1 Thursday, 11 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody.
6 Could the Registrar call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning. This is
8 case number IT-05-88/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Zdravko Tolimir.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 As this is the first day of our hearings of evidence, I would
11 kindly ask for appearances now. For the Prosecution.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, everyone, Mr. President,
13 Your Honours. My name is Peter McCloskey, and with me is Janet Stewart.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 And for the Defence.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] God bless you and peace to this
17 house. My name is Zdravko Tolimir and my legal counsel is
18 Aleksandar Gajic. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 Before the first witness is being brought in, the Chamber would
21 like to raise the following matters. The Chamber is seized of the
22 accused's request to the Trial Chamber concerning the role of the
23 accused's legal advisor, Mr. Gajic, filed in English on the 3rd of March,
24 2010, and has in the meantime received a response of the Prosecution and
25 the reply from the accused. The Chamber has also received a Rule 33(B)
1 submission from OLAD which was filed only this morning.
2 Firstly, the Chamber notes that you, Mr. Tolimir, have made this
3 submission at a very late stage of these proceedings. Taking into
4 consideration the postponed commencement of this trial, this matter
5 should have been brought to the Chamber's attention much earlier.
6 However, as it is a very serious matter and as the Chamber has only
7 recently received all relevant submissions, it will need to consider the
8 accused's requests carefully and will render a written decision as soon
9 as possible.
10 Secondly, the Chamber would like to issue an oral decision
11 concerning protective measures for the witness number 40. This decision
12 relates to the Prosecution's confidential motion filed before the Chamber
13 on the 8th of March, 2010
14 measures for Witness 40.
15 The Chamber reiterates that Rule 75(F)(i) provides that:
16 "Once protective measures have been ordered in respect of a
17 victim or witness in any proceedings before the Tribunal ... such
18 protective measures ... shall continue to have effect mutatis mutandis in
19 any other proceeding before the Tribunal ... unless and until they are
20 rescinded, varied, or augmented in accordance with the procedure set out
21 in Rule 75."
22 The Chamber notes that the Rules do not impose any obligation on
23 a party wishing to present the testimony of a witness subject to
24 protective measures to provide justification for their continuation.
25 Also, if such a party were to be obliged to justify the continuation of
1 the protective measures, Rule 75(F)(i) would in effect be nullified.
2 If, however, a party were to seek to rescind, vary, or augment
3 protective measures ordered in respect of a witness in any proceedings
4 before the Tribunal, Rule 75(G)(i) requires this party to apply to the
5 Chamber that initially ordered the protective measures in case it remains
6 seized of the proceedings in which such an order was issued.
7 The Chamber notes that the Trial Chamber in Popovic et al.
8 remains seized of the proceedings in which it ordered the protective
9 measures for Witness 40, and therefore is competent to rescind, vary, or
10 augment those protective measures. The present Chamber would therefore
11 not be competent to vary, augment, or rescind protective measures
12 concerning Witness 40.
13 Since the protective measures ordered for Witness 40 in the
14 Popovic et al. case have not been rescinded, varied, or augmented in
15 accordance with the procedure set out in Rule 75, these protective
16 measures continue to have effect in the instant case. The motion of the
17 Prosecution is accordingly granted.
18 Furthermore, the Chamber would like to inform the parties that we
19 will not sit in the week after Easter, in order to enable everybody to
20 celebrate these holidays appropriately. The last hearing before will be
21 on the 30th of March and the first after Easter on the 14th of April.
22 And, Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber is still seized of your request to
23 change the hearing time for the 29th of March. We hope to find a way to
24 reschedule the hearing of that day.
25 Finally, I would like to inform the parties that we have a
1 limited sitting time tomorrow evening. Due to another commitment, we
2 will have to adjourn shortly after 6.00 p.m. tomorrow, and please keep in
3 mind that we will usually, and today, have two breaks, the first at 3.45
4 and the second at 5.30 if that seems to be convenient for everybody. If
5 the parties would prefer different sitting times and break times, then
6 the Chamber will consider this.
7 Could the witness please now be brought in.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private session, please.
10 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, first I would like to tell you the Chamber
24 has granted protective measures. You should be aware of that. Thank
1 Mr. McCloskey for the Prosecution has some questions for you.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
4 Q. Sir, I will be referring to you as "witness," as you know is the
5 practice here. But the first thing I want to do is show you this sheet
6 of paper, which is 65 ter 6118. And can you tell us if that is your
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we'll get our practice down. I'm sorry.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. Okay. Thank you.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go into private session for the
13 first few questions. I think that would keep the protective measures in
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 515-516 redacted. Private session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. All right. Can you tell us where you settled around Srebrenica.
2 We know it's a big -- it was a big area.
3 A. When we arrived in Srebrenica, there was a Bosniak there, and in
4 Kazani near the graveyard, he was waiting there, and he offered
5 accommodation. He made an arrangement with my older brother and we
6 stayed with this man in his house until the fall of Srebrenica.
7 Q. And we know that Srebrenica is a town in a narrow valley. Was
8 this in the town itself or was it in one of the little villages or rural
9 areas outside the town?
10 A. No, no, we lived in the town near the hospital, near the two
11 high-rise buildings. Anyone who knows Srebrenica knows what I'm talking
12 about. It was closer to the UNPROFOR base, and that is town proper.
13 Q. All right. Now, let me take you to July 1995 and ask you: Were
14 you living in this same place in July 1995?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And were you in the BiH army, the Muslim army at that time?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And what did you do to sustain yourself, to feed yourself and
19 your brothers?
20 A. Well, we were sowing land, that was Serbian land that had been
21 abandoned, and we were working the land. That's how we sustained
22 ourselves, in addition to receiving some of humanitarian aid.
23 Q. All right. And at some point in July 1995, did you decide to
24 leave your home once again?
25 A. Well, we had to. That wasn't our decision of our own accord. We
1 just had to go.
2 Q. Why was that?
3 A. Because the Serbian forces were pushing to take and capture
4 Srebrenica at any cost, and that is the reason why we had to leave.
5 Q. Why wouldn't you continue to want to live in Srebrenica if it had
6 become controlled by the Serbian forces?
7 A. Nobody remained in Srebrenica. Nobody dared remain except
8 handicapped people, which they, the Serbian forces, probably killed if
9 they came across such handicapped people. Everybody else had to leave.
10 Q. You said "nobody dared." What were people afraid of -- and
11 yourself I'm mostly concerned about.
12 A. Well, we were afraid of what actually happened to us. We were
13 afraid of dying, and this is exactly what happened to us later on.
14 Q. Okay. Can you tell us what course of action you took and when.
15 You remember the dates well, I believe.
16 A. On the 11th of July, that was a Tuesday, we decided to leave.
17 Those fit for military service decided to go through the woods, while the
18 elder men, women, and children decided to go to Potocari, and they also
19 took to the woods.
20 Q. Okay. Prior to this had there been any military action or -- in
21 and around the town of Srebrenica
22 A. I don't know. I heard from other people that there was some
23 action outside of town, but not in the town itself.
24 Q. Okay. And was there any shelling that you heard about?
25 A. Yes, there was. On that day, the 11th of July, I saw the footage
1 that was played here in the courtroom. I saw women entering the UNPROFOR
2 compound. They were around some trucks, and you can see that there was a
3 shell that had landed approximately 100 metres from the UNPROFOR base.
4 Q. Okay. It's important, Witness, to distinguish between what you
5 actually saw at the time and what you may have seen in video later. The
6 Court will be able to see these videos, and so what we want from you now
7 is what you remember seeing and happening to you --
8 A. At that moment when the shell landed, there was a crowd of people
9 headed for Potocari. There was no transportation provided for them, and
10 the distance was about 4 kilometres. When this mortar landed above the
11 UNPROFOR base, all the women and children tried to find shelter in the
12 UNPROFOR base and their trucks. I saw it with my own eyes, but that was
13 the time when I was leaving Srebrenica.
14 Q. Okay. And who did you leave Srebrenica with on this day, the
16 A. With my brother Nurif.
17 Q. And where did you go?
18 A. We went to Susnjari, through woods and meadows.
19 Q. And why did you go there?
20 A. Well, everybody decided to take that route, not to Tuzla
21 rather to Susnjari.
22 Q. Did you get any idea of roughly how many people gathered around
23 the area of Susnjari on these -- on this day, the 11th?
24 A. According to some rough estimates, there should have been at
25 least 15.000 people.
1 Q. And where did you get this rough estimate from?
2 A. Well, that's what we did discuss amongst ourselves. We just
3 tried to reach a certain figure because if you think that a football
4 stadium can accommodate 15.000 people, that was the kind of bench-mark
5 for us to make this estimate.
6 Q. And how many of those people were armed with rifles or some gun
7 of some sort roughly?
8 A. Between 200 and 500 rifles they had, but only rifles.
9 Q. And what happened up there on the 11th, what did you do? What
10 did the rest of the group do?
11 A. We arrived in the evening of the 11th to Susnjari. Some left
12 immediately during the night, and I myself left Susnjari the next day,
13 that is, the 12th of July.
14 Q. And left going where?
15 A. Towards Tuzla
16 Q. And who was with you?
17 A. My brother who never returned.
18 Q. And were you with a lot of other people?
19 A. Yes, of course. There was a column, an endless column.
20 Q. Do you know roughly where you were in this endless column,
21 beginning, middle, end?
22 A. I was at the rear end of the column.
23 Q. All right. And can you just briefly describe to us what you did
24 on that 12th when you set off with the column through the woods towards
1 A. We walked until darkness. That was a thick forest, and I spent
2 the night under a beech tree because I didn't sleep the previous night
3 because there was panic everywhere. So I slept the whole night there.
4 Q. Did you know the area at all, what features or other areas,
5 anything about it?
6 A. No, no. I was in that area for the first time in my life.
7 Q. And can you give us an idea of how hot was it on this -- these
8 July days and nights?
9 A. No, not at night. It was hot during the night -- during the day,
10 but not at night. Nights were rather chilly.
11 Q. And on your walk on the 12th, were you fired upon by any weapons?
12 A. They were firing on us, but I didn't feel the bullets passing
13 next to us; they were falling astray, somewhere behind us.
14 Q. All right. And when you woke up on the morning of the 13th, can
15 you tell us what you did.
