1 Thursday, 15 February 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 [The witness entered court].
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, you're to continue with your
8 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you
9 and to Your Honours.
10 WITNESS: ASAM BUTT [Resumed]
11 Examination by Mr. Sachdeva: [Continued]
12 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
13 A. Thank you, sir.
14 Q. Do you remember yesterday when we left, we were talking about an
15 incident where you were under sniper fire on the 15th of April, 1995. Do
16 you recall that?
17 A. Yes, sir, I do remember.
18 Q. I want to ask you a couple of more questions about that incident.
19 Firstly, you were saying that you had been in touch with the
20 headquarters at the PTT during that one and a half hours; do you recall
21 saying that?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Did you give the -- did you give your position to headquarters?
24 A. Yes. I did give my position that I was under fire in front of
25 Holiday Inn, and this was also being listened to by a liaison officer and
1 a liaison officer on Lima side, and he was also listening since we were
2 operating on the same channel.
3 Q. When you say Lima side, do you mean the Bosnian Serb side?
4 A. That's correct, sir.
5 Q. Now, while you were coming under sniper fire, were there any
6 soldiers of the Bosnian government in your vicinity?
7 A. There was nobody. Earlier there were two APCs from the French
8 battalion of the anti-sniping team which were supposed to be deployed
9 there; and once we came under fire, they left.
10 Q. Were there any Bosnian government tanks or other military
11 facilities in the vicinity of the place where you were being sniped at?
12 A. There was nothing of that sort. I couldn't see any Bosnian
13 soldier in the vicinity. The road was almost empty since it was a
14 dangerous road. Only we had two French APCs, as I already mentioned. I
15 heard here during this sniping activity, which we were experiencing, one
16 of the patrol of our UNMO team passed through. It was coming from the PTT
17 side and going towards the old part of the city.
18 They also got a couple of impacts; but since the car had armoured
19 protection, nothing happened to them. But they also confirmed that they
20 did experience an impact and same was reported, too, by them to our duty
21 officer in the PTT building. And since they were using the same channel,
22 I also heard and I also communicated the same.
23 Q. Very well. Let's just stick to the incident where you were under
24 sniper fire. I want to ask you, at that time, apart from the sniper fire
25 coming from, as you said, the Metalka building, was there any other
1 military activity going on in that area?
2 A. Nothing of that sort.
3 Q. Given your answers to these previous questions, are you able to
4 make an assessment as to whether you were the target of the sniper fire
5 from the Metalka building?
6 A. Definitely, I was a target. Not only me; along with me, the
7 entire patrol from my team, which at that time comprised of another UNMO
8 and an interpreter and myself, because we could see and hear impact on the
9 anti-sniping screen behind which we had taken cover. It was being hit and
10 also a couple of bullets went over that.
11 Q. In the one and a half hours that you were under sniper fire, did
12 the anti-sniping screen hinder or obstruct your view of the origin of the
13 sniper fire?
14 A. Definitely, once we got behind it, we couldn't see the sniper.
15 However, initially I saw the fire -- the fire was coming from that Metalka
16 building; and in between when there was some lull between the two shots,
17 though there were more than two shots, I could peep from left or right of
18 this anti-sniping screen, and during that I could some movement in Metalka
19 building. But I do confirm that first time once I was on the fork-lift
20 carrying out investigation, once I reached there, I was fired upon from
21 Metalka building.
22 Q. You said that you were with another UNMO team member and an
23 interpreter. What gender was the interpreter?
24 A. Interpreter was Mr. Faruk, a male, and also a Jordanian UNMO,
25 Major Alsweety [phoen].
1 Q. Was the interpreter wearing military or civilian clothes?
2 A. He was wearing civilian clothes; but also along with that,
3 flakjacket provided by UN.
4 Q. And the uniform you were wearing, was it a standard United Nations
6 A. Military observers were not supposed to wear United Nations
7 standard military uniform. I was wearing my country's uniform. It was
8 total camouflage, shirt and trouser. I was wearing blue beret and blue
9 helmet. The beret was underneath the helmet. Also, I had insignia on my
10 arm that was from the United Nations. Moreover, we reached there in the
11 blue -- blue flag, white, soft-skin United Nations vehicle was UN, and
12 United Nations Military Observer was clearly marked and blue flag was very
13 much visible.
14 Q. Now, yesterday, when I asked you where the fire had come from, you
15 said the Metalka building. And I asked you how did you know that, and you
16 said: "Because I could see somebody moving in those windows of this
17 building and then firing." I want to tell the Court what did you see?
18 A. The first time I saw one I was on the fork-lift I had just
19 reached. I went to the fork-lift, and I had to step about three or four
20 steps up and then into the cabin which had holes in the rear. When I said
21 the rear, the glass behind the driver head and the front screen.
22 So I was getting into that, and naturally it was facing towards
23 Metalka building. When I say the fork-lift, the fork was facing towards
24 Metalka building, and also I assume that the driver while sitting in the
25 fork-lift was also facing Metalka building and same was my position, too.
1 I never sat on that driver seat, but I was half in, half out of that
2 cabin, and I was looking from that side when I was fired upon.
3 Q. Well, I want you to concentrate on what you say in the building.
4 You said you saw someone moving around. Were you able to make out what
5 that person was wearing?
6 A. It was not possible to see him what he was wearing because it was
7 early part of the day; I mean before midday. And inside it was dark and
8 outside it was almost sunshine, so it was not possible. But I could see
9 someone moving and earlier he had fired upon me.
10 Q. Now, after this incident on the 15th of April, did you undertake
11 an investigation of this incident?
12 A. Yes. The very next day and also it happened on 15th of April.
13 16th and 17th of April, I was instructed by my headquarters to visit the
14 sites with the French soldiers from the French battalion, which I did, and
15 I visited the site. When I said the site, it was the same lane and the
16 location where the fork-lift was, and we went towards -- to the river,
17 came back, saw. Also we went in one of the building because French
18 wanted to see, and this was my assessment, they wanted the to see whether
19 the fire came from that building or not. That building was under the
20 control of Bosnian.
21 Q. Okay. This is --
22 A. I'm talking about 16th of April.
23 Q. Right. Let's take this investigation, you talk about on the 16th
24 and 17th, slowly and careful.
25 On the 16th of April, you were tasked by area headquarters to do
1 an investigation, and who did you do that investigation with?
2 A. These were the French soldiers from the French bat.
3 Q. Why did you accompany the French soldiers?
4 A. These were the instructions from my UNMO headquarters that have I
5 to accompany them. I was not supposed -- I was not asked to write a
6 separate investigation report, but I was to facilitate them and accompany
7 them, and that I did.
8 Q. And on the 16th of April, you went to buildings that were on the
9 Bosnian government side; is that right?
10 A. Yes. I went to the building under Bosnian side, in the same lane,
11 towards the river.
12 Q. Why did you go to a building on the Bosnian government side?
13 A. Because French asked me to take us to the building and with our
14 coordination it was possible to go inside the building and see. We went
15 upstairs and few windows, they checked. They stood and looked towards
16 where the incident took place. That is where the fork-lift was hit where
17 a French soldier had died.
18 Q. When you went into the building on the Bosnian government side,
19 did you see any evidence of military activity, any sniper weapons or
20 weapons like that, when you went there?
21 A. No. There was nothing of that sort.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I would like to have the witness
23 look at 65 ter 2825, the photograph, please.
24 Q. Witness, do you see the photograph on your screen?
25 A. Yes, sir, I can see that.
1 Q. Do you recognise that photograph as the one that you marked on
3 A. That's true, sir.
4 Q. Can you, first of all, point to the building on the Bosnian
5 government side that you went to visit on the 16th of April?
6 A. Not yet, I can point out.
7 This is the building where we went upstairs.
8 Q. Can you take a pen and just put a cross or a circle round it,
10 A. [Marks]
11 MR. SACHDEVA: For the record, the witness is putting a circle
12 around the building on the Bosnian government side that he went to visit
13 on the 16th of April.
14 Q. Now, on the 17th of April, did you visit any buildings on the
15 Bosnian Serb side in respect to this incident?
16 A. Yes. On 17th of April, that was the next day to this
17 investigation, we visited red building; and when I say red building, red
18 building on both the sides.
19 Q. Did you only visit the red building or did you visit another
21 A. Also the Metalka building.
22 Q. Can you put a cross by the red building that you visited on the
23 photograph, please.
24 A. Your Honour, sir, first, I have to point out simply I have to mark
25 that building.
1 Q. First, if you know where it is, please mark it.
2 A. [Marks] This is the red building. I want to make a mention here,
3 this was the building where less than half occupied by the BiH and more
4 than half occupied by the Serbs and divided by a portion of it which was
5 building -- now, if I look at it from left of the centre of this building,
6 collapsed. So both sides were occupying this very building.
7 Q. Can you put a circle around the Metalka building as well.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. When you went to the Metalka building, did you see any evidence --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, if he puts a circle around both
11 buildings, how will we differentiate them later on, maybe a letter M or
13 MR. SACHDEVA: That's right.
14 Q. Perhaps you could put a letter M by the Metalka building, Witness.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in addition, I
17 would like him to show in which place Muslim forces were in which part of
18 that building, and in which part of the building there were forces of army
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because he said there were both representatives
20 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and representatives of the VRS.
21 Could you please show where.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, you have a time to question the
23 witness. It's for the Prosecutor to lead the evidence in the way that he
24 considers best suited for his case.
25 If you wish to have him do that, then let him do; and perhaps he
1 might as well just do it.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Very well, Mr. President. I am happy to ask him to
3 do that.
4 Q. Witness, can you do that?
5 A. Sir, I have drawn circles around Metalka building and marked M
6 under that circle.
7 And, Your Honour, sir, do you want me to also draw a circle around
8 the red building and writing letter R on top of it?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead. Yes.
10 THE WITNESS: Right, sir.
11 And, Your Honour, sir, do you want me to draw which portion of the
12 building was under the control of BiH and which was the portion of the
13 building under Serbs?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
15 THE WITNESS: So if I'll permitted, sir, may I draw letter B where
16 BiH was having control on part of the building and S on the part of the
17 building which was under Serb control?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that will be appropriate.
19 But may I ask you, Mr. Butt, earlier you told us that you were not
20 allowed to go to the -- to the BiH because you're a Muslim. But if I
21 understand you, you -- your evidence now is that you went there.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: How did that come about?
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. If I am permitted, I draw and then I read
25 how I went.
1 Sir, after the incident --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Judge Mindua has a question.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] [French on English channel]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry, but I'm -- I'm not having any French
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Nor me, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you try again, please, Judge Mindua.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Is it any better now?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, you have just explained to
11 us that there is a red building with on one side, ABiH units and on the
12 other side VRS units. At this stage, could you show us that confrontation
13 line? Trace it for to us to distinguish, because I find it hard now to
14 distinguish where both armies are. Could you trace this confrontation
15 line on this picture. Is that possible?
16 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, sir, definitely it is very much
17 possible. May I submit to the Honourable Court, if this picture can be a
18 little bit enlarged, so I with easily draw the confrontation line. If it
19 is possible, sir.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that possible? The court deputy I'm asking.
21 He is shaking his head.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I understand if it is moved, the
23 picture will be wiped clean.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Butt, I regret to say that it can't be done.
25 THE WITNESS: So, sir, then I request that I should be allowed to
1 draw the confrontation line with different colour, if that is possible,
2 because it might be clear some --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, different colour. Yes.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
5 The building as I have already -- the red building, with the--
6 encircled and on top of that I have written letter R. If I look at it, on
7 the left side I have also written letter Bravo, B. This portion up till
8 where the building is collapsed, almost halfway, was under BiH control;
9 and on the right, after the portion or beyond the portion which had
10 collapsed, portion of this building was with -- under Serb control.
11 And this blue line, confrontation line was passing through this
12 collapsed portion of the building and going over this building and then
13 turning right, along the southern side of the river, up to -- there's a
14 building, I don't remember the name. It is north of Grbavica stadium
15 almost straight. If that portion is shown, I may also be able to draw the
16 confrontation line. However, this was the confrontation line.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Perhaps you should mark the confrontation line
19 maybe CL.
20 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I'm doing that, sir.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, could you please follow up on the
22 President's question as to how was it possible to access this Serb-held
23 territory despite the fact that you, as you told us yesterday, would
24 normally be barred from entering that territory.
25 THE WITNESS: That's true, sir. That happened on the 27th of
1 February, but this was after this soldier was killed. Through Lima and
2 through my headquarters, it was possible for me to go across the
3 confrontation line for only the investigation. And I accompanied and I
4 was taken to the Metalka building and to the portion of the red building
5 under control Serbs, by the local Serb probably company commander or the
6 platoon commander, whomsoever it was. We crossed the confrontation line.
7 We came from the Grbavica side. And later on, on the left, which is under
8 BiH control, we went in that part of the building also.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Could you clarify one more thing for
10 the Chamber; namely, how did the confrontation line look like behind the
11 building that was just left of the Metalka building. Were there some sort
12 of fence set up in the streets or is it -- was the confrontation line just
13 something that everybody knew was there but it wasn't visible otherwise.
14 THE WITNESS: No, sir. There was nothing of that sort like fence
15 or any line drawn physically on the ground. It was understood area under
16 BiH control and area front of that under Serb control; between that a kind
17 of imaginary line would pass and that would be considered as confrontation
18 line. And the closest area where the -- both the warring factions were
19 eyeball to eyeball that was red building, where they were only apart the
20 by about 30 or 40 feet; whereas, at places they were about 100 feet, 100
21 yards, and some places 70, 80 feet apart. It depended on the occupation
22 of both the -- of various buildings by both of the warring factions.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you know how the population lived in the area
24 would know about the confrontation line?
