1 Monday, 19 May 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.13 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is case number IT-02-60-T,
7 the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic, Dragan Jokic, and Dragan
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Before we have the witness, is there anything that both parties
11 would like to bring to the attention to this Trial Chamber?
12 Yes. Yes, please.
13 MS. DE LA TORRE: Nothing from the Prosecution, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: How about from the Defence? Yes.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Nothing from the Defence, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I would just like to ask --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MS. SINATRA: And good afternoon. It's nice to be here in the
21 It appears that the Prosecution is going to attempt to admit into
22 evidence all the exhibits used by this witness, Mr. Ruez. And I would ask
23 that since we just received their list of their intention today, that
24 instead of making a ruling on it, let Defence counsel review it tonight
25 and we can approve or lodge our objections in the morning, if that's okay
1 with the Court.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Usually we'll have the parties' intents of the
3 documents which will admitted for the present witness after the
5 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Yes, Mr. Wilson.
8 MR. WILSON: Nothing from --
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Shall we have the witness, please.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness.
13 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
14 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest during the weekend?
15 THE WITNESS: I have the Serbo-Croatian version in the -- yes, I
16 had. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to proceed?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, I am.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 Yes. You may proceed, Ms. De la Torre.
21 MS. DE LA TORRE: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 WITNESS: JEAN-RENE RUEZ [Resumed]
23 Examined by Ms. De la Torre: [Continued]
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, when we left on Friday, the Court viewed a videotape
25 that you had taken of the scene in Kravica when you were first able to
1 visit that particular location. If you recall back on Friday, in look at
2 Prosecution Exhibit 10.3, we enlarged a window on the warehouse in order
3 for you to point out the number of bullet holes that were present at that
4 time. Do you recall that?
5 A. Yes, I do. I would just correct the fact that I am not the one
6 who filmed this videotape. It was filmed by our colleague named Peter
8 Q. Were you present when that videotape was taken?
9 A. Yes, I was present with him.
10 Q. And were you present on the scene for that scene investigation?
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. Referring back to the window that was enlarged in order for you to
13 identify the number of pockmarks or bullet holes in it, we're now going to
14 show you what we've marked as Prosecution Exhibit 10.10, a clip of
15 videotape taken by Zoran Petrovic.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
17 MS. SINATRA: Once again I would like to object to any video
18 footage by Zoran Petrovic because it has been stated by the witness,
19 Mr. Ruez, in prior testimony that Mr. Petrovic edited his footage and
20 didn't turn over all the footage to the Prosecution. So it's a one-sided
21 picture that we're -- we're viewing.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think you raised this issue at the very
23 beginning, and this Trial Chamber made the ruling that we'll watch that
24 part of the picture, the footage, and then the Prosecutor will ask some
25 questions to this witness concerning the certain amendments and cuttage of
1 these footnotes, if we could get the proper answer. Then we'll decide
2 whether to admit them into evidence or not.
3 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 Let's watch that video footage.
6 MS. DE LA TORRE: And for the record, Your Honour, I misspoke.
7 It's actually Prosecution Exhibit 21.1.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MS. DE LA TORRE:
10 Q. Going back, Mr. Ruez, to the shot of Prosecution Exhibit 10.3,
11 we'll enlarge that window again to refresh the Court's recollection. Can
12 you explain to the Court the comparison that you made between that
13 particular clip of footage and the photograph labelled "10.3"?
14 A. So when -- when looking at the previous footage, if we made a stop
15 of -- a still picture of the window, that is, the one at the left of the
16 right part of the building, where the large entrance is, with parts of it
17 destroyed on the right hand of it, so the window at the left of this
18 entrance, on this photograph, one can see that there are several bullet
19 holes just underneath this window. One can count on this one six -- six
20 holes, if not counting three which seem to be really at the bottom of the
22 On the previous video that was filmed 13 July, one could see when
23 stopping the film on this window that there are no traces under the
25 Q. And what did that indicate to you, Mr. Ruez?
1 A. When viewing the live footage of Zoran Petrovic, one can see dead
2 bodies outside the warehouse, people who tried to get out. One can also
3 hear the soundtrack where shooting can be heard. But from that video no
4 one can say this shooting is connected with the event seen on the film
5 since it could also be sounds of combat activity occurring between the
6 asphalt road and the hills, or one could also think that it could be what
7 is so-called happy fire, so people shooting in the air just to celebrate
9 When one notices that in fact due to the traces on the wall it
10 could very well be that this execution in fact is still ongoing, since
11 later on, after the footage of Zoran Petrovic, there are additional traces
12 of impact on the wall. And this is also consistent with what the
13 survivors of this place told us, since they describe an execution that
14 happened in several waves, not only in one single event.
15 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 11.1, Mr. Ruez, there is a colour
16 photograph of a site called Glogova. Can you explain to the Court the
17 connection between the Kravica warehouse and the site at Glogova.
18 A. Yes. We know from one survivor who was inside the warehouse after
19 the killings occurred that heavy equipment was then used to -- to enter
20 this -- this warehouse. He managed to leave the place before being
21 collected by this heavy equipment, but that indicates that that day
22 probably a cleaning process of that warehouse started, and this was
23 probably completed the following day. At approximately 7 kilometres of
24 Kravica, when going in the direction of Bratunac, is an area of a
25 destroyed village named Glogova, and this is the area where the bodies of
1 those who were killed at the Kravica warehouse have been transported to.
2 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 11.2. Were you able to obtain
3 photographic evidence that supported the theory that Glogova was created
4 around the time of the Kravica warehouse massacre?
5 A. Yes. We obtained an aerial imagery of the village of Glogova
6 dated 5 July that shows a little dirt road, in between this road houses,
7 and the terrain does not show traces of disturbance the 5th of July, 1995.
8 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 11.3. There is another aerial
9 image dated 17 July. Could you describe the difference between this
10 photograph and the one dated 5 July.
11 A. Yes. This one dated 17 July 1995 shows a larger area of this
12 village, Glogova. On this one, one can see the asphalt road that to the
13 right of the picture leads to Bratunac and at the left leads towards
14 Kravica. The bend on the road that leads to the site and the previous
15 photograph was a close shot of a grouping of houses at the left of the
16 picture, bottom left. On this picture one can see that there are two
17 areas of destroyed -- disturbed soil on each side of the little dirt path.
18 Also, a blow-up of the bend of the road that connects the dirt road to the
19 asphalt road is a blow-up of a machine that was initially labelled on the
20 picture that was provided by state department as being digging equipment.
21 Q. Based upon the information that you obtained from these
22 photographs, was an exhumation conducted at this site?
23 A. Yes, an exhumation was conducted there.
24 Q. Was evidence uncovered that linked the massacre at Kravica
25 warehouse with the graves at Glogova?
1 A. Yes, indeed. The details of the connections will be made during
2 the testimony of my colleague Dean Manning. But as an example, one of the
3 most compelling connection was the metal frame of a door through which the
4 prisoners entered the warehouse, and this frame was broken by the
5 equipment that entered that warehouse. Pieces of masonry and that door
6 frame were later found at the Glogova site inside a mass grave.
7 I also have to point out that at the opposite of the previous mass
8 grave sites we already presented, this one has later on been disturbed, so
9 the result of the exhumation on this site, in terms of number of bodies,
10 does not reflect the number of victims of the Kravica warehouse, since the
11 bodies that have been exhumed in -- exhumed in these sites have later on
12 been relocated in remote areas in order to scatter these bodies in
13 multiple graves and hide the evidence. And all these other sites are not
14 yet -- all of them are not yet exhumed.
15 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
17 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, but I am going to have to object to the
18 narrative form of the answer. If you could please instruct the Prosecutor
19 and the witness to leave it to question-and-answer form, please.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 Witness, we have come across this issue last week. I said that if
22 the Prosecutor would like to ask more information, she will put the
23 question to you.
24 THE WITNESS: I understand.
25 JUDGE LIU: And on the other hand, Ms. De la Torre, try to lead
1 your witness rather than led him try to do the otherwise.
2 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Ruez, despite the violation of the graves at Glogova that you
4 previously mentioned, do you -- were you able to obtain a number of the
5 bodies that were ultimately uncovered at Glogova?
6 A. Yes. The minimum number of individuals exhumed so far in Glogova
7 is 90 bodies in a site labelled "Glogova V," and 187 bodies in a site
8 named "Glogova II," if it is connected with a secondary site found in an
9 area named Zeleni Jadar. So that is the number -- minimum number of
10 individuals exhumed from that site or who have been at one point at that
11 site at the year 2000. But the exhumations are not over on this topic.
12 Q. Mr. Ruez, at this time I'd like to go back to Prosecution Exhibit
13 21, the video that was interrupted on Friday, and finish with the
14 remainder of the film which deals with the activity along the road,
15 Kravica to Konjevic Polje, that you had discussed, as well as the trek of
16 the column.
17 [Videotape played]
18 A. This is on the meadow of Sandici. This is the meadow of Sandici
19 with a group of prisoners on the meadow.
20 This is a stretch of road in the area of Lolici, going to Sandici.
21 Here you can see a Serb soldier wearing a blue helmet on this
22 picture. In the vicinity is a person whose name is General Borovcanin and
23 who is the deputy of the special police brigade, who was in this area of
25 This is the bank on the meadow of Sandici. Here the prisoner is
1 passing next to the two-storey destroyed building. He's going to cross
2 now the asphalt road. This is just in front of the building where the
3 truck of abandoned belonging is, and behind is the valley from which the
4 people went down.
5 Here they cross the asphalt road before going on the meadow.
6 This is a return to Potocari area.
7 This is the window with -- with which one can compare the -- the
8 shape of the wall under the window when compared with a photograph dated
9 early 1996. And here is the bus that could be seen on the aerial imagery
10 that was shown previously as well.
11 Sorry, I interrupted. Just to back off of this last comment the
12 bus that we see on the film is not parked exactly on the same location
13 than the one seen on the aerial photograph. The one on the photograph is
14 more at the left of this warehouse. Sorry.
15 These are pictures of the arrival of a column in Nezuk, the group
16 of armed people who managed to break the lines.
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] My father got killed, and my uncle.
18 My nephew. They killed my three brothers and my father. We'll probably
19 go. We'll be moving on. You won't stay here long. You'll rest a bit
20 here, refresh a bit, and then you'll go.
21 What's the matter with you? Show a bit of humane behaviour. Do
22 you have a thread of humanity?
23 Do you know approximately how many of you left Srebrenica? From
24 Srebrenica, 40.000. How many remained on the road? Usually I was walking
25 at the head of the column. The 284th Brigade went mostly behind the
1 people who were at the head of the column, behind the Brdski Battalion and
2 the Pistarska Brigade, so we would usually walk behind them. And so I'm
3 not sure about a final number. How many times were you ambushed? How
4 many ambushes did they set for you? Two. Two real ambushes and this
5 action, while breaking through, because the Chetniks did not want to
6 negotiate some sort of peace passage with us.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. First, I noted that -- that
9 when it comes to the Serbs speaking, including some of the vulgarity that
10 is being used, they -- the Prosecution has no problem and -- inserting
11 that into the footage. Yet here when the Muslims are speaking, for some
12 reason it's not included. I just want to record to reflect that. I don't
13 know why that has happened. I'm sure there's a good explanation.
14 Secondly, just for a point of clarification, the witness indicated
15 after seeing a particular -- what he called soldier with a blue hat -- a
16 blue helmet. In that particular scene he characterised him as a soldier.
17 Perhaps there can be some clarification as how this particular witness
18 knows that that was a soldier and not somebody from MUP, the civilian
19 police, especially since in that particular frame Mr. Borovcanin is seen.
20 Perhaps I'm mistaken, but perhaps he can add some clarification to that.
21 Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, they are very good questions. But I think they
23 are probably proper to ask during your cross-examination. We will see
24 whether Ms. De la Torre would like to ask this question or not, so we
25 could have a clearer picture of these issues.
1 MS. DE LA TORRE: With regard to the transcript of the tape, there
2 is an entire transcript of the tape that is available to both the Court
3 and the Defence. With regard to Mr. Karnavas's question concerning the
4 individual on the road, I believe he could properly ask that question
5 during his cross-examination.
6 Q. Mr. Ruez, when we left your testimony on Friday, you had prisoners
7 who were detained on the meadow at Sandici, detained on the meadow at Nova
8 Kasaba, and detained in the White House in Potocari. Based upon your
9 investigation, do you know where those prisoners were taken from those
10 detention sites?
11 A. Yes. As we already said, those who were separated in Potocari, as
12 soon as the 12 were taken to Bratunac town, the same happened with those
13 who were leaving Potocari and were separated in Potocari the 13th. They
14 went through the same process, first to the White House, in front of UN
15 headquarters, and from there they were transported to Bratunac town. The
16 prisoners who were on various fields and meadows in the area between
17 Kravica and Nova Kasaba were also transported towards Bratunac town at the
18 end of the day 13 July.
