Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 4819

1 Thursday, 30 November 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar, could you

7 call the case, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.

11 Everyone is here except Mr. Meek and Mr. Bourgon, as previously

12 recorded.

13 Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.

14 Good morning to you, Major.

15 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer will be proceeding and concluding with

17 his examination-in-chief and then we start with the cross-examinations.

18 Thank you.


20 [Resumed]

21 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.

23 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]

24 Q. Good morning, Major.

25 A. Good morning.

Page 4820

1 Q. Before we resume where we left off, in reviewing your testimony

2 from yesterday, I just noticed one thing at page 4808, line 7 to 9, and I

3 just wanted to make sure that the transcript reflects accurately what your

4 response was. The question I put to you, at lines 4 through 6, was, "I

5 want to turn your attention briefly to the actual VRS attack on the

6 enclave. Did you have an opportunity to see what was being struck by the

7 shelling?" And the answer as reflected in the transcript is, "Yes.

8 Warehouses around the compound itself, what was in our line of site, and

9 it -- warehouses near, for instance, Budak hill that was on the opposite

10 of the compound."

11 I just wanted to verify with you whether that is an accurate

12 reflection of what your answer was intended to be.

13 A. No. That's not an accurate reflection because I was -- I have

14 said that there were houses that had been struck by shelling and not

15 warehouses.

16 Q. And when you say houses, what are you referring to, just regular

17 houses?

18 A. Regular houses where the people lived in near Budak hill.

19 Q. Okay. What I'd like to do is, rather than mark up further the

20 exhibit from yesterday, which was getting a little crowded, if we could be

21 shown a clean version of 65 ter 1522, please.

22 And do you have an image on your screen, sir?

23 A. Yes, I have an image.

24 Q. You have the stylus in your hand, I see. Would you please mark

25 with an A the location of the woman you saw who made the sign across her

Page 4821

1 throat and showed you the direction towards the location where you

2 eventually found the bodies?

3 A. Okay. [Marks]

4 Q. And would you mark with a B, please, where you saw a Serb soldier

5 chasing a woman out of an area of some houses, please.

6 A. [Marks]

7 Q. Now, you testified yesterday about the APCs that were in the area

8 on the 12th and were they in the same -- well, were they in the same area

9 approximately on the 13th as you recall?

10 A. Yes, they were in the same area.

11 Q. And would you circle that on this photograph, please.

12 A. [Marks]

13 Q. And would you just write APCs next to that circle.

14 A. [Marks]

15 Q. And if you would, would you draw a rectangle around the area, that

16 you recall on the 13th, the remaining refugees were, as they waited to

17 pass through that APC blockade?

18 A. [Marks]

19 Q. And if you just write "refugees" next to that as well, please?

20 A. [Marks]

21 Q. Now, Major, yesterday you referred to an area, or more

22 specifically, a line of buses along which you saw Serb soldiers separating

23 Muslim men after the point where Lieutenant van Duijn was active. Would

24 you please just draw a line or maybe an arrow along the area that you were

25 describing to the Court.

Page 4822

1 A. [Marks].

2 MR. THAYER: For the record, that is two arrows extending

3 downwards on this image.

4 Q. I think if you would just, please, initial the image anywhere.

5 A. [Marks]

6 Q. Thank you, Major. And we can save it now.

7 Major, did you see any force being used on the refugees as they

8 were being directed to or placed on the buses?

9 A. Initially, when they left the area behind the APCs where the line

10 was drawn by the Lieutenant van Duijn, then the people start walking

11 towards the buses and then when it wasn't going that fast enough sometimes

12 there was -- there was someone pushed in a bus or were getting

13 instructions in Serbo-Croatian, very rude instructions, but not that much

14 violence.

15 Q. Okay. Did you see any kicking or hitting in addition to the

16 pushing or did you only see pushing?

17 A. Only pushing, yeah.

18 Q. Now, I want to turn your attention to the last area I want to

19 cover with you this morning. Major, do you recall the portion of your

20 Krstic testimony I summarised yesterday, in which you were shown a

21 photograph in which you recognised a Serb soldier whom you described in

22 your words as not being a plain soldier. Do you remember that?

23 A. Yes, I remember that.

24 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what you meant in your testimony in

25 Krstic by those words, "Not a plain soldier"?

Page 4823

1 A. Not a plain soldier, it's quite obvious that when you're on the

2 ground, who is in charge and not. There is a sense of authority to the

3 officers and the NCOs in the area because they know what to do, they are

4 well instructed, and that's the way you can distinguish the people who are

5 on the ground. And it was very clear to me that there were a certain

6 amount of Serbs that were in control, although they were not wearing any

7 insignia, but also T-shirts and other gear and other clothing, but it was

8 very clear to me that they were in charge.

9 Q. Now, specifically with respect to this individual whom you

10 identified in the photograph, can you recall anything about the way he was

11 conducting himself that led you to draw the conclusion that he was not, as

12 you said, a plain soldier?

13 A. He was -- he gave them direct instructions to other Serb soldiers.

14 They were speaking to him. There was a way of contact, what is also

15 normal in our army, that there is a certain distance between the men on

16 the ground and between the NCOs and the officers on the other hand, so you

17 can always tell who is in charge.

18 Q. Now, can you recall what kind of uniform this soldier was wearing

19 and/or any insignia at the time?

20 A. They were wearing also camouflage uniform or a camouflage trouser

21 with brown and green T-shirts.

22 Q. Okay. Now, but with respect to this particular individual, do you

23 have any recollection, as you sit here today, of what that soldier was

24 wearing when you saw him outside the "White House"?

25 A. The moment I saw him outside the "White House", he was wearing

Page 4824

1 camouflage trouser and he had green/brown T-shirt.

2 Q. Now, sir, I want to show you an image. We are going to do it from

3 Sanction, just to advise the Trial Chamber, because if we do it through

4 e-court, there is going to be some identifying information underneath it

5 and we wanted to crop that out, so it's simply the image. So if we could

6 see 65 ter number 1936. This is chapter 5, page 9.

7 Sir, do you have an image on your screen?

8 A. Yes, I have an image.

9 Q. And was this image shown to you during the Krstic trial?

10 A. Yes. Also, yes.

11 Q. As you sit here today, do you recognise the man on the right in

12 the camouflage shirt?

13 A. Yes, I do recognise him.

14 Q. And do you recall seeing the man on the right during the 12th and

15 13th in or around Potocari and do you recall also seeing other photographs

16 of that man?

17 A. Yes, I do recall that, okay.

18 Q. And just generally, would you describe for the Trial Chamber the

19 role that you believe that the man on the right played at the time, as you

20 had an opportunity to see the man on the right in the green camouflage

21 shirt?

22 A. It was clearly that -- that he was the man who was -- who gave the

23 instructions and who was very clear to me that he had the authority and he

24 was in charge over there.

25 Q. Now, as you sit here today, Major, do you recognise the man on the

Page 4825

1 left in the brown T-shirt?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And whom do you recognise that man being?

4 A. I don't have a name, but I saw the man also near the "White

5 House".

6 Q. And is this the man that you had described previously and that we

7 have just been discussing, who was somebody that appeared to you to be not

8 a plain soldier?

9 A. Yes. That's the man also.

10 Q. Now, sir, is it fair to say that on Monday night, you had to be

11 reread a portion of your Krstic testimony in order to refresh your memory

12 of that man on the left?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And prior to reading that testimony again, is it fair to say that

15 you weren't entirely sure that you recognised that man on the left?

16 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the objection?

17 MS. CONDON: Your Honour, I object to my learned friend

18 cross-examining his own witness as to -- in my submission, this is a

19 proper matter for cross-examination, not to ask his own witness these

20 questions.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment on that, Mr. Thayer?

22 MR THAYER: Your Honour, I'm simply placing in context the current

23 testimony. I think it's relevant evidence. It's appropriate to ask this

24 witness.

25 [Trial Chamber confers]

Page 4826

1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't agree with your objection, Ms. Condon. This

2 is the normal progression of the examination that Mr. Thayer has been

3 conducting and seeks to further explain and -- illustrate his position in

4 relation to this photo. So go ahead, please.


6 Q. My last question, Major, and I think you've already answered part

7 of it, but to this day, do you know the name of either of the men in this

8 photograph?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Thank you, Major. I have no further questions at this time.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Thayer. I take it Mr. Josse is

12 going first?

13 MR. JOSSE: We've agreed to go first, Your Honour. That's right.

14 Thank you.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much. Mr. Josse, together with Mr.

16 Krgovic, Defence counsel for General Gvero, and he will be cross-examining

17 now. How long do you expect to be, Mr. Josse?

18 MR. JOSSE: About half an hour, Your Honour.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Thank you.

20 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:

21 Q. Major Rutten, as a member of Charlie Company, were you aware of

22 the theft of any of your weapons prior to the events that you have been

23 describing yesterday and today?

24 A. Yes. In the evening, before I heard from other soldiers of the

25 company, that there already were weapons been taken by the Serbs.

Page 4827

1 Q. So we are talking about July, aren't we?

2 A. Yeah, July, that's true.

3 Q. My fault. I didn't frame my question carefully enough. Prior to

4 July?

5 A. Prior to -- okay. Then that's a different question, then.

6 Q. Indeed my fault. What's your answer to that.

7 A. Not prior -- prior to July, there were no weapons taken from our

8 company and not from the battalion that I know of.

9 Q. So you've got no memory or knowledge of the company being

10 overwhelmed by about 30 or 40 Muslims and taking some of your weapons?

11 A. No.

12 Q. No knowledge of what whatsoever?

13 A. No.

14 THE INTERPRETER: Could speakers please not overlap.

15 MR. JOSSE: My fault again, sorry.

16 Q. We speak the same language, Major. Of course, there are

17 translators. I need to go much slower.

18 A. Okay.

19 Q. Am I right in saying that on the 10th and 11th of July, at all

20 material times, you were in Potocari?

21 A. Yes, I was in Potocari.

22 Q. And the journey that you have described to Srebrenica, was that on

23 the 13th of July or sometime before that?

24 A. If you mean the journey that was told yesterday in the late

25 afternoon of 13 July, then it was on the 13th of July.

Page 4828

1 Q. And so you were also in Potocari throughout the 12th of July?

2 A. That's right.

3 Q. In those three days, that is the 10th, 11th, and 12th of July, did

4 you see any resistance at all from Muslim soldiers or irregulars or indeed

5 any form of resistance whatsoever?

6 A. Not on that spot. Not on the spot of Potocari.

7 Q. Where did you see some resistance?

8 A. Not actual resistance, but during my journey, as you asked before,

9 in the evening of the 13th, to Srebrenica, I -- on the road to Srebrenica,

10 I saw a group of Bosnian soldiers, Muslim soldiers, who were hiding in a

11 house. I stopped there and asked them whether they -- what they did over

12 there because it was quite dangerous to be around there. And I suggested

13 to them that they get the hell out of there because they could be getting

14 in a problem. As I drove away, and I was only a few hundred metres

15 further down the road, my car, my jeep, was hijacked by Serb soldiers.

16 Q. That was, as you've just said, on the 13th of July?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. For what it's worth, my question referred to the 10th, 11th and

19 12th. So perhaps we could just concentrate on those three days, first of

20 all. You saw no resistance at all from Muslims during those three days?

21 A. Not in my line of sight near Potocari, that's right.

22 Q. You were in a bunker for some of that time; is that correct?

23 A. Yeah, during the morning sometime, but I wasn't often in the

24 bunker. I was one of the men who wasn't sleeping in the bunker because I

25 saw no use of sleeping in the bunker. I was sleeping in the shelters that

Page 4829

1 we had to [indiscernible].

2 Q. I agree that when you were asleep, you wouldn't have seen anything

3 any way, but how many hours did you spend in the bunker on each of those

4 dates? Can you assist?

5 A. Altogether, a few hours, I think, yeah.

6 Q. I want to take you, on this subject, to an answer that you gave

7 when you were being examined in chief during the course of your evidence

8 in the trial of General Krstic. And at page 2109 of that transcript, Mr.

9 Harmon, prosecuting, said this to you, "Captain Rutten, you've described

10 heavy shelling in the Srebrenica enclave. Can you tell me, based on your

11 presence on patrols and your experience in the enclave, were there any

12 military targets in the town of Srebrenica or in the town of Potocari?"

13 And your response was, "There were no real military targets. The military

14 targets that were there were on the confrontation or border line at the

15 time of the enclave. There were some BiH soldiers still but not in

16 Potocari or Srebrenica itself."

17 Now, I have a number of questions about this exchange between you

18 and the prosecutor in that case. Firstly, he says to you that you've

19 described heavy shelling in the Srebrenica enclave. Your description

20 related to what was going on in Potocari and no where else; is that right?

21 A. There is a difference between --

22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment. What's the problem.

23 MR. THAYER: Just to clarify, Your Honour, when my learned friend

24 refers to your description, I just wanted to make sure we understand

25 whether it's his description that he gave here or the description that he

Page 4830

1 gave in the Krstic trial, that's all.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. I think you can address that, Mr.

3 Josse.

4 MR. JOSSE: I can.

5 Q. My question relates to the question that Mr. Harmon asked you in

6 that trial. And, in particular, the words that he used. And I suppose

7 what I'm asking is what you understood by them, because he says, I quote

8 again, "You've described heavy shelling in the Srebrenica enclave."

9 A. My describing was quite clear then because, at that time, I had

10 two radios on me and I could hear every report that came out of Srebrenica

11 area, because the Bravo Company was acting in that area and I had that --

12 that on my radio as well, so that I could read every radio signal that

13 came through about -- in the southern part of the enclave. So also the

14 reports on the shelling, I heard on the radio. So if you referring to my

15 statement then, then it's referring to that situation by the radio

16 transmissions.

17 Q. Okay. Now, that clarifies that, and it's right to say that what

18 you actually saw and heard with your own ears, so to speak, was what was

19 going on in Potocari, correct?

20 A. Yes, that's right, yes.

21 Q. I now want to turn to your answer to Mr. Harmon's question and I

22 read it once and, if need be, I can read it again, but you said there were

23 no real military targets. Now, I don't want to be facetious about this,

24 but what would you describe as an unreal military target?

