1 Tuesday, 26 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, good afternoon to you. Could you
7 kindly call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci. I see everyone is here. I notice that
11 Mr. Bourgon has new company.
12 MR. BOURGON: Good afternoon, Mr. President, good afternoon, Your
13 Honours. It's my pleasure to introduce Ms. Nathalie Marville, legal
14 intern, who will be working with us until the Christmas -- the winter
16 Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. And welcome, Madam.
18 I see that Mr. McCloskey is left all alone today. The rest is
19 pretty much full house.
20 Colonel, good afternoon to you. Welcome back. As a sign of
21 respect to you in particular but mainly because of my interest, our
22 interest, in justice I make an appeal to the last three Defence teams to
23 make an effort, a real effort, to try and finish with Colonel Boering
24 today, if possible. I know that you have required two hours and two hours
25 and I don't know how much more. If you can make an effort to avoid
1 repetitive questions, let's try and finish today with him.
2 WITNESS: PIETER BOERING [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
5 Colonel, you're still testifying pursuant to your solemn
6 declaration that you made the first day you started testifying. That's
7 just to refresh your memory.
8 Madam Fauveau.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
11 Q. Colonel Boering, at page 11 of yesterday's transcript you mention
12 reports made to your superior in Tuzla once a week. Could you tell me
13 whom you were sending these reports to exactly?
14 A. It was a major or colonel inside the CIMIC working in Tuzla, an
15 American. I don't recall his name. And these reports related
16 specifically to the CIMIC, so the NGO and the situation that was present
17 in the enclave.
18 Q. You also stated that the battalion sent daily reports to their
19 superiors in Tuzla. Could you tell me who, within the battalion, was in
20 charge of drafting such reports?
21 A. In the end, the report was signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans,
22 and the staff made its contributions.
23 Q. Did DutchBat also send reports to the Dutch authorities?
24 A. I assume so. However, at this moment, I'm not absolutely sure of
1 Q. Yesterday, page 16 of the transcript, you said that before you
2 came here, you asked the Prosecutor to sort of refresh your memory and
3 that you were able to look at certain things as well as the NIOD report.
4 On that occasion, did the Prosecutor provide you with your previous
6 A. The NIOD report was not applicable during the preparations with
7 the Prosecutor. That was something of me. The Prosecutor gave me a
8 bundle with earlier statements.
9 Q. In this binder, did you find a statement you gave to -- for the
10 sake of the NIOD report in 2001?
11 A. I don't think so.
12 Q. You did give a statement to NIOD on the 14th of December, 2001,
13 didn't you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. On the 19th of September, page 1871 of the French transcript, you
16 mentioned leave for DutchBat soldiers and you said that they didn't want
17 to go back to the enclave. Is it true to say that you had a week leave --
18 a week's leave?
19 A. They wanted to come back, in fact, but they did not get permission
20 to come back. No permission from the Serb authorities.
21 Q. There may have been a mistake in the interpretation, and the
22 answer given by the witness was right. Did you go on leave for a week?
23 A. Somewhere around the end of February.
24 Q. And after that week's leave, you came back, you returned?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Was it not fair to say that Corporal Koster left the enclave in
2 order to be there for the burial of his father, for the funeral of his
4 A. Well, I don't recall that.
5 Q. But you can confirm that Corporal Koster was in the enclave until
6 it fell?
7 A. Well, at this moment, I don't get any sort of pictures in my head
8 with this name.
9 Q. On 19th of September, page 1868 of the French transcript, you
10 stated that your mandate was to ensure security in the enclave, to
11 demilitarise it, and to provide humanitarian aid within the enclave, also
12 but chiefly in Bratunac. Can we agree that one of your tasks was
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, if he stated it already, I think you need to
15 take it for granted that he agrees with that.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Fine, Mr. President.
17 Q. Is it fair to say that you were to confiscate weapons if you were
18 to come across people carrying weapons within the enclave?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So did the Muslims not have any good reasons to hide their weapons
21 so that you wouldn't see them? And can we therefore say that the people
22 in the enclave would hide their weapons from the personnel?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I heard him answer the first part of your question.
24 [Microphone not activated] ... question is as follows.
25 Yes, Mr. Meek?
1 MR. MEEK: I'm sorry, Your Honour, there is no translation here.
2 No sound.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's one after the other. I can hear myself, which
4 is unfortunate in the circumstances because it becomes very difficult for
5 me to contradict you. Can you hear me now?
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Now we can, yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it all right now? So let me just repeat what I
9 In the meantime, Colonel Boering, were you receiving
10 interpretation of what I was saying into your own language?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. The only problem is that I will just repeat
13 my intervention for the sake of those who could not hear.
14 Also I would like to know whether the accused were receiving
15 interpretation in Serbo-Croat of what I was saying all the time. All
16 right. I see some nods.
17 The problem was the following: That Madam Fauveau started asking
18 you a question and you immediately gave an answer to that which doesn't
19 show up in the transcript, and she followed with her second sequential
20 question which you haven't answered because of my intervention. I'm going
21 to put both questions again to you myself, one after the other. And if
22 you could be kind enough to answer them one by one, as I put them to you.
23 Madam Fauveau put it to you that the Muslims had any good reason
24 to hide their weapons so that you, that is the DutchBat, wouldn't see
25 them. Would you agree with that statement?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's what I had heard you [Microphone not
3 activated] ... did not show up in the transcript.
4 The next question is the following, and this is again not my
5 question but Madam Fauveau's question. Can we therefore say that the
6 people in the enclave would hide their weapons from the personnel,
7 personnel I mean DutchBat. Would you agree with that statement?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Definitely in the first part of my
9 stay at the enclave, that is true. As of mid-June, early June, when the
10 tension was mounting somewhat and some more people were carrying hand arms
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that mean that around about June, when the
13 situation worsened, people didn't care any much more or longer to hide
14 weapons? Is that what you mean to convey to us?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In any case, you would see more
16 people running around with arms and they were less worried about them
17 being taken away from them.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That answers the question and gives even
19 further information than you had asked, Madam Fauveau. You may proceed
20 with your next question.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Quite, Mr. President. Thank you.
22 Q. When you saw these people with arms as of mid-June, did you try to
23 disarm them?
24 A. Yes, and we would simply bring this up in the weekly conversations
25 with the Muslim leaders, both civil and military.
1 Q. But it would be fair to say, wouldn't it, that you did not succeed
2 in disarming them?
3 A. If I remember correctly the --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one moment.
5 What's the problem, Mr. McCloskey?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this is not a contested fact. This
7 is part of the Prosecution's case. It's been gone over and over and over
8 again. I would just at this point object to the continuing part of
9 non-contested facts that have been dealt with repeatedly. We agree they
10 weren't able to disarm the enclave. That's been a historical and
11 established fact for 11 years.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
13 That's being conceded to you as a fact.
14 Incidentally while you are mentioning agreed facts, you haven't
15 come forward with any agreed facts, and I think basically you can -- it's
16 high time you sit down round the table and try and provide the Chamber
17 with some agreed facts. We, on our part, are handing down two decisions
18 between today and tomorrow, one I have signed five minutes ago, namely
19 that these -- or disposes of the motion for judicial notice of facts of
20 common knowledge, and later on in the day or early tomorrow morning, we
21 will hand down the decision dealing with the other motion proposing
22 judicial notice of adjudicated facts. So and that should prompt you to
23 sit round a table and in the most constructive manner and come forward
24 with further agreed facts that we couldn't incorporate in either of our
25 two decisions.
1 Yes, Madam Fauveau, apologies to you for this short interruption.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
3 Q. On the 22nd of September, page 2074 of the French transcript, you
4 stated that you had the opportunity to meet the mayor of the town in
5 uniform. Is it true that until then you did not know that the mayor of
6 the town had connections or relationships with the army?
7 A. I met -- I asked him several times beforehand whether he himself
8 held any functions in the army, and he always emphatically denied this.
9 So when I saw him in a uniform with a weapon for the first time, we had a
10 brief discussion about this.
