1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Case No. IT-95-18-R61
5 Case No. IT-95-5-R61
8 Tuesday, 2nd July 1996
11 JUDGE JORDA
12 (The Presiding Judge)
14 JUDGE ODIO BENITO
15 JUDGE RIAD
17 THE PROSECUTOR OF THE TRIBUNAL
21 RADOVAN KARADZIC
22 RATKO MLADIC
23 MR. ERIC OSTBERG, MR. MARK HARMON and MR. TERREE BOWERS appeared
24 on behalf of the Prosecution
25 (Open Session)
1 (10.05 a.m.)
2 MR. TARIK KUPUSOVIC, recalled.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE [In translation] First of all, can everyone hear me?
4 On the counsel side? Fellow Judges can hear me? The Registrar? The
5 public gallery is working all right? No technical problems like we
6 had yesterday? The former Mayor of Sarajevo, welcome to you. Please
7 be seated. If you would kindly put on the head set? Can you hear me,
8 sir? Can you hear me?
9 THE WITNESS [In translation] : Very well.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You are rested, are you feeling fine? Counsel, you
11 have the floor. I believe you wanted to go ahead with the video after
12 which the Judges will have some questions. You have the floor.
13 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour. That is correct. We would like to
14 proceed this morning with a video which is a compilation of many of
15 the pieces of video and film that the Office of the Prosecutor has
16 collected as evidence. While it could not possibly accurately portray
17 what it was like to live in Sarajevo during the siege, it is intended
18 as a type of slice of life of what it was like to live through the
19 sniping and shelling. So with the court's permission we would like to
20 have the lights dimmed and that particular video played.
21 (The video was played)
22 Examined by MR. BOWERS, continued
23 Q. Mr. Kupusovic, do you have any final comments for the court?
24 A. Your Honour, and all the Judges, I did not want with my testimony to
25 provoke anybody's emotions. The facts about the siege and the
1 strangulation of Sarajevo are well known more or less to everybody. I
2 would like to point out, however, that we never lost hope in peace and
3 justice. This Tribunal was founded to defend the principles of
4 civilisations from the attack by war criminals. The onus is on you,
5 Prosecutors and Judges, to take care of this huge historical
6 responsibility. Whether barbarian principles will overcome, all
7 international organisations are capable of bringing war criminals to
8 justice and punish them appropriately. The justification for not
9 doing something can always be found. We must do something. Thank
11 MR. BOWERS: Thank you. That concludes the Prosecution's presentation,
12 your Honours. We would now open it up for questions.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Mr. Bowers. Let me turn to fellow
14 Judges: Judge Odio Benito, you have some questions? Please go right
16 Examined by the Court
17 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. Sir, did your political party try to avoid
18 the war?
19 A. Yes, it did.
20 Q. What about the other political parties, did they try to avoid the war
22 A. All parties worked on keeping the peace, except the Serbian Democratic
23 Party led by Karadzic.
24 Q. Many times you have used the expression "Karadzic's Serbs", that means
25 that there are other kinds of Serbs?
1 A. By saying "Karadzic's Serbs", I mean those who spent, who pursued the
2 policy that brought about the situation in which crimes were
3 committed. During the entire war there were about 40,000 Serbs living
4 in Sarajevo which suffered in exactly the same way as other citizens
5 of Sarajevo, together with them, and in the entire Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, in many towns, the victims of the war were Serbs,
7 different from Karadzic's Serbs.
8 Q. Yesterday you mentioned 12,000 victims of this siege, among them 1600
9 children. Do you know how many women and how many men died?
10 A. I do not know exactly, but roughly it is half and half.
11 Q. Finally, sir, I beg your pardon for asking this, but after this
12 horrible war, how do you see the future of your city, the future of
13 your family and the future of your country as well?
14 A. I see the future of my town, my country and my family as having begun
15 already. In Sarajevo, it is much easier to live now than it was
16 immediately after the agreement, the Dayton Agreement, was signed, but
17 the hurdle to serious reconstruction of the country, to
18 reconciliation, to reconstruction, are the war criminals that this
19 court is to try.
20 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you, sir.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Mayor Kupusovic, in one of the interviews you showed us we
22 could hear Mr. Karadzic saying, "We could take Sarajevo any time". I
23 remember that looking at Sarajevo from the hill. In your assessment,
24 why did they not take Sarajevo and why did they inflict the siege on
25 it for such a long time? What was the purpose of this whole
2 A. I am convinced that they could have entered Sarajevo and taken it the
3 first few weeks of the war, the first few weeks of May when the siege
4 started, but their goal was not to destroy the city completely,
5 because at the same time there were offices and high officers of the
6 United Nations and International Red Cross, many journalists. Their
7 goal was to divide the city, to make one part of the city exclusively
8 Muslim, another part exclusively Serbian and possibly another one
10 As they did not succeed in doing so at the beginning, then by a long
11 siege they wanted to make life in the city impossible, so that the
12 inhabitants of the city could feel hopelessness, to abandon their city
13 so that the city as such would die. Afterwards, when they wanted to
14 take the city, they could not do so without enormous human, technical
15 and other losses on their own side.
16 Q. Thank you for this answer. In your summary at the beginning, you
17 mentioned that the Serbs were a minority compared to the Muslims. Did
18 this minority suffer from any discrimination in Sarajevo?
19 A. By no means. There were about 42 per cent of Muslims in Sarajevo and
20 33 per cent Serbs and about eight to nine per cent Catholics,
21 Croatians, and other people from mixed marriages and others. But
22 never in Sarajevo has there been any uneasiness for anyone else by
23 somebody else, whether it was a Serb, a Romany, a Jew. In the
24 villages around Sarajevo before the war the Serbs launched propaganda
25 in order to cause the uneasiness of Serbs, to make it look as if they
1 were jeopardised by the others. They never succeeded in doing so in
2 the city, but, unfortunately, in mono-ethnic villages inhabited by
3 Serbs exclusively, they succeeded in doing so. But this is a matter
4 for the future when the civilian population returns to their normal
5 views of life together.
6 Q. There were no clashes in the previous years between Serbs and Muslims
7 in Sarajevo?
8 A. No, there have never been any clashes, neither during the First World
9 War or the Second World War in the town itself. There have never been
10 inter-ethnic conflicts among the citizens of Sarajevo.
11 Q. Then what promoted the hostility? What influence was there to promote
12 this hostility?
13 A. This is all tied with the plans for Greater Serbia which included
14 annexing a large part of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Serbia. Wherever there
15 was an absolute or relative majority of Serbs, according to those
16 plans, all the Serbs were to live in one state and only Serbs in that
17 particular state. Only the Serbs is the part that brought about the
18 eviction and expelling of all the other people and the crimes that had
19 to accompany such a goal. In that context, Sarajevo had to be divided
20 for an enclave was to be left for non-Serbs which in due time would
21 disappear, as was the case in Srebrenica.
22 Q. We noticed in many interviews by Dr. Karadzic concerning Sarajevo; was
23 also General Mladic involved in this siege of Sarajevo in certain
25 A. He commanded all the troops of the Serbian army, of the Republika
1 Srpska army, and he issued orders. Nothing could be done on the
2 military plane without General Mladic and their media, the media of
3 Republika Srpska, broadcast this news and this is a well-known fact.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Mayor Kupusovic. Thank you.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mayor, just a further one or two questions: during
6 these four very long years there were a lot of negotiations about
7 cease-fires. Did you participate personally in any of these
8 negotiations and what was your impression? Did you think that there
9 was serious negotiating taking place? What were your feelings?
10 A. During the first two years of siege, I participated in commissions for
11 solving the problems related to water supply, supply of the
12 electricity and natural gas. On the technical level, on the level of
13 professionals, the arrangements were quite clear and proclamations for
14 the water, the electricity and the gas and other essential
15 infrastructure would not be used for war purposes.
16 However, these arrangements usually fell flat after a certain time
17 and later new arrangements were made. Later, as Mayor, I did not take
18 part directly in these negotiations, but through my assistance on the
19 technical level of Commissions for infrastructure, which were
20 conducted by the representatives of the United Nations in Sarajevo. I
21 think that these negotiations, that the representatives of the Serbian
22 side did not have any intention to abide by them, because their goal
23 was to show, to indicate, that they are the masters, the lords, of the
25 Q. Thank you. I have a question about the city status. In the Dayton
1 Agreement how does that status work? What is your view of that? How
2 do you think it will work out in the future in the framework of the
3 Dayton Accord, and also what your fellow countrymen think of that
5 A. Sarajevo is one of several towns of Bosnia and Herzegovina in which
6 multi-ethnic, a multi-ethnic structure has been preserved and an urban
7 way of life, what had been defended throughout the siege of Sarajevo.
8 According to the Dayton Accord, Sarajevo has been defined as the
9 capital of the federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, of Croats and
10 Bosniaks, and the capital of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 I think that very soon, although it has not happened yet, we will
12 reach a definition of the canton of Sarajevo and the city of Sarajevo,
13 and the district where all the institutions of the state of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, of both entities, will be based. It is essential that
15 the basic public services return to normal operation, that the
16 citizens start working and making a living, and then all these
17 problems behind us will be behind us indeed, and we will have a future
18 to look forward to.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Kupusovic. I do not have
20 any further questions. Fellow Judges, no further questions? Counsel,
21 no questions? The Tribunal would like to thank you. Thank you very
22 much indeed for your coming here. We are quite aware of the
23 difficulties this has given rise to for you to go over all of this.
24 We would like to thank you most heartily and wish you a safe trip
25 home. We do hope that you will be able to reintegrate more or less
1 normal life. Thank you again. I think we can usher the witness out,
2 unless counsel for the Prosecution have any other questions?
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
4 (The witness withdrew)
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution, would you like to take
6 the floor first? No? The Trial Chamber learnt on the first day of
7 the opening of this public hearing the actual charges against the
8 accused Karadzic and Mladic. The decision was read on first day and
9 it consists of inviting as amicus curiae two personalities for the
10 present hearing.
11 The moment has come for the Trial Chamber to hear the presentation
12 of Madam Christine Cleiren. We have asked her to attend this meeting
13 -- could you please wait one moment, one moment; I would like to
14 finish before -- the Chamber has asked Christine Cleiren who is a
15 member of the Expert Commission which was set up by the Security
16 Council to appear as amicus curiae to participate in this discussion,
17 to explain to us her findings in that Commission and also to tell us
18 about the practices of rape and how it is used as part of an overall
19 policy for ethnic cleansing.
20 I now invite Mrs. Cleiren to be taken to the witness stand. For
21 technical facilities, we will ask her to go there, but, please, I
22 would like to remind you that she is not a witness but an amicus
23 curiae so she will not have to swear an oath. So, please, if you
24 could take your head sets and be seated?
25 MRS. CHRISTINE CLEIREN TOOK THE WITNESS STAND
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mrs. Cleiren, I will not repeat what I have just
2 said, but this is how we envisage the next statement. Do you hear me?
3 Do you hear me? Let me remind you that in the Rules of this court,
4 there is Article 74 which states that a Trial Chamber can, if it
5 thinks it is necessary in the interest of good administration of
6 justice, invite any organisation, anybody, any individual, to give a
7 statement on any questions which they deem relevant.
8 So I know that you have received the letter of invitation in order
9 to come to the Chamber. First of all, we would like to thank you for
10 coming here today.
11 I think the way we wish to structure the forthcoming hour or so will
12 be done in the following way. You will introduce yourself, you will
13 tell us who you are, what you have done, why you were appointed to be
14 part of the Commission. Then you will make the statement which you
15 think is useful for us and you will tell us your findings which you
16 have got when a member of the Commission of Experts.
17 After that, we will concentrate on the points which initiated this
18 invitation, that is to say, on the practice of rape or sexual violence
19 or assault since 1992. I would like to know the conclusions you had
20 in that Commission, your personal conclusions and findings.
21 Then the Trial Chamber, the one who asked you to come, will ask you
22 questions if they think it is necessary. This has been done also in
23 the cases by the witnesses called by the Office of the Prosecutor.
24 Then I will ask the Prosecutor to ask him whether he has any further
25 questions he wishes to put to you.
1 Mrs. Cleiren, please speak freely. Do not worry. Tell us everything
2 you know openly, feel free. You are in front of an International
3 Tribunal, a court body, so please feel, tell us frankly and openly and
4 we will listen to what you have to say.
5 MRS. CHRISTINE CLEIREN: Thank you, your Honour, I will start to introduce
6 myself. I usually be a professor in criminal law and criminal
7 procedure in the Netherlands at the -- University. I was a member of
8 the Commission of Experts during eight months from October 1993 until
9 the ending of the Commission.
10 I was appointed in that Commission after the Chairman of the
11 Commission, Kalshoven, resigned and after another member of the
12 Commission, Professor Opsahl, died. Then in October 1993, two new
13 members were appointed, Judge Greve and myself.
14 In this Commission some tasks were shared, and that often with
15 regard to that tasks it is useful to say here that I was not
16 explicitly responsible for the sexual assault investigation or sexual
17 assault studies. On the contrary, most of that responsibility for the
18 sexual assault investigation was with the Chairman, Professor
19 Bassionni, and the only responsibility I had for this special team,
20 this special subject, was the legal study that is part of the annexes
21 of the final report of the Commission.
22 I will try to give you an overview of the activities of the
23 Commission of Experts with regard to sexual assault and rape and its
24 conclusions on that subject.
25 The Commission took several approaches to the questions that raise
1 on this subject. It prepared a legal study to consider the criteria
2 for applying international humanitarian law instruments in this
3 context. This study dealt on the one hand with the possibilities and
4 on the other hand with the limitations of the law as it applies to
5 these specific crimes.
6 Besides, the Commission collected material. It received information
7 from a wide range of sources, governments, international
8 organisations, non-governmental organisations, religious groups,
9 women's groups, private individuals and the media.
10 In addition, the Commission carried out a field investigation to
11 interview victims and witnesses, specifically to answer the question
12 if there was a pattern of sexual abuse, of systematic sexual violence.
13 I will present you the patterns of rape and sexual assault which,
14 according to the Commission's Final Report, can be identified by these
15 findings, and the common threads run through the cases reported and
16 the systematic character of at least part of these cases, but not
17 before expressing some reservation and some caution with regard to
18 these findings.
19 In the first place, the Commission did not have a complete view on
20 the full extent of sexual violence for, among others, the following
21 reasons. The Commission did its work while the conflict was ongoing.
22 Second, we all know that reporting sexual violence is difficult and
23 this problem is exaggerated in war where there is a breakdown in law
24 and order and perpetrators are often soldiers. The victims may have
25 little confidence in finding justice and many seem to be reluctant to
1 report their experience. Victims and witnesses fear the attackers.
2 They are ashamed and humiliated by what happened and many of them do
3 not dare to talk fearing the traumatic experience of passing through
5 Another reason for being cautious is that the information the
6 Commission received contained allegations. However, the reliability
7 and the credibility of reports and testimonies could not be verified
8 by the Commission caused by various reasons.
9 Consequently, one must be extremely careful to draw conclusions
10 based on individual cases, among others, for the following reasons.
11 Individuals, as well as groups, may be driven by political or personal
12 revenge or by encouraging groups to report sexual violence.
13 Second, as time goes by, it becomes increasingly difficult to sort
14 out the true stories from the false ones. It is well known phenomenon
15 and also occurred in the Yugoslavian case that some people identified
16 themselves that extreme with victims of sexual violence that they
17 state de auditu-stories as their own experience.
18 There are indications that sexual violence was reported by the
19 parties in the conflict as an element of propaganda. The information
20 in the reports was second or third hand, and much of this of it was
21 very general.
22 In spite of these remarks, the Commission had reason to state that
23 sexual assault and rape were committed across widely, partly as the
24 result of individual or small group conduct without command direction
25 and without an overall policy, but partly as the result of an overall
2 This conclusion is suggested by a number of recurrent patterns, the
3 cumulative effect of similar and analogous statements and the common
4 threads in the cases reported. In particular, the cumulation of
5 reports and statements supported and confirmed the view of the
7 According to the Commission's Final Report, five patterns of rape
8 and sexual assault can be identified by the findings of the
10 To inform you as adequately as possible, I will partly cite some
11 paragraphs of the text of the final report of the Commission on this
13 I will take them paragraphs 245 to 249. The five patterns we
14 distinguish are sexual violence with looting and intimidation. That
15 is the first pattern. The second pattern you can say is sexual
16 violence during fighting. The third is sexual violence in detention
17 facilities, and the fourth sexual violence in special rape camps, and
18 a fifth sexual violence in brothel houses. I will start with the
19 first. Then I will cite part of the report.
20 Paragraph 254: "The first pattern involves individuals or small
21 groups committing sexual assault in conjunction with looting and
22 intimidation of the target ethnic group. This is before any
23 widespread or generalised fighting breaks out in the region. Tensions
24 in an area grow and members of the ethnic group controlling the
25 regional government begin to terrorise their neighbours.
1 "Two or men break into a house, intimidate the residents, steal
2 their property, beat them and often rape the females. Some of the
3 reported rapes are singular and some multiple. In either case, there
4 is often a gang atmosphere where the abuses are part of the same event
5 and all attackers participate even if they do not sexually assault the
7 That is the first pattern in which some cases or a large group of
8 cases can be placed.
9 "The second pattern of rape involves individuals or small groups
10 committing sexual assault in conjunction with fighting in an area,
11 often including the rape of women in public. When forces attack a
12 town or a village, the population is rounded up and divided by sex and
13 age. Some women are raped in their homes as the attacking forces
14 secure the area. Others are selected after the round up and raped
15 publicly. The population of the village is then transported to camps.
16 "The third pattern of rape involves individuals or groups sexual
17 assaulting people in detention because they have access to the people.
18 Once the population of a town or village has been rounded up, men are
19 either executed or sent off to camps, while women are generally sent
20 off to separate camps. Soldiers, camp guards, paramilitaries and even
21 civilians may be allowed to enter the camp, pick out women, take them
22 away, rape them and then either kill them or return them to the site.
23 "Reports frequently refer to gang rape, while beatings and torture
24 accompany most of the reported rapes. Survivors report that some
25 women are taken out alone, and some are taken out in groups. Though
1 this is the general pattern, there are also many allegations that
2 women are raped in front of other internees, or that other internees
3 are forced to sexually abuse each other. In camps where men are
4 detained, they are also subjected to sexual abuse.
5 During the Commission's interviewing process, 15 people were
6 interviewed whose major allegations related to the same detention
7 camp. Some witnesses were men, and all of the women victims had been
8 raped. The women were sometimes gang raped by, or in the presence of,
9 the Camp Commander. Guards from the external ring of security around
10 the camp and soldiers who were strangers to the camp would be allowed
11 access to the camp for rape".
12 Then the fourth pattern, the sexual violence in special rape camps.
13 "The fourth pattern of rape involves individuals or groups committing
14 sexual assaults against women for the purposes of terrorising and
15 humiliating them often as part of the policy of "ethnic cleansing".
16 Survivors of some camps report that they believe they were detained
17 for the purpose of rape.
18 In those camps, all of the women are raped quite frequently, often
19 in front of other internees, and usually accompanied by beatings and
20 torture. Some captors also state that they trying to impregnate the
21 women. Pregnant women are detained until it is too late for them to
22 obtain an abortion".
23 Then the fifth pattern, that is, the sexual violence in what they
24 call brothel houses. "The fifth pattern of rape involves detention of
25 women in hotels or similar facilities for the sole purpose of sexually
1 entertaining soldiers, rather than causing a reaction in the women.
