1 Tuesday, 8 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case Number IT-02-60-T, The
8 Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me --
10 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated]
11 JUDGE LIU: I can't hear you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, and
13 everyone else.
14 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest yesterday?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did, although as I went out
16 of the courtroom, I felt a little unwell. And because of that, I would
17 like to point out to some omissions that I recalled after I finished my
18 testimony yesterday.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, what do you mean by some omissions?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday in the course of my
21 testimony, I was supposed to give testimony as a protected witness. That
22 did not happen. And in the course of my testimony yesterday, I was not
23 sure and occasionally I was a little scared. I didn't know whether I was
24 a protected witness or not. But at the end, when you said that the
25 witness should be taken out, I then turned around, and then I saw the
1 journalists, reporters, the media, which means that I was not protected.
2 That was an omission of this institution which brought me, my family, in
3 a very unpleasant situation after my testimony. And I wouldn't want my
4 family to be at any risk for the -- for the Srebrenica -- from July 1995
5 to happen again, particularly not to my daughter who is 6 years old. Now
6 what I want this Tribunal to tell me is whether I am under threat, whether
7 I am at risk or not.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, first of all, I have to apologise to
9 you for this omission. I think this Trial Chamber did not care enough to
10 make sure the status of your testimony. Secondly, I would like to say
11 that we'll finish your cross-examination today and hope to send you back
12 as soon as possible. At this moment, I haven't seen any damage,
13 substantial damage, done to you at this moment. Maybe the impact will be
14 felt later on but anyway, we will bear that in mind to see if there's any
15 remedies in that aspect.
16 Are you ready to proceed, Witness?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you very much. Any cross-examination?
19 Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Mr. President,
21 Your Honours.
22 WITNESS: NESIB MANDZIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
25 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. Before coming to testify yesterday, I take it you met with the
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, Your Honour microphone, please. We
5 cannot hear from you.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I do have it on, Your Honour. Can you hear
7 me now?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I have a slight cold. I'll try to shout a little
11 Q. Mr. Mandzic, can you hear me?
12 A. Yes, I can hear you.
13 Q. Before coming here to testify, you met with the Prosecution, did
14 you not?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. And one of the reasons for meeting with them was to go over your
17 testimony for this particular trial. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's one reason. But there are many reasons why I wanted
19 to see the Prosecutor beforehand regarding the security implications and
20 possible consequences for me and my family.
21 Q. I understand. But one of the purposes for meeting with the
22 Prosecution was to also for him to walk you through your testimony
23 yesterday and here today. Is that correct?
24 A. For me, I did not need to have that meeting for that purpose, to
25 recall what happened in July 1995. That's deeply buried in my heart, in
1 my memory, and I still remember a lot of details from that.
2 Q. Okay. Very well.
3 Well, let's go through some of the events, then. And I want to
4 start with -- I will start with as early as 1992, if that's okay with
6 A. Very well.
7 Q. You went to Srebrenica in July, I believe it was 22nd, 23rd of
8 1992, not as a refugee but for the purpose of fighting or organising a
9 resistance. Isn't that a fact?
10 A. I think I came when -- I arrived one week later to Srebrenica,
11 not to organise resistance because it was already organised, but to join
13 Q. But you didn't go there as a refugee, you went there as a
14 resistance fighter?
15 A. To join the resistance, that's correct.
16 Q. Okay. And you had already been involved in the resistance in
17 Tuzla. Isn't that a fact?
18 A. Partly, just preserving some lines, positions, without any
19 offensive operations on either side.
20 Q. Well, you were a commander, were you not, of a particular unit?
21 A. No, not of a unit.
22 Q. What were you a commander of?
23 A. Well, of one artillery weapon which has a crew of up to five
25 Q. Okay. And so when you went to Srebrenica back in July 22nd,
1 23rd, as you indicated, the resistance had already begun and Naser Oric
2 was in command, was he not?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And you know Naser Oric quite well, do you not?
5 A. At that time, I knew him only slightly.
6 Q. My question wasn't whether you knew him then quite slightly. I
7 asked that you know him very well. Isn't that a fact?
8 A. I can't say that even now I know him well, his psychological
9 state, his intentions, but I know him.
10 Q. Okay. But you fought with him, did you not?
11 A. With units, not with Naser. With the units who were resisting.
12 Q. Okay. And those units were under Naser Oric, right?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. One of the missions for those units was to go and raid Serb
15 villages, was it not?
16 A. That was not the objective. The purpose was to resist the units
17 of the VRS and of the Yugoslav army that were attacking on a daily basis
18 and were expelling Bosniaks from those areas. Sir, we had to defend
20 Q. Are you saying here today, Mr. Mandzic, that you did not
21 participate or Naser Oric did not participate in attacking Serb villages,
22 burning down Serb houses, killing Serbs in that area?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour, that's a two-part
24 question --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say that. I didn't say
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say that.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, that was a compound question and an
6 important compound question.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour. I'll rephrase.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, put your question another way.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: And by the way, I think I have to remind both parties
11 and the witness, if the witness feels there's some questions that are
12 difficult to answer and it's very sensitive, you could ask the Chamber to
13 go into the private session.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We can have it in open session.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We may proceed.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. During the period of 1992/1993, when you were fighting for or
18 under or at the direction of Naser Oric, one of the objectives was to
19 attack Serb villages and gather war booty, isn't that a fact?
20 A. The purpose was to liberate the villages, to resist ethnic
21 cleansing -- to resist the VRS units and the Yugoslav army and to get
22 hold of food and equipment, et cetera, and weapons.
23 Q. When you say get hold of food, you're talking about getting hold
24 of it from Serb villagers, are you not?
25 A. There was food in the liberated Muslim villages because the food
1 was mostly in the Muslim villages because Muslims were a predominant
2 population in those villages and the entire municipality of Srebrenica
3 and Bratunac and the neighbouring municipalities.
4 Q. So it's your testimony here today that you did not attack -- you
5 or Naser Oric and his units did not attack any Serb villages. That's
6 your testimony here today?
7 A. The most important objective was to liberate the Bosniak
8 villages, but during those operations there were some attacks on Serb
9 villages, or rather, I'm sorry, Serb units -- on Serb units, because Serb
10 units shelled and attacked on a daily basis Muslim villages.
11 Q. Have you had an opportunity to review Mr. Oric's indictment?
12 He's currently against the United Nations Detention Unit here thanks to
13 the Prosecution.
14 A. No, I have not.
15 Q. May I ask, what unit were you with when you were fighting with
16 Naser Oric?
17 A. I was in a unit. It was Biljeg Battalion, but I have to reiterate
18 I was not in any way joining in any operations with Naser Oric.
19 Q. Are you aware that that particular battalion is mentioned in the
20 indictment against Mr. Oric for atrocities committed on civilian Serbs
21 during the period when you, in fact, were serving under Naser Oric?
22 A. I don't know that. I'm not aware of that. I have to say that
23 that unit that I was in, its purpose was to liberate Bosniak villages and
24 to provide supplies for the soldiers and the civilians who were with us,
25 I mean mostly food.
1 Q. You were injured, I believe you've indicated, sometime around the
2 end of January 1993. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could get some water from the usher because
5 we don't have any water here. I apologise.
6 Q. But you continued to -- your military service didn't end at that
7 point. You continued shortly thereafter.
8 A. For a short while, until the demilitarisation on the 18th of
9 April, or generally in April. I can't quite recall when the day was,
10 when the demilitarisation occurred.
11 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday, you indicated -- you were asked a question
12 about demilitarisation.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you were asked a similar question the first time you
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, on both occasions, and correct me if I am wrong, you had
18 indicated that indeed Srebrenica had been demilitarised, and that the few
19 weapons that were there were more or less, at least yesterday's
20 testimony, was that they were trophy weapons, a few citizens had weapons
21 because of security purposes.
22 A. To my recollection, three and a half years ago regarding my
23 testimony in court and recalling my testimony yesterday, all heavy
24 weapons were handed over to UNPROFOR, tank weapons, anti-tank, AA weapons,
25 and it was obvious that they were handed over. I know about the handover
1 of some automatic, semi automatic guns. But on the other hand, I presume
2 that most of the people who had hunting rifles or pistols for which they
3 had their permits in the previous system, they had kept that, and I said
4 that and I'm saying that now, and that's what happened.
5 Q. So --
6 A. There were hundreds of people like that because the town had
7 nearly 40.000 people in peacetime.
8 Q. Was Naser Oric still around?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Of course he was. By that point, he had been decorated, and he
11 was a brigadier, was he not?
12 A. I don't know about that. He said ages ago that he got the rank
13 of a general in the month of June in 1992, so that's not true. So what
14 you're saying about him getting the rank of brigadier, I don't know
15 whether it's true, but I know that he was -- he was already a general in
16 July 1992.
17 Q. I'm getting it from the Prosecution's indictment against Mr. Oric
18 where it also states that during that period of Srebrenica, the fall of
19 Srebrenica, the 28th division was actively operating in that vicinity.
20 So my question to you, sir, was the 28th division operating at that time
21 in and around Srebrenica?
22 A. I don't know about the operations that you're stating here, in
23 around Srebrenica.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. I mean, in the period of the demilitarisation. I presume you're
1 asking me about that particular period.
2 Q. All right. So let me get this straight --
3 A. But on the other hand, if you allow me, I do recall that there
4 were people leaving the demilitarised zone, people who were hungry, who
5 were barefoot, who went to their own houses to find some food and so on.
6 And most of those people who left the zone, VRS army captured them,
7 detained them, and most of them never returned. They were never seen
8 again. And I'm quoting the example from some of the groups, one of the
9 group contained 60 people in April 1994 they went to Zepa to get some
10 food. And many people, 10 to 15, disappeared.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, could I ask you what's the
12 relevance of these questions? I understand that you have the right to
13 ask some questions to attack the credibility of this witness. But it
14 seems to me that the questions you asked is a little bit far away from
15 the subject matter of the testimony of this witness. I hope you could not
16 drag on along this line and come back to the subject, the main subject, of
17 the testimony of this witness.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. If I may briefly for the
19 Court's convenience, the gentleman seems -- insists that --
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm going to object to these long
21 dialogues in front of the witness. They may have a detrimental impact on
22 the witness. I've seen how it was done in front of Mr. Ruez, which we did
23 not object to but I think at this point, if Mr. Karnavas has something
24 serious to say, he should say it out of the presence of the witness.
25 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, you may continue asking questions of
1 this witness, but bear in mind do not drag along for a long time.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
3 Q. Let me put the question back to you. Is it your testimony here
4 today that Naser Oric was not operating in and out of Srebrenica as the
5 commander of various units including the 28th division, which is how it
6 was renamed at the end, during this period, from 1993 to 1995?
7 A. Mr. Karnavas, I can say that now in half an hour, you have been
8 linking the question and the case of Naser Oric with my testimony. And
9 this question, too, whether there were operations or whether there were
10 no operations that you're talking about, I don't know. From April 1993
11 until the fall of Srebrenica in June 1995, I was mostly devoted to my
12 rehabilitation, because I had been wounded and I had many problems. And
13 later on, I was bringing up my children.
14 Q. Were you also devoted to --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' correction, I was worrying about
16 the children in secondary school.
17 A. Let me just tell you something else. If you want the full truth,
18 the commander that you're talking about, the commander of Srebrenica,
19 from April 1992 until this date, I'm not in a good relationship with him.
20 That doesn't mean that I'm either going to attack him or defend him. I
21 think he can defend himself, if he can't, he's going to take lawyers.
22 That's the truth. I think that in that report you see before him, I think
23 that's what I stated. We are not friends. That doesn't mean that I'm
24 going to defend him here or attack him, and I don't know the details.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. You were also involved in SDA politics, were you not, during this
3 A. Yes. And that party was banned in Srebrenica throughout the war.
4 I mentioned that or perhaps you're not aware of it.
5 Q. I do see where you've talked about it. Now, the SDA is
6 the -- who was the leader of the SDA during that period?
7 A. I can't even confirm that. Several people changed, and I think
8 that several candidates who were there never received the confirmation
9 from the higher committee or from the presidency of that party that
10 you're mentioning.
11 Q. So you cannot tell us today who was the head of the SDA when you
12 were actively involved in it during those periods of times prior to the
13 fall of Srebrenica?
14 A. If names mean anything to you, the person who was there until
15 April 1992 was the president, Efendic Hamed. He was killed in July 1995
16 in Srebrenica. From 1993 to 1995, there was a rivalry, whether it would
17 be Hamed or somebody else, and some other people imposed themselves, so
18 there were several candidates, but nobody got the confirmation or the
19 appointment from the presidency of the BH, but I don't know what this is
20 in any connection with my testimony here.