11 Q. Can we an agree that it was indeed very hard to know which man of
12 a fighting age was in the military or not, and it was very hard to
13 distinguish any of them from civilians?
14 A. I did not have a lot of contact with people to make a really
15 accurate estimation of that. People whom I spoke to, of a number of them,
16 I suspected that they didn't have anything to do with the army. A number
17 were doubtful in that respect.
18 Q. Would it be fair to say that indeed you could not really assess
19 who among the men was a military and who was a civilian regarding men of
20 fighting age?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's answered that question already,
22 Madam Fauveau. He's not in a position to answer it because he didn't have
23 that much contact with the people.
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'm
25 quite happy with the answer.
1 Q. You mentioned the Bandera triangle and you said that you couldn't
2 have access to that part of the Srebrenica enclave; is that right?
3 A. We could use a number of roads in the direction of observation
4 post but let's say the inner roads we did not really have freedom of
5 movement on.
6 Q. Can we agree that you have no idea whatsoever of the number of
7 weapons stored in the area called the Bandera triangle?
8 A. Of course there were reconnoitres in the Bandera triangle by
9 troops of DutchBat, in particular, a platoon of Special Forces which we
10 had with us. However, the exact information about the armaments and their
11 findings were not told to me.
12 Q. It is -- is it is fair to say that throughout your stay in the
13 enclave, weapons were brought into the enclave, being smuggled?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Does the Prosecution contest this as a fact? At
15 least in relation to a specific period.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President, it's part of our case, as a
17 matter of fact. It always has been. We can talk about the helicopters.
18 We can talk about the name of the programme that the Muslims used to bring
19 them in. We can provide some more information on it. We will agree to
20 all of this, and to that degree, unless it goes to his credibility, I
21 don't see how relevant it all is.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So Judge Kwon.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau, I'm sure you understand that my
25 interventions are meant to not necessarily speed up by streamline the
1 inflow of evidence on certain issues that are involved in this case, and
2 I, after discussing with the other Judges, I think that you can safely
3 move ahead to your next line of questions, unless you think you need to go
4 deeper into this matter, particularly if it relates to the credibility of
5 the -- of the witness, but otherwise, I think you can take into -- or you
6 should take into consideration that the Prosecution is conceding this as a
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This witness has stated
9 categorically that weapons had been introduced into the enclave, so this
10 is the last question I'm asking in this line, if you will allow me.
11 Can we agree that the witness and the personnel of DutchBat had no
12 idea of how many weapons were in the enclave during their stay in the
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That calls for a conclusion. He can't
15 speak for all of DutchBat.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, let him say so. Maybe he had information on
18 Colonel, can you answer that question?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can we therefore say that your estimation of a thousand weapons
22 was a personal appraisal, estimate?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you need to refer the witness to which
24 specific part of his either statement or testimony you are referring him
25 to. Because I'm not quite sure that he's focused on that.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
2 Q. This was on the 19th of September.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, do you recall this part of your testimony?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can remember that I said that I
5 thought there were about a thousand soldiers present in the hard core of
6 ABiH and that is a number which stuck to my mind because of the battalion.
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question was: Do you agree this estimation is your personal
9 estimation, quite personal estimation?
10 A. No. It was an assessment which I already indicated, as far as I
11 can recall, that was the number who were in the battalion, and also it was
12 based on observations made by others.
13 Q. And this concerned only the weapons which you could see in this
14 part of the enclave in which you were able to go, isn't it?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I hate to interrupt you, Madam Fauveau, but I don't
16 think you have understood what I told you before, namely that my
17 intervention mainly concerned the fact that the Prosecution was conceding
18 to you more, much more, than the witness himself had conceded. If you
19 want to proceed with your questions, go ahead, but at the end of the day,
20 I don't know where it's going to lead you.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President. I will pursue
22 another subject.
23 Q. You said that while you were with the DutchBat, you had to keep
24 contact with the commanders of the battalion and the civil and military
25 chiefs within the enclave and the different members of the
1 Republika Srpska, on the 19th of September, page 1872. Do you remember
2 this statement?
3 A. I can remember that I said that different members of the
4 Republika Srpska -- what I meant -- I meant representatives also of
5 Bratunac, both military and civilians. And also the military LOs,
6 Vukovic, where I did have contact.
7 Q. You also had contact with people inside the enclave, with the
8 civil and military authority, the Muslims' civil and military authorities,
10 A. Correct. And I also had contact to specific Muslim projects in
11 the enclave; for example, the social kitchen, schools.
12 Q. Before taking your post, had you been briefed by your predecessor
13 about the military structure of the Bosnia army inside the enclave?
14 The ABiH.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I would like the witness to be shown SD 51. 5 D51, 5 D51.
17 This is a United Nations document, or rather June 1994, UNPROFOR.
18 I would like to see -- know if you saw it when you were in the enclave.
19 A. I cannot recall.
20 Q. Did you know -- did you know that the 8th Operational Group of the
21 ABiH army was in Srebrenica?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when you arrived in the enclave, did you know that this group
24 belonged to the 2nd Corps of the army of the ABiH army?
25 A. Yes. I can remember that.
1 Q. Could the witness be shown 5 D50? To move the document so that
2 the higher part can be seen. No. That's enough. Thank you. That's all
4 Did you have the opportunity of seeing this document?
5 A. I cannot recall, but the names seem familiar to me.
6 Q. Can you see the numbers 280, 281 and so forth, which are on the
7 lower part of the page, which are to be seen on the lower part of the
9 A. Yes, I can see them.
10 Q. Can we agree that these numbers represent brigades, the brigades?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Just above 281, you can see the name of Zulfo Tursunovic, can you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would it be the same Zulfo who took you as a hostage?
15 A. I assume so.
16 Q. And this Zulfo, according to this document, would be the commander
17 of the 280th Brigade, isn't it so, 281st?
18 A. [Previous translation continues] ... evidence in the paper in
19 front of you.
20 Q. Is it true that the commander of the 28th Division was stationed
21 at Srebrenica?
22 A. [No interpretation].
23 Q. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. It's not on the document. I'm
24 asking you if you knew that the command of the 28th Division was stationed
25 in Srebrenica?
1 A. I'm not going to presume that. I cannot say.
2 Q. This means that when you were in the enclave of Srebrenica from
3 January to July 1995, you didn't know whether the commander of the
4 28th Division was in Srebrenica or not?
5 A. Are you referring to Naser Oric?
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I think there is a translation
7 problem, President. I was not talking of commander but of command.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go back to your original question.
9 Colonel, the document that you are being shown on the screen
10 there, is -- refers to the 8th Division of the BiH 2nd Corps and you've
11 been specifically referred to the 281st, I would take it Battalion,
12 Brigade, of that division. For the time being, the 28th Division has got
13 nothing to do with Madam Fauveau's question, even though you see it in the
14 transcript on line 22 of the previous page.
15 So with that background, I will now pass on again the role to
16 Ms. Fauveau to put the question again.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Colonel Boering, is it true that at a given moment during your
19 stay in the enclave, the 8th Operational Group became the 28th Division of
20 the ABH army?
21 A. I believe so. I think they did combine, because it was a separate
22 unit in the enclave.
23 Q. Did you know that the headquarters of the 28th Division was
24 stationed at Srebrenica?
25 A. Yes. That was the headquarters.
1 Q. Can you tell me in which building this headquarters was?
2 A. I think I drove past it once. It was a bit at the edge, in the
3 outskirts of the enclave, in an area with mountains but I'm sure it wasn't
4 in the centre.
5 Q. Do you mean to say that you never entered the headquarters of the
6 28th Division?
7 A. Yes. That is correct. As I can recall, the discussions that were
8 held were held in the PTT building.
9 Q. Is it true that the last landing of the post was being used by the
10 intelligence of the 28th Division? The top floor?