25 THE WITNESS: It was very much clear to them that people living on
1 the BiH side and people living on the Serb side what are the areas with
2 the respective warring faction, and accordingly they would move and
3 approach different areas, a market, or wherever they wanted to go. So
4 they were well clear.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would the confrontation line have been manned in
6 that area that we're dealing in its entirety by -- by soldiers?
7 THE WITNESS: No, sir. This was not like that. On the left of
8 where this confrontation line is coming vertical, on the left of that, is
9 a place, Vrbanja bridge. There was a French post and observation post.
10 Also it had a couple of APCs permanently deployed there. They would take
11 care of that area. Also, the anti-sniping team deployed all along these
12 vertical lanes coming towards north from the Miljacka river; and then
13 further on towards the right that is west of this area on Grbavica stadium
14 and bridge, there were also various posts.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Just a minute, please.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, it's striking me that the term
18 "confrontation line" can you quite misleading. It would suggest to one
19 that you have a line that is manned by soldiers with -- with weapons, but
20 in fact it -- it is an imaginary line, and it may not in some parts be
21 manned by soldiers. In other part it is may have soldiers. So the real
22 inquiry for us in terms of the evidence shouldn't be focussed on whether
23 fire came from the confrontation lines, but whether fire came from a place
24 where the soldiers were and who were those soldiers.
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, sir.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I have just two remarks on your
3 Firstly, the Prosecution is calling Bosnian government, former
4 Bosnian government military personnel to -- to give accurate -- or to give
5 evidence as to the location of confrontation lines. And, secondly, the
6 Prosecution, in its indictment, alleges that the fire came from territory
7 that there is no dispute that it was in Bosnian Serb territory; in other
8 words, either well beyond the confrontation lines or -- or in an area
9 where it is -- without dispute controlled by the Bosnian Serbs. And this
10 is the evidence that we are going to be submitting to go Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Proceed.
12 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, sir.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Butt.
14 THE WITNESS: I think I could probably convey it that troops or
15 soldiers I was making mention of, those were of United Nations. On this
16 imaginary line on both sides, on the side of the Serb they had their
17 troops occupying all these buildings. And on the BiH side, they also had
18 their positions. So all along the confrontation line, very thickly and
19 heavy deployment of warring factions had.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: So this area of the confrontation line was
21 manned --
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, by both the warring factions. I was referring
23 to the UNPROFOR troops. I stand corrected, sir.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, perhaps we can have this photograph
1 admitted into evidence.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P223, Your Honours.
4 MR. SACHDEVA:
5 Q. Mr. Butt, in an answer to Their Honours, you mentioned the Vrbanja
6 bridge and spoke about two APCs being there. When you spoke about the
7 APCs, did you mean APCs of the French forces of the United Nations or did
8 you mean APCs of the Bosnian government?
9 A. No, these were of the French battalion. They had their permanent
10 post here and couple of APCs deployed and also had an observation post
11 right next to the Vrbanja bridge.
12 Q. Okay. Now, I wanted to talk to you about your visit to the
13 Metalka building. First, you told the Court that you went there with an
14 official of the Bosnian Serb army; is that right?
15 A. Very right.
16 Q. And did the fact that a French soldier was killed and that you
17 accompanied a French soldier enable you to get access to the Serb side on
18 that particular occasion?
19 A. Very right. It was through Lima, the military observer liaison
20 officer on the Lima side and the efforts from our headquarters that this
21 visit took place, and I accompanied the French soldiers carrying out this
22 investigation and I went on the other side of the confrontation line.
23 Q. You said that you were under sniper fire for an hour and a half
24 and that the fire came from Metalka building. When you went to the
25 Metalka building on the 17th of April, what did you see there?
1 A. In the Metalka building, there were few soldiers having their
2 weapons as it was a routine, and firing positions like any other building
3 would have on both the sides in this area that all -- that I could see.
4 Q. That's right. I'm not asking you about any other building. I
5 just want you to stick to what you saw at the Metalka building.
6 You said you saw a few soldiers. First, let's be clear. Were
7 those soldiers Bosnian Serb soldiers?
8 A. Those were Serb soldiers carrying their rifles.
9 Q. Given your military experience, did the position appear to you to
10 be one that was -- that had been there for some time or was it a position
11 that was quickly established? Did it have any characteristics of
12 long-term use?
13 A. It appeared to be under the use of those troops for quite some
14 time, because towards the rear of the building, away from the -- where the
15 confrontation line was, they had made a few places where they could make
16 coffee or tea or things like that, and they had quite a few sandbags near
17 the windows, facing the other side of the confrontation line and those
18 firing positions from where -- in their eventuality they would fire.
19 Q. You said they had quite a few sandbags near the windows facing the
20 other side of the confrontation line. Did the windows enable a clear view
21 of the position you were at when you were under sniper fire?
22 A. Definitely. From quite a few windows, it was quite possible to
23 engage that fork-lift where later on I was lying behind the sniping
25 Q. And just because we in the Court are not experts in military
1 terminology, when you say "engage the fork-lift," do you mean, to put it
2 in layman's terms, to shoot at the fork-lift?
3 A. That is true, sir. It was possible from that building from a
4 couple -- more than a couple of windows from the upper floors to engage
5 fork-lift, that I could visualize because the fork-lift that they had had
6 already been removed. But I could see the anti-sniping screens there,
7 which could be engaged, so that was clearly understood that that fork-lift
8 could have been also engaged, if anybody want to the fire from there.
9 Q. You also said that you visited the Bosnian Serb side of the red
10 building. Do you remember that?
11 A. That's true, sir.
12 Q. Did you also see evidence of a military position when you went
14 A. Definitely. Like Serbs, Bosnian also had a soldiers firing
15 positions, soldiers carrying -- soldiers carrying --
16 MR. WHITING: Can I --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Since I cannot follow English, it
19 was interpreted to me as "Serbs." Did the witness, in fact, want to refer
20 to the members of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina? It was interpreted
21 to me as "Serbs."
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just repeat the question you asked.
23 MR. SACHDEVA:
24 Q. Mr. Butt, please just listen very carefully to the question. You
25 said that on that day you went to the Metalka building. You also said
1 that you went to the Bosnian Serb side of the red building; do you
2 remember saying that?
3 A. That's true, sir.
4 Q. And when you went to the Bosnian Serb side of the red building,
5 did you see evidence of -- of a military position there?
6 A. That's true, sir. And a portion of the red building under ABiH
7 control was also occupied by the soldiers. They also had their firing
8 positions, like fixing sandbags, and soldiers were also carrying their
10 MR. SACHDEVA: I think we need -- I need to ask you that question
11 again, and I need you, Mr. Witness, to again listen very carefully.
12 You have already given evidence that you went to the Metalka
13 building on the Bosnian Serb territory where you saw evidence of sniping
14 positions. Do you remember saying that?
15 A. That's true, sir.
16 Q. Now, do you see on the photograph on your screen where you have
17 indicated the red building under Bosnian Serb territory. Do you see that
19 A. That's true, sir, with letter B.
20 Q. No. I'm talking about the building -- the part of the building
21 under Bosnian Serb territory where you have actually written RS?
22 A. S only. R is for the red building. S is for the Serb portion of
23 the building.
24 Q. Right. So I want you to concentrate on your visit to the Serb
25 portion of the building. Is that clear?
1 A. That's right, sir.
2 Q. When you went to that portion of the building, did you see
3 evidence of sniping positions there?
4 A. Not sniping position as I understand as a military man. That
5 sniping positions are the normal firing positions, but little comfortable
6 from there, sniper taking his time can engage his target, and I saw the
7 firing position in this Metalka building which could engage the position
8 of the fork-lift.
9 Q. Now --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why do you say "not a anti-sniping position as
11 you understand as a military man."
12 THE WITNESS: Sniping position, there is no difference between
13 sniping position where sniper can take his time under cover and can engage
14 the target that is a sniping position, it could be any firing position.
15 And that is what I have said, sir.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see, thank you.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: But I guess the continuation of this question is
18 whether you actually saw snipers with sniping weapons. I understand that
19 a sniper's weapon would be a rifle with a -- with a telescope. So the
20 question is: Did you see any sniping equipment or sniping armory in the
21 red building and also in the Metalka building when you were there.
22 THE WITNESS: No, sir. In none of the buildings, I could see,
23 during my visit to these buildings, any rifle fitted with telescope to
24 become a sniper rifle. It was not there.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
1 MR. SACHDEVA:
2 Q. Mr. Butt, from the Metalka building to where you were on the 15th
3 of April, what is roughly the distance?
4 A. Sir, distance where I was lying behind the sniping -- anti-sniping
5 screen and the firing position in the Metalka building, sir?
6 Q. That's right.
7 A. It should be 250, 275 metres, sir.
8 Q. In your experience as a military person, is it possible with -- is
9 it possible to engage a target from that distance without an optical
11 A. Yes. It is very much possible to engage the target on this -- at
12 this range from ordinary rifle and, of course, with the rifle mounted on
13 telescope -- telescope on it.
14 Q. Now --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just let me get that clear now. Your evidence is
16 all that you saw in the Metalka building was weaponry that could engage
17 the fork-lift?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir, it is very true. And it was day after
19 that incident had taken happened, very next day.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
21 MR. SACHDEVA:
22 Q. I just want to take Mr. President -- Mr. President's question a
23 bit further. Is it also possible from that distance to engage a human
24 being, as opposed to fork-lift, from that distance with a rifle?
25 A. Yes. It is very much possible that a human being at about 275
1 yards can be engaged with ordinary rifle also.
2 Q. Now, you said that you went to buildings on the Bosnian government
3 side to establish whether the firing had come from the Bosnian government
4 side. What did you establish?
5 A. As I was not to conduct any kind of investigation, I was only
6 ordered to accompany the French. But from their assessment, I could make
7 out that they were more focussed on the Metalka building.
8 Q. In your time with the United Nations in Sarajevo, did you ever
9 investigate or come across reports that concluded that the Bosnian
10 government was firing on their own people?
11 A. There were two clear incidents which I took it that probably a few
12 people do think that BiH government is targeting its own people. One was
13 this very incident -- this French incident that we went across French
14 soldiers killing incident. We went across and also we went to the BiH
15 under control buildings. Second was somewhere in July, Mr. Mike O'Connor,
16 a journalist by profession representing New York times, U.S. based, and
17 International Herald Tribune, Paris based, interviewed me with the
18 specific permission from my senior military observer, Colonel Pilan
19 [phoen] from the headquarters. On that day, I received a telephone call
20 from my senior military observer that a journalist was to visit my team
21 location, he should be briefed about the situation and, whatsoever,
22 question he has, it is my decision to answer that. My reply to Colonel
23 Pilan was that, Sir, was I supposed to give interviews to the press
24 people; and he -- his reply was that, Yes, I'm permitted and I can give
25 the interview.
1 On 13th of July, he came at about 10.00 until about 2.00, 2.30,
2 had his lunch, we sat together, and then we discussed. I then realized he
3 was -- Mr. Mike O'Conner was of the view that BiH government is sniping
4 its own people.
5 Q. What was your reply to him?
6 A. It was a lengthy discussion. I asked him because I was really
7 surprised it was a news, though this French incident I had at the back of
8 my mind. I asked him, "Could you tell me the buildings on the BiH side
9 from where the BiH soldiers under the instructions of BiH government are
10 sniping its own people?" In reply, he gave me four buildings, which
11 included parliament building also, the tall building on the left side of
12 this picture which is being shown to me at this very moment.
13 I asked him that all of buildings you have taken the name, have
14 you seen those buildings from inside, that it is possible to snipe from
15 those buildings. He said, no; and then my reply was that I had by that
16 time spent about eight, nine months in very area, was well familiar with
17 the area, that "most of the buildings you are referring to do not have
18 clear-cut field of fire to engage on the own side." However, the building
19 that is a parliament building, yes, it is possible. And I had
20 incidentally before that visited that site, and I didn't find anything of
21 that there, though soldiers were very much there on the top, couple of
22 soldiers, and in the basement which was a little bit with the garbage and
24 After that, about four, five hours interview, he left. And after
25 about ten, fifteen days, I saw the report from the same gentleman
1 appearing in one of the paper in Zagreb. I was on my CTO. And it was
2 carrying a full scale page report that BiH government is sniping its own
3 people. I went through that entire report and, to my utter surprise,
4 there was no mention of time he had spent with me or he interviewed me and
5 that was the end of it. However, after some time once I was back in
6 Sarajevo, I saw the gentleman in the PTT building in the corridor. I
7 asked him. He said that this was his view, his assessment, so he didn't
8 feel obliged to talk about what transpired between myself and Mr.
9 O'Conner. So he didn't include and than was end of it.
10 Q. When you said that you went to the -- the parliament building and
11 you said, "I had before that visited that site and I didn't find anything
12 of that there." What do you mean by that?
13 A. There were soldiers in the basement about four or five when I
14 visited it; and then on the top floor, there were two soldiers sitting on
15 the chairs. Of course, they were carrying their rifles. So this is all
16 what I saw and, of course, we could observe this very building from our
17 observation post. None of our observers had any kind of report that it
18 was being used by any firer or sniper.
19 Q. And that is what I want you to stick to, if possible. Reports or
20 your own investigations, did you ever come to a conclusion that the
21 Bosnian government forces were sniping on their own people?
22 A. Not during my tenure.
23 Q. Now, I want to move from sniping and talk about shelling.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me, Mr. Prosecutor. Before we leave the
25 sniping incidents, could we just ask the witness to clarify a bit about
1 the French incident. I think the witness said that the French incident
2 was an incident where a French UN soldier was killed, presumably by a
3 Bosnian Muslim sniper; is that correct.
4 THE WITNESS: This was a -- am I permitted?
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, go ahead.
