Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 416

 1                           Monday, 1 March 2010

 2                           [Prosecution Opening Statement]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.

 7             Could the Registrar call the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, Your Honour.  Good morning.  This is

 9     case number IT-05-88-2/T, the Prosecutor versus Zdravko Tolimir.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

11             We are still listening to you, Mr. Prosecutor.  You have the

12     floor, Mr. Thayer.

13             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President, and good morning to you

14     and Your Honours.  Good morning, everyone.

15             Mr. President, we left off with the devastating effects of

16     Directive 7's policy to make life unbearable for the Muslim populations

17     in Srebrenica and Zepa.  The evidence will show that while the VRS slowly

18     strangled the enclaves, strangled out life and hope of survival out of

19     them, the VRS never took its eyes off of an opportunity to mount its own

20     direct military attack on Srebrenica in order to fulfil Strategic

21     Objectives 1 and 3.

22             What we have here is a Main Staff order from May of 1995, and we

23     can see what its objective is from the title:  "Stabilise Defence and

24     Create Conditions for Their Liberation."  And if we look at the first

25     paragraph, again there's a reference to according to the information

Page 417

 1     gathered, that means intelligence, and in particular that means

 2     General Tolimir's intelligence, the Muslims are making intensive

 3     operations for an operation from the area of Tuzla, Kladanj, and the

 4     enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa with the basic aim of cutting the

 5     territory of Republika Srpska, connecting the enclaves with the central

 6     part of the so-called Bosnia and Herzegovina, and reaching the Drina

 7     River.  Again, which would impede the Serbs' Strategic Objectives of not

 8     having the Drina River as a boundary to their unified Serbian state.

 9             You're going to see during the trial follow-on orders from the

10     Drina Corps based on this Main Staff order to do precisely that, mobilise

11     the forces, get ready for combat pursuant to this order to liberate those

12     enclaves in May.  And then you'll see also additional orders back from

13     the Drina Corps up to the Main Staff saying, "We cannot implement your

14     order because we don't have enough forces to do so."

15             But you will also see that the Drina Corps, always relentless in

16     pursuit of Strategic Objective's 1 and 3, continued to modify its combat

17     plan throughout the end of May with input from the Main Staff, so they

18     would be in a position when the time came to take that decisive step.

19     And during this period of time also, as always, we have General Tolimir

20     on top of the intelligence picture, trying to get into the head of the

21     enemy, trying to understand what the morale, intentions, plans of the

22     enemy was and he issues his reports thought the month, noting, for

23     example, in May a few days after this Main Staff order that the Muslim

24     forces from the enclaves in the Podrinje have continued reconnaissance

25     and diversionary operations, aimed at creating conditions for offensive

Page 418

 1     operations which they intend to start by infiltrating forces into the

 2     rear and the disposition of our units.

 3             Other significant preparations for this decisive attack on the

 4     Srebrenica enclave were taken at the end of May.  You may recall me

 5     mentioning a few times this observation post echo, one of the UN OPs, the

 6     south-east corner of the enclave which was lying on a militarily

 7     significant east-west road in the area of Zeleni Jadar.  General Tolimir

 8     paid particular attention to that early in the year, as we talked about

 9     on Friday.  And you will see at the end of May specific Drina Corps

10     orders going out, to take that UN OP out, to take it out with force if

11     necessary.  And indeed, that's what happened.  The Serbs attacked the UN

12     observation post with machine-gun fire, tank, and rocket fire.  Damaged

13     the watch-tower in the process and forced those peacekeepers right out of

14     that OP.  And you'll see a videotape of a speech that the Drina Corps

15     commander, General Zivanovic, gave on the 12th of July, celebrating the

16     fall of Srebrenica and confirming that the attack on this OP had been the

17     start, the prelude, to the VRS's ultimate take-over of the Srebrenica

18     enclave.  Very simply he said, and I quote:

19             "At the beginning of June, more precisely at the end of May, we

20     started to carry out preparations and then took Zeleni Jadar and tested

21     what the expulsion of UNPROFOR with weapons looked like.  Quite a lot of

22     soldiers were involved and as it turned out that we had no casualties and

23     no wounded, then slowly conditions ripened for what we did now."

24             And you'll see that the importance of this military action was

25     not lost on UNPROFOR, both because it signalled that the VRS was willing

Page 419

 1     to use force, as they had seen before, against peacekeepers and also that

 2     it signalled a potential future attack on the enclave as a whole.  And of

 3     course this attack disproves the lies you will hear General Tolimir,

 4     General Gvero, and General Mladic tell UNPROFOR in the midst of the VRS

 5     attack in July that we would never attack UNPROFOR, we hope UNPROFOR

 6     would never be our enemy.  We're not attacking anyone.

 7             The evidence will be clear that when the UN got in the way of the

 8     VRS, the VRS was willing to take peacekeepers hostage, to threaten their

 9     lives, to threaten to kill them, to fire at observation posts at DutchBat

10     positions with machine-guns, rockets, and tanks while peacekeepers were

11     in them.  And as always you'll see that they knew just how far to go,

12     knowing the risk that if they stepped over the line and went too far, the

13     UN might invoke its ability to use air power, again, the one weapon that

14     the UN had at that time in the area because the peacekeepers on the

15     ground in Srebrenica had been so operationally undermined by Directive

16     7's restrictions at that time.  There was nothing else that they could do

17     but rely on close air support or air-strikes.

18             And you'll see as we near the end of June more reports from

19     General Tolimir never taking his eyes off the enclaves.  You'll see his

20     intelligence reports focusing on their intentions, the impending combat

21     activities.  And you'll see him reporting before and after the Muslims,

22     at the end of June, conducted some raids, sabotage raids, which resulted

23     in the deaths of Serb soldiers and civilians.  And you may hear reference

24     to these raids, in particular on a village called Vizjnica where

25     civilians were killed by the Muslim saboteurs.  But as the evidence will

Page 420

 1     show, Your Honours, these hit-and-run attacks by these Muslim sabotage

 2     squads would serve really just as a pretext for taking the final steps

 3     towards fulfilling Strategic Objectives 1 and 3 which had always been

 4     there from day one.

 5             So we see by July that the VRS has made its decision to attack

 6     Srebrenica.  What have you on your screen is General Zivanovic's Drina

 7     Corps order to attack the enclave.  The code-name for the operation

 8     Krivaja 95, order for active combat operations number 1, 2 July.  And

 9     you'll see that this order, like an earlier one that he issued that day,

10     a preparatory or warning order as they're called, explicitly refers to

11     Directives 7 and it's follow-on 7/1.  The Drina Corps command pursuant to

12     those operations directives and on the basis of the situation in the

13     corps has the task of carrying out offensive activities with free forces

14     deep in the Drina Corps zone as soon as possible in order to split apart

15     the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica.

16             Now, with respect to this objective of splitting the enclaves

17     apart, we've heard that before.  Sealing off the enclaves from each other

18     so there could be no passage of men, materiel, make it more difficult for

19     them to defend themselves in isolation from each other.  And this was a

20     legitimate military objective, to ensure that demilitarisation of the

21     enclave.

22             But we see that General Zivanovic again takes the extra step and

23     orders that the army reduce the enclaves to their urban areas.  Now, this

24     necessarily meant forcing the civilian population into the very

25     concentrated centre areas of Srebrenica and Zepa.  The VRS and

Page 421

 1     General Tolimir well knew that this would create conditions whereby it

 2     would be impossible for the Muslim population of those enclaves to

 3     sustain themselves.  They knew that this would replicate the humanitarian

 4     disaster of 1993, and they knew based on what they saw in 1993 -- you

 5     remember the video, people clamouring on to those UNHCR buses to get

 6     trucked out in empty lorries, out of that misery.  People crushed to

 7     death, suffocated to death in the press to escape the hell of Srebrenica

 8     in 1993.  General Tolimir and the VRS knew in 1995 that not only would

 9     they be replicating those conditions, the conditions would be worse

10     because in July of 1995 Directive 7 had been implemented with ruthless

11     efficiency for months.  And make no mistake about it, Your Honours, some

12     military policeman manning a check-point, stripping a convoy of

13     humanitarian aid might not know any better.  But the highest-level

14     officers in the VRS like General Tolimir, they knew better.  You saw

15     those SFRY regulations, you saw the VRS laws and rules that incorporated

16     the Geneva Conventions and crimes against humanity.  They knew that

17     targeting civilians was wrong.  They knew that that convoy terror was a

18     crime.  He knew that every denied convoy brought the civilian population

19     further to its knees, just like 1993.  But he chose to keep moving that

20     plan along.

21             So by its very words in July of 1995, the Krivaja 95 combat plan,

22     given the conditions that prevailed in Srebrenica in July of 1995, it

23     must be understood as implementing Directive 7's direction, to make life

24     unbearable for the Muslim populations of Zepa and Srebrenica with no hope

25     for survival.  The departure of the civilian populations from those

Page 422

 1     enclaves was therefore not a collateral consequence of that combat order.

 2     The decision to reduce it to the urban enclaves and the departure of the

 3     Muslim population from them was a clear and clearly illegal objective of

 4     this combat operation.

 5             And we'll see in August of 1995, Your Honours, President Karadzic

 6     himself again acknowledging that this was about the strategic importance

 7     of Srebrenica and Zepa, addressing the 53rd National Assembly on 28

 8     August of 1995, and I quote:

 9             "We absolutely cannot let ourselves get any ideas about them

10     taking our traditional territories from us.  To tell the truth, there are

11     towns that we have grabbed for ourselves and there are only 30 per cent

12     of us.  I can name as many of those as you want, but we cannot give up

13     the towns where we made up 70 per cent.  Don't let this get around, but

14     remember how many of us there were in Bratunac, how many in Srebrenica,

15     how many in Visegrad, how many in Rogatica, how many in Vlasenica, in

16     Zvornik, et cetera.  Due to strategic importance, they had to become

17     ours.  And no one is practically questioning it anymore."

18             Black and white, acknowledging that these were predominantly

19     Muslim enclaves and for strategic reasons they had to become Serb.

20     That's what it was really about.  That's what Krivaja 95 was really

21     about, and a copy of that was sent to the Main Staff.  The Main Staff

22     continued to follow that operation.  And more importantly for our

23     purposes you will see how the Main Staff with significant contributions

24     from General Tolimir neutralised UNPROFOR during this attack and

25     facilitated the VRS's take-over of the enclave.

Page 423

 1             So let me turn now to the attack itself.  It began on the 6th of

 2     July.  VRS tanks, artillery, aerial bombs, mortars, rockets, heavy

 3     machine-guns pounded the entire enclave.  You'll hear that the DutchBat

 4     deputy commander, Major Franken, stated that the shelling in Srebrenica

 5     was random and that DutchBat was already transporting wounded civilians

 6     to the Srebrenica hospital.

 7             What we have here is an excerpt from a United Nations Military

 8     Observer report.  They were known as UNMOs, the abbreviation.  This is a

 9     report from somebody you'll hear from and see a lot of, actually, in the

10     video footage, an officer named Joseph Kingori, who was in Srebrenica

11     when the shells began raining down.  And we see here he reports a BSA

12     offensive, again, BSA meaning VRS.  He identifies all manner of weapons,

13     artillery, falling on Potocari township, Srebrenica township, at least

14     250 artillery and mortar rounds have been recorded so far.  Fatalities

15     confirmed, DutchBat compound rockets landing.  And you'll see OP Foxtrot

16     coming under direct shelling by the VRS.

17             Colonel Kingori reported that several tank rounds were fired

18     directly at OP Foxtrot, destroying the watch-tower.  And he later

19     reported that an artillery impact killed a civilian and injured a boy.

20     He said that when he was in Srebrenica he would notice that the shells

21     would fall about 50 at a time and then slowly sweep across the town and

22     then back in the other direction after a pause in between.  You'll hear

23     that the shelling was indiscriminate, hitting civilian targets, causing

24     injuries.  And you'll hear again that DutchBat OPs and positions were

25     targeted with all manner of weaponry.  The entrance to the Potocari

Page 424

 1     compound constantly the target of suppressing fire, close fire, not right

 2     at the compound, inside the compound, but right in front of it,

 3     suppressing fire.  It was obvious to the peacekeepers that it was meant

 4     to keep DutchBat inside its compound during the early portions of the

 5     attack.

 6             You'll hear that when the peacekeepers a couple of days into the

 7     attack were ordered to form blocking positions, that is, drive their APCs

 8     to a particular location in the south of the enclave as a sort of line in

 9     the sand, across which if the VRS passed it would invoke close air

10     support, you'll see that when those peacekeepers were sitting in their

11     APCs in their blocking positions, they were shelled.

12             What we have on our screen is an interim combat report.  You've

13     already heard me talk about the importance of the reporting, how that was

14     a regular part of the professionalism of this army, and here we have from

15     the forward command post you'll see Pribicevac, that's a location to the

16     east of the Srebrenica enclave where General Krstic basically had his

17     command post for the purposes of this operation setup.  And it also

18     afforded a lookout of the enclave.  So that's where he's sending this

19     from.  And you'll see right in the beginning:

20             "Pursuant to the order of the GS VRS," again that's Main Staff,

21     Glavni Stab, "and the decision of the Drina Corps commander to separate

22     and reduce the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, combat activities around the

23     Srebrenica enclave proceeded."

24             He makes a decision for continuing the operations:

25             "Continue the attack energetically and extremely decisively with

Page 425

 1     the objective of completing sealing off and reducing the Srebrenica

 2     enclave to the inner town area."

 3             And again we're talking about basically a small network of

 4     streets and buildings, and he's again referring to the inner town area,

 5     reducing that population that had been had been living in and around

 6     Srebrenica to that compressed location.  And you'll see in -- during the

 7     trial General Krstic actually does issue an attack order that night.

 8             Meanwhile, as we see from this report from the UNMOs on the 7th

 9     DutchBat is reporting heavy shelling around the Potocari compound, more

10     injuries, more shells landing in Srebrenica.  Kingori will tell you that

11     one of them died at the Srebrenica hospital.  He was personally involved.

12     You will hear from Colonel Kingori that he was out and about, and you'll

13     see him out and about, somebody trying to do something about the horror

14     he found himself in the middle of.

15             The next excerpt from this report is dated at 1400 hours.  Please

16     note the UNMOs are observing that the VRS offensive seems to be steadily

17     intensifying.  Whatever their aims are, they seem to be concentrating

18     more on civilian targets in Srebrenica town and Potocari.  There are

19     civilian casualties and unassessed damage to civilian property."

20             When Colonel Kingori and his fellow UNMO had the time to count,

21     they counted over 200 shells hitting Srebrenica that day.

22             By the next morning the shelling was continuing.  We see here

23     from this report it started at 0800, and I quote:

24             "They seem to be concentrating more on the densely populated

25     areas ... and Potocari town ..." again targeting the civilians.

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 1             You'll hear that on this day, the 8th of July, the Serbs captured

 2     three observation posts in the southern part of the enclave, foxtrot,

 3     uniform, and sierra, all in the general area of OP Echo that you heard

 4     about before.  So you have forces moving south up towards Srebrenica town

 5     from the south of the enclave.  And you'll hear that at OP Foxtrot, a

 6     Serb tank was firing directly at the OP, causing the peacekeepers to

 7     withdraw in their APC under that tank fire.  And you'll hear that when

 8     they did so there were some Muslim fighters nearby.  And you'll hear that

 9     these Muslim fighters for a period of time put up some resistance to the

10     VRS attack, were positioning themselves in between the UN OPs.  So you'll

11     hear that when this UN APC was trying to withdraw because the Serb tank

12     was trying to blast it out of its OP, you'll hear that the Muslims didn't

13     want these UN peacekeepers to leave, fearing that this would speed the

14     collapse of the enclave.  So one of them fired at the APC and ended up

15     killing a DutchBat soldier.

16             Now, it is in the afternoon of the 8th of July that

17     General Tolimir and UNPROFOR Generals Nicolai and Janvier begin having a

18     series of telephone conversations about the attack.  General Nicolai was

19     a Dutch general who was based in the Sarajevo UNPROFOR command.  He was

20     General Smith's Chief of Staff.  General Smith was commander of the UN

21     forces in Bosnia.  And during the attack, you'll hear that General Smith

22     was actually on leave, out of theatre, so General Nicolai ended up having

23     a lot of contact with the Main Staff.  And you'll also hear that another

24     UNPROFOR general, General Gobillard, a French general, who was head of

25     the Sarajevo sector of UNPROFOR also had contact with the Main Staff.

