13466 Monday, 2 May 2011
[The accused entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom. Again only two Judges are present. Judge Mindua is still absent today and tomorrow. Pursuant to Rule 15 bis, we are sitting with two Judges only.
If there are no procedural matters, the witness should be brought in.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Judge Nyambe, and everyone. I've got a bit of a flu/cold bug, but I hopefully will get through it no problem. And this witness, I would request he receive a caution, please.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, thank you. The witness should be brought in, please.
[The witness entered court]
WITNESS: PETAR SALAPURA
[Witness answered through interpreter]
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to this court. Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to you now?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 13467
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Salapura. Please sit down and make yourself comfortable.
On the request of the Prosecution, I have to caution you, and I would like to read out the specific Rule. This is Rule 90(e) of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and I quote:
"A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any offence other than false testimony."
Mr. Salapura, did you understand what I was reading to you?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. McCloskey is now putting questions to you in his examination-in-chief.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
Q. And good afternoon, sir. Could you tell us your name for the record?
A. Good afternoon. Petar Salapura.
Q. And can you tell us your position in the VRS when you left.
A. The Chief of the Intelligence Service of the Main Staff.
Q. And what is your current rank?
A. Colonel. 13468
Q. And when did you leave the Main Staff?
A. Officially in 1997. Before that already in the second half of the -- of 1996 I was sent on vacation, and I was placed at disposal for six months. I left the Main Staff officially in 1997.
Q. All right. And before we get into the events of July 1995, let me ask you a couple of things. First of all, did you testify as a Defence witness for the -- Colonel Blagojevic in the Blagojevic/Jokic case that was held here at the ICTY a few years back?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And have you had a chance to listen to your testimony from that trial?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. And do you stand by your -- your testimony of that trial?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. And after that trial, were you interviewed by an investigator from the Office of the Prosecutor?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. And have you had a chance to review the transcript of -- of that interview?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. And do you stand by what was recorded in that interview and what you said in that interview?
Q. And your experience testifying here and being interviewed by the OTP, did you find any -- anything inappropriate or troublesome about how 13469 you were dealt with by anyone or any institution?
Q. All right. And can you give us a -- just a brief background. Let's start with the -- where you were born and the year of your birth.
A. I was born on the 20th of August, 1948, in the village of Bjelaj in Bosanski Petrovac municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Q. And you are a professional military officer; is that correct?
A. I was, yes.
Q. And can you give us a brief outline of your -- when you graduated from the important military schools and -- and your main jobs as you progressed throughout your career.
A. From the very beginning, I graduated from the land army military academy in 1971. I -- I was in infantry. I started working at the Zagreb garrison as a platoon commander. After a year, I was reassigned to start working in Virovitica where I was a company commander for two years, and after that I served in Koprivnica again for two years. From Koprivnica, I was moved to Karlovac. I was a member of the security services there for seven years.
Q. Can you give us your rank there at Karlovac so we -- and tell us your rank so we can see that progression?
A. In Karlovac my rank was captain and captain first class, and then I became major. I was promoted. And then I was reassigned to work in Zagreb. I believe that that was in 1983. I was assigned to work at the command of the 5th Army. I was a member of the intelligence department. I was an analyst. From there, from Zagreb, I went to Bihac as a brigade 13470 commander, as a lieutenant-colonel. My promotion to the rank of major was early. I was a brigade commander until 1988. In 1988, I was sent to the former Soviet Union where I graduated from the Command Staff Academy Voroshilov. I returned in 1990. I returned to Zagreb, and that's where I was when the war started.
I didn't say that even before that I graduated from the Command Staff Academy of the Army of Yugoslavia as it was then known. It was in Belgrade. That was in 1981. Actually, I was in school from 1981 to 1983.
Q. What subjects were you taught when you were at the Soviet Union, just roughly. I'm not going to get into a lot about the Soviet Union, but I do want to ask you what you were learning over there.
A. That was a General Staff academy, and there were a lot of subjects taught there, all at the strategical level of education just like in any other military in the world. Those were mostly military subject, and the main focus was strategy and operations.
Q. How about intelligence work? Did you learn methods and processes of military intelligence work at the Soviet Union?
A. No. No. That was only part of the operations planning. Nothing special was taught. That was one of the things that were thought to provide support during operations. I was educated for a command duty over there.
Q. And when did you first meet General Tolimir?
A. I believe that that was in 1967 or perhaps 1968.
Q. And when did you -- did you become friends with him at some point 13471 in your military career?
A. Well, we graduated from the academy together, and then he was sent to Macedonia, I believe, and then we didn't see each other before the beginning of the last war. I mean, not before 1991.
Q. And 1991, can you just tell us briefly what your assignments were there, just very briefly. I want to get us to the spring of 1992 pretty quickly.
A. What do you mean when you say what my assignments were? I don't know where -- what assignments do you have in mind?
Q. Oh, well, for example, when the fighting began in Vukovar, you were in the JNA, I take it. Where were you assigned, anywhere near the fighting?
A. I was not in Vukovar. I was not in that area. I was a member of the 5th Military District in Zagreb. I was a member of the command of that military district in Zagreb. When the war started, I was the chief of the education department, the department for the combat education of the troops and the officers, and after that I also took over the intelligence department, because the Croatian officers had already started leaving the JNA because the conflict had started in Croatia. The relationships were rather tense. And I stayed there until the end as an intelligence officer.
Q. And when did you first have contact with General Tolimir?
A. I believe that that was sometime in late 1991 or perhaps early 1992. There was a training course in Knin for intelligence officers. I attended the course as one of the lecturers, and that's where I 13472 encountered Tolimir. That was our first encounter after we had been at the academy together. And that was a very brief meeting.
Q. And was General Tolimir a student or a lecturer or something else at that point?
A. He was serving in Knin at the time. He was the chief of security in the Knin Corps. I believe that he was also in charge of a topic, or perhaps one of his subordinates. I can't tell you exactly. The training course took several days .
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I ask for a moment. Do you have a problem with the chair? Is it perhaps not in the right position? Do you have a problem with that or is everything fine?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I'm fine. I'm fine.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
Q. And who was the commander of the Knin Corps at that time?
A. General Mladic.
Q. And do you know what position Mr. Beara had at that time?
A. I don't know. I didn't know him. I had not even heard of him at the time.
Q. And when did you become a member of the VRS?
A. From the moment it was established.
Q. Do you remember what month that was? April, May 1992, or just roughly?
A. It was in May.
Q. And what assignment did you get? 13473
A. Up to then I was the chief of the intelligence department of the 5th Army District. It was renamed as the 2nd Military District, and the seat of that military district was in Sarajevo. I was the chief of the same department in the 2nd Military District when the VRS was established, and then I automatically became the chief of the intelligence department in the Main Staff of the VRS.
Q. And did you hold that position, the chief of the intelligence department of the VRS, throughout the end of the war?
A. There was a reorganisation later. At the beginning, the VRS was established according to the military district establishment of the former JNA. The department was later transformed into an administration, which is why I remained serving as the chief of the intelligence administration of the Main Staff. However, having said that, my assignments were practically the same. They didn't change. They were identical.
Q. And when did it change from what you briefly described as the JNA formation to an administration under the VRS? Just roughly again.
A. I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly when that happened. I believe that that was sometime in the second half of 1992, but I'm not sure.
Q. All right. Well, because we are interested in the structure as it was in 1995. So -- but from the second half of 1992, roughly to the end of 1995, was there any significant changes in the structure, in the administrative structure, of the Main Staff as you knew it?
A. Well, yes, there were some changes within the Main Staff, but 13474 only on paper. However when it comes to the numerical strength and the number of staff, there weren't any major changes. We just didn't have enough people according to the establishment. I believe that my administration only had 15 per cent of the men envisaged by the establishment.
Later on, a sector for intelligence was set up, and that co-ordinated the work of both administrations. This was done in order to rationalise staff and know-how. My administration was particularly short dealt because we didn't have enough people. The security administration had more men. So, under the umbrella of the sector, people from the security services were also charged with gathering intelligence.
Q. Okay. You stated that a sector for intelligence was set up and that it co-ordinated the work of both administrations, and then you mentioned security. So did you mean that a sector of intelligence and security was set up to handle both intelligence and security?
A. Yes, that's what I meant.
Q. And as the chief of intelligence, who was your immediate superior?
A. What period do you have in mind? In 1992, when it was set up, it was the Chief of Staff for a brief period of time when we had departments. Once the administration was set up, then it was the administration for security and intelligence with the two departments, and the chief of that administration was General Tolimir, who was a colonel at the time. Later on when the sector was set up, the chief of that sector was General Tolimir, and he was my immediate superior. 13475
Q. All right. So if General Tolimir was the chief of intelligence and security for the sector, did he have another job at the same time?
A. No. He was the chief of the sector and also the assistant commander for the same area. I believe that that was the case.
Q. Can you explain to us if there's any difference between -- any practical difference between the chief of the sector for intelligence and security and an assistant commander for intelligence and security?
A. Well, no. No. There is no difference. That person performs the same duties. The commander had assistants for logistics, for intelligence and security, for personnel and several others. I don't even know who they were. There was also an assistant for morale and propaganda and things like that.
Q. All right. So you've mentioned the security. I believe you called it an administration. Was there the -- a chief of the security administration?
Q. And who was that throughout most of the war?
A. Colonel -- well, throughout the war it was Colonel Beara.
Q. And what was his first name?
A. I think his name is Ljubisa. We called him Ljubo. I believe his full name is Ljubisa Beara, but we all called him Ljubo.
Q. Okay. Can you briefly name for us the people that worked under you in the intelligence administration in 1995. We're especially concerned about July 1995.
A. I think so. It was Lieutenant-Colonel Jovica Karanovic; 13476 Radoslav Jankovic, also lieutenant-colonel; then Slobodan Mamlic, I believe he was a major or also lieutenant-colonel, I'm not sure about that; Warrant Officer Boro, or rather, full name Borislav Isakovic. And sometime in June, Milovan Stankovic joined the administration. He was reassigned to us.
Q. And can you just tell us --
Q. Thank you. Can you just tell us the title of Lieutenant-Colonel Karanovic's position? What was he doing? Just the title. I don't want to, at this point, go into the description.
A. He was chief of section for analysis.
Q. And how about Radoslav Jankovic?
A. Radoslav Jankovic was a desk officer in the same section.
Q. And Lieutenant-Colonel Mamlic?
A. He was chief of section for electronic reconnaissance.
Q. And any other significant officers in your -- in your administration?
A. I've mentioned already at that time we were joined by Milovan Stankovic. I didn't even get to see him there. And he became chief of section for intelligence work with troops.
Q. All right. And before we go into more specifics about the -- the Main Staff, can you describe generally -- and we've heard some of this before, so I just want you to ask [sic] just generally. We know, the Judges know, that the VRS is divided roughly into several corps. Each of those corps have brigades, and that each of those brigades have 13477 battalions, and in each -- each of those levels there are intelligence officers. So could you, first of all, tell us out in the field, the brigades and the corps, practically, what is the job of the intelligence officer, just simply?
A. Well, intelligence officers dealt exclusively with collecting intelligence on the enemy, on the lay of the land, as we called it, on the enemy's side, enemy facilities, et cetera.
