1 Wednesday, 7 December 2016
2 [Prosecution Closing Argument]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
8 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
10 is case number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 No preliminaries were announced; therefore, we will continue to
13 hear the final arguments.
14 Mr. Weber, you may proceed.
15 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honours. Good morning.
16 Yesterday we left off discussing the campaign and its impact on
17 children in Sarajevo. This is where I will pick up today.
18 By 1994, UNICEF reported that at least 40 per cent of the
19 children in the city had been directly shot at by snipers; 39 per cent
20 had seen one or more family members killed; and 73 per cent had their
21 homes attacked or shelled. That is Exhibit P7171, page 9.
22 In addition to the sniping, the SRK attacked civilians in a
23 shelling campaign that took many forms, including massive bombardments
24 that blanketed the city; sporadic, intentional targeting of civilian areas
25 with just a few shells; and the deployment of modified air bombs. The
1 SRK shells spared no virtually no civilian part of the city. The
2 Prosecution has provided representative examples of each of these forms
3 of shelling in paragraphs 922 to 1002 of its final brief. The SRK shells
4 often targeted residential or commercial areas. The shelling stuck
5 hospitals and people attending funerals, SRK mortars hit civilians during
6 everyday day activities, while collecting or queueing for water, shopping
7 in market-places, or lining up for food or other humanitarian aid.
8 Residential houses, mosques, and cultural landmarks were not
9 spared; instead, they were extensively damaged through VRS bombardments.
10 Examples can be found in Exhibits P1888, P6682, and P7683.
11 After years of shelling with mortars, artilleries, and rockets,
12 General Mladic actually increased the destructive capacity of the SRK in
13 1994 and 1995 through his deployment of modified air bombs that were
14 indiscriminately launched into residential areas of the city. Mladic and
15 Perisic conceived of these contraptions and it was Mladic's personal
16 approval that was necessary to launch them. The Prosecution would
17 further refer the Chamber to paragraphs 749 to 753 of its brief for a
18 more detailed discussion.
19 Even some of the Defence witnesses acknowledged the terrifying
20 impact of the VRS shelling and sniping directed at the population.
21 Kecmanovic at page 23881 confirmed that it was living with that sense
22 that your city was being randomly showered with shells that terrified
23 you. GRM097, at page 40160, agreed that General Mladic wasn't above
24 using terror as a weapon and targeting civilians. Even Defence expert
25 Kovic admitted to the Chamber at page 41986 that the effect of the
1 campaign in Sarajevo was terrorising.
2 Turning to the Defence brief and its take on the campaign.
3 In its brief, specifically at paragraphs 1327, 1741, and 1800 to
4 1848, the Defence denies that the SRK did any of this and provides a
5 fictional narrative of the accused's involvement in the events in
6 Sarajevo, one where he is actually the heroic saviour who made consistent
7 attempts to ensure the safety of those in Sarajevo, going as far as to
8 say he ensured "the well-being/welfare" of them.
9 These statements could not be further from the truth.
10 In support of this, the Defence points to a few examples of
11 Mladic's kindness during the campaign. Taking these in turn:
12 The Defence claims in paragraphs 1803 and 1804 that
13 General Mladic offered the airport as a "gesture of goodwill" to ensure
14 the passage of humanitarian aid to the civilians and - in the same
15 paragraph - that he ordered not a single bullet was to be fired at the
16 airport. These submissions are impossible to square with the evidence in
17 this case that shows Mladic and Karadzic continually used humanitarian
18 aid as a tool for leverage. Even after surrendering control of the
19 airport to UNPROFOR, Karadzic threatened UN officials in September 1994
20 and said that:
21 "In the event the arms embargo was lifted, the Serbs would take
22 UN Blue Helmets hostage, shoot down a lot of planes" --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. -- in the event the embargo was lifted?
24 MR. WEBER: Correct.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
1 MR. WEBER: The arms embargo at the time.
2 "Shoot down a lot of planes and arrest all foreigners."
3 That is Exhibit P840.
4 Later that same month, while Mladic was present in Lukavica
5 UNPROFOR reported the VRS had received orders to open fire on all
6 aircraft because Mladic wanted "to show his determination to close the
7 airport and restrain freedom of movement." That's P629.
8 And then, there's evidence of the SRK actually firing on planes,
9 like the occasion in March 1995 where Akashi's plane landed in the
10 airport and the VRS fired on it. That is P872, paragraph 99, and
11 Exhibit P880.
12 This portrayal is also impossible to square with Mladic's own SRK
13 commander's response to protests about the deliberate sniping of
14 civilians crossing the airport. In one such response, Galic expressly
15 told Abdel-Razek that if civilians continued to cross the airport, his
16 side would continue shooting at them. This can be found in P293,
17 paragraphs 91 and 104.
18 That is exactly what happened. When desperate conditions caused
19 more civilians to attempt night-time crossings of the airport in early
20 1993, anywhere between five to 30 civilians a night were shot by Galic's
21 forces over a two- to three-month period. The shooting of civilians
22 crossing the airport is discussed in greater detail in paragraph 689 of
23 the Prosecution's final brief.
24 This evidence also runs counter to Defence claims in
25 paragraph 1836 regarding the freedom of movement of civilians where they
1 say the civilians of Sarajevo were "always permitted" freedom of movement
2 into and out of SRK-held territory and they were "never blockaded" by the
3 SRK. The reality, of course, was different. General Mladic took pride
4 in this fact, as demonstrated in the intercept mentioned earlier where he
5 stated that he had blocked Sarajevo from four corners, that the city was
6 trapped, and that there was no way out.
7 The reality is that the SRK blocked all the roads into and out of
8 Sarajevo. As already mentioned, civilians ran across the airport in
9 droves, in desperate dashes for freedom, and the SRK shot at them with
10 machine-guns as they did. Access to the narrow tunnel eventually built
11 under the airport was limited and crossing through it was difficult, as
12 Defence witness Radojcic himself acknowledged at page 23112.
13 The lack of freedom of movement for the civilians of Sarajevo is
14 also contradicted by numerous VRS orders, including, Mladic's own
15 directives, which repeatedly ordered the SRK to prevent the de-blockade
16 of the city and to tighten the circle. There are other examples, like
17 the one now appearing before you on the slide.
18 This is Exhibit P6523, an SRK tasking order from April 1994,
19 where Galic instructed SRK units to "fortify positions around Sarajevo by
20 erecting wire and concrete barriers, which would in turn strengthen the
21 belief that they really are blocked (in a camp)."
22 This task obviously applied to both military and civilians within
23 the SRK encirclement. As Colonel Dragicevic acknowledged, it was
24 impossible for the SRK to surround ABiH forces in the city without also
25 surrounding civilians and instilling this camp-like feeling with the use
1 of concrete barriers and wire. This is at pages 23776 to 78.
2 The Defence makes a similarly outlandish claim in paragraph 1817
3 that Mladic "did not support" or give any orders that obstructed the
4 passage of humanitarian convoys. This Chamber has received overwhelming
5 evidence to the contrary. Mladic controlled and deliberately manipulated
6 the supply of humanitarian aid and utilities throughout the campaign. He
7 did this in order to restrict the flow of humanitarian aid within the
9 According to Banbury, the VRS exercised total control over UN
10 convoys, and General Mladic was very obstructive when it came to the
11 delivery of humanitarian assistance. Fraser indicated that Mladic
12 regularly restricted convoys and described how Mladic would sometimes use
13 those convoys as pawns, as he "would run you down to your last day of
14 food, water, fuel, then show you who was in control by allowing a convoy
15 in." That's P576, paragraph 137.
16 Another example Fraser provided was when Mladic threatened to
17 restrict convoys into Sarajevo if there was no apology for recent NATO
18 air-strikes. When no apology came, Mladic closed all check-points into
19 Sarajevo. This is at transcript page 5774.
20 The Defence next claims in paragraphs 1827 to 1829 of its brief
21 that General Mladic took "every action" to ensure the supply of water,
22 gas, and electricity to Sarajevo; and that "no orders were ever given"
23 for the supply of services into the ABiH areas of Sarajevo to be severed.
24 These Defence claims are flatly contradicted by the voluminous evidence
25 in this case.
1 Mladic himself even issued such orders. On the slide before you
2 is now one such order. In Exhibit P7406, General Mladic unambiguously
3 orders "immediately stop supplying water, electricity, and gas to the
4 Muslim part of Sarajevo." So orders were, in fact, given and they came
5 from the accused.
6 Also, everyone understood how the VRS was using the utilities in
7 Sarajevo, even local Bosnian Serb officials. For example, in P6714, the
8 Serbian City Assembly of Sarajevo complained to RS officials about the
9 damage caused to local Serbian households from "the most recent using of
10 Sarajevo for the purpose of raising and lowering tensions in the whole of
11 former Bosnia and Herzegovina (the cutting-off of electricity, water, and
13 Likewise, the Defence's contention in paragraph 1809 that Mladic
14 repeatedly offered to demilitarise Sarajevo and place all heavy weapons
15 under the control of UNPROFOR is not accurate. This contention is
16 invalidated by the circumstances, which include orders that subverted the
17 relocation of weapons and show the offers were not made in good faith.
18 The evidence shows that the Main Staff only agreed to the Total
19 Exclusion Zone, or TEZ, as part of a number of military and humanitarian
20 concessions to avoid threatened NATO attacks following Markale I. The
21 evidence also shows that the SRK had no intent to actually implement the
22 TEZ. As internal orders reveal, they planned to remove inoperative
23 weapons while hiding the operative ones. Orders from the Main Staff and
24 SRK expressly refer to the relocation of weapons in 1994 as a
25 "diversionary tactic" and also state the inoperative weapons were removed
1 "in order to give the Military Observers the impression that they were
2 withdrawing our heavy weapons." Theses are references to P730 and P4428.
3 Another example is P2249.
4 Moreover, the reduction of shelling after Markale 1 was
5 accompanied by a spike in sniping. By 19 March 1994, the level of
6 sniping in the city was increasing. Both Thomas and RM164 testified that
7 after the creation of the TEZ sniping became a more pronounced component
8 of the campaign. The SRK resorted to this increased sniping against the
9 civilian position, because at that time they temporarily lost their
10 advantage of their heavy weapons.
11 Now the Defence also cites VRS orders at various points in its
12 brief and argues that these orders somehow show some type of reduced
13 culpability or exculpatory behaviour by the accused. For example, in
14 paragraph 2437 of its brief, the Defence states that Mladic "strictly
15 prohibited any offensive fire and implemented an absolute ban on the
16 targeting of civilians." They then refer he to a few of Mladic's own
17 orders. We will now look at one of them.
18 This is Exhibit P812 on the screen before you. It is one of the
19 orders the Defence relies upon in its brief to say that Mladic instituted
20 an absolute ban on offensive fire and targeting civilians. Looking at
21 the text of this order, under item 2, it states that offensive actions
22 cannot be undertaken without the approval of the Main Staff. And under
23 item 3, Mladic states that fire is forbidden on civilians "without my
25 As General Smith at page 7462 succinctly stated, when things are
1 based on the approval of the superior command "that is not the same as
3 These are not complete prohibitions or even remotely exculpatory
4 orders. What they do show is that Mladic's approval was necessary for
5 firing on the civilians of Sarajevo, which is how the VRS worked.
6 These kind of orders are addressed in greater detail from
7 paragraphs 637 to 644 and 646 to 650 of the Prosecution's final brief.
8 As can be seen from these sections of our brief, the documents the
9 Defence relies upon either represent Mladic's modulation of the campaign
10 or his attempts to deny or deflect international criticism. Although the
11 Defence tries to paint the picture of the accused as a kind man who cared
12 about civilians, as the Prosecution has shown, the evidence in this case
13 tells an entirely different story. As Mladic himself bragged during the
14 interview mentioned by Mr. Tieger earlier:
15 "Whenever I come by Sarajevo, I kill someone in passing. That's
16 why the traffic for Sarajevo was disrupted ... snipers. I go, kick the
17 hell out of the Turks, who gives a fuck for them!"
18 That's P1974.
19 As Mladic's own words made clear, he didn't care about the
20 well-being of Muslims in Sarajevo. Also, as Harland explained at pages
21 724 to 725, there was a direct connection between General Mladic's
22 statements and the effects on the ground. So given Mladic's own words
23 and his actions where he directed attacks on the civilian parts of
24 Sarajevo, there is no wonder that life for civilians in the city was, in
25 the words of Banbury, almost unbearable.
1 While describing the accused as a benevolent commander who
2 constantly controlled SRK fire by restricting it and who ensured the
3 freedom and well-being of everyone, the Defence shifts at times to a
4 depiction of the SRK as a reactionary force with little or no means
5 available to it. These arguments taken together are basically asking you
6 to find that Good Samaritan Mladic was doing all he could with what
7 little he had in the SRK. This depiction of the SRK doesn't hold up
9 In fact, the Defence's false narrative about the SRK falls flat
10 on its face from the outset. In paragraph 1714, as part of its attempt
11 to say the SRK was at a distinct disadvantage to the ABiH, the defence
12 mistakenly argues that the formation of the SRK came in response to the
13 ABiH's establishment in Sarajevo. They rely on expert Kovac for this
14 proposition; however, Kovac - their military expert - couldn't even get
15 incredibly basic information on the formation of the opposing forces
16 correct and he was confronted at page 41605 with Exhibit P7676, an order
17 showing that the ABiH was actually formed after the SRK, not the other
18 way around.
19 Contrary to the Defence's claims in paragraphs 1711 to 1712 and
20 1717 to 1725, the SRK was not an under-manned, under-trained, and
21 under-equipped force compared to the ABiH. General Wilson said at pages
22 4008 to 4011 that the SRK was well-equipped, very well organised, and
23 fought professionally. This was also the SRK's own view of itself, as
24 illustrated in P6543, where in January 1995, General Milosevic commended
25 the 1st Romanija Infantry Brigade for being a highly organised and
1 effective force throughout its long history of military successes.
