1 Friday, 25 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, good morning, Witness.
10 THE WITNESS: Good morning. Good morning, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest?
12 THE WITNESS: Yeah. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE LIU: Did you watch the soccer game yesterday?
14 THE WITNESS: I did, indeed. A good game.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's okay. And we'll let you enjoy the soccer
16 game during the weekend. Are you ready to start?
17 THE WITNESS: I'm ready to start, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Karnavas.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning Judge
21 Vassylenko. Good morning, Mr. Karremans.
22 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
23 WITNESS: THOMAS KARREMANS [Resumed]
24 Examined by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
25 Q. I just want to go back and touch on a few points from yesterday.
1 Before testifying at the 61, the Rule 61 hearing back in 1996, you gave a
2 statement to the Office of the Prosecution in 1995; is that correct?
3 A. [Interpretation] I don't remember. During the period after I
4 returned to Zagreb until the first time I appeared here, I delivered
5 several testimonies. There were so many that I have forgotten the
7 Q. All right. But I have a statement here taken 28 September 1995,
8 and you were questioned by a Mr. Mark Harmon, who is currently working and
9 was working back then with the Office of the Prosecution. Does that
10 refresh your memory?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that gentleman was the same gentleman that in fact questioned
13 you during the Rule 61 hearing; is that correct?
14 A. That's also correct.
15 Q. Now, before testifying at that hearing, did you meet with
16 Mr. Harmon so he could prepare you for your testimony?
17 A. No. The meeting took place at Assen in September, as far as I
18 remember, in September 1995, and I was here sometime in August 1996.
19 Q. But I'm speaking about the time that you testified here in
20 The Hague, in other words, before he put you on the stand and asked you
21 questions --
22 A. No. Not that I remember. It was all so swift that the day of
23 delay from New York. I think that no prior meeting took place with
24 Mr. Harmon.
25 Q. Okay. Now, before coming here to testify for the Defence, the
1 Defence asked you to come at least one day before so they could go over
2 all of the documents and to go over the testimony; is that correct?
3 A. It could be.
4 Q. Well, it's not that it could be. My colleague here, Mr.
5 Aleksander Mominov, called you on several occasions. In fact, I have a
6 phone bill that looks more like a king's ransom, where he's discussed over
7 and over you coming here in advance so we could go over all of the
8 documents with you so you'd be prepared, and you would know exactly what
9 sort of questions we would be asking you. Isn't that a fact?
10 A. I don't know where you want to go. But if you want to pay a
11 ransom, I don't mind. When I see the pile of documents that were
12 presented here yesterday, then I think I could have come two days in
14 Q. Well, we tried to ask you to come two days in advance, then we
15 went to one day, and then we asked you to come, in fact, on the first
16 flight. Isn't that a fact, sir?
17 A. Yes. For personal reasons, I came later. I could also have been
18 on holidays in Brazil for three months, if you see what I mean.
19 Q. Exactly. Now, when you did come and we did meet for approximately
20 30 minutes or so, I did ask whether you could at least spare us one hour,
21 did I not, so I could go over in detail what we had planned to show you
22 and question you about. Do you recall that?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And you said that you were meeting with your lawyers, and
25 therefore you had no time; right?
1 A. I had an appointment at 6.00.
2 Q. Exactly. And then I suggested that after your appointment, I
3 would be available throughout the entire night and that you had our phone
4 numbers so you could contact us so we could go over all of these documents
5 for you, so you would be well prepared to take -- to testify; isn't that
7 A. I was given telephone numbers.
8 Q. But you were also given the option to come and meet with the
9 Defence to go over the documents and in fact show you even the video;
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
12 MR. WAESPI: Objection. Relevancy.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: The relevancy, Your Honour, was yesterday raised by
14 both Prosecutors. They both stood up on different occasions, both saying
15 that I was not -- I was presenting documents not shown to the gentleman.
16 I'm now trying to show that the gentleman was given an opportunity and
17 chose not to avail himself, and therefore I cannot be held responsible for
18 him not knowing what documents I'm showing him. Because there was an
19 allegation, an allegation - I'm going to put it in those strong terms -
20 that somehow I was being unfair, and I want to show that perhaps there
21 were other reasons --
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, well, Mr. Karnavas. We come back again,
23 you know. Yes. I -- in this objection, I agree with Prosecution, you
24 know. We don't think there's any relevance to this issue. I believe that
25 you're diligent and you did your best to prepare this witness. There's no
1 doubts, at least from the point of the Bench.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE LIU: Please move on.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. If I may ask just one last question, though.
5 Q. After meeting with your lawyers did you watch the football game?
6 The Dutch were playing that night.
7 JUDGE LIU: Is that relevant?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: It is relevant because it goes to his choice,
9 whether football versus preparation.
10 JUDGE LIU: As for the details of the proofing session, I think
11 it's a matter between you and your witness. I don't think is that
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Please move on.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, and I don't want to -- I will be moving on.
16 Yesterday there was some sort of a discussion as to whether this was cross
17 or direct. In my opinion, it was sort of a soft -- an in-between, a
18 hybrid, but there was a reason, and that's why we asked for the Court's
19 indulgence, and we did get some indulgence from the Prosecution, and I
20 want to thank them for that and I expect some of that indulgence to be
21 carried over on to today.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, yesterday was yesterday. It has --
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I just said, I expect.
24 JUDGE LIU: Don't bear that in mind.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: We have Mr. McCloskey standing up. There's no need
1 for Mr. McCloskey to stand up.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: We do understand the position Mr. Karnavas is in
4 with Colonel Karremans, and we respect that, and we know Colonel Karremans
5 can defend himself and answer questions. So we are certainly doing that.
6 But coming at him like this about soccer matches and bringing out
7 attorneys, this is designed perhaps to inflame the witness. We have a
8 long day with this witness. He will need his patience and his energy to
9 deal with questions.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, Your Honour --
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: But to go over him in a personal way like this, in
12 the morning --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: This is for the press. This is for the press.
14 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: It is.
16 JUDGE LIU: I hope both parties please sit down.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: This is --
18 JUDGE LIU: Please sit down.
19 Well, I'm very sorry, you know, that I mentioned the soccer game
20 first because I want to have this witness relaxed, you know. Sometimes,
21 you know, after a long day's sitting, you have to relax. But I don't
22 think it's proper for the parties, in front of the witness, to argue with
23 each other. It is indeed that we have a very long day and the registrar
24 has done his best to arrange all the facilities for us. We have the
25 morning session in the Courtroom I, but in the afternoon we have to move
1 to Courtroom III. But anyway, we have to finish the testimony of this
2 witness today.
3 Mr. Karnavas promised us that today there are a lot of specific
4 and substantial issues he would like to brought up to this witness. So
5 let's concentrate on our business today and try to finish the testimony of
6 this witness as soon as possible. So from now on, I hope both parties
7 should refrain themselves from mentioning the other party and concentrate
8 on the case in front of us.
9 Mr. Karnavas.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE LIU: Please move on.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Karremans, I want to show you a film from 1995, July 11th, the
14 first film, only a portion of it. We have it all cued up. I think it's
15 very relevant. I think it's about six minutes long. That's the only film
16 that we will be watching, and I have some questions to ask you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: With the Court's indulgence, if I could be seated,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. If you are not going to ask any
21 MR. KARNAVAS: We're going to watch the whole part and we won't
22 have to watch it again and then I'll ...
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, please.
24 [Videotape played]
25 "Colonel KARREMANS: ... we collected those weapons.
1 General MLADIC: What do you want?
2 The Interpreter: I've been asked for the meeting ... I had a talk
3 with General Nicolai two hours ago, and also with the national authorities
4 about the request on behalf of the population. It's a request because I'm
5 not in a position to demand anything. We -- the Command in Sarajevo has
6 said that the enclave has been lost and that I've been ordered by BH
7 Command to take care of all the refugees and are now approximately 10.000
8 women and children within the compound of Potocari, and the request of the
9 BH Command is to -- let's say, to negotiate or ask for the withdrawal of
10 the battalion and withdrawal of those refugees, and if there are
11 possibilities to assist that withdrawal. There are some women who are able
12 to speak English. And what I've heard from all the soldiers who are now
13 working to, let's say, to ease the pain for the population. A lot of
14 people, a lot of persons, women, said: "We are waiting for the bus. Then
15 we leave the enclave." Because they are sick, they are tired, they are
16 very scared. And I've been asked by General Nicolai, asked for, let's
17 say, for a kind of humanitarian support, like food and medicines. Because
18 even in my battalion, I don't have fuel, almost nothing, fuel left,
19 because of the rejection of all the clearances of the last four months.
20 We have been situated in a very poor situation the last four months.
21 That's why I was not able to do the military job. That's why I put most
22 of my efforts in assisting, assisting the military --
23 Colonel KARREMANS: Yeah, I normally do smoke, sir. Normally I do
24 smoke. But I smoked so much the last days [Inaudible].
25 The Interpreter: That is concerning the observation post, the OP.
1 Colonel KARREMANS: That's a personal remark. That I'd like to
2 thank the Bosnian Serb military for treating my soldiers well.
3 General MLADIC: No need for that, thanks. They are here, in the
4 hotel. If you keep bombing they won't be hosts for a long time. We can
5 bomb also [Inaudible] and how do you see the result, the resolution of the
6 situation here?
7 Colonel KARREMANS: If I may say something about it, it's not
8 the -- maybe not the same as what they will say in Sarajevo. In my
9 opinion, the enclave will be ended, and that for the sake of the
10 population and not for the sake of the BiH, I should assist the population
11 as much as possible, get out of the enclave to I don't know where they
12 like to go. I think that most of them would like to go to Tuzla, I had
13 been there once three months ago. And in my opinion, they have a better
14 way of living than what I've seen in the enclave. They are living in a
15 very miserable - how do you call it? - way, with the very small means I
16 had within the battalion, medicines and food, we have assisted those
17 people as much as I can. That's one of my tasks, also as a human.
18 The Interpreter: You have assisted them more than you needed to.
19 Colonel KARREMANS: I'm there for assisting the civil population,
20 not the military side.
21 The Interpreter: You are all here to help the Muslims and the
22 Croats, especially that guy of yours, van den Broek. He is one of those
23 who destroyed our dream and our joint state [Inaudible]."
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you for that, and normally I would show the
25 entire film so as to make sure that there's no implication that we're
1 trying to hide anything. I think we've seen the appropriate portion.
2 Q. Mr. Karremans, does that refresh your memory of the events back on
3 that day?
4 A. I've seen it.
5 Q. Now, General Mladic asked you at one point: What do you want?
6 You asked for the meeting.
7 Could you please tell us whether you did in fact ask for a
8 meeting, that it was you that initiated this.
9 A. Prior to the definitive reception of a fax from Sarajevo, from
10 General Nicolai, I talked to him verbally and I was requested to get in
11 touch as soon as possible with Bratunac. That was possible, because the
12 interpreter in Bratunac, Mr. Petar, was in touch with the battalion. I
13 asked him to organise a meeting in order to discuss a number of points
14 which I was requested to discuss, and secondly, to discuss the situation
15 in and around the compound and to ask for humanitarian support, that is,
16 as you have seen in the film, particularly food and medicines.
17 Q. All right. Now, just to make sure: It was General -- you had a
18 conversation with General Nicolai prior to this meeting, at which point
19 he --
20 A. [In English] No.
21 Q. Okay. And then he was the one that ordered you or suggested to
22 you, but I take it that generals give orders, to meet with the VRS, and
23 as -- now, the answer is no. Was it a yes or a no that you had a
24 conversation with General Nicolai and he ordered you to have a meeting?
25 Because the screen says "no."
1 A. [Interpretation] I had a meeting prior -- my first meeting in
2 Bratunac, various meetings have taken place, various talks.
3 Q. Sir, I don't want to interrupt you. I'm talking about prior to
4 Bratunac. I'm talking about before going and meeting with General Mladic,
5 did you have any contact with your higher-ups? Is that what you were
6 referring earlier when you mentioned General Nicolai?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. And what were the marching orders that General Nicolai gave
9 you? What did he order you to do? Because generals give orders. I'm not
10 interested in your book, sir. What orders did General Nicolai give you?
11 You're under oath. You need to testify.
12 A. I would be interested in my book because it describes exactly what
13 orders I got and what requests were made. And don't blame me if I don't
14 remember all of that by heart. I would prefer to take the text and read
15 it out to you slowly.
16 Q. All right. Well, before we get to the text, I just want to get
17 the general gist of this. It was based on your conversations with General
18 Nicolai that you then organised a meeting in Bratunac; correct?
19 A. No. I did not organise a meeting in Bratunac. I put it down
20 through the interpreter, the man is called Petar, to see if we could come
21 to a conversation.
22 Q. Okay. And who did you ask Petar to contact as your counterpart?
23 A. In section 5, in the main building, we had the means of
24 communication whereby we could get in touch with this interpreter, and it
25 was section 5 whom we asked to try and get in touch and try to set up a
1 meeting or a conversation. There was another possibility, but I'm not
2 sure if we used that. We had a number of vehicles present in Bratunac
3 which had been seized, to put it mildly, seized the days before that. And
4 in these vehicles, means of communication are present, and we were in
5 touch with a number of people when, when needed, in order to be able to
6 communicate in that way as well.
7 Q. Mr. Karremans, I think we could get through this rather quickly if
8 you'd just answer my questions. My earlier question was: Who were you
9 asking Petar to contact? Because obviously he was only an interpreter.
10 So who were you asking to meet with? That's all. Simple question.
11 A. [In English] Section 5.
12 Q. Who is section 5?
13 A. [Interpretation] Section 5 consists of a number of people, and to
14 make -- not -- to avoid making the answer too long, section 5 is
15 sufficient to me. It could have been someone from section 5, either
16 Mr. Boering, who I understand has been here already, or the general major
17 you have also seen on the film.
18 Q. Obviously there's a miscommunication. You indicated that with
19 Petar, who was the interpreter and had contacts in Bratunac, you were
20 asking him to see if a meeting could be arranged so you could meet with
21 Serb officers. Do I have that right?
22 A. Petar was the interpreter on the Bosnian Serb side.
23 Q. Okay. With whom did you ask Petar to meet?
24 A. I just explained. Someone from section 5. That's either Major
25 Boering or the sergeant-major you just saw in the film. You should not
1 ask me now who arranged that. One of the people of section 5.
2 Q. All right. Mr. Karremans, I'm not asking you who arranged the
3 meeting. You were a lieutenant colonel. You were the commanding officer.
4 You had the responsibility of the people, as well as the life of your own
5 soldiers. So you were the highest-ranking officer. Obviously, you wanted
6 to meet with somebody on the other side if General Nicolai had asked you
7 to negotiate. So my question to you is: With whom were you asking to
8 negotiate? Was it Karadzic? Was it Mladic? Who was it?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: I think a proper question would be just to ask
11 Mr. Karremans --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I object, Your Honour, to the coaching of the
13 witness through this --
14 MR. WAESPI: No. I'm trying to be --
15 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman --
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, well.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour --
18 JUDGE LIU: We have to be easy, easy, easy. We come back again.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the gentleman --
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, if both parties are not at ease this morning,
21 we'll stop.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, I believe I'm entitled to do my
23 questioning. The gentleman did indicate that he did not understand the
25 JUDGE LIU: I don't think so, Mr. Karnavas. I think the
1 gentleman, the witness, has already answered your question. You know, I
2 think you have to have a follow-up question. Because, you know, are you
3 expecting to meet Mr. Mladic, you know, in the Fontana Hotel? How did he
4 turn up, you know. Certain things. Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll go around it.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll go around it.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Take it easy.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Mr. Karremans, did you know General Mladic at that point in time?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you get a briefing before you left the Netherlands as to who
13 General Mladic was?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you ask to meet with General Mladic on that day?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Who did you ask to meet with?
18 A. Standard procedure under these conditions is to contact the
19 commanding officer of the party involved in the conflict, whoever that may
20 be. I don't really care with the commanding officer as I am of DutchBat,
21 they also had a commanding officer, whether it was General Mladic or
22 Ivanovic or whomever. The commanding officer. Why? To do business.
23 Q. Okay. So just to be clear: You asked to meet with the commanding
24 officer; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, you had been in that area for close to six months. Did you
2 know who the commanding officer was that you were expecting to meet?
3 A. I expected to meet General Zivanovic, commander of the Drina
5 Q. Did you specifically ask to meet with General Zivanovic or did you
6 just say the commanding officer? Which of the two?
7 A. No, I did not ask, but I did expect.
8 Q. All right. Now, did you know -- did you know General Zivanovic?
9 A. No, I did not meet him previously. Upon the transfer in January,
10 I received some information about him from my predecessor, but there was
11 never any time or opportunity to meet him.
12 Q. That entire time that you were there when this humanitarian crisis
13 was going on, as you indicated, inside the enclave, you never requested to
14 meet with General Zivanovic, the commanding officer?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Is there a reason why you didn't ask to meet with General
17 Zivanovic either before or at the commencement or during the activities
18 regarding Srebrenica?
19 A. No time is not the right answer, but no time.
20 Q. You didn't have the time to place a call to Petar, as you did that
21 afternoon, to meet with the commanding officer, is that what you're
22 suggesting, during that six-month period?
23 A. No time and no opportunity.
24 Q. All right. So it wasn't that you were not instructed; you had
25 orders not to make contact with the commanding officer in the area, but it
1 was that you had no time or no opportunity?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Okay. Now, could you please tell us what you had heard about
4 General Zivanovic.
5 A. Very briefly, that it's the commander is a straightforward person.
6 We would call that Burgundian, boorish type in Holland, a big person that
7 would be good for doing business with.
8 Q. Okay. And I take it you -- when you went to Bratunac, you were
9 rather taken aback by the manner -- the person that you did ultimately
10 meet and started doing business with?
11 A. After six days of war and three months of not having left the
12 area, we entered a hotel and expected to speak to the commanding officer.
13 I did not expect somebody I'd never seen before in my life. I expected at
14 least to see General Mladic there. So I was expected.
15 Q. All right. Now, when the gentleman began speaking to you, did you
16 ask for him to identify himself or did you recognise immediately that this
17 in fact was General Mladic, the highest commanding officer of the VRS
19 A. I wanted to set something straight. He didn't start talking. He
20 started screaming. And second, I didn't realise it was General Mladic.
21 Q. And it's your testimony that he started screaming before any small
22 talk? We see that on the video.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. All right. And at some point, did you realise that this
25 was General Mladic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. At what point?
3 A. Right from the start.
4 Q. Okay. Now, at some point in the video, you do say that you talk
5 with -- you had a talk with General Nicolai, and I believe you said, and
6 it's on the video, some time earlier. Could you please tell us: How much
7 time had elapsed from the time you had spoken with General Nicolai and the
8 time that you met General Mladic at the Hotel Fontana?