Q. All right. And the Trial Chamber has also learned that in a Light Infantry Brigade like the Bratunac Brigade, the intelligence officer is also the officer for security. Basically he is an intelligence and security officer, and that as we go up into a larger brigade like the Zvornik Brigade, it's divided, where there is an intelligence officer and a security officer, and it's the same in the corps, it's divided in the corps. But then when we get back to the Main Staff, we see again that General Tolimir is intelligence and security. So can you tell us what is this connection between intelligence and security? So if you could roughly tell us, what is it that security officers do, and what is this connection that we're seeing represented in the structures? How does it play out practically?
A. Well, a security officer deals with security and counter-intelligence, that is to say, internal problems within units, the units of the army Republika Srpska, and in the areas of responsibility or of operation of these units. That involves certain tasks that fall within the competence of military courts and military prosecutors' offices, and he also professionally manages military police and 13478 reconnaissance units, for example. In light brigades of smaller strength, this title is dual, and it is vested in the assistant Chief of Staff, but that is to say one person would pursue both these lines of work, whereas intelligence officers deal exclusively with collecting intelligence on the enemy, on the other side of the front line.
Q. So do security officers also seek information and have confidential informants?
A. Well, they seek information on the enemy as well if they are able to get any, and they always take the opportunity if it arises. As for confidential informants, as far as their work is concerned within the units of the Army of Republika Srpska, they did have some.
Q. And as an intelligence --
A. Whether they had sources in enemy units, I wouldn't know. That was their secret. Just as they are unaware of our sources.
Q. And would the ground intelligence, the people on your side of the work, would they -- would you have intelligence sources on the enemy's strategies and operations, et cetera?
A. You mean on the enemy's side. In their units on the enemy territory, yes.
Q. And going back to my original question, what is the relationship between security and intelligence? Why does it make sense, for example, for the Main Staff to have General Tolimir over both administrations, and why does it make sense in a light brigade to have someone who handles both those administrations? What do these things have in common that they're joined like that sometimes? 13479
A. Let's start with the light infantry brigade. It's a smaller brigade with lower strength, and it was probably evaluated long before the war that one person would be capable of dealing with both functions. On brigade level, the intelligence component is not so prominent. It boils down to scouting work, reconnaissance, et cetera. On the Main Staff level things, get very different. It is only there that intelligence work involves operations. Since these operations are handled by the security service, the security service in their work gets to receive a lot of information that is interesting to the intelligence administration, and they also get information on people who are not interesting to them, but they are interesting to the intelligence administration. Also, sometimes people from the intelligence administration who deal with operational work also get such information. However, earlier this information was not collated between them. It was archived, filed. And that's why a person was put ultimately at the top, to be able to decide who will get what information, what will be referred to whom, in order to avoid duplication and -- and the crossing of competencies.
Also, the intelligence administration had a dearth of staff, and with just one person at the top at sector level were we able to more fully staff the security service in such a way that they would be better engaged in intelligence work and pass on the information to the intelligence administration. It was an arrangement that was dictated by necessity in our circumstances.
Q. You mentioned that the security got involved in operations. Can 13480 you -- what was their fundamental responsibility, security's responsibility, in operations as you've just mentioned?
A. I didn't mention operations. If you mean intelligence activities.
Q. You said that it is only there that intelligence work involves operations, and you said, "Since these operations are handled by the security service, the security service in their work gets to receive a lot of information." So I was asking you how is security work related to a military operation. Just a very brief highlight, if you could, based on your experience. It seems to me you were distinguishing intelligence involved in operations and security.
A. Well, all this is in the service of operations, if you call it operations, both components, but what I was trying to say is that intelligence organs in their work got by a lot of intelligence that was simply not useful, not interesting to them. And they just rejected it, if I can put it that way. And they did not look into ways of collating it, and we in the intelligence organs were very poorly staffed and very poorly equipped, and we needed all the information available on the enemy, and that's why we needed the other sector to pass the information on.
Q. So let me interrupt you. You said they got a lot of information that was not useful to them. Were you referring to the security branch?
A. Yes, I meant the security branch. Yes, yes. They had information about the enemy, and that was not their field of work. What they dealt with was the internal work within the units, within the 13481 Army of Republika Srpska, and they were involved in counter-intelligence. And, of course, they got also external information about the enemy, their strength, their intentions, et cetera, and they -- they were able to -- to pass it on.
Q. And can you tell us practically, let's use the year of 1995, did you share information with Beara and Beara's administration, the security administration at the level of the Main Staff?
A. We forwarded our information to all the organs of the Main Staff including the security administration. All the intelligence was passed on. And our security information got our brief on the enemy every day about the enemy's intentions on the entire territory of Republika Srpska. That's what the administration did, and the corps worked at their own level. From the security administration we received only information that was interesting and relevant to us. We did not receive security-related information regarding internal problems, technical stuff, et cetera. We only received information from them if they happened to have any about the disposition of the enemy, the strength, their intentions, possible axis of action, et cetera.
Q. Just practically let me see if I can give you an example of an internal problem, an internal security problem. Would such a problem be, for example, a brigade commander that was stealing? Would that be a security, an internal problem that you really probably wouldn't be interested in?
A. That was of absolutely no interest to the intelligence service. That is strictly a security problem. They deal with it, whether he stole 13482 money or ammunition or, for instance, case of desertion or whatever they did. That's their problem. There's a lot of that kind. Or perhaps a person was working for the enemy intelligence service, passing on information. That's the kind of thing they dealt with. Or perhaps somebody was getting ready to escape, desert, create a problem in the army, that sort of thing.
Q. Okay. Can you describe briefly your job. What did you do basically, but simply and how did you relate to the subordinate units, the corps and the brigade? We -- the Judges have heard a lot about this professional line. Can you just give us a brief description of your job and how you relate it to the corps and down to the brigade, if you did.
A. We only worked on collecting intelligence on the enemy, I repeat. But we were also interested in intelligence on the activities of the international community, because we were looking for a way to end the war. Our service also dealt with contacts and activities further afield with similar institutions and organisations in other neighbouring countries, countries in the region.
Q. All right. And before I ask you --
A. And further afield, of course. That was the professional organ that proposed how to use personnel, guided, equipped, prepared, and described information obtained by scouting and reconnaissance units, only for the purpose of executing scouting and reconnaissance -- sabotage and reconnaissance tasks.
Q. All right. We'll get into that a little bit more, but can you tell us at the Main Staff what kind of reports you made, regular reports, 13483 that is, and who did you send them to, and what kind of reports did you receive from others on a regular basis?
A. Well, we regularly received information from subordinate units, from the corps, and then our analysis section analysed those reports from the corps and also from the intelligence centres, the institution that dealt with operational intelligence work that was part of the intelligence administration. We received reports from them daily. The analysis section compiled it all and provided a daily summary. That summary was provided to subordinate units, to the chief of sector, General Tolimir, and he would then write in the top corner who that needed to be passed on, Chief of Staff, corps commander, assistant for moral guidance or something. I can't really enumerate all the copies. And then the chief of sector would also add his own addressees to whom that was to be copied depending on the contents.
Q. And these -- these daily intel reports to General Tolimir, whose name would they go out under?
A. You mean -- well, you would see sector for intelligence work, intelligence administration in the heading. That was an intelligence report process. If I was at the command post, I would sign it. If in my absence, Jovica Karanovic would sign it, and if even he wasn't there, then Mamlic would sign it, and he would then forward that information to General Tolimir. There were also special reports as a result of some special interviews or extraordinary work or my own activities. Then General Tolimir would look at it and indicate at the top to whom that was to be copied and what kind of action needed to be taken. These were no 13484 regular reports or briefs, they were, as we call it, interim reports.
Q. Now, General Tolimir, can you describe his job? As the chief of intel and security or assistant commander for intel and security, which you tell us is the same thing.
A. He co-ordinated the work of both institutions, and he guided the work of my service. I don't know what his relationship was with the security service, because he never had a joint meeting with me and Beara, for instance. He had a separate meeting with me and a separate meeting with Beara.
Q. What do you mean by "guided"?
A. Directed. He would decide on a thrust of activity and its focus.
Q. And did he have the right to command over you?
A. How do you mean could he command me? He was my superior, yes, and he had the right to give me orders about anything that needed to be done by the intelligence administration and intelligence organs. I was directly subordinated to him.
Q. And did he bear responsibility for your actions?
A. Well, of course, before his commander. If we did something wrong, if we did something badly, although I wasn't present, but he would probably have been told off and rebuked by the commander.
Q. But militarily, can you describe that responsibility? What is it that he as your superior has responsibility for? I mean, he gets credit for the good things that you do as well as the bad, but can you describe what that responsibility is in the military --
A. Yes. His responsibility was for the work of the administration, 13485 the scope of information, the -- the quality of information gathered by my service, if we are talking about my case, because the commander sees all these reports. He receives them daily, just as he receives reports from other organs, and he could summon Tolimir any time and say, "I'm not pleased with this. Look into it, Tolimir. Deal with this problem. Pay more attention to this or that," et cetera.
Q. And --
A. And he also -- and he knows best about that. He also had other obligations and duties within the Staff Command, there were negotiations with UNPROFOR, with the Bosniak side, with the Croatian side. As an assistant commander, he participated in those activities. That was part of his duties as well.
Q. You said a while back that sometimes intelligence people make proposals to their superior. Can you -- did you make proposals for specific actions to General Tolimir?
A. Yes, of course.
Q. And did he sometimes take those proposals and issue you orders in furtherance of them or issue orders to others that would be responsible for carrying them out if it wasn't you?
A. Absolutely. We had a fair and correct relationship, open relationship, and, yes, whenever he would have any objection, he would immediately tell me about it, give his suggestions how to improve things. I may have had some proposals that had to do with the working of the command or the relationships there. He accepted those or not and then informed the commander about it or not. That's a normal way of 13486 functioning.
Q. Can you also explain --
A. I apologise. On occasions, he would ask me for a proposal or suggestion and sometimes he wouldn't ask me for anything of the kind. Sometimes he would want to compare his views with mine. He would ask me what your views are on this topic or that topic and so on.
Q. Now, if you, in your position, offered a proposal to General Tolimir and he agreed with it and issued you an order to carry it out, let's say for the use of the 10th Sabotage Detachment to go do reconnaissance work somewhere in the Krajina, would you have any responsibility to follow up on that operation to determine how that operation went, or is it that once the orders are issued it's hands off?
A. Tolimir could not order something like that. He could have made a proposal to the commander who would then issue an order and then Tolimir would tell me about such an order. You mentioned the 10th Sabotage and Reconnaissance Detachment. It was an independent unit of the Main Staff that was directly subordinated to the commander of the Main Staff. The intelligence administration was an organ that was in charge of providing support in equipment, weapons, in training for both officers and soldiers to give proposals for operations, both attack operations and defence operations, to issue tasks or proposals about the tasks for such a unit. For instance, go and reconnaissance such a feature or explain some specific task. That's something that is then proposed to the commander, and then the commander issues his orders to the unit. It is also possible and it would happen often that some of the 13487 intelligence officers at the lower levels would be tasked with that, but that would be an intelligence officer who was in charge of preparations for an assignment. For instance, if a group would be sent behind the enemy lines for reconnaissance or sabotage activities, now, that would be specifically under the responsibilities of the detachment commander, and he would then report after completing his mission.
