1 Wednesday, 12 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1399 [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE MAY: Try again.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's on now.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. 1399, tell me, please, how many of you were there on this
16 A. They didn't shoot at us on that meadow.
17 Q. Well, you were telling us how you were shot at.
18 A. Yes, I was, but not in the meadow that you're referring to. On
19 the spot where I was, only they know how many people they killed. I don't
21 Q. So you don't know how many of you were there.
22 A. No, I don't know because there were two locations there.
23 Q. I'm asking you about the one where you were.
24 A. I don't know. I didn't count the men. I just know that in the
25 hall, my assessment was that there were about 1.000 people. That's not
1 the exact number. There may be more or less. According to our estimate,
2 the way it looked in this gym, there were about a thousand of us.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So you don't know how many people were taken out and shot at?
6 A. All the men were taken out. No one stayed behind.
7 Q. Did anyone else save his life except you?
8 A. Yes, another three men survived.
9 Q. Would you be kind enough to tell me how you saved yourself.
10 A. When they came to execute us, they first opened a burst of fire
11 from the right-hand side, and I fell because the men fell on top of me.
12 My right hand remained across another man's chest who fell before me, and
13 then an individual man came to shoot at the men one by one, and when the
14 last shot was fired, I have a small scar here, probably a stone that
15 ricochetted, and then later on other trucks arrived. They went further
16 away from me. In the meantime, when night fell, the loader arrived, and
17 the man who was driving the excavator, he was digging there, and this
18 loader lit us all up.
19 One man was alive close to me, but he was killed in the woods.
20 The soldiers who were on duty there opened fire at that soldier. And then
21 this man with the loader turned the lights around to light up the woods.
22 I moved a little, and then he said, "We have another one here." However,
23 they didn't shoot again.
24 Then I crawled away towards this embankment, and I felt the rocks
25 from the railway tracks. I looked around. No one was following. I got
1 onto my feet, and I climbed up to the railway track. Someone opened fire.
2 Whether it was in the air or somewhere, I don't know. Anyway, it was a
3 burst of fire. I didn't feel any bullet hitting me, and then I ran into a
4 maize field on the other side of the track. Then I went on my knees
5 through the cornfield, and then I reached some bushes. I could feel the
6 sound of water, but I didn't see any water. Then Serb soldiers came.
7 They shot around in the cornfield, but they didn't hit me.
8 Q. How is it possible that you weren't even wounded?
9 A. I suppose I was just lucky. When I put my glasses on, I see this
10 little scar and that's all.
11 Q. So they missed you. You were the only one they missed.
12 A. Not just me. Another three men survived.
13 Q. Do you know those three?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. And what is their name?
20 (Redacted)was 20 years old at the time.
21 Q. Tell me, how long did all this last while you were there in this
23 A. Well, according to my estimate, more than half the night, I would
25 Q. Tell me, please, you go on to say that you returned to that spot.
1 Why did you go back? You were fleeing. You just explained that you were
3 A. Yes. I just fled to this other side of the same location. I
4 didn't go back to the same spot. I came back there in 1999.
5 JUDGE MAY: Just -- just one moment. Yes, Mr. Waespi
6 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we could briefly go to private
7 session for one issue, please.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are in open session again.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I understood yesterday, Mr. 1399, that you returned to that spot
21 and that you saw in the moonlight corpses.
22 A. No. That is another location. When I escaped and reached the
23 road, there's a stream next to the road, or some water flowing from a
24 pipe, and that is the location where I saw those bodies. I didn't see
25 bodies where I was because it was night-time. I could only see a little
1 when the loader flashed its lights. I couldn't really see how many there
2 were. There could have been a lot of them, because I went to that spot in
4 Q. Well, the fact that you went there in 1999 is another matter, but
5 where did you see those other bodies?
6 A. 200 or 300 metres away from that spot. There was one group one
7 side of the tracks and another on the other side of the tracks. And there
8 was no one there except for the dead bodies, no one.
9 Q. And how many bodies were there?
10 A. I don't know. There were a lot, because the killing went on for a
11 long time.
12 Q. Tell me, please, is that the same group that was with you?
13 A. Yes, yes, the same group.
14 Q. In this statement which you gave to the agency for investigation
15 and documentation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the intelligence service, in
16 other words, you said - at least that is what it says in your statement -
17 that your eyes were tied, you were blindfolded, according to what you say,
18 and that you recognised a certain Gojko Simic by his voice.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who is from the same area as you are.
21 A. From the same municipality.
22 Q. Fine. From the same municipality. And that you had worked with
23 him in Belgrade in a building company.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Tell me, please, on what grounds can you claim that he is the one
1 when you didn't see him?
2 A. I knew the man for some 15 years. I know his accent, and also
3 they called each other by name.
4 Q. So you heard him call him by name?
5 A. Yes, they called each other by name.
6 Q. Were you able to identify anyone else among those people except
7 for Simic?
8 A. I just know they called out Vojo, Risto, Gojko, and another one by
9 nickname. I didn't know these two, so I can't say who they were.
10 Q. How long did the shooting last?
11 A. I told you. It started around 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon, and
12 it lasted until after midnight. I'm sure of that.
13 Q. Are you sure about this man? They didn't call him out by first
14 and last name.
15 A. No, they didn't, but I can guarantee a hundred per cent that it
16 was he. I knew the man, the way he spoke. And even if he was in another
17 office and I would hear him, I would know who he was, not to mention right
18 next to me.
19 Q. So with a blindfold --
20 A. I didn't have a blindfold then. I took it off. This may have
21 been well into the night. However, it wasn't too visible because it was
23 Q. So you didn't really see that man, but you're claiming on the
24 basis his voice.
25 A. I guarantee 100 per cent that it is him.
1 Q. If you guarantee that that is the man who perpetrated the crime,
2 was this man found? Do you know anything about it? Did anyone call you
3 in to testify about this?
4 A. I don't know whether he's alive or not. It's not up to me to look
5 for him. It's up to other people to do that.
6 JUDGE MAY: This must be your last question, Mr. Milosevic.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. 1399, are you quite sure that things happened in the way you
9 have described and that you can identify one of the perpetrators?
10 A. Yes, 100 per cent.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Tell me just this --
14 JUDGE MAY: No. It's time, Mr. Milosevic. You've had more than
15 your time.
16 Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, after I was
19 cautioned by my learned friend the Prosecutor, I will not mention the case
20 in which (Redacted)
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: And could Their Honours look at that statement,
16 too, because it is cut up in such a way that the signature of the court
17 clerk can be seen but not the signature of the witness. It has been
18 translated, and of course into the English version, there is reference to
19 the name of the witness and his signature.
20 I would be interested in knowing whether the original of this
21 document contains the signature of this witness.
22 Could you please look at that statement, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MAY: We haven't got it. If you'd like to show it to us,
24 yes, of course.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I do have the English translation
1 in sufficient copies.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Certainly the original can go back to counsel,
3 and we'll have a look at the English translations.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I'd like the witness to take a look at this, the 1st of August,
6 1995, and to see if his signature -- he thinks his signature is there and
7 is it his statement?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. Very well. Now, Witness, I want to start off by asking you this,
10 and it is something that you spoke about during previous testimony. You
11 testified what happened on the spot, and you said something similar when
12 you were first questioned in the case you testified in before this
13 Tribunal - I won't mention which one it is - and you say the same thing
15 Now, if you have the Serbian or, rather, B/C/S version of your
16 statement of the 13th and 14th of August, 1995 --
17 A. Well, I haven't got the papers with me.
18 Q. But on the occasion in that statement, it was a statement given to
19 the investigators, was it not?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
21 MR. WAESPI: I'm sorry to interrupt my learned friend, but we have
22 to go into private session just for a brief moment again.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are in open session.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, we haven't yet got the copies of these
18 statements. Could we have the English versions, please.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. In the English version, it is to be found on page 6, paragraph
21 three from the bottom. And the previous paragraph, the one before that.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, let's not waste too much time, please, on
23 this. No, that's the B/C/S, thank you very much. Let the witness have
24 the B/C/S, and we'll have the English. Is the English attached in some
1 Yes. Well, we've got the 1st of August, 1995, if that's the one
2 you want us to look at.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we've already
4 looked at that one. I'm talking about the 13th and 14th of August, 1995,
5 that particular statement, and I think the Prosecutors have a copy of that
6 statement. It was handed in a long time ago as the witness statement, in
8 I do apologise, but I'm just dealing with documents here.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We now have the statement made on the 13th of
10 August, 1995, to the Prosecution.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. That's it,
12 Your Honours.
13 Q. Now, could we please take a look at page 6, paragraph three from
14 the bottom. And I'd like to read it out to the witness. This is what it
15 says: "Soon after that, 10 to 15 minutes later, I heard one more truck
16 was arriving. I -- this went on throughout the afternoon and evening, and
17 I heard that every ten or 15 minutes, one truck was arriving."
18 And on page 7, paragraph 7, you say -- paragraph 7 of the English
19 version, and this is in the middle of the page in the B/C/S -- you say
20 that you were shot at, you particularly. You personally were shot at and
21 that they missed. And you repeat that once more. So we agree there, do
23 A. They shot at everyone, not only at me, but they missed me. Who
24 said they just shot at me?
25 Q. When you tried to escape.
1 A. Yes. They shot. Whether they shot at me or shot up in the air, I
2 don't know because I didn't feel any bullets.
3 Q. But you said, "They shot at me and missed me." That's what you
4 say here. Take a look at the statement.
5 A. Well, yes. They were shooting at me; they weren't shooting at
7 Q. Well, don't be angry with me.
8 A. Well, how wouldn't I be angry with you? If you're trying to
9 escape and people are shooting --
10 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment now. Witness B-1399, we recognise of
11 course that this is a very difficult and trying time for you, having to
12 recall these incidents, but if you would be patient and just allow counsel
13 to ask his questions and we will ask him to do so fairly rapidly because
14 we need to move on.
15 Yes. Perhaps we can move to the next question.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have to go back to this topic,
17 because I'd like to look at this particular subject given in a statement
18 of the 1st of August, several days later after the event, and the
19 statement given in 1997. And he says that they are his statements.
20 Q. Now, Witness, would you please take a look at your first statement
21 of the 1st of August, 1995, where you say that you spent two hours in that
22 particular locality on the site you were shot, and then you said you moved
23 to another place and spent three or four hours there. And I think the
24 important thing for Their Honours is that neither in this statement or in
25 the second statement in 1997 did you make any mention of the fact that you
1 were shot at and especially, and this is the most important point, could
2 you please explain to us why in these statements you don't mention the
3 trucks arriving every ten minutes. So could you please explain that to us
4 and Their Honours, why that is not contained in these statements.
5 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-1399, what counsel is putting is that there
6 are various matters which he's referred to which you haven't referred to
7 in the statements. Assuming that that's right -- for the moment assuming
8 that he's right, is there any particular reason why you didn't mention one
9 detail or another? There may be a reason, there may not be. Yes.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned all the details. Now,
11 whether when both statements were printed out, written out, perhaps it
12 didn't contain these details, but I did say that, that trucks came every
13 ten minutes. And the fact that I moved the location was that I wanted to
14 avoid the place where we were shot. And I spent a little more time in one
15 place rather than another because they had killed all the people there.
16 The shooting stopped, and then I went to save my own head.
17 And this went on almost the whole night. I just had half an hour
18 or an hour -- there was just half an hour or an hour before daybreak.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one more
20 point. If I were to have time, there are more OTP documents here with
21 respect to whether he recognised the site and location, and it would be
22 interesting for you, but I don't want to go into that now because quite
23 obviously I don't have the time to do so.
24 Q. But in the second statement and in a way in the first statement,
25 too, you say the following -- look at the penultimate paragraph or,
1 rather, the last page of your statement of 1997 and the one but last
3 Of course in this statement, you don't mention that you were
4 either shot at or that you shifted places. You said, "When the Chetniks
5 left the execution site at about 300 metres away, I heard a burst of
6 gunfire. And then I succeeded in escaping from the execution site and
7 passing over into free territory."
8 A. No. Who said that?
9 Q. Well, you take a look at your statement.
10 A. Well, how is any mention here made of free territory? How can
11 free territory be at 300 metres? It must have been a mistake or this man
12 printing it out, typing it out. Do you want me to sit down here and tell
13 you the history as it happened, the whole story? Don't ask me questions
14 of this kind. I am sure that the computer can leave some things out.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. So what is all this talk about free territory and all the rest of
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's move on. There's a matter the
19 registry wanted to raise with me.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Waespi. Anything you want to ask?
22 MR. WAESPI: There is just one issue for clarification if I can,
23 Mr. President.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Waespi:
25 Q. Witness, you mentioned twice that you have a scar, I think on your
1 hand, and you pointed to it. Can you tell us which hand is it?
2 A. Yes, that's right. My right hand.
3 Q. And the scar would be where on your hand?
4 A. Here, between these two fingers.
5 Q. So it's between the second finger and the middle finger.
6 A. Yes, the index finger and the middle finger.
7 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. No further questions.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, you referred to some earlier
9 statements. Are you asking us to exhibit them?
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I think it would be very
11 useful to have all the statements which are translated into English. And
12 the 1997 one, I don't think that one has been translated, so it needs to
13 be translated first. But I think both these statements can be of
14 importance for assessing the testimony of this witness.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll give them the next C number, those
16 three statements, I understand the last one to be translated.
17 Perhaps the Prosecution would assist in making sure we get all the
18 relevant exhibits.
19 MR. WAESPI: Certainly, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The next number is C20.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Witness B-1399, that concludes your
23 evidence. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are now
24 free to go. If you would just wait a moment while the blinds are put
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the next two witnesses are to be taken by
3 Mr. Ierace, but before he does that, may I distribute to you copies of a
4 witness schedule that take us to the end of the case, and then may I
5 address you for a couple of minutes in private session supplementary to
6 the points that I was making yesterday.
7 I hope there are enough here for the Judges, the accused, and the
9 Your Honour, the witnesses on the chart are clearly those who are
10 to be prepared, and therefore as a matter of necessary inference the ones
11 on the list, not on the chart, are those we would not suggest should be
12 prepared at the moment.
