1 Wednesday, 22 November 2017
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 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: Good morning, Your Honours. I call case
10 IT-09-92-T, The Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Mr. Ivetic, it was announced that you would like to address the
14 MR. IVETIC: That's correct, Your Honours.
15 With Your Honours' leave, lead counsel Mr. Branko Lukic and I ask
16 leave to read into the record our notice of exception to proceedings
17 filed last night.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, the notice of exception has been filed,
19 has been distributed. It is a public filing so everyone can take notice
20 of what you brought to the attention of this Court. We have considered
21 the content of it and the Chamber finds that there's no need to repeat
23 MR. IVETIC: As long as we have on the record that Your Honours
24 have read it. That's all I have.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have it, we have received it, and it's a
1 public filing.
2 MR. IVETIC: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
4 Before we continue, and it was not even on the record,
5 Mr. Ivetic, that you were there, because I'd like to put on the record
6 the appearances.
7 I see for the Prosecution Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Tieger, Mr. Weber,
8 Ms. Hasan, Mr. Traldi, and, of course, supported by your support team.
9 I see for the Defence Mr. Lukic, I see Mr. Ivetic, I see
10 Mr. Stojanovic, and I see Mr. Saljic is there as well, also supported by
11 your support team.
12 We are sitting today to deliver the Chamber's judgement in this
13 case. The Chamber stresses that during this hearing it will only deliver
14 a summary of its findings. This summary does not in any way form part of
15 the judgement. The only authoritative account of the Chamber's findings
16 is in the written judgement which will be made available after this
18 The accused, Ratko Mladic, was indicted on 24 July and 16
19 November 1995. He was arrested in Serbia on 26 May 2011, almost 16 years
20 after the initial indictments. His trial began on 16 May 2012 and the
21 hearing of evidence lasted for over four years. Between 5 and 15
22 December 2016, the parties presented their closing arguments.
23 The Chamber sat for 530 trial days, during which it received the
24 evidence of 592 witnesses and nearly 10.000 exhibits. The Chamber also
25 took judicial notice of approximately 2.000 adjudicated facts.
1 The accused stood trial for 11 counts of crimes allegedly
2 committed in his capacity as the commander of the Main Staff of the Army
3 of the Bosnian Serb Republic, also known as the VRS, between 12 May 1992
4 and 30 November 1995. The indictment charged two counts of genocide and
5 five counts of crimes against humanity, namely, persecution, murder,
6 extermination, deportation, and the inhumane act of forcible transfer.
7 It also charged four counts of violations of the laws or customs of war,
8 namely, murder, acts of violence the primary purpose of which was to
9 spread terror among the civilian population, unlawful attacks on
10 civilians, and the taking of hostages. The geographical scope of the
11 indictment included Sarajevo, Srebrenica, and 15 municipalities in Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina.
13 The Prosecution alleged that the accused participated in four
14 joint criminal enterprises, also known as JCEs, which I will now
16 First, an Overarching JCE which had the objective of permanently
17 removing Muslims and Croats from Serb-claimed territory in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina through the commissions of the crimes charged in the
19 indictment, including genocide, persecutions, extermination, murder, the
20 inhumane act of forcible transfer, and deportation.
21 Second, a Sarajevo JCE which had the objective of spreading
22 terror among the civilian population through a campaign of sniping and
23 shelling as charged in the indictment, including through murder, acts of
24 violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the
25 civilian population, and unlawful attacks on civilians.
1 Third, a Srebrenica JCE, the objective of which was the
2 elimination of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica through the crimes charged
3 in the indictment, including genocide, persecutions, extermination,
4 murder, the inhumane act of forcible transfer, and deportation.
5 Fourth, a hostage-taking JCE, the objective of which was taking
6 UN personnel hostage to prevent NATO from conducting air-strikes against
7 Bosnian Serb military targets through the crime of taking of hostages, as
8 a war crime.
9 In addition, the Prosecution charged the accused with having
10 planned, instigated, ordered, and/or aided and abetted the crimes in the
11 indictment. Finally, it also charged the accused as a superior pursuant
12 to Article 7(3) of the Statute.
13 The Chamber will now briefly summarise its findings.
14 The Chamber will begin by addressing its factual and legal
15 findings with regard to the crime base in each component of the case and
16 then turn to its findings concerning the responsibility of the accused.
17 The Chamber found that there was an armed conflict in the
18 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina throughout the period relevant to the
19 indictment as required pursuant to Article 3 of the Statute.
20 The Chamber will now address the municipalities component of the
21 case. The Chamber found that in several of the municipalities, murders
22 were committed which constituted crimes against humanity and violations
23 of the laws or customs of war.
24 The Chamber found that before, during, and after Bosnian Serb
25 forces attacked non-Serb villages, many victims were killed.