Q. Well, let's take the example, the first one you mentioned where based on your proposal General Tolimir takes a proposal to use the 10th Sabotage Detachment to go to the Krajina to do surveillance and General Mladic agrees and issues the order?
A. No, no, no. General Tolimir cannot reach such a decision. He can propose and only propose something like that to General Mladic. General Mladic is the only person who can make a decision.
Q. That's what I was saying so just hear me out. General Tolimir takes your proposal to General Mladic and we understand then General Mladic agrees with General Tolimir's proposal, which originated from you, and issues the order for the 10th Sabotage to go. What are General Tolimir's responsibilities in monitoring this operation or anything else or does he have none?
A. He has this responsibility upon hearing my proposal. After having thought about it he says, yes, this is okay or no, this will not do. He can say, No, I cannot make such a proposal to the commander because the consequences of it would be such and such or we do not have sufficient guarantees that this unit would complete the mission and return, that people would not die, all of them in the unit would not die, 13488 for instance.
Q. Let me take you to something you said in the last trial at page 10544, and let me know if you agree with this. The question was: "Now, also in going back to the intel model, once the commander makes a decision on how to use, in your situation, the recon platoon, would the intel officer be responsible for seeing to it that the commander's orders were carried out?"
And you answered: "Yes."
And you said: "He would be the one who would monitor the entire implementation and get involved in the preparing a specific unit for a specific task. He monitors the entire course of implementation, and he is responsible for the orders to be carried out pursuant to the commander's order. He has been trained for that, and he is the most qualified person or should be."
That's what I meant to be asking you. Do you stand by that -- that answer you gave?
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Tolimir.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone, please.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Peace to this house and hello, Mr. Salapura. I hope he will enjoy his stay here. I hope he will return home safely, and let this day go according to God's will and not mine. 13489 Now, Mr. McCloskey named page P10444 of a trial, but he didn't specific which trial so that we can identify it, so that we don't have to search for it for a long time, because the witness will be here tomorrow again.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, you said the last trial. Which one was it?
MR. McCLOSKEY: There's been only one trial that the witness has testified in and that's Blagojevic, and it's only in English, of course, so it doesn't really help. That's why I just read it slowly, and I usually read things correctly.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was not a problem. We just wanted to know which trial. You said it, Blagojevic.
Go ahead, please.
Q. So, Colonel, do the responsibilities that you had set out here, to monitor, et cetera, would that apply to General Tolimir? He proposed the use of a particular unit and that order had been carried out by General Mladic? Would he have to follow up on that as you've described here?
A. No, and it gets transferred to me. Normally if the operation fails, General Mladic would criticise him, maybe take some measures, even, but the responsibility gets transferred more to the intelligence administration in this issue, because it's the intelligence administration that is monitoring all the preparations for the operation up until the moment of sending the units to carry out the mission. From 13490 that moment it's the commander of the detachment who's responsible. That's a specific point. That would be a secret. Even I didn't know, for instance, when that unit would cross over into the enemy territory. Not even General Tolimir would know about it. Not even General Mladic would know about that.
We are talking, of course, of ideal conditions when I myself am present and General Tolimir is present, and so on, but very often, especially during 1995, I was, for instance, absent for 90 per cent of the time. He was also very often absent. So it would have been somebody else who would be acting in our absence, but what I mean is the intelligence organ or the security organ. Very often I would be the one who would go to the commander with a proposal instead of him, because, for instance, he was not -- I mean, Mr. Tolimir was not familiar with the issue at hand because he had been absent for a while.
Q. Well, Colonel, we'll get to the facts of this case and where people were soon enough. It's a very simple question. The Judges have heard an answer to this question several times, and let me try it again. When an assistant commander makes a proposal to General Mladic and General Mladic takes that proposal and issues an order, does that assistant commander bear responsibility to monitor the carrying out of that order and implementation of that order?
A. Well, he does bear responsibility of some sort, maybe moral, maybe even disciplinary before the commander of the Main Staff, but he cannot -- General Tolimir cannot go and monitor how ten soldiers are training and preparing in the region of Banja Luka, for instance, because 13491 such preparations can last for 10 to 15 days. He cannot be there personally and watch them all the time.
And last and at least, this is about the proposal part. Neither I could have gone there and spent the time. We would assign someone from the corps, a clerk, a duty officer, who would go and report to me about the potential problem, and then if I cannot take care of the problem, then I inform General Tolimir about it, because maybe his influence and authority can make the problem go away. If there is a way for me to handle it, then I don't bother him with it.
Q. Are you suggesting responsibility is to the lower individual as opposed to the higher individual? You seem to suggest that the commander of the 10th Sabotage would bear more responsibility for the action rather than his superior, General Mladic, or the person that recommended the use of the 10th Sabotage. And I'm talking about a recon mission, sir. We're not at Branjevo farm yet. We will get there.
A. Yes, yes, yes. Yes, I understand, but this is not at all related to the professional line, the events at the Branjevo farm. This was an entirely different thing.
No, I'm not saying that he does not have responsibility. The commander of the detachment, who was a captain or a lieutenant, he has the same responsibility as the commander of a regiment or a brigade. It's an independent unit. And I'm not saying that I don't have a responsibility there or that General Tolimir does not have at least partial responsibility, but if we would monitor every detail and every group, I don't know, what would we achieve? 13492 The one who has made the proposal, let's say it was the detachment commander or the commander of the Drina Corps there, it's their intelligence officer who explains in detail in his report why and how if we're talking about the reconnaissance mission. And then you have a layer of filter which goes through detachment commander, myself. I need to know whether there is any guarantee that mission would be successful, that the losses won't be too big. And after I've made an assessment, if I'm convinced that there is actually a chance of this mission succeeding, then -- then I go to General Tolimir with my proposal, or if he's absent to the commander, and then I am responsible to the commander for any failure of such a mission. We would be -- I would be the one in this case who would have to face the commander and face his criticism.
Q. Exactly. And because of that would you monitor the carrying out of that operation? Would you want regular reports on that operation to see how it went?
A. I cannot directly monitor it. These are very small groups. I do not monitor them directly. There is someone in charge of monitoring them, and the detachment commander will report to me if there are any problems. Most probably also some of the intelligence officers from lower levels will be monitoring the preparations and inform me about those and inform me about any problems encountered, because maybe my help is required. And once the preparations are completed, I'm informed about that, and I'm informed that the units can go out and carry out its mission. Now, the commander of the unit is the only person who can 13493 decide about the timing of the mission. Now, in 15 minutes, tonight, next morning. That's something I know nothing about. That's a secret that only the commander of the unit knows.
Q. And can a corps intel officer command one of these 10th Sabotage operations?
A. Yes. Providing the unit was resubordinated to him. Such a unit can be resubordinated to the corps command for a certain mission. The commander of the Main Staff can say, okay, this unit will be resubordinated to the Drina Corps or some other corps. We have had situations when a group would be resubordinated to the 1st Krajina Corps for a specific mission, or the Drina Corps. The commander may issue such an order without asking either myself or Tolimir. We don't even know anything about that. Commander issued an order that this unit should carry out such and such a mission upon the request of a commander of some other corps. That's part of the prerogatives of the commander.
Q. So you said you wouldn't personally monitor, and I think we understand that from Crna Rijeka or even a forward command post. You're not going on the recon mission, but you do have people reporting up the professional chain from the brigades and the corps intel people providing you daily reports, including special reports. Is that true?
Q. All right. Let's -- we'll begin to get into some more of the practical workings of these issues which we've already gotten into a bit, so let's get to 1995, and were you carrying out your work, as you've described, normally throughout most of 1995? 13494
A. Not only throughout 1995, throughout the entire period. Between 1992 until the end of the war.
Q. And are you familiar that there were several directives that came out either in the name of General Mladic or President Karadzic throughout the war? I believe there was nine of them.
A. I don't know how many, how many there were. I -- I may have participated in planning of maybe two or three of them, and I know that one or two of them were not even implemented, but I did not participate in drafting the directives.
Q. Well, you have testified before that for health reasons you were aware from the Main Staff for a period of time. Can you tell us when that was --
Q. -- in 1995?
A. That was from late June. General Tolimir is here. Am I allowed to ask him if he could help me identify the precise dates --
A. -- because it would be -- fine, fine.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's not possible. Mr. McCloskey is putting questions to you, and Mr. Tolimir is not testifying.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay. It's fine, it's fine, it's fine.
That was after the 20th of June, but I cannot be more precise. Between the 20th and 25th of June. I went to General Tolimir. I had some serious health problems. It was something that was going on for a 13495 while already at the time. I was not away either on vacation or in any other way since 1990, except for two days when I was absent. Then I had problems with intestines, mucous tissue, and all sorts of intestinal problems, and I also had chronic problems with my spine. It's still persistent. And I was exhausted, in a very difficult condition mentally. I asked General Tolimir in writing to be relieved of duty. I just could not handle it any more. I was busy all the time, 24 hours a day. And he managed to persuade me to change my mind, which I did. I went to our doctor, and I was recommended to stay away for a month on sick leave, but I could not stay away for a whole month. He -- General Tolimir told me, "You know, go away for treatment to Banja Luka. Stay away for a month, and I will co-ordinate all the activities here in the eastern part, and you try and follow what is going on in the western part. You also monitor what's going on with Croatian preparations," because we already did have some intelligence about Croatian Army intentions there. So this was -- I was in charge of the 1st and the 2nd Corps. And after this discussion with General Tolimir, I went to Banja Luka. Have I answered your question?
Q. Well, I want to be clear. You mentioned June 20th to the 25th. Was that the time period you were off, or were you -- did you leave at that -- some point between those five days?
A. It's between the 20th and 25th that I left for a period of a -- of one month.
Q. And what date did you come back to work? 13496
A. Back to work? Well, I was in Banja Luka. I would spend a lot of time at the doctor's, and I was a lot of time at home, but occasionally they would bring some materials to me either from the centre in Banja Luka or maybe on occasion I would go directly there if there was something that only I could resolve. And I returned -- you mean, when was it that I returned to Han Pijesak? On the 12th -- or, rather, on the 11th. On the 11th, I was informed by the centre in Banja Luka that I'm expected in Belgrade on the 12th for a meeting.
Q. Okay. We'll get -- we'll get into that, but were you at all aware of the situation in the Srebrenica and the Zepa enclaves as it was building up in the spring of 1995?
A. I was aware. We were receiving information from the Drina Corps. The Drina Corps was monitoring the situation in the enclaves, both in Srebrenica and Zepa. We were also interested in the situation there, because Zepa is, yeah, several kilometres distance away from the Main Staff. There were many attacks launched from these enclaves, incursions, sabotage actions. There were killings of shepherds. There was rustling of cattle. We intervened with UNPROFOR, asking them to put a stop to it, but it did not bear any results.
Q. And we have heard that in February, March -- and in March there was a directive that was issued by President Karadzic that was drafted and assembled by the operations branch, General Miletic of the Main Staff, and that each of the organs, including your organ, played a role in assembling that, and that was Directive 7. Were you -- did you play a role in direct -- in assembling information for Directive 7, which 13497 came out in early March 1995?
A. I was not aware of the directive. I was not a participant in its drafting. I didn't even know that it was being prepared. I claim with full responsibility that people who were members of my organ didn't know either.