11 A. I once saw a meeting there, as far as I can recall, but at other
12 times I never went to the top. There was a discussion with UNMO, that it
13 could not and should not be the headquarters. I have that somewhere in my
14 mind. But I wasn't present at all the discussions.
15 Q. Is it true that the members of the 28th Division were using the
16 PTT building for their communications with the 2nd Corps in Tuzla?
17 A. I assume so, that they also used it for their communication.
18 Q. Now, if you look the brigades which are in the 8th Operational
19 Group, these brigades did exist indeed when the group was transformed into
20 28th Division. These brigades still existed; isn't it correct?
21 A. Yes, that is correct. And if I remember properly, the various
22 units of DutchBat were linked to the brigade commandants. I didn't have
23 real contact with brigade commandants over Mandzic and Zuric later, and
24 Zanovic that was with the -- company commanders, company. I repeat, the
25 company command.
1 Q. Do you know where was the headquarters of the 280th Brigade?
2 A. I would be guessing. I can remember some names, but the
3 combination between them is something I can't say anymore, as regards the
4 company. There was one place near Potocari and another in Srebrenica, if
5 I'm not mistaken, but I'm not sure anymore.
6 Q. Would you think -- would you consider these brigades have
7 headquarters in the centre of Srebrenica?
8 A. No. I can't recall where -- I don't know where they were and what
9 they did.
10 Q. You said a while ago that there was near Potocari a place. When
11 you say chose to Potocari, are you thinking of the bases of UNPROFOR near
13 A. No. There was a small village just to the north, the north-west
14 of the enclave, when looking at Potocari itself. There was a small
15 village. Somewhere there. I've never been there, I know there was a
16 brigadier commandant who was there, but I don't really know how he
17 operated from that base.
18 Q. And this base, not very far from Potocari, was in a house, an
19 ordinary house; correct?
20 A. I can't say that. It could well be but I never -- I never went
21 there, so I can't answer.
22 Q. Colonel Boering, do you agree that the seat of a brigade or a
23 division could be a legitimate military goal, target?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you testing his knowledge of international law
25 or what's the purpose of your question?
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No. His military knowledge,
2 President. He's military. I suppose he knows what are the legitimate
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a very fine distinction that you draw,
5 Ms. Fauveau.
6 Anyway, go ahead, Colonel. Would you accept the proposition that
7 has been made to you by -- or put to you by Madam Fauveau?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think you could have a very
9 big discussion on that. Right now --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Let's move to the next
11 question, Madam Fauveau.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
13 Q. It's true that you couldn't enter in that house and inspect what
14 was in these houses?
15 A. I think I've already answered that question several times.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes yesterday he stated categorically that not even
17 for a simple search for weapons, that they did not have that authority, to
18 search houses, in other words, for weapons.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, President.
20 Q. You said that you saw several times house that was burnt. Is it
21 true that when you saw the burnt house you didn't know whether in these
22 houses weapons were there and if these weapons were used for military
23 meetings? Whether these houses were used for military purposes?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's two questions in one. Let's take them one by
25 one, please.
1 When you saw these burnt houses that Madam Fauveau is referring
2 to, she is suggesting that you didn't know whether there were any weapons
3 in them at the time, before they were burnt, of course.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't in the house, so I can't
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And the second question is whether you
7 are in a position to enlighten us as to whether any of these houses were
8 used for military purposes.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think I'm in that position
10 to answer.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I want to change
12 completely the topic.
13 Q. Colonel Boering, you spoke of the living conditions in Srebrenica,
14 and you said that it was on the 19th of September, on page 1892, that the
15 water supply was no good. Is it true?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. When you described your tasks, you said it was to give
18 humanitarian aid in the enclave and also outside the enclave, and you
19 mentioned Bratunac. I would like to know if you were aware that the
20 humanitarian situation in particular concerning the water supply was also
21 bad in -- as bad in Bratunac as in Srebrenica.
22 A. Several times I tried to have contact with civilian authorities in
23 Bratunac. Generally speaking, they were rejected. I wasn't referred to
24 them. And we didn't discuss projects or offers. At some point in time,
25 we had contact with the hospital in Bratunac and there we did provide aid.
1 Requests from improving the water is something that coming from Bratunac
2 is something that I'm not aware of.
3 Q. You spoke about power, electricity, and you said there were big
4 problems with power in Srebrenica. Did you know that all Republika Srpska
5 had severe restrictions on power during the whole war?
6 A. It could well be.
7 Q. You spoke a moment ago of the hospital in Bratunac and you said
8 that you had given some help to this hospital. Is it true that there
9 wasn't enough medicines and other equipment for this hospital, they were
11 A. I can remember that it was a restricted hospital. Some equipment
12 weren't working properly, and therefore we tried to repair the equipment
13 and provide doctors with more information about them. As regards medicine
14 provisions, as regards the equipment they had, all the details, I can't
15 remember anymore.
16 Q. Mentioning medical care, you stated that there was a problem with
17 drugs and medical supplies or instruments in the hospital.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm going to move and mention
19 several names. It might be better to move into private session,
20 Mr. President.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 2184-2190 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 5 D03?
7 It's a document that has already been tendered into evidence.
8 Q. First page, second paragraph, please.
9 Sir, could you please read the second paragraph and tell me if you
10 can see that this is in relation to acts of sabotage carried out on the
11 23rd of June in Ovmace [phoen] and Bjelovcinje [phoen]? Can you see it?
12 A. Yes, thank you.
13 Q. Right at the top first paragraph, you can see that these are
14 soldiers of the 28th Division in Srebrenica and Zepa, and they contributed
15 to the fight against aggressors by the ABiH through such acts of sabotage.
16 Can you see this in the first paragraph?
17 A. Yes. I can see that.
18 Q. Further on, in the third paragraph, there is another act of
19 sabotage carried out on the 26th of June, 1995. It is an attack on
20 Visnjica. Is that correct?
21 A. I can see it here.
22 Q. And according to this document, over 40 Chetniks were killed.
23 This is an estimation, sir. Is this correct?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this witness clearly doesn't know
1 anything about this. This is something I mentioned in my opening
2 statement we would stipulate that this was the policy of the ABiH. Again,
3 it's been a historical fact that they were sending out raids to tie down
4 Serb forces from going to the Sarajevo front.
5 This is a historical and well-known fact. I will stipulate to it
6 again as I mentioned in my opening statement. I don't see how it really
7 ties into this witness. It's not contested.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And this Visnjica, the 26th June attack, is also
9 included amongst the proposed adjudicated facts to be taken judicial
10 notice of. So -- respect to whether they will be taken judicial
11 cognizance or notice of, you have a statement by the Prosecution
12 stipulating that that did indeed happen.
13 Is there a problem? I heard General Miletic. If you have a
14 problem, do speak out. All right.
15 Are you in a position to answer -- we haven't had the question as
17 What's your question in any case, Ms. Fauveau, now that you've
18 heard the Prosecutor acknowledging that these were part of policy that was
19 being implemented by the Bosnian Muslims at the time.
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I wanted to know whether such acts of sabotage or military actions
22 did contribute to the worsening of the security situation around the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And is it fair to say that humanitarian convoys would not go
1 through zones where there were -- where there was fighting?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So you mean to say that humanitarian convoys would go into combat
4 zones when there was combat, when there was fighting happening, they would
5 go through them?
6 A. I regularly -- I was regularly in touch with a Russian civilian
7 who worked for UNHCR and was responsible for the convoys and regularly
8 came on them, and he was a fair estimate of the situation.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry, I can't hear you.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Sorry, it's just that the witness
12 mentioned a humanitarian organisation, so we might need to redact this,
13 line 14, page 28.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Particularly -- I don't think we need to. I take
15 the responsibility for that because we haven't got the name of the
16 individual mentioned and the fact that UNHCR was involved there is a known
17 fact which UNHCR has never tried to hide in any case.
18 Shall we have a break now?
19 I see Mr. McCloskey. Do you disagree with me, Mr. McCloskey?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, I have no problem with that. That is a known
21 fact. I was a little concerned that the witness, it was hard to tell that
22 he -- he may have been interrupted in his answer. But, yeah, I think a
23 break is a good idea.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's have a break and then we'll put the
25 question back to him.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau, please.