Page 427

 1             General Gobillard, of course, also served underneath Smith, but

 2     he was head of a separate office, if you will, that was based in

 3     Sarajevo.  And you'll also hear conversations involving General Janvier,

 4     as I mentioned.  General Janvier was another French general who was head

 5     of all the UN forces in that theatre.  He was based in Zagreb.  And he

 6     was General Smith's direct superior.  So you have Janvier, Smith,

 7     Nicolai, Gobillard.

 8             Now, again and again you'll hear, Your Honours, the conversations

 9     between General Tolimir and these UN generals would go something like

10     this:  UNPROFOR would tell General Tolimir:  Your forces are attacking.

11     They're attacking UNPROFOR positions.  They're attacking civilian

12     targets, as was abundantly clear from the reports flooding in from all

13     sources to UNPROFOR.  Tolimir would then deny to whichever general he was

14     speaking, that the VRS was attacking anyone.  He would make the counter

15     allegation that the Muslims were the ones attacking and violating the

16     prior agreements.  He would claim that his information conflicted with

17     UNPROFOR's.  He needed time to contact his subordinate commanders or his

18     superior or to issue orders, consult with Mladic, that he needed more

19     time to verify the information on the ground, but the information he was

20     getting was wrong.  In any case, you'll hear him repeatedly postponing

21     further contact with the UN.  And as you will hear, Your Honours, this

22     was a deliberate delaying tactic that permitted General Krstic's forces

23     to encroach further and further into the enclave, advancing towards the

24     ultimate target of eliminating the enclave.  Even as General Tolimir was

25     insisting that they were not attacking.  And you just saw that 6 July

Page 428

 1     interim combat report where General Krstic is talking about taking a

 2     decisive attack, pressing forward.

 3             So what you see here is a Drina Corps report.  It's signed by

 4     General Zivanovic on the 8th of July, and this is going out to the

 5     Drina Corps IKM, to General Krstic, because General Zivanovic is now back

 6     in Vlasenica at the Drina Corps command.  And what he says is, as we can

 7     see from the slide, the UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo has protested with

 8     the Main Staff over operations against UNPROFOR observation point, and he

 9     gives some co-ordinates.  And that's the -- that's OP Foxtrot, the one

10     that you'll hear got blasted by the VRS tank resulting in the death of

11     that soldier by the Muslims.  But that's what he's talking about there,

12     this direct fire by the Serb tank on this OP.

13             And again, the complaint is specific.  They emphasise that their

14     point was captured by artillery and tank action and the Main Staff of the

15     VRS answered that the Drina Corps command had informed it that the

16     Muslims were using six armoured personnel carriers painted white and

17     bearing UNPROFOR markings and that the Muslims had started offensive

18     operations from Srebrenica in order to join up the enclaves of Srebrenica

19     and Zepa.

20             So General Zivanovic is here reporting what the Main Staff is

21     trying to sell to UNPROFOR in Sarajevo when they complain.  And again,

22     there may have been some hit-and-run sabotage missions by the Muslims at

23     the end of June, which may have been the last straw, but as we have seen

24     and as the evidence will show, this mission, this combat operation

25     against Srebrenica, had been in the works for a long time and the moment

Page 429

 1     had come.

 2             And again, the Main Staff, according to Zivanovic's report,

 3     accusing the Muslims of not demilitarising, which they hadn't, and

 4     demanding UNPROFOR to get their observation posts in the right places.

 5     And then finally:

 6             "The Main Staff has ordered you not to attack UNPROFOR, but to

 7     prevent any surprises and stop the Muslims in their intention to join up

 8     Srebrenica and Zepa."

 9             Now, again this is reflective not on -- not of some kind of

10     humanitarian motives, but it's the Main Staff, General Tolimir in

11     particular because you'll see from the greeting here at the end:

12             "Good luck in war and best regards from General Tolimir."

13             General Tolimir is either at the Drina Corps command with

14     General Zivanovic at this time or he's communicating with

15     General Zivanovic from the Main Staff.  But either way, when we're

16     talking about the Main Staff here, we're talking about General Tolimir,

17     as we've already seen from the conversations.  And this is

18     General Tolimir again understanding that there's only so far they can go

19     before UNPROFOR will call in air support or air-strikes.  They know just

20     how far they can go.  And you'll see that in their response to UNPROFOR,

21     it's very careful.  They can't deny that their tanks are attacking,

22     because the Muslims certainly didn't have tanks, so they make counter

23     allegations and deflect what the real issue is.

24             We just have here one of a series of protest notes that you'll

25     see more examples of.  General Nicolai putting in -- into their files at

Page 430

 1     the UN the note that he talked to General Tolimir this afternoon about

 2     the VRS attack on OP Foxtrot.  Although General Tolimir promised that

 3     UNPROFOR and UN positions would not be attacked, now two UNPROFOR

 4     positions about 500 metres west of the OP Foxtrot have been surrounded by

 5     your troops, VRS troops.

 6             Those are the two OPs, sierra and uniform, which were in fact set

 7     up when the VRS blew OP Echo out that we talked about before.  And you'll

 8     hear that those OPs were surrounded and the peacekeepers surrendered.  At

 9     this time we see the Main Staff becoming even more involved.  This is a

10     request from the same day on the 8th from General Zivanovic, asking the

11     Main Staff to crank up its propaganda activities towards the enclave.  We

12     saw some examples on Friday of, again, Zivanovic reaching out to

13     General Gvero to try and encourage the Muslim population to leave, how to

14     manage that in the midst of the horror that they'd created.  And what

15     we'll see here is that very soon Lieutenant-Colonel Milovan Milutinovic,

16     who was the chief of the Main Staff's press centre, is dispatched to

17     Srebrenica and he's on the ground.  You'll see him present at the

18     Hotel Fontana meetings and later at Zepa, and those were all filmed.

19     They were filmed purely for propaganda purposes and they were used to

20     great effect by the VRS.  And you'll see General Tolimir ordering

21     loudspeakers for Colonel Milutinovic in Zepa when we get to that section.

22             So we have the Main Staff further and further involved.

23             General Nicolai, we're into the next day, the 9th, in the

24     afternoon.  The attack just keeps pressing forward.  Nothing is stopping

25     the VRS.  One by one you'll hear they would surround, fire at the

Page 431

 1     observation posts, and that the peacekeepers would surrender.  In some

 2     cases they would surrender under fire and by threat of force by the VRS,

 3     and you'll hear that in other cases they surrendered more or less

 4     voluntarily because they were afraid of being caught in cross-fire

 5     between what few Muslim fighters remained and the VRS tank, machine-gun

 6     mortar, and rocket fire.  And you'll hear that some of them were afraid

 7     of being targeted by the Muslims, again as that one soldier had been the

 8     day before.

 9             So we have General Nicolai getting more and more concerned.  The

10     troops have penetrated 4 kilometres into the safe area and are a

11     kilometre away from the centre of town.  He's insisting that they -- that

12     the VRS withdraw, and General Tolimir's response was that his information

13     about the situation was different.  Nicolai warned that DutchBat would

14     now have to defend the safe area, and again repeated his request to

15     withdraw.  General Tolimir's response, he promised he would check the

16     information directly on the ground, although he did not believe this was

17     true and asked General Nicolai to call back in 30 minutes.

18             A little while later -- the Court's indulgence.

19             You'll hear that General Janvier from Zagreb gets involved.

20     Remember, Nicolai is in Sarajevo.  Janvier calls the Main Staff and

21     leaves a message.  You'll see this, and I quote, very simple message:

22             "You are to withdraw your soldiers who are on the offensive

23     around Srebrenica by 8.00 tomorrow morning."

24             So we have another conversation with General Nicolai and

25     General Tolimir after that warning is given by the force commander

Page 432

 1     himself, General Janvier.  Tolimir assures Nicolai that he had passed on

 2     the message to his subordinate commanders and that the VRS had no

 3     particular problems with UNPROFOR or the civil population in Srebrenica

 4     and that the UNPROFOR soldiers were treated correctly.

 5             Nicolai is not having it.  He's insisting on their withdrawal.

 6     He says there's going to be a strong warning issued supported by

 7     General Janvier and Mr. Akashi, the special representative of the UN

 8     Secretary-General.  General Tolimir confirms that he understands the

 9     message and repeated that there was no conflict between UNPROFOR, the

10     VRS, and the civilian population in Srebrenica.  Again, turning it

11     around, the only problems they had were those ones relevant to the BiH

12     army, the Muslim army, and the southern section of the Srebrenica enclave

13     and to the BiH attempt to link the enclave of Zepa and that of

14     Srebrenica.  The BiH offensive taken from inside the demilitarised zone

15     had been prevented by the VRS.  It is the BiH offensive actions taken

16     from the demilitarised zone that constituted the violation.

17             Nicolai repeats that what Tolimir said has absolutely nothing to

18     do with anything.  He says their attack is threatening the civilian

19     population of Srebrenica and was a direct attack on the safe area.  And

20     again, General Tolimir just keeps it up.  He says that the Muslims were

21     using heavy weapons, APCs.  General Nicolai vehemently denies any

22     DutchBat APCs were being used, that it was false information.

23             Nicolai warns that the UN was going to have to use whatever means

24     it had to defend the enclave.

25             So this triggers the following document from General Tolimir

Page 433

 1     later that evening.  This goes out at 2025 or -- we see a time stamp that

 2     it was at least received at 2025 the night of the 9th.  It's sent from

 3     the Drina Corps command in Vlasenica, the command post, which suggests

 4     because it has General Tolimir's type signature that General Tolimir was

 5     located at that time at the command.  And that makes sense.  Again, the

 6     Main Staff's preference for placing its generals forward so they can

 7     direct the action, influence what's happening on the ground.

 8             Here General Tolimir is reporting on what we just saw,

 9     General Nikolai's requests for withdrawal.  And he's also reporting

10     General Janvier's request to withdraw that we just saw a minute ago.  And

11     what does General Tolimir tell the commanders on the ground:

12             "I replied to the UNPROFOR commander that I was checking the

13     information about the situation in Srebrenica, and that their forces were

14     safe.  I anticipate talking to them in 40 minutes.

15             "Send a battle-field situation report every hour so that I can

16     communicate with UNPROFOR which will enable you to continue to work

17     according to plan ..."

18             And then again:

19             "Pay particular attention to protecting members of UNPROFOR and

20     the civilian population.

21             "I congratulate you on your results and I wish you good fortunes

22     of war."

23             Which will enable you to continue to work according to plan,

24     there it is.  General Tolimir knows what the plan is.  He's part of the

25     plan and he's doing what he can to buy General Krstic and his troops more

Page 434

 1     time so that they can finish the plan.  He knows he can't put off the UN

 2     forever.  He needs to tell them something.  He needs to buy them time and

 3     he knows an hour is a long time, so that will give them some cover.  But

 4     as he says, "it will enable you to continue to work according to plan."

 5             And again he knows just how far he can go.  He says, "pay

 6     particular attention to protecting members of UNPROFOR."  Blast them out

 7     of their OPs, if that's what it takes to get them out of the OPs, but

 8     don't go any further.

 9             Later that night, you recall General Nicolai said there's going

10     to be a strong warning in writing, and here it is.  It refers to the VRS

11     attacks, firing indiscriminately into the safe area, directly targeting

12     UN facilities causing several civilian deaths.  These are the facts that

13     are being reported from the ground to the UN.  We have continued to fire

14     heavy weapons into the safe area 1 kilometre from the south of the town.

15     Another demand to stop and pull back.

16             And here the UN is telling the VRS in no uncertain terms:  We are

17     setting up those blocking positions I mentioned a few moments ago with

18     the APCs.  The SRSG, that's the Special Representative of the

19     Secretary-General, Mr. Akashi, and the FC, that's the force commander,

20     General Janvier, have decided that if this blocking position is attacked,

21     NATO close air support will be employed.

22             A little later that night, about 2310 hours, we see an intercept.

23     T here is for Tolimir.  And I think we -- in this intercept we only get

24     one side of the conversation.  We only get what General Tolimir is

25     saying.  And he says:

Page 435

 1             "I got the message from the General's courier," clearing

 2     referring to the warning that was issued.  And this is, by the way, an

 3     intercept between General Tolimir and General Janvier.  So it's gone to

 4     the top of the UN command.  He's saying:  I got the warning.  And again,

 5     General Tolimir repeats the mantra:

 6             "Our army has very proper relations with the members of UNPROFOR

 7     as well as with the Muslim population.

 8             "Proper, very proper."

 9             And again he turns it around, the counter allegations.

10             "The next thing is:  The General is probably aware that the

11     Muslims have been attacking in the last few days and they burned down

12     some of our villages."

13             Janvier has clearly repeated the UN insistence that the VRS pull

14     back.  General Tolimir says:

15             "I understand the General ... I understand the General, but it is

16     very difficult at this moment to make any movements since the entire area

17     is an active front line ..."

18             And he claims:

19             "At this moment I can't even see the whole picture."

20             You can tell from General Tolimir's next answer that Janvier is

21     insisting that they pull back, and Tolimir says:

22             "That's particularly difficult to do when the Muslims are

23     attacking on nearly all fronts around the enclave.

24             "I understand the General and I thank him, but it is difficult to

25     talk about withdrawal before achieving combat activities."

Page 436

 1             And he's assuring General Janvier that he'll talk to

 2     General Mladic, and he insists that:

 3             "We are doing our best to stabilise the situation as soon as

 4     possible ..." saying it's quite complicated, quite complicated.

 5             "I thank the General and also wish to give him a personal

 6     message, that we will do everything we can to calm down the situation and

 7     to find a reasonable solution."

 8             All right.  Well, let's look at the situation and find out what

 9     General Tolimir really did to calm it down.  Here's another interim

10     combat report from General Krstic that night, and this is time stamped at

11     2320 hours.  So pretty much at the same time that General Tolimir was

12     just speaking to General Janvier, General Krstic issues this -- sends up

13     this interim combat report from Pribicevac.  And he starts off saying:

14             "On the 9th of July ... our units carried out a fierce attack ...

15     thus separating the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica, carried out the

16     immediate task and created conditions for extending the attack towards

17     Srebrenica ..." and points out some of the features that they were able

18     to capture.

19             So General Krstic puts in his proposal, his decision what he

20     wants to do:

21             "Taking advantage of the success achieved, regroup the forces and

22     carry out a vigorous and decisive attack towards Srebrenica."

23             And again, this is at about 2320, according to one of the time

24     stamps on this document.  So what do we see General Tolimir doing next,

25     having given his personal guarantee to calm down the situation?  He sends

Page 437

 1     this out.  You'll see that this is coming from the Main Staff of the VRS,

 2     so this indicates that General Tolimir is back at the command post of the

 3     Main Staff in Crna Rijeka when he writes this.  You'll notice also the

 4     series of numbers at the very top left of the screen.  Strictly

 5     confidential number 12/46.  You'll see when we get used to looking at

 6     more and more of these documents that these numbers mean something.  That

 7     12/46 designates General Tolimir's sector, and in particular 46

 8     designates the security administration within the intelligence and

 9     security sector.  So this is literally coming out of his shop.  It's

10     going out under his signature.

11             And you'll note, if you please, also the time stamp showing that

12     this is going out at 2350 hours, or at least that's one of the

13     time-stamps that it was received.  And you'll see that it's not difficult

14     for General Tolimir to get back and forth from Crna Rijeka to Vlasenica.

15     They're just down the road, Han Pijesak and Crna Rijeka are just down the

16     road.

17             Now, he sends it to President Karadzic and as we see here to

18     Generals Gvero and General Krstic personally at that forward command post

19     in Pribicevac.  Obviously Tolimir and the -- his other Main Staff

20     colleagues have been in contact and communications with each other

21     because he knows General Gvero and there, he knows to address this

22     personally to General Gvero.  And why is General Gvero at Pribicevac?

23     He's there to represent the Main Staff.  Mladic is somewhere else in the

24     field.  Gvero is his man on the ground at Pribicevac to assess the

25     situation, be informed by Krstic if there are any additional steps that

Page 438

 1     need to be taken, what the problems are, to be able to provide guidance

 2     and to be able to relate that information in real time back to the Main

 3     Staff.  This is how the VRS operated.

 4             General Tolimir passes on this critical information that

 5     President Karadzic has been informed of these successful combat

 6     operations around Srebrenica, that they have achieved results which

 7     enable them to occupy the very town of Srebrenica.  So General Tolimir

 8     obviously is getting very, very timely information about what's going on

 9     on the ground, and he's relaying that to Karadzic:

10             "The President of the Republic is satisfied with the results ...

11     and has agreed with the continuation of operations for the take-over of

12     Srebrenica, disarming the Muslim terrorist gangs and complete

13     demilitarisation of the Srebrenica enclave."

14             And you'll note here that Karadzic has agreed.  What he's

15     agreeing with is the proposal by the Main Staff to complete the

16     operation, to complete the take-over.  You saw General Krstic's interim

17     combat report.  That information gets communicated directly to

18     General Tolimir.  It's clear that Tolimir has been in personal contact

19     with President Karadzic, personal communications, or he has been fully

20     informed by somebody else, perhaps General Mladic, who has.  Because

21     General Mladic must have approved this decision as well.

22             And again:

23             "The President of Republika Srpska has ordered that in the

24     follow-up combat operations, full protection to UNPROFOR ... Muslim

25     civilian population ... guaranteed safety ..."

