1 Wednesday, 27 June 2001
2 [Prosecution Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
7 gentlemen. Good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters, the
8 Registry staff, members of the Prosecution team and the Defence team, and
9 General Krstic.
10 We will be continuing today with the closing statement of the
11 Prosecution. Are you ready to continue, Mr. Harmon?
12 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President. Yes, I am. And good
13 morning to my colleagues from the Defence.
14 Yesterday, when I concluded my remarks, we concluded with remarks
15 about when General Krstic had become the commander of the Drina Corps.
16 Today I would like to discuss the killing operation itself, the role of
17 the VRS in it, and particularly the role of General Krstic in that
18 genocidal operation.
19 Now, Your Honours know that with Krivaja 95, which was the attack
20 plan on the Srebrenica enclave, the initial goal was to constrict the
21 enclave, to reduce it to its urban areas. But the attack on the enclave
22 was far more successful than originally envisioned, and on the 9th of
23 July, the plan to take over the enclave occurred. That was on the 9th
24 when President Karadzic directed General Mladic and the VRS to take the
25 enclave completely. By the 11th of July, that goal had been achieved, and
1 by then the VRS was fully aware that in and around the enclave,
2 particularly in and around Potocari, there were tens of thousands of
3 people. From their vantage point in the hills that they had conquered,
4 they were able to look down, they were able to see, and they were able to
5 determine that there were men amongst those thousands of refugees.
6 As a result, new plans had to be developed. It was then, on the
7 11th, that the genocidal plan was created. It was a military operation.
8 It was planned, it was organised, and it was implemented. And it was
9 planned, as I say, at the highest levels.
10 Now, in my opening statement, I asked Your Honours to consider
11 what was required to conduct this massive killing operation, and I cited
12 some of the elements that I asked you to consider: Issuing and
13 transmitting orders to all of the units that participated or assisted in
14 the movement, the killing, and the burial of the victims; assembling a
15 sufficient number of buses and trucks to transport the thousands of Muslim
16 victims first out of the enclave and then to the killing sites and to the
17 detention centres in the Zvornik area; obtaining sufficient fuel for these
18 many, many, many vehicles that were used to transport the victims, bearing
19 in mind, of course, that fuel, because of the embargo that had been
20 imposed, was quite precious; providing guards for each of these vehicles
21 ladened with prisoners that had to be escorted north to Zvornik; providing
22 guards for the prisoners who were taken from the detention sites to the
23 execution fields; identifying the various detention facilities that were
24 used to house thousands of prisoners in the Zvornik area; providing secure
25 routes for these prisoner convoys; obtaining a sufficient number of
1 blindfolds and ligatures so that these helpless victims could be bound
2 before they were executed; providing sufficient security at the detention
3 centres to guard these thousands of prisoners; organising killing squads;
4 requisitioning and transporting heavy equipment that was necessary to dig
5 the large mass graves; burying thousands of victims that had been executed
6 in diverse areas throughout the Zvornik area; and preparing and
7 coordinating propaganda both at the Drina Corps level and at the RS
8 government level to rebut the well-founded claims that were coming out of
9 the enclave, suggesting that these massacres were in progress or had taken
11 Now, these factors were considered certainly by the Prosecutor's
12 military expert, General Francis Richard Dannatt, and he agreed that this
13 killing operation was a large-scale military operation that required
14 planning and perfect execution.
15 Now, let me remind Your Honours of what General Krstic has said in
16 respect of these killings. He testified under oath, and he was quite
17 emphatic, that he was not aware that any Muslims from Srebrenica, there
18 was a plan to kill any of these people, and he said he only became aware
19 of that in either late August or early September, well after the time
20 these tragic events had occurred. He testified that he later learned that
21 General Mladic and Colonel Beara, from the Main Staff, and Lieutenant
22 Colonel Vujadin Popovic, his own subordinate, were responsible for
23 "everything that happened."
24 So when was it exactly that this genocidal plan was created? Now,
25 Your Honours, we don't have a written document identifying the date when
1 this plan was created. Criminals rarely write and memorialise their plans
2 in writing. So we have to infer from the facts that are available to us
3 when the plan was created. It's our submission and will be our submission
4 to you that this plan was created on the evening of the 11th of July and
5 in the early morning hours of the 12th of July, and that it was planned by
6 General Mladic, General Krstic, and by representatives of their respective
8 Now, we know that on the night of the 11th, Generals Mladic and
9 Krstic were together at the Hotel Fontana with Lieutenant
10 Colonel Popovic; Lieutenant Colonel Svetozar Kosoric, who was the Drina
11 Corps Chief of Intelligence and, coincidentally, the defendant's
12 brother-in-law; and other Main Staff and Drina personnel who would be
13 required to plan such a massive operation.
14 The evidence that we have to support their presence together on
15 the 11th includes film of the negotiations, and I've used that in quotes,
16 between the VRS, General Mladic, and General Krstic negotiating with Nesib
17 Mandic and the Dutch Battalion. We have presented to Your Honours hotel
18 receipts showing the presence of some of these critical participants
19 staying at the Hotel Fontana. And lastly, we have presented evidence to
20 Your Honours of eyewitness testimony, people who saw General Krstic at the
21 Hotel Fontana on the evening of the 11th.
22 Now, it is our submission to Your Honours that such a complex
23 military operation involving the coordination of so many Drina Corps units
24 and Main Staff units could not have been planned and coordinated and
25 executed without the input of General Krstic, who was General Mladic's
1 main planner for the operation in Srebrenica and in Zepa, and who was
2 intimately familiar with the resources that were available in his area of
3 responsibility and familiar with the locations where these possible
4 executions could take place.
5 Now, on a larger scale, we've presented evidence to Your Honours
6 showing that General Mladic and General Krstic were together almost
7 constantly from the 9th of July until the 13th -- evening of the 13th of
8 July. We have, for example, the testimony of Witness DB, who was a Drina
9 Corps officer, who observed General Mladic, General Zivanovic,
10 General Krstic together at the forward command post in Pribicevac. We
11 have presented to Your Honours the film of the triumphant march in
12 Srebrenica that took place on the morning, early morning or late morning
13 of the 11th of July. We have presented film of General Krstic and
14 General Mladic together on the evening of the 11th of July with Nesib
15 Mandic, the Muslim representative, and the DutchBat representatives, and
16 the following morning, the morning of the 12th of July, where
17 General Mladic and General Krstic were seated side by side during
18 negotiations - and I say that again, in commas -- in quotation marks -
19 negotiations with three Muslim representatives who had come to the Hotel
20 Fontana at 10.00 in the morning on the 12th of July.
21 We have presented evidence that General Krstic was at the Bratunac
22 Brigade headquarters with General Mladic on the evening of the 12th of
23 July, that General Mladic and General Krstic were together at Viogor
24 addressing the troops who were about to depart for the Zepa theatre on the
25 13th -- that was on the 13th of July. And we have presented evidence that
1 General Mladic and General Krstic were together at the Vlasenica
2 headquarters on the evening of the 13th when the command changed from
3 General Zivanovic to General Krstic.
4 Now, our evidence clearly demonstrates that by the early afternoon
5 of the 12th of July, the plan was in effect.
6 The first evidence that the plan was in effect was the process of
7 separating the men from the boys -- and the boys from the thousands and
8 thousands of refugees who were in Potocari. This process, as Your Honours
9 are aware, happened as soon as the buses arrived in Potocari. It was a
10 process that was -- we have on film, and I will show Your Honours a brief
11 snippet of film that was taken by a Bosnian Serb journalist, and this film
12 shows, and you will see, a line of men walking expectantly toward the
13 buses that they believed would take them to safety, and at the last moment
14 in this film, they're directed by a Bosnian Muslim soldier away from those
15 buses. So if we could play that film.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. HARMON: Now, at the beginning of that film, you could see the
18 men were being directed away from the buses.
19 Now, Your Honours also have evidence before them from the Rule 61
20 hearing, from the testimony of a Bosnian government police official,
21 Pasaga Mesic, who in that first part of the image where the men are
22 walking along the buses, beside the buses, identified 27 of those men by
23 name. That film had been shown to relatives, survivors, and 27 of those
24 men were identified. None of those men survived.
25 Now, according to General Mladic and other VRS officers, the
1 separation process that we just saw was done to identify potential war
2 criminals. This clearly was not the real purpose for this separation.
3 Survivors who have testified before Your Honours, as well as Dutch
4 Battalion soldiers who served in the enclave, testified that they were
5 present there when the separations took place, and upon the men being
6 separated from the other members of their family, they were taken to the
7 white house and they were immediately forced to abandon their
8 identifications, their personal effects, their backpacks.
9 According to Captain van Duijn who testified - he was a Dutch
10 officer - and who was present at the white house, the front of the white
11 house was, "... covered totally with personal effects, with pictures,
12 holiday snapshots, as well as passports and other identity papers."
13 This next film that I'm going to show is a video of what the front
14 of the white house looked like after all of the men who had been separated
15 and who had been deported from the enclave looked like.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. HARMON: Captain van Duijn asked one of the ranking Bosnian
18 Serbs, a man named Mane, who was near the white house, why, if the VRS was
19 interested in wanting to distinguish war criminals, why the people who had
20 been separated couldn't take their identifications with them, and Mane
21 replied, quote:
22 "Well, they didn't need that stuff that's there. They didn't
23 need it any more. Then I asked him how he could explain the fact that if
24 they wanted to know who was a war criminal and who was not, they could do
25 that without identity papers, because if they gave a false name, it
1 wouldn't be on the list of war criminals, and if the person -- and the
2 person would go free and join the rest of the convoy to Tuzla. Then he
3 more or less laughed at me and said, 'Well, don't make such a fuss out of
4 it. They just don't need their passports any more.' I realised that the
5 story he had told me before was not true or hadn't been true at all, and
6 at that moment, I realised something bad was going to happen to the men."
7 That is Captain van Duijn's testimony at pages 1769 and 70.
8 So outside of Potocari as well, evidence of the plan was also in
9 existence. We know that on the 13th of July, Witness P, who was a
10 survivor of the massacre at the Dam, was initially detained at the
11 football stadium in Nova Kasaba with thousands and thousands of other men
12 and boys. They, too, were forced to abandon their personal affects and
13 their identifications before they entered into the football field.
14 While they were at that football field, you may recall, General
15 Mladic appeared; he addressed the detainees. One of the detainees was
16 murdered in the presence of General Mladic. Following General Mladic's
17 speech, Witness P and other detainees were ordered to board trucks that
18 would eventually take them to the executions. Witness P testified as
19 follows: "My group of men, the group that was moving with me, when we
20 were going through the gates, someone said that we should pick up our
21 bags. One of the group of Serb soldiers said to us, 'You won't need that
22 any longer.'" So on the 13th of July, even the most common and lowest
23 ranking Bosnian Serb soldier knew that these men were going to their
24 deaths; that there was a plan to execute them.
25 Now, these abandoned items of identification at Potocari, along
1 the side of the road, at the Nova Kasaba field, were burned, leaving no
2 traces of the identities of these victims. This image that is on the
3 monitor is Prosecutor's Exhibit 62, which is a photograph that was taken
4 by one of the Dutch soldiers showing the burning of these personal affects
5 in front of the white house. This is a scene that was repeated all along
6 and through the region where the Muslims had been taken prisoner.
7 Now, in Potocari on the 12th and on the 13th, we know that many of
8 the principal planners and implementers of this genocidal plan were
9 personally present observing the refugees and the men at the white house
10 who had been separated, including General Mladic, General Krstic,
11 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, Lieutenant Colonel Kosoric, Captain Momir
12 Nikolic of the Bratunac Brigade. Indeed, according to Colonel Kingori,
13 the United Nations Military Observer, he saw General Krstic and General
14 Mladic next to the white house, and it appeared to Colonel Kingori that
15 General Krstic was giving orders to his subordinates.
16 Also, quite interestingly, we know that the terrorisation of the
17 Muslim population in and around the enclave had started on the 12th; that
18 it was -- you've heard the testimony of Bego Ademovic and you've seen the
19 film of Corporal Groenewegen. Corporal Groenewegen's testimony at the
20 Rule 61 hearing was quite interesting because he said that while he had
21 seen an execution on the 13th, he also could hear continuous firing in
22 close range, rifle fire, and the VRS officers he observed who were near
23 him and who were working, including the officers who were present, senior
24 officers, never flinched during this close-range rifle fire.
25 Now, one would expect, if there was any danger or if there was a
1 possibility that this was hostile fire, that close-range rifle fire would
2 cause officers to take protective measures, protective cover. And yet
3 when you look at what Corporal Groenewegen says, these men, these officers
4 who were walking amongst the refugees, hearing these shots, didn't react
5 at all. They were extremely nonchalant. They knew what was happening.
6 Now, the other significant piece of evidence showing that the plan
7 was in effect was what the VRS did to the Dutch who attempted to escort
8 the convoys of refugees and the doomed men who were leaving the enclave.
9 Other than the initial escort that made it through to the area of
10 Kladanj, I don't believe any other UN escort vehicles made it through.
11 You heard the testimony of, I think it was Major Franken who said that the
12 initial plan was to put a Dutch soldier onto each bus, but they lacked the
13 resources to do that. So what the Dutch did instead, in an effort to
14 ensure the safety of the refugees, was to put a UN vehicle, a small
15 vehicle, a jeep or something like that, in the front of the convoy and at
16 the rear of the convoy, and that way they could determine whether these
17 convoys -- first of all, where they were going, and ensure that the people
18 in those buses reached safety and were safe.
19 Now, Your Honours have heard that the VRS systematically stopped
20 these escort vehicles from leaving. As soon as a convoy would leave, the
21 escort vehicle would be stopped by armed VRS soldiers, who would point
22 rifles at these escort troops. They would rob them of their blue helmets,
23 their protective UN flak jackets; they would rob them of their weapons and
24 they would take their vehicles. No escort vehicle was permitted to follow
25 the men who had left the white house. None, after the first or second
1 convoy, were permitted to follow the women and children who were going
2 toward Kladanj.
3 Colonel Karremans, the commander of the Dutch Battalion, said the
4 VRS, the Bosnian Serb army, succeeded in removing the Dutch Battalion's
5 eyes and ears. Dutch officers and soldiers who participated in those
6 attempted efforts to escort the victims said that it appeared to them
7 these blockages, these confiscations appeared to be systematic and
8 organised. Major Franken testified that in the very short time it took to
9 deport all of the refugees from the enclave, including the doomed men, the
10 Dutch lost between 15 and 16 vehicles.
11 Now, when it became apparent that men who were in the column were
12 surrendering to the VRS along the road, the Milici-Bratunac road, they,
13 too, were included in the genocidal plan. I have already mentioned the
14 issue -- I've already mentioned to Your Honours the testimony of the
15 witness who was held at the Nova Kasaba stadium, he too being forced to
16 abandon his belongings and identification.
17 By 5.30 on the 13th of July, according to an intercepted radio
18 communication, approximately 6.000 men and boys had been captured and had
19 surrendered along the road. If we could have the next ...
20 This is an intercept from the 13th of July, and Your Honours can
21 see in the top of this intercept there's a discussion between two VRS
22 personnel, and it's a request for buses to be sent and to collect the
23 prisoners who had been captured.
