1 Wednesday, 16 May 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Could I have the appearances. Prosecution first.
11 MR. GROOME: Good morning, Your Honours. I am Dermot Groome, and
12 also with me here today are Peter McCloskey, Maxine Marcus, Roeland Bos,
13 and Ms. Janet Stewart.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
15 For the Defence.
16 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I am Branko Lukic, and
17 this morning with me is Mr. Miodrag Stojanovic, Mr. Milos Saljic, and
18 Mr. Radovan Djurdjevic.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic, and Mr. Mladic is present as
21 Before the Chamber will hear the opening statement of the
22 Prosecution, the Chamber first would like to deliver a statement.
23 On the 3rd of May, the Chamber issued a decision denying two
24 Defence requests for the postponement of trial and stated that written
25 reasons for the decision would follow. The Chamber is currently in the
1 process of drafting the document in which it presents the reasons for its
3 On the 11th of May, that is, last Friday, the Chamber was
4 unpleasantly surprised by information from the Prosecution, received
5 through an informal communication between the parties, concerning a very
6 significant disclosure error by the Prosecution. This error could have
7 an impact on the Defence's ability to prepare for the Prosecution's
8 presentation of evidence. On that same day, the Chamber immediately
9 instructed the Prosecution to respond to a series of questions intended
10 to clarify the scope and potential impact of the error. On the 14th of
11 May, the Prosecution responded; however, this response did not provide
12 the Chamber with all the information needed as to the full extent of the
13 problem or as to what concrete steps had been taken to repair the error.
14 On that same day, the Chamber was seized of a new motion from the Defence
15 seeking an adjournment of the trial.
16 In light of this new information, the Chamber informs the parties
17 that it is in the process of determining whether to reconsider its
18 3rd of May decision denying the Defence's request for adjournment or
19 whether other remedial steps may be necessary. In this respect, it
20 should not come as a surprise if this new information would affect the
21 start of the presentation of the Prosecution's evidence.
22 Further, the Chamber is in the process of determining what
23 additional information it still requires from the parties and will
24 communicate with them on this matter in the very near future.
25 Finally, for the transparency of the record, the Prosecution is
1 instructed to immediately file its correspondence of the 11th of May and
2 its 14th of May informal response, attaching both - without any
3 alterations - as annexes to the filing.
4 Mr. Groome, the Prosecution indicated that it would file its
5 response to the Defence's motion, which was filed on the 14th of May,
6 that you intended to file your response I think already yesterday. Has
7 it been filed on that note?
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, there have been several filings. If
9 you could please indicate the title of it, I will be able to answer.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's the response to the Defence -- the latest
11 Defence motion for a delay of the start of the trial.
12 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution yesterday evening
13 did file a response, and in essence the Prosecution accepts that and
14 recognises that this error does impact the possible ability of Mr. Lukic
15 to -- and the Defence to prepare. The Prosecution's position is that it
16 is not opposing a reasonable adjournment for the commencement of the
17 evidential portion of the trial.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
19 Then there's no need to set any dead-line for a response anymore.
20 I'll move on.
21 The Chamber also has considered whether the very unfortunate
22 error should have an effect on the hearing of the Prosecution's opening
23 statement. In view of the fact that the Defence had decided not to make
24 any statement at this stage of the proceedings, the Chamber decided that
25 hearing the Prosecution's opening statement would not cause any prejudice
1 to the Defence and this concludes the Chamber's statement.
2 I would like further to put on the record at this moment that the
3 Chamber in an informal communication granted a request by the Prosecution
4 to slightly go beyond the six hours the Chamber granted for the opening
6 Mr. Groome, is the Prosecution ready to make its opening
8 MR. GROOME: It is, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then you may proceed.
10 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
11 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, two decades ago this past month
12 Bosnian Serb leaders commenced an attack on their fellow citizens of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina; civilians who were targeted for no other reason
14 than they were an ethnicity other than Serb. Their land, their lives,
15 their dignity attacked in a co-ordinated and carefully planned manner.
16 In some locations this attack arose to the level of genocide. The world
17 watched in disbelief that in neighbourhoods and villages within Europe a
18 genocide appeared to be in progress.
19 Four days ago marked two decades since Ratko Mladic became the
20 commander of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, the VRS, an
21 army created, at least in name, on that day. On that day Mladic began
22 his full participation in a criminal endeavour that was already in
23 progress. On that day he assumed the mantle of realising, through
24 military might, the criminal goals of ethnically cleansing much of
25 Bosnia. On that day he commenced his direct involvement in serious
1 international crimes.
2 Elvedin Pasic was 14 years old the last time he saw his father.
3 He and other children were forced onto buses with their mothers and
4 driven away. His father and over 150 men were held behind in a school.
5 Their ordeal started some time earlier when their central Bosnian
6 village was overrun by Serb forces. Elvedin's father and older brother
7 had joined a group of men who tried to resist these forces, while Elvedin
8 and his mother moved from village to village seeking refuge. Eventually
9 they made their way to an enclave of other Muslims, one of the few places
10 able to offer resistance.
11 Mladic's Army of the Republika Srpska eventually surrounded and
12 choked the enclave, closing tighter and tighter around it. On some
13 occasions Muslim fighters conducted ambushes from the town. One day the
14 population was given an ultimatum, an ultimatum issued by Mladic himself.
15 They were told that they could leave but no one would be allowed to leave
16 until there was a complete and unconditional surrender of weapons.
17 After the ultimatum was given, Elvedin overheard his mother and
18 father talk about plans for men to escape through the woods. They agreed
19 that Elvedin's best chance of survival was to go into the woods with his
21 A large group of fighters interspersed with women and children
22 walked into the forest that night. They were soon ambushed and dispersed
23 among the trees. Elvedin, his father, his uncle, and others were
24 eventually captured and led to a local school. They were stripped of
25 their identification papers and valuables.
1 Soldiers eventually came and told the women and children to get
2 up; Elvedin did not. He remained next to his father. His father told
3 him, "Get up, go with the women and children. You might survive if you
5 Elvedin left in a bus with the women and children and never saw
6 his father again. His father, uncle, other relations, and the remaining
7 Muslim men, hands bound with wire, were murdered.
8 Your Honours, what happened to the people of Vecici that day in
9 November, November 1992, the killing of over 150 men and forced removal
10 of their families would be repeated. By the time Mladic and his troops
11 would murder thousands in Srebrenica three years later, they were well
12 rehearsed in the craft of murder, proficient in the forcible removal of
13 non-Serb civilians.
14 Slide 2 is a record of Mladic's ultimatum to the people of
15 Vecici. And if Your Honours push the e-court button, you'll be able to
16 have the clearest picture of the slides that I will refer to:
17 "The extraordinary session of the War Presidency continued with
18 Colonel Bogojevic informing all present that he had received explicit
19 orders from General Mladic that no one was to be allowed to leave Vecici
20 until the unconditional surrender of weapons was completed."
21 While Srebrenica was different in scale, it was not different in
22 its intent. It was not different in its utter inhumanity.
23 After the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995, Dino Salihovic, a
24 tall, lanky, 16-year-old boy was one of thousands of Muslim men and boys
25 put to death. He wasn't a soldier; he was a boy. Brought to Trnovo in a
1 military truck. He was murdered by members of the infamous Skorpion
2 unit. One of them recorded the killing on video. Dino was taunted by
3 his murderers that he would die a virgin. Dino didn't run, didn't
4 scream, didn't cry. We watched this young man with dignity and
5 resignation walk forward, hands bound behind his back, standing
6 momentarily until the camera was trained on him. We watch a burst of
7 gun-fire tear through his back.
8 Slide 3 is an excerpt of RM255's evidence. He was a survivor of
9 the massacres at Branjevo Farm on the 16th of July.
10 Monday, the 28th of August, 1995, was a clear summer day with a
11 light breeze blowing over Sarajevo. It was late morning and Sarajevo's
12 shopping district along Mula Mustafe Baseskije Street was crowded with
13 people buying groceries. Just after 11.00 that morning, a shell landed
14 in front of the indoor market-place known as Markale. This was the
15 second time in the war this crowded market was targeted.
16 Panic ensued. Dozens of people lay dead on the street. Unsure
17 of who was dead and who was injured, passers-by ferried the victims to
18 the hospital in the trunks of cars. Over 30 died, over 70 were wounded.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MR. GROOME: A witness will give evidence of the following:
21 "When I got to that place, or rather, a few steps before, I saw a
22 great mess and commotion. There was blood all over the place, flowing in
23 the streets, bits of human flesh scattered around, bits of clothing torn
24 and scattered all over, shoes mostly torn -- torn off the feet."
25 Common to these crimes is the fact that they were all related to
1 an overarching criminal purpose, an endeavour defined in paragraphs 8 to
2 10 of the indictment, to permanently remove Bosnian Muslim and
3 Bosnian Croat inhabitants from the territories claimed by Bosnian Serb
4 leaders. Common to them all are the individuals who participated in
5 these crimes and shared a common intent to commit them. Common to them
6 all is the fact that they are some of the crimes of General Ratko Mladic.
7 The Prosecution will present evidence that will show beyond reasonable
8 doubt the hand of Mr. Mladic in each of these crimes.
9 To understand Mladic's crimes, it is necessary to provide some
10 context regarding the conflict and what transpired in the six weeks prior
11 to his installation as commander of the VRS Main Staff. The tensions
12 that fuelled the breakup of Yugoslavia and the terrible inter-ethnic
13 violence that followed are still a subject of debate, a debate that lies
14 outside the task that the Trial Chamber begins today. I will spend
15 little time on them here.
16 The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed as a
17 federal state after World War II and was comprised of six constituent
18 republics. While some of these republics were largely ethnically
19 homogeneous, such as Slovenia, others such as Bosnia and Herzegovina had
20 large populations which were ethnically diverse.
21 In the late 1980s and early 1990s, questions of independence and
22 the future of the Yugoslav union were openly discussed. The debate
23 raised important questions regarding the future of all people in
25 Mr. Mladic is a Bosnian Serb. From the perspective of Serbs
1 living in Bosnia, independence raised a number of concerns and fears. To
2 understand them, it is essential to understand the ethnic composition of
3 Bosnia prior to the conflict.
4 Slide 6 is a demographic map of Bosnia from 1991. It indicates
5 the majority ethnic population in different municipalities using colours.
6 Municipalities with majority of Bosnian Serbs are indicated in red. The
7 darker the shade of red, the greater the majority. Municipalities with a
8 majority of Bosnian Muslims are indicated in green. Again, the darker
9 the shade of green, the greater the majority. Bosnians of Croat
10 ethnicity are represented in blue.
11 In the former Yugoslavia most people of Serb ethnicity lived in
12 Serbia proper. Having said this, there were very significant and vibrant
13 Serbian populations within Bosnia and within Croatia, Serbs who lived on
14 and worked at that land for generations. In Bosnia alone the 1991 census
15 tells us that Serbs made up approximately 31 per cent of the overall
16 population, with Muslims making up approximately 44 per cent. Ethnic
17 Croats made up approximately 17 per cent.
18 In the simplest terms, the characteristic which made Bosnia
19 unique among Yugoslavia's republics and which must be understood is that
20 Bosnia was composed of large areas of ethnic concentrations that were
21 somewhat disconnected from other areas of the same ethnic group, some
22 communities resembling large ethnic islands in a surrounding sea of a
23 different ethnic group. In other areas, different ethnic groups were
24 present in equal or near equal numbers, living in diverse communities.
25 This made any discussion of Bosnia's independence a difficult and
1 polarising subject.
2 From the perspective of a Bosnian Serb in an independent
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina that maintained its borders as they existed in
4 Yugoslavia would result in several things. First, it would take people
5 of Serb ethnicity and divide them into separate ethnic minority
6 communities in Bosnia and Croatia. For the nation of Serbs who suffered
7 during World War II, the prospect was unacceptable and raised in them a
8 sense of fear and vulnerability.
9 Second, along the eastern border of Bosnia we can see that there
10 are significant populations of both Muslim and Serb ethnicities. An
11 independent Bosnia would turn a republican border between Serb
12 communities living in Yugoslavia into an international border between
13 sovereign states.
14 The three ethnic nations of Bosnia, Muslim, Serb, and Croat, were
15 simply inextricable.
