1 Monday, 14 November 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar, could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the Case
8 Number IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam.
10 Mr. Oric, good morning to you. Can you follow the proceedings in
11 your own language?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
13 and gentlemen. Yes, I can follow the proceedings in my own language.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Oric, you may sit down.
15 Appearances for the Prosecution.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
17 also good morning to my learned friends from the Defence. I am here
18 together with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia Sellers, Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, and
19 our case manager, Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning to you and
21 your team.
22 Appearances for Naser Oric.
23 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My name
24 is Vasvija Vidovic, and together with Mr. John Jones I appear for
25 Mr. Naser Oric. We have with us here our legal assistant, Ms. Jasmina
1 Cosic, and our CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Vidovic, and good morning to you
3 and your team.
4 First of all, my apologies for starting a few minutes late. The
5 reason mainly was that I had a meeting scheduled for this morning that
6 went a little bit beyond the time. So let's see whether there are any
8 MR. DI FAZIO: One submission.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Your Honours please, we filed the
11 declaration on Friday.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: And there are some annexes attached to it. The
14 Prosecution has an application to make that those annexes be placed under
15 seal for various reasons. I can explain the reasons to you. It will only
16 take me a minute or so, and I think I'd prefer to do that in closed
17 session. It shouldn't take very long at all.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Mr. Di Fazio. Let's go into private
19 session, not closed session, for a while.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry, private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 13601 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 13602 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones or Madam Vidovic, is there going to be a
16 reaction on this filing today on your part or ...
17 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We will file a
18 response to this submission, but I'm not sure whether we can do it today.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no --
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Or rather we will do it in the
21 course of this week.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That is more or less acceptable with us, provided we
23 don't prolong this matter unduly. So, any further preliminaries?
24 Yes, Mr. Jones.
25 MR. JONES: Just one small one. The week before last we indicated
1 that we objected to the authenticity of certain Prosecution exhibits and I
2 don't think we mentioned which ones. It was P590 and P591, just for the
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, while we are on this question of
5 challenged documents, please try -- as we approach the end of the case,
6 please try, both sides, to make out a list of the documents that you are
7 challenging so that we will eventually compare it with our own and make
8 sure that we are not missing any documents, the challenge of which is
9 being made by either of you. All right. We keep -- we keep a list, but
10 it may happen sometimes that there is a mistake, one of the documents may
11 not be accounted for or something like that. All right.
13 MR. JONES: Just in that regard, Your Honour, we did consider the
14 possibility of having a separate filing at some point on authenticity in
15 which we would attach some sort of a table or annex, but in which we might
16 also have a summary of the nature of the objection. That way, also, given
17 that we have a limited number of pages for the post-trial brief, we
18 wouldn't take up an excessive amount of space --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones. That would be extremely
20 helpful, Mr. Jones, also because, I think I may have told you this
21 sometime before, but the system that I work with and which I will be
22 suggesting to my colleagues is that when the case hearing and submissions
23 are over and we start with our deliberations, the very first thing that I
24 would be proposing to do is to sit down for as long as necessary and go
25 through each and over one of the documents that are challenged, either
1 individually -- individually, but also if they belong to a class or a
2 category. And that will be the first decision that we will take before we
3 proceed any further. We will decide on which documents are being admitted
4 for the purpose of our deliberations and which are being excluded. All
5 right. So it will be important for us to know with the utmost precision
6 possible that we are examining and deciding on each and every single
7 document that has been challenged, the authenticity of which has been
8 challenged. All right. Thank you.
9 In Brdjanin it took us almost two weeks to do that exercise -- no,
10 sorry, about a week, a week and a few days. And the number of documents
11 wasn't as -- challenged documents wasn't as big as it is in this case.
12 So can we bring in the witness, Madam Usher, please?
13 I understand that you have decided not to call the second witness
14 you had for this week, who was scheduled to testify on Thursday and
15 Friday. On Thursday it's not a problem in the least because, as I told
16 you before, I have plenary in which we elect the new President and the new
17 Vice-President, and that is bound to be followed by a few meetings because
18 there will be also the redistribution or recomposition of Chambers, our
19 selection of Presidents of Chambers. So it's going to be quite a long and
20 busy day, quite a long and busy day. So we are not going to miss that.
21 If there are any leftovers with this witness, we will obviously go to
22 Friday. It is also possible to continue on Thursday afternoon; however,
23 I'm advised that the -- at least two hours are needed to put back the
24 strangers' gallery in order to receive -- receive visitors because the
25 plenary meeting will take place over there.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, officer, good morning to you.
3 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. Welcome to this Tribunal.
5 I am the Presiding Judge. My name is Carmel Agius, and I come from Malta.
6 To my right I'm flanked by Judge Hans Hendrik Brydensholt from the Kingdom
7 of Denmark, and on my left I have Judge Professor Albert Eser from
8 Germany. Together we compose this Trial Chamber that is conducting the
9 trial against Naser Oric. You have been summoned here as a Defence
10 witness and very soon you will start with your testimony. Our Rules
11 require that before you do so in lieu of an oath which you would have in
12 your own jurisdiction you make a solemn declaration which is contained in
13 a piece of paper that is going to be handed to you now. That is
14 equivalent to an oath. Please read it out aloud and that will be your
15 solemn undertaking with us.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
17 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself comfortable.
19 The procedure here is pretty much like at home, like the one
20 you're used to. Since you've been summoned by the Defence, it will be the
21 Defence, Mr. Jones I take it, who will go first with his direct
22 examination of you. And then he will be followed by the lead counsel of
23 the team of the Prosecution, in this case Mr. Jan Wubben. After that
24 there will be a re-examination, and, finally, if at all, some questions
25 from the Bench.
1 Mr. Jones, you may proceed.
2 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 WITNESS: DAVE MacDONALD
4 Examined by Mr. Jones:
5 Q. And good morning from me.
6 A. Morning.
7 Q. Now, could you please give the Court your full name.
8 A. Captain David Lawrence MacDonald.
9 Q. And just so you know, I'm going to be leaving a small pause for
10 interpretation, just for your information. Please confirm, if you can,
11 the following details: You were born on the 27th of September, 1963, in
12 Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And that you're Canadian by nationality.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And you trained as a field artillery officer, specialising in
17 anti-aircraft defence?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Now, is it right that you've spent 17 and a half years in the
20 Canadian forces?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you've been an instructor in the Canadian forces for eight
23 years on over 50 courses?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us firstly in what subjects you were an instructor?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I predominantly started out as an air defence instructor, I have a
2 specialty course in that, but in the last three years I have specialised
3 in peacekeeping training, specifically military observer training, at the
4 Canadian forces peace support training centre.
5 Q. Now, as far as your training to be an artillery instructor is
6 concerned, is it right that you attended a year-long air defence
7 instructor and gunnery course at the Canadian air defence artillery school
8 from July 1993 to June 1994?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And is it correct that you have had four overseas postings, in
11 Germany, in the former Yugoslavia as a UN military observer, in the United
12 States as an exchange instructor, and in Sierra Leone as a military
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. Now, as a field artillery officer, are you familiar with a wide
16 range of artillery weapons, their calibres, their ranges, and other
18 A. Yes, we've studied that as -- in our basic training to become an
19 artillery officer.
20 Q. Now, were you deployed to a Bosnia and Herzegovina as a United
21 Nations military observer, or UNMO, on the 28th of May, 1992?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. And what was your rank at that time?
24 A. Captain.
25 Q. And did you spend two weeks in Zagreb and then five and a half
1 months in Karlovac, in Croatia, as an UNMO before being deployed to
2 Sarajevo in mid-November 1992?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. And did you go to Srebrenica sometime in March 1993?
5 A. Yes, that is correct.
6 Q. And what dates, precisely?
7 A. I went into Srebrenica on the 27th of March, and left on the 4th
8 of April 1993.
9 Q. Now, in general terms what was the mission of UNMOs in Bosnia and
11 A. The mission of a military observer is to observe and report and --
12 and then investigate as required.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but let's go
14 into private session for a minute or so. I just want to clear something
15 with the witness.
16 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. JONES: Yes. Yes, indeed, Your Honour, and I have
11 deliberately avoided or plan to avoid extracting any names of persons --
12 personnel during the course of examination-in-chief.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Be careful, both of you.
14 MR. JONES: Yes, and I will save the letter which was referred to,
15 just in case.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm aware of that.
17 MR. JONES:
18 Q. Were UNMOs armed or not when they're on mission?
19 A. No, military observers are unarmed.
20 Q. And then why is that?
21 A. Well, it's been proven over the years that as a observer that's
22 unarmed you're not a threat to the different warring parties and so the UN
23 has said that you will be unarmed.
24 Q. Now, when you were in Sarajevo, among other things did you count
25 artillery rounds being fired into the town of Sarajevo by the Serbs?
1 A. Yes. We -- we counted the artillery rounds any time there was
2 something shooting or firing. We would consider that a cease-fire
3 violation, although in most cases there was no cease-fire while I was
4 there, but that was something that we tracked all the time.
5 MR. JONES: With the usher's assistance we have a new exhibit
6 which we'll distribute. We distributed a copy to the Prosecution already
7 this morning. And just for the record, this is a document headed "United
8 Nations UNPROFOR UNMO," and dated 16 May 1993.
9 Q. Do you know who the author is of this document?
10 A. Yes, I'm the author of this document.
11 Q. And did you indeed write it on the 16th of May, 1993?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jones, is this document -- are you going to
14 propose that this document be filed under seal? Because if not, we'll put
15 it on the ELMO.
16 MR. JONES: I wasn't proposing to, Your Honour, it's not marked as
17 confidential and I don't think --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we can put a copy of it on the ELMO,
19 Madam Registrar, for the public to be able to follow. Thank you.
20 MR. JONES: Thank you.
21 Q. Now, I'll just try and anticipate one matter. You told us that
22 you went to Srebrenica for the 27th of March, 1993, until, I think you
23 said, the 4th of April. In this document the reference is to the 12th of
24 April, that's in line 23, for the record, and to the 28th of April, line
25 26, in relation to Srebrenica. Is that correct or should those references
1 be 12th of March and 28th of March?
2 A. It should say 12th of March and 27th of March. It's a type error.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. I'm going to start with this document in
4 relation to your tasks in Sarajevo, and I'm just going to read one short
5 extract. "I'm writing to tell you how things went as a United Nations
6 military observer in former Yugoslavia as it has been quite an experience.
7 As you may have heard, I was wounded in an attack on the 3rd of April. As
8 far as I know it hit the world news within minutes, including my name. I
9 arrived in former Yugoslavia on 28th of May, 1992."
10 And then I'm skipping down a few lines. "For nearly four months I
11 was in Sarajevo as a sub-sector commander. I was inside the city and we
12 were subject to all the same danger as the local population, maybe even
13 more. In Sarajevo our main task was to count the incoming rounds and the
14 few outgoing ones. We considered upwards of a thousand rounds to be an
15 average day. When things got rough, we would call the shot so that our
16 fellow UNMOs could take cover in their bunker."
17 Is that correct that you were counting incoming rounds, that is
18 rounds fired by the Serbs into Sarajevo for some four months?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. And during that time, you counted many thousands of rounds?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. JONES: I think I'll ask for an exhibit number now for this
23 document although I'm going to keep using it.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and Madam Registrar, the next number is D --
25 THE REGISTRAR: D894, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 894. So this document which is dated the 16th of
2 May, 1993, and consists of two pages, the paternity of which the witness
3 has assumed is being tendered, marked as Defence Exhibit D894.
4 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now, did you see the effect of those rounds hitting buildings in
7 A. Yes, we did on a daily basis.
8 Q. Was one of those effects to start fires in buildings?
9 A. Yes, it was.
10 Q. And how frequently did that occur?
11 A. Pretty much on a daily basis.
12 Q. Are you familiar with tracer fire?
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. Can you explain for us what that is, what tracer ammunition, what
15 tracer fire is?
16 A. Tracer ammunition is designed to mark a target or to aid somebody
17 in showing another soldier where they're firing. Tracer ammunition can be
18 particular -- mostly with anti-aircraft ammunition but it can also be put
19 into any rifle for a commander to shoot and then everybody else can see
20 whether where he's firing. And tracer ammunition burns as it goes through
21 the air so it's basically on fire. It's a bullet that's on fire,
23 Q. And was tracer fire used by the Bosnian Serbs?
24 A. Yes. Tracer ammunition was used all the time and normally when
25 you fire tracer ammunition it would be four bullets and then the fifth one
1 would be a tracer round. So you would have every fifth round tracer, and
2 you see them going through the air. And at night-time, of course, they
3 light up the sky. An example would be if you think back to the Persian
4 Gulf War over Baghdad you see those rounds going through the air, that's
6 Q. And can tracer fire cause fires in buildings?
7 A. Yes, I would say almost always if there's a fuel for it to catch
8 on, it can be carpet or curtains on the windows or furniture or whatever.
9 Q. Are you familiar with white phosphorus?
10 A. Yes, I am.
11 Q. Can you explain for us, please, its properties and its use.
12 A. White phosphorus is used in artillery rounds for smoke. It
13 produces large, white cloud of smoke. When that round explodes and the
14 white phosphorus is -- comes into contact with oxygen, with the air, it
15 burns extremely, extremely hot, and it will set things on fire. And I've
16 seen fires before set by white phosphorus, even in training.
17 Q. And shrapnel, just simple shrapnel, can that also start fires in
19 A. A piece of shrapnel could start a fire. When the round explodes,
20 a lot of the shrapnel will actually, because of the explosive charge, turn
21 white hot. And if it, again, catches something that can fuel a fire, then
22 it will set fire to curtains, carpet, whatever, grass.
23 Q. And finally on this subject, can you please explain for us what a
24 delayed fuse is.
