1 Monday, 2 November 2009
2 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon.
7 Mr. Karadzic remains absent from these proceedings and has
8 communicated to the Chamber once again that this is because he considers
9 himself not to be adequately prepared. As I stated earlier on, the
10 Trial Chamber considers Mr. Karadzic's absence as the voluntary waiver of
11 his right to attend the trial, and therefore the Chamber will continue
12 hearing the Prosecution's opening statement.
13 Mr. Tieger, you may now proceed with the rest of your opening
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
16 We resume today with the shelling and sniping campaign against
18 duration of the campaign, the weapons used, the command and control
19 structure, the orders by the accused to halt the campaign now and then
20 when it suited his purposes. And the evidence is clear, Your Honours,
21 that the accused knew throughout the course of the 44-month siege that
22 his forces were shelling and sniping at civilians and creating conditions
23 of terror for the citizens of Sarajevo
24 orders to halt shelling reveal not only his command and control but also
25 his awareness of the nature of the campaign. Recall, for example, the
1 order he issued in July 1993 that we saw the other day when there
2 appeared to be an opportunity to cut a deal to ethnically partition
4 what had been happening, that is, "the unnecessary and uncontrolled
5 firing on Sarajevo
6 Another example is an order the accused issued on the
7 7th of February, 1994, just two days after a Bosnian Serb shell had
8 killed 61 people at the Markale market in Sarajevo. The Markale shelling
9 occurred in the context of a particularly intensive period of shelling.
10 In the first two weeks of January 1994 alone, United Nations military
11 observers recorded over 6600 shells impacting in Bosnian government
12 controlled Sarajevo
13 outcry and further pressures from the international community,
14 culminating in the threat of air-strikes to deter further bombardments by
15 the Bosnian Serbs. And in the face of this pressure, Karadzic decided it
16 was necessary to curtail the campaign.
17 "There is evidence to suggest that Serbs are not responding in
18 equal measure to Muslim artillery provocations - sometimes 20 to 30 or
19 even 70 times more. The international community does not object to us
20 responding, only the scale of retaliation is many times too great. In
21 addition, the Muslims are provoking us into wasting our ammunition."
22 And Karadzic ordered:
23 "... the strictest possible control ..." and to respond "only
24 against military targets" and only in "equal measure" and to "exclude the
25 possibility of uncontrolled shelling."
1 Again, Your Honours, in exercising his command authority for the
2 purpose of serving perceived Serb interests, in this instance to moderate
3 international pressure, Karadzic revealed both his control over the
4 forces and his knowledge of the indiscriminate and disproportionate
5 shelling and shelling against non-military targets. But even without his
6 orders, the evidence demonstrates clearly that the accused knew of
7 civilian targeting by his forces because for the duration of the siege,
8 UNPROFOR and members of the international community repeatedly told him
9 that it was happening. For example, the United Nations chief military
10 observer, after the indiscriminate bombardments of Sarajevo at the end of
11 1992, complained directly to Karadzic as well as to Plavsic and Mladic,
12 only to be told that this type of fire was legitimate and that they were
13 defending Serbs.
14 Or this letter from the commander of UNPROFOR, that is the
15 United Nations Protection Force, to the accused in October 1994 regarding
17 "These incidents are a crime against humanity."
18 And he goes on to say:
19 "... are in direct violation of the agreement to eliminate
20 sniping activities in the Sarajevo
21 "Immediately take additional measures to ensure that there is no
22 recurrence of these against innocent civilians."
23 The military assistant to General Morillon in 1992 and 1993
24 recalls that General Morillon repeatedly telling Karadzic and Mladic at
25 various meetings during his time in Bosnia
1 them and the Bosnian Serbs by the way they were using their artillery
2 against cities, towns, and defenceless civilians and that they had to
3 stop. Karadzic's political allies in Belgrade also knew what was going
4 on in Sarajevo
5 beginning with Slobodan Milosevic, who described the earliest
6 bombardments as "bloody criminal."
7 And you see in this slide a code cable following a talk with
8 President Milosevic in which he indicates precisely that.
9 In any event, Your Honours, the accused, like the rest of the
10 world, knew about the Bosnian Serb attacks on civilians in Sarajevo
11 any number of sources, from the media, from newspapers, satellite
12 television, all of which reported the shelling and sniping regularly and
13 sometimes daily around the world. And I'd like to show you just a small
14 example of the kind of information that was available to everyone,
15 including the accused at that time.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 "Dusk in Sarajevo
18 rockets fall, heralding another night of heavy shelling."
19 [Video-clip played]
20 "In Sarajevo
21 speed. They and the avenues that cut across the city offer the Serb
22 gunners in the hills above with open lines of fire. Prime targets which
23 the old and the infirm are forced to accept as the new uncomfortable
24 realities of life."
25 [Video-clip played]
2 [Video-clip played]
3 "Zijad Kajindjic [phoen] is alive because he decided to listen to
4 the 4.00 news last Friday afternoon. He left his family sheltering in
5 the cellar and, with his son Muris, went upstairs. While the news was
6 on, the house was hit by a tank round. This morning Mr. Kajindjic buried
7 his wife, his daughter, two of his grandchildren, and a friend who'd come
8 around to their house with some aspirin. The graveyard was shelled while
9 they were there.
10 "There isn't a time or a place where the citizens of Sarajevo
11 feel safe. Some parts of the city are more dangerous than others, but
12 the shelling is indiscriminate and it kills people every day."
13 [Video-clip played]
14 "The lives of the people of Sarajevo get more difficult all the
15 time. At least half the city is without water. A tap in a burnt-out
16 kiosk near the ruins of the railway station has shorter queues than most
17 because it is overlooked by a sniper. Guns fired with intent to kill are
18 so much a part of the daily routine here that they hardly notice."
19 [Video-clip played]
20 "Even by the crazed standards of Sarajevo, the horrendous night.
21 Each luminous blob deadly and indiscriminate. Deafening and relentless
22 artillery and mortar fire, speckled with machine-gun and rifle bullets.
23 In the dark places below are over 300.000 citizens enduring a Serbian
24 onslaught possibly in retaliation for an attempt by the Bosnians to break
25 out from the siege in the past few days."
1 [Video-clip played]
2 "This is supposed to be a safe area in the making. There was
3 supposed to be a cease-fire but the shelling has been getting worse for
4 the last 48 hours, and today the people of Sarajevo suffered as much as
5 on any day in this war."
6 [Video-clip played]
7 "When the war was starting, sniping like this would have sent
8 them to their cellars. These days it's different. They know how to take
9 cover, when to wait, and when to run. It's still terrifying and deadly,
10 but like fetching water, it's part of the daily grind."
11 [Video-clip played]
12 "In Sarajevo
13 day by day. This a particularly heavy bombardment of the old city. A
14 single artillery shell fell on a queue of people waiting to pick up water
15 outside the brewery. Eight were killed and 18 seriously injured. Of the
16 dead, three came from one family, the mother and father who were killed
17 instantly and the daughter ..."
18 [Video-clip played]
19 "The UN command was dispensing calm assurance but it wasn't being
20 felt at street level just afterwards, where people were fleeing from yet
21 another sniper attack. We asked one of them how long it had been going
22 on. Two and a half years, he said."
23 [Video-clip played]
24 "The efforts to cling to a kind of normality in Sarajevo
25 being undermined. Not yet driven underground and into shelters, much of
1 the population is at risk, as this morning, a shell landing among people
2 walking near the Holiday Inn. With only the occasional random lethal
3 explosion, people are still walking to work, queuing for food or
4 attending their allotments, taking a chance. But this morning, five were
5 injured, two seriously, and there's been sniper fire around the city."
6 MR. TIEGER: Just a small reflection, Your Honours, of the
7 campaign against the civilians of Sarajevo.
8 Yet, despite knowing that his troops were targeting civilians,
9 despite frequent protests from international military personnel and
10 diplomats, despite the repeated condemnations from the international
11 community and the world's media, the accused, apart from sporadic
12 curtailments to achieve some momentary advantage, took no steps to
13 prevent the continuation of the shelling and sniping of civilians and did
14 not take steps to punish those responsible. Far from preventing the
15 ongoing crimes committed by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps against the
16 civilian population of Sarajevo
17 members of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps responsible for those crimes, the
18 accused in fact promoted them. On the 16th of December, 1992, the
19 accused "exceptionally promoted the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps Commander
20 Stanislav Galic to the rank of major-general."
21 On the 24th of March, 1994, the accused exceptionally promoted
22 then deputy-commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps Dragomir Milosevic
23 to major-general. On the 7th of August, 1994, the accused granted an
24 early promotion to retiring commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
25 Stanislav Galic, making him lieutenant-general. On the 28th of June,
1 1994, the accused exceptionally promoted Ratko Mladic to the rank of
3 Your Honours, as supreme commander of the armed forces, and in
4 particular in this instance of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps,
5 Radovan Karadzic led a campaign of shelling and sniping that struck
6 civilians and civilian objects all over Sarajevo, day after day for
7 44 months. This shelling targeted at civilians, indiscriminate and
8 disproportionate, and the targeting of civilians by snipers had no
9 military purpose. That ongoing attack on civilians who were already
10 rendered vulnerable by privation and isolation was designed to terrorise
11 them, an intent made more obvious with every passing day. The scale,
12 duration, consistency, and pattern of the shelling and sniping alone
13 demonstrate that the shelling and sniping was the intended product of a
14 tight command and control structure headed by Radovan Karadzic. The
15 orders issued, the accused's opportunistic modulation of the campaign,
16 Karadzic's routine defence of the campaign in the face of constant
17 condemnation further demonstrate the inescapable conclusion that for
18 44 months Karadzic directed a campaign of terror against a civilian
19 population who were targeted for living in the capital of a multi-ethnic
20 country that he sought to ethnically separate.
21 Your Honours, I turn next to Count 11, the taking of hostages in
22 May of 1995 through June of 1995, which further reveal the accused's
23 disregard of the law in pursuit of his view of the Serbian interests.
