1 Monday, 15 September 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to
9 this trial. Before we have the next witness, there's some procedural
10 matters I would like to inform everybody. This morning we'll hear the
11 last witness left over --
12 [Technical difficulty]
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, we call this Monday phenomenon, you know.
14 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]
15 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, everybody. Can you hear me? Yes. Good
16 morning, everybody. Welcome back to this trial. Before we have the
17 witness, there are some scheduling matters I would like to inform
18 everybody. Today we'll hear the last witness left over from the previous
19 group. And according to our plan, we are going to hear Mr. Nikolic on
21 As for the next week's scheduling, next Tuesday, 23rd of
22 September, we'll sit in the morning instead of the afternoon, so the next
23 week the whole morning we'll sit in the morning. We might have a break
24 from 13th of October to 17th of October. Of course, this scheduling all
25 depends on the decisions of the Appeals Chamber. I would like to
1 reiterate the Bench's position on this matter. Whatever the decision the
2 Appeals Chamber may render, this Bench will comply with it.
3 Thank you. Having said that, could we have the witness.
4 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. I hope you can hear me, but we're not
6 getting any audio at the moment, so we won't be able to understand
7 Mr. Stojanovic. Also, and if the Court doesn't mind, I will be leaving
8 after the first break, and Mr. Waespi will be leading this witness.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Can you hear me?
10 MR. WAESPI: Good morning, Mr. President. Yes, I can. I think it
11 seems to be working.
12 JUDGE LIU: Okay.
13 MR. WAESPI: The next witness will be Lieutenant Colonel Franken.
14 JUDGE LIU: So there are no protective measures?
15 MR. WAESPI: No, there is none, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Blagojevic.
18 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to
19 address you, although I was not given the opportunity to take the floor.
20 I would like to just state for the record that I do not have the Defence.
21 These persons who are sitting here today should not be sitting as my
22 Defence, and I would like this to be known. I am in this position: I am
23 in such an unfortunate situation, considering that you have said certain
24 things which I deem to be false.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Blagojevic, I believe that your remarks have
1 been rightly registered in the transcript. We all stand your position at
2 this moment. As I promise you, that we're all waiting for the decisions
3 from the Appeals Chamber, and whatever decisions the Appeals Chamber may
4 render on the issue of the counsel, this Bench will comply with it. Thank
6 Could we have the witness, please.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
9 THE WITNESS: I hear you pretty well, sir.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Would you please make the solemn
11 declaration in accordance with the paper the usher is showing you.
12 THE WITNESS: I will, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: ROBERT FRANKEN
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
15 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please. Yes,
17 Mr. Waespi.
18 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Examined by Mr. Waespi:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Franken.
21 A. Good morning, sir.
22 Q. Can you please state for the record your full name.
23 A. I'm Robert Alexander Franken.
24 Q. And perhaps just to remind you and me that we are speaking the
25 same language, although not our native language, but still English. If
1 you could pause after I have asked you a question, and perhaps watch the
2 monitor, and as soon as the cursor has stopped moving, you can answer my
4 A. I will.
5 Q. That makes is easier for the interpreter.
6 I'll just recount a couple of personal details, and if you could
7 confirm, please. Your nationality is Dutch?
8 A. That's correct, sir.
9 Q. And you were born on the 24th of August, 1950?
10 A. That's correct as well.
11 Q. And you're a lieutenant colonel in the Dutch army?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. An infantry officer?
14 A. Correct, sir.
15 Q. And I'll briefly go over your military c.v. You joined the army
16 in 1970 and have held many positions in these 30 years, including the
17 commander of a mechanised armoured -- mechanised infantry company,
18 operations officer in an armoured brigade, officers' tactics instructor at
19 the infantry school, chief of training at an infantry training unit, then
20 staff officer concerned with logistics and intelligence at battalion and
21 brigade levels, and more recently, you were a G-2 - that's a staff officer
22 responsible for intelligence and security of a mechanised brigade - chief
23 of crisis response operations, and currently you are the chief of staff of
24 Northern Command here in Holland?
25 A. That is correct, sir.
1 Q. And you also trained as an airborne officer, and at the time of
2 the events we are concerned with today, you were the deputy commander
3 of the 1st Dutch UN infantry battalion based in Srebrenica?
4 A. That's correct, sir.
5 Q. And that detail was from January 1995 to July 1995?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now going to this mission you had. Can you briefly describe the
8 mission you had, you were given by your superiors.
9 A. Yes. In fact, there were three missions. The first one was to
10 deter by presence any hostile action of -- in the enclave. The second was
11 to facilitate humanitarian aid to the civilian population, and the third
12 one was to demilitarise the Bosnian forces in the enclave.
13 Q. Thank you, Lieutenant Colonel. As a deputy commander, what were
14 your responsibilities?
15 A. I had to coordinate the work of the battalion staff and act as a
16 commander the moment a commander was not available or not present.
17 Q. Now, who was your commander?
18 A. Lieutenant Colonel Karremans.
19 Q. And how did you divide up the duties among yourselves?
20 A. In fact, it was that the external contacts was done by Lieutenant
21 Colonel Karremans, and all the internal affairs, so the orders to the
22 battalion and the companies, was my job, part of the job, within the
23 guidelines of the commander, of course.
24 Q. So the commander, Colonel Karremans, would decide, and you would
25 implement these decisions?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Now, you said you were responsible for internal matters. Does
3 that also involve logistics?
4 A. Yes. My second job as DCO was logistics officer of the battalion,
6 Q. Now, where were you normally based?
7 A. My base was Potocari, HQ of DutchBat.
8 Q. And was there a specific room where you conducted your business?
9 A. As far as normal business, it was from my bureau annex, bat room
10 annex, et cetera. It was a small office, and as soon as there was
11 something important, my place was in the operations room of the battalion.
12 Q. And can you explain to the Judges what happens in an operations
14 A. In fact, all the information from the battalion is coming in
15 there, is analysed, and on the basis of those analyses, decisions are
16 taken or orders are given.
17 Q. Now, I take it you couldn't be always present in that operations
18 room. How would you make sure that they were still briefed as to the
19 information that came into the operations room?
20 A. Yeah, well my chief operations room had guidelines from my side in
21 which I said information like that I want to know, I want to have, and
22 your analysis about events, I want to have. And in the end phase I was
23 most of the time in the operation room, sir.
24 Q. Now, one of the three-fold missions or mandates, you told us a
25 moment ago, was demilitarisation. Now, was that successful?
1 A. No, absolutely not, sir. The two Dutch battalions who were there
2 before us already tried to demilitarise the area. The problem was that we
3 were not authorised to enter civil houses. So what happened if we saw
4 armed men, we tried to catch them, so to say, but the very moment they
5 fled into a house, we were not allowed to enter that house. I have to
6 call in so-called civil police, that's local police, which in a couple of
7 events came out - sorry - came out. We can't find any weapon. And that
8 happened several times. So more or less we stopped trying to catch those
9 guys within a city or within a village because it was absolutely no use.
10 And in fact, only, yeah, a laugh, because the population stood around and
11 laughed broadly when we tried again to pick up some guys who were bebic
13 Q. Now, were there still times you were successful in getting arms,
14 weapons; and if so, what would happen to these weapons?
15 A. A couple of times we catch groups of two or three men in the open.
16 The weapons were then handed over to us. They got a receipt and the
17 weapons went to a so-called weapon collection point, on the base of our B
18 Company in the city of Srebrenica there was a WCP or a weapon collection
19 point. And all the weapons that were given over were held there -- were
20 kept there, I should say.
21 Q. What kind of weapons were there collected, apart from small arms
22 which you had referred to earlier?
23 A. In the period we were there we only collected small arms but there
24 were already T-55 that's a main battle tank. As far as I recollect, two
25 artillery pieces, all kinds of self-constricted weapons. All of them was
1 a rocket parts normally under an armed helicopter or an airplane and they
2 made it on a mount and probably used that as artillery.
3 Q. Now, you just confirmed a couple of times that the area wasn't
4 really demilitarised, or you were not successful. Now, why did the
5 Muslims not really hand in their weapons? Do you have an explanation for
7 A. Yes. I think they still wanted to have their military potential
8 because the Bosnian Serbs around were pretty heavily armed, and they still
9 saw that as a threat. And probably didn't fully believe in what I call
10 the combat power of the Blue Helmet. Our mission was to deter by
11 presentation, so just showing the blue flag, so to say. A little
12 battalion, lightly armed, by a real attack, we were not able to stop it,
13 but not even authorised to stop it in the situation we were in. So I
14 think that out of a wish for self-defence, they kept weapons.
15 Q. Now, the Muslims who had weapons, what military structure did they
16 belong to?
17 A. When we came in, it was called the 8th operational group. Later
18 on it was called the 28th division. It was more or less a division
19 structure. They had four brigades. The enclave was divided in four
20 areas, and every brigade had a responsibility for an area. And there were
21 more or less company structures under the brigade, sir.
22 Q. How would you characterise their organisation? You just mentioned
23 a very detailed or hierarchical structure, divisions, brigades, companies.
24 Was that something just on paper or did it materialise in reality?
25 A. No. It was paper structure. In fact, there was not a consequent
1 line of command. Commanders on low level did exactly what they wanted
2 themselves. They didn't follow orders from the division, et cetera. So
3 to be short, it was a mess, militarily.
4 Q. Did they have a headquarters at the divisional level?
5 A. Yeah, they had a headquarters formerly in the so-called post and
6 telegraph office in the city of Srebrenica and there was another
7 headquarters in Potocari, in part of an old school.
8 Q. Did you ever visit this headquarters?
9 A. Yeah. I know the post and telegraph office. It was not a
10 headquarters but just an office but no communication or maps or whatever.
11 And in fact the same situation was in Potocari. It was a classroom or a
12 room, and there were some bureaus in it but no communications. They had a
13 house in the vicinity of Pale, within the enclave there's a Pale too, and
14 in that house there were communications, means of communications.
15 Q. And you said you visited this headquarters. How many people did
16 you see working there?
17 A. There were -- on the outside working there, six or seven guys who
18 were present in that room, not really working in the way I see it in a
19 divisional escort.
20 Q. Now, did you have a discussion with the Chief of Staff of the
21 Bosnian Muslim army at one point in time while you were there about
22 cooperation, so to call it, between DutchBat and their army?
23 A. Yes. I got a question of the Chief of Staff 28th division what
24 DutchBat would do when the Bosnian Serbs would attack the enclave. I
25 explained to him that we were not allowed to defend the enclave, but
1 understanding the importance of the question, we had some strange
2 discussion where I, in the end, we agreed that in the case that Bosnian
3 Serbs would attack the enclave, we would defend our observation post, as
4 far as possible, and they would be in the area between the observation
5 post and defend the enclave. But in a way, that very partially
7 Q. Now, when the scenario of attack eventually happened, did this
8 concept materialise?
9 A. In one place, the essence of a concept like that is of course that
10 when one of the parties withdraws, he informs the other party that -- the
11 big problem, the 28th Division, just in one case, informed us in time that
12 they would withdraw, in all the other cases we found ourselves in the
13 midst of the Serb infantry. And they did not inform us. One of the
14 reasons we lost quite a lot of OPs -- sorry, observation posts.
15 Q. Now, let me turn to the Bosnian Serb army, iso BSA or whatever you
16 like to call them. Prior to the fall of the enclave, did you have
17 contacts with VRS officers?
18 A. We had an official liaison. It was a Colonel Vukovic who belonged
19 in a way to the Skelani Brigade. It was on the east and south-east part
20 of the enclave. But in fact we dealt with somebody who presented himself
21 as Major Nikolic, belonging to the Bratunac Brigade.
22 Q. Did he indicate to you what his position was within the Bratunac
24 A. Yeah. Well, it was a bit difficult, because asked for it, we got
25 all kinds of functions, operations officer, one time he claimed to be DCO,
1 so second in command of the brigade. We were not quite clear what post he
2 had, but it was obvious that he had a post in that way that he could
3 influence the operations of the brigade, because he was the one which we
4 tried to make appointments with, et cetera.
5 Q. Did you ever see him giving orders?
6 A. Yes. Once Observation Post Papa, in the northern part of the
7 enclave, the entrance to the enclave, where he ordered some soldiers in
8 the vicinity of that entrance to do things, and they did. And the other
9 time was when we had a meeting at the confrontation line directly in the
10 vicinity of Observation Post Romeo. It's on the eastern side of the
11 enclave. Where he gave some orders to the troops in the Serbian line
12 present there, which were followed.
13 Q. Now, in this roughly half a year you were there in your capacity,
14 how many times would you meet Major Nikolic prior to the fall of
16 A. I understand. I think it will be four or five times, because
17 generally we had a liaison, so-called S-5, whose job it was to keep up the
18 contacts with the VRS or BSA. I should think of the fact that when he
19 negotiated with one of the parties, the S-5, we always kept some echelons
20 in reserve that when he didn't come to a solution, we were still could
21 bring in somebody higher who could try again, and that was what we did.
22 The last phase, in fact, Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Karremans went out,
23 the S-5 didn't succeed. I went out and tried to negotiate whatever. So I
24 think it's about five times that I met him within that situation of
25 negotiations or talks.
1 Q. Now, just to clarify, because most of us are military laymen.
2 What is an S-5?
3 A. Sorry, yeah. The situation, the best thing that you could
4 describe it as a liaison to a party. And that's in fact the best
5 description I can give for the function he has now. Normally he does
6 civil, military cooperation as well, but it was not applicable in the
8 Q. Now, to summarise: These meetings you had with Colonel Vukovic
9 and Major Nikolic, these were liaison meetings, where things of mutual
10 interest were discussed?
11 A. Yes. The two times I met him was on request of my own S-5. He
12 said, well, this is going forward, there has to be a bit more brass on the
13 ground, so to say. I remember that in the situation in Romeo, so on the
14 eastern side, it was concerned OP Echo, Observation Post Echo. It was
15 quite a critical point and Serbs had quite a lot of problems with the
16 area. That's where I went in.
17 Q. And again, by Romeo, you mean observation point R, Romeo?
18 A. Yeah, sorry. Yes.
19 Q. No problem. Now, did you ever see the commander of the Bratunac
21 A. No, sir.
22 Q. Now, did you expect, would you have expected to see the commander
23 of the Bratunac Brigade, given the fact that you had dealings with the
24 liaison person on the other side?
25 A. Yes. There were some situations in which I was surprised that we
1 still had to deal with Major Nikolic. And there was a situation with the
2 proposition of trade with the enclave from the Serb side. It was pretty
3 important, but the level never got higher in beginning as Major Nikolic.
4 Later on somebody from Pale came in. And the Echo situation, it was
5 pretty critical, I should say I was surprised that I found Major Nikolic
6 on the CL. Colonel Vukovic was there as well but not on commander level.
7 I know that Colonel Karremans a couple of times requested to speak with
8 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, but it was -- contact never came,
9 you say, never got effective.
10 Q. Did you ever receive complaints by the Serb side about any issue?
11 A. Yeah. There are two examples, two issues I remember. There was
12 probably an action of the Muslims, Bosniaks, directly north of the
13 Observation Post Mike, M, where my OP reported what we call battle noise
14 by night on the Serb side, and saw in the morning smoke behind the hill,
15 probably -- yeah, something of burning. That's where I got a complaint
16 through the S-5 of the Serb side that the Muslims did perform a raid and
17 burnt houses and killed people. And the second I remember was --
18 Q. If you can just stop for a moment. I would like you to point to a
19 map just to make it more graphic, and if you could be shown Exhibit P21.
20 MR. WAESPI: Your Honours, that's an exhibit which has been used
21 several times before. And we need to use the old-fashioned way, the ELMO.
22 Q. Lieutenant Colonel, if you could point out, as soon as it starts
23 to work, the observation point Mike you discussed a moment ago.
24 A. Yes. Is this the correct overlay? I see Zvornik on it, but ...
25 Q. Yes. You need to move down more into southerly direction.
1 A. Mike was in this area.
2 Q. Yes. Perhaps you can point to the ELMO.
3 A. Sorry. Mike was in this area, northern point.
4 Q. Yes. And I believe you point to the area where we see the village
5 of Jaglici.
6 A. Yes, that's the area. Their observation was somewhere around
8 Q. Now, going back to what you said, you heard about the allegations
9 of the Serb person who complained to you. Did you try to verify that it
10 was true that the Muslims performed a raid and burnt houses and killed
12 A. We had the probability that they had by the report of OP Mike,
13 Observation Post Mike, but we were not allowed to go on the very spot to
14 check it out ourselves. They didn't want us to operate or to come out of
15 the enclave. And they, I mean Bosnian Serb army.
16 Q. And I believe you may have said that, but what was the time when
17 this incident happened?
18 A. That must be -- let me think. I suppose around April. Sorry.
19 It's eight years ago, so the correct date, I don't know. But it must have
20 been around April.
21 Q. Now, you started with a second incident.
22 A. Yeah. There was an incident south of Zeleni Jadar. There was a
23 route used by the Bosniaks to go to Zepa, and somewhere in that area, the
24 Bosnian Serb army claimed that the Bosniaks ambushed a couple of their
25 soldiers, and as I remember well, seven of them were -- seven of them were
1 killed. You see here in the south Zeleni Jadar.
2 Q. If you could again point to the ELMO.
3 A. Sorry. Here is Zeleni Jadar. And in this area, going from here,
4 there was a route they used to Zepa. So somewhere in the area directly
5 south of the map that ambush would have taken place.
6 Q. Thank you. I think you can leave it there. We may use it again.
7 In this instance, did you again try to verify whether the
8 information relayed to you was correct?
