1 Thursday, 26 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Madam Registrar. Could you
7 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: I thank you. The accused are all here. Defence
11 teams are all here. And Prosecution I notice apart from Mr. Thayer, Mr.
12 McCloskey, also Mr. Nicholls.
13 Good afternoon to you, Colonel. Welcome back. I'm sorry for the
14 delay in starting with your testimony but this was due to some technical
15 problem related to the transportation of the accused to the Tribunal, over
16 which we had no control.
17 Mr. Thayer, you may proceed.
18 WITNESS: EELCO CHRISTIAN MARTIN JODOCUS KOSTER
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you and
22 your colleagues.
23 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
24 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel. We left off yesterday with you marking
25 an overhead view of the UN base and you marked the compound, the bus
1 station, and the factories area. Sir, in your prior testimony, you
2 testified that photographs were taken. Would you please provide the Trial
3 Chamber with a little bit more detail in terms of who took the photographs
4 and what the photographs depicted?
5 A. I'll do that. The photographs were taken by Lieutenant Rutten.
6 He took various pictures of the nine bodies we found there. And I kneeled
7 between the bodies to show that the UN found the bodies and I appear on
8 one of those photographs.
9 Q. Now, sir, did you have reason to believe at some point that you
10 had in fact been seen by VRS soldiers?
11 A. Yes, I did. That was when we wanted to return to report what we
12 had found, and the moment we left the meadow where the bodies were, a Serb
13 soldier suddenly came out of one of the houses and saw us, and immediately
14 put his radio to his head, probably to report about us. He also seemed
15 startled that we were there.
16 Q. And what if anything happened after that?
17 A. At that point we decided because we had the feeling that we had
18 been discovered at a site we didn't -- where we didn't want to be seen, we
19 decided to take an alternative route back to the compound so that we
20 didn't walk past the four YPRs where there were a lot of Serb soldiers and
21 we opted for an alternative route and once we had walked less than 30
22 metres along that, we came under fire and we turned around and returned
23 along the route that we had taken to reach the bodies.
24 Q. Sir, you also testified that someone in your group had picked up
25 some papers or documents at the scene. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a
1 little bit more about what those documents were, to your knowledge, and
2 what, if anything, happened to those documents?
3 A. We found the documents near the bodies, Major van Schaik took the
4 documents and kept them as evidence because they were official documents.
5 There were names on them. I couldn't read them. And en route, Major van
6 Schaik, after we had come under fire, he threw out the papers.
7 Q. To your knowledge, sir, what happened to the photographs or film
8 that Lieutenant Rutten had taken of you and of the bodies at the scene?
9 A. In the Netherlands, they were handed over to the military
10 information service, and unfortunately, they -- the development was
11 unsuccessful and the images were lost.
12 Q. Sir, I want to turn your attention now for just a few minutes to
13 two or three areas which you did not testify about in your Rule 61 hearing
14 but which are relevant to the purposes for which you have been called to
15 testify today. Specifically I want to ask you a few questions concerning
16 the resupply situation, given your role as logistics officer.
17 Briefly, sir, can you just describe how the requests for
18 resupplies were communicated from DutchBat to the VRS?
19 A. We filled in an application form, listing the load in a logistics
20 convoy, and that was sent to the higher echelon at the north-east command,
21 and through higher echelons it reached the Bosnian Serb headquarters in
22 Pale and they would grant permission as to whether the logistics convoy
23 was allowed to depart.
24 Q. Were there any items which the VRS categorically denied from even
25 being on the requested list?
1 A. Absolutely.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Objection, Mr. President. I'm
3 awfully sorry but he was not talking about the headquarters of the Serbs
4 in Bosnia.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: In his previous answer, at least according to the
6 transcript, it says, "it reached the Bosnian Serb headquarters in Pale."
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] But this is not the army of
8 Republika Srpska. This is the headquarters of the Serbs in Bosnia.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think she is correct, in that in other words you
10 understand that to be the Bosnian Serb political and governmental
11 headquarters of Republika Srpska, correct?
12 MR. THAYER: That is easily a question I think can be put to the
13 witness as such.
14 Q. Sir, when you referred to the Bosnian Serb headquarters in Pale,
15 what entity did you understand that to mean?
16 A. The Bosnian Serb headquarters in Pale were to me a military
17 headquarters. That's my understanding.
18 Q. Now, if I may, I'm going to just repeat the question I asked you
19 before, sir. Were there items which the VRS categorically denied from
20 even being placed on the requested resupply list?
21 A. Yes. Once again, these would have been weapons, ammunition, spare
22 parts. They were categorically denied.
23 Q. And did there come a time, sir, when the resupply convoys became
24 more restricted, in other words arrived or approved less frequently?
25 A. Absolutely. For example, at one point, logistics convoys were no
1 longer allowed with fuel, especially diesel fuel. On 18 February for
2 example the full diesel convoy was blocked, when the -- that was the last
3 convoy that entered the enclave. Only in June was another convoy allowed
4 to enter the enclave.
5 Q. Just to clarify, sir, do I understand your testimony correctly
6 that the last convoy that was able to come through was 18 February and
7 that there was not another one to your knowledge until June?
8 A. Yes. As far as the diesel convoy is concerned, but as for other
9 logistics supplies such as food and medical supplies, we also saw a change
10 there, that they were also reduced and occasionally they were refused.
11 Rations were provided in dribs and drabs and many convoys with fresh food
12 were also rejected.
13 Q. And do you remember when that tightening began to occur, sir?
14 A. As I mentioned, the fuel convoys stopped from 18 February onward,
15 and the food convoys were significantly reduced from the start of March.
16 Q. Now, sir, I want to turn your attention to the events following
17 the VRS attack on the enclave and just ask you a few questions in
18 connection with that period of time. First I want to turn your attention
19 to 10 July. You testified that you were assigned to receive an expected
20 influx of refugees. Do you have any particular memories of any injured
21 arriving in that evening of 10 July?
22 A. Yes. We received a report of an injured woman lying at a certain
23 site. A local resident told us about this when we were outside that
24 evening to receive the refugees. I went along. We had to cross the road,
25 and at that point, the road was regularly under fire so you had to time
1 your crossing carefully, and we found the woman. She was injured. She
2 was lying on a stretcher but we couldn't transport her on that stretcher
3 so we transferred her to our own stretcher and brought the woman to our
4 own compound. Unfortunately I understand that the woman died of her
5 injuries later that week. The injuries looked like injuries from
7 Q. I want to turn your attention now to 11 July, sir. That
8 afternoon, there was close air support. Can you tell the Trial Chamber
9 where you were at that time?
10 A. During the close air support situation, I was in the bunker at
11 first and at the end of the close air support I went outside with the
12 people assigned to me, and at the end of the close air support, I was near
13 the former bus station.
14 Q. And what was your assignment there at that time, sir?
15 A. At that point I was responsible for receiving the refugees.
16 Q. Now I want to turn your attention to the morning of 12 July. In
17 your September 1995 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor, that's at
18 page 10 of the English and page 9 of the B/C/S, third paragraph of that
19 version, you said, "On Wednesday, 12 July 1995, I actually expected the
20 Serbs would shell the refugees." Why did you expect the Serbs to shell
21 the refugees at that time, sir?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic?
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Just a slight, I don't think he read it properly or
24 in full context but I think if he reads the entire sentence it might help
25 a little better.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I don't know the exact location from the
2 testimony that you are referring to.
3 MR. THAYER: I'd be happy to do that, Your Honour. It has to do
4 with the night before.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Once it has been contested, I think it will be
6 better if you do that.
7 MR. THAYER: This refers to the evening of the 11th. "At around
8 2030 hours I returned to the compound. We held consultations with Major
9 Otter and Franken, we then decided to set up four posts around the
10 refugees for the coming night. There were ten men at each post. There
11 was also a patrol on the north side. On Wednesday, 12 July 1995, I
12 actually expected that the Serbs would shell the refugees but fortunately
13 this did not occur. At around 1300 hours I heard on the walkie-talkie
14 that an armoured vehicle and a tank were approaching the compound from the
15 Yellow Bridge."
16 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for the interpreters.
17 MR. THAYER: "I received orders from Major Otter by walkie-talkie
18 not to aim any weapons at these vehicles."
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You can now put again your question,
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. Now, sir, again, why did you say that you actually expected that
23 the Serbs would shell the refugees on that morning of 12 July?
24 A. Well, the previous evening, we were shelled, when dusk was
25 falling. We were shelled twice. There was a brief period in between.
1 The shells fell in between the houses, about 50 or 75 metres away from the
2 refugees. It happened twice that evening. And that's why I expected that
3 the next morning, more shelling would follow.
4 Q. I want to turn your attention to some conversations that you had
5 with General Mladic, and you testified about that previously?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
7 MR. BOURGON: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
8 Your Honours. Mr. President, I would like to object to the way my
9 colleague is conducting his examination-in-chief. This is absolutely
10 lead -- these are leading questions. He's using previous statements to
11 recall, to remind the witness what he said previously in order to get a
12 confirmation. This is examination-in-chief. He should be asking the
13 question -- the witness open questions so the witness can say what he
14 knows and what he remembers. There are very specific rulings before there
15 Tribunal in terms of if there is a need for using past statements, that's
16 in a -- very specific circumstances that can be allowed. But my right now
17 my colleague is conducting a cross-examination. He should be simply
18 asking the witness what happened on the 11th, what happened on the 12th,
19 what happened in the afternoon? But not to take a statement, remind the
20 witness what he said two years ago, and then say, well, do you recall
21 saying that? I mean if there is a need to do, into the past statements,
22 this will be for the Defence to take this on cross-examination. But not
23 under examination-in-chief. It's both leading and it's not the conduct of
24 a proper examination-in-chief. Thank you, Mr. President.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: We will join in the objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
2 MR. THAYER: Just briefly, Your Honour, the whole intention of
3 introducing this testimony via 92 bis is to save time. The purpose of my
4 reading out the summary yesterday was to provide the context for these
5 follow-up questions and I believe I have tied most of these questions
6 directly to that summary and in certain cases I've had to refer to prior
7 statements. These questions are leading but they are in an effort to move
8 this testimony along expeditiously.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
11 MR. JOSSE: Just before the Trial Chamber rules, I in fact had a
12 discussion with my learned friend yesterday, not on this subject but about
13 what exactly was being admitted pursuant to 92 bis. And it's right to say
14 that the statement from which he has just sought --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I think if you say 92 bis, you've got
16 it wrong. We are talking of 92 ter at the moment.
17 MR. JOSSE: Well, but I understand, Your Honour, but the principle
18 is the same. The statement from which he's just sought to lead is not
19 being admitted, as I understand it, pursuant to 92 ter. So it's not so
20 much our objection to him leading from the 92 ter material. It's from
21 material other than the 92 ter material. If I'm wrong about that, no
22 doubt Mr. Thayer will tell the Trial Chamber.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
25 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I'm not attempting to introduce any
1 other statements other than what we have already admitted into evidence, I
2 understand under Rule 92 ter which is the Rule 61 testimony.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. That's the position. And we really
4 can't follow you -- the logicity of your argument because this being
5 evidence that has already been admitted under Rule 92 ter, it's almost
7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, it's my fault. I didn't explain my
8 submission at all properly or well. The whole point is the passage that
9 Mr. Thayer has just put to the witness is not being admitted pursuant to
10 92 ter. It's a separate statement altogether. That's the basis of our
11 objection. If it formed part of his 92 ter evidence then we couldn't
12 possibly object because clearly that evidence is led by virtue of the 92
13 ter decision. This is material outside of that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: What is the procedural impediment for Mr. Thayer to
15 make use of this other statement to proceed with the line of questions
16 that arise out of the 92 ter statement that was admitted?
