1 Wednesday, 1 February 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Good morning, Mr. Ruez.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Excellencies.
10 Good morning to all.
11 WITNESS: JEAN-RENE RUEZ [Resumed]
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Ruez. You're a policeman by
14 profession; right?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. Thank you. You had a permanent job in the OTP of this Tribunal.
17 You were employed there from 1995; right?
18 A. It was not permanent in the way that it was a renewal of the
19 contract on an annual basis. It was renewed until 2001. The date, I
20 requested it not to be renewed any longer.
21 Q. Thank you. You worked as an investigator for the Tribunal. Did
22 you understand your role to be the role of an OTP staff member who is
23 supposed to collect evidence on behalf of the Prosecution, or were you an
24 objective investigator?
25 A. I was an investigator in the first stage, the first two years,
1 then a team was created to take -- to take the full scale of this
2 investigation, and then I became an investigation team leader. So indeed
3 the task is, among many other things, to collect evidence, and the way to
4 do so has always to be in an objective manner.
5 Q. Thank you. What did you do with the evidence, documents, and
6 data that were in favour of the accused, i.e., that were not in favour or
7 in support of the indictment and the way things are presented in the
9 A. We didn't come across of more or less any of evidence that could
10 have been in favour of those later indicted. Nevertheless, when in the
11 field in Republika Srpska, when someone has -- had in his possession
12 anything that could connect with other investigations where Serbs were
13 the victims, either I brought these things back to The Hague to be handed
14 over to those in charge, or advised the person to keep what the person
15 had in order to hand it over at the first opportunity to the OTP.
16 Q. Thank you. As an experienced police officer, did you notice some
17 developments or events that might have helped to understand the causes
18 and consequences of the war?
19 A. The goal of the investigation I was in charge of was to determine
20 the fate of some 8.000 persons missing after the fall of UN safe area of
21 Srebrenica. Therefore, the investigation, that is to say, started
22 11 July 12.00, approximately 12.00. Knowing about the general frame of
23 the war, its causes and all the rest, it is indeed something helpful in
24 order to have what one can call the big picture, but it was certainly not
25 any of the goals of this specific investigation.
1 Q. This means that you investigated the fate of those 8.000 persons.
2 Can we rely on your investigations with regard to establishing facts,
3 reasons, outcomes of certain operations? Such were small executions,
4 opportunist murders, as you called them yourself. Did you come across
5 such things that might be of assistance to us to establish what really
6 happened there?
7 A. As far as the reconstruction of the events and the corroboration
8 of these events by the investigation, this court has already relied on
9 the results of this investigation on several occasions. For the rest,
10 it's up to any observer to make his own mind out of all this, and the
11 historians will certainly go again at some day, some point, through all
12 what has been said Srebrenica related during all the trials that have
13 happened here and those who are still awaited.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we look at
15 Mr. Ruez's book again. I'm interested in image number 188. This is how
16 we left it off yesterday. That's the last thing we saw yesterday. Thank
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Yesterday, you confirmed that the thick blue line is the conflict
20 line. Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether that was also the border
21 between the BiH federation and Republika Srpska. Was it a border then,
22 and is it a border now?
23 A. This confrontation line has also a specific name. If I remember,
24 it was Sapna thumb, because it has the shape of a thumb. It is a
25 confrontation line. I would not call this a border. Now it's a
1 separation line, not a border, as far as I know. I don't follow the
2 politics in this area since I left the Tribunal.
3 Q. Thank you. For your information, this was accepted in Dayton as
4 the administrative line between the Republika Srpska and the federation.
5 Did you know that this small area was a very hot spot during the war?
6 Muslim forces wanted to break to the Drina River and Serbian side wanted
7 to shorten the front line. So there were very strong attempts on both
8 sides with -- with these goals in mind.
9 A. Okay. I see no question --
10 JUDGE KWON: Did you know that this small area was a very hot
11 spot during the war?
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, I knew, but I could only see in this an
13 explanation of the reason why prisoners were brought to take some revenge
14 out of them, due to what President Karadzic describes as a hot spot. I
15 don't know about this possible explanation, but since he provides it, why
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that the front line moved during the
19 war, and do you agree as a professional that both militaries had reserve
20 trenches and positions in the area in case the front line was taken by
21 the enemy?
22 A. This could very well be. We didn't investigate the military
23 structures in place in this location. We only focused our attention on
24 holes that had obviously strictly nothing to do with any defence
1 Q. Thank you. However, you will agree with me, won't you, that it
2 is only logical that a military has at least two military -- two reserve
3 positions lest the front line is taken by the enemy? Do you agree with
4 me that every military should have that?
5 A. It's up to any military force to decide what they have to do to
6 prepare their defence lines. I have nothing to comment on this.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you agree with me that the Muslim side would have
8 benefitted a lot if they had broken to the Drina and cut off the Serbian
9 side from the rest of the territory, and it would have been more
10 beneficial than for the Serbian force to get to Tuzla?
11 A. Some make a profession commenting football match once the match
12 is over, so I'm not in that type of activity. I cannot speculate about
13 what would have happened if. We don't deal with "if."
14 Q. Thank you. All this was just an introduction into my next
15 question. Will it be reasonable to assume that during those operations
16 there were a lot of military casualties on both sides? You can answer by
17 just saying yes or no. That would move things along much faster.
18 A. The answer is yes.
19 Q. Thank you. According to what you learnt about our war, would you
20 agree that each of the sides handed victims and casualties over to their
21 families and that those casualties would be buried by the family in a
22 dignified manner, whereas the enemy casualties that were scattered around
23 its territory would be buried in mass graves without any ceremonies?
24 A. That could be.
25 Q. Did you learn that up to the spring of 1993, in the area that was
1 under the control of Muslims, over 1.200 Serbs were killed, and do you
2 know that they were buried in some 50 mass graves that were discovered
3 subsequently, and General Morillon attended the burial of those
5 A. I take these figures as you give them. This were not part of the
7 JUDGE BAIRD: But did you know of that?
8 THE WITNESS: We knew mainly about one grave that was close to
9 Nezuk, Nezuk being indeed the spot where the column of men, most of them
10 being members of the 28th Division, went through the lines. And this
11 specific grave, we indeed considered that it was better casualties, so we
12 didn't even move to a spot to check about it since there was no link at
13 all with any of what I name the extermination operation. This grave of
14 battle casualties was absolutely not relevant for investigation.
15 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This figure was recorded up to March 1993. Did you know that up
19 to the end, up to the end of 1995, the 28th Division killed over 3.500
20 Serbs, mostly civilians, all of them in this area?
21 A. There was a team working specifically on the crimes committed
22 against Serb civilians by the 28th Division under the command of
23 Naser Oric, who was indicted and who was on trial at the ICTY. I didn't
24 overlap with the activities of this team.
25 Q. Thank you. I put it to you that 1.250 people were buried by
1 Muslims in mass graves, and as for the other 2.250, they were buried by
2 Serbs in family graves because those Serbs were kill in the territory
3 that was controlled by us. Does that sound reasonable and plausible to
5 A. I did not take any part in this investigation, so I take the
6 figures as you put them, and I have no mean to check and I have no will
7 to do so. It was not at all in the frame of the investigation I was
8 tasked with.
9 Q. Thank you. And now, did you know that before July 1995, the
10 28th Division lost over 2.000 combatants who had remained in the Serbian
11 territory? Over 2.000 combatants were lost in the attacks mounted by the
12 28th Division against the Serbs.
13 A. If you say so.
14 Q. Thank you. Do we agree that in the month of July 1995, there was
15 fierce fighting in the area when the 28th Division attempted a
16 breakthrough towards Nezuk?
17 A. Not only during the attempt of the breakthrough towards Nezuk,
18 but also when the column hitting the direction north arrived in the
19 vicinity of Zvornik, one group of the column made a diversion as if they
20 would attack Zvornik in order to ease the process of all the rest of the
21 column to exit Nezuk. So, yes, indeed, we had the knowledge that there
22 was some fierce fighting going on in the area at the time of the same
23 move of these prisoners taken from Bratunac and who went through the
24 process I described during the direct.
25 Q. Thank you. We'll come to that, and please help us to establish
1 the schedule of -- of events. However, before that my question is this:
2 In that area, the war was ongoing for at least 44 months, and there were
3 casualties throughout the period, casualties among the combatants of the
4 28th Division, before July 1995 and during the fighting that took place
5 in July 1995. Did anybody provide you with enough background
6 information, and did anybody ask you to distinguish between what was
7 going on with the bodies of the Muslim fighters that were killed over the
8 period of 44 months as opposed to the bodies of the combatants that died
9 in the month of July?
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
11 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, this claim that there was combat in
12 this area for 44 months has been put to a number of witnesses, and I
13 think if you count back 44 months, it goes well into 1991, and perhaps
14 Mr. Karadzic could clarify if it's his case that there was combat going
15 on in this area in 1991.
16 JUDGE KWON: But I think Mr. Ruez is able to answer the question
17 having the knowledge. But, Mr. Karadzic, for purposes, please bear in
18 mind what Mr. Mitchell indicated.
19 Yes, Mr. Ruez.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes. For sure this is something to consider in
21 order not to mix situations and origins of the victims. This is the
22 reason why the sites we have identified and that we later learned through
23 analysis of captured documents of the Zvornik Brigade that we had in fact
24 found all of the sites that had been used for the purpose of the
25 extermination process of the prisoners, where the full number of them,
1 since we found the logs of the drivers who on 13 July transported the
2 security officers to these sites so that they could assess the detention
3 facilities and identify nearby execution sites. We focused only on the
4 graves where we had information that during the days of 14, 15, and 16
5 July people had been executed on these spots, and a great load of
6 evidence will be provided to the defendant during the testimonies of both
7 Professor Wright, who -- and -- and Richard Haglund, who already
8 testified, I heard, regarding the content of please mass graves and the
9 complement of all these findings by the exhumation teams, the connections
10 between the detention sites. The primary mass graves and the secondary
11 mass graves will be done with full details by the investigator of this
12 investigation team, Dean Manning.
13 As far as the military overlay of this operation is concerned,
14 the full analysis of it was done by another team member who was
15 Richard Butler and who will be able also to put in relation the events
16 with the more general combat ambiance that occurred not far away from
17 these crime scenes.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you establish where Muslim military casualties
19 were buried during those, say, 14 months, and where those who got killed
20 in the fighting in July 1995 were buried?
21 A. Again, the goal of the investigation was not to do a mapping of
22 all the burial sites from 1992 through 1995 but only to focus on the
23 crime scenes connected with the fate of the 8.000 missing men from
24 11 July, 12 July 1995.
25 Q. All right. How did you get there? Who gave you that initial
1 figure of 8.000?
2 A. It is simple. It is a big book from the Red Cross that lists
3 absolutely all the missing persons from the three years of wars, with an
4 S, and this book has approximately, I think, 24.000 names and origins of
5 missing places. One-third of this book has only -- has a missing place,
6 last seen alive, Srebrenica, one-third of the entire conflict, and the
7 figure is around 8.000 for Srebrenica. I recently learned that among
8 these 8.000 already yet more than 6.000 that we found in the primary and
9 secondly graves have been identified by name and are missing from
10 Srebrenica July 1995, by name thanks to DNA analysis.
11 Q. Thank you. Is it possible to confirm by DNA analysis that these
12 persons were killed or got killed in July 1995, and did DNA analysis
13 provide evidence of how they met their death, in combat or by unlawful
15 A. I would not be able, since I'm not a scientist, to explain in
16 this courtroom how precise the DNA analysis is indeed. For sure, the
17 cause of death is not to be read in the DNA of those who have been
19 JUDGE KWON: In the meantime, I forgot to tell the parties that
20 today we'll adjourn at 1.45.