1 Circumstances were brutal; those who tried to defend their homes were met
2 with ruthless force. Mass executions occurred and some victims succumbed
3 after being beaten. Many of the perpetrators who had captured Bosnian
4 Muslims showed little or no respect for human life or dignity. For
6 On or about 31 May 1992, Bosnian Serb forces rounded a group of
7 Bosnian Muslim men near the Vrhpolje bridge in Sanski Most municipality.
8 Four of them were killed on the way to the bridge. Once at the bridge,
9 the Bosnian Muslims were forced to jump into the river, one by one. Once
10 in the water, Bosnian Serb forces opened fire, killing at least 28 of the
11 Bosnian Muslims, all male, including a minor and two elderly men. One
12 man survived.
13 In July 1992, 24 Bosnian Muslim detainees suffocated while being
14 transported from Betornika detention centre to Manjaca camp. Guards at
15 the Betornika confiscated water bottles and forced some detainees to
16 consume salt before the nine-hour journey. The trucks were hot, cramped,
17 covered with tarpaulins, and the detainees received no water. In an
18 attempt to survive, a number of them drank their own urine and made holes
19 in the tarpaulins to get air, but stopped when the policemen escorting
20 the men threatened them. Once they arrived at Manjaca camp, those deemed
21 not healthy were put back on the truck as Bozidar Popovic, the camp
22 commander said, and I quote, "Put the shit back. I don't need dead
24 The Chamber found that some of these murders amounted to
25 exterminations as a crime against humanity. For example:
1 On or around 25 July 1992, police and members of the VRS aimed a
2 machine-gun at the entrance of Room 3 in Keraterm camp where a large
3 number of detainees were held. During the night, some form of chemical
4 gas was thrown into the room, causing the detainees to panic and for some
5 of them to try to exit. Spot lights were shown on the room and the
6 soldiers and guards executed the detainees with automatic weapons as they
7 exited, killing many of them. They then proceeded to shoot detainees
8 inside the room, including some who were trying to hide. The soldiers
9 and guards killed between 190 and 220 detainees that night.
10 The Chamber found that forcible transfer and deportation were
11 committed in many municipalities. With regard to the conditions at the
12 relevant times, the Chamber found, for example, that from 12 May 1992
13 onwards, local authorities in Kotor Varos municipality imposed
14 restrictions on Bosnian Muslims' and Bosnian Croats' freedom of movement
15 which were implemented by the VRS. Killings, unlawful detentions and
16 acts of inhumane treatment were also committed in the municipality in
17 June and July 1992. The Chamber found that parts of the Bosnian Muslim
18 and Bosnian Croat population, including women and children, were forcibly
19 displaced from Kotor Varos municipality between June and November 1992.
20 The Chamber found that deportation and inhumane act of forcible transfer
21 as a crime against humanity were committed in the municipalities of
22 Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Foca, Ilidza, Kljuc, Kotor Varos, Novi Grad, Pale,
23 Prijedor, Rogatica, Sanski Most, Sokolac, and Vlasenica.
24 Turning now to the charge of persecution, the Chamber found,
25 inter alia, that many victims were subjected to unlawful detention and
1 cruel and inhumane treatment on the basis of political, racial, or
2 religious grounds. For example:
3 In several detention camps, conditions were appalling. Food and
4 water were scarce, which led to some cases of severe malnutrition and
5 death. Sanitation facilities were wholly inadequate. Detainees were
6 often allowed to use bathroom facilities only once a day, and there was
7 no consideration for hygiene or preventing the spread of diseases.
8 Detainees were regularly beaten, sometimes with implements such as brass
9 knuckles and iron bars. Medical care was also inadequate.
10 Detainees were forced to rape and engage in other degrading
11 sexual acts with one another. Many Bosnian Muslim women who were
12 unlawfully detained were raped. For example:
13 At a house known as Karaman's House in Foca municipality, several
14 groups of women and girls as young as 12 years old were routinely and
15 brutally raped. The victims would sometimes be assigned to individual
16 soldiers and other times were forced to have sex with multiple men. One
17 witness gave evidence that a soldier had taken her to a celebration where
18 they were approached by the accused who asked the soldier whether the
19 witness was his, and I quote, "Herzegovinian woman," before turning to
20 the witness directly and asking her whether she was, and I quote again,
21 "faring better than in Alija's state."
22 The Chamber now turns to Count 1, genocide in six of the
23 municipalities. Genocide encompasses the commission of prohibited acts
24 with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a protected group, as
25 such. These prohibited acts can include killing or causing serious
1 bodily or mental harm. In this case, the protected groups were Bosnian
2 Muslims and Bosnian Croats. The Chamber found that a large number of
3 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in some of these municipalities were
4 subjected to killings and/or serious bodily or mental harm.
5 The Chamber then examined the specific intent of the physical
6 perpetrators. The Chamber found, by majority, Judge Orie dissenting,
7 that the physical perpetrators in Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Foca, and
8 certain perpetrators in Kotor Varos and Prijedor municipalities intended
9 to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in those municipalities as a part of the
10 protected group. The Chamber then considered whether the targeted part
11 constituted a substantial part of the protected group and concluded that
12 the Bosnian Muslims targeted in each municipality formed a relatively
13 small part of the protected group and were also in other ways not a
14 substantial part. Consequently, the Chamber was not satisfied that the
15 only reasonable inference was that the physical perpetrators possessed
16 the required intent to destroy a substantial part of the protected group
17 of Bosnian Muslims.