21 Q. Did the party exist at the presidency level?
22 A. Certainly, on the level of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 and in other municipalities under the control of the army of BH.
24 Q. Who was the head of the SDA party throughout Bosnia and
1 A. Mr. Alija Izetbegovic.
2 Q. Okay, so he was the president of a party that he banned throughout
3 the war. Is that what you're telling us?
4 A. Who?
5 Q. I thought you said earlier that the party was banned throughout
6 the war.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: My objection is relevance.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, not the president.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I'd be happy to address the relevancy issue, Your
11 Honour. The gentleman claims not to know what's going on in Srebrenica
12 prior to the fall of Srebrenica. The issue of the 28th division is a
13 critical issue because of their strength. The Prosecution has documents
14 which we have from the UN that outline the strength of the 28th division
15 which was much higher than the Drina Corps itself. I find it kind of
16 incredible that someone involved in SDA politics where Mr. Izetbegovic's
17 own party is involved was living in a small area in an enclave where
18 they're going out and they're committing atrocities and he seems to be
19 totally unaware of it. At one point, you had cautioned me about the tu
20 quoque principle. I fully understand that. But part of the theory of
21 the Defence is that the 28th division was a highly motivated and
22 resourceful army. And during the period at one point when they left
23 Srebrenica, there was concern by the corps and by various units of the
24 corps as to the strength and the ability to wreak havoc, perhaps even
25 taken Zvornik. So that's the purpose of my question, Your Honour.
1 Also, the gentleman has insisted throughout and yesterday was a
2 good example that Srebrenica was totally demilitarised. It goes to his
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, I could understand that your question is
5 attacking the witness's credibility in this aspect. But I still could
6 not understand your questions about the 28th divisions. I don't think
7 it's relevant to this case. It's not justified to any killings and
8 deportations of Muslims from Srebrenica area. You may move on.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
10 Q. Now, during the -- at one point, I believe it was on the 11th
11 after you had left for Potocari, you were requested over the megaphone to
12 report to the UN forces that were there, the DutchBat. Do you recall
14 A. I did not demand anything.
15 Q. Your name was called to report.
16 A. Yes, that's true.
17 Q. Okay. And you responded. You went there.
18 A. Yes. I didn't know what the whole thing was about really.
19 Q. I'm going to get to that. I was just about to say, you didn't
20 know what was going to happen, but you showed up, and that's when you
21 found out that they wanted you to be some sort of a representative for
22 the folks that were -- had gathered over there.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were somewhat concerned --
25 A. To a certain extent. Several times I sweated blood, I'd go to
1 the toilet to wash my face. I'd go outside for some fresh air and so on.
2 Q. Right. And of course, one of the reasons that you were
3 apprehensive was because you didn't think that -- you didn't feel that
4 you had the capacity to represent anyone or to speak for anyone for that
6 A. There were several reasons. The way I remember it, Colonel
7 Karremans, the commander of the Dutch battalion said roughly the
8 following: "The Serb army wants official representatives of the local
9 authorities in Srebrenica." I'm telling you what Colonel Karremans said.
10 "We know that at this moment, these men can't be reached because they're
11 already on their way through the woods." And then he kept silent. "The
12 only thing we can do is to find someone in this group of refugees, and
13 you were the obvious choice." I told him then that I was no official
14 representative, that the whole thing was new to me, and that I was afraid
16 Q. Right. But eventually you decided that you would go ahead, go to
17 the meeting.
18 A. Yes. Having been convinced by the commander of the Dutch
19 battalion. He said he will help with our requests regarding the safe
20 evacuation of all the people, the whole population. Those were the
21 conditions that I agreed to, to go to the meeting in Bratunac.
22 Q. You must have anticipated my follow-up question. That's what it
23 was about.
24 In fact, a precondition for you to attend that meeting was that
25 you wanted them, meaning the DutchBat, to assist you in convincing
1 General Mladic or whoever you would be meeting in the evacuation of the
2 folks out of that area to the free territory. Is that correct?
3 A. To the best of my recollection, Colonel Karremans also told
4 General Mladic on that might about the overall situation in Potocari, the
5 situation regarding the Bosniak refugees and the Dutch soldiers
6 themselves. He talked about the need to provide food for the population
7 in Potocari and also about the need to safely evacuate them.
8 Q. Well, I want to concentrate on what you told Karremans, Colonel
9 Karremans, as a precondition to you attending the meeting. Your
10 precondition was that you would attend provided they would assist you in
11 promoting your agenda, which was the safe evacuation of those people out
12 of that area to Tuzla.
13 A. This wasn't just my idea. There was a general need to do these
14 things. It was a matter of survival.
15 Q. I understand.
16 A. It was the need of everyone there.
17 Q. I understand, but we're talking about --
18 A. However, I was in no position to dictate my terms to the Dutch
19 battalion or the Serb army. I'm not sure what the essence of your
20 question is really supposed to be here.
21 Q. The essence is I'm trying to just get the truth. I just want to
22 make sure that I understand that I'm speaking it correctly. And that is
23 when you went to meet the DutchBat and they told you what they wanted you
24 to do, you said that you would attend; however, you expected them to
25 assist you in promoting what you believed needed to be done which was the
1 evacuation, not the deportation, but the evacuation of those people
2 because as you've just told us, that's what everybody thought was needed
3 to be done because of the humanitarian crisis that was -- that was taking
4 place in Potocari?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I object to the interchanging of the terms
7 evacuation and deportation and calling for a legal conclusion from this
8 witness. That will take us down a road I don't think is appropriate or
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may respond quickly, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Yesterday the gentleman did not miss an
13 opportunity to characterise everything as a deportation. We have his
14 statements; we have his testimony here today. And over and over he talks
15 about evacuation. He wanted assistance to evacuate. So I'm trying to
16 establish that. And there's a line of questioning that goes with it
17 because if I get some leeway, perhaps I can tie it up for you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I remember that during the testimony yesterday,
19 the witness said both "evacuation" and "deportation." You may use both
20 terms. You may proceed.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. Now yesterday, we saw a little clip of the video of the meeting
23 that you held -- that you attended. And let me correct myself there, that
24 you attended with Colonel Karremans when you met with General Mladic. Do
25 you remember that?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Did you happen to see the entire video on Sunday when you met
3 with Mr. McCloskey?
4 A. No, I didn't.
5 Q. So it has been a while since you've seen it --
6 A. I saw the same thing I saw yesterday during my testimony.
7 Q. Right. But what I'm saying is you've seen the entire video at
8 one point.
9 A. No. Prior to that, in July 1995 obviously I was there myself.
10 Q. Right. I understand that. But we have a video of that meeting
11 as well. And there was a question posed yesterday as to whether
12 everything that was said during that meeting was captured on the video.
13 So that's why I'm asking the question, if you're curious.
14 A. I don't think I've ever seen the whole tape, and I'm not sure how
15 much there was on it of the meeting itself. But certainly there must be
16 details that were left outside of the tape.
17 Q. Okay. And it's -- as I understand it, it's your belief and
18 understanding that during that meeting, you indicated to General Mladic
19 that you wanted the safe evacuation of all the people under UNPROFOR
21 A. That's what Colonel Karremans said. To the best of my
22 recollection, what I told General Mladic was about the numbers of refugees
23 in the area, the numbers nearing 30.000, that they were mostly disabled
24 people, elderly people, and so on. And I asked General Mladic, after
25 Colonel Karremans had already spoken about the needs of those people, I
1 asked him about the Serb army expelling the refugees from their homes, and
2 I asked whether he believed, too, that evacuation was necessary to save
3 the people's lives. In this critical situation, I told him that he must
4 deal at the highest level with UNPROFOR and the International Red Cross.
5 At that point, General Mladic interrupted me and said: "Please, write
6 down, I want a handover of weapons by tomorrow morning" although he knew
7 that I had nothing to do with weapons. That's what I remember.
8 Q. Okay. Have you had a chance to look at your statements before
9 coming here today?
10 A. Briefly. I did not go through them very thoroughly if that's
11 what you mean.
12 Q. That's what I mean. Just let me make sure I understand how many
13 statements you gave. From reading one of your statements, it seems to
14 indicate that you first gave a statement in Zagreb at the embassy. Is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. By the way, do you have a copy of that statement?
18 A. No, I don't.
19 Q. Have you ever seen a copy of that statement?
20 A. I don't think so. But the statement itself is very similar to
21 the one that I -- yes, but there's nothing new in that other statement.
22 The gist is the same as in the other one, maybe the phrasing may have
23 been a little different. My state in Zagreb, the condition that I was in
24 in Bosnia in July 1995, we were shattered.
25 Q. Okay. And I take it you don't know whether the Prosecutor has
1 that statement by any chance.
2 A. I really don't know. I am not exactly talking about this to the
3 Prosecutor or to the Chamber for that matter.
4 Q. Just asked the question. Okay. Then you gave a statement in
5 August -- I believe it was August 9, 1995. Is that correct?
6 A. I remember early August 1995, yes.
7 Q. That was to the State Security Service of the Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina? That was in Tuzla. Right?
9 A. That's correct, yes.
10 Q. And then as I understand it, there were a couple of other
11 statements, but there was one five-page witness statement that you gave
12 to a member of the Office of the Prosecution, and that was on September
13 5, 1995.
14 A. That's possible. That's possible. I can't remember the exact
15 date, but that sounds plausible.
16 Q. I couldn't help notice that in some of these statements you're
17 referring to Chetniks, Chetnik this, Chetnik that, everybody seems to be
18 a Chetnik. And it seems to be when you're referring to Serbs. Can you
19 explain to me what a Chetnik is.
20 A. Well, in fact, I said we were shattered at that time. There was
21 a collective tragedy that had taken place. There was a lot of sorrow. I
22 may have been using the term Chetnik, but on the other hand during the
23 war or after the war, you can hear such expressions used as a Turk or a
24 balija. I'm really sorry for using that term but a lot of these terms
25 are still in circulation.
1 Q. Or Ustasha for the Croatians.
2 A. Yes. Well, I must say that I'm deeply sorry that there are
3 people in Bosnia using such derogatory expressions at all.
4 Q. Okay. But you don't -- as you said, that just because you're
5 using that term doesn't mean that you have some universal hatred against
6 all Serbs but it was something that was used during the war because of
7 circumstances and what have you?
8 A. No, quite the contrary. Even today, just like earlier, despite
9 the tragedy of my town and my people, I still have friends, people with
10 whom I'm on friendly terms. It's now down to us to build peace. I'm one
11 of those people who remained in Bosnia under very different circumstances
12 in order to build peace, but I need the assistance of others, too.
13 Q. I guess what I'm trying to get at because this was an issue during
14 the Krstic case, the use of the term Turk, the Court seemed to give that
15 some sort of significance. And I take it by you using the word Chetnik
16 doesn't necessarily mean a particular hatred that you hold against Serbs.
17 It was just a term that was used during the war quite often to refer to
18 the other side?
19 A. There is no hatred involved. I've seen many times in films the
20 opposing sides using derogatory terms to refer to each other. Quite the
21 contrary in my case, there was never any hatred in me.
22 Q. Very well. Getting back to the meeting, the first meeting that
23 you attended, is it your recollection today that you never asked or
24 suggested to General Mladic that the people should be evacuated and that
25 it was just Karremans that made the suggestion?