2 These women are reportedly more often killed than exchanged, unlike
3 women in other camps. One woman interviewed was detained in a private
4 house with a number of other women for six months. The women were of
5 mixed ethnicity. All the women were raped when soldiers returned from
6 the frontline every 15 days.
7 "The witness was told that the women had to do this because the
8 women in other camps (which the witness named and which has been
9 documented by other information gathered) were exhausted".
10 So these were the five patterns the Commission identified out of the
11 material they received. Summarising, we can say that sexual violence
12 seemed to be committed widespread. Part of the report of the rape and
13 sexual assault cases are clearly the result of an individual or a
14 small group conduct, without evidence of common direction or an
15 overall policy. However, many cases seem to be part of an overall
17 This conclusion is, among others, based on the following: the
18 information the Commission had on sexual violence in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina indicates that this practice was widespread. Over
20 80 cities and villages are alleged to have been the site of rape. In
21 approximately 30 cities or villages, rape I appears to have been
22 concentrated. It was hardly possible to determine if these areas
23 were the only areas of concentrated rape.
24 Some factors indicate a link between military action and rape and,
25 in particular, military action design to displace populations.
1 Furthermore, these seemingly organised rape were conducted in
2 multiple, disparate locations and within a fairly close period of
3 time, between spring and late fall 1992.
4 Moreover, there seems to be a contemporaneous existence of
5 systematic rape and other violations of international humanitarian law
6 in the same regions. Violative conduct occurred simultaneously in
7 prison camps, in the field and in the occupied areas. For example,
8 while prison camps were the scene of large scale killing and torture,
9 they were also the scene of reported systematic rape.
10 So, you can try to say that there were centres of action of
11 violence, of violative conduct.
12 The Final Report of the Commission continues then with the common
13 threads that run through the cases reported whether they were outside
14 or in detention context. I will cite for you paragraph 250 on the
15 common threads: "(a) Rapes seem to occur in conjunction with efforts
16 to displace the targeted ethnic group from the region. This may
17 involve heightened shame and humiliation by raping victims in front of
18 adult and minor family members, in front of other detainees or in
19 public places, or by forcing family members to rape each other. Young
20 women and virgins are targeted for rape, along with prominent members
21 of the community and educated women.
22 "(b) Many reports state that perpetrators said they were ordered to
23 rape, or that the aim was to ensure that the victims and their
24 families would never want to return to the area. Perpetrators tell
25 female victims that they will bear children of the perpetrator's
1 ethnicity, that they must become pregnant, and then hold them in
2 custody until it is too late for the victims to get an abortion.
3 Victims are threatened that if they ever tell anyone, or anyone what
4 has happened, the perpetrators will hunt them down and kill them.
5 "(c) Large groups of perpetrators subject victims to multiple rapes
6 and sexual assault. In detention, perpetrators go through the
7 detention centres with flashlights at night selecting and return them
8 the next morning, while camp commander often know about, and sometimes
9 participate in.
10 "(d) Victims may be sexually abused with foreign objects like broken
11 glass, bottles, guns and truncheons. Castrations are performed through
12 crude means such as forcing other detainees to bite off a prisoner's
14 This threat we can identify on the material.
15 Summarising, or trying to summarise what we had as basic information
16 for this conclusion, is that there were great similarities among
17 practices in non-contiguous geographic areas; there was simultaneous
18 commission of other humanitarian law violations; simultaneous military
19 activity; simultaneous activity to displace civilian populations and
20 common elements of the commission of rape and sexual assault, like
21 maximising shame and humiliation not only to the victim but also to
22 the victim's community. The presence of these factors strongly
23 suggest that the systematic rape and sexual assault policy existed.
24 For the general conclusions of the Commission on this subject, I
25 will cite some elements of paragraphs 251 and 253: "Rape has been
1 reported to have been committed by all sides to the conflict.
2 However, the large number of reported victims have been Bosnian
3 Muslims, and the largest number of alleged perpetrators have been
4 Bosnian Serbs. There are few reports of rape and sexual assault
5 between members of the same ethnic group".
6 252: "In Bosnia, some of the reported rape and sexual assault cases
7 committed by Serbs, mostly against Muslims, are clearly the result of
8 individual or small group conduct without evidence of command
9 direction or an overall policy. However, many more seem to be a part
10 of an overall pattern whose characteristics include similarities among
11 practices in the areas", and all the other factors I already
13 Paragraph 253: "These patterns strongly suggest that a systematic
14 rape policy existed in certain areas, but it remains to be proven
15 whether such an overall policy which existed which was to apply to all
16 non-Serbs. It is clear that some level of organisation and group
17 activity was required to carry out many of the alleged rapes.
18 Furthermore, rape and sexual assault should be examined in the context
19 of the practice of "ethnic cleansing" which is discussed in paragraphs
20 129 to 150 and the practices in detention camps discussed in paragraph
21 230. When viewed in these contexts, it is clear that grave breaches
22 of the Geneva Conventions occurred, as did other violations of
23 international humanitarian law".
24 So, an important element in the conclusions of the Commission is
25 that part of the sexual violence only can be understood within the
1 context of the practice in the various camps and related to the
2 broader concept of "ethnic cleansing".
3 I will cite a part of paragraph 133 of ethnic cleansing and 134:
4 "The manner in which the policy of 'ethnic cleansing' is carried out
5 by Serbs in Bosnia is consistent throughout a certain geographic area
6 represented by an arc ranging from northern Bosnia and covering areas
7 in eastern and western Bosnia adjoining the Serb Krajina area in
9 "The practice of "ethnic cleansing" is carried out in strategic
10 areas linking Serbia proper with Serb inhabited areas in Bosnia and
11 Croatia. This strategic factor is significantly relevant to
12 understanding why the policy has been carried out in certain areas and
13 not in others.
14 "The coercive means used to remove the civilian population from the
15 above-mentioned strategic areas include mass murder, torture, rape and
16 other forms of sexual assault", so far.
17 Through the international media, public attention was focused on the
18 practice of sexual assault and rape in the former Yugoslavia at the
19 end of 1992.
20 Reports of systematic rape started to significantly decline in 1993.
21 By the summer of 1993 very few cases were being reported. These
22 facts and this factor can indicate for the Commission the ability of
23 the leadership to restrain and prevent such conduct when public
24 pressure mounted, and thus can be relevant to the issue of command
25 responsibility. You can find it back in paragraph 237: "This could
1 lead to the conclusion that there was an overriding policy advocating
2 the use of rape as a method of "ethnic cleansing", rather than a
3 policy of omission, tolerating the widespread commission of rape".
4 Referring to the camps, it can be important to point out that the
5 Commission had rather detailed information on Bosnian Serb Republic
6 camps. These camps are ultimately intended to achieve ethnic
7 cleansing. The major part of the sexual violence seems to be occurred
8 in this kind of detention facilities.
9 For the practice in detention camps, I can mention paragraphs 223
10 and 230 of the Report.
11 In paragraph 132, the Commission emphasises with regard to the
12 policy of ethnic cleansing that responsibility for criminal conduct
13 must be determined on an individuals basis. This remark brings me to
14 the question of command responsibility with regard to sexual violence.
15 Sometimes camp commanders or field military commanders explicitly
16 ordered their subordinates to commit acts of sexual violence. In
17 these cases, the individual commander's criminal responsibility is
18 without doubt. In other cases, they fail to prevent sexual assault
19 and did not punish perpetrators when their crimes were disclosed.
20 This is a violation of a commander's duties and makes the commander
21 criminally responsible under international law.
22 The responsibility can be followed all the way up the chain of
23 command, to those who planned the policy, while pretending to know
24 nothing about it.
25 There is no doubt that there was a consistent failure to prevent the
1 commission of such crimes and to prosecute and punish their
3 I think I will leave it here. This was, in general, the position of
4 the Commission and the material which was the basis for their
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Madam, in our concern not to stop the consistency of
7 your statement which has now been concluded, the Trial Chamber has
8 decided to have a break (which we have every morning roughly in the
9 middle of hearing), so we will adjourn now and we will start again at
10 11.30. At that time we will ask you some questions.
11 The hearing is now adjourned.
12 (11.10 a.m.)
13 (The court adjourned for a short time)
14 (11.30 a.m.)
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: As I told you just before the break, the Tribunal
16 would like to ask you some questions. I first give the floor to Judge
17 Odio Benito. You have the floor.
18 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you.
19 Examined by the Court
20 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Professor Cleiren, have you written and published
21 articles dealing with rape and other forms of sexual assault?
22 A. I wrote a part of the Annex of the Commission's Report, so that is
23 Annex II of all the Annexes. It is a legal study about rape. I wrote
24 an article in a journal, The Criminal Law Forum on the applicability
25 of several Articles of the Geneva Conventions, the violations of law,
1 the crimes against humanity, and so on.
2 Q. Professor Cleiren, is it fair to assume that the outrage about the
3 alleged massive rapes committed against women was one of the main
4 forces leading to the creation of the Commission of Experts?
5 A. I think I have not enough information of that background to give you a
6 clear answer on this point.
7 Q. In the Commission's report it is stated, paragraph 142, I quote:
8 "There is sufficient evidence to conclude that the practices of
9 'ethnic cleansing' were not coincidental, sporadic or carried out by
10 disorganised groups or bands of civilians who could not be controlled
11 by the Bosnian Serb leadership". What evidence did the Commission use
12 to arrive at this conclusion and how does rape fit into the practices
13 of ethnic cleansing?
14 A. I try to give a clear answer, but it is not easy, as I tried to
15 illustrate in my presentation. Important is for the conclusion of
16 ethnic cleansing, the aspect I told on, let us say, the strategy, the
17 strategic factor, that the Serb -- that the practice of ethnic
18 cleansing is carried out in strategic areas linking the Serbia proper
19 with the Serbian inhabited areas.
20 This strategic factor is relevant, is significantly relevant, to
21 recognise the elements of policy, also the elements of policy in the
22 sexual assault cases. Besides that, the brutality with which these
23 acts of violence were carried out is important. They were carried out
24 by -- as I say, this is evidenced by a large number of killings,
25 torture, rape etc., and this complex of violative means indicates at
1 least the target of an assumed policy.
2 But, nevertheless, in my opinion, it is hardly to say which and how
3 much evidence is required to state that there was a policy of ethnic
4 cleansing. However, the foregoing elements, let us say, the strategy
5 that they used and the brutality with which it was combined, and that
6 combined with the number of reports and the accumulation of similar
7 statements in it, and the accumulation of similar reports, that
8 indicates that there must be a policy or part of a policy.
9 The second question you ask is, how did rape fit into the practice
10 of the ethnic cleansing? It can be said that rape has been used, not
11 only as an attack on the individuals, but that it was intended to
12 humiliate, to ashame, to degrade the entire ethnic group. There are
13 reports of public rapes, for example, in front of a whole village, old
14 women, children, young children. Also, there are reports that the
15 rape, rape and sexual violence, was used to let people flee from their
17 So, then you can say that it is part of a policy of ethnic
18 cleansing. Another argument can be that the perpetrators often told
19 their victims that they had to become pregnant or that they held them
20 in custody, that it was too late for the victim to have an abortion.
21 Also, often it is told that the women -- often the women were told
22 that they would have children of the perpetrator's identity and the
23 perpetrator's ethnicity, and they would be a living remember of what
24 happened in this war. Some perpetrators had declared that they were
25 ordered to rape. So, all these arguments together, you can think that
1 rape was part of this policy of ethnic cleansing.
2 Q. In your expert opinion, how widespread was the practice of rape in
4 A. It was rather widespread. As I told you, the information we had
5 contained statements of about 80 villages and cities. Their rape was
6 often reported, and it was spread over the whole, let us say, the
7 whole region, but especially in the strategic region that I told you
8 before, the arc between the Serbian and the Serbian inhabitants in
10 Q. Professor Cleiren, were there also rapes not necessarily associated
11 with ethnic cleansing?
12 A. Yes, I guess there are; the Commission also stated that there were
13 cases of rape and sexual violence without being part of a policy of an
14 ethnic cleansing. In several cases, it is not possible to make a link
15 to, let us say, a party or soldiers or a paramilitary organisation.
16 In other cases, it is fairly clear that there was a link. But
17 especially certainly in cases, I try to give you some practical
18 information, there were cases that the army came in a village, they
19 take off the men and the women stayed there with children and old
20 people. Part of these women is raped, not only by soldiers, but also
21 by the people who lived there. It is hardly to say that there was a
22 plan to do this, but it was the factual situation that brought it with
24 So I guess you can say there were individual rape cases also. Maybe
25 it is possible to say that they were, effectively, caused by the
1 breakdown of law and order, so they caused their own cases of sexual
3 Q. Professor Cleiren, in addition to the possible practice of rape for
4 the purposes of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, could you tell
5 us briefly what is the history of women under armed conflict with
6 respect to rape?
7 A. Sorry, can you repeat your question, please?
8 Q. Yes. I am wondering if you could illustrate to the court as an expert
9 witness, as you are, the briefly what is the history for women under
10 armed conflict with respect to rape?
11 A. It is a well-known fact that in all wars in history rape is used or,
12 let us say, rapes occurred. It is not quite clear if rape is always
13 used as a factor or an instrument in war. It is impossible to say
14 that it is partly caused by the fact that there were hardly
15 investigations of the rape cases in history. But, nevertheless, it is
16 quite clear that it happened oft and hardly in every war.
17 Q. In your expert opinion, Professor Cleiren, under what circumstances
18 within a war context can rape be considered as a grave breach,
19 according to the Geneva Conventions?
20 A. Can you please repeat it?
21 Q. Under what circumstances within a war context can rape be considered
22 as a grave breach, according to the Geneva Conventions?
23 A. At first, it is important, of course, that it is a conflict with an
24 international character.
25 Q. Of course.
1 A. But besides that, I guess there are -- I guess it is possible to
2 consider rape as a grave breach, and I think it is important to
3 recognise rape as a grave breach of the Conventions of Geneva.
4 The conditions under which -- it depends on the interpretation of
5 all the conditions of the grave breaches. I guess it is too complex
6 to illustrate all the arguments, to use it here. I tried to explain
7 these arguments in my article in Criminal Law Forum. I will hand it
8 over to you afterwards.
9 But the real conditions for the cases is -- I try to answer, it is
10 not easy to say -- I think it is important that especially the
11 individual cases can be prosecuted and punished by the Grave Breaches,
12 and especially those cases that are not so easy to bring under the
13 widespread systematic rape as necessary for the Crimes Against
15 So the Grave Breaches are in this perspective, they are easier to
16 prove, and I guess it can be useful to bring these facts under the
17 Grave Breaches. It is also a principle point to bring up on the Grave
18 Breaches because, let us say, it is a form of recognising the status
19 and the qualification of rape in war. So also from that perspective
20 it is important to recognise rape as a Grave Breach and the same is
21 for Violations of War and Customs of War.
22 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you very much, Professor Cleiren, for your
23 statement. No further questions, your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. I turn to my other side, do you have any
1 JUDGE RIAD: Professor Cleiren, you mentioned five patterns of rape;
2 merely one of these patterns cannot be the result of individual
3 activity, and the rape for ethnic cleansing; the other forms perhaps
4 you mentioned, intimidating, looting and so on, this might have
5 occurred in previous conflicts and could be individual, but can you
6 say that rape for ethnic cleansing is the result of a general policy
7 from the higher command authorities?
8 A. As I understand well, you ask if the -----
9 Q. Shall I repeat my question?
10 A. Maybe, yes, OK.
11 Q. If the other forms of rape which you mentioned could exist also
12 without a higher policy or a command policy, can you say that ethnic
13 cleansing or rape for ethnic cleansing can also be the result of
14 individual activity or has it to represent a general policy by the
15 high command?
16 A. I think it is important in the rape cases that even if there is no
17 command there can be a form of ethnic cleansing, especially in the
18 cases of the camps, for instance, because in the camps men were
19 allowed to come in in some camps and they could rape women and the
20 commanders of the camp did not prevent it. They failed to prevent
21 this kind of conduct and they did not punish the commanders for doing
22 it. So, if you treat this chain of command up, then you will have,
23 let us say, the failure to prevent it on a great scale.
24 Q. One of the forms of the ethnic cleansing which you also mentioned was
25 to bring children of the perpetrators' ethnicity?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Which, in another way, is to change the ethnic character of the
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could that be the result of individual cases or, through your enquiry,
6 it was a systematic policy?
7 A. I guess both. The Commission did not have enough information to
8 verify, let us say, these testimonies, who spoke in these terms. I
9 guess it is possible that both happened. There are indications that
10 it was commanded or that it was planned to do this, and it is
11 important in regard to the chain of -- now I have to say it in Dutch
12 -- [In translation]: It has do with the fact with the line of
13 inheritance, heritage.
14 Q. I did not get it. Is there translation for that?
15 A. Yes, it is translation. It has to do with the descendency, with the
16 succession. As far as we could see, it meant that producing a child
17 of another ethnic background was an automatic result of the fact that
18 the child would have the ethnic origin of the father.
19 Q. Was there also male rape or was it mainly addressed towards the
21 A. No, both are reported, but especially the female rape cases are a big
22 number. You can see that there are more female victims caused by the
23 detention camps that were specially for women. So there were two
24 sorts of, two kinds of, two types of detention camps especially for
25 women and there were a lot of rape cases reported. But there were
1 also men who were raped and men were a victim of very serious sexual
2 violence. Yes.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Before I go to the Prosecutor, I would like to ask
5 you two or three questions: you were not there on the site yourself,
6 were you, not in the case of the rapes; is that correct? Were you
7 actually there?
8 A. Sorry, can you repeat?
9 Q. Yes. As I am preparing my question, I wanted to be quite sure you
10 were not on the site to carry out the investigations yourself. Were
11 you actually there carrying out the investigations?
12 A. No, I was not there. I was present at part of the investigation that
13 was held by the Commission in Zagreb and I was present at several
14 testimonies, testimonies also from the rape cases, but I did not do it
15 myself. So I was there only -- my task there was only, let us say, to
16 protect the rules that the Commission made before and to see if all
17 things were OK and to represent the Commission in Zagreb and in Split.
18 Q. Thank you. That was the clarification I wanted, so now I can ask you
19 my question. When you were drafting the Report you said you heard
20 testimonies, so you discussed with your colleagues from the
21 Commission. What was the general feeling, the general impression,
22 which you had? What is your impression? Was this the major problem
23 of the war in former Yugoslavia? Was the sexual aspect of ethnic
24 cleansing, of rape, was that the overall principle element or was that
25 one type of brutality amongst many others? What is your view, after
1 having discussed it with your colleagues and having heard the
2 testimonies? You do not have to tell us what was written in the
3 Report, but what do you think?
4 A. My own experience in hearing the victims was that they did not
5 distinguish their own experience, their own wounds, the things that
6 happened, as a special form of -- they saw it and they brought it
7 within the whole violence and the violative conduct of the other
8 party. So they did not distinguish itself, and they did not want to
9 distinguish it because they did not want to hide their own experience
10 in relation to the other violative acts and the other victims. So
11 that is my experience in my own contact with victims.
12 The Commissioned considered the sexual assaults and rape problem as
13 a big problem and maybe, therefore -- the reason for considering it in
14 this way was, of course, that there was a high public interest in what
15 happened there, and all the world was looking to these publications on
16 the rape cases. So that was one of the meaning factors that the
17 Commission gave priority to this team, to this subject. It is in
18 relation to other violation that happened, the killings, the murder,
19 the torture, all kinds of these, I think the rape cases are not less
20 but have the same character of violence as the others, as the other
21 things like torture and killing, and that is the same as I had -- as
22 the experience was of the victims. So it is one of all these things
23 that happened to them.