25 A. On an artillery round, the normal fuse is designed to set off as
1 soon as it touches something hard. A delayed fuse would have a, I'll say,
2 a one-second delay so that that round can actually go into the ground and
3 they're designed to produce casualties underground. So if you're dug in
4 in bunkers or trenches, it will destroy the bunkers or trenches, whereas
5 the non-delay fuse is designed to kill people in the open.
6 Q. So would it be right then that delayed fuses have a greater
7 destructive power than an ordinary fuse?
8 A. A delayed fuse round would go in the ground two or three feet and
9 then explode and leave a much bigger hole in the ground, whereas a fuse
10 without a delay, you may not see a lot of the effect on the ground because
11 most of the shrapnel has been sent flying through the air, designed to
12 kill people.
13 Q. And did the Bosnian Serbs use delayed fuses?
14 A. I've seen all fuses used in former Yugoslavia.
15 Q. Now, during your training in Canada, did you ever come across
16 fires being started simply by the use of artillery?
17 A. Yes. During the -- my training while we were firing down range,
18 quite often if the fire index was very high the grass would catch fire,
19 and on a number of occasions I had to go down range and put out fires that
20 were caused by our own artillery.
21 Q. Now, when you were counting rounds in Sarajevo, could you actually
22 tell what type of artillery piece was firing, what calibre and what type
23 of weapon?
24 A. Initially when I got to Sarajevo or even when I had been in
25 Croatia earlier, I only knew the types of weapons systems that were being
1 used during the conflict, but after -- after thousands of rounds you learn
2 what the sound of the round going through the air is, the sound of the
3 explosion. You might be able to see the round going through the air, the
4 effect of the round as it -- once it lands, if you go to do an
5 investigation on that spot. So after a couple of weeks you became very
6 good at estimating what type of weapon had fired that round. As well, we
7 had military observers watching in some cases the rounds being fired from
8 the guns. So, yes, we could determine what types of rounds they were.
9 Q. And could you - and, again, still sticking with when you were in
10 Sarajevo - based on your observations conclude not just the direction from
11 which an artillery piece was firing but also the approximate location from
12 which shells had been fired?
13 A. Yes, particularly as an artillery officer I'm trained in crater
14 analysis and I can initially determine the direction of fire that that
15 round came from. And then based on that information and further
16 investigation, knowing the range of that type of weapon I can determine
17 the maximum range, where that gun could have fired that round, and then I
18 do basically a calculation on a map and I can get a rough idea where the
19 guns were that were fired and we're trained for that for counter-battery
20 fire where we may have to shoot back, so yes.
21 Q. And even without sophisticated techniques of crater analysis,
22 could you tell based, say, just on seeing the flashes of fire from a
23 weapon, determine the location of that weapon?
24 A. Yes, we knew where a lot of the guns were and on many occasions
25 from my observations posts in Sarajevo I could actually see the guns
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 firing and you could see the flash from the muzzle, the barrel of the gun,
2 as it fired, watch the round go through the air, and then watch it land
3 wherever it landed.
4 Q. So in short, it's perfectly possible to know with respect to an
5 artillery piece which is firing not just the direction from which it's
6 shooting but actually the location. Would that be a fair summary?
7 A. Yes, that is true.
8 Q. Now, going back to your report, which is now D894, we see about
9 half way down the following. "After Sarajevo I went to northern Bosnia on
10 the Serbia side, actually living in Serbia."
11 Now, was that a new posting from Sarajevo?
12 A. Yes, I was actually being posted to Tuzla, but because of
13 confrontation lines and crossing areas where we could safely cross, they
14 were limited. I had to go to the team that was responsible for the
15 crossing site near the Zvornik bridge and wait there until a crossing
16 could be made. And then I ended up staying there.
17 Q. And was that in March 1993?
18 A. Yes, it was.
19 Q. Now, your report refers to you arriving at Zvornik bridge. Did
20 you travel from Sarajevo -- in fact, from Pale to Zvornik?
21 A. Yes. The normal procedure would be I guess a shuttle, if you
22 would, and I was shuttled from Sarajevo to Kiseljak, Kiseljak to Pale, and
23 then somebody from that team took me to the Zvornik bridge area, where I
24 would have been shuttled then to Tuzla.
25 Q. Now I'm going to ask you to look at a new exhibit, which will be a
1 map, and which we'll have copies distributed. And I'm going to ask also
2 if the witness could mark the map with a highlighter. Thank you.
3 Now, I'm going to ask you, Captain MacDonald, if you can mark
4 several locations on this map, starting firstly with Sarajevo.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you. And now Pale?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. And then Tuzla, please.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. And finally, Zvornik.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Thank you. And again, if you keep that map with you.
13 MR. JONES: I'll still ask just for now to have an exhibit number
14 before I forget, which would be D895, I believe?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This map which is being tendered by the
16 Defence is being entered, marked as Defence Exhibit D895.
17 MR. JONES: Thank you.
18 Q. And did you see anything of military interest on the map to
20 A. Yes. On the way to Zvornik on the 12th of March, as I got closer
21 to Zvornik I had noticed that the trees and the brush had been cleared
22 away from the road, and there was like log -- these log bunkers at regular
23 intervals along the road. And I'd asked -- the military observer that was
24 driving me to Zvornik had been along that road before, and he told me they
25 were Bosnian Serb bunkers that were being used to observe that road
1 because there was Bosnians trying to cross from the Srebrenica pocket to
2 Tuzla and they were using that to -- or they could basically cover that
3 road with machine-gun fire to kill anybody that was trying to cross.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. And as you were travelling along this road
5 to Zvornik, were these bunkers on the left-hand side or on the right-hand
7 A. They were on the left-hand side.
8 Q. So they were facing the direction of the Srebrenica pocket?
9 A. That is correct.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Eser would like the witness to indicate, if
11 possible, on this map or on some other map that may be made available
12 which road he took.
13 MR. JONES: Yes. I was going to ask if the witness could first
14 mark with a highlighter where he saw these bunkers and then, if he can,
15 indicate the route he took to Pale.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's perfect, and if he could do that on
17 this map.
18 MR. JONES: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 Thank you, Judge Eser.
21 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. Thank you. And are you marking -- perhaps, actually, to make it
24 clear with a pen, to make it clear where you saw all these bunkers.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Right. Thank you very much. So that's essentially between
2 Caparde, or close to Caparde, and then going down towards Sekovici, that
3 stretch of the road? Sorry, I was just looking on the map.
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And how were these bunkers spaced, how far apart were they?
6 A. The bunkers were separated by what I would call line of sight. So
7 one bunker, based on the terrain, would be able to see the other bunker.
8 So in that case they were separated fairly evenly, but the aim that they
9 could cover the entire road with all the bunkers.
10 Q. Thank you. And this military observe who told you about these
11 bunkers, had he travelled that road frequently or just a few times? Do
12 you recall how familiar he was with that stretch of road?
13 A. He was operating out of Pale, and he had travelled up to Zvornik
14 on a number of occasions. But I wouldn't have that exact number, but that
15 was his area of operations.
16 Q. Now, in your report it states that you went to the Zvornik bridge
17 area and were actually living in Serbia. What was the actual name of the
18 village or town where you were staying?
19 A. I was living in Banja Koviljaca, or -- it was close to Loznica.
20 Q. And could you mark those two locations on the map, please, Loznica
21 and Banja Koviljaca.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. And when you were there, did you meet a team leader from the same
24 sector as you?
25 A. I met the team leader for that Banja Koviljaca team. We had
1 worked together in Croatia for the five and a half months earlier in 1992.
2 He was from Russia. I hadn't seen him since, and on the 12th of March I
3 seen him for the first time and he was the team leader for that team.
4 Q. And what was his name?
5 A. Alex Vassiliev.
6 Q. And did he request you to join his team?
7 A. Yes. I was on the way to Tuzla, as I mentioned earlier, and --
8 because we had been very good friends he asked me to stay at his team as
9 his second in command. And I told him that I would be more than happy to
10 stay there if the senior military observer in Tuzla agreed. He said he
11 would phone him the next day, which he did. And the senior military
12 observer said, yes, I could stay at that team.
13 Q. And could -- Alex Vassiliev, could he speak Serbo-Croatian or
14 understand it?
15 A. Yes, he understand Serbo-Croatian at the time.
16 Q. And did he tell you about a place called Konjevic Polje and what
17 had happened there on the 12th of March, 1993?
18 A. Yes. On the -- on that day that I arrived, I went right to the
19 hotel, the military observer headquarters in Banja Koviljaca. And that
20 was the day that General Morillon was trying to -- and successfully did
21 get into Srebrenica. However, part of the group which consisted of
22 military observers and some British protection force troops were stopped
23 in Konjevic Polje. Eventually that evening they did get back. They were
24 held, they were released. They came back to the hotel -- that's actually
25 when I seen Alex for the first time and that's when he recounted the story
1 of what happened to them in Banja Koviljaca -- or Konjevic Polje, sorry.
2 Q. And what had in fact happened in Konjevic Polje on that day?
3 A. That day the Bosnian Serb forces were pushing to squeeze the
4 Srebrenica pocket smaller. And the women and children essentially held
5 the -- that UN force hostage, if you would, by blocking the vehicles from
6 moving forward or moving backwards. So all the women sat around the
7 vehicles. They even laid their babies in front of the tires, front and
8 back, so they couldn't drive away. And then they were holding there. And
9 they believed that if the UN was there, that the Serb forces, the Bosnian
10 Serb forces, would not attack. In actual fact, they did attack and they
11 walked mortars in on the military observers' vehicle. When I say "walked
12 them in," they slowly fired and then adjusted with very small adjustments
13 so they wouldn't actually have rounds land on top of the vehicles. And
14 then when one vehicle -- or one of the mortar rounds landed within a few
15 metres of the one of the front of one of the military observer Jeeps, and
16 we were driving soft-skinned vehicles with no armour protection. At that
17 point they killed what was believed to be hundreds of women and children
18 in the crowd, and the military observers at that point were able to get
19 out of the vehicles and take cover behind some buildings. So that was
20 part of the story that he recounted to me that evening.
21 Q. And as a result of those events, did you -- did your team try to
22 get into Srebrenica?
23 A. Yes. As I said, General Morillon got in that day, and we spent
24 the next two weeks trying to get into Srebrenica. And it wasn't until the
25 27th of March that we were finally led into the pocket.
1 Q. And were you actually patrolling during those two weeks? Were you
2 actually moving around the area?
3 A. Yes. That's another one of the military observers' main tasks.
4 So that you can observe you conduct daily vehicle patrols, maybe even foot
6 Q. And were you operating just on the Serbian side of the Drina or on
7 both sides?
8 A. I actually operated on both sides of the Drina River between
9 Loznica and Ljubovija on the Serbian side, and between Zvornik bridge and
10 Bratunac on the Bosnian Serb side, and also up to Caparde where we had the
11 crossing site to go to Tuzla.
12 Q. And during that time, were you trying to establish radio contact
13 with people in the Srebrenica pocket?
14 A. Yes, because it was important to we tried to get information on
15 what was going on, as there were other military observers with
16 General Morillon in Srebrenica. So we tried to get in daily radio
17 communications to -- just to find out what was going on.
18 Q. And were you able to make radio contact?
19 A. We had a very difficult time making radio contact with those in
20 Srebrenica due to the fact that the range of the radios that we had was
21 very limited and there were no repeater stations in that area, and, due to
22 the terrain, the sheer rock walls and mountains in the Drina Valley, for
23 us to get communications with Srebrenica, we had to actually get down
24 very, very close to Srebrenica so we could talk on our radios. And so if
25 we couldn't do that, then we had a very difficult time talking to them.
1 Q. While you were moving around on the Serb side of the Drina, did
2 you see any military vehicles of any description?
3 A. Yes, I did. I saw military vehicles on a regular basis, police
4 or -- well, civilian police as well as military police vehicles. But
5 particularly in Ljubovija one day I got there and I saw military convoys
6 coming from the east heading, basically, down the road towards the Drina
7 River and Bosnia. They were loaded with ammunition. They were ammunition
8 trucks, essentially.
9 Q. And if you could mark on the map where that was and the direction
10 where the vehicles were travelling.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. So I see you've marked as an approximate arrow. Is that to
13 indicate that they were travelling -- these trucks were travelling towards
14 Bosnia and towards Bratunac, in fact?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Did you see any artillery placements on the Serbian side of the
17 Drina during that time?
18 A. Yes. On that day I saw artillery Howitzers, artillery guns, and
19 tanks along the bank of the Drina River on the Serbian side. And they
20 were pointed towards Bosnia, as I turned up the road towards the town of
22 Q. And again, if you could just indicate on the map where you saw the
23 artillery placements.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. So that's on the Serbian side of the Drina, south of Ljubovija.
1 Is that correct?
2 A. Yes. There was a big, open area along the river there and they
3 were dug-in in that location, that vicinity.
4 Q. And what does that indicate if artillery is dug-in?
5 A. If artillery or tanks are dug-in it is to protect them. So you
6 want to get below ground so if you're fired on by enemy artillery, that
7 you have some protection, because even tanks and guns and of course the
8 personnel are vulnerable, so you want to dig-in.
9 Q. And does it indicate that the artillery has either been or is
10 intended to be in that position for some time?
11 A. Yes, it would -- of course, if you're going to be there for a long
12 time, you want to dig-in for your protection. But if you have the time,
13 you would always dig-in. But, correct, I would assume long term, and
14 that's what we would do in my military.
15 Q. And did you actually see those weapons firing?
16 A. Yes. As we came down the road from the Zvornik direction and just
17 as we were about to turn up into Ljubovija, I saw one of the artillery
18 guns firing. And you can see the movement because the barrel actually is
19 on a spring, so it doesn't destroy itself, and of course you can see the
20 flash from the muzzle, and it was firing in the direction of Bosnia.
21 Q. Can you be more specific about where, precisely, it was firing,
22 where in Bosnia?