2 By comparison, it was the ABiH 1st Corps in Sarajevo that was
3 ill-equipped and disorganised. General Wilson described the ABiH forces
4 at page 3922 to 26 as a rag-tag bunch at the beginning of the war and far
5 from a competent force. Although the ABiH improved over time, Konings
6 said that, even in 1995, the ABiH was not a professional army. That's
7 P1741, paragraph 28.
8 And contrary to the Defence submissions, the SRK and the RS MUP
9 were well aware during the conflict that the ABiH was inferior. For
10 example, in 1993, 1st Smbr member Desimir Sarenac reported in P6790 that
11 discipline in the ABiH was non-existent. The men were unruly and they
12 had no uniforms. In P6769, the RS MUP reported that same year that the
13 ABiH forces were "in disarray, MTS provisions are very poor, and they
14 have nothing to offer in resistance to the far better armed VRS units."
15 And lastly, in 1995, SRK Colonel Marko Lugonja reported in D1273
16 that the ABiH was unreliable and weak in combat.
17 Also contrary to the Defence assertions, the SRK possessed
18 superior weaponry over the ABiH, a fact that even Defence witnesses
19 confirmed. In both his statement and at pages 23868 and 23872 Kecmanovic
20 stated that Serb artillery was superior to the ABiH artillery.
21 General Milovanovic, the accused's immediate subordinate, indicated at
22 pages 17101 to 02 that the SRK had the advantage in heavy weapons. And
23 again even Defence expert Kovic stated in his report at page 62 of D1369
24 that the Serbs maintained their heavy weapon advantage in Sarajevo until
25 the end of the war. Finally, the aforementioned Desimir Sarenac admitted
1 at page 26179 that it was "widely known" that the ABiH had a shortage of
2 ammunition and weapons.
3 The discrepancy between the limited weaponry in the city and the
4 SRK heavy weapons in the surrounding hills was aptly described by
5 volunteer fire-fighter John Jordan, who said:
6 "The violence in and around Sarajevo was basically shovelled
7 downhill and spooned uphill."
8 Transcript page 1824.
9 One of the more blatantly false statements about the SRK comes in
10 paragraph 2098, where the Defence states "at no stage during the
11 conflict" did the SRK have trained snipers or use them. The SRK had
12 snipers, and the evidence shows that the SRK sniping was actually part of
13 an organised and centralised effort to target the civilian population.
14 For example, the VRS prominently discussed its snipers in the 1992 VRS
15 combat-readiness report, Exhibit P338. On page 10, in the section on
16 command and control, the organised training of scouts and snipers is
17 described as one of the most important elements for the combat-readiness
18 of the army. Another is Exhibit P677, which is now coming onto the
19 screen before you.
20 This is the 1995 VRS Main Staff programme for snipers, and it
21 shows just how central the Main Staff was to their instruction. Right at
22 the beginning of the document, the Main Staff states that sniper courses
23 are organised at the corps command level, and they were held several
24 times a year. This regular sniper training provided "high-grade
25 professional training," and snipers received instruction on seven
1 subjects, including the effect of a sniper in a populated area. As these
2 materials demonstrate, not only was there training of snipers, but it was
3 the Main Staff who oversaw and ensured SRK snipers maintained their
4 lethal capabilities.
5 The fact that SRK brigades possessed trained snipers and kept
6 training them throughout the campaign is something you can also see in
7 the documents from the individual SRK brigades. For instance, the
8 1st Romanija Brigade possessed and trained snipers from the beginning of
9 the war. This can be found in P6543. And this same brigade specifically
10 reported on 29 October 1993 that "over the spring period we trained all
11 snipers from the lower units." That is P676.
12 Defence witness Vlade Lucic, a former member of the 1st Romanija
13 Brigade, even admitted his brigade had snipers "per establishment." This
14 is in D658, paragraph 25.
15 The Defence also makes claims in paragraph 2100 of its final
16 brief that "no orders were ever given" to snipe civilians; and that no
17 orders were ever received by any member of the SRK to this effect.
18 These arguments make no sense in the context of Mladic's own
19 acknowledgment in March 1995 to General Smith that the SRK's increase of
20 sniping of civilians was in response to Serb casualties from an ABiH
21 attack. That is Exhibit P876, page 4, and transcript page 8222.
22 Also during March 1995, in P7809, a UNMO patrol was present when
23 a 1st Romanija Battalion commander ordered his subordinate to fire on
24 anything that moved, whether they were soldiers or civilians. In P7810,
25 the same UNMO patrol confirmed this battalion commander's order when it
1 was echoed by SRK soldiers on the front line, who told the UNMOs that
2 they will open fire on anybody who moves, including women and children.
3 At the end of the day, the Defence has to run away from
4 acknowledging the existence of SRK snipers during the campaign because
5 there is no justification for how the SRK used them. As Banbury stated,
6 "there was no reason for the Serbs to be sniping in Sarajevo. There were
7 no military targets suitable for sniping."
8 He then emphasised the fact that civilians, including women,
9 children, and the elderly, were regularly victims of sniping.
10 Van der Weijden explained the effect of snipers and stated:
11 "A victim killed by a sniper only affects the victim and the
12 people in the direct vicinity, but the thought of never being safe from
13 the enemy affects everybody. Apart from being shot at, the anxiety
14 mainly comes from not knowing where or how or exactly when the sniper
15 will strike."
16 In other words, the only explanation for SRK sniping civilians
17 was that it was intended to inflict terror amongst the population.
18 The Prosecution at this time is going to address one unscheduled
19 shelling that the Defence raises on a number of occasions in its brief.
20 It's the Vase Miskina shelling on 27 May 1992.
21 Like many other instances, the Defence theory on this shelling is
22 not clear, vacillating between unsupported conspiracy theories, involving
23 staged explosions with a planted device and unfounded accusations that
24 the ABiH were the ones who fired the mortar. Contrary to the Defence
25 assertions in paragraphs 1885 to 1905 of its brief, the shelling of the
1 bread line on Vase Miskina Street is not part of Scheduled Incident G1.
2 This was acknowledged by the Defence at transcript page 39134.
3 For this shelling, the Defence relies on former SRK member Bukva
4 in paragraph 1869, whose claims about the Vase Miskina shelling were
5 based on intelligence from some unknown source that the BiH authorities
6 staged the event by planting an explosive device. This planted device
7 theory, which has no support, is then contradicted and not relied upon
8 five pages later in the Defence brief where the Defence states in
9 paragraph 1891 that the explosion "could only have been" caused by an
10 incoming projectile. In this later discussion, the Defence abandons its
11 previous explosive device theory. They instead rely on the content of
12 Zorica Subotic's report and her twisted attempt to place almost all of
13 the firing positions within ABiH territory based upon an almost vertical
14 angle of descent of 83 or 84 degrees.
15 This discussion completely ignores what happened during her
16 testimony in court. With respect to the Vase Miskina shelling, Subotic's
17 opinion was exposed at pages 39597 to 39602 through her admission that
18 her co-author intentionally altered a photo from the investigative file.
19 This was done in order to make the crater appear like an almost perfectly
20 spherical shape, consistent with a high incoming angle.
21 Her claim that there was no on-site investigation at the time,
22 which was repeated in paragraph 1899 of the Defence brief, was wrong.
23 The official investigation report admitted as part of D1243 unmistakably
24 states that an on-site investigation of the crater was done shortly after
25 the shelling. This same investigation report, which Subotic indicated
1 she knew about but nevertheless did not reference as part of her opinion
2 in D2117, undermined her vertical firing theory and showed that the
3 firing points came from a greater distance. Eventually, at page 39609,
4 Subotic conceded that the angle of descent was much lower than the
5 83 degrees she tried to initially sell to this Chamber.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should slow down a bit.
7 MR. WEBER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The court reporter can't follow.
9 MR. WEBER: Thank you.
10 The Defence brief relies on Subotic's report as if none of this
11 ever happened --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think since you provided the text in advance to
13 the --
14 MR. WEBER: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- transcriber, let's take it up from Subotic
16 indicated she knew about but nevertheless did not reference as part of
17 her opinion. If you restart from there, perhaps then there's lesser
18 chance that either things appear in the transcript which are have not
19 read yet or that things are left out.
20 MR. WEBER: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
21 In reference to D1243, the same investigation report, which
22 Subotic indicated she knew about but nevertheless did not reference as
23 part of her opinion in D2117, undermined her vertical theory and showed
24 that the firing points came from a greater distance. Eventually at page
25 39609, Subotic conceded that the angle of descent was much lower than the
1 83 degrees that she originally presented to this Chamber. The Defence
2 brief relies on Subotic's report as if none of this ever happened.
3 Subotic's vertical firing theory, which would have also required
4 the shot to have been fired in close proximity to the point of impact, is
5 also undermined by the fact that the surviving witnesses who were waiting
6 in the bread queue did not hear an outgoing round before the shell
7 impacted. This can also be found in Exhibit D1243.
8 In paragraph 1897 of its brief, the Defence discusses the
9 intercept related to the Vase Miskina shelling and how it was against
10 Mladic's orders, but they fail to mention the part where Gagovic is
11 informed of the shelling coming from his own SRK forces on Trebevic and
12 where he states in response: "Who the fuck is firing from up there?"
13 They also do not mention Exhibit P4359, Mladic's 27 May order
14 telling all units to be ready to open fire but giving no order to fire
15 during ongoing negotiations related to the barracks evacuations that day.
16 As further detailed in paragraphs 925 to 932 of the Prosecution's brief,
17 Mladic then did order the SRK to carry out a city-wide bombardment of
18 Sarajevo the next day. If anything, this intercept demonstrates how
19 Mladic was central for the approval of all aspects of SRK's mortar use,
20 all the way down to the firing of 82-millimetre mortars.
21 Anyway, with respect to the Vase Miskina shelling, the shell that
22 landed on Vase Miskina Street on 27 May came from the SRK and it was not
23 part of some grand conspiracy or the ABiH launching a shell straight into
24 the air so it could fall on themselves.
25 Lastly, in paragraph 1898 the Defence brief relies on Mladic's
1 denial of the Vase Miskina shelling and his attempt to deflect
2 responsibility through his own self-motivated claims about an
3 investigation. There are no records of investigations into shellings at
4 the end of May and early June 1992; and if there had been investigations
5 at the time, General Mladic would have had to look no further than
6 himself to find someone who was responsible for the bombardments of the
8 This brings us to our next topic. Underlying many of the Defence
9 claims are overstated assertions that seek to vilify the ABiH for
10 everything that happened in Sarajevo. These attempts are not new.
11 For example, from paragraphs 1827 to 1835 of its brief, the
12 Defence's attempt to blame utility cut-offs on the Muslims perfectly
13 replicates Mladic's own strategy for hiding his forces' responsibility,
14 as outlined at the 16th Assembly Session. During that speech, he stated
15 that his forces would shut down the electricity, gas, and water in
16 Sarajevo, as he had previously done in Croatia, while wisely telling the
17 world that the Muslims had done it and the Bosnian Serbs were doing the
18 best to repair it. That's P431, pages 38 to 39.
19 As we have seen, the truth was far different and Mladic actually
20 determined whether and how Sarajevo would receive the supply of
21 utilities. The Defence does not stop there. Starting at paragraph 1853
22 of its brief, the Defence goes as far as to assert that the Bosnian
23 leadership and the ABiH were the true perpetrators of the shelling and
24 sniping campaign conducted against the civilians of Sarajevo, as if the
25 entire three and a half years of SRK shelling and sniping can be
1 justified or explained entirely by the Bosnians firing on their own
3 Even the Defence evidence doesn't tell you this. For example,
4 D1425, an Independent newspaper article which the Defence relies upon, in
5 paragraph 1856. This article discusses views expressed by some unnamed
6 UN officials, who emphasised that the suspicions of BiH attacks "were a
7 tiny minority among the regular city bombardments by Serbian forces."
8 As this article also demonstrates, the Defence relies on
9 speculative claims that have routinely been shown throughout this case to
10 be either generic, unsupported, or based on a witness's knowledge of
11 media reports. Ultimately, these speculative claims have proved to be
12 unfounded when exposed to any kind of scrutiny.
13 In many instances, central parts of the Defence narrative are
14 based on non-existent evidence. Take the evidence of VRS propagandist
15 Milovan Milutinovic. In paragraph 1862 of the Defence brief, they rely
16 on Milutinovic's recitation of a direct quote of Martin Bell, who
17 supposedly stated:
18 "I felt like a poor foot soldier in an army whose entire Muslim
19 command lost their mind and terrorised their own people."
20 The problem is Bell never said this.
21 On the slide before you, Milutinovic's quotation of Bell is on
22 the top and the actual quote of Bell is on the bottom. What Bell
23 actually said was:
24 "I felt like a humble foot soldier in an army whose high command
25 had taken leave of their collective senses - and I told them so."
1 On pages 30056 to 58, Milutinovic was confronted with Bell's
2 actual quote, which shows that Bell was actually discussing the actions
3 of his own government, not the Muslim command, and he did not mention any
4 ABiH terrorising of their own people. When asked how on earth he got
5 Bell's quote so wrong, Milutinovic stated he did not speak English and
6 tried to blame the error on a local paper he read in Serbian, ignoring
7 the fact that in his statement he had very misleadingly attributed the
8 direct quote to an English-language newspaper and not to any other
10 The Defence also tries to point to specific instances where the
11 ABiH supposedly fired on themselves. The first of these supposed events
12 that the Defence points to can be found in paragraph 1855, where they
13 assert that Captain Hansen told Bosnian officials to stop firing at their
14 own people after the shelling of the RTV building on 28 June 1995. This
15 claim is solely based on the testimony of UNMO Oien. When directly asked
16 about this specific event at page 43196, Oien stated he couldn't tell us
17 about it and:
18 "I don't remember. I was not there and I can't confirm anything
19 of this."
