1 Wednesday, 30 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom and
6 watching, listening to our proceedings. I would like to mention
7 something -- I think we have a problem with the transcript. Something is
8 wrong with it. That should be resolved.
9 At the outset of today's hearings, I would like to mention a
10 problem with scheduling in July. In the second week, the Chamber has
11 some problems because of overlapping with other trials and other
12 commitments, and we would like to suggest that we sit in the week
13 commencing on the 5th of July, four days instead of three, and the
14 following week only two days instead of three. Our proposal would be to
15 sit as scheduled, but in addition in the week commencing on the 5th of
16 July, a hearing on the 6th of July in the afternoon, 2.15, and we should
17 cancel the hearing on the 15th of July. Is there any problem for calling
18 witnesses or other problems?
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I can see, Mr. Thayer, who is the master of
21 the witness --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Thayer is sorting out, he is the witness
24 organiser so he will be able to give us an answer. We will, of course,
25 endeavour to do that. Ms. Stewart informs me we have Dutch interpreters
1 coming and -- for General Nikolai. And Dutch interpreters, once you get
2 a date it's very hard to change, but we'll certainly endeavour to do that
3 and I think be able to get back to you pretty soon if there's any really
4 significant problems. I know Mr. Thayer has the next witness so -- but
5 we will discuss this at the break and take a good look, but we normally
6 can move things around.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. And the Defence,
8 Mr. Tolimir, is there any problem with this cancelling the hearing on the
9 15th of July, instead of that we would like to sit additionally on the
10 6th of July in the afternoon. Everything else should be as scheduled
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, could you please just
13 tell me whether we work on the 16th, then. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, there will be no hearing. There's nothing
15 scheduled for that day.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Defence agrees and
17 you can adjust it to your needs, the needs of this Tribunal. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 And the Prosecution will figure out if that is possible, perhaps
20 during today's hearing. We come back to that later. Now the witness
21 should be brought in. Thank you.
22 Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, while the witness is being brought in
24 if I could just alert the Trial Chamber to one administrative matter, as
25 it were. We have an exhibit listed for Colonel Franken, P620. As I was
1 getting ready for his testimony, I noticed that that document has never
2 been used before and it does not have a 65 ter number for it, so --
3 because we -- I believe, to comply with the Trial Chamber's preference,
4 because we need formally apply in a motion to add that to our 65 ter list
5 of exhibits, I will not be showing this exhibit to Colonel Franken during
6 his testimony. I'll simply ask him about it, but because we haven't gone
7 through the formality of applying for the 65 ter number and the Court
8 hasn't had an opportunity to review that application, I'll simply ask him
9 about it. We won't show it to him, and I will use it certainly with
10 another witness, most likely General Nikolai, who will be coming in July.
11 So we can cross off P620 for the purposes of today's proceedings.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir.
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome to the Tribunal. Would you please read
17 aloud the affirmation on the card that it shown to you now.
18 THE WITNESS: I will. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
19 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, please sit down. As it is
21 not the first time that you are giving evidence here in the Tribunal, you
22 know the procedure. Mr. Thayer has some questions for you.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 WITNESS: ROBERT FRANKEN
25 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
1 Q. Good morning, sir.
2 A. Good morning to you.
3 Q. Do you recall testifying in this building almost four years ago
4 in October of 2006?
5 A. I do recall that, yes.
6 Q. And did you recently read all of your testimony in that case, the
7 Popovic case?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. Can you attest before this Trial Chamber that what you read
10 accurately reflects what you said during that trial?
11 A. That matched exactly what I said, yes. That's correct.
12 Q. And, sir, can you further attest that, were you asked the same
13 questions today that you were asked back in October of 2006, that your
14 answers would be the same?
15 A. That is correct because there's just one story.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you.
17 MR. THAYER: At this time, Mr. President, the Prosecution would
18 tender P597 and P598, Colonel Franken's Popovic testimony, the former
19 being under seal.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received.
21 MR. THAYER: Given the extensive nature of Colonel Franken's
22 prior testimony, I have a 92 ter summary that may take a couple of
23 minutes, so please sit back and I'll have about three and a half pages to
24 read. I've tried to reduce it, but Colonel Franken's level of knowledge
25 and participation was extensive in these events, so I want to do the
1 prior testimony justice in terms of the summary for the Trial Chamber.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If that is really a summary, we would appreciate
4 MR. THAYER: It is a summary, albeit a long one, Mr. President.
5 The witness served in the Royal Netherlands Army in various
6 command and staff positions. He retired after 33 years in service with
7 the rank of colonel. He arrived in Bosnia in January 1995 as a major and
8 was the deputy commanding officer and logistics officer of DutchBat III,
9 headquartered at Potocari. His immediate superior was the DutchBat
10 commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans. Beginning in April 1995, the
11 VRS increased its firing upon DutchBat patrols and OPs. In addition,
12 civilians were wounded by shelling and shooting and were taken to the
13 Srebrenica hospital by DutchBat armoured ambulances.
14 Colonel Franken described the DutchBat resupply process, which
15 required VRS approval for both the contents and number of trucks in every
16 convoy. In addition, the VRS categorically denied anything relating to
17 weapons systems, spare parts, testing devices, ammunition, and
18 communications equipment. The VRS restrictions on convoys increased
19 after February, when the last fuel convoy was approved by the VRS. UNHCR
20 was subject to the same approval process and restrictions by the VRS.
21 Colonel Franken testified about the effect which the VRS
22 restrictions on fuel convoys had on DutchBat's ability to carry out its
23 mission: They had to patrol the enclave on foot and chop wood for heat;
24 they could not keep their medical dressing station operational; nor could
25 they purify water or cook food. They also had to close down their mobile
1 Red Cross point in several villages, which gave medical care directly to
2 the population.
3 He further described how DutchBat's weapons and ammunition became
4 severely reduced and inoperable because the VRS convoy restrictions
5 prevented their necessary maintenance and replacement. He also testified
6 about the VRS restrictions on DutchBat personnel rotations, such that
7 when he arrived, the battalion's strength was over 300, but by July 1995
8 was down to 147 peacekeepers. Colonel Franken referred to these
9 collective VRS convoy restrictions as "convoy terror."
10 He also testified about the VRS attack on Observation Post Echo,
11 OP Echo, by approximately 40 Serb infantry, supported by a T-55 battle
12 tank, which forced the peacekeepers out of the OP after firing on it and
13 striking its observation tower. Following this attack, Colonel Karremans
14 described the critical situation of the battalion and the local
15 population in a commander's assessment.
16 Colonel Franken then described the VRS attack on the enclave that
17 began on 6 July, including VRS direct firing on OPs, such as OP Foxtrot,
18 in which a VRS tank blew away the OP's defence wall; random shelling of
19 Srebrenica town; and firing at the UN Potocari compound and direct
20 surroundings, resulting in civilian casualties. Because the VRS had not
21 permitted the battalion operations officer to rotate back in, Colonel
22 Franken assumed tactical command duties during the VRS attack and spent
23 most of his time in the operations room. Nevertheless, he made rounds
24 outside at least twice daily to see the situation for himself.
25 He also discussed his 9 July order to form blocking positions
1 with APCs to prevent further VRS penetration into the safe area and to
2 force VRS the stay static enough to be struck by close air support.
3 These APCs also came under direct VRS tank and artillery fire, resulting
4 in one APC being shot off the road and shrapnel wounds and light injuries
5 to DutchBat peacekeepers. A recovery vehicle sent to retrieve the APC
6 came under fire from an anti-tank gun and a T-55 tank, and had to
8 By 10 July, there was massive shelling of Srebrenica, including
9 the UN Bravo Company compound, resulting in further casualties.
10 Colonel Franken further testified that the VRS issued an ultimatum to
11 civilians, BiH soldiers, DutchBat, and UNHCR to leave by 0600 hours on
12 11 July. UNPROFOR responded with an ultimatum of its own that the VRS
13 should withdraw to the so-called Morillon lines by 0600 the next morning
14 or there would be massive air-strikes.
15 By 11 July, however, the ABiH had disappeared, and the VRS had
16 completely surrounded the OPs, and had infantry poised at heights around
17 Srebrenica town as, one by one, the OPs continued to fall to the Serbs.
18 Peacekeepers formerly manning OPs were taken to Bratunac where they were
19 held prisoner by the VRS, not free leave. The civilian population was
20 fleeing in great numbers from Srebrenica town to the Potocari compounds,
21 with Bravo Company peacekeepers accompanying the column and bringing up
22 the tail. And the column was shelled by mortar and artillery, the
23 wounded being picked up along the way. Had the VRS wanted to kill
24 everybody in that column, it could have done so. In total, 114 wounded
25 were brought to Potocari.
1 The peacekeepers guided the refugees towards the back of the
2 Potocari compound and away from the road directly in front of it because
3 Colonel Franken believed that if the refugees entered from the front, the
4 VRS would fire upon them with an anti-tank gun, T-55 tank, and multiple
5 rocket-launcher to the north of the compound near OP Papa. When the
6 compound filled with refugees, they were directed to abandoned factories
7 and a bus compound to the south. By the night of 11 July, they estimated
8 there were between 800 and 1.000 Muslim men inside and outside the
10 After close air support was delivered in the afternoon of
11 11 July, Colonel Franken received a threat that if close air support
12 continued, the VRS would shell the compound and the refugees there, and
13 kill the peacekeepers held prisoner in Bratunac. He took the threat to
14 shell the compound seriously, because the Serbs had used artillery before
15 randomly on Srebrenica town, on the area of Potocari, and on the refugees
16 fleeing Srebrenica for Potocari, and he thought that if they wanted to do
17 it again, they probably would. Shortly after that threat, there was
18 mortar shelling of the bus compound area and a full round from the
19 multiple rocket system towards Potocari, resulting in wounded and panic
20 among the refugees.
21 In the morning of 12 July, he observed the Serb forces advancing
22 towards Potocari from the north, and sometime after noon or around noon,
23 a large number of buses and trucks began arriving. That day, he met two
24 VRS Colonels, one named Acamovic, who identified himself as a logistics
25 officer, and one named Jankovic, who identified himself as being from
1 Pale and said his mission was to prepare and co-ordinate DutchBat's
3 As the first buses had already started to leave, Colonel Franken
4 assigned Major Boering and Captain Voerman to escort the first convoy.
5 He received reports that the first and second convoy went well, but
6 thereafter, the VRS stopped all of the UN escorts, thus taking away, as
7 Colonel Franken put it, his eyes and ears.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please read slower, please.
9 MR. THAYER: The escorts were stripped of their vehicles,
10 weapons, equipment and clothing in such a way that he concluded that it
11 was organised and designed to prevent the UN from witnessing whatever
12 happened to the convoys. He complained to Colonel Jankovic but did not
13 see any results.
14 Mladic had announced that men would be separated, so except for
15 the first convoy, men were separated immediately after they left the
16 perimeter secured by peacekeepers, and taken to the White House, from
17 which they were transported in the direction of Bratunac. The Serbs
18 consistently thwarted efforts to escort the buses containing men. In
19 addition, the Serbs prevented peacekeepers from investigating the
20 treatment of the men in the White House. He complained again, without
21 results, to Colonel Jankovic. The men had to leave their belongings in
22 front of the White House in a large pile, which the Serbs later burned.
23 Colonel Franken also testified about efforts he made to register
24 the men at the UN compound and informed Colonel Jankovic that he had done
1 One of Colonel Franken's OP crews also reported seeing a large
2 group of men kneeling on a soccer field, next to a road, in rows, with
3 their hands on their necks. Colonel Jankovic had contacted
4 Colonel Franken for a truck to bring that OP crew back.
5 After the population was moved out, there were still wounded
6 Muslims remaining in Potocari and in Bratunac. The Serbs wanted to keep
7 them in Serb territory, but Franken contacted the ICRC and MSF to
8 evacuate them. On 17 July, Colonel Jankovic led a Serb delegation,
9 including Momir Nikolic, to arrange the evacuation of the wounded. After
10 which Nikolic inspected the wounded at the hospital to determine whether
11 they were soldiers or war criminals.
12 Jankovic then summoned Nesib Mandzic and asked him and
13 Colonel Franken to sign a declaration Jankovic produced that stated that
14 the transportations had been performed according to international law and
15 the Geneva Conventions. The declaration's content was nonsense because
16 the population did not have a realistic opportunity to stay. Colonel
17 Franken signed the declaration because Colonel Jankovic had indicated
18 that doing so would facilitate the evacuation of the wounded. When an
19 ICRC truck was stopped at the Serb border, during this meeting, Colonel
20 Jankovic was able to resolve the problem with a single phone call.
21 Mr. President, at this time I would also offer Exhibits P599 to
22 619, which are the exhibits admitted through Colonel Franken in the
23 Popovic case or which were shown to him during the course of his
24 testimony in Popovic but tendered through other witnesses.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They all will be received with exhibit numbers
1 already given to them.