23 A. Well, it was firing in the direction of Srebrenica.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I suppose that is precisely what you wanted to
25 suggest, Mr. Wubben?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
3 MR. JONES:
4 Q. And do you recall when that was? Obviously it's in this two-week
5 period, but if you can be more specific.
6 A. It would have been between the 20th to the 27th of March. I
7 forget the exact day.
8 MR. JONES: Now, if the witness could please be shown Defence
9 Exhibit D879, and for the record this is a Bratunac light Infantry Brigade
10 command dated 24 January 1993, very urgent to Drina Corps command. It
11 says: "In accordance with a verbal order and with regard to a report
12 submitted on the means of support for the units of the Zvornik and
13 Bratunac Brigades," and there's a list of ammunition and units.
14 Q. I wonder if you could just take your time to peruse this document,
15 and then I'll draw your attention to paragraph 5, "the following units
16 have arrived in the area between Loznica and Ljubovija." And then we have
17 the list which you see before you. And numbers 1 to 4 refer to ammunition
18 for various artillery weapons, tanks, and Howitzers, et cetera.
19 Now, firstly, is this the approximate area, the same area, that
20 you -- where you saw artillery, namely in the Loznica to Ljubovija area,
21 that approximate vicinity?
22 A. Yes, that is correct. There was other emplacements that we saw,
23 particularly between Loznica and Zvornik bridge, as I drove that quite
24 often, and then the stuff -- the artillery and tanks that I had seen in
1 Q. Now, you spoke earlier about the sort of damage that artillery
2 shells and ammunition could do to buildings. You did mention tanks. What
3 sort of damage did tanks do to property?
4 A. A tank round is actually designed to kill another tank, and if you
5 fire a tank round at a building it will put a hole in it. We had tank
6 rounds fired at our buildings in Sarajevo, so I investigated this on a
7 number of times. And a tank round might put a hole in your building two
8 or three square metres.
9 Q. And would that also have the potential to start a fire in a
11 A. Yes, it's possible for a tank round also to start a fire.
12 Q. I'd ask you just to cast your eye down this list and say which of
13 this weaponry you saw when you were on the Serbian side of the Drina in
14 March 1993.
15 A. I saw the -- I saw 122-millimetre artillery Howitzers, tanks, and
16 also anti-aircraft guns, machine-guns, the three- and the four-barrel
18 Q. Thank you. There are references to batteries here, for example,
19 122-millimetre, M-38 Howitzer battery. Can you explain for us what a
20 battery consists of.
21 A. A battery is a group of guns, normally six -- six to eight guns
22 would be found in one battery of artillery.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. JONES: I'm finished with that exhibit. We have a new exhibit
25 to be distributed which the ERN is 04273565. Just while it's being
1 distributed it's Drina Corps command, January 24 1993, very urgent to VRS
2 headquarters. And it's signed by commander Milenko Zivanovic. "We hereby
3 submit to you the report you submitted on VRS RS army reserves. In the
4 area from Loznica to Ljubovija the following units are deployed."
5 Q. Now, you may notice that the list of forces, weapons, and
6 ammunition matches almost precisely what we saw in the previous document.
7 I don't know if, just casting your eye down that list, whether you would
9 A. Yes, I would agree it's very similar.
10 Q. Now, the previous document referred to a military police company
11 in the Mali Zvornik area. In this document we see a reference to SVP,
12 Independent Military Police in M-Zvornik. Did you see military police in
13 the Zvornik bridge area on the Serbian side?
14 A. Yes, there was a -- there was a special military police unit there
15 while I operated in that area.
16 Q. And what were they wearing in terms of uniform?
17 A. There was like a new uniform, what appeared to be a very new
18 uniform at the time, like a blue camouflage uniform. They had been issued
19 with a new blue flak -- like a flak jacket, blue helmets, and organised
20 into, you know, a platoon-sized organisation that we saw, at least a
21 platoon size in that area.
22 Q. And to your knowledge, is that blue uniform, the blue camouflage,
23 is that the uniform of the military police in the former Yugoslavia?
24 A. From what we observed, yes, that's -- that was our impression.
25 Q. And skipping forward slightly, did you ever see those uniforms,
1 those blue camouflage uniforms, when you were in Srebrenica, in the
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Okay?
5 MR. JONES: I'll ask for an exhibit number, please, for this
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document which consists of two pages, one in
8 Serbo-Croat, the other one in English, being a translation of the former,
9 ERN 04373565 is being tendered, received, and marked as Defence Exhibit
11 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Now, going back again to your report. I'm not sure if you still
13 have it in front of you, D894.
14 A. I do.
15 Q. We see the following about halfway down. "When I arrived at the
16 Zvornik bridge on the 12th April," which should be 12th of March, as you
17 told us, "the French General Morillon had moved into the Srebrenica
18 enclave. We tried for two weeks to get aid in as the people were starving
19 and only the strong could get the food being dropped in by air."
20 My question is: What are who prevented you from entering
21 Srebrenica in those two weeks?
22 A. The Bosnian Serb forces delayed us for that two-week period to go
23 into Srebrenica. We would try to cross and they would tell us through a
24 liaison officer predominantly that we could go. And when the day came or
25 the next morning there would be some excuse, or they wouldn't show up at
1 the bridge, and they would delay us. And then by the time they would say,
2 Okay, you can go, it would be too late or too dangerous to go because it
3 was getting close to night-time. And this happened for that full two-week
5 Q. And which military unit, if any, were you dealing with in terms of
6 entering Srebrenica on the Bosnian Serb side?
7 A. The Zvornik Brigade.
8 Q. And who specifically were you dealing with -- well, aside from the
9 liaison officer, who was the commander of that brigade?
10 A. The commander or the head guy that we dealt with was Vinko
12 Q. Now, was an escort, a UN escort, for this aid convoy also waiting
13 in Serbia to enter Srebrenica for those two weeks?
14 A. Yes, there was a humanitarian aid convoy came to the Zvornik
15 bridge led by a UNHCR convoy leader, and the security force or the escort
16 force that was with the convoy was a Canadian infantry company of
17 approximately 120 personnel.
18 Q. And was that company of Canadian infantry allowed into Srebrenica
19 by the Serbs?
20 A. That was one of the items of contention. They said they would not
21 allow that infantry company to escort the convoy in. They said that they
22 could provide security and the Bosnians would really be the danger to the
23 convoy. Eventually when we did get into Srebrenica, all they allowed --
24 all they would allow to move down to Srebrenica was one APC, one armoured
25 personnel carrier, with six or seven Canadian soldiers, military
1 observers, and the convoy itself of civilian trucks.
2 MR. JONES: We have a new exhibit, with the assistance of the
3 usher. In fact, we'll have four new exhibits on this theme, and this
4 first one, just for the record, is 00077918 to 00077924.
5 Q. And once you have that in front of you, I'm going to read a number
6 of portions from this document. Now, first as a --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you proceed, this same comment I made earlier
8 on in regard to this document. If you intended to have it tendered and
9 filed in -- under seal, then we won't put it on the ELMO. If not, we will
10 put it on the ELMO.
11 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour. No, I don't propose to apply to
12 have this kept under seal. There are a number of similar documents which
13 we have seen.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
15 MR. JONES: So it can be placed on the ELMO.
16 Q. Now, first, as a former member of a mission in Bosnia, can you
17 please explain how the dates and times are set out in this and similar
18 documents. We see in the top right-hand corner where it says date 07
19 1625, A MAR 93. What date and time does that refer to?
20 A. That would be known as what we call in the military a date/time
21 group because there's many documents go out on any 24-hour period, you
22 actually add the time that you finish this document. So you would have
23 the date, 07, which would be the seventh day, at 1625 hours. The A would
24 be the time -- the local time, and March. And then the year, 1993.
25 Q. Thank you. So in other words, you in fact have the time sort of
1 sandwiched in between the date and the month in these documents?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. So this then is dated 7th of March, 1993, and the period covered
4 is the previous seven days, the 1st of the 7th of March, 1993, as we see
5 the period covered. I'm going to read firstly just the general
6 situation. "The Command Area of Responsibility (AOR) was relatively
7 stable with the exceptions of Sarajevo and the East Bosnian enclaves.
8 Whether the past 7 day lull of combat activity in Sarajevo is due to the
9 weather or the latest ceasefire attempts is too early to say.
10 International focus has, in any event, shifted to the East Bosnian Muslim
11 enclaves where the Serb offensive into the Cerska and Srebrenica areas
12 appears to have accelerated its timetable, coincident with US aid
14 And then if we turn to page 5 of 9C, Eastern Bosnia, this is the
15 assessment, we see, "The enclaves of Cerska, Srebrenica and possibly Zepa
16 are clearly being ethnically cleansed by BSA forces, with JNA support. US
17 airdrop program appears to have accelerated the BSA timetable by several
18 weeks. In any event, Serb forces will likely resist entry of UNPROFOR and
19 UNHCR elements into the more sensitive parts of the enclaves."
20 Now, I'd simply ask, was that -- what's written there, was that
21 what was reflected in your experience of trying to get into Srebrenica?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. And was that, as this report suggests, because the Srebrenica
24 enclave was being ethnically cleansed by the Serbs and the Serbs didn't
25 want there to be any witnesses?
1 A. I didn't actually see that at that period. But on the 12th of
2 March the outer line, if you would, of the Srebrenica pocket to the north
3 was Konjevic Polje. When I went into Srebrenica on the 27th of March, the
4 line was now down near Potocari. So it had obviously been cleared that
6 Q. Okay?
7 MR. JONES: I'd ask for an exhibit number, please, for this
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones. This document which consists of
10 seven pages with ERN 00077918 to 924, both pages included, in the English
11 language, is being tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D897.
12 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 And we have the next exhibit which is 04362998, the ERN. And this
14 is a Bratunac Brigade command dated 25 November 1992 to the Drina Corps
15 command. It's a report for 25 November 1992.
16 Q. And we see at point 5: "UNPROFOR is in Ljubovija. They expect to
17 cross tomorrow."
18 At 7, "The Turks are entering minefields and getting killed."
19 And 8: "I would like to ask you to do your best to prevent
20 UNPROFOR from passing through. As an officer and acting on behalf of the
21 people, I will not let them pass through, even at the cost of being
22 replaced. I hope you will understand me. Lieutenant Colonel Borivoje
24 Now, this obviously refers to November 1992, a little while before
25 you got there, but it reflects, does it not, obstruction on the part of
1 the Serbs to the movement of UNPROFOR in November 1992?
2 A. Yes, it would reflect the continued delay -- delaying efforts for
3 us to go into Srebrenica.
4 Q. And in --
5 MR. JONES: Actually, in the interests of time I'll ask for an
6 exhibit number for this document and move to the next exhibit?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, this document which consists of two pages, one
8 in Serbo-Croat, the ERN 04362998, and the other being the English
9 translation thereof, is being tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D898.
10 MR. JONES: The next exhibit is 04363002. And again, for the
11 record, this is Bratunac Brigade command. Date, 27 November 1992, Drina
12 Corps command. And we see at 5: "We have heard that UNPROFOR intends to
13 pass through Skelani. Do not do this. The people here will rise up. Do
14 not feed the Muslims. Later we fight with them, regardless of the depth
15 of political aims."
16 Q. Now, first if we look at the map, I don't know if you know where
17 Skelani is, but if possible I would like you to mark that on D895. I
18 don't know if you can locate Bajina Basta first of all. And I'm sure
19 there will be no direction if I direct you if you have any difficulties?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Jones, please --
21 THE WITNESS: I don't --
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. If you go to Ljubovija and follow the Drina down south, you'll see
24 Bajina Basta.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's on the Serbian side.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. JONES: Serbian side.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes.
3 MR. JONES:
4 Q. If you could just mark Skelani, on the other side please.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, we saw the words in this document "do not feed the Muslims."
7 Did you understand that to be part of the Serbs' aim in blocking UNPROFOR
8 from entering Srebrenica when you were there in March 1993? In other
9 words, that they were essentially trying to starve the Muslims into
11 A. Well, the fact that they would not allow the humanitarian aid
12 convoys to get in or to get in on a regular basis and the fact that the US
13 air force had to drop food, then that would be the case.
14 Q. Thank you?
15 MR. JONES: I'd ask for an exhibit number, please, for this
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document, which like the previous one
18 consists of two pages, one in B/C/S, the other one in English, being the
19 translation thereof, with ERN 04363002 is being tendered and marked as
20 Defence Exhibit D899.
21 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 And the next exhibit is being distributed which is 04261938 to
24 Q. And you'll see reference here to Skelani and Bajina Basta
25 municipality, so you'll see why I was asking you to mark those on the map.
1 This is from the Republika Srpska Army Main Staff. It's dated 2nd
2 February 1993. Submit to Drina Corps command. And then: "Based on the
3 report, the 35th POB command dated 27 January 1993, a report of the
4 commission that compiled an infantry list of weapons and ammunition in the
5 storage of Bajina Basta municipality, which belongs to Skelani
6 municipality, you are to act as follows: For the needs of Drina Corps
7 take the following types and quantities of weapons and types of ammunition
8 from the above-mentioned storage."
9 And this is signed by the assistant logistics commander Major
10 General Djordje Djukic, and there's a list of weapons and ammunition.
11 Well, firstly, while I don't think it's in dispute that Bajina Basta is in
12 Skelani and Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to this, weapons of the
13 Bosnian Serb army were stored in Serbia. Is that correct first of all?
14 A. It appears to say that on this document, yes.
15 Q. And we see a reference to a slow-burning fuse, and you'll see that
16 at number 33 right towards the end. Is that the same thing as a delayed
18 A. No. A slow-burning fuse is a fuse used to actually set off a
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. JONES: In fact, I'll ask simply for an exhibit number for
22 this document.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones. This document which consists of two
24 pages in Serbo-Croat with ERN 04261938 to 939 and three pages in English
25 is being tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D900.