As far as I know, I learned of that directive only in 1997. That's when I learned that it had been done. Lazic, an operative in the Drina Corps, told me that, and he was one of those who had participated in its drafting. I suppose that that was done by the commanders in a circle consisting of his assistants. I believe that a lot of intelligence information went into the directive, and they could have been obtained from the Drina Corps. And in the ops room there was a detailed map, an intelligence map which was updated every day by intelligence officers. And if you consulted the computer, you could have the updated information on Zepa and Srebrenica in five minutes, and that could have been provided either to Tolimir or Miletic. That was our obligation. We as intelligence officers were obliged to do that without even knowing what the purpose of that exercise was.
I heard about that directive from you when I was interviewed by the OTP. I didn't know about it before that, and I was not involved in the preparation of that directive.
I believe that you can find that in some of General Mladic's interviews. He said that all the operations that had been planned at that level were secret and that all the plans were made by the inner circle of commanders. 13498 That was the methodology of work that was used at the time.
Q. One last question. Colonel, you were cross-examined by me on June 8th, 2004, and are you saying here today that that is the first time, June 8th, 2004, that you learned about Directive 7?
A. Absolutely. I can swear on my own life. Not only that, the others as well. I never participated in any such thing. There was no reason for me to participate. First of all, I don't know who made plans. The Drina Corps carried out assignments, but I don't know what the role of the Main Staff was in all that. The Drina Corps was in charge of all the operations, not any other corps. And there are a lot of those that I was not aware of, not only that one. There were a lot of directives that I was not aware of. And there was no need for me to be aware of them. The commander could make decisions and draft them with the Chief of Staff, the chief of sectors, his inner circle of trusted men.
MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time, Mr. President. In fact, I'm sorry, it's beyond break time.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. One clarification, please. Sir, you mentioned a moment ago a meeting in Belgrade on the 12th. Which month are you referring to?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] June. Or, rather, July. I apologise. It was July. July. July.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: You said on the 11th you were informed by the centre in Banja Luka that you were expected in Belgrade on the 12th for a meeting. These two dates have been in July; is that correct?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Both days in July, on the 13499 11th and on the 12th.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We must have our first break now, and we will resume 20 minutes past 4.00.
--- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
--- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Please continue.
Q. Colonel, I'm sorry to go backwards a little bit, but something you mentioned about the intelligence centres. Can you tell us what these intelligence centres was? In fact, I seem to remember something about the 410th Intelligence Centre. What was that?
A. There was just one, just one intelligence centre. That was the intelligence centre of the intelligence administration of the Main Staff. Those people were mainly agents who did operative work. There was just one such centre, in Banja Luka.
Q. And what was the name of it in 1995?
A. The 410th Intelligence Centre.
Q. And who was the top man at the centre? Who was the commander of it or the chief of it?
A. Lieutenant-Colonel Cedo Knezevic.
Q. And who else -- who worked under him or with him there in 1995?
A. Do you want me to give you the names of all the operatives? For example, Dusko Kenjalo. Slavuljica, Zare. Now you've caught me. The brain's gone. I really don't know. I don't think that it really matters. They were involved in operative work. They were agents who 13500 collected intelligence.
Q. And do you -- do you know a person named Pecanac?
A. Yes. I know him, of course.
Q. And what's his -- what's his first name?
A. Dragomir Pecanac.
Q. And what was his position in July of 1995?
A. He was the chief of General Mladic's office.
Q. What was that job?
A. I really can't tell you exactly what he did. He was the chief of his office. He prepared certain materials for the commander. He prepared meetings for him, negotiations. There was his security, and I suppose he liaised with the security. There was another secretary. I really don't know what his authorities were. I suppose that he also looked after the commander's security.
Q. All right. Let's go back to where we left off, and that was the Directive 7, and I think we remember your answer to that. And if we could go to P1214. That will be up on the screen, and you should see the Cyrillic.
MR. McCLOSKEY: And in the English could we go to the next page, because that's just the cover, but ...
Q. Okay. And we see that this is dated 8 March of 1995 from the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska, and I'll tell you it's -- it's signed at the end by Radovan Karadzic, and it's drafted by General Miletic and typed by Staff Sergeant Spasoje Zeljkovic. Do you know Sergeant Zeljkovic? 13501
A. Spasoje Zeljkovic, I know him.
Q. All right. And if we could go to the next page in English.
A. Yes. There's a -- a page in English displayed at the same time.
Q. Yes. I want to start with the "Muslim-Croat Coalition Forces," paragraph 2. So we need to go to the next page in the B/C/S too, I believe.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Page 3 in the B/C/S.
Q. And, again, I don't want to spend a lot of time with a lot of this, but you'll agree with me that this is intel information on the -- on the Federation forces, won't you?
A. Yes. This is an overview of the current situation in the Federation.
Q. All right. And let's -- let's go to the next page in English, paragraph 2.1.1 entitled "Muslim Armed Forces." Page 5. And, again, I don't want to get into the detail of it, but we can see here under "Muslim Armed Forces," "Probable objective and plans of the Muslim forces." That's all intelligence information; right?
A. Yes, yes, yes.
Q. And if we continue going through this we get to the next page in the English, a section titled "Armed forces of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna," and it talks about their objectives. Then we go on to the next page, and it's page upon page upon page, until page 7 in the English.
Q. And page 11 in the B/C/S, which is all intel information. Who 13502 drafted this for General Miletic?
A. I don't know who drafted this. I'm sure that the intel was taken from an analyst. It could be done at Miletic's request, the sector's request, or General Tolimir could take the intel from the sector and word the information as he wanted. I certainly did not participate -- participate in this. I didn't even know that that was drafted. Things were updated on a daily basis, and you could obtain information from the computer within the matter of five to ten minutes, just like you do it now here.
Q. Well, that's why I ask you. I don't draft all of my motions. The Judges don't draft all of their decisions. We have people that do this, just like where you were.
Q. And are you suggesting that General Tolimir did the drafting or that General Miletic did the drafting? Sir, you were the chief of intelligence. Who drafted this so that General Miletic could put it in and it could be reviewed?
A. One of the analysts could have provided the intel. I don't know who was there in March. It could have been Karanovic or Jankovic. They could have down -- downloaded the intel from the computer and give it to Miletic. General Tolimir could have requested the intel, and the group who participated in the drafting of the directive. I don't even know who participated. I know that Miletic did. It should not have been a problem at all.
Q. You were alive and well and at work at Crna Rijeka at the time 13503 and you can't even tell us who drafted this, and you knew nothing about it?
A. I don't think that I was in Crna Rijeka at the time. Let me tell you, the methodology of work was such that when the directives were drafted it was done by the commander and his inner circle. Nobody else knew about that. That was the style of work that the commander of the Main Staff had adopted. So the rest of us did not know what was going on, and I'm sure that many of the chiefs of different combat arms didn't know what was going on. There was a group of people involved in the drafting, and I don't know who those people were. I'm only sure that I was not one of them.
Second of all, I was in Crna Rijeka, but I told you already that I spent very little time there. I was mostly absent. I was in the field, and I believe that you have intelligence privy to you and that you will see that my signature is missing from a lot of it. I really can't remember where I was on the day that that was drafted, but I'm sure I did not participate in the process.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just for one question --
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And one more thing. I didn't know -- go ahead, please.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: A moment ago you said, "I don't even know who participated." And then the next sentence, "I know General Miletic did." How do you know?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that General Miletic could do this and that and the other. He was an operative, a person who united 13504 the whole thing. General Miletic and the Chief of Staff. He requested information from intelligence, from artillerymen, and I don't know who else. I don't think that I provided intelligence for any of the directives, either in a written form or verbal. It was the chief of sector, General Tolimir, who was in charge of that. He was the one who could request for the intel to be prepared for him, and I am not sure that I did it once.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: How did you learn that General Miletic participated in the drafting and in the preparation of this directive?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never learnt that. I'm just telling you how things are done in principle.
He was an operative. He was in charge of such matters. I'm sure that neither General Mladic now General Milovanovic would have done that. It would have been General Miletic. He was an operative.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. They could have dictated things or provided input and their positions, and he was the one that did the technical part of the job.
Q. So this vital intelligence information is actually used to base the planned operations on, is it not?
A. Yes. The first part of the directive talks about the enemy, the deployment of the enemy forces, the intentions and axis of operation.
Q. But in this particular case the chief of intelligence doesn't have any involvement in putting his stamp of approval or his analysis 13505 into this vital important information that was the basis, in part, for future military operations. Is that what you're saying?
A. What stamp are you referring to? There is no need for me to do that. The commander is the one who makes decisions on directives to be drafted. His assistants provide proposals for such directives. The chief of intelligence provides intel for the first part dealing with the enemy. The intelligence administration does that, and I may not have been there at the time. I suppose I wasn't. I didn't know that this was being done.
My analyst could have provided the intel, but neither Miletic nor Tolimir were duty-bound to tell them why they needed the intel. They only told him that they needed intel about the enemy in Zepa, Srebrenica, or wherever else.
Everything is updated on the map on a daily basis. The changes are input in the ops room where Miletic is seated. There is a big map with all the details and this is updated every day.
Q. Yes, and we can see from this a lot of work went into it. It's a very long and complex document that -- you would agree with me that it took a matter of many days to put this document together so that it could be sent to the president, wouldn't you?
A. The overall document, I don't know how long it is. I don't see all of it. I can see tasks, decisions. I suppose the Chief of Operations puts all the information together, words the entire document. That's what he did. You can see the commander's decision here. This is what I see here, and the task of the army. 13506 I'm sure that this is a long document. All directives were long documents, and they contained a lot of multidisciplinary areas.
Q. Colonel, there's several reports that go out under your name, intel reports, in and around this time period, and we can see from them that they're very detailed, very -- they took a lot of work. Did you engage in reviewing that material that went out under your name, the daily reports of intel? Many of them we see are drafted by Karanovic and others. Did you review those daily intel reports before allowing them to go out under your name?
A. I read them if I was there, and then I would sign the originals. However, if I wasn't there, I did not see them, I didn't sign them. I may have seen some of them subsequently. Some of them I didn't see at all. I would be absent for 10, 15 days at a time, and then they would give me the most important things on my return, because in my absence, a lot of things were received, not all of them equally important.
Q. Would you meet with President Karadzic in Pale occasionally to discuss matters with him? This is -- after all, it's signed by him.
A. Never directly. All in all, three times during the war. But I was never on my own. Once there was a session of the Supreme Command, and in the absence of General Tolimir, I attended twice, and once on the eve of my travel abroad. There was a short meeting, a short discussion with him regarding my journey.
Q. Would he call you up and have discussions with you, talk to you about things?
A. No. No. We submitted information to the office of the 13507 president. The office of the president received intel from us.
Q. What was your extension number back in March of 1995?
A. I really don't know, believe me. I've lot of problems with retaining numbers, especially any numbers after 2004.
Q. Well, we have what we believe is President Karadzic's appointment diary, and it shows that on March 4th, he called you, Colonel Salapura. Does that help refresh your recollection?
A. When? The 4th of March? What year?
A. I apologise, what year?
A. I don't know.
Q. Well, if we could --
A. It is possible that that was on the eve of my travel abroad. And I also attended sessions of the Supreme Command, but when I attended on two occasions, no such matter was discussed at all.