9 A. Not very late. I'd have to check my book about the times. I had
10 a conversation with the Dutch authorities that same day, with another
11 section, before I went to this meeting.
12 Q. All right. Now, you say you need to check your book. Are the
13 times and the periods in that book based on a personal diary that you kept
14 in the field, sir?
15 A. This one.
16 Q. Okay. This one. Okay. By the way, did you ever make that
17 available to the Office of the Prosecution?
18 A. [In English] No.
19 Q. Did they ever ask you? I mean, this would be pro forma for
20 somebody doing an investigation to ask those questions. Were they ever
21 asked -- did they ever you whether you kept a personal diary?
22 A. [Interpretation] I was asked.
23 Q. Oh, okay. And what, pray tell, was the answer you gave them?
24 A. A diary is personal.
25 Q. Okay. So, in other words, you told them that you had a diary, but
1 you were not going to make it available to them?
2 A. "Diary" is not the word I used. I might be mistaken about the
3 words. But it's a book of notes about all my discussions and meetings and
4 what I saw and what I heard.
5 Q. Okay. Now, I take it -- go ahead.
6 A. May I tell you about the conversation with General Nicolai? It
7 was at 1755 hours.
8 Q. 1755. Thank you. Now, I take it you will be making that diary
9 available to us in the event the Trial Chamber were to order you to do so.
10 A. No.
11 Q. And may I ask why not?
12 A. Again, I just said, this is a personal item.
13 Q. Well, what if you were to take out the personal items, notes to
14 yourself that are personal in nature versus notes that are relevant as to
15 what happened minute by minute during those critical days?
16 A. My personal opinion is that the notes in these notebooks - and
17 there are six of them - that they're personal and that I have -- that I'm
18 not required to disclose them. Aside from whether they're personal notes
19 or times there were matters about staff, their remarks that are nobody
20 else's business. If I remove all of those, then I might as well throw out
21 what's left.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. May I add something?
24 Q. All right. Go ahead. Add. Because I --
25 A. [In English] One sentence. [Interpretation] I used these
1 notebooks, plus a few other documents, to write my book.
2 Q. Okay. That's good to know. Did you by any chance make copies of
3 your diaries and provide them to the parliament or to the NIOD?
4 A. [In English] No.
5 Q. Were they asked?
6 A. [Interpretation] No. To nobody.
7 Q. Did they ask you?
8 A. Several cases, I was asked whether they could see them or might
9 copy certain parts or copy everything, and to this day I have always said
11 Q. All right. And I take it -- what about the Ministry of Defence?
12 Did they by any chance ask you to provide -- for you to provide them with
13 copies of your notes?
14 A. The Ministry of Defence is -- has no bearing on this. It was a UN
15 operation and not an operation under one country, such as the Netherlands.
16 I understand where you're headed. The Ministry of Defence conducted
17 investigations as well, but each time I mentioned that I have six of these
19 Q. Okay. But since this is a UN Tribunal and you were on a UN
20 mission, then it would appear that those notes would be relevant, not --
21 well, one, relevant, and two, discloseable, since, as you indicated, this
22 was a UN mission. So if the UN Tribunal were to ask you for your notes
23 that you took based on this UN mission, would you provide them, provide us
24 with those notes?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. WAESPI: I think these are now irrelevant issues about whether
2 UN Tribunal and mission. I don't think that's relevant to this issue,
3 although I think the issue itself is relevant, but not this question.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, let me ask some questions to this witness.
5 Witness --
6 THE WITNESS: [In English] Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: I understand that you told us that the book you wrote
8 was based somehow on the diaries and the other materials.
9 THE WITNESS: [In English] Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: And to what extent? I mean, how detailed this book?
11 It's about what happened during that critical period. I mean, for
12 instance, did you mention the time, like 1755, you know, that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you've ever seen my book, there
14 are several annexes at the back which are consistently numbered, TK, those
15 are my initials, and then a number. Most of these annexes include times
16 and time frames. But in the course of the book, there are also some times
17 that are relevant as for when certain services were requested and when
18 they -- when air support was requested and when that was delivered.
19 The second part of the answer is that you can't focus too much on
20 times in a book because it will make the book less readable. But
21 everything in -- everything that's relevant in these notebooks can also be
22 found in my book.
23 JUDGE LIU: I thank you. And are there any English translation
24 for your book?
25 THE WITNESS: [In English] No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much.
4 Q. All right. Well, let's move on. I'll try to figure out what to
5 do about these notes at some point. But just to let you know, I will be
6 making a formal request, Mr. Karremans, so you can think about what you
7 want to -- how you want to respond on that.
8 Now, getting back to what we saw on the video: You say on the
9 video that: "I had a talk with General Nicolai two hours and also with
10 the national authorities about the request on behalf of the population."
11 Now, if, according to your notes that you have there, you spoke
12 with General Nicolai on 1755, then now we're talking about, what, 1955?
13 So that would be around, what, 8.00, 8.00 p.m., that you actually meet
14 with -- when you met with General Mladic?
15 A. [In English] Yes, about.
16 Q. Okay. Now, turn that --
17 A. [Interpretation] It's also in my notebook what time it was.
18 Because it concerns displacement to Bratunac and passing OP Papa, which
19 was one of our observation posts, and passing what we called OP Jovo, that
20 was mentioned yesterday, and various security measures that were required
21 en route. So I'm not sure exactly what the time of arrival was, but it's
22 indicated in my book what time we arrived and what time we started the
24 Q. Well, if you want to look at your book.
25 A. [In English] Yes. [Interpretation] Around 9.00.
1 Q. Around 9.00.
2 A. [In English] 9.00.
3 Q. Okay.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. KARNAVAS:
6 Q. 9.00. So if you spoke with General Nicolai around 1755, that
7 would be, what, 6.00. We're talking about three hours in between; right?
8 A. [Interpretation] That's right.
9 Q. Okay. Now, obviously it would have taken you some time to go from
10 where you were located, go through the checkpoints and go to Bratunac.
11 But could you please tell us: During that period of two hours plus, after
12 speaking with General Nicolai, what did you do?
13 A. I think any normal person would do: Eat. Perhaps I did something
14 else. I spoke with the Dutch authorities, if I remember, by telephone. I
15 believe that I spoke by phone to the sector north-east, Colonel Brantz,
16 and another very normal thing is to have a staff meeting, which usually
17 took place at fixed times to hear from the staff officers everything that
18 had been going on. There may have been conversations with the commander
19 of the CARE company about the care of my own men and about humanitarian
20 aid. I may have checked the bandaging unit to visit the wounded.
21 Basically there's too much to mention in detail during a short period.
22 There may be ten other things that happened during that relatively brief
24 Q. All right. And is there anything in your notes that you brought
25 with us that is noteworthy, other than what you've mentioned, if you want
1 to refer to it?
2 A. [In English] No.
3 Q. May I ask, are there any entries between General Nicolai and
4 meeting at Hotel Fontana that's based upon?
5 A. [Interpretation] Yes. In my book, you'll find a brief description
6 of what I just talked about. There are only highlights. Please
7 understand that people -- readers get bored if you write that you used the
8 rest room in between. So my book provides highlights to give a good
9 summary of several events.
10 Q. Right. I wasn't asking about your book. I was asking about that
11 little notebook. Since we're not going to see it, maybe you can share the
12 relevant information?
13 A. [In English] No.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. [In English] No.
16 Q. All right. Now, I want to go -- we will touch upon all of these
17 folks that you -- all of these different meetings that you think you might
18 have had. But when you make reference here on the tape with the national
19 authorities, could you please tell us, who are the national authorities?
20 Which authorities are you referring to that we saw in the video?
21 A. [Interpretation] When I say "the national authorities," I mean the
22 KL Crisis Staff representative. KL stands for Royal Air Force, another
23 person would be somebody representing foreign affairs, or somebody
24 representing the Ministry of Defence.
25 Q. Okay. So that would be the Dutch government?
1 A. [In English] Yes.
2 Q. Did you have any contacts with the national authorities either --
3 or at the local -- yes, the national authorities of the BiH, in other
4 words, contact somebody in Sarajevo, Izetbegovic, Silajdzic?
5 A. [Interpretation] No, not personally. But one of the interpreters
6 in the battalion tried on various occasions to contact Sarajevo.
7 Q. To contact -- who exactly were they at that trying to contact, was
8 he trying to contact?
9 A. I don't know who. He tried to contact Sarajevo.
10 Q. Okay. Was that at his -- at his own initiative or was that on an
11 order given to you -- given by you?
12 A. His own initiative, perhaps requested by Major Franken, but I
13 doubt that, because I was responsible for external communication. And he
14 probably did so at his own initiative.
15 Q. All right. So I just want to make sure. There's an interpreter
16 working for DutchBat and on his own initiative he's trying to contact the
17 BiH authorities? Would that not be something that you, as the commander,
18 would be responsible for doing?
19 A. Under those circumstances, things are possible that are not
20 standard procedure or usual. Connections were poor. At first he didn't
21 even get through. And my connections with sector north-east and Sarajevo
22 were not always good either.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. Quite possibly, but that's something that I forget about, it's
25 possible that Sarajevo -- rather, BH command General Nicolai asked me to
1 get in touch with Bosnian authorities in Sarajevo. But going back nine
2 years in my memory, it does not seem to be right, because it was easier
3 for the headquarters in Sarajevo to contact the government in Sarajevo
4 than to have this done through the battalion.
5 Q. Okay. In your notes that you have with us, do you have any
6 notations whether General Nicolai had indicated with whom he had
7 communicated prior to his communication with you?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did he say whether he had been given any orders or instructions?
10 A. No.
11 Q. All right. Now, I just want to be crystal clear on this: What
12 exactly did General Nicolai tell you to do, or ordered you to do?
13 A. I already answered that. You'll find that in one of the annexes
14 to my book, and those annexes are based on my notes in this booklet. So
15 it's crystal clear what was asked at the time and what was confirmed later
16 on with the facts.
17 Q. All right. So does that mean that you're not going to tell us
18 you're under oath? Because your book is not under oath; you are.
19 A. [In English] Just a moment, please.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Okay. [Interpretation] Annex 35 in my book covers the report of
22 the meeting on 11 -- the meetings on 11 and 12 July.
23 Q. Okay. I'm asking about General Nicolai.
24 A. As I stated earlier, General Nicolai called me at five to 6.00 and
25 gave me several oral assignments -- [In English] [Previous translation
1 continues]... report. [Interpretation] Told me that withdrawing the
2 battalion was in study, under consideration. He asked me to arrange a
3 cease-fire as quickly as possible, which is a cease-fire. And in my
4 response was to briefly describe the situation to him at that time where
5 we were, because he asked me for that.
6 Item 2 in Annex 35 -- [In English] HQ UNPROFOR Sarajevo to enter
7 into local negotiations with BSA forces for immediate cease-fire.
8 [Interpretation] Those would be local negotiations. [In English] I had
9 two meetings with General Mladic. And appendix is [Interpretation] this
10 is Appendix 34.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, in the -- going back to the video, you
12 told General Mladic that you had consulted with the Dutch authorities, or
13 you said national authorities. Now we know it's the -- this crisis group
14 or staff of the Dutch authorities. What instructions had they given you?
15 A. None. They were not capable of giving instructions. That is done
16 via the hierarchical lines, that is, Zagreb-Sarajevo-Tuzla-Srebrenica.
17 Q. With whom did you speak?
18 A. You asked that question before. I don't remember who I talked to.
19 There have been so many conversations. I don't remember who I talked to
20 after Crisis Staff or somebody from foreign affairs or someone from the
21 Ministry of Defence. I only know that a conversation took place.
22 Q. All right. And there's nothing in your notes that would say a
23 name or an initial?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Who initiated this conversation? Was it you calling them, asking
1 for someone; or they calling you?
2 A. They called me. And in some cases, the conversations took place
3 via sector north-east commander Brantz, who said I have talked to -- this
4 is an example, "I talked to the Minister of Defence and he should like to
5 talk to you at 1800 hours," and then a communication was made and then I
6 talked to the Minister of Defence. Or, "I have talked to the commander of
7 the army and he wants to talk to you at 1700 hours." And then
8 communication was made at 1700 hours and then the conversation took place.
9 That is how the conversations took place at the national level.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Karremans. And could you please tell us: Since
11 they initiated a conversation, obviously they must have wanted to convey
12 some kind of a message to you. Perhaps they just wanted to check in on
13 you. But do you recall what was discussed?
14 A. No, not really. But I know that nearly all conversations that
15 took place during that period with the Netherlands - and I'm referring to
16 the Minister of Defence and the commander-in-chief and the commander of
17 the Crisis Staff and so on and so on - that it was always about what is
18 the situation like with the battalion, what is the situation with the
19 refugees, and what do you need, and make sure that the battalion, as
20 DutchBat 3, with the means available, that you provide assistance.
21 Q. All right. Now, you then said that you think that you had a
22 discussion with the north-east sector. That would be in Tuzla. Do you
23 recall the nature of the conversation and what, if any, orders were given
24 to you then?
25 A. The nature of the conversation was the same. As I mentioned
1 earlier, it was a brief sketch of the situation, of what the situation
2 was, and I told him that I had received oral orders, later confirmed by
3 fax, from General Nicolai, how he interpreted this or would interpret
4 this. I asked Colonel Brantz, my contact in the sector north-east, to
5 arrange talks at the much higher level than the level between commander of
6 DutchBat and the commanding officer of, say, the Bosnian Serb forces. The
7 same requests I also made directly to General Nicolai, and apart from
8 that, you know how it goes: They ask you how you're doing yourself, is
9 everything in order, and so on.
10 Q. Okay. And I don't want to go into great details, but suffice it
11 to say those requests that you made to have negotiators brought in at a
12 higher level from the UN or elsewhere never materialised, and so you had
13 to -- you were on your own, basically; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct, fully.
15 Q. Do you know why the UN wasn't interested in sending a more senior
16 negotiator at the time to assist you, in light of the situation?
17 A. I seem to remember that an attempt was made to get two colonels on
18 the way, with or without a mandate from Janvier in order to start
19 negotiations. These colonels never arrived. I raised the issue with
20 General Nicolai several times, saying that someone at the higher level
21 should start negotiations or continue the negotiations. And General
22 Nicolai himself, as Chief of Staff too, was not given approval. In short,
23 nobody came.
24 Q. All right. And just for the record, Janvier is above General
25 Nicolai, is that correct, in the hierarchy, as things go?
1 A. "Dat Kloopt."
2 Q. All right. Now, you later on in that conversation, you say
3 that -- you're there to negotiate or ask for the withdrawal of the
4 battalion and withdrawal of those refugees, if there are possibilities to
5 assist that withdrawal. Now, from that, one would think that perhaps the
6 issue of the withdrawal of the refugees might have been discussed between
7 you and General Nicolai. Could you please tell us whether that topic ever
8 came up.
9 A. Yes. The issue was discussed, and if we're talking about
10 assisting in the withdrawal, then what is meant by this is to try to keep
11 things in our own hands. And you should try to achieve a certain sequence
12 in which the withdrawal is to take place, namely, first the injured, then
13 the weak, and so on. And there is a second way of interpreting this,
14 namely, that withdrawal should not be discussed at all, but you should
15 stay where you are. And there is a third possibility: Leave it to the
16 people. But that was impossible because I had to face 20.000 to 25.000
17 refugees in and around the compound. So, in brief, consideration the
18 humanitarian situation, something had to be done.
19 Q. All right. And but now if I could go back to the transcript of
20 the video, as we saw the video, we see it starts with General Mladic
21 asking you -- the clip, of course, that I showed you: "What do you want?
22 You asked for the meeting." You talk about that you had talked to General
23 Nicolai. But then it would appear that you're suggesting to him or
24 informing him that you want to negotiate for the withdrawal of those
25 refugees. So Mladic being the listener and not privy to your
1 conversations with General Nicolai, would he not get the impression that
2 you were there seeking to withdraw all of the refugees that were in
4 A. No. That is a matter of interpretation and playing with words. It
5 was the first brief meeting, at which my -- I made the suggestion to talk
6 at least about what should be done with these 20.000 to 25.000 refugees
7 which I had on and around the compound, considering the humanitarian
8 situation. Should we leave them there? Should we let them starve?
9 Because I had no more food. Or should we send them back to the town of
10 Srebrenica, to the shelter project, which was impossible? Or should they
11 be moved somewhere, as they wanted themselves? In brief, it was a
12 consideration of possibilities, and in my opinion, this should come out
13 during a conversation. That is also why I wanted to have talks at a much
14 higher level.
15 Q. All right. But I'm speaking specifically of your conversations
16 with General Mladic. And the video, unless it's a montage, an issue that
17 is not an issue in this case -- did you see any of that, where you're
18 suggesting possibilities? That's not on the video, is it, Mr. Karremans?
19 A. No. But your thoughts are not on the video, and the circumstances
20 in which this initial meeting took place, and the way I think about it is
21 also not on the video. All sorts of things are on your mind, especially
22 when you face General Mladic for the first time, and you try, in the best
23 possible way, to represent that which has come up at an earlier meeting in
24 order to see whether there is an opening, in any way whatsoever, to be
25 able to come to business.
1 Q. All right. But you don't dispute the fact that on the video it
2 says that you're there to negotiate for the withdrawal of those refugees.
3 That's -- those are your words; right?
4 A. What was said was said. That is no better evidence than this
5 video film. I just explained to you: The intention of this question
6 was: What shall we do? Shall I get support or do I not get support, and
7 who will give me support? Are we staying where we are, and will we let
8 them starve, or do we send them back, or do we send them elsewhere? That
9 is a normal question under these circumstances. I say explicitly "under
10 these circumstances" because we could also have sat down at a table and
11 conducted normal negotiations and reached an agreement.
12 Q. Okay. Well, perhaps this may be a good time to take a break, and
13 when we come back, we'll go over part of the video transcript where
14 General Mladic asks you what shall we do? What is your proposal for the
15 resolution of this situation?
16 JUDGE LIU: Let's leave this question.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: That's what I said. I just want the gentleman to
18 know where we were going to pick up so he could be aware that's where
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at a quarter to 11.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Before we begin, Mr. Karremans, let me first apologise if I've
1 given the impression that I'm antagonistic or that you are on trial,
2 because you're not. And so if during the proceedings yesterday or today
3 it seemed that I was overly anxious in getting some of the answers and
4 gave you the wrong impression, I truly apologise, and I hope you accept my
6 So, getting back to where we were -- and incidentally, no one is
7 suggesting that you acted in any way that was improper or should be viewed
9 Now, getting back to the video, you also indicate that there are
10 some women who speak English and that you've heard from your soldiers
11 that, and I quote. What you say is women are saying: "We are waiting for
12 the buses and can we leave the enclave?" And I've asked -- "I've been
13 asked by General Nicolai, ask for, let's say, for a kind of humanitarian
14 support, like food and medicines."