Page 439

 1             You see specific instructions:

 2             "...  maximum protection and safety ...  refrain from destroying

 3     civilian targets ..."

 4             And again, this is not born of some humanitarian motive on the

 5     part of President Karadzic and the Main Staff.  They know how close they

 6     are to completing the objectives of Strategic Objective 1 and 3.  They

 7     know how close they are and they don't want to screw it up.  They don't

 8     want the international community to be triggered, to be prompted to

 9     intervene by excesses.  And Generals Tolimir and Gvero are particularly

10     attuned to this.  Again, they are the generals next to General Mladic who

11     most interact with the international community, most have their eyes on

12     the military political developments across the world.

13             And please note, Your Honours, how quickly this happens.

14     Basically within half an hour of Krstic's interim combat report, Tolimir

15     is issued this critical communication to Karadzic, Krstic, and Gvero.

16     There's none of this fog of war nonsense that he's been throwing at the

17     UNPROFOR generals for two days.  No, let me call you back in 40 minutes,

18     General Krstic, Mr. President, because I don't know what's happening in

19     the field.  This document, the evidence will show, is compelling evidence

20     that General Tolimir knew all along, during his conversations with

21     Nicolai and Janvier, of what was developing on the battlefront in

22     Srebrenica.  When the crucial time came to make this pivotal decision,

23     General Tolimir was able to move quickly.  He was sufficiently informed,

24     he had the knowledge he needed, he was secure that this proposal from

25     General Krstic was militarily sound, and he was part of that proposal and

Page 440

 1     approval process.

 2             Now, the attack, not surprisingly, continues.  This decisive

 3     attack to take the town gets underway and stays underway.  You'll see a

 4     conversation the next morning between General Mladic and General Janvier,

 5     again it's the same old song.  I don't know what the picture is.  I have

 6     to go down to the spot.  I need to call you back.  I have to talk to my

 7     subordinate commanders.  The Muslims are attacking.  We're not attacking

 8     anybody.  Whether it's General Tolimir, General Gvero, General Mladic,

 9     it's the same script.  And we see on the 10th more misery, more civilian

10     victims.  The number of casualties and wounded is increasing.  UN APCs

11     are being damaged.  When they sent out a recovery vehicle, when the UN

12     sent out a recovery vehicle, the recovery vehicle got fired on by the

13     VRS.  This report at about 1100 hours:

14             "Two heavy shells probably 150-millimetre artillery shells hit

15     the direct surrounding of the hospital at 1100 hours.  All the windows

16     are smashed and shrapnel had showered the walls and rooms of the

17     hospital.  The surgery is very difficult to proceed."

18             It looks as if the VRS are now targeting the hospital and the

19     surroundings.  And the shelling continues and continues.  And from what

20     the UNMOs were seeing, they estimated that the situation was going to get

21     worse and that it was getting worse.  And you'll hear more and see more

22     reports like this.  Peacekeepers seeing villages being burned to the

23     south of the enclave.  And again, during this period when the blocking

24     positions are being -- have been set up, these UN peacekeepers are being

25     fired on.  You'll hear testimony from these DutchBat officers; for

Page 441

 1     example, an officer named Egbers that at first he couldn't tell whether

 2     his APC was actually being targeted or whether it was just close fire or

 3     whether they were firing at something that was close to his APC.  But

 4     when he moved his APC, the shelling followed, and when he returned to his

 5     prior position, the shelling followed him back.

 6             You'll hear that all the shelling was causing, as the VRS had

 7     intended, this -- the population to withdraw to the centre of town.

 8     Colonel Franken recalled that there was massive shelling on the 10th and

 9     he ordered his peacekeepers to stop counting the shells.

10             And what happens at this point was the minimal resistance that

11     was left from some of the Muslim fighters collapsed, leaving the DutchBat

12     positions completely exposed, which ones that were left at that point.

13             So that evening we see another intercept 2015, again between

14     Generals Janvier and Tolimir.  And we see P here is the interpreter, the

15     intermediary for General Janvier.  T is Tolimir.  So General Janvier is

16     saying that -- to Tolimir that:

17             "Your units are attacking our soldiers."

18             Tolimir says:

19             "I don't have such information.  I'll try to reach them by phone

20     to check.  I don't believe our soldiers are attacking your soldiers since

21     they have been avoiding it up to now."

22             That's just a lie.  Again, denying that he has such information.

23     He's going to check with his commander:

24             "He hasn't reported to me that there was any attack."

25             Of course there was an attack.  General Tolimir was instrumental

Page 442

 1     in getting that attack approved at the highest levels.  Again,

 2     General Tolimir doing what he can just to get the UN off his back.  I'll

 3     establish contact, try to prevent a conflict situation.  Janvier's

 4     insistent:

 5             "He says to stop and secondly that they have to withdraw where

 6     they were before."

 7             General Tolimir says:  I understand perfectly.  Give him my

 8     regards.

 9             And I'm going to check, call me back, 20 to 30 minutes.

10             And as you can see here, General Janvier knows that he's getting

11     the runaround.  And he says:

12             "As far as I understand, you are very talkative and you are not

13     capable of doing anything else."

14             General Tolimir undeterred:

15             "I understood you, and I will check the information."

16             You'll see other conversations -- in fact, two other

17     conversations later that night between General Tolimir and

18     General Janvier along the same lines.  In one of them General Tolimir

19     claims that he has called a cease-fire or called a halt to the attack and

20     claims that the UNPROFOR soldiers were being forced by the Muslims to

21     fire on the Serbs.  He says he'd be happy to meet with General Gobillard

22     the next day, the 11th of July, in Sarajevo, but he said he needs to --

23     he needs more time.  He needs to get more information.  He says the

24     Muslims have planted many rumours about the situation in the field.  He

25     denies again that the VRS is attacking.  He says it might be the Muslims,

Page 443

 1     and suggests that Janvier speak with Mladic in the morning.

 2             So by the 11th of July, the town of Srebrenica was in utter

 3     chaos.  People were terrified.  They were collecting around the Bravo

 4     Company compound, the UN compound down there.  And you'll hear that a

 5     shell fell on that compound, causing casualties, killing civilians.  And

 6     then you'll hear testimony about how it reached a point where the

 7     civilians simply couldn't take it anymore.  They had been shelled and

 8     shelled and shelled, compressed into this town and they had nowhere to go

 9     but out.  And so they decided to flee, if you remember, Bravo Company in

10     Srebrenica town is to the south of Charlie Company, which was the

11     compound in Potocari.  So these civilians decide to try to make it to

12     some place safer.  So they proceed on foot.  A huge column of people,

13     women, children, elderly, wounded, grabbing whatever they can, in some

14     cases nothing, just their lives, and they try to make it up to Potocari

15     to safety.  You'll hear that the UN, when they saw this happening, did

16     their best to help.  They sent trucks down.  The UN peacekeepers that

17     were in Srebrenica were told to assist and help escort.  You'll hear from

18     Colonel Kingori and other DutchBat officers how the shelling then

19     proceeded to, in a way, funnel them out.  It tracked this column of

20     mostly civilians up towards Potocari, pushing them further up towards

21     Potocari.  You'll hear that the column itself was not attacked, but that

22     the shells were falling on either side and that people understood, they

23     could tell that they were being pushed, pushed up to the Potocari

24     compound.

25             And at first the civilians were placed in the compound, but once

Page 444

 1     that got too full up in Potocari they began to fill abandoned factories

 2     and other sites just to the south of the compound.  You'll hear about the

 3     terror of these people as they arrived, of their children screaming,

 4     awaiting some measure of safety, gathered in the open in these factory

 5     compound sites just south of the UN compound.

 6             And you'll hear that the close air support finally was delivered

 7     in the afternoon of 11 of July.  You'll hear that that close air support

 8     was immediately followed by death threats from the VRS.  You'll hear that

 9     using a radio in one of the captured APCs, the Serbs sent a message from

10     one of these or through one of these peacekeepers that they had held in

11     Bratunac back to the compound in Potocari:  We will kill your men, your

12     peacekeepers, if the close air support continues.

13             And they also threatened to shell the compound and the area

14     around it where the civilians were if the close air support did not stop.

15     Now, you'll hear that Colonel Franken, the DutchBat deputy commander, at

16     the time he was a major, you'll hear him say that he didn't take the

17     threat to kill the UN hostages that seriously; but he did take the VRS

18     threat to shell the civilians very seriously because he'd seen it done

19     before.  That's what had been happening the entire time, and he fully

20     believed that the VRS was capable, 100 per cent capable, of carrying out

21     its threat.

22             Now, you'll see that there is evidence to suggest that

23     General Tolimir is not in the Main Staff command post on the 11th of July

24     at this time.  It's General Gvero who has now stepped in to be the main

25     officer there.  And you'll see conversations again between

Page 445

 1     General Nicolai and Gvero and General Gobillard and Gvero, where this

 2     mantra is repeated.  This is General Gvero speaking, but it could have

 3     just easily been Tolimir.  It's the same words:

 4             We have nothing to halt.  We never did that at all.  We're not

 5     shelling UN positions, we're not targeting the civilian population.

 6             And then just like the threat that had been radioed in,

 7     General Gvero who's just a little more delicate tells General Nicolai:

 8             "In case General Nicolai doesn't order the bombing to stop,"

 9     that's the close air support, "and doesn't withdraw NATO airplanes, he

10     will have personal responsibility for further developments and for

11     destiny of all people in the area."

12             And you'll hear from General Nicolai that he knew what that meant

13     and he took that threat seriously again, repeating the threat to bomb

14     everybody if the UN got in the way with the only weapon it had.

15             You'll hear that he and General Gobillard because they took that

16     threat seriously, they called off the air support and that was it.  And

17     again General Gvero tells General Nicolai, it's just Muslim propaganda.

18             Now, far from being deterred by the use of the UN air power,

19     you'll see, the evidence will show, that the VRS pressed its attack even

20     more.  And we have General Gvero now communicating directly with

21     President Karadzic, just like the evidence indicates that General Tolimir

22     was in direct contact with General Karadzic -- President Karadzic on the

23     night of the 9th of July.  We have an intercept here between

24     General Gvero and President Karadzic.

25             "I just talked to that General Nicolai ... he wants -- he says,

Page 446

 1     stop attacking the UN.  I hold him that his information is probably from

 2     the Muslims and that we haven't been attacking the UN.  I'm asking him to

 3     stop the operation immediately and get those planes out of the sky."

 4     That's what they're worried about, those planes:

 5             "Everything is going according to plan, don't worry."  That's

 6     General Gvero to President Karadzic:

 7             "Yes, yes, we'll try because they are a tremendous hindrance."

 8             It's just like General Tolimir, telling Krstic and Zivanovic on

 9     the 9th of July:  I'll take care of tying up the UN.  That will allow you

10     to work according to plan.

11             A few minutes later General Gvero again, in direct contact with

12     President Karadzic.  He's reporting:

13             "President, Serbian Silver," that no doubt refers to the old

14     silver mines for which Srebrenica is named, "the Serbian church, the

15     Serbian flag."

16             We see the critical communication link that the VRS Main Staff

17     was to President Karadzic, and here the intercept operator, the Muslim

18     army intercept operator, notes that:

19             "General Gvero is the only one present today at the Main Staff."

20     He calls it the Supreme Command headquarters, but you'll hear that he's

21     talking about the Main Staff.

22             And you'll hear that the lies just continue seamlessly.

23     General Gobillard now gets on the phone with General Gvero, again

24     denying, just like General Tolimir did, that UN members had been shot at,

25     they were shot at by the Muslims.  Our troops didn't open fire:

Page 447

 1             "The UN has never been and I hope never will be our enemy.

 2             "Nor are civilians in that region our enemies, and we'll do

 3     everything in our power to protect them.

 4             "We have not attacked ...

 5             "The refugees who come over to our side will be totally safe.  We

 6     will protect those civilians ..."

 7             Now, you'll see a document that's issued by General Gvero later

 8     that night pretty soon after some of these conversations, and again this

 9     is of a piece with the other instructions to be careful with UNPROFOR,

10     obey the Geneva Conventions.  General Gvero notes that:

11             "In relation to the total situation of the enclave of Srebrenica,

12     the monitoring of reactions from UNPROFOR representatives and the world

13     public opinion indicates that the attitude of the VRS personnel towards

14     UNPROFOR personnel and units in the area of Srebrenica is in the focus of

15     attention."

16             So he orders the troops:  Don't screw it up.  It's in our hands.

17     Don't get the international community involved.

18             Remember that language from Directive 7:  Do it unobtrusively,

19     that's how we're going to do it, avoid international condemnation.  They

20     knew how far they could go when the world was watching.

21             And the evidence will show that these threats, the delay, the

22     false statements, the lies from Generals Tolimir and Gvero directly

23     impeded the UN's ability to react to this military attack.  It retarded

24     their decision-making.  It allowed them to complete the plan.

25             And again, the UNMOs are reporting that as these refugees are

Page 448

 1     streaming in, the shelling of the town has been going on despite the

 2     air-strikes.  He refers to the end of this excerpt:

 3             "The latest ultimatum given by the VRS is that if the air-strikes

 4     continue everything inside the enclave will be bombed including UNPROFOR

 5     and other UN organisations."

 6             You can't believe a word Generals Tolimir, Gvero, Mladic say when

 7     they're speaking to the UN.  That's what the evidence is going to show.

 8     References to the Geneva Conventions.

 9             The number of wounded is growing, severely wounded is growing,

10     they don't have enough medicines because of the restrictions.  We see how

11     Directive 7 plays a tragic part, even at the very end of the life of the

12     enclave, its final hours.

13             The evidence will show that the Srebrenica enclave fell in the

14     afternoon of 11 July, and you'll see video of General Mladic accompanied

15     by some of his main officers, Generals Zivanovic, General Krstic.  You'll

16     see the chief of security, Vujadin Popovic, who you've heard about and

17     you'll hear a lot more about in a moment, accompanying him from the Drina

18     Corps.  You'll see the 10th Sabotage Detachment commander,

19     Milorad Pelemis, all of them taking this triumphant walk through the

20     empty streets of Srebrenica town.  And to give you an idea of what was to

21     come, I want to play a little piece of video and you'll see

22     General Mladic turning to the camera and saying what was going to happen.

23                           [Video-clip played]

24             MR. THAYER:  The time has come to take revenge on the Turks in

25     this region.

Page 449

 1             I see we're about a minute away from the break, Mr. President, if

 2     I could break now, this would be a good time.

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Very well, Mr. Thayer.

 4             Could you perhaps indicate if you will be able to conclude your

 5     opening statement by the end of the -- today's sitting?

 6             MR. THAYER:  That is my intention, Mr. President, and I will do

 7     everything I can to do that.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  You should be aware of the fact that we -- there

 9     is no courtroom available for another sitting this week.

10             MR. THAYER:  Understood.  I will comply.

11             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  We'll have a break now and resume five minutes to

12     11.00.

13                           --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

14                           --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, Mr. Thayer.

16             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

17             The Srebrenica Muslims took two courses of action at this point.

18     We have the one group of tens of thousands of women, children, some

19     military-aged men, elderly, who had fled to the UNPROFOR compound in

20     Potocari, seeking refuge there, and they stayed there from the 11th

21     through the 13th.  A second group of approximately 15.000 Muslim men and

22     boys with some women gathered in the village of Susnjari, and then during

23     the evening of 11 July began to flee on foot to the north-west in a huge

24     column using an old smuggling route.  About a third of this column was

25     armed, and that armed group was towards the front.  The rest were unarmed

Page 450

 1     military personnel, civilians, and some women and children.

 2             You'll hear and you'll see the video of the Hotel Fontana

 3     meetings.  There were three of these meetings.  The first two occurred on

 4     the night of the 11th.  I won't go into too much detail about those.

 5     What's important to note now is that General Tolimir had his men on the

 6     ground at these meetings.  You may recall back when we were talking about

 7     the intelligence administration, I mentioned a Colonel Radoslav Jankovic.

 8     He is present for these meetings.  He is sitting next to Mladic.  Also

 9     present is Svetozar Kosoric, who is the Drina Corps intelligence chief.

10     He is present as well.  You'll hear about the atmosphere of fear and

11     control, intimidation that Mladic created during these meetings.  You'll

12     hear that at the second meeting that a window was opened so that

13     everybody gathered could hear the screams of a pig being slaughtered.

14     Mladic displays the broken sign of the Srebrenica town hall.

15             He told a Muslim representative that had been essentially picked

16     out of the crowd at Mladic's direction when he said, "I want to speak

17     with some representative of the Muslim population," he told that man, a

18     man named Nesib Mandzic, and I quote:

19             "I need to have a clear position of the representatives of your

20     people on whether you want to survive, stay, or vanish."