21 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good news is always
23 welcome. High time to hear something good.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Now, Mr. Ruez, do you agree and did you know that at the peak of
1 its population density during 1994, Srebrenica had about 37.000 people,
2 and they reported they had 60 -- 45.000 population in order to get more
3 supplies and more aid?
4 A. Though I had no possibility to investigate these figures, the
5 general figure I always came across was approximately, if I remember
6 well, approximately 40.000 persons in the enclave, but, yes, there was
7 always the -- the possibility that indeed in order to attract more aid
8 the figures were fuzzy and most possibly raised at a higher level. But,
9 on the other hand, once we know that there were approximately 25.000
10 persons in and around the Tuzla area after the finalisation of the
11 deportation process out of Srebrenica, as well as a column of
12 approximately 15.000 persons among which the 5th Corps said that 6.000
13 succeeded to arrive in BiH territory, that we have from the Red Cross
14 approximately 8.000 missing persons, we end up roughly at the number I
15 told and in the fork of the figures that you have.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that Srebrenica was a place from which
17 people, civilians, preferred to flee if they had the chance than to move
18 into Srebrenica during the time it was a protected area? In other words,
19 do you agree that from 1994 onwards, that figure only dropped? It
20 certainly did not increase.
21 A. Due to the hellish living conditions that were imposed on these
22 people from 1992 through 1995, the fact is that any reasonable brain
23 person would only have one intention, if he's not wearing a camouflage
24 uniform, so mainly the women, the children, and the elderly, would be to
25 flee out of this area. But this does not change the figures that we just
1 discussed previously. Anyhow, not significantly. The figures I -- I was
2 talking about are the figures of July 1995, and again all what happened
3 before, though it might be of interest for the, in brackets, ambience, is
4 not something that was part of the investigation.
5 Q. Thank you. However, what I'm trying to say, in fact my case is
6 that during 1994, the population peaked. There were many more people
7 than in July 1995 when the population was 37.000. Do you know that
8 several thousand managed to flee, some with the UNHCR, others by breaking
9 out individually towards Zepa, Serbia or Central Bosnia? Did you know
11 A. Yes, I know that. I don't know the figures. You say several
12 thousand. I cannot confirm or infirm what you're saying.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
14 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I think the evidence we've heard is
15 that some people left with UNHCR in 1993, not 1994.
16 THE WITNESS: It was indeed 1993.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. It is my case that people were leaving all the time and wanted to
20 leave all the time throughout. I don't know if you've heard about it.
21 If not, we'll show you documents.
22 My case is that the population could not have been higher than in
23 July 1994. Can we agree on that?
24 A. To be honest with you, I really don't care. I only care about
25 what happened to the 8.000 missing persons. The rest is not - I repeat
1 it and I will repeat it again - not part of the investigation.
2 Q. Mr. Ruez, I am challenging your figure of 8.000, and I'm trying
3 to prove it wrong. Do you know that in this courtroom commanders of the
4 Dutch Battalion confirmed that they had 20.000 people in Potocari,
5 whereas 13- to 15.000 went to the woods in order to flee towards Tuzla?
6 You have to pay attention to that, because you are presenting a figure
7 that I'm contesting.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
9 MR. MITCHELL: Could I have a citation to the Dutch Battalion
10 commanders who said there were 20.000 people in Potocari in this
12 JUDGE KWON: I don't remember. What did Mr. Franken say about
13 the number of refugees in Potocari, Mr. Mitchell?
14 MR. MITCHELL: I don't know off the top of my head,
15 Mr. President. That's why I was asking for a citation.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was in a document.
17 THE WITNESS: I can answer that.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue then, Mr. Ruez. Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: President Karadzic, we do not disagree on these
20 figures. We don't disagree on these figures. Major Franken might have
21 assessed the crowd, which is very hard to assess. Somewhere in open
22 fields, some were inside buildings. So it's always a very difficult task
23 to assess numbers. What we know more or less for sure was -- is that
24 25.000 people ended up in and around Tuzla in refugee camps. The figure
25 of approximately 5 -- 15.000 persons in the column is also an assessment.
1 No one could -- didn't -- no one counted them one by one. But if on this
2 column of 15.000, 6.000 members of the 28th Division were at the
3 spearhead that broke through the lines at Konjevici made it to -- made it
4 alive despite of having had indeed also combat casualties in Tuzla, you
5 have more or less the figure. And I'm not the person to challenge
6 regarding the figure of 8.000. You should challenge the ICRC who created
7 this list. The only important aspect of this list for the investigation
8 is that it lists the names and the place where these people have
9 disappeared from. And this is later on a very useful list in order to
10 identify people, and once these people were identified by DNA inside the
11 graves, we could take some sample of cases in order to take from the
12 person who last saw the victim, to take what I named last-seen-alive
13 statement, so that we don't only have the name on the missing book, but
14 we also have the statement of the person who saw this victim alive and
15 can say, for example, I was in a factory, Energoinvest, with Ramo and
16 Ramo wanted to get onboard of a bus but he was separated. It's an
17 example I invent at this moment, but this is the way we also made the
18 connection between living people and then rotten flesh in mass graves.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I see, Mr. Mitchell, on his feet,
20 so I'm waiting.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I did want to come back to this,
23 because it's again something inaccurate has been -- was put to the
24 witness. What Mr. Franken actually said, he was read a document which
1 "There is more than 20.000 people in and around the compound."
2 This is at transcript page 23162.
3 And then Colonel Franken said:
4 "I don't know how they came to the number of 20.000. Estimates
5 are estimates and never very accurate."
6 So can we please be accurate when we're citing to the testimony
7 of other witnesses or documents.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank Mr. Mitchell, but that was
10 a comment on the contemporaneous document of the United Nations created
11 in July 1995. That document refers to a figure of 20.000 plus, and the
12 estimates at that time were more accurate than they are now after so much
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you said Dutch Battalion commander
15 confirmed that they had 2 -- 20.000 people. Be precise. Please
16 continue, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, he confirmed.
18 That was written in a document. He said something more, but I showed him
19 a document which refers to a figure of 20.000. It was a contemporaneous
21 JUDGE KWON: Then refer to that UN document, not a UN commander.
22 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at 65 ter 20596.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Did you give an interview to a parliamentary commission in France
1 on the 22nd February, 2001?
2 A. Yes. I was requested to testify. It was a common information
3 mission from both Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
4 the French parliament.
5 Q. Could we see that document, please. We don't need the map any
6 more. [No interpretation]:
7 [In English] "the objective today is basically to remind you on
8 the facts."
9 [Interpretation] That's what you say in line 2 about the events
10 after July 1995. That was what the interview was about; correct?
11 A. The interview was about the reconstruction of the facts, yeah.
12 Q. Could we see page 3, please. Look here where you say in
13 paragraph 2:
14 [In English] "In fact," [Interpretation] line 4, [In English]
15 "many small-scale executions, individual or in small groups occurred in
16 the area."
17 [Interpretation] Did you establish when that began and how it
18 proceeded? Was it also a consequence of mutual killing in the period
20 A. Paragraph 2, line 4. I don't see this in paragraph 2.
21 Q. Line 5.
22 JUDGE KWON: Have you found it?
23 THE WITNESS: Oh, yes, yes. No. With the Kravica -- yeah. In
24 fact, many small-call -- yes. Absolutely, yes. Yes, absolutely. We
25 don't go through this other, in brackets, small-scale executions. These
1 parts of the book had been taken off by the Prosecution since
2 President Karadzic was not indicted for these, in bracket, small-scale
3 executions in the area of Konjevic Polje.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you, but how did you understand these small-scale
6 executions, if you'd like to call them that.
7 A. Listen, I -- I do not speculate on the reasons why people have
8 been murdered at that spot, but if you say that it's revenge due to the
9 consequence of mutual killings, I think you might very well be -- you
10 might be very right on the motivation of these assassins. It could be
11 indeed some revenge thing, yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Further down you say that on the 14th of July, in the
13 morning, the first detention centre, a hangar, there were 50 or so people
14 who were killed with blunt instruments. [In English] Was evacuated.
15 [Interpretation] And then it was evacuated. Do you mean Kravica? The
16 warehouse in Kravica --
17 A. What paragraph?
18 Q. -- the hangar. The second paragraph is 13th of July.
19 A. What paragraph are you talking about, and what line or part of
21 Q. Second paragraph, line 2.
22 A. Yeah. This is the Kravica -- Kravica warehouse, absolutely.
23 Q. Was it exactly the way you put it here?
24 A. I could have been more precise, but that was not the goal of
25 this -- this presentation. The execution at the Kravica warehouse did
1 not happen in -- in one single event. It was more complex than that, if
2 one can say. First execution of the people in the west part took place
3 and in several waves. You have or will have the testimonies of
4 survivors -- or survivor in this part. This is also the reason why it
5 was important to determine if when Colonel Borovcanin and the -- the
6 journalist, Zoran Petrovic, arrived on the spot that the execution was
7 still ongoing, because it happened in several waves. They even called
8 for survivors inside, telling them that the Red Cross had arrived and was
9 present, and those who were still alive and went out, the survivor could
10 hear shots being fired. So it was more a long process than what I say in
11 these two lines, because it's only after all those executed in the west
12 part were considered as dead that then the shooters executed the other
13 prisoners on the other side. And meanwhile they were killing the people
14 in one part of the warehouse, they were telling to the others that they
15 were under attack from the hill so to keep them calm while being
16 assassinated at that turn -- at their turn.
17 But I didn't get into all these details even during the cross,
18 but we could provide much more details during your -- your examination
19 than during the direct.
20 Q. Do you know that there were very few guards there, that the
21 atmosphere was relaxed, that a prisoner walked up to the guard to light
22 his cigarette and in the process he snatched his rifle, he killed the
23 guard and started shooting around? Do you know about that? Did you hear
24 about that event?
25 A. I heard about an incident, indeed, where a prisoner grabbed the
1 gun of a guard, and could be that -- could be true. I think one guard
2 also had his hand burned by the barrel of his gun. But in any case, due
3 to the description I just made previously of the method of the slaughter
4 in this house, even if this incident would be true and that a short panic
5 occurred that could maybe even explain that several other prisoners might
6 have suffered collateral damage when this rebelled prisoner grabbed the
7 gun, it would in no case be an explanation for the systematic killing of
8 absolutely all the prisoners from the east and the west part of the
9 warehouse since the killing only stopped once the executioners were sure
10 that no one had survived their activity.
11 Q. Mr. Ruez, with all due respect, we have to leave something for
12 the Trial Chamber. Let the Trial Chamber make conclusions. Let's, the
13 two of us, establish how things were. Is it true that as soon as the
14 warehouse was full the Serbs started shooting, or was it the way I
15 described it? The atmosphere was relaxed. One of the prisoners walked
16 up to a guard, he grabbed his rifle and continued shooting and that that
17 incident was actually what triggered the course of events and leave
18 everything else to the Chamber. I just need to know from you whether
19 this was the chain of events that you were able to establish for that
21 A. This is not at all the chain of events that I heard. We know
22 only two survivors of this slaughter at the Kravica warehouse. I don't
23 want to speak in their name because I bet that they will come and explain
24 the situation to the Court, but I never heard any of them telling that
25 they felt invited at a tea party at the Kravica warehouse. So the
1 relaxed ambiance, I leave that to you.