2 Mr. Thayer, as everybody can see, we have a problem with the
3 transcript of today, the transcript in e-court is different from that in
4 LiveNote, not only the lines are different, but there are many obviously
5 technical problems so that it will be quite difficult during the
6 testimony of this witness to refer to several portions of the transcript,
7 so that I conferred with the Registrar to figure out the possibility what
8 to do. We should prefer to have a break now to resolve this problem so
9 that we have a clear and reliable transcript. Sometimes the problems
10 occurred on the left screen, sometimes on the right screen, there's no
11 common understanding, so that, as I propose, we should have a break now
12 in order to resolve this technical problem. Then we resume as soon as
13 possible when the problem is solved. Thank you very much.
14 We adjourn.
15 --- Break taken at 9.26 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 9.47 a.m.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's start again. I hope the technical problems
18 will be not as concerning as at the beginning.
19 But I've heard, Mr. Thayer, that the interpreters didn't catch
20 the last part of your witness summary, so that you should -- I've heard
21 you have liaised with the B/C/S booth and know which part was missing,
22 but especially for the accused, it's necessary to have the full text
24 MR. THAYER: Very well, Mr. President.
25 Colonel Franken also testified about efforts he made to register
1 the men on the Potocari compound, compiling a list of men who were
2 willing to have their names placed on it, and Colonel Franken told
3 Colonel Jankovic that he had done so. One of Colonel Franken's OP crews
4 also reported seeing a large group of men kneeling on a soccer field,
5 next to a road, in rows, with their hands on their necks.
6 Colonel Jankovic had contacted Colonel Franken for a truck to bring that
7 OP crew back.
8 After the population was moved out, there were still wounded
9 Muslims remaining in Potocari and Bratunac. The Serbs wanted to keep
10 them in Serb territory, but Franken contacted the ICRC via MSF to
11 evacuate them.
12 On 17 July, Colonel Jankovic led a Serb delegation, including
13 Momir Nikolic, to arrange the evacuation of the wounded, after which
14 Nikolic inspected the wounded to determine whether they were soldiers or
15 war criminals. Jankovic then summoned Nesib Mandic and asked him and
16 Colonel Franken to sign a declaration, which Jankovic produced, and which
17 stated that the transportations had been performed according to
18 international law and the Geneva Conventions.
19 The declaration's content was nonsense because the population did
20 not have a realistic opportunity to stay. Colonel Franken signed the
21 declaration because Colonel Jankovic had indicated that doing so would
22 facilitate the evacuation of the wounded.
23 When an ICRC truck was stopped at the Serb border,
24 Colonel Jankovic was able to resolve the problem with a single phone
2 Q. Colonel, I have a few questions to put to you on three or four
3 topics. The first concerns three borders around the enclave which you
4 testified about in Popovic. You refer to them -- and for the record this
5 is at transcript pages 2477 and 2645. You referred to three borders
6 around the enclave. Would you please give the Trial Chamber a
7 description of what you were referring to when you spoke about three
9 A. I will. There was what I call the UN border said as well --
10 named as well as the Morillon Line. And there was with the Serbs quite
11 another idea, that the border was up until 1 kilometre within the enclave
12 that should have been the correct border. And the Muslims had the idea
13 that the border was up to 1 kilometre outside the UN border. So in fact,
14 there were more or less three enclaves, a UN enclave, that's what the
15 Serbs considered as being border of the enclave and that what the Muslims
16 considered being the enclave. Is that enough? Is that an answer?
17 Q. Thank you, Colonel. And was there a relationship between the
18 UN border, as you described, and the location of the observation posts?
19 A. The observation posts were on the -- mostly on the very edge of
20 the UN border, so directly in front of the observation posts there was
21 the UN border of the enclave.
22 Q. Colonel, was there ever one border that everybody agreed upon,
23 the UN, the Serbs, and the Muslims, around the Srebrenica enclave?
24 A. Not to my knowledge. There should be formed a so-called
25 Joint Commission, three parties, being UN, Serbs, and the Muslims, to
1 agree upon the order of -- the border of the enclave. That never came to
2 an actual situation because they didn't want to speak to each other, so
3 it was pretty difficult to coordinate the exact consented border of the
4 enclave. So we kept as to the UN border being the real one.
5 Q. Next topic, Colonel, Observation Post Echo. You testified in
6 Popovic, and this is at transcript page 2452, about how on the
7 3rd of June, 1995, the VRS attacked that OP and forced the peacekeepers
8 out of it. How was this information being relayed to you at the time,
9 and how involved were you personally with the events concerning the VRS
10 attack on OP Echo?
11 A. OP Echo was in the area of responsibility of my B Company, who
12 was responsible for the southern part of the enclave. The OP reported to
13 the company and the company to me, so I got the information through the
14 HQ of the company, that in the morning there was some movement in front
15 of the OP, which in the end showed -- proved to be an attack on Echo,
16 about 40 infantry men supported by a T-55, that's a main battle tank, and
17 then the anti-aircraft gun on the high ridge directly on the western part
18 of that area.
19 They asked me permission to withdraw. I did not give that
20 permission. Because I wanted to be sure that that there was actually an
21 attack and the Serbs opened fire, and the very last moment or the last
22 possibility, I allowed the OP to withdraw which they did.
23 Q. Now, when you say, "They asked me for permission to withdraw,"
24 who are you referring to when you say "they"?
25 A. Company asked me permission to withdraw that OP. Perhaps of any
1 interest is that the Serbs, before they started the attack, summoned the
2 OP crew to leave the OP, and they did that by means of a loud-speaker, in
3 English. Which we refused.
4 Q. Now, can you describe for the Trial Chamber the design, the size,
5 the appearance of these OPs, to give the Trial Chamber an idea of what we
6 are talking about when we talk about one of these observations posts?
7 A. The observation posts were, in fact, militarily seen, a complete
8 joke. Because they were out in the open, on the top of hills or directly
9 in a valley, where they, in fact, didn't hardly see anything because they
10 had to deter by presence. They had to be seen by all parties that we
11 were there. They were painted white and by night we had to put on lights
12 on it so that even at night everybody could see that UN was there. So
13 the military position was absolutely ridiculous. For instance, Echo was
14 down on the road, 5 metres on the left side, there was a slope up to
15 10 metres, and woods on it, on the right side there were bushes and a
16 part of a river and buildings. And that is not a position which you
17 would choose if you reckoned with defending that position, because that
18 is absolutely idiotic. You can't control the approaches and you can't
19 can be outmanoeuvred on your left and right flank whenever the opponent
20 wants because you can't fire in that area. You can't bring your weapons
21 to action, in fact, to that area.
22 So the aim of the observation post was only to show the flag, to
23 show that we were there. But then again, a military defence position, I
24 would have fired the officer that would have chosen that location to
25 defend that area.
1 Q. And this will probably come up during your testimony and
2 throughout the trial, so can you briefly explain the difference between
3 what we refer to sometimes as indirect fire and direct fire? What does
4 that mean?
5 A. Well, direct fire is when the gun or the weapons system directly
6 sees the target and fires on it. Indirect firing is, for instance,
7 artillery or mortars who fire in a - what do you call it? - a bow. And
8 mostly is led by an observer which controls and corrects that fire. So
9 the indirect firing, the weapons system can't see the target and fires at
10 it on indication of an observer or on a coordinate, but that gets a bit
11 technical now. Direct firing is, for instance, a tank seeing a target,
12 firing at that target. Is that enough an answer?
13 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
14 The reports that you were receiving concerning the attack on OP
15 Echo, were you getting report that this was direct fire or indirect fire
16 on that OP?
17 A. Reports as I recollect were direct firing.
18 Q. And what was the damage, if any, that was done to the OP?
19 A. I know the tower, the observation tower, was hit, was a big hole
20 in that. And the defence wall was damaged.
21 Q. Now, you refer to a defence wall, Colonel. What is a defence
23 A. Well, some kind of a container existing of metal threads and
24 filled with small rocks and sand, about the height of about 2 metres and
25 the width is about 150. And in general, it protects against direct
1 firing. Initially, I should say.
2 Q. Just follow up on that, what do you mean by "initially"?
3 A. Because if you keep on firing on a defence wall by a heavy
4 weapons system, like a main battle tank, you'll blow the defence wall
5 away. That's what I meant with "initially." The first hit it can
6 manage, second probably as well, but a third hit, it's gone.
7 Q. When this attack on OP Echo occurred, Colonel, did you seek any
8 support from the higher command in the UN?
9 A. Yes. We thought that the conditions for air support were
10 fulfilled and we asked for air support.
11 Q. And why did you feel justified in seeking air support?
12 A. It was a direct attack on UN facilities, on UN troops. The Serbs
13 were entering the enclave and that were both -- and there were what they
14 called smoking guns, which meant that there was an actual fire contact.
15 And that were three of the conditions UN had for allowing air support.
16 Q. And how important was air support to you and your mission,
18 A. My initial mission was, of course, to deter by presence, so we
19 were not equipped to -- for a real fight, nor weapons systems, nor the
20 number of troops I had. So to equalise the lack of fire-power I had on
21 the ground, I absolutely needed air support to give enough fire-power to
22 do the job, being there and defending an OP or whatever.
23 Q. Now, you said equalise, what did you need to equalise to?
24 A. The lack, the lack of fire-power I had compared to the VRS.
25 Q. And from your experience, from what you could see from the VRS
1 side, how much of a concern to the VRS was the potential of NATO air
3 A. Sorry, just reread that question. Well, in other regions, they
4 showed that they -- it was proved that they were pretty -- under the
5 impression of air support were more or less petrified when that came in.
6 So I thought again that it was a very good means to stop that attack.
7 Q. Now, you testified in Popovic, and this is at transcript 2450,
8 about a meeting you had with the Muslim military leadership about what
9 DutchBat would do and what the Muslim forces in the area would do in the
10 event of a VRS full-on attack on the enclave. What prompted that
12 A. Well, in fact, I could not completely coordinate any action in
13 case of an attack because I was still a UN unit and supposed to be, not
14 only supposed to be, but I was impartial, so I couldn't take a side
15 before things happened. Through a pretty complicated discussion, we
16 concluded that UN would, as ordered by the UN, would defend its OPs, and
17 the BiH would cope with the area between the OPs without a really fire
18 co-ordinated fight, because I was not allowed to do that. But in fact,
19 we said, We'll defend the OPs, and the BiH said, Okay, then we'll defend
20 the area between the OPs. OPs being observation posts.
21 Q. Do you recall whether this meeting was before or after the attack
22 on OP Echo?
23 A. That was before.
24 Q. So was there anything in particular that prompted this meeting
25 that you had concerning what you might do in an event of an attack?
1 A. I don't know exactly the period, but somewhere in beginning of
2 May, this meeting took place on the initiative of the Chief of Staff of
3 the 28th Muslim Division. And they thought that a Serb attack was
4 evident in that time. Well, we didn't have any indication that that was
5 correct, but after that being established, we had this discussion. They
6 thought the Serbs would come in and were, of course, curious what
7 DutchBat would do.
8 Q. And was there any relationship between the increase in close
9 firing incidents in which DutchBat patrols and OPs had been fired at by
10 VRS soldiers or positions?
11 A. Yes. As stated before, there was a pretty massive increase in
12 firing at our patrols and at certain OPs. But to us, that was not a
13 direct indication that an attack would be evident. Probably for the BiH
14 it was or they had information I didn't because, you know, the normal
15 military intelligence did absolutely not work there. I got no
16 information whatsoever from the UN about troop movements or whatever the
17 Serbs did.
18 Q. Now, during the attack on OP Echo, what happened to any elements
19 of Bosnian Muslim forces that may have been in the area, if they were in
20 the area?
21 A. They were in the area, but what proved to be later on a kind of
22 bad habit, they -- we, in that discussion which I had with the Chief of
23 Staff of 28th, we agreed that the Muslim forces would inform us when they
24 would withdraw from their positions, logically, because otherwise my OPs
25 were defending, like, just one little spot surround by Serbs, and that is
1 a bad thing to do. But the first time at Echo, the BiH disappeared
2 without notifying us and that is why the Serbs got the opportunity to
3 come that close and come on my flanks.
4 Q. And when the VRS was firing directly at the OP, were there Muslim
5 forces in or near the OP such that the Serbs might have been firing at
7 A. No, absolutely not. There were no BiH soldiers in positions in
8 that area that could interfere with the fight or the attack on Echo.
9 Q. Now, you testified in Popovic at transcript 2455, about a
10 commander's assessment which Colonel Karremans sent following the
11 increase in firing incidents and the attack on OP Echo, and as you put
12 it, the increasing vulnerability of the Swedish Shelter Project. Did you
13 have an opportunity recently to read a copy of that assessment?
14 A. I did read it, yes. It coped with my memory.
15 Q. Do you recall the date of that report?
16 A. 4th of June. As far as I know, early in the morning.
17 Q. And do you recall to whom Colonel Karremans sent that report?
18 A. He sent that to UN headquarters in Sarajevo and a copy went to
19 the Sector North-east, which officially was our direct higher echelon.
20 Q. And Sector North-east, where is that based, sir?
21 A. Tuzla.
22 Q. What in particular do you recall about that report, if anything
23 stands out?