17 MR. JOSSE: Nothing so far as the 92 ter statement is concerned
18 but material outside of that 92 ter material, the statement that he has
19 just taken the witness to, namely his statement of the 25th and 26th of
20 September of 1995 has not been admitted.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And there never will be unless there is a special
22 demand for that and no objection, or -- and justified reason for doing so
23 but it doesn't mean to say that he is not entitled to make use of those
24 statements or the contents of those statements in the -- pursuing a line
25 of questioning with the witness, which arises out of the 61 evidence, Rule
1 61 evidence that we have admitted under Rule 92 ter.
2 MR. JOSSE: We ask rhetorically how does this arise?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: I think part of the confusion is my learned
4 colleague of the Prosecution on page 9, line 3, he refers to his evidence
5 as 92 bis so our response -- I understand but our response was based on
6 that. Secondly, we believe that we are objecting to the form of the
7 question that he's putting to the witness. It's far too leading in this
8 process to allow him to direct him to the statement so that he could
9 reconfirm his statement and we objected to the form of the question, at
10 least I joined in that basis on the objection. He could ask him what
11 happened on whatever date he wishes, and if the witness doesn't recall
12 then he could possibly redirect him to refresh his recollection, but the
13 Court has previously restricted us when we were either repetitive or
14 outside the scope of questioning. We thought those were the guidelines.
15 That's why we bring it up. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Your position would be different in any case because
17 you would be cross-examining.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think that procedurally, the position
20 is a very simple one. We have already decided that the admission of
21 evidence under Rule 92 bis or Rule 92 ter does not mean that prior to
22 moving to the cross-examination stage, the Prosecution cannot put
23 questions and introduce new areas to the witness. So in so far as the
24 Prosecution is seeking to ask questions on other events that were not
25 covered by the statement -- by the evidence given by the witness under
1 Rule 61 in the Karadzic/Mladic procedure is concerned, I think the
2 Prosecution is very clear. He has got every right to ask whatever
3 questions are relevant.
4 The agreement also has been so far that leading questions will be
5 allowed until and unless one of you stands up and says, "This is a leading
6 question." We may agree or may not agree. And counsel will then proceed
7 according to what we will decide.
8 Now, he definitely has a right to refer the witness to a --
9 particular statements that he may have made in the past, which were not
10 dealt with or which do not form part of his previous testimony that has
11 been introduced in the records as evidence. In so doing, he must avoid
12 using leading questions now that you have raised the issue of whether it
13 was leading. Yes, in a way, some of the questions the way you put them,
14 were leading questions, so you need now to take into consideration the
15 objection that has been raised and avoid using direct questions in dealing
16 with the witness and in leading the witness. Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
17 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Our position is that the
18 minute he refers to the statement, it is immediately a leading question
19 because there is no need to refer the witness to a past statement unless
20 there is a problem with the memory of the witness. If my colleague asks
21 what happened on the 12th of July and the witness says, "I don't
22 remember." "Would you like me to refresh your memory?" "Yes, I would
23 like to." "I will tell you what you said on this occasion in this
24 statement, did you say this, do you recall this? " Then he can move to use
25 a past statement but only if there is a problem with the memory of the
1 witness. If there is no problem with the memory of the witness, then it
2 becomes automatically a leading question, in terms of using and quoting
3 from a statement. Now, we are right now in this Rule 92 ter. This rule
4 is designed to save time. My colleague says he's using this procedure to
5 save time. We are not saving any time. We would be saving any time if my
6 colleague would simply quote the summary of the testimony and open it up
7 for cross-examination. This would be saving time. Right now we are
8 calling it 92 ter, we are opening this so that my colleague has the
9 evidence admitted, and in addition to that, he gets the permission to use
10 that evidence and to get a second confirmation by the witness before
11 opening up for cross-examination. Not only we are not saving time, we are
12 just giving all the rights in the world to the Prosecution and we are not
13 allowing the Defence to do the job that we are supposed to do. Thank you,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Not allowed to do the job you're supposed to do, I
16 don't know, because this definitely doesn't interfere with your rights and
17 you will have all the time that you have indicated you require until we
18 hand down our decision in the near future, distributing in a different
19 manner the time to be used for cross-examination and for
20 examination-in-chief. But in the meantime, the -- you are being very
21 categoric and very radical in your approach. It doesn't mean to say that
22 any reference to a prior statement in the form of a question is
23 necessarily a leading question. I mean, it depends. It depends. When
24 it's a leading question now that you have stood up and objected, we will
25 stop Mr. Thayer, especially if we see you or anyone else standing up
1 again. Otherwise, the rule that we enunciated earlier on, namely that we
2 will proceed unless there is an objection, stands. One other thing is
3 this: That that rule means that anything that is substantial that goes to
4 the heart of the charges, then you shouldn't lead. I mean, you should not
5 use leading questions. I mean, but that I think you are aware of and the
6 understanding is that you try to avoid it. Okay?
7 Yes, Mr. Thayer, I think it's the case of going back to whatever
8 you were referring to from that statement in a somewhat oblique,
9 non-direct manner.
10 MR. THAYER: Yes, understood. I'm clear, Your Honour. I will
11 engage in that five or six question back-and-forth that my learned
12 colleague just described.
13 Q. Colonel, do you recall your September 1995 statement to the Office
14 of the Prosecutor? Do you recall making that statement?
15 A. Yes, I can recall that.
16 Q. Do you recall what you said to the investigators at the time
17 concerning the morning of 12 July and any expectations you had about the
18 actions of the VRS that morning?
19 A. Yes. I stated that I expected that we would be expecting new
20 shelling in the early morning.
21 Q. And why did you make that statement to the Office of the
22 Prosecutor at that time, sir?
23 A. I indicated at the time that I expected shelling. I had that
24 expectation because the previous day, at the end of the afternoon, at the
25 start of the evening, when dusk was falling, we were shelled near that
1 site. It was -- there were grenade shells and they fell near the
2 refugees, between the houses. It happened twice and my expectation was
3 that in the course of the morning there would be new shelling.
4 Q. Sir, you testified previously about some conversations that you
5 had with General Mladic on the 12th of July. I'd like to show you now a
6 video clip it's from P02047 at approximately 1 hour 58 minutes. It will
7 last about one minute.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. Do you, sir -- do you see yourself in this video anywhere?
11 A. [No interpretation].
12 Q. And can you identify where on the frame you're located?
13 A. Absolutely. I'm on the left, and I'm wearing the blue helmet, the
15 Q. That's the helmet that says "UN"?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And for the record this is at 1 hour 58 minutes, 34.1.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. Sir, do you see General Mladic anywhere in this frame?
22 A. Yes. I see him.
23 Q. And can you describe where in the frame he is, sir?
24 A. Yes. He's -- appears at the right of the image. He's the second
25 man from the right.
1 Q. And this is at 1 hour 58 minutes, 40.546 before we move on, there
2 is an individual, sir in a black T-shirt immediately to General Mladic's
3 right. Based on viewing the video clip thus far, can you tell the Trial
4 Chamber who that individual is?
5 A. Could you move back a tiny bit on the video so that I can see his
7 Q. We are at 22.214.171.124.
8 A. I recognise that man. The man is the interpreter that I had with
9 me at the time. Unfortunately I don't remember his name.
10 MR. THAYER: If we may continue, please.
11 [Videotape played]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop.
13 Ms. Nikolic?
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, we are not
15 receiving a B/C/S interpretation. We can only see English subtitles but
16 our clients are not in a position to follow the video clip.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Were you receiving interpretation in your language?
18 No. So I think they are perfectly entitled to know what's happening. We
19 need to go back, Mr. Thayer. Be patient all of you.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, what were you not receiving in your
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] From the moment Mr. Thayer made a
24 break and when the video clip was frozen, from that moment on, we lost the
25 sound, the original sound, on the video clip, and the original sound is in
1 B/C/S. This is what we have not been receiving for the past 30 seconds or
3 JUDGE AGIUS: But when questions were asked, like could you move
4 back -- like the answer I recognise the man, the man is the interpreter
5 that I had with me at the time, did you get that interpreted in your
7 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] The interpretation, as far as the
8 booths are concerned, is functioning perfectly. However, the sound in
9 B/C/S, the original sound that has been recorded, has not reached our
10 clients. We have lost that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go back, then, and play it again. You
12 don't need to repeat your questions and answers because those have been
13 interpreted. I think now we ought to play the clip from wherever you
14 started until we have reached --
15 MR. THAYER: Very well, Your Honour. It's approximately a minute
16 so it will go quickly.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 [Videotape played]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Did you see it now with sound? Now,
20 General Miletic is indicating that he did not receive the sound? Yes, go
22 THE ACCUSED MILETIC: [Interpretation] I did have the sound but the
23 translation was not good. General Mladic says, "I'm not interested in
24 your commander. We will let go everybody who wants to go." But the
25 translation that I saw was, "We will get everybody go." So this is my
1 remark. The translation services have not translated the words that I've
2 just quoted properly.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, General. If there are submissions on
4 this that are significant, please go ahead. I invite to you go ahead.
5 Otherwise, let's proceed. Yes, Mr. Thayer?
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. Colonel, did the video clip that you just viewed capture all the
8 conversations you had with General Mladic during that period of time that
10 A. No. I spoke with General Mladic three times, when he arrived at
11 my site.
12 Q. We won't go into those again, but do you recall what were the
13 exact words that General Mladic used when telling you what he thought of
14 the United Nations at that time?
15 A. Well, in any case he indicated, if I describe it as correctly as I
16 can, that he didn't care one whit about the United Nations, he didn't care
17 a bit about them. At that moment he was the person taking the decisions.
18 These are the words that he said.
19 Q. Later that afternoon, sir, did you receive a radio call from
20 Lieutenant Rutten?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
22 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I don't know how to
23 phrase this objection but the witness just heard the tape and then we ask
24 him what did he say and he repeats what he just heard on the tape. Where
25 are we going from here, Mr. President? What's the need? Where -- what
1 are we doing? The witness just listened to the tape. He heard what
2 General Mladic said. Then my colleague said, "What did General Mladic
3 say?" Well, I just heard him, I just saw him on this tape say that he
4 didn't care about the united nations? What is the purpose? We are going
5 in circles and we are not going anywhere. This witness has already said
6 that what was in his statements represented the truth. Let's open up for
7 cross-examination, Mr. President and stop wasting time. Thank you, Mr.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But one moment. You say the statement should not
10 even be referred to. The next moment you say what's in the statement is
11 there we don't need to ask him about it.
12 So let's proceed, Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. I'll just repeat my prior question, sir. Later that afternoon,
15 did you receive a radio call from Lieutenant Rutten?
16 A. Yes. Indeed, later that evening I did get a radio call from
17 Lieutenant Rutten and it was a radio call that was about Lieutenant
19 Q. What -- [Microphone not activated]?
20 A. Indicated that he was at his position, one of the posts that
21 Bosnian soldiers were arriving there, and that they had started to take
22 away his personal possessions and had started to disarm his group.
23 Q. And did you a follow-up call, radio call, later that day
24 concerning Lieutenant Rutten's whereabouts?
