1 Wednesday, 23 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.06 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody. We have a delayed
6 start because of another commitment of myself, and we will have an
7 extended sitting tomorrow so that there is no loss of court time.
8 The next witness should be brought in.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to the Tribunal.
11 Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to
12 you now.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
16 Mr. Thayer for the Prosecution has, I assume, some questions for
18 Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you and
20 Your Honours.
21 Good afternoon, General Tolimir, my learned colleagues. Good
22 afternoon, everyone.
23 WITNESS: LOUIS FORTIN
24 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
25 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. Would you please state and spell your name for the record.
3 A. Okay. My name is Louis Fortin, L-o-u-i-s F-o-r-t-i-n,
4 Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian army.
5 Q. Colonel, do you recall testifying over the course of two days in
6 this courtroom back in November of 2007?
7 A. I certainly do.
8 Q. And did you have an opportunity to read all of your testimony in
9 that case, the Popovic case, recently?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Can you attest, sir, before this Trial Chamber that the
12 transcripts which you read fairly and accurately reflect what you said
13 here during that trial?
14 A. Yes, it does.
15 Q. And can you further attest, sir, that were you asked the same
16 questions today that you were asked back in November of 2007, that your
17 answers would be the same?
18 A. Of course. I would make sure to do my best that they are.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender P586 and
20 P587, Colonel Fortin's Popovic testimony, the latter exhibit being the
21 public version, the former under seal.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
23 MR. THAYER: At this time, Mr. President, I would like to read a
24 summary of Colonel Fortin's testimony in the Popovic case. At the time
25 he --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you do that, I should indicate for the
2 record these are the P numbers 586 under seal and P587. Sorry for
3 interrupting you.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue.
6 MR. THAYER: At the time he testified in the Popovic case,
7 Colonel Fortin had served for 31 years in the Canadian Forces in various
8 staff, instructor, and command positions. In May 1995 he held the rank
9 of major and began a year-long tour of duty in Bosnia, serving as the
10 military assistant to General Herve Gobillard, the commander of Sector
11 Sarajevo which was headquartered in the PTT building in Sarajevo.
12 Colonel Fortin accompanied General Gobillard to meetings with
13 political and military personnel of the various factions or with other UN
14 personnel. He took notes, shared advice with Gobillard, and discussed
15 the situation with him regularly. He was also a link to the headquarters
16 staff and would pass information he gathered from meetings he attended
17 and in turn pass on situation reports from the staff to Gobillard. The
18 fact that Colonel Fortin speaks French and English made it easier to work
19 with Gobillard and the largely French Sector Sarajevo headquarters staff,
20 as well as with the mostly English-speaking staff of the superior command
21 at UNPROFOR BiH command headquarters, also located in Sarajevo.
22 Colonel Fortin maintained a list of politicians and senior
23 military personnel from the warring factions. The two or three names
24 which came to his mind quickest from the VRS high command were
25 Generals Mladic, Tolimir, and Dragomir Milosevic, in addition to
1 Generals Miletic, Gvero, and Krstic. Sector Sarajevo corresponded to the
2 corps level in the VRS. BiH command, Colonel Fortin's then-superior
3 command, normally interacted with the senior officers such as Mladic,
4 Tolimir, Miletic, and Gvero.
5 Between approximately 8 July and 11 July 1995, General Gobillard
6 was acting BiH commander in General Rupert Smith's absence.
7 Consequently, Colonel Fortin spent most of his time during this period
8 with Gobillard at BiH command headquarters instead of the Sector Sarajevo
9 headquarters. Key officers present during this period at BiH command
10 included General Nicolai and Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Baxter.
11 Colonel Fortin and these officers spent most of their time during
12 this period determining what was happening on the ground in Srebrenica.
13 Information was passing from Dutch peacekeepers in Srebrenica to their
14 command and up to the BiH command in Sarajevo. They also received
15 reports from British personnel in the enclave who were reporting directly
16 to BiH command, as well as reports from the Bosnian government.
17 Generals Nicolai and Gobillard also had telephone conversations
18 with Generals Tolimir and Gvero during this time. The Dutch peacekeepers
19 and British personnel in the enclave were telling UNPROFOR to do
20 something because they were attacked by the VRS, whereas Tolimir and
21 Gvero were telling them that they were not attacking; that the Bosnians
22 were attacking; that the VRS was not attacking UNPROFOR or the civilians;
23 that the Bosnians were using stolen UN APCs; and that they would confirm
24 what was happening on the ground and call UNPROFOR back 30 minutes later.
25 These were delaying tactics which created confusion and slowed the
1 decision to authorise close air support and in the meantime allowed the
2 VRS to keep attacking and advance further, making the use of close air
3 support even more difficult. It was clear to Colonel Fortin that they
4 were just trying to delay so that they could complete the plan.
5 Colonel Fortin testified about his notes of a conversation
6 between Generals Gvero and Gobillard on 11 July at 1810 hours as well as
7 an intercept of that conversation. By this time UNPROFOR had suspended
8 close air support because the VRS had threatened to kill some captured
9 Dutch soldiers if close air support continued. The Serbs also threatened
10 to shell the UN Potocari compound with all the civilians and peacekeepers
11 in it if close air support continued.
12 Colonel Fortin was also shown numerous passages from a journal he
13 compiled upon his return from his tour, which was made up of his
14 contemporaneous handwritten notes interspersed with cut and pasted
15 reports he had written at the time, in 1995.
16 He also testified about reports concerning problems with
17 Ukrainian peacekeepers, including that those in Zepa were selling their
18 fuel to the Serbs.
19 Around 26 July 1995, General Gobillard sent Colonel Fortin to
20 Zepa to be his eyes and ears. UNPROFOR already had information that
21 suggested that thousands of Bosnian males had disappeared and been
22 killed. The VRS stopped the witness at a check-point in Rogatica for 18
23 hours. By the time he arrived there, the transportations had already
25 When he finally passed from Rogatica to check-point 2 on the top
1 of the hill, he saw trucks taking the Bosnian civilians up out of Zepa
2 village and described the scene as he watched mothers and their children
3 being forcibly removed from their homes. He described a meeting on
4 27 July in which Mr. Torlak and two Muslim representatives met with
5 General Mladic, who was trying to get them to sign an agreement and made
6 veiled threats. General Smith then arrived and told the Muslims not to
7 sign because Mladic's agreement contained guarantees which could not be
8 met and aspects, such as conditions of prisoner exchange, which needed to
9 be agreed at a much higher level.
10 Finally, Colonel Fortin spent the night of 27 July in the
11 Ukrainian compound down in the Zepa village and described a meeting he
12 had in the afternoon of 28 July 1995 at check-point 2 between
13 Generals Tolimir and Gobillard, who had travelled to Zepa that day,
14 meaning General Gobillard had travelled to Zepa that day. Gobillard
15 confronted Tolimir about several issues, including approximately 36
16 Muslim men who had been removed from the last two convoys in the evening
17 of 27 July; the link between the fate of the Zepa men and the ongoing
18 negotiations at the Sarajevo airport for a global POW exchange agreement;
19 and the report that Avdo Palic was dead.
20 Mr. President, at this time the Prosecution would tender Exhibits
21 P580 to P595 from the Prosecution's exhibit list, and that includes
22 everything on the list, including the two transcripts which have already
23 been admitted, with the exception of the last item on the Prosecution's
24 list which has not been previously shown to Colonel Fortin and I intend
25 to show him that document shortly. But prior to that, I would tender
1 these exhibits which were either admitted through Colonel Fortin's
2 Popovic testimony or were shown to the witness during his testimony but
3 admitted through other witnesses in Popovic, were shown to the witness
4 but not tendered in Popovic. I think that's about all the categories
5 we've got, Mr. President, but they're all being offered as exhibits.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Thayer. The Chamber appreciates
7 this distinction between the different categories of documents. They all
8 will be received, P585 under seal.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Colonel, I just have a few additional questions for you today.
11 Can you tell the Trial Chamber how many years in the service you have.
12 A. I'm now just about at 34 years of service.
13 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber in open session generally what
14 you were doing for the military presently. If we need to go into private
15 to do so, we can certainly do that, but if there's a way to just give the
16 Trial Chamber some idea of what you're up to, that would be helpful.
17 A. I'm currently Canada's defence attache to western Africa. I'm a
18 resident in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, but I'm also co-accredited to
19 Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon, so I travel
20 within a subregion to effect my duties.
21 Q. Okay, sir. You are the first live UNPROFOR officer that has
22 appeared so far in this trial, I think, with the exception of perhaps a
23 DutchBat soldier who testified. So it may be helpful for you to provide
24 just a little bit of the structure of UNPROFOR as it existed in July of
25 1995. We threw out some places and terms and commands during the
1 summary, Sector Sarajevo, BiH command. If you could just briefly take us
2 through from top to bottom in July 1995 the various echelons of command
3 within UNPROFOR, starting with the one based in Zagreb?
4 A. Okay. I would like to point out first that at that time in July
5 1995, or shortly before, United Nations headquarters decided to change
6 the names of the various missions. So the old terminology, BH command,
7 was still being used as opposed to the new name, which was headquarters
8 UNPROFOR, United Nations Protection Force. But the structure was HQ UNPF
9 in Zagreb where resided the force commander, and he was responsible for
10 the whole UN theatre of operations, which included two missions, a
11 mission in Croatia, which was still ongoing - and I don't remember the
12 exact name of that mission; and a mission in Bosnia which was
13 headquarters -- headquartered in Sarajevo, and that mission's name was
15 UNPROFOR was divided in three sectors, Sector South, Sector
16 North-West, and Sector Sarajevo. Sector Sarajevo, where I worked, was
17 under the command of a French general officer who had troops from France,
18 three battalions, but also a battalion each from Ukraine, Russia, and
19 Egypt, and he was responsible for Sarajevo itself, including the airport;
20 a portion of the Igman mountains, which are west of the city; and the
21 enclaves or pockets of Zepa and Gorazde. So that basically was the
22 structure of the mission at the time.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you, Colonel.
24 Now, going back to the UNPF in Zagreb, I take it that's -- that
25 was the highest echelon of command. And who was the commander that was
1 based in Zagreb, what was his name, sir?
2 A. The commander was a French general officer by the name of
3 Janvier, General Janvier. So in that structure General Rupert Smith, who
4 commanded UNPROFOR, which is the Bosnia mission, reported to Janvier; and
5 General Gobillard, who commanded the Sarajevo sector of UNPROFOR,
6 reported to Smith.
7 Q. And when we refer to BiH command or UNPROFOR command, we're
8 speaking about Rupert Smith's echelon, the command that was located in
9 the residency; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And your command was located in the PTT building in Sarajevo; is
12 that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Just give us some idea of the distance between the two?
15 A. Well, the residency HQ UNPROFOR was centre east of the city and
16 Sector Sarajevo was closer to the airport in the west, I estimate about 4
17 or 5 kilometres in between.
18 Q. And during your service as General Gobillard's military
19 assistant, Colonel, how often would you shuttle between those two
20 headquarters in the course of your duties?
21 A. Well, initially -- that is, I got there on May 15th, 1995, and
22 shortly thereafter military action picked up, became quite intense. It
23 never -- it never really slowed down until September. So whenever I was
24 in Sarajevo, I used to go almost every night to headquarters UNPROFOR in
25 addition to the trips that I took accompanying my boss during the day
1 because we often visited General Smith where the two generals exchanged
2 together. So I spent quite a bit of my time at headquarters UNPROFOR.
3 Q. Okay. And let's fill in some names and positions as well. You
4 were General Gobillard's military assistant. Who was your counterpart
5 with General Smith, who was his military assistant?
6 A. He was Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Baxter, who was a British officer.
7 Q. And did General Smith have a Chief of Staff who served directly
8 under him?
9 A. Yes, his Chief of Staff was General Nicolai, a Dutch army
11 Q. And did General Nicolai himself also have somebody who was his
12 deputy or immediate subordinate?