6 THE WITNESS: This the impression that I gathered first. Once I
7 had visited that building, which I have shown in the red circle in the
8 lane, on this side of -- on the BiH side of the river, they were going
9 into the windows and looking in the site where the soldier was hit. So I
10 think anybody could understand probably they had some doubt in their mind
11 that it came from this side. However, later on during the visit of
12 Metalka, things were a bit clearer.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: So why did you refer to the French incident as an
14 incident in which Bosnian Muslim troops were supposed to snipe on their
15 own people?
16 THE WITNESS: Sir, this was the reason, because the location where
17 that French soldier was killed was being sniped. It was the hottest place
18 and quite a few sniping incident had taken place. If there was a position
19 in -- in any of the buildings, which was under BiH control, I think it
20 could have been -- at least doubt could have been raised that probably
21 they were also doing something. But it was not there on the ground. So
22 it was not possible from that very building to engage that position where
23 the fork-lift was standing.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I understand your
25 answer. My question was: Why did you refer to the French incident as an
1 incident in which a UN soldier had been sniped by a Bosnian Muslim?
2 THE WITNESS: Because with the French soldiers once we went for --
3 I went to complete them for the investigation, they visited buildings
4 which were under BiH control; and then they were looking in those windows
5 and then stand in those windows and looking towards that fork-lift where
6 that soldier was hit. So it was quite clear that they had some doubts in
7 their mind, probably fire came from this building or at least from this
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: And it's conclusion was then, indeed, that the
10 French soldier was not sniped by --
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, this is my assessment. But all I could see and
12 observe, it was not possible. Also from the building which was under BiH
13 control in the red circle, it was not possible from that building, as view
14 was not clear of the fork-lift. So it was not possible from there. Once
15 we visited there, it was clear.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, Your Honours, I think I know where
18 there might be a misunderstanding or some confusion. In one of the
19 answers to one of my questions about whether Bosnian government forces
20 were firing upon themselves, the witness spoke about two incidents where
21 people could think that fire came from the Bosnian government side; in
22 other words, in my submission, there were two incidents of -- of
23 speculation, as opposed to incidents that actually took place.
24 I can point, Your Honours, to the transcript.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please proceed.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Butt, just before again we leave sniping, I just want to
3 confirm one thing. When you were under sniper fire for one and a half
4 hours, do you stand by your evidence that you saw fire coming from the
5 Metalka building?
6 A. Yes. I did see somebody firing from Metalka building towards
7 where I was near that fork-lift. I do confirm.
8 Q. Okay. Let's move to shelling.
9 In your period with the United Nations, can you say roughly how
10 many incidents of shelling did you investigate?
11 A. It would be difficult, Your Honours, to give the exact figures.
12 But these were quite in numbers. Our team used to carry out four to six
13 impact investigation in a day; other day then maybe we have one. But at
14 an average, four to six incidents per day were being investigated by my
15 team. But there were a few days when we had a lot of impacts.
16 Q. And out of these incidents that you investigated, are you able to
17 say how many involved civilian casualties?
18 A. These -- most of these investigations were -- which were impacts
19 were on the residential or civil areas. On confrontation line, there were
20 so many incidents, but we were not allowed. We were not supposed to carry
21 out investigation in that area where the soldiers were engaging each
22 other. So we didn't investigate. These are the incident that I'm
23 referring to the area which were in the civil area, residential area, or
24 the commercial area.
25 Q. And so in those residential or civil areas, the UNMO teams did not
1 find military targets there; is that right?
2 A. No, they were not; generally, they were not.
3 Q. Now, do you know what a modified air bomb is?
4 A. Yes, I do know.
5 Q. Could you very briefly explain to the Court what you know about
6 modified air bomb?
7 A. Modified air bomb, the first time in my military life, I came
8 across one was in my mission with United Nations in Sarajevo. This was a
9 kind of bomb which was primarily air bomb made to be dropped from the
10 aircraft. However, delivery means in Sarajevo was different. It was not
11 the aircraft. In fact, about six to eight motors [Realtime transcript
12 read in error "mortars"], motors were attached around its main body; and
13 those were ignited putting it on some ram or platform, a slanting
14 platform; and then giving the direction, the general direction you wanted
15 to fire it, and it was free to go towards that direction. After it has
16 been fired, nobody had any kind of control, any guidance to focus it or to
17 keep it on the track towards its target.
18 Q. Can I just ask you a clarification question. You said, in the
19 transcript, "six to eight mortars, as in a m-o-r-t-a-r-s. Do you mean
20 mortars or motors?
21 A. No, these are the motors, m-o-t-o-r-s. Motors and not the
22 mortars. Motors were attached, a kind of rockets.
23 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
24 Bearing in mind your answer where you said, "Nobody had any kind
25 of control any guidance to focus it or keep it on the track towards its
1 target," and given your military experience, what could you say about the
2 appropriateness of using these kind of weapons in an urban environment
3 like Sarajevo?
4 A. I think that once you don't have any control on any projectile and
5 even you can't direct it properly towards its target, the profit can only
6 be to send it across towards the populated area where it goes hundred
7 yards, 200 yards, doesn't matter, at least it can take on a building. And
8 that kind of profit, you can grab it. Under pure military environment, it
9 could hardly give you any good results.
10 Q. When you say the profit could only be to send it across towards
11 the populated area, are you saying that civilian casualties will be
13 A. Definitely. It had explosives in the -- in the shape of 100 kgs.
14 It lands in any residential area. The urban area, as I have been asked,
15 would definitely cause casualties in that area.
16 Q. Do you recall any specific incidents of these modified air bombs
17 that you investigated.
18 A. There were two incidents think I investigated. One was -- this
19 very weapon was -- had an impact near our UNMO team accommodation in
20 Hrasnica where a couple of UNMOs were injured; and about within a radius
21 of 100 yards, buildings were severely damaged. One of our UNMO vehicle
22 was blown up; of course, it was not occupied. Our armoured jeep also had
23 a lot of damage, generator was blown off, and casualties to the civilians
24 living around that accommodation.
25 Q. When was that incident?
1 A. It was I think in the beginning of July.
2 Q. That is 1995; is that right?
3 A. Sir, that's true.
4 Q. What was your role in the investigation?
5 A. Though this was not my area of responsibility, this incident took
6 place at about 21.40 or 21.45 hours at night. Next day, my headquarters
7 asked me to go and investigate, and I did investigate, as a couple of the
8 UNMOs were injured and so they were not in good position to do the
9 investigation. This was probably the reason I went there and I did the
11 Q. And did you determine in your investigation the direction of fire
12 of the projectile?
13 A. It was not possible to determine the exact and specific direction
14 like we could determine in case of mortars and we could give the specific
15 bearing, as it was without any kind of crater. But general direction
16 could be given, keeping in mind that the impact or devastation it had
17 caused to the building where it had landed and that it could only be
18 possible to give the general direction, but not the specific bearing. It
19 was not possible.
20 Q. In your time with the United Nations in Sarajevo, did you ever see
21 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, the Bosnian government army, use
22 these kinds of modified air bombs?
23 A. Not to my knowledge, sir.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: And the direction that you mentioned just in your
25 previous sentence, that direction would be from which held territory?
1 THE WITNESS: General direct examination was from Ilidza.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: From Ilidza.
3 THE WITNESS: Ilidza. It was the general direction. Specific
4 bearing, sir, it was not possible.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
6 MR. SACHDEVA:
7 Q. We've just spoken about the incident in Hrasnica. Did you --
8 well, first I want to show you a document.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, Your Honours, could I show the
10 witness 65 ter 2341, and I'm interested, Mr. Registrar, pages 49 to 58.
11 Q. Witness, do you see a document on your screen there?
12 A. I confirm, sir. It is a special report from Sierra India 1.
13 Q. Where does this document come from.
14 A. It is some report which has been sent by the team, that is Sierra
15 India 1, and sent to Sierra X-ray, which is the headquarters duty officer.
16 UNMO headquarter.
17 Q. Right. Just to be clear, it's a document of the United Nations
18 Military Observer; is that right?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Butt. Did you hear that question, Mr. Butt?
20 Is this a document of the United Nations Military Observer?
21 THE WITNESS: If I could be shown, Your Honour, sir, all the pages
22 at least who has signed it, then I can confirm. But this, I can confirm
23 that this is report from probably Sierra India 1. This is one of the
24 UNMOs team in my time, and Sierra X-ray which was located at UNMO
25 headquarters. This was address Valda, UNMO headquarter. But if I could
1 be shown who has signed it, maybe I can further confirm it.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Can we please go to the next page. And if he can
3 could leave it at that size.
4 Q. Mr. Butt, do you see four names and signatures on the bottom of
5 that page?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it would be only
8 appropriate if I could see it in B/C/S. If I could see it too. Is
9 displayed only in English. My colleague speaks English well, but I have
10 no English at all. I only have some French.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is there a translation for this.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, unfortunately at this moment it is
13 currently being translated. It was sent yesterday for urgent translation
14 and I apologise to learned counsel, but -- but perhaps I'll -- not
15 actually going to ask the witness to go into details. I'm simply asking
16 him to confirm that it is an UN document.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON:
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was it on your list of documents?
20 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, Mr. President, it was
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, we have problems like these. Now
23 and then you yourself will have a document not translated. It's a very
24 short document, so we'll have the interpreters translate it.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, but yesterday it
1 wasn't in e-court. And it takes 48 hours for a document to enter e-court
2 although it's on the list.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please proceed.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Butt, do you see -- do you see a page there with four names
6 and signatures on them?
7 A. Yes, sir, I do see. And a couple of the UNMOs I do remember very
8 vividly. They were very much there. And I think it is signed by them, so
9 it does become a valid UN document.
10 Q. And if we can just go back to the first page.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, I don't
13 understand why we should go back to page 1 if he confirmed only the
14 identity of the person who signed it and the authenticity of the document.
15 I do not contest the authenticity, but the witness has nothing more to say
16 about the document.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the question you want to find out? What
18 is your question?
19 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, the question, Mr. President, is I want the
20 witness to read the subject of the document so it can be translated to the
21 Defence, and then I'm going to ask him some questions about the incident.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I think the document cannot be,
24 should not be introduced through this witness. It could be perhaps marked
25 for identification.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: But we have to hear from the witness, to see
2 whether he knows anything about it. You may be a little premature.
3 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I hope that it will become clear
4 after a couple of questions.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I see I'm not the only person having to use
6 Mr. Butt's statement as a fact.
7 I have asked the court deputy to inquire into the heating system
8 in this court. It's unduly hot.
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, yes.
10 Q. Mr. Butt, can you read the first line of the document where it
11 says subject. What does this document pertain to?
12 A. Subject? It reads, "large explosion in Hrasnica on 7th of April,
14 Q. In your team meetings with other United Nations Military
15 Observers, do you remember this meeting being reported or spoken about?
16 A. These are not the team meetings but we used to have to team
17 leaders meetings periodically in our headquarters where team leaders of
18 UNMO's team from both the side would attend along with senior military
19 observer and his staff giving the overall view of the situation, then to
20 various sectors, and in team-wise detail. And I do remember that this
21 kind of explosion was referred in one of the meetings.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I would like to offer this document
23 into evidence.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll admit it.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P224, Your Honours.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: May I now show the witness 65 ter 02279.
2 I'm sorry, I apologise to the court deputy. I actually mean 65
3 ter 2283, but I will be using this one next. I'm sorry.
4 Can the English version be zoomed up a little bit? Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Butt, on your left-hand side of the screen, do you see a
6 document there, firstly?
7 A. Yes, I can see that.
8 Q. And on the top left-hand corner of the document do you see it
9 written there the "SRK, Sarajevo-Romanija Corps Command, strictly
10 confidential, number 20/04-1-103, 7 April 1995." Do you see that?
11 A. Yes, I do see that, sir.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: Can we go to the next page, please.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we recently had a
15 document that was shown to the witness and he had some knowledge about it,
16 but I don't understand how he can be shown a document that he knows
17 absolutely nothing about. And he can't know anything about it. I don't
18 know what about happen to this document later. It may possibly be marked
19 for identification, but he cannot know anything about this document.
20 Maybe the Prosecutor can explain himself.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Here again, we must await the questions an
22 answers. I won't pre-determine the issue.
23 MR. SACHDEVA:
24 Q. Witness --
25 MR. SACHDEVA: Actually, can the second page be zoomed in just a
1 little bit, please.
2 Q. Mr. Butt, is that page readable to you?
3 A. Sir, it is.
4 MR. SACHDEVA: That's fine, thank you.
5 Q. Now, do you see where it says, number 2, "our forces"?
6 A. Sir, I can see that.
7 Q. And given that you have read the top left-hand corner of the first
8 page, that this document came from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, would the
9 reference to "our forces" refer to the Bosnian Serb forces?
10 A. Sir, it does.
11 Q. Do you see in -- you see it says, "We responded to enemy fire as
12 follows," and then there are two sentences. I want you to concentrate on
13 the second sentence. Do you see that there, where it says,"In Ilidza, one
14 122-millimetre mine was fired, and one 250 KG AB aerial bomb was launched
15 at the centre of Hrasnica." Do you see that there?
16 A. Sir, it is clearly visible.
17 Q. Is this reference to the firing of a 250 kilogramme aerial bomb at
18 the centre of Hrasnica appear to you to be the incident that you saw on
19 the previous document and discussed at your team leader meeting?