24 In the second line, there's an estimate of how many people had
25 been captured: 6.000 by 5.30 on the afternoon of the 13th. Further,
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
1 there's a discussion that these 6.000 were being held at three different
2 locations, approximately 2.000 each, and those locations are mentioned,
3 those locations being along the Bratunac-Milici road. There is a
4 discussion as well that they needed to be transported to the stadium.
5 The stadium, as we see in the next image, is the stadium that is
6 at Nova Kasaba, and you can see in it -- this image is taken on the 13th
7 of July at about 2.00, and you can see in it the numerous prisoners that
8 are being held in two large groups.
9 Now, this is a road coincidentally we know that General Krstic
10 travelled by on the 13th of July. Now, on the 13th of July as well, we
11 know that the first mass executions took place and that those mass
12 executions had significant evidence of planning and coordination
13 associated with them. I mentioned the Cerska massacre, where buses
14 carrying prisoners went up an isolated road, carried by -- followed by
15 APCs with soldiers, followed by heavy earth-moving equipment. I've
16 mentioned the Kravica warehouse, where there was a massacre in the late
17 afternoon of the 13th, immediately followed by the arrival of heavy
19 Let's hear what one of the victim's impressions was about whether
20 these were organised. Witness O, who you may remember, was one of the two
21 survivors from the Dam. He was the remarkable young man who was
22 grievously wounded himself and who was saved by the only other survivor
23 from that massacre. According to him, and I quote, "From all of whatever
24 I have to said and what I saw, I could come to the conclusion that this
25 was extremely well organised. It was systematic killing. And the
1 organisers of that do not deserve to be at liberty."
2 And then in what I have to say were some of the most remarkable
3 words uttered in this trial, and perhaps at this Tribunal, Witness O went
4 on to say, "And if I had the right and the courage, in the names of all
5 those innocents and all those victims, I would forgive the actual
6 perpetrators of the executions, because they were misled."
7 Thus, Your Honours, our evidence shows that this plan, this
8 genocidal plan was created on the 11th of July. We can see that in
9 summary by the initial separations, by the abandonment of the
10 identifications of these people on the 11th, by the systematic blocking of
11 the convoys to prevent the DutchBat, to blind them from the events that
12 were about to take place, and by the clear evidence of planning at the
13 Kravica warehouse massacre and at the Cerska massacre.
14 Now, I'd like to change my focus a little bit, and that is direct
15 Your Honours' attention to evidence of General Krstic's direct
16 participation in these killings and his awareness of them.
17 Our evidence showing his direct knowledge and involvement falls
18 really in three categories of evidence: Intercepted conversations with
19 the participants to the killings, including conversations with
20 General Krstic; his lack of investigation into these crimes; and his
21 falsehoods to the Office of the Prosecutor and to Your Honours in respect
22 of these events.
23 Turning first to the intercepts. The first intercept that is of
24 interest -- if we could have that -- thank you very much, Ms. Keith.
25 The first intercept of interest is an intercept from the 12th of
1 July, and this is an intercept that -- this is an intercept of a
2 conversation between General Krstic and Slavko Ognjenovic. And
3 Mr. Ognjenovic appears as a member of the Corps Staff on the
4 organigramme. He is under the Operations section of the Drina Corps.
5 And this is a conversation where General Krstic is essentially
6 monitoring the column's progress. He's asking Slavko Ognjenovic: "Are
7 they passing over there?" And he says to "collect as much data as you
8 can. Call the units on the lines. Have them investigate everything and
9 then we'll be in touch."
10 He remained interested in the progress of the column and the
11 people in it, and that same night, he called Lieutenant Colonel Ljubisa
12 Borovcanin, who was the Deputy Commander of the Ministry of the Interior
13 Special Police Brigade. Now, as we know, Lieutenant Borovcanin's Special
14 Police were heavily involved in the interdiction of the Muslims and the
15 capture of the Muslims who had surrendered.
16 This image that's on the screen next, you will see the gentleman
17 on the right not wearing a helmet is Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin. This
18 image was taken on the 13th of July, and it is an image along the
19 interdiction line. And you will see on the left a Bosnian Serb soldier
20 wearing a stolen UN helmet.
21 Now, these helmets, these UN vehicles, were used by the Bosnian
22 Serb soldiers to decoy the members of the column down, giving them false
23 assurances that they would be safe, assuring them that the UN was there to
24 guarantee their safety. This was a trick to get as many Bosnian Serb
25 Muslims into the genocidal net as they could.
1 Now, the next intercept, Your Honour, is an intercept of a
2 conversation on the 13th of July, and this is a conversation between
3 General Krstic and Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin, and it is a conversation
4 at 2040 hours, which puts it at a time shortly after the pass over of
5 command had taken place; puts it at a time when General Krstic was the
6 Commander of the Drina Corps. And you can see in this intercept that
7 General Krstic is conversing with Borovcanin, asking him how it's going,
8 and saying to him at the end, "We'll be in touch."
9 Now, I mentioned that the genocidal plan was not reduced to
10 writing. These orders and discussions about them were undoubtedly oral.
11 Many of them were encrypted forms of communication. And we have heard
12 that from the security, from -- I'm sorry, from Witness DB, that there
13 were times when General Krstic would go into the encryption room alone and
14 spend time in that room. It wouldn't be prudent to communicate about a
15 genocidal plan on open lines, but there were times when one couldn't be
16 near the encryption machine and there were times when there were unguarded
17 moments in communications that were unsecure that clearly demonstrate a
18 plan and the existence of it.
19 There was the use of code words, and the clearest example of code
20 words that we have and an illustration of it is the next intercepted
21 communication, and you'll see that this is an intercepted communication
22 from the 13th of July. I'm sorry. The 14th of July.
23 Now, to put this intercepted communication into proper context,
24 recall that on the 14th of July, the mass executions at Orahovac and the
25 Dam had taken place and that thousands of additional victims were being
1 transported north to Zvornik for executions later.
2 This conversation is between Major Jokic, who was the Chief of
3 Engineering of the Zvornik Brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Beara, who was
4 of the Main Staff and who General Krstic has said was one of the people
5 who was responsible for everything. And in this conversation, you will
6 see that Colonel Beara is talking to Major Jokic, and what he says is
7 essentially -- Jokic says: "Hey, we have huge problems over here." And
8 Jokic then says: "There be big problems with the people -- I mean the
9 parcel." So that's a code word. "Parcel" means Muslims who were being
10 killed or about to be killed.
11 Now, on the 15th of July, in other words, after the executions at
12 Orahovac had taken place and before the killings at Kozluk, the Branjevo
13 Military Farm and the Pilica cultural Dom had occurred, the nefarious
14 Colonel Beara spoke to the Commander of the Drina Corps, General Krstic.
15 This is an intercepted communication -- this was a communication
16 that was intercepted from three separate locations. Your Honours have
17 seen all the variations of this communication. Your Honours have seen the
18 intercept operators as well.
19 Now, this is a request by Colonel Beara to the Commander of the
20 Drina Corps for assistance. It's a complaint by Colonel Beara, and Beara
21 says: "General, Furtula didn't carry out the boss's order." Krstic says,
22 "Listen, he ordered him to lead out a tank, not a train." And Beara
23 says: "But I need 30 men just like it was ordered." And General Krstic
24 says: "Take them from Nastic or Blagojevic. I can't pull anybody out of
1 Now, Nastic is Lieutenant Colonel Milomir Nastic, who is the
2 commander of one of General Krstic's subordinate brigades, the 1st Milici
3 Brigade, and Colonel Blagojevic is a commander of another one of
4 General Krstic's subordinate brigades, the 1st Bratunac Brigade.
5 Now, in this intercept as well, it goes on and it mentions a man
6 by the name of Boban Indic. We know that Boban Indic was a subordinate of
7 the accused, and we know from testimony here that Boban Indic was at the
8 forward command post with General Krstic.
9 Now, in this intercept as well, there is a reference to Furtula,
10 and Furtula is another one of General Krstic's subordinate commanders, the
11 Commander of the 5th Visegrad Gorazde Brigade. And ultimately what
12 Colonel Beara tells General Krstic is that there are still 3.500 parcels
13 to distribute, and he has no solution. And of course what he was talking
14 about is that he had 3.500 more Muslims to execute and he didn't have
15 executioners. And General Krstic says: "I'll see what I can do."
16 Now, interestingly, General Krstic did not take people who -- nor
17 did he recommend people from the Zvornik area of responsibility to
18 participate in those killings, because General Krstic had been fully
19 informed and was fully aware of the plight of the Zvornik Brigade,
20 remembering, of course, that they were responsible for fighting the armed
21 head of the column that had penetrated into the Zvornik area, but he was
22 fully aware that he couldn't pull people off the front lines in Zvornik.
23 He had received, on the 15th of July, an interim combat report sent to him
24 by Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, the commander of that unit, the Zvornik
25 Brigade, and in that report it says: "An additional burden for us is the
1 large number of prisoners distributed throughout schools in the brigade
2 area as well as obligations of security and restoration of terrain."
3 Now, let me interject there. "Restoration of terrain," we know
4 means burying the dead.
5 Then this interim combat report continues: "This command,"
6 referring to the Zvornik Brigade Command, "cannot take care of these
7 problems any longer as it has neither the material nor other resources.
8 If no one takes on this responsibility, I will be forced to let them go."
9 That's Prosecutor's Exhibit 609, 610.
10 So General Krstic, in the face of this request to distribute 3.500
11 parcels, then went to his other units who weren't engaged in Zvornik.
12 Interestingly enough, in this intercept General Krstic says, about
13 a third of the way down when they're talking about needing additional men,
14 General Beara -- I'm sorry. General Krstic says to Beara: "Ljubo, this
15 line isn't secure." And Beara says: "I know. I know."
16 What General Krstic was fearful of was that the details of this
17 plan would be spoken about over unsecure means of communication. So this
18 again being clear evidence of General Krstic's participation and awareness
19 of the genocidal plan.
20 Now, on the 16th of July, another significant conversation was
21 intercepted. And if we could have that on the ELMO. It should be before
22 Your Honours on the monitor.
23 This is a conversation at 1358 hours, and it is a conversation
24 between Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, General Krstic's subordinate who was
25 in charge of security, and it is a conversation that requests fuel.
1 Now, before I discuss the contents of this, we know that
2 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was not involved in directing or engaged in
3 combat operations. We also know that Pilica was far distant from the
4 combat that was taking place between the column and the Zvornik Brigade.
5 Now, what does this intercept say? This is a request by
6 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic wanting to speak to Basevic. Mr. Basevic
7 appears in this organigramme as well. He is the person who is in charge
8 of fuel for the brigade. He's in rear services, right here. What
9 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is interested in is 500 litres of fuel, and
10 according to this intercept, Popovic says, "500 litres of D2 are urgently
11 being asked for or else the work he's doing will stop."
12 Now, we know that the work that was being done on the 16th of July
13 was the massacres that were taking place at the Branjevo Military Farm as
14 well as at the Pilica Cultural Dom. Further, this intercept says that the
15 fuel had to be delivered to the Pilica village, the Pilica village being
16 the location where the actual Pilica Cultural Dom massacre occurred.
17 Now, we know from the next piece of evidence that this is a
18 receipt, Your Honours, for 500 litres of fuel. You'll see that it was
19 distributed on the 16th of July. Item 14 on this, you'll see that
20 recipient was the command -- it should be "command of the Drina Corps,"
21 not "commander." The person who received the fuel was Lieutenant Colonel
22 Popovic, and he received his precious fuel so he could continue with the
23 work that was taking place at the Branjevo Military Farm and at Pilica.
24 Now, we know further that on the 16th of July -- we also know on
25 the 16th of July, Mr. President, from an intercept that took place at 2116
1 hours, that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was keeping General Krstic fully
2 apprised of the progress of the executions. In this intercept, at 2116
3 hours, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is attempting to contact General
4 Krstic. General Krstic isn't in, and what Lieutenant Colonel Popovic says
5 is, and I quote, "It's all just like he wrote. I was there on the spot
6 and saw for myself he had received some numbers ... well, that's not
7 important ... I'll come there tomorrow so tell the General," referring to
8 General Krstic, "I've finished the job." "You've finished?" "I've
9 finished everything." "Good." "I'll come there tomorrow when I'm sure
10 that that's all been taken care of, you know."
11 And then later in the intercepted communication, Lieutenant
12 Colonel Popovic says, "Well, in general, there weren't any major
13 problems. But up there, there were horrible problems and that thing the
14 commander sent, it was just the right thing." And the other correspondent
15 says, "Good."
16 Now, the job, as I say, that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was
17 talking about were the executions at the Branjevo Military Farm and the
18 Pilica Dom, and the thing that he's referring to were executioners, the
19 thing that the commander had sent.
20 Now, our next important intercept is one that occurs on the 17th
21 of July. This is an intercept that is at 1242, and this is an intercept
22 between Major Golic -- Major Golic is the assistant to Lieutenant Colonel
23 Kosoric, who is the defendant's brother-in-law, who works in the
24 intelligence section of the corps. What Major Golic is asking for is,
25 toward the bottom, he says, "Listen, find this Popovic chap and have him
1 report to the forward command post." Now, the forward command post was
2 the forward command post at Zepa. Who was at the forward command post at
3 Zepa? General Krstic. So Golic says, "Find him and have him report
5 Two minutes later, the next intercept is an intercept where
6 they're trying to find Popovic, and what is revealed in this intercept is
7 the following interesting information. When asked where Popovic was,
8 Trbic, who was one of the correspondents, says, "Well, he went there
9 towards that task." Now, what task are they talking about? He's not
10 going to say he went towards the executions. They're using code again
11 here. They went towards that task. And the other correspondent
12 understands exactly what he's saying. "North of you?" "Yes."
13 So in their pursuit of trying to find Lieutenant Colonel Popovic,
14 five minutes later there's another intercepted communication and this time
15 again involving one of the correspondents being Trbic. Trbic says this
16 time, "It's changed again." And Trbic says, "Yes." And the other
17 correspondent says, "If you get in touch with him, let him finish that
18 work." And then the correspondent says, "Let him finish that work that
19 he's doing, and have him report immediately here at Golac's."
20 Now, I suspect the intercept operator didn't mean Golac. I
21 suspect he meant Golic.
22 And then Trbic says, "Okay, then, I'll let him work, I won't
23 disturb him. And then he'll stop by over here."
24 The last intercept in this series showing General Krstic was fully
25 aware and engaged in this process is the intercept that takes place then
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
1 at 1622 hours on the 17th, on the same day that they had been trying to
2 find Popovic. This is at 1622 hours, and it says -- this is Lieutenant
3 Colonel Popovic, the accused's subordinate, speaking, "Hello, it's
4 Popovic ... boss," his boss being Commander Krstic. "Everything's okay.
5 That job is done ... everything's okay ... everything's been brought to an
6 end, no problems ... I am here at the place ... I'm here at the place
7 where I was before, you know ... I'm at the base ... at the base ... the
8 base. Can I just take a little break, take a little break, take a shower
9 and then I'll think again later ... basically, that all gets an A ... an
10 A ... the grade is an A, everything's okay ... that's it, bye, take
12 Now, what was done was this: We've seen this image before. This
13 is the Branjevo Military Farm where, according to Mr. Erdemovic's account,
14 1.200 Muslims were murdered in five hours. What job was done was also
15 this, if we turn to the next, the Pilica Cultural Dom, where 500 Muslims
16 were murdered.