13 A. Yes, of course. He was responsible for the staff of that
14 headquarters, and his main staff officer was -- the man in charge of
15 operations at that time was a Canadian lieutenant-colonel name --
16 initially was Colonel MacDonald, but he was shortly after replaced by
17 Colonel Rick Hatton.
18 Q. And do you also recall interacting with a Colonel Coiffet?
19 A. Yes, Colonel Coiffet, I don't remember his exact position, but he
20 was a French officer. I believe he was -- he had an established position
21 within the headquarters, headquarters UNPROFOR, but he was also acting as
22 a liaison with headquarters of Sector Sarajevo, which was mostly staffed
23 by French officer and commanded by a French general.
24 Q. Okay. Just a couple of additional questions on the structure.
25 When you were speaking about the command to which you were attached,
1 Sector Sarajevo, you described that it had several elements, and I
2 believe you referred to a Ukrainian contingent that was serving as part
3 of Sector Sarajevo or underneath Sector Sarajevo. Can you tell the
4 Trial Chamber what responsibilities the Ukrainian contingent had.
5 A. The Ukrainian contingent was a battalion of about 600 people from
6 memory. It had headquarters in Sarajevo at Tito barracks, which was
7 somewhere in between the two headquarters I was talking about earlier,
8 and in one of its three companies was located at Tito barracks and they
9 had anti-sniping task. They had a few spots in the city assigned to
10 cover sniping coming from the Serb side from those locations. The other
11 two companies were located one in Zepa manning check-points and
12 observation posts around the enclave, and last company, the third one,
13 was doing the same thing in Gorazde, which was the southern-most of the
14 three eastern enclaves.
15 Q. The Trial Chamber has heard a lot about the Dutch contingent.
16 You have referred to General Nicolai, for example. And certainly the
17 Trial Chamber's heard about the Dutch Battalion peacekeepers who were
18 located in the Srebrenica enclave. Under which direct command did the
19 Dutch peacekeepers in the Srebrenica enclave fall, Colonel?
20 A. Actually, the -- it was a Dutch Company and the unit it belonged
21 to, the battalion it belonged to, was in Sector North-West, which -- that
22 sector had the responsibility of the Srebrenica enclave.
23 Q. Now, just a couple of other definitional questions. You referred
24 in your Popovic testimony here -- there to some General Staff positions
25 by abbreviations, G1, G2, I think at one time your position after leaving
1 your tour was at J9. If you could explain to the Trial Chamber just
2 briefly, what does G1, G2, G3, G4, for example, connote?
3 A. Actually, this is a system which we referred to as the
4 continental staff system, I believe we owe it to the Germans, to classify
5 the various functions within the headquarters by a -- the notation such
6 as G for General Staff or J for joint staff at higher levels. So G1, 2,
7 3, 4, 5 at the headquarters level. Everybody in NATO was using the same
8 terminology. J1 or G1 was personnel, so people working in that branch
9 were looking after personnel matters. G2 was intelligence. G3
10 operations. G4 logistics. And G5 was civil/military co-operation and
11 looking after activities that were for the benefit of the populations in
12 the areas we were responsible for.
13 Q. And because we may be seeing this in other documents or from
14 other witnesses later, sir, at lower-level commands were the designations
15 the same in terms of the G or was there another letter which would
16 correspond to those respective positions?
17 A. Well, not every army was using the system at the lower level.
18 For example, in the Canadian Army at battalion level we were using the
19 old British system, which is -- instead of having a G1, we could them the
20 adjutant, the unit adjutant. He was responsible for personnel issues.
21 In the American army they were using the S system, S1, 2, 3, 4, 5, which
22 basically correspond to the same functions.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you for that, Colonel.
24 In your Popovic testimony you referred to General Tolimir and I
25 believe some other VRS officers as belonging to the army level of command
1 as opposed to, for example, the corps level of command. When you use
2 that term, "army level," can you specify what you were referring to in
3 your testimony.
4 A. It's the top level of command within the VRS, as simple as that.
5 Q. And have you heard that referred to as the Main Staff?
6 A. Well, yes. We would use that term as well.
7 Q. On a separate issue, Colonel, you testified about a conversation
8 for which you were present between a representative of the Muslim
9 community in Zepa on or about the 15th of July, 1995, a man whose name
10 you recalled as either Horlak or Torlak. Do you recall testifying about
11 hearing a particular conversation concerning that individual or involving
12 that individual, sir?
13 A. Yes, and I have to specify, I was present for the conversation
14 but I was not in Zepa. The conversation was through the Ukrainian radio.
15 They had link between their company headquarters and Zepa, and their
16 detachment at the sector headquarters in Sarajevo where Ukrainian
17 officers in the operation zone were manning a radio that was compatible
18 with the system that they had deployed in Zepa. So those -- that
19 equipment was used for -- by Mr. Torlak to talk back.
20 Q. Okay. Let's just talk about that for a couple more moments. You
21 had occasion to go down into the village of Zepa, as you testified; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes, but it was later -- you mentioned this conversation on the
24 15th of July. I went there on the 26th and I think I only went down to
25 the village on the evening of the 27th.
1 Q. And when you went down there that approximately two weeks later
2 after that conversation, did you yourself have an opportunity to observe
3 the communications equipment that Mr. Torlak was using to communicate to
4 Sarajevo which you overheard in the operations room in Sarajevo?
5 A. Yes. In fact, when we were there -- when I arrived, the
6 Ukrainians were using still that equipment to report back to sector
7 headquarters in Sarajevo; and the deputy sector commander from Ukraine,
8 Colonel Verhoglyad met me when I arrived there and gave me a tour of the
9 facilities. So I was able to see their communication equipment which was
10 in fact in a radio van, a military vehicle which housed communication
11 equipment in the back.
12 Q. And can you just describe what that equipment was just briefly.
13 A. Well, it was I would say, older HF-type radios. HF is a type of
14 frequency, it's short wave, not quite like the amateur radio systems that
15 many of us know about, but still shorter waves allow to talk through
16 longer distances. So they were able to talk back to sector headquarters
17 with that equipment.
18 Q. And just physically, can you describe where this Ukrainian
19 company command post was located in the Zepa village, just describe for
20 the Trial Chamber how it was situated?
21 A. I believe it was a school and there were two buildings
22 perpendicular to one another, rectangular buildings, and in the space in
23 between there was that communication van as well as one of their armoured
24 personnel carriers, it was a BTR-70 that was providing protection for
25 that communication equipment.
1 Q. And what's the terrain like right in that area, the village of
3 A. Well, it's surrounded by a very steep -- not hills, but it's kind
4 of a -- in French we say "une cuvette" or a bowl with very steep sides
5 and that's where the village was located, down a -- to access the village
6 from the top, there was a single-lane road, one -- a dirt road attached
7 to the -- basically to the flank of that cliff, and only one vehicle
8 could go up and down at a time. And if I remember correctly, that road
9 was slightly longer than a kilometre.
10 Q. And based upon your experience serving in Sector Sarajevo, how
11 frequently would that Ukrainian company based down in that -- the bottom
12 of that "cuvette" communicate via that radio with its command in
14 A. Well, there was a procedure in place of course with all subunits
15 of every level reporting regularly to the next level up. So in the case
16 of the company, the Ukrainian company, reporting back to sector
17 headquarters, it was at a minimum on a daily basis. But it could have
18 been more. I don't remember for sure.
19 Q. And just help us out with one thing, Colonel. You mention the
20 name of the Ukrainian officer Verugad or something to that effect. If
21 you could spell it for the record so we have it clearly in the
22 transcript, please.
23 A. Okay, if I remember it's pronounced Verhoglyad, but it's spelled
24 V-e-r-h-o-g-l-y-a-d. Yeah, that looks right.
25 Q. Okay, Colonel, I want to show you a document that you didn't see
1 during the Popovic case.
2 MR. THAYER: If we could have P00596 on e-court, please.
3 Q. And you'll shortly see a document popping up on your computer
5 We have here an UNPROFOR inter-office memorandum. Its date is 13
6 July 1995. The subject is report of a meeting held in Lukavica between
7 Lieutenant-Colonel Indjic and MA, military assistant, to DSCU and UKRBAT
8 LO - 13 July afternoon.
9 Two questions: One, do you recognise what this is? And two, if
10 you do, can you define for us or explain some of these acronyms here in
11 the subject line?
12 A. All right. This is something that I wrote based on information
13 given to me by someone else, and I was writing to my boss,
14 General Gobillard, and a number of officers under his command to inform
15 them of that information. The officer who attended the meeting were
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Indjic is the Serb liaison officer of the 1st Corps,
17 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, which was the Serb military outfit that
18 surrounded Sarajevo, so he was a regular contact,
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Indjic.
20 The next one, the MA to DSCU is the military assistant to the
21 deputy sector commander Ukrain, so Colonel Verhoglyad's military
22 assistant, his name was Captain Andre Schumak. And the UKRBAT LO is the
23 Ukrainian Battalion liaison officer that they had stationed or going
24 regularly to meet with Colonel Indjic who attended that meeting with the
25 same man.
1 Q. Okay. And what or where is Lukavica?
2 A. Well, Lukavica is just to the south-west of Sarajevo, not very
3 far from PTT building where we were located, but it's on the Serb side
4 and it was a former military barrack of the Yugoslav Army that the Serbs
5 were using, the VRS was using.
6 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could turn to the second page in English,
7 please, and this is going to be the third page in B/C/S.
8 Q. I'd like to focus your attention on paragraphs 7, 8, and 9. If
9 you would, sir, just take a moment or two to read those three paragraphs.
10 And when you've done so I would ask you just to explain to the
11 Trial Chamber where this information was coming from exactly and how it
12 was arriving to you, through whom it arrived to get to you, and from
13 where. And let's start with paragraph 7. Can you tell us in that
14 paragraph who was the source of this information and what does this
15 reflect? We can all read what it says, but if you could just tell us
16 where this information is coming from.
17 A. Well, the information is coming from Indjic, the VRS liaison
18 officer at Lukavica. The one that the two Ukrainian officers went to
20 Q. And this information in paragraph 7 is being relayed to you
21 through the officer Schumak; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's correct. One of the two Ukrainian officers who
24 Q. Now, we see a heading between these two paragraphs referring to
25 the commanding officer of the Ukrainian Battalion joining the meeting.
1 Can you just explain what's happening here, please, and where this
2 information is coming from.
3 A. In fact, when Captain Schumak was reporting this to me during the
4 course of doing that, that report, the CO of the Ukrainian Battalion
5 showed up. The CO, commanding officer, of the battalion is located in
6 Sarajevo at Tito barracks as I mentioned earlier, but he also had contact
7 with his company in Zepa. So he got the information from them and he
8 came to relay it to probably Colonel Verhoglyad, but we were there so he
9 passed it on to me and Captain Schumak who were in the process of
10 drafting that report.
11 Q. So if we look at paragraph 8 here, Colonel, where it says:
12 "The commanding officer of the Rogatica Brigade accompanied by
13 General Tolimir and the local Bosnian authorities met at Ukrainian
14 check-point 2 at 1200 hours today ..."
15 What is the or who is the first source of that information?
16 A. Probably the Ukrainian at check-point 2 who passed it on to
17 the -- their commanding officer, who then passed it on to me.
18 Q. And mechanically, sir, can you tell the Trial Chamber what means
19 this information or by what means this information was being communicated
20 from the Ukrainian Company in Zepa up to Sarajevo?
21 A. The same type of radio that I mentioned earlier, HF,
22 high-frequency, radio that the Ukrainians were using regularly.
23 Q. And, sir, is that any kind of special equipment, by the way, that
24 HF equipment, is that newfangled in any way?
25 A. I don't think so. I think it was standard issue in the Ukrainian
1 army. It looked very old, but it was working. We were not using that
2 kind of equipment any longer. It's something we had gotten rid of a few
3 years prior at least in my army. We were using shorter range but more, I
4 should say, efficient equipment.
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender P00596
6 at this time.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received, and I take the opportunity
8 to say that the documents P584, 588, and 589 don't have a B/C/S
9 translation. They will be marked pending translation.
