1 Wednesday, 25 August 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody.
7 We are continuing with your examination-in-chief, and I would
8 like to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth still applies.
9 WITNESS: HAMDIJA TORLAK [Resumed]
10 [The witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, please proceed.
12 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you and
13 Your Honours. Good afternoon to the Defence. Good afternoon to
15 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
16 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. When we left off yesterday, you had been telling us about the
19 conditions that prevailed on the 24th of July, 1995, both among the
20 civilian population in Zepa as well as upon yourself at check-point 2 at
21 Boksanica, where you testified you were forced to sign an agreement
22 served on you by General Mladic.
23 When you testified previously, you testified about the agreement,
24 but we did not have at that time a signed copy of the agreement. And
25 since your last testimony, we obtained one during the course of a search.
1 And do you recall being shown a copy of the signed agreement during your
2 proofing session this past Sunday?
3 A. Yes, I was shown the signed agreement.
4 MR. THAYER: May we have 652 -- pardon me, 65 ter 5482 on
5 e-court. And I would ask that it not be broadcast, please.
6 Q. Sir, I'd just ask you to take a moment and reacquaint yourself
7 with the document.
8 Have you had a chance to read through it, sir?
9 A. Yes, I have read it through once again. During my testimony
10 yesterday, I mentioned this document and said a few things about it. I
11 said that as far as I could recall, I did not expect this document to
12 be of this substance and that it would be entitled "An Agreement on
13 Disarming the Military Population" or "Able-Bodied Population in Zepa."
14 And I said that to General Mladic, but we no longer had any choice. Our
15 objective was to begin the evacuation of the civilian population.
16 There are a number of paragraphs in this agreement which
17 define and had already been prepared and shown to me, such as they were.
18 And especially where it relates to the able-bodied population, if I am
19 not mistaken, General Mladic told me to convey the substance of this
20 document to Colonel Palic. And that's all I can say about it. I signed
21 the document because I had no other choice. And this paper actually was
22 promising that the beginning of the evacuation of the civilian population
23 from Zepa is at hand.
24 MR. THAYER: If we can go back one page in the English, please.
25 We can stay, obviously, where we are in the B/C/S because it's a one-page
1 document. But if we could just go back one page and focus for a moment,
2 please, on paragraph 7 at the bottom. And, in fact, if we scroll down in
3 the B/C/S so that the signatories -- well, first of all, while we're not
5 Q. Can you identify your signature on the original B/C/S on the left
6 side of the screen, sir?
7 A. On the right-hand side? Yes, the B/C/S version, it's in the
8 bottom right corner. I recognise my signature.
9 MR. THAYER: Okay. If we could scroll down so that we don't see
10 the signatories, then I believe we can -- or scroll up, I beg your
11 pardon. Then we can broadcast the document. And maybe blow up --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's impossible.
13 MR. THAYER: Maybe we can just blow up that top portion. Great.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A bit more.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: By blowing up, you should focus on paragraph 7.
16 Otherwise, you will not manage it. The other way around, please. Scroll
17 up, please. Once again, please, only focus -- it is possible to blow up
18 a little bit more paragraph number 7. It must be possible, because on
19 the right side there is more space. And now again scroll up a little bit
20 so that the names of the signatures disappear. Yes.
21 MR. THAYER: Okay, thank you.
22 Q. Now, sir -- and we can broadcast at this point, please.
23 We see here at paragraph 7 that the agreement served upon you by
24 General Mladic states that:
25 "In accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and
1 the Additional Protocols of 1977, the civilian population of Zepa shall
2 be given the freedom to choose their place of residence while hostilities
4 I ask you first, sir: How closely was the VRS -- from what you
5 saw and had reported to you, how closely was the VRS --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, there is a concern between -- because
7 in the English version --
8 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I see what you're
9 referring to, the top of the English version. If we could scroll up.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, the other way around, please. The other way
11 around, further, and blow up a little bit on --
12 MR. THAYER: Just paragraph --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- paragraph 7. A little bit further, please.
14 Just a little bit further. Blow up a little bit further, please.
15 [Trial Chamber and Court Usher confer]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In that case, we can't broadcast it.
17 MR. THAYER: I think we can work with what we've got. I've just
18 read in the relevant section into the record anyway, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Without broadcasting this document.
20 MR. THAYER: Okay. Thank you.
21 Q. Let me just ask my question again, sir. We see this reference
22 here to "the civilian population shall be given the freedom to choose
23 their place of residence in accordance with the Geneva Conventions." You
24 were there. Based on what you saw and what was being reported to you,
25 how closely was the VRS following the Geneva Conventions up to that
2 A. Well, look, of course, I'm no expert and I do not know the exact
3 provisions of the Geneva Conventions, but as any other person, I do know
4 that they regulate the manner and treatment of others during wartime.
5 And in my earlier testimony, I mentioned a number of activities by the
6 Republika Srpska Army which certainly would not be in compliance with the
7 Geneva Conventions. Article 7, or paragraph 7 to be precise, and I
8 believe I've mentioned it earlier, at that time on the 24th of July,
9 1995, this paragraph was unavoidable. There was no other option for us
10 that was realistic, no other option but for the civilian population to
11 leave Zepa. That was what the situation was.
12 And as for my signature on this document, to be honest, nobody
13 even gave it a second thought. No Zepa inhabitants, certainly, gave it
14 any particular thought. And, again, I have to repeat. In view of the
15 situation on that day, on the 24th of July, that was not an option, that
16 was not a realistic option.
17 Q. And from your contacts with these high-level VRS officers,
18 beginning with General Tolimir on the 13th, and then Generals Tolimir and
19 Mladic again on the 19th, and then Generals Tolimir and Mladic again on
20 the 24th, from what you could tell as you sat there, what was the purpose
21 of putting this reference to the Geneva Conventions, under these
22 circumstances as you've described them for us here, in this agreement?
23 A. Well, logically, one would assume that the introduction of this
24 paragraph 7 was, in fact, to be a cover for those operations that were
25 not in compliance with the Geneva Conventions, and I mean that probably
1 the evacuation of the population, that is not something that would be in
2 compliance with the Geneva Conventions. That would be my interpretation
3 of this. Although I have to repeat, at that point I did not give it a
4 second thought. What was important, the key matter for us, was to begin
5 with the evacuation of the civilians.
6 Q. During this meeting on the 24th of July, did General Mladic tell
7 you anything about how the removal or the departure of the population was
8 actually to take place? How was it to be carried out? Did he tell you
9 anything about that on the 24th of July?
10 A. Well, I think that once this document was signed, it was agreed,
11 in principle, how this was to be carried out. I can't recall, as I sit
12 here, what it was that General Mladic said, whether he said that
13 General Tolimir would be in charge of the entire operation, but I do know
14 that it was agreed that the civilian population was to gather in
15 down-town Zepa and that then buses and trucks would be sent to the center
16 of Zepa to transport these people. I can't recall exactly whether it was
17 specified at what time, exactly, this was to begin, when the departure or
18 removal of the population was to begin, but, in any case, it was in the
19 morning. There was an agreement of some sort.
20 And just a remark about what is stated in paragraph 10, the
21 presence of the UNPROFOR and the UNHCR and the International Red Cross.
22 It was envisaged that they would be present, that there would be a
23 presence of the UNPROFOR and the International Red Cross and the UNHCR in
25 Q. Okay, sir. I want to cast your memory back to the prior
1 proceedings in which you testified. And for the record, this was at
2 page 9736. And I want to ask you whether you recall being asked the
3 following question and giving the following answer.
4 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, if we could have that on the
5 screen, I think that would be helpful for everyone, and it'd probably be
6 easiest just not to broadcast it, I think, at this point. It's the
7 30th of March, 2007. We'll handle that from this end. We'll be looking
8 at lines 17 through 25.
9 Q. You were asked the following question:
10 "During this meeting on the 24th of July, did General Mladic tell
11 you anything else about how matters were going to proceed from that point
12 on, particularly in terms of your role, sir?"
13 And your answer was:
14 "Yes. What he said, and it's not in the document, is that the
15 entire operation relating to the evacuation of the population from Zepa
16 would be carried out by General Tolimir, together with
17 Colonel Avdo Palic. They would be in the centre of Zepa and organise
18 things so that the population could be transported. As for the security
19 for the life of General Tolimir ..."
20 And this continues to the next page:
21 "... well, I was supposed to go to check-point 2 and spend the
22 entire period of time at that check-point as a guarantee for his
24 And, again, Witness, as you've said many times, it's been
25 15 years, and you've gone into tremendous detail with us already, so this
1 is no criticism of you, but does this help refresh your recollection at
2 all about what General Mladic may have told you on the 24th of July?
3 A. Well, yes, I can confirm this.
4 Q. So why was it --
5 MR. THAYER: And we're done with this document for now. Thank
6 you, Ms. Stewart.
7 Q. And why was it necessary, according to General Mladic, for you to
8 remain at the Boksanica check-point to secure General Tolimir's safety?
9 A. Well, look. On the 24th and later on, on the 25th, 26th, and
10 probably the 27th, although I wasn't in the center of Zepa on that day,
11 the situation was as follows: The Army of Republika Srpska had not
12 entered the center of Zepa. It stopped at some 500 metres to 1 kilometre
13 away, where a new line was established, and one of the officers from the
14 Serb side, if they were to enter Zepa, that would, in fact, mean that
15 they were entering territory that was not under the control of the
16 Serb Army. That was the situation. So General Tolimir would be coming
17 in to an environment that was not under the control of Republika Srpska
19 Q. Okay. In a moment, we're going to look at a brief video-clip.
20 Before we do that, just going back to this meeting on the 24th of July
21 and the agreement, as we just saw, paragraph 7 of that agreement refers
22 to the right -- or the freedom for the civilian population of Zepa to
23 choose their place of residence while the hostilities continue. Was
24 there ever any discussion of the possibility that the Muslim population
25 would ever return to Zepa?
1 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. What do you mean
2 when you say "to return to Zepa"? Does that mean to stay in Zepa?
3 Q. No, I mean after they were removed, after their departure from
4 Zepa, was there ever any discussion up to this point, either on the 13th
5 with General Tolimir, the 19th with General Tolimir and General Mladic,
6 or on the 24th, was there ever any discussion at all about the
7 possibility of the Muslim population returning to Zepa after it had been
8 taken out?