2 I didn't say I believe that to you, I said leave that to you.
3 Q. Mr. Ruez, do you know that Kravica is the place where the Serbs
4 were massacred on the 7th of January, 1993, which was the
5 Orthodox Christmas, and that events -- event also played a role in the
6 overall outcome? Did you know that?
7 A. I know about the attack that was launched from inside the enclave
8 during the Orthodox Christmas on the village of Kravica. This is also a
9 reason why when we went to the Kravica warehouse during one of the
10 missions there we also went inside the village of Kravica, since there
11 was a possible doubt about the use of the facility, hangar style, inside
12 the Kravica village as a possible execution site. But though this
13 structure, like many of the houses inside Kravica, were severely damaged,
14 we didn't find any evidence that the warehouse inside Kravica village had
15 been used for any execution.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that neither you nor I should justify
17 things or establish things? Let us just look into the following: Do you
18 accept that the trigger for that shooting was the event that I described?
19 A. No, I don't accept it, because even though this event could be
20 really confirmed, it doesn't change the reality of the situation that
21 occurred at that location, which is a systematic killing of every single
22 man who was within this warehouse.
23 Q. That is precisely what we should leave to the Trial Chamber.
24 This is the only thing that I'm asking you now: Before that --
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, because you asked the opinion of the
1 witness, the witness answered, gave his opinion. Let's move on.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not asking him for his opinion
3 on that event. I'm asking whether that actually happened, whether this
4 was the thing that triggered that event, the grabbing of the weapon from
5 the guard, did that happen or not.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ruez answered that he heard of the incident, and
7 whether it triggered something or not, you're asking -- inviting his
8 opinion, Mr. Karadzic.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, you said here that the killings in Cerska occurred on
11 the 13th. However, that is not derived from this interview. It seems to
12 have been later, right, on the 14th?
13 A. No. From the interview of the witness who was above the hill,
14 the witness was above the hill when he saw the three buses escorted by
15 one APCs in front of and one at the back of this little convoy, and then
16 later saw the excavator entering the valley. This was on 13. And the
17 one who managed to cross in this area and spotted the -- the pool of
18 blood, it was during the night between 13 and 14. So this execution took
19 place on 13 July.
20 Q. And when did they leave Bratunac? Did you establish that?
21 A. In my opinion, they didn't leave Bratunac at all. These people
22 were either from the soccer field or from the 65th Protection Regiment.
23 On the photograph from above at the 65th -- 65th Protection Regiment,
24 there are three buses to be seen on the picture. I do not say that these
25 three buses are the three buses we talk about in the Cerska Valley, but
1 it indicates at the minimum that buses were there to take -- to take
2 away, maybe to Kladanj, the prisoners who were inside the 65th protection
3 compound, Protection Regiment compound. So these people in Cerska, I
4 would not think they come from Bratunac, but everything is possible. I
5 don't know.
6 Q. But can we then establish who these people were? This man saw
7 buses but did not see any execution; right?
8 A. No. As I explained when we went through this crime scene, the
9 witness could not see the execution. The exhumation uncovered 150 bodies
10 with hands attached in the back and some of them even had their feet
11 attached. These ones were most certainly not battle casualties.
12 Q. Look at page 4, what you say further on. So on the same day, on
13 the 14th, a bus with 150 people on board arrived there and then there was
14 the excavator. That's the 14th. And then further on you say the
15 evacuation continued during the day of the 15th of July. You're
16 referring to schools here, Pilica and so on. However, in the fifth
17 paragraph you say:
18 [In English] "In fact, however, the executions did not begin
19 until the next day, 16th of July."
20 [Interpretation] Is that right?
21 A. Yes, yes, absolutely. The execution -- there were so many people
22 in Bratunac that it took two days to evacuate them all. 14 July is the
23 executions at the Orahovac and -- area, and the -- the barrage at
24 Karakaj. The 15 is the executions of those at Rocevic, at the Kozluk
25 site, and the 16th is the execution of those at the Kula school and at
1 the Branjevo Farm, as well as the execution at the Pilica Dom.
2 Q. And you say here that about 1.200 people were killed; right?
3 That's the paragraph in the middle. Between 1000 and 1500 hours at
4 Branjevo. And then further on, you talk about this execution quad and:
5 [In English] "... on the site and executed a number of people
6 estimated by a member of the execution squad to have been 1.200."
7 [Interpreted] Is that right?
8 A. Absolutely correct. The person who provides the assessment of
9 1.200 at the Branjevo Farm being Drazen Erdemovic.
10 Q. Could you get anything more objective and impartial than
11 Drazen Erdemovic? Could you not deal with it more scientifically, if you
13 A. Oh, yes. Considering that possibly 1.200 were killed at the
14 Branjevo Farm, that the figure of those slaughtered at the Pilica Dom was
15 assessed by the security officer as being 500, we end up with 1.700. The
16 only way to ascertain scientifically, as you say, these numbers is to add
17 the number of bodies that were left at the Branjevo Farm, add this number
18 to all the -- I mean to the nine secondary graves of Cancari valley which
19 are connected through various scientific means to the primary grave of
20 Branjevo, and add all these numbers that would then provide a precise
21 number of executed people.
22 I don't know yet if the full exhumation process of these
23 secondary graves have been completed, but if this is the case, you will
24 have scientific assessment that we all wish to have. If not, we will
25 have an estimate that is not completed yet.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it's time to take a break now, if it
2 is convenient to you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, yes.
4 JUDGE KWON: We'll take a break for 20 minutes and resume at
6 --- Recess taken at 10.19 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.44 a.m.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Let us now please focus on the rest. February 2000, that was the
12 date of this interview; right?
13 A. Yes, this is right.
14 Q. Can we have page 5 now. Please take a look at the fifth
15 paragraph starting from the top:
16 [In English] "The minimum number of individuals exhumed to date
17 is 2.028. It is a very much reduced figure, and it is the minimum number
18 of individuals determined by the pathologists during the autopsies. It
19 will be possible to make this figure more precise when all the
20 exhumations have been completed and will certainly be higher."
21 [Interpretation] Today you said that if we do not confirm that,
22 it remains an estimate only. In 2001, you have a total of 2.028 exhumed.
23 That is the minimum number, as you say; right?
24 A. Absolutely right.
25 Q. Thank you. So within this number of exhumed individuals, did you
1 establish who were the individuals that had been killed in fighting in
2 July 1995?
3 A. None of the persons that were exhumed in these graves connected
4 with the detention sites from -- in which the prisoners coming from
5 Bratunac had been buried has a connection with combatants. All these
6 were unarmed prisoners. And now we are in 2012. This is why the figure
7 has considerably expanded, and in between these 11 years, 10 years, the
8 DNA identification has taken place. Unfortunately, still today I know
9 that the full exhumation process is, unfortunately, not completed.
10 Q. However, a moment ago you confirmed that DNA analysis did not say
11 anything in terms of time of death or mode of death; right? The fact
12 that DNA analysis was carried out does not show that these persons were
13 killed in fighting or that they were victims of an execution. I'm not
14 talking about people whose hands had been tied. How did you establish
15 that they had nothing to do with fighting?
16 A. Indeed this is not a DNA identification that provides the
17 information about origins of the dead. Nevertheless, this part is done
18 by other aspects of the investigation when you reconstruct the path
19 followed by these people from detention site Bratunac to detention site
20 in the area north, and all these people in the graves are those who were
21 in these various detention sites.
22 The analysis of the graves, as I said, will be detailed by
23 Dean Manning, and you will then have a very clear and detailed view of
24 this step-by-step process, from the surface of the grave to the inside of
25 the grave and then to the secondary graves.
1 Q. Thank you. Where were the combat casualties buried in July 1995?
2 A. This I don't know. I repeat, we were not looking for combat
3 casualties but to identify the detention sites, the nearby execution
4 sites, and the successive burial places of these prisoners.
5 Q. To the best of your knowledge, how many people died in combat
6 during those few days in July 1995?
7 A. To know that precisely, we would again have to finalise the full
8 exhumation process of the sites connected with the assassination of the
9 prisoners and retrieve this number from the total number of those
10 reported missing to the ICRC. This will give an indication of those who
11 have an unknown cause of death. This unknown cause will then be
12 considered, even if it is not necessarily the case, as combat casualties.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you see that list of the ICRC, the list of
14 persons who arrived in Tuzla?
15 A. No. I am talking about the ICRC list of missing persons in
16 former Yugoslavia.
17 Q. However, you mentioned that the Red Cross established how many
18 had arrived in Tuzla, 25.000; right? That's what you said today.
19 A. The 25.000 is not the -- is not necessarily an assessment of the
20 Red Cross. It's the assessment that was made of the people who were
21 inside refugee camps inside and around Tuzla.
22 Q. So this is not reliable information coming from the Red Cross,
23 that only 25.000 got out; right? It is the estimate of those who were in
24 refugee camps; right?
25 A. No. The -- I don't remember precisely the source regarding these
1 refugees in and around Tuzla. It could also be the Red Cross. It could
2 be also the UN who was there. It was also -- possibly also the
3 assessment of the Bosniak authorities, and also we have to add, as I
4 said, the 6.000, which was a number given by the BiH 5th Corps as being
5 the number of those of the 28th Division who made it through Nezuk.
6 Q. Do you think or do you have information that all the refugees
7 were placed in refugee camps around Tuzla, or were some put up with their
8 families, relatives who lived there? Were those who were put up in
9 private accommodation included in the total figure?
10 A. This could very well be, but again I need to refocus on the fact
11 that the only number of real concern for the investigation is the number
12 of those who are on the ICRC list of missing persons and who were missing
13 from Srebrenica July 1995. So the figure of around 8.000.
14 Q. I'm challenging that, sir. There's no way of confirming that.
15 Let us now look at what the 2nd Corps reported on the 16th of July.
16 1D -- actually, D1998.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have that. I do
18 apologise to Mr. Mitchell, because I had sent another number in the
19 notification. So this is what I'd like to have in e-court, D1998. I
20 will go back to this document.
21 Next page, please. I beg your pardon. Actually, can we still
22 look at this and can we see the bottom of the page. This is the
23 General Staff of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it is the security
24 administration. This is an official bulletin. The date is the 17th of
1 JUDGE KWON: I think we had an English translation. That's why
2 it's admitted in full without being marked for identification, with the
3 understanding that the English translation to be uploaded by Defence, but
4 I don't see the English translation yet which has been uploaded.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that that is the case.
6 We'll see now.
7 JUDGE KWON: If it is not, it is a fault on the part of the
8 Defence. I think the thing was that the Prosecution offered the English
9 translation at the time. But in the meantime, let us proceed. Or can
10 you proceed with other topic while the Registry -- either the Registry or
11 the Prosecution can assist you with the English translation.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Perhaps that would be
13 better. Can we go back to the previous document, then, 20596.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let's look at the bottom of the page, of the first page. Let's
16 move to the bottom of the first page.
