1 Monday, 6 September 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom and
7 to those who are listening to these hearings. Due to technical problems
8 again like last week, we had a later start, but I hope everybody's in
9 agreement that we should use the time and start even without proper
10 working LiveNote.
11 Witness, welcome again to the courtroom. May I remind you that
12 the affirmation to tell the truth still applies.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Tolimir has some more questions for you.
15 Mr. Tolimir, please proceed.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May the
17 Lord bless this house, and may the divine providence bring justice, not
18 according to my wishes but according to God's will. I would like to
19 greet everyone in and around the courtroom, and I would like to greet the
20 witness. Let us conclude this exercise in keeping with God's will.
21 WITNESS: THOMAS DIBB [Resumed]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Last time we left off while discussing your
24 arrival and stay with UNPROFOR. During examination-in-chief, it was said
25 that you worked in many a country. However, no clear distinction was
1 made whether you served there as a peacekeeper or in some other capacity.
2 Could you please share with us what countries you were in, and I
3 believe you addressed that in the Popovic case, and what was your
4 position there.
5 A. My posting to Sarajevo in 1995 was my last real military posting,
6 and in 1996 I joined the NGO the Halo Trust, which is a de-mining
7 charity, and since April 1996, I've been working for the Halo Trust. So
8 time that I've spent in Mozambique, the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Kosovo
9 again briefly, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Somaliland, have all been as part of
10 a de-mining programme and in no way connected to peacekeeping and not on
11 a UN contract.
12 Q. Thank you. In the Popovic case you said that you were in
13 Afghanistan, Mozambique, Chechnya, Kosovo, Cambodia, South Lebanon,
14 et cetera. Am I correct or have I misinterpreted something?
15 A. No, you're absolutely correct. South Lebanon I was actually
16 detached briefly from Halo, and I was with ICJ, who were looking at
17 abuses of international law and they wanted somebody who had some
18 understanding of weapons and weapon systems. So I accompanied them in
19 that role.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you explain in more detail in what capacity you
21 worked for the ICJ. What was your position? Who were you employed by,
22 and anything else you might share with us.
23 A. Sure. I was literally just attached to them. So I had no
24 contract with ICJ. I wasn't paid by ICJ. They wanted somebody who could
25 offer opinions on certain things, recognise ammunition and the like. My
1 boss in Halo saw it as a useful opportunity for me to go to South
2 Lebanon, and while I was there have a look at the cluster ammunition and
3 mines problem at the same time. So I did two trips; one lasted three
4 weeks, and the other maybe four weeks.
5 Q. Thank you. Did the ICJ perhaps require an expert with your or
6 similar background, and did they request Halo to provide one; or did you
7 get in touch with the ICJ by some other means or through some other
8 channels, because I don't believe you acted in an expert capacity on that
9 occasion? What was exactly your role?
10 A. Yeah. ICJ contacted Halo first, so that's -- that's where the --
11 the invitation came from. They were looking for someone particularly
12 who -- who had experience of bombing and the like, use of -- use of
13 airpower, and I didn't fit that role particularly, so again I was more
14 useful to them and after many years with Halo Trust where a lot of time
15 is dealing with unexploded ammunition, so seeing bits and pieces on the
16 ground and commenting on that. In reality, it was a fairly small role.
17 What I did get to do was sit in during pretty much all the other
18 interviews that ICJ conducted with people who had been displaced by the
20 Q. Thank you. Were you appointed by a state or a party in a
21 proceedings before that court, or were you appointed by the court itself?
22 A. It's ICJ -- we may be talking about different things. It wasn't
23 a -- not a court. I'm just trying to remember what it actually stood for
24 now. To be honest, it's escaped my mind what it does stand for, but it
25 wasn't the -- not the Court of Justice. It was a -- again, it's a
1 nongovernmental body that -- slightly similar to Amnesty International.
2 So they work with Amnesty, but aren't Amnesty, looking at abuses of
3 international humanitarian law.
4 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to greet
5 everyone in the courtroom.
6 For the transcript, I would just like to ask the interpreters not
7 to translate ICJ as the International Court of Justice, which they have
8 mistakenly have been doing, hence Mr. Tolimir's question.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you clarify where you find it?
10 Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Maybe I can help
12 move things along a little bit. It may be that the ICJ to which the
13 witness is referring is the International Commission of Jurists. I just
14 throw that out there and see if that helps.
15 THE WITNESS: That is correct.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understand, and I think the witness said it is
17 not the International Court of Justice. Therefore the transcript is, in
18 my understanding, quite clear.
19 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
21 apologise to the witness and everyone else, because he cleared it up only
22 of after a number of questions, whereas before that we received
23 interpretation to the effect that it was the International Court of
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Since you worked for number of NGOs, such as the de-mining trust
2 as well as the International Commission of Jurists, did you work for any
3 other NGO in the countries you visited?
4 A. No. As I -- as I said before, my entire time from 1996 has been
5 with Halo Trust, and even while I was attached to the -- to ICJ, that was
6 still being paid for by Halo Trust, and it was a very brief attachment.
7 The rest of my time I've had one single employer.
8 Q. Thank you. Halo Trust as an NGO, was it registered in the
9 countries you visited, or is it registered in the UK, the United States,
10 or any other country for that matter?
11 A. It's registered in both Britain and the United States, and then
12 in every country that we go to, it's one of the very first steps we have
13 to do is to get registration done with the national government or
14 whichever happens to be the line ministry that deals with either NGOs in
15 general or with de-mining in particular.
16 Q. Thank you. Afghanistan, Mozambique, Chechnya, Kosovo, Sri Lanka,
17 Lebanon, were the conflicts in all these countries which you visited --
18 did these conflicts ensue before you visited Bosnia or following your
19 trip to Bosnia, and to what extent have you been successful in actually
20 carrying out de-mining in those countries?
21 A. In a country like Afghanistan, the conflict has obviously started
22 before our time in Bosnia and continues until today, and it does vary
23 from country to country. In Chechnya, for instance, I was there between
24 1997 and the very end of 1999. So I missed the first war but was there
25 for the start of the second.
1 De-mining's a slow progress -- is a slow process. I think in
2 terms of -- of progress itself, our biggest success is probably
3 Northern Mozambique where we've, to all intents and purposes, finished.
4 In other countries, some other countries the end is in sight, and in
5 places like Afghanistan, Cambodia, Angola, there's still a long way to
7 Q. Thank you. What was the structure of the UN peacekeeping forces
8 in these countries? Was it similar to the structure UNPROFOR had in
9 Bosnia in terms of its position vis-a-vis the parties included in such
11 A. No, very different, and in some places absolutely no UN presence
12 at all. So in the Caucasus, for instance, no UN presence. In
13 Afghanistan, the first time I went in 1998, again the UN were largely
14 based out of Pakistan at that stage and weren't playing any military
15 peacekeeping role. The international role, the UN role in Afghanistan
16 now isn't military. That's under a completely different chain of
18 Q. Thank you. In the countries we enumerated, were you there whilst
19 the conflicts were still in progress or only after they ceased? I
20 believe that was the gist of my previous question.
21 A. My apologies for a rather lengthy, incorrect answer. Chechnya, I
22 was there definitely as the second war started and witnessed a fair bit
23 of that. Afghanistan, the conflict has been ongoing. I've based there
24 for most of the last three years with, in the parts of the country where
25 we were, relatively low-intensity conflict going on around us.
1 Sri Lanka, when I was there the conflict was at some remove, maybe
2 50 kilometres from where we were based. And in the other countries, the
3 conflict tended to be finished when we were there.
4 Q. Thank you. We will now move on to your statement, which we used
5 last time.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have in e-court
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. It is your statement of the 20th -- 28th December 1996, given to
10 representatives of this Tribunal. We can see it in English now. Thank
12 In the Popovic case you said that -- it is page 16266, lines 10
13 to 12, you said that you were based at Bosnia command headquarters where
14 you worked for General Smith as a liaison officer. I quote:
15 "My principal role was to liaise with the Serb side."
16 Is this correct, and please explain in more detail how you went
17 about that.
18 A. Yes, it is correct, and I took over from Milos Stankovic, or
19 Mike Stanley, who had a close working relationship, I would say, with the
20 Serb side. It involved talking to -- talking to specific individuals,
21 and a lot of it involved carrying messages or preparing ground for people
22 higher up the chain of command in HQ UNPROFOR. So very often what we
23 were doing was trying to set up a meeting for either General Smith or on
24 occasion we were used to set up meetings for the UN Civil Affairs side as
25 the fact that we had physical connections on the ground with individuals
1 meant that we were better placed to do that than people in the civil
2 affairs side.
3 The role for me became quite difficult following the -- the
4 air-strikes in late May, I believe it was, and from that period onwards
5 communication, particularly as far as Pale, became considerably more
6 difficult than before that.
7 Q. Thank you. Was your role only to liaise with the Serb side, or
8 did you establish contact with the other parties to the conflict?
9 A. Fairly shortly after I arrived, a second liaison officer was
10 brought in, Captain Emma Bliss, and her primary role was dealing with the
11 other side. I did accompany General Smith. I can remember one occasion
12 when I accompanied him to see Minister Muratovic. We saw Prime Minister
13 Izetbegovic once, and I do remember going across to Tuzla with
14 Colonel Coiffet, again talking to representatives of the Bosnian side in
15 Tuzla. But primarily General Smith tried to keep us separated, so Emma
16 dealt with one side and I dealt with the other.
17 Q. Thank you. What was your position or role in those contacts
18 between Mr. Smith and Muratovic and Izetbegovic? Did you act as
19 interpreter or liaison officer? What was precisely your role?
20 A. More liaison officer. My language simply wasn't good enough to
21 deal with proper interpretation at a meeting of that level.
22 Q. Thank you. The contacts you had with General Smith and
23 Mr. Muratovic and Izetbegovic, did they have to do with the events in
24 Zepa and Srebrenica in July 1995?
25 A. I'm trying to remember exactly when and which ones I participated
1 in. I -- I know that between Srebrenica and Zepa, so around 17th,
2 19th of July, Muratovic was in touch with General Smith's office trying
3 to establish some way of evacuating the civilian population, making sure
4 they left safely.
5 Q. Thank you. Was the same topic discussed in conversations with
6 President Izetbegovic?
7 A. To be honest, I don't remember what we discussed, but I'm fairly
8 sure that the chronology was such that Zepa-Srebrenica was not discussed
9 at the meeting that I attended with Izetbegovic.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have D60 in
12 e-court. It is a letter by Alija Izetbegovic, dated the 18th of July,
13 1995, sent to General Delic. It mentions a meeting with General Smith.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Perhaps we can use this to jog your memory, and then I would like
16 to ask you whether this was actually on the agenda. It is a short
17 letter. In item 1 it says:
18 "I have just been talking to General Smith. Perhaps I could have
19 women, children and the elderly from Zepa evacuated by UNPROFOR. Would
20 you accept this?"
21 It was Izetbegovic addressing General Delic. In item 2:
22 "Perhaps in this case we could insert a brigade ... of soldiers
23 to Zepa, across the forest path and thus continue the combat ... these
24 men from Zepa say that they could find between 500 and
25 1.000 volunteers ...
1 "3. Groups should also be inserted into Gorazde ...
2 "4. An evacuation plan for the population of Zepa has been made
3 here in case items 1 and 2 above fail. I am sending it to you. I am
4 waiting for your answers ..."
5 It seems that Alija Izetbegovic is referring to a meeting with
6 General Smith whereby he discussed the evacuation of women, children and
7 the elderly on the 17th, as you mentioned yourself. Do you recall such a
9 A. No. As I said, I'm -- I'm confident that the meeting which I
10 attended with Izetbegovic was -- was not during this particular period.