9 A. Of course not. It was a situation that nobody else can
10 understand but the participants in the events. Of course not. Nothing
11 was ever said about that at all.
12 Q. Why not, sir?
13 A. Well, look, we're talking warfare. To put it simply, at that
14 time -- I don't know how to put it, actually. Territories were being
15 taken over, and there was no reference to any return. Later on, it was
16 outlined by the Dayton Accords. But let me say, just once again, it was
17 not to do with any academic discussions about human rights or any such
18 thing. Those were meetings where the destiny of the population was being
19 discussed and resolved. Of course, nobody said, You're leaving today,
20 you will be coming tomorrow. We didn't even expect that would be said.
21 We didn't even insist on that.
22 Q. What kind of life, to the extent that you considered it, would
23 you expect to have, that is, you and the Muslim population, had you tried
24 to return to Zepa under VRS or Serb authority/control?
25 A. Well, look, you have to be familiar with the situation that
1 prevailed throughout the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Once you leave a
2 territory, or you are expelled, or you just abandon the territory, there
3 was absolutely no way for anybody to return in a normal way, as it were,
4 to the territory, and this applies to the entire territory of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Such people could return only after the same
6 territory was militarily taken over. Therefore, any considerations with
7 regard to the gist of your question, it's simply such that not even
8 theoretical possibilities of that existed.
9 For example, once the VRS entered Zepa, the only way for somebody
10 to return to that area would have been if the BiH Army units had
11 physically reclaimed the territory, and that was the situation that
12 prevailed across the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in general
14 Q. And to what degree was this situation determined by one's
15 ethnicity, sir, one's religious identity?
16 A. Well, look, that is the only thing that determined the situation,
17 the only and exclusive thing. The territory of Zepa was purely Muslim,
18 and if anybody was to return there, that would have been Muslims. And I
19 already told you why they could not return. I'm describing a situation
20 after Zepa was taken over by the VRS. There was a war going on, and, for
21 example, if you were in Kladanj, there was nothing you could do even if
22 you wanted to go back to Zepa. Nobody even dreamt about that. It was
23 not realistic to think along those lines.
24 Q. I'm going to jump ahead just for a moment, sir. We're going to
25 get to the actual events of the removal of the Muslim population shortly,
1 but can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to the mosque in Zepa
2 after the civilian population was removed?
3 A. As far as I know, the mosque was destroyed and most of the houses
4 were torched.
5 Q. Did you see the mosque yourself, with your own eyes, sir, after
6 it had been destroyed?
7 A. Yes. A couple of months after the events, I was taken prisoner,
8 and as a prisoner, I came to Zepa to search for cable -- installation
9 cables for the facility that we worked on in Borike, and that's when I
10 saw what had happened to the mosque and all the other houses in Zepa.
11 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's talk about the events of the
12 25th of July.
13 And just before we do that, Mr. President, the Prosecution would
14 tender 65 ter 5482 at this time.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P735.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber what happened that day, please.
19 A. On the 25th of July, 1995, the evacuation of the sick and
20 civilians started from Zepa in the direction of Zepa [as interpreted],
21 and I believe that the first convoy with the sick and wounded proceeded
22 towards Sarajevo. As far as I can remember, General Tolimir arrived in
23 the center of Zepa in the morning. He was escorted by some men. I don't
24 know whether they were officers or privates. Representatives of the
25 International Red Cross also arrived. UNPROFOR members were already
1 there. I don't remember whether any UNHCR representatives were there as
2 well. They first arrived in the UNPROFOR base in the center of Zepa.
3 And speaking from memory, Colonel Palic immediately got in touch with
4 General Tolimir. I wasn't involved in any talks on that day and on any
5 of the following days with General Tolimir. I remember that I saw him on
6 a few occasions with Avdo in the center of Zepa.
7 And also, as far as I can remember, arrangements were agreed --
8 were made with the Red Cross for all the population that got on any of
9 the buses to be listed by their first name and family name. I don't know
10 whether the date and place of birth were also recorded. And one copy of
11 that list was to remain with the representatives of the
12 International Red Cross.
13 As far as I can remember, the first buses departed sometime
14 around midday on the 25th of July, 1995. At the beginning, people were
15 apprehensive as they arrived in the center of Zepa, and their numbers
16 were very small at the beginning because most of the population was still
17 in the mountains and communication means were all down. It was difficult
18 to communicate. Therefore, in the second half of the day, many more
19 people started arriving.
20 As far as I can remember, on that day, General Mladic called me
21 to another meeting at Brezova Ravan. He did that via the UNPROFOR. I
22 embarked in an UNPROFOR vehicle and I went to Brezova Ravan. And now,
23 when we're talking about that meeting, I think that General Rupert Smith
24 also attended the meeting. The meeting was very brief, and it took place
25 at Brezova Ravan.
1 General Mladic looked at Zepa. I don't know what was the
2 exchange between him and General Rupert Smith.
3 And let me go back to what was our biggest problem at the time.
4 And when I say "our problem," I mean the War Presidency of Zepa. The
5 problem was to find a solution to the problem of militarily able-bodied
6 men. On the 25th of July, our idea, to put it that way, the idea of us,
7 members of the War Presidency of Zepa, was not to hand over the
8 militarily able-bodied men to the VRS but, rather, to try and include
9 them into the system of exchange, everybody for everybody, and for
10 UNPROFOR to provide a helicopter transport that would not be checked by
11 the VRS, and that the militarily able-bodied men would be transported to
12 the territory under the control of the BiH Army.
13 I believe that General Rupert Smith wanted to assist with that.
14 He -- at that time, he was a number-one man of UNPROFOR for Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. He already started making some calculation as to how many
16 helicopters and sorties would be required, and so on and so forth.
17 However, General Mladic interrupted that and said that the only way
18 people could leave Zepa was the one leaving from Zepa to Brezova Ravan,
19 and he pointed to that road.
20 As far as I can remember, that meeting was really short. The
21 atmosphere was relaxed. There was nothing grave about the whole thing.
22 Nobody dwelled on the problem of the militarily able-bodied men of Zepa.
23 And after perhaps half an hour -- after having talked with
24 General Rupert Smith and General Mladic for half an hour, I returned to
25 Zepa in the same UNPROFOR vehicle. That was in the evening on the
1 25th of July, 1995. I believe that a couple of batches, consisting of
2 anything between five to ten buses, had already left Zepa. I believe
3 that the first batch of buses, carrying sick and wounded, left for
4 Sarajevo, and the others, carrying women and children, went in the
5 direction of the separation line somewhere around Kladanj.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, Judge Nyambe would like to put a
7 question to the witness.
8 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. If we can go back to page 5, lines 7 to 16
9 of today's transcript, I have some clarifications, and this is in
10 reference to the document 65 ter 5482, which is an agreement on disarming
11 of the persons fit for military service in Zepa enclave, dated
12 24th of July, 1995, which is signed by, among others, yourself, the
14 You were signing on whose behalf? And if also you can tell me
15 who was signing on whose behalf in this group of persons who signed this
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I signed that document on behalf of
18 the War Presidency of the Municipality of Zepa or as a representative of
19 Zepa, officially. And in addition to that, I would like to clarify --
20 or, rather, I would like us all to try and understand the whole
22 I've already repeated several times that the contents of the
23 document did not make me authorised to deal with the issue of disarmament
24 of soldiers in Zepa. However, I also said twice that the situation was
25 such that I signed the document in order to allow for the start of the
1 evacuation of the civilian population of Zepa. I transferred the issue
2 of disarmament on to Commander Palic.
3 I'm afraid I didn't understand the second part of your question,
4 the second half of it, so could you please rephrase it or help me
5 understand that?
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just want to know on whose behalf the various
7 signatories were signing this document. Now I know that you were signing
8 on behalf of the War Presidency of Zepa. How about Rajko Kusic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I see the document again? I
10 can't remember the signatures on it. When I see the signatures, I'll try
11 and remember who signed on whose behalf.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: P735. It should not be broadcast.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay, now I can answer.
14 I sign on behalf of the War Presidency of Zepa or -- very well.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We need the signatures now.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is enough. You don't have to
17 fiddle with it. It's okay.
18 Colonel Rajko Kusic signed on behalf of the Army of
19 Republika Srpska, or the Serbian side. Sejmon Dudnjik signed on behalf
20 of UNPROFOR, and here it says Ratko Mladic also signed. He was the
21 commander of the Army of Republika Srpska, and he certified the
22 authenticity of the document. He also represented the Serbian side,
23 together with Rajko Kusic.
24 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. So you were then the most high-ranking
25 official from the BiH side present in the meeting and signing this
2 My question is: In reference to paragraph 7 in the English
3 version of this agreement, which refers to the Geneva Conventions, you
4 have remarked that you did not give it a thought. What exactly do you
5 mean, you did not give it a thought?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me repeat what I already said,
7 but I'll try to be more specific or clear.
8 Given the situation, the only option that remained was to
9 evacuate the population of Zepa, and, I repeat, no other option was
10 realistic. Nobody could stay behind at the moment. This paragraph is
11 really moot. It didn't even comment upon it. Of course, I could not
12 embark on any analysis. I didn't ask about the possibility of anybody
13 staying, and so on and so forth.
14 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put an additional question.
16 Did you in any way discuss with the other participants the
17 content of the draft before you signed it, the draft agreement? Did you
18 negotiate the content?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't negotiate. When I
20 read the content of the agreement, I said to General Mladic that I was
21 not authorised to deal with the part concerning the disarmament of the
22 militarily able-bodied men in Zepa. However, given the situation and the
23 title of the document, "Agreement," it was a euphemism. In practical
24 terms, we had lost all key positions, and we did not stand a chance to
25 mount a successful defence. It was capitulation, so we were in no
1 position to lay down any conditions of our own. As a representative of
2 Zepa at the meeting, I was interested in securing a possibility for the
3 start of the evacuation.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. That was enough. You
5 answered my question.