17 Your response was that on the 11th of July, 1995, and I'm going
18 to proceed in English because I believe that the interpretation will be
20 [In English] "All the military and civilian leaders of the
21 enclave realised that it was going to fall. The population decided to go
22 in two directions. All the able-bodied men, which was most of them,
23 gathered in an area of the enclave and in the night of 11 to 12 ... began
24 to leave the enclave one by one in a column and crossed the minefield in
25 order," can we get another, "to take the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road and
1 then climb up the Cerska Valley and escape in that direction."
2 [Interpretation] So you had the information that almost all
3 able-bodied men joined the convoy, the breakthrough convoy; right?
4 A. Yes. This is what I explained previously during the direct.
5 Q. Thank you. The second direction that you mentioned was about
6 civilians, women, and elderly who decided to proceed towards Potocari;
8 A. Yes. As you can imagine during the testimony, the Assembly, the
9 need to enter details is not so thorough that in a courtroom. The fact
10 is that able men were also in Potocari, and you can even see them on the
11 videos available, filmed at that date in Potocari by Zoran Petrovic, as
12 well as the men that were walking from the white house towards buses. So
13 there were also an X number of able men in Potocari who were then taken
14 to Bratunac, the 12 and the 13.
15 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at page 5 again. You say here in the
16 penultimate paragraph, in the last sentence, you say:
17 [In English] "In the end there will probably be more than 4.000
18 people whom we will be able to say were executed in cold blood in this
19 organised and systematic procedure."
20 [Interpretation] Do you still believe that the 2.028 were victims
21 of the execution, and was your estimate that there will be more of them,
22 exactly the same number of them?
23 A. The number of 2.028 is the number of those who were exhumed by
24 2001. Since the exhumation process was very far from being completed in
25 2001, it was a certainty that the figure would raise very significantly,
1 but since the press was constantly talking about 8.000 people killed
2 though no one really can know what this figure would really be since we
3 need to complete fully the exhumations to have this final number, I used
4 the figure of 4 as a very conservative number that would be reached. And
5 we can see now that it was very conservative, because though the full
6 exhumation process is not over, there are already now some 6.000 people
7 identified by name through DNA and on the missing list as missing since
8 July 1995 from Srebrenica.
9 Q. And you believe that the 6.000 whose DNA was established, that
10 they were executed?
11 A. All those found in the graves, the primary and the secondary,
12 have all been assassinated, indeed.
13 Q. Well, we will show you that this is not correct. Let's look at
14 page 6. At the top you say this:
15 [In English] "Thus there are all those who died in fighting and
16 those who committed suicide. The only figure to be kept in mind is that
17 of those who were arrested, detained, transferred, executed and will
18 probably rise to 4.000 to 2.000 people after all the exhumations."
19 [Interpretation] On the following page, you increase the figure
20 to 5.000. Do you know how many of the 6.000 who were identified died
21 before July 1995 were killed before July 1995 in various places?
22 A. Again, those who were found in the primary graves and in the
23 secondary graves which are connected with the primary graves, they all
24 went through the detention process, Bratunac and the area north, and all
25 these people are not combat casualties. They have all been gone through
1 the extermination process.
2 Q. We will look at what Muslims themselves say about that. And now
3 in the third paragraph you say:
4 [In English] "Paramilitaries were involved in this matter. In
5 fact, Arkan did not take part in the operation."
6 [Interpretation] Did you establish what kind of paramilitaries
7 could be seen moving about that area?
8 A. Yes. The -- the reason for this comment about Arkan is that one
9 UN observer who had served at one point at the Croatian front where he
10 had seen Arkan men wearing black uniforms believed that when he saw the
11 beginning of the attack where the 10th Sabotage Detachment took place, he
12 thought that men in black were Arkan people, where we know now that they
13 most certainly were members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, which is a
14 regular unit of the Bosnian Serb Army and not any paramilitaries coming
15 from Serbia.
16 One of the killers originated from -- originating from Bratunac
17 who took part at the execution at the Branjevo Farm, though he was from
18 Bratunac, was in fact from a, in bracket, paramilitary unit of Bijeljina,
19 and he happened to be in Bratunac on leave during when the enclave fall,
20 and he volunteered to -- to join for the executions.
21 So it's not a paramilitary operation. It's the units of the
22 Drina Corps who took part in the execution process.
23 Q. Thank you. And now can we go to page 8. You were asked about
24 the difference between civilians and soldiers, and you answered. You
25 said that this was used by the Serbian propaganda, and you said that
1 actually every individual, every able-bodied man could be considered a
2 combatant in that context. And you go on to say that the existence of
3 5.000 infantry weapons and pieces means that there were 5.000 combatants.
4 Do you know that our war was waged in three shifts, and if there
5 was a lack of rifles, the rifle would remain being used in combat, but
6 they were used by different people?
7 A. Yes, absolutely. The reason why I -- I talked about this is that
8 as you very well know, and I will assist you on that, there was a
9 mobilisation order just before the enclave fell. So due to this
10 mobilisation order, every able man could be very well considered as a
11 combatant. The point is that due to the chain of events since all these
12 people at one point ended up being either captured or for most of them
13 just surrendered, at the moment they surrender they are supposed to be
14 under not only the custody but the protection of those who captured or
15 received them in surrender.
16 Since after that we enter the process of a cold-blooded
17 assassination of all of them, the fact that they are military or
18 civilians does not matter any longer.
19 Q. We're trying to establish facts. We're not trying to give them
20 any meaning. Let's stick to the facts.
21 Did you confirm here the people who surrendered, who came out of
22 the woods, threw their weapons prior to surrendering, because that was
23 safer for them. You will find that in the third or fourth line from the
24 bottom. It's in the last paragraph, lines 2 and 3:
25 "[In English] Most of the men got rid of their weapons before
2 [Interpretation] Is that correct? Right?
3 A. When the people were jammed on top of these hills on 13 July,
4 they were called by the Bosnian Serb forces along the road with
5 megaphones, where they received security guarantees, hearing that, ICRC
6 is here. The UN is here. Come down. No one will harm you. And they
7 could see, indeed, blue helmets on the road. The fact is that we also
8 could determine that there was no UN personnel on this road. There was
9 no ICRC. These people were ruled by a tricky method by Bosnian Serb
10 soldiers who were wearing these helmets disguised as UN personnel. So
11 the sense of security in a way can be considered in such a context as
12 being extremely relative.
13 Q. Well, Mr. Ruez, we could see just one young lad in that clip, and
14 he was the only one bearing a blue helmet. How can you claim that
15 Serbs -- all the Serbs wore blue helmets everywhere? Are you claiming
16 that, and when you claiming that, do you have in mind only that one lad
17 with the blue helmet?
18 A. The one you call a lad is a Bosnian Serb soldier wearing a
19 camouflage uniform and has on his head a stolen UN blue helmet. I don't
20 say, because the witnesses don't say, that all the Bosnian Serb soldiers
21 were wearing these helmets, blue helmets. Only a few had such helmets on
22 the head. This is what the witnesses say. But these few were enough of
23 them to believe that the security guarantees they were receiving were
25 Q. How do you know that? Are you a mind reader? How do you know
1 things that were in the heads of other people?
2 A. Because when you interview these people, they tell you what they
3 had in the head at the moment they report to the -- to a investigators,
4 what they have seen and what they have heard. And when you then have a
5 film taken by a journalist who was together with the Bosnian Serb Army
6 and then you can get a visual confirmation that what they said was no
7 fantasy because you have one obvious evidence of truth and are your eyes,
8 you end up believing that what they told you is indeed not a fantasy but
9 a correct statement.
10 Q. Can we have page 9.
11 JUDGE KWON: I was told that the Registry got the English
12 translation of that bulletin thanks to the co-operation of the
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Defence submitted that on the
15 12th of January, I believe.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can we look at your response in the lower half of the page.
18 Thank you. Francois Lamy asks you:
19 [In English] "Do you have evidence that there was any possible
20 planning before the massacre?"
21 [Interpretation] Your response:
22 [In English] "No, there is no evidence of prior planning. In
23 fact, it was not planned to take the enclave. The operation plans for
24 the offensive was dated 5th of July. I think that the air defence
25 component of the operation was dated 6th or 7th of July. It is possible
1 to have an exact date. The decision to take over the enclave was not
2 made until 9th of July when General Mladic realised that the enclave
3 would not be defended. The initial objective was to reduce the enclave
4 to the town of Srebrenica and transform it into a huge open-air refugee
5 camp to force the United Nations to evacuate the zone."
6 [Interpretation] Mr. Ruez, is this a bit of an exaggeration? Was
7 the first and only task before the 9th and 10th of July to separate
8 Srebrenica from Zepa and to regain the control of the road that belonged
9 to us between Srebrenica and Zepa? You say that there was a limited task
10 to reduce, and so on and so forth. Do you know that the safe area had
11 its borders that were previously agreed?
12 A. The knowledge that we had at that time and leads to what I said
13 at the commission is written black on -- black on white in the Krivaja 95
14 operation plan. The goal was to reduce, not to take fully the enclave.
15 To reduce it, if I remember well the phrasing, in such a way to make the
16 living conditions so unbearable that the place would have to be
17 evacuated. More details about this plan will be most certainly provided
18 to this Chamber by the military analyst who worked on all these captured
19 documents, Richard Butler.
20 As far as the planning of the one I call extermination process,
21 more information was learned about this after my departure in 2001. So I
22 might not be the relevant person to talk about it. Richard Butler might
23 also be able to provide more details on the planning of the actual --
24 Q. Very well. I apologise. I have to stop you here. The process
25 to reduce the enclave, are you saying that the Serbian plan was to reduce
1 the enclave to an extent below the agreement, and do you agree that the
2 enclave had previously been enlarged by the Muslims beyond the agreed
3 borders and that's how they managed to cut our road between the two
4 enclaves? Can you answer that, or perhaps we should leave that to Butler
5 as well?
6 A. The debate is not indeed part of the investigation, but, yes,
7 these lines were moving. The BiH claims that each time there was a
8 switch between the battalions, the UN battalions, the Serb side used the
9 opportunity to reduce the size of the area. The Serbs, they indeed say
10 that the Bosniaks were willing to cut the road going from -- making the
11 tour from Zeleni Jadar to Milici, and so on. But at the end of the day,
12 what we know for sure is that the entire enclave, the entire UN safe area
13 was overwhelmed by the Bosnian Serb forces, as was Zepa, and that all of
14 this was part of a finalisation of eradicating these spots embedded in
15 Serb-held territory. So this is the broad picture. It's not the goal of
16 the investigation to enter in these aspects.
17 Q. Thank you. Could we now display but not broadcast transcript
18 page 22674. My thesis, Mr. Ruez, is this: Many graves that were dug in
19 1995 pre-existed that time, and that this sanitisation process affected
20 those graves, that there are no other graves. They're all the same
22 Let's see what was said about that here by one of the Muslim
24 22674 is the transcript page.
25 JUDGE KWON: Do you have 65 ter number?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is the transcript.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, we have tens of transcripts. What
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of this trial.
5 JUDGE KWON: Do you have the date?
6 Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
7 MR. MITCHELL: It's 10th of January this year, day 228, and it's
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Please look at the question:
11 [In English] "And how" --
12 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. I would like to be sure whether we
13 can stay in open session.
