Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 563

1 Wednesday, 21 May 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.

5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case number IT-02-60-T, the

7 Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.

8 JUDGE LIU: Before we start the cross-examination, are there any

9 procedural matters that the parties would like to bring to the attention

10 of this Bench?

11 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. President, Your

13 Honours, in light of the developments today -- I should say yesterday and

14 today, and last week as well, it would seem to us - and I'm making a joint

15 motion at this moment on behalf of both Mr. Blagojevic's Defence team and

16 Mr. Jokic's Defence team - it would seem the most prudent thing at this

17 point would be to ask that we not go forward with the cross-examination of

18 Mr. Ruez at this point until we've had an opportunity to review the

19 statements that will be generated from both Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Obrenovic.

20 It's our understanding that the Prosecution, sometime in the next

21 two or three weeks, will begin to question these two gentlemen. Obviously

22 this impacts our case tremendously. We do believe that a one-month

23 continuance, irrespective of whether we go forward with Mr. Ruez's

24 cross-examination or not, will be necessary. And let me explain why. All

25 right? I notice that I piqued your interest, Mr. President. I

Page 564

1 anticipated that sort of reaction. Frankly, I would ask -- I would like

2 to have more, more time, but I think a month is reasonable. And here is

3 the reason:

4 One, it will -- from what I understand, it will take the

5 Prosecution one or two weeks to debrief these two gentlemen, perhaps even

6 longer. They haven't even begun the process yet, even though, for

7 instance, with Mr. Nikolic, the plea was negotiated last week or the week

8 before but they have yet to begin that process, in part because the

9 gentleman that are most familiar with the case and are going to be part of

10 the debriefing process are here. And so obviously while they're here,

11 they may not be able to get to that. Because frankly, it would seem to

12 me, they should have by now had these statements.

13 Secondly, the statements will need to be translated so that we can

14 have them and our clients can have them and review them. We will need to

15 also view the statement very carefully to see what investigation we might

16 need to do, and we might need to do some immediate investigation before we

17 can resume.

18 It must be kept in mind that under the new payment system with the

19 Registrar - and I hate to talk about money and resources, but it's a

20 reality in this case - we have very limited resources at this trial stage

21 for investigative purposes. With these two new developments, Your Honour,

22 it really stretches us to the limit of, one, being able to go forward with

23 the trial and at the same time investigate. And I might say, at least

24 with respect to Mr. Blagojevic, Mr. Nikolic is perhaps the most critical

25 witness for the Prosecution at this moment. And I might be overstating

Page 565

1 it, and I'm sure if I am, Mr. McCloskey, who has just taken the front seat

2 and is the lead counsel, will be more than happy to correct me.

3 Also in Mr. Obrenovic's negotiated statement, whatever -- you

4 know, the one that was accepted today, it's also -- that also impacts

5 Mr. Blagojevic's case. I don't want to speak on behalf of Mr. Jokic, but

6 clearly it seems to me that it highly impacts the Jokic Defence team.

7 So in light of all these matters, we think that a one-month

8 continuance is not reasonable. You know, we have limited resources, we

9 have to go to the scenes. And what I fear - what I fear - my greatest

10 fear is the Prosecution indicated to us in a letter, which we gave in our

11 motion because I asked for their handwritten notes -- they told us that

12 they're going to give us three weeks before they put these gentleman on to

13 testify. Three weeks is not enough, Your Honour, to prepare, not when

14 they've had seven years to prepare this case. They have the resources.

15 They have an armada of lawyers, investigators, parallels that are out

16 there, you know, night and day, and here I am with my little team. You

17 know, plus one person out in the field. Not the same, Your Honour.

18 The other thing is if, for instance - and I can just see this now

19 happening - they put them on at the end of July. There is the Prosecution

20 sunning, basking in the Mediterranean Sea, you know, relaxing, as they

21 should, when we're going to be out in the field trying to track down

22 witnesses when everybody knows, at least in Europe, August is the month

23 for vacation. And I'm not talking about personally my going on vacation

24 but trying to track down witnesses during the three-week session is

25 clearly not -- not fair and equitable, not when we have these limited

Page 566

1 resources. So we would like to at least front load as much as we can so

2 that I don't have to come back and say, "Your Honour, I need more time."

3 I think one month is reasonable. I don't know what the Prosecution's

4 position is. I certainly want to give them enough time so they can milk

5 all they want the witnesses that they have right now, the two gentleman,

6 Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Obrenovic. And I'm sure that they're going to want to

7 debrief them, you know, over and over and over again, because, you know,

8 they have a lot of information that they -- and I'm sure that they want to

9 double-check that information, because they're going to be making some

10 sentencing remarks at the conclusion of their testimony.

11 So I think on behalf of both Mr. Blagojevic and Mr. Jokic, one, I

12 would be asking today that we continue the cross-examination of Mr. Ruez;

13 and number two, and more importantly, I'm going to underscore this - so if

14 I can get only one of the two wishes, I would like the latter, which is

15 the one-month continuance. Because clearly we're talking about trying to

16 -- to be adequately prepared for trial. And when you think about the

17 Statute, it guarantees equality of arms. Clearly there's never going to

18 be equality of arms even in a perfect world. However time does permit us

19 to at least having a fighting chance of being properly prepared and making

20 sure that Mr. Blagojevic and Mr. Jokic get a very fair trial, which I am

21 sure is the ultimate goal of this -- of this Trial Chamber. Thank you.

22 JUDGE LIU: Well -- yes.

23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as counsel for

24 Mr. Jokic, the accused, I would just like to put forward the following

25 remarks: There is no need to repeat the fact that over the last 10 or 15

Page 567

1 days many vital things have happened which clearly affect the position of

2 both the Prosecution and the Defence in this case. You are well aware of

3 the fact that only last night we received the statement of facts in B/C/S,

4 as well as the plea agreement between the Prosecution and Dragan

5 Obrenovic. You also know that the plea agreement that was the subject of

6 our discussion today, the plea agreement and the guilty plea, three counts

7 of the indictment have been amended that directly concern our client,

8 Dragan Jokic; 46.10, 46.11, and 46.12 of the amended indictment. True

9 enough.

10 We as the Defence team, perhaps due partly to difficult concerning

11 the transcript and interpretation, we have concepts such as control and

12 now the superior -- which is changed into the superior position or

13 superiority, superior command of Dragan Obrenovic. This very much changes

14 the whole thing for us, and the question we're asking ourselves now is:

15 How essential this change to the indictment and how does it concern Dragan

16 Jokic? It is deemed to be essential.

17 It is in the view of that -- in view of that and in view of the

18 arguments put forth by Mr. Karnavas, asking on behalf of both Defence

19 teams for a period of time to be given to us to work through the

20 statements and study the facts, given therein, as well as to discuss these

21 with our client and in view of the amended indictment, we do believe, Your

22 Honours, that it would be fair and in the best interest of justice, in the

23 best interest of the Defence, not to cross-examine Mr. Ruez until we are

24 granted time to do what I have said.

25 I am not saying all of this to in any way obstruct this case. I

Page 568

1 do not want to bring my team into a situation where we would be putting

2 things off and delaying the case with no need. I'm only saying this

3 because we may well have a situation where we would omit to ask Mr. Ruez

4 about some vital facts concerning this case, facts which might affect the

5 further course of our case.

6 If you accept these arguments and allow us a period of time to

7 prepare all that I've talked about, which we believe a month would be a

8 fair amount of time to be granted, I would ask you therefore to put off

9 the continuation of Mr. Ruez's cross-examination and not to start today.

10 As we've studied today the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as concerns the

11 indictment, I thought that maybe we should pass the floor to my

12 co-counsel, Ms. Sinatra, who will point out the legal framework and the

13 relevant facts, the relevant legal facts which support our proposal, our

14 motion. Thank you very much, Your Honours.

15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.

16 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I think that both counsel

17 Mr. Stojanovic and Mr. Karnavas have well-argued our points. I just

18 wanted to make sure -- and I know the Court is familiar with -- to

19 continue right now with an indictment that is not going to be the final

20 indictment, with continued amendments and fundamental changes in the

21 allegations against the client, the accused here, would be fundamental

22 error at this point and would violate Article 20 and 21 of the Statute.

23 But also, the Prosecution, although they are alleging that they're putting

24 forth this amended indictment, they have not followed the procedures

25 involved with amending the indictment. They have not requested leave of

Page 569

1 court. Under Rule 73, once we have this proposal before us, then we

2 should have 30 days to respond and object to any amendments to the

3 indictment. I know that recently that period of time was shortened by the

4 Trial Chamber ten days, but now that's renewed because we have new

5 proposals that drastically change the indictment.

6 Now, the other proposals for the amendment of the indictment -- I

7 mean, they might have said they were erratas. But these new amendments to

8 the indictment affect dramatically the allegations and charges against Mr.

9 Jokic. We ask that this Court grant a continuance. We cannot go forward

10 with any cross-examination of Mr. Ruez. And we ask that you stay these

11 proceedings for a minimum of 30 days and allow us an additional amount of

12 time to respond and object to the proposed amendments to the indictment.

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, you mean that we'll have this witness unfinished

14 under the oath for another month, then he comes back, you cross-examine

15 this witness? I am right?

16 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, because if we were forced to

17 cross-examine him even at this time and we were able to analyse the

18 changes in the indictment, we would have to re-call him anyway, possibly,

19 for further questioning. So it would -- first of all, I believe it's

20 fundamental error to proceed in the trial, whether it's questioning of a

21 witness or whether it's, you know, another meeting in court to raise

22 issues, until we have a final indictment. But we would in all likelihood

23 need to re-call Mr. Ruez after the final analysis of this -- these

24 proposed amendments anyway.

25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

Page 570

1 Let us hear the motive of the Prosecution.

2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, as far as I recall, there's one

3 difference: Mr. Karnavas would prefer to go on with the cross, and

4 Ms. Sinatra and Mr. Stojanovic prefer to stop the cross. That's my

5 understanding.

6 I can agree with them in the sense that there are some small

7 changes in the indictment now. Those changes are clearly outlined in both

8 plea agreements. We will be filing a changed indictment upon the Court's

9 order to do so, and I think the Court has indicated justifiably so that it

10 will give counsel time to respond, as I think they should have.

11 How this affects the questioning of Mr. Ruez and the link between

12 the two issues, I have not understood from their argument. Mr. Ruez is

13 mainly on direct was meant to be talking about crime scenes. He did

14 interview the accused, and maybe they will take him to areas beyond the

15 scope of direct. But any concern they have regarding Mr. Ruez and their

16 ability to cross-examine him, I believe can be solved by bringing Mr. Ruez

17 back and -- which I think we can do.

18 Regarding the length of the continuance, I leave that to your

19 discretion. I would point out to you that Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Obrenovic

20 are certainly not the foundational witnesses of the Prosecution's case.

21 They are co-accused, and as such I will be offering you my view on how

22 much credibility to give them. This case will be based on the witnesses

23 and evidence before you and any weight or value of those witnesses should

24 be based on the evidence as a whole.

25 The process by which the statements you see in the plea agreements

Page 571

1 was a lengthy and a detailed process with Defence counsel present. Those

2 statements are, in my view, accurate and full statements. Yes, there will

3 be more information, and those materials will be provided to the Defence.

4 I used the three-week estimate based on your previous order that

5 material -- any new material arising should be provided to the Defence

6 three weeks before that material is brought up in court. I'm amenable to

7 whatever the Court feels is appropriate on the timing of any new

8 information from these accused.

9 So yes, I agree there are some concerns with the changes in the

10 indictment as -- that have been made more particular because of the input

11 of the accused, and counsel should have some time, and I believe the Court

12 is talking about time, and I would ask you to use your best judgement and

13 we will of course abide by that.

14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

15 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll try to be short on

17 this one.

18 Well, first, I believe the Prosecutor -- I don't want to say

19 mischaracterised, but perhaps misunderstood my position. I would prefer

20 not to go forward with Mr. Ruez. I'm prepared to the extent that I can,

21 so I'm not in disagreement with the -- the Jokic Defence team.

22 Number two: I must point out that with respect at least to

23 Mr. Nikolic - I don't know about the Obrenovic situation - but with

24 Mr. Nikolic, it would appear that there was a whole lot of shuttle

25 diplomacy going on to agree to the negotiated facts. And I say

Page 572

1 "negotiated" because I don't have -- when we see that, it is not a

2 statement where, for instance, a tape recorder was there, as the Rules

3 would provide, and you punch that tape recorder and then you record all of

4 the conversations. That's why I motioned for the handwritten notes.

5 Also, depending on what I get from those notes, it may become

6 necessary - and I say this with all due sincerity - it may become

7 necessary for me to ask that everyone present during those negotiating

8 sessions where the client -- the accused was there be subject to

9 questioning, because in my opinion the client -- a client-attorney

10 privilege no longer exists, they all have become witnesses, because we do

11 not have an accurate recording -- a transparent recording from which

12 everyone, the Defence, and more importantly the trial Bench can determine

13 what exactly was said during those sessions. So it's not just the

14 statements that I'm going to be following.

15 And so that's why I made that motion. I made it on an expedited

16 basis. I was told today that there might be a change in the Prosecution's

17 position. They're typing the notes to the extent of what they think are

18 not work product and I should be entitled to review. But I must -- I must

19 stress this point, and I'm very, very concerned about what exactly, how

20 many meetings took place, how many negotiated proffers were offered, at

21 what point did they -- did Mr. Nikolic or Mr. Obrenovic agreed, "All

22 right. I can live with these facts." You know, because -- and I think --

23 because I think that's what we're dealing with. And because of that, it

24 complicated tremendously our investigation.

25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm going to object to this -- to

Page 573

1 this line of speculation and complete misconstruction of what goes on

2 in -- in a discussion with -- in the sort of agreement that went on here.

3 This is -- it's highly inflammatory. It's wrong. It's painting a picture

4 of a process that is a dignified and appropriate process, and I just --

5 I'm sorry to interrupt, but it's -- it's outrageous.

6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, what's your point on this very

7 issue?

8 MR. KARNAVAS: My point is, Your Honour, that --

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.

10 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.

11 MR. KARNAVAS: Sorry. My point, Your Honour, is this: Under the

12 Rules, those meetings should have been tape recorded. We don't have that

13 over here. I don't know exactly what transpired, how many meetings were

14 held. And it complicates our situation. And that is why --

15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we have received your motion. We

16 are considering it at this moment.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I thought I would make

18 some oral argument on behalf of my motion, since we're -- they're closely

19 connected. But I don't want to take any additional time, Your Honour.

20 But if we would have the month, I think it's a reasonable amount

21 of time. The Prosecutor conceded that some time would -- would be needed

22 for the Defence. I appreciate that gesture. And we've calculated it, and

23 we believe a month would be fair for all parties concerned. Thank you.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You have to be very brief.

25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a couple of sentences.