25 MR. KRGOVIC: Objection. It's obviously a leading question.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Why is it leading?
2 MR. KRGOVIC: The previous one was as well, the leading question.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Where is it leading? I mean, he's just asking
4 whether --
5 MR. KRGOVIC: Because there is no base for this question. Because
6 there is no base for this --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment on that?
8 MR. KRGOVIC: This is indeed, "Later this afternoon did you receive
9 a radio call from Lieutenant Rutten?"
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Why is it a leading question? Yes, Mr. Ostojic?
11 MR. OSTOJIC: If I can perhaps help. It's leading he can ask
12 obviously if he received the phone call and what that radio call was but
13 when he asks about the whereabouts -- contents of the conversation were a
14 discussion about his whereabouts so in that sense I think it would be
15 leading and I would join as well.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Then please object in a timely fashion, not two
17 minutes after. There you may be right, Mr. Ostojic.
18 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I'm merely trying to move this
19 examination along. I can ask the foundational, large, open-ended
20 questions and move along but I'll do my best.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Also yesterday you said you had maybe 15 minutes.
22 Today we've been at it for three-quarters of an hour so Mr. Ostojic.
23 MR. THAYER: I understand, Your Honour.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, I do try not to object as much because
25 I could be on my feet most the day objecting. I thought the Court invited
1 where was the leading and I was just merely pointing it out. But -- since
2 you asked I pointed it out.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. Sir, did you receive any further radio calls that afternoon
6 concerning any of your men?
7 A. Yes, certainly, yes.
8 Q. And did you receive any radio calls concerning any of your men who
9 were posted in the area of the bus compound guarding the refugees?
10 A. Yes. In this case, this was the situation in relation to the post
11 of Lieutenant Rutten. He had indicated that he had been disarmed, and
12 that his things were being taken away from his people and I was asked to
13 check what the situation of Rutten was at that moment. That was the
14 nature of the radio call.
15 Q. What if anything did you do in response to that call, sir?
16 A. I went to the location of Rutten and his group. I worked there.
17 And I saw from a distance that the group of Lieutenant Rutten was being
18 guarded and they had no longer had their things. They no longer had their
19 weapons. Lieutenant Rutten gave me a sign from the distance that I had to
20 stay at a distance so as not also to run the risk of having my things
21 taken away from me, possibly to be held there at the place by those
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to -- just for the record, to eliminate any
24 possibility of a confusion, page 19, line 14, relating to the first
25 telephone conversation or radio conversation with Lieutenant Rutten, we
1 have there indicated that he was at his position, one of the post that
2 Bosnian soldiers were arriving there. I think let's clarify it whether
3 these were Bosnian Muslim soldiers or whether these were Bosnian Serb
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. Did you understand Mr. President's question, Lieutenant?
7 A. Well, for clarity, they were Bosnian soldiers.
8 Q. Again, sir, when you say Bosnian soldiers?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are now receiving interpretation in Bosnian.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Are you referring to Bosnian Serb soldiers or Bosnian Muslim
12 soldiers arriving at Lieutenant Rutten's position?
13 A. No. I'm talking of Bosnian Serbian soldiers.
14 Q. Sir, I'd like to turn your attention to my last couple of
15 questions. During the evening of 12 July, you testified previously that
16 VRS soldiers started to take the belongings of the DutchBat soldiers who
17 were guarding the refugees in the area of the bus station. Would you tell
18 the Trial Chamber whether that happened to you as well or not?
19 A. Yes. In the course of the night, we were outside with the
20 refugees, and at a certain moment in the night I was pulled up by the
21 Bosnian Serb -- by soldier accompanied by another Bosnian Serb soldier,
22 who wanted to have my things. They wanted to have my equipment and
23 everything belonging to it, my flak jacket, my helmet, et cetera. And of
24 course I didn't agree with this. So there was a quite a fierce discussion
25 and we were shouting at each other. I did not want to surrender my
1 things. He absolutely wanted to have my things. He was making that very
2 clear, and I tried to indicate in is various languages, Dutch, English,
3 that I did not want to surrender my things. Subsequently, the Bosnian
4 Serb soldier pushed the barrel of his Kalashnikov in my stomach and
5 threatened me to surrender my things forthwith. I got even more angry. I
6 pointed out to him that he would not get my things and that I would report
7 this to the local commander at that moment, the Bosnian Serb commander of
8 the moment, and I mentioned, shouted the names of Miki and Mane and I saw
9 him hesitate at that moment and his colleague also indicated to him that
10 they had to leave me alone and subsequently they left.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Did he have a distinguishable rank? The soldier?
12 Was he an ordinary soldier or did he have any insignia that would denote
13 his rank?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see any insignia.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Sir, you just mentioned the names Mane and Miki. Did you in fact
18 meet these two individuals?
19 A. Yes. I met those two persons. This was in the evening, the
20 evening before, when Lieutenant van Duijn who at that moment was a
21 temporary commander of the location and I was there to bring a report to
22 the compound. When I returned, Lieutenant van Duijn introduced me to
23 these two people indicating that they, there, at that moment, were in
24 charge, and Miki and Mane, that was the way I met them.
25 Q. And can you describe Mane, please?
1 A. Yes. If I describe him, then I'm speaking of a man who is
2 somewhat shorter than myself, black hair, he was quite firmly built,
3 solidly built, solid face.
4 Q. And what was Mane's role, as you saw it, at that time?
5 A. They were the local Bosnian Serb commanders and in that respect,
6 Mane had more of a leading role over Miki.
7 Q. Finally, sir, I'd like to show you again Exhibit P02047. It's a
8 video clip. And it begins at 2 hours, 26 minutes.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Sir, do you recognise the individual in the middle of the frame at
12 2 hours 26 minutes 11.8 wearing the blue vest?
13 A. Yes. I recognise him as the person who was designated with the
14 name Miki.
15 MR. THAYER: Please continue.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Sir, do you recognise the individual that is now depicted at the
19 far left of the screen, the male?
20 A. Yes. That is the person Mane.
21 Q. This is at 2 hours 26 minutes 29.4 seconds. Thank you, Colonel.
22 MR. THAYER: I have no further questions.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Thayer. Now, have you come to an
24 agreement who is going first? Mr. Zivanovic, as usual?
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I will be the
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic is lead counsel defending Colonel
3 Popovic in this case.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Mr. Koster, when you returned
6 from Srebrenica in 1995, you filled out a questionnaire that was provided
7 to you by The Hague Tribunal. Do you remember that?
8 A. Yes. I can recall that.
9 Q. I have the questionnaire in question and I would kindly ask for
10 the Exhibit 1D50 to be presented to the witness. Very well. Now, you
11 have it on the screen in front of you. Do you recognise the handwriting?
12 In other words, is this your handwriting?
13 A. Yes. I recognise the handwriting. That is my handwriting.
14 Q. The copy of the statement that I have and that is in English does
15 not contain your signature. I kindly ask you now to tell me whether you
16 yourself signed this questionnaire once you filled it out.
17 A. And now you are referring to the English questionnaire?
18 Q. Yes. The English questionnaire, because this is the only copy
19 that I have. Did you fill out the questionnaire in Dutch, in English or
20 in both languages?
21 A. No. If you refer to the English questionnaire, I can't remember
22 whether I did or did not sign it.
23 Q. And did you sign the Dutch version of the questionnaire? Did you
24 have a questionnaire in Dutch?
25 A. There were several questionnaires but I don't recall whether there
1 was a Dutch questionnaire.
2 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, do you remember the time when you
3 filled out the questionnaire, at least approximately, because the
4 questionnaire does not bear any date.
5 A. No. I can't say that for certain.
6 Q. Did you answer truthfully when you filled out the questionnaire,
7 and were your answers based on your best recollection at the time?
8 A. Naturally, I filled in the questionnaires in accordance with the
9 truth and to my best capacity at that moment, yes.
10 Q. Thank you. Would you please look at page 4 of the questionnaire
11 that you filled out? Can you see it?
12 A. Yes, I can.
13 Q. In the first part, there is a question: Did you personally see
14 inhuman or cruel treatment? Can you see that? It says, "did you
15 personally witness inhuman or cruel treatment?" Your answer was no. You
16 crossed out the possible answer yes, which means that your answer is no.
17 A. I can see that, yes.
18 Q. And then the question was did you personally witness a summary
19 execution? Your answer was yes, but you also noted that you only saw the
20 victims of the execution, but not the act of execution itself. Can you
21 see that?
22 A. Yes. I see that.
23 Q. And then you stated that you personally didn't witness a rape; is
24 that correct?
25 A. That's correct. I did not witness rapes.
1 Q. Also, you personally did not witness an act of torture?
2 A. I did not see tortures at the time, that's correct.
3 Q. But it says that you did see wanton destruction or theft of
4 private property; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And finally, you stated that you personally did not witness any
7 other gross violations of human rights?
8 A. That's how it reads, yes.
9 Q. Yes. And finally, after that, you provided a description of the
10 bodies that you saw, and you responded to those questions by the
11 Prosecutor in detail.
12 A. Yes. I see that written.
13 Q. Can you please tell me whether you stand by what you have written
14 here? Can you please confirm if this is correct?
15 A. If the question is whether it's accurate if we look at gross
16 violations of human rights, I just mentioned that we experienced shelling,
17 we were under fire, so I don't know why I indicated no there because that
18 would appear to be a violation of human rights, shelling -- firing
19 grenades near refugees would appear to be a violation of human rights.
20 Q. And are you claiming that the refugees were a direct target of
22 A. That's how it seemed to me. The shells fell 50 to 75 metres away
23 from us in the immediate vicinity of the refugees. That's why I stated
24 earlier that we expected that we would come under fire in the course of
25 the following morning.
1 Q. But there were no wounded then from the shells?
2 A. There were an awful lot of injured at the time that we were trying
3 to help but I can't immediately determine whether they were injured as a
4 result of the shelling.
5 Q. Thank you. You also recall giving a statement to the Dutch
6 authorities on the 11th of September 1995?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And you gave a statement to The Hague Tribunal investigators on
9 the 25th and the 26th of September of 1995.
10 A. Yes. I gave a statement.
11 Q. I would like to remind you of some things that you said in those
12 statements or to be more specific in the statement to the investigators of
13 The Hague Tribunal on the 25th and the 26th of September 1995, and I'm
14 just going to ask you if you recall saying that and if it's correct that
15 you said that or not. I'm going to show you the parts, relevant parts, of
16 the statement so that you can see your own words.
17 Do you recall stating that in June 1995, you met twice with the
18 mayor of Srebrenica, and negotiated on food shortages and some other
20 A. I remember the meeting and as far as I can remember, I described
21 the man as the mayor of Srebrenica.
22 Q. And that you negotiated about food?
23 A. Yes. We negotiated about food.
24 Q. Do you recall saying that from mid-June 1995, on visiting
25 Srebrenica, you noticed each time more and more armed Muslim fighters?
1 A. Yes. I remember that.
2 Q. Do you recall stating that they were -- or some of them were
3 dressed in camouflage uniforms while others only had parts of uniforms?
4 They were wearing some civilian clothing and some uniforms, for example,
5 the army coats or army shirts?
6 A. Yes. I remember that.
7 Q. Do you also recall stating that you saw certain armed people in
8 civilian clothes, who wore civilian clothing?
9 A. Yes. I remember that.
10 Q. Do you also recall stating that on the 10th of July, in the
11 evening, you were on an assignment at a cross roads near Potocari when you
12 saw four Muslim fighters in camouflage uniforms?