1 A. Karremans was the one who put forward the proposal. The next day
2 when we arrived with the full Bosnian delegation at the Fontana Hotel in
3 Bratunac, introductions were made. The new representatives were
4 introduced. This took quite a while. And then General Mladic really ran
5 the meeting and set the agenda. There was pressure being applied on us,
6 the members of the Bosniak delegation in Bratunac. If memory serves me
7 well, it was about 11.00 that someone from security or a soldier
8 approached our table and said: "General, the Bosniaks have reached
9 Bratunac on their own initiative what are we supposed to do?" And he
10 said: "Send them to the stadium." You can understand what this meant
11 for us under those conditions. May I remind you that in early April and
12 May 1992, the Serb forces carried out executions of hundreds and hundreds
13 of innocent civilians in Bratunac. They seized people, took them out of
14 their homes and killed them. They were banking on the mental breakdown
15 of the Bosniak people. They thought that we would start asking for mercy
16 instead of resisting, and they wanted nothing to hamper them in their
18 Q. And I take it that you were worried that there may be some
19 retribution also for what perhaps you and Naser Oric were involved in on
20 the orthodox Christmas in 1993 when you burned down a Serb village with
21 Serbs in their homes being burned alive. So that might have been on your
22 mind as well --
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. It's uncalled for him to
25 accuse Nesib Mandzic of taking part in the Serb Kravica Christmas incident
1 at this point. Personal attacks of this nature are absolutely uncalled
2 for and I would object.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I would agree with you. Mr. Karnavas, drop this
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour, but the indictment does
6 indicate that his battalion -- his unit was involved --
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm sorry for interrupting him, but
8 this kind of gratuitous comments designed to inflame the witness regarding
9 this history is just uncalled for, and we have a long trial to go, and I
10 hope it ceases.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, just drop this question. Let's
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. In your statement that you gave on August 9th, 1993, it states
15 here that you told the aggressor, General Mladic, that it would be best
16 in this situation to evacuate the population safely to the free territory
17 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in vehicles and with an UNPROFOR
18 escort. And to that General Mladic said: "Okay, I accept that. It's up
19 to the people." And then it goes on. Now, do you recall making that
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. However, if Mr. Karnavas
23 intends to impeach the witness, I think it would only be fair if he could
24 direct the witness to the statement in B/C/S to allow the witness to look
25 at what he is referring to.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Do you have that transcript?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I have it here, Your Honour. Might I add, there
3 are many different ways of impeaching. I was merely trying to refresh
4 his memory at this point.
5 JUDGE LIU: If you want to refresh his memory, please furnish
6 that portion to the witness so the witness has a chance to read it.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: However the Court wishes, Your Honour.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a long statement. If you, perhaps with your
9 interpreter, could help direct him to the spot, it might save some time.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I will, Your Honour.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, no matter how you're
12 trying to impeach me, I feel that I am an honourable man. I have never
13 harmed anyone. Now, regarding the case before us, what I expected is to
14 be asked questions about the deportations, about the massacre that took
15 place in and around Srebrenica. I will answer your question, but really
16 you have been trying to impeach me and destroy my credibility for quite
17 some time now and show the Court, show me up as a man who is likely to
18 adopt other people's opinions and quote other people. A gullible person.
19 What I have been telling you, these were my words. This has taken us
20 nowhere. We can talk on like this for days but still you wouldn't have
21 the full picture of how the Bosniaks of Srebrenica suffered. So please
22 go ahead and point me to the right page.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. Are you through, Mr. Mandzic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You should find it on page 11. Why don't you look at it.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: You have the page in the English version?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: The page in the English version is page 9. It
4 begins with: "I told the aggressor, General Mladic..."
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which line please roughly?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: It should be around line 20.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the lower half of the page,
8 is it?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: With the Court's permission, perhaps Ms. Tomanovic
10 could point Mr. Mandzic in the right direction.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There's another statement,
12 the meeting -- that's toward the end of this meeting. Mr. Ibro Nuhanovic
13 who was a member of the delegation on his way out pleaded with General
14 Mladic on his way out. He said: "General, please let the people go.
15 Look at these people. These here are all innocent people. They're
16 hungry, tired, thirsty."
17 MR. KARNAVAS:
18 Q. I understand.
19 A. The man I'm talking about did not survive the massacre in
20 Srebrenica. He was not seen after the 13th of July.
21 Q. Mr. Mandzic, I'm merely trying to get you to acknowledge what you
22 said in your statement. That's all. Now, in your statement --
23 A. There are -- there's more than what I remember as being written
24 down here. There are further details what I've just said about
25 Mr. Nuhanovic addressing General Mladic on his way out. The Dutch
1 officers were already getting into the car. And he was pleading with
2 General Mladic to let the people go. And General Mladic said nothing. I
3 don't think this was recorded. You won't see this in the footage. This
4 was on the way out.
5 Q. Right now, Mr. Mandzic, I'm referring to your statement, a
6 statement that you gave. I suspect that you had an opportunity to read
7 it and sign it to make sure that it was accurate. And as you've
8 indicated before coming here today, you had an opportunity to read it,
9 perhaps not carefully.
10 Now, later on that page, later on, or it might be on the next
11 page, you say, talking about the Chetnik General Mladic, where you say
12 that "He indicated this time, I'm going to be merciful to everyone,
13 release them, and help them go wherever they want." And then you say:
14 "When I insisted that UNPROFOR should take on all responsibility for
15 food, supplies, security, and evacuation, the Chetnik General broke off
16 the meeting."
17 That's what you put in your statement. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And I take it after this meeting is when you had an opportunity
20 to speak with a minister, Muratovic. Does that ring a bell?
21 A. Yes, very briefly.
22 Q. Okay. But he was in Tuzla, was he not?
23 A. I don't know exactly whether he was in Tuzla, but they pointed me
24 in his direction and said that he was on his way to Tuzla to attend a
25 meeting there.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. I did not have any direct connection. I did not have any
3 approach to communications. I wanted to tell the international public
4 and nationwide about what was going on in Srebrenica. We were completely
5 cut off. We didn't even know whether anyone else outside the area knew
6 about it. We weren't even sure that the Dutch battalion command were
7 informing people or the international public about what was going on in
8 the area.
9 Q. And so I take it the Dutch battalion was not informing you what
10 they were up to?
11 A. No, not us or others.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. Not about the orders that they received, the orders that they
14 received from their command or from the UN.
15 Q. Or the reports that they were writing to the UN?
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. Okay, all right. Now, getting back to the minister, if it's okay
18 with you --
19 A. Very well.
20 Q. -- this gentleman was with the government, was he not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay, and you spoke to him asking him for some advice because
23 after all, for better or for worse, you were more or less a negotiator?
24 A. Yes, a negotiator but not by choice.
25 Q. But not by choice. But there you were. You're promoting to
1 General Mladic for evacuation, and the minister gave you different
2 instructions, did he not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And his instructions were that the refugees should stay where they
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The wounded and the sick would be helicoptered out?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. And according to my recollection, the government representative
11 that you cite said: "Please be patient for another two hours. In
12 another two hours, we're expecting an action by the French and English
13 forces in order to protect the population." Unfortunately, you yourself
14 know what the consequences were of those events. And I'm thinking about
15 the activities of the army of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. Right.
17 A. But I don't know what this conversation has to do anything with
18 Mr. Muratovic or the killings in Srebrenica. Mr. Muratovic also wanted
19 to help the Bosniaks, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by alarming
20 the international community, the international institutions. But I allow
21 for this question.
22 Q. Thank you for allowing me to ask the question. And thank you for
23 answering the question. And if we can go on to the next question, if
24 that's okay with you, and --
25 A. Everything is allowed for you.
1 Q. Well, now, later on, you indicate that you tried to stop the
2 evacuation at that point, now that you had some sort of order from higher
3 ups. But it was more or less too late because the evacuation had already
5 A. Yes. My colleague Ibro Nuhanovic also attended these talks, and
6 he also addressed Muratovic and said the situation was really dramatic.
7 Serb officers and Serb soldiers were already deporting the people,
8 beginning to separate the male population from the others and so on. The
9 objective was to convey the situation in Srebrenica as dramatic and to
10 ask for assistance from anybody in the world who would be in a position
11 to offer any assistance to prevent the disappearance of a people from an
13 Q. All right. Well, I couldn't help but notice that this time you
14 used the word "deportation." And if we look at your statement, you don't
15 say that you went to the assistant commander of the Dutch battalion to
16 stop the further deportation; you say to stop the further evacuation.
17 Now, I take it when you wrote the statement out, you had an opportunity
18 to choose your words very carefully. This is a very detailed, very
19 articulate statement that you've made from a very educated individual.
20 Do I take it in your mind at that time what was going on was an
21 evacuation, and then you had your orders from the minister to stop the
22 evacuation, to keep everybody there, and then you tried -- but it was too
23 late to do anything about it because it had already commenced.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, the question is confusing, vague.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think before we rule that the
2 witness used the word "evacuation" and "deportation" simultaneously almost
3 yesterday during his testimony which means that the witness does not
4 clearly distinguish the differences between the two words in his mind, not
5 like you, not like me. So I hope you do not further confuse the witness
6 on those words.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I'll move on.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, yes, you are using
9 the terms "evacuation" and "deportation" with the intention of proving to
10 the Court that it was a voluntary evacuation here. Using the words
11 "evacuation" or "deportation," we actually need to look the results or
12 the consequences of these evacuations or deportations. This was a tragic
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. Mr. Mandzic, I'm merely pointing out what you've stated in your
16 statement. I'm using your words, the way you've characterised them.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. I would hope
18 counsel -- that's not a question, that's a statement. Could we have
20 JUDGE LIU: Let's not spend much time on that wording. Please
21 move on, Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. Well, there was a humanitarian crisis at the time, was there not?
24 A. Yes, there was one for years.
25 Q. But I'm talking about that time. Work with me and we can get out
1 of here as quickly as possible. On that particular day, or days, the 11th
2 and 12th, there was a shortage of food, was there not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. There was a shortage of water, was there not?
5 A. Yes, there hadn't been water for years, not only just that day.
6 We were short of water for years. But still, we managed to survive.
7 Q. I'm not talking about what happened in those years when you were
8 in Srebrenica or the villages. I'm talking about on the 11th and the
9 12th when you're in Potocari and you have 25, 35, 40.000, whatever the
10 number is of all those people gathered there. Do you agree with me that
11 for those couple of days, the situation was very acute?
12 A. Yes, it was dramatic.
13 Q. And one of the issues was how you're going to feed and how you're
14 going to get water to all of these people.
15 A. We had that same problem for years. But still, we managed to
17 Q. Mr. Mandzic --
18 A. Even in more difficult circumstances.
19 Q. If I could interrupt you, Mr. Mandzic, you're an educated man.
20 You're getting your Ph.D. or your masters. Certainly you can answer the
21 question. I will repeat it. And if you don't understand the question,
22 please let me know and I'll rephrase it.
23 During those two days, there was a shortage of food in
24 particular, was there not?
25 A. During those two days, each of the refugees had with them food
1 necessary for the next few days. This was the case with those who had
2 gone through the woods and those who had gone to Potocari both. They had
3 special supplies.
4 Q. So there was no humanitarian crisis as far as you're concerned
5 with respect to food and water. Is that what you're saying here today?
6 A. Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas, but I think that you are twisting things
7 around. Please don't do that. There had been a crisis for years. There
8 was food for a few days. We were expecting humanitarian aid convoys, and
9 these convoys were supposed to come to Srebrenica.
10 Q. I understand. I understand that there was a crisis throughout
11 the years, just as I understand that there was a black marketeering going
12 on by your own admissions where forces were stealing foods, humanitarian
13 food, selling it or keeping it for themselves and not passing it on to
14 the people of Srebrenica. Isn't that a fact?
15 A. Yes, things like that happened also.
16 Q. One of your concerns during those days when you were negotiating
17 with General Mladic was also to make sure that all the people there, all
18 the refugees, had sufficient food and water. Isn't that a fact?
19 A. The safety of the people was the first objective, their security
20 of the population. But as far as food and the requirements for food for
21 the Dutch soldiers, this was something that Colonel Karremans talked
23 Q. Okay. Well, were you aware -- I'll withdraw the question.
24 The meeting itself, the first meeting that you attended, is it
25 your testimony today that that was initiated by the DutchBat, or is it
1 that you don't know who initiated the first meeting? Which of the two?
2 A. I don't know who it was. I couldn't confirm that. I know only
3 that a Dutch officer or Colonel Karremans was the one who suggested that
4 I be present. But I don't know who organised the meeting or who initiated
6 Q. Okay. Very well.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: It's time for a break. We'll resume at 4.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, any cross-examination by Ms. Sinatra? Or yes,
12 you. You may proceed.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my learned friend
14 and colleagues from the Prosecution, my name is Miodrag Stojanovic. We
15 have an agreement for me to cross-examine today's witness. I will try in
16 my first set of questions to go through a number of issues with the
17 witness that the witness talked about in his testimony yesterday. The
18 second set of questions will contain issues where I would like to have a
19 yes or no answer from the witness for the sake of brevity. We hope to
20 keep our cross-examination down and keep it shorter than Mr. Karnavas's
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
23 Q. Mr. Mandzic, yesterday in your testimony--
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I have no objection to yes or no
1 answers. That would be very nice. But as long as the witness understands
2 that he is clear to explain a yes or no answer, I think that is the more
3 appropriate way to deal with it. They shouldn't be confined to yes or no.