Page 574

1 I will try and give you the arguments, the reasons why we believe

2 that we should not continue with the cross-examination of Mr. Ruez in the

3 light of the indictment that's about to be amended. And it's up to you,

4 Your Honour, to decide whether this is relevant or not.

5 In our transcript, in B/C/S, 46.10, 46.11, 46.12 have been amended

6 from the words under the direction of Dragan Obrenovic and Dragan Jokic.

7 They've been changed "Under the authority of Dragan Obrenovic and

8 direction of Dragan Jokic." So we have prepared ourselves for the

9 cross-examination. We wanted to ask Mr. Ruez who had questioned Dragan

10 Jokic on the 14th of December regarding these circumstances, we wanted to

11 ask how this procedure went and whether these amended arguments are a

12 result of the interview that Dragan Jokic had given. That is why we fear

13 that we are going to miss something that could be in our client's

14 interest. That's our reserve, and that is why we're asking to assist us,

15 so that we can prepare for this part of the cross-examination.

16 We have no other intentions in this respect. Thank you.

17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE LIU: Well, after hearing the two parties, we had a

20 discussion on those matters. We must confess that the latest development

21 concerning with Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Obrenovic has great impact to this

22 case. So it's very reasonable for both parties to reassess their case,

23 the present situation, the changes. So in principle we agree that we'll

24 have a recess.

25 As for how long the recess will be and when it will start, I think

Page 575

1 we need further consideration. We may inform you tomorrow.

2 As for the present witness, we decided to continue the

3 cross-examination of the present witness until we've finished with him

4 because we have to attach some credibility to the testimony of this

5 witness. If we let this witness go, still under the oath, for over a

6 month, I think the whole testimony of this witness will be ruined and it

7 would not be fair to the side of calling that witness. Of course, if we

8 received the new indictment -- I mean, the amended indictment. If the

9 Defence team found that there are some points they would like to ask this

10 witness again, it is possible to call this witness back concerning of

11 those new elements, if the Defence counsel show good cause.

12 It is so decided. We'll call the witness and finish the

13 cross-examination.

14 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.

15 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I would like at this point -- I believe

16 that you denied our motion to stay the proceedings completely at this

17 point, and so I'd like to ask the Court to certify this decision for

18 immediate appeal under Rule 73 and stay the proceedings at least for seven

19 days until we can appeal this decision.

20 JUDGE LIU: Well, as a normal practice, when we make decisions, I

21 think if there's no other decisions from the Appeals Chamber or no other

22 specific circumstances, we'll carry out that decision, and which you may

23 file a written motion to appeal this decision.

24 MS. SINATRA: So is the President granting us certification to

25 appeal or denying our request for certification?

Page 576

1 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's difficult for me to make a decision at this

2 moment. I hope you could file a written motion on this point.

3 MS. SINATRA: Could we stay the proceedings until we could get the

4 written motion filed, if we do it within the next 24 hours?

5 JUDGE LIU: I'm afraid not.

6 MS. SINATRA: So we're proceeding.

7 My concern is that the integrity of the proceedings are going to

8 be in question if we're forced to proceed with the trial under the

9 circumstances. And I know that this Trial Chamber wants a fair and a

10 valid trial that's not subject to appeal at a later date. So one more

11 time, I'm just going to stress that we object to proceeding at this moment

12 and --

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, frankly speaking, I fail to see your point,

14 because -- because I have already said that if you found the amended

15 indictment is related to your client, you have the opportunity to call

16 this witness back and question him on that particular point. I think

17 that's fair enough. What's the reason for -- for appeal?

18 MS. SINATRA: The reason for appeal is that it's fundamental error

19 as far as the rights of the accused go to be informed about the charges

20 against him under Article 20. To proceed at this point, it's fundamental

21 error and violates the rights of the accused. And even by going forward

22 and cross-examining a witness, although we will get a continuance

23 afterwards, it's still proceeding with the trial, and I believe that

24 there's fundamental error that's committed here that it affects the

25 integrity of the proceedings at this point.

Page 577

1 JUDGE LIU: Well, in our view, that the indictment filed by the

2 Prosecution on the 27th of May, 2002 is still valid. We will proceed

3 based on this indictment. I don't see there is any problem.

4 MS. SINATRA: Well, I will file a written motion for

5 certification.

6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

7 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.

8 JUDGE LIU: Could we have the witness, please.

9 Yes.

10 [The witness entered court]

11 JUDGE LIU: I had hoped we had already finished that discussion.

12 MS. SINATRA: We had finished that discussion, Your Honour. And

13 I'm going to go on to something that's not relevant to this witness, if

14 you don't mind.

15 We have not filed a written motion to suppress the interviews and

16 interrogation of the accused from December 1999 and April 2000, and we

17 will follow up with a written motion. But before we are going to

18 cross-examine this witness, we would like under Rule 95, Article 18,

19 Article 20, and Article 21 to allege that these statements were taken

20 illegally and we will be challenging that. And so I wanted you to know

21 ahead of time that we're objecting to the statements and we will file a

22 written motion giving you our exact grounds.

23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your information.

24 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.

25 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, are you ready to cross-examine this

Page 578

1 witness?

2 MR. KARNAVAS: I am, Your Honour.

3 JUDGE LIU: Well, before that, I have a few words to say.

4 MR. KARNAVAS: To me?

5 JUDGE LIU: No, to the Defence team. If you are going to use any

6 documents during your cross-examination which is not in the list of the

7 Prosecution's binders or lists of the documents, you had better furnish us

8 with a copy so that we could know what you are talking about.

9 Another matter is: As a Defence counsel, you know, during the

10 cross-examination, the witness is always hostile, you know. So I hope you

11 could show patience, professionalism, and be polite to all the witnesses

12 in the future.

13 MR. KARNAVAS: Of course, Your Honour. And I hope that the

14 remarks are not made as a result of some -- some of my earlier conduct in

15 this case.

16 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no. Of course.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.

18 JUDGE LIU: Of course not.

19 You may proceed.

20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.


22 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:

23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ruez. It might be a little awkward given the

24 way you're situated, so you may want to turn your chair a little bit.

25 I take it you had a restful day yesterday?

Page 579

1 A. I did. Thank you.

2 Q. And I take it, you know, just to set me at east, you didn't have

3 any contact with the Prosecution?

4 A. No, I didn't have any.

5 Q. Okay. Because rules are rules; right? And you have to follow the

6 rules?

7 A. [No audible response]

8 Q. Okay. Now you're shaking your head. So we need to make a record.

9 A. Sorry, yes, I agree with you.

10 Q. Okay. Good. Now, I want to talk with you a little bit about your

11 background. But before we talk about your background in general, and

12 since we're talking about rules, let me take you back to where we left

13 off, the last item you talked about on direct examination. And let me

14 refresh your memory.

15 Towards the end of the direction examination, you were asked about

16 participating in interviews of two of the accused; is that correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Okay. You remember those interviews?

19 A. Not in detail for all of them.

20 Q. But you remember being there during the interview.

21 A. Beyond -- yes, absolutely.

22 Q. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Okay. And you've attended a lot of interviews.

25 A. Yes, indeed.

Page 580

1 Q. Okay. And I take it that there is a particular procedure that you

2 followed.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, is that because of your background as an experienced

5 investigator or also because of the procedure that is set in the Rules --

6 you know, under the Rules here?

7 A. Only because of the set of Rules which are -- which apply to this

8 Tribunal.

9 Q. Okay. And so I take it you were familiar with the Rules before

10 you did the interviews.

11 A. I had to be familiar with them, indeed.

12 Q. Of course. And -- and if you were not familiar, you had all those

13 lawyers with you. I mean, there were lawyers with you at the time working

14 for the Office of the Prosecution, and so they could also assist you if

15 you didn't know the Rules; right?

16 A. That was indeed also part of the reason of their presence with me.

17 Q. Okay. And I take it, correct me if I'm wrong. I'm trying to

18 visualise being there, I take it before you interviewed these witnesses

19 you probably had a chat amongst yourselves to decide strategy, who would

20 go first, you know, who would play the good guy or the bad guy, what

21 topics would be divided among the individual questioners. Is that

22 correct?

23 A. I leave it to you to speculate on this, but there is part of truth

24 in what you say, indeed.

25 Q. Okay. All right. I'll leave out the good guy, bad guy routine,

Page 581

1 but you understand what I'm talking about?

2 A. Sure, I do.

3 Q. Okay.

4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I'm sorry to interrupt, but just

5 remember that you and the witness are speaking the same language, that is

6 English. So the interpreters, you know, find it very difficult to follow

7 you. So I will ask you to make a pause after the witness answers your

8 question.

9 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you for reminding me

10 of that. I -- I apologise to the translators.

11 Q. Okay. Now, just so we walk through the procedure. Okay?

12 Normally there would be a difference whether the individual was a witness

13 or a suspect; is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. All right. And the procedure would be if the person is deemed a

16 suspect, you have to read him his rights.

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. And those rights are right in the -- in the Rules, at least.

19 A. Yes, they are.

20 Q. Okay. And they're very similar to what we see on television. You

21 have the right to -- you know, to have a lawyer present, and anything you

22 say can and will be used against you in a court of law that, sort of

23 stuff, basically. Right?

24 A. I don't refer to American movies when I prepare my job, but you

25 are probably a bit right as well, since some of these rules are coming

Page 582

1 from civil law.

2 Q. Okay. All right. In any event, there is a distinction when

3 somebody is a suspect and somebody is a witness.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, who would make that decision? Would that be you, or would

6 that be somebody else, or would it be sort of a consensus among the team?

7 A. On this topic, the way we are doing the things is quite simple.

8 Me as the lead investigator of the case, I decide who are the people we

9 should see in priority 1 and then those we should see then in maybe

10 priority 2 or 3, but then the status that applies to them is decided by

11 the person who at that time is called the legal advisor of the team and

12 who then becomes the Prosecutor during the trials.

13 Q. So help me out here. Somebody could actually be a suspect; in

14 other words, you suspect them of having participated and not just a mere

15 witness, in other words, having information, but the team would decide

16 whether to treat that individual as a suspect, where he would have the

17 right to have a lawyer present, or as a witness, where he would not be

18 advised of his rights.

19 A. If we summon a person as a suspect, it is because not only we do

20 suspect that he might be one but also because we already believe that we

21 have hard evidence against him. If we do not have such hard evidence,

22 though we might on a personal -- on our personal psychological ground

23 believe that he might indeed be a suspect of something, if we do not have

24 hard evidence against him, we will summon him probably as a -- as a

25 witness, indeed.

Page 583

1 Q. Okay. And that was the procedure that was followed throughout?

2 A. As far as I can recall, this is the procedure that we followed for

3 all the -- all the persons that we interviewed through the Ministry of

4 Justice of Republika Srpska, yes, all the Drina Corps officers.

5 Q. All right. Now, would there be a time during the interview, maybe

6 because the witness was not as cooperative as you would like him or -- him

7 to be, that you would inform him that you would turn him into a suspect?

8 A. I don't recall such a situation occurred, but it -- I don't

9 recall. No, I cannot tell you. I would not say for sure this has never

10 happened, because everything depends on how you present the thing. It

11 might be -- it might look like a threat in the way you present it, but it

12 can also be an advise for someone on which indeed you might not have hard

13 evidence but you know that he could provide you some of it if he wanted

14 to.

15 Q. All right. But I mean, the whole purpose is to squeeze the

16 witness.

17 A. No, the whole purpose is to get truthful information from the

18 witness.

19 Q. Okay. And so by informing him that you would turn him into a

20 suspect when you brought him in as a witness without a lawyer, that is --

21 that is the approach that you would take.

22 A. No. I confirm I have no recollection this ever happened. It's

23 just that under oath I cannot say for sure it never happened, because I

24 cannot be a hundred per cent sure of this. But I have no recollection it

25 ever happened with any of the people we ever interviewed.

Page 584

1 Q. All right. And I'm not accusing you, by the way, of you ever

2 doing that?

3 A. I understand your point. No worry. I'm just trying to answer

4 honestly to your questions.

5 Q. Okay. Good. Good. And that's all I'm asking. That's all I'm

6 asking.

7 Now, I take it when somebody would come, you would tape record

8 that statement?

9 A. Yes, absolutely.

10 Q. Did you first, before you would begin the questioning process, did

11 you first maybe have a chat with him to sort of negotiate what sort of

12 facts he might agree to before you would start the questioning process?

13 A. No. The only question we asked prior starting the tape was

14 inviting the person to have a coffee at the bar of the -- the Banja Luka

15 facility where we were. But we never talked about the content of what we

16 would discuss before starting the tape.

17 Q. So the coffee was to kind of relax you. Have a coffee, have a

18 cigarette, relax, and then when the -- when the formal questioning would

19 begin, it would be on tape.

20 A. Yes, absolutely. Politeness first, and job second.

21 Q. Right. And during -- when he would have that coffee, by the way,

22 you weren't talking about the incident that he might -- that you might be

23 questioning him about or the information that you might want to get from

24 him.

25 A. Not in his presence, no.

Page 585

1 Q. You wouldn't be asking him, "Well, if you could agree to certain

2 facts in advance, so then when you would go on tape later on, you could

3 frame your questions in a way that you would elicit the facts that you had

4 agreed on during the coffee session?

5 A. I'm curious to know what you would come up with, because I know we

6 would not do such a thing.

7 Q. Okay. Well, first of all, let me assure you, these are not trick

8 questions. And I am not trying to suggest that that was the method in

9 which you conducted the investigation -- these questionings.

10 A. Again, feel free. I'm here to answer your questions.

11 Q. All right. So the procedure would be the witness, or if he was a

12 suspect, would come to Banja Luka, step one.

13 A. Yes, he would.

14 Q. Okay. You would invite him at a particular time and -- and date;

15 right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You would offer him some coffee.

18 A. We would make the offer, indeed.

19 Q. Right. And then when the questioning began, it would be done so

20 with a tape recorder tape recording every single word that was spoken.

21 A. Yes, indeed. Now I see the point. Okay.

22 Q. Well, I'm sure you'll be able to share it with us at some point

23 too, but for right now I would appreciate it if you would just follow

24 along with me.

25 Now, when there would -- when there were breaks, as you indicated,

Page 586

1 the witness might want a break, you and your colleagues might want a

2 break. There was a particular procedure that was followed as well.

3 Right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And during that procedure was to notify that you're going on break

6 on tape, with the exact time.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You'd have your break.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And after the break, when you went back on tape, you would again

11 notify -- note on the tape what time it was, and you might even ask the

12 witness or the suspect whether anything was talked about during the break.

13 A. Yes, correct.

14 Q. And the whole purpose for having that procedure in place is to

15 make sure that we have some sort of a transparent record from which all of

16 us who were not there at the time could later on figure out and know what

17 exactly happened; right?

