1 Thursday, 15 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Registrar, good morning to you. Could you
6 call the 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, ma'am.
10 Mr. Oric, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, ladies
12 and gentlemen. Yes, I can follow the proceedings in my own language.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Oric, and good morning to you.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
16 lead counsel for the Prosecution. Also good morning to my learned friends
17 of the Defence. I am here together with co-counsel, Ms. Patricia Sellers,
18 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, and our acting case manager, Ms. Sanja Bokulic.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning to you and
20 your team.
21 Appearances for Naser Oric.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
23 morning, my learned friends. My name is Vasvija Vidovic. Together with
24 Mr. John Jones I appear for Mr. Naser Oric. With us are our legal
25 assistant, Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and our CaseMap manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Vidovic, and good morning to you
2 and your team.
3 Hopefully, no preliminaries?
4 MR. WUBBEN: Short one, Your Honour. It's not a problem.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That's all right.
6 MR. WUBBEN: It is a request for a guidance. I raised it earlier
7 with the Defence. On Monday we sent them a request for a new sequence
8 list, and yesterday I discussed it with lead counsel. She told me that
9 she will try to do her best to update me of the list of the -- to start
10 with after the break by the end of the week, but there might also be a
11 possibility that she's not able to do so but only by the beginning next
12 week. Well, this is a concern of me because we also have to organise and
13 set up scheduling, and this is a strong call and I don't know to what
14 extent the Trial Chamber need this information because I recall for myself
15 that the Prosecution had even to provide a list further -- a very long
16 list, extensive list, a complete list until the end and also try to do its
17 best to provide the Defence with that information. So I would like to
18 call the Defence -- and I know they're doing their best, but beginning
19 next week might be a little bit late. Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Wubben.
21 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are now in a
23 position to expect, after these two witnesses are completed, that we shall
24 re-examine our list of witnesses. The only reason we have not yet
25 submitted it is that we wish to re-examine it. I do understand
1 Mr. Wubben's request, and we will do our best to have this finished before
2 the end of office hours on Friday. However, we wish to wait for the end
3 of the testimony of these two witnesses.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I -- okay. I thank you, Madam Vidovic. Please try
5 to do your best. Basically, I don't see that it will be the end of the
6 world if instead of Friday you get it on Monday. So -- anyway, please try
7 to be as practical and cooperative as possible.
8 The other thing is, Katarina, none of our LiveNote monitors are --
9 LiveNote is not on. The main one, yes, but the other one isn't. So it
10 needs to -- I can do it myself if I knew the password, but I don't know
11 the password. And I think that my two colleagues are in the same
12 position. All right. Thank you.
13 Can we bring the witness in?
14 Are you still hoping to finish with the next witness today?
15 MR. JONES: Yes, Your Honour. I can take the next witness very
16 shortly, I think within an hour, an hour and a half. So I would hope so.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones.
19 Mr. Wubben?
20 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, within an hour, hour and a half, when
21 such a statement is done, that's promising, I can guarantee because I
22 received yesterday evening an additional list of persons that might be
23 important, but I'll try to do my best.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you mean an additional list of persons?
25 MR. WUBBEN: In addition to the summary, we requested additional
1 information and we gained some --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Wubben.
3 Lieutenant Colonel Dudley, good morning to you.
4 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back.
6 I see that the representation from the American embassy has
7 changed. Could you please state your names for the record.
8 MS. SCHILDGE: Thank you, Your Honour. My name is Heather
9 Schildge. I'm the deputy legal councillor at the United States embassy.
10 MS. BREECE: Good morning, Your Honour. My name is Yvonne
11 Breece. I am with the department of defence.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to both of you.
13 Let's continue with the re-examination, and then the witness can
15 WITNESS: REX EDWARD DUDLEY [Resumed]
16 Re-examined by Mr. Jones: [Continued]
17 Q. Good morning from me, Lieutenant Colonel Dudley. Now, yesterday
18 you were shown a lot of documents by the Prosecution and we're going to
19 review them briefly. I don't want you to speculate or make assumptions or
20 try to guess when I show you these documents. If there's something you
21 don't know or aren't able to help with, simply feel free to say so. I'm
22 going to start with P3, which you were shown yesterday.
23 MR. JONES: So if the witness could be shown P3. The Bosnian --
24 also -- yes, if he could see the Bosnian and the English.
25 Q. And now first - and it's an obvious point and I won't make it with
1 each document - but this is the 18th of October, 1992, so that's about
2 five months before you arrived in Srebrenica. Is that correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Now, looking at this document and looking at the original, can you
5 see anything on it which indicates whether it was either sent or received?
6 Just on the face of the document, whether there's anything which says
7 "received" and a signature or "sent to" and a signature; anything of that
9 A. I am looking. This indicates commander's intent, but it doesn't
10 say whether it was sent out or received.
11 Q. And for this document, you personally can't say whether this is
12 authentic, whether it was actually typed on the 18th of October 1992 or
13 whether it was typed on the 18th of October, 2002.
14 A. That is correct. All I have is a photocopy.
15 Q. Would you also agree it's not actually addressed to anyone, this
16 order? There isn't actually a specific person or unit to which -- to whom
17 it's addressed.
18 A. Well, it appears to be addressed to the Srebrenica armed forces
19 staff, but again, that's not exactly clear either.
20 Q. So in fact, on the face of it, there's no indication, is there, of
21 who this would be delivered to if you had this piece of paper in your
23 A. No. There would be an additional attachment to say who it was
24 going to be distributed to.
25 Q. And if a document like this were to be delivered to different
1 units, that would require multiple copies. Correct?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Did you see any photocopiers when you were in Srebrenica?
4 A. As far -- did I see anything that could produce additional copies
5 of paperwork? The answer is no.
6 Q. Thank you. And we see at the top there's a reference to the
7 decree law of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Did you ever hear
8 fighters in the enclave referring to decree laws when referring to what
9 they were about?
10 A. No, I did not.
11 Q. And in fact you told us that you observed a low level of education
12 among people. I think you said on a couple of occasions - not wishing to
13 be unkind - but they were not much smarter than their animals. Does this
14 document -- what's stated there referring to a decree law of the
15 Presidency, does that tally with what you observed in terms of level of
16 education and training?
17 A. As far as being able to disseminate this information and have it
18 understood and well implemented, no.
19 Q. And this document also talks about low units and high units being
20 in constant communication. It refers to a military organisation or
21 establishment structure. You've talked about semi-autonomous village
22 groups, et cetera. Does that fit with what you observed in Srebrenica,
23 that reference to a military organisation of establishment structure or
25 A. Again, at the that time I was there, no.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. JONES: Now if the witness could be shown P7.
3 Q. And again, I don't want to belabour the point with these
4 documents, but if you could confirm for each one I show, firstly whether
5 there's anything on the face of it which indicates that it was either sent
6 or received.
7 A. I'm going to pick up the original so I can look at it real quickly
8 and then I'll put it back. No, there's no distribution plan.
9 Q. Thank you. And again, in terms of whether this is authentic or
10 whether it was typed up ten years later, that's not something you can help
11 us with, is it?
12 A. The only thing I can say on this one is it's been typed on a
13 typewriter, not a computer or word processor, therefore it would fit into
14 that time frame; however, I cannot confirm or deny that.
15 Q. Then again, if you wanted to suggest that something had been typed
16 in 1992, you'd be more likely to do it on a typewriter than on a computer,
17 wouldn't you?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. As far as the codes which are referred to here, did you ever hear
20 of codes being given to any of these semi-autonomous village groups that
21 you referred to while you were in Srebrenica?
22 A. No, I did not, nor did I see the process in action.
23 Q. When we look at some of what's referred to here, a signals
24 platoon, a mortar company, an AA defence battery, an engineering platoon,
25 an armoured platoon, did the forces that you see in Srebrenica have any of
1 those things? Did they have armoured personnel carries or operational
2 tanks or mortars or anti-aircraft batteries?
3 A. The answer is any heavy equipment I saw was inoperable because it
4 either lacked ammunition, fuel, repair parts, or something else. Every
5 piece of equipment was in some state of disrepair and nonfunctional.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones and Lieutenant Colonel Dudley, please
7 allow a pause because we have already missed a segment of one answer. So
8 please try to cooperate as much as you can.
9 MR. JONES: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. So in that respect, these references to a mortar company, et
11 cetera, would that seem anomalous in terms of what you observed in March,
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Yesterday you said that codes make for quick and efficient
15 communication. You still need a way of actually transmitting, of
16 communicating, would you not, even if you devised a system of codes?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. And you told us that when you were in Srebrenica in March 1993,
19 communications were "virtually non-existent" were your words. Correct?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. So in that case, codes wouldn't actually be of much help.
22 A. In your question I can't confirm or deny that, based on the
23 operations on the ground.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. If we could move on to P10, please.
25 Now, the Prosecution showed you this document yesterday, and it's
1 dated 20 October, 1992. Are you familiar with any of the events or the
2 persons described in this document?
3 A. The only thing I can identify on this document is that most of
4 these individuals have Muslim names of some sort; otherwise, I have no
5 idea what this group pass is all about.
6 Q. Again, are you able to say or not whether this is authentic or
7 whether this was -- whether this was forged or another way inauthentic?
8 A. Looking at the photocopies, there's no way that I can confirm or
9 deny that it was authentic or not authentic.
10 Q. Now, I think you told us that Srebrenica was under siege when you
11 were there. Correct?
12 A. That is a very appropriate term, yes.
13 Q. And as far as you know, was the situation any different in October
15 A. It was a slightly better condition, but the enclave was still
16 basically surrounded.
17 Q. And given that, was there in fact -- was the area between
18 Srebrenica and Tuzla actually controlled by Muslims, by Muslim forces?
19 A. I wouldn't use the term "controlled," but I would use the term
20 that they had some freedom of movement.
21 Q. I meant by controlled in such a way that it would be necessary or
22 appropriate to issue passes for people to go to Tuzla and back.
23 A. Mr. Jones, I'm going to rephrase that question. Whether you have
24 to pass through enemy territory or not, issuing passes to one group to
25 pass into another enclave would be an appropriate move because that would
1 give them authorisation to be -- to move to the other enclaves so the
2 receiving side would know that they were there for official business.
3 Q. Did you ever see any passes when you were in Srebrenica?
4 A. No, I did not.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. JONES: If the witness could please be shown P20 now.
7 Q. Now, this is the document which is actually from the time frame
8 when you were in Srebrenica; 24 March 1993. It refers to Kutlici unit.
9 Now, first of all, do you know where Kutlici is or are you familiar with
10 any of the -- are you familiar with that location?
11 A. No, I am not. I don't recognise that name and specifically it
12 would have to be shown to me on a map.
13 Q. And again, can you see anything on this document which indicates
14 whether it was sent or received?
15 A. No, I cannot.
16 Q. And are you able to confirm whether or not this is authentic or
17 whether it was typed up at some other time?
18 A. There is no way I can confirm it, looking at this document.
19 Q. Now, just in terms of the format of this document, an
20 authorisation to a unit to mobilise the entire population temporarily
21 housed in a village, does it seem strange or normal to you that it's not
22 addressed to anyone, to any person, and it's not apparent to whom it would
23 be taken?