24 As the shelling and sniping continued, an increasingly alarmed
25 international community attempted to engage in efforts to deter the
1 attacks on civilians. On the 24th of May, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces
2 removed weapons from weapons collection points in Sarajevo, and despite a
3 demand by the UNPROFOR commander to return them, failed to do so. His
4 demand was predicated upon his concern that the weapons would continue to
5 be used on the populated areas of Sarajevo. As I say, those weapons were
6 not returned, and on the 25th of May, NATO carried out an air-strike on a
7 bunker in an ammunition dump outside Pale. The next day, Bosnian Serb
8 forces began to take hostage United Nations military observers in various
10 Now, as the Court may be aware, United Nations military observers
11 were unarmed observers of the warring factions who were responsible for
12 liaison between the warring parties and also between the parties and
13 UNPROFOR. Ultimately, over 200 United Nations military observers and
14 UNPROFOR peacekeepers, men from many different countries, were taken and
15 held hostage between the 26th of May and the 19th of June. Some hostages
16 were handcuffed to flagpoles or a radar dome or lightning rods. Others
17 were placed under force between radar antennas. Some were physically
18 abused. Bosnian Serb forces -- and we can see a brief clip of that.
19 Just a handful of the men who were taken and held hostage and used, as
20 you can see, as human shields.
21 In addition, Bosnian Serb forces also shelled all the safe areas
22 on the 26th of May, including Tuzla, where 71 people were killed in the
24 The accused, Your Honours, had previously --
25 JUDGE KWON: We are hearing French, so let's try again.
1 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, the accused had previously made very
2 clear that he was prepared to use UN personnel as weapons to coerce the
3 international community. Asked in 1994 about the possibility that
4 President Clinton might lift the arms embargo and provide the Muslims
5 with arms, he said that, among other things:
6 "We would take the 'Blue Helmets' hostages ... for the benefit of
7 our people, we will do anything we have to do, without mercy."
8 Indeed, in April and November 1994, UN personnel had been taken
9 hostage by Bosnian Serb forces in response to NATO air-strikes. And in
10 1995, in the weeks immediately preceding the taking of hostages in May,
11 the accused re-affirmed the threat to take hostages. First in a meeting
12 with UNPROFOR Commander Smith on the 10th of May, 1995, Karadzic made
13 clear that in the event of a NATO attack, the UN would be treated as
14 enemies, saying, "we would treat you as the enemy." Then, just a few
15 days before the hostage-taking, Karadzic echoed the threat saying:
16 "If NATO were to attack, they would be taken hostages, if they
17 were to attack, they would be our enemy ... if NATO attacked us, we would
18 consider the UN our enemy."
19 But again, Your Honours, let's hear directly from the accused
20 what happened and why because he explained it at the Bosnian Serb
21 Assembly on the 14th and 15th of June, 1995, and I want to turn your
22 attention to what he said. Both his determination to dramatise the
23 situation by ordering a removal of weapons and then ordering the taking
24 of the hostages.
25 "I must say that we decided to opt for an aggravation of the
1 situation, and the Supreme Command and I as the commander and with the
2 Main Staff, we agreed that the worst for us is a war of low intensity,
3 long duration, et cetera, and that we have to heat up the situation, take
4 whatever we can, create a fiery atmosphere and dramatise, threaten an
5 escalation, et cetera, because we noticed that whenever we advance on
6 Gorazde, on Bihac, or elsewhere, or if the situation escalates around
8 We did that around Sarajevo
9 four artillery pieces, maybe they weren't crucial, but they resulted in
10 the well-known bombing that unfortunately caused us material damage
11 because we didn't disperse these weapons ..."
12 And then he continued:
13 "We ordered the arrest. We didn't go into detail as to when they
14 would be tied up but it had a good effect. It was very shocking for the
15 world. Now it's easy, when they ask us if that was a nice gesture, I ask
16 if it's a nice gesture to bomb the Serbian rear and frighten our children
17 and old people and force them to flee. Then nobody has a reply. So you
18 don't respond with a response but with a counter-question, and they have
19 nothing to say. As you know, this led to a horrible heating up, there
20 were condemnations too, even from Yugoslavia
21 them that if you, gentlemen, are going to do drastic measures, we will
22 take drastic measures. There, mothers don't want to see their sons tied
23 up like that, and a plane was shot down; God helped us in this case too."
24 Similarly asked by a journalist whether it hadn't been a terrible
25 mistake to "allow your people to capture UN soldiers to -- for the world
1 to see them chained up, to see masked men holding guns to their heads,
2 that's terrible. Isn't that an awful mistake?"
3 Karadzic responded that:
4 "One drastic move causes another drastic move ... we had to do
5 something very drastic, you know, to prevent further strikes and in order
6 to show to the national community that we are cornered and that being
7 cornered are ready to defend ourselves by all means."
8 Or as Momcilo Krajisnik would say simply at this same session
9 that -- in June that I quoted from earlier, discussing an UNPROFOR
10 request for a base in the Ilijas municipality in Sarajevo and its
11 possible advantages to the Bosnian Serbs:
12 "Truth be told, we sometimes do need to capture some hostages."
13 And now, Your Honours, I move to the third major component of the
14 case against Radovan Karadzic: His responsibility for one of humanity's
15 dark chapters, the crimes committed to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in
16 Srebrenica. As I will discuss, Radovan Karadzic ordered the operation to
17 take Srebrenica which was a culmination of his efforts to cleanse
18 Eastern Bosnia
19 means including Mladic, VRS reports, MUP reports, state security reports.
20 He had direct contact with Mladic, maintained direct contact with his
21 hand-selected civilian commissioner. He knew that the population was
22 being moved out as it was happening. He ordered the removal of men from
23 the area where there was a risk that they would be seen by the
24 internationals. He knew that men were being killed. He covered up the
25 mass expulsions and the murders and continues to do so to this day, and
1 the only regret he had about the entire operation was that some Muslim
2 men got away.
3 And now I'd like to turn your attention to some of that evidence.
4 Your Honours, Srebrenica was once simply the name of a small town
5 and municipality in Eastern Bosnia. In 1991, just before the war, the
6 population of Srebrenica municipality was 37.000, approximately
7 73 per cent of whom were Muslim. Srebrenica was known locally for its
8 mining industry and health spas but hardly known outside of the former
10 In a matter of days, the entire Muslim population was forcibly removed
11 from the Srebrenica enclave and more than 7.000 Muslim men and boys were
12 murdered in a massive operation involving members of the VRS, the
13 Bosnian Serb army; the MUP, the Bosnian Serb police; and civilian
15 Within weeks, evidence of the mass executions began to emerge,
16 including aerial images which showed areas of disturbed earth in
17 locations where executions were thought to have taken place. And you can
18 see two of those areas in the Orahovac area. In response, in
19 September and October 1995, elements of the VRS, the army; of the police,
20 the MUP; and civilian authorities conducted a massive clandestine
21 operation to exhume the mass graves in Zvornik and Bratunac areas and
22 move the corpses of those men to secondary grave-sites in an effort to
23 conceal the crimes. During that process, the bodies of the victims were
24 mangled, crushed, and separated by the heavy machinery used.
25 I'll briefly show you a map of some of the primary and secondary
1 grave-sites. It may not be immediately visible, but you can determine
2 the number from this graphic.
3 Your Honours, over 7500 persons have been reported as missing
4 following the fall of Srebrenica, and to date more than 5.000 of those
5 individuals had been exhumed from mass graves and identified through DNA
6 testing. Your Honours, as I eluded to earlier and as we discussed the
7 other day, the murder of these men and the mass expulsion of the women,
8 children, and elderly did not arise from nowhere. These crimes were a
9 culmination of the accused's determination to cleanse Eastern Bosnia, to
10 ensure the Serb state that he envisioned. You will recall that I
11 described the other day the adoption and implementation of the
12 Strategic Objectives, beginning in May 1992, formalising objectives that
13 were already being pursued, and the cleansing of Muslims in
14 Eastern Bosnia
15 Now, you see before you the area covered by Strategic Objective 3
16 in Eastern Bosnia. Strategic Objective 3, a subset of Strategic
17 Objective 1, which is separation; number 3 is the elimination of the
19 you will recall, enunciated by the accused on May 12th, 1992. And we
20 discussed the other day some of the actions that followed by the VRS
21 combined with MUP forces. While much of Eastern Bosnia was conquered and
22 cleansed by the latter part of 1992, there remained, nevertheless, some
23 areas that Bosnian Serb force had not managed to conquer, including
24 Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Gorazde, Zepa, and Srebrenica. And you can see
25 Srebrenica depicted in this graphic and the enclave of Zepa immediately
1 below and Gorazde below that. And you can see the horseshoe area in red
2 which reflects the areas under Bosnian Serb control and the otherwise
3 clean area in Eastern Bosnia.
4 On the 19th of November, 1992, the accused, through Mladic and
5 the VRS Main Staff, issued Directive 4. Now, Your Honours, as you'll
6 learn, a directive is a high command document which addresses broad
7 issues of preparation and execution of military tasks or military
8 operations for an extended period, setting out goals and tasks. Now,
9 with respect to Eastern Bosnia, Directive 4 ordered the Drina Corps to
10 cleanse the Muslim population from the areas of Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde.
11 The Birac area is the area that includes Bratunac, Vlasenica, Zvornik,
12 Srebrenica, and Cerska. I'd like to turn your attention to that order,
13 to Directive 4, which states in significant part that the task of the
14 Drina Corps shall be to:
15 "... shall exhaust the enemy," and I'll quote now.
16 "... shall exhaust the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible
17 losses on him and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas
18 together with the Muslim population."
19 This cleansing order was signed by General Mladic and was issued
20 with Karadzic's full agreement and support. How do we know this? First,
21 as before, turning to the accused himself because he acknowledged his
22 awareness of and approval of the first seven directives. This is what he
23 said in October 1995:
24 " ... I have examined, approved, and signed seven directives. No
25 one submitted the eighth and ninth to me."
1 Now, Your Honours, as you will learn, this was correct in its
2 essence but not its detail. Most directives do not appear to have been
3 signed by the accused. This was in fact noted by General Mladic in
4 April of 1995 when he too confirmed Karadzic's awareness and approval of
5 the directives. And this is what Mladic said:
6 "Some of these decisions were only presented to you,
7 Mr. President. In others you participated as member of the
8 Supreme Command. Some of the directives you signed, not all of them
9 though. Before we constituted and oriented ourselves, I used to sign
11 But beyond the accused's explicit acknowledgement of
12 responsibility for the directive, beyond Mladic's confirmation of
13 Karadzic's responsibility for Directive 4, the evidence also reveals
14 Karadzic's strong and active interest in the implementation of Directive
15 4. On the 20th of November, 1992, the day after Directive 4 was issued,
16 Mladic, at Karadzic's explicit request, issued an order to the Drina
17 Corps to hold a military and political seminar three days later.
18 "Pursuant to the request by the supreme commander [sic] of the
19 Army of Republika Srpska (President of the Presidency, Dr. Radovan
20 Karadzic) and with a view to carrying out timely preparation and holding
21 a military and political seminar at the level of the Drina Corps, I
22 hereby order ..."