18 A. Under any normal circumstances, yes, indeed this is what would

19 happen.

20 Q. Right. It protects you as the questioner.

21 A. For sure.

22 Q. So lawyers like myself would never, you know, try to suggest that

23 something was said when in fact it wasn't, because we have a tape recorded

24 statement that is also going to -- will get transcribed later on; right?

25 A. Right.

Page 587

1 Q. And of course, if it's ever challenged by the witness as to what

2 he had said, you have his voice and you can say, "Here. Read about it.

3 Hear about it." Right?

4 A. For sure.

5 Q. And of course, if there's ever a question with respect to the

6 translation -- because after all, you're speaking English. There's a

7 translator. It's being spoken in a language which you may not understand.

8 You're going to get the answer in another language. Then it's going to be

9 translated to you. This way we can verify to make sure that everything

10 was done by the number. So everyone, you, the witness, the lawyers, the

11 Court, would know exactly what happened.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. All right. One last question on that area: Would it be fair to

14 say that that was the procedure that was set in place?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. All right. We'll move on to the next segment of my -- my

17 direct -- of my cross-examination. Let's talk a little bit about -- when

18 did you arrive at the -- when did you begin working as an investigator?

19 A. I started working as a police superintendent in judicial police in

20 France in 1987.

21 Q. Okay. Now, and whereabouts in France was that?

22 A. That was in Paris.

23 Q. Okay. So the big city, where everything -- lots of resources.

24 Everything done is in a very specific manner.

25 A. If you say so, yes.

Page 588

1 Q. Well, correct me if I'm wrong.

2 A. I don't.

3 Q. Okay. Now, before becoming an inspector with the judicial police,

4 I take it you -- one had to go to the police academy; right?

5 A. I was not an inspector. I was a superintendent.

6 Q. A superintendent. Okay. Well, tell us, how did you become a

7 superintendent?

8 A. In France, there are several ways to become a superintendent. In

9 the police, the way I -- I took was after my law studies, I passed a

10 competition that enabled me to enter the national superior school of

11 police, and at the end of two years of that school you have the rank of a

12 superintendent in France. You don't need to become first an inspector and

13 go through the ranks. So indeed, I'm not a crime scene technician, for

14 example.

15 Q. Okay. All right. Well, I was going to ask that question, but

16 thank you for volunteering it.

17 Okay. Now, if I have -- and since you're working with the

18 judicial police, I take it that you are dedicated to a particular area.

19 A. No. It is a national police. I later worked in Marseilles and

20 also in Nice.

21 Q. No, but what I meant -- and I apologise for phrasing the question

22 inartfully. You were dedicated to the judicial police department?

23 A. Yes, it is correct.

24 Q. All right. Now, as I understand it, that's the department that

25 does all the investigations for the Prosecution and for the -- the

Page 589

1 investigative judges?

2 A. Yes, this is correct.

3 Q. Okay. So at -- at some point during a particular case, are they

4 both your bosses?

5 A. Yes, absolutely.

6 Q. Okay. So I take it that when you are in France working as a

7 superintendent in the judicial police, when the case begins you are under

8 the -- the direction of the prosecution to some extent; right? A crime

9 happens; something needs to be done.

10 A. Yes, for sure. The system is very different than in the US.

11 Q. I understand the system. I know your system somewhat, not adds

12 good -- well as you do. But at some point the case may go to the

13 investigative judge; right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Okay. He's the independent judge. He stands between the

16 prosecute and the trial judge; right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. All right. And in fact, he is the one that will be doing the

19 formal questioning of witnesses and suspects; right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And I take it --

22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, is that question relevant?

23 MR. KARNAVAS: It will become relevant at some point, Your Honour.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Please be soon.

25 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Thank you for reminding me, Your Honour.

Page 590

1 Q. But it is they who directed the investigation.

2 A. On paper, yes.

3 Q. Okay. Now you came -- and how long did you work in that position?

4 A. Eight years in the capacity of superintendent.

5 Q. And where did you go from there?

6 A. I joined the ICTY.

7 Q. Okay. Now, you say you joined. Were you seconded from France, or

8 did you quit your job and become a regular employee of the UN?

9 A. The situation is in the middle of two, in fact, I was not

10 seconded. I was an employee of the United Nations, but at the time the

11 Tribunal made a request to France to provide personnel, so there was the

12 first selection among these candidates, and then an ultimate selection

13 done by the ICTY. So I was detached, not seconded, detached, but I was

14 paid by the UN.

15 Q. Okay. And so you were on the payroll of -- of the UN.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And you were under the direction of the UN?

18 A. Yes. Now, when you say ICTY, does that mean in general the

19 Tribunal or does that mean a particular segment, the Registry, OTP,

20 Defence?

21 A. Investigation section of the Office of the Prosecutor.

22 Q. Okay. So you were a -- you were a member of the Prosecution team.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you were the chief investigator for

25 Srebrenica case.

Page 591

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Does that mean that you were in charge of the investigation, or

3 does that -- meaning that you would direct how the investigation would go,

4 or that you were just the top investigator among a team of investigators

5 in this particular case?

6 A. There were several stages during this investigation, but at the

7 very early stages I was the only one working on this. There was no team.

8 Q. Okay. So when you're the only one, you can always be the chief,

9 right, because there's nobody behind you?

10 A. That's exactly that.

11 Q. And I take it, since you were the first one, as others followed,

12 and since you had the institutional memory of the case, and of course on

13 your skills and professionalism, you advanced to be the chief

14 investigator.

15 A. No. It didn't happen like this. At the early stages, as I told

16 you, there was no team. And some colleagues would go and assist me on the

17 basis of the possibilities that they have to leave their own activities.

18 And after the missions they were returning to their teams and I was

19 continuing with the topic.

20 Q. Well, who was your boss for this investigation?

21 A. Chief of investigations at that time was named Cees Hendricks at

22 the early stages.

23 Q. Okay. And so it is he who would give you your assignments?

24 A. No. I was proposing what to do, and I was not prevented to do it.

25 Q. Okay. Now, was he also attached to the -- part of the Office of

Page 592

1 the Prosecution?

2 A. He was the head of the investigation section at the Office of the

3 Prosecutor.

4 Q. Am I correct in -- okay. At the early stages, then, it is the

5 investigators that are out there investigating Srebrenica and not the

6 Office of the Prosecution?

7 A. No, we are -- I'm waiting for the translation. We are all members

8 of the Office of the Prosecutor. All the people who went with me on field

9 missions were members of the Office of the Prosecutor. They were not

10 just -- they were just not people who were under my command, if one can

11 say so, since they were attached to other teams. It was not a structured

12 team. A team was created early 1997 to deal with this subject.

13 Q. Were any Prosecutors also assigned to be part of this -- this

14 process?

15 A. The first Prosecutor who joined this case was Mr. McCloskey, who

16 joined me at the end of 1996, and this is -- he was the second permanent

17 member of this team.

18 Q. And in that capacity, what was his position? I mean, since he

19 joined the team, what was he there for?

20 A. We were -- he was working with me, but we were not a structure.

21 When it became a structure, so early 1997, the title of Mr. McCloskey was

22 legal adviser. There was always an legal adviser attached to an

23 investigation team leader. So Mr. McCloskey became this legal advisor

24 early 1997.

25 Q. So he was advising you. So am I fair to assume or conclude that

Page 593

1 you were in charge and Mr. McCloskey was there to provide you with legal

2 advice and to assist in other ways?

3 A. We were doing everything together. Making all decisions together,

4 even digging in mass graves together.

5 Q. But who was in charge?

6 A. The one in charge is the team leader of the investigation at that

7 time. It was then later the situation changed after I left the Tribunal,

8 but at that time the head of the investigations was the investigation team

9 leader and he was assisted by the Prosecutor who had the name of legal

10 adviser.

11 Q. And who was in charge then? What was his name?

12 A. Jean-Rene Ruez. I was in charge.

13 Q. Okay. Thank you and. And so you directed the investigations, how

14 it would go?

15 A. Yes, I did.

16 Q. And who you would select to interview?

17 A. Since we couldn't select all those we were willing to interview,

18 we had to do indeed such a selection.

19 Q. Where the investigation would start?

20 A. I don't understand that point. Sorry.

21 Q. Okay. All right. Let me walk you back. Sometime in July 1995

22 you were assigned to the Srebrenica investigation; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, I was initially requested to go to the field and check the --

24 I mean, how serious the press information was, the press information that

25 came out immediately at that time was about massacres, but there was still

Page 594

1 no evidence that any massacre had really been committed, and this is why I

2 was sent first, as a kind of assessment mission.

3 Q. And at the time, as I recall, before you were sent, you were

4 already in Tuzla at that point?

5 A. No. I left The Hague, and reached Tuzla via Split.

6 Q. So you made your first trip back in -- in July 1995 in the field.

7 A. Yes. This was my first mission for the Office of the Prosecutor.

8 Q. Were you by yourself, or were there others?

9 A. I was accompanied by Ms. Stephanie Frease, who was also working

10 for the Office of the Prosecutor at that time.

11 Q. Who was she doing?

12 A. She was an analyst.

13 Q. I take it you had a language assistant, or does she speak

14 Serbo-Croatian?

15 A. She also speaks Serbo-Croatian, and we had also one language

16 assistant, Ms. Adis Karamuratovic.

17 Q. All right. Now, at some point, were you asked -- when you became

18 the leader of this team, was it you that designed how this case would

19 progress in the investigations phase?

20 A. The investigation was already running since one and a half years,

21 once the -- before the team was created, so at that time it was a natural

22 flow of decisions that had to be made, since there were very clear phases

23 to be conducted in this investigation.

24 Q. Prior to that, prior to the formal team structure, who was the

25 person that sat down and mapped out how this case would be investigated?

Page 595

1 What -- you know, where the start would be, whether it would be just go to

2 the field, collect evidence, assemble a team, visit the various brigade

3 headquarters.

4 A. I was making proposals on a written mission plans, and these

5 mission plans were accepted by the chain of command.

6 Q. When you say the chain of command, that would be your boss.

7 A. All the missions were assigned by the chief of investigations, who

8 was John Ralston, after Mr. Cees Hendricks left.

9 Q. Okay. Now, you said written proposals, so there's -- there's some

10 documentation as to what you proposed, you know, and how you proposed the

11 investigations should progress.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And what was the first step that you proposed - do you recall -

14 the first step to be done in the investigation?

15 A. Yes. It was to scan among the -- the initial information obtained

16 by the local Bosniak police as well as the war crime commission, select

17 among a large group of witnesses those we had to interview in priority in

18 order to begin to draft a raw picture of the events and the various areas

19 in which we needed to investigate, one part being the situation in

20 Potocari, the other one the situation in the woods, the other one the

21 situation along the road between Srebrenica and Kladanj, and the fourth

22 main group, all what is mass killings, and that got indeed our attention

23 as a priority 1.

24 Q. Okay. And so that -- that had priority before even visiting, for

25 instance, the brigade headquarters to seize documents.

Page 596

1 A. Yes, absolutely. Reconstruction of the facts is indeed something

2 indispensable before trying to find out who committed these facts.

3 Q. Okay. But would it be fair to say - and correct me if I'm wrong -

4 that fairly early on in the investigation it was -- you began to have some

5 suspicions from your years as -- as a superintendent as to who might be

6 involved, you know, which brigades might have been involved or civilian

7 authorities might have been involved in the atrocities?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Okay. At what point did you make the decision to -- to go to the

10 Bratunac Brigade headquarters?

11 A. As soon as the possibility was there. In reality, what happened

12 at that time was that we intended to conduct the search, since already

13 such a long time. We didn't have both the manpower to do it by ourselves,

14 nor exactly the timing due to a lot of other aspects of the case we needed

15 to deal with. So in fact, we used the opportunity of a search that was

16 getting prepared by the Office of the Prosecutor in another area of

17 Republika Srpska and enlarge this mission in order to be able to use that

18 manpower put in place for one circumstance, to use it to do three

19 headquarters, so not only the 5th Corps was done but for the sake of

20 another case, but also the Zvornik Brigade search could be done and the

21 Bratunac Brigade search could be done.

22 Q. Okay. My question was when? Before you gave us that lengthy

23 narration which didn't answer my question. So if you could tell us when,

24 I would appreciate it, and then we can go on.

25 A. I wanted to please you by giving these details.

Page 597

1 Q. Thank you. And I am pleased. I am pleased. But let me do my job

2 too. Let me ask the questions, and you can give me the answers.

3 A. If you want me to answer by yes or no, I can do that as well.

4 Q. I just want you -- I asked a when question, when. You can give me

5 the date, if you recall. If you don't recall, you can refer to some

6 notes.

7 A. I'm going to recall. Give me just two seconds. That was in 1998.

8 Q. Okay. So you get on the job to start the investigation in 1995 in

9 July, and it's in 1998 that you pay your first visit to the Bratunac

10 Brigade headquarters along with the other areas that you were going to

11 search; is that correct?

12 A. No, because in fact in -- I'm waiting for translation. To be very

13 precise, we did pay a visit, as you say it, to the Bratunac Brigade - that

14 was in June 1996 - in order to search and seize equipment that had been

15 taken from the UN battalion that was stored in a container just in front

16 of the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade. These were flak jackets, as

17 well as blue helmets that had been repainted in grey colour in order to be

18 later used by Bratunac Brigade people after the war.

19 Q. That's an assumption that you're make; right? The paint -- the

20 use of the paint --

21 A. No. It is not an assumption. Talking about it with an assistant

22 of Mr. Blagojevic, he said that that equipment was designed to be used for

23 de-miners, who could not have such quality equipment to fulfil their job.

24 Q. Okay. So you were there in 1996 in the Bratunac Brigade

25 headquarters to seize - that was the word that you used; am I correct - to

Page 598

1 seize UN equipment?

2 A. To seize UN equipment in possession of the RS military unit

3 Q. I understand. But you were there to seize equipment?

4 A. Yes, I was.

5 Q. Okay. Thank you. So this almost what -- in what year -- what

6 month are we talking about in 1996?

7 A. I don't remember precisely, but it was in the middle of the year.

8 Q. Okay. Now, since you were there to seize UN equipment and you

9 were there on an investigation and you already had by this point nine or

10 ten years' experience as an investigator, did you ever think that it might

11 be a good idea to seize documents or to go and try to find out what, if

12 anything else, might be there at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters? After

13 all, you were there. No sense in making another trip, costing all the

14 donor's extra money for you to go there. Why not say, " By the way, since

15 I'm here, I want to collect all the documents you might have just in case

16 later on they might disappear."

17 A. I would have loved doing that as early as we could access RS

18 territory, but during that mission my backpack was not big enough to

19 vacuum-clean the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.

20 Q. Well, I come from Alaska, and they tell us whenever you go out to

21 the woods, you've got to take your ten essentials because you never know

22 what might happen when you're out.

