?
A. In any case, this is what is implied. All activities given to subordinates have to be reported on. And if there are no specific requests for a report to arrive by a certain time, then reporting has to be incorporated into regular reporting, which is commonplace during combat. Once a day regular combat reports are sent containing all orders and all activities that had been completed or are still undergoing.
MR. THAYER: Thank you, Colonel. I see we are past the break. That concludes my examination.
And, Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender P1230. This was one of the documents that were subject to the Trial Chamber's ruling the other day.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. This document will be received as Exhibit P1230.
We are really far beyond the break time. We have to break now and we will resume at 5 minutes past 11. I think we have to discuss the 8645 length of the examination-in-chief later.
I would like to ask the Court Recorder to check the beginning of page 27 during the break. We adjourn and resume at five minutes past 11.
--- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.
--- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before Mr. Tolimir gets the floor, I would like to remind both parties, but again in particular the Prosecution, that when the Chamber gave some guidance about how to proceed in the courtroom recently, I think last week, there was one part of this guidance I would like to quote:
"Both parties, and in particular the Prosecution, have on occasion exceeded their estimates, and the Chamber will seek to ensure that, as much as possible, this be kept to a minimum." The Chamber is quite concerned about the wrong estimation that the Prosecution made. The Prosecution indicated that it will use one hour for examination-in-chief. Instead of one hour, it used three hours and 30 minutes. This morning, Mr. Thayer said, when I asked him how much time he will need today, he said, "I think about 20 minutes to half an hour, maximum." Instead of that, he used one and a half hour. The Chamber is concerned about this use of time, or about the wrong estimation, but I think for the -- for planning purposes, and for preparation of the cross-examination of the Defence, this is not very satisfactory, and I would like to remind the Prosecution to keep their examination to a shorter time, especially if we have to do with 92 ter witnesses. Their prior testimony is already in evidence and therefore we 8646 should try to be -- the Prosecution should try to keep the estimation right. I take into account the length of some answers. That happens also in cross-examination. We have had such instances. But indeed, this situation is not very satisfactory.
MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honour has, I think kindly, referred to the Prosecution collectively, and I'll just say right now I am the prime suspect and I'm guilty as charged. I think I have demonstrated that my estimates are, frankly, rubbish and that is despite really trying to make accurate estimates as possible. Clearly, they have not been. And I apologise for that. I think it is safe to say I will just need to -- my first reaction is going to have to be whatever I estimate I'll have to increase it somewhat. I understand that the Trial Chamber doesn't want to hear that necessarily, but for planning purposes, I understand Your Honour needs better estimates, and you will get those. I can assure you of that.
And I think it's clear to everybody that the problem has fundamentally been mine. And I understand that, in some cases, we have witnesses who provide more narrative answers or for whom it requires a little bit more work to get where we want to go, but fundamentally this is an issue of my time estimates. I recognise that and I will do better. One thing I would like to just make clear to the Court, though, is that the areas with which I have been entering into these sometimes contentious discussions with Colonel Trivic, for example, are entirely new areas that weren't gone into in the prior testimony, and these are 8647 areas that are fundamental to the issues in this case. Not in the Popovic case but in this case; issues of communications, issues of reporting as we just heard, issues of what the term "Zbjeg" means. These are all issues that are important to this case, or fundamental to this case, as the Court will recall from other witnesses. I'm trying to take this witness, for example, as I think we all do, in directions that are relevant and new to this case. That said, I will do what I can with these new areas to streamline it as much as possible, be more realistic about the estimates.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber accepts your guilty plea. However, Mr. Thayer, it's not a problem of the examination-in-chief itself but with the preparation. The estimation was wrong. Perhaps you were right to put these questions to the witness. I don't judge that. But in preparation, you should have a realistic estimation, as you and your colleagues from the OTP requested from the Defence several times, and therefore this is, I think, the right time to remind parties to comply with their own estimates. You will have realised that this Chamber is quite liberal going further, and we don't like time restraints. On the other hand, it is -- we -- this is a request to be very disciplined in this respect. Thank you very much.
Now, Mr. Tolimir, you should commence your cross-examination. Mr. Tolimir.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would like to greet everybody who is present, and may God's peace reign in this house and may God's will be done in these proceedings and not necessarily 8648 mine. I would like to particularly greet this witness, whom I haven't seen for a long time, and I wish him a pleasant stay among us here.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
Q. [Interpretation] Please, our time is quite limited. A lot of documents have been tendered through you, so let us use this document that we saw as the last document, P1230. This was used during your examination-in-chief.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, at the outset of your examination, I would especially you both - you, Mr. Tolimir, and the witness - remind to speak very slowly and to pause between question and answer. I think this witness is a high-speed speaker and therefore both of you should be very careful. We need a clear record. Thank you.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We will do our best. Could we see page 2 of this document.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. While we are waiting for it to come up, let me ask you this: The Prosecutor put a number of questions concerning this document. I couldn't quite understand what they pertained to, but let me ask you this: Can it be seen clearly from this document, on page 1, that it says here that the leaders of the convoy would have the lists of personnel, equipment, and a bill of -- loading bill. On this page, does it say, especially under item 3, that particular identification should be done concerning all people so that the documents and identities should be checked? 8649
Q. Does this document go to the UNPROFOR command?
Q. Now, tell me this, please: This -- these checks that were supposed to be done, were they transparently announced to UNPROFOR so that they could prevent misuse that had taken place earlier, at the entry and exit into the enclaves?
A. Yes. There had been problems earlier concerning entry and exit into enclaves and, as I have mentioned during my testimony, that's precisely why this document was composed, in order to prevent that.
Q. Thank you. We have completed this document.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Trivic, you and Mr. Tolimir are using the same language. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that you wait with your answer until the -- you see the record, until the record has stopped. Otherwise, the interpreters can't catch your answer because they are still interpreting the question of Mr. Tolimir. Please bear that in mind.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would also like to ask that this screen be removed. I can't see the transcript. I used to be able to see it and now I see myself on the screen. Oh, it's fine now. It's fine. It's fine now.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We will try to abide by the rules of these proceedings. 8650 Could we see in e-court P1231.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. And while we are waiting for that to appear on the screen, I can tell you that this is a statement that Colonel Trivic gave on the 24th of January 2002 to the investigators of the Tribunal. Thank you. My first question: Why did you, on the 24th of January 2002, come to have this interview, given the fact that there had already been an interview conducted with you earlier? Thank you.