11 So this is perhaps one that somebody else attended with General Smith.
12 Q. Thank you. I believe you mentioned the 17th or the 18th. That
13 is why I showed you the letter of the 18th. I thought that might be the
14 same case, the same issue at hand.
15 A. Yes. I remember those -- those dates that we were in discussion
16 with -- with Muratovic, but as I said, the meeting that we had with --
17 with Izetbegovic, the one that I attended I'm completely confident didn't
18 deal with these issues and would have been at a different period.
19 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to remind you. And now I'm going to
20 ask you this: Your job as a liaison officer, did it also include
21 gathering information about problems which you evidenced as a liaison
22 officer during contacts that you attended in your capacity as liaison
23 officer for General Smith? Thank you.
24 A. If you mean was part of the job to be told problems with the
25 people we liaised with and pass those back to General Smith's
1 headquarters, yes, definitely.
2 Q. Thank you. Before you went to Zepa, did you compile information
3 about the situation in Zepa? Did you have contacts there between
4 General Smith and General Mladic, and did you brief him about the
5 situation in Zepa? Thank you.
6 A. Our trip to Zepa came at, certainly for me, very short notice,
7 and I think I referred to it in the notes before. I literally got woken
8 up at half past midnight and was told we were leaving at 4.30 that
9 morning. So as far as preparation for that trip itself, there was
10 virtually none. However, as we've mentioned previously, there was a
11 build-up of information coming. I remember it being from
12 Minister Muratovic rather than from Izetbegovic, discussing what -- what
13 to do with the civilian population, but I certainly wasn't in my role
14 driving that process. I was not tasked to collect information on what
15 was happening with Zepa, build up a document and brief the general on
17 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell me -- actually, tell the
18 Trial Chamber, not me, what did Muratovic ask of General Smith, as you
19 were present at that meeting and General Smith did go to Zepa. Thank
21 A. As I recall, he actually wanted to meet, himself, with
22 General Smith, and that was -- the debate then ensued as to where the
23 meeting would take place. I think General Mladic suggested it happened
24 on territory controlled by VRS, and I think Minister Muratovic said he
25 would only accept something in neutral ground, for instance, the airport,
1 which was rejected. We went with General Smith, and, I think, yes, the
2 idea was then that General Smith would talk with Mladic to see what
3 message he could get for -- on behalf of Muratovic. We got as far as
4 Lukavica barracks and General Mladic then passed a message to say he
5 personally could not come but we dealt through Colonel Indic. And the
6 message that we got, I believe, was that the only conditions that
7 General Mladic would consider was unconditional surrender.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you remember any other requests that Muratovic
9 asked of UNPROFOR in relation to Zepa as you attended those meetings?
10 Thank you.
11 A. Right now I don't, no. I'm aware that Muratovic continued to
12 deal with General Smith whilst I was on the ground in Zepa, but I wasn't
13 party to any of those subsequent discussions.
14 Q. Thank you. So it would be easier for you to remember what I'm
15 going to ask you about, we're going to go by dates.
16 On page 2 of your statement, if you can turn to page 2, please,
17 paragraph 3, which has two lines only.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is 1D278. Can we please show
19 that so that the witness could see it. Page 2, please. Thank you. We
20 can see it in English. We can also see it in the Serbian. Page 2,
21 paragraph 3, please, on page 2, lines 1 and 2. Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
23 Q. We're looking at that paragraph 3, it's short, and it says:
24 "One of the tasks I carried out was when I attended the
25 evacuation of DutchBat with Brigadier General Nicolai on the
1 19th of July, 1995. I met and had a good talk to General Mladic that
3 My question is: What was the task you and General Nicolai had in
4 Srebrenica on the 19th, as you said, and at that time, did you sign any
5 kind of agreement with General Mladic or any kind of document? Thank
7 A. That was the day when the Dutch troops were leaving Srebrenica,
8 and as General Nicolai was himself a Dutch officer, he was going down in
9 person to witness that event. And again I was notified at short notice
10 to accompany General Nicolai for basic interpreting and smoothing the
11 route, getting through check-points on the way.
12 I don't remember us signing anything. I remember we met Mladic
13 on the road. He was briefing people. We then went down to Bratunac, had
14 a brief meal in Bratunac and then saw the troops leaving and walked
15 through Srebrenica briefly.
16 That's my recollections of that particular day.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Microphone, please, Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you,
20 Mr. President. I apologise.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And on the 19th of July, 1995, was an evacuation of the DutchBat
23 carried out from Srebrenica, and was it conducted pursuant to some kind
24 of agreement between the Army of Republika Srpska and the
25 Dutch Battalion?
1 A. Yes, it was. I think there had been quite a bit of backwardsing
2 and forwardsing amongst the more senior staff. I think -- I may be wrong
3 is this, but I think at that period General Smith himself might have gone
4 across to Belgrade as part of the discussions as to how this was going to
5 proceed, how the evacuation would take place. So definitely it wasn't an
6 ad hoc event. It had been talked about and planned.
7 Q. Thank you. And can you please tell us how this ended, and how
8 did you in the UNPROFOR evaluate that activity of moving the DutchBat out
9 of Srebrenica? Thank you.
10 A. From a purely logistical point of view, it appeared to run fairly
11 smoothly. The troops were ready, permissions were granted, and I
12 remember them driving off across the bridge without any particular
14 Q. Thank you. Now we're going to move to a different event that
15 happened immediately afterwards, and you said:
16 "After the fall of Srebrenica in July, I was sent to Tuzla."
17 This is the fourth paragraph, immediately after the third one on
18 this page 2. You can see it. You can read it yourself. I will be
19 putting questions to you from this paragraph.
20 You said that there was great disorder in UNPROFOR in Tuzla and
21 that Colonel Coiffet was trying to sort the situation out and that,
22 amongst other things, you also spoke to some refugees. And then in the
23 last sentence you say:
24 "... there were only a few men who with a few old men had -- a
25 few women who with a few old men had made it out to Tuzla from
2 Can you tell us a little bit more about this disorder in UNPROFOR
3 and what exactly was the nature of these problems that you were supposed
4 to resolve? Thank you.
5 A. I think you'll find that it'd be a classic, certainly from my
6 view, conflict on military organisation versus civilian organisation, and
7 we were slightly taken aback on arriving in Tuzla to find that there
8 wasn't a 24-hour manned Operations Room to deal with this particular
9 crisis, which in a military situation, of course, there would have been.
10 So that was -- that was set up.
11 I think the scale of everything had slightly caught people off
12 guard, not quite expecting such a rush, not prepared for it in
13 Srebrenica. So again, it was to get people who could try and direct
14 that, try and organise it slightly better, and also pass a message back
15 to General Smith's headquarters to let him know -- people he knew could
16 pass a message back and say this is what we're seeing on the ground.
17 My recollection of the people is as per my statement.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question for the witness.
19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I have a question for the witness,
21 Witness, on page 14 of the transcript, when Defence asked you how
22 do you assess the departure of the DutchBat from Srebrenica, you answered
23 that from a logistical, strictly logistical point of view, the operations
24 went well, and Defence did not proceed that line of questioning and ask
25 you whether there were any other points of view for you to assess that
1 operation. So you have told us about the strictly logistical point of
2 view, but which other points of view or point of views could you assess
3 it on and did you not specify?
4 THE WITNESS: There was certainly a political point of view, and
5 perhaps a military point of view, and it was a very depressing event
6 essentially seeing UNPROFOR troops leaving Srebrenica. So, yes, they
7 left without difficulty, but -- I don't know what -- what other angle
8 you're looking on that when they left, which is a disappointment which I
9 can say from a personal feeling.
10 Does that answer your question sufficiently, or are you looking
11 for something else particular?
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Well, I would like you to go a
13 little more in-depth. Certainly when you're talking about logistical
14 point of views, you're setting it separate from other points of views.
15 Now, you've referred to some. You're talking about your personal point
16 of view and you speak of disappointment, but what other angles were
17 there? That's what I'd like to know.
18 THE WITNESS: By that particular date the civilian population of
19 Srebrenica had largely left, so what we were witnessing was very much the
20 aftermath of it. So those were the last UNPROFOR troops leaving town.
21 There, outside the Dutch Battalion building, I remember seeing a great
22 deal of debris on the ground that had been left behind by the civilian
23 population of Srebrenica before they left the -- left the enclave. So
24 there was that, but I didn't see any of the civilian population actually
1 From a political point of view, as I've said, there were
2 higher-level meetings conducted prior to this date. I personally didn't
3 attend those higher-level meetings, but my understanding is that details
4 were agreed as to how this evacuation would take place, and as far as I
5 could tell, the evacuation or withdrawal of the Dutch troops took place
6 in accordance with that agreement. There didn't seem to be any conflict
7 at all between General Nicolai or General Mladic as to the logistics, for
8 want of another word, how it was conducted.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you very much.
10 I understand.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Could you please tell us if there were any problems with the
15 civilian population that left Zepa to go to Tuzla, as you said earlier in
16 this paragraph, and what were these problems?
17 A. Sorry, just to clarify, that left Zepa or left Srebrenica?
18 Q. Thank you. I apologise. I said Zepa, but I should have said
19 Srebrenica, because this was after the fall of Srebrenica. So those who
20 left Srebrenica. Thank you. And did this include members of the UNHCR
21 and members of other civilian organisations, as well as yourself?
22 A. With regards to problems concerning the civilian population, it
23 was -- as we would expect, they were fairly traumatised, I would have
24 said, completely exhausted, having left their homes no doubt in some
25 degree of peril, been transported to Srebrenica -- sorry, to Kladanj and
1 then on to Tuzla. They had with them only what they could carry. They
2 were concerned about the male members of their families who were not with
3 them. And at that stage, UNHCR, the UN in general, had not yet come
4 forward with sufficient assets in terms of food, shelter, whatever, for
5 these people. That all took some time to gear up.
6 With regards to who was involved, UNHCR would have been the --
7 the lead agency, but also working with the Bosnian government. ICRC were
8 involved, as were, I believe, a number of other non-governmental
9 organisations, though I couldn't give you any specific names of who was
10 there at the time.
11 Q. Thank you. Since you were monitoring the problem and your sector
12 in Tuzla was doing so, did your command and General Smith receive a
13 report about how many refugees left Srebrenica and how many of them were
14 registered once they arrived in Tuzla by those who were doing the
15 registering? Thank you.
16 A. To be honest, I'm not sure.
17 Q. Thank you. And did the UNPROFOR have any kind of figure that
18 they got from the UNHCR and other civilian organs or the international
19 organisations that were registering these refugees? Thank you.
20 A. In the Popovic case we were shown a document from
21 UN Civil Affairs which talked about numbers, number of people who had
22 perhaps been killed leaving. So I'm aware that that sort of document was
23 going backwards and forwards between Tuzla and Sarajevo, but again the
24 specifics of who saw what, I'm not in a position to tell you or tell the
1 Q. Thank you. I wasn't asking you about men but women, the elderly,
2 and children once they were transported out. So how many of those women,
3 the elderly, and children that were transported reached Tuzla? Thank
5 A. Yeah. I'm simply -- I'm simply not sure.
6 Q. Thank you. All right. We will ask those who did that together
7 with you, those who were in charge of that particular matter. I want to
8 ask you this: You said on the last line that only a few women with a few
9 old men had made it out to Tuzla from Srebrenica. Did they reach Tuzla
10 on their own or were they transported from Srebrenica? Thank you.