4 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Colonel Boering, I interrupted you just before we stopped and I
6 want to repeat my question. Do you mean to say that the humanitarian
7 convoy passed by the combat zone?
8 A. No. That was not my intention.
9 Q. Can we conclude that when there were fights, the military
10 activities around the enclave, the humanitarian convoys could not pass?
11 A. I believe that such a conclusion should not be drawn.
12 Q. Another subject. On the 19th of September, page 1897 of the
13 LiveNote, in June 1995, you saw the shelling of houses twice. Do you
14 remember your statement?
15 A. Yes, I do remember that.
16 Q. This document which you have in front of you spoke of military
17 activities of the Muslims on the 23 and 26 June. I would like to know can
18 you tell us whether the attacks, the shelling of the houses which you've
19 seen, happened on the 23rd and the 26th June?
20 A. I really wouldn't know.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to refer
22 to HCR document. Can I do so in public hearing?
23 Q. Colonel Boering, the members of the DutchBat in June 1995
24 [Microphone not activated] a vehicle of the HCR [as interpreted]?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if there is an interpretation problem
1 with the question. The transcript isn't clear, although I know of course
2 what you're referring to. But are you reading from an UNHCR document,
3 Madam Fauveau? And if you are, could you read through again slowly?
4 Because the transcript here, and I suppose you can follow, it says:
5 "Colonel Boering, the members of DutchBat in June 1995, a vehicle of
6 HCR." And that's it. And if that is what has been translated to the
7 witness, I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what's being asked.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Sir, my question was, the members of the DutchBat in June 1995 did
10 search vehicles of the HCR? That was my question.
11 A. I do not remember that.
12 Q. Could the witness be shown 5 D54? Page 4, last paragraph, please.
13 Can you scroll down? It's an extract of the NIOD report. Can you see at
14 the beginning of the last paragraph: "[In English] At Yellow Bridge, both
15 on the outward and on the return journey, carefully checked the quantity
16 of fuel in the vehicles' tanks. The VRS soldiers appeared friendly but
17 the convoy leader would not say that about DutchBat. The DutchBat
18 soldiers were instructed to check the vehicles which was done
20 [Interpretation] Do you remember this?
21 A. No. I do not recall any such thing.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think again the same problem, if he could be
24 given time to read at least the paragraph above it. It's hard to get it
25 out of context.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Having heard you say so, do you wish to
2 repeat the question after the witness has read what goes before? But I
3 think he has already more or less given an indication of what his answer
4 would be if he's asked the same question again.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: At this point, I can withdraw the objection. But
6 just in the future if he could be allowed to take a look at something a
7 little bit longer, I think it would make more sense.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no problem
9 with that.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It depends. It can vary from document
11 to document. It depends what the question is all about. I think this
12 could stay on its own actually.
13 But anyway, let's go ahead. Next question.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Do you remember that at a given moment members of the HCR
16 threatened to stop activities, humanitarian activities in the enclave?
17 A. No. At this point in time I cannot recall that.
18 Q. Could you have a look at page 6 of this document?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let's go into private session for a
21 [Private session]
11 Page 2197 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session now.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] President, if I can help the
6 Chamber, it's a document which is completely public which you can find on
7 the internet. I have no objection to see it redacted but it's public.
8 And here, indeed --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... only protecting
10 persons. That's the whole idea. Because these persons may be in the
11 field still somewhere else. They need to be protected.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could we look at page 6 of the
13 document? Indeed, in this case one has to be careful because in the
14 following paragraph, a name is mentioned. I will not mention the name in
15 my question.
16 Q. Could you look at the beginning of the second paragraph?
17 "[In English] ... meanwhile the consequence of the friction
18 between UNHCR on the one hand and DutchBat and the ABiH on the other was
19 the UNHCR via its local employee informed the opstina that no more UNHCR
20 convoys would be sent until the ABiH dropped the requirement of an
21 extensive check."
22 [Interpretation] What I'd like to know is, do you remember this
24 A. No, I do not recall that.
25 Q. You said on the 19th of September, page 1891 of the LiveNote in
1 French, that during all this time in the enclave, there was a black market
2 going on in Srebrenica; correct?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. You also spoke of your suspicions against military and civil
5 authorities and that there was some contraband going on. Do you remember
7 A. Yes. There were suspicions.
8 Q. Did you inform the north-east sector of the suspicions, for those
9 who were in Tuzla, UNPROFOR in Tuzla?
10 A. Well, I do not remember it. I assume that it was the case. Once
11 or twice we received visits from Tuzla where we had lengthy discussions on
12 the situation in the enclave about provisions, so I assume that there were
13 oral discussions on this.
14 As to written documents, at least we did report on the prices of
15 consumer goods, to give an impression of the situation on the ground.
16 Q. You said on -- that it was on the 6th of July -- you said on
17 the 6th of July, 19 September, that a shell damaged your base at Potocari,
18 and on this occasion, on the 19th of September, you spoke of an analysis
19 made by the service in charge of explosives. Could you explain what sort
20 of analysis it was?
21 A. If I recall correctly, it was conducted by a staff member of the
22 electronics investigation service, the EOD service, as it is called, which
23 specialises in investigations into explosive devices. This service
24 conducted an investigation. They specialise in mines, grenades, and the
25 effects of these explosives. So this is a very highly specialised
1 service. If I recall correctly, they visited the site, they conducted an
2 inspection visit.
3 Q. Could you tell me what was the goal of this investigation?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: To me he hasn't answered the previous question as
5 yet. He was in the process of answering. He can answer both now.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The purpose of this investigation
7 was as follows. Whenever we came under fire, we needed to have the
8 possibilities of submitting proper reports, and this was a standard
9 procedure in such a case. This would allow us to submit detailed reports.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Was this analysis made to know who had fired this shell?
12 A. What kind of grenade, from which direction, this allowed better to
13 determine the position. This was standard procedure.
14 Q. Did a report -- was a report made after this analysis, or drafted
15 after this analysis?
16 A. I assume that, but I have no details available as to the facts.
17 Q. Is it true that there were suspicions that it could have been the
18 Muslim forces which would have shot this shell?
19 A. I cannot remember that.
20 Q. On the 10th of July you were in Srebrenica; correct?
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. You came back to Potocari only on the 11th of July; correct?
23 A. Yes, that is the case.
24 Q. You spoke on the 19th of September, page 1934, of a shell which
25 fell close to Bravo Company and who injured a little boy. Talking about
1 this shell, did you hear about suspicions that it was ABH army which would
2 have fired this shell?
3 A. No. I do not remember such a thing.
4 Q. Was an analysis made to determine where this shell was coming
6 A. It was not conducted by the EOD, the explosives disposal service.
7 As to any further investigations, I do not know about them.
8 Q. Did you hear about an incident which happened on 7th of July when
9 members of the DutchBat which were at Post N had instructions to shoot on
10 Serb positions?
11 A. No. I cannot specifically recall that incident. I do recall that
12 instructions were given that in case of attacks or threats, our soldiers
13 had the right to shoot back, in general.
14 Q. Do you remember this incident, if I tell you that because of a
15 wrong calculation of the distance, a mistake, the shot fell on the enclave
16 instead of falling on the Serb position?
17 A. No. I don't remember anything about such an event.
18 Q. Is it true that you took part in a meeting in the night of 10/11
19 with representatives of the ABiH army?
20 A. Yes. I do remember that.
21 Q. I would ask now Exhibit 5 D56. Can we show this to the witness,
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you sure of the number?
24 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I'm told that it is indeed
25 Exhibit 5 D56.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Please make sure for the time being that nothing is
2 shown on the video until I've seen the document, we have seen the document
3 ourselves. I can't find it either. You're not the only one.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Does the counsel have a hard copy, please?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see the hard copy. It's all right. The fact
6 that it is highlighted as it is without any annotations doesn't really
7 matter. So you can -- show it to Mr. McCloskey first to make sure that he
8 hasn't got any objections.