1 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 And I think finally before the break we can deal with the last of
3 these exhibits it's 04292356 to 04292357. And this is again command of
4 the Drina Corps, dated 25 November 1992. And subject is: "Passage of
5 UNPROFOR through the corps' zone," and it's to the Main Staff of the Army
6 of Republika Srpska, personally to the commander. And I
7 read: "General" --
8 Q. Firstly are you aware who this would be addressed to if we're
9 talking about the commander of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika
11 A. Not exactly, no.
12 Q. Have you heard of General Mladic?
13 A. Yes, it could refer to General Mladic.
14 Q. It says: "General, over and above all the tasks that we have been
15 accomplishing to the best of our best of our abilities, according to plan,
16 additional obligations have been imposed on us, probably according to
17 somebody's plan according to UNPROFOR's forces. These are, for instance,"
18 and I'm skipping down a couple of paragraphs and past those examples. It
19 says: "The Serbian people throughout the Podrinje region categorically
20 refuse to accept aid from executioners.
21 "I would like to ask you to listen to the appeal from the people
22 of the Podrinje, who trust you to a man, not to allow UNPROFOR to enter
23 Srebrenica under any circumstances because if various journalists do enter
24 Srebrenica, they will raise the issue of this town to the level of
25 Sarajevo issue.
1 "It is not true that the Muslims of Srebrenica are starving
2 because the Serbian villages were too rich to bring the Turks of those
3 villages to starvation so soon."
4 Now, dealing with that phrase, that sentence "do not allow
5 UNPROFOR to enter Srebrenica because the issue of the town will be raised
6 to Sarajevo," you spent time in Sarajevo as an UNMO. When you were there
7 was the siege and shelling and sniping world news?
8 A. Yes, the siege of Sarajevo was world news, probably on a daily
9 basis for a long time and Srebrenica probably did not get a lot of the
10 world press, due to the events that were going on.
11 Q. When you were in Srebrenica in March and April 1993, did the
12 situation become a matter of international concern?
13 A. Yes, it did because of General Morillon being the commander of the
14 UN forces in Bosnia getting into Srebrenica, that became something of
15 interest to the world press. So on a daily basis, we would listen to BBC
16 radio and there was lots of information coming across the radio as well as
17 the television and I'm sure the newspapers on what was going on down in
18 Srebrenica, especially due to the fact that Srebrenica was now getting
20 Q. So does it seem plausible to you that the Serbs didn't want the
21 world to know what was going on in Srebrenica, for fear that there would
22 be an outcry?
23 A. Yes, as long as there was no UN forces observing, then any force
24 could do whatever they wanted and more or less get away with it. But when
25 military observers who were in any location, then that was our job to
1 observe and report, and our daily reports went back to the United Nations'
2 headquarters in New York.
3 Q. And we also saw the words there "the Serbian people throughout the
4 Podrinje region categorically refused to accept aid from executioners."
5 Now, did you come across Serb hostility to UNPROFOR when you were
6 in Eastern Bosnia and Serbia?
7 A. Yes, pretty much on a daily basis.
8 Q. And could you mention just a couple examples, perhaps, of that?
9 A. On the 12th of March when I arrived at Zvornik bridge, I mentioned
10 earlier that I had gone immediately to the hotel. And after we had lunch
11 that day, we got a call on the radio to go down the Serb side of the
12 Drina, try to get to Ljubovija to make radio contact with the military
13 observers, and General Morillon in -- that had actually got into
14 Srebrenica, or at least that was what we thought at that time. However,
15 about halfway from Zvornik bridge to Ljubovija we were stopped by a JNA
16 soldier. He was about to shoot us, and there was an old -- older man that
17 was essentially edging him on and he was yelling in his language to shoot
18 us. This soldier eventually cut off the radio handset from our vehicle so
19 we couldn't make communications, and he took one of the military
20 observer's ID cards. And at that point we decided it was probably better
21 to go back, as you can imagine.
22 Also, on two occasions on the Bosnian Serb side, my vehicle had
23 been surrounded by thousands of women. And we thought they were going to
24 flip the vehicle and lynch us, essentially. On one occasion my
25 interpreter was able to say something to them so we could get away, and
1 this is a very scary type of incident when you have a crowd and they just
2 basically edge themselves on and you don't know what will happen.
3 Q. And did you ever encounter any sort of hostility of that nature on
4 the Muslim side?
5 A. Yes, but not on the -- not at that type of level. Sometimes on an
6 individual basis, but certainly not at that level.
7 Q. And finally, just to clarify one matter. You said the soldier
8 eventually cut off the radio handset. Are you talking about the physical
9 act of cutting it off? And if so, what did he use to do that?
10 A. Yes. As a military observer we had two types of radios. We would
11 have a hand-held radio which was just -- you would just recharge the
12 battery. And we also had a vehicle-mounted radio that takes it power off
13 the vehicle battery, and it has a microphone that's attached to the radio
14 with a long cord. The driver had taken the handset to talk, and this
15 soldier reached in, grabbed the handset, and then with his AK-47 bayonet
16 cut the wire and at that point we lost communications because that was all
17 we had at that point.
18 MR. JONES: Okay. I would simply ask for an exhibit number and we
19 can take a break now.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, this document which consists of two pages in
21 B/C/S, two pages in English, ERN 04292356 to 357 is, being tendered and
22 marked as Defence Exhibit D901.
23 We will have a break, Captain, now for 30 minutes. We will resume
24 soon after. Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.11 a.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
3 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Now, Captain MacDonald, I'm going to move now to your stay in
5 Srebrenica. You told us this morning that you stayed from the 27th of
6 March, 1993, approximately, until the 4th of April, 1993. Do you -- who
7 did you go into -- sorry. With whom did you go into Srebrenica? Did you
8 go on your own or did you go in a group of people?
9 A. I went in with a team or what we call two teams of military
10 observers. I don't know if you want their names or not.
11 Q. No. No, thank you.
12 And do they travel in one or two vehicles? How does that work?
13 A. We were in, I recall, two vehicles. We travelled in Toyota Land
14 Cruisers, and there would have been three military observers per vehicle.
15 Q. And was there already a UN presence in Srebrenica when you arrived
17 A. Yes. Some of the -- some of the personnel who had gotten in with
18 General Morillon stayed in. So there was actually, I believe, one
19 Canadian soldier that stayed in and there was some -- I think there was
20 somebody from UNHCR. So there was a limited UN presence that stayed in
21 from General Morillon's initial entry to the pocket.
22 Q. And where were they headquartered in Srebrenica?
23 A. We were headquartered in the PTT building in the centre part of
24 the town.
25 Q. And was anything done by the UN to mark off the PTT building as
1 the UN's headquarters in Srebrenica?
2 A. There was two ways that we designated or was designated that that
3 building was a UN headquarters. We had raised the UN flag on the roof of
4 the PTT building, as well, initially, there was a lot of people trying to
5 look in the windows and come to the door to get in to ask for food or
6 whatever, so the Canadian soldiers put up a boundary away from the
7 building which designated -- you weren't allowed to cross that line,
8 again, for our security. So there was a rope and some sticks put up to
9 designate that area.
10 Q. And during the seven or so days that you were in Srebrenica, what
11 was your main task, you personally, and what were you doing?
12 A. I was tasked as the communications officer, as well to monitor the
13 situation with our vehicles for refueling, any maintenance that we could
14 do. That was of course on a limited basis. But predominantly I was
15 responsible for communications and patrolling.
16 Q. So you were doing lots of radio checks and that sort of thing?
17 A. Yes, on a daily basis there was a location up on the -- it would
18 have been the south-west side, I guess, of the town itself. That was a
19 high feature, and we would go up there and we could get some kind of
20 communications with any military observers that would have been moving
21 down from Zvornik area, and particularly if there was a convoy coming and
22 they would have military observer escort, then we would be able to talk to
23 them at a certain point once they got in range of the radios.
24 Q. Now, I'm going to come back to radio communications in a second.
25 But firstly, just to clarify this, was your mission, and again you
1 personally, concerned in any way of finding out who had power, civilian or
2 military power or authority, in Srebrenica?
3 A. Not specifically. As I was not the team leader of the group, I
4 was not specifically designated with that.
5 Q. So would it be right that during your time in Srebrenica you
6 didn't form any particular impression of who, if anyone, had power or
7 authority in Srebrenica?
8 A. No, I did not.
9 Q. Now, going back to the question of radio communications. You
10 mentioned radios this morning. You might have mentioned hand-held radios.
11 Did you have hand-held radios? And if so, what type?
12 A. We had a limited number of hand-held radios. They are or they
13 were Motorola radios, if you know the brand, and a hand-held Motorola
14 radio has a limited range of approximately two to three kilometres. And
15 the range is limited to line of sight, which means you have to be able to
16 essentially see the other person. If there's a mountain in the way,
17 that's not line of sight. The signal cannot go over the mountain. But
18 anything that might be in the way may limit the range of that radio.
19 Q. You've told us earlier how -- that the area is a mountainous
20 terrain. Would it be right that it was not easy to establish
21 communications with those Motorolas?
22 A. It was extremely difficult to establish radio communications, and
23 also as I mentioned there was no repeaters, no UN repeater, in that
24 location. So we were limited to the range of the radio itself. Due to
25 the terrain, that made communications even weaker than normal.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And if you know, roughly how much does it cost to construct a
3 A. One repeater tower, just the tower alone, might be up to 100.000
4 dollars, US dollars. So if you add the actual repeater on to the tower,
5 we're talking way over 100.000 dollars US, just for one.
6 Q. And is it right that part of what the UN was doing in Bosnia at
7 the beginning of the conflict was to construct repeaters?
8 A. Yes. That would have been one of the first things that the UN did
9 earlier in 1992, it would have been to set up repeaters in as many
10 locations as possible throughout former Yugoslavia so that we could expand
11 our radio communications. With a repeater, it enhances your signal for
12 even the hand-held radio, making the range even greater.
13 Q. And those were being constructed, I take it, either because they
14 didn't exist or because either repeaters had been damaged or destroyed.
15 Would that be correct?
16 A. If somebody doesn't want you to put a repeater in their area of
17 responsibility, then they might give you difficulties. I don't know why
18 exactly there was no repeaters in that area, but, you know, you can
19 speculate from there. Also, just to clarify, if you don't exactly
20 understand what a repeater is, imagine the cellphone. Everybody has
21 cellphones these days. It does a very similar concept to a cellphone
22 satellite or the signal is exchanged and then passed on to another
23 location. So it expands the location that you can talk.
24 Q. But, as you've told us, those didn't exist in the Srebrenica area?
25 A. Not in that area, no.
1 Q. Now, I want to go back to your report again for a brief moment.
2 You still have it with you, I believe.
3 A. I do.
4 Q. And it's right towards the bottom there's an extract which
5 reads: "When our team arrived the movement was severely restricted
6 because of the waist-deep snow which had just fallen. The Serbs were
7 attacking on all sides and slowly squeezing the pocket smaller and
8 smaller, looting and then burning the Muslim homes as they went. As
9 military observers, we could only watch and report."
10 Now, firstly, is that an accurate summary of the situation as you
11 found it when you arrived in Srebrenica?
12 A. Yes, it is. And I personally observed this to be happening while
13 I was there.
14 Q. Now, we see it written there "the Serbs were attacking on all
15 sides and slowly squeezing the pocket smaller and smaller." Would you
16 describe Srebrenica as being under siege at that time?
17 A. Yes, I would.
18 Q. And in that regard I would like you to look at a new exhibit with
19 the usher's assistance with the ERN 00077911 to 00077917. And this is
20 dated 15th March, 1993. And again, as before I'm not applying for this to
21 be under seal so it can be placed on ELMO. And it covers the period from,
22 I believe, the 7th to the 15th of March. And it says: "The general
23 situation. The area of operations was quiet other than in Sarajevo and
24 the eastern enclaves where the media continues to focus international
1 Then I'll go to page 2 and it's points 3A and B and then the first
2 sentence of C. Eastern Bosnia. "The systematic cleansing of the
3 Srebrenica enclave continues in the form of a strong BSA offensive. It
4 appears that the Serbs are advancing from the north and east
5 simultaneously. With the fall of Cerska this week, BSA forces pushed east
6 and south, pressuring Konjevic Polje and Srebrenica respectively.
7 "B, the situation in Srebrenica is reported as being desperate as
8 civilian refugees are concentrating there. There are a large number of
9 wounded, and they are reportedly without medicine and anaesthetics.
10 "C, the condition of the Srebrenica defence is not clear amid
11 media reports of its imminent collapse."
12 Now, does this describe the military and civilian situation as you
13 arrived on the 27th of March, 1993, in Srebrenica?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. In short, there was a strong Bosnian Serb Army offensive?
16 A. Correct, particularly on the 3rd of April.
17 Q. And the Serbs were advancing from several directions?
18 A. Yes, that would be correct.
19 Q. And this was creating an even further influx of refugees into the
21 A. Yes. Anybody who had not actually come into Srebrenica by that
22 point would have been probably on the move that particular day to finally
23 come in because most of the area was taken on that day.
24 Q. All right. Thank you.
25 MR. JONES: I'll just ask for an exhibit number for this document,
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones. This document which consists of
3 seven pages and is in English with ERN 00077911 to 917 is being tendered
4 and marked as Defence Exhibit D902.