13 A. Yes. I remember that.
14 Q. Do you recall them telling you that that evening, the Muslim
15 population would not come to Potocari and if they tried to do so, they
16 would prevent them?
17 A. Yes. I remember that.
18 Q. Do you recall stating that after that, in that same place, a
19 Muslim commander came, he was the commander of the northern part of the
20 enclave, Mandic?
21 A. Yes. I remember meeting him there.
22 Q. You talked with him for about 45 minutes?
23 A. Yes. I remember that.
24 Q. Do you remember that after he left, you said that a Muslim fighter
25 came and called you to come to a small headquarters of theirs that was
1 located in the basement of a house?
2 A. Yes. I remember that.
3 Q. And you went there?
4 A. I went there, yes.
5 Q. Do you recall that you also said that you saw the first groups of
6 refugees in Potocari on the 11th of July at about 3.00 p.m.?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you recall saying that amongst them you saw one or two persons
9 who were armed?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] One more question and then we
12 could go on a break, Your Honours.
13 Q. My question is: Do you recall stating that amongst the refugees
14 in the compound, your compound, there were psychiatric patients from the
15 local hospital who were moving around and that they were making the
16 atmosphere among the refugees worse?
17 A. Yes. I remember that.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I suggest that this
19 is a good point to go on our break, and then I can continue afterwards.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will have a 25-minute break starting
21 from now. Thank you.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, please proceed.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation].
1 Q. Mr. Koster, you have just confirmed -- I just counted -- about
2 eight things that were in your statement to the investigators of The Hague
3 Tribunal on the 25th and the 26th of September 1995. Of course, you
4 recall that on the 4th of July 1996, you appeared before this Tribunal for
5 the first time as a witness. Do you recall that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it correct if I were to tell you that by comparing your
8 statement and your testimony before the Tribunal, you did not mention any
9 of these matters or questions when you testified as a witness before the
10 Tribunal. Is this correct?
11 A. Would the interpreter please repeat the question one more time?
12 Because the question was very confusing. I only want to listen to the
13 interpretation, please.
14 Q. I'll repeat it. All of these things -- would you like me to
15 repeat my question?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think, having heard you, the witness, the
17 interpreters, it is definitely the case of repeating the question, perhaps
18 in a little bit more clear manner.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. It's like this: All of these things from your statement that I
21 mentioned to you before the break and which you confirmed as having said,
22 none of these things I found in the transcript of your testimony in the
23 Karadzic and Mladic case on the 4th of July 1996. So I'm asking you if
24 this is correct that none of these matters were discussed by you then.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you trying to justify the length of the
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Not quite, Your Honour, no.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Please answer the question. It's being put to you
4 that what you had in your statements, which preceded the -- your testimony
5 in the 61 -- Rule 61 proceedings was not repeated during that testimony.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that. I would need
7 to see the statement.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want to be more precise if it's the case,
9 because --
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. I'm going to show you the relevant parts. Do you recall that in
12 the Karadzic/Mladic case, proceedings on the 4th of July 1996, you did not
13 say that there were psychiatric patients among the refugees who had been
14 released from the local institution, that they were walking around amongst
15 the refugees and making the situation worse?
16 A. I don't remember that I didn't say that, and I would need to see
17 the statement.
18 Q. It's very hard for me to show you. I mean, I can show you the
19 whole testimony, the whole transcript of your testimony. That's Exhibit
20 46 of the Defence. However, it's a long document and it's in English.
21 The only solution would be for you to read the whole transcript and to say
22 if you talked about this or not.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's try and solve it in another manner. Mr.
24 Thayer do you contest what is being put to the witness by Mr. Zivanovic?
25 MR. THAYER: No, Your Honour, I think we can all agree that those
1 matters were not raised.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Colonel, I think you can now answer the question
3 taking into consideration the statement made by the Prosecutor that
4 indeed, reading through your testimony in the Rule 61 proceedings, you
5 never made reference to this. Well, the Karadzic/Mladic proceedings.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation].
7 Q. I would like to go through the other topics, not just the matter
8 of the patients. Does the witness also recall that on that occasion --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's a sequence of questions, trying to elicit
10 from the witness an answer, "Yes, I agree with you, these eight issues or
11 matters that I had referred to in my statements, I did not repeat during
12 my testimony," I think we can shorten that and then proceed straight with
13 the question that you need to ask him, because I mean, there is a simple
14 answer to that. Mr. Thayer wouldn't have spent an hour asking him about
15 those issues if they had been included in the Rule 61 testimony in any
16 case. We wouldn't have allowed him.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Q. Just one more question: Does the witness recall that he also did
19 not mention this in the Krstic case either, where he appeared as a
21 A. I don't remember not stating that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: If it saves time I can state that it was not raised
24 in the Krstic rebuttal testimony of his.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] What I wanted to ask the witness
1 now is the following:
2 Q. Are you able to tell me whether then, in those cases, or more
3 specifically in your testimony to date before this Tribunal, you did not
4 discuss these matters or did somebody ask you to do it like that, to act
5 like that?
6 A. [No interpretation].
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We didn't get interpretation.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The witness was not audible.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Colonel, you need to repeat your answer,
10 please, because the interpreters did not hear you. Could you be kind
11 enough to repeat? The question was, I'll repeat it in case you did not
12 receive it. Are you able to tell me whether then in those cases or more
13 specifically in your testimony to date before this Tribunal, you did not
14 discuss these matters or did somebody ask you to do it like that, to act
15 like that? Basically what is being elicited from you is do you have an
16 explanation why, when you testified, both in Krstic and in the
17 Karadzic/Mladic, Rule 61 proceedings, you did not make reference to these
18 eight points? Do you have an explanation? Could it possibly be because
19 someone told you not to mention them? This is what you're being asked, if
20 I have reproduced your question faithfully.
21 If not, Mr. Zivanovic, please correct me.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I understand the
24 question better. There were several answers in there. I was not asked
25 not to mention various things. The reason why they were not mentioned by
1 me is because there were either insufficient questions about them or
2 because I couldn't remember them at the time. Either one is possible.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] That would be all, Your Honours.
4 I have no further questions for this witness.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Zivanovic. Who is going
6 next? Mr. Ostojic, who is standing next to you, will be cross-examining
7 you now. He represents Colonel Beara.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours. On
9 behalf of Mr. Beara we have no questions of this witness.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Ostojic. Who is next?
11 Madam Nikolic is representing, what's your rank again, Mr. Nikolic?
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Lieutenant Colonel.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Lieutenant Colonel as well. She is representing
14 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic.
15 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Second Lieutenant --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Second Lieutenant. I promoted you.
17 Yes, Madam Nikolic.
18 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, we have no
19 questions for this witness.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic is representing Mr. Borovcanin. I am
21 renouncing to ranks now. It's become difficult and complicated.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, actually we do have quite some questions for
23 this witness.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Koster. On the 11th of September 1995, you
2 had a debriefing at the Dutch royal army. We have this debriefing. It
3 has been tendered into the evidence. It's entered into e-court. And I
4 wanted to put a number of questions to you relating to your answers to the
5 questions that were put to you in the debriefing.
6 While responding to questions on the equipment of Muslim fighters
7 in the enclave, you said that they used radio communications when
8 communicating with one another. Can you please confirm that before this
9 Trial Chamber?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This assertion of yours is based on your personal knowledge that
12 you personally had the opportunity to see Muslim fighters communicating
13 with each other by radio. Is this correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Thank you very much. In your statement, i.e., in the debriefing
16 provided to the Dutch government, on page 9, you say this and I'm going to
17 read it to you. "The use of items of kit belonging to Dutch UN military
18 personnel by Serbs in particular never gave the impression that they were
19 trying to pass themselves off as Dutch UN military personnel. He was not
20 aware of any misuse of, example UN insignia, the Red Cross, et cetera, et
21 cetera. He had not noticed that any mines had been laid."
22 [Interpretation] Could you please confirm before this Trial Chamber that
23 the statement you provided in the debriefing to the Dutch government is
25 A. It's correct.
1 Q. Thank you very much. When you speak about laying mines, this
2 statement of yours obviously refers to the army of Republika Srpska,
3 wouldn't that be correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you have any information about the Muslim side
6 laying mines, either in the enclave or outside of it?
7 A. I don't have any such data.
8 Q. Very well. Earlier today, my colleague, Zivanovic, informed you
9 about the content of the statement that you provided to the investigators
10 of The Hague Tribunal on the 25th and the 26th of September. I would like
11 to go over some ground again. He already asked you about the accuracy of
12 your statement and your recollection of the events, and he asked you about
13 the increased number of Muslim fighters during the month of June 1995,
14 which is something that you yourself could observe. With this regard, I
15 would like to confront you with one part of your statement. This is on
16 page 6, paragraph 3, and it reads, "[In English] At that time we were no
17 longer able to fulfil the policy requirements of demilitarised zone. By
18 this I mean that there were so many Muslim fighters walking about armed
19 that UN soldiers were incapable of disarming these people."
20 [Interpretation] Could you again confirm that the conclusion that you
21 provided in the statement is correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Thank you. On page 7 of the same statement, paragraphs 3 and 4,
24 you stated this. Since the date is not precise, I would like to say that
25 the date in question is either the 8th or 9th July 1995. This is what you
1 state: "[In English] After driving 100 or 200 metres, this vehicle was
2 stopped by about ten Muslim fighters. The spokesman of the Muslim
3 fighters spoke to Sergeant van Renssen. The Muslim fighter said that the
4 armoured vehicle could not go any further and that they should return to
5 observation post F. Sergeant van Renssen decided nevertheless to carry on
6 to Srebrenica. The Muslim spokesman then told him that they would be
7 fired at it -- at then. They did so. At the moment when my fellow
8 soldiers drew away, one much the Muslim fighters threw a hand grenade at
9 the vehicle. Private Renssen was then seated in the vehicle's gunner
10 position. A grenade fragment hit the back of his head and he later died
11 at the compound as a result of these injuries." [Interpretation] Mr.
12 Koster, is this a correct and accurate interpretation of the events that
13 led to the death of Private Renssen?
14 A. Those are the events as I know them.
15 Q. Very well. This is a fair answer.
16 In other words, you know that Muslim fighters prevented members of
17 the DutchBat from withdrawing from observation points and that they even
18 fired at them, which resulted in the deaths of some of them?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of that.
21 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, this may be an interpretation issue but
22 there is an a reference to deaths and I believe the testimony so far in
23 this case has referred to one death, that of Private van Renssen.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I don't have a problem with this.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you followed the discussion? We are referring
2 to only one death, not several.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The death of Private Renssen.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's clear enough. Thank you. Do you think
5 you need to repeat your question?
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe not necessary. I'll move to another topic.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. In the statement that you provided to the investigators of The
10 Hague Tribunal, you spoke about witnessing a suicide that happened on the
11 UN base between the 12th and the 13th, and that you personally, together
12 with some other colleagues from the DutchBat, cut the rope around the
13 unfortunate man's neck. Do you remember that?
14 A. You ask whether I remember this at the UN base but it wasn't at
15 the UN base. I'm not sure whether it's a problem of understanding but it
16 was off the UN base.
17 Q. Very well. Let us say that this was outside the UN base, but in
18 any case, you witnessed the event. You were the one together with others
19 who actually took that man from the rope that he was hanging from?
20 A. I didn't see the act of suicide in progress. I found the man and
21 then we did indeed cut the man loose.
