1 Tuesday, 28 October 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: A couple of minutes of private session, with your
8 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Blewitt.
24 MR. NICE: Of course, he is an Australian so I suppose the phrase
25 "long stop" is not inappropriate. That's a cricketing allusion, for His
1 Honour Judge Kwon, will be raised with him I'm sure elsewhere. I will
2 raise with the long stop the possibility.
3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, while we're waiting for the witness to
4 be brought in, if I could bring to the Court's attention the witness,
5 after reviewing the witness summary yesterday which the Prosecution will
6 be tendering pursuant to 89(F), there were six corrections that the
7 witness made, and it's attached as an addendum to the back of that
8 summary. If I can just draw the Chamber's attention to that document.
9 JUDGE MAY: Let us consider, first of all, just before we have the
10 witness, your application under 89(F). On occasion, we have had the
11 document, of course.
12 Are you intending to play any parts of the video?
13 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MAY: You are.
15 MR. GROOME: Yes.
16 JUDGE MAY: And his evidence, in effect, is really -- most of it
17 is a commentary on that video; is that right?
18 MR. GROOME: I would say approximately 60 per cent of it. There
19 are a few portions that he was not permitted to film that he will be
20 speaking about as well.
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, it may be helpful if he deals with the matter
22 fairly fully in chief since time is not as pressing as it usually is.
23 We'll consider whether the rest of it can go in under 89(F).
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Groome, if you could tell us about the situation
1 of the disclosure and translation of those things.
2 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. Just a moment, Your Honour. We
3 are calling up the exact -- precise dates on the computer. I can say that
4 the addendum was disclosed yesterday afternoon, shortly after the witness
5 signed it. The B/C/S version of the original document was disclosed on
6 the 21st of October and the English on the 15th of October.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will admit it on the basis I think it
8 will be helpful to us to have the video played, those parts which are
9 relevant, if you would bear that in mind.
10 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll have the witness, please.
12 MR. GROOME: The Prosecution calls Michel Riviere.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the witness would take the declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat.
18 WITNESS: MICHEL RIVIERE
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Mr. Groome:
21 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you to begin your testimony here this morning
22 by stating your name for the record.
23 A. Michel Riviere.
24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'd ask that an exhibit number be
25 assigned to the 89(F) statement and that it be shown to the witness.
1 THE REGISTRAR: 573, Your Honour.
2 MR. GROOME:
3 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to take a look at this multi-page document, and
4 if I could draw your attention to the last page of that document, I'd ask
5 you, do you recognise your signature on that page?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Have you had an opportunity to read the entirety of this document
8 prior to testifying here this morning?
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. And the initial pages taken with the addendum or the corrections
11 that you made yesterday, do you verify that that is an accurate account of
12 the testimony that you are able to give before this Chamber?
13 A. Yes. These were the corrections we made.
14 MR. GROOME: The Prosecution would tender that document under
16 Q. Sir, the first paragraph of that document describes -- or you
17 describe yourself as being a correspondent for ARTE television in July of
18 1992. Pursuant to your responsibilities with ARTE, were you pursuing a
19 story about the deportation of civilians from the Kozluk area of
21 A. I was in Hungary in July 1992 for another series of stories. I
22 was in Budapest at the time, indeed for the public television station
23 ARTE, and I learned that in the south of Hungary an important convoy of
24 Bosnian refugees had just arrived. I had some free time at my hand, and I
25 asked to be authorised in Budapest to go and see the refugees. I did
1 indeed find myself in the Nojata camp [phoen] in the south of Hungary. It
2 is a former camp of the Red Army. And I met a lot of people from the
3 Kozluk area, in particular the mayor of Kozluk, Fadil. He told me his
4 story that had just been happening a few days before. With a lot of
5 details, he told about ethnic cleansing and about the people who he deemed
6 responsible for the ethnic cleansing operation. I interviewed young
7 people --
8 Q. Sir, after interviewing the people from Kozluk in Hungary, did you
9 go to Belgrade to make arrangements to make a trip to Kozluk in Bosnia?
10 A. Yes, quite. I thought that these were terrifying stories. I
11 called the chief editor in Paris, and I told him that if these things were
12 true, if this testimony was true, it had to be verified on the spot. I
13 had to check the accuracy of the situation. In order to go to Eastern
14 Bosnia, the only way I could go was to go through Belgrade to ask for the
15 authorisation to go. So this is what I did.
16 Q. And where specifically did you go in Belgrade to seek
17 authorisation to enter Eastern Bosnia?
18 A. Well, in Belgrade, I had been working in Yugoslavia in 1989 and
19 1990. I knew what was the equivalent of the information ministry, I knew
20 the various organisations. Close to the Moskva Hotel in the centre of
21 Belgrade there was an old building - it must have been the building of the
22 Tanjug agency - and I was told to go there in order to get a pass to go to
23 Bosnia. I went there, I went to the building, and I was indeed informed
24 that once I had given my press card, I was given a piece of paper telling
25 me that I had to go to Pale. I was given an exact date to go there. I
1 from three to five days to get this authorisation in Pale.
2 Q. When you were seeking authorisation in Belgrade, did the people in
3 Belgrade contact the people in Pale in order to make these arrangements?
4 A. Yes, quite. I had the feeling that I had to do with journalists
5 who were in close contact with the Srna agency in Pale, and anyway, that
6 the names of the journalists were written down somewhere in a book.
7 Q. Now, sir, I'm going to be asking you to describe a video that will
8 be shown on the screen before you and the other people in the courtroom
9 here. Can I ask you at this juncture, did you and your cameraman film
10 portions of your excursion into Eastern Bosnia and into the Pale region?
11 A. Yes. I was authorised to film. My plan was to verify whether
12 what I'd heard in Kozluk was right. You know, my leading theme was what I
13 had heard about Kozluk. So I was given the accreditation to go to Bosnia,
14 but I had to cross the Drina River in the Zvornik area. I did this on the
15 20th of July. I couldn't get directly into Zvornik through the first
16 bridge because I think it was somehow under siege, but I was able to cross
17 the Drina through the second bridge. In other words, through the only
18 checkpoint that was obviously authorised at the time.
19 Q. Sir, now the screen before us has a still of the video, and I will
20 ask that it be played in a minute. It's at 1:05 in the video. Can I --
21 can I ask you to describe what it is we are looking at in this scene on
22 the video.
23 A. You see this image, and what you can see here is the second
24 bridge, the second Zvornik bridge, somewhat out of the city on the Drina,
25 with a lot of military presence. And on the other side of the bridge is
1 Bosnia, and this bridge is the delimitation, the border between Serbia and
3 So on the other side of the bridge, on the Bosnian side, there was
4 a checkpoint where we were checked for about an hour.
5 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask now that the video be played and I'm going
6 to ask that be played up to about 2:10. Can I ask you to describe what it
7 is we are looking at during this one-minute portion of the videotape as
8 it's playing.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. Sir, we've stopped the video at 1:30. Can you please describe
12 what it is we are looking at in this portion.
13 A. Well, this is precisely the checkpoint just beyond the bridge. In
14 other words, we are in Bosnia on the 20th of July, 1992. This is where a
15 press officer checked us, he checked whether our temporary accreditation
16 was a valid one. And on the right of this small kiosk is the Zvornik
17 town, which is where I wanted to go, and so the checks were carried out.
18 On the left-hand side, but it can't be seen on this picture, there
19 was a farm building. And whilst we were waiting, I went to that farm
20 building, and I could see that there were a number of soldiers in various
21 uniforms. And while I'm not a specialist, I must say, in this army, so I
22 can't say, but there were red berets and also apparently regular uniforms
23 and people were leaning over a table where there was a map. When they saw
24 me in civilian clothes, they were very nervous because they didn't know
25 who I was, and it was obvious that operations were being planned.
1 MR. GROOME: We will continue playing the tape.
2 JUDGE MAY: Before you do, the video should have a number.
3 MR. GROOME: I'm sorry, Your Honour, my mistake. This has been
4 marked for identification as 529. I will be seeking to tender it at the
5 conclusion of this witness's testimony.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
7 MR. GROOME: My apologies.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. GROOME:
10 Q. Now, sir, watching some cars go by, it appears that some are
11 stopped and checked and others are allowed to pass without being checked.
12 Was that your experience or your observation during the hour or so that
13 you were there?
14 A. Yes, indeed. Each vehicle was filtered but some could pass
15 without any problems - I guess people knew each other - whilst others were
16 stopped and checked more seriously, the way it was for us.
17 Q. Now, in paragraph 7 of the summary, the 89(F) statement that's now
18 in evidence, you describe how you were eventually permitted to leave the
19 checkpoint but were made to carry a soldier with you and you were not
20 permitted to take any film of your trip to Pale. Can I ask you to
21 summarise for the Chamber any significant observations you made between
22 Zvornik and Pale.
23 A. Yes, indeed. After being authorised not to go to Zvornik but to
24 go to the left of it, I thought that I would eventually manage to get to
25 Kozluk. First we had to take with us a military man, who checked us, and
1 then we were not allowed to film. On the whole trip that was to lead us
2 to Kozluk, well it was a trip where you could see the whole chaos of this
4 There were checkpoints everywhere. We didn't necessarily stay on
5 the main road. Every now and then we had to be taken to by-roads, to
6 small villages. We were somehow veering from checkpoint to checkpoint,
7 and I was able to observe at a given point in time on the right-hand side
8 of the road two or three types of freshly dug out graveyards on the --
9 along the roadside. And what struck me was that there seemed to be a lot
10 of provisional graves. There were pieces of wood with pieces of clothing
11 on top of them, it may have been T-shirts or shoes. I couldn't identify
12 the nature of these temporary graves.
13 So I carried on my way up to Pale in these conditions. There was
14 a lot of troop moments. There were occasional fire. There were tanks
15 checking the crossroads. And towards the late afternoon, I made it to
16 Pale where I was eventually to exchange my provisional accreditation to
17 get a press card, a press pass, that was established in the television
18 centre in the centre of Pale, and I think that's where it was.
19 MR. GROOME: Can I ask that an exhibit number be assigned to this
20 document, and I ask that this document, this identification card, be shown
21 to the witness.
22 THE REGISTRAR: 574, Your Honour.
23 MR. GROOME:
24 Q. Sir, you've just testified about going to a particular location in
25 Pale to receive credentials. Can I ask you to look at the document before
1 you, which is now Exhibit 574. Do you recognise that document?
2 A. Yes, absolutely. This is the press card, the credentials I was
3 given, with number 226, in exchange for the printed paper that I had got
4 in Belgrade and cost $50. As to my cameraman, he got number -- the number
5 before mine --
6 Q. Now, after --
7 A. -- 126.
8 Q. Now, after receiving this credential, did you and your cameraman
9 to a restaurant in order to eat some food?
10 A. Yes. There where I was in the press centre, I asked where there
11 was the closest hotel, and I was shown a kind of chalet, a lodge where I
12 went in order just to drop gear and just to have a rest after a rather
13 heavy day.
14 Q. And when you and the cameraman were in the restaurant, were you
15 approached by two men?
16 A. Yes. Well, you see, there were the two of us. I did not have any
17 interpreter with me, so there was my cameraman and myself, and we were
18 about to go and have dinner when two military men with red berets came
19 towards our table. They simply asked us whether they could sit down with
20 us. They ordered some drinks. We had ordered some food. We started
21 talking over a drink in a restaurant about which we were told that it was
22 probably kept by a Muslim because their grilled meat was good, and it was
23 in a hamlet -- in a restaurant called Koran. They said that they'd seen
24 our car in the parking lot. Since it was a French car, they thought that
25 French and Serbs always had had good connections. So that's probably why
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 they came towards our table.
2 Q. So that we're clear, these two mean, did you ever learn their
3 names or did they ever give you their names?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Are you able to distinguish them by the type of weapon that each
6 of them carried?
7 A. Rather quickly we understood, because it was not a very sort of
8 coherent discussion, you know, and the discussion was taking place in
9 English, so very quickly we understood that they would not give their
10 names. I asked the question, and one of them replied that if we were to
11 know their real names, we might be killed.
12 I was able to identify them. One of them had a long knife, and he
13 was playing with it. So I could identify him. And the other one had an
14 automatic pistol.
15 The one with the long knife said, when I asked him -- since I
16 wanted to go to Kozluk, and when I asked him how Kozluk was, what was
17 happening there, he didn't react to the name of Kozluk because indeed
18 through ethnic cleansing there Kozluk had become Cacan [phoen]. And he
19 said that Kozluk and Zvornik, that was all over for him, that the Muslims
20 had had their throats slitted, they had not been gunned, and now that the
21 Sarajevo battle was starting. The one with the automatic pistol, throwing
22 it on the table, explained that when they were not killed with a knife,
23 were killed with a pistol. The man with the knife explained that they
24 were killed like pigs, because indeed for them --
25 Q. Just so the record is clear -- I think, because of the
1 translation, maybe some of your gestures are not being captured on the
2 record. You've made a motion across your throat. Did one of the men make
3 a gesture across -- a similar gesture; and if so, which one, the man with
4 the knife or the man with the automatic pistol?
5 A. The man who made that gesture was the man with the knife. And by
6 the way, he was the more aggressive of the two. And he was the one who
7 spoke the most. Anyway, he tended to brag a little about his actions.
8 And he was the man who also threatened my cameraman by asking him if
9 he was Turkish, by threatening him with his knife and looking at him
10 straight in the eyes. I mean, my cameraman is from the south of France,
11 and in that area they're a bit more dark-skinned, let's say.