20 In addition to not exactly having an inspiring basis for their
21 assertion, there is ample evidence which the Defence ignores that it was,
22 in fact, the SRK who fired the modified air bomb that impacted the RTV
23 building on 28 June 1995. This is supported by the evidence of witness
24 Brennskag, who saw that modified air bomb launched from the VRS side of
25 the confrontation lines; and also Harland, Banbury, and RM110, and
1 Exhibit P966, P991, P752, P6711, the complete investigative filed
2 admitted as P7572, D203, and D165.
3 Finally the SRK report admitted by the Defence truly underscores
4 the disingenuous nature of these submissions. The SRK in its own report,
5 admitted as Defence Exhibit D147, acknowledged that the SRK were the ones
6 who fired and hit the RTV building on 28 June. They leave mention of
7 this out of their discussion of the shelling.
8 In a related effort with respect to the tram snipings, the
9 Defence tries to rely on D1810. This is that single cherry-picked
10 document from an October 1994 BiH MUP investigative file. The
11 Prosecution tendered the whole file in rebuttal as P7852. This file
12 clearly shows that the information relied upon by the Defence was
13 mistaken and the fire actually came from the SRK positions in Grbavica.
14 In addition to the ballistics evidence in the complete file, the
15 materials reveal that witnesses even heard multiple bursts of fire coming
16 from the SRK positions on this occasion.
17 Then there is Scheduled Incident G4, the shelling of the football
18 match on 1 June 1993 in Dobrinja. On this one, the Defence also claims
19 the ABiH fired the shell. And at paragraph 1946 states:
20 "A number of ABiH artillery positions were located upon the
21 estimated bearing of the projectile, including those within the Toplik
22 area; and it is possible that the projectile could have originated from
23 one of those positions."
24 In support of this, the only witness they cite is John Hamill.
25 The problem is, is that John Hamill was an UNMO on the Lima side, not the
1 Papa side, and the artillery positions in Toplik that he is describing in
2 the referenced part of the testimony belong to the SRK and not to the
3 ABiH. The fact that these were SRK mortar positions in the area of
4 Toplik was also confirmed by SRK Artillery Commander Savo Simic, who even
5 indicated his mortars in the area were pointed towards Dobrinja. The
6 only evidence in the record is that it was the SRK who possessed mortars
7 in the Toplik area.
8 In addition to the false Toplik assertion, the Defence then
9 throws out in the next sentences of the same paragraph the possibility
10 that a mobile mortar was used to launch a shell originating from the same
11 direction. This time they rely on a completely unrelated part of
12 Hamill's testimony that has nothing to do with G4. This whole theory is
13 absurd, but if we could look at a map anyway just to see the supposed
14 route that the ABiH mortar crew would have had to have travelled.
15 This is an annotated cut out of the map marked by John Hamill and
16 admitted as P539. On this map, the road between Dobrinja and Toplik is
17 marked in red. Based on this route, this mobile mortar crew would have
18 had to have driven out of Dobrinja and into SRK territory. They then
19 would have had to have passed through Lukavica, where the SRK command is
20 located, and then continue on to the vicinity of Toplik. This entire
21 area is littered with SRK artillery and mortar positions according to the
22 evidence of Savo Simic. You would think that an ABiH mobile mortar crew
23 pulling up to SRK positions and firing off a couple of shots would have
24 gotten at least a mention in their daily combat report. The combat
25 report from that day has been admitted as D1778. And no, that report
1 states there were no unusual incidents that day. In reality, there is
2 absolute zero evidence that any of this ever took place.
3 For G4, the evidence in this case conclusively shows that the
4 minimum firing distance of the shell places the origin of fire within SRK
5 territory, and this is just a desperate attempt to try to say otherwise.
6 Your Honours, I see that we're at the time for a break and I'm
7 about to head into a new section.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We are, Mr. Weber. We'll take a break. We'll
9 resume at five minutes to 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, I invite you to proceed. But it would
13 assist us - and I know that the failure is entirely with us, our old
14 ears - that if you would pronounce your words more explicitly, that we
15 would not have to check again and again in the transcript whether we
16 really heard what we thought we may have heard.
17 MR. WEBER: That is very kind, Your Honours, but I think the
18 responsibility lies with me.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Please proceed.
20 MR. WEBER: Turning to the Scheduled Incidents.
21 The Chamber has received detailed evidence on the snipings and
22 shellings that constitute the scheduled F and G incidents and how these
23 events are representative of what happened throughout the campaign. In
24 its brief, the Defence heavily relies on the reports of its two
25 ballistics experts in its discussion of the Scheduled Incidents. The
1 Prosecution addressed these two witnesses in paragraphs 1049 to 1057 of
2 its brief. At this time, the Prosecution will provide some additional
3 submissions on the unreliability of these witnesses in the context of the
4 Defence brief.
5 Zorica Subotic and Mile Poparic have provided evidence that is
6 not credible in this case. It's particularly telling that the Defence
7 brief has offered numerous citations, hundreds of them, to the written
8 reports of these experts but cited comparatively little to the witness's
9 in-court testimony. The reason is simple: The Defence experts and their
10 opinions did not hold up to scrutiny on the witness-stand. The
11 cross-examination of these experts repeatedly demonstrated that Subotic's
12 and Poparic's theories have no sound basis. When it comes to the
13 Defence's shelling expert, the failings of Subotic stem partly from her
14 lack of experience. As she admitted, she has never analysed a freshly
15 formed crater in person. She has never been to the scene of a mortar
16 explosion immediately after a detonation. In fact, her only experience
17 with crater analysis occurred in 2010, when she prepared her excerpt
18 report for the Karadzic case. This is the same visit that she used as a
19 basis for her opinions in this case.
20 With her limited experience in crater analysis, Subotic decided
21 to then engage in methods that were filled with errors. She analysed
22 craters that had been physically eroded or repaired in the years after
23 the shellings. If the craters had been paved over, she relied on videos
24 and photographs even though that practice could lead to different
25 results, which she admitted at page 39630.
1 Even though Subotic agreed that the best time to conduct a
2 reliable crater analysis was immediately after an impact, she rejected
3 the mortar analyses that ballistics investigators had conducted
4 immediately after the shelling events, disregarding their findings in
5 favour of her own exceptionally belated analysis in 2010, over 15 years
6 after the conflict ended.
7 To reach her discussions, Subotic sometimes even manipulated the
8 evidence in order to absolve the SRK. For example, when she evaluated
9 Scheduled Incident G4, the shelling by the SRK of a football match that
10 was mentioned earlier, Subotic used the grid co-ordinates provided by the
11 UNPROFOR investigation and then plotted those co-ordinates on a different
12 map that she knew used a different grid scale. And the consequences of
13 such a manipulation should be immediately apparent, plotting the same
14 co-ordinates on a different map that uses a different grid scale will
15 lead to a plotting of the event in a new location.
16 Instead of acknowledging that plotting the same co-ordinates on
17 different map with different scales might lead to different results,
18 Subotic claimed that her new plotting discredited UNPROFOR's original
19 investigation. In fact, the result is the opposite. This shows just how
20 much Subotic was willing to manipulate the available evidence to reach
21 the conclusions she sought to achieve. The Defence nevertheless relies
22 on Subotic's manipulation in its brief, asserting the same flawed point
23 in paragraph 1938.
24 Subotic also offered a number of wholly unsupported conspiracy
25 theories to explain the Markale shellings. For example, on Scheduled
1 Incident G8, Markale I, Subotic claimed that a stationary device was set
2 in the market. The Defence brief similarly relies on Subotic's claims in
3 their brief, but Subotic's static explosion theory required a vast
4 conspiracy. Her theory required a professional sabotage team to dig a
5 hole, with the precise measurements needed to make the mortar appear like
6 it came from SRK territory. It required conspirators to plant a
7 stabiliser prior to the static explosion. Her grand theory also required
8 conspirators who brought in bodies to the market after the explosion in
9 order to mimic victims. When asked who was part of this vast conspiracy,
10 Subotic couldn't even name one single person. It was something she just
11 made up.
12 There's also no physical evidence to support her theory of a
13 static explosion; even Subotic acknowledged that. As Gauthier - a
14 Defence witness and head of the UN investigation into the shelling -
15 testified, the Markale I shelling was not caused by a stationary device,
16 but was the result of a 120-millimetre mortar fire. Similarly, GRM065
17 agreed in D1442 that the incident was not the result of a static
18 explosion. This static explosion theory is also ruled out in the UN
19 investigation file on page 21 of Exhibit P538.
20 Other times, Subotic continued to hold on to specific opinions,
21 even in the face of overwhelming evidence that her opinion was wrong.
22 One example of this was her testimony in relation to Scheduled
23 Incident G10; this is the SRK's modified air bomb attack on Hrasnica on 7
24 April 1995. Subotic refused to acknowledge the fact that a
25 250-kilogramme modified air bomb was used in this attack. As a supposed
1 ballistics expert, she refused to acknowledge it even though the
2 ballistics report in the investigative file stated that a fuse from a
3 250-kilogramme air bomb was found at the scene. She still refused to
4 admit that it was a 250-kilogramme air bomb when informed that the VRS's
5 own documents confirmed that it was a 250-kilogramme air bomb.
6 As if the ballistics information and the contemporaneous
7 documents were not enough, she then continued to deny it was a
8 250-kilogramme air bomb even after being informed that the Ilidza Brigade
9 Commander Radojcic testified before this Chamber that it was his brigade
10 who indeed fired a 250-kilogramme air bomb at Hrasnica. When it came to
11 Radojcic's testimony, Subotic actually suggested that he wasn't telling
12 the truth, that she knew better than the brigade commander who fired the
14 Subotic held fast to her theory in the face of overwhelming
15 evidence for a very specific reason: She wanted to minimise the
16 destructive capacity of the modified air bomb used from a 250-kilogramme
17 one to that of 100 kilogrammes. Her evidence was an ploy to say that the
18 SRK used a more proportional amount of force against some supposed
19 target. Due to her extraordinary bias and utter lack of credibility, she
20 held on to an entirely unsupported opinion. Her evidence should be
22 Similar failings and evidence manipulations undermine Poparic,
23 who testified as the Defence's sniping expert on the Scheduled Sniping
24 Incidents. As an initial matter, Poparic admitted that he constructed
25 his line-of-sight arguments without a GPS and he ignored the OTP GPS
1 co-ordinates where victims were sniped because he found the information
2 was not necessary.
3 Consistent with the efforts of Subotic, Poparic also engaged in
4 fabrications and contorted reasoning in his attempts to exculpate the
5 accused. For example, in order to lay blame on the ABiH, Poparic
6 intentionally plotted the location of Scheduled Incident F16 in a
7 different location from where the victim, Tarik Zunic, said he was shot.
8 Instead of relying on Zunic's testimony about the location of the
9 incident, Poparic placed the sniping in another location which was less
10 visible from Spicaste Stijena.
11 The Defence's brief similarly relies on Poparic's manipulation,
12 even though he admitted - that being Poparic - that Zunic's testimony was
13 consistent with other evidence. Poparic instead chose to believe an
14 unnamed couple that he encountered on a visit in 2010, who allegedly told
15 him that the sniping occurred in a different location. There is nothing
16 in evidence supporting Poparic's opinion and the evidence on all points
17 indicate that the shot came from the SRK.
18 Poparic also denied well-known facts. A simple example: In
19 paragraph 2170 of the Defence's brief regarding Scheduled Incident F9,
20 the Defence solely relies on Poparic's unsupported assumption to claim
21 that "the Prosecution failed to prove there was a VRS firing position at
22 the window of the institute for the blind."
23 The Defence's claim is contradicted by its own witness.
24 1st Battalion commander of the Ilidza Brigade Guzina admitted that the
25 SRK held a position at the school for the blind. This is can be found at
1 transcript page 22548 and D514, paragraph 37.
2 The Defence criticises the ABiH investigators in paragraphs 1876
3 to 1883 of its brief; however, in contrast to Subotic and Poparic, the
4 BiH investigators - such as Sabljica, Suljevic, Turkusic, Sokolar, Besic,
5 and Miokovic - were experienced investigators who conducted hundreds of
6 investigations during the conflict. More importantly, for all the
7 Defence's claims of bias, the findings of the BiH investigators in the
8 Scheduled Incidents were often corroborated by UNPROFOR investigations.
9 For example, the Scheduled Incident G7, the shelling of humanitarian aid
10 queue in Dobrinja. The BiH investigation determined that the shells came
11 from the east, toward Lukavica; the UNPROFOR investigation likewise
12 corroborated the BiH investigation and found the shells came from the
13 direction of Lukavica.
14 The BiH investigations represent just one part in a mountain of
15 evidence that the Prosecution has presented regarding the terror campaign
16 in Sarajevo. The testimony of witnesses the Chamber heard from
17 throughout this case and the exhibits admitted into evidence lead to only
18 one conclusion: For over three years, General Mladic and the other
19 members of the Sarajevo terror JCE led a campaign of terror against the
20 civilians of Sarajevo. And as a result of that campaign, General Mladic
21 is responsible for the charged crimes of terror, unlawful attacks, and
23 Your Honours, at this time, this concludes my remarks and I turn
24 the podium over to Mr. McCloskey.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Weber.
1 Mr. McCloskey, before you proceed, risk management requires
2 analysis, analysis of the past, talking about speed of speech. I think
3 that I should - even before you have started - already ask you to have
4 compassion with our transcriber and with our ears.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's nice to be remembered, Mr. President,
7 Your Honours. Good morning.
8 Srebrenica. Srebrenica has been a catastrophe for the Muslim
9 community of Eastern Bosnia, a tragedy of such proportion that my words
10 here today cannot begin to convey to you the suffering experienced by the
11 people of Srebrenica.
12 But the greatest tragedy is no longer found in the dead, for
13 their suffering is over. We must also remember the families left behind,
14 those people who have been condemned to live their lives without their
15 fathers, without their husbands, their brothers, their sons, their
16 neighbours, their community. There's too much pain, there's too much
17 loss for any of us to truly comprehend the nature and scope of the shared
18 misery of the women and survivors of the Srebrenica community.