11 A. My understanding is that they were transported from Srebrenica as
12 far as Kladanj and then from Kladanj separately on to Tuzla.
13 Q. Thank you. Would you please tell us when you were in Srebrenica,
14 when you were in Tuzla, and later when you were in Zepa, what capacity
15 were you there in since General Smith at the time was away. He was
16 absent from Tuzla and absent from Bosnia. Thank you.
17 A. We quite often use the expression as being somebody's eyes and
18 ears on the ground, so part of it would have been that. Eyes and ears
19 for headquarters to see what was happening and make sure a fairly
20 accurate, as far as possible, and timely report was sent back to the
21 headquarters that could be forwarded to General Smith while he was away
22 if that was deemed necessary. And again, that wasn't my call as to what
23 was forwarded to General Smith whilst on leave. And indeed, even from
24 Zepa we were reporting on the JCO net which then got passed on to
25 Colonel Baxter, and he would then decide what was passed on to
1 General Smith.
2 Q. Thank you. And since you said earlier that you were the eyes and
3 the ears, does that mean that someone else was also doing that job for
4 your command, and were you compiling information there in some other way
5 except the audio and visual way? So information in another way from what
6 you were able to see and hear. Thank you.
7 A. Are you asking the question of me specifically, or was
8 HQ UNPROFOR collecting additional sources of information? Me,
9 personally, I was recording what I saw, talking to people, what they
10 reported back to me. At HQ level, obviously there was more than just me.
11 There were the JCOs. There were reports coming from the civilian side.
12 That would all have been compiled in the operations cell or somewhere
13 within the HQ.
14 Q. Thank you. I meant you, since you had said you were the eyes and
15 the ears, and I thought that was your JCO team that was in that capacity
16 doing that, and you can tell me if I'm correct or not?
17 A. Yes, that was, again, their primary role, but Coiffet and I went
18 looking at it. We may have talked to different people or may have seen a
19 slightly different aspect of it, but again, what we were doing was
20 reporting back what we saw and heard. So possibly an overlap of roles,
21 but nothing particular different.
22 Q. Thank you. These JCO teams, were they in Srebrenica, in Zepa?
23 And as far as I know, these were special units of the British Army or
24 not. Thank you.
25 A. Yes. They were in -- JCOs were made up of SAS troops, and they
1 were weren't necessarily permanently based in one place. So to the best
2 of my knowledge, in Zepa the JCOs deployed at the same time as I did, and
3 we went out together. I am aware that there were teams in Srebrenica at
4 the time of -- of the evacuation, at the time of the fighting around
5 DutchBat, but personally, I had nothing to do with the deployment of
6 them, and I wouldn't necessarily have known all the deployments of them.
7 That was, again, somebody else's command chain.
8 Q. Thank you. And now that you are mentioning another chain of
9 command, are they subordinated to the British Armed Forces and officers,
10 or are they subordinated to UNPROFOR? Thank you.
11 A. Yeah, ultimately they would have been reporting to HQ UNPROFOR.
12 Q. And were they personally under the command of General Smith or
13 were they subordinated to superiors within UNPROFOR who were in charge
14 that area or region? Thank you.
15 A. My recollection is that it would have been -- all troops in
16 Bosnia would have been directed by General Smith, and you know,
17 ultimately he was responsible to General Janvier in Zagreb, but day to
18 day, they would have been under Smith's command. Though to clarify for
19 anybody else, Smith wasn't spending his time directing where the JCOs
20 went. That would have been part of a much bigger strategy.
21 Q. Thank you. And can you please tell us, the Trial Chamber, who
22 and on what grounds had command of these JSO [as interpreted] teams,
23 because General Smith told them where to go.
24 A. Yeah, to be honest, I'm not sure what degree General Smith would
25 have told them where to go, where not to go. They were under command of
1 an SAS company commander who will have done most of the planning for it.
2 No doubt plans would have been approved by General Smith, but their
3 offices were located within the headquarters rather than within any
4 particular battalion or national headquarters. So, yes, there was
5 definitely a close -- a close link to the commander of UNPROFOR in
7 Q. Thank you. Since you used the acronym SAS, could you please
8 explain to the Chamber what it stands for and whether they also made part
9 of UNPROFOR and under whose command were they? Were they commanded by
10 any UNPROFOR commander in the field, or did they have a separate
11 commander up in the headquarters, in the command?
12 A. SAS stands for Special Air Services -- Special Air Service, and
13 they are British special forces.
14 As far as command chain in-country goes, I'm vague in my memory
15 of who was running what as far as they were concerned personally. I was
16 nothing to do with them apart from the fact that we worked out of the
17 same headquarters.
18 General Smith was commander of all troops within -- within
19 Bosnia, and therefore they would have ultimately come under his command.
20 Generally if those troops were deployed into somebody else's area, so if,
21 for instance, they were deployed to ground controlled by the
22 Dutch Battalion, it would seem extremely likely that the Dutch Battalion
23 commander had been informed that a group of these troops would be
24 operating in his area, and there would have to be a degree of liaison
25 concerning who covered what specific responsibilities whilst in that
2 But -- sorry, but to take that forward slightly more, my only
3 experience of actually spending time on the ground with them was in Zepa,
4 so I'm not particularly familiar with how that command relationship
5 operated between them and, for instance, the Dutch Battalion commander.
6 Q. Thank you. There was no DutchBat in Zepa, but let's take
7 Srebrenica, for example. Did the Special Air Forces have as one of their
8 tasks to locate targets for their air force?
9 A. Possibly, yeah.
10 Q. Thank you. Given that DutchBat had no aviation, then they
11 probably would not have been in charge of those special forces. To the
12 extent of the knowledge you have and based on your experience, could you
13 tell us who they might have been commanded by in such a situation?
14 A. Yeah. What I do remember is that the UNPROFOR was able to call
15 upon close air support, which was provided by NATO planes rather than by
16 UN planes. It was a fairly strange chain of command which must have been
17 particularly frustrating for senior military officers to work with, sort
18 of a UN and NATO chain splitting that link. However, I'm clear that the
19 right or ability to use airpower, close air support, in times of crisis
20 was available to all UN troops, and I believe it was one of
21 General Smith's concerns that some units who weren't as familiar with
22 working within the NATO chain of command may have been at a slight
23 disadvantage to that effect.
24 So the SAS troops work as JCOs, as far as I'm aware, and again I
25 was listening in on the radio net. We're talking through to air
1 operations commander, but that was in a UN headquarters building.
2 So ultimately at the end of your question, I still believe they
3 would have ultimately been commanded by General Smith in Bosnia.
4 Q. Thank you. Given that there seems to be a dual chain of command,
5 there was one chain under NATO and the air forces on the one hand, and on
6 the other, General Smith and UNPROFOR. How was this duality resolved in
7 practice, if you know?
8 A. Yeah. I know only, you know, the rough theory of it, not the
9 full intricacies, but it was -- and they called it the dual key. So
10 there would be a UN -- figuratively a UN key to turn to say, "We want
11 close air support," and simultaneously somebody in the NATO command would
12 have to authorise that. Now, I can't remember the ins and outs as to
13 whether it was ultimately Janvier or whether it was Smith who turned that
14 key. I believe later on around sort of September, Janvier was on leave,
15 and at that stage General Smith definitely turned the key for the UN.
16 But obviously the process did involve a degree of close liaison between
17 NATO and the UN to ensure that these things could be effected properly.
18 Q. Thank you. To be fair to you, I just want to share with you that
19 before you we heard testimony about -- from some people who were in
20 command, who told us that General Janvier was against the use of aviation
21 in Srebrenica, whereas some others were in favour of that. One would
22 conclude that Janvier was present at the time of events in Srebrenica.
23 Do you recall that being the case, or have you perhaps confused
24 some things in your memory?
25 A. Yeah. I think I said when Janvier was on leave was slightly
1 later on, around sort of September time rather than Srebrenica time.
2 Q. Thank you. Was he competent to make decisions on the use of
3 aviation during the events in Srebrenica in July rather than September?
4 A. I would say yes.
5 Q. Thank you. To be completely fair to you, I wanted to ask you
6 this: Do you know whether there was a plan to use a greater number of
7 planes in the case of Srebrenica than the one that was actually used, and
8 if so, why was it not implemented?
9 A. My -- my knowledge of these events of the use of air upon
10 Srebrenica are fairly limited, and on Friday we discussed briefly what
11 I'd heard on the -- on the JCO net, where one of their call-signs was
12 calling in what was very definitely close air support. His position was
13 being fired on by a tank.
14 I'm aware that the air controller was saying more planes were
15 available should they be needed, and at the time there was some dispute
16 on the ground with the commander of the Dutch Battalion saying -- I'm
17 saying the commander of the Dutch Battalion. Someone in the
18 Dutch Battalion saying they didn't want more air-strikes being put in.
19 My assumption at the time was they didn't want them put in because they
20 were coming under pressure from the Serb side, under pressure, I mean
21 under threat from the Serb side, being told if airpower continued, force
22 would be used against the Dutch troops.
23 So more planes could have been used is my belief if the decision
24 had been taken to use them, but that particular JCO patrol had a problem
25 with a particular tank which was silenced by the airpower. That
1 particular team, therefore, had no further need for close air support.
2 Q. Thank you. Given that you were in Srebrenica, did you inquire
3 about the locations of the air-strikes, and did you go into the town
4 itself? Did you see it for yourself?
5 A. I don't remember inquiring about the air-strikes themselves, and
6 again I was very much following General Nicolai on that occasion. Yes,
7 we were shown part of the town.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what you recall seeing in that town?
9 A. General Mladic was showing us what they wanted to show us in the
10 town, and what I particularly remember was him taking us to one of the
11 graveyards where he showed us some Serb headstones which he said had been
12 defiled by the population of Srebrenica, and I now can't remember if they
13 had been hammered or shot or whatever. So that's one of the things that
14 does stick in my mind on that particular day.
15 I spoke earlier about seeing the detritus left behind from the
16 concentration of IDPs gathered within Srebrenica, and I don't remember
17 the town being particularly badly damaged.
18 Q. Thank you. Was the damage caused by the VRS or by the refugees
19 who went to Tuzla?
20 A. As I said, I don't remember there being a great deal of damage.
21 Certainly the bits that we were shown, I don't remember looking badly
22 destroyed, so I don't there's anything to -- I'm not talking about
23 destruction by the refugees, that's for sure. It -- it was my opinion,
24 actually, that when we got to Zepa, it looked as though there'd actually
25 been slightly more destruction in Zepa, and even that wasn't a huge
1 amount when we first arrived.
2 Q. Thank you. Since you said for the record that there was quite a
3 lot of rubbish in the UNPROFOR base, did anyone from the VRS enter the
4 base prior to DutchBat leaving in Srebrenica?
5 A. Just to clarify, the rubbish that I saw was outside the base. I
6 believe we were standing on the road outside the Dutch Battalion
7 headquarters. I simply don't know if anybody from the VRS went into it
8 before the Dutch left.
9 Q. Thank you. Please look at -- since you moved on to Zepa, look at
10 paragraph 5, page 2, where you refer to the arrival in Zepa with an
11 SAS captain with the task of reporting back to General Smith about what
12 was going on in Zepa. You say in the seventh row, in the seventh line,
13 that you had sophisticated radio equipment at your disposal.
14 What was the equipment to be used for, and what were you expected
15 to do with it?