13 May I go into private session for just a couple of minutes to
14 explain a couple of points.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 28850 to 28856 – redacted – private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are in open session again. Thank
18 JUDGE MAY: We will have the next witness, please.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
22 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
24 WITNESS: Francis Roy Thomas
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ierace.
1 MR. IERACE: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm assisted by Manoj
2 Sachdeva in the presentation of this witness's evidence. I think I
3 require an exhibit number for the exhibits for this witness, and I should
4 indicate that yesterday the Trial Chamber which heard the Galic trial
5 issued an order granting permission for exhibits which were tendered
6 through this witness in the Galic trial to be admitted in this trial not
7 under seal, and likewise for his evidence which was heard in either
8 private or closed session in the Galic trial to be tendered as a public
9 document in this trial.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well, we'll have an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The next exhibit number is P885. Thank you.
12 JUDGE KWON: 585.
13 MR. IERACE: Thank you.
14 Examined by Mr. Ierace:
15 Q. Sir, is your full name Francis Roy Thomas?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Are you by occupation a peace support training consultant and also
18 a writer?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In the early 1990s, were you a major in the Canadian army?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. IERACE: Your Honours, this witness's testimony has been
23 admitted pursuant to Rule 92 bis (D). I will now present a summary of
24 that evidence, and at one point, with your leave, I'll invite the witness
25 to point out on the map alongside him the position of various places.
1 By way of background, the witness was the United Nations senior
2 military observer, known as SMO, in Sarajevo between mid-October 1993 and
3 July 1994. He was a tank officer with 35 years experience in the Canadian
4 army and had prior extensive experience with UN missions, in particular,
5 peacekeeping missions. He has a Master's degree in war studies from the
6 Royal Military College in Canada.
7 The witness gave evidence to the following: That the UNMOs, UN
8 military observers, monitored and reported events in Sarajevo. They were
9 positioned on both sides of the confrontation lines around that city, and
10 through a reporting system ultimately delivered to the witness as the
11 senior military observer daily written accounts of their observations.
12 This witness would then prepare a daily situation report known as a Sitrep
13 each evening which was then distributed to sector Sarajevo, BH command, to
14 Zagreb, and occasionally to UN headquarters in New York.
15 During his tenure, there were up to 233 UNMOs under his command
16 divided into six observation posts on each side of the confrontation line.
17 Reference may be made to them as Lima or Papa posts. Lima as in Lukavica
18 for the Bosnian Serb side. Papa as in Presidency for the Bosnian
19 Presidency side.
20 After the 5th of February, 1994, the Markale market incident, the
21 structure of those teams was changed, at one stage peaking at 29 separate
23 They were positioned on the Papa side to provide observation of
24 the city, incoming artillery and mortar rounds. They were not necessarily
25 in the best positions to observe outgoing Bosnian army, ABiH, artillery
1 and mortar fire.
2 A number of these Sitreps generated during the witness's tenure
3 reporting Bosnian Serb sniping and shelling activity against the city were
4 tendered and they are exhibit numbers 5 to 10 and 15 to 24 on the exhibit
5 list. The witness gave evidence that three of them were misdated as
6 December, the month of December, and should have been January 1994, and
7 they are exhibits 15, 19, and 20.
8 In those Sitreps, certain terms are used: "Random fire," which
9 the witness defined as referring to no distinguishable target; "harassing
10 fire," which he defined as fire being used, for example, at a water point
11 to make people that go to get water inconvenienced. They are either going
12 to have to take shelter, there may be some casualties, but it is only
13 harassing in the sense that you do not call down a major concentration of
14 fire. Randomness was also a factor in harassing fire.
15 Some of these tendered Sitreps refer to the shelling of Kosevo
16 hospital by Bosnian Serb forces. The witness explained that when he
17 received such reports he took steps to determine whether the Bosnians had
18 used the hospital grounds for screening outgoing mortar fire, and although
19 this practice was never confirmed by any UNMOs during his tenure, he
20 suspected that that sometimes happened.
21 He recollected that occasionally the Bosnian Serb army
22 deliberately targeted with artillery the covered and protected routes used
23 by civilian pedestrians to traverse the city, avoiding lines of sight from
24 Bosnian Serb snipers. And by that artillery fire, they caused
25 significantly higher casualties than usual. That document is P2088.
1 He identified an UNPROFOR report --
2 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute. Now, we don't want to get these
3 documents muddled up. We need in this trial to refer to our documents,
4 and the way we do it in this trial is we don't have any P numbers, we have
5 a number. So we are operating in Exhibit 585, and so there's no
6 confusion, we then have the various tabs in 585.
7 MR. IERACE: Yes. That's tab 4, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
9 MR. IERACE: The witness identified in his evidence an UNPROFOR
10 report in relation to an incident on the 24th of January, 1994, when six
11 children were killed by mortar fire. That report concluded that the
12 source of fire was the Serb side in the Stup or Ilidza area.
13 He identified another report - that was tab 12 - an UNPROFOR
14 report in relation to an incident on the 4th of February, 1994, in
15 Dobrinja, and I note that is the day before the Markale market incident,
16 when a number of adults and children were killed by mortar fire. That
17 report concluded that the direction of fire was from the Lukavica area on
18 the Bosnian Serb side. And that is -- I'm sorry, the earlier report is
19 tab 13 and this is tab 12.
20 In relation to the extent of civilian casualties, the witness gave
21 evidence that the UNMOs made nightly visits to the morgue on the Bosnian
22 Presidency side in order to confirm the number of casualties, number of
23 deceased. They were not given the same opportunity for confirmation by
24 the Bosnian Serb side.
25 In December 1993, the witness commenced keeping a separate summary
1 of casualty figures from shelling and sniping, and after the 5th of
2 February, 1994, the Markale incident date, he stopped keeping this summary
3 in relation to shelling since shelling temporarily stopped. So all
4 figures after that date relate to sniping.
5 Between March and June 1994, he compiled a summary of sniping
6 casualties figures identifying civilians, and that status was determined
7 by UNMOs on the following basis: The females were considered to be
8 civilians since it was rare for women to be in the Bosnian military.
9 Children, of course, were civilians. And military-aged men, unless
10 clearly civilian, for instance by their occupation, were considered to be
12 In respect of protests made by the UNMOs as to shelling or
13 sniping, they were made through the Bosnian Serb liaison officer, Major
14 Indic. When firing did stop following these protests, it was not possible
15 to tell whether the UN intervention had been instrumental. If firing
16 continued, that would be reported up the chain of command and the UN force
17 commander or deputy would then send a formal note. UNPROFOR would also
18 send formal notes of protest.
19 Following the Markale incident, there was an agreement in February
20 1994 which resulted in an informal cease-fire. Prior to that time, from
21 the arrival of Major Thomas in Sarajevo in mid-October 1993, the shelling
22 had generally been into the city.
23 The UNPROFOR commander, General Rose, announced in February 1994
24 that he expected at noon the following day that both sides would stop
25 firing and if anyone shot after that, the media would know which side was
1 not adhering to the cease-fire. The witness said that the agreement was a
2 missed opportunity because the soldiers on the ground on both sides seemed
3 to want it to hold but it was not respected.
4 Between then and July 1994 when he departed, there was no
5 artillery fire into the city, but the sniping resumed on the 1st of March,
6 1994 and was increasing in intensity when he left. The ABiH, that's the
7 Bosnian Presidency army, took advantage of the cease-fire to improve their
8 positions which was a source of -- subject of complaints by the Bosnian
10 Based on reports that the witness received from his subordinate
11 UNMOs, the witness was able to identify certain locations as being regular
12 sources of Bosnian Serb sniper fire. These included a church tower in a
13 field opposite Lukavica from where Dobrinja was targeted. I now invite
14 the witness to indicate that position on the map.
15 A. [Indicates]
16 Q. Thank you. And the School of Theology in Nedzarici, could you
17 please indicate that approximate position as well.
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. The site in Grbavica opposite one of the UNMO observation posts.
20 A. [Indicates]
21 Q. Thank you. And finally, a geographical feature known as
22 Sharpstone or Spicasta Stijena.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 MR. IERACE: For the record, I should indicate that the map is
25 Exhibit 343, tab 7.
1 In relation to Sharpstone, the witness was able to visit that area
2 and witnessed a very well dug-in position, "And there was no need for any
3 special facilities for the snipers. They could just pick a trench and
4 prepare themselves to shoot and then move to another trench and have a
5 very clear view." He said there were a significant number of casualties
6 from snipers located at that point.
7 He said that poor visibility, such as from fog or other climatic
8 conditions, affected sniper fire since they tried to use their weapons at
9 their maximum range from about one kilometre. However, visibility was not
10 so important in relation to indirect fire weapons since they relied on
11 target identification by forward observers.
12 In relation to the degree of command and control exercised by
13 Bosnian Serb army commanders, he characterised the system as being similar
14 to that of a NATO army in a general sense. Most of the brigade commanders
15 were ex-JNA officers who were quite professional with operational and
16 tactical skills whereas most of their soldiers had come from the
17 Territorial Defence, or TO.
18 He noted that given the extended period following the February
19 cease-fire agreement with no Bosnian Serb artillery or mortar fire being
20 launched into the city, that it followed to his mind that the Bosnian Serb
21 army leadership exercised firm command and control over their subordinates
22 who surrounded the city.
23 In respect of sniping activity, he concluded that was controlled
24 at the brigade or battalion level. For example, the Bosnian Serbs would
25 explain that they engaged in sniping activity because the Bosnians were
1 digging tunnels or trenches. That was one example. The UN would then
2 negotiate an agreement that the Serbs would stop shooting if the Bosnians
3 would stop digging. On occasion, the leadership of two opposing
4 battalions would agree to a cease-fire and their soldiers appeared to
5 genuinely desire one, but the sniping would continue, indicating the
6 orders to snipe came from a level higher than the battalion.
7 In terms of sniper control within a battalion, he said that
8 sometimes there would be instances of sniper fire which appeared to him to
9 be done with no reference to the overall corps situation. He noted that
10 both parties acquired Motorola radios which had been stolen from the
11 United Nations. They used those to listen in on UN communications which
12 made available to them information as to shelling and sniping incidents.
13 The witness said that in relation to fire into the city, that if
14 the intention was to destroy Bosnian army command posts, it did not make
15 much sense since he expected that the Bosnian Serb leadership would have
16 had the necessary intelligence to know their precise positions and they
17 had sufficient weaponry to destroy them.
18 The witness also said that most of the Bosnian Presidency army
19 brigades had fixed areas of defence which roughly correlated with pre-war
20 defence plans under the old Yugoslavia.
21 In relation to clothing, he noted that many people, including
22 women and children, wore camouflage, where -- and many who were military
23 wore civilian clothes, and this was explicable in part by foreign aid
24 often involving camouflage clothing.
25 That concludes the summary. I have no further questions to ask
1 this witness.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Before I start with my questions, let me just
5 clear up, because it says on my statement Francis Thomas Roy, according to
6 which I would conclude that your surname is Roy. Am I right or wrong?
7 What is your surname, please?
8 A. My surname is Thomas, and my second name is Roy and my first name
9 is Francis, but most people know me by my second name, Roy Thomas.
10 Q. I was just asking that to know how to address you, Mr. Thomas. I
11 didn't want to call you by your name or your nickname, so I wasn't quite
12 sure as to which is which. So everything is all right now.
13 Mr. Thomas, in your position as senior military observer, which
14 means head of all the 200-odd military observers, you were in that
15 position for eight months; is that right?
16 A. No, actually nine months.
17 Q. Nine. Your predecessors, Kukkola from Finland, was only there for
18 four months, and a Swede for only two months; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In view of the period during which you held that position, that is
21 for all of nine months that you spent there, I assume that your experience
22 is much greater than that of the others who had much shorter tours of duty
23 there in that position. Is that a logical statement, Mr. Thomas?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Could you, as briefly as possible, give us reasons as to why these
1 two gentlemen spent such a short time in that position. Why were the
2 changes so frequent?
3 A. That would be a decision made by the chief military observer in
4 Zagreb. I really can't explain why he made these decisions.
5 Q. Very well. Military observers under your command, as has been
6 stated, were two teams, Lima and Papa, and of course the teams for the
7 safe areas of Gorazde, Zepa, et cetera; isn't that right, Mr. Thomas?
8 A. I was also responsible for Gorazde and Zepa, but not Srebrenica.
9 Q. That's why I only mentioned Gorazde and Zepa. The main duties of
10 military observers as members of these Papa and Lima teams were to monitor
11 exchanges of fire between the parties to the conflict, to establish the
12 number of casualties, to monitor activities on the front lines, to
13 maintain contact and links with the brigades, delivery of humanitarian
14 aid, et cetera. Would those be the main duties?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you compiled reports about all your observations, which were
17 known as Sitreps that the representative of the other side mentioned a
18 moment ago; is that right? The situation reports, as they're known.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were these reports written on a daily basis, that is every day,
21 and forwarded to the head of the military observers?
22 A. Yes, they were.
23 Q. Mr. Thomas, on page 4 of your statement, paragraph 7, you say that
24 this was being done with a view for both Zagreb and New York to have a
25 more realistic approach to the events than the one offered by the media.
1 Is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I assume you were very well familiar with the media reports, and
4 you commented on them on the basis of your direct insight; is that right?
5 A. No, only when there was -- I was asked to or direct contradictions
6 of my reports.
7 Q. Tell me, please, could you assess in the simplest terms to what
8 extent and in what way the media reports differed from the reports you
9 obtained through your military observers.
10 A. The media had less coverage on the Bosnian Serb side.
11 Q. So that would be the main difference, would it? And as an example
12 of a disproportionate and different reports on -- of the same event, on
13 page 5, paragraph 1, you refer to the situation in Sarajevo on the 20th of
14 December, 1993. Is that right, Mr. Thomas?
15 A. I'd have to look at that.
16 Q. I will remind you. Is it true that the Muslim side --
17 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let the witness have the statement.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I will draw your attention to the passage that I would like you to
20 comment on. You say, "The Bosnian side established that there were
21 hundreds of killed and wounded. After verifying in medical institutions
22 and morgues, it was established that in fact only 17 had been killed."