24 Q. I would like to ask you a second question, Professor: did you or your
25 Commission at one point of time during your work see any protests that
1 were made by the religious authorities or the medical authorities or
2 any moral centres, intellectuals, writers? Was there any discussion?
3 Do you have a feeling that someone, a religion or some moral
4 authorities, expressed themselves on this particular point of the
5 conflict whilst the conflict was going on for the many years whilst it
6 was going on?
7 A. Yes, many groups and also many institutes give us reports of their own
8 investigation to what happened on the sexual assault and sexual
9 violation and they expressed their -- I will go further in Dutch --
10 [In translation]: A lot of organisations and also a lot of victims
11 contacted the organisations and they informed the Commission about
12 their concern and about their dismay about what was going on. A lot
13 of organisations were active to give a lot of publicity to the sexual
14 violence that was occurring and, in particular, in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 a lot of organisations there took care of the victims, an important
16 part of the victims, in so far as they were prepared to make known
17 that they were a victim, they were taken care of by religious
18 organisations. Those organisations informed the Committee and that
19 was about the testimonies that they had given to these religious
21 Q. I understand. Sorry, I want to stress my question, in Serbia, from
22 the Serbian side, was there any protest? Was it said, for example,
23 that from bishops or from the major religions or writers, did they
24 talk about the problem of rape? You might have political ideas or
25 political structures for one's country, but that was not my question.
1 What I want to know, I want to know about the rape element. Did your
2 Commission have any voice or opinion expressed from a health
3 authority, a moral authority, that said to you, "This is not possible"
4 or did you not have any such a statement made?
5 A. Surely, you mean from the Serbian side?
6 Q. Yes, for example.
7 A. (No translation of answer was audible)
8 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, could you start again?
9 THE WITNESS: So, on the part of the Serbs, we did not get any response.
10 Not to my knowledge, there was any response that the information
11 published, that there would not be correct or that they would oppose
12 this or that they would try to prevent this in the future. The only
13 thing that was clear, that on account of the large publicity between
14 April 1992 and December 1992, the number of notifications of rape and
15 sexual violence was decreasing, and that was the reason for the
16 Committee to assume that this publicity, apparently, had effect and
17 even had an effect on these commands and orders.
18 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: All I want to say is that the Tribunal included in
20 its decision that, if you wish, you may submit all reports, all
21 written documents, which you think are good and which would support
22 your statements.
23 MISS CLEIREN: I would appreciate to hand over some documents, part of
24 which you have already. I will give you first the Annex of the
25 Commission's Report of rape and sexual assault, a legal study, and I
1 will also hand over some reports of other organisations made for the
2 United Nations on the subject of rape. So do you want that I give the
3 precise definition or can I hand it over?
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is it a long list?
5 MISS CLEIREN: No.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Then do go ahead. Please list them so that we can
7 decide what we should do it with.
8 MISS CLEIREN: OK. I will hand over the part of the Annexes of the Final
9 Report of the Commission of Experts, Annex 2, Rape and Sexual Assault,
10 a legal study. The second is a Report for the Security Council from
11 the Mission of Dame Ann Warburton. It was a Commission for the
12 European Community and it gives also a view of the situation in the
13 former Yugoslavia.
14 Then I will hand a part of the Report of the Commission on Human
15 Rights on the question of violation of human rights and fundamental
16 freedoms, of rape and abuse of women in the territory of -- sorry, I
17 hear something I cannot understand. OK, sorry.
18 I will hand over the Annex of the Report of the situation on human
19 rights in the territory of the Former Yugoslavia by Mazowiecki. Then
20 I will last hand over the article I wrote in the Criminal Law Forum on
21 the subject of the applicability of Articles of the Statute. So that
22 is all that I guess it can be useful for you.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much. I look towards my fellow
24 Judges. The Registrar, would you like to take the documents from the
25 amicus curiae and include them in the files of the Tribunal? Mrs.
1 Cleiren, I now will see whether the Prosecuting counsel has any
2 questions that they wish to put to you. Are there any further
3 questions which you think might be useful to put to the amicus curiae.
4 MR. OSTBERG: The Prosecution has been listening with the greatest
5 interest to the statement of Professor Cleiren. We thank her very much
6 for what we have heard from her. We have no questions. Thank you,
7 your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Having heard that, we would like to thank you for
9 having come here at our invitation. We now think that your hearing is
10 completed. So, could you perhaps accompany Mrs. Cleiren and we will
11 move on to the next witness?
12 (The witness withdrew)
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecutor, you have the floor.
14 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour. We now would like to call our next
15 witness and that is Miss Irma Oosterman, one of our investigators.
16 MISS IRMA OOSTERMAN, called.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Will you put on your headphones, please? Do you
18 hear me, Madam? You are going to read the solemn declaration given to
19 you by the usher.
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole
21 truth and nothing but the truth.
22 (The witness was sworn)
23 Examined by MR. OSTBERG
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Madam, will you take a seat? You have the floor.
25 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour.
1 Q. Would you please state your name and maybe also spell it for the
2 record, please?
3 A. My name Irma Oosterman, that is, I-R-M-A O-O-S-T-E-R-M-A-N.
4 Q. What is your present occupation?
5 A. At this moment I work for the sexual assault in the war Tribunal.
6 Before that I worked for the Foca investigation. I was also involved
7 for the Prijedor investigation and for Srebrenica.
8 Q. Thank you, very much. Your Honour, the evidence you are now going to
9 hear will focus on the use of sexual assault as a degrading treatment
10 during the time covered by this indictment. The use of that measure
11 has been incorporated in the indictment charged as Grave Breaches and
12 Violations of Laws and Customs of War and as Crimes Against Humanity.
13 Before I ask you to tell us about your findings, I will ask you what
14 did you do previously to come to our Tribunal?
15 A. I worked for 14 years as police officer in the Netherlands. Before I
16 joined the Tribunal I was a general investigator.
17 Q. Did you have also cases involving sexual assaults?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. To what extent?
20 A. I was not a part of the vice squad, but I did some interviews of women
21 who were raped and were sexually assaulted.
22 Q. As a member of a team investigating these things, would you like to
23 tell the court if you have in this office where you work a special
24 team dealing with these questions?
25 A. Yes, we have a special team, the sexual assault team. We investigate
1 the sexual assault and rape happened in former Yugoslavia and now we
2 are focused on Bosnia, the eastern and northern side in Bosnia.
3 Q. How many members have you on that team?
4 A. We have nine members in the team.
5 Q. Could you tell the court approximately how many witnesses you and your
6 team have interviewed concerning sexual assaults during this period
7 you have been working on it?
8 A. My team is several hundreds, myself about 50. I spoke with more women
9 and men, but not everyone is willing to testify in court or give a
10 real statement.
11 Q. But you have been interviewing at least 50 persons?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Are we talking about victims now?
14 A. We are talking about victims now.
15 Q. Could you tell us about where in the former Yugoslavia you have been
16 or the areas you have been covering in your investigations?
17 A. Several areas in the northern and eastern part of Bosnia.
18 Q. Can you name any of them?
19 A. I can name, of course, Foca.
20 Q. Is that a town or is it a municipality?
21 A. A municipality, Foca. For the rest, I am sorry I cannot talk about
22 that because that is still ongoing investigation.
23 Q. I see, but can you mention some of the camps where you have been
24 investigating things?
25 A. I can mention, of course, Omarska camp from Prijedor.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. And Foca High School, the Partizam sports hall and Bukb Ijlea from the
3 Foca area.
4 Q. Thank you. When you use the term "sexual assault", can you please
5 explain what you mean by that term?
6 A. By that I mean rape, I mean other kinds of sexual assault, like men
7 who were forced to perform fellatio on each other; women who had to do
8 that kind of things, the fellatio, oral sex, and then people were
9 forced to strip naked and went through all that kind of humiliation.
10 Q. So it is not only rape but there are different kinds of behaviour
11 connected with the sex of the person?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you try to describe for us what kind of people did commit this
14 kind of crime?
15 A. The victims we spoke with were raped by soldiers and guards of camps,
16 and sometimes even the commanders of the camps and even the Chief of
17 Police of a special area.
18 Q. Did it also happen that other peoples than those who belonged to the
19 camp or who were managing the camp, did these kind of things?
20 A. Yes, there were also men dressed in uniform, most of the time from
21 paramilitary groups, who had access into the camps and came to take
22 women away or rape them in the camp.
23 Q. So people who had, in principle, nothing to do with the camps were
24 invited to the camp by the commander to have a free access there?
25 A. I guess so because all the witnesses tell that the commanders knew
1 about it. They saw women taken out.
2 Q. So you have had statements when women say that other people than the
3 people who belonged to the management did come in and did take them
5 A. Yes, that happened often.
6 Q. You mentioned the Foca area. Is there any evidence of sexual assaults
7 of women occurring in detention camps in the Foca area?
8 A. Yes, we have a lot of evidence there. We had, for example, the Foca
9 High School and the Partizan sports hall where many women, children
10 and elderly people were detained in and soldiers, guards and other
11 people from paramilitary groups came in and took women out or
12 sometimes raped them in the school building themselves.
13 Q. Were there other patterns also? Did they take people out to stay for
14 some period of length outside in other houses than the camp?
15 A. Yes, they also took women out to other houses, sometimes even younger
16 children, girls, 13, 14 years, were taken out. In the Foca
17 investigation, we have one house where many women, young girls and
18 children were taken to and were held there as if it was a kind of
20 Q. OK. Were there many such brothels or houses outside the camp?
21 A. OK, if we talk about Foca, then I can say that there was one we really
22 investigated, of course, there were other houses where women and
23 children were held for a couple of days as well, and they had to obey
24 all the orders. So they were rapes, sexual assault and that kind of
1 Q. You mentioned the time, a couple of days, were there other longer
2 periods than a couple of days?
3 A. If we talk about the real detention camps, then it is a month, two
4 months, sometimes even longer. If I talk about the houses, then it
5 varies, sometimes two days, sometimes 10 days.
6 Q. What kind of people did commit these crimes in Foca?
7 A. In Foca, it was also guards from the camps, soldiers, policemen and
8 the Chief of Police was involved in it as well.
9 Q. The camp commander?
10 A. The camp commander was, in fact, the Partizan sport hall was also the
11 Chief of Police.
12 Q. So people in this position did also themselves commit sexual assault
13 or rapes?
14 A. Yes, and commanders of paramilitary groups.
15 Q. Have you been aware or been involved in investigations regarding
16 events pertaining to Srebrenica?
17 A. We have in-house information that women were taken out during the fall
18 of Srebrenica when the convoy was moving, but so far we did not
19 investigate this issue.
20 Q. Are there ongoing investigations of that kind?
21 A. Of course.
22 Q. What about Sarajevo? Do you have any information what happened in
23 Sarajevo of this type of things?
24 A. Recently, we got access outside Sarajevo in the Serb-held territory;
25 there is a hotel and a restaurant where women were held in, but so far
1 our investigation is not focused on it, but of course we will ongo
2 that investigation.
3 Q. I am quite aware of the fact that you are involved in the
4 investigations, you cannot give names, places, dates and things like
5 that because these things have not yet been indicted. Nevertheless, I
6 will ask you if you can say something in general about these
8 A. In general, I can say that you can see a pattern all over, women, men
9 were separated. Women, children and the elderly people were taken to
10 other separate places where men were taken, and then the soldiers and
11 guards started to take women out and rape them, sexual assaulted them.
12 Q. This is a kind of pattern, of course, but could you elaborate a bit on
13 this kind of pattern?
14 A. Of course, especially the soldiers told often that they were forced to
15 do it. They did not say who forced them to do it, but they were
16 ordered do it. They also told -----
17 Q. By their superiors?
18 A. Yes, of course, but I mean they did not say names, and that they
19 wanted to make Serb or Chetnik babies. The pattern was, yes, all over
20 the same.
21 Q. So there are statements of victims saying that the people who raped
22 them were ordered to do so?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Are there also, to your knowledge, people you have investigated who
25 said they were not raped, but they were asked by the soldiers to tell
1 other people that they were raped?
2 A. We interviewed a couple of victims who told they were taken out to a
3 separate place, then the soldiers told them, "Tell the others that we
4 rape you", but in fact they did not. So -----
5 Q. What kind of conclusion do you draw from that?
6 A. The conclusion is that there was an order that the soldiers had to do
8 Q. Have you found any evidence that commanders or the hierarchy of those
9 detention facilities that you have mentioned knew about these sexual
11 A. I already told you about Foca, for example, the chief of police knew
12 about it. A couple of women went to him, complained about it but,
13 nevertheless, he was one of the people who raped women himself.
14 Q. Do you have any knowledge if this information did go even higher up in
15 the hierarchy to the commanders?
16 A. I have no information about it, but because all the witnesses tell
17 that all the commanders or the chief of police were aware of the fact
18 what happened, and I think it is a kind of general knowledge.
19 Q. Are there any statements about actions by paramilitary personnel?
20 A. Yes, they were also involved in this issue. In Foca, there was one
21 house where women, young girls from 13 years old and older, were held
22 and the Commander of this house was the Commander of paramilitary
24 Q. Did you in your investigation also encounter rape directed against the
25 male population?
1 A. Yes, we have several statements taken from men who were forced to do
2 fellatio on each other, even sons and fathers were forced to do so and
3 men were forced to put objects in each other's anus.
4 Q. Also, are there some statements of mutilation of the male genitals?
5 A. There were; we have one statement that one had to bite off the penis
6 of another man. He did not manage and then soldier came and cut off a
7 part of the penis and another one had to eat that part of the penis.
8 Q. Can you tell us something in general about the victims, what ages,
9 what kind of people or something special about the victims?
10 A. All the women we spoke with are civilians, the ages are from 13 years
11 about till even 60. Of course, we found out that the more younger,
12 attractive women were taken out more to be raped, but other women as
13 well -- all kinds of education, all kinds of different backgrounds,
14 but all were civilians.
15 Q. Ages also?
16 A. Ages, yes, from 13 to 60.
17 Q. This goes for men and women?
18 A. Men are a little bit older, I did not find younger boys, but what was
19 with the women was, of course, also that the younger girls were often
20 still victims -- I am sorry, virgin.
21 Q. Can you tell the court something about the demeanour of your victims
22 when you took statements from them? Tell us something about their
23 willingness or unwillingness to give statements or to appear as
24 witnesses maybe before this court?
25 A. Of course, it is very difficult for those women to talk with. Most of
1 the time it is the first time that they tell what happened with them.
2 Husband does not know, children do not know. So every time we must
3 spend a great -- a long time with those women. They are very afraid
4 to appear here in court, just sit here, television, everything around.
5 Most of them asked for anonymity and sometimes even they do not want
6 to come because they are so afraid and so ashamed what happened with
8 Q. Can you give us some percentage of willingness and unwillingness?
9 A. That is very difficult, but if I say I have 50 statements, maybe I
10 spoke with 100 women, so maybe it is half and half who are willing to
11 come. But the 50 statements we took, or I took, most of them asked
12 for anonymity because they do not want to sit here in court and
13 everyone facing perpetrator.
14 Q. Could you say something about the widespread type of activities? Is
15 this something that goes for all the part of Serb-held Bosnia or is it
16 just in some few places?
17 A. The areas we investigated is the pattern all over, the same, yes.
18 Q. How many areas? Could you number the areas you have been involved in,
19 all your team been involved in?
20 A. Seven, eight areas.
21 Q. Out of how many?
22 A. Out of how many areas?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I do not know.
25 Q. You do not know?
1 A. No.
2 Q. OK, as we maintain that this is a widespread way of acting, then we
3 are, of course, interested in if it covers the area?
4 A. Yes, I understand.
5 Q. Is that, in your opinion, so, that this kind of activity covers?
6 A. It covers the area of the northern and eastern part of Bosnia, and
7 there we can see the pattern all over the same.
8 Q. I see. You said something about the general knowledge of it. Have
9 you heard somebody in your people you have been taking statements from
10 saying, directly or indirectly, that these things are brought to the
11 knowledge of the two people we have indicted in this special case,
12 namely, Karadzic and Mladic?
13 A. I did not interview people who told that they told them, but because
14 the commanders and the chief of police, they were aware of what
15 happened, because they went to complain, the commanders and the chief
16 saw what was happening, so that is why I think it is general
18 Q. It is general knowledge, in your opinion. Is there anything you would
19 like to add without me asking you specifically about it? Is there
20 something from the point of view of generality or widespreadness or
21 specifics, patterns and things like that?
22 A. OK, for me it is very important to know in what kind of state all
23 those victims are, because you must not forget that all those women,
24 most of them, the men are already killed or still imprisoned or still
25 missing, they do not want to know that the children, the family, the
1 neighbours knows what happened with them. So, for them it is very
2 important to have anonymity, to come in court. Those women were
3 Muslim women. During the rapes the perpetrators were referring to
4 that, even forced to them to eat meat, drink alcohol. Those things
5 are very important for me.
6 Q. Did witnesses or victims you have been interviewing in Bosnia, are
7 these the greater part of it or have you been even interviewing
8 witnesses living today in another part of the world?
9 A. I also interviewed people who are living in other parts of the world.
10 Q. So that is to be understood that there are many witnesses living in
11 other parts of the world than in Bosnia?
12 A. Oh, yes, absolutely.
13 Q. Is the willingness of people living elsewhere greater to come to give
14 evidence here than the other ones?
15 A. I cannot say that it is greater. I mean, still for those people it is
16 very difficult to talk about what happened with them. They feel very
17 ashamed. So I do not see a big difference between that.
18 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you. Your Honours, considering the ongoing
19 investigations and the impossibility for us to go into direct details
20 of names and places and things like that, I hereby conclude my
21 questioning of the witness. Thank you.
22 Examined by the Court.
23 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. Of course without endangering any ongoing
24 investigation and victims or witnesses, did you personally interview
25 rape victims in and around Srebrenica?
1 A. I did not interview a witness, a victim from the Srebrenica area. I
2 think one of our members of the team interviewed one person who was
3 taken out of the convoy and was raped, but because of the ongoing
4 investigation I cannot offer any ----
5 Q. Yes, of course. Can you describe to the court what different problems
6 women suffered due to the rape and sexual assault?
7 A. If you mean talking about the abortions, you mean that?
8 Q. No, about the general problems, psychological problems, emotional
9 problems, harms?
10 A. Yes, they have physical and emotional problems. Some are still strong
11 because they want to survive and still live, and some do not want to
12 live any more, but because they have children they go on with these
13 kinds of things. Of course they have problems with vaginas and all
14 kinds of anal problems. Some women had to give their children away,
15 not their children but a child made by the Bosnian Serbs and some had
16 to give abortion.
17 Q. So, they suffer both, physical and psychological damage?
18 A. Absolutely.
19 Q. In addition to that, could you describe or tell to the Court if women
20 were also being beaten and killed in those detention camps?
21 A. We have interviewed people who saw that women were killed as well.
22 The women who were raped were threatened with guns, knives, sometimes
23 they made scratches on their bodies with knives, put a cigarette butt
24 on, that was during the rape.
25 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: No further questions. Thank you.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Miss Oosterman, you mentioned that in cases of rape those who
2 committed it admitted they had received orders, and sometimes orders,
3 as you said, to make Chetnik babies?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. What was the procedure which was used and was it similar in all the
6 cases you have viewed? How did they manage to do that?