15 Now, it would appear, would it not, Mr. Karremans, that you had a
16 briefing from your own soldiers that the women, or at least some of the
17 population of the refugees, also wanted to leave the enclave; correct?
18 A. I was not briefed, but in my answer to one of your earlier
19 questions about what I did with the message I got from General Nicolai
20 around 6.00 and my departure to Bratunac, in the staff meeting, or during
21 talks with people from the battalion, I heard, or I learned, that within
22 the group of refugees, remarks were made to the effect like: Where are
23 the buses, and when can we leave?
24 Q. All right. And I take it -- [Microphone not activated] -- that
25 the refugees themselves wanted to leave and you were conveying that
1 information to General Mladic?
2 A. [In English] Yes. Not for all of them, of course.
3 [Interpretation] Not for everyone. Among the refugees, there were people
4 who had always lived in the area. But for the majority of the refugees
5 who had had to leave their homes before, there was only one wish, as far
6 as I understood, from the comments, namely, that they simply wanted to
7 leave the area.
8 Q. Okay. And then on the video we see General Mladic ask you, and
9 incidentally, for the record, I'm reading from Exhibit P21A, which is the
10 official translation of that video. And this would be from ERN number
12 General Mladic asked you: "What is your proposal for the
13 resolution of this situation?" The interpreter interpreted: "How do you
14 see the result, the resolution of the situation here?" And then you say
15 at some point: "Maybe not the same as what they will say in Sarajevo."
16 And then you say: "Because they are the policy makers." And then you go
17 on to say: "In my opinion, the enclave will be ended, and for the sake of
18 the population, and not for the sake of the BiH, I should assist the
19 population as much as possible, get out of the enclave to I don't know
20 where they like to go. I think that most of them would like to go to
21 Tuzla," and so on.
22 And then you also state your opinion: "In my opinion, they have a
23 better way of living than I've seen in the enclave."
24 So it would appear, Mr. Karremans, that you're informing General
25 Mladic that you wanted to assist the population as much as possible, get
1 out of the enclave; correct?
2 A. What I said and what you have seen in the video is a
3 representation of what I have seen during the months before and what I
4 picked up from the talks. And on the basis of what was discussed with
5 General Nicolai with regard to providing as much humanitarian support as
6 possible. That is also part of, as I said before, of deciding what to do
7 with the 20.000 to 25.000 refugees, leaving them where they were or taking
8 them back to where they came from, or taking them -- letting them go
9 somewhere else. And one of the ways to resolve that is, in normal
10 consultation, to see what is possible. If the possibility had occurred --
11 and these are the kind of thoughts that emerge in such a situation. If
12 the possibility had occurred of letting people return, and if they
13 could -- if we could have gone back to the situation as it was before July
14 the 6th, so with an enclave border but with normal humanitarian support,
15 then I think that would also have been a good solution.
16 My stake for this conversation was: How can we reach a good
17 solution? And one of the possibilities was to move the population.
18 Q. Okay. Well, just to pick up on your answer: As far as having a
19 normal situation in the enclave that would have required a complete
20 demilitarisation of the enclave; correct?
21 A. If necessary.
22 Q. Well, would you agree with me that the VRS had some concerns, or
23 the Serb population had some concerns as long as there was the presence of
24 a Muslim army inside the enclave, going out on occasions on various
25 military objectives? Correct?
1 A. [In English] That is correct. [Interpretation] That is correct.
2 It is an option.
3 Q. Okay. All right. And of course, as the Canadians, as DutchBat 1,
4 DutchBat 2, DutchBat 3, was no more successful in demilitarising the
5 enclave; correct?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
7 MR. WAESPI: I think we have spent a lot of time yesterday on
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase. I'll move on.
10 Q. That possibility, incidentally - that is, the possibility of
11 people returning to the enclave in a demilitarised enclave, with the Dutch
12 remaining there pursuant to their mission - was never discussed on the
13 video, at that meeting, or at any other meeting, or am I wrong?
14 A. I don't think it was ever discussed, although I do remember what I
15 just said, namely, that it could have been an option. I don't remember if
16 I discussed it at one of the following meetings or whether I ever tabled
17 that. But you'll understand that, under the circumstances that we all
18 know, you need to suggest all the possibilities and take all opportunities
19 in order to improve things for the population, and that was my ultimate
20 assignment, namely, to arrange things as well as possible for the local
22 Q. I understand --
23 A. And non-relocation, that is, going back to the situation of
24 departure which existed before July the 6th was of course also an option.
25 Q. Okay. Would you please tell us whether you saw that option on the
1 video being discussed or even proposed or suggested or inferred or
2 insinuated when General Mladic asked you concretely: "What is your
3 proposal for the resolution of this situation?"
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
5 MR. WAESPI: That was the same question Mr. Karnavas asked before,
6 and the witness answered: "I don't think that it was ever discussed."
7 And then he added another thought to it.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Was it ever discussed at any other meetings, so at least the
11 option that you perhaps had in your mind would have been conveyed to your
12 counterparts, the ones that you were negotiating with?
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. -- well, Mr. Karnavas, I think the witness
14 also answered that. "I don't remember if I discussed it at one of the
15 following meetings or whether I ever tabled that."
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. If I were to tell you, Mr. Karremans, that on the subsequent
18 videos that we have for the second and the third meeting, and as you saw
19 from the first meeting, there's absolutely no reference to that particular
20 option, would that assist you in refreshing your memory?
21 A. Yes, you can. If it is not on the video, and it hasn't been
22 taped, then of course that is so. I am not inventing this option here on
23 the spot. It was discussed. Possibly it was in an entirely different
24 setting, under different circumstances, with Major Franken or with
25 section 5, or even with Colonel Brantz, from sector north-east. And
1 perhaps then we came to the conclusion on the basis of a number of
2 arguments that that couldn't be an option. Or, considering the short
3 amount of time that followed this, during the conversation or the next
4 day, which passed immediately into the departure of the refugees, that it
5 was no longer raised and that the only remaining idea was to relocate the
6 people. I hope this answer indicates how short a time period we had to
7 discuss a great many issues, which were not discussed with one single
8 person but which I had to discuss with many people to have good feedback.
9 And at least, let me say, to get indications, instructions, about how to
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I'm not disputing, nor am I challenging,
12 the fact that this option might have been, or perhaps was in fact
13 discussed among your men, and perhaps with the higher-ups. The question
14 was whether this option was ever conveyed to the other side. And from
15 your answer, it would appear that a decision -- or it became obvious that
16 option perhaps wasn't available or possible, so it was never conveyed to
17 General Mladic. That's what I'm trying to get at.
18 A. Yes. All right, yes.
19 Q. Okay. So the only option that was discussed was General Mladic's,
20 what we see on the video, that is, you assisting the evacuation of the
21 refugees from Potocari?
22 A. No. I wanted, in the first instance, humanitarian aid, that is,
23 food, medicines, and the evacuations of the injured to hospitals, under
24 the leadership of the International Red Cross or NOMAD, the medical
25 assistance unit of the Norwegians. If I could get food and other things
1 necessary for life in the immediate future, then it would have been able
2 for us to live for a longer period with the refugees in and around the
3 compound. Considering the short amount of time available, all of this was
4 impossible, and that caused the option to arise of relocating the
6 Q. Mr. Karremans, I just want to -- we can get shorter answers out of
7 you. When you met with General Mladic, the only option that you discussed
8 was the assistance of evacuating the entire population that had gathered
9 in Potocari. Isn't that what we saw on the film? I understand how you
10 wanted the evacuation to proceed, that is, the injured, the sick, the
11 elderly, the young, and that eventually the other people, but what we're
12 talking about is the evacuation of the entire population, along with your
13 men. That's what we see on the film and that was the only thing that you
14 had discussed with General Mladic; correct?
15 A. Not together with my men. If you want short answers, then I can
16 give you short answers, but I'm afraid that I do not do justice to the
17 situation that occurred. And if the circumstances that the population was
18 in and the battalion was in do not get explained properly, then things
19 like that which was said on the video film may be misinterpreted, despite
20 the fact that it was said.
21 Q. Okay. Well, I think we'll move on.
22 Since this period of time, have you had a chance to read the NIOD
24 A. As I said in my introduction, I took part in many official and
25 unofficial investigations. Some of them I read. The NIOD report is not
1 in my possession and I did not read it.
2 Q. Okay. It's on the Internet, by the way, in case you want to check
3 it out.
4 Now, you said that you did write your book, but that book was
5 written after some period of time; correct? After the events.
6 A. Yes. I wrote my book during my stay in the United States.
7 Q. And would it be -- and you indicated that that -- a lot of the
8 facts in the book are based on the notes that you have; right?
9 A. [In English] That's correct [Interpretation] That's correct.
10 Q. But the notes were taken contemporaneous to the events, whereas
11 the book was written after the events and perhaps after everything was
12 being filtered through the, let's say, publicity and the media surrounding
13 the events and thereafter?
14 A. No. My book was not filtered.
15 Q. I didn't say your book was filtered, but I'm saying that the notes
16 were written contemporaneous, as things were going on, whereas the book
17 was written upon reflection and at a time and period when, this, the issue
18 of Srebrenica and the behaviour of the DutchBat had come into question. I
19 mean, and that's public knowledge; right? I'm just trying to draw the
20 distinction, one versus the other. One contemporaneous; the other one
21 upon reflection.
22 A. So you're suggesting that there is a difference between what I
23 wrote in my book and what is written in my notes.
24 Q. I'm not suggesting anything. I'm just merely making a statement,
25 asking you whether you agree with me or not.
1 A. "Nee."
2 Q. Okay. All right. Now, I just want to go through some documents
3 here. I have them all laid out. Perhaps we won't need to go through all
4 of them. But I just wanted to ask you: Were you aware of some of the
5 discussions that were ongoing with respect to evacuations and the
6 abandonment of the enclave prior to the events in Srebrenica? Is that a
8 A. [In English] Yes.
9 Q. In fact, there was a particular plan in place for the eventuality,
10 in case the enclave had to be evacuated or DutchBat had to be evacuated,
11 what should be done; correct?
12 A. [Interpretation] There are operation plans containing options for
13 moving a unit, in this case, DutchBat 3, out of the area, in this case,
14 the CVR.
15 Q. Okay. Had you heard of what was known as Operation Determined
16 Effort, or also, I guess in military parlance, O-plan 40104?
17 A. I think for me, yes.
18 Q. Yes. In fact, it appears that the DutchBat, in fact, had been
19 asked to fill out a questionnaire as to the feasibility of the evacuation
20 process, and I think they were discussing an evacuation by helicopters.
21 Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes. I remember that sideways, from talks with sector north-east,
23 Colonel Brantz, that this is one of the possibilities, to move the
24 DutchBat unit out of the location. There are more possibilities, of
25 course, but helicopters are one possibility.
1 Q. Right. But during those discussions, the possibility was also
2 talked about what to do with the people and the enclave, and the need
3 perhaps to evacuate them as well. Do you recall that?
4 A. No. Helicopters are used in principle for military operations or
5 for Medevac, and Medevac are military evacuations. So in other words,
6 military staff or refugees who are injured and had to be taken to a
7 medical installation [as interpreted] as soon as possible. But not to
8 move entire population groups.
9 Q. Okay. I understand that, Mr. Karremans. What I am asking you is:
10 Was there not a discussion about the evacuation of the people, in general?
11 A. You're not being clear. We are now talking about -- are we
12 talking about the possible relocation of the battalion or of the
13 population with relation to the helicopters?
14 Q. Mr. Karremans, I'm trying to get you home. Going back to the
15 plan: Plans were discussed at very high levels, and we're going to go
16 through them as a result of the obstacles we're having here. Plans were
17 put in place for potential evacuation, not just of the battalion but of
18 the people as well. Isn't that a fact?
19 A. That may be right, but I don't know. I only know the plans
20 possibly to move the battalion by helicopter.
21 Q. Okay. Do you know whether -- were you privy to any discussions
22 about what to do with the people living in the enclave?
23 A. No. There have been few talks about the options I just indicated
24 to you, because at the higher levels, too, it was understood, or should
25 have been understood, what enormous problems this would involve. In
1 brief, moving the population by helicopter, no.
2 Q. I'm not asking by helicopter. I'm asking -- you indicated the
3 battalion by helicopter. I'm now asking about the population itself,
4 since by helicopter was not an option, as you've indicated. Were other
5 options discussed with respect to the evacuation of the population, or was
6 it your opinion that the DutchBat were just going to cut and run and leave
7 the population there, get in the helicopters and fly away?
8 A. Let me put one thing very clearly here, and on other occasions
9 I've also said this. It has been my conviction - and I repeated this
10 several times - DutchBat will leave no sooner than when all measures have
11 been taken on behalf of the population. Any measures whatsoever. It was
12 offered to us to move out together with the population. In another
13 conversation it was suggested, "You can also leave now with your
14 battalion," and my answer has always been no. First the injured, first
15 the population, and the battalion, we'll see when they leave.
16 Q. Exactly.
17 A. Thank you.
18 Q. Yes. And that's exactly my point. Now, were you aware that as
19 early as May, or as early as 1994, at the UN discussions were being held
20 with respect to the evacuation of the enclave and the withdrawal of
22 A. No.
23 Q. All right. We don't have to discuss the 1994. By the way, for
24 the record, I'm reading -- I'm making references to the NIOD report. This
25 would be found on part 3, chapter 1, section 8, where it discusses Boutros
1 Boutros-Ghali, discussions of this with Janvier.
2 All right. Now, do you know, of the ongoing discussions as late
3 as the spring of 1995, between May 16 and May 24, regarding the evacuation
4 process, or --
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. Would it surprise you to learn that Janvier was pushing for
7 the withdrawal from the -- or the partial withdrawal from the eastern
8 enclaves? Were you aware of that?
9 A. I was not aware of that.
10 Q. Okay. Were you aware that on May 24th, I believe, there was a
11 security consulate that was a closed session, where Janvier, he didn't say
12 explicitly that Srebrenica had to be abandoned, but he did say that
13 UNPROFOR could no longer execute their mission in Eastern Bosnia, which
14 was generally explained as a plea for withdrawal. Were you aware of that?
15 A. Perhaps. I know this is a vague answer, but in the talks on the
16 telephone with General Nicolai or with Commander Brantz, we discussed from
17 time to time what went on in the higher levels in Zagreb, and we discussed
18 Janvier from time to time. But the information was minimal. It had
19 little influence on DutchBat's operation at that time, perhaps on a longer
20 time but not then. In other words, the amount of information that came
21 down from the top with regard to these issues which you mentioned was
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. And therefore I said no a number of times.
25 Q. All right. And I'm not suggesting, by the way, that you had this
1 information, but now it's out in the open that apparently these sorts of
2 things were ongoing.
3 Now, in the NIOD report, sticking with this, this is the spring of
4 1995, and I'm reading from part 3, chapter 1, section 11, it
5 says: "UNPROFOR had lost the consent of the Bosnian Serbs for their
6 presence and were no longer seen as peacekeeper. Certainly hardly be
7 called impartial any more." I'm sorry: "Certainly not since UNPROFOR was
8 withholding four VRS soldiers prisoner of war. UNPROFOR could hardly be
9 called impartial any more and they were not far from that point, that in
10 fact they were allies of the Bosnian Muslims."
11 Is that a correct statement?
12 A. I don't know this statement, because if I had made it, perhaps,
13 but I don't think it is my statement. I don't know where it comes from.
14 Q. Okay. Now, in the NIOD report again, and it's talking -- these
15 are discussions that were going on with respect to the potential
16 evacuation of the enclave prior to the events. And again, this could be
17 found on part 3, chapter 1, section 11, on page 6, it says: "Now the
18 Netherlands hope that the following would happen with UNPROFOR. A
19 redeployment of the troops, which would make UNPROFOR less vulnerable, no
20 longer sending armed observers and a new policy regarding the enclaves.
21 But if the UN troops left the enclaves, they would have to take along the
22 local population. As said before, Voorhoeve had already expressed the
23 idea in a conversation with Perry." That would be the Secretary of
24 Defence of the United States. "Implementation of this idea would of
25 course mean a lot of human suffering. However, it was better than ethnic
1 cleansing by Bosnian Serbs. Though it meant cooperating with ethnic
2 cleansing, it could be defended in the interest of the population -- of
3 the population were concerned."
4 My question to you, sir, is: Were you aware of these discussions
5 within the Netherlands government?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes. It's just easier for the witness -- or almost
8 impossible for the witness to make a comment if he doesn't know what the
9 source of this is. Just from listening to it now, have been given the
10 quote but for the witness it's almost impossible to make a comment on
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. We could put it on the ELMO, but this is
13 again --
14 JUDGE LIU: I think this report is in English or in Dutch?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: It's in English. It's in English, Your Honour.
16 And it's in Dutch as well.
17 JUDGE LIU: Do you have the Dutch version?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: No. But the gentleman is fluent in English, Your
20 JUDGE LIU: I don't think so.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour -- I don't mean to quarrel with the
22 Court, but he did spend three years in the United States at a very high
23 level, and I think -- perhaps his speaking is not as fluent, but he's told
24 me -- we had this discussion, how fluent his English was. So I'm not
25 speaking off -- I'm not making this up. But we could ask the gentleman if
1 he feels comfortable.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
3 MR. WAESPI: I mean, we would have the Dutch version. It's three
4 volumes. I have it in my office. We can -- if that assists.
5 JUDGE LIU: Let's try that English version first. If impossible,
6 I think we could use that Dutch version.
7 THE WITNESS: [In English] Can I respond to that?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 THE WITNESS: [In English] Thank you. My English is as my Dutch.
10 Because I work for 12 years in NATO assignments and I read as quick the
11 English language as my own language. I prefer to speak in my own language
12 here today and yesterday.
13 [Interpretation] I'm going to switch to Dutch. I heard a text
14 with which I was not familiar and can therefore not respond.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Well, I'm asking you whether you were aware of this.
17 A. [In English] No.
18 Q. Okay. That's a response, then. Thank you. I'll take that.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I apologise for the
20 inconvenience. Though I may have some more documents at some point.
21 Q. All right. Now, before we talk about -- let's go on to see what
22 the NIOD report has to say about your involvement, and I guess the
23 negotiations that were going -- ongoing. And perhaps we can put on the
24 ELMO part 3, chapter 7, section 4. And we're going to stay in the first
25 page a little bit and then we'll move on. There are only a couple of
2 In the first paragraph, we can see that -- I don't want to read
3 the entire paragraph. But in the first paragraph, we note in the middle
4 of it, it says: "In case DutchBat would have to leave the enclave,
5 somehow four options open to DutchBat were discussed: Activation of the
6 NATO withdrawal plan, O plan 40104." That was the plan we discussed
7 earlier. "... a UN and NATO helicopter operation, an escape attempt via
8 the northern edge of the enclave and leaving by road, taking the vehicles.
