1 Thursday, 2 September 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody.
7 Mr. Tolimir, you may continue your cross-examination.
8 WITNESS: HAMDIJA TORLAK [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Of course, I have to remind the witness to tell
12 the truth, and the affirmation still applies.
13 Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May Lord bless this house. I wish
15 we all have a fruitful, successful work and that all days, including this
16 one, during this trial be concluded according to God's wishes and not
17 necessarily mine.
18 A question for the witness.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
20 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, just before the end, we provided you
21 with a list. I don't know whether you returned it to the Registrar.
22 A. I did.
23 Q. You said that most of the people on the list were people from
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were those the people who refused to disarm, in keeping with the
2 decision of the War Presidency of the 27th?
3 A. Yes. Those were the people who were considered men of military
5 Q. Save for the one for whom you said was killed, are the rest of
6 them alive, have they survived the events in Srebrenica and Zepa?
7 A. Yes, they have. From what I know, from Serbia they were taken to
8 third countries. Some returned to Bosnia eventually, whereas others
9 stayed in their new countries.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know the percentage of those who left for
11 third countries, as opposed to those who returned, be it immediately or
12 after the war?
13 A. I don't know the exact number. According to what I was able to
14 hear, in late 1995 they were offered a number of countries, and the
15 initial people left. I believe they went in several groups, not all at
16 once. Of course, I must underline that this is what I heard only. Out
17 of some 800 --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were some 800 people in
20 Serbia, but I don't know what percentage of them returned to Bosnia
21 eventually. I don't want to speculate.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you. We saw the agreement, containing an item which states
24 that freedom of movement will be guaranteed, and it was also stated that
25 once the war was over, people would be allowed to go where they wished.
1 We can see D51, if necessary. If you recall, General Mladic also
2 addressed that issue at a meeting. You said that the Dayton Accords
3 dealt with that issue and the people were free to return according to
4 their wishes. Some people actually did return?
5 A. You mean people to Zepa?
6 Q. Precisely. Then, during examination-in-chief, it was suggested
7 that the Dayton Accords followed the events in Zepa quite late during the
8 decade. What is your opinion on that?
9 A. While I was still in the prison, the Dayton Accords were already
10 signed. I think they were verified and ratified, in terms of
11 implementation, by way of, I think, the Paris Treaty. I think the whole
12 thing was finished by December 1995.
13 Q. So it was in the same year when the agreement D51 was signed?
14 A. Yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see D51 now, but we
16 should be careful not to broadcast the page with the signatures.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Therefore, that item concerning freedom of movement was
19 reaffirmed through the Dayton Accords because it was a part of the
20 overall peace process in Bosnia; is that correct?
21 A. Well, it was defined by the Dayton Accords. Perhaps we can say
22 that these two things corresponded.
23 Q. Who signed the Dayton Accords, the participants of the war in
24 Bosnia or all three sides as well as international community
25 representatives? What can you tell us?
1 Apologies. Could we please remove the names from the screen.
2 Perhaps scroll down. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Registrar made sure this document would not
4 be broadcast, because at the top and at the end, the name is to be seen.
5 So that don't worry, it will not be broadcast.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I wasn't
7 aware of that.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Please go ahead.
10 A. As far as I know, the Dayton Accords were signed by the
11 participants, so to say, of the war. It was done under the auspices of
12 the standing members of the Security Committee, I believe, although I'm
13 not certain of that. And guarantees were also offered by Serbia and
15 Q. Do you know whether it also included an RS delegation?
16 A. I know they participated in the work surrounding the accords, but
17 I don't know whether they were the signatories as well. In any case, I
18 know the delegation was in Dayton.
19 Q. Not everyone signed, just those representing the actual
20 countries. In any case, this is the umbrella agreement covering all of
21 the other agreements that were eventually reached during the war; is that
23 A. As far as I know, the Dayton Accords have annexes regulating all
24 matters at hand. In any case, all segments were covered, in terms of
25 securing normal life and work, freedom of movement, a possibility of
1 return, the organisation of state. All of those things were covered by
2 the Dayton Accords.
3 Q. In item 7, it says:
4 "In accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and
5 the Additional Protocols of 1977, the civilian population of Zepa shall
6 be given the freedom to choose their place of residence while hostilities
8 Did the hostilities cease immediately afterwards, in September,
9 when the Dayton talks began?
10 A. I was still in jail at that time. But as far as I know, all war
11 activities were halted in the second half of September, I believe. I
12 was, of course, away from it all, but I think it was in September 1995.
13 Q. Was this item of the agreement also later on included in the
14 Dayton Accords and put into practice so as to affect the populations on
15 all three war sides?
16 A. This item was implemented through the Dayton Accords. I think,
17 however, that the return to Zepa began only as late as 2000. It all came
18 about as a result of Dayton.
19 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, towards the end, you spoke about
20 Mr. Imamovic, Mr. Hajric, and the way they were taken from the prison
21 where they were with you. Were they registered by the ICRC, like you
22 were? Were they given an opportunity to get in touch with their
24 A. Yes, they were registered the same day, and they also sent their
25 messages to their families. Their families have them.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you know who Mustafa Hodzic is? Was he imprisoned
2 with you and did he participate in any military activities in Zepa? Was
3 he in jail with you?
4 A. Mustafa Hodzic. Well, the last name denotes a person from that
5 area. But there were some 40 people there, and I cannot recall this name
6 specifically. I don't remember him being with me in the prison. It
7 could be one of the group, though, because I didn't know each and every
8 person. I do not exclude that possibility. But he was never in the same
9 cell with me.
10 Q. Out of the 40 who were taken off the last bus, were they
11 registered by the ICRC, were they all registered?
12 A. Yes, they were all registered.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Microphone not activated]
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters,
16 the witness, and the Presiding Judge, as well as the OTP.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. My question is this: All those 40 people who were in Rogatica
19 with you, were they registered by the ICRC and were they all later on
20 exchanged, except for the two men whom you said were killed later on?
21 And perhaps you can tell us when.
22 A. All 40, although I don't know whether it was a few less or more,
23 with the exception of one person whose last name, I believe, was Cocalic,
24 were registered. He was taken away from the jail, and his mortal remains
25 were never found. Everyone else was registered by the ICRC and exchanged
1 on the same day in January 1996 at Sarajevo Airport. Actually, first we
2 were at Kula and then taken down to the center of Sarajevo.
3 Q. Do you know who Mehan Oric is, son of Nezir? Was he from Zepa,
4 and do you know anything about him? Was he with you in the jail in
6 A. I don't know. Oric is a Srebrenica family, the Orics, so he did
7 not hail from Zepa. In any case, I don't recall him. Throughout my stay
8 in the jail in Rogatica, I was in a separate room. For a while, I worked
9 up at Borike, where there was a larger group of detainees, and this is
10 when I slept with those people in the same room. However, all of the
11 rest of the time at Rogatica, I was separated from the rest, and I saw
12 other detainees at meal times.
13 Q. Do you know anything about Hamdija Dedic, son of Belaga [phoen]?
14 Is he from Zepa? Do you have any information about him, and was he
15 detained with you? Do you know whether he was killed during military
16 activities in Zepa or subsequently as a detainee?
17 A. As far as I know, Hamdija Dedic is the brother of a person who
18 used to be a teacher in the elementary school in Zepa. I never saw him.
19 But according to the statements of some people who were detained in
20 Rogatica at the same time, he was captured. I think he was trying to
21 reach Gorazde or Rudo, after which he was brought to the jail. He spent
22 a few days at Rogatica.
23 May I continue?
24 And they say that he was taken away. It turned out he was
25 killed, and I believe his mortal remains were recovered only a few years
1 ago. He was subsequently buried in Zepa or Sarajevo.
2 Q. When was he in prison? Was that during the events in Zepa or
3 when you were there, and was he registered by the ICRC?
4 A. I'm telling you what I heard from other people. He arrived after
5 the fall of Zepa, so in early August. He started from Rudo or Visegrad,
6 in Eastern Bosnia, and ended up in Rogatica. That was in early August.
7 He was not registered by the ICRC. He only spent a few days with us, and
8 then he was taken away. As it turned out, he was subsequently killed,
9 and I think his body was later on found in Vragolovi, in the general area
10 of that location. In any case, I know he was later on buried, which
11 happened a few years ago.
12 Q. Thank you. What do you know about Avdo Palic, from the point of
13 his capture to his death, be it from what you heard from others or based
14 on your own information?
15 A. In my previous testimony, I said that the last time I saw
16 Avdo Palic was on the morning of the 26th of July, 1995. I never saw him
17 afterwards. There were things I heard, once I was released. These were
18 stories or rumours, and I don't know if it's relevant to the Court.
19 Allegedly, he was about to engage in some talks with the Serb side in
20 the -- and that was on the 27th of July, together with one person
21 escorting him. The Serb soldiers took him, and they told the escort to
22 return. The person is still alive today.
23 Following that, there was much discussion about the death of
24 Avdo Palic among the Bosnian public. The latest version, if I may say,
25 is the one that is generally considered to be true. It states that after
1 being captured, he was held in the territory of the Rogatica municipality
2 for a while, perhaps at Borike, and that he was later transferred to
3 Batkovica, which was a camp close to Bijeljina in Northern Bosnia.
4 Apparently in early September, he was returned to Rogatica or
5 Han Pijesak, and it is presumed that he was killed at that time. This is
6 how it was reported by journalists, and it is generally considered to be
7 the truth, at least as far as the people in Sarajevo are concerned.
8 Q. So you saw him for the last time on the 26th of July, when we
9 returned from having escorted the first convoy, which left on the 25th.
10 They travelled the whole night, crossing the lines. The same was
11 repeated on the 27th, up until the last bus you mentioned. You know, at
12 least according to the stories, that he was still alive in September?
13 A. Yes. There were different theories about his fate, and that
14 story developed for 10 years. What I'm telling you here is also not
15 confirmed, but that figures as the latest and final version on the
16 Bosnian side, at least.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether he was
18 killed during combat operations, was he taken prisoner, or was he killed
19 in the manner that you described just a moment ago in September?
20 A. Well, I can only repeat what I've already said. He certainly did
21 not take part in any combat operations, and what I told you here were
22 stories that journalists told and also what was related by his escort.
23 Everything else is just conjecture. And, again, as I said, the latest
24 valid truth -- version of the truth is that he was killed in early
25 September 1995.
1 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether he was in the free territory of
2 Republika Srpska on the 25th -- the night of the 25th, on the 26th, and
3 the 26th and the 27th, when he accompanied the convoy, and that he even
4 went to the separation line, to the positions held by the federation?
5 A. Well, this is what I know: I know that he was with you on the
6 25th, in the evening, and that he boarded a VRS vehicle, together with
7 you, and you left. That is the last time I saw him, and it was already
8 getting dark. He was supposed to accompany his family, and according to
9 these stories, he did go to Kladanj. I don't know if he ever went to the
10 lines held by the Federation Army. When he returned on the 26th, he told
11 me that had briefly met with General Mladic at Boksanica on his way back
12 and that Mladic had told him that I was supposed to go up there, as
13 agreed earlier with Mladic, or, rather, as Mladic's earlier demand was,
14 in order to guarantee for your security in Zepa, because as I've already
15 said, the Army of Republika Srpska had not entered Zepa yet at that point
16 in time. And that was, in fact, the last time that I saw Palic.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you now tell the Trial Chamber whether anyone
18 was killed after being captured in the course of combat operations and
19 during the transfer of the population by members of the VRS or those
20 people who had organised the transfer of people from Zepa to Kladanj?
21 A. Well, I've already answered this question on several occasions.
22 I don't know exactly how many fighters or soldiers were killed in combat,
23 itself. During the evacuation, no one was taken off the convoy except
24 those 40 people, elderly men and wounded, who were taken off the last
25 convoy. As I said, all of them, except one person, were later on
1 exchanged in early 1996.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you have any knowledge about anyone being taken
3 off buses or being attacked by the civilians in Zepa? Thank you.