23 The question is: Since you were going there, as an investigator,

24 would it not be sensible to take the necessary precautions just in case

25 you found all these documents, so you could have them, analyse them, or

Page 599

1 others to analyse?

2 A. This is a step that unfortunately, due to the way we were

3 organised at the time, we couldn't do before the date we did it. But

4 indeed, I totally agree with you, had we even been able to do that in

5 summer 1995, I would have had pleasure to do it.

6 Q. Naturally -- naturally, if I were to look through your

7 requisitions or your proposals, I would find something in there, in those

8 documents - I don't know if they have been disclosed to us, but I

9 certainly will be making that request, to see every -- all your

10 proposals - but naturally, I would find something there, a piece of paper,

11 with your signature, making the request, either before or after at least -

12 definitely after - to go back to the Bratunac Brigade headquarters to get

13 documents. I would find some kind of a request from you; right?

14 A. No, you would not find that, because during the year 1996, for

15 example, our top priority was based on the information received from the

16 approximately ten survivors of mass executions that we had already talked

17 with, our top priority in 1996 was to identify these crime scenes and

18 start exhumations. We were not in 1996 in any way in a position to start

19 conducting searches in military units. We did not need -- we did not even

20 at that time know if our crime bases was a serious one or not.

21 Q. Mr. Ruez, did you ever make the request; yes or no?

22 A. Before 1998 --

23 Q. 1996, after you went to the Bratunac Brigade, did you make the

24 request; yes or no?

25 A. No.

Page 600

1 Q. Okay. Did you make a request for resources, yes or no, for that

2 particular mission?

3 A. My request for resources was a bit of the same of your objections

4 that, are continuous -- continuous requests I was making, continuous

5 requests during 1995 and 1996 and 1997 to get additional resources, that I

6 got once John Ralston became chief of investigations, not before he became

7 chief of investigations.

8 Q. But my question was rather specific: Did you make a specific

9 request in writing or even orally for more resources so you could go back

10 to the Bratunac Brigade to get the documents? Because after all, you were

11 able to go there and retrieve helmets.

12 A. It is absolutely not the same type of operation. When you are on

13 a mission, in theatre, to retrieve a bunch of helmets from a container

14 than to organise a search mission in a brigade headquarter. And I repeat

15 my answer to your precise question: No, I did not make such a request at

16 that time. It was out of our range at that time to start doing searches

17 in military facilities in Republika Srpska.

18 Q. Okay. Now -- now, when you say "our range," meaning the -- the

19 Office of the Prosecution range?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In a case where, according to the Prosecution, is the largest

22 atrocity in Western Europe since the holocaust?

23 A. I share your astonishment, and unfortunately I have to answer yes.

24 Q. But they had resources to send you to collect helmets, and they

25 had to foresight to send you to collect helmets but not documents.

Page 601

1 A. I've never been sent to take helmets. It occurred that during

2 that mission I had a talk with an American soldier who told me that he had

3 seen this equipment in that container. So through the liaison officer,

4 who was Major Golic at that time, the liaison officer of the Drina Corps

5 with the American Brigade, I made the request to get access to these

6 helmets and check what they were. And this is what we did. And when we

7 realised it was equipment that was belonging to DutchBat, I seized them in

8 order to check who they had been taken from and in what circumstances they

9 had been taken from.

10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas.

11 MR. KARNAVAS: I will move on, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's time for a break.

13 MR. KARNAVAS: Oh, I'm sorry. I apologise.

14 JUDGE LIU: If you've finished that subject.

15 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise.

16 JUDGE LIU: We will take the break right now.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will resume at 4.00.

19 --- Recess taken at 3.33 p.m.

20 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Please proceed.

22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.

23 Q. Mr. Ruez, before we left off, we were speaking about your visit at

24 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters. We're still there, by the way, back in

25 1996. You were there to, you indicated, to collect some items that

Page 602

1 belonged to the UN. On that particular visit, did you happen to see Mr.

2 Blagojevic?

3 A. Yes, I did.

4 Q. He wasn't there when you first got there; is that correct?

5 A. I went there, I think -- no, only on one occasion, because before

6 I went there, it was an oral request to Major Golic, and that we gave him

7 more or less a week to fulfil the demand, and that was not done the day I

8 was supposed to leave the mission area. So then we went together with the

9 American major, who was our security guarantee in the area, and he made so

10 to enforce my request to get access to this material.

11 Q. Okay. Let me -- let me rephrase the question. I -- I wasn't

12 clear, so I apologise. Okay. When you went there with the American

13 major, when you got to the brigade headquarters, was Mr. Blagojevic there

14 or did he show up shortly thereafter?

15 A. The one who was there was the Lieutenant Lazar Ostojic and to

16 Colonel Blagojevic arrived a bit later dressed in civilian clothes.

17 Q. So the answer to my question is: Yes, he showed up afterwards,

18 after you arrived?

19 A. Yes. Now that you ask if he arrived after, the answer is yes.

20 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, did you manage to collect the items that

21 you were there to collect?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. All right. Did you recognise, by the way, Mr. Blagojevic?

24 A. Yes. He changed a bit, but I do recognise him.

25 Q. Did you recognise him at the time?

Page 603

1 A. At the time, we didn't know who the commander of the Bratunac

2 Brigade was in July 1995. We had option among two possible names. So I

3 did request Mr. Blagojevic -- Colonel Blagojevic, I asked him only two

4 questions. One was what he knew about the origin and the use of the

5 equipment. He did not answer. He asked me a second question. The second

6 question was: Since when are you the commander of the Bratunac Brigade?

7 I did receive no answer, and got lectured on the fact that the calibre of

8 the weapons used by the American forces, 5.56, were against the Geneva

9 Conventions. But he never answered my question about who he was and since

10 when he was in that capacity commander of the Bratunac Brigade.

11 Q. All right. Let me go back to my questions, and maybe you could

12 answer my questions. When you saw Mr. Blagojevic, did you recognise him

13 to be Mr. Blagojevic; yes or no?

14 A. I had never seen that man before that day, and I couldn't

15 recognise him since I didn't even know who he was, aside that he was

16 presented as being the commander that day.

17 Q. So the answer is no, you did not recognise him.

18 A. I did not recognise someone who I didn't know before.

19 Q. Okay. And is it your testimony today that in 1996 you had never

20 heard of Colonel Blagojevic?

21 A. We knew about two possible names as being head of that brigade in

22 summer 1995. One of these I don't remember today, and the second one was

23 Colonel Blagojevic, but we had no certainty about who was who really in

24 summer 1995. And Colonel Blagojevic did not answer that question when I

25 asked that to him in June 1996.

Page 604

1 Q. All right. Okay. So the answer is back in 1996, when you went

2 there, you had heard of a Colonel Blagojevic who at one point, sometime in

3 1995 in July, at one point or another, or thereafter or slightly before,

4 was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade; is that correct?

5 A. No. I repeat again: In 1995, the information I got probably at

6 that time both from Bosniak police or contacts with the 2nd Corps of the

7 BiH Army at that time, I asked if they had any information about who was

8 the -- what was the name of the commander of the Bratunac Brigade in 1995.

9 They did not know for sure. I could not get a certainty answer. I was

10 provided with two names. One of these names was Colonel Blagojevic, but I

11 didn't know even in June 1996 if indeed it was Colonel Blagojevic who had

12 been the brigade commander in 1995. I did not know that in 1996.

13 Q. Okay. But you had that information in your memory when you were

14 there in 1996 at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters. That information that

15 you just told us.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Okay.

18 A. That optionally he could have been the one.

19 Q. All right. Now, did you -- did you ever -- at that point, did you

20 try to get a photograph of Mr. Blagojevic to see what he looked like so

21 just in case you ran into him, you could ask him some questions?

22 A. The circumstances at the time were such that the main priority in

23 that area for the people who were assisting us was to create a positive

24 relationship with the VRS armed forces. Had I started taking pictures of

25 all the people from the VRS side we came in -- we came across at that

Page 605

1 time, I would have jeopardised that relationship. So indeed, I did not

2 take a photograph of Colonel Blagojevic at that time, since I had no

3 certainty about who he was.

4 Q. All right. Well, maybe -- maybe it's the translation. My

5 question was: Did you have a photograph of him? In other words, when you

6 started doing your investigation, as a good investigator and you would

7 hear these names, you would begin to see if there were photographs

8 someplace so you could put photograph, name, and then if the opportunity

9 ever arose and you came up to that person, you could say, "Ah, this must

10 be Obrenovic, this must be Jokic, this must be Blagojevic. Might I try to

11 get information from them?" Did you do that; yes or no?

12 A. The people I was in contact with didn't have any photograph of

13 Mr. Blagojevic available at that time when I asked.

14 Q. Okay. Now, at the time that you were there in 1996, during that

15 session - and I take it you were at the headquarters for a short period of

16 time.

17 A. A couple of hours.

18 Q. Okay. Did Mr. Blagojevic ever have -- speak with the major? Did

19 they talk at all?

20 A. Yes, they did.

21 Q. If I recall, they might have even had a rakija together?

22 A. We all had rakija together.

23 Q. Okay. And for the record, that's the local home brew.

24 Q. Yes, it is. And in the regulations of the US for those who are in

25 contact with the VRS armed forces they are exceptionally allowed to have a

Page 606

1 little sip of alcohol with them.

2 Q. Yes. Because US servicemen, especially officers, are not supposed

3 to be drinking in uniform; right?

4 A. This is true for the army personnel, not necessarily for an

5 investigator of the ICTY in specific circumstances.

6 Q. I wasn't mentioning you. I was just worried about the major, so

7 we don't get him in trouble.

8 So all of you, you, the major, Mr. Blagojevic, sat down,

9 comfortable during that two-hour period, had rakija and waited until the

10 business of -- of taking those -- that UN property was finished; right?

11 A. Not right. The situation was quite tense. We -- I had to request

12 the American major to use whatever means possible in order to fulfil the

13 request I was making. I indicated that whatever happened, I would not

14 leave that place without this equipment, and I think that at one point the

15 major said that indeed, he would use any means so that I can fulfil my

16 demand, and I think I said to the major that probably took them -- the

17 colonel, sorry that, he probably didn't wish to have tanks rolling through

18 his barracks, so indeed we ended up getting the equipment.

19 Q. All right. Now, is it your testimony today that Mr. Blagojevic

20 was the commander over there at that particular location at that

21 particular time?

22 A. That day, though he was dressed in civilian clothes, he was

23 obviously the commander of that -- of that place, yes.

24 Q. And that's based on your investigation since then, or is that

25 based on who you perceive to be the highest-ranking officer in the field

Page 607

1 at that headquarters at that particular time? Which one is it?

2 A. My personal experience is the one of June 1996, but Mr. Richard

3 Butler, who did the military analysis of all the documentation we

4 retrieved from the Bratunac Brigade, will probably give you the details

5 that enable him to say that Colonel Blagojevic was indeed the commander of

6 the Bratunac Brigade during that period of time of July 1995 that we are

7 considering here.

8 Q. Now, see, there you go. That wasn't my question, now, was it? My

9 question was back in 1996. There is no doubt -- there is no doubt, and

10 you don't have to volunteer any information, that back in 1995 in July

11 Mr. Blagojevic was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade. We can agree on

12 that.

13 A. I don't agree --

14 Q. Now we're talking about 1996.

15 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour.

16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. De la Torre.

17 MS. DE LA TORRE: I would object. While Mr. Ruez is perfectly

18 capable of defending himself, the argumentative nature of these questions,

19 as well as the fact that he's not allowing the witness to answer the

20 question, is objectionable and unprofessional.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

22 MR. KARNAVAS: May I be heard?

23 JUDGE LIU: Let's hear the witness. We can judge. Let's hear the

24 witness.


Page 608

1 Q. 1996.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Okay. That follows 1995. Okay? So we're at the Bratunac Brigade

4 headquarters. I asked you a specific question. Please answer my

5 question. Is it your testimony today that at that particular time Mr.

6 Blagojevic was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, or is it your

7 belief, based on the fact that he was the highest-ranking officer at that

8 location at that particular moment? Which of the two?

9 A. What made me believe in June 1996 that Colonel Blagojevic was the

10 commander of the Bratunac Brigade that day in June 1996 is because he was

11 the person to which Major Golic was talking to when he was requesting

12 clearances to do or not to do things, that Lieutenant Lazar Ostojic was

13 addressing the colonel as his boss, that the American major with who I

14 was, Major Zeijak [phoen] seemed to consider Colonel Blagojevic as the

15 head of this brigade that day, June 1996.

16 Q. Okay. Now, a major is above or below a colonel?

17 A. At the time of the events, Colonel Blagojevic was Major Blagojevic

18 indeed.

19 Q. In 1996?

20 A. In 1996 he was colonel. In 1995, he was major, if I'm not wrong.

21 Q. All right. Well, I'm talking about 1996. That's where we are.

22 We haven't gone to 1995.

23 A. So as far as I remember, Colonel Blagojevic in his rank was

24 colonel in 1996, in June 1996.

25 Q. So he outranked the major.

Page 609

1 A. The VRS -- the VRS Major Golic, yes, as well as the Lieutenant

2 Lazar Ostojic, yes, but -- yes.

3 Q. Okay. Now, and you said that it was tense, but all of you sat

4 down and had a rakija with Mr. -- with Colonel Blagojevic?

5 A. It's a kind of compulsory tradition when you enter contact with

6 some VRS officers.

7 Q. Compulsory? What, they threaten you that you can't leave the area

8 unless you sit down and drink rakija?

9 A. No. But it's hard to build any kind of even fake but immediate

10 good relationship if you refuse having a drink in such circumstances.

11 Q. And a drink under those circumstances was offered in good faith,

12 was it not?

13 A. Let's assume a drink is always offered in good faith, yes.

14 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you had the major from the US army.

15 He was what, SFOR at the time?

16 A. IFOR at the time.

17 Q. IFOR. Okay. Was he by himself or did he have troops with him?

18 A. He had troops with him outside of the building.

19 Q. He was there to protect you -- to offer you security.

20 A. Yes. All of our movements in the area were under the security

21 coverage of multinational division north and of the American forces were

22 based in Camp Lisa, Republika Srpska, just north of Vlasenica town.

23 Q. And how many soldiers did he have with him?

24 A. I don't know. Though, we were always part of the operational plan

25 in order to show us what was happening around us. I don't know, a company

Page 610

1 of "Bradley" and some of our troops.

2 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you had made a request, they didn't

3 comply with your request, so that's when you went to IFOR. And I take it

4 it was the Americans, as opposed to some other unit. And they were there

5 to assist you. So you had arranged this trip, so to speak.

6 A. Yes, we had an appointment with Major Golic, in front of the

7 headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade that day, indeed.