16 A. When I woke up that morning, I saw some people coming back and
17 some were going forward, and I went a little bit back with this group
18 that was retreating. After that, I again saw a group moving forward.
19 But my brother wasn't there any longer. I returned again to the group
20 that was going forward and I saw many more people there, including my
22 Q. Then what did you do?
23 A. We were sitting there and the Serb started calling upon us
24 through the megaphone to surrender. Since we ourselves didn't have a
25 megaphone, we had to shout very loudly, "Yes, we shall do that but to the
1 UNPROFOR and the Red Cross." They didn't respond anything to that. They
2 only gave us an ultimatum, which was to expire at 10.00 and at which time
3 they said they would attack us. After 10.00 they again started calling
4 us. People again asked for UNPROFOR and the Red Cross, and they gave us
5 a new dead-line which was 1500 hours. Then people started discussing
6 whether to surrender or not.
7 We thought there was no way out of that situation, and it was
8 decided for us to surrender. I saw people carrying a white T-shirt
9 attached to a staff as a sign of surrender. Then we went through a wood,
10 and when we came to a field we saw a lot of dead bodies. That was
11 probably where an ambush had been set for this first group, and we didn't
12 know anything about this because we were at the rear end of the column.
13 While we were descended, it was a very steep slope and we went
14 down to a river. First we had a lot of water to drink. When we came
15 down there, there were Serbian soldiers awaiting us. These Serbian
16 soldiers immediately asked us to give them money. They were asking us to
17 give them US dollars, German marks, and any currency, and they said, "If
18 you don't give it to us, those who were your predecessors were --
19 actually, you will fare in the same way as your predecessors," but I
20 don't know who those predecessors were.
21 Once we reached the road, we had our hands up in the air. They
22 lined us along the road, and that is when women and children arrived in
23 buses. There was not a single adult male among them. There was my
24 wife's aunt and another woman that I knew from before. We were told to
25 take out everything from our pockets. At the time I was smoking tobacco
1 and I threw that tobacco and the lighter on the road. Another soldier
2 told us, "You better take this, you might need it."
3 Q. Okay. Let me stop you there. You said the decision was made for
4 you to surrender. Do you know who made that decision for you?
5 A. We ourselves amongst us decided it.
6 Q. Was there any military people among the group you were in, any
7 Bosnian Muslim military people?
8 A. No, no. Those who had some weapons, they had left with the first
9 group and they had moved through. And they were lucky because they had
10 the weapons, whereas we didn't have anything and we could be killed by
12 Q. Okay. This road where you went down and surrendered, was this
13 a -- what was this road made out of? What kind of road was it?
14 A. Well, as we kept going down the slope, we went through the woods,
15 and then we crossed one or two fields, and then we reached a paved road,
16 the main road that led from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje.
17 Q. All right. And is this -- where was the area that you saw the
18 women and children being transported?
19 A. Well, that was at the place where we surrendered, around Sandici
21 Q. Is that at the asphalt road at Sandici?
22 A. Yes, yes, on that asphalt road.
23 Q. And do you know just roughly what time of day it was that you got
24 down to the Sandici area on the asphalt road?
25 A. Well, it was perhaps 3.00 or 4.00 in the afternoon. It was in
1 the afternoon.
2 Q. Now, did people in your group have back-packs, any personal
3 belongings with them?
4 A. Yes, we had them. I had a back-pack myself, and we when we -- as
5 we were getting ready to step on to the asphalt road they said, "Why
6 don't you just throw your back-packs there, by the side of the road, and
7 they will follow you."
8 Q. Okay. And just to be clear for our record, when you say "they,"
9 who was the one who told you to throw your stuff by the road?
10 A. Well, Serb soldiers.
11 Q. Now, what happened in the afternoon there at Sandici with this --
12 your group that had surrendered?
13 A. Well, when we surrendered, we actually reached an elevation some
14 hundred metres away from the road, and there were rows and rows of
15 people - I don't know how many. There was an APC there and a Serb
16 soldier, a very young soldier, who had a black kerchief around his head.
17 I don't know what that was supposed to mean, but he was in charge.
18 Whenever a group arrived or ran across, then he would tell the group,
19 "Tomorrow you will be exchanged, all for all."
20 And as we were sitting in rows, there was a soldier by every
21 single row, one on the one side and another on the other side. There
22 were -- in our row there were two women and a young woman and a young
23 boy, he was that woman's son. And the soldier with a black kerchief said
24 to the woman, "There are buses down there." Then the young girl and the
25 other young girl, who was very pretty, got up and the Serb soldier
1 started saying, "No, no, leave them behind, we need her." Well, this guy
2 wasn't really paying any attention to them. He said, "Just go to the
3 bus." And he let go probably some 10 or so more boys, who were up to
4 15 years of age. And then there was another boy, I don't know how old he
5 was, I didn't dare turn around. He said, "No, no, you remain seated.
6 You are able to carry a machine-gun."
7 Q. Okay. Did you see any more military equipment beside this APC,
8 armoured personnel carrier?
9 A. Well, no, it's just that they were armed, they had rifles. And
10 when another group was supposed to come over as a new shift, they started
11 saying, "Well, here are Arkan's men." I couldn't really tell what kind
12 of insignia they had on their uniforms. I just noticed that they had new
14 Q. And could you see any buses or trucks moving along the road with
15 women and children in them?
16 A. No, we couldn't see the road from where we were.
17 Q. And what happened then after you were placed in this meadow with
18 this big group of people?
19 A. Well, while we were there, on that meadow, they ordered us to lie
20 down on our stomachs. We all did. And they told us we should keep
21 calling "Allahu Akbar," which is a Muslim prayer. Then they began to
22 yell at us, saying, "This is not Srebrenica." And then they told us to
23 start calling out, "Long live the king." Well, people started doing
24 that, I don't know if I did myself, but in any case they couldn't tell
25 who was actually calling out and who wasn't.
1 And I -- all this time I had this thought in the back of my mind
2 that they weren't going to shoot us in that position. But we know that
3 there were instances where - and that's what happened in Zvornik and
4 that's how my brother-in-law was killed - they just ordered people to lie
5 down on their stomachs, and then -- women and men and children, and then
6 they just shot them in the back. And that's -- I know about this because
7 I was told by my brother-in-law.
8 Q. Okay. Well, I don't want to ask you about Zvornik and what
9 happened in 1992 or what was told to you, but what did you think was
10 going to happen to you when you were all told to lie down on your
11 stomachs and say these things?
12 A. Well, I thought that they weren't going to shoot us because there
13 was a soldier -- well, there would have to be a soldier coming along the
14 rows from one side and another from the other end on the other side if
15 they were going to shoot us, but they didn't do that so I thought they
17 Q. So what happened then?
18 A. After this, people started yelling, "Here's Mladic, here's Mladic
19 coming." Up until then I hadn't seen Mladic ever. I was in Srebrenica.
20 I didn't watch TV and I didn't know the man from before or what he looked
21 like, but he came along, he came with a few soldiers with him, and he
22 called out to us and said, "Good evening, neighbours." And he said,
23 "Tomorrow you will be exchanged, everyone will be exchanged, all for
24 all." And we said, "Thank you, commander." And we started clapping our
25 hands. Then he left, and soon afterwards they ordered us -- they ordered
1 the first row, the first line of people, to climb on to the vehicle and
2 then the second row, third, and so on, up until it came my turn. And
3 then as I came on to the road they started yelling, "You have to get on
4 to this truck." And it so happened that I ended up being in the trailer
5 of the truck. And then I saw a young soldier, maybe up -- not older than
6 30. He had a short beard and a black bandanna, and he said, "I will go
7 with this -- on this truck and go with the soldier." He didn't address
9 So as soon as the vehicle would be filled with people, it would
10 leave. Soon night fell and we had no idea where we were going. Vehicles
11 passed us by. We could just see the lights, the headlights of vehicles
12 passing us by. We headed towards Bratunac, and when we arrived there, on
13 the left-hand side one could see buildings up to three to four storeys
14 high, but on the right-hand side we couldn't see any buildings. The
15 vehicle -- they parked the vehicle at the end of the street or on the
16 side of the street actually. And one of them, the driver, who was a
17 driver and who was with us in the trailer, said, "These are Vihor
19 Soon after that they began asking for people from the Srebrenica
20 villages to come out, Pusmulici, Glogova, Slatina, Konjevic Polje, and so
21 on, a number of other villages, I don't know anymore which, and as soon
22 as these people would step forward they would ask for their father's
23 name and then take them away.
24 Q. Let me interrupt you briefly. You said "they asked," who were
25 these "they"?
1 A. Serb soldiers.
2 Q. Can you tell us -- you said there's a truck with a trailer. Can
3 you give us an idea how big this truck and trailer was so we can get a
4 picture. Is it a big construction or a small little personal truck and
6 A. No, no, these were trucks. These were big construction trucks
7 that would transport iron ore or coal and so on. They were big, maybe
8 12 or 13 metres long. They're big trucks. But the trailer was also very
9 big, it was at least 10 metres long. So if you're sitting on the truck,
10 you wouldn't see a person sitting in the cab.
11 Q. So could you see over the top of the trailer where you were held
12 or -- if you stood up?
13 A. Well, we didn't know where we were headed. That's why I was
14 saying we just noticed -- and again, the brother of mine who came back,
15 he said that he had seen people between Bratunac and Glogova. He was on
16 the bus, and he was the one who told me, "Well, here they just drove away
17 captured people."
18 Q. Let me just clear something up. You said someone came back and
19 told you this. Who was it?
20 A. No, no, my brother said, once I reached the free territory, that
21 he had seen when those buses and trucks drove off towards Bratunac.
22 Q. Okay. That's why I needed to clarify that. Let's just try to
23 stay right in Bratunac at the moment. But can you tell us how high the
24 sides of this trailer were in -- that you were in?
25 A. Well, they were perhaps 1 metre high.
1 Q. And did -- were you able to stand up and look over?
2 A. We didn't dare stand up. No one dared even place their arm over
3 this side of the truck. If they did that, they would be just hit with
4 the rifle-butt.
5 Q. Okay. Well, then tell us what happened as -- you've said that
6 the Serb soldiers were calling people out from Srebrenica villages. Did
7 anybody respond?