7 A. Like I have already told you, for example, women were taken out of the
8 camp, were taken to another house or another building, soldiers
9 ordered then to wash themselves, to clean themselves, then they came
10 back in the room or wherever they were, then they said, "I am going to
11 rape you and I will make you a Chetnik or Serb baby".
12 Q. Where were they kept when they had the baby?
13 A. I am sorry?
14 Q. Were they kept in detention until they had the baby?
15 A. We received information that that happened with women as well. So I
16 did not interview someone, but we spoke with orphan houses, NTOs, and
17 we know there were babies born as a result of that.
18 Q. This method was adopted, was applied in several cases which you
19 examined in several places?
20 A. Yes, your Honour.
21 Q. The same method?
22 A. Yes, the same method.
23 Q. The same method, I mean they all presented that they had high orders
24 from the command?
25 A. They said they received orders.
1 Q. They said they received orders. What happened to these women after
2 they had the baby or what happened mainly to the women who were raped?
3 Were many of them killed afterwards?
4 A. No. Many of them, of course there were many killed as well, but there
5 are still many alive but what I already told you, there are very
6 emotional and physical problems.
7 Q. What happened to the whole family?
8 A. It depends. It is various. Sometimes a husband does not live any
9 more; sometimes they saw other children were killed. It is all
10 different. I cannot say it is like this.
11 Q. I mean, usually they had to leave their place of residence?
12 A. Of course, yes, they had to leave and went to the so-called free
14 Q. You mentioned also there were assaults against men?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Like forcing a man to eat the genital organs and castration. Was it a
17 rather customary way of doing it or was it individual cases?
18 A. I cannot say that it was, that this happened so often. We received
19 information, we spoke with witnesses and victims who were there.
20 There was one particular case where many men were held and they were
21 forced to do that with each other. I am not talking about the cutting
22 of the penis but fellatio and oral sex.
23 Q. So there were males raped too?
24 A. There were men raped in so far as not the soldiers raped them, but
25 they forced or ordered the detainees to do that with each other.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have one question in particular. Can you hear me?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Fine. Were there any doctors in these camps, Serb doctors in
5 particular? So were there any doctors and did you hear anything about
6 the reactions they might have had seeing what was going on? I think
7 everybody knows what was going on with regard to the mutilations.
8 Were there any reactions on the part of the doctors? Did you hear
9 that from anybody? Did anybody tell you or anybody saw it or was
10 there no medical attention at all?
11 A. I spoke with some witnesses who went to the hospital. I cannot tell
12 more about which hospital, where it was, but the doctors they spoke
13 with most of the time were not interested in those women. Those were
14 the Bosnian Serb soldiers.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much. The court has no further
16 questions. The Tribunal would like to thank you for your testimony.
17 I think we can leave it at that. The Registry or the Prosecution can
18 perhaps show Miss Oosterman out.
19 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
20 (The witness withdrew).
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecution, please proceed.
22 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, our next witness, Dr. Colin Kaiser, will be
23 testifying on the destruction of cultural and sacral sights. We have
24 several visual displays we would like to set up in the courtroom. If
25 there is an appropriate place for lunch, this might be a good time to
1 do that so we do not waste any time setting up the displays.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel, we are not running late or anything. Let
3 me have a quick look at my colleagues for action. We are going to
4 adjourn this session and resume at 2.30 this afternoon. The session
5 is adjourned.
6 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour.
7 (12.40 p.m.)
8 (Luncheon Adjournment).
9 (2.30 p.m.)
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The hearing is resumed. Please be seated. Counsel
11 for the Prosecution?
12 MR. BOWERS: Thank you and good afternoon, your Honours. As its next
13 witness, the Prosecution calls Dr. Colin Kaiser to the stand.
14 MR. COLIN KAISER, called.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you hear me? Can you hear, Mr. Kaiser?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can hear you.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Will you read the oath that is in front of you,
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare I will speak the truth, the whole truth
20 and nothing but the truth.
21 (The witness was sworn)
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Please be seated. Dr. Kaiser, the
23 indictment within the procedure of Rule 61 of the case against
24 Karadzic and Mladic, the Prosecution wanted you to appear here as a
25 witness. So could you introduce -- you have the floor, Prosecutor.
1 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour.
2 Examined by MR. BOWERS
3 Q. Dr. Kaiser, would you please state your full name and spell it for the
5 A. My name is Colin Reid Erlin Kaiser. C-O-L-I-N R-E-I-D E-R-L-I-N
7 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, each of you has been provided with a binder for
8 this particular witness with the various photographs that he will be
9 discussing, but we also have an updated evidence exhibit list for you
10 with a smaller version of the map that is at Dr. Kaiser's side and
11 transcripts of an audio radio tape that we also intend to play. So if
12 I could present these to the usher to provide the court for inclusion
13 in their binders?
14 (To the witness): Dr. Kaiser, could you please begin by telling the
15 court about your academic background and the variety of work that you
16 have done concerning cultural and sacral sites, please?
17 A. By training and education, I am a Social and Institutional Historian,
18 a graduate of the University of London. I have worked for the
19 International Council on Monuments and Sites which is a
20 non-governmental organisation that works very closely with UNESCO. I
21 worked with them for six years and I was three years the Director of
22 the International Secretariat.
23 In November 1991, I was asked by the Director General of UNESCO to
24 go to Dubrovnik as one of two observers for The Hague Convention and
25 the World Heritage Convention. I continued to work with UNESCO on the
1 question of Dubrovnik for several months. Toward the end of 1992, I
2 began working with the Committee on Culture and Education of the
3 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on the Council of
4 Europe, yes, on the question of war damage to cultural heritage in
5 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I went on Missions for the
6 parliamentary Assembly in November/December 1992. In March 1994, in
7 June 1995, in October 1993, I worked for the Commission of Experts in
8 Dubrovnik which was preparing the work for this Tribunal.
9 In October 1994, I went back to work for UNESCO as a consultant in
10 Mostar on the cultural heritage and I worked there in three long
11 missions, each about six weeks and two months, until the summer of
12 1995. In October 1995, UNESCO asked me to go to Sarajevo to be its
13 representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 My recent work is not specifically cultural heritage; it involves
15 all the fields of UNESCO's activities.
16 Q. Thank you. During the course of your work with the cultural and
17 sacral heritage in the former Yugoslavia, have you had occasion to
18 write any reports or articles?
19 A. I have contributed to eight information reports of the Parliamentary
20 Assembly on destruction of cultural heritage in Croatia and Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. I have contributed to the Report of the Commission of
22 Experts 1993. For UNESCO I have written reports specifically on
23 Mostar. The Council of Europe Reports are public documents. The
24 Reports of UNESCO are much more of a confidential institutional sort
25 of document.
1 Q. Thank you. In the course of your work, have you had occasions to read
2 and study various reports and publications about the status of the
3 cultural and sacral heritage in the area of the former Yugoslavia?
4 A. I read a certain amount of material about the cultural heritage, much
5 of it rather general. However, in my work for the Parliamentary
6 Assembly, for UNESCO, I have had access to a lot of documents that are
7 mainly lists of cultural heritage, and a certain number of documents
8 that are generally reports. The reports are of some interest.
9 The reports began to come out in 1993. There are four reports I
10 would like to mention. There was one report prepared by the Institute
11 for the Protection of Cultural Historical and Natural Heritage of
12 Serbia, which was about the destruction of sacral heritage in Croatia
13 and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This document dates from January 1993.
14 The report of Slobodan Mileusinic called "Spiritual Genocide" written
15 in 1994 which is about the destruction of Serbian Orthodox heritage in
16 Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina over the period 1991/1993. In
17 September 1993, the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural,
18 Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo
19 produced an information document. A recent report, which is extremely
20 important, was produced by the Institute for the Protection of
21 Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia-Herzegovina based
22 in Sarajevo. This report, the first version of it, was written in
23 September 1995 and has an annex, April 1996. These documents are --
24 the lists are, of course, what lists are; the lists are not very
25 accurate. They are from the early part of the war.
1 The other documents are extremely incomplete. The Serbian documents
2 deal specifically with a certain type of heritage which is Orthodox
3 heritage. The last two documents which I mentioned are of great
4 interest because they attempted to give a larger view of the
5 destruction of cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is
6 the cultural heritage of everybody. The document that was compiled in
7 September 1993, of course, has a problem because it was compiled under
8 difficult circumstances. There was little access available by the
9 people of Sarajevo to territory outside. The report of September 1995
10 is a different document. It has more documentation. It is more of an
11 overview than earlier documents.
12 Q. Thank you. You mentioned previously the Council of Europe reports.
13 Could you just take a minute and describe for the court what those
14 reports were and how widely they were circulated?
15 A. The Council of Europe in 1992 began asking a lot of questions about
16 what was going on to the cultural heritage in Croatia and
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was not a topic which generated a great
18 deal of interest in the press. The press was interested in such
19 isolated incidents, important incidents, as the burning of the
20 National University library in Sarajevo and the Oriental Institute
21 also in Sarajevo. But, generally speaking, we did not know very much
22 about what was going on.
23 So, this initial purpose was to try to find this information with
24 the intention that, perhaps, if enough information were available, the
25 International Community would pick up on it and would perhaps pressure
1 local authorities into minimising the destruction of the cultural
3 It was aimed at the International Conservation Community in the hope
4 that it could intervene, that international agencies could intervene,
5 to carry out protective works in cultural heritage where it was
6 possible to do so.
7 So these were the basic purpose, and we were also hoping that there
8 would be a little bit more active intervention in the field. The
9 machinery of The Hague Convention was not functioning at all.
10 Although we live in a global village with an age of wonderful
11 information and everything, it was extraordinary what we did not know.
12 One of the successes of the reports was to stimulate monitoring of
13 cultural heritage in Bosnia and also in Croatia by the European
14 Community Monitoring Mission. I helped set up this system myself in
15 1994. It worked mainly with respect to sacral buildings, sacral
16 heritage, it and it has worked a little bit fitfully. The ECMM now
17 has a very heavy mission in Bosnia helping OSCE, and it has neglected
18 its monitoring cultural heritage in the past few months.
19 I would just say that this is a very frustrating activity in its
20 earlier stages because in the earlier stages if you could not be on
21 mission, you were collating a lot of reports; you were submitting them
22 to a kind of critique de texte, comparing them, and it was often a
23 futile exercise. What was very important was, in fact, the field
24 visits which has permitted us to check the reports and permitted us to
25 go and look at things that were not mentioned in the reports.
1 Yes, you asked about the distribution. Well, these are public
2 documents; in other words, the Council of Europe distributed them
3 everywhere. They were distributed to Cultural Heritage authorities in
4 Croatia, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were also given to the Serbian
5 representative in Strasbourg.
6 Q. Thank you. If you could just take a few minutes and please give the
7 court a general overview of the cultural and sacral heritage that
8 existed in the Bosnian Herzegovina region before the outbreak of the
10 A. Well, I think everybody has to bear in mind that Bosnia-Herzegovina is
11 on a cross-roads, it is a north/south cross-roads between Central
12 Europe and the Mediterranean world, and it is also on what is often
13 called a fault line between civilisations, between Christendom in the
14 west and Islam in the east. This is a country that has an
15 extraordinarily rich cultural heritage. I will speak mainly about
16 immovable cultural heritage and not about movables. With respect to
17 the movables though, we can find enormous numbers of Neolithic,
18 Paleolithic Iron Age, Bronze Age sites all over the country. The
19 traces of the Roman occupation are also extremely numerous, for
20 example, the famous site in Mogorjelo in the Neretva Valley but also
21 in Hadzici -- no, Ilidza in Sarajevo.
22 There are remnants, vestiges, of the early Christian Byzantine and
23 Romanesque periods. There are early Slavic hilltop settlements,
24 houses. There is the famous Bogomil culture, the Medieval culture,
25 so-called; the Bosnian church as well which has left the famous stecci
1 which are large blocks of stones, tombstones, all over the country.
2 It is worth pointing out that this is a kind of bedrock of the
3 cultural heritage in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is something which is
4 shared commonly by everybody in the country. Although there are
5 accusations that archeological sites are misused by tanks and
6 artillery, this has really had to be checked, but by and large, from
7 my own work, I have seen that this heritage is not so badly damaged.
8 The problem comes with the 15th and 16th centuries. There is the
9 Ottoman conquest in the 15th and 16th centuries, and this changed
10 extraordinarily the landscape of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then you had
11 mosques, Mesjids which are mosques without minarets, medresas,
12 mektebs, hamams, fountains, Turkish style houses. In the cities, in
13 the villages, you have mahala districts. One can say that the Turks
14 brought with them a very specific form of urban civilisation which has
15 always marked the Bosnian towns and cities throughout its history.
16 At the same time there was the disappearance or rarification, perhaps,
17 of Christian churches and monasteries, some of which were destroyed,
18 some of which deteriorated.
19 In the 19th century there was a loosening up of the Empire, the
20 Empire, of course, in its declining phase, and one finds more, I
21 should say, western influences in terms of architecture. This was the
22 period in which we began to find Orthodox churches being built, new
23 Orthodox churches, new Catholic churches.
24 The Austrian occupation in 1878 bought about another revolution,
25 because we can see today the impact of Austrian town planning on such
1 cities as Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka; architectural styles and
2 historicism, universities, libraries, municipal buildings, theatres.
3 This was also the great period of church building, of Orthodox and
4 Catholic church building. In fact, the Franciscan establishments that
5 are all over Bosnia-Herzegovina have their present aspect from this
7 By the 20th century, one could say that Bosnia was totally
8 integrated into European vision of architecture and town planning. Up
9 until World War II, however, you would find the sort of typical,
10 vernacular, domestic architecture in the countryside.
11 Being on a cross-roads, there is a tremendous amount of mutual
12 influence. For example, the mosques, the great mosques of the 16th
13 century, and even later, were built by Christian Herzegovinian
14 stonemasons. It is a common tradition that it was Dubrovnik
15 stonemasons that actually built the Old Bridge at Mostar. The
16 Vucjakovica mosque in Mostar has Gothic traces. So there is this type
17 of intermingling.
18 The Austrians brought with them a pseudo-Moorish style, which was
19 there own homage to the eastern ambience which they found. This style
20 was in turn taken by local architects and adapted, which was what they
21 did with art nouveau styles. So you find this tremendous interchange
22 and sort of mutual influence.
23 In terms of the common use and common respect of heritage, it is
24 extremely interesting to point out that the Bogomil tombstones, nobody
25 is really sure who is under them, but there is a feeling that it is
1 not just Catholics, it is also Orthodox and Muslims.
2 If we take such a famous pilgrimage site as the Church of St. John
3 in Podmiljacja near Jajce, we find that this was a great healing site
4 and people from all confessions came to this site. In Sarajevo
5 itself, there is a pilgrimage which is taken from the Orthodox
6 cathedral to St. Anthony's Catholic Church to the Turkish period
7 Mausoleum of the Seven Brothers. People will make this pilgrimage and
8 they will offer gifts at each shrine.
9 In other words, you find this kind of mutual appreciation and
10 sometimes this has strange echoes during the war. When I was in
11 Olovo, in central Bosnia, there is a Franciscan church which was one
12 of the major Catholic pilgrimage sites in Yugoslavia. This church had
13 no damage at all. The Bosnian Serbian army which was very nearby and,
14 in fact, these were local people, they would not attack this church.
15 However, the mosque which was 200 metres down the hill had a whole
16 number of artillery impacts in it. So this is kind of testimony to
17 what Bosnia was, in fact, before the war.
18 One thing that should be pointed out is that the war has tended to
19 ethnosize cultural heritage which, in fact, was not ethnosized in the
20 past. Perhaps the people who destroyed the Old Bridge at Mostar
21 thought they were destroying Muslim cultural heritage. Certainly, the
22 reactions to the destruction of the bridge were, "They are destroying
23 our heritage, our Muslim heritage", but in fact the Old Bridge was
24 something that was held in common by Serbs, Croats and Muslims. This
25 must be kept in mind when considering all types of heritage, including
1 things which are now considered only to be sacral objects of one
2 faith. They were often, in fact, objects that were shared.
3 Q. Could you just detail the current status of efforts to develop a
4 complete picture of the damage to the cultural and sacral sites in
6 A. I am sorry to have to say that the current status of these efforts is
7 that they really are about zero. There is no co-operation between the
8 entities, and there is no co-operation at the present time even inside
9 the federation. Also, it should be pointed out the international
10 community is not doing this job either.
11 I regret this very much because there are a lot of myths that grew
12 up around the destruction of cultural heritage, and these myths may
13 end up becoming founding myths for new hatreds and a new war. I think
14 some sort of international commission should, in fact, help to draw
15 up an inventory to try to determine to a degree, not in a penal sense,
16 but what the causes are and who are the responsible agents for it.
17 Q. Thank you. At this time we would like to draw up on the screen
18 Exhibit 161, which is 6/15. That will be on the computer screen. It
19 is a smaller version of the larger map to the left of Dr. Kaiser. Dr.
20 Kaiser, using this map, we would ask you to just give a general
21 summary of the overall nature and extent of the damage to Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina's cultural and sacral sites.
23 A. Well, I think I would like to refer, perhaps, to some figures before I
24 comment the map -- is that all right?
25 Q. Absolutely fine.
1 A. I would like to go back to the last report that was prepared by the
2 Institution for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural
3 Heritage in September 1995. The first thing to take into
4 consideration is, well, first of all, this report has a lot of
5 mistakes in it. I mean, the people who prepared it do not have access
6 to western Herzegovina. They do not have access to the Republika
7 Srpska. There are things like double counting; there are problems in
8 presentation; there is a problem of mixing of all sorts of buildings
9 in it. So it is not -- it is for from 100 per cent, you know,
10 accurate, but it is an extremely interesting document.
11 To address, first, the question of sacral buildings and the damage
12 to sacral buildings, this report mentions that 1,183 mosques
13 throughout the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been damaged to
14 some extent. I repeat "damaged"; they do not say "destroyed". Then
15 504 Catholics churches, 36 Orthodox churches and 5 Synagogues. So
16 this gives a certain idea of the order of damage to sacral buildings.
17 If you take a close look at the buildings that have been damaged and
18 try to categorise them according to heritage, you get a somewhat
19 different result. One thing I should point out is that in
20 ex-Yugoslavia there was a fairly precise classification for cultural
21 heritage. At the top level there was the so called zero monument.
22 The zero monument was a monument of world class importance and in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina there was only one. It was the Old Bridge at
24 Mostar; however, which was never on the UNESCO list, in spite of what
25 has been said. Monument value (1) was a national monument; (2) was a
1 regional monument and (3) was a local monument. It not always easy to
2 distinguish between a (2) and a (3) and (1) and (2).
3 But if we turn back to these figures that I have given you, the
4 report indicates that of the 1,183 mosques, 190 of them were
5 classified buildings. Of this some 500 churches, something like 48 of
6 them, I believe, Catholic churches are classified; of the Orthodox
7 churches, it is a smaller figure, it is only eight, and then two of
8 the Synagogues were classified buildings.
9 The report then goes on to note that 392 other historic buildings
10 have been damaged to some extent. This gives us a total damage of
11 about 640 listed historic buildings. Now, the inventory of classified
12 buildings in Bosnia-Herzegovina runs up to 3,991. This means that,
13 according to this Institute report, about 16 per cent of the listed
14 cultural heritage has been damaged to some extent. It does not mean
15 that 640 historic buildings are damaged in the territory of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. To keep in mind that the Bosnian register of monuments
17 was woefully incomplete, but it is not the only country that has
18 incomplete registers. There are some 61 town and rural ensembles
19 complexes which are also classified, and we do not how many damaged
20 buildings of historic interest there are here.