A. I never thought about it, why I had been asked to come to be interviewed on various occasions. If I can just take a look at this to see whether, at the beginning of the interview, I was given a reason for being invited. Most likely they wanted additional information concerning some events that the OTP was interested in and wanted to go over me -- wanted to go over with me one more time.
Q. Thank you. Mr. Trivic, perhaps I made a mistake by not putting a very clear question, and my question was whether, during the second interview, you clarified something that was erroneously stated during the first interview? And were you told about this, given that in lines 13 to 16, on page 2 of the Serbian translation -- could we see page 2 of the Serbian so that the witness can see it. It says here: "You are here as a witness, which is to say that during the six years that we have been investigating this event we never came across any indication pointing to the fact that you or your unit in any way were involved in the events on 11 and 12 July."
All right. It's page 3 in the English. I just wanted to see 8651 whether, during the second interview, anything was clarified that was erroneously stated during the first interview. Thank you.
A. I don't think so. I don't think there was anything questionable, and in these lines that you mentioned 12, 13, and so on, in the second paragraph, we deal with a question that I put initially, namely that the summons was sent to me as a Lieutenant-General Mirko Trivic, and I was never promoted to the rank of general. And here in this portion, the Prosecutor and I established that a lot of people who were colonels at the time and were, unfortunately, involved in these events, in the meantime had become generals. So I wanted to clarify whether they had made a mistake in my name or in my rank when summoning me to the interview. Other than that, I don't think that anything else was questionable from the first interview.
Q. Thank you. Please, on page 3, 4, 5 and 6, of this interview, the Prosecutor, Mr. McCloskey, put some questions to you about the meeting at Bojna. Was it a contentious issue that you were in Bojna on the 12th of July at 9.00 in the morning? Thank you.
A. No. There was nothing contentious about it. The question put to me was whether, and at which time, I met and greeted General Mladic. At the bottom of the page I answered, at around 1800 hours. I also said that I didn't know when I was told to come to the Bojna sector on the 12th at 9.00. I don't know whether I was notified of this in the evening hours on the previous day or that morning.
Q. Thank you. Further, on pages 4, 5, and 6, you were asked who had issued tasks, who was present at the beginning, whether security organs 8652 were present, and then you answered by saying that brigade commanders were there and that you didn't remember any security organs being there but that perhaps Popovic was there. That's on page 5, lines 22 to 26. And then based on all of the -- or, rather, this is what you said in response. At the meeting, when you were preparing the operation in Bratunac, at the first meeting, were there any security organs present? Thank you.
A. As I have stated so far, in my records, I recorded those individuals who were important for me. As for the other members of the Drina Corps command and subordinate persons, I would rather not speculate or attempt to remember whether I saw somebody or not.
Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Trivic. Now, would you please look at page 6 of your statement, Serbian version, lines 28 to 32. It's at the bottom of the page. Based on that, my question is this: Were you told about the task to prevent the withdrawal of the Muslim army from the Srebrenica enclave and their pullout towards Tuzla and to prevent the enclaves being joined with the territory held by Muslims in the Federation? Thank you.
A. No. I was not given such a task. We were ordered to continue the attack. While preparing to come and testify here in the courtroom, I thought about this, and naturally I would reconsider these answers if I were to provide answers again. And on the 12th of July, it was more a case of chasing rather than preventing somebody from leaving.
Q. Thank you. I put this question to you precisely in order to clarify whether the forces of your brigade and neighbouring brigades were 8653 chasing these forces or were they executing other tasks and were there perhaps some forces that were preventing the pullout? And actually, can you describe to us which forces were engaged in chasing and which forces were engaged in preventing the pullout?
A. My brigade, the Bircani Brigade, we were given a task to be engaged in the area all the way up until Jahorina and Jastrebac whereas the Zvornik Brigade had remained among the reserve forces. So if we went beyond the boundaries of the enclaves, then one could say that the units which normally held positions facing the enclave of Srebrenica remained there with the same task; to disarm. This is how I would describe it, as a disarmament. And also they were tasked to prevent the forces of the 28th Division from joining the other forces while being armed. These units, which held the positions facing enclave before had that same task, and only some forces successively arrived to the area from the Zepa enclave. If I understood your question well, then I think this is the right answer.
Q. Thank you for this explanation. That's precisely what I wanted to hear. I wanted us to see that the column wasn't being chased. Rather, the enemy was being prevented from doing what you explained to us.
Can we now turn to page 14 of your statement. In line 4. You can see line 4. The Prosecutor asked you whether you saw Beara in the evening on the 12th in the Bratunac area, and you say: "Well, I have told you very clearly that beyond the brigade, General --" 8654
THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please slow down.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. My question is: In Bratunac, at that meeting discussed at page is 14, in addition to you commanders who had been issued a task, were there only Generals Krstic and Mladic present and was there anyone else from the Main Staff present too?
A. At the meeting held on the 12th, in the working segment of the meeting, nobody else was present, as far as I can remember, except for General Mladic, who issued the well-known task to commence the implementation of the following assignment and to take advantage of the situation. As for the evening, I don't think that there was anybody else from the Main Staff except for General Mladic.
Q. [Microphone not activated]
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the speaker.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. Thank you. I apologise for not saying that it was page 22 in English. Thank you for clarifying this. I don't have any further questions about the statement you gave to the Prosecutor. Now we can turn to what happened in the beginning of your examination-in-chief. On page 24, you were asked the following:
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you referring to the transcript of today or another document?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I am referring to the transcript of yesterday -- or the day before, rather.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] 8655
Q. At the beginning of your examination-in-chief you were asked about how things transpired and how come you had left Srebrenica and went in the direction of Viogora and how did you enter the town. My question is this: Was the town -- and that's on page 24 -- was the town under artillery fire or any other kind of fire coming from infantry weapons at the time when you entered Srebrenica? And we could see a photo depicting you and General Mladic and Krstic and even before that.