23 [No translation]
24 You were saying that you did not rely on hearsay but actual
25 physical counting, and you "took special pride in the meaning 'UNMO
1 confirmed."' I assume you found the passage.
2 MR. KAY: It's on page 4 of the statement. I can see the witness
3 looking for it. 2643 is the top number. The large paragraph near the
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I'm just reading the Serbian version, and the pagination doesn't
7 agree. So I assume you've found it now.
8 A. Yes. If you could repeat the initial question, then I can answer
9 it at this time.
10 Q. The question was, actually, that an example of the discrepancy and
11 difference between media reports and your own objective reporting is the
12 example that I referred to. The question is: Is it true that the Muslim
13 side reported that hundreds had been killed and wounded, whereas on the
14 basis of checks it was established that only 17 people had been killed.
15 Is that right?
16 A. In this particular case, yes.
17 Q. And in that same paragraph, you say that you were proud of your
18 reports because they relied on physical evidence and not on hearsay.
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Now, tell me, please, can you give us an example of the Serbian
21 side representing untruthfully or without objectivity an event that you
22 yourself reported on?
23 A. I could probably, looking carefully through my Sitreps, give an
24 example where we made a protest about a shelling incident in which case it
25 might have been denied, for example, by Major Indic, that any shelling
1 took place at all. There were many occasions where we protested something
2 and which Major Indic indicated it couldn't possibly have taken place,
3 when we made the first protest.
4 Q. I assume that you would check out what actually happened after
6 A. That's correct. And normally if we reported shelling, then the
7 shelling did take place.
8 Q. In that same passage, you say that you found with regret that the
9 Serbs did not register their losses as the Muslim side did because they
10 did not wish their casualties to be known, as you say. Is that right?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. But I assume that nevertheless, during those nine months you were
13 able to learn that the losses on the Serb side were quite considerable
15 A. Unfortunately, we were never given access to the morgues on the
16 Serb side.
17 Q. In the addendum you say, among other things - but we'll come back
18 to that, it refers to Markale - you say that you didn't have access to the
19 Serb side comparable to the access you had on the Muslim side. Was the
20 reason for this that the Serb side believed that the information collected
21 by your observers could easily be leaked to the enemy side? Was that
22 their conviction?
23 A. No. I think that was their excuse for denying us access when we
24 wanted it, because in those areas where we were allowed freedom of access,
25 I don't think that they could claim that information they -- that we
1 obtained was in fact used by the Bosnians.
2 Q. Very well. Since you say that the Serb side didn't want their
3 casualties to be known, as you yourself say, tell me, as an officer with a
4 great deal of experience, and especially in UN peacekeeping operations, do
5 you believe that there is greater damage to the truth done by false
6 reporting? We've just referred to one example when there was reports of
7 hundreds, whereas in fact there was 17. Or is more damage done when there
8 are no reports, as you were unable to receive any reports from the Serb
10 JUDGE MAY: That is a totally hypothetical question which I cannot
11 see that the witness can answer. Yes, let's move on.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. On page 6, in the sixth paragraph you say that the Serbs around
15 Sarajevo applied the policy of holding on to positions; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. As someone who, in addition to the military aspect also is
18 interested in history and other aspects, when talking about these
19 Serb-held positions, as you say there are policy was one of holding, when
20 we're talking about these Serb positions, were they captured positions or
21 were they positions in areas mostly inhabited by the Serbs before the
22 outbreak of the conflict?
23 A. I'm not completely aware of how much was inhabited by the Serbs
24 before the conflict started as my understanding was the city was
25 intermixed ethnically, so there were areas of Serbs living inside Sarajevo
1 and Bosnian people that lived outside. So I couldn't say what was the
2 situation before the war started.
3 Q. I will give you an ethnic map of Sarajevo based on an official
4 census in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and as you spent
5 all of nine months there, you know very well to interpret this map. It's
6 both in Serbian and English.
7 JUDGE MAY: If we are -- if we're going on to a separate matter
8 such as this map, we'll do so after the adjournment.
9 Major Thomas, could I remind you, as we have to remind all
10 witnesses, not to speak to anybody, including the Prosecution, about your
11 evidence until it's over. Thank you.
12 Twenty minutes.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.56 a.m.
15 JUDGE MAY: If the legal officer would come up, please.
16 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, it's on now. I provided the
19 usher with the map to show Major Thomas.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Major Thomas, could you just briefly answer this question: The
22 positions where the Serbs were, were they mostly the positions where they
23 lived or were they won over positions? In general terms, what would you
25 JUDGE MAY: Can you help us with that or not?
1 THE WITNESS: I think that it's too difficult for me to answer
2 that, because when I arrived, I do know that there were Serb people living
3 in the area that was held by the Bosnians. I also know that one
4 neighbourhood, Grbavica, was in particular a Serb area, but there was
5 three areas - Stup, Nedzarici, and the outskirts of Dobrinja - which I
6 know there were people of different origins living there. So I think that
7 if this -- if the accused's question was related directly to Grbavica, the
8 answer would be yes, the Serbs in Grbavica were defending their own
9 terrain. And the other areas of the city, I'm not so sure. And that's
10 the best answer I can give on this question.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Very well, Mr. Thomas. Thank you for that. I should like to draw
13 your attention to that same paragraph in which you say that the Serbs
14 around Sarajevo followed the policy of holding positions, and you say
15 here: "I did not see the Serbs launch a single attack." That's the
16 second sentence -- "I did not witness any Serb attacks." That is the
17 sentence in that short paragraph. So throughout the time you occupied the
18 post you did, you did not witness any Serb attacks. Isn't that right,
19 Mr. Thomas?
20 A. I did not witness any Serb attacks in the Sarajevo area.
21 Q. Thank you. On page 6, paragraph 5, you go on to say that in
22 October 1993, you noticed a very well-equipped Muslim force and group
23 trying to take control of the Pale road, the Serb connection between Pale
24 and Lukavica. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Tell me, please, what group of Muslim forces was it in actual
2 fact, what kind? Perhaps you could use military terminology.
3 Establishment-wise, I mean, what was it like?
4 A. These were infantry ground troops using hand-held weapons.
5 Q. I assume they were members of the 1st Corps of the army of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that right? Because it was located in Sarajevo.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would you say that these forces, as you yourself say, were very
9 well-equipped, and they had French equipment? Is that right?
10 A. There's some confusion with that statement. The troops I observed
11 with French equipment was observed in January 1994. The troops involved
12 in the attacks that I observed in October 1993, I wasn't close enough to
13 observe their actual equipment; I could only observe the firing and
14 shooting and movement of the people in camouflage uniforms.
15 Q. All right. Now, you say January 1994. I'm just looking at the
16 addendum, the addition I was given yesterday, and you speak of another
17 event. Seventy Bosnian soldiers wearing French helmets and flak jackets
18 and so on in the offensive operation at Grbavica.
19 Now, you yourself -- in fact, what you say here is in the third
20 person singular: "He asserted that the men were from the Bosnian army
21 after he stopped and asked them."
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Is that right?
24 A. I personally saw these soldiers, I personally talked to them.
25 Q. Yes. That means that until you stopped to talk to them, you
1 weren't able to ascertain whether they were members of the BH army because
2 they were dressed like French soldiers, is that it?
3 A. They were wearing French-style helmets and French-style flak
4 jackets. I should add for the benefit of the Judges that it was about
5 11:00 at night, dark, in January 1994, with no lights. So basically I'm
6 looking at the silhouettes of soldiers crossing the road with helmets and
7 flak jackets as the only real indicator as to what nationality they would
9 Q. And the first idea that came to your head, as far as I can
10 understand it from your explanation, was that they gave the impression of
11 being French soldiers; is that right?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Now, from this, may we deduce that by wearing what they were
14 wearing they were in fact camouflaging themselves and could lead the enemy
15 to make a false conclusion, and the enemy might think that they were
16 members of UNPROFOR in actual fact?
17 A. The Serb soldiers that I knew manning the trenches in Grbavica I
18 doubt would make that mistake. Travelling by myself in a UN military
19 vehicle and just catching a glimpse of people jumping across the road is
20 one thing, but to have people crossing the front line directly in front of
21 you from military terms is another thing, and I do not think that people
22 that have been in the front line for the length of time the Serbs had been
23 in Grbavica they would have made that mistake.
24 Q. Very well. Now, in view of the assertions you make that Sarajevo
25 was totally blocked, in view of the position you held as the principal UN
1 military observer, can you give us an explanation as to the way in which
2 these Muslim forces came by the French equipment? Which channels did they
4 A. I have no idea on this. It was a surprise to me.
5 Q. But I assume that we're not challenging that the weapons and
6 military equipment throughout the conflict, in addition to the total
7 blockade and international embargo enforced on the export of weapons, that
8 nonetheless, this equipment did reach the Muslim forces in Sarajevo
9 through certain channels. Is that right?
10 A. I can only say that there were a large number of criminal elements
11 at work on both sides and that weapons could be purchased from anybody,
12 including Serbs, if you had the money.
13 Q. Yes, but these weapons, without a doubt, were of French origin.
14 So it's difficult to imagine that it could have been bought from anyone.
15 Isn't that right, Mr. Thomas?
16 A. I would not say -- I would say that soldiers in any army may have
17 sold their personal equipment for money if offered enough money.
18 Q. Well, does that mean that the French sold their equipment for
19 sufficient sums of money to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if the price
20 was right?
21 A. I would say that there was certainly no official French government
22 agreement to sell any arms. I would say that individual soldiers from --
23 and some of these soldiers may have been from the Foreign Legion, may have
24 sold their equipment. It may not have even been French soldiers that sold
25 this equipment. Soldiers from armies collect equipment from other
1 countries as well, especially equipment they think is better than their
2 own. If I could have bought a French flak jacket, I would have bought one
3 because it was better than the Canadian one that was issued me.
4 Q. Very well. Now, on page 7, paragraph 4, you say that the
5 commanders of the brigades on the Serb side had more confidence in drawing
6 up local peace agreements, as opposed to the Muslims who, as you say, were
7 little more conscious of hierarchy. Is that what you said? "Whereas the
8 commanders on the Bosnian side seem much more conscious of their
10 A. Yes, I said that.
11 Q. Does that mean that with the military representatives of the army
12 of Republika Srpska you found it easier to reach agreements on cease-fire,
13 peace agreements, as you call them, and that the directives for drawing up
14 agreements when it came from the Muslim side just came from one place?
15 A. What it means is that if a cease-fire was agreed with by a local
16 commander on the Serb side, that he -- that that agreement would be
17 adhered to. On the other hand, even if a Bosnian local commander made an
18 agreement, it might mean nothing if it didn't have the approval of the
19 higher commander.
20 Q. All right. Fine. Mr. Thomas, now, tell me, please, how
21 frequently did the Muslim side open mortar fire on Serb positions using
22 the military UN observers and observer posts as protection? Do you have
23 any evidence of that during your stay in Sarajevo?
24 A. Yes, but I wouldn't characterise it as frequent use.
25 Q. But there were such cases?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And I assume that the Serb artillery on such occasions responded
3 to the attacks and tried to neutralise the sources from which the mortar
4 attacks came.
5 A. Yes. The Serbs could be counted on to retaliate no matter where
6 the fire originated from.
7 Q. But did you sometimes see them targeting any UN positions?
8 A. What I can specifically say is that one of my OPs was fired on by
9 an indirect fire weapon because the Serb artillery was trying to engage a
10 mortar that was within a hundred metres of our position. And as you know,
11 the danger area for mortar fire is more than a hundred metres.
12 Q. All right. Now, this kind of conduct and starting an attack from
13 close up, the kind you witnessed, was being used and resorted to by the
14 Muslim forces vis-a-vis your OPs, did it threaten the safety of your
15 people? It did, didn't it?
16 A. Yes, but if the Serbs had given us time to get the Bosnian forces
17 to move, or given us more time, I think perhaps the retaliatory fire which
18 threatened our people would not have been necessary.
19 Q. But they didn't put your men in jeopardy despite all that; isn't
20 that right?
21 A. No, they certainly did. When they fired at a Bosnian mortar that
22 was close to my OP, Papa 2 to be precise -- correction, Papa 3 to be
23 precise, we didn't have time to ask the Bosnians to move the mortar before
24 the first rounds were coming in, and they were all within an area --
25 within the area of the OP sufficient that I had to tell those people to go
1 to their shelter.
2 Q. On page 9, paragraph 4, you state and I quote: "The Bosnians were
3 prone to using heavy artillery and shot with the aim of causing a fire,
4 such as shooting from the hospital compound or placing a mortar on a wagon
5 or transferring it to the PTT building." Is that right?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Is it true that in the PTT building, for instance, the United
8 Nations had its headquarters?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And is it also correct that by opening fire from the hospital that
11 also puts the hospital in jeopardy because the place at which fire is
12 opened is a legitimate military target for the opposing side in the
13 conflict; isn't that right, Mr. Thomas?
14 A. Only if you accept that one wrong justifies another wrong. It's
15 wrong to fire at a hospital. It's also wrong to use a hospital grounds as
16 a baseplate for a mortar.
17 Q. And that's what the Muslim forces did; right?
18 A. The Bosnian forces, which we were never able to catch them doing,
19 we suspected used hospital grounds to fire mortars, but we know for sure,
20 because we observed the fall of shot of Serbian artillery on the hospital
22 Q. Now tell me this, please: What you say, are they correct on
23 paragraph 5 of page 9? You say that, "The greatest advantage of the
24 Bosnian Serbs, the great supremacy in tanks and artillery, was not of
25 great advantage to them in the fighting that took place in the urban
1 sections. Their use of artillery and tanks to shell Sarajevo in an
2 attempt to affect the will of the Bosnian government in fact had little
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And through the shelling and as the international media were
6 placed around the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo, they tended to report the war
7 based on the situation in the city; isn't that right, Mr. Thomas?
8 A. Yes. That's what I said.
9 Q. Now, do you consider that it was precisely because of these
10 reasons that the Muslims opened fire in Sarajevo on those positions?
11 A. If I understand your question, you mean you consider it precisely
12 because of those reasons that the Bosnians opened fire from those
13 positions. Is this my understanding of the question?
14 Q. Yes, from those positions.
15 A. Yes. The answer to that question is yes.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ierace -- just a second. Can I have the witness
17 statement, please.