4 That's actually very difficult to ask a witness to do that.
5 JUDGE LIU: I think we all understand that.
6 Yes, you may proceed.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Mandzic, you stated yesterday the night between the 10th and
9 the 11th of July, we were at the school. We talked about what we should
10 do. One group of people said that we should head for the woods, and there
11 was another group who said we should head for Potocari. In view of what
12 you said yesterday, and without doubting the authenticity of your
13 statement, we wanted to ask you the following: Was there any preannounced
14 plan, or preagreed plan, as to where people should go and who was the plan
15 thought up by and who told you about the plan?
16 A. I think in the second half of my testimony yesterday I said that
17 there was no one who could tell anyone else to go through the woods or to
18 Potocari, which means there was no such thing as a plan.
19 JUDGE LIU: I have to remind you that both you and the witness
20 are speaking the same language. And whatever you said will be translated
21 into English and French. So please pause after each question before you
22 answer the question, Witness, and please wait for the interpretation
23 until you start the next question.
24 You may proceed.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honours. This
1 applies equally to myself and to Mr. Mandzic.
2 Q. Mr. Mandzic, does that mean that there was no plan for the men to
3 head for the woods and women, children, elderly and disabled people, on
4 the other hand, to head for the UN base in Potocari?
5 A. There was no such agreement until the 11th of July, we hoped that
6 we would stay in the enclave and that the war would end finding us there.
7 Q. How, then, do you explain the fact that the great majority of
8 male refugees headed for Jaglic and Susnjari and most of the women,
9 children, elderly and disabled people headed for the UN base?
10 A. Those disabled, those who couldn't walk, they were the ones who
11 headed for the UN base in order to get protection from them.
12 Q. What about the men?
13 A. I don't know what their choice was.
14 Q. Is it true that the men headed for Jaglic and Susnjari?
15 A. There were men aged between 15 and 70 who were also in Potocari.
16 Thousands of such men. This was a matter of individual choice, and this
17 applied to me, too. I got underway, too. I had undergone surgery a month
18 before the fall of Srebrenica, and I was really tired and I could hardly
19 walk but it was my choice to go.
20 Q. Did you have a third possibility?
21 A. To go straight to heaven --
22 Q. Please pause for the sake of interpretation.
23 A. I'm not sure which third choice you're referring to. Do you mean
24 a third choice as in staying back in our homes?
25 Q. Or going to a third place?
1 A. The third possibility would have been to stay in our homes but
2 those houses were being torched and people were being killed in them.
3 That would hardly have been a possibility.
4 Q. You said yesterday in response to a question by the Prosecutor,
5 the enclave was mostly demilitarised. There was a presence of symbolic
6 units carrying trophy weapons. In the same context, I wanted to ask you
7 the following question, Mr. Mandzic: Are you aware of the fact that not
8 even two months before the tragic events in Srebrenica, additional
9 ammunition, weapons, and equipment were supplied to the members of the
10 28th division of the BH army stationed in Srebrenica?
11 A. I'm aware that a helicopter crashed and that some paramedics were
12 killed in the crash. I'm not sure if it was in May or in June.
13 Q. That helicopter, did it have anything to do with the supplies of
14 military equipment or weapons?
15 A. I can neither confirm nor deny this.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now I would try to
17 show the witness the statement by Major Franken which he gave to the
18 parliament commission at the Dutch parliament referring to this issue.
19 And my next question will follow from that.
20 Q. So at the meeting that was held before a commission of the Dutch
21 parliament, Major Franken whom you also referred to yesterday, was asked
22 the following question by a member of the parliamentary commission: "Was
23 it possible that the 28th division took weapons that had been handed over
24 during the demilitarisation?" And Major Franken replied, that was not
25 only considered, this possibility, but the 28th division was even
1 informed. Had they wish to do so, they could have come and collected
2 everything from the collection point right there. However, they were not
3 interested in that option. Furthermore, Major Franken goes on to say the
4 following: "It is true that the weapons at the collection point were old
5 and could hardly be used. They - meaning the 28th division - had much
6 better and more up-to-date weapons." And he goes on to say, "I first
7 became familiar with this piece of information when I saw the soldiers
8 wearing brand-new uniforms. They were walking around in their brand-new
9 combat uniforms carrying the latest model of Kalashnikovs. All of this
10 took place in May, and soon after, the mysterious landing of a large plane
11 at the Tuzla airport, very strange." That's what Major Franken said, and
12 we shall have occasion to cross-examine him on that, I hope.
13 My question to you now is: Having seen these facts, do you still
14 abide by your statement yesterday that there were no units there, that
15 the presence of units was symbolic and that they merely had trophy weapons
16 as you phrased it?
17 A. Sir, you're asking this question as if I was a general in the
18 army or the commander of the division at the time. To the best of my
19 recollection, in Srebrenica in early April or early May 1993, there had
20 been a demilitarisation, the result of which --
21 Q. Excuse me. My apologies. We maybe straying further and further
22 away from the answer.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would ask that the witness be allowed to answer
24 the question unless he's getting into some extremely prejudicial area,
25 but he was just answering the question.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic, you have to wait for the witness
2 to answer the question. We are interested in his answer.
3 Witness, you may continue your answer.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Furthermore, I was not even a
5 member of the staff that you're referring to at that time. I was not
6 even a member of those units as a soldier. I was the principal of the
7 local secondary school. My job was the education of children under those
8 difficult circumstances. And I must emphasise, there were people that
9 was not exactly on friendly terms with, such people as Naser Oric first
10 and foremost. Now all these issues relate to supplies of weapons, there's
11 no connection between me and that. I do know, however, that there were
12 units that the enclave had been defended and that 10.000 people got
13 killed. So as I said, the demilitarisation was carried out. For the most
14 part, artillery, anti-aircraft, anti-tank weapons had been handed over.
15 If there was such a heavy presence of those units that you're referring
16 to, I don't think 10.000 people would have been killed.
17 Now, as to what Major Franken said about that, I don't think that
18 applies to me necessarily.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I want us to have
20 equal rights in this respect, and I fully accept everything that the
21 witness has just stated. My conclusion is that he's not competent to
22 judge whether the area had indeed been demilitarised or not. He did not
23 hold a position of military authority that would have enabled him to draw
24 any conclusions in that respect. What he said yesterday is what I have
25 just quoted. He said the area was demilitarised and the only weapons
1 present in the area were trophy weapons, whereas today we have the
2 witness stating that he does not really know this.
3 Secondly, these were not my words. I was quoting Major Franken.
4 I'm not sure what the situation was there at that time. I have no further
5 questions regarding this.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say --
7 JUDGE LIU: I think there's some misunderstandings between the
8 counsel and the witness. This witness will tell us what he saw, what he
9 did, what he felt at that time. And we, the Judges, will make a judgement
10 on whether it's true or not. We understand that there's some discrepancy
11 between your question and the witness's answer, but that is normal in
12 those proceedings.
13 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed with your question.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
15 Your Honours.
16 Q. Just another question regarding your testimony yesterday,
17 Mr. Mandzic: At one point, you said inside the base, there was a line
18 which restricted movement inside the base and which directed civilians on
19 their way to the buses. Can you please just tell us who set those lines
20 and who was it that restricted the movement of civilians inside the base?
21 A. I'm not sure who put those lines down, but certainly the movement
22 of refugees was restricted to that particular corridor towards the buses.
23 Q. May I therefore conclude that you have no idea who put those
24 lines down?
25 A. That's correct. I have no idea. I didn't say that I did know.
1 Q. Very well. In today's testimony, you answered Mr. Karnavas's
2 questions regarding the statement that you gave to the state security
3 sector in Tuzla on the 9th of August. Can I conclude that you accept the
4 statement as authentic and that you have recognised your signature on the
6 A. Yes, you can.
7 Q. Can I take it for a fact that this took place on the 9th of
8 August, 1995?
9 A. Yes, indeed you could say that. I can't remember the exact date,
10 but it was in early August 1995.
11 Q. Can I take it for a fact that your recollection of those tragic
12 events was then clearer perhaps than it is today?
13 A. Yes, but also more vulnerable.
14 Q. Can you please explain the Court what you mean by saying "more
16 A. Yes, I can. Please try to understand what vulnerability means.
17 In those tragic days of July 1995, each of the survivors, all the mothers
18 awaiting the return of their sons, all the wives awaiting their brothers
19 were totally lost, an expectation and fear of their destiny. It was
20 difficult to get their bearings in their new environment. On the other
21 hand, despite this vulnerability, we were hopeful that most of the people
22 who had been held at the camp in Potocari or those who had crossed the
23 woods --
24 Q. Without meaning to interrupt the witness, Your Honours, what I
25 wanted to say is my understanding of the term vulnerability, you were
1 referring to your own statement?
2 A. No. That has nothing to do with it.
3 Q. Very well.
4 JUDGE LIU: Questions and answers are overlapping. We cannot get
5 what you are saying. Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: He asked the witness what he meant by
7 vulnerability. This is a broad and open-ended question which the witness
8 was attempting to answer.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I just explain, when is a
10 person vulnerable, after they have lost somebody or five years later?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. The question was whether this meant that in some ways because of
13 this vulnerability you are not standing by your statement from August
15 A. No, that's not true.
16 Q. Very well. So can I just say rather than repeating the question,
17 part of the question that Mr. Karnavas had already asked, is it correct
18 that on the 25th of July, together with 500 soldiers, 500 guns, and about
19 one million bullets, you arrived from the free territory of Tuzla in
20 Srebrenica in order to organise a resistance together with Nurif
21 Rizvanovic, and that you were carrying out the duties of the assistant to
22 the commanding officer of the battalion and that you were wounded in 1993
23 near Skelani on Mount Malteski Vis?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Can you tell me, what operation was it in Skelani or near Skelani
1 in January 1993?
2 A. At that time, that was an operation of the BH army units in
3 Srebrenica for their houses. Of course, there were certain civilians
4 that were killed in these operations, and I'm very sorry about. That's
5 not something that we can deny.
6 Q. Does that mean that my conclusion is correct, that was an attack
7 on Skelani with the purpose of getting hold of Skelani and returning
8 people to their houses? Am I correct in saying that there were people
9 killed on both sides?
10 A. Let me just explain. Skelani is more than 75 per cent Bosniak,
11 according to the census from 1991. And you can correctly understand that
12 the wish of these people was to return to their homes, to their area.
13 They were exiled, they had no food, there were no medicines, it was very
14 hard for them to live in other people's houses. And naturally in that
15 operation, as I've already explained, there were clashes, there were
16 people who were wounded on both sides, there were victims on both sides,
17 et cetera.
18 Q. Am I to understand that that was an attack on the place called
19 Skelani, this operation that you were wounded in?
20 A. No, no I was wounded much later.
21 Q. So it's a different operation?
22 A. I was wounded much later. I was wounded on the 25th of January
23 during the attack of the JNA. There was a Novi Sad unit attacking this
24 elevation that you've just described during the shelling in the Tar area
25 by the Yugoslav army troops.
1 JUDGE LIU: Please, stop here. I think you made a very difficult
2 time for the interpreters. There's no hurry. And I believe that the
3 counsel should be more mindful of the pause so to keep the pace of
4 questioning and answering.
5 You may proceed.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. We're
7 going to try and coordinate better the question and answers.
8 Q. You mentioned today that in Skelani, there were 75 per cent of
9 Bosniak population. Is it correct the last official census that was
10 carried out in Bosnia-Herzegovina was in 1991?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are you aware of the results of the population census carried out
13 in the municipality of Srebrenica in 1991?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell me what was the structure of the population in the
16 municipality of Srebrenica according to the census in 1991?
17 A. Approximately 75 per cent Bosniaks, 23 per cent Serbs, and then 2
18 or 3 per cent the others.
19 Q. Thank you very much. These are official statistics that were
20 obtained by the then Yugoslav statistics institute.
21 In June and July of 1995, can you tell me whether in the
22 demilitarised area of Srebrenica there was a percentage of 23 per cent
23 Serbs present?
24 A. No, there were perhaps several dozens. I'm not quite sure. In
25 the beginning of the demilitarisation, there were several dozens of
1 citizens of Serb nationality, Serb ethnicity.
2 Q. Several dozens of Serbs in the entire Srebrenica area?
3 A. A demilitarised area?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Who found themselves in a very difficult situation with their
6 neighbours who were Bosniaks from the beginning of the war until the fall
7 of Srebrenica.
8 Q. What happened with the rest, 20, 22 per cent of Serbs according
9 to the census from 1991?