5 MR. JONES: Thank you.
6 And we have two more exhibits in this sequence. The next one has
7 an ERN 00077904 to 00077910. And this is dated the 22nd of March, 1993,
8 1400 hours. And again, the period covered is from the 14th to the 20th of
9 March, 1993. General situation: "The situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is
10 critically tense. Fighting throughout the AOR continues at its normally
11 intense levels. Although conditions in the Srebrenica enclave have
12 improved as the commander as won concessions from the Serbs and Serbians
13 to get aid into the enclave, wounded persons, women and children
14 extracted, the Serbs continue to squeeze the refugees into an
15 every-tightening noose. Fierce fighting throughout Sarajevo is
17 Then turning to page 2. I'll direct your attention to 3A: "The
18 systematic cleansing of the Srebrenica enclave continued this week with
19 the same strong BSA offensive launched ten days ago. This offensive has
20 been made by closing in on Srebrenica on the main routes. They have
21 received a lot of support from across the boarder in Serbia throughout
22 this offensive. It seems likely that some of the forces involved in this
23 operation, particularly those attacking from across the river, were FRY
24 soldiers. The Serbians have also supported the BSA with heavy artillery,
25 some unsophisticated aircraft bombers, and ammunition resupply convoys."
1 Now, this document refers to the Bosnian Serb army receiving
2 support from Serbia proper. First, in the form of heavy artillery, and
3 that's something you've told us you saw with your own eyes in mid-March
4 1993. Is that correct.
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Then second, support from unsophisticated aircraft bombers. Now,
7 is that something which you saw?
8 A. Yes. We had heard that there was coming taking place and were
9 unable to confirm it. And then one day when I had actually been able to
10 get through the checkpoint on the way to Ljubovija on the Serb side, I saw
11 a small biplane carrying cluster bombs flying from inside Serbia across
12 the Drina to Srebrenica. So that was confirmation from where the aircraft
13 were coming from, and when I got into Srebrenica I had actually seen the
14 cluster bomb casings which kind of tied it all up, that they were in fact
15 bombing from inside Serbia. These aircraft would have been flying below
16 NATO radar at tree-top level. So it would have been very hard for a NATO
17 AWAC's aircraft to pick these up.
18 Q. And third, this document refers to support in the form of
19 ammunition resupply convoys, support from Serbia. Is that something to
20 which you can attest?
21 A. Yes. On that one occasion that I had mentioned earlier about
22 sitting in my vehicle in Ljubovija and watching trucks for well over an
23 hour move to the east towards Bosnia, the tarps in the back of the truck
24 were not tied and I saw ammunition crates, fresh ammunition crates in the
25 back, which I believed to be 120-millimetre and 122-millimetre mortars.
1 And also I saw troops moving across the dam just to the south of Zvornik
2 on one occasion.
3 Q. Now, on page 1 of this document we saw it stated: "The Serbs
4 continued to squeeze the refugees into an ever-tightening noose." You
5 said Srebrenica was under siege at this time. Was this description of an
6 ever-tightening noose accurate when you were there?
7 A. Yes, it would be extremely accurate. And although they continued
8 to not let us in as I mentioned earlier, the line of conflict had been
9 initially around Konjevic Polje on the 12th. And again, when I went in on
10 the 27th, it was now at Potocari, in that area. So we deduced that it had
11 to have been systematic in taking that area.
12 Q. I want to explore this, the notion of a siege with you in some
13 more detail. First, are you familiar in military terminology with the
14 expression "depth," and, if so, if you can explain what that refers to.
15 A. Yes, depth is something we always try to achieve, whether we're
16 conducting offensive operations or, more importantly, defensive
17 operations. To describe depth, it means deep, and instead of just having
18 one line that, if somebody breaks through, I have successive lines and, I
19 would say, in depth. So if somebody breaks through one area, then I have
20 another force immediately behind that can hopefully stop them. And the
21 more depth that I have, the better. However, with limited forces, my
22 depth sometimes may not be as good as I would like.
23 Q. And when it comes to a siege, would depth then refer to having
24 several lines around a besieged area?
25 A. Well, of course any commander would want to try and do that if
1 they had the personnel to do so.
2 Q. And on that theme I want to go back to an earlier part of your
3 testimony when you referred to seeing these bunkers on the road from Pale
4 to Zvornik. And you told us that that was to prevent refugees from
5 Srebrenica getting through to Tuzla. An obvious question, but was that,
6 in your opinion, linked to the siege of Srebrenica or not, those bunkers?
7 A. Yes. Prior to the 12th of March, the Sebesic pocket confrontation
8 line would have been in the northern area close to that road. So
9 therefore, the -- that line would have been a Bosnian Serb defensive line.
10 Q. Defensive but enforcing a siege. Would that be correct?
11 A. That would be correct, yes.
12 MR. JONES: I would just ask for an exhibit number, please, for
13 this document.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. This document, Mr. Jones, which consists of
15 seven pages with ERN 00077904 to 910, all seven pages are in the English
16 language, is being tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D903.
17 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. And now, lastly in this sequence of exhibits we have ERN 00077889
19 to 00077895. This is dated 29th March, 1993, so dealing with the period
20 when you were actually in Srebrenica, and it's covering the period from
21 the 22nd of March to the 28th of March. I'll just read the general
22 situation. "Intense combat activity throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina marked
23 the beginning of the reporting period, particularly in northern and
24 Eastern Bosnia and in Sarajevo."
25 And in fact, the rest of that paragraph isn't relevant for our
1 purposes. And then page 2, 3, Eastern Bosnia, I'll just read the first
2 two sentences. "The BSA offensive into the Srebrenica enclave continued
3 its apparently inexorable drive towards the centre at Srebrenica from the
4 north, south, and south-east. Muslim towns and villages continue to fall
5 in an almost systematic fashion as BiH local commanders attempted to hold
6 the line."
7 Now, can you comment on that reference to a systematic fashion
8 which Muslim towns and villages were falling to the Serbs.
9 A. Yes. Basically what we deduced from what happened in Konjevic
10 Polje on the 12th and the fact that that area between Konjevic Polje and
11 Potocari, and, obviously, anywhere else in that circle, plus what I had
12 been told by a Bosnian Serb commander who I'd mentioned earlier, Vinko
13 Pandurevic, they would have to clear each village. Because if there was
14 Bosnian forces in a village, in military terms you have to clear the
15 village. Urban fighting is very fierce, and once a village would have
16 been taken and cleared and then held, then they would move on. And on the
17 3rd of April, I actually saw this taking place in the south -- southern
18 area of Srebrenica. So some of this was deduced based on reports and what
19 we knew, and then eyewitness report from myself on that date.
20 Q. And then how did use of artillery fit in with this pattern of
21 taking villages?
22 A. Well, the Bosnian Serb forces didn't have a lot of infantry, but
23 they had a lot of -- or a lot more of artillery and tanks and equipment,
24 whereas the Bosnian forces had tens of thousands of men that could fight,
25 however they didn't have a lot of artillery and tanks. Even small arms
1 they didn't have a lot of. The Serb forces, the Bosnian Serb forces
2 didn't necessarily want to take casualties. So it was easier for them and
3 they had had a -- lots of support, of course ammunition. What they would
4 do is bomb a village -- and again, we seen this in Konjevic Polje, bomb a
5 village until everybody essentially left. And then it was easy for their
6 limited amount of infantry forces to come in and clear that village. And
7 I think they actually hoped that there would be nobody left, but anybody
8 that was left would have been executed. And this was part of the
9 systematic way to clean a village. The villages would have been then
10 looted and destroyed, or at least partly destroyed. They may have set
11 fires to the village with their attack or possibly afterwards.
12 Q. So is it right then from what you've said that because the Bosnian
13 Serb forces didn't want -- particularly didn't want to take any casualties
14 because they had a manpower shortage, that they favoured the use of
15 artillery on a large scale in order to avoid those casualties?
16 A. Yes, that's what we deduced based on our investigations,
17 patrolling, and information that we got during my time in that area.
18 Q. And you said that on the Bosnian side there were tens of thousands
19 of men that could fight. Are you speaking about men who actually in
20 properly formed military units, or men of military age who could be
21 involved in the fighting?
22 A. Civilians --
23 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the objection?
25 MR. WUBBEN: The objection is the quoting of the witness. The
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 witness didn't use the word "the Bosnian side," but rather referred to.
2 And may I take a look at the transcript, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Bosnian Serb forces.
4 MR. JONES: Bosnian forces --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: If you look at page -- the previous page, line 5 or
6 6, you will see that he is referring to the Serb forces, the Bosnian Serb
7 forces --
8 MR. JONES: No, Bosnian.
9 MR. WUBBEN: The Bosnian army.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Which page? All right. I have to look at it.
11 Yeah, yeah, but that's the question.
12 MR. JONES: I think colloquially we refer to the Bosnian Side and
13 the Bosnian Serb side. I don't see the force of the objection. I think
14 the practice is that my learned friend is meant to wait for an indication
15 before interrupting the witness.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: But --
17 MR. WUBBEN: No, Your Honour, it was about the correct quotation
18 of the witness and that's what I would like to refer my learned friend to.
19 And I thought the right quotation --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But what's the objection at the end of it? What
21 difference does it make?
22 MR. WUBBEN: Just Bosnians or when the witness used the
23 qualification "Bosnian army" or "Bosnian forces," that makes a difference.
24 MR. JONES: He didn't say Bosnian army. Now my learned friend is
25 misquoting. He's doing precisely what he's accused me of doing.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I can follow --
2 MR. JONES: I can put the question again.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Please do. Let's finish with this.
4 MR. JONES: Your Honour, it is an objection from my learned
5 friend, and it's disingenuous to pretend that it's an interpretation
6 issue. That's the exception which Your Honour made, where an objection
7 can be stated straight away, id it's a problem with interpretation. I'm
8 speaking English, the witness is speaking English.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But I could sense what he was referring to,
10 what he was objecting to is something that is contained in the question
11 itself. That's why --
12 MR. JONES: As all objections are.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, not always. Many a time they aren't.
14 MR. JONES: I just would insist on a similar treatment on both
15 sides, that we have a clear rule that my learned friend doesn't just stand
16 up and object --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but you understand, Mr. Jones, that the Trial
18 Chamber has to reserve for itself a lot of discretion here and there is a
19 lot of difference, as I am sure you are aware of, coming from a common-law
21 MR. JONES: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, let's move.
23 MR. JONES:
24 Q. In any event, Captain MacDonald, I think you understood my
25 question because you started to answer it. What would your answer be.
1 A. You lost me. You're going to have to ask me again.
2 Q. It's simply this: When you were referring to -- and I'll quote.
3 You said that there were tens of thousands -- in fact, I'm going to have
4 to find the quote now. You said --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: He said --
6 MR. JONES: I have it.
7 Q. "Whereas the Bosnian forces had tens of thousands of men that
8 could fight."
9 Could you elaborate precisely what you meant by that.
10 A. Well, I had seen it in Sarajevo and then again in Srebrenica. Any
11 man that was fit and -- it wouldn't be of -- necessarily of military age.
12 I've seen young boys up to older men that basically were defending their
13 towns and their families. And they would be maybe armed with a rifle. So
14 there was lots of people that wanted to defend themselves. So that --
15 hence the tens of thousands, I mean there was.
16 Q. So basically there were more Muslims than Serbs, and that's what
17 you were referring to in terms of numerical superiority?
18 A. When it came to somebody fighting and able to hold terrain. So a
19 man actually standing in a trench or standing on a line, defending.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you've referred to the fact that the Serbs
21 were not -- not prepared, I mean as any army, but particularly not
22 prepared to take casualties. Did that have an effect on their way of
23 fighting, if you know?
24 A. Well, again, if you fire enough artillery at somebody, they're
25 going to leave. They're either going to get killed, they're going to have
1 to get down inside a trench or a bunker, or flee. And if you're not
2 military, you're going to flee, if you shoot enough artillery rounds into
3 a village. Plus, artillery rounds are going to destroy, you know,
4 electricity wires, water, anything that you might have. And if they do
5 set fire to the village, then you're going to leave as well. So it was
6 easier for them, we believed, to just fire the artillery and then, as we
7 call, mop-up in the end with your infantry forces.
8 Q. Now, going back to this document it continues in section 3A: "The
9 following built-up areas were reported fallen to the Serbs this week,
10 Ljeskovic, Karacici, and Gajici. The villages Osmace and Subin were last
11 reported surrounded by BSA forces. Fighting was reported in and around
12 Zeleni Jadar, the Serbs in the town itself on 25 March."
13 Now, are you familiar with some of the places, for example, Osmace
14 and Zeleni Jadar?
15 A. Zeleni Jadar in particular because that's where I had gone on foot
16 patrol. On the 28th of March I had gone on a foot patrol down to Zeleni
17 Jadar. There was too much snow to drive. And then on the 3rd of April I
18 went to Zeleni Jadar where I was wounded. There was a big attack going on
19 there. And I had heard of Osmace while I was in Srebrenica. The other
20 villages I don't specifically remember.
21 Q. Thank you. And we have a new map which shows the Srebrenica area,
22 in particular, with any luck, Zeleni Jadar. So I will ask if you can
23 find, when that's passed up, those locations and just mark it with a
25 So if you could firstly locate Zeleni Jadar.
1 A. On the map it just says Jadar.
2 Q. You described how when you were there you saw a village burning.
3 All right. Could you indicate that village on the map, please, and the
4 name of the village, if you recall.
5 A. Turanj.
6 Q. I believe it says Turanj on the map, but no doubt it's the same
7 location. And Osmace, are you familiar with Osmace and able to locate
8 that on the map.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. So was it in this area then that you noticed this particularly
11 strong offensive on the 3rd of April?
12 A. Yes. On the 3rd of April there was a -- there had been a
13 cease-fire or more or less a cease-fire, in loose terms. On the 3rd of
14 April the Bosnian Serbs were on the move again making a major offensive
15 action. And I went down to the hill just to the north of Zeleni Jadar on
16 that morning and observed a major attack going on, artillery in particular
17 firing into Zeleni Jadar. Bosnian men behind the hill getting ready to, I
18 don't know, counter-attack or maybe withdraw. And that village Turanj or
19 Toranje was being burned. And I observed through my binoculars Bosnian
20 Serb soldiers looting and destroying that village.
21 Q. Thank you. I'm going to come back to that instant where you were
22 wounded in a moment.