9 If you have any objections, speak out, Mr. McCloskey. I think
10 it's harmless as it is.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: We found it.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You've found it? All right. We found it anyway.
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Could you look at page 2, paragraph 3, please, scroll it. Look at
15 this paragraph 3, second sentence, you can read. "[In English] Shortly
16 after midnight when, according to Pilav, a decision had been taken in
17 favour of the counter-offensive. Pilav thought that the decision had been
18 taken. DutchBat officer Major Boering entered the meeting as if he had
19 known about the meeting and the decision that had been taken. Boering
20 announced that NATO air-strikes, laid a map on the table, pointed to the
21 targets and asked the Bosnian Muslims to say -- to stay away from those
22 areas due to the risk entailed. He called it 'zones smrt,' or dead zone.
23 The time of the air-strike was given at either before or at dawn."
24 [Interpretation] What I'd like to know is whether this description
25 of the events of the night between 10 and 11 July correspond to what
1 really happened.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, before he answers that question,
3 Mr. McCloskey, I didn't see you stand up this time asking that he is
4 allowed to read the preceding paragraphs.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was looking at the above paragraph, and I think
6 this one, given the situation, I don't think it's a problem unless the
7 witness wants to look at it. I think it's clear enough in the paragraph
8 that they are talking about.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It's such a unique event that it refers
10 to that I don't think he needs to refer to the whole chapter 3 or whatever
11 chapter it is.
12 Yes, Colonel, could you answer the question, please?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you repeat the question,
15 JUDGE AGIUS: What Madam Fauveau would like to know is whether
16 this description of the events of the night between the 10th and the 11th
17 of July correspond to what really happened. In other words, what you read
18 in this paragraph that has been read out to you, does it correspond to the
19 real events as you know them?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not -- it's not very clear in my
21 mind anymore. I know that there was a discussion, and that we were going
22 to get air support, with changes, and according to me it was indicated
23 through Commander Karremans rather than through myself. I think I was
24 more in the background, and it was Colonel Karremans who took over.
25 That's how I remember it. But in this document, I seem to have a very
1 direct role with warnings and authorisation. I can't remember having
2 played that role. It is correct that there was a meeting, that I did
3 enter the meeting, that we waited for a while because the ABiH leaders
4 were involved in their own discussions and in consultation, and then we
5 had a talk with the ABiH leaders and there was also the mayor from opstina
6 there. That I can remember. And I didn't -- I didn't play that major a
7 role but rather Karremans. So I don't see myself truly reflected. My
8 role wasn't that important.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
10 Q. All right, Colonel. But do you remember that this zone, this
11 death zone, would have been mentioned during the meeting by you or by
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans?
13 A. I'm trying to remember. But I can't imagine that with certainty.
14 Probably we spoke about targets, but I can't remember the details anymore.
15 Q. Colonel Boering, when you attended this meeting with the Muslim
16 military commanders, did you know already that the population was to be
17 evacuated from Srebrenica?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Is it fair to say that when you left on the 11th of July, when you
20 left Srebrenica, the population was also going towards Potocari?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it not fair to say that whilst this population was moving from
23 Srebrenica to Potocari, you did not observe any shooting, any firing?
24 A. I can't remember.
25 Q. If I were to tell you that in the Krstic case, on the 24th of
1 March, 2000, page 1219, you stated that while you were driving on the road
2 there was no shelling, would this be an accurate description?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I would like to show you a video excerpt, the Srebrenica trial
5 video shown by the Prosecutor. It's about 20 seconds long. It's P1577,
6 V000-4458 on their 65 ter list. I'd like to ask to move to 13:20 on the
8 [Videotape played]
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Colonel Boering, is this the departure from Srebrenica on the 11th
11 of July, 1995?
12 A. I assume so.
13 Q. In the crowd of people we saw, we can see a UN vehicle, can't we?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I now want to show you the arrival in Potocari. So this is the
16 same video but this is now in the -- on the counter 14:52.
17 [Videotape played]
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Is this a UN or UNPROFOR truck driven by DutchBat personnel?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And the people we can see on the truck are refugees from
23 A. I assume so.
24 Q. Can 5 D55 be shown to the witness? Page 2, paragraph 2, please.
25 At the end of the paragraph -- second paragraph, please. Towards the end,
1 you can see a description by a DutchBat serviceman who says the
2 following: "[In English] Perhaps there were 80 people on the truck. You
3 just don't believe it when you see that truck. They were hanging from it.
4 They were on it, under it. Two small boys were lying on the batteries.
5 There were people who got under the wheels but I couldn't stop. I had to
6 keep going."
7 [Interpretation] Well, this description and the images we saw, is
8 this a fair description of what happened on the road from Srebrenica to
9 Potocari on the 11th of July, 1995?
10 A. At that time, yes. In the beginning, there was personnel which
11 broke the fences of the Bravo Company and then began to transport the
12 refugees. At a later stage, in one of the last vehicles, I was there, and
13 there again you saw human mass of people who were walking. There were no
14 vehicles anymore. So I think that was the beginning of the movement
15 towards Potocari.
16 Q. Are you aware of the fact that at the beginning of this movement
17 towards Potocari, some people were killed by DutchBat vehicles?
18 A. No. It could have well been if there were so many people.
19 Q. I'll move to another topic.
20 On the 22nd of September, page 2013 of the French transcript, you
21 mentioned the house in Potocari where -- to which the men were brought,
22 and you said that when you got out of the house you could not continue
23 walking because you were stopped by soldiers with dogs, and then
24 thereafter you heard shooting from behind the house. Do you remember that
1 A. Yes. I can remember.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, because the transcript doesn't refer
3 to the house as the "White House," we are referring to or rather you are
4 referring to the "White House," Madam Fauveau?
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. It's just for the record
7 because I think we are all in agreement.
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I could ask the witness whether he
10 Q. Because the house you referred to, that was a house being built,
11 wasn't it?
12 A. I remember that already in a previous session that we had a
13 discussion on that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The question was asked and he answered it. It was
15 actually referred to the document to his statement where he uses that
16 expression, house under construction, which was still under construction.
17 Do you have any other different questions that you wish to put to
18 him on the subject, please go ahead. Otherwise, no repetitive questions.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely, Mr. President. I
20 did not intend to talk about entering the house. I was interested in the
21 back of the house.
22 Could the witness be shown his statement made on the 10th of
23 February? It's the Popovic statement 1 D18. The exhibit concerning
24 Popovic, 1 D18. Page 10, please. The last-but-one paragraph.
25 Q. Colonel, please read this paragraph and tell me whether it has to
1 do with the house mentioned here as the "White House," mentioning the
2 events that took place around that house?
3 A. Yes. The "White House."
4 Q. Can you see, that's towards the end of the paragraph, the
5 following can be seen: "[In English] I could hear gun-shots frequently at
6 that time but I can't say that they were fired from behind the house.
7 Potocari was in a valley and sometimes it was difficult even for a
8 professional soldier to determine the direction of fire."
9 A. Yes. I see that.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Is this your statement?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can we therefore conclude today that then, in July 1995, you were
13 not able to determine the direction of fire?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You left Potocari on the 12th of July with the first convoy that
16 was taking the population to Kladanj, and you were together with Captain
17 Voerman; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. It is also correct to say that there were other members of
20 DutchBat that left with that first convoy?
21 A. Yes. But that's something I didn't know about myself, but it
22 seemed that there were other vehicles who joined the convoy, but I wasn't
23 informed about that.
24 Q. And do you know that these other soldiers, other DutchBat
25 soldiers, also arrived there where the Serbs took the people from
1 Potocari, that is in Tisce?
2 A. No. That's something I quite -- I can't quite recall.
3 Q. On the 21st of September, page 1943 of the French transcript, you
4 said that DutchBat could feed the people in Potocari only for a few days.