10 MR. THAYER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Just a couple more questions for you, Colonel. In your statement
12 to the OTP many years ago, you discussed a meeting that you also
13 testified about in the Popovic case that was held on 27 July 1995 between
14 three civilian representatives from Zepa, in which Mladic was trying to
15 get these men to sign an agreement. Do you remember that testimony,
16 first of all, Colonel?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And you said at page 24 of that witness statement that
19 General Smith told these individuals that they shouldn't sign because
20 they were being fooled by Mladic, and you further added in the statement
21 that they must have been afraid for their lives. Can you just tell the
22 Trial Chamber, sir, based on your observations, your experience, why you
23 made that statement, they must have been afraid for their lives.
24 A. Well, General Smith was not -- was not there initially when the
25 meeting started. In fact, we had arrived, Colonel Soubirou who I
1 accompanied who was to be in charge of all the UN troops because we had
2 deployed more troops to Zepa to make sure that something like what
3 happened -- had happened in Srebrenica not long before, that we could
4 prevent it from happening in Zepa. And so we met there with
5 Lieutenant-Colonel Germain who was a French legion officer. And at that
6 time we heard that a meeting was going to occur between a Serb officer
7 and three civilian leaders of the Bosniak in Zepa.
8 So we got to where that meeting was supposed to be held and we
9 said we wanted to attend. The man in charge who we didn't see at the
10 time said, "Well, the Canadian can come with an interpreter." So I took
11 a legionaire originally from Slovenia who could speak the language and I
12 went to the table. And Mladic was sitting there. We waited for a while
13 until at least two of the three Bosniaks arrived, and then the meeting
14 started. Mladic wanted them to sign an agreement to basically leave the
15 pocket, allow the military -- the few Bosniak military in there to
16 disarm. And he was not too - how should I say? - not too subtle about
17 what would happen to them if they did not sign. Shortly after General
18 Smith arrived and he came -- he came directly to that meeting and
19 intervened, and that's when he saw what General Mladic was attempting to
20 get their agreement on.
21 In there it required many guarantees by UNPROFOR, guarantees that
22 UNPROFOR could not give. So he told those Bosniaks not to sign the
23 agreement because if they were hoping for UNPROFOR to provide the
24 guarantees that were stated in that agreement, Smith was telling them:
25 We cannot provide those guarantees. So you're basically handing over
1 your fate to the Serb general.
2 But they signed it anyway because I guess it was better than
3 their current stalemate and their current stalemate was they were
4 encircled by the VRS, and the only end for them was to be killed.
5 Q. What I want to show you last, Colonel, are some handwritten notes
6 that you took on the 28th of July, 1995.
7 MR. THAYER: If we could take a look at P00582, please.
8 Q. And with the usher's assistance I'd like to hand up to you a copy
9 that I pulled out from our evidence vault. I noticed as I was preparing
10 for today that one of the pages was scanned improperly in our evidence
11 unit and is therefore illegible both in our databases and unfortunately
12 in e-court. So I've provided legible copies to the Defence and we have
13 copies for the Trial Chamber. So I just want to make sure that we have a
14 proper reading and understanding of this document from a legible copy?
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did the Defence receive a copy as well?
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I did furnish copies to the Defence.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
18 MR. THAYER:
19 Q. Now, do you see what's on the screen and is it the same as what
20 you've got in your hand, sir?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. And just for the record, what are you looking at?
23 A. I'm looking at a report that I wrote following the meeting
24 between General Gobillard and General Tolimir at the Ukrainian
25 check-point 2 in Zepa. The Ukrainian check-point 2 is basically the end
1 of the road on top of the hill where there was a large parking area and a
2 Ukrainian check-point. So on the 28th of July.
3 Q. Now, if we could go to the third page in the English version and
4 the corresponding page in the B/C/S is page 2. And let's focus on
5 paragraph 2 and pretty much the second half of the paragraph, if we could
6 blow that up a little bit beginning where it says:
7 "As for the Bosnian military ..."
8 As about halfway, maybe two-thirds of the way down the page.
9 Could I, Colonel, just ask you to read into the record this
10 section that begins with: "As for the Bosnian military ..."
11 A. "As for the Bosnian military, it seems that they are ready and
12 willing to drop their weapons and surrender provided they obtain firm
13 guarantees for their safety from UNPROFOR. It was pointed out that
14 UNPROFOR cannot provide these guarantees unless there is a prisoner of
15 war exchange agreement at the airport. Tolimir offered the UN the
16 opportunity to send vehicles to the hills to gather Bosnian civilian and
17 military personnel."
18 Q. Okay. Now, let's just stick with this passage first. Do you
19 recall, sir, what the source of this information in this sentence "as for
20 the Bosnian military, it seems that they are ready and willing to drop
21 their weapons and surrender provided they obtain firm guarantees for
22 their safety from UNPROFOR ..." where this information came from. Is
23 this something that's being reported to you from General Tolimir, is this
24 something you're observing yourself, or are you receiving this
25 information from another source?
1 A. I'm not sure where it's coming from. It may have been reported
2 by General Tolimir, but it may also have come from General Gobillard who
3 had driven to Zepa that day and I had just linked with him. I had been
4 in Zepa already for a couple of days. And so he had access -- he had
5 discussions about what had happened in Srebrenica and what was going on
6 in Zepa. It may have come from him, but I'm not sure really.
7 Q. Okay. And the next sentence where it says:
8 "It was pointed out that UNPROFOR cannot provide these guarantees
9 unless there is a POW exchange agreement at the airport ..."
10 Who's doing the pointing out here, sir?
11 A. It was General Gobillard.
12 Q. And now if we could go to the next page and this is the page
13 where I think the e-court is illegible at the top.
14 Can you just read into the record from the legible version what
15 this top sentence says here that follows on what you finished reading
16 from the prior page.
17 A. "UNPROFOR officers concluded privately that this was not a good
18 idea as long as there was not a global agreement," which the good idea
19 was basically sending UN troops through the hills to gather whatever
20 Bosniaks remain there and offer them a guarantee of personal security or
22 Q. And can you explain then what this means here, where you've
23 written "UNPROFOR officers concluded privately that this was not a good
24 idea as long as there was not a global agreement," can you just explain
25 that for the Trial Chamber, please.
1 A. Well, we were not about to help the VRS capture men between 18
2 and 55 and hand them over without having some firm guarantees of what
3 would happen to them later on. So if there was a global prisoner of war
4 exchange agreement, we could bring the Red Cross, we could provide
5 security for these people until the proper exchange was made. If there
6 was no such agreement, the risk was that at the time we didn't have
7 enough troops to be able to do that right away -- and so the risk was we
8 hand over these people to the VRS and they do to them like what they did
9 to the people of Srebrenica a couple of weeks before.
10 Q. And do you recall whether at the time that this was going on,
11 Colonel, the issue of the Serbs' failure to account for what happened to
12 the missing men from Srebrenica contributed to the inability to come to a
13 global agreement?
14 A. I must read that question.
15 Q. It's a terrible question. Let me ask it again, Colonel.
16 Were you aware at the time whether or not the Serbs' inability to
17 account for or explain what happened to the men from Srebrenica prevented
18 the two parties from being able to come together to a global POW exchange
19 agreement? Did you ever become aware of whether that became an obstacle
20 to that agreement, the inability to account for those men from Srebrenica
21 during those negotiations?
22 A. Well, it is probably a likely explanation, but not a complete --
23 it does not explain everything. I believe that for the Serbs to move in
24 and reduce those enclaves two and a half years after the start of the war
25 was because they were beyond that now. They wanted to get rid of those
1 problems, problems that they were not able to solve initially when they
2 launched their operation towards Bosnia to capture the country because of
3 resistance in those areas. Now they had decided that they had enough and
4 they wanted to get rid of those enclaves. Of course, the UN interfered
5 so it didn't go as planned. So I think that that's -- would be the main
6 reason. They were beyond negotiating. They wanted to get rid of those
8 Q. Okay. Thank you, Colonel.
9 MR. THAYER: I have no further questions at this time.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
11 Mr. Tolimir, you indicated you would need eight hours for
12 cross-examination. If it is possible, we would appreciate if you could
13 finish your cross-examination by the end of hearing tomorrow, taking into
14 account that we -- I don't want to put any time pressure on you because
15 you indicated you have lots of documents to show to the witness, but
16 please proceed and start your cross-examination.
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Peace in
19 this house and may God help all those present, including the witness.
20 And I would like these proceedings to be completed not as I will but
21 according to God's will.
22 I do have one question. We announced ten hours that we would
23 need for this witness, not eight. This is one thing.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are perfectly right. I made a mistake.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will do my best. When I run out
1 of questions, I'm not going to stretch out the time like -- in the way
2 that I haven't been doing up to now.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's absolutely correct. Please proceed and
4 put questions to the witness.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Fortin, I would like to wish you a good
8 afternoon and wish you a pleasant stay in The Hague.
9 A. Thank you.
10 Q. During the examination-in-chief you said that you came to Bosnia
11 in May 1995. You told this to Mr. Thayer. Can you please tell us how
12 long you spent in Bosnia and were you always on the same duty, just like
13 it says in your statement? Thank you.
14 A. I spent a year in Bosnia. I arrived in May 1995 and I left in
15 May 1996; and, yes, I stayed in the same job, military assistant to the
16 sector commander. However, when there was a transfer of authority to
17 NATO, the sector became a brigade as part of a division. So most of the
18 responsibilities we had at sector level towards the factions were taken
19 over by this new higher level, which is the division level. But in my
20 case, I remained military assistant to the French general in Sarajevo.
21 Q. Thank you. I wanted you to say that for the transcript. So up
22 until the time the NATO forces came, you were the military assistant to
23 the sector commander and that was General Gobillard; is that correct?
24 A. That was General Gobillard until mid-August; he was then replaced
25 by General Bachelet, another French officer.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you please explain for the transcript when the
2 duty was transferred and when you moved from UNPROFOR to your duties in
3 NATO. Thank you.
4 A. Well, the transfer of authority to NATO occurred on the 20th of
5 December, 1995.
6 Q. [Microphone not activated]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please switch on your microphone, Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And at that time from your duty as military assistant to the
11 sector commander, you became the military assistant to the commander of
12 the NATO brigade; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct -- one of the NATO brigades because of course
14 there were many more troops coming in at that time.
15 Q. Thank you. During the examination-in-chief you said that the
16 seat of the UNPROFOR command in 1995 was located in Zagreb. I would like
17 to ask you this now: Do you know when did this command HQ move to
18 Zagreb, the UNPROFOR HQ?
19 A. Actually, before events in Bosnia the mission in Croatia, the UN
20 mission in Croatia, was called UNPROFOR. Eventually with the new mission
21 in Bosnia, the mission headquarters in Zagreb was renamed headquarters UN
22 PF, United Nations Protection Force. And the mission in Bosnia took the
23 name UNPROFOR, with its headquarters commanded by General Smith.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us whether you know that the UN
25 mission first was located in Belgrade and then in Sarajevo, and only
1 after that in Zagreb? Thank you.
2 A. I'm sorry, that's probably before my time and I'm not aware of
3 the -- what happened in the two or three years before I got there.
4 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you if you know that in 1991 the
5 UN mission for the former Yugoslavia was first located in Belgrade. Are
6 you aware of that or not? Thank you.
7 A. I may have heard that, but no I was not aware of when exactly,
8 what was the name of the mission.
9 Q. Thank you. This was an observer mission headed by General Walker
10 who was a Prosecution witness in trials in this Tribunal. Are you aware
11 that that mission was transferred from Belgrade to Sarajevo while the war
12 was going on in Croatia? Thank you.
13 A. No, I'm sorry, I was not aware of that.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the mission was transferred to
15 Zagreb immediately after the signing of the agreement in Croatia and that
16 Bosnia was declared a risk -- high-risk zone? Thank you.
17 A. When was that agreement signed that you referred to?
18 Q. Thank you. This is an agreement that was signed between the
19 Republic of the Serbian Krajina, if you recall - do you recall? - and
20 Zagreb. Do you recall that agreement? And the UN mission that was
21 implementing that agreement. Thank you.