10 A. In the beginning of April of 1992, in the neighbouring
11 municipality of Bratunac, there were thousands of paramilitary units that
12 arrived from Yugoslavia. There were units of Yugoslav army corps that
13 arrived and similar thing happened in the municipality of Srebrenica,
14 also in the municipality of Bajna Basta which is in the territory of
15 Yugoslavia, thousands of military -- paramilitary formations arriving from
16 Yugoslavia. Beginning of April 1992, the Serb Territorial Defence
17 carried out offensive operations towards the town area and the
18 neighbouring villages forcing thousands of Bosniaks from Srebrenica town
19 area to leave it. So they left the area, and most of them went to Tuzla
20 and abroad, starting from April 1992. Even to date, they're either in
21 Tuzla, Sarajevo, or abroad.
22 After some three weeks, units of the Territorial Defence of the
23 Srebrenica municipality, mostly made up of Bosniaks, organised
24 themselves, started resisting, and this is when the first clashes
25 started, the first shootings on the edges of the town. And Serb units
1 that were in Srebrenica in April 1992 in such a short period of time
2 during those three weeks killed about 80 civilians, 80 old men.
3 Frightened by the reaction of the Bosniak side, they took the entire
4 population with them from that area, apart from several dozens who stayed,
5 as I mentioned.
6 Q. Am I to understand that it is correct that this percentage of 22
7 per cent approximately citizens of Serb nationality, because of the war
8 operations and because of their personal lack of security, they left?
9 A. We cannot speak about the 22, because that's the entire
10 municipality. We're speaking about the demilitarised zone.
11 Q. Yes, the demilitarised zone.
12 A. So we're speaking about 10 per cent, not 22 but 10.
13 Q. And they left that area because of these reasons?
14 A. They were mostly forced by these units, whether they were
15 military, paramilitary units, they were forced to leave the town. But
16 before that there were exchanges of fire, at least according to what the
17 other people said because at the time I was not in Srebrenica.
18 Q. Within that context, could you tell the Trial Chamber what
19 happened during that time to some of the members of the Zec family in
20 1993 in the demilitarised area of Srebrenica?
21 A. Yes, I can. I remember that incident. We say "incident" but in
22 fact it's a tragedy for the Zec family. There was a soldier or something
23 else, or he was just a maniac. He killed mother and a son from the Zec
24 family. And at the time, I was wounded in that time. I was in
25 rehabilitation, and I heard about it. And I'm not just saying this, that
1 I was humane, but thousands of people were condemning this murderer. And
2 I think that this murderer was later arrested. He was taken to trial in
3 Tuzla. But on the other hand, the murder of the members of the Zec
4 family is a tragedy for the Zec family. But such individual murders
5 cannot be compared to a mass liquidation, execution of Bosniaks and the
6 tragedy of Bosniaks. But I am saying this with full sincerity here
7 before this Trial Chamber, I'm speaking as a man who feels great
8 solidarity with these people, after the war I was able to meet some
9 members of Zec family. I expressed my condolences and --
10 Q. I'm not here making a -- I'm not justifying a crime with a
11 crime. I'm not saying that. I think we are both trying here to come to
12 what the truth is. I will come back to the statement that we started
13 from, Your Honour.
14 Am I to understand that it is true that in the summer of 1993, at
15 the initiative of Hamdo Efendic and Mustafic Ibran, from the institutions
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former chief of the public security station,
17 you put together an initiative committee and that you started activating
18 the party that had been banned and that you were personally involved?
19 A. Yes, that's correct, but then we were dispersed, we were told to
21 Q. But bearing in mind that you're an intellectual, that you're a
22 lecturer, that you're a teacher, a soldier, that you were also -- had
23 also been wounded and a political activist and we agreed that you had
24 been all these things, should I conclude that this was the reason why
25 members of the Dutch battalion set you aside, took you out of that mass
1 of people in Potocari and said, "This person could represent the Bosniaks,
2 although he is not an authority"?
3 A. I cannot make that conclusion in reference to myself. But I know
4 that on that day, 11th of July, the Dutch officer Major Boering saw me.
5 And whether he recalled seeing my name or my face, and then he introduced
6 me to the colonel and the colonel accepted that, I don't know. I'm not
7 going into that.
8 Q. I'm just asking this because yesterday, the witness said that he
9 thought that that's how he became involved, that Major Boering - I'm
10 sorry about the pronunciation for the interpreters - because he had known
11 him from the school and he had known him as a man and that's why this
12 was the reaction. Thank you?
13 JUDGE LIU: I have to interrupt, that is just too fast. We
14 have to bear in mind that this is the International Tribunal. Maybe it is
15 a disadvantage of this Tribunal that everything you says has to be
16 translated into another two languages.
17 Witness, I understand that you're eager to give your evidence,
18 and I have promised you that we will send you home today. But just wait
19 until we have translation of the question. Then you answer that
20 question. Just wait for a few seconds.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour. Yes, of
22 course, I will.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may proceed.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm sorry, Your Honour. I
25 will try and finish very quickly.
1 Q. I'd like to ask you a question in relation to this statement.
2 You said on page 14, last paragraph. May I?
3 A. Yes, please.
4 Q. That you're concluding that UNPROFOR had helped the aggressor in
5 the intention of cleansing the enclave from the Bosniak population just
6 for the purpose of getting their soldiers out of Srebrenica. This
7 conclusion of yours, does it still stand today?
8 A. Is that the last paragraph? Can you please read the entire
10 Q. I'll go slowly. So the sentence is: "The conclusion is that the
11 UNPROFOR, among other things, helped - and I'm quoting - helped the
12 aggressor in their intention to cleanse the enclave from the Bosniak
13 population just so that their soldiers could be gotten out of Srebrenica."
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, can you direct us to the English
15 portion of that by any chance?
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Your Honours.
17 This is on page 11 of the English version.
18 May I continue, Your Honour?
19 JUDGE LIU: Which line, please?
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The last paragraph,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So my question was do you still stand by that conclusion today?
25 A. Your Honours, and everyone else, allow me to read this in my own
1 mother tongue, this last paragraph. "All the facts stated above as well
2 as the previous actions of the UNPROFOR command in the Srebrenica enclave
3 point to the conclusion that the Chetniks had informed UNPROFOR that the
4 Srebrenica enclave would be attacked. They left or donated to the
5 Chetniks about 30 transport and combat vehicles, hundreds of pieces of
6 infantry weapons, other equipment, food, and so on. And that they
7 assisted the aggressor in their intention to cleanse the enclave of
8 Bosniaks just so they could pull out their soldiers out of Srebrenica."
9 This paragraph, I will explain it. According to the UNPROFOR
10 mandate previously established, it was their mission to prevent, that is
11 to ensure the safety of the population inside the enclave, as well as to
12 supply the population with food and any other needs they had. When the
13 attack of the VRS occurred, beginning of July or the end of June, as far
14 as I was able to hear, they left the weapons, equipment at the place of
15 the attack. Further on, when there were more aggressive attacks of the
16 VRS, this caused the mass exodus of population from their homesteads.
17 They did not establish checkpoints. And I'm not saying that they should
18 have engaged VRS in combat, but it is true that they were supposed to
19 stop, or rather along those directions, those roads where the transports
20 of the VRS were going, they were supposed to prevent them from moving
21 into the town. Further on, on the 21st of July when they crossed, and I
22 mean the crossing of the soldiers and the equipment of the DutchBat,
23 across the border into the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and I saw that
24 personally as the vehicle -- convoy was going to the other side, and I
25 felt it was a gift of that army to the army of Yugoslavia for cooperation.
1 I don't know what cooperation it was, but it was catastrophic.
2 Furthermore, the equipment that was left behind in other
3 locations, equipment left by Dutch soldiers, will enable the VRS to use
4 this technical equipment, to use combat equipment, with UN insignia and
5 call on to Bosniaks to come out and surrender, making them believe that
6 they were UN forces. And later on execute them. From all this, we can
7 conclude that they did not resist the separation of the male population in
8 Potocari. They partly assisted the Serb army while they were cleansing
9 the enclave. And I'll still stand by that statement.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Along the same lines, just one further
11 question: You said, yesterday as well as today, that part of the
12 patrolling station units of the Dutch battalion had surrendered to the
13 Chetniks or withdrew towards the town itself. Do you know this for a
14 fact, that they, in fact, surrendered or do you just assume that they
15 surrendered? The Dutch in their statement claim that they were, in fact,
17 A. Now as to whether they surrendered or were captured, I'm not
18 familiar with the details. But I also know that on the 12th of
19 July -- oh, yes, right. Excuse me. May I continue now, please?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure if they surrendered or
22 were, in fact, captured. But I do know that the commander of the Dutch
23 battalion on the 11th of July in the evening, when he called me to
24 explain the situation, he said that they were facing difficulty, too,
25 that they had some of their own who had been captured in Bratunac.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Nesib, am I to conclude that you are not certain whether
3 those soldiers surrendered or were, in fact, captured?
4 A. I didn't see for myself therefore I can't be certain.
5 Q. I'm just comparing this to your actual statement. Thank you.
6 Just one further question, I'm about to bring my
7 cross-examination to an end, we are here defending Lieutenant-Colonel
8 Jokic. I wanted to ask you whether you personally know Dragan Jokic,
9 whether you have ever seen the man?
10 A. I can neither deny nor confirm.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no further
12 questions at this stage. We wish to thank the witness on behalf of
13 Dragan Jokic's Defence. We hope that we have not hurt your feelings in
14 any way because certainly that was not our intention. Thank you very
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
17 JUDGE LIU: Any redirect?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Mandzic, at the time when the tragic
22 events in Srebrenica and around Srebrenica took place, have you been a
23 member of the CDA.
24 A. Your Honours, according to the party statute, I was a member of
25 the SDA, a member of the Executive Board.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you belong to the Patriotic League?
2 A. You could call it that, I suppose. I never really received a
3 proper membership card. We had no other choice than to resist. Even
4 while resisting and after we had put up resistance, several thousands of
5 innocent people were killed.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: On the 17th July, 1995, you signed a
7 declaration, on the evacuation from the enclave, Srebrenica enclave.
8 What was -- describe once more, what was the situation when this
9 declaration was signed by yourself.
10 A. I talked about the situation yesterday. I will try to describe
11 it again. On the 12th, 13th, and 14th -- on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of
12 July, there was a mass deportation taking place. Between the 13th and
13 17th, there were dozens of severely wounded people left, elderly people
14 aged about 70, as well as those who were young aged, between 20 and 30.
15 Between the 12th and the 21st of July, a group of about 26 Bosniaks
16 remained in the base of the Dutch battalion with Serb soldiers and
17 officers entering the base every single day aiming at creating
18 psychological pressure, exerting pressure on the Bosniaks still there, on
19 their families. Those few remaining families, their aim was to exert
20 pressure on the wounded. On the other hand the MSF who were also
21 present at the base, at that time, or rather their representatives,
22 informed us that the Serb forces had taken some of the wounded off the
23 convoy in Bratunac, that is, at the line of delineation between Bratunac
24 and Kladanj. This was the situation in those critical days.
25 The Bosniaks were threatened by General Mladic. He had
1 threatened several days before that. He said that they would either stay
2 or vanish, and indeed vanish is exactly what they did. In this
3 situation, the Dutch soldiers were mainly looking for a way to get out of
4 the enclave with no regard for all the people who had managed to cross to
5 the BH army-controlled territory, or rather, the territory under the
6 control of the Bosnian civilian authorities. We were left to our own
7 devices, or rather, left in the lurch. Not one of us had any faith in
8 survival. Right behind my back, I see a witness of those tragic events,
9 a Bosniak man, who was also scared, I believe, and didn't know where to
10 go or where to turn. In such moments, or rather on that critical day,
11 the 17th of July, before the signing of this, I saw a number of Serb
12 officers entering the building and staying, according to my estimate,
13 perhaps one or two hours.
14 Mr. Deronjic then arrived with this statement that they had drawn
15 up. It was a request actually to evacuate the wounded and that group
16 including 26 Bosniaks. What they could add to that document at that time
17 was the last part of the sentence, yes, as concerns UNPROFOR escort.
18 This escort was carried out on the first day, the 11th of July. And
19 those first buses, between 14 and 1600 hours, and this escort, they were
20 disarmed by the Serb forces.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Mr. Mandzic, I would like to ask you whether
22 you personally were threatened before and while signing this declaration.
23 A. They threatened before. As I said yesterday, there were soldiers
24 coming and going and approaching the group with 26 Bosniaks. They asked
25 me personally if I had taken part in this or that operation. I wasn't
1 even in the area at that time. And they were investigating other
2 Bosniaks, too. On the other hand, outside the base, several metres from
3 away from the fence, there were Serb guards stationed there. They were
4 watching us, exerting pressure by their presence.
