1 Friday, 26 April 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.38 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. Madam Registrar, would
6 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 Today we find ourselves again in a situation where for urgent
11 personal reasons Judge Fluegge is unable to sit, and Judge Moloto and
12 myself have decided that it's in the interest of justice to continue to
13 hear the case. We are still confident that this will not take longer
14 than five days. Therefore, we'll proceed.
15 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom. There are no
16 preliminaries as far as I'm aware of.
17 Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honour,
19 everyone. As you recall, you asked me to consider the correctness of a
20 citation yesterday made by Mr. Ivetic, and it was -- in fact, I can
21 confirm it was a correct citation to the Popovic judgement -- or excuse
22 me, the Popovic transcript.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's hereby on the record.
24 Mr. Ivetic, as I understood, you would finish within half an hour
25 let's say.
1 MR. IVETIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. van Duijn.
5 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you again that you're still bound
7 by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your
9 WITNESS: LEENDERT VAN DUIJN [Resumed]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic will now continue his cross-examination
11 and he announced, just for you to know, he will need about half an hour.
12 Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
13 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]
15 Q. Sir, yesterday we left off at the incident on the 12th of July
16 when there was an encounter that you described between General Mladic and
17 the Muslim interpreter for Bravo Company that had been acting as your
18 interpreter during the day, and I want to ask you prior to that time, how
19 long had you been operating in a heightened state of stress and how
20 little or how much sleep had you gotten?
21 A. From the evening of the 9th that I went to the blocking position,
22 until then of course I was working in stressful situations, and I think
23 during those days and nights I had some cat-naps, so a few hours of sleep
24 in total, I think.
25 Q. And now talking about this Muslim UN interpreter, do you know
1 would the same or similar likely have been true for him at that point in
3 A. I don't really know.
4 Q. At page 42 of P1154, your Rule 92 ter statement, you describe the
5 Muslim interpreter after the encounter, and I'd like to direct to that if
6 I may. I apologise, one page prior. And at lines 12 through 15 you
7 state the following:
8 "He was incredibly scared, shivering, literally shivering all of
9 his body. And he was actually so scared that I decided to take [sic] him
10 back escorted -- let him be escorted back to the compound because he was
11 not able to be there any more."
12 Do you consider that given the circumstances and the condition
13 that the interpreter was in that the exact words of General Mladic may
14 have been somewhat haphazardly interpreted to you?
15 JUDGE ORIE: You're asking for expert opinion, more or less,
16 Mr. Ivetic. We will ask the witness to answer the question, but just for
17 you to be aware of.
18 THE WITNESS: I really don't know, but in the way the interpreter
19 spoke to me during the conversation, it didn't seem to me that he was in
20 a different state of mind than he was during the day-time, and during
21 that day he did all the interpreting for me. So I had no -- no reason to
22 doubt that his interpretations were different from what he had done the
23 rest of the day.
24 MR. IVETIC:
25 Q. Thank you for that. And just for the record, you at that point
1 in time did not have any ability or knowledge to speak the Serbo-Croatian
2 language; is that accurate?
3 A. That's accurate. Only a few words but no sentence or whatsoever.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You can't eat your cake and have it, Mr. Ivetic.
5 Either you ask the witness whether he was able to assess the accuracy of
6 the translation under the circumstance and then to say, Well, but you
7 didn't know the language, is a bit problematic for the Chamber.
8 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, I wasn't asking to assess the
9 translation. I was asking did he consider, did the witness consider the
10 circumstances to have had an effect on the translator such that he did
11 not have faith in the translation. That's what I was asking him. I was
12 asking this witness what he --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and then he said I didn't consider the
14 translation any different or any doubts, and then you said but you don't
15 speak the language. That's actually the gist of what you're doing. But
16 please continue.
17 MR. IVETIC: We'll get to how the translator was translating the
18 rest of the day, Your Honours.
19 Q. Now, are you aware, sir, that someone that same day had shot some
20 weapon rounds at General Mladic in Srebrenica trying to kill him?
21 A. No, I haven't heard about that, no.
22 Q. At the time that you asked the interpreter to approach
23 General Mladic, the interpreter was dressed in civilian clothing and
24 without any UN soldiers accompanying him; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Was General Mladic surrounded by his bodyguards or standing away
2 from them?
3 A. I think his bodyguards were not close to him at that point.
4 Q. Now, I appreciate at the time you didn't think or consider it,
5 but looking back at the situation now, do you perhaps concede that it was
6 a risky decision sending the translator dressed in civilian clothes
7 without any UN soldiers to talk directly to General Mladic such that he
8 could be considered as a potential threat to the safety of General Mladic
9 by him or by the bodyguards?
10 A. No, looking back, I think also the physical condition and the
11 appearance of the translator I would say that looking back I would still
12 think it was very risky situation for the translator to do that. That's
13 why he also hesitated. And the whole situation was a risky one also for
14 myself, of course, but looking back, no, I don't think there was any
15 threat coming from the translator.
16 Q. And did the translator ever tell you exactly what he had told
17 General Mladic when he approached him, the actual words that were
19 A. No, I don't recall that.
20 Q. Now, with the assistance of my colleagues on the other side, I'd
21 like to show you a short video-clip. For the record it will be part of
22 P1147, and I believe the Prosecution should have the first clip. It's
23 from 00:23:30 to 00:23:54. It's a short 20-odd second clip. And, sir,
24 as you watch this clip with me I'd like you to pay particular attention
25 to the translator who is doing the translation and also the subtitles of
1 the translations so that we can see what is being said here and then I'll
2 save my questions for afterwards, and I want to find out if this
3 translator is the Muslim translator that we have been talking about. So
4 if we could please play the clip.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 "He says that all -- all of the people [indiscernible]."
7 MR. IVETIC:
8 Q. Now, sir, having played the clip, were you able to identify the
9 translator who is providing translation between Lieutenant Koster and
10 General Mladic as being the Muslim translator that we have been talking
11 up until now?
12 A. He is not the Muslim interpreter that was interpreting for me.
13 Q. Okay. Fair enough. And now I'd like to look at P1148, which is
14 the Srebrenica stills book. We're moving on to another topic.
15 Just for the record, I think it was evident that the -- from
16 looking at the subtitles and the transcript of the video that that
17 particular interpreter which is not the one that we're talking about was
18 incorrectly interpreting between Lieutenant Koster and General Mladic.
19 But now I'd like to move on to stills book and we looked at page 105 in
20 the hard copy which is page 117 in e-court.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, I can imagine that you want to put on
22 the record that the Defence has concern about the accuracy rather than
23 that you testified that it was not okay.
24 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, that's correct.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's what you wanted to say.
1 MR. IVETIC: Yes, thank you for that correction.
2 JUDGE ORIE: That's now clear on the record.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. IVETIC:
5 Q. Sir, looking at this page of the stills book, is this a --
6 there's yourself to the right and the gentleman with the number 2 on his
7 chest. Is this a picture of the person that you have referred as to the
8 translator Miki?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Now, do you see the identifications on the bottom of this page
11 identifying both Miki and the individual to the left as being members of
12 the police? Was that your understanding at the time that Miki was a
13 policeman rather than an official translator?
14 A. I think at that time they told me that he was not an official
15 translator but could speak English and he could ...
16 Q. I apologise. Are you done? I thought you were going to say
17 something after "he could," or ...
18 A. He could speak English. That was -- yeah.
19 Q. Now I'd like to review a part of the Popovic trial transcript
20 with you to see if it is accurately reciting something in relation to
21 this encounter. I'd call up 1D897 and ask for page 55 in e-court, which
22 correlates to page 2366 of the Popovic transcript and if we can begin
23 with line 17. Oops, actually -- yes, 17. And if you could follow along,
25 "Q. [Interpretation] Major, I think that yesterday we froze the
1 footage at this precise frame. You recognise Mane, you recognise the
2 interpreter Miki, and you are also in the shot. Can you see the
3 subtitles on this frame, where they say, 'And to check and see whether
4 anybody wants to go. It's their job.'
5 "Since we cannot determine from the subtitles who is saying
6 what, whose words they are, can we please confirm the following: These
7 words are directed by Captain Mane to the interpreter Miki, is that
8 right, so that he could interpret them to you. Is that the right
9 interpretation of what we are seeing here?
10 "A. From what I saw in the video clipping, that is the correct
11 course of events.
12 "Q. Thank you very much.
13 "Judge Agius: If you want to -- a couple of seconds, I think it
14 will be clear. Because you here a voice calling Miki and then it
15 continues from there.
16 Then they play the video-tape.
17 "Judge Agius: I think it's clear enough.
18 "Mr. Lazarevic: Yes, I think so.
19 "Judge Agius: Thank you.
20 "Mr. Lazarevic:
21 "Q. Mane says to Miki to tell you that you should see whether
22 there was anyone else who wished to leave. Does this refer to the
23 refugees who were there?
24 "A. If I read the subtitles, it would refer to the refugees, but
25 if I remember correctly, this phrase was not translated to me by Miki.
1 "Q. No. Thank you. So it's more or less what's being said. But
2 actually, what I'm interested in is that you did have problems with
3 interpretation, especially when this man named Miki was interpreting?
4 "A. I don't have a way to control if Miki was telling exactly
5 what Mane was -- wanted to tell me because I don't speak Serbo-Croatian.
6 "Q. Right. So you're saying you can't be 100 per cent sure that
7 what Miki said was perfectly exactly interpreted by -- sorry, that what
8 Mane said was perfectly interpreted by Miki?"
9 And the answer's on the next page:
10 "A. No, I don't have to have a way or did not have a way there to
11 control it, but I'm sure that if things would go in a different way than
12 Mane wanted, he would have objected and would have told Miki that he
13 wanted it otherwise. But I don't have a way to control if it was the
14 exact or perfect translation that Mane wanted."
15 Now, sir, does this selection accurately and truthful comport
16 with your memory of the testimony that you gave in the Popovic trial?
17 A. It's accurate and truthful, yes.
18 Q. Okay. And if I understand correctly, these words from Mane or
19 anything resembling these words were never passed along to you by Miki or
20 were incorrectly translated to you Miki. Is that -- is that accurate?
21 A. I do not remember that sentence, that specific sentence, and
22 especially the part where Mane says "It's their job." I do not remember
23 that that sentence was translated to me.