9 A. As far as I remember, we got a complaint about two days after the
10 incident happened, so there was no use in checking any more, because
11 probably the bodies, et cetera, would be taken away, and then you can't
12 see anything in the woods.
13 Q. So you couldn't --
14 A. I couldn't check that, no.
15 Q. And do you remember a date?
16 A. Yeah. I'll do my best. I think this happened after the raid of
17 the Muslims in the north, so probably that would be end of April, starting
18 May, sir. But again, I don't recollect the correct or just exactly a
20 Q. And that would be, of course, April/May 1995?
21 A. Yes, of course, sir.
22 Q. Turning to the other side, were there complaints by the Bosnian
24 A. Several -- the problem was, in fact, that there were three
25 confrontation lines, three borders of the enclave. There was a UN border,
1 there was the Bosnian Serb border, was more or less one or two kilometres
2 further -- within the enclave; and there was a Bosniak border, which was
3 locally one or two kilometres further outside the UN border. So every
4 time we got a complaint that the Serbs came forward, it was a bit
5 difficult to discuss that, because nobody agreed on the UN border. In
6 fact, we had a couple of incidents where it was obvious that the Bosnian
7 Serbs came forward. It was once in the east, directly south of the
8 Observation Post Romeo, where the Serbs came forward just to the road that
9 went to Romeo. Just hold, please. Being in this area. There's a road
10 from Srebrenica up here, and Quebec and Romeo, both of the observation
11 posts, were alongside that road. And between Romeo and the city, the
12 Serbs came forward, so controlled that road on the very edge of it. We
13 opposed that and they withdrew. We had a problem in the north and west
14 part. This part where the Serbs came forward. But it was before DutchBat
15 3 was in, as it appeared on DutchBat 2.
16 Q. And just for the record, the witness, in relation to the last
17 piece of information he gave, pointed to the area west of the village of
18 Jaglici and Susnjari.
19 A. That's correct. And we had a problem in what we called the
20 Bandera Triangle, here around OP Bravo, where two or three times was
21 reported that the Serbs would have come forward. The first time it was in
22 the period that DutchBat 2 and 3 were in their takeover. The second time
23 was in March, when Serb infantry was reported within the enclave. We
24 counted that but it was a false report, there was no Serb infantry in the
25 enclave. We kept a new position in the area during about two weeks, to
1 make sure they wouldn't come in. And that's about it, sir.
2 Q. You mentioned DutchBat 1 and 2. What time frame were they
3 involved in?
4 A. In fact, in 1994, the DutchBat 1 was in the first half, so, say,
5 January to July and DutchBat 2 was July up to January 1995, when we
6 relieved them, or switched tasks.
7 Q. Did you, Lieutenant Colonel Franken take any complaints to Major
8 Nikolic; and if so, in what instances would you do that?
9 A. In general, there was a big problem to reach -- no - to get
10 contact, because he just showed up when he wanted. Once in a while we
11 were in need of liaison because villages were shelled, et cetera, and we
12 wanted of course to discuss that, or to report that, or to confront the
13 Bosnian Serb army with it, but then Major Nikolic was not available.
14 That's a general complaint. Specific complaints on the person, I do not
15 have, sir.
16 Q. Can you still be more specific about the shelling of these
18 A. Mostly it was done in the area of the Milici Brigade, in the
19 western part of the enclave, and, for instance, the village of Slatina was
20 several times targeted. And Slatina is, yeah, not on this map, but you
21 should say it's directly east of OP alpha, in this area.
22 Q. And the time frame you're talking about would be?
23 A. The whole period, sir. I don't need to say that they were
24 constantly shelled, but those incidents were often in that area.
25 Q. Now, I would like Your Honours to turn to the 11th of July.
1 And I think at that time you were in the operations room in
2 Potocari. Do you recall what type of information you received?
3 A. On the 11th, I got reports of almost all my observation posts that
4 it was very much battle noise from the B Company specifically. B Company
5 was the company where the city of Srebrenica within his area of
6 responsibility and his own base was there. I was reported that there was
7 a pretty heavy shelling of the city of Srebrenica.
8 Q. Could you identify where you told what kind of weapons were used
9 to shell the city?
10 A. Yeah. Probably medium calibre and heavy calibre artillery and
11 mortar, sir.
12 Q. And were you given information as to the numbers of shells that
13 fell on the city?
14 A. Yes. It was standard procedure that every shelling was reported
15 in detail to the battalion by a patrol or an observation post. But when
16 the B Company came to the figure of 200 on that day, I told him to stop
18 Q. Now, did you form an opinion why the city of Srebrenica was
20 A. Yeah. The problem was that the city was absolutely full of
21 civilians, women, children, et cetera. It was absolutely crowded. There
22 were no military positions of the 28th Muslim Division any more there.
23 The only positions there were were our positions, so-called blocking
24 positions. But there was a, yeah, more or less random shelling of the
25 city. The reasons for that can only be, as far as we could figure out,
1 try to panic the population or just to kill the population. And the
2 other -- we couldn't figure out another goal for an action like that.
3 Q. Now, when you received this information about the situation in
4 Srebrenica and you were in Potocari, did you give any orders?
5 A. Yeah. Well, the situation there was that we had order to -- got
6 that on the evening of the 9th, to defend the city. But during the 11th,
7 there was a panic and the civil population, let's say the refugees, they
8 overran the HQ of B Company, so I ordered the commander of the B Company
9 to put his HQ means in his APC - armoured personnel carrier - and he had
10 to command his company from there. And in fact we left the base as he
11 said that he couldn't control it any more because our APCs as well were
12 crowded by the people. The climb on our APCs were in position in the
13 field. Massively with positions of my soldiers. The situation was not
14 controllable by him any more. He asked permission to divert, so to say,
15 the refugees to Potocari in the direction of Potocari. I granted that and
16 he made a patrol taking the lead and taking people along to our HQ
17 Potocari. His mission stayed forward, stayed in the blocking positions,
18 and keep the Serbs out.
19 Q. Why would you tell him to keep the Serbs out?
20 A. That was my -- those were my orders, to defend the city. Although
21 I had to say the very moment that the population went on their march to
22 Potocari, and Serb infantry came on in the back of my company, B Company,
23 they were on the high grounds west and east of Srebrenica. I ordered him
24 to fall back on the back of the column of refugees and keep the Serb --
25 stay between the Serbs and the refugees until Potocari, and he had to take
1 a position from south in the edge of Potocari. The general idea was to
2 make the area, I had to control with my little means, as small as
3 possible, and in fact to gain time then.
4 Q. Let me first clarify a couple of things. You said that they were
5 on the high grounds west and east of Srebrenica.
6 A. They is infantry of the Bosnian Serb army, sir.
7 Q. And you only said -- you also said that they had to fall on the
8 back of the column of refugees.
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. That is B Company, I take it?
11 A. That is correct, sir.
12 Q. Now, why did you tell him to be between the civilians and the Serb
14 A. The civilian population was in great fear. They were very afraid
15 of the Serbs. We didn't know how Serb infantry would react when they
16 could penetrate without any control those masses of refugees. I analysed
17 that my mission to defend Srebrenica in that phase meant try to protect
18 the civilian population, because defending an empty city is nonsense, and
19 that's why I ordered him to stay in between him and keep the Serbs away,
20 if necessary, with fire.
21 Q. Were they forced, in fact, to use fire?
22 A. In the blocking positions, they were, by simple fact that my
23 eastern positions were fired at by T-55s, by tanks. My -- correction. My
24 western positions, I should say, were fired at by a tank, a T-55, which
25 was out of reach from my anti-tank weapons, the few that I had. And I
1 know that two APCs fired at the tail of the column on overhead Serb
2 infantry when they tried to approach.
3 Q. Now, for the arrival of the inflowing civilians in Potocari, were
4 arrangements made for the arrival itself, but also for their
6 A. That's correct. We had, I suppose it was in the night from the
7 10th or the 11th already a move by civilians from the city. That was
8 reported to me by patrols. And I ordered the compound commander, Major
9 Otter, who was base commander in Potocari, to reci a safe route into the
10 direct vicinity of our HQ. You should know our HQ was at point blank of
11 Serb artillery, which was posted in the area of Observation Post Papa, in
12 the north.
13 Q. Perhaps if you could be shown the next exhibits, and that is, Your
14 Honour, Exhibit P51. If you could tell us the route that was arranged by
15 Major Otter, the safe route, as you called it, for the civilians.
16 A. This is the road from Bratunac to Srebrenica. In this area, south
17 of the map, in fact, there was high ground on which Serb artillery, two
18 tanks and a multiple launchers, rockets, were posted, who had absolute
19 sight until here. After that, they couldn't see what happened on that
21 Q. So you are pointing just to the area on the road right of Feros
23 A. Yes, that's correct. There's a small band in the road and after
24 that they couldn't see exactly what was on the road. So Major Otter made
25 a route through a bus compound under cover of what's called the blue
1 factory. He made a hole in the fence here and that's where the people
2 came in, sir.
3 Q. Just to make things clear: The UN base, can you outline the
4 defence of the UN base?
5 A. The white line, this is the fence of the UN base, and our
6 headquarters, this one. It was a right -- yeah. More or less a square
7 area of a former battery factory.
8 Q. And again the reason why you had a special way for the refugees to
9 get into the compound, in fact you created a new entrance. What was the
10 reason for that?
11 A. The fact that they were pretty massively shelled at in the city of
12 Srebrenica, we were expecting that the Serbs would open fire the very
13 moment they saw that mass coming down the road. We were warned by the
14 Serbs that they wouldn't tolerate that we took refugees in our base. So
15 those two things together made me take no risk and say: Okay. Try to
16 find out a covered road, as covered as possible. And covered is
17 relatively, because here on the high grounds here on the left side, the
18 Serbs were also there. But they were there only by small arms, with small
19 arms, Serb infantry.
20 Q. Now, you said a moment ago that you were warned by the Bosnian
21 Serbs. Can you tell us more about this warning?
22 A. Yeah. The warning was again -- came in by radio, because in that
23 phase they had about -- what was it? - 50 POWs, the crews of the
24 observation post held in Bratunac, and they had of course their vehicles
25 as well. And one of our NCOs had to read a text in English that they
1 would not tolerate the refugees coming on the base that they did want in
2 effect just hold a couple of -- and this was repeated after the one close
3 air support mission again that if there was close air support again, again
4 the warning that they would shell the compound, the base, HQ, and the
5 civilians being in the buildings around the compound, this area.
6 Q. Just two points for clarification purposes. An NCO, that's --
7 A. Sorry. Non-commissioned officer, a sergeant.
8 Q. And the second point: You said that if there was close air
9 support again they would shell the compound. So there was close air
10 support, and who would do that against whom?
11 A. Yeah, I understand. We had at least, I should say, some closed
12 air support south of the city of Srebrenica, around 1300 hours on the 11th
13 of July. That was the reason or the trigger for the last message in fact
14 from the Serbs, where they threatened to kill our soldiers, the POWs.
15 They threatened to massively shell the area on this photo as UN base and
16 directly south of it.
17 Q. And the organisation who would implement this close air support
18 would be which organisation?
19 A. In fact it was NATO on request of the UN.
20 Q. Now, when the Serbs said, and I quote you, threatened to kill our
21 soldiers and massively shell the area on this photo, did you take that
22 threat seriously at that time?
23 A. I didn't believe that they would kill our soldiers, because that
24 would have an impact, but they could use them as they did before as a
25 human shield. That's the biggest threat, as far as I could see, on that
1 very moment for our soldiers. But a threat in the direction of the civil
2 population was much larger, much more impressive, because they did before.
3 And very shortly after that message came there was a, what I say, a kind
4 of devastation by a full layer of rockets fired by their multiple rocket
5 system on the area of Potocari. So it was a serious threat, at least
6 that's how we estimated it.
7 Q. You mentioned that the closed air support that they threatened if
8 there was another closed air support they would shell again. Was there
9 another closed air support?
10 A. No, sir.
11 Q. And who decided that there wouldn't be any more?
12 A. The very situation that we came to so-called small area, and I
13 mean the area of our UN base, Potocari, and the buildings directly south
14 of it, there was no use, because the very moment we went on the move from
15 Srebrenica and went to the smaller area, our military options were ended.
16 You can't have close air support in a situation like that, with line of
17 sight of about 400, 500 metres, max, and then try to operate with fixed
18 wing airplanes, so close to a massive concentration of civilians, is not
19 possible. But it was of no use as well because we understood at the very
20 moment that we came back to Potocari that our military options ended. I
21 had about 150 combat trained soldiers, that's all I had, and about 16 per
22 cent of my ammunition for anti-tank ammunition it was even less. So I
23 didn't even have the means to start a fire.
24 Q. Let me briefly return to the exhibit which is on the ELMO. How
25 many refugees were there on the compound inside or outside?
1 A. Yeah. We concentrated them in this building, which you see in the
2 middle of our base. There was a big hole, more or less. And we had about
3 5.000 refugees there, sir, and the other 25.000 to 30.000 were in
4 buildings marked on this photograph, here, here.
5 Q. All the buildings who have names like express compound?
6 A. Yeah and the small buildings in between. So in this area.
7 Q. Now, just going back to what you said earlier about your means:
8 With your means available and just the situation as you had outlined it
9 before about the military option, which was no longer available to you,
10 did you still consider to take a stand against the VRS or BSA?
11 A. Yes, we did. We considered it. But my possible defensive
12 positions were about 20 metres away from that crowd I described to you
13 before. The very moment we started shooting or firing from that position,
14 we were convinced of the fact that the losses within the crowd would be
15 massive. And if mission then is to protect the civil population. You are
16 not performing -- not executing your mission, of course, but -- because in
17 fact you do the opposite that very moment.
18 Q. Now, you outlined the means you had available at your side. Do
19 you know how much weaponry, what kind of weaponry, was on the side of the
20 Bosnian Serb army at that moment?
21 A. Yeah. I don't know exactly the number of soldiers, of course, but
22 what we call hardware, so artillery and tanks, we had contact with
23 about -- just checking - well, eight main battle tanks, not at the same
24 time, but consequently; and we counted up to 32 artillery positions.
25 Q. Now, Mr. President, Your Honours, I would like to move on to the
1 next day, that's the 12th of July.
2 Now, can you tell me, Lieutenant Colonel Franken, what was the
3 first significant event that took place?
4 A. On a meeting the night before, so on the evening of the 11th of
5 July, General Mladic told Colonel Karremans that it would be a ceasefire
6 until 10.00 on the 12th, and Colonel Karremans was more or less ordered to
7 be at 10.00 in Bratunac, in a hotel where Mladic wanted to discuss or
8 coordinate further on for the things to happen. The moment 10.00 end of
9 ceasefire, there was a deployed infantry attack supported by tanks from
10 the area, Observation Post Papa, directly aimed -- yeah, it's not on the
11 map, but alongside this road, in the direction of our HQ, in the area of
13 Q. From south or north?
14 A. From north to south, sir. From the area Bratunac, in the
15 direction alongside the road to Srebrenica, in the direction of our base
16 and the small -- more or less very directly south of it.
17 Q. Now, you said there was an infantry and a tank element. How did
18 that attack appear to you? Was it coordinated? Was it disciplined, or
20 A. It was very -- it was disciplined, absolutely. It was more
21 disciplined as we saw before from the Bosnian Serb army. They were
22 dressed in uniforms, in the very sense of the word, they all had the same
23 uniform. It was obviously a coordination between the tank and the
24 company, the infantry company. So that it looked like a demonstration,
25 more or less.
1 Q. And the size --
2 A. Company size.
3 Q. Company size. Now, how did it proceed, this attack? Did it end
4 at one point? And perhaps you can refer to the exhibit which is on the
6 A. They came deployed to the northern part, so in this area, and then
7 lined up and proceeded their attack until here, where they were stopped by
8 a red and white type, which we used as a boundary for the area where the
9 refugees were in. They stopped there. They didn't go on.
10 Q. So you just pointed to the area between the "White House" and the
11 blue factory?
12 A. Yeah. A bit farther south, sir, in this area.
13 Q. North of the Feros building --
14 A. South.
15 Q. Yes. And you pointed earlier from the southern side, at least of
16 this picture, up north, on the right side of the rectangle or called UN
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Now, at what time did this company reach the red/white tape?
20 A. It should have been around 11.00, sir.
21 Q. Now, did Colonel Karremans return; and what happened then?
22 A. He returned, started to debrief me about the things discussed or
23 said during the meeting with Mladic. He didn't -- couldn't finish that,
24 because then the first buses and trucks appeared.
25 Q. And can you tell me what he debriefed you of? What did he say to
2 A. Yes. That it was agreed upon that the Bosnian Serb army would
3 perform the -- what was called the evacuation of the population at that
4 very moment. We were supposed to -- he had contact with the UN HQ, and I
5 suppose it was Sarajevo, in which we were ordered to, yeah, to make sure
6 that the evacuation was performed in a humanitarian, correct way.
7 Q. Was there a time given indicated at what time the evacuation, as
8 you called it, would commence?
9 A. Yeah. What he told me was that as of 1500 hours that afternoon,
10 the evacuation would start, sir.
11 Q. What you said a moment ago that while you were talking, some buses
12 arrived already.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Just buses or --
15 A. Buses and trucks, sir.
16 Q. Now, did you have contacts with somebody who was part of this
17 evacuation from the Bosnian Serb side?
18 A. At the very moment they appeared the first not, not, but later on
19 I had. Colonel Karremans met in the area outside the UN base, General
20 Mladic, on his request, and he said that a colonel would be -- Colonel
21 Adamovic [sic] would be responsible for the evacuation of the population.
22 And I was ordered, being the logistics officer as well of the battalion,
23 to coordinate possible support to the Serbs. And I went out and met that
24 colonel there, sir.