23 And he did so.
24 Now, that order provided that Karadzic was to chair the seminar
25 at which "the tasks for the corps in the days ahead" were to be
1 discussed. In addition to chairing the meeting, the timetable issued for
2 the meeting provided that Karadzic would give the opening and closing
3 speeches and deliver the "tasks for further work for the Drina Corps and
4 organs of civilian government."
5 At that seminar held three days later, on the 23rd of November,
6 1992, the Drina Corps commander spoke about the further tasks of the
7 Drina Corps, including tasks in the area of Srebrenica, Zepa, Gorazde,
8 and Cerska, the very same areas identified in Directive 4 from which the
9 Muslim population was to be expelled. And the day after that meeting at
10 which the supreme commander, Radovan Karadzic, was there for the purpose
11 of delivering the tasks for the further work of the Drina Corps, the
12 Drina Corps commander issued this order to the corps pursuant to
13 Directive 4:
14 "Launch an attack using the main body of troops and major
15 equipment to inflict on the enemy the highest possible losses, exhaust
16 them, break them up or force them to surrender, and force the Muslim
17 local population to abandon the area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica, and
19 I should also note that beyond this explicit statement of the
20 intent to cleanse the remaining Muslim population from the area, the
21 order also stated the broader purpose of the operation when it identified
22 the moral and psychological preparations to be conducted. And that's
23 worth looking at briefly. You'll see it notes the moral and
24 psychological operations [sic]:
25 "Before initiating any kind of operation, inform the unit members
1 about the important aim of the operation ... underline that the outcome
2 of minor actions and of the whole operation is of a crucial importance
3 for the realisation of the aim of the Serbian people, namely, the
4 creation and establishment of a Serbian state in these areas."
5 In short, Your Honours, beyond the accused's explicit
6 acknowledgment of his responsibility for the first seven directives,
7 including Directive 4, his hands-on involvement with his dissemination
8 and implementation make crystal clear his responsibility for Directive 4
9 and the events that would follow.
10 Beginning in early 1993, pursuant to that directive, pursuant to
11 Directive 4 and the Drina Corps order we just saw, the Bosnian Serb army
12 conducted a series of brutal and destructive military operations through
13 the Kamenica, Cerska, and Konjevic Polje areas of Eastern Bosnia. And
14 you can see those areas depicted on your screen, Your Honour. Just if
15 you look toward the east you can see the bold indication of Bratunac, and
16 above you'll see Konjevic Polje, Cerska to the left.
17 This campaign, this military campaign, was characterised by the
18 burning of Muslim houses and indiscriminate shelling of Muslim civilians.
19 It resulted in the forcible transfer of tens of thousands of Bosnian
20 Muslims from their homes in municipalities such as Bratunac, Vlasenica,
21 and Zvornik, displacement from those homes to Muslim-held territory in
22 and around Srebrenica and Zepa.
23 Now, I want to turn your attention to just a few documents which
24 illustrate nature of this brutal campaign. The first is an
25 8th February 1993
1 his subordinates. Drina
2 "Hold tightly the positions ... are the Turks' houses burning?"
3 His subordinate:
4 "They are burning, they are burning.
5 "Zivanovic: Way to go, as many as possible."
6 Next I'd like to turn your attention to a Birac Brigade combat
7 report to the Drina Corps command on the 2nd of March, 1993:
8 "Our forces which are moving in the wider area of Kamenica,
9 Gajici, and Grobici worked according to plan without major problems. The
10 village of Gobelji has been burnt, and tomorrow the plan is to do
12 This combat report to the Drina Corps command was from now
13 Lieutenant-Colonel Svetozar Andric, who, as a major back in May of 1992,
14 had issued the order that you saw earlier which was that the moving out
15 of the Muslim population must be organised and coordinated with the
16 municipalities in which the moving is carried out. It specified that
17 only women and children can move out, while men fit for military service
18 were to be placed in camps for exchange. And that's an order that you
19 saw on the first day.
20 Your Honours, as these cleansings continued in 1993, the
21 international community grew increasingly alarmed. A report issued on
22 the 5th of May, 1993, by the UN Special Rapporteur of the Commission on
23 Human Rights reflects the observations and awareness of the international
25 "Massive and repeated violations of the Geneva Conventions of
1 1949 were perpetrated in recent combat in Eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 These were carried out by Serb forces in Cerska, Konjevic Polje, and
3 Srebrenica in attacking and ambushing civilians attempting to flee their
4 encirclement, in attacking the villages themselves ..."
5 And during this time, the international community became
6 similarly concerned by the humanitarian disaster unfolding within
7 Srebrenica as tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims who had been forcibly
8 displaced from their homes in Eastern Bosnia by the operation we've just
9 discussed and that we've seen reflected in some of those documents, as
10 those people began to converge on Srebrenica, the population of the town
11 swelled to between 50 and 60.000 people. I'd like to show you a brief
12 video-clip which will provide some insight into the plight of those who
13 had been cleansed and who sought some refuge in Srebrenica.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 "My first recollection is arriving at a village near Srebrenica,
16 just to be totally engulfed by hundreds and hundreds of people. I
17 thought I was standing in a movie and I kept expecting somebody to say,
18 "Okay, cut,' and all these people with these gaunt, haunted faces and
19 they all got expressionless faces. It's like life had drained out of
20 them, you know, life is ebbing away. There was very little caring by the
21 so-called authorities for the new arrivals. Nobody cared for the
22 refugees. They were left for days on the street. No one cared anything
23 about them. They arrived, you know, we followed a family through and
24 they had been walking for something like 17 hours. You know, the mother
25 carrying the little boy who'd been wounded by shrapnel in the hand. He
1 had been wounded the same time as his father. They came, they didn't
2 know where they were going. They had no relatives and no friends.
3 "Where does this man recommend they can sleep? Where does this
4 man recommend they can go?
5 "I don't know where. This town has 60.000 refugees and there's
6 only room for 10.000. Have you seen how many people are sleeping on the
8 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, following the direct intervention of
9 UNPROFOR Commander Morillon, who himself went to Srebrenica in
10 March of 1993 and was moved by the humanitarian disaster before him to
11 famously assure the population that he would not abandon them, the
12 United Nations Security Council, on April 16th, 1993, passed
13 Resolution 819 which demanded that Srebrenica be treated as a "safe
15 Resolution 819 condemned the actions of the Bosnian Serbs up to
16 that point, stating that the Security Council:
17 "Condemns and rejects the deliberate actions of the Bosnian Serb
18 party to force the evacuation of the civilian population from Srebrenica
19 and its surrounding areas as part of its overall abhorrent campaign of
20 'ethnic cleansing.'"
21 Two days later, a cease-fire agreement was reached between the
22 Bosnian army commander General Halilovic and the Bosnian Serb commander
23 General Mladic in which they agreed that Srebrenica would be
24 demilitarised. And less than a month later, on the 6th of May, 1993, the
25 United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 824, which confirmed
1 Srebrenica's status as a safe area and declared that Sarajevo, Tuzla
2 Zepa, Gorazde, and Bihac should also be treated as safe areas. The
3 creation of these safe areas, in particular the Eastern Bosnian safe
4 areas of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde, provided the Muslim population
5 with a degree of protection from the Bosnian Serb forces and temporarily
6 forestalled the Bosnian Serbs' accomplishment of the goals set by
7 Strategic Objective 1 and 3 and also the objective of Directive 4.
8 However, both the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Muslims violated
9 the safe area agreement, as you should note. Muslim forces in these
10 enclaves, sometimes rag-tag and desperate, over time better armed,
11 equipped, and trained, had engaged in attacks on Serb forces and also on
12 Serb villages, killing civilians and destroying property. And even after
13 the safe area agreement was reached, the Srebrenica enclave was never
14 fully demilitarised. The Muslim forces only surrendered old and broken
15 weapons while they kept working weapons. In addition, Bosnian
16 helicopters flew in violation of the no-fly zone and delivered weapons to
17 the enclave and to the Bosnian army. Thus, even after the declaration of
18 the -- of Srebrenica as a safe area, attacks continued from within the
19 enclave against the surrounding Serb areas.
20 This intensified the level of animus in that area. On the part
21 of the Bosnian Serbs, following the establishment of the safe area and
22 the international condemnation you've seen, the previously overt and
23 large-scale military operations to force out the Muslim population gave
24 way to a more subtle strategy, that of rendering the UN forces
25 ineffective by restricting their re-supply convoys, and simultaneously
1 making life impossible for the Muslim inhabitants of the enclaves through
2 shelling and sniping attacks and also through the restriction of
3 humanitarian aid. The purpose of this more subtle strategy was to ensure
4 that when conditions were right for the Bosnian Serb forces to make a
5 final and decisive military assault on the enclaves, UNPROFOR's capacity
6 to defend the Bosnian Muslims would be reduced and a broken Muslim
7 population would flee from their tormentors. The ultimate goal of
8 Directive 4 remained, that is, to breakthrough, take over, and expel the
9 Muslims from the enclaves.
10 I turn your attention here to a July 1994 report from the
11 commander of the Bratunac Brigade to the members of his brigade, and this
12 was sent after a visit by General Mladic. And it again expressly
13 outlined the objective of a clean Drina
15 "We must attain our final goal - an entirely Serbian Podrinje.
16 "We must continue to arm, train, discipline, and prepare the
17 Republika Srpska army for the execution of this crucial task - the
18 expulsion of Muslims from the Srebrenica enclave.
19 "There will be no retreat when it comes to the Srebrenica
20 enclave; we must advance. The enemy's life has to be made unbearable and
21 their temporary stay in the enclave impossible so that they leave the
22 enclave en masse as soon as possible, realising that they cannot survive
24 And during that same year, in 1994, while the relatively subtle
25 strategy was being pursued, prior to the final assault on Srebrenica both
1 Karadzic and Mladic continued to voice strong views about what should
2 happen to the Muslims. In July of 1994, Karadzic cast the goal in terms
3 of reciprocating what the Bosnian government supposedly had in mind for
4 the Serbs. And here's what he said:
5 "We have to be ready to accept and be ready every day to make
6 intensive life-and-death war, according to the wish of our enemy, until
7 his complete defeat, or until our defeat and expulsion from these
8 territories. In case of his victory, our enemy would not be generous nor
9 merciful, but merciless and ready for our extinction."