24 Q. Fair enough. And now I'd again with the assistance of the
25 Office of the Prosecutor, I'd like to play a clip from the video-tape.
1 This will be the third clip that I had announced. That is from
2 V-009267-1-A, from 00:05:47 to 00:06:40. And if we can play the clip the
3 question I would ask you to keep in mind, sir, is: Is this the segment
4 that you recall was the subject of this discussion in the Popovic trial.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. And so, sir, now having viewed the video is this the video
8 segment that was the subject of this exchange in the Popovic trial that
9 we've just went through?
10 A. Yes, as I can see it it's that part, yeah.
11 Q. And as you went with the interpreter towards the water truck,
12 Mane did not come with you; is that correct?
13 A. I do not remember Mane as seen there, no.
14 Q. Would you agree that now looking back at the situation and the
15 actual words that were spoken now having been translated by professional
16 translators, that there was a lot of room for misinterpretation and error
17 for English-speaking persons relying upon this translator at the site?
18 A. And when you speak about this translator you refer to Miki?
19 Q. Miki.
20 A. There -- there could be some room for other interpretation by
21 Miki, yes.
22 Q. And just to be clear, was Miki the person who interpreted the
23 words of Mane at the white house in relation to the passports?
24 A. Yes, that's true.
25 Q. And now I'd like to play one more clip with the help of the
1 Office of the Prosecutor, and it would be the second clip that I had
2 announced which is, for the record, part of P1147. It is the video
3 V-000-9266-1-A, and it begins at 00:23:54 and goes until 00:24:29. And I
4 want to urge to pay attention to the words being spoken by General Mladic
5 to the refugees, and if we could play the clip then.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 MR. IVETIC:
8 Q. Now, sir, are these words uttered by General Mladic to the
9 civilian refugees and their responses to him something that you were made
10 aware of or witnessed in Potocari; that is to say, did the translators
11 provide you with such information about how Mladic was addressing the
12 crowd of refugees?
13 A. I have not heard about this, no.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, sir, for answering my questions.
16 Your Honours, I have completed my cross-examination.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
18 Mr. McCloskey, any need for further questions?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. van Duijn, since the Bench has no further
21 questions for you either, this concludes your testimony. I'd like to
22 thank you very much and often I say coming from far away, but that
23 perhaps not applies to you, but I thank you nevertheless for coming to
24 this courtroom and for having answered all the questions that were put to
25 you by the parties and by the Bench. And even if it's a short distance I
1 wish you safe return home again.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, is the Prosecution ready to call its
6 next witness?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I believe we have the
8 continuing cross-examination of Mr. Ruez, who should be behind me.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the witness be escorted into the
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Ruez. Mr. Ruez, perhaps needless
13 to say, but of course you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've
14 given at the beginning of your testimony that you will speak the truth,
15 the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: JEAN-RENE RUEZ [Resumed]
17 JUDGE ORIE: The cross-examination will now be continued.
18 Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Ruez.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. Let's resume, and I'll call up your exhibit in e-court, P1132.
24 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic and the parties, the witness was provided
1 with a list of names and numbers, and I do understand -- I don't know
2 whether you want to use it, but the witness doesn't have it at his
3 disposition at this moment, so if there's any need to use, I would say,
4 the codes, then he should be provided with it. Again, if there's no
5 need --
6 MR. LUKIC: I'm not aware for now that I'm going to use the list.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that a copy has been provided to the
8 witness, so if there is any need for him to refer to any of those
9 persons, then he now has the tool he needs for that.
10 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. We are still waiting for P1132. And
11 we'll need page 77.
12 Q. It's page 58 in your book if you want to use hard copy.
13 A. It's okay.
14 Q. [Interpretation] What we can see here is an aerial image of
15 Nova Kasaba. The markings indicate the areas that can be seen in the
16 next image. The date here is the 13th of July, 1995. And we need the
17 next page, page 78 in e-court.
18 Here an indication is made of soil disturbance. We can see that
19 it's the 27th of July, 1995, and it's another aerial image.
20 There are no survivors from these sites, no survivors of possible
21 executions; right?
22 A. This is right. There are no survivors.
23 Q. Is it also correct that one cannot rule out the possibility that
24 these people or some of them were killed in combat?
25 A. Do you want my personal opinion?
1 Q. I don't want your opinion. I want the information that your
2 investigation team arrived at. Was this a possibility that could be
3 ruled out as a result of your investigation?
4 A. So I will in the shortest possible explain you what the
5 investigation tells us about this site. One witness who was a trying to
6 escape from this large hill and cross the asphalt road was hiding himself
7 at the bottom of an electric pylon and had a sight in between two houses.
8 From there he could see two armoured vehicles on the road. He saw the
9 first group of 30 people marched on a meadow where they were lined up.
10 Men equipped with automatic rifles stood on the APCs and shot this group.
11 This witness stayed. A short time later a second group arrived, was
12 lined up among the bodies of the first group, and they were shot. In
13 between, the soldiers were shouting, shooting in the air. And then a
14 third group arrived. The witness left the area.
15 It took us four years to find the location this witness was
16 talking about, because on this stretch of road of approximately
17 3 kilometres, there were many possible locations. So we went from north
18 to south, and fortunately the last possibility was the south.
19 The description of the location is visible on the photograph. At
20 the top left of the red square you have two houses. Unfortunately, the
21 pylon is not visible. It would be approximately located where the A of
22 "Areas" is.
23 At some point late 2000, I think, during the summer 2000, this
24 meadow, the last one we searched, was scooped with metal detectors and a
25 large number of bullets were found embedded into the ground. There is a
1 report from my colleagues who did this search in my absence because it
2 was at the last stage of the mission and I did leave the area.
3 Meanwhile, they were conducting this operation.
4 So in my view, due to the proximity of the location of these
5 graves, these graves might be the graves where the bodies of these people
6 have been dumped into. There is another grave a little bit more north of
7 this location that we didn't show for the sake of this trial, which is
8 hidden from the road by a tree -- a very thick tree-line where the
9 exhumation report will say how many bodies have been found. I do not
10 remember precisely. So my assumption is that these graves contain the
11 bodies of the -- at least of this execution, not -- maybe not only this
12 one but at least of this one.
13 Then regarding the possibility that these people inside the
14 graves were battle casualties, from the photographs I took on the -- the
15 probe -- of the probe that we did on the grave that is located just at
16 the bottom left of this red box, as I have shown, the most obvious body
17 was in civilian clothes and had his hands tied with wire. I have hard --
18 I have difficulties thinking that a man with the hands bounded with a
19 wire in his back has been killed in combat, but it's my opinion.
20 There is a full exhumation report on this that Professor Wright
21 will detail for you.
22 Q. My question was whether you could rule out the possibility
23 that -- that among those buried this these graves were also people killed
24 in combat. Can you rule that possibility out or not? That's all. And
25 then we'll move on.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The question has been answered by the witness. He
2 says there may have been others than from those execution, and I do
3 understand he has not excluded that those others may have been killed in
4 combat. Is that right, Mr. Ruez?
5 THE WITNESS: This is right, and Professor Wright will give more
6 very interesting details regarding these graves.
7 MR. LUKIC: Okay. Thank you. I will move on.
8 [Interpretation] We now need page 92 in e-court. I apologise.
9 We need page 84. It's Konjevic Polje. I apologise. I can't find it
11 Q. But you do remember that in connection with Konjevic Polje there
12 were quite a few single graves or graves containing two or three bodies;
14 A. We found one containing one single body, yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you add anything about graves with two or
16 three bodies, because that was part of the question.
17 THE WITNESS: We -- we were looking for small graves in this area
18 in order to implement witness testimonies claiming that they saw people
19 surrendering and that those carrying weapons had to dig their grave and
20 were shot inside. Purely a witness assessment. So we probed several
21 locations in this area to find small graves, and we could find one with
22 one individual inside, and the report done of it by Professor Wright, and
23 he was the one, concludes that the hole in which this body was found was
24 hand-dug. It's the only possible implementation that we could have of
25 these bits of stories.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, so the short answer is that you did not
2 find graves with two or three bodies in it. Is that --
3 THE WITNESS: No, one, but not two or three, yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. That would have been the short answer.
5 Please proceed.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, but I think that even this one was worth
7 mentioning, this individual one.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You had mentioned it already in your first answer.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. We will now deal with the Kravica warehouse. On the
12 issue of Kravica, as well as other areas, is it correct that many of the
13 sites that you investigated were in fact within a war zone?
14 A. Absolutely.
15 Q. The damage to the buildings that were the warehouse at Kravica
16 could actually be ascribed to war activities, could it not?
17 A. All this type of damages in a war zone could indeed be caused by
19 Q. In the course of your investigation, you also came by information
20 that in Kravica on the Orthodox Christmas day in 1993, Serbian civilians
21 were attacked and massacred; correct?
22 A. I have information that indeed during the Orthodox Christmas day
23 of 1993, there was an attack on Kravica where a certain number of people
24 have been killed, but I did not investigate this matter and would not say
25 if these people were military or civilians.
1 Q. Did you learn in the course of your investigation that in July of
2 1995 there were quite a few revenge motivated murders?
3 A. Absolutely, yes.
4 Q. How did you come by information -- or, rather, in this area of
5 Konjevic Polje was this information related to a lot of isolated murders
6 or groups of people killed? I'm sorry, not Konjevic Polje. I meant
8 A. As far as the revenge aspect is concerned, I would more spot
9 these things in Bratunac town. Kravica warehouse is not something
10 committed by lonely individuals, isolated individuals.
11 Q. This applies to the Kravica warehouse. I meant the area around
13 A. To summarise a large number of witness testimonies, those driving
14 along the road, individual bodies were spotted on -- on the way. So
15 these lonely murders happened all along the stretch of road. Kravica
16 warehouse involves a very large number of victims, and I think the
17 situation in Kravica has been already went through in details during -- I
18 mean during the presentation, but even much more during previous trials.
19 I'm sure you know all these details.
20 Q. As for the warehouse in Kravica, is it correct that as prisoners
21 arrived there the atmosphere was relaxed, but that at one point the armed
22 Serb guards, members of the police, had two automatic rifles seized from
23 them by the Muslims who were in the warehouse and that one of the two
24 guards was killed, the other wounded?
25 A. Regarding the relaxed ambience, I would not use these words, but
1 indeed I heard the story about the fact that one of the soldiers had his
2 hands burned when he -- he grabbed a rifle, but I need to say that as you
3 know, the execution there, which is not in Kravica itself. In Kravica
4 itself there is another warehouse destroyed by war damage. We never used
5 it for the sake of any trial because it's not connected with any
6 execution. This warehouse is very -- at the exit of Kravica. So it's
7 not the warehouse in Kravica village. It's very away of the village.