9 The latter would, however, have to be referred to the Bosnian Serbs and
10 the population would have to be taken along. It was generally feared that
11 the Bosnian Muslims would want to block DutchBat, leaving by lying down in
12 front of the vehicles. The question was also raised as to who would be in
13 charge if one of the options were chosen. The answer was that this would
14 be the UN in the case of the last option driving off, and in the case of
15 the first three options, it would be the United States or NATO."
16 And if we go further up this particular paragraph, it appears that
17 this is a meeting that is taking place at the Defence Crisis Management
18 Centre, which would have been the same crisis management centre that you
19 had spoken with on July 11th; correct?
20 A. No, that's not correct. I'm not familiar with this text. I'm not
21 member of the Ministerial Council. Rather, I'm part of the Defence Crisis
22 Management Centre. The three parts of the armed forces - air force,
23 marine, and army - each had their own crisis centre, which maintained
24 contact with the Defence Crisis Management Centre 24 hours a day, is
25 intended to inform the ministers and the Ministerial Council directly with
1 information in these types of situations.
2 Clearly, however, Srebrenica was a secluded part of the world, and
3 we weren't able to keep up with these affairs and certainly in no position
4 to influence them. You mentioned four possibilities for leaving the area;
5 that's true. It's known DutchBat 1, DutchBat 2, and DutchBat 3. There
6 were four opportunities -- opportunities to leave the area with the unit
7 under certain conditions.
8 Q. All right. So you were aware of these four different options?
9 A. [In English] Yes. Yes.
10 Q. And were you aware of these four different options before you met
11 with General Mladic?
12 A. [Interpretation] Yes. I read all four upon taking over the
13 assignment, during the period of transfer, so in January 1995.
14 Q. And it would appear that - and we're looking at the video - that
15 one of these options, in fact, was a topic of conversation with General
16 Mladic, at your first meeting. Is that right?
17 A. No.
18 Q. All right. Okay.
19 A. I spoke about the population.
20 Q. Okay. Did you discuss these four options when you spoke with the
21 Dutch authorities prior to meeting with General Mladic, though after
22 speaking with General Nicolai; in other words, between 6.00 and 9.00 you
23 said that you spoke with the Dutch authorities. Did you mention the four
25 A. No, they were not mentioned. There was no need to, because there
1 was no need to leave, for certain reasons, the population.
2 Q. Did you -- the last option talks about taking the population with
3 you, does it not?
4 A. [In English] That's correct. [Interpretation] That's correct.
5 Q. Okay. Was that option concretely discussed with the Dutch
6 authorities? Yes or no.
7 A. I can't answer that because I wasn't present at those meetings,
8 and I don't know what the outcome was of those discussions. So the answer
9 is no, I don't know.
10 Q. I'm not asking whether you were part of those discussions. I'm
11 talking about when you had the discussions with them. You told us that
12 you had a conversation with the Dutch authorities. So my question is very
13 simple. When you spoke with the Dutch authorities, did you mention
14 option 4, that is, going -- evacuating with the population?
15 A. I did not discuss options.
16 Q. Did you discuss this option with General Nicolai when you spoke to
17 him or he spoke to you, at 1755, earlier?
18 A. I don't know whether I discussed it at that point. After the
19 discussions with Mladic, I also spoke with Brantz. There were so many
20 meetings during that time that I don't remember prior to which meeting or
21 after which meeting I discussed what. Options may have been discussed,
22 but if you're talking to the withdrawal of DutchBat from the enclave, I
23 said that's impossible, given the circumstances at hand concerning the
24 population. So to me personally, departure from the safe area was
25 definitely not an option.
1 Q. I'm not talking --
2 A. So it was not discussed. May I add that, please.
3 Q. Okay. Now, we know that -- or we've heard, I should say, that the
4 night before - that would be July 10th - you had a meeting with the Muslim
5 authorities in Srebrenica, and I believe it might be the Muslim
6 commanders; correct?
7 A. Yes. With the Muslim commander and with the opstina, the civil
8 authorities of Srebrenica.
9 Q. Right. And at that point, you had told them that there would be
10 40 or 50 airstrikes the next day, and so there was no need for them to
11 counter-attack because they would be in the zone of death, or words to
12 that effect; is that correct?
13 A. I did not say there would be 40 or 50 airstrikes. I said that
14 there would be sufficient aeroplanes at 6.00 in the morning, and I
15 discussed horizontal, I believe 84, because we're talking about a killing
16 box, or killings, and everything that moved in that zone would be
17 destroyed by aeroplanes. That's what was discussed and what I spoke to
18 the military and civil authorities about at night.
19 Q. All right. Now, we know the next day -- well, incidentally, based
20 on that information that you were providing the Muslim commanders, they
21 didn't carry out that counter-offensive towards the Serbs as they had
22 planned; correct?
23 A. I don't know. Quite honestly, the discussion was fairly
24 unilateral on my behalf. The people I spoke to and never saw after that
25 were really caught between a rock and a hard place.
1 Q. Okay. All right.
2 A. And when I arrived, I saw a lot of military. I would like to
3 state explicitly here that they probably already had plans that had been
4 activated, plans that made me say afterwards: If I had known, I could
5 have responded.
6 I want to say two things: First, the breakout of the Muslim men;
7 and second, in the case of the collection of the enclave, that I would be
8 facing 50.000 refugees, largely men -- excuse me, women, and elderly
10 Q. All right. Is that it?
11 A. [In English] That's it.
12 Q. Okay. Now, the next day, we know that the airstrikes did not come
13 in the numbers that you had expected, and in fact came too little, too
14 late, for all intents and purposes; correct?
15 A. That's correct. [Interpretation] Correct.
16 Q. Now, my question is rather simple: Before 1755 hours, before five
17 minutes to 6.00 p.m., did you have any other conversations with General
18 Nicolai? Because it would appear, at least, as early as noon, that the
19 situation had deteriorated to such a degree that Srebrenica was lost, the
20 enclave was lost, for all intents and purposes. Yes, that was the
22 A. I don't remember exactly when and how often, and please don't hold
23 this against me. I don't remember exactly when and how often I spoke with
24 General Nicolai, but there were infinite talks. They could have taken
25 five minutes, we could have had extended discussions about air support or
1 no air support, option, no option, what do I do with the population, what
2 don't I do with the population. And the same happened with Brantz. So at
3 this time, I don't know when or how often I spoke with whom. You can't
4 expect me to have a record nine years later of the times and subjects of
5 my discussions with whom.
6 Q. Okay. What about in that little notebook of yours that you don't
7 want to share with us? Could you look into it and see whether there's
8 something in there that might tickle a memory or two.
9 A. [In English] Sure.
10 Q. Okay. I'll be more than happy to have it copied so I wouldn't
11 have to tax you with looking it over.
12 A. [Interpretation] Okay. Tuesday, 11 July. I have quite a few
13 notes from that day, as is indicated in my book. They're primarily about
14 receiving air support or not receiving air support, as I just mentioned.
15 I spoke by telephone with Colonel Brantz on a few occasions and talked
16 with him about that. At 10.00 in the morning, Nicolai called me, or I
17 called Nicolai at 10.00 in the morning, and there was a discussion between
18 Balen and Zagreb on subjects such as UNPROFOR and Srebrenica being
19 shelled. That concerned the blocking positions. It was also about that
20 there would be no aeroplanes arriving. At 10 past 10.00, I spoke with BH
21 command by telephone, so that would be Nicolai or his representative,
22 about the request for close air support. That was ten minutes later.
23 At 10 past 12.00, I received a phone call from BH command, from
24 Sarajevo, that is, about the air support. I was told that it had been
25 improved then. I received several phone calls from sector north-east
1 about air support.
2 At 1.15, I received a call from BH command, and I was asked
3 whether certain essential parts of the section of the battalion had been
4 fired at, and I said yes and that we had wounded too. And they said that
5 an airstrike would come within 15 minutes.
6 Somewhat later, around 4.00 p.m., I reported to Sarajevo, and five
7 or ten minutes later I reported to the north-east command in Tuzla. And
8 that brings me to the conversation with General Nicolai at five to 6.00 on
9 that day.
10 I have no notes, or very few notes, on each individual
11 conversation that I had that day because my phone was ringing off the
12 hook. But I'm sure you'll understand that there were several
13 conversations with sector BiH and Sarajevo.
14 Q. Okay. I take it it was not conveyed to you that on July 10th
15 Janvier had been reluctant to issue such airstrikes or close air support,
16 and he had told this at a meeting to Akashi that morning at approximately
17 8.30 because he believed that the ABiH, that is, the Muslim army, was the
18 real root of the problem in Srebrenica and that Janvier had expressed his
19 convictions that the Muslim army, the ABiH, was capable of defending the
20 enclave but had clearly chosen not to do so, so that the Bosnian Muslims
21 were putting now pressure on the UN to defend Srebrenica. Was that
22 conveyed to you, sir, about Janvier's reluctance to issue --
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
24 MR. WAESPI: Could we have a source of this? Is it NIOD or --
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I was just going to get to that. NIOD part 3,
1 chapter 6, section 11, page 1.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 A. The answer is no. I'm not familiar with the contents of the
4 discussions at the force commander level, that is General Janvier.
5 MR. KARNAVAS:
6 Q. Okay. It does say that on that particular day you had made a
7 request that is, that Akashi had made a request for close air support when
8 the city came under fire. They say that you wrote this in your book, the
9 one that you have there. And that your request was not granted, based on
10 "incomplete target list." Is that correct?
11 A. I requested close air support several times during those six days,
12 and it would exceed the scope to explain the problems to the Court here
13 about the request for close air support. In this context, from the end of
14 May, the upper echelons were very restrictive about granting such support,
15 but I had various conversations with General Nicolai about if the VRS
16 fired directly at the observation posts and if the city was under direct
17 fire and there were casualties and injured, then I thought that was cause,
18 given the objective list that we had submitted in advance. That would be
19 cause for me to receive close air support. This was a very ongoing
20 discussion, and I know what the results were.
21 Q. Okay. Very well. If we could get back to this document,
22 because -- and I must apologise to Mr. Usher first for standing there.
23 Finally, we're going to continue.
24 Now, on that same day, July 11th, it says here that Prime Minister
25 Kok found it difficult to choose between doing something and doing
1 nothing. The discussions with Voorhoeve - I think I'm pronouncing it
2 correctly - which Voorhoeve had held with Akashi were raised, and they
3 heard through the American military attache in The Hague that the United
4 States were under the impression that Akashi had even already requested
5 the evacuation of DutchBat."
6 Were you aware of that?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Nobody informed you?
9 A. No.
10 Q. It then goes on to say: "It was also known that Janvier in Zagreb
11 and Nicolai in Sarajevo were evaluating the situation."
12 Then if we go down to the very last paragraph on page 1, it
13 says: "Meanwhile, Nicolai had telephoned mad Mladic and passed on the
14 latest details to the Defence Crisis Management Centre. Refugees were
15 being admitted to the compound in Potocari. There were no casualties or
16 wounded among the Dutch. All ops would be abandoned. DutchBat had been
17 forced to leave the compound in Srebrenica and all UN personnel were now
18 centred on the Potocari compound. Nicolai also reported that Karremans
19 intended to negotiate with Mladic on that evacuation. Brantz reported
20 that Tuzla and the VRS had offered an evacuation of the Dutch,
21 representatives of the non-governmental organisations, and also of the
22 population, with the exception of able-bodied men."
23 And there are some footnotes. There's footnote 4 and footnote 5,
24 making reference, and this would appear to have been from daily reports
25 and a statement from Nicolai and a statement by Brantz, and then some
1 notes, I believe, from a -- I can't pronounce their name - it's
3 In any event, were you aware of that, that at some point in time,
4 at least according to NIOD, that Nicolai had telephoned Mladic?
5 A. No. That's -- I'm not familiar with that. There were no
6 discussions about that. This is the first time I'm seeing the contents of
7 this Ministerial Council and the discussions there. The information was
8 not passed on at an early stage, and I believe they were discussing
10 Q. Okay. I take it -- so it wasn't discussed -- when you spoke with
11 Nicolai at five minutes to 6.00, this wasn't discussed, and I take it at
12 some other point it was never discussed. Later on that day, or some other
13 day, it was never brought to your attention?
14 A. Yes. And I think I answered that before.
15 Q. I just want to be very clear. These are not trick questions,
16 Mr. Karremans. In fact, I'm trying to help you out here.
17 Now, did you ever become aware that while you were there
18 negotiating with Mladic, that Nicolai, who was your superior, was also
19 speaking with Mladic?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. Not that.
23 Q. Okay. Were you aware of anyone else negotiating with Mladic that
24 was higher, at some other level, either military or civil?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Were you privy to discussions that were going above your head, I
2 should say, you know, in other places, that is. Because you were in
3 Srebrenica. Were you ever keeping abreast of --
4 A. "Nee."
5 Q. Okay. Now, page 2 of the same part of the NIOD report, part 3,
6 chapter 7, section 4, states at the second paragraph, last sentence, or
7 last two sentences: "Karremans conferred with Mladic on the admission of
8 aid convoys, unopposed departure of the refugees and of the battalion,
9 along with the weapons, nor was it a coincidence that the attack took
10 place a week before the realisation of the Rapid Reaction Force, and a
11 week before DutchBat was relieved."
12 I don't know what that's about, but it's here. At least the NIOD
13 report indicates that you, upon conferring with Mladic, one of the topics
14 was the unopposed departure of the refugees. Would you accept that
15 portion of the NIOD report, as it's stated here?
16 A. Would you permit me to get back to your first question, for the
18 Q. Rapid Reaction Force.
19 A. Your question before that. You asked whether I had been informed
20 that there were higher-level discussions about the departure of the
21 battalion. I didn't give you a good answer. I'll answer you again for
22 the record.
23 At five minutes to 6.00, Nicolai discussed the resupply of people
24 battalion and medical support [In English] [Previous translation
25 continues]... of the battalion is in study. [Interpretation] and several
1 other subjects. This means that the withdrawal of the battalion was being
2 studied at a high level and that in due time I would be informed.
3 Q. Okay. Are you sure you don't want to give us a copy of that?
4 Okay. It would make it easier. All right.
5 Now, if we go on to the third paragraph, in the middle it says --
6 because I don't want to read everything. It just says: "Karremans was
7 free to act according to his own judgement. This had proved essential in
8 order to prevent loss of life and it also became clear that this had
9 always been given the highest priority in discussions with Karremans."
10 So would it be -- is this correct, that you had sort of -- I won't
11 say carte blanche, but you did have the discretion to use your own
12 judgement, and you were not being micro-managed at that point in time?
13 A. No, it doesn't say that. I explained to you yesterday that I was
14 the only negotiator, or rather, this morning, although I had requested
15 negotiators at a higher level. This is a fait accompli. I was there to
16 negotiate, after six days of warfare. There was no carte blanche, but
17 there was a foundation for guidelines issued, or to be issued, from Tuzla
18 and/or Sarajevo. It was not a carte blanche for Lieutenant Colonel
19 Karremans to take care of things at his discretion. The conditions were
20 not suitable for that, especially when we're talking about human lives,
21 not even -- you need to consider the wounded and the population. So under
22 the circumstances, you have to have a backup and you have to receive
23 guidelines. And that's what it says here, or at least that's what it's
24 intended to convey.
25 Q. Okay. Now, going back -- going further down, if I could just get
1 to the -- I'm just going to read about the last -- starting from the last
2 paragraph on page 2. It says -- because this was about the meeting that
3 was ongoing: "The meeting also led to questions about responsibilities
4 and a discussion on evacuation plans. It became clear that the UN was
5 responsible for the negotiations. Evacuation without the consent of the
6 warring factions was only possible with the support of NATO, and the
7 United States would have to take the initiative. It was a risky operation
8 because it would have to be done using helicopters. The time for
9 preparation was three days, and this seemed hardly acceptable under the
10 circumstances, yet inevitable. Only the United States were able to carry
11 out such an operation independently. All other variants would have to be
12 subject to negotiations. The American and French governments had offered
13 to assist with a possible evacuation."
14 It then goes on to say: "The issue of emergency measures to deal
15 with refugees was also raised in the meeting of the Ministerial Council.
16 Only those present did not know the location where provisions had to be
17 made. The most urgent requirement was to find a safe haven. The
18 situation, which had developed, would without doubt lead to ethnic
19 cleansing. Negotiations with the Bosnian Serbs would therefore have to
20 continue for as long as possible, but, on the other hand, there was only
21 sufficient food in Potocari to last for 24 hours."
22 Would you agree with that, that there was only food for 24 hours,
23 first of all, and were you aware of these discussions at this high level?
24 A. No. I was not aware of these discussions between the Ministerial
25 Council and the Defence Crisis Management Centre. Obviously, the Minister
1 of Defence spoke with several people, high-ranking officers in the
3 Your second question about food supplies: There was no food. The
4 battalion had no food. And what we had was shared with the population as
6 Q. All right. And further --
7 A. In other words, there was a need to take action in terms of time,
8 for the population. If there's no food and an epidemic breaks out, then
9 all normal life, such as in a village or city continues - I'm talking
10 about babies being born, people dying - everything has to be taken care of
11 despite the circumstances. So there was an emergency situation, with a
12 capital E. There was an emergency situation. Something had to be done as
13 quickly as possible.
14 Q. All right. I agree with you. I take it providing bread and water
15 to those refugees would not amount to a war crime. I mean, if it was
16 suggested that members of the Bratunac Brigade were --
17 A. [In English] Not at all.
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Waespi.
19 MR. WAESPI: What's the relevancy?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Based on what I've got, I'll move on, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Move on.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. And finally, in this report, it seems, since we've been discussing
24 about the evacuation of the DutchBat, and there's a discussion about the
25 refugees that we've just had, it goes on, on the third paragraph, the last
1 sentence, it says: "A scenario which saw DutchBat leaving, taking along
2 all refugees was difficult to imagine." It says that, and I wanted to be
3 fair, lest there be any insinuation that I was taking it out of context.
4 Now, were you aware of any discussions among the Muslims
5 themselves, you know, either at the local level or in Sarajevo?
6 A. [Interpretation] No. Well, because I had little contact. I was
7 in touch with Ramiz during the six days once in a while, but we did not
8 discuss evacuation or what would happen afterwards. My final discussion
9 was the one I mentioned this morning. I believe that was on the evening
10 of the 10th or the 11th.
11 Q. On that particular time, on the 10th, was the discussion of the
12 evacuation of the civilian population discussed?