10 And therefore the Bosnian Serbs have to:
11 "Accept the logic of our enemy," and as you can see from the
12 previous passage, that logic was expulsion and extinction, and "defeat
13 him mercilessly."
14 As Mladic told the Assembly in January of 1994, referring to the
15 enemy in Srebrenica among other places:
16 "My concern is not that they will create the state. My concern
17 is to have them vanish completely."
18 The slow strangulation of the Srebrenica enclave continued. By
19 early 1995, fewer and fewer supply convoys were making it through to the
20 enclave. And on the 8th of March, 1995, Radovan Karadzic issued and
21 signed Directive 7, to resolve the situation of the eastern enclaves.
22 Directive 7 explicitly sets out the strategy for the VRS, the Bosnian
23 Serb army, to make life unbearable for the Muslim populations of
24 Srebrenica and Zepa through military action and through the restriction
25 of aid and supply convoys to the enclaves. The tasks assigned to the
1 Drina Corps, the operative corps in that area, were in part:
2 "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations create an
3 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
4 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
5 This is Directive 7, issued and signed by the accused. And
6 Directive 7 also outlined Karadzic's policy of preventing humanitarian
7 aid from reaching the Muslim population and thereby disabling in addition
8 UNPROFOR forces in the eastern enclaves while trying to minimise --
9 trying at the same time to accomplish this while minimising
10 international condemnation. And Directive 7 ordered the state and
11 military organs to:
12 "Through the planned and unobtrusively restrictive issuing of
13 permits, reduce and limit the logistics support of UNPROFOR to the
14 enclaves and the supply of material resources to the Muslim population,
15 making them dependent on our goodwill while at the same time avoiding
16 condemnation by the international community and international public
18 Directive 7, Karadzic's order, was passed down the chain of
19 command. On the 20th of March, 1995, the Drina Corps command drafted and
20 sent an order to the brigade pursuant to Directive 7, repeating critical
21 portions of Directive 7 word for word.
22 "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations, create an
23 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
24 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
25 Thus, Your Honours, pursuant to Directive 7, the already meager
1 resources of the Muslim populations, which you saw earlier, were reduced
2 even more. Even UNPROFOR forces stationed in the enclave, and those
3 forces were DutchBat forces, the Dutch Battalion, started to run
4 dangerously low on food, medicine, fuel, ammunition. The fuel situation
5 grew so critical that DutchBat soldiers were forced to start patrolling
6 on foot. In addition, in the months leading up to the enclave, Bosnian
7 Serb army units stationed around Srebrenica shelled and sniped the
8 enclave. Further efforts to make life unbearable and force the
9 population to flee. By May 1995, the humanitarian situation in the
10 enclave was dire. As ordered and envisioned by Directive 7. In early
11 May, attack plans in line with Directive 7 were commenced by the
12 Drina Corps but were almost immediately aborted due to lack of available
13 resources, and that is forces, manpower.
14 In early June 1995, the Drina Corps attacked and removed UNPROFOR
15 forces from a UN observation point on the southern edge of the Srebrenica
16 enclave and thereby gained control of a strategically important area
17 which would serve as the staging area for the final attack on the enclave
18 just a month later. In late June, Radovan Karadzic and Momcilo Krajisnik
19 went to the Drina Corps command in Vlasenica. There they met with
20 Radislav Krstic, who was then the deputy commander and Chief of Staff of
21 the Drina Corps, in order to advance the plan to attack Srebrenica and
22 Zepa. Karadzic ordered Krstic or urged Krstic to make the attack happen
23 as soon as possible. And on the 2nd of July, the commander of the
24 Drina Corps issued a combat order code-named Krivaja 95. The Krivaja 95
25 order was issued pursuant to Directive 7 and ordered the Drina Corps to
1 carry out offensive operations:
2 "To split apart the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica and to reduce
3 them to their urban areas.
4 "To create conditions for the elimination of the enclaves."
5 The reduction of the already overcrowded enclaves to their small
6 urban areas would intensify the already dire humanitarian situation in
7 the towns that had been caused by the shelling, sniping, and restriction
8 of humanitarian aid, a policy which was already making life unbearable
9 for the Muslim population as intended.
10 The attack on Srebrenica began on the 6th of July, 1995. Over
11 the next few days, the Bosnian Serb army shelled civilians and civilian
12 targets in the enclave. And you will hear from one of the United Nations
13 military observers who was there about the intensity of the shelling and
14 the resulting terror within the embattled Muslim population. In the days
15 following the 6th of July, 1995, the five UNPROFOR observation posts in
16 the southern part of the enclave fell one by one in the face of the
17 advance by the Bosnian Serb forces. Let me show you just one of the
18 UNMO reports, Your Honours, from July 7th, 1995, chronicling the
19 Bosnian Serb army attack on Srebrenica.
20 "The Bosnian Serb army offensive seems to be steadily
21 intensifying. Whatever their aims are, they seem to be concentrating
22 more on civ targets," that is civilian targets, "in Srebrenica town and
23 Potocari. There are several civ cas," that is civilian casualties, "and
24 unassessed damages to civ property. The team request action to be taken
25 to stop this carnage and damage to civ property in a UN declared safe
2 On the 9th of July, 1995, with no serious resistance from either
3 the Muslim forces or the UNPROFOR forces in Srebrenica, the Bosnian Serb
4 army leadership realised that it would feasible to now finish what had
5 been put on hold in April of 1993, that is, the take-over of the enclave
6 and the removal of the Muslim population. And in accordance with the
7 military chain of command, the VRS sought and received agreement from the
8 supreme commander, Radovan Karadzic, to expand the goal of the Krivaja 95
9 operation to include the actual take-over of the enclave. This is a
10 9 July 1995
11 "The President of Republika Srpska has been informed of
12 successful combat operations around Srebrenica by units of the
13 Drina Corps and that they have achieved results which enable them to
14 occupy the very town of Srebrenica
15 It continues:
16 "The President of the Republic is satisfied with the results of
17 the combat operations around Srebrenica and has agreed with the
18 continuation of operations for the take-over of Srebrenica, disarming of
19 Muslim terrorist gangs, and complete demilitarisation of the Srebrenica
21 Now, this order, as you will see, Your Honours, also orders "full
22 protection" to UNPROFOR and the Muslim civilian population, and orders
23 the treatment of the civilian population and war prisoners in accordance
24 with the Geneva
25 this lip service to international law is revealed not only by the very
1 purpose of Directive 4 and Directive 7 to cleanse the population, but
2 also by the events that would follow under the ultimate authority of the
3 supreme commander. And so, pursuant to Karadzic's command, the command
4 on July 9th, 1995
5 cleansing of its Muslim population, another definitive step towards the
6 full realisation of Strategic Objective 3 was finally underway.
7 Srebrenica fell on the afternoon of July 11th, 1995. During the
8 conquest of the town, Karadzic was kept informed of developments on the
9 ground by Bosnian Serb army General Gvero, who reported to him, to
10 Karadzic, concerning UNPROFOR complained -- complaints about attacks on
11 UNPROFOR troops. He also assured Karadzic:
12 "Everything is going according to plan, don't worry."
13 A short time later, in the late afternoon, Gvero reported to
14 Karadzic that the Serbian flag was flying above the Serbian church in
16 "President, Serbian silver, the Serbian church, the Serbian
18 And later that day, on the afternoon of 11 July, General Mladic
19 and other VRS officers, including the commander of the Drina Corps
20 Zivanovic and the Drina Corps Chief of Staff Krstic, walked through the
21 empty streets of Srebrenica revelling in their victory. They were
22 accompanied by a cameraman from the VRS Main Staff who recorded portions
23 of that triumphant tour, including Mladic's chilling and prescient words.
24 I'll show you that clip. At the end of this clip, Your Honours, you will
25 see that it merges into the televised broadcast of those words by
1 General Mladic.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Congratulations.
4 "Congratulations, guys. Well done.
5 "Are our guys still ahead?
6 "They are.
7 "Good. They are sweeping the town. It's taken.
8 "You could easily have entered here by car, too.
9 "Right, right. I know it's possible. Let it follow me slowly.
10 "Come on, Zile. Come on, Zile. Krstic. Come on, Krle.
11 "Film that flag of theirs, over there. Take the flag down so it
12 doesn't wave. Stick it on the ground. Here so it can be filmed by the
13 camera. Yes, yes, there you go.
14 "Here we are, on the 11th of July, 1995, in Serb Srebrenica. On
15 the eve of yet another great Serb holiday, we give this town to the Serb
16 people as a gift. Finally, after the rebellion against the Dahis, the
17 time has come to take revenge on the Turks in this region."
18 MR. TIEGER: The time has come to take revenge on the Turks in
19 this region, and you will learn, Your Honours, what happened to the men
20 of Srebrenica by essentially following the fate of two groups. As the
21 fall of Srebrenica became imminent, a group of approximately
22 15.000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys, with some women and children,
23 gathered at the village of Susnjari
24 north-west of Srebrenica. These men, fearful about what would happen to
25 them if they surrendered or were captured by Bosnian Serb forces, began
1 to flee in a huge column through the woods toward Tuzla, a Bosnian
2 Muslim-held area. Approximately one-third of that column was armed and
3 the rest were unarmed soldiers and civilians. That's one group, and I'll
4 return to them a bit later.
5 A second group of Muslims consisting of thousands of women,
6 children, and elderly, along with 1.000 to 2.000 Bosnian Muslim men, fled
7 to the UNPROFOR compound in Potocari approximately 4 kilometres to the
8 north of Srebrenica. There they sought the protection of UNPROFOR. And
9 perhaps I can show you quickly a map depicting the -- that area and where
10 Potocari is in relationship to Srebrenica. And you can see it there
11 between -- on the road between Bratunac and Srebrenica. And if you look
12 to the left, that's the area in which -- toward which the other column,
13 the 15.000 men were fleeing. And you see that road there indicated by
14 Kravica, Sandici, and so on, that's the area I'll be referring to later
15 in which these men were later captured or surrendered.
16 Your Honours, by the evening of the 11th of July, some
17 20 to 25.000 Bosnian Muslims had gathered in and around the UNPROFOR
18 headquarters in Potocari. They were completely exhausted, had woefully
19 insufficient access to food, water, basic medical treatment or even
20 toilet facilities. The plan to "shrink the enclaves to the urban areas"
21 had achieved its intended effect. These people were terrified,
22 exhausted, and no longer with any hope of survival of a life in
24 On the day that Srebrenica fell, Radovan Karadzic moved forward
25 quickly to cement the Bosnian Serbs' victory. On the 11th of July, he
1 formally appointed Miroslav Deronjic who was president of the Bratunac
3 back in 1992. Appointed Deronjic as a civilian commissioner for the new
4 Serbian municipality of Srebrenica
5 regional police headquarters to create a police station in Srebrenica and
6 to work with Deronjic.