25 A. An unreal military target, it's quite clear to me that are civil

Page 4831

1 houses as I described before on Budak hill, that are civilians walking

2 around, that is shelling where there are no real BiH soldiers around and

3 there weren't any at the time, only a few wounded ones. So that to me are

4 not real military targets and there were no BiH positions near the

5 Potocari area.

6 Q. And so your use of the word "no real military targets" refers, as

7 you just said, to -- and let me get this right, a reference to civilians

8 who may have been perceived as a military target?

9 A. There weren't any civilians who were wearing, as we describe it in

10 our humanitarian law that we use and it's also reflecting the

11 international military law, wearing suits that you could see that they

12 were military personnel around. So there were just civilians around

13 wearing normal civil clothes and if I refer "no real military targets,"

14 there were no manned positions in -- near the Potocari area of BiH

15 soldiers.

16 Q. Although I think at another point in your testimony in that case,

17 you mentioned an encounter with a BiH soldier that you knew from your

18 patrols, who had civilian clothing on; he wasn't in military fatigues. Do

19 you remember mentioning that?

20 A. Yes, I remember that. And that was the piece that you already

21 also read, the man in the wheelbarrow, and I knew him because I have seen

22 him before during patrolling and he was wounded then, he had a shot wound,

23 yeah.

24 Q. And I think you understand that the commented to that Trial

25 Chamber, that you didn't blame him for wearing civilian clothing, you

Page 4832

1 would have done the same in his desperate situation?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. That's right. So would it be right to characterise him as a

4 soldier who had put on civilian clothing?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Thank you. You described, not I think in the course of that

7 testimony, but in one of your briefings, I can take you to it if need be,

8 that as you have described it, armed men took leave of their wives. I

9 think you were referring to the 11th of July. Do you remember ever saying

10 that?

11 A. Yes, I remember.

12 Q. And -- well, perhaps you could describe that to the Trial Chamber.

13 A. Yes. That was on the back side of the compound. It's even on the

14 image we have on my screen here. I can point it out to you if you want

15 to.

16 Q. Can I stop you because I am going to ask you in the course of my

17 cross-examination to mark a plan, but a different plan to the one you've

18 got there.

19 A. Okay.

20 Q. Perhaps up on the screen, P10516 [sic] can be placed. It's wrong

21 on the transcript if the transcript is being relied upon. It's P01516.

22 Yes. That's it. You may want to take a moment to orientate

23 yourself. It's a very similar shot but of course covering a larger area

24 to the photograph you were previously looking at?

25 A. Yes.

Page 4833

1 Q. And I'm going to invite you to be given the stylus and mark this

2 in a number of ways. Perhaps you could begin then by marking the point

3 that you say the armed men took leave of their wives.

4 A. Okay. It was at the -- this is a small stream down here and here,

5 in the corner, we made an entrance in the fence. It was at the opposite

6 side, there was a small bridge at the rear side of the -- of our compound

7 and this was our compound, with the factory hall in the middle, large

8 factory hall, and at the back side, we call that our -- of our compound,

9 made an entrance, and here at opposite side it was a small bridge, and at

10 the -- the other side of the stream, and that's exactly here, there were

11 some BiH soldiers greeting their families and the wives and the children

12 were put on the -- on our compound, yes.

13 Q. And what number of men would you say were involved in that

14 encounter, armed men?

15 A. Three.

16 Q. Three, that's all?

17 A. Yes, that's all.

18 Q. I see. And these people had come from Srebrenica, presumably?

19 A. I can't tell.

20 Q. Then changing the subject slightly, I want to suggest to you that

21 looking at this map, the vast majority of the refugees took the road that

22 is visible in the north of this map. Although rather confusingly, this

23 map is actually upside down, so that the north is in fact the south but

24 I'll call it the north, coming from somewhere near where the Z and the E

25 of Herzegovina is.

Page 4834

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Do you agree with that, that that is the road where the majority

3 of the refugees streamed down from Srebrenica?

4 A. Yes. I agree on that.

5 Q. And I want to suggest to you that somewhere down that road, there

6 was a -- there were scenes of men and women separating, the women coming

7 towards the Potocari base, the men going to the right, as we look at this

8 photograph.

9 A. It is a little bit different than you -- than you describe it,

10 because what I described as the stream, we were getting the -- a lot of

11 people inside our compound in the cover of the trees around the stream.

12 As you speak about the vast majority, that there were around the former

13 bus compound, and that is here, and I texted it on this area as well and

14 the majority of the refugees, as I stated yesterday also, were in this

15 area.

16 Q. Yes. We are agreed on that, by the way.

17 A. Okay. Then if they came down with the line of buses, then you

18 could see on this image as well. Most of the refugees were travelling

19 like -- on this side and another part of them, mostly the separated ones,

20 were travelling on this side. And where the separation -- wherever it

21 took place along this line, the men and boys were taken out of this group

22 of refugees and were being brought or sent to the houses that were along

23 the road.

24 Q. We may be at cross-purposes. You are talking about the separation

25 of the men on what date?

Page 4835

1 A. It already started on the 12th of July.

2 Q. Okay. Perhaps it's my fault. I was asking you about separation,

3 if it happened, between men and women, on the 11th of July, as they left

4 Srebrenica. The Serbs were not there at that point, at the point that I'm

5 asking you about. They hadn't arrived, so to speak.

6 A. You're right on that. There wasn't any separation on the 11th of

7 July.

8 Q. And my question is this: The point that you've marked on the plan

9 where the refugees came from, do you recall a natural, for want of a

10 better word, a natural separation taking place between men and women, with

11 the women coming into the base, eventually through the hole, and the men

12 going to the right as we look at there photograph?

13 A. No, there was no distinction on that as you call it, natural, and

14 certainly not on the 11th, because there was no separation whatsoever on

15 the 11th.

16 Q. At that time, we agree, there were no Serbs in the vicinity?

17 A. Yes, we agree on that.

18 Q. Where did the Serbs eventually arrive from?

19 A. If you mean eventually, on what date do you mean? On the 11th or

20 the 12th?

21 Q. You were there. You tell us.

22 A. On the 11th, we -- there weren't any Serbs around then. On the

23 12th, it depends, in the morning there was already reported from the south

24 they were coming in and during the later morning, they came from all kinds

25 of sides. They came in from the north. We got the report from the

Page 4836

1 direction of OP Papa. They came in from the south as well. We get a

2 reports from the rest of the B Company. And they came in from, so to say,

3 the Quebec and Romeo area for us, and that is this area. They came here

4 from the hills down, and at this point where I put that arrow, that was my

5 line of sight, and they came out of the hills over there.

6 Q. Now, I want to initially ask you about the Serb forces that came

7 from the north, which, as we both agreed, is at the bottom of this

8 photograph, in other words, from the Bratunac area. Were you aware of any

9 resistance at all at the bottom of this photograph, from Muslim forces?

10 A. No, I was not aware of that and there was nothing report on -- on

11 BiH resistance at that point.

12 Q. Because I want to suggest to you that there were some mortars at

13 the bottom of this photograph trying to repel Serb forces.

14 A. That could have been, but I was regularly in the days before and

15 also on the 11th, on top of the factory hall where there was a post of 108

16 company -- 108 platoon Commando Company and there were no, at that time,

17 no signs of BiH mortars around. The only thing that we saw from the top

18 of the factory were in the hills of Purici, Serb positions with mortars

19 and even a tank that they drew -- drove out, in and out of their position,

20 intimidating us, because they saw us on top of the factory hall and we saw

21 them in the hills of Purici.

22 Q. When you were carrying out these observations, do you remember

23 which members of your company you were with?

24 A. That were -- was no one of my company was around on that. I was

25 alone on the roof, together with them, the man that I recalled, a

Page 4837

1 Lieutenant, and a few men of 108 platoon, on the top of the factory hall.

2 And later on there came also the -- our surgeon, a Colonel Kramer on top

3 of the factory to watch what was happening in Purici hills.

4 Q. Prior to the Serbs arriving, do you remember any Muslim men

5 fleeing from the vicinity? In other words, trying to avoid capture.

6 A. On the 11th, I was outside with Lieutenant Koster during the day

7 and we had a report that the -- at the entrance of the compound, that

8 there were two soldiers. They waved with something. We got the report.

9 So that was one of the moments I was in the bunker and we got that report.

10 We went outside at the gate to check what that was because they were

11 reported as probably a BiH commanding officer. But as we came at that

12 point, and I shall point it out to you, that was here was our entrance,

13 and the soldiers here was also a building and they were behind this

14 building, two men, but the card that they had was a card that was on his

15 arm and there was a wounded card which was filled out by one of our

16 soldiers on -- from OP November. I could read his sign, his signature on

17 that card, who had helped the man. The man had a gunshot in his underarm

18 and that was it. We gave him some water and we send them back because

19 we -- we didn't want -- we didn't want have BiH soldiers near our compound

20 because it could have been that then the Serb forces would identify that

21 then as a BiH position. So that could attract attention and even fire so

22 it could be dangerous for civilians.

23 Q. What I want to suggest to you is this: That there were Muslim

24 fighters who fled prior to the arrival of the Serb forces, or at the time

25 of the arrival of the Serb forces, to the upper right-hand part of this

Page 4838

1 photograph. What do you say about that?

2 A. In the evening on the 11th, there were reports from former and

3 even then also actually working with us, laundry women from the Muslim

4 people, and they told me that the men, Muslim men, were fled to the, as we

5 call it on the maps, the Buljim area, that's between OP November and OP

6 Alpha, to get out of the -- to get safely out of the enclave area.

7 Q. Could you mark that area, please.

8 A. It's not -- I can only give the route to that Buljim area, but the

9 route to that Buljim area was between those bushes you see here and it's

10 in that direction.

11 Q. Yes. And am I right in saying that that is basically leading to

12 Jaglici and Susnjari?

13 A. Yes, you're right.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Josse, because I don't want this to

15 escape us later on. In line 9 on page 20, previously in line 6 of the

16 same page, the -- whoever is in charge of the transcript did not catch the

17 word, the name that the witness mentioned. We are talking of the Buljim,

18 Buljim. Yeah. Okay. Thank you.

19 MR. JOSSE: Yes, it's being helpfully suggested to me that I need

20 to invite to you mark the map with some of the things that you have

21 indicated. It might be worth starting with the hole in the perimeter

22 fence.

23 A. Okay.

24 Q. I mean an H for hole would do, I think.

25 A. Yeah, okay. [Marks]

Page 4839

1 Q. The large marked area top middle of this particular photograph,

2 perhaps an R for refugees, if the Trial Chamber are content with that.

3 A. [Marks]

4 Q. The line to the left, the arrow to the left, I think represented

5 incoming Serb forces; is that right? Is that what you said?

6 A. Yes, that's what I said, yeah.

7 Q. Perhaps SF for Serb forces.

8 A. [Marks]

9 Q. And the two lines to the right of the photograph, would you be

10 content to mark MF for Muslim fighters?

11 A. The problem is --

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. The thing that I reported just right now that were not only

14 soldiers but were men leaving and you're now saying to me that they were

15 Muslim fighters leaving.

16 Q. Absolutely. I'm not trying to make a cheap point. MM, Muslim

17 men, would be fine.

18 A. Okay. [Marks]

19 Q. I'd like to ask you a little bit about your discovery of the

20 bodies, and in the course of your testimony in General Krstic's case,

21 which you have adopted in this case, you say that your discovery of those

22 bodies took place on the 13th of July; is that correct?

23 A. That is correct.

24 Q. As far as you can recall, Major, have you always been consistent

25 about that discovery taking place on that date?

Page 4840

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Because I'd like to - without being too dramatic about it -

3 confront you, as lawyers sometimes say, with a previous statement of

4 yours, and this is 3D46. If that could be put up on the screen, please.

5 MR. JOSSE: I'm told what's on the screen will need to be

6 preserved, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, we need to save that first.


9 Q. So could you sign that, date it, please.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Bottom right, thank you.


12 Q. It's the 30th of November.

13 A. [Marks]

14 Q. Thank you. Whilst this is being put up on the screen, the

15 information I have been provided with about this document, it's described

16 as a Dutch MOD debriefing statement dated the 23rd of July 1995. I don't

17 think we have been provided with a Dutch version, and I'm not clear

18 whether the document you're about to look at is in fact the original. So

19 that's one of the things I'd like to ask you, please. We see that it's

20 got -- bears your name, and we see the date that the interview was

21 conducted, and it says, "I am co-coordinator for Srebrenica. On the

22 morning of 11th July 1995, there was a rumour in the local refugee camp

23 that seven people had been shot and the bodies were near the well in

24 Potocari." You then describe knowing the area well, driving to it with

25 Messrs. Koster and van Schaik and you saw a man running in that direction,

Page 4841

1 also a woman, and you then discovered nine dead men who appeared to have

2 been shot lying face down.

3 So my first question, if I can break this down, is perhaps you

4 could help us as to what this document is.

5 A. Yes. I can help you.

6 Q. Yes.

7 A. The last ten years almost, but not the last two or three years, it

8 became quite quiet in Holland about this affair, and you're laughing, but

9 it's --

10 Q. Only to be fair, it's in response to your --

11 A. It's laughable to other ones, but not to us. And the reason why

12 I'm saying this is the following: During that so-called debriefing

13 session in Assen, all soldiers, and that you will find that in the NIOD

14 report as well and in the other reports, and in the parliamentary inquiry,

15 had enormous problems with this debriefing statement in Assen, because

16 they were never signed by us, they were rewritten, and the problem that we

17 had with it was that a lot of our messages that we tried to bring over, we

18 never found back in our statement that was put down during those days.

19 So if you're referring to this document, this worthless piece of

20 paper, if I call it like this, and then, yes, feel free to do that,

21 because that's the only thing I can say about it, and you will speak to

22 some other colleagues as well about this -- these statements, and almost

23 no one of my colleagues is -- stands fully behind those statements in the

24 debriefing session that was held in Assen in 1995.