24 A. Well, he described the situation. He described the attack. He
25 assessed what the meaning of that attack was. That far is normal. And
1 he described the position of the state the battalion was in, and by that
2 I mean the absolute lack weapons system, heavy weapons systems,
3 ammunition, the lack of fuel, et cetera, so the logistic situation with
4 all these limitations to the operational possibilities. And he described
5 the situation of the people of the enclave, the civil people, being a
6 very bad situation because there was hardly any food, et cetera,
7 et cetera.
8 Q. And there will probably be some reference in the future to the
9 Swedish Shelter Project. Can you just briefly describe what that is for
10 the Trial Chamber, please.
11 A. Yes, before DutchBat III came in, and I don't know exactly when
12 it was built, it was built by an NGO in a kind of village with barracks.
13 And in those barracks there were housing about 3.000 refugees, being
14 people that came to the enclave from the area outside the enclave in
15 1992, I suppose.
16 Q. Just roughly, geographically in the enclave, where was it
18 A. About 800 metres west of OP Echo, direct north of Delta and Kilo.
19 So let's say, in general the southeastern part of the enclave. South,
20 southeastern part.
21 Q. Okay. And we'll look at a map in a couple of minutes with those
22 OPs on them.
23 I want to turn your attention now to the period of the actual
24 VRS attack on the enclave. And I want to show you P621, which actually,
25 I don't think we looked at during your proofing, but I think you can
1 handle it, Colonel. Tell me when you see it on your screen and when
2 you've had an opportunity to familiarise yourself with it.
3 A. I see some text on the right side. And as far as I can see it
4 is, yeah, another assessment of Colonel Karremans. Just hold. I more or
5 less read the first four points and it looks like an assessment of the
7 Q. Okay. Let's just go to page 2, if we could, and then we'll go
8 back to page 1 after you've had a chance to look at page 2.
9 A. Yes. Thank you. Very small. Okay. I read it.
10 Q. Colonel, how personally familiar are you with the topics that are
11 discussed in this report from Colonel Karremans?
12 A. I didn't read this one before but the assessment is correct. I
13 didn't read or know about his advices in the point 10, that's new to me.
14 Q. Okay. Well, let's go back to page 1 and we'll focus on some
15 particular points in this report. We can see that it's dated 9 July,
17 A. Mm-hmm.
18 Q. And Colonel Karremans starts out by talking about, as of
19 Thursday, 6 July, the VRS, he refers to it as BSA, but we'll continue to
20 refer to it as VRS, started offensive operations, shelling OPs, battalion
21 headquarters, Srebrenica itself, and refers to civilian casualties.
22 Were you, yourself, personally receiving reports of this
23 activity, Colonel?
24 A. Yes, because the ops room directly -- the ops room, sorry, that
25 is the nerve centre of the battalion where all the information came in,
1 operations room. And I always got directly the information from that
2 operation room. Mostly in these days summaries, but I can confirm that
3 this happened. And I mean the events as described in 1, and 2, and 3,
4 et cetera.
5 Q. If we look at paragraph 2, he refers to attacking ABiH, that's
6 Muslim Army, and UN positions, shelling the enclave and suppressing
7 DutchBat through intimidation by using artillery, mortars, and MLRS,
8 overhead compound Potocari with over 200 soldiers.
9 First of all, what's MLRS stand for, Colonel?
10 A. Multiple launch rocket system. It's a system with - what do you
11 call that? - pipes on it where rockets are in and they are able to give,
12 this type, as I remember well, eight rockets at a time, which covers an
13 area of 400 by 400 metres in a devastating way, for soft targets, of
14 course. Is that too military technical or is that an explanation?
15 Q. I think somebody will let you know if it's too much.
16 A. Perhaps it's a modern version of the old RussianKatyushas, some
17 people know that. Stalinorgel or Stalin organ they called it in the
18 Second World War.
19 Q. Okay?
20 A. Perhaps that makes it clear what I mean.
21 Q. Now, Colonel Karremans goes on and he says:
22 "Most of my OPs have been shot by mortars."
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. "BSA does exactly know what they are doing, until how far they
25 can go. They do execute their operations according to a predominated and
1 well-organised plan."
2 Based on your observations, the information you are receiving,
3 your experience there at the time, what is Colonel Karremans saying here?
4 What is he communicating to the higher command?
5 A. He is communicating that, to his conviction and mine, it was a
6 co-ordinated plan and there were patterns recognisable in firing. It was
7 clear that they were firing and shooting at the area of the HQ for
8 intimidation, which happened in the same time as shelling our OPs, and
9 that can't be incidental or something, that must have been co-ordinated
10 and ordered.
11 Q. And when he refers to "until how far they can go," what is he
12 talking about there and what do you understand that to mean?
13 A. Probably -- but as I don't know because I don't know what his --
14 the reasons or his arguments were to say this, but it is an assumption
15 what I'm doing now. I think that he meant that, in this day then, we
16 already knew that the BSA had quite a lot of artillery mortars, and that
17 they were trying to give just that amount of fire to immobilise DutchBat
18 and to try to make us prepared to surrender or to stop fighting or to
19 stop opposing them. I think that is what he meant. But again, we didn't
20 discuss this and I have to try to find arguments why he said that. But
21 that is what I see as a reason for this remark.
22 Q. In paragraph 3, he writes that:
23 "Yesterday at 1400 hours, OP F, Foxtrot, did receive another
24 three hits by T-55, while ABiH positions were already left due to heavy
25 fighting and have been disabled."
1 What does that refer to?
2 A. Well, in fact, I said that about Echo, the first time that the
3 ABiH left the positions on our flanks without telling us so. This is the
4 second time they did that. And so the OP Foxtrot was, as we call it, in
5 the air, alone, on the top of a hill, in sight for every weapons system
6 the VRS could bring up.
7 Q. And do you recall what effect that direct tank firing --
8 A. Yeah, the northern part of the defence wall, north-eastern part
9 of the defence wall was blown away, so they were in the open.
10 Q. And if we could go to page 2 of this document, sir. If we look
11 at paragraph 6, we see a reference to the Swedish Shelter Project in the
12 south being shelled. Is that what you were talking about a few moments
14 A. Yes. That's the same project I was talking about, yes.
15 Q. And in paragraph 7 under the heading "Commander's Assessment,"
16 Colonel Karremans refers to the VRS taking positions around Zeleni Jadar
17 and what he expects them to do next, and he says, "I did express these
18 concerns already last month."
19 Does that reference to expressing his concerns last month refer
20 to any particular report, to your knowledge?
21 A. Not to my knowledge, but again we talked about that before, the
22 increase of close firing and pressure and, well, violence at the VRS site
23 was not direct reason for us to think they would attack the -- on short
24 term attack the enclave, but we thought that the situation was
25 deteriorating. And I think he -- without any doubt, he reported that to
1 the higher echelon, and that's what he is referring to.
2 Q. And on the transcript, I note that what is written here says,
3 "close firing and pressure and violence at the VRS site." Is that what
4 you meant to say or did you mean to say something else than at the VRS
6 A. Well, it's strange to say, but he meant probably by the VRS, but
7 he wrote at the VRS site. But this is what I meant to say, yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now, paragraph 10, Colonel Karremans says that:
9 "Using close air support, CAS, in all possible ways is, in my
10 opinion, not feasible yet. It will provoke the BSA in such a way that
11 both Srebrenica itself and OPs and compounds will be targeted by all
13 Then he refers to:
14 "Especially the MLRS north of OP P, Papa, the MLRS within
15 Bratunac, and all their artillery and mortars will launch their missiles
16 and rounds at fixed targets. Unless these weapons systems could be
17 eliminated in once, which is hardly impossible."
18 Can you explain whether you and Colonel Karremans had discussions
19 about what is contained in this paragraph, and if you could expand on
20 what this paragraph means a little bit for the Trial Chamber, please,
21 especially in regards to what you were facing at this period during the
22 VRS attack?
23 A. Having read it completely now, I think it's based on advice I
24 gave. I happened to be close air support specialist for armored infantry
25 brigade. And what he referring to is that it's great to have an
1 aeroplane destroy one tank, but the consequence will be that the VRS will
2 use all its artillery to respond, so the only way to do this is take
3 their hardware, their artillery and their tanks, as far as we knew where
4 they were, take them out, then close air support is evident again. And
5 that's -- probably we'll come to that, that's the story of the
6 air-strike, why we gave later the advice and asked for an air-strike,
7 it's an air request where we gave all the targets we knew with the
8 request to wipe them out in a short period.
9 To make clear what I mean, if there are 30 guns, artillery pieces
10 or mortars or whatever, and you take just one out, the other will respond
11 and fire increasingly with the same damage. So it's little use to take
12 out just that one piece. The VRS had, compared to us, an overwhelming
13 amount of artillery and we, ourselves, didn't have weapons systems to
14 cope with that. We couldn't attack them because they were out of sight
15 and it didn't have anything to reach them. So the only way then to
16 neutralise the plus and fire-power the VRS had compared to us, is take
17 all their hardware, all their artillery you know of, take them out in one
18 big blow and then you are pretty successful in getting even -- more or
19 less even amounts of fire-power at our side and the VRS side.
20 I hope I made myself clear because it's getting a bit technical,
21 but I can't help that.
22 Q. Let's --
23 A. Sorry, but the sum and effect what he says here is, close air
24 support is not feasible yet, we shoot, do an air-strike, take all their
25 hardware out, and then when they come with a single tank or some tanks or
1 what, then we can use close air support. And that, I suppose, is based
2 on a discussion he had with me about air support. I hope I made myself
4 Q. You referred to the term "forward air controller." Just briefly,
5 what is that?
6 A. There are a lot of possibilities to oppose the -- your enemy with
7 air support. One of them is close air support, what that does mean is
8 that the enemies came quite close to your own positions, so to prevent
9 the pilots of making mistakes, and by mistakes I mean attack own troops
10 and not the enemy, there's an observer who has contact with the plane and
11 leads him to that target. And that's called a forward air controller.
12 The other system is battle-field air interdiction, and that is what we
13 meant later on with the air-strike. Then their own troops can't see the
14 target but know where it is, and the pilot finds it himself.
15 MR. THAYER: Let's take a look at a map, and is P00104, please.
16 This is page 8, please, of the map book. If we could scroll down and if
17 it's possible to blow up the purple ring area that's marked with the
18 letters a little bit, maybe centre that if we could in the -- blow up and
19 centre it a little bit in the screen. Perfect. Great, thank you.
20 Q. Sir, I think we'll all agree what we are looking at is a map that
21 shows the locations of the UN OPs; correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. I'm going to ask you to do something a little probably imprecise
24 for your taste, but if you could take the pen that's connected to the
25 computer there, the Trial Chamber has seen now various references in your
1 testimony and the documents to these weapons systems, those VRS weapons
2 systems that were located to the north of the Charlie Company compound at
3 Potocari, the UN base in Potocari, near OP Papa, I think you said. Can
4 you just draw some lines to indicate where these weapons systems were and
5 what their line of fire was, whether it was a direct line or indirect
6 line of fire. You referred in your testimony, for example, to not
7 wanting the refugees to enter the front of the compound because you were
8 afraid that they would be fired upon. If you could just identify the
9 locations of those weapons systems, maybe with a 1, 2, and 3, and define
10 which each was?
11 A. I'll try. There was a high edge here, that is, I'll try,
12 number 1, being the anti-tank gun sitting in a saddle on that high ridge,
13 having view and possibility and did fire like this. But again, it's
14 pretty inaccurate what I'm doing now. Directly northwest of it was the
15 position that, I'll number that 2.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly speak into the
17 microphone. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: Sorry. I leaned forward too much. Position 2 is
19 one of the positions the main battle tank had, the T-55, but that
20 switched positions oftentimes, which is usual. But that is the initial
21 position, and the multiple launch rocket system was around here, as far
22 as we know. The tank, the number 1 and number 2 had a view and a reach
23 or a fire zone more or less given on the map by the red lines. And the
24 multiple launch rocket system is a system which fires indirectly. As far
25 as I know, the reach of that system was, in fact, the complete enclave.
1 MR. THAYER:
2 Q. And you've indicated that MLRS system with a circle; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Just for the record.
6 A. I'll put 3 in it.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you.
8 A. There you go.
9 Q. All right.
10 A. But we didn't know the exact position. We extracted that from
11 the times that he fired. So on hearing of the firing, we guessed his
12 position. It's somewhere in that area. We didn't see the thing actually
13 because it was behind that high ridge.
14 Q. All right. Thank you, Colonel.
15 MR. THAYER: I think we are done with this. If we could save it
16 and I would tender this exhibit at this time, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This marked map will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P627.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I take the opportunity to do something that I
20 forgot when you tendered several documents with this witness. The
21 documents P606, P608, P610, P618, and P619 have no translation yet. So
22 these will be marked pending translation.
23 We must have our first break now, I think, and during the break,
24 the system shall be restarted so that have we no longer any problems with
1 We resume at 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Two quick issues. First
6 is, we will be able to have our witnesses here, given the change in the
7 schedule. We might have to change the order around, because of flights
8 and so forth, but it will be the same witnesses and we'll be able to fill
9 the time.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is very grateful for that.