12 Q. Can I ask you before you continue, did you have an impression
13 whether either of these men or both of these men had been drinking
15 A. I believe that the man who drunk the most alcohol was the one with
16 the long knife, and he was the one who talked most. And they kept on
17 drinking whilst they were sitting with us, whilst we were eating, and the
18 conversation lasted for about two hours.
19 Q. Did these men at some point during the conversation identify what
20 unit, or the name of the unit that they belonged to?
21 A. Well, it was ruled out that names were given. They may have given
22 pseudonyms, but they said clearly that they belonged to the White Eagles
23 and that they were carrying out operations wherever they wished, in all
24 villages where they wanted, and they were given carte blanche to do
25 whatever they wanted and that their commander was Commander Marko.
1 I was rather surprised by one thing: These two men wanted to pay
2 for our drinks. I refused to be paid for anything. I let them pay for
3 their drinks. I paid for our food, and I was very surprised to see that
4 they had bundles of banknotes, both dinars -- and they were, you know,
5 brand new banknotes or they were new dinars probably. A lot of dinars, a
6 lot of German marks. And I was amazed to see so much money. And they
7 said that they did not belong to the regular army, so that they were not
8 being paid and therefore that they were authorised in somehow to be paid
9 by the boot, that they were authorised to loot.
10 Q. Can I draw your attention back to the reference one of them made
11 to Zvornik. Can I ask you to tell us which person made a reference to
12 what had occurred in Zvornik, and can you, as precisely as you're able,
13 recall what it was he said.
14 A. Regarding the Zvornik area and the town itself, they said this:
15 "We're Serbs. We're being threatened by the Muslims. We have to protect
16 ourselves. We have to protect the West. So we have to cleanse this
17 area." I repeat what I said, but indeed his speech was the following:
18 "The Zvornik battle is over now. We've got to take care of Sarajevo."
19 And it even went further than that, but I think he was bragging, you know,
20 the way drunk soldiers do. He said, "We're not waiting for the Europeans,
21 we're waiting to fight the Americans."
22 Q. And which of the men said this, if you recall; the man with the
23 knife or the man with the automatic pistol?
24 A. All these speeches were held mainly by the man with the knife.
25 The man with the pistol was sort of translating into English whenever we
1 found it difficult to understand each other.
2 Q. And once again, if I can ask you to speak as precisely as you can
3 about what either of these men said about their purpose for being in the
4 Sarajevo area.
5 A. Well, the purpose, as stated by them to me was that the Sarajevo
6 battle was -- had just begun and that, therefore, we could think that
7 their assignment was to cleanse the areas that were, in their view, not
8 safe around Sarajevo, and they had been given carte blanche to move around
9 Sarajevo. And towards the end of the meal, they even suggested -- because
10 I had serious doubts about it all. We had happened to be there, we had
11 not planned this meeting, these people had come to see us at the table.
12 And since I was expressing some doubt, they insisted on taking us to their
13 command centre to show that that -- what they were saying was real.
14 Q. Sir, before we go to or ask you to talk about the command centre,
15 you testified that they, or one of the men, said that they were authorised
16 to keep the money from the people that they were cleansing. Did they
17 speak specifically to who it was that authorised them to do this?
18 A. No. All I know is that it was obviously a unit that had been
19 created not in the way Arkan's unit had been created anyway. By the way,
20 this man with the knife must have been in Vukovar, and he didn't get on
21 with Arkan. I think that a lot of these men were not pleased with Arkan.
22 It had to do with money. So their unit was more radical, more autonomous.
23 They purchased themselves their equipment, the uniforms and the weapons,
24 and this is why they needed money - I repeat what I said - unlike the
25 regular army that got money.
1 Q. Now, you've just testified that they offered to take you to their
2 headquarters, and from paragraph 17 from the 89(F) statement, we can see
3 that they did in fact take you to the headquarters.
4 Can I draw your attention once again now to the video monitor in
5 front of you. It's now at 2:12 of the video. Can you please describe
6 where this location is that we can now see on the video before I ask it to
7 be played.
8 A. You have this picture, and you can see the two people outside the
9 restaurant. They took us further into Pale, a few minutes away from this
10 restaurant/lodge where we had dinner. They took us to a place that looked
11 like a municipal building, and there was a large parking lot outside it.
12 Q. The scene that we can see now, is this inside that building?
13 A. Yes, yes. This is the main entrance, and just behind it on the
14 left there's the parking lot, and on the right-hand side a large room that
15 was a reception area.
16 Q. I'm going to ask that the video be played now. I will ask that it
17 be paused at several parts and I will note the time and then ask you to
18 comment. We can begin by playing the video.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. GROOME:
21 Q. Sir, the men that are depicted now in this portion of the video at
22 2:28, do you recognise any of the men in this still?
23 A. The man who is in the centre, you see from the back with the long
24 knife, in the back, is indeed the man we spoke to in the restaurant. And
25 on the far right you can see rather poorly, but you can see, but I'm
1 certain it's him, the man with the pistol, but I'm sure the man with the
2 knife I met is the one in the centre of these two. I didn't know the
3 other two people.
4 MR. GROOME: We'll resume the play.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. Do you recognise anybody now in this particular portion? This is
8 now at 2:41.
9 A. Yes. On the left-hand side is the man with the long knife, and to
10 the right you have the man who was sort of toying with his pistol.
11 MR. GROOME: I ask that it be restarted.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. GROOME:
14 Q. Sir, in the video we can see them what appears to be loading
15 weapons. Was that the general activity of the men in the room?
16 A. Yes. This room was used by them to watch television, sort of a
17 sitting room, and there was a corridor, and I realised later that there
18 were weapons there.
19 Q. We've paused at tape at 3:19. There's a man now in a grey
20 sweatshirt on the left-hand side. Who is that?
21 A. It's me a few years before. And you can see by the way I'm
22 dressed that I was not at all prepared for this type of situation. I was
23 taken by surprise, just as was the case for my cameraman. We were meaning
24 to have dinner and then go to bed.
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. Did there come a time when you were asked or your cameraman was
3 directed to turn off the camera inside the command centre?
4 A. Yes. At various points in time, we were obliged to stop filming,
5 especially when they went to look for weapons, and we will see that
6 situation very clearly a little later.
7 Q. We are now seeing what appears to be a movie being played on a
8 television. Can you explain that to us? And that's at 4:18.
9 A. I had an impression that this was a Rambo film, and all the
10 videotapes were war, depicted war scenes.
11 Q. Did it appear to you that the men in that centre, or that
12 building, were preparing for some type of military mission?
13 A. I had the feeling that the people who were there could go on
14 mission at any point in time, and we could see that in this room most of
15 the men were equipped either to go on mission or were just returning from
16 a mission.
17 Q. Now, the video has been paused at 4:35. Can I ask you to describe
18 what it is we are looking at here.
19 A. That is a second room that was next to the room where the TV set
20 was. So it is a restroom, and the man on the left is a man who also had a
21 long knife at the back and who made the same kind of gesture as the one in
22 the restaurant, showing that he too would kill with his knife, slitting
23 throats of people.
24 Q. And we can see in this man's belt a red beret, and we can see
25 another red beret on what appears to be the window sill. Did all the men
1 inside this centre have red berets as part of their uniforms?
2 A. Yes. It was clear that that was one unit, a commando unit, and
3 that they had red berets on their heads or in their pockets. They all
4 belonged to the same unit, the same entity.
5 Q. If we could restart the tape, and I'd ask you to narrate what it
6 is we are looking at as it plays.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is an illustration of what I
9 have just told you. So this man too had a long knife attached in the back
10 at his belt, and he was in a kind of complicity with the other man with
11 the long knife.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. GROOME:
14 Q. We are now at approximately 5:15. Is the room or the place where
15 the weapons were stored, can that be seen in this picture?
16 A. Yes, to the left of this reception area and at the end of this
17 corridor was the place where people went to fetch their weapons, as we
18 will see later. And there were different types of weapons, light weapons
19 as well as some heavier weapons.
20 As we can see now, all of these weapons were at the bottom of
21 room, and obviously we were not allowed to film that. This was a
22 Kalashnikov, for instance. And there were other types of weapons as well.
23 Q. Approximately how many men altogether were preparing for a mission
24 in this room?
25 A. I think that there were about 20 persons, but I must specify that
1 up until the moment we left and I saw this bus on the parking lot, I still
2 didn't believe that we would be leaving on mission with this group. I
3 thought that this was a joke by the man from the restaurant.
4 Q. We are now at 6:50 in the video, and we can see a bus. Were you
5 and your cameraman permitted to go on the bus with them as they drove to a
7 A. I think that their person -- their purpose was to take us, and we
8 took this bus upon the initiative of the two men that we met in the
9 restaurant. And we see that this is a group that was fully equipped and
10 that could confront any kind of operation.
11 Q. The man that's in the foreground of this picture, another witness
12 has spoken to knowledge about this man. Can you describe who this man is
13 for us if you -- can you describe who this man is?
14 A. This is the man that carried the long knife with whom we had a
15 lengthy discussion in the restaurant. He's the one who explained to us
16 how his unit functioned, the fact that most of the people were coming from
17 different parts of Serbia, the region of Belgrade, et cetera, and he
18 explained all the mechanisms of cleansing and who in fact initiated this
19 situation, saying that he could go anywhere he wanted and that he had a
20 kind of carte blanche.
21 Q. Sir, so the record is clear, there's only one man in the picture
22 with a beard, or looks like unshaven. Is that the man that you're
23 referring to now?
24 A. Yes. It's always the same man, there's no doubt about that.
25 Throughout this clip it is the same person?
1 MR. GROOME: Please continue.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. And this man now driving the bus, who is he?
5 A. This man is the second person who was in the restaurant with us
6 and who carried that Colt and who was more withdrawn in relation to his
7 colleague but who was an accomplice in creating this whole situation.
8 MR. GROOME: And this is at 7:29. If we could continue that
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. Sir, the weapon that this man has, it's partially visible in the
13 video. Can I ask you to describe what you recall about this weapon to the
15 A. I think that this was a rifle with a sniper, an infrared sight,
16 and I think that at the time I had not been frequently to Sarajevo, as I
17 would be going later on, and I didn't know the kind of use that such a
18 weapon could be put to.
19 MR. GROOME: I'd ask the video continue, and this, for the record,
20 was at 7:44.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. Now, sir, while the video is playing the bus moving, can I ask you
24 to describe for the Chamber the length of the trip and what you recall
25 about the trip that you took on the bus with these men.
1 A. The trip was in the middle of the night, about midnight, one hour
2 after midnight. It lasted about one hour. What impressed me most was
3 that there were no checkpoints or, rather, when there were any, they
4 passed without being checked. At certain places, the men would slide down
5 in their seats, and I concluded that they were passing through dangerous
6 areas that were not fully controlled by them. So they were clearly
7 proving that they could move around wherever they wanted to in this region
8 without any control or restrictions.
9 Q. Did there come a time when this bus was overtaken by an army jeep?
10 A. Yes. During this first trip, we were actually stopped by a
11 military jeep, and we were forced to make an about-turn.
12 Q. Approximately how much time elapsed between the time you left the
13 centre in the bus to the time that you were stopped by the military jeep?
14 A. I think it was about after one hour, in my opinion.
15 Q. Can you -- we're now at 9:44. Can you please describe what it is
16 we're looking at now.
17 A. After the jeep stopped us, I concluded that it must have been the
18 unit commander who stopped the bus, learning that the men had left in a
19 sort of an adventurous manner. So we returned to the command centre, to
20 this municipal hall, and there I would meet the person who was referred to
21 by his men as Commander Marko and who was going to -- who will organise
22 the next trip with the same bus and virtually in a similar sort of
24 MR. GROOME: I'd ask the video continue playing
25 [Videotape played]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. GROOME:
2 Q. We're now at 9:50 and continuing. Can you please narrate what it
3 is we're looking at in this portion of the video.
4 A. We're now outside this hall. To the right we see Commander Marko.
5 We were no longer allowed to film inside, as we had been previously, and
6 we see that the man with the long knife was not allowed to go with the
7 unit again, because I imagine that the commander came to the conclusion
8 that he was not desirable.
9 So we took the same bus in a more serious atmosphere here. This
10 is the man who was introduced to us as being Commander Marko, the
11 commander of this unit or group.
12 Q. We're now at 10:44 into the video. There's only one man visible
13 in the frame at this time, who you've just identified as Commander Marko.
14 He's carrying a weapon. Can I ask you to describe what you recall about
15 that weapon.
16 A. I think that this is also a sniper rifle. Actually, we will go to
17 a place close to Sarajevo which was a place for sniping.
18 Q. On the bus on this second excursion out from the command centre,
19 how many men had sniper rifles similar to the one that we can see here in
20 this frame?
21 A. I think that there were about three people with this type of
22 weapon. Others had bazookas and others had lighter weapons.
23 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that we continue playing the video.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. This portion of the video is pitch black. Is that an accurate
2 representation of the lighting conditions -- I'm sorry, the lighting
3 conditions at the scene where it was filmed?
4 A. At this part, we are on the heights around Sarajevo. Sarajevo is
5 in complete darkness. Everything is dark. I did not film the second
6 trip. I only filmed this small sequence.
7 So we were at a particular spot, and I came back again to the same
8 spot and found that position.