25 Q. Now, you said that the buses had arrived. What time was that,
1 approximately? You indicated Karremans came back and you started to talk.
2 A. It should be somewhere around 12.00, I suppose.
3 Q. Now, can you recall the discussion you had with this Colonel
5 A. Yes. He asked me for transport. He asked me for diesel, diesel I
6 didn't have. The diesel situation was from the very beginning of our
7 mission absolutely disastrous. I was not willing to give him UN vehicles
8 for the evacuation, because he wanted Serb drivers on it. Anyway, and he
9 was not happy with the thought that UN vehicles of DutchBat would be
10 driving around like that.
11 Q. Was there a time that you eventually gave fuel to the Bosnian Serb
13 A. Yes. It was after the evacuation had ended, when the first
14 logistic convoy from our logistic base, Busovaca, in the area of Tuzla, so
15 the other Bosniak area. I was ordered to give them diesel appropriate to
16 their use of diesel. So we made a quick count, and as I remember well,
17 we -- the orders came from the UN Sarajevo to give them diesel. And I
18 gave them about 27.000 litres of diesel, sir.
19 Q. And do you recall when that happened?
20 A. It must have been in the 15th or 16th of July, one of these days,
22 Q. And when did the "evacuation" end?
23 A. The 14th. So they drove with diesel of their own, that's correct.
24 Q. And vehicles from -- you also said you wouldn't give them your
25 vehicles, so all the vehicles were from the Bosnian Serb army?
1 A. Most of them were civil vehicles, sir. Whether they were from
2 Bosnian Serb origin or whatever, I don't know. But were all civilian cars
3 and buses.
4 Q. Now, as we heard about your c.v., you're an experienced logistics
5 officer and served in several functions in brigade staffs. At what level
6 was Colonel Adamovic working?
7 A. I understood that he was a G-4 - sorry - logistics officer from
8 Pale. So that would mean the Bosnian Serb headquarters, sir.
9 Q. And with military terms, talk about units. Did you form an
10 opinion at what level this evacuation needed to be coordinated?
11 A. Yes. At least corps level or higher, sir.
12 Q. And can you tell us briefly what coordination that was needed to
13 implement this evacuation?
14 A. If you have an evacuation like that, short term, on I'm saying,
15 let's say, 48 hours, and you have transport units within your army, it's
16 pretty easy to do that, because you just give orders to the battalion
17 commanders and they go with all their transport in that direction and
18 perform their job. But I think it's a pretty massive problem if you have
19 to order a concentration of all kinds of civil vehicles, because they're
20 all kinds of factories, et cetera, et cetera, or business partners, more
21 or less to say, where you have to more or less hold the country, you have
22 to concentrate all your bus and truck capacity to perform a job like that.
23 And that is a problem.
24 Q. In your opinion, how smooth or difficult was the evacuation
25 process, as it was organised by the Bosnian Serb army?
1 A. Well, it went, on the logistics side, it went very smooth, sir.
2 Q. Now, we just heard what was arranged in relation to these
3 evacuations and that the buses went ahead. Now, what did you do? What
4 did you decide in relation to these evacuations?
5 A. Well, we had to -- the situation was that we were not in control
6 any more. The only thing we could do is to try to influence, as good as
7 we -- as massive as we could. So the very moment the buses and trucks
8 appeared, I ordered my option to make sure that those buses were escorted.
9 We tried in the very beginning to get a man, a Dutch alder on every bus,
10 but that was not possible in every way. There were about 35.000 people to
11 transport. And I would have lost my battalion within half a day, because
12 all the soldiers stepping on the buses and I wouldn't have anybody for the
13 security of the location themselves. I mean, where the rest of the
14 refugees stayed. So I grabbed more or less two officers who were present.
15 It was my S-5, infantry, Major Boering and I put him in a jeep and said
16 stay the hell with that convoy, whatever happens and wherever they go
17 because I wanted to know what happened and I wanted to try to control on
18 the way down to Kladanj, because we knew they were going to the CL in the
19 surroundings of Kladanj. And in that way, try more or less to influence
20 or control the situation. After that, I ordered a captain of mine,
21 Captain Melchers, to organise an escort and the general idea was that with
22 every convoy, at least one jeep with an NCO and soldier in front and one
23 jeep at the tail, to try to make sure that the whole convoy arrived at
24 this mounting point at the CL at Kladanj.
25 Q. What actually happened to these escorts?
1 A. Well, the first three, four convoys went well. After that, it was
2 absolutely first rate. All kinds of reasons. Bosnian Serb army stopped
3 our escorting vehicles with the reason that they were responsible for the
4 safety of the UN soldiers and it was too dangerous down the road to go
5 there for them, so they were stopped. Buses went on. They were stopped
6 and robbed by parts of the Bosnian Serb army, and that went as far -- a
7 couple of my escort teams came back literally in their underpants, vehicle
8 gone, weapons gone, all equipment gone. When the weapons were stolen
9 massively, and I ordered them to go without a weapon. But it didn't work.
10 We were stopped, vehicles were robbed, the guys were robbed, and every
11 time it was not possible to defend themselves. If there were two guys in
12 a jeep in the midst of BSA country and when you're stopped by 20 or 25
13 armed men, you know, you can't do a thing. So the escort of the convoys
14 went wrong. We didn't actually escort them. We were not able to do that.
15 Q. Now, you said you were given an explanation that the Bosnian Serb
16 army was concerned about the security. Did you have -- did you believe
17 that or did you form your own opinion?
18 A. Safety for the UN soldiers and I was wondering why you send down
19 buses with women and children, same route, safe for them then as well. One
20 of my officers used that argument. But they were stopped and I think it
21 was more an excuse to, yeah, keep their hands free. No witnesses, no
23 Q. Can you tell us how many vehicles overall you lost during this
24 escorting mission?
25 A. About 16 up to 18 vehicles, sir, during the escort mission.
1 Q. What kind of vehicles?
2 A. Jeeps.
3 Q. And you also said that DutchBat soldiers were -- their equipment
4 was taken away. How many weapons were taken away from your soldiers?
5 A. In total, if I look to the OP crews as well, it must be about 100
6 small arms, sir.
7 Q. Now, you had contact with senior VRS officers. You mentioned a
8 few names. Did you complain about that to any of these or other people
9 you haven't mentioned?
10 A. My first contact was with Colonel Adamovic as I described before,
11 but later on there came a Colonel Jankovic, who was said to be responsible
12 for DutchBat and the leaving of DutchBat out of the enclave. And I
13 complained to him several times about this. He said every time that he
14 would go in for it, he would arrange it and give me a list of which
15 vehicles, et cetera. But nothing happened, in fact. And one of the last
16 times I requested, I said, yeah, we have a small problem because the BSA
17 is not an army like your army. I can't control all militia, et cetera.
18 So we're doing our best.
19 Q. What kind of person was this Colonel Jankovic?
20 A. Well, he was -- he at least looked like a soldier, a professional
21 soldier, seeing his dress. It was not so very common that members of the
22 BSA walked around in proper uniform. He did. He kept far away or held
23 himself far away from anything to do with evacuation or deportation. He
24 repeatedly said: No, that's not my job. I'm not considered -- I'm just
25 here for the retreat of DutchBat.
1 But he -- I have an example that he had quite some influence.
2 Perhaps we come to it, but I still had in the end 59 wounded, civil
3 wounded, within the compound, and Serbs told me that it was no problem.
4 DutchBat could go, just hand the wounded over to the Serbs. They had
5 hospitals as well. Which we refused and said DutchBat is not going
6 anywhere. As long as those wounded are not in safety. We tried all kinds
7 of things. Normedcoy, a medical unit which was part of the sector
8 north-east part of UNPROFOR, UN unit, tried to come down to us to get the
9 wounded out, which failed because they were massively shot at during the
10 route through BSA area, BSA country. And then through MSF, Medecins Sans
11 Frontieres, I got contact through the ICRC and they came down on the 17th
12 of July to pick up the wounded. There was a problem because they brought
13 in as well medical supply, and the truck with the medical supply was
14 stopped by the Serbs at the border at Zvornik. The lady in charge of the
15 ICRC mission complained to him about that, and it was -- I was more or
16 less surprised that he took out a handy, a telephone, called a number,
17 said something - what he said, I don't know, because I don't understand
18 Croatian - and with a smile, he said: The truck is coming down. So
19 probably -- obviously he was able to order things to Serb boundary trips,
20 border trips.
21 Q. Did you make a comment to him?
22 A. Yes. I said to him: Well, that's quite something for a Bosnian
23 Serb colonel to order Serb border troops. And he didn't react. He
25 Q. Did he tell you at one time where he was living?
1 A. He told me he lived in Belgrade.
2 Q. And in what language would you talk to him?
3 A. Beginning, through an interpreter, a Serb. Later on it proved
4 that he spoke English and we had discussions in English.
5 Q. Now, let me turn back to Potocari. And we are still on the 12th
6 of July.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Waespi, how long do you think you could
8 finish your direct examination? If less than ten minutes, you may
9 continue. If not, I think it's time for a break.
10 MR. WAESPI: Yes. No. It will be more than ten minutes,
11 Mr. President.
12 JUDGE LIU: So we'll break now and we'll resume until 15 to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there other things that the parties would
16 like for bring to the attention of this Bench, we'll have our witness. I
17 said if there's no other things.
18 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: [Microphone not activated].
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 Yes, please continue, Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm sorry, Ms. Usher, to
23 occupy again. If the witness could be shown Exhibit P80, please.
24 Q. Witness, do you recognise this person?
25 A. That's the man I know as Colonel Jankovic.
1 Q. Thank you very much. And incidentally, you talked about the
2 colonel that was in charge of logistics as pointed out by Colonel
3 Karremans, and you called him Adamovic, I believe. Could it also be
5 A. Yes, that could be so, yes.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Now let me turn back to Potocari and the
7 refugees. Can you tell the Judges, and we are now in the afternoon of the
8 12th of July, the state of the refugees at this time.
9 A. Yeah. People itself were, yeah, you could say living dead. I
10 think the correct word is lethargic. They didn't react. Once in a while
11 there was something like panic but always shortly and they -- completely.
12 They were not interested in whatever and not even in each other, because
13 the situation was, let's say, very grave for the people.
14 Q. Now, how do you know? Did you make tours around the compound?
15 A. Yes. Now I at least twice a day I made a round through the
16 compound and the area outside, just to keep in touch with reality.
17 Because if you lock yourself up in an OPs room you get reports but it's
18 never complete in the way that you have to sense what happens and see for
19 yourself what happens.
20 Q. How can you describe the hygienic conditions?
21 A. It was a disaster, sir. For instance, in the building on our
22 base, there were about 5.000 refugees. People were too afraid to go
23 outside to use a toilet or something like that. So they let everything
24 run on the very spot. For instance, when I made my round, I met one woman
25 who was in labour, was getting a baby, and one and a half metres from
1 there were people sitting or using the floor as a toilet. It was quite
3 Q. So they weren't in a position to help each other?
4 A. I think they could have been in the position, but they didn't have
5 the means. But they were mentally broken, so to say. They didn't react
6 on each other, hardly.
7 Q. Now, was there a time that a group of soldiers tried to enter the
9 A. That's correct. It was on the 12th, shortly after the attack I
10 described from the area of observation point Papa, of that military unit,
11 so to say. There were about 15 militia-like men on a gate, a not-used
12 gate of the base, and that group was swelling up to about 40 who wanted to
13 enter the base and said to my guards over there that they wanted to
14 inspect the base whether there were Muslim military units present on our
16 Q. If Madam Usher could please show him again Exhibit P51.
17 If you could identify for the Judges the location where the group
18 of soldiers tried to enter.
19 A. It was in here, by this gate, directly north of the building you
20 see here, white, what we call blue factory. That's -- we have another
21 blue factory on this photograph, but this building was where our HQ and
22 support company was stationed. And directly north of it you see that
23 little white road there, was a gate, that was closed, and they wanted to
24 enter there.
25 Q. Now, did you allow them to enter?
1 A. Yes and no. That's not an answer, of course, but I went there
2 myself and asked for a commander, or anybody who spoke English or
3 something like that, and there was a soldier or a soldier-like type who
4 spoke English. And out of this group, somebody stepped forward and said
5 he was the commander. I said: You're not going to enter in this mess.
6 In the meantime there were some men with dog who came to that same group.
7 I said: You're not going to enter like that. What we could do is the
8 commander can join me and we can walk over to the base to see whether
9 there are military units. The reason for that was that I wanted to
10 prevent seeing the location and the vulnerability of my refugees that they
11 started to fight or started shooting like that. So I took the commander
12 and the men and took a quick round of the base. I let them in this --
13 there was an entrance here in the hall. They had a quick overview of the
14 refugees in the base floor -- no, not base floor. The first floor, it is
15 called. And then I took them out and brought them out again and closed
16 the gate again.
17 Q. For how long were they inside?
18 A. All together, two or three minutes, absolutely not more.
19 Q. And can you describe the uniforms these soldiers were wearing?
20 A. Yeah. A lot of them were -- the most of them had a combination of
21 all kinds of military clothing, so it looked like militia that were guys
22 with bandannas over their head. But there were five or six in dark
23 uniforms, uniforms that were comparable with the uniforms the Serbian
24 border troops wore, that black and blue, that dark uniform.
25 Q. And the dogs, what kind of dogs were those?
1 A. German shepherds, sir.
2 Q. Now, did you hear at any time that Mladic was in the area?
3 A. Yes. My commander -- there was not a unit, but the commander in
4 this area, first lieutenant, reported that Mladic came to the red and
5 white type and addressed the refugees. He wanted to enter, but that was
6 refused to him.
7 Q. Now, the refugees: Inside the compound, how many refugees were
8 there all together?
9 A. Later on we discovered -- more or less we discovered that about
10 5.000 of them were there, sir.
11 Q. Were these children, women, men?
12 A. There were a couple of men, but the mass was women, children, and
13 elderly people.
14 Q. How many men were inside the compound?
15 A. I could be pretty accurate about that, because probably we'll come
16 to that, but I had the men registered and on the list it said 239, but it
17 was bad counting on my side. 251 men registered and there were about 60
18 or 70 who refused to be registered.
19 Q. And outside the compound how many people were there?
20 A. It was very difficult but on the basis of the number of buses
21 et cetera that left, we reckoned that there were about 30.000.
22 Q. And again, was it the majority children and women?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And how many men would you estimate?
25 A. We estimated that about 600, 700 men were amongst them.
1 Q. Now, let me turn to these men, these 600, 700 people. What
2 happened to them?
3 A. Afterwards I heard what happened to them, but at the very moment
4 that the evacuation proceeded, Mladic had said that he wanted to
5 interrogate the men in the age of 16 up to 60, because they were potential
6 soldiers. And whether to check, as he called it, whether there were war
7 criminals in between them. And then they -- when they were not war
8 criminals, they would be sent out to Kladanj as well. So they were
9 separated from the rest, the very moment they came out of our area.
10 Q. Did that appear to you as a reasonable request?
11 A. Yeah, well, it is -- the procedure as it is is a normal procedure.
12 It's the same what we learn our soldiers. If you have a big group of
13 prisoners, then you start separating them, women, children, and potential
14 combatants. And if you have the combatants, on the basis of their
15 uniform, you divide them again in ranks. So the fact that he wanted to
16 check whether between the men there were BiH soldiers is, according to
17 international law, normal.
18 Q. You said they were separated. Do you know where they were taken
19 to, to what location?
20 A. Yeah. They were separated and brought to what is on this
21 photograph as the "White House", this one.
22 Q. And did you try to ascertain what happened to these men?
23 A. Yes. The very moment that we discovered that they were brought
24 there, I -- although I couldn't order them, I ordered our -- the present
25 UNMOs, United Nations military observers, to check, to go to the house and
1 check how many men went in, how many went out, and what happened to them.
2 They did that, and in the beginning we had the same numbers going in and
3 the same numbers going out. And they came out. They were transported in
4 a -- what we call a blue -- it was actually a blue bus. And in the
5 beginning, that bus went along with the refugee convoys and it had our
6 escort's specific interest at -- that stayed. But as I told you before,
7 the escort, the actual escorting of those convoys, failed completely by
8 obstruction by the Bosnian Serb army.
9 Q. Do you know in what area your escort lost contact with this blue
11 A. Well, several times we already missed him in Bratunac. As long as
12 the escort more or less functioned, we lost him in Bratunac already.
13 Because it's a giant problem. You're going away with about, let's say,
14 40, 50 vehicles, one vehicle of my battalion in front and one at the edge.
15 And then going through a village or city with all bans, et cetera, it's
16 almost impossible to control where buses are, or stay.
17 Q. Now, these prevention of your escorts, did that appear to be a
18 random occurrence or --
19 A. No. The first time it happened I thought it was in fact the
20 militia who didn't follow orders or something like that. But it was an
21 absolute habit and it existed as of the late afternoon of the 12th, in
22 fact. All my escorts were obstructed for all kinds of reasons, or even,
23 as I told you before, robbed and left in their underpants in the area.
24 Q. And what do you mean by an absolute habit?
25 A. Well, all my escorts were stopped. It was not an incident any
1 more, but none of them came further than the Kabala area. Kabala, that's
2 a village somewhere halfway down to Kladanj. They didn't go through
3 anymore. They were stopped.
4 Q. So did you form an opinion as to whether there was a policy behind
5 stopping your escorts?
6 A. Yes. When it was -- all the escorts were stopped, it was clear
7 that must have been some order in the base of it, as the basic reason.