23 MR. JONES: I think I would ask for an exhibit number now.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And we haven't given a number to the previous
25 document either.
1 MR. JONES: Yes. I have finished with that document.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start with the previous one. So the document
3 which was previously made use of by the Defence which consists of seven
4 pages, again, with ERN 00077889 to 895, the English language, is being
5 tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D904. While the map that has just
6 been marked upon by the witness is being tendered and received as Defence
7 Exhibit D905.
8 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, you've referred already in your testimony to Serb planes
10 flying from Serbia proper, this biplane, and then you later saw evidence
11 that cluster bombs had been dropped. Where, in fact, did you see those
12 casings of cluster bombs?
13 A. Somebody had found the casings and brought them to the PTT
14 building in Srebrenica. And the day or the next day that I had got into
15 Srebrenica, so probably on the 28th of March. I had some personal
16 interests since I had been the one saw the plane flying to verify that
17 there was in fact evidence and we would have considered these casings to
18 be evidence. They had Cyrillic markings on them, which may have been
19 proof that they had come from Serbia. And that would have been something
20 for us to put into our report to tie or to link all these things together.
21 Q. Now, I'm going to show you a portion of a video, and it's Defence
22 Exhibit 111. First I'll ask you to look at it and then I'll have a couple
23 of questions for you.
24 MR. JONES: Yes, just for the record, this is at 09.00, I believe,
25 on this video.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I can't see that from here.
2 MR. JONES: We can see it now in very small green numbering in the
3 bottom right-hand corner.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So the still that is being shown to the
5 witness from Defence Exhibit 111, D111, is at 09.00, and it shows a
7 MR. JONES: So we'll just play a few seconds of this video.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. JONES:
10 Q. Now, firstly, did you see a plane in this video clip that we just
12 A. Yes. That exact type of plane was the one that I had seen flying
13 across from Serbia into Bosnia on that particular day.
14 Q. And in what we saw just now did you see that plane dropping a
16 A. In the video?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. Yes, yes. In the video, that plane dropped a bomb, yes.
19 Q. And were you able to tell - and we can replay the video a few
20 times if you like - what sort of a bomb it dropped?
21 A. There would have been different types of bombs. It could have
22 been a cluster bomb or it could have just been a bomb that just would gone
23 off when it landed. A cluster bomb being a bomb that has sub-munitions or
24 many small bomblets, and it can cover more of an area. But it could also
25 drop just a single bomb that would explode when it hit its target.
1 Q. We will play it again and see if you can notice any
2 characteristics of the bomb when it's being dropped.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. JONES:
5 Q. Did you see the bomb appear to disappear practically from sight at
6 one point?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you have any explanation of what might be happening there?
9 A. There appeared to be that the casings fly off. At one point, you
10 may have been seen on there what appeared to be two things flying off to
11 the side, so it appears to be a cluster bomb.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. We're finished with that video and in fact
13 moving to a different area.
14 Are you able to tell us roughly how many people were in Srebrenica
15 at the time when you were there in March 1993, in the whole enclave?
16 A. When I went to Srebrenica on the 27th of March, we estimated there
17 to be around 30.000 people in the town itself, down inside the town of
19 Q. And where were they sleeping? Where were they accommodated?
20 A. People were sleeping in any of the buildings that they could get a
21 spot to sleep, the schools, any buildings that may have been abandoned,
22 but there was a large majority of the people sleeping in the streets
23 anywheres where they could find a spot to lay down.
24 Q. And what was the temperature like at this time?
25 A. One or two days prior to me going into Srebrenica there was a big
1 snow storm or a heavy snow fall, if you would. Even down in Banja
2 Koviljaca we got a lot of snow. Being a mountainous region. I
3 estimated -- although the snow was waist-deep, in some places up to my
4 waist, so in some places up to a metre deep. And the temperature dropped,
5 particularly at night-time, so you would have had done to 0, maybe below,
6 you know, below freezing, but extremely cold for people who didn't have
7 anything or were sleeping outside.
8 Q. And did you, yourself, actually see anyone who had succumbed to
9 the cold?
10 A. Yes, I went on foot patrol one morning and saw two bodies where
11 people had died that night, probably in their sleep that night, and the
12 bodies were just laying in the street.
13 Q. Was that an unusual sight, something which caused concern among
14 the local population?
15 A. I don't think so because everybody was concerned for their own,
16 probably, well-being at that point. And the bodies at that point hadn't
17 been moved. So ...
18 Q. And did you see many children among the refugees?
19 A. We seen a lot of children that appeared to be alone and be without
20 parents, particularly one little boy who hung around our -- the PTT
21 building begging for food and whatnot. And I think somebody had talked to
22 him and he said his parents had been killed.
23 Q. So there were unsupervised children, in essence, in the town of
24 Srebrenica. Would that be correct?
25 A. That is correct.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Now, it's not in dispute, I believe, that people were starving in
2 Srebrenica at this time. And you've told us how the Serbs obstructed food
3 convoys from entering the enclave. It may be an obvious question, but why
4 do you suppose the Serbs were not allowing food into Srebrenica?
5 A. I wouldn't really be able to say why, but, I mean, if you're
6 trying to starve somebody, you're trying to make them submit.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
8 MR. WUBBEN: It was about the leading and speculative character of
9 the question.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not speculation. If he has an explanation as a
11 military observer on something which is fundamental military efforts ...
12 Go ahead.
13 MR. JONES:
14 Q. And is that starving, to make someone submit, is that a classic
15 albeit, now, illegal [Realtime transcript read in error "legal"] siege
17 A. Certainly that would be a tactic in making somebody submit. If
18 you're blocking off the roads so they can't get food, they're not letting
19 UN convoys in, and it would probably be obvious that if the Americans had
20 to drop rations from the sky, that was the only way to get food into the
21 people to try and keep them alive.
22 Q. Just for the transcript I said "illegal."
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That didn't really answer your question, but let's
24 move, Mr. Jones.
25 MR. JONES:
1 Q. You mentioned rations being dropped from the sky. In what form
2 was that being dropped?
3 A. Initially the US air force was dropping rations, military rations,
4 known as MREs, or meals ready to eat, on pallets and they were basically
5 coming out of the back of a Hercules aircraft by parachute. Some of these
6 palates were floating into the sides of mountains into Bosnian Serb
7 territory where they couldn't be reached. So when I went in, they started
8 changing the delivery method and were just dropping them out of the back
9 of the planes. So they weren't on parachutes and it was more accurate.
10 Q. Now, was it actually safe for civilians from Srebrenica to go up
11 and wait for MREs to be dropped from the sky?
12 A. Certainly not. If you were up in the area of the drop and you
13 were hit by one of these ration packs or boxes or any debris that would
14 have been coming out of the plane, then you would be undoubtedly killed.
15 So we used to warn the people the best we could to stay away from the drop
16 area until after the drop was over.
17 Q. And did they heed those warnings?
18 A. No. There was still people up there and we had -- we had heard
19 that some people actually had been killed by some rations dropping out of
20 the sky.
21 Q. So in other words, you warned civilians not to go to find food on
22 the hills because there was mortal danger involved, but they went anyway?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Was control of these people, these refugees, actually possible in
25 Srebrenica at this time?
1 A. No, it wasn't. And I didn't see any possibility while I was
3 Q. In that regard I want to ask you about another incident. Were you
4 present when a convoy, UN convoy, came into Srebrenica and then people
5 were evacuated from Srebrenica?
6 A. Yes, I was involved in that convoy coming in and then the people
7 going out on the trucks to Tuzla.
8 Q. And we're going to play a short segment of a video, it's Defence
9 Exhibit 700, D700, if you just watch the video. Yes, I believe we need to
10 ask for the sound to be switched on from the booth for Defence Exhibit
12 [Videotape played]
13 Interviewer: "We've set the stage for it. What is it we're going
14 to see next.
15 Tony Birtley: "I think we're going to see one of the scenes that
16 will stay with me and I think for the people who saw the video for many,
17 many, many years and that is the sight of complete and you are the
18 desperation of people who simply want to get out of a situation and are
19 prepared to do anything to do that.
20 "I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I think sometimes in
21 journalism we can be warped to steer towards hyperbole, but, you know,
22 there's nothing you could say to really describe what was going on, the
23 sheer panic and the desperation of those people. And to see women throw
24 their babies into the back of a truck and hoping that somebody would grab
25 them and take them to safety, because separation for them was far better
1 than having a youngster endure starvation and shells and bullets, was
2 terrible, really. Scenes of people getting angry before the convoy left.
3 The UN heard about it, but they could do nothing. I think people have
4 become so desperate that they're prepared to do absolutely anything. I
5 think it's on the lowest level of humanity. I think these people are
6 prepared to steal, even kill to survive because nobody else is looking
7 after them."
8 MR. JONES: All right, thank you.
9 Q. Firstly, are those scenes familiar to you? Is that the sort of
10 thing you saw on the ground?
11 A. Yes, I was there that day. I was in that crowd.
12 Q. And we heard -- actually, do you recognise the journalist who is
13 speaking there from his bed?
14 A. Yes, I knew Tony Birtley. He was there at the time when I went
15 there and previous when I had gone in on the 27th of March.
16 Q. You would have heard him say that the UN heard about what was
17 going on there but could do nothing. Is that correct?
18 A. That would have been correct, yes.
19 Q. And you might have also heard him expressing the opinion that the
20 people there were prepared to do anything simply to survive. Is that a
21 sentiment which you share?
22 A. Yes, it would be.
23 Q. Now, we saw in that video attempts by -- or at least an attempt by
24 a man shooting a rifle in the air to try and control the crowd. Is that
25 something which you saw?
1 A. Yes, on the particular morning when the people got in the back of
2 the trucks, I was standing beside one of those guys and some people had
3 actually gotten on the trucks that night. The convoy had come in the day
4 before. They offloaded the supplies, and then it was too dangerous for
5 the civilian drivers to go back across the confrontation line. So there
6 was a few men designated to try and guard the trucks, but a few men
7 weren't able to do that. And then a number of times you saw on the video
8 where he fired in the air to try and get the crowd to go back. But as
9 soon as they fired in the air and then it stopped, the crowd would surge
10 back onto the trucks.
11 Q. Is there any reason you were standing near the man shooting into
12 the air?
13 A. Yes, because that would be the safest place to be. Because when
14 the bullets are fired in the air they are going to come back down and
15 possibly kill people in the vicinity. However, due to the velocity and
16 the -- particularly the wind speed the bullet would not come down on that
17 person who fired it.
18 Q. So again, as with the air drop situation, was there a deadly risk
19 to people remaining in the area, but they remained nonetheless?
20 A. Yes, and due to the size of the crowd there was a very good chance
21 that people were killed in the crowd, and that's what we had heard.
22 Q. Again, was there any possibility of controlling this crowd of
24 A. None whatsoever, no. Not without a larger force.
25 Q. And even with a larger force, what, in fact, could be done to
1 prevent people climbing on these trucks?
2 A. You would have essentially had to have such a large force that
3 they would have been able to go shoulder to shoulder. And even then, if
4 you have a crowd of 20 or 30.000 people pushing, then you can't stop it,
5 just the pure weight of the crowd. So you would almost have to shoot
6 people to stop, and they were not -- I don't think prepared to do that to
7 their own people.
8 Q. Right. Now, moving to a slightly different area. We're finished
9 with that video.
10 You mentioned earlier in your testimony people involved in the
11 defence of their homes and their families in Srebrenica, Muslims. Did you
12 see uniforms, military uniforms, when you were in Srebrenica?
13 A. Not really. Some people had uniforms that they may have procured
14 through some means. Most people were in civilian clothing, and some men
15 may have had bits and pieces of a uniform. But there was no formed -- no
16 set uniform as such that a military force would normally have.
17 Q. And as a military man, can you perhaps explain for us a little
18 about the significance of a uniform and what it's important to.
19 A. Well, a uniform, I guess by definition, means everybody's the
20 same, so in uniform. One of the -- one of the first things that I learned
21 in training or that we teach people is discipline. And one of the first
22 ways of teaching discipline is to put everybody in the same uniform, short
23 haircuts, and try and kind of take away your individualism. It also
24 creates pride and what's known as esprit de corps, so that's important in
25 any formed unit.
1 Q. So it's important to discipline, to esprit de corps. Is it
2 important to the command structure?
3 A. Yes. The command structure in the military is such that the
4 leaders, of course, have different rank and going up and down what we
5 have -- what we call a chain of command. And everybody's rank is readily
6 visible so you know who is higher, therefore would be in charge or who was
7 in command, given circumstances where the known leader was killed or not
9 Q. And in the Canadian forces, is it possible to just wear parts of a
10 uniform, just, say, shirt or trousers?
11 A. No, that would be strongly forbidden. We have to wear the correct
12 uniform all the time, and we wouldn't be allowed to mix uniform, for
13 example. So I have to wear either my uniform, or if I'm in civilian
14 clothing, I would only be wearing civilian clothing and not mixing the
16 Q. So, at least in the Canadian forces - and I take it this applies
17 to other NATO forces - there are very strict rules about uniform and
18 uniform itself is critical, critical to discipline, esprit de corps, and
19 the command structure?
20 A. Yes, strict rules about the uniform, and that would be correct,
22 Q. On this subject, in a NATO member state, what would a brigade
23 consist of?
24 A. A brigade would consist of, like personnel-wise, 4 to 5.000
25 soldiers plus their equipment.
1 Q. And how would they be organised in terms of battalions and in
2 terms of having support?
3 A. Everything in a NATO structure is based on threes. So in a
4 brigade you would have three battalions. Each of those battalions would
5 have three companies. Each company would have three platoons. Each
6 platoon would have three sections. So it's all based on threes. Plus a
7 brigade would have the support for the main -- those main three elements
8 to carry out the operations that they are tasked to do, and the four main
9 areas of course are: Ammunition, fuel, water, food, and maintenance would
10 be the fifth one.