7 Following the fall of Srebrenica, beginning on the evening of
8 July 11th and continuing through to the morning of the 12th, Mladic held
9 three meetings at the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac to discuss the fate of
10 the Srebrenica enclave. The first meeting was with DutchBat. The second
11 and third meetings were with DutchBat and with Muslim representatives.
12 And during the course of the trial you will see portions of all three
13 meetings. But here is a clip from the second meeting which was held on
14 the evening of July 11th and it was the first one that was attended by a
15 Muslim representative, a man named Nesib Mandzic. Mladic's words, as he
16 threatens that Muslims will vanish, speak for themselves.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "In order to make a decision as a
19 man and a commander, I need to have a clear position of the
20 representatives of your people on whether you want to survive, stay, or
21 vanish. I am prepared to receive here tomorrow, at 10.00 a.m., a
22 delegation of officials from the Muslim side with whom I can discuss the
23 salvation of your people from the enclave, the former enclave of
24 Srebrenica. I shall order a cessation of operations until 10 a.m.
25 tomorrow. If your fighters -- your fighters who lay down their arms we
1 will treat in accordance with international conventions and we guarantee
2 that everybody will live, even those who committed crimes against our
3 people. Have I made myself clear? Nesib, the future of your people is
4 in your hands, not only on this territory. I'm finished. You're free to
5 go. I'll be waiting for you at 10.00 a.m. tomorrow. See them off."
6 MR. TIEGER: Mladic repeated this ultimatum at the third meeting,
7 held the following morning. By this time, the Bosnian Serb army had
8 received information about the Bosnian Muslim column of men attempting to
9 flee out of the enclave, the column I mentioned to you before. During
10 the third meeting he also announced, in a section that was either not
11 filmed or later deleted from the film, that all men between the ages of
12 16 and 60 would be separated and screened for war crimes. And as I will
13 explain shortly, no screening of any kind was conducted or intended. The
14 men who were separated included some very young boys and elderly men
15 above 70, and I'll talk to you about that shortly.
16 But about the same time as the last meeting at Hotel Fontana on
17 the morning of July 12th, Bosnian Serb army and Bosnian Serb police
18 forces moved into Potocari. That's where the 20 to 25.000 Bosnian
19 Muslims had gathered. Some Muslims were shot, others beaten and
20 terrorised by Bosnian Serb forces, forces with no fear of apparent of
21 consequences for doing so. Within hours of the expulsion of the Muslim
22 population, those who would be allowed to live and those who were
23 separated and murdered began.
24 You will hear evidence, Your Honours, that Karadzic later
25 suggested to journalists that Muslims were free to remain in Srebrenica
1 if they wished, but like most of what he says about Srebrenica, nothing
2 could be farther from the truth. Let's look at Mladic's contemporaneous
3 remarks about who could stay and who could go.
4 "Go ahead, General.
5 "Mladic: Have these buses and trucks left?"
6 His interlocutor: "They have."
7 "Mladic: When?"
8 His interlocutor: "Ten minutes ago.
9 "Mladic: Good, excellent. Continue to monitor the situation.
10 Don't let small groups of them sneak in. They've all capitulated and
11 surrendered and we'll evacuate them all - those who want to and those who
12 don't want to."
13 For this purpose, buses from many surrounding municipalities were
14 mobilised by the Main Staff through the Ministry of the Defence in Pale.
15 This was a massive logistical operation that involved multiple
16 municipalities and different Ministry of Defence departments. Women,
17 children, and the elderly were expelled to Muslim-held territory in
18 Kladanj. Meanwhile, all but a handful of the men and boys, that is, boys
19 who looked roughly military age, were forcibly separated from their
20 families and detained. The separation and detention of these men had
21 nothing to do with any kind of "screening process." The Bosnian Serb
22 army and Bosnian Serb police forces in Potocari separated and detained
23 every man or boy who looked close to military age. No effort was made to
24 distinguish soldiers from civilians. While a few military-aged men made
25 it on to the first convoy, thereafter all the men were separated and
2 I would like to show you a bit of that separation and at the end
3 you'll see some of the men who were being detained.
4 [Video-clip played].
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Wait, wait. Stay there, buddy.
6 "It's all right. It's all right.
7 "Come on, follow them there one by one.
8 "No, no, you go there to the left, to the left.
9 "Come on everyone, get in the column one by one."
10 [Video-clip played].
11 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Men are going this way and women
12 are going that way.
13 "This is no good. I'm talking about the overcrowding in this
14 place, where all the men are being taken. They are sitting on each
15 other. It's no good."
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "There are some people who tried to
18 smuggle themselves onto a convoy and who are registered criminals."
19 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, Mladic's false representation that
20 they were separated to be screened for war crimes was intended only to
21 mask the intended fate of these men. That pretense is revealed by any
22 number of factors, including, one, there were no meaningful efforts of
23 recording or listing of Muslim prisoners as they were taken into custody,
24 as would have been the case if it was intended that they be imprisoned or
25 exchanged. To the contrary, after being taken into custody, their
1 personal identification documents were discarded or destroyed. In
2 addition, their meager belongings contained in bags or rucksacks were put
3 in piles and later burned. You saw some of those piles in the video we
4 just saw. Further, no interrogation or questioning of the men and boys
5 was conducted to detect possible criminals. In Potocari, these Muslim
6 men and boys were not provided with any food, first aid, or medical care.
7 And finally, once separated and taken to detention sites in Bratunac,
8 they were packed into buildings to prevent them from being seen by air or
9 by persons passing by. They were provided with no food, no first aid, no
10 medical help, no hygiene, and many were brutally beaten and murdered. In
11 one detention site alone more than 50 or more Muslim men were killed on
12 the 12th and 13th of July. These circumstances, Your Honours, are
13 unmistakable and the word "screening" in this context can take its place
14 on the list of shameful euphemisms. In this case a euphemism for "marked
15 for death."
16 Your Honour, I note the time and I think in conformity with the
17 schedule --
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, whenever it's convenient. We'll have a break
19 of 25 minutes.
20 --- Break taken at 3.35 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Your Honours, on the 12th and 13th of July, 1995, about
25 25.000 Bosnian Muslim civilians were bussed outside the enclave of
1 Srebrenica to the territory under Bosnian government control. As that
2 operation progressed, the supreme commander, Radovan Karadzic, was
3 advised that Krivaja 95 was going according to plan. As Mladic stated in
4 the intercept of 12 July that we saw moments ago, the VRS was
5 transferring all Muslim women, children, and elderly men, those who
6 wanted to go and those who didn't. Just as envisioned and directed by
7 Directive 4 and Directive 7. Here is a 12 July 1995 report from the
8 Main Staff to Karadzic, describing the situation in the corps:
9 "All the Corps units are at the highest level of combat-readiness
10 and are doing everything to ensure that there are no surprises. The
11 units engaged in carrying out the Krivaja 95 task are carrying out all
12 the combat tasks according to plan."
13 And it goes on to specify some of the activities and then it
14 continues regarding the situation in the territory:
15 "In the Drina Corps zone of responsibility, the population is
16 being taken from the Srebrenica enclave to Kladanj in an organised
17 manner. It is estimated that on this day there are about 10.000 Muslims
18 to be transported."
19 Meanwhile, Your Honours, the Bosnian Serb army and Bosnian Serb
20 police forces completed the separation of the men and boys in Potocari,
21 that is, the approximately 1.000 to 2.000 men and boys, and transported
22 them to Bratunac, the immediately adjacent municipality just a few
23 kilometres away, this on July 13th.
24 Now, turning to the other group of men and boys I referred to,
25 that larger group, those who had gathered at Susnjari and began to flee
1 toward Muslim-held territory in Tuzla
2 thousands of these men were captured or surrendered to Bosnian Serb army
3 or Bosnian Serb police forces. I want to show you a clip of men from the
4 column surrendering, a video that was filmed by a Serb journalist
5 accompanying a Bosnian police commander, and you will see a man being
6 forced to call to his son and to other Muslims in the column to
7 surrender, and then you will see men from the column surrendering.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Come down here. I'm down here,
10 Nermin" --
11 [French on English channel] -- with the Serbs.
12 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me, we are hearing French again. Yes. We
13 can continue.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Nermin, come down here. I'm down
16 here. It's safe to come to the Serbs. Come on. They all should come.
17 Nermin, come down here, it's safe. I'm with the Serbs. Come all of you,
18 as many as there are of you.
19 "I don't know, from some desert.
20 "How much time did you spend there?
21 "We spent two days and two nights, completely surrounded.
22 "Well, where are your rifles?
23 "I didn't have a rifle. I did not. I'm a civilian.
24 "A civilian?
25 "Sure. I don't fight.
1 "Are you very afraid?
2 "How could I not be afraid.
3 "Come on, man, don't be scared. What are you afraid of, for
4 fuck's sake? Come on, come on, have no fear."
5 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, that man being forced to call to his
6 son was a man named Ramo Osmanovic. His remains were found in a mass
7 grave. His teenage son, Nermin, to whom Ramo was forced to call with the
8 promise "it's safe to come to the Serbs," his remains were found in a
9 mass grave as well. By the afternoon of 13 July, the Bosnian Serb army,
10 the Bosnian Serb police forces had custody of approximately 5 to
11 6.000 Muslim prisoners at three main points along the road that you saw
12 on the map earlier, that was Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, and Sandici.
13 Throughout the operation, the supreme commander,
14 Radovan Karadzic, was kept abreast of the activities in and around
15 Srebrenica, including the large-scale surrender of Muslim men from the
16 column. On the night of 13 July, the VRS sent an "urgent" report to
17 Karadzic which stated the following:
18 "The enemy from the former enclave of Srebrenica is in a state of
19 total disarray, and the troops are surrendering in large numbers to the
21 And as you will learn, VRS reports to Karadzic over the following
22 days also notified him of the capture of Muslims by the VRS. But let me
23 remain focus on the 13th. On the afternoon of the 13th, approximately
24 1.000 Muslim prisoners who had surrendered or had been captured were
25 bussed or marched from Sandici to the nearby Kravica warehouse. And at
1 that warehouse, these prisoners were executed by Bosnian Serb army and
2 Bosnian Serb police forces. Other organised execution were carried out
3 on that day by police forces at Jadar River
4 During the late afternoon and early evening -- evening hours of
5 13th July, the remaining prisoners captured along the road were
6 transported to Bratunac where they were detained in buildings, trucks,
7 buses throughout the town along with the other Muslim men who had been
8 separated from their families in Potocari. These thousands of prisoners
9 were detained in appalling conditions on the night of the 13th, without
10 food, without medical attention, with insufficient water. Many were
11 killed right in the centre of Bratunac. Many more were beaten savagely.