4 A. Well, as far as I know, that did not happen, and I think I've
5 said this clearly several times already.
6 Q. Thank you. Well, the reason I'm asking you is that there were
7 also stories about people being raped and so on.
8 Now, tell us, please, were you told and could you actually
9 observe that all these activities were being filmed during the
10 negotiations in Boksanica and the transfer?
11 A. Well, I already answered and said that I did see all those events
12 being filmed, but I wasn't going to say it then. But I did see the
13 cameraman, and I knew that everything was being filmed.
14 Q. Thank you. We had occasion to see some of that footage here in
15 the courtroom, and portions of those conversations that we could see and
16 hear actually helped refresh our memory, and this was to assist the
17 Trial Chamber. Would it be of even greater assistance if everything had
18 been filmed? Would that have been more useful, both for the
19 Trial Chamber or the Court and for us, that all the events, everything,
20 absolutely everything, had been filmed?
21 A. Well, the more information one has, the clearer the picture one
22 has of any event.
23 Q. Thank you. I promised you that I would show you a video-clip
24 from the Boksanica meeting, but then the Trial Chamber intervened and it
25 wasn't necessary, and the Trial Chamber could see that there were -- that
1 there was no pressure exerted of any sort on you. And if you feel that
2 we need to show that video-clip, we can.
3 A. Well, I don't think it's necessary.
4 Q. Could you now tell me whether the negotiators, and I won't
5 mention their names, who were from Zepa and who negotiated with
6 representatives of the VRS, had the mandate and the authority to
7 negotiate and to put forward their proposals? Thank you.
8 A. Well, I will now speak about the 19th and the 24th of July.
9 We had an agreement and the mandate to negotiate, but only in
10 respect of the civilian population. And, again, I have to reiterate that
11 the able-bodied or military-aged men were out of our competence. They
12 were not -- we did not have the mandate for that, nor could anyone else.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, the question that Ratko Mladic put, whether you
14 were ready to negotiate, right at the outset of the meeting with him, and
15 Kulovac said, Yes, when Mladic asked Kulovac whether he had the mandate
16 and the authority to negotiate, and Kulovac answered in the affirmative,
17 was that, in fact, so?
18 A. Well, to be honest, I've tried to remember those moments, but it
19 was difficult. And whether he had any previous agreement with Avdo
20 without my knowledge, and whether he had any ideas or any thoughts in
21 that respect, I don't know, but what I can confirm is that before we left
22 off for the negotiations, Benjamin, Avdo, and I did not really talk about
23 that, as far as I can recall, much less was any agreement or any
24 arrangement agreed between us. And these people, I have to say, were
25 very prominent people in Zepa, and they were an important factor in these
1 events, and they could have an influence on the civilian population. But
2 whether I was involved in any agreements about whether we should or
3 shouldn't surrender the weapons, whether the able-bodied men should or
4 shouldn't surrender the weapons, no, it did not happen.
5 Q. Thank you. But did the VRS put, as a condition for all the other
6 negotiations, this one condition that able-bodied men should surrender
7 their weapons? Was that a logical position on the Serb side?
8 A. Well, yes, from their point of view, of course.
9 Q. Now, could we still consider an area a demilitarised area if
10 soldiers are still armed?
11 A. Well, the very term "demilitarisation" means that -- or implies
12 that no weapons should be in the area, so that name, itself, tells you
13 that the first thing that has to be done is that the weapons have to be
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir, for your testimony.
16 Thank you for your answers and for your fair conduct, and I wish you a
17 safe trip and may God bless you in all your activities. And I would like
18 to thank you and everyone else on behalf of the Defence, including the
19 interpreters, the Technical Service, and the Trial Chamber for their
20 assistance over the past eight days in carrying out these proceedings.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
22 Mr. Thayer, do you have re-examination?
23 MR. THAYER: I do, Mr. President. I thank you, and good morning
24 to you and Your Honours. Good morning to the Defence. Good morning,
1 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
2 Q. Good morning, Witness.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Before I get going, and I just want to say this in open
5 session - we don't need to go into private session - I just want to let
6 you know again that I deeply and personally regret the discomfort, the
7 insecurity, that you've expressed to the Trial Chamber. You don't need
8 to respond. I just wanted you to understand my feelings about this
9 matter, and I just feel obligated to let you know that.
10 Let me pick up, sir, with some of the documents General Tolimir
11 showed you most recently, and the first is 1D00267, the list that you had
12 in hard copy.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is D111, marked for identification, just
14 for --
15 MR. THAYER: Yes. I beg your pardon, Mr. President. That's
17 Q. Now, General Tolimir yesterday tendered this list, he said, so as
18 to reflect the fact, in his words, that there were no men of military age
19 who were killed out of those on this list. Do you remember that?
20 A. If my memory serves me well, General Tolimir, in reference to
21 this list of names, said that this was the list of people who had left
22 for Serbia. And I was asked to confirm whether these were local people
23 from Zepa, based on the names that appear on the list, and that is what I
24 answered and said. But from various reports and stories that people told
25 me, I know what the fate of those people was, and everything that I said
1 about this list was really based on hearsay, on what I heard others say.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sir, either there was a
4 misinterpretation of what I said or bad translation, but could Mr. Thayer
5 please point the portion of the transcript where that was said, because I
6 did not say that these were men of military age. I said these were men
7 of military age who had crossed the mountain and went into Serbia because
8 they didn't want to accept the proposal that they should disarm.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't see any contradiction to the question of
10 Mr. Thayer. But, Mr. Thayer, it would be really helpful if you could
11 indicate where you are quoting from.
12 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President. That's at transcript
13 page 4791 to 4792, where the accused says:
14 "Thank you, Mr. President.
15 "I just seek to tender D267 into evidence so as to reflect the
16 fact that there were no men of military age who were killed out of those
17 on the list."
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Please carry on.
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. Now, sir, do you know whether or not, with respect to the men on
22 that list, the VRS was actually able to get its hands on them?
23 A. As far as I know, they were questioned in Serbia by a VRS team,
24 or, rather, this matter was investigated.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That's another possible
1 interpretation of what the witness said.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was investigated in Serbia by
3 a VRS team.
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. And my question to you is, sir: Do you have any knowledge about
6 how these men and boys on this list that General Tolimir showed you made
7 it over to Serbia? Do you know how they got there?
8 A. According to reports that I heard, they crossed the Drina River,
9 which was on the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, in that
10 area. I don't have a lot of information about why they decided to do so.
11 I don't know if there are any documents about that, but subsequently, I
12 had occasion to talk to some of these people, and the answer was that
13 because everyone was going, they went too. And some of them actually
14 crossed over directly to the territory of Serbia and made their way
15 through the territory under the control of the BH Army.
16 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber anything that you learned
17 about the circumstances of their crossing over, their leaving Zepa and
18 crossing over to Serbia?
19 A. Well, what I know is that after the 27th of July, all men of
20 military age were in the area between the Zepa and Brlog mountains, which
21 means that they were on the mountain plateau, and it is probable that
22 they were still in communication with the General Staff of the BH Army at
23 that time. Now, what happened afterwards, I really don't know, but
24 basically they then dispersed and formed smaller groups that then moved
25 through the territory under the control of Republika Srpska, and some of
1 them crossed over into Serbia. How, or why, or where they got that idea
2 from, I really don't know. I don't have that information.
3 Q. Well, did you ever hear --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, just to clarify something, on
5 page 16, lines 13 -- sorry, lines 13, 14, 15, it is recorded:
6 "And some of them actually crossed over directly to the territory
7 of Serbia and made their way through the territory under the control of
8 the BH Army."
9 Now, we heard, at the end of page 16:
10 "I really don't know, but basically they then dispersed and
11 formed smaller groups that then moved through the territory under the
12 control of the Republika Srpska."
13 I'm not sure if there is perhaps any contradiction. Perhaps you
14 can clarify that.
15 MR. THAYER: No, you're absolutely correct, Mr. President.
16 Q. These men and boys from Zepa -- describe to the Trial Chamber
17 your understanding of the territories through which they passed and where
18 they ended up. Just one more time so we have it clear on the transcript,
20 A. Well, this is how it was: All men of military age from Zepa, and
21 there were among them probably also those, as you suggested, who were
22 young boys but who where afraid to board those buses lest they be taken
23 off them, so they joined the other men, and generally they headed in two
24 opposite directions. One group headed for Serbia, which was to the east.
25 And the Zepa enclave has a direct border with Serbia at one point across
1 the Drina River. That's on the east side of the enclave. And those are
2 the men on this list.
3 Now, the other group of men headed in the opposite direction.
4 They headed westward or to the north-west, towards Kladanj, which was
5 over or through the territory under the control of Serbs to the territory
6 under the control of the BH Army. There were also groups, such as
7 Hamdija Dedic's group that we mentioned a few moments ago, who headed
8 towards Visegrad or Rogatica and so on. But most of them -- 95 per cent
9 of them split and headed in these two directions that I mentioned.
10 Q. Now, focusing for a minute on the men and boys who crossed the
11 Drina River into Serbia, sir, can you share with the Trial Chamber
12 anything you learned about the actual experience that they had as they
13 made that crossing from Bosnia and Herzegovina, across the Drina River,
14 to Serbia?
15 A. Well, see, I only heard a few of those stories, so everything I'm
16 going to tell you is really hearsay, it's based on stories told by
17 others. But they were to the effect that it was really difficult, that
18 they were afraid, and I assume that the best descriptions would be given
19 by maybe a person who actually experienced that who could testify about
20 it. But it was a long time ago, and I really don't know too many
22 Q. Sir, the Trial Chamber --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, during my
25 cross-examination, the witness -- I did not ask the witness about the
1 structure, the composition, or anything else referring to the people from
2 the list. I only asked if they were from the Zepa enclave and whether
3 any of them were killed in the events surrounding Zepa in the period we
4 are -- he was testifying about. We did not discuss either the sex or the
5 age of these men or anything else. There was no mention made that there
6 were children or anything to that effect. And if there was any such
7 information, we need to be told about it in advance, because he can't
8 ask -- you can't ask the Trial Chamber whether there were children or
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, on the list, we can see the
11 dates of birth, and maybe on the basis of that.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think you used this list by
13 examination of this witness, and Mr. Thayer is allowed to do the same.
14 I think it is not -- we can't follow your objection.
15 Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
16 MR. THAYER: Rest assured, sir, the Trial Chamber will hear from
17 some of these men who, as you said, were fearful and swam across the
18 Drina River.
19 Q. Did you ever hear that as these men were preparing to cross and
20 as they crossed the river, that the VRS shot and shelled them as they
21 fled across the river?
22 A. I think I did hear stories to that effect. I don't know too many
23 details, but one of the stories was to that effect.
24 Q. Now, General Tolimir again, and this is at the transcript
25 page 4773, suggested that these men and boys made it to Serbia, and I
1 quote, "under the auspices of the ICRC." Now, we all know that once they
2 reached Serbia, they were registered by the ICRC, but do you have any
3 information that any of these men and boys who fled for their lives
4 across the Drina River were in any way assisted by the ICRC before they
5 did so?
6 A. I don't. My knowledge was that after they were -- after they
7 surrendered or were captured - I don't know what the best term is - by
8 the Army of Yugoslavia, they were actually held and registered at two
9 locations, Sljivovica and some field or other, and that that's where they
10 were registered by the ICRC.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 I never said that they had crossed the Drina under the auspices
14 of the ICRC. There's either a transcript error or a translation error.
15 What I did say was that later on they were registered by the ICRC. Thank
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Again, Mr. President, I provided the transcript cite
19 for the Trial Chamber, and everybody can see what the general said.
20 Q. Now, sir --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
23 Q. After these men from Zepa made it over to Serbia, in whose
24 custody did they remain in Serbia?
25 A. From what I know, and I'm probably not the best witness for that,
1 but what I generally know, from the stories that were being told, was
2 that they surrendered to the Army of Yugoslavia. And later on, at those
3 two locations that I mentioned, they were questioned by teams of the VRS
4 which arrived there. That's what I know, based on the stories of the
5 people who were there.