11 MR. THAYER: Number two is, I'm mindful of the time I estimated
12 for this witness and I've already exceeded it. I've reduced some of the
13 areas I had for Colonel Franken further, but I do seek the Court's
14 permission for some additional time with Colonel Franken. I think some
15 of these issues are, I hope, helpful to the Trial Chamber, and I'd like
16 to continue with the areas I have to cover with him.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you give an indication about the time.
18 MR. THAYER: I think it's going to be another half an hour,
19 Mr. President.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This seems not to be a problem.
21 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please proceed.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Now, good morning again, Colonel. You testified about the direct
25 firing by this T-55 tank at OP Foxtrot, blowing away its defence wall.
1 Again, you spoke about the situation at OP Echo a month earlier. Let me
2 ask you again, with respect to this direct firing by the tank, given your
3 experience as a trained infantry officer, is there any way that
4 OP Foxtrot was fired at accidently by the VRS on that occasion?
5 A. Absolutely not. The distance that Tango 55 from the OP was about
6 150, 200 metres. Alas, we didn't have means to deal with that tank
7 because I didn't have any anti-tank weapons anymore. But from a distance
8 of about 150 up to 200 metres, on an OP which is completely in the open,
9 without any targets in the area, it can't be by accident. That would be
11 Q. Did you request close air support or air support of any kind that
12 day, Colonel?
13 A. On Foxtrot we did again, yes, because we did that many times,
14 but -- and I don't know what excuse there was on this occasion, but we
15 didn't get it. There were several reasons given by the UN why air
16 support was not possible.
17 Q. Just briefly, what were some of those reasons, sir?
18 A. There were no planes available. They didn't consider it as an
19 attack or a heavy attack enough to justify air support. The other reason
20 I got was that, to their opinion, my own infantry and the Serb infantry
21 were mixed, so air support was impossible, which was nonsense, et cetera.
22 Reasons like that, sir.
23 Q. And again, what was your justification for requesting air support
24 at that time?
25 A. More or less the same reasons. Direct attack on a UN unit, Serbs
1 entering the enclave, well, that were the main reasons and that coped
2 with the conditions the UN had for air support.
3 Q. And I think we are all agreed that shortly after that direct fire
4 at the OP Foxtrot, Private Van Renssen was killed by ABiH fire. Can you
5 tell the Trial Chamber why DutchBat didn't request any kind of air
6 support with respect to the Muslim forces?
7 A. The killing of Private Van Renssen was when OP Foxtrot withdrew
8 to his base again, being B Company in Srebrenica. The fact that ABiH
9 fired at DutchBat couldn't be seen as a real attack. Perhaps I should
10 explain that. ABiH had massive disciplinary problems. Local commanders
11 did exactly what they would and not what the division said. It led even
12 to us picking up the Chief of Staff of the 28th Division, brought him
13 into the line of fighting to get his local commanders to reason. So this
14 was a tragedy, in fact, but we saw it as an incident because there was
15 not -- you couldn't speak of an organised attack or whatever. It was,
16 alas, a BiH, more or less, soldier who went bananas.
17 Q. Now, other than the OP structures themselves, you've described
18 damage to the watch-tower, the observation tower, the defence wall
19 getting blown away on another one. Did DutchBat lose any particular
20 pieces of equipment to direct VRS firing?
21 A. Yes. As far as I recollect, one or two unarmed vehicles, jeeps,
22 and three APCs. That's correct, three APCs, yes.
23 Q. I want to show you another document, Colonel.
24 MR. THAYER: This is P602. I've been told by our language people
25 that both the English and the B/C/S translations which we have and are
1 trying to improve are a little rough.
2 Q. So what I'd like to ask to you do, Colonel, is simply to read --
3 MR. THAYER: If we could have the Dutch original on the screen.
4 It's a pretty short document.
5 Q. If I could ask to you simply read the essential text of this
6 document and explain to the Trial Chamber what it's about.
7 A. That is information for Captain Groen, being the commander of
8 B Company, the company stationed in the south part and his base camp in
9 the city of Srebrenica. And that concerned a message we got from the
10 BSA, sorry, VRS and an ultimatum we got from the VRS and a UN reaction
11 with an ultimatum to the VRS. Why in writing? Because I was pretty busy
12 in the location of our headquarters so I couldn't go in the direction of
13 the captain, and I wouldn't like to use the command net radio
14 communications we had for messages like this because he was busy leading
15 his company, and then you don't interfere with messages like this on his
16 command net. It comes to the fact that the other commanders were by
17 hand, they were all stationed with their HQs in Potocari, quite next to
18 my own HQ, so I could tell them, and Captain Groen, commander B Company,
19 had to be informed in this way.
20 Q. If I could ask you to just translate what you've written here in
21 this in this message to the captain with respect to the VRS ultimatum?
22 What was the ultimatum here that you wrote?
23 A. Well, the VRS gave us a message by radio saying, The UN did not
24 or doesn't disarm the ABiH so we will do that as of 11, 600 hours. 11 is
25 the date, 600 hours is 6 o'clock in the morning. Plus 48 hours.
1 Civilians, soldiers of ABiH, so Muslim soldiers, and DutchBat, turn in
2 their weapons and leave the enclave through Yellow Bridge. Yellow Bridge
3 is a location in the north of the enclave, the entrance of the enclave
4 next to that Observation Post Papa you saw before on the map. The
5 reaction of the UN, you want that as well?
6 Q. Please.
7 A. The UN then sent ultimatum to the VRS. VRS is to withdraw after
8 the lines -- behind the lines of Morillon, being our UN border I
9 described before, with [indiscernible] it says the old enclave as we --
10 that looked as we came in. "Every VRS attack has to be stopped. As of
11 600 hours tomorrow morning the withdrawal has to start. If not," the
12 text stops.
13 Q. Okay. I think what happened in the last trial was either we
14 didn't have the second page or we forgot about the second page but we
15 didn't talk about the second page, although you talked about the
16 substance of the second page.
17 MR. THAYER: So if we could go to page 2 of the original Dutch,
18 which hopefully will be in the system. There we go.
19 Q. I think at the top it says: "If not," and if you could translate
20 for us.
21 A. "Massive air attacks on all VRS targets in and around the
22 enclave. Mission as of 600 hours, take cover." It's a normal procedure
23 when you get massive air support, then you have to -- everything that is
24 not necessary outside, you want them in cover. "Vehicles without the
25 compounds marked." Marked is with orange flags on the top of a vehicle,
1 so all the pilots can recognise own troops. That is a NATO procedure,
2 and that is done again when close air support is delivered so the pilot
3 can't make a mistake who is the enemy.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. And then it's underlined, it's a mistake or repeating of the same
6 message probably printed and there is a cross through it, but it's the
7 same text as at page 1.
8 Q. And this refers to --
9 A. Sorry, I forgot one. There's a note then writ: "Your mission to
10 defend the city is still evident."
11 Q. And the original VRS ultimatum spoke about, as you said, by 0600
12 on the 11th of July, plus 48 hours, everybody leaves. So what day did
13 you send this message to the captain?
14 A. Oh, that's good question, just try to recollect that. I suppose
15 it is the 10th.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I would tender P602 at this time. Is
18 that already in? That's one of the original documents. Being redundant,
19 I'll withdraw that request, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. But perhaps you can tell us if
21 there's an English translation?
22 MR. THAYER: There is. There is an English translation, again
23 though it's -- I'm being told by our language people that it's a little
24 rough, so we'll get a better one and upload that as soon as possible, and
25 it's being worked on.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In that case we should mark it for
2 identification, pending English translation.
3 MR. THAYER: And I guess technically, Mr. President, page 2 of
4 this document was not part of, from what I can see, the original document
5 in Popovic. So maybe I need to formally tender it now just to be on the
6 safe side.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The second page will be part of this document.
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. Colonel, during these events, this VRS attack on the enclave,
10 things were clearly moving pretty quickly. You are receiving a lot of
11 information, making a lot of decisions, making a lot of calls, receiving
12 a lot of information and reports. How confused were you, was DutchBat,
13 about who was shooting at you?
14 A. I was not confused about who was shooting at me. There were some
15 incidents with BiH, but without shooting at us, where they didn't allow
16 us to withdraw or to move with our vehicles. But the shooting was quite
17 clear to me it was done by the VRS, and to DutchBat as well, not only me.
18 Q. And when Private van Renssen was killed, you knew that that was
19 by the BiH and not by anybody else, is that fair to say?
20 A. That's correct. That is correct.
21 Q. How were your communications functioning during this period of
23 A. With my units, good. At least the units that were not taken POW
24 by the VRS, but with my units, with my companies, it was perfect. No
25 problem. We had some problems with communications to the higher
1 echelons, but they were not severe that we couldn't speak or for a longer
2 time didn't have any communications to the UN.
3 Q. Now, you testified in Popovic that Mladic had announced that
4 there would be separation of the men. This was at transcript page 2496.
5 When did you first hear, to the best of your recollection, that
6 General Mladic had made this announcement?
7 A. Could have been the night of the 11th, when Colonel Karremans
8 came back from his second meeting, but I'm sure I heard it on the debrief
9 on the 12th, when he came back from his final meeting. But I -- as far
10 as I recollect, I already knew about that the 11th, late.
11 Q. And do you recall any particular ages that were mentioned, age
12 range of men that would be separated?
13 A. Men from 16 up till 60. 1-6 till 6-0.
14 Q. You've testified and we've spoken about today this
15 Colonel Jankovic, and I want to show you a photograph. We are going to
16 do this on Sanction as opposed to e-court and just ask you if you
17 recognise any of the people in the picture. If you can tell the
18 Trial Chamber who they are.
19 MR. THAYER: And this, for the record, is P624.
20 THE WITNESS: The right side is the -- by -- mentioned by you the
21 Colonel Jankovic, and the left side it's quite clear who he is.
22 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I would tender P624 at this time.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness, you didn't mention the name of that
24 man --
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry, on the left side was Mladic. Yes, sorry.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. It will be received.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Did Colonel Jankovic ever tell you what his actual position was?
4 A. No, he did not. He introduced himself as being the officer,
5 again, from Pale. They all said they came from Pale. And his job was to
6 coordinate and make arrangements for the withdrawal of DutchBat.
7 Q. Did you ever ask him to try to find out what his actual position
9 A. Of course I did, but I didn't get an answer. Answers like, Well,
10 it's not evident, it's not important, my job now is clear, I hope,
11 et cetera. Answers like that. He never gave his correct position on
12 what staff or what function.
13 Q. Now, from what command level did you understand Colonel Jankovic
14 to be from?
15 A. Main Staff, sir.
16 Q. And after the -- well, I'll withdraw that and save some time.
17 Did Colonel Jankovic ever provide you with information about what
18 was going on outside the compound?
19 A. Well, he was the one that informed me that the -- the Muslims,
20 being parts of the 28th Division plus plus, and -- broke out of the
21 enclave in northern direction and had contact with the VRS. And by that
22 occasion, he reported to me that they already had about 6.000 prisoners
24 Q. Do you recall whether Colonel Jankovic referred to any particular
25 location when he referred to that break-out and taking those prisoners?
1 A. Yeah, well, not -- I do not remember a city or a town or
2 something like that, but I know he said that they broke out from the
3 enclave in northern direction and that's the information he gave. I
4 don't recollect villages or whatever.
5 Q. Let me just quote you a section from your OTP statement and see
6 if this refreshes your recollection, whether you agree with it or not.
7 This is from page 7 of the English and page 9 of the B/C/S. We don't
8 need to put it up on e-court but it's P607 if anybody wants to check.
9 You say in that statement that:
10 "Jankovic told me that the BH Army had tried to get through
11 Kasaba and then further on to the north in the direction of Zvornik."
12 Does that refresh your recollection about the location?
13 A. Yes, that sounds a bell but I couldn't remember at the very
15 Q. I want to turn your attention now, Colonel, to the issue of the
16 evacuation of the wounded people who remained at the Potocari compound
17 and some of whom were also at the hospital in Bratunac.
18 MR. THAYER: And in that connection, if we could see P626,
20 Q. What we have here is a report from Colonel Jankovic to the
21 Main Staff intelligence and security sector. I want to focus your
22 attention on paragraph 1. Colonel Jankovic refers to the completion of
23 the removal of the entire Muslim population, and then he refers to the
24 numbers of wounded who remained. Do you see where it says:
25 "A list of names has been taken from the UNPROFOR."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you comment on that at all, Colonel? Do you know anything
3 about a list of the names of wounded?
4 A. Yes, because we tried to get them out by UN means which was a
5 NORMEDCOY, a Norwegian unit being in the area of Tuzla who was supposed
6 to get the wounded out. We had to start a procedure of asking permission
7 for a permission of a convoy again and an absolute demand was then that
8 there were lists with the exact names of every person, being UN member or
9 not, in that convoy. That's the reason why they had that list.
10 Q. Now, if we go down a little further in that paragraph, it reads:
11 "The deputy commander of the battalion has told me that he will
12 try to arrange this with international humanitarian organizations so that
13 their medical treatment can continue in the FRY."
14 Now, and we see immediately after that that Colonel Jankovic is
15 recommending that they -- those wounded be transferred to Zvornik to get
16 treatment there. Why did you want to arrange for an international
17 organisation to take over those wounded?