12 And meanwhile, the supreme commander continued to be kept abreast of
13 events. I mentioned earlier the regular reports he received, but he was
14 also in direct contact with General Mladic.
15 That evening, on the 13th of July, at about the time that the
16 very last Muslims were being bussed and trucked out of the enclave by the
17 Bosnian Serb army, Bosnian Serb police and civilian authorities,
18 Karadzic, from his office in Pale, spoke with Mladic for approximately an
19 hour on a speakerphone. Their conversation was cordial throughout. One
20 witness to the conversation overheard them discussing the promotion of
21 Radislav Krstic, who was convicting of aiding and abetting genocide.
22 Another witness will testify that Mladic reported to Karadzic that
23 "Srebrenica was done." And that "Zepa was next."
24 Again, this call took place at approximately the time of the
25 departure of the last buses removing the remaining women and children,
1 the last Muslims in Srebrenica. As Mladic reported to Karadzic,
2 Srebrenica was done.
3 Thus, the evidence is clear that the command chain functioned as
4 it was intended to during this period, with Mladic and other elements of
5 the VRS reporting to the supreme commander. And on the 13th, that
6 supreme commander, Karadzic, was aware that mass expulsions had been
7 underway, that Srebrenica was "done," that large numbers of Muslim male
8 prisoners had been captured. And he would also speak to his hand-picked
9 new civilian commissioner for the Serb municipality of Srebrenica
10 evening, that's Miroslav Deronjic.
11 Deronjic could have made that call from his office, but in a
12 moment of fortuitous historical irony, Deronjic left his office and went
13 to the Bratunac Brigade headquarters in an effort to keep the call as
14 secret as possible. What he didn't know is that military transmissions
15 were less secure than the telephone landline he had in his office. And
16 as a result, we know that Karadzic not only knew about the prisoners but
17 ordered their transfer out of Bratunac, out of Bratunac which was in
18 uncomfortable proximity to the internationals, indeed close enough so
19 that internationals were able to hear shots as you'll see in one DutchBat
21 During that conversation, Karadzic asked:
22 "... how many thousands?"
23 "The President is asking how many thousands?"
24 "Deronjic: About two for the time being."
25 And this intercepted conversation, Your Honours, takes place
1 through an intermediary. Deronjic is talking to someone who is speaking
2 to Karadzic. Deronjic can hear Karadzic on the other end.
3 "About two for the time being.
4 "Two, Mr. President (heard in the background).
5 "Deronjic: But there will be more during the night." And
6 Karadzic told him what should be done with these prisoners.
7 "Deronjic, the President says: 'All the goods must be placed
8 inside the warehouses before 12.00 tomorrow.
9 "Deronjic: Right.
10 "Deronjic, not in the warehouses over there, but somewhere else."
11 That is, Your Honours, somewhere other than Bratunac.
12 Now, although Karadzic tried to mask this conversation using
13 code, warehouses, goods, he cannot hide what it reveals. He knew that
14 Muslim prisoners were being held in Bratunac and he ordered them moved to
15 warehouses elsewhere, and that is exactly what happened. Starting that
16 night, shortly after the conclusion of this call and continuing on to the
17 next morning, the prisoners were transferred from Bratunac to temporary
18 detention facilities in Zvornik or around Zvornik, where they were held
19 prior to their execution. Over the course of the next 72 hours they were
20 all, but for a miraculous handful of survivors, murdered.
21 Your Honours, you will hear evidence from those survivors and
22 what they went through, waiting for hours underneath piles of bodies,
23 feigning death, until they were able to make their escape.
24 Now, bear in mind that while this slaughter was taking place, the
25 VRS-run camp in Batkovic, that's in Bijeljina, was still functioning more
1 than three years after Mladic had established it to handle the surplus of
2 civilians who were then being cleansed from their homes. It had the
3 facilities to handle thousands of prisoners. Just 60 kilometres away
4 from Zvornik by asphalt road, Batkovic was the place that captured
5 prisoners should have been sent were they to be held as prisoners or
6 exchanged. But that is not where the Muslim men in Bratunac went. They
7 were sent to the Zvornik area because they were not going to be
8 exchanged, but because they were going to be killed.
9 Your Honours, you will hear that Miroslav Deronjic has suggested
10 that Karadzic intended that the Bratunac prisoners be sent to Batkovic to
11 protect them, but that is belied by the evidence. Not only did Karadzic
12 order the prisoners sent to warehouses rather than to the Batkovic camp,
13 not only were prisoners in fact sent to schools and other makeshift
14 detention facilities as ordered by Karadzic, but Karadzic then sought to
15 ensure that the mass killings would not be known as they were happening
16 and afterward.
17 But before I address Karadzic's efforts to ensure that the mass
18 killings remain hidden, let me point you to some additional discussions
19 that he had that preceded those efforts. You will learn, for example,
20 that the next day, on the 14th of July, Deronjic met with Karadzic in the
21 president's office in Pale and spoke with him about the killings in the
22 Kravica warehouse. Later that same day, on the 14th, after meeting with
23 Deronjic, Karadzic met with an American visitor, Bob Djurdjevic, together
24 they watched televised CNN and SkyNews coverage of the situation in
25 Srebrenica. Karadzic, speaking to Djurdjevic, took credit for Directive
1 7 and the attack on Srebrenica, and in Djurdjevic's contemporaneous notes
2 of the meeting he wrote:
3 "RK," Karadzic, "said that the attacks on Srebrenica and Zepa
4 were a part of what he called 'my order number 7.' He said that their
5 objective is 'to raise the temperature to the boiling point.'"
6 And during this meeting Karadzic also received a phone call from
7 one of his field commanders from Srebrenica regarding military action
8 around Konjevic Polje and Kasaba. And this call was yet another of the
9 sources of information that kept the supreme commander, the man who had
10 ordered the operation, informed throughout, and is yet one more example
11 beyond the regular reports, beyond Mladic, beyond Karadzic's civilian
12 commissioner, beyond direct calls from military commanders in the field,
13 Karadzic also received information on the situation on the ground from
14 the police and state security.
15 In this intercept of the 16th of July, 1995, a Bosnian Serb army
16 Main Staff duty officer tells Mladic that Karadzic has just called from
17 the -- has just called the Bosnian Serb army Main Staff because Karadzic
18 had received information from the Bosnian Serb police, and specifically
19 from the head of state security, that the Zvornik Brigade commander had
20 opened a corridor in the VRS lines through which Muslims from the column
21 were passing through to Muslim-held territory.
22 "The President called a short while ago. He said he had been
23 informed by Karisik," that's the head of state security, "that Pandurevic
24 had arranged passage for the Muslims over to that territory."
25 And I'll discuss a bit later how this information about the
1 escape of Muslims angered Karadzic.
2 So what did the supreme commander do with the knowledge that
3 Muslim men were being seized, detained, and murdered? He attempted to
4 ensure the operation's continuing success through false assurances to an
5 increasingly suspicious international media and to an increasingly
6 alarmed international community. From the very start of the Srebrenica
7 operation until well after the world knew about the mass killings,
8 Karadzic covered up what was happening or had taken place. He insisted
9 that the Muslim population had "left voluntarily," and he lied to the
10 media regarding the captured and executed Muslim men and boys.
11 By the night of the 13th of July, 1995, as I've described,
12 Karadzic had full knowledge of the forcible transfer of the population.
13 He knew of the thousands of Muslim men detained in Bratunac and had
14 ordered that they be transferred to warehouses. And later that same
15 night, at around 2130 hours, Karadzic gave an interview to a journalist
16 for the Spanish newspaper El Pais. When asked about Srebrenica Karadzic
18 "Srebrenica is now free.
19 "Unfortunately, very few Muslims may stay in Srebrenica, because
20 now they are aware that Srebrenica is going to belong to the Serbian
21 state, and since it is clear Muslims want to live in a Muslim state and
22 they expressed their own willingness to -- to go to the Muslim state, to
23 the part of Bosnia
24 state or Muslim-Croat federation."
25 He went on to deny allegations of ethnic cleansing, stating:
1 "Anyone who wanted to stay could stay."
2 He stated that in full confidence, of course, that the media did
3 not have access to, for example, Directive 4, ordering the cleansing of
4 the enclaves, or Directive 7, ordering "an unbearable situation of total
5 insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants."
6 Four days later Karadzic was interviewed again, this time by
7 British journalist David Frost. This interview took place as the victims
8 of the killing operations in Zvornik were being buried in mass graves.
9 When asked whether he felt he may have made a mistake in taking
10 Srebrenica given the immense scale of international condemnation,
11 Karadzic replied: "Not at all," and justified his view with the comment
12 that Srebrenica had not been a safe area but a stronghold. When asked by
13 Frost to explain the allegations that 15.000 men from Srebrenica were
14 missing or unaccounted for, Karadzic denied that there were missing men
15 other than those in the column who were still en route to Tuzla
16 here's a portion of that interview.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 "The question of the numbers of people who were found or
19 whatever. What about the figures we've read in the media, your favourite
20 area, in the media about 15.000 men missing, unaccounted for, from
21 Srebrenica and that you have got them somewhere? That's what we read.
23 "Well, even yesterday and today we have opened our own lines and
24 many of them have entered Muslim territory. Many of them have been
25 combatants and our local commander has allowed them to pass through our
1 territory, and they are passing even tonight. Many of them are in the
2 forests and they are trying to get Muslim-controlled territory and we are
3 not interfering. We don't want to fight with them because they do not
4 intend to take our territory. They want to leave our territory.
5 "And there are not 15.000 men from Srebrenica missing?
6 "No, absolutely not. Many of them have joined their own people.
7 Yesterday and today and even tomorrow, there will be many more of them
8 passing through Serbian lines."
9 MR. TIEGER: And here's what actually happened, Your Honour, and
10 was happening. I won't attempt to describe in detail the horror of the
11 meticulous execution of over 7.000 men and boys which took place over
12 those days; I'll merely give a very brief listing of the largest
13 organised killings.