6 One additional question: Did Colonel Dudnjik, the Ukrainian
7 representative of UNPROFOR, discuss the content in any way with you or
8 the other participants?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not with me, as far as I can
10 remember, and I don't know whether he discussed it with others. But I
11 don't think, even if he had, that anything would have changed, that the
12 matter would have been any different, even if I had had any additional
13 questions to ask. The content of the agreement would have not been
14 changed at all.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, our apologies for these additional
16 questions, but now Judge Mindua has also a question.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. I'm sorry, I also
18 have a question to put to the witness.
19 Witness, on page 16 of the transcript, line 5, you said that no
20 one could stay behind. And, of course, I assume that you are talking
21 about the evacuation of the civilian population. I was wondering whether
22 General Mladic or the Serbs had told you exactly why the population had
23 to be evacuated, because the war seemed to have ended. You signed a
24 disarmament agreement for all people who were carrying weapons, which
25 means that the war had come to an end. So why did the population have to
1 go? Were you given any reason for that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I have to remind you again of
3 the situation in the area in 1992 through 1995.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, I think it is enough if you tell the
5 Chamber if at this meeting you were given any reasons for that
6 evacuation. That was the question. Just focus on that, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I misunderstood.
8 Well, the answer is very simple. No one, of course, went into
9 the reasons for the evacuation of the civilians from Zepa.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I will accept this answer for the
11 time being. The Prosecutor may proceed, I assume.
12 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just following up on Judge Mindua's question: You
13 have emphasised in your own testimony that evacuation was the most
14 important thing for you, under the Zepa Presidency. Like Judge Mindua
15 has said, by the 25th of July, the war had ended, you had entered into a
16 disarmament agreement, however little you may have thought of it. On
17 your own part, why was it necessary to evacuate the population from Zepa?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The war in Bosnia was of such a
19 nature that it almost always implied that the area captured by, for
20 instance, the Army of Republika Srpska, in that territory the implication
21 was only members of the Serb ethnicity would be allowed to stay. And I
22 said "for instance," because, in principle, this is also true for a good
23 part of the other armies that existed at the time in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 So your question is logical, viewed from this perspective. In that
25 situation, it was logical and normal for the population of Zepa, no
1 matter how strange it may appear today, so it was normal for the
2 population of Zepa to consider it that way.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm sure, Mr. Thayer, you will elaborate a little
4 bit further, during your examination, on this matter. Please carry on.
5 MR. THAYER: Let me just pick up from that last series of
6 questions and answers, if I may, Mr. President. And I think we've been
7 slowly drilling down into some of the essential issues, frankly, of the
8 case, much less the testimony of this witness here today.
9 Q. Without talking about, for the moment, any of the particular
10 meetings that you attended, and I think you've answered this from a
11 couple of different angles, but from your experience of the war, what was
12 the fundamental nature of the war, sir?
13 A. Look, I'm probably not the right person or qualified enough to
14 assess and define the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I told you what I
15 knew from my own experience, what I saw, and what I know. And I will
16 repeat in just a few sentences, without giving any qualifications for the
17 kind of war this was, because I don't think I'm competent enough to do
18 that. But, in essence, the areas, for instance, that were under the
19 control of the Republika Srpska Army, predominantly the population that
20 remained to live in those areas was of Serb ethnicity. The same is
21 probably true following the clashes between the BH Army and the HVO. The
22 same is probably true for all the other parties; in some areas, more so
23 than in others. But, in any case, this was a war for territory, and the
24 point was that the war was supposed to define the ethnic borders in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it were.
1 Q. So on the 25th of July, 1995, when, for all intents and purposes,
2 Zepa was in VRS hands, when there was no hope for further successful
3 military resistance, why couldn't the civilian population stay?
4 A. Well, look, there was some talk at the first meeting with
5 General Mladic about the possibility of the civilians remaining in place.
6 To be honest, I never had any contacts with anyone of the locals, the
7 people who had their homes there. I only got that information from
8 Mr. Benjamin Kulovac, who was a local man, and he was probably better
9 acquainted with the situation there and with the thinking of the people
10 in Zepa.
11 After the 19th, the further developments, the new military
12 operations, obviously created and instilled additional fear in the
13 people, and they feared that if they remained in their homes, they could
14 have difficulties, maybe even be killed or mistreated, by the
15 Republika Srpska Army. And, again, I have to repeat I'm not saying that
16 this would have been the case, and maybe if the people did remain,
17 nothing would have happened to them, but I'm just saying that this was
18 the apprehension and the fear that these people had, and that is why they
19 all decided to leave Zepa. In other words, they were afraid that
20 something might befall them, something bad; that they might be killed, or
21 mistreated, or something to that effect.
22 Q. And we jumped ahead a little bit a little while ago. You told us
23 that the mosque was destroyed and that the buildings and homes had been
24 torched. I'm going to jump ahead again, but we'll get back to this in
25 some more detail.
1 You've spoken about Mr. Hajric, Mr. Mehmed Hajric, the hodza of
2 Zepa. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to him after the
3 civilian population was removed and the VRS took over Zepa?
4 A. On the 27th of July, I believe that that was the day when
5 Mehmed Hajric was captured by the Army of Republika Srpska, just as I
6 was, and I will briefly tell you about it.
7 Some four or five days later, we were removed from Borike, where
8 we were temporarily kept at the hotel. We were taken to the Rogatica
9 Prison. This was a farm, actually, and these were buildings that were
10 meant for keeping animals in them. Mehmed Hajric, Amir Imamovic and I
11 were detained together. We were in a special separate room. And I think
12 that some few weeks later, in mid-August to be more precise,
13 Mehmed Hajric and Amir Imamovic were taken away and they never returned.
14 Sometime in the year 2000, I believe, their remains were found in the
15 area of Vragolovi village. That's in the general area of Rogatica. And
16 they were buried in Sarajevo. I think this was in 2000 or 2002, sometime
17 about that time.
18 Q. Now, sir, Mr. Imamovic, is that the same Amir Imamovic whom you
19 described earlier as being the chief of the Civil Protection
21 A. Yes, it is the same man.
22 Q. How was he regarded by the population of Zepa, and what was his
23 significance to the population of Zepa?
24 A. Well, Amir Imamovic was a local man. He lived in Zepa, and he
25 was probably one of the more eminent people there, and that is why,
1 probably, he was the chief of the Civilian Protection in Zepa.
2 Q. And we'll get to this later, but Mr. Imamovic also went with you
3 to meet with General Mladic during the course of these events and the
4 removal of the civilian population; is that correct?
5 A. No. Imamovic did not go with me. It was Omanovic. He went and
6 attended the first meeting with General Tolimir.
7 Q. Yes, and I'm referring to the 27th of July, not the 13th.
8 A. On the 27th of July, that was actually the last day of the
9 evacuation, the third day. And the day before, I was in Boksanica, and
10 together with the last convoy, Amir Imamovic and Mehmed Hajric arrived,
11 so that we spent some time together that afternoon. And as for
12 Amir Imamovic, he did not go to any meetings with me where General Mladic
13 was present.
14 Q. Okay. Well, we'll look at a document and see if that refreshes
15 your recollection.
16 How about Colonel Palic, sir? Can you tell the Trial Chamber,
17 briefly, the fate of Colonel Palic?
18 A. I will tell you, briefly, what I know about that.
19 Colonel Palic, on the first day of the evacuation, the
20 25th of July, 1995, Colonel Palic, together with his family, his wife and
21 two children, left for Kladanj in the convoy, which is where people
22 crossed over to the territory which was under the control of the BH Army,
23 and he came back that same evening. On the next day, the 26th of July,
24 he told me that on his way back, he briefly met with General Mladic at
25 Boksanica, who told him that I should go, as had been requested earlier,
1 as a kind of guarantee for General Tolimir while he was to be in the
2 center of Zepa.
3 On that day, on the 26th of July, I left with one of the convoys
4 and went to Boksanica. I was on one of the buses in the convoy.
5 Boksanica is check-point 2 of the UNPROFOR. Practically, that was the
6 last time that I saw Colonel Avdo Palic. From what I heard later, he was
7 captured. I don't know about this -- I don't have any personal knowledge
8 because I had left on the 26th. But later on, Avdo Palic -- or, I mean,
9 his body, or, rather, his remains, were found, I believe, at the same
10 place, the Vragolovi village, in the general area of Rogatica, and were
11 buried in Sarajevo a few years ago, I believe.
12 Q. So we have these three prominent leaders of the Muslim community
13 in Zepa being taken, disappearing, and ending up in the same grave. What
14 kind of life would the Muslim population that had been removed from Zepa
15 enjoy without its hodza, without a prominent man like Mr. Imamovic,
16 without a leader like Colonel Palic, with its mosque in rubble and its
17 homes torched?
18 A. Well, all those activities and all the things that you mentioned,
19 they were a message to the population of Zepa not to return. And I would
20 like to add that a large number of inhabitants of Zepa actually sought
21 refuge all over the world. Many of them ended up in America. Some of
22 them returned, mostly the elderly.
23 Q. And those that returned were able to do so only following the end
24 of the war and the Dayton Accords; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. Well, that was the question -- or, rather, the answer that
1 I tried to give. To try to make myself understood: After the war ended
2 and the Dayton Accords were signed, they envisaged that people could
3 return to the places where they lived earlier, and there was significant
4 financial aid, international aid, that helped rebuild many of these
5 places, so that some of the houses in Zepa, too, were rebuilt. I went to
6 Zepa after the war. I also saw some photos, and I know that a new mosque
7 was built. So there are still people living there, but most of those
8 people are elderly. I don't think that there are many young people.
9 Some of them live in Sarajevo, and they would only come and visit over
10 the weekend, but most of them are in the United States.
11 Q. What's left for them in Zepa?
12 A. Well, Zepa is barely a town, and probably to return to Bosnia, it
13 would be a problem to actually sustain oneself. I don't know what these
14 people do for their living. They're probably farmers, although there are
15 some people -- I just recalled that there was one person who returned to
16 Zepa and who started a small business, a small processing plant for
17 processing fruit and vegetables, so that some of the people from Zepa
18 work in that factory. That is all I know about that.
19 Q. The loss of those three prominent leaders, the destruction of the
20 mosque, the torching of the residences, how did that fit into the pattern
21 of the war that you've described that you experienced?