8 A. Yes, people responded, and then they would take that person
9 upward, they would take them away; and then we would hear a strong thud.
10 And then you could hear cries. They would start yelling, "Stop that,
11 stop that," then you would hear a gun-shot, and then there would be
12 silence. And that's how it went on that whole night.
13 Q. Did any of the people that left during the night like this come
14 back, any of the Muslims?
15 A. No, no.
16 Q. And what happened in the morning? And this would be now the
17 morning of the 14th.
18 A. Well, in the morning when it grew lighter, the Serb soldiers
19 started yelling, "Don't allow civilians to go up to that street." They
20 were probably afraid that one of the civilians would then report what
21 they had seen there and what had happened. They told us then, "Now, take
22 them to Fikret and Alija and exchange them."
23 Q. And then what happened?
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can I stop you here. We don't receive
1 interpretation at the moment.
2 Try it again. Is there interpretation?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear me?
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. Let's start over. There was a little interpretation glitch. So
7 can you tell us, that morning, after these comments about Alija, what
9 A. Well, as I've already said, they said that these people should
10 now be taken to Fikret and Alija and exchanged. The trucks and buses set
11 off, and then as they reached the edge of Bratunac they were stopped
12 again. And then they said, "We're waiting for UNPROFOR." It got really
13 hot there because the sides of the truck were metal, the sun was shining.
14 And the driver who drove us and another young man from Bratunac brought
15 water for us, they gave us water, but we were so thirsty that we never
16 had enough. They kept bringing water, but it wasn't enough to slake our
17 thirst. The young man who was from Bratunac started asking about a man
18 Ismet, last name Ramic, who was a shoemaker, started asking about him.
19 And then somebody asked him, "Well, why are you asking about him?" And
20 he said, "Well, he was my neighbour."
21 Q. And how long did this group of vehicles stay there?
22 A. Well, to tell you the truth I didn't have a watch, but it took a
24 Q. And can you tell us roughly what time in the morning it -- the
25 trucks first started moving before it stopped at this place?
1 A. Well, that was very early. It could have been 6.00 or 6.30 in
2 the morning. It was very early.
3 Q. So then it stops for a while and then what happens?
4 A. After this, when neither UNPROFOR appeared nor anyone, there was
5 a group of civilians, Serb civilians, who appeared, elderly people. Some
6 of them were in uniforms, others weren't, and they were on a truck. It
7 was an old Srebrenica truck that people used to transport humanitarian
8 aid. And this group, they said, "They're coming behind us." What they
9 meant by that I really don't know.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: These are ours.
11 What they meant by that I don't know.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. And then what happened?
14 A. Then a column started. We stopped just once for maybe five
15 minutes, and then the column moved forward towards Konjevic Polje. And
16 as we were walking [as interpreted] towards Konjevic Polje and climbing
17 up the hill, it was only then that we could actually see. I don't know
18 whether there were five trucks or ten trucks, but as we were driving and
19 we were up on the hill, then we could see the entire column.
20 Q. And roughly what could you see when you saw this entire column,
21 can you give us an idea of the size?
22 A. We could see that there were three armoured vehicles in one
23 place. I don't know whether they were waiting for somebody or not, but
24 they were there, and it was then that we set out towards Konjevic Polje.
25 Q. Now, in the English a while back, it said that you were walking
1 up the hill. Were you ever walking at this point or that may have just
2 been a translation mistake?
3 A. We were driving. We were driving.
4 Q. Okay. And where did you -- where did this column of vehicles go
5 towards from Konjevic Polje?
6 A. Towards Zvornik.
7 Q. And where is the next place it stopped?
8 A. Well, when we came to Josanica, one could see Divic from there,
9 and some people started yelling that there was an APC of the UN in front
10 of the Vidikovac hotel that joined us. We passed through Divic -- it
11 wasn't called Divic at the time, it was called St. Stephen, Sveti Stefan.
12 It was quite steep, and when I looked back I could see that the sign read
13 "Sveti Stefan."
14 Q. And is this place a little village just south of Zvornik, right
15 on the cliffs above the Drina River
16 A. Yes, yes, it's right by the Drina River
17 It's -- it has about 3 to 4.000 inhabitants. It's quite densely
18 populated. Houses are very close to each other.
19 Q. And what colour was this APC
20 A. It was white.
21 Q. And where did your vehicles go from Divic?
22 A. We moved back to Zvornik, and from there to Karakaj. And then
23 from Karakaj, the trucks turned left towards Tuzla. We drove for a short
24 period of time, and then the trucks turned to the right.
25 Q. And when they turned to the -- was the -- the road when you went
1 towards Tuzla
2 towards Tuzla
3 A. It was the main road from Zvornik to Tuzla, and the one that we
4 were on was a minor road, regional road.
5 Q. And before you turned off on this minor road, where did you think
6 you were going?
7 A. Well, when they started towards Tuzla -- and prior to that they
8 kept promising that we would be exchanged. And at that point in time I
9 truly thought that they were going to exchange us.
10 Q. So when you returned right onto this minor road, where did you
12 A. We went to this village called Orahovac.
13 Q. Where in particular?
14 A. To the elementary school in Orahovac.
15 Q. And what happened when your vehicle got there?
16 A. When we came in front of the yard, the vehicles would enter one
17 by one or perhaps two or three at the same time into the yard. They
18 would unload the prisoners, and prisoners would need to run into the
19 school building. When our turn came, we entered the -- the yard and the
20 UN APC
21 there. And there were two soldiers with automatic weapons, and then
22 there was a civilian there, between 50 and 55 years of age, moving about.
23 None of them said anything to anyone. There were Serbian soldiers there.
24 Now, whether they captured the UN APC
25 When we got off the truck, we were ordered to run into the school
1 building. When I was just in front of the door, I had a leather jacket
2 on me and they told me to take the jacket off. And I took it off and I
3 put it on a pile of other clothing, and I entered through the hallway.
4 We went straight for a while and then we turned left. It was a long
5 hallway that took us to the gym.
6 Q. Now, when someone told you to take off your coat, was that a
7 civilian or a military person?
8 A. A military person. Civilians did not interfere into anything
9 there. There were civilians just standing and watching but not saying
10 anything to us.
11 Q. Were you able to get any idea of how many soldiers were standing
12 around as you got hustled off the bus and moved into the school?
13 A. Well, both the police and the soldiers, there were perhaps up to
14 50 of them.
15 Q. How did you distinguish police from soldiers?
16 A. Well, policemen had grey-olive uniforms and soldiers had green
17 multi-coloured uniforms. Later on when the corridor was opened, I saw
18 what uniform policemen had because we only had one police where we lived,
19 not more.
20 Q. And when a military man told you to take off your jacket and put
21 it in that -- that pile, can you give us some idea about how big a pile
22 of belongings were of other people?
23 A. It was a large pile, perhaps hundred to 200 people had taken
24 their clothes off.
25 Q. All right. Can you describe what the gym was like when you got
2 A. When we entered the gym, it was more than half full, and as
3 people entered they would sit down. And we would sit down in such a way
4 as to have our knees touch our chest.
5 Q. And, you know, we say "gym," but can you describe what sort of
6 facility this was?
7 A. Well, you know, in elementary schools there's a sports hall where
8 kids have physical education.
9 Q. Were there basketball backboards there?
10 A. I didn't see them then.
11 Q. Okay. And what happened when you got in and had to sit like you
12 described? Tell us what else happened.
13 A. Well, when everybody entered the gym, they put a blanket down and
14 four young boys sat there. They were between 10 and 14 years of age, I
15 would say. When I crossed into the free territory I immediately asked
16 whether four kids had been released, and I was told that yes. That means
17 that if they hadn't released those four kids they would have killed
18 people from 10
19 brought in from Potocari.
20 Q. Okay. So what happened after you saw these kids were on the --
21 they were allowed to sit on a blanket. What happened to everybody else
22 as you were there?
23 A. They would pick out prisoners to bring water for us, and they
24 would bring water. And then after a long period of time a delegation of
25 officers or some other persons like that came, and one of them asked
1 whether there was anybody there from the Zvornik municipality and nobody
2 responded. Then they ordered that four rows should get up. Those were
3 the elderly from Potocari. And they told them to turn around, face the
4 wall, and have their backs towards the door. Then they called another
5 four rows and then another four rows. And when my turn came, when four
6 of my rows got up, we faced in the other direction and our backs were
7 turned towards the exit where there was Serbian soldiers and a woman.
8 And then they brought a lot of cloth, and it went on until one of us
9 prisoners said, "You must not kill these people."
10 It was mostly young men standing at the door, 18 or younger,
11 Serbian soldiers, and they all held their rifles in their hands like
12 that. And the one that uttered those words, he was maybe 25. And then
13 they said, "Well, who says so?" And the man again repeated the same
14 words. And then they said, "Well, we'll see whether we must or we must
15 not," and then they told them to get up. He had black trousers on him
16 and a shirt similar to mine. They took him out of the gym. We heard
17 rifle shots and the man screamed, and then more shots and then silence.
18 Then they took out a young man again, 20 to 25. I don't know why they
19 took him out. Again we heard rifle shots and the man never re-appeared.
20 They stopped the water from being brought in. I guess they
21 needed time to clear that away, and then they started putting blindfolds
22 on us. And we would go into this room that was L-shaped. Before that
23 people asked them, "Where are you taking these people?" And they
24 responded, "To Bijeljina, to a camp there." Nobody put any questions
25 after that.
1 Q. Okay. Let me stop you for just one minute. In one of your
2 statements within a year or so after the events, it appears from that --
3 in the statement that the people that were -- got up that said, "Don't
4 kill any of us," that they were killed in the gym in front of you. Is
5 that correct, or is your recollection now that they were actually taken
6 outside and that's when you heard shots?
7 A. No, no. I never said that he was killed in the gym. He was
8 taken out, and the other one was taken out as well. Right there, I only
9 saw them slap one man. Why they slapped him, I don't know. People
10 addressed the soldiers. They would say, "Soldiers." And they would
11 respond saying, "We are not soldiers. We are Karadzic's Chetniks." So
12 nobody was killed there. People were taken out in front of the school
14 Q. And can you tell us, in this gym, how full was it with Muslims?
15 A. Well, we had to sit with our knees against our chests, and there
16 were between 500 and 1.000 people there.