A. No, there was no fire. We entered walking. There was no need to do anything else. There was no fire being opened on any of the sides because people who found themselves there would have come under fire and would be threatened. The enemy side would have threatened their own population and our side would have threatened the units that had already entered the town.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: The reference to page 14 of the transcript of the 7th of December can't be right. It must be another page.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said page 34 and 24. Page 24, where you can see a reference to the movement of unit and its entering Srebrenica. And since the witness has already answered, I'm going to ask him about the way he entered Srebrenica because he said that he remembers all that very well.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we need a clear record. I'm confused at the moment. We see a reference to page 14, to page 24, and 34. What are you referring to? When you put a question to the witness in respect of a certain part of the transcript of Tuesday this week, you 8656 should be very precise. What are you referring to?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was referring to pages 32 through 34, and I referred to page 34 because there is a reference there to the movement of the unit and departure in the direction of Vijogor. That's in line 6. But I can also give you reference for Srebrenica, if you need it, and then we can go -- continue talking about that. I can refer to the transcript page if you want me to do that.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you put a question to the witness in reference to a page of the transcript of Tuesday, it should be correct reference, and page 24 of that transcript only Mr. Thayer was dealing with numbers of documents. Now you say it is page 32 to 34. This is quite different. I would only ask you to be very precise. Please carry on.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate what you said.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. Please, I don't want to go back to the transcript at all. I'm asking you about the time when you entered Srebrenica and when your photo was taken with General Mladic and others. I'm asking you about that. Was there any street fighting in Srebrenica as you were entering the town? Thank you.
A. There was no street fighting at the time.
Q. Thank you. When it comes to Muslim fighters, Muslim combatants, were they in Srebrenica at the time when you entered together with General Mladic, General Zivanovic, and the others who were with you, 8657 which we could see in the video clip, and you all entered on the 11th?
A. When it comes to the elements of the 28th Division or soldiers of the BiH army, we did not come across any of them in Srebrenica as we entered the town.
Q. Thank you. My next question is this: Did you come across any weapons that they had discarded as you were entering Srebrenica, or maybe around the town, as you were coming close to it? Thank you.
A. No, there were not any discarded weapons. As far as I know, my unit or any of my neighbouring units did not come across any weapons.
Q. Thank you. Did UNPROFOR later on surrender to the Republika Srpska army the weapons that they had kept in their custody, the weapons that were given to them by the Muslims when Srebrenica was being demilitarised?
A. No, I don't know anything about that so I can't give you a proper answer, I can't give you a decisive answer.
Q. Thank you. Do you know if members of your corps or your brigade or any other units that cooperated with you in combat around Srebrenica, did they come across any weapons that the members of the 28th Division had discarded while withdrawing from Srebrenica?
A. I don't know anything about that.
Q. Thank you. On page 34, line 20, of the transcript of the last day of this trial, there is reference to the breakthrough of the Muslim army towards Tuzla. Could you please tell us, did members of the 28th Division that the Prosecutor referred to herein, did they take all the weapons that they had while they were in Srebrenica enclave? 8658
A. I don't know whether they took all the weapons, but if we don't have any information from either my units or any other units that something had been left behind, and if there is a fact that they managed to break through on their axis of movement in the area of defence of the Zvornik Brigade, then one may come to the conclusion that they did take all the weapons in order to help them carry out a successful breakthrough.
Q. You have just mentioned the word "breakthrough." In your diary that you kept, your personal diary, you entered information about your report to Pandurevic when you were together at the command post or, rather, the new command post in Solila after he had handed over the task, and let me not suggest anything to you. Can you tell us what you recorded. What was his report about? What did his report contain?
A. If you --
Q. I apologise. It's at page 2 in your diary and the ERN number is 0648-6842. I apologise for not mentioning the ERN number immediately. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer?
MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. It might help if we want to put it on e-court, or if you're following in the hard copy of the diary, to find exactly where we are. It's 65 ter 7108, and if you want to follow in the hard copy of the diary, simply flip it over to the side where it says Srebrenica/Zepa 14 to 29 July and start working your way backwards and you'll find the ERN that was cited.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is now P1444. 8659
MR. THAYER: And it's page 71 in e-court, Mr. President.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I start answering?
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've found this, thank you, Mr. Thayer. At that meeting, when we were talking about the troops of the 28th Division, I noted down the following under bullet point 3 of page 2, and this will answer the question put to me by Mr. Tolimir. Under bullet point 3, I recorded this: "The situation in Srebrenica in enclave Birac --" and then there are bullet points, there are smaller armed groups, the Milici and the Bratunac Brigade engaged in scouring, and then under bullet point 4, which refers to the breakthrough, I wrote, In the area of responsibility of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade the situation is very complex. And the following bullet point, elements of the 28th Division, or Muslims, crossed the Karakaj-Crni Vrh road and they came to the Baljkovica sector, and we are talking about 2.000 soldiers altogether.
And in conclusion, I noted that they are blocked and that, after engagement, they took three pieces of equipment, of self-propelled equipment, and in brackets, they burned two of those pieces of equipment, and one self-propelled cannon opened fire on the brigade troops. And one more statement, they did not manage to link up with the forces in the Kalesija sector and the Tuzla sector.
And finally, eight policemen taken in custody and there is blackmail going on.
And this will be the long and the short of what General Krstic 8660 had told us at the meeting which he was held on the 16th of July at 2000 hours.
Q. Thank you. Please, tell us as a soldier whether the situation was complex in military terms and that's why an entire unit had to abandon its previous task and they had to return to their original areas of responsibilities? Was that a very complex situation when you had to chase those enemy's troops? Please make a clear record.
A. Yes. A reference to as many as 2.000 soldiers is illustrative of the situation. They managed to break through. Obviously they wanted to link up with their own forces in the Kalesija and Tuzla sectors. And because of the situation, the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, with his troops from Zepa, returned into his original area of defence.
Q. Thank you. Could the e-court please produce P1202. And while we are waiting for the document to be displayed, I'm going to say for the record that this is the document from the command of the Drina Corps dated 2 July 1995. And the title is, "An order for active combat." And in that document we are going to look at the first bullet point referring to the enemy where it says, and I quote the second paragraph of this document, reads:
"We believe that in the forthcoming period, the enemy will intensify offensive activities against the Drina Corps area of responsibility, mainly in the Tuzla, Zvornik, and Kladanj Vlasenica directions with simultaneous activity by the 28th Division forces from the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa in order to cut the Drina Corps area of responsibility in two and connect the enclaves with the central part 8661 of the territory of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina which is held by the Muslim forces."
Please, bearing all this in mind, my question is as follows: Did they manage to pull out from the enclaves? I'm referring to the Muslim troops in Zepa and Srebrenica. And did they manage to link up with the forces in Kladanj and Tuzla? Thank you.