13 A. No. Because it had not taken place yet. And what I mentioned
14 earlier may have been a plan, and the mission -- although the breakout was
15 already in progress and we didn't know about that at the time either. So
16 the disclosure of information was rather unilateral.
17 Q. Okay. But if I understood your testimony, at least from the 6th
18 to the 10th, there had been a lack of response to your requests for
19 assistance or close air support. Were you that supremely confident on the
20 night of the 10th of July that there would be sufficient air support the
21 next day that this option or eventuality was not necessary to even
22 consider and discuss?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. And I take it -- would it be fair to say that had those
25 airstrikes or close air support come in on time, as you had expected, the
1 enclave would have remained?
2 A. No. That is a suggestive question. I can't answer that. I don't
4 Q. I was just asking. I didn't -- wasn't trying to suggest anything.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, Mr. Karnavas. It's time for a break.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I was just going to say that, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: You read my mind.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Witness, do you want to say something?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I can't answer this question,
11 because it's the same question as if you had had armament, would then the
12 safe area still have existed? So the answer is: I won't answer that.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree.
14 JUDGE LIU: We quite understand you.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Witness.
17 We will, we'll take our break and we'll resume at 12.30.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Now, before we -- I had asked you whether you were aware of the
23 sentiments expressed by Muslim authorities, and you said that you did not
24 know. Before we get to those documents, I thought I'd conclude with one
25 last document with respect to the UN's position, and this is from part 3,
1 chapter 7, section 6 of the NIOD report.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could have the assistance once again, and I do
3 apologise for ...
4 Q. We see here on the first page, second paragraph, it talks about a
5 meeting with Akashi on 11 July, which started at 1830, so that would have
6 been some 35 minutes after your conversation with General Nicolai.
7 Incidentally, Akashi, you do know who he is, or who he was at the time?
8 A. [In English] Yes.
9 Q. And he was above Janvier? Okay. You're shaking your head. We
10 need to make a record.
11 A. [In English] Yeah, I know.
12 Q. All right. Now, it says here, go to the last paragraph. It
13 says: "The fundamental request question for Janvier remains as to why the
14 ABiH had not deployed the weapons available against VRS. Janvier
15 estimated that 1.500 to 1.800 VRS troops had been involved in the attack,
16 as well as a squadron, four or five tanks. He wondered why the ABiH had
17 not been able to deal with a concentration of VRS troops and what the ABiH
18 had in fact done to assist in the defence of Srebrenica. It was clear to
19 Janvier that the ABiH had shown little zest for battle. Janvier also
20 considered that Mladic would begin to demand that the ABiH lay down its
21 weapons. Zagreb, however, did not have any information as to where the
22 ABiH was in the area around Srebrenica."
23 It then goes on to state: "Akashi then raised the possibility of
24 allowing the refugees from Srebrenica to go to Serbia, in view of the
25 closeness of the border. But he also realised that this would mean
1 crossing the territory of the Republika Srpska and that the population
2 would want to go to Tuzla. The local UNHCR staff in Srebrenica had
3 already made it clear that everybody preferred to leave the enclave. An
4 evacuation was mainly a mass logistical operation, in Akashi's opinion,
5 for which the Bosnian government would have to give its consent."
6 Were you aware of this ongoing conversation that was taking place,
7 this meeting?
8 A. [Interpretation] No. I did know that during our meeting, this
9 UNHCR representative was present and mentioned the talks he had conducted
10 with his counterpart, on a higher level, at Sarajevo.
11 Q. All right. Do you recall whether General -- or Mr. Janvier had
12 informed you of any meetings that he would be attending and that perhaps
13 he would be getting back to you with any other --
14 A. [In English] No.
15 Q. Okay. Finally if we could go to the last paragraph of this page,
16 the second-to-last. It says: "The discussions foundered on the urgency
17 of the problem to first get the refugees out of Srebrenica, even though it
18 was possible that similar problems would arise in Zepa and Gorazde during
19 the next few days. But Akashi did not want to brush aside the thoughts of
20 Boutros-Ghali. They had to be considered. Others, however, did push
21 aside his thoughts. A separation of men and women under the eyes of
22 UNPROFOR would be a disgrace of highest orders and would capture the full
23 attention of the media. It was decided to go down two routes: UNHCR
24 would have to establish a plan for the evacuation of the population, and
25 Zagreb would have to inform New York of the problems regarding the
1 enclaves. The estimation during this meeting was that the VRS would not
2 be able to manage 20.000 refugees. The Bosnian Serbs would want to be rid
3 of them. This would be the start of the forced deportation, and UNPROFOR
4 would be accused of helping it along. Akashi was not overly pessimistic.
5 80 per cent of the population of Srebrenica were already refugees."
6 Were you ever aware of this?
7 A. I am not aware of this discussion, as I said before. But when I
8 look at the analysis, then I would say it makes sense.
9 Q. Okay. Now, if this meeting did in fact take place, as it would
10 appear on July 11th, at 6.30 p.m., about 35 minutes after your
11 conversations with General Nicolai, and if they're talking about the
12 separation of men, and if we consider earlier, where I showed you where it
13 appeared that General Nicolai had a conversation with Mladic, can we draw
14 a conclusion, or do you allow for the possibility that General Nicolai had
15 been in contact with Mladic even before you showed up?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
17 MR. WAESPI: He's asking for speculation, and also, we don't know
18 about the separation here, whether it -- on what it was based. That's
19 speculation in itself.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, it is a question of speculation, and the
21 witness, you know, testified that he didn't know anything about this
22 meeting. And of course, you cannot ask any question concerning whether
23 Mladic has been informed about that.
24 As for the second issue, here the separation of men and women is
25 mentioned here. I think, you know, the Defence counsel is entitled to ask
1 a question around here. But there must be sufficient basis, and you could
2 ask -- you could rephrase your question to see whether there was really
3 any separations of men and women in Potocari.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. I haven't got to Potocari yet, Your Honour,
5 but I will.
6 Q. Was -- when you spoke with General Nicolai, did he inform you at
7 any point during that discussion of the potentiality of the separation of
8 the able-bodied men from the women and children?
9 A. No.
10 Q. All right. But it would appear, would it not, from at least if we
11 were to accept the NIOD report, that this was being discussed about 35
12 minutes after you had your conversation with General Nicolai?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
14 MR. WAESPI: I don't know how this witness can assist. It says
15 here what it says, and the witness said he wasn't aware of it.
16 JUDGE LIU: But under the facts it's very clear that after 35
17 minutes, you know, this meeting took place. Certain issues were
18 discussed, which the witness did not take part in.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I just wanted the record to reflect that, Your
20 Honour, but I agree.
21 Q. Okay. Now, it also says here, does it not, that it would appear
22 that they were counting on the Bosnian Serbs not being able to manage the
23 evacuation of 20.000-some refugees?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. WAESPI: It's the same point as before. It says what it says.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: It becomes relevant at some point, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that is clearly reflected in that
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
5 JUDGE LIU: You could ask the witness's estimation, the ability of
6 the Serbs.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I was going to do that at some point.
8 JUDGE LIU: Because, you know, he's an eyewitness.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Your Honour.
10 Q. Did -- in your conversation with General Janvier, did the
11 discussion ever come up as to whether or how it would be possible to
12 evacuate all those people that were in Potocari at the time, you know, the
14 A. No. For I never talked to General Janvier.
15 Q. Okay. Well, what about Nicolai?
16 A. At first, at the time we are -- at the point in time where we are
17 now, I didn't talk to him either.
18 Q. Okay. Was the discussion -- was there ever a discussion about
19 whether the Serbs would be able to evacuate the large numbers of refugees
20 that had gathered in Potocari, the logistics of it?
21 A. No. To the extent that we could not imagine it, that they would
22 be capable of doing it, considering the large number of people that would
23 have to be transported within a relatively short period, considering the
24 humanitarian circumstances the population was in.
25 Q. And I take it, speaking of humanitarian circumstances, it was
1 necessary, was it not, during that period of time, if there was an
2 evacuation to occur, that it occur as expeditiously as possible? Would
3 that be fair to state?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. By any way, when you got your orientation prior to coming to
6 Bosnia, or thereafter, did you ever become acquainted with a concept, All
7 People's Defence?
8 A. Could you repeat that?
9 Q. Yes. All, meaning all of us, All People's Defence, a concept that
10 existed and was ingrained in the military doctrine of the JNA, which the
11 BiH, or on both sides, the Serbs and the Muslims, had incorporated as
12 their nascent armies were coming into fruition?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
14 MR. WAESPI: Yes. That's closing argument, I take it. I don't
15 understand why it's relevant at this point.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I think --
17 JUDGE LIU: I'll give Mr. Karnavas some leeway to try this
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you. I
20 need some leeway on this one.
21 Q. Were you aware of that?
22 A. No.
23 Q. All right. Were you aware of the fact that the -- during the JNA
24 period and thereafter, under the former Yugoslavia, that there was a --
25 this concept, as part of the military doctrine, along with the civilian
1 protection, where all of the people would be mobilised on a moment's call
2 to assist? Were you aware of that?
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, that's too far, because the
4 witness has already answered the question. Were you aware of that? The
5 witness says no. If the witness doesn't know this concept, there's no
6 follow-up questions.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I added "civilian protection" on the second one.
8 If I could just --
9 JUDGE LIU: That's a kind of new concept.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
11 JUDGE LIU: I don't think you can get, you know --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Very well, Your Honour
13 JUDGE LIU: -- anything from this witness.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
15 Q. But just one last question. I'm not going to ask you about this
16 doctrine, since you are unfamiliar with it. But the speed with which the
17 mobilisation process occurred caused you to jump to some conclusion, did
18 it not?
19 A. Do you mean the speed at which the refugees were moved away?
20 Q. Well, the speed with which the buses were able to show up. Did
21 that not -- I mean, was not some sort of circumstantial evidence that
22 assisted you in formulating some sort of an opinion?
23 A. I have an opinion, I formed an opinion on that, in the sense that
24 we were highly surprised at the speed with which a great number of coaches
25 and trucks were collected to do that shortly after the morning meeting of
1 July the 12th, and the speed with which they became available. And I
2 said, amongst others, to the battalion staff: How is it possible that one
3 can get together such a large number of vehicles in such -- so short a
4 time? And therefore, I concluded to myself that it was a preplanned
6 Q. Okay. Thank you. And it seems that it took the NATO by surprise
7 as well, because, according to the NIOD report on July 13th they were
8 brainstorming on the feasibility of the emergency evacuation. And that
9 could be found part 3, chapter 9, section 1, page 5.
10 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, that's just an argument. I mean, he's
11 not even asking a question to the witness on this point.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Were you aware --
14 JUDGE LIU: I don't think that's necessary. This comment is not
15 necessary. Please proceed.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
17 JUDGE LIU: I think we have to go to Potocari.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: We're just -- we're almost there, Your Honour.
19 We're almost there. And I totally agree.
20 Q. All right. Now, just -- I'd asked you about whether you are aware
21 of the sentiments being expressed or discussed by the Muslims, and you
22 said no. Were you aware that on July 11, that Sacirbey do you know who
23 Sacirbey was by any chance?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who was he, just for the record?
1 A. In my opinion, at that time, he was minister of foreign affairs,
2 or a representative in the United Nations organisations, at least, or
3 something like that.
4 Q. Okay. Now, if I could have the kind assistance of Mr. Usher. And
5 I'm looking at part 3, chapter 9, section 2, again of the NIOD report.
6 And I believe we gave that, for the record, an identification number of
7 210. It states here -- we're going to go through this rather quickly. It
8 says here, first paragraph, last sentence: "Nicolai advised Voorhoeve" -
9 I hope I'm pronouncing it right - "to instruct DutchBat to give maximum
10 assistance to the displaced persons. Voorhoeve consented and told Nicolai
11 to inform Karremans of his decision. This took place immediately."
12 It then goes on to say that: "During the discussion with Nicolai,
13 which took place 1630 hours, there was, according to Voorhoeve, no longer
14 an emergency situation with regard to DutchBat. The enclave had fallen
15 and the battalion could concentrate on humanitarian tasks before leaving."
16 So this would have appeared that this conversation took place
17 after you spoke with General Nicolai; correct? Between Nicolai and
18 Mr. Voorhoeve? Or was that before?
19 A. [In English] I don't know.
20 Q. All right. Okay. Then later on it says that, in the middle of
21 the next paragraph, it says that -- actually, I'll read the whole
22 paragraph: "On the afternoon of 11 July, Voorhoeve appeared to have
23 already dropped the idea of getting DutchBat out of the enclave as soon as
24 possible. This can also be deduced from a discussion with Sacirbey, the
25 Bosnian minister of foreign affairs, which took place sometime in the same
1 afternoon. Voorhoeve had assured Sacirbey that the Dutch troops would
2 stay in Srebrenica until all the civilians had been evacuated. Sacirbey
3 then demanded that the entire population, including the soldiers, be
4 protected and evacuated. Voorhoeve agreed."
5 Were you aware of this conversation between -- I guess that was
6 the Minister of Defence of the Netherlands with the Minister of Foreign
7 Affairs of the Bosnian Muslim government in --
8 A. [Interpretation] No.
9 Q. Okay. Now, if we go to the last part of this page, it
10 says: "Around 10.00 on the evening, at 11 July, Akashi reported to
11 New York that he intended to instruct DutchBat to stay in the enclave
12 until negotiations had been conducted on the departure of the population.
13 Until then a 'substantial presence' was needed in the enclave, and
14 DutchBat had to remain armed. Akashi wanted to offset this against what
15 he thought was still the wish of the Dutch government, namely, to pull out
16 the Dutch troops as soon as possible. Only when a satisfactory agreement
17 had been reached on the departure of the displaced persons would Akashi be
18 prepared to negotiate a withdrawal of DutchBat. By now, the UN staff in
19 Zagreb had also decided that a continued UN presence was important for
20 providing humanitarian aid. The conclusion was that as soon as this
21 necessity no longer existed, there would no longer be a case for a UN
22 presence and DutchBat would leave the enclave."
23 And then it goes on: "But there was a hidden agenda. Akashi had
24 his own reasons for keeping DutchBat in Srebrenica for the time being. He
25 was afraid that a departure might induce the troop-contributing nations to
1 want to withdraw their own units from Zepa and Gorazde." A rather cynical
2 point of view, might I add.
3 Now, were you aware of all of these things?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Okay. Was this ever communicated to you?
6 A. No.
7 Q. If I may -- just one moment. One last moment. I believe we're
8 through with this part.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much, Mr. Usher. Now, I have
10 another document -- a couple more documents to go. So now we know at
11 least on the 11th we have the minister of foreign affairs of the Muslims
12 wanting the evacuation of the population.
13 Q. Now if I can show I part 3, chapter 6, section 8.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
15 MR. WAESPI: I was waiting for a question. Otherwise it's just a
16 comment. I wasn't sure what the purpose was --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: The purpose was to assist, it's a looping process.
18 I'm going down the road to show that there is more than one sentiment.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, if it is a statement from the Defence, maybe
20 that's the position held by the Defence counsel, and according to that
21 document. I guess at the end you are going to propose the admission of
22 that document into evidence.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: That's true.
24 JUDGE LIU: And the Prosecution has the right to cross-examine.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Certainly, absolutely, and we encourage that.
1 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, maybe the way of presenting your
2 evidence could be changed, you know, because on the whole transcript, we
3 see you're reading the whole paragraph, and the answer from the witness
4 is: No.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: And what I'm trying to demonstrate, Your Honour -
6 because I need the gentleman's answers - is to show that while he is in
7 Srebrenica trying to deal with the situation there, decisions have been
8 made above him and decisions have been trickled down, and maybe he has
9 gotten one portion, one morsel, I should say, of the information and so
10 that the decision to evacuate everybody was not the brainchild of Mladic.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. Can we now argue our
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I was asked a question, Your Honour.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's clearly what's going on. He's using the
15 document to argue his case whether the witness is involved or not.
16 Now, if the witness is involved, that's perfectly -- there's some
17 appropriateness to it, but just to go through the document and then to
18 take out the time that is ticking away to argue his case, I've got to
19 stand up at that point. I apologise.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I entirely agree with the objections.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I take Mr. McCloskey's objection, Your Honour, to
22 heart. But I still have --
23 JUDGE LIU: And put it into action.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I'm trying to improvise, Your Honour. I do
25 have two documents left. If I could show you this document. I'm going to
1 go to page 3. And this is a reference to a gentleman by the name of Osman
2 Suljic, S-u-l-j-i-c.
3 Q. Did you know this gentleman, sir? I believe he was the war
5 A. Yes, I know him.
6 Q. And he was the war president in Srebrenica; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If I could go to the last paragraph. It says here that Suljic did
9 indeed raise the alarm with the Bosnian authorities in the form of a
10 letter to President Izetbegovic and ABiH Commander Rasim Delic. In this
11 letter, Suljic sketched the situation at 1900 hours on 9 July. "The
12 command structure in the enclave had begun to collapse and the 28th
13 Division was no longer capable of stopping the VRS from entering the city.
14 Chaos and panic prevailed and the civilian authorities were faced with the
15 problem of saving the population. Suljic proposed a meeting between the
16 Bosnian political and military leaders and those of the Republika Srpska
17 to establish whether it would be possible to open a corridor to allow the
18 population to travel to the territory of the Muslim-Croat Federation under
19 international supervision. Suljic insisted on an answer within 24 hours.
20 Izetbegovic did not react."
21 Did you, by any chance, Mr. Karremans, have any conversations with
22 the war president to discuss this matter?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did he at any point in time - because it seems this is 7.00 in the
25 evening, 7.00 in the evening on July 9th - did he by any chance come to
1 you to inform you of his concerns and as to whether any measures should be
2 taken to evacuate the population from Srebrenica, as he had been
3 requesting from President Izetbegovic?
4 A. No, not as far as I remember. No.
5 Q. Just lastly on this issue: Were you aware that there had been a
6 plan, that a plan did exist, both for the defence and the evacuation of
7 the enclave, a plan that predated the incident surrounding Srebrenica,
8 from 6 to 11 July? Were you aware of that?
9 A. Are you referring to a plan of the ABiH?
10 Q. Yes. A plan of the -- yes.
11 A. No.
12 Q. Okay. Would it surprise you that you would find that such a plan
13 existed in the NIOD report, chapter 6, section -- part 3, chapter 6,
14 section 24? Would that surprise you?
15 A. Yes. That surprises me, because during the many talks that have
16 been going on with the leadership of the ABiH and all the talks were fed
17 back, in all of that, I don't remember ever talking -- discussing a
18 defence plan, withdrawal, or anything of the sort.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. However, I agree with the analysis which Suljic gave on the 9th
21 concerning the collapse of the defence, because we had noticed that
22 ourselves, of course.
