1 Wednesday, 24 January 2007
2 [The accused entered court]
3 [Open session]
4 [The witness enters court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic, you are to be concluding your
7 cross-examination now.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, and thank you, Your
11 WITNESS: WITNESS W-62 [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Ms. Isailovic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. I have just a very brief
15 question, a couple of brief questions.
16 Yesterday, we mentioned your statement, the statement of May 22nd,
17 2006. It was a statement made to the Prosecutor's office. We were
18 discussing paragraph 17, and we had noted that there was a difference
19 between the English version and the B/C/S version. If I understood the
20 things right, the English version is binding and is the original version.
21 So now let's move on to paragraph 18. There again, I will be
22 reading from the B/C/S version.
23 "At the entrance to the apartment building where we had met Natasa
24 there was on the ground floor a military command or HQ. It was some kind
25 of an ABiH army command post. It was a known thing that this was a
1 command post. Soldiers could be seen there at times both in uniform and
2 plain clothes."
3 So, Witness, is that true?
4 A. Yes. That's this dormitory that I mentioned earlier.
5 Q. So you're talking about a command post, and you were actually
6 thinking about that same dormitory that we mentioned yesterday. That
7 exactly is what you're talking about.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So now I'd like to solve this issue of uniforms. In both
10 paragraphs, if you're talking about -- if you're talking about the same
11 dormitory, in paragraph 17 people have no uniforms and in paragraph 18
12 they're wearing uniforms. So could we reconcile this and find out whether
13 people actually were wearing uniforms or were not wearing uniforms?
14 A. In both paragraph it says that they were both wearing uniforms and
15 not wearing uniforms.
16 Q. But yesterday, in paragraph 17 we noted that in the English
17 version, which is binding, it is written that they were not wearing
18 uniform, no one was wearing uniforms; whereas in paragraph 18 you're
19 saying that there were some people, soldiers, actually, who were in
20 uniforms and some who were in plain clothes. Is that the truth?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Now, finally, my last question. And I'm trying to save time, so
23 maybe we could manage without displaying any photograph or pictures. If
24 need be, however, we'll ask for something to be called up.
25 Remember the photograph where you actually pointed to the garage
1 and the new buildings? It's an aerial photograph.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So can you tell us approximately what the distance was between the
4 entrance of the alleyway under your building and the place that, according
5 to you, the shots would have originated from?
6 A. One hundred and fifty metres, as the crow flies.
7 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with my cross-examination, and I thank
8 you, Witness.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
10 Any re-examination.
11 MS. MARCUS: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you, very briefly.
12 Re-examination by Ms. Marcus:
13 Q. Witness, how far from the passageway where Adnan was shot was the
14 location where the soldiers were sleeping?
15 A. Fifty metres, approximately 50 metres.
16 Q. Did the soldiers use that passageway where Adnan was shot to get
17 in and out of the rest stop?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you see any ABiH soldiers in the area when Adnan was shot on
20 the 24th of October, 1994?
21 A. Before this -- Adnan's mishap, no, I didn't.
22 Q. Was the place where Adnan was shot known to be a dangerous place?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Why?
25 A. There was a sniper shooting, of course, through the passageway.
1 Q. Were there places in Sarajevo which were notorious snipers' nests?
2 A. Yes, there were.
3 Q. Were any of them in your neighbourhood? Near your neighbourhood?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic.
5 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think that
6 the questions that my colleague is now discussing were mentioned during
7 the cross-examination. I don't think that they should be asked during
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would have to agree. I don't think the
10 question of the danger, the relative danger of any particular
11 neighbourhood was asked, though at the end I will ask it because I'm
12 interested in it.
13 MS. MARCUS: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mr. Witness, on the 24th of October, 1994, was there anything
15 blocking the view between the school for the blind and the spot where your
16 friend Adnan was shot?
17 A. No.
18 MS. MARCUS: No further questions, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I just ask you, then, if there were
22 particular areas that were known to be dangerous and known to be used by
24 A. Approximately the whole of my neighbourhood was dangerous. There
25 were lots of these so-called snipers' nests in Nedzarici.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: And were there any particular features about your
2 neighbourhood or any other neighbourhood that would make them amenable to
4 A. A very large part of Sarajevo was under sniper fire. I know about
5 that because I went to school every day. About 8 to 9 kilometres I had to
6 walk through various street passages, behind containers, blankets and
7 things. So I had an opportunity to see a lot of those places, Socijalno,
8 Pofalici, and basically neighbourhoods of that sort.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Witness 62, that concludes your
10 testimony. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it, and you may
11 now leave.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Your next witness, Ms. Marcus.
14 Mr. Docherty.
15 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, the Prosecutor calls Hendrik Nicolai.
16 Could I ask the Chamber's indulgence for a minute or two so that we can
17 swap seats here.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 MR. DOCHERTY: Thank you.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I thank you for giving me the
24 Before our next witness is in the courtroom, I would like to
25 mention one thing, one thing for you to know. I accepted this time yet
1 again for Mr. Nicolai to appear today. I do not wish to slow down the
2 proceedings in any way or to have the Court incurring extra costs. If we
3 have witnesses here and we don't question them, there are certain
4 difficulties that arise. This was also the case with Mr. Mandilovic, and
5 we have the same case now with Mr. Nicolai.
6 As for the statement of the witness that is about to appear, on
7 the 16th through the 20th of October, 2006, the first time I received this
8 was the 18th of January this year, no sooner than that. I received the
9 translation of that statement on Monday, the 21st.
10 The difficulty that I faced was insurmountable, the same as was
11 the case with Mr. Mandilovic. I made an enormous effort to reconcile the
12 two in order to find myself not facing the same difficulty as with
13 Mr. Mandilovic.
14 I gave the statement of the accused on that day and not before. I
15 practically had no opportunity to discuss the statement with the accused.
16 I will not make an issue out of this. But, Your Honours, in order for me
17 to be able to cross-examine this witness, as far as the time allowed me is
18 concerned, please allow me sufficient time so that I may be able to cover
19 all the topics covered in these two statements, to define them all in the
20 best possible way and study any parallels between the two statements, any
22 [The witness enters court]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: How long is this witness scheduled for?
24 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, on the 65 ter summary the witness is
25 down for one hour. I mentioned to Judge Harhoff this morning that I think
1 he will go longer than that. I have got -- I have added some topics that
2 I want to cover with him since the 65 ter summary was submitted. I should
3 also add that I do not think that will -- not that's what's before the
4 Tribunal right now, but I don't think that will lengthen the Prosecution's
5 case in any way. We will make up the time later in the case and we've got
6 -- we know how we'll be able to do that.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] If we look at the witness list,
10 the time listed is two hours; not one hour, two hours. And the other
11 thing is, if we had gone on as envisaged -- however, I do want to ask you
12 one thing: I'm not saying anything. Maybe that will be sufficient time
13 for me, but can you please take that into account? I'm facing a great
14 deal of difficulty going through all of this to ensure that the accused
15 might have a fair trial.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, we will take that into
17 consideration. Let us proceed.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I thank you. I thank you.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: CORNELIS HENDRIK NICOLAI
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
25 You may begin, Mr. Docherty.
1 MR. DOCHERTY: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Examination by Mr. Dochtery:
3 Q. Good morning, sir.
4 A. [No interpretation].
5 Q. Would you please introduce yourself to the people in the courtroom
6 by telling us your name and what you do for a living.
7 A. [No interpretation].
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not hearing any interpretation. Would you
9 please stop. I regret that I have to interrupt you, but we haven't
10 received any interpretation.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was saying that I regret to have to interrupt
13 you, but we have not received any interpretation. Would you please repeat
14 what you have just said.
15 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: The position is the same. There appears to be a
17 technical difficulty, and it will take, I am told, just a second. That,
18 no doubt, is an underestimation.
19 THE INTERPRETER: This is the interpreter. Can you hear the --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We are now hearing the interpreters.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm Cornelis Hendrik Nicolai. I'm a
24 retired brigadier general from the Royal Dutch Air Force -- excuse me, the
25 Royal Dutch Army, and I'm here as a witness because in 1995 I was UNPROFOR
1 Chief of Staff.
2 MR. DOCHERTY:
3 Q. When you retired, sir, what was your rank in the Royal Dutch Army?
4 A. Brigadier General.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I don't believe that was interpreted
6 properly. I heard Major General from the witness and Brigadier General in
7 my earphones.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just repeat the answer.
9 THE WITNESS: Major General.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Major General. Okay.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Major General.
12 MR. DOCHERTY:
13 Q. You mentioned a minute ago that you served with the United Nations
14 Protection Force, usually referred to as UNPROFOR. Whereabouts in the
15 world were you stationed with UNPROFOR?
16 A. The UNPROFOR command was stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the
17 headquarters where I served was in Sarajevo.
18 Q. What date did you arrive in Sarajevo, and what date did you leave?
19 A. I arrived on 23 February 1995. On 28 February, I assumed the
20 position of Chief of Staff, and on 2 September 1995, I subsequently
21 transferred -- transferred again, and on 4 September 1995, I returned to
22 the Netherlands.
23 Q. During the time -- during the time that you were with UNPROFOR
24 what rank did you hold?
25 A. Brigadier General.
1 Q. Who was your boss?
2 A. That was the English Lieutenant General Rupert Smith.
3 Q. And what was Lieutenant General Smith's job in Sarajevo?
4 A. He was the UNPROFOR military commander for the area of
6 Q. And who did General Smith report to in turn? Who was his boss?
7 A. That was the UNPF commander; that's the command of the entire
8 former Yugoslavia. That was General Janvier.
9 Q. Whereabouts was General Janvier stationed? Where was his
11 A. In Zagreb.
12 Q. Going back to General Smith, underneath General Smith, who
13 commanded, you've testified, the Bosnia-Herzegovina command, were there
14 other commanders commanding smaller areas of territory?
15 A. In addition to the Bosnia-Herzegovina command, there was a command
16 for the area of Croatia and -- and, as far as I can remember, for
17 Macedonia as well. Altogether there were three subcommanders of General
19 Q. All right. And underneath General Smith, who commanded
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, were there subcommanders under Lieutenant General
22 A. Yes. There were three main sectors, the North-East Sector, the
23 South-West Sector, and the Sarajevo Sector. In addition, there was a
24 small command for the Bihac area.
25 Q. During the time that you were in Bosnia, who was the commander of
1 Sector Sarajevo under General Smith?
2 A. That was the French Major General Gobillard.
3 Q. Whereabouts in Sarajevo was General Smith's headquarters?
4 A. That was in the centre of Sarajevo, in a building that was
5 referred to as the Residence, and that was located next to the US embassy.
6 Q. You were with UNPROFOR, United Nations Protection Force. Are you
7 also familiar with the acronym UNMO, U-N-M-O; and if you are, could you
8 tell us what U-N-M-O stands for, please?
9 A. U-N-M-O stands for United Nations Military Observer. Those were
10 observers from the United Nations who operated unarmed and tried to gain
11 an impression of what was happening within their area of responsibility.
12 Q. I want to talk for a few minutes about these two groups of
13 soldiers, UNPROFOR and UNMO. To begin with, you've described the chain of
14 command for UNPROFOR from General Gobillard to General Smith to General
15 Janvier in Zagreb. Did the UNMOs also -- were they a part of UNPROFOR?
16 Were they separate from it? Did they have a chain of command? Can you
17 comment on those issues, please?
18 A. They were part of the UNPROFOR command structure despite that they
19 reported to their own line of command. So the UNMOs of UNPROFOR also
20 reported directly to the UNMO UNPF chief in Zagreb.
21 Q. And did the UNMOs have a headquarters in Sarajevo as well or was
22 that at the Residence with General Smith, or was it somewhere else?
23 A. No. The chief UNMO of UNPROFOR was also located in the
24 Residence. The UNMOs themselves were dispersed through the entire area,
25 both in Sarajevo and in the rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. Now that we've, I think, got the command structure identified, I
2 want to talk about what the missions are of these United Nations
3 soldiers. What is the mission, or what was the mission of UNPROFOR at the
4 time that you were with it in Sarajevo?