22 Q. Very well, then. Stay assured that I'm not interested in any
23 other details. I'm just interested in whether you were aware of the fact
24 that somebody did commit suicide.
25 From some other witnesses, we heard there were other death cases
1 during the days of the 12th, the 13th and during the night between the --
2 those two days, before the refugees were evacuated, that a woman died in
3 child birth, and so on and so forth. Are you aware of any other death
4 cases among the refugees in and around that area where the refugees were
5 accommodated at the time?
6 A. Yes. I do know about deaths on the compound.
7 Q. Thank you very much. My next question arises from this: What
8 happened with the bodies of those people who died either on the base or
9 around the base?
10 A. If my memory serves me, I believe that they were buried there
12 Q. When you say "there," could you please be more precise? Where
13 is "there"? Is it on the base, around the base, close to a stream?
14 Could you please be more precise and explain what you mean when you
15 say "there"?
16 A. I'll go into details. As far as I'm concerned, it's on the
18 Q. You personally did not take part in those burials, did you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. But some other members of the DutchBat were involved in the
21 burials or maybe not, maybe the refugees buried the bodies themselves?
22 A. I don't know anything about that.
23 Q. Do you happen to know whether a report was drafted by UN troops
24 with regard to the number of people who died, their identity, the reasons
25 for their death, in other words, did you, as members of DutchBat, not you
1 personally but somebody else, kept any kind of record on those incidents?
2 A. I'll tell you what I know. I know that the compound management
3 indicated that the man who hanged himself had to be returned to the
4 compound because that was where the record was kept as to how many people
6 Q. Could you please tell us who was in charge of keeping records on
7 the number of people who died?
8 A. I don't know which persons did that, but I know that the compound
9 management issued instructions to keep such a register.
10 Q. I apologise. When you use the term, "Compound management," are
11 you referring to the DutchBat? Would that be a fair translation of the
12 term "compound management"?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Thank you very much. On several occasions you've mentioned the
15 name of Major Momir Nikolic. How many times did you see Major Nikolic on
16 the 12th and 13th of July in Potocari? I'm repeating major's name again
17 because we have another gentleman by the same name of Nikolic so how many
18 times did you see Major Momir Nikolic in Potocari on those two days?
19 A. I saw Major Nikolic when the Bosnian Serb military arrived at my
20 site near the refugees.
21 Q. You have already testified to that effect. However, did you see
22 him on any other occasion during those two days, on the 12th and the 13th
23 of July?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Let's go back to the event when Major Nikolic was in Potocari on
1 the 12th. If I understand your testimony, he was among the first members
2 of the Serb forces who approached the refugees in Potocari. Did I
3 understand your testimony well?
4 A. You understood that correctly.
5 Q. Escorted by the UN troops, he made a round of the group of
6 refugees in order to see how many men there were, how many women, what
7 their state was and so on and so forth; is that the true representation of
8 the situation?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Tell me, please, what was your impression of the position that
11 Momir Nikolic held within the Serbian army structure once they arrived in
13 A. I don't know what his position was at the moment the military came
14 in. I know what his position was the moment they weren't in. He was the
15 local commander.
16 Q. Very well. This is a fair answer, I'd say.
17 I would like to move on to another topic, and this is the place
18 where you claim having seen the bodies of nine persons who had been
19 killed. First of all, I would like to read back to you what you said in
20 your statement to the OTP on the 25th and 26th September, on page 12 -- I
21 apologise, page 15, paragraph 1 of the English version of your
22 statement. "At one stage I briefly returned to the compound where I heard
23 a rumour about bodies lying about somewhere. When I was back at the
24 refugees location, Rutten and van Schaik came up to me and told me that
25 they'd been told the rough location of the bodies. I walked with them to
1 the west of the road where the refugees were being loaded into buses."
2 [Interpretation] Do you remember this part of your statement? This is a
3 quote from your statement. You said that you were moving westward to the
4 place where the refugees were loaded into buses. How far was it when you
5 turned westward from the place where the refugees were being loaded into
7 A. I would have to estimate that. I believe it was around 200
9 Q. Very well. I assume that when we are talking about the place
10 where refugees were being loaded into buses, that you're talking about the
11 place where there were four APCs that provided some sort of a channeling
12 for the refugees. Is that the place that you are referring to when you
13 say that the refugees were being loaded into buses?
14 A. That was that location, yes.
15 Q. When, together with Lieutenant Rutten and van Schaik set off, did
16 you have to go through the barricade composed of the four APCs?
17 A. In as far as I recall, yes.
18 Q. And when you passed the barricade, behind the barricade there were
19 Muslim refugees. Is this correct? In other words, you had to go through
20 the crowd of Muslim refugees in order to go that way; is that correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. And now I would like to show you the aerial image of Potocari.
23 This is Exhibit P01516. [In English] Could we get it from e-court,
24 please. Thanks. That's the document.
25 [Interpretation] Mr. Koster, I assume that you're familiar with
1 this photo, the same photo was used in your preparation for this
2 testimony, when you were prepared by the OTP. Please use the pen that is
3 next to you. This is the marker pen that can be used to mark the image,
4 can you please mark the point where the refugees were being loaded into
5 buses and where the four APCs were that formed the barricade?
6 A. This would have been approximately in this location.
7 Q. And in order for us to have a clearer picture of what has been
8 marked, can you write down "four APCs" next to the marking?
9 A. [Marks].
10 Q. Thank you. And now can you draw a line showing the route that you
11 took as you were moving to the place where you claim you found the bodies
12 of the nine dead people?
13 A. You want me to draw this?
14 Q. Yes, please.
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. Thank you. Could you please sign this photo and put today's date
17 on it?
18 A. [Marks].
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Just let me make sure of one thing with this
20 witness. To the north of where you marked the document, there is a road.
21 That leads to where?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is this the road you mean?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: The road on top of where you marked with a square.
24 What direction would that be?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the road to Srebrenica and
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but which is the way to Srebrenica, which is
3 the way to Bratunac?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up is to Srebrenica, and towards the
5 bottom is to Bratunac.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
8 Q. I apologise, could you draw another thing on the map? Where was
9 this car dealership or car service [as interpreted] that has been
10 mentioned on a number of occasions in this case?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer? I was waiting to see the witness
13 MR. THAYER: Just for clarification purposes, Your Honour, I don't
14 believe that there has been testimony about a car dealership in the case.
15 I may be mistake be. I'm just not sure that that's actually in the
16 record. If there is a reference --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: It's a translation matter then. I was not
18 referring to any car dealer.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could be -- could you be specific now to which
20 part of the transcript you're referring to, Mr. Lazarevic?
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, it has to do with some previous
22 testimonies and with the location of the refugees where they have been
23 held and some of the witnesses mentioned a bus service or bus station or
24 something of the kind. That's what I was referring to that, it was
25 obviously some mistranslation.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Bus compound.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: Bus compound.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, that's how -- if my recollection is correct,
4 that's how it has been described or referred to before, bus compound.
5 Do you recall the existence of a bus compound in the vicinity
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And do you wish him to mark it on the photo?
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, I would love to.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Marks].
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the location.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. Sir, we don't need this map any more. Thank you.
16 And I won't have any more questions about this particular issue
17 for this witness.
18 However, Mr. Koster, in your statement to the Prosecution on 25
19 and 26 September 1995, on page 15, paragraph 1, when you speak about the
20 bodies that you allegedly found in the meadow, you say this: "[In
21 English] In a meadow by a small river I saw nine bodies, sorry, nine
22 persons lying on their bellies with their heads bent forward."
23 [Interpretation] This is a quote from your statement given to the
24 Prosecutor's Office on the 25th and 26th. What you said to the
25 Prosecution at the time, does it still stand? Is it correct?
1 A. I would either like the statement written -- read out to me again
2 or I would like to take another look at it, please.
3 Q. Of course. There is a possibility to quickly check this in
4 e-court. This is on page 15, paragraph 1, and, just one second, I wanted
5 to find the number, and I think that it's 1D44. [In English] It's on page
6 15, paragraph 1.
7 A. And you asked me whether I stick by that statement?
8 Q. And if it's correct, what you were stating at that time, yes.
9 A. Later, I recalled that two persons were on their sides in the
11 Q. Yes. So at the time when you talked about this, you didn't
12 mention that two persons were lying on their side, but that all nine of
13 them were lying on their belly. Can we agree on that?
14 A. Yes. At the time, that is what I recalled. At the time, that is
15 what I stated.
16 Q. I understand that later you recollected better than when you
17 provided that statement in 1995.
18 A. Later, yes, indeed, I remembered that two persons were on their
20 Q. Very well. And now I would like to talk a little bit about those
21 nine persons that you say you found on the meadow. Amongst the nine
22 bodies that you say you found, was any of those bodies known to you? Did
23 you know any of those people?
24 A. I did know these persons -- not know these persons.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you see their face? Because you said that they
1 were lying down on their bellies with their heads tucked forwards. Did
2 you ever see their faces?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did indeed see the faces but
4 did not recognise any people, if that's the question.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Yes. However, this opens up another question. In the same
7 statement to the Prosecutor of the 25th and the 26th of September 1995,
8 also on page 15, paragraph 1, you said you did not turn the bodies over
9 when they were lying on their bellies so obviously it was impossible for
10 you to see their faces. Shall we look at your statement of the 25th and
11 the 26th of September 1995, paragraph 1 on page 15 again?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you still have it in front of you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have the text in front of me
14 but you're asserting that I could not have seen their faces or was this a
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. The question is you will recall that just a
17 minute ago I asked you whether you saw their faces and you answered yes.
18 And when I asked you that question, I had in mind what you had stated
19 earlier on, as appears from this statement, namely, "I did not turn any of
20 them over." So if they were lying down on their bellies with their head
21 tucked forward, and you never turned them over, how could you see their
22 faces? This is basically what is being -- what you're being confronted
23 with by Mr. Lazarevic. And you can confirm that you said, "I did not turn
24 any of them." It's exactly halfway through the first full paragraph on
25 that page.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Actually, if the faces are
2 concerned if people are lying on their front their faces are somewhat to
3 the side usually so that is why I did get a look at the faces.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you explain it? I didn't quite understand
5 your answer. As far as the faces are concerned, this is how the
6 transcript goes, "if the faces are concerned, if people are lying on their
7 front, their faces are somewhat to the side, usually, so that is why I did
8 get a look at the faces." Basically you're meaning that you looked at
9 part of the faces but not the full face? All right. That is okay. You
10 saw what you could see in the circumstances, part of the face?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. --
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
14 Q. Regardless of the fact that you saw their faces, it didn't mean
15 anything to you because you didn't know these people; is that correct?
16 A. I didn't recognise the men.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Move to the next question, Mr. Lazarevic, because I
18 think it's a useless question.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
20 Q. And of course you don't know whether those people were Serbs or
21 Muslims, you could not know that, since you didn't know those people; is
22 that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And on the basis of your testimony here, you don't know when those
25 people were killed?
1 A. I don't know the exact time but I know that they hadn't been dead
2 for very long.
3 Q. Very well. That's fair.
4 But you don't know, since you didn't see that personally, in which
5 circumstances those people were killed; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And of course, you don't know who killed those people. You cannot
8 know that; is that correct?