24 A. My only comment on this one is Kutlici unit is who it's addressed
25 to, obviously in the first paragraph, first sentence. However, how he's
1 going to execute this is very unclear, looking at the situation that was
2 on the ground.
3 Q. And are you, in fact, able to confirm anything about this
4 document; whether it reflects any true facts or events?
5 A. No. Actually, it looks like whoever was going to receive this
6 directive would probably be unable to carry it out because of the
7 situation on the ground at the time.
8 Q. Thank you --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it I have to take your answer within the
10 context of what you had stated previously, namely, that you don't even
11 know where Kutlici is. So you wouldn't be able to know what the
12 situation on the ground was in Kutlici at the time.
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, that's a very good point. I would
14 assume it was inside the Srebrenica pocket, but unless I was shown that on
15 a map, I cannot confirm or deny it.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 And if the witness could now be shown P178, please.
19 Q. Again, this is a document which you were shown by the Prosecution.
20 It's dated the 15th of October, 1992. I think you recognised Potocari,
21 but apart from Potocari, do you recognise any of the other places
22 mentioned here?
23 A. With a quick glance, negative.
24 Q. I think what you did say is that, yes, in Potocari when you were
25 in Srebrenica in March 1993, that was on the front line. You also told us
1 the enclave was shrinking. Are you able to say definitely one way or the
2 other whether the front line was in Potocari in October 1992?
3 A. No, I cannot because I didn't have a trace of the front line at
4 that time as a historical reference.
5 Q. And again on this document, is there anything on the face of it
6 which shows that it was either sent or received?
7 A. Negative.
8 Q. And again, you can't see, can you, to whom it would be sent?
9 A. No, I cannot -- let me revise my last statement, please.
10 Q. Certainly.
11 A. Usually orders are sent to a subordinate unit and then a copy is
12 kept on file with a higher unit. However, neither one of these are
13 indicated on this sheet of paper.
14 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, if you look at line 4, there's a
15 reference to a place called Tegare. Would you understand from this
16 document on the face of it that Tegare is meant to be in free territory,
17 that is in Muslim hands, as of the 15th of October, 1992?
18 A. I'm looking at number 4, Tegare. I would have no clue.
19 Q. But from the face of the document, that's what it appears to be
20 stating, that Tegare is on Muslim lines. Would you agree?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. JONES: If the witness could be shown Defence Exhibit D966.
23 In fact, Your Honour, I think in the interests of time and the
24 answer given by the witness about this document, it's not necessary for me
25 to proceed with that document.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Jones.
2 MR. JONES: Well, yes, actually, sorry -- I'll revise that. Yes,
3 D966, but there is another document which I was going to review which is
4 not necessary. So, yes, please, D966.
5 Q. We can take this quickly. This is dated 14th September, 1992,
6 Milici, operator Borivoje Lalovic, and it's the Birac Brigade command. It
7 says at the bottom, "Tegare completely liberated." Are you familiar with
8 whether it would refer to the Serbs or the Muslims on this document with
9 Milici, Birac Brigade command, and the name Borivoje Lalovic?
10 A. That appears to be a Serb document.
11 Q. And according to that, Tegare was liberated. Would you understand
12 from that that it was in Serb hands, certainly as of the 14th of
13 September, 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now -- yes, I think in fact that completes the
16 review of documents. There are just a couple of videos, again which you
17 were shown yesterday by the Prosecution. First P427. I think we're going
18 to go to 37.55.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. JONES:
21 Q. Now, firstly, we see there, do we not, that that's a UNHCR
23 A. Rather obviously, yes.
24 MR. JONES: And if we play on a bit further.
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. JONES: If we pause there.
2 Q. That man in the blue beret would appear to be with which
4 A. He would be an UNPROFOR soldier.
5 MR. JONES: We'll carry on a bit further.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. JONES:
8 Q. Do you recall you were shown this yesterday?
9 A. That is correct.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. JONES:
12 Q. Freeze there for a moment. The man with the blue hat, speaking on
13 the telephone, what affiliation would you say he is?
14 A. I would say he is associated with the UN in some capacity.
15 Obviously not an UNPROFOR soldier, probably a UNHCR representative.
16 Q. Now, you were shown this yesterday -- and perhaps we'll continue a
17 bit further so we can see the satellite dish.
18 [Videotape played].
19 MR. JONES: If we stop there.
20 Q. Can you see the emblem on his hat?
21 A. Yes, I can. It looks like a United Nations maybe UNICEF-type
23 Q. We'll carry on a bit further.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. JONES: Stop there.
1 Q. I don't know if it was being suggested to you by the Prosecution
2 that maybe that satellite dish belonged to the Bosnians rather than the
3 United Nations?
4 A. I remember the UN using these heavier satellite dishes now as
5 semi-transportable. They were not man-packable, but they were
6 transportable, and they usually had to set up a small generator sometimes
7 to operate them; otherwise, they would be powered out of the vehicle.
8 That satellite dish most likely came from the UNHCR four-wheel drive
9 vehicle that we saw.
10 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Now I think we'll go to 24.43 on
11 the same video. Again, this is all scenes that you were shown yesterday.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. JONES:
14 Q. Yes. Now, firstly, are you able to tell us -- and obviously
15 there's a time written on the screen, but first of all, are you able to
16 say whether that is in fact the date, whether this was properly
17 synchronised, this footage, or whether it's of some other date?
18 A. You can do all types of things with videos, so, no, I cannot
19 confirm or deny whether this is the actual date of that picture.
20 Q. Can you say where it is?
21 A. It is obviously in Eastern Bosnia, because I recognise Zele, who
22 is in the front of the picture. Whether he's in Tuzla or whether he's in
23 Srebrenica, I can't confirm it just from this picture that I'm looking at
24 right now.
25 Q. Yes, I think you mean Senad.
1 A. Yes, that is correct, Senad.
2 Q. You said yesterday when shown this -- actually, I'll just find the
3 part of the transcript. It was at page 107, lines 24 to 25, I think, if I
4 could just have a moment. Yes. You say you noticed that there was a wide
5 variety of military uniforms in the group. It's not uniform. And there's
6 that interesting oxymoron of different uniforms. It's correct, isn't it,
7 for a military organisation, that the uniform has to be the same by
9 A. The only people in my experience who are professional military who
10 have motley uniforms are special ops-type guys just because of the
11 characteristics of their activities, and that's by purpose, not by
12 necessity. In this case, it's by necessity.
13 Q. So you would agree that different uniforms, as a uniform, is a
14 contradiction in terms?
15 A. Yes, particularly for a paramilitary-type group.
16 Q. Now, if we go to 27.13.7 on the same video, you were asked about
17 an individual. And again, we won't mention his name.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. JONES:
20 Q. There, who we see in the white hat. I simply want to ask you
21 this: Were you aware whether he was in Srebrenica after you left, later
22 in 1993 or in 1994 or in 1995?
23 A. No, I do not know.
24 Q. So are you able to say for this footage positively when this was
25 filmed; in what year, and again, aside from what may be indicated on the
2 A. I have a historical fact that I know General Morillon made his
3 first trip into the Srebrenica pocket to Cerska and that this individual
4 accompanied him on that trip.
5 Q. We don't see General Morillon in that picture, do we?
6 A. No, we do not, and I do not know who the other individual in blue
8 Q. Now we're going to go to 46.57 on the same video.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. JONES:
11 Q. Now, first I want you to look at the surrounding scenery and -- as
12 this plays and tell us whether this is in fact in Srebrenica. And I mean
13 the town when I say that.
14 A. That looks very similar to the terrain I knew in Srebrenica. It
15 would be on the northern part of the town.
16 Q. Is it anywhere near the PTT building?
17 A. Stop. Go back three -- about three frames, please. I need to
18 look at the hills in the back left side.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE WITNESS: Stop. No, it doesn't appear to be directly by the
21 PTT building. It actually appears to be further north, more towards the
22 soccer fields, looking at that location. I didn't see any -- I didn't see
23 the hospital or the PTT building or some of the other key large buildings
24 I was familiar with. This valley area looks too open, also. Downtown
25 Srebrenica is a much tighter environment.
1 MR. JONES:
2 Q. Right. Now, you were asked yesterday -- you were shown this video
3 and you were asked questions about it in relation to the incident of
4 General Morillon being kept, initially against his will, in Srebrenica.
5 It was put to you, and it's at page 120, line 1, it was asked whether
6 seeing this video changed your mind, whether there might have been
7 authorities involved in the taking or holding people in abeyance at the
8 PTT building on the 11th of March when you arrived. Did you understand
9 from that question that this video was supposed to be in Srebrenica, in
10 the town?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Did that mislead you or confuse you?
13 A. Well, the key comment on this one --
14 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I have an objection, because that was
15 -- not a question was asked by the Prosecution and so one cannot be
16 misled by what was not asked, and I'm now wondering is the witness being
17 misled by this series of questions.
18 MR. JONES: That seems a rather sort of tit-for-tat.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones, I think we can move to the next
21 MR. JONES: I think the witness has clearly stated that he was.
23 Q. Now, one point when being shown this video I think you referred to
24 a charismatic -- indications of a charismatic leader because people were
25 applauding. Were you saying that you can conclude from a few people
1 applauding that one is in the presence of a charismatic leader, or were
2 you saying something else?
3 A. I'm going to rephrase your question. Based on what I saw on that
4 video and the reaction of the crowd to that personality, it was very
5 positive, not negative. They were giving him due respect and attention.
6 Q. Okay. Now, I want to ask you about this book by Larry
7 Hollingworth. In preparing for testifying, I asked you, did I not, to
8 read a couple of chapters from that book?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. And now you told us yesterday that Mr. Hollingworth was not a
11 trained military observer. Correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. In what you read in his book, was it all a hundred per cent
14 accurate or was there any exaggeration or artistic license or any matters
15 that you didn't entirely agree with?
16 A. As far as getting this general flow of the event, he got that
17 right; but with the details, he elaborated or added or subtracted to it.
18 He didn't keep a journal, and therefore his particulars were not exactly
20 MR. JONES: Thank you. Yes, I have no further questions.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 Judge Brydensholt, do you have any questions?
23 Judge Eser?
24 JUDGE ESER: Yes, I have two short points.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE ESER: Mr. Dudley, when -- you put some weight on this C3I
2 environments and it seemed to be used as a yardstick for assessing the
3 efficiency of an army, and so on. Now, my question is: When you make
4 reference to CIA -- C3I, I'm sorry -- you see I'm not a military man.
5 A. Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ESER: If you make reference to this, did you mean it as a
7 description of reality which, apart from the present situation in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, would be common to all normal armies, armies all over
9 the world, or would you use -- make reference to these requirements in
10 terms of a proposition, how an army ideally be -- should be?
11 A. Your Honour, I'm going to take a few minutes to answer that
12 question. First off, as a trained military observer, I am equipped with
13 various yardsticks to measure the capabilities of various armed forces I
14 meet in the field. For C3I or command, control, communications, and
15 intelligence, these are key tools that any commander would need to be an
16 effective commander in the field. There's various ways and means to
17 accomplish those four criteria, but if one or more of them are missing,
18 then the commander becomes quickly handicapped in his ability to lead and
19 accomplish specific missions, particularly combined-arms operations. And
20 that's what I was judging.