21 We must consider there is a lot of vernacular architecture.
22 Vernacular architecture may not be on anybody's list because it has
23 been badly changed, but it is part and parcel of a cultural landscape.
24 The truth of the matter is we do not know how many historical
25 buildings have been damaged or destroyed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is
1 not the 16 per cent that is indicated, it is not 640 but, to be honest
2 with you, I cannot tell you how many there.
3 To turn back to this map, I make an observation, it looks to me like
4 this is a map of destruction which is imputed, in fact, to the Bosnian
6 Q. That is correct.
7 A. I would say that it is a probably a little bit conservative. There a
8 certain number of municipalities in which there are no dots at all,
9 Sokolac, Kalinovik, Sekovici, Lopare -- no, there are some in Brcko,
10 Srbak and Laktasi, but I think the map gives a good idea of the range
11 of destruction of mosques and churches in the territory of the
12 Republika Srpska or else territory that was controlled by the Bosnian
13 Army throughout most of the war.
14 This map includes damage which can be imputed to military causes
15 because some of the dots are on frontline areas, for example, Konjic.
16 This is a front line area here. But a dot, for example, in
17 Nevesinje, this is not front line area, this is behind the frontlines.
18 The map does not give a good idea of the geographical range of
19 destruction, that is, which could be attributed to Bosnian Serbian
20 forces or other elements. I would like to know if I could refer to my
21 notes, would it be possible ---
22 Q. Certainly.
23 A. -- for some other figures?
24 Q. Dr. Kaiser, while you were referring to your notes, I would point out
25 to the court that this particular map with the designations of the
1 damaged mosques and the damaged Catholic churches is based on the
2 investigations that the Office of the Prosecutor has undertaken. As
3 Dr. Kaiser indicated, this is a very conservative representation at
4 this point where we have been able to marshal the information and get
5 a verification with which we are satisfied. So this is a very
6 conservative estimate.
7 A. I would again refer to the report and I would refer to a particular
8 type of damage which is mentioned in the report and this is damage by
9 explosives. The report mentions, gives a category 4(B) which is
10 destroyed by explosives. To be a little bit cautious, I take the
11 category 4(B) and say that this is a building which is heavily
12 damaged or destroyed by explosives.
13 The report indicates that in the Republika Srpska, or else it was
14 controlled by the Bosnian Serbian army, 161 mosques and mesjids were
15 dynamited or destroyed by the use of tank mines, and 75 Catholic
16 churches. I think that this figure is probably reasonably accurate
17 within 10 per cent plus or 10 per cent minus. The buildings indicated
18 fully 70 of the mosques, 70 were listed monuments and eight of the
19 Catholics churches.
20 If we were to take destruction by other elements, according to the
21 use of explosives, for example, attributed to the HVO, the report
22 indicates 12 mosques and two Orthodox churches and monasteries,
23 especially in the Neretva Valley area. All of these buildings are, in
24 fact, listed buildings. I think that this estimate for the HVO would
25 be a little bit low.
1 The report does not indicate any buildings destroyed by explosives
2 in territory controlled by the armija, and I have never seen a
3 building destroyed by explosives in the territory controlled by the
4 army in my own missions.
5 Q. For clarification, when you refer to the "armija", is that the army of
7 A. Officially the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, yes.
8 Q. Could you give the court just then a general overview of the actual
9 responsibility for the destruction of cultural and sacral sites in
11 A. Excuse me, general overview in terms of?
12 Q. In terms of the entities responsible, just a comparative breakdown,
14 A. I think that these figures about dynamiting, in fact, are fairly
15 faithful in terms of who is responsible for most of the damage. I
16 repeat that we do not know everything in the Republika Srpska, and we
17 have to be very careful, we have to investigate the whole territory,
18 but I think it is indeed correct to say that the Bosnian Serbian
19 entity was responsible for much more damage and destruction of
20 cultural heritage than the other entity or the two subentities.
21 Q. Thank you. You personally have visited many of these sites of
22 destruction, correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Would you just briefly explain to the court the various ways one can
25 determine the nature and the source of the damage found at these
1 cultural and sacral sites?
2 A. Well, to go in terms of least damage to most damage, in architectural
3 terms, I mean, one first could point out that there is damage by
4 pillaging and small arms fire. This is not so serious for the building
5 but it can often be very serious for the contents of a building. Then
6 the second type of -- of course, this is difficult to attribute this
7 sort of damage. It can be kids throwing stones through windows and
8 not necessarily a soldier shooting but somebody else shooting.
9 Then there is artillery damage. Artillery damage is very easy to
10 recognise. It is often easy to attribute, particularly in areas, in
11 front areas that have remained stable for a long time. You simply
12 look to see where the front is and where the enemy is. After a
13 certain amount of experience with buildings, you can recognise the
14 type of shell that it is. This type of damage from artillery, of
15 course, is spectacular. It makes good film footage. But, in fact,
16 there are very few buildings that are pummelled to the ground by
18 There is, however, another type of damage that is associated with
19 artillery and that is burning damage. That is usually much more
20 serious. Burning damage can be done often by heavy mortars, a heavy
21 mortar through the roof of a building into the attic can set a very
22 nice fire. It is not always easy to attribute where the mortar is
23 shot from, especially when the roof has gone and the internal
24 structure of the building has gone.
25 Then there is a question of burning damage by arson which is set by
1 troops or set by unknown parties.
2 Finally, the last type of damage is the resort to explosives which
3 is by far the most serious type of damage.
4 Q. If we could direct the court to your trip to Mostar. I believe you
5 took that trip in December 1992; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. What was the purpose of your trip in December '92?
8 A. Well, the purpose of the trip was that we did not really know much of
9 what was going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina in terms of the cultural
10 heritage and what was happening. Mostar is a very, very important
11 town in terms of its heritage. It had been a scene of a battle and,
12 despite the fact that it was liberated with relatively open access, we
13 did not really know much about it. So the objective was to get to
14 some site that was fairly easy of access. At this point you must keep
15 in mind that this activity of looking at cultural heritage was not
16 regarded by anybody as being very important, so it was very difficult
17 to sort of wonder around central Bosnia; you could not get any help
18 from any of the big agencies, UN agencies or others. So, I mean, this
19 was handy in terms of a local vehicle to drive up the Neretva Valley.
20 Q. Was this first trip shortly after what we will refer to as the first
21 battle of Mostar?
22 A. Yes. It was in December 1992. The first battle of Mostar ended in
23 the mid part of June.
24 Q. Who were the primary participants in the first battle of Mostar?
25 A. Well, BSA, which had more or less completely surrounded the town
1 through most of the battle, and local defence units and especially the
3 Q. Would you tell the court what you saw during your first mission to
5 A. Well, I saw a great deal of artillery damage done to the town of
6 Mostar which I attribute to the BSA because the BSA was much, much
7 better armed than the HVO. There was a lot of damage from explosives.
8 The BSA dynamited all the bridges in Mostar except for the Old Bridge
9 -- a tremendous amount of burning damage. Most of the Austrian period
10 buildings, in fact, which were burnt out in Mostar were, in fact,
11 burned out in the first battle and not in the second battle. There
12 was damage from explosives to the new Orthodox church in Mostar which
13 was completely destroyed in the summer of 1992 as a reprisal, and
14 there was a lot of reprisal damage in the Neretva Valley to villages
15 inhabited by Serbs, to the monastery of Zitomislici, a 16th century
16 monastery. So there was a tremendous amount of damage to see.
17 Q. Did you arrive at any conclusions as a result of your observations in
19 A. Well, it was an extremely frightening experience. I had some
20 experience of Croatia, and I had never seen anything so intensive and
21 I had not yet seen this sort of cycle, initial damage and reprisal.
22 It seemed to me at the time that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was
23 rather more vicious, in fact, much more vicious than the war in
24 Croatia, and that there was a great danger of really extensive and
25 serious damage to the cultural heritage. Finally, the question came
1 into my mind, in fact, well, maybe was this damage to cultural
2 heritage, in fact, part of the strategy of war?
3 Q. Could you elaborate on that just a bit?
4 A. On the last part?
5 Q. The last statement.
6 A. Well, as I say, it is a question of my surprise. In Mostar,
7 practically everything of cultural value had been hit, and it is
8 extremely surprising to see Austrian buildings which do not
9 particularly have any strategic value, and maybe they are not first
10 class monuments, but they are part of a landscape deliberate burnt out
11 and, of course, in this tremendous amount of damage to the mosques.
12 But to see buildings, this first time I also saw sacral buildings that
13 were dynamited. This is quite an extraordinary thing to see,
14 particularly a venerable building like the monastery at Zitomislici.
15 So I began to ask myself questions, I mean, what is going on here and
16 what is going to happen? What is everybody up to in this part of the
18 Q. OK, thank you. At this time if we could have the lights dimmed,
19 please, and we have a series of photographs showing some of the damage
20 to Mostar at the hands of the Serb forces. This first photograph is
21 Exhibit 162, 6/1. Could you describe this, please, Dr. Kaiser?
22 A. This is the Sevri Hadji Hassan mosque which is listed as a monument of
23 third level in Mostar. It is Donja Mahala, right near the Neretva
24 River. This building was before 1620. On the left, where you see the
25 roof of the red house, well, there was a minaret there and the minaret
1 is totally destroyed. If you look at the facade, you can see a lot of
2 damage which is, in fact, artillery damage done and this is done by
3 the BSA.
4 Q. Thank you. For reference, your Honours, this particular mosque is one
5 of the ones named in the indictment. If we could have Exhibit 163
6 shown, please, Dr. Kaiser?
7 A. This is the Franciscan Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. It was built
8 in 1863. It was built at a period in which the Ottoman empire was
9 sort of loosening up before the Austrian occupation. This was
10 destroyed and burned by shelling in May 1992. It was done by the BSA.
11 Q. Again, your Honours, this particular Franciscan church also appears in
12 the indictment itself.
13 A. Just maybe one other comment is that the church is totally destroyed,
14 but to the right are the buildings of the monastery which received
15 extremely little damage.
16 Q. Thank you. Now if we can have Exhibit 164, please? Dr. Kaiser?
17 A. Well, this is entrance to the Catholic Bishop's Residence. This
18 residence was built in 1906. It housed a library, the episcopate
19 library, of 50,000 volumes and a library, a personal library of the
20 Bishop of 10,000 volumes. It was destroyed, burnt out by shelling
21 also in May 1992 by the BSA.
22 Q. If we could have Exhibit 165 shown, please?
23 A. This is the Ibrahim Aga Saric mosque built in 1623. This is, in fact,
24 a monument which is classified level (2). This is an example of
25 mosque shooting, of minaret shooting, in fact. The minaret is cut
1 from just below the gallery up and you can see the type of damage that
2 part of the falling minaret can do. It has come down through the
3 roof. This was also done by the BSA.
4 Q. Your Honours, this particular mosque is referred to in the schedule
5 that is part of the statement of facts that supports the indictment.
6 If we could have Exhibit 166, please?
7 A. This is the Karadjo Begova mosque built in 1557. This is a monument of
8 national importance. You can see here that the pinnacle of the
9 minaret is shot off at the level of the cerefa. What you cannot see
10 is on the other side of the minaret there is a very, very big impact,
11 an artillery impact, about a third of the way down. This damage was
12 also done by the BSA in the summer of -- during the period of battle,
13 the first battle of Mostar.
14 Q. Thank you. Your Honours, again this particular mosque is listed in
15 the schedule underlying the indictment. Finally, if we could have
16 Exhibit 167, please?
17 A. This is an interior shot of the Koski Mehmed Pasha mosque built in
18 1618/1619. It is a level (2) in terms of monument classification.
19 You can see shots through the dome. You can also see an artillery
20 impact down at the bottom of the picture. In addition, this mosque,
21 its minaret is cut, completely cut, at the level of the drum.
22 Q. Again, your Honours, this particular mosque is listed in the schedule
23 supporting the indictment.
24 Dr. Kaiser, one cannot help but notice the damage to the minarets;
25 do you attach any significance to this?
1 A. Well, in Mostar there are 14 listed historic mosques and 12 of them
2 were damaged in the first battle. Five of them have their minarets
3 cut at one level or another. The remaining four have been hit on the
4 minaret and usually high. You will see some from this picture. I have
5 seen all over the country that often the minaret shooting is, in fact,
6 rather high. It is at the gallery level.
7 So, one is not entirely sure what the motivation of the shooting is.
8 I mean, it could be alleged that this is an observation post that is
9 being shot at, the same way that often it is alleged that the belfry
10 of a church is being shot at. But, if you take a look at such cases
11 as the Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, with the shots through the dome and
12 on the drum of the dome, if you take a look at the Sevri Hadji mosque
13 which has lost its minaret completely and has all these shots all over
14 the southern facade, well, you find that there is a will, not just to
15 bang away at a possible shooting post, but in fact to destroy a
16 minaret completely and also to do significant structural damage to the
18 The mosque minaret is a very characteristic sight in a Bosnian town.
19 It is on the horizon. You can see the town sometimes for long ways
20 away because of the minaret. The minaret means that this is a town
21 which is inhabited by Muslims. It is a sign of the presence of
22 Muslims. It is also the sign, an historic sign. It is a sign of the
23 period of the Ottoman Empire which could be regarded, perhaps, by some
24 parties as a period of occupation.
25 So, the siting on a minaret, the targeting of a minaret, certainly
1 does have a symbolic significance to it. It is trying to change this
2 Bosnian town, to eliminate the memory. It can also often be taken as
3 a kind of a warning. If you damage the minaret high, you do not shoot
4 it down completely, you can see from far away also that the minaret
5 has been damaged and that, perhaps, you are not wanted.
6 Q. Thank you. If we could now move to another trip that you took to
7 Konjic-Olovo and other areas. I believe that trip was in June 1994;
8 is that correct?
9 A. Yes, it was in June. In March I made a trip which was in western
10 Herzegovina, in Mostar. In June, I went to central Bosnia. The
11 objective of this trip was the same thing as the objective of other
12 trips, is that we did not have very much information about what had
13 happened on the frontlines between the federation and the Republika
14 Srpska. At the same time, we did not know very much really what
15 happened in the pocket areas, that is, the areas that were affected by
16 the war of 1993/1994 between the Croats and the Muslims. So again it
17 was a fact-finding trip.
18 Q. What did you see on this trip and what conclusions did you reach?
19 A. Would you like me to give you my itinerary?
20 Q. Certainly, yes.
21 A. OK. Well, we visited, for example, Konjic here, Olovo, Kladanj -- I
22 am first showing you the towns that are on the front line -- Kalesija,
23 Tuzla, Gradacac, Gracanica, Zavidovici, Maglaj, Tesanj, Travnik. So
24 these were the frontline areas and on the frontline areas include also
25 villages in this area, on this part of the trip. Well, we saw a
1 tremendous amount of artillery damage done by the Serbs. It was
2 somewhat -- one has to be a little bit nuanced. It was said often
3 that Travnik had been destroyed by the BSA and that Tesanj had been
4 destroyed by the BSA and Kladanj had been destroyed by the BSA.
5 Fortunately, one discovered, we discovered that in these towns there
6 was, in fact, rather little damage from the artillery. On the other
7 hand, we found such towns as Maglaj or Konjic, just to name two of
8 them, or Gradacac, in particular, we found a lot of damage to cultural
9 heritage, to sacral buildings and to sacral heritage.
10 Then there was the other part of the trip which was, of course, in
11 the pocket areas and the areas in which there had been a lot of
12 fighting between the Muslims and the Croats; Prozor, Gornji Vakuf,
13 Bugojno, Vitez, Zepce was the Croatian pocket here. What could be
14 observed in these areas was also a certain amount of resort to
15 explosives by the HVO.
16 Generally speaking, Orthodox churches in these areas were not
17 touched very badly. They were often locked up. As I say, the
18 question of the stone through the window, that sort of thing, and the
19 territory of the armija, one would across from time to time an
20 Orthodox or a Catholic church, particularly in a rural area, which
21 would be burned. But, generally speaking, the churches in the towns
22 were also carefully, well, in fact, guarded after a certain manner of
23 speaking. So those would be the sort of general conclusions of the
25 Q. Thank you. Now if we could have the lights lowered once again? We
1 have several photos from this trip. First, if we could have Exhibit
2 168 brought up, please? I believe that is 6/7. Dr. Kaiser, would you
3 describe what is shown here?
4 A. Well, this is the Carsijska Mosque in Konjic. This is, apparently,
5 not a listed monument -- I am a little bit surprised -- and this is an
6 example of minaret shooting. You can see a shot very high at the
7 gallery level and another one lower. It looks as if there was,
8 perhaps, the beginning of an intention to do more damage to the
9 minaret than that.
10 Q. Your Honours, this particular mosque is actually named in the
11 indictment. What entity would have been responsible for this
13 A. This would be the BSA.
14 Q. If we could have Exhibit 169, please?
15 A. This is the Vardacka Mosque in Konjic. Well, the damage is obvious,
16 it is high, it is to the pinnacle. You will see down below there at
17 the right monitor is European Community Monitoring Mission staff, and
18 they said that this damage and the damage to the preceding mosque was
19 probably done by tanks.
20 Q. Is this mosque also damaged by the BSA?
21 A. Yes, this is done by the BSA.
22 Q. Your Honours, for a point of reference, this particular mosque is
23 included in the schedule supporting the indictment. Now if we could
24 have Exhibit 170, please?
25 A. This is an unnamed mosque, but it is a mosque of quality. You can see
1 it is a stone mosque in Olovo. This is a mosque that is just 200
2 metres down the hill from the Franciscan church that I mentioned. You
3 will see either an artillery or tank impact on the wall. If you look
4 up to the left, you will see damage done to the roof and further up to
5 the right also to the roof, and you also see that the post in the
6 window has also been shot out. This was done by the BSA. Local
7 people said it was done on one occasion in February '93.
8 Q. Again, your Honours, this particular mosque is contained in the
9 schedule supporting the indictment. Thank you. I would like to move
10 to a trip that you took to Banja Luka recently. When did you have
11 occasion to visit Banja Luka?
12 A. I visited it at the beginning of June of this year.
13 Q. Could we please have Exhibit 171, 6/10, brought up on the screen,
14 please? Dr. Kaiser, have you seen Exhibit 171 before? Have we shown
15 this to you before?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What does this represent?
18 A. Well, it is a rather schematic town plan of Banja Luka.
19 Q. What does it show?
20 A. Well, it shows mainly the centre area town, but what it shows mainly
21 is the location of the mosques.
22 Q. Is there any significance to the concentration of the mosques shown on
23 the map?
24 A. Yes, there is. I mean, this is in some ways the perimeter of the
25 Turkish town. Banja Luka was conquered a bit late in 1528 by the
1 Ottomans. It is in the north western part of Bosnia. It was of great
2 strategic importance for them, so it was also extremely important for
3 them to leave their mark. The foundation of these mosques is
4 extremely symbolic of a regime, of a way of living, and so this
5 accounts for this concentration of mosques in this particular area. I
6 should also say that the Turks built a fortress, well, rather built on
7 the ruins of a Christian fortress, they built a very big fortress. So
8 this town, whole town, is a symbol of their power.
9 Q. In referring to this map, could you describe to the court what parts
10 of the city you are were able to visit on your trip to Banja Luka in
12 A. Well, we came in to the town from the south which is from the right.
13 There is a road, you can see a little arrow there, and that is the
14 road to Mrkonjic Grad and that is the main street. So we went
15 completely up the main street following it as it sort of keeps going
16 to the left, and then past up towards our hotel which was off the map
17 to the north. I also on one occasion came back down the main road,
18 and right practically in the centre of the map there is a bridge
19 across a river. I crossed this bridge, took the right turn,
20 right-hand turn there and continued down the road. That is really
21 what I saw of this area that I can remember.