21             And he told Mr. Mandzic that the future of your people is in your

22     hands."

23             That was the second Hotel Fontana meeting, and he demanded that

24     UNPROFOR and Mandzic bring more high-level, more responsible - as he saw

25     it - representatives.  And I quote again:

Page 451

 1             " ...  with whom I can discuss the salvation of your people and

 2     save your people from destruction."

 3             You'll see that Mladic was, as he ought to have been, concerned

 4     about the number of military-aged men in the area, particularly in

 5     Potocari.  And you'll hear that he was in fact receiving information that

 6     night that over a thousand military-aged men were among the tens of

 7     thousands of refugees at the base in Potocari.  So that is very much on

 8     General Mladic's mind, starting in the evening of the 11th of July.

 9             You'll also hear that in that compound in Potocari those

10     terrified, exhausted, desperate civilians, the conditions were horrendous

11     and were getting worse.  You'll hear that there was suicide, attempted

12     suicide.  There was no access to basic toilet facilities, minimal food.

13     And you'll hear that the civilians were preyed upon, singled out for

14     terrorisation and intimidation, and opportunistic murders as well.  And

15     this happened between the 12th -- from the 11th through the 13th.

16             So by the morning of the 12th there are about 30.000-plus

17     refugees at the Potocari compound, and the question any intelligence

18     officer worth his or her salt should be asking and in fact were asking at

19     the time is:  Where are the Muslim men?  Where are the military-aged of

20     men?  Where is the 28th Division?  And again, Mladic had received

21     information already that there were 1200 to 1500 able-bodied men in

22     Potocari.  That information was sent up the intelligence chain, as we

23     call it, the intelligence professional chain of command.  Mladic had that

24     information.

25             And certainly General Tolimir, and as you'll see from the

Page 452

 1     documents, was receiving that information as well.

 2             The third Hotel Fontana meeting you'll also see the addition, in

 3     addition to General Tolimir's men, Jankovic and Kosoric, you'll see the

 4     Drina Corps security chief, Vujadin Popovic, and you'll see

 5     Lieutenant-Colonel Milutinovic, the head of the Main Staff press centre

 6     there as well.  Mladic repeats his threat to survive or disappear, and he

 7     makes it a point of saying, and I quote:

 8             "You may choose to stay in the territory or, if you wish, go

 9     wherever you want.  The wish of every individual will be observed no

10     matter how many of you there are.  You can choose to stay or you can

11     choose to leave.  Just express your wish."

12             That's what he says on camera, when he knows that they're making

13     propaganda.  And one thing he also said at this meeting, which notably is

14     not filmed or was filmed and then later cut, was that he announced that

15     all the men between the ages of 16 and 60 would be separated, purportedly

16     so that they could be screened for war crimes.  Now, this is a

17     significant statement on his -- on General Mladic's part.

18             And as the evidence will show, Your Honours, there was no

19     screening.  There was only separations.  All of the men between the ages

20     of 16 and 60, including many who were 12 to 15 and over 60, were

21     separated.  And you'll see that while this third Fontana meeting on the

22     morning of the 12th is going on, there is this massive logistical

23     operation conducted by the Drina Corps and the Main Staff, the Ministry

24     of Defence, civilian authorities, to mobilise buses, trucks, fuel,

25     personnel to transport these Muslims out of Potocari, to get them out of

Page 453

 1     there.  That's all going on while this is happening.  The orders went out

 2     first thing in the morning before Mladic sat down at this third meeting.

 3             What you're seeing is a photograph taken before this third

 4     Fontana meeting.  On the far left is Momir Nikolic, the Bratunac Brigade

 5     chief of intelligence and security.  Next, moving left to right, is

 6     Radoslav Jankovic, General Tolimir's intelligence officer from the Main

 7     Staff who was at all these meetings.  In the doorway is a body-guard of

 8     General Mladic, and on the far right is Lieutenant-Colonel

 9     Vujadin Popovic, the Drina Corps security chief.  These are

10     General Tolimir's of men.

11             This is a still from the third Fontana meeting.  I want to call

12     your attention to the man in the uniform at the far right at the end of

13     the table with the big prominent moustache.  That is Svetozar Kosoric,

14     the Drina Corps chief of intelligence.  Witnesses and videotape will

15     place all of these men in Potocari during the separations and the

16     forcible transfer.  They were there doing their jobs, collecting

17     information and intelligence, assessing the security situation, sending

18     that information up their chain.  And the evidence will show,

19     Your Honours, that ultimately they were there to organise and oversee the

20     expulsion of the Muslim women, children, and elderly; the detention of

21     the men that were being culled out of the crowd in Potocari; and the

22     operation to capture, detain, and execute the Muslim men and boys that

23     were fleeing in the column.

24             Now, Momir Nikolic will tell you that before this third Hotel

25     Fontana meeting, Vujadin Popovic told him in the presence of Kosoric

Page 454

 1     that, and I quote:

 2             "All the balija have to be killed."

 3             And you'll hear that "balija" is a particularly offensive epithet

 4     used against Muslims.  There was a lot of name-calling, you'll hear,

 5     during the war by both sides.  You'll see the word "Turk" used in

 6     documents a lot.  Sometimes "potorice" refers to Slavs who converted to

 7     Islam.  But "balija" was an exceptionally vile term which was used, and

 8     you won't see it as frequently as these other terms in the documents as

 9     much as you'll see "Turk," for example, but you'll see it used

10     particularly commonly by the security organ and you'll see it used by

11     General Tolimir himself.

12             So at this meeting between Nikolic and Popovic before the third

13     Hotel Fontana meeting, in the presence of Kosoric, after Popovic says

14     that all the Muslims are going to be killed, Nikolic suggests some

15     detention sites and some execution sites around the Bratunac area.

16             Meanwhile what's happening is Serb forces have gathered, both to

17     the north of the enclave from the Bratunac area and they're still at the

18     south of the enclave where they've been pressing that attack the entire

19     time.  And they proceed in an organised fashion to finally enter Potocari

20     and take over the entire area.  And you'll hear testimony about this

21     organised movement in attack formation, soldiers setting houses on fire,

22     some with dogs entering the houses, cleaning -- cleansing the houses, the

23     houses bursting into flames.  As they proceed down that main road that

24     runs north-south right in front of the DutchBat compound in Potocari.

25     They proceed on either side and some right down the main road.  And

Page 455

 1     you'll see video of the soldiers entering Potocari.

 2             And pay attention, please, you'll see at one point a MUP Special

 3     Police brigade commander, a man with very noticeable sun glasses,

 4     moustache, his nickname is Stalin, his name is Dusko Jevic, and you'll

 5     see how interested he is in where are the military-aged men.  And,

 6     Your Honours, the Prosecution's case is that by this time General Mladic

 7     has made the decision that the men and boys of Srebrenica are going to be

 8     murdered.  And you'll see video, again taken for propaganda purposes, of

 9     General Mladic talking to the miserable refugees, candy being handed out.

10     You'll see General Mladic making a big show of telling them they have

11     nothing to fear, patting children on the head, assuring them that they're

12     free to stay if they wish, but again what he says and what he means and

13     what he does are a different thing entirely.

14             This is an intercept captured at 1250 hours on the 12th between

15     General Mladic and an unknown individual.  He's asking:

16             "Have these buses and trucks left?"

17             He's told they have.

18             "When?

19             "Ten minutes ago."

20             And he says:

21             "Good, excellent.  Continue to monitor the situation.  Don't let

22     small groups of them sneak in.  They've all capitulated and surrendered

23     and we'll evacuate them all - those who want to and those who don't want

24     to."

25             Nothing was going to interfere with the VRS plan to move the

Page 456

 1     Muslim population out completely.  This is a still picture of what part

 2     of the crowd looked like that day.

 3             What then got underway, Your Honours, was an organised and

 4     systematic separation of the men from their families and the expulsion of

 5     the women, children, and elderly.  People who didn't want to be separated

 6     from their families or board the buses were forced to.  You'll hear

 7     evidence about the Serbs pushing and kicking, beating with rifle-butts,

 8     verbally abusing, spitting on people to get them to the buses which were

 9     then overfilled.  And you'll hear that the Serb forces separated out the

10     men of this large crowd, which was cordoned off by Dutch peacekeepers.

11     You'll hear that they separated men out and would allow groups of women

12     and children and elderly to pass up next to the column of buses that had

13     parked, and you'll hear that if a man, a male, military-aged or not,

14     youngsters, elderly men, will be plucked out of that group that had

15     managed to make it towards the buses.  And you'll hear that if a man was

16     lucky enough to make it on to a bus, the buses were stopped at

17     check-points and searched, and the men were taken off the buses along the

18     route.  They were lucky to make it through that, when the buses

19     disembarked, men were separated at that point, and you'll hear testimony

20     about those men being taken away and executed.

21             The separations were marked by brutality and scenes of unbearable

22     distress and heart-break.  And you'll hear testimony from some of these

23     survivors themselves about that.  The men who were separated were taken

24     to detention homes near the UN compound, an unfinished house, another

25     house you'll hear referred to as the white house.  You'll hear Dutch

Page 457

 1     peacekeepers who wanted to find out what was going on in that white house

 2     were turned away at gunpoint, threatened, guns placed inside their mouths

 3     if they tried to find out what was going on.  And critically for our

 4     purposes you'll hear that before going into the white house those men

 5     were forced to throw down their belongings and, in particular, their

 6     identification documents.  All of these IDs and belongings formed a big

 7     pile in front of the white house you'll hear.

 8             You might hear some evidence about a list of war criminals, of

 9     Muslim war criminals that the Serbs had put together and that was

10     circulating, but the evidence will show it's beyond dispute that there

11     was no process of determining identities of those separated men.  How

12     could they when the identification documents were sitting in a pile in

13     front of the white house?  There were no lists made of prisoners, no food

14     given, no access to sanitation or medical aid; in other words, there was

15     no life support because these men were condemned to die.

16             This is compelling evidence that as early as 12 July these men

17     were never going to be exchanged, interrogated, awaiting POW change-over;

18     they were going to be killed.

19             The men from the white house were then bussed to Bratunac, where

20     they either stayed inside the buses or were placed in various buildings

21     in and around Bratunac, such as the Vuk Karadzic school you'll hear about

22     and a couple of buildings in that complex.  They were placed out of

23     sight.  And wherever they were, they were preyed upon, more fell to

24     opportunistic murders, and again no life support.

25             I'd like to show you a video-clip now.

Page 458

 1                           [Video-clip played]

 2             MR. THAYER:  You see these men not of military age.  If you watch

 3     the clip again, you'll see them being directed in a particular direction.

 4     The Prosecution will introduce evidence of nearly 1.000 men aged 61 or

 5     older and boys under the age of 16 recovered from mass graves, a damning

 6     testament to the lack of screening and a clear plan to kill as many men

 7     and boys as they thought they could.

 8             And you'll hear that in Potocari on the late afternoon of the

 9     12th that Serb forces began systematically stopping and stripping

10     peacekeepers of their equipment.  In the words of Colonel Franken, taking

11     away their eyes and ears, preventing the DutchBat officers from being

12     witnesses to what was going on, preventing them from escorting the buses.

13     And of course General Tolimir has his eyes and ears on the ground, that's

14     why he has Jankovic, Kosoric, and Popovic, and he's getting regular

15     reports, and they're pushing that information up to him.  And I'd like to

16     turn now to some of these reports emanating by General Tolimir through

17     his intelligence and security command chain.

18             The first document we're going to look at here is from

19     Major Pavle Golic.  He is a Drina Corps intelligence officer, an

20     assistant to Kosoric, the gentleman with the big moustache that you saw

21     from the Hotel Fontana.  He's relaying information from a captured

22     soldier that there's a large group.  Right now their information is only

23     that it's a thousand strong, including soldiers, women and children.  And

24     you'll see that this is going to General Tolimir's sector, and

25     specifically to the intelligence administration, which means

Page 459

 1     Colonel Salapura.

 2             Golic notes that:

 3             "Upon reaching the general area of Konjevic Polje and Cerska, he

 4     would most probably ask the UN for protection," he's referring to one of

 5     the leaders, one of the military leaders that's part of this column.

 6             So the intelligence organ is proposing that ambushes be set up,

 7     that the Drina Corps duty officer and the operations officer, key

 8     officers being made aware of the situation and that the MUP is notified.

 9     And again, this is a good example of how a professional, disciplined army

10     works and this is -- you'll see the area in Konjevic Polje that

11     General Tolimir knew all about and ordered MUP forces to -- I should say

12     proposed MUP forces to, but that was fully accepted and implemented by

13     President Karadzic.

14             Now, the next document we're going to look at that goes out that

15     same night, and you'll see that these reports run in sequence.  This is

16     from the Drina Corps command under the heading of the intelligence

17     department.  And you'll see that this is type signed by General Tolimir.

18     So this suggests that he is at the Drina Corps command, not at the Main

19     Staff.  He's where the action is.  He sends it to all the appropriate

20     people who need to know, the MUP, state security, Popovic, Krstic

21     personally at the IKM.  And he's relaying information from a captured

22     prisoner.  And he says:

23             "On the basis of this interview, it can be concluded that the

24     civilians ...  have set off ...  to seek refuge in Potocari," which is

25     correct, "while the armed formations ...  are trying a break through,"

Page 460

 1     also correct.

 2             That's the information his men on the ground are funneling up to

 3     him.  He's passing it on.  He's doing exactly what he should be doing:

 4     Receiving/analysing information from his subordinates, assessing the

 5     situation, and taking measures to deal with it.  We see the actions that

 6     he's taken.  He says:

 7             "Brigade commands have the duty to fully inform the public

 8     security station in their area of responsibility.  Organs for OBP," OBP

 9     stands for intelligence and security, so his organs "shall propose

10     measures to be taken by commands ..."

11             Note the authority that General Tolimir has when it comes to

12     these vital issues.

13             The commands shall regulate traffic.

14             And in the prior slide you may have noticed that General Tolimir

15     talks about arresting these armed individuals, not killing at this point.

16     And you'll see General Krstic sending out this exact report unaltered.

17     It gives you some sense of the weight of General Tolimir's words.

18             The next slide in the same line of reports from that evening,

19     from General Tolimir again, suggests that he's still at the Drina Corps

20     command.  He sends it to Krstic personally, Popovic again, all the same

21     recipients.  And it refers if you look at the top, at 1945 receiving

22     information, so note how current the information that he's getting is,

23     saying they've detected radio communications from this column in the area

24     of Ravni Buljim you'll hear about.  It's mentioned in the prior reports.

25     But you'll see him here directing the work of the OBP organs, the

Page 461

 1     electronic surveillance organs, special attention should be paid to

 2     monitoring the gaps.  This demonstrates the clear authority that Tolimir

 3     could exercise and how quickly he's able to react and make decisions.

 4             And again, you can't help shaping the message and getting it out,

 5     talking about how the Muslims wish to portray Srebrenica demilitarised

 6     zone and accuse the VRS of unprovoked attacks on civilians.

 7             And then he notes:

 8             "Although it is very important to arrest as many members of the

 9     shattered Muslims units as possible, or liquidate them if they resist, it

10     is equally important to note down the names of all men fit for military

11     service who are being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base ..."

12             Now, just a couple of things.  First, we don't draw any negative

13     inference from the term "liquidate" here, that just means kill them if

14     they resist.  He's talking about making a record of men who are being

15     taking out from Potocari.  So you think that if this is something you

16     might not want to do if he's part of a plan to murder all the men.  So

17     what does it mean?  Well, it suggests that at this time General Tolimir

18     has not been informed of the plan to murder the prisoners.

19             Now, the evidence will show that of course Mladic's decision to

20     murder the prisoners would have been communicated to an assistant

21     commander as important as General Tolimir.  After all, it was men under

22     his direct professional command and down the security line who organised

23     and oversaw the murder operation in co-operation with the brigade

24     commanders and General Krstic.  And as we'll see shortly from the orders

25     and proposals that General Tolimir issues, it was clear that he was in

Page 462

 1     fact informed about the murder operation by the next day.

 2             And again, General Tolimir directing.

 3             What we see next is a daily combat report from the Main Staff to

 4     President Karadzic, incorporating the information that General Tolimir

 5     has just passed on about the women and children in the direction of

 6     Konjevic Polje running into a minefield.  That's exactly what

 7     General Tolimir was reporting, it was getting reported to him and passing

 8     up the information chain.  This is vital information that's being

 9     transmitted to President Karadzic.

10             General Miletic of the Main Staff reports to Karadzic that:

11             "The units ... carrying out the Krivaja 95 task are carrying out

12     all combat tasks according to the plan.  In the course of the day, they

13     liberated the village of Potocari and ... are continuing to advance in

14     order to liberate all the places in the Srebrenica enclave ..."