16 This inextricability was something Mladic himself fully
17 appreciated. On the day he became the commander of the Main Staff of the
18 Army of Republika Srpska, he said:
19 "People and peoples are not pawns, nor are they keys in one's
20 pocket that can be shifted from here to there. It is something easily
21 said but difficult to achieve."
22 He knew from the outset that with the dissolution of Yugoslavia,
23 the project to create a Bosnian Serb state was not a matter of shifting a
24 pair of keys from one's left pocket to one's right. It was a matter of
25 shifting entire communities, entire ethnicities from their land, from
1 their home.
2 Prior to the outbreak of conflict in Bosnia, Mr. Mladic had been
3 the commander of the 9th Corps of the Yugoslav People's Army, or the JNA,
4 based in Knin, Croatia, the place where the first ethnic cleansing of the
5 Yugoslav crisis took place.
6 During the 1980s, communist political systems began to break
7 down. As the democracy began to find its first steps in Bosnia,
8 something unfortunate happened: Political parties were formed along
9 ethnic lines. When the political discourse of Yugoslavia's future was
10 framed in ethnic terms, each of Bosnia's ethnic groups felt vulnerable,
11 each felt uncertain about their future.
12 The Serbian Democratic Party, or SDS party, led by
13 Radovan Karadzic was an active and robust party. It maintained a rigid
14 hierarchical structure; Karadzic at the top heading an organisation that
15 reached down to the rural towns of Bosnia.
16 The SDS was also a party with very close ties to the President of
17 Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic was not only Karadzic's mentor and
18 supporter, but was an ardent believer in the need for Serbs in Yugoslavia
19 to resist any effort to dissolve Yugoslavia in a way that left Serbs
20 living in separate states.
21 As the momentum for Bosnia's independence grew and the prospect
22 of maintaining an integral Yugoslavia dissipated, Milosevic, Karadzic,
23 and others considered other options, options that involve the creation of
24 Serb entities by force. Under Milosevic's tutelage and with his
25 participation, Serbs living in Croatia were the first to declare
1 autonomous regions and begin the process of ethnically cleansing land
2 they considered Serb.
3 As the positions of the different parties became more resolute,
4 as the language of their leaders more provocative, more inflammatory,
5 more intractable, the fires of fear among the population were ignited.
6 Bosnian Serb leaders mobilised Serbs who had long lived in
7 diverse communities with lies and rhetoric that aroused the most primal
8 instinct of survival. Slide 8 is a publication from Sanski Most. It
10 "Do you know what our blood-thirsty enemies have been scheming
11 for us? What they had in mind was to gouge out our eyes and carve us up,
12 hack our bodies to pieces, rape women and girls in front of their
13 dearest - to circumcise, to destroy our religion, to crush us - just
14 because we happened to be Serbs. Don't think that anybody's family would
15 have been spared."
16 Although this was published after the conflict was underway, it
17 demonstrates the inflammatory character of some of the rhetoric that was
18 used. Such rhetoric had little or no connection to actual events and was
19 purposefully disseminated by leaders in an irresponsible effort to
20 mobilise peaceful people by frightening them.
21 The situation became more volatile. Radovan Karadzic and
22 Bosnian Serb leaders created a dangerous situation when they equated the
23 protection of Bosnian Serbs with the ethnic destruction of the Muslim and
24 Croat populations living in areas they considered essential to preserve
25 Serb interests.
1 In October 1991 the Bosnian Assembly met to deliberate and to
2 discuss a memorandum of independence. Karadzic in clear terms told the
3 Assembly what would happen if they proceeded further toward independence.
4 I will ask Ms. Stewart to play the video of what he said.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. GROOME: Three days prior to giving this speech, Karadzic
7 told Gojko Djoko that:
8 "They do not understand that there would be bloodshed and that
9 the Muslim people would be exterminated."
10 In this conversation he tells Djoko that there are 4.000 armed
11 Serbs in Bosnia, 20.000 of them in Sarajevo, and that Sarajevo itself
12 will become a cauldron where 300.000 Muslims will die.
13 I ask if Ms. Stewart would advance this slide that has this
14 intercepted conversation.
15 Karadzic envisages the creation of a new Bosnian Serb state. The
16 plan to achieve this had two essential components that can be traced
17 throughout what happened next. First, the plan had a territorial or
18 geographic component. Land had been identified for this Bosnian Serb
19 state; land which, if necessary, would be seized by force. Second, the
20 plan had an ethnic or demographic component. The Bosnian Serb state
21 would be one which essentially physically separated Serbs from other
23 What was the land that the Bosnian Serbs intended to take - take
24 by force if necessary?
25 Here on slide 11 we have a photo of Momcilo Krajisnik, president
1 of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, giving a press conference in which he
2 defines the territorial ambitions of the Bosnian Serbs. The map depicts
3 the territory held in the take-over by late 1992. This is the
4 horseshoe-shaped area that consumes most of Bosnia.
5 To better understand the import of what Krajisnik is saying here,
6 we need to take a look at the ethnic map of Bosnia and Herzegovina too.
7 You can see here in rough terms what Bosnian Serb leaders wanted
8 to change. Brown circles indicate the corresponding areas on the two
9 maps. The upper one lies within what is often referred to as the
10 Posavina Corridor. Many of the Bosnians that live here were of Muslim or
11 Croat ethnicity, represented by the green and blue areas respectively.
12 On Krajisnik's map, the map created by the Bosnian Serb
13 leadership, this entire area is claimed as Serb.
14 Similarly, the brown circles at the right of each map indicate
15 areas in Eastern Bosnia that were occupied by significant Muslim
16 populations in 1991. They are also considered to be Serb lands.
17 To change reality on the ground to look like Krajisnik's map on
18 the right, the Bosnian Serb leaders chose to ethnically cleanse the
19 territory, to forcibly remove non-Serb peoples from their homes and
21 The Bosnian Serb leadership gave Mladic a mandate to carve the
22 boundaries of Krajisnik's map onto the country-side of Bosnia.
23 For these geographic and demographic aspirations to become a
24 reality, the Bosnian Serb leadership needed to create a new state the
25 international community would recognise. On 14 April 1995, at the
1 Bosnian Serb Assembly, Mladic reminded the attendees of this principle,
2 how this would be done. On slide 13 he says:
3 "Thus impose by the force of arms the final settlement of the war
4 on the enemy and place the international community in a position of
5 having to recognise the actual situation in the field and end the war."
6 Later in this opening I will play a video which recorded Mladic's
7 thoughts on a number of issues that are relevant in this trial. It was
8 recorded by a member of the Serbian diaspora that visited Mladic in
9 Bosnia. The video includes the following dialogue:
10 "Mladic: We are ... the ball is in our hands. Whoever holds the
11 territory also draws the maps. Film what I am telling you.
12 "Lesic: I am filming everything.
13 "Mladic: Whoever holds the territory also draws the maps. And
14 the people and its army have drawn the maps of Republika Srpska."
15 Drawing the new boundaries of a Bosnian Serb state, populating it
16 with Serbs, was an ambitious undertaking. The aspirations underlying
17 Krajisnik's map were formulated into concrete strategic objectives,
18 objectives which would first be advanced by Bosnian Serb leaders through
19 the police, paramilitaries, Territorial Defence or reserve forces, and
20 elements of the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army. In time, with the
21 formation of a Bosnian Serb army, these strategic objectives would form
22 the basis of most military operations.
23 They were first publicly announced at the 16th Session of the
24 Bosnian Serb Assembly held on the 12th of May, 1992, the same day the VRS
25 was established and Ratko Mladic was installed as the commander of the
1 Main Staff.
2 Different Trial Chambers in the Tribunal have drawn different
3 conclusions about whether these strategic objectives were in themselves
4 illegal. While the question of their inherent legality remains open for
5 debate, the fact that the implementation of the objectives involved the
6 commission of serious crimes is clear.
7 I will now enumerate these goals. As I do I would ask that you
8 recall the two aspirations of Bosnian Serb leaders: The geographic or
9 territorial aspiration; and the second, the ethnic or demographic
11 The first objective shown here on slide 15 is the separation of
12 the Serbian people from the other two national communities. As Karadzic
13 would explain at the May 12th Assembly Session:
14 "The first goal is separation from the other two national
15 communities, separation of states, separation from those who are our
16 enemies and have used every opportunity, especially in this century, to
17 attack us and who would continue with such practices if we were to stay
18 together in the same state."
19 This objective was the central demographic component of all the
20 remaining objectives. As Krajisnik would say at the same Assembly, this
21 was the most important goal; the rest were in fact subsets of this goal.
22 Also included on slide 15 is a smaller image of the demographic
23 map of Bosnia in 1991 from slide 6. The first strategic objective was in
24 essence to radically reconfigure the ethnic distribution of the civilian
25 population in Bosnia so that all of the areas targeted in the remaining
1 five goals would appear in dark red on this map.
2 Two, establishment of a corridor between Semberija and Krajina.
3 The areas targeted by this goal were referred to as the
4 Posavina Corridor. This objective would create the land bridge between
5 Serbs in Western Bosnia, the Krajina areas, with Serb areas in
6 Eastern Bosnia, a necessary and vital goal because the Serb Krajina could
7 only be sustained if it was physically connected to Serb communities to
8 the east.
9 Slide 16 illustrates this with two maps: On the left is the
10 demographic map, on the right is a map of the strategic objectives. In
11 simple terms the goal was to connect the large red area at the left side
12 of the demographic map to the red areas in Eastern Bosnia and Serbia
13 proper, again to the east. As you can see, the territory lying between
14 these two territories is both green and blue, representing the
15 Bosnian Muslim and the Bosnian Croat people who were in a majority there.
16 To achieve the second goal, this area populated primarily by people of
17 non-Serb ethnicity would be forcibly taken from their lands and the
18 population would be forcibly removed or killed.
19 Strategic objective 3, shown here on slide 17, was the
20 establishment of a corridor in the Drina Valley, eliminating the
21 Drina River as a boundary between Serbs.
22 This corridor was really a large expansive territory comprising
23 most of Eastern Bosnia.
24 Again, the demographic map on the left assists in understanding
25 the implications of this goal. Serbia proper would be to the right of
1 Bosnia. To establish an ethnically pure corridor would require taking
2 control over all of the municipalities in Eastern Bosnia. As you can
3 see, several of them have a majority population that was Muslim.
4 Slide 18 shows the fourth strategic objective, establishing a
5 border on the Una and Neretva rivers. Again, when considered alongside
6 the demographic map, we can see this goal set to establish borders here
7 also contemplated the forcible take-over of and ethnic cleansing of land.
8 Slide 19 depicts the fifth and sixth strategic objectives of the
9 Bosnian Serb leadership.
10 The fifth goal was the division of Sarajevo. There is little
11 dispute that Sarajevo was a model of diversity: Different peoples,
12 ethnic groups, and religions living in harmony in a modern cosmopolitan
13 city. The fifth strategic goal sought to destroy this, to sever the city
14 in half with Serbs living in one part and non-Serbs in the other.
15 While Bosnian Serb leaders held to the notion of ethnic division
16 for the city, they soon realised that their stranglehold on the city
17 represented an important strategic advantage. The campaign of terror
18 that was visited upon Sarajevo was an effective tool, an effective
19 political lever, a pressure point Bosnian Serb leaders would use
20 throughout the conflict.
21 The sixth and final strategic objective was providing the Serbs
22 with access to the sea.
23 The six strategic objectives was the mandate Mladic was given as
24 commander of the Main Staff. As he would say:
25 "The tasks of the army in this war stem from the known six
1 strategic objectives adopted by our Assembly."
2 The events in Bosnia are as complex as they are terrible. In
3 addition to the six strategic objectives providing a framework for the
4 crimes, they also provide a conceptual insight into Mr. Mladic's state of
5 mind. They help to understand the motivation behind specific operations
6 and crimes.
7 Although the six strategic goals were publicly announced on the
8 12th of May, 1992, there is evidence that they were formulated earlier.
9 We know this from the words and writings of some participants and we know
10 because the offensive against the civilian population that started in
11 April and continued unabated until their announcement followed a pattern
12 which appears to have been guided by the same goals.
13 On the day they were announced, Mladic spoke about the role he
14 played in their development:
15 "Please, let us not set before ourselves goals that will bring us
16 down. Let us set before ourselves the goals we can achieve."