22 Q. In walking around the area last month in Banja Luka, did you notice
23 any minarets in this general central area of Banja Luka?
24 A. No, no, minarets.
25 Q. If we could have the lights dimmed, please, and Exhibit 175, 6/13
1 brought up on the screen, please? Dr. Kaiser, do you recognise this
3 A. Yes, this is, in fact, the one mosque I saw. This is the one on the
4 other side of the river.
5 Q. Does this photograph accurately depict the way it looked last month
6 when you visited there?
7 A. Yes, it does.
8 Q. Your Honours, if we could now have Exhibit 172, 6/11 brought up on the
9 screen? For reference, this is a smaller version of the enlarged
10 photograph that we have here in the courtroom. Dr. Kaiser, would you
11 tell us a little bit about the mosque depicted in Exhibit 172, please?
12 A. Yes, this is the Ferhad Mosque. It was built in 1579 by the bey in
13 Banja Luka whose name was Ferhad Pisa Sokolovic. He built it with a
14 ransom money he received from giving back the Sana of a Christian
15 captain who had been killed in a battle. This is an extremely
16 important building. It is No. 1 on the classification. In fact, it
17 is one of two buildings like this in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Now, why is it of a particular nature? Most mosques have simply a
19 central plan, a central chamber which is square, rectangular. This
20 one is rather different. It has, in fact, along both sides what could
21 be considered to be naves. You will see right between, near the base
22 of the minaret and the square central section, you will see a little
23 bit of a trough roof and this indicates where the other nave is.
24 Also, at the rear, at the south end of it, there is a semi-dome
25 because we have a circular apse, we call a circular apse, where the
1 main mihrab is. So we have three naves in this mosque. Under the
2 stone pore where the other two naves are, we also have mihrabs at the
3 right side and the left side. So this is a very, very -- in terms of
4 the faithful, there is a lot of faithful who are going to be gathered
5 here in this mosque, outside and inside. It is comparable to the
6 Ghazi Husrev Bey mosque in Sarajevo. It has an extremely large
7 minaret 41.5 metres high. You will see, in the foreground you will
8 see one mausoleum. There, in fact, were three. Ferhad Pasa Sokolovic
9 was, in fact, buried in one of the mausoleum and, apparently, standard
10 burials were buried in one of the other ones. You can also see, not
11 very well, but near the entrance on the left you will also see a
13 So this was an extremely important and imposing building. When it
14 was built, in fact (and it is thought that it was built by one of the
15 students of Mimar Sinan who was one of the main Turkish architects
16 working in Constantinople at the time), it is not just, it should not
17 be, we should not limit the importance of this building and say this
18 is an important sacral Islamic building; this is an important building
19 in Banja Luka. This building was, perhaps, the symbol, the monument
20 symbol, of this town. It was a reason for civic pride. You will find
21 it in all guide books. You will find it on postcards. This is
22 something that I believe all citizens of Banja Luka identified with
23 and found reason for pride in the existence of this mosque.
24 Q. Could we have Exhibit 174, 6/14, brought up, please? Your Honours, to
25 demonstrate Dr. Kaiser's point, this is just a postcard from the area
1 depicting this particular mosque. Dr. Kaiser, when you were in Banja
2 Luka last month, did you see anything that looked like this particular
4 A. No.
5 Q. If it had still been there would you have seen it?
6 A. Definitely.
7 Q. At this time if we could have Exhibit 173 brought up on the screen,
8 that is 6/12? Again, this is a smaller version of the enlargement we
9 have here in the courtroom. Your Honours, recently we had
10 investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor go to these sites in
11 Banja Luka when we were finally allowed some access to the area. This
12 photograph which is, in fact, two photographs put together, both of
13 those photos were taken by one of our investigators in late April.
14 This, in fact, represents what is left of the mosque. It is now a
15 vacant lot.
16 There are some points of reference with the "before" and "after"
17 photograph. The tall trees in the background, the one tall tree on
18 the right, and the building in the rear that is still standing, those
19 are two points of reference that you can compare with the "before" and
20 "after" photographs.
21 Dr. Kaiser, in your opinion, why would the Bosnian Serbs so
22 thoroughly destroy a mosque of this nature and eliminate all traces?
23 A. Well, if you want to get rid of all traces, or if you want to get rid
24 of all Muslims in a particular area, and you assimilate mosques to
25 Muslims, it is quite clear that you would go after this building,
1 particularly because it is so important in terms of the image of the
2 town. It seems rather logical that this would be part of the step of
3 eliminating the Muslim presence and also eliminating a large part of
4 the history of Banja Luka.
5 Q. Do you know what effect this destruction might have had on the local
7 A. I have not had this discussion with the local people -- I hope to
8 have it one day -- but I have had, but in similar discussions, for
9 example, in Mostar one comes across, for example in Mostar west, there
10 was a great deal of shock, regret and shame about the destruction of
11 the Old Bridge. I think there was probably something akin to that
12 reaction in Banja Luka. I would notice that there is still a
13 photograph of the Ferhad Mosque in the museum in Banja Luka. It has
14 not been removed.
15 Q. At this time we would like to move to some other trips that you have
16 taken. Recently, have you been able to travel through the areas of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina controlled by the BSA?
18 A. Yes, about half a dozen times.
19 Q. When did you begin travelling in these areas?
20 A. The first trips to Pale were in February and then in April we began
21 moving a little bit more to other locations.
22 Q. Maybe you could take the pointer and the map and just generally show
23 some of the areas that you have been able to visit recently?
24 A. Well, one trip I took down to Gorazde, down through here, and this
25 means that you have to cross through the Republika Srpska to go
1 through Rogatica, notably; another trip down to Foca through Republika
2 Srpska, and another trip up to Doboj here which is just inside the
3 Republika Srpska; of course, the trip to Banja Luka here, and I have
4 also been through part of the anvil area here, Mrkonjic Grad, and then
5 up through Bosanski Petrovac, up to Bihac, and this area was also
6 under the control of the Bosnian Serbian army.
7 Q. I would briefly like to review some of the areas you have been to.
8 You have been to Donji Vakuf?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who currently controls Donji Vakuf?
11 A. It is in the Republika Srpska.
12 Q. Do you know if Donji Vakuf had any mosques or minarets before the war?
13 A. Yes, it had two mosques at least.
14 Q. In your trip through Donji Vakuf, did you see any minarets or mosques?
15 A. No.
16 Q. All right. Similarly, you have been in Rogatica, as you have said?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were there mosques and minarets in Rogatica before the war?
19 A. Yes, there were several mosques, including some listed buildings, I
21 Q. Rogatica is in the control of the BSA?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you went through Rogatica did you see any mosques or minarets?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You have been to Foca?
1 A. Yes, I have.
2 Q. Is it the same situation there as far as mosques and minarets being
3 present before the war?
4 A. I did not examine the town completely, but I saw no mosques and I saw
5 no minarets. Foca was very important because it had 10 mosques, all
6 of them listed, including the great Ilidza Mosque.
7 Q. Foca is in BSA control as well?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Finally, with regard to Doboj, you have been through Doboj?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did Doboj before the war have mosques and minarets?
12 A. Yes, it did.
13 Q. Were you able to see any mosques or minarets when you went there?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Throughout your entire travels in the area controlled by the accused
16 Karadzic and the accused Mladic, have you seen any minarets at all?
17 A. In 1995, when I was based in Mostar, the early part of 1995, I visited
18 Kupres which had just been taken back by the HVO. In Kupres there was
19 a mosque, an unfinished mosque, and an unfinished minaret which were
21 Q. That is the extent of the number of minarets that you have seen in
22 your travels through Serb controlled territory?
23 A. That is the only one I have seen.
24 Q. Thank you. If you could take a moment for the court and describe to
25 them the significance of this type of destruction of cultural and
1 sacral sites in human terms?
2 A. Would it be possible for me to look at my notes again on this?
3 Q. Absolutely.
4 A. Well, according to the information that we have, there seems to be to
5 have been an attempt in the territory of the Republika Srpska to
6 eliminate the Islamic sacral heritage. This corresponds to between
7 100 and 200 mosques that are classified of historic value. We do not
8 know exactly still how many of them are destroyed, but we have a lot
9 of fears about this. Those are buildings built in the 16th and 17th
11 These are obvious and obviously an important part of the heritage of
12 country, but they are not just a part of the heritage of the country;
13 they are part of the European heritage. If you take with the
14 exclusion of Spain, we are talking about the western most penetration
15 of the Ottoman Empire. The buildings are important for the Bosnians
16 and they are important for our history as well. I think their loss
17 is, in fact, something that is irreplaceable.
18 It would appear that there has been a similar tendency with respect
19 to Catholic churches in this area. This usually represents a more
20 modern heritage. One may have whatever judgement one wishes to have
21 about the aesthetic value of historicist architecture from the period,
22 but it is part and parcel of cultural heritage, 19th century churches.
23 I should point out that there has often been a lot of damage done to
24 Ottoman heritage in the Neretva Valley. This is serious as well,
25 perhaps less serious in numerical terms. There has been damage also
1 done to Orthodox heritage in the Neretva Valley. This is serious, but
2 this is totally at a different dimension.
3 What is the significance, though, of the destruction of the Islamic
4 heritage and the Catholic heritage in this area? In the reports of
5 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we always talked
6 about cultural cleansing alongside ethnic cleansing. In other words,
7 you cannot simply ethnically cleanse a people and eliminate them
8 entirely this way. The way of eliminating them also involved a
9 destruction of their heritage. In other words, you are eliminating a
10 sacral building and in this way you are eliminating the memory of
11 having lived together. So I think this is one of the general
12 importance of destruction of this type of heritage.
13 If you turn to such other questions as the destruction and loss to
14 civil, secular, cultural heritage, we would find that there has been
15 an awful lot of damage in towns to buildings of all periods, to
16 vernacular architecture, to houses. In the countryside, there has
17 often been an awful lot of damage in ethnic cleansing and ethnic
18 counter cleansing, also in central Bosnia.
19 If you add up together these different types of damage, you come
20 with a rather obvious conclusion. I mean, you have a kind of radical
21 change in the physical environment in which people are living. This
22 means that you are talking about the removal of the signposts of
23 collective and individual life. In this sense, we are talking about a
24 spiritual impoverishment for people all over the country.
25 Remember, although we have this problem of the ethnic identification
1 of cultural heritage, in fact, what you are doing is that the
2 destruction of a mosque is a destruction of something within a Serb or
3 something within a Croat as well. Destruction of an Orthodox church
4 is a memory that a Croat has. You are dealing, breaking down the
5 whole identity with the destruction of this cultural heritage. Now,
6 much of what has been destroyed, let us say, dynamited and raised,
7 well, in fact, hardly any of it will rise again, and much of what has,
8 in fact, been heavily damaged in the war will be destroyed in the
9 process of reconstruction.
10 So we are talking about something which really is a catastrophe for
11 the peoples on the spot.
12 Now, there are two, perhaps, final questions that come to mine mind.
13 The first is, is this type of destruction a precedent? Secondly,
14 what does it represent for us?
15 To answer the first question, I think one has to go back
16 to the history of the region. I think that the Ottoman conquest was
17 probably not as tender as some complacent historians had made it out
18 to be. I think there was probably a lot of destruction carried out by
19 the Turkish armies of cultural heritage, sacral buildings.
20 It must be remembered that when the Austro-Hungarians reconquered
21 the parts of Croatia which were under the control of the Turks, they
22 virtually eliminated all sacral and secular buildings associated with
23 the Ottoman rule. It should be remembered also that in World War II,
24 the Ustashas did a tremendous amount of damage, an appalling amount of
25 damage, to Orthodox heritage in Croatia and also in the diocese of
1 Banja Luka.
2 It should also be remembered that in 1945, after the war was over,
3 for example, in Mostar there were six mosques, historic mosques, and
4 mesjids that were pulled down; in Kladanj there were four. So, in
5 this area there are precedents and there are memories of the
6 destruction of cultural heritage. It has been done commonly in the
8 So one could say that this is not being invented, it is not new, it
9 did happen, but is there something new in it? There is, perhaps, a
10 conjunction of removing peoples and removing the traces of peoples and
11 carried out by states that knew all the rules. Remember that the
12 military forces that have done this damage were very well versed in
13 the laws of war. They all knew The Hague Convention. The civil
14 authorities knew fully well the value of the heritage that was being
15 destroyed on their territories and which, by their own laws, they were
16 bound to protect. All of this was done in full view of an
17 international community that was far better informed and more
18 concerned than people in the 16th century or even in the 1940s.
19 I think that we are in the presence of a kind of synthesis,
20 synthesis of practices from the past with the efficiency of modern
21 state and a 20th century sophistication in social engineering in
22 reverse. The authorities fully understood the significance of
23 heritage as one of the bonds that holds together a society, and
24 particularly a society people who have differing traditions.
25 I do not want to sound overdramatic or prophetic, but such
1 combinations of brutality and sophistication strike me as a rather
2 ominous challenge for the future. In all of our societies, there are
3 movements, there are political parties, people and intellectuals who
4 dream of cleaning their territory and cleaning their history, and the
5 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has shown how it can be done and that it can
6 be done.
7 Q. At this time point, your Honours, we have a final exhibit and this
8 would go towards notice and knowledge for the accused Karadzic. With
9 your permission, we would play that?
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, please go ahead. Go ahead.
11 MR. BOWERS: If we could have Exhibit 177 which is an audio tape played?
12 This is a rebroadcast by the BBC, February 27th 1992 radio broadcast
13 by Radio Sarajevo. We have translations. Hopefully, we can have this
14 translated as it is being played.
15 (The tape was played):
16 (In translation):
17 "In our conference today, I have received an announcement which says
18 that yesterday at 11 o'clock, just shortly before midnight, a bomb
19 fell on a significant cultural building of Banja Luka. This is the
20 first time something like this has happened in our history. I fear
21 that this is a type of revenge that is taking place. This is an
22 attempt to provoke us, to provoke confrontation. We are not blaming
23 the Serbian people for this attack of vandalism, but we are blaming
24 the extremists. The Muslims must also contain themselves and must not
25 react to it.
1 "The sacral cultural heritage is something we hold very sacred. I
2 condemn this act of vandalism and I do not think that the Serb people
3 are responsible, but that fascists are responsible. I condemn all
4 acts of such vandalism".
5 Q. So, your Honours, we can see from this broadcast that as early as
6 February 1992, the accused Karadzic was made aware of the risk that
7 these sacral and cultural sites were at with the upcoming hostilities
8 being planned at that very time.
9 Finally, we would like to note for the court that we have had
10 investigators in Srebrenica recently in connection with that
11 investigation, and that the practice of this destruction of sacral and
12 cultural sites continued on through July 1995. If we went to trial,
13 we have photographs showing minarets and mosques in the Srebrenica
14 area. When our investigators were there recently, there are no traces
15 of minarets and these mosques have been destroyed.
16 That concludes our presentation and we would now open it up to
17 questions from the court.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. I look towards my colleagues first.
19 Examined by the Court
20 JUDGE RIAD: Dr. Kaiser, I would like to thank you for your clear and most
21 informative survey of the destruction of the cultural and spiritual
22 heritage in Bosnia, in particular. Just to dispel any doubt
23 concerning some of the very clear conclusions which we could reach
24 listening to you, I would like you to tell me, could it have been
25 possible that such damage would result from the exchange of fighting
1 in any of these areas or it had to be a premeditated and well
2 organised attack?
3 A. This is a difficult question to answer. It is not impossible that you
4 can develop a dynamic of destruction as things go on, it is not
5 necessarily premeditated, but I think that one can only draw a
6 conclusion when one has looked at the total, the long calendar of the
7 destruction of cultural heritage in the area, sacral heritage, I say a
8 calendar, to follow it all the away across the territory. Perhaps
9 this calendar will help the Tribunal to be able to sort out what the
10 intentions were, but I could not personally say that this was
11 definitely a premeditated plot.
12 Q. Speaking of this calendar, you gave us a synthesis of the calendar by
13 mentioning that 1,123 mosques were damaged, 504 Catholic, 36 Orthodox
14 and five Synagogues. Judging by the percentage of the damaged, let us
15 say, religious heritage, could you conclude that it was a strategy in
16 all the war or, at least, in some of the factions had it as a
17 strategy, judging by the number and the systematic way it was done ---
18 A. If it was -----
19 Q. -- and was it more due to the attitude of one of the parties in
20 particular or a general systematic strategy?
21 A. Well, if it was not the strategy at the beginning of the war, it
22 certainly became part of the strategy. You cannot possibly have 1,183
23 damaged mosques without something fairly deliberate being done. I
24 return back to my original position; it certainly became one, it was
25 very useful, but destruction or damaging of a minaret is clearly a
1 sign to a population. I know of an example in western Herzegovina
2 where you have a village which is totally undisturbed, with a village
3 of Muslims in 1993, and then in 1994 or 1995 you have one shot on the
4 minaret. This is a signal. Hitting a minaret is also one way of
5 chasing, chasing the people. So, in fact, this can be actually
6 integrated very carefully into the method. It can be part of the
8 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Dr. Kaiser.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: My first question goes to the Council for the
10 Prosecution. Do you have all the reports which were mentioned at the
11 beginning of the presentation of Dr. Kaiser?
12 MR. BOWERS: Yes, your Honour. We have these reports and they are very
13 voluminous, so we have not presented them as exhibits, but if the
14 court would like access to them, we absolutely can provide them.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, counsel for the Prosecution. I have
16 taken note. I now turn to Dr. Kaiser. As regards the systematic
17 character of the destruction that you mentioned, doctor, was there any
18 damage to Muslim cemeteries?
19 A. (In translation): At the beginning of the war ... (No translation of
20 answer was audible) It was -----
21 Q. Thank you. I think there was a break.
22 A. May I continue?
23 Q. Please continue in the language which is the easiest for you.
24 A. I will continue like this otherwise it will be difficult for you. So
25 what happened is in the visits, in my trips, I saw it was really a
1 question of individuals who decided to shoot, but I never saw a
2 cemetery which was bulldozed down. I never saw a site where I could
3 have thought had been bulldozed. I could have imagined that in
4 Mostar, for example, where you had the Vucjakovica mosque that was
5 dynamited in 1993, now that mosque was surrounded by a cemetery that
6 was used heavily during the war, unfortunately. Now, there were some
7 tombstones which were damaged, but no-one disturbed that cemetery.
8 That is something I find time and time again, and also in the
9 Republika Srpska because you can recognise the Muslim cemeteries very
11 Q. Thank you. I also wanted to ask you whether during your
12 investigations, even if this goes beyond our presentation, so in the
13 visits you mentioned you also looked at the other monuments which are
14 part and parcel of the heritage of a people, the universities, the
15 libraries, etc., the administrative buildings, the courtrooms; could
16 you very briefly give us some brief idea of whether those buildings
17 were damaged so you could ruin the inheritance of a people?
18 A. No, I think I was concentrating now on the questions which you were
19 putting to me as regards cultural heritage and sacral sites. But I do
20 not want to minimise the importance of this destruction of the rest of
21 the inheritance or heritage. I mentioned the town of Mostar, in
22 particular, where I said the buildings during the Austrian period, the
23 bars(?), the administrative buildings, the schools, etc., they were
24 burnt during the battles there, and this type of building is an
25 integral part of the town.