11 Q. And in terms of support units, is it correct that - and I assume
12 I'm allowed to lead on this - you would have logistics, engineers,
13 artillery, air defence, medical support, and headquarters?
14 A. Yes. All that stuff would be considered part of the support to
15 the main three functional areas, or those main three. So engineers would
16 be sub-tasked out, artillery or defence, all the logistics would be
17 sub-tasked out to support those smaller operations.
18 Q. So would it be correct that whether or not a group of fighting men
19 can be called a brigade is not just a question of manpower but of
20 capabilities, support, et cetera?
21 A. Yeah, that would be very important, the capabilities, other than
22 just the men alone.
23 Q. And can you explain to us the concept of a "formed unit," if
24 you're familiar with that term.
25 A. A formed unit would be essentially, in Canadian context, a unit
1 that has a -- what we call a TO & E, it would be a NATO term. This stands
2 for table of equipment and organisation. So you actually have a list of
3 the personnel that are in that unit by rank and the qualification required
4 for that specific position. Also the list of equipment is extremely
5 important. Also a key thing would be a command structure and a chain of
6 command. So there would be a commanding officer at the very top level,
7 and if you got down to those sections that I was talking about in the
8 platoons, a section commander. So up and down there's a chain of command,
9 and if something happens to one person, the next person in the chain of
10 command takes over. So somebody always knows what to do.
11 Q. So this table -- these tables of organisation and equipment are
12 also essential for a command structure. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes. Without an TO & E, in our context, you can't have a unit
14 that has a proper task and knows what to do.
15 Q. Now we're going to play another part of a video we saw earlier,
16 D700, just a small segment. It's from there, and just for the record I
17 think it's 0132 where it starts.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: 0132.
19 [Videotape played]
20 "To be a Bosnian soldier you got have -- to be resigned to
21 defeat -- you've got to be resigned to jury, and also you've got to be
22 resigned to death. It's a total misnomer. It is a big fight, the
23 equivalent of Mike Tyson fighting some 15 year old with both arms tied
24 behind his back. They simply do not have the weapons to compete on a
25 level footing with what the Serbs have got. They have 1948, 1950s rifles,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 they have Kalashnikovs if they're lucky. They've got a couple of tanks
2 that they captured from the Serbs but they can't fire them because they
3 ran out of ammunition a long, long time ago."
4 MR. JONES:
5 Q. Do you recall seeing on that video a line of fighters marching
6 along, walking along?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record the video was stopped at 0211.
9 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. And does that chime with what you saw at the time?
11 A. Yes, the fact that some people were wearing a camouflage shirt and
12 some were just in complete civilian dress, yes.
13 Q. In your opinion were there the fighters you saw in Srebrenica in
14 any sense a proper army, in any sense of the word?
15 A. I would say not.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, can my learned friend please be more
18 specific. "A proper army" doesn't make -- really make sense when
19 questions are focussed on various qualifications and comparing it to --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I will not put the question myself, but perhaps you
21 can put another question if you wish. I'm satisfied with the answer.
22 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 MR. JONES: That's why I said "in any sense of the word," to cover
24 any sense of the meaning, precisely for that meaning so it would be
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can -- just to make it obvious now,
2 whether from what he saw he had any glimpse at all of an organised army.
3 I mean, this is basically it.
4 MR. JONES: Yes.
5 Q. Your heard his honour's --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Organised armed force.
7 MR. JONES: -- question? Would you be able to answer that?
8 A. From what I saw there didn't appear to be a lot of organisation,
9 even, for example, on the 3rd of April. I mean, there was just a bunch of
10 men standing around. And I don't know who's in charge, there was no
11 appearance of any organisation, so ...
12 Q. Thank you?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you to both of you.
14 MR. JONES:
15 Q. Now, you heard Tony Birtley express the opinion there regarding
16 the balance between the Serbs and the Muslims. "It's a total mismatch.
17 If it were a big fight, it's the equivalent of Mike Tyson fighting some 15
18 year old with both arms tied behind his back."
19 Is that something you can comment on. Do you share that opinion
20 or not?
21 A. Yes, I share that opinion. Probably the best way to describe
22 that. If you can imagine taking all the artillery and tanks away from the
23 Bosnian Serbs and the JNA and just having, you know, men on the ground
24 with rifles and if there was unlimited ammunition supply for both sides,
25 the Bosnian side probably would have been able to win, even with no
1 training and lack of, you know, properly organised units. But because of
2 the large amounts of artillery and tanks, and of course those planes
3 dropping bombs, that's where that example that he mentioned would --
4 that's the way I would describe it. You just cannot defend yourself if
5 you don't have heavy weapons. So they did the best they could with rifles
6 and then they would have to fall back at some point.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, before I'm going to move on to a moment to your
8 injury and evacuation from Srebrenica, I just want to ask you this: Did
9 you ever meet Naser Oric when you were in Srebrenica?
10 A. One time somebody was in a meeting, one of the military observers,
11 I believe it was our team leader and I was in the vicinity. But I didn't
12 actually meet him, no.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you.
14 Now, in your report that describes in detail your evacuation from
15 Srebrenica, so I don't need to dwell on it. And in fact you've even
16 located on the map where you were and what you saw. I think you told us
17 that you were - and correct me if I'm wrong - that you were informed that
18 the Zeleni Jadar area was important to the defence of Srebrenica. Is that
20 A. Yes. I recall that somebody had told us there was a water-pumping
21 station in Zeleni Jadar. It was also a key intersection along a major
22 route from the south. And once Zeleni Jadar fell, then there was really
23 nothing in between there and the town of Srebrenica itself, that -- Zeleni
24 Jadar had also been taken by the Bosnian Serbs at one point and then the
25 Bosnian forces had actually taken it back after that.
1 Q. And in fact, on D904 - and you don't necessarily have to have that
2 in front of you - I'm just going to read one sentence from there, and it's
3 the second page, 3B, last two sentences. "With the strength of the Serb
4 drive concentrating from the south and south-east as the week progressed
5 the Muslim southern defence line appears at this juncture to hinge on
6 Zeleni Jadar."
7 Is that consistent with what you were told and observed?
8 A. Yes, it would.
9 Q. Now, your reports deals with how you were wound. If you could
10 just tell us, firstly, how you were wounded. What weapon or what missile
11 actually wounded you?
12 A. I was hit by shrapnel from a 120-millimetre mortar.
13 Q. And as far as you're aware -- well, firstly, was that from the
14 Serbs or from the Muslims?
15 A. It was a Serb mortar.
16 Q. And could you see the Serbs who were actually firing the mortars?
17 A. Yes, we saw the mortar tube.
18 Q. And could they see you?
19 A. I -- yes, they could.
20 Q. Did you have your blue helmets on at this time?
21 A. Yes, we were wearing our blue helmets as well as blue -- like a
22 blue jacket or a bib.
23 Q. So were the Serbs deliberately shelling United Nations' monitors
24 on that occasion?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait, wait, wait. Let him answer.
1 THE WITNESS: They did that day.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben, what's your objection?
3 MR. WUBBEN: It's about this speculation on the deliberately
4 shelling. An outcome is something else than something that you decide
5 between your ears.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I have to overturn your objection because the
7 previous question was precisely tended to elicit from the witness whether
8 they were recognisable as UN personnel, whether they were wearing the blue
9 helmet. So --
10 MR. JONES: I can elaborate on that. I'm not sure why Mr. Wubben
11 is concerned to defend the reputation of the Serbs from shelling monitors,
12 but I'll pursue it.
13 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, this is inappropriate --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Ignore this, please. Mr. Wubben, please ignore it.
15 I'm ignoring it and you should ignore it, too. It's not a question of
17 MR. JONES:
18 Q. Well, if you could describe why the Serbs were deliberately
19 shelling UN monitors?
20 A. Well, they were doing -- they were conducting a major attack. We
21 were, I mean, obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time. But we
22 could see them, I could see them, and particularly through my binoculars,
23 so they would be able to see us. No, I could not say they deliberately
24 targeted us, but we were targeted that day and I was hit.
25 Q. In fact, I think, if I could refer you to your report, and it's on
1 the second page. Do give me a moment. You refer to adjusting
2 rounds. "Then the first of three adjusting rounds came in close."
3 So what does that refer to, adjusting rounds?
4 A. When you have a target, artillery is not actually 100 per cent
5 accurate the first time you fire. So we use what we call adjusting
6 rounds. So somebody whose map-reading skills may not be so good or they
7 can just kind of guess where you are roughly will pick a grid and they'll
8 fire on that grid with one round only. Once they see where that round
9 lands, if it hasn't hit the target, they will then adjust aim from there.
10 So when we got up at this position, one round came in, probably it was
11 over 50 metres from where I was. The second one came in maybe 25 metres
12 from where I was, hit me with a concussion, and then the next one came in
13 what we call a far drop. And they're just trying to bracket in on the
14 target slowly with the bearing and elevation of the weapons system. And
15 once they have one that they think is close enough, they'll drop more on
16 you and kill you.
17 Q. Was anyone else wounded with you on that day?
18 A. Yes. Tony Birtley, the journalist, was also hit from the same
19 mortar I was hit from. And on the second mortar there was a Bosnian man
20 who had guided Tony Birtley and another journalist up to that position,
21 and he was hit in the knee as well.
22 Q. And were you taken in to the hospital, at least at some stage if
23 not immediately?
24 A. At some point, yes, I was evacuated down to the hospital in
1 Q. And had you seen the hospital before you went there on that day?
2 A. Yes. I had gone into the hospital one time to do an assessment or
3 on foot patrol just to see what the situation was there.
4 Q. And what was the situation like there?
5 A. Very dire situation in the hospital. Didn't have a lot of
6 supplies, no electricity really, and the big thing that I recall was the
7 smell from all the operations and blood and stuff like that.
8 Q. Were you aware that amputations were being carried out without
9 anaesthetics in the hospital?
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. And how were you aware of amputations?
12 A. Canadian soldiers that came in with us on the 27th of March had
13 been out back of the hospital building, and they came back and reported to
14 us that there had been a pile of amputated limbs just laying there that
15 were thrown out the window. And there was dogs and things like that, you
16 know, trying to eat the rotten flesh.
17 Q. Now, who operated on you and Tony Birtley at the hospital?
18 A. The -- there was a Bosnian surgeon, there was a doctor in there at
19 the time. I forget exactly how to pronounce his name, but he operated on
20 me the day I was wounded.
21 MR. JONES: If the witness can be shown -- I'm not sure, it may be
22 D199, it's about War Hospital, just briefly. Yes, D199. So it's not on
23 the exhibit list, but there's a photograph which I would like him to look
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Could we -- could you tell us the page?
1 MR. JONES: Unfortunately it's on -- the photograph page doesn't
2 have a number. If it's placed on the ELMO, and then afterwards I can find
3 the page number.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
5 MR. JONES:
6 Q. It's simply to ask you this, whether on that page do you recognise
7 that person and whether that was the surgeon?
8 A. Yes, that's the man that operated on me. Yes.
9 Q. Nedret Mujkanovic it says there. MR. JONES I'm just reading from
10 the caption for the record.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, the witness is shown a photo of a
12 gentleman standing in front of what appears to be a Red Cross ambulance or
13 an ambulance with a Red Cross, anyway, with the words "Dr. Nedret
14 Mujkanovic, after returning to Tuzla from Srebrenica, April 1993."
15 MR. JONES: Thank you.
16 I'm being reminded that the witness should also sign the maps
17 before they're returned to the file.
18 Q. I would ask you, Captain MacDonald, if you can initial the maps
19 which will be placed --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Both of them, 905 and 895.
21 MR. JONES:
22 Q. And just two short questions before the break. Firstly, what sort
23 of the job did the surgeon do on you and Tony Birtley?
24 A. Considering the lack of proper equipment and a real operating
25 room, I've been told by doctors over the years that a good job had been
1 done on my leg. Although it wasn't the way they would have done it, but I
2 was well taken care of.
3 Q. And did he save Tony Birtley's leg in essence?
4 A. Yes, he did save Tony Birtley's leg.
5 Q. And a third question: Were you eventually air-lifted out of the
7 A. I was lifted out on the 4th of April, approximately 24 hours after
8 I had been wounded.
9 MR. JONES: I guess that's a perfect moment for the break. In
10 fact, I anticipate I'll finish today.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought so.
12 In that case, Mr. Wubben, do you wish to start your
13 cross-examination today or tomorrow?
14 MR. WUBBEN: Tomorrow, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will have a 30-minute break. We can afford
16 that. Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 1.09 p.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Mr. Jones.
20 MR. JONES: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Just a few more questions for you this afternoon, Captain
22 MacDonald. Firstly I would ask you to look at a photograph which will be
23 passed up; it's Defence Exhibit D872. If you could look at that, and I'll
24 simply ask you if you recognise the man on the right, the far right of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yeah, I recognise him. He was the liaison officer that we dealt
2 with, and I had talked with him on a number of occasions. I do not recall
3 his name.
4 Q. And when you say "that we dealt with," does that refer to the --
5 you and the other UNMOs?
6 A. Yes, that would be correct.
7 Q. Do you or do you not know to whom he was reporting, if anyone?
8 A. No, I never -- that was not part of what I dealt with.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I want to ask you a couple more questions
10 about the bombing -- about bombing from planes and use of artillery. As a
11 military man with your training in field artillery, are you familiar with
12 the term "a kill radius"?
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. And what does that refer to and can you give us an example?