17 "I have read, mulled over for a long time and discussed within
18 the most select circle of comrades whom we convened the strategic goals
19 that are of substance."
20 I would like to now show you a series of notebook entries written
21 in Mladic's own hand that recorded at least some of these discussions.
22 These notebooks were recovered from his family home in Belgrade by police
23 that were searching for him. His contemporaneous notes of events will be
24 an important source of evidence in this case.
25 Slide 21 is an entry from the 5th of May, 1992. In it Mladic
1 records a number of items under a double underlined heading of
2 "questions," possibly questions he wishes to raise at a meeting. At this
3 point in time final preparations are being made to transform part of the
4 JNA into a Bosnian Serb army, and Mladic is in the final discussions
5 about his appointment as commander.
6 His first question is the character and name of the Bosnian Serb
7 army. His second is what are its war objectives. Third and fourth
8 questions concern what the relationship of the Bosnian Serb army will be
9 towards the territory and the non-Serbian people inhabiting the
10 territory. I would note that in Mladic's numbered list he has two items
11 marked as number 1. The top one also has an insertion mark, perhaps
12 indicating that he added this item to the top of the list after he had
13 written the other three.
14 In slide 22 Mladic records his discussion of the strategic
15 objectives with Karadzic on May 6th. In this entry he records Karadzic
16 discussing the first three objectives as well as the sixth:
17 "It would be good to carry out the demarcation.
18 "(a) in order for us to separate.
19 "(b) for us to form a corridor.
20 "(c) for the Drina not to be the border.
21 "(d) to reach the coast."
22 Mladic's entry from the next day, now on slide 23, five days
23 before the announcement of the strategic objective, Mladic records
24 Krajisnik setting out the strategic objectives.
25 Mr. Mladic records in his notebook a near-to-final version of the
1 strategic objectives which will be announced in a few days and he will be
2 given the responsibility of completing the realisation of them.
3 To reinforce the important of the strategic objectives to
4 Mladic's military planning, I would ask you to view slide 24. It is an
5 excerpt from a report of the VRS dated the 1st of April, 1993. It is
6 entitled, "Analysis of Combat-Readiness and Activities," and it contains
7 detailed analysis of army operations. It says:
8 "The strategic objectives of our war which were promptly defined
9 and set before the Main Staff of the Army of the RS, the commands and
10 units, served as a general guide-line upon which we planned the actual
11 operations and concerted battles."
12 Slide 25 is an order from General Momir Talic to the members of
13 the 1st Krajina Corps, the corps principally charged with realising the
14 second strategic objective. Here Talic orders new conscripts be informed
15 of the goals of our struggle when they arrive.
16 As I have said, there is evidence that the goals underlying the
17 strategic objectives form the basis of the attack on Bosnia prior to the
18 Bosnian Serb leaders publishing the formal objectives themselves. I'm
19 going to summarise a few key events before that attack and then give the
20 Chamber an overview of it.
21 In December 1991, a planning document for the establishment of
22 Serb governmental authority in municipalities was disseminated. In
23 February of 1992, Momcilo Mandic, Mico Stanisic, and other senior Serb
24 members of the then-multi-ethnic Bosnian police met to plan the
25 dissolution of the Ministry of Interior and the creation of a
1 Bosnian Serb Ministry of Interior to replace it.
2 On the 24th of March, 1992, about eight days before the first
3 attacks began, Radovan Karadzic told those present at the
4 12th Bosnian Serb Assembly that the plans that had been put in place
5 could be implemented in the coming few days:
6 "We have a legal basis in the Law on Internal Affairs and we also
7 have the insignia and at a desired moment, and this will be very soon, we
8 can form whatever we want. There are reasons why this could happen in
9 two or three days. Such are the forecasts but I cannot tell you the
10 reasons now. At that moment all the Serbian municipalities, both the old
11 ones and the newly established ones, would literally assume control of
12 the entire municipality concerned."
13 On the 31st of March, 1992, Mandic would send a dispatch to all
14 levels of the joint inter-ethnic police, declaring that that police force
15 was abolished and that a new Bosnian Serb one had been established.
16 That night, the infamous paramilitary group known as
17 Arkan's Tigers crossed over the border from Serbia and took control of
18 the town of Bijeljina.
19 Placing large areas of Bosnia under Serb control was only
20 possible through careful planning and co-ordinated implementation. To
21 appreciate the level of co-ordination behind the take-overs and its
22 connection to the aspirations of Bosnian Serb leaders, it is helpful to
23 first take a cursory look at a simple animated time map that shows how
24 the take-over of Bosnian municipalities progressed over the spring and
25 summer of 1992.
1 The take-over process began when Arkan's Tigers entered Bijeljina
2 on the night between the 31st of March and the 1st of April. The
3 take-over process continued through that first week. In that week over a
4 dozen municipalities would be placed under Serb control. While some of
5 those municipalities, such as Tito Drvar were predominantly Serb and
6 control was simply asserted by switching allegiance from Sarajevo to
7 Pale, in other municipalities armed force and the commission of crimes
8 were used to seize control.
9 The darker shade of red is used to indicate municipalities that
10 are the subject of the indictment.
11 During the second week, the focus of the take-overs would remain
12 on the Drina Valley, focused on places like Visegrad, Foca, and Sekovici.
13 Arkan would move south to Zvornik.
14 In the third week, take-overs continued along the Drina River,
15 with Bratunac and Kalinovik coming under control. Vogosca, part of the
16 greater Sarajevo area, would come under Serb control. The division and
17 encirclement of Sarajevo was almost complete.
18 During the fourth week, Serb control was continued in
19 Mrkonjic Grad and in large parts of Bosanska Krupa, bringing the border
20 of Serb-controlled lands to the banks of the Una River. The campaign in
21 the Drina valley continued with the take-over of Vlasenica. By the end
22 of April, 35 municipalities would be under Serb control, an average of
23 over one municipality per day.
24 Slide 32 shows the status of take-overs before Mr. Mladic's
25 installation as the commander of the VRS Main Staff. By this time, the
1 initial take-over of territory was largely complete.
2 From this point forward, Mladic and the Bosnian Serb army, with
3 the Bosnian Serb police, will solidify the gains of the initial offensive
4 and systematically realise the most important strategic objective, the
5 first, the separation of the ethnicities, ethnic cleansing.
6 Slide 33 depicts what Mladic accomplished in the first two weeks
7 at the helm of the Main Staff. There were significant bombardments of
8 non-Serb areas in Prijedor. Members of the VRS would perpetrate serious
9 crimes, including massacres in Sanski Most.
10 Detention camps would be established in Omarska, Trnopolje, as
11 well as in Vlasenica, Rogatica, Ilidza, and Foca. Before the end of
12 May 1992, Mladic would be directly involved in a massive bombardment of
14 You will now notice the map includes references to the scheduled
15 crimes in the indictment. The reference that is indicated in red
16 indicates that the crime occurred during that particular period.
17 June would start with another major bombardment of Sarajevo by
19 Significant massacres continued in the municipalities. Thousands
20 of families were being forced from their land.
21 In July, the VRS would participate in some of the most brutal
22 ethnic cleansing in Prijedor. Terror continued at Omarska, Keraterm, and
23 Trnopolje, and a new detention facility opened in Miska Glava.
24 On the 6th of July, an ammunition warehouse located in Mladic's
25 hometown would be converted into another detention facility.
1 During August the killings, detentions, and forcible removal of
2 persons continued. Some of the crimes are included in the indictment.
3 The last slide shows the progress toward the strategic goals by
4 the end of November, the period covered by the indictment.
5 The last slide shows the progress toward the strategic goals by
6 the end of November, the period covered by the indictment. The schedules
7 to the indictment describe 57 specific crimes perpetrated during this
8 period that the Prosecution asserts Mr. Mladic is responsible for.
9 Two of the maps you see on the screen in slide 38 are demographic
10 maps: One from 1991, before the campaign; and one from 1997, after the
11 campaign. There is also a copy of Krajisnik's map.
12 Here the success of the attack on the non-Serb population of
13 Bosnia can be measured statistically in the dramatic demographic changes.
14 If you look along the Posavina Corridor, objective two, that is
15 the horizontal oval at the top of the map, the target of the second
16 strategic objective, you will see a dramatic shift in the populations as
17 marked by the change of colour to red.
18 The vertical oval on the right-hand side of the map is the
19 Drina Valley, and again you can see the dramatic shift in colour
20 represents the restructuring of the demographic landscape from mixed or
21 Muslim-majority municipalities into red, or Serb municipalities. This
22 demonstrates a successful implementation of the third strategic
24 These take-overs and subsequent crimes forced nearly 400.000
25 people from their homes.
1 I want to spend the next few minutes focusing on the role of the
2 JNA in this process and the selection of Mr. Mladic as the commander of
3 the Army of Republika Srpska, or VRS.
4 Long before tensions in Yugoslavia reached a boiling point,
5 Milosevic, General Veljko Kadijevic, Borisav Jovic, and other senior Serb
6 and Yugoslav leaders took steps to alter the composition of the JNA in a
7 way that would make it more favourably disposed towards Serb interests.
8 They did this with forced retirements, promotions, and relocations, thus
9 ensuring that JNA forces in troubled regions had a significant complement
10 of high-ranking Serb officers.
11 One of the reasons the conflict in the former Yugoslavia took so
12 many by surprise was that the Yugoslav People's Army was held in high
13 regard. The people had confidence that it would uphold its
14 constitutional obligation to protect all of the peoples of Yugoslavia, an
15 obligation set out in Article 240 of the 1974 Constitution.
16 The next two documents are examples of how the reconfiguration of
17 the JNA worked, at least in part. Some significant elements of the JNA
18 did consider it to be an army that would place the protection of Serbs
19 above the protection of all ethnicities equally.
20 This document is dated the 10th of December, 1991. At that time
21 Mr. Mladic was the deputy commander of the JNA 9th Corps and the conflict
22 had already begun in Croatia. It reads in part:
23 "Our armed forces are entering a new period of exceptional
24 significance for accomplishing the ultimate aims of the war: Protection
25 of the Serbian population, a peaceful resolution of the Yugoslav crisis,
1 and the creation of conditions in which Yugoslavia may be preserved, for
2 those peoples that wish to live in it."
3 While at this stage JNA leadership too hoped that there would be
4 a peaceful resolution to the crisis, it is clear that the JNA considered
5 this a new period of exceptional significance in which the protection of
6 Serbs was of paramount importance.
7 Mladic personally held this view as the excerpt of an article
8 which appeared in the official periodical of the VRS shows:
9 "A part of our people was blinded by the idea of togetherness,
10 brotherhood and unity, and lived with the illusions that the storm of war
11 would quickly calm down which unfortunately claimed many lives, in
12 particular so in the cities and villages with a majority Muslim and
13 Croatian population."
14 The document on slide 41 was issued a few months later by the
15 head of the JNA military district in Bosnia and reveals that the
16 principle of protecting Serbs that we saw on the document on slide 39 was
17 implemented in part through the arming of the Serb population. This
18 document records the fact that 70.000 Serb volunteers were armed by the
19 JNA and the SDS in the municipalities all around Bosnia in preparation
20 for the forcible take-over of the territory. The document states:
21 "JNA distributed 51.900 pieces of armament and the SDS 17.298."
22 Before the JNA left Bosnia in May of 1992, the Bosnian Serb
23 leadership already started to build its own armed force. Slide 42
24 contains an excerpt of an address Karadzic gave in February 1992. He
1 "That's why we started on another track: A Serbian Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. Our sovereign right, our army."
3 The JNA participated in the take-over of territory targeted for
4 Serb control to different degrees, depending upon the circumstances of
5 the situation and the willingness of particular senior officers. In some
6 cases, like in Bijeljina, the JNA simply allowed Arkan and his Tigers to
7 ravage the town despite significantly outnumbering them. In places such
8 as Zvornik, the JNA shelled the city in advance of paramilitaries
9 entering the town.
10 Here on slide 43 is a report from the Yugoslav Army, reporting
11 how the Yugoslav Army and the armed units created and co-ordinated by the
12 SDS have worked --
13 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
14 Mr. Lukic, would you please consult with Mr. Mladic what is --
15 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I think I know what the problem is.
16 Mr. Mladic is asking to have a short break so he can visit the washroom.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I wonder whether we should take the break
18 of 25 minutes now. Perhaps that would be best.