8 Since the events in Kravica happened in two waves, we can split
9 them in two parts, first the execution west, then later the execution
10 east. Though the fact that a soldier was killed nearby and one had his
11 hand burnt on the spot, I see that what you mean that it would be a
12 reaction of angry soldiers who want to revenge their comrade. I don't
13 know. I cannot tell you what was the exact reason, but it's not exactly
14 like this, but I personally feel the situation.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, the second part of your answer you more or
16 less confirmed that there was a story about a soldier killed. Did the
17 investigation reveal any further information about when and where a
18 soldier was wounded and a soldier was killed?
19 THE WITNESS: During the time I did the investigation, the only
20 thing we could observe is that there is a little memorial nearby, very
21 close to Sandici, to the name of apparently this soldier who was killed
22 the 13, as far as I know, because I learned that after I left the
23 Tribunal, the event of the killed soldier, as well as the story regarding
24 the burnt hands. This was not during the six years I was busy with the
25 investigation. I found out later by my conversations with my former
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, the question suggested that it was
3 related to the Kravica warehouse. Did the investigation confirm that the
4 person, the soldier killed, and the soldier burned or wounded, that that
5 happened at the Kravica warehouse?
6 THE WITNESS: The burned hand at the warehouse, but the
7 shooting of -- the death of this soldier not at the warehouse, nearby.
8 JUDGE ORIE: What do you consider nearby?
9 THE WITNESS: In the vicinity of the meadow, so less than
10 1 kilometre.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
12 Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this will be the subject of -- of
14 the testimony and probably some fundamental agreement on these
15 interesting issues between the Defence and Prosecution, just so you know.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but since Mr. Lukic raises the matter, I would
17 like to understand the answers.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 [In English] It's time for the break, Your Honour, I think. It's
21 half past.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I missed what you said.
23 MR. LUKIC: It's time for break.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Time for a break. Yes. Yes. We'll take a break,
25 and we -- but first we invite the witness to follow the usher.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: And we will resume at 5 minutes to 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Can we proceed?
10 A. Sure.
11 Q. For the record, there was a reference to soldiers in Kravica, but
12 is your information that there were representatives of the police, not of
13 the Army of Republika Srpska, were present there?
14 A. From what I know, the presence was the presence of the
15 Special Police Brigade and of the command of Colonel Borovcanin.
16 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to move on to the area of Zvornik. I'd
17 like to ask you something about Orahovac, the school in Grbavci, in
18 relates to Lazete 1 and 2 as potential execution sites. The school in
19 Grbavci was used by the army for keeping their troops there; isn't that
21 A. Yes, it is right. From time to time army personnel was using
22 this school.
23 Q. Thank you. The waste that was in front of the school and that
24 you analysed is not necessarily linked to what happened in July 1995; is
25 that correct?
1 A. No, it is not correct. Since as you will have the forensic
2 explanation by one team member who specialised in the matter, the
3 blindfolds that were found at the school match the blindfolds that were
4 found in the grave. They match also those found at the dump site, and at
5 a later stage, they match those found in the secondary graves linked with
6 this site.
7 Q. Very well. Is it correct that none of the detainees at school
8 had heard bursts of gunfire in the vicinity of the school -- or, rather,
9 at the locations of Lazete 1 and Lazete 2?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Also, it is correct that people who had allegedly survived an
12 execution could not recognise locations at Lazete?
13 A. Yes. For the reasons I already exposed in my direct examination,
14 this is right.
15 Q. Thank you. At these locations, Lazete 1 and Lazete 2, a total of
16 493 bodies were found. Do you recall that piece of information right
17 now? If not, we'll move on.
18 A. I accept your number.
19 Q. Now I'd like to ask you something about the school in Petkovci.
20 We need P1132 in e-court, page 167.
21 You do know what we're talking about, the blackboard in the
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you investigate at all whether these are -- this is damage
25 that was caused by bullets?
1 A. We didn't take the board with us. The only thing I could say is
2 that the -- the holes in the board could very well match bullet holes,
3 and this could - I say could - implement the witness testimony, regarding
4 the fact that they were shot from time to time, fired from the outside to
5 the inside if people why standing up to get more air.
6 Q. I'm pausing just in order to allow the interpretation to finish.
7 Also, you did not find any bullets there, and you didn't even
8 look for them; is that correct?
9 A. No, it's not -- it's half correct. It's not correct at all, in
10 fact. We did look for bullets, but as I said, this place had been fully
11 refurbished by a NGO before our arrival, so finding bullets in this place
12 was not possible. It had been refurbished, renovated, at the exception
13 of this board.
14 Q. Perhaps my question was not clear enough. In the blackboard
15 itself, you did not find any bullets, and you didn't look for them
17 A. You are right. We did not take off this board from the wall.
18 Q. Also, is it correct that this area was the scene of heavy
19 fighting in 1992? Did you know that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to ask something about the school in
22 Rocevic. We need photograph 187, just to be reminded of what it is
23 about. We need 187 in e-court, that is.
24 Now that we're on the subject of this school as a detention
25 location, you personally did not investigate anything that had to do with
1 this school in Rocevic; is that right?
2 A. Yes, this is right.
3 Q. That was not done by your investigation team either while you
4 still worked for the Tribunal?
5 A. As I said, I took this photograph just in anticipation we would
6 at a later stage connect this school with the events we are
7 investigating, but the -- the testimonies connected to military presence
8 in this school by those who were guarding the prisoners at that school
9 happened after my departure in 2001. So I was personally not in a
10 position to investigate anything there.
11 Q. Thank you. For the time being, we won't be needing this any
12 more, so let us remove this from our screens so as not to distract the
14 In your investigations did you come to the following information,
15 that before Krivaja 95 in the area of Srebrenica there were constant
16 offensive operations takes place against the Serb villages? These
17 operations were carried out by the 28th Division of the
18 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 A. Yes, absolutely.
20 Q. I know that you did not investigate this, but as background
21 information did you know how many Serbs were killed in these operations
22 carried out by the 28th Division?
23 A. The usual number that comes up by those talking about these
24 events between 1992 and 1995 involving the Serb victims is usually 2.000.
25 Q. Did you establish -- or, actually, did you deal with this at all,
1 how many people were within Srebrenica before Krivaja 95 started? Do you
2 have precise information about that?
3 A. There are two questions, one regarding if I dealt with this
4 aspect. The answer, as you know, is no. Investigation for me starts in
5 11 July 1995, the fall of Srebrenica. As far as the second one is
6 concerned, the usual number from various sources, UN, NGO,
7 Medecins sans Frontieres, the UN battalion, and so on, was about 45.000
8 within the enclave, if I remember well. But -- yeah.
9 Q. You didn't deal with that, although we have a Muslim document
10 from that period of time, and it says 36.000.
11 A. Yes, I agree. No problem.
12 JUDGE ORIE: May I understand this as that you agree with the
13 existence of a Muslim document which says 36.000, or is it -- or do you
14 say that's the right number and all the others, the 45.000, are wrong?
15 THE WITNESS: My real answer on this is that -- and I might have
16 to repeat it, is that in my eyes, what I consider my duty in this
17 investigation is to determine the number of people who have been
18 assassinated, the victims who have been first captured who were prisoners
19 and executed, and then calculations regarding the number of people within
20 the enclave. I accept the number of 36 without any difficulty.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But earlier you said on average the estimates are at
22 45.000. Now, if you say, "I accept 36," is that because you consider
23 this a better estimate, or -- or one of the estimates existing on the
24 lower side of the range? How do we have to understand that you accept
25 something here?
1 THE WITNESS: It might be between 36.000 and 45.000. I do not
3 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, that's --
4 THE WITNESS: Knowing how many people were inside the enclave
5 before the fall of the enclave has not been my primary concern.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You'd say you have no reasons to believe that
7 it's certainly wrong. It may be right --
8 THE WITNESS: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- as the 45.000, that may be right at well.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. During your investigation, did you find out how many people died
14 in Srebrenica during the course of the war or were killed during the war,
15 in Srebrenica itself, that is?
16 A. My answer will be exactly the same as previously. For sure
17 people died between 1992 and 1995. Others died in combat. Some died
18 from diseases, whatever, yes. I didn't investigate this.
19 Q. Is it also correct that you did not know the exact number of
20 people who had assembled in Potocari?
21 A. Precise number, no. I would let you rely on testimonies provided
22 by members of the UN battalion who have certainly an estimate of this. I
23 remember 5.000 sheltered inside the main base, and some -- I don't
24 remember how many outside. I would leave them to provide you with a more
25 precise estimate. We had one, but I don't remember it by heart. It's an
1 estimate anyhow. Nobody was there to count precisely the crowd.
2 Q. So all of these figures that we referred to until now are
3 tentative. They were never determined precisely, or at least not by your
4 team. Can we agree on that?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, is it really a serious question whether
6 it was ever established precisely by counting how many people were in the
7 compound and outside the compound? We have seen the pictures. How is
8 this a serious question or not?
9 MR. LUKIC: My question was not related, at least I hope, only to
10 Potocari but to the number of inhabitants in Srebrenica, number of
11 killed, number of died people in Srebrenica during the war.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then --
13 MR. LUKIC: All are estimates. All are --
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- ask about that. What you said is "so all of
15 these figures," that includes the assessment of the number of people in
16 the compound and outside of that. So if you want to know whether the
17 population was counted, then you can ask for it. At the same time, after
18 we've heard the evidence about when the witness says 36.000 could be
19 right, 45.000 could be right, that already indicates that there was no
20 such counting done. So if you want to have further detailed information,
21 put focused questions to the witness.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. But I think in relation to this you cannot give us precise
24 information about the number of killed persons in Srebrenica or the
25 number of members of the 28th Division who lost their lives during the
1 war and also about the number of inhabitants in Srebrenica; is that
3 A. It's absolutely right, because this was not connected to the
4 events I was in charge of investigating.
5 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Did you establish how many members of the
6 28th Division were killed in fighting with the Serb forces, or in the
7 shelling of the column that was attempting to break through to Tuzla?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. Now I'm going to ask you something about the initial contacts
10 that you had with the Muslim side when you started working. You
11 contacted the authorities in Sarajevo when you arrived in BH in
12 July 1995; is that right?
13 A. No, it is not right. I arrived -- I arrived through Split on the
14 coast, and I flew in directly to Tuzla by helicopter. I didn't go
15 through Sarajevo.
16 Q. My question was not right. I meant the authorities in Sarajevo,
17 the Sarajevo authorities. I'm saying you did not establish contact with
18 the authorities of Republika Srpska or the military; right?