16 A. It was one of the of most reliable radio sets that we had, a
17 TacSat, which was what Mike Stanley, my predecessor, and I would fairly
18 regularly carry to Pale if we were dealing with communications from
19 headquarters there back to Sarajevo. So it wasn't unusual that our group
20 would have that particular equipment, and as we discussed before, it was
21 part of the eyes and ears role of what we were doing that we could use
22 that equipment to pass information reliably and in a timely manner back
23 to HQ UNPROFOR via the JCO office.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We might have our first break now despite of the
1 fact that we started later today, because of another commitment.
2 We adjourn now and resume at quarter past 4.00. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: My apologies for the delay.
6 Mr. Tolimir, please proceed with your questioning.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We now arrive in Zepa in terms of our questions. Rather than
10 going back to your statement again, can you tell us, please, who you met
11 in Zepa, and what did those people represent? Who were they the
12 representatives of?
13 A. When we first arrived we got up to what is known as OP 2, which
14 was on the hill above the village itself, and I believe up there we found
15 yourself and General Mladic, and also present were the ICRC, who were
16 talking to General Mladic at the time, trying to negotiate permission to
17 go down in the village, which they did.
18 We got permission to go down. There was myself, the French
19 colonel and his interpreter, and I think the civil affairs guys came down
20 with us. Drove down to the bottom of the hill into the village itself,
21 where we met a number of the -- a very small number of the civilian
22 population, and again it's 50, 80, something like that, people in town.
23 At some stage that afternoon we met Avdo Palic, who was the commander of
24 the BiH, the Bosnian Army. I believe there was also a civilian called
25 Dr. Benjamin, Dr. Benjamin, who was at that stage looking after a number
1 of sick and elderly in the town.
2 Q. Thank you. Please tell us who did you arrive in Zepa with out of
3 those representing international organisations? We'll move on to
4 Benjamin and the rest, but can you tell us what other representatives of
5 international organisations were there, such as UNHCR, UNPROFOR,
6 et cetera?
7 A. Yeah. There were the small British contingent, myself plus two
8 JCOs; there were two members of UN Civil Affairs, Ed Joseph and
9 Viktor Bezruchenko; and the ICRC I said we met. I don't recall UNHCR
10 being present at OP 2. I don't recall them being present in Zepa at all.
11 At some stage we ended up with a slightly larger French
12 contingent than just the colonel and his interpreter, but again I can't
13 remember whether they arrived with us initially or whether they came
14 sometime after we got there.
15 Q. Thank you. Those were the representatives of the international
16 organisations that you can recall, as you said in your statement. Who
17 was the French colonel you mentioned in the transcript, in your previous
18 answer? What French contingent did he belong to, since we saw that the
19 British contingent was included in JCO teams. If I'm mistaken in any
20 way, please correct me.
21 A. Yeah. The French colonel was a legionnaire colonel from the
22 French Foreign Legion. I'm assuming he was based out of Sector Sarajevo
23 but I don't -- I'm fairly sure he wasn't -- he wasn't based out of BiH
24 headquarters, as far as I recall.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us his name, given that he commanded the
1 French contingent, or was someone else in command of the French
2 contingent present at check-point number 2 during the evacuation?
3 A. He was -- I had difficulty last time remembering his name. It
4 wasn't Janvier. It's Jardine, something like that, Jardinier. He was
5 the senior French officer there. He was not the commander of the
6 French -- French troops of Sector Sarajevo in Sarajevo at all. He was
7 just a unit commander, and in our time in Zepa he was replaced by an
8 engineer colonel whose name I don't recall at all. And when I say
9 "colonel," again I don't recall whether they were lieutenant-colonels or
10 full colonels.
11 Q. Tell us, please, what was the task of the British contingent that
12 you were the head of, and what was the task of the French contingent?
13 Please explain that to the Chamber.
14 A. As I understood it, our role was, again, eyes and ears, go and
15 see what is happening in Zepa. I believe the intention behind that was
16 to try and ensure that the evacuation of people from Zepa ran as smoothly
17 as possible, and again if my recollection is correct, by that stage HQ
18 UNPROFOR was aware or certainly believed that atrocities of some sort had
19 taken place in Srebrenica, and therefore and part of that hope was that
20 our presence on the ground would do something to ensure that did not
21 happen a second time, i.e., during the evacuation of Zepa. And I think
22 that's probably backed up by the fact that General Smith himself made a
23 number of personal visits to OP 2 but not to Zepa itself, but he made
24 sure that as commander of UN troops in Bosnia he was seen on the ground
25 and was dealing with General Mladic on the ground.
1 The French -- the mission of the French contingent versus the
2 mission of the British contingent, I think we were there for pretty much
3 the same thing. They would have provided a same language eyes and ears
4 interpretation to head of Sector Sarajevo. We provided an English eyes
5 and ears to General Smith. You referred to me as the commander of the
6 group. I'm not actually sure that's correct. There were three of us,
7 two of us were captains. Yeah.
8 Q. Thank you. I apologise if I was mistaken. It seemed to me that
9 you mentioned something along the lines of you being -- or the British
10 continent being there with you. Perhaps I misinterpreted it, and I'd
11 like to have that reflected in the transcript.
12 When you arrived in Zepa, were you limited in terms of movement
13 in Zepa, be it yourself or the British contingent or Joseph and
14 Bezruchenko, or were you free to move about and to speak to the Bosnian
15 civilians and the army?
16 A. On the day we arrived, we were able to speak to the civilian
17 population there. We were able to speak with Avdo Palic. As time went
18 on, restrictions were put on us, but to answer your question strictly as
19 to when we arrived, we had reasonable freedom of access.
20 Q. Thank you. Did the VRS restrict your movement in Zepa in any
21 way, or were you restricted by the Bosnian Army and their authorities
22 given that there were no Serb soldiers in Zepa itself?
23 A. No, but we were relatively sensible in where we thought our
24 boundaries were. So obviously before coming down into Zepa itself we
25 made sure we were given permission by General Mladic. It was a
1 relatively restricted group that came down initially, and if I recall
2 right -- well, I do recall, the two JCOs remained at the top of the hill
3 and I travelled down with the French colonel and his interpreter. And
4 our small group were dealing with the problem that faced us immediately
5 within Zepa, which was the civilian population coming into the village
6 itself, and we were not trying to, ourselves, get out and about beyond
7 the -- the limits of Zepa village.
8 Q. Thank you. I think perhaps my question was unclear. Did any of
9 you who came on behalf of UNPROFOR or some international organisation
10 have the Serbian Army restrict movement? Of course you didn't go to the
11 combat zone because of the mines, but were you prevented from moving and
12 being in regular contact with your HQ and other activities?
13 A. No, we were not restricted at all in speaking to our HQ. That
14 was absolutely fine. As I said before, we didn't test the boundaries as
15 to how far we could go. The initial group let down into the village was
16 restricted, but subsequently the rest of our team was allowed in.
17 I do recall a day or so later some press wanted to come down and
18 General Mladic escorted them as far as the outskirts of Zepa to where the
19 two newish-looking cabins were, but didn't bring them all the way into
20 the village itself.
21 Q. Thank you. I didn't ask you about journalists. We can deal with
22 that later, but thank you for speaking about that.
23 Anyway, can you please tell us, were you able to freely monitor
24 the entire evacuation process? Let's first stick to this question and
25 then we will move to journalists.
1 A. Yes, we were able to monitor the entire evacuation that took
2 place within Zepa village itself.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you notice that members of the Army of
4 Republika Srpska were forbidden from entering Zepa for as long as the
5 population was there, until the evacuation process was completed? Thank
6 you. That they were forbidden from mingling with the civilian
8 A. Yes, I do. They were kept out of the village centre.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness now,
11 please, D107, D107. This is a presidential decree or announcement by the
12 president of the UN Security Council, issued on the 20th of July, 1995,
13 and this is 3556. The session is 3556 of the Security Council, and the
14 topic of the session is Zepa. And the number of the document is D107.
15 Thank you. We can now see it on the screen.
16 I'm going to read just one paragraph.
17 "The Security Council underlines the importance it attaches to
18 the fullest co-operation with the UNHCR and other international
19 humanitarian organisations, and demands that they be given unhindered
20 freedom of movement and access to that area. It further demands that the
21 Bosnian Serb authorities co-operate with all efforts, including those of
22 UNPROFOR, to ensure the safety of the civilian population, and in
23 particular, its most vulnerable members, including evacuation as
24 requested by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina in his letter of the 17th of July, 1995."
1 Thank you.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. My question is: Pursuant to this statement by the president of
4 the Security Council, were you able to have contacts with the Muslim
5 population in Zepa, and was it possible for UNPROFOR to be at OP 2 with
6 the French contingent, and you were also able to enter with the special
7 members of the British Army that you discussed earlier? Thank you.
8 A. Yes, we were able to get into the village as discussed, and we
9 were able to talk with the Muslim population. To clarify that, we were
10 only able to talk with those members of the population who had come into
11 the village, which tended to be women, some young boys, old men. But,
12 yes, those that were there, we were able to speak to them.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you please now tell us whether during your stay
14 in Zepa you were able to carry out all of the activities that the
15 Security Council urged in this statement of the 20th of July, 1995, that
16 we referred to just now?
17 A. I'll just read through it once again. To a large extent, yes, we
18 were able to -- to do as was said. One incident sticks out in my mind,
19 and that was the -- forbidding the hodja to leave Zepa as a member of the
20 civilian population. I think to fulfil that to a hundred per cent,
21 certainly from a personal point of view, and I know civil affairs felt
22 the same, they believed that the hodja should have been allowed to leave
23 Zepa as well.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you remember which hodja it was, what was his
25 name, and did he later come out through the check-point at Boksanica, or
1 OP 2 as you call it? Thank you.
2 A. I beg your pardon. I don't recall his name. He was a young-ish
3 guy who -- clearly a civilian. He got up the hill as far as what we call
4 OP 2 with the very final contingent of civilian population, and as he was
5 preparing to leave, you personally said that he was not able to leave,
6 and that was protested by the UN Civil Affairs people, but they/we lost
7 the protest and the hodja was not allowed to leave from Zepa or from
8 OP 2.
9 Q. Thank you. At that point in time were you aware that that hodja,
10 by profession, who was not carrying out the duties of a hodja, was the
11 president of the Zepa War Presidency? Thank you.
12 A. No, I wasn't aware of that. But what I did see him doing was
13 looking after the civilian population, which he clearly knew very well.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you see if he was making lists, organising the
15 evacuation, people entering, boarding buses, allocating them into buses?
16 Thank you.
17 A. Yes. He was participating in that process, and at one stage
18 towards the end, I remember him specifically saying, "There's still one
19 old man, I think, who hasn't left the village yet," and he directed
20 UNPROFOR to where this guy was and ensured that he was collected and
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show the witness, please,
24 P736, P736.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. And while we're waiting for that, these activities that the hodja
2 was carrying out, do they indicate that he was an organiser and that
3 everybody listened and obeyed to him, including civilians and UNPROFOR
4 and so on, and he was actually carrying out the duties, as we will see,
5 of a member of the War Presidency of the municipality of Zepa? Thank
7 A. To the direct question I would say he was respected within his
8 community, but obviously nothing struck me as strange about that, as the
9 hodja is someone who I would expect to have a degree of respect in the
10 village. Also, it's probably worth noting he was perhaps the only man of
11 that age amongst all those people there and not unnatural that he would
12 be taking the role that he was taking.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, is there any problem broadcasting
14 this document during the testimony of this witness?