20 A. At the face of it, it does appear to have a connection with the
21 previous letter and, sure, some connection with that incident reported in
22 that report, which was later subsequently discussed in our team leaders's
23 meeting at PTT building.
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Can I go back to the first page, please.
25 Q. Witness, do you see the date there, 7 April 1995, at the top?
1 A. Yes, I can see that. Third line on the left top corner.
2 Q. Is the date 7 April 1995 the same date that was on the UN report
3 that we saw a moment ago?
4 A. Yes. If I recall correctly in that it was the incident took place
5 in the morning, whereas the timings are also given in this report and
6 those are of 1700 hours of 7th April. In the fourth line.
7 Q. And the forth line says, "Regular combat report. The situation at
8 1700 hours."
9 In other words, does this report refer to the events on that day,
10 that is the 7th of April, 1995?
11 A. Apparently, it does.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President I would like to offer this document
13 into evidence.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P225, Your Honours.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I simply can't understand the--
19 what the Prosecutor suggested is possible. On several similar occasions
20 yesterday, when the witness was much more qualified to comment on certain
21 documents, the decision was to mark them for identification, whereas now
22 the Prosecutor wants to tender this into evidence in the same way as the
23 earlier document about which the witness said what he said and on this one
24 he can't even authenticate it.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, there is a big difference between
1 what you sought to do yesterday and what the Prosecutor is doing today.
2 Yesterday, all that the witness whom you questioned was able to do was to
3 confirm that you had correctly read what was in the statement. Today,
4 this witness is going further. He's confirming the substance, the
5 contents of the statement, and that is why he can tender it into evidence.
6 You simply read from the document and asked the witness to confirm what
7 you said, and the witness did that. The witness never confirmed the
8 substance of the statement. And evidently he was not in a position to.
9 This witness is confirming the contents of the statement, and that is the
10 significant difference.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me just add one
12 more thing. The witness that I examined yesterday was a policeman, and I
13 examined him in the context of his knowledge or lack of knowledge that the
14 MUP of Bosnia and Herzegovina shot at their own people. It was only in
15 that context. I accepted your decision to that have marked for
16 identification, only because there will be easily another 50 or so
17 witnesses who will be able to speak about that. I agree that this
18 document, too, be marked for identification. Of course, it is up to you
19 and if you decide to exhibit it immediately, that's all can I say.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber has given its ruling.
21 Please proceed.
22 The time for the break. We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue. How much longer will be you,
1 Mr. Sachdeva.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I have about five minutes. I want
3 to show one more document and then I will be finished.
4 I would just lying to mention one thing before I continue; that
5 is, the court registrar has informed me that the UN document, the
6 handwritten UN document that was tendered, was within a range of 250
7 pages, and, apparently, that range has in the process of it being
8 admitted -- has been admitted as well. And there are only select pages
9 that I want to tender into evidence. So I would just like to correct
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: So that would be 65 ter 2341, that would be pages
13 49 to 58.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Sachdeva, could I just be reassured that 65
15 ter document 2341 is actually on your exhibit list?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we were given the
18 document only yesterday, and we should have been given the document 48
19 hours in advance, in view of the volume of the document. We received the
20 document only yesterday. Now, this document that we did not have occasion
21 to read is being exhibited.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. What do you say to that, Mr. Sachdeva?
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, firstly, the exhibit is 2341 and it
25 is indeed on our exhibit list. And, secondly, my case manager has
1 informed me that it has been on the list that we are ordered to provide to
2 the Defence within the correct time period. So --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is where, at the beginning of the
5 MR. SACHDEVA: Prior to the beginning -- yes, before the start of
6 the examination-in-chief. It is correct that a translation is not at this
7 time available and is being done.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, what are the pages to be translated, the
9 specific pages?
10 MR. SACHDEVA: The pages to be translated are 49 to 58.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The translation is not an issue
15 here. My team do speak English. The point of the matter is that we did
16 not receive it either in English or a translation of it. We received the
17 document only yesterday, and we were able to look at the document only
18 yesterday when we left court. That is the issue: We didn't have either
19 the English or the translation of it.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: How many pages are in this document? I think you
21 told us earlier.
22 MR. SACHDEVA: Pages 49 to 58. That is --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. How many pages in the document in its
24 entirety. I'm addressing the question raised by Mr. Tapuskovic, that you
25 did not adhere to the timetable of the Chamber.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, perhaps I can explain, Mr. President. The
2 document that I'm seeking to tender or that has been admitted, the pages
3 that I want are nine pages within a huge range of other pages, other
4 documents, which are difficult documents.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. That is a different issue from the one
6 raised by Mr. Tapuskovic. Because when you would have passed on the
7 document to him as required, you wouldn't have identified nine pages.
8 MR. SACHDEVA: I did.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: You identified the nine pages?
10 MR. SACHDEVA: The Prosecution did identify the nine pages. An
11 e-mail was sent.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: When was that done.
13 MR. SACHDEVA: 9.56, in the morning, on the 13th of February.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: If the document is over 100 pages -- if it's over
15 100 pages, 72 hours notice is required.
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, if I'm allowed to. With your leave,
17 I have the e-mail open, and it is sent from my case manager to the Defence
18 case manager and learned counsel, both counsel. That's exhibit 2341,
19 pages -- and I indicate the pages by stating the ERN; in other words, I
20 say ZAO 25135 to ZAO 25144, which is nine pages, and that is marked in
21 bold for the benefit of the Defence.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, it would seem, Mr. Tapuskovic, that the
23 Prosecutor compiled with the disclosure requirements for the exhibit.
24 Now the -- you are identifying the pages now for translation. Let
25 us now move on quickly. Have you identified the pages for translation?
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, pages 49 to 58 of that range.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Pages 48 to 58. Yes, thank you. It's
3 still very hot here. If the court deputy -- were you able address that
4 issue of the temperature?
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, your cross-examination.
7 You're not finished? I'm sorry.
8 You're on your feet to take a point?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 Your Honours, I have been able to overcome these matters so far.
11 On the eve of examination-in-chief, we receive -- or have been receiving
12 thousands of pages, not the hundreds much pages. That was the case
13 recently. I have to tell you that we have received these documents. We
14 normally receive them all in a batch. That is why I cannot really confirm
15 whether we received it or not. But just before a witness takes the stand,
16 we receive thousands of documents, and that was the case with Mr. Butt
17 here, that we received all these documents a day before.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, the Prosecutor has provided us
19 with sufficient information to satisfy us that the document was
20 transmitted to you in good time. Now, you must ensure that you can
21 receive it. You have a case manager.
22 Please proceed, and let's conclude your examination-in-chief.
23 This has been going on too long.
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, Mr. President.
25 Can document 65 ter 2279 be brought up, please.
1 Can the English translation be zoomed in a bit, please. Thank
3 Q. Mr. Butt, do you see a document, an English document on the
4 left-hand side of your screen?
5 A. Yes, I do see.
6 Q. And do you see on the left hand side that is says SRK,
7 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, Strictly Confidential, Number 20/04-118, 6 April,
9 A. Yes, I do see.
10 Q. And do you see that on the next line, it is addressed to the
11 Ilidza Infantry Brigade?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. And under the title, "Order," if you see that there?
14 A. Yes. There's a --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, in asking the witnesses about this
16 document, you are not to lead him.
17 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm speaking prospectively. I'm not saying that
19 you have done that. But you have to elicit the information that you want
20 from him without leading him, because these are contentious issues.
21 MR. SACHDEVA: I was not under the impression that I had not led
22 him, but I take you for that advice on board. Thank you for that.
23 Q. Mr. Butt --
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Sorry, can the document be brought back? I don't
25 know if it's been zoomed in too much.
1 Q. Mr. Butt, do you see under point 1? Do you see point 1 there?
2 A. Yes. I can see that under order written in bold letters,
3 paragraph 1, which reads, "The Ilidza Brigade will immediately prepare a
4 launcher with an aerial bomb and transport the bomb for launching. The
5 most" --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will not be
8 explaining myself in detail. But as a matter of principle, I believe that
9 within the spirit of the rules, this is absolutely impermissible, but it
10 is up to you of course to decide.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you haven't heard the question,
12 Mr. Tapuskovic. You have not heard the question. You haven't heard Guard
13 the answer. How can you say it's impermissible? That is entirely
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if documents are
16 going to be introduced in this way where the witness, upon hearing
17 something being read out to him in a leading way, will be expected to
18 comment on matters that are -- he is not relevant to comment upon --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, merely reading out what paragraph
20 1 says is not leading. It is the next question that may be leading. All
21 he was doing is what you did yesterday, which in your case was only marked
22 for identification. He asking him, Have you seen paragraph 1 where it
23 says that the Ilidza Brigade will immediately prepare to launch a rocket,"
24 et cetera. And he says, Yes. That doesn't take us any further. It is
25 the next question which will go to the content, the substance of it. So
1 please sit down.
2 MR. SACHDEVA:
3 Q. Mr. Butt, after that, on the next line -- well, can you read the
4 next line, starting from "the most profitable target?"
5 A. "The most profitable target must be selected in Hrasnica or
6 Sokolovic Kolonija, where the greatest casualties and material damage
7 would be inflicted.
8 Q. The first question I want the to ask you is given your military
9 experience, what does that last sentence imply to you? What is this the
10 order about?
11 A. This order is about two things; one is to prepare the aerial bomb
12 and be selected, use against the most profitably selected target where
13 greatest maximum casualties -- casualties and material damage could be
15 Q. And do you see the reference there to Hrasnica?
16 A. Hrasnica or Sokolovic colonies are residential areas have been
17 mentioned which are normally at that time civilian target.
18 Q. And the reference to Hrasnica, is that the same place where the --
19 the same place where the UN report related to, the incident that the UN
20 report discusses, is that in the same place?
21 A. There are two things evident from this letter. Number one,
22 locality Hrasnica and Sokolovic have been referred in this; whereas, in
23 the previous letter which was shown to me, referred to only Hrasnica.
24 However, Hrasnica has also been referred to here. Number two, these are
25 the general locations; but keeping in mind that timings and date of both
1 letters, they do have relevance and connection.
2 Q. And in your view as a military person, the previous document from
3 the 7th of April, 1995 that emanated from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
4 where it reported that its own forces had hit targets in Hrasnica on the
5 7th of April, does there appear to you to be a connection between that
6 document and this one on the 6th of April, 1995?
7 A. Sir, as I mentioned earlier, on the face of it, it appears to have
8 a strong connection between all of these documents which have been being
9 shown; time-wise, date-wise, and addresses-wise.
10 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I offer this document into evidence.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P226, Your Honours.
13 MR. SACHDEVA: And that is the examination-in-chief,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
16 And Mr. Tapuskovic, your cross-examination.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. I'm Defence counsel for the
20 accused, General Milosevic. I here you were born on the 27th of
21 September, 1957; is that right?
22 A. That's very right, sir.
23 Q. I myself was born on the 27th of September, but in some other
24 year, so I suppose that this might facilitate our communication in some
1 Could you, first, show the Trial Chamber on the map behind you the
2 location of Hrasnica.
3 A. [Indicates]
4 Q. Do you know where the tunnel was -- I apologise.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, you have asked him to do one
6 thing. Let him do that.
7 THE WITNESS: This is Sarajevo, and the scale is too small. This
8 is the airport which was on the western side of Sarajevo city. It was
9 further west where -- west and up this Hrasnica, and because -- I really
10 can't see. It's so small. If I could be given some large shall map, I
11 can point on that. It is only Sarajevo I can see. This is a small little
12 place. If this is the north, It should be...
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Could you show us where the airport was on this map, Butmir
15 Airport. You must be very familiar with that. You spent a year there.
16 Where the airport is where the UN forces were stations?
17 A. Airport and which UN forces, sir? Because there were quite a few
18 forces in Sarajevo. So airport, I have understood. I will point out that
19 on the map. Other than that, if you could be very specific about the UN
20 forces, only then I will be point out. Otherwise, it will take some
21 time. And a little larger map where I can point out various locations of
23 Q. No. Sir, I'm only interested in knowing -- or rather, in you
24 showing us where the airport is on the map. I'm not interested in knowing
25 where each of the individual battalions were stationed.
1 A. Right, sir. I show you the airport and Hrasnica.
2 This is Sarajevo, and now the scale is so small. It was on the
3 west towards the airport at the end of the main road, which is not really
4 visible here. And further west was the Hrasnica, across the airport.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
6 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, twice now the witness has --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me hear Mr. Sachdeva.
8 MR. SACHDEVA: I was just going to that say twice now the witness
9 has complained about the scale of the map; in other words, it's difficult
10 for him to mark precisely where counsel has asked him to mark. I wonder
11 if a more appropriate map could be used for this exercise.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. The witness has difficulty identifying it
13 precisely because of the scale of the map, Mr. Tapuskovic. You heard him.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: My colleague has a smaller map here. Please pass
16 that to the witness.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This is a United Nations map, or rather, UNPROFOR map. Can you
19 show us where the airport is on that map.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, the Chamber just passed a map to
21 him. Now, let him try with that map first.
22 THE WITNESS: This is the airport, Sarajevo airport, this is the
23 Butmir area, and this was the Hrasnica.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you now show us the location of the airport on this large map,
1 after having seen it on the small one?
2 A. It may be difficult, but, you see, it is so small. It is not
3 possible to point out here.
4 Q. [In English] Okay.
5 [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly, you said that
6 Hrasnica was on this side of the tunnel. Do you know about the laying
7 down of the tunnel between the downtown Sarajevo and which actually went
8 underneath the airport?