25 Q. A few follow-up questions, if I may. Firstly, --

Page 4842

1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you do so. I just want to confirm

2 something with whoever. The English version that I have, indeed at the

3 end of the statement, just states, end of interview. There is no

4 indication of who the interviewer was, any signature, just the top, the

5 interviewee and the date of the interview. Can I see the end, please, of

6 the same document in Dutch, please?

7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, as I observed, there isn't one in Dutch.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm seeing it on the screen. I have it on my

9 monitor. Oh, I see, I see, this is B/C/S, I see. Okay, I'm sorry.

10 MR. JOSSE: I'd rather my learned friend didn't comment at this

11 stage and I'd rather ask the witness. And perhaps after I've asked the

12 witness, I would be happy to hear some information thereafter from the

13 Prosecution.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You can address the witness on this but I just

15 want to make sure if we can have available a Dutch -- the Dutch copy.

16 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, that was the exact question I was about

17 to ask him literally.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to see it if it is available.

19 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely. In fact, the question I was about to ask

20 you, Major, is are you aware, is there a Dutch version of this available

21 or was this interview conducted in English, the statement written in

22 English? Can you help us.

23 A. It was in fact -- in fact, it was in Dutch as I recall it.

24 Q. So do you think this is a translation or was the report of the

25 interview, so to speak, written in English?

Page 4843

1 A. No, it was a Dutch version, I think, and there was no reason to

2 put it into English because it's a -- it was a Dutch matter, as I said

3 before.

4 Q. Absolutely. Well, Your Honour, I've asked the question. Any help

5 from my learned friend would be gratefully received on our part.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. And perhaps we can also ask the witness

7 himself whether he has a copy of this so-called statement, as he wishes to

8 describe it, in his own language. You have?

9 THE WITNESS: Sorry, yes, I have it.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you happen to have it here with you?


12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.

13 MR. THAYER: Two issues, Your Honour. I'll take the most recent

14 one first. With respect to this one page interview document, we do not

15 have it in Dutch. The only copy, the only version we have, is in English.

16 That said, I also want to clarify, I think, a misunderstanding between the

17 witness and my learned friend as to which document we are talking about.

18 The document I believe, as my learned colleague has identified, that is on

19 the screen, is a Zagreb debriefing document that was taken while the

20 DutchBat soldiers were in Zagreb before they returned to Holland where

21 they were again debriefed in what we now refer to as the Assen debriefing.

22 So there were actually a series of debriefings, if you will, beginning

23 upon their immediate return or their immediate stayover or layover in

24 Zagreb. That is what we are being shown here on the screen. And I

25 believe what Major Rutten has been referring to is actually the subsequent

Page 4844

1 Assen debriefing. So we are a little bit at cross-purposes. The Assen

2 debriefing, we definitely have in Dutch, that's been furnished to the

3 Defence as well as the B/C/S translations obviously.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think we need to confirm or modify this

5 statement of -- by Mr. Thayer. Major -- shall I take it over or would you

6 like to address this having heard Mr. Thayer yourself, because we need to

7 eliminate the possibility that we are talking of two different --

8 MR. JOSSE: I'm grateful to my learned friend, but I was, in fact,

9 going to deal with those very matters.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Then go ahead. I will not interrupt you. Thank

11 you.


13 Q. Major Rutten, you've heard what Mr. Thayer, for the Prosecution,

14 has said. Is it right that you were interviewed in Zagreb on the 23rd of

15 July of 1995?

16 A. Yes, that's right.

17 Q. And in the answers that you were giving me earlier, was there any

18 confusion on your part between your debriefing in Assen and your interview

19 in Zagreb?

20 A. No. I always stated the same dates.

21 Q. So you were aware that this particular interview was conducted in

22 Zagreb that resulted in this particular document, correct?

23 A. I got that document far more later, the real copy of it, than at

24 the moment in Zagreb.

25 Q. This document?

Page 4845

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Any idea when you received it?

3 A. No. I can't recall that. No.

4 Q. Did you, on receiving it, complain to the -- your military police

5 or someone in authority that this was a misrepresentation of the facts?

6 A. No. I never did.

7 Q. Why not?

8 A. There was no reason for me, because all my other reports that I --

9 that I did and that I worked with the military police were correct and

10 these reports, yeah, that I -- much more later I got this one. So there

11 wasn't at that time -- there was no reason to correct it because I simply

12 hadn't the report.

13 Q. We've now clarified that this took place in Zagreb. Perhaps you

14 could tell us about the circumstances of those interviews. Are you as

15 critical of the way they were conducted as you are of the way the Assen

16 interviews were conducted?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Why?

19 A. Because it wasn't a real interview with a direct report, as I

20 stated before, and you never got the chance to sign the report and to read

21 it over before you sign it. So -- and if you never get a copy, and the

22 conditions in Zagreb where they held those interviews with us were quite

23 typical, as I -- were quite typical because there were only questions and

24 nothing was written down directly.

25 Q. Sorry, what do you mean by your use of the word "typical"?

Page 4846

1 A. Yeah. That's difficult to say. There is -- there was a certain

2 disbelief by me at that time what they tried to achieve with those

3 interviews with us.

4 Q. Your evidence to this Chamber is that you never said the 11th of

5 July. Is that what I'm understanding you --

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. -- to assert?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And that this is some horrible mistake?

10 A. I don't know who draw this statement, who drew the statement,

11 sorry, yeah.

12 Q. Not much more on this. When you were interviewed in Zagreb, tell

13 us briefly, if you can, about the procedure. Were you interviewed alone

14 or were you interviewed in the company of other DutchBat members?

15 A. Alone.

16 Q. Do you recall how many interviewers there were?

17 A. There were two opportunities, because I reported myself in

18 Zagreb. Myself, I wasn't asked for. There was an interview with a human

19 rights personnel there and there was an interview with the chief in

20 command of the army that I spoke then that particular morning, yeah.

21 Q. If I suggest to you that it is a possibility that you discovered

22 these bodies on the 11th of July and that this first statement of yours

23 was correct, what do you say?

24 A. I'm not agreeing on that.

25 Q. One other aspect of this document which I think, in fairness, you

Page 4847

1 confirmed in your later testimony. You say that there were rumours of

2 these killings in advance of your discovery of the bodies. Were the

3 rumours circulating, to the best of your knowledge, on the day of the

4 discovery or sometime prior to that?

5 A. It was on the day of the discovery, and there is something else I

6 want to say about the 11th. On the 11th, we weren't outside the compound

7 because on the 11th, that was the particular day that we cut the hole in

8 the fence. On the 10th, in the evening, we made the first beginning of

9 that and at the 11th, we finished the hole, we enlarged it, waiting for

10 the refugees to come in, waiting for the order to be given by my superior

11 to let the refugees in. So if there ever has been written by someone 11th

12 of July, it is simply not correct.

13 Q. So you are sure, in fact, it was two days later, the 13th of July,

14 correct?

15 A. Yes, that's correct.

16 Q. And on the 11th of July, there were no Serb forces. And I'd

17 suggest to you, you were quite free to patrol the area safely at that

18 juncture. Would that be right?

19 A. No. That isn't right because you're rephrasing things and you're

20 getting things out of the context. Because at the 11th, there was still

21 shelling in that lane from Purici hills down towards Potocari. So at this

22 moment you won't be hearing me, but this is -- yeah, might be something

23 different. But when I'm speaking to someone, it's polite that he listens

24 to me and otherwise, I -- because you put your headphones off. So did you

25 listen, sir?

Page 4848

1 Q. Well, Mr. Rutten, I apologise, but I have an advantage, which is

2 I'm able to follow the transcript in English. I was taking some

3 instructions from my lead counsel in this case, asking him whether I

4 should ask you any further questions. I don't mean to be rude to you.

5 And though I'm not the learned Judge in this case, and he can control the

6 proceedings, I would suggest you just answer the questions and let me

7 worry about conducting my own case. I'm sorry.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I think I have to endorse what Mr. Josse

9 stated. Please try to avoid any across-the-table confrontations between

10 you. Everyone is doing his or her job here. And let's kill it here.

11 Major, could you kindly answer his question?

12 THE WITNESS: Could he rephrase his question again?

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I'm sure Mr. Josse will oblige.


15 Q. The question was simply whether -- I suggested to you that it

16 would have been quite safe for you to go out and patrol that area in Budak

17 hill on the 11th of July because there were no Serb forces in the

18 vicinity.

19 A. My answer to that is that is not correct, because also in the

20 evening on the 11th, one of the APCs, the medical APC went out and came

21 later on in from Srebrenica, and was shelled when it came in, and also

22 some cars from our battalion. So -- and the shelling came from Purici

23 hills. So it wasn't safe then to do any foot patrolling at the moment.

24 Q. My last question or set of questions to you goes back to the

25 document still on the screen, 3D46. Prior to giving evidence in this

Page 4849

1 case, in other words, yesterday, had you looked at that statement again?

2 In other words, over the last few days, have you had a chance to re-review

3 that particular statement?

4 A. No.

5 Q. When was the last time you think you saw that?

6 A. I don't know.

7 MR. JOSSE: Thank you very much.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse.

9 Who is next?

10 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, I am.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic, how long do you expect your

12 cross-examination to last?

13 MR. OSTOJIC: 30 to 40 minutes, Your Honour. I know I indicated

14 approximately 15 yesterday, but in reviewing some of the documents, I

15 believe I can complete it within 30 to 40 minutes.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not going to restrict any of you and that's

17 because this particular event, the nine bodies, there are so few witnesses

18 available that I think it's only --

19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: -- chance to deal with these witnesses as thoroughly

21 as possible. So Mr. Ostojic is lead counsel defending Colonel Beara in

22 this case, and he will be cross-examining you next.

23 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:

24 Q. Good morning, Major Rutten.

25 A. Good morning.

Page 4850

1 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break at 10.30.

2 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough, Your Honour.

3 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you a little bit on the follow-up questions

4 that you were just asked specifically in connection with this worthless

5 piece of paper, and where in your opinion, a paper should be given to you,

6 a statement, where you sign it and then read it or read it and then sign

7 it again. I don't necessarily disagree with you, sir. And I'm going to

8 show you an Exhibit which is 3D37. And with the usher's assistance, if we

9 could look at the last page of that document which has the last three ERN

10 numbers 326. The last page of that document. Thank you.

11 Sir, this is basically a witness acknowledgement form which

12 clearly sets out, and I'm sure you've read it, which clearly sets outs

13 that you've read the statement and you read it in your own language which

14 would be the Dutch language, and in fact that it's true to the best of

15 your recollection, correct?

16 A. Yeah, that's correct.

17 Q. This is the type of statement that you were referring to when you

18 said or when you were critical of some of the Dutch Defence Ministry's

19 interviews or debriefings that you were -- had in August of 1995, correct?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. So this statement, if I tell you was taken approximately in

22 October 9th, 1995, that would also be near or about the time of the events

23 and that would be something that would be closer to your recollection than

24 ten years later, correct?

25 A. Yes, could have been. Yeah.

Page 4851

1 Q. Do you remember giving a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor

2 on October 9th, 1995?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. And if we look to the first page of this document, it's actually

5 the witness statement -- acknowledgement is attached to that very

6 document, October 9th, 1995. You see that?

7 A. Yeah, I can see that. Yeah.

8 Q. Now preliminarily, I'd like to ask you first, who is Petrus

9 Hendrikus Rutten?

10 A. When you -- my name is on top of that, Johannes Hendrikus Antonius

11 Rutten, that's my name.

12 Q. Yes. I understand. But who is Petrus Hendrikus Rutten?

13 A. It's a MP officer of the Netherlands royal mounted police here.

14 Q. Any relation to you, sir?

15 A. No. No relation, but I do recall the name, because he is the man

16 who did the investigation in the Kodak team when I came back in July 1995.

17 Q. Now, you had given several statements, including the debriefings,

18 and just to highlight them, you gave one on the 23rd of July 1995, as we

19 discussed or you had discussed earlier, correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You also gave a statement on the 6th of September -- I'm sorry, on

22 the 2nd of August 1995, to this Mr. Rutten with the military police,

23 correct?

24 A. Yes, also correct.

25 Q. And then your third statement would have been the second

Page 4852

1 debriefing with the Defence Ministry on the 9th -- on the 6th of September

2 1995, correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And then your fourth statement in 1995, would have been this OTP,

5 as I call it, witness statement that's before us, correct?

6 A. Yes, that's correct.

7 Q. Sir, am I correct that on July 11th, 1995, that initially it was

8 DutchBat who planned not to allow men into the compound?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Although -- okay.

11 A. Sorry.

12 Q. Correct on this?

13 A. Yes.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. One moment. I'm sorry to butt in but

15 Major and Mr. Ostojic, particularly you Major, please allow a very short

16 brief interval of time, brief pause between question and answer because

17 when you overlap, the interpreters will have problems and I have a duty to

18 protect them. So, Mr. Ostojic and Major.

19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. It was my fault, sorry.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. I am sure you will comply. It happens

21 even sometimes with me but --


23 Q. In fact, sir, it was your decision on the 11th of July to let some

24 men in the compound to stay with their families and you particularly, sir,

25 made the decision to allow the men into the compound who were obviously

Page 4853

1 not armed, correct?

2 A. Yes, that's correct.

3 Q. Let me take you, sir, to a topic that we have discussed here a

4 little bit and that is screening of military men as combatants. Do you,

5 sir, agree with me that it was quite clear that there was a selection that

6 was made of certain men who were suspected of being combatants by the Serb

7 soldiers?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Now, so when you -- is it obvious also to you, sir, that that was

10 what was going on?

11 A. I don't understand your question, because at what point do you

12 mean what was going on?

13 Q. Well, that's fair. Thank you. I'm talking about on July 12th,

14 1995. Wasn't it rather obvious to you, sir, that the selection process or

15 the screening had been made of certain men who were suspected of being

16 military combatants?

17 A. Yes, there were -- sorry, yes, there was a certain screening going

18 on, yes.