Q. Well, let's take just -- if we can, a quick look at 65 ter 4840. And I am -- one second, please.
[Prosecution counsel and Case Manager confer]
Q. As we can see here, Colonel, this is the front page, and President Karadzic's secretaries have told us that if they put a plus by the mark, that means it happened and the president actually did it. And 13508 so if we go to page -- what's down here, page 7 in the English.
MR. McCLOSKEY: It's currently on page 1 in English. If we could go to page 7. I'm sorry, I don't have the e-court page for that. You can -- well, sorry, it will ...
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, I can see some things here.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Twenty-seven, 27 in the B/C/S.
Q. And you can see that your name is mentioned there.
A. The typed-up text, yes. I can see Professor Koljevic and Colonel Salapura. I can see it in the English version.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we have the respective English page on the screen, please. The date, 4th of March.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry. I haven't gotten there yet, Mr. President. I started with January. So this section is on there. It's down towards the bottom. But this is 18 January.
Q. All right. And then I notice another mention of your name on 24th January, and -- but let's go to the section that I mentioned.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, sorry. Mr. McCloskey, you used the entry of the 4th of March; is that correct?
MR. McCLOSKEY: I said it, and then I asked them to go to the January entry.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. Okay.
MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm working my way there. I'm sorry about that confusion. So I will -- let's go to -- it's page 25 in the -- in the English. Well done. Down at the bottom of the page. 13509
Q. And this is 4 March, and Directive 7 came out 8 March, and this says: "Call Colonel Salapura - 226," and there's a plus by it meaning that that happened.
Does this refresh your recollection? I think some of us would recall getting a call from the president of our respective countries.
A. Yes. Just a moment. The 4th. Just bear with me, please. The 4th of March. Budimir Kosutic.
Yes. It says here "Call Colonel Salapura," correct.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I am not aware of having attended this at all. I really don't know.
THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could Mr. McCloskey tell us whether these were telephone conversations or whether these were invitations to meetings? We don't know what this is about. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm sure that Mr. McCloskey will try to get to that with the witness.
Q. Yes. Witness, as far as I can tell, this is an appointment diary, and in the appointment diary of Dr. Karadzic he says "to call," and I'm telling you that we've been told by the secretaries that if there was a plus marked next to it that meant the call went through. All I'm asking you is whether or not this refreshes your recollection regarding speaking to the President of Republika Srpska four days here to --
A. No. Well, I can see the plus. I can see "to call," which means that they did call me, I suppose, but I don't remember any such meeting, 13510 and especially when I see the names of these other people. Subotic, okay, the chief of office; Radiskovic, minister, I don't even know who that was; Djordje Ilic, I don't have a clue; Budo Kosutic, don't know. If there was a meeting, I don't know what it was about and I don't remember having attended it. And then there's this Italian name, Vincenzo Paglia. No, I don't remember having any such meeting. They may have called me. They may have an intention to call me, but I'm sure that I did not attend a meeting, especially not on the 4th [Realtime transcript read in error "14th"] of March 1995.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey was not asking you about a meeting but a phone call by Mr. Karadzic. Do you recall a phone call?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't remember such a phone call. I can't remember that President Karadzic called me personally.
MR. McCLOSKEY: And for the record, it says March 14 on line 21. It should be March 4th, I believe.
Q. All right. Well, I was just seeing if this jogged your memory in relation to Directive 7. I want to go back just briefly to Directive 7, page 12 --
A. No, no.
Q. -- 14. Understand. All right. So I think we'll skip that and just try to keep going.
Could we go to 65 ter 5810. And we see, sir, this is something from the Main Staff, dated 26th of April.
A. Yes, yes. 27 April.
Q. It's a list of documents for an operation -- 13511
Q. And it's a list of documents for an operation called Sadejstvo. I'm sure that you can pronounce that better than I can. Submitted --
A. Yes, Sadejstvo 95. And again I'm hearing of this code-name for the first time. I know nothing under that code-name.
Q. And it's submitted by General -- or Colonel Miletic. We know he is the Chief of Operations and Training of the Main Staff. And looking at number 7 here, it says that there's an intelligence support plan. Was your administration involved in writing up an intelligence support plan for this operation?
A. On the left list of documents, Sadejstvo operation plan, intelligence support. No. What it says here, it says order for intelligence support, intelligence support plan. Yes. Yes. The administration probably did write that.
Q. Well, do you recall it?
A. No. And I affirm that I did not attend, and I was not involved in that.
Q. Well, let's go to 65 ter 32.
A. With full responsibility, with all certainty, because I don't remember that name at all, Sadejstvo 95. I don't remember any involvement by me personally. By the administration, possibly. I'm not ruling that out.
Q. Okay. Looking at this we see it's the first page of a plan for intelligence support of the Main Staff for Operation Sadejstvo 95. Now, I think you'll agree with me that -- 13512
A. Just a minute. Just a minute. No, no. Sorry. This has nothing to do with it. This has to do with the Srecko Polje operation in Tuzla. That operation was planned and never executed. It was an order from the commander to make a plan for an operation at the level the Main Staff involving the forces of the Army of Republika Srpska and a specific corps of it, and I believe half of it was never carried out. This was never carried out, and there were indeed many operations that were planned and prepared but never carried out, and this has nothing to do whatsoever with Srebrenica.
Q. So now you remember this operation and know about -- and you know about it.
A. Yes. Whether it was called the Sadejstvo or not, I know that such an operation existed, was prepared. And we were aware in advance that we were not going to be able to carry it out, that we did not have enough forces. However, it was planned at the orders of the commander and never done.
Q. All right. Let's look at the next page. And we see about the zones of responsibility that this is involved in, 1st Krajina Corps, East Bosnia Corps. Is this the operation you're thinking of?
A. Yes. This is what was planned. Gracanica, Dubrava, Srecko Polje. Yes, that's it, but that operation was never carried out.
Q. So you know about these documents that planned for it?
A. Yes. Yes, I know about this. I know about the operation. I know it was planned.
Q. All right. Let's go to the next page. And here we -- we see 13513 your name with a "za" in front of it, a "for the chief of intelligence administration." Can you see your name written down there?
A. Yes, I can. Somebody signed for me, somebody who was standing in for me at the time. Let me look at the signature. It's Karanovic -- no, it's Radoslav Jankovic who signed it. I didn't. That means I wasn't there at the time when this was done.
Q. But since it went out in your name, it would have been something that you would have made yourself familiar with, like you just testified?
A. Yes, if that was the operation that I was talking about. If it is. But I'm telling you I wasn't doing this. I know this was planned, but I did not work on these elements. I just wasn't there. I was absent.
Q. Where were you?
A. How can I remember after 15 years or 19? How can I remember where exactly I was at that moment?
Q. Let's go to P1199.
MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer this document into evidence.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: 65 ter 5810 will be received as an exhibit.
THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P2196, Your Honours.
MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Mr. President. We need to -- the one I was referring to was the plan that had his name on it, and that is 65 ter 00032. I'm sorry, I wasn't very clear about that.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you didn't tender the -- that one I mentioned?
MR. McCLOSKEY: And I should -- I should offer that into evidence 13514 as well. That is 65 ter 05810, and that was the list of the intel documents. I should have. I'm sorry.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: And to avoid complications, we have received that as P2196. And in addition you want which one into evidence?
MR. McCLOSKEY: 65 ter 00032.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as well.
THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P2197, Your Honours.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone was off.
THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P2197, Your Honours.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. And what about the diary or the agenda of Mr. Karadzic? I don't think that we need the whole one, but you have used one page.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. The page from March 4th would be 0 -- the whole thing is 04840. It may be used again. Ms. Stewart suggests I just MFI it, and I think that would be a good idea, Mr. President.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. It will be marked for identification.
THE REGISTRAR: This will be P2198, marked for identification, Your Honour.
Q. All right. Colonel, now we see on the screen from the Main Staff again, 31 March 1995. It's entitled under "National Defence State Secret Sadejstvo 95," and it's called a "Directive for Further Operations, Operation No. 7/1."
I won't go through all the pages, but in the English it's several pages. Eight pages, signed at the end by General Mladic, again drafted 13515 by Miletic. This would have taken a long time, I'm sure, to get together, and this is -- this is the operation you now remember; correct?
A. Yes. That's the operation that was planned, that the Main Staff was supposed to carry out.
Q. So you should have reviewed this plan. In fact, you should have taken part in it. Your unit -- your administration should have taken part in this, and you should have reviewed --
A. I'm telling you, I was not involved in the preparation of these documents. I was involved when the commander decided this, that an operation would be planned to be carried out by the Main Staff and the corps at its own level. I remember that conversation clearly, and I said that it was perpetuum mobile. I used those words. I said the Main Staff can write anything they like, but we don't have enough forces to actually carry this out. And that's what I know. I know it was never carried out, and I was not involved in this, but I know it was planned.
Q. Let's go to page 2 of this document in English, and it should be number 2 in -- in the B/C/S. Paragraph 2 called "The task of the VRS." And we can see the first line here, blow that up, under "Task of the VRS," and it says: "On the basis of Directive 7," and then it goes on to lists the tasks in detail. Directive 7 is mentioned in this a few times. It's actually itself called Directive 7/1. So anyone involved in this document and reading this document would certainly have to have reviewed Directive 7, wouldn't they?
A. Who was involved in this preparation?
Q. Simple question, Colonel. We can see that the reference is on 13516 the basis of Directive 7. So can't we conclude that if someone is involved in drafting this information they would have had to review Directive 7 since this is based on Directive 7?
A. Well, they would have been involved, yes. Certainly.
Q. So if you were involved and you knew about this Sadejstvo operation, you would have needed to know about Directive 7 as well.
A. Directive 7 was issued for the Main Staff, for the command and control of one whole operation, and now what this is about, Sarajevo, Trnovo, Kalinovik.
Q. Again, Colonel, did you know about this operation Sadejstvo? I thought you said you did. The one that was never done, in your view.
A. I knew, but I don't know what this is. I know that that operation was planned at the level of the Main Staff, Srecko Polje. That's what I remember, that it should be carried out using certain forces, et cetera, et cetera, and I know that never happened. Now, perhaps this is a component of that operation, a certain segment. I don't know the details. I don't know what was envisaged, because I wasn't directly involved in the preparation of these documents, I was just there when the idea was conceived by the commander. I was there when -- when he was thinking about it.
Q. All right. Let's go on to another topic. We'll work our way towards the 12th, as you've mentioned briefly, but you were still at Crna Rijeka until about somewhere around July 20th or thereafter, 20 to 25th, as you've said -- excuse me, June 20th or 25th. And so I'd like to ask you: Were you aware of the operation, the military operation, to 13517 take down OP Echo at Zeleni Jadar that occurred on about June 3rd, 1995, and was the prelude to the upcoming attack on the Srebrenica enclave by the VRS?
A. No. No, I did not know about that.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we have 65 ter 5886.
Q. Sir, this is one report, and you can see that it's a Regular Combat Report from the Drina Corps command on 3 June, to the Main Staff and to the Chief of Staff personally. And it begins by: "After the successful operation and the forceful expulsion of UNPROFOR from the Zeleni Jadar post, the enemy was observed," systematically, "building up large forces ..." et cetera. Certainly you would have heard about this either on June 3rd when it happened or before or shortly thereafter as part of intelligence information leading up to the decision to the attack the Srebrenica enclave. Is that fair or am I wrong?