19 A. Absolutely right.
20 Q. This contact was made precisely with a view to investigating the
21 Srebrenica case, this contact with the authorities of the Muslim side?
22 A. The initial goal of the mission was to assess the credibility of
23 the -- what I will call the press rumour claiming that 8.000 people had
24 disappeared following the fall of the enclave and that there was at least
25 one account of the mass execution that led the opinion of those who were
1 covering the events to believe that, in fact, the disappeared people had
2 been killed. This was the initial situation.
3 Q. Through the authorities on the Muslim side, you got in touch with
4 witnesses as well; isn't that correct?
5 A. Yes, this is correct.
6 Q. You contacted members of the 2nd Corps, right, the one stationed
7 in Tuzla, the 2nd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that
9 A. No, not at stage. Not in July and August 1995. Later. The
10 2nd Corps was much later.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 1D849. Could we please take a look
12 at that. Could we have it on our screens.
13 Q. We see the B/C/S version in front of us. We were be looking at
14 this document of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 2nd Corps, and it
15 contains instructions as to how the methodology should be used, the
16 methodology for questioning witnesses, that is. Did you have anything to
17 do with that, how information was to be collected, because this document
18 is dated the 10th of August, 1995.
19 A. Yeah. During the summer 1995, we interviewed -- I say "we"
20 because we were two persons interviewing. It was me and Mrs. Sue Castro.
21 We were only two personnel during that summer, and we were later joined
22 by Mr. Papean, Jos Papean.
23 So I interviewed, I remember, one 28 Division member who had
24 nothing to say because he escaped. He went through all the military
25 events between 13 and 16 July, but the military events were not the topic
1 of our investigation. We were trying to find out what happened to the,
2 in brackets, disappeared persons. So this military episode was of no
4 It might be that few more persons were -- from the 28 Division
5 have been interviewed maybe by Jos Papean or Sue Castro, but we had no
6 interest for this. Our main concern was to find witnesses of three
7 things: The events in Potocari, that was the first group of persons we
8 tried to identify; second group, what happened during the evacuation, the
9 12 and the 13, all along the stretch of road --
10 JUDGE ORIE: There may be a need to consult with Mr. Mladic who
11 wants to remain seated and --
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No loud speaking. Whispering.
14 It's still audible, Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic, this is
15 the last time that we accept Mr. Mladic speaking at such a volume.
16 Otherwise, he'll have to wait until the break, and we'll not allow you to
17 consult any further. So it's up to Mr. Mladic either to lower his
18 volume. You may proceed.
19 THE WITNESS: I didn't finish my sentence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's see where we were.
21 MR. LUKIC:
22 Q. My question was -- sorry for interrupting you. My question was
23 whether you have anything to do with this order of 2nd Corps?
24 A. I discover this document. I'm going to read it. Give me the
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I must try to follow what you are
2 trying to do here. This is a letter of the Army of the Republic of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't know what the date of the letter is.
4 THE WITNESS: Yeah. Okay.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: 10th of August, 1995.
6 Just a second.
7 Are you saying that this letter is a letter according to which
8 this witness is supposed to have collected information when he was
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes. I'm asking.
11 THE WITNESS: I understand --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to keep matters simple. Did you ever
13 receive any instructions as what format you should use when you would
14 interview witnesses?
15 THE WITNESS: In no way.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: My question was the opposite one. Did this gentleman
18 provide guidelines as to Army of B and H --
19 JUDGE ORIE: And that's totally unclear.
20 Did you ever suggest how members of the Army of the Republic of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina would have to conduct their interviews and what
22 format they should use?
23 THE WITNESS: Never ever. The --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. That's an answer to my question.
25 MR. LUKIC: Also to mine. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic. Yes, but if you put it clearly, you get
2 an answer clear and quickly. Please proceed.
3 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. [Interpretation] I'd now like to ask you about the intercepts,
5 the ones taken by the Muslim side. Already in 1995 you heard that the BH
6 authorities had intercepts in their possession; is that right?
7 A. This is right.
8 Q. You asked for that documentation for the first time on the
9 13th of November, 1996. Do you recall that?
10 A. No, I -- I don't.
11 Q. All right. We have the chain of custody of the documentation.
12 You were not told at the time how many such intercepts there were; right?
13 A. Not at all.
14 Q. You were not told what the intercepts contained either; is that
16 A. This is right.
17 Q. Is it correct that you received some of these intercepts for the
18 first time only in March 1998?
19 A. This is true, because we did not receive them. In fact, we found
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, is there any dispute about these
22 matters? Apparently it is recorded. It has been -- has been disclosed
23 to the Defence. Have you ever sat together to see whether there's any
24 dispute about these matters?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have not, and I don't think there
1 fundamentally is, though the date's so long ago I think there's some
2 memory issues about actual dates, but the process is -- has been open and
3 agreed upon for years fundamentally. The intercepts and their content
4 may have been in issue, but --
5 JUDGE ORIE: That's a different matter.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: But, Mr. Lukic, why not focus on what is in dispute
8 rather than matters which apparently are not in dispute.
9 MR. LUKIC: Since this gentleman had first-hand knowledge about
10 the hand-over of these intercepts, we think it's appropriate to ask him
11 about this, because when he is gone, when he leaves the stand, we will
12 not be able to establish the --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, if it's not in dispute, if you want to
14 present evidence by first-hand witnesses on matters which are not in
15 dispute, then you reserve your agenda until 2030.
16 I mean, if there's agreement, why -- unless there's any
17 additional question, were they in a blue box or were they in a green box
18 or whatever there is, but if there are matters, when did you for the
19 first time ask? When did you receive the first one? Was it a complete
20 set? These seem to be matters which are, I take it, well recorded, and
21 apparently you rely on that information when putting these questions to
22 the witness. So, therefore, I don't see the point. P.
23 Lease proceed.
24 MR. LUKIC: I couldn't find the trace that it agreed in another
25 case and I don't remember that it's agreed in this case either.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then check with the Prosecution whether you can
2 agree on it. That is what your task is, to see where there is dispute,
3 where there's no dispute, so that you can present the evidence on matters
4 where the Chamber will have to decide and not on matters where the
5 parties do not disagree.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
8 Q. [Interpretation] In what form did you receive these intercepts,
9 if you remember?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness said they found the intercepts. They
11 didn't receive them. "In what form did you find these intercepts?"
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 THE WITNESS: In the form of little leaflets, handwritten.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Did the Bosnian authorities ever send an explanation as to why so
16 much time elapsed before you gained possession of these leaflets?
17 A. We didn't ask them to provide the information, because as I said,
18 we found them. So we didn't need to ask them why we didn't get them
19 before, because there was no need to ask them.
20 Q. Thank you. We'll move to a different topic now. I'll put some
21 additional questions to you about the methodology that you used.
22 Primarily, let's establish this: You never worked for the Defence on
23 this case, you worked for the Prosecution, right?
24 A. Let's make the things very clear. I was an employee of the OTP,
25 paid by the United Nations. In France, when we conduct an investigation,
1 we say, we do it, I speak French, "a charge et a decharge," meaning that
2 we look for the information that might help accusing someone, but we
3 systematically look into what would also provide elements that he's
4 innocent. It's a question of mentality.
5 Therefore, as I said, some of the witness testimonies we could
6 implement, others we could not. And then we use -- I mean, the
7 Prosecution uses or not the information that we collect. But in fact,
8 yes, I worked for the Prosecution. But what I explain is that it's not
9 because you work for the Prosecution that you act in a biased way,
10 because I see what you mean.
11 Q. Why did I ask you this? Above all, I wanted us to confirm again
12 that you only investigated the crimes committed against the Muslims and
13 not the crimes against the Serbs; right?
14 A. That was my task. My mandate, if I can say so, as I told you,
15 was to investigate the rumour about the disappearance of 8.000
16 individuals happening to be from the Muslim side. Had I received another
17 task, I would have tried to fulfil that task, but my task was that one
18 and only that one.
19 Q. If you, well, as you tell us, investigated both those issues that
20 could incriminate or exculpate anyone. Did you also investigate how many
21 people who were moving in the column were killed by the BH Army?
22 A. Those killed in combat are not part of a crime. We know that
23 there have been numbers killed. Their bodies were still in the forest on
24 the hills between Potocari and Konjevic Polje during the summer 1996.
25 Meanwhile, me and my team were opening the mass graves connected with the
1 detention sites. A group of Norwegians led by Ms. Elisabeth Rehn were
2 collecting bodies on the hills. These bodies have never been counted for
3 the sake of the Prosecution. These are combat casualties. We do not
4 count combat casualties. I repeat: The only element of this
5 investigation is to investigate crimes. The death in these hills is not
6 connected with any crime, as far as I know. I mean, at least not the
7 last execution we are talking about.
8 Q. My question was: Did you hear from the witnesses that you
9 interviewed that members of the 28th Division, some of them killed the
10 Muslims who were moving in the column?
11 A. I've never heard such a thing.
12 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that you decided whose story you would
13 double-check and which witness?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You also decided which issues would be given priority; right?
16 A. In full discussion with all my team members because it's a
17 collective work, but my answer is yes.
18 Q. Is it correct that only the evidence that the Prosecution
19 believed was supportive of their case was led in the courtroom in the
20 previous cases?
21 A. No. I mean for the trials, yes, but during the investigation,
22 no. If you wish, I can give you an example, short example, that will
23 inform you about the way we were doing the things.
24 Q. We will get to that. In the trial Popovic et al., my colleague
25 John Ostojic asked you if you were familiar with the concept called
1 confirmatory bias. Did you in your work know how to avoid any possible
2 hint at you being effected by this confirmatory bias?
3 A. To be honest with you, I have no recollection of this concept,
4 and I'm really not familiar with it, but what I can tell you also is
5 that, you know, I have absolutely no training in terms of presenting this
6 investigation in a courtroom. I can also tell you that I didn't read one
7 line before coming here of all the previous statements for the simple
8 reason is what I have to say I know -- I know it because I did it. I
9 don't need to revisit the past. I will always give you the honest answer
10 because there is only one in my head.
11 Q. [In English] Okay. We'll proceed. [Interpretation] You said
12 that it should not be the case that one investigator would interview more
13 than one survivor from a site so as not to be contaminated by earlier
14 knowledge. Do you recall that?
15 A. I recall very well. I was referring to the situation in July --
16 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. There seems to be an audio
17 problem with Mr. Mladic. No loud speaking, Mr. ...