9 A. I didn't see it happening.
10 Q. Today, you spoke how -- about how some documents were found next
11 to those bodies. I think I looked very carefully at all the documents
12 relating to this incident that you described, and I understood that these
13 documents were taken by your colleague, van Schaik, warrant officer van
14 Schaik and not yourself; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And warrant officer van Schaik at no point in time compared the
17 documents, the identity in those documents, with the actual persons that
18 were found on this meadow? He didn't check the documents with the actual
19 persons; is that correct?
20 A. I didn't see him do that.
21 Q. [No interpretation]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment because.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not hear any interpretation.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We did not get any interpretation. I was waiting
25 but it never arrived. You need to repeat your question again because we
1 did not understand it in any case.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
3 Q. Yes. And besides not -- besides the fact that warrant officer van
4 Schaik did not compare the ID documents with the persons whom you found
5 there, and this wasn't done by yourself or by your colleague Rutten
6 either, is this correct?
7 A. I just said that he didn't -- I didn't see him do that. He could
8 have done it but I didn't see him doing that.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we know that they were ID documents? Because I
10 don't think that was specifically stated by the witness. He just said
11 documents without specifying what kind of documents.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour, I can clarify this with the
14 Q. [Interpretation] I still didn't get my -- the answer to my
15 previous question whether you yourself actually checked the documents
16 against the bodies and was this done by your colleague Rutten?
17 A. I didn't do it myself.
18 Q. Thank you. And now, as for the documents that were found there,
19 how many documents were found all together?
20 A. I don't know the exact figure. As a rough estimate I would say
21 that Major van Schaik took -- he took three or four or five pieces of
23 Q. All right. I checked what van Schaik also testified on this
24 matter, so it more or less tallies, but can you please tell us what the
25 documents looked like, these documents in that number that you found
2 A. The documents looked like text documents, and their layout
3 appeared to be official.
4 Q. The text in the documents was in B/C/S, wasn't it?
5 A. I couldn't read them.
6 Q. Very well. There is no need to speculate on this question.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one basic question: Did these documents
8 contain any photos? Were there any photos on them or images of persons?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no photographs on the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. And you told us in your testimony that you knelt there and that
14 Lieutenant Rutten took a few photographs, but when this film was developed
15 back in Holland, it was destroyed so the photographs taken by van Rutten
16 of you next to the bodies do not exist. Is this correct?
17 A. I'm aware that the photographs were lost during the development
19 Q. If I were to summarise the answers you gave to previous questions,
20 please, now I'm going to do that and tell me if something of that is not
21 true. You told us that you found nine bodies on a meadow, you don't know
22 if they were Serb or Muslims, you don't know when, in which circumstances
23 and by whom these people were killed, that you found documents, that you
24 don't know if they belonged to those persons or not, and that photographs
25 were taken in that place that do not exist. Is there anything incorrect
1 in my summary of your answers?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that the photographs
4 don't exist. I just know that they were lost during the development
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
7 MR. THAYER: I don't want to stand on formality, Your Honour, that
8 is a long question. If he could just -- be offered the opportunity to
9 really read it and if it is a compound problem for him, I just ask that he
10 be allowed to take his time to answer that. That was a lot of items in
11 one question, that's all.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so, yeah.
13 I mean, go ahead, your next question, I think we can live with
14 that. In fact I am surprised Mr. Bourgon did not stand up to object.
15 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
17 Q. After you were in this meadow, as you said, and you described the
18 circumstances saying that you were seen by a Serbian soldier who had a
19 radio with him, that there was some shooting and that you took the same
20 road back, and fearing for your safety, you saw, and judging by what you
21 say in your debriefing of the 11th of September 1995, you saw somebody
22 being carried on a stretcher by somebody. Can you confirm this?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you say -- I assume that you don't know the person that was on
25 the stretcher. Was it a soldier or a civilian? Can you at least
1 determine that?
2 A. No. I don't remember the person on the stretcher.
3 Q. Can you remember the persons carrying the stretcher? I assume it
4 was two people, these two people who were carrying the stretcher, were
5 they soldiers or civilians?
6 A. As far as I can remember the stretcher was on wheels, and there
7 were DutchBat soldiers present there and we joined them.
8 Q. So the persons who were carrying the stretcher or, if it was a
9 wheeled stretcher, they were pushing it, are you saying that these were
10 soldiers from DutchBat? Is that your testimony?
11 A. I stated that there were DutchBat soldiers present and that we
12 joined them.
13 Q. Just so that the transcript is clear, were those soldiers carrying
14 the stretcher? Members of DutchBat?
15 A. Don't remember that.
16 Q. Did you also pick up a stretcher and pretend to be helping and in
17 that way reach the UN compound, fearing for your safety? Is that what
19 A. We joined the stretcher because we did not want to stand out and I
20 didn't reach the UN compound.
21 Q. Did those people with the stretcher get to the UN base? Did you
22 separate off earlier? Did you follow them for as long as they were
23 carrying this stretcher with this person? Can you recall anything of
25 A. I remember remaining at the site of the APCs and that Major van
1 Schaik and Lieutenant Rutten went along.
2 Q. Just this second part of the question, did you perhaps see where
3 the stretcher went?
4 A. The stretcher headed in the direction of the compound but I didn't
5 see where it ended up.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have any further questions on this?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Not regarding this topic.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Because we need to have an early break so we'll have
9 the break now and it will be a 25-minute break. Thank you.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Isn't the person you've mentioned, just mentioned,
22 enjoying protective measures? So let's go into private session for a
24 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: And you can start all over again without repeat. We
18 are in open session, Mr. Thayer. I understand you have a scheduling
20 MR. THAYER: Yes, we do, Mr. President. Colonel Koster will be
21 unavailable for tomorrow's session. We intend to pick up with the next
22 scheduled witness tomorrow. We suggest that after we've had an
23 opportunity to communicate through the victim witness unit, with Colonel
24 Koster, that we will schedule his return as soon as possible for
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me take it up from here. Mr. Lazarevic, how
2 much longer do you have?
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Not more than ten minutes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau?
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Between 30 and 40 minutes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic or Mr. Josse?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Half an hour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. Haynes?
9 MR. HAYNES: Less than half an hour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So we went make it but I'm always optimistic. Mr.
11 Lazarevic, cut it down to five, please?
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll do my best.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Minutes, not hours.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Koster, perhaps we can go through the rest of your testimony
16 with me quickly so that we don't take up so much time. I would like to
17 move to a topic that's different in relation to the topics that we've
18 covered so far. It's about the separation of men from the crowd of
19 refugees. In your statement to the Prosecution, of the 25th and the 26th
20 of September 1995, on page 12, last paragraph, you stated that you had
21 heard from Rutten about the separation but that you also personally saw
22 Serbian soldiers breaking through the DutchBat cordon and
23 going in the direction of the buses. You stated that on page 12, last
24 paragraph of your statement. Is that a correct description what you saw,
25 that the Serbs were going through the cordon put up by the United
1 Nations, separating off a group of men, and then returning?
2 A. I'd like to see the --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Inaudible.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd like to see the statement.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC:
6 Q. We have the statement of yours in the system on page 12, it's 1D44
7 or 45, I'm not quite sure for this one. 44. Last paragraph and here it
8 says, "I saw the Serbian soldiers pushing these people toward the buses
9 but before that I saw Serbian soldier breaking through our cordon and
10 taking a group of about 100 Muslim people in the direction of the buses."
11 [Interpretation] Do you confirm the correctness of your
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And that is what you saw; is that correct?
15 A. I saw that.
16 Q. Thank you. In the same statement, on page 14, last paragraph,
17 talking about the situation amongst the Muslim refugees at that point in
18 time, you said the following: [In English] "At that moment, everyone in
19 the Muslim population was looking out for him or herself."
20 [Interpretation] Do you see that in your statement?
21 A. I see that, yes.
22 Q. And do you adhere by that statement?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do I understand you well when you say that the refugees, the huge
25 mass of refugees that tried looking after themselves as best as they
1 could, had the main objective to get to the buses as quickly as possible
2 and to be taken to the territory under the control of the BiH army?
3 A. I don't know to which area they were supposed to depart at that
4 point. I know that some of the population was pushing and another part of
5 the population was more -- was standing aside and was waiting to see, was
6 more reluctant.
7 Q. Very well, then. Did you at one point in time, on the 12th of
8 July, before the human shield was established, attend a stampede of the
9 refugees who had spotted the buses and started running towards them? And
10 was it easy to control the situation at the time or was it difficult?
11 A. Would you please repeat the last part of the question again?
12 Q. In practical terms, this is a two-part question. Did you see this
13 stampede of the refugees as they were rushing towards the buses?
14 A. Yes, I saw that.
15 Q. Thank you. Since some other members of the DutchBat testified to
16 that effect I decided to ask you that. My next question is this: Was it
17 difficult to control that huge crowd of refugees who wanted to get to the
18 buses as soon as possible?
19 A. Yes. It was difficult. People were pushing and jostling and when
20 they headed towards the buses they were rushed by the Bosnian Serb
22 Q. Very well. You were shown the photos of a person whom you
23 identified as Mane and another one whom you identified as Miki, and you
24 denoted them as Serb commanders. You remember that, don't you?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, I don't know if this is an
1 interpretation or a mistake or not. I don't recall the Colonel ever
2 saying that they were both commanders. I think as far as Mane is
3 concerned, yes, he did say so, but I'm not that sure that he ever
4 described Miki as a commander.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Perhaps, Your Honour --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I may be wrong but --
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: My case manager will check in a moment in the
8 transcript but any way in his statement given to the OTP on 25th of
9 September, on page 13, he says, he says, he introduced me to two of the
10 Serb's duty commanders named Miki and Mane. So I basically have the
11 knowledge of him referring to them as commanders.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: What I was referring to I mean those statements I've
13 never read and I don't think any of us have read them because we don't
14 read them but I was referring to the transcript of the testimony too that
15 we've heard here. But any way, please proceed assuming that you accept
16 that both Mane and Miki were commanders.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Or duty commanders.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: I was just advised by Mr. Meek that it's on page
20 23, line 14 of today's transcript.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Meek.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
23 Q. If I have to repeat the question, let me put it this way: You
24 talked about Miki and Mane as duty commanders, local commanders, in
25 Potocari. Do you remember that part of your testimony?
1 A. Yes. I remember that.
2 Q. If I were to tell you that Miki was a foot soldier who was an
3 interpreter, he served as an interpreter there, would that change your
4 understanding of the whole situation involving the two men?
5 A. Not to me. At the time, he appeared to me as one of the people in
7 Q. Very well, then. I would like to go back to that footage of Miki
8 and Mane that we have already seen on e-court. This is page 02047. The
9 time between 0224 to 022501.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we stop now?
12 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, you have already recognised Miki and Mane
13 and I believe that you will agree with me that the gentleman on the left
14 is Mr. van Duijn. Here, captain Mane addresses Miki asking him to
15 translate his words and says, "To check and see whether anybody wants to
16 go. It is their job." When he says it's their job, he refers to the
17 DutchBat. Would you agree with that?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
19 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, at this point, I don't believe that
20 there has been a foundation laid that Colonel Koster was present for this
21 particular conversation. I showed him the clip for the purpose of
22 identifying the individuals but I don't know if he -- if we have a
23 foundation laid to interpret what was going on in the conversation, and
24 what was meant by the various parties.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose he can -- let's hear the next question
1 because that is actually what will put us in a position to give weight or
2 not to your objection. Doesn't mean to say that if he wasn't there he
3 cannot answer questions based on what he can see here. So let's hear the
4 question and then we'll see whether to take up your objection again and
5 decide it.