14 Mr. Mitchell?
15 MR. MITCHELL: This was in public session, if I'm --
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MR. MITCHELL: If I recall correctly.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes. It is confirmed by the Registry.
19 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You can believe me, Mr. Ruez, that Witness 045 is a Muslim who
22 survived the breakthrough. On line 3, it says:
23 [In English] "They were serious throughout the whole period."
24 It means attacks. "There was shelling ..."
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
1 Yes, Mr. Mitchell?
2 MR. MITCHELL: I think that's a huge misrepresentation of this
3 witness's evidence. This is a witness who survived an execution at the
4 dam, not a witness who survived the breakthrough.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Shall we go into private session.
6 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Please pay attention to line 1 on page 22674. My question was:
16 "Were these serious attacks ..."?
17 And he says that "they were serious throughout that whole
18 period," the whole breakthrough period.
19 This was before he was actually captured. He speaks about
20 numerous casualties, about 40 to 50 people who were wounded, and he also
21 speaks about those who died. There were so many killed that nobody could
22 carry them out from the creek. They carried those who were wounded.
23 They -- they did not carry the fallen. And we're talking only about the
24 281st Brigade, and he says that -- actually, I asked him on page 22:
25 [In English] "Did you bury the people who had been killed in the
1 fighting in these -- Potoci?" In this area.
2 "A. ... it's a bit of a silly question, if I may say that. How
3 could we have time to bury anyone when you don't even know what will
4 happen to you the next minute? We didn't even have time to look at
6 [Interpretation] Can we move to the following page.
7 [In English] "Q. Who buried these people?"
8 [No interpretation]
9 [In English] "A. Nobody ever did unless they were found later or
10 the Serbs gathered them and put them in mass graves. All the rest are
11 probably still there in those woods."
12 [Interpretation] So you say that everything in the mass graves
13 were victims of executions, whereas this man who was on the spot saw his
14 friends falling next to him. He names several combatants who got killed
15 near him, and he said that mostly nobody buried them from the Muslims,
16 that the Serbs picked them up and latter put them in mass graves. Did
17 you take this into account?
18 A. Yes, absolutely.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. I am on your question on the transcript. So, yes, absolutely.
21 Can we have "yes, absolutely," on the transcript as being my word. The
22 reason why I say yes, absolutely is that we know as a fact since it's in
23 the records of the Bosnian Serb Army, in the records of the Engineer Unit
24 of the 1st Zvornik Brigade that the heavy equipment used to bury the
25 bodies was already on the spot at Orahovac when the execution took place
1 and that this initial burial of the victims on this execution site
2 occurred on 15 July, that then it moved to the Karakaj dam where it
3 buried the bodies of those killed at the dam. Then --
4 Q. Mr. Ruez --
5 JUDGE KWON: No. Don't interrupt.
6 Please continue, Mr. Ruez.
7 THE WITNESS: Then the digging of the bodies at Kozluk occurred
8 also on 15, that the execution that took place at the Branjevo Farm and
9 the Pilica Dom on 15, exhumation was done on 16 by the Zvornik Brigade
10 Engineering Unit, and that all this exhumation work was finalised on 17,
11 and this is when the security officer of the Drina Corps, Vujadin --
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic could make his report to
13 Colonel Beara, saying that this entire operation deserved an A rate.
14 So this leaves little room to try to think that the bodies of
15 those left around in the combat area had ever been transported to these
16 execution sites to be mixed with the bodies of those who did not die in
18 JUDGE KWON: By exhumation on line 14, you meant a burial?
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes. Inhumation, yes, inhumation.
20 JUDGE KWON: So your assumption is that those victims or
21 casualties along the column were not buried?
22 THE WITNESS: Many were probably left around. As an example, at
23 the Orahovac site when going towards this little dump site, there was a
24 skeleton in civilian clothes lying along the dirt path. A peasant was
25 rolling on it in the morning and in the evening every day since long. No
1 one ever collected his bones. He was certainly not a Serb victim. He
2 was probably someone who crawled away of this area but didn't make it
3 more than a hundred metres approximately.
4 So bodies indeed were left around, and the battle casualties
5 close to the front lines were most probably indeed buried in mass graves
6 with these military casualties just nearby the place where they were
7 collected. There was -- is no need in such circumstances to transport
8 the bodies far away from the place where they are found.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 Mr. Karadzic.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And do you have these separate graves where combatants were
13 buried on video footage?
14 A. I have no knowledge about the graves where sanitation operation
15 led to bury combatants in mass graves, nor did I see when you started
16 this piece of your examination you reproduced orally something that I am
17 supposed having said - I don't know in what circumstance - and which
18 is -- I don't recognise through the transcript that I could read on the
19 screen anything I had previously said, so I would like to maybe return on
20 this small paragraph which don't make much sense to me.
21 Q. Look at this page, 49, line 8. You suggest that all combatants
22 got killed during the breakthrough of the 28th Division and that they
23 were all buried next to the place where they died. Do aerial photographs
24 show that, because if they were buried, if earth was dug, then that also
25 would have been noticeable.
1 A. I'm not talking about this part. I'm talking about the part at
2 the beginning of this part of your examination where you say that I said
3 that graves are pre-dug in 1995, pre-existed. I mean, something I have
4 no remembrance having ever said in my life. If we could return on this
5 part, that would be maybe useful.
6 Q. While page 40 is still on the screen, do you stand by what you
7 said in line 8, that you believe that those who got killed during the
8 breakthrough were not buried together with the victims of executions but
9 were buried instead, as you've said on lines 8, 9, and 10, were buried
10 close to the spot in separate graves?
11 A. I totally agree with this, yes. The graves we have exhumed have
12 nothing to do with combat casualties. I was just referring to another
13 paragraph where there is no document on the screen, at least not at this
14 moment, where I allegedly said that the graves we dug -- we dug
15 pre-existed. This is a part of something that you said at the very
16 beginning of this phase of your examination.
17 Q. I did not describe that to you. I'm asking you now where are
18 those graves that you mention where those who got killed during the
19 breakthrough were separately buried? Why didn't the aerial photographs
20 identify them when they identified every change on the ground?
21 A. Okay. I have to explain how aerial imagery can be used. Every
22 image represents a large square. Without talking about the type of
23 aerial platform that enabled to take the pictures we have shown, you can
24 see on a very open source documentary named -- Discovery Channel named
25 "Spies From Above" the functioning of a year 60 old plane named U2, the
1 one that photographed the Cuban missiles. It's a photograph of a square
2 30 kilometres long and north/south, in which you can then zoom towards a
3 spot to have a close shot of this specific spot. So when on this large
4 piece of ground you have indeed a lot of information, in order to
5 pinpoint the information, you need to have an indication that leads you
6 to this specific spot.
7 The pictures we did request, when we were asking for any type of
8 aerial imagery, was always of a very specific area. So this is how we
9 got the imagery.
10 The reason why we do not have imagery of suspect areas that could
11 be connected with burial of battle casualties has a simple reason. We,
12 in the course of this investigation, had no reason to go after graves
13 that were mass graves of the so-called cleansing of the terrain that is
14 done after combat. We only focus on areas where we know prisoners were
15 taken to, executed, and buried.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ruez, you wanted to ask -- comment on
17 Mr. Karadzic's question or comment. It's transcript page end of 35 and
18 36. I will read it for you. This is what Mr. Karadzic said:
19 "Could we now display but not broadcast transcript," this one,
20 "My thesis, Mr. Ruez is this," I'm quoting, "many graves that were dug in
21 1995 pre-existed that time, and that this sanitisation process affected
22 those graves, that there are no other graves. They are all the same
24 You wanted to comment on this one.
25 THE WITNESS: Okay. Now I understand now. I thought that
1 Mr. Karadzic was referring to any -- something I might -- I might have
2 said. Now I understand that it is his thesis. I thought he was putting
3 this in my mouth.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Would I be right in saying that apart from interviews with
9 survivors, you were guided by aerial imagery to spots which show changes
10 on the surface; is that correct?
11 A. Yes and no. It is correct at one point. The chronology is
12 simple. All the primary graves, we were not directed by imagery to these
13 spots --
14 Q. Please, I'm asking you how you used the images, how you excluded
15 changes on the surface resulting from combat.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you first hear him out and then ask
17 supplemental question. He was -- he was trying to answer your question.
18 Please continue, Mr. Ruez.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He's answering a different
21 JUDGE KWON: No. I don't think so.
22 Please continue, Mr. Ruez.
23 THE WITNESS: To answer President Karadzic's question, I
24 explained the two things. First phase, the primary graves. We were not
25 oriented by aerial imagery. We requested, based on the information we
1 had, access to imagery of very specific spots. Based then on this
2 imagery, we could find very precisely the spots we were trying to
4 For the second phase, the secondary graves, aside the graves in
5 Zeleni Jadar when it was based on ICTY request Office of the Prosecutor
6 to access to imagery, the rest of the sites, the Cancari sites, the
7 Hodzici sites, the Liplje sites, we were directed to these sites by work
8 done by others, and that we went then to the spots in order to make a
9 first dig and assess these secondary graves. So it's two phases, one
10 phase where we were directing the providers on certain pictures. Second
11 phase, where we were directed by the providers.
12 And again to answer the other part of the question of the
13 defendant, we did not request any -- we did not pinpoint any area where
14 could be mass graves with battle casualties, because these battle
15 casualties were completely out of the frame of this investigation.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. Could we see again this 20596, page 11. Look at
18 this. You are asked here where the first images were taken and how you
19 used them. You say:
20 "[In English] We have no photograph at all showing the execution
21 taking place if that is what you wish to know. We always have
22 photographs showing before and after."
23 [Interpretation] So you are guided by changes on the surface
24 shown by aerial photographs; is that correct or not?
25 A. This is correct.
1 Q. Thank you. On those photographs, how many spots of disturbed
2 earth were there where you concluded you didn't need to dig because they
3 might only contain casualties of combat?
4 A. Absolutely none of them, since the spots we -- on which we
5 requested comparison before and after were spots to where we were guided
6 by the reconstruction of the events based on the witness testimonies. So
7 none of the spots we were requesting imagery had a connection with combat
8 casualties since the persons who were taken there were prisoners, not
10 Q. Did you say a moment ago that a Muslim who was involved in both
11 the breakthrough and the executions said that they had left behind many
12 of their dead who were later buried by the Serbs into mass graves?
13 JUDGE KWON: You're just repeating your question.
14 Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
15 MR. MITCHELL: And if he's going to quote, we might need to go
16 back to that transcript so it can be exactly accurate. He didn't -- that
17 survivor didn't say the dead were later buried. He said they may have
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Let's continue.
20 MR. KARADZIC:
21 Q. "Unless," [Interpretation] he said, which means if they didn't
22 bury them, we certainly didn't.
23 Mr. Ruez, how many people, to the best of your knowledge were
24 buried during the breakthrough?
25 A. I have no idea. These people are not part of the criminal
2 Q. Fine, but you are aware that some got killed in the minefield;
4 A. Some got killed in various activities linked with combat. This
5 investigation is not about war -- warfare. It's about a massive
6 assassination operation, nothing to do with combat.
7 Q. Did you personally find evidence that in one locality more than
8 600 got killed in combat and this locality is called Bare? Do you have
9 any knowledge of this?