17 Q. So was there any empty space in this gym or was it pretty full
19 A. There, when all of us were there in the gym, you couldn't throw a
20 matchstick and have it fall on the floor, and that was before people
21 started going out.
22 Q. And how hot was it in that gym that you were there?
23 A. It was so hot that people started complaining. You could just
24 hear a rumour, and then Serbian soldiers would fire on the wall to make
25 them go quiet again.
1 Q. And you mentioned that there was some elderly men from Potocari.
2 So when you say "elderly," how old did you mean?
3 A. Well, there was a man from my village, I knew him, he was 70.
4 And these people were between 60- and 70-something. I know that this one
5 man from my village was 70.
6 Q. And when you say from Potocari, what did you mean by that?
7 A. Well, the people who had left with women and children as not fit
8 for the army service, it was them, not just those who went to Orahovac.
9 Everywhere, at every location, young and old alike were killed.
10 Q. And how did you know that these men were from the group that went
11 with the women and children to Potocari? Did you know that at the time
12 or is that something you learned later?
13 A. No, no. We knew immediately that those people had gone with
14 women and children because they were so frail that they couldn't walk
15 5 kilometres in the whole day, let alone 100 kilometres from Srebrenica.
16 Q. So can you give us any kind of a rough time estimate of when you
17 actually first got to this school. When your truck first pulled up to
18 the school, do you know roughly what time of day it was?
19 A. It was in the afternoon. It was in the afternoon. But I didn't
20 have a watch on me, so I don't know what time it was.
21 Q. And how long were you jammed in this gym until you were stood up
22 and blindfolded and put in this L-shaped room?
23 A. I don't know how long we spent there, but when I came out there
24 was maybe one hour before it fell dark. I don't know whether we were
25 there for three hours, five hours. I haven't got a clue.
1 Q. Okay. Tell us what happened in the L-shaped room and -- where
2 you were taken.
3 A. Well, they took two prisoners there and blindfolded them. There
4 was a woman standing there and two uniformed men. The woman also wore
5 uniform. She gave a cup of water to every person after they had been
6 blindfolded. Why she did that, I don't know. They made a kind of swing
7 barrier there and there was a TAM
8 there were two benches but they were not full. I sat on the right-hand
9 side. When the truck became full and all the places on the benches were
10 occupied, people were sitting down between the benches.
11 I forgot to say that once they started taking people out, a
12 soldier appeared with a red beret. He went with every batch of people.
13 I don't know whether there were two or three trucks, because once you
14 have a blindfold you can't see anything.
15 Q. Can you just tell us briefly what a TAM truck is so we can get
16 that picture of a TAM
17 A. The TAM
18 cattle. It is good for small cattle. It could perhaps accommodate two
19 cows but not more, so mostly people from Bijeljina and Janja used these
20 kind of trucks for the transportation of agriculture produce.
21 Q. So did the military use TAM
23 A. No, no. The army never had this kind of trucks. They had bigger
25 because they commandeered all kind of machinery from farmers.
1 Q. Now, this door that you went out and were -- from a ramp into the
2 truck, was this the same door you came in to the building or a different
4 A. No, no, we entered through a different door and we went out
5 through this door. In 1999 I went to visit the scene, and that is when
6 this door was -- was built and closed with concrete blocks because
7 terrible genocide was carried out in the territory of Zvornik
9 Q. Who did you go there with in 1999?
10 A. I went with this investigator named Ruez.
11 Q. And that was an investigator from the ICTY, to your knowledge?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And when he took you to this school, were you able to recognise
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Now, once you were put in the back of this truck with your
17 blindfold, what happened?
18 A. The truck rode down an asphalt road for a short period of time.
19 I felt that it went to the left. After this short ride it stopped. We
20 were told to climb down, and that's what we did. I looked in front of
21 myself and I saw a dead man. I have three children and immediately I
22 thought about them, and I thought that I would have the same destiny like
23 this man, that I'm not going to see my children ever again. And I was --
24 I started praying to God and I started thinking in what way they are
25 going to kill me.
1 A burst of fire was heard coming from the left. I fell down and
2 my right arm was across the chest of another man. When this burst of
3 fire stopped, a man came, started walking among the people lying on the
4 ground and shooting them in the head. I have a little bruise here
5 probably from the ground and the gravel that was on the road --
6 Q. Okay. Let me just interrupt you for the record. I see you're
7 pointing to some fingers on your right hand.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you've told us you had a blindfold on. How can you see
10 anything with this blindfold, was it still on?
11 A. No. I didn't see this on my hand. I only felt it. But at that
12 very moment, because I was looking down in front of myself, I saw this
13 dead man.
14 Q. So did you have the blindfold on when you looked down to see the
15 dead man?
16 A. Yes, yes. I was just looking directly in front of me, because
17 you couldn't see anything ahead. That was a very sick -- thick cloth and
18 it wasn't see-through.
19 Q. And after the firing and you fell down, what happened?
20 A. When everything stopped, when the shooting stopped, they started
21 shouting, "Let's go and take their watches off." I didn't have a watch
22 and my left arm was beneath me, but then one of them said, "We're not
23 going to do that," and they didn't. In the meantime, as soon as a truck
24 would arrive the same would be repeated. You would hear a burst of fire
25 and all this was going on until darkness fell.
1 Q. Can you give us -- and -- just your rough estimate of how long
2 this -- these executions were going on from the time you first got to
3 this site?
4 A. Well, it -- they definitely lasted until 11.00 in the evening
5 because it lasted for quite some time after darkness fell. Overall I
6 don't know how long it started from the very -- how long it took from the
7 very beginning.
8 Q. Were there any lights around?
9 A. There was an excavator there, and it was digging. When I slowly
10 removed my blindfold I saw this excavator opposite us. When this was
11 finished, they didn't have any more place and they all gathered around
12 this machine, and this man who was in charge told them, "Let's go to this
13 field where grass had been cut to kill all those people." The man
14 stopped the excavator and said, "If you leave, I'd like to go with you."
15 Q. Did you ever hear any names mentioned by any of these men that
16 were doing the shooting or were at the site?
17 A. They mentioned the names Gojko, Vojo, that's how they were
18 addressing one another, Risto. This Gojko was my fellow worker from the
19 company and we had known each other for 15 years. Gojko thought that all
20 the men were dead, and he said that he would like to be kissed by some of
21 the men who were killed. I recognised his voice when he said that.
22 Q. Did you ever see his face while you were there?
23 A. No, no. It was dark. It was night-time. I couldn't see his
25 Q. And how can you be sure it was this voice of this Gojko?
1 A. Well, he had a very specific voice. If you know someone for a
2 long time you can recognise their voice everywhere, and as I said, we
3 knew each other for 15 years. And they also were addressing one another
4 by name.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I think it's a good time to take a
6 break, and I can also tell you we're getting close to being finished with
7 direct examination. Maybe another 15 minutes.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we break, my fellow Judge has a question.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Just one follow-up question.
10 Witness PW-007, I would like to know exactly what happened on July 12th.
11 In the transcript, page 15, line 8, 9, and 10, it says the following, and
12 I'll read in English:
13 [In English] "No, no. Those who had some weapons, they had left
14 with the first group and they had moved through, and they were lucky
15 because they had their weapons, whereas we didn't have anything and we
16 could be killed by anyone."
17 [Interpretation] This is on page 15. But on page 14, line 12,
18 this is what I read:
19 [In English] "We went through a wood and when we came to a field,
20 we saw a lot of dead bodies. That was probably where an ambush had been
21 set for this first group, and we didn't know anything about this because
22 we were at the rear end of the column."
23 [Interpretation] So this is my question, Witness. If I
24 understand things correctly, the first group had weapons, so these dead
25 bodies were probably people who had been killed during a battle. I don't
1 know. It's just a question. I don't know what happened. So why are you
2 saying later on that the first group was lucky because they had weapons,
3 if they were killed at the end?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not all of them were killed.
5 Probably 50 people were killed, but these people were killed on their way
6 from Srebrenica.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] We are talking about this first
8 group where there were people with weapons; is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Not all of them were
10 armed. Those who had weapons advanced and went ahead. Among them were,
11 for example, the president of the municipality, the people who had to be
12 provided with some security, and nobody knew what was going to happen.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
14 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There was no interpretation.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because this kind of genocide never
17 happened anywhere after the Second World War.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I could have one follow-up question that may help
20 clarify that.
21 Q. Sir, were you aware of how many -- roughly how many men from the
22 beginning of the Muslim column actually made it through at Baljkovica and
23 made it through to Muslim lines?
24 A. I don't know how many of them. Maybe you should ask someone
25 else. I never asked about this and I don't know.
1 Q. Are those the lucky ones that you're referring to?
2 A. Well, yes, yes. Anyone who managed to cross over could be
3 considered lucky. Those who were unlucky are now being exhumed from
4 various graves, one arm in one grave, one leg in another grave. So only
5 those who survived were lucky.
6 [No interpretation].
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There was again no translation of the last part.
8 There might be a problem with the system in the moment, but I think you
9 could deal with this problem after the break, again to clarify the
11 We must have our first break now and we will resume 20 minutes
12 past 4.00.
13 And I think to enable the witness to leave the courtroom we
14 should go into private -- it's not necessary. You will deal with that.
15 Thank you very much.
16 The Court Officer will assist you during the break. We will
17 resume 20 minutes past 4.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.52 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know if the booth caught that last
22 sentence and they can tell us or not. I can try to see if the witness
23 remembers what he said.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Unfortunately, the interpreters didn't get this
25 last sentence.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Thank you. We'll try to slow it down a
3 Q. Witness, you had -- in answering my last question had said that
4 the lucky ones were the ones that made it through and that the unlucky
5 ones were the ones that were in mass graves. And then you said something
6 else which the interpreters -- we weren't able to get. Do you remember
7 what you said?
8 A. Well, I said only those who were in mass graves had their limbs
9 in different graves and maybe of -- it was necessary to dig in to three
10 or four graves in order to put together one person and his body parts.
11 Q. So have you been following the exhumations of these mass graves
12 by the international community?
13 A. No. I only heard that the majority of these graves were dug out.
14 They did find my brother, but not his complete body.
15 Q. Okay. I understand.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go into private session briefly.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
18 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. What else, if anything, did you hear Gojko say?