9 Q. I wanted to ask you a few questions about the night that -- or the
10 -- let me -- the night that you went on the second mission, can you
11 describe the location where you went and how far away it was from the
12 command centre.
13 A. Yes. I think it was more or less the same route. We travelled
14 perhaps a quarter of an hour longer, but all this is relative in such
15 situations, plus/minus five minutes, but I would say that the route --
16 that the trip took about one hour to reach the outskirts of Sarajevo.
17 Q. Can you recall for the Chamber what it was you observed when you
18 arrived at the location where the bus stopped.
19 A. Yes. Apart from the total darkness and the silence after the
20 noise we had heard all day of fighting, that there were casings of
21 different calibres of weapons everywhere around us.
22 Q. At this point in time, in the darkness, were you able to see what
23 it was that was in front of where you were standing?
24 A. No, absolutely nothing. It was total darkness around us.
25 Q. How long did you remain there at that location?
1 A. We stayed about ten minutes, 15 minutes. Nothing happened. And
2 then Commander Marko, as we could see on the few dark pictures, that he
3 decided to have his unit return to Pale, and we did.
4 After returning to Pale, Commander Marko, with his lieutenant whom
5 we didn't see on the picture, who is a student from Belgrade who spoke
6 good English, accompanied me to the hotel together with my cameraman, and
7 we had a lengthy discussion on the parking lot of the hotel, and there I
8 had quite a different talk to what we heard from the two men in the
9 restaurant. I would qualify it as an ideological discussion. Actually,
10 Commander Marko explained to me that he had lost the media war, that he
11 was endeavouring to win the opinion war, and that we in the West should
12 understand that their role was to defend the West even though they came
13 from all parts of Serbia, that the West needed to fight against the
14 possible invasion of Islam, and for the first time I heard mention of a
15 kind of a green belt going through Kosovo -- Turkey, Kosovo, Sandzak
16 towards Europe, and he spoke at length about the problems of Muslims in
17 France. And this was a propaganda speech which I had already heard in the
18 years 1989, 1990 during the electoral campaigns for the Presidency in
19 Serbia and Kosovo.
20 Q. Sir, the next day, then, did you and your cameraman, by
21 yourselves, find your way back to the location where you were the night
23 A. Yes. It was enough to ask for the road to Sarajevo, and people
24 would point it out to us, and I did make this trip again. And I learned
25 two days later that I had made the same trip that I had made two nights
2 Q. I'm going to now ask that the video resume at 11:14, and if I
3 would ask you to narrate what it is we are looking at as it plays.
4 [Videotape played]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This entire area, these are the
6 slopes of Trebevic, and once you leave Pale and the forests around Pale,
7 you are on the heights around Sarajevo. This whole area was under
8 military control, and one could see that the hotel complexes and
9 restaurants, the tourist areas which I knew before the war because I
10 visited there, that everything had been destroyed, and this whole area was
11 being held by the army, the artillery along the road, we only saw that.
12 So I filmed a few sequences, and we see very well that we are on the
13 heights around Sarajevo.
14 MR. GROOME: Can we just pause the video at 12:17 just to give the
15 Chamber a chance to take a closer look.
16 Q. Can you approximate how far was the place where you were from the
17 -- this part of Sarajevo as the bird would fly?
18 A. I think as the crow flies, it's not more than a kilometre. This
19 is a limited area covered by the camera, but I think that the closest
20 buildings were about one kilometre away.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. This portion of the road, is this also at the location where the
24 bus was the night before?
25 A. Yes, exactly so. This is the place where there was a parking and
1 a view, and I recognised it because we stopped there, and I saw during the
2 day all the casings of different calibre, and I realised that this was a
3 sniper position which provided complete coverage of Sarajevo.
4 This was a very dangerous area, and one can hear constant
5 shooting, whether it is with light weapons or whatever, return sniper fire
6 coming in the other direction.
7 Q. While you were there with your cameraman, did you hear fire coming
8 in your direction from Sarajevo?
9 A. Yes, yes. At this spot, which was one of the hot spots for
10 snipers, we were indeed sniped at from the opposite direction. So I
11 imagine this was coming from Bosnian positions.
12 Q. Sir, I've omitted or I'm skipping over a portion of the video
13 between 13:20 and 17:20. Is that a portion of the video that was shot in
14 the Lukavica barracks that you visited on that day as well?
15 A. Yes. After that, after Trebevic and before entering Sarajevo was
16 the Lukavica barracks by Lukavica. My intention originally was to enter
17 Sarajevo. I understood that with the Red Berets and ethnic cleansing and
18 the testimony about Kozluk which confirmed all that, that we needed to go
19 to Sarajevo, and in order to do that we had to pass through a checkpoint
20 at the Lukavica barracks. And I think the UNPROFOR, at the time the
21 Canadian Battalion, would come and check journalists and other persons
22 wanting to go into Sarajevo.
23 Q. I'm just conscious of the time. Would it be fair to say that you
24 ultimately were not able to get into Sarajevo but later that day you did
25 return to the same location you were the night before and took additional
2 A. Yes. We were with the Hungarian television that were able to
3 enter Sarajevo, and we had to go back to Pale and to suspend this mission
5 Q. I'm going to resume the video at 17:24. Once again if I could ask
6 you to describe what it is we are looking at as it plays.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here we are on the return route,
9 still on the slopes of Trebevic, and the places with sniper positions
10 frequently framed by tanks. You don't see that on the picture. And one
11 can see that this whole area was very heavily armed, militarised.
12 Specifically what surprised us was that these were regular troops and that
13 the cannon were all facing in the same direction. So I think there was no
14 doubt as to the destination of the ammunition.
15 [Videotape played]
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether it is cannon or tanks or
17 machine-guns, they were all pointed towards Sarajevo. And this was a day
18 when there was a lot of shooting and bombing, and the town was shelled
20 These are all reinforced and protected positions on the heights
21 surrounding, overlooking Sarajevo.
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. At 19:13, is this an artillery piece that we can see in the frame?
24 A. Yes, indeed. There were different calibres of weapons and
25 artillery. These are all artillery pieces of different calibres.
1 These are positions that were slightly more reinforced and better
2 protected. I think it is an old compound, hotel compound, in fact, and
3 that in protected areas like this there were more heavy weaponry -- there
4 was more heavy weaponry; between 120 and 240 millimetres.
5 Q. Sir, a moment ago you drew a distinction between regular soldiers
6 and the men that you had been with the night before. How is it that you
7 distinguish between the two different types of men that you encountered on
8 your trip?
9 A. I think that the bearing of these people was quite different.
10 Here we see units of the army, perhaps the ex-federal army, and they
11 weren't actually commandos, and their behaviour on conduct was different.
12 And on the way, en route, I noticed that many of those soldiers would take
13 -- make stop-offs as if they were hiking. And I don't think that many of
14 them were pleased to be in a situation of that kind in actual fact.
15 Q. Sir, we've stopped or paused at video at 21:02. Are you familiar
16 with the Sarajevo library, the old Turkish library?
17 A. Yes, quite. I did know the building. It was situated in the
18 centre of the picture, and I said a moment ago that I did visit Sarajevo
19 before the war several times, so I was well acquainted with that whole
20 general area, the old city centre of Sarajevo, Bas Carsija and the rest of
22 Q. Is it visible in this frame; and if it is could I ask you to
23 describe which building it is for the Chamber.
24 A. We can see that it is the building in actual fact in the very
25 centre of this image and that the building is intact, the 21st or 22nd of
1 July, 1992, the building was standing. It was intact.
2 MR. GROOME: Please resume.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. And sir, this vantage point that the cameraman is at now, where is
6 this in respect to the location that you were the night before with the
7 men in the red berets?
8 A. These are all places which, relatively speaking, were fairly
9 near. This whole stretch of ground here was about a kilometre or more
10 away, and then we went further towards the interior, the forest towards
11 Pale. So actually, all these points and locations here and all this type
12 of weaponry where the snipers installed themselves were concentrated,
13 geographically speaking, in one area.
14 Q. We're now at 21:58 on the video. Can you describe what it is that
15 is being filmed now.
16 A. Once again, we see the difference between the paramilitary groups
17 who were coming in from other regions and the regular troops which were
18 going up and down to and from the front and who were probably locals from
19 the region who were taking buses, who would normally take a bus in any
20 other situation.
21 So that's where we were, on our return route going back to Pale
22 and Belgrade.
23 Q. And for the record, we've terminated the video at 6 22:35. And
24 as the 89(F) statement, in paragraphs 44 and 45 describe, you were able
25 then to return back into Serbia generally via the way that you came to
1 Pale; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. We took the exact same itinerary and route with the same
3 types of situations. And when crossing the bridge at Zvornik, we
4 encountered the same type of fighting, and we passed from Bosnia to Serbia
5 in the night between the 23rd -- the night of the 23rd, in fact. There
6 was a lot of fighting going on even at 20 kilometres from the Zvornik
7 bridge, including during the night.
8 Q. Sir, yesterday, in cooperation with members of the Office of the
9 Prosecutor's staff, did you work on a document containing stills from the
10 video with notes made by you indicating certain important identifications
11 from the video?
12 A. Yes. Would you like me to comment on those stills?
13 Q. I'd ask you, is that the document that you worked on yesterday,
14 making your notes about what is depicted in the video at the particular
15 time indicated in the left-hand column?
16 A. Yes, that's right. It's the same document that we worked on
17 yesterday, absolutely.
18 Q. And those are the -- the video that we've seen here today, is that
19 an accurate version of the video that was taken by yourself and your
20 cameraman on the trip that you've described in July of 1992?
21 A. Yes, it is. Everything is exact, all the stills.
22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would formally tender that exhibit
23 now, and I would ask that this document containing the stills and the
24 notes, that that be tendered as well, and may I suggest that we tender it
25 as tab 2 to keep it with Exhibit 529, the video itself.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the video would be 529. Tab 1 would
2 be the excerpts of the video viewed today, and tab 2 would be the stills.
3 MR. GROOME: And, Your Honour, if I could just note a
4 typographical error on this tab 2 of 529. In the third still, where it
5 says 3:34, that should read 4:34. That's a typographical error.
6 I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Riviere, the film you shot in Bosnia in July
10 1992, which we have partially been shown here through a series of
11 different stills and images endeavours to describe the atmosphere at the
12 battlefront, is that right? In that area; is that right, the area you
13 were in?
14 A. This film wasn't a film that was ordered or imposed. It's not a
15 situation that I created. It was a situation created by the Red Berets
16 themselves. Quite simply, I found some answers to the various testimony
17 that I heard in Hungary, in Kozlugi -- about Kozluk, I'm sorry. And I
18 wasn't able to include testimony from the people of Kozluk themselves, and
19 so I didn't want to doubt any of the testimonies a priori, either by the
20 people or the Red Berets. And in fact, during that period of time, those
21 two testimonies were corroborated and bore each other out. They explained
22 all the mechanisms of ethnic cleansing in Eastern Bosnia, and everything
23 that the people of Kozluk had had to go through or the people of Zvornik.
24 Q. Let's just dwell for a short time on Kozluk, because we did have a
25 witness here who was the president of Kozluk. As far as I remember his
1 testimony, the citizens of Kozluk demanded that they be allowed to leave
2 the area, and with the help of the Red Cross, through Serbia, they were
3 evacuated to Hungary, because that's what they wanted to do themselves,
4 and that is common knowledge.
5 Do you know that? Do you know about that? Are you aware of it?
6 A. The version of the inhabitants of Kozluk, and you mentioned the
7 president or, rather, the mayor of Kozluk I assume you mean - I remember
8 his first name, it was Fadil - that was something in actual fact which had
9 to be verified. But what I questioned was not that. I listened to the
10 testimony of the women from Kozluk, a lot of them, and when you hear women
11 testify, and I remember a case in point, a particular woman, what I
12 remarked there with respect to Kozluk was that she explained that her baby
13 was killed, it was only several months old, because it was taken by a
14 soldier, by its legs and killed. And others said that their sons and
15 husbands had been killed. So I don't know whether under those
16 circumstances one can speak about the people voluntarily wanting to leave.
17 So I just filmed the testimony in the raw, if I can put it that
18 way, and that's what I wanted to show. There were --
19 Q. Mr. Riviere, we have seen nothing of those testimonies. What I'm
20 talking about is what you have testified about here in the courtroom.
21 Now, this witness from Kozluk explained that all of them, unimpeded, did
22 go to Hungary --
23 JUDGE MAY: You've put that to the witness already, Mr. Milosevic,
24 and he's given you his response. That was the response that he talked to
25 people, as he put it, in the raw, and that was the response that they
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I should like to dwell for
3 a moment on what the witness testified here.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You can ask him. You can certainly ask him --
5 wait a moment. You can certainly ask him a question, of course, about
6 what he's said in evidence, but simply repeating questions which you've
7 already put is a waste of time.
8 Now, you've put what the witness said here. He's given you his
9 response. Now, move on to something else. Ask another question.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's what I'm doing. I'm asking
11 him about his film, because his film represents the largest part of his
12 testimony. So the question was whether he reflects the atmosphere in that
13 war-infested area, which is where he took the shots, where he filmed it.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Riviere, I don't know what that question means,
15 but I suppose you could be asked: Do you think you accurately reflected
16 the atmosphere of what was going on, you accurately reflected the sites
17 which you saw in the film?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I'm a little surprised by
19 the question, because when one takes footage of this kind of film, one
20 doesn't film the ambience.