6 Q. And based on those accounts from people with whom you've spoken
7 and heard from, after those people were interviewed in Serbia by members
8 of the VRS, did the VRS actually ever get their hands on any of the
9 people on that list and bring them back to Bosnia or did they stay in
10 Serbia after they were questioned by the VRS?
11 A. I truly don't know that. Anything I'd say would amount to
12 speculation. I don't exclude that possibility, but I'm really not aware
13 of it.
14 Q. Okay. We'll have other witnesses to testify about that, sir.
15 Now, based on your knowledge, were all of these men and boys who
16 fled over -- across the Drina River to Serbia soldiers or were some
17 civilians as well?
18 A. I probably said something to that effect a moment ago. If I look
19 at the list, I see a person who was, for example, born in 1976, which
20 makes that person 19 years old. Other than that, I really don't know. I
21 listened to what people had to tell me a full year later. I do not
22 exclude the possibility of some civilians being with the group, and
23 perhaps there were some people who were not able-bodied men or did not
24 belong to that age category.
25 Q. Okay. You mentioned some boys who you said might have been too
1 fearful to get on the buses. Let's look at this document, this list that
2 General Tolimir showed you.
3 And if we could go to page 8, please.
4 Okay. Let's just focus on a couple of these entries. Do you see
5 it on your screen, sir?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. We can see, as we're going across this chart, that we have the
8 person's name, and then their date of birth, and what appears to be maybe
9 their place of birth. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, place of birth.
11 Q. Okay. And then there's a column that's headed
12 "Pripadnost Jedinici." What does that mean?
13 A. It should mean "Unit Membership," in other words, what military
14 organisational unit they belonged to. In other words, it indicates
15 whether a person was a member of the army or not. If they were, then the
16 unit is specified. For example, I see here "The 1st Zepa Brigade." If
17 we have a line, in the next column we are supposed to see their
18 professions. And in most cases of the people who do not have any
19 designation in the previous column, the last column states "Student."
20 Q. Okay. Let's look at entry number 3. Do you see that, sir, on
21 the far left column? These individuals are numbered, and it's number 3,
22 but it's actually -- yeah, it's number 3, it looks like a "Sadet Muhic,"
23 date of birth --
24 A. The 16th of February, 1980. That's when he was born.
25 Q. Okay. And we see, in the last column -- well, we see, in the
1 last column, it says "Ucenik," and, again, what's that?
2 A. "Ucenik" is a person attending a school. If I look at his date
3 of birth, I'd say he was then in elementary school, in the eighth grade,
4 according to Bosnian classifications. At that time, he was 15 years of
6 Q. Okay. And as you mentioned a moment ago, that explains the line
7 through the column for his military unit, indicating that, obviously, he
8 doesn't have one; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, precisely, and I explained that in detail, I believe, when I
10 addressed the way these people were being put on the list.
11 Q. Okay. And if we just look a little further down the list, we can
12 see similar lines and the designation of student at entry numbers 7, 8,
13 9, 11 and 12. Do you see that, sir, all of those entries with dates of
14 birth in 1980 or 1978? Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do. I did see it a moment ago when I commented on it. 7,
16 8, 9, 11 and 12, as well as 3 and 4.
17 Q. Now, General Tolimir suggested to you that one of the reasons why
18 all of these people on this list fled across the river was because they
19 were afraid that they may have been on some kind of criminal indictment
20 for the events that you talked about; combat or the ambush, however we
21 want to characterise it, of 4 June 1992 at the Zlovrh elevation. Do you
22 remember that question from General Tolimir?
23 A. Yes, I do, but I have a small correction to make. The clash took
24 place a bit further away from Zlovrh, at Budicin Potok, and the aim of
25 the military column that was attained was Zlovrh. Between Zlovrh,
1 itself, and the place of the clash, there are between 10 and 15
2 kilometres, in my assessment. In any case, I recall that.
3 Q. So all the people that we just talked about, these students,
4 would have been, if I'm doing my math correctly, about 12 years old at
5 that time, sir?
6 A. Yes, some even less. For example, this person was 10 years
7 old -- no, sorry, 12. Most of them who were registered as students were
8 of that age.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Given that there's no clear
11 indication when they were 12, whether in 1992 or in 1995 when these
12 activities took place, for the record, we should clarify when they were
13 12 and when they were older. We need to know how old they were at each
14 point in time and how they were categorised under the law of the
15 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as being fit for military service,
16 or being part of the work force, et cetera.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, it's a matter of simple arithmetic, and
19 General Tolimir very well knows what this list shows and what these dates
20 of birth are. He can look at the dates, just as we did, and do the math.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was compiled in 1995, as we can see at the
22 top of the -- on the 2nd of August, 1995, if I read it correctly.
23 Please carry on.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Now, at the transcript page 4789 -- again, in the same way that
1 General Tolimir showed you this list to suggest that men weren't killed
2 by the VRS after they were captured, at 4789 of yesterday's transcript he
3 asked you, and I quote:
4 "Were there any able-bodied men killed by the VRS after they
5 surrendered, with the exclusion of Avdo Palic, Amir Imamovic?"
6 And then you added Mehmed Hajric later on. Do you remember that,
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, Mr. Tolimir raised one topic, the age
10 in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- in which age is a male person fit for military
11 service. Could you please ask the witness.
12 MR. THAYER:
13 Q. Sir, did you understand the Presiding Judge's question?
14 A. I understand Mr. President's question in the following way: I
15 would need to say how old a person has to be to be considered of military
16 age under the then legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The age is 18.
17 One has to have celebrated his 18th birthday.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Please carry on.
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. Now, again, General Tolimir asked you this question yesterday at
22 transcript page 4789:
23 "Were there any able-bodied men killed by the VRS after they
24 surrendered, with the exclusion of Avdo Palic, Amir Imamovic?"
25 And then you added "Mehmed Hajric."
1 Do you remember that question? He asked it, again, in relation,
2 like he did with this list, to suggest that no men from Zepa were killed
3 by the VRS.
4 A. Yes, I recall that question.
5 MR. THAYER: Okay. May we have 65 ter 202, please.
6 Q. As you can see, what we have here is a daily combat report from
7 Lieutenant-Colonel Rajko Kusic, who you've numerous times identified as
8 the commander of the Rogatica Brigade. It's dated the 8th of August,
9 1995. And paragraph 1, he writes and reports:
10 "On 7 August 1995, in the afternoon, in the canyon of the Praca
11 River ..."
12 Just generally speaking, where is -- do you have any idea where
13 this location would be, this canyon of the Praca River? We don't need
14 GPS coordinates, but if you could just orient the Trial Chamber a little
15 bit to where the canyon of the Praca River would be.
16 A. Yes. It is to the south of Zepa, relatively close to Gorazde.
17 Q. Colonel Kusic continues:
18 "Five remaining balijas, who were, after the fall of Zepa,
19 travelling along the following route ..."
20 And he gives the route here:
21 "Luka, crossed the Drina River by boat, Kamenici Potok, Babina
22 Gora, Gradina, Kapetanovici, crossed the Drina River on the logs,
23 Crni Vrh, Kopito, above Medjedja, Ustipraca, went down to the railroad
24 tracks at Dub and tried to reach Renovica, walking on the railroad
25 tracks, were liquidated.
1 "The group was separate and it travelled for 10 days."
2 Do you see that, sir?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. "The same day, in the vicinity of Luke, an unarmed Ustasha ..."
5 Now, first of all, can you tell us, generally speaking, where
6 Luke is?
7 A. Luke is north of Zepa. Administratively speaking, it was within
8 the municipality of Srebrenica.
9 Q. It continues:
10 "... in the vicinity of Luka, an unarmed Ustasha ..."
11 Can you explain what this term "Ustasha" refers to here in
12 Colonel Kusic's report?
13 A. Originally, Ustashas were members of the Croatian forces during
14 the Second World War, allied with the fascists. During this war, it was
15 used as a derogatory term by the Serbs to denote -- to designate
16 membership in the Croatian forces and occasionally also in the Muslim
17 forces. Perhaps I should correct myself. They also sometimes referred
18 in that way to the members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I should
19 not have said "the Muslim forces."
20 Q. Okay. Well, he continues:
21 "... an unarmed Muslim," shall we say, "born in Srebrenica, 24
22 years old, was liquidated. Before he died, he said that he fell behind
23 the others and he was looking for food."
24 Do you see that, sir?
25 A. Yes, I can see it.
1 Q. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber how this report of a hungry,
2 unarmed Muslim male being liquidated by VRS forces as he travelled
3 alone -- how does that correspond or not with this state of mind that
4 you've told the Trial Chamber so many times about, this fear that you've
5 described being possessed by the people of Zepa?
6 A. This is a clear illustration of the fear. They were fearful of
7 being killed without due process, without ever being able to say
9 If I may, I'd like to add something with regards to my
10 yesterday's answers, when I answered the questions of Mr. Tolimir.
11 I think his question was a bit more narrow. I can testify to what I
13 For example, after the fall of Zepa, I think there was a witness
14 testifying to that, saying something I also am aware of, those Zepa
15 fighters who were captured by the VRS, as far as I know, according to the
16 stories, there were 12 to 14 of them who were killed, and this person
17 could be one of that group. I don't know why, but I guess that group was
18 trying to reach Gorazde. Most of them were killed immediately. There
19 was one case when a person was captured by the Visegrad Brigade. It was
20 Dedija Hamdic [as interpreted], the person General Tolimir asked me
21 about, and then there were some other cases of people from the
22 municipality of Han Pijesak.
23 So I don't want the record to reflect that no one was killed, but
24 as far as I know, as far as I could hear, there were between 12 and 14
25 people who were killed following their capture.
1 Q. Now, in the beginning of his cross-examination of you this
2 morning, sir, General Tolimir asked you about some names. He put some
3 names to you and asked you whether you knew some of these people. He
4 asked you about a Selvir -- I'm sorry, a Mustafa Hodzic. Do you remember
6 A. Yes, I remember the question. My answer was that I don't know
7 who the person was, at least not off the top of my head. If my memory
8 was refreshed, perhaps I might. I also subsequently recalled the Defence
9 exhibit entitled "State Secret," and that Samir Halilovic is the son of
10 General Halilovic. And I also recall that the title of his book was
11 "State Secret," and I needed a document to jog my memory.
12 MR. THAYER: Okay. May we go into private session for a couple
13 of questions, please, Mr. President?
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 4823-4827 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
24 MR. THAYER: I see we're at the break, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Exactly. We are now at the time for the first
2 We adjourn, and resume at 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
6 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Just to let the Trial Chamber know, I furnished the Defence the
8 information that formed the basis of my additional question concerning
9 Mr. Mustafa or Mujo Hodzic. And I don't mean to be cagey or cryptic,
10 it's just that our practice is to try to not let what one witness --
11 while one witness is here, let what another witness said possibly
12 influence their testimony. So we don't like the cross-pollination
13 potential, so we try to keep our witness's testimony based, as much as
14 possible, on their own experience. And that's the only reason why I
15 preferred to do that out of the hearing of the witness.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understand your intention. On the other hand,
17 we should be able to follow and to understand what is the basis for some
18 question. That was the reason why we asked you to provide us with this
20 MR. THAYER: Okay. And I can hand up -- if the Court wishes to
21 see the actual document, I have an additional copy, and I can hand that
22 up to the Trial Chamber just to see what I was talking about or where the
23 question emanated from.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It depends on the question how you intend to
25 proceed with this witness.
1 MR. THAYER: That water is long under the bridge. I've moved on
2 from that set of questions. And his knowledge, as you saw, about that
3 particular individual was nil, I think.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's right. Please, just move on.
5 MR. THAYER: Okay. Thank you, Mr. President.
6 At this time, the Prosecution would tender 65 ter 202.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P755.
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. And, sir, just to follow up with a final question on this general
11 topic: You referred to Mr. Palic at some point being accompanied by an
12 escort, and you indicated that that person is still alive. Do you know
13 the name of that person, and can you share it?