15             That's a great example of the euphemisms that are used.

16             The population is being taken out.

17             "It is estimated that on this day there are about 10.000 Muslims

18     to be transported."

19             They're taken out in an organised manner.  That's VRS speak

20     again.

21             Now, on the 13th, the transportations continued just as they had

22     the day before and they were completed by about 1800 hours that day and

23     all the men had been separated and taken to Bratunac by that time.

24             I want to show you this map again.  What's going on on the 13th

25     is this column has moved from Susnjari and is heading again north-west,

Page 463

 1     and it's being shattered by the ambushes that General Tolimir proposed in

 2     his reports.  And they're being captured in the thousands and they're

 3     being detained here in Nova Kasaba on a football field; up here in

 4     Konjevic Polje at a warehouse, at the 5th Engineering Battalion

 5     headquarters, various buildings there; and on a meadow here along the

 6     road between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje in a village called Sandici.

 7     Approximately 6.000 men and boys are surrendering on this day.

 8             And you'll hear that units here in Nova Kasaba where the military

 9     police battalion of the 65th Protection Regiment, a Main Staff asset

10     well-known to General Tolimir and professionally managed by his

11     subordinate Beara, are stopping and stripping UN peacekeepers who had

12     been escorting the convoys.  They're making sure that that road is clear

13     and that they don't have witnesses.

14             Recall that report that we saw earlier from Major Golic, talking

15     about how they were afraid that this column would take refuge in

16     Konjevic Polje with the UN and what's going on in this area is that the

17     UN is being neutralised.

18             Now, on the 13th of July General Tolimir is in Zepa.  He has been

19     sent down there to deliver an ultimatum to the Muslim leaders to

20     capitulate or face military solution.  But what's important is you will

21     see that he remains in constant communications with everybody while he's

22     in Zepa, everybody he needs to be in communications with.  Keep in mind,

23     it's not like he travelled across the country to the far west -- and even

24     if he had, the VRS had encrypted communications from coast to coast, as

25     it were.  He's just down the road.  He's a brigade south in Zepa.  He was

Page 464

 1     able to stay in good communications from the Drina Corps command post in

 2     Vlasenica, the Main Staff command post in Crna Rijeka, the Rogatica

 3     brigade command, from a forward command post of the 65th Protection

 4     Regiment in a little school, in a little village called Svijersko [phoen]

 5     near Burike, from the Drina Corps forward command post in Krivace, and

 6     from a UN check-point in an area called Voksnice [phoen].  You'll see

 7     documents and intercepts communicating to and from him from all these

 8     various locations during the entire murder operation, and during the Zepa

 9     operation you'll see that he's in contact with the corps, with the Main

10     Staff, with units in the field.  And by the middle of the day on the 13th

11     organised executions have already begun at Jadar River and Cerska, which

12     are just to the west of Konjevic Polje.

13             And you'll hear evidence, a lot of testimony about a thousand

14     prisoners who were marched from Sandici to the Kravica warehouse and

15     executed inside in late afternoon and into the night.  And the rest of

16     the prisoners that were captured at these locations, Nova Kasaba,

17     Konjevic Polje, didn't make it into the warehouse were taken to Bratunac,

18     where they joined the men from Potocari in the buses in the Vuk Karadzic

19     school, and they continued to be abused and murdered there.

20             And you'll see that the information and reporting is still going

21     to the Main Staff.  You'll hear an intercept where a general, probably

22     General Zivanovic, is telling the Bratunac Brigade military police

23     commander to send him a report because the Main Staff has been on my back

24     every six minutes.

25             And we have an intercept here from the 13th of July at 10.00

Page 465

 1     a.m., 10.09 to be exact.  This is Beara, the B, speaking with the deputy

 2     commander of the military police battalion at Konjevic -- at Nova Kasaba.

 3     This deputy commander is at Nova Kasaba.  Beara's talking to him.  This

 4     deputy commander's name -- last name is Lucic.  Beara says:

 5             "Do you know that 400 balijas have shown up in Konjevic Polje?"

 6             And then Beara instructs Lucic to shove them all on the

 7     playground.

 8             "Who gives a fuck about them?  Line them up in four to five

 9     rows."

10             And you'll see aerial imagery from that day showing exactly that

11     on the football field in Nova Kasaba.  And then Beara talks to Zoran Zoka

12     Malinic, the commander of that military police battalion.  And Malinic

13     tells Beara that some of the Muslims were killing themselves rather than

14     being captured, and Beara says:

15             "Well, excellent, just let them continue ..."

16             You'll also hear or see a Croatian intercept from about the same

17     time, indicating that Petar Salapura, General Tolimir's intelligence

18     chief, is at Nova Kasaba with about 500 Muslim prisoners and that he's

19     there with Zoran Malinic.  So of course Salapura is reporting this to

20     General Tolimir, reporting what's happening on the ground.

21             So you've got General Tolimir's two key direct subordinates.

22     When the organised executions are already underway close to Nova Kasaba,

23     you've got them reporting and you'll see reporting to him.  He's getting

24     this information and incorporating it at the beginning of the murder

25     operation.

Page 466

 1             Now, just quickly I want to show you an order that goes out from

 2     General Gvero on the 13th in the afternoon.  Basically what this order

 3     does is amplifies General Tolimir's prior reports and proposals and

 4     instructions to the intelligence and security organs.  Gvero was

 5     obviously sending this out with guidance and input from Tolimir and his

 6     sector.  You'll see that these he enumerated paragraphs in the order are

 7     all classic security organ responsibilities.  So we see how

 8     General Tolimir and his subordinates are helping to shape and steer the

 9     VRS response to the column.

10             You'll see the reference is to, again, setting up the ambushes,

11     organise security of the people, prevent sudden rear attacks, secure the

12     command posts, don't leak confidential information.  Now, General Gvero

13     is an experienced general.  He's assumed to know what he's talking about

14     and what the issues are, but clearly this is being done with

15     General Tolimir's input.

16             And we'll see that although General Tolimir is in Zepa, he's

17     still in communication with the Main Staff, he's getting these reports,

18     he knows what's happening just a few kilometres up in Srebrenica area.

19             What we have here is an order and proposal sent by the commander

20     of the 65th Protection Regiment, Milomir Savcic.  It's sent from the

21     forward command post of the 65th protection -- the Motorised Protection

22     Unit, that's his unit, and it says it's being sent from Borike, which is

23     at that little school.  It's being sent to Mladic, the commander of the

24     Main Staff, for his information.  It's being sent to Gvero, because you

25     see it's the assistant commander for morale, and it's being sent to the

Page 467

 1     military police battalion of the 65th, that's Zoka Malinic, who you just

 2     heard about being at Nova Kasaba where all those prisoners are being

 3     placed on the football field there.

 4             "There are over a thousand members of the former 28th

 5     Division ... Kasaba," so we know they're talking about this area.

 6     "Prisoners are under control of Malinic's men."

 7             This is Savcic writing:

 8             "The assistant commander for security and intelligence affairs of

 9     the Main Staff proposes the following measures ..."

10             So what we have here is Savcic passing on this order and

11     proposals from General Tolimir.  He isn't doing it himself.  He is

12     clearly identifying that this is coming from General Tolimir and that it

13     will be treated with the appropriate weight.

14             Here are the proposals:  Prohibit the access to filming,

15     photographing; UN traffic, prohibit.  Again, there's this concern we saw

16     for having the UN on the road.  And obviously this is all information

17     about these prisoners that's being communicated to Tolimir from his men

18     on the ground, Salapura and Beara.  And then here's the order, because

19     you'll see in the title of this document it says "order," and this is

20     Tolimir issuing an order to the commander of the military police

21     battalion through Savcic.  Savcic is Malinic's commander.

22             "Commander of the military police battalion shall take measures

23     to remove war prisoners from that ...  road," that main road we're

24     talking about, this one that runs north-south, "place them somewhere

25     indoors or in an area protected from observation from the ground or the

Page 468

 1     air."

 2             And then he further orders that once Malinic receives this order

 3     he's going to -- he's to contact General Miletic.

 4             " ... he shall contact General Miletic and receive ...

 5     additional orders and verify that the proposal has been approved by the

 6     Mladic."

 7             And you'll hear from the communications officer who sent this

 8     order out, and you'll see an order sent out by General Mladic later that

 9     night implementing General Tolimir's proposals, blocking the road,

10     banning journalists, and maintaining secrecy.

11             So what this document makes clear, Your Honours, is that by 1400

12     hours on the 13th, General Tolimir was fully aware that there were

13     thousands of Muslim men being taken prisoner that had been captured along

14     that road.  And this proposal to place them somewhere indoors and

15     re-route UN vehicles was designed to prevent the UN forces on the ground,

16     such as they were, or surveillance in the air, from knowing of the

17     existence of these prisoners.  And the only logical reason the evidence

18     will show to prevent the international forces from knowing about the

19     prisoners at this time was to facilitate the murder of those prisoners

20     without being detected.

21             The executions were already underway, and by this time the second

22     day of separations in Potocari was almost over with no identifications

23     being made, no lists being made.  The only reasonable conclusion based on

24     the evidence you will see is that Tolimir was fully aware of the plan and

25     he's proposing measures to facilitate that plan in this document.

Page 469

 1             And you'll hear from Mr. Savcic and you'll see that he can't put

 2     enough distance between himself and this document, and you'll hear all

 3     the explanations he'll come up with about what it really means to him.

 4     But we see another communication going out, proposal from General Tolimir

 5     later that night, personally to General Gvero.  And this is being sent,

 6     as you see at the top, from the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade.

 7     That's the Rogatica command headquarters.  That's where General Tolimir

 8     is when this goes out.  This is sent under General Tolimir's name

 9     regarding accommodation of prisoners of war:

10             "If you are unable to find adequate accommodation for all the

11     prisoners of war ...  we hereby inform you that we've got space ... for

12     800 ..."

13             The Rogatica Brigade can guard them, they can be used for work.

14     But if you send them here, it's got to be done at night, again

15     concealment; and:

16             "It would be best if this is a new group which has not been in

17     contact with the other prisoners of war."

18             Again, the only reasonable inference in this proposal to Gvero

19     for these two groups not having contact between the two groups is that

20     the other group has been condemned to death, and it's going to give away

21     the murder operation and it's going to be harder to control the other

22     prisoners.

23             By this time you'll see that the Kravica warehouse executions

24     were pretty much completed.  The prisoners left Sandici meadow had been

25     finished off.  And we'll see that what happens is that sometime in that

Page 470

 1     late afternoon or late evening of 13 July, the decision is taken when we

 2     have all these captured and surrendering Muslims, the numbers growing,

 3     and with internationals like DutchBat still around, MSF, UNHCR in the

 4     Srebrenica/Bratunac area, the decision is taken to move the prisoners

 5     from Bratunac to Zvornik to be killed.  And you'll see an intercept

 6     between Miroslav Deronjic and President Karadzic that night on the 13th.

 7     Deronjic asks:

 8             "How many thousands" -- I beg your pardon.  President Karadzic

 9     asks:

10             "How many thousands?"

11             And Miroslav Deronjic, who was his hand-picked political leader

12     now of Srebrenica, of Serb Srebrenica, Deronjic says:

13             "About 2.000 for the time being, but there will be more during

14     the night.  I have about 2.000 here."

15             And in this intercept you'll see the president says:

16             "All the goods must be placed inside the warehouses before 12.00

17     tomorrow.  Deronjic, not in the warehouses over there but somewhere

18     else."

19             And the Prosecution will present testimony that that night the

20     Drina Corps security chief, Vujadin Popovic, called the Zvornik Brigade

21     security chief, Drago Nikolic, and told him of this plan to bring large

22     numbers of prisoners to Zvornik to be killed.  Popovic told Drago Nikolic

23     that Beara would organise with Popovic the transfer and that someone was

24     going to go visit Drago Nikolic with further details.  And you'll hear

25     that later that night Beara dispatches Momir Nikolic to the

Page 471

 1     Zvornik Brigade forward command post to tell Drago Nikolic face-to-face

 2     about this plan.  And the evidence will further show that Nikolic called

 3     the Zvornik Brigade Chief of Staff, Dragan Obrenovic, who is also

 4     currently deputy commander, while Vinko Pandurevic, the current commander

 5     of the Zvornik Brigade was down in Zepa, Drago Nikolic calls Obrenovic

 6     from the IKM to tell Obrenovic about this call he got from Popovic, that

 7     all these prisoners were coming to Zvornik, that they were going to be

 8     executed, and that this order came from Mladic.

 9             Nikolic asked to be relieved of duty from the IKM so that he can

10     go help Beara and Popovic, and you'll see evidence that he was in fact

11     relieved and that he took -- after getting authorisation from

12     Dragan Obrenovic to do so, he took the Zvornik Brigade Military Police

13     Company commander and some MPs to the Orahovac school the night of the

14     13th to set things up, to get ready for these prisoners that were coming.

15     And you'll see that that night the prisoners did begin coming.

16             You'll also hear evidence that that night Beara began organising

17     the burial of the Kravica warehouse victims, getting them out of the way

18     so this murder operation wouldn't be detected.  Securing excavating

19     equipment and personnel from civilian authorities.  And you'll see

20     Jankovic, General Tolimir's man in Bratunac, the Main Staff officer has

21     been located in the Bratunac command with Momir Nikolic during this

22     operation.  You'll see him that night send a report up to Tolimir,

23     informing of the progress of the evacuations, wounded that are still

24     left.  We'll talk about -- a little bit later about some of those -- some

25     of the steps that General Tolimir took with respect to the remaining

Page 472

 1     wounded Muslim men.

 2             Now, by the morning of the 14th, more than 1200 men and boys had

 3     been executed at Jadar River, Kravica warehouse, and Sandici meadow.

 4     Some prisoners had been brought up to Orahovac from Bratunac, but there

 5     were still thousands of prisoners detained in buses in the schools at

 6     Bratunac.  And the evidence will show that with the careful planning of

 7     General Tolimir's direct subordinate, Beara and Vujadin Popovic and

 8     others, these men were taken to Zvornik, detained in schools and public

 9     buildings throughout the Zvornik Brigade area of responsibility, and then

10     executed and buried.

11             You'll hear evidence of all of Beara's activities during this

12     period of time, Salapura's involvement, his co-ordination of the various

13     security officers that were involved in this murder operation.  And

14     you'll see, this is 14 July, in the middle of the day, an intercept

15     between Panorama 155, Panorama is the code-name for the Main Staff,

16     that's the radio code-name.  155, that's the Chief of Staff,

17     General Milovanovic, but you'll hear that that is basically General

18     Miletic in the operations centre.  155 is operations at the Main Staff,

19     Miletic.  And we have Toso.  That's General Tolimir.  You just see here

20     in this excerpt Tolimir saying at the end:

21             "I'm listening, Panorama 155."

22             So we have evidence that during this period of time down in Zepa,

23     General Tolimir is able to be in direct contact with the Main Staff, with

24     155.  And you'll hear evidence time and again of Beara in the height of

25     the murder operation being reached out to by 155.  You'll see notes to

Page 473

 1     him, call 155, Beara to call 155.  It's the nerve centre and that's where

 2     the information is getting received and transmitted to everybody who

 3     needs it.  General Tolimir is plugged into that, even in Zepa.  He's

 4     being fully informed about this murder operation, and as you'll see

 5     because he has to know.

 6             Your Honours, there is no reason to believe that for some reason

 7     with the mass movement of thousands of men, many of them armed through

 8     and approach being key points in the Zvornik Brigade area of

 9     responsibility and with thousands more desperate Muslim prisoners

10     distributed throughout the schools in that area, that this critical

11     intelligence and security information suddenly stopped flowing up to

12     General Tolimir from his direct subordinates Salapura and Beara, who were

13     on the ground.  There is no reason to believe that that happened.  It's

14     inconceivable that the VRS chain of command, the reporting regime I spent

15     so much time reviewing with you on Friday, the way this army operated the

16     entire war up to this very day as you saw the reporting go up and back,

17     the communications, it's inconceivable that all of a sudden that stopped

18     functioning on the 12th of July, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th during the

19     murder operation.  And it is absolutely ludicrous to think that it

20     stopped functioning for General Tolimir and only for General Tolimir,

21     because as we'll see everybody else is able to communicate.  Everybody

22     else is able to call the Main Staff, call the Drina Corps command.

23     Everybody else is talking to who they need to talk to.  The system is

24     working, and it worked during the murder operation.  If it hadn't, that

25     massive operation couldn't have been accomplished.

Page 474

 1             And as you'll see as we are looking at now, of course

 2     General Tolimir was able to communicate from where he was every step of

 3     the way.