8 Q. Okay. While you were at the brigade headquarters, did you ask

9 the -- the major if he could provide some assistance in seizing documents

10 for you, carrying them, since your -- how was it? Your backpack wasn't

11 big enough to carry all these documents?

12 A. No, I didn't ask him, since the goal of this mission was to find

13 mass grave sites and not a search mission, and it was pointless for me to

14 ask him anything in that sense.

15 Q. I thought the goal of the mission at that point was to seize those

16 helmets.

17 A. That was the goal of that last hour of that mission that lasted

18 some ten days, but every day we were hitting mass grave sites.

19 Q. Did you ask the major perhaps to secure the headquarters to make

20 sure that now that you had been there that at least the -- the

21 headquarters would be secure from the destruction of any -- of any

22 documents? Did you ask for any help?

23 A. We already at that time had made the assumption that the clean-up

24 process in these headquarters was already done, since this possibility was

25 already there as soon as the photographs of Nova Kasaba had been showed

Page 611

1 publicly in front of a UN General Assembly in August 1995. So at that

2 point, no, there was no -- no immediate urgency to try to prevent further

3 more disappearance of documents. And anyhow, I confirmed that I was not

4 in a position at that time to create a mission that had been designed to

5 focus on capturing documentation, since we still at that time did not know

6 what the crime bases we were talking about was a real one or was just

7 other assessments and rumours and hearsay, like you already said several

8 times before.

9 Q. So by that point you had made some assumptions.

10 A. Like everyone does, yes.

11 Q. All right. And might it be correct that even before that time you

12 had made some assumptions?

13 A. No. I arrived there with a total blank mind and open mind in July

14 1995, if this is what you want me to -- to say or not say.

15 Q. No, I'm not trying -- I didn't say 1995, but at some point early

16 on in the investigation you formed some assumptions; right?

17 A. You form 200 assumptions a day when you are conducting an

18 investigation, indeed.

19 Q. Of course. And one of the assumptions was there is no need, at

20 least in 1996, to go to the headquarters because you assumed that the

21 people there who were running the headquarters would have destroyed the

22 documents because after all, if they're guilty, that's what guilty people

23 would do; right? So that's an assumption.

24 A. No, that's not there that. Again, I repeat. Had I had the

25 possibility at that time, in terms of manpower, organisation, or

Page 612

1 whatsoever, to conduct an investigation in that place, that would have

2 been done. It's one of the first things, indeed. You would think would

3 have to be done one day. So the earliest is always the best. But it was

4 not possible to do that in 1996. I repeat, if that would have been

5 possible, I would have been very happy to do that in 1996 versus in 1998.

6 Q. I agree. Early is better than late. But nonetheless, the

7 assumption had been formed early; isn't that what you indicated earlier?

8 A. Our unit in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps at that

9 time could have been considered as an interesting place to go and conduct

10 searches, at least to have a quick idea as early as possible of who was

11 who and in what capacity at the time of the events. But again --

12 Q. I'm sorry. I apologise. Go ahead.

13 A. But again, it is not a question that it was considered not

14 important or too late, because it is also never too late. And you know

15 that because even in 1998 we still could find things, but we just couldn't

16 materially take such a course of action in 1996.

17 Q. Okay. And to refresh -- to refresh your memory, you never made

18 those requests in writing. That was your testimony earlier; right?

19 Because the assumption was we don't have the resources, let's do this

20 other work. When the resources come or we have the opportunity to conduct

21 those searches and seizures, then we'll do that.

22 A. Again, that's not the way the thing happened. Things had to

23 happen in a certain chronology. Priority 1 was to interview witnesses and

24 identify possible crime scenes that could then be analysed in order to

25 corroborate their declarations. That is phase 1, 1995. Continued 1996

Page 613

1 and even later.

2 1996 was a year devoted to identify these places described by the

3 witnesses and mainly try to identify and locate all the primary mass grave

4 sites.

5 By the end of the year 1996, there was an article in Newsweek

6 titling "Genocide without corpses," since all the primary graves had been

7 disturbed in 1995, we only exhumed about 500 bodies by the end of 1996,

8 though the main mass graves were exhumed that year.

9 So 1997 was a year where we -- our main priority was to identify

10 and locate the secondary mass grave sites. Only when all this was

11 finalised and that we knew that potentially we had enough mass graves to

12 match the unbelievable account made by the witnesses could we then

13 seriously start to consider identifying the people who are responsible for

14 these facts. But we had no absolute certainty on these facts before we

15 started in fact exhuming secondary mass grave sites. We could not have a

16 real assessment of how -- of what was really the scale of what we were

17 working on.

18 Q. So if I'm correct, it wasn't until 1998 that you began to have

19 some suspicions that the Bratunac Brigade might have been involved. Is

20 that what you're saying? Is that what you want the Trial Chamber --

21 A. No, I'm not saying that. You know very well that this suspicion

22 is an obvious thing as early as 1995, due to the proximity of the Bratunac

23 Brigade to all the crime scenes that we call the area "south." But I

24 repeat again and again that taking action on this brigade was not the

25 primary focus of this investigation, since when this investigation started

Page 614

1 we didn't even have one dead body, in terms of criminal facts we were

2 working on. So first, we created -- I mean, we created -- we unravelled

3 the facts. And once we had these facts, we were in a position then to

4 develop the investigation on the perpetrators.

5 Q. Okay. So in 1995, you had -- you formed a suspicion that the

6 Bratunac Brigade was involved because of its location; is that correct?

7 Yes or no? Back in 1995, based on your earlier lengthy answer.

8 A. I think I already have answered yes to this several times. Unlike

9 25.000 people who were deported and ended up in Tuzla, who also had in

10 mind that what happened to them had any connection with the Bratunac

11 Brigade, since it was the town just north to the enclave, indeed one could

12 easily make the assumption during the summer 1995 that Bratunac Brigade

13 had most probably something to do with what was happening. But it was a

14 thought that everyone could have at that time in the area, even only if it

15 was based on hearsay.

16 Q. Okay. Thank you. And that's what I was trying to get you to

17 admit. But that back in 1995, you began to form some assumptions that

18 were perhaps logical, given the location of the Bratunac Brigade, that

19 they must have been involved.

20 A. I already answered this several times, and I agree to even accept

21 your summary of it. No problem.

22 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now -- now we can move on to the next section.

23 Did you make contact with -- with Colonel Blagojevic after this -- this

24 meeting that you had back in 1996? Did you attempt to meet with him

25 again?

Page 615

1 A. No. I -- I mean, not in 1996 anyhow.

2 Q. 1997?

3 A. I think that we got in 1996 at one point during a mission

4 information that Major Blagojevic was no more at the Bratunac Brigade.

5 Q. He was in Banja Luka, by the way, where you have a field office;

6 right?

7 A. I don't know where he was when I was told that he had left

8 Bratunac, and we never had a field office in Banja Luka. We were just

9 borrowing a room when we were conducting interview missions there.

10 Q. All right. I stand corrected. But that room would be used often

11 for interviews; right?

12 A. The first time we used it was end of 1999, and I think Major Jokic

13 was the among the first to go to that place, but 1999.

14 Q. Okay. And you were in this case until 2000, 2001; is that

15 correct?

16 A. This is correct.

17 Q. Okay. All right. Now --

18 MR. KARNAVAS: With the Court's indulgence for one second.

19 Q. When was the second time that you went to the Bratunac Brigade

20 headquarters?

21 A. That was for the search operation that was conducted mid-1998.

22 Q. Was that the same place where it was in 1996?

23 A. Not exactly the same place, since in 1996 it was a container

24 located in front of the building that is at the entrance of the Bratunac

25 Brigade. And in 1998 the search was conducted in the part of a building

Page 616

1 at that time used as the headquarters.

2 Q. But in -- okay. The -- let me rephrase the question. In 1996,

3 was it located in the same place where it was located in July 1995?

4 A. I was not at the Bratunac Brigade in 1995. I cannot tell you

5 exactly -- I mean, yes, the brigade was located at the same location, but

6 the actual headquarters might not have been in the same place in 1995 as

7 they were in 1996. But the brigade, yes, didn't move from the Kaolin

8 factory.

9 Q. All right. Maybe -- maybe I'm not phrasing the question right,

10 but -- and perhaps you can refresh my memory. I thought we saw some

11 videos and some exhibits and some photos and there was a whole lot of

12 narrative where often you would be leading the Prosecutor, rather than

13 vice versa -- where you were describing the Bratunac town, various

14 buildings in Bratunac, including the Bratunac Brigade headquarters. Am I

15 correct?

16 A. Yes, you are.

17 Q. Okay. All right. I thought maybe I was incorrect.

18 Now, I take it you identified those -- those markings on the

19 photos; right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In order to identify them, you'd have to be aware of what they

22 are.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Because you want to be exact; right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 617

1 Q. All right. Now, the footage and the photos would allow someone

2 that if they actually went -- physically went to that location, they would

3 be -- actually be able to identify photo, building; right?

4 A. It's not the only way, but this is one of the ways, indeed.

5 Q. Okay. So you were able to identify what the building looked like

6 or which building it was back in 1995 where the Bratunac Brigade

7 headquarters were located. In 1996, you go to Bratunac to collect helmets

8 and other gear, not to interview, not to collect documents, not to seize

9 the compound, but to collect certain items. I take it that you knew

10 exactly what compound, what building, what location you were going to

11 before you got there; right?

12 A. No, not at all. It was -- we had been, I think, in Bratunac town

13 only once before we went to take this equipment.

14 Q. I thought you'd only been there -- the first time was in 1996.

15 A. Yes, in 1996 -- in April, we went to Bratunac town in order to

16 identify the Old School, as well as the hangar.

17 The second time we entered that town was indeed to collect the

18 equipment in the container in front of the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.

19 Q. Okay. So now we have you there twice in 1996 and twice failing to

20 take any precautionary measures to locate any documents, because after

21 all, you had made the assumption that documents would have been destroyed

22 because after all, the assumption was back as early as 1995 that the

23 Bratunac Brigade was involved because of their location, so there's no

24 need to search for the documents that might prove who might have been

25 involved.

Page 618

1 A. No. You are again twisting completely what I have developed, I

2 think, in length so far, which is that the reason why we did not focus on

3 brigade searches in 1996 is that our first missions on the ground were

4 designed to corroborate witnesses' testimonies and ensure that we were

5 indeed facing a crime and not a lot of rumours. So in 1996 there was

6 absolutely no intention to disregard that aspect. There was no

7 preconceived opinion about the fact that it was useless. It was

8 absolutely something that was urgent to be done. The only thing is that

9 it was a material impossibility for me at that time to conduct such

10 operations in 1996.

11 Q. Okay. But now we're talking about your second visit. You're

12 there the second time. Did you know by your second visit to Bratunac,

13 where you are accompanied by this American major and his troops, did you

14 know by then where the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade were located;

15 yes or no?

16 A. No, I did not know. I discovered that location that day.

17 Q. Okay. Did you have to ask directions from the folks in Bratunac,

18 or was it the major that assisted you, or did you look at a map? How is

19 it that you located it?

20 A. Before leaving Camp Lisa, we had what is called an operational

21 briefing, where we were shown a map, the position of the forces that would

22 secure our action, and on that map -- it was not even a map; it was an

23 aerial photograph -- no, sorry, in 1996 it was just a map. We got a photo

24 later.

25 And we were shown where the location of the brigade is. Then we

Page 619

1 were put in vehicles. And when I stepped out of the HUMVEE, I was in

2 front of the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade that I saw that day for

3 the first time.

4 Q. Okay. All right. Now, let me get back to my question that I

5 asked about 20 minutes ago. Was the headquarters that you visited back in

6 1996, based on the photograph that you were shown in your debriefing

7 before you went off to the field, is that the same place where the

8 Bratunac Brigade headquarters is located based on the photograph and

9 footage and testimony that we've had on your direct examination; yes or

10 no?

11 A. The information that enables us to pinpoint the location of the

12 Bratunac Brigade in July 1995 is based on the testimonies and the sketches

13 provided to us by the Dutch witnesses who were in Bratunac town and who

14 were going to the Bratunac Brigade facility, where they were having lunch.

15 They drew sketches. They pinpointed the Kaolin Factory as being the

16 headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade. The little building in which we

17 conducted the search in 1996, so the headquarters in 1996, this little

18 building is pinpointed by these witnesses as being the -- the facility

19 where the military police was back in 1995.

20 Q. Right up front.

21 A. Right up front.

22 Q. Before -- where the gate is?

23 A. Where the gate is.

24 Q. Okay. And so for the members of -- of the Trial Chamber, as you

25 drive up to the -- that area, there's a fence with a little side building;

Page 620

1 is that correct?

2 A. Yes, correct.

3 Q. And in that side building, it would be sort of where -- where the

4 security would be for the compound.

5 A. This is what is pinpointed by the UN soldiers who went to this

6 facility during the days of July 1995.

7 Q. Right. And there is a -- right by the fence over there, there's a

8 lengthy building, and that's where the military police would be located.

9 A. According to these witnesses, yes, that was the situation.

10 Q. Okay.

11 A. In 1995.

12 Q. All right. And then you would have to drive a little bit or walk,

13 you know, 20 or 30 metres at best, maybe 20 metres, and there would be a

14 building, and that's where the factory is located.

15 A. Correct.

16 Q. And it's a fairly large compound; is that correct?

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. And there are many different entrances.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. In fact, and my memory may serve me wrong, but at least three

21 entrances in that building.

22 A. This, I don't know. Our search was limited to what we were told

23 was the headquarters of the brigade. We did not search nor visit the

24 compound.

25 Q. During the two hours you were there, did you make any inquiries

Page 621

1 where the brigade was headquartered back in 1995?

2 A. Do you mean when I was -- when I was there in June 1996?

3 Q. Yeah, having a rakija, sitting -- you know, you're an

4 investigator, everybody is calm and relaxed, having a cigarette, having a

5 little bit of coffee. Did you say, "By the way, where were you guys

6 situated?"

7 A. When -- let me finish. No, this is not the way we acted at that

8 time. Since I had asked two questions -- two precise questions to Major

9 Blagojevic that he consciously refused to answer, it was clear that it was

10 pointless for me in such circumstances to try to get any kind of

11 additional information from him.

12 Q. Did you ever eventually find out where the brigade headquarters

13 were located back in July 1995? And that's a yes or no. You don't have

14 to go into a lengthy explanation.

15 A. No.

16 Q. Okay. Now, maybe -- I want to make sure I'm correct. So in 1996,

17 you go to where you assume are the headquarters of the brigade. You don't

18 know where they were in 1995. But until -- from 1995, when you began as

19 the chief investigator in this case, until you quit back in 2001, you

20 never made any inquiries as to where the Bratunac Brigade headquarters

21 were back in July 20th -- back in July 1995.