1 For example, as I was saying the theatre, the bars, the schools,
2 are something that are used daily and come up also in different towns
3 where you found the history in the library, in the university, the
4 national library of Sarajevo. It was not a Catholic or Muslim
5 building, but it was part and parcel of the town. Everyone shared the
6 services of the library, the Serbs the Croatians and the Muslims.
7 During our trips there, we tried to focus on that heritage. You are
8 absolutely right when you are saying there is not only the sacral
9 heritage, there is also the heritage of everyday, of part and parcel
10 of their life, and that is equally important. It is just as important
11 as the rest. That heritage was heavily damaged.
12 When I talk about buildings that will no longer be built up again,
13 after the war you might think that some efforts are going to do for
14 the churches and for the mosques, at least those who have not been too
15 damaged, but for many other buildings in the civilian life, the
16 damages that have been done to those buildings will probably end in
17 their destruction, and they will depend entirely on the Austrian
18 period which runs the serious risk of disappearing in its entirety.
19 Q. I would also like to ask you based on the figures you have given me
20 that -- I will start again so that you can hear the beginning of my
21 question. Based on the figures that you have given us, we have
22 noticed that there was almost no synagogue, that there was no
23 synagogue which was damaged. Could you give us an explanation as
24 regards that?
25 A. Now, there are not a lot of synagogues in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
1 synagogues in Sarajevo had minor damages, but there is one thing you
2 should not forget, that when you look into Sarajevo, there was an
3 enormous amount of damage done, particularly in the modern areas.
4 There were some historical buildings who were heavily damaged, like
5 the library I mentioned. You can think also of the Magribija Mosque
6 which is in Marin Dvor which has lost its minaret. There are lots of
7 minor damages and destruction done to the churches, to the mosques as
8 well. But one thing that struck me the first time when I went to
9 Sarajevo was, in fact, I have never seen so many minarets during all
10 my trips, but what struck me was that the damage that was done was,
11 fortunately, less than in other towns.
12 There were other different intentions. There were different
13 targets, and there was not any particular reason to attack the
14 synagogues if you had the churches or the mosques. In Mostar, there
15 is a synagogue that goes back many years, that was slightly damaged,
16 but it has not acted as a synagogue for many, many years, since 1945.
17 The Jewish component, which is a very important part for Bosnia,
18 particularly as regards their memories because the Jewish population
19 is very, very small, they suffered a lot during the Second World War
20 and there is not a large percentage of Jews, therefore, they were not
21 a particular target.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The court, Dr. Kaiser, thank you for your
23 presentation. I see that the Prosecutor is making a sign to me.
24 Would you like to add something, another question?
25 MR. BOWERS: Yes, your Honour, if I might, if I could just respond to
1 Judge Riad's question regarding a possibility of legitimate military
2 damage? At trial, the Prosecutor would be prepared to expand on the
3 calendar that Dr. Kaiser mentioned as well as the geographical
4 locations because when you put the time lines together with the
5 geographical locations, what we would be prepared to show is that much
6 of the damage occurred behind the frontlines so there could be no
7 military purpose. Also many of the sacral sites were damaged in areas
8 where there was little or no resistance whatsoever, so again there
9 would be no military purpose.
10 Finally, even in areas where there was resistance, such as in the
11 town of Brcko, the mosques were fired upon when the fighting was
12 actually in a different part of the city. So again there could be no
13 military purpose. So we would be prepared to present this more
14 detailed and extensive testimony when we go to trial.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Dr. Kaiser, I would like to thank you for your
16 presentation. Thank you on behalf of the International Tribunal. We
17 are very grateful to you. This is the end of your presentation. We
18 will adjourn until 4.30.
19 (4.10 p.m.)
20 (The court adjourned for a short time)
21 (4.30 p.m.)
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution, the court accepts the
23 exhibits that you submitted in connection with the previous witness.
24 So, if the Registrar would please take note of that for the case
1 You have the floor, sir.
2 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour. As its next witness, the Prosecution
3 would call Captain Patrick Rechner, please.
4 CAPTAIN PATRICK ANTHONY RECHNER, called
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Please remain standing, and put on the head sets, if
6 you would? Let us see, first, can you hear me, Captain? Do you hear
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Now you are going to remain standing to read the
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole
12 truth and nothing but the truth.
13 (The witness was sworn)
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Please be seated. Captain Rechner, you
15 have been called by the Prosecution in connection with -- you do not
16 need -----
17 THE WITNESS: I also speak French.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So let me repeat that. You have been called by the
19 Prosecution as part of the public hearing in connection with the
20 charges against Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. You are before the
21 International Criminal Tribunal. The Tribunal would ask you to speak
22 without any fears and you will please proceed, counsel.
23 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour.
24 Examined by MR. BOWERS
25 Q. Captain, would you please statement your full name and spell it for
1 the record?
2 A. It is captain Patrick Anthony Rechner. The first name Patrick is
3 spelt P-A-T-R-I-C-K, my middle name is Anthony spelt A-N-T-H-O-N-Y,
4 and my last name Rechner is spelt R-E-C-H-N-E-R.
5 Q. Captain, you are currently serving in the Canadian army; is that
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. What is your rank and branch of service?
9 A. I am a Captain in the Infantry
10 Q. What languages do you speak?
11 A. I speak, I can say eight in different levels of fluency; English,
12 French, Czech, Polish, Slovak, German, Russian and Serbo-Croatian.
13 Q. Did you serve in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding areas?
14 A. Yes, I have.
15 Q. Could you please take the court through your various assignments?
16 A. I served -- is that strictly in Bosnia-Herzegovina or throughout the
17 former Yugoslavia?
18 Q. Throughout the former Yugoslavia.
19 A. I first served there as a member of the Canadian Battalion from
20 February until May 1993 and western Slovenia, or UN protected area
21 sector west. Then I returned for 12 months tour of duty as a UN
22 military observer from July 1994 until July 1995.
23 My first assignments as a UN military observer were in Zadar, in
24 sector south, and I stayed there until December 1994 also working in
25 Knin and Benkovac. Then at the end of December 1994, exactly 31st
1 December 1994, I was posted to Pale where I had remained until 18th
2 June 1994 -- correction, 1995.
3 Q. You have served as a United Nations military observer; is that
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Could you just briefly explain to the court what are the
7 responsibilities of a UN military observer?
8 A. The UN military observers have different responsibilities, depending
9 on which mission they are employed in throughout the world. In the
10 former Yugoslavia, our main task was to effect liaison between the
11 different warring parties and also between the warring parties and the
12 UN military command, that is, UNPROFOR.
13 Also, we were unofficially dealing with the humanitarian
14 organisations, trying to provide them with some assistance and
15 developing local communities to aid their work. Our last job was to
16 report directly to the Security Council on any conflict activity and
17 on the full scope and type of conflict that was occurring wherever we
18 could get access to in the former Yugoslavia.
19 Q. How were you personally selected as a United Nations military
21 A. For Canadian military officers, the requirement is to serve, to be
22 minimum in the rank of captain and complete a minimum of six years of
23 commissioned active service as an officer. In our case, we just
24 applied to be selected as a UN military observer. Our military,
25 regimental system or then branch of service then looks at the
1 candidates and makes the choice and gives the names directly to the
3 Q. After being selected as a military observer, where was it that you
4 were first stationed?
5 A. At first, I was for about two weeks in Zadar in Dalmatia.
6 Q. Then where did you move?
7 A. And then to Knin in sector south.
8 Q. Then would you take us through that chronology again?
9 A. OK. Zadar, those two weeks, it was just as a normal UN military
10 observer doing patrolling duty. In Knin, I was there from the end of
11 July 1994 until the beginning of November 1994. I was employed as the
12 Chief Operations Officer for the UN military observer headquarters in
13 Knin. Then from the beginning of November 1994 until the end of
14 December 1994, I was a team leader stationed in Benkovac, that is in
15 sector south as well, and my responsibility was for the southern half
16 of the UN protected area of sector south.
17 Q. At some point you were assigned to Pale?
18 A. Yes, that was on 31st December 1994.
19 Q. What was the period of your service in Pale?
20 A. In Pale, I was there from that date until when I was released after
21 the hostage taking on 18th June 1995.
22 Q. What responsibilities did you have in Pale?
23 A. In Pale, there were four military observers stationed there as part of
24 the liaison team. Our duties involved passing letters between the UN
25 and the Bosnian Serb government, and also between the UN and the
1 Bosnian Serb military headquarters which was actually located in Han
2 Pjesak, about 60 kilometres from Pale.
3 Occasionally, we would also have some meetings with the local
4 political leaders, but mostly it involved telephone calls and sending
5 messages by fax. Then towards the second half of April, I took over
6 as the team leader and Chief Liaison Officer to the Bosnian Serb
7 government and the Military High Command, that is, the Bosnian Serb
8 Military High Command.
9 Q. Who were some of the leaders or individuals from the Pale
10 administration that you would have contact with?
11 A. The major figure was Professor Koljevic, the Vice President, because
12 his other task or position that he filled was the Chairman of their
13 government committee for co-operation with the UN and UNPROFOR. We
14 also dealt directly with Dr. Karadzic's office, specifically with his
15 secretary, Mira, and Mr. Jovan Zametica who was Mr. Karadzic's
16 spokesman and political adviser. We also had some dealings with Mr.
17 Kalinic, the Minister of Health.
18 Q. How often did you communicate with these people?
19 A. Directly with Professor Koljevic, it was quite rare, but with his
20 secretary, Zeca(?), it was almost on a daily basis and with Dr.
21 Karadzic's office, that is, with his secretary, Mira, or Mr. Jovan
22 Zametica, it was also on a daily basis.
23 Q. Some time in May 1995 did you have a meeting with Koljevic?
24 A. Yes, it was either right at the end of April or beginning of May 1995,
25 I went to see him in my capacity as the Chief UNMO Liaison Officer
1 with Colonel Ermolajev, who was the Deputy Senior Regional Military
2 Observer, that is, the Deputy of all of the observers working in
4 We had a whole bunch of military observers that were blocked in the
5 safe areas and were not allowed any access out either to rotate them
6 or for leave. So we tried to gain the intervention of Professor
7 Koljevic to assist us in working with the Bosnian Serb military to
8 make an exception for some of these UNMOs to let them out.
9 Q. What happened as a result of the meeting?
10 A. As a result of the meeting, Professor Koljevic did intervene and about
11 one week or 10 days later we were able to get the UN military
12 observers from the safe area of Zepa out.
13 Q. That meeting occurred in late April or early May; is that correct?
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. Of 1995?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. What happened on 25th May 1995?
18 A. 25th May 1995 was the day of the first NATO bombing of the bunkers on
19 the outskirts of Pale.
20 Q. Could you determine approximately how many bombs fell on that day?
21 A. We were not able to determine exactly, but we heard two loud
22 explosions and saw two large billows of smoke from locations, what we
23 estimated about 10 kilometres south of our house in Pale.
24 Q. What was in that general area where you saw the smoke?
25 A. At that time we had no idea whether it was a military facility or
1 something else. In fact we were not sure it was bombing because the
2 size of the explosion and the cloud of dust and smoke that arose was
3 much larger than we would normally expect from a single bomb dropped
4 by an aircraft, that is a bomb of 1,000 or 2,000 pounds, but as we
5 found out later the large size of the explosion and the large amount
6 of smoke and dust was a result of the bunkers being hit in the
7 secondary explosions inside the bunkers.
8 Q. Did you see any damage to civilian structures on 25th May?
9 A. No, no damage. But if I can explain, on 25th May we were also
10 confined to our accommodations. We did not have any freedom. We were
11 told not to leave our accommodations, so we could not go out to
13 Q. Where were your accommodations located?
14 A. It is in the centre of Pale more or less, about 300 metres from the
15 Bosnian Serb presidency, that is Dr. Karadzic's office.
16 Q. You did not see any damage in the immediate vicinity of your
18 A. No.
19 Q. All right. What happened on the next day, 26th May?
20 A. The next day at about 10 o'clock the bombing was resumed. It looked
21 to us it was the same targets as the previous days or the same general
22 area, that is south, and we estimated about 10 kilometres. The only
23 difference from the previous day was that it was much more intensive.
24 We had counted throughout that morning from about 10 o'clock until
25 about 11 o'clock about 12 explosions.
1 Q. Shortly after the bombing began on 26th did something occur outside
2 your accommodations?
3 A. Yes, within about five or 10 minutes of the first bomb being dropped
4 there were two shots that were fired just outside of our
5 accommodations and some loud voices. Would you like me to continue?
6 Q. What did do when you heard these shots?
7 A. At the time I was not in our office. I was upstairs, so I just waited
8 a few minutes to see what would happen. I did not here anything
9 further and then I went downstairs to investigate what had happened.
10 Q. When you went downstairs were you able to go into a section that was
11 isolated from the office itself?
12 A. . Yes, I think it may help if I describe our office and accommodations
13 in Pale. We were living with a local family in their house. It was a
14 three-storey house, that is three storeys including the ground floor.
15 The family lived on the middle floor and we lived on the top floor.
16 On the bottom floor there was on one side the living room and the
17 kitchen and on the other side was our office which was a converted
18 garage. So, I had gone down the stairs from the top floor which is
19 the third level down to the main floor. There was a small door in the
20 back of our office which was slightly ajar, so I looked in there and
21 saw three armed individuals. Then I went into the kitchen to make
22 some telephone calls trying to find out if these people had been sent
23 there officially to protect us or whether they were just some local
24 out for revenge.
25 Q. When you decided to make some calls who did you contact?
1 A. The first person I called was Dr. Karadzic's office and I spoke with
2 his secretary Mira and I explained to her that there were three people
3 in our office armed, who had entered about 10 o'clock and asked her if
4 she could send someone by to investigate what was going on. She asked
5 me if -- first of all, she asked me what time they came, so I said
6 about 10 minutes or so after 10 o'clock, which was about five minutes
7 earlier of the time of my telephone call. She asked me if there were
8 soldiers. So I said, well, it was difficult to tell because only one
9 of them was dressed in a proper uniform, but she said, no, if they
10 came shortly after 10 that they were sent officially. That was the
11 first telephone call I made.
12 Q. Why was your first reaction to call Karadzic's office?
13 A. First of all because we had been dealing directly with him and because
14 we were worried that some people may be out to take revenge on us
15 because of the bombing. We thought it was best to deal with the
16 highest level. But we had also through Mr. Jovan Zametica, that is
17 Mr. Karadzic's spokesman and senior political officer. We had the
18 intervention of Mr. Karadzic in a previous incident to help us resolve
19 hijacking that had occurred in trying to get our vehicle back.
20 Q. Now what happened after Karadzic's secretary confirmed to you that the
21 men were there on official business?
22 A. I also wanted to confirm with Mr. Zametica himself, if I could get a
23 hold of him, if he knew what was going on and also to inform him that
24 we had some armed people in our office. So I called him in his hotel
25 room at the Hotel Bistrica in the Jahorina area which is about 15
1 minutes drive from Pale. Mr. Zametica confirmed, saying that he had
2 heard that something was being prepared to send some people into our
3 office, that is sending some soldiers into our office. I asked him
4 what he meant by that, and he said that he could only suggest that we
5 be as co-operative as possible.
6 Q. So you received confirmation from the accused Karadzic's secretary and
7 also Karadzic's spokesman that the armed men were there on official
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Are UNMOs United Nations military observers armed?
11 A. No, UN military observers are not armed. In fact that is what
12 distinguishes us principally from the other UN forces in the former
13 Yugoslavia. So we are not armed. We live and work in the local
14 communities and we work in small international teams typically of six
15 officers from all around the world.
16 Q. What happened after you confirmed with your two sources that the men
17 were there on official business?
18 A. It was almost immediately as I put the phone down after speaking with
19 Mr. Zametica that one of our interpreters who was in the office came
20 out and called for me in a loud voice. So I came out of the kitchen.
21 I asked her what she had wanted and she said I was needed in the
22 office. So I followed her in the officer and there confronted three
23 or at that time it was to armed men because the third one had gone
25 Q. How were the two men dressed and how were they armed?
1 A. One was dressed in a typical camouflage uniform that the Bosnian Serb
2 soldiers wear with a helmet as well. The other one had a red t-shirt
3 and camouflage pants. Both of them had automatic weapons that are AK
4 47s and the one with the t-shirt had some hand grenades as well.
5 Q. When the interpreter brought you to these two men what happened next?
6 A. I was told to sit down and then after a few seconds they told me to
7 get in touch with my headquarters by radio and to put them through to
8 my headquarters which I did.
9 Q. What took place once you got in touch with your headquarters?
10 A. I just explained to my headquarters that we had some armed people in
11 our office and they wished to speak with them, so I passed the handset
12 from the radio to the Bosnian Serb soldier who actually spoke perfect
13 English. He explained to our headquarters that he wanted the bombings
14 stopped immediately and if it was not going to be stopped that they
15 would start executing us.
16 Q. Did this Serbian soldier have you make an additional call?
17 A. Yes, because our office explained to them that the UN military
18 observers had nothing to do with the bombing, that they were not able
19 to do anything immediately. So then the soldier asked me to put him
20 in touch with General Smith's office. That is General Rupert Smith
21 who was the Commander of UNPROFOR at the time in Sarajevo. So I
22 called his office with which we dealt quite regularly as well on our
23 telephone and put the soldier in touch with General Smith's
25 Q. Did you overhear the conversation that took place?
1 A. Yes, the Bosnian Serb soldier also explained very angrily that he
2 wanted the bombing stopped immediately, and he explained that from
3 that moment on every bomb that would be dropped, for every bomb that
4 would be dropped one of the UNMOs would be killed.
5 Q. What happened after this call was concluded to General Smith?
6 A. I assumed that the aide-de-camp explained to him that it would take
7 some time to get the bombing stopped, so we just waited and the
8 Bosnian Serb soldier explained that his military commander would come
9 in a few minutes and that we would just wait and that is what we did.
10 About 10 minutes later, which would be about 11 o'clock that morning,
11 a group of soldiers came led by a person whose name was something like
12 Srdjan who was the Commander of this particular unit of which these
13 two soldiers came in to our office initially, and the ones who
14 initially made the telephone calls and the radio calls to our
16 Q. Was this unit part of the Bosnian Serb army?
17 A. I would assume so, whether it was a regular or paramilitary unit I
18 cannot say.
19 Q. What happened when they arrived?
20 A. We were taken in our own vehicle to a location called Jahorinski Potok
21 to be which is the location where the bunkers were, that is the
22 bunkers that were hit the previous day and also that morning by the
23 NATO air strikes.
24 Q. When you arrived at Jahorinski Potok what was the situation?
25 A. We were held up at the main gate to the complex because it was locked
1 and the soldiers present there did not have the key. So it took about
2 10 minutes or so before they could find someone to open it. In the
3 meantime a group of civilians had gathered who had lived right on the
4 outskirts of the bunkers. The situation was very tense. They were
5 very angry seeing UN people because in their minds we were responsible
6 for the bombing. One of the individuals broke away from the group and
7 came to our vehicle, opened the door and assaulted me.
8 Q. What happened when this individual assaulted you?
9 A. Fortunately our guards reacted quickly, so just after a couple of
10 small punches and kicks he was pulled off. As he seemed to relax he
11 quickly pulled out us his pistol, cocked it, that is chambered around,
12 and tried to get a round or get a shot off at us. Again our guards
13 reacted in time and prevented him from shooting us.
14 Q. Now you mentioned there were bunkers at Jahorinski Potok. What did
15 these bunkers contain?