22 A. Well, that was, so to speak, a pattern in the war in
23 Eastern Bosnia.
24 Q. And this pattern, to what degree did that contribute to this fear
25 that you told the Trial Chamber about which was possessed by the civilian
1 population when it was deciding whether or not to stay, whether it had a
2 choice to stay, on the 25th of July, 1995?
3 A. Could you please repeat and clarify your question a bit? I don't
4 think I understood.
5 Q. Certainly, Witness.
6 A. Thank you.
7 Q. This pattern throughout the war you've told us about, the
8 destruction of the mosque, torching of the buildings, the loss of your
9 prominent leaders, to what degree did that pattern, the knowledge that
10 such things had happened before during the war, contribute to the fear
11 that was possessed by the civilian population as it decided what it would
12 do on the 25th of July, 1995?
13 A. Well, if -- your question provides the answer to the key
14 question. Where did this fear come from on the 25th of July, 1995, this
15 fear that the population had? So preceding this, there was war and all
16 the events in Eastern Bosnia, and these people who survived, they knew
17 about it or they went through it themselves, and this is where that fear
18 had roots, the fear and apprehension that if they remained in Zepa, they
19 might be killed or mistreated.
20 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Witness.
21 I see we're at the break time, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. But Judge Mindua would like
23 to add a question.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Thayer, my apologies. I
25 would like to put a question to the witness. I'm sure you understand
1 that the testimony of this witness is very important as part of this
3 Witness, I actually have two short questions to put to you. The
4 first one is the following: I'm talking about your departure from Zepa.
5 You say that you left on the 26th of July with the first convoy.
6 But I was wondering whether we shouldn't go into private session
7 because we're going to talk about the witness. So perhaps we should move
8 to private session.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We just considered the possibility to continue
11 after the break, because we are running out of time, and then
12 Judge Mindua will put the specific question to the witness.
13 We have our first break now and resume quarter past 4.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua, please.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I believe it
18 would be better to move into private session, because I would like to
19 talk about things that concern the witness, personally.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 4407-4408 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, that was not only the break, but also
19 a major interruption. My apologies. Please carry on your
21 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. And certainly no
22 apologies necessary from the Trial Chamber for these very helpful
23 questions. I want to follow up on one question from His Honour
24 Judge Mindua.
25 Q. When you answered his question a moment ago, and I think we'll be
1 able to stay in open session for this, about why it is you think that you
2 were spared, you referred to your several meetings with General Mladic
3 being videotaped. Do you see any significance in the fact that these
4 videotapes were a matter of public broadcast during these days
5 immediately upon their recording and that, therefore, your existence was
6 known widely during this time --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you answer --
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. -- with respect to the issue of you being spared?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to everybody in the
13 May God's peace reign in this house. May God's will be done in
14 these proceedings, and not necessarily mine.
15 Mr. President, this was a leading question. The witness has been
16 asked to provide an answer that would suit the Prosecutor.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, perhaps you should rephrase your
18 question. It is not in evidence yet that these videotapes were broadcast
19 after the events. Perhaps you can put the question in another way.
20 MR. THAYER: Very well, Mr. President.
21 Q. Sir, in your answer to His Honour Judge Mindua's question, you
22 made specific reference to videotapes. What relevance does the videotape
23 of your meetings with various VRS commanders and high-level officers have
24 to your answer to the question about why you think you were spared, if
1 A. I said that that was my assumption, that that may well be the
2 reason why I was spared. Obviously, nobody ever confirmed that. I
3 really can't corroborate that, and I can't provide any comments upon
4 that. It's nothing more but an assumption on my part.
5 Q. I want to take you now, Witness, back to 25 July for a couple of
6 follow-up questions.
7 First, you told the Trial Chamber that the injured, the wounded,
8 were the first to be taken out of enclave. Was there someone in
9 particular from the Zepa community who oversaw that process or who was
10 responsible for participating in that process?
11 A. There were two local physicians in Zepa at the time,
12 Benjamin Kulovac and -- let me try and remember the other name. The
13 other name is Nijaz Stitkovac. They were both doctors who worked in
14 Rogatica before the war. As far as I know, the preparations for the
15 transport and assistance with the transport or the departure of the
16 wounded was supervised by Mr. Benjamin Kulovac, who was a doctor, and he
17 actually left with the first convoy which took away the wounded. And I
18 believe that they were transported to Sarajevo and not to Kladanj.
19 Q. And to your knowledge, who supplied the buses and trucks which
20 were used to remove the Muslim population from Zepa?
21 A. All the buses and trucks, as far as I can remember, were supplied
22 by the VRS. I don't know who escorted them, whether it was UNPROFOR
23 soldiers or somebody else, but, in any case, the vehicles were supplied
24 by the Army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. And would you please describe the actual physical process by
1 which the population of Zepa was bussed and trucked out of the enclave?
2 If it involved stages, please explain that to the Trial Chamber.
3 A. After we had agreed on the process, I was not directly involved
4 in the process of preparations and making evacuation lists. However, as
5 far as I can remember, this is how the whole process went on: People
6 came, lists were made. For example, a list was made for one bus. And I
7 believe that the lists were compiled by Amir Imamovic or perhaps
8 Mehmed Hajric. I really don't know who the lists were handed over to.
9 And when the buses were full, for example, when 10 of them were full,
10 those buses would start leaving towards Boksanica, probably escorted by
11 UNPROFOR. As far as I can remember from a video, there was also a number
12 of open-topped trucks which also transported the population according to
13 the same principle; first to Boksanica, and there the population was
14 taken over by other buses, and those buses had not been able to enter
15 Zepa. They couldn't negotiate the road.
16 From Boksanica, the transportation proceeded along the route
17 Borike, Rogatica, Podromanija, Han Pijesak, Vlasenica, and finally in the
18 direction of Kladanj. I don't know exactly how the route went. And
19 there, the population got off the buses. And as far as I know from the
20 stories of those who had been on the buses, they proceeded for a couple
21 of kilometres on foot until they reached the lines of the BiH Army.
22 There, they were received by the members of the BiH Army, probably, and I
23 don't know anything else about the organisation of their accommodation
24 there. Some proceeded towards Tuzla, Zenica, and Kladanj. That was
25 roughly the way things were organised, as far as I can remember.
1 Q. So just to make it clear, the population is placed on trucks and
2 buses which are driven up from the center of Zepa to Boksanica; correct
3 so far?
4 A. Yes, Boksanica was on the way. It was a point on that axis, the
5 evacuation axis.
6 Q. And then at Boksanica, what exactly happened to the people who
7 had just been brought up out of Zepa on those trucks and buses? What
8 exactly happened at Boksanica at that point, just so that the record is
9 entirely clear?
10 A. Well, save for the last convoy, which departed on the 27th, I
11 will tell you how the whole process evolved. Of course, I was not
12 present and so on and so forth. However, if the convoy consisted of
13 buses only, the buses pulled over briefly -- I don't know whether there
14 were UNPROFOR escorts on each of the buses and I don't know whether the
15 10-bus convoy had an UNPROFOR vehicle in front of it and one behind it.
16 In any case, the convoy did not have any reason to stop for any longer,
17 and they proceeded along the route that I just described. If there were
18 six buses and four trucks in the convoy, then I believe that the entire
19 convoy waited for the people from the four trucks to be transferred on to
20 either three or four buses who had been waiting at Boksanica. And then
21 the convoy was re-established and proceeded again along the same route
22 that I've described for you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, may I ask the witness to tell us
24 which part of this evidence, your observation you told the Chamber, was
25 your own observation, and if you were not an eye-witness of these events,
1 the buses, the convoys, can you tell us the source of your knowledge so
2 that we can make a distinction?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. First of all, let me tell you
4 what I saw, exactly, with my own two eyes.
5 First of all, I saw -- when the first convoy was being formed in
6 Zepa, I was there on the 25th of July. I joined one of those convoys and
7 arrived in Boksanica, and that's how things were, speaking from memory.
8 And the rest I told you, when I described the procedure, that's what I
9 heard from the population of Zepa, who had left Zepa in that way. I saw
10 the buses arriving, I saw the lists being compiled, I saw people getting
11 on, and then I spent a day or a day and a half in Boksanica and I saw
12 that each convoy pulled over just briefly and then proceeded. And when I
13 described the procedure involving trucks and buses, I assumed that that
14 was how things transpired because that was the only logical way for them
15 to take place.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
17 Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Again, focusing on 25 July, sir, on that first day, relative to
20 the number of the civilian population in Zepa, did a lot of the
21 population leave that first day, only some, very few? Can you just
22 describe for the Trial Chamber what portion of the population left the
23 first day?
24 A. Well, I can't give you a percentage point, but I do know that on
25 that first day, not too many people left, and this for the reasons that I
1 mentioned earlier. People were still afraid and leery of going to the
2 point where they were supposed to gather and get on the buses and leave.
3 So I think that on that first day, it wasn't a large number of people who
4 boarded those buses. I can't really tell you what the number was or what
5 the percentages were. I wouldn't want to guess here.
6 Q. That's fine, Witness. Where did you spend the night of 25 July?
7 A. This -- are you referring to the night of the 25, going on to the
9 Q. I am.
10 A. After I returned from the meeting which I had with General Mladic
11 at Brezova Ravan, I remember that I spent another hour or so in the
12 UNPROFOR compound in Zepa, and then I went to the house where I slept
13 while I was in Zepa. That's in Sipkov Dol [as interpreted] village to
14 the north of the center of Zepa. I slept a couple of hours there, and
15 that was my last night there in the area. In the morning of the next
16 day, I went back to the center of Zepa.
17 Q. Witness, the transcript is showing the location as Sipkov Dol.
18 Is that the correct name?
19 A. No, that's an error. It should be "Stitkov," S-t-i-t-k-o-v, Dol.
20 It's okay now. Not a double L, but -- okay.
21 Q. Now, last question about the 25th, sir. You told us that
22 Colonel Palic put his family on one of the convoys leaving that day, and
23 that he then returned the next day, the 26th. You also told us that you
24 saw General Tolimir in the center of Zepa on the 25th of July. Do you
25 recall whether he left the center of Zepa that day? And if so, under
1 what circumstances?