21 JUDGE ESER: Thank you.
22 Another question is the following: If I -- if my recollection is
23 correct, you did not meet Naser. Now, did you meet any other group
24 leaders while you have been in Srebrenica?
25 A. I vaguely met a few group leaders. One instance when the first
1 time I went up to do a satellite shot just south of Srebrenica, the
2 dilapidated vehicle we were riding in broke down. A group of fighters
3 were coming back down the hill on this cart being pulled by an old
4 tractor, and they offered us a ride and we took it. I used that
5 opportunity to ask some very, very simple questions because all they spoke
6 was Bosniak. That's how I met different group leaders; in that type of
7 informal environment.
8 JUDGE ESER: Now, when you characterised Naser Oric as the first
9 among equals, now is this your own assessment or was it also reported to
10 you by others in these terms?
11 A. This is my own assessment, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ESER: Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Eser.
14 And I thank you, Colonel Dudley. This basically means that your
15 testimony ends here. Madam Usher will escort you out from the courtroom
16 pretty soon, but before you leave us, may I, on behalf of Judge
17 Brydensholt, Judge Eser, also on behalf of the Tribunal, thank you for
18 having come over to give testimony here. And I'm sorry if you had to
19 overstay beyond what we had anticipated.
20 I also wish to take this opportunity, Madam Schildge, to thank --
21 ask you to thank the ambassador, US ambassador, for the cooperation
22 extended to the Tribunal and to the parties, both Defence and Prosecution.
23 We appreciate that very much, and if you could on our behalf extend our
24 best wishes, seasonal wishes, to him and the rest of the embassy staff. I
25 thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. It was my privilege.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We also wish you a safe journey back
3 home, Colonel.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So now we get the next one.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Birtley, welcome to this
9 Tribunal. Very soon you are going to start giving evidence. I don't know
10 if it's your first time here in this Tribunal in The Hague.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, it is, yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So I'll explain very briefly what the procedure is.
13 The procedure is that you are required, first and foremost, to make a
14 solemn declaration equivalent to an oath in several domestic
15 jurisdictions, that in the course of your testimony you will be speaking
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. After which you
17 will then be asked a series of questions by Mr. Jones, who is co-counsel
18 in the Defence team for Mr. Oric, who is the accused. And Mr. Jones will
19 then be followed by Mr. Wubben, who is the lead counsel for the
20 Prosecution in this case.
21 It is my understanding, at least, that the two parties have
22 cooperated and agreed amongst themselves that they will do their utmost to
23 finish with your testimony today, and that would make it possible for you
24 to leave immediately after. So please take the solemn declaration text in
25 your hand, read it out, and that will be your undertaking with us.
1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
2 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, sir. Please make yourself
4 comfortable, and we'll take off straight away.
5 Mr. Jones, please allow a small interval, small pause between
6 question and answer, because whatever is said here -- you both speak the
7 same language and that needs to be interpreted into French and into
8 Bosnian. So please take consideration -- take that into consideration.
9 Thank you.
10 WITNESS: ANTHONY BIRTLEY
11 Examined by Mr. Jones:
12 Q. Good morning from me firstly, Mr. Birtley.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. Now, please give your full name for the record.
15 A. Anthony John Birtley.
16 Q. And you were born on the 29th of June, 1955, in Germany?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'm going to be pausing for the interpretation so -- just so your
19 know. And your nationality is British?
20 A. It is.
21 Q. And you're a journalist by professional, and specifically a war
23 A. Yes, I am.
24 Q. How long have you worked as a war reporter?
25 A. 15 or 16 years now.
1 Q. And have you covered wars in Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Chechnya,
2 Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, among other places?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, did you go to Sarajevo in July, 1992, to cover the war in
6 A. I did, yes.
7 Q. And did you stay in Sarajevo for the rest of 1992 and part of
8 early 1993?
9 A. Yes. I mean, apart from a couple of trips out towards Mostar, but
10 basically most of the time in Sarajevo.
11 Q. Now, when you were in Sarajevo in that period, did you hear
12 anything about the situation in Eastern Bosnia?
13 A. Yes. There was humanitarian reports from the United Nations about
14 the worsening situation in Eastern Bosnia.
15 Q. And while you were in Sarajevo, did you ever hear the name of
16 Naser Oric in relation to Srebrenica?
17 A. No.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You need to answer yes or no because it didn't --
19 THE WITNESS: No [Realtime transcript read in error "I did"].
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I see in the transcript "I did." Now it's gone, all
21 right, that's perfect, thank you.
22 MR. JONES:
23 Q. And in fact when you were in Sarajevo, were you given the name of
24 someone who was commander in Srebrenica who was not Naser Oric?
25 A. I was given the name of somebody I thought was the commander that
1 I should look for when I got into Srebrenica.
2 Q. And was that the name Naser Oric or someone else?
3 A. No, it wasn't; someone else.
4 Q. Now, did you at some stage go to Srebrenica?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Because as it is, the transcript could
6 be misleading. I understood the witness to say, no, it wasn't Naser Oric,
7 it was someone else. But as it is, the transcript says, No, it wasn't
8 someone else.
9 Did I interpret your answer correctly?
10 THE WITNESS: You did, yes. No, it wasn't Naser Oric. It was
11 someone else.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Jones.
13 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Birtley.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: If -- we are having a few problems because some of
17 the interpreters are not hearing you properly.
18 THE WITNESS: I'll move closer --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: If you could move closer to the microphones, please.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much.
22 Yes, Mr. Jones.
23 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Did you at some stage go to Srebrenica?
25 A. I did in 1993; March 1993.
1 Q. Do you know when you arrived?
2 A. Somewhere around the 8th or 9th of March. I can't be exact.
3 Q. And how did you reach the enclave?
4 A. I was flown in a Bosnian army helicopter.
5 Q. And what type of helicopter was that?
6 A. It was an MI8, Russian-built helicopter.
7 Q. Was that a new or old --
8 A. Pretty old.
9 Q. And was yours the only helicopter that went in or were there
11 A. There were two helicopters going that day. I didn't know at the
12 time where the second one was going but I learned afterwards it was going
13 to Konjevic Polje. The one I was on went to Srebrenica.
14 Q. And what happened to the one which was going to Konjevic Polje?
15 A. I learnt later it crashed. It was brought down by fire.
16 Q. And were you trying to get into Srebrenica for some time before
17 you actually arrived there?
18 A. Yes. I spent something like three weeks trying to work a way in.
19 Originally, I was going to go in by foot with a unit of Bosnian soldiers.
20 Q. And did you travel into Srebrenica with anyone else?
21 A. There was a Bosnian man called Haris Nezirovic who was a
22 journalist who came along and acted as my interpreter.
23 Q. And how long did you stay in Srebrenica?
24 A. Three and a half weeks, I think it was.
25 Q. What caused you to leave?
1 A. I was wounded. I suffered a bad injury to my leg, and the United
2 Nations flew me out for treatment.
3 Q. And was that the only time you were injured while you were in
5 A. No. I had two smaller wounds before that. Nothing serious, but
6 just slight wounds.
7 Q. But from what? What caused those wounds?
8 A. Shrapnel from mortar.
9 Q. And do you recall on what day you were wounded?
10 A. The -- which time? Which wound?
11 Q. The one which led to you leaving, the serious wound?
12 A. Yeah, I think it was April the 3rd at 10.30. I know that because
13 my daughter was being christened at 11.30 in Cyprus at the time, so a very
14 relevant time.
15 Q. And when you arrived in Srebrenica, where did you stay?
16 A. The first night I stayed with someone who was described to me as a
17 police officer, with him and his wife. And after that, then I moved to a
18 hotel called the Domavija Hotel, which was under the command of one
20 Q. And why did you go there, to the Domavija Hotel?
21 A. My recollection is that normally when I go into these situations I
22 try and find someone who's happy to have me along and somewhere where
23 there's action. And at that time I was told the action was in this
24 particular area which was commanded by the fighter I went with, Hakija.
25 Q. And do you recall Hakija's last name?
1 A. Meholjic, I think, or something like that. I'm not very good on
2 names, but I always remember Hakija. He was a very striking character.
3 Q. And apart from Hakija and any fighters and yourself, was anyone
4 else staying in the Domavija Hotel?
5 A. Not to my recollection, basically fighters and us, that's all.
6 Q. Do you know someone called Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Do you know where he was staying in Srebrenica?
9 A. He was staying in the Domavija also.
10 Q. And when you arrived in Srebrenica, were there any other
11 internationals already there?
12 A. There was one German photographer, Philipp von Recklinghausen.
13 Q. Do you know how he got into Srebrenica?
14 A. I understand he walked from Tuzla via Cerska, when that was still
15 open. And later on, the Serbs took Cerska and that route was not possible
17 MR. JONES: I would ask if the witness can be shown 872, D872.
18 Q. Now, firstly I'd ask whether you recognise any people on -- in
19 this scene.
20 A. Yes, the one on the left is I think Major Dudley. The guy on the
21 right is Senad, who is a young Bosnian guy I came across a lot. And one
22 -- I can't remember his name, but he was part of what was called the War
24 Q. Thank you. And do you know whether Senad ever performed any
25 function for Philipp?
1 A. I think he helped with translation. Philipp didn't have any
2 knowledge of Bosnian and Senad had lived in Germany and spoke German, so
3 he was acting like a translator for him sometimes.
4 Q. And did Senad act as a translator or interpreter for Philipp only
5 or also for other people?
6 A. No, I saw that when the UN came in with General Morillon, which
7 was a couple days after I arrived, Senad was being used as a translator
8 for them also.
9 Q. Now, did you film scenes in Srebrenica while you were there?
10 A. I did.
11 Q. And what sort of camera did you use?
12 A. A very basic Sony Video 8. I had two cameras, one with the night
13 capability, and that was specifically for the aid drops that were being
14 done at night.
15 Q. And so, are the -- I think what's called the rushes, are they in
16 that system, in the Sony Video 8 system?
17 A. Yes, they are.
18 Q. In filming these scenes, did you go out and about in Srebrenica
19 and in the surrounding area?
20 A. I did, every day.
21 Q. And can you explain a bit about what exactly that entailed and
22 what you were concerned with filming?
23 A. At that time the -- there was a lot of military activity. Serbs
24 were pushing, and there was lots of refugees fleeing their villages, so
25 there were constant streams of people on the roads and the tracks,
1 carrying their belongings, whatever they could actually get away with.
2 And they were streaming into Srebrenica. So I would go out to the
3 furthest point I could and film them and speak to them about what was
5 Q. And did you ever go out and about with Hakija?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. And was what you filmed broadcast to the outside world?
8 A. Yes, it was.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, please allow a little -- a short pause
10 between question and answer.
11 MR. JONES:
12 Q. And via what network was that broadcast?
13 A. Ostensibly by ABC News in America but also in Britain through the
14 BBC and ITN, and then that went all around the world then.
15 Q. Did that have any impact on events in Srebrenica, the broadcasting
16 of your reports?