22 A. I cannot let you present the things like this.

23 Q. No. Well, correct me if I'm wrong.

24 A. I'm going to correct you. The inquiries were made. It's just

25 that the answer did not come. I have no recollection that Momir Nikolic

Page 622

1 did answer any question -- any -- provide any information on this. And

2 no, we didn't get any information on this, aside, as I repeat, the

3 information provided by the UN soldiers who were in Bratunac town and who

4 were going to the Bratunac Brigade and who all say that this was the

5 location of the Bratunac Brigade.

6 Q. All right. Well, let me take it -- take it slowly here. First,

7 can we agree on one thing, that as you sit here today as the witness, the

8 summary witness for this entire case that you worked on from 1995 into

9 2001, plus the information that you have learned thereafter as a result of

10 the Krstic case and what -- and other things that you might have learned

11 since then, is it fair to say today that you do not know where the

12 Bratunac Brigade headquarters were indeed, to borrow one of your phrases,

13 indeed, back in July 1995? You don't know that today, do you?

14 Specifically, what part of the building. Yes or no?

15 A. I just recalled one thing at the moment. You are talking about

16 it, and you will certainly have an opportunity to have that confirmed or

17 not. But I think -- I recall that during the interview we had with

18 Captain Momir Nikolic, he told us several times that he went back

19 systematically to these headquarters, where he was spending most of his

20 time sleeping and doing nothing, and that these headquarters where he had

21 his bed were indeed -- was indeed this building at the Bratunac Brigade.

22 But this can be checked in the records of his statement.

23 Q. Okay. All right. You begin -- it sounds as if - and I have to

24 say this with all due respect - it sounds as if you're blaming now, you're

25 shifting the blame on Nikolic, Momir Nikolic, for not knowing where

Page 623

1 exactly the headquarters were for this entire brigade back in July 1995.

2 Because after all, this is a fairly large complex. We have a building up

3 front, and there's a huge factory. So is it not a fact today, sir, that

4 you do not know exactly where in that compound the Bratunac Brigade

5 headquarter was? You have an idea of the vicinity, someplace in this

6 complex, but back on July 1995 or June 1995 or August 1995 you do not know

7 exactly where in that location was Mr. Blagojevic's office, for instance?

8 Isn't that a fact? Take your time.

9 A. I would say that the compilation of the information that I have in

10 my possession, it leads me to believe that the headquarters and the unit

11 of the Bratunac Brigade were in 1995 located in the compound of the Kaolin

12 Factory in Bratunac. I have no clue where the offices of the various

13 components of the HQ were at that time. But as far as I know, the only

14 thing I can say is that it was located at the Kaolin Factory.

15 Q. Okay. Thank you. That's the answer that I wanted to get, that

16 you don't know exactly where it was located.

17 A. It is a precise location, the Kaolin Factory. I'm sorry.

18 Q. Okay. We can agree on that. There's no disagreement there.

19 A. Okay.

20 Q. Okay? Are you happy? Okay.

21 But that's a big compound, is it not?

22 A. It's a fairly large compound in a small town, yes.

23 Q. If I were to ask you today, based on the answer that I just

24 received, if I were to ask you at this moment to draw us a layout of how

25 the headquarters were at the time back in June and July and August 1995 of

Page 624

1 the Bratunac Brigade, you would not be able to tell us that, to draw us

2 that layout; right?

3 A. This is just what I told you in detail just before. Indeed, yes.

4 Q. Okay. So the answer is you do not know the layout of the

5 headquarters.

6 A. I do not know. I could not be able to pinpoint any precise office

7 within this compound. I confirm that, indeed.

8 Q. Okay. So there's no need for me to ask questions such as where

9 Mr. Blagojevic's office was, Mr. Momir Nikolic was located where other

10 departments where. There's no need for know go on, because the answer to

11 all of those questions are that you do not know now, today, after all

12 those years in the field investigating this particular case?

13 A. You're absolutely right. I would be unable to pinpoint his office

14 after all these years.

15 Q. Okay. Now, you mentioned Nikolic, and it kind of piqued my

16 interest a little bit. I have to say this. You interviewed him, did you

17 not?

18 A. I did.

19 Q. All right. I take it you invited him for coffee to Banja Luka

20 before you had an interview with him. Right?

21 A. To return on this coffee thing that you seem to appreciate so

22 much, the reason why I said that we always start by this politeness piece

23 with these officers is that we had been accused by a kind of open letter

24 of the Minister of Defence of Republika Srpska, claiming that we were

25 exhausting people during a 12-hour interview process, not providing them

Page 625

1 with water, not giving them food, constantly resorting to threat of arrest

2 against them, violating their spiritual integrity and their national

3 dignity and things like this. So just to tell you that indeed Captain

4 Nikolic was treated like all other officers we summoned to come to Banja

5 Luka and that most probably we gave him an opportunity to first go to the

6 bar of this building, where he could have breakfast or whatever he wanted

7 to.

8 Q. Okay. So the answer is yes, you gave him some coffee before the

9 interview.

10 A. I don't know if we gave him. I don't know if he bought it at the

11 bar. But he had a chance to sustain himself and relax before we were

12 starting the conversation with him.

13 Q. All right. And that was in Banja Luka.

14 A. Correct.

15 Q. 1999?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And in fact, I believe the exact date is 15 December 1999, just in

18 case you don't recall. Would that be more or less?

19 A. I would not have remembered the specific date, but yes, this is

20 correct.

21 Q. Okay. By that point, do you suspect that Momir Nikolic might have

22 been involved in some of these incidents?

23 A. What was suspected is that he certainly had a lot of knowledge

24 about the events.

25 Q. So are you saying that up until that point you did not suspect him

Page 626

1 to be involved?

2 A. We had absolutely no hard evidence about his direct involvement in

3 the criminal events.

4 Q. And when you say "direct evidence," what are you talking about? A

5 photograph of him actually committing atrocities?

6 A. As an example or even witnesses telling that they saw him

7 committing anything.

8 Q. And that's why back as late as 15 December 1999, you invited him

9 there as a witness rather than as a suspect.

10 A. This is the reason, indeed.

11 Q. Okay. I'll move on to my next segment. And I think that we might

12 almost be through. I want to talk a little bit about the 28th Division.

13 Okay, you've heard of them; right?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated on direct examination that in -- that

16 you believe that there were about 5.000 soldiers of the 28th -- roughly,

17 give or take a few. But that was basically your estimation or the

18 estimation, at least, I believe you put it, the internationals; is that

19 correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And the estimation that -- that you -- that that was made was

22 based on the number of weapons that they had; right?

23 A. Yes. As I said, and as far as we know - but this investigation

24 is, as you know, not on the 28th Division, but not also on the situation

25 inside the enclave prior to its fall - but, and I'm sure that the Serb

Page 627

1 officers who are in this room will agree with this, that the number of

2 soldiers was determined by the number of weapons, since every man indeed

3 of fighting age had the potential to become a combatant in that context.

4 Q. All right. And so am I clear to understand that your

5 investigation -- you were disinterested at all in learning anything about

6 the 28th Division?

7 A. No. It's not that we were disinterested in learning anything

8 about the 28th Division. It is that one cannot cope with everything.

9 This investigation is an investigation on the crimes committed after the

10 fall of the Srebrenica enclave. It's not an investigation designed to

11 investigate crimes that might have been committed by the 28th. But in the

12 course of this investigation, if we came across elements that could be

13 useful for other cases, we did collect them. So it's not a question of

14 not being interested. It's just a question of not -- it was not the

15 subject of this investigation.

16 Q. Okay. But you would agree with me that at the time of the fall of

17 Srebrenica or before the fall of Srebrenica, in this area that was

18 supposed to be demilitarised by the UN, inside that area, in that enclave,

19 you had a fairly large cache of weapons and a significant number of

20 combatants; is that correct?

21 A. If we eliminate the -- from your sentence the fairly large cache,

22 information that I have no information upon, yes, indeed, there were a

23 significant number of combatants in the enclave, and I don't think anyone

24 disputes the fact that unfortunately this area has never been

25 demilitarised.

Page 628

1 Q. Okay. But you would agree with me 5.000 weapons in a

2 demilitarised area, that would put the numbers large for weapons?

3 A. Again, yes, I agree with you. And this is not disputed even by

4 the Bosniak side, I think.

5 Q. Okay. Now, you had indicated that -- that the 28th Division or

6 members of the 28th Division were also committing some atrocities in Serb

7 villages; is that correct?

8 A. No, I didn't say that.

9 Q. All right. So you have no knowledge of that?

10 A. I know about the rumours and the hearsay. I didn't work on that

11 investigation.

12 Q. So as far as you -- as far as you know, after all these years, you

13 have no knowledge of Naser Oric going into Serb villages, killing Serbs,

14 burning down their houses, committing atrocities himself in 1993, 1994,

15 1995?

16 A. I know all the details of the accusations that the Serbs in this

17 area and elsewhere make against the forces of Naser Oric. But again, I

18 can only repeat that on that topic I have the same information available

19 than any citizen, and I have not worked on this case, but I know -- I know

20 the -- not only the charges brought by the ICTY against him but all the

21 claims that both the population and the arrest officers have against him.

22 Q. Okay. So -- well, when did you hear of Naser Oric?

23 A. As soon as summer 1995.

24 Q. And he has quite a large reputation, does he not?

25 A. Yes, sure.

Page 629

1 Q. Did you ever try to interview him?

2 A. I never tried to interview him formally.

3 Q. So does that mean informally you tried to interview him?

4 A. That means indeed that I had a contact with him.

5 Q. Okay. All right. Well, that's good. So I take it during that

6 contact you had a conversation, no?

7 A. Yes, correct.

8 Q. All right. And how long did the conversation last?

9 A. Probably more than one hour.

10 Q. Okay. Now, I take it it wasn't about Naser Oric's handiwork that

11 you were discussing at that time, and by that handiwork I mean what he was

12 doing to the Serbs in and around the Srebrenica area?

13 A. There are two ways to collect information.

14 Q. Why don't you answer my question first, and then you can talk

15 about two ways of information collection.

16 A. Okay.

17 Q. What --

18 A. Again, I repeat -- again I, repeat, you are right when you say

19 that that his actions were not the point of this contact, since again I

20 repeat, the investigation I'm in charge of is not on that. Yeah.

21 Q. All right. Okay. But -- all right. Well, might I ask, because

22 you kind of piqued my interest here. I've got to tell you.

23 A. No, you already knew about it.

24 Q. Actually, I did not. But now I'm very fascinated, to be honest

25 with you. If you could tell me, about what year are we talking about?

Page 630

1 A. I'll try to be as precise as possible. December 1999.

2 Q. December 1999. I take it that's -- that was in Tuzla?

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. All right. That's -- was he still a businessman, you know, black

5 marketeering at the time when you met him?

6 A. I honestly don't know what his activities were in the area at that

7 time.

8 Q. Okay.

9 A. But I know that the rumour says what you say.

10 Q. Okay.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, could you show us the relevance of

12 this set of questions. You have to understand that tu quoque is not a

13 proper defence in this case.

14 MR. KARNAVAS: I totally agree with you, Your Honour. I totally

15 agree with you.

16 JUDGE LIU: We just want to know where you are going to lead us.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: I would be more than happy to, Your Honour. The

18 evidence will -- I think will come in through witnesses from the

19 Prosecution and through our witnesses that the members of the VRS, while

20 you had trained officers at the very top levels, that most of the soldiers

21 were citizen soldiers that were from the surrounding area. So for

22 instance, in Zvornik there would be citizens of Zvornik; in Bratunac, they

23 would be from Bratunac. They were reservists. And they would spend two

24 weeks on, two weeks off. Usually that was the -- the time period that

25 they served.

Page 631

1 Where I'm getting at is this, Your Honour: That Naser Oric, it is

2 clear -- there's out there, there's plenty of documentation, was going

3 around, while Srebrenica was supposed to be demilitarised, he was sneaking

4 out and he was killing Serbs and he was burning down their villages and he

5 was committing atrocities.

6 Now, here we are today in this trial. If you have an army that

7 part of it -- part of that army -- part of that army is composed of

8 reservists that live in that area that have family members that were lost

9 during these atrocities, they on their own, whether they're serving or not

10 serving, on their own may be committing crimes that are not known to the

11 commander or where the commander is totally unaware of what's going on.

12 If somebody is off duty for his two weeks and hears what's going on and

13 has the opportunity to take personal revenge - I'm not justifying it. I'm

14 not saying that this is a defence. But what I am saying: It is a logical

15 consequence. And if somebody on his own, unknown to the commander,

16 commits a crime, under the laws that we are dealing with here, surely

17 command responsibility would not attach unless it fits within the strict

18 criteria of the law. And that's all I'm trying to get at this point, Your

19 Honour, that they did an investigation, it was selective in a way because

20 they -- if you look and see who was participating during those interviews.

21 You had a Prosecutor, Peter McCloskey, or Mr. Harmon there. You had

22 Richard Butler, who was a military analyst. You had Frasier [phoen],

23 another analyst. You had the professional investigator. All of them --

24 as we see here, the investigator comes in and anticipates what my

25 cross-examination is going to be. And today he's even anticipating what

Page 632

1 the re-direct is. Surely they should have anticipated that hey, some of

2 these atrocities might have been committed by individuals acting on their

3 own, taking revenge for whatever reason. And I think that as a good

4 investigation they have a duty not just to make an assumption, form a

5 conclusion, and then try to reach for that evidence, excluding any other

6 possibilities and excluding any other efforts to see maybe there's some

7 exculpatory evidence here, maybe there are other avenues that are

8 available.

9 That's all I'm trying to say, Your Honour. And I'm trying to lay

10 the foundation through this particular witness. But I totally agree with

11 you that you cannot justify saying that an atrocity happened; therefore,

12 you can commit another atrocity. That is totally unacceptable. Even one

13 death is unacceptable. And I would not be here making that argument, and

14 I pray that it never -- I never even insinuate that that is part of our

15 defence, because it is not.

16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm afraid that you could not get so much from

17 this witness on this point. I think most of your argument will be

18 presented during your case, that is, the Defence case, at a later stage.

19 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree with you, Your Honour. But I'm trying to

20 also, since the gentleman is here. He might be able to help us out. He

21 mentioned Naser Oric, that he had a meeting with him. I would like at

22 least a few questions. And if you feel that I'm straying away too much,

23 I'll be -- I'll be more than happy to back off. But if I could have some

24 indulgence, Your Honour, just a few moments to see if I can get a few

25 tidbits of information from the gentleman while he's still here before he

Page 633

1 leaves off for France because I don't have access to him.

2 JUDGE LIU: You may try your luck by asking a few questions, but

3 not prolong.

4 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.

5 Q. All right. So now, when you met with Mr. Oric, did -- what was

6 the topic? What was the nature of the conversation?