18 The Chamber will now address the Sarajevo component of the case.
19 From mid-May 1992 until November 1995, the VRS, in particular, the
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, also known as the SRK, deliberately shelled and
21 sniped the civilian population of Sarajevo often at locations that had
22 little or no military value. As a result, hundreds of civilians were
23 killed and thousands were injured. Many were shot while undertaking
24 daily activities, such as walking with their children, fetching water,
25 collecting wood, or while at the market. For example:
1 On 18 November 1994, a member of the SRK shot a Bosnian Muslim
2 woman walking on the street with her children. The bullet passed through
3 her abdomen and hit her seven-year-old son in the head, killing him.
4 On 5 February 1994, members of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
5 shelled Markale market, resulting in the killing of 68 people and
6 injuring over 140. Almost all of the victims were civilians and included
7 women, children and elderly.
8 In 1994 and 1995, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps attacked Sarajevo
9 with modified air bombs, highly inaccurate weapons that had a devastating
10 effect on impact. Consequently, the Chamber found that the use of
11 modified air bombs constituted indiscriminate attacks on individual
12 civilians and on the civilian population as a whole.
13 The Chamber, having considered the nature, manner, timing,
14 location, and duration of these sniping and shelling attacks, found that
15 it was the intention of the perpetrators, all members of the
16 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, to target civilians and to shell the city in an
17 indiscriminate manner. The hardships the people of Sarajevo suffered
18 were considerable. They routinely lacked basic necessities such as food,
19 water, gas and electricity. They were made to live in a state of
20 constant distress. Every time they or their loved ones left their home,
21 they wondered if they would be targeted by sniper or artillery fire.
22 Taking all of this into consideration, the Chamber found that the members
23 of the SRK intended to spread terror among the population of Sarajevo and
24 that the infliction of terror was the primary purpose of sniping and
25 shelling. The Chamber found that members of the SRK committed murder,
1 unlawful attacks on civilians, and terror as violations of the laws or
2 customs of war; and murder as a crime against humanity.
3 The Chamber will now turn to the Srebrenica component of the
4 case. On 8 March 1995, Radovan Karadzic issued Directive number 7 and
5 ordered the Drina Corps to, and I quote, "create an unbearable situation
6 of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the
7 inhabitants of Srebrenica." On 31 March 1995, Mladic signed Directive
8 number 7/1, which translated Directive 7 into operational military tasks
9 and called for a strategic operation against the enclave. Approximately
10 15 to 20 days before the take-over of Srebrenica town, the VRS formed a
11 plan called Krivaja-95 to attack the enclave, intending to make it
12 disappear, to empty it, and to make the area Serbian territory by
13 forcibly removing the Bosnian Muslim population.
14 The VRS attack began on 6 July, and by 11 July they had entered
15 Srebrenica town. During the attack, the VRS embarked upon a campaign of
16 burning Bosnian Muslim houses and mosques. Thousands of Bosnian Muslims,
17 mostly women, children, and elderly fled to Potocari to seek shelter in
18 the compound used by the UN Protection Force known as UNPROFOR. The vast
19 majority of the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim men fled the enclave on foot
20 in an attempt to reach Tuzla.
21 By 12 July 1995, between 25.000 and 30.000 Bosnian Muslim
22 civilians had gathered in Potocari, 5 per cent of whom were able-bodied
23 men. Conditions in and around the UNPROFOR compound were dire: Food and
24 water were scarce and there was a shortage of medical supplies. People
25 were exhausted and frightened. Serb forces created a terrifying
1 atmosphere by shelling near the compound and by taking people away, some
2 of whom never returned.
3 From 11 to 12 July 1995, three meetings took place at
4 Hotel Fontana in Bratunac between the VRS, UNPROFOR DutchBat officers,
5 and individuals selected to represent the Bosnian Muslims to discuss what
6 was described as the evacuation of the civilian population in Potocari.
7 The VRS's screening of men aged between 16 and 60 for war crimes was also
8 discussed. On 17 July 1995, a document was signed, stating that the
9 civilians were to be, and I quote, "evacuated" to Kladanj municipality by
10 the VRS and Bosnian Serb Republic police forces under the supervision and
11 escort of UNPROFOR.
12 From 12 to 14 July 1995, the VRS and the Ministry of Interior,
13 known as the MUP, organised the transport of approximately 25.000 Bosnian
14 Muslims, mostly women, children, and elderly, out of the Srebrenica
15 enclave to territory under control of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 in convoys of buses and trucks. Bosnian Serb soldiers systematically
17 separated Bosnian Muslim men of military age who were trying to get
18 onboard. Some of the separated males were as young as 12 years old and
19 some older than 60 years. The separations were frequently aggressive.
20 The people being transferred were told that the Bosnian Muslim men would
21 follow later. They never followed.