17 It's quite evident, Your Honours, from the evidence that we've
18 seen in this case that General Krstic was fully aware of and engaged in
19 the mass executions that took place. He participated in the planning of
20 these activities. He was totally familiar with the code words; he
21 understood Colonel Beara when he said he had 3.500 parcels to distribute.
22 He sent executioners to help distribute those parcels, and he was fully
23 briefed about the progress of the genocide by Lieutenant Colonel Popovic,
24 his direct subordinate and the individual who General Krstic says was
25 responsible for everything.
1 Also, Your Honours should consider the lack of investigation.
2 I'll discuss this a little bit later. But General Krstic didn't report
3 these crimes or order an investigation into them or punish anyone for
4 them, and it's our submission that Your Honours may infer from that, those
5 omissions, that General Krstic didn't do that because of his direct role
6 in the crimes themselves.
7 Lastly, I think Your Honours may infer from the repeated pattern
8 of untruths told by General Krstic, both to the Prosecutor's Office and
9 then repeated under oath to Your Honours, that he was involved in these as
10 well. As Your Honours are aware, much of General Krstic's defence depends
11 exclusively on his testimony and whether you believe it. We don't believe
12 General Krstic should be believed on the material points that are
13 identified in the indictment.
14 General Krstic would have Your Honours believe that he was
15 hermetically sealed in Zepa; that he was in an information vacuum, and
16 that his direct subordinates and superiors kept him purposefully unaware
17 of the events and of the resources that were being drained from his
18 command at a time when he desperately needed them, at a time when he was
19 conducting both offensive operations in Zepa and defensive operations in
20 the Zvornik municipality.
21 Now, nothing could be further from the truth. He was apprised of
22 every critical aspect of the plan that he had participated in conceiving.
23 He attempted, through lying to the Prosecutor's Office and not telling
24 Your Honours the truth under oath, to deflect his culpability, to
25 essentially exonerate himself and place the blame on others, his
2 So since the principal pillars of his defence depend on his
3 credibility and almost exclusively his credibility, I would like to
4 examine many of the material aspects of his testimony.
5 Mr. President, may I continue?
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may continue until 10.00 --
7 that is to say, ten to 11.00.
8 MR. HARMON: Let's take a look, then, at the critical aspects of
9 his testimony and his untruths. I've mentioned some of them already.
10 He testified about the deportations, that he didn't know about the
11 arrival of the buses in Potocari, that he wasn't in any way involved in
12 securing the buses. I've discussed that at length earlier. His testimony
13 was false in that regard.
14 He said that he didn't become the commander of the Drina Corps
15 until the 20th or the 21st at a pass over of command ceremony at Han
16 Kram. I have gone into great detail showing Your Honours that he became
17 the commander of the Drina Corps on the 13th. So when he testified before
18 Your Honours that he wasn't the commander of the Drina Corps until that
19 late date, he wasn't truthful with Your Honours.
20 I've discussed another untruth, when he said he wasn't in
21 Potocari. Now, that initial false representation was made to the
22 Prosecutor's Office. Later, as you recall from the film clip of that
23 dialogue between Mr. Ruez and General Krstic, he was very emphatic about
24 that, he said, "Absolutely not." But when he came to trial, his story
25 changed. After we introduced this film, a copy of which he had prior to
1 his statement to us, after we introduced that film, he said the
2 following. This was his trial testimony at page 6218 and 9. He said that
3 he had intended to return to the forward command post in Pribicevac via
4 Srebrenica, and this is what he said:
5 "But I ran into a checkpoint at Potocari which was manned by
6 troops of the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment, and the soldiers told me
7 that nobody could pass through the checkpoint before General Mladic and
8 that was his order and, indeed, that is how I interpreted it, as an
9 order. So I respected it, because soldiers are supposed to respect orders
10 issued by their superiors. While I was there for this very brief period
11 of time, I noticed the presence of a TV crew there. They asked me to get
12 out of my vehicle, and I gave them a brief interview."
13 He then went on to testify that immediately thereafter, he
14 returned to Bratunac and then proceeded to the forward command post. That
15 testimony was found at 6628 and 9.
16 Now, this trial testimony was untruthful. We have presented
17 evidence to Your Honours that directly contradicts General Krstic on this
19 He went to Potocari on the 12th. He was stopped at a checkpoint,
20 but he proceeded through that checkpoint where he and General Mladic
21 remained for one to two hours.
22 Now, the testimony that General Krstic remained in Potocari was
23 further corroborated by the testimonies of neutral third-party witnesses.
24 Colonel Kingori also saw General Krstic in Potocari. He said he
25 was one of the senior VRS officers who had arrived at the UN Compound in
1 Potocari to check for Muslim soldiers who may have been inside the
2 compound. That testimony can be found at 1837 through 39.
3 He testified that he saw General Krstic and General Mladic near
4 the white house where Muslim men who had been separated were being
5 detained, and it appeared to Colonel Kingori that General Krstic was
6 issuing orders to soldiers who were nearby. Again, the testimony can be
7 found at 1848 and 1907.
8 Next we have the testimony of Major Franken of the Dutch
9 Battalion, who said sometime around the 12th or the 14th - he was unsure
10 of the actual date because the events had taken place almost six years
11 earlier - he had observed the defendant in Potocari outside of the UN
12 compound with a group of other senior VRS officers discussing matters.
13 And finally, Your Honours, Witness F, who was another DutchBat
14 soldier, testified that he saw General Mladic and General Krstic in
15 Potocari around the UN compound and around the white house and near the
16 refugees. He testified that sometimes he observed them giving orders to
17 their subordinates. He also said that General Mladic and General Krstic
18 were "jolly." It appeared to Witness F that, quote -- General Krstic was,
19 "Mainly walked around and looked whether everything was going according
20 to plan."
21 And that was the impression of a Dutch soldier who was present.
22 And not only present were General Mladic, General Krstic, we know that
23 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was there and other principal players of the
24 genocidal plan.
25 So it's our submission to Your Honours that when General Krstic
1 testified that he was stopped at a checkpoint and did not proceed through
2 it, gave a brief television interview and quickly returned to Bratunac and
3 back to the forward command post, that he was untruthful when he gave you
4 that testimony.
5 Next General Krstic tried to disassociate himself from the people
6 who he had pointed out as being responsible for everything. At trial and
7 under oath, General Krstic said that he did not have any conversation with
8 Colonel Beara between the 13th and the 17th of July. Again, this was an
9 effort to distance himself from one of the people who was one of the
10 principal players in these crimes.
11 Now, this evidence, this testimony, was false. It has been
12 refuted by the intercept of the 15th of July between Colonel Beara and
13 General Krstic, wherein Beara says, "I have 3.500 parcels to distribute."
14 We have presented closed-session testimony of the presence of
15 Colonel Beara at the forward command post in Zepa, and we have the
16 testimony of Defence Witness DC, who testified that she had seen Colonel
17 Beara at the forward command post during the Zepa operation, those
18 references being at 7450 and 7493 in the transcript.
19 And later, of course, we also have evidence that Colonel Beara and
20 General Krstic remained in contact. And this next image that you will see
21 is a piece of evidence that we introduced, and this is a ceremony that
22 took place in Vlasenica on the 2nd of December, 1995, where Krstic, as you
23 recall, at this ceremony was being praised by General Mladic for his
24 leading role in the Srebrenica and Zepa operations, and you will see --
25 the first person is General Mladic. My colleague Ms. Keith has a crayon.
1 She's putting a circle around General Mladic. The next individual is the
2 accused, and the next individual is Colonel Beara.
3 It's our submission to Your Honours that when General Krstic said
4 he had no conversations with Colonel Beara between the 13th and the 17th,
5 he was untruthful.
6 Now, not only was Colonel Beara at the forward command post in
7 Zepa, but also Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was present. Again I refer Your
8 Honours to the transcript at 9134. Furtula was present. Boban Indic was
9 present. All of the principal players were consulting with and present
10 with General Krstic in Zepa.
11 Now, let's examine two other critical aspects where General Krstic
12 didn't tell Your Honours the truth. They relate to his knowledge about
13 the capture of people who had fled from Srebrenica.
14 During the trial, General Krstic was asked by Judge Wald whether
15 between the 13th and the 17th of July, whether he had received information
16 that people were being or had been captured from the column.
17 General Krstic answered: "I didn't know at all. I had no knowledge or
18 information whatsoever during that period that any capture had taken
19 place, and I did not know what had happened to those people who had been
21 Now, our evidence shows that as early as the 12th of July, the
22 Drina Corps Command was receiving information that Muslims from the column
23 were surrendering to the military police, Ministry of the Interior, and to
24 the VRS.
25 This next exhibit that is before you is dated the 12th of July.
1 It is an intelligence report directed to the Drina Corps Command
2 intelligence section. And if you notice the first paragraph, it
3 references the discovery of the column and how this column had split up.
4 It says further that: "The third group was discovered in the area.
5 They're fleeing in panic, without any control, in groups or individually
6 and giving themselves up to the Ministry of the Interior and the Republika
7 Srpska army."
8 So on the 12th of July, information went directly to the corps
9 headquarters that prisoners were giving themselves up to the army and to
10 the Ministry of the Interior.
11 Now, I've previously discussed as well - I won't go into it at
12 this moment, but I've previously discussed General Zivanovic's last order
13 issued on the 13th of July with a transmission stamp of 1600 hours, and
14 remember in that order, point three of that order, which was an order to
15 subordinate units "to put captured and disarmed Muslims in suitable
16 buildings and immediately inform the Superior Command." In other words,
17 there was an order by the then commander of the Drina Corps to all of his
18 subordinates to capture the Muslims, put them in suitable buildings, and
19 keep the command - now General Krstic and others - informed about the
20 capture of these Muslims.
21 I've already showed Your Honours today the intercept that took
22 place between Lieutenant Colonel Borovcanin and General Krstic, that took
23 place on the 13th of July, where General Krstic was asking Borovcanin how
24 it was going and he'd be back in touch later. What they were talking
25 about, Your Honours, was prisoners and the capture of prisoners.
1 So when General Krstic answered Judge Wald, saying that he did not
2 know at all and had no knowledge about the captures of prisoners taking
3 place, it's our submission that he wasn't telling Your Honours the truth.
4 The second misinformation that he gave Your Honours related to his
5 testimony that on the 12th of July, he left the Srebrenica area and went
6 via the Viogora-Susica-Derventa-Milici-Vlasenica road. Taking that
7 direction, he says he arrived at the Vlasenica headquarters between 1600
8 and 1800 hours. Significantly, as Your Honours are aware of the
9 geography, by taking that road, he would see nothing other than an empty
10 road, a clear passage.
11 Our evidence is to the contrary, that on the 13th of July,
12 General Krstic travelled to the Vlasenica headquarters via the
13 Bratunac-Milici-Konjevic-Polje road. That would have taken him right
14 through the heart of darkness, right through the thousands -- right past
15 the thousands of Muslim prisoners who had been detained alongside the
16 road, right past the rucksacks that had been abandoned along the road,
17 past the Kravica warehouse where prisoners were being detained prior to
18 their execution, past the Sandici meadow where thousands of Muslims were
19 being detained, past the stadium at Nova Kasaba where thousands of Muslims
20 were being detained.
21 If we can go to the next image. This is just -- you've seen
22 aerial images, but this is the public road that goes past to the Nova
23 Kasaba stadium. You can see the stadium is to the right, and the next
24 picture is precisely what General Krstic would have gone by on the 13th of
1 So it is our submission to Your Honours that General Krstic again
2 was untruthful to Your Honours when he said to you that he had no
3 knowledge or information about the capture of prisoners and when he said
4 that he had gone the road that would have taken him past open fields,
5 clear traffic, et cetera.
6 Now, according to General Krstic, he also told Your Honours that
7 he only found out about the killings of the Muslim prisoners in late
8 August or early September. That testimony is found at 6331 and 2, and
9 6850. This obviously wasn't true.
10 We have presented to Your Honours certain hearsay evidence about
11 the date and the time when General Krstic was informed of the killings.
12 We have the intercepted communication of the 15th, the 3.500 parcels to
13 distribute. We have the series of communications culminating on the 17th
14 with Colonel Popovic telling General Krstic that everything's done, the
15 job gets an A. We have the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Popovic,
16 Colonel Beara, and General Mladic at the forward command post in Zepa, and
17 lastly, we have worldwide publicity, as these events were developing, that
18 there were executions taking place in Srebrenica in and around the
19 environs. So when General Krstic told Your Honours that he had no
20 knowledge about these killings until August or September, he wasn't
21 telling Your Honours the truth.
22 General Krstic, in his testimony, repeatedly told Your Honours
23 that between the 13th of July and the 2nd of August, he never went to the
24 Vlasenica headquarters. If you turn to 6732 of the transcript, you will
25 see that assertion. Of course, Your Honours, that was a critical part of
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
1 his attempt to demonstrate that he was completely isolated in the Zepa
2 area, that he wasn't receiving information.
3 We know, Your Honours, from Witness DB, that all communications
4 that had to go to Zepa had to be -- had to come through the Vlasenica
5 headquarters and then disseminated to other points, to other brigades. We
6 know that the Drina Corps headquarters was receiving and transmitted
7 orders and communications, I should say communications relating to these
8 killings. We've seen some examples. In all likelihood, they were
9 transmitting by secure means, by encrypted means, information about these
11 Now, all that communication was coming through and out of
12 Vlasenica, the headquarters where General Krstic said he never went. We
13 have stipulated -- the parties have stipulated that the Vlasenica
14 headquarters was not a very long distance from the forward command post at
15 Krivace. The stipulation, as you recall, was that the distance between
16 the Krivace forward command post where General Krstic says he was isolated
17 and the Vlasenica headquarters is 34 kilometres. Investigators from my
18 office travelling at 47 kilometres an hour took 42 minutes and 57 seconds
19 to get to -- from Krivace forward command post location to the Vlasenica
21 Now, we know as well that from closed-session testimony at page
22 9133, that General Krstic was at Vlasenica. We also know from
23 closed-session evidence, from related closed-session evidence, that
24 General Krstic was at Vlasenica. And if we turn to the next exhibit, we
25 know on the 17th of July that General Krstic was at the Vlasenica
1 headquarters. This is his order of the 17th of July, signed as the
2 commander and issued, you will see in the upper left-hand corner, issued
3 from the Vlasenica headquarters.
4 Now, if we turn to the next exhibit in order, this is an
5 intercepted communication, Your Honours, from the 18th of July, and I've
6 only extracted the first five lines from that, but this is General Krstic,
7 in an unknown correspondence, which General Krstic says, "OK then, did he
8 tell you where am I supposed to come, here or up there?" And X says,
9 "Well, the boss said that you should wait for him there in Vlasenica."
10 Krstic says, "Good, I'm just checking if I understood that correctly." X
11 says, "You got it right." And General Krstic says, "Good, good."