8 MR. WAESPI: If the witness, please, could be shown Exhibit P75.
9 Q. Do you recall this building?
10 A. Yeah. This building is the "White House", sir.
11 Q. Now, can you tell us what happened in the white house?
12 A. In the beginning, and I mean in the beginning of 12, afternoon,
13 they were lead and they were interrogated. I sent patrols down as well to
14 check that. And it went relatively normal. But the violence and
15 intimidation of those men increased rapidly during the later afternoon of
16 the 12th. It went that far that we were not able to send down patrols
17 because we were stopped by Serb soldiers in the amount and the number far
18 outnumbering our numbers, sir.
19 Q. And what could you say that the intimidation of those men
21 A. Sounds in the last reports of the UNMO, sir. Yelling. We heard
22 shouts, that was at the time the UNMOs were there. Those men came out in
23 numbers. So that's sounds we heard, yelling, crying.
24 Q. And was that in accordance with these procedures you had explained
1 A. No, absolutely not, sir. Normally when you're a POW, the only
2 thing you have to do is name your rank, your name, your registration
3 number, and that's it. You can't be -- and you may not be forced to give
4 more information.
5 Q. Now, do you know what happened to their personal belongings?
6 A. Yes. They had to lay down their personal belongings when they
7 entered the house, which, as it is, is normal as well. But as I recollect
8 it, on the morning of the 14th, their personal belongings were all set
9 afire and burnt, sir.
10 MR. WAESPI: If the witness could be shown Exhibit P77, please.
11 Q. And you have seen this picture before. Can you tell us what you
12 see on it?
13 A. Yes. I see a pile of personal belongings here, beginning of the
14 road to the "White House". And they were set afire, I saw it myself as
16 Q. And it's probably not easy to tell where the "White House" is. Do
17 you know where it is or hides, just approximately.
18 A. It should be somewhere here, because that is as far as I
19 recollect. The northern part of the electric station. On the other
20 exhibit you called -- you pointed out an electrical station. But as I see
21 it, that's the electrical station, somewhere around here, the white house,
22 just behind the trees.
23 MR. WAESPI: And the witness earlier pointed to the white shadow
24 form in the middle of the picture, the top picture, that yellow tarmac or
25 sand, and then pointed to the left of it, between the power mast and that
1 white shape.
2 Q. Now, you said that --
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm sorry to cut in. I saw some words on the
4 top of the picture. Could somebody help us to translate it into English.
5 MR. WAESPI: Yes, certainly, Mr. President. I apologise. I
6 should have mentioned that.
7 Q. Since you are probably the only person in this courtroom who
8 speaks Dutch, could you tell us what it says on the top of the picture?
9 A. It's to -- by witness J.H.A. Rutten, who was in the battalion,
10 made available photographs.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: You're welcome, Your Honour.
13 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much.
14 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Franken, you said that the -- you did send
15 patrols to the "White House" and they couldn't enter. Did you form an
16 opinion why they were prevented?
17 A. Yeah. Well, again it was obvious that they didn't want to have
18 witnesses for the things going on in the "White House". Otherwise I can't
19 imagine a reason why you should stop patrols of DutchBat.
20 Q. Now, I believe on the 12th, again July 1995, you talked to Ibro
21 Nuhanovic. Do you remember a conversation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us what this was about?
24 A. Mr. Nuhanovic was one of the three representatives of the
25 refugees, so he was part of the committee. And he wanted to speak to me.
1 I spoke to him in my office. And he said that I had to stop the
2 evacuation. Before we already considered that, to stop it, but, as I
3 explained to Mr. Nuhanovic, in fact he gave me the choice between, as I
4 numbered it then, 25.000 women and children, and as far as we could see,
5 700 men, and that we chose for the 25.000 women and children. We had a
6 short discussion. He said that he understood me, not that he had the same
7 point of view, but he understood me, and left, I mean left my office.
8 Q. You said that he was one of the three representatives of the
9 refugees and he was part of the committee.
10 A. Uh-huh.
11 Q. What role did this committee play?
12 A. Yeah. Then I have to go back to the evening of the 11th. As I
13 recollect, 8.00, 2000 hours, there was the first meeting between Colonel
14 Karremans and Mladic, in Bratunac, and on that he ordered the next meeting
15 at 10.00 or 11.00. And he wanted the leadership of the enclave being
16 present. The leadership of the enclave wasn't there. Civilian leaders
17 and the military leaders had left the enclave or were busy leaving the
18 enclave. The 28th Division had started to break out in the area -- to the
19 area of Tuzla in the night of the 10th to the 11th. So they were gone.
20 Then we tried to get a kind of committee from the present civilian
21 population and so we came to three persons, and one of those persons was
22 Mr. Ibrahim Nuhanovic.
23 Q. And another person would have been -- do you remember another
24 person at that meeting?
25 A. Yes. There was a lady whose name I lost again. And Mandzic
1 Q. Now, let's return to the men. And you had told us what happened
2 to the men who were outside the compound. Did you take a decision in
3 relation to the men who were inside the compound?
4 A. It was the same decision, in fact. The very moment that I would
5 concentrate the men and let them not go out, I actually stopped the
6 evacuation. Our situation with the refugees was pretty bad. I already
7 described the hygienic situation around, but when the end phase started I
8 had about two-day rations for my own battalion. That means food for about
9 800 men. I didn't have any fuel, so I wasn't able to purify water to an
10 extent for a mass like this, mass crowd like this. Sorry. I checked out
11 with my medics. I didn't have medical support enough. I didn't have
12 medical supplies enough, and the situation was bad. The people were in
13 bad shape. I checked with one of my medics and said: Okay. Seeing the
14 temperature, seeing the hygienic situation, how long can we hold these
15 people, keep them alive? And he said: Three or four days, and then you
16 have killings or dead by exhaustion, water, lack of water, et cetera.
17 So I wasn't having made a choice for the women and children. I
18 had to proceed with that evacuation to get them out as soon as possible.
19 And I couldn't first said making -- having made the choice already for the
20 women and children instead for the men. Although we tried all kinds of
21 things. I tried to make UN IDs so we could give all kind -- as much as
22 possible, men and let -- that they could prove that they were UN
23 personnel. Because they would go out free. We didn't have the means for
24 it, not to make anything that was a look alike. Then we tried, the
25 well-known list. In fact, it was a trick. I remembered amnesty
1 international used once in a while when there were anonymous prisoners or
2 people in distress, they would try to give them a name or a face. So
3 that's the reason why I had those men registered. We tried to register
4 them outside our base, but that failed because the committee and the
5 interpreters were intimidated by Bosnian Serb soldiers, in a way -- in
6 that way that they didn't have the nerve to go out of our base any more.
7 And that was a problem, because we couldn't communicate with those people.
8 Nobody of us spoke Croatian.
9 Yeah. So, and that was the end, in fact.
10 MR. WAESPI: If the witness could be shown Exhibit P76, please.
11 Q. Perhaps if you could put the first page on the ELMO. And can you
12 explain what this means.
13 A. Yeah. I had the committee, which I mentioned before. They were
14 registering the men in that critical age, where year of birth, name, first
15 name, and location of birth were given. In that way, I hoped to give them
16 an identity. I counted at least, and I -- by facsimile, I sent it to my
17 higher echelon, which means to the HQ of sector north-east, in fact, my
18 direct commander within the UN structure. I faxed it to Sarajevo, not HQ
19 of Bosnian Herzegovina command, UN installation, and I faxed to The Hague,
20 the Dutch staff here, the army staff, to what's called in that day is
21 called Crisis Staff. That was a part of the Dutch army staff concerning
23 Q. And --
24 A. Sorry. My idea was, and my request was, publish this and give it
25 a name and make it raw. Tell the world what is happening and/or could
1 happen, I should say, and that we know who is taken away.
2 Q. Was the purpose achieved --
3 A. No. Within the UN structure, nothing was done with it, and here
4 in The Hague, the staff officer, Colonel, received that list, didn't
5 understand it, said he had contact with DutchBat on the very evening that
6 the list was received, but nobody could give him an answer, and it
7 vanished in a well-known drawer.
8 Q. Can you please turn to the last page of it.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And tell us whose signature you see on it. And if you can move it
11 again onto the machine.
12 A. Sorry.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I miscounted it, because afterwards it turned out to be 251.
15 Sorry for that. But in total, the signature is mine.
16 Q. Did you bring the list also to the attention of the existing or
17 perhaps even the whole list to the Bosnian Serb army?
18 A. Yes. I told, as far as I recollect, to Colonel Jankovic that I
19 registered the men, without giving him the list, of course.
20 Q. Now, did he make a comment to you about it?
21 A. No. He said to me something like: Okay. They are POWs, so no
23 Q. Now, did perhaps at this day or later Jankovic indicate a number
24 of POWs which were under the protection of the VRS?
25 A. Yes. Not at that occasion, because this -- I reported that I
1 registered the men must have been on the 13th. But later on he told me
2 that they already had 6.000 POWs, because he in fact was the first that
3 really informed me about the breakout of the 28th Division.
4 Q. Now, leaving this subject and moving back to the refugees. You
5 told us a couple of minutes ago that you discussed their situation with
6 your doctor.
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. And he said that these people may die of exhaustion, I believe you
9 said. Now, during that period while the refugees were there, did people
10 die, and of what causes?
11 A. How many exactly died, I don't know, but we buried 11 people in
12 the back of our base. There were children amongst them, who died probably
13 by -- but I don't know exactly. I don't know the exact medical
14 information. But who died by exhaustion or by what is called
15 dehumidification, a lack of water. Two elderly people who died by
16 exhaustion, there were two wounded who had -- impact of weapon systems,
17 died on the base. But exactly how many outside, et cetera, I don't know.
18 Q. Did you receive reports that somebody committed or tried to commit
20 A. There were two reports on that. One man tried to jam his head
21 with a stone, which did not succeed. And one of my lieutenants cut
22 somebody loose who hanged himself. He was dead.
23 Q. Now, did you also get reports about nine bodies that were found
24 shot somewhere?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And who gave you this report?
2 A. Nine bodies was reported to me by Lieutenant Koster.
3 Q. And do you know about -- more about the cause of death of these
4 nine bodies?
5 A. Yeah. They were -- the bodies laid more or less in a row and they
6 were absolutely -- they were executed. It couldn't have been from by
7 combat or fire. They were in a row shot in the back.
8 MR. WAESPI: If you could be shown, please, Exhibit number 78,
10 Q. On this aerial imagery, could you please indicate, if you may, the
11 location of these nine bodies as they were pointed out to you at that
13 A. It should have been in this area, sir, that meadow.
14 Q. That's in the middle of the picture, to the right, where we see
15 these accumulation of, I guess, trees. And perhaps you could even mark
16 it, taking a blue pencil, I think just -- there is one. If the usher
17 could be of help.
18 A. Sorry. Yeah. You want it marked on the photograph?
19 Q. Yes, please.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Thank you very much. You just drew a circle.
22 Now, did you also receive the report of an execution?
23 A. Yes. One of the soldiers of my Charlie company was on post in the
24 area outside base and reported an execution of a civilian by two Bosnian
25 Serb soldiers. It was in the area of the bus station, north -- sorry -
1 south of the bus station, outside of our little parameter. But he saw
3 Q. Do you remember the name of the soldier?
4 A. Yeah. The soldier was Groeneveld.
5 Q. Did you take that seriously, what he reported to you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you remember in what condition the soldier himself was when he
8 reported that?
9 A. I didn't -- he didn't report to me directly. He reported in his
10 company line, so I got the report through the OPs room of Charlie Company.
11 I saw him later on, and didn't come in any reports to me that he was
12 dysfunctioning or something like that, sir.
13 Q. Are there many Groene's in Dutch names? I think the company
14 commander of Charlie Battalion was called Groene?
15 A. B Company.
16 Q. B Company. And you just said this was called Groene --
17 A. -- veld.
18 Q. Groeneveld. Could it also be Groenewegen or you can't tell?
19 A. Yes. Could be. I'm sorry, but it's pretty long ago. Yeah, it's
20 correct. Groenewegen is correct, sir.
21 Q. Now, let me turn to a last subject, the 17th July, 1995. Did you
22 run into a delegation consisting of several people, and who were these
24 A. Delegation was present at base concerning the taking over by ICRC
25 of the 59 wounded I described to you before. And it was Colonel Jankovic,
1 that was a lieutenant colonel who said he was a lawyer, there was a
2 civilian who later on proved to be the new mayor of Srebrenica,
3 Major Nikolic, and another guy who -- probably a bodyguard or something
4 like that, of Major Nikolic. And on my side I had my adjutant, that's an
5 NCO, Rave, myself, and I had members of my reci [phoen] platoon in the
6 area itself just for security reasons.
7 Q. Now, what was this visit about?
8 A. The visit was about the transfer of the wounded to the ICRC and
9 there should have been make appointments to pick up wounded who were in
10 the hospital in Bratunac. ICRC would take them to a safe area and in that
11 way make sure that those people were safe.
12 MR. WAESPI: Now the witness should be shown the next exhibit.
13 That's Exhibit P79.
14 Q. Do you recognise this list?
15 A. Yes. This is a list made by representative of Medecins Sans
16 Frontieres, the list of the 59 wounded I spoke to you before.
17 Q. And if you look at the date of birth, what's your observation?
18 A. Generally, elderly people, sir, if I look. Yes.
19 Q. Now, what was the role of Major Nikolic in that group?
20 A. He was present, but Colonel Jankovic was clearly in charge. And
21 it popped up that the Serbs wanted a statement from the committee and was
22 represented by Mr. Mandic, who took part of that meeting later on. That
23 everything during the evacuation was performed according to international
24 law and humanitarian law, sir.
25 Q. Let me just stop you for a second. What's the link between the
1 wounded people and this declaration you are now talking about?
2 A. Well, it was made clear between the lines to me that the signing
3 of that declaration would be not a condition, as it is, but in fact
4 determine the things to happen to the 59 wounded, proceeded further on
5 with the 59 wounded. Colonel Jankovic made that clear to me, and again
6 between the lines, sir.
7 Q. Among these 59 wounded, were there soldiers, and what happened to
9 A. Yeah. Major Nikolic had made the demand that he could check the
10 wounded to check whether there were potential combatants in them. When we
11 were -- we ended the meeting, there would be an inspection of the wounded.
12 I said: Okay. But the ICRC consented in it. And Colonel Jankovic didn't
13 make much of it. He said: Well, is that necessary? But Major Nikolic
14 insisted sir, to have that inspection. And the consequence was that seven
15 men were pointed out as being soldiers.
16 A. They were brought to Bratunac and stayed in Bratunac. ICRC told
17 me that they would monitor them. But -- and it's a side jump, but we had,
18 when the further -- former transport of wounded failed, a couple of them
19 stayed in Bratunac and we had one of our surgeons stay with them to make
20 sure that they were treated as wounded. And when the seven men were
21 brought to Bratunac, there was nothing wrong, but the surgeon was called
22 away for arranging or something and when he came back he said the men were
23 gone, sir.
24 Q. And where in Bratunac did these seven people stay?
25 A. The local hospital.
1 Q. And who was the name of your doctor?
2 A. Colonel Schouten, sir.
3 Q. Do you know what happened to the wounded, the list of 59, minus
4 the seven people you said did not return?
5 A. As far as I know, they returned -- they came safely into Bosniak
6 area, Bosniak territory.
7 Q. Now, you mentioned a moment ago that you had to sign a declaration
8 of -- on that day. And if you could be shown the Exhibit P36, 1. That's
9 an English and a B/C/S translation. Perhaps if you could explain us what
10 these two documents mean, why do we have an English translation of the
11 B/C/S original.
12 A. Well, the -- in fact, it was a statement by the representatives,
13 as you see in the first line, of the civilian authorities of the enclave.
14 They requested me to sign as a witness, and in that request, the condition
15 for the 59, as I mentioned before, was given.
16 Q. Perhaps just briefly for identification purposes: You see now on
17 the ELMO, in the middle, the English translation.
18 A. Uh-huh.
19 Q. Who asked for this English translation?
20 A. I did, because it was presented to me in the Croatian language,
21 and I don't speak or can't read it. So I said: Stop it. We have it
22 translated before. Because Mr. Mandic, one of the representatives, the
23 only one who was present, because the lady, Camila Perkovic, was a patient
24 in the MSF hospital. She had a total nervous breakdown. And Mr. Ibrahim
25 Nuhanovic left before with his family. And Mandic asked advice.
1 I said: Stop. We'll have it interpreted, or translated, I should say, by
2 my own interpreters. That is done and that's the reason why there is an
3 English version, sir.
4 Q. Now, perhaps the B/C/S original is also lying on the ELMO. If you
5 could move that into the middle. Did you sign both documents?
6 A. Yes, after I had my interpreters check that the contents were the
8 Q. And if you could help us. The date of this declaration?
9 A. 17th of July, 1995, sir.
10 Q. Now, let's briefly go through a couple of points. If you can
11 refer back to the English translation. In the middle of the paper, there
12 is a little hyphen, and then it goes on and I quote: "The civilian
13 population can remain in the enclave or evacuate, dependent upon the wish
14 of each individual."
15 Is that a real statement?
16 A. As it is, it's a real statement, but it's more or less a joke, how
17 cynical that may sound. These people didn't have a choice. Staying in a
18 small area with no means to survive, controlled by the Serbs, being afraid
19 and as lethargic as they were, that is not a choice.
20 Q. Let me quote you the next paragraph: "In the event that we wish to
21 evacuate, it is possible for us to choose the direction of our movement
22 and have decided that the entire population is to evacuate to the
23 territory of the county of Kladanj."