A. No. I never heard of this for sure. Absolutely. This is an operation involving the forces of our corps. You see who's sending it, and as for me, I did not have that information.
Q. Did you --
A. Let me tell you straight away. If I had that information, I would have reacted, because I was strongly against any kind of action against the UNPROFOR.
Q. Well, were you familiar with any of the planning that went into the plan to attack the Srebrenica enclave in June and July 1995?
A. What do you mean, plans or planning? I know only about one 13518 operation carried out by the 10th Sabotage Detachment in Srebrenica, passing through a tunnel.
Q. Okay. And we know about that. That was on or about the 20 --
A. That's all I know. As for these other activities of the Drina Corps, no.
Q. So you know about the attack through the tunnel that we've heard about from Mr. Erdemovic.
A. Yes. Yes. And I've followed that. Yes.
Q. But you never heard anything about the -- the attack on UNPROFOR OP Echo, and you never heard anything about the attack on the Srebrenica enclave, which occurred on the 6th -- on or about the 6th of July? Just a -- two weeks after the tunnel attack?
A. No. I left after that operation through the tunnel. It was just a display of force with no consequences. It was a warning to the forces in the Srebrenica enclave that they should not mount any sabotage or other actions against Serbs, because there had been such operations against the Main Staff and our forces. There had been incursions into our territory, killing soldiers and civilians. That was the purpose of that operation, and I can explain that, if you want me, in greater detail, but I don't know about this.
Q. So you don't know anything about the attack on the Srebrenica enclave, even though you were, as you told us yourself, receiving information from Banja Luka, from your subordinates. I just want to be clear on that.
A. Yes, yes. I received certain information, what they considered 13519 to be relevant for me in Banja Luka, but believe me, those were only intelligence reports that I received - but there is not a single report, or perhaps you can find it because you have all of them - where this is written, because the commander had strictly prohibited this should be written about. That's an explanation I heard later.
Q. Sir, what makes you think we have all the reports? We have a fraction of the reports. What makes you think the Prosecution has all the reports?
A. Well, I think you certainly have 1.000 more than I have, because there were many seizure and search operations. But if you allow me to say this: Just before I left for Banja Luka, precisely at the moment when I asked for written approval and finally went to Banja Luka with General Tolimir - let him recall this if he can - he asked me, "What do you think about the enclaves?" I said, "Which ones?" He said, "Zepa and Srebrenica." I said, "In my view, we should not touch them at all, by no means. That would be very counter-productive and would cause a very negative reaction." And his answer was, "I think these are ripe apples, and I share your opinion."
I asked ask him what, how, with what purpose. That was the end of that conversation.
Q. He used the term "ripe apples"?
A. Actually, he said, "pears."
Q. Did General Tolimir say they were "ripe pears"?
A. Yes. But why? He probably meant that those were weak, insufficient forces under the protection of the United Nations, and any 13520 action against them would only cause an outcry. But pressure needed to be exerted on the UN to really demilitarise the area and not to allow any provocations coming from the protected area.
And you also have reports, probably, from the 28th Division addressed to Tuzla. They are exceptional. And you will see in their own reports how many casualties we suffered.
Q. Yes, Colonel. We agree with that basic premise, and we always have, and we have prosecuted some people, perhaps not enough, but let me ask you, you mentioned the documents, did you ever make an effort to find some documents before you came to testify the first time, or your own notes?
A. No. Well, yes, I did make an effort, but I couldn't. I did not have access. When I was coming to testify here, I was already a retired officer.
Q. Were you informed that they were burned or destroyed?
A. Yes. I was told that quite a lot of the materials were destroyed.
Q. And -- and who -- who or -- who told you that or what position were they, if you're sensitive about the name? What position of the person told you that the materials from the past that you were interested in had been destroyed?
A. I was asking for some of my notebooks and documents that were mine, and then I was told that they can't be found because they had been destroyed or burned. Well, you know, maybe I would have done the same if I were there, because there were certain names mentioned there, contacts, 13521 I mean, that shouldn't have been. You know, material of operative nature.
Q. Colonel, who told you that materials, intelligence materials, had been destroyed?
A. Well, I would have to remember the face of the person who was in the intelligence administration after me. Samardzic. He was the chief, and now I don't know who was in charge of the archives, what the name of that person was.
Q. So it was the --
A. But I do know that some of the official documents and reports were handed over to a team of yours.
Q. Yes. We do have some things, as you're finding out. Now, let me go back to the tunnel attack --
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you move to -- back to that, I have a follow-up question.
Sir, you said on page 53, lines 14 and 15: "The commander had strictly prohibited this should be written about."
Who told you that the commander - I think you're referring to Mr. Mladic - had strictly prohibited to write anything down?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say write anything down. That nothing should be written down during the course of the operation. I assume he wanted to make sure that it remained secret during the course of the operation.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I read it out to you again. I quote: 13522 "But there is not a single report, or perhaps you can find it because you have all of them, where there is written, because the commander had strictly prohibited this should be written about." This is what I can find in the record. Could you explain that further, please?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just told you about this. This concerned intelligence information and reports that we were sending at the time when the Srebrenica operation was in progress. There was nothing, because as I was told, it had been prohibited by the commander, namely none of the reports were supposed to be sent during the progress of the operation.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, I'm asking you. Please respond to me. I would like to know who told you this.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was Mamlic, at the command post when I went there. I think it was him.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: And when you say "prohibited by the commander," you are referring to General Mladic; correct?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most probably. He was the commander. If the commander prohibited it, that means it was him.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Again, I was asking you if he prohibited that anything should be written down. You didn't answer that question. You were telling me none of the reports were supposed to be sent during the progress of the operation. To write something down or to send a report, these are different things. I want to know what the command -- why and what the commander meant when he -- sorry. Please wait. I want to know 13523 what do you mean by nothing should be written down. These are your words.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the commander meant. What I'm talking about are intelligence reports that are normally drafted. Nothing was drafted about the course of the operation in Srebrenica.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Where and when did the person with the name Mamlic tell you about that? What exactly did he tell you?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was told by, at the time when I was at the command post, so on the 13th or the 14th - I'm not certain about the date - but I was told then that they were not receiving information about the course of Srebrenica operation so that they cannot forward those to their units. So they were not receiving reports from the subordinated units, from units subordinated to the Drina Corps.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who told you this?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you. I think it was Mamlic. He was the only person I'm certain that was there.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who is that?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An officer. He was an officer in charge of electronic reconnaissance in the intelligence administration of the Main Staff, and at the time he was the only person present in the administration. I was away. Another man was in Belgrade. One man was in SFOR base. He was the only person present at the time.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
MR. McCLOSKEY: 13524
Q. And when you mentioned to the President that you were at the command post, was that -- do you mean the Main Staff command post at Crna Rijeka on or about the 13th or thereabouts?
A. At Crna Rijeka.
Q. All right. Now, let's talk a bit about this tunnel operation of the 10th Sabotage Detachment. And what involvement, if any, did you have in that attack or the plan or the use of the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. In what capacity --
A. In proposing. The command of the Drina Corps asked the commander for that kind of engagement, and then the commander told me to review the situation and to see whether it was feasible to carry it out. I went, and I cannot give you any exact dates. I went to the command of the Drina Corps. There was a detachment commander, Pelemis, there was Popovic, who was chief of security, and there was Golic, Pavle Golic as well, and they explained how they intended to carry out the operation, if the operation would be carried out. I heard them out. I provided them with some elements that should be carried out and finalised in more detail in order to make sure that there would be no casualties among UNPROFOR troops or the civilian population and yet to succeed in warning the opposing side because that was our intention.
And on the next occasion the detachment commander provided me with full elaboration of the plan, and I told the commander later on that it's feasible that it can be carried out with any risk -- without any risk, and the mission was carried out. 13525
Q. Who issued the order to carry it out to the -- to the -- to the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
A. The commander. The commander of the Main Staff. He approved the mission based on a request of the Drina Corps.
Q. Now, we understand, as you've testified briefly, that the 10th Sabotage Detachment could be used for intel purposes and that you proposed its various uses for things, and we discussed about monitoring and that kind of thing, so we -- I understand that fits basically with what you've just said, and I -- can you tell us, you've mentioned Pavle Golic. What's his position?
A. He was a security officer in the Drina Corps command.
Q. Was Pavle Golic security or intel?
A. No, no, no. Intelligence. Intelligence. Popovic was security.
Q. All right. So I understand that this Sabotage Detachment can be used as an intel asset for reconnaissance, and so I see your involvement. I understand your involvement. I understand Pavle Golic's involvement, but why would a security officer of the Drina Corps, Vujadin Popovic, be involved?
Q. Can you explain how it is that a security officer would be involved in what is -- in this sort of operation?
A. It was upon their request, the request of the command of the Drina Corps, because this was an operation in their area of operations. They were the ones most familiar with the terrain. I didn't know the terrain there. They came up with the proposal. They know the situation 13526 better than anyone else, all the features.
Q. So if Popovic had a particular need for the 10th Sabotage Detachment and the Drina Corps had that, they would go through you in order to use it, like they did in this tunnel attack? By the rules and regulations, I mean.
A. According to rules and regulations and also in accordance with order establishing this detachment, that the detachment can be used anywhere in the zone of operations of the VRS. It -- they can be used on the basis of our proposal, namely the intelligence administration, or on the basis of requests coming in from various corps. In this particular occasion it was upon a request of the command of the Drina Corps. I think it was a request made by the Chief of Staff, Krstic, and he asked that of the commander of the Main Staff.
Q. And did you inform General Tolimir of this proposal -- of this request and proposal?
A. I believe so. If he was present. Although, I think Tolimir may have been absent. No, no, I did. I think I did. Or he may have been absent and joined only later, because I know that the commander initially gave that personally to me. So my guess would be that Tolimir was not initially there but was made aware later that this was carried out. It is possible that he was absent at the start of the operation, but I really cannot remember all the details concerning this.
Q. We don't want you to guess. If General Tolimir was there, would he have had to know about the potential use of this important asset?
A. He would, and I would have informed him about it. 13527
Q. And he would have had his say in whether or not it was appropriate to use the 10th Sabotage for this sort of a -- sort of a thing, I take it.
A. But once the commander has given an order or an instruction to review this -- let me explain how it went. The command of the Drina Corps, the command of the Main Staff. The commander told me personally, because Tolimir most probably was absent. So the commander asked me to look into the feasibility of their request. I went to the Drina Corps command. There was also the commander of the detachment there, the commander of security and intelligence organs. I reviewed the situation. They presented -- they briefed me on the situation, rather. They told me about how and when it was supposed to be done. I asked them to come back to me with additional information, and after two or three days, and I even asked for everything to be recorded --
Q. You've explained all that, Colonel, and my only point is if General Tolimir was there, he would have had his say in whether this important asset was used; correct?
A. Well, most probably then the chain would go the other way. The request would go to General Mladic, who would then pass it on to Tolimir, who would then pass it on to me. Since in this case General Mladic passed it directly to me, that means to me that General Tolimir was absent, but he was made aware about this mission and that the detachment carried it out. Well, I cannot tell you whether that was still during the preparation stage or after the mission was accomplished. 13528
Q. Who had more authority over the 10th Sabotage Detachment, you as the chief of the intel branch, or General Tolimir as the boss of the intel and security sector?