18 A. Because I wanted them without the grip or influence of the VRS,
19 and the international organisation was because the UN units, Norwegian
20 Medical Company, tried to reach us but they did not succeed crossing the
21 CL in their area -- sorry, confrontation line in their area, whether that
22 was by fire or whatever. But I was reported that it was impossible for
23 the UN unit to come and evacuate those wounded. As I said before, I
24 didn't want them to come into the hands of the VRS. The only solution
25 was try the ICRC to get them out, International Red Cross. And through
1 MSF I finally succeeded in arranging that. MSF is Medecins Sans
2 Frontieres, an NGO.
3 Q. Why didn't you want those wounded to be in the custody of the
4 VRS, Colonel?
5 A. Experience we had. We tried to bring the wounded out during the
6 evacuation. We had a hell of a lot of trouble at the crossing point in
7 the area of Kladanj. People were beaten, bandages were taken from the
8 people to see whether they were really wounded or not, and they were sent
9 back. That is where a couple of them landed in Bratunac because the
10 Serbs took them out, and just a few of them, of which one died already,
11 came back to the camp. So having that experience, I absolutely didn't
12 want those wounded in the hands of the VRS. I hope that's an answer.
13 Q. And was there -- did you have any concerns for their overall
14 physical safety at that point, and if so, what was the basis of the
16 A. Well, that is what I tried to explain. Seeing -- having
17 experience how the VRS handled those wounded, I didn't have a reason to
18 believe that it would be different if I handed them over now, and I
19 wanted those people in security. So the only way to do that is bring
20 them out of -- through the VRS area, out of that area, and it could only
21 be done by the ICRC, obviously.
22 Q. And by that time, on or about the 17th of July, had you received
23 any reports of executions or other atrocities that had been committed by
24 the VRS?
25 A. Yes, proven were nine dead in the vicinity of our main gate, west
1 of the so-called White House, a building right in front of our main gate.
2 We had a report of the execution of one man by two VRS soldiers in the
3 area of the bus station, just out of the parameter of the UN at that
4 time. And there were, of course, all kinds of rumours but not proven.
5 Every time when we got a report out of the civil population, we tried or
6 we went out to see whether executions had been performed or there were
7 dead, but we never found them. And then again, it was not that far
8 because we were not allowed or it was impossible to go out, by occasion,
9 400 or 500 metres out of the compound because then our patrols were
10 blocked by the VRS.
11 Q. Now, if we go back up to this first paragraph. Colonel Jankovic
12 writes that:
13 "A doctor from the UNPROFOR has stayed in the hospital in
14 Bratunac at the request of the hospital staff, to make sure that the
15 patients are properly treated. I intend to send him away tomorrow, under
16 the pretext that his help is not necessary."
17 Do you have any knowledge, sir, whether that actually happened on
18 or about the 13th of July?
19 A. It did not. That happened -- no, he was not sent away, but the
20 wounded he was supposed to watch over. That's why we left him there. I
21 don't know anything about a request of the hospital staff. We left him
22 there to watch over the wounded to be sure that they were treated
23 properly. Later than 13th of July, and I don't recollect exactly the
24 date, he was called away for a lunch, invited for a lunch with the
25 hospital staff. And when he came back the wounded were gone. That made
1 his job there oblivious.
2 Q. You testified about this meeting that was led by Colonel Jankovic
3 on the 17th of July, regarding the evacuation of these wounded. Is it
4 fair to say that this was sort of a two-part process that day; the first
5 part having to do with identifying the wounded who were actually going to
6 be permitted to leave and then a second part dealing with something else?
7 A. In fact, the reason for that -- that meeting was to transfer the
8 wounded to the ICRC and arrange or coordinate the actual leave of the
9 wounded of the VRS area and, of course, my compound. Nikolic,
10 Major Nikolic, Bratunac Brigade, insisted on checking the wounded,
11 whether there were soldiers amongst them, and he demanded that they were
12 then -- should have been -- wrongly, sorry, I correct. That they should
13 be handled like POWs.
14 ICRC consented that inspection. I sent some of my soldiers
15 along. And in the time that inspection took place, Jankovic presented to
16 my surprise, a declaration which he spoke of before, a declaration in
17 which the representative of the civil population, in this case being
18 Mr. Mandzic, declared that everything went according to rules and nothing
19 happened during the evacuation.
20 Q. Okay. We'll look at that in just a moment.
21 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, first I'd like to tender P626, which is
22 the report of Colonel Jankovic.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received. And at this point in time,
24 I would like to take you back to a tendered photograph, P624. I was told
25 that this whole document contains 105 pages.
1 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. We are at this time seeking
2 only to tender that one photograph. I think at a later time, you will
3 hear testimony from one of our investigators about how that book was put
4 together. For the time being, we would tender just that page
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To make the situation very clear, it should be
7 uploaded as a single document, this photo, and it will be received with a
8 separate document number.
9 MR. THAYER: Okay. In that case, Your Honour, I think what we'll
10 do, it might be easier, if we could, just to MIF it and then wait until
11 we get the whole thing in evidence through the investigator so we don't
12 have little bits and pieces with different numbers. If it's all the same
13 to the Trial Chamber, if we just MIF it for the time being, and then when
14 we get the whole thing in it will be part of that exhibit.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm told that it is already marked for
17 MR. THAYER: Okay. Then we'll just status quo.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, please carry on.
19 MR. THAYER: Ms. Stewart has let me know that I also neglected to
20 tender P621, which was the 9 July report sent by Colonel Karremans to his
21 superior command, and Colonel Franken looked at that and testified about
22 that a little earlier.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as P621.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Now, Colonel --
1 MR. THAYER: If we could look at P28, please.
2 Q. You just told us that Colonel Jankovic shows up at this meeting
3 for the evacuation, to arrange the evacuation of these wounded and he
4 produces a declaration. And if we could take a look at it, I don't want
5 to go over it in much detail since it's in the Popovic transcript, but
6 it's dated the 17th of July. That's four days after the last of the
7 population had been removed; is that correct?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. We see here --
10 MR. THAYER: If we could scroll down just a little bit.
11 Actually, if we can go to the next page in English. I see that this has
12 been -- and the page after that. There should be a version that you
13 signed, I can see it's been uploaded in a slightly different order. If
14 we can go to the next page, please, in English. Okay. Let's try
15 65 ter 20 because that might have the full version.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm told, Mr. Thayer, that is this is exactly the
17 same document.
18 MR. THAYER: With the same number of pages, Madam Usher?
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
20 MR. THAYER: Okay. So, unfortunately, we've not uploaded every
21 pages of this document.
22 Q. In any event, then we can see here on the unsigned version that
23 it says on Jankovic's declaration:
24 "No incidents were provoked by any side during the evacuation,
25 and the Serbian side observed all the regulations of the Geneva
1 Conventions and the International Law of War."
2 And you added something in your own handwriting: "As far as
3 convoys actually escorted by UN forces are concerned."
4 What did you try to achieve by writing that?
5 A. The text preliminary to my handwritten sentence was, in fact,
6 nonsense because it was not correct. Colonel Jankovic gave to me that
7 the signing of this declaration was, well, more or less a condition to
8 get the wounded out properly. So by adding this sentence in, to my
9 opinion, I made this document worthless because I say all the, I would
10 almost say, bullshit mentioned before does only concern the convoys
11 escorted by UN forces, and as you know by former testimony, we were only
12 able to escort the first and second convoy. And that is correct, the
13 first and second convoy nothing happened. So that is what I meant by
14 adding this sentence because there were incidents we couldn't escort
15 because we couldn't see happened to the people.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, now we have the second page in B/C/S
17 on the screen with three signatures. Perhaps you can clarify the
18 handwritten portion above the signatures. It seems to be in B/C/S.
19 MR. THAYER: Yes. Mr. President, there is a version that was
20 translated on the spot, I think as Colonel Franken has testified, that he
21 wrote in English on -- this language that we see translated on the right,
22 and then that was in turn translated into the B/C/S at the time on this
23 copy that you see here. What I was hoping to be able to show
24 Your Honours was the copy of the English translation, which was done at
25 the time that Colonel Franken wrote his sentence in English but we don't
1 have that right now, but we can certainly get that soon enough for you.
2 So that's what we see here.
3 Q. And, Colonel Franken, can you comment on that all and is that
4 accurate? Or do you have anything to add?
5 A. I can't see whether the text in B/C/S is accurate but I can
6 recognise my signing it, my name, and on the left on the side of that
7 B/C/S page, and I know there's an English version that is a look-a-like,
8 only in English.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask, who did this handwriting in the B/C/S
11 THE WITNESS: My interpreters. To be brief about it and perhaps
12 for your information, Jankovic presented that declaration in B/C/S to me,
13 so I said, Well, I can't read that. So I had my own UN interpreters
14 translate it in an English version, and then I added in handwriting that
15 sentence we spoke about and he wrote it in the B/C/S translation, the
16 same sentence, but in Bosnian Croatian language.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
18 Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
19 MR. THAYER:
20 Q. Colonel, you mentioned a few moments ago that you tried to make
21 this declaration worthless by --
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. -- by adding the language that you added. Whether you added
24 anything to this declaration or not, and let's just focus, for example,
25 on this reference to the Serbs -- the Serbian side observing the
1 regulations of the Geneva Conventions and international law. Based on
2 what you observed and what you had reported to you at the time, how does
3 this invocation of the Geneva Conventions and the international law
4 square with what you saw and what you had reported to you was happening
5 at the time?
6 A. I could compress my comment to nonsense. It's incorrect. Some
7 of the -- I can give some examples. We had those nine deaths, we had the
8 execution at the -- proven execution at the bus station. The time my
9 patrols could get into the house because we want to check how they were
10 treated, we cut some men loose who were hung to the ceiling at their
11 thumbs, we cut them loose and then stayed around. I had my UNMOs, sorry,
12 United Nations Military Observers, who were not under my command but
13 there was a team of UNMOs within the enclave, I had them check at least
14 how many men went in and how many went out. There was -- in fact they
15 were treated badly. I gave you one example. And when we tried to
16 control that and to correct that, in the end or pretty soon we were
17 blocked by armed Serb soldiers, number about 40, who absolutely blocked
18 over the street our approach to that house. So only these examples is
19 for me a reason to say that the declaration is incorrect.
20 Q. Now, can you identify for the Trial Chamber the various issues
21 about which you complained to Colonel Jankovic?
22 A. Yes. I complained to Jankovic about the treatment of the men in
23 the White House, about the fact that we were not able to control that, to
24 be present, although we were -- initially we were allowed to escort and
25 to control the whole evacuation. I complained about him -- to him about
1 the robbing of my escort teams and the losing of weapons and vehicles. I
2 asked him why still there were not medical supplies allowed to be brought
3 in, because we were out of it. I asked him and complained about the fact
4 that any logistic transport could take place now to improve the situation
5 for the civil population as well because they needed water, for instance,
6 and I didn't have any, or hardly. Well, all these, probably there are a
7 lot more of examples, but just for the record. I complained and spoke to
8 him or made him responsible for all things that went wrong in my opinion.
9 And if the next question is did anything happen, no. He said, I'll see
10 to it, I'll see in that. Nothing happened. One of his answers was,
11 Well, we are another army than your army, orders are not always followed
12 by everybody, and that's it.
13 Q. Based on your interactions with him, Colonel, did you believe
14 that he didn't have the power to influence the situation?
15 A. Well, his point of view was, I'm only here to coordinate the
16 withdrawal of DutchBat so all the other things is not my piece of cake
17 and I can inform the commanders doing that, but, yeah, I don't know
18 whether they do anything with it. And I do not believe that if he really
19 wanted he couldn't. There's a nice example where with one phone call he
20 had that ICRC truck pass the border within minutes, which meant to me
21 that he had influence. He could obviously give orders which were
23 Q. You testified in Popovic about seeing Nesib Mandzic, one of the
24 Muslims who had been selected to represent the community during the
25 meetings with General Mladic, after he returned from the second Fontana
1 meeting in the evening of 11 July and that he was in a state of panic.
2 Do you recall the -- one of the other representatives, a woman whose
3 first name was Camila?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to her, basically
6 after this?
7 A. She was one of the three members of that committee that should
8 and would represent the civil population, the Muslims in our area. And
9 on my request, that committee was registering the men within the UN
10 parameter. We spoke of that before. When she came out of our camp to
11 register the men in the area of the bus station, she was provoked or
12 handled by the VRS in that way that she -- well, she broke down. After
13 that she was a patient in the hospital as well. She was completely,
14 yeah, what do you say, off the world. She was intimidated in such a way
15 that she really broke down, completely. And she went, in the end, out as
16 a patient when the battalion went out.
17 Q. Just a couple of more questions for you, Colonel. In connection
18 with your testimony in the Slobodan Milosevic case, do you recall
19 reviewing a large stack of UNMO and UNPROFOR reports dated 6 July through
20 the 18th of July?
21 A. Yes, I saw them, yes, yes.
22 Q. And do you recall at that time reading them and being asked to
23 indicate which -- whether each report appeared to you to be authentic and
24 whether each report accurately described the events?