24 What's your comment on that?
25 A. In fact, in the sentence, we wish to evacuate, it was not an
1 option, so the wish is not very relevant. Secondly, they did not decide
2 that the population, the entire population, is to evacuate the territory
3 of Kladanj. Mladic ordered that they could evacuate as long as it was
4 Kladanj. He dictated that.
5 Q. And the last two paragraphs, and I quote them again: "It has been
6 agreed that the evacuation is to be carried out by the army and police of
7 the Republic of Srpska, supervised and escorted by UNPROFOR. And after
8 the agreement had been reached, I assert that the evacuation was carried
9 out by the Serb side correctly and the clauses of the agreement had been
10 adhered to." Is that correct?
11 A. That's not correct and I tried to neutralise that by the sentence
12 I wrote down in the end, sir.
13 Q. And the sentence wrote down is above the signature something in
14 handwriting, and it reads, I quote: As for convoys actually escorted by
15 UN forces are concerned."
16 A. That's correct and everybody knew that we were not escorting them
17 and by this sentence I tried to neutralise that declaration and the very
18 moment that I wrote that down the colonel present, being the lawyer, more
19 or less exploded. And there was some frantic discussion with Colonel
20 Jankovic in Croatian.
21 Q. Now, you pointed out several reservations to this document.
22 What's the value of it to you?
23 A. Nothing, sir. Absolutely nothing. For me, it was a way to make
24 sure or at least make possible that my 59 wounded were carried away in a
25 proper way and in a humanitarian way. That's the reason why I signed as a
2 Q. Just to finish off, two small items. You said earlier that you
3 had seen or heard that Mladic was present in Potocari.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On the 12th, I believe. How many times was he around, and what
6 was he doing?
7 A. The first time, that is what I refer to, on the 12th, he was
8 addressing the people and had his soldiers give away bread and be nice to
9 the kids, Serbian television was present and probably everybody could see
10 that on television. Second time he was there, he wanted to speak to
11 Colonel Karremans, and as far as I know, they have been speaking to each
12 other at the road, Srebrenica, Bratunac, the main road going there. Where
13 exactly they were, I don't know. And the third time, I just saw him pass.
14 He had a Mercedes jeep, probably a Dutch Mercedes jeep. And that's when I
15 saw him pass from the area north, in the direction of Srebrenica.
16 Q. How would you characterise his appearances then?
17 A. Yeah. Well, it's what we call a nice media operation, being a
18 good general, looking good, being nice to the kids and calling to the
19 refugees: Don't worry. You may all come out. We'll bring you to
20 Kladanj. Et cetera.
21 Q. You described before the break the operation at what level it was
22 controlled and how coordinated it was. Was Mladic, who is the senior VRS
23 figure on the ground, was he in control of that operation, in your
25 A. Yeah, of course. Where he appeared, everybody did what he said.
1 But it's very unlikely that he was in control of the operation itself.
2 Because normally in an army when the highest level is interfering with
3 technical operations, that is an operational low level, within an hour
4 it's one big mess, because nobody knows any more in the line who has to do
5 what and why. So I would classify it as a media operation, his presence.
6 Q. And the last item I would like to show you is Exhibit P31, and if
7 you could tell us, if you can, who this person is?
8 A. It's General Krstic, sir.
9 Q. And have you seen him in Potocari?
10 A. Yes. I saw him when -- for the first time I made contact to
11 Colonel Acamovic, who was allegedly in charge of the evacuation. He was
12 in a group of officers. He was standing in the group and in discussion.
13 MR. WAESPI: That concludes my examination.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 Any cross-examination? Mr. Karnavas, please.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Franken. It's lieutenant colonel; correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. On behalf of Mr. Blagojevic, I will be asking you some questions.
21 I want to pick up on where you just left with the Prosecution if
22 that's okay and then we'll double back and start from the beginning.
23 A. Whatever you want, sir.
24 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you saw Mladic there at least two
1 A. He was reported to me that he was there. I was not in person
2 present, sir.
3 Q. Okay. So to be clear: You did not see him, you were told that he
4 was there?
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, your client wants to take the floor.
6 Mr. Blagojevic.
7 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was
8 bothered by this expression in the name of Mr. Blagojevic. He doesn't
9 have to do this in the name of Mr. Blagojevic. I find it rather
10 irritating. I'm very sorry about this, and the situation is upsetting for
11 me, considering that all this is allegedly on some legal basis, and I'm
12 wondering what kind of legal basis can possibly exist for such a
13 situation. Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Blagojevic, let me tell you the legal basis
15 for this. We believe that Mr. Karnavas did the cross-examination on the
16 basis of the decisions made by this Trial Chamber, which is subject to any
17 decisions which might be rendered by the Appeals Chamber. As we mentioned
18 before, if there's no other decisions by the Appeals Chamber, or before
19 any decisions rendered by the Appeals Chamber, the decisions of the Trial
20 Chamber will stand. This is our position. I quite understand your
21 position, and I just want you to be patient, because so far, as I know,
22 the decision of the Appeals Chamber will be rendered very soon, because we
23 have to move on in our case. And I promise you that this witness is the
24 last witness from the previous group, and that this witness is just crime
25 facts basis, crime-based witness. It does not go directly to your
1 functions during that period. Based on this presumption, we moved on. I
2 hope we could finish this witness today so that both parties will have
3 some time to prepare our next witness.
4 Having said that, Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Sir, getting back to my earlier question: It's my understanding
7 that it was brought to your attention that at least on two occasions
8 Mladic was there on the scene.
9 A. It was reported to me. That's correct.
10 Q. And at that time, and today, you knew then and you know today what
11 role Mladic held within the Bosnian Serb army; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And how would you characterise that?
14 A. He was, as far as I know, one of the supreme commanders of the
15 Bosnian Serb army.
16 Q. You say one. Was he not in fact the --
17 A. He was the --
18 Q. He was the supreme.
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. In other words, other than perhaps a political officer above him,
21 like the president, or the Prime Minister, he was in charge of the army;
22 is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Now, before coming here today, I take it you met with the
25 Prosecution, did you not?
1 A. I did.
2 Q. And you've had an opportunity to review all of your statements?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the witness please make a
6 pause. Thank you. Between questions and answer.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. So you've had an opportunity to at least review what you've said
9 in the past?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Now, have you also had an opportunity to look at other documents
12 unrelated to the statements that you have given?
13 A. Not concerning the documents or books or reports I have myself at
14 home. I just got the statements I myself gave before on this Court.
15 Q. Did you happen to read Karreman's book, for instance?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you happen to see any videos that were made during that
18 period? Because you indicated there was somebody there videotaping?
19 A. As far as I know Bosnian Serb television who made some kind of a
20 recording of the happening that he came to the red and white type and
21 spoke to the refugees. That's what I later on saw when I was back in
23 Q. Okay. But you were never shown that by the Prosecution?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Now, when you came back to Holland, did you happen to see the
1 video from the day before, the video footage from the day before, from the
3 A. I wouldn't recollect that, sir. I've seen a hell of a lot in that
4 period, because it was quite an item in Holland, of course.
5 Q. Okay. Well, let me describe parts of it and then it might ring a
6 bell. It may not. It shows General Mladic walking down the streets of
7 Srebrenica, sort of in a victory, asking, you know, his men, and giving
8 orders to colonels, lieutenants, foot soldiers, on the spot, at the
9 operational level. Did you happen to see that?
10 A. I saw that. Yeah, I recollect I saw something like that. He said
11 something like further to Potocari, if I remember well.
12 Q. Right. That's part of it. Now, to me, at least - maybe I'm
13 wrong, but maybe you could help me out here - to me it would seem, at
14 least at that phase, at that phase of the operation going on, Mladic in
15 that instance is acting at the operational level, like a -- is he not?
16 A. I don't know whether he was, but it's not a condition sine qua non
17 so to say. If there's a supreme commander on the actual spot who says go
18 forward, it is more or less the same message he would give by radio when
19 he was in his HQ and the unit on the spot reported we got Srebrenica. He
20 would give normally in line the order to go, proceed or not, so that's
21 more or less the meaning I give to his statement there in Srebrenica.
22 Q. But he's giving the orders; right?
23 A. Yeah. Well, he's supreme commander.
24 Q. Right. If he orders a soldier, for instance, to go kill a
25 civilian, would the soldier's immediate commander be responsible or would
1 Mladic be responsible for that?
2 A. I'm not a lawyer or something like that. The responsibility,
3 yeah, well, I can't give an answer on that. The fact is that he said to
4 his units - I don't know that were colonels or lieutenants or soldiers or
5 whatever - he says: Go on to Potocari. That is a general order, as we
6 give as well, as I have a company or a battalion in attack who says: I
7 reach a certain object. He gets orders from me to go on or not. That
8 doesn't mean that I am the leader on the spot.
9 Q. Getting back to my hypothetical, though. Okay. He's giving a
10 direct order to somebody who obviously way down in the food chain.
11 A. Could be, yeah.
12 Q. Was he acting at the operational level at that point?
13 A. Not at the tactical level, but operational level, yes.
14 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that at the scene, and I'm speaking now
15 on the 11th or 12th, probably the 12th, Jankovic was the man in charge.
16 At least that's what was told to you, in accordance with Mladic's wishes;
17 is that correct?
18 A. Jankovic, as I recollect, the first time I saw Jankovic was either
19 late on the 12th or the 13th. The 11th I didn't see him. He showed up
20 later on. He told me that he was the man in charge concerning the
21 withdrawal of DutchBat -- return of DutchBat.
22 Q. Was he a member of the Bratunac brigade?
23 A. No, not as far as I know.
24 Q. Do you know if he was a member of the Drina Corps?
25 A. Not -- I asked him for what his function was and he said something
1 like high level. He wasn't specific about that. But as far as I know he
2 was not a member of the Bratunac Brigade.
3 Q. Okay. Do you know whether he was a member of the Main Staff?
4 A. I just told you. I do not.
5 Q. Okay. Do you know what the Main Staff is?
6 A. I know what a Main Staff is. I suppose that's a staff that was
7 stationed in Pale.
8 Q. Okay. That's your interpretation of it?
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. Okay. So if --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please make longer breaks for
12 the interpretation's sake. Thank you.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. What about Mr. Acamovic? Who was he with?
15 A. Who was he with? What do you mean, sir.
16 Q. Was he with Main Staff? Was he with --
17 A. Mr. Acamovic told me that he was a G-4 officer from Pale. That's
18 what he said to me himself.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. G-4 is logistics.
21 Q. Did you ask him whether he was directed by Mladic or Krstic or
22 somebody else?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you have any contact with Mr. -- with General Krstic at the
1 A. No, none whatsoever. I just saw him at that place.
2 Q. You saw --
3 A. I didn't even know that he was a general, because it was on a
4 distance of about ten metres with a group of officers discussing
5 something. So I recognised his face.
6 Q. Okay. And before I leave this area: In your opinion, was
7 Jankovic above Nikolic or was Nikolic above Jankovic?
8 A. As I've said during my testimony, the fact where I saw them
9 together it was clear that Jankovic was taking the lead.
10 Q. When you say taking the lead --
11 A. He was in fact the spokesman of the Serbian delegation on the
12 occasion of the 17th, the situation with the ICRC. And as long as
13 Jankovic contacted me, Nikolic was never around.
14 Q. Okay. But on this occasion, you're saying he was the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you conclude from that that Jankovic was superior to Nikolic?
18 A. Yeah. Jankovic introduced and was recognisable as a colonel, and
19 it's usual in armies that colonels are superior to majors.
20 Q. Right. But in this instance, as I recall from your testimony, it
21 was Nikolic who suggested or insisted that some of the men, some of the
22 wounded, be questioned and not be turned over; is that correct?
23 A. No, it's not correct. I said - and that's what my interpreter
24 told me - that he insisted at the end of the meeting concerning the
25 wounded, Nikolic said that he wanted to inspect the wounded, whether to
1 see whether there are combatants or war criminals between them. Jankovic
2 reacted with: Is that necessary. And Nikolic insisted. So that's what
4 Q. And then what happened after that?
5 A. The inspection, ICRC and Nikolic and his bodyguard went to the
6 wounded. I sent along part of my reci platoon. They inspected. Nikolic
7 pointed out seven men as being combatant, and agreed with ICRC that they
8 could be treated as wounded POWs, so transferred to the Serbs, in fact.
9 Q. I just want to make sure I understand it, sir. At this point,
10 Nikolic makes the decision that these seven people who are POWs or war
11 criminals or whatever --
12 A. Or whatever.
13 Q. That they're going to stay behind?
14 A. He pointed them out. Jankovic was with me in the conference room.
15 Nikolic went on the inspection. Jankovic was not there. And my
16 lieutenant from reci platoon reported to me, confirmed by ICRC, that seven
17 men were recognised as combatants and being that, would be interrogated,
18 et cetera.
19 Q. And you said that's okay?
20 A. That that is -- I didn't have to say anything, because they were
21 not my wounded any more. They were from ICRC, and ICRC said it's okay.
22 Q. They told you that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. But I just want to make sure: Who made the decision, as
25 far as on the Serb side?
1 A. As far as I know, to be loud and clear, Mr. Nikolic was in lead of
2 the inspection of the wounded on a different spot where I was with Colonel
3 Jankovic, and he decided that those seven men were whatever, POWs,
5 Q. All right.
6 A. In that category.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, let's start from the beginning, if that's
8 okay with you. Hearing your background, it seems to me you've done just
9 about everything there is to do in the infantry.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And including you were G-2 at one point.
12 A. That's correct as well. G-2 is intel and security.
13 Q. Intel -- intelligence and security?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you please describe to us exactly what does that mean?
16 A. Yeah. Security is -- well, let's start with intelligence, because
17 to try -- to keep the story short. That is gathering, analysing and
18 giving validation to all the information you get from your sources, and
19 sources can be anything. And it is called intelligence, military
20 intelligence, when a report or something, an event is confirmed by several
22 Security is -- to be short -- effect -- passive, making sure that
23 information you have more or less secret information you have doesn't get
24 in the wrong hands, checking personnel you have, whether they are
25 trustworthy, and things like that.
1 Q. Now, you used the word "passive."
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. Does that mean that you don't take any action?
4 A. Yeah. No. It's probably the wrong word. I'll try to say it
5 another way. It's more the subject is, for instance, the unit itself.
6 Being G-2 of a brigade, I was responsible for the security of the
7 brigade. That means the security within the organisation, so documents,
8 communications, secure communications. But personnel on key functions as
9 well, that they were trustworthy. And the choice of tactical locations,
10 whether they were secure enough in the sense of groups present, terrorism,
11 things like that. And that's what I meant with passive. It's more
12 introvert. And intelligence is an action without -- it goes -- your area
13 of interest is outside your unit.
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, would you please show us the relevance
15 of those questions. It seems to us that it is out of the subject.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. Nikolic shared a like
17 position, or at least in title, and it is going to become relevant when
18 Mr. Nikolic testifies, both on direct and cross-examination. I just want
19 to make sure, through the gentleman, that, you know, what his structure is
20 vis-a-vis the structure of the VRS army at the time and under the
22 JUDGE LIU: They are not necessarily the same, because different
23 countries have different, you know, systems.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I was going to ask one or two more questions,
25 Your Honour, and then move on to that.
1 Q. In your capacity, who was your -- as G-2, who was your supervisor,
2 your superior officer?
3 A. Brigadier, the commander of that brigade are where I was G-2, sir.
4 But it's not applicable in the situation in Bosnia, because I was not G-2
6 Q. Right. I understand that.
7 A. Okay. Just to be sure.
8 Q. That's all right. Did you have a separate chain of command?
9 A. Separate chain of command?
10 Q. In other words, would you report on security matters, bypass your
11 own brigade commander --
12 A. No.
13 Q. Okay. That's not in the rules?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. Unless it concerns my own brigade commander, but that's
18 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you indicated that your mission, you had
19 three particular missions in Bosnia. Is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And on the one was the demilitarisation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that aspect was a failure before you got there?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it was a joke when you were there?
1 A. Yeah. A joke. It was a failure as well.
2 Q. Well, but those were basically your terms?
3 A. Yes, okay.
4 Q. That you were being laughed at in fact by the local --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Population --
7 A. In that sense it was a joke, yes.
8 Q. Right. And part of the reason was because you were incapable of
9 really exercising that part of your mandate because you weren't getting
10 cooperation, say, from the local police?
11 A. Yes and no. The basic fact, basic problem was that I couldn't
12 enter private houses, and local police, when they showed up, when we
13 called for it, they didn't find anything, and most of the time what
14 happened as well is that they didn't show up because we couldn't reach
15 them. And in that situation, everybody was -- the locals were, broad
16 smile, of course, looking in my direction.
17 Q. Right. And there were areas in fact within the enclave that you
18 couldn't even go to?
19 A. Where I could go or could not go to.
20 Q. Could not go.
21 A. That's correct. The Bandera Triangle.
22 Q. And why is it called the Bandera Triangle?
23 A. The area was locally named Bandera. It has the shape of a
24 triangle, so we called it the Bandera Triangle, sir.
25 Q. And in fact that's where you and other Dutch soldiers were
1 captured and you were a POW for a while; is that correct?
2 A. I was blocked for a while, yes.
3 Q. When you say blocked, you were captured?
4 A. I was held to a position, but without being under the direct
5 control of the ABiH. It was -- I retreated on an OP and we were blocked
6 there. So you could say - what's the correct word? - as far as I'm
7 concerned, yeah, in fact, blocked. I couldn't move out of that spot. But
8 it was now Bosniak military or representatives of the 28th Division
9 keeping these prisoners by arms or something like that.
10 Q. Isn't it a fact that Lieutenant Colonel Karremans had to
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Had to negotiate your release and the release of others?
14 A. That's correct, sir.
15 Q. In order for you to be unblocked and moved out of the area?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Okay. So while you were blocked you were forced to be in one
18 particular area?