 4             I want to spend a little bit of time with you reviewing the

 5     actual murder operation as it unfolded, but focusing again on

 6     General Tolimir's links to it through Beara and his security chain.  Now,

 7     the evidence will show that Popovic, the Drina Corps security chief, on

 8     the morning of the 14th of July led a massive convoy of those prisoners

 9     from Bratunac up to Zvornik.  And those prisoners were distributed as

10     you've already heard to Orahovac here, beginning on the night of the 13th

11     and into the 14th; further north up to Petkovci, at the school there;

12     further north up to Rocevic; and even further north up to Kula.

13     Prisoners were placed in schools, the Kula school which is next to

14     Pilica, the Rocevic school, the Petkovci school, and at the Orahovac

15     school.

16             The evidence will show that Beara was overseeing this

17     distribution, and we see him all over the place, from down in Nova Kasaba

18     in the morning where he's introduced to a DutchBat officer as

19     Zoran Malinic's superior officer, then he's back in Bratunac dealing with

20     burials.  And we'll see evidence from the duty operations officer's

21     notebook from the Zvornik Brigade that they are expecting Beara to come

22     at 1500 hours in relation to, and you'll see it yourself, Orahovac,

23     Petkovci, Rocevic, and Pilica, these main killing -- detention and

24     killing sites.

25             You'll hear from the survivors themselves and from Zvornik

Page 475

 1     Brigade members about each of these sites, about the conditions the

 2     prisoners were kept in.  Just to give you some numbers, there were about

 3     a thousand in Orahovac.  The executions begin in the afternoon of the

 4     14th of July at the school there.  Drago Nikolic is at a killing site.

 5     You'll hear from survivors of this scene from hell, including a boy that

 6     was barely 7 years old at the time.

 7             You'll hear that -- from a Zvornik Brigade member that Beara and

 8     Drago Nikolic are at the Petkovci school on that afternoon and a Zvornik

 9     Brigade member travelled to that school to tell Beara to report back to

10     the Zvornik Brigade command.  There are about a thousand prisoners in the

11     Petkovci school as well.  They are taken to a dam nearby later that night

12     and executed through the night into the next day.  Like the prisoners at

13     Orahovac, they're bound; as in Orahovac, earth-moving equipment is on the

14     spot, burials are already underway.

15             Up in Rocevic at least a thousand at the school.  Some prisoners

16     are killed there during the day, but then they're blindfolded, bound, and

17     taken to a remote location on the Drina River south here, in the area of

18     Kozluk.  There's a bottling factory where pits had already been dug, and

19     you'll hear about the executions there on the 15th of July.

20             And you'll hear with respect to up here at Kula that an order is

21     transmitted by the Zvornik Brigade security chief Drago Nikolic to the

22     battalion assistant commander for security intelligence to get ready for

23     prisoners.  Again, it's -- this is all being done, organised through the

24     security and intelligence command chain.  Of course, it's always the

25     Prosecution's position this cannot be done without the authorisation and

Page 476

 1     resources of the actual commanders of these units, be it the brigades or

 2     the corps.

 3             So we just see these prisoners distributed further and further

 4     north as they run out of room, and we'll see that for the prisoners up

 5     here in Pilica, at the school at Kula, and at the Pilica cultural centre,

 6     they're up there for days awaiting their fate.

 7             Now, we have here the night of 14 July.  We have Dragan Jokic,

 8     who's an engineering officer at the Zvornik Brigade.  He's duty officer

 9     that night.  He's saying:

10             "Hello Badem," Badem is the code ward for the Bratunac Brigade.

11     That's where Beara is at the moment.

12             "Let me talk to Beara."  He wants to talk to him.

13             The Palma duty officer -- Palma is the code word for the

14     Zvornik Brigade.

15             "Beara is needed urgently, somebody needs him.  The higher house

16     urgently needs him," okay, well who's the higher house?

17             " ... number 155 called you and asked you to call him urgently."

18             He can't hear what Beara's saying.  Jokic repeats himself:

19             "Number 155 ...  I mean, the higher house, go ahead and call

20     them, so I don't have to speak like this."  He's concerned about talking

21     on an unsecured line.

22             And he says:

23             "Hey, we have huge problems over here, big problem, well, with

24     the people, I mean --" and he catches himself, "I mean the parcel,"

25     parcel being code word for the groups of prisoners.

Page 477

 1             Beara asks something.  Jokic says:

 2             "Who?  Oh, Drago is nowhere around.  I don't know where the

 3     others are all day."

 4             Well, we know that Nikolic is at the execution site and at the

 5     school in Orahovac.

 6             And then Jokic says:

 7             " ... call up there 155 in the higher house ..."

 8             That's Miletic at the operations centre at the Main Staff

 9     reaching out for Beara telling him:  Call us, report, tell us what's

10     going on.  And in turn, relaying information to Beara that he needs to

11     know from his superiors.

12             And you'll see another intercept later that night where Miletic,

13     calling from the Main Staff, speaks to Dragan Jokic again, because what's

14     happening is the Muslim column is getting closer and closer to Zvornik

15     and it's creating a very serious security problem for the population and

16     for the brigade's area of responsibility.  So you hear Jokic and Miletic

17     talking about this problem.

18             So by the 15th the column has crashed some of the Zvornik Brigade

19     defences.

20             And you'll see that Beara is back with Drago Nikolic at the

21     Zvornik Brigade command, but the problem is Beara cannot get the manpower

22     to complete the execution of the prisoners who are remaining,

23     particularly at Rocevic and Pilica.  They can't get the shooters they

24     need to get the job done.  So what we see is a series of intercepts where

25     Beara is looking for General Zivanovic.  And this is the day that

Page 478

 1     General Zivanovic transfers his command of the Drina Corps -- I beg your

 2     pardon, he has previously done this, but Beara clearly doesn't know it,

 3     that Zivanovic has passed his command on to General Krstic.  So he's

 4     calling for Zivanovic and gets him.  And you'll hear him leaving a

 5     message that he can be reached at extension 139.  And you'll see that

 6     that is Drago Nikolic's extension at the Drina -- at the Zvornik Brigade.

 7     You'll see an intercept where Beara gets ahold of Zivanovic and complains

 8     to Zivanovic that another commander has not done what he was supposed to

 9     do and sent a group of men to him.  That this other commander doesn't

10     care about the commander's order, and the commander's order here is

11     General Mladic's order to execute the men and boys from Srebrenica.

12             Beara is looking for men to complete this job.  Zivanovic says,

13     "I can't help you.  Krstic is the man now," so he gives him Krstic's

14     number.

15             And what we have here is an intercept 15 July 10.00 in the

16     morning.

17             "General, Furtula didn't carry out the boss's order."  Again,

18     he's repeating what he said to Zivanovic, now to Krstic, the man who can

19     help him.  Because it's important to understand that Beara, being a

20     Main Staff intelligence security chief doesn't have that command

21     authority that I talked about on Friday, the ability to be able to go to

22     another unit and simply order troops to go here or go there.  He can't do

23     that.  He needs the authorisation of those troops' actual commander, the

24     man with command authority.  And he's complaining that this other

25     commander, Furtula, has not carried out Mladic's order to give Beara men

Page 479

 1     to get the executions completed.

 2             Krstic suggests going to some other units for the men, other

 3     brigades.  Krstic complains that:

 4             "I'll disturb everything on this axis," meaning he's down in

 5     Zepa, that's where Krstic is right now, he's down in Zepa with

 6     General Tolimir trying to deal with eliminating that enclave.

 7             Beara says:

 8             "I don't have any here.  I need them today and I'll give them

 9     back tonight.  I can't explain it like this."  He's trying to be a little

10     careful, a little secure over the radio.

11             So Krstic tells him to go check with some other people, check

12     with Nastic and Blagojevic, other commanders, brigade commanders.  Go get

13     men from them.  Don't mess with me down here in Zepa.

14             Beara says:

15             "Well, there are only four of them still there."

16             Krstic says:

17             Well, I'll see what I can do."

18             Beara says:

19             "Check it out and have them go to Drago's," that means tell them

20     to go to the Zvornik Brigade where Drago Nikolic is."

21             Beara is desperate.  Krle, that's Krstic's nickname.

22             "Krle, I don't know what to do anymore."

23             Krstic suggests the MUP officers.  Beara says no, they're no

24     good.  I need these men with Indjic.  Indjic is a commander of the unit

25     tied to the Visegrad Brigade.  They were supposed to get there and they

Page 480

 1     didn't.  You'll hear testimony about what happened to that little unit.

 2             Krstic says:

 3             "Ljubo you have to understand me, you guys fucked me up so much."

 4     Krstic clearly referring to the draw on his corps' resources that this

 5     whole murder operation is causing.  Beara says:

 6             "I understand but you have to understand me too, had this been

 7     done then, we wouldn't be arguing over it now."

 8             He says he's been waiting for three days for these men.  Clearly

 9     that refers to at latest the 12th of July Beara knows that the men are

10     going to be executed.  He's been waiting for that long to get these men

11     to do the job.  Beara is Tolimir's direct subordinate.  Beara says:

12             "I don't know what to do.  I mean it, Krle.  There are 3500

13     'parcels' I have to distribute and I have no solution."

14             Those parcels are the prisoners in Rocevic and up in Pilica

15     primarily.  What we in fact see happening, Your Honours, is that the 10th

16     Sabotage Detachment gets mobilised later that day, they get their order,

17     and they're dispatched to Branjevo farm up in the Pilica area, the next

18     day they get on the road, and you'll hear testimony that that 10th

19     sabotage killing squad executed men and boys all day long at the Branjevo

20     farm on the 16th of July.  Those were men who were brought there from the

21     Kula school to be executed.  And the use of the 10th Sabotage Detachment

22     could have only been ordered at a higher level than Beara and Krstic.

23     You see how desperate Beara is there, though Krstic cannot help him.  The

24     evidence will show that the only reasonable conclusion is that this had

25     to have been done with General Tolimir's knowledge and authorisation to

Page 481

 1     cut lose that Main Staff asset which is overseeing directly by Salapura,

 2     General Tolimir's direct subordinate who, as you will hear, is on the

 3     ground, has been receiving all of this information throughout the murder

 4     operation, is helping co-ordinate it.

 5             Now, we shouldn't be surprised not to see written orders

 6     mobilising the 10th Sabotage Detachment, for example, to carry out an

 7     execution.  These orders are going to be given face-to-face, as we saw

 8     Momir Nikolic driving all the way up to the Zvornik Brigade IKM to tell

 9     Drago Nikolic about the plan.  They're going to be given in extremely

10     veiled language, if at all, over a line; and if they are, they are going

11     to be physically encrypted if possible, and we know that they had that

12     capability.  So you're not going to see orders, proposals, like we have

13     so far.  A trained, experienced, intelligence and security officer like

14     General Tolimir is not going to do that.  He's not going to put anything

15     in writing so explicit.  If there's something in writing, it's going to

16     be in code or encrypted, and you're going to see a few examples that are

17     owing to sheer sloppiness or stupidity or pure arrogance where there are

18     references after the fact to the executions, but you're not going to see

19     General Tolimir slip up like that.

20             Now, on the 16th or the night of the 15th the burials are

21     continuing in Orahovac, executions in Petkovci continue at the dam,

22     Kozluk, and we just heard the conversation where Beara's trying to get

23     men to finish this job up here.  It's simply impossible, you'll see from

24     the evidence, that General Tolimir, the chief of intelligence and

25     security for the entire army, was not fully aware of the situation; that

Page 482

 1     Beara was not consulting with him, his immediate superior; that Tolimir

 2     was not active in formulating the solution.  He had to have been part of

 3     finding that solution for Beara's 3500 parcels.  The 10th Sabotage Unit

 4     just doesn't get into a van itself and drive all the way up to Pilica.

 5     Krstic couldn't do it, Beara couldn't do it by himself.

 6             So when we get to the 16th of July, we have another intercept.

 7     This is involving a Colonel Cerovic who is the morale officer of the

 8     Drina Corps and he is engaged in this process.  He is saying triage has

 9     to be done on the prisoners, he says it twice.  And then the other

10     participant says:

11             "Beara is right here by me.

12             "All right.  Give me Beara.

13             "Go ahead.

14             "Yes?

15             "Ljubo.

16             "I hear you."

17             Cerovic identifies himself.

18             He says:

19             "Trkula," that's a Main Staff colonel, chief of the armoured

20     services, "was here with me just now and he was looking for you ...

21             "He told me he got instructions from above ...

22             "To do triage ..."

23             And then Beara says:

24             "I don't want to talk about it on the phone."

25             We know that triage means only one thing and it has nothing to do

Page 483

 1     with screening the wounded, so that all the prisoners who were left wind

 2     up dead.

 3             And General Tolimir, although he's down in the Zepa area, Mladic

 4     being buoyed by the success of Srebrenica decides to turn directly to

 5     taking Zepa, and he sends General Tolimir down there to implement that

 6     order.  We see an intercept just an hour before this last intercept that

 7     we saw where triage is being ordered from a Main Staff -- through a Main

 8     Staff officer to Beara.  We see in this intercept Toso and Mico.  That's

 9     General Tolimir, and you'll hear that Mico is General Miletic.  Tolimir

10     is saying that he can be contacted through Uran, that's the code-name for

11     the forward command post of the Drina Corps, General Krstic.

12             "One of his lines isn't secure," so he's saying this is how I can

13     get secure communications.

14             "And tell Pepo."

15             You'll hear Pepo is Petar Salapura.

16             "If you need to get ahold of me, this is how you can do it."  And

17     of course he's already talking to the Main Staff.  He's just making sure

18     that there is a secure and reliable way to continue doing that, because

19     he's with Krstic.

20             Tolimir says:

21             "I've just sent a telegram."

22             And then he says two telegrams urgently he just sent.  And you

23     see they make arrangements to make sure that these communications

24     continue.

25             So we know that General Tolimir is in communications.  He has

Page 484

 1     options that he's exercising about how to do that with the Main Staff,

 2     Tolimir from one end, Beara from the other, the Main Staff in the middle,

 3     relaying the information.

 4             And you'll see that on the 16th you'll hear testimony from a 10th

 5     Sabotage Member, Drazen Erdemovic.  You'll hear from him that his platoon

 6     went up that morning on the 16th.  He sees an officer matching Beara's

 7     description there and they do their work.  You'll hear from another 10th

 8     Sabotage soldier who says that Dragomir Pecanac, another Main Staff

 9     officer under General Tolimir's command, arrived and made arrangements to

10     bring that group in a van up to the Branjevo area.  Pecanac will be a

11     figure to watch when we turn to the Zepa operation shortly.

12             And you'll hear testimony about when the killing at the Branjevo

13     farm was finished, there were still over 500 prisoners left in the

14     cultural centre in Pilica.  You'll hear testimony that that execution was

15     conduct by Bratunac Brigade members.  And of course this burial

16     operation -- this murder operation required the burial of the bodies to

17     conceal the crime.  This is an intercept from that day, the 16th in the

18     afternoon, Basevic is a Drina Corps officer, rear services type.

19             "The guys at Zlatar didn't understand well, I asked for the duty

20     officer, you know?"

21             Zlatar is the code-name for the Drina Corps.

22             "Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic is here at Palma," again Palma is the

23     Zvornik Brigade.

24             He repeats it.

25             "Popovic is at Palma.

Page 485

 1             "500 litres of D2," that's diesel fuel, "are urgently being asked

 2     for him or else the work he's doing will stop."

 3             That work is finishing the execution job, burying the bodies of

 4     the Branjevo farm.  And then you'll see that Golic is contacted, the

 5     intelligence officer.

 6             "Pop just called me and told me to contact you.  500 litres of D2

 7     have to be sent to him immediately, otherwise his work will stop."

 8             Like at the other sites you'll see evidence of the engineering

 9     equipment and the manpower and the fuel and all of the mechanics of

10     finishing up this job.  And you'll see again how in communication

11     General Tolimir is throughout this entire period.  This is an intercept

12     from the 16th, that afternoon while the killings are underway in

13     Branjevo.  This is an intercept with General Mladic.  Mladic says:

14             " ... I've just sent a telegram to Toso ... the President called

15     a short while ago and said that he had been informed by Karisik," that's

16     a Ministry of Interior official, "that Pandurevic," he's the Zvornik

17     Brigade commander, "has arranged passage for the Muslims over to that

18     territory.  Since I have no communication with him, I asked the duty

19     officer to urgently connect me with him, to send me a telegram with that

20     information and not to do anything without authorisation until he

21     receives our answer."