9 A. Yes. I have knowledge of that tunnel.
10 Q. See, Hrasnica is at the exit of the tunnel. As you pass the
11 airport, you first reach Hrasnica, and you can see it clearly on the map.
12 Take a look at it.
13 A. As far as existence of tunnel is concerned, it is true it was
14 there. I had seen the exit towards the west -- west -- south of airport
15 landing strip, little far away, but it was not in the centre of Hrasnica.
16 It was a little before Hrasnica while going from Sarajevo to Hrasnica.
17 Q. That is indeed the case. Can you tell us roughly how far from the
18 exit of the tunnel is Hrasnica, on the road to Mount Igman?
19 A. I don't remember exactly the distance because this was not
20 actually my area of responsibility. However, it was quite far, that is
21 Hrasnica from the exit of the tunnel which was towards the south-west of
22 the airport, the landing strip itself.
23 Q. According to the map scale, can you roughly tell the distance?
24 You were not able to locate it on the large map. But on the small map,
25 when you look at the scale in centimetres, could you convert it into
1 metres and tell us roughly what the distance was between the tunnel and
3 A. There was a sizeable distance which could be mixed up with the
4 exit of tunnel, which we are referring to, and the locality of Hrasnica.
5 The distance I may not be able to, because this was not my area of
6 responsibility, as I have been very specific in my area of responsibility.
7 It was some other team, so they could have been asked about it. It is not
8 possible for me to remember after 12 years.
9 Q. Very well. That is quite understandable. You were located
10 elsewhere at Mali Hum. We will deal with that later.
11 Can you confirm that the UNPROFOR forces and all the other forces
12 in control in Sarajevo were able to see, on a daily basis, troops entering
13 the tunnel and exiting it going in different directions? Were you aware
14 of this?
15 A. As far as tunnel is concerned, I am very much aware of it and I do
16 confirm it. But its usage and whether UNPROFOR was able to see the
17 incoming or outgoing troops, since it was in my area of responsibility, so
18 I really can't comment. Because I was neither -- had any kind of
19 observation of that area, nor I had any UNMO there. So it is really
20 difficult for me to answer this question.
21 Q. I have one other question in relation to this. Are you aware that
22 the Hrasnica area, at the time you were there in particular, was
23 completely free of civilian population because the civilian population
24 could get in harm's way when the army was passing through? Were you aware
25 of this on the basis of the information the UNPROFOR had at the time, that
1 the area was a military target and as was therefore completely
3 A. No, sir. During my area of tenure with the United Nations
4 Military Observer mission in Sarajevo, once I visited, let's be very
5 specific, the next day once this -- this Hrasnica was hit by aerial bomb,
6 a couple of UNMOs were hurt. I have already made reference in the earlier
7 part of the examination or statement.
8 People from the locality, the civilians, had gathered around us
9 and were asking to get the blue flag away from the building and also
10 relocate the team, as this was attracting fire. And it was previously
11 also -- it had also previously happened, and later on this was one of the
12 main reason to relocate the team, and those all were civilians.
13 Q. A moment ago when answering the questions put by my learned
14 friend, you spoke of Hrasnica in great detail. Do you know what the
15 situation there Hrasnica was at the entrance to the tunnel? Were you
16 aware of any military operations going on there at the time? How were you
17 able to answer the Prosecutor's questions about this?
18 A. I was able to answer those question because I was made president
19 of the investigation, though it was not my area of responsibility. Once
20 that team suffered damages, next day, that was 2nd of July, I went there
21 and carried out investigation. That's why I know that.
22 Q. And what did the investigation establish? Did you determine the
23 existence of any casualties, were any civilians hurt, how many, or maybe a
24 soldier was killed?
25 A. Sir, there were, first of all, a couple of UNMOs hurt. One of
1 them, Major Ejas [phoen] was hospitalised, and I very clearly remember
2 there were, I was told, a few civilian casualties. And out of them, few
3 were transported in one of the UNMO's vehicle. If I remember correctly
4 and definitely, there were civilian casualties along with the UNMOs. And
5 when I say UNMOs, I refer to the persons and to the material. One of
6 vehicle, United Nations, was totally damaged. Other armoured vehicle was
7 severely damaged but it could still run and the generator was off. And
8 accommodations where these UNMOs were living, having blue flag on its top
9 duly illuminated, also was subject to severe damages, as was the case in
10 the surrounding buildings.
11 Q. If I understand you correctly, that was something that you heard
12 from others, but what did you establish on the spot when you came there
13 the next day?
14 A. All the things which we examined on the site did support this
15 viewpoint which I have given if my previous answer to your question, sir.
16 Q. Let me ask you one more thing. In all those months, did you see
17 that air bomb flying through the air?
18 A. No. I never saw any air bomb flying with my own eyes or through
19 the binoculars. I never saw that.
20 Q. But you claim that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was not in
21 possession of such bombs, I mean air bombs.
22 A. As I had not seen any air bomb travelling, as far as Serbs are
23 concerned, in the air, so I say I didn't see that. Now as far as Bosnian
24 are concerned, whether they were in possession of such weapon, I had never
25 seen any weapon in my area of responsibility or discussed in any of team
1 leader's meeting that there was some speculation even of that sort.
2 Q. A moment ago when you were examined by the Prosecutor, you
3 discussed one document, although it was a document that you had dealt with
4 on your job, which is understandable. I, however, would like to show you
5 something emanating from the military staff of military observers. It's
6 D31. It's a report from the Sector Sarajevo. I'm not going to bother you
7 with those bombs again, but I do want you to have a look at this document.
8 Do you see, sir, this report, which is on your screen now? It is
9 an allegation in the indictment that the building of the television was
10 hit on that day by an air bomb of this kind. Now, read it for yourself.
11 This special report speaks about the impact of a projectile on the
12 television building in June 1995.
13 And it says that this high ranking officer of the UNMO saw the
14 projectile flying over the parking lot and the street from a certain
15 coordinate, and we see in brackets that the places on BiH territory
16 approximately 1800 metres from the nearest cease-fire line. So the claim
17 made here is that the Bosnian side fired the projectile in question.
18 My question is: Did you ever discuss this document at some
19 important meeting, or have you ever heard or seen this document?
20 A. Sir, first of all, let me confirm for you that this appears to be
21 a valid document, because the name reflected against, prepared by, and
22 released by, I know both the gentlemen. Their tenure overlap with my
23 tenure with the United Nations in Sarajevo.
24 However, I do not confirm that any incident where BiH was alleged
25 to have used as has been mentioned in this document, which being shown to
1 me, was ever discussed in the team leaders' meeting which used to be
2 held. And this gentleman, Colonel Alam, from Bangladesh, though it was
3 not shown here. And Hansen, he was an operation officer, Captain Hansen.
4 He was also there. I don't remember if it was ever discussed in any of
5 the team leaders' meeting, which was the right forum we used share. We
6 used to get the briefings from both of these gentlemen, including the
7 senior military observer.
8 Q. Sir, maybe it was a very confidential document, maybe it was
9 secret to some extent, and maybe that is the reason why it perhaps did not
10 reach your team leaders' meetings. Could that be a possibility?
11 A. Sir, let's be very clear. It is addressed to UNMO, UNPROFOR
12 Headquarters Sarajevo and UNMO Headquarters at Zagreb. It has,- as far as
13 this paper is concerned, nothing to do with my team. It was not supposed
14 to reach to me. However, in the subsequent team leader meeting, it was
15 supposed to be discussed, briefing was to be given.
16 All those incidents or such-like incidents used to be covered in
17 those meetings in detail, and everybody used to give his input. And for
18 the entire theatre with special focus on Sarajevo, we used to get the
19 briefings and details of various incidents. And I thought if -- I don't
20 know. This was, at least I never heard anything it, in any the team
21 leaders' meetings which I was attended, and I also there, roughly, the
22 date when this letter was issued.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Which is -- what is the date of the letter.
24 MR. WHITING:
25 THE WITNESS: The Date is 29th June, sir, 1230 hours.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: 29th June.
2 THE WITNESS: This was roughly the time I was there. I was
3 still -- 29th August, I was in charge of my team and then I handed over
4 this team.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, where is Captain Hansen and
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Alam? Are they on your witness list?
7 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, Mr. Alam is not on our witness list;
8 and if I recall correctly, Mr. President, you asked me a similar question
9 a couple of days, and I informed the Court that Mr. Hansen was on our
10 witness list but he is not anymore. He was dropped when we made the
11 amendment to the 65 ter list.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Are you proposing to endeavour to call
13 these two officers as witnesses, Mr. Tapuskovic?
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't think it
15 would be within my capacity. I have to explain to you. We are only four
16 on our team working on this. I believe the Trial Chamber should within
17 their own authority call these witnesses, because I don't have the
18 organizational capacity.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We can call them, but how can you say you don't
20 have the organisational capacity? I don't accept that. This is crucial
21 evidence for the Defence. It would completely destroy one plank of the
22 Prosecution's case. If you don't call these witnesses, the Chamber will
23 call them.
24 MR. SACHDEVA: Yes, Mr. President, might I add one thing. We have
25 contacted Mr. Hansen, and we are endeavouring to find the identity of the
1 UNMO that is, you know, the subject of this report, the UNMO who allegedly
2 witnessed this -- this projectile flying, and so with we're endeavouring
3 to do that to assist the Trial Chamber.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Sir, I'm again faced with a problem. Maybe I will have to show
8 you this map again, although I believe that the larger one is more
9 convenient. You said your positions were at Mali Hum; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct, sir. It was at Mali Hum.
11 Q. This Mali Hum, is it a little below what is called Veliki Hum,
12 which is over 800 metres tall?
13 A. If I am given the chance to show my exact position at Mali Hum on
14 the previous map, which was used to point out Hrasnica and the airport, I
15 submit to Your Honour, sir, that might help me and to point out my
16 position, sir, if I'm permitted.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I think we should see the upper part better.
20 A. There -- these are the two ends towards north-east; the one which
21 is towards south, that was about 50 yards from this point, towards
22 south-west was our accommodation. It was Vrnici [phoen] Street, and I
23 also remember its number, 49G. Mr. Abid was its owner.
24 Q. Can you mark that place -- no, you can't on this map. How far
25 from there --
1 A. It is very much clear. I can show that, yes. It is very much
2 clear. I can point out. I have pointed out.
3 Q. [In English] Yes, yes.
4 [Interpretation] Can you tell us the elevation of that spot? You
5 are a soldier. What was the altitude of Mali Hum?
6 A. The altitude I don't remember, but it should be about 6.000 --
7 roughly somewhere, a little plus or minus, 6.000 feet where we were
9 Q. You are speaking in feet. How much could that be in metres.
10 A. I have to consult, sir, my calculator. It may not be possible for
11 me at the moment.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Divide by 39 inches, I think. I think it is
13 three feet, three inches.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm very poor at mathematics. I
15 never liked figures.
16 THE WITNESS: So I have been-- Roughly, I can see it was a little
17 less than 6.000 feet, becomes a little less than 2.000 metres. It is a
18 rough estimate.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I heard 6.000 metres. That is
21 A. No, 6.000 feet, sir.
22 Q. [In English] Yes, yes.
23 [Interpretation] Please, what about Veliki Hum? How far was the
24 top of this hill called Veliki Hum? How far was it from you, and how much
25 higher was it?
1 A. On the top of it was some telecom or some communication huge
2 tower. It was about four, five minutes walk with two turns, only about
3 three to -- about 300 yards from our accommodation. And that was the top
4 where that tower was located, and it is also shown on this map also.
5 Where this winding road ends, next to that is that tower.
6 Q. On that tower and on that entire hill there were units of the ABiH
7 stationed. Is it correct that the ABiH army took up positions on that
9 A. There were no BiH positions. However, on that tower in the
10 compound or the premises of the tower, there were a few soldiers present
11 with their weapons; those were rifles, et cetera. About five, seven, they
12 used to remain there.
13 Q. To the left, as I see here, there's another hill, Zuc, 830 metres
14 high; is that correct?
15 A. That's true.
16 Q. From Mali Hum and from Zuc, is it the case that you see Sarajevo
17 as in the palm of your hand?
18 A. I don't remember from the Zuc because that was not, sir, my area
19 of responsibility. As far as Mali Hum is concerned, you are very right,
20 it was just like palm of your hand. You could see the Sarajevo,
21 especially starting from Skenderija and going across Skenderija, Jewish
22 cemetery, chapel, red building, Vrbanja bridge, and Tito barracks. That
23 is all you could see. And very clearly, you could see and Debelo Brdo
24 also, I may add.
25 Q. Concerning Zuc, I don't want to ask you anything except for this.
1 Do you know that on that mountain, Zuc, there were units of the BiH army?
2 A. Really, I don't remember, because, as I have already mentioned, it
3 was not my area of responsibility. And about the meetings, I really do
4 not remember. It would not be possible.
5 Q. From that line, from those two spots but primarily the spot you
6 were on, all the way until the end of that yellow line depicting the area
7 of responsibility of the BiH army, can we say that it was all under the
8 control of the BiH army and that at this point the slope begins and there
9 are no longer any members of the army of Republika Srpska, the VRS?
10 A. Slopes towards the city from Zuc are Mali Hum. The slopes, I make
11 clear those towards the assault of Zuc top and Mali Hum top, up hill
12 Miljacka river, in between area was under BiH control.
13 Q. Maybe you did not understand me. You have already explained that
14 bit. But I am interested in the direction towards the north. From those
15 hills, you control this slope all the way up to the yellow line that
16 depicts the positions of the BiH army; is that correct? From Zuc and from
17 here, the slope goes down toward this is yellow line. Can you confirm
19 A. Yes, it is. But again this is not within the purview of my
20 responsibility. It was not my area of responsibility. It was towards the
21 Miljacka river.
22 Q. I understand that perfectly. I just want you to explain what you
23 were able to see from your position, and you have done that.