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. And you were forced by the Muslims; is that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. These were the same people that you were there supposedly to
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. To make sure that they were demilitarised?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And I take it, since you were blocked, they were armed, and that's
3 how they were blocking you?
4 A. That's correct. I led the first patrol myself and I was stopped
5 by about 40 armed Muslims.
6 Q. And the arms were pointed in your direction to make sure that you
7 don't unblock yourself?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated --
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it's time for a break. Is that
11 the right time?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: This is a fine time, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 12.30.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Please continue.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Okay.
18 Q. Before we took our break, I believe I was discussing the issue of
19 your mission and demilitarisation. On direct examination, you indicated
20 that there was a collection point; right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. That collection point existed before you arrived?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And so there were weapons there before you got there. But for all
25 intents and purposes, those weapons were pretty useless, were they not?
1 A. They were partially useless, because the 28th Division did, how do
2 you call it --
3 Q. Smuggle?
4 A. No, no. Just hold. I'm looking for the word. Just hold, please.
5 Was doing -- what do you call it? Well, keeping them in good condition,
6 the small arms, the ones they were allowed to clean them, et cetera, et
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. The tank was motor -- technically still a tank. There was, as far
10 as we knew, no ammunition, and the weapons in the weapons collection point
11 were kept in good order.
12 Q. Okay. But while you were there, shipments were coming in; is that
14 A. We don't know exactly. What happened is, and probably you mean
15 that, is the so-called pony express.
16 Q. Those are your terms, but --
17 A. Yeah. There was a route, I told just in my testimony I gave a
18 location where there was an ambush and the route to Zepa, we call that a
19 pony express, because once in a while, regularly, a kind of, what do you
20 call it, a convoy of 10 to 12 packing ponies, manned with -- went in the
21 direction of Zepa. But whether they brought back weapons, I don't know.
22 We tried to catch them, but --
23 Q. Right. And there was also the famous helicopter landing; right?
24 A. The famous helicopter landing was a report by one of my OPs that
25 there was helicopter movements by night. We never actually found out
1 where they landed. I looked for it several patrols -- myself. We found
2 an area where the trees were chopped, but never found proof of an actual
3 helicopter landing. The Bosnian Serb Army had a helicopter place in the
4 area of Zvornik but we never got proof they were BSA helicopters or actual
5 helicopters of the ABiH.
6 Q. Right. But apparently sometime in April or May, the Muslim army
7 there had new uniforms and also had Kalashnikovs that looked brand new.
8 You're shaking your head.
9 A. That's correct. We discovered in April, starting May, that there
10 were new combat dresses apparently available to the 28th Division.
11 Q. Well, but they also had Kalashnikovs --
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. That were brand new --
14 A. It looked.
15 Q. Okay. And in fact, right before the fall of Srebrenica, as I
16 understand it from the previous statements that you have given, the Muslim
17 army was given an opportunity to retrieve some of the weapons at the
18 collection point, and they declined because, in accordance with your
19 opinion, they didn't need them because they had what appeared to be
20 modern, better, functioning equipment; is that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Okay. And as I understand your previous testimony from one of
23 your statements, you've given a ballpark figure of about four to four and
24 a half thousand Muslim soldiers being part of the 28th Division?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. While you were there, I take it, you didn't have any contact -- or
2 did you have any contact with Naser Oric?
3 A. We had contact with Naser Oric the first few months we were there,
4 because suddenly he was -- he disappeared. He was away. He was gone.
5 Q. Okay. Now, all right. You say "we." Did you in particular, you
6 personally, have contact?
7 A. I had contact with him on two or three occasions, yes.
8 Q. Okay. And I take it that was in an official capacity, you
9 representing the DutchBat?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Was that at their headquarters, which didn't have anything?
12 A. Twice in the post and telegraph building and once on our base when
13 the supreme UNPROFOR commander was visiting us. And on request of Oric he
14 had contact with the general.
15 Q. Okay. And as I understand your testimony, there was also another
16 building or another house where they used it as headquarters or they
17 had -- obviously the one was for sure for DutchBat, to show that we have
18 nothing here, and the other one was --
19 A. Well, the other location when I visited -- I already stated that -
20 didn't look like a headquarters to me, but it was a location they used for
21 their staff, where their staff members were at that time present, the ones
22 I knew. And there was a normal house in the area of Pale, and that was
23 the communications centre. There were communications.
24 Q. And When you're talking about Pale --
25 A. Pale within the enclave, of course.
1 Q. So not the RS Pale.
2 A. No.
3 Q. All right. I just want to make sure. Now, from listening to you,
4 it seemed that everybody was more or less cheating when it came to the
6 A. There were three different opinions: the UN, BSA opinion, and a
7 Muslim opinion. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And at times, that was a point of friction?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in fact, in one particular area, it was a point of friction
11 because of a particular factory that was located there; is that correct?
12 A. That's in the surroundings of Observation Post Echo, in the first
13 Zeleni Jadar.
14 Q. Right. Now, that was the first observation post to more or less
16 A. Not more or less. Fall, yeah.
17 Q. Okay. Well, thank you for correcting me. All right. So you lost
18 that, but that occurred prior to the attack on Srebrenica?
19 A. Yes. It was in the beginning of June, the 8th of June, with
20 November [phoen].
21 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, please make a pause.
22 MR. WAESPI: Okay.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. I'm trying to
24 discipline myself.
25 Q. One of the reasons that area was a point of contention was because
1 the Serbs were complaining that the Muslims were going there and raiding
2 or looting the factory; is that correct?
3 A. They were stealing wood, et cetera, from the factory. That's
4 correct. At least, because there was a discussion whether this was a
5 Muslim factory or a Serb factory. So for the Muslims, it was a Muslim
6 factory, so they were not stealing. For the Serbs, it was a Serb factory,
7 so they were stealing.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. And happily, the UN border, the UN confrontation, ran amidst
10 through that factory.
11 Q. And so by the taking over of OP Echo, it sorted of pushed the
12 border so that the factory now was in Serb-controlled territory?
13 A. Correct. Well, it was still in UN territory, of course, but we
14 didn't have the control of that area.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. Yeah, there is a difference.
17 Q. All right. I agree with you on that.
18 Now, at some point on the humanitarian side, you attempted - you
19 meaning the DutchBat - attempted to organise some trading between the
20 Serbs and the Muslims, trading, that is, of humanitarian goods, food, and
21 what have you; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And the opposition that you ran into was the Muslim black
24 marketeers, who were more or less also the commanders of the Muslim army
25 there; isn't that a fact?
1 A. You say black marketeers, but I know that the leadership of the
2 28th Division had his problems with the trade in fact, and we suspected
3 them of black market practices. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, when you say the leadership, we're talking Naser Oric --
5 A. And his staff.
6 Q. And his staff. You were asked a question to give your opinion as
7 to why the demilitarisation did not fully -- was not fully accomplished,
8 and why the Muslims held on to their arms. And I believe you indicated
9 because of their wish for self-defence. Do you recall saying that?
10 A. Yeah. If you take the status quo, what is the situation, you have
11 a small area, absolutely isolated, with one of the two parties officially
12 demilitarised, so weaponless. Potential threat on the outside and very
13 small battalion, which even didn't have the order to defend them. So I can
14 understand -- not justify, but understand why they kept weapons.
15 Q. Of course it was the UN that decided the size of the UN mission
16 over there; right?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And just to make sure: You were there for not to peace-make but
19 to --
20 A. Peacekeeping.
21 Q. Peacekeeping?
22 A. What I call combat power of the Blue Helmets.
23 Q. So the rules of engagement are rather restricted as to when you
24 can use --
25 A. Self-defence.
1 Q. Self-defence. I'm rather curious. You indicated that while you
2 were there, you noticed or you were -- you learned of two particular
3 incidents with respect to Muslims going out and committing atrocities upon
4 the Serbs; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Wouldn't that be counter-intuitive to self-defence? In other
7 words, you're trying to keep the Serbs from coming in. How could going
8 and burning a village and killing innocent Serbs, how was that a form of
9 self-defence for the Muslims that are inside the enclave hiding behind the
10 skirts of the UN and DutchBat?
11 A. I can be very clear about that. Nothing to do with it. We know
12 in military what we call offensive action with limited target. In defence
13 you can act offensively, but not in this way.
14 Q. Would it be a form of provocation?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In fact, wasn't it a point of contention between the Serbs in your
17 meetings with them that the UN was more or less giving safe harbour to
18 Muslim fighters who were going out, committing atrocities, and then
19 running back into the enclave?
20 A. That is used as a statement, or an argument by the Serbs
21 regularly. That's correct.
22 Q. Well, and in fact in some ways it's rather correct, is it not?
23 A. The fact is that when they went out of the enclave, do a raid with
24 whatever target or whatever objective whatsoever, and then returned behind
25 our Blue Helmets, it's correct.
1 Q. Okay. Now, while you were there, you had an opportunity to meet
2 with two particular officers from the VRS that were more or less
3 liaisoning between you and I guess the Muslims; is that correct?
4 A. No. They were liaisoning between me and BSA, so VRS, of course.
5 Q. All right. And those were Nikolic and I believe the other
6 gentleman was --
7 A. Colonel Vukovic.
8 Q. Colonel Vukovic. So one was a major, the other one was a colonel?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. If I recall your earlier testimony before the break, the colonel
11 outranks the major?
12 A. Yes, still so.
13 Q. Right. And so it would seem to me that the major would be below
14 the colonel; right?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. But in fact, what you saw from your dealings, it was your
17 impression that Nikolic was in charge, and not the colonel?
18 A. It's not completely correct conclusion. Mostly we saw them apart
19 from each other. Nikolic was the one who was the actual liaison, because
20 we had contact to him most of the times, when we had contact. There was
21 one occasions when I saw them both, as I already stated, was a meeting at
22 OP - sorry - Observation Post Romeo, at the confrontation line. There was
23 Colonel Vukovic and Major Nikolic together, and that was concerning the
24 Echo problem.
25 Q. And from that meeting, is it not a fact that you concluded that
1 Nikolic was --
2 A. By that occasion he took the lead, yes.
3 Q. He took the lead. Now when you say -- see, this is the second
4 time you use that term, "took the lead." I don't know if this is a term
5 of art or just an expression.
6 A. Let's explain what I mean. When there are a colonel and a major
7 together speaking, and a colonel hardly says anything or doesn't make
8 statements or doesn't ask, and the major takes the initiative in asking
9 and negotiating, et cetera, that's what I mean, taking the lead. Not the
10 fact that the major says to the colonel "shut up" or something like that,
11 but actual, as a fact, he was the one who acted as the spokesman on that
12 moment, in the presence of the colonel.
13 Q. Is that the normal procedure?
14 A. Not with us.
15 Q. And that would be because the colonel outranks the major in
16 that -- in fact, and -- let me back up. On that particular meeting, that
17 was a rather significant meeting, was it not, the topic of it?
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. Was it not rather contentious in nature?
20 A. Sorry? Contentious?
21 Q. A heated -- the topic itself was a burning issue?
22 A. Yes, it was a hot issue, yes.
23 Q. Right. And you would expect on that kind of a hot issue, that the
24 person with the highest rank --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- if he wants to convey the message of the top brass, would be
2 doing the speaking, and not the lower fellow?
3 A. Yeah, that's correct.
4 Q. Okay. Now, we talked briefly about Colonel Acamovic. As far as I
5 understand, from listening to your testimony and reading your statements
6 here, this particular colonel was in charge of the transportation on the
7 scene in Potocari, I believe on the 12th --
8 A. Yes. That's the way -- how he identified himself to me, that he
9 was responsible for the evacuation, and as I stated before, being from G-4
11 Q. Right.
12 A. And this time Pale with an outside [indiscernible].
13 Q. Now, did you happen to see him along with Colonel Jankovic,
14 together, or were they separate occasions?
15 A. Yeah. Mostly I saw them separate. Once I saw them together.
16 There was again a request for transport vehicles of the battalion, and
17 then Jankovic -- Acamovic put the question and Jankovic was present, was
18 at the gate of our main base.
19 Q. From your observations, who was in charge, or who was the
20 superior: Acamovic or Jankovic?
21 A. There were no -- let's say the situation was not that kind that
22 could see who is in charge or what. There was -- I was called to the
23 gate, Acamovic was there with his request, Jankovic was present, standing
24 along. So there was not an occasion that I could see he's in the lead or
25 he is in the lead.
1 Q. Right. But it kind of struck you a bit funny that Colonel
2 Acamovic was a low-key individual?
3 A. Sorry. A low-key individual?
4 Q. Well, I've read one of your statements where you indicated that
5 you were rather taken aback that here was this man who was mild-mannered,
6 and he was a colonel, and he was a Serb.
7 A. Yeah. Well --
8 Q. And I was wondering: Was that because of your -- you had some
9 particular image of how a Serb officer would behave and act?
10 A. No, no, no. First, I think there are all kinds of mild mannered
11 and kind Serbs, I suppose. No. His personality was modest. That's what
12 I meant to say. Not an iron man, et cetera. That's the way he performed,
13 he discussed, he asked his questions, Colonel Acamovic.
14 Q. And what about Jankovic? Was he modest or immodest?
15 A. He was modest. He was modest in the sense that he stayed polite,
16 yeah, presenting the officer, the standard officer, the image we have of
17 an officer.
18 Q. Right. Professional?
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. And acted professionally?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And when you brought to his attention the list that you had of all
23 the men, his demeanour was one of nonchalance, you know, non- -- so what?
24 A. Okay.
25 Q. Okay. In other words, you put him on notice?
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. And the reason that you put him on notice was you wanted to let
3 him know that there was an accounting of all these individuals, and if
4 anything were to happen to any of them, he, and his superiors or his
5 subordinates would be held accountable?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And he gave the appearance on that particular day, and we're
8 talking when, the 12th?
9 A. The 13th.
10 Q. The 13th. On that particular day, he gave the appearance of:
11 Okay. I understand.
12 A. Yeah. Well, he was -- he took into account as a message: Okay.
13 So what?
14 Q. Exactly. Now, was it a fait accompli that you had already faxed
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And did you communicate that fact to Colonel Jankovic at that
19 A. No. I informed him on the 13th.
20 Q. No. What I'm saying - excuse me - on the 13th, when you informed
21 him, did you say: By the way, this has been faxed?
22 A. Yes. I told him that I reported this, the list, to my higher
23 echelon in Holland.
24 Q. All right. Did he ask for the list?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Had he asked for the list, would you have provided it?
2 A. No.
3 Q. But he didn't seem concerned about the list at all?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you draw a conclusion from that at that particular moment?
6 A. Well, his general position was from the very beginning that he had
7 nothing to do, at least he said to me that he had nothing to do with the
8 evacuation, et cetera, et cetera. So I explained his attitude from the
9 fact that he was not busy or had not his task within the evacuation. So
10 probably he said: Okay. Not my piece of cake.
11 Q. Okay. And later on, if I understand you correctly, it was later
12 on that he informed you that they had in their possession approximately
13 6.000 POWs?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And if I also understand you correct, based on your understanding
16 of international law and military procedure, to separate the able-bodied
17 men who could, in theory, be soldiers, the separation to question them, as
18 far as you're concerned, that's proper?
19 A. That's proper, yeah.
20 Q. Okay. And in fact, as I believe I read somewhere, and I can dig
21 it up here, you've already indicated in a previous statement or testimony
22 that it was very difficult to distinguish who was active and who was
23 inactive or who was just a civilian?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. - when it came to men.
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. Because potentially anybody from 16 to 60, in theory, was a Muslim
3 fighter, and vice versa?
4 A. Potentially a Muslim fighter.
5 Q. Right. And in fact, even though they were not in uniform did not
6 mean that they were not a Muslim fighter; it just meant that they didn't
7 have a uniform on?
8 A. As I already said, it was very difficult to recognise by uniform
9 who was part of the 28th Division or not.
10 Q. Okay. So some of them could have been in plain clothes, and at
11 the same time be soldiers?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Okay. You also indicated that on the Serb side it was pretty
14 difficult also to distinguish at times, at least where they came from,
15 because they were dressed in all sorts of different uniforms, and manners,
16 and what have you; is that correct?
17 A. Most part what I call the informer statements second and third
18 echelon, that's the units that followed up to the unit that performed the
19 attack from Papa, were not really recognisable as a unit or something like
20 that, by discipline and by dress, uniforms, all kinds of military outfit.
21 Q. And I take it it was then difficult for you to distinguish which
22 brigade they came from?
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. Or if they were in fact part of a brigade or if they were
25 volunteers or --
1 A. I did not know what the -- except from the units, as I described
2 before, performed that armoured support, that infantry attack. It was
3 very difficult to recognise to what unit or whatever a unit they belonged.
4 That's correct.
5 Q. And it was Jankovic in fact, Colonel Jankovic, who you had
6 apparently complained at one point and had indicated to you that he could
7 not control everybody?
8 A. Yes. That's about my last complaint about the robbing vehicles
9 and weapons, et cetera, of my own equipment. He said: Yeah, we're doing
10 our best, but I can't control all militia, et cetera.
11 Q. Okay. And this was the man who, as far as you were concerned, was
12 Mladic's representative at the scene in the highest position at that point
13 in time in Potocari during those days?