12 So it is our submission to Your Honours that on this point as
13 well, General Krstic was untruthful to Your Honours.
14 We could prepare to stop at this point, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: If I understood correctly, it would be
16 convenient to have a break now, so we're going to have a half-hour break.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.52 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, let us continue and
20 hopefully finish.
21 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We're going to work until 1.00.
23 MR. HARMON: Before the break, or at the break I was discussing
24 with Your Honours a series of times when General Krstic was not truthful
25 with the Trial Chamber. Let me continue.
1 I had discussed the testimony of General Krstic when he said he
2 wasn't aware of the killings that had taken place because he was in this
3 information vacuum at the command post in Zepa. Let me slightly vary
4 that. General Krstic not only said he didn't know about the killings that
5 were taking place outside the Zepa area of operation, but he didn't have
6 any information about what was happening, about other events that were
7 happening outside the Zvornik -- I'm sorry, outside of the Zepa area of
8 responsibility. Except on the 14th of July, he had received information
9 from the assistant commander of the Zvornik Brigade telling him about the
10 alarming developments in the Zvornik area of responsibility. That was the
11 only piece of information he said that he received.
12 Now, that was what he told the Office of the Prosecutor during his
13 interview. At trial he confirmed that, but then he slightly changed his
14 story and he said that that information vacuum about what was happening in
15 and around the Zepa area was filled on the 20th of July when he received
16 information from Colonel Cerovic. Again, Colonel Cerovic is the head of
17 the Department of Moral Guidance and Legal Affairs. And at that point he
18 says he was briefed on the situation by Colonel Cerovic about the events
19 that were taking place in the Drina Corps area of responsibility.
20 Again, this testimony was an attempt to again create the
21 impression that he was in an information vacuum, now somewhat reduced in
22 time from August the 2nd, but still an important period of time, up to the
23 20th of July.
24 Now, we have submitted evidence to Your Honours, voluminous
25 evidence, saying that that simply was not the case. I refer Your Honours
1 to Exhibit 378, an exhibit that is under seal but lists the numerous
2 communications that were made to General Krstic. Let me mention a few of
4 If we could have the first item put on the monitor. There it is.
5 It appears on my monitor. This is just an example of one of the numerous
6 pieces of information. I've previously discussed it with Your Honours.
7 This is the response of the Bratunac Brigade to Commander Krstic's first
9 The next exhibit that we have seen, and has been the subject of
10 discussion, is Prosecutor's Exhibit 536. This is also from the Bratunac
11 Brigade and it references General Krstic's previous order.
12 We go to the next exhibit that has also been previously exhibited
13 in this argument, Prosecutor's Exhibit 537, which is the proposal from the
14 chief of the air defence for the Drina Corps, again informing him of
15 events that were taking place in and around the area outside of Zepa, this
16 proposal being dated the 15th of July.
17 If we turn to the next exhibit, Prosecutor's Exhibit 650, I'll
18 spend just a moment on this exhibit with Your Honours, because this
19 exhibit is very revealing in light of what General Krstic testified at
21 This is a conversation that was intercepted between General Krstic
22 and the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Colonel Pandurevic. It is a
23 report, an information -- I mean an intercepted communication showing
24 directly that General Krstic was receiving information from outside the
25 Zepa area of responsibility. If I can direct Your Honours' attention to
1 the portion of this intercept, it is not highlighted on this, I see, but
2 it is about a quarter of the way down, General Krstic says, "Are there any
3 changes up there for the better?" and Trbic says, "Well, it's mostly for
4 the better. We are stabilising the situation, work's going on ahead,
5 preparing the manpower that arrived and so on."
6 And if you go down later, at the end of this intercepted
7 communication, here is the communication between Vinko Pandurevic, the
8 head of the Zvornik Brigade, and General Krstic: "This is Krstic."
9 Pandurevic says: "Hello, General, sir." Krstic: "Hello, Vinko.
10 Vinko!" Pandurevic: "Go ahead." Krstic: "Are there any changes in
11 reference to that report?" Pandurevic: "Nothing significant. Basically,
12 we'll probably finish this today." Krstic: "Finish it?" Pandurevic:
14 What this intercepted communication demonstrates is that General
15 Krstic wasn't telling you the truth when he said he had no information
16 about what was happening outside of his area of responsibility. Again,
17 this is an intercept of the 17th of July, with General Krstic directly
18 talking to Vinko Pandurevic, his subordinate, and referencing reports that
19 he had received from Vinko Pandurevic.
20 Now, the next exhibit is one we have also seen. This is an
21 intercept of the 19th of July, again between Colonel Cerovic, who was the
22 head of the Department of Moral Guidance and Legal Affairs, and Vinko
23 Pandurevic. This was the intercept that we talked about in respect of
24 General Krstic giving orders to units that were outside the area of the
25 Drina Corps responsibility. And if we go to the bottom of this intercept,
1 we can see that Colonel Cerovic is saying, "Yes. I presented that to
2 Krstic and wrote him a special report based on your interim and daily
3 reports." Again, evidence that General Krstic was receiving information
4 contrary to what he told Your Honours.
5 Now, we also presented evidence that with General Krstic in the
6 Zepa area were General Mladic, who was the chief of the Main Staff and who
7 clearly knew what the battle situation was like. He was in Zepa with
8 General Krstic. He would naturally have informed General Krstic about
9 those developments.
10 Present as well in Zepa was Lieutenant Colonel Svetozar Kosoric,
11 the defendant's brother-in-law who was the chief of Drina Corps
12 intelligence. We have presented to Your Honours some copies of
13 intelligence reports where clearly the situation inside and outside of the
14 enclave are reported. Colonel Kosoric would be the man who would receive
15 those intelligence reports, and he would quite naturally have conveyed
16 that information to his brother-in-law, the commander of the Drina Corps.
17 So it's our submission to Your Honours that when General Krstic
18 said to you that he was living in this information vacuum up to the 20th
19 of July, he wasn't telling you the truth.
20 Now, let's take a look at the next very important time when
21 General Mladic -- General Krstic did not tell you the truth. He testified
22 that General Mladic took over command of the Drina Corps, all the units in
23 the Drina Corps. Initially he said that the takeover of command took
24 place on the 9th of July, during the attack on Srebrenica. He said later,
25 at a meeting that was held on the 11th of July at the Bratunac Brigade
1 command, that command had been taken over by General Mladic. Again, these
2 were attempts to shift command responsibility away from General Krstic to
3 others. In this case to General Mladic, who was also responsible for
4 these foul deeds.
5 Now, let's take a look at his testimony. In respect of the
6 proposition that General Mladic took over command of the Drina Corps when
7 he arrived at the forward command post in Pribicevac on the 9th of July
8 and remained in command during the attack, that testimony has been
9 contradicted by Witness DB, who was a Defence witness, a high-ranking VRS
10 officer, as you know, and a person who remained at the forward command
11 post throughout the period of the attack.
12 According to Witness DB, who was in a unique position to observe
13 the interactions of the high-ranking generals with whom he was dealing, he
14 testified that the chain of command during this period of time remained
15 intact throughout the Srebrenica operation. That testimony can be found
16 at 7231 of the transcript.
17 Now, when General Krstic was interviewed by the Office of the
18 Prosecutor in February of 2000, he said that at that meeting on the 11th,
19 he said, "At a meeting of the command of the Bratunac Brigade, Mladic
20 said, 'From this moment on, all units in the areas of Bratunac,
21 Srebrenica, Zvornik, are placed under my command.'"
22 He said present at that meeting were himself, Mladic,
23 General Zivanovic, Colonel Pandurevic, Lieutenant Colonel Andric,
24 Lieutenant Colonel Blagojevic, Lieutenant Colonel Nastic, and
25 [redacted]. Now, at the trial he reasserted that same position,
1 attempting to shift his criminal responsibility.
2 Now, General Krstic's testimony at trial was again directly
3 contradicted by the testimony of his own witness, Witness DB, who was a
4 person who also attended the meeting at the Bratunac Brigade
6 Listen to this series of questions and answers of Witness DB that
7 occurred during this trial:
8 Q. Now, at that meeting ...
9 And he's referring to the meeting at Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
10 Q. Now, at that meeting that you attended, did
11 General Mladic say that from that moment on,
12 command of all the forces, the Drina Corps forces in
13 the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Zvornik,
14 Milici, and Vlasenica would be assumed by him
16 A. I don't remember that wording.
17 Q. Now, had the command of the Drina Corps units in
18 those municipalities been taken over personally by
19 General Mladic, that implies, does it not, that
20 those units would then report to General Mladic;
22 A. In military terms, that would be so.
23 Q. And then that would mean that the -- on combat
24 reports, for example, and daily combat reports,
25 those would be sent to General Mladic as the now
1 commander of the Drina Corps forces?
2 A. Yes.
3 And that can be found at 7265 through 67.
4 And if Your Honours review the numerous interim combat reports and
5 daily combat reports of the Bratunac Brigade and the Zvornik Brigade
6 between the period of the 11th and the 20th of July, you will see that not
7 a single one of those reports is addressed to either General Mladic or to
8 the Main Staff. They are all addressed to the Drina Corps Command, thus
9 indicating clearly that the chain of command remained intact.
10 Now, Warrant Officer Butler, who was the Prosecutor's military
11 analyst and who testified before you and examined literally thousands of
12 VRS documents from the period, concluded that General Mladic did not take
13 over command of the Drina Corps as asserted by General Krstic. That can
14 be found at pages 5262 through 65 of the transcript and paragraphs 1324
15 and 25 of Mr. Butler's expert report.
16 Witness DB's firsthand observations that the chain of command
17 remained intact were further corroborated by the expert testimony of
18 General Dannatt who, in response to a question posed to him by Judge Riad,
19 testified that he did not see any evidence of General Mladic "giving
20 direct orders to constituent parts of the Drina Corps, and therefore
21 bypassing the normal corps command and control structure. I don't see any
22 evidence of that." That is found at 5714 of the transcript.
23 Indeed, Your Honours, two exhibits clearly demonstrate that
24 General Mladic did not take over command of all the units in the corps.
25 Those -- let me -- these are all illustrative, but if we turn to
1 Prosecutor's Exhibit 463, this, of course, is the first order - we've seen
2 this before - the first order of General Krstic to search the terrain.
3 And you'll notice that one the addressees in this order is the Skelani
4 Independent Battalion, and the Skelani Independent Battalion was not a
5 unit that was identified as one of the units participating in the attack
6 on Zepa.
7 Also, Your Honours, this indicates that the reports from this
8 particular order are to be submitted in writing to General Krstic by the
9 17th of July. Not to be submitted to the Main Staff, not to be submitted
10 to General Mladic, but to be submitted to General Krstic.
11 Now, if we turn to the next exhibit, 536, this is just another
12 illustration. This is one of those daily combat reports; this coming from
13 the Bratunac Brigade. Again, Your Honours, if you look at the addressees,
14 this report was sent to the command of the Drina Corps and to the forward
15 command post. It wasn't sent to General Mladic; it wasn't sent to the
16 Main Staff. Again, this demonstrates that the chain of command remained
18 Now, lastly, let's turn to Prosecutor's Exhibit 539, an exhibit I
19 have not used in this summation. This is a daily combat report dated the
20 16th of July, 1995, again from the commander of the Bratunac Light
21 Infantry Brigade, Colonel Blagojevic. This relates to the order that was
22 given by Commander Krstic on the 13th.
23 If Your Honours focus your attention on the part of this
24 highlighted in the middle, "During the day ..." It reads, "During the day
25 the brigade commander visited all units which are blocking the enemy
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
1 retreat, the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment, parts of the MUP," the
2 Ministry of the Interior, "the 5th Engineering Battalion," and then
3 importantly it says, "defined their tasks and organised their joint action
4 and communications."
5 This document illustrates that the operations that were taking
6 place throughout the Drina Corps area of responsibility were joint and
7 unified actions taken by Main Staff and Drina Corps units under the
8 command of Drina Corps commanders.
9 Now, let's take a look at an exhibit that the Defence produced.
10 It's Defence -- we used it also as an exhibit. It is 649. Now, this
11 exhibit is the only document that supports the defendant's assertion that
12 General Mladic took over control of all elements in the Drina Corps area
13 of responsibility. You'll note in the upper left-hand corner that this
14 document was sent out and issued from the Main Staff of the army of the
15 Republika Srpska on the 17th of July, and that it is signed by General
17 Now, this document needs to be put in the context of what was
18 happening at the time. What was happening on the 17th of July in the area
19 that is addressed -- in the Drina Corps area of responsibility?
20 First off, the Zepa operation had started on the 14th of July,
21 consuming large amounts of men from the corps. Second of all, on the 14th
22 of July, the armed column had penetrated the Zvornik Brigade area of
23 responsibility and the Zvornik Brigade was engaged in active combat
24 operations against the column. Thirdly, on the 16th of July, the Bratunac
25 Brigade readied a unit for the deployment to Zepa. You can see that in
1 Exhibit 404/2. On the 19th of the July, we know that Colonel Blagojevic
2 and elements of the Bratunac Brigade were in Zepa to fill the void created
3 by the dislocation of Colonel Pandurevic who had to leave the Zepa
4 operation with his men to go north to address the situation in the area of
5 his brigade. So that was the situation in the context in which this order
6 was issued.
7 Now, let's examine the face of this order, because this order
8 calls for the integration of operations to continue to deal with the
9 Muslims in and around the area.
10 If you turn to the third paragraph, you'll see that combined
11 forces, Main Staff and Drina Corps forces, are to engage in the area of
12 Bratunac, Milici, and Drinjaca. So this is an order that deals with a
13 limited geographic area, and if you read on, it deals with a limited
14 period of time, between the 17th and the 19th of July. In this order,
15 General Mladic gives an order to appoint a member of the Main Staff to
16 head up those operations.
17 Now, this is not proof that General Mladic took over control of
18 all of the elements of the Drina Corps area of responsibility. This
19 addressed a particular and limited situation in a particular and limited
20 geographic area for a period of two days. And we know that from the date
21 of this, the 17th of the July, and from other evidence, that there were no
22 killings, no massacres that occurred in the area described in this
23 particular document, and we know that mass executions had finished by the
24 17th of July.
25 Now, let's turn back to Prosecutor's Exhibit 364/2/15 July/tab
1 8iii. This is an intercepted conversation where General Krstic and
2 Colonel Beara have a conversation, Colonel Beara imploring him to send men
3 to distribute 3.500 parcels. Now, had there been a rupture in the chain
4 of command, and we know that Colonel Beara was from the Main Staff, had
5 there been a rupture in the chain of command, Colonel Beara or General
6 Mladic would have issued orders directly to the Drina Corps units that are
7 identified by Colonel Beara in this intercepted conversation. Instead,
8 Colonel Beara went to the commander of the Drina Corps for those units so
9 he could secure his executioners. This intercept illustrates that the
10 chain of command was operating properly.