19 Q. Well, it was -- what a made it so obvious, sir?

20 A. What made it so obvious? The first thing I saw that it made that

21 obvious and then I'm speaking about the 12th, was that they -- they looked

22 at hands of BiH people, civilians, and they had a -- quite a selection on

23 age, but I -- it was very hard for me to understand that the boy from 12

24 years until 15 years and some I asked for their -- for their age, that

25 they could have been soldiers, combatants, and there were men that could

Page 4854

1 barely walk. So if that are combatants, then, okay, we have a new kind of

2 army then.

3 Q. Well, sir, let me ask you: Other than checking their hands, what

4 other things were done in this selection process of certain men?

5 A. There wasn't.

6 Q. On the 12th of July?

7 A. On the 12th of July, the selection process was merely that -- that

8 almost all men, for exception, real elder men who barely couldn't walk,

9 were sent to the houses on the line that I draw that -- that I drew this

10 morning, and even the boys, as I told you before.

11 Q. Well, let's take a look at your statement, sir, on the -- I think

12 it's the third page, which ends in ERN number 322, if I may. Again, sir,

13 we are referring to this statement that you read in your own language and

14 that you signed, October of 1995. I just needed you to clarify a couple

15 of things for me. We will take that first paragraph. It says, "On

16 Wednesday morning July 12 or 12 July 1995," do you see that?

17 A. Yes, I see that.

18 Q. And towards the bottom or the end of that same paragraph, you have

19 this sentence that we just covered, these last two lines. It says, "It

20 was obvious by then that a selection had been made of certain men who were

21 suspected of being combatants," correct?

22 A. Yes, that's correct.

23 Q. Now, sir, my question to you, when you say "certain men," that

24 doesn't mean all men, does it?

25 A. No, that doesn't mean all men.

Page 4855

1 Q. And the certain men is some men, correct?

2 A. That is some men, that's correct.

3 Q. And the men that were actually being selected or screened on the

4 12th of July 1995, were men, as you put it, who were suspected of being

5 combatants, correct?

6 A. Yes, that's correct.

7 Q. Now, let's go to the next sentence there. You give us the similar

8 or the same example but you preface it by saying "among other things" and

9 you state, "Among other things, men were checked for fingers smelling of

10 gunpowder." Do you see that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What other things, sir, other than checking the fingers of

13 those -- some men who were suspected of being combatants were they doing

14 in the screening process?

15 A. Looking at their clothes, looking if they had ID or weapons on

16 them, and then they were sent to the houses.

17 Q. And that was it, to the best of your recollection?

18 A. That was it, but the problem is, and that rose my attention, that

19 the age of the men that were sent to the houses was not the age of the men

20 that we should see as combatants.

21 Q. Well, is there defined in the Royal Dutch military certain ages

22 when a person can be identified as a combatant in a civil war?

23 A. We had never a civil war, so that's difficult then but we now,

24 boys from 17 years old on, we take in for a first year of more or less

25 school training. So international rule says, below 18 years, you cannot

Page 4856

1 have boys on a battlefield or as combatants. And I stated just before,

2 and I want to emphasise that, that when there are pupils around in a house

3 where I made photographs, then I can no longer say that they are or could

4 have been combatants.

5 Q. We will get to those photographs in that -- what did you call it,

6 a house?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Didn't you call it though an interrogation house in some of your

9 earlier statements?

10 A. Yes, I called it an interrogation house.

11 Q. You called the area where you inspected an interrogation area,

12 correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Okay. We will get back to that. Now, sir, if someone,

15 hypothetically, like the Office of the Prosecutor and a member thereof,

16 states in their opening statement that there was no screening, based on

17 your testimony and your recollection, and the statement that you gave,

18 they would be incorrect; correct? And just for the Court, it's page 426,

19 line 15, the 21st of August, 2006.

20 A. The screening that I meant there and that's words are being

21 rephrased and were taken out of context, I think, is that a normal

22 procedure for combatants, and I mean combatants in a normal situation, as

23 we train our soldiers, is that we do a specific check on ID, on weapons,

24 on a lot of things, and then we -- we label them, more or less, to clear

25 whether they later on, to get the belongings to the right persons and that

Page 4857

1 the right person has a number, and we do that with envelopes. But the

2 situation in the so-called interrogation area was merely dropping their

3 belongings and their IDs on a huge pile in front of the "White House".

4 Q. Well, we'll get to the interrogation in a minute and I know you're

5 anxious to get to that. I'm asking you this, sir. If the Prosecutor, on

6 the 21st of August, 2006, said, "No screening," that would be incorrect?

7 A. Yeah, that would be incorrect, yes.

8 Q. Now, let's talk about interrogation. The first time that you had

9 seen any interrogation in this "White House", as you call it, the

10 interrogation house, was the next day, the 12th of July, 1995, correct?

11 A. That's correct, yes.

12 Q. And, sir, in that house, wasn't it true that it was your opinion

13 that you could hear voices and that the voices implied normal

14 conversations were going on, correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Now, sir, if there was no interrogation, why would you identify or

17 coin the "White House" on the 13th of July when you visited it as an

18 interrogation house or as an interrogation room or area, as you have done

19 in your statements?

20 A. The reason we said that was that there were a lot of men going in,

21 and eventually, and I can't tell if all had been interrogated at that

22 time, but a lot of them went in a separate room and been interrogated or

23 at least there was a conversation going on, as you mentioned it, in that

24 room, but I couldn't see what in that room was actually happening because

25 I was not allowed to go in that room.

Page 4858

1 Q. Well, you could hear -- you could hear actually what was going on

2 in the room, sir, couldn't you, and you could in fact hear that there was

3 no screaming and that there was no sounds indicating any maltreatment;

4 correct?

5 A. The moment I was in the house, that -- I was trying to get an

6 overview of what was happening there. When I was in the entrance of the

7 house, I only stood for a few moments in the -- in that entrance, and

8 later on I went up the staircase. So it wasn't a situation, to put the

9 whole situation in the right context, that I could listen up quite nicely,

10 lean through the door and hear very nice what there was going on. It were

11 just fragmentations of information that I could pick up there.

12 Q. Okay. Well let's take a look at the next page of your statement

13 in October of 1995 that was read in your language and signed. I think it

14 ends in ERN 323. Sir, I'll represent to you, although we can look at the

15 page prior, just so you know, we are talking about the 13th of July there,

16 and it says it on the page prior, but just for the benefit of this quick

17 question before the break, if I may, hopefully, you'll except my

18 representation. It states there in the fifth or sixth line there, "I

19 could hear voices from the room. These voices implied that a normal

20 conversation was going on. I did not hear any screaming or any sound

21 indicating maltreatment." Do you see that, sir?

22 A. Yes, I see that.

23 Q. Earlier in your answer to me, you mentioned "we", but actually you

24 in October of 1995, when you gave this statement, you specifically

25 remembered this and it was your opinion, sir, specifically, that the

Page 4859

1 voices implied that there was nothing wrong going on in the room.

2 Correct?

3 A. That was correct, yes.

4 Q. Okay.

5 MR. OSTOJIC: Now, I see that it's 10.30, but I would like to

6 finish this.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.

8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.

9 Q. Sir, did you formulate an opinion at that time that the Serb

10 soldiers simply wanted to find out whether there were any Muslim soldiers

11 among the men in the compound?

12 A. It was -- you make a connection there that isn't there. And it

13 wasn't my opinion at that moment as well. My opinion at that moment was

14 that there was something going on, I was inside the house, the connection

15 that you made with men that were on our compound is a totally different

16 one. At the moment I was at the "White House", I was investigating what

17 was happening over there, and my first view in the entrance of the house,

18 and that's already clearly stated, was that there was someone hanging a

19 few centimetres with his feet from -- on a staircase. So if we speak

20 about that, and if I speak a few moments later, about a situation that I

21 could see no maltreatment by hearing a normal conversation, then it's only

22 a selected moment at that time.

23 Q. Well, I don't want to be unfair to you, sir, but we'll go through

24 that, that comes later in your statement.

25 A. Okay.

Page 4860

1 Q. What I'm asking you directly, which is the next sentence in your

2 statement, and it's my opinion, sir, and you tell me if I'm correct, that

3 it was your opinion that the Serb soldiers simply wanted to find out

4 whether there were any Muslim soldiers among the men and that was why they

5 were interrogating them in this interrogation house or interrogation room

6 or area as you put it; correct?

7 A. That's correct, yes.

8 Q. And, in fact, that's specifically what you say in your statement,

9 correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 THE INTERPRETERS: Could the speakers, please, slow down and not

12 overlap.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's time for a break, Mr. Ostojic. Let's

14 have a 30-minute break starting from now. Thank you.

15 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

16 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me just give some brief information before we

18 start. After the next break, we'll be sitting without Judge Kwon, who

19 cannot be with us. Monday, we start at 10.00 and not at 9.00 and then

20 tomorrow we are not sitting, you know that, and Friday week, we will not

21 be sitting either, on the 8th, we will not be sitting either, so please

22 make note of this.

23 All right. And incidentally, while we are at it, as well, you

24 asked for a week in February for reorganising your ranks. That will be a

25 week which starts on the 12th. 12th February, of course, yeah. All

Page 4861

1 right.

2 12th February, Monday through Friday. Okay? That will be off, as

3 per your wishes.

4 Then you had asked for the week starting on the 26th of March. We

5 are unable to give you that. However, we have agreed as follows: That in

6 the following week, the week which starts, if we say that the week starts

7 on Monday, the week that starts on the 2nd of April, we will sit from

8 Monday to Wednesday, and then we will not sit from Thursday, which is

9 Maundy, Thursday, 5th April, right through Friday, the -- and inclusive of

10 Friday, the 13th of April. So the week you asked for before, we are

11 giving it to you after instead. All right? And that's because of other

12 exigencies that the Trial Chamber has and organisational priorities.

13 So if you want further clarifications on this, if we haven't been

14 clear, please, let me know and I'll come back to you.

15 Sorry, Mr. Ostojic and Major Rutten, but if we don't do these

16 things now, they might escape through the back door and will not be able

17 to catch up with them.

18 Yes, Mr. Ostojic, go ahead, please.

19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.

20 Q. Major Rutten, before the break we were discussing your first visit

21 to the interrogation house, I believe on the 13th of July, 1995, and I

22 want to ask you, sir, if at that time, there were any Dutch soldiers in

23 the interrogation house?

24 A. At the time there were already two soldiers posted already by a

25 colleague of mine.

Page 4862

1 Q. And I've been specifically, I don't want to say warned, but told

2 to stop. And I apologise if I've spoken too fast to the interpreters and

3 to you, sir. I'll try my best to slow down the questions.

4 Who were those two soldiers, those two Dutch soldiers?

5 A. They were two soldiers of 108 platoon.

6 Q. As you sit here, sir, do you know their names?

7 A. No, no.

8 Q. Now, after you left the interrogation house on the 13th of July

9 1995, I think, at least according to your statement and what I've heard in

10 your direct examination, you were told by some interpreter that there were

11 several bodies or seven or so -- nine bodies that were found in a meadow,

12 correct?

13 A. Yes, that's correct.

14 Q. And can you tell me, sir, the next time that you went to

15 the "White House" or interrogation house, when was that?

16 A. That was after that I found the bodies.

17 Q. Was it the same day, the 13th of July 1995?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And it was several hours later, possibly?

20 A. Yes, several hours.

21 Q. Now, at that time, sir, you also went back to the interrogation

22 house and you saw that the Serb soldiers were holding Muslim men for

23 interrogation, correct?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. And at that time, sir, was your estimate that there was

Page 4863

1 approximately 3 to 500 Muslim men in the house?

2 A. Yeah. I stated 300 at that time, because the house wasn't that

3 big to hold 500 men.

4 Q. Do you know in your prior statement if you've ever given an

5 estimate that was higher or lower than that, sir?

6 A. No, it's -- by my knowledge now, it's always about 300.

7 Q. Now, were those two Dutch soldiers from the 108th --

8 A. Company.

9 Q. -- company, thank you. 108th company, were they also still at

10 the "White House" when you returned on the 13th of July 1995, for a second

11 time?

12 A. Yeah, they were still at the "White House" and not any more inside

13 the house, because they had given a message that they had to wait outside.

14 Q. Now, sir, is it fair to say that you, at that second visit on the

15 13th of July, were trying to arrange the release of those men in the

16 house?

17 A. If we speak about the release of the men, the second time I was in

18 the house, I saw a more or less total filled-up house and we were the only

19 ones that were bringing water in. And I saw an almost inhuman situation

20 down there and I spoke with some colleagues at the main entrance of the

21 compound, and that was Warrant Officer Rave, and an UNMO named Major De

22 Haan, a Dutch one, and I said that we should do something about that

23 situation at the "White House". There was also an UNMO around called

24 Kingori, that was an African colleague, yeah.

25 Q. Did you at any time, sir, speak to any Serbian leaders regarding

Page 4864

1 the evacuation of those Muslim men?

2 A. Not that I can recall of, no.

3 Q. Perhaps your statement of October 9th, 1995, would refresh your

4 recollection on that. So if we can look at the next page ending -- again

5 it's the same exhibit, but ending in ERN 324, which is 3D37. Thank you.

6 We have in front of -- the second visit on the 13th of July, 1995

7 to the interrogation house where you came back, and prior to that

8 paragraph that you see, you see the reference to nine corpses above that.

9 So I think I'm accurate in this being the second visit, but you correct me

10 if I'm wrong. Sir, I'd like to focus your attention on the middle portion

11 of this document or your statement where you state, "My impression was

12 that the evacuation of some would not improve the situation, but as it

13 was, the situation was untenable." You proceed, sir, to say as

14 follows: "I then went to see one of the Serbian leaders and told him that

15 he ought to arrange something for the evacuation of the Muslim men." Do

16 you see that?

17 A. Yes, I see that.

18 Q. Does this refresh your recollection, sir, that in fact it was you

19 who sent to see a Serb leader, as you put it, and you told him that he

20 needs to do something to arrange for the evacuation of the Muslim men from

21 the interrogation house to some other area?