21 JUDGE MAY: I'm trying to put a question that he's asking, to make
22 sense of it. That's the point. So don't be offended in any way.
23 Is there anything -- put it this way: Was there anything you
24 filmed -- was there anything you didn't film which might have made a
25 difference to what you've showed or what you've talked about?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I did grasp your question and
2 the sense of it, and I wasn't taking offence in any way, but as I say, it
3 wasn't atmosphere and ambience, it was facts. The testimony from the
4 people of Kozluk that we broadcast over French television and the footage
5 recorded with the Red Berets, they weren't images or footage that was
6 artificial, created by us; they were realistic images. The weapons of the
7 White Eagles were not the weapons contrary to the video taken by Rambo,
8 and it wasn't a wild goose chase either. So this was footage of a precise
9 situation, a situation in Bosnia that existed, that was one of confusion
10 and could appear such if one came in from outside, but once one was there
11 in the locality, it became very clear.
12 So I did not ask for any testimony, I just filmed events as they
13 were progressing, improvised very often, and I filmed facts and recorded
14 what was going on without making any value judgements myself.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Well, we saw the footage you took, and you keep mentioning Kozluk.
17 Perhaps I missed something here, but I didn't see anything that had to do
18 with Kozluk actually on your footage, or perhaps that was skipped over in
19 the footage we saw, but I really didn't see anything to connect with
20 Kozluk in the film.
21 A. The reason for my going to Bosnia in the first place was precisely
22 because I had heard testimony about Eastern Bosnia, and I can be at the
23 court's disposal and present all the testimony that was made to me; the
24 names of the people, the dates, and everything they said with respect to
25 ethnic cleansing in that period, July 1992, Eastern Bosnia being the
2 Q. Mr. --
3 JUDGE MAY: I think we've come to time for an adjournment. It's
4 after half past.
5 Yes, Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: I would just state that we are in possession of this
7 other piece of work which is the interview of the Kozluk victims. It was
8 not the Prosecution's intention to tender that, but if the Chamber wishes,
9 I can secure a copy of that over the break.
10 JUDGE MAY: No. Thank you very much.
11 Mr. Riviere, we're going to adjourn for 20 minutes. Could I
12 remind you, as we mind all witnesses, not to speak to anybody about your
13 evidence until it's over.
14 Twenty minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have one hour and ten minutes,
18 should you require it, for further cross-examination.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Riviere, quite simply, in the testimony we heard from you
21 today and the footage we saw, there's nothing from Kozluk; isn't that
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Groome, perhaps you would like to repeat, because
24 it's apparent the accused didn't hear this.
25 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MAY: It's not disputed that there is nothing from Kozluk
2 shown in court. Now, would you like to repeat again what you said before
3 so the accused can hear it.
4 MR. GROOME: That's correct, Your Honour. The witness made a
5 piece about Kozluk from Hungary which was aired on ARTE TV. I have a copy
6 of that and it's available should the court wish.
7 The second piece is the raw footage from his attempts to get to
8 Kozluk. He was never permitted go to Kozluk, as he's testified about and
9 is in the 89(F) statement. So there is no footage from Kozluk simply
10 because he was prevented from going there.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. We've cleared that point
13 up then.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, what we can see on the film in this war-infested area, the
16 footage we saw, those were scenes from a time when there wasn't any
17 fighting going on, actually, because there's no fighting, no combat action
18 on the actual footage. Isn't that right?
19 A. There was fighting going on. All you would have to do was to
20 listen to the soundtrack of some of the footage and you would, in actual
21 fact, hear light-arms fire or fire from heavier weaponry. But in any
22 case, if you -- not throughout the film, but that's television for you.
23 We see -- we hear fairly distinctly on the soundtrack fighting going on.
24 Q. Very well. So in -- the film doesn't actually show the fighting,
25 and you can hear shots sporadically from an unspecified direction, but you
1 haven't got the footage of actual fighting, of actual combat action, have
3 A. If by that you mean cannon shots or shots are not tantamount to
4 combat operation, what is a combat operation then?
5 Q. Well, I didn't see anywhere on this footage any cannons, any guns
6 firing, actually firing, shots of cannons actually firing; that's all I'm
8 Now, tell me this, please, Mr. Riviere: Am I right in observing
9 that the only combat action you actually filmed, and which was mentioned
10 in the summary, was the shooting of a bullet from the position of Sarajevo
11 towards the Serb positions? And you have that in paragraph 38 of the
12 summary, and on the videotape it is at 12:57. At least, that's what I've
13 noted down, where you hear a bullet fly past.
14 A. Yes, that's right. If you were in that position that was sniped
15 and if you take it that a sniper shot from the Bosnian side was an action
16 of war directed actually against us, against the civilians and the press,
17 we can consider that everything we heard as shots or as gunfire, et
18 cetera, throughout the period of time that we were there was really combat
19 action. But on the -- and there is no doubt with respect to the location
20 from which this gunfire, machine-gun fire came from. So we were able to
21 know which side this heavy weaponry was targeting in actual fact.
22 Q. All right. So that means that you just filmed the Muslims at one
23 point shooting at the Serbs and nothing else with respect to fighting. Is
24 that right?
25 A. If the question is this, that you're asking me whether the Muslims
1 were shooting at the Serbs, I -- my answer is I can't tell you who the
2 Muslims were. It was Bosniaks rather than Muslims and who the Serbs were
3 at a point in time when the army on the high ground -- was on the high
4 ground around Sarajevo, so one could think that there were fragments of
5 the federal army, in fact. So I really can't answer your question.
6 Q. These were parts of the army of Republika Srpska, as far as I
7 know, in those days, and not of the federal army. You do not mention any
8 federal army in your statement. Is that right, Mr. Riviere?
9 A. In my statement, I mentioned two different elements of the armed
10 forces that I was able to see on the ground. There was first what I
11 thought to be a regular army, and I was not able to identify them formally
12 except that when I was on the heights around Sarajevo, I was able to
13 notice that the weapons were turned in one single direction.
14 On the other hand, the few hours I spent with Red Berets
15 instructed me that these were paramilitaries, Serb paramilitaries. Their
16 talk -- discussions were quite explicit in that sense. I did not engage
17 in any investigation as to the forces that appeared to me to be regular
19 Q. The regular army of Republika Srpska, yes. However, these young
20 men that you met in the restaurant and later where they lived and slept
21 and watched television, et cetera, and in the bars, they were going on a
22 mission that never took place and came back twice.
23 According to your testimony, they belonged to the White Eagles
24 paramilitary group; isn't that right?
25 A. Yes, absolutely.
1 Q. In paragraph 12 of your summary, it says that one of the White
2 Eagles, the one with the long knife, said, "We are coming from everywhere
3 to save the Serb nation. It is our duty"; and I quote your statement.
4 Is it clear from this sentence that this was a group of volunteers
5 organised to form a paramilitary grouping that had come from various areas
6 prompted by personal feelings of duty to assist their people? Isn't that
8 A. If you're talking about different areas of Serbia or Belgrade,
9 indeed some of the members of this group said that they came from Serbia
10 or the surroundings of Belgrade. Some were students in Belgrade. The
11 sociological composition of this group, for me, was vague. Regarding
12 Commander Marko, it was my impression that he was a career military man, a
13 captain in the former Yugoslav army, that he had quite a clear ideological
14 position, defending values which he considered, rightly or wrongly, that
15 he should defend. And the men in his group, my impression was that they
16 were not just students but that there were various social categories of
17 people in that group, and even at times my impression was that I was
18 dealing with criminals.
19 Q. Can one conclude from what you saw and from what you filmed and
20 explained here that the White Eagles were some sort of an independent and
21 autonomous paramilitary formation outside the army of Republika Srpska or
22 any other official structure?
23 A. The way they functioned, one could conclude that they did not
24 belong to a classical organised military group. When we looked at the
25 eastern part of Bosnia that I went through twice, it was impossible to
1 move around without being stopped every 30 seconds. There were
2 checkpoints absolutely everywhere, and it was impossible to move freely.
3 Therefore, to say that these groups were totally independent and were not
4 subjected to any superior authority, it's perhaps going too far. And I
5 think to allow troops to function freely like that, to punish and loot the
6 civilian population without planning and organisation, in my view, would
7 not be acceptable, and in my position, I'm simply not in a position to
8 answer this question whether there was any superior authority that
9 organised this group.
10 Q. In your examination-in-chief this morning, you said that they did
11 not belong to the regular army, but you say that they had the right to
12 loot. To me, that appears to be contradictory. Who can give anyone the
13 right to loot? Can such an expression be accepted at all, the right to
14 loot? Who could possibly authorise them to loot? And when you were asked
15 who authorised them to loot, you said you didn't know who gave them that
16 right. Isn't that right, Mr. Riviere?
17 JUDGE MAY: There are two questions there. If you can answer
18 either of them, Mr. Riviere, do so.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is a question asking me
20 whether I knew that a superior or higher authority, an organised
21 authority, would allow this unit to carry out such actions. As to that
22 question, I maintain that I don't have enough knowledge as to say it in
23 any certified way. So I don't know regarding that.
24 As to the other point, however, this had to do with the way that
25 this unit would move about within that part of Bosnia, knowing that most
1 of the checkpoint were manned and controlled both by the regular army and
2 by the police forces. Just look at the first still at the Zvornik post.
3 You see that there is the blue uniformed forces and the army. So the
4 police forces are there. If you let Red Berets cross that checkpoint,
5 that means that they are authorised to do so.
6 So if you talk about a higher authority, if you know that, there's
7 a constant, permanent connection, a hi-fi and walkie-talkie connection
8 between them. It is obvious that the slightest movement by an individual,
9 be he military or be that a television crew, it's obvious that everybody
10 knew, that everybody had the information from one village to the other,
11 from one checkpoint to the other, from one town to the other.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Very well. I draw your attention to your summary, and in
14 paragraph 6, following on to the previous point, you say that you had the
15 impression that they were nervous because of your presence. There were
16 ordinary soldiers, other soldiers with red berets, and some others that
17 looked like paramilitaries. And then you say quite explicitly in
18 paragraph 6: "At that location Mr. Riviere's attention was drawn to a
19 Serb woman who was near the body of her son, which lay on the side of the
20 road." Isn't that right? This is what is stated in paragraph 6 of your
22 A. Yes, absolutely. Indeed, while we were being checked at the
23 checkpoint in -- we to wait for an hour for our accreditation to be
24 checked. However, you can't see that in the clip. You have a young Serb
25 who had just been killed. He was 18 years old. And indeed his mother
1 came to collect his body, and the press officer who checked us there
2 explained to us that he was 18 years old, he was a Serb, and that it was
3 also necessary to convey their point of view.
4 Q. Very well. In paragraph 43 of your summary, and you also have
5 this on the videotape, 21:58, it says: "This shot shows the change of
6 regular troops at artillery positions. They are significantly different
7 from the paramilitaries they met the day before. These men seemed more
8 like professional soldiers and appeared to be travelling back and forth to
9 their homes to work at the artillery emplacements."
10 That was a quotation from your summary, paragraph 43. So this
11 also indicates that the White Eagles that you met were an atypical and
12 irregular grouping as opposed to this other group of soldiers who were
13 regulars. Is that right?
14 A. Yes, yes, absolutely.
15 Q. [No interpretation]
16 JUDGE MAY: We're not getting any translation, so start again,
17 would you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll repeat, Mr. May.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. On the film, one can hear that some members of the White Eagles
21 speak the Ekavian dialect, which is spoken in Serbia, and the others the
22 Ijkavian dialect, the variant used in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the
23 western part of the Serb language area. This is about two minutes into
24 the film. One of the members asks another one, "Siptar, where is my
25 shirt?" So he's using the Bosnian-Herzegovinian dialect. Judging by the
1 speech of these White Eagles members, one can really see that they came
2 from various parts of the country on both sides of the Drina River. Do
3 you realise that?
4 A. As I told you, I had indeed the impression that this was a group,
5 from its sociological composition was very diverse. I had talked with
6 some men in the restaurant. Some members of the unit came from Serbia and
7 they state so openly. Out of the 20 men in that unit who went on a
8 mission together with us, and out of the 20 men, I really talked with four
9 of them. So out of these four men, there were at least three of whom I
10 can say that they were not from Bosnia. And you mentioned "Siptar." So
11 they would have been from Kosovo, from Albania.
12 Q. That could easily be a nickname. I didn't mention Siptar because
13 he is -- somebody was from Kosovo, but I mentioned this sentence because
14 he used the word "Gde," which is a word that would not be used by anyone
15 from Serbia who speaks the Ekavian dialect. When he said "Gde" as opposed
16 to "Gdje."
17 So that I'm saying this, that one can conclude on that basis that
18 members of this paramilitary unit came from various areas on both sides of
19 the Drina River. Are you aware of that?
20 A. It seems quite plausible to me.
21 Q. Mr. Riviere, you don't speak Serbian. One can see from the film
22 that you used English in your communications in Bosnia. Isn't that right?
23 A. Yes, right.
24 Q. Did anyone later translate for you what is said in the Serbian
25 language on the tape?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No. Let's be clear. We are talking about the tape with the Red
2 Berets; right?
3 Q. Yes, when the White Eagles unit is shown that you are testifying
5 So what they were saying is not translated for you. So you
6 brought the film, and you're testifying on the basis of it, yet you don't
7 know what those men on film are saying.
8 JUDGE MAY: This is a comment by you. The witness has explained
9 what happened and explained what he saw. He can go no further than that.