18 MR. IERACE: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please go on.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kwon.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now, when you talk about sniper activity, Mr. Thomas, on page 8,
23 paragraph 5, you state that from the Muslim side they were strictly
24 controlled; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us who controlled them and guided them?
2 A. The minister of interior controlled the --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the witness.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Microphone.
6 A. The minister of interior controlled the snipers that I observed.
7 Q. And in your contacts with the Serb side, did you hear their
8 complaints with respect to sniper fire coming from the Muslim side and the
9 great damage that it incurred in the lives of people on the Serb side?
10 A. Not as often as we should have.
11 Q. And is it true, Mr. Thomas, that the Muslim sniper positions
12 existed even in the government building, for instance, where the
13 government had its seat?
14 A. No. I can't confirm that.
15 Q. Very well. Now, is it true that the media, when it came to sniper
16 activities in Sarajevo, created an impression with the world -- with world
17 public opinion - how shall I put this? - gave out an unbalanced picture of
18 the actions taken by the two sides?
19 A. In my opinion, the world media did give an unbalanced picture, but
20 the reports provided by military observer organisation and other UN
21 agencies provided a balanced view.
22 Q. Well, what was that balanced view? Could you state in general
23 terms what the balance of forces was between the sniper activity of the
24 two sides?
25 A. Snipers were used as an instrument to get people to deviate from
1 the agreed upon cease-fire. Both sides used sniper activity to try to
2 influence the other side. The example that I used in my report, the
3 testimony you're referring to, was of where a cease-fire was broken by the
4 Serb side because three pregnant Serb women had been shot by snipers, and
5 then the troops in the line, of course, fired the next day at every
6 Bosnian soldier they saw on the front lines.
7 That particular item was never covered by world media. It still
8 doesn't change the fact that the cease-fire was broken.
9 Q. Yes. But you've precisely said, Mr. Thomas, that the Muslim
10 snipers killed three pregnant Serb women, and the Serbs retaliated and
11 responded by shooting at the soldiers on the Muslim side; is that right?
12 A. Yes, but of course the soldiers they shot were not in any way
13 involved in the sniper activity. As I clearly stated before, snipers were
14 controlled by the Ministry of Interior, which was not even the army, so
15 the soldiers in the front line had no control over who and when used
16 sniper fire on their side, on the Bosnian side.
17 Q. Well, I assume that minister of the interior was a Bosnian
18 minister of the interior; right?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Now, is it true that sniper activity from the Serb side was very
21 often caused by fear of infantry attacks from the Muslim side? And you
22 say something about that in paragraph 4 of page 8.
23 A. Yes. Sniper fire was used to persuade the Bosnians on the other
24 side of the trench lines to not do any further work to improve their
1 Q. And, Mr. Thomas, did both sides consider all men to be soldiers
2 regardless of whether they were actually wearing uniforms or not?
3 A. I can only assume they did. I assumed that all men were
4 potentially soldiers because I couldn't tell whether they were soldiers or
6 Q. And is it true that many members of the armed forces in Sarajevo
7 on the Muslim side were not in fact wearing uniforms?
8 A. There was a blockade which stopped them from getting uniforms from
9 anywhere, and there weren't enough inside the city to equip them.
10 Q. So they were not wearing uniforms and yet they were soldiers.
11 Isn't that right, Mr. Thomas?
12 A. That's correct. There was more on the Bosnian side wearing
13 partial uniforms than there were on the Serb side. But then I must remind
14 you that Lukavica was a former army depot where there was probably no
15 doubt a great quantity of uniforms.
16 Q. That is beyond dispute. In connection with this question of
17 uniforms, your statement on page 8, paragraph 7, is correct, isn't it,
18 that if we're talking about men as targets of snipers, one could not talk
19 about merciless killing of civilians, in quotation marks.
20 A. Yes. If the target was a man, he could have military potential.
21 If, obviously, he was able to carry a weapon and he wasn't too old.
22 Unfortunately, many of the targets weren't men.
23 Q. Is it true that the Muslim side used sniping to initiate fire from
24 the other side out of revenge?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And is it true, Major Thomas, that by the end of 1993, from the
2 Muslim side within the territory of Sarajevo a large number of armed units
3 were active that were headed by local criminals?
4 A. Actually, in November, as my testimony given earlier mentioned,
5 there was an attempt by the Bosnian government to get rid of the criminals
6 that were in charge of formed military units, and I think I refer to that
7 in that witness statement that you are also using. And that was November
8 1993. So by the end of 1993, I think they were actually getting rid of
9 those people.
10 Q. And do you have at least a general idea as to the number of Serbs
11 in Sarajevo who were victims of the horrific crimes made -- committed by
12 these units that I have mentioned?
13 A. No. If there was criminal activity, I think it was directed
14 against the general population at large.
15 Q. I should like to draw your attention now, Major Thomas, to the
16 second paragraph on page 10, when you say: "In the course of October and
17 November, I saw moves by the Bosnian side to clean up the criminal element
18 within the city," et cetera. That's what you said a moment ago. "The
19 Bosnian side hijacked a number of UN vehicles including an APC. On the
20 19th of October, 1993, Bosnian soldiers disguised as Serbs shot at," it
21 says here, "the BH commander. The Bosnians also began to use tanks firing
22 from within the city in what I thought was an attempt to draw retaliatory
24 So they were disguised as Serbs and they shot at whom?
25 A. They shot at the UN UNPROFOR commander for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 And yes, that statement's correct.
2 Q. I don't doubt at all the correctness of that statement, but what
3 do you assume could have led to Bosnian soldiers disguised as Serbs to
4 shoot at the UN commander of the protective forces for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. I would make the logical assumption that they wanted to try to put
6 the blame on the Bosnian Serb forces, but unfortunately, they weren't
7 clever enough.
8 Q. You mean fortunately.
9 A. That's correct. Sorry.
10 Q. Is it correct that in December 1993, the Muslim forces burnt to
11 the ground all Serb houses in several villages around Han Pijesak? You
12 speak about that on page 10, fourth paragraph.
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. And is it also correct that all Serbs, regardless of sex and age,
15 who were in those villages, were killed on that occasion during those
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And is it true, Major Thomas, that such attacks went on
19 continuously from October until the end of December 1993?
20 A. That I can't confirm. I only did one investigation, and I was
21 never asked by the Bosnian Serbs to do any further investigations.
22 Q. And do you know that in those attacks a series of Serb villages
23 were destroyed and the Serb inhabitants in them?
24 A. This information I obtained by -- on my own initiative from asking
25 different people about what could have happened over the period
1 October/November, but I repeat again, I was never asked by the Bosnian
2 Serbs to do any further investigations.
3 Q. Major Thomas, that is to your honour that without any request from
4 the Serb side you collected information and sought to obtain an objective
5 picture. So therefore, on the basis of what you did collect, though this
6 was not required of you by the Serbs, did you gather information which
7 pointed to the destruction of a series of Serb villages and the Serb
8 population in that period?
9 A. I can't confirm it. I would only say that there were indications
10 that there was a use of this technique to influence the Bosnian Serbs'
11 local population, but this cannot be confirmed by investigation.
12 Q. And were you able to learn which Muslim units carried out such
14 A. No.
15 Q. Very well. Major Thomas, on page 12, paragraph 4, you speak about
16 the Serb attacks on Gorazde; isn't that right?
17 MR. KAY: Page 11.
18 THE WITNESS: Page 11. Yes.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You say that on the 25th of March, you left Gorazde.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So on the 25th of March, you visited Gorazde. Why did you go
1 A. I brought two military observers there and two doctors for UNHCR.
2 It also gave me an opportunity to visit my team there.
3 Q. Very well. And is it true that about that time there were
4 organised attacks by Muslim forces from Gorazde on surrounding Serb
5 villages and positions?
6 A. I can't confirm it, no.
7 Q. Very well. And is it true that in connection with the events in
8 Gorazde and the environs, from the 7th to the 9th of April you attended
9 meetings at the Sarajevo airport chaired by General Rose, and the
10 participants were General Mladic and Delic, that is the commanders of the
11 Serb and the Muslim sides?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And is it true that those negotiations were also attended by an
14 American envoy?
15 A. I don't remember the American.
16 Q. I mention him because I found some information about this in
17 General Rose's book. So as -- I won't ask you about that as you don't
18 seem to remember.
19 And is it true that at those meetings held from the 7th to the 9th
20 of April the Serb side advocated a cessation of hostilities throughout the
21 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and not just in Gorazde and the environs?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is it true that the Muslim side did not accept the proposal for
24 hostilities to cease?
25 A. They did not want the cease-fire line fixed for the whole of
2 Q. And what were their reasons, in your conviction, Major Thomas?
3 A. As I stated in my witness statement, the Bosnians did not want a
4 country-wide cease-fire, lest the front lines become cemented.
5 Q. Were they told at those meetings by General Rose that a cease-fire
6 creates the possibility for all other matters to be dealt with by
7 negotiation, that that was a necessary precondition for the problem to be
8 resolved peacefully, for the killing to end?
9 A. I'm sure that's one of the arguments that General Rose put
10 forward, but since you've read his book, you probably know more about it
11 than me.
12 Q. Major Thomas, despite the endeavours of General Mladic to have a
13 country-wide cease-fire, and despite the fact that that proposal was
14 rejected by the Muslim side, shortly after that, air attacks came against
15 positions of the army of Republika Srpska though it was advocating peace
16 throughout the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 A. The air attacks were in response to continued Bosnian Serb attacks
18 on the so-called safe haven of Gorazde.
19 Q. But is it quite certain that they had suggested a cease-fire not
20 only in Gorazde but throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. The Bosnian Serb position at the meeting at Sarajevo airport
22 clearly emphasised that without a cease-fire throughout Bosnia, there
23 would be no cease-fire at Gorazde.
24 Q. But your side - and when I say "your side," I mean the United
25 Nations - and the main representative in those talks, that is General
1 Michael Rose, did advocate a country-wide cease-fire, didn't he?
2 A. Yes. The UN position has always been that the fewer people
3 killed, the better the peace will be. And as long as fighting continues
4 anywhere, people will be killed. However -- however, the Serb attacks
5 continued in Gorazde while the talks were undergoing -- were under way in
6 the airport.
7 Q. But the negotiations were not successful, as far as I can gather,
8 but you're an eyewitness, you can either confirm or deny this, because the
9 Muslim side did not accept a cease-fire. Is that right, Major Thomas?
10 A. I can only say -- I can't add anything that you haven't already
11 read in General Rose's book. He was the chief negotiator for the UN.
12 Q. Very well. Major Thomas. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay.
14 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
16 Q. Can we look at tab 28, first of all, in the exhibit --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. I apologise to Mr. Kay
18 and to Major Thomas.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Namely this piece of paper that I
21 received subsequently is something I just forgot about, though I did refer
22 to it a moment ago.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Major Thomas, on this one-page document, it says the source is
25 Thomas Roy Francis, Markale 1. This is a document given to me yesterday.
1 It has no ERN though. It is an information report. I assume you have a
3 I should just like you to comment on what you say here. You say
4 that -- it's better for me to read it in English. "The witness said that
5 within two days after the incident of the 5th of February 1994 at Markale
6 marketplace, [in English] he and his patrol went out in the direction of
7 fire, being north-east of the market. Witness observed backed up --
8 backed up 120-millimetres mortar on wheels within the confrontation lines
9 on the territory of the Bosnian government forces. Witness stated that it
10 was observed in a place where it could have fired at the marketplace.
11 This was possible. However, witness states that in the two weeks
12 immediately preceding the Markale marketplace incident, he and other UNMOs
13 had been repeatedly denied access to the Bosnian Serbs held territory on
14 the direction of fire, although they were given access after the
16 [Interpretation] Would you be kind enough, please, to tell us to
17 the best of your knowledge, Mr. Thomas, what is your conviction as to who
18 was behind this incident at Markale marketplace on the 5th of February.
19 A. There have been two or three UN reports, including one that was
20 tabled as -- as evidence at the Galic trial, an initial report submitted
21 by the French, so I don't think I can add anything. I wasn't privy to
22 further investigations. Those -- those UN reports are available, and I
23 can't add anything to those reports.
24 Q. I asked you about your opinion, not about the reports. What is
25 your best recollection of what happened? You were there.
1 A. I don't --
2 JUDGE MAY: He may be, but it may not be a matter which is really
3 within his competence to deal with. If it is, of course, Major Thomas,
4 deal with it, if you have a professional opinion.
5 THE WITNESS: My professional opinion is it can't be determined
6 who fired it.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Very well. Let us say that your professional opinion is correct,
9 so it is not possible to establish who fired it, but there was a general
10 hysteria against the Serbs who were immediately blamed of having fired it.
11 Isn't that right, Major Thomas?
12 JUDGE MAY: I think this is going beyond the witness's competence.
13 We've heard evidence about this from other people. The witness can deal
14 with his professional opinion, of course, and he's given it. Now, let's
15 move on.
16 Mr. Kay.
17 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
18 Q. Just dealing with a couple of other matters from that statement
19 that you made in that statement of the 10th of November of this year,
20 Major Thomas. Casualties figures in the UN Sitrep reports, casualty
21 figures from artillery including mortar fire made no distinction between
22 military and civilian victims; is that right?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. But you do say that in relation to sniping, casualty records
25 recorded civilian victims.
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. But is that insofar as you believed them to be civilian victims?
3 A. That's using the criteria that's already been established by the
4 Prosecution. Men of military age looking capable of fighting were
5 considered to be military -- possible military soldiers. Women and
6 children were excluded from the -- as being possible military people.
7 Q. Thank you for clarifying that. Let's turn now to tab 28. This is
8 a document with which you're familiar. Is that right?
9 A. Could you confirm that this is exactly the same as the document
10 he's holding? Because his looks much thicker than mine.
11 Q. Don't worry about that because I've got it along with other
12 papers, and in fact the one you're looking at has three pages, whereas our
13 tab 28 I've discovered only has two pages; is that right? You've got
14 three pages there on this Description of Warring Factions is the first
15 page; is that right?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Yes. Just going through this document with you, it was compiled
18 as an assessment of the two sides, is that right, Bosnian troops being the
19 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Bosnian Serb troops?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And in it you say: "The Bosnian troops have been re-organising
22 since the spring of 1993."
