1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Case No. IT-95-18-R61
5 Case No. IT-95-5-R61
7 Friday, 5th July 1996
10 JUDGE JORDA
11 (The Presiding Judge)
13 JUDGE ODIO BENITO
14 JUDGE RIAD
15 THE PROSECUTOR OF THE TRIBUNAL
17 RADOVAN KARADZIC
18 RATKO MLADIC
20 MR. ERIC OSTBERG, MR. MARK HARMON and MR. TERREE BOWERS appeared
21 on behalf of the Prosecution
22 (Open Session)
23 (10.30 a.m.)
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE (In translation]: The court is in session. I would
25 like first to check that everyone can follow the proceedings? Can you
1 hear me? Prosecution, you can hear me?
2 MR. OSTBERG: Yes.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The Registry? Everyone? The interpreters? The
4 visitors' gallery? Fine. Now, Registrar, I believe you have
5 something to tell us. Please proceed.
6 THE REGISTRAR [In translation]: Thank you, your Honour. I wanted to
7 inform the Tribunal that this morning the Registry has received Power
8 of Attorney from Radovan Karadzic and there are two lawyers, Mr.
9 Medvene and Mr. Hanley III, to act on his behalf before the Trial
10 Chamber. There are two applications that were submitted at the same
11 time. One is a request to appear on behalf of Dr. Karadzic from the
12 two attorneys; the second motion is a request to establish a briefing
13 schedule with regard to broaching the matter of the fairness of the
14 Statute and the Rules of the Tribunal.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: These motions are quite separate, in fact. With
16 regard to the first motion, that is to say, the request to appear
17 before the court, we will be deliberating on that, because in the past
18 the court was facing an identical situation. There had been a request
19 on behalf of Dr. Karadzic. That was from Mr. Pantelic on 27th June
20 when the hearing began.
21 The second motion, this is a matter of establishing a schedule
22 with regard to discussing the principles, as it were, on which the
23 International Criminal Tribunal was based. We are going to deliberate
24 here to decide what to do but, first, very briefly, I would like to
25 hear the view of counsel for the Prosecution. You have the floor,
2 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour. The position of the Prosecution is
3 exactly the same as in the case of Mr. Pantelic last week. We have no
4 other matter to introduce to you, your Honour, than what we made then.
5 So, as far as I can see, the decision from this court cannot be
6 anything else than what the court decided when the question was up the
7 last time. Thank you, your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Mr. Ostberg. Now the Judges are going to
9 deliberate here and now to decide how to respond to these two motions.
10 (The learned Judges conferred)
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The court has taken a decision in respect of the
12 procedure that will be followed in respect of these two motions. With
13 regard to the second motion, the court is in the process of a hearing
14 under Rule 61, that is to say, this is a Rule that applies when the
15 accused is not present. The grounds or the basis for the second
16 motion has to do with the fairness of the Statute and has to do with
17 the fundamental Rules and the advisability of having adopted those
18 Rules for the Tribunal.
19 That second motion is not within the scope of the present
20 proceedings. Given that fact, a subsequent decision will be handed
21 down by the Chamber, but no discussion is going to ensue in respect of
22 a matter which at all events might be addressed by Mr. Karadzic when
23 he will physically appear before the Tribunal. He will, consistent
24 with the Rules of Procedure that have been adopted, challenge those
25 Rules, as has been done by other accused persons in the past, in
1 respect of whom, I might add, the court did hand down its decision.
2 There is, in particular, the ruling by the Appeals Chamber in respect
3 of the Tadic case. So there is not going to be any discussion on this
4 matter today. It is outside our jurisdiction, so we cannot settle
5 the matter and we will not discuss it.
6 With regard to the request to appear before the court, that is
7 to say, the other motion, that, as the Office of the Prosecutor
8 pointed out, is identical to the request put forward by Mr. Pantelic
9 on 27th June. There again there had been a Power of Attorney that had
10 been granted.
11 Subject to several minor changes, the Chamber (and this is our
12 decision) shall follow the same procedure, that is to say, to allow
13 the two attorneys, on an exceptional basis and with a view to
14 courtesy, to enter the courtroom to explain briefly the grounds for
15 this and only this motion. Only one of the two attorneys will give us
16 these short explanations.
17 I would also ask then for some brief explanations from the
18 Prosecution upon which the Judges will withdraw and then subsequently
19 issue a decision. So, please, Registrar, do the necessary to have the
20 two attorneys shown in. These are Messrs. Medvene and Thomas Hanley
21 III who are here on behalf of Dr. Karadzic.
22 Thank you, Registrar. Can you hear me, gentlemen? You hear
23 me? Have you got everything set there? You are on the right channel?
24 Can you hear me? Can you hear me in English? Do you hear me? Fine.
25 Can you hear me, sir?
1 MR. HANLEY: Yes.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. On behalf of the fellow Judges, I would ask
3 you to introduce yourselves to the court. Could you please introduce
4 yourselves? If you would turn on the microphone, please, sir? Go
5 right ahead. Please introduce yourselves.
6 MR. MEDVENE: If the court please, my name is Edward Medvene. My associate
7 with me is Thomas Hanley. Thank you very much, your Honour, for
8 permitting us to appear here today.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: If you could introduce yourself as well, Mr. Hanley?
10 I would like Mr. Hanley to introduce himself as well.
11 MR. HANLEY: Thank you, your Honour. My name is Thomas Hanley and I am
12 here with Mr. Medvene representing Dr. Karadzic.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The court has deliberated in respect of the
14 procedure that should be adopted in respect of the two motions you
15 have submitted. The court has decided that one of these motions has
16 to do with the substantive matter; the other one is more formal in
17 nature. With regard to the former, that is, the challenge in respect
18 of the fairness of the fundamental Rules of the Tribunal as adopted by
19 the United Nations Security Council, as far as that matter goes, the
20 court is of the view that this lies outside its jurisdiction today.
21 So we cannot discuss that matter. That matter might be addressed -- I
22 am sure you are acquainted with the Rules of our procedure -- that
23 might be dealt with in the course of a preliminary motion at the time
24 when an accused is tried here in the Tribunal.
25 So, as you probably also know, all of the accused practically
1 so far have submitted preliminary motions and some of them, and that
2 has been the case so far before another Chamber than this one, have
3 brought up issues of this kind. So I do think you can tell Dr.
4 Karadzic that when he will appear before the Tribunal as an accused,
5 as he now is, he will be quite free to submit whatever motions he
6 deems fit and the Chamber (which will be a different Chamber from this
7 one) will react in the way it deems appropriate. That said, we will
8 be delivering a decision, as you would expect.
9 With regard to the second motion, that is to say, your request
10 to appear before the court, the Tribunal, the court, has noted that
11 Dr. Karadzic had already given agency to a previous attorney, Mr.
12 Pantelic, from the Belgrade Bar who was here on 26th June and who
13 wanted to appear on 27th June.
14 We pointed out that under Rule 61, normally, there was no
15 provision for the presence of counsel, because normally the accused
16 would not be present, but with regard to the rights of the Defence,
17 the Tribunal had construed them as constituting a fundamental right.
18 That is why we went ahead and took the decision that you are probably
19 acquainted with, and Mr. Pantelic heard the full indictments
20 pertaining to your counsel (sic).
21 So, we do have a precedent on this score. Given the fact that
22 Dr. Karadzic now no longer has an attorney acting on his behalf
23 because Mr. Pantelic no longer has Dr. Karadzic as a client, so the
24 court deeming that Dr. Karadzic has acknowledged the existence of this
25 institution to a certain extent, that he has given Power of Attorney
1 to two other attorneys, since 20th June, the decision that we have
2 just taken is to allow you to very briefly outline the grounds for
3 this motion.
4 I would like to stress the fact that only one of the attorneys
5 will speak and not both. Have I made my point clear, that only one of
6 you speak? Then, secondly, that you only refer to the motion you
7 submitted for the right to appear during the Rule 61 hearing which is
8 just about over, I might say in passing. Thirdly, the explanations be
9 brief, just as the explanations from the Office of the Prosecutor will
10 be brief, subsequent to which the court will deliberate and hand down
11 a decision as quickly as possible because, as I said, our schedule
12 has been disrupted quite a bit already. Have I made myself clear?
13 MR. MEDVENE: Yes, your Honour.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. So, it is Mr. Medvene who is going to speak,
15 to briefly outline the grounds for this request to appear during the
17 MR. HANLEY: Yes, your Honour, but if I might have your indulgence for a
18 moment? Am I to understand you have or have not ruled on the motion
19 for a special appearance to challenge the Tribunal's procedural
20 fairness? I would only say that in the United States and other
21 civilised jurisdictions ------
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No, no. We will deliver a decision. I just gave
23 you some background information to tell you why we were not going to
24 go into a discussion of this matter, which is not within the
25 jurisdiction of this Chamber. If you know the ins and outs of Rule
1 61, as you may know, that is a procedure that applies when an arrest
2 warrant has not been executed. So a decision will be delivered later
3 on that score.
4 I simply told you why in the course of this hearing it would
5 not be appropriate to deliberate on the Statute and its fairness, etc.
6 So what we are discussing now is only the grounds relating to your
7 request to appear in the courtroom for the remainder of this hearing
8 which is, of course, in connection with Rule 61. That is the court's
9 decision, but there will, needless to say, be a later decision on that
10 other motion.
11 Please, Mr. Medvene, now outline the grounds for your request
12 to appear in connection with Rule 61. It is exactly the same
13 procedure we had when Mr. Pantelic was here. Please proceed, counsel.
14 MR. MEDVENE: Your Honour, we desire to specially appear on the 61 issue
15 because we believe that the procedures outlined by the Tribunal have
16 not been followed in pursuing an international arrest warrant. We do
17 not believe from what we have seen that there has been any attempt to
18 properly serve Dr. Karadzic in Republika Srpska, as is required by the
19 Rules, as we understand it, of the Tribunal.
20 The reason for being here is to see if there is any evidence
21 that there was any attempt under the Rules to serve him in Republika
22 Srpska either by notifying in writing as required by the Rule or in
23 any other way required by the Rule. Our understanding of the facts is
24 there is not and one of the reasons we are here specially is to see if
25 there is any evidence of proper service; if not, we feel there cannot
1 be an acceptance under Rule 61 of the indictment and cannot be an
2 international arrest warrant issued. We feel we have that basic
3 right. I mean, have they served it properly or have they not? Thank
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine, thank you. Office of the Prosecutor, would
6 you like to comment ---
7 MR. OSTBERG: Yes.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: -- on the arguments put forward?
9 MR. OSTBERG: Yes, I will indeed. Two indictments have been confirmed by
10 two confirming Judges sitting on this Bench, namely, the President,
11 Judge Jorda and Judge Riad. We have under the Rules of 61 before this
12 hearing filed with these two Judges a narration of what we have
13 undertaken to serve these two indicted. In the case of Radovan
14 Karadzic, we have tried in all the ways that are outlined in Rule 61
15 of our Rules for this Tribunal.
16 We have in a special hearing satisfied these two Judges that
17 the Prosecution has done everything it can or could to serve the
18 arrest warrant on the two indicted. The two Judges have separately
19 decided to order the Prosecutor to submit the case against Radovan
20 Karadzic before this Trial Chamber. So, we have done, and there is a
21 court decision by Judge Jorda and a decision by Judge Riad saying that
22 they are satisfied that we have done all that we should do, and that
23 this is, as far as I know, an open document which these two gentlemen
24 might have had a chance to read before entering this courtroom. Thank
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Mr. Ostberg. The Judges will withdraw now
2 and deliver their decision at 11.30. The court stands adjourned.
3 (Adjourned for a short time)
4 (11.30 a.m.)
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE [In translation]: The Trial Chamber I, composed of
6 Judge Claude Jorda, Presiding Judge, and Judges Elizabeth Odio Benito
7 and Judge Fouad Riad, render the following decision:
8 The Trial Chamber, pursuant to Articles 21 and Rule 61 of the
9 Rules of Procedure and Evidence called the "Rules", considering the
10 brief filed with the Registry by Mr. Medvene and Mr. Hanley who have
11 been appointed on July 1st by the accused Radovan Karadzic as
12 "President of the Republika Srpska" to represent him before the
13 International Tribunal.
14 Having heard Mr. Medvene and Mr. Hanley in the comments that
15 they had to make during the hearing this day, having heard the
16 Prosecutor during the hearing, considering that Mr. Medvene and Mr.
17 Hanley are requesting permission to be present within the court room
18 and access to all documents submitted to the Judges of this Trial
19 Chamber by the Prosecutor as part of these proceedings;
20 Considering that the access as requested by Mr. Hanley and Mr.
21 Medvene, access to the documents and relevant case files which the
22 Prosecutor will submit during the 61 hearings could not be admitted
23 except as part of a trial after an initial appearance of the physical
24 presence of the accused in the application of Rule 66 of the Rules,
25 that the accused will also at that time enjoy the other rights
1 recognised to him by the provisions of Article 21 of the Statute;
2 Considering that the proceedings organised under Rule 61 could
3 not be interpreted as a trial;
4 Considering that these proceedings completely guarantee the
5 rights of the accused and that, in fact, he was informed of the
6 indictments prior to these proceedings, on the one hand, and that, on
7 the other, he has the right to present himself here with his counsel
8 before the Tribunal, and that in this case the proceedings change and
9 become an interparties one accompanied with all the guarantees
10 inherent in an equitable trial;
11 Considering, however, that the requests supplemented at the
12 hearing by Mr. Medvene and Mr. Hanley for the purposes of attending
13 these proceedings pursuant to Rule 61 of the hearings in the absence
14 of the accused, may in this case be interpreted as a supervision
15 exercised by them as to the conditions of the service of the
16 indictment on their client, and that these conditions, in their
17 opinion, cannot lead to the issuing of an international warrant of
18 arrest as provided for by this Rule;
19 Whereas, the confirming Judge in their public orders of 18th
20 June 1996 considered that all the reasonable steps for informing the
21 accused Radovan Karadzic were taken, pursuant to Rule 61(A) of the
22 Rules, as the Prosecutor has demonstrated;
23 Whereas, in addition, the 27th June, the Trial Chamber
24 permitted the public reading of both the indictments against Radovan
25 Karadzic in the presence of Mr. Igor Pantelic at that point appointed
1 by the accused, that his presence on 27th June more than amply
2 demonstrates that Radovan Karadzic was perfectly informed of the
3 charges against him, that it, therefore, appears that all information
4 for Radovan Karadzic could no longer in any way be challenged.
5 However, considering that, the Trial Chamber in its desire to
6 permit the lawyers who have been so designated to inform their client
7 of the public conduct of the hearings specifically as regards the
8 service of the indictments and the relevant warrants of arrest,
9 considers that an observer status must be recognised to them for the
10 foregoing reasons: Notes the brief filed by Mr. Medvene and Mr.
11 Hanley on behalf of Radovan Karadzic; rejects the request of Mr.
12 Medvene and Hanley requesting that they be permitted to remain in the
13 courtroom during the Rule 61 hearings as well as their free access to
14 the documents and to the case files that the Prosecutor will submit;
15 states that Mr. Medvene and Mr. Hanley will be taken into the public
16 galley where a special place will be reserved for them as observers,
17 done in French and English, with the French version being
19 Dated 5th July 1996 at the International Tribunal at the
21 The Tribunal, in its desire that full information be given to
22 the accused Radovan Karadzic, asks the Registrar that at this moment,
23 if he was not so informed formally, that he be given the two orders
24 that were issued on 18th June by Judge Riad and by Judge
25 Jorda respectively, which give the details of the measures which
1 are considered reasonable and the attempts which, pursuant to Rule
2 61(A), were carried out by the Prosecutor.