A. Myself, I would have more authority. They knew me better.
Q. You're telling me in a military it -- authority depends on how well you know someone? Doesn't rank and position play a role in the use of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, sir? We're not idiots.
A. You know, I was more often in contact with the commander. I was more in charge of professional monitoring. General Tolimir, of course, had less, but he was higher ranking, and his position was higher, but, yes, I was the one who was monitoring that more than anyone else.
Q. And you would be reporting to General Tolimir about what you were monitoring and your use of the 10th Sabotage; is that right?
A. I was reporting, yes, about all the operations where I, first of all, proposed and then monitored.
Q. And do you remember in the Blagojevic case you -- I think you told me that you were angry at General Tolimir for the use of the 10th Sabotage Detachment in the attack on Srebrenica?
A. Yes, absolutely, I agree, but not for this mission. Let's not mix things up. It was because it was used not for its usual task. It was used in Srebrenica for combat activities, attack activities. That was the information I'd received.
Q. And -- so why were you angry at -- at Tolimir for the 10th being used in a combat activity? And we'll get into that in a little more detail, but why were you angry at him for that? 13529
THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly sit closer to the microphones.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, it was not for the first time, and it wasn't that I was only angry at him. In the order concerning the establishment of this detachment, the commander specifically said that this detachment can be used exclusively for sabotage and similar actions, whereas this was not that kind of a mission. Any unit could have carried out that mission. The troops we're talking about here were not trained for that kind of operations. Those operations are something for the infantry. These people were trained for more complex missions behind the enemy lines, reconnaissance duties that are very risky, and not anyone can carry them out, that's why.
Q. I understand that, and I think everyone does. And you've said you weren't in the area and didn't know anything about the attack on Srebrenica, so General Tolimir, in your view, must have been the one that approved the use of the 10th Sabotage for the attack on Srebrenica? I'm talking about July now, not the tunnel in June.
A. Please, let us not mix things up, because if we are imprecise, nothing good's going to come out of that.
Tolimir could not have approved for detachments to be used for missions that are not strictly part of their normal type of assignment. Only the commander could have done that. And I was angry at Tolimir because he did not put in an extra effort and try and convince the commander not to use them for that. That period, one segment was in the area of Modrica in the zone of the 1st Krajina Corps, and this other 13530 group was supposed to go to Herzegovina to the zone of the Hercegovina Corps in order to do reconnaissance in the area of Dubrovnik. Instead, they were sent to carry out infantry tasks, and that was why.
MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it's break time again.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. We must have our second break now, and we will resume at quarter past 6.00.
--- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
--- On resuming at 6.15 p.m.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, please carry on.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. And I need to offer that last document about the Zeleni Jadar operation - it was 65 ter 05886 - into evidence.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P2199, Your Honours.
Q. Okay. Colonel, before we get back into the chronology, I was going in one direction when we were talking about a while back about your knowledge of General Tolimir. You were in the academy with him. You obviously spent the war working closely with him. Could you just tell us, describe for us your friendship or your relationship with him?
A. How do you mean?
Q. Well, are you friends after all those years together in the war? Do you consider him a friend of yours?
A. Well, you know what? I consider him a friend, if I may say so, but we're both soldiers, and our relationship was based on that, on the 13531 relationship of a superior and a subordinate. Throughout my military career, I always avoided establishing friendly relationships with my subordinates. I always wanted to keep them at an official distance, and that same applied to commanders, chiefs, everybody. That was my principle, something that I adhered to until I retired. We were in good terms. I respected him, and I consider him -- I don't know. Do you want me to hear -- do you want me to share with you my opinion of him? I don't know what you want from me. But when it comes to being close friends, socialising, families visiting each other, no, that was not the case. We were together at the command post. He never visited me in my apartment, and vice versa, I never visited him. I met his wife, but he didn't meet mine. He doesn't know anybody, any members of my family. I never contacted him in my private capacity or the other way round. Our friendship was never put to a test. We were just co-workers, and I respected him greatly as a soldier and as a person.
Q. Okay. Thank you. That's what I was asking about. Now, unfortunately, let's get back to the summer of 1995 and this -- a little more on this tunnel operation.
You've said it was -- something about -- to get their attention or -- what was the purpose of this attack again? I've forgotten precisely what you said, but can you tell us what was the purpose of this operation?
A. The purpose of this operation was warning. The Muslim side was sent a signal to stop provocations from the protected area. To stop with 13532 incursions into our territory, to stop inflicting casualties among the civilians and soldiers. They were in the protected zone. And the second thing was to put pressure on UNPROFOR, to disarm the demilitarized zone or to prevent incursions being launched from the protected area. We wanted incursions to be stopped against the VRS. We wanted to flex muscle and show them that we were capable of launching similar operations. And I believe that the operation was done correctly. It was a demonstration of force rather than anything else.
Q. So what kind of force? What were they supposed to do, these members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
A. I said the nature of the operation was to show them that we were able to enter the city and launch an operation there. The target was the police station where the command of the brigade was. However, we didn't carry that out completely because of poor visibility. It was foggy. It was 4.00 in the morning, I think. As far as I can remember.
Q. So what kind of weapons were designed to be used inside this city? We all know the centre of the police station is right there in the centre of the city. You went by it. What kind of weapons would you be using against the police station?
A. Infantry weapons. The aim was not to destroy the police station. There were very few men there at the time. It was not our intention to inflict big, heavy losses on them, so we used normal weapons, infantry weapons, and hand-held rocket launcher.
Q. So hand-held rocket launchers in the -- were going to be used against the police station in the middle of this populated city? 13533
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on line 67, the witness's answer was not properly recorded, because the witness said more than was recorded. I believe that he mentioned the calibre of the weaponry and some other things.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what you mean by that. It's a hand-held rocket launcher which is used against facilities. It's a 70-millimetre rocket launcher for one-time use. These are not real rocket. This is something that a soldier carries on his shoulder, and a bullet can pierce the wall and enter a room. It can go through glass. It's a -- they use rounds in urban areas. They are intended to be used against facilities, buildings in an urban area.
Q. All right. Let's take a look at a document, 65 ter 7293.
MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, this has a star next to it. This is not one that we got a 65 ter number for, but I've spoken briefly with Mr. Gajic, and I have not heard any objection.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: This will be added to the 65 ter list.
Q. Now, could we go to the second page of the B/C/S just so you could see whose name this is under first.
Now, the English translation says "Chief Colonel Petar Salapura."
A. I signed this, yes.
Q. Okay. So then let's give you a chance to look at it from the beginning then. Just tell us when you're through so we can go to the next page. And we can see from the English that this is from the 13534 Main Staff, sector for intel and security. It's signed by you, as you've just said, dated 21 June 1995. Very urgent, to the command of the Drina Corps intelligence department, and for the commander of the 10th DOd. Can you tell us what the 10th DOd is?
A. The 10th Sabotage Detachment.
Q. Okay. And we can see that it's order for engagement of the 10th Sabotage Detachment. And we can see that -- I won't read it all out, but it talks about 21 June, started intensive preparation --
Q. -- to carry out sabotage activities at the ordered time and selected features. It says:
"Develop a detailed plan by 1000 hours on the 22nd of June, and brief me about the decision at 1200 hours on 22 June. The commander of the 10th Sabotage Detachment and the chief of intelligence at the department of the Drina Corps are responsible for gathering data, planning the execution of the task."
It talks about taking reconnaissance. Number 3 says:
"The chief of the intelligence department of the Drina Corps shall co-ordinate the work with the units in contact and be in command of the complete operation."
So who was in command of this ground operation?
A. The commander of the operation was the commander of the detachment, Pelemis. And the chief of the intelligence department co-ordinated everything. You can see what had to be secured, what 13535 intelligence had to be provided in order for the operation to take place. So you can see what happened before the operation and during the operation, the overall co-ordination.
Q. Sir, in the -- and perhaps it's a translation issue, but in the English, it reads:
"The chief of the intelligence department of the Drina Corps shall co-ordinate the work with the units in contact and be in command of the complete operation."
In English this says that the chief of intel is in command of the operation. Is that not right in Serbian?
A. Please, the original, but now we come to a situation where you have to give me 10 to 15 minutes. I have to give you all the details. This is a matter of profession.
Where it says here the -- the commander of the 10th Sabotage Detachment and chief of the Drina Corps intelligence department will be responsible for collection -- collecting intelligence, planning and carrying out the task. These are several different activities that are enumerated here. After detailed reconnaissance --
Q. Sir, I'm just asking about number 3. And you know your language better than I do. In English it says that the commander of this operation is the Drina Corps chief of intel. So based on what number 3 says, who's the commander of this operation?
A. Please. Please. If you will allow me. We're talking about co-ordination, a co-ordinated activity. I suppose that can be translated into English. Co-ordination with units in contact shall be carried out 13536 by the chief of the intelligence department of the Drina Corps, and he will control the entire activity.
Q. Okay. We just heard --
A. And now --
Q. So who is controlling the entire activity of this operation from the ground?
A. The intelligence organ of --
Q. [Overlapping speakers]
A. The intelligence organ of the Drina Corps.
Q. Okay. And who was that at the time?
A. I believe that that was either Kosoric or Golic. I don't know which of the two men.
Q. Well, if it was Major Golic and Lieutenant-Colonel Svetozar Kosoric, does that help reflect your recollection?
A. Kosoric, yes. Well, I can't remember. I know that Kosoric was sick and he was very often on sick leaves. I don't know whether he was on a sick leave at the time. I know that he was present when I was handing out tasks, but Golic was also there because he used to stand in for Golic. So I don't know which one of the two was there at the time.
Q. So is this an order you issued?
A. Yes, pursuant to our commander's order, the commander of the Main Staff. I was the one who gave him a proposal. He approved it. He wrote it and gave it to me to sign.
Q. So you can issue an order that's consistent with an order of the 13537 commander.
A. Yes, based on the commander's orders. Like here. I don't know how this is entitled. This is entitled, "An order for the use of a unit based on the commander's order," and there's co-ordination between the detachment and the Drina Corps, i.e., the latter's intelligence department.
Q. So if you can issue an order like this that is consistent with the commander's order, General Tolimir would also be able to issue an order that is consistent with a commander's order. Generally, I'm speaking. If you can do it, General Tolimir can do it. That's my question.
A. He could have, but most probably he wasn't there at the time.
Q. How do you know that?
A. And he could have passed it on to somebody else. It could have been regulated by the intelligence administration. For example, I could have been the one to regulate this. The commander -- the commander of the detachment issued his order in turn, and he was also the one who issued an order, and that order would also concern the use of his detachment based on the previous orders that he had received.
Q. Sir, my question was: How is it that you think General Tolimir wasn't there? You yourself weren't very clear about any of these dates. Why are you now telling us that you don't think General Tolimir was there?
A. Well, he may have been or not. He could have conveyed the order to me orally, or it could have been given to me by the commander 13538 directly. I don't know what happened. No, I know. In this particular case it was given to me directly by the commander because Tolimir wasn't there. If Tolimir had been there, I would have received the order through Tolimir.