19 Q. And Mr. Ruez, it's difficult, given the maps that we are using
20 that are quite enlarged, but can you give the Court an indication of how
21 far Potocari, Nova Kasaba football field, and Sandici meadow are from
22 Bratunac town?
23 A. Potocari is very nearby. Bratunac, it's approximately 3
24 kilometres from Bratunac town. For the rest, the -- the longest distance
25 is the distance between Bratunac and Nova Kasaba, and this would be
1 approximately 20 kilometres from Bratunac.
2 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 12.1, this is an aerial photograph
3 of Bratunac town where you have indicated some of the key sites to which
4 you will be referring. Can you describe for the Court, Mr. Ruez, how big
5 of a town Bratunac is?
6 A. I can hardly describe Bratunac town. I've been there several
7 times. But I cannot give any estimate regarding the population. It's a
8 small -- it's a small town, approximately 2 kilometres north-south and the
9 same east-west. It's not a big town.
10 Q. Looking at the aerial photograph marked 12.1, in the lower
11 right-hand corner you have marked the Bratunac Brigade headquarters yes.
12 Yes. This building is indeed of the Kaolin factory, which was a ceramics
13 factory, and this was the location of the Bratunac Brigade in July 1995.
14 Q. To give the Court a sense of scale, can you give them an idea of
15 how far it is from the Bratunac Brigade headquarters to the Hotel Fontana,
16 for example, that was depicted in the videotape the Court watched
18 A. 500 metres.
19 Q. You indicated that the prisoners who were detained in Potocari,
20 Sandici, and Nova Kasaba were transported to sites in Bratunac. Have you
21 marked those on this particular photograph?
22 A. Yes. Sorry, I'll rectify my previous answer. I was misoriented
23 on this photograph. The Hotel Fontana is 400 metres away from that --
24 from that Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
25 Q. Going back to my next question. The sites that you indicated
1 where prisoners were held, are those marked on this photograph?
2 A. Yes, they are.
3 Q. Could you detail them for the Court?
4 A. Yes. In fact, only three buildings, as far as we know, have been
5 used to store prisoners during these days in Bratunac. They are all
6 located in the same part of the town, which is close to the centre. If
7 we -- if we could make a blow-up of -- yes, to the left of this blow-up,
8 three buildings. In fact, it is a school complex. One is the Vuk
9 Karadzic School. Behind this school is a large hangar, damaged during the
10 war. This was the first location used to store the prisoners who were
11 coming from Potocari. And next to this hangar is another big building,
12 which is called the Old school. That's how the people refer to it. It
13 was a technical school. These are the three buildings that were used to
14 detain prisoners. And we -- we have survivors from the Old School and
15 from the hangar, but we have no survivor who experienced having stayed in
16 the Vuk Karadzic School there, only indirect witnesses of the presence of
17 prisoners in this place -- I mean, indirect witnesses, as far as victims
18 are concerned, not Serbs.
19 Q. Aside from the witnesses who themselves detailed their detention
20 in these particular sites, Mr. Ruez, how else were you able to identify
21 these three sites as having been holding sites for prisoners?
22 A. By talking with officials of Bratunac town. As an example,
23 talking with Mr. Miroslav Deronjic, the president of the SDS of Bratunac.
24 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MS. SINATRA: If I might interrupt just for a second. I would
2 like re-urge my running objection that I put on the record yesterday, that
3 he is testifying from witnesses who it's evident will not be called to
4 testify here at the trial and that clearly violates the ruling under
5 Milosevic. But I won't object again. Just every time he mentions a
6 witness who is not coming to testify, I would like for my objection to be
7 marked on the record.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this minute we still don't know if those
9 people mentioned will come to testify or not.
10 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'm sure Deronjic won't.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But the answer is very clear. The information
12 he got is by talking with some officials of that town.
13 Maybe Ms. De la Torre could indicate whether those people will
14 testify here or not.
15 MS. DE LA TORRE: I could perhaps clarify, Your Honour, with a
16 subsequent question.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
18 MS. DE LA TORRE:
19 Q. Mr. Ruez, was the information you received concerning these
20 particular holding or detention sites from Muslim victims corroborated
21 through interviews with Serb witnesses?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were you able to determine during the course of your investigation
24 when the first prisoners began to arrive in Bratunac?
25 A. Yes. We know that from one survivor, who was separated in
1 Potocari, taken to the White House in Potocari first, and from there that
2 day - that was the 12th July 1995 - he was taken to an unidentified
3 location that he later on confirmed being that hangar once he was shown
4 photographs of this building. He recognised this building as being the
5 one he had been held into. So July 12th for the use of this building.
6 Q. And were you able to determine when approximately the last
7 prisoners were sent or deported from Bratunac towards the north?
8 A. The evacuation of the town from all the prisoners who were kept in
9 the town started very early morning of 14 July. In fact, around midnight
10 by the end of the day of 13th. And the last prisoners who left the -- who
11 left Bratunac town were the ones detained at the Old School. We can have
12 a certainty about this from the declarations of one survivor of the
13 Branjevo Farm who was taken from the old school to the Pilica School on
14 July 15.
15 MS. DE LA TORRE: And for the record, Your Honour, the survivors
16 from Branjevo Farm, for the Defence counsel's reference, are number 69,
17 P105; number 70, P113; and number 71, P116.
18 Q. Mr. Ruez, approximately how far from the Bratunac Brigade
19 headquarters is the hangar where the first prisoners began to arrive in
21 A. I would give approximately the same estimate I gave previously, a
22 bit more than 500 metres.
23 Q. And what about the Vuk Karadzic school? How far is that from the
24 Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
25 A. All these locations from in the same area of the town. They are
1 next to each another. The old school and the hangar, the Vuk Karadzic
2 School are in the same area, the centre of town.
3 Q. Were you able to obtain an estimate of approximately how many
4 prisoners were detained between the 12th and 15th in Bratunac?
5 A. On these figures, the only estimate I would personally rely on
6 would be the final count of the victims that we will exhume from all the
7 exhumations that have been and still need to be conducted. Only that
8 final number, minimum number of individuals, will enable us to have an
9 idea of how many people were also detained in Bratunac during these days,
10 since as far as we know, all the people who have been detained in that
11 location ultimately ended up dead except those who came here to testify.
12 Q. Based upon the information that you obtained during the course of
13 your investigation, would you put the number of prisoners held in these
14 three detention sites in the thousands?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So based on your testimony, Mr. Ruez, am I correct in saying that
17 the night of the 12th there were thousands of prisoners, approximately in
18 your estimation, 4 to 500 metres from the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
19 A. No. By the end of the 12th, only a few hundred were -- were in
20 Bratunac town. It's by the end of the 13th that the town was -- that all
21 these prisoners were hold in various places in Bratunac town.
22 Q. Based upon the information you obtained, prisoners were
23 transported to Bratunac all day on the 13th?
24 A. As far as we know, yes. Though, we also know from one witness who
25 I think is coming to testify during this trial, who is a Serb soldier - am
1 I correct if I say that he's coming? - I --
2 Q. It's a bit difficult, because I don't know exactly who you're
3 referring to. However, let me just put it this way: You indicated that
4 by the end of the 13th there were thousands of prisoners in Bratunac; is
5 that correct?
6 A. This is correct.
7 Q. And what about the day of the 14th? Did the deportations then
8 begin from Bratunac to the north?
9 A. Yes, it did. The first prisoners who left the town were those who
10 had spent the night between 13th and 14th, onboard of buss and trucks
11 lined in the streets of Bratunac town.
12 Q. You indicated that there were some people who were kept on buses.
13 Were you able to ascertain why it was that some were pus on buses or left
14 on buses, as opposed to being put in the three locations you've previously
16 A. It's only an assumption that since the three buildings I already
17 mentioned were at full capacity, the other prisoners stayed onboard of
18 buss and trucks, probably because there were no other buildings in that
19 town who were ready to -- I mean, who could be used to keep prisoners
21 Q. The information that you obtained about individuals being held on
22 buses, were you able to corroborate that -- those particular pieces of
23 information from Muslim survivors as well as DutchBat soldiers who were
24 kept in this particular area during this time?
25 A. This is correct. We have an -- an idea of where these lines of
1 buss and trucks were parked in Bratunac town, both from the accounts of
2 victims who were onboard of these vehicles but also from Dutch witnesses
3 who could see them in the streets when they were moving. An example, to
4 go to -- from the Hotel Fontana to -- to sustain themselves at the
5 Bratunac Brigade canteen.
6 Q. In addition to the three sites where thousands of prisoners were
7 held approximate 500 metres from the Bratunac Brigade headquarters,
8 Mr. Ruez, I noticed that you indicated directly in front of the Bratunac
9 Brigade headquarters a bus.
10 A. Yes. We know about the -- the presence of that bus from the
11 testimony of a Dutch UN soldier who spotted that bus filled with male
12 prisoners just in front of Bratunac Brigade headquarters. That was the
14 Q. So in addition to the prisoners who were held nearby in the
15 schools, there were also prisoners on buses directly in front of the
16 Bratunac Brigade headquarters; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Moving on, Mr. Ruez --
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. I believe we went from a bus to buses. This
21 is a conclusion now that is being formulated by the Prosecutor. If he has
22 some testimony that buses, as opposed to a particular bus, I would like to
23 hear that, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well -- well, Mr. Karnavas, I don't think the
25 Prosecutor is talking about from bus to buses. She's talking about the
1 distance from those buses to that brigade headquarters.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: It was established through the Prosecutor that
5 according to a Dutch Battalion soldier, that a bus was parked in front of
6 there. But then the characterisation, if you note very carefully the way
7 she phrases the question, she's looping. She'll take part of the answer,
8 form it into part of her next question. So it went from a bus to buses.
9 That's a characterisation in my opinion from her, not from the witness.
10 Now, if the witness has independent knowledge that buses were in front of
11 the Bratunac Brigade, very well, Your Honour. I don't have a problem with
12 that. She can elicit the question from the witness, as opposed to making
13 the assumption in prefacing her -- her next question. Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Prosecutor, you might ask some questions to
15 this witness to make these things more clear for us.
16 MS. DE LA TORRE:
17 Q. Mr. Ruez --
18 MS. DE LA TORRE: Well, for the record, Your Honour, I believe
19 that these are matters, again that, are more properly dealt with during
20 the course of Mr. Karnavas's cross-examination.
21 Q. However, Mr. Ruez, there is indicated on this particular aerial
22 photograph the word "bus," which you placed on this photograph. Now,
23 reviewing your testimony that you gave moments ago, did you receive
24 information from DutchBat witnesses in the course of your investigation
25 that Muslim prisoners were held on a bus directly in front of the Bratunac
1 Brigade headquarters?
2 A. Yes, I confirm it is yes. And the reason why this -- this
3 specific label is "bus," only one bus, is because the witness in this
4 specific instance only mentions one vehicle, versus in the other
5 situations where I labelled these convoys buses it is because we are
6 talking about more than one vehicle. In fact, we don't know exactly how
7 many vehicles we are talking about, since those who were onboard of these
8 buses generally could see only vehicles in front and vehicles behind, but
9 they didn't know how long the line of vehicles was in the street. So it's
10 several buses, when it is written "buses,", with an "S," but in this
11 instance it is only one bus.
12 Q. Thank you. Moving on to the next execution site, Mr. Ruez, are we
13 now moving from sites which are generally referred to has being in the
14 south to sites that are in the north?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you explain to the Court the distinction that is made as an
17 investigator between the southern sites and the northern sites?
18 A. We separate these areas for two reasons, in fact; one being
19 because they are both part of a separate geographical block, if one can
20 say so. The area south is -- is separate from the area north -- from a
21 significant distance, which is approximately 40 kilometres minimum,
22 between 40 and 70 for the sites who are the more north. And the two areas
23 are very separate geographically. You -- you go through the canyon of the
24 Drinjaca before entering the Drina Valley that leads to Zvornik. It's two
25 very different type of -- of landscapes and areas. And the reason why
1 also we split this large crime scene at 70 kilometres from north to south
2 and 40 kilometres from east to west in two zones is because of the process
3 which has been used to exterminate these people. We make a difference
4 between the events that happened south, dated 12 and 13 July, and then we
5 enter in another phase of the killings, which happened elsewhere in a much
6 more organised process during the days of 14 and 15, 16 July 1995.
7 Q. Turning your attention, Mr. Ruez, to the first of what you've
8 identified as the northern sites. I'll show you what's been marked as
9 Prosecution Exhibit 13.1, a photograph of the school at Grbavci.
10 MS. DE LA TORRE: For the record, Your Honour, the witnesses who
11 Mr. Ruez may refer to during this particular section who survived this
12 execution are number 64, P108; number 65, P110; and number 66, all of whom
13 are on the Prosecution witness list.
14 Q. Mr. Ruez, were you present when this particular photograph was
16 A. Yes. I took this picture in January 1996.
17 Q. Could you describe for the Court how it was that you first
18 identified the Grbavci School as a potential crime scene?