22 A. As I see it, yes. I spoke with -- there were -- I'd rather put it

23 like this: There were a lot of conversations going on throughout the

24 days. It's difficult to say what you've said each specific moment, and

25 it's quite semantic now to see your own words drawn out of a context. But

Page 4865

1 then, again, I spoke to Serbs about the unbearable situation in the house

2 of the men and I said what can we do about it to -- to put this to a

3 better situation. But if I used the word "evacuate," to evacuate the men,

4 I'm not sure, and I am well aware of the fact that I, in this statement,

5 this word is used, but at that time, for me "evacuate" meant going into

6 custody somewhere else.

7 Q. In fact, the word evacuation doesn't appear just in that sentence,

8 sir, that you gave, when you gave the statement to the Office of the

9 Prosecutor that you've read in your own language, that you signed. It

10 appears also in two lines above that, does it not?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. You consistently in this statement, sir, had you not, used the

13 word evacuation of the Muslim men, correct?

14 A. Yes, and it's -- sorry, sir, that I interrupt you but --

15 Q. Quite all right.

16 A. -- we use in the Dutch military, and even in the -- with our NATO

17 colleagues, EVAC as a quite common word. So if we speak about words now,

18 and that's the thing we're doing here, I think -- for instance, if we have

19 a wounded man and we want him out very quickly, we call that a CASEVAC

20 with helis. So using words in the military -- yeah, vocabulary, more or

21 less, seems something different than to the civilian vocabulary and that

22 is something that we should take in notice, I think, because I was

23 speaking then in -- on a military facility with military colleagues to a

24 well known private investigator, I know, from the UN. But then, again,

25 the word evacuate we do use in the military with another meaning than in

Page 4866

1 civilian life.

2 Q. Okay. Well, I wasn't really focussed that much on that word

3 evacuation. However, I don't want to take anything, sir, that you say out

4 of context, so please forgive me if I do. I'm merely reiterating some of

5 the things that you said and I'm trying to refresh your recollection that

6 it was you, sir, who went to the Serb leaders and had talked to them and

7 in fact arranged for their to be an evacuation or a transfer of Muslim men

8 from the interrogation house to some other area; correct?

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Do you remember the name of this Serbian leader or leaders that

11 you spoke to?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And in fact, sir, isn't it also true that the Serb military

14 complied with your request and, in fact, because of your request, they got

15 buses organised so that they could move these men from the interrogation

16 house to another area, correct?

17 A. That is a conclusion that you are drawing now. I'm not drawing

18 that conclusion, because we saw later on the day buses coming or were

19 actually there and getting the men out of the house into the buses. But

20 if this was the result of my conversation as a lieutenant to the Serbs is

21 something else. That is a conclusion that you made there, and I'm not --

22 yeah, I'm not affirmative on that, if I can put that on that way.

23 Q. Okay. Let me show you how I reached that conclusion, sir.

24 A. Okay.

25 Q. After you state in your statement that you read an in your

Page 4867

1 language that you signed confirming that you spoke to Serb leaders and

2 told them they should arrange something, the very next sentence, sir, that

3 you write, and that you told the Prosecutor you state, "The Serbs arranged

4 for two buses to be driven to the house."

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. It's the very next sentence, is it not?

7 A. Yes, it's the very next sentence, but this is an overview of what

8 happened during a complete day, and it doesn't mean, if it is the next

9 sentence, that it immediately happened afterwards.

10 Q. But it happened, in any event, after you spoke to those Serb

11 leaders and seeking them to arrange transport or evacuation or any other

12 word or adjective you want to use, after you spoke to these Serb leaders

13 to get the buses, that's when the buses came to transport or evacuate

14 these Muslim men from the interrogation room; correct?

15 A. You're also, again, drawing the conclusion that my question was

16 being -- was being held by the Serbs to do that that way, and I -- I don't

17 see that like that way, because they did nothing we asked for, so the

18 buses could have been planned already. That is also a conclusion I could

19 draw out of this text. So again, I'm not agreeing with you when you draw

20 this conclusion.

21 Q. And I don't believe that I'm the only one drawing the conclusion,

22 sir. I think it's plain in your statement. Can you point out in your

23 statement, sir, where you state anywhere or in any of the statements,

24 those that you endorse, those that you don't, the following: "That I

25 don't see it like that way because they did nothing we asked for, so the

Page 4868

1 buses could have been planned already."

2 Where in your statements, four in 1995, one in 2002, and I believe

3 another one in 2000, where have you ever said or reached that conclusion,

4 sir?

5 A. The question was never asked.

6 Q. Now, let me ask you this: Do you know, sir, as you sit here, and

7 do you recall, that after this discussion with Serbian leaders and after

8 the buses arrived to evacuate the Muslim men from the interrogation house,

9 did you not know, sir, that they were being taken to Bratunac?

10 A. Yes, because that same morning, a lieutenant also escorted buses

11 in the direction of Bratunac, but I wasn't aware of the fact that this --

12 of these buses were also going to Bratunac. It was unknown until that

13 point.

14 Q. Okay, well let's look at the next paragraph of your same statement

15 where you state, "The men from the house" -- let me stop you there.

16 That's the interrogation house we are talking about, right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. "... filled the buses and I think there were 60 to 70 of them in

19 each bus." Then you proceed in the very next sentence to say, "I heard

20 later that the men were taken to Bratunac." Correct?

21 A. Yes, that's correct.

22 Q. Now, I don't want to unreasonably conclude anything, sir, but

23 isn't this statement that you gave actually concluding that those men who

24 were in the interrogation house on the 13th of July, 1995 were put on

25 buses and from what you heard taken to Bratunac?

Page 4869

1 A. That's correct, if you put it like this, yes.

2 Q. Sir, let me ask you in your role as an intelligence officer in

3 Srebrenica in July of 1995, do you learn of any information where people

4 were trading or illegally profiting from what was known as a black market

5 at the time?

6 A. There were some rumours but we had no concrete evidence on that.

7 Q. Did you, sir, as an intelligence officer and as a policeman and

8 platoon leader, did you conduct any investigations in connection with that

9 black marketing?

10 A. I have to correct you. I'm not from a [indiscernible]

11 intelligence officer but an infantry officer.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 A. That's the first one. And I'm not, certainly not, a policeman.

14 Q. Did you conduct any investigation, sir, of this purported black

15 market?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And why not?

18 A. There were some rumours and everything we, from the company, had

19 and rumours were put in reports to the battalion and the battalion was in

20 the lead.

21 Q. Now, sir, we spoke a little bit about screening and I think I have

22 your testimony on that. I want to talk, again, just briefly about

23 interrogations, if I can. In your statement you mention interrogations on

24 several occasions during both visits to the interrogation house and in

25 other statements you do as well. Would it be unfair, hypothetically, for

Page 4870

1 the Prosecutor, on the 21st of August, 2006, given your statement, which

2 was signed, under oath, which you've read in your own language, to

3 say, "That there was no interrogations to speak of"?

4 A. Now, I cannot -- I cannot state this kind of putting it,

5 because -- this way of putting it, because there was a -- and maybe I'm

6 wrong by putting it like this in English, but there was certainly an

7 interrogation going on during my visits to the "White House".

8 Q. I think you put it quite well, sir.

9 Let me ask you this: In your statement to the royal military

10 police in south Holland, you -- it states as follows on page 18, which

11 is -- let me get that exhibit for you, which is 3D41. Sir, in this

12 statement, is it true, on page 18, that it was you and the Dutch soldiers,

13 specifically, Sergeant Major Rave and others who arranged for the

14 transport of buses having the Muslim men transported in the direction of

15 Bratunac? Is that accurate?

16 A. No, that's not accurate.

17 Q. Do you see it on the statement that's on the e-court, page 18 of

18 your statement? It says, first paragraph, "We arranged for transport by

19 buses together with Sergeant-Major Rave of the I," probably standing for

20 intelligence and "V," apparently referring to security section, "two full

21 buses were the first to leave. The Muslim men were transported in the

22 direction of Bratunac." Do you see that?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. That statement is incorrect that you gave to the Dutch royal

25 military police?

Page 4871

1 A. No. That statement isn't incorrect but I spoke to Sergeant-Major

2 Rave and the UNMO De Haan who was also there at that time and we discussed

3 the situation in the "White House", and as a result, subsequently, buses

4 came and were driving towards Bratunac. But if this was the immediate

5 effect, that is something that is, again, I think, it is stated there, but

6 it's out of -- if you put it like that, it looks like if it is out of the

7 context of what was really happening.

8 Q. Okay.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the date of this statement?

10 MR. OSTOJIC: I have that date, Your Honour, although I don't see

11 it right on there. I think it's the 6th of September -- I'm sorry, the

12 2nd of August, 1995.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: And where was it taken?

14 MR. OSTOJIC: It was taken in Holland from my understanding, Your

15 Honour.


17 MR. THAYER: If I just may correct my learned friend.

18 MR. OSTOJIC: South Holland in the Zeeland district, it says.

19 MR. THAYER: The date of the overall report that was filed by this

20 so-called Kodak team was the date cited by my learned colleague, however

21 the date, as we can see from page 15 of the actual interview, I believe,

22 is 28 July. I just wanted to correct that for the record.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And on the 28th of July, where would

24 this interview have taken place?

25 MR. THAYER: The front of the document indicates --

Page 4872

1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the witness can --

2 MR. THAYER: If we can look at that first page.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: If he can remember. It was the 28th of July, where

4 would you have been interviewed?

5 THE WITNESS: That was in Arnhem in the centre of Holland.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm asking you because, before we had another one,

7 which I think also carried the date of the 28th of July and it was in

8 Zagreb, when -- yes, Mr. Josse.

9 MR. JOSSE: 23rd of July, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. When did you leave for good the

11 territory of ex-Yugoslavia?

12 THE WITNESS: We came back on the 21st of July.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Which complicates matters. If you came back on the

14 21st of July, how could you be interviewed in Zagreb on 23rd? I'm not

15 trying to create problems.

16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Speakers, please, not overlap.

18 MR. THAYER: If we could just ask the witness to break down where

19 he went after he left the DutchBat enclave on the 21st of July, I think it

20 will be made clear. And I tried to do that earlier, but I think, out of

21 the witness's mouth, it will settle the issue.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you for that. Will you take care of

23 this, Mr. Ostojic?

24 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll try, Your Honour.

25 Q. Major Rutten, there is a little confusion on the dates. If you

Page 4873

1 can tell us to the best of your recollection when it is that you left the

2 enclave in 1995?

3 A. It was on the -- the date is difficult.

4 Q. Of course.

5 A. But we came back in Holland on the -- on a Monday. That was clear

6 to me, but I don't have the calendar of that period of time exact in my

7 mind.

8 Q. Let me just go through just a couple of the statements so that we

9 have a clear record with the court's permission. Sir, it was our

10 understanding that you gave an MOD, which is an a Ministry of Defence

11 debriefing interview, on the 23rd of July, 1995, that I think has been

12 identified as being in Zagreb; correct?

13 A. Yeah, yes.

14 Q. Approximate dates, those are the dates we see on the interview?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Then following that, sir, it's my indication that you gave or were

17 interviewed by the Dutch military police on the report on Srebrenica

18 sometime thereafter with the report being dated the 2nd of August, 1995?

19 A. Yeah, that's correct, yeah.

20 Q. And then a month or so later, on the 6th of September, 1995, you

21 gave a second debriefing statement to your Dutch Ministry of Defence?

22 A. Yes, that's also right.

23 Q. And then approximately a month thereafter, you gave the 9th of

24 October, 1995 statement to the Office of the Prosecution that we

25 previously saw, correct?

Page 4874

1 A. Van Hecke, yes.

2 Q. If I may just proceed on a different issue maybe?

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.


5 Q. This Dutch military police report, do you remember reviewing that,

6 sir, and signing that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. That also is a report that you had an opportunity to change or

9 modify if you felt that what they were recording was inaccurate; correct?

10 A. Yes, that's correct.

11 Q. Now we spoke a little bit about your quote where it says, "We

12 arranged for transport by buses" and I think you challenged or you

13 mentioned that it may have been taken out of context. If we can just look

14 at page 17, to look at the context in which you were describing that you,

15 sir, or you and your Dutch soldiers arranged for the transport of these

16 Muslim men from the interrogation house. And we'll get that up in a

17 second. Page 17, do you see that, the last paragraph. It talks about the

18 second visit to the interrogation house on the 13th of July, 1995. Do you

19 see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. In fact, it follows almost similar to your testimony of the

22 individuals who were there, the estimate of the number of Muslim men that

23 were in the house; correct?

24 A. That's correct.

25 Q. I don't want to take it out of context, but it seems to me that

Page 4875

1 it's in the proper context. Not only did you, sir, speak to Serb soldiers

2 or leaders as you put it in your October statement, you, sir, yourself,

3 with your men, in fact, arranged for buses to have the Muslim men

4 transported to Bratunac; correct?

5 A. It looks like if we were in control to arrange that. That wasn't

6 the case. We weren't in control.

7 Q. Well, sir, tell me this: Did any Serb soldier, as you identified

8 him as a BSA in your statements, did they ever stop you, sir?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Okay. Well look at your statement in that same paragraph, page

11 17, where you state, "I was not stopped by the BSA." Do you see that?

12 A. Yes, but by entering the house and entering the facilities near

13 the "White House", but I also, in -- was stopped and that is also in

14 different statements, when I tried to get in the orchard behind the house,

15 for instance. So I'm not saying that you are lifting it out of the

16 context, but I'm saying --

17 Q. Thank you for that.

18 A. -- what I'm saying is that it looked like here that everything

19 happened subsequently after each other at that moment. But it changed

20 from situation to situation, from position to position, where I was,

21 during those days. So if it was put in any statement somewhat different,

22 then in a previous or in a previous statement or later on in another

23 statement, yes, it can be the case, yes, because in that situation during

24 the last days in the enclave, there happened quite a lot and this is an

25 understatement if you know what I'm saying.

Page 4876

1 Q. And I think I do, sir, and I appreciate that. Sir, not only did

2 the Serb soldiers not stop you from going into the "White House", you were

3 allowed and you were able to speak to the Muslim men, were you not?