15 MR. THAYER: No, there is not, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just want a clarification. At page 34, line 4
19 to 8, you state:
20 "One instance sticks out in my mind, and that was the
21 forbidding -- forbidding the hodja to leave Zepa as a member of the
22 civilian population. I think to fulfil that to a hundred per cent,
23 certainly from my personal point of view and I know civil affairs felt
24 the same, they felt that the hodja should be allowed to leave Zepa as
1 Can you explain the last one? You felt -- was this your
2 professional conclusion or your personal view?
3 THE WITNESS: Professional conclusion, and that was, you know,
4 backed up by civil affairs who argued that the man should leave.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: And what was the reason for that feeling?
6 THE WITNESS: He was forbidden to leave by General Tolimir.
7 JUDGE NYAMBE: Why did you personally feel that he should have
8 been allowed to leave?
9 THE WITNESS: You know, I saw him as a man who had not
10 participated, from what I could see, in the conflict. He was a civilian
11 looking after his civilian population and had been key to keeping them
12 together, making sure that they could leave in an orderly manner, making
13 sure that none of his community or his flock, for want of another word,
14 were left behind. For those reasons.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: Could you gauge his age?
16 THE WITNESS: Trying to remember now it's slightly difficult, but
17 would say late 20s to mid 30s.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, sir, did you know that there were two persons in Zepa
23 who had completed the training to be hodja, one of whom performed the
24 duties of a hodja and the other one was a civilian working in the
25 War Presidency of Zepa? Do you perhaps know that or not? If not, I can
1 show you a document where he's being addressed by Alija Izetbegovic.
2 A. I wasn't aware of that.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have a follow-up question to the
4 question of Judge Nyambe.
5 Sir, you told us that the hodja had to leave the bus and was not
6 allowed to go further with the bus with the other members of the
7 population. What happened at that point in time to the hodja?
8 THE WITNESS: He was handed over to or taken into the custody of
9 the VRS, and beyond that I don't recall.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He was not sent back to Zepa?
11 THE WITNESS: Not that I'm aware of, no, sir.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Can you please tell us the day this happened, the date? Thank
18 A. I think it was probably be on the -- on the final and fourth day.
19 So if we arrived on the 25th, 26th, 27th, probably the 28th. Yeah, I
20 think that's the most -- most likely.
21 Q. Thank you. Was the evacuation still going on on the 28th or was
22 it finished, as you said in your statement? Thank you.
23 A. My recollection is that was the final day. So we had roughly
24 20 trucks on the first day, quite a good -- good session of trucks on the
25 second day. We called for more trucks early on the third day, which had
1 left about 400 people. We didn't quite get enough trucks to move that
2 full 400 at the beginning of the last day, and I think I spoke to you
3 again to get additional vehicles, which you provided. And so this was
4 the very last day of the evacuation.
5 What we did find when we got up to OP 2 from Zepa itself was that
6 the buses that had left earlier that morning were still being held at
7 OP 2. My guess being that everyone would then leave as one big party of
9 Q. Thank you. I understand you. It's hard to remember after so
10 much time.
11 I would like you to look at the document in e-court now. I would
12 like you to look at these names of the War Presidency of the municipality
13 of Zepa. You can look at it in English.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we scroll up the English
15 document, please.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. This is a decision signed by this War Presidency.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 2 in the
19 e-court, please.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] And you can see where it is written
21 "Mehmed Hajric." He was the president of the War Presidency. That is
22 that hodja that you're talking about. Hamdija Torlak, and Amir Imamovic,
23 and they signed. You can see their signatures. You can see the
24 signature of General Mladic and the signature of Rajko Kusic, and this is
25 the decision of the War Presidency.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go back to the contents on
2 the first page so that the witness can see.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. We can see the first paragraph where says:
5 "The War Presidency of the Zepa municipality at its meeting held
6 on the 27th of July, 1995, attended by Mehmed Hajric," that is the hodja
7 that you're talking about, "president of the War Presidency,
8 Hamdija Torlak, President of the Executive Board, and Amir Imamovic,
9 commander of the Civilian Protection Staff, hereby adopts the following
11 And they reached the decision that all able-bodied men who
12 happened to be in Zepa should be disarmed and they should surrender to
13 the base in Zepa.
14 So these signatures attest to the fact that the members of the
15 Presidency took -- went to the Boksanica check-point and that he was
16 driven there by members of the Ukrainian Battalion?
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure if he completely
18 understood what Mr. Tolimir said.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The witness said -- and I'm helping you if you didn't know that.
21 Did you know that there was a witness here who signed what -- this
22 document, who testified that the hodja took this decision to the
23 soldiers, indicating that the decision had been implemented?
24 A. Sorry, can you just clarify exactly what I'm being asked?
25 Q. Thank you. I'm asking you if you know that the hodja, as a
1 member of the War Presidency, signed this decision, and then on the 27th
2 took it to the Zepa mountain, to the soldiers, for them to act pursuant
3 to his decision because he was a member of the War Presidency. Thank
5 A. This document is the first time that I've seen anything to that
6 effect that I recall. He may have signed it. I guess there's a degree
7 of question as to what options were open to anybody, and I've no idea
8 whether it was signed willingly or not.
9 Q. Thank you. If someone signs a document on behalf of the
10 War Presidency, does that person have the authority over the able-bodied
11 persons also? Thank you.
12 A. Yeah. I don't actually know what the role of the War Presidency
13 was. Was it simply the name given to the normal municipality in Zepa in
14 times of war or did it actually have any control over military men of
15 fighting age. That's simply not something I know about within the
16 structure of whether they fit it under the armija or whether it was a
17 purely civilian body.
18 Q. Thank you. We're going to see.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document D54.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] And then you will know more clearly
21 who he was and from whom he received his orders.
22 And now we can see the document in the Serbian language on the
23 left-hand side. Now we're going to see it in the English. And I would
24 like you to look at the actual heading of the document where it says
25 "Mehmed Effendi Hajric, President of Zepa - protected."
1 Does this title in the heading, the Effendi, indicate that he was
2 a member of the clergy?
3 A. I think it might, but I'm not -- I'm not certain.
4 Q. Thank you. If you look at the bottom left-hand corner of the
5 document, both in the English and the B/C/S, it says that this document
6 is sent from Sarajevo on the 19th of July, 1995, by Alija Izetbegovic.
7 Do you see that? Thank you.
8 A. I see Alija Izetbegovic's name in the signature block, yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Did you know that Alija Izetbegovic was the president
10 of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and at the same time he was
11 the president of the Crisis Staff of the Presidency of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina for the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina? Thank you.
13 A. I knew he was president of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did I know he was
14 president of the crisis council? I'm not sure. It certainly doesn't
15 surprise me.
16 Q. Thank you. Did you know that each municipality in the Federation
17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina in wartime, which was under the control of the
18 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, had a War Presidency of the municipality
19 that was connected to the president of the state, Alija Izetbegovic, and
20 that the duty of the War Presidency was being carried out by
21 Alija Izetbegovic who in this case is addressing Mehmed Effendi Hajric,
22 who was the president of the Zepa War Presidency? Thank you.
23 A. I don't recall being aware that everywhere had a War Presidency,
24 but again I don't recall not being aware of that. And it seems --
25 thinking about it, it seems logical that in a time of crisis there would
1 be some form of council, things -- even municipal matters would no doubt
2 be managed in a slightly different line from how they are in peacetime.
3 That makes -- that makes sense.
4 Q. Thank you. We're now going to look at paragraph 2 so that you
5 can see that he was addressing him in terms -- in relation to the job
6 that you were monitoring in Zepa and it states:
7 "An evacuation is possible only by land under the supervision of
8 UNPROFOR. I am in contact with General Smith every day. The Chetniks
9 are dragging out the talks on purpose. General Smith is guaranteeing the
10 security of women and children. You know that there is no fool-proof
11 security. As their first condition, the Chetniks have asked that the men
12 lay down their weapons and their investigation and so on, which I refused
13 categorically for reasons I do not need to explain to you."
14 Thank you. And we can also look at paragraph 3, the first
16 "My plan: Move out as many civilians as possible, all if
18 As you can see, this was written on the 19th of July, and he's
19 addressing him about what civilians need to do because he was the
20 president of the municipal War Presidency.
21 And then the next sentence in paragraph 3 states:
22 "We will do all to help you by supplying materiel and equipment,
23 volunteers, and offensive action in your direction ..."
24 Based on this, is it clear from this second sentence in
25 paragraph 3 that Alija Izetbegovic was writing to him also about military
1 activities, what the army was going to do, what the volunteers were going
2 to do, how he would provide equipment and materiel to him and how this
3 would assist in the combat activities? Thank you.
4 A. Yes, I agree that's covered in the letter, but again nothing
5 strikes me as unusual. If somebody is being briefed on the situation in
6 his area, if he is a senior civilian administrator in an area that's
7 about to be captured or has been captured, it would be indeed correct
8 that he should be briefed as to the entire set of circumstances happening
9 around him, including his own, the disposition of Bosnian Army forces.
10 And I'm also very clear in my own mind that this particular man wanted to
11 leave Zepa, and it was, you know, his intention to leave as part of the
12 civilian population. And I'm seeing this document for the first time,
13 but there's talk of continuing along your own roads in your own way.
14 This particular man had no intention of staying on in Zepa. His
15 intention was to get on the bus or the truck and leave Zepa.
16 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at the last sentence of
17 paragraph 3, which states:
18 "Would you please let me know which plan to push?"
19 Why would hodja need to report back to Alija Izetbegovic about
20 which plan to push if he wasn't in some kind of post and if his intention
21 was to leave Zepa? Thank you.
22 A. Sorry, I'm reading the English translation, and I can't see where
23 it says that he needs to ask or report back as to which roads.
24 Q. Thank you. Just above item 4. It begins with "Let me." Do you
25 see that? And perhaps you can check the versions in both languages since
1 you speak both of them.
2 A. Yes. All right. I didn't read far enough down. Let me just
3 read the middle of it. And let me just read your question again.
4 Q. I'll repeat. Why is Alija Izetbegovic requesting of him to let
5 him know which plan to push if he was a mere hodja? He had no other
6 functions or duties to perform.
7 A. Yeah. You're asking me to speculate way beyond what I know, but
8 accepting that I'm speculating, we're talking about a joint withdrawal
9 which could be a joint withdrawal of the civilian population through
10 wooded areas back to Bosnian-held territory, and as that's a move that
11 involves the civilian population for which he is a representative, it's
12 conceivable, certainly, that that is what he was going to inform about.
13 It certainly doesn't have to have a purely military connotation by --
14 according to my reading of the document.
15 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at the second sentence of
16 paragraph 3, where it says:
17 "We will do everything to help you by supplying MTS, volunteers,
18 and to launch offensive action in your direction ..."
19 Does this refer to military activities?
20 A. Yes, I would assume so, but again it's informing him of the
21 situation as a whole. The civilian population is cut off. I don't see
22 what's particularly unusual that he should be saying, "We," as in
23 Sarajevo government, "are doing everything to assist you and your
24 population cut off in Zepa." That's entirely reasonable in my view.
25 Q. Thank you. I understand you and your answer. Please have a look
1 at D51 next.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. In the Serbian we see the text of an agreement on the
5 disarmament of able-bodied men in the enclave of Zepa containing ten
6 items. It was signed by a certain Hamdija Torlak as well as Rajko Kusic
7 and Ratko Mladic.
8 We saw a moment ago a decision on the disarmament of able-bodied
9 men signed by Hajric. This document was produced on the 24th. The
10 decision we just saw signed by Hajric was dated the 27th. Do you believe
11 that he had anything to do with the disarmament of able-bodied men in the
12 enclave of Zepa?