19 A. When we interviewed the first survivor of the massacre in
20 connection with this final detention site, we got information that it was
21 a school with a gym attached to it and that very nearby where the
22 execution site was was a railroad line. With these two elements, we tried
23 to find out if someone could pinpoint a specific school that had a gym and
24 a railroad track. And the fact is that the Grbavci school, according to a
25 teacher who knew the area and who was met by one of my colleagues at the
1 time, Jos Papen, one teacher said that the only school in the area who had
2 a gym was the Grbavci school. And we also ultimately found a map of the
3 area that marked the railroad line, and indeed this school is close to a
4 railroad line, so we made the assumption that this was the school and we
5 went there.
6 Q. Once you identified this particular location, do you recall when
7 it was that you were first able to visit the crime scene?
8 A. We entered very briefly this location in January 1996, but
9 extremely briefly. It was -- it was not a mission designed to -- to spend
10 time observing these places. The first real verifications that we did
11 there was in April 1996.
12 Q. As part of your investigation, Mr. Ruez, did you have the
13 opportunity to take a survivor back to this location in order to verify
14 that it was indeed where he had been held prior to being taken for
16 A. Yes. After we went there, we presented first photographs to the
17 victims. But in -- in 1999, we brought the victims back to these -- to
18 these sites, and indeed they recognised that school as being the one. But
19 we didn't enter the school with the victims. The goal was to bring
20 them -- to try to have them bring us, in fact, to the execution site to
21 check if they were able to find it, but they were not.
22 Q. Were you able ascertain when prisoners first began to arrive from
23 Bratunac at the Grbavci school?
24 A. According to the survivors who were kept in the gym, the first --
25 the first ones who arrived, arrived early in the morning. They had left
1 Bratunac town around midnight, and they arrived in the morning at the gym,
2 and the gym was filled in the course of that -- of that morning, until it
3 was at full capacity.
4 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 13.2. Could you explain to the
5 Judges what this photograph depicts?
6 A. This shows the playground next to the gymnasium. This is where
7 the prisoners had to abandon their belongings that were put in a -- in a
8 stack nearby the -- the entrance, and the survivors later on also recalled
9 having walked through a -- a long fence. And this is the fence that can
10 be seen at the right of the photograph and that leads to the entrance
12 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 13.3. You have labelled on this
13 photograph an entrance and an exit. What is the particular significance
14 of those two items on this photograph?
15 A. The prisoners entered the gym -- this gym by the door that
16 labelled "entrance." They were then made to sit in rows. And once the
17 gym was full, the process of evacuating the people little group after
18 little group onboard of the truck to bring them to the execution site,
19 they went first through the -- the entrance of the wardrobe that is marked
20 on this photograph "exit." There they were blindfolded. They were given
21 a sip of water before being put onboard of a little TAM truck.
22 Q. The description that you were given from the survivors concerning
23 what occurred in the Grbavci school, was that consistent with what you
24 found once you were able to investigate the scene?
25 A. There are some details that indeed added corroboration to what
1 they -- what they had said in their statements. We have not prepared the
2 exhibits that could show these details. As an example, there are some
3 holes in the ceiling, in the metal ceiling of this gym, and these holes
4 could be consistent with the fact that from time to time soldiers who were
5 guarding these prisoners were reported having shot in the air in order to
6 have the people stay quiet inside. There were also some of these holes on
7 windows of this gym.
8 Q. Did you also obtain information as to whether or not
9 General Mladic arrived at the scene and addressed the prisoners held in
10 the school?
11 A. One of the survivors who was kept in this gym declares that.
12 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 13.4. You've labelled the door in
13 the centre of the photograph as the exit. Can you explain to the Court
14 the significance of that particular doorway, vis-a-vis the statements that
15 you obtained from the survivors.
16 A. The little construction attached to the gym is the wardrobe I
17 already described. And on this picture one can see the door, which was
18 used to -- for the exit of these prisoners. And immediately there was a
19 little truck that was back towards this door and the people were climbing
20 onboard of this truck in that location.
21 Q. Mr. Ruez, we have now what's been marked as 13.5, a videotape that
22 was taken at the school. Were you present when this video was taken?
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. And do you recall approximately when that was?
25 A. I think the helicopter park, and the rest of the film was filmed
1 by my colleague Peter Nicholson who was together with me on that mission
2 at that time.
3 Q. And I'm sorry, did you say you were present when that videotape
4 was taken?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 MS. DE LA TORRE: If we can go ahead and play 13.5
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE WITNESS: So this is an aerial view from the school with the
9 main building --
10 Can we have the sound off. That is indeed the entrance. Turning
11 to the right leads to the school building, and to the left to the
12 gymnasium. Here is the gymnasium.
13 At the left here, now the entrance door. And at the right here
14 now the access to the wardrobe. A piece of -- of cloth. We found these
15 other pieces of cloth in a dump site nearby the execution site, and this
16 cloth was used also to blindfold the -- the victims or attach their hands
17 in the back. That same cloth was -- same type of cloth was found in the
18 mass graves during the exhumation.
19 To the left here is a pile of rubbish. We went through this pile
20 of rubbish and lined on the ground the elements of interest that we found
21 among this pile of various rubbish. A number of shell casings. One has
22 to know that the school was used also from time to time by the -- by the
23 army, so these casings are not necessarily linked with the events we are
24 discussing today. We have no reports about people having been killed at
25 this school, or at least not more than one. And mainly, strips of cloth,
1 more than 100, of various colours, textures. We selected a representative
2 sample of these pieces of cloth for further analysis. We -- we kept 12
3 different types.
4 This is a caterpillar track with pieces of cloth attached to it
5 and knots. We have no specific explanation for this specific object.
6 These are the 12 that were kept ultimately for lab analysis.
7 JUDGE LIU: And Ms. De la Torre, could we have the break now.
8 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 4.00 sharp.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.33 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
12 JUDGE LIU: Can we have the witness, please.
13 You may proceed, Ms. De la Torre.
14 MS. DE LA TORRE: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Ruez, you indicated that prisoners were taken from the school
16 and blindfolded. Were you able to ascertain where they were taken to?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 13.6. Would you explain to the
19 Court how it was that you identified the locations marked LZ1 and LZ2 as
20 having been connected to the Grbavci school.
21 A. Yes. According to the testimonies of four witnesses who claimed
22 having survived execution after having been detained in that school, the
23 indication we had was that the site -- the execution site was in a quite
24 close vicinity of the school, since they recalled having driven only a
25 short distance from the school to the site. And also one very specific
1 ground feature, that was the vicinity of a railroad that was nearby this
2 execution site. So having narrowed down the possible area where the event
3 might have happened, we made a request of aerial imagery in order to
4 compare the ground in that area before that date and after that date.
5 Q. Could you give the Court an idea of how far it is from the school
6 at Grbavci to the two sites located -- I'm sorry, marked as LZ-1 and LZ-2.
7 A. We measured the road from the school to the point of the asphalt
8 road that then becomes a dirt road leading to the site, and that distance
9 was 800 metres by the road.
10 Q. How were the victims transported from the school to the execution
12 A. They were put onboard of a little truck and transported to the
14 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 13.7. Could you explain to the
15 Court the significance in the difference of the geographic features
16 between LZ-1 and LZ-2 as they relate to the witness testimony?
17 A. Yes. I just need also to mention that unfortunately on this
18 exhibit we have mislabelled the sites, and that they should be LZ-2 on
19 this picture should be coded LZ-1 so that we keep the same coding when the
20 chief exhumator used during the excavation that was conducted there.
21 Q. For clarity then. If you could just refer to the two sites -- one
22 is marked with a triangle and one is marked with a square on Prosecution
23 Exhibit 13.7. Perhaps that might make things a bit clearer.
24 A. Yes. So on this picture one can see the asphalt road that is more
25 at the top of the picture. Going to the right leads to the Grbavci
1 school. And here one can see a dirt road that connects this asphalt road
2 to the site where there is the triangle, and the straight line is the
3 railroad. Underneath the railroad is an underpass that enables one to
4 drive from the asphalt road to the site where the triangle-shape site, and
5 this triangle-shaped meadow is the meadow that was used first to commit
6 the executions.
7 Q. Could you explain to the Court how it was that you were able to
8 determine that the site marked with a triangle was the killing field that
9 was used first.
10 A. Yes. Because the victims described that at the end of their
11 little trip they were on a bump road, a bumpy road, and this bumpy part of
12 the road is in fact the dirt road that goes from the asphalt road to this
13 meadow. The other indication is that the survivors claimed that at one
14 point the meadow was completely covered with bodies, which is indeed
15 something possible when you are on the ground at the Lazete site that has
16 this triangular shape, and that would be totally impossible had -- had
17 they been talking about the other site where the meadow is extremely
19 The -- the other element is also that none of the prisoners who
20 are inside of the gym did report having heard intensive shooting coming
21 from the area. That was quite strange due to the proximity of the site.
22 And one explanation to this is that there is a natural sound barrier
23 created by this railroad that is on an elevation approximately 3 metres
24 high. So this is also something that can limit the sound to travel to the
25 Grbavci school. In addition to that is also the fact that there was some
1 constant noise of people whispering in that -- in that warehouse and also
2 their ears were buzzing because of the shots that were sometimes fired
3 inside this gymnasium.
4 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 13.8. You have a photograph here.
5 Could you explain to the Court which of the two sites that were marked on
6 the previous photograph this one represents.
7 A. So this is the triangular-shaped meadow, when taking the
8 photograph, standing on the meadow, and looking towards the underpass that
9 then leads to the asphalt road going towards the Grbavci school. That
10 part of the meadow that is just in front is indeed the execution site.
11 The markers -- the yellow markers on the ground spot items that we located
12 on the ground that day. And the area at the top of the picture which is
13 close by a yellow tape line is the area that was designated as the rest
14 area for the execution squad, the place where they were reloading their
16 Q. You indicated that the yellow markers on this particular
17 photograph represent pieces of evidence that were uncovered at the site.
18 Could you give the Court an indication of the type of evidence that you
19 were able to recover when you visited the site for the first time.
20 A. The items that could be found on the surface of the ground on that
21 location were shell casings, bits of clothing, human bones scattered --
22 scattered on the ground.
23 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 13.9. We are now switching from
24 the -- from a view from the ground at that particular site again to an
25 aerial depiction. On this photograph, you've marked both LZ-1, LZ-2, and
1 additionally an underpass and a dump site. Could you explain to the Court
2 the significance of the underpass and the dump site.
3 Q. Here the labels are correct. After the execution was over at the
4 Lazete I site. In fact, once the meadow was full -- covered with dead
5 bodies, one of the survivors heard the team leader of the execution squad
6 ordering his men to go to the other site, referred to the other site, and
7 he requested them to take an ammunition box. And for -- to do this, they
8 had to then go through -- through the underpass to go to this second site,
9 which is marked Lazete II. When we searched this area, we also went to a
10 location that is marked "dump site," which is an area approximately 150
11 metres away from Lazete I and that is -- you can go there walking on a
12 little dirt road. And on that dump site we found various items.
13 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 13.10. Is this a photograph of the
14 dump site you mentioned?
15 A. Yes. The dump site is at the left of the picture where a member
16 of the Office of the Prosecutor, Stephanie Frease, is standing. And we
17 searched through that pile of rubbish and lined on the ground items that
18 were discovered there.
19 Q. Could you give the Court an indication of the type of articles
20 that you were able to recover from the dump site.
21 A. Yes. Mainly it was clothing, hats. But the most interesting
22 element that we found there was again a large number of pieces of cloth
23 that we -- we made a sampling of these pieces of cloth according to
24 texture, colour, and these pieces of cloth were then analysed by the Dutch
25 forensic laboratory and connections were later made between this cloth,
1 the cloth found at the school, and the cloth that was found inside the
2 mass graves.
3 Q. You mentioned previously that you had requested aerial imagery of
4 the location in order to ascertain whether or not there had been a
5 disturbance. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 13.11. Does this photograph
6 indeed confirm the fact that there was a disturbance at the location
7 indicated by the witnesses in between the 5th and the 27th of July?
8 A. Yes. On this -- on the same exhibit we have, in fact, two
9 photographs. At the left is a photograph dated July 5 that shows
10 completely at the left the asphalt road and the straight line is the
11 railroad. And one can see that on the -- on the ground there is no other
12 disturbance than the road, the dirt road, three houses, and this railroad;
13 versus, on 27 July 1995 there are two areas of clear disturbance visible
14 on the ground, the area marked "Lazete II," with a clear disturbance, and
15 also the area marked "Lazete I," that is, the second execution site we --
16 we talked about.
17 Q. Based upon the aerial images and the information and evidence that
18 you were able to obtain during the course of the investigation, was this
19 site exhumed?
20 A. Yes, it was.
21 Q. And without going into all the particulars, which will come later,
22 can you give the Court an overview of what was discovered when this site
23 was exhumed?