14 A. Concerning DutchBat and the retreat of DutchBat, yes.
15 Q. And your request to him or your complaints to him were with
16 respect to that -- to DutchBat?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. You talked a little bit about the negotiations that went
19 on, or the discussions that went on on the evening of the 11th and on the
20 morning of the 12th. You're shaking your head. For the record --
21 A. Yes. Sorry.
22 Q. That was a yes. I don't want to be giving orders, but --
23 A. Probably you won't succeed, but anyway.
24 Q. Now, you were not present there at any of those meetings?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So, but I take it you being the number 2 --
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. You were getting your debriefing from your number one, which is
4 Lieutenant Colonel Karremans?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Okay. And as far as you understand it, sometime on the night of
7 the 11th it became clear that there was going to be an evacuation; is that
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Now, as I understand from reading some of your previous
11 statements, at one point - and I believe this might have been on the
12 11th - the UN - and it might have been General Nicolai - had asked you to
13 defend Potocari, and then two hours later to assist with the evacuation.
14 Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Two hours later, but not to assist with the evacuation, to
16 make sure that the evacuation was performed as correct as possible.
17 Q. Well, is it --
18 A. And that's again sometimes partial -- well, okay.
19 Q. No, no, no, no. Go ahead. No.
20 A. I missed a word, but that's the essence of my answer.
21 Q. Okay. Well, it's my understanding from your previous statements
22 that the UN was asked to assist in the evacuation, and your understanding
23 was that the UN refused or didn't have the capability, and I'm not saying
24 DutchBat, I'm saying the UN now.
25 A. I hear you.
1 Q. And that's when Mladic decided that he would do the evacuation.
2 A. Yes. I don't know whether there was any contact Mladic in the
3 direction of UN. I know that on the evening of the 11th, the possibility
4 was analysed by General Nicolai, and that is HQ BI Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 command - that's a UN facility - to have it performed by UN, and the
6 answer was, I heard that Mr. Colonel Karremans, that UN was not capable
7 or -- to do that. And the suggestion was the battalion did it himself.
8 Q. Okay. So the offer was, as I understand it, from your
9 understanding from having the discussion with Lieutenant Colonel Karremans
10 was that the UN was given the opportunity to perform the evacuation, but
11 Lieutenant Colonel Karremans told you that the UN, based on his contacts,
12 told him that they were unable --
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Okay. So it wasn't, it wasn't that Mladic said: I don't want the
15 UN involved. But rather, when the UN could not step up to the plate and
16 carry out that function, Mladic said: I will do it.
17 A. That's possible.
18 Q. Okay. That's your understanding?
19 A. Yes, as far as I understand, yes, that's the information I got
20 from the colonel.
21 Q. And that's in fact what you've indicated before the parliament
22 regarding the issue of Srebrenica?
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. Okay. And if I understand you correctly, on the third meeting,
25 which would have been on the 12th, Lieutenant Colonel Karremans comes
1 back, he's in the process of debriefing you, telling you that sometime
2 that early afternoon the buses will arrive, and all of a sudden they came.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And it's around 11.00 in the morning or so?
5 A. A bit later.
6 Q. A bit later.
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. Okay. Before noon or so?
9 A. Yeah, somewhere around 12.00, half past 12.00.
10 Q. Right. And as I understand it from your testimony, all of those
11 vehicles - trucks, buses, cars, whatever they were - were civilian and not
13 A. As far as I've seen, there were no military trucks. It was all
15 Q. And did you notice that they came from different enterprises?
16 A. Yeah. Some of the trucks, there was no identification of an
17 enterprise, but on buses there were names of firms.
18 Q. Okay. So would it be correct, at least -- and I don't want you to
19 guess, but I mean, did it seem at the time that these civilian vehicles
20 and trucks had been mobilised or had been called into mobilisation by
21 either the military or some higher authority?
22 A. In some way they concentrated them. That's quite clear, yes.
23 Q. Okay. But at the time, fuel was not available from the DutchBat
24 to give to them?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Okay. Regarding this humanitarian crisis that existed there, if I
2 can call it that -- can I call it that?
3 A. Yes, you can.
4 Q. Okay. It's your understanding that you had food for -- I believe
5 you said 800 people, for a couple of days?
6 A. I still had 800-day rations for a single person.
7 Q. Okay. So and it appeared to you that the rations were going to
8 run out in a couple of days or three days?
9 A. Not a couple of days. My own battalion could eat about two days
10 of it.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. And I had to feed about 30.000 people.
13 Q. Okay. So, and it was a humanitarian crisis that needed to be
14 dealt with?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. As I understand from your testimony, at one point you indicate
17 that the folks that were there, the women and children, what have you,
18 voluntarily entered the buses. Do you recall making that statement in
19 front of the parliament?
20 A. It was the first time that the buses appeared, as I told you
21 before. There was a rush for of buses. Before that time, General Mladic
22 already said to them: You can go out, et cetera, et cetera. And there
23 was a big rush for the buses by people who wanted to get out.
24 Q. Okay. Well, as I understand, you've indicated to the parliament
25 that they voluntarily got onto the buses because they wanted to get out.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. And it was at some other point --
3 A. Sorry. Let me say something about voluntarily.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. Again, in my former statement I earlier said voluntarily, of
6 course, but they had no alternative, of course, so in that respect, it was
8 Q. All right. And I take it you made that qualification before the
10 A. Sorry?
11 Q. And I take it --
12 A. Yes. Voluntarily --
13 Q. You made that --
14 A. Within the same context, yes.
15 Q. And you told them that at the parliament or you do not recall?
16 A. I don't know, but I literally used that word, voluntarily,"
17 because there was no other choice, but in the total of my statement there,
18 it was obvious, given by me that there was no alternative. The only thing
19 we could do was get them out.
20 Q. Now we're talking about what we could do?
21 A. Sorry. The only choice they had, in fact, was, seeing the
22 position, the fear they had, et cetera, is they could get out, they were
23 very willing to get out. That's correct.
24 Q. Okay. And they voluntarily got on the buses?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. That's what you testified to?
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. Now, there was food back in Srebrenica probably, was there not?
4 A. The city itself, you mean?
5 Q. Yeah.
6 A. I don't know whether it was still in the UNHCR depot still food.
7 Q. What about the 28th Division? Did they not hoard all of the food
8 and in fact were they not only engaged in the black marketeering and but
9 with holding food from their own population, own people?
10 A. Yes. What we know and what we protested and corrected in a former
11 phase is the fact that the 28th Division took his part of the food brought
12 in by UNHCR. That's correct. But as far as I know, it was never all the
13 food, but what they needed for that division, they said.
14 Q. And there was -- well, they were also selling it on the black
16 A. Whether the division did that or not we saw the rations they got
17 from the UNHCR, that kind of rations was sold on the black market, yes.
18 Q. You said at one point, as I understand, the DutchBat had some
19 problems with fuel?
20 A. Some problems, yes.
21 Q. Naser Oric didn't have any problems with fuel, did he?
22 A. At least he couldn't provide me in the amount I had, I needed.
23 Q. No, but he could provide for himself and his people?
24 A. Yeah. Well, you say so.
25 Q. Okay. Well, you don't -- you didn't see him walking as opposed to
1 riding in his --
2 A. I saw him once in a while. I saw him walking and I know he had a
3 small jeep and they used within our side regularly a small truck, a blue
5 Q. Okay. Now, regarding the "White House", as I understand it, you
6 got some reports from UN -- what is it, the --
7 A. UN, United Nations military observers.
8 Q. Okay. Those are the people dressed in white?
9 A. No. There was another mission, but same mission, same --
10 Q. What were they dressed?
11 A. They were in normal uniform, but, so in battle dress, but with
12 a -- what do they call it on your arm?
13 Q. A badge?
14 A. A badge and they were known as a mouse on the Serb side and on the
15 Bosniak side.
16 Q. Right. And I take it the armband was there to sort of give notice
17 that they're there and --
18 A. Yeah. On their car, et cetera, et cetera.
19 Q. So would it be fair to say, and I don't want to put any words in
20 your mouth, but would it be fair to say that a lot of the intelligence
21 that you received with respect to the "white house" came from them?
22 A. Half of it. In the beginning, when I -- the only one that we were
23 posted over there, the information came from them. Later on I posted my
24 own men over there, when it decreased or got worse, let's say, and I got
25 reports of my own men.
1 Q. But you sent somebody over there basically to sort of monitor the
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. And keep you abreast?
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. But you were there at the same -- you were there on the scene as
7 well, were you not?
8 A. I've been there twice on that scene, but most of my time I was in
9 HQ OPs room.
10 Q. Okay. And as I understand it, occasionally you would go out
11 because, from listening to you, you really, as a commander, and I take it
12 you were in all essence a commander there at the time, even though
13 Karremans was there, both of you were, you know, -- or you were assisting
14 the commander?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. You need to go out, you need to go out because raw data coming
17 into the OPs room is not necessarily complete?
18 A. Yeah. But text doesn't only cover the situation, in fact. Text
19 gives you an indication, and then it's very good to go on the ground
21 Q. And occasionally you would go on the ground?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. At one point you indicated that you were told to stop the
25 A. I was asked to stop the evacuation.
1 Q. You were asked. And you were asked by one of the representatives
2 or one of the -- the Muslims that became a representative at -- I believe
3 it was the third meeting. Is that correct?
4 A. No. The committee already was established on the evening of the
5 11th, because Mladic wanted those representatives on the second meeting.
6 The first one was 2000 hours was just DutchBat were there. The second
7 one, this committee was present as well.
8 Q. Okay. Now, was there a particular reason why he had indicated
9 that he wanted you to stop the evacuation?
10 A. Yes, of course, because he heard noises from the "white house" as
11 well, and there were a hell of a lot of rumours, of course, within the
12 refugees. And he feared that all the men would be killed.
13 Q. All right. Did -- do you know whether he expressed any wishes of
14 Sarajevo, that, in other words, that he had been in contact with higher
16 A. Not him. I tried all night long with Mr. Mandzic to reach the
17 government representative of the government in Sarajevo, but we couldn't
18 reach him, because he was not available. Mr. Mandzic came with that
19 request that he wanted to brief or to talk with his government about the
21 Q. Right.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could have one moment here just to make sure
23 that I covered everything.
24 Q. Did you see Nikolic around that time, the 12th, 13th?
25 A. No. The first time I saw Nikolic was, I think, on the 14th,
1 afternoon, or the 15th, when he came to the camp by car.
2 Q. Okay. Did you have a conversation with him, since you already
3 knew him, or did you just see him and then you went about your business?
4 A. No. He came not on some kind of a visit. He came with a purpose.
5 And I believe on that occasion he came in with the car of our former
6 technician. On the occasion of - what was it ?- oh, yeah the bill for the
7 building the UNMOs rented had to be paid and he tried to have DutchBat pay
8 for the cost of -- made by the Bosnian Serb army for the POWs.
9 Q. Did he inform you who had instructed him, or was he there?
10 A. No. No. He announced that he came. He asked that he could come
11 on the base with his car. I allowed him that, so he parked in front of
12 the HQ. And then we spoke about this.
13 Q. And did he ask you -- did he throw a particular figure at you, how
14 much the rent was?
15 A. No, he didn't come that far. As far as the UNMOs were concerned,
16 I told you before, they were not -- they didn't belong to DutchBat, so I
17 said: Okay. I'll have the UNMOs make contact with you about that thing.
18 And I told him that it's absolutely ridiculous. Let me pay for POWs they
19 took. And he didn't insist further on, so I never heard the math.
20 Q. Okay. Do you know whether he want cheque, cash, a credit card?
21 A. The discussion didn't come that far.
22 Q. Okay. And as far as you know, or as far as you recollect, he
23 didn't say: I've been ordered by Mladic --
24 A. No.
25 Q. I've been ordered by my commander, I've been ordered by General
1 Krstic. He just showed up?
2 A. He showed up --
3 Q. Looking --
4 A. It had to be arranged, still had to be arranged, and it appeared
5 that these two items were at stake.
6 Q. Okay. One last question. You indicated that at one point you had
7 requested to meet with the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
8 A. No. That was the wish of my commander, Colonel Karremans.
9 Q. Okay. Did you pass that wish on or --
10 A. No. It was passed by -- passed on by our S-5, our liaison to -- I
11 suppose it was Major Boering.
12 Q. And as far as you know, nothing happened?
13 A. Well, the meeting didn't take place.
14 Q. Do you know whether that wish was communicated, actually
15 communicated, to the commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
16 A. I was not present, but normally when we say to an S-5, you have to
17 do that and that, I suppose he does. So --
18 Q. [Indiscernible]
19 A. Yeah. But normally we inspect. I didn't check it I wasn't
20 present and whether it was given through in the BSA lines, I don't know,
21 of course.
22 Q. Do you have a time, an approximation when this request would have
23 been made?
24 A. Yes. As I recollect correctly, at least one was made after the
25 report from the Serbs about the Muslim raid in the north of the enclave.
1 That's the phase in which my colonel said -- I think we have to talk to
2 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade. And if he wants us to do something
3 about it, we'll have the correct information. We want to go to the spot,
4 et cetera, et cetera. That was, as far as I recollect, the reason for his
6 Q. Did you have any contact with a Colonel Beara. That was Nikolic,
8 A. Not as far as I know, no.
9 Q. One last housekeeping matter. You said that Nikolic showed up in
10 a car with a former technician.
11 A. We had a civilians doing jobs on the base for us normally and one
12 of them was a man called Rizo, family name I don't recollect. He was an
13 engineer of the battery factory in peacetime. And he knew exactly how all
14 the electrical wires, et cetera, which we used, of course, so he was in
15 our service to maintain things like that, et cetera, et cetera. In the
16 end phase, when we were registering all UN personnel, et cetera, because
17 they could go out with the battalion, as the battalion went out, Rizo
18 disappeared -- he had a light blue Japanese car which he asked if he may
19 park that on the base. And Rizo was gone. Although he knew that he could
20 come with the battalion. The story from the refugees was that Rizo had
21 made a deal with the Serbs. We never saw him again until Major Nikolic
22 came with the car of Rizo on our base.
23 Q. Who was driving it?
24 A. Major Nikolic himself.
25 Q. And that gentleman was Muslim?
1 A. That gentleman was Muslim, yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much, sir.
3 A. You're welcome.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Any cross-examination,
5 Mr. Stojanovic?
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We have a few
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. I would like to ask you: When was it that you arrived in
12 Srebrenica for your mission in Bosnia?
13 A. The 15th of January, 1995. Personally I arrived then, yes.
14 Q. Was that your first mission in Bosnia or have you been to any
15 other areas in Bosnia?
16 A. No. Not in Bosnia. It was not my first mission, but not in
17 Bosnia. In Bosnia it was my first mission, sorry.
18 Q. So the very first mission in Bosnia in general?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Is it true to say that in January 1995 you took over the duty from
21 the DutchBat that you called DutchBat number 2?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. During the takeover of duty, were you informed by them that the
24 area that they -- during their mandate was not demilitarised in
1 A. That is correct too, yes.
2 Q. And is it true that on that occasion during the takeover of duty,
3 did they also tell you that they estimated that it was -- there was
4 approximately 4.000 to 5.000 troops and weapons pieces that were still
5 remaining in the enclave at that time?
6 A. That's correct as well. They used the number 4.500,
8 Q. Considering your experiences as an intelligence officer and the
9 period of time that you spent there, which is from the 15th of January
10 until the second half of July, did you conclude that their estimate was
11 correct and that it was more or less an accurate piece of information you
12 were given by them?
13 A. Yes. We never came to that figure, but we -- the other way
14 around: Tried to find confirmation of that figure. And there was no item
15 or no facts that would lead to another figure. That's correct. So we --
16 it was confirmed.
17 Q. Thank you. You said today that one part of the Srebrenica
18 enclave, and up to the south-west, what you called the Bandera Triangle,
19 you said that this was an area where you did not have under your control
20 under your direct control. Is that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Is the consequence of that fact the blockade that you were under,
23 that you mentioned while you were answering the question put to you by
24 Mr. Karnavas?
25 A. Not directly. We got permission of our supreme commander, sector
1 north-east, UN occasion, to press hard to restore freedom of movement in
2 the Bandera Triangle, and the way we did that was commanding up a couple
3 of patrols, which the first patrol to go in I led it myself and the
4 confrontation with the BiH forces in that area, the consequence there of
5 that was that I was blocked by about four days. That's correct.
6 Q. So is it correct to conclude that you practically did not have
7 freedom of movement in that area, and you were not able to know about the
8 troop movement and the weapons of BH army in that area?
9 A. That's not completely correct. We did not have freedom of
10 movement in that area. That is correct. But the locations OP Alpha,
11 Charlie, and to new locations we made in the south, Kilo and Delta -
12 that's Observation Post - did permit us to have some control. But the
13 problem with all the observation posts was that the UN wanted them showing
14 the flags, so we had to put them on the top of a hill, make them white, et
15 cetera. So we did not control, for instance, all kinds of valleys or
16 something like that, bush valleys, in between those posts. But in
17 general, we had some control over the complete area. But again, it was
18 possible to go in and out of the enclave without seeing the locations on
19 our strength.
20 Q. Precisely, that was the meaning of the question, considering the
21 data that the Defence has at their disposal. So was it possible in that
22 area that you did not have under your control, was it possible to have
23 artillery pieces, mortars, as well as APCs, without you actually noticing
25 A. At the very moment that they would have been used, we would have
1 noticed that. We noticed that there was probably some mortar equipment in
2 that area. We don't have any indication that there were APCs or real
3 artillery. But we could not, in that area, not pick them up and get them
4 out and bring them to the WPC, weapon collection point. That is correct.
5 Q. So it is possible, is my conclusion correct, that it is possible
6 that these weapons were there at that time?
7 A. It's a possibility, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. In the report that you submitted to the NIOD -- I'm
9 not quite sure what the abbreviation stands for, but in the interview that
10 you had before the parliamentary commission, you said, among other things,
11 that many blue berets, many members of the DutchBat, had the feeling that
12 the Muslims did not wish to have their protection and that they were
13 abusing the presence of the DutchBat in order to conduct illegal military
14 operations. Is that correct?