5 A. Well, there were multiple aspects of that mission. First of all,
6 it entailed providing military assistance. UNHCR and the NGOs, the
7 non-governmental organisations, in providing humanitarian aid and in
8 restoring utilities centres. I'll continue in a moment. Next, as we
9 described it in English, it was to secure the safe areas, to maintain and
10 secure the safe areas. And finally, creating conditions to be able to
11 evacuate the wounded and to improve the living conditions of the
12 population, to protect the population, and, if necessary, to end
14 Q. When you say that one of the things UNPROFOR did was protect the
15 population, explain to us, please, how UNPROFOR can do that in a war zone
16 with few soldiers. What techniques are available to you?
17 A. Well, first you have to try to reach agreements with all the
18 parties and to arrange for them not to attack each other, and next it's
19 the duty of UNPROFOR and the UN units to supervise compliance with these
21 This starts with the duty of observer, so to observe whether
22 they're complying with the agreements; and in the events of violations of
23 the agreements, then intervention is necessary. That may entail a wide
24 range of measures. The simplest is to issue warnings and write letters of
25 protest. The next step up on the scale is to intervene with military
2 For example, if there was firing with small-calibre weapons, then
3 you can try to stop that by returning the fire. In the event of -- in the
4 event that heavier weapons are used, then the UN troops had a problem
5 because they did not have heavier artillery. So if the other side used
6 mortars or artillery, then we didn't have an equivalent level of violence
7 to respond and all we could do was to threaten to deploy air force. And
8 that was the highest step on the scale, which was to deploy the air force.
9 Q. I want to talk with you a little bit more about the issue you've
10 just been talking about of a proportionate response. You've testified
11 that because UNPROFOR did not itself have heavy weapons it could not reply
12 in kind to violations when one side or the other used heavy weapons. Have
13 I stated your testimony accurately, sir?
14 A. Yes. For a very long time that was the biggest problem of the
15 United Nations. Only after June 1995, when the UN troops were reinforced
16 by the Rapid Reaction Force did we have heavier weaponry at our disposal
17 so that we were able to response more proportionately.
18 Q. Going back to the protest letters or violation letters - I forget
19 the exact term you used, I apologise - what purposes does sending a letter
20 serve when you're talking about a violation of rules of war, an exclusion
21 zone, a cease-fire, what have you? What is the point of sending a letter
22 to another -- to a commander?
23 A. Yes. Well, it's of limited use. It's an official confirmation
24 that carries a bit more authority than a message by phone toward the
25 parties that have violated an agreement.
1 The second purpose concerns registration, because that way we can
2 establish an administrative record as to how often we have warned a
3 certain party about a certain point.
4 Q. Do the letters have any notice or warning function?
5 A. As notice, yes, but the letters of protest did not ordinarily list
6 sanctions. Very occasionally this did happen. I remember a warning once
7 that the commander concerned might be summoned before the Tribunal, and in
8 an isolated case, there was threat of a weapon from the air, air force.
9 Q. When you say that in one case the commander in question was warned
10 that he might face prosecution before an international tribunal, do you
11 remember the name of the commander to whom that letter was sent?
12 A. That was General Mladic.
13 Q. Let's talk for a minute about how a decision was made within
14 UNPROFOR to send a letter of protest. Let us say that a violation has
15 occurred and the decision is being talked about, should we or should we
16 not make a protest. Could you just walk Their Honours through the
17 internal decision-making process within UNPROFOR?
18 A. Yes, I can do that.
19 In the event of violation of an agreement, or if an incident
20 conflicted with international regulations, then the most important staff
21 officers, the heads of the different staff divisions, would meet under the
22 leadership of Smith and with me present and the chief of civil affairs,
23 and we would discuss what had occurred, if it was known what the possible
24 instigation was of that incident, and subsequently which measures were
25 considered to be necessary. And after the UNPROFOR commander had reached
1 a decision, the action was submitted to the Chief of Staff for execution.
2 Q. The Chief of Staff was yourself; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And what were your duties as Chief of Staff? You've said that
5 General Smith would give you this decision, for you to put it into
6 execution. Is that the sort of thing that the Chief of Staff routinely
7 does day in and day out?
8 A. This is the way you should see it: In carrying out his duties, a
9 commander has an extensive staff; in this case, slightly over 100
10 persons. The staff keeps a record of what happens and evaluates the daily
11 course of events and reports about this to the commander and advises the
12 commander about any decisions this might need to be taken.
13 The day-to-day supervision of the staff is the job of the Chief of
14 Staff who ensures that the duties are performed and the reports are
15 submitted in time and that the operations continue and that the -- that
16 there's manpower 24 hours a day for the staff and that the staff can
18 Q. With regard to these -- going back now to the protest letters,
19 notice letters, violation letters, how did they get to the commander that
20 they were addressed to? How were they delivered? And let us talk, first
21 of all, about letters being sent to the Bosnian Serb commanders.
22 A. The letters to the Bosnian Serb commanders were, depending on
23 their level -- I'll start with -- for example, if Sector Sarajevo sent a
24 letter to the commander of the Bosnian Serb army corps in the Sarajevo
25 division, the letter would be presented to the liaison officer of the
1 Bosnian Serb army whom they could usually reach via the airport.
2 If these were letters from UNPROFOR and concerned the headquarters
3 in Pale of General Mladic, then these letters would be sent by fax to an
4 UNMO post in Pale located next to the headquarters of General Mladic, and
5 UNMOs would then present the letter to the headquarters.
6 Q. How was it decided whether a letter would be sent to the commander
7 of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps or to General Mladic?
8 A. That depended on how serious the incident was. Minor violations
9 of the agreements, in those cases General Gobillard would protest directly
10 to the army corps. And if there were serious incidents, this could happen
11 at the request of General Gobillard, or based on the assessment of General
12 Smith, the report would go to a higher level, that of the Bosnian Serb
13 army, so to General Mladic.
14 Q. Did you yourself write protest letters during your time in
15 Sarajevo, or sign protest letters might be the better way of putting it?
16 A. Yes, many. I estimate that I wrote over 50 protest letters.
17 Q. I want to look at some examples of those protest letters now,
18 General, and I'll ask the registrar to please --
19 MR. DOCHERTY: Excuse me one moment, Your Honour.
20 If the registrar could please display on the monitor 65 ter number
22 Q. Who is this letter addressed to, General?
23 A. This letter is addressed to Lieutenant General Milovanovic, and he
24 was the deputy of General Mladic. Ordinarily, he was my most common point
25 of contact at the headquarters in Pale.
1 Q. And was that a protocol, that a chief of staff would correspond
2 with a chief of staff, a division commander with a division commander?
3 A. Yes. This was very strictly observed to avoid skipping levels and
4 everything going directly to the highest level.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: And if I could ask the registrar to scroll down to
6 the signature block on this letter, please.
7 Q. From that signature block, can you tell who signed this letter?
8 A. Well, I don't see a signature there, but I do see my name, and I
9 recognise the letter. So this is, indeed, a letter of protest that I
11 Q. What's the date of the letter?
12 A. 17 April 1995.
13 MR. DOCHERTY: And if we could scroll back up so that the text of
14 the letter is displayed, please. Thank you.
15 Q. The letter speaks for itself. I'm not going to ask you to read it
16 out loud, but what is the context of this letter? What is this letter
17 reacting to? What is the situation that has caused this letter to be
19 A. From time to time shots might be fired at incoming aeroplanes at
20 Sarajevo airport. Of course, responses were sent immediately to try to
21 end this. In certain cases, especially the arrival of important visitors,
22 it was emphasised additionally to the fighting parties that an important
23 person would be arriving, and we demanded guarantees as to the safety of
24 the incoming aircraft.
25 Q. Did you receive a response to this letter; do you remember?
1 A. I don't remember anymore, but I assume that I received an
2 affirmative response because the visit proceeded without problems.
3 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I tender this document, 65 ter number
4 2851 into evidence.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Yes, we will admit it.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit P101, Your Honours.
7 MR. DOCHERTY:
8 Q. General, I now want to talk about another protest letter.
9 MR. DOCHERTY: And I would ask the registrar to please display on
10 the screen a document bearing 65 ter number 2322.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I just ask the Brigadier something?
12 Just going back to the last letter that you sent, the letter of
13 protest, did you understand the LO's reply that he could not guarantee the
14 safety of the aircraft to mean that there was a possibility that Serb
15 forces might fire at that aircraft?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. Getting back to the
17 answer I provided earlier, I don't remember exactly the response that we
18 received. I do remember that the visit from the US ambassador proceeded,
19 and I infer from that that there were guarantees issued as to the safety
20 of the aircraft.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: But what I was asking is, if you were told that
22 their safety could not be guaranteed, what does that mean?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at least that the ambassador
24 concerned would be consulted as to whether the risk should be taken to
25 land in Sarajevo without those guarantees.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay.
2 Mr. Docherty.
3 MR. DOCHERTY:
4 Q. Just following up on His Honour's question, was there some
5 indication before this letter was sent that Serbian forces might shoot
6 down an aircraft containing an ambassador, or fire upon it at least?
7 A. I no longer know exactly what the reason was, but after some
8 fairly quiet months at the beginning of 1995, as of early April, the
9 violations of the agreement in place at the time regarding cessation of
10 hostilities, the violations started to increase. So the number of firing
11 incidents increased as well as firing incidents in the area of the
12 airport. And I assume that one of those incidents was the reason why we
13 requested a guarantee for the safety of the aircraft concerned.
14 Q. You mentioned in that answer, General, that the first few months
15 of 1995 had been - I believe I'm quoting your words, at least in the
16 English translation - "fairly quiet." Can you give us something more
17 specific? When you say "fairly quiet" in the context of Sarajevo in 1995,
18 let me ask it this way: Did the UNMOs, the United Nations Military
19 Observers, log firing incidents on a daily basis?
20 A. Yes, that's correct. When I say "fairly quiet," and under peace
21 conditions you might find this a bit strange, I mean anything from no
22 firing incidents to a few hundred firing incidents. And that may come
23 across as rather remarkable, but as a basis for comparison, I can tell you
24 that in May and June more than a few thousand firing incidents happened in
25 a day.
1 Q. Now let's turn to the letter that's on the screen. Can you tell
2 us to whom this letter is addressed?
3 A. Also to Lieutenant General Milovanovic.
4 MR. DOCHERTY: If I could ask the registrar to please scroll down
5 to the signature block.
6 Q. General, can you tell us who has signed that letter?
7 A. My signature appears at the bottom of this letter.
8 MR. DOCHERTY: Could I ask the registrar to please scroll up so we
9 can see as much of the text as will fit into the screen.
10 Q. General, are you familiar with this letter? Do you remember this
12 A. It looks familiar to me.
13 Q. And if you need to take a moment to read it over, that's fine.
14 Then I'll have a few questions about it. Just say yes when you're ready
15 to proceed.
16 A. I am. Yes, I have read the letter.
17 Q. You indicate here in the first sentence that "Over the last two
18 months, an increasing number of heavy weapon violations," et cetera, et
19 cetera. What form did these heavy weapon violations take?
20 A. In general, these were shellings with mortars or with artillery.
21 Q. What restrictions had been placed upon heavy weapons? Can you
22 just tell us in a couple, three, sentences what the restrictions were on
23 heavy weapons and how firing a mortar violates those restrictions? I
24 think that would be helpful.
25 A. In the safe areas we had the so-called exclusion zones. Within
1 these exclusion zones, the warring factions were not allowed to have heavy
2 weapons at their disposal. All heavy weapons that were present in these
3 exclusion zones would be gathered in the so-called weapon collection
4 points and were held there under surveillance of UN Military Observers.
5 The warring factions, however, did have access to these heavy
6 weapons, and they did have permission to conduct maintenance whenever
7 necessary. However, this would always take place under the supervision of
8 UN personnel.
9 Nevertheless, from time to time there were cases of abuse of this
10 permission, and the heavy weapons would be used, would be fired in the
11 direction of the adversary. In other cases there were attempts to remove
12 weaponry from the weapon collection points and to transfer them to their
13 own held territory outside the exclusion zones.
14 MR. DOCHERTY: And if I could ask the registrar now to just scroll
15 up for a moment to the date.
16 Q. General, could you tell us the date of this letter?
17 A. The 26th of April, 1995.
18 Q. Following this letter being sent, did this end the problems with
19 the heavy weapon exclusion zones or did they continue?
20 A. No. Unfortunately, after this, several similar events took place
21 several times, and as a result, at the end of May the UN formulated an
22 ultimatum to the Bosnian Serb army to withdraw heavy weapons under the
23 threat of the use of the air force, and this threat materialised in the
24 end on 25th of May.