19 We can, however, strike back, as mandated by the Security Council
20 with the creation of this Tribunal, to expose the horrific crimes of this
21 war and try those most responsible for them. Through the comprehensive
22 evidence presented in this case, we have revealed the nature and scope of
23 this crime, this genocide. We have identified the key men responsible
24 for it. We have Mladic in the dock answering for his crimes.
25 The evidence of genocide presented in this courtroom for the last
1 four and a half years - as promised in my opening - was clear,
2 comprehensive, and unassailable. From the myriad of evidence presented,
3 we see Mladic commanding his forces in an organised and systematic
4 capture, detention, transportation, execution, and burial of over 7.000
5 able-bodied men and boys of Srebrenica and the expulsion of women and
6 children and elderly actually on the ground in Potocari on film from 11
7 July throughout 13 July, Potocari, Srebrenica, Bratunac, and Nova Kasaba.
8 For the next two sessions, I will take us back to 1995 and
9 highlight for you the most important evidence proving Ratko Mladic's
10 individual criminal responsibility and how that evidence has completely
11 undone the Defence effort to deny it.
12 In this case, the indictment has charged two related JCEs that
13 pertain to Eastern Bosnia: The JCE to eliminate the Muslim population
14 from Srebrenica; and the overarching JCE to ethnically cleanse the
15 non-Serb population from Serb-controlled areas. I will focus my
16 presentation on the JCE to eliminate, which - as you know - is defined as
17 the forcible transfer of the women, children, and some elderly men of
18 Srebrenica from 11 through 13 July, and the murder of the able-bodied men
19 and boys of Srebrenica.
20 In the months leading up to the fall of the enclave, the
21 Srebrenica population had suffered systematic deprivation of food and
22 other necessities of life, from deliberate restrictions of the aid to the
23 population and supplies to UNPROFOR, to the planned assaults upon the
24 civilian population, all resulting by 11 July in an unbearable situation
25 of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the
1 inhabitants of Srebrenica.
2 These lasts words, as you know, are not mine. They are the words
3 of Karadzic and Mladic as ordered in Directive 7 on 8 March 1995, P1469.
4 I can think of no better description of the condition of the
5 Srebrenica population on 11 July. Directive 7, when successfully turned
6 into action, resulted in precisely what Mladic and Karadzic sought: A
7 situation where the Muslim population, for their very survival, would
8 have to leave Srebrenica. The women and children of Srebrenica were
9 particularly vulnerable from 11 July because on that day the vast
10 majority of their men were forced to flee their homes and families in
11 fear for their lives. The Defence argue the population left voluntarily
12 or were required to leave by UNPROFOR. However, by 11 July free will had
13 been crushed by Mladic, replaced only with the will to survive. The
14 hopeless condition of the population and the disabling of UNPROFOR were
15 the result of Directive 7 and follow-up assaults, actions, and
16 deprivations designed by Mladic and Karadzic to create this horrendous,
17 inhuman situation for roughly 45.000 people in Srebrenica. The
18 condition of the Muslim population on 11 July was a direct result of the
19 policy of the VRS and Bosnian Serb leadership from the beginning of the
20 war to remove non-Serbs, a policy that has been written down and spoken
21 repeatedly by the Bosnian Serb leadership in official and unofficial
22 documents, during meetings, and in private.
23 Mr. Tieger and Mr. Traldi have reminded you of Strategic
24 Objective 1 of May 1992, to separate the national communities; and
25 Mladic's Directive 4 in November 1992, which ordered the removal of the
1 Muslim population from the Srebrenica area.
2 As you will recall from Mr. Traldi's presentation of that
3 evidence, this is exactly what happened in early 1993, with the VRS
4 successfully removing thousands of the people from Eastern Bosnia.
5 However, the UN finally intervened in April 1993 with the creation of the
6 protected areas through Security Council Resolution 819, which stalled
7 further actions by the VRS. The intention to remove the Muslims from
8 Srebrenica however remained and is clearly evident in the July 1994
9 report of the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, Colonel Ognjenovic,
10 shortly after a meeting he had with Generals Mladic and Zivanovic known
11 to you now and discussed previously by Mr. Tieger. These words - life
12 has to be made unbearable - their temporary stay in the enclave
13 impossible so that they leave the enclave en masse, realising they cannot
14 survive there. These words foreshadowing the criminal order in
15 Directive 7 were, of course, not invented by Ognjenovic, but reflect what
16 he learned from the meeting he had with Mladic and Zivanovic a few days
17 earlier. We know this because some of the words on the same theme was
18 noted down by General Zivanovic in his notebook. As Mr. Tieger pointed
19 out, clear evidence that Ognjenovic based his report to his troops on the
20 words of General Mladic and the discussion and the meeting he'd had.
21 That's P5273.
22 The enclave not so that they survive but so they disappear.
23 And then in August 1994, we have Mladic's comments on videotape
24 played to you by Mr. Tieger, where Mladic not only revelled in the
25 destruction of Muslim homes, but exclaimed:
1 "If the Americans and English, the Ukrainians, and the Canadians
2 in Srebrenica - in the meantime it's the Dutch - would not protect them,
3 they would have disappeared from this area long ago."
4 Again, we see the use of the word "disappear," as we saw in
5 Zivanovic's notes, a word Mladic will use again and again, revealing his
6 intentions towards the Muslim community.
7 Mladic's statement here reflects his frustrations with the UN
8 enclaves and the international forces there, which prevented him from
9 removing the Muslims from the area altogether at a time when he was yet
10 unwilling to attack the UN forces. With the spring of 1995, we have
11 Directive 7, on 8 March 1995. The same day Directive 7 was issued,
12 Zivanovic had a meeting with Mladic and again made notes about
13 Srebrenica, P5274.
14 "Make life impossible." These words, of course, echo the theme
15 of Directive 7 and are Mladic's words, as expressed by Miletic in
16 Directive 7 or words to that effect.
17 In addition to the order to complete unbearable conditions
18 creating no hope of survival, Directive 7 sets out, as I mention, an
19 insidious order to restrict aid to the enclaves, obviously in furtherance
20 to create unbearable conditions.
21 "The relevant state and military organs responsible for work with
22 UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations shall, through the planned and
23 unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits, reduce and limit the
24 logistics support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material
25 resources to the Muslim population, making them dependent on our goodwill
1 while, at the same time, avoiding condemnation by the international
2 community and international public opinion."
3 And, of course, this order in Directive 7 was followed and
4 implemented, in many cases by Mladic himself who personally reviewed the
5 convoy requests and initialled his decision to refuse crucially needed
7 In one example found in P1788, page 16, Mladic denied an UNPROFOR
8 request for fuel on 30 March, initialling the request with a big "no" on
9 the top. Obradovic identified for us Mladic's initials here on
10 transcript 14537 to 38.
11 By carefully examining the rest of the exhibit, as well as
12 Exhibits P2145, P2159, and P2146, you will see Mladic personally
13 restricting materials and troops to UNPROFOR approximately 29 times.
14 The Main Staff effort in restricting material to the enclaves is
15 also evident from General Miletic's correspondence to the corps and
16 brigades, instructing them regarding various restrictions. See
17 paragraphs 435 to 447 of our brief.
18 The next significant document recording the objective to remove
19 the Muslims from Srebrenica is Mladic's order of 12 May 1995, instructing
20 the Drina Corps to prepare battle plans against Zepa and Srebrenica.
21 That's Exhibit P2097.
22 However, on 16 May General Krstic informed the Main Staff in
23 P2098 that while he was making preparation to follow Mladic's order, he
24 states and I quote:
25 "We are currently unable to implement your order to fully close
1 off the enclaves and carry out attacks against them because we do not
2 have sufficient forces ..."
3 So unable to muster the troops available in May, the Drina Corps
4 plans and conducts a successful sabotage action in June designed to
5 instill fear and panic in the Srebrenica population.
6 You will recall a small unit of the 10th Sabotage Detachment and
7 Bratunac Brigade soldiers who secretly entered Srebrenica through a
8 tunnel and fired several hand-held rockets in the fog towards the town.
9 They also killed a woman they came across outside the tunnel. See our
10 brief at paragraph 449.
11 Milorad Pelemis, the commander of the unit, testified about this
12 and tried to say that they were aiming at a police station with their
13 RPGs, transcript 33812. I trust you will recall his incredible testimony in
14 Pelemisi and the mass graves of 1992 which I will not get into. Needless
15 to say, his testimony was not credible and the actual successful,
16 objective of the attack was set out in his notes that we amazingly had,
17 P7272. Coming into town and causing panic and disarray. This operation
18 designed to instill fear and panic is perfectly consistent with
19 Directive 7's objective, to make life unbearable.
20 Next, later that month, the Drina Corps planned and executed a
21 combat operation against DutchBat OP at Zeleni Jadar, removing that
22 OP and paving the way for future assaults on Srebrenica from that area.
23 This evidence is set out fully in our brief in paragraph 1107 and is
24 based principally on VRS documents and DutchBat reports.
25 So now on July 2nd the Drina Corps prepares an attack plan on the
1 enclave itself, which I would like to show you and discuss briefly. It
2 is P1465.
3 First we can see that the attack plan is based on Directive 7 and
4 7/1. This, of course, totally undercuts the defence that Mladic withdrew
5 the criminal order of Directive 7, replacing it with 7/1. This defence
6 was thoroughly demolished by Mr. Tieger on Monday at transcript
7 pages 44335 through 44336 and in our closing brief at paragraph 432. In
8 addition, I refer you to Mr. Groome's questioning of General Milovanovic
9 on this point, exposing the falsehoods underlying this defence document
10 by document, question by question. In particular, see transcript pages
11 17123 to 17132. We see here the attack plan to divide Srebrenica and
12 Zepa as I've mentioned to you before, a legitimate objective against the
13 ABiH efforts to join the enclaves militarily and the order to reduce the
14 enclaves to their urban areas, which, as we have shown, was designed to
15 drive the civilian population from the rural parts of the enclave into
16 the tiny urban area of Srebrenica, creating a humanitarian disaster like
17 1993. This, of course, was anything but legal. All thus, and I quote,
18 "creating conditions for the elimination of the enclaves," which in this
19 document meant creating the situation that would allow for the attack to
20 now include taking the entire enclave and the removal of the population.
21 This reference to elimination in the attack plan should not be confused
22 with our use of the term "eliminate" in the JCE to eliminate. In the JCE
23 to eliminate, we are referring to both the removal of the population and
24 the murder of the able-bodied men, the murder to reveal itself a few days
1 Accompanying the Krivaja 95 attack order was the operations map
2 for the attack which shows Mladic's signature approving that order,
3 P1087, page 25.
4 The Defence suggests that Mladic approved the operation after the
5 fact; however, there is no evidence of this whatsoever, and it makes no
6 military sense for Mladic to approve such a critical operation post
7 facto. The attack plan has also been sent to the Main Staff when it was
8 issued on 2 July, of course.
9 The next key document implementing the eventual removal of the
10 population is the 9 July communique from Tolimir to Gvero and Krstic at
11 the Pribicevac IKM, passing on Karadzic's approval to change the
12 long-held strategy to create conditions for the elimination of the
13 enclave to actually taking the entire enclave and expelling the Muslims.
14 The president of the republic is satisfied with the results of
15 combat operations around Srebrenica and has agreed with the continuation
16 of operations for the take-over of Srebrenica. This document reflects
17 Karadzic's approval of Mladic's proposal to take the entire enclave.
18 This is the chain of command in action. While Mladic is not mentioned in
19 this document, no one else was authorised to make such an important
20 proposal to Karadzic, a proposal changing the two-year policy from
21 creating conditions for the fall of the enclave to actually taking it,
22 with a specific purpose of conquering the enclave and removing the
24 The next day, the 10th of July, Mladic issued an order - based on
25 the successes of 9 July - to begin preparations for the attack on Zepa,
1 P2106. This document shows that Mladic had been fully informed of the
2 events of 9 July and the crucial decision that was made. These are some
3 of the amazing documents that form the historical record identifying the
4 objective and intent behind the crime to remove the Muslim population
5 from Srebrenica and setting the scene for the murder of the Srebrenica
6 men and boys. With these documents, of course, the actions on the ground
7 implementing them in furtherance of the criminal objective - to expel the
8 Muslim population - occurred.
9 After the delivery of Directive 7 to the Drina Corps, we see
10 direct evidence of extreme convoy restrictions on DutchBat and the
11 population; in short, DutchBat was barely able to function. This is
12 described in detail by several Dutch witnesses and set out in our closing
13 brief in paragraphs 435 to 447.
14 The deprivations of the civilian population were so extreme,
15 people were starving and beyond hope. See paragraphs 445 and 446 of our
17 Creating unbearable conditions was also accomplished by VRS
18 attacks on the civilian population with the attack beginning 6 July as
19 explained in detail in our brief. These assaults as planned by the VRS
20 resulted in the movement of the population from the rural parts of the
21 enclave, including the Swedish shelter project of roughly 3.000
22 inhabitants, into the urban area of Srebrenica, reaching critical mass on
23 10 and 11 July when the population surrounded the DutchBat base in Srebrenica
24 known as the Bravo compound.
25 You will recall the testimony of DutchBat witnesses Rave and
1 Boering, describing how they were present the morning of 11 July when the
2 VRS dropped a shell right in the middle of that crowd. We can only
3 imagine the carnage that created.
4 I want to show you one short clip to help remind us of the
5 unbearable situation created by Karadzic and Mladic on 11 July in
6 Srebrenica town. The images show the situation on 11 July, as Muslim
7 civilians gather in total panic at the Bravo company compound, desperately
8 trying to climb on UN vehicles to safety to Potocari.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Those images speak for themselves. As the
11 terrified crowd fled Srebrenica towards Potocari, Rave described shells
12 falling on both sides of the road all around the fleeing people, in what
13 he thought was an effort to herd the people northward. You see that on
14 transcript page 10171.