19 We take a break and we'll resume at 20 minutes to 11.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.44 a.m.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
23 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
25 MR. GROOME: Your Honours, before the break I was --
1 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please, Mr. Groome. One second.
2 Has -- Mr. Mladic, can you hear me?
3 THE ACCUSED: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber observed and was further informed about
7 inappropriate interaction between the public gallery and Mr. Mladic.
8 Now, I'm refraining from any observation as who initiated that, whether
9 that was the public gallery or whether that was you, Mr. Mladic - it may
10 have been both. We are not going to -- you are hinting it was the public
12 Now, the best way of not having to respond to that is just to
13 focus on what happens in this courtroom rather than to look at the public
14 gallery. The Chamber at this moment doesn't find it necessary to put any
15 measure in place, but if it would continue - and I'm therefore also
16 addressing the public gallery - that if interaction is sought, whether
17 from the public gallery or from the courtroom, that the solution would be
18 to put a screen between Mr. Mladic and the public gallery so as to avoid,
19 in whatever direction, such inappropriate interactions.
20 So therefore, please refrain from it. And, Mr. Mladic, you can
21 protect yourself if there would be any initiative from the public
22 gallery, you can -- by focusing on what Mr. Groome is telling us or by
23 focusing on what happens in the courtroom, there will be less reason to
24 respond if anything would be there.
25 Then, Mr. Groome, are you ready to proceed?
1 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Your Honour, just prior to the break I was discussing the JNA's
3 involvement in the events during the spring of 1992.
4 Now before you on slide 43 is a report from the JNA, reporting
5 how the JNA and its armed units, created and co-ordinated by the SDS,
6 have worked together to take over the town of Vlasenica or "liberated,"
7 to use the reporter's term.
8 The willingness of individual commanders to engage JNA troops and
9 resources on the Serb side was watched carefully by senior Serb
10 politicians, like Milosevic and Karadzic. As the time drew near to build
11 a Bosnian Serb army, the officers selected from the JNA ranks to lead it
12 were chosen in part because they had already demonstrated their
13 competence and commitment to the goal of creating a Bosnian Serb state
14 using military might.
15 During this entire period, forces of the Territorial Defence or
16 reserve units were subordinated to the JNA and then the VRS. Similarly,
17 the Bosnian Serb police were also at different times working closely with
18 the JNA and the VRS, and in some instances were formally subordinated to
20 As Karadzic would say in 1995:
21 "Gentlemen, we got the officers we asked for. I asked for
23 The choice of Mladic as commander wasn't a random one. Karadzic
24 chose Mladic because he believed him to be an excellent officer capable
25 of commanding the planned Bosnian Serb army, and because Karadzic
1 believed he was willing to commit the crimes needed to achieve the
2 strategic goals of Bosnian Serb leaders.
3 In this particular entry from Mladic's military notebooks on
4 slide 45, we can see that Mr. Mladic recorded the comments of JNA
5 General Momcilo Perisic at a meeting in which there is a discussion of
6 Mladic as a commander for a Bosnian Serb army.
7 He records Perisic as saying that Perisic and Ninkovic undertook
8 an initiative with Karadzic for Mladic to command the new Bosnian Serb
9 army. Mladic records Perisic as saying:
10 "You have the right person. If you support him, you will get
11 what you want."
12 You will get what you want. What they wanted was someone who
13 would reinforce their hold on territories taken to date and advance the
14 strategic goals already being implemented.
15 On the 12th of May, 1992, when the VRS was established, the JNA
16 withdrew from Bosnia. The JNA left behind most of its weapons and
17 thousands of troops to the just-established VRS. It continued to pay the
18 salaries of nearly the entire VRS officer corps, including Mladic, Galic,
19 Krstic, Talic, and other senior officers you will learn about in this
21 The Prosecution will lead evidence establishing that within hours
22 of the creation of the VRS it was able to adapt the communications
23 systems and the command and control systems of the JNA. The Main Staff
24 of the VRS was able to effectively issue commands and receive reports
25 from subordinate units within hours.
1 Slide 46 depicts the senior leadership of the VRS. The top row
2 identifies the members of its Main Staff, and the second row the
3 commanders of the six corps and its air force. A more complete
4 organisational chart depicting the structure of the VRS can be found on
5 page 28 of the Prosecution pre-trial brief. On the copy now before you,
6 the 1st Krajina Corps, the Drina Corps, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and
7 the East Bosnia Corps are marked in red. These are the corps that are
8 most relevant to the indictment. A comprehensive chronology of
9 Mr. Mladic's professional career can also be found in the pre-trial brief
10 at page 24.
11 I will now describe some of the crimes for which Mr. Mladic is
12 charged, crimes directly perpetrated by soldiers under his command. I
13 will not discuss all of the crimes or describe them in any particular
14 detail. I will mention just a few to illustrate in a general sense the
15 types of crimes that were committed. I will use the strategic objectives
16 as a framework and will begin with the second objective. I am leaving
17 the first objective until the end because it permeates the others.
18 There was a large concentration of Serbs in the Krajina prior to
19 the war. Bosnian Serb leaders recognised that if this population was to
20 be a viable part of a Bosnian Serb state, it had to be physically
21 connected to it. The second objective was to create this physical
23 The indictment specifically enumerates crimes which occurred in
24 five municipalities. Although not all within the corridor, they are all
25 related to this particular objective: Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc,
1 Banja Luka, and Kotor Varos.
2 Two of the most important municipalities in the Krajina were
3 Prijedor and Sanski Most. Both had Muslim majorities and were adjacent
4 to Banja Luka, a municipality with a strong Serb majority. The initial
5 take-over of the two municipalities took place in April of 1992. These
6 municipalities would see some of the worst ethnic cleansing.
7 The JNA played a significant part in the initial take-over of the
8 municipalities. Then-Colonel Momir Talic, one of Mladic's most trusted
9 officers, personally participated in the take-over of Sanski Most. A few
10 weeks later, after the creation of the VRS, Talic would be responsible
11 for brutal attacks against Muslims in Prijedor.
12 At the end of May, shortly after Mladic assumed the position of
13 commander of the Main Staff of the VRS, approximately 50 soldiers set up
14 howitzers and shelled the villages of Hrstuvo and Vrhpolje in
15 Sanski Most. They returned the next week to burn the non-Serb house.
16 They captured about 20 boys and men, marched them to Vrhpolje bridge,
17 made them strip and then jump from the bridge. They shot each of the men
18 as they entered the water.
19 May I draw your attention to a weekly report from the
20 security services centre now shown on slide 48. The security services
21 centre is the regional headquarters of the police in Western Bosnia and
22 was located in Banja Luka. It describes the retaliatory attack against
23 the civilian population after two Serb soldiers were killed:
24 "The army carried out an artillery attack on the village of
25 Hambarine and mopped up the area."
1 "... the army engaged in a mopping-up operation. Several hundred
2 inhabitants of these villages were killed or wounded."
3 On the 1st of June in Kljuc, the Bosnian Serb army completed the
4 shelling and the ransacking of villages in the area of Velagici, a
5 bombardment that lasted approximately four days. An order was given for
6 all Muslim men near the Velagici school to come to the police station.
7 About 77 unarmed men assembled there. Again, in a process that would be
8 repeated throughout the conflict, they were forced to remove their
9 valuables, their identifications, and were murdered there in front of the
10 school -- I'm sorry, in front of the police station.
11 Slide 49 is a report from Talic to his superiors at the
12 Main Staff. It is dated the 14th of June, 1992. Here Talic informs
13 Mladic that the greatest difficulty they face is not armed resistance,
14 the most difficult situation they face is that there are now security and
15 logistical problems because efforts to expel refugees have failed. They
16 failed to expel all of the targeted population because of problems with
17 buses and the fact that some people refused to leave their homes.
18 If I can return to Kljuc for a moment, it is also a good example
19 of how Mladic monitored the progress of the ethnic cleansing campaign.
20 On the 8th of January, 1992, here shown on slide 50, Mladic notes
21 that the ethnic population of Kljuc is comprised of 17.000 Muslims and
22 3.000 Croats. Once again at this point in time Mr. Mladic is based in
23 Knin, Croatia.
24 Slide 51 is from Mladic's military notebook and records a report
25 he received from Jovo Banjac, president of Kljuc municipality. Banjac
1 told him that there used to be 17.000 Muslims in Kljuc, now there are
2 only 5.000.
3 Mladic went on to note that he was told that 1500 people had
4 departed that very day, the 11th of September, 1992.
5 Slide 52 shows the next report he receives on progress in Kljuc
6 municipality. It is about seven weeks after the last report. Here the
7 number of Muslims has been further reduced to 2.000.
8 In slide 53 we see a document from the 1st of July, 1992, only
9 six weeks into Mladic's stewardship of the VRS. In it he pays tribute to
10 the successes of Serb forces cleansing the area:
11 "I'd like to pay tribute and express my gratitude to all
12 soldiers, commanding officers of the 1st Krajina Corps and
13 Eastern Bosnia Corps, members of air force and anti-aircraft defence of
14 the Serbian Republic of BiH army as well as civilian Serbian population
15 in the combat activity zone for successfully organised and implemented
16 operation for breakthrough, expansion, and cleansing of corridor in
17 Bosanska Posavina, between Eastern and Western Bosnia, as well as
18 excogitation and organised joint action and co-ordination of combat units
20 On 10 July 1992, almost two months after Mladic took command, VRS
21 soldiers surrounded the village of Brkici in Kljuc. Men between 16 and
22 60 were separated from their families and detained in a nearby meadow.
23 They were marched to the elementary school in Biljani. Once preparations
24 for killing them were in place, they were loaded in groups of five into a
25 bus. The bus was driven to a field and as the men were forced off the
1 bus they could see the bodies of those killed before them. They were
2 murdered as they left the bus. A survivor will describe that day, how he
3 threw himself to the ground and pretended to be dead. As he lay there,
4 he heard the sound of earth-moving equipment.
5 Another survivor of this massacre will describe during the trial
6 hearing one of the soldiers comment to another, "It's all going according
7 to plan."
8 By the end of July 1992, just ten weeks after the Bosnian Serb
9 army was created, General Talic considered that he had completed his
11 Slide 54, now on the screen before you, is a report of the
12 1st Krajina Corps dated the 24th of July, 1992. We read:
13 "We have liberated the territories we consider our own."
14 The territory being referred to was land upon which people of
15 several ethnicities lived, farming their lands, raising their children,
16 land forcibly taken, the rightful owners murdered or thrown into
17 detention camps, forced to leave the area.
18 The report goes on to describe that a centuries' old aspiration
19 has been fulfilled, one referred to in modern times as strategic
20 objective number two.
21 On the screens before you on slide 55 is a report from the
22 archives of the 1st Krajina Corps, reporting on what happened in
23 Grabovica to Elvedin Pasic's family and others, the incident I described
24 at the beginning of this opening. We can see that the commanders in the
25 1st Krajina Corps fully appreciated the crime that was perpetrated there:
1 "Massacre of the captured members of the Green Berets started
2 because of the wounding of four and killing of one soldier ... and the
3 burning of the wounded soldiers ... measures to prevent further massacres
4 were taken ... with the exception of Kotor Varos, where we have taken
5 serious intentions to prevent a genocide of Muslims. Women and children
6 from the area have been allowed to pass through Travnik."
7 The third objective was to establish a corridor of Serb-held
8 lands in Eastern Bosnia.
9 The third objective envisaged that this land would become Serb
10 controlled and populated with Serbs. The indictment charges a
11 representative group of crimes committed in seven municipalities,
12 including Mladic's hometown of Kalinovik.
13 Let me call once again to the screen the demographic map from
14 1991. You can see the area falling within the third objective in the
15 circle on the right. Here we can see that it is predominantly green,
16 indicating Muslim majorities.
17 By the time Mladic was appointed the commander of the Main Staff
18 on the 12th of May, most of the municipalities within the third objective
19 were under Serb control. His intention was turned fully to ethnically
20 cleansing the area.
21 In November 1992, Mladic would sign directive number 4, ordering
22 the VRS to force that part of the population in Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde
23 areas that were Muslim to leave:
24 "The Drina Corps: From its present positions, its main forces
25 shall persistently defend Visegrad (the dam), Zvornik and the corridor,
1 while the rest of its forces in the wider Podrinje region are to exhaust
2 the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on them and force them
3 with the Muslim population to leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas."