17 A. Yes, it did. It -- well, I learnt basically from the UN on the
18 ground and also from listening to the BBC that there was a great more
19 impetus for the international community to get involved in what was
21 Q. And was General Morillon's presence also contributing to that?
22 A. Yes, it was. A combination of my video and his stand, deciding to
23 stay in Srebrenica, really highlighted the plight of the people.
24 Q. And do you have any opinion or did you have any opinion as to what
25 would have happened without those two events?
1 A. It seemed to me that -- and also kind of the military observers
2 from the UN, that I think Srebrenica would have fallen fairly soon.
3 Q. And is that something which the people in Srebrenica feared or not
4 at the time?
5 A. Yes, they were very, very frightened. It was a time of chaos and
6 panic, and people were fearing the worst.
7 Q. Now, without mentioning any names, how did you actually get your
8 film out to the outside world?
9 A. Basically, the UN -- I mean, the first tape was taken out by
10 people who came in with General Morillon, and after that, tapes were out
11 with UN trucks.
12 Q. And was that an easy or a difficult business, getting your tapes
14 A. It became easy, but it was difficult in the beginning because the
15 Serbs were looking for the tapes. After the first tape came out and the
16 first reports were aired, they were then looking for them. And they
17 actually captured one of my tapes that was being taken out by an aid
18 worker. So after that, we had to use more careful means of getting the
19 tapes out.
20 Q. Do you know what was on that captured film?
21 A. I can't remember exactly, but two things I do remember: One was
22 the first evacuation of women and children on the UN convoy that came in.
23 I remember that graphically because it was very disturbing scenes of
24 people desperately trying to get on the trucks to leave and people
25 actually throwing, physically throwing, their babies and young children on
1 to people in the trucks. And the other was some front line fighting I had
2 covered and filmed.
3 Q. So is it right, then, that in fact you observed front line
4 fighting when you were in Srebrenica?
5 A. I did, yes.
6 Q. And can you describe for us what you saw, what sort of things?
7 A. I was in a trench south-east of Srebrenica towards the Drina River
8 to the Serb territory, and a lot of heavy fire from artillery and mortars
9 came in to the position I was in. And there was one fighter who was
10 killed. I mean, the Bosnian people were firing back as well, but they
11 didn't have mortars or anything, they just had guns. I couldn't see what
12 they were firing at, it was too far away.
13 Q. And do you know how those fighters were getting to the lines?
14 A. Some -- some were going by a very small kind of mini-van, but most
15 of them were walking.
16 Q. And what sort of arrangements were there for how long they would
17 stay on the lines, if you were able to see?
18 A. I don't recall that there were any arrangements. It was done
19 between them, and I didn't speak the language so I didn't really
20 understand, but it seemed, you know, a day, or sometimes more.
21 Q. I want to ask you a little about any local authorities in
22 Srebrenica. First, were you aware of a mayor?
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 MR. JONES: If the witness could please be shown Exhibit P318 --
25 sorry, I suppose this is the video exhibit, my apologies. In fact we'll
1 freeze it. Play it from 4.07 to 4.14.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. JONES:
4 Q. Yes. Sorry, it's a bit blurred there, but do you recognise --
5 A. Yes, I do, yes.
6 Q. The man in the blue?
7 A. Yes, I do, yes.
8 Q. That's who?
9 A. That's the man I understood to be the mayor.
10 Q. And in fact, do you recognise the man to his right?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. And who is that?
13 A. He was Zelad, I think. I can't remember his name exactly, but he
14 was one of the -- he had one arm. He lost his arm and he was a member of
15 the police.
16 Q. Now, you've mentioned a War Presidency in Srebrenica, so you were
17 aware of that as a local authority?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was the War Presidency doing anything to help refugees as they
20 arrived in the town?
21 A. I can't say they were or they were not. I mean, basically I saw
22 in the street nobody helping these people, so I assumed there was nothing
23 in place to help them. I don't know if they'd taken any steps or any
24 measures to help these people because I wasn't present when they were
25 having any of the meetings.
1 Q. Did you observe any sort of structure dealing with the refugee
3 A. No, I didn't, no.
4 Q. Now, are you aware of how the local authorities regarded the
5 authorities in Sarajevo? Do you recall any instance in that regard?
6 A. I mean, some people were quite critical. They felt they'd been
7 abandoned by Sarajevo and --
8 Q. And did you at one time invoke the name of President Izetbegovic?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer this question.
10 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
11 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour. Sorry to interrupt, but the
12 question was: "Are you aware of how the local authorities regarded the
13 authorities in Sarajevo?" And then the answer was: "I mean, some people
14 were quite critical." Not pointing out to what extent these people the
15 witness mentioned were indeed local authorities. So I would ask for a
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes. Fair enough.
18 When you gave your answer and you said: "I mean, some people were
19 quite critical." These people, did you mean people in authority in
20 Sarajevo or just the ordinary people of Sarajevo?
21 THE WITNESS: Ordinary people.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Ordinary people. But the question -- not Sarajevo,
23 sorry, of Srebrenica.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Ordinary people. But the question referred to the
1 authorities in Srebrenica. Have you got a clue as to how they viewed --
2 they regarded the authorities in Sarajevo?
3 THE WITNESS: I didn't get any sense from these people, but I was
4 basically with Hakija and he was very expressive and had many opinions on
5 many things, including that, and he wasn't very happy with Sarajevo.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 Yes can go back to that question if you want to, Mr. Jones.
8 MR. JONES: Yes.
9 Q. Just one small follow-up on that. Did you at any time invoke the
10 name of President Izetbegovic as a reason for you being allowed to leave,
11 and receive a response?
12 A. Yes, I did. Yes. President Izetbegovic started the process
13 whereby I was able to go to Srebrenica. And when I was there and after
14 ten or 12 days I really wanted to leave and I said, Well, Izetbegovic said
15 I could leave when I wanted, and there was general laughter and hilarity
16 at this, and somebody said basically: Who the hell is he here? And I got
17 the message quite clear that that didn't mean anything.
18 Q. Now, you told us that during the time that you were in Srebrenica
19 there was essentially a Serb offensive. Would that be fair to say?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was the defence of the Srebrenica pocket organised in any way that
22 you could see?
23 A. To a certain extent, yes, I think it was. People from their
24 various areas would go and defend, be on front lines. To what extent that
25 extended all around the pocket, I don't know, because I didn't visit the
1 whole area. But also there was a tremendous lack of organisation that
2 appeared to me from people who were -- you know, were in danger of being
3 overrun by the Serbs. I mean, there were no anti-tank defences, roads
4 were empty and open and free for tanks to move down. I thought it looked
5 a pretty desperate situation.
6 Q. Well, you told us how you stayed at the Hotel Domavija and I want
7 to go back to that for a moment. How long did you stay there?
8 A. During my entire stay.
9 Q. Did you get to know Hakija Meholjic?
10 A. As well as you can do when you don't speak the language, yes. But
11 I drank with him sometimes and we had conversations where if Haris
12 Nezirovic, the translator, was there, then I could participate. If not, I
13 waited for someone else who could speak some broken English.
14 Q. And what sort of character did he have?
15 A. Larger than life. Very strong person. Stubborn, opinionated,
16 with some likable qualities.
17 Q. And in physical appearance, was he bearded or clean-shaven?
18 A. Bearded.
19 Q. Was that common or uncommon at the time in Srebrenica?
20 A. It was pretty common, actually, because I don't think there were
21 any razors, and myself, I mean, I grew a beard while I was there as well
22 because there was no water and there was no razors. When I first met
23 Hakija he looked like what I thought the Bosnians called Chetniks, very
24 bearded, very rugged looking. I was quite surprised to find out he was a
1 Q. Did he ever say anything about when he would cut his beard?
2 A. When there was peace.
3 Q. Did you ever see him having cut his beard?
4 A. Yes. I went back to Srebrenica about seven months after I left,
5 when I recovered and I could walk again. And I went back to Srebrenica
6 and Hakija had shaved his beard off. He thought it was peace.
7 Q. Now, as far as the Hotel Domavija is concerned when you were there
8 in March 1993, did other fighters stay in that hotel?
9 A. Yes, they did.
10 Q. What were the conditions like there?
11 A. Well, I think compared to some of the conditions refugees were
12 living in, they were quite good. But, you know, my first impression was
13 they were pretty horrible. Basic conditions, windows blown in, damage
14 from shells, and the toilets were horrible. No running water, of course,
15 no electricity.
16 Q. Staying in that hotel in the evenings without electricity and with
17 people with the appearance you described, if I may, people having beards,
18 was it easy to distinguish between people among the faces you would see?
19 A. Well, I mean Hakija, you would never mistake Hakija, you would
20 never mistake Nedret, the doctor, and one or two other people. But a lot
21 of -- there was so many people coming in and out, it's very difficult to
22 keep track. And it was -- I couldn't pick out everybody.
23 Q. Now, how were the fighters in the Hotel Domavija referred to, if
24 they were referred to?
25 A. It was always told to me by Haris that these were Hakija's men.
1 It was always Hakija's men. Or you're going to go with Hakija's men. Or
2 Hakija says you can go with his guys. Generally, "Hakija's men" was the
4 Q. And you told us you went to the lines, I think, with Hakija's men.
5 Can you tell us whether each fighter had his own rifle at the lines, or
6 how that worked.
7 A. No. Generally, they didn't have -- not everybody had their own
8 weapon. They would go -- basically, it's like a shift. So the outgoing
9 shift would give their weapon to the guy who was coming in.
10 Q. Did you hear of Naser Oric when you were in Srebrenica?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And first of all, dealing with Hakija and his men. What did you
13 hear about Naser from Hakija, from Hakija specifically?
14 A. Well, Hakija was not really impressed with Naser. He said he was
15 a brave guy but didn't have a military brain, and he was not -- I mean,
16 Hakija was his own man, and I think kind of -- he wanted to put over the
17 impression to me that he was really in control of his own thing and he
18 didn't really rate Naser as a military commander, basically.
19 Q. And did you ever ask Hakija whether Naser was Hakija's boss or
20 anything like that?
21 A. I think it came up in conversation once which, you know --
22 actually, I think I referred to something and Hakija laughed about,
23 certainly not my boss. I think he's quite expletive, actually, in terms
24 of the colourful way that Bosnians can be, in swearing about Naser.
25 Q. So just to clarify that, you made some reference and Hakija
1 laughed at the suggestion that Naser was his boss?
2 A. Yeah, yeah. I mean, nothing could be further from the truth as
3 far as Hakija was concerned, I think.
4 Q. Did you ever speak to Dr. Nedret Mujkanovic on this subject?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what was his opinion?
7 A. Pretty much the same, but he was not so -- so strong in his
8 condonation of Naser's abilities. He was a bit more liberal in the way he
9 explained it. You know, very impressed with Naser being a brave man, but
10 also mindful of the fact that he didn't have that kind of military brain
11 that could work and save them.
12 Q. Dealing with Nedret now, Dr. Mujkanovic, how was he regarded by
13 the Srebrenica, if you know?
14 A. As a legend. And he's pretty highly regarded by me as well
15 because I think he saved my leg. So he's certainly a legend for me well.