13 A. Sorry, do I believe that the hodja had anything to do with the
14 disarmament of able-bodied men? I personally didn't witness any
15 disarmament of able-bodied men so it's difficult to say, but I saw
16 nothing to suggest that he had been disarming anybody. I'm not actually
17 aware that any able-bodied men were disarmed.
18 Q. Thank you. Look at the title. It says "Agreement on the
19 disarmament of the able-bodied population in the Zepa enclave."
20 Have I quoted correctly?
21 A. Yes, you have.
22 Q. When was this agreement signed? If you can check the first
23 sentence, please?
24 A. The date in the first line is the 24 July, so the day before I
25 got there.
1 Q. Does it say that on that day the following agreement was reached
2 between the person referred to specifically? Is that the first sentence
3 of the document?
4 A. Yes.
5 "On 24 July 1995, the following agreement was reached between
6 Rajko Kusic, on one side, Hamdija Torlak on the other, in the presence of
7 UNPROFOR representative Sejmon Dudnjik."
8 Q. Thank you. Please look at item 8 of the agreement and read it to
9 yourself. It says that:
10 "The able-bodied population of Zepa shall be registered and
11 accommodated in a holding centre which is to be under the control of the
12 ICRC until the release of all captive VRS members and other Serbs who are
13 in prisons in territory controlled by the army under the command of
14 Rasim Delic."
15 Does my quotation reflect the English document?
16 A. It does, yes.
17 Q. Under the agreement was there someone who was supposed to disarm
18 the able-bodied men and collect them at this holding centre which was
19 supposed to be controlled by the ICRC as stated in the second sentence?
20 A. Are you asking me specifically about paragraph 8, or do I need to
21 read the rest of the document?
22 Q. Thank you. I'm referring to paragraph 8, but you're free to read
23 the rest of the document if you wish. It's on the screen, but I kindly
24 ask you to keep our time in mind.
25 A. Yeah. I mean, paragraph 8 doesn't specifically say who's going
1 to do the disarming, as far as I can read it. Again, I'd also question
2 whether the -- these particular individuals who signed the document had
3 the authority to sign what they were -- what they were signing. We've
4 seen somewhere where they're talking about "until the release of captive
5 VRS members and other Serbs in prisons on the territory controlled by the
6 army." I'm quite sure that the people in Zepa were not in a position,
7 did not have the authority to -- to sign that.
8 Q. Thank you. Well, they signed it nonetheless. It was signed by a
9 representative of UNPROFOR, Mr. Sejmon Dudnjik. Can you see his
11 A. Yes, I can, but again that means nothing. A group of people
12 under pressure signing the document doesn't mean that they have the
13 authority of the government to sign it.
14 Q. Thank you. Let us not speculate about any pressure or not. Were
15 you a witness to the signing of the agreement since you say that they
16 were under pressure, and is it customary for two sides to sign
17 agreements? Was it normal for the Serb side to sign the agreement on the
18 exclusion zone and the removal of any heavy artillery in the zone around
19 Sarajevo, and wasn't it made under threat, the threat of bombardment by
21 A. To the first question, you're absolutely right. I was not there
22 when the document was signed. It's dated the 24th, and I only arrived on
23 the 25th.
24 What I would say is the difference between a document that may
25 have been signed about the exclusion zones in Sarajevo is that it was
1 actually signed by people with the relevant authority. Here I believe
2 we're talking about people in one enclave signing something on behalf of
3 all the prisoners, all the VRS prisoners, held, which you as a military
4 man and with far more experience than I knows simply, you know, isn't
5 possible. You could not accept a junior commander assuming
6 responsibility for all of that. That's not speculation.
7 Q. Thank you. We'll get to that later where you say in your
8 statement -- you mention the exchange because you were present at certain
9 discussions between General Mladic and General Smith.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have P736 back.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please, Mr. --
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Have a look at this decision signed by the hodja you mentioned.
15 It says:
16 "All able-bodied men from 18 to 50 years of age shall surrender
17 their weapons to the representatives of the Army of Republika Srpska in
18 the presence of UNPROFOR at the UNPROFOR base in Zepa. All able-bodied
19 men shall be registered by the ICRC. They will be guarded by the forces
20 of the VRS in the presence of UNPROFOR in Zepa until an agreement on
21 exchange has been reached."
22 Signed by Effendi Mehmed Hajric. Can you see it? He is the
23 first person on the list signing on behalf of the War Presidency.
24 A. Yes, I've seen.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 4 of your
2 statement, number 1D278. Page 4. Paragraph 3. 1D278. Page 4 in the
3 Serbian, paragraph 3. Apologies, page 3 in the Serbian version,
4 paragraph 4 -- paragraph 3.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And which page in English?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I made a mistake.
7 Page 4 in the Serbian, paragraph 4. Most likely it is also page 4 in the
8 English. We'll see what paragraph it is once we can see the document on
9 the screen. Paragraph 4. It is the second paragraph in the English and
10 the fourth in the Serbian.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. "On the 26th July when I went back up to OP 2, there was a
13 meeting taking place between Smith, Mladic, and Palic. This involved the
14 issue of the POW exchange. The Bosnian minister, Mr. Muratovic, had
15 asked for an all-for-all exchange. Mladic wanted to exchange all the men
16 from the hills in Zepa, some 2.000 men, for approximately 500 VRS
17 prisoners being held by the Bosnians. Palic agreed to this, but
18 Muratovic would not."
19 Thank you. Have I correctly quoted you from your statement on
20 page 4?
21 A. Yes, you have.
22 Q. Isn't it clear based on the statement that the Mladic -- that
23 Mladic was asking for an exchange of the able-bodied men for the 400 VRS
24 prisoners who were in Bosnian gaols who were never exchanged?
25 A. Yes, it's clear that Mladic wants to exchange the men from Zepa
1 for what I understand to be all the VRS prisoners.
2 Q. Thank you. We have seen documents in these proceedings,
3 including a document in which Avdo Palic is asking of
4 President Izetbegovic to organise such an exchange, and
5 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic obliged to -- obliged himself to have that exchange
7 Is it customary to have an entire brigade captured within an AOR
8 in exchange for a few hundred VRS prisoners which were held in various
9 prisons in Bosnian territory who, by the way, were never exchanged?
10 A. I certainly wouldn't say it happened often, no. I'm not aware of
11 it happening before.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether UNPROFOR or the ICRC checked who
13 the 400 people were, as indicated by the Bosnian Exchange Commission, and
14 what was their fate up until the moment of the Dayton Accords?
15 A. I have no idea, either to whether we asked or what the fate was.
16 Q. Thank you. I understand it was not within your competence. I
17 simply wanted to know whether you were aware of it.
18 Did you know that those people were never exchanged because some
19 of them were killed, such as those at Vijenac, Ozren, and Vozuca, and
20 that no new prisoners were offered to be exchanged because those people
21 would have been captured at the time of exchange itself, which is prior
22 to it?
23 A. Sorry, I'm just going to read through your question.
24 As I'm saying, I wasn't aware what happened to them at all, so
25 the answer's no, I wasn't aware.
1 Q. Thank you. We'll ask someone else that out of those competent to
2 register the refugees and prisoners. I thank you for your answer in any
4 Let us now go back a bit.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 3 of this
6 statement. Paragraph 3. Thank you.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. We see page 3. Do you have it in English? I'll quote from the
9 Serbian version:
10 "Sometime in the afternoon, General Tolimir came down and we went
11 into the Ukrainian Battalion company together with him and ICRC. Palic
12 addressed us, telling us what had happened. He complained of the lack of
13 support from the outside world. He stated that he hoped that what had
14 happened in Srebrenica would not happen there and that they would be
15 dealt with in a humane manner. We made arrangements to move out the sick
16 people and the military casualties. This was authorised by
17 General Tolimir. They were moved out in UN vehicles all the way through
18 to Sarajevo that afternoon. Dr. Benjamin went with them. I think they
19 went through without any trouble. I saw Dr. Benjamin and his wife in
20 Sarajevo about a month later."
21 Have I correctly quoted from your statement?
22 A. Yes, you have.
23 Q. Thank you. I wanted to refresh your memory and ask you who was
24 present in the headquarters of the Ukrainian Battalion or its company,
25 since you refer to that incident. It seems that I was there as well as a
1 number of other people, including yourself.
2 A. Yeah. If I recall, it was the two of us, ICRC, Avdo Palic
3 obviously. I think the UN Civil Affairs were there. I honestly can't
4 recall whether or not the French colonel or any of the Ukrainian senior
5 staff participated.
6 Q. Thank you. Please try and recollect your testimony in the
7 Popovic case. There you said that you were particularly frustrated
8 because of the position of the ICRC taken then as they refused to take
9 part in the process of registering those who were leaving Zepa.
10 At page 16282, lines 18 to 12 [as interpreted], you say:
11 "This was one of the occasions in which I was frustrated by their
13 What other situations were you frustrated in by the behaviour of
14 ICRC representatives?
15 A. I think this is the key -- the key issue that annoyed me. I went
16 on further to say that I have high respect for ICRC. The only other
17 issue I can remember was I once spent an evening with them in Pale and
18 when I -- I mean, I just found they -- nothing to do with Zepa or
19 Srebrenica or anything, I just found the particular people in that office
20 slightly unprofessional at the time, which didn't reflect on the
21 organisation as a whole. But where we're talking with specific reference
22 to Zepa, my annoyance was that they didn't take a larger part in the
23 movement of civilians from Zepa out of the area.
24 Q. Thank you. On what date did the event occur when they refused to
25 register the civilians?
1 A. I think it raised its head on -- on the very first day that we
2 were there. So that was the 25th, and it seemed fairly logical that we
3 should try and get lists in Zepa which could be cross-referenced with
4 lists at wherever the civilians got off their vehicles, and ICRC were
5 fairly clear that they would not participate in ethnic cleansing was how
6 they termed it. So even though they were in Zepa on that first
7 afternoon, I'm sure that they didn't take an active part or didn't help
8 with -- in busing the population and making sure that they were
9 registered, and certainly there was no sign of ICRC in Zepa village
10 itself on the 26th or throughout the subsequent evacuation.
11 Q. Thank you. In the presidential communique of the
12 Security Council, you could see that as early as the 18th,
13 President Muratovic -- Minister Muratovic asked the UN to help in the
14 evacuation. You also saw the agreement on the disarmament and its
15 item 8, which specifies that the civilians should be registered and
16 evacuated. Was there any reason on the part of the ICRC representative
17 to refuse the Security Council Resolution and the implementation of the
18 agreement between the two warring parties in order to have Zepa
20 A. I'm speculating again, but I know ICRC quite well, and again I'm
21 pretty sure it's going to be a matter of who was competent to sign what.
22 And the ICRC does such a fantastic job because it is able to maintain its
23 neutrality, and if it feels that its neutrality has been compromised,
24 if -- the ICRC won't compromise and simply will not do something if it
25 doesn't feel that it wants to, and certainly Colonel Kusic and Avdo Palic
1 didn't have the authority to tell the ICRC what they should or shouldn't
2 do and ICRC is grown up enough to take the view that the UN also does not
3 have the right to tell ICRC what to do. And it's an important point
4 because ICRC is an international, independent organisation with its own
5 sources of funding, and it, you know, it doesn't report to the UN. It's
6 not subservient to it. They may co-ordinate together, but it is a
7 separate body and it makes its own decisions.