23 Q. Okay. I think we're ready for Potocari.
24 And I want to thank you for assisting me to go through all of
25 these documents, and I appreciate the indulgence of the Trial Chamber on
1 this one, as well as the Prosecutor's indulgence.
2 Now, I don't want to talk about the second and third meeting,
3 because we don't have enough time. If I had four or five days, we would
4 go into this in more detail. But in light of the limited time that we do
5 have, let's talk about the 12th and the 13th -- yeah, the 12th and
6 the 13th, starting with after your third meeting with General Mladic,
7 which would have been on the morning of the 12th.
8 Could you please tell us: After you left that meeting, where did
9 you go? After you left Fontana.
10 A. I returned directly to the compound in Potocari.
11 Q. Now, could you please tell us: During those days - because there
12 seems to be some dilemma - were you in charge or were you incapacitated,
13 sick in some way, and Major Franken had taken over as acting commander?
14 A. [In English] No.
15 Q. You were still in charge, still in command?
16 A. [Interpretation] Even if you're sick for a night, then you're
17 still in charge. You're always in charge.
18 Q. Okay. But were you sick on that day, the 12th and the 13th?
19 A. You asked me the same question the day before yesterday, and I
20 started thinking about whether that was the case. I was sick once. I
21 explained to you that half the battalion was sick, as far as the food
22 supply was concerned. And I remember that evening, but I would really
23 need to go very far back in my memory. But about that evening, no. The
24 evening from the 12th to the 13th, so much happened and so much had to be
25 arranged that I cannot remember having been sick for any reason at all.
1 Q. All right. And just -- the conversation we had was when we shared
2 that beer, that little time that we were able to have together upon your
3 arrival; right?
4 A. Yes. That's what I'm referring to. And I also explained to you
5 that it happened a week later and had nothing to do with the situation at
6 the time. And if you're referring to -- if you're referring to a division
7 of responsibility, it's very difficult under these circumstances, because
8 so much had to be done and I had given Major Franken carte blanche to
9 carry things out, and I knew in advance or discussed it after the fact.
10 Q. Okay. Well, okay. Well, you're anticipating some very large
11 areas of discussion, but I just want to make sure I nail this one down.
12 On the 12th and the 13th, your health was fine. You didn't have
13 diarrhoea, as some have claimed was the case?
14 A. No.
15 Q. All right. Now, we're going to talk about the division of labour
16 or, in military parlance, I guess it would be the division of functions,
17 between commander and assistant commander, or Chief of Staff. But first
18 of all, could you please tell us what you, as the commander, what
19 functions did you retain that you were going to be involved in on a
20 hand-to-hand --
21 A. [In English] All of them.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. [Interpretation] Except, and you should consider this in the
24 available time frame of 24 hours a day, minus a few hours for other
25 matters that I needed to delegate a few things, and that's a very normal
1 part of the organisation. But I remained responsible for whatever I
3 Q. All right. Now, I take it there might be some notes in that
4 little notebook of yours that you've yet to let us take a peek at, about
5 the days. There may be some little notes in that little notebook.
6 A. No. They're also in this book.
7 Q. Okay. All right. All right. Very well. Now, let's start with
8 what duties you delegated. Could you please tell us what duties you
9 delegated to Major Franken.
10 A. Okay. It's easy. In a battalion staff, there's a commander, a
11 deputy commander, a staff officer, an intelligence officer, an operations
12 officer, and a logistics officer, plus many other officers and
13 sub-officers. From 6 through 11 July, my deputy was in Tuzla. My
14 operations officer, a major, was in the Netherlands, waiting to return to
15 the enclave. In the end, 80 troops were unable to return because they --
16 because of the closure of the enclave.
17 So under the tension of 6, 11, 12, and 13, we had to distribute
18 the tasks. The additional tasks I issued to Major Franken was to run the
19 operations and provide military supervision to the companies and units
20 that constituted the battalion. This is never outside the knowledge of
21 the commander, and if I, as a commander, say that's not happening, then it
22 doesn't happen. He was already responsible for logistics operations
23 within the battalion. So he was assigned an additional task that,
24 considering his experience in previous functions, he was quite able to
25 perform this task.
1 Staff and intelligence were not a problem, because I did have
2 officers for that. So I was missing two extremely important officers in a
3 situation such as this one, the deputy commander and the operations
5 Q. Okay. All right. We may need to ask you to slow down a little
6 bit so as not to overtax --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter was no sound.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. We may need you to slow down a little bit so as not to overtax the
11 Okay. Well, in light of these tasks that you had delegated to
12 Major Franken, may I ask you: Who was in charge of liaisoning or dealing
13 with the Serb counterparts, you know, at the highest level?
14 A. Is the highest level Sarajevo and somewhere else?
15 Q. No.
16 A. Please be specific. I'm responsible for everything, and I was
17 also responsible for external communications, both in the military
18 hierarchy and toward the ABiH and to the VRS.
19 Q. All right. Well, who was dealing directly with your Serb
20 counterparts, you know, the commanders? There was Mladic, there was
21 Zivanovic, or Krstic. Who was dealing with them?
22 A. I was. But there was never any opportunity in the preceding
23 period, except for occasionally a conversation with Nikolic.
24 Q. Okay. Well, we know that you met with General Mladic on three
25 occasions. Once you got to Potocari, could you tell us who was in charge
1 on the Serbian side, the VRS side, of that entire operation, if you know.
2 A. Mladic.
3 Q. Now, was Mladic there the entire time, the 12th and the 13th?
4 A. I don't know. I wasn't with him 24 hours a day. But I did meet
5 him on a few occasions, on the 12th and 13th, and I referred to that in my
6 book, based on my notes. After that, he was gone for a while.
7 Q. All right. When Mladic was not around on the 12th and the 13th,
8 as we all know in this courtroom, because he was only there off and on,
9 with whom were you dealing? Who was his acting commander or the person in
11 A. I don't know. At best, I can refer to a contact, somebody who
12 would get in touch with us, or we could get in touch with them via the
13 interpreter. As I mentioned, when problems arose concerning aid and so
14 on, the name was Jankovic, and we interacted with him if he came to us --
15 yeah, he basically came to us.
16 Q. Okay. But I guess -- because the military, as I understand it, is
17 a rather formal and rigid institution. When the commander isn't there,
18 normally there is an acting commander or deputy commander or somebody
19 who's left in charge. So did Mladic inform you as to who was in charge
20 that you would need to deal with specifically?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: The witness was asked the question before and he
23 said: I don't know. Just the last question. The question -- the last
24 answer. The question was from Mr. Karnavas: When Mladic was not around
25 and so on. And then there was sort of a compound question. First: Who
1 are you dealing with, and second, who was his acting commander. And then
2 the witness answered: I don't know.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. It's all in the transcript.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. So when Mladic wasn't there, you didn't know who you were supposed
6 to interact with?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. WAESPI: Again, because Mr. Karnavas puts two questions, two
9 points into one question. And the witness answers to one. Who was in
10 charge, and who are you dealing with? And it's very difficult, and
11 perhaps unfair, than just to take out one basically answer of --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think those questions have been answered by
13 this witness already. He mentioned a name Jankovic.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. I'll go around --
15 Q. Was Jankovic the acting commander, sir?
16 A. No. I don't know who the deputy was, who was in charge when
17 Mladic was not present. You referred to a deputy. I don't know. But
18 Jankovic and a person named Nikolic were the battalion's contacts for all
20 Q. All right. Now, did you bother to ask, you as the commander, who
21 would be in charge of this operation, since it would appear that you were
22 now responsible for the safety of all those refugees that were there?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
24 MR. WAESPI: Again the question is argumentative. He can ask:
25 Did you ask who was in charge? And then just mere reference to bothering
1 and -- I think it's unnecessary.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it's not quite, because he's the commander.
3 I can understand if it was some lieutenant, but this is the commander. So
4 I would assume that a commander would ask the other commander: Who am I
5 to deal with? Specifically who is in charge? Somebody has got to be in
6 charge. We can't have all these people.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, logically, this question is not
8 very good, because, first, the witness answered he didn't know. If he
9 asked, he will know.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Can I ask, Your Honour, why he doesn't know,
11 why he didn't bother to ask the question? Would that be okay? Because as
12 a commander, I would assume -- or were several people in charge?
13 JUDGE LIU: It seems to me that you put the blame on this witness.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: No, I don't, Your Honour. No. This is an issue
15 with command responsibility. That's the whole case. That's why the
16 Prosecution is objecting so much. Because it hurts them to know that --
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, well, well. That's too far. You may put
18 your question to this witness in the simplest way.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. Who was in charge of the logistics on the Serbian side?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. All right. Who was in charge --
23 A. I'd like to get back to this discussion, if I'm allowed. Under
24 ordinary conditions, a person will introduce his deputy and his most
25 important staff officers. This would happen at the second or third or
1 fourth meeting, so I would know who I would be dealing with or who I could
2 deal with, and then I would have known names. I would have remembered
3 faces, and I could tell somebody: You're the commander, so you should
4 know who you're dealing with. That didn't happen. I gave you two names,
5 because those were the men who regularly came to the CP battalion in
7 Q. Okay. Are you -- were you under the impression that Nikolic was
8 in charge, or was he just a contact person?
9 A. Contact.
10 Q. Okay. Now, while you were there during the 12th and 13th, and
11 incidentally, I want to make sure that we're clear. Nobody's blaming you
12 for anything or putting you on trial. But while you were there on
13 the 12th and 13th, what exactly were you doing? As concretely as
15 A. It's not possible to be specific, because so much happened on the
16 12th and 13th, and so much had to be communicated to the outside, and
17 there was so much supervision, with some parts being delegated, that at
18 this point I can't state everything I did. Much of my time was taken up
19 with meetings, with phone calls to higher echelons and national
20 authorities and running all kinds of meetings, supervising and
21 streamlining operations within the battalion. I also needed to supervise
22 the battalion.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. I had to consult with the teams about the wounded. I had to visit
25 the bandaging unit. It was too much to stipulate.
1 Q. Did you walk around at all?
2 A. I saw more than you want to know.
3 Q. Yes. I take it you walked all over the place to make sure
4 everything was going as planned.
5 A. Several times I left the compound. Of course, I also walked
6 around inside the compound a few times. I was in the hall with refugees.
7 I visited the areas with all the wounded several times. And in between, I
8 spoke with a lot of people and my own soldiers, as well as the battalion
9 supervisors, my staff, the surgeons, and so on.
10 Q. Okay. And it was based on those observations during those -- that
11 period of time that you walked around and spoke to various people that you
12 were able, on the 23rd of July, 1995, to stay -- to put in your statement:
13 I did not witness any individual human rights violation"; right? That was
14 your statement?
15 A. That was my statement, and I did not observe that personally.
16 Q. Right. I'm not -- I'm just saying personally.
17 A. [In English] No. You asked personally.
18 Q. Well, it's right here. If I could -- if we could get this put on
19 the ELMO, perhaps this would assist.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, before we put that document on the
21 ELMO, I found that it's classified as confidential.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
23 JUDGE LIU: I think you have to make sure that -- the reason why,
24 and if there's no absolute necessity, I believe that everybody has got
25 this document. So we better not put it on the ELMO.
1 Yes, Mr. Waespi.
2 MR. WAESPI: Yes. We have inquired with the provider of that
3 information. It was protected and the protected is lifted, so it can be
4 discussed publicly.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. So we could put it on the ELMO. Yes, please.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: And we could refer to this as, for identification
7 purposes, as D206. It states here, if we see on the top, it has your
8 name. It would appear that this was taken in Potocari.
9 Q. Correct? Is that where this statement was taken, sir?
10 A. [Interpretation] I think the statement was taken in Zagreb, on 23
11 July. I did several interviews there. One was with an international
12 organisation, human rights -- the human rights organisation, or something
13 like that. And they asked me to make a statement.
14 Q. Okay. And we see in the very first sentence: "I did not witness
15 any individual human rights violations." You stand by that; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. And just to make sure I understood you correctly: During
18 that 12th and 13th of July, you were not confined in your office, but
19 rather, you walked around and engaged in conversations with others?
20 That's a question.
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. All right. Now, in your statement here, you do talk about
23 Jankovic being present during the negotiations with Mladic. And then I
24 notice that when you gave your statement to the OTP, the Office of the
25 Prosecution, on 28 September, there you indicated, again, that - and I'm
1 referring to -- it doesn't have a page number, but it's -- the ERN number
2 is 00443296. It states: "Colonel Jankovic, also coordinator of the
3 Srebrenica case, and another colonel whose name I do not recall and who
4 was in charge of logistics."
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. WAESPI: The version I have, I take it it's the same, because
7 it's the same ERN number, says: "Colonel Jankovic (assistant and possibly
8 also coordinator of the Srebrenica case)."
9 MR. KARNAVAS: That's true.
10 Q. "And another colonel whose name I do not recall." Now, of the --
11 do you know, by any chance, in your little book whether you put the name
12 of the other colonel in there?
13 A. [In English] We discussed this before, and I don't know any name
14 for this person. No.
15 Q. Can I ask: How is it the commander did not know the name of the
16 person who was in charge of the logistics of this rather massive
18 A. [Interpretation] I can't answer that. It's possible. You may not
19 have a very clear impression, although I understand that you've been
20 working on this for three years. You may not clearly understand the
21 circumstances under which a commander operates in that situation and what
22 such a commander is doing. And of course, things escape such a commander
23 that you hear later on. You can't keep abreast of everything. And
24 sometimes you might not remember a name or you might think I'm not dealing
25 personally with this person because Major Franken is -- if I'm referring
1 to logistics, I hope you won't hold it against me that I don't know this
2 man's name.
3 Q. No. And we've been trying to convey all of that, by the way.
4 A. [In English] I understand. I understand.
5 Q. Now, this person, this colonel who was in charge of the logistics,
6 do you know - concretely, if you could tell us - how exactly he was
7 handling the logistics, what exactly was he doing?
8 A. [Interpretation] No, I don't know.
9 Q. Can you help us out here, and maybe, since we have two colonels,
10 Jankovic and this other person, do you know which of the two was above --
11 you know, who was number one, who was number two, or were they both at the
12 same level?
13 A. [In English] I don't know. [Interpretation] I don't know. I
14 don't know whether they were at the same level. They were contacts only.
15 But Nikolic was at a much lower level, but I'm sure you understood that.
16 During the course of the investigation, Jankovic and this other colonel
17 were counterparts. And the other without a name was primarily responsible
18 for logistics. You asked me how he organised logistics and how he was
19 responsible. I don't know how he organised that. I have no idea. So the
20 answer is no.
21 Q. Nikolic and this particular gentleman had been, or was, the
22 liaison officer between the Bratunac Brigade and UNPROFOR, DutchBat;
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. And so you had prior contacts with him, and in fact you write
1 rather extensively and perhaps, you know, rather negatively, about
2 Mr. Nikolic?
3 A. I was in frequent contact with Nikolic or Rukovic [as
4 interpreted], a colonel that we negotiated with as well, but he was away
5 for quite a while. I have an idea about -- concerning my opinion of
6 Mr. Nikolic.
7 Q. And that would have been -- the other colonel would have been
8 Vukovic as opposed to Rukovic?
9 A. Yes. But Colonel Vukovic is not the name you're looking for.
10 That's the second or the first negotiator in the period from the start of
11 the operation until the departure from the enclave.
12 Q. Right. A rather -- a sort of a poet or a philosopher warrior, as
13 opposed to a soldier's soldier.
14 A. Definitely as opposed to Nikolic.
15 Q. Right. Now, did you ever at any point in time ask to meet with
16 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade? I mean, after all, you were there.
17 Did that ever come up?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you ever meet the commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you know whether the commander of the Bratunac Brigade was
22 around at the time?
23 A. During the three meetings with General Mladic, I saw several
24 people. Most also appeared on the video that you watched. The number of
25 persons varied from one meeting to another. At the third meeting, that
1 was attended by the most people, because civilians were there too. And
2 the people in uniform were the ones that I had met previously. And I
3 don't remember the commander of the Bratunac Brigade having been among
5 Q. Okay. Now, getting back to Potocari: I know that you were rather
6 surprised with the speed with which the buses arrived, but could you
7 please tell us whether you at any point in time had any discussions with
8 your Serbian counterparts as to how the evacuation process would occur.
9 A. Yes. I also described it in my book. That afternoon, Mladic came
10 to watch the beginning of the evacuation. We spoke for 10 or 15 minutes,
11 and during that conversation I asked him, and I told him -- rather, I told
12 him that this was not really in keeping with our agreement, because I
13 emphasised that I wanted to get the injured people out of the enclave
14 first. That was my top priority. We didn't mention times or the like.
15 But everybody was surprised, or rather, everybody from the battalion,
16 including myself, was amazed at the speed of such a large number of
17 vehicles showing up, and I told him that. And the course of events did
18 not correspond with what I had anticipated that morning in terms of the
19 sequence of people being evacuated. What I told him in our conversation
20 that afternoon, he listened to that, and if I remember correctly, there
21 was a television crew there. It was like a television circus, if I can
22 put it that way. I'm not sure whether the conversation was actually
23 recorded, but his answer was very curt. It was something along the lines
24 of: I'll take care of all that myself.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. Or words to that effect.
2 Q. But concretely, did you ever sit down with General Mladic or
3 his -- the persons that he had in charge, either this one colonel or
4 Colonel Jankovic, to work out the details as far as who would do what,
5 where, how --
6 A. [In English] No. [Interpretation] No.
7 Q. Okay. Now, in light of your conversation with General Mladic,
8 first your observations that this was not in keeping with the agreement,
9 and then your conversation with General Mladic, did you contact your
10 superiors to inform them of what was happening, so at least they would be
11 informed and perhaps they could intervene at some higher level, a level
12 that obviously you were unable --
13 A. Yeah [Interpretation] Yes. My answer is yes.
14 Q. And could you please tell us with whom and when?
15 A. In the course of the afternoon. And who, Brantz and Nicolai, or
16 Brantz and Reuter. And Reuter is, for your information, the assistant of
17 General Nicolai.
18 Q. And what were the instructions to you, orders, suggestions,
19 comments, be they as they may?
20 A. The instructions were clear. Avert panic, and try to control
21 things as much as possible. The assignment, as I mentioned to General
22 Mladic as well, was that the compound and the surrounding terrain was
23 supposed to be considered a safe area. Nothing was supposed to happen
24 there. And the moment the evacuation started and was in progress, I was
25 supposed to supervise it as best I could.
1 Q. Okay. Now, did you in fact supervise it?
2 A. No. I went outside on a few occasions to watch how it was
3 progressing, as I mentioned. It's difficult to pull 20.000 strings, and I
4 was -- I needed to arrange things as best I could.
5 Q. Do you recall whether this was one of the tasks that you had
6 assigned to or delegated to Major Franken, your number two at the time?