6 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour, I could have asked this question
8 in a different manner.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: But okay.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, was one of the tasks of the DutchBat to
12 establish among the refugees who wanted to leave Potocari and go to
13 Kladanj and who on the other hand didn't want to do that?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: As far as you know, obviously.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not as far as I know.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we proceed with this video just for one
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Stop now.
20 Q. [Interpretation] And obviously, in reference to your answer, was a
21 task of the DutchBat to collect those Muslims in Potocari who wanted to
22 leave and to put them on the buses?
23 A. No. That's not known to me. All I know is that it was our duty
24 to protect the refugees and to avert as much suffering as we could.
25 Q. And the aversion of their suffering, wouldn't that also mean
1 helping those who wanted to leave Srebrenica to get on the buses and
2 enabling them to leave Srebrenica if they so wanted?
3 A. No. I stand by my previous statement, our only task there as far
4 as I know was to avert suffering as best we could while the refugees were
5 being transported.
6 Q. Very well then. I would now like to go to another video clip that
7 has been shown to you, depicting General Mladic. You spoke about that
8 meeting and you recognised yourself in the video. When this video clip
9 was shown to you, you said that General Mladic said that he couldn't care
10 less about the United Nations. Can we go back to that video clip and see
11 what General Mladic said exactly? [In English] 15725 to 15750. Can we go
12 just back for a moment? A bit more?
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. Here, General Mladic says "I couldn't care less about your
16 commander." He spoke about your commander, not about the United Nations
17 in general terms. He wasn't referring to the United Nations as an
18 institution, wouldn't that be correct?
19 A. Apparently he's saying that in this part of the conversation that
20 was recorded.
21 Q. Are you saying that he has repeated that sentence on several
22 occasions? He didn't just say it once?
23 A. No. I had several conversations with General Mladic.
24 Q. Very well. Can we continue showing the video?
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just a bit. Stop.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Here you can see the same situation. This was
3 all recorded in one go, the whole clip, and here Mladic says, "Whoever
4 wishes to be transported will be transported." Can you see that?
5 A. Yes. I see that it says that.
6 Q. Is it then clear that Mladic says, clear and loud, that all those
7 who wish to leave will be transported? He never says, "You must leave."
8 Is that correct?
9 A. I see what the text reads, but I cannot infer whether he said it
10 like that.
11 Q. Very well then. However, when it comes to your role in the entire
12 situation, I would like to show you just one part of your statement, i.e.,
13 the debriefing, 1D00045, on page 1 of that debriefing, towards its very
14 end you say, it is said about you, "[In English] The witness received
15 orders to cooperate with the evacuation and to try to supervise it as well
16 as possible so as to prevent any excess." [Interpretation] A reference is
17 made to the orders that you received with regard to the evacuation. Could
18 you please confirm that what you said in your debriefing is correct?
19 A. What part of the debriefing is that from?
20 Q. The last -- actually, the penultimate sentence, the very end of
21 that page, "[In English] The witness received orders to cooperate with the
22 evacuation and to try to supervise it as well as possible so as to prevent
23 any excess."
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. [Interpretation] In other words, you adhere by what you said?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And only a couple more questions about the events that ensued once
3 all the refugees left the base. Could you please tell us briefly how --
4 can you please describe in brief terms the appearance of the base and the
5 area around the base once the refugees left in late afternoon hours on the
7 A. Yes. If I remember correctly, there was luggage everywhere,
8 equipment of people, along the road, sometimes on the road, and it was
9 also lying about the compound.
10 Q. Thank you. Who was it who finally removed those things, destroyed
11 them or did whatever with them?
12 A. Which items?
13 Q. The ones that you've just mentioned, the personal effects, the
14 luggage, the bags of food, the blankets, whatever was left behind.
15 A. I have no idea.
16 Q. You don't know. Very well. I would like to go back to something
17 that you already mentioned on your cross. You said that you were there
18 when you were outside the base to attend to the person who had killed
19 himself. Can you tell us exactly where this was? Was it in one of the
20 factories, in a house? Where was the body hanging?
21 A. If I recall correctly, the body was hanging in a small building in
22 the vicinity of the factory, and the factory is not the compound, and the
23 building had no roof but there were concrete or in any case there were
24 beams there possibly concrete on the top of the building and on those was
25 the rope with which the man had hung himself and the building was full of
1 excrement, people's excrement.
2 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions and I would like to thank
3 you for your answers.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Madam Fauveau,
5 who is representing General Miletic, will now cross-examine you.
6 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Colonel Koster, you talked about the Muslim fighters who were in
9 the enclave. Is it fair to say that they shot at the Serb positions?
10 A. I never saw this myself. However, I received reports that this is
11 in fact what happened.
12 Q. And in that way, the Muslims -- the Muslim fighters provoked the
13 Serbs and the Serbs started shooting?
14 A. In the reports which I received there, with some regularity,
15 counterfire was received from the Bosnian Serb side, yes, indeed.
16 Q. But you agree with me that what the Muslim fighters were doing was
17 a form of provocation?
18 A. I don't know which purpose that sort of fire had.
19 Q. Is it fair to say that when you arrived in Potocari in January
20 1995, you had been briefed by Major Franken, the situation in the
21 DutchBat, and how DutchBat was being resupplied?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Is it fair to say that on that occasion, in January 1995, Major
24 Franken told you that there was a fuel problem already then?
25 A. Yes. This is what I understood at the time.
1 Q. You stated today that you received fuel in June of 1995; is that
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Do you know that the HCR fuel was in the DutchBat base located in
6 A. Yes. I know that.
7 Q. Do you know that DutchBat at some point in time used this fuel
8 which was stocked by the UNHCR?
9 A. I'm aware of that. This was agreed with the people of UNHCR.
10 Q. In April 1995, were you on leave?
11 A. Yes. I was on leave.
12 Q. And you returned to Potocari on the 21st of April 1995; is that
14 A. I don't know the exact date but I know that indeed it was April
15 when I returned to Potocari.
16 Q. But that was rather during the second half of April, wasn't it, if
17 you can -- if you remember?
18 A. I can't recall that.
19 Q. Can we show the witness Exhibit number 1D44, please? This is a
20 statement dated September 1995 and given to the OTP. Can we turn to page
21 4, please? I'd like you to look at the first sentence in paragraph
22 2. "[In English] From 7 to 21 April 1995 I had two weeks' leave."
23 [Interpretation] This statement was given in September 1995. Do you allow
24 for the fact that at that time you must have remembered exactly at what
25 date you returned to the enclave?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did DutchBat receive reports coming from the other front lines in
3 Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. That is very well possible. I myself did not have them in my
5 hands. I did not see them but quite regularly we had briefings about the
6 situation around us.
7 Q. And you knew that there was fighting around Sarajevo in June?
8 A. That I cannot recall.
9 Q. Do you remember that at some point in time there was fighting in
10 Krajina, in Croatia?
11 A. I know there were such fights in the Krajina. However, I don't
12 recall exactly when this was.
13 Q. Do you remember that the supply convoys could not get through,
14 couldn't reach Srebrenica because of that?
15 A. No. I no longer recall that.
16 Q. I think we still have the right page, page 4, this is still
17 Exhibit number ID 44. This is a statement. I'd like you to turn to
18 paragraph 4. As you can see, we can read as follows: "[In English]
19 Logistics operations declined. Food supplies were irregular. There was
20 fighting around the Krajina which made it impossible for convoys to get
21 through there."
22 [Interpretation] Does this remind you of the fact that there was
23 fighting in Krajina and that was a reason why the convoys couldn't get
25 A. I believe that at the time I was very well able to recall what the
1 basis of this problem was, but at this moment -- and I did state that at
2 the time and I will stand by that statement. At this moment I do not
3 recall if this was actually so.
4 Q. Were you informed of the fact that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 was preventing the fuel from reaching DutchBat and more specifically in
6 the eastern enclave, or eastern part of the enclave?
7 A. I'm sorry for the translators, could you repeat the question,
8 please, because it was separated in two bits.
9 Q. Were you ever informed about the fact that the ABiH army was
10 preventing the fuel from reaching the eastern part of the enclave?
11 A. The only information I have about the stopping of convoys was that
12 it wasn't permitted from the Bosnian Serbian headquarters, from Pale.
13 Q. Very well. As you mentioned Pale, you said today that you thought
14 that the military authorities were there. Did you know that the Serb
15 authorities in Pale were actually the military and -- the civilian and
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Civilian and
18 political authorities.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I didn't hear the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot recall that as such.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you have it now? Okay. Thank you.
23 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I can actually read the transcript.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. But if there is a fault in the
25 interpretation in French, let me know, because I mean, it's -- the idea is
1 to have interpretation in the three languages. All right? Thank you.
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. If I say to you that there was no military authority on the Serb
4 side in Pale, could you agree with that?
5 A. The only thing I know about this is that for me, Pale was the
6 Bosnian Serb headquarters.
7 Q. Was it perhaps that the authorisations were fueled through the MOD
8 or some other governmental institution?
9 A. I have no idea about that.
10 Q. A while ago you mentioned your encounter with a certain Mandzic
11 between the 10th and the 11th of July. He was a commander of the Muslim
12 forces in the northern area. Had you met Mr. Mandzic before this event or
13 was it the first time you saw him on that occasion?
14 A. In as far as I can recall, this was the first time I met
15 Mr. Mandzic there.
16 Q. You also said that in the night from the 10th to the 11th, you
17 were taken by Muslim fighter to a headquarters which was located in a
18 house. This house, was it an ordinary house where the headquarters was
20 A. That was an ordinary dwelling, yes.
21 Q. You couldn't distinguish it from other houses in the area?
22 A. It looked like a normal house to me.
23 Q. You also mention the Muslims who were armed even though they were
24 in civilian clothes. I would like to put you a question to you. When you
25 see an able-bodied man in the enclave in civilian clothes, you couldn't
1 tell whether this man was a member of the army or not?
2 A. As long as he is not wearing any military insignia, I cannot
3 distinguish whether he is a military. If he's wearing civilian clothes
4 with a weapon, he would to me be a civilian with a weapon.
5 Q. When the refugees started arriving in the compound, your compound,
6 on the 11th of July in Potocari, isn't it fair to say that to begin with
7 you weren't supposed to let them in the compound?
8 A. That is correct. We were not to admit the refugees to the base.
9 Q. At some point in time, nevertheless, you let these people enter
10 the compound, is that right?
11 A. I was given permission.
12 Q. Nonetheless, not all the refugees entered the compound. Why did
13 you prevent some people from entering afterwards?
14 A. Because I was given to understand over the radio that the base was
15 filling up with refugees, they couldn't have any more refugees.
16 Therefore, it was pointed out that the influx of refugees into the base
17 had to be stopped.
18 Q. In the compound, did you have shelters; in other words, areas
19 which were better protected than others?
20 A. I don't know if the shelter offered better shelter than other
21 locations. The refugees who were brought to the factory in the base, the
22 factory also had parts with bunkers. I have no idea if they were more
23 solid in their construction than the former bus compound or the other
24 space -- or the other factory space.
25 Q. Were the refugees put in those areas which were better protected?
1 [Inaudible] The bunker?
2 A. I was outside much the compound and I have no idea where the
3 refugees in the compound were sheltered. I only saw at the moment I was
4 in the compound that many of the refugees were actually in the factory.