23 A. I should clarify. This was a briefing prepared for me when I took
24 over as senior military observer in Sector Sarajevo. So this was prepared
25 by the people who were preparing me to assume command of that position.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 28893 to 28905.
1 Q. So it was their status report of that time. That would be the
2 correct way to describe it?
3 A. Yes. It was their status report when I took charge.
4 Q. And what they were telling you was that the Bosnian troops had
5 been re-organising in the spring of 1993.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Which was at the time that the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, of course,
8 was being debated between the two sides - I'll use that phrase - is that
10 A. Yes, although I wasn't in Yugoslavia in the spring of 1993.
11 Q. Yes. The estimate, if we look at the middle of the page, was that
12 the Bosnians had approximately 25.000 men in arms in Sarajevo, of which
13 one-third were permanently on the front line.
14 A. I can't say yes or no because this was prepared for me as my start
15 point by other people.
16 Q. If you can comment, though, on whether your team was inaccurate,
17 incompetent or whatever, because it's part of your documents that have
18 been produced through you, you see, by the Prosecution. So --
19 A. Yes. I accepted that as my start point.
20 Q. And your start point was 25.000 men in the Bosnian -- Republic of
21 Bosnia army in Sarajevo?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And some of the commanders having poor control of their units.
24 And if we turn to the next page, command had been given to presumably a
25 general you knew, Rasim Delic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Ex-JNA, lieutenant colonel?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The summary of the report is that there was a shortage of JNA
5 experience within the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina forces; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But there were JNA-trained officers?
9 A. Yes. Perhaps without the benefit of the very good Yugoslav War
11 Q. Yes. You give on this second page -- or they gave to you, if I
12 put it that way, an assessment of the forces being about 1.000 men on
13 Mount Igman and the system by which they rotated men and the composition
14 of the forces; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And this was presumably so that you as the incoming officer would
17 be aware of what you were facing up to?
18 A. Exactly.
19 Q. And there's a comment in the middle of the page in that section on
20 Mount Igman that it is remarkable that the defensive positions are also
21 facing towards Hrasnica. Can you explain that to me. Just above the
22 section on Serbian forces around Sarajevo. Middle of the page.
23 A. To me, one military posture is to have all-round defence and
24 perhaps they thought that Hrasnica was vulnerable and could be penetrated.
25 This would be depending on the Bosnian commander, how vulnerable he felt
1 his rear area would be. And that was an indicator to me that perhaps they
2 felt that Hrasnica was not very secure.
3 Q. Hrasnica being the place as well there was a hospital?
4 A. Hrasnica was at the base of mount Igman and it was the territory
5 held by the Bosnians on the far side of the airfield, so it was more than
6 just a question of a hospital, it was a question of key strategic ground
7 which permitted access to Mount Igman and then the route over Mount Igman.
8 Q. Yes. And that was also where the site was of a hospital?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was the name of that hospital?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. You go on to give an assessment of the Serbian forces, a great
13 deal of which you've already told us about, that they had a specialist --
14 more heavy weapons within the area, which we've heard about already. Is
15 that right?
16 A. Yes. You've heard my indication already that the Bosnian Serb
17 forces had more artillery and tanks and armoured personnel carriers.
18 Q. There's a page missing off this document in this tab here, but
19 you've got another version of it, haven't you, with your papers -- with
20 your statement that you made on the 10th of November, 2003, the one that
21 you were looking at earlier, a last page with a separate assessment of
22 Mount Igman.
23 A. No, I don't have that with my tab either.
24 Q. Don't worry about that, you'll be able to deal with the question,
25 I'm sure. The rest of the document went on to say: "It is very unlikely
1 that the Serbs tried to take over the whole of Sarajevo by force."
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Which was the military assessment of the time as to what was
4 happening in the war between the two factions.
5 A. Yes. And it also goes along with my own assessment which I said
6 the Bosnian Serbs were in a holding position around Sarajevo.
7 Q. The heavy weapons were being used against the city, but they
8 didn't have the manpower or the manpower was not in place there to move in
9 and take over the city.
10 A. That's correct, and any military officer would tell you that it
11 takes more manpower to seize control of an urban area than it does open
12 ground and that tanks are much less use in urban areas.
13 Q. And what you were looking at here, in fact, through your period
14 was a conflict between the two sides which was in fact not being conducted
15 in a way of total warfare, i.e., to take the strategic objective of
17 A. I think that the -- well, the answer would be -- I'm not sure
18 there was a strategic objective. I think there was a campaign plan for
19 Bosnia, and I think that Sarajevo was -- was intended to be held by the
20 Serbs, and the Bosnians had a reservoir of manpower there which they would
21 try to make use of to influence the campaign.
22 Q. If we turn now to tab 13 within the bundle.
23 MR. KAY: Could a copy of the exhibits be put before the witness
24 so he can follow. Thank you.
25 The first few pages of tab 13 are in the original French report.
1 If we just turn to the page in English. And this concerns the 22nd of
2 January, 1994. Your Honours will remember when Mr. Ierace introduced this
3 document, he referred to tab 4. That was in fact an error. It's tab 13
4 that relates to the 22nd of January, rather than tab 4.
5 Q. This concerned a strike being launched from a zone under the
6 control of the -- probably launched from a zone under the control of the
7 Bosnian Serbs.
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. It was no more definite than that, and at the end of the page,
10 "Conclusions of the MIO. Bearing in mind the previous analysis, the
11 strikes could have been launched from the Stup area, the Serb part of
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. No more definite than that. Let's just go to tab 34 now. This
15 deals with an issue that's already been raised with you in part by Mr.
16 Milosevic but it's helpful to see it on the document as well. Tab 34,
17 Exhibit D119 in another case, and it concerns six UNPROFOR soldiers and
18 two armoured personnel carriers went to rescue observers who had been
19 captured by soldiers of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army, and they were then
20 later freed but some of the UN equipment was kept behind, an APC and other
21 equipment, armoured personnel carrier. Can you see that at the top of the
23 A. Yes, I've found it.
24 Q. Yes. This incident against the UN by people described as the
25 Bosnian Herzegovina soldiers was commanded by a local Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 leader called Kako. The status of Kako is what I'm interested in. Would
2 it be right to say that he was a paramilitary?
3 A. He was one of the -- that brigade, in fact, the 10th Mountain
4 Brigade was the brigade that was acted against by the Bosnian forces in
6 Q. Was he a paramilitary until that moment?
7 A. I would not say so. It depends how you would consider the Bosnian
8 forces in the 10th Mountain Brigade.
9 Q. What I wanted to ask you then was what was the status of this unit
10 here that was taking on the UN equipment and the UN forces?
11 A. They were considered to be members, to the best of my
12 recollection, of 10th Mountain Brigade.
13 Q. So part of the official Bosnia-Herzegovina army?
14 A. Yes. And as you -- as I later advised, that brigade was
15 dissolved, and it's in my report.
16 Q. Yes. This theft of UN military equipment was quite a regular
17 occurrence, it seems, through your situation reports that you have.
18 A. No. This was the only case that I know of of an armoured
19 personnel carrier being taken by anybody during my nine months, and that
20 armoured personnel carrier was returned.
21 Q. What about the radios that were stolen?
22 A. Radios was a different matter. They were very portable, and I
23 should tell you from other UN experience, the same thing happens -- it
24 happened to me in Haiti. Not to me personally, but it's a question of
25 Motorolas, which are a very desirable item, and people wanting to hear
1 what the UN was doing made them a very attractive item, and it's very easy
2 to steal them. It's a lot harder to steal an armoured personnel carrier.
3 Q. We don't know, but the French uniforms could have been stolen from
4 the UN forces.
5 A. There were no free uniforms there and the soldiers weren't
6 stripped so we know they kept their uniforms. Their personal belongings
7 were taken, and this what lends the element of criminality to it. For
8 example, the observers lost all their money that they had in their kit.
9 Q. Right.
10 A. So -- but most of the equipment was returned except for things,
11 and you'd have to ask a French officer involved about --
12 Q. We have no need to go into that in any detail. What I was asking
13 arose from the information within these reports of theft of military
14 equipment and it was something, in my view, that needed being clarified.
15 A. Is that clarified enough?
16 Q. Thank you very much. If we just look at your statement.
17 MR. KAY: Your Honours, Judge Kwon has a copy of this, I believe,
18 is the only copy on the Bench.
19 JUDGE MAY: We all have a copy.
20 MR. KAY: Right.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay --
22 MR. KAY: I'm under five minutes. I'm just dealing with this.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
24 MR. KAY:
25 Q. I'm looking at page 9 in the English version, and you were asked
1 questions by Mr. Milosevic, about the third from bottom paragraph in
2 mid-December 1993 --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- investigation of attacks by Bosnian soldiers on several Serb
5 villages near Han Pijesak. There is a further matter also within this
6 paragraph, which was this: "I learned from an intelligence source, aerial
7 surveillance --" I don't know want to know about that confidential
8 information, but it -- "showed that from October 1993 onwards there was a
9 pattern of villages destroyed in the same manner."
10 A. That is an assessment based on the information available to me,
11 which I can't say much more about.
12 Q. No, I don't want to know any of the sources of it or what it's
13 about, but merely this, that material was being produced before you to
14 show that this had been a pattern of conduct in the area committed by
15 those forces against Bosnian Serb villages.
16 A. Well, the problem with aerial surveillance is it only indicates
17 that these villages were destroyed. There is no evidence to determine
18 exactly who did it. And this is why an investigation on the ground is
20 Q. The investigation only took you to those several villages near Han
21 Pijesak. After that, it was closed down.
22 A. I was only asked to investigate one village, and there is a UN
23 report on that particular investigation that I did.
24 Q. Yes. And indeed a copy was provided. Page 10. Near the foot of
25 the page, fourth line from the bottom, during the brokering of the
1 ceasefire agreement, this is post the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, when you in
2 your role, I suppose, was trying to implement the cease-fires between the
3 two sides. Would that be a correct generalisation?
4 A. This was -- it wasn't -- this is General Rose's February 1994
6 Q. Right.
7 A. Yes. I would be doing my best to implement the cease-fire.
8 Q. Yes. You were being used, with the others, to try and then bring
9 in the elements that would make it work.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. The Bosnians wouldn't allow any weapons to be collected on Mount
12 Igman, as proposed by the UN, and UNPROFOR didn't force the issue.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. On the Serb side, Pale was exempt from the agreement.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That's all I need ask about on that. And an overall assessment
17 can be put in this way as well: There was provocation on both sides
18 breaching the cease-fire by the use of snipers to incur a retaliatory
19 reaction against the other side.
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. KAY: Thank you.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Ierace:
23 Q. Major Thomas, you said that in your professional opinion it wasn't
24 possible to determine who fired the mortar shell that was responsible for
25 the Markale market incident, and you mentioned that there were some UN
1 reports or investigations at the time, a French report. Did you
2 understand that an analysis was carried out of the crater impact created
3 by that mortar shell at the time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And did you understand that that analysis yielded a direction of
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Are you aware of any other sources of information that were
9 accessed by those carrying out the investigation other than the crater
11 A. They asked sources -- anybody that could have possibly heard
12 outgoing mortar rounds. They asked the agencies that could provide patrol
13 assets to determine if there was any firing units in the pattern or the
14 cone to see if these units were there or could have been there.
15 Q. If it transpired that they were witnesses or persons at least
16 along the line of fire that had made observations or heard the sound of
17 the mortar being fired, would that potentially, in your professional
18 opinion, have allowed a conclusive report to be generated?
19 A. Based on what was reported to me, no. There was not evidence. We
20 didn't have the evidence to establish who fired it.
21 Q. Are you aware of any persons having claimed to have heard the
22 mortar being fired as reported by any of those investigations at the time?
23 A. Unfortunately, no. I mean, I don't know the result. I only have
24 access to one of the reports, and there was a very thorough investigation
25 done by the United Nations which again redid the crater analysis, which
1 again went into great depth on this matter, and I think maybe perhaps the
2 Court's already heard from them.
3 Q. Do you remember the names of any of the personnel who were
4 involved in that particular investigation?
5 A. As far as I know, the major study of the first market massacre was
6 led by Colonel Gauthier of the Canadian Forces, a field engineer by
8 Q. Now, elsewhere in your evidence this morning you made this
9 observation: "I did not witness any Serb attacks in the Sarajevo area."
10 When you said that, what type of attacks did you have in mind?
11 A. I had the simple military one that people went forward to the
12 front lines to try and take a position held by the other side.
13 Q. All right. Could that perhaps be accurately paraphrased as
14 gaining territory?
15 A. In the case of Sarajevo, yes.
16 Q. Now, you were also cross-examined on the topic of the shelling of
17 the area of the Kosevo hospital, and you said that, "We observed the fall
18 of shot of Serbian artillery on the hospital grounds." In relation to
19 those observations, did any of those observed shots impact with hospital
21 A. Not that I recall.
22 Q. Do you have any recollection as to whether there were any civilian
23 casualties caused by Bosnian Serb fire landing in the vicinity of Kosevo
25 A. I can't recall at this time. There perhaps were, and it would
1 require me to go through all the Sitreps to pick out. We would have noted
2 it in a Sitrep.
3 Q. So if there are such references in the Sitreps generated during
4 the time that you were the senior military observer, would that indicate
5 that there were such casualties?
6 A. Normally we would have put it in if there had been casualties in
7 the hospital.
8 MR. IERACE: Nothing further, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We will exhibit the statement, since it's
10 been referred to fairly extensively, and we will mark -- I think we'll
11 mark for identification now, Mr. Ierace, this ethnic map. It's been going
12 backwards and forwards, we might as well mark it for identification. We
13 will mark the map with the next D number, please.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number D215.
15 JUDGE MAY: And it will marked --
16 THE REGISTRAR: Marked for identification.
17 JUDGE MAY: -- marked for identification. And it's perhaps
18 simplest to give the statement, the witness statement the next D number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: D number.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the next D number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Number D216 marked for identification.
22 JUDGE MAY: No. There is no need for that to be marked for
23 identification, that one is admitted.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Okay.