15 By the evening of 11 July, the population was completely
16 displaced from their homes, in terrible condition, many with babies and
17 young children, without their men, with no means to survive for more than
18 a few days at the most. Flight was their only option, as DutchBat had
19 neither the manpower, facilities, or supplies to keep them alive and NATO
20 air power proved worthless as the VRS now had several Dutch hostages.
21 That evening, in his first meeting with Mladic, DutchBat
22 Commander Karremans acknowledged the enclave was lost and requested
23 Mladic's permission to allow DutchBat to leave along with the Muslim
24 population. You will hear more about that later. That night Mladic
25 personally ordered buses for their removal, which we know as you may
1 remember from General Skrbic when he testified, transcript pages
2 13984 to 13985.
3 Mladic was present in Potocari on the 12th and 13th, commanding
4 his troops as they separated men and boys from their families, moved the
5 women and children towards Kladanj, placed the men in detention prior to
6 summary execution. The testimony and video accounts of these two
7 horrific days have exposed this expulsion. The fear is palpable on the
8 faces of Muslims caught on video. Nothing put forward by the Defence has
9 undercut this in any way, shape, or form.
10 I want to show you a video from our Srebrenica trial video that
11 shows the massive numbers of people in Potocari on 12 July. And if you
12 look carefully, you'll see the many able-bodied men scattered throughout,
13 the same men the Bosnian Serbs would have seen the night before.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I wish I could bring you the heat and the smells
16 and the sweat and everything that you can imagine that the -- the horror
17 that that must have been. The idea that these people voluntarily left is
19 Next, also from our trial video, we have a clip where you will
20 see women, children, and elderly actually being expelled and forced to
21 walk across the front lines, 5 kilometres in 35-degree heat, towards
23 [Video-clip played]
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: The subtitling was a little hard to read, but the
25 last woman said:
1 "What am I going to do? I have four children. I'm left to
2 suffer with them."
3 And then:
4 "How can we ... how are we supposed to live now? "
5 We have seen the documents underlying this crime of forcible
6 transfer and recalled the conduct of Mladic's forces implementing the
7 policy and the orders for expulsion. However, that's not all that you
8 have seen in this courtroom. I'm sure you remember we have Mladic's own
9 words ordering the expulsion of the population. On 12 July, Mladic gets
10 on the radio and it gets intercepted. I'll show you the transcript.
11 "Mladic: Have these buses and trucks left?
12 "Mladic: Good, excellent. Continue to monitor the situation.
13 Don't let small groups of them sneak in. They have all capitulated and
14 surrendered and we'll evacuate them all -- those who want to and those
15 who don't want to."
16 That's at P1235.
17 Lastly, you heard a tape-recording of Mladic, where sometime
18 after the war Mladic is bragging about how he accomplished his victory
19 over the Srebrenica people. I won't play that today, but let's read what
20 he said.
21 "I would not have taken Srebrenica or Zepa, if I had not starved
22 them in the winter, since February, I let through only one or two
24 You remember when I played that tape for General Obradovic and he
25 had the integrity to identify Mladic's voice and thus authenticate the
1 tape. The evidence is unambiguous and undeniable. The Muslim population
2 of Srebrenica was expelled on 11 through 13 July by Mladic and his
3 forces, acting under the long-time policy and orders to remove them.
4 Mladic gave the population no choice: For their very survival, they had
5 to leave Srebrenica.
6 That would be a good time, I think, to take the break before I go
7 to the murder operation.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We are -- I leave it in your hands. I mean, there's
9 some flexibility. We are five minutes off from one hour, but if you
10 think this would be a better moment, there is no problem whatsoever.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then we will take a break. We will resume at ten
13 minutes past midday.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.50 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.12 p.m.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
19 The murder operation. The summary execution of over 7.000 Muslim
20 men and boys and the operation to expel the women and children 11 to 13
21 July were fundamentally one major undertaking, with two interconnected
22 operations, what I refer to as the forcible transfer operation and the
23 murder operation, both designed to dispose the entire Srebrenica
24 population, which we have defined in the indictment as the JCE to
25 eliminate. Now, we speak about these operations separately, but - as you
1 know from all the evidence - they are so intertwined and together,
2 especially on the 12th and 13th of July that they must be viewed as one.
3 That is the foundation of the JCE to eliminate.
4 For the purpose of my argument today, I've divided the
5 Prosecution case into four chapters: The first, the mass executions of
6 over 7.000 able-bodied men from 13 through 23 July and beyond; the
7 second, the evidence identifying the perpetrators of these crimes,
8 exclusively VRS and MUP officers acting under the command of
9 Ratko Mladic; and third, the presence, conduct, and actions of
10 General Mladic from 11 July through 17 July, commanding the units both
11 from the ground and from Belgrade. These three chapters themselves form
12 the foundation of proving Mladic's criminal responsibility but there's
13 more, and what is largely part of chapter 3, I call chapter 4. It's
14 where I take you through some of the most compelling evidence
15 specifically identifying Mladic's involvement in the planning, ordering,
16 and overseeing the mass murders.
17 The Defence appear to acknowledge, to some degree, that
18 large-scale murders occurred during the key time-frame. They, however,
19 suggest that our murder victims' numbers are inflated, that they are
20 battle casualties in the mass graves, but for the most part there is no
21 serious defence challenging the mass murders. The Defence agree with
22 the Prosecution to some extent that Beara and Popovic and other security
23 officers were significantly involved in those murders. They seem to
24 suggest in their closing brief that Krstic was also involved, which we
25 agree. Krstic played a major role in these crimes.
1 Also, I understand the Defence fundamentally agree with the
2 Prosecution regarding Mladic's whereabouts from 11 July through the
3 evening of 6 [sic] July and I believe --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: 6 July?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: To the evening of 16th July, excuse me. And I
6 believe they agree that Mladic was on duty in Bosnia on 11 July through
7 the afternoon of 14 July, when he crossed over the border into Serbia.
8 However, the Defence impossibly leave Mladic and his troops out of the
9 crimes, arguing that he had no knowledge and no involvement in the mass
10 murders and neither did his VRS or police forces, except for a few
11 security officers.
12 Thus, the most significant issues of disagreement are the
13 identities of the perpetrators of the murder operation and Mladic's
14 command of the murder operation and his links and connection to it.
15 The Defence military expert concluded the murders were committed
16 by, and I quote:
17 "Self-organised paramilitary groups from Podrinje coming from
18 pre-was criminal milieus, as well as by groups of avengers ... probably
19 committed in co-operation with some officers from security structures."
20 That's D1661, page 232 and with no other involvement from the VRS
21 or MUP forces under Mladic's command, despite our prodding on
22 cross-examination of: Who are these people? Who did it? And that,
23 despite being on duty in and around the places where the crimes were
24 committed, Mladic was unaware and uninvolved in any of these
25 forces and the crimes they supposedly committed.
1 So first the mass executions. The evidence of the crimes is
2 overwhelming. It came to you first-hand in most cases from the survivors
3 themselves and in many cases executioners who shared the same ground as
4 those they murdered. This was backed up by forensic crime scene
5 investigation, aerial imagery, vehicle records, witnesses, exhumations of
6 all the known mass graves from Srebrenica connecting all the primary
7 graves -- primary disturbed mass graves to all the secondary graves. As
8 of today, we have identified almost 6.000 murder victims from mass
9 graves; and with so many people still missing, we expect the final number
10 of murdered is over 7.000 people.
11 I saw no significant Defence challenge to our major executions and
12 mass grave evidence, as I mentioned, challenging only the Jadar River and
13 Cerska executions, the murder of the Milici patients, and arguing the
14 Kravica mass murders were merely revenge-based on killing of a MUP
15 soldier by a Muslim prisoner. I will rely on our brief for the detailed
16 analysis of those cases, but I do want to remind you of some of the key
18 You will remember the evidence of the Jadar River murders. We've
19 spent a fair amount of time with them and the witnesses and in the 98 bis
20 arguments. I thus refer to you our closing brief paragraphs 1426 to
21 1435. But remember the survivor RM314, his testimony, his demeanour,
22 all the corroborating and supporting evidence where he was captured,
23 taken to a river, shot, fell in the river, washed downstream, and
24 escaped. The Defence twists the meaning of the Latin term used in his
25 medical report, the term "vulna explosiva." They try to argue that it
1 means it's a shrapnel wound; however, the evidence at trial has clearly
2 shown that that's not the case. The term describes the victim's wound
3 and does not refer to the cause of the wound. We hear that from the
4 doctors in their reports.
5 Regarding Cerska, the murder of 150 men from Srebrenica, though
6 we don't have a survivor of that execution, the witnesses, forensic
7 evidence, and evidence of the 17 July sweep operation ordered by Mladic
8 to Keserovic proves that the 150 Muslims captured in the sweep operation
9 on 17 July were executed at Cerska on 17 or 18 July. See our brief at
10 paragraphs 1341 to 1347 and 1540 to 1545.
11 The crux of the Cerska issue lies in determining the date
12 Keserovic received the order from Mladic to conduct the sweep operation.
13 We've proven that Mladic gave Keserovic this order on the night of
14 16 July, after Mladic returned from Belgrade; as such, the murders of the
15 150 victims at Cerska was the direct result of Mladic's order.
16 While Keserovic resisted confirming his previous testimony that
17 he received the order on 16 July, he did not waiver from his account that
18 he received that order personally from Mladic the night before he
19 departed to Bratunac. We have proven Keserovic travelled to Bratunac on
20 the 17th of July, thus proving he received the order from Mladic in
21 Crna Rijeka the night of the 16th, all of which ties Mladic directly to
22 the murders at Cerska.
23 Remember the young boy that was gathered up in the sweep
24 operation on the 17th. He identified people he knew that were later
25 found among the 150 at Cerska, and those people were killed as a result
1 of the order of the sweep operation, which happened right in the centre
2 of the murder operation time-period.
3 As for Kravica, this is a complex situation with several
4 different forms of interlocking evidence. You remember the mass murder
5 of some 800 to 1.000 people in the Kravica warehouse not long after
6 Mladic had left the Sandici meadow, maybe an hour or two. The evidence is
7 from survivors, MUP witnesses, video, video transcripts, a careful
8 re-creation by Mr. Blaszczyk, and more. We have thoroughly analysed this
9 and due to its complexity I can't get into it with you today, but please
10 take a look at the break -- at the brief. I do want you to consider two
11 or three things, though. You should note that both the Defence and the
12 Prosecution appear to agree that a Muslim prisoner took a rifle from a
13 MUP guard and killed him, whereupon another MUP soldier grabbed the
14 barrel of the Muslim's rifle, burning his hands as he took it away. The
15 basic difference is that the Defence argue that the shooting of the MUP
16 soldier started the killing spree, whereas it's the Prosecution's case
17 that this incident was an organised execution pursuant to orders, with
18 the burned hands incident happening well after the executions had begun
19 and it was a desperate response by a Muslim man to the executions around
20 him, not how they started.
21 So the key to unlocking Kravica is understand the evidence that
22 shows burned hands could only have happened around the east side of the
23 warehouse, many minutes after the killings started at the west side of
24 the warehouse. This can been seen from evaluating the two survivor
25 witnesses, RM256, who was in the west room; and RM274 who was in the east
1 room and a careful review of the video of Borovcanin arriving at the
2 scene, remembering he wasn't too far away when he hurried there straight
3 after getting the report about burned hands.
4 Now, like all survivors in this situation, their accounts have
5 differences, but the similarities and connections are much stronger than
6 those few differences; and when combined with all the evidence, it's
7 obvious that burned hands did not start this execution. For our analysis
8 of the murders of the Milici patients, please refer to our brief 1375 to
9 1378, where we carefully explain the evidence that shows Popovic removed
10 ten seriously injured Muslims from the Zvornik Brigade on 23 July and
11 they have never been seen since. And we had their names and their
12 medical documents clearly identifying who those people are. There's no
13 question that once Popovic had them in his hands on the 23rd, the man
14 that authored the Bisina executions that same day, that they were taken
15 out and killed.
16 Back to the overall case. As I said, aside from the crimes I've
17 just mentioned above, the Defence and their experts have not
18 significantly challenged the major execution sites, as far as I can
19 tell - perhaps we'll hear something new next week - suggesting only that
20 some of the people exhumed from the mass graves were battle casualties.
21 There is, in fact, no evidence that anyone but murder victims were placed
22 in the graves at Branjevo Farm, Kozluk, Petkovci Dam, Orahovac, and all
23 the secondary graves coming from those enormous graves. Only the grave
24 at Glogova contained the victims who died in unknown circumstances, such
25 as combat, murder, or other means that we don't know about. As you know,
1 Glogova was used, it was along the road, and it is impossible to know how
2 many bodies were along that road and died in ways that we don't know.
3 We do know that Glogova contained all the bodies of the 800 to
4 some 1.000 murder victims from Kravica warehouse and those murdered in
5 the schools in Bratunac - well, over 50, though the precise numbers in
6 the circumstances, as I mentioned, are impossible to determine. We did
7 our best in the brief to lay this out for you.
8 So not only is there no evidence supporting the Defence claim of
9 battle casualties in the graves, there is really no reason whatsoever the
10 VRS would have used the valuable men and resources to undertake such a
11 project. The areas of conflict were remote, densely wooded, largely
12 inaccessible areas which, of course, reflects the route the column took
13 to avoid Serb forces. Bodies in these remote areas posed no significant
14 threat or health hazard worth risking men and materials for.
15 The woods were not only dense and inaccessible but contained
16 desperate Muslims trapped there after the fall of Srebrenica, some of
17 them were armed, there were also mines in those woods. There was a
18 terrible threat for anyone going there.
19 Finally, the mass graves were far away from the conflict area.
20 Orahovac was the closest, some 5 kilometres but even then the terrain was
21 very difficult. There is no reason on earth you would go look for
22 harmless bodies and pull them with masses -- trucks and resources all the
23 way out to these places. I won't show you the map. You know the places,
24 the distance. It's absurd. This defence is unsupported, completely
25 unreasonable, and should be rejected.