18 A. Yes, he said, "Collect all your ammunition, let's go to this
19 mowed field and let's shoot the people." He seemed, he appeared, to be
20 the person in charge.
21 Q. And where were you when you heard him say this?
22 A. Well, some 10 to 20 metres from him.
23 Q. And you mentioned an excavator. Can you describe to the Court
24 what you mean by excavator, what kind of excavator -- or not the brand
25 name, but there's lots of big digging equipment. Can you tell us what it
1 is you saw?
2 A. Well, that is a construction machine used for digging trenches
3 and canals. It can also load cargo on but it has a small bucket, so it's
4 different. It's really a digger.
5 Q. All right. And did you see another kind of a machine there
6 besides this excavator?
7 A. Well, after this I saw a loader. This loader came with the
8 lights on because the excavator was turned in the opposite direction so
9 the lights were only used -- the excavator lights were only used to
10 actually throw some light on the area that is being excavated or dug up.
11 Q. Now, what happened after this, after you saw this digging
13 A. Well, when the digger, or rather, the loader arrived, it had the
14 lights on and we were all lit up. One of us was alive and he was on the
15 other side, on the opposite side from where we were. So he sort of stood
16 up and ran into the woods. They fired after him, and the driver of this
17 digger turned the digger so that he could actually light up the area
18 where the man fled into the woods. And at that moment I moved and then
19 he said, "Well, there's another man moving here." Fortunately, they
20 didn't hear him, and then I just lay -- I just took two long strides and
21 I could feel some stones there. And then I looked around. When I saw
22 that no one was going in my direction, I stood up. And as I ran up this
23 embankment, a stone-built embankment, I realised that it was really rail
24 tracks there. I ran up and I could hear a burst of fire being fired
25 behind me. I didn't see or hear the bullets actually hit the stones
1 around me and I didn't feel being hit.
2 I flew over the railway tracks, and then I just threw myself over
3 the other side of the embankment. I jumped up again on to my feet, and
4 then I realised that there was a maise field not far off. They were
5 already very tall, the corn stalks. I ran halfway, and then I thought
6 they will start shooting because they will see the corn rustling. And
7 then I just threw myself on the ground, and then as I slithered through
8 it, I realised that there was some stream or water somewhere, but I
9 didn't see it. The Serb soldiers went searching through the cornfield.
10 They shot just randomly, I don't think -- and I didn't feel that anything
11 hit me. And then they turned back and went away.
12 I could hear the shooting for a long time after that, and when
13 everything was over, I got myself up from the cornfield. There was a
14 copse of trees not far from there, but I was very afraid as I left the
15 cornfield into the open field, but there was no one there, fortunately,
16 because had there been someone they would have caught me and killed me, I
17 am sure. And then I started moving but I didn't really know where I was
18 going because I knew when they had brought us to the school, but from
19 there onwards, I didn't know where I was.
20 And then as I was walking along the paved road there was -- there
21 were bodies there, but there were signs of life from one of these
22 persons. He was -- the sound that he was producing was inhuman. It was
23 almost like an animal squealing, but I couldn't really help him. So I
24 moved along and then I came across the railway tracks again, and then as
25 I crossed them I realised that I was at the railway station in Orahovac.
1 So I concluded that I was again heading in the direction of Zvornik. So
2 I re-traced my steps. I went back and got on to the road again. I
3 didn't know where I was going. I decided to go into the wood because I
4 was afraid it would get light, because it was a summer night and they're
5 not very long.
6 I headed from there towards a home. There was a light coming
7 from there. I didn't hear any sound, not even a dog barking, and then as
8 I passed by a hut, I saw a person sleeping there with a rifle against the
9 wall. And then I went around that house, and again I had no idea where I
10 was. Soon after that it grew light. I went through some villages that
11 had been burnt down. I know they were Bosniak villages because they had
12 been burnt down. I had no idea where I was going. The sun was high up
13 and I still had no idea where I was going. But as I walked on,
14 fortunately I was walking in the right direction, not in the opposite
15 direction, and once I reached Krizevici where a store used to be, I
16 knew -- I found my bearings, I knew where I was.
17 So then I retraced my steps a bit. I went backwards. And then
18 as I went up a slope, I saw that a mosque which used to be there had been
19 destroyed. And then I arrived in Seferovici. I knew that because I had
20 some relatives nearby, in a village nearby, and as I was there, there was
21 a patrol that was walking there and they started shooting, but I managed
22 to get through Seferovici, this village. I walked across some grass.
23 The houses were all burnt down. And then as I crossed over that field, I
24 realised that there was this village that I knew, that I was familiar
25 with, because I had some relatives there.
1 The grass was so high that I was wet almost up to my waist. So
2 then I decided to take a nap. I lay down and slept for maybe an hour or
3 two, I have no idea how long, but when I woke up I realised I hadn't
4 eaten anything for a very long time because we were only given water,
5 nothing else, since we had been detained. Maybe I had a fruit or
6 something but -- so then I went down to the village and I found a pear
7 which was ripe. There were some green buds or fruits on fruit trees, but
8 I couldn't eat that. There was only this one pear.
9 So then I tried to find some clothes in the village -there was no
10 one there because it had been burnt down - because I wanted a change of
11 clothes because the shirt that I had on had a blood-stain because of the
12 man who had leaned against me who had been shot. So I wanted to make
13 sure that I had clean clothes because had they found me like that, they
14 would have known that I had escaped.
15 So I returned -- I started going back. I headed back toward
16 Baljkovica when it got dark and I found a house that remained almost
17 intact. It hadn't been completely burnt down. The roof was -- had
18 fallen in, but -- but the walls were still up. And then when I arrived
19 there there were three buses, Drinatrans buses that were going -- local
20 buses that were transporting people back from -- towards Baljkovici. The
21 direction the buses were going was a Serb village --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name of the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and then I decided to spend the
25 night in that house. And in the morning, when it got light, somebody
1 threw something, flung a stone against the wall and said, "Get up." So I
2 got up and I just was expecting someone to barge the door --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. Let me interrupt you for one second. I'm sorry, you had
5 mentioned a village just now but they weren't able to hear it. Can you
6 tell us what village you had just passed through?
7 A. Well, I think it was Delici, that was the name of the village. I
8 know -- I was not from that village, but I know -- I have a general idea,
9 and I think it's Delici.
10 Q. Delici or Dulici?
11 A. Delici.
12 Q. Okay. And now from this morning that someone threw a rock at
13 you, how many more days did it take you to reach the Muslim territory?
14 A. Well, had the road been clear it would have taken 15 to
15 20 minutes because I was already nearby, but the roads weren't clear.
16 Q. So how long did it take you to manage to get away?
17 A. Well, I actually took advantage of the situation then because the
18 people who were going from Srebrenica had arrived at Baljkovica at that
19 time, and had there not been a breakthrough at that time of the front
20 line, those people would have ended the same way we had. And then when
21 they arrived there, the Serbs had withdrawn all their artillery from
22 Baljkovica. So I took advantage of that situation and sort of flew over
23 to the other side. I was so close. There were some hundred metres or so
24 where I could see the houses on the other side, but it was all a clearing
25 and I was afraid that someone might notice me.
1 Q. Okay. So when you say the people from Srebrenica made a
2 breakthrough through Baljkovica, are those people from Srebrenica, is
3 that part of the column that you were speaking of earlier, the front of
4 the column?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And were there -- was that where the weapons were?
7 A. Well, most probably. I don't know. I wasn't with them.
8 Q. All right. And -- okay. Now let me take you back briefly to
9 something you mentioned. You said you didn't get any food during this
10 time, but let me ask you when you were at Sandici, the area next to this
11 asphalt road where you surrendered, did you see the Serb forces providing
12 anyone with any food?
13 A. No. There were people there, wounded people. They were crying
14 out, asking for them to be -- for their wounds to be dressed, but then
15 they moved and went on to another house and they never returned.
16 Q. Who were moved on to another house?
17 A. Well, the wounded people were taken to a house there. There were
18 some houses there some 200 metres away from us.
19 Q. And did you see any of the Muslims that were in that field with
20 you near Sandici get treated with any kind of first aid or medical or
21 receive any help of any kind?
22 A. No, no. They just offered a bottle of liquor and they offered a
23 few people to have a swig and maybe a cigarette or two, but there was no
24 food or any medical assistance provided.
25 Q. Was there some water provided at Sandici?
1 A. Yes, they did bring water for us.
2 Q. Now, in that truck that you were in from the time you left
3 Sandici, you spent the night in that truck in Bratunac, and you were
4 taken to that truck the next morning to Orahovac, did anyone bring you
5 any food or anybody else in that truck bring you any food?
6 A. No. For the entire period since we had been captured, no one had
7 seen a crumb of food. They did give us water, not that evening but on
8 the next day, both in Bratunac and in Orahovac.
9 Q. Okay. So just to be clear, once you got to the school in
10 Orahovac, before you were put in an execution line, did anyone give
11 anybody any food in that gym or any medical attention of any sort that
12 you saw?
13 A. No, nobody. They just put a bucket for people to relieve
14 themselves and there was nothing else. They did bring water, but there
15 wasn't enough for everybody to fill themselves up.
16 Q. Okay. Now, going back briefly again to Sandici, did you see any
17 of the soldiers or police taking down names and making lists of the
18 Muslim men or prisoners?
19 A. No. They did not write down any of the prisoners. I don't know
20 about what happened in other locations. This is why the Serbs are
21 claiming that it wasn't that number of people who got killed. They don't
22 know exactly whom they killed and how many. They could have killed
23 people of any ethnicity. They asked whether there were any Serbs among
24 us, but there were none.
25 Q. All right. I'm just going to show you some photos that I know
1 you've seen many times before in your previous testimonies, but let's put
2 them on your screen, so you should, I think, get your glasses out. The
3 first one is number 1129, 65 ter 1129. It should appear on your screen
4 and we're going to try to use that writing pencil that you used before,
5 but I want you to just take a look at this photograph to see if it means
6 anything to you.