22 A. No, I'm not aware of that agreement. It was outside of my
23 territory and we had pretty much enough to keep us busy in Sarajevo.
24 Q. Thank you. Are you aware that the federal government of
25 Yugoslavia, before Yugoslavia broke apart in 1991, gave 300 vehicles to
1 the UN mission from the federal government and they then went to Bosnia
2 because they wanted the HQ to be in Bosnia?
3 A. No, I was not aware.
4 Q. Thank you. Are you aware that Bosnia was an oasis of peace for
5 the United Nations while the conflict was raging in Croatia? Thank you.
6 A. Yes, I was aware. And not knowing the full details, I was aware
7 that Bosnia was a fairly safe for a while, and the reason I'm aware is a
8 Canadian General, General Lewis MacKenzie who was the Chief of Staff of
9 that UN mission at that time went to Sarajevo when things started to go
10 sour, but I couldn't recall the exact dates, but I'm aware of that, yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Are you able to tell us if on the basis of what the
12 Canadian officers who were in that mission said, that Bosnia was declared
13 a war zone overnight from a peaceful oasis once the conflict was finished
14 in Croatia? Thank you.
15 A. Well, I don't know about overnight. All I know from the Canadian
16 perspective - and I was in Canada when this was happening - was that a
17 Canadian unit who was part of the mission in Croatia drove all the way to
18 Sarajevo because problems were starting to happen there and they needed a
19 unit -- military forces to protect the airport. So that's how I know
20 about this.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you know -- have you heard from the Canadian
22 observers that the UNPROFOR observer mission forces in Bosnia used 300
23 Mercedes of the federal government of Yugoslavia while the war was raging
24 in Croatia and that they didn't really need any combat vehicles in order
25 to be able to implement their mission? Thank you.
1 A. I was not aware.
2 Q. Thank you. As a military expert and analyst, are you able to say
3 why the UN forces and UN personnel immediately switched to the NATO
4 contingent when the authority was transferred to that force? Thank you.
5 A. I'm not sure what you mean. Could you please rephrase that
7 Q. Thank you. You were a military assistant at the UN -- UNPROFOR
8 HQ in Zagreb until the authority was transferred; is that right? Thank
10 A. Yes, I was a military assistant in Sarajevo, not Zagreb, and I
11 was there when the transfer of authority occurred.
12 Q. Thank you. And since you said earlier that the transfer of
13 authority took place in December after the signing of the Dayton Accords
14 in 1995, did you immediately become an assistant but now in the NATO
15 forces brigade? Thank you.
16 A. In my case, yes, I did. And I see what you were asking earlier.
17 For those countries member of NATO who were already providing troops to
18 the UN, if their government agreed it was fairly simple to basically
19 change hat from a blue hat to a green hat and remain with the new
20 mission, new mission which also had new modes of operations and more
21 means and a new mandate.
22 Q. Thank you. And was it easy to make this change practically in
23 the course of one night and one day? Thank you.
24 A. Well, changing the hat was much faster than one night and one
25 day, but changing the mandate was a bit longer than that. And the
1 preparations occurred in the months before -- I mean, it did not start
2 happening on the 20th of December. It started before with all sorts of
3 planning. I remember the ARC commander, the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
4 who would command the NATO operation came to visit a couple of months
5 before to start devising plans with his staff and to determine how that
6 would happen. So we started before of course.
7 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the commander of the Rapid Reaction
8 Force. Was that the French General Soubirou? Thank you.
9 A. No, sir. You are confusing the Rapid Reaction Force that the
10 French and British were putting together in late June 1995 and the Allied
11 Rapid Reaction Corps, NATO organisation, that eventually came and took
12 command of the new UN mandated mission but executed by NATO troops in
13 December 1995.
14 Q. Thank you for correcting me. But before July 1995 was the
15 commander of the Rapid Reaction Force in fact serving at the UNPROFOR
16 headquarters in Sarajevo? Thank you.
17 A. The Rapid Reaction Force that the French and British put together
18 before NATO got in the picture was in fact commanded by a former Sarajevo
19 Sector commander, who had returned to France, rejoined his army, and now
20 was coming back in this new capacity.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether the Rapid Reaction Force
22 operated under the UN mandate in June 1995 when the commander returned
23 from France to Bosnia? Thank you.
24 A. I'm not sure about that honestly. That force was created by the
25 French and the British. It would have had to be included eventually in
1 the UN mandate, but how that came about was quite a bit above my pay
3 Q. Thank you. Since you mentioned the IFOR commander,
4 General Layton Smith, do you know what post he occupied before coming to
5 Bosnia? Thank you.
6 A. I'm not sure. I think you're talking of the American admiral but
7 I'm not sure what job he held.
8 Q. Thank you. Did he become the IFOR commander and before that he
9 commanded the south wing of NATO? Thank you.
10 A. Possible. I don't know.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in all the observer missions the
12 observers were intelligence officers in the -- and they did their job in
13 the countries of the former Yugoslavia where there was war going on?
14 Thank you.
15 A. What you can say that the nature of their job was gathering
16 information, but I know for a fact that not very many, if any, were
17 trained intelligence officers.
18 Q. Thank you. Were you in Bosnia or in NATO forces while the
19 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was bombed and during the war in Kosovo?
20 Thank you.
21 A. I was back in Canada at that time.
22 Q. Thank you. And have you ever served in Macedonia or in Albania?
23 Thank you.
24 A. No, sir, I have not.
25 Q. Thank you. And do you know what mission General Walker, the
1 American General Walker, had in Kosovo? Thank you.
2 A. No, I do not, sir.
3 Q. Do you know anything about the observer missions in the territory
4 of Serbia, the UN observer missions? Thank you.
5 A. While I was deployed in Bosnia and Sarajevo from May 1995 to May
6 1996, as far as I know all the UN observers were deployed within
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I'm not aware of observers elsewhere or at other
9 Q. Thank you. You have told us about the UNPROFOR headquarters in
10 Zagreb. Did it have several sectors and who was stationed in
11 Sector North in Croatia? Thank you.
12 A. With the UNPF headquarters in Zagreb was commanding two theatres,
13 basically Croatia and Bosnia, and I'm not aware of the forces that were
14 in the northern sector. I'm aware of the Canadian contribution to that
15 mission, which was in the south.
16 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear of Vukovar and Western Slavonia?
17 Thank you.
18 A. I heard the names and I could probably find them fairly quickly
19 on a map, but it was outside of my area. And believe me, we had quite
20 enough work to keep us busy in Sarajevo without concerning ourselves --
21 well, I'm speaking for myself, but without concerning myself with what
22 was going on elsewhere. Had it been an adjacent sector to
23 Sector Sarajevo, perhaps I would have paid more attention because it was
24 geographical adjacent but it was not the case. So I'm not aware of the
25 situation in those sectors.
1 Q. Thank you. Well, I asked you this because I wanted to see
2 whether you know all the UNPROFOR commanders from the period while you
3 were -- or rather, when the UNPROFOR headquarters was moved to Zagreb.
4 Because are you aware of the fact that UNPROFOR was also stationed in
5 Western Slavonia and in Vukovar? Thank you.
6 A. Well, I know that there were UN troops there, but they were not
7 under UNPROFOR at that time. They had renamed the mission, so there was
8 a different mission in Croatia that was looking after those UN troops.
9 Q. Thank you. And do you know that all the staff -- all the
10 personnel who were observers in Sector North under the command of
11 General Walker, who was also in Sector North, had been transferred from
12 Vukovar to Kosovo? Thank you.
13 A. No, I didn't know about that.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know that all the UNPROFOR and NATO operations
15 followed after military missions that had been deployed in the territory?
16 Thank you.
17 A. I'm not sure I understand what you're asking, sir. If you could
18 rephrase, please.
19 Q. Well, for instance, the combat operations in Kosovo were preceded
20 by the military mission by General Walker, and you probably know about
21 Racak. He claimed that a crime had been committed there, and in the end
22 it turned out that there had been no crime. Thank you.
23 A. Well, Kosovo happened later, after I had returned to Canada and
24 occupied other functions. All I know about General Walker is he,
25 probably the same, commanded the Allied Reaction Corps that was deployed
1 to Bosnia in December 1995. What he did after, I don't know.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, is that perhaps a convenient time
3 for our first break?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you, Witness, for giving me very fair answers.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have our first break now for technical
8 reasons. We will have a shorter break because of the sitting time today,
9 and we will resume ten minutes before 5.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 4.32 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.54 p.m.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please proceed.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
14 [Interpretation] Could we please see in the e-court Exhibit P582.
15 This is the memorandum that we just had up on the screen, and can we show
16 it both in the English and in the Serbian versions. Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. And while we're waiting, can I please ask you to tell us if you
19 know that in all the areas where there was war in the former Yugoslavia,
20 first you had the observer missions, then you had the UNPROFOR forces,
21 then you had the rapid force -- reaction force, and then NATO forces.
22 Thank you.
23 A. I'm not sure if it happened in all the missions, but yes that was
24 generally the deployment that occurred in Bosnia and probably in Kosovo
25 as well.
1 Q. Thank you. We are looking at this memorandum of yours.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please show page 2 of the
3 document. Thank you. Can we look at page 2. Thank you.
4 Could we zoom in on page 2, please. Thank you.
5 [Microphone not activated]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In answer to Mr. Thayer's question - this is transcript page 17,
10 lines 18 to -- actually, lines 11 to 19, you said how General Smith said
11 that the UNPROFOR could not extend the guarantees to the agreement
12 offered by Mladic, which he wanted the representatives of Zepa to sign
13 with him. Can you please tell us whether that was so. Thank you.
14 A. I can certainly give you a partial answer. For a more complete
15 answer, you would have to ask General Smith because he was commander of
16 all the forces. But from my understanding, one, we did not have all the
17 troops to be able to observe all Serbian or VRS activity while they were
18 collecting these people in the Zepa enclave because it was a fairly large
19 area; and two, we were not willing to let the VRS hold, especially the
20 men of military age, knowing that many men of the same age taken in
21 Srebrenica had been killed and not held as prisoners of war; and finally,
22 there was no all-encompassing agreement to have an exchange of prisoners
23 of war between Serbian and Bosniaks when this was all over. And I think
24 this was General Smith's main point, but for a more complete answer you
25 would have to ask him.
1 Q. Thank you. And was this on the 25th of July? This is what you
2 said on page 20, lines 11 to 18, that General Smith what I said he said
3 just now. Thank you.
4 A. I'm not sure of the exact date. I would have to look at the
5 document to confirm, but it --
6 Q. Thank you. We can see the memorandum in front of us, your
7 memorandum. Can you remember when it was written and when you were in
8 Zepa when Smith was in Zepa, if you look at the memorandum? Thank you.
9 A. I think it was -- I wrote this late on the 28th of July, as I
10 was -- as I returned to Sarajevo with General Gobillard at that time.
11 But General Smith was there the day before.
12 Q. Thank you. So you were not there when General Smith was there.
13 You're giving us hearsay evidence here; is that correct or not?
14 A. No, no. No. In fact, when General Smith first arrived, I was in
15 a meeting with General Mladic and the two or three Bosniak
16 representatives of Zepa. And then General Smith arrived and I talked to
17 him along with other people at that time. The next day is when I wrote
18 this, after General Gobillard had arrived.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us the date for the record. Thank you.
20 A. Well, I think from memory that the meeting of -- with
21 General Mladic was on the 27th, and that's when General Smith arrived.
22 And the next day, the 28th, is when I linked up with General Gobillard;
23 and after his meeting with you, I wrote this.
24 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us, please, when the evacuation
25 actually started because you tell us that you could see them take their
1 things out of the houses. Could you tell us who was doing that and when
2 that happened.