15 A. One artillery round -- to put it down, I guess, to the simplest
16 terms, one artillery round when it lands has a kill radius or what we call
17 a kill zone. And depending on the size of the round, it will have a
18 smaller or bigger kill radius. Any man standing in that circle is highly
19 likely to be killed or wounded. So, for example, 155-millimetre artillery
20 round, a kill radius would be 50 metres. If you fire more than one
21 artillery round from a gun or from a battery of guns, the kill radius is
22 going to be bigger because all the rounds are not going to land in the
23 same hole. So you're going to expand the kill zone.
24 Q. And when you say "the rounds are not going to land in the same
25 hole," is that even if they're aiming for the same location, that there
1 will be discrepancies and they'll land in different locations?
2 A. Yes. Guns have barrel wear after firing a number of rounds plus
3 imperfections in the ammunition plus wind will actually make a round go
4 slightly off course. So that being said you'll never have all the rounds
5 land in the same spot; that's physically impossible to happen.
6 Q. That example you've given where you have firing from a battery of
7 guns with a larger kill radius, if these guns are firing at different
8 locations, say within a village, will the radius be even greater, the kill
10 A. Yes, it would. Normally -- normally when you fire a battery of
11 guns you fire on the same grid, but if you fire on different grids, then
12 there's potential for the radius to be bigger.
13 Q. Say you have a number of heavy-calibre guns firing into a small
14 location, say a small village, would the shrapnel then be spread over the
15 whole area, pretty much indiscriminately?
16 A. Yes, that's entirely possible.
17 Q. Now, are you familiar with the concept of a denial plan?
18 A. Yes, I am.
19 Q. Can you describe for us what that refers to?
20 A. A denial plan in military terms is a plan for denying the use of
21 our equipment or ammunition to the enemy. So if we have to withdraw or if
22 we have to abandon our positions and we have to do it quickly because of
23 enemy pressure, then we would have a plan in place on what we were to
24 destroy in place and how to destroy it. And that's known as a denial
1 Q. So that would involve the destruction of your own equipment and/or
2 ammunition to the enemy?
3 A. Yes, we would blow up our ammunition that we couldn't carry with
4 us, and equipment would be destroyed so it would be beyond use to the
5 enemy. And obviously we would have to do this quickly because they may be
6 right over the hill and we have to get out of there quick. So based on
7 the amount of time that we would have, we may destroy things more or less.
8 Q. And is that something unique to the Canadian Armed Forces, or is
9 it standard military practice?
10 A. That would be standard military practice, definitely in NATO.
11 Q. And finally on this theme, are you familiar with a concept known
12 as FPF or final protective fire?
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. And can you explain for us what that's about?
15 A. We use final protective fire where we would actually bring -- we
16 would have a target just to the front of our position. And if we were
17 about to be overrun by an enemy force, we could call down fire on that
18 position as a last-ditch effort to try and stop that enemy attack. As an
19 artillery officer, we used to lay our guns on the FPF at night-time and a
20 soldier laying by the gun could fire that in seconds, it was called, to
21 give the infantry soldiers that defensive fire, protective fire. It has
22 to be fired quickly.
23 Q. And do you know if armies in your experience or to your knowledge
24 have ever practiced calling down final protective fire on their own
1 A. Yes, I've studied some historical examples, even in some of the
2 movies. During the Vietnam war the Americans were known to call fire down
3 on themselves, and that would be the FPF, because they were being overrun
4 by the enemy forces. And if you're down inside your trenches or your
5 bunkers and the enemy is on top of the ground, then there's a good chance
6 you're going to stop them.
7 Q. Thank you. I just want to review a few more documents with you.
8 The first one is D740, Defence Exhibit D740. And while that's being
9 passed up I'll just read for the record. It's Bratunac garrison command,
10 it's dated 6th of October, 1992, urgent to Birac brigade command. And it
11 says, the second sentence of the second paragraph: "In the enemy attack
12 on Fakovici yesterday," so that would be the 5th of October, 1992, "20
13 people were killed and one person went missing. The enemy captured two
14 20-millimetre anti-aircraft guns, a three-barrelled and a four-barrelled
15 one; three 82-millimetre mortars with about 60 shells; an M-84, PM, light
16 machine-gun; two M53-PMs and about ten APM."
17 Now, this describes captured weaponry. Now, in terms of that list
18 and what you see there as it simply as being captured, what, if anything,
19 can you say about the unit which had these weapons?
20 A. Well, it appears to come have an organised unit. These would be
21 typical weapons that you would find in what you call in NATO terms or in
22 Canadian terms as a combined arms team. So I'm looking here and seeing
23 anti-aircraft weapons from an air defence unit, mortars from an artillery
24 or infantry unit, and machine-guns, and I guess the other equipment there.
25 So from a unit that was trained and knew how to use this stuff.
1 Q. You've described for us that a battery is I think you said six to
2 eight guns. So three mortars would be half a mortar battery. Would that
3 be correct?
4 A. Yeah, we would call that a group. So that would be probably the
5 minimum that you would use.
6 Q. Now, are you familiar with the concept of home defence or home
7 guard? Does that concept exist in Canada?
8 A. Yes, it does today and historically during World War II, although
9 there's a different term that we call it today.
10 Q. And would a home guard have artillery weapons like those listed
12 A. Certainly not.
13 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with that exhibit.
14 I'd just like now if you could look at D469, Defence Exhibit 469.
15 And this is dated 9th of January, 1993, to the Drina Corps command. And
16 I'm going to read for the record. "In the course of combat between the
17 hours of 0830 and 1800 on 7 January, 1993, during the withdrawal of the
18 3rd Kravica PB infantry battalion, the following MTS was left behind in
20 And then we have a list of a number of items, and then it
21 says "destroyed" towards the bottom, B.
22 Now, this document obviously refers specifically to a battalion,
23 the 3rd Kravica Infantry Battalion, and what was left behind in Kravica
24 when that battalion withdrew on the 7th of January, 1993. Now, is it
25 right in light of what you told us earlier or not that it is common
1 military practice for a retreating army to destroy its own weapons if it
2 cannot take them?
3 A. Yes, it is, if you have time.
4 Q. And would that include warehouses, for example, where weapons or
5 ammunition are stored to prevent the enemy from capturing them?
6 A. Certainly there would be a plan for all equipment, even in a
8 Q. Now, this list refers to a three-barrelled gun, four-barrelled
9 gun, ZIS gun, six mortars, anti-aircraft guns. Again, is this weapons of
10 a properly equipped battalion or is it something which would belong to a
11 home guard or a village guard?
12 A. This is consistent, what you would find in an infantry battalion
13 or a brigade.
14 Q. And according to this list, this is simply what was captured or
15 destroyed, not necessarily all the weaponry in Kravica. Correct?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. Your Honour, so far it has some line in it.
18 The line is that witness is now already for some time requested his
19 observations but also his opinion in comparing a Canadian army/NATO army
20 situation with another situation in Bosnia. And that situation he didn't
21 saw by himself, he didn't monitor it by himself. It has been put to him
22 through this -- through my learned friend. Well, there comes a time -- it
23 is a grey line when it comes from a witness a step over to become a kind
24 of expert, and I think now the time has come to make objections. When my
25 learned friend put to him the content of letters, orders, or whatsoever,
1 and asked his conclusions to compare it with similar situations and like
2 an expert would do. And I protest against it. It's all about a witness
3 for fact-finding and such has been presented to us also via the summary
4 and not as an expert, Your Honour.
5 MR. JONES: May I respond, Your Honour?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, Mr. Jones.
7 MR. JONES: I simply don't understand the objection because my
8 question was: "According to this list, this is simply what was captured
9 or destroyed, not necessarily all the weaponry, in Kravica?" That's
10 simply a comment on what's on the face of the document. In fact, I don't
11 even really need to put the question because the document speaks for
12 itself. If Mr. Wubben is now belatedly, I emphasise belatedly, making a
13 point about questions which were asked earlier, then he's simply too late.
14 It's a basic principle that a party has to object in a timely fashion.
15 And so as far as that objection is to my last question, I submit I have no
16 application whatsoever.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The last question, ignore it completely.
18 MR. JONES: Right, so it is a belated reaction.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The substance of his objection obviously does not
20 really tie-up with your last question. It ties up with --
21 MR. JONES: That's why I say, Your Honour, objections have to be
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But apart from that --
24 MR. JONES: And secondly --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: There is another issue involved.
1 MR. JONES: Of course, but it's an important point, Your Honour.
2 It's not open to any party to object to a question that was asked two
3 hours ago. But secondly, the witness has answered questions that are
4 entirely in his knowledge. He is a field artillery officer. He has not
5 been giving opinions; he's been stating what the practice is, not just in
6 Canada but is practise in armed forces generally, and he's been also
7 referring to what he observed, I don't know how far I have to go back now
8 in his evidence, but he's referred to what he saw with his own eyes, guns
9 firing, effect of guns, et cetera.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop because we have got the witness present and I
11 would rather conclude on this very quickly.
12 Mr. Wubben, your last comments on this and I will confer with my
13 two colleagues and decide on this.
14 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour. It's not only what this witness
15 observed, not only questions to what the practice is in Canada, it's not
16 limited to those issues, it's also making conclusions upon suggestions by
17 this counsel, and that's my protest.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So very simply put, Mr. Wubben and Mr. Jones, the
21 position as we see it is that we don't read in your questions an attempt
22 to try and elicit expert advice from the witness. That's number one.
23 Number two, any testimony that he may have given, that he has
24 actually given based on his knowledge and comparative knowledge with the
25 Canadian army or NATO or military doctrine and strategy in general, we do
1 not take it that he has tried to answer as an expert. And any question
2 that you feel uncomfortable about, you can deal with on cross-examination.
3 If he has testified on the situation as it obtains in Canada or whatever,
4 you can ask him whether he is in a position to know or to inform us what
5 was the position or if he is aware of what the practice and position was
6 in the former Yugoslavia, and that's it. If he knows, he will answer; if
7 he doesn't, the situation will remain as it is. He has testified on the
8 practice in Canada and in NATO countries. We don't really see the
9 substance of the objection, and we are not taking the witness as a witness
10 testifying basically on -- as an expert. He is testifying -- he is being
11 asked questions which he is answering based on his knowledge and
12 experience. And we are taking it as that. I mean, he can be confuted and
13 challenged with any question on cross-examination on that. All right.
14 Yes. Thank you. Mr. Jones, you've got 15 minutes to conclude,
15 otherwise we will continue tomorrow.
16 MR. JONES: Yes. May I just say I take Your Honour's point.
17 Simply, the reason I insist so much is on a timely objection is --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right, you are right.
19 MR. JONES: Because otherwise I ask questions --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right. I didn't touch on it because it is
21 obvious. Once it has passed, it has passed.
22 MR. JONES: Okay, thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Now, finally, just turning back to your report and in fact you
24 don't necessarily need it in front of you, but it's the line five --
25 sentence five lines from the bottom. "One year in a combat zone is
1 definitely enough for the time being."
2 I just want to focus on that in relation to a time in Srebrenica.
3 Was there a plan among the UNMOs for rotation every week or so because of
4 the traumas of being in the enclave?
5 A. Yes. Initially when we were -- when we went into Srebrenica they
6 told us that we would need to be equipped for 15 days. And then
7 immediately a plan that we would rotate half the team every Friday, so
8 once a week. However, this didn't necessarily happen but I have no
9 information on how it worked because I was Med-Evac'ed out of there on the
10 4th of April.
11 Q. And what was the reason for that plan?
12 A. Well, the conditions were so bad. We were eating rations, we
13 didn't have clean drinking water. I had actually gotten sick probably
14 from the sanitary and -- sanitary conditions and the bad water and the
15 high stress. It was a very stressful time. So you would try to rotate
16 people out so they would get the experience and you could basically
17 de-stress back in a less stressful location.
18 Q. So would it be right to say that even hardened UNMOs were
19 suffering trauma after even a very brief periods in the enclave, due to
20 the conditions there?
21 A. Certainly. Yes, we had to deal with the same situation as the
22 local population, and in some cases even more due to the job that we were
24 Q. And did you come across, and you don't need to mention any names,
25 but UNMOs who suffered severe post-traumatic stress as a result of
1 witnesses events in the Konjevic Polje-Srebrenica area?
2 A. Yes, I did. Sometimes a critical incident can affect you
3 immediately to your detriment.
4 Q. For Bosnian fighters who were there for years, what would the
5 trauma have been like?
6 A. Everybody deals with trauma differently and some people can handle
7 it and it won't necessarily affect them, and others, like I said, one
8 simple event can -- they can snap.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. JONES: Yes. No further questions.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
12 So -- before we quit for the day you will recall about two months
13 ago I had mentioned to you the possibility of sitting down together and
14 trying to agree on a document which would be made available to the Trial
15 Chamber describing -- naming and describing the various kinds of weapons.
16 Did you do anything about it? I suppose you did.
17 MR. WUBBEN: Yes.
18 MR. JONES: There's been an exchange.
19 MR. WUBBEN: There has been an exchange so far and we made some
20 suggestions. The response by my learned friends was that they are on the
21 review of various definitions. The Defence had, for themselves, also a
22 suggestion, meaning a kind of overview. So we are definitely working on
23 it. It should be something that comes out of both parties.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I wanted to make sure that you have not
25 shelved it or put it in deep freeze.
1 MR. WUBBEN: No, certainly not.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It would become very useful because it will ensure
3 some kind of uniformity on the part of the Chamber when approaching the
4 armament issue. All right? Thank you.
5 Captain, we will stop here for today.
6 I take it, Mr. Wubben - and I won't be too optimistic in expecting
7 that you would probably finish your cross-examination tomorrow.
8 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So tomorrow your ordeal will be over, Captain, and
10 you will be able to return back home. So I thank you so much. You will
11 now be escorted by Madam Usher. In the meantime, between today and
12 tomorrow, be sure that you don't communicate or let anyone communicate
13 with you on the matters related to your testimony or to the subject matter
14 of this case.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
17 So we will reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thanks.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.35 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of
20 November, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.