A. I believe that some of the troops, some of the elements of the army managed to link up with them. Some troops were disarmed and, according to the information that was available to us and the general public in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the international general public, some of the elements went in the direction of Serbia. They crossed the Drina River and ended up on the other side. Two days ago I mentioned that the elements, or smaller groups, continued to look for ways to link up with their forces for a number of days thereafter and there were still losses at this time when I was hospitalised, after having been wounded, and the officers from the command of my brigade visited me and informed me about the losses that happened even after both tasks had been completed.
Q. Could it be said that the Muslims did not manage to link up the territories of the enclaves with Tuzla, however, they managed to pull out some of their soldiers, as you have said, and some of their ammunition, and link up with the majority of forces in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Thank you.
A. Yes. That was the objective of their activities, as it says here in the document, for the enclaves to be linked up, which they didn't 8662 manage to do because one of the enclaves fell, and automatically that changed the status of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in that area.
Q. Thank you. You as brigade commander, did you receive information prior to that that starting from the spring of 1995, Muslims had been conducting active combat operations towards the territory of Republika Srpska, precisely in order to conquer territory, link up their territories, break up Republika Srpska and its army?
A. Yes. Such information came in via official correspondence, it was sent to subordinate units, and it was reported in the media as well, about sabotage activities in the area, in the villages surrounding the enclaves, where there were various misdeeds - that's exactly the right word, misdeeds - and atrocities committed.
Q. Thank you. Now we will look at D52 in e-court. This is the document of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina dated the 8th of July 1995, where they provide information about the combat results of their units and the soldiers of the 28th Division. We don't need to read the entire document because it's known to all of the parties, but please look at the first bullet point, where he informs his own 2nd Corps by saying 60 Chetniks were liquidated and, according to unconfirmed reports, the aggressor suffered even greater losses and had many wounded. Then in the second bullet point he says that 16 automatic rifles, three machine-guns, and so on and so on, were captured. I would like to ask you this: Does this indicate that there were active combat operations conducted by the troops of the 28th Division from the territory of the Srebrenica safe haven towards the area where your troops 8663 were; and as a result, did they kill the number of civilians indicated here? Thank you.
A. Yes. This is yet another indicator of the fact that there were active combat operations, and we see here the analysis of these operations. And it's written here, in order to strengthen the combat morale of their troops.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
MR. THAYER: Mr. President, perhaps General Tolimir misspoke but I don't think there is any reference in this section that he's citing to civilians, and in fact, I think General Tolimir himself has acknowledged on a prior occasion that this was a military target and these were military losses, I think as evidenced by the amount of military hardware. As I said, maybe he misspoke when he referred to them as civilians, but I think it's worth clarifying, for the record.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir asked, "... did they kill the number of civilians indicated here?" We see in the document 60 Chetniks were liquidated. I would like to ask the witness: Do you know anything about the question if they were civilians, these 60 people, or military personnel?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is how I would interpret this: In the first bullet point, it says 60 Chetniks were liquidated. And we also used derogatory terms. We called the opposing side Turks and they called us Chetniks. We all used derogatory terms, so let me interpret this in my way. 60 Chetniks were liquidated, and then they go on to list various things, and they say, according to unconfirmed reports, the 8664 aggressor suffered even greater losses, and so on. So the 60 people were killed and the number of the wounded is not known because everybody was pulled out. And if we add up the weapons that were captured, we can see that there were 16 plus 3 plus 1 plus 1 carbine, so there was a total of 21 pieces of weapons. That is to say 21 soldiers. And the remaining were Chetniks, if I can use their term, Chetniks without weapons. They go on to say that there were livestock seized, and this indicates that all this transpired in a village. And they also mention a van. They don't mention a military vehicle, they mention a van. So according to their report, I would say that there was, at the most, a platoon here of up to 25 men, and then the remaining persons were civilians, between 25 and 60, the remaining persons were civilians, because we can see that they also captured livestock in the process.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let me clarify the following: Is that a conclusion you have drawn from this document or is it your personal knowledge at that time when this happened?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is my conclusion after reading this document.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. Tell me, please, did you hear that the village of Visnjica, which was not at the front line, was attacked and that there were victims there? Or were other villages around Srebrenica attacked, villages that 8665 were not in the theatre of war or at the front line? Were other villages in the territory of Republika Srpska attacked?
A. Yes. I heard of such operations, and I know of losses that were incurred further in the depth of the territory, not just at the front line.
Q. Can you please explain to us, what do you mean, not just at the front line? What is the distance between the demarcation line and the depth of the territory where there were losses?
A. Well, according to the rules, the front area covers some 100 to 150 metres, and this is where the platoons are deployed, and that further into the depth is the area normally held by a battalion, which has the depth of 3 kilometres, typically. So after this front area, which covers 100 to 150 metres, further in the depth losses were incurred in the areas held by battalions; that is to say 3 kilometres further away.
Q. Thank you. Could we now see 153, please. While we are waiting for the document, let me say that this looks to be a document of the General Staff --
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you tell us, 153 is not a document. Are you referring to P153 or D153?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. I wrote down incorrectly. It should be D53, D53. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could this be zoomed 8666 in, please, so that the witness can see it. Otherwise the font is too small.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. This is a document of the General Staff of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is a -- which is dated 17th of June - that is to say, a month before the attack on the enclave - where it says, "Preparations for offensive of combat operations, order." Before we start dealing with the document, can you tell the Chamber what offensive combat operations are. What does that term encompass? Thank you.
A. Could you please repeat it? I wasn't focused on your question, I was reading the document.
Q. Can you please tell us, describe as a soldier, what "combat offensive operations" are, or "offensive combat operations" are.
A. Offensive combat operations are all operations which include activities, or, rather, which, based on the initiative in the combat, offensive combat operations are various incursions, attacks; everything that means having the initiative in relation to the opposing side. In other words, active combat operations, with the objective of moving in to attack.
Q. Thank you. We can see here an order issued by Rasim Delic, the commander of the 2nd Corps, Brigadier Sulejman Budakovic sent to the 28th Division. That is to say that this order came from the corps command in Tuzla and it was sent to the 28th Division. It says here: "Pursuant to a verbal order of the commander of the General Staff of the BH Army, army General Rasim Delic, and on the occasion of the 8667 great success achieved by units of the BH Army in the wide area around Sarajevo and Gorazde, and also on the basis of intelligence that the AS command of the Protection Regiment in Han Pijesak is holding part of its units in reserve to intervene in the event of an attack by our forces from Zepa, I hereby order."