4 A. Yes.

5 MR. OSTOJIC: That's all the questions I have, Your Honour. Thank

6 you very much. Thank you, Major Rutten.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ostojic. Who's next is Madam

8 Nikolic. How long do you expect to cross-examine this witness?

9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] 15 to 20 minutes, Your Honours.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. We'll have a break as usual at 12.30.

11 Then today we will be stopping at 1.30 and not a quarter to 2.00.

12 Cross-examination by Ms. Nikolic:

13 Q. Good morning, Your Honours. I need to correct the transcript. I

14 am defending Drago Nikolic and not Major Nikolic from the Bratunac brigade

15 concerning whom you testified. This is a correction in relation to the

16 transcript.

17 Now, let me ask you something about what you testified on pages 17

18 and 18 of the transcript, when the army started entering Potocari. You

19 said that they came from all sides, from a number of observation posts and

20 that they were pouring down from the hill towards Potocari. Earlier in

21 the Krstic case, as well as yesterday on page 42, whereas in the Krstic

22 case, it is transcript page 2117, you testified that among the first

23 soldiers who entered were the soldiers of the Rambo type; is that correct?

24 A. That is correct. That would on the side of the bus remise or

25 compound where I was at that time, yes.

Page 4877

1 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.

2 Interpreters have trouble hearing her.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, the interpreters have asked me to draw

4 to your attention to try to speak into the microphone as much as possible

5 because they are having problems.

6 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I believe it should be better now.

7 Q. Could you please describe in greater detail what you meant when

8 you said that those soldiers were more or less of the Rambo type? Could

9 you please describe to us what that unit looked like?

10 A. They were wearing also camouflage trousers, at least, some of them

11 wearing T-shirts, some of them wearing also camouflage jackets. They had

12 bandages around the head. They were wearing knives, large knives, on

13 their belts. And it is not only what they looked like, but it is the way

14 they react. I asked them not to go into the area of the -- of the red and

15 white tape that we drew around the bus remise, but they simply went in and

16 they did what they had -- think that they could do there because we marked

17 that area as a UN area where refugees were being held. And -- but they

18 took simply no notice of what I was saying there. So that that is, if I

19 said Rambo types, that means that they were very offensive way of, yeah,

20 walking around, do as they please in that area, yes.

21 Q. So we could say that they were acting in a completely

22 undisciplined way, in an arrogant way?

23 A. Undisciplined, I cannot say, because perhaps that was the orders

24 they had been given, but at least arrogant, yes, sure, yeah.

25 Q. You also spoke to us about the nine bodies that you found near a

Page 4878

1 stream. You mentioned that on pages 46 and 47 of yesterday's transcript

2 and you also mentioned it today when cross-examined by my colleagues.

3 Let me ask you this: How long did you remain in that location,

4 when you reached the stream near the location where the bodies were, where

5 you were with other colleagues?

6 A. It's a matter of minutes. We came in in the meadow, we saw the

7 bodies. As I told this morning, I examined them, what was happening. I

8 told the colleague to pick up the IDs or passports or working permits or

9 everything that was laying around there. I checked the bodies. I checked

10 each one of them. And I asked my colleague to pick up the IDs, the

11 sergeant major van Schaik, and I asked Lieutenant Koster then to sit

12 among -- in the middle of the bodies, wearing his UN cap. The reason was

13 that -- and make a photograph. The reason was that I then would later on

14 say that we were present as a matter of a -- or as a clear evidence that

15 we -- what we saw that moment, just an objective view of what we found

16 there in that meadow. And it happened in a few minutes more or less,

17 because the moment that we were there, some shots were heard and there is

18 a difference between shots overhead or nearby, and that was shots nearby.

19 So we had immediately after that had to leave the meadow and as the story

20 tells, we went back to the road again.

21 Q. Thank you. That means that you were unable, nor could you

22 afterwards, conduct an investigation about this event?

23 A. It was a -- I wouldn't call that an investigation. It was just a

24 checking what was happening over there. I looked specifically at the

25 bodies. There were two that were laying on the side and the rest of them

Page 4879

1 were laying on front, on the front side. It was near to a small stream, a

2 very small stream and the meadow and it was clearly that they were shot

3 there on the spot. And that is if you can call it an investigation, it

4 was a very short investigation what was happening there, yes.

5 Q. I would agree with you that it was just a brief analysis of the

6 situation. My question was whether, on the following day, or later that

7 day, you conducted any sort of an investigation. Was it possible at all

8 for you?

9 A. No, it wasn't possible because we couldn't cross the line. We

10 were not able to walk around freely because the Serbs were not -- were not

11 allowing this to us any more. So we had no freedom of movement

12 whatsoever. So it wasn't possible to investigate it furthermore.

13 Q. This means that you don't know who is responsible and you don't

14 know how these people were killed?

15 A. I don't know who is responsible, no, because I wasn't an actual

16 witness at that moment, but how they were killed, they were -- that was --

17 is also in my statements, I think, and there was -- there were wounds of

18 small arms calibre weapons.

19 Q. Thank you. Just to clarify, for the sake of the transcript,

20 something that is not contentious between the Defence and the Prosecution,

21 in the Krstic case, when you testified about Major Nikolic, who was the

22 liaison officer of the army of Republika Srpska, you actually testified

23 about the gentleman called Momir Nikolic from the Bratunac Brigade; is

24 that correct?

25 A. Yes, that's correct.

Page 4880

1 Q. Thank you.

2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no

3 further questions. Thank you, Mr. Rutten.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic. Who is going next?

5 Mr. Lazarevic, who is appearing for accused Borovcanin, will be

6 cross-examining you next. How long do you expect to be cross-examining

7 the witness, Mr. Lazarevic?

8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. How long do you expect your

10 cross-examination --

11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, with the cooperation of the witness,

12 if we don't enter into some serious disagreements, I believe that I will

13 make it in an hour and a half. I was trying to formulate my questions in

14 the way that the witness could simply answer with yes or no, but --

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move. Thank you.

16 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:

17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Major. During the proofing for

18 your testimony, you met with Mr. Thayer or some other representative of

19 the OTP. On that occasion, you most likely -- actually, not most likely,

20 you confirmed this yourself, you went over the transcript of your

21 testimony in the Krstic case. Did Mr. Thayer or whoever proofed you at

22 that time show you the other statements that you gave?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. All of the statements you gave, be it in Zagreb or in Assen or

25 statements given to the military police or to the Dutch parliamentary

Page 4881

1 commission, I'm now referring to all of the statements given by you.

2 A. We went through the binder of statements, yes.

3 Q. And when you went over these statements, I assume that took quite

4 some time. Did you draw attention of Mr. Thayer to any of the details

5 that were not sufficiently precise or incorrect in your statements?

6 A. Now you're presuming that I'm -- go over the statements if it was

7 a kind of a homework for me. And if you put it like that way, I haven't

8 gone over them that specific.

9 Q. Actually, my question was: Did you say to Mr. Thayer, "Look here,

10 I noticed some of the things that are not correct in some of the

11 statements, at least the ones that I checked in detail"?

12 A. There were -- we had a discussion of a -- there were a lot of

13 statements throughout the last ten years, and there were some statements,

14 as I stated before, that, like the Assen debriefing, where I had some

15 problems, but -- with it, because -- because they weren't signed or they

16 were rewritten or whatever, but we didn't went over in detail that

17 specific statement.

18 Q. Can I interpret your answer to mean that you never said to

19 Mr. Thayer, "I noticed some things that are not logical"? Did you, for

20 example, point out to him that the statement was not signed or anything

21 else that you just said to the Trial Chamber?

22 A. No, because as I said before --

23 Q. Thank you. I don't want you to gain an impression that I'm

24 interrupting you while you're answering. I'm just trying to abbreviate

25 the procedure. If you can just say no, I didn't say that, or yes, I did

Page 4882

1 say this to Mr. Thayer, because you've given an explanation earlier.

2 Now I'd like to turn to the statement that we've already seen in

3 e-court here. That's the statement you gave to the OTP on the 9th of

4 October, 1995. This is Exhibit 3D37 in this trial. I assume that you

5 went over that statement very carefully, didn't you?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You gave the statement and signed it at the time. It was read out

8 to you in a language that you understand, and according to the best of

9 your recollections, is it correct and specific, precise?

10 A. If you mean the statement that -- with the interviewer Jan Van

11 Hecke?

12 Q. The statement you have on the screen before you dated 9th of

13 October, 1995. Yes, Jan Van Hecke. That's the one I had in mind.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Thank you. Unlike the statements that you spoke of, which you

16 provided under substandard conditions and never signed, did you encounter

17 any problems when giving this statement to the OTP?

18 A. This statement was already in the hands of OTP. So we spoke about

19 it, but not in specific detail, as you did.

20 Q. All right. We'll leave this for the time being, this topic.

21 This statement, page 2, last paragraph, on page 3, first

22 paragraph, you say that the refugees started arriving in the early

23 afternoon on the 11th of July, 1995. Is that consistent with your

24 recollections?

25 A. Yes, that is consistent.

Page 4883

1 Q. Thank you. We received certain information here in this Tribunal,

2 according to which, on the 11th of July, 1995, members of the Dutch

3 Battalion urged the population of Srebrenica and surrounding settlements

4 to set out towards the base in Potocari, to leave their homes because the

5 Serbian army was approaching. Did you witness this yourself?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So you can confirm the fact about the Dutch soldiers issuing

8 appeals to the people from Srebrenica to leave their homes and go to

9 Potocari?

10 A. Now you're saying something else than before. If you're saying

11 issuing appeals, the population was on the run because, from the south,

12 the Serbs were coming in, so they looked for safety. And they were simply

13 from out of Srebrenica asking on to members of the B Company to find a

14 safer place. So they went, at first, by themselves and later on B

15 Company, the commander of B Company, issued a guidance by some DutchBat

16 troops to -- on the road to Potocari. But there was no appealing, as I

17 know of, from DutchBat soldiers to go to Potocari.

18 Q. Listening to your evidence now, I could see that you said, as far

19 as I know. Does this mean that you do not rule out the possibility that

20 this were such situations or do you categorically rule that out?

21 A. I cannot answer that with yes or no, because it isn't something

22 that belongs to my knowledge of that period.

23 Q. All right, Major. Even if you tell us, "I don't know," that's a

24 completely valid answer.

25 In your statement, you said that initially you were not going to

Page 4884

1 let the men into the compound, into the base. I assume you meant the men

2 who had arrived with these refugees at the base. What was the reason for

3 that, for not allowing men into the compound?

4 A. The reason is it was simply not possible to check everyone who was

5 coming on to the compound, if they were -- if they were having anything

6 that could be threatening to our company. That's one. Or to our

7 battalion. And the second thing is, and that was the orders that were

8 given also, women and children first, as you know what I mean.

9 Q. I fully understand you. It seems that you are anticipating some

10 of my questions. However, did you receive a specific order, "Do not let

11 the men into the compound"? Did you, yourself, receive such an order or

12 did you know of anything issuing such an order?

13 A. We only got an order to let women and children in and not the men.

14 Q. Who issued that order to you?

15 A. The company commander of the staff company was the first one who

16 came up with that order.

17 Q. Can you give us his name, if you know it, so that we can compare

18 it with other data that we have?

19 A. That was the Major Otter.

20 Q. Thank you. On that occasion, when such a large number of refugees

21 started arriving at the Potocari base, you told us that there were

22 soldiers among them who started saying goodbyes to their families, and you

23 concluded that on the basis of their military-style uniforms and the

24 weapons they had that you could clearly see; correct?

25 A. Yes. I stated before that there were three soldiers saying

Page 4885

1 goodbye to their families at the rear side of the compound.

2 Q. You could clearly see that they had weapons on them; is that

3 correct?

4 A. That is correct.

5 Q. If we go further through your statements given to the Office of

6 the Prosecutor, at one moment you let into the compound men who wanted to

7 stay with their families and who apparently were not armed. That was your

8 testimony to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal. That is contained

9 in paragraph 1 of the page -- of page 3 of this statement. Do you recall

10 letting a certain number of men, who wanted to stay with their families,

11 into the compound?

12 A. Yes. If we speak about men, then, that were very young men, or

13 very old men, who weren't able to do any duty or active duty as a

14 combatant.

15 Q. May I understand your present answer as testimony that, in the

16 Potocari compound, there were no men who would be able-bodied in terms of

17 an age-appropriate for military service?

18 A. If you say no men, that is not correct, because the Major Franken

19 also permitted a certain amount of men inside the compound who were -- who

20 could have been active combatants but they were more or less let in as

21 speaking men towards the Serbs.

22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, it seems that we have some problem with

23 translation. I was warned by interpreters. Could you please repeat the

24 last portion of your answer here. You said, "They were more or less let

25 in as speaking men towards the Serbs." That's what we have in transcript

Page 4886

1 and --

2 JUDGE AGIUS: As I understand it to be spokesmen.


4 JUDGE AGIUS: Go-betweens between DutchBat, the Muslim population,

5 and the Serbian authorities. That's how I understood it to be. But I

6 agree the translation is poor in there, yeah.

7 THE WITNESS: Okay, you're very correct, there, sir.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Does that satisfy you, Mr. Lazarevic? Is it

9 clear in your mind.

10 MR. LAZAREVIC: That's it, because I have to admit that I was

11 warned by the interpreters.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. I saw something strange too, but I more

13 or less I was understanding what's beneath.

14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Major Rutten, here you stated that you let a certain number of men

16 who were not armed into the compound, and then you said that you could not

17 establish whether they possessed anything that could jeopardise the safety

18 of DutchBat members. So does this mean that you frisked or searched the

19 people who were entering with their families, going through their pockets,

20 their rucksacks? Did you make sure that they could not carry into the

21 compound pistols, hand grenades, knives, something that could be easily

22 concealed?

23 A. No. I was not able at that time to do that, a thorough search,

24 but the men that came in, as I stated before, were older men, younger men

25 and also a lot of men who were badly handicapped, so we didn't saw at that

Page 4887

1 moment as active combatants. So we were not 100 per cent, and that is the

2 lead of your question, I think, but we were quite sure that they could not

3 wear anything, but it was a possibility -- the possibility was that they

4 could conceal something, yes.