16 A. Yes, the bunkers were located I would say about 2 kilometres or so
17 inside the complex and from what we could tell they contained mines,
18 mortar and artillery ammunition.
19 Q. Were the soldiers able eventually to get access to the complex?
20 A. Yes, not by key though. As I mentioned, after about 10 minutes
21 someone came and they managed to open the lock by smashing it with a
22 hammer. We were taken into the complex but not immediately to the
23 bunkers. We were first taken to some warehouses a few hundred metres
24 inside the complex.
25 Q. Were you handcuffed?
1 A. We were handcuffed once we arrived at the warehouses and I assume we
2 stopped there just to await final confirmation that the air strikes
3 had been called off. Then I would say about 10 minutes or so after
4 arriving at the warehouses we got the message by our radio in the
5 vehicle that the air strikes had now been called off.
6 Q. Now while waiting at the warehouse did you have any contact with a
7 Lieutenant Colonel?
8 A. Yes, there was one Lieutenant Colonel from the Bosnian Serb army who
9 was with us from the moment the group of soldiers, that is the second
10 group of soldiers, arrived at our accommodations and he was filming
11 the whole proceedings.
12 Q. Did he make any reference to a pistol he was carrying?
13 A. Yes, well, not only him but all of the soldiers were very angry, very
14 hostile. This Lieutenant Colonel mentioned that even if the NATO air
15 strikes -- well, I should mention first that he had explained we would
16 be kept at the warehouses to prevent any NATO air strikes, but he
17 added that even if we were not to be killed by any resumption of air
18 strikes he would come by later in the day and shoot us personally. So
19 he pulled out his revolver and showed us the handle on which he had
20 two notches cut, explaining those two notches represented two people
21 that he had killed and he would be very happy to have three more
22 notches for the three officers and my team on his pistol as well.
23 Q. While you were in the area of the warehouse were you also forced to
24 re-contact your headquarters?
25 A. Yes. I think the first time was just to confirm after we got the
1 message that the air strikes would be called off, to confirm that they
2 were actually called off, and then we were loaded back in the vehicles
3 and driven to the bunkers themselves. On our way there I was told to
4 contact my headquarters and explain that we would die for the sake of
6 Q. Who instructed you to make this statement to your headquarters?
7 A. That was the Lieutenant Colonel who was filming the proceedings, and
8 the one I mentioned had threatened to shoot us at the end of the day
9 if the NATO air strikes did not kill us.
10 Q. Did anyone mention or comment on why there was someone there filming
11 the proceedings?
12 A. No, no one commented on it.
13 Q. Now you were eventually moved to another area within the complex,
15 A. Yes, we were moved from the warehouse to the actual bunkers where we
16 were handcuffed. That was the only place we were moved around inside
17 that complex on 26th May.
18 Q. What happened when you were taken to the area near the bunkers?
19 A. We were taken to -- there were four bunkers, two of which had been hit
20 by the aerial bombs. Myself and the Russian military observer,
21 Captain Pavel Teterevsky, I was handcuffed, he was tied to a lightning
22 rod in front of the bunkers and the third UNMO Captain, Oli Zidlik,
23 was handcuffed to the door of the bunker itself about 10 metres in
24 front of us.
25 Q. So there were three of you there?
1 A. Yes, there were three. I mentioned at the beginning that there were
2 four military observers in my team. The fourth one was away on leave
3 at the time. So there were only three of us in Pale on 25th and 26th
5 Q. Now once the Serb soldiers handcuffed you to the lightning rod, how
6 close were you to the ammunition bunkers?
7 A. I was in front of one that had not been destroyed, about 10 metres in
8 front of it, and that was 10 metres in front of Captain Zidlik who was
9 handcuffed to the front door of that bunker, that is of that same
10 bunker that had not been hit.
11 Q. About what time of the day was this when you were handcuffed to the
12 lightning rod?
13 A. I would say this would be close to about 11.30 that morning.
14 Q. Could you tell if any of the bunkers in the immediate vicinity had
15 been hit by the bombing?
16 A. Yes, we had seen shell or bomb craters as well as the back half of one
17 bunker which was to my right as I was facing it blown out, and the
18 other one to my left had been hit from the top.
19 Q. Were additional hostages eventually brought to the area where were you
20 handcuffed to the lightning rod?
21 A. Yes, at about 1 o'clock, 1300 hours that day, we saw team members from
22 the other UN military observer team in Pale taken to the same complex
23 driven by Bosnian Serb soldiers in their own, that is in the UN
24 vehicles. This other team of military observers was a normal group of
25 observers that fulfilled the functions of patrolling and monitoring
1 conflict activity. They were stationed in Pale as well. So they had
2 been rounded up at about 1300 hours and brought to the same complex
3 where we were being used as human shields.
4 Q. How many additional observers were there?
5 A. There were altogether five.
6 Q. What did the Serb soldiers do with these additional five observers?
7 A. They put them in different locations throughout the complex. All four
8 of them or four of the five I understand were kept in other areas
9 close to the warehouses where we had been initially held up. The
10 fifth was a Polish UNMO, Major Kalbarczyk, and he was taken further up
11 the road past us to a bunker that we could not see about 300 metres
12 away around a bend, but that had been hit that morning and where the
13 ammunition was still exploding.
14 Q. So, in your opinion, the Polish observer was placed in the most
15 dangerous location?
16 A. Among us certainly, yes.
17 Q. How long were you handcuffed to the lightning rod?
18 A. In my case it was about five and a half or six hours, that is from
19 about 11.30 that morning until 5 o'clock that afternoon or shortly
20 after 5 o'clock.
21 Q. At some point after being handcuffed to the lightning rod did some
22 soldiers return to check on you?
23 A. Yes. They actually came first about one hour after we were handcuffed
24 there just to give us some water, and then also when they brought the
25 other military observers at 1300 hours they came by just to check on
1 us to make sure we were still firmly handcuffed. Then at about 1430
2 or just before 1430 two soldiers came up to check on us. They were
3 discussing amongst themselves whether they had enough time to go up
4 further to check on the Polish UNMO who I had explained was about 300
5 metres away at the other ammunition bunker. These two soldiers had
6 mentioned or one of the two soldiers was telling the other one that if
7 they went up to check on the Polish observer they would not have
8 enough time to get out of the area before 1430 hours which they
9 explained was the time that the UN had announced that the air strikes
10 would resume.
11 Q. What language were these two soldiers speaking?
12 A. These two soldiers were speaking Serbo-Croatian. I understood that and
13 also Captain Oli Zidlik, the Czech observer from my team, he speaks
14 fluent Serbo-Croat and he understood that as well.
15 Q. While you were chained or handcuffed to the lightning rod, did any
16 officials visit you?
17 A. Yes, we were first I think it was about 1530 hours that afternoon, two
18 groups of military officers, fairly senior, the top ones being of
19 full Colonel rank, came by just to see us but they seemed more
20 interested in the damage that had been caused by the air strikes.
21 Then there was a group of civilians which I had assumed was a
22 political delegation, and among them, that is among the civilian
23 group, was also Jovan Zametica who I mentioned was Karadzic's
24 spokesman and political adviser.
25 Q. Did you have any conversation with Zametica?
1 A. Yes. Zametica had stopped to chat with me. I had explained to him my
2 surprise at the way we were treated roughly, that is in our capacity
3 as their liaison team. I mentioned to him an incident earlier where
4 the Bosnian Serb government and military had protested very vehemently
5 against the forceful extradition of two liaison officers from the
6 Bosnian Serb army in Goran Vakuf by the British UN forces. I
7 explained to him, "In the light of your complaints about that, how do
8 you explain the way that we are being treated?" He answered that
9 obviously times had changed and he seemed content with what was
10 happening or the way we were being treated, that is used as human
11 shields, and he remarked: "I wonder what General Smith will do now?"
12 Q. At some point you were released from the lightning rod?
13 A. Yes. That was at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. A group of two
14 soldiers came by in one of our UN vehicles and took me and the Polish
15 UNMO who was further up the road, 300 metres away, and we were
16 transported to the radar site at Jahorina.
17 Q. On the way did anything happen?
18 A. Not much. Once we pulled off the main road that goes to the hotels at
19 Jahorina and pulled off that road on to a dirt track, we stopped and
20 they blindfolded us.
21 Q. What were your thoughts when they blindfolded you?
22 A. It is difficult to say. We were not sure what was happening, if we
23 were being taken away to the executed as a reprisal for any air
24 strikes or whether we were being taken to be detained somewhere.
25 Q. While riding in the vehicle on your way to the Jahorina radar site,
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.Pages 487 to 493.
1 did you hear one of the Serbian soldiers in the car say anything about
3 A. Yes. We had four or five soldiers in the vehicle and they were
4 talking amongst themselves, and one of them asked a question why we
5 were going up to Jahorina and the other one answered that Mladic had
6 told them that he wanted some UN people filmed there.
7 Q. Was this conversation in Serbo-Croatian?
8 A. Yes, it was.
9 Q. You understood that conversation?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Now eventually you arrived at Jahorina radar site, is that correct?
12 A. That is correct. I say Jahorina radar site because it was on Mount
13 Jahorina later one of the other soldiers mentioned that they had a
14 large radar complex on Mount Jahorina. I am not sure if the one I
15 call Jahorina radar site is the main one or if it is just another
16 site, but it was certainly in the area of Mount Jahorina.
17 Q. Was that general area with the locations of the radars of any
18 strategic importance?
19 A. I am not an Air Force officer, so it is difficult for me to comment
20 exactly, but certainly any operating radar site is of great strategic
21 importance. Also later in our detention one of the guards mentioned
22 that from the radar site on Jahorina the Bosnian Serb forces were able
23 to monitor NATO aircraft taking off from bases in Italy and flying
24 over the former Yugoslavia.
25 Q. What happened when you finally arrived at Jahorina radar site?
1 A. The vehicle stopped. We were taken out of the vehicles. We were also
2 handcuffed on the way up. The handcuffs were taken off and the
3 blindfolds were taken off. The Lieutenant Colonel who had been
4 filming us earlier in the day, that is the Lieutenant Colonel from the
5 Bosnian-Serb army, he was present with his video camera plus two
6 civilians, one a reporter whose name we later found out was Snezan
7 Lalovic and whom we had met a couple of times later on during our
8 hostage ordeal, and there was also a civilian camera man present.
9 Q. What happened?
10 A. So we got out of the vehicles. The blindfolds had been removed. Two
11 of the soldiers took out their weapons and put on black masks. Then
12 they took Major Kalbarczyk who was the Polish observer, to the actual
13 radar dome and sat him down there, handcuffed him to the radar dome
14 and conducted some sort of an interview. It was too far for me to be
15 able hear what they were asking. That lasted about 10 minutes.
16 Q. After the completion of what appeared to be an interview, were you
17 taken away from the radar site?
18 A. Yes. They did not film me at the time up there, so we were loaded
19 back in the vehicles, handcuffed and blindfolded and we were driven to
20 the Hotel Bistrica. It was a funny situation, because it was
21 completely relaxed. They took us to the main lounge of the hotel.
22 They asked us if we would like anything, coffee or beer, so I had a
23 coffee and I think Major Kalbarczyk also had a coffee. It was also
24 with the soldiers who had taken us, so there were the two of us, the
25 observers, the reporters, Snezan Lalovic, and about five or six
1 soldiers. We had waited there. I assumed the soldiers were waiting
2 for instructions on what to do next with us. After about 15 or 20
3 minutes Major Kalbarczyk and I were taken with about three other
4 soldiers to have supper in the hotel which was actually quite a nice
6 Q. After your meal, were you taken to another location to spend the
8 A. Yes, we were taken to a military barracks which is the military
9 barracks where we were held from then on throughout the 24 days of our
10 hostage ordeal. It was called Koran barracks according to the local
11 soldiers. It was right on the outskirts of Pale. It was there that we
12 met the other military observers from the Pale area with whom we had
13 had no contact at all during that day. For us it was also a sense of
14 relief to be there, because the soldiers had explained to us earlier
15 we would be spending the night handcuffed in the different locations
16 within the bunker complex, and that they would make some arrangements
17 later on just to give us some blankets so that we would not freeze
18 overnight. It was, as I mentioned, quite a relief when we found we
19 would actually be able to spend the night in a real building and not
20 out in front of the bunkers.
21 Q. How many hostages were there in this barracks?
22 A. At that time there were 10 of us. There were the three officers from
23 my team, five officers from the other UN military observer team from
24 Pale and two officers from the team in Gorbavica which is a suburb of
1 Q. Were you moved to different location the next day?
2 A. Not the next day. It was on the third day, 28th May. Later in the
3 afternoon we were moved from the building where we had been had been
4 for the first three days which was a room in a large dormitory
5 building to a small guard house within the same complex near the main
6 gate. It was in the small guard house where we remained from 28th May
7 until 18th June.
8 Q. On May 28th were you allowed to go back to the liaison office?
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 Q. And what did you try to do when you arrived at the office?
11 A. We had gone back there. They allowed two of us to go back to our
12 accommodations and also the accommodations for the other observer team
13 in Pale to pick up some change of clothes and things to wash with,
14 toiletries and so on that we would need whilst staying at this
15 military barracks. When I entered our office one of our interpreters
16 was there because I had instructed our interpreters to continue
17 working as we were being led away the first stage of the hostage
18 ordeal. So this interpreter was there. I had instructed her to fax
19 a message to our headquarters in Sarajevo telling them that we were
20 fine. It was at that point that our landlord, Mr. Danjlo Savac who
21 also happened to be in the office, was able to understand that I was
22 instructing my interpreter to fax something. He immediately
23 interrupted the proceedings stating that Mr. Krajicnik, that is the
24 speaker of the Bosnian-Serb Assembly, had called him and explained
25 that we were not under any circumstances to be allowed to make any
1 telephone calls or fax any messages. The landlord, Mr. Danjlo Savic,
2 mentioned to me that I was to do as I was told and if everything would
3 work out in three or four days we would all be set free.
4 Q. How is it that Krajicnik would have this type of contact with your
6 A. Our landlord was an old friend of Mr. Krajicnik from before the war.
7 We had actually been able to use Mr. Krajisnik's influence earlier
8 when our vehicle had been stolen, we suspect by the local police, to
9 get the this vehicle returned.
10 Q. Now at some point after you had been taken hostage, did you learn of
11 some allegations that the Serbs had been making against you and the
12 military observers?
13 A. Yes. I heard from some of the other observers, I think it was either
14 the end of the first day or the beginning of the second day, sorry,
15 toward the end of the second day when they had been in their
16 accommodations, that their interpreters told them that they had seen
17 on local television screens our images and the local television
18 explained to the public that we, that is myself, Captain Zidlik and
19 Captain Teterevsky, that is our observer team, we had been the UN
20 people who were actually involved in guiding in the air strikes, that
21 is acting as forward air controllers, which is an absolute lie.
22 Q. Were even capable of doing that type of observation if you ever wanted
24 A. No. First of all, none of us was trained for that sort of activity.
25 We had none of the technical equipment such as radios or the
1 observation equipment required to guide in the air strikes, and we
2 were not even able to see the target from our accommodations. As I
3 mentioned earlier, those bunkers were about 10 kilometres away. When I
4 had said we observed the explosions, all we had seen was we had heard
5 the noise and then seen the clouds of smoke and dust 10 kilometres
6 away rise up from the ground.
7 Q. Did you ever confront anyone about these false allegations?
8 A. Yes, we confronted the reporter Snezan Lalovic whom we had seen on
9 second day about it, and also later on when he came to see us on 31st
10 May. Mr. Lalovic explained that because the other sides in the war
11 were lying in their propaganda, the Serbs also had to lie and that it
12 was perfectly justified for them to be lying and accusing us of such
13 activity in order to support their propaganda.
14 Q. On or around May 29th did you attempt to get in touch with Kolevic's
16 A. Yes, on 29th May I and another military observer, we were sent to our
17 accommodations again to pick up some things that we had forgotten from
18 the first couple times, and also I believe to do some laundry. We had
19 made an arrangement with the guards that every few days one or two of
20 us accompanied by two of the guards would go to our accommodations to
21 drop off our dirty laundry to get cleaned by our landlord's family
22 because we had already paid for that month's rent.
23 So, we first went to the accommodations for the other observer team
24 in Pale, and in their accommodations one of my interpreters who was
25 off duty, she was present, and as I knew that we would be going in a
1 few minutes from that accommodations to my own accommodations, I had
2 asked my interpreter to call my office and instruct the interpreter
3 who was on duty from my office to call Professor Koljevic's office and
4 ask Professor Koljevic's secretary, whose name is Zeca to call our
5 accommodations about five minutes later. I mentioned "five minutes
6 later" because five minutes should have coincided with my arrival at
7 my accommodations.
8 So when we left the accommodations of the -- to make it easier I
9 will call the other UNMO team in Pale Sierra Echo 1, that was their
10 radio call sign. So when we left Sierra Echo 1's accommodations and
11 arrived at my own accommodations, as I walked in the door the
12 telephone rang. On the other line was Professor Koljevic's secretary.
13 My interpreter who had picked up the phone turned to the guard and
14 said that Professor Koljevic's secretary would like to speak to me.
15 The guard said, fine, and the receiver from the telephone was passed
16 to me and I spoke with Professor Koljevic's secretary.
17 Q. Were you able to set up any sort of meeting?
18 A. Yes. Up till that point I had thought that perhaps the whole hostage
19 taking or at least the way we were treated may have been a big mistake
20 because of our good working relationship before with the Bosnian Serb
21 government and the military. So I had asked if Zeca could arrange for
22 me to see Professor Koljevic very soon, that it was have very urgent
23 for me to speak with him. She said she would organise it for the next
24 day. Then she asked me to put the guard who was with me, and his name
25 was Captain Radovan Vojvodic. So she, that is Zeca, Professor
1 Koljevic's secretary, instructed Captain Vojvodic that there would be
2 a meeting organised the following day for me to attend with to see
3 Professor Koljevic.
4 Q. Were you able to eventually have a meeting with Koljevic?
5 A. Much, much eventually. The next day nothing happened. Captain
6 Vojvodic, the guard, mentioned that he was unable to get in touch with
7 Professor Koljevic's office and similar stories or explanations were
8 offered over the following days. It was not until three days before
9 being released, that is on 15th June, that Professor Koljevic had
10 finally arranged for me to see him.
11 Q. When you finally had the opportunity to see Koljevic, how did the
12 meeting go?
13 A. My main concern was for us to be able to make contact with our next of
14 kin, and then also discuss with him some of the rougher or more
15 difficult aspects of our treatments, and also to discuss with him what
16 sort of future working relationship could be established between the
17 UN military observers and the Bosnian Serb government in the light of
18 our very poor treatment as hostages. In that meeting we discussed
19 that. Professor Koljevic mentioned that as a result of the crisis
20 which was the result of the bombing itself, that the relations between
21 the Bosnian Serb government and the UN were at an all time low, and
22 that a completely new working relationship would have to be
23 established. He also justified the hostage taking, saying that
24 although he understood that it was very difficult for us, he added
25 that the Bosnian Serb government needed to send a very strong message
1 to the UN and used the analogy of an electric shock, explaining that
2 in case of certain medical conditions an electric shock may, although
3 kill a person in some cases, may cure him. So they said they needed
4 to send an electric shock to the UN to try to cure the relations
5 between them and the UN.
6 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, I think that may be an appropriate place to end
7 for the day.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, it is 5.30. The hearing is adjourned. We
9 shall go on tomorrow morning, Captain, at 10 o'clock.
10 (5.30 p.m.)
11 (The court adjourned until the following day)