22 The Bosnian Muslim men taken from Potocari were detained in
23 temporary detention facilities and later, together with others captured
24 from the column fleeing on foot, bussed to various execution sites in
25 Srebrenica, Bratunac, and Zvornik municipalities. The Chamber found that
1 many of these men and boys were cursed, insulted, threatened, forced to
2 sing Serb songs, and beaten while awaiting their execution. Bosnian Serb
3 forces, primarily members of the VRS, systematically murdered several
4 thousands Bosnian Muslim men and boys, the vast majority over just a few
5 days from 12 until 17 July 1995.
6 The Chamber will now describe some specific examples.
7 On 13 and 14 July 1995, approximately 1.000 unarmed Bosnian
8 Muslim males, including children and elderly, were excused in Kravica
9 warehouse. On 16 July 1995, between 1.000 and 1.200 Bosnian Muslim
10 civilians at the Branjevo Military Farm were summarily executed. Prior
11 to the execution, some of them had their hands tied, were blindfolded,
12 and forced to pray in, and I quote, "the Muslim manner." On the very
13 same day, approximately 500 Bosnian Muslim men and two women were
14 executed inside Pilica Cultural Centre.
15 During several weeks in September and early October 1995, senior
16 members of the VRS and the MUP attempted to conceal their crimes by
17 exhuming their victims' remains from several mass graves, and then
18 reburying those remains in more remote areas in Zvornik and Bratunac
19 municipalities. Their attempt to cover up the Srebrenica massacres
20 ultimately failed.
21 The Chamber found that Bosnian Serb forces engaged in an
22 operation to murder thousands of Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica with
23 discriminatory intent so as to constitute the crime of persecution. Some
24 of those murder incidents were found to constitute extermination. The
25 Chamber also found that several of the charged incidents constituted the
1 inhumane act of forcible transfer.
2 The Chamber now turns to the allegation of genocide in
3 Srebrenica, Count 2 of the indictment. The Chamber found that the
4 prohibited acts as set out in the legal definition of genocide, that is
5 killing and causing serious and bodily and mental harm, were committed by
6 the physical perpetrators against the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica.
7 The Chamber then examined the specific intent of the physical
8 perpetrators. As explained in detail in the judgement, the Chamber found
9 that the physical perpetrators intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in
10 Srebrenica, a substantial part of the protected group. The Chamber,
11 therefore, found that the crimes of genocide, persecution, extermination,
12 murder, and the inhumane act of forcible transfer were committed against
13 Bosnian Muslims in and around Srebrenica.
14 The Chamber now turns to the hostage component of the case.
15 Between 25 May and 24 June 1995, VRS soldiers and officers, including
16 members of the military police and Bosnian Serb police officers, arrested
17 and detained between 260 and 400 UN Military Observers, known as UNMOs,
18 and UNPROFOR personnel, all in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The UNMOs arrested by
19 police officers were placed in VRS custody. Some were tied with chains
20 or handcuffs, at times at gunpoint, outside locations of strategic
21 military importance while others were told they would be killed if NATO
22 were to launch further air-strikes. Some of the UN personnel were
23 filmed. Threats were also directly communicated to UN officials. The UN
24 personnel were detained in order to, inter alia, exert leverage over NATO
25 to stop air-strikes. Between 2 and 24 June 1995, the VRS, and in
1 particular the accused, ordered the release the UN personnel pursuant to
2 the an order from Karadzic.
3 The perpetrators knew that UNMO and UNPROFOR personnel were
4 taking no active part in the hostilities when captured and placed in
5 detention and that they were entitled to the protection of Common Article
6 3 of the Geneva Conventions. The Chamber found that these acts
7 constituted the crime of hostage-taking, a violation of the laws or
8 customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute.
9 The Chamber will now turn to the responsibility of the accused in
10 relation to each alleged joint criminal enterprise.
11 The Chamber found that the accused held various positions in the
12 Yugoslav People's Army and as of 12 May 1992 served as the commander of
13 the Main Staff of the Army of the Bosnian Serb Republic, the VRS. He
14 remained in this position until at least 8 November 1996.
15 With respect to the Overarching joint criminal enterprise, the
16 Chamber found that between 1991 and 30 November 1995, there existed a JCE
17 with the objective of permanently removing Muslims and Croats from
18 Serb-claimed territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina through persecution,
19 extermination, murder, the inhumane act of forcible transfer, and
20 deportation. Having assessed, inter alia, the statements, speeches, and
21 conduct of the accused and the Bosnian Serb leadership, and the acts
22 committed by the physical perpetrators, the Chamber found that the
23 evidence did not support a finding that the crime of genocide formed part
24 of the objective of the Overarching JCE.
25 The members of the Overarching joint criminal enterprise
1 included: Radovan Karadzic; Momcilo Krajisnik; Biljana Plavsic; Nikola
2 Koljevic; Bogdan Subotic; Momcilo Mandic; and Mico Stanisic.
3 Many of the charged crimes were committed by units used as tools
4 in furtherance of the Overarching joint criminal enterprise. These
5 included: members of the VRS, MUP, and Territorial Defence under the
6 supervision of the Bosnian Serb Ministry of Defence; various paramilitary
7 groups; and members of regional and municipal authorities.