5 Q. Right. In answering questions by my predecessors, they confronted

6 you with a part of your statement where you testified about a wounded

7 fighter, of whom you knew that he was a fighter, but he was wearing

8 civilian clothes. Could we conclude from that that there were members of

9 the BiH army who wore civilian clothes and that what they wore was not

10 reliable in terms of inferring who was civilian and who was military

11 personnel?

12 A. I was -- during my time, a lot of patrolling was done by me and

13 the teams from the Charlie Company, and I knew, personally, a lot of the

14 BiH fighters. Also, this one who was laying in the wheelbarrow. That was

15 the only one that I noticed myself that was among the refugees.

16 Q. Yes. But my question was very specific in terms of the clothes

17 that he was wearing. He was wearing civilian clothes at the time. Shall

18 I rephrase my question? During these proceedings, we've heard testimony

19 of some members of the BiH army who testified that they had worn civilian

20 clothes at the time. Could we elicit from you whether you had a similar

21 experience?

22 A. If we're talking about that specific situation, the man in the

23 wheelbarrow, he was wearing civilian clothes, that's right.

24 Q. All right. At a certain moment, on the 12th of July, buses

25 started arriving and trucks intended to transport the refugees towards

Page 4888

1 Kladanj. Were you there when the first buses and trucks departed or

2 arrived? Did you see their arrival?

3 A. From what I could see at the -- from out of the bus remise, I saw

4 the first arrival of the buses, yes.

5 Q. At that time, a large throng of refugees had already arrived there

6 in that part of the compound and the bus remise. Did this crowd of

7 refugees started running towards the buses and trucks in desire to board

8 as soon as possible? Do you remember such an event?

9 A. Yes. They were very eager to leave the place, but there was a

10 reason for it, and I'm noticing that you're getting a little impatient but

11 I'm not. The situation was there was a fire truck bringing water in and

12 there was a van bringing bread in, and there was all kind of things

13 distributed. Those people hadn't been fed for a few days, so that was the

14 reason that they first made their moves towards the bus line or truck

15 line.

16 Q. [In English] Sir, I can promise you we'll come to that.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: You're showing patience now.

18 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. At any rate, at a certain point, there was a commotion among the

20 refugees, and some witnesses labelled that situation as a human stampede.

21 My question to you is whether you remember such an occurrence?

22 A. Yes. I remember that.

23 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much.

24 From your vantage point, and that should be the bus remise from

25 your testimony, it could be clearly -- the situation could be clearly said

Page 4889

1 where in a human chain we would have one Serb, one Dutch soldier, holding

2 hands and trying to prevent another human stampede; is that correct?

3 A. I cannot clarify that, because I saw Dutch soldiers trying to

4 prevent that. Probably also Serb preventing that, but I haven't seen it.

5 Q. Do you then exclude the possibility that there would be such a

6 situation where Serb and Dutch soldiers would work together to thwart

7 panic spreading among the refugees by creating such a human chain or a

8 human shield?

9 A. No, I cannot exclude it.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he has answered you already, yes.


12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, well, I will continue but my question was

13 whether he can exclude such possibility. Okay. I apologise.

14 Q. [Interpretation] Now we coming to the part that you so eagerly

15 anticipated, and that is the arrival of General Mladic to Potocari. You

16 said that he was escorted by Nikolic and an interpreter, that there was a

17 film and TV crew recording events. It is on the -- in the third paragraph

18 on the third page of this version. Did you have occasion to hear and see

19 General Mladic personally, you?

20 A. As you suggested, shall I answer this with yes or no?

21 Q. Yes, yes. Please. Whether you saw Mr. Mladic or not?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you hear him addressing the refugees?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Did you later, after all these events, watching various

Page 4890

1 documentaries and maybe news coverage of different trials, did you manage

2 to hear what Mladic said to the refugees at that time?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Can you confirm to us that he said that who wanted to leave could

5 leave, who wanted to stay could stay, that buses had been secured and that

6 whoever wanted to leave would be bussed out to Kladanj? Did you see that?

7 A. Yes. I've seen such a documentary.

8 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to tackle the situation

9 where the water tanker and the truck with bread arrived and that bread was

10 then distributed among the refugees. If I understood well your

11 interpretation of this event, and given that the TV crew was filming

12 everything, your conclusion was that the whole show was put on for

13 propaganda purposes, to provide some positive coverage and spin on

14 Mladic's actions. Would this describe your understanding of the event?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. But at a certain point, that bread was distributed, cameras were

17 off, the whole shebang was over and there was no longer a need for that

18 kind of propaganda; is that correct?

19 A. That's correct.

20 Q. If I were to tell you that there is testimony provided by a member

21 of the DutchBat, one of your colleagues, that after all that, quite a long

22 time after that, there was another truck full with bread and that bread

23 was distributed among the refugees, and if I told you that some refugees

24 told us that they had received more bread, would that change your

25 conclusion that you just now expressed?

Page 4891

1 A. No.

2 Q. Right. With your colleagues, a certain number of DutchBat

3 members, you were close to the bus depot or remise, and certain situations

4 emerged where your soldiers had been dispossessed of certain items by Serb

5 soldiers and that you protested this fact to Major Nikolic. Do you recall

6 this?

7 A. Yes, I can recall that, yeah.

8 Q. Major Nikolic was escorting General Mladic, according to your

9 testimony; is that correct?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. You knew Major Nikolic from before. I'm not saying that you were

12 close acquaintances, but you knew who he was before the events of the

13 11th, 12th and 13th of July, 1995; is that correct?

14 A. Yes, because he was a liaison to the battalion.

15 Q. All right. Reason why you addressed Major Nikolic to resolve this

16 situation where certain effects, personal effects, were stolen from your

17 soldiers was that he had enough authority to remedy the situation and to

18 prevent such things from happening in the future; is that correct?

19 A. That is partly correct, because there was also a member of the S5

20 team, a captain Matthijsen from DutchBat around and I addressed him first

21 and Nikolic stood right next to him.

22 Q. All right. But in your statement, it is said that -- page 3,

23 paragraph 4, this is not very consequential, but I believe it's stated

24 that you protested this with Nikolic. Let us make these things clear,

25 whether you addressed Nikolic or somebody else?

Page 4892

1 A. I spoke in fact to both of them because they were listening both

2 but I addressed in fact, of course, a member of the S5 team because that

3 was the procedure, they had the contacts formally with Nikolic.

4 Q. All right. But generally speaking, was your conclusion such that

5 Mr. Nikolic, had he wanted to, he could obtain the return of those items

6 to your soldiers? Was your impression that he didn't want to?

7 A. Yes, that was my impression.

8 Q. All right. Let's broach the 13th of July in the morning issue.

9 You stated that you went to the "White House". We are referring to your

10 first visit to the "White House". You said that personal ID documents

11 were in front of the house in a heap. It is stated in the last paragraph

12 on page 3 of your statement. And after that, you entered the "White

13 House". Do you remember that?

14 A. Yes. I remember that.

15 Q. Did you collect any of those personal documents that you saw in

16 front of the house? Did you take -- pick it up, open it, try to establish

17 what they stood for?

18 A. No, because a Serb soldier was around that pile of ID, and it was

19 not -- I felt at that moment it was not very -- not very, how shall I put

20 it, not very convenient to pick it up and then have a close look at it.

21 Q. Oh, all right, which means that you did not pick up and inspect

22 any of those documents?

23 A. No, but they were laying open and it was a clear look on that

24 pile. Some of them were open, some closed. What you actually was seeing

25 that there was different kinds of ID.

Page 4893

1 Q. Yes, all right. But what I am interested in is specifically one,

2 two or three documents that you may have taken, opened, read the name so

3 that you could testify that such a document would belong to such person.

4 That did not happen, did it?

5 A. No.

6 Q. All right. At the moment when you entered the "White House" and

7 you spent some time there, you saw a certain number of people captured

8 there. Did you personally know any of those who were kept in the house?

9 A. I knew some boys from patrolling, yes.

10 Q. Could you tell us the name of those boys?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Yes, yes. Which means that we cannot establish, given that you do

13 not know the persons in there, that you did not compare the documents, we

14 cannot make a connection between the documents outside the house and the

15 people inside the house?

16 A. That is your conclusion. My conclusion is another one, that

17 people -- I've seen people walk into the "White House". Before they

18 walked into the "White House", it was said by Serbs to put their luggage

19 or rucksacks on a big heap. The next step was that they were sent into

20 the house. And along the rucksacks and the big heap of IDs, they were

21 told to throw everything that they did not need any more and then go into

22 the house. So there is, to my opinion, and under my view, was a clear

23 connection about the men who put down the rucksacks and threw out their ID

24 and went into the house.

25 Q. Sir, we've heard testimony of DutchBat members, your colleagues,

Page 4894

1 who would find IDs in other locations, in the wider area of Potocari,

2 within the compound itself, outside the base, heaps of different IDs. Can

3 you confirm that for us, please?

4 A. No, I cannot confirm that.

5 Q. It's all right. We also heard testimony, from a certain number of

6 witnesses, Muslims, who spoke about them tossing away their IDs to prevent

7 them being identified by Serbian soldiers and that a large number of them

8 did not possess their IDs on their person. Do you know about that?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Now, may I ask you about the IDs? What do you refer to under the

11 term "ID"?

12 A. Passports, working permits, all kinds of officially -- by any

13 authority given cards, with pass photos on it and so on.

14 Q. All right.

15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, would it be convenient to take the

16 break at this point, because I'm going to move to the next topic and I

17 cannot finish it by the time for a break?

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. We'll have a 30-minute break now

19 and we will continue. Do you think you will finish your cross-examination

20 today?

21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I will -- I think I'm in the middle of my

22 cross-examination, so I'll do my best to complete it by the end of today's

23 session.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's reduce the break to 25 minutes. That means we

25 will reconvene at 10 minutes to 1.00. Thank you. And we will stop at

Page 4895

1 1.30 any way. I suppose you are going next?

2 MS. CONDON: Your Honour, there has been an agreement that we

3 would actually go last, but I was just about to say, that given I won't

4 start until Monday, I'm happy to start Monday. Thank you, Your Honour.


6 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.

7 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's continue and we stop at 1.30.

9 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Major Rutten, can we now deal with another subject, and that would

11 be the "White House" that we've heard of and discussed and that you

12 discussed with my learned colleagues during your cross-examination. You

13 said in your statement that two soldiers from the 108 Commando Company

14 stood in front of the "White House"; is that correct?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. For us to gain an impression about all that, these people from the

17 108 Commando Company, are they UNMO members or DutchBat members?

18 A. They were DutchBat members.

19 Q. Yes. Thank you. Also, apart from those two members of 108

20 Commando Company, there were members of UNMO who were observing what was

21 going on in the "White House", I specifically mean Major De Haan that you

22 mentioned; is that correct?

23 A. Major De Haan was at a certain point there, but were not

24 constantly observing the "White House".

25 Q. Right. But were there other UNMO members observing the house?

Page 4896

1 Let me be specific in my question. We have a testimony of one of

2 commanders of the DutchBat who, in his testimony, stated that UNMO members

3 had the tasks of counting the number of people entering the house and the

4 number of those leaving the house and as per records, the same number of

5 people entered the house and exited the house while being taken to the

6 busses. Can you confirm that for us, please?

7 A. The only thing I can confirm is that there was an UNMO, an African

8 colleague named Kingori was also around. The other part of your question,

9 I cannot confirm that.

10 Q. All right. One member of the DutchBat who, just as you did,

11 entered the "White House" but not with you, he stated that in the "White

12 House" he saw a heap of knives, a heap of knives within the "White House"

13 which, according to his testimony, belonged to the Muslims who had been

14 taken in there. When you entered the "White House", did you personally

15 encounter or pass by that heap of knives?

16 A. I've never seen that heap of knives.

17 Q. All right. But you must have seen, and this is reflected in your

18 Krstic testimony and in your previous statements, you did see a heap of

19 photographs. Do you remember that?

20 A. Yes, I do remember that.

21 Q. In connection with these photographs, I would like to confront you

22 with what you spoke about before a parliamentary commission in -- during

23 the parliamentary inquiry on the 11th of November, 2002. That is Exhibit

24 3D39, 10th page. And before we see that on the screen, I would like to

25 quote this, "that on benches on tables for the purpose of establishing

Page 4897

1 whether any of them were known."

2 Do you remember that part of your testimony before the

3 parliamentary commission?

4 A. Sorry, I can't read your gish gish in line 6 on 58, 57. Gish gish

5 on benches, what do you mean?

6 Q. It's page 10, paragraph first. I'm sorry, you're referring to the

7 transcript?

8 A. Yes. I don't understand your question.

9 Q. It starts with the photos of the men were in a line?

10 A. Yes, okay.

11 Q. On bed, on benches on tables.

12 A. Now I understand your question.

13 Q. Does this refresh your memory? Is this what you saw in the "White

14 House"?

15 A. Yes. That was on the other side of the "White House", the other

16 entrance. We went in that. Together with me was the sergeant major van

17 Schaik and there we witnessed that there were photos laying all around and

18 I stated then that the photos of men being -- of led -- laying next to

19 each other on benches, couches and on tables to identify -- and there were

20 only photos of men, and family photos of other people were laying on the

21 ground.

22 Q. I'm just interested in the conclusion you drew from it because I

23 share the same conclusion, namely, that the purpose of separating the

24 photograph of men being separated and lined up, was done in order to

25 identify the men; is that correct?

Page 4898

1 A. Yeah, you could say that, yes.

2 Q. Therefore, generally speaking, based on that fact, there was an

3 identification process of men conducted in the "White House", the men who

4 had been taken to the "White House"?

5 A. The problem here is that you're connecting something that took

6 already beforehand in place --

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop. I don't think it's a fair question,

8 because you're asking him to draw a conclusion and I very much doubt if he

9 can draw a conclusion based on the basic information that you're putting

10 to him. I mean, if he can draw a conclusion of which he is convinced,

11 yes, by all means, go ahead, Major, but if it makes you speculate, then I

12 don't want to you answer.

13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, maybe I can reformulate this question

14 and that would be much easier for him.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means, Mr. Lazarevic. Thank you.