16 Everywhere you went, they would call him a legend and they were grateful,
17 because he did an absolutely fantastic job there.
18 MR. JONES: We have a new exhibit which we'd like to pass up.
19 It's a newspaper article of Peter Mass: "Binding up the wounds, Bosnian
20 surgeon recounts life under siege," Washington Post April 1993.
21 Q. Firstly, if you can confirm whether or not you saw this when you
22 were here in The Hague with us.
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And I'm just going to look at two short passages. It starts at
25 the top: "Tuzla Bosnia. Nedret Mujkanovic is a physician who specialises
1 in medieval medical practices but not by choice."
2 If we drop down, referring to Srebrenica, it says: "There he
3 conducted more than 200 operations without anaesthesia, including
5 It goes on to describe that in a bit more detail, and then I think
6 it's the sixth paragraph -- fifth paragraph: "The situation was brutally
7 simple. As Serb nationalist forces tighten there siege on Srebrenica,
8 medical supplies from the outside were cut off along with electricity and
9 running water. Soon there was no medical equipment and no medicine, not
10 even aspirin. Mujkanovic's principal tools were his eyes, his hands, a
11 stethoscope and a few scalpels."
12 I just want to ask whether that reflects the experience that you
13 had as well, what you saw, or not?
14 A. Yes, it does.
15 Q. If we turn to page 3, I think there's a reference to you there.
16 "One of Mujkanovic's friends in Srebrenica was Tony Birtley, an ABC news
17 correspondent who sneaked into the city and was able to transmit to the
18 world the horror of what was happening there. Birtley suffered a shrapnel
19 wound to his leg a month ago and before Mujkanovic operated on him, he
20 squeezed the surgeon's hand and asked him not to amputate. Knowing
21 Mujkanovic was a smoker in a city where cigarettes are scarcer than
22 smiles, Birtley joked that he would find a carton of Marlboros for the
23 doctor if the leg was saved."
24 Is that correct?
25 A. He did, and he got two cartons of Marlboro for it.
1 MR. JONES: I would ask for an exhibit number for this document,
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, what's the next D99 --
4 THE REGISTRAR: D999, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So this document, which consists of four
6 pages, containing an article called "Binding up the wounds, Bosnian
7 surgeon recounts life under siege" is being tendered and marked as Exhibit
8 D999. We are almost there. It's one more and we'll make it 1.000,
9 Mr. Jones.
10 MR. JONES: Yes. That's our plan, to get to D1000 today.
11 Q. Did you ever see Naser Oric at the Hotel Domavija when you stayed
13 A. No, I didn't.
14 Q. Now, were you aware of any sort of police force in Srebrenica?
15 A. I mean, people were referred to as policemen, and the only kind of
16 evidence I saw of that was on the day of an evacuation when people with
17 guns were in charge of organising the evacuation. But they were not
18 wearing uniforms or anything.
19 Q. And you say they were in charge of organising the evacuation. Did
20 they manage to organise it or keep control?
21 A. They did not keep control. It was complete and utter chaos, and
22 some of them were firing in the air to try and control people, pulling
23 people back, pushing them.
24 Q. Now, we're going to look at some video footage and just for you to
25 confirm whether or not you saw it, but that would be better after the
2 MR. JONES: In fact, I think -- yes, if we could take the break
3 now that would be best.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So how are we for time? Are you on schedule,
5 Mr. Jones.
6 MR. JONES: I'm about halfway through.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So that should be right.
8 Am I correct or not, Mr. Wubben?
9 MR. WUBBEN: Halfway through, I don't know, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have a break of 25 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Jones.
14 MR. JONES: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Now, Mr. Birtley, were going to look at some video footage and
16 I'll just ask you to tell us whether or not you shot it.
17 MR. JONES: And it's D700, the exhibit, and we can start with
19 [Videotape played]
20 "Arriving at a village near Srebrenica just to be totally
21 engulfed by" --
22 MR. JONES: We're going to start it again so we get the sound
23 track right from the beginning.
24 [Videotape played]
25 "My first recollection is arriving at a village near Srebrenica
1 just to the totally engulfed by hundreds and hundreds of people. I felt I
2 was standing in a movie, and I kept expecting someone to say 'Cut' and I
3 saw all these people with these gaunt, haunted faces and they've all got
4 expressions, it's like life was drained out of them. Life was ebbing
5 away. There was very little caring by the so-called authorities for new
6 arrivals. Nobody cared for the refugees. They were left for days on the
7 street. No one cared anything about them. They arrived, we followed a
8 family through, and they had been walking for something like 17 hours.
9 You know, the mother carrying the little boy who had been wounded by
10 shrapnel in the hand. He had been wounded at the same time as his father.
11 They came. They didn't know where they were going, they had no relatives
12 or friends.
13 "Where does this man recommend they can sleep? Where does this
14 man recommend they can go?
15 "I don't know where. This town has 60.000 refugees and there's
16 only room for 10.000. Have you seen how many people are sleeping on the
18 "We helped them carry the sacks. It was a very, very small
19 gesture but this woman was toiling under two great sacks, and I must
20 admit, I found one sack very difficult, but she had two of them. It
21 struck me that I can't believe that these people were people and they
22 didn't want to know --"
23 MR. JONES: I think we can stop there. We don't need to see the
24 whole video.
25 Q. Firstly, can you confirm that it was you who we saw?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you recall these refugees arriving?
3 A. Yes, I do. Those images will stay with me for life.
4 Q. And was there in fact anyone helping them find accommodation or
5 was that something you in fact helped her with?
6 A. This particular lady, I did in fact help her find a room in an
7 office building, but I didn't see any signs of anyone else actually from
8 Srebrenica helping anybody.
9 Q. And as far as what's recorded in what we've just seen, was that
10 the situation as you recall it, the descriptions of life ebbing out and
11 people's faces, their gaunt faces, et cetera?
12 A. Yes, indeed. A sense of hopelessness and fear.
13 Q. We're going to play another section now. Just -- I think it's a
14 minute and a half.
15 [Videotape played]
16 "I think in Eastern Bosnia to be a Bosnian soldier you've got to
17 be resigned to defeat. You've got to be resigned to injury, and also
18 you've got to be resigned to death. It's a total mismatch. It was a big
19 fight, the equivalent of Mike Tyson fighting some 15-year-old with both
20 arms tied behind his back. They simply do not have weapons to compete on
21 a level footing with what the Serbs have got. They have 1948, 1950
22 rifles, they have Kalashnikovs if they're lucky. They've got a couple of
23 tanks they captured from the Serbs but they can't fire them because they
24 ran out of ammunition a long, long time ago. In my latter days in
25 Srebrenica, I went to the funeral of a soldier, which -- they are very
1 common because soldiers are being killed all the time, but it was
2 significant because he had been killed when there was a so-called
3 cease-fire. Everybody said there was a cease-fire.
4 "And similarly, we had the funeral of this 22-year-old young man
5 whose head had been blown off. There was a typical scene of his brother
6 sobbing uncontrollably, distraught with grief, the father trying to hang
7 on to his emotions, to have some kind of semblance of dignity. He sat
8 there for a few seconds, and held the hand of his son, his eyes welling up
9 with tears."
10 MR. JONES:
11 Q. Do you recall filming those scenes?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Firstly, as far as the fighters in Srebrenica were concerned, did
14 they appear as we saw them on this video?
15 A. Yes, they did.
16 Q. No or very few uniforms?
17 A. Very few uniforms.
18 Q. And the weapons, as you described?
19 A. Yes, exactly that.
20 Q. In fact, I think following on from that section that we saw, you
21 go on and say how you then went to the lines and that was where you
22 injured. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. And we won't -- in the interests of time, we won't play that
25 section now. We'll play a very brief few sections of another part of this
1 tape, and that should conclude it.
2 [Videotape played]
3 "Tony Birtley, set the stage for us. What is it we're going to
4 see and hear next?
5 "I think we're going to see one of the scenes that will stay with
6 me, and I think for the people who saw the video, for many, many, many
7 years, and that is the sight of complete and utter desperation of people
8 who simply want to get out of a situation and are prepared to do anything
9 to do that.
10 "I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I think sometimes in
11 journalism we can be wont to steer towards hyperbole but there's nothing
12 you could say to really describe what was going on, the sheer panic and
13 the desperation of those people."
14 MR. JONES:
15 Q. And again, that's scenes which you filmed?
16 A. Yes, they are.
17 Q. You mentioned earlier that you also filmed evacuation scenes on
18 tapes which were captured by the Serbs. Would that be different scenes
19 from these, then?
20 A. Fairly similar scenes, although the desperation was captured on
21 the camera in terms of babies actually being thrown physically into the
22 trucks. That's what I remember.
23 Q. Now, besides the footage we've seen which was broadcast, did you
24 film a great deal more footage?
25 A. Yes. I filmed -- I don't know how much was broadcast in the end,
1 but I filmed something about ten or 11 hours of material.
2 Q. And among that footage, did you recall interviews with some of the
3 internationals who were in the enclave?
4 A. Yes, I did, yes.
5 Q. And would that include Major Rex Dudley?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. A Canadian soldier called Donny Paris?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Some of the Bosnian doctors working in the hospital?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. A Canadian soldier called McAllister?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And --
14 MR. JONES: I'd like to go to private session just for the next
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a short while,
18 [Private session].
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
2 MR. JONES: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. We saw on this tape that you were interviewed by Cokie Roberts
4 while you were still in Srebrenica. Can you tell us how that was
6 A. That was by the only means you could get communication, that was
7 by ham radio from the PTT building in Srebrenica, and then that was
8 patched through to Sarajevo and then connected by phone to New York.
9 Q. In fact, I think I should say that Cokie Roberts appears in one
10 part of the tape but not the bit we saw. Nothing turns on it. Do you
11 know who operated that ham radio?
12 A. The -- there was a guy, I always remember his name because I saw
13 him later, Ibrahim Becirovic, and then there were twins and I can't
14 remember their names.
15 MR. JONES: If the witness could please be shown D785.
16 Q. If you could look at that photograph and tell us whether you
17 recognise the people there.
18 A. Yes, they are the twins.
19 Q. And was that the set-up, the ham radio set-up which you saw?
20 A. That looks -- that's the ham radio. When I was there, there was a
21 bigger table, and that thing which looks like a Morse code thing, I didn't
22 remember -- I don't remember seeing that.
23 Q. Apart from the ham radio, was there any other way for you to
24 communicate with the outside world?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And did Serbs intercept your communications on the ham radio,
2 actually interrupt?
3 A. Yeah, frequently.
4 Q. Yes. Just to clarify one matter. You mentioned Ibrahim Becirovic
5 earlier and then the twins. Were they in different locations or in the
6 same location?
7 A. In the same location. They took it in turns to operate the radio.
8 Q. And what would happen when the Serbs would interrupt on the
10 A. They would then change frequency and try and find another one. It
11 sometimes took five or ten minutes.
12 Q. Were the Serbs aware of your presence in Srebrenica at that time?
13 A. Yeah, they gave me a few messages, so they knew of me.
14 Q. What sort of messages?
15 A. Well, of course this was translated to me by Haris, but basically
16 that they're going to come and kill everybody and they were going to kill
17 me last. And just general things like what they would do to my mother and
19 Q. Now, going back to this room, was there any sort of guard barring
20 entrance to this room?