8 So in this case, they felt that they were being put under or
9 being put in a position that could subsequently be interpreted as
10 participating in ethnic cleansing. And that's -- it's a view that was
11 held by a lot of people, and I've seen subsequently a document from
12 Ms. Ogata, who was the UN High Representative for refugees, who was
13 quoted as saying with regards to countries receiving refugees from the
14 former Yugoslavia, that if a country receives these people, they are
15 participating in ethnic cleansing or they're an accessory to ethnic
16 cleansing, and if they don't receive them, they're an accessory to
18 So it was a difficult position for everybody, and while I was
19 frustrated, I do understand the line that the ICRC took, and it's
20 questionable whether it was the right line or not, but I do understand
21 their reasoning.
22 Q. Thank you. Based on this explanation of yours, my question is as
23 follows: Did Muratovic, who addressed the Security Council on the 17th,
24 and the Security Council which issued its decision, participate in ethnic
25 cleansing given that they refer to the moving of the civilian population
1 from the enclave of Zepa? Were they accessory to ethnic cleansing, or
2 were they simply following the wishes and guidelines of Kusic and the
3 authorities in Zepa, because they had originated that request, I believe?
4 A. Yeah. We're back to the moral jungle on where does one start and
5 the other stop.
6 It's difficult for me to answer on behalf of Muratovic, but if I
7 answer on behalf of myself, it's -- it was clear to me that the
8 population were going to move. We were in a war. Zepa had been
9 captured. This happened a very short time after what had happened in --
10 in Srebrenica. By that stage the UN had become aware that there had been
11 atrocities. I think it's quite likely that the civilian population in
12 Zepa were aware of that. You've shown to me today various documents
13 passed backwards and forwards from Sarajevo to Zepa over that period. So
14 it's almost inconceivable that they weren't aware of these things. And
15 it then became to some extent a duty to make sure that these people were
16 moved in -- with as little trauma as possible during that move, and
17 that's how I saw it.
18 I can -- you know, what was Muratovic to do? And again, I'm in
19 no position to answer on his behalf, but I don't believe that we could
20 accuse him of participating in ethnic cleansing. If he'd made no move to
21 have people evacuated and atrocities had happened to those people,
22 there's no question on how history would have judged him and said, You
23 denied these people the right to leave and this is what happened.
24 So the situation on the ground was such that the people really
25 did not have -- have a choice. We've talked before and we covered in the
1 Popovic case people deciding what is the last safe stage to move, and we
2 all know, and I'm sure this Court has heard enough testimony to be aware
3 that the Bosnian war was characterised by, you know, some pretty nasty
4 brutality right from the beginning back in Vukovar, whenever that was,
5 November 1992. From the start atrocities occurred. People were brought
6 up on these stories, and they were reinforced in the course of the war.
7 So something like this, the town has been captured, it's
8 surrounded. You know, it's hard to say that the people had free choice
9 whether to stay or to go. I believe they didn't have a choice. They --
10 they were going to leave for what they believed was their own safety.
11 Q. Thank you. We looked at the agreement here, this is D51, and you
12 saw that it was signed by an UNPROFOR representative, and I even quoted
13 paragraph 7 of that agreement to you. And if necessary, we can look at
14 D51 again for you to see it, but I'm just going to tell you what is in
15 paragraph 7.
16 Paragraph 7 states that the evacuation would be conducted in
17 accordance with the Geneva protocols.
18 My question is if the warring parties adhere to the provisions of
19 the Geneva conflict -- conflict, would that constitute ethnic cleansing?
20 And further in, paragraph 10, it says that everybody has the freedom to
21 disarm the soldiers, to have a demilitarised zone, and everyone has the
22 choice of freedom of movement, and even this Benjamin that you mentioned,
23 and General Mladic in talks even said that certain number of the
24 population can stay if they wish to stay.
25 My question to you is whether the provisions of the
1 Geneva Conventions and all the agreements concluded between the sides,
2 different sides, can be viewed as ethnic cleansing. Could the provisions
3 of the Geneva Convention also be viewed as ethnic cleansing, which speak
4 about the evacuation of civilians, the choice of location for as long as
5 the conflict is going on, which is also referred to in this agreement.
6 Thank you.
7 A. Yeah, I'm not a specialist in the interpretation of the
8 Geneva Convention, but that is an area that ICRC are specialists, and
9 they clearly believed that what was happening was -- did amount to ethnic
11 We -- you know, we can say the evacuation took place in an
12 organised manner, evacuation of civilians, but I think we have to
13 remember the context in that it was a traumatised population in a war --
14 quite far into the war. And it's fine to say that those who wanted to
15 stay could stay, but I think -- my opinion is that it's unreasonable to
16 expect that any of them would have taken that option because of the long
17 history of that particular Balkan war and, most particularly, the very
18 recent history of Srebrenica a couple of weeks ago.
19 Q. Thank you. I would now like us to look at -- actually, we have
20 your statement in front us. We have page 3, where you say in the last
21 two lines:
22 "The evacuation was organised very well. The drivers and the
23 vehicles were organised very well."
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note we are unable to find the
25 place where Mr. Tolimir is reading.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Also in the Popovic case, on page -- in the transcript you spoke
3 about the evacuation, and you said the same thing as you said here in
4 your statement, that it was well organised.
5 You also said that the civilian affairs service -- thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we should have a reference.
7 Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, in the B/C/S, I think we're looking
9 at the bottom of page 3. There's a large paragraph that finishes out
10 page 3 in the B/C/S, and I think we're talking about halfway through that
11 paragraph where this passage begins. In the English version, it's also
12 page 3, towards the end of the paragraph that starts: "Later in the
13 afternoon." So it's page 3 in both versions, just different locations on
14 the page.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, if you are discussing with your
16 client, you should switch off the microphone.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you. Are you able to tell us who was registering the
19 population that was leaving Zepa on buses in Tuzla and who organised
20 that? Thank you.
21 A. It was a fairly ad hoc affair with, I think, pretty much all of
22 us trying to take a part. So I doing some, civil affairs doing some,
23 hodja doing some. It wasn't as well organised at all as it could have
24 been or should have been.
25 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us were you bothered or did the
1 Army of Republika Srpska get in your way in your organising that task,
2 and did it let the population itself organise this whole process? Thank
4 A. Yes. We were not obstructed by the VRS.
5 Q. Thank you. Are you able to tell us whether civilian affairs and
6 yourself and the hodja and everybody managed to register all of the
7 people from the population who boarded the buses? Thank you.
8 A. I'm not a hundred per cent sure. I hope we did, but I'm not
9 absolutely certain, and I think the lists would have been given -- once
10 compiled would have been given to civil affairs with a view to them
11 passing them on ultimately to UNHCR and whoever else was doing the
12 reception in Kladanj and Tuzla, or wherever these people ended up going.
13 Q. Thank you. Are you aware whether all the population that left
14 Zepa arrived to the territory under the control of the Army of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, meaning all the women, children, the elderly, and so on?
16 Thank you.
17 A. I'm not a hundred per cent certain, but I don't believe
18 there's -- that's been queried. I think the civilian population as a
19 whole did reach where they were meant to go. I think in my statement I
20 commented a bus of injured men which you excluded from the group that you
21 mentioned were stopped at Rogatica on the final day. But I think of
22 those who got on the buses and the buses left, they got through without
24 Q. Thank you. Did the UNPROFOR see and record in some way that all
25 the wounded also reached their destination, the ones who were accompanied
1 by Benjamin?
2 A. I presume they will have, but I'm not certain, and again I think
3 my recollection is that that group that left on the first day, possibly
4 another group on the second day, certainly the one on the first day, got
5 through. My recollection is that the group that left on the fourth day
6 did not.
7 Q. Are you able to tell us what happened to that group? Why didn't
8 it go, and where was it detained or held? Thank you.
9 A. I'm not -- and again my memory doesn't serve me. I refer to the
10 statement which said it got as far as Rogatica and the people were taken
11 off there. I don't actually recall who told me that or where I got that
12 information from.
13 Q. Thank you. Is this perhaps the group in the last bus numbering
14 40 people who were held in Rogatica and detained? Is that perhaps what
15 you were thinking of? Thank you.
16 A. I'd prefer to see my statement before answering that. I thought
17 the number was 13, not 40.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you please read that back from your statement and
19 tell us what happened to those 13? Did they leave and did they reach the
20 territory under the control of the BH Army?
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you help, please, the witness
22 to which part of the statement you are referring.
23 THE WITNESS: It's going to be right towards the end, isn't it?
24 Or maybe not. Day four.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer again is helping in trying to assist
2 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, we're at page 4 of the English. It's
3 towards the bottom, beginning paragraph that says: "We had an ongoing
4 argument with Tolimir."
5 In the B/C/S, that's going to be again also the bottom of -- no,
6 I'm sorry. It's page 5 in the B/C/S, the third paragraph. It's the
7 large paragraph 2. It's the second full paragraph on page 5 in the
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much again, Mr. Thayer.
10 Mr. Tolimir, put your question to the witness, please.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. On page 5, paragraph 3, as the Prosecutor said, line 1 and then
14 the rest, the five lines, you said that you spoke about 13 men with me,
15 about them going to Sarajevo, that I approved this finally and that they
16 were detained in Rogatica, and that you found out about this later.
17 Did you hear later from anyone from, from the ICRC or from those
18 who were registering the prisoners, about those 13 people who were
19 detained at Rogatica and kept in detention there? This is paragraph 5 in
20 the B/C/S, lines 1 to 5. Thank you.
21 A. No, I don't recall, and as I said before, I don't actually
22 remember who told me that they were detained at Rogatica even.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it's time for the second break.
24 We adjourn again and resume quarter past 6.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir. Please carry on your
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We're now looking at page 5 on our screen. We're looking at
7 paragraph 2 in the Serbian, and page 4, second paragraph from the bottom
8 in English, where it says as follows:
9 "On Friday, the 28th of July, Tolimir came into the town. I
10 thought that he had been drinking and was drunk. A few buses arrived and
11 we loaded most of the people, but there was still not enough room in the
12 vehicles. Tolimir was asked to send in some more vehicles and he did
13 arrange this. Everybody was loaded by 1300 hours."
14 Do you remember this situation that you described in this
15 paragraph about the end of the evacuation by 1300 hours? Thank you.
16 A. Pretty well, yes. I don't remember the exact timings now, but
17 the events that day, yes, I do.
18 Q. Thank you. I'm not asking you this because of what you said that
19 I looked as if I was drunk. I -- this is something that happens. Even
20 the guards around here think that I look drunk and they ask me about it.
21 Before this happened, I had a stroke, so this might, then, appear
22 to be the state that I'm in. So I have difficulties with walking,
23 especially when my hands are handcuffed and so on. So as a young man,
24 I'm sure that you could have come to this conclusion. But I'm asking you
25 this because we're taking about the 28th. Was that the day when the
1 evacuation was finished by 1300 hours?
2 A. Yeah, let me double-check. The evacuation of the whole place, as
3 I recall, finished on the -- after four days, so 25th, 26th, 27th --
4 yeah, 28th. I think that tallies with what I remember.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I'm asking you to look at page 5 of this statement. This is
8 paragraph 5 in the Serbian. In English this is also on page 5. Can we
9 look at page 5 in the English, please, so that you can look at this
10 portion that I would like to quote. In the Serbian we can leave the page
11 that we are seeing now.
12 On page -- on page 5 in the English, it's paragraph 3 and it
14 "Avdo Palic had disappeared on the second or third day. The last
15 time I saw Palic he was with Major or Colonel Furtula of the
16 Gorazde Brigade of the Drina Corps. I heard Furtula say that day that
17 Palic had worked for him once as a subordinate in the TO and we were not
18 to worry about him as he would look after him."