25 JUDGE MAY: Major Thomas, thank you very much for coming to the
1 Tribunal to give your evidence. It's now over. You're free to go.
2 I think it would be sensible to adjourn now. We'll adjourn for 20
4 --- Recess taken at 12.11 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.35 p.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Thirty seconds in private session, with your leave.
8 [Private session]
12 Page 28919 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 28920 – redacted – private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are in open session.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ierace.
7 MR. IERACE: Your Honour, the exhibits to be tendered for the next
8 witness include two maps. I'm not sure whether you wish them to be part
9 of Exhibit 343 or exhibits to be dealt with in the normal way, with
10 separate tabs for this witness.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I think they might as well be part of this
12 exhibit which we have here since it's dealing with a particular witness.
13 MR. IERACE: Thank you.
14 MR. KAY: Your Honour, did you think the statement that was
15 exhibited should go in with this witness's bundle as well? Because it
16 would be easier to track that way.
17 JUDGE MAY: Which statement?
18 MR. KAY: Major Thomas's statement became a D number, but it
19 occurred to me when I was dealing with it that it might be better off in
20 the main file and then we can track it with those tabs.
21 JUDGE MAY: Let's think about that. I don't propose to decide
22 that at the moment, but we'll make a note to consider it.
23 Now, we'll have the next witness, if we may.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness take the declaration, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 WITNESS: MIRSAD KUCANIN
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examined by Mr. Ierace:
8 Q. Is your name Mirsad Kucanin?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In the early 1990s were you a police officer working in Sarajevo?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. IERACE: Your Honours, in a similar fashion to the last
13 witness, this witness's testimony in the Galic trial has also been
14 tendered and I seek to present a summary of that evidence.
15 JUDGE MAY: Give it a number first, that and the entire bundle.
16 The next number, please.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The next number is 586.
18 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
19 MR. IERACE: I'll seek to abbreviate the reading out of the
21 Mirsad Kucanin was a police officer in Sarajevo. He joined the
22 police force in 1984, and by 1992 was a criminal inspector investigating
23 serious crimes such as homicide.
24 He gave further evidence as follows: During the war, the police
25 continued to operate. If the Bosnian army, the ABiH, was unable to repel
1 an attack, it would call upon certain police services, including members
2 of special police forces, for assistance. On some occasions, regular
3 police were also called upon to assist.
4 During the war, municipal police investigated incidents where
5 persons were wounded while the witness and 20 fellow criminal inspectors
6 investigated sniping and shelling incidents involving fatalities. The
7 witness operated in a civilian area, and accordingly the victims of the
8 incidents he investigated were by and large civilians. He investigated
9 over 100 incidents where civilians were killed. He did not recall one day
10 through the war when there was not some form of attack on the city.
11 Mr. Kucanin gave evidence about a number of specific incidents he
12 investigated or attended, including one involving a nine-year-old boy who
13 was shot and wounded on the 22nd of July 1994, and another involving a
14 two-year-old girl who was shot and killed on the 28th of July, 1993.
15 He also gave evidence about two shelling incidents which occurred
16 on the 9th of November 1993. On the afternoon of that date, the witness
17 attended the scene in Alipasino Polje, a district in the western area of
18 Sarajevo where the incident occurred.
19 At this juncture, I would ask the witness to take the pointer on
20 the desk to his right and point to Alipasino Polje on the map. Perhaps we
21 might have an image of the map on the screen.
22 Q. Mr. Kucanin, could you please point to the area of Alipasino
23 Polje. I should indicate for the record that the map the witness is
24 pointing to is tab 12 of Exhibit 586.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 JUDGE MAY: The witness is pointing.
2 MR. IERACE: On my screen, Your Honour, the picture lacks any
3 significant detail. I don't know whether we could improve that.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ierace, tab 12 being a previous number P3658, am
5 I right?
6 MR. IERACE: Yes, Your Honour, you are correct.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 MR. IERACE: All right. A mortar shell which was assessed to be
9 120 millimetres impacted alongside a gap between two concrete barriers
10 which protected a makeshift schoolroom in a residential block of
11 apartments. Four persons were killed, being the teacher and three
12 children, and 21 were injured, being mostly children.
13 On the same day following that incident, another 120-millimetre
14 shell, mortar shell, impacted some 200 metres away on Rade Koncara Square
15 in Alipasino Polje. There was a personnel department of the Kulin Ban
16 unit nearby. Mostly women work there. Three civilians were killed and
17 approximately 18 injured. Later, several others died of their injuries.
18 An investigation which included a ballistics expert established the
19 direction of fire for both shells to have been from Nedzarici, part of
20 which was in Bosnian Serb army control.
21 It was mandatory for each investigation team to include a
22 ballistics expert, which meant that often the witness and his fellow
23 investigators were able to determine the likely source of fire. Many of
24 these sources became notorious. There was no variation in these sources
25 of fire throughout the war.
1 Mr. Kucanin marked a map which is tab 12, Exhibit 586, with the
2 sites of sources of Bosnian Serb army fire. He gave evidence that these
3 sites were determined from investigations either led by him or in which he
4 was a participating member.
5 Between September 1992 and August 1994, he conducted about 20
6 investigations as the lead investigator and participated in about 20
7 others. The areas marked by Mr. Kucanin in relation to the sources of
8 shelling fire, firstly, are as follows: The area of the village of
9 Mrkovici was marked with the letter A.
10 Q. Mr. Kucanin, could you please point to the letter A on the map.
11 A. [Indicates].
12 MR. IERACE: Perhaps the camera could zoom in so we could see that
13 letter on the map. Again, Your Honours, I have no detail on my screen. I
14 don't know whether the contrast could be adjusted.
15 The area of Mrkovici was a source of shelling of the upper part of
16 Sarajevo in the Stari Grad and Centar municipalities. The witness said
17 that he participated in a team which investigated the Markale shelling
18 incident in February 1994, and he believed the shell came from that area.
19 Letter B refers to Burije, which does not quite appear on the map
20 but in the direction to the east of the city, that is to the right.
21 Could you please point to the letter B. This was a source of
22 heavy artillery.
23 And as I invite the witness to point to these places, perhaps the
24 camera could zoom in on that part of the map.
25 Q. Could you please point to the letter B again, and could we please
1 see that part of the map.
2 A. [Indicates]
3 Q. Thank you. Trebevic mountain, position C. Could you please point
4 to that.
5 A. [Indicates]
6 Q. Had several positions from which the upper parts of the city were
7 targeted. The old part of the town was targeted from this position.
8 The next position is D, Zlastiste, on the south-western side of
9 Trebevic mountain. There was a barracks in the vicinity.
10 A. [Indicates]
11 Q. Thank you. Source of shelling against Sarajevo.
12 Miljevic, position D1. Please point to that. Thank you.
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. Was a notorious source of fire and there was artillery placed in
15 that position.
16 Vraca, position E, is just above Grbavica.
17 A. [Indicates]
18 Q. Source of mortar and artillery fire. The centre of Sarajevo was
19 exposed to that position.
20 Position F, Gavrica Brdo. The witness was unable to be precise
21 about the location of the hill and marked its approximate position with
22 the letter F.
23 Please point to the letter F. It was the source of artillery fire
24 into Dobrinja. Please point to Dobrinja.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Thank you. Meljine, position G, was the position of a church of
2 the Orthodox faith from which Dobrinja was targeted by mortars. Perhaps
3 we could see that again with the camera zooming in. Thank you.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. Would you also please point to Lukavica whilst you are in that
7 A. [Indicates]
8 Q. Could we see that position? Thank you. All right.
9 Nedzarici, position H. Bosnian Serb military barracks were
10 located here from which Alipasino Polje and Alipasino Most were shelled.
11 Would you point again to H.
12 A. [Indicates]
13 Q. Will you point again to Alipasino Polje.
14 A. [Indicates]
15 Q. And would you now please point to Alipasin Most.
16 A. [Indicates]
17 Q. Thank you. The forestry school, position I, was a source of -- if
18 we could see that, please.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. Was a source of artillery and mortar fire against Bosnian-held
21 parts of Ilidza and Sokolovic Kolonija and Hrasnica and the Igman road.
22 If you point to the area of Ilidza.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Could we see that, please. Thank you. Sokolovic Kolonija.
25 A. This is the Sokolovic colony.
1 Q. Thank you. Hrasnica.
2 A. [Indicates] .
3 Q. And the Igman road.
4 A. Roughly here somewhere.
5 Q. Thank you. Next position, position J, Paljevo, from which there
6 was shelling of the entire lower part of the town, including the Rajlovac
7 area and Buca Potok. Please point to the Rajlovac area.
8 A. [Indicates]
9 Q. And Buca Potok.
10 A. [Indicates]
11 Q. All right. Position K, Krivoglavci near Vogosca, a source of
12 mortar fire against parts of Vogosca.
13 Please point to position L, will you please point to position L.
14 Blagovac. Could we see that, please.
15 A. [Indicates]
16 Q. Which was a source of tank and mortar fire onto Bosnian parts of
17 Vogosca. Please point to Vogosca.
18 A. These parts here also belong to Vogosca municipality and they were
19 also exposed to shelling.
20 Q. Position L.
21 A. [Indicates]
22 Q. Position M, Polinje, please point to that. Was a wide area of
23 many places from where the centre of Sarajevo was targeted with artillery
24 and mortars.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Kromolj, position N. Please point to that. Was an area which was
2 a source of artillery fire against the Kosevo stadium and the
3 neighbourhoods of - and perhaps you could point to these areas - Bare --
4 Do you see Bare on the map? Please point to it. Braca. Thank you. And
5 the road which links those neighbourhoods to the city.
6 A. [Indicates]
7 Q. The Lukavica barracks, position O, you've already indicated, had
8 heavy artillery which impacted on the lower parts of the town, meaning
9 from the Marsal Tito barracks downwards, including the municipalities of
10 Novo Sarajevo and Novi Grad.
11 Position P, the Rajlovac barracks, and you've already pointed to
12 the area of Rajlovac, was a source of fire against Sokolac -- could you
13 please point to Sokolac -- and the railroad tracks --
14 A. Correction: Sokolje.
15 Q. Thank you. The witness also indicated sources of sniping fire,
16 the first of those being, number 1, Spicasta Stijena. Could you please
17 point to number 1, the area of Spicasta Stijena, Sharpstone.
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. Could we see that, please. A notorious source of sniper fire
20 resulting in many such casualties. Villages around were sniped and the
21 older part of the city.
22 Number 2, Osmice. The witness gave evidence that the city was
23 fired upon by weapons known as death sowers and snipers, the largest
24 amount of such firing coming from here and Vraca. Would you please
25 explain what a death sower was, that is the weapon known colloquially as a
1 death sower.
2 A. It's a name used because it fires quickly, but it is an automatic
3 light machine-gun which came to be known as the death sower. It's a
4 machine-gun with supports. In the army of Yugoslavia, these had optical
5 vision, optical sites, so they were used to identify targets, and they
6 were inherited by the Serbian army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. Thank you. The witness also identified some areas above Grbavica
8 being the Jewish cemetery, indicated with the number 3. Would you firstly
9 point to the number 3.
10 A. [Indicates]
11 Q. And could you indicate more specifically where the actual cemetery
12 was or is. Could you point to the cemetery itself.
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. The witness indicates a whitish portion of the map immediately to
15 the right of the number 4. Thank you.
16 And Gornji Kovacici. Please point to that, position number 4. I
17 think you've already done that.
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. The Vraca region up to the police school, number 5. Please point
20 to number 5.
21 A. [Indicates]
22 Q. The area from the Vrbanja bridge to the Bratstvo-Jedinstvo bridge,
23 including four skyscrapers in Lenjinova street, all of about 15 storeys,
24 indicated by a line and number 3.
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Thank you. Also three skyscrapers referred to as the shopping
2 centre at Grbavica targeted the centre of the town and Titova street,
3 accounting for the killing of a large number of civilians. This source
4 more or less formed a triangle and is indicated by a triangle with the
5 number 4. Could you please point to that.
6 A. [Indicates]
7 Q. Thank you. The witness marked an intersection with a cross and
8 number 5 and a circle where a number of civilians were killed by fire from
9 these three skyscrapers at the intersection of Marsal Tito and Djure
10 Djakovica street. Would you please point to that circle with the cross and
11 number 5.
12 A. [Indicates]
13 Q. Thank you. The witness worked on three investigations involving
14 trams that were hit from this area. The position of those trams when hit
15 were marked with crosses and the numbers 6, 7, and 8. Would you point to
17 A. [Indicates]
18 Q. Thank you. The witness also marked a building, Metalka, with a
19 cross and number 2. Would you please point to that. And was a source
20 that of fire or a place where fire was received?
21 A. [Indicates] It was a source of fire.
22 Q. The witness also gave evidence that a particular dangerous street
23 for civilians was called Tracanska street. Would you please point to
24 that, approximately.
25 A. Tracanska. [Indicates]
1 Q. Thank you for that. And while you're locating it, the witness
2 gave evidence that the area was dangerous all the way to the
3 Bratstvo-Jedinstvo bridge. Would you please indicate that area.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. The evidence was given that dozens of civilians were killed here.
6 Number 6, Osrenska street. Please indicate the general position
7 of Osrenska street. Thank you.
8 A. [Indicates]
9 Q. Source of fire. Zagorska street, number 7. Please point to that.
10 A. [Indicates]
11 Q. The witness gave evidence that this was determined to be the
12 source of fire for the incident involving the wounding of a nine-year-old
13 boy. It was determined by lining up two impact points made by one of the
14 bullets fired during that incident.
15 Milinkladska street, number 8.
16 A. [Indicates]
17 Q. And the witness marked areas where received fire from these three
18 streets with blue lines circled with a capital Z. Please point to that
19 part of the city on the map.
20 A. [Indicates]
21 Q. Do you see to the north of that position.
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. Thank you. And just in terms of the geography, how do the
24 positions of those three streets compare in terms of altitude to the area
25 marked with the letter Z? Are those streets higher, on the same altitude,
1 or lower?
2 A. It's a hill on that part of Sarajevo where those streets are, and
3 there are many small streets there parallel with the streets in town and
4 vertical to the streets in town. In any event, it's a hill at a higher
5 altitude than the rest of the town.