18 It seems to have been fixed.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I will have to repeat my question. Is it correct that one
21 investigator should not be interviewing several survivors from a given
22 site, that's to say more than one eyewitness of the same event so as not
23 to be contaminated by previous knowledge?
24 A. That is the ideal situation. An example of it, July 1995.
25 July 1995, we were two investigators, I mean two persons taking
1 statements. Let's take the situation of the dam. We have two survivors.
2 I interviewed one. Sue Castro interviewed the second one. It seems
3 purely logical. You do not -- if you can avoid it, you share the things
4 so in order for the future, for the sake of the future, not to be accused
5 being indeed contaminated by the knowledge you have gained from the first
6 one. But this is when you can. Sometimes you can't. If you are alone,
7 you deal with what you have.
8 Q. But can we agree that you interviewed three of the four survivors
9 of Orahovica; is that right?
10 A. It is unfortunately, right. I did according to the available
12 Q. We understand and accept that. You agreed and said that you
13 interviewed these witnesses once again if that was necessary; right?
14 A. If I remember well, for this type of very high quality witnesses,
15 let's say so, we did spend a day, let's say eight hours, which is
16 honestly nothing, and it was one interview. On some instances I -- there
17 was another interview, for example the survivor of the Kravica warehouse,
18 because the first check I did not find the guard room he was talking
19 about. So this one had to be re-interviewed, because I didn't -- I
20 couldn't be sure that the warehouse was the good warehouse because the
21 inside had been destroyed and we couldn't know that at that time. But I
22 don't think the others were re-interviewed. Maybe. I don't remember.
23 Q. [In English] Okay. [Interpretation] I'd now like us to focus on
24 the Vuk Karadzic school. Information about the number of detainees
25 within that school was something you received from Miroslav Deronjic; is
1 that right?
2 A. I have no recollection having been ever provided with a number
3 within this school.
4 Q. Do you remember that Miroslav Deronjic told you that only one
5 classroom was being used for putting people there within that school?
6 A. You know, Miroslav Deronjic had a natural way of minimising
7 everything, especially his involvement.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, the question is --
9 THE WITNESS: Okay.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- not whether you believe what he said --
11 THE WITNESS: Okay.
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- the question was whether Miroslav Deronjic told
13 you that only one classroom was used for putting people there.
14 THE WITNESS: I do remember that now, yes.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Did you believe him? Do you believe Miroslav Deronjic was
17 telling the truth?
18 A. My belief, but it's a personal belief that I cannot implement
19 with evidence, is that since a column of buses and trucks was lined in
20 front of the school, my assumption is that the school was full, but I
21 never talked with anyone who was inside, so I cannot say that. But since
22 also this school had already been used in 1992, especially the gym, I
23 don't see why it would not have been used in 1995.
24 Q. But you yourself never heard of any evidence that would
25 contradict Miroslav Deronjic's statement?
1 A. I think the Prosecution has more evidence on this, but this
2 happened after my departure.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, when you're talking about the buses, the
5 column of buses and trucks lined in front of the school, that is at the
6 occasion where Mr. Deronjic told you that only one classroom was used?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes. The night between the 12th and the 13th.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And do I understand your testimony to say that
9 I could not draw any definite conclusions on the matter, but if you have
10 several buses and lining -- buses and trucks for the people to be taken
11 from the school or to be delivered to the school or --
12 THE WITNESS: No. On one of the exhibits of the photograph of
13 Bratunac, I showed lines of buses in front of various places, one being
14 in front of -- lined in front of the Vuk Karadzic school. So since the
15 people stayed all night onboard all of these buses and trucks, describing
16 some events also, my assumption is that they stayed in these vehicles
17 because the school was packed.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Is it time for our next break?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we are about at the point where we take the
21 next break.
22 MR. LUKIC: Because I'm moving to another subject, if it's a good
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please tell us how much more time
25 you need.
1 MR. LUKIC: I will probably have to use all my time I asked for
2 this witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then please be so kind to focus on matters which are
4 in dispute and try to be as focused as you can. And if you could remind
5 me on how much time you said you would need.
6 MR. LUKIC: Five hours. I asked for seven and then I cut it down
7 to --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Reduced it to five hours. Yes. I'll consult with
9 Madam Registrar on the time already used.
10 Could the witness follow the usher.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break, and we will resume at 25 minutes
13 past 12.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for the witness could be
17 escorted into the courtroom, I have to apologise for the second time this
18 morning a late start which was due to very urgent Tribunal matters which
19 kept me busy for more minutes than I expected.
20 Meanwhile, I also use the time.
21 Mr. Lukic, the whole issue about that letter, one simple question
22 would have done: Did you ever suggest how the BiH authorities would have
23 to use formats for their investigations?
24 If the witness would have said no, then we could have moved on,
25 unless you would have wanted to explore the matter further, but from what
1 I understood, showing the letter, you accepted a no. That letter, there
2 was no suggestion whatsoever that the witness would have been involved in
3 it, unless you have reasons to assume that. If that is the case, you
4 could have asked further questions, but the one simple question would
5 have done it.
6 Mr. Mladic is supposed not to speak aloud as he knows.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE ORIE: That is what I mean with focused, Mr. Lukic. You
9 may proceed. Mr. Ruez is ready, I see.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. [In English] Headphones on. Glasses on. [Interpretation] Now
12 I'd like to ask you something about these aerial images from another
13 source. In an exhibit that you compiled, between 200 -- actually, among
14 271 photographs there are about 36 aerial images, and they were all
15 received from a single agency; isn't that right?
16 A. They are received from a single agency, yes. For the rest, the
17 numbers you give, I cannot be sure.
18 Q. Very well.
19 JUDGE ORIE: A matter which apparently is not in dispute that
20 they were received from a single agency?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: A single government source would be better.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So therefore, Mr. Lukic --
23 MR. LUKIC: I have follow-up questions, so I have to establish
25 JUDGE ORIE: We'll see whether it was really necessary to, but
1 even if you have follow-up questions, if you agree on it, then you don't
2 have to introduce the matter with the witness.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. LUKIC: I have to inquire with Mr. McCloskey, do we have to
5 go to a private session when we discuss this source?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: No.
7 MR. LUKIC: Okay.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Not -- not the aerial images from the
9 United States.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now take a look at page 236
11 from P1132. Page 236 in e-court.
12 Q. You see it on your screen now, the photograph; right?
13 A. Right.
14 Q. This is the only photograph from this source that I established
15 had a reference to the source. Do you know why on other photographs,
16 since we have established that they all come from the same source, there
17 is no marking of source as far as these other photographs are concerned?
18 A. No, I don't.
19 Q. Is it correct that in these aerial images, these photographs,
20 something was added? You've explained that to us already, who added the
21 orange, who added the yellow. Is it correct that something was removed
22 from them as well, for example, some dates were removed; isn't that
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
25 microphones please be switched off. We have great trouble hearing
1 Mr. Lukic. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: On this one there is a date, and the yellow
3 markings are the markings I have added to the original picture.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether anything was removed, isn't
5 it? Do you know whether someone else or you yourself removed anything
6 from the picture?
7 THE WITNESS: I do not recall. I don't think so, no.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have 1D857 in e-court.
9 Q. We'll try to refresh your memory. This is your testimony in the
10 Popovic case on the 14th of September, 2006. We'll need page 71 in
12 This is what you say, the question is in line 13, [In English]
13 and I quote:
14 "Q. My concern is that some of the photos, for example, didn't
15 have the date, and they had a box that still remained. And my question
16 to you is: Do you know who removed the date, if at all?
17 "A. On some of the pictures ... I used, not as such, but in order
18 to talk about the different events that -- in an area shown by this
19 imagery but that was not initially designed to present that situation, I
20 am the one who erased the dates so that we keep only, let's say, what can
21 be seen on the picture but not the reason why it was given to us."
22 A. Yes, absolutely. This is the case, for example, for one
23 photograph of Bratunac, I think, where the date was not of importance but
24 what was important is to show the location of some buildings. So, yes, I
25 confirm that on some of them I might have erased the date because the
1 date was not relevant, indeed.
2 Q. Why do you think that the date is not relevant?
3 A. If the goal of the exhibit is to show buildings which are
4 constant features on the ground, that do not move except if destroyed,
5 the date of it is not relevant. As simple as that.
6 Q. Who decided to have the date removed? Was that your decision?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to ask you something about taking
9 witness statements. You never made audio or video recordings of witness
10 statements; is that correct?
11 A. The rule is that we audio and/or video record the statements of
12 persons who have the status of suspects. There is no audio and video
13 recording necessary for witnesses.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I think the question was not whether it was
15 necessary but whether they were made for a fact.
16 THE WITNESS: No, they were not.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. None of the witnesses that you interviewed speak English; right?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. You did not give a B/C/S version of their statements to any one
22 of the witnesses that you interviewed; right?
23 A. Right. There was no translation made of the English version of
24 their testimony, but they were -- all of them had a read-back in B/C/S
25 prior signature.
1 Q. They signed the English version, just for the record.
2 A. There is only one version, the English version.
3 Q. Now I'd like to ask you something about the methodology that you
4 personally applied. You never compiled a report related to your
5 investigations; is that correct?
6 A. I made internal reports, but none to be put in the records.
7 Q. In your work you relied upon experts from other fields, because
8 you personally do not have knowledge from the fields of archaeology,
9 anthropology, pathology, ballistics; is that right?
10 A. Absolutely right.
11 Q. As a team you compared during the course of your work traces on
12 ammunition that had been found in graves and the weapons that you
13 collected from the brigades that you suspected had taken part in the
14 killings; is that right?
15 A. This is right.
16 Q. Your team, at least while you were still involved, was not in a
17 position to confirm the suspicions that you had; right?
18 A. Wrong. You have to split the matter in two. You are wrong on
19 one thing, which is the lack of comparison. The comparisons were
20 positive between shell casings found on the surface of the execution
21 field when compared with the casings found inside the primary mass grave,
22 and later shell casings found in secondary mass graves enabled us to
23 connect the secondary sites with the primary ones. Where you are right
24 is when you say that the operation of seizure of weapons from suspect
25 brigades were unsuccessful, indeed, but there are possible reasons for
2 Q. During that process did you check the weapons of the Muslim side?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just check something with the witness.
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ruez, you say now here on page 45, lines 21 to
7 25, you say:
8 "The comparisons were positive," sorry, "between shell casings
9 found on the surface of the execution field when compared with the
10 casings found inside the primary mass grave, and later shell casings
11 found in secondary mass graves enabled us to connect the secondary
13 Were there any shells found in secondary mass graves?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes. Everything should be plural, killing sites
15 with an S, execution sites with an S, et cetera. Dean Manning is the
16 team member who will expose the entire summary of all these forensic
17 aspects. It is not only the shell casings which enabled
18 these comparisons, but also soil, pollen --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I stop you just there. Can you listen to my
20 question. Is it your story, your evidence, shell casings were found on
21 secondary graves?