25 A. As far as I remember, they were correct, yes.
1 MR. THAYER: Let me show you P623, please.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Defence would kindly ask that
4 we be given a reference as to where these excerpts are in the Milosevic
5 transcript. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: I'll have to get back to the Court to give you that
8 exact cite about where it is in the Milosevic transcript. I don't think
9 there's any question that in connection with that case, Colonel Franken
10 was shown these UNMO reports and confirmed, in this document that we see,
11 its contents, but I'll get back to you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No dispute about that --
13 MR. THAYER: There's no dispute about that --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- but it is necessary to have the reference.
15 MR. THAYER: I'll see if I can get the reference for you.
16 Q. Now, Colonel, we have here an itemisation of these UNMO reports
17 that you reviewed, and we can see your comments. Are those your initials
18 in the lower right-hand corner?
19 A. That's correct.
20 MR. THAYER: And if we could go to the last page of the document.
21 Q. Is that your signature there, sir?
22 A. That's my signature, yes.
23 Q. Okay. Do you stand by the comments that you made and are
24 contained in this document about these UNMO reports, sir?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I would tender P623 at this time.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received with this P number.
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. Now lastly, Colonel, we have 65 ter 427.
5 MR. THAYER: If we could see that on the screen, please. Okay.
6 Q. Do you see a document that's popped up on the right?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Okay. And what is that, sir?
9 A. That's the declaration presented to me and signed by me on the
10 17th of July, during that meeting originally meant for the coordination
11 of the transfer of the wounded out of the area.
12 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
13 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I would tender 427 at this time.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do I take it that this is the same document now
15 with a signature of the witness on the English version; is that correct?
16 MR. THAYER: Yes, we are talking about the same things, but this
17 is the English translation which wasn't included in the exhibit that was
18 uploaded into e-court previously. We just have it for some reason under
19 a separate number. They got split up.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I was told that page 2 and 3 of this
22 document contain B/C/S text. Could you please clarify that before we
23 receive it.
24 MR. THAYER: Yes, why don't we -- just to make everything crystal
25 clear, let's forget about P28 for the moment. Pretend we didn't see
1 that, and we'll just proceed through 427 and we'll see if we can clarify
2 to the Trial Chamber what documents we have here.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you are referring to 65 ter 427?
4 MR. THAYER: 427, Mr. President, yes.
5 Q. So we've, I think, explained that this is the English translation
6 which was done by your translator on the spot; is that correct, Colonel?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. And if we note here, if we look at the fourth paragraph, it's one
9 of the larger ones that lists all the various participants, just for the
10 record and I'll tie this up in a minute, we have various individuals
11 listed, Mr. Simic, Davidovic, Vasic. Then we see a reference to
12 General Krstic, corps security chief, Mr. Popovic, and then we have
13 listed here a Colonel Krstic. I just note that for the record, we'll tie
14 that up in a second, as I said. So we've got two references to a Krstic
15 in the English translation that was done by your interpreter; correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 MR. THAYER: Okay. Could we see the next page, please, and see
18 what we are looking at.
19 Q. And now what we see here, obviously, is something that's not in
20 your language?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And we can see, if we look at the translation of this document,
23 which is to the left, in that big paragraph where there are a number of
24 names listed, we see in the B/C/S original of this declaration that we
25 have Mr. Vasic, General Krstic, Mr. Popovic, and then Colonel Kosoric.
1 So instead of two Krstics in the original declaration which
2 Colonel Jankovic presented to you, we have here Colonel Kosoric
3 identified. Do you see that, sir, in the translation?
4 A. I'm doing my best. Yes, I see it. Yes. Okay.
5 Q. All right. So I put it to you that what happened was, when your
6 interpreter translated this document on the fly on the 17th of July, he
7 simply instead of writing "Kosoric" in the English version that you
8 signed, mistakenly repeated Krstic, and that's why we saw two Krstics in
9 the first version that we looked at, the one that you signed. Would you
10 accept that? Does that make sense to you?
11 A. Yeah, it does make sense, yes.
12 Q. Okay. All right.
13 MR. THAYER: I think we are done with this document.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering it now?
15 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President, I think we are ready to tender
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received, including the B/C/S part.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P628.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 MR. THAYER: Lastly, Mr. President, just to get back to you about
21 the citation in the Milosevic trial, just by way of background, in that
22 case Colonel Franken's testimony was introduced via 98 bis with
23 cross-examination. So there was a dossier of documents that came in
24 associated with Colonel Franken and then he was made available for
25 cross-examination by Mr. Milosevic in that case. So if we look at
1 transcript page 28998 to 28999, we have the Prosecutor reviewing the
2 contents of the dossier including, it's listed here as Exhibit 594, tab
3 18, this document that has now been introduced as P623, Colonel Franken's
4 comments authenticating the UNMO reports based on his experience.
5 And again, I apologise, for exceeding the time. I appreciate the
6 Court's indulgence with that.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And this concludes your examination-in-chief?
8 MR. THAYER: It does, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Tolimir, now it's your turn. No, before you get the floor,
11 Judge Mindua has a question for the witness.
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have a question.
13 Witness, I believe that your testimony is extremely important, like any
14 other, actually, but yours is extremely important. You are a member of
15 UNPROFOR, the United Nations forces on the field when these events
16 unfolded, the events that this Trial Chamber must rule on. You were a
17 seasoned infantry officer, you are a colonel now, and so as far as I'm
18 concerned, your approach as a military person is extremely important. I
19 have three questions for you.
20 If we -- on today's transcript page 3, line 18, you mention
21 Colonel Jankovic who arrived on July 17th with Colonel or Major Nikolic,
22 and when Mr. Nikolic was touring the wounded, he was touring the wounded
23 to check who was a soldier or who was a war criminal among these wounded.
24 I don't really understand, you're a war criminal or a soldier? How can
25 you explain this?
1 THE WITNESS: It's a matter of speaking. The VRS, especially
2 Mr. Nikolic, spoke of every ABiH soldier as a war criminal. So there for
3 him it's a synonym. It's the same because he thought that every ABiH
4 soldier being -- the enclave being demilitarised, there couldn't be
5 soldiers. So everyone who took up a weapon and did anything against the
6 VRS was, in fact, an armed civilian and, by that, a war criminal because
7 he was not authorised to use force in the direction or towards the VRS.
8 But for him, in his way of speaking, it is the same. We said soldiers,
9 and he was keen on finding out all those war criminals who shot at or
10 fought with the VRS. Is that enough an answer, sir?
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, yes. Thank you. A
12 second small question: When the facts occurred, we have heard a number
13 of victims here in this courtroom and they sometimes regretted that the
14 UN forces were unable to protect the civilian population. In the
15 transcript on page 6, line 17, and page 7, line 1, you say, and I find
16 this extremely interesting, you say, that the military position of your
17 observation posts was nonsense, was ridiculous. The purpose of these
18 observation posts was just to show the presence of the UN and the flag of
19 the UN and just to show that you were present.
20 So I'm wondering the following: Who decided on where these
21 observation posts should be located? Was it military people in the UN or
22 political people? Wasn't there a way to locate these observation posts
23 in a way that they would be seen but that, militarily wise, they could be
24 defended because later on, after soldier van Renssen was killed,
25 obviously there was a problem. So how can you explain this, the location
1 of these posts?
2 THE WITNESS: Before DutchBat III, being the battalion I belonged
3 to, arrived, there were two other battalions in that area. And they, the
4 first battalion in fact determined where the OPs, observation posts, had
5 to come. And within the UN, what do you call that, order we had, we
6 should deter by presence, and that is the motivation that the members of
7 that first battalion put the OPs in these ridiculous spots. Because in
8 that time, nobody -- there was ceasefire agreements and obviously nobody
9 thought of the possible event that there was a war again in that area.
10 Just for your information, we did expand the number of OPs as we
11 came there, we made three new ones, and they were positioned in another
12 way and dug in deeper and not on the soil, so that looked more like a
13 defensive position than the ones we had to take over from the former
14 battalions. Does that answer your question, sir?
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, I understand.
16 Thank you. And my last question is the following. Transcript page 10,
17 line 17 and 18. You say once again, regarding the way the UN forces
18 operate, you say that the normal military intelligence did not work at
19 all, that you had no information, at least you didn't have the necessary
20 information coming from the UN as far as movement of troops is concerned,
21 or as far as anything coming from the Serbs.
22 Now, here is my question: Your DutchBat, the DutchBat, your
23 battalion, I know normally that in NATO troop organisation or in all
24 US-type armies, there's always an intelligence side, you know, G2 for the
25 staff, and for the lower troops there's Bureau 2 or S2, that's the
1 intelligence component to the forces. So who do you blame here? Was it
2 because DutchBat didn't have a Bureau 2 or was it the entire UNPROFOR
3 that did not have an intelligence component?
4 THE WITNESS: DutchBat did not have a Bureau 2 because the
5 organisation of the battalion was given to us, ordered by us, but my G2
6 officer, captain, and his sergeant major were in -- were part of the crew
7 of the operations room. He was one of the chiefs of the operations room
8 and he did, on my order, his normal G2 work. Problem was that within
9 UNPROFOR we got so-called intelligence reports, but, well, I don't have
10 them anymore, but the only one with any content otherwise than on NTR,
11 November Tango Romeo, nothing to report, was a report that some special
12 unit of the VRS was moving from the Croatian area in the direction of
13 Srebrenica. When I asked then, okay, where is he, what is his -- how is
14 he composed, it's nice that you tell me that Black Tigers or something or
15 coming down, what are they, how big are they, what arms do they have, do
16 you have any idea about their intention, I never got an answer. Which
17 means, and that is what I said, there never was any information otherwise
18 that we could see from our static positions about the strength, the
19 components, and the weaponry of the VRS in our area.
20 When I was back in Holland, I saw that this information was
21 available on the very moment that it -- these events occurred. There
22 were satellite photos of the most astonishing details, single guns of the
23 Serbs, the positions where they were, troops of soldiers gathered in a
24 wood, assembly areas, et cetera, et cetera. That is why I said the
25 intelligence procedures and the intelligence within UNPROFOR did not
1 work, or they had a reason not to give it to me, but that is ...
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has another question.
4 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much. I take you back to
5 transcript page 39 and to your question put by Mr. Thayer about whether
6 you added anything to this declaration or not. Your answer is: "I could
7 surprise my comments to nonsense." I don't know what the word "surprise"
8 there means in the transcript. It is incorrect. Can you just explain to
9 me exactly what you did to this document in the context of your answer
10 which you say, "I could surprise my comments to nonsense," which I mean
11 you are saying your comments were nonsense and the fact that you are
12 saying it is incorrect.
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I think surprise I -- used the word
14 "compress" and I take it we are talking about the declaration or the
15 agreement that was signed by me on the 7th of July, because I can't refer
16 to what you said to me, transcript page 39 --
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: I can explain for you a little bit. I'm
18 particularly referring to this part:
19 "No incidents were provoked by any side of the evacuation, and
20 the Serbian side observed all the regulations of the Geneva Conventions
21 and the International Law of War."
22 So this question is asked in the context of that addition to that
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, what I tried to say is that I could
25 comment every single point of the declaration but I tried to shorten it
1 to a general comment, that what standing there, what was mentioned there
2 or declared there was actually nonsense because it was not applicable.
3 It was not the way the declaration says it was. And probably I use the
4 wrong word, sorry for that. But that is why I said I could compress my
5 comment to the word "nonsense," and that is exactly the reason why I did
6 handwrite the sentence we spoke about. I hope I gave an answer. No.
7 JUDGE NYAMBE: To what are you referring to as being incorrect?
8 The sentence you added or the document to which you added the sentence?
9 THE WITNESS: The document, Your Honour. The content of the
10 document was incorrect and to make that clear, that that was my position,
11 I added that sentence. And I already thought I made clear why was what
12 the argument.
13 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: I hope I answered your question.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now, again, Mr. Tolimir, it's your turn. Please,
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
19 like to greet everyone present here, including the witness. May the Lord
20 give peace to this courtroom, and I wish for this trial to be concluded
21 according to the God's will and not according to what I wish.
22 After we look at document P607, which is the statement given by
23 witness, I would like to put a few questions to him, so could we please
24 have that document on our screens. Thank you.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
1 Q. [Interpretation] We can see here the statement given on the
2 22nd and 27th September, 1995. To whom did you give this statement? Did
3 you give it to members of the Dutch army, or did you give this statement
4 to representatives of the International Tribunal, because there's no
5 indication about that in this statement?