10 Let's move on to something else.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. This paramilitary grouping, the White Eagles, as you yourself say
14 and as can be seen from the film, have red berets, and then you said in
15 paragraph 5, which I just mentioned, that at the checkpoint after crossing
16 the Bosnian border, you saw a group of men looking at a map, some of whom
17 were again wearing red berets. Were they also White Eagles?
18 A. I'd like to specify one thing. I was not the one who said that
19 this unit, this paramilitary group were the White Eagles. They said so
20 themselves. I mean, the two people I found -- I met in the restaurant.
21 Just to be clear on that.
22 Now, as to the checkpoint, there was indeed a group in which
23 people wore various types of uniforms. I had just arrived in Bosnia, and
24 I did not at all know what it was all about, who it was all about. So I
25 am not at all able to tell you whether these people with the red berets in
1 other uniforms who were leaned over that map were members of that unit.
2 All I can say is that I did not see these people when I was in Pale.
3 Q. Very well. A moment ago, you said that when you arrived at Pale
4 you went to a restaurant called Koran and that it was run by a Muslim; is
5 that right?
6 A. Not at all. Not at all. What I said is that I was told about a
7 restaurant/hunting lodge or chalet, and that when the paramilitaries came
8 to sit at our table, they told me that it was kept by a Muslim and that's
9 why we had to order their meat, because they made good meat. And that
10 place, that hamlet where the restaurant was, was called Koran.
11 Q. Very well. But you found out that the restaurant was owned by a
12 Muslim who was running that restaurant, regardless of what prompted them
13 to tell you that, whether it was because of the quality of the meat or for
14 some other reason.
15 A. Well, personally, I did not check whether he was a Muslim or not.
16 I didn't really ask myself that question.
17 JUDGE KWON: If you read paragraph 9 of your summary, you stated
18 that: "Mr. Riviere could see the restaurant owner, who he believed was
19 Muslim, get frightened by the appearances in his restaurant."
20 Paragraph 9.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was a mistake in the
22 witness statement and, Mr. Kwon, we corrected paragraph 9. So this is to
23 be found in the addendum, in the corrections, where we changed this
24 paragraph and explained that that had been said by the paramilitaries. It
25 was not me who had said so. This is change number 47.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correction number 47.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may add to
4 Judge Kwon's question. True, a correction has been made, but no
5 correction was made to the statement that he noticed that he was fearful.
6 That was not corrected.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Riviere, the correction has to do with the area, the name of
9 the area in which the restaurant is located, but nothing was changed with
10 respect to the fact that the owner was a Muslim. Isn't that right?
11 A. Well, it doesn't change anything to the fact that the
12 paramilitaries said that he was a Muslim. However, regarding the fact
13 that this man would have been afraid of the situation that was unfolding,
14 I repeat and maintain that he looked very frightened by the situation.
15 Q. Very well. But he's at Pale. In the administrative centre of
16 Republika Srpska, a Muslim is running a restaurant. So there's no doubt
17 about that, I assume, Mr. Riviere. Doesn't that indicate that in Pale,
18 which is not only the administrative but the military centre too, a Muslim
19 was running a restaurant, doesn't that indicate there was a very decent
20 level of tolerance, which you were able to witness?
21 A. I mainly noted that this man was very afraid, but I have no other
22 comment to make.
23 Q. Very well. Without going into why you went to Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, actually, you went there after the interview with the
25 refugees from Kozluk that you had in Hungary. You didn't get there, but
1 you got to Pale. Actually, you went to Pale to get a press accreditation;
2 isn't that right?
3 A. Well, first I went to Belgrade mainly in order to get my
4 accreditation, a provisional one that would allow me to access Bosnia in
5 order to get a more lasting accreditation of some days in Bosnia, against
6 $50. So I was supposed also to get another accreditation card for my
7 cameraman. So I went to the centre of Belgrade, and it is there that it
8 was decided whether I could be accredited or not, initially speaking.
9 Q. Very well. In Belgrade itself, I assume you had no problems
10 whatsoever, but they advised you, as you were not competent for this, that
11 you had to go to Pale to get a permission for Bosnia; isn't that right?
12 A. On the contrary. I had the feeling that they were very competent
13 in this field, because the people who took me in phoned Pale, I was
14 recorded in this copybook. I wasn't the first journalist to be registered
15 in this way. So they had competence to give me a transit pass, a
16 provisional one. And indeed, once I had crossed the Zvornik bridge, this
17 paper authorised and allowed me to move about in Bosnia.
18 Q. I understand that. You explained during the examination-in-chief
19 this morning that you actually went to the news agency in Belgrade, to
20 Tanjug, that they contacted the news agency of Republika Srpska, that is
21 Srna, told them that you wanted to go there, and advised you to go to Pale
22 where the pass that you displayed here was actually issued to you. Isn't
23 that right?
24 A. Yes. This paper was issued in Belgrade by which I could move
25 about. Therefore, I concluded that there was a connection in -- by which
1 journalists could be accredited if they wanted to go from Belgrade to
3 Q. You have here this pass or permit. It has been produced here
4 under 0347371, and it says here "Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
5 and Herzegovina, Sarajevo-Romanija Corps," and then in capital letters,
6 "Permit." And it says the agency, your agency FR-3; then your name,
7 Riviere Michel; the number of your passport; and the number of the pass,
8 226. And as I can see on the stamp, the word "Sarajevo" is written on it,
9 which means that it was issued in Pale, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes, this pass was indeed issued in Pale in exchange for this
11 printed paper that had been issued in Belgrade. Without the printed paper
12 that I had from Belgrade, I don't think that I would have been able to go
13 from the Zvornik bridge to Pale only with my press card. I think that it
14 would have been impossible back in those days, given the situation.
15 Q. All right. But a permit was issued which allowed you to move
16 around and to do your job as a journalist at Pale, and that's where you
17 paid what you say you paid for your press card; right?
18 A. Yes. We can see this card that was issued in Pale.
19 Q. Now you say that after you received this permit, you went to the
20 hotel and the restaurant there and that you met two members of the White
21 Eagles who started talking to you, and you started asking about Kozluk;
23 A. Yes, I did ask them questions about Kozluk, and Zvornik as well,
24 because in the camp in Hungary, there wasn't any refugees from Kozluk,
25 Zvornik, or around. That is to say, they weren't only from Kozluk but
1 from Zvornik as well, so I asked questions about the region. And the
2 answer was that we have finished with that region and we're now going to
3 see to Sarajevo. The answer was very clear. And when I spoke about
4 Kozluk, they made out that they didn't understand what I was talking
6 Q. So they had nothing to do with Kozluk. Is that what that means?
7 A. I think quite the contrary. They had everything to do with
9 Q. Very well. May we then conclude that throughout that situation of
10 war and the combat operations in which thousands of people took part, that
11 on both sides, on all sides you had this unusual circumstance that
12 although you never reached Kozluk but to Pale, quite a long way away, you
13 just happened to come across some people who had been in Kozluk and
14 explained to you by the gestures they made that they had slit the throats
15 of the Muslim population there? Is that it?
16 A. Exactly so. Very explicitly. Those were the gestures.
17 Q. Well, do you know at all the fact that the population of Kozluk
18 was not slaughtered? They left Kozluk collectively and in the capacity of
19 refugees, through the mediation of the Red Cross, they left.
20 JUDGE MAY: You have already put that. All the witness can say is
21 what he was told by the man.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Very well. Now, tell me this, please, Mr. Riviere: As it says in
24 paragraph 9 of this summary of yours, those two members of the
25 paramilitaries, at the point in time when you met them were drunk and that
1 after talking with you for two hours, they continued to drink. Is that
2 right? I'm looking at point 9, and this is what you say: "When the
3 witness gave an affirmative answer, he asked about the car with the
4 Yugoslav number plates. He said that the French and Serbs were always
5 good friends. That's what he says."
6 And then in point 10, you say: "These two men sat down, ordered
7 more drinks, and over the course of two hours they told Mr. Riviere and
8 his cameraman many stories." Is that right?
9 That means, actually, that they arrived drunk and continued to
10 drink. Is that how it was, Mr. Riviere?
11 A. With respect to the two men, the two Red Berets who arrived and
12 sat at our table, it was quite obvious that one of the two, the one that
13 had the long knife, that he was slightly drunk, which wasn't the case with
14 the second man who had the pistol.
15 Now, throughout the discussion there, those two men did continue
16 to drink but not more or less -- actually, what I think is this: As they
17 saw French journalists and a French car, they wanted to show that they
18 were soldiers and so the discussion was -- jumped from one subject to the
19 other, wasn't very coherent. But I wanted to say in vino veritas.
20 Q. Well, that's a well-known proverb, of course, and sometimes when
21 one is drunk one says a lot of things.
22 Now, as we can see from the film that they were drunk as well.
23 For example, in the footage 7:30 to 7:35, you can hear somebody speaking
24 to one of your friends from the restaurant, the one that drove the bus,
25 and he says, and you can hear this on the footage, on the tape: "If you
1 can't drive, then don't drive. If you're not capable of driving, then
2 don't drive. You can see you're drunk. I'll take you back." That can be
3 quite clearly heard. So you're talking to two drunken men, and you're
4 testifying on the basis of what these two drunk men were telling you in a
6 A. Well, not only with respect to these two men. I've just told you
7 that one of the men arrived slightly drunk, tipsy, whereas the other
8 wasn't. And while we were having dinner, they had drinks with us. So I
9 would like to point out that they wanted to pay for our drinks, but I
10 wouldn't have that, I wouldn't allow it, so each of us paid for ourselves.
11 Now, during the meal, one of the men was more drunk than the
12 other. That was quite obvious. And I think that that is the reason why
13 they spoke to us so much, they talked so much, especially the one with the
14 long knife. Now, when we met up with the complete unit and Commander
15 Marko and I had the lengthy discussion that I had with respect to the
16 return from the second voyage from Sarajevo, Marko -- and his lieutenant
17 was translating in English, he was studying English and was a student in
18 Belgrade, in actual fact. The discussion was a very serious one and
19 touched upon political issues, and they explained to me in a more
20 ideological way, based on ideology, why they were undertaking ethnic
21 cleansing in that part of Bosnia. And at that point, I had absolutely no
22 reason not to understand their testimony and that they implied military
23 operations in the area as well.
24 Q. All right, Mr. Riviere. But you didn't take a footage of that.
25 You didn't record your conversations. Is that what you're saying?
1 A. As regards the latter portion, the discussion with Commander
2 Marko, whom we filmed in a portion of the footage and who was there in the
3 bus during the second trip, no, we didn't record that discussion.
4 Q. So you didn't record it. Now, you did record the conversation
5 with the two drunken men. Now, from the film can you see, Mr. Riviere -
6 and apart from the film you also felt the atmosphere and the mood that
7 prevailed - that the overall conduct of those people who you say were
8 White Eagles was not at all serious. For example, at 3:11 one of the
9 members of the paramilitaries asks where his shirt was and he was laughing
10 insanely. And at 5:55, the one with the knife stuck his tongue out at the
11 camera. Then at 7:25, he is grimacing, making grimaces in front of the
12 camera, and all this is the result of him being drunk, isn't that right?
13 And you have this on your film, on the footage you took. He's making
14 various faces, he's laughing non-stop, he's sticking his tongue out at the
15 camera. So that was behaviour that can be completely --
16 JUDGE MAY: What is the question?
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Well, doesn't this show that these were quite certainly two
19 drunken men that were playing around? I think that's quite obvious from
20 seeing that footage.
21 A. Well, one can have a different interpretation when we see men
22 carrying the weapons they had and having the means of this kind and
23 circulating around and passing through all the checkpoints without having
24 to show anything -- any passes or anything like that. Then one can easily
25 imagine what was going on in certain villages when people like that
1 arrived there as free radicals in villages running rampant.
2 So that's what I saw. I saw their behaviour. And this behaviour
3 brought out -- corroborated -- was corroborated by the testimonies that I
4 got from the people of Kozluk, from what they told me. And they were in
5 Hungary, and a lot of them were killed. And one of the women from Kozluk
6 did tell us that three whole truckloads of corpses were brought out of
7 Kozluk. So that I can only imagine that these paramilitaries, regardless
8 of the moral judgement that one can make with respect to their behaviour
9 and conduct and on the basis of the footage we made, we can easily imagine
10 that their behaviour in the villages did correspond to their conduct on
11 our film, on the footage.
12 Q. Just a minute, please. Now, apart from the fact that we can
13 clearly see that they're drunk and playing around, in paragraph 22 of your
14 summary you give us your impressions about one of these White Eagles, and
15 he says: "A man with a blue bandanna also had a big knife, and it
16 appeared that something wasn't all right with him or that he was a
17 criminal in his behaviour."
18 So in addition to these two men who were quite obviously drunk,
19 among the other paramilitaries that you were in communication with, there
20 were others that acted as if they were not normal.
21 A. Well, that's a point we can agree on. Yes, I do think there was
22 one man, one person who had drunk too much, the one with the knife, and
23 then this other one who was tipsy, and other people once again who hadn't
24 been drinking but whose behaviour was, to say the least, strange and a
25 little disquieting, worrying. So what I'm saying is that we weren't at a
1 circus there. We were at a command centre with a military unit which had
2 all the resources and weapons at their disposal, ranging from light
3 weapons to heavy weapons, and that these people could move around whenever
4 and wherever they wanted, and there was shooting all over the place. And
5 it was easier, of course, to circulate during the day than it was at
7 So at the end of our dinner in the restaurant, the man with the
8 knife said to us, "I can take you to Sarajevo, and we can go into an
9 operation there." I personally -- not only I did not believe him, but I
10 knew that that wasn't possible. He was just joking. However, I was able
11 to note that the joking wasn't all that pleasant. So this was at the
12 limits of the psychotic. Even in the footage we took of them, the footage
13 of Rambo, this was worrying. Their behaviour and conduct was worrying.