5 This is what I'd like to know: In such a situation, is it not true to say
6 that a fast evacuation of the population was the only possible solution to
7 save them?
8 A. Or an emergency convoy with food and care.
9 Q. Is it not fair to say that the local population rather wanted to
11 A. I cannot remember that I discussed this with the population.
12 Q. Can the witness be shown 5 D40? Page 2, please. Towards the top
13 of the page, you can see small b, next sentence, it reads as
14 follows: "[In English] A UNHCR local staff member in Srebrenica reported
15 today that virtually everyone in the enclave wishes to leave."
16 [Interpretation] Sir, do you have any reason to doubt this
17 statement by a UNHCR representative?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Further on, you can see this. Not the sentence right after that,
20 the second one after this. Reads as follows: "[In English] Following
21 consultation with the Bosnian government and in order to avoid a
22 continuing humanitarian catastrophe, agreement will be solicited from the
23 Bosnian Serbs to allow all residents of Srebrenica, including all men, to
24 leave for Tuzla if they so wish."
25 [Interpretation] Colonel Boering, is it not correct to say that
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans asked the Serbian authorities to let the
2 population go, the population that was then in Potocari?
3 A. I cannot really remember.
4 Q. I'd like to show you a video clip from the same video concerning
5 the first meeting in the Fontana Hotel. It's a two-minute long, and this
6 will be my last question. 46:25 on the counter, please.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Colonel Boering, is this Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans we see?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey has doubts about that. Serious
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: My problem is is looking into the future. This is
13 about the fourth question where we basically have, here is a video of a
14 red hat. Is this a red hat? Yes, it's a red hat.
15 That is really an inappropriate question. If she wants to get to
16 the point and put her question to the witness, fine, but that's not the
17 proper way to do it. That will take us years to go through this if it
18 continues like this. I don't mind a question but --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, may I remind you all that we are
20 still at the experimental stage, which is soon coming to an end, and I
21 suppose you will hear the big bang after that, so let's move with the
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
24 Q. This is Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans we saw, isn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could we all hear him say, or ask General Mladic, to let DutchBat
2 go, to let the civilian population, women and children, go?
3 A. Yes. You are just citing the video.
4 Q. Did Colonel Karremans also ask for help of General Mladic, for him
5 to assist the -- for the withdrawal of the population and the withdrawal
6 of DutchBat?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not deaf and we are not blind. I mean,
8 it's -- thank God. Go to the substantive question, if you have one. I
9 mean, we all heard him say what he actually said. We don't have a problem
10 of translation because the interpretation was from English into Serb.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Colonel, is it fair to say that on the day after, the women and
13 the children could go to Kladanj?
14 A. It might be a problem with the interpretation, but I do not
15 understand the question.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, the question I think is one follows from the
17 other. First you were shown a two-minute video clip. Then you were asked
18 whether Colonel -- Lieutenant-Colonel or whatever his rank was at the
19 time, Karremans, actually said what we all know that he said. And as a
20 follow-up you're being asked to confirm whether the day after this plea,
21 this request was made to General Mladic, effectively women and children
22 and elderly were allowed or were escorted from Potocari to Kladanj.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A convoy took place the next day.
24 It was organised by the VRS. At least that's how I see it.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No further questions,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Madam Fauveau.
3 Now, it's Mr. Josse who is defending, together with Mr. Krgovic,
4 General Gvero, who will go next. We'll have a break at quarter to 6.00.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
6 Q. You've been asked a number of questions about your knowledge of
7 Muslim attacks from the enclave in the period that you were stationed
8 there, and as I understand your evidence, you have said that your
9 information for the most part came from Momir Nikolic. That's correct,
10 isn't it?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Did you log any of the information that Momir Nikolic gave to you?
13 A. We wrote down the information, we passed it through, and then it
14 was processed by the battalion. And in meetings we usually had Susan
15 Morava [as interpreted], and it was her function to write things down.
16 The sergeant-major wrote the things down.
17 Q. I think there may have been a mistranslation there. The
18 Sergeant-Major Rave's job, not someone called Susan; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it was Sergeant-Major Rave.
20 Q. And this information was sent to Tuzla?
21 A. No, it was passed through the battalion with your daily
22 discussions. And then it is given to the Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans to
23 decide what he's going to do with all the information.
24 Q. Do you have any idea whether he passed it on to Tuzla or Sarajevo?
25 A. I assume he did.
1 Q. Have you any knowledge as to whether Mr. Karremans sought
2 confirmation from other sources of the accuracy of what Momir Nikolic was
3 telling you?
4 A. That kept him busy.
5 Q. Perhaps you --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That doesn't answer the question.
7 Perhaps, Colonel, if you could answer the question that Mr. Josse
8 has put to you, whether you know, whether you have any knowledge, as to
9 whether your superior, Mr. Karremans, sought confirmation from other
10 sources of the accuracy of what Momir Nikolic was reporting to you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards the accuracy, he called
12 upon his own Special Forces to check the information. Also within the
13 enclave, he did look for verification as regards the information he
14 received. And he also talked to the population and HUMINT to see what
15 happened. That did take place, I'm sure of it.
16 MR. JOSSE:
17 Q. And what was the result; can you tell us?
18 A. No. Right now, I can't recall.
19 Q. And by "Special Forces," what do you mean, please?
20 A. We had a platoon of Special Forces with us from the Dutch army,
21 which were more specialised. They carried out extra patrols, special
22 patrols, with specific objectives in order to collect information, both --
23 also as regards the borders of the enclave as well as inside the enclave.
24 Q. Were they distinct from intelligence services of your battalion?
25 A. No, they weren't.
1 Q. Is your evidence that at the moment, you can't recall what
2 information came back to you from these sources, other than Momir Nikolic,
3 as to the veracity of what Momir Nikolic was telling you?
4 A. Yes. The reports were done in the two lines, and they discussed
5 it through with Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans and Franken.
6 Q. The question was perhaps a little long-winded. Put simply, you
7 can't remember what these reports said?
8 A. I've never seen the majority of the reports.
9 Q. What Momir Nikolic was telling you was of real importance, I
10 suggest, because you knew that if what he was saying was right, it placed
11 the enclave in some sort of jeopardy of attack.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I want to move on to the fall of the enclave. Do you remember
14 which day you became aware of the fact that Private Van Renssen had been
15 very badly wounded?
16 A. This was already discussed.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you remember the date when you became aware of
18 his being badly wounded? This was the question.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I find it a bit difficult
20 to answer these questions time and time again and to try and remember
21 whether it was the 8th, 9th or the 10th.
22 MR. JOSSE: To be fair to the witness, Your Honour, from
23 recollection, Mr. Nicholls refreshed his memory by agreement from an
24 earlier statement, and I'm not trying to take advantage of the fact the
25 witness couldn't remember in the first place.
1 Q. From recollection, your evidence was that it was the 8th of July.
2 Was it on the day of the attack on the private that you learnt of the fact
3 that he had been very badly wounded? That's really what I'm trying to get
5 A. Yes. When he was wounded, I can remember that, I heard it on the
7 Q. And was it clear to you immediately or almost immediately that he
8 was wounded as a result of action by the ABiH?
9 A. No.
10 Q. When did that become clear?
11 A. It finally became clear to me when Ramiz Becirevic offered his
12 apologies and said that it was a soldier from the ABiH.
13 Q. I want to suggest to you that as a result of that attack, certain
14 members of DutchBat fled the enclave to Bratunac. Do you agree with that
16 A. Nonsense.
17 Q. Why is that nonsense?
18 A. Because I don't agree with it.
19 Q. Well, where were you physically when you heard this radio report
20 that the private had been very badly wounded?
21 A. I was then in Potocari.
22 Q. And when was the next time you communicated with those troops who
23 ended up in Bratunac?
24 A. That was on the 11th of July.
25 Q. When you went to the Hotel Fontana; is that right?
1 A. Yes. Or the 10th or the 11th.
2 Q. And help the Chamber with this: Do you recall when the badly
3 wounded Private Van Renssen was taken to Bratunac?