25 Q. Following the -- well, first of all, on the 25th of May, if you
1 remember, what was hit by the air-strike?
2 A. The target of the air-strikes was an ammunition complex in the
3 vicinity of Pale, and specifically chosen in the vicinity of Pale because
4 that was where the headquarters of the Bosnian Serb army was located. We
5 chose an ammunition storage because this was a purely military target.
6 Q. Was there a response from the Bosnian Serb authorities or the
7 Bosnian Serb army to this air-strike on the ammunition depot in Pale? And
8 if the answer is yes, would you describe that reaction to the Court,
10 A. Yes. General Mladic issued a furious reaction to this
11 air-strike. He considered it to be completely unjust, and he accused
12 United Nations of having touched a school and a hospital as well in this
13 air attack, which was absolutely not the case given the fact that the
14 ammunition storage was located outside inhabited areas.
15 Q. Beyond General Mladic's angry words, was there any further
17 A. Unfortunately, there was. In reaction to the use of air force,
18 there was a number of retaliation measures that, however not announced as
19 such, were experienced by the UN as such. There were cases of shooting on
20 the enclaves of Bihac, Gorazde. There was a terrible case of shelling of
21 the centre of the city of Tuzla with over 80 civilian casualties, not
22 aiming at any military object but firing at the centre of town. There
23 were similar indents of shooting in a number of other cities where
24 non-military targets were fired upon.
25 Q. Was there anything directed at the United Nations as such?
1 A. I'm not completely sure. I believe that the Tuzla airport has
2 been touched as well, but I cannot recall that with precision.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: What would that have to do with the United
4 Nations in relation to the specific question? You were asked whether
5 there was anything directed at the United Nations, and your answer was
6 that you're not completely sure, but you believed that the Tuzla airport
7 was touched. Is there a connection between the Tuzla airport and the
8 United Nations?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. My apologies. I should have
10 explained this.
11 On the Tuzla airport, the Sector North-East headquarters of the UN
12 was situated. There were UN troops at the airport in order to guard it.
13 MR. DOCHERTY:
14 Q. General, I'm now going to move on. Before I do leave this protest
15 letter, were protest letters, on occasion, sent to the Bosnian Muslim
16 armed forces commanders as well?
17 A. Yes. This happened as well, although this was quite a bit easier
18 given the fact that there were headquarters of the BiH army in Sarajevo
19 itself. Therefore, it was much easier to convey them. At the same time,
20 with some frequency, a liaison officer of the same army would visit the UN
22 Q. Another question more or less of clarification. We've been
23 looking at the English text of these letters. Were they sent in languages
24 other than English?
25 A. Yes, they were. They would be sent both in Serbian and in
2 MR. DOCHERTY: That's all the questions I have on this letter,
3 Your Honour. I would ask that this document 65 ter number 2322 be entered
4 into evidence.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P102, Your Honours.
7 MR. DOCHERTY: And may I please ask the registrar to put on the
8 screen the next letter. It bears 65 ter number 2498.
9 Q. Do you see the letter in front of you, General, on the screen?
10 A. Yes, I do, and by now I have read it as well.
11 Q. All right. First of all, who has signed this letter?
12 A. This letter bears my signature.
13 Q. What is the date of this letter?
14 A. The letter bears the date of 1st of July, 1995.
15 Q. And thirdly, to whom is this letter addressed?
16 A. This letter is addressed to General Mladic, and this is a letter
17 in support of letters of protest previously sent by the Sector Sarajevo
18 given the graveness of the violations of the agreements, in this case by
19 shootings into the city of Sarajevo where civilian casualties took place.
20 Therefore, this letter was sent to the headquarters in Pale.
21 Q. And we will get -- I'm sorry. We will get to the contents of the
22 letter in just a moment, General, but before we do that, I understood from
23 your testimony so far that you typically corresponded with your opposite
24 number, Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Manojlo Milovanovic, and yet
25 here we see a letter to General Ratko Mladic over your signature. Could
1 you explain how it came to be that in this case the protocol was not
2 followed and that you wrote to General Mladic rather than General Smith
3 writing to General Mladic?
4 A. I don't know why this letter was not signed by General Smith. It
5 might be that at that time he was not present at the headquarters.
6 However, given the seriousness of the violations in this case, the letter
7 was specifically addressed to General Mladic.
8 Q. Just to follow up on your last answer, if General Smith was not in
9 Sarajevo, would you have the authority to write a letter like this on your
10 own initiative?
11 A. Yes, I would have this authority. However, in fact, looking at
12 that date, I see indeed that General Smith at that date was not present.
13 Whenever General Smith would not be present, he would be replaced by
14 General Gobillard; therefore, General Gobillard might have signed this
15 letter. However, I assume that we wanted to underscore that this letter
16 was coming from another level in the military structure and that therefore
17 it was decided I would sign the letter.
18 Q. Now, this letter, in its text, in the third paragraph, refers to a
19 copy of a letter of protest from acting commander Sector Sarajevo. We're
20 going to look at the copy of the letter from the acting commander in a
21 moment, but from that title, "Acting Commander," can you tell or make any
22 conclusions about whether General Gobillard was in Sarajevo when the
23 letter was written?
24 A. If Colonel Meille, who was Chief of Staff of the Sector Sarajevo,
25 would have sign the letter as acting commander, this would imply that at
1 that time General Gobillard was not present at the headquarters in
3 MR. DOCHERTY: May I ask the registrar, there should be a second
4 page to this 65 ter number. Could we see the second page, please.
5 Q. Do you see that in front of you, General?
6 A. Yes, I'm reading it.
7 Q. I apologise for interrupting.
8 MR. DOCHERTY: Could we see the signature block, please.
9 Q. Who has signed the letter, General?
10 A. Colonel Meille, in this case in the capacity as acting sector
12 MR. DOCHERTY: Could we see the date on the letter at the top,
14 Q. What date did General Meille send this letter?
15 A. On the 30th of June, 1995.
16 Q. To whom is the letter addressed?
17 A. This letter is addressed to Major General Milosevic, the corps
18 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
19 Q. In the last paragraph that appears on that page -- well, it's no
20 longer the last paragraph on that page. Do you see the paragraph that
21 begins: "The seriousness of the events of the past 48 hours ..."?
22 A. Yes, I can see the text.
23 Q. And do you see the last line of that paragraph?
24 A. Yes, I see it.
25 Q. Is that last line the reference to a trial by an international
1 court that you testified about at the beginning of your testimony when you
2 were summarising the sorts of protest letters that were sent?
3 A. Yes. This is a very clear example of such a statement.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that this
6 is a leading question, to a great extent.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't agree at all, because the witness had
8 earlier testified about a statement that he made in relation to the
9 possibility of trial by an international court, and the counsel here is
10 seeking to have that confirmed.
11 But I wanted to find out from the witness whether his protest
12 letter to General Mladic was prompted by the same attacks on the 28th and
13 29th that were the subject of the letter that we are now looking at to
14 General Milosevic, or was it concerned with other violations?
15 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, other witnesses have testified about
16 the text of this letter, and I was not going to lead the witness through
17 the text. Rather, I think this witness, what he adds is the discussions
18 between himself and Colonel Meille over how the decision was made to send
19 these letters, and I believe that -- I believe, without giving testimony
20 myself, that that will be responsive to Your Honour's questions as to why
21 this witness sent the letter that we saw a few minutes ago.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: But he must be in a position to answer my
24 MR. DOCHERTY: Well, he is -- I'm sorry, I didn't mean to
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe he should be in a position to say.
2 What I want to find out, simply, is whether the violations that were the
3 subject matter of his protest letter to General Mladic were confined to
4 the same violations that were the subject matter of General Meille's
5 letter, or whether they were wider.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The letter concerned the very
7 same violations as to ones on which Mr. Meille had written. Given the
8 seriousness of the violations, Colonel Meille asked me to send a letter of
9 protest to General Mladic as well.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
11 Yes, Mr. Docherty.
12 MR. DOCHERTY:
13 Q. General, what I wanted to ask you to describe to the Court -- this
14 letter is in evidence through earlier witnesses. However, what I would
15 like you to talk to the Court about, and what they have not heard about
16 yet, were there discussions between you and Colonel Meille before these
17 two letters that we've looked at were sent respectively to General Mladic
18 and General Milosevic?
19 A. I don't remember any discussions about that. Basically it's an
20 extremely reasonable request from Sector Sarajevo in the event of such
21 serious violations, to ask the UNPROFOR headquarters to send a letter of
22 protest as well.
23 Q. And I apologise. Perhaps my question was not clear. But I think
24 you answered the question I should have asked, which is did you send this
25 at the request of Sarajevo? Your letter, I mean.
1 A. The answer is yes.
2 Q. And as far as you know, these letters were sent in the normal way
3 for delivery, either by fax to Pale or -- in the case of General Mladic,
4 or by delivery to the liaison officer, in the case of General Milosevic?
5 A. Yes, because there were no other channels.
6 Q. When you sent protest letters - and now I'm speaking generally,
7 not about the protest letter on the screen - when you sent these protest
8 letters, did you get responses?
9 A. Usually I did. Not always in writing. Sometimes the responses
10 arrived by telephone.
11 Q. Was there any response that was made so often or so frequently
12 that you could characterise it as a typical response?
13 A. Yes. Most of the responses consisted of denials. It was
14 generally denied that the actions stated had been performed by the parties
15 concerned. Other times it was said that the actions had been performed
16 but that they were a response to provocation by the other side. Those
17 were the most common answers provided.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: And then the last protest letter I would like to
19 look at, I'd ask the registrar to please call up 65 ter number ...
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I ask --
21 MR. DOCHERTY: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- the witness.
23 You say that some of the responses indicated that the action was a
24 response to provocation by the other side. I'm interested in that. Can
25 you say whether those responses to provocation, whether there was a
1 factual basis for that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was indeed the case sometimes.
3 Each time violations occurred, we tried to find out from the UNMOs which
4 party had started the violation, and in some cases it was indeed true that
5 not the Bosnian Serb army had started but the Bosnian Muslims had started.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: So that in some cases it was a matter of fact
7 that the violations which you allege the Serb army committed were
8 responsive to action taken by the Bosnian Muslim army?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. These could be both
10 violations with small-calibre arms as well reactions to firing heavier
11 weaponry. And obviously we contacted the parties that had committed these
12 acts about them.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you able to say whether, in this responsive
14 action by the Bosnian Serb army, any casualties were sustained, in
15 particular whether any civilians were killed?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the case concerned in this
17 letter, there were indeed civilian casualties as well.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: And may I ask, Mr. Docherty, whether the
19 particular incidents referred to in this letter are the subject of any
20 allegation in the indictment; and, if so, which one?
21 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I'll have to double-check --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You'll need to check, yes.
23 MR. DOCHERTY: But I'm capable of giving a more general response,
24 which is that the scheduled incidents, of course, are illustrative
25 examples. Even if these were not scheduled in the indictment, the
1 Prosecution's view is that we lead evidence on incidents over -- many more
2 incidents over and above those scheduled. The ones that are scheduled,
3 our view is that we prove those beyond a reasonable doubt as illustrative
4 examples. But I will certainly check on the break and be able to give you
5 a response.
6 Excuse me just a moment. Yes, Your Honour --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: But I do see a number of paragraphs referred to
8 in relation to this witness's testimony.
9 MR. DOCHERTY: That is correct, Your Honour. And, yes, the
10 incidents referred to on the 28th of June are indeed in the schedule to
11 the indictment. They are scheduled incidents -- shelling incidents 15 and
12 16. And then there is also in the indictment a rocket bomb that was fired
13 on the 29th of June, 1995, incident number 15.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Docherty.
15 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I'm going to --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry. Judge Harhoff.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, I would like to ask you about a question
18 of your responses to the warring parties. Now, we have mostly this
19 morning dealt with how and when reactions from the United Nations were
20 offered to the Serbian side. You have also testified that frequently the
21 shooting was initiated by the Bosnian side. My question would, therefore,
22 be: Would you also then present letters of protest to the Bosnian army
23 when you became aware of violations occurring from the Bosnian side? And
24 how were those protests made, if any? Thanks.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Letters of protest were indeed
1 written to the BiH, which was the Bosnian Muslim army, although this was
2 the case less frequently than toward the Bosnian Serb army. The texts
3 corresponded with the text in the letters you already saw. And in one
4 case I remember that in mid-May the violations occurred so frequently at
5 that we actually convened a meeting with Minister Silajdzic and with the
6 leaders of the Bosnian Muslim army.