24 Do you know that behind this red line in this depression, there is
25 a place called Vogosca. Have you heard about it?
1 A. Yes, I have heard about it.
2 Q. Thank you. Out of all this material I received two days ago, I
3 would like to show you one document, on which I would like to ask you then
4 a military question. And I will throughout be trying to present documents
5 of an impartial party; namely the UNPROFOR?
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The document is 65 ter DD00-478,
7 a report by General Janvier to Kofi Annan.
8 Q. Sir, please have a look. "The staff of the peace force of the
9 United Nations in Zagreb, Urgent, for United Nations." Is that what is
10 written here?
11 A. "Immediate unrestricted joint operation centre GT land operations."
12 Q. [In English] Yes.
13 [Interpretation] "22nd August 1995 at 1900 hours,
14 Lieutenant-General Janvier, the commander of the UN force, writes directly
15 to Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations." Did I read this
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now find the heading
19 "Sector Sarajevo" in this document. It's already on the next page in the
20 English version.
21 Q. You see "UNPROFOR, Sector Sarajevo"? I'd like to read to you --
22 "Sector Sarajevo," do you see this subheading.
23 A. Yes, sir, I do see. Sir, I do see. Yes, I can see that.
24 Q. I'm going to read it to you. "Sector Sarajevo: The BiH side
25 fired eight rounds at 0900 hours and six rounds at 1250 hours at the
1 Bosnian Serb side. The Bosnian Serb side responded with 30 shells into
2 the town in Sedrenik."
3 Is that written there?
4 A. Yes. But it started not with the eight rounds, it starts with "a
5 factory, GR," which stands, as I understand, for grid reference in
6 bracket, "grid reference 885645 in Vogosca in BSA side was shelled with
7 eight rounds at 0900 Bravo and six rounds at 1250 Bravo," and Bravo is for
8 B. "Grid reference BP 914613." Yes, I can read, sir.
9 Q. Well, in that case, it is a catastrophe of the translation.
10 "Sector Sarajevo: The Bosnian-Herzegovina side fired eight rounds at
11 0900 and six rounds at 1250 at a factory Vogosca." Is that written
13 A. Yes, it is written.
14 Q. And then the Bosnian Serb side, as I read a moment ago, responded
15 with fire.
16 A. Yes. Thirty shells, they responded with. Yes, it is written.
17 Q. Right. Have you ever seen this before? Was this ever shown to
18 your units because you were precisely----
19 A. No, sir. I have also made a mention that such-like documents,
20 which were addressed to senior headquarters, were not shown to us. But
21 notice in the subsequent team leaders' meetings, such-like incidents were
22 always addressed and reported and briefed. And if this is the incident
23 which happened, which I don't remember because it was not related to my
24 area after 12 years, it must have also been reported in the team leaders'
25 meeting, if it has happened.
1 Q. In other words, this was strictly confidential. Can I put it that
3 A. No, sir. There was nothing confidential. In the team leaders'
4 meetings, we used to have all available information. We used to be
5 briefed by the concerned staff officers and the senior observers.
6 Q. Mr. Butt, several days ago, General Nicolai testified here, who
7 was man number two in NATO during your time there. There was some other
8 witnesses, too. I wasn't counting the amount of shells. But when I asked
9 General Nicolai, and I will read to you what it is that I asked him.
10 "Yesterday, you said, didn't you, that it was necessary to fire
11 several shells to hit a target. You cannot fire only one and be sure that
12 you have hit the target, unless of course the shooting or the shelling is
13 random. Did I understand you well? You said yes, in reply to that."
14 And then General Nicolai's answer was: "Yes, you understood me
15 well. Where there's a significant amount of shells fired, you have to
16 fire a proportionate number of shells in response to that."
17 Is that your position as well as an officer?
18 A. It depends on the proficiency of the gunners, whosoever it
19 operating those weapons or guns, that how quickly if they are really
20 interest today engage, the specific target can engage. It depends on many
21 things everything. It the might take two or three shells or four or five.
22 It depends. So this is my answer.
23 Q. In the case we were discussing a moment ago, the BiH army fired 14
24 shells and the other side fired 30 shells.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
1 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, of course, I have no objection to
2 this line of questioning. But if we are referring to the incident as
3 recorded in this UN document, then it should be stated that the -- the
4 eight rounds fired by the Bosnian army were fired at a factory, and that's
5 what is recorded here.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that is so.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it fired eight
8 rounds at 9.00 and six rounds at 1250, 14 rounds in all. And I believe
9 the sum total is quite simple to arrive at. I don't see the point of
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: The point being made was that the rounds were
12 fired at a factory, which is what it says in the English translation at
13 any rate. A factory in Vogosca in ABiH side was shelled with eight rounds
14 and six rounds by BiH. And the Prosecutor attaches some importance to
15 the -- to the to the target being a factory.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] In my translation into B/C/S, the
17 difference is only in the time. At 9.00 there were eight rounds, and at
18 1250 there were six rounds. So in an interval of six hours --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. Three hours--
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] -- there were two times during
21 which rounds were fired, 14 in all.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's not the point. It's the target. Are you
23 saying that the B/C/S doesn't have reference to the target being a
24 factory? Is that not in the B/C/S?
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] But, of course. I highlighted in
1 particular and that factory is in the centre of Vogosca. Please, don't
2 you know that this in the centre of an inhabited area. Are you aware of
3 this? The factory in Vogosca is surrounded by civilian buildings, and
4 even a factory is a civilian building where civilians are employed.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: It depends on the factory, doesn't it. But you
6 must put that to the witness.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Sir, a factory was targeted. I may even concede that was used for
9 some war purposes. But that is it was surrounded by war buildings is
10 something that is beyond any doubt. There were civilians living in their
11 homes, and this is what I'm asking you: Are you aware of this? Yes or
13 A. Sir. In the capacity of the a military officer with 29 and a half
14 years experience, I would submit, Your Honour, sir, if it was of some kind
15 of defence material producing factory, it was a legible target. The
16 factory, itself, whether it was some kind of ordnance, ordnance being
17 produced there or some weaponry or some other material which was being
18 used in the field, yes, to my mind it was a legitimate target, only the
19 premises of that factory.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: That may be so, General. But the question you're
21 being asked is whether the factory is in the centre of Vogosca, and
22 whether you know that this is in the centre of an inhabited area.
23 THE WITNESS: No, sir.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: The factory is surrounded by civilian buildings.
25 Can you confirm that or comment on that?
1 THE WITNESS: Sir, since it was under the control of BSA, under
2 Serb control, I never visited Vogosca, so I can't confirm, sir.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
5 Q. I told you what General Nicolai said. That was his position. I'm
6 asking you the following: First, eight rounds were fired and then
7 probably the Serb side responded; and then a further six rounds were fired
8 and the Serbian side responded. We heard what General Nicolai had to say
9 about that. I'd like to know what your opinion is. Was the return fire
10 appropriate? Was it something that the Serb side was compelled to do?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry. I was consulting with my brother.
12 But your last questions, it seems to me, is certainly not something he
13 could answer, whether it was something that the Serb side was compelled to
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do believe that
16 several days ago we discussed the matter. The Trial Chamber believed that
17 the witness may say something about the proportionality and criteria to be
18 governed by my question was to that effect.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, not as it came across. The last question,
20 "Was it something that the Serb side was compelled to do," would not be
21 appropriate. The one before, "Was the return fire appropriate."
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: So that would be -- that would be an appropriate
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree. I am not insisting on
1 the witness giving his opinion. If he wishes to, he may.
2 Q. Sir, are you able to tell us anything about this, having heard
3 what General Nicolai had to say with regard to the incident. You heard
4 that the fire was first opened at 0900 and probably there was return fire;
5 whereupon, there was fire opened at 1250 again. Can you tell us anything
6 about that, having regard to what His Honour Judge Robinson just said.
7 A. Your Honour, sir, with the -- my experience and background, to my
8 mind, it is a routine that military targets, and I repeat, the military
9 targets quite frequently and as per routine are softened up. We used term
10 "softening of the targets." We measure in the morning and we measure in
11 the afternoon, maybe in the evening and at night. It depends upon the
12 potency of the target, and this is for military target.
13 But in this very paragraph, the response what I read from the Serb
14 side has been on the towns of Sedrenik and there was something else. I
15 don't know. But as far as whether it was from the ABiH side, and if that
16 factory was a military purpose factory, whether it was twice or three
17 times or four times, it is very much legitimate. It is against a military
18 target, and they can resort it for ten days. It is very common, and it is
19 a military practice. Sir.
20 Q. Lest I should forget, although I do not have many questions left,
21 during your time there, one of the commanders in UNPROFOR was General
22 Rose; is that right?
23 A. That's true, sir.
24 Q. Do you know that based on what some other witness said,
25 Mr. Harland, who has yet to testify, and based on a document, there was
1 mention of the members of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina shooting?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a second. Did you say that Mr. Harland has
3 yet to testify? Because that is what is on the transcript. Mr. Harland
4 has testified.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No. Has the witness heard
6 General Rose saying that Muslims often opened fire on their own people?
7 Did General Rose ever say anything to that effect at any of their meetings
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
10 Yes, Mr. Sachdeva.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, the -- that question needs to be
12 backed up by some reference, some quote; otherwise, it's -- I don't know
13 on what basis he is saying that General Rose said that.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, at any rate,
15 General Rose will be called here; and in view of the objection raised, I
16 withdraw my question.
17 Q. Sir, several days ago, we heard a statement made by General Fraser
18 in this courtroom. But before that, let me ask you this: You were in
19 Sarajevo during the events in the summer of 1995. Yes or no. I believe
20 you did testify to that effect when answering the Prosecutor's questions.
21 You know that in these events in Sarajevo many people were killed,
22 including civilians and soldiers. Yes or no.
23 A. On which side, sir? You want to ask me about Serb side or
24 Sarajevo side -- or BiH side or both sides?
25 Q. Since you did not go often to the Serb side, I'm asking you about
1 the people who got killed in Sarajevo. Can you confirm to me that the
2 offensive of the 15th of June was launched by the army of Bosnia and
4 A. No, I don't confirm that 15th June offensive was launched by
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, no. Because if I remember correctly, this is in
6 reference to the date, I say again the date, if I remember correctly, on
7 7th June, Serb attacked Debelo Brdo and Jewish cemetery area. But their
8 firing was not restricted only to those bunkers and ABiH positions. It
9 was all over the Sarajevo. And I may make a mention here, since we were
10 experiencing UNMOs on the Lima side, Lima side is the Serb side.
11 From 11th of May onward, they had severe restriction of movement;
12 and when I restriction of movement, they were not supposed to go out of
13 their accommodations and to conduct any to patrolling on any occasion. I
14 also remember on 6th of June, we had team leaders' meetings and team
15 leaders from the Lima side, which was supposed to attend the meetings at
16 headquarters, were not allowed even to come to the BiH side to the
17 headquarters to attend that --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I just interrupt you. You were asked about
19 the offensive on the 15th of June, and you're dealing with an earlier date
20 now. Are you leading up to the 15th.
21 THE WITNESS: Sir, I'm coming to that.
22 And because from our observation post, especially area I'm
23 referring to, Barracks Boset west of Jewish cemetery, the preparations
24 were there and the last signal was stopping UNMOs of the Lima side to
25 attend teem leaders' meeting. And in that meeting, since we were
1 observing the preparations in this area from three, four days, I did make
2 a mention that Serb attack was imminent on -- within next 72 hours and it
3 was taken on record.
4 Unfortunately, very next day, there was attack. And subsequently
5 on 15th of June, there was again shelling, but I don't know specifically
6 on 15th of June who start the attack. It is not to my knowledge. I just
7 wanted to link up. Because on Serb side there was complete restriction of
8 movement, and on our side we were not allowed to meet our UNMOs to share
9 what is going on. All that we could observe, we did report and did share
10 in team leaders' meeting, sir.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Witness, sir, I will never interrupt your answers, although you
13 should have, first, answered my question and then engaged in additional
15 I would like to know whether Debelo Brdo was occupied by strong
16 forces of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. You were mentioning bunkers
17 and so on and so forth. Is that right?
18 A. On Debelo Brdo, on the BiH side, there were two strong bunkers or
19 the positions, which were occupied by the BiH, and I do confirm that, sir.
20 Q. You, as an officer, can you tell us whether deep inside the area
21 of responsibility of army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, once you passed the
22 front line, how far into the area of responsibility, how far behind the
23 confrontation line were the units of army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 positioned, and also how far behind the confrontation line were the units
25 of the Serbian army positioned, based on your knowledge at the time?
1 A. Sir, coming to your question, sir, straight way, first, let's
2 understand that this was not classical war going on. These were not the
3 conventional armies. These were the two warring factions. Their
4 organisations, which I know of the BiH side and a little bit through team
5 leaders' meeting I also have knowledge about BSA side. These were not the
6 conventional units, the fighting units. So talking about in classical
7 military sense, the depth, the reserves, that aspect was probably missing
8 in that.