3 Turning to the Registrar, are you in a position to submit both
4 the orders, even though they have been public since 18th June, to Mr.
5 Medvene and to Mr. Hanley? It would be proper once they have been so
6 submitted that a note be drafted by the Registrar noting that the
7 briefs, that the orders, have been given to the two attorneys.
8 The Tribunal would ask that two special chairs be set up in
9 the public gallery which is open to everybody which, therefore, shows
10 that this is a completely transparent hearing. Will all conditions be
11 made so that these chairs may be set up?
12 For the time being this hearing is now suspended. I am once
13 again asking the Registrar to take all the necessary measures so that
14 the court be arranged so that the next witness can come in. The
15 hearing is adjourned.
16 (12.10 p.m.)
17 (Adjourned for a short time)
18 (12.15 p.m.)
19 WITNESS A, recalled
20 Examined by MR. OSTBERG, continued.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I turn to Witness A who is here and adequate
22 protective measures have been taken, so that his identification will
23 not be known, as requested by the Prosecution and agreed upon by the
25 Before giving the floor to the Prosecutor, I would like to
1 know whether the witness can hear me?
2 THE WITNESS [In translation]: Not well enough. That is better. Thank
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Have you rested well? Are you comfortable?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you for asking.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. Prosecutor, you have the floor.
7 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you. (To the witness): Good day. You have had to
8 wait for some time before we can continue to listen to what you have
9 to tell us. Are you prepared to resume your narration where we
10 interrupted you yesterday in the same way as you did yesterday?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. When we ended yesterday afternoon you just told us that you arrived
13 at the school or at the gym and were shown in there. Will you start to
14 tell us the story from that time?
15 A. Yes, that is right.
16 Q. OK, please go on.
17 A. Well, when we got to the gym, it was empty, and it is used for
18 basketball and there were the baskets in the hall and we sat down.
19 Serb soldiers were guarding the entrance. We entered from the
20 narrower end, and at the broader end there was another door and there
21 were guards there too.
22 So that we sat down, and a little while later one could hear a
23 car again and again a group of younger men came in. They were brought
24 into the hall. Maybe there was 50 or more of them. That is how from
25 time to time people were brought in. We asked for water. It was
1 stifling inside. They would not give it to us. They said, "There is
2 no water or anything else for you". Then they kept bringing in people
3 until noon and the hall became packed full. Then we cried out for
5 There were people fainting, people suffering from asthma.
6 There was no air and you could just hear him saying, "Give me water",
7 and then he would fall silent. About mid-day Ratko Mladic appeared at
8 the door. Then we all as one cried out, "Why are you choking us in
9 here? Why are you keeping us here? Why do you not take us
10 somewhere?" He said, "What am I to do with you when your government
11 does not want you and I have to take care of you? I will move a group
12 of you to Kladusa and another group to Bijeljina". "Why do you not
13 give us water?" He says, "You will get water on the way out of the
14 hall". Then he went away.
15 Some building machinery could be heard in the vicinity of the
16 hall. The sound of the machines could be heard. So, we sat there and
17 they told us that we would be going out of the longer end. One by one
18 the vehicles have come. Then those nearest the door got up and
19 started walking out and so they went out and then we heard from our
20 people that they were blindfolding people. We said, "Did you ask them
21 why?" and they said, "Because you would be passing through Serb
22 territory so as not to see their military equipment".
23 Then we again asked, whispering, because we cannot hear any
24 vehicles coming and going away, taking people away, and then they said
25 they could not see and we said, "How come you cannot see when the door
1 is open?" They said, "There is a fence and then you cannot see
2 further from that fence". Then we heard rifle shots and bursts of
3 fire. Some were distant from the hall. "Is there any water", we
4 asked and they said, "Yes, when you go out you will be given enough
6 So, we were filing out, people were filing out. About 7.30 in
7 the evening, it was my turn to leave. When I actually got to the
8 door, you cannot see outside because there is a wall. Then you pass a
9 table, you have a drink of water, then they blindfold you from behind
10 and then you turn right behind the table and then you notice a small
11 truck, a small lorry of two tonnes carrying capacity. Then you have
12 to climb up and sit down. I was the one but last because it was
13 already full. There was a cover on the lorry but it was folded. The
14 cover was folded. When I entered the lorry, two soldiers closed it
15 and the lorry took off. There was a red car escorting the truck.
16 Next to the driver was a man in uniform with an automatic
17 rifle. He opened the door a little, and he told, he threatened, that
18 he would kill us if we talked. The lorry started up. I do not know
19 exactly for how long the trip took, but it was not long.
20 When we got to a field we saw to the left, dead, a lot of dead
21 people. Then we realised where we were going. We passed those
22 corpses and the truck went on across some pasture land and when it
23 turned we saw to the right the same number of dead.
24 The truck stopped. The small car went back. Two Serb
25 soldiers opened the back. They told us to come down quickly, not to
1 look, not to look, just come out. So we came out. We were lined up.
2 As soon as the small lorry went off, they started firing at us from
4 There were some people standing behind me and they fell on top
5 of me. So I fell on my stomach and they fell on top of me. Then the
6 firing stopped and then they started shooting individually. If
7 anybody gave any signs of life he would be killed. I kept quiet.
8 They moved away and again they would refill their automatic rifles.
9 They were firing from automatic rifles.
10 Then another small TAM truck came near me and when a third
11 came, the red car did not go back, but out of the car the man who was
12 sitting next to the driver came and Ratko Mladic came out. Ratko
13 Mladic watched as people were being forced out of the truck and lined
14 up. The lorry moved away. Mladic stood until all of them had been
15 killed and had fallen, and then Mladic returned to the small red car,
16 sat next to the driver, and they went back from where they had come
17 towards the hall.
18 There were two trucks, one truck was going in one direction
19 and the other in another, and there was one red car escorting both
20 these trucks. As the truck arrived to the spot, the car would return
21 to accompany the second truck. Then again it would return, load and
22 come back with a load full of the next truck. This went on until the
23 evening hours.
24 Two dredgers were digging holes behind me. A big excavator
25 was being used. When darkness fell those removed from me were
1 closest. Then they switched off the machines and they put on the
2 lights, and then the other people came from the other side killing
3 where the lights were on. When they brought in the first truck under
4 the lights, I crawled out from under the dead and I went to the pile
5 of bodies where there were some small shrubs.
6 Then I hid behind the shrubs and when the lights came, I was
7 in darkness and that is how I escaped. I do not know what time it was
8 during the night when a small truck came again and somebody from the
9 truck said, "There are no more people in the hall. It is all over".
10 Then someone else asked, "Are we going to stand on duty here during
11 the night?" He said, "You are not coming with me. If another truck
12 comes, then there will be no need for any night duty. They are hungry
13 and tired and if anyone does survive he will die like a rat or we will
14 get hold of him anyway". So they killed who they could.
15 The truck came near the excavator and they stood around
16 smoking. A little later another truck came. It reached them. They
17 talked a while. Then they switched off the lights on the excavator.
18 The moon came up. It was a moonlit night. They climbed on to the
19 truck. They all climbed on. I counted them just to see that no-one
20 was left behind, and the truck went.
21 I got up thinking to myself, maybe there are some other
22 survivors, so I shouted, "Is anyone living? If you are, get up so we
23 can get away". One man cropped up from among the dead and said, "I am
24 alive." I said, "Are you wounded?" "No", and he said, "Come here".
25 He did. He got up and so the two of us went in the direction of free
1 territory, in the direction of Kalesije.
2 As we started there were shrubs behind, and he said, "We
3 should go that way". I said, "I cannot because my leg hurts". So it
4 was easier for me to go across the fields until we find a forest, a
5 wood, that is not so dense. So it is easier for me to walk through
6 it, and we found such a wood and we went into it. We sat for a while
7 to take a rest. Then again we heard rifle shots coming from the
8 direction where the dead were. Then this colleague of mine said,
9 "They have come back again", and I said, "Well, let them".
10 Then again one could hear three or four bullets fired and then
11 silence. When we heard them coming in our direction, according to the
12 sound of the fire, we thought they were chasing us, and where we were
13 the grass was tall so there was a trace left behind us. So we hid in
14 a thicket and they followed our traces and said, "Look here, that is
15 where they got away". They fired rifle shots into the wood to see
16 whether there were any sounds coming from the wood. As they did not
17 hear anything, then they asked one another, "What are we going to do
18 now?" He said, "Let's go to the rail road and then we will follow the
19 tracks and go back to where we were before".
20 So they went off to the left, roughly. We could hear that
21 they had reached the spot where they had started out from. So we got
22 up, and in five nights and four days we crossed into free territory,
23 the village of Nezbuk near Medjedja.
24 Q. Thank you very much. I am not going to ask you any questions, I am
25 not going to go back into many details of what you have told us, but
1 just a few things. When you were lying in this heap of bodies, dead
2 bodies, in the field, you told us that you saw different things. How
3 could you see, how did you manage? Did you dare to move, for
4 instance? Did you move your own body?
5 A. Well, I did not move during the day time. I lay down and when they
6 moved away, I observed what was happening especially when the lorry
7 came and when it was unloading. Then they were not paying any
8 attention to the dead but only to the people around the truck. Then I
9 could watch them freely. I could raise my head and see them easily.
10 When they were killing and afterwards when they took a smoke, I was
11 motionless because I was afraid they would see me.
12 When night fell and when the lights were switched on, while
13 they were unloading the lorry of the men, I knew that they were
14 concentrating on them only and that is how I managed to crawl from
15 under the dead. It was about 10 metres for me to get away and enter
16 small bushes which were in darkness and it was easier for me. I had
17 to get out because I was under pressure of the weight of the dead
18 bodies. I was choking. That is how I managed to crawl away watching
19 carefully in case anyone would glance in my direction. Nobody did and
20 I crawled on my back and I sought shelter there. That is how I
21 managed to get away.
22 Q. How many Bosnian Serb soldiers were present in the field and did this
23 execution, how many were there?
24 A. There were five in one place and five in another. When the truck
25 came, two hold their rifle across their chest, then one on each side
1 of the truck opened the back side of the truck, and then three others
2 are standing watch with rifles ready in case anybody would try to get
3 away. When the lorry moved away, the first three start to fire
4 immediately and the other two would also aim and start firing. So
5 there were five at one spot and another five at another. There was a
6 total of 10.
7 Q. How far did they have you to move since you left the truck on which
8 you arrived to this place? Did they start shooting on the spot or did
9 you have to -----
10 A. No, no, the lorry would come right up to the dead. It was only two
11 steps. As soon as you got off the lorry, the first one would stand
12 where it was necessary, and then from behind we were lined up in four
13 rows to the right. I do not know how many there were, as many as
14 could get into the truck. There were four rows of us. I watched this
15 later. One row like this, second, third and fourth row, but one next
16 to the other. They always ordered us to get close to one another.
17 Q. In which row were you of the four rows?
18 A. In the first row, furthest to the left.
19 Q. Have you any idea how it come that they missed you, they did not hit
20 you with any bullet?
21 A. I do not know how that happened. It is fate or that is what I
22 assume, at least, for me to survive.
23 Q. Can you make any estimation as to how many dead bodies were lying in
24 this field?
25 A. In the hall, and we were all elderly people, when the hall was full
1 we talked about this saying, "What do you think? How many of us are
2 there?" and we all agreed there were about 3,000 people. I was the
3 only one who said that it was less. Then we debated the length of the
4 hall, the width of the hall. So we assessed about 15 metres wide, the
5 hall was, and about up to 25 metres long. So some people said, "No,
6 it is bigger". "Well, let's say it is 26". I said, "Well, that makes
7 it about 400 square metres. Let there be five sitting to one square
8 metre. That makes it 2,000". They said there are more, but I said,
9 "It can't be more than 2,500", and that is how we made our estimate.
10 We could not measure the hall but we just estimated it.
11 Q. That is your estimation, around 2,500 people?
12 A. Yes, yes, 2,500. I said there cannot be more than 2,500.
13 Q. When you arrived to this field and were you blindfolded, did you move
14 the blindfold?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. When you arrived and looked out over this field could you then
17 estimate how many dead people were lying around in the field?
18 A. A lot. There was a lot. That is what it seemed to me because they
19 were lying down. There seemed to be more than there were in the hall
20 because we were sitting down in the hall. They were all lying on
21 their stomachs, so this required more space and in two piles. The
22 distance between the two piles was about 50 to 70 metres, in my
24 Q. In your estimation, were thousands of people lying dead there?
25 A. Yes, yes, because I was among the first to enter the hall and among
1 the last to leave the hall.
2 Q. Thank you. One person only answered when you shouted out for any
4 A. Only one, yes.
5 Q. Was it completely silent when you started shouting?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. Was it a dark night or was it a moonlit or starlit night?
8 A. There was a full moon and you could see as it was day time. It was
9 so strong, the moonlight.
10 Q. So you could look out into the field and see these people lying
11 around there in the moonlight?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Now I am going to turn to something else and ask you to tell us about
14 what you said about these instances when you saw and heard General
15 Mladic. You have mentioned it some times. I would like you to
16 summarise to the Court how many times you saw or heard him because
17 this is, after all, a hearing concerning the crimes alleged to have
18 been committed by General Mladic?
19 A. I saw him six times from Wednesday night until Friday night.
20 Q. Can you repeat these instances?
21 A. I saw him twice at Potocari. The first time he introduced himself
22 saying who he was. The second time in the evening, maybe two hours
23 later on the asphalt road when he was watching us climbing the buses
24 and ordered the driver where to take us. The next day when he told us
25 that we are going to be exchanged in Bratunac when we were in the
1 hangar, when he said we were going to Kalesije for an exchange. That
2 is the third time. The fourth time, about two or three hours later
3 when we entered the buses and we were sitting in the buses, he was
4 standing to the left giving orders to those Serb soldiers. That is
5 the fourth time. The fifth time at the entrance doors to the hall
6 when he said, "What can I do when your government doesn't want to take
7 care of you and I have to? I will take some to Kladusa and some to
8 Bijeljina". The sixth time when he watched Serb soldiers killing us,
9 unloading us from the trucks, lining us up, killing us and us falling
10 and after that I did not see him.
11 Q. Thank you very much. As you know, there are two people indicted in
12 the case we are dealing with in this hearing. My last question to you
13 will be, did you see or hear or were you told something about
15 A. I have not seen Karadzic.
16 Q. You have not heard anything, him being quoted and related to in a way
17 during this period?
18 A. No, I did not hear anyone saying, "There's Karadzic". No, I did not
19 hear that.
20 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you. That concludes my questions, your Honours, and I
21 open it up for questions from the Court.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
23 Examined by the Court.
24 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Sir, did you know the people who were with you in the
25 hangar, some of them at least?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Have you seen some of them alive after all this happened?
3 A. No, I heard that one was alive, that he was not killed in Bratunac,
4 that he had been taken out, that he had not been killed and that he
5 was exchanged. His name was [name redacted]. I did not see him, he
6 was exchanged and he survived. I did not see anyone else and I have
7 not heard that anyone else was still alive.