22 THE WITNESS: This is what I said, and I repeat it, yes. Shell
23 casings were found on the execution sites on the surface. These shell
24 casings were later compared with those found among the bodies found in
25 the primary mass graves, and then when the secondary mass graves were
1 found, the shell casings found inside the secondary mass graves were
2 compared and enabled to connect secondary with primary, because these
3 shell casings, due to the way the executions were done were spread all
4 over, so mixed with -- some were even found in the mouth of some of these
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Now, you have changed your evidence
7 slightly. You say now that these shell casings were later compared with
8 those found among the bodies found in the primary graves.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, my question is going to be -- is going to
11 change based on that. The shell casings you found in the secondary
12 graves, were they found in the bodies or just in the graves?
13 THE WITNESS: Mixed with the soil and the body parts, mixed with
14 all what was found inside these secondary sites. When heavy machines,
15 heavy equipment, collect the bodies, they take everything. They take the
16 bodies, they take the soil, they take everything what is among it. As I
17 showed the little film about the secondary sites Cancari 12, at one point
18 a person is using a metal detector and we can hear beep, beep. Beep,
19 beep means shell casing.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Now I understand.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: There may be some misunderstanding about his
22 meaning of casing. It's an informal reference. So I'm not sure exactly
23 if it's clear what he means by casing.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps the witness could explain, but let me see
25 whether I could summarise what I think it might be.
1 A shell casing is the metal containing -- the metal part
2 containing the propelling explosive which causes the bullet to leave the
3 weapon and is usually thrown out from the weapon and therefore falls on
4 the floor close to the weapon. That is my understanding of what a shell
5 casing is and what a bullet is.
6 THE WITNESS: We have the same.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So we will agree. Even Mr. Lukic agrees on what a
8 bullet is and what a shell casing is. Okay, let's -- well, a matter not
9 further in dispute. Let's proceed.
10 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
11 Q. Now let us go to Potocari mentally, although you hadn't been
12 there. A medical convoy of UNPROFOR arrived in Potocari and they
13 transported the wounded. Is that correct? Do you know about that?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. The information that you have, does it indicate that these
16 persons are alive to this day?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Also, did you become aware of the fact that some wounded persons
19 were transferred from Bratunac, i.e., members of the
20 International Red Cross?
21 A. I am not aware of that. I don't remember.
22 Q. Very well. I accept that. Now I'm going to ask you something
23 about civilians or persons who were in Potocari before and after arriving
24 in the territory that was under BH Army control. So one group went
25 towards Potocari from Srebrenica, and another group that included members
1 of the 28th Division mostly moved in the direction of Tuzla.
2 My question -- actually, you've already answered it, my first
3 question, that you did not know how many people had been in Potocari.
4 However, now I'd like to ask you in addition to that whether you knew how
5 many men there were among these people in Potocari.
6 A. A precise count again is not possible. I remember there was an
7 estimate. I cannot recall. We can see a certain number of them on some
8 of the photographs and footages in Potocari, but I don't remember what
9 the assessment was. I think we had an assessment from the persons of the
10 UN battalion, but I don't recall precisely.
11 Q. We accept everything, but we're just asking you the following:
12 Do you have this information? The next thing I'd like to ask you is
13 whether you have information as to how many men were singled out in
15 A. At the separation line no one was counting this -- this number.
16 What we know is that those that we have on footage, all of them are on
17 the missing list, identified by name.
18 Q. How many of the persons in the film were identified by name? Can
19 you tell us that?
20 A. There will be a specific thing by the Prosecution on this, but
21 the footage with V-550 video shows approximately 20 people, so I know for
22 sure that these 20 are identified. I don't know since when if there are
24 Q. Thank you. You told us that you believe that the only valid
25 process in terms of determining the number of victims is to carry out all
1 exhumations and to count the bodies. My question is the following: Is
2 it correct that many secondary graves, as you call them, is in the
3 immediate vicinity of the area where the column passed?
4 A. One could put it like this, yes.
5 Q. In your work did you establish exactly how many people had
6 certainly been executed?
7 A. I don't have the precise data at this stage since it -- the
8 number evolutes according to the ongoing exhumations, but as far as those
9 conducted by the ICTY are concerned, the information I have is that we
10 are now at 6.000-plus-something identified bodies for which we connect
11 the graves with execution sites.
12 Q. Since we have heard that you were not an expert in the field of
13 pathology, for instance, who did you receive this information from that
14 the possibility is ruled out that these 6.000 persons could not have lost
15 their lives in any other way but through a mass execution?
16 A. Because of the process we describe. Yeah, I repeat, because of
17 the process we describe. First we -- based on the witness statements we
18 find the detention sites, the connected execution site, and then through
19 the forensics that would be later developed the connection with these
20 primary mass graves and then the secondary mass graves. So for these
21 ones we have our track, and this track is not the burial of battle
22 casualties. And again I will leave it to the chief exhumator, or our two
23 chief exhumators in order to explain the reasons why these bodies are not
24 battle casualties.
25 Q. Very well. In that case, then, we'll put that question to them.
1 Ultimately the civilian from Potocari had to cross from the Serb to the
2 Muslim side on foot. Did your investigation show that the area these
3 civilians crossed was, in fact, no man's land, which nobody could
4 traverse, either the Serb or the Muslim side?
5 JUDGE ORIE: What -- what is the question about? We are trying
6 to understand the relevance, but sometimes a bit lost. What are you
7 seeking to establish at this moment?
8 MR. LUKIC: It was sometimes presented that it was some kind of
9 harassment of civilian population, that there was no need to drive
10 somebody across that piece of land by any of sides, nor Serb side nor
11 Muslim side.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Is then the suggestion that once they were on their
13 feet they were free to go in whatever direction? What's the -- I'm just
14 lost --
15 MR. LUKIC: Was it done purposefully to maltreat the civilian
16 population. It was just done because there was no other mean to
17 transport them to another side of the -- of the line. They had to walk.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What does that tell the Chamber?
19 MR. LUKIC: That it wasn't done purposefully to maltreat or
20 harass civilian population.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm still lost, but put a question. We'll see what
22 the follow-up questions will be.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In the course of your investigation, did you come by information
25 that between the confrontation lines there was a minefield?
1 A. Yes. Like all the confrontation lines during this war, yes.
2 Q. In your view did there exist a possibility for the Serb buses to
3 cross that stretch of the road which the civilians traversed on foot when
4 they were on their way to Kladanj?
5 A. Well, I mean, it was a logic that the drop-off was before the
6 confrontation line, and this is where, at least on 12 July, there was
7 again separation of -- of men who ended up at the little school in Luka.
8 And those allowed to cross, they crossed by foot, yes. Normal situation
9 - I say normal - in these circumstances.
10 Q. On the 12th of July there were members of the Dutch Battalion
11 with the civilians in the column; right?
12 A. At the beginning, as far as I know, indeed the UN personnel tried
13 to escort the buses. At least a few of them then crossed the line. The
14 others were seized of their vehicles and equipment, as far as I know. So
15 they couldn't monitoring the process. There were blockades all along the
16 road for various reasons, the witnesses will better explain, but there
17 was no monitoring really of the situation by these UN forces.
18 Q. If I recall correctly, we did agree today, and we'll discuss the
19 military column a bit. Did you come by information that would indicate
20 how many armed persons were present in the column compared to those who
21 made up the column overall?
22 A. Since it is a very rough estimate, what I usually say is that
23 approximately one-third of this approximately 15.000-man column was
24 armed. We can see on footage that among these armed men are also
25 civilians carrying weapons. Approximately a third according to various
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, were you referring to 15.000 or 50.000?
3 THE WITNESS: Fifteen.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's what I thought.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We established today that the column sustained losses. Did you
7 establish what the losses were in the column that were sustained in
8 combat? Do you have any information, and what does it indicate?
9 A. To make it very easy, we -- I mean, I never attempted to count
10 these battle casualties, because all of them are considered battle
11 casualties whatever happened to them in the forest. As long as we do not
12 frame them as being victims of a crime, we do not investigate the matter,
13 and the military aspect of this operation is not the concern of the
14 investigation. It's not the focus. We will consider all of them as
15 legitimate battle casualties.
16 Q. So did you establish -- did you try to establish the number or
17 not? If you didn't, say so.
18 A. I say so. We didn't for the reasons I just told you.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you establish at least where and which parts of
20 the column sustained losses, major losses? I will have to repeat my
22 Geographically speaking, along that route did you establish the
23 locations where the column sustained losses?
24 A. In connection with the investigation, the main losses were the
25 first ambush in the area above Kravica. This is connected with the
1 investigation, because it's the following morning that the massive
2 surrender process took place.
3 As far as the military story of the column is concerned, as you
4 know there was a separation of this column in order to move towards
5 Zvornik and make a fake attempt to attack Zvornik, but this part has not
6 at all been investigated because I put it in the frame of the military
7 history of this thing, not in the frame of the criminal investigation.
8 Q. When you were interviewing witnesses, did you come by information
9 that the column sustained major losses already at Kamenica?
10 A. Yes. This is in fact the name of the location where the ambush
11 took place, Kamenica being in the vicinity of Kravica but behind the
13 Q. Do you recall now what the witnesses told you whom you
14 interviewed, what the losses were? Is it correct that the figures range
15 between a thousand and 2000?
16 A. I don't think it matches the findings of the Norwegian team I was
17 talking about one hour ago, but again, all these persons killed in this
18 area, including those --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, if I -- if you do not mind, I would like
20 to interrupt you.
21 THE WITNESS: Okay.
22 JUDGE ORIE: The question was what the witnesses told you.
23 Whether there's contradictory evidence is a different matter. That's
24 perhaps your mindset as an investigator that you're thinking about these
25 matters, but you're here as a witness of fact and you're asked what the
1 witnesses told you in terms of number between a thousand and 2000.
2 THE WITNESS: I cannot confirm or infirm what the witness says.
3 I don't know.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Did the witnesses also tell you about two ambushes at mount Udrc?
7 A. Again, the episodes between 11.00/midnight and the 16 along the
8 path of this column was not the topic of the investigation, but, yes,
9 Udrc was a differ crossing point.
10 Q. You mentioned yourself the fighting around --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you, the simple question was whether
12 they told you about ambushes at mount Udrc, whether it was a difficult
13 crossing point or not. Did they tell you about ambushes at that spot.