7 A. The aim was not to collect any statement of -- out of him, since I

8 insist this was not the topic of the investigation, but I was trying to

9 obtain two informations from him: One was in connection with very -- I

10 mean, one very specific event that was -- that happened, I'd say, at the

11 beginning of the confrontation in that area, and that is information about

12 the murder of -- the killing of a man named Zoran Zekic. It is -- Zoran

13 Zekic was an SDS official in that area. And when the Muslim resistance

14 started in that zone - I use their words - the -- the death of Zoran Zekic

15 was used as a propaganda showing that Muslim forces could have victories

16 in this place.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the microphone be adjusted for the

18 witness, please.

19 A. -- this man, for instance, was Zoran Zekic.

20 We had other information about this event that we wanted just

21 to -- we wanted to check what was the knowledge of -- of Naser Oric on

22 this. And to put aside the investigation, in a way it's more connected

23 with more -- with the situation of Miroslav Deronjic, all this. It's a

24 bit a side -- a side investigation, if I can say so.

25 Q. Okay.

Page 634

1 A. And the other point was -- unfortunately, I don't have the name of

2 the person in my head. It was in order to improve our knowledge about

3 involvement of state security personnel during the operation in Potocari.

4 So I wanted to use his personal recollection about one specific

5 individual. It's not that I don't want to give you the name. I just don't

6 recall it at this point.

7 Q. I don't need that.

8 But did the strength of the 28th Division ever come up, given that

9 there was battle activity in -- in the Zvornik area? I mean, you were

10 aware of that; right?

11 A. I mean, we are not, I think, here -- I mean, the Prosecution has

12 never challenged the -- the fact that heavy battles were conducted in the

13 forest. And when we talk about deaths, we only talk about prisoners who

14 went through a detention process. We have never counted battle casualties

15 as victims in this case. I mean, the Srebrenica case. But no, we didn't

16 discuss any -- anything about this battle aspect during this interview.

17 Q. Now, is that because in your mind, as the investigator, along with

18 the Prosecutors and the other analysts, in your mind that the -- the

19 battle activities that happened in that Zvornik area between the 28th and

20 the Zvornik Brigade were appropriate under the circumstances? Right?

21 A. I don't understand exactly the question. But I mean, we have

22 never, you know, challenged that point. I mean, we know that there was

23 heavy fighting going on. We know that that was a heavy burden for all the

24 officers who had to deal with it. And we know unfortunately that they

25 couldn't properly fulfil their duties on this topic because of -- of the

Page 635

1 additional burden of having to conduct this security operation, like

2 Colonel Popovic would call it.

3 Q. All right. But -- but you don't dispute -- but just to make sure

4 that I understand it, you don't dispute that there were -- there was heavy

5 battle activity and that, at least from my understanding of your answer,

6 that that battle activity was not necessarily improper under the

7 circumstances.

8 A. Absolutely, no, the battle activity is battle activity, and we

9 have never charged, as far as I know, anyone for -- for the casualties

10 that occurred during this combat activity.

11 Q. Okay. All right.

12 MR. KARNAVAS: Are we going to be taking a break soon, Your

13 Honour? If so --

14 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you've finished that subject and change --

15 MR. KARNAVAS: I've finished that subject, Your Honour, and I

16 don't want to take up the Trial Chamber's time. I'm trying to condense it

17 so I can finish today. And I am -- I am confident.

18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

19 MR. KARNAVAS: And I --

20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll have the break now, and we will resume at

21 twenty minutes to 6.00.

22 --- Recess taken at 5.10 p.m.

23 --- On resuming at 5.41 p.m.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Please continue.

25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.

Page 636

1 Q. Mr. Ruez, I'm going to switch to another topic. I want to focus

2 your attention, if you could, to that one piece of footage that you

3 introduced as a summary witness and which, I believe, it was Colonel,

4 Colonel Karremans, is speaking with General Mladic the first time to time.

5 Do you remember that footage?

6 A. Yes, I do.

7 Q. Okay. And correct me if I'm wrong. It's my recollection, from

8 watching the video, that at that particular meeting was initiated by

9 Colonel Karremans. Is that -- is that your understanding?

10 A. Yes. I remember I made a mistake when I made a comment on this.

11 I said that this first meeting had been done on the request of

12 General Mladic. But indeed you're absolutely right. It was on the

13 request of Colonel Karremans, as it appears clearly on the video footage.

14 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, during that meeting, it appeared to me

15 that at least prior to the meeting Colonel Karremans had initiated -- had

16 taken some initiatives of his own. And by that what I mean is that he had

17 made some contacts, and in particular one of them being with the -- the

18 BiH government in Sarajevo. Is that correct?

19 A. I honestly don't know if that is correct. I might indeed recall

20 that -- that aspect. I don't remember if it was BiH government in

21 Sarajevo. In my recollection it was the central command in Zagreb that he

22 attempted to get in contact with, or maybe headquarters in Sarajevo, but

23 probably certainly not the BiH government, I would think.

24 Q. Okay. So -- so as far as -- as far as your recollection goes -

25 and it could be that I'm mistaken. I was under the impression from

Page 637

1 listening to that that, one, he had contacted either his folks in Zagreb,

2 that is, the UN, but also he had some information from the government in

3 Sarajevo, that information being that the folks in Potocari should be

4 evacuated, you know, outside the area.

5 A. I cannot answer on that point. His declarations are in the

6 records. I would invite you to check them. I don't want to recall

7 things --

8 Q. Okay.

9 A. -- instead of him.

10 Q. All right. Did you have an opportunity to interview Colonel

11 Karremans?

12 A. No, I never interviewed Colonel Karremans.

13 Q. Did somebody else interview him?

14 A. Yes, certainly.

15 Q. Did you have an opportunity to read his -- his statement, the

16 interview statement?

17 A. If that was the case, it was probably in 1996. I don't have

18 recollection of having read his statement in 1996, though certainly if he

19 gave one I did, but I don't recall. I mainly recall his declarations that

20 he made during the public hearing, the Rule 61 hearing, end of June, early

21 July 1996 and it's content, but I don't recall having read a statement he

22 gave prior to that situation, though he might have given one. I just

23 don't recall.

24 Q. Okay. Do -- did you -- I recall receiving some disclosure

25 material with respect to interviews or statements or forms that were

Page 638

1 filled out by Dutch -- DutchBat soldiers. Was somebody else covering that

2 aspect of the investigation and you were focussing on -- on the mass

3 graves and other areas?

4 A. In a way, yes, since a team of Flemish speaking investigators was

5 put together for the sake of that interview mission that first took place

6 in Hassan, in a Dutch military barracks. I did not take part in that,

7 aside on the point of preparing some questions for those who would go to

8 this interview. This interview process, as far as I remember, was stalled

9 a couple of times, because unfortunately at that time there were some

10 financial problems at the OTP, so the process stalled for that reason at

11 one point. And I was indeed on mission in Bosnia, in Republika Srpska, I

12 think, during this interview process.

13 Q. Okay. Another -- another segment of some of the footage that we

14 saw -- and as you might recall, I -- I stood up and I made an objection --

15 well, I was asking for a clarification. Well, maybe it was an objection

16 as well, because as I recall, you had formed an opinion or a conclusion.

17 And that was with respect to the blue helmets. Do you remember that

18 section?

19 A. Yes, I remember very well.

20 Q. Okay. In the footage we see someone wearing a blue helmet that

21 obviously belongs to the UN; right?

22 A. Right.

23 Q. And obviously that person is not with the UN that's wearing it.

24 A. Absolutely, yes.

25 Q. Okay. But in looking at that footage, based on the uniform that

Page 639

1 the -- the gentleman was wearing at the time, can you tell from whether he

2 was a soldier or whether he was MUP?

3 A. I'm going to give you full satisfaction on this. When I said "on

4 this footage you can see a Serb soldier wearing a blue helmet," I said on

5 purpose -- I used on purpose a term that is quite large, "Serb soldier,"

6 since in the way I mean it, it is a word used for whoever is part of a

7 unit resubordinated to the Drina Corps for the sake of the military

8 operation. But you are right to pinpoint what you pinpointed. We know

9 not from the uniform, but Mr. Butler will be the one providing you the

10 details on this, that in this specific area we know for sure are present

11 both soldiers who are professional policemen but embedded in companies

12 formed by the CSB Zvornik in order to reinforce the army for specific

13 military operations. So they are, in brackets part-time soldiers. They

14 only go in combat for very specific situations.

15 And on that same part of the road, that is, between Lolici and

16 Kravica, with Sandici in the middle, are also present elements of a

17 special police brigade, that is, a full-time combat unit. So indeed it

18 could very well be that this soldier is either one or the other. So when

19 I say "soldier," here it means a number of the VRS armed forces that day -

20 because anyhow, he is in a combat operation where his unit is

21 resubordinated to the Drina Corps.

22 Q. Okay. Now, I wasn't prepared to into this area, but I guess I

23 need to clarify a little bit. You're not a military expert. We can agree

24 on that, can we not?

25 A. Though I'm a reserve officer in the French army, indeed I am not a

Page 640

1 military expert.

2 Q. Okay. All right. Okay. And you're not here to testify as a

3 military expert.

4 A. Certainly not.

5 Q. Okay. We're going to leave that to Mr. Butler.

6 A. That's exactly what I expect to happen, yes.

7 Q. Okay. Okay. So -- and I am sure Mr. Butler is going to fascinate

8 us with the issue of subordination, resubordination, and what have you.

9 However, is it your understanding that everyone at all times during that

10 particular -- during those particular days that were in that vicinity were

11 subordinated or resubordinated, however you want to term it, to the army,

12 or is that an assumption that you're making?

13 A. No, this is not an assumption. This has been one of the main

14 topics during the trial of General Krstic. And as far as I understand the

15 situation, this resubordination aspect is no more a topic, since the Trial

16 Chamber has already ruled on this during the Krstic trial. But I am not

17 an expert of that trial, where I was only a witness at one point.

18 Q. But -- okay. So it's based on that -- that trial that now you're

19 saying that obviously he was a soldier, in your terms, that is, he was a

20 member of the VRS because everybody there in uniform at that time, during

21 those days, was subordinated to the VRS? It's an assumption that you're

22 making.

23 A. No, I'm not making this assumption. What I am saying is that as

24 far as we know, both special police companies and special police brigade

25 were two units resubordinated to the Drina Corps. But to assist you in

Page 641

1 where you probably want to lead me to is that I've never said that this

2 soldier was a member of the Bratunac Brigade.

3 Q. Well, I wasn't leading you there, but thank you for volunteering

4 that information. I'm sure it's useful to the -- to the Trial Chamber.

5 Now we can move on to the next area. How many hours would you

6 estimate that you spent on this case or days or weeks or months, whichever

7 is most convenient for you?

8 A. Close to six years, including most of the weekends and most of the

9 evenings.

10 Q. Okay. So for about six years, basically Srebrenica has been more

11 or less your life.

12 A. Yes, correct.

13 Q. Okay. And -- but you, of course, were not the only one

14 investigating Srebrenica. There were others.

15 A. Definitely, yes. A large team. If we pile up all those who

16 participated at the moment or another, a very large team.

17 Q. Okay. Well, that's what I'm trying to get at, you know. I'm

18 trying to figure out how large of a team was this.

19 A. It would take you a long time to find out all these details,

20 because the figures evoluted in the time. When I say a large team,

21 counting everyone and counting in this all the exhumation team, all the

22 people we were in contact with for whatever reason in this investigation,

23 including the military personnel who assisted us, either by obligation or

24 sometimes because they felt it was appropriate to do so. But if you are

25 considering the investigation team, the maximum number of investigators

Page 642

1 that has ever been present at the same time in the team has never been

2 above five.

3 Q. Okay. Would you consider this a -- a complex, highly complex

4 case, medium complex? Where would the range be?

5 A. I would leave it to others to assess the complexity of this case.

6 I've been too close in contact with it to now give an assessment about

7 that.

8 Q. So are you saying you have no objectivity left as a result of the

9 six years you spent on this case?

10 A. No, I think my objectivity is absolutely intact. What I want to

11 say is that if it is indeed a highly complex case, that I think we

12 finalised quite well, I don't want to give me this compliment. I don't

13 know if it was complex. We just did it.

14 Q. Okay. Well, it was neither meant as a compliment or any other way

15 that you might have taken it. It was merely a piece of information that I

16 was trying to get out of you.

17 A. But I'll just tell you the reason why I can't answer that.

18 Q. Okay. Very well. And I won't push on it.

19 Now, you left in -- in 2001, and it's my understanding - and I

20 might be wrong - it was either before or right after or during the middle

21 of the Krstic case; is that correct?

22 A. It was close to the end of it, indeed.

23 Q. Close to the end of the trial -- the Krstic trial?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Okay. So that's been some time; right?

Page 643

1 A. Two years, a bit more than two years.

2 Q. Two years. Right. Now, during that two-year period, someone who

3 has spent six years of their life working on this -- working on a

4 particular project, I would imagine you -- you followed -- you kept

5 following the progress of the investigation?

6 A. From a distance.

7 Q. From a distance. But would it be fair to say that you -- you have

8 spoken to your colleagues and friends?

9 A. Yes. Because I came back twice to Europe and met my friends and

10 colleagues and indeed got an update on the evolution of the situation

11 compared with the time I left.

12 Q. All right. Now, you say you came back to Europe. I take it it

13 was outside of Europe.

14 A. Correct.

15 Q. Okay. And before coming here today -- well, before coming to

16 testify, I should say, you did meet with the Prosecutors, did you not?

17 A. Not since I am under oath, but I was here in the weeks before I

18 was testifying.

19 Q. Okay. How long were you here before you testified?

20 A. Three weeks.

21 Q. Three weeks.

22 A. I would think. I arrived here Monday -- Sunday, 12th, starting

23 Monday, 13th, to be precise. May, month of May.

24 Q. Okay. And the purpose for meeting with the Prosecution was to --

25 to assist them in putting together your testimony.

Page 644

1 A. Yes, correct. Selecting the exhibits the Prosecutor intended to

2 use for this trial.

3 Q. All right. And would it be fair to say that up until the time

4 that you left, a few people, perhaps, you know, Mr. McCloskey being the

5 exception, would have as much knowledge about the case as you would?

6 Right?

7 A. Yes, this is correct.

8 Q. All right. And that's why it was necessary for you to assist

9 their team - and it's a fairly large team, would you not say, that is

10 working -- putting this presentation together? I mean, I see - one, two,

11 three, four - four Prosecutors here in court.

12 A. Yes. I came here to assist them. In fact, narrowing down the

13 testimony compared to the one we did with during the trial of General

14 Krstic.

15 Q. Okay.

16 A. And selecting the exhibits, since indeed I'm the only one from the

17 team who was present when most of these pictures were taken, and among the

18 ones who can for sure say what they represent.

19 Q. All right. And during that time, as I understand it - and we got

20 a copy of it the other night - the questions were more or less outlined

21 for you, or the areas where there would be -- where you would be

22 questioned on; right?