10 A. A mass grave nearby Bare is the one I was talking about when we
11 heard indeed that there was a mass grave near Bare. Knowing this mass
12 grave was containing battle casualties, we did not consider even going to
13 this spot. Battle casualties are not in the frame of a criminal
15 Q. Are you aware of fact that Mrs. Elizabeth Rehn personally toured
16 the area and saw hundreds of bodies of combat casualties? Are you aware
17 of the existence of some film about it, a documentary?
18 A. It would be interesting to know the date Ms. Rehn saw these
19 bodies scattered on the ground. I have a feeling in advance that this
20 has strictly nothing to do with the investigation I was dealing with.
21 Q. Does it have something to do with the locality? Do you know that
22 in the area of Bare there were over 600 combat casualties? Did you see
23 any video footage of that?
24 A. No, I didn't and so what? I mean, what's the connection with
25 these 600 combatants lying on the ground and this Srebrenica
1 investigation? I don't see any connection.
2 Q. Mr. Ruez, with all due respect, the two of us here are not trying
3 to establish the importance of this or that. We're trying to establish
4 facts. Did you know and did you see that in that area there were over
5 600 combat casualties? I'm not asking you anything else. Yes or no?
6 You are fighting for the case of the Prosecution, and that's not what
7 you're asked to do.
8 A. I am fighting for nothing. I assist establishing a process of
9 truth, and this process of truth, as far as I am concerned, is connected
10 with the investigation I and others conducted during -- I during six
11 years, others for another period of time, and what I can state clearly is
12 that these 600 combatants have no connection with the investigation.
13 This is why we did not deal with the localisation and exhumation of the
14 mass grave in which these combatants were exhumed at Bare.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ruez, let me put this this way: At one point in
16 time today you probably said one of your goals of your investigation was
17 to find out what happened to those 8.000 people who were missing after
18 the fall of enclave Srebrenica.
19 Among these 8.000 people, would you exclude that this 600, or
20 whatever the number may be, the casualties in Bare, could have been
22 THE WITNESS: Okay. To be more precise on the goal, the goal was
23 not -- I mean, the initial goal was to check the rumour of these 8.000
24 disappearances. The goal of the investigation was to determine what
25 happened to those who entered a criminal aspect of the war, not to -- and
1 this number we will now know it only once the entire process is finished.
2 The goal was not to determine the fate of those among this mass of people
3 who were either killed in minefields, crossings them, or shot in combat
4 operations, or maybe the few who committed suicide, and so on. It's only
5 focusing on the criminal aspect of this episode of the war.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. However, Mr. Ruez, there is no grave related to these 600 men in
9 Bare. There is no other grave. They were buried in the graves that you
10 investigated. What do you say to that?
11 A. I say that checking the dates would show that what you say is not
13 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, in your view, how many combatants
14 did the 28th Division have? Not how many rifles, how many combatants?
15 A. I have no idea, but to make sure this bit doesn't become an
16 issue, I could even say that all the men were combatants, potential
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We'll take a break now for half an hour.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: Thank you.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, this is where we were: You said that in that
25 situation, every able-bodied man was considered to be a combatant. Do
1 you know how many men the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had registered out
2 of the men who imagined to get out, that is to say, the military-aged
4 A. No, I don't.
5 Q. Thank you. D01998. Could we have a look at that, please.
6 JUDGE KWON: Shall we put the English translation on the ELMO, or
7 has it been uploaded?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you agree -- actually, let's see the original, and then let's
11 have the proper page in English. So this is a bulletin of the
12 Military Intelligence Service of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the
13 17th of July, 1995. And could we now focus on -- on the English version
14 altogether. Can we just remove the Serbian version and enlarge the
15 English version.
16 Do you agree that it says here that in the early evening hours of
17 the 16th of July, 1995, approximately 10.000 members of the 28th Division
18 arrived in the free territory [In English] "As the main body of these
19 forces was carrying out a breakthrough."
20 [Interpretation] And it says that this breakthrough was assisted
21 by units of the 24th Division which launched a fierce counter-attack
22 against Serbs or, rather, Chetnik lines in the Baljkovica sector and so
23 on. Did anybody warn you about that?
24 A. Yes. But the figure I was given at that time was 6.000.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that they did not have more than 6.000
1 rifles, but as for fighting men they had a lot more? So at each and
2 every point in time there could have been 6.000 of them that were armed;
4 A. This is right.
5 Q. Thank you. Can we have a look at 65 ter 23546. Is it correct
6 that the investigation started already on the 11th of July, 1995?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. So even before the fall of Srebrenica, the investigation started;
10 A. No. I what I say is the -- the investigation focused on events
11 that started once the enclave fell. So this is 11 July, around 12 --
12 12.00. It's not that as soon as 11 July an investigation started. It's
13 the date that is the starting point of the events that then became the
14 focus of the investigation.
15 Q. Thank you. It's clearer to me now. When did you start the
16 investigation? When were you given this assignment?
17 A. The precise date I do not remember. It was probably somewhere
18 around the 15, I would think, and then arrival to the first mission area
19 that was Tuzla I think was the 20 July.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you know that His Excellency Mr. Akashi
21 recommended caution as regards the number of missing persons?
22 A. I didn't know about his recommendation, but cautious -- caution
23 is the essence when you approach such a situation.
24 Q. Thank you. I suggest that we remove the Serbian version so that
25 we can see the English version better. Please, do you agree that this is
1 a telegram from Ambassador Akashi on the 19th of July to Mr. Annan, who
2 was Under-Secretary for military operations at the time, and that this
3 pertains to the following: Missing persons from Srebrenica or displaced
4 persons from Srebrenica displaced to the area around Tuzla and Tuzla
6 A. Yes, absolutely.
7 Q. Could you please look at paragraph 2 where these people were
8 accommodated and who organised all of it. The joint action crisis team
9 put up 600 -- or 6.000 in the Tuzla air base, BiH local authorities
10 report that 18.333 are accommodated in collective centres, and they are
11 distributed as follows -- around Tuzla; right? And roughly that is about
12 25.000 altogether; right?
13 A. Right.
14 Q. Then in paragraph 3, it says -- it says that this arithmetic is
15 based on an estimate that in Srebrenica the population was about 42.000.
16 So it would seem that 17.000 were unaccounted for, and do you agree that
17 13- to 15.000 were involved in this breakthrough through the woods?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Maybe you will disagree if I were to say to you that there were
20 37.000 of them in 1994 and that that was the highest figure. After that,
21 in July 1995, there were considerably less. Do you know that Oric lost
22 about 2.000 fighting men before July? So out of this estimated figure of
23 37.000, from the beginning of 1994 until 1995, he lost about 1.000
24 fighting men, so that would total about 36.000; right?
25 A. Right.
1 Q. Thank you. Please take a look at what His Excellency Mr. Akashi
2 says in terms of this arithmetic. So could we look at the next page now,
4 At the top here he says that the unaccounted for would be 4- to
5 8.000, but he says:
6 [In English] "Due to the imprecise nature of these figures, we
7 recommend that any public statements are limited to the broad reference
8 of several thousand missing."
9 [Interpretation] On the 19th of July, Mr. Akashi recommends
10 caution because the numbers game could fire back or lead to undesirable
11 consequences; right?
12 A. This is right. This is why the list of missing people from
13 Srebrenica made by the ICRC could only be valid once the exchange of
14 prisoners process was totally finalised in March 1996.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you know that about 1.000 inhabitants, most of
16 them combatants from the 28th Division but inhabitants of Srebrenica,
17 fled to Serbia via Zepa? They were taken in and put up in reception
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
20 MR. MITCHELL: Can I have some foundation for that question? I
21 don't think that's in any way supported by the evidence that a thousand
22 people fled to Zepa and then to Serbia.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, right now I'm not tendering
24 that as evidence. I'm asking this witness whether he based his opinion
25 and findings, including this incoming figure, on that. If -- I mean,
1 that is quite provable, and I will prove that, but let him answer the
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
6 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, perhaps I can make my objection
7 more specific. We don't contest that a thousand-plus men from Zepa went
8 across the river to Serbia in late July. The part I object to or want
9 some foundation for is that those men originally came from Srebrenica.
10 JUDGE KWON: Now, having heard Mr. Mitchell's objection, please
11 reformulate your question, Mr. Karadzic, or is it your case that those
12 1.000 people were from Srebrenica?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I claim that from Srebrenica
14 they went to Zepa and from Zepa to Serbia, and in the case of
15 President Milosevic, evidence was provided and I am going to provide that
16 evidence too. At this point in time, I'm interested in asking whether
17 Mr. Ruez had that information available and whether that contributed to
18 his findings, whether that was one of the elements involved when he was
19 drawing his own conclusions.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Now can you answer the question,
21 Mr. Ruez?
22 THE WITNESS: Yes. At one point, I think in 1996, we indeed came
23 across an information that a group, unspecified number, of persons from
24 Srebrenica succeeded reaching the other bank of the Drina and
25 reached Serbia. We also -- I mean, I saw a report from the Red Cross, I
1 think, that stated that these people had been then sent back to Bosnia,
2 so these ones were not, anyhow, sent back to Republika Srpska, at least
3 these ones, so they exited the frame of the criminal investigation, and
4 we didn't pursue on their part -- their possible part of the story. But
5 I'm not sure we are talking about the same ones. We know and I already
6 told it that one survivor of Kravica warehouse succeeded after that to
7 flee toward Zepa where he was captured again, but not identified as
8 coming from Srebrenica and who was in the last group of prisoners
9 exchanged, I think, March 1996.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that after all, witnesses from the
12 warring parties, the parties concerned, witnesses who are injured
13 parties, require some reservation with regard to their estimated figures
14 and other information provided. Can this be taken at face value, or does
15 one have to have a bit of reservation?
16 A. The reservations regarding figures have to be taken with a lot of
17 care from whatever side they are coming from. This is the reason why I
18 always and continuously say that the final figure of those assassinated
19 in the course of the Srebrenica operation will be known only once all the
20 graves will be exhumed. All the other dead or disappeared do not enter
21 the frame of the investigation.
22 Q. Thank you. Actually, can you tell us, first of all, when did the
23 Sandici meadow killing take place? You confirmed that part of the
24 transportation could not be carried out. At what time was this?
25 A. No one was killed on the Sandici meadow. It was a regroupment
1 spot for prisoners. Those who were killed coming from the Sandici meadow
2 were killed at the Kravica warehouse. But we also know from witness
3 testimonies that those at the end of the 13 who had no transportation to
4 go to Bratunac were killed at the location where they were.
5 We did not put all this in the direct presentation because they
6 are part of the, let's say, sub -- sub-stories compared with the big
7 picture of the organised extermination process.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you rule out the possibility that there was an
9 ambush, ambush for this Muslim column in Sandici and that some persons
10 were killed during the fighting there?
11 A. The ambush you refer to was not at Sandici. It was behind the
12 hill at the level of -- of Kravica, in the forest. The bodies of those
13 who got killed during this military -- legitimate military operation were
14 left at the locations where they died, and in 1996, Ms. Elizabeth Rehn
15 you were referring to previously led a mission to recover surface remains
16 who were still -- who had never been picked up in this area.