1 Okay, Chapter 2, the forces committing these crimes. Throughout
2 the Srebrenica section of their brief, the Defence conclude
3 Colonel Beara, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, Momir Nikolic, and
4 Drago Nikolic played major roles in organising and implementing the
5 murder operation. On this point, we fundamentally agree. However, after
6 somewhat acknowledging Beara's and Popovic's involvement, the Defence
7 goes completely off the rails and state that the murders, as I had said,
8 were not conducted by Mladic's forces but self-organised paramilitary
9 groups and groups of avengers whose family members had been killed.
10 These words from the expert Kovac are more words of desperation and
11 defensiveness than anything resembling credible evidence or argument.
12 There is no evidence whatsoever that people resembling this description
13 played any role in the murder operation or were even present in the area.
14 When asked in cross-examination to identify such a group, Kovac
15 could only identify the Skorpions. That's at transcript 41855. However,
16 remember how much time we spent with the material there. You have seen
17 the VRS documents, map graphics, and other evidence showing the Skorpions
18 were a Serbian MUP unit engaged in combat in the SRK zone of
19 responsibility, resubordinated to the VRS and under the command of the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. There's a key document and its number has
21 escaped me in my brief, but I remember Dragomir Milosevic says "our
22 forces" in the top of it and he lists the wounding of Skorpions. I think
23 some even were killed that day in July. That is in our brief.
24 And the Skorpions, I'm not going to show you that awful video,
25 but please take care here. Sometimes because that video is so clear and
1 the Muslims are so obviously from Srebrenica, we have not laid out the
2 facts and the details of that crime as much as we should have. We have
3 now. But this needs to be done to fully understand that this was part of
4 the murder operation, part of the JCE to eliminate.
5 The evidence of the actual officers, units, and troops taking
6 part in the murder operation from 13 July onwards is clearly set out in
7 our closing brief, so I'm going to summarise for you here and even that
8 gets a little tedious because there are so many VRS people, but I need to
9 remind you of them.
10 In and around Potocari commanding the forces were Mladic, Krstic,
11 Borovcanin, with Popovic, Momir Nikolic, Petar Salapura,
12 Radoslav Jankovic, Kosoric implementing the operation, using soldiers and
13 officers of the Bratunac Brigade including military police, RS MUP,
14 special police officers of the 65th Protection Regiment, members of the
15 10th Sabotage Detachment, and others.
16 In Bratunac from 11 through 13 July, Mladic was present, together
17 with Krstic, Zivanovic, Popovic, Borovcanin, Radislav Jankovic, and all
18 of the Drina Corps brigade commanders taking part in the attack on
19 Srebrenica, including Pandurevic, Blagojevic, Furtula, Trivic, and
21 In the Zvornik area, deputy commander of the Zvornik Brigade,
22 Dragan Obrenovic, played a key role in the events, as did
23 Vinko Pandurevic when he returned from the Zepa battle on 15 July. The
24 brigade duty officers from 14 through 17 July were heavily involved in
25 organising the executions with the commands of the 4th Battalion in
1 Orahovac, the 6th Battalion in Petkovci, the 2nd Battalion in Rocevic,
2 and the 1st Battalion in Pilica, the officers, soldiers, and units
3 involved in the Zvornik-area murders are too numerous to name here.
4 The Defence failure to acknowledge this enormous body of evidence
5 of direct VRS and MUP involvement highlight how desperate and
6 unreasonable the Defence case truly is. Perhaps they will come up with
7 something that we'll hear next week.
8 Okay, Chapter 3. The presence of Mladic in and around Srebrenica
9 Bratunac and Zvornik areas at various times between 11 July and the
10 afternoon of 14 July is not contested by the Defence. The evidence is,
11 of course, overwhelming from witnesses, documents, intercepts, and
12 especially video of Mladic in Srebrenica on the 11th of July, at the
13 Hotel Fontana on the 11th and 12th of July, and in Potocari on the 12th
14 of July to name some of the sources. All of this evidence clearly shows
15 Mladic in uniform, on duty, in command, exercising command. The idea
16 that Krstic was in command was thoroughly debunked by Mr. Tieger and I
17 won't go over that in specifics.
18 The Defence suggest in their brief at paragraph 643, when present
19 at the corps command post, Mladic could only offer advice to corps
20 commander and could not overrule the corps commander's authority. That's
21 what Mr. Tieger was speaking to when he debunked it and outlined well how
22 the chain of command worked and Mladic's role into it. I won't go any
23 further into it.
24 So Chapter 4. And now this takes me to the evidence linking
25 Mladic to the creation, ordering, and implementation of the murder
2 We begin, as we have before, with Mladic's now-famous words
3 uttered at about 5.30 p.m. on 11 July during his walk through Srebrenica
4 town. This is P1147.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: "The time has come to take revenge upon the Turks
7 in this region." These words must be taken seriously, for within six
8 days of their utterance Mladic's officers and men murdered over 7.000
9 Muslim able-bodied men and boys.
10 Now let's go to the evening of 11 July and the first meeting with
11 the DutchBat at the Hotel Fontana. I want to draw your attention to
12 significant moments at the Hotel Fontana that should help reveal Mladic's
13 intentions and strategies and his decision to murder the able-bodied men
14 of Srebrenica on the evening of 11 July or the morning of 12 July.
15 During the first meeting at the Hotel Fontana on 11 July, Mladic
16 intimidated Karremans and his officers and threatened them with
17 references to death and other vulgarities. You've seen that. I won't
18 play that for you again. Previously, we've asked you to consider this
19 evidence to show that there was no negotiation at the Hotel Fontana and
20 that Mladic was in complete control, intimidating everyone. This remains
21 the case, but I would also like to focus you this time on the words of
22 Colonel Karremans in response to Mladic. So after screaming and
23 threatening the Dutch officers, Mladic finally and deliberately calms
24 down and asks Karremans, and I quote:
25 "What do you want? You asked for the meeting! Speak up."
1 This is – I’ll show you the transcript of what the colonel said.
2 "I had a talk with General Nikolai two hours ago ... and also
3 with the national authorities about the request on behalf of the
4 population. It's a request because I'm not in a position to demand
5 anything. We ... the command in Sarajevo has said that the enclave has
6 been lost."
7 He goes on to say:
8 "And the request of the BH command is to ... let's say, to
9 negotiate or ask for the withdrawal of the battalion and the withdrawal
10 of those refugees and if there are possibilities to assist that
12 That's from our trial video, P1147, transcript page 17.
13 As you can see, Karremans tells Mladic that the UN command has
14 concluded that the enclave has been lost and he requested Mladic's
15 approval for the withdrawal of DutchBat and thousands of refugees in
16 Potocari. Well, this is what I call a water-shed moment for Mladic and
17 Karadzic, after years of efforts to remove the Muslims from Eastern
18 Bosnia, only to be prevented in 1993 through 11 July by UNPROFOR, but now
19 UNPROFOR has given up and is requesting Mladic to allow them and the
20 Muslim population to leave Srebrenica.
21 Of course, Mladic has not given UNPROFOR any real choice. He had
22 thousands of Muslim hostages, Dutch hostages, Muslims struggling to
23 survive, no longer any military option and no NATO. But the point I want
24 to make to you is: With the complete surrender, Mladic is now able to
25 focus his decision-making and resources on removing the population and
1 dealing with the able-bodied men in Potocari and elsewhere in the
2 enclave. We know from Mladic's Main Staff assistant commander for
3 personnel, Skrbic, as I mentioned, that Mladic himself ordered buses late
4 that night. Skrbic testified about this, 13984 to 13985.
5 Also that evening, Mladic ordered Borovcanin to make the final
6 assault on Potocari first thing in the morning of 12 July. See
7 Borovcanin's report, P72 [sic]. And as you will recall -- P724, excuse
9 As you will recall, Borovcanin and elements of the Bratunac
10 Brigade did make an unopposed assault on Potocari the morning of the 12th
11 and soon controlled the Muslim population. So with no obstacles from the
12 UN or NATO on the evening of July, Mladic can now look squarely at the
13 able-bodied men that he knows are in his -- that will soon be in his
14 control. You recall the evidence. The VRS had observed those men the
15 night of the 11th and reported it to Mladic. See paragraph 1159 of our
17 At the second Hotel Fontana meeting with a Muslim school teacher,
18 Nesib Mandzic, we see Mladic now focus on the Bosnian army, repeatedly
19 insisting on meeting the next day with a representative of the Muslim
20 army. After that meeting, Mladic and Krstic had dinner together at the
21 Hotel Fontana where they were both staying. See paragraphs 1174 and 1219
22 of our brief. Mladic's intel officers Jankovic and Kosoric were also
23 seen on the video at the hotel.
24 So this is decision-making time. In the quiet, comfortable
25 surroundings of a hotel at the end of the day with his key people to
1 advise him, the Muslims of Potocari had to be the main focus of
2 discussion. Mladic had ordered the buses that night to remove the
3 population. And his other major -- immediate decision was what to do
4 with the able-bodied men who would be in his control the next day.
5 The next morning, at the third Hotel Fontana meeting, Mladic
6 announced his decision to screen the able-bodied men in Potocari from 16
7 to 60, thus we know he made his decision between the late evening of 11
8 and the morning of 12 July he had made a decision about those able-bodied
9 men, to screen them. We know that from his announcement.
10 Next, you will recall the testimony of Momir Nikolic, explaining
11 how that morning, before the Hotel Fontana meeting, Popovic and Kosoric
12 approached him and informed him that all the able-bodied men would be
13 killed and they needed his assistance. See paragraph 1176 of our brief
14 and his testimony at 11820 and 11827.
15 Thus, the decision Mladic had made to screen the men in Potocari
16 was, in fact, the decision to separate and murder them. This soon became
17 evident when the separations began. There was never any significant
18 screening of the men. There was a rough and sometimes violent division
19 of males from the population, including many times boys 13 to 15 and
20 younger and older men well over 60. The men were crowded together in
21 inhuman conditions, in extreme heat, with no food or medicine, and only
22 enough water to sustain them. Identification documents were discarded
23 and burned in the process, showing Mladic had no concern for these people
24 as prisoners of war and wanted no record of who they were. You may
25 recall the photos of a large pile of Muslim belongings, including IDs,
1 being burned in Potocari after 13 July. That's Exhibit P1423.
2 In their detention in nearby Bratunac, the separated men were
3 routinely beaten and many were killed by the troops guarding them.
4 The separations and detentions in Potocari and Bratunac confirm
5 Mladic's decision to screen the men was actually a decision to murder
7 Before I go any further I want to play to you Mladic's words at
8 the second Hotel Fontana meeting because, again, I think his words give
9 away his intent. This is to Nesib Mandzic.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Destruction, salvation, fear. Mr. Tieger has
12 already played for you part of the 12 July meeting where we see similar
13 words. I won't do that again, but I will remind you of what those
14 words ...
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- is there any interpretation problem?
16 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry, yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there is, let's check whether ... I'll
18 speak a few words again. Nothing yet. I see that some action was taken.
19 I don't know whether it resolves it. It does.
20 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: So what you should be seeing on the screen is the
22 transcript of the video Mr. Tieger showed you on Monday.
23 "There is no need for your people to get killed ... your husband,
24 your brothers, or your neighbours ... as I have told this gentleman last
25 night, you can either survive or disappear. For your survival, I demand
1 that all your armed men, even those who committed crimes - and many did -
2 against our people, surrender their weapons to the VRS."
3 Again, survive, disappear. Given the next -- what Mladic and his
4 troops did the next few days, these words have to be taken deadly
5 seriously. The Muslim man Mladic was speaking to on this video is
6 Ibro Nuhanovic. After this meeting, he stayed with his adult son Muhamed
7 and his wife Nasiha, all of whom were murdered. Their remains have been
8 recovered. See P1982 and paragraph 1197 of our final brief.
9 Also remember the evidence in this case that the commander of the
10 Zepa Brigade, Avdo Palic, was also murdered in the custody of the VRS.
11 Throughout the day on 12 July, Mladic oversaw the horrendous
12 separation process going on in Potocari, making propaganda films for his
13 public, and falsely comforting the people with hollow promises and
14 outright lies. On the evening of 12 July, Mladic held a meeting and
15 dinner at the Bratunac Brigade HQ to celebrate the taking of the enclave.
16 During this meeting, Mladic announced the assembled troops would move to
17 Zepa the following morning, 13 July, against the advice - if you recall -
18 of Commanders Pandurevic and Trivic, and ordered Krstic to prepare an
19 attack plan for the next day. This is a classic example of Mladic
20 exercising command and control over his subordinate commanders, as Krstic
21 duly drafted the plan, D290; and the assembled Drina Corps troops did
22 March to Zepa area the next day as ordered, even though that left Zvornik
23 undefended, where a few days later many, many Serb soldiers were killed
24 when the Muslim column and the forces of the 2nd Corps met them on the
25 16th of July.
1 The Defence argues this meeting took place on 11 July but that is
2 absolutely wrong, and the evidence clearly establishes the dinner meeting
3 was held on the evening of 12 July. We cover this evidence thoroughly in
4 our brief at paragraphs 1215 to 1226, conclusively proving that this
5 meeting occurred on the evening of 12 July. This is an important
6 historical meeting and a key to understanding the sequence of events. On
7 the evening of 11 July, Mladic and Krstic were together at the
8 Hotel Fontana for dinner after their meetings with DutchBat, as we've
9 discussed, where the fate of the Muslim men was decided. On the 12 July,
10 Mladic is at the meeting with the brigade commanders to celebrate where
11 the decision is made to go to Zepa.
12 13 July. The events of 13 July, more than any other day, expose
13 the depth of Mladic's involvement in the murder operation. The 13th is
14 the climax of the expulsions, where the final push is made to transport
15 thousands of remaining women and children towards Zepa [sic] while
16 continuing the separations of hundreds of able-bodied men in Potocari.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, towards Kladanj and not towards Zepa.