5 However, I must say that there were soldiers who were asking me
6 questions about where I was and what I did, and one of told me if you had
7 been at Zlaca, I would kill you on the spot. Perhaps he was a survivor of
8 that particular operation.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: As far as I understand, you negotiated with
10 militaries, with General Mladic and other militaries. And then explain
11 me why this declaration was signed on the Serb part by Miroslav Deronjic,
12 civil commissioner for Srebrenica.
13 A. Your Honours, I can hardly be expected to explain this. I don't
14 know what the orders were. I don't know what influence Deronjic could
15 exert at that time. I didn't know what he was doing.
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And for how long did you act as representative
17 of the civilian authorities of the enclave of Srebrenica?
18 A. I had never been a representative until July 1995. I've already
19 said this. I was never in the government, the executive or the
20 legislative government.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Maybe my question was not clear enough. You
22 signed this declaration as representative of the civilian authorities of
23 the enclave of Srebrenica. And since that day, how long you acted as
24 representative of civilian authorities of the enclave?
25 A. Not for a single moment actually. I was never appointed by
1 anyone. I was never authorised. The conditions were not there for us to
2 act on behalf of the civilian authorities. Please, Your Honours, this
3 statement, or rather the allegation stating that I was a civilian
4 representative for the Bosniak side, the phrasing itself is invalid. And
5 it was coercion of the members. We should ask ourselves the following
6 question: "What about the other two members of the Bosniak delegation?
7 What became of them?"
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Have you ever met the persons which you
9 believe participated in committing the crimes in Srebrenica enclave
10 before you signed this declaration or after?
11 A. I met some people in the period when I held an executive office
12 in Srebrenica, between 1999 and 2001. People responsible for crimes
13 against civilian population.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Can you name those people?
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no more questions.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Maybe we could have the last answer redacted.
23 Now, Witness, I have a question for you. During your testimony
24 yesterday and today, you mentioned Serb soldiers, Serb forces, and Serb
25 guards. Do you happen to know which unit those Serb soldiers belonged to?
1 A. Your Honours, I really can't say. I don't know. From what I
2 could tell back then, they were all wearing the same uniforms and same
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
5 Any questions out of Judges' questions? Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Karnavas?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I do have a question, but it was a question
9 that I should have asked. You know, I don't know if I'm permitted to ask
10 the question. In other words, it's not a rebuttal to a question asked by
11 the Bench.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm afraid not. I think if you want to ask some
13 questions, you have to be strictly within the scope of the questions the
14 Judge asked.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: That's why I didn't ask for that permission, Your
16 Honour. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: And Mr. Stojanovic?
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No further questions, Your
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I have a list here. It's
23 various video stills and the three declarations and perhaps it's simpler
24 just to provide this to the registry than read them all out unless
25 there's an objection on a particular item.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think we have got that list. I just want to
2 make sure whether Defence team got that list or not.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: We did receive the list, Your Honour. We have no
4 objections to the Prosecution tendering the items from the list.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: And Your Honour, we would like to tender the
7 document that we showed to the witness today, and that would be his
8 statement from August 9th, 1995.
9 JUDGE LIU: Let me do the job one by one.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
11 JUDGE LIU: I just ask Mr. Stojanovic, you know, whether you have
12 any objections to the documents tendered by the Prosecution?
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No objections, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much. So the documents
15 tendered by the Prosecution from P27 to P36.2/B have been admitted into
17 Are there any objections concerning the document tendered by
18 Mr. Karnavas, Mr. McCloskey?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour, I think it's a hearsay
20 document, and it's -- there's quite a bit more in that document that was
21 not addressed. And if the Court accepts that document, I believe they
22 should accept all the various statements, to put it in full context. And
23 I don't know if this Trial Chamber would like all the statements of the
24 various witnesses as I know the previous Trial Chamber wanted. That, I
25 don't have a real objection to. But as picking and choosing documents, I
1 would object.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could respond to that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could respond. There's no picking and
5 there's no choosing. I used the document because the gentleman obviously
6 needed to have either his memory refreshed or to be confronted with it.
7 Frankly, I have no objections to the Trial Chamber receiving all of the
8 statements made by the gentleman, and I would also urge the Court to look
9 at his entire testimony from the Krstic trial. There's lots of areas
10 that weren't discovered -- discussed today in those statements. And
11 also, if I may address Mr. McCloskey's comment with respect to the
12 hearsay aspect and areas that weren't covered. First of all, the witness
13 recognised the document, recognised it as one that he had read before he
14 came here. And certainly if Mr. McCloskey thought that there was
15 something in the document that he needed to have addressed, he could have
16 addressed it. But by and large, it was this gentleman's statement, it
17 was made contemporaneous to the events, slightly thereafter, and as I have
18 indicated, I've absolutely no objection, there's no picking or choosing
19 and I have no problem hereon to introduce every document that I can think
20 of irrespective of whether it's necessary or not, if that's what the
21 Prosecution wishes for me to do.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think you have some reasons behind your
23 statement just now. And we don't think it's hearsay evidence. But as a
24 normal practice, Mr. Karnavas, I have to say that we have this witness
25 live, testifying to us, about the incidents which happened there. And
1 this statement has been extensively used and quoted during the
2 cross-examination, and all the points are in the transcript now. So we
3 don't think it's necessary to admit the previous statement into the
4 evidence, except in a very extraordinary circumstances. So this document
5 is not admitted into evidence.
6 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any documents to tender?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. We had the
8 same thoughts about the statement that Mr. Karnavas talked about. But
9 having in mind the witness's testimony today, we think that the Court's
10 ruling is acceptable. Most of it has indeed been reflected in the
11 transcript. Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't mean to interrupt, and I do
14 apologise. In keeping with the Court's ruling, as I indicated, there was
15 one question that I didn't ask that I should have asked, that I could not
16 ask in rebuttal. Because in the statement at the final paragraph, the
17 gentleman gives a description of his opinion as to the fall of Srebrenica
18 where he talks specifically about the commander, his commander, Naser
19 Oric, who wasn't there at the time and that there was a fear on the part
20 of -- potential fear on the part of the Chetniks that Naser Oric may be
21 coming from Tuzla to take over or to do -- to confront the troops over
22 there, the Serb troops.
23 So in light of that, Your Honour, I would request that the item
24 be introduced into evidence, and if not, to at least take into
25 consideration that in the last paragraph of the statement, this gentleman
1 gives his opinion and he specifically refers to the Commander Naser Oric.
2 So at that time, he knew that Naser Oric was a commander, a commander of
3 the 28th division who at the time wasn't in Srebrenica but was of
4 Srebrenica. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think this question should be raised
6 during your cross-examination. We gave you the opportunities to do that,
7 and we have already made a ruling that this previous statement will not
8 be admitted into the evidence. But anyway, your remarks are in the
10 Witness, thank you very much for coming here to give your
11 evidence. I apologise once again for the inconvenience during the
12 proceedings brought to you, and I wish you good luck in your future and a
13 pleasant journey back home. You may leave now.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE LIU: Now, before we have the next witness, could we have a
17 break at this moment so that everybody could prepare for the next witness.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Any objections? Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: It's your courtroom, Your Honour. No.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] None, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We'll resume at 40 minutes past
24 5.00, 30 minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 5.07 p.m.
1 [Closed session]
2 [The witness entered court]
3 --- On resuming at 5.41 p.m.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE LIU: Before we hear this witness, Ms. Sinatra, do you have
5 a matter to bring to the attention of this Trial Chamber.
6 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, it's only an administrative matter that
7 deals with access of Defence counsel to the Defence room at breaks. I've
8 brought it to the attention of the Registry once before, but after hours
9 when we have a break, Defence counsel has no access to get to the Defence
10 room once the cafeteria is closed and locked up, and our badges don't
11 allow us to go through any of the areas that are prohibited from red
12 badges. So we can't get down there without an escort and we can't get up
13 because everything is locked again. I was wondering if the Court could
14 please assist us in solving this problem before tomorrow.
15 JUDGE LIU: Of course, I will consult with the Registrar on this
16 matter and ask them to see to it.
17 MS. SINATRA: Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE LIU: So Mr. Waespi, are you ready for the direct
20 MR. WAESPI: Good afternoon, or rather, good evening, Your
21 Honours. Yes, I am.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please proceed.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much. I understand Mr. President that
24 his solemn declaration which he gave in closed session, of course, is
25 binding because we are now in public.
1 JUDGE LIU: There is no problem about that.
2 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
3 WITNESS: PIETER BOERING
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examined by Mr. Waespi:
6 Q. Mr. Boering, can you please spell out your name for the record.
7 A. Boering. Bravo, Oscar, Echo, Romeo, India, November, Golf.
8 Q. And you are of Dutch nationality?
9 A. I am.
10 Q. And you were born on 6 May, 1959?
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. And in terms of your career, military career, you attended the
13 Dutch royal military academy in Breda from 1978 to 1982?
14 A. Mm-hmm.
15 Q. And I understand that you're an artillery officer by
17 A. Mm-hmm.
18 Q. And you also served after Srebrenica as a major in the Dutch
19 Brigade in Kosovo.
20 A. Yeah.
21 Q. For how long was that detail?
22 A. Half a year in early 2000.
23 Q. And you've done operations and planning at brigade level. Of
24 course, you were a deputy G3 for three years?
25 A. Yeah.
1 Q. And currently, you are stationed with the high readiness
2 headquarters First German-Netherlands Corps in Muenster, Germany?
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. And you are, as a staff officer, responsible for policy matters?
5 A. That's correct.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
7 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I would just like to bring to the
8 Court's attention that the Prosecution is asking completely leading
9 questions during their direct examination of their witness. But if we
10 could have an agreement that once they get through the introduction part
11 of Mr. Boering's testimony that the leading questions would end and they
12 go back to asking direct questions.
13 JUDGE LIU: I think those questions are only concerning the
14 background of this witness. To save time, the Prosecution is allowed to
15 ask the questions along this line.
16 MS. SINATRA: We agree with it.
17 JUDGE LIU: But as you rightly pointed out, when we come to
18 substantive matters, the Prosecution will try to avoid any leading
20 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
22 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. In fact, that was my last
23 leading question, I hope. And we'll turn to Srebrenica 1995.
24 Q. Mr. Boering, for how long were you in Srebrenica?
25 A. Half a year.
1 Q. Can you state the exact dates?
2 A. Early January until 13 June, 1995 -- excuse me, July.
3 Q. Now, since you're the first officer from the Dutch army
4 testifying in this case, I think it would be useful if you could tell the
5 Trial Chamber the role of DutchBat, briefly outline the structure, and
6 for instance the number of troops. But perhaps we can start with the
7 mandate of DutchBat as you saw it for that half a year.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Waespi, I think that question is too long.
9 You have to break it one by one.
10 MR. WAESPI: I entirely agree with Your Honour. I asked
11 Mr. Boering just to concentrate on the mandate of DutchBat.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the mandate is concerned,
13 first of all we were there, to put it in English, to secure a safe area.
14 Second, we were there to demilitarise the enclave. Third, we were there
15 to provide humanitarian assistance if possible.
16 MR. WAESPI:
17 Q. Can you tell us the number of companies or other troop units you
18 had at that time?
19 A. The closest staff company, two companies that were serving a
20 mission in the enclave, the Bravo and the Charlie companies. One company
21 was stationed in Potocari, and the other was stationed in Srebrenica. All
22 together, approximately 450 soldiers.
23 Q. What type of weapons did DutchBat have at that time?
24 A. Light infantry arms with APCs with limited armour.
25 Q. If you could just show us the locations of the companies and
1 units you just outlined on Prosecution Exhibit P20.1. And hopefully, you
2 can see it on your screen.
3 A. Not yet.
4 In fact, one company in Potocari, primarily to protect the
5 northern area, and one company in Srebrenica, primarily for the southern
6 area. And the overview shows various letters, and that's where the
7 actual physical observation posts were set up.
8 Q. So by those letters, you mean the letters starting on top of the
9 enclave with an N and an O.
10 A. Yes, November and Oscar, that's it.
11 Q. And can you tell us the role of these observation points?
12 A. It was a small deployment of about eight men, and their task was
13 to observe the area from that area and to conduct limited patrols and to
14 report activities, both from outside and from inside the enclave.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Boering, in terms of the armed forces, the troops in
16 that area, where were the forces stationed?