24 A. Though -- though that site also was later on disturbed end of
25 September, beginning of October, left over of 493 bodies were still found
1 during the exhumations that were conducted on these two sites from 1996 to
3 Q. At this time we have Prosecution Exhibit 13.12, a videotape of
4 this particular site.
5 A. Sorry, I have to return on the information I just gave. That
6 number of 493 includes also 200 -- a large amount of -- of that number is
7 in fact bodies that are --
8 [Videotape played]
9 A. Can we stop that.
10 That were later found in secondary graves connected with primary
11 these sites. So I don't have the figures, I think, of the bodies who were
12 found at Lazete I and Lazete II. The number I was given was already
13 including secondary sites on top of this count.
14 Q. Has I said, we're going to move to a videotape marked Prosecution
15 Exhibit 13.12. We'd ask that this videotape be played with sound, as it
16 is Mr. Ruez himself who narrates this particular film.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE WITNESS: So here is the Grbavci school with a playground, the
19 gym and the main building. Going towards the top of the picture will be
20 the direction to the execution site, and at the left you can see the
21 railroad that is parallel to this asphalt road. Now, the helicopter is
22 going to fly towards the execution site, and we'll give distance.
23 Here at the middle is the dirt road going towards the underpass
24 and to the first execution site.
25 THE SPEAKER: On the 4th of April, 1996.
1 THE WITNESS: Sound off.
2 So this is the view from the railroad towards the second site,
3 which is Lazete I, and this is the first execution site labelled "Lazete
4 II." And here is the meadow that the witnesses say were ultimately
5 covered with dead bodies.
6 Here is a scene where Dr. Bill Haglund, who was together with us
7 on that first mission there, is uncovering a piece of evidence which is a
8 jacket, and there are human bones inside. Unfortunately, the -- the
9 colour of the terrain doesn't enable to see exactly what Dr. Haglund is
10 doing at this moment, but there are human bones inside a jacket.
11 This is the area where the dump site is, and here various items
12 that were found. These are socks.
13 Other pieces of clothing, hats, caps, personal documents but with
14 no names in it. It was mainly cover pages of ID cards in bad shape, and
15 assorted personal items.
16 Here is filming a knot on a piece of cloth, shoes. And here in
17 total I think we found 117 pieces of cloth.
18 MS. DE LA TORRE:
19 Q. Mr. Ruez, leaving the site at Orahovac and the Grbavci school,
20 we'll move to another school in the area known as the Petkovci school.
21 MS. DE LA TORRE: And for the record and for the Defence, the
22 witnesses who survived the killing at the Petkovci school and the nearby
23 dam are Witness 67, P111; and Witness 68, P112.
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.1, there is an aerial
25 image of a building that you've labelled as "Petkovci." Could you explain
1 to the Court what that particular building represents?
2 A. This is the so-called Petkovci school, which is in fact the new
3 school of Petkovci. There is another school a bit further up the road at
4 the left of the picture, a few hundred metres away, which is the old
5 school, and that is the headquarters of one of the Zvornik Brigades at
6 that time -- forward command post, sorry. This is the -- the school where
7 two survivors declare having been kept prisoners. They were driven from
8 Bratunac town on 14 July and were transported to -- to that school that
10 Q. Could you explain to the Court how --
11 A. Sorry.
12 Q. Go ahead.
13 A. I said -- yes. What date did I say? 14 July. Yes, indeed.
15 Q. Could you explain to the Court how you first identified the
16 Petkovci school as the location where these two individuals were detained.
17 A. Yes. It was the -- the only school in the vicinity of the dam,
18 and we knew that the detention site was also close to the dam, since the
19 survivors declared having driven a short distance from their last
20 detention site to the execution site. So we went there, took photographs,
21 and presented these photographs to the witnesses, who confirmed that this
22 was indeed the school where they had been detained prior being transported
23 to the dam.
24 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.2. Were there particular
25 features of this school that enabled you to corroborate the witness
1 accounts of having been held there?
2 A. Yes. This is a view of the entrance of the school from the back
3 of the school where the -- the yard is, and the -- the witness describes
4 his arrival at the school when getting out of the vehicle that transported
5 him there, he had to walk down stairs in between a row of soldiers who
6 were beating them. And once arriving inside the school, there was a very
7 specific staircase that was going up to the first floor.
8 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.3. Were the witnesses able to
9 confirm using photographs such as this one of that staircase that this was
10 in fact the school in which they had been held?
11 A. Yes, he precisely recognised this staircase, indeed. And he was
12 held in one of the classrooms of the first floor. The two -- the two
13 prisoners who survived were both on the first floor in separate
15 Q. Did the survivors of this particular execution indicate where they
16 had been shipped from prior to arriving at the Petkovci school?
17 A. Both of them were -- had spent the previous night in Bratunac in a
18 vehicle lined in a convoy in a fixed position in one of the streets of
20 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 14.4.
21 A. I -- I'll just correct slightly the previous information. Because
22 among all the survivors who ended up in the area north, one did spend a
23 night in the -- on a vehicle that was in a convoy at the entrance of
24 Kravica town -- village, and I don't know who this one is. All the others
25 were coming from Bratunac town, but one convoy was in Kravica village and
1 left also Kravica village the same morning.
2 Q. Thank you. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.4. Could you
3 explain to the Court what this is a picture of.
4 A. This is a picture of the corridor at the first floor of the school
5 that leads to the classrooms, and these classrooms are located at the
6 right hand of this corridor. One of the survivors believes he was in the
7 last classroom at the right hand of this corridor.
8 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.5. There is a photograph of a
9 dam. Could you explain the significance of this dam with regard to the
10 school at Petkovci?
11 A. This dam is located approximately 3 -- 3 kilometres by the road
12 from the Petkovci school. It is a dam which is in fact pumping waste from
13 the aluminium factory of Karakaj. So you have a lake of red water, and
14 then a very large wall, which is the dam itself, and at the bottom is a
15 large plateau which has been used to -- as an execution field -- part of
16 it as an execution field, to kill the prisoners who were taken there by --
17 by truck.
18 Q. How far is the dam from the Petkovci school?
19 A. I just said I think it's approximately 3 kilometres from the
20 school, by road. By air distance, it would be much closer.
21 Q. When were the prisoners taken from the Petkovci school to the dam?
22 A. On July 14, once the school was full, the prisoners were taken out
23 of this school. They were not blindfolded. They didn't have also their
24 hands attached in their back. They were taken directly to this -- to this
25 rocky plateau at the bottom of a dam, where they were instructed to get
1 off of the vehicles and an execution squad was there waiting for them.
2 They were requested to line up among the dead bodies, and they were then
4 Q. Approximately how long did the executions last at the dam site?
5 A. Probably the entire afternoon of the 14 and it continued during
6 the evening, according to the two survivors who were on the spot and who
7 were waiting to find a relevant moment to try to escape from this
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
10 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I just can't be quiet any longer.
11 I'm sorry. But I just want to make clear on the record that we object to
12 his whole line of testimony, from Mr. Jokic, because he continues to
13 summarise. He's an OTP investigator. And he keeps testifying from facts
14 that are not in evidence. Everything he keeps testifying to is not
15 evidence before this court. It's more like an opening statement, because
16 we've not seen any facts. All we have is summary from an OTP
17 investigator. So our objection is please prevent the witness from
18 testifying to facts not in evidence.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, the purpose of the testimony of this witness is
20 to give us an overall picture of what happened at that time. So take the
21 statements of the survivors, the witnesses, as a clue for his -- for the
22 investigation. And he himself has been to that place and made some
23 investigations. In this sense, his testimony has some probative value in
24 it. Of course we'll hear other witnesses to testify to specific incidents
25 that happened. As Ms. De la Torre indicated, there are two survivors
1 during this incident and we are going to hear them to corroborate the
2 testimony of this witness.
3 MS. SINATRA: Well, I would hope that this Trial Chamber would
4 listen to the testimony of the survivors and not the OTP witness who is
5 testifying at the minute who is summarising basically the opening
6 statement of the Prosecutor. As an example, counsel has been to those
7 sites too, but I'm not allowed to summarise what I think the testimony
8 will be from some witness we might call. I just think it's unacceptable
9 that he's able to say, "This is what happened. This is what happened
10 next," and it's -- he's testifying to facts that are not in evidence.
11 JUDGE LIU: But anyway, in the future we'll hear the live
12 testimony of those, you know, two survivors later on, and to see whether
13 it's corroborated with this witness's testimony or not.
14 MS. SINATRA: As long as the Court accepts the -- the best
15 evidence rule as the best evidence in this Trial Chamber. I'm sure you
16 will. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: We will bear that in mind. You may sit down please.
18 You may proceed, Ms. De la Torre.
19 MS. DE LA TORRE: Did you.
20 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.7, Mr. Ruez, were there elements
21 on the scene that you were able -- I'm sorry -- yeah, looking at
22 Prosecution Exhibit 14.6, first of all, you've indicated the approximate
23 size of the execution area. Could you explain to the Court how you were
24 able to determine the approximate length and width of the killing field
25 there at the dam.
1 A. Yes. In the course of the missions that were conducted on the
2 plateau of this dam, items were collected on the surface and they were
3 mapped by -- by the forensic archaeologist who was doing then later on the
4 exhumation here. And I think this map is part of his report, and this
5 report is introduced here. All the shell casings that were found on this
6 terrain were mapped, as well as also a number -- a large number of skull
7 fragments that were found in this area. We later on also came back with
8 the survivors on this crime scene and they showed on the ground the size
9 of that terrain that was covered with bodies when they could observe
10 this -- this location. These two witnesses escaped together from this
11 site, and they crawled towards the hill that you can see just in front,
12 where it is written "approximate size of the execution area," is the place
13 where they were hiding then during the night and the next morning and from
14 where they could observe the spot. And this -- the yellow -- the area
15 marked in yellow roughly covers the area where the items were discovered,
16 as well as the area that the victims pinpointed as being an area of the
17 plateau where the bodies were lying on.
18 In fact, I on purpose made this area smaller on this photograph
19 than what it is actually on the map of Mr. -- of Professor Wright. I
20 prefer to be -- to minimise the size of -- of a scene than to -- having
21 enlarge it of a few centimetres on the picture.
22 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.7. Were you able to corroborate
23 the witness accounts of their escape from that particular execution using
24 the elements depicted in this particular photograph?
25 A. Yes. They describe having crawled along -- I mean, along the
1 bottom of this plateau, and they then entered a concrete ditch that was
2 separating the dam from the forest area. And this is a photograph of the
3 ditch that is running from -- at the top of the picture guardhouse to the
4 bottom of the dam, and this is the area that they in fact crossed before
5 reaching the forest.
6 I would also add one element, which is that at the top right of
7 the picture, just where the number 57 is, is a pylon with a ramp of lamps.
8 And the witnesses claim that during that night when the execution was
9 going on in the evening, these -- this ramp of lamps was lit so that the
10 killers could continue to work on the scene.
11 Q. You mentioned previously that the witnesses stayed in the area and
12 were able to observe the murders take place as well as the subsequent
13 burial process. Were you able to corroborate that the place from which
14 the witnesses claimed to have seen the murders as well as the clean-up was
15 in fact a place in which you could observe those events?
16 A. The -- the following day, when they were on this -- on this hill,
17 in fact they started crawling towards the east in order to find an escape
18 route. And during that day, they didn't hear but they heard single shots,
19 which were for them consistent with the fact that the wounded were being
20 killed during that day of the 15th, since they could -- they could observe
21 that it was not the fact the day before, all the wounded were not killed
22 the day before.
23 Q. Did you go to the location from which they claimed to have been
24 able to observe the events below them after the murders ceased?
25 A. I don't recall that they claimed having seen the things. They
1 remembered having heard single shots during that day, and they arrived at
2 the conclusion that it was finishing the wounded process.
3 Q. But moving on to the -- to the subsequent clean-up process, did
4 they observe the clean-up as it transpired the following day?
5 A. Yes. The next day they noticed that there was a front loader on
6 this plateau. It was -- that vehicle was -- that machine was already
7 there the previous day. And there was also a tractor with a trailer, and
8 the front loader was loading the trailer with bodies. These -- the
9 tractor then left the scene and drove up to the dam, and then they lost it
10 from sight but they noticed a rotation that was lasting approximately 20
11 minutes. So during the day of the 15th, obviously bodies were taken away
12 from that scene and taken to an unknown direction.
13 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.8.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interrupt for one second.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Before we move, there was a question posed to the
17 witness I believe two or three times whether he went to the location where
18 these witnesses saw what they allegedly claim they saw and will testify
19 to, and we never got an answer from the witness. Perhaps we could get an
20 answer from the witness. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Ms. De la Torre, would you please re-ask your
22 question so that we could hear what the witness is going to answer to that
24 MS. DE LA TORRE:
25 Q. Mr. Ruez, did you go to the location from which these witnesses
1 claimed to have been able to see the burial process and confirm whether or
2 not you could in fact see the events they claimed to have witnesses?