8 The Chamber now turns to the accused's responsibility for the
9 crimes which were found to have been committed in the municipalities
10 component of the case. To determine the accused's contribution, the
11 Chamber considered the accused's acts during the existence of the
12 Overarching JCE, in particular, the accused's acts vis-à-vis the VRS,
13 given that many of the principal perpetrators of crimes were VRS members.
14 Between May 1992 and 1995, the accused issued orders which established
15 and organised the VRS and its organs. The accused was also closely
16 involved in VRS operations as evidenced by regular briefings, meetings --
17 Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I have been asked by the accused if he
19 can use the facilities, the bathroom.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I will first finish my sentence and then we'll
21 take a break of five minutes.
22 I think I started my sentence by saying the accused was also
23 closely involved in VRS operations as evidenced by regular briefings,
24 meetings, and inspections; and issued orders and operational directives
25 to VRS units as well as other groups.
1 We'll take a short break and we'll resume at a quarter to 11.00.
2 --- Break taken at 10.41 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.26 a.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, you're on your feet. Before I give you
5 an opportunity to say something, I'd first like to explain that the break
6 took slightly longer because doctor's advice has been obtained and, I
7 take it, will be reported.
9 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honours I would like to place on the
10 record information that I believe was provided to you that Mr. Mladic's
11 blood pressure was read three times during the break. The first reading,
12 I believe, was 175 over 96; the second reading done by a nurse was 180
13 over 80; and after a 15-minute break, a second reading done by a nurse
14 was 180 over 80.
15 According to both the American Heart Association and the United
16 Kingdom Cardiovascular Association, that is called hypertensive crisis
17 and says "consult doctor immediately." Under those circumstances, the
18 Defence asks that Your Honours either halt these proceedings or we waive
19 reading of the summary and pronounce your judgement so that we can lessen
20 the risk of further harm to Mr. Mladic's health, given this extremely
21 delicate situation with his blood pressure that - we already have a
22 medical opinion - states could lead to a fatal condition for him. We
23 have to emphasise that twice the reading was confirmed at 180 over 80,
24 which, if you could look on the Internet, this is the red area -- the red
25 area, that's right there, at the very top end of the crisis area,
1 according to the United Kingdom and the American Heart Associations.
2 Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will not rely on the Internet but rather
4 rely on doctor's advice.
5 Apart from that, Mr. Ivetic, our information was that the last
6 reading above, it was 170, not 180. That's the information we received.
7 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, counsel was in the room at the time
8 when it was taken.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We will not --
10 MR. IVETIC: There were two that were done --
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- we'll not further discuss that.
12 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Your second request was to deliver the judgement
14 right away without further reading any of the reasons. I'll have to
15 discuss this with my colleagues, and the first thing I'll ask them is
16 whether we can immediately decide this here, being in the courtroom, or
17 whether we take another short break for that.
18 MR. IVETIC: Understood, Your Honours.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, the Chamber has decided that we'll
21 continue to read the judgement as we intended to do. The doctor's advice
22 we got is that the situation is not such that medical reasons would
23 prevent us from continuing.
24 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, the Defence would ask that this
25 medical advice be put in writing, signed, and be made part of the record.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, I have given a decision. I will now
2 continue to read the judgement.
3 Mr. Mladic wants to consult with counsel, I take it. If he does
4 it in such a way that no one can hear your voice, Mr. Mladic. And sit
5 down, please.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated].
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic, sit -- Mr. Mladic, if you -- if you
8 continue like this, we -- we adjourn. We adjourn. We adjourn. We
9 adjourn. Mr. Mladic will be removed from the courtroom.
10 Curtains down.
11 Mr. Mladic is -- we adjourn. Curtains down. Mr. Mladic will be
12 removed from the courtroom.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
15 [The accused withdrew]
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll immediately continue.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's continue.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it was a very short adjournment. Mr. Mladic
21 has been removed from the courtroom and has been taken to a room where
22 there's a couch to sit on and where he is able to follow the proceedings
23 on a screen.
24 Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, we would ask that again his blood
1 pressure be measured because --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, Mr. Mladic is out of the courtroom at
3 this moment. The Registry will take care of his -- is responsible for
4 his medical care. I do understand that doctors -- a doctor and a nurse
5 are nearby to meet any need in that respect.
6 MR. IVETIC: And, Your Honours, then I have to state on the
7 record, I've talked with the doctor who is outside there and he assured
8 me that this blood pressure was normal. I asked him under what standard.
9 He refused to answer --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, Mr. Ivetic, this is not the moment to
11 further discuss this matter. It is about the medical care of Mr. Mladic
12 under the responsibility of the Registry. The Chamber has received
13 information which made it proceed as it did, and we'll now proceed to
14 read the judgement.