9 In classical military sense, a battle is going on. How can you
10 have at 50 yards, a main road being used by the civilian for their daily
11 earning, commuters passing by. On both sides, civilians were there, only
12 20, 30 feet away from the confrontation line, and those houses,
13 residential areas on both sides were occupied. So, first of all, we have
14 to, sir, remember that it is not classical sense in that we have screens,
15 then we have mobile troops, then we have that position, and then the
17 Sir, it was not the case here. It was the confrontation line and
18 some locations where they had few high-calibre weapons deployed or wanted
19 to deploy, so it was all. It was not in classical sense having that in
20 that, sir
21 Q. One senior UN officer, namely General Fraser, do you know that the
22 Presidency building was in the centre of Sarajevo? Was it a military
23 target? A couple of days ago, General Fraser said, and I will try to
24 quote him as faithfully as possible.
25 Although the Supreme Command was in the centre of Sarajevo
1 throughout his tenure, it was never targeted. Did you ever see, also
2 during this particular offensive regardless of who launched it, the
3 building of the Presidency and Supreme Command directly targeted by the
4 members of the army of Republika Srpska?
5 A. Sir, to my mind, I must submit to the Honourable Court that
6 civilian president, the civilian government, the political government,
7 they cannot be legitimately labeled as military target. Commander in
8 chief and downward and all the ordnance factories and the troops are
9 legitimate target. Number one, sir.
10 Now, coming over to the Presidency, yes, you are right, that at
11 least during my tenure of duty, there was not any direct hit which comes
12 to my mind. But very close to that, very close to that, the pavement next
13 to the Presidency, on the corner where the small road with
14 [indiscernible] where the Zulu restaurant was, one night there was
15 shelling and there were casualties. I do confirm.
16 But you are right, sir, during my tenure, I don't have anything in
17 my mind that the Presidency was hit.
18 Q. General Fraser categorically claimed that never, during his term
19 of office there, did this take place. And I will find this, should the
20 Prosecution object or for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, that the
21 command the -- or the President of the Presidency the Supreme Commander
22 were never targeted. And let me ask you this --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: He has already agreed, so let's move on. He said
24 it never happened during his tenure.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In fact, I wanted to ask you something else concerning the
2 shooting in general. You say that the fire was opened only upon Sarajevo.
3 Was there any return fire out of Sarajevo by the army of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina? Was there any outgoing fire from downtown Sarajevo aimed at
5 the army of Republika Srpska; and if so, to what extent? What was its
7 A. Yes. There was fire on the confrontation line between the two
8 positions and that means from the BiH side, the military firing from the
9 confrontation line. During attacks ...
10 Sir, let me reflect, and I want to make a mention.
11 If I remember correctly, there were four or five major attacks.
12 And in those days, there was some shelling to the military targets from
13 the north of Mali Hum tower. I do confirm. And this was from the BiH.
14 But I cannot confirm whether it was on the civilian side, because I was
15 not on that side.
16 But there was definitely, during those attacks, it came from the
17 reverse of my slope where I was on the other side towards the north. And
18 if you want -- the Honourable Court want, I can generally -- I don't
19 remember that because I had not seen the exact locations. I can give the
20 general locality from where the fire came and that it went towards the BSA
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, it's time for the break.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, please continue.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Sir, ten days before you, we heard another witness, Mohatarem,
3 who was a high-ranking representative of an international organisation.
4 He spoke a lot about possible military targets. And when he spoke of the
5 depth of the front line, he said that it was reckoned to be two kilometres
6 from the confrontation or demarcation line, if I remember correctly.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: No doubt, you have a point to make about
9 MR. SACHDEVA: Well, Mr. President, precisely. And this basically
10 covers the other witnesses that my learned friend has mentioned today. Of
11 course, it's not a problem for counsel to do that. But just in the in
12 order to be accurate, if he's going to do that, then perhaps a reference
13 or references could be given. If indeed he is quoting or alleged to be
14 quoting from the witness' evidence, then it should be recorded somehow.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think there is a point there, Mr. Tapuskovic,
16 certainly, if the quotation is going to be challenged. But these are all
17 contentious matters. So you can't speak generally, you have to speak
18 accurately. So you should come prepared with the lines from the
19 transcript to which we may refer.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I understand
21 perfectly well what you are saying and I understand my colleague's
22 objection, but I absolutely stand by the words that I have just uttered.
23 A. It occurred to me just this moment, and if I were forced to look
24 now --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva, what precisely are you saying is
1 incorrect in what Mr. Tapuskovic put to the witness.
2 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I'm not saying that anything is
3 indeed incorrect, and I'm not at any rate trying to cast aspersions on my
4 learned friend at all in that regard. All I'm saying is that as we had an
5 experience today with a written document in front of our eyes where the
6 points about the factory not mentioned in the question. It's just so we
7 can be sure that if the witness's evidence is being quoted, I could be
8 given a reference. That's all I'm asking.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think it very much depends on the context. I
10 wouldn't not want to lay it on a hard-and fast rule. It depends on the
11 particular circumstances, but here I will allow the questioning to
12 continue. But bear in mind, Mr. Tapuskovic, where you're going to refer
13 to evidence, it may be necessary on occasions to have a specific reference
14 to the particular line in the transcript, so that it may be verified, if
16 MR. SACHDEVA: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] You're perfectly right and you've
18 cautioned me about it earlier, and I did prepare some references
19 concerning the evidence of General Nicolai, but this point just occurred
20 to me at this moment. I don't have anything prepared concerning the
21 evidence of Mr. Mohatarem.
22 Q. Just tell me what is the depth of the front line, judging purely
23 by the general principles of military science.
24 A. Sir, in case of conventional armies, at battalion level in
25 conventional army, that could be 1.000 metre and it could be 1.500 metres
1 depending on the area and the strength of the battalion, because battalion
2 varies from country to country.
3 At brigade level, it may be five to eight kilometres, keeping in
4 mind the factors I have already mentioned. At the divisional level, it
5 may be 15 kilometres. At the corps level - the conventional corps, please
6 remember - it may be 30, 35, 40 kilometres but depends on the size of
7 those corps, being very much conventional army organised as per the laid
8 out standards in the use in the world by the most modern armies. And this
9 is for the defence, not for the attack, in our case, both of the warring
10 factions, not the regular armies.
11 So their depth really cannot be given, because at 50 yards, as I
12 have already quoted, on the roads civilians were living; there were
13 schools; maybe 400 metre 500 metre, Presidency; there was a hospital on
14 both the sides. I'm making such-like things were there, so that rule may
15 not be applied here. However, I have given the depth in various levels,
16 but it is true for warfare, convention, and regular armies.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] During those fierce offensives,
19 and I'm not going to deal with who started it, you know very well that
20 none of the armies at this confrontation line actually fired from the
21 line. Are you aware of that.
22 A. That's true.
23 Q. Nor did either of the armies fire at the line, because they would
24 have been killing their own troops with their own weapons. Is that also
1 A. That's true.
2 Q. Is it also true, then, that it was only possible to fire from the
3 rear from artillery behind the lines? Is it true for both of these
5 A. Yes. It is true for both of the armies, and this was the very
6 reason. In my earlier answer to your question, sir, I merely mention a
7 few weapons firing from north of communication tower and Mali Hum, and
8 that was reported to our headquarters. It was in one of the attacks.
9 Q. You were in Sarajevo and you were following these events from your
10 observation post; correct?
11 A. That's true, sir.
12 Q. This area that you were observing and in the zone of that front
13 line, if the civilians had been removed from that area, is it the case
14 that there would be no casualties among civilians?
15 A. I don't know that if civilians were removed. I understand I'm a
16 witness. I can't ask questions. But one thing I can confirm, civilians
17 were not removed. They were living in their houses or the flats,
18 accommodations. And whether they were -- why they were not removed, I
19 can't comment, because I may ask you a question which probably I'm not
20 supposed to, sir.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, I'd rather you did not.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You know very well, although you came later, that a resolution has
24 been passed to demilitarise Sarajevo and to make it a protected area. Do
25 you know about this resolution, and do you know whether this resolution
1 was indeed honoured in Sarajevo?
2 A. Yes. Generally, first of all, it was in my knowledge. It was
3 declared demilitarised zone, but at confrontation line both the sides were
4 present with their weapons.
5 Q. But the city of Sarajevo was proclaimed a protected area,
6 according to everything you observed. And in your belief, did the army in
7 Sarajevo observe the spirit of that decision by ensuring that there were
8 either no civilians around the front line or that they -- that there were
9 no weapons or troops around the front line, in Sarajevo?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sachdeva.
11 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, I would object with respect to the
12 relevance of this line of questioning; in other words, the Prosecution
13 submits that whether there was civilians in the front lines, near the
14 front lines or not, does not impact upon the guilt or not of the accused
15 and of the crimes alleged in the indictment.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, what's your response to that?
17 Explain the relevance.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This is perhaps the most relevant
19 question in the entire case. If the resolution, whose number I cannot
20 recall now, from mid-1993 to demilitarise Sarajevo and ultimately all the
21 other protected areas, tragedies would have been prevented. That is the
22 most fundamental question that arises before you, and that of course you
23 will decide upon. I know what my conviction is. But nobody can dispute
24 the relevance of this question. At least the question, as for the
25 decision, it is indeed yours and you will deliberate about it. If
1 Mr. Sachdeva disputes the relevance and you decide that the witness should
2 not answer, I will of course abide by your ruling.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, is your point that had the BH
5 government ensured the demilitarisation of Sarajevo, then civilians would
6 not have been killed?
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Quite certainly, at least within
8 the zone of two kilometres. That is my assertion.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: How is that relevant to the indictment? How is
10 that relevant to the charges against the accused?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, first of all, there would
12 have been no war anymore. There would have no conflict after that.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's not for this Court. I won't allow the
14 question. You haven't satisfied me as to its relevance.
15 Please ask another question.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I will come back later to those photographs. But since you almost
18 never visited the Serb side, you only stayed in Sarajevo and observed the
19 atrocities that happened in Sarajevo and the death of people, can you tell
20 me were there any soldiers in Sarajevo and how many? Did you have any
21 information as to the strength of troops in Sarajevo?
22 A. In my area of responsibility, I had two brigade headquarters
23 looking after their troops at the confrontation line; One was 115 Brigade
24 and one 101 Brigade. And again when I say "brigade," I will submit to the
25 Court that these were not classical. Again, their organisation was
1 different. These were the warring factions, not like regular army. Sir.
2 Q. Are you saying that they were fighting between them?
3 A. No. I never said that they were fighting with each other, these
4 two brigades.
5 Q. Can you say at all on the basis of any information you had
6 whatsoever how many troops there were in Sarajevo?
7 A. The exact strength may not be possible, but I know there were --
8 in my area of responsibility, there were two brigade headquarters and on
9 the confrontation line portion of the brigade, because they were defending
10 vast area and some of the troops were deployed in other teams
11 responsibility of area. However, their headquarters were in my area of
12 responsibility. I used to have meetings with them, but their troops were
13 also deployed on the confrontation line in my area of responsibility.
14 Q. And according to your estimate at the time of those summer events
15 of 1995, a significant number of people, civilians, and soldiers alike,
16 lost their lives in the conflict?
17 A. It is really difficult to give the exact or even roughly
18 estimates, but loss was too high. Every day we used to have deaths. And
19 I'm sure on the Serb side there must also be deaths, although I didn't go
20 to that area, but I do feel there must be deaths on that area as we were
21 having on the BiH side.
22 Q. I appreciate this answer very much, because I -- it's spares me
23 from further questioning along this line.
24 But in that case, I have to compare this to one statement made by
25 Mr. Fraser. He said that the rule was that Serbs abided by the principle,
1 ten Muslims for one Serb. Mr. Fraser said this in this courtroom. Did
2 you have such information? Did you know about something like that?
3 A. No, it is something new for me.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. You have answered the question.
5 Let's move on, Mr. Tapuskovic.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Since that statement, this assertion was made before this Trial
8 Chamber, I want to ask whether this myth was borne out of such events as
9 the Markale market incident of the 28th of August, 1995, Markale II.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is ridiculous. The witness has said he
11 doesn't know about it.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And does he know anything about
13 the Markale incident? Did he have --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is a different matter. You can't put a
15 question to him based on the answer which he gave, because he denied
16 knowing anything about it. If you want to ask him about Markale, then
17 that is a different matter.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Do you know anything about Markale? Were you in any way involved
20 in Markale II, an incident of the of August, 1995. Do you have any direct
21 knowledge about that event itself? Did you investigate it, or do you have
22 only second-hand knowledge that you received at the position you held at
23 Mali Hum?
24 A. First of all, this locality where this sad incident took place on
25 28th of August, this was my second-last day in Sarajevo, or third-last
1 day. It was not in my area of responsibility. Once this incident
2 happened, I just passed through it. But I never conducted any
3 investigation, so I really can't comment as far as the investigations are
4 concerned on this very incident. Though later on I heard the details,
5 roughly how many killed, how many injured. But it was not with them
6 first-hand information as they never carried out or my team any kind of
7 investigation in this specific case.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I thank you for that, too. I will not asking more about that. I
11 just want it go back to those photographs that we saw earlier today
12 concerning an incident which you testified to.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please see photograph
14 P222, and I am drawing my examination to a conclusion, but first let's see
15 photograph P222. Can we enlarge it.
16 Q. Mr. Butt, do you see this photograph?
17 A. Sir, I can see very much this photograph.
18 Q. You marked your own location?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. If we look at this photograph, was it possible for you to be hit
21 at that location, either from the spot which you marked as the origin of
22 fire because there is a building in between or from any other position?
23 Was it possible for you to be hit in view of the duration of the shooting?
24 Can you confirm that it was in fact impossible for you to be hit either
25 from this building or from the buildings where the ABiH army was
2 A. As I had narrated the whole incident during earlier questions, I
3 do confirm. And I also confirmed in those answers of mine that from
4 building Metalka, it was very much possible to hit me, and I did
5 experience and heard few impacts on the snipe -- anti-sniping screen
6 behind which I had taken cover. And the building, again I refer, has
7 already been marked with letter M, the Metalka building.