8 MR. OSTBERG: Your Honour, I would point out, I do not think we would like
9 to enter into names. We do not know what people have escaped or been
10 where they would be. We would rather, from the side of the
11 Prosecution, see that names are not mentioned.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is a wish that one must recognise. We agree
13 with you. So, that comment was addressed to the Tribunal, of course,
14 and the witness as well. The Registrar has just made the following
15 remark. As regards the last statement of Witness A, for technical
16 reasons, do you want the name which he mentioned to be deleted or
18 MR. OSTBERG: Yes, we thank you, your Honour.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am now looking towards the witness. Usually, all
20 the images which come from the Tribunal are not available for a given
21 period of time. So it is possible for us to delete or change the name
22 which you mentioned. Thank you, Prosecutor.
23 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: I have no further questions, thank you.
24 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that you have seen General Mladic six times.
25 Were you close enough ----
1 A. I did.
2 Q. Were you close enough in some of these six times to see exactly what
3 he looked like?
4 A. The first time I was some four metres away from him and, likewise,
5 the second time he was some three metres away from the bus. He was
6 standing there by the bus some three metres away. The next time he was
7 a bit further off than those first two times he was the nearest to
9 Q. When he came out of the red car at the time of the execution, where
10 were you exactly at this moment?
11 A. I was lying down where I had fallen. I was still lying there where I
12 had hit the ground.
13 Q. So it was after the executions?
14 A. Yes, after they killed. Another truck arrived and they loaded them
15 and executed them, and then when the next truck arrived he arrived
16 after that truck in a car.
17 Q. Were you able to see him clearly from where you were?
18 A. Yes, I saw him clearly. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Did you hear him giving any orders?
20 A. No, with those who were standing next to him they looked at one
21 another, but since the truck engine was working as they were
22 unloading, I could not hear their voices. I could not hear them
23 because the truck was between me and him and Ratko Mladic. He was
24 standing there and I was lying down a bit to the side of the truck,
25 but as the engine was working I could not hear him saying anything or
1 whether he was saying anything.
2 Q. You mentioned also that he came to you, I think it was in Bratunac,
3 and told you, "Your government doesn't want you. What shall I do with
4 you?", did he mention what he was going to do with you?
5 A. In Karakaj, in the gym, and in Bratunac he said that he had exchanged
6 us already and that we were going to Kalesije to be exchanged. In
7 Kalesije, when we said, "Why are you choking us here? When shall we
8 be exchanged?" then he said, "What I can do? Your government doesn't
9 want you and I have to take over you. I will some take of you Kladusa
10 and some to Bijeljina."
11 Q. Was it almost at the same time when you heard people screaming
12 outside and shots being given outside?
13 A. No, I did not hear any screaming from the outside. From time to time
14 I heard shots, but when they started taking, when trucks started
15 driving away, yes, then but we did not hear those screams.
16 Q. Was it almost in the same period when General Mladic was talking to
18 A. General Mladic had arrived to the door before that, and we were all
19 there in the gym and nobody was taken away at that time. But General
20 Mladic came, then we all shouted, in a loud voice, "Why do you keep us
21 here? Why do you leave us here? We can't breathe here. Why don't
22 you take us away?" Then he said that nothing could come out of the
23 exchange and that, therefore, he would take some to Kladusa and others
24 to Bijeljina. "So give us some water to drink", we said. "After you
25 drive up there you will have enough water to drink", he said.
1 A couple of hours later the people, they began to take people
2 out and something was happening which we could not see. He said after
3 one hour or two hours, I do not really know, but it was one hour or
4 two hours later that people began to come out and he said, "Now the
5 vehicles will arrive and we will take you away."
6 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I will not ask you too many questions, Witness. I
8 did not quite follow but when you almost altogether in the gym cried
9 out, "Why are you taking us there?", could you perhaps repeat to me
10 the answer of General Mladic?
11 A. Yes. When we said, "Why do you keep us here? There is not enough
12 air to breathe. Why don't you let us go", that is when he said: "What
13 can I do when your government doesn't not want you and I have to take
14 care of you? So now I will take some of you to Kladusa and some to
16 Q. Thank you. Please check the transcript as regards the words of
17 General Mladic as regards the French translation. Perhaps it was not
18 as accurate as it should be. So please double check that.
19 I would like to ask you a question. During that very long day
20 when you were hiding quiet in that field which was, no doubt, very
21 hot, were there any soldiers who were talking and commenting on the
22 people they saw who were still living?
23 A. There were no more soldiers of those who had fired at us. They walked
24 amongst us and cried out: "Old man, tell us, is there anybody, is
25 there anybody still alive? If there is, then we will take care of
1 you, we will bandage you, but if anyone raises his voice then they
2 would come up to him and shoot him", but there were no other soldiers
3 moving around, no, there were not, only those.
4 Q. In the hangar and in the gym, what were the conditions like? Did you
5 have some food? You spoke about water. Were you given any food at
7 A. No. No, nobody.
8 Q. General Mladic you saw six times. I am asking you for your opinion.
9 Perhaps you might not wish to answer. How can you explain, bearing
10 in mind the position of the military hierarchical position of General
11 Mladic, that he was interested in these executions, in this degree of
12 detail, in the execution to go on the road in a red car to see that
13 the executions were carried out? Have you any views on that?
14 A. Well, I would like to know that too. How could he do all that and
15 everything else that he did? I do not know, but at any time, at any
16 given moment, say that he was here before and that we would be moving
17 on, I really do not know. I mean, how could he do that, to always be
18 present, equally, when we were separated at Potocarska Rijeka and when
19 we were boarding buses, that he was also by those buses, and the next
20 day in Bratunac when we were to be evacuated and go and then in a
21 Karakaj again, that he had made it to Karakaj the next day and that he
22 was there, say, until dusk, and also visited a place where they were
23 killing? How he could do all that, how he could manage all that, I do
24 not know but he did.
25 Q. I would like to ask you a last question which again is of a personal
1 nature. What is the feeling that you had after all these events? You
2 are a survivor. What is the purpose you give to your witness? Why
3 are you here in front of this International Tribunal?
4 A. I am grateful to the International Tribunal for inviting me and
5 telling me that the Tribunal want to discover the truth about who did
6 what in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Any further questions? Prosecutor?
8 MR. OSTBERG: No.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No. Witness, after your testimony has been
10 finished, the Court would like to thank you for accepting the
11 invitation of the Prosecutor. We will now put the blinds down so that
12 your protection and identity is safe. Then we will adjourn, unless
13 you wish us to withdraw and retire first? I think that is what you
14 prefer. So, if that is the case, you will be accompanied after the
15 Judges have retired from the court room.
16 The hearing is adjourned and we will be resumed at 2.30.
17 (1.00 p.m.).
18 (Luncheon Adjournment)
19 (2.30 p.m.).
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The court is in session. Please be seated. I would
21 now, consistent with the decision taken by the Trial Chamber on 26th
22 June 1996, like to ask Mrs. Elizabeth Rehn to enter the courtroom and
23 appear as an amicus curiae of the court. So if the usher would kindly
24 show Mrs. Elizabeth Rehn in?
25 MS. ELIZABETH REHN was called.
1 Can you hear me, madam?
2 MS. REHN: Yes, I can, your Honour.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I would like to remind you that it is on the basis
4 of this decision of 26th June that the court decided to hear you as
5 special rapporteur of the Commission on human rights of the United
6 Nations. So we have called you as an amicus curiae to provide any and
7 all information that might be useful to the Chamber in the connection
8 with the cases of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
9 We have asked you, and the Registry has indicated what the
10 main thrust of our concerns are, to provide us with an overview of the
11 human rights situation, to tell us about the ethnic cleansing
12 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1992 and then the disappearances
13 subsequent to the events in Srebrenica. The Chamber has also decided
15 you might, if you care to do so, if you thought it was advisable,
16 or if the court were to ask you after hearing you, you could submit to
17 us any and every document, part of a report or a whole report, which
18 you think would be in the interests of due process.
19 So I would ask you to introduce yourself, to tell us how it
20 was that you became the special rapporteur of the Human Rights
21 Commission of the United Nations, to tell us what the human rights
22 situation is and was at the time you were drafting that report on
23 behalf of the United Nations. The court will, no doubt, want to put
24 some additional questions to you.
25 So, I will give counsel for the Prosecution at the end of what
1 you have to say, whether they have any questions, but now please begin
2 by introducing yourself. Then please go right ahead with your
3 presentation. We would like to thank you most heartedly for accepting
4 our invitation. Please, Madam, go right ahead.
5 MS. REHN: Thank you, your Honour. I am really appreciating this
6 possibility and opportunity for me to come and give my statement about
7 the human rights situation in the former Yugoslavia, but specially
9 I was appointed on 27th September '95 just following Tadeusz
10 Mazowiecki who had been the special rapporteur of that from the very
11 beginning from this office from '92. He provided UN, the General
12 Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights with several numerous
13 reports during his time. Then he left his office. He resigned after
14 what happened in Srebrenica, furious about the attitude of the
15 international community against human rights. It was a very dramatic
16 resignation and I believe it was very good he did it in that manner
17 because that really put the eyes of the international community on
18 these abuses and authorities.
19 I was then appointed on 27th September and I started with my
20 first field mission in the beginning of October. I have since then
21 been several times, I believe, on field tours about one vehicle (and
22 with more sometime) to the region and I have provided General Assembly
23 in November with ------
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am sorry. Just one moment, sorry to interrupt
25 you. I will try to interrupt you as little as possible, I can assure
1 you, but perhaps you could tell us a little bit more about yourself,
2 give us background, if you would?
3 MS. REHN: That will take quite much time with my background in this age,
4 but I will give that though. My background is that ----
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No, maybe you can just very briefly tell us what
6 positions you held, etc.
7 MS. REHN: I understand. I hope your Honour that you can permit me this
8 small joke. I have been in politics since '79 as a parliamentarian in
9 Finland. I had different offices; also the chair of the Legal Affairs
10 Committee in our Parliament for four years. Then in the year of '90,
11 I was appointed to be the Defence Minister of Finland -- by the way,
12 the first female one in the world. I had that office until '95. Then
13 since then I have been the member of the European Parliament, and it
14 was in that office I was then appointed to be special rapporteur.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much. Please proceed.
16 MS. REHN: Yes. Since then I have been giving twice reports, first the
17 General Assembly in November, a very comprehensive one on my findings
18 until that; of course, it was very much based on what my field
19 officers are doing. I have about 10 to 12 -- it is a little bit
20 differing -- field officers in the different parts of former
22 Then now, in April, I presented my second report to the
23 Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Due to that they have been
24 adopted. There have been resolutions given upon them, as it was with
25 Tadeusz Mazowiecki too. Of course, I want to point out that I have
1 very much in my statement now to give the opinions of what I have been
2 experiencing. I have all the reports of Tadeusz Mazowiecki. I
3 believe they have been provided to the Tribunal too, both them and my
4 own two reports so that they could be a basis for the work here too.
5 I really have to only give statements about my own opinion,
6 what I have been experiencing, because otherwise it should be not
7 right to those who are relying upon my impartiality, but that is, of
8 course, something that your Honour, you and the Tribunal, are
10 But perhaps I could have just the possibility to give some
11 summary under especially the ethnic cleansing and the methods that
12 took part in Bosnia-Herzegovina, just to start with?
13 There have been absolutely clear methodic ethnic cleansing in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and, as we understand with an ethnic cleansing, the
15 liberate policy aiming at the removal of population belonging to the
16 given ethnic group from the given territory. You really need methods
17 that are quite serious, quite grave, much abusing to fulfil that goal.
18 Those methods have been killings, rape, intimidation, harassment,
19 destruction of religion and cultural monuments and so on. They have
20 been very methodically used.
21 Perhaps we should remember too that from the beginning of the
22 conflict, the leadership of Republika Srpska made it clear that their
23 policy is to establish an ethnically homogeneous territory or
24 structure. So, that was clearly stated that so should happen.
25 We have really been able to follow that through the years in a
1 very, very abuse way. Forced labour has been one of the abuses too.
2 That has been very much used to take men in labour age to work for
3 just the Serbs especially, and they have been much on the
4 confrontation line in really very serious, dangerous circumstances.
5 Of course, forced labour is absolutely a crime against human rights.
6 Something that has been very obvious during the conflict is
7 too that the convention of the rights of the child have been so
8 seriously abused; there has been no respect for the children. That
9 is, perhaps, some of the most serious abuses, because if we are
10 counting on the future, we cannot destroy the possibilities for the
11 young people, for the children to survive and to get rid of war
12 traumas, all these that they now have to face and to struggle against.
13 All the time civilians have been targets and, as you well
14 know, rapes have been used very much as a means to just terrorise the
16 I will be very strong about this, that it is not only on the
17 Serbian side that this has happened, because we have in our reports --
18 in my reports too -- several cases where Croats or Muslims have been
19 doing the same, but not in the same scale. The level has been much
20 lower, but there have been several cases of this. So, for
21 objectiveness, I believe this is very important to state, that this
22 also have been happening.
23 It is not long ago I was standing on the just emptied mosque
24 grave in Mrkonjic Grad where 181 Serbian killed people were taken away
25 from that mosque grave, killed by Croatians. So this is really going
1 in several directions, unfortunately.
2 But if we are analysing what has happened until this before I
3 started with my work and perhaps even then, this must be a planned
4 chain of different incidents. There even perhaps was a regional
5 policy in this. The attacks were not all over at the same time. They
6 were following some kind of figure with this and concept. Terror
7 meant, was really meant to frighten civilian. That was one of the
8 matters of this regional policy.
9 So, many left, so to say, voluntarily because they were so
10 terrorized so they could not stand for the situation any more.
11 Paramilitary troops were, perhaps, not acting so spontaneously, as
12 have been just said, because there was also a clear systematic in
13 where they attacked and where they robbed, took property. That must
14 have been also one part of the financing of their operations.
15 Normally -- as I just told, I have been a Defence Minister for
16 quite a while, so I am quite familiar with strategies -- in a normal
17 combat, you are just looking for overtaking of strategic points, land
18 and so on; but here really the civilian targets were methodically and
19 ethnically cleansed. Prisoners and civilians were executed.
20 Most of all, there was no respect at all for UN principles,
21 decisions, rules. That was so many times found out especially in
22 connection to the safe areas like with the grenade in Tuzla killing
23 more than 70 young people with, of course, Srebrenica, with all the
24 other safe areas too. That was especially in May '95, very much was
25 made just against all the UN decisions.
1 So, that means that there have been political and military
2 leadership behind the orders. That is very important to know. I
3 perhaps can quote myself when I was presenting my report in New York
4 for the General Assembly in November '95. Then I was saying that a
5 proper and honourable command of an army will not allow its soldiers
6 to kill, rape and harass civilians or loot and burn their property.
7 The responsibility of the leadership cannot be abrogated, neither the
8 military or political leadership. This is a principle which must be
9 respected in the whole territory of the former Yugoslavia. So this
10 was a clear statement from me.
11 Since then, during my own work, it has been crystal clear to
12 me that for those who are the victims of the conflict, whatever side
13 they are on and whoever have made the abuses, it is so important for
14 them to get the truth and to get justice because, and I should say
15 that they are not asking for revenge, like the women from Srebrenica
16 and Tuzla, or those who are just looking for their own relatives in
17 the surroundings of Banja Luka, Serbs who are missing about 2,000
18 killed loved ones or not knowing about their fate, for them it is very
19 important to know exactly the truth.