14 And of course there were the people responsible there who allowed people
15 going round with the weapons and with that kind of ideology were not true
16 military men in the right sense of the word. So that's the question.
17 Q. Well, that's the point. They weren't real soldiers at all. Some
18 of them were drunk, others appeared to you to be psychopaths, their
19 behaviour was abnormal. So doesn't it seem to you that your sources of
20 information are, to put it mildly, strange, because you used that word, I
21 think, "strange."
22 A. My sources of information were all the less strange because they
23 weren't filtered or censored in any way. Those men were able to express
24 themselves freely. And afterwards, the discussion we had with Commander
25 Marko or the lieutenant, or actually the man who was called Commander
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Marko by his fellow soldiers, corroborated what others had told me. So I
2 would like to repeat that once again. So those people had real weapons,
3 they were real men in a real war situation, just as in Sarajevo the shots
4 that were being fired and that I could hear from light weaponry or cannons
5 or tanks were being fired by real men, real tanks, real cannons. Or
6 perhaps all that was just a nightmare on my part, a nightmare I was
8 Q. Unfortunately it wasn't, no. But what I'm talking about are your
9 sources of information, people fooling and behaving as people behave when
10 they're drunk. That's what I'm referring to. And even judging by what we
11 can see on the film and by your descriptions as well, these were men that
12 were prone to fooling around, verbally and in all other respects as well.
13 So do you really think that all that was the result of their lack
14 of responsibility and fooling around and, to a certain extent, the fact
15 that you yourself observed that these were people that had something wrong
16 with them, mentally wrong, as you mention in paragraph 22 yourself, that
17 they were somewhat disturbed? Isn't that right, Mr. Riviere?
18 A. Now, if these men were abnormal to that degree, then one would
19 have to wonder why they were given the freedom to move around, total
20 freedom, like wild animals released in the wild, to do as they pleased.
21 Q. Well, that, of course, is a very big question. But doesn't it
22 seem to you, this story about the ethnic cleansing of Sarajevo, for
23 instance, and stories of that kind, doesn't that to you -- seem to you to
24 be just fooling around? Who could have talked about ethnic cleansing in
25 Sarajevo to you?
1 A. If you want me to mention previous reportages, I was in Yugoslavia
2 in 1989, 1990 - before the war, therefore - and that I followed what was
3 being said in the former Yugoslav republics. I am not referring to the
4 memorandum of the Academy of Sciences and all those other things, but I
5 think that there was indeed a political debate before this whole situation
6 in Yugoslavia, between what one could call modernity and the past, and I'm
7 not saying that modernity won in various republics, but in relation to
8 that situation, you see, I come from a family and my father was a member
9 of the resistance from the very beginning. He formed one of the first
10 resistance groups. So I am not a nationalist. My attitude, in viewing
11 all these things, was the attitude of an anti-fascist. I come from an
12 anti-fascist family in relation to our own regime, as far as my father was
14 So I worked a lot in this area, and the testimony I was able to
15 collect was so frightful and that in all honesty I could only do one of
16 two things, either not go to Bosnia and verify whether those things were
17 real and true and whether men were capable of behaving in that way
18 contrary to all the laws of mankind and humanity, contrary to all the laws
19 of military logic and the Civil Code, or not to broadcast anything
20 regarding ethnic cleansing. But concerning Bosnia and what happened later
21 on only corroborated what we had done and the testimony we had collected
22 regarding Kozluk as well as the activities of these paramilitaries.
23 Q. Very well, Mr. Riviere. As you say that in 1989 you were in
24 Yugoslavia, you will probably remember that the expression "ethnic
25 cleansing" was used primarily for crimes committed against the Serb
1 population in Kosovo and Metohija in those days. That was the only
2 situation with respect to which the term "ethnic cleansing" was used in
3 1989. Isn't at that right? You are referring to your own experience from
4 those years.
5 A. I am basing my views on the experience regarding political debate
6 that was ongoing in 1989, 1990, at the point in time when Yugoslavia was
7 still a federation and before the elections of November and December 1990,
8 the first round in Serbia which brought certain teams into power.
9 So the political debate between the followers of Mr. Markovic and
10 those people who defended certain nationalist views, one had the
11 impression that this was a debate between modernity and European
12 integration, and on the other hand going back far into history, Dusan --
13 the Emperor Dusan, et cetera.
14 Q. Mr. Riviere, in 1989, had you heard of the expression of "ethnic
15 cleansing"? Did you hear the expression used?
16 A. There were schools of thought which use the word "ethnicity."
17 Q. My question has to do with the expression "ethnic cleansing" that
18 you heard in 1989.
19 A. I did not hear the term "ethnic cleansing" being used in such a
20 precise manner in the way that the mayor of Kozluk spoke about it to me,
21 including when going to Kosovo in 1989 when there was a state of emergency
22 proclaimed in Kosovo, if I remember well, in March 1989, I think it was
23 the federal army which was installed there.
24 Q. Well, the federal army was always present in Kosovo, and the
25 federal police was also sent there. The whole of Yugoslavia reacted to
1 Albanian nationalism and separatism. It wasn't just Serbia. So surely
2 you remember that, too, if you were in Yugoslavia in those days, as you
3 say. Isn't that right or not, Mr. Riviere?
4 A. Yes. I remember the situation in Yugoslavia at the time and the
5 deployment of the federal army, but I think that the debate on Kosovo was
6 a different debate in relation to the one we are having today. Today
7 we're talking about Eastern Bosnia, what happened there, who did what
8 there, how, and why.
9 Q. Yes, but do you know how many hundreds of thousands of refugees
10 from Bosnia stayed in Serbia? I'm sorry. My microphone was switched off.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I'm going to question the relevance of this, but
12 you can ask the witness if he had any experience of refugees from Bosnia
13 in Serbia itself. Perhaps Mr. Riviere can help us about that, if he did
14 or not.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Actually, when I was in Belgrade in
16 July 1992, before leaving for Bosnia, I met a gentleman, I think his name
17 was Dobrica Vidovic, who was a commissioner for refugees in Serbia. And
18 there was a Red Cross camp in Kovin outside Belgrade, and I had a long
19 interview with this person, who explained to me that there were refugees
20 coming from the previous conflict in Croatia, a conflict I did not cover,
21 and the few people that I was able to meet, this doesn't seem to have
22 anything in common with the testimony I heard about Kozluk.
23 I had an interview with Mr. Vidovic - I think that was his name,
24 if I remember well - and I did go to this camp.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. And do you know that those very refugees, as well as those who
2 didn't have the good fortune to flee but were killed there, were victims
3 of the same type of Nazism that were victimised by their ancestors during
4 the Second World War?
5 JUDGE MAY: I think we're getting well away from the evidence of
6 the witness. Now, you've got about five minutes left, Mr. Milosevic, if
7 you want to go on to something else which the witness can deal with.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think that I can finish him
9 in five minutes, Mr. May.
10 JUDGE MAY: You've had more than substantial time enough with this
11 witness to ask him about a video recording. You've had more than enough
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Maybe I'm not as efficient as you
14 assume I am in asking him all the questions I need, but you didn't tell me
15 that any of my questions were irrelevant.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Riviere, you said that they didn't give you their names,
18 because allegedly if you knew their names, someone might kill you. But
19 then they let you film them. They told you the name of their commander as
20 being Marko, whom you also filmed. And throughout this film one can hear
21 them calling each other by name. I heard those names myself; Bozo,
22 Zeljko, Gaja, et cetera. So doesn't this also indicate that they were
23 fooling around when they were saying to you that if you learn our names
24 someone might kill you? You film them, they call each other by name on
25 film, they tell you the name of their commander, the commander speaks to
1 you. Doesn't this show that they were playing around with you even then?
2 A. I have only one answer to give, and that is it wasn't me who
3 created that situation. I have to repeat that. It wasn't something that
4 was commissioned or organised on my part. I had no reason whatsoever to
5 call in question their attitude or functioning. I had no judgement, value
6 judgement to make. And I didn't also call in question the testimony of
7 the people of Kozluk, so I didn't call in question their own testimony or
8 their behaviour. If they behaved in that way before the camera, it is
9 because they created such a situation and I only recorded things, that's
11 Q. I'm just saying that they were fooling around with you. But as
12 you're not calling into question what you are being told, or you do so
13 selectively, in paragraph 55, it says that Commander Marko - and he was
14 not drunk as far as I can see from what you say - that he told you that
15 the Muslims were killing Serbs, that the Serb corpses were flowing down
16 the Drina, that they were impaling them, and things like that.
17 Is it true? Is what Marko told you -- was that true? Serbs were
18 being killed by Muslims, crucified, Serb bodies flowing down the Drina?
19 Commander Marko told you that; is that right?
20 A. If I have no reason to doubt the words of some, I also cannot
21 doubt the words of others. If we call in question what is said by
22 everyone, then I can also call in question the words uttered by Commander
23 Marko. In my view, as this was very late at night when we had returned
24 from Sarajevo and when Commander Marko lectured me ideologically, I
25 accepted those words such as they were stated, and I conveyed them in this
1 testimony in the same way. That, perhaps, was a way of justifying his
2 attitude, his presence, and his ideological options. So I wasn't able to
3 identify on the ground whether indeed Serbs were being cut up in pieces
4 and crucified in a way and thrown into the Drina. I attribute those words
5 to Commander Marko, and I have faithfully conveyed them.
6 Q. Very well. So you're faithfully conveying what you were told by
7 some and others, and you attach equal credibility to all. Can we agree,
8 then, that you attach equal credibility to what was told you by those
9 drunken men?
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you know quite well it's not the
11 witness's opinion as to who is telling the truth or not which matters.
12 He's told you what they said. Now, how drunk they were and what weight to
13 be given to it is something for the Trial Chamber to decide. It's not for
14 the witness.
15 Now, you've got one minute left, so you must ask your question or
16 questions quickly.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I would request a little
18 more time for examining this witness, please.
19 JUDGE MAY: One moment. We'll consider it.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE MAY: Five minutes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's very generous.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Riviere, on the film, 16:40, 17:20, there's a building. Isn't
25 it obvious that as smoke is shown, that the smoke is on the hill and not
1 down on the town and it is on the Serb-controlled side? So will you
2 please just tell me yes or no. So the footage showing a lot of smoke.
3 A. I think that if you're referring to the picture round the Lukavica
4 barracks, indeed there was fighting when we were there, and if that is the
5 picture that you're referring to, well, there was fighting in both
6 directions at that point in time. That was the front line. The front
7 line was just behind the barracks.
8 Q. Precisely. That's what I wanted to hear; that was the front line.
9 And you also filmed a part, 19:44 to 19:45, 19:46, and it's a
10 close-up of the ruins of buildings. There's a building with the words
11 Pantheon, then another building on the combat positions, 11:48, 20:50,
12 21:20. All those ruins are on the Serb side where you were and which you
13 were able to take close-up photographs of; isn't that right?
14 A. Yes, quite, on the hills of Trebevic. So we're talking, I
15 suppose, of the slopes of Trebevic where there were houses and places that
16 were destroyed without me knowing who did what.
17 Q. Now, those ruins on the Serb-controlled side and the only combat
18 operation that you filmed and that was coming from the Muslim side, that
19 is the shots coming from Sarajevo, show that there was indeed shooting
20 from Sarajevo to areas and facilities under Serb control in the
21 surroundings of Sarajevo; isn't that right?
22 A. The shots that I filmed and that were targeted at positions on the
23 heights were coming from Sarajevo with light weapons. As opposed to that,
24 shots coming from the mountains towards Sarajevo were with heavy weapons.
25 I cannot say that I filmed shots fired from heavy weapons against Sarajevo
1 just then. However, having gone to Sarajevo frequently between 1992 and
2 1995, I did indeed suffer shots from heavy weapons towards Sarajevo, and I
3 was able to witness what such shots could provoke on the other side later
5 Q. What you witnessed later on is not the subject of your testimony
6 now, and I'm talking about your testimony.
7 So let us now focus for a moment on the difference that you
8 identified yourself when you saw regular soldiers. You say that the
9 soldiers appeared to you to be more professional, the ones holding
10 positions. And at those positions, they took shifts. You noticed that,
11 didn't you, Mr. Riviere? They worked in shifts.
12 A. Yes, quite. When I say "more professional," I said that this was
13 an army that appeared to be regular as opposed to what I said with respect
14 to the paramilitaries.
15 Q. Quite as opposed to the White Eagles. And you said that appeared
16 to you as if they were going from their positions home and then coming
17 back to their positions. Though they were working in shifts, going to and
18 from home. Is that right?
19 A. Yes. That is the feeling I had, seeing them coming and going in
20 buses or hitchhiking sometimes. And I picked up some of them in the car
21 on the way back.
22 Q. Very well. So their homes were somewhere close by, in the
23 villages around Sarajevo; isn't that right?
24 A. Apparently so. Regarding the persons wearing uniforms of the
25 regular army or reservists, which were people of a certain age, one did
1 indeed have that impression, that this was like a working day for them.