14 A. I know for a fact that he's still alive. But what his name is, I
15 can't really recall. I can see his face before me, but I can't recall
16 his name. I'm sorry. If you help me, give me a cue of some sort, I
17 might be able to remember it. I know who you are referring to. I know
18 that he is still alive. His last name might be Piric, but I don't really
19 want to guess. He is a young man, much younger than me. And as I said,
20 I can see him before me, but I just can't recall the name.
21 Q. And what was his position, his unit, if you know?
22 A. What unit? Well, he was someone who was an aide to
23 Colonel Palic, as it were. He was a soldier who always went with him.
24 I think he was from Avdo's village, from Krivaca, most probably, from the
25 same village where Avdo was from.
1 Q. Okay. What I want to do now, sir, is just go back to some
2 specific portions of your testimony and ask you some follow-up questions.
3 Back on the 30th of August, and this was at transcript page 4568,
4 you were testifying about the order that Colonel Palic received to
5 conduct some operations, and that members of the War Presidency disagreed
6 with that order. Do you remember those questions being asked of you,
7 both in your examination-in-chief and in cross-examination, sir?
8 A. Yes, I do remember it, but I think the date was not the 30th of
9 August. It must have been something else, because it's impossible. The
10 30th of August, Zepa had already fallen. Maybe it was misinterpreted.
11 Q. I'm sorry, I meant that the 30th of August was the date of your
12 testimony here. I was just --
13 A. Oh, I see.
14 Q. -- for the record. Let me just quote back to you this question
15 and answer, and I just want to ask a follow-up question.
16 General Tolimir asked you, and again this is at transcript
17 page 4568 on 30 August:
18 "During the examination-in-chief, you said that the
19 War Presidency was against attacks being launched from within the
21 And your answer was: "Yes."
22 You were asked:
23 "Tell us a little bit more about that."
24 And then you answered:
25 "Well, that was a reference to an order that had arrived, and
1 I think I was shown that order three and a half years ago, when I
2 testified here. I think it was a Defence exhibit. It referred to the
3 period of June 1995, and I think that the situation was that the
4 situation was worsened at the time. We received this order from the
5 War Presidency, and Avdo Palic actually did these things, although we
6 were against it."
7 Okay. Have you had a chance to have that translated to you?
8 And, first, I see you have something to say, and that may actually get to
9 my next question, so go ahead.
10 A. Yes, I do remember this, but I don't remember saying we received
11 this order from the War Presidency. Maybe it was misinterpreted. It
12 doesn't make sense. And then Avdo Palic -- in other words, this order
13 could have come - that's what I said - from some command, whether from
14 the 2nd Corps or some other part of the BH Army, so it's a bit unclear to
15 me, this portion of the transcript which begins with: "We received this
16 order from ...," and then onwards.
17 Q. Okay, because that was the question I had, was whether your
18 testimony was, in fact, that this military order came from the
19 War Presidency.
20 A. No, I don't know how that found its way here, but that order had
21 come from the BH Army Command, I think from the Command of the 2nd Corps
22 specifically, because the 28th Division was officially under their
23 command. And then, lower down, we had the 285th Brigade of that
24 division, and so this is what struck me as different, and that is why I
25 reacted. This order did not come from the War Presidency or any other
1 political body.
2 Q. Okay. Now, at transcript page 4285, and this was from the 23rd
3 of August, 2010, you testified that from spring 1993 until spring 1995,
4 and I quote:
5 "During that period, as far as I can remember, there was
6 occasional shelling, but there were no infantry attacks against the Zepa
7 enclave. I believe that the shelling in question always came in response
8 to some of the events outside of the Zepa enclave."
9 And then you added at the next page that, I quote:
10 "I meant to say that they were probably retaliating for
12 And you further recalled, I quote:
13 "I think once they targeted the center of Zepa, speaking from
14 memory, I believe it was in response of the VRS to NATO bombardment of
15 certain targets at Jahorina. I think I can tie these two things
17 And you added that it was possible this was in May of 1995.
18 Do you recall that testimony, sir?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Okay. And do you recall whether any safe areas, other than the
21 Zepa enclave, were shelled by the VRS that same day, whatever day it was
22 in May?
23 A. I can't recall, as I sit here. But it would make sense, if these
24 things were connected, that all the enclaves should be shelled. When I
25 say "all," I mean Srebrenica and Gorazde to the south. But whether it
1 actually did happen, I don't remember.
2 Q. Okay. And in a minute I'm going to get to the crux of my
3 question, which goes to a document that General Tolimir showed you, and
4 we'll look at that document in a second and you'll see why I'm trying to
5 lay this foundation for you.
6 The next document I want to show you, before going back to
7 General Tolimir's document, is 65 ter 6020, please.
8 We'll just briefly look at this cover page before we go into the
9 document, itself.
10 What we have here is it's an UNPROFOR document from the
11 Civil Affairs officer from the UNPROFOR Command, and it's dated 7 June
12 1995, concerning -- what it says here is "the Tuzla incident."
13 And if we can go to the second page, please, and this is what I
14 want to focus on.
15 It says here at the heading "Shelling of Tuzla Air Force Base and
16 Tuzla Old Town, 25 May 1995." And we do have a B/C/S translation of this
17 document which should be available in e-court. If not, I'll just
18 continue reading the relevant section.
19 It says:
20 "As a sequel to air-strikes administered by NATO at Pale Ammo
21 Dump, BSA," that's the term they used for the VRS at the time, "resorted
22 to massive retaliatory artillery shelling against Tuzla Town and Tuzla
23 Air Force Base, which is considered deliberate targeting of UN troops and
24 Tuzla Safe Area ..."
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, we have it on the screen now, the
1 B/C/S translation.
2 MR. THAYER: Right. Thank you very much, Mr. President, and it's
3 the first paragraph in both versions we're looking at.
4 Q. And it refers to a number of shells, and one of them hitting the
5 old part of Tuzla city center, a place where young people flock together.
6 And as a consequence, 66 people were massacred and 170 wounded, 31
8 Now, the reason I'm asking you about this document is: First of
9 all, do you recall this incident happening at the time?
10 A. Are you referring to Tuzla?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Well, look, that's a matter that was well known to everyone in
13 Bosnia. That happened on the 25th of May, and every year this event is
14 marked, when a shell killed 66 people, most of them young people, because
15 it was a place where young people gathered aged between 15 and 25, let's
16 say. And as far as I can recall, that happened in the afternoon/early
17 evening hours. And I think that this case was prosecuted at local --
18 before the local court in Sarajevo, and I don't know if some sentences
19 were passed to officers who are responsible for this shelling. So this
20 is a well-known incident. It can be compared to Markale and other
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 We should know whether this is what the witness recollects from
25 that period and whether the shelling was executed by the commander of the
1 Drina Corps, which was in charge of combat activities around Zepa.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, would you follow up?
3 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President.
4 Q. Sir, do you have any idea of which unit of the VRS was
5 responsible for this shelling?
6 A. What I know is that the shell arrived from the Serb positions at
7 Majevica, which is a mountain. It is to the north-east of the center of
8 Tuzla. I don't know what the actual areas of responsibility between the
9 corps of the VRS was. I don't know whether it was the Drina Corps or
10 not. What I do know and what I could read was that the shell had come
11 from a position at Majevica. I don't know what corps there was. Perhaps
12 it could be found in some documents.
13 Q. Okay. And my question is actually very simple, sir, and it is
14 this: Having your recollection refreshed about the date of this
15 incident, which you've told us everybody in Bosnia knows about, does that
16 help you place the date of the shelling that you described and that I
17 read back to you from your testimony, which you said was possibly in May
18 of 1995 and that you thought was in response to NATO bombardment of
19 certain targets at Jahorina? So, again, my question is just very simple.
20 Is there any relationship between the dates of the Tuzla shelling and the
21 shelling that you recalled and testified about occurring sometime in May?
22 Just try to see if that jogs your recollection.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you answer.
24 Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Since we are relying here on the witness's recollection, and the
2 witness is referring to proceedings before national courts, perhaps he
3 should be asked whether anyone from the firing position of Ozren was
4 sentenced for that crime and whether Majevica was in the area of
5 responsibility of the Drina Corps as well as Ozren.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir, but this is a
7 recommendation for Mr. Thayer. But at the moment, Mr. Thayer is putting
8 questions to the witness, and I think he should carry on.
9 Witness, do you recall the question of Mr. Thayer? If that is
10 the case, please provide us with an answer.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do remember it.
12 The shelling of the center of Zepa happened in late May. The
13 event in Tuzla took place on the 25th of May. Following that logic, one
14 would say that it all happened around the same date.
15 If I may, I'd like to respond briefly to Mr. Tolimir's
17 I did say "Majevica," but it was most likely from Ozren, which is
18 on the opposite side. I don't know who the person who was sentenced for
19 it was. In any case, Majevica or Ozren doesn't mean much to me. They
20 were both positions in existence at the time. It could well be that it
21 was Ozren, but Ozren is on the opposite side, so we're speaking about the
22 north-easterly and north-westerly direction. In any case, it was all
23 around the 25th of that month.
24 MR. THAYER: Okay.
25 Now, if we could take a look at D98, which is the document that
1 General Tolimir showed you and which is the reason I'm asking you all of
2 these questions to begin with. If we could have that up on e-court,
4 Q. While we're getting this enlarged in English, just to bring you
5 back a little bit: General Tolimir showed this to you at transcript
6 page 4584, and that was on the 30th of August, and we can see here again
7 it's a report by Avdo Palic and it's dated the 28th of May, 1995. And my
8 question for you emanates from General Tolimir's question to you in his
9 cross-examination. He asked you if you knew anything about why the
10 measures were taken that are described in here, and again we have here at
11 item 1:
12 "Measures have been taken to seal off the areas controlled by
13 UNPROFOR and the direction of possible withdrawal.
14 "No signs were registered of the situation deteriorating or
15 anything that would indicate a possible withdrawal of UNPROFOR, except
16 for their fear, to an extent, of a possible Chetnik attack."
17 Now, again, General Tolimir asked you whether you know anything
18 about why these measures were taken at the time. And having had your
19 recollection refreshed about the shelling of the Tuzla Air Force Base,
20 and the targeting of UNPROFOR, and, to use the words in that document,
21 the massacre of those civilians, can you enlighten the Trial Chamber any
22 further than you were able to a few days ago, having had your
23 recollection refreshed now about the dates of these events? Is there any
24 connection? If there isn't, please let us know. If there is, please let
25 us know, sir.
1 A. I think I can. I remember it as a particularly heavy shelling of
2 the center of Zepa, when the mosque was hit as well. That was in the
3 very center of Zepa. Some 10 shells landed. At that point in time, it
4 was expected that an infantry attack would ensue against the enclave.
5 Avdo seems to be referring to a document of the 26th of May, whereas this
6 one is of the 28th of May, so they were probably in communication about
7 what to do. He reported on the measures undertaken. This is what it is
8 about, I believe.
9 I remember the shelling, in any case, and I remember it was on a
10 Friday, because on that day the Muslims follow a specific religious
12 Q. And do you remember at this time, following this NATO air attack,
13 various UN peacekeepers being taken hostage and chained to various
14 potential NATO targets? Do you remember that happening at the time as
15 well, sir?
16 A. Yes, I do. I think that footage was shown on Serb TV and radio.
17 Everyone in Bosnia is familiar with that. It's a widely-known story. I
18 remember the footage very well. There seemed to have been a soldier tied
19 to a pole on top of a hill. It was a soldier from one of the countries
20 of the West, I believe. He may well have been a Dutch soldier.
21 MR. THAYER: Okay. I think we're finished with that topic, and
22 the Prosecution would tender 65 ter 6020, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P756.