3 A. Yes, I went to the -- on the hill where they said that they
4 stayed, but they -- the only thing they claimed that they have seen from
5 there is the transporting -- the loading of the bodies on the trailer.
6 They do not claim having seen where this vehicle went, because indeed from
7 where they were they could not see that. It's impossible. Once the
8 tractor is taking the -- the road going up -- uphill, which is on this
9 photograph marked with the yellow line, at one point you lose the vehicle
10 in sight. And indeed they could not see then later on what was happening.
11 They could only see indeed the vehicle coming back empty, but they could
12 not pinpoint what was happening with the -- the load of that trailer.
13 Q. And as a matter of fact, without interruption, that is where I was
14 going to go. You mentioned that they at some point couldn't see the
15 truck. Were you able to verify that the point from which they claimed to
16 have been witnessing the events, it was in fact true that there was a
17 point in time in which you cannot observe the truck?
18 A. Absolutely correct, yes.
19 Q. So to -- to this point in their story, have you been able to
20 corroborate every -- each of the events as they claimed them to have
21 occurred to this point, the fact that they escaped via a canal?
22 A. Yeah, we didn't pinpoint any -- any impossibility on the ground
23 that would enable one to say that they saw something that they couldn't
24 see physically. Yes.
25 Q. Were you able to verify that there was indeed a guardhouse, as
1 they claimed?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Were you able to indeed verify the fact that there were lights
4 that they claimed illuminated the murders as they occurred?
5 A. I never checked if these lights were still in function when we
6 went there, but the pylon with the lamps on it was still there, indeed.
7 Q. Were you able to verify that there was indeed a hill from which
8 you could look down upon the site with the bodies?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you able to verify the fact that from that particular
11 position there is a point in time at which you cannot -- you lose sight of
12 a truck headed towards the peninsula?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Speaking of the peninsula, in Prosecution Exhibit 14.8 you have
15 marked -- or there is depicted a peninsula in a body of water that is
16 orange. You've marked a box around the end of that peninsula. Could you
17 explain to the Court what that particular box represents?
18 A. Yes. This represents what we call the peninsula, which is an area
19 that enters the lake. The importance of it is that we tried to find a
20 location in the vicinity of the dam where the bodies might have been
21 buried. We tried that by using aerial imagery and that led to no results,
22 so the assumption we made was that it was maybe possible that these bodies
23 had been dumped into the water. Unfortunately, we would not be able to
24 give a final answer to this for the reason that though the entire area,
25 which is in the yellow marked box, has been probed by the team of
1 Professor Richard Wright, one part of it could not be dealt with because
2 of a presence of unknown chemicals. So the -- the location where these
3 bodies have been taken to is, as far as we are concerned, still a mystery.
4 But it has to be taken in account once we will make a final count of
5 minimum number of -- of individuals, once we will have connected the
6 secondary sites where the bodies have been relocated, the number will have
7 to be added to the number of bodies that have been found inside the mass
8 grave located on the plateau. But this will not, unfortunately, give the
9 final figure of how many people have been killed there because of this
10 disappearance of bodies that were transported during the 15th and which we
11 could not locate.
12 Q. Were you able to explore the water itself in order to determine
13 whether or not there were any bodies dumped in the water?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Why not?
16 A. Because it was much too late after these events. And as I said,
17 the water here is -- is a waste pumped from the aluminium factory.
18 Q. Is that why it's orange on the photograph?
19 A. I would think so, yes.
20 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 14.9. Were you, however, able to
21 confirm using aerial imagery that there was in fact a disturbance at that
22 site that corroborated the testimony of the witnesses?
23 A. Yes. We can see on these two photographs, one at the left dated 5
24 July 1995, that -- how the plateau looks like seen from above and compared
25 with an aerial photograph dated 27 July 1995. There is an area of
1 disturbance that happens -- that appears on the photograph. In fact, the
2 only one that has to be considered here is the one that is on the plateau.
3 The little arrow pointing to the intersection of a dirt road, the area was
4 probed, and as far as I know nothing was found there. But when we started
5 probing the disturbed area which is visible on the picture, we found a
6 piece of human skull 1 metre deep under the rocks, and this sparked the
7 need of doing an exhumation on this site.
8 Q. Taking into consideration the area that's marked in brackets that
9 you referred to, can you explain to the Court and now turning to
10 Prosecution Exhibit 14.10, is this the skull that you were referring to?
11 A. Yes, this is the -- the piece of human skull that we found when we
12 dug in this rocky plateau.
13 Q. Could you explain to the Court what else was found during the
14 course of the exhumation of that particular site?
15 A. It's a site that also has been disturbed later, end of September,
16 beginning of October, but there were human bones found in the initial
17 primary mass grave, and I think the number -- the minimum number of
18 individuals represented by this bone collection was around 50 persons.
19 Q. And without going into the details, Mr. Ruez, during the course of
20 your investigation, was the site at Petkovci and the murders that occurred
21 there ultimately linked to a secondary grave site?
22 A. Yes. The secondary grave sites connected with this primary site
23 are located in the area of Lipovi, and all the elements that connect these
24 sites be detailed by Dean Manning.
25 Q. Looking now at another school in the immediate vicinity, the
1 school at Rocevic. Could you explain to the Court, using Prosecution
2 Exhibit 15.1, how it was that you first identified the Rocevic school as a
3 potential crime scene.
4 A. So this is a photograph of the school of Rocevic, when seen from
5 the road that goes from Zvornik to -- towards Bijeljina. It is on top of
6 a hill. It is not directly from the asphalt road. I would think it was a
7 zoom in on the picture that is on the hill. In fact, we didn't have
8 any -- we didn't have during long any indication that prisoners were kept
9 inside this school before 1999, when we got confirmation of that from some
10 Serb personnel that we interviewed in 1999.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
12 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I'm going to have to object to
13 non-responsive from the witness because the Prosecutor asked him how was
14 it that you first identified the Rocevic school as a potential crime
15 scene. And then the witness started going into his own narrative about
16 what he wanted to tell the Court instead of answering the Prosecutor's
17 question. Could you ask the witness to please be more responsive to the
18 questions of the Prosecutor.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the witness has not come to that point
20 yet. Probably he will. Let's wait and see, you know, how he's going to
21 answer that question.
22 MS. DE LA TORRE:
23 Q. Mr. Ruez, perhaps I misheard you, but I thought I heard you
24 indicate that in interviews with Serb witnesses this particular site was
25 identified as a holding site for prisoners.
1 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'm going to object. I believe the
2 Prosecutor is testifying now for the witness, instead of asking him
4 JUDGE LIU: Maybe it's a wrong characterisation of what the
5 witness said.
6 MS. DE LA TORRE:
7 Q. Mr. Ruez, could you repeat what you said previously with regard to
8 the Serb interviews you conducted and their relation to the identification
9 of the Rocevic school as a holding facility for prisoners.
10 A. Yes. As I said, initially we had no information at all regarding
11 the use that was done of that school during the events. When we were
12 driving in the area, we always were astonished, never having come across
13 any information regarding this school, since it is sandwiched in between
14 the area north, which is Pilica, and the area south, which is the sites of
15 Orahovac and the dam we just talked about, so we were wondering about
16 this. But we never went there because we never had any survivor who
17 talked about that school and we never had any information telling us that
18 this school had been used, and this was the case until 1999. It's only in
19 1999 that we got confirmation of a document that had been seized at the
20 Zvornik Brigade and that was the record of a vehicle log indicating
21 various locations in this area that had been visited by this vehicle. All
22 areas we know about, Orahovac, the dam, Pilica. The only location we
23 didn't know about and that was mentioned on this log was Rocevic. It is
24 only later through interview processes that some people - and I don't know
25 if they will or not come to testify about this - confirmed that indeed
1 that school has been used as a detention site.
2 Q. Mr. Ruez, is the school at Rocevic in close proximity to an
3 execution site that was uncovered subsequently at Kozluk?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 16.1. Could you describe to the
6 Court the proximity of Rocevic to the execution site at Kozluk.
7 A. The school of Rocevic is approximately 3 kilometres far from
8 Kozluk, taking the asphalt road -- the natural road that goes to Kozluk.
9 And once in Kozluk, there is a turn to the left that leads to a dirt road
10 that is running close to the Drina River, and at the end of that dirt
11 road, approximately 2 kilometres far from Kozluk, is an area of a gravel
12 pit just at the -- just next to the Drina River.
13 Q. Could you explain to the Court how it was in the course of the
14 investigation that you first identified Kozluk as an execution site.
15 A. So here the -- the chain of events that led us to this site is a
16 bit -- a pit more complex, since there are no survivors -- no known
17 survivors for this Kozluk execution site. The information initially was a
18 rumour, a rumour among refugees who were in a refugee centre in Germany
19 and who were still in contact with local Serbs in Kozluk. One of these
20 refugees was interviewed by a colleague named Jan Kruszweski who told him
21 what the rumour as about and drew a sketch of the area of Kozluk. To
22 summarise the rumour, it is that approximately that 500 people had been
23 killed in the area of the gravel pits of Kozluk close to a specific pit
24 named the Ferida pit. Based with this hearsay information, we requested
25 aerial imagery of that spot of gravel pits, and the aerial imagery
1 confirmed that there was a disturbance there.
2 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 16.2, there is indeed an aerial
3 image on the left dated 5 July 1995 and on the right 17 July 1995. Does
4 this particular area correspond to the information that was obtained from
5 the refugee?
6 A. Yes. This is the area that matches the -- the sketch that was
7 done by this -- this indirect witness and led us to the be interested on
8 this site. At the left of the picture the grey area is the Drina River.
9 And just at the edge of it is this dirt road. On July 5 one can see at
10 the left -- in fact, the -- the pit of gravel, but at the right now one
11 can see that there has been a large -- a large disturbance in that zone.
12 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 16.3. There is a colour photograph
13 of this site. Does this photograph depict the killing field as it stands
14 there by the Drina River?
15 A. Yes. This is a -- this is a photograph. The river is at the
16 back, and in front is the -- the area where the execution apparently took
18 Q. I believe you mentioned earlier that there were no survivors from
19 the execution that occurred in Kozluk. Based upon that, are you able to
20 determine how many people were murdered here?
21 A. The first time we went on -- I'll answer yes. To explain that, I
22 would have to -- to say that one day in 1998, as we were together with
23 Richard Wright during the exhumation of a secondary site that we code
24 named Cancari III, during this exhumation suddenly was uncovered quite a
25 large quantity of piled glass, green -- green glass, broken bottles, and
1 when -- after that discovery was also uncovered from the exhumation site a
2 stack of labels on which one could read Vitinka factory Kozluk. At that
3 time we had not yet done any -- any observations on the Kozluk site, so we
4 decided to do that as soon as possible and went there the following day.
5 We passed by this Vitinka factory, which is in fact a building next to the
6 headquarters of the Drina Wolves, which is a unit attached to the Zvornik
7 Brigade, and that is at the entrance of this dirt path that leads to -- to
8 the site.
9 Q. Let me just stop you there, Mr. Ruez. You indicated that in the
10 grave there were fragments of green glass and Vitinka bottling labels.
11 Were you able to determine whether or not the Vitinka bottling factory in
12 Kozluk did indeed use green bottle glass?
13 A. Yes. Since I went on the spot in this location we found stacks of
14 broken glass, which is probably the area where this factory deposits the
15 broken -- the broken glass, and also stacks of labels which were the same
16 ones that were found in Cancari III.
17 Q. Among other things, did that discovery there in Kozluk of the
18 bottles and the labels connect the site of the murders at Kozluk with the
19 exhumation that was being conducted at Cancari?
20 A. Among other things, indeed it does. And this is what enables us
21 then to answer your initial question which is connected with the number of
22 bodies. Because this site, although it was disturbed and the bodies
23 relocated, still contained -- still contained 340 bodies that had been
24 left on the spot after the disturbance process. And in the secondary site
25 of Cancari road III, 158 persons were exhumed from this site. So that is
1 a total of 506 bodies for this crime scene, and that is a number that
2 matches the -- the initial rumour that -- that we heard about. It's still
3 -- it is still not yet certain that there are no more mass graves
4 connected with this site, so this number could only inflate maybe.
5 Q. You also mentioned that in addition to the Vitinka bottling
6 factory in the area there were -- there was the Drina Wolves headquarters.
7 Could you explain to the Court how far approximately it is from the murder
8 scene at Kozluk to the Drina Wolves headquarters?
9 A. Approximately more than 1 kilometre, knowing that one has to pass
10 in front of this military facility to go to that spot and one has to pass
11 in front of it to leave this spot.
12 Q. Why is that?
13 A. Because it's more or less a dead-end area here. It's an area of
15 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 16.4. This is an aerial image.
16 Does this assist you in demonstrating to the Court the distance between
17 the Drina Wolves headquarters and the execution site there at Kozluk?