21 A. No.
22 Q. If someone were to say that the ham radio consisted of a big,
23 solid, commercial, 3-metres-by-3-metres object with many switches and
24 knobs, which was a serious piece of machinery, what would you say to that?
25 A. No, that was it. It was a very small box. I think there could be
1 confusion because in the PTT building there was telephone equipment, which
2 was completely rendered useless because of the war and there was no phone
3 lines. So I seem to remember there was equipment, but this was definitely
4 the only thing they used.
5 Q. Now, finally I'm moving to a -- well, two more topics. Do you
6 remember being present when a Serb prisoner or detainee was released?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And did you film at least part of that scene?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. And do you remember how you came to be at the scene, the handover?
11 A. I can't remember exactly. There was so much going on and I think
12 I came across it by accident or I was told, but I can't say with any
13 degree of honesty.
14 Q. Was General Morillon -- well, I want to deal with this in the
15 following way. Perhaps it would help actually if you could have the
16 photograph D997.
17 Did you film -- were you actually filming this scene?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And is this the -- at least a still from that scene?
20 A. It looks like it, yes.
21 Q. Can you identify any of the people we see there?
22 A. To the left we see one of the Canadian UN guys, Sergeant
23 Morrison. I remember him because I had a lot to do with him. It looks
24 like Rex Dudley to the right, and then I don't know who the other one is
25 kneeling down.
1 Q. And can you see the Serb prisoner anywhere in that picture?
2 A. I can see him basically next to Sergeant Morrison. It's like as
3 if they are just going to put him on the stretcher.
4 Q. Do you know where this was, where this took place?
5 A. I can tell by the building that it was near the municipality, but
6 you know, I couldn't -- I probably couldn't pick out the road today. But
7 that -- there is a very distinctive building, the municipality building.
8 Q. And at this location where the prisoner was -- I think we can see
9 or perhaps you said was being placed on the stretcher, was General
10 Morillon present?
11 A. No, he wasn't.
12 Q. Do you recall who performed translation for General Morillon?
13 A. There was a Serb-speaking UN guy with a Slavic name. I can't
14 remember exactly his name, but he was with Morillon all the time. I could
15 recognise him, but I can't remember his name.
16 Q. And was he present at this scene?
17 A. To my recollection, no.
18 Q. Did you ever see him apart from General Morillon?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Now, you've told us -- well, firstly, did you ever see Naser Oric
21 in Srebrenica?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. Do you recall whether he was present at this handover?
24 A. I don't recall him being there.
25 MR. JONES: And if the witness could please be shown Exhibit D998,
2 I wonder if I might be permitted to lead the name of General
3 Morillon's interpreter. I don't know if it's a matter in dispute.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I wouldn't have any problems unless the
5 Prosecution has.
6 MR. WUBBEN: I don't have any problems.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
8 MR. JONES:
9 Q. Would you recognise the interpreter for General Morillon as being
10 Mr. Mihailov?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, if you look at this photograph, do you know where this was
14 A. This is him when he's on the stretcher. I think it's inside the
15 APC that they were taking him to the Serb side in Bratunac.
16 Q. And did you, in fact, film this prisoner inside the APC?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. How close were you to him?
19 A. I was sitting on top of the APC, looking in. I mean, a few feet,
20 and then -- I think that's the closest I got.
21 Q. Were there any signs on the face of the -- of this man whether
22 he'd been beaten? By that I mean any blood or bruising or anything like
24 A. No. I could only see his face, but he looked extremely gaunt and
25 weak, but I didn't see any signs of beating.
1 Q. Did he have any bandages on his face?
2 A. No, he didn't.
3 Q. Now, I think you've said: "Yes, he looked extremely gaunt and
5 What, if anything, did appear to be wrong with this man?
6 A. I remember he had extreme difficulty in walking and it seemed to
7 me that he was shielding his eyes from the light. So I drew the
8 conclusion, either wrongly or rightly, that he had been in a darkened room
9 for some time.
10 Q. And did you see during your time in Srebrenica, or not, people who
11 were as thin as him?
12 A. I saw a lot of very, very thin people. Yeah, some extremely thin
13 people, but I'm not sure as thin as him, but pretty thin.
14 Q. Where was this man taken in the APC, to your knowledge?
15 A. He was being taken to Bratunac, which was the Serb line of
16 control, and -- but I got out of the APC before then because I didn't
17 think -- and in fact General Morillon didn't think it was wise for me to
18 go to the Serb side because they were not very happy with me, so I got out
20 Q. When you say "General Morillon didn't think it was wise" for you
21 to go to the Serb side, was he actually travelling in the APC or was this
22 general advice?
23 A. General advice.
24 Q. So in fact, as you were travelling from the place where we saw the
25 first photograph towards Bratunac, was General Morillon or his assistant
1 in the APC?
2 A. No, they were not.
3 Q. One question on this: As far as the footage from which this
4 photograph came, have you actually provided that or not to us --
5 A. No, I haven't.
6 Q. I have two -- finished with those photographs. I have two last
7 areas which I can cover very quickly.
8 MR. JONES: Firstly, I would be grateful if the witness could be
9 shown -- it's a video P427, and if we could start around 47.06. Yes.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. JONES:
12 Q. I want to ask you to look at this and see if you can recognise
13 where this was filmed or, in any event, whether it is in Srebrenica.
14 A. No, that's not Srebrenica -- well, not the time that I was there.
15 Q. Why do you say that?
16 A. Well, first of all, there's a big open space, and there was no
17 open spaces in Srebrenica like that, certainly no safe ones. And I can
18 tell by the UN soldier - who I don't know who that is - he was not in
19 Srebrenica when I was there.
20 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with that exhibit.
21 Now, finally there's one last exhibit I would like to hand up, and
22 it's the ERN numbers 03731116 to 03731117. And while it's being handed
23 around, it's Republika Srpska, Ministry of the Interior, state security
24 service centre, Sarajevo, dated 15 January 1994, Official Note. Subject:
25 Stay of APC crews in the territory of Republika Srpska.
1 Now, firstly, did we review this document with you when you came
2 to The Hague?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I'm just going to read two sections. It starts off: "Upon
5 finding out that an ABC crew, consisting of journalist Antony John Birtlax
6 and translator Andrea Pavletic intend to come to our territory and record
7 several TV clips, given that they are in anti-Serb mood, an informative
8 interview was made with translator Dragana Jovanovic from Belgrade, in
9 order to collect more complete information about the activities of this
11 Are you familiar with Andrea Pavletic and Dragana Jovanovic?
12 A. Well, I'm married to Andrea Pavletic, so I know her quite well.
13 And Dragana was the ABC helper in Belgrade.
14 Q. If we turn to the second page, it says: "According to earlier
15 findings, journalist Anthony Birtley has an extremely anti-Serb attitude
16 and in his reports from Sarajevo he talked about Serbs and Serbian
17 fighting in an insulting and false manner on several occasions. He is the
18 author of the 'story' of raping Muslim women, the trial of Erak, the
19 blockade of Srebrenica, the suffering of Muslims in Sarajevo, and alike.
20 We think that he should be permanently forbidden from staying and working
21 in the territory of Republika Srpska in the future."
22 Now, firstly, did you in fact cover a story of raping of Muslim
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And that concerned which camp or what area?
1 A. It was a general story on raping of women. I mean, there was
2 raping going on all over the country, but this one centred on a rape
3 crisis centre based in the town of Zenica, and we interviewed women from
4 various parts of Bosnia who had come to Zenica.
5 Q. And is it right, as it appears from this, that as a result of
6 those stories you were permanently forbidden from working in the territory
7 of Republika Srpska?
8 A. Yeah, I wasn't allowed ever again.
9 Q. And in fact, is it right that, finally, that you were named
10 Television Journalist of the Year by the Royal Television Society in
11 Britain because of what you filmed in Bosnia?
12 A. Yes, I was.
13 MR. JONES: I would ask for an exhibit number for this document,
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, which consists of two pages in
16 Serbo-Croat and two pages in English with ERN 03731116 to 1117, is being
17 tendered and marked as Defence Exhibit D1000.
18 MR. JONES: Thank you. And I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones.
20 Mr. Wubben.
21 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. Please bear me a moment to
22 put the ...
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Wubben:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Birtley.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. I will do my best to finish today. It partly depends of you
2 limiting your answers when you can be short, and if you don't know, please
3 respond that. As you are aware, my name is Mr. Wubben; I am lead counsel
4 for the Prosecution.
5 I'll start with my first question. You were in Srebrenica at the
6 time in March 1993, beginning April. You were reporting regarding the
7 humanitarian situation. Is that correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. You shot footages of people in the streets, refugees. Did you
10 also interview people in their own houses in Srebrenica?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And what did you learn from their situation?
13 A. The most common thing at the time was two things: No food and
14 scared of the Serbs overrunning Srebrenica.
15 Q. How did the people in those houses that you interviewed or that
16 you spoke to consider the situation regarding the refugees coming into
18 A. Well, basically, they were uncomfortable that so many people were
19 in Srebrenica when there was not enough for them, and they were expected
20 more and more to try and make place for their refugees to come and stay
21 with them and there was overcrowding. So there was -- but to be honest, I
22 didn't interview so many people in their own houses in Srebrenica; I was
23 interviewing mainly refugees who had come and left their homes behind.
24 Q. Those refugees who entered the city, was that a kind of daily
25 stream or --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- every week?
3 A. No, on a daily basis.
4 Q. On a daily basis. Did you also learn that prior to your arrival
5 or shortly after your arrival a stream had been increased by the fact of
6 people leaving the villages of Konjevic Polje and Cerska area?
7 A. I had learnt prior to that from UN briefings in Sarajevo that
8 there was a humanitarian problem in Eastern Bosnia, but we didn't know
9 exactly how bad that problem was because nobody was going in there.
10 Q. Were you aware of any increasing of this stream of refugees in the
11 weeks prior to your arrival?
12 A. I can't remember that far back, actually. I know there was, you
13 know, reasonable information to make me want to go there. So, I mean, I
14 think it stands to reason that there was information coming out that there
15 was a humanitarian problem there.
16 Q. Apart from a humanitarian problem or perhaps also linked with it,
17 was there also a kind of black market for any shortages of food or
18 medicines to deal with?
19 A. I never heard of that before, and I certainly didn't see any kind
20 of black market in Srebrenica.
21 Q. No dealing with the Serbs, trading goods?
22 A. I never heard of them trading with the Serbs.
23 Q. No selling of medicines outside a hospital circuit?
24 A. I never heard that, no. There was not enough medicine to go
25 around, and I think someone would have been strung up and hanged if they
1 had been dealing with the Serbs, quite honestly.
2 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour, I want to show a video, D700. It's the
3 first part of it, two clips. And it should be shown on Sanction.