4 As can be seen in this directive, the Muslim population is
5 directly made a target of military operations.
6 What you see before you on slide 59 is an order from the
7 28th of May, 1992, issued by the commander of the Birac Brigade. It
8 refers to the area around Zvornik, Bratunac, and Vlasenica. The order
9 makes clear that the expulsion of the predominantly Muslim population who
10 lived and worked in Eastern Bosnia was to be organised and co-ordinated.
11 Women and children would be moved out, the men placed in detention
12 centres for exchange:
13 "The moving out of the Muslim population must be organised and
14 co-ordinated ... only women and children can move out, while men fit for
15 military service are to be placed in camps for exchange."
16 On the 2nd of June, Bosnian Serb forces, supported by armoured
17 personnel carriers and machine-guns, attacked the small hamlet of Drum in
18 Vlasenica. Soldiers went from house to house, killing every man they
19 could find. They found about 20. All of them but one was shot in the
21 On the 6th of July, 1992, non-Serbs from Mladic's hometown of
22 Kalinovik were moved from a school to an ammunition depot in the village
23 of Jelasako Polje. VRS soldiers guarded them. After a month around the
24 5th of August, the men were loaded onto trucks after having had their
25 hands bound with wire. They were driven to an open field and killed.
1 Approximately 20 men died.
2 Slide 60 is an excerpt of the evidence of Fejzija Hadzic.
3 Fejzija pretended to be dead after being shot in the leg.
4 "Now the remaining Muslim ... was ordered to pour accelerant over
5 the bodies and set them alight. He refused to set light to us. He was
6 pleading with them to spare his life. The sound of his voice will stick
7 in my mind forever. They just shot him dead and he was added to the pile
8 of bodies."
9 On the 22nd of September, 1992, the VRS 2nd Romanija Brigade
10 surrounded the town of Novoseoci. There was no armed resistance. After
11 Bosnian Serb soldiers had full control of the town, one of them read an
12 order that the women and children were to be placed on buses and moved
13 out of the area. The men were told that they would remain and would do
14 forced labour. After the women and children were taken away, all of the
15 men were murdered.
16 The realisation of the third strategic objective was almost
17 complete in 1992. The large population centres of Muslims had been
18 largely emptied.
19 Slide 61 shows an entry from Mladic's military notebook. In it
20 we can see him noting a report about how the project of ethnic cleansing
21 has progressed in Foca. Here Miroslav Stanic of the Foca War Presidency
22 informs him that the ethnic make-up of Foca has changed from 49 per cent
23 Serb before the war to 99 per cent as of the 17th of September, 1992,
24 over 20.000 Muslims removed from the municipality.
25 Crimes of sexual violence for an integral part of the process of
1 taking over and ethnically cleansing Bosnia. While women were most often
2 targeted for such crimes of terrible violation, men were also victimised.
3 Sometimes the perpetrators sexually assaulted the victims. On other
4 occasions the perpetrators forced the victims to perform sexual acts on
5 others, including relatives.
6 The indictment against Mladic charges crimes of sexual violence,
7 focusing on the crimes of sexual violence perpetrated in Foca where the
8 systematic rapes of women were commonplace.
9 Slide 62 includes an excerpt from the testimony of RM070,
10 evidence the Prosecution will seek to tender in this case:
11 "I didn't even look to see who had come or who had left the room.
12 The world should see, to look in our eyes ...
13 "They had killed my mother before that, they had killed my
14 brother. And up to that day I had been raped by almost 50 of them ...
15 "I didn't want to see who was coming in, who was going out ...
16 "And whenever they would bring me back ... I would just tear my
17 hair and say, 'Oh, what are they doing to us?'"
18 The Prosecution will tender evidence establishing the many crimes
19 of systematic sexual violence perpetrated against women in places like
20 Karaman's house in Foca, Foca high school, and the Partizan hall.
21 Here on slide 63, Mladic records a report from Ljubisav Simic
22 from Bratunac that a 64 per cent Muslim population in Bratunac has been
23 reduced to two individual Muslims:
24 "In Bratunac municipality we now have two Muslims."
25 As the scourge of ethnic cleansing continued and took full effect
1 in Eastern Bosnia, those ethnically cleansed gathered in the three
2 eastern enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde. The success of the
3 third strategic objective was left unfulfilled by 1993. The VRS's move
4 towards the town of Srebrenica was halted by the intervention of UNPROFOR
5 in 1993. General Morillon would make his well-known promise to the
6 people of Srebrenica, and in the years of 1993 to 1995 the eastern
7 enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde survived under UN protection.
8 Here on slide 64, we can see an entry from Mladic's military
9 notebook recording Morillon's admonition to resist any urge he may have
10 to ethnically cleanse these areas.
11 The situation in Eastern Bosnia largely remained for two years.
12 During this period Muslim fighters from the enclaves raided surrounding
13 Serb communities, on some occasions committing terrible war crimes
15 The situation remained volatile during the months leading up to
16 July 1995.
17 The people in the eastern enclaves would remain under threat
18 until the time Mladic would order the take-over of Srebrenica and Zepa.
19 Slide 65 is an excerpt from the evidence of David Harland, a
20 senior UN official. It recounts the situation in which Mladic threatened
21 to kill everyone in the eastern enclaves unless 22 VRS prisoners of war
22 were returned to him. As Harland points out, such threats were not
23 uncommon for Mladic.
24 I will not spend time on the implementation of the fourth and
25 sixth strategic objectives. Although crimes were also committed in
1 furtherance of these goals, the indictment does not contain any specific
2 crimes arising from them.
3 I will now turn to the fifth strategic objective, the division of
5 Before the war, Sarajevo was emblematic of the Yugoslav ideal:
6 500.000 people of all ethnicities living together, working side by side,
7 raising their children together, celebrating each other's happy
8 occasions. The compact geography of the city circled a true inter-ethnic
9 community, prosperous and peaceful. Marriage across ethnic lines was not
10 uncommon, and though many identified themselves as Yugoslavs, others
11 proudly and rightly identified themselves by their ethnic affiliation.
12 Beginning in 1991 and continuing into early 1992, the ethnic
13 delineation of Sarajevo's neighbourhoods and areas was a focus of SDS
14 political activity. From December 1991, SDS organs in Sarajevo's greater
15 urban area, territories including Pale, Ilijas, Ilidza, and Novi Grad
16 moved to unilaterally proclaim areas of existing municipalities as Serb.
17 Tensions increased in the city during the spring of 1992.
18 Barricades would be erected in early March, affecting the freedom of
19 movement around the city. The barricades provoked a popular response
20 with thousand of protesters marching to demand their removal. Peace
21 demonstrations took place intermittently over the next month, while Serb
22 forces used the time to expand their control over institutions and areas
23 around the city.
24 On the 4th of April, the police school in Vrace, a high point
25 south of Sarajevo's main thoroughfare was taken over. On 6th of April,
1 Sarajevans of all ethnicities responded to the rising tension with a
2 peaceful march in the centre of the city. The crowd dispersed when
3 gunmen shot into the crowd from the Holiday Inn.
4 Between the 4th of April and mid-May 1992, the contours of
5 Sarajevo's encirclement were established. The physical separation of
6 Sarajevo's population along ethnic lines was well underway. The city was
7 effectively dissected. Elements of a campaign of terror, the sniping and
8 indiscriminate shelling of Sarajevo's citizens was already a feature of
9 their daily life.
10 From April through May, Serb forces fought units fighting in the
11 name of the Bosnian government, containing them in what would eventually
12 be known as the "inner ring" around the city. Shelling and sniping of
13 Sarajevo's central areas from the Serb-controlled hills had begun in a
14 campaign that was to last until 1995.
15 On the 6th of June, Mladic and Karadzic both would meet with SDS
16 representatives from Serb-claimed Sarajevo municipalities.
17 That same day Mladic issued the first of his military directives
18 to the VRS, directive number 1. It called for the cleansing of those
19 parts of Sarajevo with a majority Serb population and cutting it along an
20 axis defined by Bosnian Serb leaders. It included an order for the
21 military implementation of the first and fifth strategic goals in the
22 Sarajevo area.
23 While Serb leaders held on to the notion of ethnic division as a
24 primary principle of their vision for Sarajevo, they quickly realised
25 that their stranglehold on the city offered an opportunity for an
1 important strategic advantage. Every successive military directive
2 called for the continued blockade of the city.
3 The actual Siege of Sarajevo advanced purposes separate and apart
4 from the strategic objectives. In short, Sarajevo, the location of the
5 newly established government of an independent Bosnia, was a pressure
6 point, the place where Bosnian Serbs could exert pressure in an effort to
7 influence negotiations or punish the Bosnian civilians for something that
8 had occurred elsewhere in the country.
9 At the 16th Assembly Session in May 1992, Mladic described the
10 encirclement of the city with artillery and snipers as a ring around its
11 neck. He was acutely aware that he held the power to decide who entered
12 and left the city and exploited this power throughout the siege.
13 I'm going to ask you to take a look at your screens and I'm going
14 to ask Ms. Stewart to play a media report by a former Sky news
15 correspondent by the name of Aernout van Lynden in which Mladic talks
16 about Sarajevo. After the video concludes, I will pause for a
17 considerable period of time to make -- be sure that the video has been
18 fully translated into each of our languages.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 "He is the scourge of Sarajevo. The chief warrior of the Serbs.
21 He is called Ratko Mladic, appropriately, Ratko means warrior and this
22 square jawed Serb general has lived up to the name. The commander always
23 on the move, the visit to one of the mountain's chalets where the Serbs
24 of Bosnia have established their separatist government is but a fleeting
25 one. In a short briefing, the Commander-in-Chief speaks only of attacks
1 on his forces, never of offences by them. And as if to prove the point,
2 he gives us a rare chance to accompany him to front line artillery
3 positions where the UN observers are conspicuous by their absence. High
4 up on the wind swept hills the 100-millimetre guns are dug deep in the
5 rocks directly overlooking Sarajevo. An overwhelming position of
6 strength which is obviously to the general's satisfaction. As he says,
7 he holds the city in his palm and many of the buildings in the haze
8 below, they are testimony to that power. Yet General Mladic is quite
9 unrepentant. He is a man who has no doubts, only a total assurance that
10 he is right, the world wrong, and that his people have been slandered.
11 "I hope the UN Security Council first takes measures to
12 understand that we Serbs are a reality in this world not some sort of
13 extraterrestrials and that we have the right to defend ourselves.
14 "Nearby more positions are being dug. In general's eyes the
15 world may deny his people their rights but that's not going to stop him.
16 "We have to fight as long as we continue to exist to defend
17 ourselves. There is no other way and we are prepared for a long war.
18 "Far away from the battle-field, the UN is preparing a resolution
19 on war crimes. It leaves Ratko Mladic quite unmoved.
20 "I am not bothered at all. I did not take part in any crimes. I
21 have only defended my people.
22 "With that, the general departs to inspect other front lines in a
23 war neither he not his officers believe will end any time soon.
24 Aernout van Lynden, Sky news, on the front lines outside Sarajevo."
25 MR. GROOME: Mladic would demonstrate his power over Sarajevo two
1 weeks after he became commander of the Main Staff. Throughout May there
2 were contentious negotiations over the evacuation of the JNA barracks in
3 Sarajevo. Skirmishes had taken place. After assuming command of the
4 Main Staff in mid-May, Mladic threatened to retaliate against the city if
5 any of the JNA personnel were attacked. He did just that. The following
6 intercept concerns the shelling of Bascarsija, an area in the old town of
8 Mladic exacted his campaign of terror among civilians shell after
9 shell after shell, not aimed at identifiable military targets, but
10 scattered across the city in bombardments designed to cause panic and
11 terror. There was no safety in knowing you are in a purely residential,
12 civilian neighbourhood. In the intercept I will ask Ms. Stewart to now
13 play, you will hear Mladic directing artillery fire at the densely
14 populated Bascarsija area in the old town. I would ask for you to listen
15 to it now. The translation of what Mladic says can be found on slide 69.
16 [Intercept played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
18 "How soon could you fire?
19 "Well, I could fire in five to ten minutes, no sooner than that.
20 "Tell me, can you also shell Bascarsija?
21 "Yes, I can.
22 "I beg your pardon?