20 Therefore, as I have said several times, that there seem to be
21 a collective guilt, that like all Serbs have been accused to be
22 murderers or in some cases all Croats or all Muslims. It is very
23 important to have this individual guilt stated. So that we can free
24 the majority of the people who are absolutely innocent from the
25 collective guilt. That is why I find the work of the Tribunal so
1 extremely important because I really believe that those people who are
2 alive and who are still in very bad circumstances, they should be
3 taken really care of.
4 What are then my impressions or would you like, your Honour,
5 for me to stop now and make some questions before I am going to
6 Srebrenica and the overall view?
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Let me turn to fellow Judges. Judge Riad is going
8 to put a question to you in respect of your introduction before we
9 move on.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Mrs. Rehn, you mentioned that the guilt was collective, and I
11 quote you, "It was mainly accomplished by Serbs, but it happened also
12 by Croats and Muslim, on the Muslim side". You mentioned an example
13 of 180 of Serbs which were found in ---
14 A. Merkonic Grad.
15 Q. -- murdered by Croats. Would it be too much asking if you can give
16 us an overview of the relative participation of the three sides in the
17 ethnic cleansing and how much it was a policy by the three sides?
18 MS. REHN: Thank you. Your Honour, it is, of course, very difficult for
19 me to give any precise estimates about this because I was not in
20 office then when all this happened. But from the reports that Tadeusz
21 Mazowiecki, the former Prime Minister of Poland, made, it is quite
22 obvious that the main part was made by the Serbian side.
23 Of course, now still there is going on some kind of, whatever
24 we could call it, the word "ethnic cleansing" is a very strong one,
25 but when we are looking at, like, the federation between Croatia and
1 Bosnia, it is clear that they still try to make the villages, the
2 towns, ethnically clean. It is not a very good marriage so far
3 between the two parties that have made this federation.
4 I just met with them in Travnik, and it is difficult for the
5 Croatians to come back. Then if we are looking at the case like the
6 Bihac pocket, that, of course, was very much an internal affair for
7 the Muslims, because the Abdic followers were against the
8 governmental troops, the Fifth Corps. There were very many abuses
9 just from the army soldiers against the Abdic followers where rape was
10 used very strongly as one instrument.
11 But, if I may make a rough estimate, it was minor, what was
12 happening from this Croatian and from the Muslim side. Then, of
13 course, we should still remember that Sarajevo and the Serbs leaving
14 Sarajevo after Dayton could be called as one kind of ethnic cleansing.
15 They were a victim for propaganda from Pale but, on the other side,
16 the Bosniaks, they did not give them a guarantee for security enough.
17 So this is going on all the time, but the main part was on the Serb
19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So, please proceed with your presentation, and
21 thereafter we will have some more questions for you. Please, madam, go
22 right ahead.
23 MS. REHN: Thank you. Your Honour. Srebrenica and the fall of Srebrenica
24 has been very, very detailed reported on in Tadeusz Mazowiecki's last
25 report that you are or will be provided with, and that is really worth
1 reading because it is giving in a nutshell very much of what really
2 happened until the point when the refugees just went to Tuzla and
4 After that I have been meeting several times with those
5 victims alive, the women from Srebrenica very much placed in Tuzla,
6 and also I have had the possibility to visit Srebrenica, of course. I
7 have also found bodies lying on the ground uncovered that have not
8 been taken care of, very much already as skeletons, but easy though to
9 find out that they mostly must be young men due to their clothing. It
10 was on the Kravica hill I found these bodies lying around.
11 I think it is very much a question of human dignity and it is
12 a human right, even for a dead young man, to have some kind of
13 dignity. So this is something that is very much making me furious,
14 that there is no real dignity with those who suffered, who died. They
15 should, at least, have a decent burial by their families, by their
16 own. That is something that I have been very much involved with
17 trying to make this possible. That is the wish of the Tuzla women
19 We are owing them very much because it is difficult to face a
20 mother who is asking me directly that three of her sons, young sons,
21 very teenagers, left just tried to escape the day before, 11th, in the
22 night before, and when she is asking me, "Mrs. Rehn, do you not
23 believe that at least one of them must be alive? I cannot have lost
24 all my sons", or when one other mother is saying to me that when the
25 son was taken away from her, she never had the possibility to say
1 "goodbye" and now she is fixated with this, that she could not say
2 "goodbye". That is the worst thing for her. They are very much
3 dreaming about that, they are still, as it was so much the method of
4 forced labour, that there still should be people alive in detentions,
5 in forced labour, somewhere.
6 I was given 10 to 12 different addresses where I should look
7 for just their men in forced labour, but I had the possibility to
8 visit a couple of them and there were no traces of anyone that should
9 have been there for a long, long time -- in a supermarket cellar and
10 in a school and so on. But I will go on with my work with this,
11 because we have, perhaps, forgotten too much about those victims who
12 still are alive and who have to build up their whole future on some
13 kind of hopes and truth. So, therefore, the process after Srebrenica
14 is so extremely important.
15 Of course, I have been told that by some women that when they
16 went out in the street, the General was coming there shouting to them
17 that, "You, mothers, will never see your sons alive again", but I
18 cannot rely as in any case as a testimony on this because, of course,
19 they have been speaking very much to each other. So, as we all know,
20 sometimes when you have heard something several times, you are even
21 believing that you have gone through that yourself, like from your
22 childhood. But, of course, it is possible too that she just heard
23 this. She was very upset about this. As you can see, I want not to
24 give any kind of testimony about things that I have not been
25 witnessing myself and, therefore, this very cautious wording about
2 But in some way the key issue for the future and my position
3 is to look at the future, is to find some of the answers with
4 Srebrenica, for that has been so much a focus, a centre, for all the
5 abuses because it was so massive. We can count on at least 3,000
6 killed, but probably there could be as many as 6, 7, 8,000. That is
7 something that the answers, perhaps, will never be absolutely and
8 exactly given. But this is, though, such a huge abuse on human rights
9 so that I very well understand that so many are looking for this as
10 one of the key issues.
11 Then perhaps I could be allowed to give some words about how I
12 am looking at the situation for the future, what are the fears? One
13 of my fears is that there are so many of the demobilised soldiers who
14 thought that they should be heroes after taking part in battle, in
15 war, and now they have been -- I have been talking to them several
16 times, sometimes even in some bar where they have been very honest in
17 the mood of honesty, and they have talked about that. They have been
18 taking part in battles in different places and when they came home
19 they were considered to be heroes. Now they are absolutely not that.
20 They have lost their jobs. They have even lost their families. They
21 are very much of a possibility for a coming conflict, if they are not
22 taken care of in some way.
23 Something else is the role of the religious leaders.
24 Unfortunately, the religious leaders were very much committed to their
25 own political leaders during the conflict. The Orthodox church was
1 supporting the Serbs; Croats were supported by the Catholic church
2 and, of course, the Bosniaks by the Muslim Islamic religion.
3 They should now do much more to reach the hands to each other
4 so they could help their people, because they certainly need help to
5 overcome their traumas and the hate. That is especially needed when
6 the mass graves will be open, when identification will be done,
7 because then in some way the wounds will be opened again if there is
8 not just the protection and the support from someone who is
10 Then something else I was already talking about, children. I
11 am very afraid of what could happen about them, because I have seen so
12 good signs. Children are lovely. They are looking in the future,
13 that like in their drawings and paintings they are now going to much
14 lighter colours than they had during the conflict and everything was
15 blood, dead people, dark colours, and now they are changing to the
16 future, lighter colours. But at the same time, they are having in the
17 school educational curriculum, in their school books, even for
18 children seven to nine years old, that this is the victim. That goes
19 especially for Muslims. I have seen in Sarajevo these books. A
20 child without arms and legs and there is the one who did it, the Serb
21 soldier. It is very dangerous because then you are sewing the seed
22 for the future hate and conflict through this.
23 So something is going on all the time together with the lack
24 of freedom of movement, still expulsion of people from their homes, so
25 that the villages are going to be more ethnically clean. I am
1 sometimes very pessimistic with just development of Bosnia
2 Herzegovina. I hope that there is no reason for my pessimism and that
3 we could work for the future.
4 But I will end this statement with just telling that it is
5 extremely important. This comes from the grass roots because, of
6 course, I have to talk with Presidents and Ministers and officials and
7 so on, but the real truth and the most moving parts of the truth is
8 coming from the grass roots, from the ordinary common people who went
9 through all this field of fear. Thank you.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Mrs. Rehn for your statement. I turn to
11 my fellow Judges to find out if they have any questions. Judge Odio
13 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you, Madam Rehn. This Tribunal has listened to
14 the declaration made by Colonel Karremans from the Dutch Army and the
15 IFOR and two other Dutch soldiers who were in Potocari in July 1995.
16 They explained to us that there were approximately 25,000 people,
17 basically women, children, elderly people, who arrived to Potocari
18 from Srebrenica on Tuesday, 11th July 1995 after the fall of the
19 enclave. These people were evacuated in buses without any protection
20 to the confrontation line and disembarked there. Do you know, Madam,
21 what happened to them during the journey; basically what happened to
22 the women and children during that journey? Do you know how many of
23 them survived and got to safe places? Do you know how many are still
24 missing of these 25,000 people?
25 MS. REHN: It is also now very difficult for me to give any exact
1 estimates, but after this overtaking, if you should call it so, by
2 Srebrenica, then after they have to leave Potocari, I know that the
3 circumstances were terrible in the buses. By the way, you can ask the
4 question too, from where did the buses come? It was very well
5 organised that there were buses, so it was nothing that just happened.
6 It must have taken time to get all those buses to come, a part of
7 them coming from Serbia, I believe, from the Republic side.
8 In July, it is extremely hot there. So they were just put
9 together and, as we know, there was not allowed to have all the UN
10 peacekeepers in the buses, only a few of them. So, I have reports on
11 women taken away from the buses for a short while, raped during that
12 time and, of course, there were also old people who suffered badly. I
13 can imagine that even people died because old people in those
14 circumstances there, it is too much. But though most of them came to
15 the different places like Tuzla. So from these buses there are not so
16 many missing, but the only thing is that the circumstances were really
17 terrible during those bus tours.
18 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you, Madam. Have you interviewed children with
19 two parents are dead, where are they?
20 MS. REHN: I have been talking much to children and, of course, a child
21 who lost, who lost their parents. They are, perhaps, in the most
22 difficult situation of all without any kind of a future. But I have
23 not been stressing with those children, even if I should be very much
24 tempted to do that, because from people who are professionals in
25 psychological matters and so on, they have asked us not to question,
1 because then the wounds will be again there. So they should be
2 allowed to forget and not be pressed, especially small children.
3 But, of course, those who are young, youngsters, teenagers,
4 they are asking for their parents all the time. I must admit that they
5 are furious with the international community; that we are sitting with
6 working groups and delegations and commissions and whatever, but
7 nothing really of action is taken to help them to find their answers.
8 I understand them very well. That goes both for the women in Tuzla --
9 I am talking about women in Tuzla because they are almost organised --
10 and also there is an organisation for the family members in Banja Luka
11 or Serb family members. They are also furious because they want to
12 have the answers, and there we can really admit that with all our
13 assistance, with all what we try to do, we cannot be quick, we cannot
14 have the proper action taken and they have to wait for the answers. I
15 feel really sorry for them.
16 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you, madam. As far as I understand, you have
17 visited mass graves in Srebrenica. Could you tell the court if only
18 Muslims were killed in these horrors?
19 MS. REHN: As some kind of correction, I have only (and that is not only),
20 but I have been to those sites where bodies have been lying on the
21 ground, because for me there is a clear distinction, that I believe
22 that it is very much for the Tribunal to find out what is in the mass
23 graves because that is, of course, some part of what you need as
24 evidence. Then we have in the UN the expert of missing persons who is
25 taking care of this too. But those men that I found, those about 60
1 from which 30 are now in some way taken care of just during these last
2 days, they certainly were Muslims. They certainly were those who
3 were escaping from Srebrenica.
4 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Finally madam, do you agree, do you share the
5 statement that without justice there is no peace?
6 MS. REHN: Absolutely. I am very furious about those politicians who are
7 saying that now we should give possibility for the peace process and
8 not be hunting so actively for indicted persons, because that is
9 making trouble for the peace process. Again I am referring to my
10 talks with the ordinary people and their feelings. I have been
11 talking to hundreds, perhaps thousands of them. I cannot believe in
12 any kind of lasting peace if we do not have justice and especially the
13 truth, because the truth and justice is very much combined to each
15 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you, Madam, very much. No further questions.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Judge Riad, go ahead.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Mrs. Rehn, you mentioned that the military leadership was
18 behind the orders of ethnic cleansing. Do you confine it to the
19 military leadership or to the political leadership too?
20 MS. REHN: Your Honour, for me it is crystal clear that no military
21 leadership can work without the political leadership. There should be,
22 of course, a linkage between them. At least, if I am referring to my
23 own country, I cannot imagine that the military should go on with
24 something without having the political leadership behind them, but
25 perhaps I had better not comment on that.
1 But, really, this is very important that, of course, there is
2 always the linkage. The military is following the policy of the
3 politicians and sometimes, of course, military is stronger than the
4 politicians, but though there is the linkage.
5 It is impossible -- I have been reading the reports of Mr.
6 Mazowiecki several times, and however I am putting these reports,
7 there is so much of a red line in this that is giving the impression
8 of methodical ethnic cleansing, so that there must have been a
9 planning behind. It was not just that they started in one village to
10 make abuses. That was certainly in some way planned. At least, for
11 my understanding, it is impossible to think anything else.
12 JUDGE RIAD: They were able to use religion also for that purpose?
13 MS. REHN: Religion was very much combined to all this. I believe that it
14 was a bad mixture of the tensions between the religions, the tensions
15 between minorities of a different kind, the ethnical tensions, and all
16 this was used very much. I only feel sorry for the fact that the
17 religions could not stay outside this. I hope that they will now look
18 forward and really reach the hand of each others.
19 JUDGE RIAD: On a concrete level, was there a particular dogma breached by
20 certain leaders, whether political or religious, towards application
21 of ethnic cleansing that you can put your hand on?
22 MS. REHN: I cannot just exactly point out in any special case because
23 that was the whole attitude was about this. That was in some way
24 accepted. So nobody made any kind of intervention against that
25 because it was accepted in the procedure, that this what I have
1 understood from this.
2 JUDGE RIAD: But it had a start?
3 MS. REHN: Everything has a start, but I am not capable of telling which
5 JUDGE RIAD: From your research and the research of your Commission, there
6 is nothing concrete as how it started?
7 MS. REHN: No, not from the start, but of course there has been very much
8 destroyed, Muslim holy places, but also churches. This is quite
9 interesting, like in Sarajevo, where I believe that the different
10 religious places, churches, the Muslim temple, were so close to each
11 other with only a few metres between each other and they could live
12 together and at once this was then destroyed. So but, unfortunately,
13 I am sorry but I cannot answer this question really concretely.
14 JUDGE RIAD: But, if this exists, does it exist on the level of the
15 population itself, which means that the conflict will continue, or is
16 it the leadership which can stop it?
17 MS. REHN: The leadership can stop it if they really want to. I have been
18 cooperating with the religious leaders very strongly. I have met with
19 all of them several times and they have been really very co-operative
20 to me. We had one meeting arranged by Carl Bildt in Banja Luka, then
21 still Prime Minister Kazagic was there in office and he hosted that
22 meeting where all the three religious leaders should take part.