6 A. I'm just trying to read it, and seeing the fact that it was given
7 within the military barracks in Holland, that would be probably given to
8 the commission assigned by the Ministry of Defence after we came back to
9 investigate the situation, or what happened in the enclave. But that is
10 the only reason -- location where this statement was made, that is the
11 base of my conclusion, I should say.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
13 THE WITNESS: Excuse me, because I gave that much statements that
14 I can't recognise it from paper where I give it, but that is logical.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, maybe just to save some time, if the
17 witness can be shown page 8 of the English and page 11 of the B/C/S, that
18 just might help move things along on this issue.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you may look at the witness acknowledgement on
20 the bottom of that page, perhaps you can identify the people you gave the
21 statement to.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, that more or less confirms me my previous
23 statement, that this statement was given to the committee that, on order
24 of the Ministry of Defence, did survey to the way of things in the
25 enclave when we returned, sir.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Franken. It's clear now to whom you gave this
6 statement. It is important for us that we see that it's authentic, that
7 you actually did give it, and that I can ask questions on the basis of
8 that statement.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please look at page 2 in
10 Serbian, and I'd like to keep page 1 in English. Thank you. Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In the period while the DutchBat was deployed in Srebrenica, you
13 were deputy battalion commander of Colonel Karremans, and you were head
14 of the logistics as well, and all this is stated in the first paragraph
15 of your statement; is that correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Please, can you tell us, when you took over the duty, had you
22 been briefed previously about the situation pertaining to the enclave?
23 A. Yes, during the preparation of the battalion before we went
24 there, there was a weekly brief about the situation. And I took over on
25 the 15th.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us, had you received any specific
2 information about deployment, arms, and locations where members of the
3 VRS were, and things of that nature? Thank you.
4 A. That information I got from DutchBat II, which was the battalion
5 was -- we were -- that was there before us. And we got some information
6 about VRS, some brigade structures were recognised, and there was
7 information about personnel or the liaisons with which we had to deal.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you please supplement this answer that you have
9 given me by telling me whether you had any information about members of
10 the BH army, its members and the lines that they held?
11 A. That is correct. In fact, the same sort of information we knew
12 that the BiH had a brigade structure as well within the enclave. We more
13 or less knew which brigade was operating in which zone, and we knew that
14 they still had about 4.000, 4500 rifle-like weapons, mostly the
15 Kalashnikov AK-47.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us, were you surprised by the
17 fact that you arrived in a demilitarised zone and that in spite of that,
18 there were two parties to the conflict and that they were both armed?
19 A. No, I was not surprised because the information I already got in
20 Holland was that the ABiH was not completely demilitarised in the area.
21 I knew that.
22 Q. Now, you said that they had brigades within their structures, you
23 knew their locations, and that they had about 4.500 people armed with
24 Kalashnikovs; is that correct?
25 A. That's what I said, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, according to what you knew, what was
2 the strength of a BH brigade?
3 A. Well, they had not an organisation and not every brigade was as
4 big as the other one. A brigade more indicated that they had some kind
5 of an area of responsibility and they called that a brigade. I know of
6 the units being responsible for the area around our HQ was not bigger
7 than about 200, 300 men, but we never saw them together. It was guessing
8 and just extracting from pieces of information we got. For instance, the
9 brigade in the Bandera triangle, as we call it, it's the area in the
10 southwest of the enclave, was much stronger. But how big exactly, we
11 don't know. We didn't know, I should say.
12 Q. Thank you. When you mentioned this triangle, there were soldiers
13 of yours there who had been disarmed, we can deal with that later.
14 However, what is your assessment? What was that force that took prisoner
15 100 of your soldiers?
16 A. Just to be clear, I was one of those soldiers. We were not
17 disarmed and we were not taken prisoner, but probably we come to that
19 Your question was, what was that force that took prisoner of 100.
20 Well, they didn't take prisoner, but I think you mean what was the unit
21 in the Bandera triangle. It was an area where we did not have freedom of
22 movement. We tried to establish that on orders of Sector North-east, did
23 not succeed, and when we tried to push on, so do that more massively, the
24 UN withdrew his order and said, okay, leave it.
25 In that area, there was -- at the outside it looked like a more
1 or less organised unit, and the leader of the -- the brigade commander,
2 who I know by the name of Zulfo, well, that's a fact the -- everything
3 we know about it because we were not allowed to enter that area, so what
4 exactly was this that area we did not know.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether the villages in the area that
6 you controlled, where the population from which the BH Army had been
7 recruited lived, did they have armed units? Were they organised on the
8 basis of villages in terms of their army, because here we have maps and
9 other documents relating to the Army of Republika Srpska for brigades and
10 whatever, but now let us see what it was that you had concerning that
11 enclave. Thank you.
12 A. The only thing we knew about their local organisation was the
13 Bandera triangle unit was organised based on villages and the area around
14 that, so they recruited the soldiers locally from those villages. How it
15 worked in the rest of the enclave, we did not know.
16 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that you only studied that part of the
17 enclave where you came into conflict with them, where you encountered
18 certain problems when carrying out your own tasks? Thank you.
19 A. No, that does not mean that we tried to get information only
20 about the units in the Bandera triangle. We tried to get that
21 information from the other units as well, but on questions, we didn't get
22 an answer. And seeing the fact that the ABiH was not uniformed in any
23 way, it was incredibly difficult to try to identify units or the, what do
24 you say, the number of members of a unit because, yeah, well, if we are
25 all civilians and only they knew who was a soldier and who was not a
1 soldier. We could not identify units. Again, they were not uniformed.
2 Q. Thank you. Did they carry rifles when they wore civilian
3 clothing, when you say that it was hard to tell who was who because they
4 didn't have uniforms? Did your superior command ever ask you for a
5 report on how many armed groups were there and how they used these
6 weapons, in shifts, two or three shifts, various positions? Because
7 during your examination, you said that there were three lines of
8 separation. I'm sure that you toured these lines of separation. Thank
10 A. Your first question, they did not carry rifles because the few
11 times that we discovered them carrying rifles, we tried to unarm them.
12 We had one small problem, the very moment they flew into a house, we were
13 not authorised to enter that house and we had to call the local police
14 and then have them check the house. So that was not very effective, so
15 to say.
16 Your second question was, my superior command never asked me
17 details about the present ABiH which should have been logical, but awhile
18 ago I already told that you the whole intelligence cycles didn't work
19 within UNPROFOR. And lines of separation between the brigades, I assume
20 you mean, no, I did not tour them because I never could find any
21 confirmation of the fact that there was a line of separation. When there
22 were people around, there were civilians and they never -- we never saw,
23 until the final attack, that all the positions were taken or there was
24 personnel in their ditches, et cetera. It was once in awhile and
25 occasionally on different spots, so it was very difficult so if not
1 impossible, again, to identify units and their lines of separation and
2 their operation zone.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think we have reached the time to
4 have the second break, then after that you may continue your
6 We adjourn now and resume at 1.00.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.37 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please proceed.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
12 like to thank the witness, too.
13 And I would now like to have a look at P107 that was tendered by
14 the Prosecution. Could we have that in e-court. We see what the
15 deployment of forces was there, we can see what the UNPROFOR had and what
16 other parties had, and you could explain this to us.
17 P107 in e-court, please. Thank you. Thank you. Could you
18 please show in e-court the map where there were translations into both
19 languages so that the witness could see that. Could you please display
20 the map with the translation. Thank you. Thank you. Could you please
21 zoom in the part where there is the text in Serbian and in English that
22 pertains to Srebrenica. Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. There is Zepa and Srebrenica here, but we are going to look at
25 what has to do with Srebrenica. Can you read it --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Actually, can you zoom in a bit
2 more. Thank you.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
4 Q. Now we see that it says what the population is, between 35- and
5 38.000. The forces of the 28th Division of the 2nd Corps of the ABiH are
6 in the enclave. The division consists of the following brigades: The
7 280th, the 281st, the 282nd, the 283rd, the 284th, and the battalion of
8 the Light Infantry Brigade. The division has about 5.000 to
9 5.500 troops. Police forces have 200 to 250 men. Muslim forces in
10 Srebrenica are armed --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it's not necessary to read the whole
12 text on the record because we have this as an exhibit already. Perhaps
13 you just -- and the witness can read it. Just put the question to the
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Did you know that there were five brigades there, as written
17 here, and that the Muslim forces were armed, as is written here, and as
18 you could read for yourself because I did not read out the whole text to
19 you. Thank you.
20 A. Please give me a moment to read the whole text, just hold. Yes,
21 I read the text about the Muslim forces. As I recollect we identified
22 four brigades, not five. The number of troops they had were, to my
23 knowledge, 4.500, the not number standing here. The police force
24 astonishes me. When you have a police force of about 50, 60 men, so I
25 can't imagine where the number -- at least the number 200, 250 is strange
1 to me. The arms that are described there, I only can confirm that we
2 knew they had semi-automatic and automatic rifles and some light
3 machine-guns. The hand-held rocket launchers, well, rumours about them
4 but never saw them. The heavier weapons were, as far as I can see, all
5 in the weapon collection point at the compounds of B Company in
6 Srebrenica. The amount of ammunition I did not know or at least I knew
7 not that there should have been enough.
8 Commander Naser Oric is known to me. Then UNPROFOR, Dutch
9 battalion did not have 550 troops to the extent within the enclave we
10 claimed to 312. 21 APCs is correct, only the anti-tank missile systems
11 are connected to the APCs here, that's incorrect. They were portable
12 systems. There are currently, I don't know what currently is,
13 340 soldiers in the enclave, yeah, well, I don't know the date but they
14 thought about saying 340 but that is the max, a bit less but the max we
15 had in the enclave before. As a result of what we called convoy terror,
16 that number was diminished. Is that an answer?
17 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Could you just tell us, for the sake of
18 the transcript, you said there were only 500 soldiers, but a moment ago
19 you said that there were between 4.000 and 4.500 and that there was an
20 equal number of rifles. Is that what you said here? Is that what you
21 actually said or did you misspeak perhaps or was this a mistranslation?
22 A. Well, I -- the number 500 was, as far as I know, not spoken by
23 me, but I meant to say that there were about 4.500 armed men within the
24 enclave being a member of the ABiH, as far as we knew.
25 Q. Thank you. May I state that in addition to the corrections that
1 you made, you assessed all the rest as being realistic, except that you
2 said that there were four brigades rather than five as stated here?
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, could you answer this question.
5 THE WITNESS: Sorry. I didn't recognise it as a question. Yes,
6 to my knowledge, there were only four brigades. I am sorry, Your Honour,
7 I thought it was a statement not a question.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's a mixture of a statement and a question.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I would now like to ask you -- well, thank you once again.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you please show in e-court
12 what the deployment of forces was. Can you enlarge the red and blue
13 lines so that the witness could see that. Thank you. Thank you, that's
14 right. Could you scroll down a bit more so that we see Srebrenica rather
15 than Zepa. Thank you. Thank you. This is what we were interested in.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Could you please indicate to us here where the Bandera triangle
18 is because that is what we'll be dealing with in our next questions.
19 Thank you.
20 A. Yes. That would be approximately because to give it --
21 Q. I will appreciate that. Thank you.
22 A. About this area, like that. And it's not adequate, but then I
23 have to see a further in-zooming of the map, but that's the Bandera
25 Q. Thank you. Tell me, while we are looking at the map, can you
1 infer why you were blocked by the BH Army and why you were not allowed to
2 move about?
3 A. Yes. Then I have to pick up some history. When we took over
4 from DutchBat II, there was not a freedom of movement in that area
5 because the local brigade commander didn't want UN to come in. That had
6 something to do with an incident of a not -- just a temporary OP, being
7 Bravo, in the midst of that Bandera triangle, more or less around that
9 That was reported to the UN, of course, and the -- in January,
10 when we just arrived, we got order to restore or try to restore our
11 freedom of movement in that Bandera triangle. We made our plan and had
12 about, let me just think, totally six patrols who were bound to enter the
13 Bandera triangle. The first patrol that went in was led by me with the
14 purpose of establishing a new OP in the centre of that area so we would
15 have that under control.
16 Doing so, I was blocked by the brigade commander and about
17 40 armed infantry men, my patrol was seven men, who tried to get us out
18 of there. I did not respond and took a route generally west through the
19 area. In the meantime, the other patrols were started and entered that
20 area. Well, to make a long story short, we were all blocked by superior
21 forces and we couldn't return to our base. That's when I decided to go
22 with my patrol and a battalion reserve we met, about 3, 4 APCs who was
23 waiting to, if necessary, help within the Bandera triangle, to retreat to
24 OP Charlie, being an observation post to the CL directly on the south
25 border of the Bandera triangle.
1 And then we -- I proposed to my battalion commander to get in
2 again and with more force. I don't know whether he had some -- some
3 discussion with the UN or not, but that was not done, and I had to stay
4 on my spot and wait. They were negotiating. That is the story you
6 Q. Thank you. Can you just tell us whether this point that is
7 marked with a black circle here, where you put a blue marking, a blue
8 triangle, was that removed afterwards, after this protest by the Muslims?
9 Was this UNPROFOR checkpoint moved away and could you mark that also,
10 using the blue colour, where it was moved to?
11 A. I understand your question, but I have to make something clear.
12 If the black point is our OP Bravo, which I so to see is, OP Bravo was
13 not always teamed, not always manned. So in the time this took place,
14 OP Bravo was not manned; there was just the infrastructure of that OP was
16 What I meant by the aim of my patrol was that directly eastly of
17 Bravo there's a high ridge and the idea was to make a new -- to establish
18 a new OP in that area, so you couldn't speak of removing anything. We
19 never came to establish that new OP, and the old Bravo was not manned, so
20 empty. Is that an answer to your question?