2 JUDGE MAY: That is your last question now.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Very well. In a part of the footage, among those soldiers one can
5 see armed elderly men, peasants, one in a sweater, another one in a
6 leather jacket, 22:30. This also confirms, in addition to what we already
7 said, that these were local inhabitants there, living there, waging war
8 there, living in the villages within the territory of Sarajevo; isn't that
10 A. That was indeed the feeling I had with respect to some of those
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Kay.
13 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
14 Q. Witness, I want to deal with Pale first of all. You arrive there
15 with the intention of going on a mission to film, and so you went to seek
16 permission from the local TV station; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You didn't have to see any Ministers or anyone else in control or
19 authority outside the TV station to obtain your permit?
20 A. No, I didn't, not at the time, because I had indeed had been given
21 this permission in Belgrade, that Belgrade had phoned Pale, so I was
22 recorded. I was registered in a copybook in which were recorded or
23 registered all the correspondents or journalists in Belgrade.
24 Q. In Pale, you were not given a minder or escort. As far as they
25 were concerned for the days filming that you had, you were able to go
1 unaccompanied; is that right? That's what it seems from the situation.
2 A. I did not have the feeling that I could film anything I wanted, so
3 much so that in Zvornik it had been prohibited. I had to take out the
4 objective of the lens of the camera, I had to put it in the boot of the
5 car. On top of that, I had a military assigned to me throughout the trip
6 precisely to prevent me from filming. That's why between the Zvornik
7 bridge and the time when I found myself in Pale I could not film anything
8 at all.
9 However, once I was given this accreditation at the television
10 centre in Pale, nobody came to check me from that television centre to the
11 hotel restaurant which had been indicated to me. That's the reason why I
12 was able to film and take some footage of the Red Berets without any
13 control whatsoever. And indeed, the day after that and the day after that
14 one, on the heights of Sarajevo, I was not accompanied, I did not have an
15 interpreter, but nobody prevented me from filming. It was a bit
16 sensitive. I did not know whether I was authorised or not to take any
17 footage, so I filmed whenever I could.
18 Q. You recollect my questions to you were about Pale, not Zvornik,
19 and that's what I'm asking you about.
20 The meeting in the restaurant of the men was then a chance meeting
21 and chance conversation that you and your cameraman had with them?
22 A. Yes. It was a chance encounter with these people, because I
23 initially intended to go to Kozluk.
24 Q. These men, at that time, perhaps you've experienced this before,
25 did you get the impression were seeking to impress you, to show off to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Well, listen, as to whether they were great artists and they
3 wanted to impress me and my cameraman, I can tell you that they did a good
5 Q. Showing you how tough they were. These men were giving you that
7 A. No, it is not at all my impression, and I do not think that they
8 were trying to be tough, act tough. My feeling was that they were --
9 found themselves in a situation where they were allowed to do much more
10 than what they would have been allowed to do in normal times, and that in
11 that situation, everything would go. And you know perfectly well that,
12 faced with this type of situation, anything is possible; there are no
13 longer any rules.
14 Q. So you go on a mission with them, but they go on that mission
15 without their commander, in a bus; is that right? The first mission.
16 A. Yes, absolutely.
17 Q. And on that mission, they didn't fire a shot. They did nothing.
18 A. No, they didn't indeed.
19 Q. So you go back to their base on a second mission, pick up the
20 commander, and you take him on a mission -- or they take you on a mission,
21 and again you didn't see them fire a shot; nothing happened.
22 A. Well, on the one hand, I do not think that they went to pick up
23 their commander. The reverse is true. And when the trip was interrupted,
24 yes, they were informed of the situation, and they were worried that it
25 might just get out of hand.
1 On the other hand, to answer the second part of your question more
2 specifically, it is true that not a shot was fired by them, but that may
3 have meant that on that part of the road, it had been a region already
4 under their control. And you can imagine that me as a journalist, I was
5 not going to ask them to start fireworks and to shoot at people.
6 Q. But what you did hear was that you heard them trading insults over
7 the radio to their Muslim opposition, each side insulting each other over
8 the radio?
9 A. Yes. Everybody was connected on the same airwaves, radiowaves as
10 the other, so everybody could communicate with one another. As to that
11 part of my testimony, that is the part regarding the time when I found
12 myself with Commander Marko and his lieutenant outside the hotel parking
13 lot after the trip to Sarajevo. So it was in the middle of the night.
14 MR. KAY: No further questions.
15 MR. GROOME: Just a few questions, Your Honour.
16 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:
17 Q. Sir, can I ask you to estimate for the Chamber, in the four trips
18 that you made, in the first mission there and back and the second mission
19 there and back, can you estimate for the Chamber the entire number of
20 checkpoints that the bus with these men travelled through?
21 A. Well, if you mean the trip from Pale to Sarajevo, I would say that
22 there were five or six checkpoints there and back, all included. In other
23 words, on that section of the road, it was probably under control.
24 Q. Were you able to see who it was that were manning these
25 checkpoints, the type of unit that the people manning these checkpoints
1 belonged to?
2 A. I remind you that we were in the middle of the night, and in
3 addition to that, we were in an ordinary coach - it was a tourist coach,
4 it was not a military vehicle - and we were forced to sort of duck and
5 lower our heads in the vehicle precisely in order to avoid sniper fire in
6 some sections.
7 I think that these few checkpoints that I was able to see were
8 manned by the regular army.
9 Q. The military jeep that overtook the bus before it turned back,
10 could you see how the people in the jeep were dressed? Were they dressed
11 in uniform; and if so, please describe.
12 A. No, I was not able to see the people in the jeep. It just sort of
13 placed itself, stopped in front of the car -- of the bus that had to make
14 a sort of turnaround or turnabout, so I don't know who ordered this
16 Q. My final query to you is: The headquarters that you were inside
17 and spent some amount of time in, did that appear to you to be a temporary
18 headquarters or did it appear to be something that had been used over a
19 period of time?
20 A. I was under the impression that these people had been based there
21 for quite a time because there were beds that were not recently set up,
22 and indeed the entire equipment seemed to be stored in a few rooms which
23 we couldn't access. So my feeling was that this -- that the soldiers had
24 been there for quite awhile, and that at any rate this was very much an
25 operational centre from which operations or actions were conducted.
1 Q. And my final question to you is: Was there anything that you
2 observed while you were at that headquarters that indicated that these men
3 were trying to keep that headquarters hidden from the regular army?
4 A. I don't think that the presence of these men could be hidden from
5 anybody, because they were moving around quite freely.
6 MR. GROOME: Nothing further.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Riviere, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
8 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are now free to go.
9 We will adjourn.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
16 JUDGE MAY: I'm afraid we didn't get that. Could you do it again,
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. If you'd like to take a seat.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1345
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'd ask that this binder of five
24 exhibits be given an exhibit number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: 575, Your Honour.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution would be tendering 575
2 pursuant to 92 bis (D). The first tab of that exhibit is an unredacted
3 transcript of this gentleman's testimony in the Galic case, given on the
4 15th of March, 2002. The remaining tabs 2 through 5 are exhibits that
5 were tendered under seal in that case, and I would ask that they be given
6 the same protection here. I would note that a redacted copy of the
7 transcript is available on the website so we have not provided that here.
8 Your Honour, as the Prosecution will be relying solely on this
9 transcript and Mr. B-1345 has appeared here simply to be cross-examined, I
10 would just note the major points of that testimony, although I will not
11 got into great detail.
12 In the prior case, he testified about a shelling that occurred on
13 the 5th of February, 1994, and while in the garden of a relative's house,
14 he heard the sound of a mortar being fired and then 15 to 20 seconds later
15 heard an explosion in the town of Sarajevo, and he testified that the
16 sound of that firing came from the direction of Mirkovci just behind
17 Spicasta Stijena in SRK-held territory.
18 He also testified previously to a shelling incident on the 14th of
19 October, 1993, during which his wife was killed and his mother was injured
20 -- his mother-in-law was injured. There was another mother and son who
21 were also killed in that shelling incident.
22 And then he also testified to a sniping incident on the 31st of
23 March, 1993, during which his father was killed and his mother was shot.
24 He also gave testimony in the Galic case generally describing the
25 situation around the area in which he lived as being under constant sniper
1 and shelling attacks from RSK territory.
2 Your Honour, I would just ask or make known that the witness,
3 although he's protected, that one particular sensitivity that I would ask
4 be taken in closed session is any precise details about the exact location
5 of his house and the house of his relatives as that would identify him.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome. Anything further you want to lead?
7 MR. GROOME: No, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Perhaps in the circumstances, you
9 might try and restrict your cross-examination of this particular witness,
10 given the evidence which he has to give.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll do my best, Mr. May, to keep my
12 cross-examination as short as possible, although I do have quite a number
13 of things to ask him.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1345, you say that on the 5th of February,
16 1994, you were in the house of your closest relatives or, rather, in the
17 garden of that house; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you also say that the house was located parallelly to Spicasta
20 Stijena, just 150 metres away, in fact; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You say that sometime around 12.30 hours you heard a shell being
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the sound came from somewhere behind that Spicasta Stijena; is
1 that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And from what you say, you had become accustomed to hearing shells
4 fired, and on that day you didn't hear a single other shell being fired;
5 is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you also say that the front line of the Serb sides were at
8 Spicasta Stijena; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then immediately after that, as you yourself say, some 15 to
11 20 seconds later, you heard an explosion in town; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And one hour later, when you went into town, you learnt that
14 something had happened there.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what is it that happened?
17 A. Well, it was the massacre that took place at the Markale
19 Q. The explosion at the Markale marketplace; is that what you mean?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And then you told your friends that you heard the sound of a shell
22 being fired, a grenade being fired and then someone told the police, I
23 assume, and then they came to question you; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. During the interrogation by the police, you said that the sound
1 had come from the Mirkovica area, Mrkovci, which is just behind the
2 Spicasta Stijena area; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But you didn't hear where the shell actually went; is that right?
5 A. I didn't see it, but I heard it.
6 Q. Well, you didn't see the shell being shot, you just heard the
7 sound; is that right?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And you didn't see who was firing the shell, you're just making
10 your conclusions; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And so on the basis of the conclusions you yourself draw, you
13 think that this explosion that took place at the Markale marketplace was
14 caused by the Serbs; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That is your conclusion, the conclusion you draw?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Immediately after the explosion, and if you remember, before you
19 testified as -- before you testified, the government in Sarajevo accused
20 the Serbs of having fired that shell; is that right?
21 A. Probably.
22 Q. Well, do you remember, for example, that on that occasion the
23 chief of staff of the army of Republika Srpska, General Manojlo
24 Milovanovic refuted that claim and accusation and demanded that an expert
25 group be set up to investigate that matter?
1 A. I have no idea about that. I don't know about that.
2 Q. All right. Do you know that on the 6th of February, that is to
3 say the very next day -- when did they actually question you?
4 A. After the shell, two or three days later. I can't tell you
5 exactly, but it wasn't on the same day anyway.
6 Q. All right. So you were questioned with respect to that incident,
7 and allegedly you heard it all. You heard this shot when -- and the
8 explosion as well. Do you remember that the commander of UNPROFOR for
9 Bosnia at the time, General Rose, said that after analysing the crater,
10 the experts weren't able to say which side actually fired the shell?
11 JUDGE MAY: This witness is not here as an expert. He's merely
12 giving his evidence of what he saw or heard. He can go no further than
13 that, and therefore it's not right for you to ask that sort of question of
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I assume, Mr. May, that as he
16 was directly included in the investigation, that he followed what happened
17 with that investigation and where it led.
18 JUDGE MAY: He may have -- he may have followed, but it's no more
19 point asking him questions such as that than it is any other bystander or
20 somebody who read the newspaper. They can't help directly about that sort
21 of matter.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Do you happen to remember the whole series of statements made by
25 UN officials, high-ranking UN officials, that they were unable to
1 establish which side shot the shell?
2 JUDGE MAY: That is precisely the kind of question which I've
3 ruled irrelevant for this witness. Now, ask a question which he can deal
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you know anything at all about the statements that were made
7 and the findings of the commission set up to establish --
8 JUDGE MAY: No; irrelevant. Now, just ask him something he can
9 deal with.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So he can't answer anything with
11 respect to these events apart from the fact of whether he heard a shell
12 having been fired and a shell exploding. Is that right, Mr. May?
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. He didn't investigate it.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Now, do you know anything at all, Mr. 1345, about the existence of
17 eyewitnesses who claim that the shell was fired from a Land Rover vehicle
18 which had been adapted for firing shells?
19 A. I don't know about that.
20 Q. Very well. Then I won't ask you anything about anything in
21 respect of that investigation. And there are a lot of facts about it
22 anyway. I'll skip over all those questions.
23 Now, you say that your father was killed by a sniper on the 31st
24 of March, 1993.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And that the shot was fired Spicasta Stijena; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I'm sorry that that happened to you, but I have to ask you this:
4 How do you know that that is where the people fired from, that this bullet
5 was fired from that locality?
6 A. Well, first of all, you can see Spicasta Stijena from my house,
7 and you could see the Serb positions or bunkers at the rock, the Stijena.
8 And so throughout the war, a sniper was active there, all the way
9 throughout the war.
10 Q. All right. There were snipers working on both sides. I assume
11 you know that.