16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Sir, do you stand by the statement given to the parliamentary

18 commission of the Netherlands on the 11th of November, 2002, the purpose

19 of establishing whether any of them were known?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to turn to another

22 document, which has already been admitted into evidence. This is

23 document -- Exhibit 4D15. I think it would be very good if we waited for

24 you to see it on the screen.

25 I think that the English translation of this exhibit has not yet

Page 4899

1 arrived, even though it's been admitted a long time ago. I'll just read

2 out the heading of the document following which are just the names. It

3 says here, "The list of war criminals known to the command of the 1st

4 Light Infantry Brigade, which is to say the Bratunac Brigade, who

5 committed war crimes in the territory of Bratunac, Srebrenica, Milici,

6 Vlasenica and Skelani municipalities, concerning whom there are indicia

7 that they are located in Srebrenica."

8 And then, can we see the last page of this document because this

9 document just contains the numbers and names of the people.

10 It says here, "Bratunac, 12th of July, 1995."

11 My first question to you is: Have you ever seen this document

12 before?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Have you heard of existence of a list of people suspected of

15 having committed war crimes and that it was used as grounds for

16 identifying people from Srebrenica who may have participated in it?

17 A. I heard about a list, yes.

18 Q. Is that consistent with your experience from the time you spent in

19 Srebrenica, that there was some list based on which the identity of

20 persons from Srebrenica was investigated and established?

21 A. It wasn't -- it was not known by me that there was a connection

22 between those lists and the interrogations that were going on.

23 Q. All right. [In English] Fair enough. [Interpretation] Now, let

24 us continue briefly with the "White House". Based on the information

25 available in this case, and based on the evidence, I must say, of a large

Page 4900

1 number of DutchBat members, on the 12th or 13th of July, 1995, at least

2 six commanding officers of DutchBat entered the "White House". I can give

3 you their names, if you wish. Major Egbers, Boering, Koster, van Duijn,

4 you, yourself, Mr. Rutten, and according to your testimony, also Mr. Van

5 Schaik. Is that true?

6 A. The only one I can confirm is the NCO, that's not an officer, the

7 warrant officer van Schaik and the other names I wasn't present at that

8 time that they were in the house.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: However, did you ever come to know that they entered

10 or they were at the "White House"?

11 THE WITNESS: I heard from the Lieutenant van Duijn that he was

12 near the "White House", but I never heard from him that he was in

13 the "White House", yes.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: And the other officer?

15 THE WITNESS: And that also reflects the officer Koster.


17 THE WITNESS: And Egbers, yes, they were near there but they never

18 told me that they were in the "White House", sir.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?

20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.

21 Q. [Interpretation] Naturally, I do not insist on you speaking of the

22 things that you didn't see yourself or don't have firsthand knowledge of,

23 but these two members of DutchBat from the 108th commando unit also

24 entered the "White House", didn't they?

25 A. They were -- sorry, yes, they were in the "White House", yes.

Page 4901

1 Q. Based on the calculation that I can do myself, at least, eight

2 members of DutchBat entered the "White House" at the time, so this was not

3 something that was concealed from the members of the DutchBat, nor from

4 the UNMO members, the fact that men were being taken to the "White House"

5 and interrogated there.

6 A. No. It couldn't be concealed because it was at the opposite side

7 of the road so we could see it very clearly, yeah.

8 Q. That's precisely so. This was unfolding directly across from the

9 UN compound. In addition to that, based on your own testimony, you made a

10 certain number of photographs inside the "White House", didn't you?

11 A. That is correct.

12 Q. Nobody stopped you from taking photographs in the "White House"?

13 A. They weren't aware of what I was doing in the first floor of

14 the "White House", at least they -- the Serbs weren't aware of what I was

15 doing there.

16 Q. All right. But in order for you to take photographs inside

17 the "White House", you had to use a flash. Otherwise, photographs would

18 be useless. Didn't you consider that to be extremely careless and

19 irresponsible for you to expose yourself to so much danger?

20 A. That is my own responsibility, so I can handle that, sir.

21 Q. Are these the photographs which disappeared while being developed

22 here in Holland, these photographs taken inside the "White House"? Are we

23 referring to the same photographs?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. So that is the same film containing the photographs of the nine

Page 4902

1 bodies for which you say you found them in a meadow. And were the

2 photographs from inside the "White House" on the same film as the

3 photographs you took from the compound depicting the burning of piles of

4 photographs -- of documents and clothing?

5 A. There is a difference. The first part is correct. So the

6 photographs of the nine bodies. And the photos inside the "White House".

7 The second part is depicting the burning of the piles at the opposite side

8 of the compound. I still have those photos and they were presented in the

9 Krstic case. So that wasn't the same film, the second film that I put in

10 the camera.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I forget, Mr. Lazarevic and Mr. Thayer, just

12 for the record and for formalities' sake, just wanted to confirm that we

13 are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis at the moment, Judge Kwon being absent

14 for a just cause. Thank you.

15 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. What else was on that film with the photographs of burning

17 belongings?

18 A. Now you're speaking about the second film.

19 Q. [In English] Yes, the second one.

20 A. Yes. Also, there were photographs on it of the looting of houses

21 nearby the compound, Serb civilians leading cattle and carrying

22 wheelbarrows full of personal stuff, what formerly belonged to the Muslim

23 population, yes.

24 Q. All right. Again, I can promise you we'll get to this topic.

25 [Interpretation] The night between the 12th and 13th of July, you

Page 4903

1 spent that night inside the Potocari compound base, didn't you?

2 A. That is correct.

3 Q. We have heard testimonies here, we had exhibits proving this,

4 namely, that during that night, both within the compound and outside of

5 the compound, in the facilities where the refugees were housed, there were

6 several deaths, suicides, a murder of a woman in labour, as well as some

7 other deaths. Do you know anything about that?

8 A. No, I do not personally know about it. Only by hearing it from

9 other colleagues.

10 Q. All right. That would be sufficient basis for putting my next

11 question to you. So you heard from others that there were deaths within

12 the compound in the night between the 12th and the 13th. Do you know

13 where were the bodies of the people who died or committed suicide that

14 night taken?

15 A. One or two I know was known to me that they were buried at the

16 rear side of the compound, and the other ones, I don't know.

17 Q. Thank you. But let me ask you this: In relation to the cases

18 known to you of bodies being buried, do you know anything about the

19 identification procedure? How was it established, the identity of these

20 people, whether they had relatives, cause of death and the fact that they

21 lived and died that night within the compound?

22 A. I cannot comment on this because I wasn't aware of the whole

23 procedure and I wasn't informed about this or whatsoever.

24 Q. All right.

25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, I have to correct the transcript at

Page 4904

1 this point. It's on page 85, it's line 11. It says, a murder of a woman

2 in labour, which does not show what I said.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think point taken. And it doesn't change a

4 thing any way because we know exactly what the previous evidence was. So

5 let's -- but thank you for pointing it out. I had it in my head too but

6 go ahead.

7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. I would like to know, Major Rutten, about the evacuation from the

9 compound itself. I know that you and your soldiers were by the bus depot

10 but you also testified about the fact that there were 4.000 people inside

11 the Dutch compound itself. Who evacuated these people from the compound?

12 A. In the late afternoon, the people -- the people were led from out

13 of the compound and our superior, the Major Franken, said that it was on

14 orders of the Serb soldiers, Serb commander, in fact, he said.

15 Q. All right. But at one point, the refugees who were in the

16 compound, inside the compound, passed the gate and were let out by the

17 Dutch soldiers, isn't that right?

18 A. That is right.

19 Q. Did they continue observing what happened to those who had left

20 the base?

21 A. We tried throughout the 12th and the 13th to observe what was

22 happening with the people, by sending jeeps with personnel on it, with it,

23 to the direction of OP Papa and, in fact, Bratunac or Kladanj. But every

24 time we sent our people along, they were excluded from the convoy that was

25 moving, yes.

Page 4905

1 Q. Yes. I understand that, but, say, from the place where you stood

2 in the bus depot to the compound, there are some 500 to 600 metres. Don't

3 hold me to it, could be more, could be less, but that road, along that

4 road, from one location to the other, were there any Dutch soldiers? Was

5 anybody sent there to see what was going on?

6 A. The moment you speak about is in the late afternoon, that were the

7 last refugees on the 13th. All other refugees had left then already.

8 These last ones were put up to the -- in fact, the last convoy, and we saw

9 them leaving the gate. I personally had a talk with Major Franken about

10 that because I asked him what we were doing, and what we could do at that

11 point, and he said to him, it was -- and he said to me, it was discussed

12 with the Serbian leaders.

13 Q. We will get to that a little bit later. But let's analyse the

14 situation. There is this area around the bus depot where the greatest

15 number of refugees are, and then there is a separate location, which is

16 the compound, where there are some 4.000 to 4.500 refugees. Did you wait

17 for everybody from the bus depot to be evacuated before you started

18 evacuating people from the compound or was it done simultaneously from

19 both locations?

20 A. At first -- at that time, that the 4.000 or 4.500 refugees from

21 the compound were evacuated, by that time the bus remise was completely

22 empty.

23 Q. So is it your evidence, that until the area around the bus depot

24 was fully vacated, the evacuation of the compound did not even start? Did

25 I understand you well?

Page 4906

1 A. Yes. It started shortly after that, yeah.

2 Q. After the evacuation from the bus depot was completed, and there

3 was quite a number of Dutch soldiers present there, did these soldiers go

4 back to the base?

5 A. Some of them, and a certain part were along the line to the buses.

6 Q. That means that some of them remained there even though the

7 evacuation from that area had been completed; is that correct?

8 A. If you mean remained at the bus depot, that is not correct.

9 They -- everyone of them was back on the compound again, and the -- a

10 certain amount of soldiers was along the road or along the road to the

11 gate, yes.

12 Q. Thank you. After all of the refugees were evacuated from both of

13 those locations, whether we consider them to be one location or two

14 locations, that's irrelevant, what happened to the remaining items? Let

15 me put to you actually evidence given by a witness who testified here.

16 The belongings of the refugees could be found anywhere, en route,

17 somewhere on the road itself, they were spread out all over the compound.

18 Would you say that this was a correct description of the compound,

19 the road, all the way up to the bus depot, according to your

20 recollections?

21 A. Yes, that is a right description, yes.

22 Q. Thank you. Now let us turn to a different subject, which has to

23 do with you finding those nine bodies. When you found the nine bodies on

24 the meadow, according to your own account, you were together with your two

25 colleagues. This is what you stated in your evidence and that can also be

Page 4907

1 found in other documents. Those two colleagues were Koster and van

2 Schaik; is that correct?

3 A. That is correct.

4 Q. In your statement, the debriefing to the Dutch royal army, which

5 is 3D42, on page 2, sixth line from above, in the English version, you

6 said that prior to arriving to that location, to the meadow, you saw a

7 Muslim man fleeing from the area. Do you remember that?

8 A. Yes, I remember that.

9 Q. Naturally, you concluded that he was a Bosnian Muslim based on the

10 fact that he was in civilian clothes; correct?

11 A. Yes, that is correct.

12 Q. However, that fact alone cannot fully assure you that he was a

13 civilian. He could have also been a soldier dressed in civilian clothes,

14 correct?

15 A. Yeah, he could have been anything, yeah.

16 Q. All right. Based on the statement you gave to the OTP, I took it

17 that you arrived soon after these people were killed, and that you

18 concluded that on the basis of the fact that the blood had not coagulated

19 yet and that given the fact that it was over 30 degrees, there were no

20 flies on their bodies, but regardless of that, you didn't hear any shots,

21 you didn't hear anything on the basis of which you could have concluded

22 that those people had been recently killed or when they were killed at

23 all?

24 A. No. But what you leave out is that I -- I checked the bodies, if

25 there was someone alive, and I felt their pulses and their throats to

Page 4908

1 check whether someone could have been alive and all the bodies were warm.

2 Q. [In English] Well, it was intentionally actually because that was

3 my next question. [Interpretation] So you approached the bodies and you

4 checked for the vital signs. Did you move the bodies?

5 A. No, I did not move the bodies.

6 Q. Since you didn't move them and according to your own testimony,

7 those people were lying supine on their stomachs. Were you able to

8 clearly see their faces?

9 A. Most of them, yes, because the faces were lying to the -- either

10 to the right-hand or to the left-hand side, yes.

11 Q. Was any of those faces familiar to you?

12 A. No, they were not familiar to me.

13 Q. So you basically cannot say who those people were, based on any

14 prior knowledge. You couldn't give us the names or any closer identifying

15 fact?

16 A. No.

17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, is it time to end for today?

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. Major, I think you can have a

19 well-deserved rest. We will continue on Monday morning. Madam Usher will

20 escort you and please, my recommendation of yesterday not to contact or

21 let anyone contact you on the matters that you're testifying upon. Have a

22 nice weekend.

23 In the meantime, there is one final housekeeping matter that I

24 wish to address very, very short. We are aware of an additional request

25 that was made by some of the Defence -- or one of the Defence teams on

Page 4909

1 behalf of others, particularly, the Serbian components of the various

2 Defence teams pointing out to us that the new year for the Serbian

3 component is on the 13th and 14th of January. And there was specific

4 requests, if possible, to start on the 17th, in order to give an

5 opportunity to the Serbian components of the Defence teams to celebrate

6 the new year with their respective families at home.

7 We can't start on the 17th but we will start on the 16th -- we

8 will start on the 10th as already pointed out, and then, in other words,

9 we will sit on the 10th, 11th and 12th, and we'll try to have the 12th

10 sitting in the morning, if we can. That would enable you to travel back

11 home and be with your families on the 13th and 14th and 15th. So we will

12 not sit on the 15th, but we will resume on the 16th. We can't resume on

13 the 17th. So that's the position. So we'll resume after the Christmas

14 recess on the 10th, sit 10th, 11th, 12th, and then again on the 16th

15 instead of on the 15th. The 15th will be off, all right? Thank you.

16 Have a nice weekend and see you Monday.

17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.31 p.m.,

18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 4th day of December,

19 2006, at 10:00 a.m.