23 "I can, I can.
24 "Fire a salvo at Bascarsija as well.
25 "Yes, sir!"
1 MR. GROOME: Immediately after this bombardment Mladic would
2 record General John Wilson from the Senior Military Liaison Officer to
3 the UN mission conveying a personal appeal to Mladic from the
4 then-Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Mladic's notes are
5 displayed in slide 70. The Secretary-General expressed his concern at
6 the destruction of the city.
7 A week later in furtherance of his first military directive,
8 Mladic would unleash another ferocious barrage of artillery fire against
9 the city.
10 From the start it was clear to the victims, to the perpetrators,
11 to the world community watching on their televisions that the bombardment
12 of the civilians of Sarajevo was a grave criminal act.
13 Slobodan Milosevic himself would acknowledge what was obvious to
14 all. In this UN cable written by General Nambiar, he reports Milosevic
15 as describing these initiate bombardments of Sarajevo as "bloody
17 To appreciate the Siege of Sarajevo, to understand how it was
18 conducted and why it caused such terror to Sarajevans, one must
19 understand the city's topography. Sarajevo was situated on a deep valley
20 on the Miljacka River surrounded by hills to the north, east, and south.
21 For the most part, Sarajevo was densely populated, a mixture of
22 high-rise apartment blocks and compact residential two- to three-storey
23 houses on small plots of land, all within sight of the hills rising
24 around the city. From any roof-top or high-rise window, Sarajevans could
25 see Serb territory close by, in some areas no more than a block away.
1 Sarajevans lived with a sense of vulnerability that came with knowing
2 every part of the city was within the range of Serb weaponry.
3 Running down the main arteries of the city was its life-line, the
4 tram line. Until May 1992, Sarajevans from Ilidza to the old town centre
5 would come to the tram line to take it to work, to shop along its
6 streets, to school, to the old town for a coffee with friends on the
7 weekend. The tram was used each day by many, many Sarajevans.
8 As Mladic himself said in May of 1992:
9 "I have blocked Sarajevo from all four sides. There is no exit.
10 It is in a mousetrap."
11 To give you a sense of the proximity of the hills surrounding
12 Sarajevo and the vulnerability of the entire city to artillery fire, I
13 ask that you look at a short clip of video taken from the turret of an
14 artillery position.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MR. GROOME: From 1992 until 1996, the Bosnian Serb goals in
17 Sarajevo were to divide it and to use terror to exert pressure on the
18 Bosnian leadership. The mechanisms of terror were simple:
19 Indiscriminate shelling, sniping of civilians, deprivation of the
20 essentials of daily life, food, water, and humanitarian aid.
21 As David Harland, a senior UN official has testified, Sarajevo
22 was a "spigot of terror," one to be turned on and off as needed. Please
23 remember this image. It is an apt characterisation of what Sarajevo was
24 to Mladic and other Bosnian Serb leaders:
25 "Sarajevo, ... in the context of ... political objectives, that
1 is, of getting the Muslims to negotiate, or in terms of deterring any
2 NATO military attack on them. Our sense was they - there was, as it
3 were, a spigot of terror which they would open or close according to how
4 much pressure was on them from the international community or what
5 political concessions they hoped to get from the other side."
6 Your Honours, to give you a sense of what it was like to live in
7 Sarajevo during the siege, we have created a compilation of news reports
8 spanning the period of the indictment. The entire video is approximately
9 four minutes long and will give you a sense of what happened when this
10 spigot of terror was opened.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 "Dusk in Sarajevo. Amongst the city's ancient minarets the
13 rockets fall heralding another night of heavy shelling.
14 "In Sarajevo, the crossroads can be lethal, need to be taken at
15 speed. They and the avenues that cut across the city offer the Serb
16 gunners in the hills above with open lines of fire. Flying targets which
17 the old and the infirm are forced to accept as the new uncomfortable
18 realities of life.
19 "Sarajevo's burning, in its heart and in its suburbs.
20 "Zijad Kojundzic is alive because he decided to listen to the
21 4.00 news last Friday afternoon. He left his family sheltering in the
22 cellar and with his son Muris went upstairs. While the news was on, the
23 house was hit by a tank round. This morning, Mr. Kojundzic buried his
24 wife, his daughter, two of his grandchildren and a friend who had come
25 around to their house with some aspirin. The graveyard was shelled while
1 they were there. There isn't a time or a place where the citizens of
2 Sarajevo can feel safe. Some parts of the city are more dangerous than
3 others, but the shelling is indiscriminate and it kills people every day.
4 "The lives of the people of Sarajevo get more difficult all the
5 time. At least half the city is without water. A tap in a burnt-out
6 kiosk near the ruins of the railway station has shorter queues than most
7 because it is overlooked by a sniper. Guns fired with intent to kill are
8 so much a part of the daily routine here that they hardly notice.
9 "Even by the crazed standards of Sarajevo, a horrendous night.
10 Each luminous blob deadly and indiscriminate. Deafening and relentless,
11 artillery and mortar fire speckled with machine-guns and rifle bullets.
12 In the dark places below are over 300.000 citizens enduring a Serbian
13 onslaught, possibly in retaliation for an attempt by the Bosnians to
14 break out from the siege in the past few days.
15 "This is supposed to be a safe area in the making. There was
16 supposed to be a cease-fire, but the shelling has been getting worse for
17 the last 48 hours and today the people of Sarajevo suffered as much as on
18 any day in this war.
19 "When the war was starting, sniping like this would have sent
20 them to their cellars. These days it's different. They know how to take
21 cover, when to wait, and when to run. It's still terrifying and deadly,
22 but like fetching water it's part of the daily grind.
23 "In Sarajevo the horrors are not just heard of but lived through
24 day by day. This is a particularly heavy bombardment of the old city. A
25 single artillery shell fell on a queue of people waiting to pick up water
1 outside the brewery. Eight were killed, 18 seriously injured. Of the
2 dead, three came from one family - the mother and father who were killed
3 instantly and the daughter ...
4 "The UN commander is dispensing calm assurance, but it wasn't
5 being felt at street level just afterwards where people were fleeing from
6 yet another sniper attack. We asked one of them how long it had been
7 going on. 'Two and a half years,' he said.
8 "The efforts to cling to a kind of normality in Sarajevo are
9 being undermined. Not yet driven underground and into shelters, much of
10 the population is at risk. As this morning a shell landing among people
11 walking near the Holiday Inn. With only the occasional random lethal
12 explosion, people are still walking to work, queuing for food or tending
13 their allotments. Taking a chance. But this morning five were injured,
14 two seriously. And there has been sniper fire around the city."
15 MR. GROOME: I've already discussed directive 1, which relates in
16 part to Sarajevo. Other VRS military directives also apply to Sarajevo.
17 These directives contained instructions for the military activities of
18 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
19 Slide 75 depicts two directives.
20 Directive 3 was issued in August of 1992 and signed by Mladic. A
21 portion of that directive is dedicated to the operational objectives of
22 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the VRS or the SRK. Every directive that
23 was issued instructed the SRK to maintain the blockade of Sarajevo:
24 "Keep Sarajevo firmly under blockade and prevent its breaking."
25 Directive 6, issued and signed by Karadzic as supreme commander,
1 was promulgated in November 1993. It also contains instructions for the
2 SRK, including the instruction to:
3 "Use the main body of forces to prevent the deblockade of
5 Throughout the course of the 44-month siege, the blockade of
6 Sarajevo was unbroken. The city remained in the palm of Mladic's hand.
7 The Prosecution will meet its burden on the shelling component of
8 the Siege of Sarajevo in two ways: First, through evidence of Sarajevans
9 and international observers, who will describe significant periods of
10 intense shelling of the city, shelling that for the most part had no
11 identifiable military purpose and in fact was clearly directed at
12 terrorising civilians; second, the Prosecution will meet its burden by
13 leading evidence of a number of specific shelling crimes which are
14 representative of the shelling campaign.
15 I have already described three of the shelling crimes for you.
16 The last shelling incident I will deal with in this opening is one in
17 which a modified air bomb was used. These large, heavy, destructive
18 bombs were designed to be dropped from planes, gravity taking them to
19 their targets. With the imposition of a no-fly zone in October of 1992,
20 such bombs could no longer be used with planes.
21 Steps were taken to modify these bombs so that they could be
22 launched from the hills overlooking Sarajevo. Powerful rocket motors
23 were affixed so that they could be launched from purpose-built launching
24 ramps. Without any mechanism to aim or steer them, these bombs were
25 simply rocketed up into the sky above Sarajevo to fall haphazardly on the
1 city below. These weapons were developed by the Yugoslav army, and
2 Mladic was directly involved in procuring them for use in and around
3 Sarajevo. These large bombs were capable of causing great destruction
4 and were notoriously inaccurate.
5 The victims of modified air bombs were not only those living
6 where they fell, but all those who knew such indiscriminate weapons were
7 being regularly used by the VRS.
8 The Prosecution will lead detailed evidence of three air bomb
9 attacks in the spring of 1995. I will focus on just one. It is briefly
10 described in Schedule G10 of the indictment. On the 7th of April, 1995,
11 a modified air bomb was launched from a VRS launcher and fell onto a
12 residential area in Hrasnica at the foot of Mount Igman.
13 Slide 76 is an order from SRK corps commander,
14 Dragomir Milosevic. Here on the 6th of April, 1995, he issued the
15 following order:
16 "The Ilidza Brigade will immediately prepare a launcher with an
17 aerial bomb and transport the bomb for launching. The most profitable
18 target must be selected in Hrasnica and Sokolovici colony where the
19 greatest casualties and material damage would be inflicted."
20 Slide 77, a report sent to the Main Staff the next day, shows
21 that the order was carried out:
22 "In Ilidza Brigade one 120-millimetre shell was fired and one
23 250-kilogramme aerial bomb was launched at the centre of Hrasnica."
24 This particular bomb destroyed civilians houses, killed one
25 civilian and wounded three others. Ziba Custovic was home drinking her
1 morning coffee when the bomb killed her.
2 Prosecution evidence will establish that the use of heavy weapons
3 was controlled through an established, centralised military hierarchy.
4 The following is an example of the type of document the Prosecution will
5 tender to establish this.
6 Here on slide 78 we can see an order from the Main Staff to the
7 SRK command. The Main Staff retained to itself the authorisation to use
8 heavy weapons, authority which it might delegate to the corps level but
9 no further down the military hierarchy.
10 "VRS Main Staff decides on the use of aerial bombs and possibly a
11 corps if the VRS Main Staff approves so and not a brigade according to
12 its own plan ... in future, they cannot directly address without your
13 approval ..."
14 Later that year on the 7th of November, 1994, Mladic himself
15 would issue an order reserving to himself the decision to use
16 heavy-calibre weapons on civilian targets in Sarajevo.
17 In this order we can see Mladic's direct involvement when it
18 related to civilian targets. He says here in paragraph 3:
19 "I forbid all use of weapons of bigger calibre on civilian
20 targets in Sarajevo without my approval."
21 There can be no doubt that Mladic, subject to Karadzic's
22 authority, controlled the shelling of Sarajevo.
23 As Mladic says to John Wilson, he was going to make Sarajevo
25 "Make sure that your soldiers are aware that Sarajevo is going to
1 shake ... Sarajevo will shake, more shells will fall on per second than
2 in the entire war so far."
3 The command structure of the VRS was well developed and operated
4 efficiently. Mladic was able to use it quickly to stop any shelling or
5 sniping activities that may have been in progress. This ability was
6 demonstrated during the cease-fires when Karadzic and Mladic were able to
7 deliver a cease-fire that had been reached in peace negotiations.
8 Slide 81 is a report from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. It
9 reports that the Main Staff of the VRS has issued a warning for troops
10 not to take any action over Sarajevo because Karadzic has entered into a
11 cease-fire agreement:
12 "We received from the command of the Main Staff of VRS a warning
13 not to act over proper Sarajevo. Act only in the case of necessary
14 self-defence and endangering military defence lines. The warning is
15 issued with regard to the agreement between President Karadzic, UNPROFOR,
16 and our enemy."
17 Command structures were in place for Karadzic and Mladic to
18 start, stop, or modulate the shelling and sniping activity towards
19 Sarajevo. The spigot, to use David Harland's phrase, worked well.
20 Your Honours, I'm about to move to the topic of sniping. May I
21 inquire about the time the Chamber plans to take the next break so I can
22 break accordingly.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, I had on my mind to have the next break
24 at -- in approximately five minutes, but if it would be more suitable to
25 take it now then there's no problem.