14 On the 13th of July, Kravica warehouse, approximately
15 1.000 executed with automatic rifles and hand-grenades. Over the next
16 days, 14 July through 16 July, Orahovac school and in the nearby fields,
17 approximately 1.000 executed. The Petkovici school and the dam, on the
18 afternoon and evening of 14 July and during the early-morning hours of
19 15 July 1995
20 over 1.000 executed, several at Rocevic and over a thousand at Kozluk. I
21 want to show you some photos of those victims after they were exhumed
22 from that area. The first you'll see is of the mass grave or a mass
23 grave. The second. Next, please. You see the blindfold.
24 Next, please. A man with his hands tied behind his back.
25 Next. Your Honours, you'll hear evidence - and if we return to
1 that slide, please - you'll hear evidence that the Muslim victims in
2 Kozluk clutched at weeds and shrubbery as they were executed along the
3 banks of the Drina River
4 And continuing the terrible litany of executions, Kula school
5 near Pilica, Branjevo Farm, several executed at the school, the remaining
6 approximately 1200 executed at Branjevo Farm. And this is a photograph
7 depicting some of the bodies at Branjevo Farm. Pilica cultural centre,
8 approximately 500 executed.
9 Your Honours, these large-scale killings required enormous
10 resources; trucks, ammunition, heavy machinery for burials, thousands of
11 litres of fuel, as well as significant manpower to secure the detention
12 and execution sites and to carry out the actual executions and burials.
13 They were carried out quickly and efficiently and required a high degree
14 of planning and coordination between the Bosnian Serb army, the Bosnian
15 Serb police, and the civilian authorities, all of whom were involved.
16 The list of those who knew and who had to know is long, from Mladic and
17 Tolimir and others on the Main Staff, the officers and soldiers of the
18 Drina Corps, the officers and soldiers of the Zvornik, Bratunac, and
19 other brigades of the Drina Corps, the Ministry of the Interior, the
20 subordinates of the Ministry of the Interior, and above all - above
21 all - the supreme commander.
22 In addition to these large-scale killings, Your Honours, around
23 this time-period there were organised killings of a lesser scale but
24 nevertheless significant, at Jadar River
25 Luke School
1 killings of Muslim men continued past July, as the VRS's own reports
2 show, after the 17th of July, Muslim stragglers were hunted down and
3 executed on the spot around Srebrenica and Zepa.
4 Throughout this time, from directly after the fall of Srebrenica
5 onwards, mainstream media reports were circulating about the massive
6 ethnic cleansing at Srebrenica and the indications that mass murder had
7 been committed by Bosnian Serb forces. On the 17th of July, 1995
8 same day as Frost's interview with Karadzic, a British newspaper reported
9 on the piles of corpses in front of the Kravica warehouse. The headline
10 of that article is:
11 "Bodies pile up in horror of Srebrenica."
12 And that same day, 17 July, Studio B Television in Belgrade
13 the actual video, a video of the pile of bodies outside the Kravica
14 warehouse. I'll show you that video. You'll see it first quite quickly
15 and then it will be replayed for you in slow motion.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Hello, how are you. What's up?
18 "There are dead Muslim soldiers and ..."
19 [Video-clip played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Can you see that, for fuck's sake?
21 "No one's here on the line."
22 MR. TIEGER: Yet Karadzic continued to issue denials of any
23 crimes by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica. When asked months later by
24 a CNN reporter about the allegations of massive crimes in Srebrenica and
25 the need for an investigation, Karadzic insisted that he had already
1 initiated an investigation of his own. He claimed that UNPROFOR had
2 monitored the whole operation and that there was "no mass killing or any
3 killing." By this time, thousands of bodies of victims had been dug up
4 and transferred to secondary graves by the VRS, the MUP, and civilian
5 authorities in an attempt to cover up the crime.
6 I would like to show you this clip.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 "You say that you're for an investigation or any kind of trial
9 concerning alleged atrocities. What about the unanswered questions
10 concerning Srebrenica? Will there be conducted some kind of
11 investigation? Would you pledge such an investigation?
12 "I have already ordered the investigation about any allegation
13 and among them about Srebrenica. I was reported that the UNPROFOR people
14 has monitored the whole affair. There was no killing, mass killing, or
15 any killing; that Muslims have checked many more refugees in Srebrenica
16 in order to get more help for their own army."
17 MR. TIEGER: Earlier, Your Honours, I directed your attention to
18 Karadzic's words to the Bosnian Serb Assembly on the 6th of August, 1995
19 during which he praised and took credit for the Srebrenica operation.
20 I'll direct your attention to those again, this time on a slide.
21 "The time had come and I signed Directive 7 to capture Teocak,
22 Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde. The directive was signed and we embarked
23 on it. I was in favour of all the decisions that we made and I support
24 them. All the decisions are recorded in the Supreme Command. I ordered
25 in verbal and written form to attack Zepa and Srebrenica."
1 And he added that they had not been able to take Gorazde at that
2 time but:
3 "... there will be the right time to take Gorazde, just as there
4 was the right time to conquer Srebrenica. There will be the right time
5 to attack and destroy Gorazde."
6 On other occasions he singled out commanders of the operation for
7 praise, particularly Krstic. This was an interview on August 4th, 1995
8 "Now, Krstic, for instance, who planned it in front of me and I
9 approved that task for Srebrenica, who did it exceptionally well. Of
10 course the Main Staff, Mladic and all others help, but it should be known
11 that Krstic is a great army commander."
12 Your Honours, the only concern that Karadzic ever expressed about
13 Srebrenica was that one of his commanders had let some of the Muslims
14 escape. He was angry that some of the Muslims had gotten away. This is
15 how Karadzic described the escape, as he called it -- escape of, excuse
16 me, as he called them, the Turks, their escape to Muslim-held territory.
17 And this is what he said at the Bosnian Serb Assembly:
18 "9.000 armed Turks in the woods and mountains could have taken
19 Srebrenica again. They could have burned Milici, Vlasenica, and Zvornik.
20 People from that area can tell you all about it because it could have
21 happened if they were smart enough and if they had a command. It is a
22 landing division with 9.000 men. It could have been a landing operation.
23 Only our men and dear God could save us. About 50 to 60 of our men got
24 killed there trying to block them, but several thousand of soldiers
25 eventually managed to pass and now Srebrenica division has been formed,
1 lined up in Tuzla
2 able to surround and destroy that enemy because we were in a hurry to get
3 to Zepa, and we assigned two generals to Zepa to waste 15 days in
4 negotiations with jackasses and idiots who were wasting their time
5 instead of letting Rajko Kusic finish all of it, or maybe General Krstic
6 who proved to be very good."
7 And who were Krstic and Kusic who should have "finished all of
8 it"? Krstic was the lieutenant-colonel who led the cleansing of
9 Novoseoci in Sokolac in 1992. That was when he was a lieutenant-colonel,
10 back when Eastern Bosnia was being cleansed. That was an operation in
11 which the men were separated from the women and children, the women and
12 children expelled, and the men executed.
13 Here is Krstic's first report of that operation:
14 "During the day the village of Novoseoci
15 or mopped up, "in Glasinacko Polje."
16 And by 1995, Krstic was a general and during the course of the
17 Srebrenica operation was appointed commander of the Drina Corps by
18 Karadzic. Here's an intercept between Krstic and Zvornik Brigade Chief
19 of Staff Dragan Obrenovic on the 2nd of August, 1995, reflecting Krstic's
20 continuing efforts to cleanse Eastern Bosnia, efforts that continued
21 since 1992 and on into 1995.
22 "Krstic: Are you working down there?
23 "Obrenovic: Of course we are working.
24 "Krstic: Good.
25 "Obrenovic: There are a few more who got caught.
1 "Krstic: Uh-huh.
2 "Obrenovic: Either by the gun barrel or mines.
3 "Krstic: Kill them all, God damn it.
4 "Obrenovic: Everything is going according to plan.
5 "Krstic: Don't leave a single one alive.
6 "Obrenovic: Yes?
7 "Krstic: Don't leave a single one alive.
8 "Obrenovic: Everything is going according to plan, everything."
9 And Kusic, Kusic was a major political and military figure from
10 Rogatica who was a member of the SDS
11 cleansing of Rogatica in 1992. And in 1995, here's a report from Kusic
12 reflecting how, just like Krstic, he was finishing the job in Srebrenica.
13 "On the 7th of August, 1995, in the afternoon, in the canyon of
14 the Praca river, five remaining balijas," that's a derogatory term for
15 Bosnian Muslims, "who were after the fall of Zepa travelling along the
16 following route ..." and he specifies that route in detail. "... went
17 down to the railroad tracks at Dub and tried to reach Renovica, walking
18 on the railroad tracks. They were liquidated.
19 "The group was separate and it travelled for ten days.
20 "The same day, in the vicinity of Luke, an unarmed Ustasha born
21 in Srebrenica, 24 years old, was liquidated. Before he died he said that
22 he fell behind the others and he was looking for food."
23 In short, Your Honours, Radovan Karadzic, the supreme commander,
24 was directly responsible for Directive 4 and Directive 7, both of which
25 were aimed at driving all Muslims from Srebrenica; was anxious to get it
1 going. Karadzic pushed Krstic to move the plan along faster. Once his
2 forces began the attack, he specifically approved a shift in the
3 immediate operational plans and sent his forces into Srebrenica. As soon
4 as his forces took Srebrenica they immediately informed him. He was
5 similarly informed that it was going according to plan, and that Muslims
6 were being removed in great numbers in an operation that required
7 coordination with many municipalities, and informed that Muslims were
8 being captured in great numbers.
9 Mladic told him as soon as the civilians were bussed out of
10 Srebrenica that Srebrenica is done. Karadzic delivered in code an order
11 to take Muslim prisoners from Bratunac to warehouses elsewhere. His
12 hand-selected civilian commissioner told him that Muslim prisoners were
13 being murdered or had been murdered at Kravica warehouse. He called the
14 Main Staff headquarters when he heard that Muslim men were escaping to
15 Muslim-held territory, the one aspect of the operation he regretted. And
16 he covered up with the press the fact that the VRS had prisoners and that
17 they were killing them. And he continues to say it didn't happen.
18 Your Honours, the crimes in Srebrenica, the mass expulsion of the
19 women and children, the mass killings of the men, these terrible facts
20 have been proven time and again in other trials before this Tribunal.