15 And, by the way, it comes to issues which I would normally expect
16 to be dealt with by lead counsel, but, Mr. Lukic, I take it that you're
17 aware of your role and your function as lead counsel in this case.
18 I'll now proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: Do you want me to proceed or you just notice --
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. I just reminded you of your position.
21 Then I'll now continue to read the judgement, knowing that
22 Mr. Mladic has an opportunity to follow the proceedings, video and audio,
23 on a screen. I resume.
24 The accused commanded and controlled VRS units and tasked some of
25 them to co-operate with the MUP. He was in direct contact with members
1 of the leadership in Serbia and members of the General Staff of the Army
2 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to ensure that the military needs
3 of the VRS were met. The accused also addressed the Bosnian Serb
4 Assembly during several of its sessions on issues surrounding the
5 development of policies of the Bosnian Serb political leadership and
6 often suggested to Bosnian Serb politicians what position they should
7 take during peace negotiations in order to achieve the strategic
8 objectives as initially defined.
9 The accused further placed severe restrictions on the delivery of
10 humanitarian aid for the civilian population from 10 April 1994 onwards
11 by ordering all VRS units to immediately block all UNPROFOR and
12 humanitarian organisations' activities in the territory of the Bosnian
13 Serb Republic.
14 Between September 1992 and at least March 1995, the accused
15 introduced and maintained a controlled and centralised system of
16 spreading propaganda related to Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims. The
17 accused also made deliberately the misleading statements to members of
18 the media and the international community in relation to crimes
20 The accused's acts were so instrumental to the commission of the
21 crimes that without them, the crimes would not have been committed as
22 they were. In light of this, the Chamber found that through his actions,
23 the accused significantly contributed to achieving the common objective
24 of permanently removing Muslims and Croats from Serb-claimed territory in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina by committing the crimes of persecution,
1 extermination, murder, deportation and the inhumane act of forcible
3 The Chamber considered the accused's significant contribution to
4 the objective of the Overarching joint criminal enterprise as well as his
5 statements, in particular, his repeated use of the derogatory references
6 to Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats; and his expressions of commitment
7 to an ethnically homogeneous Bosnian Serb Republic even in territories
8 that previously had a large percentage of non-Serb inhabitants. It found
9 that the accused was aware of and intended for the crimes of deportation,
10 the inhumane act of forcible transfer, murder, extermination, and
11 persecution to be committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats.
12 The Chamber found that the accused shared the intent to achieve the
13 common objective of the Overarching JCE and held this intent as early as
14 12 May 1992. Therefore, he was a member of the Overarching JCE from 12
15 May 1992.
16 The Chamber now turns to the Sarajevo joint criminal enterprise.
17 The Chamber found that between 12 May 1992 and November 1995, there
18 existed a JCE with the primary purpose of spreading terror amongst the
19 civilian population through a campaign of sniping and shelling. The
20 objective of this JCE involved the commission of crimes of terror,
21 unlawful attacks against civilians, and murder.
22 The members of the Sarajevo joint criminal enterprise were
23 members of the Bosnian Serb military and political leadership and
24 included: Radovan Karadzic; Stanislav Galic; Dragomir Milosevic; Momcilo
25 Krajisnik; Biljana Plavsic; and Nikola Koljevic.
1 The charged crimes were all committed by units of the
2 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
3 The Chamber now turns to the accused's responsibility for the
4 crimes which were found to have been committed in the Sarajevo component
5 of the case. The Chamber considered the accused's acts and omissions
6 during the existence of the Sarajevo joint criminal enterprise in order
7 to determine whether he significantly contributed to this joint criminal
8 enterprise. The Chamber found that the accused was involved in the
9 establishment of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and made personnel decisions
10 concerning the SRK; commanded SRK units from 1992 to 1995 in various
11 operations; procured military assistance from the army of the Federal
12 Republic of Yugoslavia during the siege; ordered the production and use
13 of modified air bombs on Sarajevo; and participated in policy discussions
14 between 1992 and 1995 with members of the Bosnian Serb government.
15 In addition, the accused participated in the dissemination of
16 anti-Muslim and anti-Croat propaganda and provided misleading information
17 about crimes to representatives of the international community. The
18 accused also frequently ordered the restriction of humanitarian aid to
19 Sarajevo and failed to take adequate steps to prevent crimes or
20 adequately investigate and punish the perpetrators of crimes, all of whom
21 were under his effective control. The accused's acts were instrumental
22 to the commission of the crimes in Sarajevo. Through his actions, the
23 accused significantly contributed to achieving the objective of the
24 Sarajevo joint criminal enterprise by way of committing the crimes of
25 terror, unlawful attacks against civilians, and murder.