22             So there's always a way to get in contact with General Tolimir

23     and vice versa and here we have General Mladic doing so.  And this issue

24     that he's talking about is this column had finally overrun some of the

25     defence lines of the Zvornik Brigade and was presenting a very grave

Page 486

 1     threat to the lives of the Serb soldiers that were manning those trenches

 2     and many had been killed, and you'll hear that the Zvornik Brigade

 3     commander made the decision to open up a corridor for a limited period of

 4     time to allow the remnants of the column, this portion of the column that

 5     was still moving, to cross into free territory, to save further Zvornik

 6     Brigade soldiers' lives because the Muslims were so desperate they had

 7     overrun, literally overruned the positions and turned the Serbs guns,

 8     anti-aircraft guns back on them.  It was a matter of grave concern to the

 9     Main Staff.  You'll hear that General Miletic was all over it.  They sent

10     three Main Staff colonels to investigate it, so of course General Tolimir

11     is going to know about this.  We see that from this intercept here.

12             I see that we've arrived at the break, Mr. President.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you, Mr. Thayer.

14             We will have only 20-minutes' break, to give you the opportunity

15     to finish your opening statement today.

16             MR. THAYER:  I'm obliged, Mr. President.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  We resume at ten minutes before 1.00.

18                           --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.

19                           --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, Mr. Thayer.

21             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

22             Your Honours, you've heard some reference throughout my opening

23     so far to a duty officer's notebook.  That's what this is.  It was

24     seized, taken from the Zvornik Brigade, passed into the hands of the OTP.

25     What it is is it's an informal notebook kept by the duty operations

Page 487

 1     officer at the Zvornik Brigade.  In it, the duty operations officer

 2     jotted down calls that were coming in, inquiries, requests, orders,

 3     instructions, information to pass on from one place to the other from the

 4     battalions that were subordinate to the Zvornik Brigade and from superior

 5     commands.  You'll be able to see the original if you wish to during the

 6     trial.  It covers the period of the murder operation, and it is a diary

 7     of death.

 8             What you're seeing on your screen are just some selections from

 9     this notebook.  Just focusing on General Tolimir's direct subordinate

10     Beara and other members of the security organs, 13 July.  President of

11     the municipality asking for a flat-bed trailer and a bulldozer,

12     Colonel Beara directly involved with this.  This is on the 13th.  "14

13     July, Colonel Salapura called - Drago," that's Drago Nikolic, Zvornik

14     Brigade security officer "and Beara are to report to Golic," Golic being

15     the Drina Corps intelligence officer.  And here we have Colonel Salapura,

16     again the Main Staff chief of intelligence calling into the Zvornik

17     Brigade duty operations officer to make sure this message gets conveyed.

18             1500 hours - Colonel Beara is coming in order to ..." and you see

19     the names of those execution sites; Orahovac spelled incorrectly here,

20     probably quickly, Petkovci, Rocevic, Pilica.  Same day, a little later:

21             "Beara to call 155," that's the Main Staff centre operations.

22             "From Beara - Drago to report Mane - Djukici."  You'll hear

23     evidence that that is actually Mane Djuric, a MUP officer.

24             "0900 Beara is coming," clearing referring to the next morning

25     Beara is coming to the Zvornik Brigade command.

Page 488

 1             The next day, 15 July:

 2             "Communicate to Popovic that his proposal has been approved."

 3             Again, Popovic is out in the field, as the evidence will show, at

 4     these sites.  And the operations officer at the Zvornik Brigade command

 5     is transmitting these messages back and forth.

 6             15 July:

 7             "Drago and Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic," again the Drina Corps

 8     chief of security, "are to report to Major Golic early in the morning,"

 9     making sure that this information is flowing up to where it needs to go

10     and where it needs to go is General Tolimir.

11             16 July:

12             "0855 hours Golic asked Popovic to call him and said that he can

13     forget what he asked for and what he wrote about.  He knows what he is

14     supposed to do according to agreed procedure (Boss from Panorama 01)."

15             Panorama being the Main Staff.

16             "Message conveyed to Popovic at 0910 hours."

17             And again:

18             "Beara to call Panorama 155, 0930 hours.

19             "At 1115 hours.  It was reported from Zlatar," that's the Drina

20     Corps, "that a triage of wounded and prisoners must be carried out (this

21     was reported to Beara)."  You saw the intercept yourselves just a few

22     minutes ago, Your Honours, and it was recorded in this notebook, that was

23     Colonel Cerovic calling from the Drina Corps saying the triage had to be

24     done.  And those are those prisoners that are going to be executed by the

25     10th Sabotage Detachment at Branjevo:

Page 489

 1             "1400 hours Popovic requested a bus with a full tank and 500

 2     litres of D2."  Again, that's an intercept you saw, or his work will

 3     stop.

 4             Your Honours, the evidence will show that each of these killing

 5     sites was uniquely horrible, but there are certain commonalities among

 6     them.  Prisoners were consistently stripped of their belongings, the IDs

 7     were piled in front of these detention sites so there was no screening to

 8     be done.  There were robbed, they were not given any life support, they

 9     were beaten, verbally abused.  You need to stand a little bit at a

10     distance really to see what was required to complete this plan, to

11     comprehend its enormity.  It is staggering in its degree of co-ordination

12     and planning.  You needed to have co-ordination among the VRS units with

13     MUP, civilian structures, you had to identify the detention centres close

14     to the execution sites, you had to issue, transmit, disseminate the

15     orders to make sure they are being followed up on, so you have Beara and

16     Popovic and Momir Nikolic paying all their visits.  You have to move,

17     detain, murder, and bury all of these prisoners, which requires getting

18     the vehicles and the thousands of litres of scarce fuel to transport

19     them.  You need personnel to do all that, to secure every one of those

20     locations in that entire process.  You have to secure the routes, as we

21     heard.  You have to make blindfolds and ligatures.  You have to actually

22     assemble the killing squads.  You have to direct them.  You have to arm

23     them.  You have to find officers who are going to be willing to make sure

24     that this job gets done.  A lot of these shooters were reserve officers.

25     As I said, the farmer soldiers.  So you need people to manage the

Page 490

 1     executioners' will to keep killing, and you need to manage the managers.

 2     And that was General Tolimir.

 3             You heard about all the earth-moving equipment.  You'll see

 4     evidence of that, and that all required again not just the security

 5     organs but the commanders and all of their resources and authorisation

 6     for their men and materiel to be used.  This was systematic, organised

 7     mass murder, and the evidence will show that it was genocide.  No men

 8     were meant to get out alive.  Men were separated out of the crowd, as I

 9     said before, in Potocari, they were separated every step of the way.

10     They didn't want to miss a one.  And in the process there was only utter

11     dehumanisation.

12             The evidence will show that these men were condemned to die.  You

13     will hear evidence that they were told they wouldn't need their IDs any

14     longer where you're going, you're not going to need that back-pack where

15     you're going.  You've already heard about the old men and young boys in

16     those graves.  You'll heard about boys, prisoners, who were used to fetch

17     water at a couple of locations, in each case those boys didn't make it.

18     They didn't have a chance.  They too were condemned to die.  This is all

19     evidence of the genocidal nature of this plan.

20             What we'll see over the days and weeks following the organised

21     mass executions is that whenever the VRS or MUP forces scouring the woods

22     and hills found some lost Muslims still trying to make it back to safe

23     territory, if they thought they could get away with it they executed

24     them.  You see this at Nezuk, Snagovo, you see it on the Skorpions'

25     video.  You see prisoners brought back from Serbia through the Bratunac

Page 491

 1     Brigade and delivered to Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic at Bisina where they

 2     too were executed by the 10th Sabotage Detachment.  That can only be done

 3     with General Tolimir's authorisation.  You will see evidence that even

 4     four survivors of the Branjevo executions, four guys that made it got

 5     captured again.  They didn't make it the second time.

 6             Again, if they thought they could get away with it, the Serb

 7     soldiers killed anybody they could get their hands on.  Unless in very

 8     specific circumstances there was the idea that a small amount might be

 9     saved for an execution, for an exchange, beg your pardon.  You might hear

10     a little bit of evidence about that.  That is the extreme exception.

11             This is an intercept from the next day, 17th of July,

12     Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic referring to the burials at Branjevo:

13             "The job is done ...  everything's been brought to an end, no

14     problems.  ... basically it all gets an A ... the grade is an A."

15             You'll hear from the reserve soldiers that had the gruesome task

16     of transporting those bodies from the Pilica Dom to the Branjevo farm to

17     be buried.  You'll note that this is at 1622 on the 17th, and you'll see

18     an intercept from 1652.  To save some time I won't put it up right now.

19     It's Miletic, Mico, and Toso, General Tolimir, 17 of July.  You'll see

20     them talking about a meeting that General Tolimir needs to go to.  Again,

21     General Tolimir always in contact, always in the know because it was his

22     job to know.

23             And you're also going to hear that by this time Potocari is

24     empty.  All that's left are DutchBat soldiers, some MSF, Doctors Without

25     Borders staff, and local employees, Muslims.  UNHCR had a couple of

Page 492

 1     people there and they were wounded, wounded Muslim men.  And since you'll

 2     hear that UNPROFOR had made a list, MSF had made a list of these wounded

 3     men, they were known to the international community.  And ICRC and UNHCR

 4     was pressing to visit these prisoners as well as the prisoners that they

 5     thought had been taken after the fall of Srebrenica and that they didn't

 6     know had been already executed and buried.  So you see time and again

 7     ICRC and General Smith asking for access to the prisoners who were dead.

 8     So General Tolimir needs to know what to do about these wounded.  Even

 9     under ordinary circumstances he would need to know.  If you have the ICRC

10     asking to transfer these people, General Tolimir needs to know about

11     these prisoners because he needs to know if they are of intelligence

12     value, if there are soldiers hidden among them, high-level officers.  But

13     of course he needs to know now because he knows that the whole area from

14     Kravica all the way up to Pilica that you saw on that map is one big

15     crime scene.  And he's got to handle this very carefully, these wounded.

16             So you'll see reports and intercepts back and forth between

17     Colonel Jankovic, who's still in Bratunac, who's reporting to

18     General Tolimir about what's been happening with these wounded; and

19     you'll see, for example, here in this intercept on the 17th a caller is

20     telling Jankovic that Miletic said that Jankovic should put whatever he's

21     concerned about in code, in a coded telegram, and send it to Tolimir.  So

22     again, we know that General Tolimir is able to receive encrypted

23     communications.  Again, you're not going to see him make the mistake of

24     talking stupidly on an open line.

25             And here's a reference to Tolimir having to get together with

Page 493

 1     Mladic and make a decision about what to do with these people.  Are they

 2     going to be set free, are they going to be detained?  Are they going to

 3     be sent to a prison?  Are they going to be isolated and squirrelled away

 4     and then executed?  What's the plan going to be?

 5             We see in connection with the movement of the wounded, and you'll

 6     hear that most of the severely wounded were freed to go to Tuzla.

 7     Twenty-two lightly wounded were taken to a prison in Batkovic on the

 8     18th.  But we'll see General Miletic in connection with the movement of

 9     some of these wounded directing the Bratunac Brigade, in particular the

10     security organs, to constantly monitor the NGO's activities.  Must not be

11     allowed to go anywhere on their own, must restrict their movement, be

12     polite.  Again, there's always that attention to being unobtrusive, don't

13     push too far; in other words, though, the security organs must direct

14     their movement.  And again that's because General Miletic knows,

15     General Tolimir knows, it's a crime scene.  And Miletic isn't just

16     inserting this language because he thinks it's a good idea on his own;

17     he's doing that in consultation with General Tolimir and his organs.  No

18     one's going to tell these guys like Momir Nikolic other than his own

19     commander, no one's going to tell the security guys what to do other than

20     General Tolimir.

21             A message like that coming from the Main Staff isn't coming just

22     from General Miletic.  We'll see other intercepts, Your Honours, that

23     show that units are waiting for General Tolimir's decisions regarding

24     these wounded.  We have here again Colonel Jankovic writing to

25     General Tolimir, talking about the evacuations of the wounded.  This is

Page 494

 1     on the 18th.  He's writing from the brigade command of the

 2     Bratunac Brigade.  And then he asks:

 3             "Will you please take a stand.  Tell me what stand to take,

 4     actually, in terms of the authorisation for... these MSF employees and

 5     the local staff," the Muslim men who are employed by MSF.  What do we do

 6     with them?  Jankovic is saying:  It's my opinion they shouldn't be held.

 7     Karadzic wanted them abolished.  I don't think they should be held, and

 8     he's writing to Tolimir to ask what to do.  And again you remember the

 9     night before Jankovic was told:  Send something to Tolimir.  And you'll

10     see later that night Jankovic saying, "I sent you a paper, I'm sending

11     you a paper."  And he asks if Toso is there and he'll get it when he

12     arrives.

13             Now, the next day there's an intercept between, again,

14     Colonel Jankovic and Milos Djurdjic, a Main Staff officer, who was

15     involved in the convoy-approval procedure, but he's in the Main Staff and

16     is taking this call with Jankovic.  Jankovic essentially is saying:

17     Look, I've got these MSF local staff.  They're Muslim, they're Muslim men

18     and they're of military age.  And he's told that there's permission from

19     the government to let them go.  There's a list.  MSF has a list of these

20     men.  They are known to the international community.  Djurdjic says:

21             "Yes, I know, I can see the names," and then he starts reading

22     these Muslim men's names.

23             "2, 4, 6, 7 men."  They've got permission.

24             But Djurdjic says:

25             " ...  but you know what the procedure -- you know that procedure

Page 495

 1     you too took part in ..."

 2             Djurdjic repeats:

 3             "The procedure is such, God damn it, that it should be checked

 4     whether those who are the able-bodied or older than 60."

 5             Jankovic says:

 6             "They are able-bodied.

 7             "They are?

 8             "Yes."

 9             Djurdjic says:

10             "So, that's the procedure.  And you saw what you left in Bratunac

11     the other day.  Am I right?"

12             And then he says:

13             "When Toso arrives, you and him must make sure you consult some

14     more, please."

15             Jankovic says:

16             "When is Toso coming?

17             "In the early evening."

18             Now, the evidence will show that these local staff were released

19     when DutchBat withdrew on the 21st, but you can get a sense here from

20     this intercept how the killing operation was hovering over everything.

21     They knew what the procedure was supposed to be, and they weren't sure

22     whether it was still going or not.  And the man who was going to make the

23     decision about what to do, whether these men lived or died or went to

24     prison, was General Tolimir.

25             Now I want to turn your attention, Your Honours, to the Zepa

Page 496

 1     portion of the case.  You've already seen the combat orders, the

 2     references to the fear that Zepa and Srebrenica would be linked and that

 3     they would block the Serbs access to the Drina, block their unitary state

 4     along the Drina.  Once Srebrenica fell, Mladic made the decision to go on

 5     to Zepa.  You'll see that General Tolimir on the 13th met with some local

 6     Muslim representatives and gave them an ultimatum.  Complete evacuation

 7     of the entire population or a military solution.

 8             And we'll see a report that day from General Tolimir referring to

 9     his meeting with Hamdija Torlak, he's one of the people you'll hear about

10     civilian representative, regarding the demilitarisation of the enclave

11     and free movement of civilians in accordance with the Geneva Conventions

12     from 12 August 1949."

13             Well, you've already seen what the worth of reference is to the

14     Geneva Conventions is, and I won't belabour that point anymore, and you

15     will see more of that.

16             "We have conditioned this with alternative solution - military

17     force."

18             Everybody leaves or we're going to attack.  And then he adds

19     that:

20             "We guaranteed evacuation of the entire civilian population,

21     military-aged men who surrendered their weapons, as well as safety for

22     the civilians who decide to stay and accept the RS authority."

23             Keep your eyes on that phrase, "stay and accept the RS

24     authority," and see what that means.  And then he says that he told the

25     Muslims that they could register their prisoners, their fighters, and

Page 497

 1     have them exchanged.  But of course he says that this was a -- simply a

 2     tactical move so that they could foreclose later demands.  And you'll see

 3     how genuine this offer really was.

 4             Now, remember, Your Honours, during this time even though he's in

 5     Zepa, General Tolimir has been in the communication with the Main Staff.

 6     He's being updated about the large number of Muslims who are being

 7     captured along that road that are condemned to death.  This is about the

 8     time that he is going to issue his proposal to put all those prisoners

 9     inside buildings and out of sight and later this night, recall, he's

10     going to propose separating the prisoners from other prisoners at the pig

11     farm.  So even though he is down in Zepa doing his part, he is a general,

12     an experienced one, and he is keeping his eyes always on the big picture,

13     both Srebrenica and Zepa at the same time.

14             I'll just skip this map to save some time, but we'll see it soon

15     enough.

16             General Tolimir sends up another report about how the talks are

17     going, how his ultimatum was received, it wasn't received well.  He's

18     keeping his command up-to-date, and he said:

19             "If they reject the evacuation ...  we are planning to start with

20     combat activities."  That's got to start by the 15th.

21             And here he's proposing specific combat actions and axes, and he

22     says that they should do it within 21 hours in order to avoid

23     denouncement and reactions of the international community, again always

24     this focus on what they can get away with if the international community

25     is or is not looking.