And then under number 1: "Execute all preparations in the command of the 28th Land Army Division to execute offensive combat operations with a view to liberate the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina overstretching the aggressor forces and inflicting losses on them, coordinating action with the BH Army forces carrying out operations in the broader Sarajevo area."
Now, based on what I have just read, my question to you is: One month before the Muslim forces left the enclave of Srebrenica, does the corps commander from Tuzla order his forces that offensive combat operations be carried out from this protected area? And if so, could you explain which offensive combat operations these were? And did this happen one month before the Army of Republika Srpska prevented such activities?
A. It's true. Quite clearly, this is an order to conduct preparations for combat operations, and its objective clearly is once the task is issued to commence with offensive activities, to act in concert with the forces carrying out operations in the Sarajevo area. This is quite a logical military procedure, and it is clear here that further activities are continued, further activities of various kinds, in order to enable larger operations in some other area for which tasks are not 8668 yet issued, but the General Staff will issue its order to regulate that. Something along the lines of the task given by the Drina Corps concerning the enclaves.
Q. Thank you. Now could we see D67 in e-court, please. Again, this is a document of the BH Army signed by Rasim Delic, and this document was sent via the 1st Corps by [as interpreted] the president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm interested in the fourth bullet point. Would you please look at it and I will read it. It's on page 2 in the English. It says here:
"In preparation for a future operation to link up the enclaves, we brought in and took back four brigade commanders, two brigade chiefs of staff, and the Chief of Staff of the 26th Division. The Division commander, who was meant to go on the next helicopter flight, did not return. After the final flight ended tragically, Naser remained." What I want to ask you is this: Based on this, can it be seen that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina prepared even before, even prior to that time, the linking up of the enclaves protected by the 28th Division in Zepa, and was it their goal to link up that area with the territory under the control of the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Thank you.
A. Yes. It is obvious. This is a very clear document dated the 13th of July, as I can see. It was sent at 1500 hours. Preparations were underway, irrespective of the fact that the enclave of Srebrenica had fallen, as it were. It is obvious that some of the elements had pulled out and linked up with the main body of the troops. Plans were 8669 being made for future operations with a view to linking up the forces from the enclaves with the main body of the 2nd Corps.
Q. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to refer to page 53, line 8. You are recorded to having said, "This document was sent via the 1st Corps by the president of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina." I think this document is sent to the president. Is that correct?
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for having asked me to remove this mistake from the transcript, which is exactly what I am doing now. General Delic sent this report to Alija Izetbegovic via the commander of the 1st Corps after the fall of enclave to demonstrate what they had been up to before the fall of the enclave and this is what I meant, this is what I had in mind.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I just wanted to clarify, "by the president" is wrong; it should be "to the president." Please carry on.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. Mr. Trivic, I apologise to you as well. I didn't tell you and I didn't allow you to read the entire document. Let me tell you that this document was drafted after the fall of the enclave. It was written by Rasim Delic, it was sent to the president of the Presidency in order to tell him what had been undertaken before the fall of the enclave. In this document, he says that whatever I have read out to you, that preparations were underway for future operations and that the brigade commanders had been returned. This is something that is a fait accompli, 8670 something they had done already. I'm asking you now, because of these activities and similar activities that they undertook, is that why Krivaja operation was launched? Does this document show that they were engaged in certain military activities in order to prepare what the reports sent to Alija Izetbegovic describes? Thank you.
A. Yes, the document clarifies the situation somewhat. And you're absolutely right. Based on this report, you can tell that preparations were underway in order to link up the enclaves. However, the attempt failed because the commander of the 28th Division did not manage to return to the enclaves.
Q. So you can see clearly that there were preparations going on for future operations. I'm repeating my question. In order to prevent those preparations from continuing, is that why operation Krivaja was launched, in order to disarm the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica? Thank you.
A. Yes, the operation was launched in order to narrow down the area, to prevent incursions, to narrow down the -- to reduce the enclaves which would prevent the linking up of the enclaves. They would be more apart and that was the goal, the main goal of Operation Krivaja.
Q. On the following pages of this document -- can they be shown to the witness -- you can see reference made to the quantities of weapons and ammunition which had been brought to Zepa and Srebrenica, which had been air lifted -- air dropped, and also reference is made to a helicopter that had been downed. Do you know anything about helicopter sorties from Tuzla bringing weapons for the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves and about accidents that those helicopters had? 8671
A. Personally, I don't remember having heard any information about those sorties, and if I knew something, I've forgotten it in the meantime. I can't remember. There were talks about helicopter flights over Srebrenica and Tuzla but they didn't fly over my zone. And all of that was a regular occurrence, it was not something that I was concerned with at the time.
Q. Thank you. In your previous testimonies, for example, in the Popovic -- in the Popovic case, on page 11808, you described the preparations for Krivaja operation, and this is lines 19 through 13 [as interpreted], and you said:
"I remember that everything was in keeping with the customary procedure. There was an intelligence service from the corps who briefed us about the situation and the estimates about the enemy forces. He also gave us an estimate about their strength and deployment according to what he knew, according to the intelligence that he was privy to. That was an officer that I had not seen before."
And then in line 20 on the same page of the transcript, you said that that was Kosoric. Thank you. And based on what I have just read out, you will probably remember what you testified about. And my question is this: Did you learn from the intelligence officers of your command about the activities and attempts by the enemy before Operation Krivaja ever took place? If that was the case, can you just briefly tell us what they informed you about? Thank you.
A. As part of our regular activities or as part of the intelligence officers' activities of my superior command, they sent us information and 8672 the reports arrived at the intelligence officers of the brigade and they informed us about the strength, the deployment, the intercepted conversations if there were any, the problems that could be noticed on the enemy side. So those reports contained all the intelligence that is normally gathered, and the reports were sent on a daily basis. As for your question about the intelligence officer being at the intelligence post at Pribicevac, he informed us about the task and he indicated the area where they were able to observe the firing point, the depth, the axis, the supply channels, and all that was in respect of the concrete task. All that was carried out at the Pribicevac observation point.