25 MR. THAYER: Okay.
1 Q. Jumping around just a little bit, sir, at transcript page 4614 to
2 4615 you made some reference to wealthy inhabitants of Zepa. That term
3 can mean vastly different things, depending on where you are and the
4 time-period. Can you just tell the Trial Chamber, when you refer to
5 wealthy inhabitants of Zepa, what are we talking about?
6 A. Could I please see the transcript so that I could look into the
7 context? Even a sentence would help me. I believe General Tolimir's
8 question was about one of his documents or, rather, one of the documents
9 of the Defence, where it said that a part of the population of Zepa, some
10 well-off citizens wished to leave Zepa for some third countries. I have
11 a hazy recollection of that. But if you can't give me any further
12 context, I can try to speak from memory and explain what I meant by
13 wealthy or well-off inhabitants.
14 Well, I'd say that those who were well off were those who could
15 meet their necessities in order to survive at the time, who had some of
16 the things most of which were hard to get. People were happy to have
17 flour, oil, salt and sugar, these basic necessities which could secure
18 your survival. In Zepa, even before the war, there weren't people who
19 were particularly well off. Most of them were farmers, so we can't talk
20 about any wealth in that respect.
21 Q. Okay. Just another point for clarification. At transcript
22 page 4722, you referred to a meeting with Alija Izetbegovic, and my
23 question is simply: Did you actually have any face-to-face meetings with
24 President Izetbegovic in July of 1995, or ever, or is that a problem with
25 the transcript or some other problem?
1 A. Of course, in July 1995 -- well, it was probably recorded
2 wrongly. We had those discussions with Mr. Izetbegovic. There were no
3 meetings, of course, with him. I either misspoke or was misinterpreted.
4 In any case, we used radio communication. I did meet Mr. Izetbegovic, as
5 a member of a delegation from Zepa. There were also delegations from
6 Srebrenica and Gorazde. I think it took place in September 1993 in
7 Sarajevo. We were visiting. There were between eight and ten of us from
8 Zepa, and we had a short meeting with Mr. Izetbegovic. It was in
9 September 1993.
10 Q. Okay. No big deal, sir. I just wanted to clarify that one
11 transcript page.
12 Now, what I'd like to do for the next few minutes is ask you some
13 questions about the meeting you had on the 13th of July with
14 General Tolimir at Boksanica. There was a question from the Honourable
15 Judge Mindua about the meeting and a document that General Tolimir showed
16 you in his cross-examination, and I'm not sure if you answered the
17 question. General Tolimir, at page 4309, said that you misinterpreted
18 his words at the meeting. So what I want to do is just take a little bit
19 of time and ask you, again, some foundational questions, show you a
20 couple of documents, and then I'm going to take another crack at
21 Judge Mindua's question and see where we are. Okay?
22 And Ms. Stewart will assist us with putting up some transcript
24 First, and I don't know we need to see the actual transcript
25 right now because it was pretty recent -- well, actually, you know what?
1 Let me go back.
2 Do you recall being asked in the Popovic case to describe the 13
3 July meeting with General Tolimir, which was attended by yourself and
4 Mujo Imamovic? Do you remember being asked about that?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Do you recall what your answer was? And, again, if you want to
7 see the transcript, Ms. Stewart is certainly able to put that up for you,
8 and it's from 30 March 2007.
9 A. Yes, I remember that. When I testified then is what I can
11 At that meeting with General Tolimir, we were told that
12 Srebrenica had fallen and that it was Zepa's turn next. This could be
13 dealt with in two ways. The peaceful way, by evacuating the entire
14 population. And I followed it up by my question whereby I asked whether
15 a 35-year-old man could leave, and the answer I received from
16 General Tolimir was, Yes, of course. Next, he said that if he didn't
17 accept that possibility, there would be a military invasion on Zepa.
18 This is what I can recall from that conversation.
19 Regarding the rest of my testimony and the answer to
20 General Tolimir's question, I believe some things may have remained
22 Q. Let me just stop you there --
23 A. Very well.
24 Q. -- and ask you if you remember being asked essentially the same
25 question in 1998, during your OTP interview in January of 1998. Do you
1 recall being asked the same question, and do you recall what you told the
2 investigators then about the meeting? And, again, if you need to take a
3 look at your statement, we can certainly put that up.
4 A. I remember that. I don't need to see the statement. What I just
5 said a moment ago is what should be reflected in the statement; perhaps
6 not word for word, but the gist of it is definitely the same.
7 MR. THAYER: Okay. Well, let's just take a look at D109 very
8 quickly. It's your statement. General Tolimir showed you a lot of it
9 during your testimony. It's page 6 of the English, and it will be the
10 bottom of page 5 in the B/C/S. And we shouldn't broadcast this document,
12 Q. And we're looking at the bottom paragraph of the B/C/S, and it's
13 the top paragraph of the English. Do you see where it says:
14 "Tolimir did all the talking, he said that we could do this in
15 two ways. First, he wanted a complete evacuation of the whole
16 population. I asked Tolimir if a 35-year-old man could leave by just
17 climbing on the bus. He replied, 'Of course.' Should we refuse the
18 first way, then military action would follow."
19 Now, my question is: You go on in this statement to say that:
20 "He suggested that we should start the evacuation immediately and
21 that they would bring the buses. Tolimir stated that the evacuation
22 should take place in the same way that it had taken place in Srebrenica."
23 My question is simple, sir. We obviously see that your
24 recollection of this has remained constant. My specific question, in
25 looking at this, is: Do you recall him suggesting that the evacuation
1 should start immediately, and that they would bring the buses, and that
2 the evacuation would be handled the same way as in Srebrenica?
3 A. Well, look, I gave this statement in 1998, I believe. We were
4 much closer to the events then than we are now. From this position here,
5 I can't fall back on anything more than what I had already said that may
6 be in my memory. This is 12 years later, and I'm afraid I can't say
7 anything in addition to that.
8 Q. Understood, sir. I guess the question is, then, two questions.
9 Do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of what's here in your
10 witness statement? Do you stand by this additional portion of your
11 statement that I just read to you?
12 A. I can repeat what I said already. Back in 1998, that is what I
13 could recall. It was also further discussed when Mr. Tolimir examined
14 and some other documents were shown. 1998 was only three years after the
15 events. This is what I said then, and I stand by each and every of my
16 statements. Perhaps there may be a few corrections that could be made
17 anywhere, but I always said -- told the truth and to the best of my
18 recollection. I stand by each of my statements.
19 Q. So just to clarify, the ultimatum, as you described it in your
20 testimony, that General Tolimir gave you on the 13th of July, complete
21 evacuation of the entire population or military action, that ultimatum,
22 can you help us in terms of when, during this meeting, that ultimatum
23 came? Did it come at the beginning, for example, the middle, or the end?
24 A. I think it came at the very beginning, as far as I recall, at the
25 beginning of the meeting.
1 Q. Okay. And that brings us to the Honourable Judge Mindua's
2 question, which I think you've already touched on just recently.
3 If we could look at P491. This is this report that you referred
4 to, that General Tolimir showed you during your cross-examination. And
5 if we can go to page 2 of the English.
6 There were these five items that are described here, and I won't
7 go back through all your testimony about it, but Judge Mindua had
8 specific questions regarded to item 5, for example, which indicates the
9 requests of the Zepa representatives at this meeting to enable them to
10 stay in the territory, for the persons who choose to do so. My question,
11 again, is very simple.
12 These five items, were they discussed before or after
13 General Tolimir issued you the ultimatum?
14 A. Definitely after that, speaking from memory.
15 Q. Okay. Now, at transcript page 4689, General Tolimir suggested in
16 his question that the Muslims from Zepa interrupted the talks between the
17 13th and the 19th of July. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened
18 after you didn't show up or didn't provide the response they were looking
19 for on the 14th of July? So what happened between the evening of the
20 13th of July and 19 July?
21 A. As far as I recall, and I believe I said that a few times during
22 my testimony, on the 13th, in the evening, military attacks were launched
23 on Zepa. All contact ceased. There was no further communication with
24 the Serb side, and we organised our lines of defence. Those military
25 attacks against Zepa lasted until the 19th of July.
1 Q. And then after your meeting on the 19th of July at Boksanica with
2 General Tolimir and General Mladic, what happened, when nobody from Zepa
3 showed up to be removed on the 20th of July, until the 24th of July, when
4 you were summoned to Boksanica again?
5 A. I gave evidence on that, too. The attacks on Zepa resumed
6 between the 20th and the 24th, and I think I mentioned at some point that
7 those attacks were far heavier than they had been before.
8 Q. Now, General Tolimir also referred in his cross-examination to
9 various meetings and conversations involving an individual named
10 David Harland. Just for your information, if you don't know who he is,
11 he was an UNPROFOR member who was a Civil Affairs officer. And
12 General Tolimir showed you some documents and excerpts of things that
13 referred to various meetings with David Harland, and I want to show you a
14 couple of reports that concern the events between the 19th of July, after
15 your meeting, when you said you expected there to be talks at the airport
16 to help resolve this "all for all" exchange issue, and the 24th of July,
17 when you were brought back to Boksanica. And I want to ask you about
18 just a couple of paragraphs from these reports and see how they
19 correspond or not to what was going on on the ground.
20 The first one I want to look at, please, is 65 ter 2076.
21 We can see that this is dated 20 July 1995, and its subject is
22 "Negotiations on Zepa." It's an UNPROFOR report from David Harland.
23 What I want to do is go to page 2 of the English, please, and
24 that will be page 3 of the B/C/S, where Mr. Harland provides an
25 assessment. And I'd like you to take a moment and read this assessment,
1 and tell the Trial Chamber to what extent this assessment reflects the
2 events on the ground, as you were experiencing them, as you understood
3 them at the time.
4 A. Could you just clarify this last portion, where it says:
5 "Who is it who does not have any particular interest in --"
6 I think there's some problem with the translation. It's all
7 right now. I understand. Sarajevo does not see any particular interest.
8 Well, I would agree with the better part of this assessment by
9 this gentleman. I don't recall his name.
10 Q. Okay. Well, let's just take it a little chunk at a time.
11 Do you agree with his assessment that the Serbs do not want to
12 make a final infantry assault on Zepa, due to the nature of the terrain,
13 wherein there would inevitably be substantial casualties?
14 A. I think that that assessment was correct, and that was in
15 evidence because you could see how Serbs actually took control of Zepa
16 part by part, and then there would be a break, and then the negotiations
17 would continue. So I would agree with his assessment as regards the
18 final infantry assault on Zepa because, as far as I know and what I
19 learned from some Serb soldiers while I was imprisoned, they generally
20 were anxious about these infantry assaults on Zepa because of the terrain
21 and because of the negative experience they had with it in 1992. Other
22 than that attempt, there were some other attempts that we mentioned, and
23 some we didn't, where the Serb forces did not manage to get through and
24 they had casualties. This was the reason why their approach was as we
25 see it.
1 Q. And Mr. Harland refers to:
2 "Their approach will be bombard and negotiate."
3 Do you agree with that assessment or disagree with that
5 A. Well, I'm trying to think of what I should say now. But as I
6 analyse this, basically, that's how the entire story with Zepa actually
7 developed. There were one, two, three negotiations that I took part in,
8 and then there were attacks preceding each one of those, most of them
9 shelling, in fact. Bombing and shelling in particular.
10 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would tender 65 ter
11 2076, please.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P757.
14 MR. THAYER: Okay. To save some time, I'll skip one of these
16 May we have 65 ter 2438, please. And we'll need to go to page 25
17 of this document, please. Unfortunately, we don't have a B/C/S
18 translation, but the portion we'll be discussing is very short, so I can
19 just read that portion to the witness. And if we could go to the next
20 page, please. Okay.
21 Q. We have here another report from David Harland. This one is
22 dated the 22nd of July, and it just says that it attaches a memo on the
24 And if we could just go to the next page, please.
25 We see, again, the date of this report is 22 July. Its subject
1 is "Negotiations on Zepa, number 4."