11 Now, it's therefore our submissions to Your Honours that when
12 General Krstic testified that General Mladic had taken over command of the
13 Drina Corps operation -- I'm sorry, had taken over command of the Drina
14 Corps for the operation between the 9th and 11th of the July, he wasn't
15 telling Your Honours the truth. And when he further said on the night of
16 the 11th that General Mladic had taken over command of all of the units
17 within the Drina Corps area of responsibility, he wasn't telling you the
19 It's our further submission on these points relating to the
20 killings, then, that the evidence in this case has established that
21 General Krstic planned, ordered, instigated, and aided and abetted in the
22 mass executions of Muslim men and boys following the fall of Srebrenica.
23 May I just have a moment while we change this, get rid of it.
24 The next issue that I would like to address, Your Honours, is
25 whether or not the killings that Your Honours have heard evidence about
1 constitute genocide. We have, as Your Honours know, submitted extensive
2 submissions on this in our written brief.
3 The accused is charged in Count 1 with committing genocide; that
4 is, intending to destroy a part of the Muslim people as a national,
5 ethnical, or religious group by killing members of that group or by
6 causing serious bodily injury and mental harm to members of that group.
7 He's also charged alternatively in Count 2 with complicity to commit
9 Now, the group of people we're referring to in this case are
10 Bosnian Muslims from Eastern Bosnia, in and around the enclave of
11 Srebrenica. We know from other exhibits that have been presented by the
12 Office of the Prosecutor that the 38.000 to 42.000 Muslims who were living
13 in the artificially created safe area didn't all originally come from that
14 area but were Bosnian Muslims from the area surrounding Srebrenica, from
15 the Cerska area, from the Bratunac area, from the Zvornik area, and other
16 locations, who had been pushed into the enclave as a result of the 1993
17 counteroffensive by the Bosnian Serb army. So this isn't a little tiny
18 group of Muslims from Srebrenica, this is a group of Muslims from Eastern
19 Bosnia who had been pushed into this artificially created area.
20 Now, killing has been defined in the Akayesu judgement, and it
21 includes all forms of voluntary killings, not just murder. That judgement
22 also identified and defined the terms "causing serious bodily or mental
23 harm" as including "acts of torture, be they bodily or mental, inhumane or
24 degrading treatment, persecutions," and it has cited as authority to that
25 the Eichmann case, which held that "serious bodily injury or mental harm
1 can be caused by enslavement, starvation, deportation, and persecution ...
2 and by their detention in ghettos, transit camps, and concentration camps
3 in conditions which were designed to cause their degradation, deprivation
4 of their rights as human beings, and to suppress them and cause them
5 inhumane suffering and torture."
6 Now, it's clear, Your Honours, from the jurisprudence in this
7 Tribunal that genocide may be perpetrated within a limited geographic
8 area. In this case, we are talking about Eastern Bosnia. It is our
9 submission to Your Honours that the attempt to destroy thousands of people
10 because of their membership in a particular group constitutes genocide
11 even if these persons constitute only a part of the group, either within a
12 country or within a region or within a single community. This position
13 has been supported in the jurisprudence of this Tribunal and in the
14 jurisprudence of the Rwanda Tribunal, where, in the Akayesu judgement, the
15 acts of the accused were limited to a single commune where the accused was
16 the burgermeister. Similarly, in the Nikolic Rule 61 hearing decision, it
17 characterised acts in a single region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is
18 Vlasenica, as genocide.
19 In the Jelisic judgement, the Trial Chamber opined that
20 international law admits the characterisation of genocide even when the
21 exterminatory intent only extends to a limited geographic zone.
22 Most recently, the decision in Kayishema and Ruzindena, held that
23 genocide was implemented against the Tutsis in a single prefecture.
24 Therefore, we submit, Your Honours, that this Trial Chamber is
25 entitled to focus its consideration on the genocidal acts in and around
1 the geographic area of the Srebrenica enclave, and we submit that that is
2 a proper consideration by Your Honours.
3 Now, the genocide -- our Statute refers to the destruction of
4 people in whole or in part. It's clear from our jurisprudence that the
5 destruction of the entire group is not [Realtime transcript read in error:
6 "now"] required for a finding of genocide. The term "in part" has been
7 defined as a substantial part of the group in proportional terms or,
8 alternatively, a significant section or sector of that group.
9 Now, let me focus on the first aspect, that is, the destruction of
10 a substantial part of the group in proportional terms.
11 At the time of the fall of the enclave, an estimated 38.000 to
12 42.000 Muslims lived in Srebrenica at the time of the takeover. As I
13 said, they weren't Muslims exclusively from Srebrenica but from the
14 environs. It is our submission that a substantial part of this group in
15 proportional terms has been destroyed. By our conservative estimates,
16 7.475 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were destroyed.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me.
18 MR. HARMON: Yes.
19 JUDGE RIAD: There must be some kind of mistake in the
20 transcript. You said it's clear from our jurisprudence that the
21 destruction of the entire group is needed for a finding of genocide.
22 MR. HARMON: Thank you for that correction, Judge Riad. No, it is
23 not required.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Did you say that?
25 MR. HARMON: I did not say that.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Okay. Then we'll correct it.
2 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much for that correction, Judge Riad.
3 Now, it is not required that the entire group be destroyed but a
4 part of that group destroyed would be sufficient for a finding of
6 Now, I was talking the destruction of a substantial part in
7 proportional terms, and I mentioned Your Honours have heard the evidence
8 from a demographer, expert demographer who came here and analysed records
9 that very conservatively 7.475 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in
10 that period of time. Those figures, as I say, were conservative because
11 they were based on a reporting, an ability to notify people, the
12 authorities, that people were missing. And according to the demographers,
13 whole families were wiped out during this sad affair and, therefore, could
14 not report about missing -- about being missing.
15 We know that from the VRS intercept on the 13th of July, the one
16 intercept I showed Your Honours earlier, that they held 6.000 men on the
17 13th of July at 5.30 in the afternoon. None of those men and boys
19 When we conducted exhumations of a portion of the graves that had
20 been identified, and we do not know the location of others, the minimum
21 number of bodies we have recovered is 2.028. And according to one expert
22 assessment, 2.571 bodies remain possible in the remaining known, and I
23 emphasise "known," graves, primary and secondary. For example, we don't
24 know where the majority of bodies from the execution at the Dam were
1 Now, that is a substantial number of people in respect of the 38
2 to 42.000 Muslims from Eastern Bosnia, a substantial number of people who
3 were destroyed. Therefore, it is our submission that this number clearly
4 falls within the definition required; that is, part of the Muslims from
5 the community were destroyed.
6 Now, let's focus on the second aspect of genocide, which is the
7 second aspect of this definition in whole or in part, which deals with a
8 significant section or sector of that group being eliminated.
9 As stated in the Jelisic decision, a significant section certainly
10 can include leaders of a group. They're an important section of a group.
11 And the Jelisic judgement said that genocidal intent could "consist of the
12 desired destruction of a more limited number of persons selected for the
13 impact that their disappearance would have upon the survival of the group
14 as such. This would then constitute an intention to destroy the group
16 Now, the UN commission of experts said, in relation to selective
17 attacks on a group's leadership, and I quote: "The character of the
18 attack must be viewed in the context or fate of what happened to the rest
19 of the group. If a group has its leadership exterminated and at the same
20 time has a relatively large number of its members of the group subjected
21 to heinous acts, for example, deported on a large scale, the cluster of
22 violations ought to be considered in its entirety in order to interpret
23 the provisions of the genocide convention in the spirit consistent with
24 its purpose."
25 Your Honours, we have presented evidence about the social fabric
1 of Eastern Bosnian Muslim society. It was a patriarchal society. It was
2 a society where the men were the leaders of the group. The men generally
3 had more formal education and training. They generally worked outside of
4 the home, enabling material support for the family. They made the final
5 decisions that affected the lives of their family members. They were the
6 protection of the group.
7 By eliminating the males of Eastern Bosnian society, the VRS was
8 fully aware, as was General Krstic, of the impact this would have on the
9 survival of the group. The effect on this group I'll discuss a little bit
10 later in my submissions to Your Honours, but it's our submission to Your
11 Honours that by destroying the male members of the Bosnian Muslim
12 community in Eastern Bosnia, this was the destruction of a significant
13 section of the group.
14 Now, to sustain a conviction of genocide against General Krstic,
15 we must establish that General Krstic had genocidal intent; that is, he
16 committed the acts with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a
17 national, ethnical, racial, religious group as such.
18 In assessing this element, the Trial Chamber in Kayishema and
19 Ruzindena acknowledged that it may be difficult to find explicit
20 manifestations of intent but said that the perpetrator's action, including
21 circumstantial evidence, may provide sufficient evidence of intent.
22 Now, during the Rule 61 hearing in Karadzic and Mladic, which was
23 decided in 1996, the Trial Chamber identified a number of factors from
24 which genocidal intent can be inferred. I will address those factors in
1 First, the Chamber said that the Court could consider "the general
2 political doctrine that gave rise to the prohibited acts."
3 We have seen the strategic objectives of the Serbian people which
4 was published on the 12th of -- I'm sorry, the 12th of May, 1992, in which
5 the first objective was to establish borders separating the two -- the
6 ethnic communities.
7 The political agenda of the Republika Srpska was to create a
8 homogenous state, eliminating the non-Serb population from the territory
9 which the Serb community claimed was traditionally theirs. The policy was
10 defined by the political leadership, it was implemented by the army, the
11 police, and other Republika Srpska bodies. The strategic objectives of
12 this policy were achieved through ethnic cleansing.
13 I direct Your Honours' attention to Exhibits 33 through 38, the
14 reports of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mazowiecki, wherein he discusses
15 the policy of ethnic cleansing.
16 President Karadzic of the Republika Srpska and other political
17 leaders created an atmosphere of peril and used inflammatory rhetoric to
18 incite Bosnian Serbs, claiming over and over again that the Serbs were
19 likely to be the victims of genocide at the hands of the "Ustashi Muslim
21 Army leaders, General Mladic, General Krstic, echoed those views.
22 I refer Your Honours to Exhibit 750, which is the report on the army in
23 1992 prepared by General Mladic.
24 General Krstic also espoused those views, and we can see an
25 expression of that in the Drinski Magazine, wherein he is quoted as
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
1 saying, and I quote, "In this war, as in previous wars, the Muslims had
2 the goal of annihilating everything Serbian."
3 In a different magazine, Srpska Vojska, General Krstic is quoted
4 as saying, "We have brought peace and calm to the population which does
5 not have to fear Ustasha pogroms any more."
6 Now, following the fall of Srebrenica, General Krstic sent
7 congratulations to his units saying, "You have done by your resoluteness,
8 courage, self-sacrifice, and dedication, done everything to eliminate" --
9 I'm sorry, "everything to liberate centuries-old Serbian territory from
10 the hated enemy and to prevent further genocide against the Serbian
12 Such rhetoric, Your Honours, created the hard surface on which the
13 genociding match was struck. And you may infer from that rhetoric, from
14 this language, an intent of General Krstic to commit genocide.
15 Now, the next factor that was identified in the Rule 61 hearing
16 from which genocidal intent could be inferred was the general nature of
17 atrocities in a region or in a country. Now, after the Srebrenica area
18 was ethnically cleansed by the VRS at the beginning of the war, we know
19 that the government forces mounted a successful counteroffensive, and they
20 reclaimed the territory from which they had been driven.
21 In 1993, we know that the VRS had a counteroffensive against the
22 Bosnian Muslim forces. An according to the report on the
23 Secretary-General, "The Fall of Srebrenica," which is our Exhibit 30,
24 March of 1993, "Serb army forces were advancing rapidly, killing and
25 burning as they did so." General Krstic, was a senior officer during that
2 Now, I also direct your attention to Exhibit 37, which is the
3 report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Mazowiecki, wherein he discusses the
4 ethnic cleansing in the eastern enclaves. Elsewhere in the Republika
5 Srpska, ethnic cleansing was occurring, and I direct your attention to
6 Prosecutor's Exhibit 35, another report prepared by Mr. Mazowiecki. I
7 direct your attention specifically to paragraphs 8 through 20 for a
8 detailed account.
9 Now, the next factor from which you may infer genocidal intent is
10 the existence of a genocidal plan and the accused's participation in its
11 creation or execution. Proof of a genocidal plan per se is not an element
12 of the offence of genocide, but you can infer genocidal intent from the
13 creation of a plan.
14 In Kayishema and Ruzindena, one of the factors that they said
15 would be proper to consider would be "the methodical way of planning."
16 I'm sorry, I can't pronounce that word; I'm getting a little tired. You
17 have certainly had evidence of how methodical this planning was. It was
18 meticulous. It was designed to not make errors. It was designed to
19 eliminate everybody who had fallen into the genocidal net. But for the
20 grace of God, General Krstic and his colleagues would have succeeded.
21 We've heard testimonies of the handful of survivors who succeeded in
22 getting out of that net. You may consider, then, how effective this plan
23 was in inferring genocidal intent.
24 The next factor that the court can consider in inferring the
25 genocidal intent is the scale of the atrocities committed. At the
1 beginning of my closing remarks, I identified in detail the scale of the
2 atrocities committed. I have identified a number of pieces of evidence to
3 suggest that the numbers that we have recovered are clearly not the total
4 picture of the number of people who were killed. But we can say within a
5 period of five days, the Eastern Bosnian Muslim community in and around
6 Srebrenica was destroyed.
7 In Kayishema and Ruzindena, that decision held that intent can be
8 inferred from the systematic manner of killing. It goes without saying in
9 this case that these killings were systematic, precise, and well
11 The Trial Chamber in the Karadzic and Mladic Rule 61 hearing also
12 identified another factor; that is, the perpetration of acts which
13 violate, or which the perpetrators themselves consider to violate, the
14 very foundation of the group.
15 General Krstic was raised and educated in Eastern Bosnia. He
16 claimed to have lived with and amongst the Muslim community in Eastern
17 Bosnia. He claims to have been in the army and had good relations with
18 Bosnian Muslims throughout his career. Now, by virtue of his being a
19 native of the region, he was fully cognizant of the role that the males
20 had in Muslim society; a traditional patriarchal society. The elimination
21 of the male members of the group and the effects that that would have on
22 the surviving members of the group were known to him. His intent, it's
23 our submission, his intent to destroy this group or a part of this group
24 has to be assessed in light of his knowledge of the society against which
25 he directed his acts and the acts of his subordinates.
1 As the Commission of Experts noted, "Genocide may be comprised of
2 a cluster of acts which together threaten the collectivity's continued
3 existence. These should be considered in their entirety in order to
4 interpret the provisions of the Convention in a spirit consistent with its
6 The cluster of acts that we're talking about in this case that
7 were directed against the Bosnian Muslim community include mass murder,
8 deportation and forced expulsion, intentional burning of Muslim homes.
9 And I think, Your Honour, even though the genocide convention does not
10 prohibit cultural genocide, the Court may also consider what happened to
11 the religious monuments in the Srebrenica enclave after the capture by
12 General Krstic's soldiers. All of the mosques within the town of
13 Srebrenica were dynamited; the main mosque in Srebrenica was completely
14 destroyed and it's now a parking lot.