2 A. Yes, I think I recall that. It was already getting dark, and
3 I think that Colonel Avdo Palic got in the car that was General Tolimir's
4 car. He used it. This was not in the centre of Zepa. It was perhaps a
5 kilometre from the center of Zepa, in the direction of Brezova Ravan, as
6 far as I can recall. He left with this last convoy, so that both
7 Colonel Palic and General Tolimir left Zepa in that car together. This
8 was on the 25th of July, 1995.
9 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's take a look at some video. And if we
10 could just have a moment to get everything queued up properly, please.
11 Thank you.
12 Mr. President, for the record, we'll be looking at 65 ter 6417.
13 And for the first minute or so, it should not be broadcast, please.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, it would be helpful if you could stop
15 at that point in time when we can start to broadcast it.
16 MR. THAYER: Yes. Will do, Mr. President. And for the record,
17 we're starting at 35 minutes 32 seconds of this exhibit.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 MR. THAYER: We're just going to do it one more time.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. Sir, we've stopped at 35 minutes 42 seconds. What does this
23 video footage capture here? What's going on in this footage from the
24 24th of July, 1995?
25 A. Well, this must be the footage when I was there to sign the
1 documents -- the document on disarming, as it was called. That's what it
2 depicts, I assume, because I can't see myself there.
3 Q. And we'll get there in a moment. In the meantime, can you tell
4 us who is depicted in this still, moving from right to left, sir?
5 A. From right to left: On the far right is General Mladic. Then we
6 see General Tolimir in the middle. And we can only see a partial image
7 of this man to the far left, and I believe that was Lieutenant-Colonel
8 Rajko Kusic.
9 MR. THAYER: Okay. We can please continue rolling the tape.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Can you recognise who's depicted in this still, moving from left
13 to right? There are two figures that are visible, and this is at
14 35 minutes 50 seconds.
15 A. On the left-hand side, that's me. And on the right side, that's
16 Colonel Sejmon Dudnjik.
17 MR. THAYER: Okay. Please continue playing the tape.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Stop for a moment. Thank you.
20 Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence has not
22 received any audio, nor did we see the transcript from this meeting and
23 this video footage. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are perfectly right. The Chamber is in the
25 same position as you. We didn't receive anything of that you mentioned.
1 Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, there is no audio of this footage.
3 We only have it as videotape footage, without audio.
4 And we may move into broadcast mode again, please.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, we do, and please carry on.
6 MR. THAYER: We are now at 36 minutes 12 seconds, for the record.
7 Please continue playing the tape.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 MR. THAYER: We've stopped at 36 minutes 42 seconds.
10 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what this location is and anything about
11 what you see in this frame here?
12 A. This is the center of Zepa. I think this is on the 25th of July,
13 when the evacuation began. The soldiers that we see in uniforms, I
14 believe these were escorts of General Tolimir's, who was in Zepa at the
15 time. And behind them, I think we see a -- the building which housed the
16 medical station and some apartments above, living quarters.
17 MR. THAYER: Okay. May we continue rolling the videotape,
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 36 minutes 57 seconds.
21 Q. First of all, can you tell us what we've been seeing for the last
22 couple of seconds in this footage? We can obviously see a lot of people
23 gathered around.
24 A. Yes. These were the people who were getting on the buses to be
1 Q. And do you recognise anybody in particular in this still? And if
2 so, can you describe anything that that person is wearing?
3 A. Yes. We can see Colonel Avdo Palic, who is wearing a military
4 uniform. That's his top. He is in the center of the photograph, between
5 the two women. That's the person who is wearing a uniform, a uniform --
6 a blouse with a uniform pattern. That's Colonel Avdo Palic.
7 MR. THAYER: And if we may continue playing the tape, please.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 37 minutes 8 seconds.
10 Q. Can you identify for the Trial Chamber who this man is looking
11 directly into the camera?
12 A. That's Colonel Avdo Palic.
13 MR. THAYER: Please continue playing the tape.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 37 minutes 21 seconds.
16 Q. First, I want to ask you, sir: You've testified about the mosque
17 in Zepa. Is the mosque or part of the mosque visible in this still at
18 37 minutes 21 seconds?
19 A. Yes, that's the mosque we see here.
20 Q. Can you describe where it is in this -- in this still? And just
21 describe what part of the mosque we can see, just for the record.
22 A. Well, going from left to right, the first building that we can
23 see is the farmers' co-op building. It was in the center of Zepa.
24 That's where I also worked, where the executive committee was. And then
25 behind that building, going from left to right, you can see part of the
1 mosque and part of its minaret. So it's the building behind the first
2 building on the left-hand side.
3 Q. And on that building that you've identified as the farmers'
4 cooperative building, there is some discolouration or what appear to be
5 some kind of marks. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what that -- what
6 those are?
7 A. Well, these were marks left by shrapnel, shell fragments,
8 probably of a recent date, but some of them were probably from 1992, from
9 as early as 1992. So these are shrapnel pockmarks. Now, the portion
10 where there is some mortar missing, I'm not sure whether that was caused
11 by shrapnel or whether it is just because this was an old building. But
12 where you see the pockmarks, that's -- those are marks from shrapnel.
13 MR. THAYER: Okay. Please continue rolling the tape, please.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. THAYER: We have paused at 37 minutes 29 seconds.
16 Q. Can you recognise anybody in this still, sir?
17 A. Yes. The person in the white shirt, that's Mehmed Hajric, the
18 village hodza and the then-president of the municipality of Zepa.
19 MR. THAYER: Please continue rolling the tape.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 37 minutes 47 seconds.
22 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber: first, what the location is;
23 second, what you believe the date is; and, third, if you can identify who
24 the individuals are in this still.
25 A. I think that this was on the 25th of July, 1995. The location is
1 the center of Zepa, just outside the UNPROFOR compound. You can see the
2 sandbags in the background. I believe that's the spot where the UNPROFOR
3 guards stood guard. And you can also see in this still, from left to
4 right, General Tolimir shaking hands with Colonel Avdo Palic. Between
5 them, we see Benjamin Kulovac. And to the far right, you can just barely
6 see that there is someone there. It's possible that that was me.
7 MR. THAYER: And let's finish playing this portion of the tape,
8 please. Thank you.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 MR. THAYER: And for the record, we've stopped at 38 minutes and
11 6 seconds.
12 Q. Sir, are you okay? Do you need a break?
13 A. No, it's all right. We can move on.
14 Q. I want to take you to 26th of July. You've already told the
15 Court, in answer to some of my questions and some of the questions from
16 the Trial Chamber, about some of the events that occurred that day. Did
17 you -- first of all, did you see General Tolimir that day? And if so,
18 approximately when and where?
19 A. I'm not absolutely certain, but I think that I saw
20 General Tolimir again in the center of Zepa because he had already
21 arrived for further evacuation, for the continuation of the evacuation
22 process. I think I saw him, but I'm not 100 per cent sure. I think it's
23 possible that we met in the center of Zepa. Maybe we said hello, but
24 I think I saw him in the center of Zepa also on the morning of the
25 26th of July.
1 Q. You previously told us that you spoke with Colonel Palic
2 sometime, I believe, that morning, after he had returned from
3 accompanying the convoy to Kladanj. First of all, do I have that
5 A. Yes, you understood that, you got that right. On the 26th, in
6 the morning. I can't tell you exactly what time it was. 9.00 or 10.00,
7 about that time.
8 Q. During the period of time, for example, from, let's say, the
9 19th through the 26th of July, which I believe you told us was the last
10 time you saw Colonel Palic, how often were you in contact with
11 Colonel Palic, say, during the prior week, the 19th through the 26th,
12 just to give the Trial Chamber an idea?
13 A. Well, not too often, I think. I did meet him on the 19th, I'm
14 sure, because that was when that -- those talks were, and then maybe a
15 few more times after the 19th, up until the 25th. But not too often,
16 because as far as I know, Colonel Palic was not in Zepa for the most
17 time. He was up in the mountains, where the Communications Centre was,
18 so that I'm only certain about the 19th of July, that I saw him on that
19 day. That is the day when we had the talk with General Mladic. As for
20 the rest, I think we probably did meet, but I would just be guessing.
21 Q. And, sir, at this time on the 26th of July, did you have
22 information as to where the able-bodied or military-aged men of Zepa were
24 A. Well, yes, I think that I received that information. I heard
25 about it from those people who had come to see their family members off,
1 and all the soldiers, all the military -- all the able-bodied men were on
2 Zepa Mountain. That's a mountain to the north of the center of Zepa.
3 Q. And you told us that, in response to General Mladic's demand that
4 you go to Boksanica to guarantee General Tolimir's safety, that you, in
5 fact, boarded one of the convoy buses and went up to Boksanica. Can you
6 tell the Trial Chamber what you did while you were at Boksanica on the
7 26th of July, and with whom, if anybody, you met, spoke with, or dealt
8 with while you were there at that check-point? You told us what you saw,
9 in terms of the buses, but did you meet anybody in particular or have any
10 conversations that you can tell the Trial Chamber about?
11 A. As far as I can remember, when I got to Boksanica, I spent most
12 of the time with General Mladic. I believe that at one point, there
13 were, as far as I can remember, some other generals of the
14 Republika Srpska Army. I think General Krstic was there and possibly
15 General Gvero. This was the day -- the remainder of the 26th of July,
16 this was the day when this was rather -- there was a relaxed atmosphere.
17 I spent that night in an UNPROFOR hut. And then on the 27th, I think I
18 was still there up until noon time or so, but I don't know whom I met
19 there on that day. I think on a couple of occasions I saw
20 Colonel Dudnjik there as well.
21 Q. You've referred, I think, a couple of times today now to a -- and
22 I'll use your words, a relaxed atmosphere. Witness, how relaxed were
23 you? I mean, again, tell the Trial Chamber what your state of mind was
24 when you use the phrase "relaxed atmosphere."
25 A. Well, look, when I said "relaxed," when I said "relaxed
1 atmosphere," of course, the key thing that had still remained unresolved
2 in all that was the most important thing for us, and that was the issue
3 of able-bodied men, soldiers. When I said "relaxed," that meant that
4 during that time, nobody had insisted on surrender. That's why I said
5 "relaxed," because I wasn't tense.