7 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I'm now going to move from the topic
8 of protest letters to the topic of sniping, shelling, and air bombs.
9 Before I do that, may I put something on the record concerning this
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, before this witness began testifying,
13 counsel for the Defence indicated that he had only recently received
14 statements of this witness. We have been checking that, and I don't know
15 what happened. We will have to check with the Defence. Our disclosure
16 records indicate that the English version of the statement in question was
17 disclosed on 1 November 2006, and the B/C/S version of that statement on
18 22 November 2006.
19 I would also note for the record that the disclosure of exhibits
20 which the Defence intends to use with General Nicolai was received by us
21 in the course of his direct examination at eight minutes past 10.00.
22 Perhaps at the break counsel and I could confer and see why their
23 dates are different from ours. But our dates indicate that this was
24 turned over two and a half months before counsel indicates he received
25 it. So there's something there that we will need to check into.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. There's an element of confusion somewhere.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] If you would allow me, before you
3 move on to another topic, I would like to ask the witness.
4 With regard to the missions of the UNPROFOR, are you aware of the
5 criticism levelled at the UNPROFOR? It was said that the UNPROFOR simply
6 took care of distributing humanitarian aid, whereas the population was
7 facing the most horrible suffering. But if I've understood you correctly
8 and understood your explanations correctly, you mentioned among the
9 missions of the UNPROFOR the creation of conditions that would be
10 conducive to an end to hostilities. And that point, the end of
11 hostilities, is of interest to me.
12 What do you mean exactly by creating conditions conducive to
13 ending hostilities? Do you mean military conditions, military pressure
14 brought to bear on the warring parties, or do you mean discussions and
15 negotiations that, to my mind, were being carried out by politicians? And
16 more concretely, what exactly did the UNPROFOR do in relation, for
17 example, to the presumed or alleged shots fired by snipers knowing that
18 those shots were known by the -- or often coming from the headquarters in
19 Sarajevo, that is alleged to be the Serbian forces? So what would be the
20 position of the UNPROFOR vis-a-vis those sniping incidents? Of course,
21 letters to exert pressure would be useful, but were other measures
22 undertaken upstream?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't provide you with a brief
24 answer to this question, but I'll try to provide you with the most
25 accurate possible response.
1 Of course, when violations occurred, we also tried to negotiate to
2 end those hostilities. These negotiations were conducted both by military
3 people from UNPROFOR and by the civil division, which was known as civil
5 If this didn't help and if letters of protest didn't help, then
6 UNPROFOR also had military means at its disposal to retaliate against
7 hostilities. Very specifically, when sniping incidents occurred and when
8 snipers fired, then we would fire back using UNPROFOR military means. We
9 had certain hot spots, dangerous sites. At these dangerous sites we had
10 set up armoured vehicles that had heavy machine-guns or lighter arms to
11 fire back at the places where parties had fired from.
12 There were also patrols in certain areas, and as needed we
13 returned fire toward places that firing came from. It was more difficult
14 to respond to the use of heavy arms, first of all, because the firing
15 distance was larger in those cases; second, because UNPROFOR did not have
16 means that matched the level of violence. UNPROFOR did not have heavy
17 mortars or artillery. The only response were means -- that we could use
18 to retaliate in those cases was through air-strikes.
19 Only then there's a problem as to proportionality. If one mortar
20 is fired from a backyard, then it's difficult, first of all, to find that
21 target; and second, considering the impact of air-strikes, the danger of
22 collateral damage, as it's known, so damage to the surroundings of a
23 target, is immense. To put it very simply, you can't burn down a
24 residential area just to neutralise one mortar. And that was generally
25 the problem that UNPROFOR faced during those months.
1 Only after the repatriation forces occurred and were able to
2 localise the area -- the Rapid Reaction Forces, excuse me, they were able
3 to use very accurate artillery to provide a more adequate response, but
4 that was after July and August of 1995.
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are at the break time. We will adjourn for 20
8 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, I understand you have some matters
11 you wish to raise.
12 MR. DOCHERTY: Two very brief matters, Your Honour. The.
13 First is by way of a heads-up to the Chamber. As the Chamber
14 knows, the Prosecution has applied for protective measures for a number of
15 its witnesses. I am not going to mention this witness by name, of course,
16 to avoid the need for going into private or closed session, but it has
17 been brought to my attention by a colleague who is perhaps more assiduous
18 than I that one of these witnesses, number 138, was previously granted the
19 protections we are seeking in an earlier proceeding before this Tribunal.
20 I will put this in writing later today, but the oral order in question was
21 issued and 6 December 2001 and is found at page 862 of the transcript of
22 the Prosecutor versus Galic.
23 As I say, I just wanted to put that on the record immediately, but
24 I will follow up in writing.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. And I would take this opportunity to
1 raise some other administrative matters in relation to motions for
2 admission of written statements pursuant to Rules 92 bis and ter filed by
3 the Prosecution on the 11th of January. The Defence response is,
4 therefore, due by the 25th of January, which is tomorrow.
5 One of the witnesses mentioned in the motion is scheduled to
6 testify on Thursday, the 25th. That's tomorrow. And three more are
7 scheduled to testify on Monday the 29th. And these are the witnesses
8 concerned: Sanela Dedovic, scheduled for Thursday, 25th January.
9 Therefore, we would want the response of the Defence by this afternoon.
10 Huso Palo, scheduled for Monday, the 29th; we would want that response by
11 tomorrow. Sabina Sabanic, scheduled for Monday, the 29th; we would want
12 the Defence response by tomorrow. Kemal Buco, scheduled for Monday, the
13 29th; we would want the Defence response by tomorrow.
14 Proceed, Mr. Docherty.
15 MR. DOCHERTY: As the first matter of business, Your Honour, I
16 offer into evidence 65 ter number 2498. That is the package of protest
17 letters from the witness and Colonel Meille to General Milosevic and
18 General Mladic that we were looking at just before the break.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be admitted as Exhibit P103, Your
22 MR. DOCHERTY:
23 Q. Major General, before the break we were discussing incidents of
24 heavy weapons, exclusion zone violations, and a NATO air-strike on an
25 ammunition depot in Pale that resulted. Do you remember the questions and
1 answers that you and I had along those lines?
2 A. Yes, I remember what I answered.
3 Q. And, General, I then asked you about responses directed against
4 the United Nations itself, and your answer concerned the airport at Tuzla;
5 is that correct?
6 A. Yes, I remember that.
7 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, the next question will be leading,
8 but I do it because I am obliged by the rules to put my case to the
10 Q. Major General, was there also an incident of hostage-taking?
11 A. If you're talking about those dates, 28 and 29 June, I don't
12 remember any case of hostage-taking.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic is on his feet.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I object, Your Honours, to the
15 question thus formulated, and I'm expecting you to decide on this issue.
16 It's been demonstrated from the answer that it is correct, but I don't
17 think that these kinds of questions are permissible.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me hear Mr. Docherty.
20 MR. DOCHERTY: If it simplifies the Chamber's decision, I don't
21 intend to go any further. I have done what the Rules require me to do.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Remind me of the Rule. Is it Rule 90 or 80?
23 MR. DOCHERTY: It's Rule 98, Your Honour -- I'm sorry, 90(H) as
24 in "Hotel," Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what is the particular section?
1 MR. DOCHERTY: One moment, Your Honour, while I get a copy.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: 90(H) deals with cross-examination.
3 MR. DOCHERTY: I could also withdraw the question, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Rule 90(H) does not provide a basis for a leading
5 question. What it does, it allows a party in cross-examination to
6 question a witness in relation to evidence relevant to the case for the
7 cross-examining party.
8 So I uphold the submission made by Mr. Tapuskovic that the
9 question was leading. But I note that you have withdrawn it.
10 MR. DOCHERTY: I have, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Or you may get to it by some other means.
12 MR. DOCHERTY: I know I tendered those letters, Your Honour. Were
13 they received? Ter number 2498?
14 THE REGISTRAR: They were admitted.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 MR. DOCHERTY: Thank you.
17 Q. Major General, I'm now going to move away from the subject of
18 protest letters and UNPROFOR structure and go into questions of shelling
19 and sniping and air bombs.
20 To begin with, how many years did you spend in the Dutch armed
21 forces before you retired?
22 A. Thirty-nine years.
23 Q. During your 39 years with the Dutch army, did you have experience
24 with mortars?
25 A. Yes. For nearly two years I was deputy commander of a mortar
2 Q. During your time -- based on your experience, your professional
3 experience, with mortars, does the phrase "register a target" have a
4 professional meaning to you?
5 A. Yes, indeed. It means that you can shoot at targets with a mortar
6 so that you can fire very accurately at your target.
7 Q. Could you describe to the Chamber how a mortar is registered upon
8 a particular target.
9 A. As it happens, it follows before you shoot at the target with an
10 entire firing unit or platoon, you start by firing with a single piece of
11 artillery. You fire one shot which is observed by an observer, and that
12 observer then indicates where the grenade has landed with respect to the
13 target and then indicates the correction necessary to get the shot -- to
14 make the shot more accurate or to get it closer to the target. That is
15 repeated as many times as necessary until the grenade reaches the exact
16 target. And after that, all other items of the firing unit are directed
17 in the same manner, and that guarantees that the fire of all those firing
18 units reach the target.
19 Q. Once a mortar has been registered upon a target, does the mortar
20 crew need to see the target in order to hit it?
21 A. No, that's not necessary.
22 Q. So they could hit the target at night or through fog, for example?
23 A. Yes. If no corrections have been made, then that's possible. The
24 only corrections that might be necessary would be the consequence of
25 changes in the wind speed, but you can do that by measuring the wind speed
1 and by consulting tables. You needn't see the target for that purpose.
2 Q. Did you have an understanding, based upon your time with UNPROFOR
3 in Sarajevo, about the length of time that some of the Serbian army
4 mortars had been in a single position in the hills overlooking Sarajevo?
5 A. I apologise, but I didn't completely understand your question.
6 Q. It was a very long question. Let me try and break it down. If a
7 mortar -- hypothetically, if a mortar is in one location for a long period
8 of time, can it be accurately registered on a target?
9 A. Yes is the answer.
10 Q. And did you have an understanding as to how long some of the
11 Serbian army mortars had been in an unmoved position in the hills
12 overlooking Sarajevo?
13 A. I do not know when those positions were taken, but throughout the
14 period that I served in Sarajevo those positions were occupied.
15 Q. Now, when you say that those positions were occupied, can you tell
16 the Chamber what opportunity you had to observe those positions, to see
17 those positions?
18 A. I was able to observe some of those positions even from the
19 headquarters. This was possible because Sarajevo is in a valley
20 surrounded by hills, and most of the positions of the Bosnian Serbs were
21 on those hills. Perhaps I was unable to observe other positions
22 personally, but they were observable from the positions at the UNMOs, the
23 UN observers. Then I was able to see a number of positions. I visited
24 the headquarters in Pale once, and the road to Pale took me past a few of
25 those positions, so I saw them from very close.
1 Q. During your time with the Dutch army as deputy commander of a
2 mortar company, did you learn how to distinguish a good mortar crew from a
3 mortar crew that maybe wasn't so good?
4 A. Absolutely, yes.
5 Q. Do you have an opinion about the quality of the Serbian army
6 mortar crews that were in the hills overlooking Sarajevo?
7 A. It was my impression, I say this with some reserve, my impression
8 was that they were very professional. My reserve -- my reservation
9 concerned the aspect I was unable to assess. The quality of a mortar crew
10 or company is determined, in part, by the speed at which they are able to
11 take position and to fire at a certain target.
12 Because the positions had been occupied for some time and that
13 registration had taken place much earlier, I was therefore not able to
14 assess that aspect.
15 Q. What aspect were you able to observe? If you weren't able to
16 observe the speed with which they set up and opened fire, what could you
17 look at?
18 A. The accuracy with which targets were shot at, which was generally
19 very good.
20 Q. And were some of these targets, some of these things that were hit
21 by mortars, civilian targets?
22 A. Sometimes civilian targets were indeed shot at. It's difficult to
23 determine whether that was deliberate in all cases or whether it was a
24 missed shot. But considering the quality of the Bosnian Serb forces, when
25 that happened, it was deliberate.