2 And if we could go to the next page, and again we'll be focusing
3 on the assessment. And I just want to get your assessment of the
4 assessment. It's --
5 A. Could we have the translation, please? I need the translation.
6 I can't -- I don't read English.
7 Q. Again, unfortunately, we don't have a translation of this
8 paragraph, or this document, but I'll just read it into the record for
9 you and it will be translated that way. Okay?
10 It's under the heading "Assessment," and it starts out:
11 "Our proposal for the total demilitarisation of Zepa remains a
12 long shot. It is true that the Serbs are reluctant to attack the Zepa
13 pocket until they have completely worn down its population. On the other
14 hand, it is hard to imagine that they would accept any arrangement that
15 would leave Zepa in Bosnian hands. I imagine that they will continue to
16 make life in Zepa as miserable as possible for the local population
17 until, demoralised by the assault and abandoned by the international
18 community, they accept the 'evacuation' option being proposed by the
20 "Our chances of success are small, but we will continue with the
21 initiative until it is definitely rejected by the Serbs."
22 Again, can you tell the Trial Chamber how this corresponds or
23 not, in terms of its description, to what you were experiencing on the
24 ground at the time?
25 A. Well, yes, it does correspond, for the most part, to my
1 experience. The entire situation in those two years and the developments
2 toward the end were such that I can agree with this assessment.
3 MR. THAYER: In case the Trial Chamber is wondering, I'll reserve
4 tendering this document because it actually is a collection of reports
5 that came in in the last case with one 65 ter number as a collection. So
6 I don't know if that makes life difficult for Registry, but I will not be
7 tendering that until we offer the entire packet through another witness.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And taking into account the amount of pages, I
9 appreciate that.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Now, you just told us a little while ago about the continuous
12 shelling from the 13th through the 19th, and then the 20th through the
13 24th as it intensified. You told us that by the 24th of July, in your
14 words, I think, that the population was near panic. And you also talked
15 about -- early in your testimony about the vulnerable situation that the
16 civilian population found itself in as it had fled to the Zepa Mountain.
17 Now, General Tolimir referred, in a number of his questions, to
18 the VRS preferring peaceful options and wanting to avoid a fight, and
19 that's at transcript pages 4747 and 4777. I want to show you a document
20 and again ask you about a certain part of it to see how it corresponds to
21 your state of mind and the state of mind of the population in Zepa at the
23 Can we see P488, please.
24 What we have here, sir, is a report and proposal from
25 General Tolimir to the Main Staff of the VRS. It's dated 21 July 1995.
1 As you can see, it's headed "Situation in Zepa." I don't think you've
2 ever been shown this document before, but I'd ask you just to take a few
3 moments and read through it, and then I have some specific questions
4 about certain portions of it.
5 A. I've read it.
6 Q. Okay. I want to focus your attention on paragraphs 4 and 5.
7 I'm sorry, if we can go back, in the English, to paragraph 4 on
8 the prior page. Just paragraph 4, please. Thank you.
9 It says:
10 "We believe that we would be in more advantageous position for
11 direct negotiations after we inflict losses on enemy's military
12 personnel. We request means for crashing enemy's defence in the areas of
13 Brezova Ravan and Purtici."
14 If we can go to the next page, which is paragraph 5:
15 "The most propitious means of their destruction would be usage of
16 chemical weapons or aerosol grenades and bombs. Using these means would
17 accelerate the surrender of Muslims and the fall of Zepa.
18 "We will continue with combat activities using weapons for direct
19 targeting in order to penetrate into the above-mentioned axes."
20 And then, finally, General Tolimir writes:
21 "We believe that we could force Muslims to surrender sooner if we
22 would destroy groups of Muslim refugees fleeing in the direction of
23 Stublic, Radava, and Brloska Planina."
24 Now, this proposal from General Tolimir to the Main Staff to
25 destroy groups of Muslim refugees, can you tell the Trial Chamber how
1 this type of proposal, what you see here, corresponds or not corresponds
2 to the fear that you described permeating this entire period in July 1995
3 with respect, in particular, to the civilian population and its fate?
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 This document that was -- that is quoted shows that I did not ask
8 for the destruction of the civilian population, but, rather, refugees and
9 not the civilian population, and in the direction of Stublic, Radava,
10 Brloska Planina, and I would appreciate it if the questions put are in
11 keeping with this, with what is stated therein.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. Sir, can you answer my question, looking at the document?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please think about to change a little bit the
17 wording of your question. That was the request of Mr. Tolimir. In
18 particular, to the civilian population, that is his problem.
19 MR. THAYER:
20 Q. Well, sir, you can read that last paragraph in your own language.
21 Can you answer my question, whether that corresponded or had any
22 correspondence/correlation to the fear that you were telling the
23 Trial Chamber about, what is proposed here by General Tolimir in this
25 A. Of course, I've read the entire document, and this is exactly
1 reflective of the fear that I mentioned and repeatedly spoke about during
2 my evidence here, the fear that the population there had, and this, in
3 fact -- this corresponds to it.
4 MR. THAYER: Witness, I have no further questions. I thank you
5 for your endurance and your patience.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, first of all, the Chamber would like to
7 thank you for your patience, for your attendance here at the trial, and
8 for the way you were able to assist the Chamber and to provide answers
9 for all the questions put to you during exactly two weeks. We are really
10 very grateful and hope you will be able to relax after these two very
11 difficult weeks for you.
12 This concludes the questioning for you. The Chamber would like
13 to thank you again and wishes you all the best for your future. Now you
14 may return to your normal activities.
15 I think the next witness will be ready for examination. We
16 should have the second break now. It gives us the opportunity to arrange
17 everything that has to be arranged.
18 And we will adjourn now and resume a quarter before 1.00.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before the witness should be brought in, I would
23 like to mention two matters. The first one is in relation to our
24 decision about presentation of evidence, especially regarding the
25 accused's compliance with paragraph 1 of that decision, which requires
1 that within seven days of receiving the Prosecution's list of witnesses
2 it intends to call during the following calender month, the accused is to
3 provide the Chamber and the Prosecution with its estimate of the time
4 required for cross-examination for each witness.
5 The Chamber has yet to received any such list and would very much
6 appreciate the accused's compliance therewith. This was to enable the
7 other party to prepare the examination of that witness.
8 My second remark is addressed to the Prosecution.
9 We have realised that there are some exhibits proposed to use
10 with the witness which are not yet in the 65 ter exhibit list. When the
11 Prosecution seeks to use a document whose 65 ter number is greater than
12 6184 [Realtime transcript read in error "6584"] - that's the end of the
13 65 ter exhibit list - we would like to ask the Prosecution to move for an
14 addition of the document to the 65 ter exhibit list. And if that is the
15 case, we would like to ask the accused if there is any objection to that.
16 That's just a remark which should be taken into account. And I'm not
17 sure about that, but I formed the impression that some of the exhibits
18 the Prosecution wants to use with the next witness are not yet on that
20 Mr. Gajic.
21 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good afternoon.
22 As regards your first remark, I want to say the following: This
23 Defence is trying to offer as good an estimate as possible we need for
24 cross-examination, and I believe so far our estimates were quite
25 realistic. We even managed to take less time in some cases.
1 As regards the upcoming witnesses, during the day tomorrow we
2 will be sending a list which can be relied on by the OTP, the Chamber,
3 and the Registrar. Any delay in producing the list was the result of our
4 willingness to provide as best information as possible to all the
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, Mr. Gajic, we noticed that the
7 cross-examination was, with very few exceptions, always within the
8 time-limit you indicated in advance. Thank you for that.
9 Mr. Thayer, is there, related to the second question, anything to
11 MR. THAYER: Perhaps it would be better if I liaised with the
12 Court Officers instead of taking up court time. But I do have some
13 questions about the Court's instruction, but I'll just do it another way.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We agree, and the witness should be brought in,
16 Mr. Tolimir.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the Registrar
18 and the Chamber to bear in mind that I kindly requested that we work on
19 Mondays in the afternoon, or on other days, because that time is required
20 for me to consult with my legal representatives. And this month, for
21 example, we worked on Mondays three times already. That was one thing.
22 Another thing: For example, we sat yesterday evening, and today
23 we were sitting in the morning. I am brought in to my cell just before
24 the lights go out, and I don't even have time to go and get the documents
25 I needed from my working room. And the next morning, I have to leave as
1 early as quarter to 7.00. Therefore, there is no time whatever left for
2 my preparation. Please bear in mind that I need time for preparation, at
3 least half an hour a day as the minimum. Once we concluded the session
4 here, I arrived in my cell very late, and in the mornings I'm here at
5 7.30 already. If the Registrar has any influence over this, could please
6 this be borne in mind?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we understand your request, and it
8 is always a very difficult procedure to find the right way how to
9 schedule the hearings. There are so many different interests we should
10 put together to find a solution which is convenient for everybody. But
11 we will consider your request again, and thank you for this submission.
12 Sorry for that delay. Sir, welcome to the Tribunal. Good
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please read the affirmation on the card
16 which is shown to you now.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
18 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: THOMAS DIBB
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I suppose Mr. Thayer has some questions for you.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
25 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. Would you please state your name for the record?
3 A. It's Thomas Neason Dibb.
4 Q. Sir, do you recall testifying here over the course of three days
5 in October 2007?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And did you recently have an opportunity to review your testimony
8 in that case, the Popovic case?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Kindly observe a pause
11 between questions and answers. Thank you.
12 MR. THAYER: And --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
14 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Apologies, Your Honour.
15 It seems that the name of the witness was recorded incorrectly at
16 page 63, line 15 -- line 10, I'm sorry. So page 63, line 10.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Indeed, it is wrong. It
18 will be corrected.
19 Please carry on, Mr. Thayer. And now you are in the same
20 position as Mr. Tolimir at other instances quite often. Please pause
21 between question and answer.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I will.
23 Q. Sir, can you attest before this Trial Chamber that the testimony
24 which you read accurately reflects what you said in that prior trial?
25 A. Yes, it did, it accurately reflected that.
1 Q. And can you attest before this Trial Chamber that were you asked
2 the same questions today that you were asked back in October 2007, that
3 your answers would be the same?
4 A. Yes, they would.
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender P741,
6 the witness's testimony in the Popovic case, none of which is under seal.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as P741.
8 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, I'll proceed to read the
9 Rule 92 ter summary and then tender the associated exhibits afterwards.
10 The witness was born and raised in Zimbabwe, then joined the
11 British Army in 1991. He studied Serbo-Croatian at the army language
12 school, and as a lieutenant served as a liaison officer and interpreter
13 at Gornji Vakuf from November 1993 until May of 1994. In the spring of
14 1994, he and a colleague were injured by a mine that killed another
15 officer, so he returned to the UK, whereafter he served with his
16 battalion in Northern Ireland until November 1994. In January 1995, he
17 completed a refresher language course, then deployed to UNPROFOR's BiH
18 Command in Sarajevo as a captain in April 1995, serving as an interpreter
19 and liaison officer primarily to the Serb side. He left the army in
20 early 1996 to work for the Halo Trust, an international de-mining
21 organisation, and served in Mozambique, Republic of Georgia, Chechnya,
22 Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, South Lebanon, and most recently
24 On the Serb military side, his main contact was Colonel Indjic,
25 who was based in the Lukavica Barracks in Sarajevo. On the civilian
1 side, his contact was an aide to President Karadzic named Jovan Zametica.
2 Captain Emma Bliss served as a liaison officer and interpreter dealing
3 primarily with the Bosniak side.
4 On 14 July 1995, General Nicolai's deputy chief of staff,
5 Colonel Coiffet, was sent to Tuzla to report directly back to BiH Command
6 about the situation of the refugees arriving from Srebrenica. The
7 witness accompanied Coiffet to Tuzla to interpret, and spent three days
8 there and in Kladanj. The refugees were in pitiful condition, completely
9 drained physically and emotionally, and said that they did not have their
10 menfolk with them. He was struck by the fact that there were only women
11 and elderly men and young children, but no males of teenage or above.
12 A few days later, he accompanied General Nicolai to Bratunac for
13 the withdrawal of DutchBat from the enclave. Some time after that, he
14 was awoken in the night and told that he would be part of a small group
15 heading to Zepa to witness the evacuation of civilians from that enclave.