Q. In the Popovic case, transcript page 1180 -- 10, lines 8 through 14, you shared your understanding of the tasks and objectives of Krivaja operation, and I'm going to quote you - I don't want to rephrase your words - and I quote:
"The main goal of the operation that was set out by the command -- I thank you, I apologise -- the main task -- the main goal of operation that was set out by the corps command as a result of the previous events and developments, the days and the months preceding that decision, was to break off the protective areas of Zepa and Srebrenica and to pull them apart from each other in view of the fact that there were constant incidents and sabotage actions being carried out from the protected area and that we suffered losses on the lines and in the villages in the immediate vicinity of the protected areas." And then on page 11884, you continued to say, in lines 12 through 8673 16 --
JUDGE FLUEGGE: The document P1197.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President, I apologise for not having said that before. Thank you.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. You continued to say: "We were given a task in respect of the elements of the 28th Division of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to engage them but to avoid any contact with members of the UNPROFOR and their check-points which were deployed along the length of the axis where our units were engaged in combat. We were also told that the objective of the operation was not the town of Srebrenica or its population."
This is what you said in the Popovic transcript. Based on what I have just read out to you, my question is this: Could you please explain, when you say that the objective was not the population of the town of Srebrenica, what did you mean by that? What was supposed to be your conduct towards the civilian population and towards UNPROFOR? Thank you.
A. From my previous testimony and from the testimony in this case, there are some things that I would like to highlight: Not for a single moment, not in a single document, not in a single contact with my superiors did I ever hear any reference being made to opening fire on any indiscriminate target in order to enter Srebrenica. I have to go back to an interpretation and an analysis of one part of my testimony in the Blagojevic case, where I talked about the different stages that we went 8674 through. The developments and the goals were adapted to the situation on the ground. It was not at all cost that we planned from the outset to enter the settled area of Srebrenica. For example, my unit, and you can see that in my diary, my unit, on the 12th or, rather, already on the 10th of July, already had its march route changed and as the resistance subsided and as we say that we would be able not only to reduce the enclave of Srebrenica but come very close to it, that we should alter our original task and mission, and finally, our final goal became entering Srebrenica, which we did.
Let me reiterate that there was no single order or single document that set out the tasks to be carried out at all cost, and that would be to enter Srebrenica irrespective of any losses that we might have suffered. The conduct towards UNPROFOR soldiers and their check-points was supposed to be correct, and that materialised at the moment when I came into contact with them.
And as for the other people that I saw and that I came in contact with, and my conduct towards them was exactly as one might expect from civilised people and honest soldiers.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, if you look at the clock, I think it's the proper time for our second break. The Chamber would appreciate if you could give us, after the break, an estimation of the length of your cross-examination.
We resume at 1.00.
--- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
--- On resuming at 1.03 p.m. 8675
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everyone. Your Honours, in response to your request about the time estimate we would need for cross-examination of this witness, we would like to tell you that we will require the entire day tomorrow, leaving some time for the re-examination by the Prosecution at the end of the day tomorrow. The other matter is that I would like to ask that P1231, which was marked for identification, be now admitted into evidence. That is the conversation between Colonel Trivic and one of the investigators, and this document was used in cross-examination just now.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I was going to raise these problems as well. I wanted to know, if the cross-examination will not go over the full day tomorrow, if the Prosecution intends to call the witness Gallagher tomorrow, but I think now there is no need for a discussion about that. I'm referring to a motion we received, a confidential motion we received this morning. Perhaps I can ask the Defence if they had the chance to -- if they have already position to express or if they want to respond to that, if they are objecting or not. If that is possible. Otherwise, we should deal with that tomorrow.
MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, I have not seen any motions yet. I haven't opened my e-mail yet today. So we will reply to that later.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I can deal with that tomorrow at the beginning of our hearing.
The other question I would like to mention is if we are sitting 8676 in the morning or in the afternoon tomorrow. We can't decide now. I think we have to wait -- we are scheduled for the afternoon. I know that many participants would prefer to sit in the morning. That depends on the progress another trial will make this afternoon. Therefore, I would like to remind everybody to be aware that we could reschedule the hearing from the afternoon to the morning for tomorrow. Please look at the -- your e-mails.
Mr. Tolimir, please continue -- no, first, we receive as evidence P1231.
Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The witness spoke about the change of order given. Could we now see 65 ter 00197, which was tendered into evidence by the Prosecution. While we are waiting for it to come up on the screen, let me say that this is a document of the command of the Drina Corps, dated the 15th of May 1995. It is entitled, "Stabilisation of defence around the Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves and creation of conditions for liberation of enclaves. Order."
In the first item of this order, it says: "According to the information gathered, the Muslims are carrying out intensive preparations for offensive operations from the greater area of Tuzla, Kladanj, and Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, with the basic goal to cut the Republika Srpska territory, to connect the non-enclaves with the central part, the so-called Bosnia and Herzegovina, and access the Drina River. Simultaneous offensive activities are expected from the 8677 area of Kladanj and Kalesija. They will intensify infiltration of the reconnaissance and sabotage groups before the offensive operations on a larger scale, fully using the in-between areas and natural vegetation." So this is page 1 of this document.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, this is P1217.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. We saw that this document is from May, Mr. Trivic. It was drafted in order to prevent the activities that I just read to you about. However, on the very next day -- this was written on the 15th of May, and then on the next day, this is the last page of 65 ter 00198 -- could we please see 00198. 65 ter 00198.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P1218.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour, thank you, Mr. President.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. So immediately on the following day, another document was drafted on the 16th of May. It was sent to all units, just like the first one, and in item 3 it says:
"Forces at the western part of the front, Drina Corps area of responsibility and around Zepa enclave, will continue to defend firmly the positions taken."
And in item 1, it says: "Due to insufficient number of troops for full implementation of the task of closing the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica, the order above is being amended and supplemented by the following." 8678 That means the one of the 15th of May.
So in the first one, you were given an order to carry out certain operations, and in the second one they were withdrawing it due to insufficient number of troops.
Would you please, as a soldier, explain what these two documents mean. Would you please explain it for the record. Thank you.
A. It is clear that these two documents compose one order. I suppose that the assessment used for the first document was wrong, and when the subordinate units reacted to that document, then they gave up on the initial task and confirmed in writing that they were giving up on that task. However, the forces at the demarcation line were to continue trying to move the lines towards the enclaves, as far as possible, towards the enclave of Zepa, due to this constant contact between two enclaves. It is clear that these two documents should be read together as one document, and that the second one is a written correction indicating that the task issued in the first document was now changed.
Q. Thank you. In the Popovic case, at page 1193 of the transcript, when speaking of the offensive of the Muslims against Republika Srpska and the enclaves there, you said the following. I'm quoting: "There was an offensive conducted in various areas, including in the spring of 1995. The offensive was launched from the Tuzla area, I think towards the area held by the East Bosnia Corps and the Drina Corps. I was supposed to send some parts of my unit to provide assistance in the area of the Zvornik Brigade. If I remember well, I was supposed to do that because the brigade was being attacked in its own 8679 area of responsibility."