15 A. When you mean with the Muslims, the 28th Division, then that is --
16 Q. I am particularly talking about the 28th Division. When I
17 say, "members of the BH army," I mean the 28th Division.
18 A. Okay. Just because the attitude of the civilian population was
19 quite different. They were generally very happy that we were there. We
20 had problems with the 28th Division in our operations. That's absolutely
21 true. The very moment that there was a problem with the Serbs, for
22 instance, when they claimed they came further forward into the enclave
23 there was coordination and discussion with them and all kinds of other
24 moments, not. And with them, I mean 28th Muslim Division.
25 Q. And did those facts that they were conducting illegal military
1 operations, you mean what you already said, that is, to carry out
2 offensive operations onto Serb territory from inside the enclave?
3 A. Yes. At least two occasions we knew about that, yes. That's
5 Q. And those two times, do you also include those two incidents that
6 you mentioned in April and May 1995, that is, the killing of seven Serb
7 soldiers on the way to Zepa, as well as an attack on a Serb village which
8 was burnt down? And the name of that village is Tresnjica, or something
10 A. Yes, that's the two incidents I mean.
11 Q. You personally, or anyone else from the DutchBat, did you conduct
12 control, that is, did you have insight into the attack on these villages,
13 or any other attacks, how many villages, how many houses were attacked and
14 burnt during the period while you were there?
15 A. Now, the first question is did we conduct control. Now, the
16 situation was that our observation posts were on the top of the hills,
17 white-painted, and by night, with lamps on it. That was the order from
18 the UN. We had to be very visible. So military scene, it was an
19 absolutely insane location, which meant that all the valleys or - what do
20 you call them? - ravines, deep terrain between the hills by night.
21 Anyway, we didn't control that. Then you asked me if we -- insight. We
22 do have insight on the consequences of these attacks. No. As I already
23 stated before, in the case of the raid on -- in the north of the enclave,
24 we asked to go out of the enclave and check out what happened, and we were
25 not allowed by the BSA. I think that is the answer on your question, sir.
1 Q. Is it correct to conclude that all of these incidents were
2 chronologically took place before the attack on the Srebrenica enclave
3 that you said took place on the 6th of July?
4 A. The incidents were before the attack on Srebrenica enclave, but
5 the final attack on the Srebrenica enclave is not on the 6th of July, as
6 mentioned by you. It was later, of course. But probably -- the first
7 action was 6 or 8 June on OP Echo, and final attack on the enclave started
8 around the 8th, with -- after two days of shelling of OP Foxtrot, taken
9 over by OP Foxtrot. But anyway, in essence, it is correct that the
10 mentioned incidents were before the attack.
11 Q. They were before. Very well. Thank you.
12 You spoke about the fact that you noticed - and this is still
13 again the attack on Srebrenica [sic] - you noticed new uniforms and new
14 army equipment worn by the BH troops. Do you have any idea how that
15 happened and how were BH army members supplied with army equipment and new
17 A. As far as we said, we saw, that is before the attack, of course,
18 but I see it wrong here on my screen. But new uniforms, yes, new
19 equipment, the only thing we saw was new updated Kalashnikovs, small arms.
20 And the idea how it happened, there are a couple of possibilities, but
21 it's speculation possibility is that actually helicopter landings took
22 place, which we tried to find out but didn't get confirmed. And the other
23 way is, as mentioned, pony express from Zepa. Those are possibilities,
24 but I have no idea further on.
25 Q. Did all this take place before your talks about the joint defence
1 with the army of B and H of the Srebrenica enclave?
2 A. If you mean the identification of new equipment, new Kalashnikovs
3 and new uniforms, that was before we had that discussion about who is
4 doing what when the Serbs attack. Yes, correct.
5 Q. What do you understand by this, who is doing what, and when, to
6 defend the enclave? Do I understand correctly that this was a division of
7 roles in the protection of the defence lines, the protection of both from
8 the Serbs, or is it something entirely different?
9 A. It is, as I said before by statement, it is different. The
10 question was: What is DutchBat doing when the Serb army will attack the
11 enclave? The answer was: Defend their OPs. And during that discussion,
12 it was said by the Chief of Staff of the 28th Division that if they took
13 the terrain between the OPs, there would, without having the bearings of a
14 coordinated defence, but there would be a kind of defensive ring around
15 the enclave. That's what it meant.
16 Q. Do I understand correctly that practically the area between the
17 observation posts held by DutchBat were to be taken over by the forces of
18 the BH army?
19 A. No. There was no area between the observation post to be held by
20 DutchBat, because our mission was not to defend the enclave. Our mission
21 was to deter by presence. That's why we had these almost ridiculous
22 locations for our observation posts. So it was a question of being taken
23 over by the BH army they were not allowed to take over our observation
24 posts. The only Dutch element in that so-called ring would be our own
25 observation post and I was entitled within my mandate to defend my
1 observation post, because then I would fight in self-defence.
2 Q. That was precisely my question. So they would take the areas
3 between the observation posts?
4 A. They suggested that when they would take the areas between the
5 observation posts, then a kind of ring would come to exist. Sorry. I
6 missed a word but I try to tell it that way.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us go back for a moment to the talks
8 about opening up trade and the flow of goods between the enclave and the
9 Serb-held territory. You said that these talks failed and that you
10 concluded that this was not in the interest of certain individuals from
11 the 28th Division. Is this correct?
12 A. Yeah. Well, the talks didn't fail, because there was an agreement
13 with the civilian leadership, but later on they came back on it and said
14 that there were internal problems which did not allow to. The fact that
15 it was not in the interest of certain individuals is a personal
17 Q. When you say "civilian structures," you mean within the Srebrenica
19 A. Yes. I mean the major -- the mayor, I should say, of Srebrenica,
20 et cetera.
21 Q. Did you gain the impression that the Serb negotiators were willing
22 to open up trade and to make use of the experience they had from Gorazde?
23 A. Yes. Moreover, as far as I recollect, it was on the initiative of
24 the Serb side.
25 Q. Thank you. I will simply try to clarify some points now from your
1 testimony. You mentioned the Main Staff several times. You said that
2 there was a Main Staff at Pale, that he belonged to. When you say "at
3 Pale," are you referring to the staff representing the political
4 leadership, that is, Radovan Karadzic, as president of the staff, or the
5 military that were part of the Main Staff? Or to put it differently, the
6 man we are speaking about, who did he represent? Jankovic, Acamovic, were
7 these leaders from Pale or from the Main Staff of the army of Republika
9 A. The last part. I meant the military staff, highest level within
10 the BSA.
11 Q. Have you heard about a place called Han Pijesak, and do you know
13 A. I heard it. I recognise it. But I can't connect it to an event.
14 Sorry it's familiar to me --
15 Q. You can't -- can you connect it with the headquarters of the Main
16 Staff? Do you believe that the headquarters of the Main Staff was at
18 A. What that concerns: Colonel Acamovic said he came from Pale and
19 was a G-4 officer. Colonel Jankovic never told me where he came from, but
20 I suggested that he was from the same level. So I have those two in
21 connection with the location Pale.
22 Q. Very well. Today you also said that you saw the arrival of
23 General Mladic and that he had a Mercedes jeep, which was probably Dutch.
24 How did you reach this conclusion?
25 A. I saw not his arrival, but I saw this jeep pass. It had all the
1 small typically Dutch issues on it. We have a blackout lighting to drive
2 by night, et cetera, and we are in that form the only nation who has it.
3 It was on his jeep. So that's for me the possibility that it was a Dutch
5 Q. So you think, but you are not sure, that it was a jeep taken from
7 A. That's why I said probably, yeah.
8 Q. You also said today at one point that coordinating evacuation was
9 carried out at corps level and perhaps at the level of the Main Staff.
10 Referring to the people whose task it was to organise the logistics of the
11 evacuation. Is this correct?
12 A. Yeah. I said that -- I was asked for an opinion on what level it
13 should have been done in my point of view, and that's when I said: The
14 highest staff available, to prevent discussing whether the Main Staff or
15 staff is in Pale or in Han Pijesak, as you said. Anyway, that's the level
16 I meant. Probably the highest level within the BSA has to coordinate an
17 action like that, if you have to, for instance, concentrate all that
18 transport from the whole of the area. It's almost impossible for, for
19 instance, a corps who has a limited area to get it done. That was the
20 intention of my remark.
21 Q. That is precisely my point. You saw Mladic there, you saw General
22 Krstic there, you saw Jankovic and Acamovic, representatives of the Main
23 Staff, and from all this, you drew the conclusion that the level of
24 organisation had to be at corps level or at the level of the Main Staff;
25 is this correct?
1 A. The fact that I saw Mladic, I explained that before how I see
2 that. I saw a man back in Holland and asked to testimony within the
3 Krstic process I recognised as apparently being General Krstic, because at
4 the very moment I saw him, I didn't know it was General Krstic. And by
5 the fact that those two colonels told me, at least Acamovic told me that
6 he came from Pale, G-4, was for me an indication that my idea about the
7 level that had coordinated, it was correct.
8 Q. To put it simply, I am not a soldier, but please try to answer me
9 anyway. We have a Main Staff, we have a corps, who, in your view, is in
10 command at that point in time, heading this whole operation about the
11 evacuation of the population.
12 A. Well, a corps could do it when he had some - what do you call
13 it? - possibility to command in the region of another corps, and otherwise
14 it has to be a coordinated next highest staff, and that means Main Staff.
15 And probably you have to make the difference between the military
16 operation being the attack on Srebrenica and the evacuation. It is
17 possible that the attack has been led by a corps, a military corps, and
18 then the operation evacuation is coordinated on a higher level, because
19 of, well, reasons, as I gave you before.
20 Q. May I conclude, then, that the evacuation could not have been
21 organised by a brigade?
22 A. Well, what could or not could -- in my opinion, it's very unlikely
23 that a brigade organised the complete evacuation. Mind you, organise it.
24 I don't say perform it. It's something else.
25 Q. Thank you. I will now conclude with the following: From what you
1 said today, I conclude that it is correct that the Srebrenica area was not
2 demilitarised; that in the Srebrenica area, there were about four and a
3 half thousand armed members of the army of BH; that there was an area in
4 the Srebrenica protected zone that was not fully under your control; and
5 that it's possible that there were heavy weapons there; and that the
6 attack on the Srebrenica area was chronologically preceded by two events
7 that you mentioned, the burning of a village and the murder of seven
8 soldiers of the army of Republika Srpska; and that the civilian leadership
9 did not agree to opening up the flow of goods and trade between the
10 Srebrenica area and the Serb-held territory. Is this conclusion correct?
11 A. Please, one moment.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
13 MR. WAESPI: Yes. I think it's -- I'm not saying that my learned
14 counsel is misstating the facts, but it's a lot what he puts to this
15 witness at the end of his cross-examination. So if he could make this
16 compound question, put it into pieces, if he really needs it, because it
17 seems like a conclusion.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, I think a different counsel has
19 a different style. Earlier the counsel did not make such kind of sum-up,
20 because there's a danger to mischaracterise what the witness told us. So
21 I hope you could withdraw this question and that the Bench could come to
22 this kind of conclusion, when we're deliberating the evidence.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was not my
24 intention to bring the witness into a position where he says something
25 that is not correct. I was simply trying to sum up everything that has
1 already been answered. And as the transcript contains the answers to each
2 of these questions, I have no problem in withdrawing this question.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. This concludes my
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you again.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Any redirect, Mr. Waespi?
9 MR. WAESPI: Yes, only three questions, if I may.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Waespi:
12 Q. I would just like to start where my counsel left off. You said
13 that it was unlikely that the brigade would organise the whole evacuation.
14 But then you said performing is something else. What do you mean by
16 A. I already said my arguments -- I gave my arguments why I think
17 that it has to be -- the preparation has to be done by a pretty high
18 level, has to do with areas of responsibility and the possibility to give
19 orders into a direction or to an organisational element. But then again,
20 if it is organised, transport, coordination has been about the route to
21 take, a brigade can perform it, can actually execute the conclusion of the
22 preliminary preparation of the higher level. So what I mean to say that
23 corps did prepare it, but the manning of the buses and the actual process,
24 let's say, let's name it that way, can be done by a brigade, of course.
25 Q. And in fact, to conclude: It needs to be done by somebody. The
1 people who coordinate, the names mentioned - Latic [phoen], Jankovic - you
2 didn't really see these people driving vehicles, did you?
3 A. No, absolutely not.
4 Q. The second issue, the humanitarian crisis, you gave -- in fact,
5 you were asked by Mr. Karnavas whether you agreed with his
6 characterisation of a humanitarian crisis, and in fact you gave a number
7 of instances, the suicides and hygienic situation and so on. Then you
8 said that people voluntarily boarded the buses because, as you put it,
9 they had no alternative, given the situation. Clarify, please: Who was
10 responsible for these humanitarian crises? Who caused it?
11 A. It was caused, in fact, by the Serbs. The situation was not too
12 nice in the enclave before the attack. That's quite clear. But we could
13 cope with it. And after the attack, that situation increased
14 significantly. Because bringing together so many people in this weather,
15 it was about 35 degrees centigrade, and the food and medical situation
16 known by the Serbs, they knew exactly what our logistics situation was.
17 Yeah, well, then it's quite clear: Caused by the Serbs, first by the
18 attack; secondly, what we call convoy terror. In fact, they controlled
19 exactly what anybody, UNHCR or the UN brought in the enclave. We had to
20 ask permission and report very detailed what was in trucks coming into the
22 Q. And my last question: You were asked about your complaints in
23 relation to - you just mentioned it - convoy terror. You raised these
24 complaints with Colonel Jankovic, and he said, according to you, and I
25 quote you: "We are doing our best, but I can't control," I think you
1 said," all militia, et cetera." Now, did you buy this explanation from
2 Jankovic that he wasn't -- he couldn't control these people?
3 A. No, but the discussion was not relevant because he said -- the
4 fact was that he couldn't control and he said that he would do his utmost
5 to get the equipment back, and that's the end of it, I can say, and do it
6 better, but ...
7 Q. So did you believe he could do better, in your opinion?
8 A. I think if they absolutely wanted, they could have arranged it and
9 organised it, at least the most of our equipment we could become back.
10 But it was obviously not an issue or it was not in the interests to give
11 it back.
12 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 Any questions by the Judges? Judge Vassylenko.
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you.
17 Lieutenant Colonel, was the DutchBat personnel in position to
18 escort the convoys with the refugees?
19 A. Well, Your Honour, we tried, but it proved to be that we were not
20 in the position. As I stated, We were stopped and robbed, et cetera,
21 with all different kind of reasons. So when I lost about 16 vehicles and
22 a hell of a lot of men - at least, I did not have the position of
23 them - we had to stop, because I was out of small vehicles, et cetera. It
24 was practically not possible any more, not seeing the fact that the
25 quality of the escort was minimal.
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you know where the refugees have been taken
3 A. The refugees we knew, because our first convoys -- the first
4 convoys had been escorted, and I got reports from the escorts where they
5 were taken to. Then I found out that they had to dismount quite far from
6 the confrontation line, and I was informed about the route they had to
7 take through the confrontation line into BiH territory.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what happened to the refugees?
9 A. When they arrived in their, so to say, own area, they were brought
10 to Tuzla and they were brought into a huge camp with tents.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You stated that you have contacted Mr. Momir
12 Nikolic. What was the role of Momir Nikolic in the events in and around
13 Srebrenica in July 1995?
14 A. He was the acting liaison, so all questions or remarks or
15 complaints I had in the direction or concerning the Serbs, and especially
16 the Bosnian Serb army, I had to communicate that through him. Formally,
17 it was Colonel Vukovic, but he was not around, suddenly available.
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Have you ever contacted Mr. Vidoje Blagojevic,
19 Dragan Jokic, and Dragan Obrenovic?
20 A. Sorry. I'm looking for the last name, sir.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Dragan Obrenovic.
22 A. Not as far as I know, sir. The name doesn't call a face, et
23 cetera, for me.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You said that you have read the book
25 "Srebrenica: Who Cares?" written by Colonel Karremans. What is your
1 assessment of this book?
2 A. I wouldn't have written it in this style, sir, but the actual
3 facts, et cetera, are facts as mentioned in that book. I hope that is an
4 answer, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Any questions out of Judge's question? Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: No, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Mr. Karnavas?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Mr. Stojanovic?
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. At this stage, are there any
16 documents to tender? On the Prosecution side?
17 MR. WAESPI: Yes, there are, Mr. President. And looking at the
18 list which was, I believe, given to the court deputy, it's P75, P76, P77,
19 P78, P79, and P80. All the other exhibits were tendered by previous
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
22 Are there any objections? Mr. Karnavas?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: None, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
25 Mr. Stojanovic?
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Those documents are admitted
3 into evidence.
4 Are there any documents on the Defence side that they would like
5 to tender through this witness?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to give your
11 evidence. I think we benefitted a lot from your testimony. The usher
12 will show you out of the room. We wish you good luck.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: You may go now.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, as I said, that according to our original plan,
17 we'll hear next witness on Wednesday morning, unless, unless, there is a
18 further notice. So the -- yes, Mr. Karnavas. Yes.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Does that mean that the further notice could be
20 ready for tomorrow?
21 JUDGE LIU: I don't know. I hope so. I'm not predicting, you
22 know, what kind of notice it is. But I --
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I guess my question was, Your Honour --
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: -- is there a possibility that we would have a
1 session tomorrow, or is it the earliest would be on Wednesday?
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think tomorrow will be free.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. That's all I wanted.
4 JUDGE LIU: Okay. Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE LIU: So the hearing is adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
9 September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.