4 Q. Mr. Birtley, I invite you to take a look at the monitor.
5 [Videotape played]
6 "... parcels land, and surprisingly, the first sign --"
7 MR. WUBBEN: Sorry. Please stop. Can you please start from the
9 "We've seen eerie pictures of American planes dropping their bulky
10 beacons of survival. Tonight, we see where the parcels land, and
11 surprisingly, the first sign of an American military man on the ground in
12 Eastern Bosnia. He's witnessed the impact of the air drops. These scenes
13 come to us from the town of Srebrenica, a place almost impossible to get
14 to. ABC's Tony Birtley finally managed it last week in what can only be
15 described as an heroic effort to let us see what's happening in
16 Srebrenica. Tony travelled by foot and by horseback to get into the
17 isolated area. Since he arrived, he's run out of food and been injured by
18 Serbian fire. But still he smuggled out the story."
19 Yes, please the second part of it, the subsequent part.
20 [Videotape played]
21 "American planes have successfully air dropped aid into this area
22 for the last five nights running. The villagers say they received only
23 one prepared lunch packet, the rest has been taken by the army."
24 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
25 Q. Do you recall this clip, this video clip?
1 A. Yes, I do. Yes.
2 Q. Do you recall that you were reporting from your observations
3 regarding an air-dropping?
4 A. No, from that particular report I was reporting what people told
5 me, not my observations. I said "people told me."
6 Q. And people were updating you of -- on the outcome of the air-drop,
7 that's what your testimony is?
8 A. Sorry, I don't understand.
9 Q. My question is: People were giving you information of the
10 functioning of the air drop, whether it was successful or not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what did they tell you?
13 A. These people -- this was -- I remember this quite clearly. This
14 was the first day of my arrival, and this was on my way to Srebrenica, so
15 it was a few kilometres away from the centre, and they were telling me
16 about the air drops. I mean -- I later went to see, myself, the air drops
17 in progress, night-time drops. But at that time, it was just what they
18 told me. So people talked a lot about the air drops when they were there
19 because it was very important for them. It was the only way they were
20 getting food.
21 Q. I surely will understand that, but my question is also related to
22 the content of your reporting. So you were telling you learned from the
23 people you met and what was meant by the "the rest was taken by the army."
24 A. That's what they told me at the time.
25 Q. But did you corroborate what they told you or did you ask any
2 A. At that time there, there was no one to ask. And on the--
3 Q. Well, the people would provide you with the information, of
5 A. Well, they were telling me that, so that's their corroboration. I
6 didn't have an official I could turn to at that point and say: Is this
7 true? I asked several people, if I remember rightly, and they told me
8 that they were getting this one lunch packet and the rest was being taken
9 by the soldiers.
10 Q. By soldiers. So is it the army or soldiers or both?
11 A. When I use -- I think I was basically elevating the Bosnians.
12 "Army" is a generic term. You can use "fighters," "militiamen,"
13 whatever. This certainly wasn't an army. They were a group of men, as
14 you see from the video before, improperly dressed with poor weapons. They
15 are not an army. They were, you know, defenders, militiamen, whatever.
16 The food -- I was quite convinced later on what I saw, that they were
17 taking some of the food from the air drops.
18 Q. But you reported it, believing it to be reliable information to be
20 A. I reported in that report, saying "the people said." So that's
21 not me saying it; I said "the people said."
22 Q. You stated that there were militiamen, local groups. And you also
23 gave testimony regarding Hakija's men. Did you yourself observe in
24 Srebrenica at the time other groups or units than referred to Hakija
25 Meholjic only?
1 A. I was basically all the time with Hakija's men.
2 Q. But the question was: Did you observe the existence of other
3 groups or units?
4 A. I saw other groups in the town, but I don't know if they were
5 actually Hakija's men. I don't still remember how many men Hakija had.
6 So if you saw a group of men going on a truck, I couldn't say at that
7 particular point that they were Hakija's men or not. I only knew when I
8 went to the front line that that was his area of control.
9 Q. The area of control for Hakija Meholjic was somewhere at the front
11 A. Well, the whole -- all the way around Srebrenica was the front
12 line. You didn't -- you had to walk a couple of kilometres, and less than
13 that in certain circumstances, and you would come to the front line
14 because Srebrenica was completely surrounded.
15 Q. But my question related to your comment of the area of
16 responsibility or the place to go for by Hakija's men, and you referred to
17 the front line. My question was: Was that a specific tasking or can you
18 clarify that further?
19 A. I'm sorry. I don't understand the question.
20 Q. What was the task of Hakija's men being situated in the Domavija
22 A. I mean, their task was to cover the front lines to the south-east
23 towards Serbia, the Bajina Basta and the Drina, and that's where I went
24 with them.
25 Q. So can I take it that their actions were not limited to Srebrenica
1 and the town itself but also the area around it?
2 A. To be honest, I don't know what actions they would have in the
3 town, but I just saw them outside of the town, on the front lines, which
4 was the line around Srebrenica.
5 Q. And when you were at the front lines, did you observe other units
6 than the unit of Hakija Meholjic?
7 A. I don't know if they were his units or not. I just went to his
8 area which I thought was his responsibility. You see, there's no
9 insignia, most of them didn't have uniforms, so you couldn't see, for
10 example, 31 Brigade or 72 Brigade. You know, he guy's wearing a leather
11 jacket and he's in that area, I took it that he was Hakija's man. I was
12 always given a guide who would take me to his area.
13 Q. When did you visit that area of responsibility?
14 A. The -- I mean, my first visit was on the day after I arrived. I
15 went straight to the front lines that day. I arrived in the evening in
16 Srebrenica, and the following morning I went out with Hakija himself and a
17 group of people to a point where I could observe the Serb positions across
18 the Drina River and then sort of survey the damage and refugees coming
19 back from various places.
20 Q. And did Hakija point out to you the Serb positions?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what was the plan?
23 A. What plan?
24 Q. The plan of Hakija?
25 A. I'm not sure he actually had a plan. The immediate plan was that
1 we were not going to be spotted by mortar position, but it was pretty far
2 in the distance but we were still within range of mortars. But he had no
3 plan to attack because they didn't have any weapons sufficient to launch
4 an attack on the Serbs, because they had tanks and artillery.
5 Q. On what other occasions did you observe any front line, can you
6 tell me, Mr. Birtley.
7 A. Yes, I went two or three times -- and then also -- actually, I'm
8 just remembering now that I was going to go to Konjevic Polje before it
9 fell, and some of Hakija's men came with me, but Konjevic Polje was the
10 other side of Srebrenica. And that's when I got wounded the first time,
11 so -- or the second time, I can't remember. And then we had to turn back.
12 Q. Did you also visit the confrontation line from the yellow bridge
13 of Srebrenica towards Caus Mountain?
14 A. No.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, I would like to show the video P318.
16 One moment, please. I would like to state that it's for me not the matter
17 of the text provided, so not the translation, it's about the pictures
18 shown and comment by the witness there. Please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And one moment. For the record, we're starting at
20 16 minutes 23.1 seconds.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Birtley, do you recognise any weaponry on this footage?
24 A. It looks like a missile.
25 Q. What kind of missile?
1 A. Surface-to-air missile.
2 Q. Pardon, please repeat?
3 A. It looks from that, but it's hazy, a surface-to-air missile.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, we are at still 16 minutes, 41
5 seconds point 4.
6 MR. WUBBEN:
7 Q. And, Mr. Birtley, do you also recognise one of the persons or more
8 on this picture or earlier?
9 A. Not from that -- earlier I recognised Naser.
10 Q. Naser who?
11 A. Oric.
12 Q. Can you confirm that the army, the soldiers, the Muslim fighters
13 indeed possessed such missiles?
14 A. I knew of one they possessed. I didn't know of anything else.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Please play the second clip.
17 Your Honours, there will be a second clip shown to the witness.
18 [Videotape played]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the video started rolling at
20 24 minutes point 41 point 1 and finished at 24 minutes point 50 point 3
22 MR. WUBBEN:
23 Q. Mr. Birtley, did you saw this clip?
24 A. Did I what?
25 Q. Did you watch the clip?
1 A. This one?
2 Q. Yeah.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you recognise anyone?
5 A. It looks -- it looks like Naser, but it's not very clear.
6 Q. Naser who?
7 A. Naser Oric, sorry.
8 Q. The weaponry -- may I point out to the tree. Do you recognise
9 this weaponry?
10 A. AK-47s.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We are at still 24 minutes point 41
12 seconds point 8.
13 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Does this picture reflect your memory that Muslim soldiers, Muslim
15 army, or Muslim fighters in fact used these kind of weaponry?
16 A. Yes, this is the standard weapon in the former Yugoslavia.
17 Q. And -- okay. No further questions in that respect.
18 Did you also notice a kind of device in the hands of the person
19 you pointed out as Naser Oric?
20 A. No, I don't see any device.
21 MR. WUBBEN: Can you please play the clip again.
22 [Videotape played]
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, I see it now.
24 MR. WUBBEN: Stop.
25 Q. What can you tell me about that device?
1 A. It looks like a hand-held VHF radio.
2 Q. Do you know what type it is?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, we are at still 24 minutes point 47
5 point 2 seconds.
6 MR. WUBBEN:
7 Q. Did you notice or observe when you were in Srebrenica the use of
8 such communication type?
9 A. No, I didn't. Srebrenica is so hilly that it's extremely
10 difficult to have that kind of communication. You've got to be up pretty
11 high to use it. Even where I was, I never saw hand-held radios being
12 used. I remember thinking that communication was one of the big problems.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you also watch the type of uniforms that they were
14 wearing here in the -- in the clip, the video clip?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you recognise that as something that reflects your memory at
17 the time you were in Srebrenica?
18 A. Some had uniforms. Naser had -- Naser Oric had a uniform and some
19 of the men had uniforms, but the overwhelming majority didn't have
20 uniforms. I don't know when this video was taken. To see somebody with a
21 leather jacket and then trousers standing there tells me that it wasn't in
22 a hostile environment. When I was there and the time it was happening
23 before the cease-fire, they were, to my knowledge, not using VHF radios.
24 Q. Thank you. I will move on to my next issue. So thank you for
1 Mr. Birtley, when you were in Srebrenica, were you aware of the
2 existence of any defence staff related to the organised defence of
3 Srebrenica by the Muslims, the Muslim army?
4 A. Something referred to as the War Presidency.
5 Q. That's indeed an entity, a body? What I referred to is a staff
6 specifically raised or as a goal founded on the purpose to support any
7 defence of Srebrenica.
8 A. I never heard of that.
9 Q. You never heard of it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You are in cross-examination, Mr. Wubben. You can
11 ask him a direct question.
12 MR. WUBBEN:
13 Q. Are you aware that in February there had been a mobilisation
14 ordered by the Muslim defence in Srebrenica?
15 A. No, I'm not.
16 Q. You haven't seen the outcome of such a mobilisation that might
17 trigger your attention when I speak about it, that a lot of men were
18 called to take up weapons or to help out? There was no talk about it when
19 you arrived. Is that true?
20 A. I got there in March. I think it was just a given that, you know,
21 the enemy, so to speak, was coming closer and closer. You've got to
22 defend your home. But I wasn't aware that there was a general call-up of
24 Q. Are you familiar with a village in the neighbourhood of Srebrenica
25 called Kutlici?