6 Q. Thank you. Would you please now point to position 9, Miroslava
7 Krleze, a street in Dobrinja from which fire was received in the
8 Bosnian-held parts of Dobrinja.
9 A. [Indicates]
10 Q. Thank you. And Nedzarici you've already indicated, bears the
11 number 10, was especially hazardous, including from the witness's own
12 experience when travelling down Lukavica Cesta and Ante Babica. Could you
13 point to those two streets, approximately, on the map.
14 A. [Indicates]
15 Q. And indeed the witness marked four streets with a circle and
16 capital Y where frequently sniping -- persons were shot from sniping.
17 Rajlovac barracks, again number 11.
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. The witness heard from other investigators that fire was received
20 in Sokolje from this source.
21 And finally, position 12, Kromolj. Could you please point to
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. From which fire was received in northern parts of the city.
25 Mr. Kucanin, did these sources of fire according to investigations
1 which you either led or in which you partook apply throughout the war in
3 A. Yes, from the very beginning of the war until the end. It was
4 from these places that fire was most frequently opened against Sarajevo,
5 though there were other places too, but according to my experience and
6 that of my colleagues, these were the most active in opening fire.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. IERACE: Nothing further for this witness.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kucanin, on page 2 of your statement from the
12 4th of September 2000, in paragraphs 4 and 5, you stated that in the zone
13 of the police of the city of Sarajevo before the war, there were ten
14 police stations, out of which four after the war remained under the
15 control of the BH government, as you say, whereas the others were taken
16 over by the Serbian police. Is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So the Sarajevo police force broke up into a section under the
19 control of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and under the control
20 of the Serb authorities at Pale.
21 A. This was a forcible takeover of police stations by the army. The
22 police force, the Serb police forces, of course, and the reservists of the
24 Q. Very well. The police stations in municipalities Centar, Novi
25 Grad, Novo Sarajevo, and Stari Grad remained under the control of the
1 Bosnian authorities. Those are the four central municipalities of
2 Sarajevo, aren't they?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the Pale police stations were in Pale, Ilidza, Trnovo,
5 Hadzici, Ilijas, and Vogosca. They are on the periphery, aren't they?
6 A. Yes, one could say so, though Ilijas and Vogosca are closer to
8 Q. But in any event, they're peripheral in relation to these central
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is it true, Mr. Kucanin, that before the war it was in the
12 peripheral areas of Sarajevo and the villages around it that were
13 inhabited by Serbs whereas the Muslim population was mostly concentrated
14 in the centre of town?
15 A. I wouldn't quite agree though I don't know. I know that in Ilijas
16 there were Serbs and Muslims. It maybe sounds strange but there were
17 maybe just a hundred or so more Serbs.
18 Q. Very well. But this division of police stations into those under
19 Serb control and those under government control, did that more or less
20 correspond to that distribution of the population in the territory of
22 A. I said a moment ago there was forcible takeover of police
24 Q. I'm not talking about the way in which this happened, I'm just
25 asking whether the police stations corresponded more or less to the
1 majority population.
2 A. I said a moment ago about Ilijas. The same applies to Vogosca.
3 The population there was not dominated by Serbs. In Hadzici, again more
4 or less; in Trnovo too. But I pointed out that parts of the city of
5 Sarajevo were captured by the Serb army, even as far as Grbavica, which
6 need not mean that their aim was to divide it up according to ethnic
8 Q. I'm not talking about the aim or the method. I am talking about
9 the factual situation. Did it reflect the factual situation roughly?
10 A. I cannot give you an answer with any certainty. I'd be glad to.
11 I know about Ilijas for certain because I lived there.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. And paragraph 2 of the same
13 statement - I am talking of the same one because you gave three
14 statements, so I have to mention that - you were talking about the
15 stations under Muslim control. There were about a hundred or so policemen
16 left to man all four police stations, which is rather a small number.
17 Does it mean that in those stations there was some Serb policemen and that
18 they had left them and joined the Serb police and army? Is that right?
19 A. Yes, precisely so.
20 Q. And did Croats and Muslims also abandon police stations?
21 A. As far as I know, they didn't, because I came to work on that day
22 when everything blew up. There were quite a number of Serbs still in the
23 stations. All the Muslims came to work. Some Croats did not report to
24 work. They were in town, but with the consolidation of the police force,
25 they returned. However, the police who wanted to immediately left to go
1 to Ilijas, Pale, depending on where they were assigned to go to.
2 Q. Very well. In your statement from 1995, speaking about the
3 sources of shelling, and I quote you, this is page 01039347, paragraphs 4
4 and 5: "When those places are marked on the map, you will see that
5 Sarajevo was completely surrounded by positions held by the Bosnian Serb
6 army from which the town was shelled. The Bosnian Serb army could easily
7 select targets in town because they knew the town and many of them had
8 lived in the town before the war."
9 That is what you said; isn't that right? So it follows from your
10 statement that a considerable number of members of units of the army of
11 Republika Srpska who were around Sarajevo came from the town of Sarajevo
12 itself. Isn't that right?
13 A. Yes. Quite a large number left Sarajevo and joined the Bosnian
14 Serb army.
15 Q. But they came from the town of Sarajevo itself; right? Please
16 answer with words, because a nod does not enter into the record. You know
17 that as a policeman.
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Tell me, why did they leave their homes in town and went up to the
20 surrounding mountains?
21 A. In my judgement, the SDS issued a proclamation to the Serb people
22 to leave the town of Sarajevo because they had planned in a blitzkrieg,
23 that is with rapid intervention, to take control of the main features in
25 Q. I see. So they left upon instructions from the SDS, for no other
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is that what you're claiming?
4 A. Yes. I'm sorry, maybe a small number left out of fear, but most
5 left in order to come back as victors to Sarajevo.
6 Q. Tell me, those who left out of fear, what were they afraid of?
7 A. The war, just as I was afraid of it, and everyone. We didn't know
8 what lay in wait for us.
9 Q. Later on in that same statement on the same page, you say in
10 paragraph 7 that many members of the army of Republika Srpska before the
11 war used to work in the Geodesi Institute [phoen] and took maps from
12 there. The same applies to the faculty of architecture. Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So is it clear that around Sarajevo, in units of the army of
15 Republika Srpska, there were inhabitants of Sarajevo itself and the
16 surroundings who had fled to the hills?
17 A. Yes, together with members of the Yugoslav People's Army who dug
18 in there two months before the war started in Sarajevo, who brought the
19 weapons, the artillery, and everything else.
20 Q. I am talking about the whole period of the war, not just the
21 period of the existence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
22 So the question is: You say that many left and went up into the
23 hills. Many had worked in various institutions and left. So the units of
24 the army of Republika Srpska which I'm referring to consisted of
25 inhabitants of the surrounding villages and suburbs and inhabitants of the
1 city centre itself who went there, some that were called to go, some out
2 of fear, or some for some other reasons that only you can guess about.
3 A. Yes, you know that. But you know that the Yugoslav army was in
4 the city of Sarajevo and around it until the 16th or 18th of June.
5 Q. All right. Now, how the Yugoslav People's Army left Sarajevo, how
6 it pulled out, you know that better than me, what the circumstances of
7 that were, but you're not testifying about that and that's why I'm not
8 asking you about that.
9 What I am asking you is this: If we have observed this, then what
10 kind of aggression could it have been? What aggression are you talking
11 about if that was the case? For example, the page 3370139337, the last
12 paragraph there, and you say the aggressor -- you use the term "aggressor
13 positions." And on page 344, you talk about the "aggressor side" and so
14 on and so forth. Those are the terms you use.
15 So when you talk about aggression and occupation in your 1995
16 statement, for example, you say territories occupied by the army of
17 Bosnian Serbs. Isn't it clear that in the town of Sarajevo, along the
18 lines that separated the parts with the majority Muslim population and the
19 Serb population, the periphery and surrounding villages, that that's where
20 the front line was formed, and on both sides people were from the
21 locality? Isn't that right?
22 A. No, it's not, Mr. Milosevic. I've already told you. Many
23 villages were inhabited by Muslims. Take part of Ilijas once again, the
24 upper part of Ilijas, and Vogosca. So I cannot agree that it was -- that
25 the defence line was formed along ethnic lines.
1 And let me answer your first point and observation, the one you
2 made. How come Ratko Mladic came to Bosnia-Herzegovina? Where was he
3 from? And Milutin Kukanjac.
4 Q. Mr. Kucanin, as far as I know, Ratko Mladic was from the environs
5 of Sarajevo himself, just like yourself. He wasn't born either in Serbia
6 or in some other republic. He was born in the environs of Sarajevo, and
7 he went to the JNA, and he was there until the army of Republika Srpska
8 was formed, just like your General Delic used to be in the JNA and that
9 other man, the commander of the 5th Corps.
10 A. Budakovic.
11 Q. Yes. Budakovic. He was in the JNA too, just like Naser Oric was
12 in the JNA or the police or whatever, and just like many other officers of
13 yours. Sefer Halilovic, a case in point, who was the first commander. He
14 was also in the JNA. And in that they differ from Ratko Mladic who was
15 born in Trnovo, for example, several kilometres away from Sarajevo. Sefer
16 Halilovic, on the other hand, was born in Pripolje, in Serbia, and he
17 never did service in Bosnia-Herzegovina at all.
18 JUDGE MAY: You're not giving evidence. You can give evidence in
19 due course if you wish, but you're not giving it now. Now, you're
20 supposed to be asking this witness questions. What is the question you
21 want to ask?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And that is what I'm trying to do.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In the last two paragraphs on that same side, you say that the
25 command of the army of Bosnian Serbs gave the Serbs who worked in those
1 institutions before the war, that is to say the Garavetski Sabor [phoen],
2 the land surveying office, to leave town and take the maps with them. And
3 I'm quoting you: "This is evidence that before the war started, the
4 Bosnian Serbs wanted to encircle the town and have all information for
5 shelling the city at their disposal." How do you know about these
6 instructions by the command of the Bosnian Serb army, as you call it?
7 People working in those institutions probably did have maps. You had maps
8 yourself. They had maps. You were all inhabitants of Sarajevo.
9 A. Well, I want to make one thing clear to you: Many people stayed
10 on in Sarajevo. Many Serbs remained in Sarajevo, in actual fact. So the
11 information that I set forward wasn't difficult to come by, and in fact,
12 we came across empty spaces there where the maps used to be stored. And
13 many people came to us and owned up. And I was perhaps the most objective
14 policeman in town, or at least one of the most objective ones. My wife
15 was born in Belgrade - perhaps I shouldn't say that but she was - and I am
16 very objective, I really am. And whenever I talk to those Serbs and told
17 them that they could come to me for protection, they would tell me about
18 things like that themselves. Many remained. They didn't have anywhere to
19 go. They had always lived there. They handed over their weapons to us
20 because the SDS people had armed them, so they handed over their weapons
21 and handed over various lists of the units that had been formed and the
22 people and what they were in charge of. And I even got information about
23 a man that was supposed to kill me from a colleague. I took refuge and
24 went to another service. So things like that weren't difficult to come
25 by, information of that kind.
1 Q. All right, Mr. Kucanin. You say the Serbs remained in Sarajevo.
2 Well, I assume you know that nobody could leave Sarajevo, in actual fact,
3 that it was prohibited. Nobody was allowed to leave. Your authorities
4 didn't let people leave. And as you're testifying about sniper fire --
5 JUDGE MAY: Just let the witness deal with that before you go on
6 to something else.
7 The accused is suggesting that the authorities in Sarajevo did not
8 allow people to leave. Is that right or not?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me tell you this: I
10 wanted to send my wife to Belgrade at the time. However, she cried and
11 said she didn't want to go. But Yugoslav air force planes, transport
12 planes and other JAT planes would fly over the airport and land and leave,
13 and the Yugoslav People's Army held the airport under its control. It had
14 assumed control of the airport, and it was only those planes that would
15 take off and land. And then the bulk of the population of Sarajevo or,
16 rather, the Serb inhabitants left in the direction of Belgrade and other
17 parts of Serbia. Some Muslims, Muslim inhabitants left too because people
18 in the beginning believed in the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army. I did
19 too. But when I saw that things had come to a head, then the Muslims did
20 not any more and did not take that direction any more. Whereas the
21 authorities hadn't been established yet and there was no consolidated
22 authority. So nobody actually prevented those people from leaving
23 Sarajevo. Transport planes flew in during the night and people crossed
24 over from Grbavica, and I saw with my very own eyes the Yugoslav flag
25 flying on those transporters. So people would go to the airport and from
1 the airport they were taken off elsewhere.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Kucanin, that was at the beginning when the JNA was
4 withdrawing and when family members were being transported of the JNA
5 servicemen. I'm talking about the war, the time you're testifying about.
6 So after what period of time were people not allowed to leave Sarajevo
7 pursuant to a decision taken by the authorities in Sarajevo?
8 A. I don't know about a decision of that kind. I know that all
9 military-able men were not supposed to leave. We needed permission to do
10 so. But to leave Sarajevo otherwise under a siege and encirclement as you
11 can see on the map behind me was impossible. To pass across the two lines
12 without being fired at was impossible.
13 Later on, various convoys were organised by international
14 organisations. People left in buses and coaches and did what they could,
15 but that was under escort by international forces. That was how they
16 managed to leave. But to leave Sarajevo otherwise was just not possible.
17 Q. All right. Is it true that there was a ban for citizens to leave
19 A. I've already told you, I don't know about a ban of that kind.
20 Q. All right. You say you don't know. Fine.
21 Now, what you say in your statement about the division of the
22 police stations and the participants of Serbs -- citizens of Sarajevo in
23 the fighting around town - I'm taking all this from your own statement -
24 does that not speak of the fact that it wasn't the Serbs who surrounded
25 the town but took up the positions in localities where they lived and
1 where they happened to find themselves when they were objectively forced
2 out of the centre of town? Isn't that right?