Q. So now you remember?
A. Well, I am telling you what the procedure was. I remember that it was the commander personally who had given me the task to regulate the whole matter and to co-ordinate with the Drina Corps, because this was done at a request of the command of the Drina Corps, and it was done in their area of responsibility.
Q. Okay. Let me go to the paragraph 4. It says --
A. And you can see what we insisted on. Look at bullet point 6. Look at what needed to be done.
Q. We're going to get there, I promise, but let's --
A. Very well. It doesn't really matter.
Q. Now, number 4 says: "Inform the Drina Corps Chief of Staff about the task." Remind us who that was at the time.
A. I'm not sure. Perhaps it was Prstojevic.
Q. Who was the commander of the Drina Corps at that time?
A. No. I apologise. The Chief of Staff was Krstic at the time, and Zivanovic was commander. Now I remember.
Q. So why -- what was Krstic's special significance here that he is the one that's getting informed as opposed to his commander? If you know. 13539
A. Because the intelligence organs were involved here, and he was subordinated to the Chief of Staff of the corps, and the Chief of Staff was supposed to inform the commander and so on and so forth.
Q. All right. Let's go on --
A. He was the -- he was Golic's immediate superior.
Q. All right. As well as -- was he Popovic's superior as well as Chief of Staff and deputy commander?
A. No. No. The commander was Popovic's superior.
Q. Yes. He was his commander, but was General Krstic a superior of Popovic?
A. No. Not at that moment. Zivanovic was Popovic's superior as the corps commander.
Q. All right. Let's go to paragraph 5. It says: "Engage the complete detachment for the execution of this task. Complete the task (activity) within 10 to 15 minutes." So that's a pretty brief task. What is that task that's supposed to only take 10 to 15 minutes? I mean, we can't have coffee around here in 10 to 15 minutes.
A. Well, the task did not have a goal to destroy, demolish, or occupy Srebrenica. The mission was to flex muscle and to warn the other side without any casualties on any of the sides. It was just a demonstration of power, after which the unit withdrew very quickly. When I learned that the rain was -- that the area was foggy, I curtailed the duration of the mission down to maybe five or six minutes.
Q. Well, and we'll all notice and we'll get to the second page and 13540 the Geneva Conventions in a minute, but we'll all notice there is no detail in here. We don't know where this is. We don't even know this has anything to do with Srebrenica. How do you know it has anything to do with Srebrenica? Does it?
A. I know that the mission was accomplished at the time.
Q. Well, how do we know that document is related to the tunnel -- what we call the tunnel operation? There's no mention of a tunnel. There's no mention of a location.
A. That was that. That was that. No. It would be the commander who would have elaborated all that. The -- the detachment commander. These are just basic outlines, things that needed to be done, things that needed to be carried out. A co-ordination needed to be carried out, and the detachment commander had to elaborate the whole thing and provide all the details.
Q. And I understand that, but it's very clear from this document that there are no specifics in it. Was that done deliberately for security purposes, in case this got in the hands of the enemy?
A. No, no, no. No.
Q. It's just happenstance there's not one indication of what -- where this is? There's no Srebrenica. There's no tunnel. There's no weapons. There's nothing except times.
A. There was no need to mention any of that. This is a document for preparations. It was a document for the commander to elaborate. There had been a prior conversation with them, and they knew what the operation was about. The commander approved the operation, and it was up to them 13541 to embark on an elaboration, and the commander of the detachment had to draft his own order where he would elaborate the time, the place, and everything else.
Q. All right. Let's go to the next page in English so we can see everything, and that would be -- it's paragraph -- you want to get paragraph 5 and 6 in the B/C/S. I can't, unfortunately, see the thing on my screen in the B/C/S.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is on the screen.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Thank you.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: In both languages.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
Q. All right. And so we see here that: "The exact time shall be decided by the detachment commander with the consent of the Drina Corps chief of intelligence.
"Extraction of the detachment from the activity zone, carry out a long infiltration route under smoke protection."
And then number 6: "During the execution of the task adhere strictly to the following: The UNPROFOR staff are not to be put in danger, avoid casualties among women and children, make sure you capture live sources." So was part of this operation to capture people?
Q. "In case of wounding or death of any detachment member, the same has to be extracted at any cost and no soldier can fall into enemy hands." 13542 I think we understand that.
"Before departure on a task, seize all the identification documents from all soldiers."
I think we understand that. "Secure the complete secrecy of the operation in terms of place and time."
We understand that. "Use the communication means upon the given signal for the start of the activities, applying only TKT."
A. Secret commanding of troops.
Q. Okay. "Develop several possible methods and an alternative axis of retreat. In case of need, secure the artillery support of the units in contact and plan the fire according to the agreed signal."
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I notice that you are reading from a translation. It seems not to be the same translation as we have on the screen, because there are quite a lot of differences. It is the same content, of course, but this is another translation.
MR. McCLOSKEY: I can see that you're absolutely correct, Mr. President, and we will try to make sure that we get you the best translation. That happens sometimes, and I don't know if I am -- which one I have.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: I just wanted to put it on the record. Please continue. 13543
MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, and -- I don't know --
Q. If you hear anything that's not quite right about the translation, you'll let us know.
MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I'd offer this document into evidence.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received, but we have to make sure that the right translation is -- will be added.
MR. McCLOSKEY: We'll look into that, Mr. President, and see if one is better than the other.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: That remains an open question.
THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P2200, Your Honours.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue.
MR. McCLOSKEY: And could we now go to P961.
Q. And, Colonel, what I'm going to show now is a -- it's a report from the Dutch Battalion of Srebrenica to their sector headquarters north-east is what they call it. It's dated the 24th of June, 1995. And under paragraph 2 on the first page, it says: "Srebrenica." And then we need to go to the next page in the English.
And I want to -- there's a part titled "Reconstruction of the events." So I think we need to go to the next page in the B/C/S. Yes. And I want to start, yeah, with that part, because it's a bit of a summary, and it says:
"A group of unknown strength set up fire positions on two locations (where the longitudes were found). They fired their projectile simultaneously into Srebrenica. One man was injured when the projectile 13544 struck his house. After the attack, personnel of the firing teams retreated to the mine entrance under cover of mortar fire. Nineteen grenades were fired from the vicinity of the mine entrance. It is not sure whether another mortar from outside the enclave delivered the supporting fire. Two people fled from their house in the Vitlovac near the mine entrance in the direction of Srebrenica. They probably surprised some of the people of the raid group who were waiting near the mine entrance. They were shot with an M," something that I can't tell, "killing the woman and injuring the man. The raid group probably retreated through the mine. Comment: It is most likely but not confirmed they were BSA," meaning Bosnian Serb Army. "The BiH did not notice any action, nor did DutchBat."
So this description, that has to be the event that we're talking about from the perspective of DutchBat; correct? However -- whatever report that they received.
A. Yes, yes. Right.
Q. So basically your unit went in with about 19 shoulder-fired missiles, fired them into the town, hitting a house, and on your way out killed two civilians. Is that the report you got afterward?
A. I did not receive any information about the casualties. Until now we did not have exact information about that. What I did learn was that a woman, I think, was killed and a child was wounded. That's the information I got. Where, how, and under what circumstances and from whose fire, I don't know.
Q. Well, that killing of the woman is consistent with this report. 13545 So in your view, did going into that tunnel and firing off --
A. Yes, yes, yes.
Q. Going into that tunnel, coming out into Srebrenica town and firing your 19 missiles into this crowded town, did that get the mission accomplished? Did that do what you were trying to do?
A. No, it was not fired into a crowd, and these projectiles were not fired to hit someone, because they did not hit anything. I told you, it was a show of force. It was foggy, and there was no visibility. That's how it ended up this way.
Q. Do you see anything wrong with firing 19 --
A. What was fired -- no, I can't see, and it says 19 missiles. I don't know if it's 19 or how many. It wasn't in the report I got. And it's certainly not a mortar. I believe those were not mortar shells. I think those were all hand-held launchers, and that was during extraction that they fired to protect themselves while entering the tunnel, in case anybody was pursuing.
Q. So in your view did it -- was it good military sense to go in and point these hand-held rockets and shoot it into this town in the fog, at people's houses? We see a house gets hit. Was that -- was that the purpose of this?
A. No, that was not the purpose.
Q. And we see from your order that --
A. But it was foggy, and one was fired. One did go out. You can call it collateral damage. It happened. It's war. Regardless of how many orders you give to take care of civilians and avoid civilian 13546 casualties, these things happen. Even on a football pitch, people play football and somebody gets hurt.
It's a combat mission, but there was no targeting of civilians, that's for sure. A round went astray. And it could have been, by the way, a bullet, not a shell, not a rocket. I can't see from this where this woman was exactly, where she happened to be, or these two people. This is not quite clear to me.
Some two people fled, then fire was opened, and the woman got killed.
Q. So going into a UN protected enclave and firing 19 shoulder-fired rockets, which in the direction is not -- you don't see any military issue with that at all?
A. Well, I've told you what the objective was, what the purpose was.
Q. Sir, this --
A. The objective of this operation was to avoid what later eventually happened. The purpose was to put an end to provocations from Srebrenica so that we would not be forced to take any action against Srebrenica. That was our purpose and our desire. That the SFOR should warn them -- or, rather, UNPROFOR, because -- because UNPROFOR was informed by our side of all our losses and all our casualties, and they were unable to prevent them, these attacks coming from Srebrenica, because it was never demilitarised. Even if they were not demilitarised, the protection they enjoyed from UN forces should not have been abused in that way, but I won't go into explaining that.
Q. Sir, we've heard evidence here that in Directive 7 that 13547 apparently you've never heard of, that Karadzic ordered that life be made impossible for the inhabitants of Srebrenica. The security and intel officer of the Bratunac Brigade has testified that there was a campaign to snipe civilians and to make their life miserable, and wasn't it -- wasn't this particular operation designed to help terrorise the inhabitants? Wasn't that why you go shoot 19 rockets into the downtown area of Srebrenica on June 24th, 1995?
A. No, absolutely not. This operation had a completely different objective. Its objective was to avoid precisely what you're talking about. This operation had absolutely nothing to do with that. As for the projectiles that were fired into the air, it has nothing to do with this. This was just a show of force.
Q. Thank you, Colonel -- Colonel --
A. Second, all these are assumptions, and I swear on my life that there was never such an idea. It never crossed anybody's mind, whatever you are trying to infer. I was a combatant throughout that war. I viewed all the events in Srebrenica as an outsider, through the eyes of the international community. That was our job, and that's precisely what I was trying to avoid. I was trying to have the situation in Srebrenica calm down, to stop the provocations against our units and against civilians on our side and so on.
This has nothing to do with that. This has nothing to do with Karadzic's directive, and I affirm with full responsibility, I swear on my life, that I never knew it existed.
MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that needs to be the last word for the 13548 night, and I won't have any more questions for tonight, but I will for tomorrow. And, Mr. President, we've been going longer than I thought. I hope not to take -- I'll have to look at my material, but I would say if I could ask for another hour, that would be safer. But I may be being too hard on myself as well, but I'm just feeling it at this point that these answers and the length and things are a bit longer than I thought.
JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will see how it turns out tomorrow. Thank you very much.
Sir, we have to adjourn for the day. We will continue tomorrow in the afternoon at 2.15 in this courtroom, Courtroom I. We adjourn.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day
of May, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.