1 Q. I'm going to turn to a different type of weapon. Do you know what
2 I mean by the phrase "modified air bomb"?
3 A. Yes, I do know.
4 Q. Could you tell us -- I'm sorry.
5 A. I understand that you would like me to explain that.
6 In addition to normal conventional artillery and mortars, the
7 Bosnian Serb army also had an improvised device that could be launched to
8 shoot an air bomb driven by a rocket attached to that bomb. Because this
9 was an improvised firing system, this appears to have been a highly
10 inaccurate weapon, but nonetheless a weapon with extremely high explosive
12 Q. And during your time with the Dutch army, did you learn the
13 different types of weapons that are suited to different types of
14 battlefield situations?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does the modified air bomb that you have just described have --
17 would a commander ever turn to a modified air bomb in a battlefield
19 A. Only in a situation where they wanted to cause very heavy damage
20 and in a situation where accuracy is of secondary importance.
21 Q. Do you have an opinion as to why or what use these modified air
22 bombs were put by the Bosnian Serb army in Sarajevo? What was the purpose
23 of firing them?
24 A. The only thing I can imagine is that, considering the impact of
25 the projectile, it had a type of deterrent effect.
1 Q. How did it deter?
2 A. Because it causes heavy material damage, and there is also a
3 chance that there will be high casualties resulting.
4 Q. Earlier, before the break, the Chamber asked you about whether any
5 of the fire directed on Sarajevo by the Bosnian Serb army was a response
6 to provocation and you answered yes. Do you remember that exchange with
7 the Chamber?
8 A. Yes, I remember those answers. I stated very specifically that in
9 some cases there was provocation, but not in all cases.
10 Q. When there was provocation, could you describe to the Bench what a
11 typical provocation would be?
12 A. A provocation might be shooting with small-calibre weapons at the
13 Serb positions. Another type of provocation might be shooting with heavy
14 arms. It's known, among other things, that open-roofed vehicles were used
15 to which a mortar was attached; that it would fire from arbitrary -- well,
16 not arbitrary, but at various sites outside the city at Bosnian Serb
18 Q. Was the response by the Bosnian Serb army proportionate to these
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. He must say what the response was, not to
21 say whether it was proportionate. We will determine that.
22 MR. DOCHERTY:
23 Q. General, let us take some examples in response to mortar rounds
24 being fired by the Bosnian Muslims, what sort of response or, if there was
25 a range, what range of responses did you observe from the Bosnian Serb
2 A. Usually such rounds would be followed by shooting on different
3 targets in town. I would consider something proportional that would aim
4 the position from which the one side has initiated firing. However, very
5 often this was not the case.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I said earlier that I would not allow you to say
7 whether it was proportionate. Just tell us what the response was as a
8 matter of fact.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies. The reaction, as I
10 mentioned, usually would be that there would be return fire on different
11 targets in Sarajevo.
12 MR. DOCHERTY:
13 Q. Would this include civilian targets in Sarajevo?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. And then lastly, sniper fire. During your time in Sarajevo, were
16 inhabitants of the city of Sarajevo hit by small-arms fire?
17 A. Yes. This would happen with a very high frequency.
18 Q. And I said "inhabitants." Perhaps I should specify. Were these
19 civilian inhabitants?
20 A. This would concern both civilian inhabitants and the military.
21 Q. Were there areas of the city of Sarajevo that were well known or
22 notorious as places where civilians could get shot?
23 A. Yes, there were such areas. These were the places where the
24 confrontation lines were at a short distance. For instance, the part of
25 the city of Sarajevo where the confrontation line was very close to the
1 centre of town was a place where it was very easy to shoot at the other
2 side at a short range. Another example was the area of the Sarajevo
3 airport where a Serbian neighbourhood was situated at a very short
5 Q. And then the last question I have goes back to the protest letters
6 that were sent. We saw that protest letters were sent to General Mladic.
7 Do you recall that?
8 A. My apologies. Could you repeat the question once again.
9 Q. Certainly. We saw earlier some of the protest letters that were
10 sent, and we saw that some of those letters were sent to General Ratko
11 Mladic. Do you recall seeing those letters earlier today on the monitor?
12 A. Yes, I recall that.
13 Q. Now, letters sent to General Mladic, General Mladic is the
14 superior officer of the accused, Dragomir Milosevic; is that correct? Or
15 was at that time.
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. And by sending letters to General Mladic, was that in any way
18 indicating that you were not holding General Milosevic also accountable
19 for the actions of the troops under his command?
20 A. No, it wasn't. A commander is always accountable for the acts of
21 the soldiers under his command; however, at the same time his superiors
22 are accountable as well. And in case of serious incidents, we held the
23 opinion that we should also address the superiors of General Milosevic.
24 MR. DOCHERTY: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
2 General, may I just ask you one last question in relation to the
3 protest letters that you sent to various commanders on both sides, and my
4 question is if the responses that you received were issued by the same
5 persons to whom you had addressed the protest letters. In other words,
6 did those to whom the protests were addressed reply back to you directly,
7 or did the replies come from somebody else; and, if so, then who responded
8 to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is very difficult to confirm this
10 for all cases. In general, the answer would come from the person the
11 letter had been addressed to. However, it would also occur that the
12 person in question would not be present at headquarters. In those cases,
13 on behalf of this person, his acting officer would reply. And this has
14 happened as well.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your
18 The first thing I would like to say is I intend to examine this
19 witness based of these principal documents. I'm talking about DD00-0287,
20 which is the statement provided by the witness on the 16th, the 23rd, the
21 25th of October, and the 18th of November, 1996, which means a mere year
22 after the Dayton Accords. That will be the first document.
23 The other document that I will have to be drawing analogies with
24 all the time is DD00-03-19. This document is related to the statement
25 that the witness gave between the 16th and 20th of October, 2006.
1 I will not be addressing any of the problems that I indicated a
2 while ago. Believe me, though, I wish that I was wrong. I wish that I
3 had -- I wish that it had not been the case that I received the
4 translation of this document two days ago, which was the same day that the
5 accused Dragomir Milosevic received it on. But I will not be opening -- I
6 will not be opening that question now.
7 I would like to move on straight to my cross-examination. Once
8 the witness has looked at the documents, I will be pointing him to the
9 exact page numbers in the English with great accuracy.
10 Can we please have this document DD00-0319, dated the 16th through
11 the 20th of October, 2006. I would like to go to page 1 of that
12 document. I'm not sure if the witness has that in front of him already or
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is this document in evidence, or is it being used
15 for the first time? Mr. Docherty.
16 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, the document would have been moved
17 into evidence had the witness testified 92 ter, but since he did not, no,
18 we did not put the statement into evidence.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Okay.
20 Yes, go ahead. Go ahead.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir, I am Branislav Tapuskovic,
23 attorney-at-law from Belgrade. I would like to ask you a number of
24 questions in relation to your statements. I will be showing you perhaps
25 two or three documents, and one thing I would like to tell you is this:
1 Time is of the essence. Whenever possible, wherever possible, please
2 provide brief answers, yes or no answers, if at all possible.
3 I would like to start with page 1, some general questions. I
4 believe you should be able to provide brief answers.
5 Paragraph 1, you say: "I have previously provided a statement ...
6 which I have read and agree with." This is the statement you provided
7 back in 1996. I will be asking questions about that one, too. Do you
8 still abide by the position expressed here?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Paragraph 2, at page 1, you also say that you spent your military
11 career in the infantry and that you have some experience with mortar
12 units. I would like to ask you, does that mean that you are exceptionally
13 familiar with mortars, generally speaking?
14 A. Yes. I stated before that I have been the deputy commander of a
15 mortar company.
16 Q. Thank you. You go on to say that you were General Smith's Chief
17 of Staff. In paragraph 3 you say that meetings occurred in a certain way,
18 and then you say: "... even for discussions with ministers, he was always
19 with me," a colleague of yours. "Although I was Chief of Staff to General
20 Smith, he sometimes had private meetings without my presence."
21 Is that correct, sir?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Sir, if you remember, and that's my question, did meetings like
24 that take place at the same time as the dreadful incident occurred at
25 Markale on the 28th of August, 1995? On occasions like that, would he
1 meet anyone privately?
2 A. I don't know which incidents you're referring to, but it would
3 happen regularly that General Smith himself, not accompanied by me, would
4 engage in negotiations with ministers of the Bosnian government.
5 Q. No. Witness, sir, the Prosecutor asked you nothing about what
6 happened on the 28th of August when a shell explode at Markale, or that's
7 what the indictment claims, causing a great number of casualties. I was
8 asking you about that time, the 28th, the 29th, especially the 28th. Were
9 there any meetings held by General Smith, private meetings, face-to-face
11 A. Not as far as I can recall. I have been present at all
12 discussions that took place internally with staff chaired by General Smith
13 on this matter.
14 Q. Thank you. We'll go back to that once we get to Markale. I have
15 a number of questions about that.
16 In paragraph 4 of your statement, you talk about Mohatarem, a
17 Pakistani lieutenant colonel. You commended his credibility. You say
18 that he was an honourable man. You believe that Mohatarem was an
19 honourable officer at the time. That is at least what your description,
20 provided in your statement, implies.
21 A. I have no knowledge of any facts that would undermine the
22 credibility of the officer in question.
23 Q. I thank you. That was my impression, too, during his appearance.
24 I just wanted to see whether you shared my impression.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I'd like to move on to the
1 other statement that the witness provided in 1996, on the 25th, if that
2 can be brought up on the screen. DD00-0287, this is the 1996 statement.
3 Q. I'll ask you a number of questions about that once you have that
4 on the screen in front you, sir. Page 1, I'm talking about page 1.
5 Sir, do you have that in front of you, page 1 of that statement?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. In paragraph 2 of that statement -- based on paragraph 2 of that
8 statement, can we say that your first international task as a professional
9 soldier in the service of the UN was the one you discharged with UNPROFOR
10 in the former Yugoslavia; yes or no, please?
11 A. Could you repeat the question, please.
12 Q. It's not even a question. It's precisely what the document
13 reads. "My first international post ..." that's the first sentence of
14 paragraph 2. "My first international post was with the United Nations in
15 UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia." Is what it says true?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. The document goes on to state that you volunteered for that
18 mission, for going to that sort of front. Is that true, sir?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Unless you really have something to add.
21 A. No, I have nothing -- I have nothing to add.
22 Q. Up until that point in time, you came to this country which at the
23 time was quite a large country. How familiar were you with the country?
24 How much did you really know about the former Yugoslavia?
25 A. Of course I took a professional interest in what happened in the
1 Balkans, and from the start of the conflict I followed the reports. I
2 read books about it. And prior to my deployment, I was, of course,
3 briefed about the situation at that time.
4 Q. And this course that you took was a month-long course - that's
5 what your statement suggests - from the moment you had been informed that
6 you would be sent to Yugoslavia; is that right?
7 A. No, that's not correct. It was a two-week course.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you explain this, sir, or rather, explain to the
9 Chamber: Since you volunteered for this mission, can you please explain
10 your reason for going to a dangerous place like that of your own
11 freewill? What was the reason behind that decision, your decision to go
12 to an area like that? Was it because of what you had read about the
13 sufferings of the people of Sarajevo?
14 A. My reason was twofold. First, shortly before, I had been offered
15 a position that I did not wish to accept for personal reasons, and I
16 requested a different position at that point. I answered that I would be
17 happy to be deployed, first of all, because I had not had that experience
18 and thought the experience would be extremely useful; and second, for
19 ideological reasons, I wanted to contribute to ending the atrocities
20 taking place at that time in the Balkans.
21 Q. These atrocities occurring in the Balkans, based on what you knew
22 at the time, the Serbs were the sole perpetrators, right, at the time?
23 Yes or no?
24 A. No. It is definitely not my opinion that only one party was to
1 Q. I understand that, but what about your experience after you had
2 returned? Is that what the conclusion is based on? What was your
3 conviction when you first set out to go to the area, that all the parties
4 were responsible? Or did you believe at the time that the Serbs were the
5 open ones perpetrating these atrocities?
6 A. Both prior to my deployment and after my deployment, I believed,
7 and continued to believe, that multiple parties were to blame for the
9 Q. All right. In that case, I will be dropping some of the questions
10 that I was about to ask you.