17 Q. But those who surrendered in Sandici did not surrender of their
18 own free will. The surrender happened because they were fought against;
19 right? And you can see in that footage that you provided that there is
20 an exchange of gunfire, that the Muslims are firing from rifles and the
21 Serbs from APCs.
22 A. It's two different things. The surrender happened the day after
23 the ambush. The ambush occurred during the night-time, but the column
24 was also shelled, and the surrender process of the 13 was mainly due,
25 indeed, because of a quick exhaustion process of those who surrendered,
1 but also because they realised they had no exit-way from the location
2 they were and also because of this convincing process of fake UN
3 personnel on the asphalt road. The bit of the footage you refer to as
4 the APCs firing anti-aircraft 30-millimetre ammunition on the fleeing men
5 is in another location, but also, indeed, participates to all the reasons
6 that led the fleers to make a surrender decision.
7 Q. Thank you. But that also happened on this road that goes from
8 Kravica to Konjevic Polje and passes through Sandici; right?
9 A. Surrenders happened all along this stretch of road. The only big
10 spots I went through during the presentation of surrender process are the
11 main spots, but the fact is that men went out of the woods all along the
12 stretch of road, let's say roughly from Kravica, Sandici area, indeed
13 down to Nova Kasaba.
14 Q. Thank you. I wasn't very specific. The fire that you refer to
15 was elsewhere, but was it on the same road further away from Sandici
16 towards Konjevic Polje, but it's in the same direction. It's what you
17 can see in the footage.
18 A. Yes, absolutely. All the stretch of road going, let's say, from
19 Bratunac to Nova Kasaba was totally blocked by 13 in the morning by the
20 Bosnian Serb Army.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5025. Can we have a look at
23 that, please? Actually, I beg your pardon. Could that cable of
24 Mr. Akashi's be admitted.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, it will be admitted.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2046, Your Honours.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D2505. That is what I'd like to
3 have displayed now.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. That is part of the transcript from the Krstic case when you
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5025. This is page 594 in the
8 Krstic transcript. Yes, we have it. I'm looking for page 594.
9 I don't know what number it is in e-court, but here in the corner
10 we should see number 594. Thank you.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Start with line 16, please. This is where the question is, and
13 then we have your answer:
14 "[In English] First of all, we are going to view the video. The
15 video we have put together is starting, in fact, from the ambush sites.
16 In fact, it starts with a film from a helicopter, starting in the
17 vicinity of the area of the village Bare, which was circled on the map,
18 on the photocopy of the map, where shelling took place. The column was
19 ambushed in that area, and there is still clothing to be seen on the film
20 from the," next page, "helicopter," and so on.
21 And then from line 8:
22 "This area has been processed in 1996 by a team of experts from
23 Finland who were operating in that area in 1996, totally disconnected
24 from our activities, they were collecting surface remains. But it's
25 important to note that 600 bodies have been collected in that area.
1 These are bodies of victims killed in combat, in ambushes, in shellings
2 and possibly also in other circumstances which are impossible to sort out
3 between -- I mean, for us, at least, between combat and other
4 situations -- situations."
5 [Interpretation] Do you still adhere by that answer?
6 A. Totally.
7 Q. Thank you. Irrespective of the fact whether you dealt with that
8 or not, when I speak about the total number of inhabitants in Srebrenica
9 and the total number of missing, do you agree that for me the 600 means
10 something else than it does to you?
11 A. As you said, I'm not in the brain of persons, so I'm not in
12 yours. I could not answer.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you agree with me that up to 1996, there were
14 bodies scattered in the forest, and in this place here there was even a
15 very large concentration of the bodies that were still not buried by that
17 A. Yes, I agree. I even think, but that's my personal thought, that
18 the Bosnian Serb Army did not bother at all collecting the bodies of
19 those who had been killed in the area. The ones who were buried were
20 those who were en masse in the combat zones, but mainly those who were
21 exhumed in locations that we could clearly connect with the execution
22 sites. All the rest, probably the remains are still in the hills and the
23 forest and scattered all around, but we will never know their number.
24 This is why again and again the focus is on those who are found in the
25 execution sites and in the secondary graves. And the number will only be
1 known, unfortunately, only at the end of the full exhumation process.
2 Q. Do you know that there is a legal obligation for the remains to
3 be removed after every cycle of fighting and that there were civilian
4 protection units who did that, who removed carcasses and body remains?
5 They did it after every fighting campaign.
6 A. Yes, I know that there are a number of legal obligations during
7 wartime, but I also have a feeling that the legal aspect was sometimes
8 and most of the time forgotten during this war.
9 Q. Well, very well. A witness will come who will testify, because
10 he was one of those who did that.
11 Can we go to the following page. Let's start you looking at
12 line 15. You identified people in the video, and then on line 20 you
14 [In English] "In fact, the main concentration of items and bodies
15 are in the trees, the line of trees. The number of bodies collected
16 there in 1996, as I said, is around 600, and this is important
17 information in order to check, in fact, the ability of many of the
18 witnesses to assess numbers."
19 Next page:
20 "In this location, the assessment of victims provided by the
21 witnesses is much more than what has been collected. The numbers usually
22 announced in this area are 1.500 to 2.000 victims, but there is a natural
23 inflation of the assessment of numbers of -- in these circumstances."
24 [Interpretation] This is what you just confirmed for us. You
25 said that witnesses sometimes tend to exaggerate; right?
1 A. This is absolutely right.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the transcript pages be
4 admitted? I've just displayed pages 594 through 597.
5 JUDGE KWON: Do we need it? Entire passage were read out and
6 witness confirmed.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I did read
8 passages out so that they may be heard, and also in case you decide not
9 to admit the transcript pages, I still wanted to have something on the
10 record. I don't think it will be superfluous to have those pages in
12 JUDGE KWON: The less we have, the better we'll be off. Let's
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let's look at 192 from
15 Mr. Ruez's book. That's illustration 192.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can we agree, Mr. Ruez, that all the burials of the victims who
18 died in July 1995, had to be carried out in that month? In other words,
19 they could not be carried out before the 5th of July, 1995.
20 A. Yes, clearly. We know and we went through the precise dates of
21 all this, indeed.
22 Q. Thank you. Between the 5th and the 17th of July, you received
23 the photo that we see now. Was that photo taken from the same angle, and
24 was the light the same when the photo was taken?
25 A. We didn't receive the photo between the 5th and the 17th, we
1 received it much later, but the first one is taken the 5th, the second
2 one the 17th. The angle, as you can see is not exactly the same one, but
3 the -- the 5th shows how it was before the date we are concerned about,
4 that is, 15 and the 17th. We know the burial took place the 15th. The
5 17th, we can see a very obvious change in the terrain in this Kozluk
7 Q. I believe, Mr. Ruez, that both you and I look different from the
8 side and from en face. We have two different angles, one is from the
9 side and the other is en face, as it were; is that correct?
10 A. No. They were all taken direction north towards south, but with
11 a lately different angle. The best reference point for that is the
12 straight line of the dirt road going direction south and also at the
13 bottom of the picture the continuous road. So we -- you just need to
14 move it a little bit to see that it's the same direction with a slightly
15 different angle.
16 Q. And what about the white surface that we see in that photo taken
17 from the side where that road depicts the outline of a nose? What's on
18 the tip of the nose? When you look at the photo that was taken on the
19 5th of July, how were you able to conclude that there were no burials
20 there prior to that date?
21 A. The area has been later -- we know it's an area of gravel. A
22 disturbance before the 5th, assumption is that it's a gravel area. For
23 the size of the graves, the digging method of the grave, I will leave it
24 to the archaeologists, to Professor Richard Wright, to explain the on the
25 ground and then at the ground situation on that spot.
1 Q. According to what you know, the executions and the burials were
2 completed before the 17th of July; right?
3 A. This is right.
4 Q. Thank you. If there were sanitisation burials, they would have
5 been carried out after the 17th of July. If there had been any, they
6 could have only taken place after the 17th of July; right?
7 A. This is right.
8 Q. Did you notice that the largest number of aerial photos were
9 taken between the 5th or the 7th July and the 27th of July?
10 A. Those we were provided with were indeed in this time-frame.
11 Q. So we don't know which of these changes occurred on the 11th,
12 19th, 20th, 21st, and on to the 26th of July; correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Thank you. This photograph, however, is with a longer range,
15 from the 5th to the 17th; right?
16 A. I don't see what you mean with "longer range," sorry.
17 Q. Oh, it's -- I meant to say it's a short interval, a short
18 interval between the 5th to the 17th. In the other cases, the interval
19 is longer, from the 5th to 27th. Ten days are missing. In here, those
20 ten days are not missing.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you know and did you indeed confirm that the
23 first fighting in Srebrenica and around Srebrenica, the so-called initial
24 task, began with the fighting in the south of the enclave where the
25 Observation Post Echo was located?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The fighting there lasted from the 5th or the 6th of July until
3 the 11th; right?
4 A. This is right.
5 Q. Did anyone get killed in that fighting?
6 A. When there is fighting, usually there are dead people also. I
7 don't know about it. I don't know their numbers.
8 Q. Thank you. I should now like to find the map with grave sites in
9 Zeleni Jadar. I lost it for a moment. If I can have a moment to find
11 You listed them as secondary graves, Jadar, 249. Map 249.
12 What would Serbs do with the dead Muslims, or, rather, the bodies
13 of dead Muslims who remain on their territory in Zeleni Jadar, for
14 instance? Is it natural to think that they would bury them if there is
15 no exchange of bodies?
16 A. Natural, I don't know, because the 600 bodies on the hills above
17 Kravica which were collected by the team of Elizabeth Rehn had to be
18 collected by Elizabeth Rehn. If not, they would probably still be
19 around, certainly not now, but because of the fact that every year now
20 groups of people make a -- follow path from Susnjari to Nezuk on
21 11th July, these bodies would for sure having been removed by the
22 commission for missing persons, but in the years following 1995, they
23 would have stayed there.
24 Q. Thank you. Is this the area where the fighting started, the area
25 of the main advance of the Serb troops?
1 A. It's the area from where the -- the Serb troops took the
2 direction to enter Srebrenica town. It was not a main fighting spot.
3 Q. But where did they offer the most resistance and where did the
4 breakthrough take the longest? When they passed through Zeleni Jadar,
5 the Muslim defence was dispersed, and they were thinking about leaving.
6 A. We didn't go in detail with the military episode of take-over,
7 but since I understand where -- what you want to imply, let's consider
8 this area as a battle area indeed.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Ruez, I don't believe -- in fact, I know
10 that the Serbs are not that thorough, not so thorough that they would
11 take out and rebury bodies from primary graves. Those were
12 contemporaneous graves from that time where Muslim combatants who got
13 killed then and there were buried, or did you perhaps find other graves
14 where they were buried?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
16 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I'd like to clarify that. Is it
17 Mr. Karadzic's case that the six graves in Zeleni Jadar we see here
18 contain the bodies of combat casualties killed in the fighting in the
19 lead-up to the taking of Srebrenica?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My case is that the Serbs buried
21 those people somewhere, and the layout of these graves shows precisely
22 that they were buried where they got killed.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And I'm asking you whether you found some other graves where
25 those who fell during the defence of the enclave, at least its southern
1 part, were buried.
2 A. What we know as a fact, and Professor Wright, who conducted
3 exhumations on some of these sites, all of them are not exhumed yet, but
4 those who were, he will be able to, together with Dean Manning, the
5 scientific connections they have with the disturbed site of Glogova, the
6 site of Glogova having contained the bodies of those killed at the
7 Kravica warehouse, those killed during their detention in Bratunac town,
8 and those killed alongside of the road Bratunac-Kravica.