1 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll take a break and we'll resume at 25
3 minutes past 12.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 11.54 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.28 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome, are you ready to proceed?
7 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then please do so.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm now going to talk about sniping.
10 Sniping played a different role in the campaign of terror against
11 Sarajevans. The noisy imprecision of the modified air bombs was in
12 contrast to the lethal silence of the sniper's bullet. Sarajevans would
13 hide behind buildings and shipping containers, gathering the courage to
14 dash across a street where others had felled before.
15 In silent perches around the city, VRS soldiers waited in vantage
16 points above the tram line, above paths civilians had to travel to get
17 food, water, fuel for heat, waiting silently, finger poised on the
18 trigger until someone dared to rush in front of the cross-hairs of a
20 The main street running along the Miljacka River became so famous
21 for the number of shootings that it was called Sniper's Alley.
22 One of these snipers will appear before you and provide evidence
23 of this aspect of the campaign of terror. He will describe his orders to
24 shoot at anything that moved down below his perch. Other witnesses will
25 provide evidence of how snipers were trained and how the activity of
1 snipers around the city was co-ordinated.
2 Today Nermin Divovic would be 25. Back on the
3 18th of November, 1994, he was 7, growing up in a Sarajevo under siege.
4 Nermin was returning with his mother and sister from collecting firewood.
5 As they crossed a street on their way home, a sniper aligned his rifle
6 towards Nermin's mother. His bullet passed through her abdomen and
7 struck Nermin, who had been walking beside her. The sniper's bullet
8 struck his head causing a catastrophic and mortal injury. The little boy
9 dropped dead onto the pavement below his mother's feet.
10 She thought he was simply doing what she had taught him to do,
11 lie down when you hear gun-fire:
12 "I was at the first crossing. My girl crossed - ran across and I
13 stayed behind with Nermin, and I just saw that my boy fell down, and
14 because I would always tell him, Son, when there's shooting, lie down,
15 and I didn't realise that he was wounded until UNPROFOR put him behind
16 the bushes. At that moment I wasn't aware my little boy was killed."
17 Slide 83 is a picture from a sniper's nest. Over the course of
18 the case the Prosecution will tender photos from a number of snipers'
19 nests. What these and other pictures will make clear is that sniping in
20 Sarajevo was often from close distances, sometimes a matter of a few
21 hundred metres. Mladic's use of snipers in the context of the attack on
22 the civilian population was not at all like the use of snipers in armed
23 conflict. It was a strategy of shooting civilians from a hiding spot,
24 giving them no warning or reasonable prospect of taking cover. It was
25 about creating insecurity, about creating terror.
1 Here is a photo from another sniper's nest. The photographer did
2 not use any magnification in taking the picture and took the photo to
3 depict the edges of the hole where the barrel went through. You can get
4 some sense of the scale and the proximity of the tram there just below
5 the sniper's nest.
6 The Prosecution will also tender documentary evidence regarding
7 sniping. Here in slide 85 an intelligence officer from the
8 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the VRS states:
9 "Sniping is to be stopped only by orders and the inner
10 organisation and accordingly by taking of adequate measures."
11 It specifically notes that the final decision on any measures
12 related to sniping would be taken by the corps commander.
13 John Jordan was a volunteer fireman for the US who travelled to
14 Sarajevo to help fellow firefighters after seeing them being sniped as
15 they tried to put out fires, to assist people who had been injured. He
16 made the following observations:
17 "What excuse can there be for shooting a firefighter while he's
18 trying to put out a residential fire? What reason can there be for
19 shelling water lines, bread lines, places with no military purpose? I
20 can't remember a time when we weren't picking up wounded and dead people.
21 The thing I noticed about certain attacks was that Serb shooters would
22 often go after the youngest in the family ... in a crowd of girls, it
23 seemed that the most attractive would be shot. It seemed that there was
24 something very personal, almost grudge attacks, doing whatever would
25 cause the most pain to the survivors."
1 On the 15th of August, 1994, Ratko Mladic spent part of the day
2 driving Milan Lesic, a supporter from Canada, around Eastern Bosnia.
3 Lesic's video recorded some of their travels and his conversation with
5 They are driving down a road that reminded Mladic that his men
6 had once cleared that road of barricades using chain-saws and tanks.
7 Mladic turns the conversation to Sarajevo and how sniper fire disrupted
8 the traffic there.
9 Slide 87 is a still from that video showing Mladic as he drives
10 the car. He says:
11 "And whenever I come by Sarajevo, I kill someone in passing.
12 That's why the traffic for Sarajevo was disrupted ... snipers. I go,
13 kick the hell out of the Turks."
14 This statement was captured on the video recording. The camera
15 is pointing out of the car or at his dashboard, but it is what Mr. Mladic
16 says that we are most interested in. I will ask Ms. Stewart to play the
17 video now.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
20 "Now I will drive you as if you were a director.
21 "On this road?
22 "On this road, but I fucked them. I led them there, made a mask,
23 and then we cleaned up the barricades here with chain-saws, this all had
24 been blocked. And then we brought tanks here and kicked the hell out of
25 the Turks.
1 "Kicked the hell out of them?
2 "And whenever I come by Sarajevo, I kill someone in passing.
3 That's why the traffic for Sarajevo was disrupted. I go kick the hell
4 out of the Turks, who gives a fuck for them! Somehow I and my have
5 to ... I don't know whether you kill that kind over there in Canada and
6 America, you ought to kill these Ustashas there and those who support
7 them and ours as well as those who collaborate those with them.
8 "Yes, those should be first."
9 MR. GROOME: Mladic talks about personally sniping the people of
10 Sarajevo as if it were a sport, a form of recreation. For the many
11 injured, killed, for the thousands who crossed the street each day, sent
12 their children to school not knowing if the day would end in tragedy, it
13 was not recreation.
14 The combined effect of indiscriminate shelling and the sniping of
15 civilians was a persistent fog of terror that permeated the lives of all
16 who lived through it.
17 During the siege between April 1992 until November 1995, those
18 who lived in Sarajevo lived with the ever-present reality that serious
19 injury or death awaited them each minute, each time they stepped out from
20 a building, each time they put their children to bed. Walking wasn't
21 safe, driving wasn't safe, the tram wasn't safe, your home wasn't safe.
22 This terror designed by Karadzic and Mladic and visited upon Sarajevo was
23 the grim reality for Sarajevans during the siege.
24 The first strategic objective, ethnic separation.
25 The first and most important strategic objective was its
1 demographic one: Ethnic separation, ensuring that the lands controlled
2 by Bosnian Serbs were devoid of Muslims and Croats.
3 Slide 90 is a document from the 1st Krajina Corps less than ten
4 days after the formation of the VRS.
5 "... Serbian people ... must struggle for complete separation
6 from the Muslim and Croatian peoples and form their own state."
7 The Bosnian Serb army Main Staff co-ordinated the removal of
8 people ethnically cleansed from their homes. Slide 91 shows a report
9 from the Drina Corps to the VRS Main Staff. On the
10 31st of January, 1993, here the Zvornik Brigade opened a corridor for ten
11 hours so that those ethnically cleansed from their homes in
12 Eastern Bosnia could leave the area.
13 Slide 92 is a UN report from October 1992. It demonstrates that
14 the clear pattern of killing, rape, and destruction of homes made clear
15 that ethnic cleansing was the purpose of military action and not the
16 unintended consequence:
17 "Ethnic cleansing does not appear to be the consequence of the
18 war but rather its goal. This goal, to a large extent, has already been
19 achieved through killings, beatings, rape, destruction of houses and
20 threats ... hundreds of thousands of people being forced to leave their
21 homes and to abandon their belongings in order to save their lives."
22 Here in slide 93 Mladic is told that people were being evicted.
23 There can be no question of people fleeing war. This is the forcible
24 removal of people from their homes. Mladic notes:
25 "We were most active in evicting the Muslims, we had brought
1 peace to Sepak, Divic, and Kozluk. Some of them wanted to move out, and
2 we also demanded it."
3 Kozluk was a town north of Zvornik. The Muslim population had
4 turned over all weapons and agreed to recognise the new Serb authorities.
5 This entry is a reference to the day buses arrived and every single
6 person in Kozluk was made to board the bus. They were transported
7 through Serbia to the Hungarian border.
8 Earlier I showed you an entry from Mladic's notebook regarding
9 the progress of ethnic cleansing in Bratunac. Here on slide 94 is
10 another entry regarding Bratunac in which Mladic notes that there are no
11 Muslims in Bratunac, the town is considered fully liberated.
12 Another way Bosnian Serb leaders sought to make ethnic cleansing
13 permanent was the destruction of religious and cultural property. In
14 some cases churches and mosques were destroyed and in some cases the land
15 was paved for parking-lots, or other buildings were erected on the site.
16 The Prosecution will limit its evidence regarding the destruction
17 of religious and cultural property to the destruction in 11
18 municipalities. But even from this limited presentation, the Chamber
19 will be able to conclude that such destruction was part of a campaign of
21 One of the most important tools for ethnic cleansing was the
22 co-ordinated system of gathering non-Serbs, concentrating them in
23 detention centres, and ultimately ejecting them from Bosnian Serb-held
25 Bosnian Serb leaders established a system of ejecting non-Serbs
1 under the misnomer of exchanges. From the outset this system was created
2 to include the detention and forcible removal of civilians from targeted
3 territory. On the 8th of May, 1992, a central commission for the
4 exchange of prisoners was established and immediately began the process
5 of organising the collection of prisoners, both military and civilian,
6 and in ensuring, at least in the case of civilian detainees, that they
7 were removed to areas that were not targeted by Serbs.
8 Slide 95 shows a document from the Bosnian Serb police dated the
9 2nd of July, 1992. The document makes clear two things: First, that in
10 the overall enterprise the Bosnian Serb army is to play a prominent role
11 in the capture of as many Muslim civilians as possible; and second, that
12 the detention camps that these people are to be placed in, these camps do
13 not observe international norms:
14 "The army, Crisis Staffs, and War Presidencies have requested
15 that the army round up or capture as many Muslim civilians as possible
16 and they leave such undefined camps to internal affairs organs. The
17 conditions in some of these camps are poor: There is no food,
18 individuals sometimes do not observe international norms, et cetera."
19 Bosnian Serb leaders created a co-ordinated system through which
20 non-Serbs could be gathered, counted them, prevented them from resettling
21 in Serb-conquered areas, and either killed them or permanently ejected
23 Slide 96 illustrates the role these detention facilities played
24 in ethnic cleansing. This slide refers to the detention facility known
25 as Kula. It is described in indictment Schedule C8.1.
1 Here a member of the of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps on the
2 17th of June, 1992, is expressing concern that the camp is being used to
3 separate civilians according to their ethnicity. You will see that such
4 cautions were ignored and the crimes in Kula went on for about two and a
5 half years after this report was filed.
6 Each municipality had its own local system for detaining
7 non-Serbs. Impromptu detention centres were set up in police stations,
8 local schools, factories, garages, as needed; places like Karaman's house
9 in Foca or the elementary school in Kalinovik. Here detainees were
10 brutalised, tortured, and many detainees were killed.
11 Soon larger facilities were established. These facilities served
12 as regional detention facilities and received prisoners from municipal
13 authorities, facilities such as Batkovic, Kula. The most notorious of
14 these camps, Omarska and Keraterm in Prijedor were run by
15 Republika Srpska police officers with VRS personnel providing security
16 around the perimeter.
17 The VRS also directly established some camps. Manjaca camp in
18 Banja Luka, Batkovic camp near Bijeljina were both established by the
19 VRS. Susica camp in Vlasenica was established by an order signed by a
20 Mayor Andric.
21 Here on slide 97 we can see the actual order by Mladic relating
22 to the establishment of Manjaca camp. You will hear from Osman Selak, a
23 former colonel in the Yugoslav Army, who was present on the
24 1st of June, 1992, when Colonel Momir Talic issued the order to establish
25 Manjaca. Talic's order to establish Manjaca on the 1st of June was
1 formalised by this order issued on the 12th of June. I will pause for a
2 moment to allow you to read it.