11 I would like to ask you this next, sir: How much did you really
12 know before your arrival about the victims and casualties on the other
13 side in terms of specific information? Did you have any idea about that,
14 sir, or is the answer the same as before, in which case you needn't even
16 A. This is a very difficult question to answer. What I knew about
17 the conflict was what I had read about it and also what I'd seen during a
18 previous position prior to my deployment to Bosnia, during my visits, what
19 I'd seen there.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just as a matter of information, Mr. Docherty, is
21 it the Prosecution's case that the Serbs were the only perpetrators of
23 MR. DOCHERTY: No, of course not, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Thanks. I just wanted to --
25 MR. DOCHERTY: This accused was a Serbian general, and that, of
1 course, is where our evidence takes us.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Defence might want to take note of that, yes.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Fine. I will not be insisting on
4 this answer.
5 Q. However, what about all those things that you had learned a thing
6 or two before your arrival? Had you, above all, not been told by your
7 predecessor about these things, General Van Baal? Is it not true, sir,
8 that you had heard a great deal about these things from him, of all
10 Let me refresh your memory. Let's not dwell on this. I have to
11 go back to the previous document. Unfortunately, I have to take that
12 course of action. DD00-10319, paragraph 24 of that document, please.
13 Have you got that, sir?
14 A. No, not yet. I do now.
15 Q. Do you have that in front of you? I will have to go through it
17 "I recall that it was very important that the source of fire be
18 determined, because we did not rule out any possibility, including the
19 possibility that the Bosniaks had shelled their own people. I have never
20 seen or have any evidence that the Bosniaks shelled their own people,
21 although I had heard from my predecessor, General Van Baal, that it might
22 have happened during his time there. Elements to consider were ..."
23 And then what follows is not related to this incident. However,
24 I'm talking about what you heard from Van Baal, the way you describe it
25 here. There were cases, apparently, at least that's what the statement
1 says -- or rather, he says the Bosniaks shelled their own people.
2 Is this something that he ever told you?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. Thank you. Let me just wrap this up. The Bosnians were shelling
5 their own people and then the whole world saw that as a result of the
6 bombs that the Serbs had been using. Would this be a fair way of putting
7 it, or do you look at this differently, perhaps?
8 A. No. This is, at any rate, what was presumed to have been the
9 intention, shooting at their own troops to give the impression that it was
10 the other party's fault. Excuse me, at people.
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you. I look at your statement and see that you
12 arrived in Sarajevo on the 23rd of February, 1995. Is that right, sir?
13 A. That's correct.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry, I need to have the witness clarify
15 what he meant when he said, "This is, at any rate, what was presumed to
16 have been the intention, shooting at their own troops to give the
17 impression that it was the other party's fault." Could you elaborate on
18 that for me?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I will.
20 General Van Baal, who was actually my predecessor's predecessor,
21 told me before my departure that in one specific case they had a very
22 strong impression that the Bosnian Muslim forces had fired at their own
23 people with the intention of shifting the blame towards the Bosnian
24 Serbs. And I'm formulating it because it was very strongly his impression
25 that that was the way it happened. They never had 100 per cent evidence
1 of this.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: This was information, you say, from your
3 predecessor's predecessor. When was he in Bosnia? What period?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was during the first half of
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the interpretation
8 into B/C/S that I caught was about shelling their own soldiers, and the
9 statement reads, the portion that I read back to the General, that the
10 Bosniaks were shelling their own people, which means their own civilians,
11 not soldiers. That is the gist of what I've been going on about. It's
12 quite specific, the quote from the statement, "shelled their own people"
13 or "shelling their own people."
14 Q. Can we clarify that? Did they shell the front line where the
15 soldiers were or the city itself?
16 A. It concerned the civilian population.
17 Q. Thank you. So you arrived when you arrived, and you left on the
18 2nd of September, 1995. Is that right, sir?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. When you left for Bosnia, given your position at the time, you had
21 been told that you would be going there and that you would be arriving
22 just as a cease-fire was taking effect that had begun in January and was
23 supposed to go on until April. Is that right, sir?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Could we then say that it's also true that it was from the NATO
1 intelligence sources and NATO security sources that you had found out
2 about the fact that, although there was a cease-fire, the Muslims had
3 already started to prepare for launching an offensive at some later date?
4 Is this something you were familiar with or something that you were told
5 at the time, sir?
6 A. I was not informed that there were preparations underway for an
7 offensive. I was informed that the agreement was being violated.
8 Q. Can you at least tell me whether you knew that throughout there
9 had been negotiations with the representatives of the BH army and the
10 representatives of the army of the Republika Srpska for that agreement to
11 be extended? The Serbs were in favour of an indefinite extension, a
12 lasting or permanent extension, and the Muslims -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry,
13 I apologise, it's really difficult to say Muslims, Bosniaks, Bosnians.
14 Errors like that probably must be made by the situation here, but I will
15 simply have to say, no dilemma at all. I don't think it's a bad thing to
16 describe someone as a Muslim or a Serb or whatever.
17 Nevertheless, did you know that representatives of the BH army had
18 categorically refused any discussion of an extension to that agreement?
19 Were you certain at the time that they were about to launch an offensive?
20 Did you know about that?
21 A. What I knew was that the agreement that existed was a compromise.
22 A four-month agreement is a very modest result. My predecessors and I
23 consistently tried to consult with all parties concerned regarding an
24 agreement that would be valid for a far longer period. Unfortunately, we
25 didn't succeed. I was not aware of any preparations for an offensive.
1 Q. I would like to ask you about a specific piece of information or a
2 fact, if you like. When you arrived, did you know about the tunnel
3 beneath the Butmir airport? It was quite a long tunnel and was being used
4 by the BH army. They brought medicine, food, and such like through the
5 tunnel and into the city. That's what the tunnel was meant to be used
6 for, but the tunnel was also used for bringing in enormous amounts of
7 ammunition. Did you know about that while you were in Sarajevo, sir?
8 A. Not immediately upon my arrival, but fairly soon after I had
9 entered my position there I was notified of that.
10 Q. Did you, in your capacity as an officer, know, and the rest of the
11 UN people there, that the tunnel was being used all the time by the BH
12 army in great numbers; that the tunnel was often used for them to leave
13 Sarajevo and go to other theatres of war and then to go back to Sarajevo?
14 Is this something that you were aware of at the time, sir?
15 A. Well, in any case we presumed that that was also happening, but
16 the tunnel was used very often to get supplies to the population because
17 the other supply convoys were often blocked.
18 Q. I already said that naturally that was of vital importance for the
19 residents of Sarajevo, and from this position I can say that I was happy
20 for those people to receive medical supplies. However, what I was asking
21 you about was that large numbers of troops used this tunnel to get out of
22 the city and that UNPROFOR did nothing about it, to prevent it. I'm
23 talking about the soldiers getting in and out. I have nothing against
24 medical supplies and other merchandise to sustain people's lives. But why
25 didn't UNPROFOR stop the troops getting in and out of what was supposed to
1 be the demilitarised zone? I would like to hear your answer to this.
2 A. I cannot provide a specific answer as to what extent the BiH army
3 used this tunnel. There were French battalions of the Sarajevo Sector
4 located at the airports, and probably -- were probably able to see the
5 tunnel, and I am not aware of the extent to which they observed the BH
6 army used this tunnel. You'll have to ask this question to the people at
7 Sector Sarajevo, because I never received any information about that in a
9 Q. I am interested to hear whether you knew that the entry and exit
10 points were at places where there was a lot of civilian population.
11 A. The tunnel exit was on the side of the city. Yes, there were a
12 lot of civilians there. But the other side near Mount Igman, no, there
13 was no dense population there.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Brigadier, your answer to the previous question
15 suggests that you do have knowledge that the tunnel was used by the BiH
16 army. The difficulty that you have is in identifying the extent to which
17 the tunnel was used by the BH army. Is that a fair summary of your
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not exactly. I'll try to be a
20 bit more specific in my response. I did not receive any report that the
21 BiH army was using the tunnel, but I'm not excluding that because we had
22 had no permanent control over -- to supervise who entered or exited the
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I put a question to Counsel Tapuskovic? I'm
25 not sure I fully appreciate the question that you originally put to the
1 witness, because -- are you suggesting that it would be a violation of the
2 existing agreements if weapons were taken into Sarajevo through the
3 tunnel? Would that be a violation; and, if so, a violation of what?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, weapons arrived in
5 Sarajevo, that's one thing, but also fresh troops came into Sarajevo, and
6 at times even the soldiers from Sarajevo would leave to other fronts at
7 Igman and other areas and then they would go back to Sarajevo.
8 At any rate, that constitutes a serious violation of the UN
9 Resolution which, way back in 1993, declared this area a demilitarised
10 zone. Had all this really been demilitarised, no one would have to do
11 anything with weapons if that really had been demilitarised. And if there
12 hadn't been such a huge amount of weapons and troops and constant
13 incidents, nothing would have happened. Just like the case was in the
14 situation in Kiseljak where the demarcation line was between the Croats
15 and the Serbian army, there was no shooting there.
16 That's the point. This is a serious violation of the UN
17 Resolution because it had become increasingly a military issue.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you for clarifying this.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Continue.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have back on our
23 monitors document DD00-0287.
24 Q. I would like to draw your attention to page 2 -- in fact, it's
25 page 1, where you talk about the time when you arrived.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, did you earlier ask the witness
2 whether civilians were at the entrance and exit of the tunnel? I'm not
3 quite sure whether you did; and, if you did, what the answer was to that
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. My colleague reminded me of
6 that, and I did ask this question.
7 Q. As I understand, the entry point was an area which was densely
8 populated. If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Witness, that's what you said. The
9 entry point was where the civilian population was in large numbers.
10 A. The tunnel has two ends. The tunnel end inside the city of
11 Sarajevo was in a residential area, but the other end of the tunnel, at
12 the side of Mount Igman, was not densely populated.
13 Q. Please, Igman is pretty far away from this tunnel; is that
14 correct? That's a mountain. That's a dominant mountain overlooking
15 Sarajevo. It's not exactly at the exit point of the town. You need to
16 travel for quite a long time from that point. I visited this area both
17 when I was a child, and I also visited it as an adult and during the war.
18 What you say is that there was just an entry and exit point. It
19 depends on how you view it. If you're coming from the direction of Igman,
20 that's an entry point. If you're going from Sarajevo, that's an entry
21 point. It's difficult to discern between the two. However, both ends
22 were civilian areas. The one in the city was completely a civilian area,
23 but also the exit point from the tunnel, which was only 700 metres long,
24 is in a populated area as well; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct, but not as densely populated as the end
1 that's on the Sarajevo side.
2 Q. Very well. I understand. But at both ends, whatever you take to
3 be an entry point and an exit point, could have been a military target,
4 when you have troops moving.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you have in front of you page 1, or rather, page 2 of your
7 statement given in 1996? Do you have it in front of you?
8 A. Not yet.
9 Q. Do you have it now? I would like to draw your attention to
10 paragraph 3.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, this is really going very
12 slowly, Your Honours.
13 Q. Do you have it, sir, in front of you?
14 A. No, I still don't.
15 Q. Please, that's document DD00-0287. And page 1 is actually page 2
16 of the document. Yes. This is exactly what we have on the monitors.
17 Can you see it, sir, now?
18 A. In front of my -- in front of me I see the first page of my
20 Q. Yes. I'd like to draw your attention to page 3 -- sorry,
21 paragraph 3. You are talking about your arrival in Sarajevo, and you
22 visited all the headquarters of all armies. You first visited the
23 Croatian army, HVO; then the representatives of the BH army; and only
24 after that, the representatives of the army of Republika Srpska in Pale.
25 Is that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, did you ever have contact with General
3 Dragomir Milosevic, either by forwarding a protest directly to him or by
4 talking to him on the phone or ever meeting him in person?
5 A. No, that never happened. The counterpart of Mr. Milosevic was
6 General Gobillard.
7 Q. In the next paragraph you say, somewhere in the middle: "My task
8 was to make sure that the functions of BH command were carried out."
9 I'm not going to ask you anything directly in this connection. I
10 would just like to hear your comment. How do you understand and interpret
11 this, that your task was to make sure that the functions of BH command
12 were carried out? If I understand it correctly, you were on a
13 peacekeeping mission there and you should have been interested in only
14 what your mandate was, and that was to prevent conflicts, but you said
15 what I just read out to you. Can you please comment on this?