9 Q. And what about those who got killed while defending this southern
10 part of the enclave? Do you have dates for this photograph 249?
11 A. If ever that burial process took place on some of these spots, we
12 would have to wait the full exhumation of these sites in order to connect
13 them also to Glogova. At this point we have no information of the burial
14 process you refer to, but if this would be the case, I would believe that
15 those who did that burial kept reports of what they did, at least to be
16 able to show that the fuel that was consumed in that process was not sold
17 on the black market. So there should be records.
18 Q. But for now we cannot make that conclusion, can we, until the
19 process is finalised, the process of exhumation and analysis; correct?
20 A. This is what I always said. We need to have numbers. We need to
21 have exhumations. And these exhumations, still in 2012, they're not all
23 Q. Thank you. If I can have the Court's indulgence until I find the
24 map of the enclave showing Zeleni Jadar.
25 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure whether LiveNote is functioning at the
2 THE WITNESS: We have one, page 23 in the book.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, it's back.
4 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Could we call up this page 23. May I ask you, Mr. Ruez, to take
7 a pencil and mark the area of Zeleni Jadar where the fighting started.
8 That's E, F, and S observation posts.
9 Could the usher please activate the pen.
10 Oh, you've done it yourself.
11 Could you just put ZJ for Zeleni Jadar?
12 A. This one was Observation Post F, and so the area here is
13 Zeleni Jadar.
14 Q. Thank you. Put the date, please, and your initials.
15 A. [Marks]
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted.
17 JUDGE KWON: Well, yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2047, Your Honours.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could we now see the image 266. Mr. Pirocanac and, in fact, you,
21 when you made these photographs, you paid due attention to the mosques in
22 Srebrenica; right?
23 A. In fact not so much, because as I said, there are three mosques
24 in Srebrenica. I happened to take photographs mainly of two of them, in
25 one by passing by, and the other one could indeed witness the slow
1 destruction process of it, but the third one, for example, we never made
2 any attempt even to find where it was and what happened to it.
3 Q. Do you see the church here?
4 A. Yes, I do. As I said, there were two religious monuments in
5 centre town, the mosque and the church.
6 Q. And do you know what the church looked like until July 1995?
7 Maybe you saw part of it in that footage, that it had no bell-tower and
8 no roof. Do you know what it was converted into before July 1995?
9 A. I don't know. The only thing I can see on the photograph is that
10 the mosque is now a pile of rubble and the church is still standing.
11 Q. And when was this photo taken?
12 A. This one, I think, was taken in 1997.
13 Q. And if I tell you that on the 4th of August, 1995, I saw this
14 church, it had no roof and a good part of the bell-tower was missing, it
15 had been converted into a stable or a cattle shed and a public toilet,
16 would you believe me?
17 A. If you say so. I have no reason not to believe you.
18 Q. Thank you. I hope you understand I'm not trying to justify
19 anything. I'm only trying to gain insight into the motives, into the
20 causes and consequences, which doesn't make what happened any less ugly.
21 Do you agree with me?
22 A. I could not more agree.
23 Q. Could we see again the transcript 1D5025. You were aware,
24 weren't you, that civilians were able to and dared to stay there to meet
25 the Serbs, whereas some others feared Serb revenge; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Thank you. Could we look at page 492. From line 4 on, you say
3 that some people fell -- felt they had nothing to hide, and the inference
4 seems to be that those who left did not have the same feeling and they
5 went through the mountains into -- towards Udrc. That's page -- or lines
6 17 and 18.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we scroll down a little.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you know what these mountains look like, how forbidding that
10 terrain is?
11 A. You mean the landscape?
12 Q. Yes, yes. That stretch from Srebrenica to -- to Tuzla,
13 especially the Udrc mountain. Do you agree it was a very impassable and
14 forbidding area?
15 A. Absolutely, and this is the reason why this area was selected,
16 because it was maybe difficult to cross, but there they were also
17 difficult to chase.
18 Q. Thank you. Could we look at the next page. You were aware that
19 the existence of that column and the fact that they were trying to break
20 out was a surprise to the Serbs, and they had to be concerned about what
21 this column of 15.000 men would do; right?
22 A. This is absolutely right.
23 Q. Did you have the information that I, at the request of the local
24 civilian authorities, after the so-called victory in Srebrenica on the
25 11th of July, had to proclaim the state of war on the 14th of July in
1 those several municipalities to make the situation more serious, to get
2 the defence to -- to become more serious? Do you know that I proclaimed
3 a state of war on the 14th of July, after the fall of Srebrenica?
4 A. I did not know, but I can only say it was a wise decision, since
5 General Mladic had taken an opposite one, which was to move his forces
6 towards Zepa without, indeed, considering the military threat that this
7 column of mainly military people for its spearhead could do on its trip
8 towards the BiH territory.
9 Q. Thank you. In lines 10 onwards, for instance in line 16:
10 [In English] "On July the 12th, once the Bosnian Serb Army
11 realised what in fact was happening, which was that a huge column of men
12 was trying to flee the area and indeed take this direction. Initially
13 there was an element of surprise, so no possibility to challenge that
14 column. Part of that column was armed. The first group was organised in
15 brigades. The forces inside Srebrenica were quite structured, and they
16 recreated brigades at the -- at the moment they were assembling. Those
17 who had weapons were mainly walking in front."
18 [Interpretation] So you were perfectly well aware that the
19 28th Division was organised into several brigades and that they
20 restructured and reestablished those brigades when the column started to
21 break out.
22 A. Yes, absolutely. This is why all the actions on the line of fled
23 of this unit is -- has to be considered as a legitimate combat operation
24 and is not investigated in the frame of the criminal investigation.
25 Q. Thank you. Can we look at the next page:
1 [In English] "Here it shows battles which took place in this
2 location. I won't deal with that also, but around the 13th and 14th of
3 July --"
4 [Interpretation] It's about that fighting. Could we then see
5 line 21 onwards:
6 [In English] "Once they arrived in the area here which is the
7 south-west of Zvornik, ambushes were set to block this column, but these
8 ambushes were not successful. In fact, the column punched through these
9 Serbs position, managed to capture equipment, anti-aircraft," can we see
10 the next page, "guns, mortars, and even manages to capture Serb
12 [Interpretation] Do you agree, Mr. Ruez, that the Serb side was
13 in ambushes and in trenches and suffered horrendous losses and the side
14 that was not in trenches and not on the attack suffered even more
15 horrific losses?
16 A. Yes, I agree. We found out later that the Zvornik Brigade -- I
17 don't know how many personnel they -- they lost during these few days,
18 but I heard it was more than during all the rest of the war. But then
19 it's a question of military experts to -- to know why all these Serb
20 soldiers ended dead when the military operation, on the other hand, was
21 supposed to be a full success, full and easy success. But Mladic, as I
22 said, had the decision to move towards Zepa, so ...
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, is it time to
1 JUDGE KWON: I was told that we could go a bit more if you like.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: If parties would not object, can we go to 2.00
5 MR. MITCHELL: It's fine with us, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: The Registry, is it okay? Yes, please continue.
7 We'll adjourn at 2.00.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellencies.
9 These pages from 942 to 945 may they be admitted, all of them, because I
10 haven't actually read all of it out.
11 JUDGE KWON: That being your request, there's no reason not to
12 admit it. Yes that will be admitted as --
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Overlapping speakers]
14 JUDGE KWON: -- next Defence exhibit.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2048, Your Honours.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Let us briefly cast a glance at -- I beg your pardon. You spoke
18 about this funeral in Branjevo, but let me just find the number of this
19 picture. The caption reads "Funeral at Branjevo." What did you mean
20 when you called it "Funeral in Branjevo"?
21 A. I hope it is interpretation and not translation, because I hardly
22 hear myself using the word "funeral" for a mass burial of executed
24 Q. Two hundred nine, and then we'll leaf through the rest. And on
25 page 36 -- no, yesterday, the 31st of January, you said that this was a
1 burial at Branjevo Farm; right?
2 A. Yes. The -- the process is ending at this moment. There are
3 still bodies left on the -- on the surface. The -- the grave is not
4 closed yet, but this inhumation was completed, according to the engineer
5 unit's log. Inhumation was completed that day.
6 Q. Could I ask you something for the remainder of our time today and
7 then we're going to deal with other things tomorrow. Were you a
8 professional throughout your work there, or were you involved a bit
9 emotionally and politically?
10 A. The assessment of my way of doing won't be done by myself but by
11 all the public sources of what I had to say about this case. So I leave
12 it to others.
13 Q. Thank you. But the Defence is a bit concerned when they see that
14 someone is very fired up when doing a job when it should be done with a
15 cool head. Would you agree?
16 JUDGE MORRISON: Well, what you're asking the witness to agree
17 with, that the Defence is concerned or whether somebody should keep a
18 cool head? It would be -- the question amounts to a trap.
19 THE WITNESS: Don't worry. I don't feel trapped.
20 What -- what you name someone heated up, I must agree that, yes,
21 when you investigate on a situation that ends up in legal terms named not
22 extermination but genocide, the least you can do is to be fully heated
23 up, being obsessed by finalising the case and providing all the elements
24 that make the situation solid in the eyes of history.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you. 1D5022. Could we have that, please. You gave an
2 interview in 2001 to "Monitor," a Montenegrin magazine; right?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Thank you. Already in the first question does it not say -- are
5 you not asked, actually, whether you were fanatical about the job that
6 you were performing?
7 Do you remember this interview?
8 A. Yes, very well.
9 Q. Well, do you agree that the interview started with the
10 journalist's impression that you were fanatical about the job?
11 A. About the job, yes. About doing the job and completing the job,
13 Q. Towards the bottom of the page, it says:
14 [In English] "At some point, it gives you intimate knowledge of
15 the feeling of the people who experience it all. Then you get to know
16 the terrain, each shrub, and sometimes you get the impression that you
17 even know things you don't."
18 A. Yes. This is the reason why you have not to be under the
19 impression of what you feel, your personal feeling and instinct, but you
20 have to stick to what the people say and build what I name the walls of
21 this investigation, that is, corroborate or infirm the declarations of
22 these victims. This is the cold-blood, cold-brain aspect you were
23 referring to previously.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have the next page.
25 Please take a look at this last answer towards the bottom. [No
2 [In English] "I can say no more, but so far we have not
3 established the participation of Belgrade in Srebrenica. This does not
4 mean that it had no part in ... or that it didn't have knowledge of it."
5 A. You should, in that case, not take this only sentence but read
6 all the rest also.
7 Q. [Interpretation] What I'm interested in is the following:
8 Irrespective of speculations as to who Mladic could have had ties to,
9 does it not say here that you did not have any evidence of the
10 participation of official Belgrade in Srebrenica?
11 A. At the time this interview was given, we had not yet accessed the
12 video-tape named the video of the Skorpion, this Serb military unit that
13 was in Rogatica and who received the delivery of six young men of
14 Srebrenica, the only aside the three seconds of footage at Kravica show
15 the entire ordeal of these young men who are assassinated live on this
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE KWON: If it is convenient, we can adjourn for today,
19 Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellency. Thank you.
21 JUDGE KWON: We'll continue tomorrow at 9.00. The hearing is
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day
25 of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.