21 Q. Thank you. You did give an answer, but could you just mark the
22 place where you were, because you were not in this triangle, so could you
23 please mark the place where you were that was closest to the triangle.
24 Thank you.
25 A. Probably a misunderstanding. I was in the triangle because I
1 personally commanded the first patrol that went in. And I came - just
2 hold please - around here. There I was stopped by the ABiH, as described
3 before, and I went out in this direction, came out at this point. There
4 we were blocked by and out-forced by the ABiH, and that's the point where
5 I decided to withdraw to OP Charlie, which should have been here more or
6 less. Is that clear, sir?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the sake of the record, could you please put
8 a number 1 near to the first spot you marked. And a number 2 to the
9 second spot.
10 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. And a number 3 to the third spot.
12 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And to make it very clear, could you very shortly
14 tell again what is indicated -- depicted with number 1 in the map.
15 THE WITNESS: Number 1 is location of a UN observation post
16 called Bravo, B. Not manned. Number 2 is the farthest limit that I got
17 with my patrol, starting from thousand direction, came to 2, was blocked
18 by ABiH, and proceeded in the direction that the arrow indicates. Number
19 3 is the existing and manned Observation Post Charlie, C, where I
20 withdrew with my means and had to stay there in order of my CO.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
22 Mr. Tolimir.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you tell us, within this blue triangle where
25 you put numbers 1 and 2, later you were denied access because of the
1 protests by the Muslims; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. The situation was that we did not have -- we were not able
3 to restore that freedom of movement because the order to do so was
4 withdrawn by the UN.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know what was so important even for the UN to
6 decide that you shouldn't be there and you were supposed to monitor and
7 control the demilitarised zone?
8 A. To prevent any misunderstandings, the UN first ordered us to
9 restore our freedom of movement there, but then when it escalated, they
10 withdrew the order. Important, of course, for the UN was that DutchBat
11 had the complete control over the area, and important to the Muslims was
12 an act that's only guessing. They didn't want us to see what they were
13 doing there, I suppose.
14 Q. Thank you. Was there any strategic significance for the Muslims
15 that they went to such length to bring this issue before the UN, and that
16 is to say that there were discussions between your superior command,
17 Sarajevo, Zagreb, and the UN headquarters, was that point so
18 strategically important?
19 A. If you look to defensive strategy, it is in that way important
20 that it is one of the easier approaches within -- into the enclave,
21 seeing the terrain there. If you should look offensively, it is not
22 important because it's only of interest for armoured forces, and they
23 didn't have armour.
24 Q. Thank you. Concerning the first answer, when you said that these
25 two enclaves were close to one another, can you tell me how fast one
1 could pass from one enclave to another?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have the image back
3 on the screen in e-court. Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think there happened a mistake. The markings
6 were lost. We have to do them again, if you want to tender the marked
7 map, Mr. Tolimir. I think it is appropriate to have it done again.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That was precisely what I wanted,
9 and I would kindly ask the witness to put the triangle again and numbers
10 1, 2, and 3, so that we can admit this thus marked map into evidence.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please repeat that again, sir.
12 THE WITNESS: Okay. That should do, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This marked map will be
14 received as an exhibit.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D65.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
17 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. While we still have the map on the screen, can you please draw
21 this path that was connecting the two enclaves and you said that was very
22 important in view of the closeness between the two enclaves?
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The map should be scrolled up a little bit. Yes.
24 And now please try to mark this corridor.
25 THE WITNESS: I will as far as possible, Your Honour. The only
1 thing I know is that there were movements of the ABiH in the direction of
2 Zepa, but we thought to know where they go -- went out, that's one of the
3 reasons where we build a new OP, Observation Post Delta, but what path
4 they followed, I don't have a clue. So I can't draw that path. The fact
5 is that Zepa and Srebrenica enclaves were relatively close.
6 Another question of Mr. Tolimir that I -- whether I could give an
7 indication how long it would take to go or how fast one could pass from
8 one enclave to the other, I can't give that answer this way because I'll
9 have to study the terrain, and I suppose that he means by foot, and that
10 would be theoretically -- I don't have the knowledge which path and how
11 long it took. The only thing I can see, as you can, is that both
12 enclaves are pretty close together.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 Mr. Tolimir.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. Since we keep losing this image with the triangle,
17 can you please use this other map and mark the entry to the enclave by
18 using a number 4, because you knew where that was because you wanted to
19 install your observation post so that you can know where the point of
20 entry was for them.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to clarify the situation, the marked map is
22 not -- was not lost again, but it's an exhibit. And if you want to have
23 an additional marking to the marked map, you should indicate that,
24 otherwise this one should be marked.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Before it was admitted,
1 I wanted the witness to mark the entry point to Srebrenica from Zepa
2 which is where they wanted to install their point, and that was the
3 reason that sparkled the conflict in which the UN was involved.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Should we have the map D65 again on the screen.
5 There it is. Now, you could ask the witness to mark.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Yes, we can see the map. Could you please just indicate with an
8 arrow the entry point next to which you wanted to set up your point. So
9 just put an arrow as an entry point into this zone by unauthorised
11 A. Yes, first a remark, I did not know exactly where it was. We had
12 one report that's a column of police came in and so we concluded that
13 that was at least one of the routes where the ABiH went out of. That's
14 in the area of Delta. And it is -- sorry, in this area. The other one
15 we suggested and not confirmed that was a possibility was in the area of
16 Kilo, I suppose you want all the routes we estimated as very possible,
17 was here.
18 Another route there, in this area, and, yeah, well, I can't
19 pinpoint it, is directly beneath the Bandera triangle, where you see all
20 those brown lines, was impossible to establish an OP there because we did
21 not have the means anymore, which meant we were not able to build
22 anything there, infrastructure, and that had something to do with what I
23 called convoy terror.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please put a 5, near the last --
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry, yes, I will, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Mr. Tolimir, is this sufficiently marked and would you tender
3 this document?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. One more thing, was there any spot within the triangle from which
7 one can exit the zone and go to another zone, and you said that you had
8 been driven from that point next to the road, your OP, actually, which
9 was installed by the road was removed? Thank you.
10 A. Sorry, I have to ask you a question just to make sure that I
11 understand the question correct. You asked me to a spot in the triangle
12 and my OP actually was installed by the road and removed. I did not
13 understand that. What are you referring to, sir?
14 Q. You understood it well. Can you please mark where this
15 observation point, where you didn't have any people manning it, and to
16 which you had no access any longer?
17 A. Well, I don't usually ask questions when I understand something,
18 but I now understand that you meant OP Bravo and it's already marked with
19 the figure 1.
20 Q. Thank you. Please, for having your marks admitted, next to
21 number 1, can you put an X, because we have no legend in this map. Or
22 rather mark it with a number 6.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it is marked with a number 1. At
24 the outset, the witness indicated that this is the observation point --
25 Observation Post Bravo. It is not necessary to mark it again with a
1 different letter.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
3 could have been Bravo post just like any other post, however, this one
4 was strategically important and that was why UNPROFOR was driven away
5 from it. That's why I'm asking the witness to put an X or any other mark
6 indicating the place from which they had been chased out.
7 THE WITNESS: Okay. I'll put an X additional to the 1. There
8 you are.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you. Later, because today we are not going to have enough
11 time, we are going to see in Muslim documents why this was strategically
12 important and that's why I asked you to do the markings as I did.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So I would kindly ask now for this
14 map with all the markings inserted by the witness to be admitted into
15 evidence. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Should that replace D65? To have all markings on
17 one map? It will be received, and I would like to ask the Registrar to
18 tell us the right number now.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The new -- the map with the new markings has now
20 been saved as D65. Therefore, has replaced the previous exhibit.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you, Witness, for clarifying this situation regarding the
1 Bandera triangle to all of us. Now, I would kindly ask the witness to
2 lay a foundation for something that I would like to know whether I
3 understood properly. This was the deployment of forces 1 and 2, blue
4 were the Muslims and the red were the Serbs. As for UNPROFOR, can you
5 please use a pencil that you, as UN, marked as a line, and you were asked
6 about this by the Prosecution. You can probably connect these dots, if
7 possible. Can you please say which particular line you had in mind.
8 Thank you.
9 A. I take it you refer to what I call the UN boundary; is that
10 correct, sir?
11 Q. That's correct. Thank you very much.
12 A. Well, when I connect the points, being our OPs, just like this,
13 then probably it wouldn't be very accurate because then I have to look in
14 detail. But generally, the UN border, it's almost impossible to do that.
15 It's 15 years ago that I was there.
16 Q. Thank you. Was this UN line coinciding with the Muslim line, the
17 Serbs line, or was it somewhere in between? You referred to it as the
18 Morillon line, can you indicate where it was?
19 A. It was in general, when I can see it like this, in between those
20 lines. It was further outside the enclave as the blue line marked on
21 this map, and it was farther inside the enclave as the red line, the red
22 positions marked on this map. But it's impossible for me to put a line
23 on this map with any accuracy, and I hope you understand that.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before this -- now the map disappeared.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you, Witness. Can you please put a dotted line indicating
2 this imaginary line, we are not going to consider it a real one, and you
3 can indicate in your own handwriting that it was an imaginary line
4 stretching and running between the lines held by the two warring parties?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Two issues, Mr. President. The first is I think
7 Colonel Franken has been clear that it's, and I'm just quoting from his
8 last answer, "It's impossible for me to put a line on this map with any
9 accuracy, and I hope you understand that."
10 The second issue is, General Tolimir is showing Colonel Franken a
11 map that has different coloured circles on it, as we see, these
12 representations, and I think it's incumbent upon him to lay a foundation
13 or at least tell Colonel Franken what his position is with respect to
14 when this map was created, what period of time these boundaries as
15 reflected on the map reflect, as of what time, and then ask
16 Colonel Franken if he insists, and if the Trial Chamber insists, on
17 Colonel Franken trying to draw this line that he has said it's impossible
18 for him to draw. Otherwise, I don't think this is going to be very
19 helpful to anybody if we don't have any date context or even any idea of
20 what exactly these lines are supposed to represent.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you should carry on, but take into
22 account that the witness said, "It's impossible for me to put a line on
23 this map with any accuracy." What is the purpose to draw a line without
24 any accuracy?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Sir, can you indicate the so-called Morillon line, because you
3 had spoken about three lines, so in order for all of us to have a clear
4 picture about this problem, you should do this because it was something
5 that the Prosecutor asked you about as well.
6 A. Well, yes, I can indicate, and I already indicated, that the --
7 let's start it another way. I take it that the blue lines on this map
8 are more or less the defensive positions of the ABiH. And the red lines,
9 I recognise a lot of VRS positions. Well, let's be clear about that.
10 The so-called Morillon line is in between those lines and only, as I
11 recollect, in the north-western part, the line went exactly between those
12 two OPs directly, really straight, not recognisable in the area. So
13 there you could say the blue positions are a bit out of the UN line as I
14 see it now on this map. But then again, I take it the blue lines or more
15 or less the positions the ABiH had prepared for defence, and I can't
16 guarantee that they are accurately on the spot. That's impossible on
17 this map. And I take it the red lines are VRS positions. And I already
18 described Morillon line is in between there, these positions.
19 So it means that positions of the ABiH are more or less within
20 the Morillon lines, not denying the fact that they already discussed
21 about that the Morillon line was not the correct line, but that is the
22 actual situation I see on this map. Morillon line somewhere between the
23 blue lines and the red line.
24 And again, Your Honour, it's absolutely impossible to -- even if
25 I indicated with dots, it is more or less useless because that can differ
1 4- or 500 metres. We are talking about a confrontation line, 400,
2 500 metres accuracy or lack of accuracy is deadly, is nonsense. So I
3 hope I gave an answer and answered your question, Mr. Tolimir.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Witness. I think, Mr. Tolimir, this
5 very precise description of the recollection of this witness should be
6 sufficient for your purposes in comparison to this map shown to the
8 We have only two or three minutes left, please carry on.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Franken, for your explanation. Can you
12 just tell me this: Was the Morillon line the line that existed in the
13 gap that was between the red line and the blue line?
14 A. Yes, that is what I tried to make clear in my former statement.
16 Q. Thank you very much. You have clarified the position of that
17 line and it will become even more clear tomorrow when we discuss other
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And with this, I would like to
20 conclude. I'm not going to raise a new topic because we only have two or
21 three minutes, if you agree, Mr. President. And I would like to thank
22 everyone for the assistance with my Defence.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir. I'm not sure
24 if there was another problem with the marked map, so I would like to have
25 D65 again on the screen. Yes, we see the cross has disappeared again.
1 Would you please, for the second time, put a cross below the number 1.
2 THE WITNESS: I'm happy to.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. Yes, there's the cross. It
4 should be saved now, and this new marked map should replace D65 so that
5 we have a complete picture.
6 Thank you very much. We have reached the end of today's hearing.
7 We adjourn and resume tomorrow morning. And, sir, you have to come back
8 tomorrow morning, and please be reminded that it is not appropriate to
9 have contact to either party on the content of your testimony. We
10 adjourn and resume tomorrow at 9.00.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st day of
13 July, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.