12 A. What I know is that my father was killed by a sniper from Spicasta
14 Q. And you even claim, in point 9, that he was killed by a
15 fragmentation bullet. How do you know that that bullet was fired from
16 Spicasta Stijena?
17 A. That was confirmed by the doctors in the hospital and the staff
19 Q. But you weren't actually there when that happened?
20 A. No. I arrived an hour later, approximately.
21 Q. So you arrived an hour after it had happened, and nonetheless you
22 say with a certain measure of certainty who did the firing, where the
23 firing came from, and what type of bullet he was hit with; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Well, how can you claim that if you arrived on the scene an hour
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Well, after the death of my father, I asked around; asking how he
3 had died, who had shot, what he had been shot with, and so on.
4 Q. This means that you made yourself acquainted with the results of
5 the investigation later on?
6 A. It was the doctors' analyses, because the doctor at the hospital
7 said that it was a fragmentation bullet.
8 Q. All right. Now, you arrived on the spot an hour later, and all
9 the information you give are linked to information you learnt later on; is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes. And my sister told me about it, and she was -- after my
12 father's death, that is to say he managed to call out to my mother, and
13 she and my sister ran out of the house. My sister managed to hide behind
14 a wall, but the sniper hit my mother. And when we took my mother to the
15 doctor, a fragmentation bullet was found lodged in her leg.
16 Q. Now, you're talking about the firing of a shell from Borije; is
17 that right?
18 A. Yes. That was when my wife was killed.
19 Q. Did you see it happen? Were you present when that happened?
20 A. Yes. I was present in the house. Not in the house where my wife
21 was killed but two houses below that, or, rather, 15 to 20 metres away,
23 Q. All right. Now, do you know that on that same day when that
24 tragic event took place when your father was killed, that there was an
25 intensive sniper fire exchange coming from both sides?
1 A. I don't think anything could be heard on that particular day, that
2 there was no fighting, no activities at all. And I can confirm that,
3 because my mother was wounded perhaps one or two minutes later. She was
4 hit in the leg, in a very unfortunate portion of the leg. Now, had there
5 been fighting where lots of people were taking part in the fighting, her
6 leg would have been amputated, but as the doctors didn't have a lot of
7 work to do that day, they managed to treat her leg.
8 Q. I see that in Igmanska Mas street [phoen], near the petrol pump,
9 according to my information, that another civilian was killed, this time
10 from a sniper fired from the Muslim side.
11 A. I don't know about that. Vogosca at the time was under the
12 control of the Serb authorities. They were in Vogosca. And Vogosca is
13 about 10 to 15 kilometres away from my own settlement.
14 Q. Well, do you know that a couple of days after that there were
15 casualties on the Serb side, casualties from sniper fire coming from the
16 Muslim side? Do you know about that?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. I should just like to establish what you yourself know about the
19 events that took place, unfortunately tragic ones, precisely during those
20 few days.
21 I have here a report of the army of Republika Srpska from which it
22 can be seen that Muslim forces were using infantry and artillery weapons
23 to shoot at columns of civilians fleeing, that in the area of Visoko,
24 about 4.500 are encircled. They are from the village of Zince,
25 Biskupici --
1 JUDGE MAY: What is the witness going to know about this? It's a
2 report of the army of Republika Srpska. The witness can't possibly know
3 anything about that.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume that the witness must know
5 something about the operations that were obvious and that involved both
6 sides when he lost his family members.
7 JUDGE MAY: You can ask -- you can ask the witness if he knows
8 anything about these alleged operations by the Muslim forces. You can ask
9 him that.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you know anything about those operations? Do you know that
12 there were several truces? Do you know that the Muslim side did not
13 observe the truces and that it constantly opened fire on Serb positions?
14 A. Are you asking me about Visoko?
15 Q. About Visoko and Dobrinja and other parts of Sarajevo.
16 A. Visoko is 30 or 35 kilometres away from Sarajevo. I have no idea
17 what was happening even at Cengic Vila, which is four or five kilometres
18 from the old city.
19 Q. So you don't know anything about what was happening in Visoko or
20 Ilijas or Dobrinja or Vogosca or other parts of the city where Serb
21 civilians were killed by fire coming from the opposite side? So you know
22 nothing about that?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And do you know that virtually there wasn't a day without any
25 shooting on the part of the Muslim side on Serb positions?
1 A. I have no idea. Shots could be heard. Now, who was firing them
2 from what side and at whom, I don't know.
3 Q. And do you know anything prior to the events you are testifying
4 about, that is about very intensive Muslim attacks on Serb positions in
5 the course of the month of January?
6 A. I don't know anything about that.
7 Q. Very well. Then there's no point in me asking you about any of
8 these activities.
9 Do you know that there was infantry and artillery being used by
10 both sides and that there were casualties on both sides?
11 A. Yes, I know that.
12 Q. Tell me, how were those forces deployed, both Muslim and Serb
13 forces? The Serbs were in the areas in which they lived; is that right?
14 A. You mean in Sarajevo?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. In the area of the town of Sarajevo, the Serbs were around
17 Sarajevo. We all know that Sarajevo was blocked, that it was closed, that
18 not a bird could leave Sarajevo. So on all the heights and mountains
19 around town, there were Serbs, not Muslims, not the Bosnian army. The
20 Bosnian army wasn't there.
21 Q. That is what I am talking about. The Serbs were in all those
22 areas in which they lived anyway. Isn't that right, Mr. 1345?
23 A. No, it's not.
24 Q. And is it true that they didn't come to besiege Sarajevo but that
25 fighting was being waged between areas in which the majority was Muslim
1 and the areas in which the majority were Serbs, where they had lived as a
2 majority for years before that?
3 A. I don't understand. Could you clarify that?
4 Q. You say that Serbs surrounded Sarajevo. Now, look at a map of
5 Sarajevo made on the basis of ethnic composition, the Serbs being marked
6 in blue.
7 JUDGE MAY: This isn't for this witness, these very broad
8 questions. You can ask others about this.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the witness claims that the
10 Serbs had surrounded Sarajevo, and I would like to show that the Serbs
11 lived in Sarajevo, and according to the 1981 census during the Socialist
12 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the map shows the ethnic composition of
13 Sarajevo. This is just Sarajevo, not Bosnia and Herzegovina. And I think
14 it would be a good idea for you to see it on the ELMO, for you, too, to
15 understand that there was fighting between Serbs and Muslims who were in
16 their own areas, in the areas in which they lived in 1981.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll put it on the ELMO. Yes.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. As you can see, Mr. 1345, this is a map of Sarajevo and all its
20 municipalities. As you can see, a large portion of this entire area is
21 coloured in blue, another large area in green, and a smaller area in
22 yellow where the majority were Croats. But in the central parts of the
23 city, they are not in evidence in large numbers. Would that roughly be
24 the territories between which fire was exchanged?
25 A. Are you asking me? This map is not clear to me at all. What is
1 it, in 1981?
2 Q. Yes. Without any effect of the war being reflected, this is the
3 territory shown where the various ethnic groups are in the majority.
4 A. As this shows only Sarajevo, I really don't know where I am, where
5 is my house, where is my municipality. If I could see it on the map I may
6 be able to say something, but like this I can't.
7 Q. If you turn the map on the back, you will see your municipality
8 and the number corresponding to your municipality, even your local
9 commune. You will be able to find it if you look at the reverse side.
10 Yes. It says. Everything is written there. He can even find his
11 local commune.
12 As far as I understand, it's just below Trebevic, isn't it?
13 A. The other side.
14 Q. Well, look at the other side then.
15 A. It doesn't say anything here.
16 Q. There you can see municipalities written in bold capitals and, in
17 smaller letters, the local communes, indicating the distribution of the
18 population at the time.
19 Can you find your municipality, and then in your municipality your
20 local commune?
21 A. My municipality is Stari Grad, and in this list of yours, these
22 are the local communes, aren't they?
23 Q. Yes. Municipalities, and within them, local communes.
24 A. Those are local communes outside the municipality of Stari Grad,
25 the centre of the Stari Grad. These are municipalities around, in the
1 hills above the old town, where all Serbs lived.
2 Q. Well, that is the point. On the heights around Sarajevo, Serbs
3 were living. That is what you are confirming. And they were the ones
4 there where they lived.
5 A. You just mentioned the heights but not the central part of Stari
6 Grad municipality.
7 Q. But you have it drawn there too. Nothing is left out.
8 A. Let us not polemicise. I am not competent to enter into any
9 polemics with you. These are just Serbian local communes.
10 Q. No. Both Serbian and Muslim, the Serbian being marked in blue and
11 Muslim in green.
12 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to get anywhere with this. If you
13 want to put some evidence along these lines before us, you can do it by
14 calling a witness in due course, but trying to argue with this witness who
15 plainly doesn't -- is not, as he says, competent to deal with this, is not
16 going to take us any further forward.
17 Yes, if you will return the map, please, to Mr. Milosevic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. This map shows the municipality of Sarajevo centre, Sarajevo Novi
20 Grad, Sarajevo Novo, Sarajevo Hadzici, Sarajevo Ilidza, Sarajevo Ilijas,
21 Sarajevo Stari Grad, Sarajevo Trnovo, Sarajevo Vogosca. So all those
22 municipalities and local communes within them.
23 JUDGE MAY: What is the point you're trying to make,
24 Mr. Milosevic?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not trying, Mr. May; I'm
1 claiming that when we are talking about Sarajevo, the Serbs were situated
2 and were fighting in the territories which they had inhabited, not to say
3 for centuries, but for years, and this is a map for 1981. The same
4 applies to the Muslims. They were fighting from the territories in which
5 they were living as a majority and that this was a struggle, fighting
6 between Serbs and Muslims and no siege of any kind.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We've heard you say that. Now, if you challenge
8 any of the evidence about how the members of this witness's family were
9 killed, you should challenge that now.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, as you know, I really
11 couldn't have any idea as to how someone got killed in Sarajevo, including
12 the family members of this witness. Many Serbs and many Muslims were
13 killed in Sarajevo, and I do not see how I could know anything about that.
14 The witness could claim whatever he wishes.
15 I'm just trying to establish from which areas the fighting was
16 being conducted, what was actually happening. All this is the consequence
17 of a civil war that could not be improved upon, nor could anyone manage or
18 control it. The only thing that could be done was to put it to an end as
19 soon as possible, and that is what all of us were trying to do.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We hear --
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you know --
23 JUDGE MAY: We hear all that. Now, have you any questions for
24 this witness with a view to trying to finish his evidence today, if we
25 possibly can.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as I'm concerned, you will
2 finish his testimony today. There will be no problem. As you yourself
3 said that I can't ask the witness anything about this event and the
4 investigation and the facts but only about the things he testified about.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. 1345, do you know that in Sarajevo, an entire corps of the BH
7 army was stationed?
8 A. During the war?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. There was the army and there was a corps.
11 Q. There was a corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- on Muslim territory. And there was a corps of the army of
14 Republika Srpska on Serb territory. Those are the two warring parties on
15 the Sarajevo theatre of war waging war between them; is that right?
16 A. Probably.
17 Q. Do you know that in Sarajevo itself, it was not only the soldiers
18 of the Sarajevo corps that were active but many paramilitary formations as
19 well? Have you heard of them?
20 A. At the beginning there were until the army was being formed, and
21 when it was formed, probably not any longer, but there were some.
22 Q. And there were various criminal groups that were killing and
23 looting, et cetera.
24 A. I don't know about that.
25 Q. And are you familiar with Mujahedin units that were formed within
1 that framework?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And were you personally, or any of your family members, engaged in
4 any military unit of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. I was in the army for seven or eight months until my wife got
6 killed. When my wife was killed, I had a two-year-old child to look
7 after, and I was a one-parent family. I was relieved of duty, and I was
8 not interested in anything any longer except in the survival of my child
9 and myself.
10 Q. When were you in the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 A. I can't remember exactly. I think it was from May, May or June,
12 and then for the following seven or eight, nine months.
13 Q. Which unit were you in?
14 A. I don't know the name of the unit, but I was in a command where I
15 was a kind of porter, receptionist.
16 Q. So you didn't really take part in combat activity. You had a duty
17 that was more of a technical nature.
18 A. I don't know whether you'll believe me, but I didn't fire a single
19 shot during the war.
20 Q. I believe you. Why wouldn't I? Couldn't you at least in very
21 general terms tell us which command you were working in?
22 A. It was the command that was housed in the centre of town next to
23 the department store, a building that was called Vranica. It was the
24 building of a construction company, and that's where the headquarters
25 were, and I was there. A driver, when necessary. I acted as a driver
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 because I had a car at the time. I would drive when necessary and I was a
2 porter or receptionist. I was working at the entrance to the building.
3 Q. What kind of unit was it that this was the headquarters of?
4 A. I don't know exactly.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions of this
6 witness, Mr. May.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have no further questions, and I'm
10 just doing a check to see if the other witness is in the building.
11 JUDGE MAY: It's fairly late, I think we might call it a day. But
12 let us thank this witness.
13 Witness B-1345, thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give your
14 evidence. You are now free to go. If you'd just wait for the blinds, if
15 you would.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We could finish -- deal with the witness in
19 chief, maybe, if the witness is here.
20 MR. GROOME: I'm informed she's just arriving in the parking lot,
21 Your Honour. Perhaps by the time she arrives here we may have exhausted
22 the 15 minutes anyway.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. I think in the circumstances, we'll
24 adjourn if she's just got here.
25 We will adjourn until tomorrow.
1 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, you've just come in time for us to adjourn.
2 We'll sit again tomorrow morning.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.32 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 29th day of
5 October, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.