14 THE WITNESS: Ambushes, no. Difficult crossing.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did they perhaps tell you how -- or what were the losses that
18 they sustained at that difficult crossing point?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you. You also told us that you didn't know what the losses
21 were in that important attack on Zvornik, although there was heavy
22 fighting taking place there as well. You do know that.
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: It may be a translation issue, but I don't think
1 there's any history of an attack on Zvornik.
2 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation] [In English] Fake attack, as I
3 think it was called.
4 THE WITNESS: A diversion. It was a diversion movement, but
5 again this is the military history --
6 JUDGE ORIE: One second. One second. If first Mr. Lukic would
7 repeat what he said after Mr. McCloskey intervened. Mr. McCloskey said,
8 "I don't think there was any history of an attack in Zvornik," and then
9 you said something, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: I said "fake attack." And actually witness corrected
11 me, it's "a diversion."
12 THE WITNESS: The military terms is diversion.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: But again it's far away from this investigation we
15 are discussing here.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed, we have now a full record.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's note that they are having
19 difficulty hearing Mr. Lukic, and the difference in the B/C/S words was
20 in one letter only, hence the error, "vazan," as opposed to "lazan."
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. There was also fighting on the very separation line or around it
23 when the column was crossing onto the territory under the control of the
24 BH Army; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The Zvornik Brigade sustained rather heavy losses on that
2 occasion, or, rather, heavier losses than it had ever sustained during
3 the course of the entire war; is that right?
4 A. This is what I heard, indeed.
5 Q. The colleague is telling me to emphasise that this is the
6 Zvornik Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska.
7 You do know what sanitisation of terrain is; right?
8 A. Right.
9 Q. It implies the collection of dead bodies following any sort of
10 combat; right?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. In that process the army buries the dead. Would the army bury
13 only its own dead or even the dead of the enemy, that's to say all of the
14 dead bodies?
15 A. This I don't know. It's up to the commander.
16 Q. Is it correct that the bodies would be buried in common graves in
17 such occasions?
18 A. One would think so.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, again I'm trying to understand your line
20 of questioning. Do you want to ask the witness simply whether he has
21 investigated whether where mass graves were found, whether the
22 investigation gave any support for the idea that they may have ended up
23 there after the sanitation of the terrain? I can imagine that you would
24 then have a focused discussion, for example, on the presence of shell
25 casings around that mass grave. Well, there's a lot to be said about it,
1 but is that what you're -- what you're -- what you want to establish?
2 Then let's be clear on that. Is that --
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. Can you answer the questions raised by Judge Orie.
5 A. I know the only option you have is this one, to say that these
6 people we found are battle casualty, that we leave it to the experts to
7 explain. This is not the case, and what I could add is just that if you
8 look indeed at the terrain, at the distances, at the dates, to me what --
9 this theory is useless. It's not true. All this investigation, all the
10 forensics show very clearly what the path of these prisoners was. I
11 think it's very well reconstructed, but I understand that there is a need
12 to say that tease people with blindfolds and ligatures are battle
14 Q. That is not our case. I apologise.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let's keep matters short. Do I understand your
16 answer to be, Mr. Ruez, that on the basis of the investigations not only
17 by you but also by colleagues and experts, that a lot of facts were
18 established which would contradict an explanation of the situation as the
19 persons found in mass graves to be collected during a process of
20 sanitation only? Is that, in brief, what you want to tell us?
21 THE WITNESS: This is absolutely right, but I'm talking only
22 about the graves we show during these trials. If other graves come up
23 from other sources, Bosniak sources, for example, they are not under
24 investigation. I would personally not meld them with --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: -- this process.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You say if we understand this answer in this way, it
3 would apply only to the graves you have investigated.
4 Mr. Lukic, does this clarify the matter for you?
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, and I'll just have one or two
6 follow-up questions.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm also looking at the clock. If -- I think
8 we started a bit late, but in order to have some time left after, if you
9 would do the one or two follow-up questions now and then we take a break.
10 MR. LUKIC: Thanks, Your Honour.
11 Q. [Interpretation] You mentioned ligatures and blindfolds. What
12 did your investigation reveal? How many people of the 6.000 that you
13 just mentioned had their hands tied and blindfolds on?
14 A. I will leave this to the expert witnesses who will come here
15 to --
16 JUDGE ORIE: You do not know as a witness whether they will come
17 or not. That's for the parties to decide. But you'd say you'd rather
18 leave answers to those questions to those who investigated in detail
19 those matters.
20 THE WITNESS: Absolutely. Who already testified in all the
21 previous trials. That's why I allow myself to say that. They will or
22 maybe they already came, I don't follow this trial aside my own
24 JUDGE ORIE: So you don't know?
25 THE WITNESS: I don't know. I don't have -- I mean, I'm --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I mean, do you know the numbers?
2 THE WITNESS: No.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, then a simple no would have done right from
4 the beginning.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: One more.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know -- did you establish in the course
8 of your investigation that there were bodies of different degrees of
9 decomposition found in the same grave?
10 A. This is a detail I do not know, and I leave it to the experts.
11 MR. LUKIC: That were my follow-up questions.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Then we take a break first. Could the
13 witness already follow the usher.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I've been thinking a lot about the
16 previous issue where I said I was lost. I think I now do understand it
17 and I think the following simple question would have done: Witness,
18 those who had to walk for the last part of reaching the other territory,
19 did you form an opinion about that was harassment or whether it was
20 inevitable due to the fact that they had to cross no man's land with all
21 the risks of that and where they could not be accompanied by the
23 Then I would have understood what the issue was you were raising.
24 We finally have to make up our mind on the basis of the evidence,
25 so the clearer you present it, the better we'll be able to evaluate it.
1 We take a break, and we resume at quarter to 2.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 1.26 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.48 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be escorted
5 into the courtroom, I'd like to raise the following issue: On the
6 23rd of April, the Defence has filed a request for an extension of time
7 to file its Rule 94 bis (B) notice in response to the Prosecution's
8 28th of March, 2013, notice of disclosure of the expert report of
9 Dr. Helge Brunborg. In the request it submits that the Defence expert is
10 still in the process of analysing the material provided by the
11 Prosecution, adding that, moreover, it has not yet received B/C/S
12 translations of two figures accompanying the expert reports.
13 Any problem in the request being granted, and when do you think
14 the B/C/S would be provided to the Defence?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Mr. Lukic, when I asked him,
16 gave me the exact numbers of those tables a few days ago and we have sent
17 them to be translated and we should have them any day. So that shouldn't
18 be problem.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then I suggest at this moment the Chamber will grant
20 the requested relief, and we set the deadline provisionally in the
21 expectation, Mr. Lukic, that the B/C/S material will arrive soon. We set
22 the deadline for a Rule 94 bis (B) response to the 14th of May, and if
23 anything unexpected happens, of course you can address the Chamber again.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE ORIE: You now may continue.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Ruez, you mentioned the Norwegians to us. Do you know how
3 many bodies they collected in total and in which area?
4 A. They operated in the area of Kamenica. I don't know how many
5 bodies were collected. What I do know is that they have left many since
6 two years later I did request to SFOR at that time to have an overflight
7 by helicopter, and they brought back a film where obviously human remains
8 were still very obviously in the area. So they didn't collect all the
9 bodies there.
10 Q. You cannot give us an approximation as to the number of bodies
11 that had been collected by the Norwegians?
12 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreters did not hear the end of
13 Mr. Lukic's sentence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the last part of your question,
15 Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Can you give us the total number of bodies
18 collected by the Norwegians and the number of bodies that you saw or
19 discovered later when flying in that area, as you said.
20 A. No, I don't know the number. We stayed disconnected from this
21 team since they were operating on humanitarian ground, and this area
22 being a battle area was out of the frame of the investigation.
23 Q. Do you know that on the 16th of April the Muslim forces launched
24 a counter-attack against the Serb forces? Is that correct? Is that
25 something that is separate from the breakthrough itself of the line, that
1 is, to help the breakthrough of the 28th Division, or is this a separate
2 battle, if you will?
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: 16th of April. Which year, Mr. Lukic?
4 MR. LUKIC: 1995, sorry.
5 THE WITNESS: Are we talking about April or July?
6 MR. LUKIC:
7 Q. I made a mistake. 16th of July, 1995.
8 A. In the area of Nezuk indeed was the breakthrough, the 16, which
9 was not really a breakthrough since the Serb side opened the line for the
10 column to exit according to some deal with the Serb prisoners without
11 entering the details again. This is, for me, part of the military
12 history of the situation but not part of the criminal investigation since
13 I have all reasons to believe that the bodies of these battles are to be
14 found but not in the graves under investigation.
15 Q. Do you rule out that possibility or are you making an assumption?
16 A. I rule it out for three reasons: The geographic location of the
17 graves we exposed; the dates in connection with the records of the
18 engineer battalion of the Zvornik Brigade; and because of all these
19 forensic elements. So for these three reasons, I totally disconnect the
20 sites that we are presenting here in court with possible sanitary and
21 burials that occurred at one stage or another in the area.
22 Q. A geographic reason can be overcome by transport; isn't that
23 right? Sorry. And a time objection would not be proper if we're looking
24 at secondary graves; right?
25 A. The secondary grave aspect will have to be separate from always,
1 but if you take Lazete, for example, the witnesses say that the execution
2 during the night took place when the heavy equipment was already burying
3 part of the grave. So thinking that these bodies would be at the same
4 moment when the battle at Nezuk -- buried and in Lazete, sorry, but I
5 cannot tell you what I think of that. I mean it's -- for me it is such a
6 nonsense that I don't want to be too radical in my answer.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, the focus of the testimony of this
8 witness was and should be, I tried to remind the Prosecution various
9 times and I remind you now as well, is not what conclusions he drew from
10 these matters and what happened but, rather, what he found during his
12 MR. LUKIC: I think all my questions have that caveat, that I
13 always ask the witness even at the beginning when he asked me would I
14 want his assumption, I said, No, I want the result of your investigation.
15 But I will move on.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ruez, did you find out during your
17 investigations that about 1.000 soldiers from Srebrenica broke through to
18 Zepa and then crossed over to Serbia from there, or did you not deal with
19 this at all?