4 A. I remember that he was transported to Potocari. I believe that he
5 died there, and his remains or his body was later, after a while,
6 transported through Bratunac in the direction of the Netherlands.
7 Q. Do you remember when that was?
8 A. No, not the exact date, but I know it happened and that I was
9 involved in that.
10 Q. Did you see the private after he was wounded but before his body
11 was taken to Bratunac?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, what's the objection?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Relevance. It's more time-consuming than
15 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the relevance?
16 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I'm probing the denial of the witness to
17 the suggestion that I made and, well, without telegraphing where I'm
18 going -- perhaps I should telegraph where I'm going.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so, because at the end of the day what he
20 denied in a very vehement way was the proposition that the other soldiers
21 fled or tried to flee. So go straight to where you need to go.
22 MR. JOSSE: Well, may I ask that question again, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: No. If he's -- he's answered that question already.
24 MR. JOSSE: No, no, the question --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have any other pertinent question, yes, go
1 ahead. But whether he saw the body of this private before it was removed,
2 I mean, what's the relevance of that?
3 MR. JOSSE: Because, Your Honour, what we're suggesting is that
4 the private was taken to Bratunac for some form of treatment. As I say --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Then ask the --
6 MR. JOSSE: I telegraphed the answer now.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Then ask the question. You have every right to ask
8 the question.
9 MR. JOSSE: Well, I've rather given my line away, haven't I?
10 Q. Did you see the Private Renssen in Potocari after he had been
12 A. No.
13 Q. And the DutchBat soldiers whom you saw at the Hotel Fontana on the
14 11th of July, did you see them at any time between the 8th and the 11th of
16 A. No.
17 Q. Thank you. I'll move on.
18 Last set of questions I want to ask you relate to the 10th of
19 July. You've told us at page 78 of your evidence on the 19th of September
20 that you walked through Srebrenica several times on that day. Did you, in
21 the course of walking through the city, see any military action whatsoever
22 by either members of the ABiH or other Muslims?
23 A. I did see some military with their hand arms and they were sort of
24 in between the other people.
25 Q. Were they firing at anyone?
1 A. No. I did not see this.
2 Q. And on your walks through the city, presumably you went to Bravo
4 A. The Bravo Company and the PTT buildings. That's what I mainly
5 walked, and they are not very far apart, couple hundred yards maybe.
6 However, my stay, where I was residing in those days, was at Bravo.
7 Q. For how many hours would you say you were in Srebrenica that day?
8 A. 24 hours.
9 Q. Do you recall where the petrol station was in relation to
10 Bravo Company?
11 A. Well, I'd have to see images of it. But if this was a location at
12 which there used to be a bus stop, where you could get on the bus, then I
13 do have that image, yes.
14 Q. Well, assuming it's there, how far?
15 A. Well, maybe a hundred, 200 metres. However, I believe that for a
16 clear image one should see a picture. Otherwise it's going to be too
17 vague for me.
18 Q. I'm not going to argue with that, Colonel Boering. What I'd now
19 like to you do is have a look at a video which has been played to this
20 Chamber before but not to you. It's V00-4417, also known as 4 D14.
21 Perhaps that could be played.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
24 Q. Is that the petrol station that you had in mind in relation to the
25 questions I just asked you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I am told that the images depicted in that video occurred on the
3 10th of July of 1995. Did you see anything like that whilst you were
5 A. No, I did not.
6 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think we can have the break now and then
8 Mr. Sarapa will start his cross-examination afterwards. 25 minutes,
10 I beg your pardon. It's 30 minutes, not 25 minutes, and that's
11 because of the redaction. Thank you.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Sarapa. Do you think you can finish in 45
16 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] I'll do my best. My predecessors
17 have covered a lot of questions that I intended to ask, so I sincerely
18 hope that I'll be able to finish within that time.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a classic case of great minds think alike.
20 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Thank you for those words.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Sarapa:
22 Q. Colonel, sir, I would like to ask you some personal questions, not
23 personal as such but some related to your career.
24 When you spoke about your military career, you have provided us
25 with some detail of the offices that you held before arrival in
1 Srebrenica. Can you please repeat that? Can you provide us with some
2 more detail as to what you did before arriving in Srebrenica?
3 A. I went to the military academy from 1987 to 1982 [as interpreted].
4 Then I became lieutenant, and after that, from 1982 to 1989, I served in
5 Germany with artillery. During that time I was involved in manoeuvring
6 units as a sort of liaison person. Infantry, reconnaissance unit. After
7 that, for six months, I took leave. I wasn't in the army. So we can skip
8 that. Then I joined the army in the artillery centre in Breda, where I
9 was for one year. From then, I did a course in The Hague, and then for
10 two and two and a half years I was placed in the Ministry of Defence in
11 The Hague, with the procurement of material was one of my tasks. And
12 following on from that, I went back to Seedorf in the brigade where I was
13 an artillery officer. And following on from that, after one year, there
14 was talk that I be sent to the Dutch patrol, so I went from the brigade
15 staff and I became seconded to Assen, and I was in the programme with some
16 other external people in order to reinforce them. I was there for about
17 two, three months, where I was involved in preparation and then I was
18 detached or sent. That's it in brief. I was sent on missions after that.
19 Q. During your stay in Srebrenica, during your mission, did you have
20 the right of command?
21 A. No. You don't have it as a staff officer. I played a more
22 coordinating role, and I played an advising -- advisory role.
23 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Can we please play 7 D00028? Very
24 well. This document is in B/C/S. It was found rather late. We did not
25 have the time to translate it. So I would like the interpreters to
1 interpret what I'm going to read.
2 This is a document by the BiH army, by the command of the
3 8th Operations Group Srebrenica, the security sector. The number is
4 130503 and the date is 11 January 1995, in Srebrenica, and it is delivered
5 to the security sector of the -- security organ of the 2nd Corps in Tuzla.
6 THE INTERPRETER: May it be noted that the interpreters do not
7 have that on the screen.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No one has it on the main screen. It appears now.
9 You should have it now. Please confirm to me if you don't.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, thank you.
11 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
12 Q. This is the beginning: "Due to the enemy attack to take
13 Ravni Buljim, TT 820, and due to the fact that the UNPROFOR did not agree
14 to place an observation at that place, the command of the 8th OG
15 Srebrenica has banned the UNPROFOR members to approach the area and to
16 reinforce the Buljim-Jabucno line."
17 And later on there is another part of the text. "The 8th OG
18 Srebrenica has given an ultimatum to the members of the United Nations and
19 asked them to return the enemy soldiers to their initial positions.
20 Should they not comply with that condition, the command will forbid the
21 movement by the UNPROFOR in this zone."
22 Colonel, sir, could you please tell us whether you have any
23 information about this document? The date is 11 January 1995, and this
24 was the time when you were already there.
25 A. No, I didn't know anything about this.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's be clear, because you never know in this
3 place. The question that you asked is whether he knows anything about
4 this document, whether you have any information about this document. And
5 he --
6 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] No, no, no.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And he has answered that he hasn't. Perhaps if we
8 could rephrase the question to make sure that what you meant to elicit
9 from the witness is whether he can tell us anything about the contents of
10 this document that you read out to him. In other words about --
11 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Colonel, this is not a question as to whether
13 you've seen this document before or whether you know anything about it.
14 It's a question of whether you know anything about the facts or the events
15 that it refers to.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can recall that there were talks
17 about the number of observation posts around the enclave. I didn't carry
18 them out myself, but Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans did. In the beginning,
19 I wasn't the military LO yet, but I do remember there were talks about the
20 need or the desirability to have other locations for observation posts.
21 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] This is precisely what I meant. I
22 wanted to discuss the contents of the document, not the document itself.