5 Q. Yes, in fact, you don't know whether all the buildings in the
6 compound were filled with refugees and whether there was any room left for
8 A. That is correct. I only went to a limited part of the compound in
9 particular the front of the compound, there, where I was reporting to my
11 Q. Is it fair to say that on that night between the 11th and 12th of
12 July, it was a quiet night?
13 A. Well, in so far as you can call it calm, in comparison to the
14 moment of the arrival of the refugees, there was one big chaos. Then in
15 the course of the night that chaos abated somewhat. People probably got
16 quite tired, went to sleep. There was less noise than the evening before.
17 So if you think that this is getting calmer, then, yes, that is correct.
18 Q. I certainly did not phrase my sentence properly. I was just
19 making sure and asking you whether there had been any shelling or
21 A. During the night, from 11 to the 12th of July, if that is what you
22 mean, in so far as I know, there were no mortar, grenade, shootings in the
23 direct vicinity of the shelter.
24 Q. You mentioned General Mladic, who came to the base at some -- to
25 the compound at some point in time. Is it right to say that you warned
1 Major Franken that General Mladic was there in the compound?
2 A. The translation says that he arrived at the base. Maybe that's a
3 mistake in the translation because that is not so. He arrived at my
4 location and, yes, indeed, at some point in time I did inform Major
5 Franken of that.
6 Q. Did you also inform Lieutenant Colonel Karremans or was it
7 somebody else who told him about it?
8 A. I don't remember speaking over the radio with Lieutenant Colonel
9 Karremans himself. I remember speaking with Major Otter and Major
11 Q. Do you know whether Lieutenant Colonel Karremans was informed of
12 the arrival of General Mladic in Potocari?
13 A. Waiting for the translation.
14 I reported it, and I assume that he was informed.
15 Q. Are you saying that you have no direct knowledge of this? At the
16 time General Mladic was in the compound, you don't know whether
17 Colonel Karremans knew about it?
18 A. No. I don't know for certain that Lieutenant Colonel Karremans
19 was aware. I was told that he -- that the news would be transmitted to
20 him but that's all I can say.
21 Q. When you talked to General Mladic, obviously you couldn't
22 understand what he was saying.
23 A. The words of General Mladic were interpreted for me by the
24 interpreter accompanying him.
25 Q. Yes. But you had no means of checking. You don't know whether
1 your interpreter was translating everything word-for-word, what
2 General Mladic was saying?
3 A. No. I can't say that for certain. I depended on his
4 interpretation, just as I am now.
5 Q. I'd like to briefly get back to the question of the separation of
6 the men from their families. Is it fair to say that this separation was
7 conducted in the presence of DutchBat?
8 A. We were indeed present at that moment, if that's what you mean.
9 Q. And during the separation process, you observed no ill treatment?
10 A. Abuse of whom?
11 Q. Ill treatment of the Muslims by the Serbs.
12 A. As I indicated earlier, when the Muslim population was being
13 chased to the buses, people were indeed chased by the Bosnian Serbs and
14 that happened by kicking at them and yelling at them and pushing at them
15 so if you consider that to be abuse, then, yes, I did see abuse.
16 Q. I would like to show the witness Exhibit number 1D45. This is a
17 statement which you made and gave to the Dutch army in September 1995.
18 Turn to paragraph 4, please, second sentence. "[In English] They made it
19 clear to him that they wished to walk among the refugees. They did so
20 under the supervision of UN personnel. Men were then selected by them on
21 the basis of age. The target group, possible BiH fighters, were removed
22 from the group and made to stand to one side. He did not see what
23 happened to these men. At the time of the selection he did not see any
24 ill treatment."
25 [Interpretation] This is your September 1995 statement, i.e., two
1 months after the events. Can one say that this --
2 A. Correct, and what I said earlier concerns [inaudible] after the
3 refugees were being transported, what I'm describing happened when the
4 Bosnian Serb soldiers arrived and walked through the refugees, and
5 selected the men that way. I remember that situation. At that point, the
6 situation was not such yet that the refugees were being transported.
7 Q. Is it fair to say that between the 12th and 13th of July, the Serb
8 military were not in the compound?
9 A. I hear the word "compound." How do you mean that?
10 Q. Can we show the witness Exhibit number 1D44, please? This is the
11 statement which you gave to the OTP. Page 14, second paragraph. Sir, we
12 can read as follows: "[In English] During the night the Serbian soldiers
13 were not there any longer." [Interpretation] I don't know what you had in
14 mind when you said they were not in the compound and around the compound.
15 Can you confirm this, please?
16 A. To me, the location of the compound is not where I was, and if
17 that's what you're referring to, then what this states is correct. The
18 site where I was in the course of the night, I did not see any more Serb
20 Q. Concerning the base, do you have any indications that they were
22 A. I have no knowledge of that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau, two things. I understand that you
24 wish to address the Chamber, the Trial Chamber, at some point before we
25 adjourn. The other thing is this: I think we should -- we are not going
1 to finish with this witness today obviously, and -- but I wouldn't like to
2 postpone the tendering of the exhibits until the next time when he shows
3 up again. I would rather have the Prosecution tender its documents today
4 and any other documents that have been made use by the Defence. So we'll
5 require an extra two minutes, apart from what you require.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can stop now and
7 I can stop my cross-examination if you prefer.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: What I'm saying is we require two minutes for
9 tendering the documents. I don't know how much time you require yourself
10 to address the Trial Chamber on whatever you wish to address it upon.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would need five minutes to address
12 the Chamber and to finish my cross-examination I would need approximately
13 15 minutes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we stop here.
15 Colonel, unfortunately, I was too optimistic. We haven't finished
16 with your testimony but basically that means you will have to return.
17 The arrangements will be coordinated by the special units that we
18 have here. You're still testifying basically so the understanding is that
19 there should be no approach between Prosecution and the witness between
20 now and when he testifies again, unless there is special reason to do so,
21 in which case you will need -- you will require our permission before
22 doing so. Same applies to you, Colonel. You're not to discuss with
23 anyone the subject matter of your testimony until it's all over.
24 So I thank you. I wish you good evening and a safe journey to
25 wherever you're going. And we'll see you again. Usher, you can escort
1 when the interpretation is finished.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's do this first, Prosecution.
4 Mr. Thayer, I don't know if I caught you on the wrong foot but are you
5 in a position to complete the tendering process or not?
6 MR. THAYER: Thanks to Ms. Stewart, I am, Your Honour. We -- we
7 only have one exhibit, I believe, with respect to this witness. That is
8 PIC00025, that is the familiar overhead of Potocari marked by this
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Any objection? None? Okay. So
11 admitted. Now, Popovic team, Mr. Zivanovic, you made use of 1D44, 1D45,
12 1D50 do you wish to tender those three documents.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from the Prosecution or any of the
15 other Defence teams?
16 MR. THAYER: No, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay so they are so admitted. Mr. Lazarevic?
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour I made use of one aerial
19 photograph of Potocari but I believe that will have a number from the
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that will be 4DIC26.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So that is also I suppose admitted and I
24 hear no objections. So it is so admitted.
25 Okay. Madam Fauveau, do you wish to address the Trial Chamber in
1 open session or in private session?
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This is about tomorrow's witness but
3 I think it can be in -- now I'm just going to refer to number 25 which is
4 the number given to the witness.
5 He was supposed to come further to 92 bis and the
6 cross-examination of this witness was to be limited to the points related
7 to the nine bodies. Now, on the 12th of October this year, we received a
8 request by the Prosecutor asking for the witness statement to be admitted
9 further to 92 ter. If this is the case, of course, the Defence will
10 request to have a full cross-examination because Rule 92 ter provides that
11 there should be cross-examination of the witness.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
13 MR. JOSSE: Could I add one point, Your Honour? Under the new
14 rules, Rule 92 bis(C) would in our submission be applicable and so
15 automatically, Rule 92 ter shall apply. So we submit that the evidence,
16 if admissible, must be admissible under Rule 92 ter rather than 92 bis,
17 and in our submission, the restrictions on cross-examination would
18 therefore not apply.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's be precise before we -- let's try -- I need to
21 go into the mail to see exactly what we have admitted and what we haven't
22 because since we agreed that we will not be dealing with this witness
23 today, I sent back or actually I took back all the papers relating to him
24 to my Chamber so I have got absolutely nothing in front of me. I only
25 remember the number we are going to give him. So ...
1 MR. JOSSE: If I could assist, Your Honour, by the Trial Chamber's
2 decision of 12th of September of this year, it's paragraph 66 and in
3 particular 67 of that decision that is relevant.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but then didn't we follow -- this is the 12th
5 September, yeah, okay. But then we followed up with the other decision.
6 MR. JOSSE: Mr. Krgovic has some recollection of that,
7 Your Honour. I'm afraid I don't have it to hand.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The impression but again, I apologise to everyone in
11 the sense that not having been aware that this was going to be raised, you
12 may have noticed me walk out with documents during the previous break.
13 Everything related to the next witness I took back so that my secretary
14 will organise it better for tomorrow morning, for tomorrow afternoon, so
15 unfortunately I don't have -- my recollection is the following, Mr. Josse:
16 It's true, if you refer to our decision of the 12th of September, you're
17 100 per cent correct, both you and Madam Fauveau. However, then later on,
18 very recently, this week, we dealt with the matter of certification that
19 was sought by General Miletic and General Gvero, and although we did not
20 agree with the argumentation of Madam Fauveau, we did revise our previous
21 decision in relation to the restricted cross-examination of both Koster
22 and the next witness, and extended it to cover everything, if I remember
23 well. But again I don't have it here. This is why I said I would need to
24 go into my mail account here, which I don't have on, and check.
25 MR. JOSSE: It's the 17th of October decision, Your Honour, and
1 Your Honour changed the decision in relation to Messrs. Koster and
2 Groenewegen and also ordered that Witness 23 appear. Your Honour and the
3 Court was silent on Witness 25.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct that's my recollection I just came
5 in because that's my witness and I heard that this topic was being
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Any way we will deal with this tomorrow as soon as
8 we reconvene. We'll have an opportunity to take into account your
9 submissions and we'll come back with -- yes, Mr. Nicholls?
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I have a brief -- some thoughts on this if we have
11 time. It does impinge on the witness tomorrow because he's been told by
12 me that he will be testifying just on the limited basis of the witnesses
13 in Potocari. I respectfully completely disagree with the Defence
14 submission. It's being raised very late. All that's changed here are
15 three letters in italic, bis or ter. Mr. Josse is correct that under 92
16 bis(C) now, the 92 ter controls if a witness is brought for cross. That
17 means that our motion, our filing, in effect, was meaningless because 92
18 ter would cover it any way. And I'll be very brief because you want to
19 finish, but it's just inconceivable to me that in creating 92 ter, the
20 intent in the Plenary was to take away the inherent discretion that every
21 court has to control the scope of Prosecution. The Court's ordered that
22 he brought for 92 bis based on the sound reasoning in that decision. Now
23 that it's 92 ter it makes so difference. That's my very short points. I
24 would have some more and there is precedents for that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls, we are not going to argue
1 this, Madam Fauveau, today, because it's not my intention to keep anybody
2 much longer here. We'll be discussing this amongst ourselves tomorrow in
3 the morning before we reconvene for the sitting in the afternoon. I don't
4 think we are in a position to anticipate anything because we need to
5 discuss obviously, so we'll see. We'll see tomorrow morning. So I thank
6 you so much. Have a nice evening. And we'll reconvene tomorrow
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Friday, the 27th day of
10 October, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.