15 The Rule 61 judgement in Karadzic and Mladic identified another
16 factor; that is, the hatred for the group of the accused and his
17 associates precipitating in the commission of the offence, including
18 superiors and subordinates. Now, while the crime of genocide doesn't
19 require proof of hatred for the group, such evidence can be considered by
20 you in inferring intent. Both before, during, and after the takeover of
21 the enclave, the animus toward the Bosnian Muslim communities expressed by
22 the highest levels of the Bosnian Serb army command, including General
23 Mladic, General Krstic, and other high-ranking Drina Corps officers and
24 soldiers, was obvious. Let me review some of that with you.
25 Before the attack on the enclave, United Nations Military
1 Observer, Colonel Kingori, testified that he had a professional
2 relationship, a liaison, with Colonel Vukotic, who was the commander of
3 the Skelani Separate Battalion and a frequent liaison with the United
4 Nations Military Observers. According to Colonel Kingori, the attitude of
5 this man was "a bit rough ... it was said that the Muslims have to leave
6 the Srebrenica enclave in total. He doesn't want to see them there. If
7 they are there, he might end up killing one of them." Now, this was
8 before the attack that this expression was made.
9 We know that on the 11th of the July, during the triumphant march
10 into Srebrenica, that General Mladic was interviewed. We have presented
11 that interview to Your Honours. General Mladic, in the presence of
12 General Krstic, said, "Now is the time to take revenge on the Turks."
13 During the meeting with the Muslim representatives, first on the
14 evening of the 11th and then on the morning of the 12th of the July, where
15 General Mladic intimidated and threatened the Muslim representatives, he
16 used the term that the Muslims were going to disappear. Now, alongside of
17 him when those threats were made was none other than General Krstic. And
18 remember at that ceremony, this was one where the --
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me for interrupting.
20 Perhaps you need a break. Please feel free to ask for one.
21 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
22 Let me turn to the next example, which was in February of 1995,
23 when Captain Momir Nikolic, who was the Drina Corps, the Bratunac Brigade
24 assistant commander for intelligence and security, told Colonel Karremans
25 during one of their regular meetings, "He told me, you could see it on his
1 face too, that the hatred of the Muslim people, especially those who were
2 living in the enclave ... I think looking in those days, at that moment on
3 his face, that he meant that, and that there was quite some hatred in his
4 eyes, and also in those words."
5 Next, Your Honour, we know that the expression "balija" is a
6 pejorative term that even the accused recognised as being extremely
7 offensive to Muslims. According to the survivor testimony Your Honours
8 have heard, throughout the periods of detention and up to the point when
9 the victims were executed, this term was directed at them repeatedly by
10 both officers and soldiers within the Drina Corps. It was a term that was
11 used by General Krstic in an article that appeared in Drinski Magazine in
12 November of 1995.
13 We know from the testimony of Bego Ademovic, who was a Potocari
14 survivor, he recalled how soldiers cursed him, cursed his balija mother,
15 and one Serb soldier issued the following warning to him: "You'll all be
16 butchered. You will be burned in acid. This is our Serb fatherland.
17 This is greater Serbia."
18 We know further from Mr. Erdemovic that during the executions of
19 the Muslim victims at the Branjevo Military Farm, that these victims were
20 often abused. Venomous remarks were spewed at them. They were sometimes
21 tortured and humiliated before they were executed.
22 Lastly, in Exhibit 513, which is an intercept from the 13th of the
23 July, in which there's a discussion about Muslims who had been killed
24 during the course of the day, and one of the correspondents says,
25 "Fuck 'em, they weren't human beings," and the other correspondent in
1 that conversation says, "That's clear to me."
2 Now, our evidence shows that there was a pervasive hatred of the
3 Muslims starting from the top of the VRS chain of command and reflected in
4 the words and the deeds of both the officers who were under the command of
5 General Krstic and the common soldiers.
6 The other factor that the Trial Chamber -- I mean Chamber in the
7 Rule 61 hearing identified is an area from which you can infer genocidal
8 intent was the degree to which the group was in fact destroyed in whole or
9 in part.
10 The efforts in this case to destroy the Bosnian Muslim community
11 from Eastern Bosnia, from the environs of Srebrenica, were directed, they
12 were goal-oriented, and they were quite effective. Through deportations,
13 through mass execution of both the men and the boys, the boys being the
14 leaders in the future - they were going to be the backbone after their
15 fathers passed on - from the destruction of the men and the boys, from the
16 fact that no Muslims currently remain in the Srebrenica area, you may
17 infer intent. The surviving members of the community, and again I will
18 address that later, this community remains shattered and dysfunctional,
19 unable, unwilling to return to the area.
20 It's our submission to Your Honours that General Krstic planned,
21 ordered, implemented, and aided and abetted in the deportation of between
22 25.000 and 35.000 Muslims from Srebrenica, and in the mass execution of
23 thousands of Muslim males from this area, and in so doing, he intended to
24 destroy in part a group of Muslim people. So it's our submission to Your
25 Honours that by so doing, he's guilty of genocide, Count 1 of the
2 Now, we have also charged General Krstic in an alternative count
3 which is complicity to commit genocide. In order for the Trial Chamber to
4 find General Krstic guilty of this alternative count, the Trial Chamber
5 has to first conclude that genocide was, indeed, committed.
6 There's a difference between genocide and complicity, the main
7 distinction being in the intention of the perpetrator. If General Krstic
8 knew of the genocidal plan at the time and he participated in it, then he
9 can be held as an accomplice, in complicity in genocide. He doesn't have
10 to have the specific intent, the dolus specialis. If he merely knows at
11 the time he's participating that there's a genocidal plan ongoing and he
12 contributes to that plan, then he can be held, as I say, as one who is
13 guilty of complicity.
14 In this case, we submit that genocide was indeed committed and
15 that General Krstic was aware of that plan by virtue of his close
16 association with General Mladic and the others, and that he is therefore
17 guilty of complicity to commit genocide as well.
18 Now, Your Honours, I'm going to turn to one more brief subject
19 before we adjourn for lunch, and that is General Krstic's responsibility
20 under Article 7.3 of the Statute.
21 Now, General Krstic has been charged with 7.3 responsibility for
22 all counts in the indictment. Article 7.3, under this provision, an
23 accused may be guilty for the acts of his subordinates "if he knew or had
24 reason to know that the subordinate was about to commit criminal acts" or
25 he had done so and the superior failed to take reasonable and necessary
1 steps to prevent such acts from occurring or from punishing the
2 perpetrators who had committed those offences.
3 In this case, it is crystal clear that General Krstic knew about
4 his obligations under the laws of war. He was a senior officer in both
5 the former army of Yugoslavia, the VJ, and he was a senior officer in the
6 Bosnian Serb army. He had attended the military academy; he had been
7 instructed about those laws and his obligations under them. He was a man
8 who, by his own testimony, said that anybody who commits such violations
9 would be guilty of war crimes.
10 Now, Article 7.3 has two prongs to it. The first prong deals with
11 prevention of crimes and the second deals with punishment of subordinates
12 who committed them. I'd like to focus first on the prevention of crimes.
13 Under the High Command case from the Nuremberg jurisprudence, an
14 officer who receives illegal orders directed to him and his subordinates
15 has three options: He can issue an order countermanding the order, he can
16 resign, or he can sabotage the enforcement of the unlawful order to the
17 extent possible. General Krstic agreed with that jurisprudence, as did
18 General Dannatt and Professor General Radinovic. General Krstic took none
19 of those actions.
20 Now, war crimes are the result of people who don't take
21 appropriate actions. General Krstic, had he taken steps to prevent or
22 countermand this order of General Mladic, had he done so, perhaps this
23 tragedy could have been mitigated, perhaps even avoided entirely. But it
24 is unfortunately people like General Krstic who lack the moral courage to
25 stand up to superior officers because this may entail professional or
1 personal risks. It is the Krstics of the world that create the kind of
2 crimes that we see here today. Had General Krstic refused the order of
3 General Mladic, he wouldn't be here today.
4 Now, the second aspect of Article 7.3 is the failure to punish.
5 General Krstic told the Office of the Prosecutor in his interview, "I
6 wasn't authorised and I wouldn't have dared to order anyone to investigate
7 what had happened." First of all, he was clearly authorised to do it, to
8 investigate. He had a duty to do so. That duty was embedded in both a
9 decree that was signed by President Karadzic and was embedded in rules and
10 regulations of the VRS.
11 According to General Krstic, he learned only in late August or
12 early September from [redacted] about the executions that had been
13 committed at Kravica and a location he identified as Laze, probably
14 Lazete. He said he also learned that members of the Main Staff, General
15 Mladic, Colonel Beara, and his own subordinate, Lieutenant Colonel
16 Popovic, were responsible for these crimes.
17 Now, as a commander of the Drina Corps, General Krstic was
18 required to take affirmative steps to investigate, to report these crimes,
19 and to punish the perpetrators, both under international law and under the
20 law of the army of the Republika Srpska. His only effort to take an
21 affirmative action in that direction was his attempt, according to his
22 testimony, to relieve Lieutenant Colonel Popovic of command on the basis
23 of actions that were entirely unrelated to his participation in these
24 crimes, and that represents the sum total of the efforts made by
25 General Krstic to prevent known perpetrators.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
1 Now, his testimony was that he was afraid of General Mladic and
2 the security apparatus of the army of the Republika Srpska. That fear was
3 not supported in any way by any objective evidence that was presented to
4 this Trial Chamber. Indeed, one of the exhibits that I showed Your
5 Honours today was a photograph that took place in Vlasenica, where
6 General Mladic and Colonel Beara were together with General Krstic, and at
7 that ceremony, General Mladic praised -- he had very high praise for his
8 commander of the Drina Corps, General Krstic.
9 So it's our submission to Your Honours that General Krstic took no
10 steps to either prevent these crimes from occurring nor to punish the
11 perpetrators who were known to him, and therefore, it is our submission
12 that he is responsible criminally under Article 7.3 for all of the crimes
13 in the indictment.
14 Now, Mr. President, if I could, this would be an appropriate time
15 to break. I can tell Your Honours that I will finish today. I only have
16 one more section to address Your Honours about, and it may be that there
17 will be some time for the Defence to commence its closing remarks, but I
18 only have a short presentation left.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: How much time do you need to finish?
20 MR. HARMON: I would say probably 45 minutes.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Okay. [Interpretation] Perhaps we'll see
22 whether we can begin with the Defence today, but Judges will have
23 questions. So even from the point of view of methodology - we always have
24 problems with methods - perhaps from the methodological point of view, it
25 would be better after all for the Defence to start tomorrow. I believe
1 so. I've already seen such signs from the side of the Defence, indicating
2 that they agree with me.
3 Did I guess right, Mr. Petrusic?
4 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. The Defence
5 would like to begin its closing arguments tomorrow.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. So, Mr. Harmon, we
7 are now going to have the break of 50 minutes. Yes, 50 minutes. We will
8 complete the closing arguments of the Prosecution, then we will have
9 questions of Judges for the Prosecution, and tomorrow we will begin with
10 the Defence closing argument.
11 So now we'll have some 50 minutes to have lunch and to give your
12 voice a rest, too, Mr. Harmon.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.44 p.m.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So, Mr. Harmon, I hope that your
16 voice is in better shape now, and you may continue.
17 MR. HARMON: I have only one additional area to cover this
18 afternoon and that is the area of the impact of these terrible crimes on
19 the victims.
20 The crimes that were perpetrated by the defendant and his
21 co-perpetrators resulted in the deaths of thousands of Muslim men and
22 boys. We must never forget that. But we must likewise never forget the
23 impact that these crimes had on the living victims, the women, the
24 children, and the few men who survived.
25 The annihilation of the male sector of this community of
1 traditionally patriarchal society has caused incalculable damage to that
2 community. In contrast to the lives of the people who lived in this
3 vibrant community before these crimes were committed, the lives of the
4 living survivors are now lives that find themselves generally in abject
5 poverty, where generations, multiple generations, live in a single room in
6 either a refugee settlement or in housing that has been paid for by the
7 state. Most of these living victims remain unemployed. They receive
8 meager incomes, incomes that are virtually nothing by comparison to what
9 they had before in their rich lives, lives where they had farms, where
10 they could raise their children, send their children to school, have loved
11 ones around during the moments that we all cherish.
12 None of these people, none of the survivors, the living survivors
13 from Srebrenica have returned to their homes in Srebrenica. They can't.
14 They fear to do so because they lack the leadership, the men who would
15 normally provide them with protection.
16 Mrs. Ibrahimefendic, who as you know was from the Vive Jene
17 programme that has been treating the surviving victims, the women and the
18 children, testified that she had worked with one woman who had lost 56
19 male members of her immediate and broader family in a single day.
20 Virtually all of the women of Srebrenica experienced multiple
21 losses, losses of their sons, their brothers, their fathers, their
22 nephews, their cousins. A whole community has been decimated by these
23 crimes. What remains of the Srebrenica community survives in many cases
24 only in the biological sense, nothing more. It's a community in despair;
25 it's a community clinging to memories; it's a community that is lacking
1 leadership; it's a community that's a shadow of what it once was.
2 Witness I, who was a grandfather at the time of these events, was
3 separated from his family in Srebrenica. He was taken to the Branjevo
4 Military Farm where the mass execution occurred, and he was one of the few
5 survivors. This was his testimony:
6 "And 8.000 Srebrenica inhabitants are missing, and we must all
7 know that. We must all know that there must have been children, poor
8 people, between 16.000 and 20.000, and one needs to feed them all, to
9 bring them up. There are so many fathers without sons, and sons without
10 fathers. I had two sons, and I don't have them any more. Why is that?
11 And I lived and I worked in my own home, and not in anybody else's, and
12 that was -- that same held true for my father and my grandfather. But
13 what they seized, what they took away, what they grabbed. I had two
14 houses. One they burnt down. It could burn. They burnt it down. But
15 the other one they couldn't burn, so they came and put a mine to it,
16 because the house was new and I hadn't finished it yet. The roof was
17 still missing, but it was all made of concrete and bricks, so it wouldn't
18 burn. And I thought, "Well, it will survive at least." But, no, they
19 came and planted mines, and it just went down. Nothing but dust. But,
20 right, never mind that. I had it, so it's gone. They took it. They
21 seized it. But why did they have to kill my sons? And I stand today as
22 dried as that tree in the forest. I could have lived with my sons and
23 with my own land, and now I don't have either. And how am I supposed to
24 live today? I don't have a pension or anything. Before that, I relied on
25 my sons. They wouldn't have left me. They wouldn't have let me go
1 hungry. And today, without my sons, without land, I'm slowly starving."
2 Now, that was the voice of one of tens of thousands of victims
3 from these terrible crimes perpetrated by the accused. We have submitted
4 for your consideration the testimony of health care professionals, Jasna
5 Zecevic and Teufika Ibrahimefendic, from the NGO Vive Jene, who described
6 their work over the past five years with the women and the children
7 survivors of Srebrenica, and they testified to Your Honours about their
8 findings in respect of them.
9 They testified first about war trauma because they had seen war
10 trauma victims in other parts of Bosnia, and they distinguished the
11 effects of war trauma and the war trauma that they had seen in the
12 Srebrenica survivors. They said that in the other cases, in normal war
13 trauma cases, that where the reality of death has been confirmed, the
14 victims were able to recover despite enormous personal pain, and they were
15 able to take control over their lives and to start thinking about the
17 They said that the trauma suffered by the victims in Srebrenica
18 was significantly different. They described this as the Srebrenica
19 syndrome. Now, I have distilled from the testimony of those two witnesses
20 from Vive Jene the characteristics of this syndrome.