7 A. I delegated to Major Franken responsibility for guaranteeing the
8 safety of the refugees when they were in the bus and were leaving the
9 area, Kladanj, and I mentioned that I sent two people on the first buses
10 to see what was happening, and the follow-up of the guidance of the
11 refugees in the buses, we may discuss everything that happened later on.
12 But with the limited means that we had, we tried to manage things as best
13 we could.
14 Q. Okay. Now, did Major Franken ever inform you of any
15 irregularities that he might have observed?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did any of your other men inform you of any irregularities?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you please tell us the irregularities that they had brought
20 to your attention.
21 A. I received two reports that some -- Lieutenant Reuter acknowledged
22 having found some corpses near the compound, and I think there was also a
23 report from an adjutant that he had -- a sergeant, that he had seen one or
24 two people being killed. I believe that was during the morning of
25 12 July, around the end of the morning. I received the report and I
1 immediately contacted the higher echelons, in this case, Reuter, because
2 General Nicolai was in a meeting. So I reported that. Because matters
3 had been observed that definitely needed to be reported, matters that were
4 simply impermissible.
5 Q. All right. Now, was that report that you received, was that
6 before or after you came up to General Mladic to tell him that the
7 evacuation was ongoing not in keeping with the agreement, that is, the
8 wounded not being the first to be evacuated?
9 A. In the course of time, I believe it was before that.
10 Q. Okay. So you learned of this before you met with General Mladic?
11 A. [In English] Yeah.
12 Q. Then when you met where General Mladic, did you in fact bring this
13 up to him and say: "General, I just heard that some of your men have
14 committed some atrocities, and these would appear to be either war crimes
15 or crimes against humanity. You're the highest commanding officer." Did
16 you bring it up to his attention?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
18 MR. WAESPI: It's leading.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. There's no need for following up.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I was helping --
21 JUDGE LIU: Just ask a simple question.
22 MR. KARNAVAS:
23 Q. Did you bring it to General Mladic's attention?
24 A. No. I didn't have the opportunity to do that. Of course, it was
25 engraved in my mental agenda in terms of what I wanted to discuss with
1 General Mladic when I happened to run into him at the gate of the
2 compound. But I don't have a clear recollection of having reported this
3 to the echelon about these matters, considering the safe area compound and
4 that he really was not supposed to do this, and that these were, to put it
5 in English, atrocities. So I had no opportunity -- he did not give me the
6 opportunity to mention this to him, because following my remark about,
7 "How do we proceed from here," and "You're not sticking to what we agreed
8 this morning." He said: "I'll determine that." And the media circus
9 left, and so did General Mladic.
10 Q. Okay. Incidentally, I take it you did not go to see the evidence
11 of these incidents that were brought to your attention. I understand that
12 you were very busy. I just want to whether you had an opportunity to go
13 visit the sites where one of your soldiers had informed of you what he had
15 A. I saw a lot, as I stated earlier. I did not see this personally.
16 I don't know the cause. Perhaps I was on the phone or in a meeting or
17 something like that.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. Reports were submitted to my office by Lieutenant Reuter, and I
20 also believe by Oosterveen. Between meetings and discussions I got on the
21 phone and conveyed this information immediately. But I did not go to see
22 it personally.
23 Q. Did you convey this information to -- or your concerns, I should
24 say, to Colonel Jankovic or this other colonel that was involved in the
1 A. I did not. I don't know what Major Franken did, because we
2 discussed that. We discussed everything during those days, provided that
3 the time was available. So it's possible that he did do it, because he
4 should have known about what was happening at that point or what had
6 Q. All right. Was that the only incident that you had heard about,
7 the only irregularity, or were there others?
8 A. No. There were two.
9 Q. Two. Okay.
10 A. As I mentioned earlier. Of course, other incidents took place,
11 but they have nothing to do with war crimes and the like. And I heard
12 about them too. I reported about them in the situation reports. Someone
13 hung himself, people died. But those are human aspects of life.
14 Q. All right. Now, what about separation of men? Did you see that?
15 A. I didn't see it, in the sense of was I right on top of it. I did
16 hear about it, and I said something about that later on too, that this was
17 not in keeping with our discussion. Mladic said: "I want all our guys
18 between age 16 and 60, because I 'know, suspect, that there are several
19 war criminals among them'." And at that point, I -- he and I may have had
20 different ideas of what war criminals were, because a serviceman in the
21 military is not a war criminal, unless this person performs war crimes.
22 So later on I tried to point out to him that separating the men was not
23 the right way, as we had agreed, to transfer the people to Kladanj, and it
24 was the wrong sequence as well.
25 Q. Just one -- I think we're maybe coming up to the hour for a break,
1 but if I understand the time sequence here, but just one last question.
2 Where was it that you brought this to Mladic's attention, about
3 the separation not being in keeping with the agreement or not proper? Do
4 you know what day it was?
5 A. I think, counting back, 11, 12 -- on the 12th, the evacuation
6 started and I saw him on the 13th, and that was when I tried to tell him
7 about -- that was the day, both facts. Because I didn't see him for a
8 while after that.
9 Q. Okay. You were aware, at least from your statement, that Colonel
10 Jankovic, at least you thought at the time, you say that he was the
11 assistant and possibly also the coordinator of the Srebrenica case. Did
12 you discuss this with Colonel Jankovic or the other colonel, who were
13 there on the ground at the time?
14 A. No. No. And I didn't say that Colonel Jankovic was the overall
15 coordinator, because I didn't know that. An operations officer is not
16 necessarily the coordinator of an operation taking place at the time.
17 These were logistic affairs, and that was the colonel.
18 Q. Okay. I take it --
19 A. It was the other colonel. Excuse me.
20 Q. Yes. And I take it Nikolic, in your mind, was not the overall
21 coordinator either, was he?
22 A. Definitely not.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. Nikolic was the man who knew some people in the battalion, because
25 of the interactions and because of the fact that I had been with him a few
1 times at post OP Jovo, just outside the enclave and just talked with him
3 Q. All right. Well, but did you ask Colonel Jankovic or the other
4 colonel to whom you should make a complaint, other than to Mladic, about
5 the separation?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you complain about this to your higher -- the higher
8 authorities? Did you bring it to their attention like you had done with
9 the previous two incidents, contact them to pass along that information?
10 A. Yes. I spoke with Colonel Brantz and also Major General Reuter
11 about this course of events. At any rate, I spoke with Brantz.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Your Honour, I don't have that much more,
13 but I think it's probably more than ten minutes. But it's certainly not,
14 I would say, 15, 20 minutes tops. And of course, if we take a break, I
15 might be able to condense it even more. I know I promised I would be
16 through by this point in time, but I think we're almost there. So if we
17 could take a break, I would most appreciate it.
18 JUDGE LIU: Of course. Of course. We have to take a break,
19 because this courtroom will be used by another Chamber in the afternoon.
20 So I have been advised to take all the personal belongings with you when
21 you're out of this room. And we'll resume at 3.00 in Courtroom III,
22 upstairs. Yes.
23 --- Recess taken at 1.50 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 3.04 p.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: I was informed that, at maximum, we could work until
1 5.30. So we might have a break in the middle so that to let this witness
2 go home.
3 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President, Judge Vassylenko.
5 Q. Mr. Karremans, I trust you had a good lunch.
6 A. [In English] Thank you.
7 Q. I just have a few questions left. I believe we left off, we quite
8 hadn't finished the issue of separation. Could you tell us whether you
9 visited the area where the separation was occurring.
10 A. [Interpretation] As I said before, I visited the area outside the
11 compound several times, but not specifically the site where -- which was,
12 I was told, by the way, later on, the separation of men and women took
14 Q. All right. As you were walking around the crowd, could you see
15 the separation going on?
16 A. No.
17 Q. How large of an area are we speaking of, given the large mass of
19 A. A fairly large area, which comprised a number of factory compounds
20 and where a number of people of the battalion were active, supporting,
21 giving particularly medical support, and around that, a cordon, so a
22 fairly large area.
23 Q. While you were walking around, did you see anyone abusing the
24 women and children?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you hear of any incidents from your soldiers or your officers
2 where women or children or men were being physically abused in their
4 A. [In English] No.
5 Q. Now, did you by any chance walk to the area where the women and
6 children and all those who were boarding the buses, where that was taking
8 A. [Interpretation] Yes, a number of times.
9 Q. And did you notice anything unusual?
10 A. At the early stage, it was chaotic, because everyone wanted to
11 board the bus as quickly as possible, and therefore, orders were given to
12 make a kind of lock, to make a -- to cordon it off, in order to make the
13 approach to the buses as clear and as safe as possible. There, nothing
14 special happened, in the sense of what you were referring to, in terms of
15 irregularities and so on. At first, we made a lock, and there it happened
16 that people were forcibly pushed into the buses a few times.
17 Q. Okay. When you say "forcibly pushed," would you please tell us
18 who was pushing them, forcibly pushing them on to the bus?
19 A. Pushing.
20 Q. Well, was this the inertia of people trying to get on the bus,
21 pushing themselves?
22 A. At first, after we had made a channel, or a lock, if you like, it
23 was done by a number of men of the VRS who wanted to intervene, until
24 people from the battalion took over the coaching of the people.
25 Q. All right. The cordon, who set that up?
1 A. Possibly we're getting confused here. We put the cordon in place
2 already the evening before, around what I call the safe area in later
3 talks, and we installed the safe channel in the neighbourhood of the main
4 entrance of the compound where the buses turned and were ready to leave.
5 Q. All right. Now, did you notice any civilian police of the
6 Ministry of the Interior?
7 A. No, sir.
8 Q. Did you meet, by any chance, with a gentleman by the name of Jevic
9 short, big moustache, also went by the name of Stalin?
10 A. No.
11 Q. You don't remember that?
12 A. No, I didn't see him.
13 Q. Okay. Now, do you recall when the men started boarding buses?
14 A. Could you please repeat the question?
15 Q. Yes. Do you recall seeing men boarding buses?
16 A. For a short while, at the beginning, at about 4.00, Mladic came to
17 see us. This took about 15 minutes. After that, we got some successive
18 reports of the separation of men at the time when I was already back, say,
19 within the gates of the compound.
20 Q. All right. Now, were you aware -- let me phrase this correctly.
21 Did you notice any separation before Mladic came around 4.00?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Now, are we speaking of the 12th or the 13th?
24 A. The 12th.
25 Q. Okay. And after you noticed the separation, did you -- was Mladic
1 still around, in the area, that is?
2 A. No. For the sake of correct sequence, at 3.00 the evacuation
3 started. Water and bread had been brought in. And at 4.00 the media
4 spectacle took place, in which I spoke for about a quarter of an hour
5 concerning the right sequence that was discussed in the morning at the
6 third meeting and which I tried to comply with, and where he replied:
7 I'll determine that for myself.
8 After 15 minutes he left, and I was told by people from the
9 battalion that the separations were starting here and there. And the
10 reports were that initially men joined the convoy, that means in separate
11 vehicles, but they moved along together with the convoy. Later, a vehicle
12 had left separately.
13 Q. All right. Now, that evening, do you know whether or do you
14 recall, or perhaps this is -- it might be in that little notebook of
15 yours, whether you called the higher-ups to let them know about the
16 separation and to get any particular instructions?
17 A. In the evening, I was in touch with the higher echelons, and
18 informed them of this, and received no further instructions.
19 Q. And the higher echelons, those would be?
20 A. Sector north-east and BH command.
21 Q. Okay. So you called both Tuzla and then Sarajevo?
22 A. [In English] Yeah.
23 Q. Did you, by any chance, copy the message or send a report to them
24 which would have been copied also to the Dutch Ministry of Defence?
25 A. [Interpretation] I think I remember that I made a report of the
1 things that happened on the 12th. I sent that out, and as I said
2 yesterday, most of the reports were also in the English language, and
3 those reports were also sent to the Netherlands, also in this case.
4 Q. Now, before we move to the 13th, can I trouble you to look in your
5 little notebook and see if there's anything else that's noteworthy that I
6 haven't asked that you may want to inform us about.
7 A. I used my lunch break to read through the 13th in my book and
8 compare that with my notes in my little notebook, and they correspond.
9 Q. Okay. But is there something in the 12th --
10 A. [In English] No.
11 Q. -- that we haven't talked about?
12 A. [Interpretation] No, sir.
13 Q. Okay. Well, if I missed something for the 13th, please bring that
14 to my attention. We haven't got there. When we get to the 13th.
15 A. I'm willing to do so.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. In order to avoid possible misunderstandings. As you know, on
18 the 12th, I had a conversation at 4.00 with Mladic, at the gate, of about
19 15 minutes, a conversation about sequence, and I had a similar discussion
20 the next morning, when he appeared once again, very briefly, to see how
21 the evacuation was progressing, and I asked him again about the sequence
22 of the evacuation, and particularly, intentionally, focusing on the
23 injured in the battalion. Only after that I was told the report, which I
24 mentioned this morning, concerning the execution of nine, and after that,
25 one Muslim. In other words, I could no longer discuss those things with
1 him because he had already left.
2 Q. Okay. So just to make sure I understand: It was on the 13th that
3 you learned of those incidents that --
4 A. [In English] Yeah.
5 Q. Okay. Now, on the 13th, when you did meet with General Mladic,
6 did you raise the issue of the separation of the men?
7 A. [Interpretation] I explained that this morning. That's what I
8 wanted to do. I first started talking about the sequence and the
9 procedure, and my second point was the injured. My third issue was the
10 separation of the men. He did not give me the opportunity, because of the
11 lack of time. He turned around and left, and say: "I'll take care of
12 affairs myself," or words to that effect.
13 Q. On the 13th, did you by any chance walk around to inspect the area
14 where the men that had been separated were kept?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Were you informed as to the location of where they had been kept?
17 A. No. Because at the time the evacuation started, we tried to
18 accompany them with vehicles, and on the way I lost my vehicles because
19 they were stolen, to put it bluntly.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. So, and therefore, I had no more communication with those who
22 accompanied the evacuation.
23 Q. All right. Okay. But I -- perhaps I inartfully phrased my
24 question. What I'm specifically asking is on the 13th, did you walk
25 around Potocari to see where the men who had been separated were being
2 A. No.
3 Q. Okay. Now, is that because you didn't have a vehicle to get to
4 that location or because you didn't know where the location was, or is
5 there another possibility which escapes me right now?
6 A. No. The possibility -- I did not go to the specific location
7 where the separation took place, because of a number of other things, such
8 as meetings, particularly with higher echelons within the battalion. And
9 at one point within these circumstances, I had to depend on the reports I
10 received from the officers and the lower officers of the battalion.
11 Q. All right. Well, on that particular morning, when you were
12 meeting with your higher-echelon officers, did they report anything
14 A. No.
15 Q. And just for the record, I want to make sure that it's the lower
16 echelon, not the higher echelon. Because you're the highest. They would
17 be the lower. Maybe I misspoke. I just want to clear the record.
18 A. Could you repeat the question, please.
19 Q. You met with your lower-echelon officers, not your higher echelon?
20 A. Lower.
21 Q. Right. But did you communicate with the higher-echelon officers
22 with respect to this?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And on the 13th, did they give you any instructions or guidance as
25 to what to do, how to handle the situation of the separation of the men?
1 A. No.
2 Q. But they were made aware of it?
3 A. [In English] Yeah.
4 Q. Now, did you by any chance speak to Colonel Jankovic or the other
5 colonel on the 13th to find out where those men were being taken to?
6 A. [Interpretation] No.
7 Q. Did you ever learn from any of your men --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you very much.
9 Q. Did you ever learn from any of your men as to where the separated
10 men were being taken to? Did they ever say anything that they had heard
11 with respect to ...
12 A. I wish I had, but we had no more idea of that, because I had no
13 more people working outside the cordon, with the exception of a few
14 observation posts which were left, which were also taken over during the
15 days that followed by the VRS. My eyes and ears were the people within
16 the cordon.
17 Q. Were you ever informed -- well, let me rephrase the question.
18 On the 13th, did you request for negotiators to come in on that
19 day from the higher echelon or above you to come in to assist?
20 A. I asked for that several times, so no doubt also on the 13th.
21 Q. Are you aware of any obstacles that would have prevented somebody
22 from Tuzla or Sarajevo or Zagreb to come to Bratunac or Potocari to view
23 the situation and perhaps assist you?
24 A. No. I saw the letter which General Janvier wrote with the offer
25 to send two colonels, which General Mladic never responded to.
1 Q. Now, did you by any chance ask General Nicolai to come himself
2 personally, or general to general communicate?
3 A. I suggested to General Nicolai, if necessary, to come over
4 personally, but he too got no permission to act as a counterpart in any
5 conversation. In brief, General Mladic only wanted to talk to me.
6 Q. All right. Well, who did he need permission from?
7 A. I asked if Janvier or Smith themselves, or someone on their
8 behalf, or several people on their behalf, would be able to take over the
10 Q. All right. But my question was: Who was the person that did not
11 give permission to General Nicolai to personally come to Potocari?
12 A. General Mladic told me: "I shall do no business with General
14 Q. Well, I'm not asking whether Mladic would do business; I'm asking
15 who ordered General Nicolai not to come at least to inspect and give you
16 moral support, even assist you in some way.
17 A. I don't know. Very briefly, no one was accepted. To me, that is
18 the end of the debate, because I cannot go directly to Smith or Janvier to
19 ask them: "Send me negotiators." I can do that towards General Nicolai,
20 and I can also ask - and that was done by means of a letter from General
21 Janvier - for support to tell General Mladic: "Are you willing to accept
22 these people to negotiate from General Janvier's or General Smith's
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. He did not accept that.
1 Q. All right. But what Janvier was willing to send were colonels,
2 and not grace himself over there, being the general in charge, or send
3 another general like General Nicolai?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And of course again - I just want to make sure it's crystal
6 clear - nothing prevented, as far as you know, General Nicolai, or
7 General Janvier, more importantly, to physically come over and at least
8 inspect the area to see what was happening on the ground?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. If we can move on to another section briefly, the fuel
11 issue. We understand from your testimony, from your book, from other
12 documents, that at that point in time you had no fuel.
13 A. I only had the iron stock.
14 Q. Okay. But you certainly had no fuel to carry out this operation?
15 A. Not at all.
16 Q. And of course, would it be fair to say - and I know I'm leading a
17 little bit, but just to speed up the process - you didn't have the buses
18 for the transportation means to carry out all those refugees from that
20 A. No.
21 Q. Now, were discussions, if you recall, held with respect to who
22 would provide the buses or trucks, means of transportation, and more
23 importantly, who would fuel those means of transportation in order to
24 carry out a rather large task?