16 He was to join two Joint Commission officers (JCOs) as well as
17 Civil Affairs officers Ed Joseph and Viktor Bezruchenko to monitor the
18 evacuation to ensure that it went differently from in Srebrenica. By
19 this time, they were receiving consistent reports that a massacre or
20 atrocity of some sort had occurred. The JCOs were to use sophisticated
21 communications equipment to brief General Smith's military assistant,
22 Colonel Jim Baxter, who would, in turn, brief General Smith. The group
23 also included a French colonel named Jermaine and his interpreter, as
24 well as a Ukrainian captain, a liaison officer based in Sarajevo.
25 When the group arrived the same day at OP 2 at the top of the
1 hill in Zepa, Generals Mladic and Tolimir, whom the witness had
2 previously met in his role as liaison officer, were there. The witness's
3 group and the ICRC representatives got permission to go down into the
4 village from Mladic, who was in control of what was happening in Zepa.
5 The witness asked Mladic if he could accompany Colonel Jermaine into the
6 village, so he, Jermaine, Joseph, Bezruchenko, and the ICRC
7 representatives went down.
8 When they reached the center of Zepa, which was an open main
9 square with a fountain in it and a mosque and houses around it -- I beg
10 your pardon. They reached the center of Zepa, which was an open main
11 square with a fountain in it and a mosque and houses around it. The
12 mosque's minaret and some of the houses had signs of recent shelling on
13 them, and there were shell craters on the ground. They made their way to
14 the Ukrainian base, in front of which there were between 50 and 80
15 civilians gathered. A civilian doctor named Benjamin was occupied with
16 curing the civilians and treating some injured men. The hodja associated
17 with the Zepa mosque, a young man, clearly in no way a fighting man, was
18 assisting in putting together lists of people. The Bosnian Commander
19 Avdo Palic was also there and stated that they hoped they would be
20 treated humanely, which the witness understood to mean unlike the menfolk
21 from Srebrenica. He does not remember seeing any males from teenage up
22 to age 50.
23 As for the ICRC, though the witness has the highest regard for it
24 as an organisation, this was one of the few occasions when he was
25 frustrated with their attitude. It was obvious that the population was
1 going to get moved out of Zepa and that there was very little they could
2 do other than list everyone as they boarded the vehicles to make sure
3 everyone who got on got off, but the ICRC representative flatly refused
4 because she did not want to be involved in ethnic cleansing. It seemed
5 to the witness that that was avoiding the issue and that things were
6 going to happen, and since there was something they could do to make it
7 better, then why not do it. The ICRC had virtually no further part to
8 play in Zepa, itself, but said they were going to concentrate their
9 efforts in Kladanj and Tuzla.
10 General Tolimir gave permission to move out the injured men, some
11 of whom had participated in the fighting, who were then transported in
12 Ukrainian APCs and accompanied by Dr. Benjamin.
13 The witness then returned to OP 2 in the afternoon and saw that
14 haystacks, farm buildings and homes were being set on fire up the flanks
15 of the valley. Later that afternoon, he returned to the village with the
16 JCOs and saw that the number of people waiting to leave, consisting
17 mostly of women and young children and some old men, had increased
18 significantly. By evening, the first buses and trucks were sent down
19 into the village, and approximately 20 vehicles of people from the square
20 left in them. The vehicles had been arranged by the VRS.
21 The witness spoke to some of the civilians, who were drained and
22 wanted to leave Zepa without question. On a couple of occasions, when it
23 looked as though the last truck of the day had come but then another
24 vehicle arrived, there was a mad rush of people to get on, which was a
25 clear indication that people wanted to leave. The witness was in Grozny
1 in December 1999 and South Lebanon in 2006, and what struck him as
2 different between Zepa and those places is that in the first two, while
3 war always displaces people, the people try to leave at what they judge
4 is the last safe moment to get out. In Grozny and South Lebanon, the
5 last safe moment was before the place was actually captured. In Zepa,
6 the last safe moment to the population appeared to be the moment that the
7 fighting had actually stopped and the VRS were poised to enter the
8 village. He is also fairly sure that the population had received
9 information about what had happened to the military-aged men of
11 The war in Bosnia was a particularly brutal civil war, and what
12 happened in Zepa has to be viewed within that wider context, taking into
13 account it happened pretty much towards the end of it. On all sides,
14 there was an immense brutality, and that was well known to the civilian
15 population across the country. What sets the fear which the civilian
16 population in Zepa felt slightly apart, but probably not unusual within
17 the Bosnian context, is that it was fear of what happened once the
18 fighting stopped rather than fear of the fighting itself.
19 The next day, there were more people in the village, as quite a
20 lot more had come in overnight. There was another incident of panic when
21 some wounded were moved out in APCs and the population thought that that
22 meant that the UN was pulling out, which caused the civilians to sit in
23 the road and block the exit from Zepa. The witness tried to convince the
24 people that the UN was going to remain there, and they also called up to
25 Mladic to send down some more vehicles to show the population that the
1 APCs were not the last evacuation. After the first day when the first
2 group was taken out of the enclave, there were two full days in which
3 approximately 4.000 people were evacuated. And then on the fourth day,
4 there were approximately 400 people who left who were moved out.
5 On this last day of the transportations, the witness saw
6 General Tolimir in the village with a bottle of alcohol, slightly under
7 the influence. Tolimir agreed that another group of injured men could
8 leave, but the witness learned later that they were pulled off the
9 vehicles in Rogatica. On that same day, the hodja was with the very last
10 group of people leaving Zepa, but Tolimir identified him and said that
11 because he was of military age, he could not leave with the women and
12 children, and was taken off. The Civil Affairs officers protested to
13 Tolimir, who said that the hodja could not leave.
14 After it was clear the last civilians had been removed, the VRS
15 soldiers entered the village, itself, and began looting and setting
16 houses in the village on fire, which continued and moved outwards from
17 the village for the rest of the time he was in Zepa.
18 Rogatica Brigade officer Kusic appeared to be the senior officer
19 on the ground at that point and participated in the looting, as vehicles
20 laden with appliances, furniture and cattle were driven up the road out
21 of Zepa. The Ukrainian captain -- I beg your pardon. During this time,
22 the UNPROFOR soldiers were not permitted to leave the area of the base in
23 the village. And the witness was in Zepa from 25 July through 2 August
25 The Ukrainian captain who was part of the witness's group told
1 him that shortly after the UNPROFOR representatives left OP 2, the mosque
2 was blown up. When the witness raised this issue with Colonel Indjic,
3 Indjic gave the flippant reply that it was destroyed because it looked
4 like a missile from aerial photography.
5 Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender Exhibits P742 --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir -- Mr. Thayer, excuse me, I don't
7 think that this was a short summary. It was a very long summary, and
8 especially the part from page 68, line 16, until page 69, line 9. It
9 appears not to be reflecting the evidence of this witness in relation to
10 the events in Zepa.
11 MR. THAYER: Oh, that's -- Mr. President, that most certainly is
12 the witness's testimony. I just didn't preface it with such, but it is
13 all the witness's testimony related to the events.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Especially the formulation of page 69, line 2 to
15 9. There's no indication that this was the evidence and what the witness
16 saw on the ground. I just want to mention that. We shouldn't discuss it
17 any further, but we would appreciate to have short summaries so that we
18 know what it is about.
19 MR. THAYER: Understood, Mr. President. I can assure the Court
20 that everything in that summary is based, chapter and verse, and
21 verbatim, frankly, from the witness's testimony. There is no input, no
22 editorialising. Understood, it was too long for the Trial Chamber. But
23 just so the Trial Chamber knows, it does not include anything from the
24 OTP. It is purely his testimony.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That was not my concern, Mr. Thayer. It is only
1 the question if that is -- if it is appropriate to have that as part of
2 the summary read out in the court.
3 Please carry on.
4 MR. THAYER: Sir -- well, first let me tender the associated
5 exhibits, P742 to P754.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In relation to that, I have to correct my words
7 at page 61, line 3. It is recorded that I said the number "6584" of the
8 65 ter list. It should be "6184." But, Mr. Thayer, you are now
9 tendering some of the exhibits beyond that number. Are they really part
10 of the 65 ter exhibit list?
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, they are not on the 65 ter list.
12 They were all part of the witness's 92 ter package, which has been
13 provisionally admitted, and they are all associated exhibits. But given
14 the Trial Chamber's instruction, I'll -- it will either -- I'll liaise
15 with the Court Officers to see if it's a written motion or oral motion,
16 and in what form. But, yes, there are a number of these associated
17 exhibits that were part of the 92 ter package and which were admitted,
18 but which were not added to the 65 ter list before we filed it. So those
19 do fall into the category that the Trial Chamber noted earlier. So let
20 me --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have heard the concern of the
22 Chamber and the comments of Mr. Thayer. Do you oppose the addition of
23 these documents to the 65 ter list?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we agree with your
25 questions put to the Prosecution, and it is our opinion that we should
1 really comply with whatever ruling you make on which documents can be
2 admitted or not. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I noticed that you don't object to the addition
4 of these documents which are not yet part of the 65 ter exhibit list.
5 And if that is the case, leave is granted for the Prosecution. It's not
6 necessary to file any motion in respect of that. It is granted, and now
7 it is part of the 65 ter list.
8 And all these documents with the given numbers are received as
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Sir, just --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In addition to that, Mr. Thayer, three documents
15 don't have a translation yet. These are P748, P749 and P753. They will
16 be marked for identification, pending translation.
17 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: With those procedural matters, you should carry
19 on with your questioning.
20 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
21 Q. Just a couple of questions for you, sir.
22 In 2007, when you testified last, you were based in Afghanistan
23 with the Halo Trust. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, just briefly, what
24 are you doing now?
25 A. I left Afghanistan at the beginning of June, and I'm now
1 assisting Halo Trust with setting up a programme in Zimbabwe.
2 Q. And, again, just briefly, when you say "setting up a programme,"
3 what does that entail? What kind of a programme is it?
4 A. We're looking at starting a de-mining programme, so this is the
5 very beginning of that process. So it involves liaising with senior
6 officers in the Zimbabwe Army, the Zimbabwe government, trying to find
7 donor money, so dealing with various embassies in town, and obviously
8 getting out into the field to confirm the extent of the problem and its
9 effect on the population.
10 Q. Okay. I just want to turn to your prior testimony for a couple
11 of quick questions.
12 You testified that you made the assessment that the VRS was a
13 professional army. Can you briefly share with the Trial Chamber some
14 examples of the basis for that assessment that you made?
15 A. I think part of it has to go back to looking at what were the
16 antecedents of the VRS, and that was obviously the Yugoslav National
17 Army, which was definitely a professional army with a professional
18 officer corps. Probably, it was established largely for defence of
19 Yugoslavia rather than as an attacking force, but it was based around
20 various units in charge of a particular section of territory, with a
21 degree of local command and the ability from headquarters to detach
22 senior commanders to oversee particular incidents or battles.
23 Likewise, there was conscription in the former Yugoslavia, which
24 meant that most men of a certain age had a degree of military training,
25 and through that military training, were used to command structures,
1 discipline, weapon handling, and various other basic fundamentals of
2 military life.
3 On the break-up of Yugoslavia, and looking at Bosnia in
4 particular, I think it's fair to say that the VRS benefitted most in
5 terms of the highest number of professional officers and also the
6 greatest quantity of equipment in the form of heavy weaponry, tanks,
7 artillery, et cetera.
8 Looking at the performance on the ground, it's important to note
9 that we weren't talking about small groups of troops fighting, without
10 much unified command. Within Bosnia, we actually saw the sort of
11 deployment and employment of what we would call an all-arms battle; i.e.,
12 it wasn't just people with small arms, but a far greater degree of
13 tactical ability was required. And, thus, we saw -- combined with
14 infantry units, we saw tanks providing direct fire, artillery and mortars
15 providing indirect fire, logistics, medical backup, all sorts of various
16 other things which were well co-ordinated together, which gives us an
17 indication that it was a professional force with a clear command and
18 control, and that orders passed from the top were actually implemented
19 lower down to ensure that all these various all-arms elements functioned
20 together as an effective force, which clearly it did.