20 A. These 1.000 are not to be found in the graves that we connect
21 with the capture and assassination of the prisoners. The only thing that
22 involved interest for us and for me and for the Prosecution linked with
23 this movement of people towards Zepa is that one of the survivors of the
24 Kravica warehouse fled to Zepa. And this is the reason why he survived,
25 because being captured in Zepa he was not identified as coming from
1 Srebrenica and ended up at the last prisoner exchange in March 1996.
2 Q. In brief, your answer would be, "We were not dealing with it,"
4 A. Totally out of the frame of the criminal investigation.
5 Q. Thank you. Were you addressing the fighting that broke out
6 between one stretch of the column and another stretch of the column where
7 people were not aware of the fact that they were part of the same column?
8 A. No, but they will be counted among the battle casualties.
9 Q. And how?
10 A. Since they --
11 Q. In your view, how is that distinction made? Apart from 400-odd
12 bodies that had ligatures on them, how would you distinguish between
13 someone who was killed in combat and someone who was executed?
14 A. Again, from this path that leads from the moment the person has
15 been captured or has surrendered then taken to a detention location, then
16 taken to an execution area, and the burial process and the forensic
17 linked with it, plus the dates that we know the heavy equipment was sent
18 to bury these bodies, all this, in my view, excludes the possibility that
19 the graves we are talking about are graves filled with battle casualties
20 collected on the ground for sanitarian reasons.
21 Q. We said that in the course of your investigation you relied upon
22 the assistance of experts from different fields. Is it correct that
23 experts in forensics were not able to make that distinction with this
24 certainty and to ascertain who the persons were who were killed in combat
25 as opposed to those who were executed?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I think there is a basic misunderstanding
2 here. What the witness says is: Our investigation was focused on
3 people, let's keep it simple, found in the mass graves or at the least
4 the larger graves, people that had surrendered or were captured, then
5 taken to this place, et cetera. What you are saying now is that the
6 forensic experts not always were able to make the distinction between
7 those who died in combat and those who, for example, were -- indications
8 were found by ligature or whatever. So you are referring to the group
9 which is part of the investigation. The witness told us, and that was
10 how it started, that whoever may have died in the column, not having
11 surrendered, not having -- whatever happened there, right or wrong, would
12 be considered combat casualties for very practical purposes. Whether
13 they were or not is a different matter, but at least that's how they were
15 The witness also has told us that he, on the basis of the
16 investigation, he considered it to be excluded for good or bad reasons.
17 You can further explore that, that those found in the mass graves were
18 taken there as a result of sanitation measures. And, of course, if you
19 are killed somewhere before having surrendered, before having --
20 having being captured, then you would be found somewhere and then on the
21 basis of sanitation -- explain to us why he considers it unlikely or that
22 people that ended up in the graves he investigated.
23 Now, that story gives an answer to the question at least, but
24 let's see what Mr. Ruez says, that even, and I take it you are referring
25 to forensic pathologist or forensic -- you said only "forensic." There
1 are a lot of forensic sciences other than -- but they have apparently
2 examined the bodies found somewhere and were not able on the basis of
3 their expertise to establish whether they were casualties of combat or
4 not, so therefore you cannot rely on them to draw any conclusions, and I
5 understood from Mr. Ruez that then often conclusions were drawn, right or
6 wrong, on other sources, testimonies, whatever. But what the forensic
7 pathologists found in those graves is something which is not part -- that
8 in Mr. Ruez's explanation cannot be people coming from what happened in
9 the column. So, therefore, I do not see how you can mix up the two.
10 MR. LUKIC: I'm not sure I'm mixing up anything but --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, then put a clear question which shows that
12 you're not mixing up anything. Because the casualties in the column are
13 not the bodies Mr. Ruez explained us to be found in the graves he -- that
14 were the subject of his investigations. These are two different
16 And, Mr. Ruez, unless I misunderstood your testimony --
17 THE WITNESS: No. It's a perfect summary.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm not here to summarise testimony, but,
19 Mr. Lukic, put your next question to the witness.
20 MR. LUKIC: If I can explain myself a bit further.
21 JUDGE ORIE: If you put the right questions I'll not intervene.
22 I mean, with the right questions, of course you choose yourself, but ...
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. This is my question: How is it possible that in the secondary
25 graves, we're not talking about primary graves now, only about the
1 secondary graves, how is it possible that one can be sure that such a
2 grave does not contain the bodies of those who were killed in battle?
3 A. I insist again on the fact that there will be an expert coming
4 who will develop at length all the forensic details that enable us to
5 confirm that the bodies found in the secondary graves are coming from the
6 primary graves that have been disturbed end of September, beginning of
7 October 1995. So by adding the leftover of the primary graves with what
8 is found in the secondary graves, connecting them we end up with a final
9 number of persons executed on each of these execution sites we went
10 through during my direct testimony.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let me keep this short as well. I do understand
12 that your answer is that experts -- that you learned that experts are
13 able to explain why such a conclusion can be drawn. That's simply --
14 THE WITNESS: We can put it like this.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. [Interpretation] In that case, we'll wait for the expert to
18 appear. Let me ask you a question about identity documents. Is it
19 correct that you and members of your investigation team came to the
20 conclusion that most of the soldiers, members of the 28th Division in
21 Srebrenica, discarded all the items that could possibly identify them as
23 A. No. This was not under investigation. Most certainly some did
24 it for whatever reason, but this was not under investigation. Again, at
25 the end if the prisoners are military or civilians, they are prisoners.
1 Q. [In English] I'll have to just try again to remind you. I'll
2 call 1D858 in the e-court. 1D858, and we need page 48. We need lines 19
3 through 25, actually, through 23, and I'll quote:
4 "Q. Sir, with respect to these identification cards, isn't it
5 true that you in your investigation or you as the investigator in charge
6 of this team have concluded 'most of the soldiers were getting rid of any
7 element which could identify them as combatants,' correct?
8 "A. Yes, correct."
9 A. Yes, okay. You know, not only the military, but I believe others
10 also. I will not enter in weird details regarding this aspect, but in
11 some instances several IDs were found in -- hidden in a place where no
12 one would find them on one person. Not being identified was indeed a
13 concern for most of these men who were fleeing, because they -- they were
14 fleeing. They had reasons to flee, sometimes because they were
15 combatants, sometimes because they were just horribly scared due to their
16 previous experience in the area since 1992, and so on and so on. But at
17 the end of the day, it's the DNA that is of interest for us in order to
18 identify who is who based on the missing book of the ICRC.
19 Q. [Interpretation] DNA analysis, I don't know if you heard it from
20 your colleagues, does not point to the manner of death. It only
21 establishes identity.
22 A. Yes, absolutely. And the cause of death, as you know, is always
23 multiple gunshot wounds. This makes it indeed difficult to compare
24 someone killed in combat with someone killed by a firing squad, but again
25 it's the full chronology of these individuals that begs the difference
1 between someone who has been assassinated and someone who died in combat.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, when you were asked by Mr. Lukic whether
3 the investigation team came to the conclusion that most of the soldiers,
4 members of the 28th Division in Srebrenica, discarded all the items that
5 could possibly identify them as combatants, you said "No," and at least
6 you explained why the answer was no. And then a part of the testimony
7 was put to you with exactly the same language where during that testimony
8 you answered, "Yes, correct," and then you started explaining other
9 things. It seems to be contradictory. It may be that you would have
10 wanted to say more or to further explain, but at least what you say today
11 is 180 degrees opposite to what you said when you said in that other
12 case, "Yes."
13 THE WITNESS: I disagree. If you read back my first instinctive
14 answer, I said, "No, maybe many did," and so on, because I was not
15 focused on the topic for the simple reason that to me this is not of high
16 importance --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt, Mr. Ruez. Which is the
18 instinctive answer which we must look at?
19 THE WITNESS: The first answer when I said "No," and then
20 thinking it through I added something --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: In today's testimony?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: Today, yes. Well, one would, I think, very easily
24 understand in the circumstances of this period of time that an individual
25 fleeing the Bosnian Serb Army was not necessarily willing to flag off his
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but -- let me see again. One second, please.
3 You were asked about the conclusions of the investigation team in both
4 questions, at the time and now.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And then you said, "Yes, that is correct," and today
7 you say -- and that's not saying what happened or what didn't happen.
8 You were asked about whether the conclusions of the team at the time were
9 that most of the soldiers were getting rid of any elements which could
10 identify them as combatants. At the time you said, "Yes."
11 THE WITNESS: Mm-hmm.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it's right or wrong, but that was the
13 conclusion. Today you said, "No." You added to that that many may have
14 done so, but you denied that this was the conclusion of the
15 investigation. You even explained that it was not part of the
16 investigation, and that contradicts what you said in the previous case.
17 THE WITNESS: Perfect. Let's take it as a contradiction. I
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. Well, Mr. Lukic, when I say please
20 proceed, it is -- we are already beyond quarter past 2.00.
21 Mr. McCloskey, you're on your feet.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I -- just we find ourselves with a logistic
23 situation. I have not spoken to Mr. Ruez and his ability to come back,
24 and I don't know, perhaps Your Honours have a preference when he does
25 come back. Does Mr. Lukic need him to come back, which I assume based on
1 his time-frame he may.
2 MR. LUKIC: I have less than one hour, in between half an hour or
3 an hour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Half an hour. I don't have, off the top of my head,
5 the schedule for next week. Would there be any problem in starting on
6 Wednesday with the last half hour of cross-examination?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: The -- well, aside -- I don't know Mr. Ruez's --
8 his police schedule. We do have our last two DutchBat soldiers, I
9 believe a private and a general, both who have Dutch interpreters
11 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then, Mr. Lukic, you -- most likely then it
12 would be at a later date after.
13 MR. LUKIC: Whenever it suits the witness and the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ruez, I know France is at a distance, but would
15 you be willing to come back and do you have any -- could you please
16 communicate with the Victims and Witness Section, not with the
17 Prosecution but Victims and Witness Section, whether you have any dates
18 where you would not be available or whether you have any dates of
19 preference so that we could hear the last part of your testimony.
20 THE WITNESS: I will stay available to the Defence as soon as we
21 can fix a date with the witness unit, no problem.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you would please then do that. And most
23 likely it will not be next week then because the first two days we're not
24 sitting, and after that we have interpreters.
25 Then I have again to instruct you, Mr. Ruez, that you should not
1 talk about your testimony or communicate in any other way with whomever,
2 and then you may now follow the usher and we would like to see you back
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Are there any other matters to be raised before we
6 adjourn? If not, we adjourn for the day with apologies for the late
7 finish to everyone who is suffering under it, and we will resume
8 Wednesday, the 1st of May, in this same Courtroom I at 9.30 in the
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.21 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day
12 of May, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.