21 Persons suffering from this syndrome "cannot begin life, they
22 cannot face up to the reality of the death of a missing person. They can
23 only remember the moment they bade farewell, the moment when they agreed
24 to meet in a spot when they would be safe. And this is still something
25 that guides them in their thoughts. They are stuck. They are in a
1 waiting position always. They are keeping their thoughts that husbands
2 will come back, that they will -- they are living somewhere ... This is
3 exhausting, discouraging. They think life has no value. They become
4 emotionally lacking ... Some of them will remain at the level of waiting
5 and uncertainty 'til the end of their days."
6 Now, these clinical observations were reflected in the eloquent
7 testimony of Mirsada Malagic, a Srebrenica deportee, who answered Judge
8 Rodrigues's final question, asking her if she had anything to add at the
9 conclusion of her testimony. This is what she said:
10 "Yesterday afternoon, when I returned from here, I went out to
11 walk around your city, that is what I wanted to tell you. I couldn't
12 really see much, but what I really liked, what caught my eye, was a
13 monument that we visited and that was a monument to women; that is, women
14 awaiting sailors who never came back. And the monument to those wives
15 touched me profoundly. I should like to find this statue and take it to
16 Bosnia with me. Perhaps it could be likened to the mothers and wives of
17 Srebrenica who have been waiting and hoping for all those years, except
18 that we followed different roads. We could turn to our empty forests. We
19 saw our sons and husbands off to those woods and we never found anything
20 about them again, whether they are alive or dead, where are their bones
21 lying. Many mothers have died hoping against hope, and it is quite
22 possible that all the other mothers would end up like that because their
23 numbers are dwindling every day."
24 The experts further testified that the survivors of these
25 massacres were unable to return to society, unable to return to
1 Srebrenica, unable to return to their homes and their farms, because they
2 lacked male leadership and protection. According to these experts, five
3 years after these events, their psychological condition is extremely
4 grave. They were certain that some will never recover.
5 Their level of personal loss is utterly unfathomable. Their pain,
6 their memories are enduring. In trying to put these crimes into
7 perspective, one can only begin by imagining how each one of us would feel
8 with the loss of a loved one, a child, a husband, or a brother who was
9 needlessly killed and the personal trauma that such an event would
11 Imagine Srebrenica. The pain of these losses was oftentimes
12 evident in this courtroom. The pain was a reflection of the gross and
13 immense pain that is suffered by that community.
14 We heard the testimony yesterday of Witness DD, whose 14-year-old
15 son was taken from her by the VRS. My colleague, Ms. Karagiannakas, asked
16 Witness DD, "What do you think happened to your husband and sons?" This
17 is what she said, and we will play her testimony.
18 If we could have the next film.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. HARMON: This, Your Honours, is the pain of Srebrenica many,
21 many years after these events. It is for this suffering that we are here
22 today and we have been here for 15 months conducting these proceedings.
23 Now, at the conclusion of her testimony and after being excused,
24 Witness DD asked leave of the Trial Chamber to say one more thing. She
25 was granted that request and this is what she said:
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. HARMON: The testimony of Witness DD, Your Honours, is the
3 reflection of the Srebrenica syndrome and the enduring pain of these
5 And then, of course, Mr. President and Your Honours, there are the
6 children, many of whom saw their older siblings separated, never again to
7 return. It is described by Mrs. Ibrahimefendic. The children that she
8 was treating who survived the Srebrenica events are quite different from
9 children who suffered trauma elsewhere in Bosnia.
10 "Children from other areas who were also swept up by the war have
11 preserved their security, and within their family there are male members
12 to whom they could look as role models, whereas the children of Srebrenica
13 do not have any models they can identify with, especially the boys. The
14 immediate trauma suffered by many of the children victims, coupled with
15 being subjected to living conditions that are desperate, has scarred these
16 young victims and left many of them unable to form proper and healthy
17 social relationships. A society without men, a society torn from their
18 traditional homes and roles has left many of the children insecure and
19 traumatised, even five years later."
20 It's our submission, Your Honours, that the defendant's crimes
21 have not only resulted in the deaths of thousands of Muslim men and boys,
22 but has destroyed the Srebrenica Muslim community and has inflicted
23 incalculable suffering and permanent damages to the tens of thousands of
24 living survivors who are now consigned to a lifetime of enduring mental
25 suffering and material hardship. What was once a vibrant community is no
1 more. What remains are only the memories.
2 Turning to the Prosecutor's sentencing recommendation in this
3 case. During the trial, again Your Honour asked Mrs. Ibrahimefendic,
4 "What do you think the role of the Tribunal should be?" And she
5 answered, "The Hague Tribunal, all of the victims, all the women with whom
6 I have had a chance to work, has a very great significance for them. They
7 expect justice will be done. We believed we were members of a civilised
8 society, a society where good will be compensated for and evil punished.
9 They do trust that the real causes of what happened will be identified and
10 that the people will muster enough courage, including victims, to tell the
11 story of what happened. Those who did it, that they, too, will be able to
12 speak out so that we all can have a future, so that all can have a basis
13 for a common life together one day. Great expectations are being placed
14 on the Tribunal. People expect that justice will be done and that the
15 right decisions will be reached."
16 In this answer, Mrs. Ibrahimefendic touched upon the very basis
17 why the Security Council established the International Tribunal, to take
18 effective measures to bring to justice the persons responsible for the
19 serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the
20 former Yugoslavia, and to contribute to the restoration and maintenance of
22 In this case, General Krstic has had the benefit of a trial, with
23 the full panoply of rights enshrined in international law accorded to him,
24 a triumph of the rule of law and of civilisation over the atavistic
25 impulses that surely motivated he and his collaborators to slaughter
1 thousands of helpless victims, to deport 35.000 people from their lands
2 and the lands of their ancestors, and to deprive them all of their
3 fundamental human rights.
4 The defendant has had the benefit of a trial. His victims did
6 Considering the magnitude of these crimes, is there any sentence
7 that can be appropriate? Truly, is there any sentence that can be
9 When focusing on a sentence, I will submit to Your Honours that
10 there are no factors in mitigation. The aggravating factors are
11 overwhelming. I've touched on them throughout my closing submissions; the
12 sheer magnitude of these crimes; the premeditation and planning that went
13 into them; the suffering of the victims, both the dead and the living; the
14 destruction of the community from Eastern Bosnia and the Srebrenica area;
15 the immediate and long-term psychological and material impact that these
16 crimes have had and continue to have on the surviving victims; the
17 accused's repeated false testimony under oath, and his complete lack of
18 remorse for the crimes that he committed.
19 It is with that in mind, Your Honours, that I request this
20 Honourable Trial Chamber to find the defendant, Radislav Krstic, guilty on
21 all available counts in the indictment and that you sentence him to life
22 sentences for each of the counts in the indictment for which he is found
23 guilty, and further that these life sentences be consecutive to one
25 That concludes my submissions, Your Honours. Thank you very
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
3 Mr. Harmon.
4 We are now going to proceed to questions from the Judges, and I
5 give the floor to Judge Fouad Riad first.
6 [Questions from the Court]
7 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Mr. Harmon.
8 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Judge Riad.
9 JUDGE RIAD: I'm quite aware that you must be quite tired by now.
10 We've been listening very carefully during these two days. I have mainly
11 one question to ask you for clarification concerning the communications
12 and intercepts which were happening between General Krstic and some of his
14 The first one would be Colonel Beara. Now, one of the main
15 messages, communications, was when Beara asked him, implored him, as you
16 said, to send men. He told him, "I still have 3.500 parcels to distribute
17 and I have no solution." Now, we understood how you deciphered the word
18 "parcels," and that was used apparently several times. Is there any
19 other connotation which you could give the word "parcel" than, as you
20 said, killing men?
21 MR. HARMON: There is none, Judge Riad. I refer Your Honour to
22 the intercept of the 14th of July between Colonel Beara and Major Jokic
23 from the Zvornik Brigade, where Major Jokic made an inadvertent slip when
24 he said that parcels were people. If you look at that in the context of
25 that whole intercept, they are talking about a plan. The person who is
1 discussing with Major Jokic is Colonel Beara, one of the individuals whom
2 General Krstic has pointed an accusatory finger and has said is entirely
3 responsible for everything that happened. Colonel Beara wasn't involved
4 in distributing parcels or packages. What he was talking about was
5 people. And that is why Major Jokic quickly slipped back into the use of
6 the code word and that is why, in that conversation, that intercept, there
7 is referenced, "Be quiet. This line is not secure."
8 So the only connotation that I think is reasonable is the
9 connotation that the Prosecutor has submitted for Your Honours'
10 consideration; that is, that parcels meant people, that parcels were the
11 people who were going to be massacred on the following day at the
12 Pilica Dom and at the Branjevo Military Farm and possibly at Kozluk.
13 We know, for example, if we do the arithmetic, 3.500 parcels, if
14 we go through that calculation, we know that 1.200 people were killed at
15 the Branjevo Military Farm.
16 JUDGE RIAD: So chronologically that's --
17 MR. HARMON: Chronologically, that's correct. Numerically, it's
18 correct, I think, as well, because 1.200 were massacred at the Branjevo
19 Military Farm, 500 people were massacred at the Pilica Dom, that takes us
20 to 1.700 people, and we don't know how many people were massacred at
21 Kozluk, although we know it was a considerable number.
22 JUDGE RIAD: And when Colonel Beara said, "I have no solution,"
23 the solution was given.
24 MR. HARMON: The solution, in our submission, was given by General
1 JUDGE RIAD: And you can deduce that from only the conversation or
2 any other circumstances?
3 MR. HARMON: Yes, I can deduce that from a variety of
4 circumstances. One, Drazen Erdemovic -- first of all, the people who were
5 identified as being able to provide men were all subordinates of General
6 Krstic's. That included Colonel Blagojevic, head of the Bratunac Brigade;
7 Nastic, who was head of the Milici Brigade; reference was to Furtula, who
8 was from the Vlasenica Brigade; Boban Indic, who was a subordinate of
9 Furtula. Those were all the possible sources of the manpower that could
10 provide this solution. They were all direct subordinates of General
12 Furthermore, I can deduce the context of the conversation because
13 it is our submission that General Krstic was being kept fully informed of
14 the events relating to these killings. I have presented and we have
15 presented in evidence, and I in my submissions in the last two days,
16 intercepts of Colonel Popovic, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, keeping General
17 Krstic fully informed of the progress of the killings.
18 Now, bear in mind, Judge Riad, that these are only a small,
19 probably sampling of the communications that were sent between the
20 executioners in the field and General Krstic. These are the open,
21 unsecure lines of transmission where the traces of the execution plan, the
22 genocide, were revealed. What we don't have and what we haven't presented
23 are the encrypted messages that went quietly and through secure means of
24 transportation from the killers in the field, through Vlasenica, and down
25 to General Krstic, where, as we know, General Krstic had a communications
1 vehicle that had encryption capabilities.
2 Lastly, Your Honour, in considering the context of that
3 distribution of 3.500 parcels, we must bear in mind the intercept of the
4 17th of July from Lieutenant Colonel Popovic to General Krstic informing
5 him that the job had been done, that it was an A.
6 So I would answer Your Honour's question by saying we have made
7 submissions in respect of that, that they are logical, they are in the
8 context of the events that we know were taking place and they are logical
9 in the sense of we know that General Krstic, in that conversation as well,
10 said, "This line isn't secure." What he didn't want to reveal, what he
11 didn't want to talk about was the mass execution scheme that was ongoing.
12 Our submission to Your Honours is that the 3.500 parcels being
13 distributed refers exclusively to human lives; Muslim lives that were
14 later lost the following day in the Zvornik municipality at mass execution
16 JUDGE RIAD: And with deference to Popovic's message which you
17 mentioned, when he said, "I have finished the job," that could be only
18 interpreted as the killing?
19 MR. HARMON: That is our submission to Your Honours. We know, for
20 example, that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was a security officer. We know
21 that Lieutenant Colonel Popovic was not a combat officer, he wasn't
22 involved in combat operations. When he asked for fuel to go to Pilica,
23 the village of Pilica, on the 16th of July, we know that the killings at
24 the Branjevo Military Farm and ultimately at the Pilica Dom were taking
25 place or had taken place. Heavy earth-moving equipment was needed to dig
1 those bodies into the ground to conceal them at the Branjevo Military
2 Farm. The machinery used to do those tasks consumed huge volumes of
3 fuel. The trucks that were needed to take the bodies from the Pilica
4 Cultural Dom to a burial site unknown consumed huge amounts of fuel.
5 In that intercept, when Popovic asks Basevic, who was the head of
6 the corps' technical services, essentially the gas station for the Drina
7 Corps, when he was asking him for the fuel, he said, "Otherwise, the work
8 will stop, the job will have to stop."
9 Later when we read in the intercepts that the job gets an A, and
10 we put that together with General Krstic's own testimony that Lieutenant
11 Colonel Popovic was responsible for everything that happened, I think it's
12 clear. And that would be our submission, Judge Riad.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
14 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Judge Fouad
17 Madam Judge Wald.
18 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Harmon, I've got five questions. I'll try to get
19 through them in a short period of time and while your voice holds up.
20 MR. HARMON: All right.
21 JUDGE WALD: Number one would be that I fully realised from your
22 very compelling presentation over the last couple of days that your basic
23 theory is that General Krstic was right in on the creation of this
24 genocidal scheme at the same time as General Mladic and several of the
25 other people going back to the 9th or 11th, when it was done.
1 However, do you think that your case, your proof could, I realise
2 this is not your preferred choice, but could be susceptible to an
3 interpretation along the lines of something you mentioned in your briefs,
4 which is, namely, a common design or a criminal enterprise type theory, in
5 which even if General Krstic wasn't a full participant from the beginning,
6 he might have come along at a later stage and, finding out what was going
7 on, continued to participate, thereby making himself a member of that.
8 I do remember, although I don't have it in front of me, Richard
9 Butler's testimony in which, in my memory, seemed to say that he thought
10 some of the beginning executions were opportunistic and that it wasn't
11 until the thing got going that the genocidal scheme came into full bloom.
12 My basic question is: If -- and you yourself have mentioned a
13 common-design theory but only in a paragraph or two in your brief. Do you
14 think that the proof, and your case, would be susceptible of that kind of
15 reasoning, especially in light of Judge Hunt's decision that you have to
16 go plead a common design or a joint criminal enterprise from the very
18 MR. HARMON: Well, my answer to that, Your Honour, first and
19 foremost is we think, in our submissions to Your Honours, is that
20 General Krstic is one of the original planners.
21 JUDGE WALD: I understand.
22 MR. HARMON: He planned it, he organised it, he gave orders
23 relating to it, he participated in the cover-up. That is, we believe,
24 what the evidence shows clearly in this case.
25 Now, from a theoretical possibility, do I think it's possible that
1 General Krstic didn't know anything about it and therefore only learned
2 about it later? I suppose, Judge Wald, that anything is possible.