3 A. When I went down to Zepa, I believe it was the evening of the
4 27th, is when I saw that. But the evacuation had started a few days
5 before. The questions being discussed there were the people that were
6 left, and estimates varied about how many people were left and who those
7 people were.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just perhaps to save some re-direct
10 time because I may not have any to get Mr. Fortin home, if we could just
11 clarify for the record when the General and Colonel Fortin are referring
12 to "see them take their things out of the houses," what are we talking
13 about? Just to clarify who we're talking about, taking what out of whose
15 THE WITNESS: Well, when I went down to the village, I saw Serb
16 soldiers taking fridge, cows, mattresses from Bosniak houses -- Bosniak
17 people who had been evacuated or were in the process of being evacuated,
18 loading that stuff into trucks for themselves.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And could you please state for the record what date that was and
22 what date the agreement was signed.
23 A. Well --
24 Q. Did the Muslims leave before this agreement was signed or what
25 happened? Thank you.
1 A. I believe that -- like I said earlier, when I went down was the
2 evening of the 27th of July, that's when I saw those things. And the
3 meeting I attended was prior to leaving check-point 2 and going down to
4 the village, meeting where Mladic was trying to obtain the agreement of
5 the Bosniak representative, which he eventually got. But I was not
6 present when he eventually got it, but I believe it's the same day. The
7 evacuation of the population had started happening before.
8 Q. Thank you. We will be able to see it from other witnesses'
9 statements and we will also look at the full text of the agreement on the
10 disarming and evacuation, so we don't want to waste any time. But please
11 tell me when you were the second time with Gobillard on the 28th there,
12 were the Rapid Reaction Forces deployed at the check-point, the first
13 check-point, at the road at Boksanica, where the meeting between Mladic
14 and the Muslims was held?
15 A. No. The Rapid Reaction Force was not deployed to Zepa. There
16 was a original Ukrainian Company and some Russian and French troops were
17 sent, but not troops of the Rapid Reaction Force. And I make the
18 distinction because the Rapid Reaction Force had all the heavy military
19 hardware, whereas the UN troops who were deployed, they simply had their
20 own rifle.
21 Q. Thank you. Had the Rapid Reaction Force been already deployed in
22 Bosnia by that time? Thank you.
23 A. Some elements. I don't remember the exact date of when they were
24 complete on the ground, but some elements had been deployed as early as
25 late June. But this did not happen overnight. It took quite some time
1 to deploy all of the elements, but they were deploying in areas like
2 Sarajevo and none were sent to the eastern enclaves.
3 Q. Thank you. And do you know that the Muslim leadership in
4 Sarajevo asked from UNPROFOR that the Rapid Reaction Force be deployed in
5 Zepa and that they told the Muslims in Zepa to refuse signing the
6 agreement because they had promises that the Rapid Reaction Force would
7 be deployed there? Are you aware of that? Thank you.
8 A. Well, I became aware that the Muslim government was making all
9 kinds of demands, but I don't think they were ever promised that the
10 Rapid Reaction Force would be deployed there.
11 Q. Thank you. Since the agreement was signed on the 24th of July --
12 [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Well, since the agreement was signed on the 24th of July - we
16 have it here after all - and its implementation was delayed, was this in
17 any way related to the arrival of the Rapid Reaction Force demanded by
18 the Muslims? Could there be any link there? Thank you.
19 A. I don't see why because UNPROFOR was not a party to the
21 Q. Thank you. And could you tell us whether the Rapid Reaction
22 Force was an integral part of UNPROFOR and what kind of mandate it had,
23 if you know? Thank you.
24 A. It was not quite an integral part of UNPROFOR. It was given
25 eventually, but I'm not sure when, under command of commander UNPROFOR,
1 but it had a separate command structure. I'm not sure who else they
2 reported to, so I'm not very familiar with the chain of command of the
3 Rapid Reaction Force.
4 Q. Thank you. I think that's enough. There's no need for us to
5 burden the Trial Chamber any longer about this issue, why the
6 implementation of the agreement was delayed by four days.
7 Now, Mr. Thayer asked you here about Tolimir's role when he
8 offered the possibility that the vehicles be sent into the mountains to
9 pick up Muslim civilians and military personnel. Now, was this conveyed
10 to you or is it something that you heard? Thank you.
11 A. I was there when you had the discussion with General Gobillard.
12 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us what I offered to Gobillard,
13 because in the sentence quoted by the Prosecutor it has not been
14 specified and after all I'm on trial here for some of the statements that
15 I allegedly made. So could you please tell the Trial Chamber what is it
16 that I offered General Gobillard. Thank you.
17 A. Well, I think it's in the memorandum. From memory, you were
18 offering the UN to go and pick up those remaining people in the enclave,
19 which was the best way for UNPROFOR to ensure the security of those
20 people. As I mentioned earlier, we didn't have the means to do that,
21 considering that it was a wide area, it was a very hilly area, the
22 Bosniaks' military remnants which were those concerning you mostly had
23 been hiding in that area for a long time, and that would have been an
24 endeavour with no end. We didn't have the means to do that.
25 Q. Thank you. So those were soldiers of the Zepa Brigade who
1 refused to be disarmed in accordance with the agreement or are we talking
2 about civilians here? Thank you.
3 A. Well, we thought at the time that there were elements of both
4 remaining in Zepa, some civilians and some members of the Zepa Brigade
5 which were not ready to give up. You didn't think so. You thought that
6 only military from the Zepa Brigade remained in the enclave.
7 Q. Thank you. Now I would like you to look at paragraph 6 of your
8 memorandum where Tolimir is mentioned again and to explain to us -- well,
9 to give us some additional explanations. I will ask you questions after
10 you've read the document.
11 Thank you. Now that you've read it my question to you would be:
12 Did this happen on the 28th in the conversation between myself and
13 General Gobillard? Thank you.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And on the 28th did General Gobillard ask me if Avdo Palic had
16 been killed? Thank you.
17 A. Yeah, that's what it says. If he knew if it was true that he had
18 been killed.
19 Q. Thank you. And do you know by any chance when Avdo Palic was
20 killed? Thank you.
21 A. No, I don't.
22 Q. Thank you. Well, the Trial Chamber will definitely be able to
23 determine that, and if you know he had not been killed at the time and I
24 said what I knew at the time. It was probably part of the propaganda
25 because by that time -- at that time he was not dead yet.
1 Now I would like us to look at the witness's statement.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness statement provided to
5 the Prosecution on the 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd of November, 1997.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And while we're waiting for the statement to come up on our
9 screens, can you please tell us whether you gave this statement in the
10 course of a trial on the 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd of November, 1997,
11 when you came here to testify at a trial?
12 A. No. A court lawyer came to Canada to take that statement from
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So could we please look at 1D206,
16 that's the number of the statement, because we will now be focusing on
17 it. Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You see the front page in English, and I can see it in my mother
20 tongue. Is this the statement that you gave and that you signed? Thank
22 A. Yeah, it's that first page.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please look at page 2 of
25 this statement. Thank you.
1 [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to look at
4 paragraph 4 of this statement in the English language. Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. Now, is it correct that I asked you whether you had
7 transferred from UNPROFOR forces to the multi-national division of IFOR,
8 NATO, immediately and that this was true both for you and for your
9 superior commander, General Zeller, is that correct because this is what
10 you state in your statement. So could you please confirm for the record.
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Now I would like us to look at page 3 of the
13 statement in Serbian and I assume it's the same in English, but let us
14 have a look and then we'll check. Thank you.
15 Now, in the first paragraph of this page it says that you did all
16 operative work in this UNPROFOR unit and later on in the IFOR unit as the
17 military assistant. Is that correct or not? Thank you.
18 A. Yes, it basically says that I kept the same job.
19 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 2 the Rapid Reaction Forces are referred
20 to. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is your question, Mr. Tolimir?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 My question was whether the Rapid Reaction Forces command was in
24 Kiseljak, as it is written here in this paragraph, number 4 in the
25 witness's statement. Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: Well, as you can see, that's what it says,
2 headquarters in Kiseljak.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 3 of the
6 statement now, please, and can we look at the last paragraph on that
7 page. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's on the screen.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You can see the last sentence. It says that:
11 "Sector Sarajevo was headquartered in the PTT building. This is
12 the post office, telephone, and telegraph building. When I talk of my
13 duties initially in May 1995, the sector commander was
14 General Herve Gobillard. He was posted back to France" -- page 4,
15 please, can we look at page 4, "on the 12th of August, 1995.
16 Thank you. This is on page 4. I hope you're able to follow.
17 "He was replaced by General Jean-Rene Bachelet on the 9th of
18 August, 1995. General Bachelet was replaced in early December 1995 by
19 General Louis Zeller, who I mentioned above. General Zeller arrived on
20 December 11. All the sector commanders I served under were French. The
21 nature of my job as military assistant only changed under General Zeller,
22 as the mandate of the multi-national forces serving in the former
23 Yugoslavia had changed completely with the transfer of authority.
24 Otherwise, my duties and responsibilities remained the same, but with
25 Bachelet there were more occasions when we were doing things that the UN
1 and he wanted to let the world see. For instance, when we were opening
2 the highway into Sarajevo, we had a press conference on the scene. I
3 would translate for Bachelet on those occasions."
4 My question is: Can you please tell me whether all these French
5 commanders from UNPROFOR later remained in the IFOR forces on the same
6 posts and on the same duties. Thank you.
7 A. In fact, General Gobillard returned home to France after one year
8 in Sarajevo as commander of Sector Sarajevo in August 1995.
9 General Bachelet also returned to France after a shorter period. He was
10 there from August to early December, but he returned to France to assume
11 other duties. General Zeller, who was in charge as of early December and
12 therefore was in charge during the transfer of authority on the 20th of
13 December remained as commander of the Sarajevo Brigade. But as I alluded
14 to earlier, when Mr. Thayer was questioning me, for us at sector level,
15 we now became brigade -- a NATO brigade and that changed the nature of
16 our responsibilities because it was a new level of command that was
18 Above us, the new level was the division, divisional level, which
19 is higher than brigade. The divisional level assumed all the duties that
20 the sector was performing during the UNPROFOR mandate. So the
21 division -- the new divisional level was assuming those duties within the
22 NATO deployment. So the brigade lost a lot of -- we were not responsible
23 any longer for contacts with the corps, for example, either Bosniak or
24 Serb, VRS, corps. We lost that responsibility to the division. So
25 that's what I'm saying in there.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now show page 5 of the
3 statement to the witness, please, paragraph 4 and can we zoom in on that
4 text, please, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We can see this paragraph now, paragraph 4, which says:
7 "There were three French Battalions in Sarajevo. French
8 Battalion 2 was at the airport. Their duties were to protect the
9 airport, run Bosnian convoys across the airport, and later run a two-way
10 crossing for Bosnian and Serb populations."
11 Thank you. End of quote. My question is: Was this true during
12 the UNPROFOR mandate in Bosnia and are you able to tell us what Bosnian
13 convoys did you run across the airport? Thank you.
14 A. Okay. Bosnian convoys across the airport occurred before I
15 arrived. As I was saying earlier, when I landed on May 15th, it was the
16 second or third day of the Bosniak offensive to break out of Sarajevo and
17 the airport was closed because there was firing on both sides and there
18 were no more convoys. My understanding is that those convoys were to
19 bring in food to the population of Sarajevo based on prior agreements
20 between the two factions. Of course that agreement went out the door
21 when the fighting resumed on May 12th, 13th, or 14th, 1995, so those are
22 the convoys I'm talking about.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what UNPROFOR did in order to stop
24 the fighting by the Muslims in their attacks on Ilidza on the 12th, 13th,
25 and 14th of May? Thank you.
1 A. I'm not aware of any intervention that I was a part of, but I
2 know that the sector headquarters staff were in -- having meetings with
3 the Bosniak corps in Sarajevo and probably sending protest letters. But
4 I was brand new so I didn't know everything that was going on at that
6 Q. Thank you. Are you able to explain to the Trial Chamber whether
7 Sarajevo was a protected area when you got there in May and was it able
8 to carry out offensive actions against the Army of Republika Srpska?
9 Thank you.
10 A. Yes, it was supposed to be protected area, but no side, yours or
11 theirs, was respecting the prior agreements. Agreements concerning
12 weapon collection points, for example, were not respected. So it was not
13 much of a protected area for that reason.
14 Q. Thank you. And does that justify the Muslims' attack on Serbs in
15 that period when you just arrived?