6 I was at UNPROFOR, formally. However, all the time I was with
7 the top leaders of the Army of Republika Srpska, and all the time what
8 was on my mind was the destiny of the able-bodied men of Zepa. However,
9 during that period of time, nobody actually mentioned anything about the
10 fact that the military had to surrender. There was no pressure put on me
11 to bear. That's why I use this term "relaxed atmosphere."
12 Q. Now, you said you were at UNPROFOR, at this check-point at
13 Boksanica. Which party was in control of that location?
14 A. That was an UNPROFOR check-point. However, I believe that,
15 effectively, the VRS controlled the situation and that they behaved as if
16 they owned the place at the moment when I was there.
17 Q. When the buses that you already talked about arrived at
18 Boksanica, having come up from the center of Zepa, did you observe
19 General Mladic do anything with respect to those buses?
20 A. I saw that General Mladic entered every -- each and every bus. I
21 believe that he said something to the passengers. It didn't take long,
22 perhaps a minute or two. But as far as I can remember, he entered every
23 bus in the convoy, and that was the convoy that I joined to leave Zepa
24 and to get to Boksanica.
25 Q. You also mentioned seeing General Krstic there with
1 General Mladic and General Gvero. Do you recall having any conversation
2 with him? And if so, do you recall what you talked about?
3 A. Yes. I don't know whether on the 26th or on some other date,
4 General Mladic was standing a bit further -- or, actually, the General
5 was standing a bit further from the place where General Mladic and I were
6 sitting, and Mladic told me, This is General Krstic. And then he said to
7 General Krstic, Krle, come on, say hello, and introduced me by saying,
8 This is Hamdija. And General Mladic also told me that General Krstic was
9 in charge of the Zepa operation, that he was the commander of the Zepa
10 operation. Then General Krstic and I were introduced. We exchanged a
11 few words. We realised that we hailed from the same area. He was born
12 in Vlasenica, which borders on Han Pijesak. Our meeting wasn't very
13 long, and this is as much as I can remember about General Krstic.
14 Q. You also told us that you recall perhaps seeing Colonel Dudnjik
15 up there during this period of time at Boksanica. Do you recall what
16 Colonel Dudnjik told you he had been told by the Serbs if NATO used air
17 power against them?
18 A. Colonel Dudnjik seemed apprehensive to me, and he told me that
19 the Serbs had told him that they would kill him if NATO used air power
20 against them. He was a bit scared, I would say, in that situation. Not
21 a bit; rather scared.
22 Q. I'm going to show you some video shortly, sir.
23 MR. THAYER: May we go into private session just for a quick
24 moment, Mr. President?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. Please, private.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 4427-4428 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Now, on Sunday, during our proofing session, do you recall seeing
19 some video which the Prosecution had not obtained at the time of your
20 2007 testimony? Do you recall that, sir?
21 A. Yes, yes, I recall that video. But let me come back quickly to
22 what was just said.
23 I confirm everything, but I need to apologise for not answering
24 immediately. It was three and a half years ago when I provided that
25 testimony. But at this point, I would like to confirm everything that I
1 stated before. But I would kindly ask you to be very precise when
2 putting questions to me.
3 Okay, to come back to this, on Sunday I saw the video-clips which
4 are new, which had never been presented to me as Prosecutor's evidence.
5 Q. And how did this video, which we did not have at the time of your
6 2007 testimony, correspond to your recollection of these events; for
7 example, the events that we just saw described in your testimony from
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
11 like to apologise to Mr. Thayer.
12 Maybe we should see it first, instead of basing questions on
13 something that the Prosecutor and the witness saw in private. The
14 Trial Chamber would benefit from that, and the witness would also benefit
15 from actually seeing the evidence in question.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
17 Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: I think it's no surprise to anybody, Mr. President,
19 that what I'm doing is just laying the foundation for the very video that
20 is clearly coming next.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's simple to understand your question. The
22 answer related to that video, nobody knows yet in the courtroom.
23 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. That's why I'm trying to lay
24 the foundation, what he testified previously, what the video is that the
25 Defence has long had and has long been described to the Defence, and
1 which the Defence is well aware of. That is -- the simple task I'm
2 trying to perform here is just to lay that foundation for the
3 Trial Chamber before I play that video for the Trial Chamber.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Carry on.
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. So my question to you, Witness, is: Having seen that video on
7 Sunday, how did that correspond to your recollection of these events as
8 you testified about them back in 2007?
9 A. Well, at least in that part, the video tallies with what I
10 remember. However, documentary evidence, be it video-clips or something
11 else, in view of the time lapse, jog one's memory. The events took place
12 15 years ago, as you know. The video-clip that I saw on Sunday tallies
13 with what I remember.
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the video, itself, is approximately
15 30 minutes. May I propose that we take the second break now, and that
16 way we don't need to interrupt it.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
18 We will have our second break now and resume 10 minutes past
20 --- Recess taken at 5.40 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 6.14 p.m.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 We may go into private session very briefly, please.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
1 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
18 MR. THAYER: For the record, we're resuming where we left off at
19 38 minutes 6 seconds.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "If everything has to go so better
22 here, so that we can --"
23 "I like those little bit silly, you know, who listen and work."
24 "So go ahead. Film it. Go there, man. Shave and come over
25 here. I need you."
1 "What am I going to shave with?"
2 "Well, here you have it now. Wait a sec. Come and thank me."
3 "Thank you, Uncle."
4 "When can the 'Drinski' magazine come and take an interview? The
5 20th edition is coming out tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, so if
6 possible --"
7 THE ACCUSED: Please.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we please hear
10 the interpretation a little louder, because I can't really hear the
11 videotape. Could the interpreter just perhaps interpret or read this
12 out? Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'll forward this question to the Registrar.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Or translate the subtitles for me.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We discussed the following possibility. I was
17 told that the voice is very limited in B/C/S, so that it is, even for the
18 interpreters, not so easy to understand. They will try either to read it
19 again in B/C/S or to translate from English, and that would be the
20 request for the interpreters, if they are able to do that. I'm not sure
21 about that. I think we can rely on the interpreters, that they will do
22 their very best. Thank you.
23 Please carry on, Mr. Thayer.
24 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot translate from English because we can
25 only translate what we hear, Your Honours. This is a remark from the
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay, thank you very much. Then, in that case,
3 we would be happy if you could try to read or listen to the low voice of
4 the original speakers. Thank you very much.
5 MR. THAYER: May I proceed, Mr. President?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
7 MR. THAYER:
8 Q. Sir, we've paused at 39 minutes 22 seconds. Can you identify who
9 the man in uniform with the cigarette in his hand is, who is captured
10 here on this video still?
11 A. That should be General Gvero, and I say "should be" because while
12 I was there and during the meetings at check-point 2, I never learned the
13 name, nor did I later connect it, but recently I was informed that this
14 was General Gvero.
15 Q. Well, do you remember seeing this individual, whatever his name
16 might be? Do you recall this individual being present while you were at
17 Boksanica on the 26th of July, sir?
18 A. Yes, he was present.
19 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's continue playing the tape, please.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Where you going to be tomorrow?"
22 "Here, he can come today and I can give an interview, say a few
24 "That's the Drina Corps magazine?"
25 "No, no, no, there has to be a decision made. Don't take it upon
1 yourself. The decision has already been made."
2 "Please don't praise the lieutenant-colonel only. They can do
3 that now. 'Drinski,' too. Only "Drinski,' too, please."
4 "It goes without saying ..."
5 "Well, Vinko, fuck it. Furtula is the man for the magazine. If
6 each one -- in each magazine he is on the front page. He gives
7 interviews all the time."
8 Interpreter's note: Because there are several voices speaking,
9 we are unable to interpret them all at the same time.
10 [Voiceover] "We can introduce him for the general public, for
11 The Hague."
12 "Did you hear this, little one?"
13 "Come on, I'm sorry. Where is this Russian man? Have him bring
14 fuel. Bring him up, quickly."
15 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 40 minutes 19 seconds.
16 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber who this man in uniform is in this
18 A. That's General Krstic.
19 MR. THAYER: Continue playing the video, please.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Well, come on, have him go. Fuck
22 him. And you go again, bit by bit, and you make it again."
23 "I said in line, in line."
24 "Hey, Rajko, I don't want to see any of these soldiers there, no
1 "How is the Sarajevo man doing? Are you from Foca?"
3 "My folks are from Foca."
4 "Well, the one with the glasses, he should go and shave. You
5 know, he can't stop commanding."
6 "You're lucky to be in Serb territory. Imagine you are down
7 there with the Turks now."
8 "Here are your soldiers as well. Wartime condition."
9 "Fuck the officer in charge. He doesn't know you're here. Go.
10 Well, I'm giving you the permission. Come on, fill it up. My, Dudnjik,
11 your APCs are good. I won't even repaint them. You and I -- we'll just
12 write on it, 'To General Mladic from Dudnjik.' Come on, give it to me.
13 I will sign this."
14 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 42 minutes and 7 seconds.
15 Q. Sir, there's a young woman sitting to the left of General Krstic.
16 That would be General Krstic's left in this frame. Can you tell the
17 Trial Chamber who you understood her to be?
18 A. She was an interpreter, General Mladic's interpreter. And in his
19 later talks with General Rupert Smith and, I believe, the CNN team, she
20 interpreted for General Mladic. I don't know her name, but I remember
21 her face very well.
22 MR. THAYER: Let's continue to play the videotape, please.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "It's the 26th today."
1 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 43 minutes 10 seconds.
2 Q. Can you recognise anybody in this frame, sir?
3 A. At the very far right, we can see Rajko Kusic,
4 lieutenant-colonel, the commander of the Rogatica Brigade of the Army of
5 Republika Srpska. And I remember the face, but I don't know the name of
6 the person who is standing next to Rajko Kusic. I remember his face,
8 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
9 May we continue playing the video.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Serjoza, you go ahead. Don't be
12 afraid. Whoever stops you, you show him this and say, I'm transporting
13 fuel for the Serbs in Rogatica. Bring five fuel tanks. Good luck, and
14 give it to me when we finish all of it off. Give it to me. Let's shake
16 MR. THAYER: We've paused at 43 minutes 49 seconds.
17 Q. Sir, the young soldier shaking hands with General Mladic in this
18 still, do you know what army -- what military he belongs to?