3 JUDGE WALD: I'm speaking now specifically about suppose he didn't
4 know about the killings until later. He may well have known about the
6 MR. HARMON: Well, let's assume he didn't know anything about the
7 killings. First of all, I respectfully reject that as a possibility.
8 JUDGE WALD: I understand.
9 MR. HARMON: I don't think our evidence can be susceptible to
10 that. I think our evidence is to the contrary, that it is only
11 susceptible to his original and initial planning of the operation and the
12 participation and the full participation of this throughout.
13 So, Judge Wald, I hope that answers your question.
14 JUDGE WALD: Yes, it does answer it. The second question I have
15 is you talked a little bit about the difference in the alternative
16 pleading of genocide and complicity in genocide, and I think what you
17 said, and I think this is reflected in the brief, is that genocide would
18 require that the person himself, the perpetrator, have the intent to
19 destroy in whole or in part. Complicity would require that the person
20 knew that somebody had that intent, the head person had that intent, and
21 knowing that they had that intent went ahead and participated or gave some
22 substantial support to it.
23 I'm having a little difficulty in drawing that kind of line,
24 because it seems to me that if you know that a genocide is ongoing and the
25 people who are running the plan have a genocidal intent and you go ahead
1 and subscribe and contribute something to it, why isn't that intent
2 imputed to you?
3 I'm having just a little bit of difficulty in seeing, in this
4 case, where the Prosecution would say we could come down with genocidal
5 intent given the strongness with which you advocate your case.
6 MR. HARMON: Well, I think the -- first, the evidence clearly
7 shows that he had the intent, the specific intent required for genocide.
8 That is our principal submission.
9 Obviously, the finer distinction is not one that we're urging on
10 the Court. We believe that he is -- he had the genocidal intent from the
11 beginning, he maintained it throughout, and that complicity for genocide
12 would require some leaps of faith based principally on General Krstic's
13 testimony. We don't think that the interpretation should be given to the
14 facts in this case that he is culpable of only complicity.
15 JUDGE WALD: Okay. My next three are factually and, I think,
16 probably less theoretical.
17 All along throughout the case at the various stories that occurred
18 at the execution sites, we had witnesses who talked about soldiers being
19 in green camouflage uniforms, but most of them were not able to say, "I
20 knew that" -- you did give us a few examples where they were able to
21 identify a Drina Corps, somebody they knew from back home or something,
22 but in the main, they said, understandably, "I don't know what unit those
23 people were from."
24 I know that the Prosecution argues strongly that the MUP, who have
25 been identified as being along the road and taking some of the prisoners
1 were -- had been resubordinated, but leaving that out, is it part of
2 your -- do you think you have made the necessary proof to show that the
3 soldiers, the green camouflage uniformed soldiers who were along the roads
4 taking the prisoner, some of whom were guarding people at the detention
5 sites and some of whom were actually participating in it, apart from those
6 specific examples you gave us were Drina Corps soldiers?
7 MR. HARMON: Yes. We believe that to be the case.
8 JUDGE WALD: But you just simply -- they just weren't witnesses
9 that you could bring that could say, "Yes, I knew it was a Drina Corps
11 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we had only a finite pool --
12 JUDGE WALD: I understand, yes.
13 MR. HARMON: -- of persons who could make those identifications.
14 And bearing in mind their mental and physical state at the time, they
15 simply were unable to make positive identifications of the units --
16 JUDGE WALD: But it's your argument that the inference could be
18 MR. HARMON: I think it's very strong.
19 JUDGE WALD: My fourth question is the Defence has argued in their
20 briefs that Srebrenica can't be viewed as genocide in the terms of overall
21 plans in terms of intent to destroy in whole or in part because, two
22 things, women, children, and elderly were obviously let go out. They were
23 deported, but they were let leave the country. They weren't physically
24 destroyed. And secondly, because finally some members of the column were
25 eventually, in the latter part of the week, allowed to pass through. I
1 think the testimony was somewhere around 3.000 people in the column were
2 allowed to go through. These are cited as pieces of evidence suggesting
3 that the intent was not to destroy in whole or in part.
4 MR. HARMON: Let me address your latter point first --
5 JUDGE WALD: Yes. Okay.
6 MR. HARMON: -- that is that 3.000 people went through to the free
7 territory. Bear in mind, Judge Wald, that these 3.000 people in the
8 column who made it to the free territory were not in the custody of the
9 VRS. They were engaged in the fight of their lives. And so was Vinko
10 Pandurevic, whose numerical strength in the Zvornik Brigade area had been
11 limited. He had been involved in the Zepa operation. He was in a
12 military crisis, and he, for military reasons, had to let those people
14 I have no doubt in my mind, based on the evidence that has been
15 presented to Your Honours in this trial, that had the VRS captured those
16 3.000 people, they would have met the same fate as the victims we've
17 already heard about.
18 Now, in respect of your question about the women and the children,
19 it is our position, Judge Wald, that genocidal intent doesn't require the
20 elimination of the entire group. In this case, they did eliminate some of
21 the children, some of the future of this society, but also bear in mind
22 that they needed -- there was a humanitarian crisis that had been reported
23 to the world's community. They could ill-afford to eliminate the women
24 and the children if they had that desire. They needed the women and the
25 children to get to the free territory to cover for their genocidal plans
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcript.
1 to execute the limited number, the selected group, the selected genocide.
2 So we would reject the submission of the Defence in that regard
3 and propose the alternative that I've just commented on.
4 JUDGE WALD: I hope you can hold up for the last question.
5 MR. HARMON: I will, Judge Wald.
6 JUDGE WALD: You have very eloquently pleaded the case of the
7 impact of these mass burials, reburials, and survivors of the victims not
8 knowing whether their loved ones were really dead, and if so, where they
9 were or where they were buried.
10 I am not entirely sure whether the counts that you have talked
11 about that deal with the putting of the people who were killed and
12 executed in mass graves and later using the mass graves in order to
13 conceal the first mass graves, transferring them to other graves, is that
14 evidence being argued that that kind of putting of victims in the mass
15 graves and then later hiding them still further in second mass graves is
16 in and of itself a crime against humanity or a war crime because of the
17 suffering that it brings onto the survivors, or do you see it more along
18 the lines of when you were talking about the mosques and the cultural, as
19 some additional evidence of a genocidal intent?
20 MR. HARMON: The reburials, it's our submission, are part of a
21 cover-up of the genocide.
22 JUDGE WALD: But what legal handle are you putting those on? Are
23 they a crime or are they part of the genocide?
24 MR. HARMON: They're part of the genocide.
25 JUDGE WALD: They're part of the genocide.
1 MR. HARMON: Yes.
2 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you very much.
3 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Judge Wald.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, I too have a few
5 questions. In the indictment, you defined the object of the genocidal
6 plan as the Muslims of Bosnia. In your final brief, you defined the group
7 as being the Muslims of Srebrenica. In your oral argument today, you
8 defined the group as being -- the group as the Muslims of Eastern Bosnia.
9 My question is: What are the reasons which prompted you to change
10 your definition of the group, and what are the legal arguments that you
11 could offer in support of defining the group definitely as being the
12 Muslims of Eastern Bosnia?
13 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, first of all, from a factual point of
14 view, the use of the term "Srebrenica" must be looked at in the context of
15 the broader events that took place prior to those people being driven from
16 their homes in the surrounding area. So the term "the Muslims from
17 Srebrenica" doesn't mean only the Muslims in the limited geographic region
18 surrounded by the enclave. We presented evidence to Your Honours in the
19 form of reports - I think those are Exhibits 33 through 38 - talking about
20 the Bosnian Muslims who were cleansed from the eastern enclaves.
21 Now, we have talked about, and this indictment talks about the
22 destruction of a part of the Bosnian Muslim community. First of all, the
23 destruction of the Bosnian Muslim community doesn't mean the destruction
24 of the entire community throughout Bosnia. Bearing in mind that this
25 indictment addresses the responsibility of General Krstic, it's very clear
1 in this indictment that the events that have been described in this
2 describe a limited area within the Drina Corps area of responsibility, the
3 communities around the Srebrenica enclave, and even, from the point of
4 view if you look at the survivor/witness records prepared by the ICRC,
5 you'll notice people even -- Muslims even from outside of the Srebrenica
6 community were included in that group.
7 So our submissions to Your Honour deal with what has been
8 contained in this indictment, the events in this indictment. We're
9 talking about selective genocide and we're talking about the genocide
10 that, from a geographic point of view, is limited to Eastern Bosnia. We
11 have never alleged in this indictment that General Krstic was responsible
12 for genocide outside the area that has been described in this particular
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mention has been made of the
15 moment when the safe area of Srebrenica was established, and then we went
16 through certain decisions of the constitutional assembly of Republika
17 Srpska, and in those documents it is stated, and you mentioned this in
18 your final brief, that the ultimate political objective of the VRS, ever
19 since 1992, was, and I quote, "to establish borders to separate the Serb
20 people from the other two ethnic communities." What one was able to
21 verify throughout the conflict, ever since 1992, was that the objective of
22 each ethnic community was the displacement of the population, to create,
23 if one can call it that, areas or territories that would be ethnically
25 Why, once we reach Srebrenica, we change and say that the
1 objective is not to separate the communities, to let them go to another
2 territory, but to destroy segments of another ethnic group? What are the
3 reasons that you would give when talking about Srebrenica within the
4 context of the whole conflict?
5 MR. HARMON: Well, Mr. President, let me just refer Your Honours
6 again to the Exhibits 33 through 38. In one of those UN reports, there is
7 a description on the policy of ethnic cleansing, and the experts who
8 prepared that report make a distinction between the various ethnic groups
9 and any policy to separate the races, if they exist.
10 What the experts reported was in the government, the Bosnian
11 Muslim -- the government that existed, the recognised government, there is
12 no such policy, and indeed they say while there were instances when the
13 races were separated by ethnic cleansing, it was clear to the reporters
14 who prepared those reports that the Bosnian government had no such
15 policy. They turned their attention to the community of the Republika
16 Srpska and they found in those reports that the opposite was true.
17 Now, I can't direct Your Honour off the top of my head to those
18 paragraphs, but that reference will be found in those reports. I think
19 it's on the report dealing with ethnic cleansing.
20 Now, Your Honours, why in this case was there this spasm, this
21 genocidal moment in Srebrenica whereas the previous policy throughout the
22 Republika Srpska had been one of an official policy to separate the races
23 effected by a policy of ethnic cleansing?
24 I obviously have endeavoured this afternoon to explain some of the
25 factors that you could consider in determining intent, including the
1 events that had taken place in and around that community, the hatred that
2 had existed in the VRS ranks at the highest levels of leadership down to
3 the common soldier. I think it's difficult to give you a precise answer
4 as to why at that particular moment there was a decision taken to commit
5 genocide. I think the decisions to commit genocide obviously were
6 decisions taken at the highest levels of the army. General Mladic, who
7 remains free to this day, was one of those decision-makers. Why this
8 chemistry between General Krstic, General Mladic, and others, Colonel
9 Beara, Lieutenant Colonel Popovic?
10 I'm afraid I can't answer your question. All I can say, Your
11 Honour, is that we must measure the results by the deeds and the words of
12 the accused and General Mladic and others. I'm sorry I can't offer you a
13 better response.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Another question: The Defence
15 interprets Article 4 of our Statute as limiting the intention of
16 destroying the group to physical and biological destruction, and excludes
17 cultural destruction. Today you mentioned in passing also the possibility
18 of interpreting genocide, also taking into consideration cultural
19 destruction. But you went through that rather quickly, so could you give
20 us some more clarification as to what you are suggesting to the Chamber in
21 that regard?
22 MR. HARMON: Yes, I can.
23 The genocide convention doesn't recognise cultural destruction as
24 being genocide, the cultural monuments and the like being genocide. My
25 submission to Your Honours was not that the destruction of the mosques
1 equaled genocide, but that it is a factor in the matrix of all the other
2 factors that you could consider when assessing whether or not there was
3 genocidal intent. We know that immediately on the heels of the
4 deportations and immediately during or after the mass executions, the
5 traces of the Muslim community were being erased. So that is my only
6 submission on that point.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] One more question, Mr. Harmon.
8 I'll release you very soon because I think you must be tired.
9 If I understood you correctly, you focused on the moment of
10 establishment, and in your final brief you spoke about the creation and
11 development of the genocidal plan. The moment of creation of that plan,
12 you dated it the evening of the 11th, I think, or maybe the morning of the
13 12th. But I think that your submission was that it was the 11th of July.
14 That is the moment of birth; afterwards it developed.
15 In the course of the development of this plan, there were several
16 factors, as you have already mentioned, which should be considered
17 together. But did you identify a particular fact of greater significance
18 in the process of development of this plan which would be indicative of
19 the specific intention of destroying the Muslims of Srebrenica in the
20 broader sense? A particular fact or event which could figure as a turning
21 point or a significant moment in that process of development?
22 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I think that in terms of a significant
23 fact that the dates of the creation of the plan, I think those significant
24 facts are what I touched upon this morning; that is, the immediate
25 separation of the men, the immediate dispossession of the identifications
1 of those men. That was a fact that was evident all throughout this
2 sequence, but the first trace of it was in Potocari. The subsequent
3 traces of it, which were uniform, were all along the road. We saw a film
4 with the abandoned articles. We heard the testimony of one of the
5 witnesses who was at Nova Kasaba. That clearly suggests, and it's our
6 submission, that that is very clear evidence that there was a plan.
7 I mentioned this morning in my submission that even the
8 lowest-level soldier was aware of this plan, knew that these men were
9 going to their deaths, when the witness who was at Nova Kasaba stadium
10 asked to pick up his belongings and was told, "You don't need that any
11 more" or "You don't need that where you're going."
12 I would say that in terms of the dating of the events, I summed it
13 up this morning in terms of the significant facts. Clearly, we have
14 another trace -- we start to develop other traces as well, but the
15 earliest traces are seen in Potocari themselves.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Perhaps, Mr. Harmon, we come to
17 my last question.
18 You also mentioned a factor that needs to be taken into
19 consideration is the fact that in the speeches of a number of officials,
20 and specifically General Krstic, the word "genocide" was frequently used.
21 Are you convinced that they used this word "genocide," and particularly
22 General Krstic, in the strictly legal sense? That is just my question.
23 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I can't get into their minds. I can
24 only get into --
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, of course not. But in the
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14 and French transcript.
1 reading of the text, one could interpret this word in that context.
2 MR. HARMON: I think it is fair to interpret that word in the
3 context. They were talking about pogroms; they were talking about the
4 destruction; they were referring to events that took place in the Second
5 World War, where there was genocide. I think in that context it is fair
6 to understand their intended meaning of the use of those words.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
8 Mr. Harmon, on behalf of my colleagues and the whole Chamber, we
9 really wish to thank you for your great effort and the enormous amount of
10 work in organising your case. We thank you and your whole team very much,
11 and we wish you every success in the future. Thank you very much,
12 Mr. Harmon.
13 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Your Honours, and thank you for
14 listening so patiently.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So for today we have finished.
16 As we said before the lunch break, we will resume tomorrow with the
17 closing arguments of the Defence. When I say "tomorrow," that means at
18 9.20, as usual.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.55 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day of June,
21 2001, at 9.20 a.m.