Now, please tell me, given that you sent some of your forces to the Zvornik Brigade, which faced the Tuzla Corps of the BH Army, was there an intention by the Tuzla Corps and the BH Army to link up their forces from Tuzla with the forces which were in Srebrenica and Zepa? And what can you tell us about that in general?
A. As a professional soldier, please allow me to answer that question. Each activity undertaken has a goal, in order to engage forces, men and resources, in order to provide support to them, in order to protect the people, this is not done randomly. There is always a goal when activities are being undertaken. And later on, if these goals are accomplished, then that improves the position of own forces. So I suppose that that was the goal of these activities, as far as can be seen from various documents of both armies, namely that each activity has a defined goal, a defined objective.
Q. Thank you. Before this break, you spoke about the change in an order given, as we just saw, and you said that there were also changes made in the course of the combat, and allegedly you yourself did it on the 10th of July.
Could we now see D431, please. We can see D431 here. This was sent by the Main Staff. I signed it. I apologise: D41. D41. This is an order signed by Krstic. This is the order we just saw, on the 16th of May, and now can we see, in e-court, D41? Thank you. Okay. We see it now.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I note for the record that this is not included 8680 in the list of documents to be used with this witness in cross-examination. Mr. Gajic.
MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that the same document can be found on the OTP list, but with a P number. So this is a known document. It is known both to us and the Prosecution, and I think that the document was used with this witness in another trial.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please give us the P number you are referring to?
MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. I would need to look it up.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer?
MR. THAYER: It's P690, Mr. President.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Tolimir.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. Thayer. Could we now see in e-court D -- P690. We can see it in the English. Could we see it in the Serbian as well so that the witness can see what this was about and why the order was changed in the course of the combat in Srebrenica.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. This is a document from the Main Staff, dated 9th of July, sent to the command of the Drina Corps, signed by Major General Zdravko Tolimir. It says: "The President of Republika Srpska --" I'm quoting now:
"The President of Republika Srpska has been informed of successful combat operations around Srebrenica by the units of the Drina 8681 Corps and that they have achieved results which enable them to occupy the very town of Srebrenica."
The second paragraph: "The president of the republic is satisfied with the result of combat operations around Srebrenica and has agreed to continue operations in order to take over Srebrenica, disarm Muslim terrorist gangs, and completely demilitarise the Srebrenica enclave."
The third paragraph: "The President of Republika Srpska ordered that in the follow-up combat operations, full protection of UNPROFOR members be ensured as well as the Muslim population, and that they be guaranteed safety in the event they cross over into the territory of Republika Srpska." In the last paragraph, it says:
"In accordance with the order of the President of Republika Srpska, issue an order to all combat units participating in combat operations around Srebrenica to offer maximum protection and safety to all UNPROFOR members and civilian Muslim population. Order the subordinate units to refrain from destroying civilian targets unless forced to do so due to strong enemy resistance. Ban the torching of residential buildings, and treat civilians and war prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. "Assistant commander, Major General Zdravko Tolimir." Based on this, I would like to ask you the following: Were you informed by the corps command that there was a change of this kind on the 10th of July and this is why you conducted regrouping and adjustment of 8682 forces that you described in your diary on page 0648-6783? Thank you.
A. Yes. Yes. On the following day, when -- just a moment, please. I need to find my diary so that I can see what I wrote down. On the 10th of July, on page 6 of my Srebrenica diary:
"There is a decision to change the axis of the attack of the 2nd Romanija Brigade, (specified in an order.) The forces are being regrouped and are acting in coordination with the Zvornik Brigade as the left flank neighbour to continue the attack in Orahovica, Vogan, Zivkovo Brdo, Kusevice [phoen] village, Bojna, Rajne village, Srebrenica." So based on the information that reached the IKM of the Drina Corps, perhaps it would be relevant to see when that information arrived, at what time it arrived to the IKM.
Perhaps you could lower the document a bit.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer?
MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Before we go back to this document, if I could, just for the sake of the record, ask that the witness confirm what he is reading from because he said he's going to read from his diary and he's reading from it and I think it would be helpful to have a reference to the ERN number for the record so that we can go back. And I would just ask if the witness could read the eight-digit ERN number on the page he was reading from just so that we have that handy for us in the future. Again, that's from P1444, the witness's diary.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed that would be very helpful if you could indicate the ERN number and the page number. And I would like to add, 8683 are you reading from your original diary or from the copy we all have in front of us?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I have to give you the page number as denoted by the OTP, then I'm going to be reading from that page, from the photocopy which is identical to the original that is before me. And the number is 0648-6784, and the page number in my diary, marked in red ink, is 6. The date on that page is 10 July 1995, which shows that that was after the document that General Document [as interpreted] had sent to Generals Gvero and Krstic for their information. In my diary on that date, I noted this, the decision to change the direction of attack of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, as specified in the order, and to regroup forces in coordinated action with the 1st Zvornik Brigade as the left neighbour - that's my unit - and continued the attack along the axis of Orahovica, that's the general area, whereas the narrow area is Vogan, Zivkovo Brdo, Pusmulici village, Rajna village, Bojna, the repeater Bojna, and finally in the direction of Srebrenica. And my remark here is that a lot of time was spent in grouping forces from the direction of Alibegovac, Lipovac, Siljato Brdo, Vijogor village, to the newly defined axis.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Witness. I apologise for not having given you the ERN number immediately.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. My question now is this: In keeping with this particular order 8684 about the protection of UNPROFOR forces and the civilian population, did you receive from your corps command any orders about the protection of UNPROFOR forces and the civilian population? Thank you.
A. Yes. However, such tasks had been set out at the beginning of the initial order. In this particular case I did not deem it necessary to record such instances every time I came in contact with my superior officer.
Q. Thank you. Could you please state clearly, and do it for the record, and can you tell us "yes" or "no," did you receive orders from the corps command about the protection of the civilian population and UNPROFOR forces?
Q. And now, please, could the Court produce document D69. Thank you. The document was issued by the Drina Corps on the 8th of July, two days before the 10th, which is the date of the witness's entry that he has just read. Could you please look at the penultimate paragraph, where it says:
"The Main Staff has ordered you not to attack UNPROFOR but, rather, to prevent any surprises and stop the Muslims in their intention to join up Srebrenica and Zepa."