25 A. During the talks with Mladic, particularly the third, that is, on
1 the morning of the 12th, evacuation was mentioned for the first time, and
2 also how he thought it should be executed. He asked me for vehicles,
3 which I had, but without diesel fuel, so they couldn't be deployed. And
4 he knew exactly what the diesel problem was, because he had cut us off for
5 months. After that, we were asked whether the UN or the UNHCR could have
6 taken care of the transportation. And during the conversation in the
7 morning, certainly Kladanj came up, and the idea came up that he would
8 ensure the transportation. Then he tried once again if I could supply
9 diesel. I burst out laughing, to the extent possible under the
10 circumstances, because I had no diesel fuel.
11 Q. Okay. Was some sort of an arrangement made that eventually the
12 VRS would be reimbursed for the fuel? The answer is you're not aware of
14 A. [In English] No.
15 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to clear up one point. You said that the
16 evacuation was mentioned for the first time during this last meeting.
17 Surely you're not trying to suggest that it wasn't mentioned during the
18 first meeting. I think we had a whole morning session on that, did we
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
21 MR. WAESPI: Yes. That's not what he said. He said the issue of
22 bringing the people to Kladanj. Certainly Kladanj came up for the first
23 time during that meeting. That's the way I understood his testimony.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: That's how --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: -- it was understood, and I misunderstood it and
2 I'll accept that -- I'll accept the Prosecution's position. I apologise.
4 Q. Mr. Karremans, it would appear that during this critical period
5 that we've been discussing, and we haven't discussed all the days, but
6 what period we did discuss during this very limited time, that you were
7 more or less kept out of the information loop.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And perhaps you were only given just enough information for you to
10 proceed, not knowing what was happening above.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
12 MR. WAESPI: Just -- there are certainly two levels. We
13 discussed, you know, what's happening within DutchBat and what's happening
14 in all these documents shown to him this morning, where he consistently
15 said no. If that could be clarified, what type of information was kept
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. I think you have to make that
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Your Honour, but it's a sort of a
20 step-by-step process. Maybe my order is out of whack for this afternoon.
22 Q. Now, it would appear, would it not, from the documents that were
23 shown to you that decisions were being made while you were on the ground,
24 trying to take care of the situation?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And if I understand you correctly, in light of what we saw today
2 with these documents that are from the NIOD report, that you were not
3 privy to the discussions, or even aware that these discussions were going
5 A. [Interpretation] "Not aware" is not the right expression. I was
6 not kept informed of, would be more like it. I was not informed.
7 Q. All right. But at some point, as you noted to us, at five minutes
8 to 6.00 p.m., you had a conversation with General Nicolai, and he
9 instructed you as to what you needed to do?
10 A. [In English] Yes.
11 Q. And based on those instructions, after consultation with your men,
12 you held that first meeting when you came up against General Mladic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it was during that meeting that you conveyed the purpose for
15 asking for the meeting?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And that was based on the orders that you had received from above?
18 A. [Interpretation] First orally and then it was backed up with a
20 Q. All right. And just one last question. Maybe you could help me
21 out here. I'm told that in the military, usually you're only given enough
22 information at your pay level, you're given enough information to go on to
23 the next step.
24 A. Depending on the time available in the analysis and
25 decision-making processes to consider what the ultimate assignment
1 performed by myself would be -- what I mean to say is that in many cases,
2 we examine in advance how much information will be provided so that we can
3 proceed according to that. Without the local commander, without
4 overwhelming the local commander with a surplus of information.
5 Q. But I guess my question, again, maybe I wasn't quite clear:
6 Someone from above was making the decision as to how much information you
7 would have?
8 A. [In English] Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Karremans, I want to personally thank you, and I want to
10 deeply apologise if I offended you in any way. That certainly hasn't been
11 my intention. I want to thank the Dutch government for assisting us, and
12 I know that you came on your own and so I'm very grateful for the time
13 that you've given us.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
16 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any questions to put to this witness?
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. Good
18 day, Mr. Karremans. We shall put just a few questions, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Karremans, in the course of this trial, we
21 have heard several testimonies about the prisoners in the school in
22 Bratunac in the night of the 13th to the 14th of July. Did you have any
23 information about the existence of prisoners in these schools?
24 A. [Interpretation] No.
25 Q. Did you get any information later on that there were prisoners in
1 the school?
2 A. Quite honestly, don't get me wrong, much has become clear, much
3 became clear after I returned to the Netherlands, when the last vehicle
4 left the enclave for the evacuation, I had several men left in the area
5 between Bratunac and Kladanj, and I had several men outside the compound,
6 where the refugees were. And otherwise, all the information provided was
7 submitted to me by fax or phone. None of this information reported what
8 happened to the men that you're referring to from the school and the site
9 of execution and where they were taken, except for the perceptions of a
10 few men from the battalion en route, and I'm referring to the 55 military
11 prisoners en route to Belgrade to be flown back to the Netherlands, or the
12 men who were imprisoned and were seen en route. That was told to us when
13 we arrived in Zagreb, and General Couzy, while expressing some caution,
14 made a few remarks. Only much later, in the Netherlands, did we learn
15 what actually happened, to our regret, of course.
16 Q. You have no personal knowledge as to when these prisoners were
17 transported from Bratunac to Zvornik?
18 A. [In English] No.
19 Q. Thank you. Just one more point to clarify. During your
20 testimony, I understood that you had said that it was General Mladic who
21 was in charge of everything that went on as regards the Army of
22 Republika Srpska. Is this correct?
23 A. [Interpretation] Yes. He said that he was taking care of
24 everything -- he said: "I'm the commander. I'll take care of everything,
25 and my orders will be carried out."
1 I would like to make one remark that I also wrote in my book, that
2 shocked me. I believe at the third meeting he told the three
3 representatives of the Muslim population during the meeting: "Allah can't
4 help you. Only Mladic can."
5 And I think that remark goes a very long way and seems to relate
6 to: I'm in charge of everything, so I'm in command. And that's how he
7 was acting.
8 Q. That was precisely the point of my question. In the military
9 sense, bearing in mind the position General Ratko Mladic held at the time,
10 was he both de facto and de jure in charge of this operation?
11 A. I think so, yes.
12 Q. And finally, let me ask you: At any point in the course of your
13 activities in Srebrenica, did you meet or hear of the name of Dragan
15 A. I don't know. Perhaps if you could tell me the context and the
16 circumstances or situation, I could tell you yes or no, but vaguely I
17 would say yes, there was Jokic. But of course, you understand that I
18 heard several names in that period. Could you please indicate more.
19 Q. I was just about to do that. We are talking of the commander of
20 the Drina Corps, or are we talking about Dragan Jokic, the chief of
21 engineers in the command of the Zvornik Brigade? So there were two
23 A. Not the last one. Probably the first one.
24 Q. Thank you. My defendant is the last one.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. We have
1 no further questions for this witness.
2 Thank you, Mr. Karremans.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
4 The cross-examination, Mr. Waespi, please.
5 MR. WAESPI: Thanks, Mr. President. I only have one issue.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Waespi:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Karremans.
8 A. [In English] Good afternoon.
9 Q. I want to briefly go back to the testimony you gave in the 4th of
10 July. Do you remember that? 1996, in the Karadzic-Mladic Rule 61
11 hearing. And you talked a little bit about a couple of questions. Perhaps
12 you remember at the end of your testimony, being asked by Mr. Harmon --
13 the Judges asked you questions as well. And one question from Judge
14 Odio-Benito was the following, and I'll also read out your answer, and I
15 quote: "Did you or any of your soldiers see Bosnian Serb soldiers
16 beating, killing, raping the refugees in and around Potocari in those
17 factories you mentioned?" And your answer was: "Yes, Your Honour. They
18 did. In some cases, refugees had been beaten, and as soon as one of my
19 soldiers noticed that, they stopped with it." And then you continue: "I
20 got two reports from my soldiers on Thursday, after I met General Mladic.
21 One report referring to an execution of one man, and the second report
22 about an execution of nine men from which they found the bodies."
23 Now, my question is just: Do you stand by what you told Judge
24 Odio-Benito nine years ago?
25 A. I still maintain, aside from my answer that I provided about
1 incidents that occurred, that soldiers of the battalion witnessed. The
2 question I was asked was: Did you see them? I would say: No, I did not.
3 And I've conveyed what was reported to me, not what you just said, that in
4 some cases slaps or blows were issued, that soldiers saw but did not
5 report at that time. This did happen at a later stage, and I'm referring
6 to 4 July 1996. There's a year time lag between the return from Bosnia.
7 And what I stand by are both reports from Lieutenant Reuter and Adjutant
8 Oosterveen about the execution of I think ten Muslims. Excuse me,
9 Adjutant Oosterveen
10 Q. Yes. And just referring to the first part of the answer you gave
11 about whether you or any soldiers saw Bosnian Serb soldiers beating and so
12 on, you said: "Yes, they did. They reported." Is that what you are
14 A. [In English] They reported -- [Interpretation] They reported at a
15 later stage, during the debriefings in Assen. In all debriefings and
16 before all committees, I have stated what I saw myself and what was
17 reported to me. Reports of refugee beatings were not submitted to me
18 during my presence in that area, or I certainly would have mentioned that
20 MR. WAESPI: That concludes my cross-examination. Thank you,
21 Mr. President.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, that's the most efficient cross-examination.
23 Any redirect, Mr. Karnavas?
24 MR. KARNAVAS: No, especially after the trial Bench's
25 observations. But I don't believe it's the most efficient. I think that
1 we've had some rather efficient ones on, you know, during the
2 Prosecution's case in chief. But that was an efficient one, and we
3 appreciate the Prosecution's efficiency.
4 JUDGE LIU: I'm counting from the start to the end. But if you
5 give this right to cross-examination, or redirect, that's another matter.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, do you?
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. At this stage, are there any documents to
11 MR. KARNAVAS: There are, Your Honour, and in fact I have also a
12 rather housekeeping matter [sic]. The two items that were shown to
13 Mr. Karremans, the two maps where he marked, I would like, if possible,
14 for the gentleman to put his initials on them so we know where the
15 markings came from and the date, if that would be okay.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. But you have to inform us what is the
17 new identification number, because we have an old. Try to distinguish
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. The one map, which has come in under P369,
20 this one, since it's marked, will have a new number of D212. And if I
21 could have Mr. Usher take it to Mr. Karremans. And the map with the
22 exhibit number P873 has a new number of D211. If the gentleman could just
24 While we're doing that -- if I may have a moment, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. I was going to introduce
3 the one-page statement by Mr. Karremans that was given on 23 July 1995.
4 That would be D206. Then there is the -- there are the pages from the
5 book "The End Game" by David Rohde, and that would be D208, and then I
6 believe there are the pages from the NIOD report, and those are marked
7 D210. So that would be it, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any objections, Mr. Waespi?
9 MR. WAESPI: In relation to David Rohde, if it could be indicated
10 whether just a page, I think 164. And in relation to the NIOD report,
11 it's the question whether these various pages or the whole report, in
12 fact, which I have --
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. WAESPI: Just for you to see that's the original Dutch version
15 by the Dutch Institute for War Documentation. It's, I understand, not a
16 governmental organisation, but they have been tasked by the Dutch
17 government, I believe in 1996, to come up with a report, and they
18 completed it sometime in April 2002. So our submission is to have it all
19 admitted rather than pick it.
20 And if I could go back to the earlier exhibit, the same is true
21 for David Rohde's book, that we could admit it as such, rather than piece
22 by piece. And of course it goes to the overall context and not the
23 specific incidents for which we had live witnesses.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Well, [Microphone not
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Karnavas.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I certainly don't object to the 8.000 pages
4 of the NIOD report coming in. I think it's a rather good report. I
5 didn't put it in -- offer it myself, because I thought I would get a
6 reaction that would be somewhat negative. But if the Prosecution wants
7 the entire report, that's fine. We were suggesting only the sections that
8 we read to -- read from, but I can understand, for a matter of
9 completeness, there
10 are some matters in there that obviously are relevant for the Prosecution.
11 They can certainly bring it in on rebuttal anyway. So I have no
12 objections. I leave it to the Court's discretion. In the event that the
13 Court disallows this request by the Prosecution, we do have a handy a
14 little chart of all the section that were read from. So it's
15 appropriately there on a chart.
16 As far as the other book, frankly, I -- I mean, it's good reading,
17 but -- and again, I have no objections to this entire book coming in.
18 Some of it is dated. I think some of the testimony that we've heard in
19 this case contradicts certain matters in the book. But if they want the
20 whole book in, they can. But I was merely going to offer the one page.
21 And if that's too much, then given that we've already got it in the
22 record, as far as what I needed from the book, and there seems to be no
23 dispute, I'm willing to -- I don't think it would hurt us not to have
24 anything from the book itself come in, because it's already in the record.
25 So that's our position.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Mr. Waespi, how about the last
2 proposal, to withdraw the book into the evidence?
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes. We have no problem with that.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. So the document D208/1 is withdrawn by the
6 As for the other documents, we would like to say there's no
7 necessity to admit the whole documents, the whole book. We are only
8 concerned about the relevant parts. But it's very, very difficult for us
9 to judge what is relevant and what is not. So as an extraordinary -- as a
10 special case in this extraordinary situation, we'll admit those reports in
11 completion, as a whole.
12 So the documents D212, D211, D206, D210 are admitted into the
13 evidence. It is so decided.
14 On the part of the Prosecution, are there any documents to tender?
15 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President. I would -- and it's sort of a
16 clean-up matter also from last time. We will now move to admit this Dutch
17 report which has been quoted a number of times, also by Mr. Karremans
18 yesterday, and I believe Mr. McCloskey promised you the number of quotes
19 Mr. Butler had in. But I believe especially given now your standard of
20 admitting evidence, I believe that it will be appropriate to have
21 Prosecution Exhibit 851 admitted into evidence.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe parts of the document has already been
23 admitted into the evidence. Are you proposing that we admit the whole
25 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President. It really has been quoted so
1 many times, and I think it would become unnatural not to have the whole
2 document given again, and my guarantees now, this Serbian book we had
3 from, I believe, a Serbian author, when the whole book was admitted, I
4 think while Mr. Trivic was here. So I'm really suggesting to have this
5 Dutch report of 1995 admitted.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any objections?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: None, Your Honour. None whatsoever.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. The document P851, the Dutch
9 Ministry of Defence report, is admitted into the evidence.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I do have one --
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: -- question, and it's a logistical one.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: 8.000 pages, this report.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Now, it's a Herculean task, so I've been given a
17 note here: "Who is going to copy the NIOD report?" And I can assure you,
18 Mr. President, that we certainly don't have the resources to sit there and
19 copy 8.000 pages, printed out. And I understand the Prosecution has three
20 volumes, but they're in Dutch. I don't think anything in English has come
21 out. But perhaps we could sort of find a solution.
22 Now, the Prosecution asked for the entire report, and so I only
23 wanted these little sections, you know. So I think because it was their
24 idea, and I don't oppose it, they could go ahead and copy the whole thing,
25 or just print it out. Certainly they have the resources to do that. We
1 don't. If we are to do that, then we would ask that perhaps a letter be
2 sent to the Registry. Maybe they can open up the purse strings and give
3 us a little more resources.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, could I turn to Mr. Waespi.
5 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: You know, we're -- what year is it? 2004.
7 Let's -- we have a CD. Let's go electronic. What's wrong with that?
8 JUDGE LIU: We have no problem to admit any documents in the CD
10 MR. KARNAVAS: It didn't even cross my mind, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Okay. Thank you. Thank you very much.
12 Yes, Mr. Waespi.
13 MR. WAESPI: And a related issue is the report of the RS
14 government, which I quoted passages with the demographic expert earlier
15 this week, and I understood from Your Honours that you were sort of -- had
16 a tendency to admit it. And I have I think already handed out, in
17 preparation of cross, an exhibit which has four pages from a public
18 address, a TV address, of the President Dragan Cavic, I believe, of the
19 Republika Srpska, in which he presents the report to the public, and he
20 addresses, you know, why it was done and what the findings are. And this
21 may be helpful for Your Honours when to decide whether to admit it or not.
22 I believe it's a helpful comment by the president of the Republika Srpska
23 about the value attached from their point to this report. And we would
24 suggest to tender it as well.
25 JUDGE LIU: Could you please remind me the number of that
2 MR. WAESPI: The document is called "The events in and around
3 Srebrenica between 10th and 19th July 1995." And it's the P864. And I'm
4 just told that we haven't given you copies of these four pages, the TV
5 address. We have it in B/C/S as well, because that's the original
6 language, and we can give it to you at any time.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, I don't believe that this is an
9 appropriate matter at this point in time. Mr. Karremans is here. He's
10 finished his testimony. I think the gentleman should be allowed to leave
11 the courtroom at this point.
12 Number two: This issue was raised when we -- when -- at the
13 appropriate time, when the expert was here. The Court made a ruling. We
14 accepted that ruling. Now there has been no other basis other than some
15 pages which we haven't seen to proffer a report which we find and which
16 the Court concluded should not be admitted. This is a report prepared by
17 the government, based on materials that they've read, such as the Krstic
18 judgement and other things.
19 Also, if the report comes in, then I should be allowed to bring in
20 witnesses with respect to how the report was prepared, what sort of
21 pressures were put on to bear by the Office of the High Representative,
22 and so on and so forth. It's a political issue. It is not anywhere near
23 in the same calibre as the NIOD report. So I don't believe that there is
24 a foundation from which the Court should change its original position.
25 Now, if they want to do something on rebuttal, and maybe I might
1 have a change of heart, but right now, at this point in time, on a Friday
2 afternoon, when Mr. Karremans should be out of this courtroom and
3 relaxing, there's no business talking about this particular piece of
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
6 Well, Mr. Karremans, thank you very much indeed for your
7 willingness to come to The Hague to assist us by giving your evidence. We
8 appreciate it very much. And the usher will show you out of the room, and
9 we all wish you a pleasant journey back home. Thank you very much.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, as for that document, as I said, that so long as
13 it's a public document and it has some probative value and that the source
14 is kind of reliable, I think they are fulfilling the requirement of the
15 admission. Of course, this document was just published, and we did not
16 use it very intensively. So we may hold our decision on whether to admit
17 this document or not at a later stage, which does not prevent any party to
18 use this document in the future proceedings. It does not prevent any
19 party to resubmit it again. But at this stage, let's wait for a while.
20 Well, Mr. Stojanovic, I heard that we are going to have your
21 opening statement on Thursday afternoon instead of Friday afternoon. Is
22 that true?
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Today I talked
24 to the Trial Chamber secretary, and I was asked whether I could give my
25 opening statement earlier, and I agreed to do this on Thursday, in the
1 afternoon. I also said that, as I have 30 to 35 pages, this would take a
2 little more than one session and a half.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Thank you.
4 Well, at this stage, are there any other matters that the parties
5 would like to bring to the attention of this Bench? It seems to me none.
6 So the hearing is adjourned for this week.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.11 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day of
9 June, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.