23 Unfortunately, the Catholic Colonel could not make it because his
24 helicopter could not land and he was somewhere. But that was the
25 first step to try to reach hands and -- perhaps I am naive in my
1 optimism, but I have the feeling that they really are trying to do
2 something now. I have been grateful for the co-operation.
3 By the way, I want also to point out that during my mission,
4 from the very beginning, there has been absolutely wonderful
5 co-operation from all the different parts to my work, Republika Srpska
6 authorities, of course Bosnia-Herzegovina has been already before
7 with the Croatian, with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
8 governments. So they have all wanted to show that they want to
9 co-operate with the special rapporteur on human rights.
10 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned Srebrenica and I quote you "as the focus for
11 all abuses of human rights". Do you think that was the worst thing
12 that happened in this conflict in Yugoslavia?
13 MS. REHN: If we are looking at the figures, the numbers, of course it was
14 the worst and it was so methodically made. For me, in my office, in
15 my mission, of course, every single abuse is notable and one dead, one
16 tortured, is as important as 100 or 1000 because there should be no
17 one of them. But if we are looking at the whole situation, I do not
18 think it is difficult to state that this was the worst one.
19 JUDGE RIAD: But, according to your field workers, you said you have 10 to
20 12 field researchers; could they find out how many were killed in
21 Srebrenica's event?
22 MS. REHN: Perhaps I may explain to you how we are working? We have the
23 field offices -- my mission is covering the whole territory of former
24 Yugoslavia, so we have field offices in Zagreb, in Belgrade now --
25 that was a good achievement -- and in Skopje and then we have in
1 Mostar, Sarajevo, Banja Luka -- that is new too -- and so those are
2 spread, so we have in Zagreb and Belgrade and Skopje too of the field
4 So we do not have very much of staff to work with, but our
5 work is going on from the fact that we should co-operate. We have all
6 the time been listening to this lack of co-operation in the
7 international community and the humanitarian work and human rights
8 work, but we have a very good co-operation with other organisations.
9 The International Red Cross is one of our main friends in the
10 activities, ECMM, OSCE, of course UNHCR. All of us are giving details
11 to each other and then we are checking by interviews, is that
12 information right or wrong. So this is the way that we have been
13 doing this. So this estimates about killed and possibly killed, that
14 could not escape. They are very much in co-operation with the
15 International Red Cross where we could come up even to 8,000 killed
16 but, for sure, at least 3,000.
17 JUDGE RIAD: You spoke of children. According to the testimonies we had
18 in Srebrenica and otherwise, only men between 16 and 60 were taken in
19 buses to the execution places or otherwise, but no mention was made of
20 children. Did you come across also the torture of children and the
21 execution of children?
22 MS. REHN: I heard about children under the age of 16, at least boys of
23 15, that had been taken because their mothers have been telling about
24 this, and I have no reason to doubt their information. So, certainly,
25 there were younger too. But, directly, to take small children to
1 these buses or away from the buses, I do not think that happened.
2 Instead, we have, of course, the reports of mother who kept her child
3 and then that child, a little one, was directly killed with a knife
4 and things like that that are, of course, terrible to be listening to.
5 But I cannot state that I should add information that many younger
6 than 16 should have been taken.
7 JUDGE RIAD: So no evidence that there has been extermination of children?
8 MS. REHN: No, no, we cannot absolutely not in a real scale; there can
9 have been single cases and that is bad enough.
10 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned rape as one of the forms of ethnic cleansing.
11 Did you reach a conclusion that it was used effectively as a means of
12 ethnic cleansing and how?
13 MS. REHN: In that sense, this is a combination of all the terror to make
14 people leave their homes, to just escape from their homes during all
15 this conflict. There were so many of these methods, as I said, forced
16 labour, looting, burning, and all this, but rape was one matter that
17 was very much used. It was used, as I said, by many parties in this.
18 I met in Banja Luka with an organisation of raped women. I am
19 very sorry that there must be organisations for raped women; that is
20 not telling very well about the world we are living in. They wanted
21 to meet me. There were a couple of young girls with them too. They
22 came from different parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were different
23 so-called nationalities too, ethnics there. They wanted to speak to
24 me, woman to woman. I must say that what I heard was really the worst
25 I have been listening to. The way the soldiers had raped women in
1 front of their children and that was, perhaps, the worst for them.
2 That was something that should not really happen. That was one part
3 of this, to make people to leave their homes because they could not
4 stay any more. They were frightened. They were afraid, especially
5 those who were living alone, women alone; how much they even locked
6 their doors, they could not been sure not in the night there should be
7 intruders coming.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
9 MS. REHN: Thank you.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mrs. Rehn, just a few brief questions: with regard
11 to Mr. Mazowiecki's report, you stated an opinion at the outset, you
12 said he was quite unpleased and that you shared that feeling. Now
13 you have just arrived. Could you tell us that why right from the
14 outset you could go along with his view of the matter?
15 MS. REHN: Sorry, now I missed something. I was late with the
16 interpretation. If your Honour could say -----
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When you began this afternoon, you indicated how
18 you replaced Mr. Mazowiecki at the head of the Commission. You said
19 that he was quite upset when he left and you said that you shared
20 those feelings. You had just arrived in that position. So, how was
21 that that you came to share that feeling right from the outset?
22 MS. REHN: Because, first of all, I honoured him as a person very much.
23 When I had read his reports, because, of course, before I started I
24 tried to have some kind of knowledge of what I am going in to --
25 perhaps I did not know enough though, but now I know what I am up to
1 -- and I especially shared the view that you should make something
2 dramatic, so that the eyes of the rest of the world should be focused
3 on things that are happening like this Srebrenica case, because I
4 learnt so much about this from the very beginning. So I absolutely
5 was capable of sharing his views, even not being there when it
6 happened. Only those who had to escape from there, of course, are the
7 real ones to know that.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Still in relation to the Commission:
9 since you have been there, you have been reviewing matters, looking at
10 the missions, now since September 1995 have you had to correct the
11 conclusions by Mr. Mazowiecki, and do you think there are any mistakes
12 or some things that are not quite right that you might want to bring
13 up before the court, or do you think, on the contrary, that there are
14 not things that need any correcting?
15 MS. REHN: This was a very tricky question, your Honour, but I do not have
16 the need to correct Tadeusz Mazowiecki and I even believe that I
17 should not do that. But, of course, things are proceeding and
18 something that could be evident then, perhaps, there will be new
19 evidence coming later on. I have not found so far any new evidence of
20 that kind, but I cannot exclude that from the possibilities, that
21 there will be new evidence that something, perhaps, was not correct,
22 totally correct. But what he has been telling in his report has been
23 very detailed. Like in my own two reports, there have been very
24 detailed paragraphs exactly telling how things were happening, how
25 they proceeded, how many were taken, how many were drowned when they
1 were forced to be expelled over a river -- that was in October -- and
2 they just drowned old people who could not swim. All these things
3 have been explained by me very detailed. The same was the method of
5 So these details are, of course, not to be corrected but, as
6 your Honour said, that the conclusions perhaps could be wrong. They
7 were the right conclusions then. I have to make my conclusions now in
8 a new situation. We must remember that he worked before the Dayton
9 Agreement. Now there is the willingness from all parties to try to do
10 something, though positive, I hope at least there is the willingness
11 that all parties want to do something positive out of this.
12 So, the circumstances have really changed for my part. So, if
13 there will be new findings, I will give them in my reports, but not in
14 the sense that I am correcting the very honourable Tadeusz Mazowiecki.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You were appointed in September 1995, so three
16 months after the events in Srebrenica. Srebrenica, could that have
17 been avoided?
18 MS. REHN: We all hope so, but I have been reading the reports, as I said,
19 about Srebrenica, also the Dutch governmental report of 100-something
20 pages. I have to admit, because I was so much involved with
21 peacekeeping during my years as Defence Minister, so I know very well
22 the rules of peacekeeping, and I find this as a very, very bad mixture
23 of civilian and military operation where, like for the air strikes and
24 the air protection, it was a mass of orders that should be gone
25 through with Mr. Akashi giving the final permission to this and with
1 just ping-ponging these decisions among military and civilians. So it
2 prolonged the procedure so much to be really efficient.
3 I have tried to look at the Dutch Battalion and their
4 behaviour, how much they could have been doing more. I cannot blame
5 the single soldier, the single peace keeper. I wonder if they took
6 their mandate though in some way too exactly, not to use power only
7 for self-defence, as this is the rule for peacekeeping operations,
8 because perhaps if there should have been more of this forceful, just
9 behaviour, perhaps then there could have been another outcome.
10 But that is the theories and speculations. The only thing I
11 know, that it was badly prepared from UN altogether, from the
12 leadership of UN in that sense, that you should not create safe areas
13 if you cannot protect them. The Secretary General asked for much more
14 troops from the very beginning so that they could be protected, but
15 the nations, all of us who are providing troops, we did not give more
16 of these troops. So everybody knew that there was not protection
17 enough for these safe areas.
18 So all these together, of course, could give the answer that
19 we could have -- there could have been no Srebrenica if things should
20 have gone right, but I believe too that now our responsibility is to
21 find the answers to those who escaped Srebrenica. We owe them, owe
22 that to those who did not escape.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have one last question before you leave. You
24 talked about the involvement of the church, the moral authorities who,
25 in your view, did not have any effective moderation. Now you go to
1 the field, you are telling us about the future. Do you have the
2 feeling that amid the people in these territories that there is a
3 change in people's attitudes, that there has been a change of heart,
4 that this sorrowful war has made people change their mentalities,
5 their minds, or do you have the feeling that it is just a matter of
6 time before the weapons will be firing again? What is your feeling?
7 That is my last question.
8 MS. REHN: Thank you, your Honour. I have, though, the feeling that just
9 the common people, the ordinary people, they want peace. They
10 absolutely want peace. I rely specially (and I am absolutely no
11 feminist), but I rely very much on the women because there are NGOs
12 that are absolutely fantastic, women organisations of different kind,
13 youth organisations and so on who are now telling that, "Now we are
14 taking the things in our hands. We are not relying upon the
15 leadership any more, the leadership who started the war, who went on
16 with the war and is the one who is now negotiating around the tables,
17 the same persons". So they want really to take very much over.
18 If we can support them and there, and I know this is not the
19 same question for this courtroom, but if we can support those
20 organisations that are starting from the very grass roots, giving
21 just some kind of expressions of the feelings of the people, the
22 civilians there, the citizens, then perhaps there is a good future.
23 But if all those who do not like the peace to come, if they will have
24 the power, then it is, of course, the opposite direction. But if I
25 may conclude with optimism, I believe more in these peaceful powers
1 than in those that are break down peace.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So at one point you sounded pessimistic, but you
3 finished up on an optimistic note which is welcome. So thank you
4 very much for accepting our invitation. Now I would like to turn to
5 counsel for the Prosecution to see whether the Prosecution has any
6 questions for Mrs. Rehn?
7 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour. From the side of the Prosecution,
8 we have been listening with the greatest interest to Mrs. Rehn's
9 presentation. We also thank her for coming, but we have no questions,
10 your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mrs. Rehn, the Tribunal would like to thank you
12 again. The usher will accompany you out. Thank you again.
13 (Mrs. Rehn withdrew)
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution?
15 MR. OSTBERG: Yes, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Ostberg, would you like to show in the next
18 MR. OSTBERG: We are ready. Thank you, your Honour.
19 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, our next witness, we call Drazen Erdemovic.
20 DRAZEN ERDEMOVIC, called.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Harmon, would you like to remind us of what
22 Drazen Erdemovic's present situation is in respect of the Tribunal?
23 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, Mr. Erdemovic has entered a guilty plea in
24 proceedings relating to the indictment that was confirmed against him.
25 He has been scheduled for a sentencing hearing and the sentencing
1 hearing has been continued to a further date yet to be decided.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: If Mr. Drazen Erdemovic could be given a head set
3 and please do that whenever we have a witness. Do you hear me, Mr.
4 Erdemovic? Can you hear me? Fine. Can you hear me?
5 THE WITNESS [In translation]: Yes, yes.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you hear me in your language? You can hear me
7 in Serbo-Croatian, sir? Can you hear me, Mr. Erdemovic?
8 THE WITNESS: No, I cannot hear the interpretation.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Let us see if we can straighten out these technical
10 details. Do you hear me?
11 THE WITNESS: Yes.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You hear me in Serbo-Croatian?
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes, I do.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Please read the declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole
16 truth and nothing but the truth.
17 (The witness was sworn)
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Please be seated. Mr. Drazen Erdemovic, you
19 accepted the summons to appear as a witness in the case against
20 Messrs. Karadzic and Mladic and that was at the request of the
21 Prosecution. You reiterated your willingness to testify at a recent
22 review of your status. I would like things to be quite clear.
23 The sentencing procedure has been deferred because we have
24 asked for some further medical information. But now you are here as a
25 witness for the Prosecution. You have indicated that you are willing
1 to testify. Your counsel, with your agreement and with your interests
2 at heart, also wished you to testify. There are some very specific
3 Rules within our Rules of Procedure and Evidence that state that an
4 accused may, of course, testify and that might be taken into
5 consideration in future deliberations. The presentencing procedure,
6 as I said, the sentencing procedure was deferred. Now we are going to
7 hear what Mr. Harmon has to say. Please proceed, counsel.
8 Examined by MR. HARMON
9 MR. HARMON: Yes, your Honour. Thank you very much. (To the witness):
10 Mr. Erdemovic, can you hear me?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Would you please state your name and spell your last name for the
14 A. Yes, my name is Drazen Erdemovic, E-R-D-E-M-O-V-I-C. I was born on
15 25th November 1971 in Tuzla and I am Croat by origin.
16 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, before joining the Bosnian Serb Army were you a member
17 of the JNA?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How long did you serve in the JNA?
20 A. For a year, that was my regular service, and four months on the
22 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, if you could move just a little closer to the
23 microphone, that would be helpful. Thank you. What were your duties
24 and responsibilities in the JNA?
25 A. I was with the military police.
1 Q. When did you leave the JNA?
2 A. In March 1992.
3 Q. Did you eventually join the Bosnian Serb Army; is that correct?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you eventually join the army of the Republika Srpska?
6 A. No, when I left my military service the war had begun in the Republic
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I was called up sometime in July 1992 to
8 join the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and I did.
9 Q. OK. I was getting ahead of that part of your testimony, but please
10 you can explain that part as well. Please explain the sequence of
11 events that led you to join ultimately the Bosnian Serb Army?
12 A. As I have just said, in July, I was called up and I went to join the
13 army, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina I spent some three months. After that, in Tuzla,
15 the Croat Defence Council was formed and I also received summons and I
16 went to the Croat Defence Council and I was assigned to police, to a
17 police station, in the place called Breske near Tuzla. In the Croat
18 Defence Council, in there, I was on sometime I believe until 3rd
19 November 1993.
20 On 3rd November 1993, I moved from Tuzla to the Republika
21 Srpska. Since I have moved from Tuzla with my wife and found myself
22 in the Republika Srpska, I needed a man whom I had already helped and
23 who is of Serb ethnicity, I needed his help to get to Switzerland
24 because he had sons there who had worked there for a long time.
25 However, the man did not keep his word and because I needed a
1 status of some kind, since I was a Croat in the Republika Srpska, so
2 as to be eligible to qualify for some accommodation, I had to join the
3 army of the Republika Srpska.