7 And while we're waiting, do you remember how many times you've
8 come to The Hague
9 A. This is my fifth time.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I wonder if this can be blown up a bit. Thank
12 Q. Now, just take a look at that. It's obviously winter.
13 A. We went out through this area here. This is where the ramp was
14 where we got on to the TAM
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please wait a moment.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Hold on, it disappeared. This is our first photo of the trial,
18 so bear with us for a second. Could you just, to make it simple put a --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Court Officer will help you. Just a moment.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: He's an expert.
21 Q. Could you take that pen and just draw a big 1 where you entered
22 the school building, if you know, if you remember.
23 A. Well, here I don't see the area where we entered. I just know
24 that through this auxiliary building we were taken out. This is where
25 the truck was and this is where the wall was broken --
1 Q. Hold on --
2 A. -- this is the gym. This is the fence of the yard.
3 Q. Could you put a 1 next to the place where you were taken out
4 where the wall was broken, where you've marked that red mark. Just put a
5 1 next to that so we know what you're talking about.
6 A. I made a big mess, but this -- here where the mark is.
7 Q. Let's erase this one and try again. It's all right. We'll get
8 it right. If you can, just put a 1 where you came out of the gym.
9 A. There.
10 Q. Okay. And -- that's good. And now let's save that, but can you
11 just put the number 007 on this thing. Just put 007, that will indicate
12 it's you, and just in the bottom right-hand corner, in the snow, put just
13 11/3/10, the date.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Well, that's not quite the snow, but that will do.
16 All right. Let's go to the next one and that is number 1128.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you asking -- are you tendering this exhibit?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was going to -- I have three of them. I was
19 going to do it at the end if that would be more convenient.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should do that immediately.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Otherwise it's a danger to lose these markings.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. I would offer this into evidence then
24 and the -- and 1129 which -- it was the ...
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. I hear no objection.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This will be received.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I think we had a discussion about the
5 information sheet, the hard copy, that should be uploaded and we would
6 receive that as well as an exhibit under seal.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. That's -- yes, that's uploaded and we
8 should offer that as well, 6188.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym sheet will be P42, under seal. And
12 the photograph marked by the witness will be P43.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. If we could go now to 65 ter 1128.
16 Q. Okay. Can you mark with a 2 if you recognise anything on this
17 photograph -- do you -- first of all, do you recognise this building?
18 A. Can you make it brighter?
19 Q. I'm afraid that's about as good as we get. And if you can't
20 recognise it, don't worry about it; if you can, let us know.
21 A. This is the entrance, and from here one went straight and then to
22 the left and then there was a door leading straight into the gym.
23 Q. Hold on. We've got another glitch. But just to try to make it
24 as simple as you can, can you put a 2 where you came out of the gym, if
25 you can see. Just put a 2 -- if you can see where you came out, just put
1 a 2.
2 A. I did put a 2 but it's not showing.
3 Q. Well, we can see it, so it -- and that's just right. Can you
4 tell on this photograph the area where you went into the school? If not,
5 don't worry about it; if you can, put a 3.
6 A. I see. It's actually quite dark. I can't tell whether there's a
7 door there or not. It's really dark.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. I have hard time seeing without my glasses and my glasses are
10 really not the right prescription.
11 Q. Okay. Then we're fine. If you can just in the right-hand corner
12 put 007 again.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. That will work. And it's the same date, the 11 -- 11 March 2010.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Okay. That's fine.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer that into evidence.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received, but let me ask, is it really
19 necessary to have the date and the pseudonym on the photo? I don't think
20 that this is really necessary?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Stewart always has told me to do that,
22 Your Honour, but if -- that's just our practice and it's whatever you
23 wish, of course.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Not to do that could simplify the procedure.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay, I'll try to see if I can remember why we do
1 that. I'm sure there's a reason for it, but we'll sort it out. I've got
2 only two more, so we're almost finished.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. We wait for the number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: This will be P44.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
7 And if we could go to 65 ter 1134.
8 Q. [Microphone not activated]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone, please.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me.
12 Q. I don't need you to mark anything on this right away, but do you
13 recognise this picture?
14 A. Yes. These are the doors through which we came in. This
15 basketball hoop that's there now, I didn't see it back then; but
16 otherwise it's the gym as it was. These are the windows and then the
17 entire wall.
18 Q. And were you able to point anything out to Mr. Ruez when you were
19 there, do you remember?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. What did you point out to him, if you recall? You don't need to
22 mark the photo.
23 A. I showed everything to him as it was. I came there and nothing
24 had been done to the gym. There was some cupboards there that didn't
25 used to be when we were kept there. So everything was -- looked normal.
1 There was something that was built up, but yes, everything was normal as
2 it used to be.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would offer that, 1134, into evidence.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As P45, Your Honours.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: And now I'd like to go to one last exhibit, it is
8 number 5755, page 125.
9 Q. And, Witness, for your purposes, as you'll see, this is a list of
10 names, and I will ask you if you recognise any of the names on this.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have it on the screen yet.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: There it is.
13 Q. I don't know if you can read that. If we can blow it up a bit --
14 read it.
15 A. This here is my brother. This is my brother.
16 Q. Okay --
17 A. Well, it's gone.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: This should not be broadcast, by the way. I
19 apologise. And if we could go into private session.
20 Q. One second, Witness.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 562-566 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
19 Sir, this is the end of the examination-in-chief by the
20 Prosecution. Now the accused has the chance in cross-examination to put
21 questions to you.
22 Mr. Tolimir, do you have cross-examination?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I am
24 ready to start my cross-examination based on the statement provided by
25 this witness. I would like to greet the witness, and this is how I am
1 going to address him, and I would like to say that with all due respect
2 for everything that he had gone through we nevertheless have to ask
3 certain questions in order to clarify the situation that he has been
4 describing because this situation and certain aspects can be perceived in
5 a variety of different ways. On my behalf, I would like to express my
6 condolences for all those who went through this ordeal.
7 If I may begin with my questions.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Witness told us here that later, after he had
10 reached the free territory, he learned from his brother that his brother
11 passed him by in the bus column that was moving from Sandici to Potocari.
12 I would like to ask him just to tell us a little bit more about this.
13 How is what was possible for his brother to see him?
14 A. Mr. Tolimir, my brother didn't see me. We were not moving from
15 Sandici to Potocari, but rather to Bratunac. He only saw people who were
16 captured, but he didn't see them.
17 Q. Where was he?
18 A. He was in a bus. My brother who managed to cross over, he was a
19 disabled person. He had -- he has sciatica and he was a disabled person.
20 He was not a military disabled person.
21 Q. Thank you. So he is talking about his brother who left --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you here. You are
23 both speaking the same language. You should avoid overlapping in asking
24 and answering and -- for the sake of the interpretation. Just wait for
25 the moment the transcript stops.
1 Now put your question.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 What I would like to know was whether his brother at the time was
4 in the bus along with those who were crossing from the Serbian territory
5 to the Muslim territory or was he in some other means of transportation.
6 That was not clear to me.
7 A. My brother was in Potocari. He had two crutches. That's how he
8 walked. While he was in Potocari a Serbian soldier told him, "Get on the
9 truck." And he said, "I can't do that." And then another one told him,
10 "Well, then, go and board a bus," and that's what he did. Luckily, he
11 managed to pass through.
12 Q. [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please switch on your microphone. Mr. Tolimir,
15 you need your microphone. Your microphone, you should switch on your
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, do you know anything about the agreement that was
20 reached at Fontana
21 representatives of the Serbian army?
22 A. No. They did not negotiate while we were in Srebrenica. If they
23 did negotiate, that took place only after the people had left Srebrenica.
24 Q. Thank you. Maybe you didn't understand me properly. We are
25 talking here about the fact that people were not allowed to leave
1 Srebrenica before this agreement was informed.
2 A. Mr. Tolimir, you know that Mladic was negotiating at Fontana
3 Bratunac, with someone called Mandzic, I don't know. But we all had
4 already left except women and children. You held them as hostages
5 because if anything happened on the road you threatened to strangle all
6 the women and the children.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, I have to ask you as well to stop and to
8 wait between -- not to answer immediately but to wait a little moment so
9 that the transcript and the interpreters can follow what you are
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I wanted to add, it's not because
12 I'm listening to the French, but I have the feeling that the witness is
13 talking to the accused and the witness should actually be talking and
14 looking at the Trial Chamber and not at the accused.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I would really like to clarify this situation which will enable
19 me to ask the following question. So can the answer -- can the witness
20 answer me whether in this column that was headed towards Tuzla knew that
21 there had been an agreement according to which those fit for military
22 services were supposed to surrender themselves as prisoners of war,
23 whereas the civilian population was to be -- was to be transferred to
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer
2 because there were overlapping speakers.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness didn't start with his answer.
4 Please answer the question.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Maybe it will help, but the last part would have
6 been not that the population was to be transferred to Srebrenica, but
7 that the population was to be transferred out of Srebrenica.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then you should please repeat your answer to the
9 last question, especially related to Srebrenica.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The people had left Srebrenica on
11 the 11th of July. They went to Potocari, which is 4 kilometres from
12 Srebrenica. So they were moving out of Srebrenica and heading towards
13 the liberated territory or the free territory.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 Carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Obviously I cannot elicit an answer from the witness whether the Muslim
18 people and the army knew that an agreement had been reached at Fontana
19 This is all I'm interested in because this is very important for my next
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no, nobody told us anything
22 about this.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. Since nobody told you anything about this agreement,
25 then you didn't know that you were in violation of this agreement because
1 you didn't surrender and you embarked on a breakthrough.
2 A. Mr. Tolimir, we did surrender. Didn't you see us? Didn't you
3 see how we surrendered. Of the 1.000, only five or ten people managed to
4 survive. That was a divine intervention that these people were saved.
5 What are you trying to persuade us? We did surrender.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, just -- you should put questions to
7 the witness and not make statements, and the last question was not a
8 question, in fact. Keep that in mind, please.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I asked
10 him whether the soldiers and the population of Srebrenica were aware
11 about the Fontana
12 judgements about documents. I'm just asking --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you must not explain anything. Just
14 ask questions. You must not explain why you are asking a question. Just
15 put questions to the witness. Please carry on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to ask
17 you, Mr. President, what you told me just now, to say the same thing to
18 the witness. He is giving his own assessments, such as genocide and
19 things. It's not up to him to use this kind of terminology. It is up to
20 you to decide what terms are going to be used.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is a question the Chamber has
22 to deal with. In this respect we don't need your guidance. Please carry
23 on asking questions.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. My next question is: Did you personally know, as well as those
2 who were with you in the column, that an agreement had been reached at
4 A. Please, don't ask me that. You ask someone else about this. If
5 I had known about this, I -- why should I have been such a foolish person
6 and risk losing my life? Don't say things that are inappropriate to say.