16 A. Yes, carrying out the duties of the Bosnia-Herzegovina command,
17 but that covered a very broad range, from arranging for transport and
18 evacuation of the wounded, exchanging prisoners of war, arranging
19 humanitarian assistance, as well as ending hostilities by deploying
20 military violence, and that was range of duties of the BH command, and as
21 Chief of Staff, I contributed to that.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, it's time for the break.
23 We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Tapuskovic.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a while ago I
3 addressed one issue, but in the meantime I understood that there was a
4 mistake take in the Serbian translation. It means a completely different
5 thing in the English version. Therefore, it is not necessary for the
6 General to give me any additional explanation, because I realise that it
7 was a mistake in the translation.
8 Q. Now, I think we are still -- I think the General still has this
9 statement in front of him. That's the English version of it. Page 2,
10 last sentence, and then it moves on to the next page. I would like to ask
11 you the following: You mentioned in the examination-in-chief that you had
12 meetings with Mr. Silajdzic, the Prime Minister, sometime in May; is that
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. I would like to draw your attention to the following, and I'm
16 going to read it to you. You said as follows, that you had met with
17 Silajdzic. And the last sentence you say: "During this meeting,
18 Mr. Silajdzic was complaining about the shelling being carried out by the
19 Bosnian Serbs in the area of the Jewish cemetery in Sarajevo." Is that
21 A. That is one of the things that were mentioned.
22 Q. Yes, but -- yes, but you told him, as it reads here: "We told him
23 that on that particular day his troops had been provoking the shelling."
24 Is this what you told him?
25 A. I will try to give a more extensive answer. The discussion was
1 held to end the increased hostilities in the middle of May. We spoke to
2 both parties on the phone to BSA in a meeting with the people from BiH.
3 One of the subjects that were discussed was the shelling of the Jewish
4 cemetery in Sarajevo. This incident had been provoked by BiH. That is
5 what I told the persons present.
6 Q. Thank you. But then you went on to say, and it can be seen from
7 this statement, that Silajdzic was angry but, "I told him that due to the
8 circumstances of the ABiH having started the firing incidents that
9 morning, we could not use close-air support against the Bosnian Serbs on
10 this occasion. But I also reminded him that we could use the air support
11 against the Bosnians as well if they used their weapons in breach of the
12 Security Council Resolution ..." and then you enumerate the relevant
14 A. Well, I'm not sure if I understand the question correctly. I
15 tried to express that the use of violence by the UN was not only towards
16 the Bosnian Serbs, but also in case of a breach by BiH, violence might be
17 used against them.
18 Q. Yes, but the point was, on that morning that the use of close --
19 of artillery against the Serbs was out of the question because it was you
20 who were provoking. Is that the gist of what you told him?
21 A. Yes. It would be very unreasonable to punish the party that did
22 not start and to leave the party that did start the hostilities unharmed.
23 Q. I appreciate that. However, you had never attacked the BH army
24 with the Rapid Reaction Force, not even on the 15th and 16th of June when
25 the BH army offensive was launched and when they attacked all front
1 lines. So the offensive started on the 15th and the 16th in which the BH
2 army struck at all front lines. Not even then did you use or make any
3 intervention in order to stop that.
4 A. The UN did not intervene at all hostilities. The policy was to
5 try to intervene if the civilian population was in danger.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, in my view, this is an important
7 area, and what you should be concentrating on is not whether UNPROFOR
8 reacted to the BiH action but what was the nature of the BiH action and
9 whether it called for defensive measures from the Bosnian Serbs. I'm not
10 saying that UNPROFOR's conduct is entirely relevant, but you should be
11 seeking to show that the Bosnian Serbs acted in a defensive way.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, then, I can ask the General
13 if this offensive started as it did, I wanted to ask him if that was an
14 offensive with respect to which the Serbian side had to respond adequately
15 to protect their front lines. I may ask him that. I think that, Judge
16 Robinson, you're absolutely right.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I cannot tell for sure what
18 answer is required from me. At any case, in the middle of May, a series
19 of hostilities occurred; one time from BSA side and other occasions from
20 BiH side. One specific occasion, in the case of the Jewish cemetery, it
21 was started by BiH. When that was discussed, we said for that reason we
22 will not attack BSA, but we will address BiH.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Then you didn't understand my question, General, nor the
25 intervention by Judge Robinson. I'm not asking you about the action
1 around the Jewish cemetery. I'm asking you about an all-out offensive
2 launched on the 15th, 16th of June by the BH army on all fronts, and I'm
3 sure that you were fully aware of that. And this offensive lasted for
4 almost two months. What the Serbian army had to do in order to protect
5 their troops and the civilians on their side, is that something that the
6 army of the Republika Srpska had to do in response to that offensive, to
7 launch certain actions of their own? That was my question.
8 A. I still don't fully understand, but I want to stress that in not
9 all cases when the warring sides were in conflict did the UN intervene.
10 And sometimes it was impossible to intervene.
11 Q. I do understand that on certain occasions it was impossible for
12 UNPROFOR to intervene, but that wasn't what I asked you. I want you to
13 explain to the Chamber whether everything that the Serbian army, after
14 this two-month offensive, did was something that they had to do in order
15 to protect their positions. That was my question. If I understand and if
16 I'm not mistaken, that was the question posed to you by Judge Robinson as
18 A. I will not refuse to answer questions, but because of the
19 translation, sometimes questions don't get clearly through to me.
20 UNPROFOR had the impression that when someone was attacked he
21 would defend himself. We would prefer the hostilities to be ceased, but
22 not in all cases when fighting was going on did we intervene. And if
23 defence is justified or not, that will be different from case to case.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I just take you back to the statement which
25 counsel referred you where you said, and I quote: "We told him that on
1 this particular day his troops had been provoking the shelling."
2 Are you able to tell us what form that provocation took? What did
3 the Bosnian -- the BiH army do to provoke the shelling?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That morning they started shelling
5 the BSA positions.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. They started shelling themselves. They
7 started shelling the Bosnian Serbs. Yes. All right. Thanks. And the --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- and the Bosnian Serbs responded with
10 shelling. Shelling for shelling.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Amongst others with mortars but also
15 with small-calibre arms.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Proceed, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. However,
18 I think the suggestion or the intervention made by General Dragomir
19 Milosevic is warranted.
20 Q. I would like to remind the General of an event which took place in
21 June 1995 while this offensive was at its peak, the offensive launched by
22 the BH army when the Rapid Force Reaction brigade of UNPROFOR was firing
23 at Igman from Ilidza and hit the hospital Zica, in Blazuj, where people
24 who came to visit their relatives in the hospital were killed.
25 Does he remember this incident, and the protest lodged in this
1 connection by the Serbian side?
2 You intervened against a certain incident, I presume, by firing at
3 the hospital. That's what UNPROFOR did. Do you remember that? Maybe it
4 was a mistake of yours.
5 A. I remember an incident where a hospital was hit in Sarajevo during
7 Q. The Bosniak Muslim hospital. I don't know how to put it.
8 A. Yes. Yes. It was the hospital about a kilometre away from the
9 ice stadium. And that hospital, as far as we could make certain, it had
10 been hit by Bosnian Serbs.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just one other matter, Mr. Tapuskovic. Where
12 your case is that the action of the Bosnian Serbs was of a defensive
13 character, then you should try to relate it to the incidents charged in
14 the indictment, and don't leave it at a general level, as you have done
16 For example, where, in the statement of the General, he says
17 that: "We told him that on this particular day his troops had been
18 provoking the shelling," it would be of importance to me to know whether
19 that particular incident is captured in the indictment. I don't know
20 whether it is. Or perhaps this is a matter that will be dealt with by you
21 in greater detail in the defence.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, all I can say is
23 that the indictment does not include a single incident caused by the BH
24 army. I would not like to deal with any comparison now. There's time
25 enough for that. It was good that you reminded me of this. There is no
1 mention of this incident or these incidents in the indictment whatsoever.
2 I have now reached a point, having asked all those questions, where I will
3 be moving on to perhaps the most important part of the general statement,
4 the one that he made back in November 1996.
5 That's why now I would like to please move on to what you have
6 just been talking about, Mr. President, specific things that the witness
7 can address in a specific manner.
8 This is the English statement, page 3. Last paragraph of the
9 English statement. Last paragraph. Have we got that?
10 Q. Do you have that before you, sir, the last paragraph? Can you see
12 A. I can't see whether this is the last paragraph because I have two
13 paragraphs in front of me, and the bottom paragraph starts with: "I
14 learned that the situation was not always what it seemed."
15 Q. That's right. That's the one I'm looking for. Yes. I will read
16 that for you. "I learned that the situation was not always what it
18 Is that what you said, sir?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. And then you go on to say -- is this correct, what you said?
21 Indeed. And it goes on: "The shelling could be provoked by the Muslims
22 or it could be an act of retaliation."
23 That's what you said, isn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And then you go on: "Sometimes the BH army would fire mortars
1 from their own barracks near the ice stadium."
2 Is that right, sir?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The ice stadium is a civilian facility; right? I would like to
5 draw your attention to paragraphs 14 and 15 of the other statement. I am
6 compelled to tackle the matter like this simply because there is no other
7 way to go around it.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm talking about paragraph 16.
9 I'm sorry. This is DD00-0319. Paragraph 15, and 14. Right.
10 Q. First things first. You need to have that before you. Do you
11 have that, sir?
12 A. I don't see any numbers on my text.
13 Q. Paragraph 14. I have the English. Do you have that, sir?
14 A. If you're referring to paragraph numbers, they don't appear on my
16 Q. The ice stadium.
17 A. Could you perhaps read aloud a sentence?
18 Q. This is document -- well, first off, there you're filing a --
19 lodging a protest note with General Mladic. Is that it, sir?
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Look, I'm talking about
21 DD00-0319. This is the other statement.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us ensure that the statement to which you are
23 referring is before the witness.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I have paragraph 14
25 in front of me, from what I --
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Fourteen, paragraph 14. Yes. Yes. Down the middle of the
3 paragraph. It's about you being in touch with General Mladic.
4 "General Mladic does not deny the shelling. Rather, he says that
5 his forces had been provoked into firing back."
6 And then: "In mid-May there was generally a lot of shelling, and
7 I recall that the area near the hospital and near the ice stadium were
8 being shelled that day."
9 Is that or is that not what you discussed with General Mladic, the
10 way it's described in your statement, sir? Is that true, what we see
11 here? Sorry? Yes or no?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, please go to paragraph 15.
14 "I remember --"
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Did you say General Mladic or
16 General Milovanovic? Paragraph --
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The translation says Mladic. I
18 have Mladic in my B/C/S. It may have been Milovanovic, for all I know,
19 but I don't think it makes any difference to my case.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: The English has "Milovanovic." Proceed.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That is not essential.
22 Q. In paragraph 15 -- let me go back to the shelling of the hospital.
23 "I remember that there was an HQ of the Bosnian army near the ice
24 stadium in that area, but I do not know what unit was the one in
25 question. I recall that sometimes there was firing from mortars that were
1 positioned at their HQ."
2 And now the most important bit: "And I think it was inevitable
3 that when firing back the nearby hospital might in fact be hit."
4 Is that true, sir?
5 A. Yes. The text of my statement corresponds with what I alleged at
6 the time, but I believe -- I do not believe that the text is entirely
7 correct, because the hospital was about 1 kilometre away from the BiH
8 barracks and therefore I believe that they could have avoided hitting the
9 hospital. The aim would have been awfully -- would have needed to be
10 awfully inaccurate to miss it by 1 kilometre.
11 Q. With all due respect, sir, I must ask this: Which is true, then?
12 When were you telling the truth, when this statement was recorded and you
13 seemed quite definite about this, that it was inevitable that they should
14 end up hitting the hospital. Or are you telling the truth now, that the
15 hospital was about a kilometre away? Which is true? How do you account
16 for this discrepancy?
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Counsel, I may refer you to just further down in
18 that same paragraph where the victim actually spells out --
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: So I think you shouldn't in any way allege that
21 the witness --
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: -- has not --
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. However, I'm
25 interested in this assessment, evaluation, that he provides. His take on
1 it at the time seems to have been -- I don't have time to read the whole
2 thing. I understand that things need to be seen in a given context, but
3 he seemed quite definite when he stated that.
4 "I think it was inevitable that when firing back the ... hospital
5 might be hit." It is based on all the facts he provided later on. He
6 seemed quite categorical about this. That's the only reason why I'm
7 asking. Why did he make such a categorical statement at the time, Your
8 Honours? I think we are owed an answer to that one.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm willing to provide an answer.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the answer?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My statement is that, according to
12 my memory, in 1996, the hospital was a bit closer to the BiH barracks than
13 it later proved to be. I remembered it as being about 500 metres away,
14 and in that case it would have been possible for a rather inaccurate aim
15 to hit the hospital.