4 Q. When did you join that army?
5 A. I joined that army some four times later after my arrival in the
6 Republika Srpska or, to be more precise, sometime in April 1994.
7 Q. To what unit were you assigned?
8 A. I reported to the military command in Bijeljina and I was offered two
9 possibilities or, rather, two units. I went to a unit which already
10 included some Croats and Muslim, Muslims and Slovene.
11 Q. Ultimately, what unit did you join?
12 A. That unit had no name at the time. It was attached to the Chiefs of
13 Staff and General headquarters of the army of Republika Srpska and
14 later on it was named the 10th Sabotage Unit of the army of the
15 Republika Srpska.
16 Q. What type of unit was that and what types of activities was it
17 engaged in?
18 A. It was a reconnaissance unit responsible for the reconnaissance in
19 the territories held by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we went
20 into the depths of their territory.
21 Q. What were your duties and responsibilities in that unit?
22 A. At the outset, I engaged in reconnaissance in the territory familiar
23 to me, that is, in the direction of the town of Tuzla. Later on after
24 that, I became the Sergeant. I was the Commander of the 1st Sabotage
25 group in Bijeljina.
1 Q. Ultimately, when you left that unit, was the highest rank that you
2 achieved the rank of Sergeant?
3 A. Yes, I only wish to say that I spent two -- that for two months I was
4 the Commander of the group and I had the rank of a Sergeant, but I
5 ended up being demoted because I disagreed with some decisions of my
6 superiors. They demoted me and I was also no longer the Commander of
7 the 1st Sabotage group. After some disagreements, after a mission
8 which I had said I did not want that mission accomplished because it
9 concerned, because it would involve human casualties, human victims.
10 Q. At the time of the Bosnian Serb attack on Srebrenica, who was the
11 commanding officer of the 10th Sabotage unit?
12 A. Its Commander was Milorad Pelemis.
13 Q. To whom in the Bosnian Serb Army chain of command did Lieutenant
14 Pelemis report?
15 A. He accounted to Colonel Salapura of the army of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. Where was Colonel Salapura assigned?
17 A. I thought I said he was reconnaissance officer in the headquarters of
18 the army of Republika Srpska.
19 Q. When you say the "headquarters", are you saying that he was assigned
20 to the intelligence centre of the main staff at Han Pijesak?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So, as I understand it, Mr. Erdemovic, your particular sabotage unit
23 was directly subordinate to the main staff of the Bosnian Serb Army in
24 Han Pijesak; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, yes, it is.
1 Q. Was your reconnaissance unit the only one of its kind that was
2 attached to the main staff of the Bosnian Serb Army?
3 A. As far as I know, it was, I believe so.
4 Q. Now at the time of the attack in Srebrenica in July 1995, how many
5 men were assigned to your unit?
6 A. Our detachment had 60 people or thereabouts, I would not know
7 exactly, but during the attack of Srebrenica there were, I think, 35
8 men participated in that others were on another mission, I think.
9 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, on 10th July, did your unit receive orders to
10 participate in the Bosnian Serb operation against the enclave of
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What were your orders?
14 A. On 10th July we arrived in the barracks and we had briefings between
15 1815 and we were told then to get ready because a few hours later we
16 were to set off towards Zvornik. When we arrived in Zvornik, we were
17 told to go on to Bratunac and await further orders there.
18 Q. Did you receive additional orders, Mr. Erdemovic?
19 A. We received further orders. We left Bratunac in the direction of
20 Srebrenica and there we stayed on a hill, on an elevation, and there
21 we spent the night, on 10th July. Then our Commander, Milorad
22 Pelemis, told us we will spend the night there and he would come in
23 the morning with new orders.
24 Q. Did he do so?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When he arrived with new orders, was that on the morning of 11th
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What were your new orders?
5 A. He said that being a unit attached to the main staff, our task was to
6 enter the town of Srebrenica.
7 Q. Did you follow those orders?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When you entered into the town of Srebrenica did you encounter any
11 A. No.
12 Q. Were there any civilians in Srebrenica when you entered?
13 A. Yes, there were civilians, most of them of an advanced age.
14 Q. Approximately, how many civilians did your unit encounter when you
15 came into the town of Srebrenica?
16 A. Not very many, not very many civilians. I would not know exactly,
17 but not many.
18 Q. What did you do with those civilians?
19 A. I personally and others who were with me, we told the civilians what
20 we had been told to tell them, that they were to go to the soccer
21 playground in Srebrenica.
22 Q. Did you also run into a young man who was approximately 30 years old?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let me back track one moment. Had you received any orders with
25 regard to what you were supposed to do with civilians that you
1 encountered in the city of Srebrenica?
2 A. Yes, we had been told not to touch them, explicitly told.
3 Q. Who told you that?
4 A. Milorad Pelemis.
5 Q. Were those orders followed in respect to this young man who was about
6 30 years old?
7 A. This Lieutenant Milorad Pelemis ordered again another man to kill
8 that man.
9 Q. To whom did he issue that order?
10 A. I know only his first name and it is Zoran. I do not know his family
12 Q. Did Zoran obey Lieutenant Pelemis' order?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What did he do to the young man?
15 A. He slit his throat.
16 Q. This was a deviation from the orders, the general orders, that you
17 had received previously from Lieutenant Pelemis; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was this man who was killed by Zoran the only civilian, male, of
20 military age, that you encountered in Srebrenica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Where in the town of Srebrenica did that killing take place?
23 A. I think it was in the centre of the town, but I do not know exactly
24 because that was the first time that I had entered Srebrenica, so I
25 would not know exactly.
1 Q. Was the body left in plain view in the town of Srebrenica?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Later that same morning, Mr. Erdemovic, did you have an opportunity
4 to see General Mladic in Srebrenica?
5 A. Yes, I was ordered by my Commander to go, to return to the entrance
6 into the town where we had come in and to wait, me and two more
7 friends, and when we would see General Mladic arrive, to let
8 Lieutenant Pelemis know about that. I did that when General Mladic
9 passed by.
10 Q. Then did Lieutenant Pelemis either have a conversation with General
11 Mladic or did he do anything in relation to General Mladic?
12 A. I really do not know that because I did not see them. I was not
13 present when they met and I do not know whether they met at all.
14 Q. When did your unit leave Srebrenica and return to Vlasenica?
15 A. On the 12th, around noon, sometime around noon.
16 Q. OK. Mr. Erdemovic, there is for your comfort there is a water
17 pitcher and a glass of water next to you, if you feel you would like
18 to have a glass of water. Are you prepared to proceed?
19 A. Just a moment, please, just a moment, just to calm down.
20 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, I now would like to turn your attention to 16th July
21 and ask you whether on that day you and other soldiers in your unit
22 received orders to participate in a special detail?
23 A. No, no. I was not conveyed personally any of those orders, but the
24 Commander who was commanding at the time may have issued that order to
25 somebody about that particular task.
1 Q. Did you receive orders at all that day from anybody in relation to a
2 task or a mission that ultimately you went on?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. From whom did you receive that orders?
5 A. From the group Commander, Brano Gojkovic.
6 Q. Was he of normal rank? I am sorry, let me rephrase that question.
7 Did he normally give your unit orders to perform certain missions or
8 was this an exception?
9 A. Yes, it was an exception. First of all, our detachment was divided
10 into two platoons of Vlasenica and Bijeljina. He was with the
11 Vlasenica one and he issued no orders to the Bijeljina platoon. I do
12 not know about Vlasenica.
13 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, where did your orders normally come from when? I say
14 "your orders", I am talking about the orders that were directed to
15 your unit.
16 A. They came from the intelligence centre of the main staff in Han
18 Q. In response to the orders that you received on 16th July, Mr.
19 Erdemovic, where did you go next?
20 A. We went to Zvornik and Brano Gojkovic and the driver reported to a
21 Lieutenant Colonel whose name I do not know.
22 Q. Do you know what military unit the Lieutenant Colonel was associated
24 A. Well, Lieutenant Colonel, well, the Drina Corps, I should say,
25 because we were in Zvornik.
1 Q. Did you see that Lieutenant Colonel wearing any particular uniform
2 with any particular insignia?
3 A. No, all he had were the insignia of his rank and that is how I knew
4 that he was a Lieutenant Colonel.
5 Q. OK. Was the Lieutenant Colonel with anyone else?
6 A. No, he, Brano, and the driver, yes, yes, he was accompanied by two
7 military policemen also from the Corps who had their insignia on the
8 left arm, the insignia of the Drina Corps.
9 Q. After there were some conversations between Brano and Lieutenant
10 Colonel, what happened next?
11 A. They told us to sit in the car and to accompany the vehicle with the
12 Lieutenant Colonel and the two military policemen. We went from
13 Zvornik in the direction of Bijeljina, and on the road we stopped at a
14 farm that was at a place called Pilica.
15 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, I am going to show you two photographs. I am going to
16 ask you if you recognise what is depicted in each of those
17 photographs. If we could dim the lights and put them on the elmo?
18 Your Honours, we have copies of these as well which we will be
19 submitting to the court. If I could give these to the usher?
20 Let me show you the first exhibit which will be Exhibit No.
21 63, Mr. Erdemovic. It will be coming up on your screen in just a
22 moment. Do you recognise what is depicted in that photograph?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What is it?
25 A. It is a farm -----
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Lights, please?
2 MR. HARMON: I am sorry, Mr. Erdemovic. I asked you what is depicted in
3 that photograph?
4 A. It is the farm where we were taken by this Lieutenant Colonel in the
5 locality called Pilica.
6 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, let me show the next photograph which is Exhibit No.
7 64. Let me ask you, Mr. Erdemovic, do you recognise what is depicted
8 in this photograph?
9 A. Yes, I do it is the same farm.
10 Q. OK. If we could have the lights on once again, please? After you
11 arrived at that farm, Mr. Erdemovic, did you receive additional orders
12 from your superiors?
13 A. I personally did not, but I heard when Brano and the Lieutenant
14 Colonel were talking, saying that buses would be coming to that farm.
15 Q. In relation to those buses did you receive any additional
17 A. Afterwards when the Lieutenant Colonel left, Brano said that buses
18 would be coming with Muslims from Srebrenica.
19 Q. Did he say what you and the members of your unit were supposed to do
20 regarding those Muslims from Srebrenica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What did he say?
23 A. That we have to execute those people, to shoot them.
24 Q. When you say "he" told you you had to shoot them, for the record, who
25 was that, if you could identify him by name?
1 A. Brano Gojkovic.
2 Q. You mentioned that members of your unit were present. Can you
3 identify the other members of your unit who were present?
4 A. I can; Franc Kos was present; Goronja Zoran; Savanovic Stanko;
5 Cvetkovic Aleksandar; Boskic Marko; Golijan Vlastimir, myself and
6 Gojkovic Brano.
7 Q. Did buses with civilians from Srebrenica arrive at the farm?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Approximately, what time did the first buses arrive?
10 A. I do not know exactly, but I think it was between 9.30 and 10.00 in
11 the morning a.m.
12 Q. Did the buses that arrive have any particular markings on them to
13 indicate where they were from?
14 A. Yes, they were buses of Sarajevotrans and from Zvornik.
15 Q. When the first buses arrived, or when the first bus arrived, Mr.
16 Erdemovic, was it filled with men?
17 A. I do not know exactly whether it was full, but there were men and
18 they were wearing civilian clothes.
19 Q. Can you provide to the court the range of ages of these men?
20 A. I do not know exactly, but maybe between 17 and 60 or 70 years of
22 Q. On each of those buses carrying these civilians, were there armed
23 escorts, were there people who were carrying guns who were escorting
24 them on the buses?
25 A. Yes. In each bus, I think, I do not know exactly, but there were two
1 military policemen belonging to the Drina Corps.
2 Q. Did these buses arrive one at a time at the farm or did they arrive
3 in large convoys?
4 A. One at a time.
5 Q. OK. What happened once a bus arrived at the farm? Could you
6 describe what happened, please?
7 A. When the bus arrived at the farm, as I said, the Commander of the
8 group, Brano Gojkovic, would tell us how to stand as an execution
9 squad and two military policemen would bring out 10 people of Muslim
10 nationality from Srebrenica at a time, and Brano Gojkovic and Golijan
11 Vlastimir would bring them to the execution squad.
12 Q. Focusing your attention on the first bus, Mr. Erdemovic, were the
13 civilian people who were brought off that bus blindfolded?
14 A. Yes, only in the first bus.
15 Q. How were their hands, were they free or were they tied?
16 A. In the first bus they were tied only.
17 Q. I take it in every other bus that came on July 16th the people, the
18 civilians, had neither blindfolds nor were their hands tied; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Once the civilians arrived and were taken off the buses, Mr.
22 Erdemovic, where did they go?
23 A. They went to the meadow next to the farm.
24 Q. Where were you and other members of your squad in relation to where
25 the prisoners were brought?
1 A. We were, I think, about 50 or 100 metres from the buses in the field.
2 Q. OK. When the men were brought in your presence, how far away were
3 they from you when they stopped?
4 A. I think about 20 metres.
5 Q. Were they facing you or were they facing away from you?
6 A. They were turned with their backs to me.
7 Q. What happened to those civilians?
8 A. We were given orders to fire at those civilians, that is, to execute
10 Q. Did you follow that order?
11 A. Yes, but at first I resisted and Brano Gojkovic told me if I was
12 sorry for those people that I should line up with them; and I knew
13 that this was not just a mere threat but that it could happen, because
14 in our unit the situation had become such that the Commander of the
15 group has the right to execute on the spot any individual if he
16 threatens the security of the group or if in any other way he opposes
17 the Commander of the group appointed by the Commander Milorad Pelemis.
18 Q. OK. Do you know how many buses were brought to Pilica farm on July
20 A. I do not know exactly, but I think between 15 and 20 buses.
21 Q. Did the same thing that you have described just a moment ago happen
22 to each one of those bus loads of civilian persons who came off the
23 buses? In other words, were they executed at Pilica farm?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. OK. What time, Mr. Erdemovic, did the last bus arrive at the Pilica
2 A. I really do not know exactly what time it was that the last bus
3 arrived, but I know that before the last bus came a group of about 10
4 soldiers from Bratunac came to the farm, so I cannot know exactly. I
5 do not know what time it was, but maybe around 1530 or 16 hours.
6 Q. You say a group of soldiers from Bratunac also joined your unit at
7 Pilica farm. Do you know what specific unit they were members of?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What unit did they belong to?
10 A. I do not know exactly what unit they belonged to, but I know that
11 they came from Bratunac.
12 Q. Where they members of the Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. I think they were.
14 Q. Did they act in a way that was different to the civilians than the
15 members of your unit acted?
16 A. Yes, they beat the civilians with bars. They said all kinds of
17 things to them. They forced them to kneel and to pray in the Muslim
18 manner, to bow their heads.
19 Q. Did it appear to you, Mr. Erdemovic, that they were attempting to
20 humiliate some of these victims before they killed them?
21 A. Yes. I think even that some of them from Bratunac knew some of those
22 victims from Srebrenica.
23 Q. You mentioned, Mr. Erdemovic, that once a bus arrived groups of
24 prisoners, approximately 10, were moved from the buses, taken to a
25 field and executed; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who was guarding the remaining civilians who were still on the bus at
3 the time a single group of 10 were being executed?
