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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
24 from General Tolimir neutralised UNPROFOR during this attack and
25 facilitated the VRS's take-over of the enclave.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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."
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
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
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
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 ..."
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
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
1 example, an officer named Egbers that at first he couldn't tell whether
2 his APC
3 whether they were firing at something that was close to his APC. But
4 when he moved his APC
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
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
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
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,
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
25 And at first the civilians were placed in the compound, but once
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
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,
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:
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
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
25 And certainly General Tolimir, and as you'll see from the
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
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
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
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
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.
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
25 Nothing was going to interfere with the VRS plan to move the
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
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.
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
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,"
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
8 "Who gives a fuck about them? Line them up in four to five
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
15 And what we have here is an intercept 15 July 10.00 in the
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
25 So we know that General Tolimir is in communications. He has
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
23 Zvornik Brigade.
24 He repeats it.
25 "Popovic is at Palma
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
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
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.
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
18 Everybody leaves or we're going to attack. And then he adds
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
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
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.
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.
24 "We plan to keep the UN check-points at current locations in
25 order to protect our combat formation from NATO aviation."
1 In other words, we're going to use the peacekeepers as human
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.
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
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
1 meetings in Sarajevo
2 civilians on the Muslim side were meeting with the VRS representatives in
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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."
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
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
1 bigger the pile, the better for them. Fuck 'em. They weren't human
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
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.