17 A. Which troops do you mean?
18 Q. Which troops were there at that time?
19 A. When you're speaking about the BSA troops, there were in fact
20 three degrees, located at Bratunac Brigade, a Milici Brigade, and here in
21 the south, Zeleni Jadar. And they were part of the Drina Corps.
22 Q. Thank you. How about the BH army?
23 A. The BH army, to the extent that we could refer to that as an
24 army, we had light arms. I was primarily in contact with the supervisory
25 structure that was present. And the area was divided into various
1 subsections. But I was not in direct contact with them.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Boering. Can you briefly talk about the degree of
3 organisation and strength as you saw it of the Bosnian Serb army.
4 A. The organisation was, in fact, an organised Drina Corps with a
5 clear rigid system of command. And what I saw of the Bratunac Brigade,
6 it was a clear structure with sufficient staff and arms in the sense of
7 artillery and tanks.
8 Q. Can you make some observations about the BH army.
9 A. What I saw and heard indirectly about operations, it was lightly
10 armed, primarily hand-fire arms, and machine-guns and limited other arms.
11 Q. Now, Major Boering, let's turn to your function. What was your
12 role in 1995 in Srebrenica?
13 A. The role was to serve as the liaison on behalf of the battalion
14 staff, both toward the Serbs and the Muslims in the enclave. Toward both
15 local authorities and military authorities. At that level, I dealt with
16 both structures, both civil and military. In addition, within the
17 enclave, I dealt with NGO organisations.
18 Q. What kind of NGO organisations did you have contacts with?
19 A. UNHCR, MSF, the Red Cross, and a few others that don't come to
21 Q. Do you recall what MSF stands for?
22 A. Medicine Sans Frontier, doctors without borders.
23 Q. Mr. Boering, you said that you were meeting with military
24 authorities. Now, did you have an initial meeting in January 1995 with
25 the representatives from the Bosnian Serb army?
1 A. Yes, that was in Bratunac upon the transfer of DutchBat II to
2 DutchBat III. All authorities were present there, the Drina Corps
3 commander, General Zivanovic, and the various brigades that I mentioned
4 earlier, the contacts with us for the Bratunac brigade, that was Major
5 Nikolic. For Milici, it was Major Sakic. Let me think. For the
6 Skelani unit, it was Colonel Vukovic.
7 Q. Do you recall what was discussed during that meeting?
8 A. At the meeting, the role of DutchBat was discussed, especially
9 with respect to demilitarisation. And General Zivanovic explained that
10 we were clearly entitled to the city of Srebrenica.
11 Q. Do you recall what exactly he told you?
12 A. Not exactly, but in the sense that he had lived in the
13 neighbourhood of Srebrenica as a family member and was, therefore,
14 entitled to it.
15 Q. Mr. Boering, let's talk now about the situation in the beginning
16 of July 1995. Where were you personally stationed in that period?
17 A. I was stationed at the headquarters in Potocari in early July.
18 Q. Now, during that period, do you recall, observe, activity around
19 the civilian houses near the compound in Potocari?
20 A. Yes. In early July, there was shelling from the Bratunac area
21 with heavy machine-gun fire, sometimes with light mortar shells, on
22 houses that we could see from our compound. That was in that area. And
23 as for the southern area, what I'm indicating now, the southern area over
24 here, in this area, there was also shelling in early July. And the
25 population fled from there towards Srebrenica. And some of those
1 observation posts came under attack as well.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Boering. Just referring back to what you said
3 about "these houses in Potocari," in your opinion at that time, were
4 those military targets?
5 A. No, those were, in fact, physically inhabited houses. Families
6 lived in them.
7 Q. Now, going to the second part of your answer, you said that you
8 also were aware of movements of civilians towards Srebrenica from the
9 south side. Now, can you explain to the Court why this happened.
10 A. In some way, my interpretation is, I think, that it became
11 impossible for the population to continue living there. And in that way,
12 the population was forced to move towards Srebrenica. And there, they
13 were made to feel unsafe as well so that they might be transported out of
14 the enclave in some way.
15 Q. And can you tell us what the factors were in your opinion why it
16 was made impossible, to quote you, for the population to continue living
18 A. Actual shelling by artillery, mortar shells, and houses that had
19 been taken were set on fire. This was not my own perception; I heard
20 this indirectly, that when people remained behind, they were executed.
21 Q. Now, when you talk about artillery and mortar shells, from which
22 army were these fired from?
23 A. Especially by the BSA toward Bratunac, as far as I can remember.
24 Q. And you talked about executions and that you only heard about it.
25 A. Mm-hmm.
1 Q. Who told you that?
2 A. Somebody who was with our own battalion at the time, whether it
3 was execution or firing in which the shooting was directed at a certain
4 target. I'd go with the second, actually.
5 Q. Now, have you heard of a Serbian shelter project?
6 A. Swedish shelter project?
7 Q. Yes, you're right, I'm sorry. The Swedish shelter project.
8 A. Yes. That's houses built in the south of this area, especially
9 for the refugees. And that camp was the first to be attacked around the
10 8th of July, and the population moved from there towards Srebrenica.
11 Q. Do you know how many people were residing in that Swedish shelter
13 A. Not exactly, but certainly 5.000 or so.
14 Q. Did you have a chance to go to Srebrenica yourself?
15 A. Several times. That was part of my job.
16 Q. Now, at that time, when the refugees were pouring into
17 Srebrenica, as you just outlined, were you in Srebrenica as well?
18 A. At the time I went to Srebrenica primarily because of the tension
19 in the southern area, and that was, like I said before, combined with the
20 company in Srebrenica. So I was operating from that command post in
22 Q. Now, what was your function there?
23 A. If there were indeed problems with both -- either the Muslim
24 authorities, especially the first group to coordinate matters, one
25 example was a blocking position in Srebrenica, and the BiH soldiers were
1 trying to block the vehicle by -- through threatening with anti-tank
2 weapons. So there was no freedom of action, which we do need to act. At
3 that point, I drove there to resolve the situation together with the
4 Muslim authorities.
5 Q. If you, Major Boering, could briefly refer to the map and explain
6 where these blocking positions were established by DutchBat.
7 A. Pointing out blocking positions is a bit difficult. But in fact,
8 effectively along this route, various points were set out. You can see
9 one in front of here.
10 Q. I'm sorry, we cannot see when you're pointing to your screen. So
11 please explain referring to the map where you're pointing to.
12 A. Okay. It's the route between the Swedish shelter project and
13 Srebrenica where at the bottom you see several pink triangles, and moving
14 up to the north, you see the city of Srebrenica, and there you see the
15 black line, which is a road. And along that road, we took various
16 blocking positions up to the city.
17 Q. Is it fair to say in relation to the red dot with the letter "G"
18 that these blocking positions were between spot G and Srebrenica?
19 A. They started more to the south, but they culminated in the city.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Waespi, I think the best way to show that
21 exact point is to furnish a map to the witness, and let the witness mark
22 on that map and put it on the ELMO, that is the traditional way.
23 Otherwise, it's a little bit difficult, you know, for us to know the
24 exact place.
25 MR. WAESPI: I agree with Your Honour. We tried this wonderful
1 fancy project Sanction, but occasionally it does have some disadvantages.
2 If you could move it a little bit up, I guess, so -- Srebrenica
3 should be in the middle if you can manage that. Yes, that's perfect.
4 Q. And perhaps, Major Boering, if you could start by telling us,
5 indicating where the Swedish shelter project was.
6 A. Here at these triangles.
7 Q. Could you maybe indicate it with a cross.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Yes, it's a small cross. I hope it's visible. And perhaps the
10 letters "SSP."
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. And then the blocking positions.
13 A. [Marks] Along this road, there are positions facing south.
14 Q. And of what type of armour or weapon or material did these
15 blocking position consist of?
16 A. APCs. And occasionally a Mercedes Benz.
17 Q. How do you evaluate that from a military perspective?
18 A. More to report than as an actual deterrent, as a deterrent
19 through the armour.
20 Q. Now, what are the dates now we are talking about when these
21 blocking positions were established?
22 A. From the 9th of July, as far as I can remember, because this
23 Swedish shelter project was abandoned from the 8th. And around that
24 date, Echo was attacked at the observation posts.
25 Q. Now, at the end when these blocking positions got closer and
1 closer to Srebrenica, as I understand you, were the observation points in
2 the south still established?
3 A. No. Some of these posts had been abandoned or our personnel had
4 been taken prisoner or hostage. Hostage rather.
5 Q. Let's turn, Major Boering, to the events of July. The night
6 before, did you have a meeting in Srebrenica?
7 A. Yes, the battalion staff, and also with Colonel Karremans
8 present, and we had a meeting with the leadership of the enclave in
9 Srebrenica itself.
10 Q. And what was the purpose of that meeting?
11 A. To discuss the situation. And actually, that evening, air
12 support was more or less promised.
13 Q. Why was air support requested or promised, as you said?
14 A. It was promised if the attack were to continue.
15 Q. Now, did air support actually happen?
16 A. Very late and to a very limited extent.
17 Q. What was the situation in Srebrenica at that time? How many
18 people were in Srebrenica?
19 A. 30.000, more or less.
20 Q. And what time, are you talking about what day now?
21 A. We're now talking about the 10th and the 11th, so the population
22 from the Swedish shelter project and the surrounding villages had all
23 moved towards Srebrenica. They were staying there in the streets,
24 uncertain as they were.
25 Q. What was the atmosphere as you recall it?
1 A. The population was almost desperate. There was a lack of food
2 and drink. And it was unclear what the future was going to be like. And
3 around town, one could hear a lot of shooting of mortars and lighter
5 Q. Now, I would like you to briefly review a clip of a video which
6 we have already seen. Just perhaps 20 seconds, if that could be played.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. WAESPI:
9 Q. Now, Mr. Boering --
10 [Videotape played]
11 Q. -- do you recall these scenes, Mr. Boering?
12 A. Yes, I remember this. I was walking through that myself.
13 Q. Was there any shelling into the area of the UN Compound in
15 A. Yes, that actually happened. And I recall an injured person, a
16 boy about 10 years old, who was brought into a medical care post. And he
17 had mortar shrapnel.
18 Q. Was that the only casualty that occurred at that time?
19 A. No. There were more, but I cannot tell you a precise number.
20 Q. Now, before we leave the area, just going back to the meeting you
21 talked about with your superior Colonel Karremans, who were the
22 participants of that meeting?
23 A. Present were Colonel Karremans, Officer Rave and myself. And
24 from the Muslim population, a number of people from the civilian
25 population, and some from the military planning group. And from the
1 local population, there was Fahrudin, and from the military, as far as
2 I remember, Ekrem was also there.
3 Q. And who was Ekrem?
4 A. At least he was the security officer. And in the absence of
5 other commanders, he also was in command temporarily. And I don't
6 remember precisely, but I believe that Ramic was also there, and he was
7 the actual chief of staff of the BH army there.
8 Q. Major Boering, you talked about the shelling of the area around
9 the compound in Srebrenica and the casualty of that little boy. Were
10 these casualties just accidental casualties, or you as a specialised
11 artillery officer, did you form an opinion at that time --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may just object here.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise for the objection, but I think there's
15 a lack of foundation. The witness indicated that he did not witness the
16 shelling that caused injury to the boy. Perhaps a foundation could be
17 laid, the particular question could be posed. But at this moment I'm
18 afraid there's a lack of foundation, and I'm not sure that the witness is
19 competent to answer that question the way it's phrased in the manner in
20 which it is phrased and without the foundation.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think in answering the question put by the
22 Prosecutor, the witness said that around the town, there was some
23 shellings. And then the Prosecutor asked a further question, whether the
24 shellings happened in the city, in Srebrenica itself. The witness
25 answered that yes. I think this is the foundation.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please repeat the
4 question for me.
5 MR. WAESPI:
6 Q. [Microphone not activated] Yes. You are --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
8 MR. WAESPI: I apologise.
9 Q. Major Boering, you as an artillery specialist, you were present
10 when shelling happened I understand?
11 A. Mm-hmm.
12 Q. And you saw these casualties. Did you form an opinion at that
13 time whether these casualties were accidental or done on purpose?
14 A. The opinion I had about this was that it was intentional, on
15 purpose, as I said before, particularly aimed at giving the population
16 the feeling that they were insecure. And thereby -- let me put it this
17 way: Making them want to leave the enclave in order to become safe. To
18 give you an example, on my own account, if I myself when I was moving
19 around, I was also regularly shot at. But, say, well, they just missed
20 in order to give me a feeling of like "don't do this again." And when
21 after that I got in touch with the Serbian post, they actually indicated
22 this and said that it was somewhat dangerous to get in touch with them
23 again because this was what their orders were.