23 And now I would kindly ask for 7 D0030 to be put on the screen.
24 Yes. We have it on the screen now.
25 Q. This is a document by the General Staff of the army, the army
1 staff, Kakanj, 29 January 1995. And it was sent to the command of the
2 8th OG Srebrenica. It was signed by the Chief of Staff, General Enver
4 At the beginning of the document, it says: "The UNPROFOR in your
5 zone has very well defined tasks that they are supposed to follow. In
6 conversations with the liaison officer of the UNPROFOR, make sure that the
7 UNPROFOR complies with their commitments. Do not allow them to go to
8 possible new observation points."
9 My question to you is this: Do you know who the liaison officer
10 was at the time? And I'm referring to the 29th of January, 1995.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the objection?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a short document and we don't have it in
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but the question is whether he knows who was
15 the LO at this time, January 1995. I don't even know whether he had
16 arrived then.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, under the old rules as I remember
18 them, the appropriate question would be that question, without a document.
19 There is no reason to refresh his recollection or impeach him. He just
20 can ask him: Do you know who the LO was? And there is no reason for a
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But we have advanced 13 years since this Tribunal
23 started. You know that.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: If you think that's an advance. These documents,
25 and reading them is taking quite a bit of time. I think there were some
1 reasons for those old rules.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You're 100 per cent right, Mr. McCloskey, but let's
3 proceed with the question because that's what we really should be
4 concentrating upon.
5 You're being asked, Colonel, whether you know who the liaison
6 officer was in January, end of January of 1995. If you can answer that
7 question, if you know?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether it was the LO
9 that was intended in this letter, but I had a colleague, and together we
10 had prepared some discussion points. I can't recall that we discussed
11 something as appears in this document.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That answer is more than you bargained for,
13 Mr. Sarapa. So let's proceed. Thank you.
14 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] May we now have 7 D00026 on the
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, we don't seem to have a translation of this
17 document into English.
18 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] It exists only in B/C/S, I'm afraid.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I have an impression of having seen this document
20 already during the proceedings. No, but that referred to June or July.
21 No. No. This is February.
22 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Now we have the right document on the
23 screen. The previous one was a wrong one.
24 Q. This is a document of the BIH army, the command of the 28th
25 Division. The number is 01-17/95.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go to the question, Mr. Sarapa.
2 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I'm going to read one part of the document and then I'll put my
4 question to the witness.
5 "On 27 April 1995, the command of the DutchBat of UNPROFOR in
6 Srebrenica started to reinforce -- to reinforce their lines in order to
7 set up an observation point in the sector of Lozina village. This will
8 allow for the control of the corridor between Srebrenica and Zepa, and
9 this will directly have an impact on the security and the confidentiality
10 of the transport of MTS which is delivered to Srebrenica in this way. The
11 liaison officer of the 28th Division of the Srebrenica army asked for an
12 urgent meeting with the representatives of the DutchBat, and he met with
13 them on two occasions, the first time on the 28th of April, 1995, at 10.00
14 and at 1600 hours."
15 Colonel, sir, do you know anything about these particular
17 A. I can remember the subject matter, yes.
18 Q. Did you attend either both of these meetings or at least one of
20 A. That is not quite clear in my memory. What I do recall is that we
21 have discussed whether or not to establish an additional observation post.
22 That is something that I do remember. However, whether that took place in
23 this precise period is something that is possible. It certainly does
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Can we now have number 7 D00036 on
2 the screen?
3 Q. Yes. This is a document, again, a document by the army of
4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the date is 29 April 1995, sent to the
5 command of the 28th Division. This is an order which reads: "The command
6 of the 28th Division of the army in cooperation with the civilian
7 structures of Srebrenica municipality should take all measures and prevent
8 further works leading towards the setting up of an observation point of
9 the UNPROFOR in the Lozina village sector."
10 Under 3 it says: "The civilian organs of authorities have to get
11 in touch with the Dutch Battalion and they should be provided with some
12 instructions, and the SJB has to provide physical security to the axis
13 where the works are taking place."
14 Colonel, sir, are you familiar with this event? Do you know what
15 transpired after this? Especially what about the provision of physical
16 security at the place where the works are taking place?
17 A. No. I cannot remember anything about this.
18 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Can we now have 7 D00034 on the
19 screen, please?
20 Q. The date on the document is 29 April 1995. It was sent to the
21 command of the 28th Division and to the command of the 2nd Corps. It
22 says: "In your document, we received order regarding the observation
23 point of the UN in the sector of Lozina on the corridor of the
24 demilitarised zone, Srebrenica-Zepa. At 10.00 on the same day the
25 representatives of the command of the 28th Division and the civilian
1 authorities held a meeting with the representatives of the UN and military
3 My question to you is this: Do you know who military observers
5 A. I assume that these were the United Nations military observers
6 present in the enclave. These were about four individuals and they would
7 take turns in carrying out their work. There was a Major Kingori, Major
8 de Haan, and there were several other observers. However, their names are
9 not quite clear to me at the moment.
10 Q. Would you be able to remember the names of the UN liaison
12 A. I know the names of the UNMOs. I just gave you two names. As to
13 liaison officers, well, at that point, that was me.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you. My next question is whether you attended
15 this meeting. Do you remember having attended this meeting?
16 A. I don't believe I did. It's possible that either
17 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans or Commander Franken, or Lieutenant Franken
18 organised a meeting themselves, in presence of the company commander as
20 Q. Colonel, sir, do you remember whether you attended any meetings
21 that were held with the representatives of the Muslim army that had to do
22 with the observation points? Apparently there was a problem, and I
23 suppose these were not the only meetings. These are the only documents
24 that I have at my disposal. However, I assume there were other meetings,
25 and my question to you is whether you attended any other meetings of the
1 kind of -- on any other days, at any other times.
2 A. During meetings with the ABiH, the issue of observation posts was
3 mentioned regularly. The matter was discussed whether posts should or
4 could be removed, whether there were positions in the right way. These
5 matters were discussed.
6 However, I haven't been involved in this personally, and when this
7 issue would be raised, it would be on the competence of either
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans or Mr. Franken. I never dealt with these
9 matters myself. And whenever there were meetings dealing with this issue,
10 then whenever possible, I would not participate in them.
11 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Could we look at document 7 D00041,
13 Q. Document of the 29th of April, 1995, sent by the army of the
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the command of the 2nd Corps in Tuzla,
15 the 28th Division. Item 1 states: "UNPROFOR's claim is correct in
16 Srebrenica that the same de jure has an unlimited freedom of movement and
17 selection of locations for observation posts, in the territory of
18 Srebrenica. Agreement on the demilitarisation of Srebrenica and Zepa
19 dated 8th May 1993.
20 "Item 2: UNPROFOR's claim is correct that based on the agreement
21 on the demilitarisation, they are obliged to prevent any attempt of entry
22 by uniformed persons, military equipment and combat vehicles to the
23 demilitarised zone. In view of the above and understanding the possible
24 serious consequences of setting up UNPROFOR observation posts, as far as
25 the army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina is concerned, i.e., the
1 jeopardy of the corridor for Zepa, we suggest the following: The subject
2 problem should not be raised at the level of the GSA, BH command of
3 UNPROFOR, because the UNPROFOR unit in Srebrenica would in that way have
4 enough time to set up the command post -- the observation posts."
5 My question is as follows: It transpires clearly on the basis of
6 this that the objective was to gain time. You, Colonel, were you
7 familiar, and you confirmed that earlier, that you knew about the problem
8 of the observation posts and were you aware at the time that the actions
9 of the military authorities of the B and H army were actually intended to
10 drag things out?
11 A. When I take a very deep look in my memories, then I can affirm
12 that, yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] Can we move into private session now,
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's move into private session. One moment.
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 2230-2231 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, we have to end here today. Unfortunately,
23 you haven't finished. We require 15 minutes minimum, or a little bit more
24 than that, depending on whether there is going to be re-examination
25 tomorrow. And then you're free to go. But your presence is required
1 again, unfortunately.
2 So I wish to thank you for bearing with us, and have a nice
3 evening, and I'll see you again -- we'll see you again tomorrow afternoon.
4 Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
7 September, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.