16 A. Well, we have to look at the bigger situation, and the bigger
17 situation is the VRS tried to capture the whole of Bosnia initially.
18 They were not able to capture Sarajevo and the three eastern enclaves, so
19 they were surrounding these areas, choking them, and people were
20 starving. So is it justified that the Bosniaks were trying to break out
21 so that they could obtain resupply based on their own wishes as opposed
22 to the VRS deciding what goes in and what not? That's debatable I think.
23 Q. Thank you. And was this opinion shared by UNPROFOR unit
24 commands, just like the one that you stated for us today in this
25 courtroom? Thank you.
1 A. What I have just stated is Fortin's opinion, my own opinion.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 Can we look at page 7 of your statement now, please, lines 1, 2,
4 and 3. Thank you.
5 We can see that it's the first paragraph. You say:
6 "What I did write was an ultimatum that we sent to return the
7 weapons that were compiled or we would bomb them. We did not bomb them
8 and they were not returned."
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We could not find the
10 place in the statement in the original text.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I'm repeating my question. Did this happen at the time when the
13 Muslims were conducting attacks on Serbian positions? Was that the
14 period when you were collecting the weapons? Thank you.
15 A. I will read the text first.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps it's on a different page.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if I may, just so we have a clear
18 record later on in case this particular document isn't tendered or for
19 any other reason. I believe that the portion that General Tolimir's
20 referring to is on page 7, it's the last sentence of the second full
21 paragraph on 0055-5111:
22 "For instance, around May 20th, 1995, when the Bosnian Serbs
23 started using weapons around the WCPs, we wrote letters. One that I
24 wrote was an ultimatum that we gave them to return weapons to the WCPs or
25 that we would bomb. They did not, and we bombed."
1 I think that's slightly different as was appeared in the
2 transcript a few moments ago. I just wanted to clarify that.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I would like to have that
4 on the screen. It should be perhaps on the next page. Are we on page 7?
5 THE WITNESS: I have it here. It's below the bold title
6 "Records," the second paragraph --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: -- last few sentences.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
10 Now your question, Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 My question was in his statement did the witness write:
13 "The one that I wrote was an ultimatum that we gave to them to
14 return weapons to the weapons collection points or that we would bomb.
15 They did not and we bombed."
16 Thank you. I wanted the witness to read that so that I could put
17 a question to him.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He did and now you should put a question.
19 [Overlapping speakers] repetition.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you state this in your statement, since Mr. Thayer said that
23 there was a difference in the statement. Does the same thing -- does
24 your statement say the same thing in English? Thank you.
25 A. Well, I'm not sure if there's a -- if there's a translation
1 problem, but I understand what I wrote on the English side, and that's
3 Q. Thank you. Did you write an ultimatum to the Serbs, that they
4 should return weapons to the weapons collection points, and if not they
5 would be bombed; and since they did not return the weapons, they were
6 bombed? Thank you.
7 A. That's correct. I wrote the statement and the results are as
8 laid out in the text.
9 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the Serbs were bombed because
10 they took their weapons in self-defence, but the Muslims were not even
11 though they attacked them? Thank you.
12 A. Well, the problem here is the type of weapons. Weapons
13 collection points were created to store heavy weapons. Heavy weapons
14 means heavy mortars, not 82-millimetre or less but bigger; artillery;
15 tanks and other vehicles of the sort. The Bosniaks have very little of
16 that type of equipment. There was a Bosniak weapon collection point in
17 Sarajevo, but they didn't have all the heavy equipment because that heavy
18 equipment was seized by the VRS, it was the former Yugoslav Army
20 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Can you tell us if UNPROFOR tolerated
21 infantry attacks from the Muslims against the Serbs and punished the
22 Serbs for each violation of the agreement on the collection of heavy
23 weaponry at certain check-points that were under UNPROFOR control? Thank
25 A. Well, I'm not sure I would put it that way, but the UN was sent
1 to intervene to protect population in those enclaves, Sarajevo included,
2 that could not be taken militarily initially in the war by the VRS. So
3 that's the whole point of the UN deployment, was to protect those
4 populations. And since the VRS was encircling the city and strangling
5 it, preventing food from coming in, yes, the Bosniaks were attempting to
6 break out while the UN was attempting to negotiate more food and UN
7 convoys coming in.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell this Trial Chamber that is
9 presiding in this case whether these weapons were in the hands of the
10 Serbs when you sent the ultimatum and were these weapons always weapons
11 that belonged to the Serbs other than they had to be at these
12 check-points that under -- that were under your supervision? Did they
13 take something that was already theirs? Thank you.
14 A. Well, those are former Yugoslav Army weapons taken by the VRS
15 early in the war. And, yes, following an agreement with UNPROFOR
16 they - the Serbs - had agreed to put those weapons in weapons collection
17 points. Again, I remind that those are heavy weapons, artillery, tanks,
18 and things like that; and those are the weapons that were taken from the
19 weapon collection points, breaking the agreement, and used to fire on
20 Sarajevo, a starving city at that time.
21 Q. Thank you. Does it say in the agreement that the weapons can be
22 used in self-defence? Thank you.
23 A. I don't recall, sir, the exact details of the agreement.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at the sentence that's one
25 sentence below this one that you've just read. It's -- you say:
1 "I believe General Smith was doing the same things at his level.
2 We always discussed sending an ultimatum to the Bosnian Serbs with him,
3 of course, prior to doing so."
4 Thank you. So did you say that in your statement?
5 A. Yes, that's what we normally did. Like I said earlier, we were
6 operating at the corps level. General Smith was operating at army Main
7 Staff level. Usually we agreed on something before we proceeded.
8 Q. Thank you. And can you say if an ultimatum issued by you, your
9 command, or General Smith was ever -- if any such ultimatums threatening
10 bombing was ever sent to Muslims? Thank you.
11 A. I don't recall, sir.
12 Q. Thank you. And then you go on to say in your statement when you
13 speak about sniping in that chapter, can you tell us whether Muslims had
14 snipers in Sarajevo, yes or no? Thank you.
15 A. I don't know if they had snipers in the same -- in the same way,
16 because from -- however, as I say, I was fired at by the Muslims as well
17 as the Serbs, but they were not snipers. They were firing from the
18 window of a basement right near the street where I was driving by. But I
19 don't think they had snipers in the same way that sniping was coming from
20 Serb hill Grbavica, for example.
21 Q. Thank you. Is it something that you think or are you sure about
22 that? Thank you.
23 A. No, I'm not sure, sir.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please look at the fifth passage in
25 your statement where General Crouch is mentioned. You say he came in
1 before he took up his post in IFOR. Why did he come to Sarajevo, in what
2 capacity, when UNPROFOR was deployed there?
3 A. Like I said earlier, the deployment of NATO troops -- or planning
4 for the deployment of NATO troops started before the actual date of
5 transfer of authority. And as soon as the Dayton Accords was signed, we
6 started receiving reconnaissance missions from NATO units who would --
7 who were designated to start preparing for deployment. And I believe
8 General Crouch was a senior member of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps,
9 and he was coming in such a reconnaissance to look at the terrain, to
10 look at the situation, to look at where they could put additional troops
11 that were coming in.
12 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us whether that corps had a mandate
13 within UNPROFOR or NATO? Thank you.
14 A. No, that corps took command as IFOR as of December 20th, so it
15 had no mandate under UNPROFOR. All it had was following the Dayton
16 Accords reconnaissance started by these people to see where they would
17 bring their people and be ready to take command on the 20th of December.
18 Q. Thank you. You say here in line 8, paragraph 5:
19 "I was there with General Bachelet," that's your commanding
20 officer, "and General Crouch, even before Crouch took up duties as part
21 of IFOR."
22 Now, my question is: Can you tell us the time-period so that we
23 can have it on the record because you're talking about Dayton Peace
24 Accords and it did happen before that. Thank you.
25 A. Yes, I don't see that text on the e-court, but what I'm saying is
1 that you are a trained military officer, you know how to conduct -- bring
2 in reinforcements or conduct relief in place. These things don't happen
3 overnight, especially talking about thousands of troops with heavy
4 equipment. So as soon as there was an accord that NATO would take-over
5 the UN mission, these things, preparations, started happening and that's
6 one example of that. Even before that, officers from
7 UNPROFOR-contributing nations could come and visit their troops and look
8 at the terrain and see in what conditions their soldiers were operating.
9 So these kinds of visits were not out of the ordinary. But in this
10 particular case, it was planning for the upcoming NATO deployment.
11 Q. Thank you. You said that you were unable to find it in the
12 English text. Could you please look at line 3 here in the English
13 version, there's mention here of General Crouch. So please look at it
14 because I would like to ask you some additional questions in this regard.
15 Thank you.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether you remember if it was in
18 December or before December? Thank you.
19 A. I don't remember exactly when, but it was close to December
20 because we had access to Grbavica, where we could not go before. And
21 this is on -- Grbavica is a portion of the city that was held by the
22 Serbs, and we could even go and visit the underground system that had
23 been developed for people to move covertly from one firing position to
24 the next. And I mention that because from a military -- from a soldier's
25 point of view, it was well done.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, in order to determine the time-frame, was that
2 after the first and the second air-strikes on the Republika Srpska army
3 positions in Sector Sarajevo?
4 A. It was well after.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell us the reconnaissance mission and
6 the deployment of those large units with heavy weapons before the Dayton
7 Peace Agreement, could it have affected the outcome of the Dayton
8 negotiations and, in fact, the Dayton Peace Agreement itself? Thank you.
9 A. It did not occur -- deployment did not occur before the Dayton
11 Q. Thank you. And Crouch's reconnaissance mission, did it take
12 place before the Dayton Agreement? Thank you?
13 A. That's what I'm saying. There were visits by staff officers from
14 the UN-contributing nations before that, but planning visits for the
15 deployment did not occur before Dayton, but Dayton was signed before the
16 transfer of authority date. So there was some time in between to do
17 those reconnaissance and planning.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us if you know that whether
19 General Crouch was deployed in Albania and Macedonia during the war in
20 Kosovo, yes or no? Thank you.
21 A. No idea, sir. I would not even recognise the man.
22 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us what post he held in Bosnia after
23 the Dayton Peace Agreement. Thank you?
24 A. I don't know either, sir. I believe he [Realtime transcript read
25 in error "I"] was part of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, the designated
1 NATO land unit that was deploying, but I don't know any more precisely.
2 Q. Thank you. Could he have been the chief of the American delta
3 teams, since he went there to observe the anti-sniping fighting
4 against -- in Sarajevo that was conducted by the French Battalion, as you
5 say here in line 3 of paragraph 5 here?
6 A. Well, like I said I don't remember much about the man, but I
7 don't think so. Delta teams are not commanded by generals, they're
8 commanded by captains and majors.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
10 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just a correction for the record at
11 page 56, line 14 for us, I know Your Honours may have a different line
12 cite, it's the answer that begins with "I wouldn't know, the next
13 sentence starts with "I was part of the Allied Reaction Corps
14 NATO-designated land unit that was deploying, but I don't know any more
16 I'm not sure that that reflects the witness's answer properly, if
17 we could just get a clarification for that. That was an answer to a
18 question about this General Crouch.
19 THE WITNESS: That would be "he was part."
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That clarifies the situation.
21 Mr. Tolimir, I think this is perhaps a convenient time for the
22 second break. It will be a shorter one as well, and we will resume at
23 quarter past 6.00. Thank you very much. We adjourn.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.54 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 6.16 p.m.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Now I would like the witness to be shown page 9 of this
4 statement, the one that we see here. The chapter is "Major Events."
5 Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Now, please look at paragraph 4 here. You say:
8 "I arrived in Sarajevo during the course of the second or third
9 day of the Bosnian offensive to try and break out of the city."