7 What are you talking about? What are you talking about Fontana for?
8 That was already a time when people were dead, while Mladic and the rest
9 of them were drinking whiskey at Fontana.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, you should just answer the question. We
11 don't want to have debates on different positions. If the accused puts
12 questions to you, just answer; if you don't know that, then say "I don't
13 know." If you know, then tell the Chamber what you are -- what is your
15 I'm very sorry. Mr. Tolimir may ask the next question.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Witness, in your written statement and here in this courtroom
19 today, you said that in the evening a certain man came to see us and
20 somebody told you that that was Mladic.
21 A. 100 per cent.
22 Q. Did you know that man?
23 A. I didn't know him before that, but when I reached the free
24 territory and when I saw him on TV that was 100 per cent Mladic. And he
25 addressed us by saying, "Good evening, neighbours." Nobody else called
1 us neighbours except him.
2 Q. Mr. Witness, can you recall anything else that Mladic told you,
3 apart from this word "neighbours"?
4 A. When he came he said, "Good evening, neighbours," and then he
5 said, "The governments are in negotiations and there will be an exchange
6 tomorrow, all for all." He also said, "You will get some water but no
7 supper." In my view, what he meant was that there will be blood. He
8 never mentioned food. Others mentioned food, but he thought that we
9 would have blood; but bread, definitely not.
10 Q. Thank you, Witness. You have answered my question, but I would
11 like to ask you to give me a yes or no answer and let us give a chance to
12 the Trial Chamber to make their own conclusions.
13 My next question is -- today you said that this young man decided
14 who to shoot and who -- whom he should not shoot. When this man said,
15 "You mustn't kill all these people," my question is: Do you believe that
16 this was also done according to his personal wish or according to
17 someone's orders?
18 A. I don't know whether he was ordered to do that or whether he
19 himself wanted to do that. I don't know.
20 Q. Thank you. Next question. You also said that a young man with a
21 black scarf let some children under the age of 15 and some women from the
22 column of the prisoners. Was that his own decision? Did he do that on
23 his own initiative or did he follow orders?
24 A. Probably at his own initiative. I don't think there was any of
25 his superiors present there.
1 Q. Thank you. My next question is: Did you have the impression
2 that many of those individuals who imprisoned you, treated you and
3 decided on your life on their own initiative?
4 A. No. While we were in the school building they never physically
5 abused us. When other people came, probably officers dressed in
6 camouflage uniforms, that's when orders were issued to take people out to
7 be shot. So this was not done on their own initiative.
8 Q. Thank you. So you said from the moment when the people in
9 camouflage uniforms came and those who asked you, "Is there anyone here
10 from Zvornik," are you referring to those people?
11 A. Yes, I am.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think we need the second technical
13 break now. Is that a convenient time?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
15 no objection to that.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then we adjourn and resume at 6.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber wants to come back to the last
20 document, the list of names we saw on the screen. Perhaps it was not
21 very clear the position the Chamber took, and especially after having
22 heard the objection of Mr. Tolimir. The Chamber will receive this one
23 page with the markings of this witness as an exhibit in evidence. And
24 the Prosecution should come back to the other part of this whole
25 document, this book, at a later stage when it seems to be appropriate.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 And, Mr. Tolimir, once again, please pause between the answer and
4 your next question and just recall that you should put questions to the
6 But I would like to say a word to the witness as well. The
7 accused, Mr. Tolimir, has the right to put questions to you and you
8 should -- and it is a very strange situation for you, I can imagine, but
9 you should just listen to the question and answer this question. That
10 would help the Chamber to find out the truth. Thank you very much.
11 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on with your cross-examination.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could you
13 please just advise me how much time I have at my disposal. Can I use the
14 remainder of the day today for my question? Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, of course it's up to you how many questions
16 do you have and we have time until 7.00.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 MR. TOLIMIR:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, when you said here during your
20 testimony that on the sixth day you arrived in Baljkovica village, that
21 was on page 43, lines 44 -- 24 and 25 in the transcript, to the place
22 where the breakthrough occurred. However, you failed to mention on what
23 day it was that you were re-captured after Baljkovica. Thank you.
24 A. Well, I wasn't captured after Baljkovica. I was not taken
25 prisoner. I was taken prisoner at Sandici.
1 Q. Thank you. I believe that you may provide a more precise answer.
2 Before you were taken to Batkovici, were you captured? Thank you.
3 A. Well, I never was in Batkovici. Where did you get that
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you. Tell me then about the breakthrough. You came to
8 Baljkovica. Where did you go next?
9 A. After the breakthrough was carried out, I went towards a village.
10 I can't recall the name. I went in the direction of Nezuk village.
11 Q. Tell me, please, were you in the part of the column, the front
12 part of the column that had broken through the line held by the Serb
13 forces in the direction of Tuzla
14 A. No, I wasn't with that column. I arrived after the column had
15 already gone by. The column probably broke through around 2.00 or 3.00
16 in the afternoon, and I arrived there in the evening.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you answer the next question, please
18 pause. It is necessary for the sake of the interpretation, otherwise
19 your answer will not be heard.
20 Mr. Tolimir.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, at the end of your evidence here today you said that the
23 president of the municipality was at the head of the column that was
25 A. Well, no. I said that the leadership of the municipality was
1 there, but I didn't say anything about him being either at the beginning
2 or middle of the column.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you then answer this: This leadership, municipal
4 leadership that was at the head of the column together with the armed
5 group that advanced before a part of the column actually hit an ambush
6 where 50 people were killed, was that column moving from Srebrenica?
7 A. I don't know about that. They headed from Susnjari, and I don't
8 know when exactly it was when they set off, whether it was at midnight
9 before midnight
10 12th, with the last group. So we set off from Susnjari, the last group.
11 Q. Witness, you said that the room where you were held, where you
12 first had to leave your equipment, and when you were asked by my learned
13 colleague how many people were outside the school you said about 150 to
14 200. And then you said that once you entered the hall, you sat with your
15 backs to one another.
16 A. No. I said that there were lockers for about 200 people. I
17 don't know how many. Because they only took off their coats and jackets.
18 A person did not take all their clothes off. And as for those who
19 arrived, when it was ordered that they should be blindfolded, they
20 commanded that people who were up -- halfway in the hall, they should
21 turn one way and the people on the other half of the hall should turn
22 their -- towards the other wall in the opposite direction.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me please whether -- I just want to check
24 if I understood you correctly. You said that the hall was 15 by
25 20 metres long. Thank you.
1 A. Well, I didn't say how large it was. It was a gym and it was
2 measured at that point, but I don't know how -- what the measurements
3 were. It was probably 12 metres wide to 15 -- by 15 to 16 metres long,
4 but I don't recall it ever being actually written down how large it was.
5 Q. Very well. So you say that it was 12 to 15 metres long. You're
6 not sure. But can you tell me now, is it possible to fit 1.000 people in
7 that space?
8 A. Well, you know, the way we were crammed in, I think it is
9 possible. Because, you see, my -- as I was sitting, my knees were
10 actually up to my chin. They were against my breast, and I could -- if I
11 was able to count, I could count up to ten men, you know, along one row
12 and -- the length of the row and then also the width of the column. But
13 there were a lot of vehicles, and if each vehicle had 50 people at least
14 on it, and there were probably also people who were standing in the
15 vehicles, then you can see how many there were.
16 Q. Thank you. A few moments ago during your evidence you said that
17 there were about 500 to 1.000 people there. Could you please tell us
18 more specifically which of the two it is. I accept that you say -- if
19 you say 1 to 2, that's okay; but if you say 500 to 1.000, that's quite a
20 big difference. Now, could you tell us again, was it 500 people or
22 A. Well, I don't really know. That was my estimate. But judging by
23 how long it took for those people to be killed, it took some seven to
24 eight hours, now you can take -- you can make the calculation yourself.
25 If there was at least 30 people on a truck at least -- per truck because
1 there could be ten people per bench, so judging by the vehicles and the
2 number of people that got on them -- and then also there were people who
3 were there from before, this is my rough estimate. Now, whether it was
4 700 or 800 people, I can't really say with precision.
5 Q. Thank you. In your statement to the Prosecution on the 13th and
6 14th of August, 1995, under number 0079-8668, on page 2 you say:
7 "No one organised the evacuation of able-bodied men. According
8 to our then estimates there were around 15.000 men who were going through
9 the woods."
10 My question is this: Is it possible that no one organised the
11 evacuation of a column numbering 15.000 people?
12 A. Of course not. These people started -- they set off on their own
13 will, and even when it was -- when we heard that Srebrenica had fallen we
14 were going towards Susnjari and women and children were going towards
15 Potocari. How many people came from Suceska, I don't know. But if you
16 weren't there to see the huge number of people who were gathered there, I
17 don't really know. Maybe there were over 15.000 people or maybe not, but
18 this is a very rough estimate. Because, you see, when we showed up
19 there, we would fill two or three fields right away. And then when they
20 started putting these people in files and columns, then it was very
21 difficult to judge --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last portion
23 of the witness's answer.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The interpreters didn't catch the last portion of
25 your answer. Could you perhaps repeat the last two sentences.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I said, there were some
2 15.000 people there because if you consider how many people there were
3 there and that we couldn't set off right away, we only left at around
4 1.00, it was still day-time, and it is even possible that there were more
5 people than that. But most probably there were around 15.000 people
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. In your statement of July 1995, a few moments ago I
9 mentioned your August 1995 statement, but in your July witness -- in your
10 July statement, number 008483, you said the following:
11 "Able-bodied men were organised in order -- organised themselves
12 in order to leave Srebrenica" -- just a moment, please. Just wait for me
13 to finish my question.
14 Can you tell me, please, are these -- do these statements differ
15 because one was given in July and one in August, or is it about something
16 else? Where is this discrepancy arising from?