18 A. Yes. The aim of this exhibit is to show the landscape, the fact
19 that it's a remote area close to the river. It shows Kozluk at the -- at
20 the distance. Kozluk here is 2 to 3 kilometres away. And where the --
21 the yellow square is top right there is one building which I believe is
22 the Vitinka factory.
23 Q. We'll now turn to Prosecution Exhibit 16.5, which is a video taken
24 of the scene at Kozluk. Mr. Ruez, were you present when this particular
25 videotape was taken?
1 A. Yes. This one, I filmed.
2 MS. DE LA TORRE: If we could play that now.
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE WITNESS: So here -- here is the Drina River. In front of us
5 is the -- is the site. Then there is the -- the dirt road here. Then
6 Kozluk, white building in the middle, the Vitinka factory, and the -- here
7 the helicopter turns to show the area around that site in between the
8 asphalt and the river, which is only a large area of cornfields without
9 many houses.
10 This is a view from the ground, the river, looking towards Kozluk,
11 the access path, the area of disturbance. And here it makes a turn.
12 This is broken glass. Here is a piece of human remains. This is
13 a slope of disturbed soil with one shoe with a foot inside. This is
14 another shoe. This is another pile of broken glass. Shell casings
15 embedded in the ground on -- on the dirt path that is just at the edge of
16 the area where the grave is and the execution site was. All these shell
17 casings around the grave or in the grave were also later on used to make
18 comparisons with shell casings that were found in the secondary site that
19 is connected with it. Pieces of clothing. Again, shell casing. The
20 same, human remains as previously. Again, the same shoe with the foot
21 inside. Shell casings mixed with broken glass on disturbed soil.
22 Hard to see here, human vertebra. Very clear traces of -- of
23 disturbance here, human bone. Some human remains were sticking out of the
24 ground, and when we started to see how deep it would go we realised that
25 in fact we would be starting -- starting an exhumation if we would
1 continue this. Here it shows in the vicinity large piles of broken glass.
2 This is a stack of items among which are also labels of Vitinka
3 factory, and this -- this trash area is in fact a former Muslim cemetery.
4 This is a gravestone which was found there. And here are labelled exactly
5 of the same type than those that were found during the exhumation of a
6 secondary site.
7 This is a view of when exiting the area, returning to Kozluk, this
8 is the -- the building where the Drina Wolves are billeting, and the
9 Vitinka factory next to it. This is the entrance to the unit, and next to
10 it is the factory that produces the broken glass and the labels.
11 And this is the patch of the unit.
12 This is the -- going straight here is the direction of the -- of a
13 site, and this is the -- the junction with the asphalt road in Kozluk
15 This is a scene of the same site, but during the exhumation
16 process. It's the same area that was shown previously, but here in its
17 full size. Here is an area where the bodies are getting uncovered.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. De la Torre, it is time for a break.
19 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: And at this stage, can you indicate to us how much
21 time do you still need to conduct the direct examination.
22 MS. DE LA TORRE: [Microphone not activated]
23 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. DE LA TORRE: I'm sorry. I would say, Your Honour,
1 approximately an hour to an hour and a half we have remaining for
2 Mr. Ruez. We do have three -- I'm sorry, two more videos which are total
3 11 minutes, and three more crime scenes.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
5 We'll resume at quarter to 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please proceed.
9 MS. DE LA TORRE: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, prior to the break, you mentioned an aspect of your
11 investigation that I believe bears some explanation, and that's with
12 regard to shell casings. In the course of your investigation, did you
13 attempt to match shell casings from the various crime scenes?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And without going into all of the expert particulars, can you give
16 the Judges an overview of whether or not you were able to identify shell
17 casings to different crime scenes and shell casings from -- or to the
18 weapons from which they were fired.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't believe the witness has been qualified as an
22 expert on -- on ballistics. If the question is: Was it tested and is he
23 aware of the results? I don't have a problem. But if he's going to be
24 testifying as an expert, I do have a problem unless he's qualified.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think this witness will testify as an
1 expert witness. But what -- we'll hear what he's going to tell us on this
2 specific aspect.
3 MS. DE LA TORRE:
4 Q. As I said, Mr. Ruez, if you could just give us an overview of
5 whether or not as a part of your investigation you attempted to determine
6 whether or not crime scenes matched from various locations as well as
7 whether or not shell casings were matched between the crime scenes and any
8 weapon from which it might have been fired.
9 A. The aim of the process of collecting shell casings was to match
10 sites each with another. We have to separate that in three groups. One
11 group would be the shell casings found on a suspected execution site.
12 These are shell casings where used to be compared with the shell casings
13 which were found inside the mass grave associated with this execution
14 site. And then the third group of shell casings are the shell casings
15 that are found inside the so-called secondary mass graves, the goal being
16 to ascertain that the shell casings of the executions -- of the execution
17 site, once compared with the primary mass grave, we find indeed the same
18 type of -- of traces -- I mean, how to explain this? Without entering in
19 any kind of an expertise, the way it's compared is the extraction mark
20 of -- that leaves -- that is left on the shell casings by the extractor of
21 the weapon, and this leaves a specific mark, that identifies one weapon.
22 And --
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
24 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I do have to object because I have
25 maybe a little more expertise in ballistics, and you have to have the
1 weapon in order to do the rifling in the barrel to test where the casings
2 came from. So unless you know -- have the weapon to test it, they can't
3 verify who fired the weapon or where the casing came from or any kind of
4 sign from that weapon. So I don't believe that he can testify about that.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, I think this witness is just to
6 tell us what he did when he found those -- those casings, which is not
7 expert testimony and which is not required by the Prosecution from this
8 witness. This witness is going to tell us the fact that he found those
9 casings and make a comparison of those casings. It may be right; it may
10 be wrong.
11 We may proceed.
12 MS. DE LA TORRE:
13 Q. Mr. Ruez, as you indicated, did you collect shell casings from
14 execution sites and attempt to match them to grave sites?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And did you take shell casings from primary grave sites and
17 attempt to match them to secondary grave sites?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And in the course of your investigation, was there ever an attempt
20 made to match shell casings to any particular weapon or weapons?
21 A. Yes, in the second phase, that was an attempt that we made. And
22 though we seized a large number of weapons and test-fired these weapons,
23 we did not have any positive match between the shell casings and the
25 Q. So that particular aspect of the investigation was unsuccessful.
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Moving from the murders that were committed at Kozluk to the
3 Pilica school --
4 MS. DE LA TORRE: For the record, the Pilica school survivors --
5 Pilica school and/or Branjevo Farm survivors are Witness 69, P105; Witness
6 70, P113; and Witness 71, P116.
7 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 17.1, Mr. Ruez, could you explain
8 to the Court what this particular photograph represents.
9 A. This photograph is an aerial view of Pilica school.
10 Q. Could you explain where the Pilica school is in relation to a
11 location you later identified as the Branjevo Farm?
12 A. When going north, Zvornik, in the direction of Bijeljina, there is
13 a village named Pilica that is along the asphalt road that leads -- so
14 from Zvornik to Bijeljina. And from there there is a gravel road that
15 leads approximately after 3 kilometres to a large building which is this
16 Pilica school, composed of one two-storey building and one gymnasium.
17 Q. How was it, Mr. Ruez, that you were first able to identify the
18 Pilica school as a holding site for prisoners?
19 A. We were in possession of the interviews of three persons who
20 claimed having survived an execution nearby that place and having been
21 detained in that school prior to that execution. They made a description
22 of -- of a building, and I don't remember exactly how we ended up
23 pinpointing this school. I think it was with the assistance of police
24 personnel in Tuzla who -- who found out that there was a large school in
25 the vicinity of Pilica, and then we went to -- to identify this place,
1 photograph it, and present the material to the witnesses.
2 Q. When you presented the photographs to the survivors of this
3 particular execution, were they able to identify that as the school -- the
4 Pilica school as the location where they had been held?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were you able to ascertain how many prisoners were detained at the
7 Pilica school?
8 A. No. We have the knowledge that the gymnasium was full of
9 prisoners, and this would have to be checked with the survivors, but as
10 far as I recall one of them was also held in the -- in the classrooms. So
11 apparently the entire structure was used to keep prisoners.
12 Q. When did the prisoners first begin to arrive at the Pilica school?
13 A. On July 15.
14 Q. Where were they coming from?
15 A. At least for one of them, coming from the so-called old school in
16 Bratunac, which was apparently the last building in Bratunac town, emptied
17 of its prisoners 15th July.
18 Q. Referring to the Exhibit 17.1, you have marked what is labelled a
19 "water pump" as well as an "execution site." Given the information that
20 you obtained from the witnesses who survived being held here, can you
21 explain to the Court the significance of both the water pump and the
22 execution site.
23 A. This is to highlight one part of the testimony of one of these
24 witnesses, who claims that at one point when he was inside the gym he was
25 tasked to fetch some water in order to provide water to his fellow
1 prisoners. So he exited the gymnasium and went to an area that he called
2 the water pump area, that indeed we easily found in the vicinity of that
3 school, and that is marked -- the location is marked on the photograph
4 with the yellow box. And we presented him also more close shots of this
5 water pump, pump. These exhibits are not -- are not here. And he
6 recognised all these locations and explained that when he was coming back
7 from this water pump, he could witness that one bus just was arriving in
8 that location, that the people were requested to go out of these buses,
9 and he saw them being grouped in what initially he called a meadow, and a
10 circle of soldiers formed and they shot this group of prisoners in front
11 of the school. When we brought this witness on the spot, he pinpointed a
12 specific location as being that spot, and this is the location where it is
13 in fact just where "school" is written on the photograph. One can see a
14 little group of trees. This is the location he designated.
15 Q. Referring first to the water pump. When you yourself went to this
16 scene and located the water pump, did it in fact correspond to the account
17 that had been given to you by the witness, in terms of size, location, et
19 A. Yes, the pump was matching his description. Indeed, yes.
20 Q. With regard to the execution that the witness claimed to have
21 witnessed, were you able to locate an area that corresponded to the
22 location which the witness claimed had been used as an execution site?
23 A. Yes. I will just correct one thing. In calling this a water
24 pump, it's not a water pump. It's a pipe. It's a pipe, and water just
25 flows out of this pipe.
1 As far as the execution site described by this witness, the only
2 elements that could be found and could be used to implement what he was
3 saying was shell casings embedded in the ground, not in the area where the
4 people were supposed having been killed but in the vicinity of it. We
5 have marked photographs which we don't show here today and who -- who show
6 where we did find these shell casings, and there were also traces on the
7 wall that were matching directions of fire and indicating that indeed at
8 this location some shooting might have occurred, since traces were visible
9 on the -- on the facade of this building and that some of these traces had
10 already been filled with concrete, probably the year before.
11 Q. Where were the prisoners who were detained at the Pilica school on
12 the 15th of July taken?
13 A. The 16th in the morning, according to the declarations of these
14 witnesses, they were taken out of the school, told they would be going for
15 exchange. At least one of them was blindfolded. They were taken onboard
16 of a bus and driven towards the -- the asphalt road, which is the normal
17 way they would have taken if they had indeed been going for an exchange.
18 But then the bus turned right, continued on the gravel road, and led the
19 prisoners to the Branjevo Farm.
20 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 18.1, there is an aerial overview
21 of the location identified as the -- identified as Branjevo Farm.
22 MS. DE LA TORRE: Just a moment.
23 Q. Have you actually been to this location, Mr. Ruez?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you describe for the Court how it was that you located this
1 location as the site to which the prisoners from Pilica school were taken.
2 A. Yes. In March 1996, Drazen Erdemovic was arrested in Belgrade.
3 And based on the first information that came out regarding what he was
4 saying about the events in that location on 16 July, we requested aerial
5 imagery of this place, and it is thanks to this imagery that we could
6 orient ourselves and reach that farm.
7 Q. Who is Drazen Erdemovic?
8 A. Drazen Erdemovic is a member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment who
9 participated in the killings that occurred that day at the Branjevo Farm.
10 Q. And for the record, Your Honour, Drazen Erdemovic is a witness on
11 the Prosecution witness list.
12 Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 18.2, there is a panorama -- a
13 colour panorama of the site from the ground. Could you point to the key
14 elements on this photograph.
15 A. Yes. This is the entrance of the farm, and the path that leads to
16 the farm is the location where the buses were stopping. Erdemovic later
17 on explained us in detail based on these photographs where what the
18 process was. In fact, this is more or less the view that one would have
19 when looking out of the window of a bus. At the right hand where the --
20 in the direction of where the helicopter is standing and where people can
21 be seen at the distance, this is the area of the execution site. The
22 prisoners were walked towards these buildings, then turned right towards
23 the garage at the middle right of the picture. There is a tree next to it
24 that some victims -- well, at least one victim referred to. And behind
25 this garage was the execution squad that was waiting for the prisoners.
1 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 18.3. You've marked on this
2 photograph a red arrow. What does that red arrow represent?