19 A. He is an UNPROFOR soldier, a Ukrainian, and I believe we heard
20 his name as well, Serjoza.
21 MR. THAYER: Let's continue playing the videotape, please.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Go to Rogatica and keep on driving.
24 And once you transport five fuel tanks and when you fuel up the pump,
25 come and report to me. Smith has no choice. Smith started -- get lost,
1 Smith. You do as I say to you. Rajko forced them to -- are they going
2 to bomb us?"
3 "No way."
4 "How did they hit the Puch last time? It's your fault, not
6 "I know, but I placed it on the road on purpose."
7 "That's good. It was smart of you."
8 "None of the tanks were hit, only the Puch."
9 "Krle says that he has a paint shop for these vehicles."
10 "No, this doesn't have to be repainted. We have to -- man, why
11 waste paint."
12 "But General, sir --
13 "For God's sake, so be it, man. It's ours. We need it. If we
14 go to war against the Turks. You don't understand my idea."
15 "The Turks are coming. Come over here, boys, in Dzemal's summer
16 house. Did Dzemal have one at Borike as well; right?"
17 "Of course he did, but he had bad luck. He [indiscernible]
18 towards the [indiscernible], the key. I didn't take anything from them."
19 "All of you in the line. Three from the other side, four over
20 there. Fall in. Come on, boy, come on. You go ahead, you little --
21 over there, hold your weapons like that. Okay. Fall in line, fall in
22 line, I said. Fall in line and spread. Okay."
23 "Rajko, prepare a small car."
24 MR. THAYER: Can we go into private session for a moment,
25 Mr. President, please?
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
2 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're back to open session.
7 MR. THAYER: We're at 46 minutes 4 seconds.
8 If we could continue playing the tape, please.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Have a safe journey. Okay."
11 "Where are you, Matic? Mati, where is he? This bus can go.
12 Tell them this bus is leaving. It has to be loaded over there."
13 "Good afternoon."
14 "Good afternoon. How are you? Are you scared? I'm
15 General Mladic. Don't be afraid. You are all going to be transported to
16 Kladanj. The ones who left yesterday crossed over safely. Good luck to
18 "Thank you."
19 "Good afternoon. How are you?"
21 "I'm General Mladic. I wish you a safe journey."
22 "Thank you."
23 "And good health."
24 "Good afternoon. How are you? Are you worried? Don't be
25 afraid. Everything's going to be all right. I'm General Mladic. I wish
1 you a safe journey."
2 "Thank you. We have to be worried since we're on the
3 [indiscernible]. Do you have, by any chance, any pills for
4 car sickness".
5 "We don't. Don't worry, you'll be okay. They won't -- they'll
6 be fine. Open the windows. All right, they will adapt."
7 "Good afternoon."
8 "Good afternoon. How are you?"
9 "Fine, fine, man. How are you?"
10 "I'm General Mladic. I wish you a safe journey."
11 "Thank you. You too."
12 "Don't be afraid. Everything will be fine."
13 "Thank you."
14 "Good afternoon. How are you?"
15 "Fine. How are you?"
16 "I'm fine, thank you. I'm General Mladic. I wish you a safe
17 journey, and don't be afraid. You are all going to be safely
19 "Thank you."
21 "Don't put out the lights. Start it immediately, and as soon as
22 you go, you go."
23 "Good afternoon. How are you? You will be moved from this bus
24 to this bigger one, and then you can proceed. This bus is taller, so it
25 needs to bring those from down here in Zepa. I'm General Mladic. Don't
1 be afraid. I wish you a safe journey."
2 "Thank you."
4 "Good afternoon. How are you?"
5 "Fine. Thanks for asking."
6 "This is not good. I am General Mladic. I wish you a safe
7 journey. Don't be afraid. You will be transported safely to Kladanj."
8 "Thank you."
9 "Good luck, and goodbye."
10 "How old is your baby? Is it a girl? Go ahead, take care."
11 "Good afternoon."
12 "Good afternoon."
13 "How are you?"
14 "It's okay."
15 "Don't be afraid. I'm General Mladic. You are all going safely
16 to Kladanj."
17 "Thank you."
20 "Good afternoon."
21 "Good afternoon."
22 "How are you?"
23 "We are fine. Thank you for asking.
24 "There's nothing fine about this bus."
25 "That's right."
1 "Don't be afraid. You're all going to be transported to Kladanj.
2 I'm General Mladic.
3 "Thank you."
4 "It will be better."
5 "Thank you."
6 "Thank you."
8 "Goodbye, and take care. I've saved you and your children, and
9 your people did not save ours in 1992. Take care. We're going to see
10 each other again."
11 "Thank you."
12 "Good luck."
13 "Good luck."
14 "Thank you."
15 "Good afternoon. How are you?"
16 "Fine. It's only too hot."
17 "Do you know who I am? I am General Mladic. Welcome, and I wish
18 you a safe journey. You are all going to be transported safely to
20 "Thank you."
21 "And don't point your guns at us anymore. Good luck to you."
22 "Thank you."
23 "Good afternoon. How are you?"
24 "It's okay."
25 "Do you know who I am? I'm General Mladic. You are going safely
1 to Kladanj. Put your arm down. Don't worry about anything. I wish you
2 a safe journey."
3 "Thank you."
4 "Good afternoon."
5 "Good afternoon."
6 "How are you?"
7 "Well, fine. How are you?"
8 "You'll be transported safely to Kladanj. Don't be afraid of
9 anything. I'm General Mladic."
10 "Thank you."
11 "I wish I was safe journey, and goodbye."
12 "Thank you. Take care, goodbye."
13 "Good afternoon. How are you? You wanted to see me, and now you
14 are looking at me. I'm General Mladic. You are all going safely to
15 Kladanj. Don't be afraid of anything. I wish I was safe journey."
16 "Thank you."
19 "Good afternoon. Is it very hot? Film them, not me."
20 "Go ahead."
21 "You wanted to see me for a long time, and now you're looking at
22 me. I'm General Mladic. You're all going to be transported safely to
23 Kladanj. Thank you very much. I wish you a safe journey, and we wish
24 you a pleasant stay. And goodbye."
1 "Don't be afraid."
2 "Good afternoon."
3 "Good afternoon."
4 "How are you? Film them, all of them. Well, they have been
5 telling you stories about me, and now you have a chance to see me. I'm
6 General Mladic. You are all going safely to Kladanj. Don't be afraid of
8 "Thank you."
9 "I wish you a safe journey."
10 "Thank you."
11 "And goodbye."
12 "Thank you and goodbye."
13 "Good afternoon."
14 "Good afternoon."
15 "How are you?"
17 "They have told you so many things so far. You have a chance to
18 see me now. I'm General Mladic. You are going safely to Kladanj. I
19 wish you a safe journey, and goodbye."
20 "Thank you."
21 "Don't be afraid of anything. I am not like the guy they
22 described on radio and television. I'm saving you and your children, and
23 our children were killed in the Zepa Canyon in 1992. Goodbye."
24 "Good afternoon. You have been hearing stories about me for a
25 long time. Now look at me. I'm General Mladic. There are able-bodied
1 men among you. You are all safe, and you're all going to be transported
2 to Kakanj. We wish you a safe journey."
3 "Thank you."
4 "And goodbye."
5 "Take care."
6 "You who are of military age, don't come back to the front. No
7 more forgiveness. I am giving you your life now."
8 "Good afternoon. They have been telling you many things about
9 me. You have an opportunity to see me. You shut up. Your job is to
10 drive. Put that cigarette out."
12 "I'm General Mladic. There are able-bodied men among you who
13 shot at me in the past. I forgive you all and I'm giving you your life
14 back. Don't come back before me at the front-line. Next time, there
15 won't be any forgiveness. I have mercy for you, and you did not have any
16 for our children in 1992 in the Zepa Canyon. Have a safe journey, and
18 "Thank you."
19 "You're all going to be transported to Kladanj. Do you have
20 anything to say, old man?"
21 "I have nothing to say."
22 "What's your name?"
23 "Mehmed Subotic ."
24 "Mehmed, then take care and be smart. You could have all lived
25 here and no one would have touched you if your people had not touched us
1 and if they hadn't come inside our villages. Good luck, children, and
2 grow up in peace."
3 "Thank you."
5 "Good afternoon."
6 "Good afternoon."
7 "I'm General Mladic. They've been telling you many things about
8 me, and now we finally meet. Don't be afraid. I'm giving you all of
9 your lives back. Thank you. You're going to Kladanj."
10 "Thank you."
11 "And live in peace there. Don't come anymore in front of me or
12 my troops. There won't be any more forgiveness. I wish you luck."
13 "Thank you."
14 "I'm sorry it has come to this, but some among you are to be
15 blamed, not me. Good luck."
16 "Good afternoon. The day has come for you to see me in person.
17 I'm General Mladic. Don't be afraid. You are all going to Kladanj. I
18 wish you good luck and that we don't have to fight anymore. And
20 "Thank you."
21 "Well, go ahead and take care.
22 "What's your name?"
23 "Asim Markovic."
24 "Asim, don't be afraid. I wish you good luck and don't be
25 afraid. Everything will be all right."
1 "Good afternoon. Well, here we are, looking at each other. I'm
2 General Mladic. You will be all transferred to Kladanj. I'm giving you
3 your life back as a gift. You are innocent."
4 "Thank you."
5 "I wish you good luck. Find your way, and that we all live in
6 peace. Goodbye."
8 "Good afternoon. I'm General Mladic. They've told you many
9 things about me; right? I am giving you your lives as a present, and you
10 are all going to Kladanj."
11 "Thank you."
12 "No one is going to touch you, and I wish you good luck, and may
13 we all live in peace."
14 "You too, you too."
17 "Be smart. Alija and his gang have done this. While he was in
18 prison, you were free. Now he's free, and we are all in prison."
19 "Yes, yes."
22 "You're leaving immediately."
23 "Good afternoon. They've told you many things about me. Now you
24 have an opportunity to get to know me. I am General Mladic. There are
25 also able-bodied men among you. You are very strong, aren't you? I'm
1 giving you your lives as a gift."
2 "Thank you."