1 In determining whether the accused shared the intent to achieve
2 the common objective of the joint criminal enterprise, the Chamber
3 considered the accused's statements and conduct throughout the indictment
4 period. In particular, the Chamber considered that the accused
5 personally directed the shelling of Sarajevo that took place on 28
6 May 1992, was involved in selecting targets, and directed fire away from
7 Serb-populated areas; and commanded the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and
8 formulated and issued directives. Further, in the spring of 1995, the
9 accused proposed that Sarajevo be bombarded with explicit disregard for
10 the safety of civilians; and on 6 September 1995, the accused ordered the
11 SRK Command to cut utilities supplying Sarajevo, forcing the inhabitants
12 of Sarajevo to go outside and be exposed to sniping and shelling.
13 The Chamber found that the accused intended to establish and
14 carry out a campaign of sniping and shelling against the civilian
15 population of Sarajevo. Further, the Chamber found that the accused
16 intended this campaign to spread terror among the civilian population of
17 Sarajevo and that he intended to perpetrate the crimes of terror,
18 unlawful attacks on civilians, and murder. The Chamber found that the
19 accused held this intention throughout the indictment period. As such,
20 he was a member of the Sarajevo joint criminal enterprise.
21 With respect to the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise, the
22 Chamber found that there existed a JCE with the primary purpose of
23 eliminating the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica by killing the men and
24 boys, and forcibly removing the women, young children, and some elderly
25 men. In the days immediately preceding 11 July 1995, the objective of
1 the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise involved the commission of the
2 crimes of persecution and the inhumane act of forcible transfer, which
3 occurred after the VRS attacked the enclave with a view to emptying it.
4 By the early morning of 12 July 1995, the crimes of genocide,
5 extermination, and murder also became part of the means to achieve the
6 objective, prior to the first crime being committed. In this respect,
7 Momir Nikolic, Svetozar Kosoric, and Vujadin Popovic discussed the
8 killings and potential execution sites on the morning of 12 July 1995,
9 and Tolimir first ordered that Batkovic camp be prepared for a large
10 number of detainees. He then conveyed that this plan had been given up.
11 The JCE existed until at least October 1995, when reburials in Zvornik
12 and Bratunac municipalities took place.
13 The members of the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise included:
14 Radovan Karadzic; Radislav Krstic; Vujadin Popovic; Zdravko Tolimir;
15 Ljubomir Borovcanin; Svetozar Kosoric; Radivoje Miletic; Radoslav
16 Jankovic; Ljubisa Beara; Milenko Zivanovic; Vinko Pandurevic; and Vidoje
18 The charged crimes, except for the ill-treatment and killing near
19 the town of Trnovo of six Bosnian Muslim men and boys, were committed by
20 the VRS or MUP units, all under the operational command of the
21 Drina Corps or the Main Staff at the time. As such, JCE members used
22 these units to commit the Srebrenica crimes in furtherance of the joint
23 criminal enterprise.
24 The Chamber now turns to the accused's responsibility in relation
25 to the Srebrenica component of the case. In determining whether the
1 accused significantly contributed to the Srebrenica joint criminal
2 enterprise, the Chamber has considered the accused's acts and omissions
3 during its existence.
4 The accused, in particular, recommended the promotion of Krstic
5 to replace Zivanovic as commander of the Drina Corps. This
6 recommendation was implemented on 13 July 1995; between at least 11
7 July and 11 October 1995, he issued several orders to VRS forces,
8 including the Drina Corps, concerning the operation in and around
9 Srebrenica; and on 11 and 12 July 1995, he gave orders to MUP commander
10 Borovcanin and his units. Further, in July and August 1995, the accused
11 provided misleading information about the crimes; and he failed to take
12 adequate steps to prevent crimes or to adequately investigate or punish
13 members of the VRS and other elements of the Serb forces under his
14 effective control for such crimes.
15 The principal perpetrators of the crimes forming part of the
16 Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise were members of the VRS or the MUP.
17 The accused commanded and controlled both VRS and MUP units during the
18 Srebrenica operation and its aftermath. The accused's acts were so
19 instrumental to the commission of the crimes that without them the crimes
20 would not have been committed as they were. Therefore, the Chamber found
21 that the accused significantly contributed to achieving the objective of
22 the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise by way of committing the crimes
23 of genocide, persecution, extermination, murder, and the inhumane act of
24 forcible transfer.
25 In determining whether the accused shared the intent to achieve
1 the common objective of the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise, the
2 Chamber considered his statements and conduct throughout the take-over of
3 the enclave. These included, among other things, his role in the
4 Hotel Fontana meetings on 11 and 12 July 1995 and his presence at a
5 meeting at the Bratunac Command Centre on 13 July with VRS and MUP
6 officers, during which the task of killing or liquidating Muslim males
7 near Konjevic Polje was discussed. They also included his orders to
8 separate the Bosnian Muslim men from the women, children and elderly in
9 Potocari from 12 July 1995 and his presence during the gathering of
10 Bosnian Muslims in Potocari on 12 and 13 July 1995 and during the
11 separation of Bosnian Muslim men. Finally, the Chamber considered the
12 accused's denial of the crimes committed in Srebrenica as well as the
13 measures he took to provide misleading information and to prevent the
14 media from knowing what was happening there.