17 A. No, no --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please pause. Please pause. We are still
19 waiting for interpretation. And now please start with your answer.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said that able-bodied men
21 fit for military service organised themselves, because people had
22 problems. They had families, and as for me, I was over 40 even then, I
23 wasn't young. And as I said, I wasn't even capable. After being in
24 Srebrenica, I was so exhausted and I wondered whether I would be able to
25 reach Tuzla
1 showed -- with a picture after I arrived from Srebrenica, you couldn't
2 believe what I looked like. I looked like a skeleton with just skin over
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. My
6 assistant suggested that I repeat the ERN number of the July statement.
7 The ERN number that I asked to be posted, because it has not been
8 recorded in the transcript, that's number 0033-8483.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Mr. President. Could we ask -- I
10 think it should be known that if there's going to be repeated references
11 to previous statements, we will need to know the page and line in the
12 English as well as the Serbian so that we can make reference to it. I
13 haven't said anything at -- to this point, but if that could be borne in
14 mind in the future. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 I think you made a point. Even the Chamber has no possibility to
17 follow that way because we don't have these statements. Perhaps it is
18 possible to make a clear reference to the page numbers in both languages,
19 then we could perhaps, if you want to do that, call them up on the
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thank Mr. McCloskey. Could he
22 please take a look at 1D002, it's on the screen now.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, I think we have a problem. We have to go to
24 private session if that is displayed on the screen.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will manage not to broadcast it to the public,
2 only to have it on the screen in the courtroom, then this is possible.
3 We must not go into private session.
4 Please continue.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
6 English version page 2, line 3. However, if this requires us to go into
7 private session, I will not put any questions concerning this. I will
8 skip over all of these questions. All I want is to ask this witness
9 about how these statements were written up.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness, who wrote the statement that you gave to the Prosecutor?
12 A. I did.
13 Q. Did you type it?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you sign the version in the language that you understand or
16 did you sign the English version?
17 A. I think that I signed the English version, but it was interpreted
18 to me into my language. But perhaps what you're referring to is my
19 statement from Tuzla
20 or not. I know that I signed the one that was in English.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey --
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I'm now referring to the document 00 --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment.
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah, the document on the screen was a statement
2 to the high court judge of Tuzla
3 the Prosecutor. The witness clarified it is why I sat down, but -- so
4 hopefully we can stay clear on which -- there's many, many statements
5 over 15 years and we need to be very clear which statement we're talking
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
8 Carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was referring to
11 1D001, but if it's a problem I will not insist on it any longer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, if I signed it, it is my
13 statement. I'm not going to disown it. It's just that it's been
14 15 years and I simply don't remember. I remember that it was in English
15 and they interpreted it for me, and maybe there was a problem with
16 interpretation. That's the only problem that could have been because I
17 would never say anything against somebody. I try very, very hard not to
18 do that. I read the solemn declaration that I would speak the truth, and
19 I tried to do that as a witness. And I try not to raise my voice.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you. I also want to ask you about your statement 0798668
22 [as interpreted], page 2, paragraph 6. Could we have it on the screen,
24 You say there:
25 "I was in a group where there were 100 men. Most of them were
1 civilians. There were a couple of soldiers and several wounded men."
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you here. We don't
3 have it on the screen. Just wait a moment.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do we have the 65 ter number of the document so
6 that it can be found?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone.
10 THE ACCUSED: Thank you. [Interpretation] Please look at 1D001,
11 page 2.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now it appears on the screen. Please continue.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So my question is: Does it stem from your statements that the
15 column was established by civilians who were able-bodied and that there
16 were some soldiers in there? You said that there were about 500 rifles
18 A. I said about 500 rifles, but perhaps some of those people
19 remained in the last column. However, they left the column immediately
20 and went on.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, did the mayor that you mentioned a
22 bit earlier have any role in the column? You said that he was at the
23 head of the column.
24 A. No, I didn't see him in the column at all, but I suppose that the
25 leadership left within the first groups.
1 Q. Thank you. Witness, did you serve in the army?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. If it's not a problem to say that in public session, did you have
4 less than 50 years when you set out from Srebrenica?
5 A. Yes, I was younger than 50.
6 Q. Did you fall in the category of able-bodied men, fit for military
8 A. Yes, based on my age, yes, but I was not a soldier.
9 Q. And you know that there is a category of those who are
10 able-bodied, fit for military service and for work, you know what age
11 that is?
12 A. Yes, from 18 until 60.
13 Q. Isn't it that 15-year-old children are already considered fit for
15 A. No. Tell me which law specifies that, that the age limit for
16 that is 15.
17 Q. [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. It's not necessary for us to debate on this. I just said that
21 15-year-olds are considered fit for work and people of age are
22 18-year-olds, but we don't need to discuss this. It's not necessary.
23 A. No.
24 Q. [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, since you went out in the field with Jean-Rene Ruez, did
3 he give you any suggestions when the statement was taken and drafted, the
4 statement that he co-signed?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Can you answer this, please: Were your families together with
7 you and your brothers in Srebrenica?
8 A. No.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
10 no further questions for this witness.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Witness, for your proper attitude. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
14 Mr. McCloskey, do you have re-examination?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber would like to thank you that you
18 again were in the position to come to The Hague to testify here and to
19 help the Chamber find out the truth. Thank you very much again, and you
20 are now free to return to your home. Thank you very much and the
21 Court Officer will assist you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We need to go into private session. I think so.
24 Now everything is prepared. Thank you very much.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, is the next witness ready?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have been told he has been sent
3 back to his hotel. He's a rather elderly man and he is not here, but
4 he'll of course be ready to go tomorrow. He, as you may recall, is a
5 92 ter witness so he will be very short for the Prosecution. And I
6 wanted to mention to you, should he finish early, we have not brought any
7 more witnesses in because of the long week it would have taken. But we
8 do have an exhibit that we call the trial video, which the Defence has --
9 is fully aware of. And it's basically the videos that have been put
10 together from films shot by combat cameras and journalists, beginning
11 with 10 July in -- and the military movement towards Srebrenica, through
12 Srebrenica, into Potocari, the Hotel Fontana meetings you heard briefly
13 about. And we had normally played that with Mr. Ruez so that if
14 questions pop up he could answer them, though he -- in the past there
15 haven't been too many questions. I was thinking we might be able to save
16 some time, if we have at least an hour or so extra, we could play
17 portions of that video for you to -- and that way we would have less time
18 to take up with Mr. Ruez, who should be here in a couple of weeks. And
19 hopefully we'll be able to get Mr. Ruez done in the three days that we
20 have allotted for him.
21 And so I've mentioned that to the Defence. Of course I offer
22 that to you as well. This is a rather important video to see. We
23 usually play it all in one chunk, but it's in day-oriented chapters, and
24 it's something that I think we can -- it would be helpful for the Chamber
25 to see if we can see it for an hour or so at a time.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's in the moment, your decision what
2 you want to present. We will, of course, consider that, but just a
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, do you want to make a comment to
6 this request of the Prosecution?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not familiar with this video
8 footage. I don't know who shot that video footage and I don't know
9 whether it can affect the opinion of the Trial Chamber or whether it has
10 some other purpose as a document. That's all I can say right now.
11 Perhaps later on I could be more specific later on, and if this document
12 is so important for Mr. Ruez, then perhaps it needs to be shown when
13 Mr. Ruez is here rather than tomorrow. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: We have a bit of a problem. I have informed
16 Mr. Gajic of this video - I'm sure he's very familiar with it - to get
17 the word to the General. And if that communication is not going to work,
18 I'm going to need to be able to try to communicate directly with the
19 General and have some form to do that because this is going to be a long
20 trial. It's going to be even longer if this basic daily communication to
21 help alleviate the court schedule is not done.
22 Perhaps they'd just forgotten or hadn't had a chance to talk, but
23 I sincerely hope that this is not the way we have to communicate with the
24 General in open court because we'll end up spending a lot of time talking
25 between lawyers.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you want to say something, Mr. Tolimir?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Certainly. Mr. Gajic told me that
3 Mr. McCloskey wanted to show a video footage from the Popovic et al.
4 case. However, he had indicated that he was going to change something in
5 this video footage, therefore that's why I said that I'm not familiar
6 with the contents. My legal advisor just told me that Mr. McCloskey had
7 advised him that he was going to make some changes in the video.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is video that the Defence has had for months
10 and months, and the -- there are -- there are no -- there's nothing new
11 about any of this video. The actual piece that was played in Popovic
12 will have a couple of additional pieces added to it later on down the
13 road, but the first hour and -- roughly hour, hour and a half is
14 identical to what was played in the Popovic. And then there will be
15 little additions of video that they've had for months, like I say. So
16 there's no real -- there's no changes, so to speak, and there's certainly
17 nothing new in the first hour and a half.
18 This is the famous footage that's been on television all over the
19 world for years and years. There's no mystery to this. It's
20 General Mladic, his troops, Potocari. They know what this is.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's not necessary to continue this
22 debate today. We will see what will happen tomorrow in the courtroom
23 when this witness arrives, and we will deal with that later.
24 I would like to raise the problem of protective measures for the
25 next witness. The Prosecution moved to give this -- these protective
1 measures as in the last trial. The Defence objected. The position of
2 the Chamber is the same as with the last witness. I think it is not
3 necessary repeat all arguments. Pursuant to our Rules, Rule 75 of our
4 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, we are bound by the decision of the
5 last -- the previous Chamber and there is no argument put to the Chamber
6 to vary or to rescind anything of these protective measures. And in that
7 way, like with the last witness, the application of the Prosecution is
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. We have actually
10 filed, as you see, official motion notifications requests on these two
11 witnesses, but as we agree with the Trial Chamber, this is a matter of
12 law already decided. Would you prefer us to continue to file formal
13 motions with the Registry in these situations where things are identical
14 to what they were before, or we can also just merely inform the parties
15 that we are standing by on the protective measures that were there before
16 and only file if there's a change. But we can do it either way. It's
17 just whatever you prefer.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is always in favour of the most -- of
19 the way to deal with these problems in the most simple way, and therefore
20 if there is no objection by the Defence, it should be just a notification
21 that everybody is aware of the protective measures granted by previous
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. That would be the simplest way, yes.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think at this stage we adjourn for the day and
25 resume tomorrow, quarter past 2.00, in this courtroom. Thank you.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.44 p.m.
2 to be reconvened on Friday, the 12th day of
3 March, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.