4 A. Two military policemen.
5 Q. Do you know from which particular unit those military policemen were
7 A. Yes, they had the insignia of the Drina Corps.
8 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, in the course of your time spent at Pilica farm on
9 July 16th, did you have an opportunity to talk one of the victims that
11 A. I did. It was an elderly man, I think between 50 and 60, and when
12 he was coming out of the bus he started immediately to complain. He
13 said that he had saved Serbs from Srebrenica who were now in the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; that he had the telephone numbers of
15 those people and he begged to be allowed to live.
16 Q. After listening to him what did you do, Mr. Erdemovic?
17 A. I said to Brano Gojkovic to let him live, I wanted to save that man.
18 I was sorry for those people simply. I had no reason to shoot at
19 those people. They had done nothing to me.
20 Q. What response did you get from Brano Gojkovic?
21 A. That he did not want to have any witnesses of that crime.
22 Q. Did he then lead that man away to the field?
23 A. Not he, but Golijan Vlastimir did. I quarrelled with them but there
24 was nothing I could do.
25 Q. What was the attitude of other members of your particular unit who
1 participated in the executions?
2 A. Well, the attitude of individual members was almost like mine, that
3 this should not be done, I do not know, whereas individuals did what
4 they did with some kind of revenge.
5 Q. Were there some members of your unit who boasted about how many
6 people they had killed on July 16th?
7 A. There were.
8 Q. Can you expand on that, please?
9 A. There was a man who allegedly or so he said that the Bosnian Muslims
10 had killed his brother who was 17, and he said that he wants his
11 revenge and that on that day he had killed 250 Muslims from
13 Q. Did he say that he had counted?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Erdemovic, what was the attitude of the bus
16 drivers who drove the victims to Pilica farm?
17 A. They were horrified. I think those people, those men, did not know
18 that they were being driven to the execution ground. They probably
19 thought they were being led for exchange and that is what this man
20 that I talked to, the one between 50 and 60, actually told me, that it
21 had been promised them. However, Brano Gojkovic entered the bus and
22 gave an automatic rifle, a kalashnikov, and ordered each driver to
23 kill at least one of those Muslims so that they could not testify.
24 Q. To your knowledge, Mr. Erdemovic, did any of the military policemen
25 who escorted the men on the buses participate in any of the
2 A. On that day, I do not know -- no, they did not.
3 Q. Can you estimate, Mr. Erdemovic, how many civilians were killed by
4 your unit and members of the Bratunac unit on 16th July?
5 A. 16th, somewhere about 1,000, 1,200, I do not know. I estimated the
6 number according to the arrivals of the buses.
7 Q. OK. Are you able to estimate how many people you killed?
8 A. I do not know exactly. I cannot estimate but, to be quite frank, I
9 would rather not know how many people I killed.
10 Q. OK. Mr. Erdemovic, did you receive any information on 16th July
11 about what was going to happen to the bodies of the victims that were
12 lying in the field?
13 A. When the Lieutenant Colonel arrived at the end, one of the guards who
14 was there on the farm who was watching the farm said that those
15 victims would probably be buried there, and that trench diggers would
16 come to dig them into the ground.
17 Q. Did he say when those trench diggers would come to the farm?
18 A. No.
19 Q. You mentioned, Mr. Erdemovic, that the Lieutenant Colonel who you had
20 seen earlier that morning returned to the farm after or during the
21 course of the executions; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, yes, he came at the end.
23 Q. In your opinion, did he see the dead bodies that were covering the
25 A. Of course, yes, he saw them.
1 Q. Did he make any comments about seeing those bodies?
2 A. No, no. He made no comments, but he said in the place of Pilica
3 there were another 500 of those Muslims from Srebrenica and that we
4 had to go to finish off that work. I said aloud that I would not,
5 that I did not wish to kill anyone, that I was no robot for the
6 extermination of people. Then I was supported by some individuals
7 from my unit so we did not go, but the group from Bratunac went.
8 Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Erdemovic, could you name the other members of
9 your unit who supported your refusal to participate in additional
10 killings in the town of Pilica?
11 A. Yes, I can, Kos Franc, Boskic Marko and Goronja Zoran.
12 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, why did you refuse to follow that additional order?
13 A. Because I just could not take it any more.
14 Q. OK. You mentioned, Mr. Erdemovic, that other soldiers accepted to
15 follow that order; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. The soldiers from Bratunac went immediately with the Lieutenant
18 Q. Do you know where they went?
19 A. Yes, I heard when the Lieutenant Colonel said that in the hall in
20 Pilica there were 500 Muslims who were trying to break through the
21 door and get out of the hall.
22 Q. Did you eventually on that same day, Mr. Erdemovic, travel to Pilica?
23 A. Yes. Brano Gojkovic said that the Lieutenant Colonel had told him
24 that he had to hold a meeting in Pilica later. We went where the
25 Lieutenant Colonel said we should go, and it was not far from the hall
1 or actually across the street from it. When we got there, where we
2 were told to report, I heard shots and, how can I put it, hand
3 grenades which went off in the building.
4 Q. How far were you from that particular building, Mr. Erdemovic?
5 A. Some 70 to 100 metres, I think.
6 Q. Do you know, Mr. Erdemovic, if people were killed inside that
8 A. Probably they were killed, as soon as the shots could be heard and
9 the explosion.
10 Q. OK. Mr. Erdemovic, after the events that you have just described in
11 Pilica, did your unit eventually return to Bijeljina?
12 A. First, we went to Vlasenica, and they told us then that they were
13 free and that our platoon, which was from Bijeljina, could go back to
15 Q. Did you return to Bijeljina?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Then eventually did you return home?
18 A. Yes, I went home.
19 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, shortly after the killings of Pilica farm, and after
20 you had returned home, were you shot by a member of the 10th Sabotage
21 unit who had participated in the massacres at Pilica farm?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you suffer extremely serious injuries as a result of that
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Which of the members of the 10th Sabotage unit shot you?
2 A. The man who bragged that he had killed most Muslims, Savanovic
4 Q. All right. Your Honour, I have concluded my examination of Mr.
5 Erdemovic. Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you have any questions? Mr. Erdemovic, the
7 Prosecutor has done with his questions. The Judges might have a few
8 questions. Would you rather that we have a recess before we address
9 those questions?
10 THE WITNESS: No, I would rather your Honours gets this over with as soon
11 as possible because I am finding it very hard.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is what I thought, in fact. So, Judge Riad, do
13 you have any questions?
14 Examined by the Court
15 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Erdemovic, when you entered Srebrenica, you said that you
16 found a few number of people and mainly old people. Were there any
17 armed people in Srebrenica when you entered and what was their
19 A. No, there was not a single armed man, nor was there any resistance
20 when we entered the city.
21 Q. You mentioned the case of the man which has been butchered in front
22 of your eyes. What was the reason for the choice of this man? Was it
23 to give an example to the population, or did he commit something?
24 A. I really do not know why, why precisely this was done, but I think it
25 was done because that man was able for military service.
1 Q. Did you during all this period see General Mladic or hear him cited
2 by others?
3 A. I only saw him drive past in the car, as I said, when he entered the
4 city of Srebrenica. I did not personally hear him issuing any orders
5 and I heard from people that they had seen him.
6 Q. I am sorry to go back to the executions. Did you make sure, your
7 troop, that everybody was executed before you left?
8 A. Personally, I did not and I do not think that most of those men would
9 check because this was really something awful. I do not know. We did
10 not check.
11 Q. This is my last question. You said that after you left Pilica farm
12 you were shot at by this man called Stanko. Why did he shoot at you?
13 A. Well, my assumption is that someone, one of those men (and I think it
14 was Gojkovic Brano), had conveyed to the Commander of my unit my
15 behaviour at the farm and that probably they had reached the
16 conclusion that I just could not stand it and that, perhaps, I do not
17 know, that I might do what I am doing today, that is, testifying
18 against it.
19 Q. Could you briefly tell us what happened to you after you were shot
21 A. Well, it was not just me that was shot at but two other colleagues
22 who were also opposed to the orders of the Commander and some other
23 people in our unit. What saved me, who saved me was a man who was
24 Deputy Commander of our unit. He asked the doctors when they took me
25 to the hospital to operate me immediately, but the operation in
1 Bijeljina did not succeed. Then he again begged the doctors and
2 explained the circumstances under which I was wounded, and how it had
3 happened and that he too had been wounded and another colleague of
4 ours and that I be transferred to the Military Hospital in Belgrade
5 and the doctors did so.
6 Q. Sorry to add this, you mentioned that in April 1994 you joined the
7 army of Bosnian Serbs. You, being a Croat, what pushed you to join
8 this army?
9 A. Your Honour, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was quite awful. First, I
10 was in the army of the Bosnian Muslims, then of the Bosnian Croats and
11 at the end of the Bosnian Serbs. I did not want to join the army, but
12 I had no other choice. I had to join the army to have somewhere to
13 stay, because I had my wife with me who was pregnant and that was the
14 only motive, I did not have anywhere to go, to join the army.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Erdemovic, two questions: what weapon did you
17 have on you at the time of the execution? Did you have a gun, a
18 rifle, a machine gun?
19 A. An ordinary automatic rifle, a kalashnikov.
20 Q. So people were shot down by vollies of fire?
21 A. No, at least, no, I fired individual shots.
22 Q. My last question. Why did you want to testify? What feeling
23 underlies that and what do you feel now that you are before the
24 International Criminal Tribunal?
25 A. I wanted to testify because of my conscience, because of all that
1 happened because I did not want that. I was simply compelled to,
2 forced to, and I could choose between my life and the life of those
3 people; and had I lost my life then, that would not have changed the
4 fate of those people. The fate of those people was decided by
5 somebody holding a much higher position than I did. As I have said
6 already, what really got me, I mean, it has completely destroyed my
7 life and that is why I testified.
8 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have no further questions of Mr. Erdemovic and
9 I would like to thank Mr. Erdemovic for testifying here today.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The court is going to adjourn until quarter past 5.
11 (4.50 p.m.)
12 (The court adjourned for a short time).
13 (5.15 p.m.)
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution, it is Friday, 5th July,
15 1715 hours. What does the rest of the day look like, given the
16 changes that have been made due to circumstances?
17 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we have one additional witness to call and we
18 have a statement that we would like to read into the record and we
19 have a number of exhibits which we will tender. First of all, your
20 Honour I would like to tender the two photographs that were identified
21 by the previous witness Exhibits 63 and 64. Then I have a series of
22 transcripts that I would like to tender but have not yet been given
23 numbers and I will tender those at the conclusion, if that please the
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What transcripts are we talking about sir?
1 MR. HARMON: I am talking about a transcript of James Gow that was of his
2 testimony in the Nikolic Rule 61 hearing; the transcript of James
3 Gow's testimony in the Vukovar Rule 61 hearing and then certain
4 testimonies of certain witnesses from the Tadic trial.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, fine, these are transcripts relating to other
6 hearings and which you would like to tender. I do not think there any
7 problem with that. So we will accept the two photographs as Exhibits.
8 Now with regard to the rest of our deliberations, we will be hearing
9 the last witness. Thereafter -- Mr. Harmon does not need a head set
10 apparently -- so we are going to hear the last witness.
11 MR. OSTBERG: Yes.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are going to hear your statement. I think that we
13 will be able to adjourn this evening and hear your final remarks
14 Monday morning at 10 o'clock. Would that suit you?
15 MR. OSTBERG: Yes, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So we would not be sitting tomorrow morning.
17 Gentlemen, can you agree with that fine?
18 MR. OSTBERG: Monday morning.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I know that my fellow Judges can go along with that
20 as well. So, you have the floor, Mr. Ostberg, till 6 o'clock.
21 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour I would like to call our last witness
22 and that is the Chief of Police of the City of Tuzla.
23 Mr. Pasaga Mesic, called.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you hear me sir?
25 THE WITNESS: [In translation] Yes.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So please read the declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole
3 truth and nothing but the truth.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, please be seated.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have been called as a witness by the
7 Prosecution. So I am going to ask Mr. Ostberg to proceed.
8 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour.
9 Examined by Mr. Ostberg.
10 Q. Will you please state your name and also spell it for the record?
11 A. Pasaga Mesic, P-A-S-A-G-A M-E-S-I-C.
12 Q. Would you also state your present occupation?
13 A. Head of the Police Department in Tuzla which, among other things,
14 collects facts about crimes committed in the territory of
16 Q. Could you tell us about what this Police Department in Tuzla
17 encompassed, the cities or places we have been talking about in the
18 context of Srebrenica?
19 A. My Department covered the territory of northeast Bosnia. Before the
20 war there was the administrative Tuzla, it belonged to Tuzla region
21 which, among other common municipalities, covers the municipalities of
22 Srebrenica, Bratunac and others.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you in your office try to identify missing people?
24 A. Yes, we did.
25 Q. How did you go about that?
1 A. We did it in several ways. The chief method was that when people
2 expelled from Srebrenica arrived, when the Serb Army took the enclave
3 of Srebrenica in those places where the expelled were accommodated in
4 their settlements, we conducted a questionnaire of all citizens of age
5 who had arrived there. The questionnaire included, in addition to the
6 name and particulars, it also included a question of where their next
7 of kin were. In those questionnaires they listed the names of their
8 close relatives who either had been kept by the Serb Army in Potocari
9 or tried to reach the free territory through the woods. Another
10 question in the questionnaire was whether they had witnessed a murder
11 or some other crime, that is some other violation of International
12 Humanitarian Law.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you provide the Court with a figure of numbers of
14 missing people from the UN safe area of Srebrenica?
15 A. After we collected all the information and facts in this and other
16 ways, we can make some estimates about the number of persons missing.
17 It is, however, still impossible to identify all the missing persons.
18 The information we have gathered so far says that during the attack
19 of the Serb Army against the enclave, the protected zone of
20 Srebrenica, between 6,000 to 6500 people disappeared.
21 Q. What means did you use to reach this result, apart from what you
22 already told us about this questionnaire?
23 A. In addition to this we also used lists of missing persons compiled by
24 the ICRC, and that is their office in Tuzla which was also supplied to
25 the Commission for the exchange of prisoners in Tuzla. We also used
1 information from the lists of missing persons compiled by
2 representatives of the municipalities Srebrenica, Bratunac and
3 Vlasenica. On the basis of all this information and by subtracting
4 from that number persons who arrived in the free territory in the
5 meantime, including the surrender of persons to IFOR in Zvornik, it
6 was 3,469 (sic) missing persons.
7 Q. Will you name the figure again I did not quite get it?
8 A. 9,349.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. Now during this period the three territory was reached by a certain
11 number of members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina who managed to
12 break through the Serb blockade. We do not have the exact figure
13 because it is a military secret and, therefore, may not be divulged
14 but on the basis of the information we have, we estimate that it is
15 about 30 per cent of the last figure I mentioned, which also means
16 that about 3,000 to 3,500 members of the Army arrived in the free
17 territory, and when this is subtracted from those 9,349 we arrive at
18 the first figure, that is that about 6,000 to 6,500 people are still
20 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to turn to another matter,
21 namely photographs which I am soon going to show you. I will first ask
22 you this. Did the Office of the Prosecutor present you with
23 photographs of prisoners from the Srebrenica enclave?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know where these photographs came from?
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.Pages 860 to 877.
1 A. No, I do not know that, but I know that the photographs were taken of
2 a film which was in the possession of an investigating team of the
4 Q. Thank you. What were you asked to do with these photos?
5 A. The investigators team of the Tribunal asked us to try to identify
6 those persons with those who had arrived in the territory, as they
7 were showing men who were members of the Serb Army in Potocari and
8 other places in the Srebrenica area were separated by the Serb Army
9 from the their families and taken in an unknown direction.