3 A. So this is a view of the same garage or shed but at another date,
4 and now there is a little fence in front. The same tree I pinpointed
5 previously. So the people had to walk at the right hand of this structure
6 towards this field, and the arrow marks in fact the location of the
7 execution field.
8 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 18.4. There is an aerial image
9 on which you've marked the approximate size of the execution area. Could
10 you explain to the Court how it was that you were able to make the
11 determination depicted here of the length and the width of the killing
12 field at Branjevo Farm.
13 A. Yes. Three elements enable us, I believe, to assess the area of
14 the execution field. One is the description that Drazen Erdemovic made of
15 the process of the execution, first lining up the people, then shooting at
16 them, then having another group arriving, passing that line, lining them
17 up again, and like this advancing and advancing on this meadow. When we
18 went there, we made also a collection process of shell casings at the
19 surface of this field, and we marked the location where we were finding
20 shell casings with yellow markers, and we ended up finding surface shell
21 casings on an area which is approximately of the size of what I have
22 marked on this photograph. In fact, we found shell casings in -- even
23 further than this, but one has to know that in between the time the
24 execution happened and the moment we went to collect shell casings, the
25 field had been plundered, so machines have turned the soil upside down and
1 some shell casings may have been transported further away?
2 A. So we found shell casings at a greater distance than that, but
3 they were -- they might have been taken during that process.
4 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit --
5 A. So this is the minimum size, I mean. It's not the maximum size.
6 It's the minimum size.
7 And the third element is aerial imagery that shows bodies on the
8 ground in this area as well.
9 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 18.5, is this in fact an aerial
10 image of the site that was utilised to determine the size of the killing
12 A. Yes, indeed.
13 Q. Would you explain to the Court what this image depicts.
14 A. So this is an aerial image dated 17 July, showing the -- the
15 Branjevo Farm. At the top is the little dirt road that then will connect
16 with the asphalt road at the level of Pilica village. So this is an area
17 hidden from the asphalt road. From the asphalt road no one can see what
18 is happening at this -- in this farm. One can see the line going from the
19 top to the buildings. That is the path we showed previously, where the
20 buses were unloading the prisoners and then were making a U-turn at the
22 The garage is also visible on this picture, and then there is the
23 open field, where one group of bodies is lying on the ground and also many
24 traces of vehicles, which in fact are the traces of the front loader who
25 probably went to collect these -- the bodies. The traces on the picture
1 are not traces of a bus or -- or any other type of vehicle. It was at
2 this point on this photo, in fact, collecting bodies where the area is
3 marked "bodies," and in order to dump them in a mass grave that is located
4 bottom left of the picture, where again two markings of bodies are made on
5 the photograph, one in fact being bodies that are already in the grave and
6 one in a stack.
7 Q. Does the aerial image labelled Prosecution Exhibit 18.4
8 corroborate both the survivor testimony as well as that of Drazen
10 A. Yes, it does.
11 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 18. -- sorry, that was 18.5. Okay.
12 Looking at 18.6, excuse me, there is a photograph dated 21 September 1995.
13 Could you explain the significance of this photograph?
14 A. So on this photograph -- that photograph shows the same thing as
15 the previous one, but from another angle here again. Here again we can
16 see at the top of the picture the dirt road going towards Pilica on the
17 left and Zvornik to the right. In fact, the asphalt road is much further
18 up this picture, not visible on the same photo. And comparing this photo
19 with the previous one, one can still see 21 September 1995 the traces --
20 the white traces that mark the terrain that has been disturbed when the
21 bodies were removed from the execution site and now shows the precise
22 location of the burial area where the mass grave was initially located.
23 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 18.7. Between the survivor
24 testimony, the testimony of Drazen Erdemovic, and the evidence collected
25 during the course of the exhumations, were you able to ascertain
1 approximately how many people were murdered at Branjevo Farm?
2 A. No, for various reasons. One -- the first reason being that since
3 the primary mass grave has been disturbed, until we won't have finalised
4 the exhumation of all the secondary mass graves which can be connected
5 with this site, no minimum -- total minimum number of individuals will be
6 provided. In this mass grave -- disturbed mass grave, the number of
7 bodies that was found during the exhumation in 1996 is 132, minimum number
8 of individuals. Secondary sites connected with this primary site have
9 been located in a valley named Cancari, where several mass graves are
10 connected with this one. Until final exhumation, no number can be
11 presented. And the other problem with numbers here will be that the next
12 crime scene we will be talking about, which is the Pilica house of
13 culture, we have reasons to believe that the bodies were also buried at
14 the Branjevo Farm. So we have two -- two execution sites and one burial
16 Q. Was Drazen Erdemovic able to give an estimate of the number of
17 people that were shot during his time as an executioner at Branjevo Farm?
18 A. He -- he declared that between 10.00 in the morning and, I think,
19 3.00 p.m. they shot about -- more than 1.000 people on this field.
20 Q. And Mr. Ruez, is that inconsistent with the witness survivor
21 reports of how many bodies that they saw on the meadow when they were
22 taken for their execution?
23 A. I would say that it is not inconsistent with the capacity of
24 Pilica school. I don't recall that the victims here made any assessment
25 of numbers when they were talking about what they could see on the
1 execution field.
2 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 18.8. There is a video. It's
3 approximately four minutes long, of this scene as Branjevo Farm. Were you
4 present when this video was made, Mr. Ruez?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 MS. DE LA TORRE: If we could play that video now.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE WITNESS: This is the -- this is the field. Here it is a
9 zoom-in on the area where the grave was created. And here we can see the
10 farm and the access to the farm.
11 At the distance is the -- the highway that goes from Zvornik
12 towards Pilica. So this is again filmed by Peter Nicholson, sound off.
13 This is the -- the field where the people were standing at the left was
14 the in brackets, the rest area for the 10th Sabotage Detachment people.
15 Where the trees are at the left; one has to turn left to access where the
16 grave is. And all this in front is the execution meadow. This is the
17 little garage and the tree. And here we had lined up and walked all along
18 this field in order to mark with yellow stickers the locations where we
19 were seeing shell casings. We didn't use metal detectors. We were only
20 taking into account those we could see on the surface that day.
21 So here we are still finding casings. In the distance one can
22 still see -- one can see the garage. And the grave would be at the right
23 hand of this picture, in that direction here. Some shell casings were
24 found further in that direction, but that is away from the -- from the
25 execution area, too far away. This is probably a casing that has been
1 moved there at the moment this field was cultivated.
2 MS. DE LA TORRE:
3 Q. [Microphone not activated]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MS. DE LA TORRE:
6 Q. Mr. Ruez, we were previously discussing a detention site known as
7 the Pilica school. And you recently made reference to another location
8 which you referred to as the Pilica Dom. Could you explain to the Court
9 what the Pilica Dom is.
10 A. The Pilica Dom, we call it the Dom, that is house of culture, the
11 culture house of the village of Pilica. It is the municipal building used
12 for festivities.
13 Q. How far is the Pilica Dom from the Branjevo Farm?
14 A. Not more than 2 to 3 kilometres.
15 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 19.1, there is an aerial image
16 with -- which is marked "House of culture and cafe." Can you explain to
17 the Court the significance of the cafe and its proximity to the Pilica Dom
18 or the house of culture?
19 A. Yes. I will have to refer to the testimonies of Drazen Erdemovic.
20 Erdemovic says that once the execution was completed at the Branjevo Farm,
21 the lieutenant colonel came and instructed both those of the 10th Sabotage
22 Detachment but as well elements that were with them and who, according to
23 Erdemovic, were coming to from Bratunac. That entire group was instructed
24 to go to the house of culture where allegedly a group of 500 prisoners
25 were attempting to break out from. The members of the 10th Sabotage
1 Detachment, according to Erdemovic, refused to commit this execution,
2 claiming they had done enough for that day. And the other volunteer group
3 to do it. So they all went to Pilica. And meanwhile, those who came from
4 Bratunac committed the killings at the house of culture, Erdemovic was
5 sitting in a cafe that he said was just in front of that building, and
6 this is the cafe that is marked on this photograph and that is at the
7 opposite side of -- of the road in front of the house of culture.
8 Q. Were you able to corroborate that there is indeed a cafe, as you
9 mentioned, across from the house of culture that Drazen Erdemovic said it
11 A. Yes, indeed. And from that cafe, one -- one cannot see, because
12 of another little building in between, the entrance of this house of
13 culture but indeed could see, as Erdemovic claimed, events that happened
14 outside it when people managed to run out and were shot in the street.
15 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 19.2, there is a closer view of
16 this particular location.
17 A. Yes. So on this one, one can clearly see how the -- how the
18 buildings are located in relation each to another.
19 Q. Mr. Ruez, during the course of your investigation, is there
20 anything about the Pilica Dom as an execution site that is unusual with
21 regard to its location?
22 A. Yes. All the other locations in the area we called the area north
23 are in remote places, both detention sites and the execution sites. They
24 are all at a distance of the main road, let's say, even though they are in
25 inhabited areas like Grbavci, for example. This is the only location
1 where people have been detained just prior execution in an area that was
2 populated and where a lot of witnesses around could observe what is
4 Q. Moving on to Prosecution Exhibit 19.3. Could you explain to the
5 Court when you were first able to visit the Pilica Dom as part of your
7 A. Yes. It was in 1996. June 1996 we -- we went first -- we tried
8 to locate -- to locate the building that -- and we -- what we did, we
9 ended up finding -- finding this building alongside of the road and
10 visited it.
11 Q. Looking -- and before we go to Prosecution Exhibit 19.4, there is
12 a close-up of a door. Could you indicate on 19.3 which door it was that
13 you entered through for the first time?
14 A. Yes. You have here the -- at the front of the building, one can
15 see that there is a door. That door leads in fact to -- to a part of a
16 building that is no more connected with the -- the main room where the
17 celebrations take place. The door that connects these places has been
18 sealed in between the events and the moment we came. The door that leads
19 to the -- to the main room is the door that is more to the right, a blue
20 door, on the -- yes, this one. So this is the door to access the inside
21 of -- of the main room, and there is door, but behind the building.
22 Q. Looking at Prosecution Exhibit 19.4, as I mentioned, there is a
23 close-up of this door with a lock on it. What is the significance of this
24 photograph, Mr. Ruez?
25 A. So this photograph is upside down, but it doesn't make too much
1 difference. The interest of it is that between the moment of the -- after
2 the events here, we have indications that the area has been cleaned,
3 cleaned of the bodies and other elements that could be found there, like
4 shell casings. And after this process, somebody probably locked this door
5 so that curious people would not enter it. And this is the shape in which
6 we found the door when we first arrived in June 1996, with a lock and
7 spider nests in between that seem to indicate that it's already a while
8 ago that no one entered this place.
9 Q. Moving inside the Dom, Mr. Ruez, there's Prosecution Exhibit 19.6.
10 Could you explain to the Court how this particular facility was used prior
11 to the war.
12 A. This is what I named the main room, which is the -- the room where
13 the people had celebrations or maybe also movie theatre, since this
14 picture is taken from a room that is apparently a projectionist's cabin
15 with two holes that enabled them to project films in this location.
16 Q. And I might have misspoke. This is Prosecution Exhibit 19.5.
17 Looking at 19.6, there is a close-up of the area around the stairs. What
18 is this a photograph of?
19 A. Yeah. This is a close-up of the area of the stage, which is
20 probably the area where the victims were being pushed at the moments fire
21 was opened up on them, because there are possibilities to hide behind --
22 behind this wall. So these are obvious traces that were seen in this
23 location when we entered.
24 Q. Moving on to Exhibit 19.7. There is a photograph of the wall at
25 the back of the building, at the back of the area you described as the
1 theatre. Could you explain to the Court what in particular this
2 photograph depicts?
3 A. This is a photograph of the stage and the wall behind it, and
4 indeed it is the area of the building which is the most damaged. All
5 these traces have been sampled for analysis, and the reports are
6 introduced showing that many of them are explosive residues and human
7 residues. And also the stage is damaged, probably by explosion grenades
8 which have damaged it and also left traces on the -- on the wall.
9 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 19.9. This is an aerial image
10 dated 17 July 1995. On it you've marked the cafe and the Pilica Dom, the
11 culture hall, as well as what you've identified as an unidentified
12 vehicle. What is the significance of that particular vehicle vis-a-vis
13 the Dom on 17 July 1995?
14 A. We have knowledge of that -- the bodies at the Branjevo Farm were
15 being buried that day. One survivor of the Branjevo Farm massacre that
16 day, the 17th, he is moving in the area and he sees one truck transporting
17 dead bodies. We don't know exactly where he saw that truck moving dead
18 bodies around, but the only location we know where bodies are at that --
19 at that day and cannot be buried on the spot is indeed the Pilica house of
20 culture, so we made the assumption that the bodies were taken from the
21 Pilica Dom were then taken to the Branjevo Farm and that cleaning process
22 seemed to have happened the 17th July, because that is the day where this
23 truck is spotted, but it's also the day where on this imagery there is one
24 vehicle that is backing against the entrance door of the culture hall.