Page 498

 1             He's sending out more reports the next day.  The Muslims aren't

 2     showing up.  You'll hear that the Muslims in Zepa had begun to receive

 3     information about what happened in Potocari and reports about what was

 4     happening to the men that are unaccounted for.

 5             You'll see much evidence of how General Tolimir and the forces

 6     down there placed the UN under complete control.  He refers here to

 7     check-point number 2 at Boksanica, you'll hear a lot about this

 8     check-point which he says we've already put under our control.  "With

 9     these activities we plan to control the work and the reports that

10     UNPROFOR is making to their superior command."

11             Again, just like General Tolimir did during the Srebrenica

12     operation, they have to neutralise UNPROFOR.  His part in the Srebrenica

13     operation was lying, delaying.  Here he's working with the local command

14     to actually physically place them under control and direct their work.

15     You've got to get through the UN before you can get to the civilian

16     population; that's what they're doing here.  Here he's proposing that

17     they commence combat operations as per the plan of the superior command.

18     This is Tolimir, sense of his authority when he's in the field.  Again,

19     they're going to make it look like this check-point is functioning as if

20     it is not blocked and surrounded by our forces.  We plan to direct the

21     work of other UN check-points through this check-point."  They are in

22     complete control.

23             And:

24             "We plan to keep the UN check-points at current locations in

25     order to protect our combat formation from NATO aviation."

Page 499

 1             In other words, we're going to use the peacekeepers as human

 2     shields.

 3             On the 14th of July, this is General Tolimir, again from the

 4     Rogatica Brigade command, writing personally to Miletic asking for

 5     communications equipment.  In particular, he's asking for a type of

 6     radio.  I think the evidence will show that this is an advanced type of

 7     radio, in particular with a KZU-63 attachment.  That is a

 8     crypto-protection attachment that will encrypt what he says over the

 9     radio.  He wants to be able to maintain confidentiality of what he's

10     saying.  That's natural in war, but what we know what's going on on the

11     14th is the executions are fully underway.  He's got all manner of

12     communications available to him and he's got encryption.

13             And you'll see plenty of reports about the battle between the

14     Muslim forces and the VRS between the 14th and roughly the 18th.  The

15     Muslims stormed OPs, stole the weapons, used those weapons to defend

16     themselves.  By this time they had begun receiving more detailed reports,

17     more information about what happened in Srebrenica.  And you'll hear that

18     both sides, the Serbs and the Muslims, threatened to kill UNPROFOR

19     peacekeepers during this battle.  The Serbs threatening to kill the

20     UNPROFOR peacekeepers if UNPROFOR called in NATO air support, again their

21     greatest fear; on the other hand, the Muslims threatening to kill the

22     peacekeepers if the UN didn't call in air support.

23             And here we have this loudspeaker van being ordered by

24     General Tolimir to help Colonel Milutinovic project their propaganda to

25     the Muslims in Zepa that you can't stay any longer.

Page 500

 1             And here we see an example of a report.  This is from the Drina

 2     Corps forward command post in Krivace on the 17th.  This indicates that

 3     Tolimir is with Krstic at this forward command post, talking about a

 4     conversation with Palic who is refusing to talk.  Palic wants

 5     General Smith down in Zepa.  We see reports on the 16th and the 17th that

 6     put General Tolimir with General Krstic, and that is critical because

 7     General Krstic himself is knee-deep in the murder operation.

 8             We'll see that General Smith gets involved at the Bosnian

 9     government's request to help deal with the Zepa situation.  And you'll

10     see on the 19th of July Mladic and Tolimir meeting with General Smith,

11     not too far at a restaurant near Sokolac, not too far away from Zepa.  At

12     this meeting Smith confronts Mladic about what happened to the men from

13     Srebrenica.  Again, General Tolimir is present for this.  Mladic insists

14     that it was finished in a correct way.  He makes some reference to the

15     Hotel Fontana meetings.  He claimed that he opened a corridor to let the

16     troops go, accepted that some skirmishes might have taken place, but that

17     some unfortunate small incidents had occurred.  Mladic with Tolimir at

18     his side is, as we know, as the evidence will show, was lying straight in

19     the face of General Smith.  Mladic knew all about those prisoners that he

20     saw all along the road.  He spoke to them.  He addressed them as they

21     were gathered, lied to them and told them they had nothing to worry

22     about, those prisoners he had given the order to murder himself.

23             Now, you'll see that on this same day everybody headed down to

24     Zepa -- that is, I should say General Tolimir.  Smith went home to

25     Sarajevo.  Tolimir goes to Zepa, and I want to show you just a short

Page 501

 1     video-clip of a conversation that General Mladic had with Avdo Palic, the

 2     commander of the Zepa Brigade.

 3                           [Video-clip played]

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover]  "We'll not talk again.  In that

 5     case you have signed a death sentence for everyone in the territory

 6     controlled by you.  Do you understand me, over?

 7             MR. THAYER:  Again, General Mladic making it clear what the fate

 8     of the population was going to be.

 9             Now, you'll see evidence in video - we'll just skip through it

10     now - of a meeting that General Mladic and General Tolimir had with some

11     Muslim representatives because Palic refused to attend.  You see Kosoric

12     there with the big moustache at the end of the table, Colonel Milutinovic

13     is sitting next to him, General Tolimir has his chin in his hand next to

14     Mladic.  After this meeting with the Muslim representatives, Mladic

15     thinks he's got an agreement for solving the Zepa problem.  He thinks

16     that everybody's agreed to the terms he laid out - you'll hear about

17     those terms - and he sends out a press release through the press centre.

18     The whole logistical apparatus gets cranked up again, the buses begin

19     arriving, the MOD agencies are notified.  And you'll see that

20     General Tolimir, as he will be throughout the rest of the Zepa operation,

21     is personally involved in this movement of the people.  On the 19th

22     you'll see an intercept where Tolimir is selecting the route.  The

23     speakers are saying that Tolimir will select the route for the convoy.

24             But what you'll hear is that over the next few days, even though

25     Mladic thought he had an agreement on the 19th, there was a series of

Page 502

 1     meetings in Sarajevo at the airport, where politicians on the -- and

 2     civilians on the Muslim side were meeting with the VRS representatives in

 3     Sarajevo.  And the bottom line was that because the VRS could not account

 4     and refused to account for the whereabouts of the Muslim men from

 5     Srebrenica, they could not come to an agreement on how to resolve the

 6     situation in Zepa, specifically what was going to happen to the

 7     military-aged men of Zepa.  The Muslims refused to let their men fall

 8     into the hands of the Serbs.  They wanted to be evacuated directly by the

 9     UN by helicopters into safe territory.  They had heard the stories about

10     what had happened to the men from Srebrenica.

11             And you'll hear that these talks collapsed on the 21st, as we see

12     here, because the Serbs could not account for 6800 people according to

13     the Muslims.  So what we have on the 21st is General Tolimir sending a

14     proposal from the Rogatica Brigade command personally to General Miletic,

15     describing the military situation, saying that the Muslims are provoking

16     action because of a conference that was going on in London.  And then he

17     suggests that the UN -- UNPROFOR and international organisation are not

18     allowed to come into the area.

19             "We believe that it would be more advantageous ...  after we

20     inflict losses on the enemy's military personnel."  Okay.  That's war

21     talk.  That's crushing your enemy.  Nothing wrong with that.

22             "The most propitious means of their destruction would be usage of

23     chemical weapons or aerosol grenades and bombs.  Using these means would

24     accelerate the surrender of Muslims and the fall of Zepa."

25             You will hear testimony about what those aerosol grenades and

Page 503

 1     bombs were like.

 2             "We will continue with combat activities."

 3             And then, as we've seen over and over again:

 4             "We believe that we could force Muslims to surrender sooner if we

 5     would destroy groups of Muslim refugees fleeing in the direction of

 6     Stublic, Radava, and Brloska Planina."

 7             He's saying:  Kill fleeing civilians.  Again, not as collateral

 8     damage but as the objective.  So when you see references to the Geneva

 9     Conventions, the evidence will show that that is just the falsest piety

10     of the emptiest kind.

11             So basically what we'll see throughout the Zepa case,

12     Your Honours, is General Tolimir on the ground in communications with the

13     Main Staff transmitting updates, being part of the process of

14     decision-making.  An agreement was reached with an isolated Muslim

15     representative, Mr. Torlak.  You'll see General Tolimir involved in

16     passing that on, giving directions to the RS prisoner exchange commission

17     about what to do.  And you'll see him specifically tell the commission be

18     careful.  We have to move quickly because they keep bringing up the issue

19     of the men from Srebrenica.

20             A day later, this is the day that the transportations actually

21     begin from Zepa.  Tolimir is trying to make sure that a general doesn't

22     come down.  Again, he's concerned about what Morillon did in 1993.  He's

23     afraid that an UNPROFOR general will derail their plans for emptying Zepa

24     of its Muslim population.  And you'll see video, you'll hear from the

25     witnesses that were there about the terrified population that by this

Page 504

 1     time had been shelled into having no desire to stay, no hope to stay.

 2     And you'll see the video of them being taken out, again in dump trucks,

 3     lorries.  He's constantly in touch with the Main Staff, getting

 4     information about what's happening.

 5             And you'll hear that one by one the "hodza," Palic, were arrested

 6     and detained after the transportations were completed.  You'll see

 7     General Tolimir involved being informed of the interrogation of

 8     Colonel Palic.  You'll hear testimony about how Tolimir personally

 9     separated the "hodza" from a convoy.  You'll hear about him being

10     confronted by General Gobillard about what happened to Palic and Tolimir

11     saying, "Oh, it could be just propaganda."

12             And then you'll hear about and you'll see in the reports

13     General Tolimir's instruction with respect to the remaining armed and

14     unarmed men, whoever's in the woods, "Don't register them if you capture

15     them."  Again, the Geneva Conventions are out the window.  He is still in

16     touch with Sarajevo.  He's still being informed about what's going on

17     with potential prisoner exchanges, and you'll see that the last-ditch

18     attempt by the Serbs to make something out of a prisoner exchange is to

19     say, "Okay, we've got a hundred high-value prisoners that we want

20     exchanged.  We'll exchange those for a similar number from the Muslim

21     prisons for our guys."

22             But you'll see that that can't happen right away.  You'll see

23     that General Tolimir is caught because they don't have any prisoners

24     left.  There are not enough to exchange, and you see him dealing with

25     this issue.  He can't run from it.  You'll see efforts by Beara to go

Page 505

 1     across the river and bring back the Muslims that have swum for their

 2     lives from Zepa.  General Tolimir refers to those efforts.  He's caught

 3     by it.  He's got Serb families that want their sons back, but he can't

 4     get them back because he's killed all the prisoners.  And General Tolimir

 5     has to be very careful about how he communicates this information because

 6     they've got the entire murder operation to conceal.  And you'll see

 7     evidence about the concealment, the burial operation organised by the

 8     Main Staff through the security chain.  And you'll see him writing to the

 9     exchange commission saying it's not the Main Staff's fault.  It's our

10     unit's fault for not taking enough prisoners.  Simply extraordinary

11     statement seeing as he just helped put over 7.000 POWs to death.

12             I'm just going to skip through some of these things I've been

13     talking about.  These are intercepts that detail how Beara was trying to

14     go across the river to get those prisoners, and you will hear one of the

15     participants saying, "We have to get those men back because we don't have

16     any prisoners."  Even Beara's subordinate who was at the Main Staff knows

17     they don't have any prisoners.

18             If there's any question about the sincerity of these references

19     to the Geneva Conventions, Your Honours, or about people being free to

20     choose where they live, this is an aerial image of the mosque in Zepa on

21     the 27th of July.  You can see the roofs of the building of the mosque

22     and its associated structure there on the 27th.  A month later there's

23     nothing but rubble.  And if you look at the road and all these structures

24     here, they're obliterated.  You'll hear a speech from General Zivanovic

25     on the 12th of July celebrating the fall of the Srebrenica enclave.  And

Page 506

 1     he says:

 2             "On my way to Srebrenica I saw the most Turkish mosque you can

 3     imagine.  I was asked this morning:  General, has this famous mosque been

 4     finished off?  And I told them that I think that it was finished off this

 5     morning."

 6             You'll see photographs of the Srebrenica mosques in ruins.  And

 7     General Zivanovic says a few moments later in this speech:

 8             "Let me tell you that with today's dusk any organised Muslim life

 9     to the left of Jadar ceased existing."

10             And again, we can look at a 16 July combat report from

11     Commander Pandurevic, the commander of the Zvornik Brigade.  He writes:

12             "I consider that the Krivaja 95 operation is not complete as long

13     as a single enemy soldier or civilian remains behind the front line."

14             That's what it was all about, Your Honours.  That's what the

15     Krivaja 95 operation was all about.  So when you see General Tolimir or

16     another VRS officer sticking that boilerplate language about the Geneva

17     Conventions in some documents or includes that stock paragraph that

18     Muslims can stay in the RS if they recognise Republika Srpska authority,

19     this is what they're talking about.  Sure you can stay.  Your mosques

20     will be flattened, we'll execute your "hodza" and your other leaders, and

21     your homes will be obliterated.  That's what that meant to those

22     officers.

23             If I may two more minutes to conclude, Mr. President.

24             These are some reburial operation documents.  I just want to show

25     at the height of the reburial operation in October of 1995,

Page 507

 1     General Tolimir has this to say about Colonel Beara:

 2             "Highly principled ... consistent in his work, professional in

 3     the carrying out of his tasks ...

 4             "Assessed as:  Excellent.

 5             "24 October 1995."

 6             This is Ratko Mladic's assessment of General Tolimir from the

 7     prior year.

 8             "The credits due to him for the Serbian people are of historic

 9     importance and immeasurable and they rank him among the most deserving

10     individuals in our people's history."

11             "Excellent."

12             That's the "hodza" Tolimir personally separated found in a mass

13     grave with Avdo Palic, here shaking the hand of General Tolimir.  This is

14     a report, you'll see it soon enough so I'll skip it, but it's a report

15     basically memorialising the murder of a hungry unarmed Muslim in Zepa.

16     Because that's what was going on, the extermination of whoever they could

17     find.  And this is the Batkovic prison which stayed virtually empty just

18     a little bit north of Pilica regularly housed prisoners during the war.

19     And just south of Pilica, just a half an hour on an asphalt road this is

20     what the 10th Sabotage Detachment under General Tolimir's authorisation

21     left.

22             Your Honours, I'm just going to show you this little piece of

23     this intercept.  It's between X and Y.  It doesn't really matter who.  He

24     says they're asking what to do with the wounded, the captured Turks.

25     They're killing themselves.  There's a pile of them dead.  So what, the

Page 508

 1     bigger the pile, the better for them.  Fuck 'em.  They weren't human

 2     beings."

 3             Your Honours, the utter dehumanisation that I talked about before

 4     which permeated the murder operation, the idea that your enemy is not

 5     only of a different ethnicity or religion, but is not even of the same

 6     species.  You tell your men that the enemy are people who are coming to

 7     commit genocide upon you.  You tell them that for four years.  You tell

 8     them that the enemy is not fit to be your neighbour.  That their sacred

 9     houses of worship weren't worthy, only to be rubble.  Their shattered

10     bodies are just so much refuse to be dumped in pits with rusting cars

11     rubbish and bulldozed over.  And you unleash the likes of Ljubo Beara and

12     Vujadin Popovic to complete your plan.

13             Make no mistake about it, Your Honours, General Tolimir was the

14     one person next to Mladic who could have pulled Beara back from those

15     killing fields, and instead he gave him the 10th Sabotage Detachment on

16     the 16th of July and at Bisina on the 23rd of July.  General Tolimir was

17     in a position to save thousands.  There are very few people who had the

18     power to do that.  He could have picked up the phone and called ICRC.  He

19     could have told his men under his direct professional command:  Stand

20     down.  We're going to institute proceedings through the military court

21     system.  He could have proposed instead of putting people under cover on

22     the 13th of July, hiding them away, call ICRC and get them down here.

23     Instead of propaganda films, lives could have been saved and so could

24     General Tolimir's honour.  But that's not the plan General Tolimir chose.

25     General Tolimir chose starvation, he chose a plan for expulsion, and he

Page 509

 1     chose genocide.

 2             Thank you, Your Honours, and I thank you for the additional time.

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much, Mr. Thayer.

 4             Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber has taken note of your position not to

 5     make any opening statement at this point of the proceeding.  Is this

 6     still your position?  Is it?

 7             THE ACCUSED:  [No verbal response]

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

 9             The Chamber hopes to receive very soon your notification of the

10     first witnesses to -- and now we have to adjourn a little bit too late.

11             We resume next week on the 11th in the afternoon, 2.15, in this

12     courtroom.  We're adjourned.

13                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,

14                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 11th day of

15                           March, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.