10 Do you see that in the English language?
11 A. Not yet, no.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is on page 10, the second paragraph, in
14 THE WITNESS: Okay. I see it.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. So let me repeat.
17 "I arrived in Sarajevo during the course of the second or third
18 day of the Bosnian offensive to try and break out of the city. Most of
19 the shelling during those few days was in the southern part of the city
20 and at Debelo Brdo. The sector had two observation posts which were
21 right in the middle of this offensive and being pounded by mortars,
22 artillery, and rifle grenades from both sides. After some time, the
23 Bosnian side moved their offensive to another location, Nedzarici. For a
24 period of about two weeks, from late May until early June, they were
25 attacking every morning to try and break out towards Ilidza. They were
1 never able to do so."
2 Did I quote you properly here and did this Muslim attack in fact
3 take about 15 days, as you say here?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Thank you. Now we move on to the next paragraph which reads as
7 "In response to the Bosnian attack, the Bosnian Serbs started to
8 fire their weapons which had been gathered in the weapons collection
9 points. The sector issued an ultimatum to the Bosnian Serbs to stop
10 firing and to return their weapons to the points by noon on May 25th,
11 1995, or risk air-strikes. They failed to do so and there was an
12 air-strike on May the 25th. That evening, however, the Bosnian Serbs
13 continued to fire from three firing positions -- or rather weapons
14 collection points. And as a consequence, a second air-strike took place
15 during the morning of May 26th, 1995. Before the end of the morning, the
16 sector and BH command were already receiving reports that UNMOs had been
17 taken hostage in Pale."
18 Thank you. Did I read your statement correctly?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. Thank you. On the basis of reading out those two passages, my
21 question is the following: Were Bosnian Serbs punished because they had
22 taken the weapons, heavy weapons, out of the collection points in
23 self-defence? Thank you.
24 A. Yes, they were punished because they took the heavy -- heavy
25 weapons out of the collection points, type of heavy weapons that the
1 other side did not have.
2 Q. Thank you. So Muslims were allowed to attack Serb positions
3 every morning during the 15 days and those positions were then defended
4 using those heavy weapons? Thank you.
5 A. And your question?
6 Q. So did UNPROFOR allow the Muslims to attack during the 15 days
7 Serbs every morning with impunity and then punished the Serbs the moment
8 they started defending themselves? Thank you.
9 A. Well, as you know, the UN was deployed to keep things under
10 control, prevent any attack, if possible, while negotiations at higher
11 level tried to reach a solution. The Bosniaks, however, as I said
12 earlier were home in Sarajevo in a city that had been surrounded for
13 years and a city was starving because food was not coming in as much as
14 was necessary. I should point out that initially - and perhaps my
15 figures are off - but the point here, initially Sarajevo had about
16 350.000 people. At that point there were 420.000 people and not enough
17 food going in.
18 Additionally, the Bosniaks were intertwined with their own
19 population, which was not the case of the surrounding VRS. So we could
20 not bomb the Bosniaks, as is being alluded to here. And of course
21 whenever the Bosniaks did that, they broke the peace, they broke the calm
22 situation which we were there to prevent but we could not prevent it. We
23 didn't have the means to be able to stop everything and we could not --
24 certainly not prevent it with air-strikes because that would have meant
25 bombarding civilian populations in Sarajevo.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, did Muslims have a circle around the Sarajevo
2 Serb positions at Igman and other positions that dominated Serb
3 positions? Thank you.
4 A. Well, I don't think any of the positions the Bosniaks held around
5 Sarajevo were dominating, but I'm willing to admit that there were a few
6 spots where it was. But as I said, they had very few heavy weapons. And
7 Igman, perhaps looking at the map, it's higher but it's quite a distance
8 to be able to bring any effective fire; it's too far.
9 Q. Thank you. You covered Sarajevo very well with your points, as
10 you've told us. And now at page 10, could we please move to page 10 in
11 the Serbian version. You speak about the so-called hostage crisis. You
12 know what I want to ask you about so I don't have to read out all the
13 paragraphs. You speak about how after the air-strikes Serbs took
14 UNPROFOR soldiers hostage. That's what you say in paragraphs 1 through 6
15 on page 10, and this extends in fact all the way down to the end of this
16 page, where you speak about 364 UNPROFOR staff who were taken hostage or
17 detained in some other way; am I right?
18 A. Yes, that's correct. I don't see the -- all the information, but
19 the beginning is on the page that I have.
20 Q. Thank you. Unfortunately, I don't speak English so I can't
21 assist you, but that's what it says here. It's the whole of page 10 in
22 the Serbian language is devoted to the hostage crisis that occurred after
23 the government seat at Pale and the factory were bombed. You speak about
24 three French combat vehicles that were moved out and you speak about the
25 Ukrainians who had been captured the day before were taken towards Pale
1 by bus, and then you say that the soldiers were chained to locations that
2 were possible air-strike targets. Is that what it says in your
4 A. Okay, it's coming up now.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I was just going to suggest moving to
7 page 11, which we have now done, to help the witness.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: But yes, what you're reading is correct. This is
10 what -- part of my statement.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. And I have not told you yet that in your statement
13 you also speak about the -- when UNPROFOR moved from -- was transferred
14 from the -- when the Vrbanja bridge was transferred from UNPROFOR hands
15 to Bosnian Serb hands and back; is that correct?
16 A. Well, yes, but "transferred back" was -- fighting occurred
17 between UNPROFOR and the VRS in that case.
18 Q. Yes, that's correct. And you say that there were casualties on
19 both sides in the fighting; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct, and I could add that there was probably
21 casualties on the Bosniak side as well because we -- when we -- French
22 troops re-took the OP at Vrbanja bridge, they were in sight of Bosniak
23 positions as well. And we did not trust that the Bosniaks would remain
24 quiet in that counter-attack. So they received some fire as well from
25 the French troops attacking to re-take that bridge or that observation
1 post that was taken by the VRS.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you have approval from the UNPROFOR HQ in Zagreb
3 to use force to re-take Vrbanja Most, bridge?
4 A. I'm not sure if they were informed before the fact.
5 Q. Thank you. In your statement you then say that you were always
6 warned by Zagreb not to deal with such crises by force, not to use
8 A. Well, you have to point out where I say this, but as a general
9 rule proportionality was a UN principle. If you're fired on, you respond
10 with a weapon of similar type.
11 Q. Thank you. Who opened fire first, was it UNPROFOR at the
12 positions of the Army of Republika Srpska or did the army fire at
13 UNPROFOR first? Thank you.
14 A. Well, we're talking about two incidents here. The VRS took the
15 observation post from the French. I'm not sure if there was much
16 fighting at that time because the post was taken at night by a Serbian
17 soldier dressed in French uniforms. They had kept those uniforms when
18 they had captured I don't know how many French soldiers, but more than a
19 hundred. And some Serb soldiers spoke French, so they approached at
20 night and they took the post and captured the soldiers, soldiers who
21 would later be put on display near the bridge with an officer pointing
22 his gun at the head of a man saying stop air-strikes or we kill this man.
23 So that's the first incident. The next day UNPROFOR French troops
24 re-took the bridge and of course over -- during the night the Serbs had
25 reinforced their position with troops. So force was used right from the
1 start to re-take that position.
2 Q. Thank you. So this was after the 26th and the 25th when you
3 carried out the first and the second air-strike. Do you know what was
4 the target of the bombing on those occasions? Thank you.
5 A. No, I didn't know what the targets were. Perhaps I knew then,
6 but I don't recall.
7 Q. Thank you. Can I remind you, do you recall that a barracks in
8 Pale, a factory in Pale, and the government building of the Government of
9 Republika Srpska was also bombed in Pale at that occasion, do you
10 remember that? Thank you.
11 A. No, I don't remember. I cannot confirm that either way.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. Do you remember if the Serbs killed any
13 French soldiers when they took the Vrbanja bridge? Thank you.
14 A. When they initially took the bridge at night, I don't think they
15 killed any French soldiers. In the subsequent French attack, there were
16 two French soldiers killed and 17 wounded I think.
17 Q. Thank you. Thank you. So in the first attack the Serbs didn't
18 kill anyone, they just captured some people; is that correct?
19 A. As far as I remember, yes, that's correct. They captured the
20 observation post and the people, the French soldiers, it contained.
21 Q. Thank you. And when the French UNPROFOR took that check-point
22 under its control with weapons, then there was some shooting and some
23 people were killed; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you try to return the observation post through
1 negotiations, and in that way, through negotiations, prevent the killing
2 of any French or Serb soldiers? Thank you.
3 A. That may have been, but I don't know. That was a decision by the
4 French commander and I was not privy to everything but -- so I don't know
5 if there was an attempt to negotiate before.
6 Q. Thank you. Did the UNPROFOR also keep a certain number of
7 soldiers as prisoners, the soldiers who had originally captured that
8 check-point. Thank you.
9 A. Yes, that's correct. I think there were --
10 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Did you treat them as prisoners of war?
11 Thank you.
12 A. I really don't know about the procedure exactly that followed.
13 They were taken by the French and they were not exactly prisoners of war
14 because this is -- was a UN mission. So it became a French thing, which
15 I don't know the details.
16 Q. Thank you. Did the Serbs capture a number of the French and were
17 they considered prisoners of war and did they have specific status too?
18 Thank you.
19 A. Well, yes. As I said earlier, when the Serbs initially took the
20 observation point -- the observation post at the bridge, they also took
21 the French people. I think there were 11 of them. How they were
22 designated, what type of prisoner, I don't know. I know, however, that
23 some of these soldiers were taken to the bridge and was shown on Serb TV.
24 They were threatened with a handgun, showing us and the world that if
25 NATO did not stop its bombing on the Serbs, that the French soldier would
1 be killed.
2 Q. Thank you. Were these soldiers exchanged, those 11 and the four
3 who had been captured by the Serbs on the Vrbanja bridge? Thank you.
4 A. I know that eventually yes, but the four Serb soldiers were
5 returned and the 11 French soldiers I think eventually returned the same
6 way that other UN hostages were returned, through Belgrade. But I'm not
7 sure in this specific case.
8 Q. Thank you. In the fifth paragraph on page 11 in the Serbian, and
9 that is probably on page 12 in the English, you say how you met Indjic
10 and Lugonja in order to exchange the French hostages they had and to
11 return to you the hostages that you had. Is that correct?
12 A. I don't -- pardon me. I don't see it now.
13 Q. Well, I'm going to read it to you -- well, I don't know English.
14 I'm reading the first, second, third, fourth, fifth paragraph, 11th page
15 in the Serbian, where you say:
16 "People were actually freed that night, but towards Belgrade, by
17 the time the prisoners had made the route from Belgrade to Zagreb, Split,
18 and Sarajevo, it was already June 5th. They had to walk down Mount
19 Igman. There were trucks waiting for them at the bottom of Igman. From
20 there, the men were tracked through Butmir to the airport. The general
21 and I as well as a large number of other people were waiting for them."
22 You waiting for those soldiers. Was that a result of those --
23 was that a result of that meeting you had with Colonel Meille -- actually
24 that Colonel Meille had with Lugonja and Indjic. Thank you.
25 A. Okay, sir, they just brought up the page. Let me have a look.
1 I'm not sure if they are the same hostages, the Vrbanja bridge
2 hostages that we are talking about here, because there was in total close
3 to 400 UN hostages at one point, and we're talking about 120 of them
4 returning that way -- that particular night. Did that include the people
5 from Vrbanja bridge, I have no idea, sir.
6 Q. Thank you. And you are actually saying that this was after the
7 meeting with Indjic and Lugonja. In one part of the statement, if you
8 recall, you say that Indjic was not able to make the decision. Do you
9 remember that? Thank you.
10 A. Well, I don't remember that but I believe that, yes, Indjic was
11 not able to make that kind of decision. That would have to be made at a
12 higher level because he was a lieutenant-colonel liaison officer for the
13 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps to UNPROFOR.
14 Q. Thank you. Your liaison officers, were they able to make
15 decisions that were opposite from the decisions made by your commanders?