21 I guess it's also worth looking at the spread of operations from
22 across from Banja Luka, in the west, to Gorazde, in the east, and again
23 it's an indication that the command structure of the VRS was able to, you
24 know, manage itself effectively over such a wide area. So I think
25 there's little doubt that it was a professional force.
1 Q. Now, you just referred to tanks providing direct fire. You
2 testified in the Popovic trial about learning that a JCO, a Joint
3 Commission officer, had come under direct VRS tank fire during the VRS
4 attack on Srebrenica. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how you came across
5 that particular piece of information?
6 A. Within the residency in Sarajevo, i.e., the BiH Command, the JCO
7 operations room was literally just across a small sort of wooden
8 plank-way from my office, and I happened to be in the area and was in a
9 position to hear the conversation being conducted by radio between the
10 JCO team on the ground and the JCO commander, and I think the air
11 operations commander was also there in the room in Sarajevo, so I heard
12 it directly on the radio.
13 Q. And just tell the Trial Chamber, what exactly do you recall
14 hearing during this conversation? What was going on that you overheard?
15 A. This particular JCO group had been extracted from the main
16 command group of the Dutch Battalion in Srebrenica and was operating at
17 some remove from the town, itself. They had come under direct tank fire
18 onto their bunker. And at the time I caught the conversation, this was
19 going on, and they were trying to call in air support for a -- or close
20 air support to neutralise the tank that was firing on their position.
21 They were informed that there would be some delay until the aircraft
22 arrived. When the aircraft came, I think they missed on the first pass,
23 but hit the tank on the second pass, which removed the immediate threat
24 to that particular team.
25 It was also quite interesting: There was frustration in the air
1 operations command, because I think -- I could hear one side of the
2 conversation, but I understood that simultaneous to this particular
3 engagement, there was a threat to DutchBat, I think coming from
4 General Mladic, saying, If you don't call off your aircraft, I'm going to
5 attack your Dutch Battalion. And so we had one lot of people speaking to
6 their officer commanding, saying, Please stop these aircraft, and you had
7 another man on the ground saying, Bring them on, I need aircraft. And
8 they were saying, Please, can someone step in here and tell me what's
9 going on? I'm getting two conflicting messages. But once the tank had
10 been neutralised, this particular group withdrew to B Company, Dutch B
11 company, and then back to the main body.
12 Q. And do you recall hearing any particular code-name being employed
13 by the JCOs [indiscernible]?
14 A. I think the -- I think the call sign of that particular group was
15 "Windmill 3."
16 Q. Okay. Turning your attention to your time in Zepa, you testified
17 about your experience with the ICRC representative who was on the ground
18 in Zepa while you were there. Do you have any recollection of the UNHCR
19 having any presence during that time?
20 A. No, I don't. I'm confident that when we went down, the ICRC were
21 there, and the only two representatives of -- to the UN civil side was
22 Ed Joseph and Viktor Bezruchenko, both of whom, I believe, were working
23 for UN Civil Affairs, not for UNHCR. And I have no recollection of UNHCR
24 being there.
25 MR. THAYER: Thank you, sir. I have no further questions at this
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Thayer.
3 Witness, now you know the other party, the accused, has the right
4 to cross-examine you.
5 Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wish the witness a
7 pleasant stay in The Hague, and I wish to greet him, and also wish him a
8 safe trip back home or wherever he's going. And I will have a few
9 questions for him.
10 Before that, I would ask the Technical Service to pull up the
11 statement of this witness, 1D278.
12 Thank you. Could we see page 2 of this statement.
13 We have it in both English and Serbian.
14 My next question will deal with the first paragraph. You can
15 read it or consult it, and then I will follow it up with a question.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
17 Q. [Interpretation] You mentioned how, in 1991 and 1992, you
18 attended a course for officers, where you were taught Serbo-Croatian.
19 How much time did you spend in that training, being trained in
20 Serbo-Croatian, and how long did the officers course take?
21 A. The Serbo-Croat course, itself, if I recall, was three to four
22 months of full-time instruction. And the officers course, I presume
23 you're talking about the Sandhurst course, I did the last graduates'
24 course, which was seven months.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tell us, please, after the seven months, did you become a
4 professional soldier of the British Army, and were you promoted to any
5 officer rank? And if so, which?
6 A. On passing out of Sandhurst, I was at a rank of second
7 lieutenant. And immediately following the Sandhurst course, I went on to
8 additional special infantry training, which lasted for another four
9 months, I guess, and then I did some service in battalion before
10 volunteering for the language course subsequently.
11 Q. Thank you. Were you assigned the rank based on the course alone
12 or was it because of your knowledge expertise? I believe I forgot to
13 mention that in my question.
14 A. The second lieutenant rank follows automatically on completion of
15 the course at Sandhurst. There's obviously a selection to get to
16 Sandhurst in the first place, but once you pass out of that, everyone who
17 passes out is at that rank.
18 Q. Thank you. My next question is this: Before your arrival in
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina, as you refer to it in your statement, did you
20 receive any other instruction about the history of the conflict in the
21 area and the British policy vis-a-vis that region, that part of the
23 A. On the language course, there was a British Army officer who had
24 spent some time in the former Yugoslavia, so he gave us some detail on
25 the history. Obviously, at the time, we were reading newspapers avidly,
1 as we knew that was the part of the world to which we were going. Right
2 now, I don't remember receiving any specific instruction on what was
3 British policy, specifically, to it.
4 Q. Thank you. Which one did you complete first, the officers course
5 or the language course?
6 A. The officers course finished quite some time before that, and the
7 language course came up as a volunteer option open to anybody who
8 applied, essentially.
9 Q. Thank you for clarifying that, as it wasn't sufficiently
10 explained in the statement.
11 In the second paragraph, page 2 in the Serbian, the second
12 paragraph, line 1, you say:
13 "I arrived in April 1995 and was attached to the Command Staff
14 for Bosnia-Herzegovina."
15 Earlier, in the first paragraph, it is mentioned that you arrived
16 in Bosnia in 1993 and 1994. Is this correct? Is it accurately
18 A. Yes, that's correct. I served two separate tours in Bosnia.
19 Following the first language course, I deployed to Gornji Vakuf and spent
20 my entire tour based in and around Gornji Vakuf. I then went back to the
21 United Kingdom, spent some time in Northern Ireland, did a further
22 language course, and came out to Bosnia a second time. I believe I flew
23 out on the 1st of April and probably got up to Sarajevo on the 2nd or
25 Q. Thank you. In the course of examination-in-chief, you shared
1 your impressions of the armies you encountered and their level of
2 professionalism. Did you have any prior knowledge about military
3 strategy and tactics? Did you receive that training during the seven
4 months of the officers course?
5 A. Just to clarify the question, of British tactics or Yugoslav
7 Q. Thank you. The tactics of the armed forces in the area where you
8 were sent to.
9 A. I'm assuming by that you mean of Bosnia, former Yugoslavia. How
10 much of that was a formal lecture and how much of that was just done in
11 general discussion, I don't recall. What I would say is that prior --
12 particularly what I don't recall is how much of that we got prior to the
13 first deployment. Prior to my second deployment, I had also looked at
14 going out as a UN military observer, and actually begun the UN military
15 observers course, which covered that in more detail. It was while I was
16 on that course that I got the offer to work out of General Smith's
17 headquarters and, accordingly, accepted that second job. So, yes, I
18 received some instruction.
19 Q. Thank you. In your statement, you say that between November 1993
20 and May 1994, you were in Vakuf. What was your position there, what was
21 your job?
22 A. My initial deployment was purely as a colloquial language
23 speaker, and as part of that I was attached to one of the liaison
24 officers who was working at that stage particularly from Gornji Vakuf,
25 speaking to the BiH Command in Gornji Vakuf and in Bugojno. It then
1 happened that the liaison officer, himself, had a recurrence of malaria
2 and could not return to theatre, so I took over the role of liaison
3 officer, spending most of my time then between Gornji Vakuf, Bugojno,
4 once or twice to Donji Vakuf, and a couple of times towards Prozor, but I
5 rarely got beyond that particular area.
6 Q. Thank you. Given that you worked exclusively in the area where
7 there were forces of the HVO and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you
8 have any insight into the tactics and professionalism of the Army of the
10 A. At first hand, very little. I believe that there were VRS troops
11 across at Gornji Vakuf, which I mentioned. I do remember picking our way
12 across an anti-tank minefield to their position. But at first hand,
13 beyond that, no, I didn't witness them in action.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic. Mr. Gajic, I saw you on your feet.
15 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think we have an
16 error in interpretation. Mr. Tolimir said "the strategy and
17 professionalism," whereas in the transcript we have reflected "the
18 tactics and professionalism."
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. Tolimir, carry on.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. On page 2, in paragraph 2, in line 4, you say that you were a
24 liaison officer and that you had contact with Mr. Zametica, whereas in
25 the second line of the same paragraph, you say that you were also
1 supposed to liaise with Lukavica. Which of your duties prevailed, was
2 more important, the one that had to do with political representatives or
3 the Sarajevo Corps?
4 A. To a large extent, that depended on where I was tasked to go by
5 General Smith. We would have liked probably more contact with both
6 sides, but the reality was that post -- probably late May 1995, it became
7 virtually impossible to get all the way across to Pale. So from that
8 date, which coincided with the air-strikes on the ammunition depots in
9 Pale, it was pretty much impossible to get across and see Zametica face
10 to face. Therefore, the reality was I would have spent more time talking
11 to Colonel Indjic in Lukavica. But that was the way things panned out on
12 the ground. Had things been different, definitely I would have been
13 trying to speak to both parties as much as possible.
14 Q. Thank you. I ask you this because in your statement, page 2,
15 paragraph 2, line 4, you say -- regarding Mr. Zametica, you say that you
16 were in regular contact, whereas Mr. Indjic was a liaison officer in the
18 "He arranged meetings with Mladic and also took any complaints
19 that we may have had."
20 Can you tell us what had more priority, that you were in standing
21 contact with Mr. Zametica or with Mr. Indjic?
22 A. If the message that I was meant to be sending was aimed at
23 Dr. Karadzic, then the first attempt would be to do that along civilian
24 lines, and hence Mr. Zametica. If the message dealt with military
25 matters primarily, then we would try and go through -- if we couldn't get
1 directly to General Mladic or yourself, we would be likely to go through
2 Colonel Indjic. However, if one or other of those lines of communication
3 failed, we would certainly try the other one, and hence I'm quite sure
4 there would have been precedent for us trying to pass a message --
5 definitely there was precedence to try and pass the message to the
6 civilian [Realtime transcript read in error "Muslim"] side by working
7 through Colonel Indjic. And I don't remember a specific example, but it
8 wouldn't have surprised me if we tried to pass a message to the military
9 by working through Zametica.
10 Q. Thank you. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding. Did you send
11 any messages to the Muslim side?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: I'm afraid we didn't
13 understand Mr. Tolimir's question. Could it please be repeated.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters ask you to repeat
15 your question. It was not heard properly.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will repeat.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Did you send any messages to the Muslim side, through Indjic,
19 ever, or was this mistranslated? Perhaps you thought the Serb side,
20 whereas it seems to have -- whereas it seems to have been recorded as you
21 saying it was the Muslim side.
22 A. No, it should have -- what I said related to passing messages to
23 the Serb side.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think we are at the end of today's
25 hearing. We have to continue next week. It's the last hearing day of
1 this week.
2 Sir, that means you have to come back to the court next week on
3 Monday, in the afternoon, I assume. Yes, Monday, in the afternoon, 2.15.
4 You should be reminded not to contact either party about the
5 content of your testimony.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We adjourn and resume on Monday.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Monday, the 6th day of
11 September, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.