24 Q. Major Boering, when did you leave Srebrenica?
25 A. The town itself I left on the 11th. As you could see on the
1 video, we had quite a lot of transport towards Potocari. All of the
2 population moved in that direction by itself. And once that transport
3 had got going, I myself and my colleague also moved towards Potocari in
4 order to be able to take care of things over there.
5 Q. Now, can you describe to the Trial Chamber what you saw on your
6 way between Srebrenica and Potocari on the 11th of July.
7 A. The population actually moving with whatever they could carry in
8 the direction of Potocari. And if they were not capable of walking by
9 themselves, they were carried or moved around in wheelbarrows, or, if
10 possible, in a means of transport belonging to DutchBat itself.
11 Q. Could you give a rough estimate of how many people dis-located
12 from Srebrenica to Potocari?
13 A. 15.000, 20.000.
14 Q. And what time of the day was that?
15 A. It was in the afternoon.
16 Q. And in relation to DutchBat and the blocking positions, what
17 happened to those?
18 A. The blocking positions were the last, and finally Srebrenica was
20 Q. Now, going ahead to Potocari, what did you do once you arrived in
22 A. First of all, I and my colleague reported to Colonel Karremans,
23 and next we started helping to find accommodation for the population that
24 was in the neighbourhood of the compound, to the extent possible.
25 Q. Can you describe the situation as it presented itself to you.
1 A. Hopeless, lack of food, and extremely uncertain and insecure. At
2 least for the population and for our own battalion, we tried as much as
3 possible to safeguard people and to take medical care of them to the
4 extent possible.
5 Q. Before moving on, just a last point on this: How was the food
6 and supply situation for DutchBat itself?
7 A. During the preceding months, it had worsened considerably because
8 the convoys were not permitted. So there was hardly any fresh food, and
9 there wasn't any meat either.
10 Q. And can you explain what you mean by convoys were not permitted?
11 A. The convoys always required a clearance from the side of the BSA.
12 And very often, it was not granted or to a limited extent.
13 MR. WAESPI: Your Honours, I would like to move on now to the
14 next topic. And that's the Hotel Fontana meetings.
15 Q. Major Boering, were you called to a meeting at the Hotel Fontana
16 on the 11th of July?
17 A. Yes, we were invited to attend the meeting.
18 Q. By "invited," what do you mean, or who invited you?
19 A. We were in touch through a Serbian interpreter there, and he
20 transmitted the message that we were supposed to appear there, at least
21 the commander.
22 Q. And do you know who told the Serbian interpreter that your
23 presence was requested?
24 A. At that point in time, it was unclear. But considering the
25 situation, of course, we complied with that request.
1 Q. And the Serbian interpreter, who did he interpret from, or who
2 was he in contact with?
3 A. He is the interpreter who was employed by the UN. And in
4 practice, he was the interpreter particularly for the Bratunac battalion
5 commander, or the OO. When we got an invitation for the meeting, then
6 at any rate, it came from Mr. Nikolic, or had been ordered by him.
7 Q. At what time was the meeting actually happening?
8 A. It took place in the evening at about 8.00.
9 Q. And do you recall who was present talking first about the Dutch
11 A. Yes, Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans, and Sergeant-Major Rave, and
13 Q. And from the Bosnian Serb side, who was present?
14 A. Present were General Mladic, General Krstic, Colonel Jankovic,
15 Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel Kosovic, Major Nikolic. Those are the ones
16 I can recall now.
17 MR. WAESPI: With your permission, Your Honours, I would like to
18 show him again a brief clip of this first Fontana meeting.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
20 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, if I might ask that the Prosecution
21 provide us with an exhibit list of the pieces of evidence they wish to
22 introduce through this witness, like they did yesterday with Mr. Mandzic.
23 We had an exhibit list, so as we went down, we could make notations on
24 whether this is acceptable or not. We haven't received an exhibit list
25 that the Prosecution is using for this witness.
1 JUDGE LIU: It's a reasonable request.
2 MR. WAESPI: Yes, certainly. I believe we had submitted that
3 document, and we can certainly give you again a copy.
4 MS. SINATRA: My apologies to the Court and to the Prosecutor. I
5 was just provided a copy of it. Thank you.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. WAESPI: You can stop here.
9 Q. Now, could you tell to the Trial Chamber who the persons are in
10 this video.
11 A. I didn't see anything. On my extreme right, I see a bit of
12 myself; the second one is Sergeant-Major Rave; next in the middle, I
13 see Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans; and to his right and left for me, I
14 see Colonel Jankovic; and in the foreground on the left is General
15 Mladic; and this was in Fontana. That's where the meeting was held.
16 Q. Now, Major Boering, do you recall what was discussed?
17 A. What was discussed was the situation of our battalion, what to do
18 with the population, and particularly also the air-raid whereby because
19 of NATO action, people had been killed or injured on the side of the BSA.
20 And General Mladic made it very clear that he was extremely cross about
21 this and that he could, in fact, do with us as he liked. And that's what
22 he wanted to tell us very clearly.
23 Q. You were present at that meeting, Mr. Boering. How did you feel
24 personally at that time?
25 A. Literally, there was no possibility of negotiating. So there was
1 hardly a possibility for us to change anything about this sorry
2 situation. So I felt extremely limited and restricted. And in the back
3 of my mind, of course, I had -- I was thinking of the population at the
4 compound. It was clear that they did not have enough food and drink to
5 keep it up and to keep going.
6 Q. Now, I would like to show you another clip. And again the Judges
7 have seen it already, and perhaps you can give us some explanations.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it now.
10 MR. WAESPI: I think you can stop.
11 Q. Can you tell us who these people are.
12 A. If I remember correctly, these are the so-called hostage
13 individuals from the observation posts that had been raided during the
14 attack on the enclave. About 30 people. And we had not been in touch
15 with them for at least a week. So when entering this Fontana Hotel, to
16 my right-hand side I saw them sitting in a room. And I went in to talk
17 to them and asked them, past a kind of bodyguard who was there, what
18 their situation was like. And next I reported that to Lieutenant-Colonel
19 Karremans who had already walked on because he was going towards the
21 Q. How did the meeting end?
22 A. This meeting with General Mladic ended with a clear order by
23 General Mladic for us to make sure that there were representatives from
24 the enclave, if possible, military representatives. And then finally,
25 around 11.00 that evening, we were supposed to return there in order to
1 discuss the situation together.
2 Q. Now, I would like you, because I think I'm still not entirely used
3 to -- sure about Sanction, that you identify on this still picture just
4 again the person you did, and asking you to do that from the left to the
6 A. On the left is General Mladic; the second is Colonel Jankovic;
7 next, you have Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans; next is Sergeant-Major Rave;
8 and then there's me.
9 Q. Thank you, Major Boering. This picture is just a few seconds
10 after the beginning of that videoclip. Now, you just indicated that you
11 needed to make sure that there were representatives from the enclave at a
12 next meeting. Now, did you, in fact, manage to find these
14 A. Yes. Not in the military sense, nor did we find them among the
15 normal civilian administration, but from the local population. We found
16 in the afternoon a former teacher, Mr. Mandzic, whom I was relatively
17 often in touch with. And in my opinion, he was suitable. So that is why
18 we approached him and asked him to come with us. And after a brief while,
19 he was willing, and we prepared him, and then we went to the next meeting
20 with him.
21 Q. By "we prepared him," what do you mean by that?
22 A. Explaining where we were going, what the composition of the
23 previous meeting had been, and what, in our -- our impression was that
24 the intention of the next meeting was going to be.
25 Q. Just a point of clarification, you talked about the composition
1 of the previous meeting. And I believe you mentioned a Mr. Krstic or
2 General Krstic.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Do you recall that he was present?
5 A. I remember that he was present at one meeting. But right now, I
6 can't recall, but I am certain that he attended one of the meetings,
7 either the next day, and that he was introduced to us as the Drina Corps
8 commander with General Mladic.
9 Q. Now, once you had chosen and prepared Mr. Mandzic, what did you
10 do then?
11 A. As agreed, we went to the next meeting together with
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans.
13 Q. At what time was that and what location?
14 A. That was once again to the same location in Bratunac, around
16 Q. If we could show the next clip, I think we should have... If it
17 could be played, please.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. WAESPI: Just freeze it for a moment.
20 Q. Major Boering, are you able to identify what this video is about
21 and the persons you --
22 A. This is the meeting that we had then, at 11.00 in the evening in
23 the Fontana Hotel. And if you're asking me to identify the people from
24 left to right, wearing the spectacles on the left is Colonel Jankovic;
25 behind him is General Mladic's bodyguard; seated at the table on the
1 left is the interpreter, Petar; and the next is Lieutenant-Colonel
2 Karremans; and then you see a small part of Mandzic.
3 Q. Do you recall other people being present which are not on this
4 picture here?
5 A. Yes. To the left of Jankovic was General Mladic, and he
6 introduced Colonel Jankovic as his next-in-command to take care of
7 matters if General Mladic were absent, because he might be too busy to
8 take care of matters in Zepa.
9 Q. You had mentioned that a Colonel Kosovic or Kosovic was present
10 at the first meeting. Was this person also present at the second
12 A. Yes, he was present there, too. And he was presented primarily
13 to arrange the transport of the refugees at a later stage.
14 Q. Do you recall the subject of what was discussed during this
16 A. It was mainly about the untenable situation and what solutions
17 would be possible. General Mladic's strong preference to try as much as
18 possible to get the military troops still present in the enclave to
19 surrender and give up their arms, and that anything would be possible as
20 long as they left the enclave.
21 Q. Was the atmosphere at the second meeting any different from the
22 previous ones?
23 A. Well, General Mladic was certainly less threatening. It was a
24 normal table set with food, or at least with drink anyway. And Mladic
25 briefly introduced all the operators and described their functions. It
1 was a more formal meeting.
2 Q. Now, on the entire video which the Judges have seen, there is at
3 one instance a scream of a pig. Do you recall that?
4 A. Yes, definitely. During the meeting, in any case, to impress us,
5 we heard our type of APCs circling around the building, and we heard that
6 typical pulling noise, and also the squeal of a pig at a certain point.
7 And in some manner, General Mladic indicated that he wanted out of the
8 enclave and that we had to cooperate in this respect.
9 Q. I would like to show you another video still from that meeting.
10 Do you recall this sign board?
11 A. At the meeting, General Mladic's bodyguard presented that at the
12 request of General Mladic. It indicates clearly in the Cyrillic alphabet
13 that the former shield positioned on the town hall there needed to be
14 replaced, and that these were old rites that existed.
15 Q. Now, Major Boering, what do you do after the meeting?
16 A. After the meeting, we returned. And, well, the idea was to
17 reconvene the next morning. And at that time, we were supposed to go to
18 discuss further details and to try again to locate military BH authorities
19 and to -- for our own leadership to contact the higher level to get
20 directives and to determine positions. And the next morning, we planned
21 to return to the Fontana Hotel. I don't recall exactly, but I believe we
22 even set a time for the next morning.
23 Mr. Mandzic was not entirely comfortable, to put it in English,
24 that he would bear sole responsibility. And for that reason, his
25 delegation was expanded to include two other persons. And they had their
1 own discussions about the course of the subsequent discussions, and at a
2 certain time that was merged.
3 Q. You said that you were supposed to bring military persons with
5 A. Yes, we made a limited effort to search for them. But there were
6 serious rumours that the military had left the enclave. And you could
7 tell from the shooting around the enclave and during the second meeting
8 that we had that evening, an actual incident took place in which several
9 Serb military had to leave in a hurry because panic that the Muslim
10 military had broken out of the enclave, to the extent that we could
12 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, this is perhaps a good point to
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will stop here and continue tomorrow
15 afternoon. Before that -- yes, Ms. Sinatra.
16 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I just have one point of
17 clarification. Major Boering keeps referring to the BSA, I believe the
18 BSA is what we call the VRS in all of our documents. Is that the same
19 thing, just for clarification?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And I would like to remind the parties
22 that the Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber has made an order
23 rescinding the protective measures concerning this witness. I hope that
24 both parties will get this order and read it because certain materials
25 may be used in the direct examination or cross-examination.
1 Witness, I have to remind you that during your testimony, you are
2 still under the oath. So please do not talk to anybody and do not let
3 anybody talk to you about your testimony. We'll see you tomorrow
5 The proceedings are adjourned.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
8 at 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
9 the 9th day of July, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.