3 A. No, it's not.
4 Q. All right. Fine.
5 A. Well, it is partially correct, but I can't confirm something when
6 there is a bit of both. A bit of both is true. And a moment ago when I
7 was talking about the division, I forgot to say that the Novo Sarajevo
8 police station, for instance, on this map - if I may I'll point it to you,
9 its locality - and Novi Grad, the police station, was in the centre of
10 Sarajevo, and we fought for three nights with the army and the Serb police
11 to prevent them taking control of those two police stations as well
12 because they were supposed to be taken over. So there wasn't any ethnic
13 division that coincided with the separation line, but Novo Sarajevo and
14 Novi Grad is in the centre of town and there were quite a lot of attempts
15 to save people. You know the radio and television station. I'm sure you
16 know where that is. On several occasions, those towers -- attempts were
17 made to take over the towers and the television station.
18 Q. I'm not talking about that now, neither did you talk about it in
19 these statements of yours. And because my time is limited, I shall
20 restrict myself to your statements.
21 You claim, therefore, that there was no ban on leaving town.
22 A. No. I said I didn't know about a decision of that kind. I didn't
23 know about a ban. I wasn't a high-ranking functionary myself or somebody
24 which necessarily must have known about that. All I do know is when a
25 state of emergency was proclaimed and mobilisation, that is to say that
1 the people had to defend the town with the weapons they had and all people
2 of age, over the age of 19 or whatever, up to the age of 55, had to
3 respond to the call-up.
4 Q. Yes, I understand that. But do you know -- and if you don't, let
5 me tell you that the authorities in Sarajevo banned citizens from leaving
6 town. Do you know that the Serb forces around Sarajevo didn't prevent
7 anybody from leaving and crossing across their territory, passing through
8 their territory?
9 A. Do you know that the Serb forces, for example, shot at buses,
10 evacuating children, small children, and that a two-month-old baby was
11 killed during an incident like that?
12 Q. That is a tragic event. I don't know about it but I can assume
13 there were such cases as well. However, my question for you was do you
14 know that the army of Republika Srpska did not prevent any civilians from
15 leaving Sarajevo?
16 A. Yes, it did. Yes, it did. Oh, yes.
17 Q. Well, I'm just asking you. You can give a no answer and we can
18 move on.
19 From your statement, Mr. Kucanin, we could conclude that the
20 Muslim side saw the war completely unarmed and unprepared, saw the advent
21 of the war.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Very well. According to the documents I have, that was not so.
24 My question to you is as follows: Do you know that the Party of
25 Democratic Action of Alija Izetbegovic, as early on as the spring, had the
1 military wing of the party, which was called the Patriotic League? Have
2 you heard about that organisation? Did you have any information about it?
3 Have you heard about the formations and units of that organisation?
4 A. I'm not a member of the party. I have heard of the Patriotic
5 League. And when you sum everything up, I'm sorry that I wasn't a member
6 of the Patriotic League, because it was the first to organise itself,
7 along with the police force, to defend the country. And as to its
8 organisation, I can't speak about that because I wasn't a member myself.
9 Q. All right. But I'm sure you know that it was set up on the 31st
10 of March, 1991.
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. Well, that day is celebrated as the Patriotic League day over
14 A. As I say, I wasn't a member of the league myself and I can't see
15 that from the media. I don't know that that day is celebrated.
16 Q. Well, that is how it is being celebrated, for those who are
17 interested - perhaps you're not interested in it - which, of course, is a
18 positive side of you as an individual, but I did assume you knew about it.
19 But if not, let's move on.
20 As you live in Sarajevo; is that right? Did you have a chance of
21 seeing in January 1999 or reading in the Sarajevo paper Oslobodjenje a
22 series of Sefko Hodzic entitled "The Secrets of the Patriotic League"?
23 And it speaks about the inception of the organisation, the paramilitary
24 organisation at that time and its structure and establishment.
25 A. Well, I'd be happy to answer your question, but I really didn't
1 read those articles or series of articles. I don't read the Oslobodjenje,
2 I read other newspapers that I like more.
3 Q. All right. And you don't know that the day is officially
4 celebrated, that is to say the 31st of March, as Patriotic League day.
5 You don't know that?
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. All right. Very well. Now, as you're a policeman, do you know
8 that Hasan Brkic street - he was also a Muslim and he was a partisan
9 dating back to the days of the national liberation war - and it is a big
10 Sarajevo street, and it has been renamed and is now called Patriotic
11 League street. Do you know that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. Now, do you know that in the amendments to the
14 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina enacted in the summer of 1990 there was
15 a ban, in addition to other things, political organisation and work
16 jeopardising the territorial integrity of the SFRY. That was in
17 conformity and pursuant to the Yugoslav constitution. And I assume in
18 view of the work you did before the war that you are aware of that.
19 A. I can't say that I am with any certainty, no.
20 Q. All right. Fine.
21 A. Any answer I could give you might not be the right one.
22 Q. All right. I'm not going to ask you about that then, although
23 there is a lot of proof and evidence illustrating that. But let me move
24 on and ask some other witness about that kind of organisation who might be
25 able to tell us more about it.
1 Do you happen to know that from April to September 1991, from
2 Sarajevo, three or four times groups of 15 to 20 men were sent for
3 training as terrorists to some Arab countries. Did you hear about that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. What about the Green Berets? Have you heard of them? And they
6 were led by Emin Surakic, and the volunteer units of the Mujahedin,
7 specialists for the rear and other units of military organisation in
8 Bosnia under the leadership of Kerim Ricarevic and others, do you know
9 anything about that?
10 A. I have heard of the Green Berets. Now, the rest of your
11 information wasn't correct. They were -- the Green Berets were called
12 Bosnae, and that was a historical title of -- and what Bosnia was called
13 at one time in its history. So I did hear of them. They were all
14 patriotic forces that were setting up resistance in an effort to save the
15 city of Sarajevo.
16 Q. When you say "patriotic forces," you yourself were a policeman. I
17 assume you know that Jusuf Juka Prazina, for example, was a criminal
18 before the war and he commanded some of those forces, didn't he?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And was he a criminal?
21 A. Yes, he was.
22 Q. What about Ramiz Delalic? Was he a criminal too?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So who else except for Juka Prazina of the infamous criminals
25 formed some units around Sarajevo?
1 A. Infamous, I don't know that any infamous ones were formed. Juka,
2 and his name is Prazina, we knew of his past history and we placed him
3 under police command precisely because we had heard some ugly things about
4 him, ugly stories about him taking in Serbs for interrogation by people
5 who weren't competent to do so. So that unit together with Juka Prazina
6 was placed under the supervision and surveillance of police forces, and
7 they received accreditation, and Kerim Ricarevic was their commander. So
8 from that time on they were not able to work independently or
9 autonomously. Later on, the unit disintegrated, and you know how Juka
10 Prazina ended up. He ended the way -- his life the way he had lived his
11 life. But I and my colleagues personally spent some time in that unit.
12 Actually, we spent days there to prevent any crimes from being perpetrated
13 by its members.
14 Q. All right. Now, do you consider that the activities of those
15 armed formations such as the one that Juka Prazina commanded and similar
16 ones were in fact -- gave rise to reasonable fear that the Serbs felt, the
17 civilian population which was leaving Sarajevo?
18 A. Juka Prazina didn't form his unit before the war, as far as I
19 know. It was only once the war had begun, as one of the more courageous
20 men, rallied a group around him. He always wanted to be a leader, and he
21 formed his group, and that is how it started.
22 Q. Very well. But do you know as a policeman, and you are one of the
23 few who is testifying under his full name rather than as a protected
24 witness in this case, that in May and June 1991 in Sarajevo, that is May
25 and June 1991, which is almost a year prior to the outbreak of the war, a
1 Green Beret unit who was still in civilian clothes at the time were
2 training in handling weapons in the cinema hall in the streets of Dragica
3 Pravica in the evening, in the Bistrik hall. Did you fail to notice these
5 A. I truly didn't know about them. I do know that once in the region
6 that you mentioned they stopped a military vehicle of the JNA. I remember
7 the banana affair because it contained rockets and on the loading
8 documents it said bananas. And this vehicle was stopped by members of
9 those Green Berets.
10 Q. Very well. And do you know that when joining the Patriotic League
11 members took an oath to the Muslim people? This was a party army which in
12 a multinational environment rallied members of a single nation.
13 A. I don't know about that. I really don't know.
14 Q. Very well. Let me go on to things that I'm certain you do know
15 about, and I'll go back to your statement.
16 In paragraph 1 on page 3 -- 01131 -- the statement of 2005 [as
17 interpreted], you say at the end of 1992 -- you say the end of 1992, the
18 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed. The Ministry of the Interior
19 was required for the needs of defence to attach to the army the reserve
20 police force.
21 It is well known that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was
22 formally formed on the 15th of April, 1992, and that is Army Day in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, isn't it?
24 A. It is true that that day is being celebrated but that was not when
25 the army was formed. I know exactly when it was formed. It was in the
1 autumn of 1992. Up until then these were just units that may have been
2 called various names but they all had one name in mind to defend the town
3 of Sarajevo. But in 1992, I know, because our police reservists went to
4 join the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Kucanin. So even the fact that Army Day is being
6 celebrated on the 15th of April, as you know --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- doesn't seem to indicate that that is the formal date when the
9 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was established?
10 A. No.
11 Q. In paragraph 4 on page 3 of your statement of 2000, you said that
12 the Serbs targeted especially religious buildings, especially with
13 artillery, mortars, and heavy weapons. Is that right?
14 A. I don't remember saying that they especially targeted, but they
15 did target religious buildings all the time, but not in particular. If I
16 were to say in particular, if I were to say how many civilians were killed
17 in the city of Sarajevo, it would appear that they had specially targeted
18 civilians. But they did target religious buildings, and I did investigate
19 those cases.
20 Q. In that same paragraph, you say that the Kursumli Medresa was
21 badly damaged and could no longer be used. It was hit by several shells.
22 Isn't that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. A couple of sentences earlier you say that the Beg mosque was hit
25 about a hundred times. Did you say that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This doesn't seem to be plausible to me. If several shells make a
3 building unusable and then you say that the mosque was hit a hundred
4 times, what would have been left of it if it had really been hit 100
6 A. The Kursumli Medresa, as opposed to the Beg mosque, is a much
7 lighter building with steel roofing and was built quite differently. It's
8 a low building with cupolas, with domes, and as soon as those roofs fell
9 through, it was destroyed with a couple of shells, whereas the Begove
10 mosque is a big building, built I don't know exactly when, it's an old
11 building which has much stronger walls. I saw that for myself because I
12 conducted an inquest in the yard of the mosque. When a mortar shell hits
13 the wall of the Begove mosque, it doesn't cause damage at all.
14 Q. So it was hit a hundred times yet it wasn't badly damaged?
15 A. It couldn't be used. The roof was totally destroyed. It had to
16 be supported from the inside. There was red foil on top so that it would
17 -- the rain wouldn't soak through, and people would enter for service
18 like that. But it was still standing.
19 Q. Very well. In your statement of 1996, in paragraphs 2 to 5 about
20 the sniping of a tram, you say that it was established that it was hit
21 from the fourth skyscraper in Grbavica. That's what you say, that you
22 established that.
23 A. I'm sorry, which paragraph did you say?
24 Q. The fourth paragraph, page 2. From paragraphs 2 to 5 you talk
25 about the firing at trams from the fourth skyscraper in Grbavica.
1 A. Among others, from that skyscraper.
2 Q. I'm asking you the following, because you say there that you
3 established in that paragraph, and I'm quoting, you're saying:
4 "Unfortunately, the fire caused certain damage to the tram which prevented
5 us from moving the tram back to its original position when determining the
6 origin, the source of fire."
7 So you were unable to establish that because you were unable to
8 turn the tram back.
9 "So determining the elevation and direction of fire and
10 interviewing the driver of the tram, we were able to establish that the
11 origin of the fire was the fourth skyscraper."
12 So in your own words you were unable to analyse the situation
13 properly but you relied on the statement of the driver.
14 A. Among others the driver. The entry angle, I don't know whether
15 you know how this is established --
16 Q. Yes, but you say that because of the damage you were not able to
17 push the tram back to establish that angle. So you are guessing, yet you
18 say that you did establish it.
19 A. I said that we established it in this way. The angle of fire when
20 the tram was coming by in that area. It was not difficult for us to
21 measure the height of the shell and then check it out, though this is the
22 job of a criminal technician and a ballistics expert. My job is just to
23 carry out the investigation, to take note of all the details, and others
24 analyse it.
25 Q. I understand that.
1 JUDGE MAY: This must be your last question, Mr. Milosevic, today.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. In that same paragraph you said, and I quote you: "Of a total of
4 eight rounds, four passed through the tram, causing entry and exit holes."
5 So you established that four had hit the tram. How did you know
6 that there were eight? It's clear for the four but how can you know how
7 many rounds missed?
8 A. I think this is the translation that is rather strange. I was
9 looking at my own notes. Four rounds went through the metal of the tram,
10 and the others went through the glass. These four entered through the
11 metal shell.
12 Q. I see. So this is an error in the translation. So let's leave
13 that as it is for now.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now.
15 Mr. Milosevic, you will have 20 minutes left tomorrow to continue
16 your cross-examination.
17 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Your Honour. Before just --
18 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Yes, Mr. Ierace.
19 MR. IERACE: Just before we adjourn, might I indicate that
20 tomorrow the Prosecution proposes to call B-1524 following the testimony
21 of Mr. Franken. We had intended to -- I think he was scheduled for an
22 earlier time but did not testify on that occasion because we ran out of
23 time. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In this list I received from the
1 side opposite, I saw that this witness is testifying for two hours so I
2 thought I had a little more time. You're just telling me that I have
3 another 20 minutes.
4 JUDGE MAY: It's a normal 92 bis witness. I think the Prosecution
5 were miscalculating there. Is there any particular reason -- what is
6 there in particular that you want to ask this witness which is going to
7 take up more time? Anything in particular?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I must look through my notes,
9 but I had planned the time according to the information I had received.
10 That's what I'm talking about. I'm asking him questions about his
11 statements and in connection with his testimony.
12 JUDGE MAY: We will give you half an hour tomorrow in case you've
13 been misled.
14 Mr. Kucanin, that concludes the evidence for today. I must warn
15 you, as we warn all witnesses, please, not to speak to anybody about their
16 evidence until it's over, and that does include the members of the
17 Prosecution team. Could you be back, please, at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.55 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day of
21 November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.