10 Q. What methods did you use to try to identify these prisoners?
11 A. We began by showing those photographs to expelled from Srebrenica in
12 refugee camps in which they were away accommodated, but since they
13 were scattered all over the territory, almost across the territory of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina of those expelled, we were not able to identify
15 them for those missing persons. A fortnight ago we used a cantonal
16 television of Tuzla and we broadcasted those photographs and invited
17 all those who could recognise any one person from those photographs to
18 some to our office and then identify any one of those persons they
19 could recognise or they knew from the photographs that we had.
20 Q. Thank you. How many photographs were you presented with?
21 A. We were shown 30 photographs.
22 Q. Were you able to determine the identities of the persons of these
24 A. Yes, we identified 28 persons.
25 Q. Thank you. Now I am going to show you some photos and you can tell
1 us what you found out concerning the people we are going to show you.
2 I think there are in total 16 photos and the first one is Exhibit
3 8(A). Can the Court see the photograph also?
4 I now ask you, can you identify any persons on that photo, or were
5 you able to identify any one of them?
6 A. On this photograph we identified three persons.
7 Q. Can we ask you to dim the lights. Thank you. Please proceed. Again
8 my question was, can you identify any one of these people on that
10 A. Yes, the person I am pointing at now is Sevko Mujic, the son of Omer.
11 Q. Do you have a pointer? Has he something to point with? On the elmo
12 I think you have to do it.
13 A. The person I am pointing at now is Sevko Mujic.
14 Q. Who identified him?
15 A. He was identified by a neighbour.
16 Q. Can you tell us about his fate?
17 A. He disappeared. He is missing and nothing is known about his fate.
18 Q. Thank you. Are there any other persons on this photo that you can
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who is this person?
22 A. This is Ahmo Mehmedovic, the son of Sulejman, aged 58. He was
23 identified by a neighbour.
24 Q. His fate?
25 A. He is also missing.
1 Q. Thank you. Any others on this photo?
2 A. Yes. This person here, this is Meho Mehmedovic, the son of Sulejman,
3 Ahmo's brother, aged 56, identified by neighbours too.
4 Q. His fate?
5 A. He is missing too.
6 Q. Thank you. As your Honours may recall, these are photos that were
7 shown by our investigator, Rene Ruez, during his examination. As you
8 have seen them before and now we have shown them again just for this
10 Can I have Exhibit No. 8(B), please? Can you identify anybody
11 on this photograph?
12 A. It is this person. He was also on Exhibit 8(A) and this is Meho
14 Q. And who identified him?
15 A. He was identified by a neighbour or rather two persons who were his
16 neighbours while they were in the area of Srebrenica.
17 Q. What do we know about him today?
18 A. He is missing.
19 Q. May I now have Exhibit No. 10(B). Can you identify anybody on this
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Yes, please, and that is?
23 A. This person's name is Kasim Hafizovic, the son of Mehmed, aged 58,
24 identified by his close relatives.
25 Q. What do we know about him?
1 A. He is missing too.
2 Q. Is there anybody else on this photo you can identify?
3 A. Yes, Senahid Hafizovic, Mehmed's son, aged 54, also identified by
4 neighbours and he is also on the list of missing persons.
5 Q. Thank you. Can we go on to Exhibit No. 11(A). We can readily see
6 two persons on it. Can you identify them?
7 A. Yes. This person here is Mesa Efendic, son of Meho, aged 63,
8 identified by a neighbour, also on the list of missing persons.
9 Q. The other one?
10 A. The other person is Ibro Huseinovic, the son of Ahmo, aged 51,
11 identified by his close relatives on the list of missing persons.
12 Q. Can we now, please, go to Exhibit No. 12(D)? I cannot see anything
13 on my screen for the moment. Yes, thank you.
14 A. This person was identified on this photograph. This is Nazif Krdzic,
15 aged 54, identified by a colleague.
16 Q. His fate?
17 A. He is missing too.
18 Q. Now please we go to Exhibit No. 13(A). Could you point to some of
19 the people there? Yes, and who is that?
20 A. Yes, this is Bajro Malkic, son of Hilmo, aged 53, identified by his
21 relatives on the list of missing persons.
22 Q. Thank you. Any other people on this photo?
23 A. The next person is Mevludin Pasagic, aged 56, identified by his close
24 relatives on the list of missing persons.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. The other person on this photograph is Hamza Gurdic, aged 52,
2 identified by colleagues and he is also on the list of missing
4 Q. Thank you. Then I will ask for No. 13(B).
5 A. Here we again see Hamza Gurdic that we saw in Exhibit 13(A). Then
6 this person here whose name is Idriz Suljic the son of Saban, aged 60,
7 identified by friends on the list of missing persons.
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. This person here is Ibrahim Jelkic, the son of Bahrija, aged 59,
10 identified by a friend also on the list of missing persons.
11 Q. Thank you. Can I now ask for Exhibit No. 14(B). You will recognise
12 him. That was the person who was forced to call out for his comrades
13 in the hills. Yes, please?
14 A. This person here is Ramo Osmanovic, the son of Omer, aged 42,
15 identified by relatives on the list of missing persons. This
16 photograph too we have identified this person here, and this is
17 Miralem Mujic, the son of Rasim, aged 47, identified by close
18 relatives, also on the list of missing persons.
19 Q. Thank you. May I have Exhibit No. 15(B)? You do also, your Honours,
20 recognise him. He was the person who was interviewed by a television
21 reporter. Yes, please.
22 A. This person is Ramo Mustafic, son of Meho, aged 54, identified by
24 Q. Thank you. Now I will ask for Exhibit No. 16(A).
25 A. On this photograph we see Salih Salihovic, aged 49, identified by
1 friends on the list of missing persons.
2 Q. Thank you. May I ask for No. 17(B)?
3 A. Here we identified two persons: This is Ramo Kabilovic, the son of
4 Hajro, aged 34, identified by close relatives on the list of missing
5 persons. In the middle and behind him on the stretcher is Mujo
6 Mesanovic, son of Abdulah, aged 22, identified by close relatives on
7 the list of missing persons.
8 Q. Thank you. May I ask for Exhibit No. 18(A)?
9 A. This person is Salih Ibisevic, son of Ibrahim, 36 years old,
10 identified by his close relatives on the list of missing persons.
11 Q. Thank you. Now 19(B), please.
12 A. On this photograph this young man has been identified. His name is
13 Almir Salcinovic, son of Turabija, 21 years old, identified by a
14 friend. Then Halil Gabeljic, son of Mahmut, identified by a friend,
15 also on the list of missing persons.
16 Q. Both of these people are missing, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. That takes us to 20(B), please.
19 A. This person's name is Muhamed Malagic, son of Ramiz, 23 years old,
20 identified by his close relatives on the list of missing persons.
21 Q. Thank you. Now 21(B), please.
22 A. On this photograph Nezir Ibisevic has been identified. He is son of
23 Juso, 20 years old. He was identified by his friends. He is on the
24 missing persons list.
25 Q. Thank you. Now we are going to show you the last photograph, and
1 that is 22(B).
2 A. This person's name is by Bajazit Delic, son of Amil. He was
3 identified by distant relatives and is on the missing persons list.
4 This is Mustafa Mujcinovic, son of Mujo, 38 years old identified by an
5 acquaintance on the missing persons list.
6 Q. Thank you very much. To sum it up, all these people we now have
7 photos, are they all missing?
8 A. Yes, all these persons are on the missing persons list. We said that
9 28 persons were identified, we saw 26 persons because two persons
10 reached free territory and their photographs for security reasons we
11 will not be showing. One man is 62 years old and a boy who is only
13 Q. Thank you. All the others are missing?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, very much. This concludes the questions I have
16 to put to you. Thank you very much.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have a question madam Judge?
18 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you just one
19 Examined by the Court.
20 Q. Mr. Pasaga Mesic, you spoke of about 6,000, 6,500 missing persons.
21 Could you tell the Court how many are men, how many are women, how
22 many are children?
23 A. No, I cannot tell the Court that, because we do not know exactly even
24 the number of missing people, nor the composition of those missing
25 persons, since the activities to complete data on missing persons are
1 still under way and the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina has formed a
2 Commission for missing persons which should take part in the final
3 establishment of the number of missing persons and their composition
4 during the takeover by the Srebrenica enclave by the Serb Army.
5 Q. That means that you could not say if mostly they are elderly people?
6 A. Mostly they were males over 17 years of age, since most of the women
7 and children were transported out of Srebrenica by the Serb Army after
8 they entered the city.
9 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. No further questions.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Pasaga Mesic, are you receiving any co-operation from the
11 Bosniak Serbs in finding these missing people?
12 A. No.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: A simple question. I am sorry I have to ask you.
15 It might seem like a detail to you. I did not quite understand how
16 you can identify people on the stretcher, the person on the stretcher?
17 A. When identifying persons the identification was done by their
18 friends, relatives and neighbours. After the identification all those
19 persons made a statement in writing confirming that they had
20 recognised that person and that it is the person I have named.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. I have no further questions. The
22 Tribunal would like to thank the witness for having answered our
23 invitation to appear in this court on behalf of the Office of the
24 Prosecutor. Your task is very difficult, very hard. Each country
25 which has seen these violations from natural disasters or from war
1 have years, a long, lengthy period where they try to find their
2 balance again. I have a final question. Is it possible that there are
3 any forms of indemnity of repair? Has it been discussed in the Dayton
4 Agreement or in the Commission that has been set up? Is there any
5 work, any provisos so that you can find your property, real property,
6 private property, has anything been done? That is my last question
7 to you sir.
8 A. I cannot fully answer this question, because it is not within the
9 terms of reference of my responsibilities.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution, we have no further
11 questions we want to ask. The usher will accompany Mr. Pasaga Mesic
12 out. Thank you very much for coming.
13 (The witness withdrew).
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution, please proceed.
15 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour. With regard to issues of commanding
16 control and notice and knowledge, the Office of the Prosecutor
17 requested from the United Nations information concerning contacts
18 between United Nations representatives and the two accused, Radovan
19 Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. We have received a statement from the
20 United Nations that we would like to read into the record, and at a
21 later time we will provide the Court with the English version and a
22 French translation. This will be referred to as Exhibit 65. It is
23 entitled: "Statement concerning contacts between United Nations
24 Representatives and Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic."
25 "Senior official of United Nations, both civilian and military, had
1 frequent contacts throughout much of the conflict in Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina with both Radovan Karadzic as the Bosnian Serb leader and
3 Ratko Mladic as the Bosnian Serb military leader.
4 Dr. Karadzic met with senior UNPF/UNPROFOR officials on
5 numerous occasions. On several of those occasions negotiating at the
6 highest level of government within the Republic of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina and with UNPROFOR, Dr. Karadzic signed agreements on
8 behalf of the so-called Republika Srpska which were then implement to
9 varying degrees on the ground.
10 Several of the formal agreements and arrangements referred to
11 breaches of humanitarian law and the need for international law to be
12 respected. Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic were, therefore, may aware
13 by UNPF/UNPROFOR officials on several occasions of their obligation to
14 respect and abide by international human rights and humanitarian law.
15 These agreements and arrangements include the following:
16 Agreement to UNPROFOR troop rotations in Srebrenica and Zepa
17 in January 1994. Agreement on a cease-fire around Sarajevo on 9th
18 February 1994 at negotiations between UNPROFOR officials and Dr.
19 Karadzic. Subsequent to his agreement, a cease-fire came into effect
20 on 10th February 1994. On 18th February 1994 Dr. Karadzic agreed to
21 arrangements for heavy weapons control in and around Sarajevo, and two
22 days later some 225 Bosnian Serb heavy weapons were placed under
23 UNPROFOR control.
24 During the shelling of Gorazde around mid-April 1994
25 negotiations were undertaken regarding UNPROFOR hostages and a
1 cease-fire in the area. Again, Dr. Karadzic represented the Bosnian
2 Serbs in these negotiations. Subsequently, a cease-fire was put into
3 effect and the hostages were released.
4 In June 1994 Dr. Karadzic led the Bosnian Serb delegation for
5 talks in Geneva and conducted talks regarding the withdrawal of
6 Bosnian Serb troops from Gorazde. In August 1994, in part as a result
7 of dealings with Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic, an anti-sniping
8 agreement was negotiated for Sarajevo. Both Dr. Karadzic and General
9 Mladic were involved in negotiations were UNPF officials in October
10 1994 which resulted in the reopening of Sarajevo airport to UNPF
11 flights on 6th October, safe passage for fuel convoys into Sarajevo on
12 10th October and a specific agreement by Dr. Karadzic on 22nd October
13 for UNPROFOR resupply convoys to move into Sarajevo on 24th October.
14 At the ends of 1994 a cessation of hostilities agreement,
15 negotiated under the auspices of UNPROFOR, was concluded by the
16 Bosnian Serb, the Bosnian Croat and the Bosnian government parties.
17 Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic negotiated and signed on behalf of the
18 Bosnian Serbs. During 1995 there were numerous meetings convened to
19 extend the agreement and throughout the negotiations with UNPF and
20 UNPROFOR authorities, Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic continued to
21 represent the so-called Republika Srpska.
22 In addition to contacts during the negotiations of these
23 agreements and arrangements, representations and complaints regarding
24 the actions of the Bosnian Serb forces and adherents were frequently
25 delivered, both orally and in writing, to Dr. Karadzic by
1 UNPF/UNPROFOR representatives at the highest levels.
2 Such communications included complaints about the ethnic
3 cleansing activities of the Bosnian Serbs, blocking of humanitarian
4 aid, sniping and shelling in Sarajevo and the safe areas. Dr.
5 Karadzic generally responded to these communications, although the
6 responses varied from incident to incident.
7 In September 1994 strong protests were made orally and in
8 writing to Dr. Karadzic regarding the ethnic cleansing in the
9 Bijeljina area were large scale expulsion of civilians was happening
10 at the hands of Bosnian Serbs, and he was made aware of his
11 responsibility for the protection of minorities in the areas under his
12 control. Dr. Karadzic stated publicly that such practices were not in
13 accordance with his policies. Shortly afterwards he claimed that the
14 local police chief was removed.
15 When there was heavy weapon firing and Sarajevo in May 1995,
16 in breach of the 1994 agreement, when UNPROFOR hostages were seized at
17 Vrbanja Bridge and other UNPROFOR hostages taken and during the fall
18 of Srebrenica in July 1995, General Mladic was the Commander to whom
19 the most senior UNPF/UNPROFOR military commanders directed their
20 representations and complaints. These senior UNPF/UNPROFOR commanders
21 were operating under the clear belief that Mladic was the commanding
22 general of the Bosnian-Serb military forces."
23 This statement is signed by Kofi Annan, the Under Secretary
24 General for peacekeeping operations, United Nations.
25 We would tender this as an Exhibit.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Prosecutor. That document will be
2 included in the file. This concludes, if I have understood correctly,
3 the hearing of all the witnesses. Prosecutor, is that correct? The
4 hearing of witnesses has now been concluded, is that correct?
5 MR. OSTBERG: Yes, your Honour.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. We will adjourn our work until Monday at 10
7 o'clock where we will hear your concluding remarks.
8 MR. OSTBERG: Yes.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. Having said that, the Court is now adjourned
10 and we will resume at 10 o'clock on Monday.
11 (The Court adjourned until Monday, 8th July 1996)