19 This is an enormous undertaking, thus Mladic is there in the area
20 most of the day overseeing this work. He is right in the middle of this.
21 Bratunac in the morning at meetings, a trip near Srebrenica to inspire
22 the troops, and then back to Potocari where the separations and
23 expulsions continue.
24 Also that morning and through the rest of the day, Mladic and his
25 people are totally swamped by the surrender and capture of roughly 6.000
1 Muslims from the column fleeing Srebrenica, and it is here dealing with
2 these thousands of people where Mladic and his people get sloppy and
3 begin to reveal the murder operation. The organised murders begin that
4 morning, first seen by the investigation with the Jadar River executions
5 at about 11.00 a.m. where - as I mention - the killers fail to kill
6 RM314, who was washed down to safety to tell his story.
7 Also, and this is very significant, Beara is first heard in an
8 intercept speaking on an open line issuing orders organising the hundreds
9 of Muslims who had been captured around Konjevic Polje. So Beara has now
10 clearly been brought in to deal with these prisoners. At this time,
11 Mladic is close by, down the road in Srebrenica or Bratunac. And
12 remember, Beara's only work from 13 through 16 July was to implement the
13 murder operation.
14 Let me show you some of Beara's comments that morning in speaking
15 to Lieutenant Lucic of the 65th Protection Regiment, Zoran Malinic's
16 deputy. This is an intercept, Exhibit P1415.
17 "Beara: Do you know that 400 balijas have shown up in Konjevic
19 "And they have been rounded up disarmed, everything.
20 "Beara: Excellent, excellent, great.
21 "And there is someone to guard them.
22 "Beara: Shove them all on the playground.
23 "Who gives a fuck about them?
24 "Beara: Well, line them up in four to five rows."
25 Then Beara is told by Zoka, which is Malinic's nickname, that
1 some of the Muslims are killing themselves and his response is:
2 "Well, excellent. Just let them continue. Fuck it."
3 The Defence agree Beara is involved in the murder operation. As
4 I'd mentioned, Mladic is in the area with Krstic, Salapura, Popovic,
5 Nikolic, and others, all able to provide him information. To suggest
6 Mladic doesn't know Beara is involved or what he is doing is absolutely
8 The next example of sloppy communication revealing the murder
9 operation and Mladic's role in it comes from a Tolimir proposal drafted
10 and sent to Mladic on the afternoon of 13 July by the commander of the
11 65th Protection Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Savcic. The number of
12 captured prisoners increased so dramatically that day that Tolimir got
13 involved, even though he was in Rogatica and busy with the impending
14 attack on the Zepa enclave. But the security breach - or sloppiness -
15 appears to be Savcic's, as he is the one that actually drafted the
16 Tolimir proposal.
17 Now, we had spent a fair amount of time with this, so I – I’ll just
18 make some conclusions for you. The document reveals that the top VRS
19 commanders and staff are all involved with the many hundreds of Muslims
20 captured along the road. We can see from the document the proposal is
21 from Tolimir, it's to Mladic, copied to Gvero, and mentioning and
22 involving Miletic, Malinic, and drafted by Savcic. Where Savcic gets
23 sloppy is in item 3, where in referring to the Muslim prisoners in
24 Nova Kasaba in this proposal is to put them out of sight from the ground
25 and the air. At that time the international forces were the only ones
1 with free access to the skies, thus this proposal is designed to hide the
2 prisoners from NATO or UNPROFOR. This is a clear indication that the
3 intention at the time was to kill the prisoners. Any doubt regarding
4 their intent to kill in this document was dispelled by Savcic himself,
5 the author of the document.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, you read "ground and the air," where
7 the text you were reading states "ground or the air."
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you for that correction.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Savcic testified here and provided statements
11 where he acknowledged that the proposal was meant to hide prisoners from
12 NATO and was asked simply: Why? And he opined the reason for this was
13 the VRS concern that NATO would mistake the Muslims for Serbs and bomb
14 them. See transcript pages 33680-33682. That is so beyond absurd that
15 it can only lead to the fair inference that he knew what the truth was
16 and lied to our face.
17 Now, let's see, I want to show you Mladic's response to Tolimir's
18 proposal. This is Mladic's order, adopting Tolimir's proposal, written
19 with much more discretion, failing to mention hiding prisoners from NATO,
20 but you will recall that on the 13th all the prisoners were held either
21 in vehicles or indoors, where they could not be seen from the air.
22 By the evening of the 13th, there are up to 6.000 prisoners
23 captured along the road and the decision is made to move them to Zvornik,
24 away from the international organisations present in Bratunac and
25 Potocari. You may recall that Karadzic is intercepted at 8.10 p.m. that
1 night, telling Deronjic to make sure "goods" are in the warehouse by the
2 next day, a reference to the prisoners in Bratunac being sent to schools
3 around Zvornik. That intercept is at Exhibit P1290.
4 Also that night, Drago Nikolic informed Major Obrenovic -
5 deputy commander at the time - that Mladic and his superior commanders
6 had ordered the murder of the Srebrenica prisoners and that Popovic
7 needed Drago to help assist in the operation. That's in paragraph 1271
8 of our brief.
9 In another proposal late that night, Tolimir proposes to Gvero at
10 the Main Staff in a written document that 800 prisoners could be moved in
11 secret to Rogatica to carry out agricultural work, maintaining a horse,
12 pig, and a sheep farm. There was no work to maintain the farm according
13 to Djoko Razdoljac, a Rogatica Brigade logistics officer whose testimony
14 is part of this trial. Tolimir's proposal was P2121.
15 At the same time, Tolimir, Karadzic, and many others are dealing
16 with issues related to detaining, transporting, and killing prisoners.
17 Beara is in Bratunac dealing with the prisoners held at the schools, with
18 Bratunac Brigade MP lawyer Celanovic. He's also dealing with the
19 transport to Zvornik of prisoners with Nikolic. And together with the
20 civilian authorities, he's dealing with the burial of the hundreds and
21 hundreds of victims from the Kravica warehouse. And finally, in the
22 afternoon, Mladic travels the road where now thousands of prisoners are
23 being held and he stops and gives speeches to them at Sandici meadow and
24 Nova Kasaba. While there, Mladic has personally ordered Major Malinic,
25 commander of the MP battalion there, to stop noting down names of
1 prisoners and to escort the prisoners to Bratunac. Mladic again is
2 trying to hide the prisoners. His specific involvement in stopping the
3 list-taking is a critical piece of evidence for you and it's clearly
4 established by Keserovic. Also, it's amazing Mladic has the -- he's so
5 familiar with the details of this. He tells Malinic that buses will soon
6 be arriving and they do, and he orders them to send them to Bratunac.
7 See our brief at paragraphs 1260 to 1261.
8 From there, Mladic travels on to the Drina Corps command in
9 Vlasenica where he held a ceremony promoting Krstic to commander of the
10 Drina Corps that evening. And remember everything that Beara is doing
11 right down the road in Bratunac with the prisoners, the burials, the
12 movements, prisoners actually got transported that night to Zvornik.
13 I show you this document, the personnel document, showing
14 Krstic's appointment to corps commander because we can see that it's
15 pursuant to decree of the President of Republika Srpska. So we see that
16 Karadzic and Mladic are together on this critical appointment. Of
17 course, they are. They're within communications, it's a major decision.
18 Again, this is the chain of command in action. This is Exhibit P7056.
19 After this, Mladic went to his command post at Crna Rijeka where
20 he spent the night, another place where the information is waiting for
21 him; he can get everything he needs to know. So during all the activity
22 I've outlined for you happening pursuant to the murder operation, Mladic
23 is right there in the thick of it, with the masses of condemned
24 prisoners, with his key officers at the command post, which are all
25 communications hubs and sources of the latest intel. The Defence argues
1 he knows nothing and is not involved. Absolutely unthinkable. Mladic is
2 a criminal but he is no fool.
3 I think it's break time.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, before we take the break, how much time would
5 you need? You said two sessions. I think you used two sessions, and how
6 much time would Mr. Tieger need after that?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think I didn't use quite two sessions.
8 Mr. Weber --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Minus five minutes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I hope I can get done in 20 or 30 minutes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, how much would you need?
12 MR. TIEGER: No more than ten minutes, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ORIE: No more than ten minutes. That would then fit, if
14 Mr. McCloskey sticks to his estimate, then that would still fit into the
15 time we have available until a quarter past 2.00.
16 We take a break and we'll resume at 1.30.
17 --- Recess taken at 1.10 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 1.32 p.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, if you take until 2.00, then
20 Mr. Tieger has some time to go beyond his assessment as well.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now we're at 14th of July.
24 So Mladic he is at the Main Staff command on the morning of the
25 14th as the massive work pursuant to murder operation continues, most
1 clearly in the enormous convoy and buses and trucks from Bratunac taking
2 men to the schools in the Zvornik area, led by Popovic, men that would be
3 killed at Orahovac that day, Petkovci that night, and onward.
4 Mladic travels the same route as the convoy early in the
5 afternoon of the 14th. As he is going by Zvornik, it's roughly the same
6 time people are being murdered at Orahovac, not far away. It's
7 inconceivable that Mladic's forces are engaged in this massive murder
8 operation with him in the area and him not fully informed, involved, and
9 in command. Mladic remained in command and control of the VRS while he
10 was in Belgrade with no other officer standing in for him. I refer you
11 to that, to our brief 1325 to 1327, but I'll remind you of the testimony
12 of Colonel Obradovic, his chief of operation, who was asked by Mr. Lukic
13 about the issue of Mladic's absence and standing in at transcript pages
14 14543 to 44.
15 Mr. Lukic asked:
16 "Would going to Serbia be considered absent."
17 Colonel Obradovic answered, and I quote:
18 "It doesn't depend on the whereabouts of the commander, but it
19 depends on the duration of absence."
20 The Trial Chamber then queried the witness on what time-period
21 this would be, and Obradovic answered:
22 "A week or so to my mind."
23 As you know, even by the Defence count Mladic would only have
24 been in Belgrade a bit more than three days.
25 In any event, Mladic could have been in a coma from the late
1 afternoon of the 14 July and he would have still been criminally
2 responsible for his involvement in the developing and implementing the
3 JCE to eliminate from 11 July through 14 July, and there's no real issue
4 of alibi here.
5 Finally, I would like to finish my discussion of the evidence
6 with three intercepts, but first I want to tell you the story that these
7 intercepts reveal and then we'll go over them.
8 On the 13th of July when the massive numbers of Muslims were
9 being captured along the road and Beara was so involved, he needed help
10 to execute people and he received an order from Mladic to brigade
11 commander of the Visegrad Brigade, Radomir Furtula. Mladic ordered
12 Furtula to provide him with 30 men from his unit to assist Beara. That
13 day the men were loaded on a bus in Visegrad, headed up, and soon after
14 that their bus broke down. And by the evening of 13 July they still
15 hadn't been retrieved and nobody knows what they did after that, but
16 Beara never got them. So by 15 July, after the men in Orahovac had been
17 killed, the men in Petkovci had been killed, there were still over 800
18 men needing to be killed at Kozluk, at the Rocevic school, and over
19 1700 [Realtime transcript read in error "17"] people that are backed up
20 at the Pilica school and the Pilica Dom. And as you will remember, the
21 Muslim column is now approaching Zvornik and is a real threat to Zvornik.
22 Vinko Pandurevic gets called back to help defend Zvornik. Other troops
23 are going in to fight the column. At the same time, the murder operation
24 is occurring taking tremendous resources and Beara is very frustrated. He
25 has got all of these well over 2.000 people that he needs to kill and he is
1 pulling his hair out. So he gets on the phone looking for Zivanovic who
2 he thinks is still the corps commander. He is calling from Drago
3 Nikolic's office at the Zvornik Brigade. Zivanovic tells him he can't do
4 that anymore and he refers him to Krstic's extension, 385. And Beara
5 gets on the line with Krstic and says the same thing he said to
6 Zivanovic, that Furtula did not follow the boss's order, referring the
7 boss is to be Mladic, as Zivanovic had referred to him before. They go
8 back and forth and back and forth. Krstic tells him to check with
9 various brigade commanders, the Zvornik Brigade, Bratunac Brigade, Milici
10 Brigade. Beara says, no, they won't do it, they can't do it. He says,
11 Well, talk to those guys at the MUP. They can't do it either and they
12 are very frustrated. Finally it ends with Beara saying, Look, I have
13 3500 parcels to deliver and I have no solution. These are the men in
14 Kozluk and the men in Pilica. Krstic ends it with: "Well, now I'm going
15 to be the one to blame" - worried about being blamed by Mladic - and
16 says: "I'll see what I can do."
17 The next day, 16 July, the Main Staff 10th Sabotage Unit comes
18 and assists at Branjevo Farm. That was the information fundamentally
19 provided by Mr. Butler in some of the evidence, but let's now take a look
20 at the intercepts.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do, can you please look at page 65, line
22 16, and the number 17 there; is that what you had said?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I'm sorry, when I said over 800 men needing
24 to be killed, I was speaking in the context of Beara, who felt he needed
25 to kill --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The 800 is there. Look at "17."
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh, it should be 1700.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. That's what I thought I heard.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much. And you'll recall that
5 number from the number of people exhumed from the Branjevo Farm mass
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's go to the slide of the first -- this
9 is just a short reference that shows that at 9.52 hours Beara is looking
10 for Zivanovic and wants him to call him at 139. 139 is Drago Nikolic's
11 extension at the Zvornik Brigade and there's other evidence that that's
12 where Beara is at the time. So let's go to the next slide. I won't go
13 over all of it, but you can see Beara saying:
14 "You know that day, I informed the commander about it, Furtula
15 didn't send Lukic's intervention platoon."