25 And on another picture we will see also that another vehicle has left
1 traces to go behind this building, where through another door one can also
2 enter the location and remove what was inside.
3 Q. And just for clarification, that's Prosecution Exhibit 19.8. 19.9
4 is in fact a blow-up of this scene, albeit not great quality. You
5 mentioned a moment ago that there were in fact two doors. Are those doors
6 marked on this photograph?
7 A. Yes. The marking that is on the top of the picture is the -- the
8 main entrance that I -- that we showed previously, with this blue iron
9 door. And at the back of the building is another -- is another way to
11 Q. You've also marked the photograph with the words "tire tracks."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you explain the significance of that marking.
14 A. These markings indicate that one vehicle also went to the back
15 door of this building.
16 Q. At this point, Mr. Ruez, we have a video of the scene at the
17 Pilica Dom labelled "Prosecution Exhibit 19.10." Were you present when
18 this video was made?
19 A. Yes, I was.
20 MS. DE LA TORRE: If we could play that now.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE WITNESS: So that's the sign that indicates that it is indeed
23 the cultural house in Pilica. Here the camera is turning towards the
24 cafe. This is the cafe, opposite side of the street.
25 Here is the front entrance, only leads to a room, and at the left
1 at that time was a little communication centre, telephone centre. Here
2 was probably an access to the inside of the main -- the main room, but
3 there has been a fresh sealing done on it. Someone - and it was not us -
4 broke a little part of this sealed door, probably to have a look at the
6 This is what one could see through this little opening. This
7 shows the area around with houses.
8 This is a view from the cabin of a projectionist, the two openings
9 that are used to project films. In that part of the building where the
10 projectionist's cabin is, there were also shell casings on the ground,
11 indicating that someone opened fire on the people inside from this
12 opening. The place has been analysed by forensic experts, and the report
13 has been introduced on this.
14 So this is again the cabin of the projectionist, with a staircase
15 going down. And here the example is one shell casing is pushed on the
16 side by someone who broomed the place.
17 This is the main access door. This is a plastic glove, and this
18 is where the -- the truck was backed against -- an unidentified vehicle
19 was backed against this door. Here is a shell casing, another shell
20 casing. So this is now the main entrance open. The door at the left is
21 the door that leads to the projectionist's cabin. This is the inside of
22 the main room.
23 Shell casings still to be found. It's part of the rough cleaning
24 process that happened inside. This is a bullet; a shell casing. These
25 are pieces of identification cards that were found on the spot, under the
1 stage. Here is the ID of a person born in Srebrenica, and his name is on
2 the missing list.
3 Q. Mr. Ruez, are there any known survivors from the massacre at the
4 Pilica Dom?
5 A. No survivor that we know of.
6 Q. Turning your attention now to Prosecution Exhibit 20.1. You have
7 created a map, Mr. Ruez, which outlines your testimony concerning the
8 detention sites and the execution sites. We have Prosecution Exhibit
9 20.1A, which is a key to this map. Using this map, Mr. Ruez, that you've
10 created, could you explain to the Court geographically the significance of
11 these particular locations vis-a-vis one another and with regard to the
12 distinction you made between the north and the south.
13 A. Yes. So here -- this is a map that reproduces -- that marks on
14 the ground all the main crime scenes we -- we went to. If one could make
15 a border between these two areas, it would be more or less at the junction
16 of the asphalt road with the Drina River at the bottom -- at the middle --
17 middle right of this photograph -- of this map.
18 Q. Using what you have marked with pink, I'm sorry, triangles, you've
19 indicated the concentration spots. The -- taking first the area to the
20 south. The concentration spots that you mentioned previously are located
21 primarily upon -- along the Konjevic Polje-Kravica-Nova Kasaba road; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Taking -- taking the information on this map, you have marked a
25 few of these locations with red dots. Can you explain to the Court the
1 distinction that you have made between the execution sites, the detention
2 sites, and the mass execution sites. You've made a distinction between --
3 with your red dot and your red triangle, between an execution site and a
4 mass execution site. Can you explain the difference?
5 A. Yes. It's -- it's a difficult distinction to make. When we mark
6 execution site, in fact we -- I spot -- I spot an area where we have
7 reports that killings happened and -- at the place -- we call it -- we say
8 small-scale killings. So the borderline is tricky between what we
9 determine as being just an execution site or -- what was the other name on
10 the other -- can I have the exhibit to the right. What is the name we
11 use? Execution site and --
12 Q. And a mass execution site?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You've indicated mass execution sites with red dots.
15 A. Let's say that under 150 individuals - that is the scale of the
16 Cerska Valley execution - we don't say that it's a mass execution.
17 Q. So with regard to the events after the fall of the enclave in
18 Srebrenica, anything less than 150 is considered a small-scale execution?
19 A. Absolutely. There are even several events we don't even talk
20 about. If it is about individual murders or little groups, we would not
21 even mention it.
22 Q. And you've also indicated on this map, Mr. Ruez, that there are
23 primary mass graves that are undisturbed, primary mass graves that are
24 disturbed, and secondary mass graves.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you explain to the Court the difference between the primary
2 graves and the secondary graves.
3 A. The primary mass graves are the graves in which the bodies of
4 those who have been recently executed have been buried into, after the
5 execution. The secondary mass graves are the result of a disturbance
6 process of the primary ones. The bodies were taken from these primary
7 sites and then scattered in multiple graves, each of them being filled
8 with an amount ranging between 80 and 180 individuals, in an obvious
9 effort to scatter these crime scenes to make sure that we would not come
10 across them. And if we would, that we would not be able to confirm the
11 scale of the massacres as they were described by the victims or those who
12 participated in it and talked about it.
13 Q. Mr. Ruez, I realise that there are witnesses who will come after
14 you to go into detail concerning the secondary mass grave sites. However,
15 I just wanted to ask you: As a part of your investigation, were you able
16 to link the primary mass graves with the secondary mass graves which were
17 subsequently discovered?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Ruez, as a part of your investigation, did you have the
20 opportunity to interview several of the defendants in this particular
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Specifically with regard to Dragan Obrenovic, were you present
24 when the interview of Mr. Obrenovic was conducted on April 2nd of 2000?
25 A. Yes, I was.
1 Q. That we have labelled as Prosecution Exhibit 25.1. Exhibits 26.1
2 and 26.2 are interviews that were conducted with Dragan Jokic on December
3 14th, 1999 and April the 1st, 2000 respectively. Were you present when
4 both of those interviews were conducted?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. With regard to the three interviews I've just mentioned, the one
7 of Mr. Obrenovic and the two of Mr. Jokic, could you explain to the Court
8 the process by which you obtained an interview with these accused?
9 A. The three suspects were summoned by the Prosecutor to appear for
10 an interview at a determined place, date, and hour in Banja Luka. And
11 this is what they did. They came to the appointment that was made with
12 made with them.
13 Q. Did both Mr. Obrenovic and Mr. Jokic appear at their interviews
15 A. Yes, they did. They came accompanied with their Defence lawyer.
16 Q. At that time, were both Mr. Obrenovic and Mr. Jokic read their
18 A. Yes, absolutely. Yes.
19 Q. As part of that particular recitation of their rights, were they
20 told that they had a right not to answer any of the questions?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were they also informed - and I believe you mentioned - that they
23 had the right to have a Defence counsel present?
24 A. Yes, he was present.
25 Q. When you say, "He was present," did Mr. Jokic and Mr. Obrenovic
1 have counsel present at the interview you conducted?
2 A. Yes. They apparently made the choice to have the same Defence
3 lawyer, Mr. Simic, but he was present during all the time of the
4 interviews with both of them.
5 Q. Could you explain to the Court the rest of the rights that you
6 read to both Mr. Jokic and Mr. Obrenovic prior to beginning the interview.
7 A. The right to stay -- to be represented by a Defence lawyer, the
8 right to stay silent, being informed that whatever they would say could be
9 turned into evidence during proceedings in The Hague, the right to be
10 assisted by an -- by an interpreter of their choice. They agreed to use
11 the one we were offering them to use.
12 Q. After having been read their rights, did both Mr. Obrenovic and
13 Mr. Jokic agree to speak with you and other representatives of the Office
14 of the Prosecutor?
15 A. Yes, they did.
16 Q. And was there an interpreter present to assist them and yourselves
17 in translating from the Bosnian Serb language to English and back?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. During the course of the interview, did you give Mr. Obrenovic or
20 Mr. Jokic a break if and when they requested?
21 A. Yes, absolutely. Yes. They could have requested a break at any
22 moment, and we were offering breaks both for the sake of their rest and
23 our rest, I would say, approximately every hour.
24 Q. Were the interviews recorded?
25 A. Yes, they were.
1 Q. Throughout the interviews that were recorded with both
2 Mr. Obrenovic and Mr. Jokic, was there ever a point in time when either
3 indicated that they no longer wished to answer any questions?
4 A. No.
5 Q. At any point in time, did anybody either on the audio cassette or
6 outside of the taping at a break or any other time threaten or coerce
7 Mr. Obrenovic or Mr. Jokic into speaking with you?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Given your experience as an investigator and the fact that you
10 were present at both -- or excuse me, all three of these interviews, do
11 you believe that both of these defendants gave interviews freely and
12 voluntarily to the OTP back in 1999 and 2000?
13 A. Yes, I think they did.
14 Q. Mr. Ruez, I've also indicated previously that the Prosecutor has
15 prepared identity books labelled "Prosecution Exhibit 22" which
16 corresponds to the video that we watched earlier, as well as "Prosecution
17 Exhibit 23," which is an identification book of the Muslims depicted in
18 the videotape in Potocari. Have you reviewed both of those books?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And are you familiar with their contents?
21 A. Not with all of it.
22 Q. Have you had the opportunity to watch both the videotape and to
23 look at the -- the identity books that the OTP has created?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is there anything about those books that you have found to be
2 A. No.
3 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, it's my understanding that the
4 Court would prefer that we wait to tender any of the exhibits until after
5 the redirect. That being said at this time, I would pass the witness.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
7 We have about ten minutes left for today's hearing, so my
8 suggestion is we will adjourn at this moment and tomorrow afternoon the
9 Defence team will conduct the cross-examination. Is that agreeable to
11 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. And if I may make a minor
16 request. I understand that the gentleman indicated that prior to coming
17 here, he was provided with the questions to which he was supposed to
18 answer by the Prosecution and he also has been looking at some material
19 down there. I know we have been provided some material. If he would be
20 so kind to provide us with a copy of those questions, I would most
21 appreciate it, and anything else that he was referring to that has not
22 been provided to us, because I have noticed that he's been looking down.
23 I'm sure he's been testifying from his memory, but just to be on the safe
24 side, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
1 MS. DE LA TORRE: No, Your Honour. Just for the record,
2 everything that's contained within the binder Defence counsel already has
3 a copy of. We don't have any objection to their obtaining a copy of the
4 final exhumation numbers and the outline of the crime scenes.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, no -- well, the witness indicated that he has a
6 kind of question outline. I would like to ask was he provided this kind
7 of outlines?
8 MS. DE LA TORRE: I'm sorry? You would like ...?
9 JUDGE LIU: I think the witness indicated that in the binders he
10 has a kind of outline of the questions which might be asked to him. I
11 just want to ask: Who prepared this kind of outline?
12 MS. DE LA TORRE: The outline of the crime scenes, as I indicated,
13 that was prepared by myself, and we don't have any objection to providing
14 that to Defence counsel.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think, you know, Mr. Karnavas, your request is
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Just to make sure, the witness indicated that he had an outline of
19 questions that he was going to be asked throughout his testimony. And if
20 that is the case, I would -- that's what my understanding was. If I am
21 mistaken, I stand corrected. But if that is the case, I would like to
22 have the outline of the questions that were prepared by the Prosecution
23 for the witness in preparation for his testimony that we've heard for the
24 last three -- three sessions. Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Is there any misunderstanding here?
1 MS. DE LA TORRE: I don't believe so, Your Honour. We've already
2 stated we have no objection to providing that to Defence counsel.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe the registrar could have that list of the
4 questions -- outline of the questions and furnish it to the Defence
5 counsel, as well as to the Chamber.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Excellent suggestion, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 Yes, Mr. Wilson, are you going to conduct your cross-examination
9 today or prefer to do it tomorrow?
10 MR. WILSON: [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.
13 MR. WILSON: My apologies. Your Honour, it was the agreement of
14 the Defence at our scheduling conference before Judge Schomburg that we
15 would proceed in the order of the indictment, so Mr. Blagojevic and his
16 lawyer would go first. We would be second, and Mr. Jokic would be third,
17 if that's agreeable.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
19 So tomorrow afternoon at 2.15 we'll resume in the same courtroom.
20 We will rise.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.51 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of May,
23 2003, at 2.15 p.m.