3 "You are going to Kladanj. Most of you are innocent, but there
4 are those who were cruel as well. But I'm not a man they told you. I am
5 what you see. I wish you good luck, and may you live in peace.
7 "Thank you."
8 "Take care."
9 "It's there on the bus in front. Don't look like an idiot all
10 the time. Reload, and once the last truck is out, have them go down.
11 Hey, Kosoric, you don't have to guard the APC. Go there around them.
12 Reload them onto larger buses."
13 "I would be really happy if this one from over here, a little
14 more sense and desire. Well, they don't, but they won't show it, they
15 won't. Is there a possibility that I can speak to them directly?"
16 "Yes, over there, let Dudnjik connect to you and speak. Ask for
17 Muratovic to speak."
18 "Hey, Dudnjik, call Sarajevo and have Muratovic come to UNPROFOR
19 command so we can speak to Muratovic. Turks are useless."
20 "Have a coffee."
21 "Bring the second chair quickly."
22 "Okay, Dudnjik, I'm going to make it possible for your men. They
23 can solve anything for you, but they could have at least --"
24 "They can't."
25 "If they have something firmly in their hands --"
1 "They can't. They killed our people. You have to understand
2 that, but I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to kill them,
3 mother-fuckers. Don't be afraid, I'm going to save you. You wouldn't
4 save me, would you? Maybe you -- maybe you would. That's how you save
5 those -- those who were free, you did, and those in Zepa, at Veliki Zep.
6 You did them as well. And those in the canyon? Give me a coffee in a
7 fildzan. The time has come that Serbs drink from a fildzan and Turks
8 from cups. Fuck it. The world has gone crazy. Dear Hamdija, dear
9 Hamdija. They are able-bodied, a lot of able-bodied people in the
12 "There isn't -- there aren't that many. But no more forgiveness.
13 If someone comes --"
14 "Just don't anymore -- I don't want to hear that a new Zepa
15 Brigade was formed."
16 "It would be good, I mean --"
17 "Well, I wish I had at least one."
18 "You're the president of the SDA; right?
19 "Avdo told me this.
20 "You are the president of the SDA. And who is the president of
21 the SDA? The president of the SDA, there was some people in Sarajevo,
22 and currently the Presidency has, I think, the commissioners -- I don't
23 know his first name, this Hajric person."
24 "Why doesn't he give you -- he obviously doesn't like you."
25 "Doesn't like me?"
1 "Well, he says that you are -- he says that you're a big shot."
2 "I don't know. I've never been a member of the party."
3 "Why didn't Benjamin come back? Wasn't that an agreement, that
4 he goes from the --"
5 "I told him to come. Fine, let him stay there. I mean, you talk
6 here now."
7 "Have they all gathered from Luka up there?"
8 "How did the people take it? Did they all come? Had they all
9 come, 10 more?"
10 "People can't wait."
12 "People are fed up with everything, both with Alija and with us,
13 ha-ha, in life."
14 "Well, let me tell you. Local ones had a bit of a hard time to
15 accept it. There was a large number of refugees. They only waited for a
16 moment and a possibility, looking out for a chance to escape. It can't
17 be worse anywhere else than some other place anywhere."
18 "Hamdija, you and I are going to make a deal, since you're an
19 educated person. You go over there, and you can call me through
20 UNPROFOR. You can come in touch with me whenever you want. I'll see
21 you. So we can move from Cazinska Krajina over there, from Bihac region,
22 those who want, in a humane way."
23 "No, no, no, just hold it, slowly."
24 "And from Gorazde. Whoever wants to surrender their weapons,
25 those who do it, they can stay and live there. Those that want to leave,
1 they can leave. I don't want to fight over there. But it's a shame.
2 You are killing each other around Bihac, and I want to help Dudakovic.
3 He was my officer in the corps in Knin."
4 "Dudakovic, is he efficient?"
5 "Yes, good officer, efficient. I want to help him because, well,
6 he went a little too far, but I appointed him just as I appointed Naser
7 in Srebrenica. However, under Ljubljankic's pressure, he went astray a
8 bit, and now he is killing his own. Naser acted smarter. He retreated
9 and saved his people. They would have starved to death. You probably
10 also know what happened. Give the man a beer. Give us a beer. Come on,
11 girl. Bring me one, too. Well, bring four or five beers, six. One
12 part, let's say, 20 to 30 per cent of the population entered, was a bit
13 better off, and there was a huge invasion from down there."
14 "Why are you saying Bure like that?"
15 "No, everyone says Bure, so I said it too."
16 "You're not from there, are you?"
17 "I am."
18 "Oh, you are. I'm sorry. Well, it's not derogatory, but it's
19 typical of the people from Srebrenica, a bit derogatory."
20 "Well, you had more cattle or you gave higher numbers, what is
22 "Well, we cope better in such a small number."
23 "Yes. Well, in the beginning, a lot of flour came, I mean, just
24 flour. So talking about Zepa, there was no big crisis after the
25 United Nations forces came. There was towards the end, because those who
1 don't have cattle, for instance --"
2 "Give the boss the green one."
3 "They don't have milk, powder, nothing based on milk products."
4 "Did you hear that? Give the boss a beer."
5 "There were many problems."
6 "Okay. Tell me, then, how did you organise the population in the
7 villages in Zepa?"
8 "Well, it all looked like this --"
9 "Come on, you are telling me a fairy tale."
10 "Well, what I can say --"
11 "Come, Hamdija, cheers."
14 "Well, for the most part, approximately 62 per cent --"
16 "The others were local."
17 "And out of that number of locals, how many UNPROFOR vehicles are
19 "Maybe 10 of them could live."
20 "Well, let's --"
21 "We completed reloading, General, sir."
22 "The so-called demilitarised zone in Zepa, for two years now the
23 United Nations have been trying to disarm Zepa, but only after the Army
24 of Republika Srpska these days took over the initiative to do so is being
25 carried out in a peaceful matter. Talks between General Mladic and
1 Hamdija Torlak, the representative of the Muslim population of Zepa, are
2 underway and everything is in progress as agreed.
3 "Yesterday, exclusively civilians were evacuated from Zepa."
4 "The organisation is excellent. The convoy with the wounded has
5 arrived in Sarajevo, and the convoy with the civilian population arrived
6 in Kladanj without any problems. There is one remaining problem that I
7 hope we will solve promptly. That's the problem with disarming the
8 soldiers in Zepa. I hope that the whole process around Zepa will be
9 completed tomorrow."
10 "In the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa, neither the Muslim
11 civilian population nor the UNPROFOR were our targets. Our objective was
12 to disarm the fundamentalist formations that were numerous. And if you
13 are following the whole situation, you know well that they announced
14 through the media that they had organised the Eastern Bosnia Corps and
15 that the 28th Division in Srebrenica was part of that corps. And the
16 independent brigade in Zepa, what was it called, the Zepa Light Brigade?
17 I didn't hear your answer. Could you please repeat it. This brigade
18 from Zepa, was that part of the division in Srebrenica?"
19 "Yes, yes, one of the brigades."
20 "So one of their divisions is in Gorazde as well. Of course, we
21 couldn't tolerate that the protected zones be bases from which the
22 terrorist groups operate against the territory of Republika Srpska.
23 I think there is no need to carry out a similar operation against
24 Gorazde. We are offering contacts to agree on a peaceful solution of the
25 problem in that area, and they can surrender their weapons peacefully and
1 remain where they lived before. And the protected zone should in no way
2 be used as a terrorist base."
3 "The CNN correspondent Peter Arnett asked Hamdija Torlakovic
4 whether the information about the alleged --"
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. Sir, we've paused at 1 hour 9 minutes and 16 seconds. Do you
7 recall who this individual was, and --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, we can't always go over time. We've
9 reached 7.00. If it's just a short question, and Judge Nyambe has also a
10 question and I have some remarks, we are very patient, but it takes a
11 long time.
12 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. We only had a minute left, but
13 we can stop and resume tomorrow, and I can ask the question tomorrow.
14 I'll just note the time for the record, and we can queue it up first
15 thing tomorrow morning. 1 hour 9 minutes and 16 seconds.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just a quick clarification.
18 In the video footage just before this one, General Mladic is
19 referring to Serbs in the canyon of Zepa who were not -- who were harmed
20 or not harmed in 1992. My question is: In 1992, there were Serbs living
21 in Zepa?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking only about the Serbs
23 who lived in Zepa in 1992? Well, there weren't any, except for a woman
24 who was an Orthodox Christian and was married to her colleague, a
25 teacher. So that's the answer to your question whether there were any
1 Serbs living in Zepa.
2 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. The other question is: The footage we
3 saw about General Mladic getting on the buses, saying goodbye to people
4 going away to Kladanj, do you recall exactly how many buses left that
5 day, or was this in one day or over a number of days?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Personally, I think that all this
7 footage was done on the same day, on the 26th of July, and that's when I
8 talked about that convoy. When I said "convoy," I meant a number of
9 buses, about 10 of them. And I believe that this was that one convoy
10 that I joined. And General Mladic would get on each one of these buses,
11 greet the local people of Zepa who were on the buses.
12 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, we have, of course, to adjourn now,
14 and we will resume tomorrow in the morning at 9.00.
15 First, a remark for the witness. I know you mentioned already
16 that you are tired. Everybody will understand that. And tomorrow, you
17 should immediately indicate if it is too much for you. Then we can have
18 a break. That, you should take into attention.
19 Another thing. Mr. Thayer, we don't know anything about the
20 source of this video, especially the last portion. Not everything, I
21 suppose, you have shown to us today was on the 65 ter list. There's a
22 compilation of different footages, but I don't -- I'm not sure if
23 everything is really part of the 65 ter list.
24 MR. THAYER: It is, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And, therefore, it is perhaps not necessary to
1 tender this again as a separate exhibit.
2 But you should consider this question overnight as well: And we
3 would like to know -- I think you have used now 8 hours and around
4 30 minutes, much more than indicated earlier. I would like to know, do
5 you intend to continue the whole day tomorrow, or what is your
7 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I estimate that I'll finish by the
8 end of the first session.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
10 We have to adjourn now and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in
11 this courtroom.
12 And the Court Officer will assist you. Again, and you know, no
13 contact, please, about the content of your testimony to either party.
14 We adjourn.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of
18 August, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.