16 Furtula, that's Dragomir Furtula, the commander of the
17 Visegrad Brigade. Lukic is Milan Lukic, an infamous person from
18 Visegrad, and Lukic is waiting at Blagojevic's. That would be Blagojevic
19 of the Bratunac Brigade.
20 Beara says:
21 "Lukic is here with me and his driver and we urged that."
22 A bit more complaining about Furtula and then Beara says:
23 "He simply doesn't give a damn about what the commander ordered
24 him to do. Well, now, that platoon has 60 men."
25 That is it a reference to Mladic's order to Furtula to give Beara
1 60 men.
2 And then Beara goes down and says:
3 "Have him send me at least half."
4 And then finally Zivanovic says:
5 "I can't decide that anymore.
6 Now you remember, this is 15 July. Zivanovic was removed from
7 commander on the night of the 13th July, so he can't make decisions for
8 Beara anymore. And also this is a -- fundamentally exposes the
9 appropriate and proper chain of command, not like anything else. This is
10 a Main Staff security officer. He is having to go to the corps commander
11 to get the corps commander to issue orders to his brigades. Beara, the
12 colonel, can't do it himself; the commander is the one that's in charge.
13 This idea that Mladic is out of the loop and that the security branch can
14 run the whole show is absurd.
15 So finally at the end we see that Zivanovic refers him to 385,
16 Zlatar that's the Drina Corps extension, and to ask for 385. We know
17 from other evidence that that's where Krstic can be reached. Okay. So
18 now let's --
19 JUDGE ORIE: When you said have him sent at least half you added
20 the word "me" whether it makes any difference, but if you quote, if you
21 read literally, I would like you to do that very precisely. At least
22 that's what I heard you say. Sent me, that's what you said, whereas the
23 text says let him send --
24 It may be the same. I'm just -- if you read --
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah, I'm working in my argument throughout this --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- and I don't mean to be -- to mislead you like
3 that. What I think he meant by that --
4 JUDGE ORIE: No, it's fine --
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- was --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. So now naturally we see him, Beara,
8 get connected to Krstic. So let's go to the next, which is P2126. And
9 this is at 1000 hours on the 15th. And Beara tells Krstic:
10 "General Furtula didn't carry out the boss's order.
11 Again, this is referring to Mladic's order to Furtula.
12 Krstic says:
13 "Listen, he ordered him to lead out a tank not a train."
14 This is an indication Krstic is fully aware of Mladic's order to
15 Furtula. It appears that Krstic is making a veiled reference about the
16 number or the size of what was ordered.
17 And then Beara -- and I say he's frustrated and pulling his hair
18 out because then he just boldly says:
19 "But I need 30 men, just like it was ordered."
20 And then Krstic says:
21 "Take from Nastic or Blagojevic."
22 And you remember Nastic is the commander of the Milici Brigade;
23 Blagojevic is the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
24 Krstic says:
25 "I can't pull anything out of here for you."
1 This is day two of the attack on Zepa where Krstic had to send
2 his best unit, Pandurevic, back to Zvornik, so Krstic isn't being really
3 generous with his troops at this point for Beara and the murder
5 Then Beara responds:
6 "But I don't have any here. I need them today and I'll give them
7 back tonight, Krle."
8 That's Krstic's nickname. These guys know each other.
9 "You have to understand. I can't explain it to you like this.
11 "I'll disturb everything on his axis if I pull them out and a lot
12 depends on him."
13 So axis, if you know, axis of attack. Krstic is concerned about
14 his attack on Zepa.
15 And then Beara says openly:
16 "I can't resolve anything without 15 to 30 men and Boban Indzic."
17 Now, we've learned from Butler and other evidence in this case,
18 Boban Indzic is an officer from Visegrad. And then Krstic says:
19 "Ljubo, this is not protected."
20 Clearly they both know this is an unprotected line and they're
21 arrogant officers and they just can't help themselves. I don't know why
22 they're doing it but they do.
23 Beara says:
24 "I know, I know."
25 And then Krstic goes on, talks more about Nastic and Blagojevic.
1 And then interestingly Beara says:
2 "But I don't have any. If I did, I wouldn't still be asking for
3 the third day."
4 Now, I'm not great with arithmetic, but if he's asking for this
5 on the 15th and it's the third day, the 13th would be the day that he
6 originally asked for these troops and, of course, that's the day we know
7 that thousands of Muslim prisoners are arriving and need to be dealt
8 with. Then Krstic goes back to Blagojevic and his Red Berets and go to
9 the MUP, the Ministry of Interior. Beara responds:
10 "No, they won't do anything. I talked to them. There's no other
11 solution but for 15 to 30 men."
12 Now Beara is negotiating. He's gone from 60. Now he needs 15 to
13 30. And then he says:
14 "The thing that was supposed to arrive on the 13th but didn't."
15 Okay, boom, that confirms that's when he was asking, that's when
16 he got the order, that's when they were supposed to arrive.
17 And then Krstic:
18 "Ljubo you have to understand me, you've done fucking all sorts
19 to me."
20 Something like that.
21 And Beara:
22 "I understand, but have you to understand me too. Had this been
23 done, we wouldn't be arguing -- had this been done then, we wouldn't be
24 arguing over it now.
25 Beara can't argue with Krstic either.
2 "Fuck it, now I'll be the one to blame."
3 They're both scared of Mladic that they're going to blame them
4 for not taking part in the murder operation.
5 Beara: "I don't know what to do. I mean it, Krle. There are
6 still 3500 parcels that I have to distribute and I have no solution.
7 "Fuck it, I'll see what I can do."
8 After that, over 800 men were killed that afternoon at Kozluk by
9 elements of the Rocevic Battalion. But then on 16th, over 1700 men were
10 killed at Branjevo Farm by the 10th Sabotage Detachment and people from
12 Now, lastly, so there's no concern that Furtula didn't carry out
13 Mladic's orders, we'll see the last -- the last intercept, P1285.
14 Importantly at 1919 hours. We don't know who these guys are, but you can
15 see that someone is looking for a bus and to send the bus towards
16 Visegrad, Podromanija, Rogatica, and further on. That is way down if you
17 look at a map, well beyond down past these areas, a long distance from
18 Bratunac. When he comes across a bus with a group of soldiers, those are
19 the ones from Visegrad, Boban is their commander:
20 "Say again?
21 "Here they are again.
22 "Boban Indzic, and then bring them to the command in Bratunac."
23 Now, those guys, evening's coming, sitting by a broken bus in the
24 afternoon, soldiers, just -- who knows where they went, but they didn't
25 see Beara.
1 Those compelling intercepts leave no doubt whatsoever, Mladic is
2 issuing orders pursuant to the murder operation.
3 Now, finally, I would like to conclude my remarks with some words
4 to the women of Srebrenica and others that have suffered and continue to
5 suffer from Mladic's crimes.
6 But it is the Srebrenica and Zepa women where my team have for
7 over 20 years spoken to you, listened to you, and learned from you, and
8 we've been privileged to bring some of you here to The Hague to share
9 with this Tribunal your experience, your pain, and your incredible
10 courage, facing down the people that committed this genocide.
11 We have also spoken to your precious few men and boys who
12 survived the killing fields from Kravica to Branjevo. From all of you,
13 we have learned so much. One thing we've learned about your husbands and
14 your sons was their fear of not being able to say good-bye to you, and we
15 know you felt and still feel that terrible pain. So I looked and looked
16 for someone who may have been able to put something down on a scrap of
17 paper or something for you; but, of course, they were never given a chance to
18 even hold a pencil.
19 I did find something though. I had to go to another place,
20 another time, another terrible war, but I found a letter from a husband,
21 a soldier, who was able to say good-bye to his wife, and I believe his
22 words and feelings are those your husbands and sons and brothers would
23 have sent to you had they had a chance.
24 I'll read you parts of this letter that was written on the 14th
25 of July, 1861.
1 "My very dear Sarah,
2 "The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few
3 days, perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I
4 feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I
5 shall be no more.
7 "If it is necessary that I should fall on the battle-field, I am
8 ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause
9 in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter.
11 "But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down
12 nearly all of yours and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows.
13 As for our little boys, they will grow up as I have done, and never know
14 a father's love and care. God's blessing upon them.
15 "Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you
16 with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence could break. The
17 memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over
18 me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them
19 so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the
20 hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and
21 loved together and seen our sons grow up to honourable manhood around
22 us... My dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last
23 breath escapes me on the battle-field, it will whisper your name.
24 "Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you.
25 How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been. How gladly would I
1 wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness and struggle
2 with all the misfortunes of this world, to shield you and my children
3 from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and
4 hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little
5 freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.
6 "But, oh, Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit
7 unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish
8 day and in the darkest night, amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest
9 hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it
10 shall be my breath, or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall
11 be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone
12 and wait for me, for we shall meet again."
13 Sullivan Ballou died one week later in a place called Bull Run. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
15 Mr. Tieger.
16 MR. TIEGER: No one can fathom the extent of the individual
17 tragedies of the victims in this case. The children torn from mother's
18 arms to be killed, the starving prisoners beaten to death over a period
19 of days with rifle-butts, clubs, boots, the women and girls raped,
20 sexually abused over and over, the daily terror of waiting for a bullet
21 or a shell, those who survived physically intact but struggle with the
22 memories of lost loves ones, lost homes, lost communities. The litany of
23 tragedies goes on and on and on.
24 No one can fathom the extent of the sufferings for which
25 Ratko Mladic is responsible.
1 So in the face of that, what does one say and what must one
2 ignore to argue that Mladic should receive less than the most severe
3 sentence? You say, as we see at paragraph 3394 of the Defence brief,
4 that Mladic's sentence should be reduced because of his "benevolent
5 treatment" of victims; for example, he "facilitated the achievement of
6 an agreement on the demilitarization of the areas of Srebrenica, Zepa, thus
7 reaffirming his will to establish peace and the applicability of the
8 Geneva Conventions."
9 And you ignore that this was forced on him, as he complained in
10 P1793: "If the international community had not meddled, they," that is
11 Muslims, "would have paid the price."
12 And you ignore that he chafed under this restraint, as he told
13 his companion on the tour of destroyed Muslim villages that we saw in the
14 video on Monday morning, if the international forces, now the Dutch,
15 "would not protect them, they," Muslims, "would have disappeared from
16 this area long ago."
17 And you ignore his relish at finally overcoming the restraint
18 when he entered Srebrenica. "Now the time has come to take revenge on
19 the Turks."
20 Or you claim, Your Honours, that his sentence should be reduced
21 because he purchased candy for children in Potocari. That's at
22 paragraph 3397. And you ignore that this alleged purchase of candy was
23 for the kids whose fathers, uncles and brothers he was about to murder.
24 Or you assert that his sentence should be limited because of
25 alleged SFRY sentencing practices, and you ignore that four of Mladic's
1 subordinates - Popovic, Beara, Tolimir, Galic - received life sentences
2 for executing his orders for only a fraction of the crimes for which he
3 is responsible for; sentences that were affirmed on appeal.
4 You try to paint Mladic as a man who "never intended to cause
5 suffering" but instead "took concrete steps to avoid suffering where
6 possible" and that the conduct of the accused has saved many lives and,
7 therefore, a reduction of sentence is warranted. That's at paragraphs 3395
8 and 3398.
9 And you ignore that this is not the first time that Mladic has tried
10 to depict himself as a saver of lives. Recall P1147, that's a video,
11 V000-9268, at 7:41 through 8:42, that's video footage from Zepa in 1995
12 of General Mladic ostentatiously boarding buses to advise the petrified
13 occupants, in the process of being expelled, that "now I am giving you
14 your life as a gift. I forgive you all and am giving you your life as a
16 Ratko Mladic, the master of life and death, basking in
17 self-praise and demanding gratitude from those whose lives he decided to
19 And now here in court, denying responsibility for those he did
20 kill, blaming the subordinates who executed his orders and deservedly
21 received the most severe sentence for doing so. Because the magnitude of
22 these crimes admit of nothing more than the most severe penalty available
23 under law, the only thing one can really argue in support of a sentence
24 less than that most severe is that he didn't commit the crimes. And so
25 that is what the Defence does in its sentencing submissions, arguing at
1 paragraphs 3393 and 3401 that "... any crimes that may have been
2 committed were the result of disobeying individuals acting outside of
3 their duties."
4 Or that General Mladic was a "professional with knowledge of the
5 laws of war that he always sought to apply in the most ethical manner."
6 But these crimes did occur. They happened to one person after
7 another, one person at a time, one father, one wife, one grandmother, one
8 tradesman, one student, one doctor. One after another after another
9 after another. And at paragraph 1743 of our brief, you can find just the
10 tiniest fraction, representative fraction, of illustrations reflecting
11 both the vulnerability of these victims and the depths of the suffering
12 they endured and continue to suffer.
13 The time has come for General Mladic to be held accountable for
14 those crimes against each of his victims and the communities he
15 destroyed. It would be incompatible with Tribunal sentencing practice,
16 an insult to the victims, living and dead, and an affront to justice to
17 impose any sentence other than the most severe available under law: A
18 life sentence.
19 Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. That concludes the
20 Prosecution's submissions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
22 We'll in a second adjourn for the day. Is there any chance that
23 a response to the latest sentencing-related motion of the Defence would
24 be received before Friday?
25 MR. TIEGER: Certainly before Friday. That has been our
1 objective. We'll try to get it out today, and if not, first thing
2 tomorrow morning, I would think that we can achieve that. Is that --
3 would that be sufficient time for the Court?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think most important is that if we have
5 received a response, we can consider it. And I have got no idea what the
6 response will be, but it may have an impact on what the Defence wants to
7 use in their final argument.
8 MR. TIEGER: As I say, if at all possible, we'll get it out,
9 filed today and, if not, first thing tomorrow morning.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll adjourn for the day, and we'll resume on
11 Friday, the 9th of December, 9.30 in the morning, in this same
12 courtroom, I.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.08 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Friday, the 9th day of
15 December, 2016, at 9.30 a.m.