23 A. Yes. The chronology of -- of the testimony was outlined point by

24 point, I'd say chapter after chapter.

25 Q. Right.

Page 645

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Now, was that done by you or was that done by the Prosecutor that

3 did the questioning?

4 A. That was done by the Prosecutor.

5 Q. Okay. And did you just look at and it say, "Okay, this is okay,"

6 or did you have some input into it, sometimes maybe informing her that she

7 should add this or maybe relocate that chapter or ...?

8 A. The Prosecutor, Stacy de la Torre, knows this case extremely well.

9 Q. I didn't ask that question, now, did I?

10 A. No, I know you didn't ask, but --

11 Q. Just answer my question.

12 A. But in order to answer properly your question, I have first to say

13 that. If not, you would not understand my answer. Because of her

14 knowledge, it was not a need for me to -- to change much regarding what

15 she expected me -- what she expected from me during this testimony.

16 Q. All right. So she wrote out that, and you looked at it, and you

17 gave it your stamp of approval, as far as what you thought would be a good

18 compilation of a summary of your investigation and of this case; right?

19 A. We agreed that indeed that was the minimum we could put together

20 in order to -- to assist the Chamber to visualise the areas that the

21 witnesses describe in the course of their various testimonies.

22 Q. All right. Now, you said "we," meaning you and the Prosecution;

23 right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You as a witness, who no longer works for OTP, for the Office of

Page 646

1 the Prosecution, now in some kind of an expert capacity are working with

2 them, assisting them to assist the Trial Chamber and the rest of us,

3 hopefully, in the presentation of your testimony.

4 A. [No audible response]

5 Q. You're shaking your head. Does that mean yes?

6 A. Yes. Absolutely, yes.

7 Q. All right. We're trying to make a record here. That's all.

8 All right. And that took about, what, two or three weeks you

9 said?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Were those full days or half days? And weekends included.

12 A. It was depended on the days. I didn't take records of our

13 activities during these three weeks.

14 Q. Yeah, but you've got almost a photographic memory. You can

15 remember things from 1995. Surely you must remember whether -- how many

16 hours, tell us, in general might you have spent with Ms. de la Torre and

17 the other members of the team in assisting them in preparing your

18 testimony? It's not a trick question, by the way.

19 A. I know it's not a trick question, but -- and we have to split the

20 time spent in two -- in two different things. One is the time I spent

21 with Stacy de la Torre, and part of it is time I spent myself in -- to

22 review material. And as you know, for example, the videotape is three

23 hours and a half, so you look at this entirely is three hours and a half.

24 Then you have to re-look at it again because you realise that some -- I

25 mean, some pieces, for example, would not be inserted at the right

Page 647

1 moments. I mean, I hardly can give you an estimate of time. I didn't pay

2 attention to that, really.

3 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, during that -- was it just you and Ms. de

4 la Torre, or were -- did you speak with others?

5 A. No, me and Ms. de la Torre.

6 Q. Just the two of you. You didn't have a chance to speak at all

7 with -- with Mr. McCloskey?

8 A. Not about the issue of this testimony.

9 Q. Okay. Did you speak about any other aspects of the case with

10 either Ms. de la Torre or other members of the Prosecution team?

11 A. Nothing specific, no.

12 Q. When you say "nothing specific," what does that mean? That's kind

13 of a vague answer.

14 A. Unfortunately, I have to keep it vague, because being under oath I

15 don't want to say -- to say a straight no, we didn't talk about anything

16 connected with the case. It's impossible for me not to speak about the

17 case and the investigation when I am in contact with colleagues who worked

18 with it. So for sure we probably discussed things, but no subject that I

19 would be able to -- to recall now specifically, a very specific issue.

20 Just in order to check if this would be something correct for you or not

21 correct. So I just can provide this information.

22 Q. All right.

23 A. But yes, we discussed the investigation. We discussed the case. I

24 did it with every single person from the team who I meet, just about to

25 make a little comment or whatever.

Page 648

1 Q. Okay. And how many members all together on the team would you say

2 you have spoken to? Because I'm trying to get a figure as well of how

3 large this team is presently.

4 A. At this time, though I don't think it's a secret, you have one --

5 an investigation team leader and two investigators who were -- sorry,

6 three, two of them having been in the team since quite a while. The most

7 ancient investigator in the team currently is Mr. Dean Manning, who will

8 come and testify.

9 Q. And then of course the four Prosecutors, plus their -- their

10 assistants and --

11 A. I -- I mean, I'm not focussing on the trial team. I only talk

12 about the part I know about, which is the investigation team.

13 Q. All right. Were you kept abreast of the negotiations that were

14 ongoing at the time of your arrival between the Nikolic Defence team and

15 the Prosecution?

16 A. I didn't give any specifics about what was happening on that

17 topic, but I knew that there was indeed a possibility that at least one of

18 the defendants would plead guilty, yes.

19 Q. Okay. So you were -- just -- you just learned of this

20 information, but you didn't have -- for instance, nobody from the

21 Prosecution said, "Hey, you know, we're negotiating, we're talking. Any

22 thoughts since you met this man? Give us some insight on how he might be

23 thinking or what -- what might we do to persuade this particular

24 individual into -- into pleading guilty?" Did they ever do any of that

25 sort of thing?

Page 649

1 A. No, nothing of that.

2 Q. Okay. And I take it that you -- you weren't presented with the--

3 I recall it's a statement of facts and admission -- and admissions or

4 something like that, or admissions of responsibility. That's how it's

5 phrased. You haven't looked at that either?

6 A. I had no role at all at any stage of these last developments. I

7 didn't participate at all in any aspect of it.

8 Q. Okay. I take it that -- I take it through our questioning here

9 there wasn't anything that I might have asked that in any way threw your

10 off?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Okay. In other words, you haven't -- I want to make sure that

13 you've been treated fairly in your cross-examination.

14 A. Be fully assured on that point. Yes. Absolutely, yes. I thank

15 you for that.

16 Q. Okay. Well, I want to thank you very much, sir.

17 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

19 Ms. Sinatra, are you going to conduct your cross-examination now?

20 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, if I might suggest, I think the witness

21 is probably tired, and I will have probably at least a half day or maybe a

22 whole day of cross-examination. If we could begin tomorrow, I would

23 appreciate it.

24 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this request is reasonable. But

25 tomorrow morning we will start a little bit later against the schedule. We

Page 650

1 will start at 10.00 in the morning until 1.00 and in the afternoon from

2 2.30 to 4.30. Do you think that's enough time for you to conduct your

3 cross-examination?

4 MS. SINATRA: It's more than enough time, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE LIU: Are you sure of that?

6 MS. SINATRA: I'm positive.

7 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you don't have enough time, we have to sit on

8 Friday. The situation will be very awkward. We have to sit from 2.15 to

9 7.00.

10 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I didn't know we were sitting in the

11 morning and the afternoon. I only thought I was starting at 2.15. And I

12 think I'll have plenty of time. Thank you.

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the Registry issued a new scheduling

14 order that we'll sit a whole day tomorrow. But there are some practical

15 difficulties, that we have to start at 10.00 tomorrow morning. Is that

16 all right for you?

17 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. I'll be prepared.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

19 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.

20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

21 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a minor request.

22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

23 MR. KARNAVAS: Unless I'm interrupting here, because I thought

24 that Ms. Sinatra was -- was finished.

25 The gentleman indicated that there were submission requests - I

Page 651

1 believe that's the technical term - those written -- the written plans

2 that would have to go up to the chain of command for him to conduct his

3 missions. In light of the -- his answers today, I would like to ask if at

4 all possible the OTP could provide us with those mission requests from the

5 beginning of Mr. Ruez's investigation until the time -- until, in fact,

6 today. I think it's -- I just -- I think it's relevant for the following

7 reasons, Your Honours:

8 One, we need -- it will become obvious during the part of our case

9 and in -- I think it's becoming obvious already through our

10 cross-examination that perhaps some efforts may have been made on behalf

11 of the accused that were not made by the -- by OTP. I'm not suggesting

12 that there's anything in there in particular, but I might -- I believe it

13 might be useful for us to have that. So I am making that request.

14 We don't need to make that decision today since the Court has

15 indicated that should we feel the need to bring back Mr. Ruez, and the

16 Prosecution agrees we can do so -- I'm not suggesting that's going to be

17 the case, but it might give us some insight into the -- into their

18 investigation. I would most appreciate it if the -- if the Trial Chamber

19 could consider this minor request.

20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't know if it's minor or big

21 Could I turn to Ms. De la Torre on this issue.

22 MS. DE LA TORRE: Your Honour, as Mr. Karnavas indicated, that his

23 reasoning for wanting this material is to give him some insight into the

24 investigation, which is precisely what Rule 70(A) is designed to protect.

25 That's clearly work product. It falls clearly within 70(A). Not to

Page 652

1 mention the fact that Mr. Karnavas indicated that in light of his

2 questioning, this material would be relevant.

3 However, Mr. Ruez indicated that those requests did not exist,

4 that he did not make those requests in writing. So Mr. Karnavas

5 apparently is attempting to prove a negative. Mr. Ruez has freely

6 admitted that they do not exist. So his trolling through mission reports

7 for the past six years would simply be a fishing expedition and simply not

8 allowed under Rule 70(A).

9 JUDGE LIU: So you mean that those requests did not exist?

10 MS. DE LA TORRE: He asked Mr. Ruez, as I recall, repeatedly

11 whether or not he would find a mission request which detailed - for

12 example, a request to search the Bratunac Brigade headquarters - and

13 Mr. Ruez repeatedly said that he would not and explained the reasoning

14 behind that in that it was not a priority at that time.

15 So this -- the reasoning behind wanting these mission reports in

16 that they would give insight into the investigation is clearly prohibited

17 by the Rules.

18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.

19 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, obviously my learned colleague has not read

20 the Rules very carefully and certainly doesn't know the case law on this.

21 I would -- I used the word "insight." I'm not looking for insight into

22 the gentleman's brain. I'm not looking for their strategy. I am,

23 however, looking to see what requests were made with respect to

24 investigation. They don't have to give the reasoning, but I do -- I

25 believe that in light of our theory of the case and in light of what the

Page 653

1 Prosecution has indicated in their opening statement, where they

2 repeatedly, and hammered away, that the accused, three at the time, but

3 specifically pointing out to Mr. Blagojevic, went out of their way to

4 sanitise the records, to -- to take away all the documents and do all

5 these other sorts of things. This was also mentioned in one of their

6 other arguments. At some point we should be able to have the opportunity

7 to see what efforts were made by the investigation to do an objective

8 investigation.

9 There was a specific reasoning, Your Honour, why I asked how many

10 people were working on this investigation and how many hours this

11 gentleman had put in. Obviously, when we're talking about equality of

12 arms, it's a no-brainer. We can see that there is no equality of arms.

13 Grant you, they have to begin the investigation, and we only need to

14 defend a particular individual. But surely we come after they have had an

15 opportunity to investigate, to speak with witnesses. They have resources.

16 And part of their obligation -- part of their obligation, though it's not

17 crystal clear in the ICTY Statute, though it is in the ICC Statute, that

18 they do have an obligation to look for exculpatory evidence with equal

19 zeal as they would look for inculpatory evidence.

20 And we are in a position, one, we don't have the resources; two, a

21 lot of years have gone by; and three, they've had opportunities which we

22 will never have. And I think in all fairness to Mr. Blagojevic and

23 Mr. Jokic we should be able to see how they progress in their -- in their

24 case.

25 Mr. Ruez indicated that as early as 1995 he made assumptions.

Page 654

1 Grant you, he's human, like the rest of us. He assumed that the Bratunac

2 Brigade was involved. Today we learned that it's not until 1998, although

3 he had been to the site where the brigade was located two times in 1996

4 and had the armed forces of the United States, who was over there in IFOR,

5 they didn't bother to collect any evidence; yet today, 2003, Mr. McCloskey

6 stands up and says Mr. Blagojevic was involved in sanitising these

7 records, a burden that he has to prove. Yet I want to be able to show,

8 Your Honour, that we have our own limitations, and I want to be able to

9 demonstrate in my cross-examination and in my own case, in my own

10 investigation.

11 So in legion to all of this, because at the conclusion of the

12 Prosecution's case we're going to be following the Rules and we will be

13 requesting for motion of a judgement -- we will file a motion for

14 judgement of acquittal, of course. But more importantly we will be asking

15 indulgence of the Court for a reasonable recess in order to investigate

16 the -- what we have learned so far.

17 So I'm only thinking ahead. I'm trying to assist this Trial

18 Chamber in making sure that we finish on time. I'm trying to expedite the

19 matters. And there is a provision in the Rules, Your Honour, which

20 clearly foresee these circumstances. I could not have written the Rules

21 better myself. It allows the Trial Chamber to look at all this material

22 in advance should the Prosecutor feel that under Rule 70 somehow I am

23 prying into the sanctum sanctorum of the OTP, which is not what I am

24 trying to do.

25 And you can look at them, Your Honours, and you can see what, if

Page 655

1 anything, should be kept from the Defence, because I would like to remind

2 the Trial Chamber that the issue of disclosure came up very, very early in

3 this case. The record is very clear. Motions have been filed. And it's

4 my understanding, based on the decision that was -- that came down from

5 Judge Schomburg that we should be entitled to their entire file at

6 Srebrenica, barring that which is work product. And this to me, Your

7 Honour, does not seem to fall into that. Maybe there is seem to fall

8 within that category. Maybe portions do. Maybe there are some private

9 thoughts, like Mr. Ruez, as to why they need to do certain things. God

10 forbid, I wouldn't want to pry into that. But I certainly would like to

11 know how they went about it.

12 Because if in 1999 or 1998 they claim certain documents were --

13 were sanitised, and now they want to put the blame on a particular

14 individual, that -- I have a problem with that. And I should be able

15 to -- to see what, if anything, they could have done to solve the case

16 properly and whether the investigation proceeded in an objective manner.

17 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll look into this matter this evening,

18 especially look into the Rule 70. Then we will make rulings tomorrow.

19 Is there anything you want to add, Ms. de la Torre?

20 MS. DE LA TORRE: Yes, Your Honour. First of all, obviously the

21 suggestion that the Prosecution does not understand Rule 70(A) is absurd

22 and the childish barbs unprofessional. Despite Mr. Karnavas's fervent

23 desire that it be otherwise, Rule 70(A) is very clear. It says, "Reports,

24 memoranda, and other documents prepared by a party in connection with the

25 investigation or preparation of the case are not subject to disclosure."

Page 656

1 I believe the Rules couldn't be more explicit in this case, and

2 Rule 70(A) applies to these sorts of documents.

3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

4 So we are adjourned until 10.00 tomorrow morning.

5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.19 p.m.,

6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of May,

7 2003, at 10.00 a.m.