16 During later interrogations, we consulted the map of Sarajevo and
17 it turned out that it was located 1 kilometre away from the ice stadium;
18 and then it becomes very unlikely to have such an inaccurate aim that you
19 would hit the hospital when you fired.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm interested in the sequence of events. In
21 paragraph 15, you say: "I think it is unavoidable that retaliatory fire
22 might in fact hit the hospital which was nearby." And then the next
23 sentence says: "I am shown on a map marked/numbered 0361-5780 by
24 Investigator Hogan, and it appears that the hospital might be more than
25 500 metres, even up to 1 kilometre, away from the HQ."
1 Were you shown the map immediately after you made the statement
2 that "it was unavoidable that retaliatory fire might in fact hit the
3 hospital which was nearby"?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that exactly,
5 because the investigator interrogated me on various occasions, and it's
6 perfectly possible that I said the first time that it was inevitable and
7 at one of the subsequent sessions he presented me with this map and then
8 the text should have been adjusted.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Be that as it may, today, in answer to my first question, you said
12 that you accepted in its entirety your first statement. This was the
13 other statement.
14 I would now go back to where we left off, where you talked about
15 the skating rink. Was this a civilian target? It's a skating rink. You
16 normally get kids around a skating rink, or skaters. Or was this facility
17 being used for a different purpose at the time in fact? We do know a
18 thing or two about that, but I would like to hear your opinion, sir.
19 A. The ice stadium was used at the time as a base for the company
20 headquarters, namely, the UNPROFOR support staff. Adjacent to the ice
21 stadium there was a BiH barracks.
22 Q. UNPROFOR?
23 A. The ice stadium was used by the Danish company that supported the
24 UNPROFOR headquarters, and adjacent to the ice stadium was a BiH barracks.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: When you say "adjacent," what distance are you
1 talking about?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly. We would need
3 to consult the map. But it wouldn't have been more than 200 metres.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thanks.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] We do need to go back to
6 DD00-0287. Can we please bring that up for the witness's benefit, the
7 spot that we analysed a moment ago. That's page 3, the last paragraph at
8 page 3. That's what we'll be talking about.
9 Q. Do you have that in front of you?
10 A. I hope -- I hope so, because I see number 15.
11 Q. No, no. That is DD00-0287. I'm talking about the November 1996
12 statement which I was showing you a while ago and then I had to go to that
13 different one. This is page 3. It's the last paragraph in the English.
14 We were looking at it a while ago. It reads: "I learnt that the
15 situation was not always what it seemed." That's the reference that I'm
16 talking about. Have you got that, sir?
17 A. Yes, now I have the right text in front of me.
18 Q. You see, we have concluded that the skating rink or the ice
19 stadium was a facility used by UNPROFOR. And here you say: "The BH army
20 would fire mortars from their own garrison near the ice stadium."
21 You said that. You have just confirmed that for us. Does that
22 mean that they were firing from there in order to hit you and in order to
23 then blame the Serbs for the firing and the incident? Is that what they
24 were doing? Can you answer that one?
25 A. The assumption of UNPROFOR was that there was deliberate shooting
1 near the UN installations installations in hopes that the Serbs would
2 respond and would hit UN targets. This is based not only on this isolated
3 incident. It happened regularly that there was firing in the immediate
4 surroundings of UN positions by the BiH forces.
5 Q. Very well, then. You go on to clarify:
6 "I saw the Bosnians firing mortars from near our headquarters
7 using a small-calibre mobile mortar mounted on a vehicle with an open
8 roof. This enabled it to move around the city and to fire from different
10 Is it true, what it says here, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And then you go on:
13 "Very often these locations were very close to UN positions, that
14 is, the PTT building (HQ Sector Sarajevo), the UNPROFOR Sarajevo
15 headquarters, the Zetra ice stadium, and the Tito barracks."
16 Is that right, sir?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. And now we come to that problem, the one raised by the President,
19 Mr. Robinson, at one point in time. It continues:
20 "One mortar does not really give protection. Besides, if one
21 wants to fire a mortar accurately, this takes time. One has to measure
22 the position and such."
23 And then it goes on to say: "The mobile mortar was more of a case
24 of random shooting at Serb territory outside the town."
25 Is it not true that the BH army soldiers were firing these shells
1 randomly only in order to elicit a reaction from the army of Republika
2 Srpska? Is that true, sir?
3 A. Yes. That's the gist of the statement I made at the time.
4 Q. Yes. And then you repeat -- I won't be dwelling on that. "This
5 be only be classed as provocation," but then you go on to say this -- you
6 spoke about retaliation. Retaliation, that's what you say.
7 "The Serbs fired back by firing many more shells at the city. For
8 example, one mortar from the mobile mortar would result in several shells
9 from Serb artillery positions."
10 Is that right, sir?
11 A. Yes. That happened on various occasions.
12 Q. But it was indispensable; you, as an artillery expert, of all
13 people, should know that. It was indispensable not to fire a single
14 shell, as done by the BH army men. You had to fire back several shells in
15 order to stop an attack like that. If you just fired back one shell, that
16 would have been a random act, too, an act of random firing.
17 Please tell us, if you can: You said that representatives of the
18 BH army would just fire a single shell and then leave. And that amounts
19 to random firing, doesn't it? Is that right or not, sir?
20 A. Yes. That's what I alleged at the time it, and I still do.
21 Q. Were the Serbs -- yes. Yes, I do agree. But were the Serbs, for
22 example, to respond by firing a single random shell at Sarajevo without
23 targeting the specific target that had provoked them into firing to begin
24 with? That would have achieved nothing at all. It takes several shells
25 to target a certain facility. I think that is self-implicit. Or is your
1 take on it quite different, sir?
2 A. No, that's correct.
3 Q. Thank you. Same paragraph, further down, several lines down, you
4 talk about the Serbs being able to see whatever they wished to see down
5 there in the actual city from their firing positions. Isn't that what you
6 said, sir?
7 A. Yes, that's exactly what I said.
8 Q. Did you tour all the hills around the centre of Sarajevo where the
9 BH army positions were? To name just some, Colina Kapa, Debelo Brdo,
10 Mojmilo to the north; particularly, Zuc, several other hills, Zuc, Hum and
11 other such hills overlooking the city of Sarajevo? Were those positions
12 not being used by the BH army position to control Sarajevo? They had it
13 virtually in the palm of their hand. Can you confirm that for us, sir?
14 A. Well, I'm not sure I understood the question completely, but
15 several of the BH army positions were perceptible to me. I could see
16 them. Others could be seen from the positions of our observers, but there
17 were other Serb positions that I never saw.
18 Q. I didn't ask you about the Serb positions. I was asking you about
19 the BH army positions at Zuc, Hum, and other hills. Did you see those?
20 Debelo Brdo? Mojmilo?
21 A. Well, some the BH positions -- rather, most of them were visible
22 at any rate to our observers, and if something happened there, then there
23 would be a report about that.
24 Q. You are talking about the hills, are you, or not? I have no time
25 to show you the map now. Are you talking about the BH army positions on
1 those hills?
2 A. Well, around Sarajevo there were various positions of the BH
3 army. Several, especially those near the centre of the city, were even
4 visible from the UNPROFOR headquarters. Other positions were not visible
5 from the headquarters but were visible to observers or by military people
6 of the various UNPROFOR battalions stationed in Sarajevo.
7 Q. Were those BH army positions in the surrounding hills?
8 A. In part.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I now come to that
11 problem related to Markale. This is a significant issue, and I will take
12 quite some time to deal with this. I think it's in everyone's best
13 interest, and that applies to the Chamber, to be familiarised with this
15 I was trying to keep track of time, and I have tried to save most
16 of my time for Markale. I would like to finish today's session by
17 choosing a different subject matter.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Proceed. I'm not stopping you.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I know, Your Honour. I may end
20 today's sitting with a different topic, because for the other one I need
21 quite a lot of time. If I don't have enough time, I could probably tackle
22 another two brief issues. But I hope you will allow me to question the
23 witness about this, and if you'll permit me to continue with that
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: I said I'm not stopping you. I've said that
1 already. How you wish to use the time is a matter for you. It is clear
2 to me that the two hours set were an underestimation of the time needed
3 for this witness, who has evidence that is important to the case of both
5 Proceed. If you want to just deal with the two short topics, then
6 do that.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Then I would move on to page 5 in
8 the English version of this same statement. Page 5, paragraph 4.
9 Q. That's paragraph 4. Can you see that, sir, in front of you? This
10 is what you say here, if I can find it:
11 "The cease-fire lasted until the end of April, after which the UN
12 still tried to stop the shelling and sniping. I explained to the Bosnians
13 we could only protect them against the shelling if it was not provoked."
14 Is that what you said? Is this correct?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. Then two paragraphs down, you said: "In April the incidents of
17 sniping started to increase."
18 Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And then you say here something quite interesting. I'm going to
21 read the whole thing.
22 "In my opinion, snipers were sometimes soldiers and sometimes
23 renegades. If the military authorities cooperated, they could stop the
24 sniping, because each boy and man had a weapon."
25 You said each man, every man, not a soldier, had a weapon. Given
1 that you were in Sarajevo, I would put it to you that you were not
2 referring to the Serbian side but rather that every man and boy in
3 Sarajevo had a weapon. Is that true or not?
4 A. That's correct. That's what I stated.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know if we
6 have time, but I would like to ask the witness.
7 Q. Do you remember an event in March when two young girls were killed
8 at Grbavica?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you ask him that, it seems to me that
10 there is an issue arising out of that paragraph. You say: "Snipers were
11 sometimes soldiers and sometimes renegades." What do you mean by
13 A. I mean they were non-military people. They were civilians who had
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Non-military people, civilian with weapons.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: You say: "If the military authorities
18 cooperated, they could stop the sniping, although perhaps not for 100 per
19 cent, as every man and boy had a weapon."
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. What I --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it fair to conclude from that statement that,
22 as you said, in your opinion, it wasn't possible for the authorities to
23 stop every incident of sniping?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I mean to say is -- I'm trying
25 to -- what I mean to say is that the military authorities controlled their
1 soldiers and are in a position to prevent their soldiers from acting as
2 snipers. The military authorities do not control all civilians who have
3 weapons. That was the intention of my statement.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. I asked the question because the very
5 next sentence appeared, in the absence of the explanation that you have
6 just given, a little inconsistent, and that sentence is: "So the
7 situation deteriorated because the authorities did not have the will to
8 stop it. They did not take the necessary measures to stop it."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I mean that as well. Although
10 it was virtually impossible to stop the sniping 100 per cent, it would
11 have been possible to stop most of it if everybody had agreed to cooperate
12 in that effort.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand now. Thanks.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: General, your submission here about some of the
15 snipers being civilians with weapons, did that apply to both the Bosnian
16 Muslim population and the Bosnian Serb population? Or how is it to be
17 understood? Were there civilian snipers on both sides that were not under
18 the control of the military authorities?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. On both sides civilians had
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Had weapons and used them in sniping
22 incidents; is that correct?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I must assist once
1 again. It says here, "Every man ..." He already explained that. We know
2 about the soldier. But it says here even boys had weapons. Every boy had
3 a weapon. And he was in Sarajevo at that time.
4 Q. Is that true?
5 A. I was in Sarajevo at the time, yes.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: That wasn't the question which he asked you to
7 confirm, whether you were in Sarajevo. He asked you to confirm whether
8 even boys had weapons, every boy had a weapon.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a manner of speaking, yes. Many,
10 many boys had weapons.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Last question before the break.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Then I will keep it brief.
13 Q. Let me take you to the paragraph after the next one. I'll just
14 read it out to you and you can confirm whether yes or no.
15 "One example of the Bosnian attitude was when Minister Muratovic
16 complained about the sniping at a water distribution point and asked the
17 UN for protection. When I asked where this water distribution point was,
18 my interpreter explained that it was on Heroes Square, near the
19 confrontation line, in full sight of the army of Republika Srpska. I told
20 Muratovic that this was a way of provoking the sniping and suggested he
21 move this water distribution point to a safer location."
22 Is it all of this correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
1 We will adjourn until tomorrow, 9.00 a.m.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
4 January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.