3 Dr. Enes Sabanovic will describe the routine physical abuse and
4 inhumane conditions at Manjaca. As a doctor detained in the camp, he was
5 forced to falsify death certificates, covering up the murders of inmates.
6 Your Honours, I'm going to ask Ms. Stewart to play a video from a
7 news report on Manjaca camp. Although the reporter speaks English, the
8 sound has deteriorated over the years. We have added English subtitles
9 to assist you in understanding what the reporter is saying.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 "Shed which in better days might have housed animals now it homes
12 more than 600 men. Here, the prisoners live, eat and sleep 24 hours a
13 day. Most of these men just arrived three days ago from the camp at
14 Omarska. Their faces still haunted by memories they did not dare relate
15 in the presence of their guards. Conditions here, they told him, things
16 are much better than the place they had just come from.
17 "The Serb leadership is under tremendous pressure to allow
18 outsiders access to these camps. The proposed UN resolution would
19 authorise any means necessary to implement that access as well as
20 guarantee the supply of humanitarian aid ... prisoners we asked maintain
21 they were civilians not soldiers. Those we saw were crammed into cattle
22 sheds where they expend all day and all night huddled together like ..."
23 MR. GROOME: There can be no doubt that Mladic and his
24 subordinates who ran some of these camps or participated in the operation
25 of others were fully aware of what was taking place there.
1 In this report on slide 99, we can see that the officials in
2 Manjaca fully appreciated the illegality of these facilities and the role
3 they played in ethnic cleansing:
4 "This camp can be considered as a detention camp, that is, a camp
5 for the segregation of Muslims and Croats which history will not forgive
7 In fact, in many cases detaining these prisoners served a dual
8 purpose for the Bosnian Serb leaders. In addition to facilitating the
9 ethnic cleansing, these detention camps in some instances gathered people
10 to be used as hostages. As Zupljanin noted in slide 100:
11 "The third category is composed of adult men about whom the
12 service does not have any information of security interest for us so far.
13 Therefore, they can be used as hostages."
14 All of these camps were part of a system for the detention and
15 mistreatment of non-Serbs targeted in the ethnic cleansing campaign. The
16 camps were integral to the overall project of taking land from non-Serbs
17 who lived there.
18 These detention camps were places of great suffering. Food was
19 insufficient, sanitation was often rudimentary and inadequate,
20 insufficient for the large number of prisoners. Detainees were often the
21 subject of regular beatings, torture, rape, and other crimes of sexual
22 violence and murder.
23 The conditions were inhumane. They would have been insufficient
24 to sustain farm animals, let alone humans.
25 In addition to the inhumane conditions, prisoners were regularly
1 beaten, sometimes so extreme as to result in death.
2 I would now like to play a video depicting men detained at
3 Trnopolje. There is some inaudible speech in the video. There is no
4 translation and the Prosecution is relying only on the images and not on
5 what the prisoners are saying.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 MR. GROOME: In one night alone in July 1992 at the Keraterm camp
8 in Prijedor, approximately 150 men were murdered. That same month about
9 150 men were killed at Omarska. Approximately 140 Susica prisoners were
10 killed on a single occasion in September 1992.
11 Survivors of these camps will describe conditions in those camps
12 that are simply beyond the realm of our experience. An excerpt of the
13 evidence of RM008 is now on the screen in slide 102. He was a witness to
14 the massacre of 150 men in Keraterm in what is referred to as the Room 3
16 "Q. Do you know how many people were eventually detained in
17 Room no. 3 at Keraterm?
18 "A. Once when they were counted, it was 570. People were packed
19 like sardines. And there was... perspiration. There was condensation on
20 the walls, so it was very hot and people licked those walls to get
21 something because there was no water."
22 None of us can imagine conditions so harsh, none of us can
23 imagine a thirst so vicious that it would drive someone to lick condensed
24 sweat off a wall.
25 I would like to conclude my remarks on the detention camps by
1 showing you a map of the major camps in the indictment. Slide 103
2 indicates the location of the major detention centres in which the people
3 taken prisoner in the municipalities and first kept at smaller detention
4 sites were sent. As you can see in the area of the second strategic
5 objective, there are Omarska, Keraterm, Trnopolje, and Manjaca. In the
6 area of the third strategic objective, there are Batkovic, Vlasenica,
7 Rasadnik, and KP Dom. Kula was outside Sarajevo. This was an integrated
8 system of detention and mistreatment specifically designed to help
9 realise the strategic objectives.
10 Consider the case of RM041 who had the misfortune of being held
11 in six different facilities. His path has been traced on slide 103. He
12 began in the local Veljko Vlahovic school detention centre in Rogatica
13 and then was transferred to Rasadnik, then to the police station in
14 Zvornik, on to Batkovic, back to Rasadnik, and finally on to Kula, from
15 which he was ultimately released.
16 Other witnesses will describe their journey through the camp
17 system, moving through several of the large camps in the Krajina and
18 ultimately escaping or being released alive if they were fortunate.
19 The prisoners in these camps were used as a source of forced
20 labour, in some cases being forced to engage in work in dangerous battle
21 zones. Some of the transfers between camps was done to meet labour
22 needs. During the trial, the Prosecution will tender military documents
23 setting out in greater detail this system.
24 The hostage crisis.
25 The last component of the Prosecution case arises from the
1 hostage crisis in 1995, an incident in which UN peacekeepers were taken
2 hostage by members of the VRS.
3 On the 31st of August, 1994, the German weekly "Der Spiegel"
4 published an interview with Radovan Karadzic. You can see an excerpt
5 from it on slide 104 -- I'm sorry, 105, if we could advance to that
7 In that interview he was explicit about his intention to order
8 the taking of hostages and in particular UN personnel referred to in the
9 article as "blue helmets."
10 Karadzic, acting together with Mladic, went through with this
11 threat and it is the subject of Count 11 of the indictment, the war crime
12 of taking hostages.
13 I would like to return to Sarajevo in order to provide you some
14 background on the hostage crisis, that period between the 26th of May and
15 the 19th of June, 1995, when Mladic's forces took over 200 UN
16 peacekeepers hostage.
17 The 16th of May, 1995, the VRS commenced some of its heaviest
18 shelling of Sarajevo, certainly since 1993. In May 1995, there were
19 seven teams of UN military observers stationed across the city. Their
20 job was to monitor military activity. This entailed, in part, counting
21 the shells fired into Sarajevo. On this day, 17 years ago, in response
22 to a Bosnian army mortar attack on the VRS Lukavica barracks, over 1.500
23 detonations were recorded in Sarajevo. Over 1.500 shells sent into the
24 city by the Bosnian Serb army. On the 24th of May General Rupert Smith,
25 the UNPROFOR commander, gave Karadzic and Mladic an ultimatum to cease
1 the heavy weapons bombardment.
2 They refused to comply and in response NATO planes attacked two
3 Bosnian Serb ammunition depots. The VRS responded by preventing some UN
4 military observers from leaving their posts and by removing others and
5 detaining them at different locations.
6 The VRS abducted 33 more UN personnel from observation posts
7 around Gorazde. In Sarajevo dozens of UNPROFOR members were taken
8 hostage between the 26th and 27th of May.
9 Here on slide 106 a peacekeeper describes the matter-of-fact way
10 in which he was taken hostage:
11 "The officer, in a very decisive tone, said that from then on he
12 was in charge that we -- he said exactly that, from that very moment, we
13 were being taken hostage by the army."
14 The VRS also used UN hostages and their uniforms to raid and take
15 control of additional UN observation posts and to capture additional
16 hostages. By the end of May over 200 UN personnel were in the VRS
17 custody with at least 17 of them being used as human shields to protect
18 VRS installations from further air-strikes. One such UNMO was filmed by
19 local television tied to a radar station. When he was brought to the
20 site he overheard some of his captors say that Mladic wanted UN personnel
21 to be filmed at the radar site.
22 The UN personnel were held by force or by the threat of force.
23 Most were kept incommunicado from their superior command. Some were
24 beaten, physically mistreated, or threatened.
25 On the 26th of May, Mr. Mladic spoke with General Nikolaj and
1 General Rupert Smith. On slide number 107 you can see an excerpt from
2 this conversation. In this particular portion of the conversation,
3 Mladic acknowledges that UNPROFOR personnel have been placed at
4 installations that were targeted in NATO air-strikes:
5 "I have been informed that you are holding in detention eight of
6 my unarmed UN observers, and also that three of them are tied to an
7 ammunition fence in Pale. And also that by your order these men will be
8 killed in case there will be new air-strikes ...
9 "Mladic: I have been informed that some UNPROFOR representatives
10 have been located at objects which were targeted by General Smith
11 yesterday and today."
12 In this next slide we can see more of the conversation. In this
13 particular excerpt it is put directly to Mladic:
14 "Have threats been expressed that these people will be killed?
15 Did you, General Mladic, threaten them like that?"
16 Mladic responded:
17 "General Smith has no right to question me ... I am expecting new
18 air-strikes. I hope that you have been informed that my answer will be
19 the death rattle."
20 Smith and Nikolaj were confused:
21 "I don't know what you are talking about."
22 Mladic then said:
23 "Let him bombard and he will know ..."
24 On the 26th of May, Mladic made direct threats to Smith that he
25 would harm eight UN military observers taken hostage.
1 On the 28th of May, Mladic confirmed to Smith that some of the
2 captured UN personnel were being held at his own headquarters as well as
3 other locations the VRS believed were potential targets of NATO planes.
4 Slide 109 shows this particular passage indicating that Mladic held
5 hostages at his own headquarters in an effort to keep it from being
7 "General Smith, you are responsible for what has happened. You
8 started killing by NATO aviation ... we are treating UNPROFOR soldiers
9 correctly and humanely. It is true we have placed them at certain
10 locations, starting from my HQ and so on, which we assessed that you
11 would decide to cover in a carpet of NATO bombs. But except for a few
12 cases, we have treated them correctly."
13 The hostages were held until the first -- until the first were
14 released on the 2nd of June, 1995, a process that continued until the
15 19th of June.
16 Earlier today I spoke about the situation in the eastern
17 enclaves, the UN safe areas. I told you about General Morillon's plea to
18 Mladic to resist the urge to ethnically cleanse them. I told you about
19 Mladic 's threat to David Harland to kill everyone but the children in
20 these eastern enclaves.
21 The next segment of the opening statement, Your Honour, concerns
22 Srebrenica and will be given by Mr. Peter McCloskey. We are ahead of the
23 time that -- we are taking less time than we thought to make our opening
24 statement. And if it's convenient to the Court, we would be able to
25 complete -- adjourn here for the today and complete the remainder of the
1 opening statement tomorrow. Or should the Chamber wish, after a short
2 break, we can rearrange the podium and continue forward today.
3 Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Groome.
5 We were informed that Mr. McCloskey would need approximately two
6 hours; is that correct?
7 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And then for an unspecified time you would deal with
9 some legal matters?
10 MR. GROOME: I think approximately 30 to 45 minutes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that in approximately the first two
12 sessions tomorrow you would be able to conclude?
13 MR. GROOME: Possibly, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because then if anything would come up which
15 would require further time, practical matters, administrative matters, we
16 would still have time for that?
17 MR. GROOME: I believe that's the case, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, under those circumstances, your request that
19 Mr. McCloskey start tomorrow is hereby granted.
20 Before we adjourn, one small observation. Mr. Groome, you now
21 and then quoted from material which was then played after that. Your
22 quotes even when you said you quote literally were not always exactly the
23 same. There was one which I would like to put on the record.
24 At page 56, line 22, you were quoting from a -- what was reported
25 as a conversation in a vehicle Mr. Mladic would have had with Mr. Lesic.
1 The line was:
2 "And whenever I come by Sarajevo I killed."
3 That is how you quoted it. Whereas on page 57, line 13, it's not
4 the past but it's in the present. There it reads:
5 "And whenever I come by Sarajevo, I kill."
6 I'd like to put that on the record. It might be a mistake or a
7 slip of the tongue.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, it was just a misstatement, I did
9 intend to say "kill," not the past tense.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it was recorded as "killed."
11 Then I'm looking at my colleagues. If there's nothing else at
12 this moment, we can adjourn. We will adjourn for the day and we will
13 resume tomorrow, the 17th of May, at 9.00 in the morning, this same
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.13 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 17th day of
17 May, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.