8 Later on I went there again, and I said it was possible. And I
9 also saw somebody there firing at me or moving there.
10 Now, coming over to the building which is, if we look towards
11 Metalka building, short of river on left side, which I draw circle in the
12 previous photograph, it was not possible, as we also visited along with
13 the French soldiers that building to where I was hiding, even to hit the
14 portion of screen, anti-sniping screen behind which I had taken cover. It
15 was not possible to engage from that very building which was under BiH
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to ask you to give shorter answers in
19 THE WITNESS: Right, sir.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Fair enough.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. If you were actually under cover, and I believe you. Of course,
23 everybody would seek cover in your situation. But if you were under
24 cover, then how were you able at that distance to see at all that for an
25 hour and a half somebody was firing from that building, from that house,
1 wishing to hit you? Can you explain that?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I must ask that the transcript delete the phrase
3 "fair enough," which has been attributed to me because I never said that.
4 This has nothing to do with you, Mr. Tapuskovic.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So can you explain that, Witness?
7 A. Yes. First, when I was in the fork-lift, I was fired upon at that
8 instance. I saw somebody because I was already facing towards that side.
9 And after I took cover, it was not can't use fire for one and a half hour,
10 hour and 15 minutes. It was intermittent; sometimes they would fire a
11 couple of rounds, sometimes a single shot. And in between, couple of
12 times I try to peep from the sides, and I saw some movement in that
14 Q. That's very logical and I perfectly understand.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see photograph P223.
16 Q. When you were on that side over there and when you went to look at
17 those locations, did those buildings, held by the BiH army and especially
18 those buildings behind, overlook or tower over the buildings held by the
19 army of Republika Srpska? Is it obvious from this photograph? Can you
21 A. Sorry, sir, I couldn't get your question. Please, if you repeat
22 it, sir.
23 Q. The parts of these buildings that you marked with a B, that were
24 held by the BH army, is that building taller? Does it rise above the
25 building from which you said the shots were fired from at you? As far as
1 I can see, one of them is certainly higher and significantly higher, but
2 it's not up to me to say that, of course.
3 A. The building which is marked with the letter R, and the portion
4 under BiH control, these Metalka building and this very building almost of
5 the same height. And I don't remember that it overlooked to the position
6 where it could overlook to the position where I was taking cover near that
8 Q. And the building behind the one marked with letter B, is it higher
9 than all the other buildings there and is it not on a hillock? Did you
10 observe that?
11 A. Yes. It is not a hillock, small little raised portion. But again
12 the building is not that high that it could immediately overlook the
13 building on the left of Metalka building, and also behind that is the
14 portion of red building which was under BiH control.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Is it possible that fire originated from
16 there as well? And I mean the fire targeting you, if you know that the
17 fire comes from that direction. But how can you be sure that the fire is
18 not coming from there and not from the Metalka building? Is it possible
19 that the fire originated in the building marked B or in the building
20 behind it, that was also under the control of the army of Bosnia and
22 A. I do confirm that building immediately behind the B portion of red
23 building, which was under BiH control, was under BiH control. But again,
24 we visited that area where I was, where I had taken cover. It was not
25 visible from that -- those positions. It was not possible, because I had
1 couple of buildings intervening in that direction.
2 So a couple of times I saw somebody firing from Metalka building,
3 and that I confirmed, and behind. Once I had taken cover, and I was not
4 looking towards the building, it was only the kind of direction from where
5 the fire was coming, and that I didn't confirm. But generally it was
6 coming from the same direction where I was -- where I had already
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for
9 Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Microphone for counsel, please.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up P88; it's a
13 Q. Can you indicate on this photograph the place where the
14 unfortunate French soldier was killed.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have a clean original
16 version of it. This is a bit blurred, and it is also marked. Could we
17 have a clear copy, such as this one. For the sake of expediency, let us
18 use this one.
19 Q. Can you show us on this photograph the place where the French
20 soldier was hit?
21 This is not the photograph. Well, very well.
22 Can you show us the place, please. If this here is the street,
23 can you show us?
24 A. [Marks]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE WITNESS: I have to mark that?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Tapuskovic.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: What are you asking the witness to do? What are
4 you asking the witness to do?
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm asking him to show us the
6 spot where the French soldier was hit and to mark the place.
7 THE WITNESS: May I mark that, sir?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Can you confirm that all these high-rise buildings and
10 sky-scrapers in particular are in the area under the control of the army
11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including Holiday Inn and these two other
12 buildings. Can you confirm that indeed they are within the territory of
13 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
14 A. Holiday Inn, yes, it is it was under that the BiH control. The
15 second building, please, if you can guide me so then I can comment,
17 Q. The two tallest buildings on the right-hand side, or rather, to
18 the right of the building you have indicated, they are two sky-scrapers
19 that do have a particular name you may have been familiar with. But they
20 stand the tallest two buildings in the area?
21 A. These, the dark ones?
22 Q. The two tallest buildings on the right-hand side. The highest
23 buildings on the right side, and you have the third one in the background.
24 Were they in the area under the control of the BH army?
25 A. These buildings?
1 Q. Can you please mark them.
2 A. [Marks] These buildings were under BiH control, this was under BiH
3 control, this is was under BiH control, this was under BiH control, this
4 was under BiH control, this was under BiH control. Sir.
5 Q. Thank you. Were these places ideal for firing upon this position,
6 if there were snipers, for firing at the place where the French soldier
7 was hit. Were they not a more appropriate source of fire, if there were
8 indeed armed people in these buildings?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, just one question at a time. First was
10 whether those places were ideal for firing upon that position if there
11 were snipers.
12 What's your answer to that?
13 THE WITNESS: Sir, those two buildings could engage the French
14 soldier if they were fired from that direction, sir.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Which two buildings, because you have marked four
17 THE WITNESS: These two buildings because they are taller, and
18 they do overlook this position where French soldier was killed. It was
19 possible that fire was fire from that direction.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: What about the yellow building? Is that the
21 Holiday Inn.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. Again, it was very much possible. It
23 could be engaged. It was just next to that, across the road.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, the second question was whether -- I'm not
25 sure whether I got it, Mr. Tapuskovic. Whether there were not a more
1 appropriate source of fire, more appropriate than what?
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] My last question. Can I put my
3 last question.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, yes.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. For a good marksman, was it enough to have an ordinary weapon,
7 even a pistol, if you were in Holiday Inn in order for this man to be
8 killed? At any rate, did it only take the most ordinary piece of weapon
9 to kill him from there? Of course, under the proviso that there were
10 armed people there.
11 A. First, if pistol was used from Holiday Inn building, I think the
12 distance was little more, because the range was more. So to my mind, it
13 was not possible with ordinary pistol to kill a soldier in the fork-lift
14 from Holiday Inn building, its site.
15 Q. But even the most common of weapons --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: What was the distance between the Holiday Inn and
17 the place where the French soldier was killed? Approximate.
18 THE WITNESS: Sir, it was about 75, 80 metres, 75 to 80 metres.
19 The it's road was quite wide and the distance, and both locations were a
20 little away from the road.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: And what was the distance between the other
22 buildings on the right -- what was the distance between the other
23 buildings on the right and that place where the French soldier was killed?
24 THE WITNESS: Again, it was about 100 yards was this parliament
25 building, the bluish one, 100, 120 yards. This was about 180 metres.
1 This was about 250 metres from this.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: So they were further away?
3 THE WITNESS: They were further away.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, that's why I think Mr. Tapuskovic is asking
5 whether from the Holiday Inn, even with the most ordinary weapon, it
6 wouldn't be possible to kill the French soldier where he was.
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, with the rifle it was possible, but
8 with pistol it was not.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Thank you.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You said 75 metres. What is the range of a pistol, of the most
13 ordinary pistol?
14 A. Effective range of pistol is about, what we consider in army, 35
15 to 50 metres.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Apologies. I would like to
18 tender this photograph as an exhibit.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As D68, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
22 Now, any re-examination, Mr. Sachdeva?
23 MR. SACHDEVA: Mr. President, just -- just one or two questions.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Sachdeva:
25 Q. Mr. Butt, you were asked by counsel on page 68 about the -- about
1 "the offensive on the 15th of June," as counsel put it. And your reply
2 was, "I don't confirm that the 15th of June offensive was launched by
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina." But you went on to say,"If I remember correctly on
4 the 7th of June, Serb attacks Debelo Brdo and the Jewish cemetery area.
5 But their firing was not strictly limited to those bunkers and ABiH
6 positions. It was all over Sarajevo."
7 When you say "all over Sarajevo," what do you mean by that?
8 A. Mainly, the firing was against those two bunkers on Debelo Brdo,
9 and these were of BiH general area, Jewish cemetery, red building. But
10 quite a few impacts were reported and observed in the town itself on the
11 residential areas.
12 MR. SACHDEVA: No further questions, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
14 Lieutenant-Colonel, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for
15 giving it. You may now leave.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour, sir.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: You'll recall that yesterday I asked the court
19 deputy to investigate a matter raised by Mr. Tapuskovic concerning the
20 e-court, so I'll ask the court deputy to give us his report.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. Per your
22 request yesterday on the 14th of February, I looked into the matter raised
23 by the parties regarding CLSS and the fact that Defence has not received
24 any translations to date. The follow is a brief status report on the
1 Firstly, a few points clarifying the problem. The Defence
2 repeatedly stated on the record that this was an e-court issue. Let me
3 clear that the problem has absolutely nothing do with the e-court;
4 instead, the process by which parties request and receive translations
5 takes place through an entirely separate system called the Translation
6 Tracking System or TTS. This system is administered threw the Registry
7 Office of Document Management. This TTS system, a web page where users
8 complete a request form and submit their document for translation
9 electronically, is the only route for submitting translation requests to
10 CLSS. It appears that while the Defence case manager is well aware of
11 this fact, the Defence counsel is not; hence, the statements about
13 Secondly, regarding the reason Defence has not able to use TTS, I
14 have not been able to determine with certainty exactly what happened or
15 why. But it is clear that CLSS has not received any request for
16 translation for the Defence. It appears the Defence has not been able to
17 access the TTS system because of either an administrative oversight, a
18 technical problem, or user error. The exact cause is unknown. The most I
19 can deduce is that there appears to have been an ongoing miscommunication
20 between the technical staff responsible for ensuring Defence access to TTS
21 and the Defence team responsible for using TTS. It appears that each
22 entity was waiting for the other to take action and consequently no action
23 was action taken.
24 Lastly, I confirmed this morning with the technical staff and the
25 with Defence case manager that the Defence team now has working access to
1 TTS and can submit documents for translation.
2 Therefore, the issue now resolved.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
4 Next witness.
5 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, the next witness will be handled by
6 another member of our Prosecution team that I would like to introduce to
7 you because I don't think he has appeared before you as of yet. His name
8 is Mr. Salvatore Cannata. I hope I have done justice to his nice Italian
9 name. In any event, he is going to change seats with Mr. Sachdeva and
10 take the next witness, who is a protected witness.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Cannata, will you call the witness, or has he
13 already been called.
14 MR. CANNATA: We can call it now. The Prosecution calls Witness
16 [The witness entered court]
17 MR. CANNATA: Your Honour, Mr. President, as you will already
18 recall, this witness is a protected witness, and she is being called as a
19 92 ter witness for the shelling incident number 21 of the amended
20 indictment which took place in the Bjelasnicka Street 54, on the 23rd of
21 July, 1995.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
23 MR. CANNATA: Your Honours, if I make such request, I would like
24 that declaration be read out loud to the witness.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 Let the declaration read to the witness slowly and the witness
2 will repeat it.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit, and you may begin, Mr. Cannata.
6 MR. CANNATA: Your Honour, as you recall, the Witness is protected
7 and she has been granted pseudonym and face distortion. For the purpose
8 to identify the witness, I will now ask the usher to show a pseudonym
9 sheet, and I will ask that pseudonym sheet be read out again as we did
10 with the declaration. So my request is to go into private session for
11 that purpose, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
13 MR. CANNATA: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Open session.
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 MR. CANNATA: I'm about to call a document which for the nature,
2 the sensitive nature of this witness, I would not like to be broadcast out
3 of the courtroom. The document is 65 ter 2903.
4 Q. Madam Witness, on the screen in front of you do you see a copy of
5 the statement you gave to officials of the Office of the Prosecutor on the
6 8th of March, 1997? Do you recognise this document?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may have to approach it in another way.
8 MR. CANNATA: Can I -- yes, Your Honour, thank you.
9 Can I please ask Madam Usher to show -- to -- the hard copy of the
10 document to Madam Witness.
11 Can I have just one second.
12 MR. CANNATA:
13 Q. Madam Witness, let me ask you the following: Do you remember to
14 having given a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 8th of
15 March, 1997 on the events that took place in Bjelasnicka Street 54 on the
16 23rd of July, 1995?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you recognise the document that Madam Usher has just put in
19 front of you?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Isailovic.
21 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm sorry, I
22 understand that the witness is not able to read, because tomorrow when I
23 am going to cross-examine her, I'll have to take that into account. Can
24 she read or not, because it looks as though she's reading the document
1 MR. CANNATA: Can I please, then, Madam Usher -- well, first of
2 all, can we go back to private session, please.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
4 MR. CANNATA: Can I please ask Madam Usher -- first of all, can I
5 ask the court officer to go to page 2 of both the statements.
6 [Private session]
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Friday, the 16th day of
19 February, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.