Thank you. My question is this: From the very outset of the operation, you had been instructed that your target was not either UNPROFOR or the civilian population but something else. What was the target of your operation? Can you tell us, please? Thank you.
A. Let me be very specific, because this is what you are asking me 8685 to do, probably because of the time. I've already shared with you the target of the operation, the main goal of the operation. I don't think that that should be repeated. We received repeated orders not to target UNPROFOR and to prevent surprises and intentions of the Muslims to join up the two enclaves in question.
Q. Thank you. In the Popovic transcript, page 1811, lines 15 through 17, you said about the protected areas, and I quote: "I wouldn't say under protection but under the shield of UNPROFOR units, there were incursions targeted at our units."
My question is this: Could it happen, unbeknownst to UNPROFOR, that there were any kind of actions coming from the enclaves targeting the Serbian population and military targets in Republika Srpska? According to what you know. Thank you.
A. I suppose that it was possible. They could engage in incursions, given the fact that the observation posts manned by UNPROFOR were not close to each other and that they did not engage in full observation activity at all times. But I wouldn't say that those incursions were carried out under UNPROFOR protection, but the mere fact that the UNPROFOR forces were deployed in the area was used by the Muslims as a shield. In other words, they used their presence in order to find passage through a valley, along a river, and carry out their incursions.
Q. Thank you. Bearing in mind that there were constant contacts between UNPROFOR and the two sides, and that the two sides informed UNPROFOR about their respective activities, let's not waste any more time on -- time on that. Even General Mladic wrote to the command of UNPROFOR 8686 in Sarajevo which was at his level. He informed them about the events in February. Already in February he stated that he couldn't consider Srebrenica and Zepa demilitarised zones given the activities that were taking place there. In view of the information that was received, was it possible that there was no knowledge about activities going on in the enclaves and coming out of them? Thank you.
A. This is a more specific question. I don't think it was possible for UNPROFOR not to be aware of those activities. What I said in my previous answer was that they could carry out incursions, that they could pass through some areas unobserved, but still UNPROFOR was there to establish the consequences of such incursions. Those incursions could not go unobserved by UNPROFOR in that respect, as it were.
Q. Thank you. Let's not show the document, let's just say that in your testimony earlier today you said that no heavy weaponry had been handed over to the Army of Republika Srpska, or at least that you don't know anything about that. And finally, you said in your statement that fire was opened on you from heavy weaponry, weaponry over 12 millimetre in calibre. You said that in the Popovic case on page 11913, when you spoke about the spring offensive -- I apologise. I gave the wrong number. When you entered Srebrenica, fire was opened on you, as you stated, and that fire came from heavy mortars. Can you tell us something about that? Or, rather, from heavy machine-guns.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you must give us the correct page number of the Popovic case, which is P1197.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Page 8687 number is 11887.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now your answer, please.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 11883 is the correct page number. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have the third version. I hope this is the correct one. The question of Mr. Tolimir was: Can you tell us something about that, or, rather, from heavy machine-guns? Do you recall the question?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on the Popovic case testimony -- could you please jog my memory? Could you please repeat your question?
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. Okay. Let me remind you, the transcript number, page number is 11883. You said that your group, on the 10th of July, was exposed to fire from anti-aircraft weaponry. What kind of weaponry was that and where were they located? The page number is 11883. Thank you. The lines are 5 through 7.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Microphone not activated] We have a technical problem again. Now we see it again.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I adhere by what I stated. Fire was indeed opened from big calibre weaponry, I suppose from anti-aircraft cannons. They were either single-barrelled cannons or even bigger weaponry, and that was after the regrouping of our forces in the 8688 Zivkovo Brdo sector. And after we had passed through the Slapovici sector.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
Q. Thank you. Could the Court please produce P01224. Thank you. This is another document drafted by the BiH army, issued by the command of the 2nd Tuzla Corps. Or, rather, it was sent to the command of the 2nd Corps in Tuzla and it was signed by Ramiz Becirevic, who was Naser Oric's deputy in Srebrenica. He sent it to the command of the 2nd Corps in Tuzla. We are interested in the second page of this document. And since you are an artillery man, could you please explain something that we see on the second page. It says, "Artillery units of anti-aircraft defence." This is a big title in capital letters. And then under number 1, or rather from 1 through 25 on this page, you see a list of departments and tools and pieces which are used by the unit. Ramiz reports on what he has and what he has assigned to the task. He reports back to his corps. Could you please explain to us, as an artillery man, can you explain for the Trial Chamber what is PAT 20/21 and all the other designations of heavy artillery? Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it that this was under seal in the Popovic case. Is that correct, Mr. Thayer? In that case, it should not be broadcast.
MR. THAYER: You're correct, Mr. President.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] 8689
Q. My question for the witness is this: I didn't know that the document was under seal. My question is this: Does this testify to the fact that there was heavy weaponry in Srebrenica and that there were departments or troops assigned to those pieces? Were you aware of the existence of a 20-millimetre anti-aircraft cannon?
A. Yes. It arises from this that there were crews or departments, that there was a 20-millimetre cannon, which required a crew of over three men at a time. There were several squadrons and the 28th Division had 20-millimetre uni-barrelled cannons as well as anti-aircraft machine-guns on their strength. The latter is a smaller calibre type of weaponry where the 20-millimetre cannons are considered heavy weaponry. And all that was used in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina to open fire on infantry troops.
Q. Thank you. Did you become exposed to fire from such weaponry from PAMs or from cannons? Because here, item number 8 shows a 20-millimetre PAM.
A. Fire was opened from both, as well as from infantry weapons.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we are at the end of today's hearing. You have to continue tomorrow.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just tender this document into evidence? And we will continue tomorrow, I suppose. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: This -- we will deal with that tomorrow because I see a problem. These are all P documents, MFI'd from the list of the Prosecution but not used with this witness through examination-in-chief 8690 and I have to clarify with the Registry if it will be appropriate to have this as a P number while you are using that during the cross-examination in fact as a D document, but I think we should check that until tomorrow. Thank you. We have to adjourn for the day. May I remind you that you're not allowed to have contact with any of the parties during the break. We are resuming tomorrow in the afternoon unless you get an information that we will sit in the morning, but that will be -- this information will be, at the earliest possible, in the late afternoon. It depends on the progress of the other trial. We adjourn.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday, the 10th day of
December, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.