1 A. No, I'm not.
2 Q. Are you aware that in March 1993 -- and you were there, isn't it,
3 in March 1993?
4 A. It depends which part of March. I didn't get there until the 9th
5 or 10th of March, so if it was before --
6 Q. I apologise. It's in the second half of March 1993. There was a
7 mobilisation of an entire population of a village in the neighbourhood of
9 A. I have no knowledge of that.
10 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, I have a request. I have to further
11 organise my cross-examination and --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You would like a break now?
13 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. It would help if we have a break now, and I am
14 certainly in my assurance that we end today.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. All right. Now, we have the break now,
16 reconvening in half an hour's time, that would be 12.15. 12.15, okay.
17 And if you need -- if the recorders or the interpreters need a further
18 short break, we will organise that. All right. We'll have a 25-minute
19 break starting from now. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 11.46 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
23 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honours, and also I appreciated to
24 get more time for the break. I will be short and in time.
25 Q. Mr. Birtley, this morning you -- in your testimony you referred to
1 a person called Haris Nezirovic. Isn't that correct?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. And he's a journalist?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And he acted as your interpreter?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did he also act as the interpreter of Hakija Meholjic?
8 A. Not specifically. He was with me and he interpreted between me
9 and Hakija.
10 Q. And also between you and the locals?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. And what was the nationality of Mr. Nezirovic?
13 A. Bosnian.
14 Q. So he didn't like the Serbs, didn't he? Or you don't know?
15 A. I'm trying to remember.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I would rather that you don't generalise on this
17 because I'm pretty sure that in spite of everything that happened, even
18 when it was happening, I think a lot of Bosnians were against the war, a
19 lot of Serbs were against the war, a lot of Croats were against the war,
20 and I think a great majority of them were against the war. So I would
21 rather not characterise this single individual, whoever he is, and say:
22 Therefore, as a Bosnian, he hated -- or he didn't like the Serbs.
23 MR. WUBBEN: I didn't use the word "hate," but I'll get to my next
24 question. It was information about an opinion, but I withdraw this
25 question, Your Honour.
1 Q. Did you trust him as an interpreter?
2 A. I did, yes. I mean --
3 Q. And --
4 A. -- I had no choice.
5 Q. And was he also trustful as a person, as a journalist?
6 A. I found him a trustful person, yes.
7 Q. So you trusted what he told you upon what the locals told him?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In sum, he was a competent person?
10 A. He was competent. His English was not perfect, but that's the
11 best I had in that situation.
12 Q. So is mine.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before this goes off the screen. It's
14 line 22 of the previous page where I made that famous speech. It looks
15 like an answer. It's not an answer. It's my contribution.
16 MR. WUBBEN: That depends, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. All right.
18 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, I would like to tender a document, and
19 it's not on the exhibit list but during the break I already handed it over
20 to the Defence. Would you please put it on the ELMO. Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Birtley, this is a newspaper article extracted from the
22 Internet. It's headed by the wording "Defeated by the battle for food."
23 Can you read?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. It's by Haris Nezirovic, and Haris Nezirovic is a Bosnian
1 journalist working for the weekly newspaper "Slobodna Bosna." Is that
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. If you turn the page, you'll find out that by the end it's stated
5 that Haris Nezirovic is a Bosnian journalist working for the weekly
6 newspaper "Slobodna Bosna." He has been in Srebrenica for three weeks.
7 May I turn to the next page. This is in the heading, referring to The
8 Guardian, London, UK. I take it that is a respectable newspaper?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. May I quote in part of it and you might follow. It's referring,
11 in the first paragraph: "The year-old war in east Bosnian Muslim enclaves
12 of Srebrenica." It's referring in this third paragraph. "From last
13 August, the Bosnian army launched direct attacks on Serbian positions and
14 scored considerable successes, despite being outgunned."
15 Two paragraphs subsequently:
16 "They had artillery and tanks. Victories were at the cost of
17 dozens of dead and scores wounded in every battle, but the troops were
18 undeterred. The men kept going a Bosnian army soldier said."
19 And then on the next page. The third paragraph:
20 "The food crisis was compounded by problems of morale and rampant
22 Now, apart from your testimony on various issues I already
23 addressed, what is your comment about that? Does that refresh your memory
24 that indeed - and I take it that there was criminality, rampant
25 criminality around --
1 A. I had no knowledge and I had no information given to me by
2 anybody, including Haris Nezirovic, who was with me all the time, that
3 there was anything like this happening.
4 Q. And in the third line of that paragraph: "Dozens of Bosnian
5 soldiers said the military number two in Srebrenica, a man who had spent
6 17 years in prison for double murder, used to beat any soldier who
7 requested basic equipment."
8 Do you agree with me that the number two referred to is Zulfo
10 A. I have no idea.
11 Q. If Zulfo Tursunovic is number two, do you know who is number one?
12 A. I didn't know there was a number two, so how would I know there
13 was a number one?
14 Q. Do you agree with me that number one should be Naser Oric?
15 A. No.
16 MR. WUBBEN: Thank you, Your Honour. I tender this as an exhibit.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: The next number, Madam Registrar, please. P --
18 THE REGISTRAR: P616, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, which consists of two pages,
20 purportedly an article from The Guardian of the 15th of April, 1993,
21 entitled "Defeated by the battle for food," by Haris Nezirovic, is being
22 tendered and marked as Prosecution Exhibit P616.
23 MR. WUBBEN: No further questions, Your Honour.
24 Thank you, Mr. Birtley.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there re-examination, Mr. Jones? I thank you,
1 Mr. Jones -- Mr. Wubben.
2 MR. JONES: Yes. Perhaps just a couple of questions on this
3 article, which is now P616.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Jones:
5 Q. Do you still have that in front of you, Mr. Birtley?
6 A. No, I don't. It's been taken out.
7 Q. Just two things on this article. I'll just read the first
8 paragraph -- first and second paragraph, and then further down.
9 "The year-old war in east Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica has not
10 been a conflict between organised military units but a desperate struggle
11 for food waged with arms and motivated by an instinct for survival."
12 Firstly pausing there, does that accurately reflect the situation
13 as you found it?
14 A. Certainly a desperate struggle for survival, but you know, within
15 that there comes some kind of organisation that people tend to defend
16 their areas where they lived. So I would say it was total lack of
17 organisation, but there was a form that people knew where to go.
18 Q. When we see further down the Prosecution referred to the section
19 where it says: "'They had artillery and tanks. We were just cannon
20 fodder,' Hekija Meholjic, a Bosnian brigade commander, said of the Serbs."
21 I take it it's clear from that that it was the Serbs who had
22 artillery and tanks, correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you see any contradiction or not between what's said there, a
25 description of Hakija as a brigade commander and what's said in the first
1 paragraph about there not being organised military units?
2 A. Well, I mean, Hakija was never described to me as a Bosnian
3 brigade commander. He wasn't given a rank at all. And Haris is the one
4 who told me that, so I'm a bit surprised that he puts this in a story that
5 was written later.
6 Q. Okay. And just finally, a passage was read to you about a person
7 who used to "beat any soldier who requested basic equipment."
8 The paragraph after that says: "He would put the men in ranks and
9 tell them to go fight, a teenage fighter said. When a soldier asked if
10 there was anything to eat, the vice-commander would take him and beat him
11 black and blue."
12 Then we get to the last paragraph, and it says:
13 "The local command tried to organise the draft but few soldiers
14 take up arms. Why should they? Maybe they will face beatings while their
15 families starve to death."
16 Now, you were asked about whether there was a draft. Does what
17 you read there give rise to any reflections in that regard?
18 A. I knew nothing of anything like this or any examples of people
19 being beaten. So, you know, I saw people on the front lines eating bread.
20 They didn't have much food, that's for sure. But no one did in
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. JONES: I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones.
25 Judge Brydensholt, do you have a question?
1 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Yes.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: When you witnessed this exchange of a
4 prisoner, you didn't remember how you came to be there when that happened.
5 Could there have been more occasions where prisoners were taken by UN for
6 exchange in the time when you were in Srebrenica?
7 A. No. That was the only occasion. I didn't know up until that
8 point that there was a Serb prisoner being held, so I think I got the
9 information from the UN.
10 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Okay. Did you ask if there were more
11 prisoners held? Weren't you inquiring a bit about that?
12 A. Yes, I did. I asked after that and was told there was no one
13 else. He was the last, I was told.
14 JUDGE BRYDENSHOLT: Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Judge Eser, do you have any questions?
16 Mr. Birtley, that brings your testimony to an end. So you will --
17 you're free to go your way. But before you leave this courtroom, I wish
18 to thank you on behalf of Judge Brydensholt, Judge Eser, and also on
19 behalf of the Tribunal in general for having accepted to come over and
20 give testimony in this case. I also wish to take this opportunity to wish
21 you a safe journey to wherever you're going and also convey to you on
22 behalf of my two colleagues all our best wishes for Christmas and the New
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You will now be escorted by Madam Usher and given
1 all the assistance you require to facilitate your flight arrangements.
2 Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Before we finish and exchange greetings, is
6 there anything by way of housekeeping matter that you would like to raise
7 today? None.
8 MR. JONES: I don't believe so, Your Honour. One thing which just
9 occurs to me is that we may perhaps, in the course of tomorrow, take the
10 opportunity to file maybe a Rule 92 bis motion or something like that, but
11 obviously, given that it is the holiday season, we certainly wouldn't
12 expect that to be dealt with within the usual time limits. So we
13 certainly -- if we do submit anything like that, we're not expecting any
14 immediate responses or -- and we wouldn't oppose any application by the
15 Prosecution for an extension of time because we're not going to try and
16 put them in a position where they have to work unnecessarily over the
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Jones.
19 Yes, Mr. Wubben.
20 MR. WUBBEN: I appreciate that offer from the Defence and I
21 certainly would like to use it.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, all right, thank you. That will be the case.
23 On our part, we will always have a skeleton staff here working. We are
24 already working on the two pending motions under Rule 90 and also the
25 Republika Srpska documents. I can't promise you that everything will be
1 finalised before we leave or -- but we'll continue working over the
2 holidays on them, and as soon as we have reached agreement, I'll sign the
3 decisions and hopefully they'll be communicated to you well before we
4 reconvene in January.
5 Now, having said that, as far as sittings go, you realise now that
6 for this year we finish here. And we shall reconvene, I think, if my
7 calculations are good, either on the 11th or on the 12th -- on the 12th of
8 January. I said the 11th, because I think the exchange of greetings with
9 Her Majesty, the Queen of the Netherlands, has been shifted from the 11th
10 to the 10th, but I don't think now we can actually change the schedule
11 that we have.
12 On behalf of Judge Brydensholt and Judge Eser, I should like to
13 wish you all, Christians and non-Christians, the very best for the coming
14 season. And also, I wish you the very best for the New Year, which should
15 see the conclusion of this case, hopefully. I wish you good health, first
16 and foremost, happiness, and all that your heart desires. So -- and I
17 hope to see you all again, please God, on the 12th of January, so when we
18 can continue and hopefully start the conclusive part of the Defence case.
19 Okay. I thank you all.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.35 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 12th day of
22 January, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.