16 Thank you.
17 A. They'd better not if they want to keep their job.
18 Q. Thank you. I asked you this in order to be fair to Indjic
19 because he was just a liaison officer, not a commanding officer or
20 someone who can decide on any matter. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And now your question, Mr. Tolimir.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Was Indjic a liaison officer who would convey what was ordered to
25 him by his commander in Sector Sarajevo in the same way that you had
1 liaison officers in your sector, or was he somebody who had the power to
2 make decisions? Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the witness answered this question
4 already on the last lines of page 66.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. If he replied, I thank
6 him. I didn't hear that answer. I didn't register it, so that is why I
7 repeated the question. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He said that would have to be made at a higher
9 level because he was a lieutenant-colonel liaison officer for the
10 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps to UNPROFOR.
11 Please carry on.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. That is a fair answer.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Are you able to tell us whether you had civilian affairs officers
16 from the International Red Cross or any other organisation that went
17 together with the military in any kind of task that they were carrying
18 out? Thank you.
19 A. Well, anything that concerned prisoners we would certainly
20 involve the International Committee of the Red Cross, and I believe they
21 were involved concerning the four Serb prisoners taken at Vrbanja bridge.
22 And I believe they were also involved by UN prisoners coming back to us
23 from Belgrade.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you think or were you sure that the prisoners held
25 by UNPROFOR were reported to the International Red Cross? Thank you.
1 A. I am sure that they were involved.
2 Q. Thank you. We're going to move to another topic now. You're
3 talking about the road via Mount Igman that led to Sarajevo airport
4 through which the Muslims and UNPROFOR received their supplies. Did I
5 interpret this part of your statement correctly, and I think it's not
6 necessary then for me to read from your statement. Thank you.
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Thank you. Did the Muslims prevent you from carrying out
9 transport during the day, from using that road via Mount Igman that led
10 to Sarajevo, did the Muslims prevent you from using that road during
11 day-time? Thank you.
12 A. No, they did add difficulties at times. Sometimes we could use
13 it freely; other times it was just too many people using that road and it
14 was a very low capacity -- basically initially a mountain road made for
15 mules, not for heavy trucks. But the alternative was to use the
16 traditional road, the sierra road, which the Serbs would not allow us to
17 use or would not grant proper freedom of movement to use. So that put
18 the UN in a dilemma of using a road where we had more freedom of movement
19 but with little capacity and with the ensuing consequences that the Serb
20 thought that we were collaborating with the Bosniak on Igman, where in
21 fact we were trying to feed ourselves and feed the city by bringing UNHCR
23 Q. Thank you. And was this crisis something that occurred during
24 the hostage crisis and after the bombing, this crisis that put an end to
25 the use of the Kiseljak road? Thank you.
1 A. I believe so. It was shortly after that it was getting more
2 difficult to bring food and other resources for the UN into the city.
3 Q. Thank you. I would now like to read something to you and you can
4 just listen carefully if you cannot find it. This is on page 14, first,
5 second, third, fourth paragraph, I'm going to read from the beginning. I
6 think in your copy it's probably on page 15.
7 "Later on Colonel Meille briefed the general as to what he had
8 been told by the 1st Corps where the points agreed upon during the
9 meeting between Nicolai and Muratovic. That movement on the Igman road
10 at night was reserved for the Bosnians and during the day for UNPROFOR,
11 that Bosnians were to have total freedom of movement in the demilitarised
12 zone and that the upkeep of the Igman road was the responsibility of
13 Sector Sarajevo. Of course these points had been discussed but were not
14 resolved in the manner reported by the 1st Corps."
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We see it now on the screen in the English
16 version, paragraph 4.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Based on what I have read to you and what you see in this
19 paragraph, 4, can I put a question to you now? And the question is: Did
20 the Muslims stop you from moving along the Igman road by day, the road
21 that passed through the DMZ, which the Serbs then restored once they
22 allowed the UN to take Igman?
23 A. I'm not sure I understand, but if you refer to the paragraph that
24 you just read it says there that of course these points had been
25 discussed but were not resolved in the manner report by the 1st Corps.
1 Although we felt we had little option but to use Igman road at the time
2 because we were prevented by the Serbs from using better roads. The
3 Bosniaks were not making it easy for us either.
4 Q. Thank you. Now I would like you to look at the fourth paragraph
5 in English, line 4, where it says that the Bosnians were to have total
6 freedom of movement in the DMZ and that the upkeep of the Igman road was
7 the responsibility of Sector Sarajevo."
8 Is that what you stated? Thank you.
9 A. Well, yes. And that's exactly the point I made. The Bosnians
10 reported to us that that was the agreement between Muratovic and
11 General Nicolai, but it was not the agreement between Muratovic and
12 Nicolai. And as I said, they were not making it easy for us either, and
13 Mr. Muratovic liked to put us in a bad situation like this.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, my question based on what you say, based on what
15 I read, is the following: Did the Muslims prohibit you from moving
16 through the demilitarised zone at Igman? Thank you.
17 A. No, they did not, but they did not make it easy to move through.
18 There were agreements, for example, that we use it by day. But by day we
19 were being fired on by the Serbs at the bottom of the hill and they were
20 using it by night. But as you probably know better than me, the top of
21 Mount Igman is not paved with multi-lane highways. They're all very
22 low-capacity roads and it very quickly turned into traffic jams
23 everywhere along the road between Tarcin and the actual hill to come down
24 in the valley near the airport.
25 Q. Thank you. So were you prohibited from using that road through
1 the demilitarised zone at night, yes or no? Thank you.
2 A. We had agreed to put most of our traffic through during the day.
3 Q. Thank you. I will have to read out the paragraph 5 just below
4 paragraph 4. So I'm reading line 4 where you say:
5 "Following the meeting, Meille learned that a UNHCR convoy which
6 had come down the Igman route that night had been detained at the airport
7 and that the DMZ was closed by the Bosnians. At the time we were
8 attempting to resupply both Sarajevo and ourselves and trying to obtain
9 more routes from the Serbs."
10 Is this what you stated? Thank you.
11 A. Yes, and I might add the next sentence:
12 "Meanwhile, the Serbs perceived our use of the Igman route as
13 co-operating with their enemy. A lot of the obstruction the Bosnians
14 created only served to reinforce that perception and make our task
16 I said that a little earlier, and I also said that generally we
17 had more freedom of movement there than anywhere else, but the Bosniaks
18 were not always making it easy for us.
19 Q. Thank you. And on the basis of what I've just read out to you,
20 does it not follow that the Bosnians closed down the DMZ? Is this what
21 you stated? Thank you.
22 A. They did not closing down. In fact, you read the statement
23 yourself from Colonel Meille that he's trying to make the point to them
24 that we have complete access to the DMZ. But in the reality, it was not
25 happening -- or it was not always happening as we would like.
1 Q. Why did they then force you to move by day while they used it by
2 night? Thank you.
3 A. That's what I said. That was the agreement. As Colonel Meille
4 pointed out in discussions with the Bosniaks, we have -- we want and we
5 should have complete freedom of movement over Igman, but we can negotiate
6 with the 1st Corps the traffic flow. And generally we took the road by
7 day, they by night -- they did by night, but not always. Because we
8 wanted to maintain freedom of movement, so using that road as much as we
9 wanted to.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, was the DMZ handed over to you as UNPROFOR once
11 the Republika Srpska army withdrew from those positions on Mount Igman
12 and was it the situation then that the Muslims exerted greater control of
13 the road than UNPROFOR? Thank you.
14 A. Well, I wouldn't say they exerted greater control, but it was the
15 only route in and out, both for UNPROFOR and for the Bosniaks. And it
16 was the only route in and out - the airport was not functioning at that
17 time - to bring any food in, including food for UNPROFOR because at that
18 time we didn't have much to eat either.
19 Q. Thank you. If that road was used only by humanitarian convoys
20 with food, why then would Muslims prohibit you from using that road to
21 supply the population in Sarajevo? Did they use it for military
22 purposes? Thank you.
23 A. Yes, they did. And I said it was a very low-capacity road so
24 everything was competing for very little capacity. All of those issues,
25 Bosniak military issues, UNPROFOR resupply, and mainly the largest
1 quantities of anything that was brought in was food for the population,
2 UNHCR convoys.
3 Q. Thank you. And did -- were Muslims ever punished because they
4 had taken control over the roads and the demilitarised zone on
5 Mount Igman? Thank you.
6 A. There were a lot of discussions, a lot of unhappiness - I shall
7 put it that way - on the part of UNPROFOR. But punishing the Muslims,
8 with air-strikes is probably what you're alluding to, would have meant
9 punishing ourselves as well because we were basically occupying the same
10 ground, whether in the city or on the very low-capacity road over Igman.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, did you punish only the Serbs with air-strikes
12 when we're talking about the warring sides in the former Socialist
13 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia or Bosnia and Herzegovina? Thank you.
14 A. As far as I recall, sir, yes we punished only the Serbs,
15 considered as the aggressor in this war.
16 Q. Thank you. Did UNPROFOR consider the Serbs as aggressors in this
17 war? Thank you.
18 A. That's what I am saying.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you be an aggressor in Canada, in your own home?
20 Did those Serbs come from somewhere else, from some other state, or were
21 they born there, in the territory where the war was going on? Thank you.
22 A. Well, if I take all the weapons of my army and encircle a city
23 and starve it, I certainly am the aggressor even if I'm born in that
25 Q. Thank you. And do you know that in Sarajevo there were heavy
1 weapons, howitzers, and tanks in all -- that were left behind by the JNA
2 in all the barracks, Jusuf Dzonlic, Marsal Tito, and in all the barracks,
3 wherever there were heavy weapons in Sarajevo they were left behind?
4 Thank you.
5 A. I saw those things you mentioned on a road outside near Stup and
6 they had been destroyed very early in the war, and the bodies were still
7 there two years later along with non-functioning tanks with big holes in
9 Q. Thank you. And where were the howitzers and the cannons that
10 they kept, the ones that were in the barracks because the JNA as it
11 withdrew did not take those weapons with it? Thank you.
12 A. Well, as I say, I believe a lot of it was destroyed in the
13 initial fighting. When the Serbs were trying to Sarajevo, the Bosniaks
14 defended with those weapons that remained there. Whatever was left, was
15 not -- there were not very many heavy weapons, like I said. All I
16 personally saw were small calibre mortars, 82-millimetre, RPGs, and
17 rifles and machine-guns, 14.5 machine-guns and that type of weapons. I
18 didn't see any artillery, although there might have been, and certainly
19 no tanks.
20 Q. Thank you. And do you know that by the 15th of May until the JNA
21 was still in Bosnia, that the Bosnian Presidency invited all the Muslims
22 to leave the JNA ranks? Thank you.
23 A. No, sir, I didn't know about that.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we are running out of time. We have
25 reached the 7.00 limit. We must break now and continue tomorrow morning.
1 Before we do that, just for the record some very small corrections. The
2 document P515 was only marked for identification pending translation. We
3 have discovered that this was a mistake. We have a translation so that
4 this is admitted as P515.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 On line 13 it should read -- yes, thank you.
7 And the Prosecution has indicated that they don't want to attach
8 translations for the notebooks we have seen. We have seen six of them
9 admitted pending translation and only marked for identification. As it
10 is not necessary to have translations, these will be received as P438,
11 P439, P440, tendered with the Witness PW-033 and P508, P515 [sic], and
12 P516 tendered with Witness PW-035. That's a clarification for the
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Another correction, please, on line 21 it should
16 read P514 instead of P515. I think now we have it.
17 Sir, thank you for your attendance today. We have to continue
18 tomorrow --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Defence would like this
22 statement, D96 [as interpreted] to be admitted into evidence.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the number. It is not
24 recorded correctly.
25 It is P206 -- D --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it is --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P596, P596.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This will be received, but I think we had another
6 number already.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Correction, it's 206. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's correct. It is D206.
10 THE REGISTRAR: 1D206 will be Exhibit D50.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have now everything correctly on the
15 Again, sir, we will continue with your examination tomorrow
16 morning at 9.00, and we will have an extended sitting because we had a
17 shorter sitting today. And we will adjourn tomorrow at 2.30. I would
18 like to remind you that it is not allowed to have discussion with either
19 party on the content of your evidence.
20 THE WITNESS: Understood, sir. I will be here tomorrow.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 We adjourn and resume tomorrow at 9.00.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 24th day of
25 June, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.