15 The Chamber has further considered the accused's presence at
16 Nova Kasaba football stadium and Sandici Meadow on 13 July 1995, where
17 several thousand Bosnian Muslim males were detained, and his misleading
18 assurances that they would be taken to Bratunac to be exchanged.
19 The Chamber found that from at least 1994 and throughout
20 July 1995, the accused made numerous statements expressing a need to take
21 revenge on the Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica, adding that they would
22 have, and I quote, "disappeared a long time ago" had it not been for the
23 involvement of the international community. He further stated on several
24 occasions during the Hotel Fontana meetings that the Bosnian Muslims from
25 Srebrenica could, and I quote again, "live or vanish," and "survive or
2 Based on the foregoing, the Chamber found that the accused
3 intended to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica by killing the
4 men and boys and forcibly removing the women, young children, and some
5 elderly men through the commission of the crimes of persecution, murder,
6 extermination, and the inhumane act of forcible transfer. The Chamber
7 found that the only reasonable inference was that the accused intended to
8 destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as a substantial part of the
9 protected group of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Accordingly, the
10 Chamber found that the accused intended to carry out the objective of the
11 Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise through the commissions of the crime
12 of genocide and was a member of the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise.
13 With respect to the hostage-taking joint criminal enterprise, the
14 Chamber found that a JCE existed from around 25 May 1995 when NATO
15 air-strikes against Bosnian Serb targets commenced, until approximately
16 24 June 1995 when the last UN personnel were released. This JCE had the
17 purpose of capturing UN personnel in various parts of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina and detaining them in strategic military locations to prevent
19 NATO from launching further military air-strikes on Bosnian Serb military
21 The members of the hostage-taking joint criminal enterprise were
22 members of the VRS Main Staff; the VRS Corps Commands; Radovan Karadzic;
23 and Nikola Koljevic.
24 These members implemented the common objective themselves and
25 used VRS personnel, including members of the military police, to
1 implement the objective, the common objective. The Chamber considered
2 that orders and their implementation; the reporting obligations by the
3 members of the JCE; as well as their statements; establish that the
4 members of the JCE shared the intent to achieve the common criminal
6 The Chamber further found that the accused significantly
7 contributed to the JCE's common objective. The accused was closely
8 involved from around 25 May 1995 and throughout every stage of the
9 hostage-taking. He ordered VRS units to detain the UNPROFOR personnel
10 and to place them at potential NATO air-strike targets. He also ordered
11 the release of the detained UNPROFOR personnel and informed an UNPROFOR
12 representative that such release was contingent on the cessation of
13 air-strikes. The Chamber found that the accused's contributions to the
14 hostage-taking joint criminal enterprise were central to the
15 implementation of the JCE's objective.
16 Based on the accused's statements and conduct throughout the
17 hostage-taking incidents, the Chamber found that the accused intended the
18 objective and the hostage-taking joint criminal enterprise, to capture UN
19 personnel and detain them in strategic military locations to prevent NATO
20 from launching further air-strikes. The Chamber found that the accused's
21 statements, in particular with regard to the fate of UNPROFOR personnel,
22 were tantamount to having issued threats to continue to detain or to kill
23 UN personnel, and that these threats were meant to end the air-strikes.
24 The Chamber found that the accused was a member of the hostage-taking
1 Having summarised its findings, the Chamber will now give its
3 For the reasons summarised during this hearing, having considered
4 all of the facts, evidence, and arguments of the parties, as well as the
5 Statute and the Rules, and based upon the factual and legal findings set
6 out in detail in the written judgement, the Chamber finds Ratko Mladic:
7 Not guilty of Count 1, genocide; and
8 Guilty, as a member of varies joint criminal enterprises, of the
9 following counts:
10 Count 2, genocide;
11 Count 3, persecution, a crime against humanity;
12 Count 4, extermination, a crime against humanity;
13 Count 5, murder, a crime against humanity;
14 Count 6, murder, a violation of the laws or customs of war;
15 Count 7, deportation, a crime against humanity;
16 Count 8, the inhumane act of forcible transfer, a crime against
18 Count 9, terror, a violation of the laws or customs of war;
19 Count 10, unlawful attacks on civilians, a violation of the laws
20 or customs of war; and
21 Count 11, taking of hostages, a violation of the laws or customs
22 of war.
23 In determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed, the
24 Chamber has taken into account the gravity of the crimes of which he has
25 been found guilty. The crimes committed rank among the most heinous
1 known to humankind and include genocide and extermination as a crime
2 against humanity.
3 As mitigating factors, the Defence referred to various
4 circumstances, including the benevolent treatment by Mr. Mladic of, and
5 assistance to, some victims; his good character; and his diminished
6 mental capacity, poor physical health, and advanced age.
7 For the reasons set out in the judgement, the Chamber considers
8 that most of the factors raised in mitigation by the Defence carry little
9 or no weight.
10 For having committed these crimes, the Chamber sentences
11 Mr. Ratko Mladic to life imprisonment.
12 This concludes the delivery of the judgement.
13 The Chamber stands adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.01 p.m.