21 Now, we know there are some who out of nationalist fervour may stubbornly
22 or naively claim that Srebrenica never happened. But when the man who
23 was the supreme commander of the forces who committed the crimes, the man
24 who acknowledged that he set those forces in motion, the man who was in
25 contact with his forces throughout, when that man denies what happened,
1 it is because he knows that the truth condemns him. But the living
2 victims, the survivors, the women, elderly, those who were children in
3 Potocari in July 1995, for them there is no question of what happened,
4 only the lasting pain of loss. For those survivors, there's been no
5 recovery, no restoration of lives that have not and cannot be restored as
6 they were before their husbands, fathers, brothers were taken from them
7 and murdered. Their ongoing tragedy, Your Honours, is part of the
8 lasting legacy of the accused's crime and part of the overwhelming
9 evidence that belies his efforts at denial.
10 Your Honours, I will conclude shortly, but before I do I want to
11 say a few more words about Karadzic's cover-up of crimes. For the
12 cover-up of the organised killings and the wholesale expulsions in
13 Srebrenica represent just another step in Karadzic's consistent pattern
14 of hiding, deflecting, excusing, and denying, denials to internationals
15 and the media about cleansings, denials to the internationals and media
16 about crimes in the face of allegations and information from
17 international negotiators, from UNPROFOR, from ICRC, from UNHCR, from the
18 Special Rapporteur, from Security Council Resolutions, from the print
19 media, from television, in the face of what was happening before the
20 world, many of these allegations were explicit and anguished. Let me
21 show you one, the second report in October 1992 of the Special Rapporteur
22 for the UN and that followed his most recent mission in Bosnia. In his
23 October 27th report he said, and I quote:
24 "As indicated in the first report, the Muslim population are the
25 principal victims and are virtually threatened with extermination."
1 That's just a small snap-shot of the repeated condemnations, the
2 repeated confrontations, the repeated allegations that were made to
3 Karadzic. But as Karadzic quoted one of his commissioners as saying:
4 "We are skinning the cat alive before the whole world."
5 And as reflected in that quote, Karadzic didn't need the
6 international community to tell him about the plight of the Bosnian
7 Muslims and Bosnian Croats within those Serb-claimed territories because
8 apart from the allegations he was receiving, apart from the reports from
9 the army and from the police, apart from the admissions and
10 acknowledgements of -- from those within his circle that we've already
11 heard -- at least some of which we've already heard, even a cursory look
12 at the documents, the meetings, for example, at the Assembly sessions,
13 reveal the awareness of the campaign against non-Serbs. Here, for
14 example, is an -- a session of the Assembly at which an objection was
15 posed to a proposed standard for citizenship in RS, that would be a
16 standard based on birth, and that objection is revealing albeit
18 "Second, the citizenship of Republika Srpska shall be acquired
19 among other things by birth in the territory of Republika Srpska. This
20 refers to all the Muslims and Croats we expelled. In reality, they are
21 also citizens of Republika Srpska."
22 All the Muslims and Croats we expelled. And, accordingly, the
23 bill was sent back to the ministry for review upon Krajisnik's
25 Or look at this comment in 1995 from a deputy at the Assembly:
1 "Sometimes, Mr. President, one should not listen to the patriarch
2 either. He is a holy man and we are practical men, practical men who
3 want to make a state. A state is made by killing, slaughtering,
4 imprisoning, and arresting people, every state in the world, including
5 our own."
6 Or perhaps this quote which puts it simply and perhaps wraps it
7 up. This is from January 1993, again at the Assembly:
8 "Believe me when I say that we cannot live together anymore. I
9 don't know under what conditions we could live together now. I have to
10 be honest and say that they caused so much evil to us" and this was --
11 that was a reference to World War II and the Ottoman occupation and the
12 history, and continuing the quote, "and this time we did not cause less
13 evil for them either."
14 And over and over again Radovan Karadzic did his best to cover up
15 this evil. Take the camps, for example. The Court has already seen some
16 of the evidence about civilians in camps, including the report by
17 Karadzic's own minister of the interior in mid-July to him that:
18 "Crisis Staffs and War Presidencies have requested that the army
19 round up or capture as many Muslim civilians as possible."
20 But he couldn't let the world know this.
21 Here, for example, is a letter to The Guardian at the end of
22 July, 1992, 30 July 1992. This was sent by Karadzic to The Guardian.
23 "Your article on the front page of today's newspaper is
24 sensational. It is completely false to suggest that the Bosnian Serbs
25 have organised concentration camps or that we hold civilian prisoners."
1 The effort to mask the campaign against non-Serbs or to present
2 it in some acceptable terms extended to the issuance of fig-leaf orders
3 to follow international law. I referred earlier to one of those orders
4 issued at the commencement of the attack on Srebrenica. In some
5 instances, as you'll see, Your Honours, their interest, that is, the
6 interest of these orders in international consumption, is rather clear on
7 its face, as is the case of this signed order in August addressed to the
8 General Staff and to the police in English that:
9 "Forced transfer of people and other illegal measures against
10 civilian population must be prevented."
11 Or to take another example, you'll see a July 1992 telegram to
12 the presidents of municipalities in the Gorazde area, a telegram that
13 those municipality presidents were responsible for ensuring the
14 protection of villages in which Croat and Muslim inhabitants hand over
15 weapons and do not intend to fight. This at a time when the army and the
16 police were engaged in cleansing villages. And interestingly, one
17 municipality president had the nerve to write back directly to Karadzic
18 and note that he wasn't the one who controlled the army and the police.
19 But even beyond their occasionally transparent nature, such orders
20 clearly have no meaning in the abstract, and when placed in the context
21 of widely known massive crimes fulfilling Strategic Objectives, crimes
22 that were not punished but, as you'll hear, were rewarded with
23 promotions, their pretextual nature is unmistakable.
24 Officers and commanders were not disciplined for cleansing Muslim
25 or Croat villages; on the contrary, the accused promoted and rewarded and
1 encouraged those responsible for crimes. On January 9th, 1994, for
2 example, Karadzic held a ceremony announcing that:
3 "Contrary to all the lies and slander of international
4 propaganda-mongers, the Serbian army maintained the knightly character
5 and military honour worthy of it," and bestowed awards on his military
6 leaders including men like Radoslav Brdjanin, Vojo Kupresanin,
7 Ratko Mladic, Dragomir Milosevic, Miroslav Deronjic, Stanislav Galic, as
8 well as notorious units like Mauzer's Panther Brigade unit from
10 Karadzic's orders to investigate crimes were similarly cosmetic.
11 It was not until ITN
12 in early August, which set up days of intense and worldwide media
13 coverage, that an investigation was ordered into this network of camps.
14 You'll have a chance to see those investigations, but here, for example,
15 is the investigation into the whole of the camps in SAO Krajina, a page
16 and a half. The report on camps in the ARK was similarly feeble.
17 Manjaca camp where 3500 people were detained warranted about or less than
18 300 words. Keraterm camp which had about 4.000 people go through it
19 warranted less than 60 words. Not a word about crimes committed. Not a
20 word about investigating those who committed crimes.
21 There was also a report by the Ministry of the Interior, a report
22 which relied upon, for example, Simo Drljaca, the local police chief who
23 ran the Omarska camp. A report that was sent to a commission that
24 included one of the investigators of the camp. Again not a word about
25 crimes. And Drljaca, in conformity with the practice of rewarding and
1 elevating ethnic cleansers, not only continued but was promoted and
3 But the investigations, the denials served only to bolster his,
4 Karadzic's, false claims to the international community that no cleansing
5 was taking place. All these denials were part of keeping everything
6 hidden. For just as General Mladic had said back in May of 1992, and
7 he'd said this at the 16th Assembly session when he was selected as the
8 Main Staff commander and at which these Strategic Objectives were
9 enunciated by Karadzic:
10 "The thing that we are doing needs to be guarded as our deepest
11 secret. And what our representatives appearing in the media, at
12 political talks and negotiations, are going to say -- and they need to
13 present our goals in a way that will sound appealing to the ears of those
14 we want to win over to our side without being detrimental to our Serbian
15 people. Our people must know how to read between the lines."
16 Your Honours, in 1994 the accused said to his deputies at an
18 "Today we are standing in the same place where we stood at the
19 time of the Lisbon Conference on the eve of the war. The only difference
20 is the number of victims is huge on all three sides. We have ruined
21 cities and somebody is responsible for it, but this is not a question of
22 responsibility now."
23 So who is responsible for the ruined cities, the destroyed
24 mosques and churches, the lost lives, the shattered families, the
25 traumatised survivors? Is it only the camp guards who beat prisoners or
1 watched as others beat them? Is it only the camp commanders who oversaw
2 the crimes being committed on a daily basis? Is it only the municipal
3 leaders like Miroslav Deronjic or Stakic who set up camps, coordinated
4 and supported the military forces, and supervised the ethnic cleansing.
5 Is it only regional leaders like Brdjanin who exhorted Serbs that only a
6 minimum number of non-Serbs could remain and who oversaw the forcible
7 ethnic separation? Is it only the military commanders like Galic and
8 Dragomir Milosevic who conducted campaigns of terror against civilian
9 populations or who oversaw the capture and execution of thousands of
10 Muslims? Is it only the VRS commander of the Main Staff who directed the
11 army's operations and ethnic cleansing in terrorising Sarajevo, in
12 massacring the men and boys of Srebrenica? Or is it also their leader,
13 the supreme commander of the VRS, the president of the SDS, the man who
14 established the institutions, set and implemented the policies, directed
15 his men, and defended their actions?
16 Your Honours, the evidence from the victims and other witnesses,
17 the evidence from internationals, the evidence from official
18 Republika Srpska documents and reports, the evidence from the accused's
19 associates, the evidence from the mouth of the accused himself
20 demonstrates that the answer beyond a reasonable doubt is a resounding
22 Your Honours, this concludes the Prosecution's opening statement.
23 Thank you for your attention.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
25 The accused has absented himself from the trial for consecutive
1 three days, despite having been given several warnings that such attempts
2 to obstruct the proper conduct and progress of the trial would not be
3 tolerated. As I announced last week, the Chamber must now determine the
4 manner in which we will proceed after the Prosecution's opening
5 statement, and we'll hear from the parties on this matter tomorrow
7 There will be no evidence heard tomorrow. The purpose of
8 tomorrow's hearing is to give both the accused and the Prosecution the
9 opportunity to make their submissions prior to the Chamber's decision.
10 However, I would like to repeat once again to Mr. Karadzic our previous
11 warnings, and I'll ask the Registry to convey the transcript and the
12 audio recordings of this hearing to him and his assigned legal advisor.
13 Should he maintain his position that he will not attend the trial, we may
14 proceed in his absence and assign counsel to represent him. We advise
15 him to consider this carefully prior to making his oral submissions
17 The hearing is now adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.00 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
20 November, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.