19 My question is: Did you know that Tolimir sent a document from
20 which it could be seen that on the 28th conversations with being
21 conducted with Avdo Palic and that he was not concealing where he was?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at P487 now,
23 please. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have put a question to the witness. Should
25 the witness answer?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I think it will be
2 easier once he sees this other document. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Very well.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You can see the document signed by General Major Zdravko Tolimir.
7 It was drafted on the 28th of July, 1995, sent to several recipients, the
8 Main Staff, the forward command post, to General Krstic, the Drina Corps
9 intelligence and security organ, and in the first sentence of the
10 document it is stated:
11 "During the conversation with Avdo Palic, we found out that the
12 minefields and individual mines were laid at the following locations."
13 And then these locations are listed. Now, you can see from this
14 document that Avdo Palic was detained on the 28th, because you said that
15 he had been captured by Furtula on the second or the third day, and that
16 on the 28th, during the last of the evacuation, he was alive and that
17 conversations were going back and forth with him. Thank you.
18 A. Yeah. I think how I would interpret my previous statement is
19 that's the last day when I saw him, rather than reading anything into the
20 word "disappeared." It's -- I think it's the last occasion that I
21 remembered seeing him.
22 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to remind you about this, that he --
23 actually, do you know what happened to Avdo Palic? Were you informed
24 about that when you were still in service in UNPROFOR and while you were
25 serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina, since you were following the radio and you
1 know Serbian and English and so on and so forth? Thank you.
2 A. I wasn't aware of when happened to him during my UN service or
3 time in the military.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have this document that we
6 have just looked at -- oh, I'm sorry. My legal advisor has just advised
7 me that this document has already been admitted. Thank you.
8 Can we now go back once again to page 3 of the witness's
9 statement, last paragraph, number 13. Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And while we're waiting for it to be put up on the screen, we can
12 see that it's the last paragraph both in the Serbian and the English.
13 I'm going to be reading for the transcript and you are going to look and
14 tell me whether I have read everything correctly.
15 "I was in Pale when --"
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note we are unable to find
17 where Mr. Tolimir is reading from.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it would be helpful if you could
19 indicate which paragraph you're referring to. It's better for the
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. This is page 3, the
22 last paragraph of the statement bearing the number 13. This is 1D279.
23 Can we look at 1D279 in the e-court, and if we can look at the last
24 paragraph, paragraph 13 both in the B/C/S and in the English so that we
25 can see what I'm referring to. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please wait a moment. It's not on the screen
2 yet. Now it is coming up.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will continue.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. "I was drinking coffee at the Hotel Panorama for a while and when
6 Zametica came out, he looked very worried and told me there had been a
7 massacre in Sarajevo. After that conversation, I realised I could not do
8 business in Pale that day and I left."
9 Thank you. Did I correctly quote paragraph 13 of your second
10 statement? Thank you.
11 A. Yes, you did.
12 Q. Thank you. My question is: Are you aware that in February 1994,
13 instead of bodies at the Markale market there were dummies or dolls
14 dressed in clothing, and that is part of the indictment that is currently
15 being issued, and the trial is ongoing against Radovan Karadzic? Thank
17 A. No, I'm not aware of that. It's the first time I've heard it.
18 Q. Please, do you know if an investigation into Markale II was
19 carried out, the incident that you referred to as having taken place in
20 August? That is the incident that you refer to in your statement. Thank
22 A. Yes, there was. I'm also aware that General Smith's spokesman at
23 the time, and again he took over from Gary Coe [phoen], I can't remember
24 the new guy's name, he went down and I remember him describing what he'd
25 seen on the site. And subsequent to that or simultaneous to that, I know
1 General Smith launched a full investigation to determine what was the --
2 the cause of the incident.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just for a little bit of clarity for
5 the future, what we are looking at is page 3 of the witness's OTP
6 statement that was taken by a different team. This is an entirely
7 different statement from the one we've been looking at. This was taken
8 14 December 2006 by members of the Dragomir Milosevic trial team, and I
9 just wanted to establish a date on the record so that again it's clear.
10 General Tolimir referred to some dummies allegedly being placed at a
11 location in 1994, and just for the record, I don't think there is any
12 dispute what General Tolimir is now asking the witness about in
13 paragraph 13 is what is referred to as the second Markale market massacre
14 which was in August of 1995. I mean, we know what we're talking about in
15 July of 1995 in Srebrenica but this is a completely separate case, just
16 so the record is clear what we're dealing with here.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that clarification. I wanted to
18 ask the accused as well to point out the date of this second OTP
19 statement, but now we have it on the record.
20 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. For the record, we are discussing the massacre you describe in
24 your statement of the 28th of August, 1995, on the Serb Orthodox Church
25 holiday. Is this what we are referring to?
1 A. Yes. We're referring to what I believe is Markale II. I mean,
2 what struck me particularly was the word "massacre" was used by Zametica
3 himself. It's -- it wasn't my word originally.
4 Q. Thank you. You mentioned the spokesperson who arrived at the
5 location who immediately issued a statement; is that correct?
6 A. I'm not sure when he issued the statement. I was obviously in
7 Pale at the time and it took some hours probably for me to be informed of
8 what had happened, but I was speaking to him sometime subsequently. And
9 from what he told me, I understood that he'd been on the site and had
10 seen real people who had been killed by whatever had happened in the
11 market, which we subsequently concluded was mortar fire.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you know that the site was also visited by Colonel Meille, who
15 was deputy commander of UNPROFOR for Sarajevo. He's French.
16 A. I don't recall that, no.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you know that he ordered an investigation in --
18 and the investigation included Colonel Demurenko who testified before
19 this Tribunal? Were you aware of that?
20 A. No, I wasn't.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you know that Demurenko was Chief of Staff for
22 General Meille? He conducted that investigation and testified before
23 this Tribunal that the statement was not issued before the on-site
24 investigation and that the on-site investigation did not reflect the
25 statements contained in that original statement or communique.
1 A. I just want to read through your question again.
2 MR. THAYER: If I may, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER: Again just for the sake of the record, I think the
5 Colonel Meille, that name is spelled M-e-i-l-l-e, if I'm not mistaken.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
7 THE WITNESS: As before, I have no recollection of
8 Colonel Meille's investigation or that of Mr. Demurenko or any statement
9 made about that.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. I asked you whether you knew that Colonel Demurenko
12 testified before this Tribunal in the Milosevic case, whereupon he said
13 that the shell had not arrived from the Serb position, from the location
14 contained in the official communique of the UNPROFOR spokesperson who was
15 English. He carried out the on-site investigation on behalf of Sarajevo
16 UNPROFOR command. Were you aware of that?
17 A. No, I wasn't. The investigation that I'm aware of was, I
18 believe, carried out by Colonel Pohl, and I believe that was the final
19 version relied upon by the commander of UNPROFOR.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you know that UNPROFOR radar control issued its
21 own report stating that the radar equipment did not register the place
22 from where the shell had allegedly come from and that they also did not
23 register the shell's path? In other words, that they had no record of
25 A. No, I wasn't aware of that. And to be honest, I wasn't aware
1 that their radar was tracking those things.
2 Q. Did you know that there was a radar in Sarajevo observing flight
3 paths of all shells fired in Sarajevo based on which they could determine
4 where a particular shell had come from? It was the so-called Cymbeline
5 radar system which UNPROFOR had there?
6 A. No, I wasn't aware of that. Or if I was, I've certainly
7 forgotten. It had no part of my particular role.
8 Q. Thank you. We won't discuss this any further since you are not
9 aware of it. While you were General Smith's liaison officer during his
10 mandate, was there information to the extent that the Zepa enclave was
11 not demilitarised, in other words, that there were soldiers there who had
13 A. Yes, I'm fairly sure it was known that there was a -- Bosnian
14 forces were conducting an offence in Zepa.
15 Q. Did you know whether the Bosnian forces were armed by having
16 air-lifts from Tuzla and elsewhere in the country deliver weapons and
17 ammunition to them?
18 A. I think we'd all heard rumours to that effect, and I'm not
19 sure -- I certainly don't remember the rumour relating to Zepa
20 specifically. But, yes, we'd heard rumours, speculation somewhere in the
21 press that there had been arms dropped, weapons dropped. I don't recall
22 that ever coming through as an official confirmed UNPROFOR communique of
23 any sort.
24 Q. Thank you. While you were in Zepa during the evacuation, did you
25 ever see Tolimir in civilian clothes, or did you ever hear of him being
1 in civilian clothes?
2 A. To be honest, I don't remember, but I don't think so.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you know that Tolimir saw all of the convoys out
4 of Zepa, which mostly departed during the night to reach Bosnian
5 territory, and that he returned to Zepa every morning, as well as that he
6 spent whole nights at that time escorting those convoys across
7 RS territory?
8 A. No, I wasn't aware of that, and I was trying to recall in my
9 memory if I could remember where you'd spent the evening and didn't think
10 it had been in Zepa village itself.
11 Q. Thank you. I thank you for all your answers, and I'd like to
12 thank you for the fairness you've exhibited as well as the recollections
13 you were able to make. I wish you a safe journey back home to your
14 regular duties and family.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. This
16 concludes my cross-examination. I would like to thank the interpreters
17 and Registry representatives as well as the OTP. I have no further
19 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
21 Mr. Thayer, do you have re-examination?
22 MR. THAYER: I do. Thank you, Mr. President. Just briefly.
23 We'll be able to conclude by the end of the day.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
25 Q. Good evening, sir. I just wanted to make sure we've got the
1 chronology of certain events correct for the record. Your testimony in
2 the Popovic case is before the court as evidence itself, and I just want
3 to make sure that today's record properly reflects your recollection.
4 The first is General Tolimir, I think, suggested to you in one of
5 his questions that you went to Tuzla after the DutchBat withdrawal from
6 the Srebrenica enclave. So my first question to you is: Do you recall
7 the actual date that you and Colonel Coiffet went to Tuzla, which you
8 testified about and you've touched on a little bit in your testimony
9 before this Trial Chamber?
10 A. Yes, I remember it particularly because it was Bastille Day and I
11 was there with a French colonel. So I was certainly in Tuzla on the
12 14th of July.
13 Q. And approximately how many days do you recall spending in Tuzla
14 during that assignment?
15 A. Approximately three.
16 MR. THAYER: For the record, Your Honours, that's at transcript
17 page 16269 of the Popovic trial.
18 Q. You stated, I think, in your OTP witness statement, or it's in
19 the statement somewhere and General Tolimir asked you some questions
20 about this, that the DutchBat withdrawal that you observed and went down
21 to the enclave for was on the 19th of July, 1995. Do you remember being
22 shown some -- or shown a document in the Popovic trial which affected
23 your testimony in some respect with respect to that date of the
24 19th of July that's in your OTP statement? Do you remember that at all,
25 and if you don't, I can quote it back to you?
1 A. Probably better to quote it back.
2 Q. This is at transcript page 16273.
3 MR. THAYER: And while I'm reading this back if we could have
4 P746 on e-court, please.
5 Q. And I'm going to quote back to you in a moment from transcript
6 page 16274 of the Popovic trial, if anybody wants to look at the hard
7 copy of that.
8 In the Popovic trial you were shown this document. It's dated
9 the 20th of July, 1995. It's from the Main Staff of the VRS to a couple
10 of military posts. Do you see it on your screen, sir?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. And it refers to the travel of General Nicolai's team from
13 Sarajevo to Potocari on the 21st of July, 1995, and then it refers to,
14 among others, yourself as being a member of that team that accompanied
15 him. Do you see that, sir?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. I asked you at page 16274:
18 "Did this document also jog your recollection as to when the
19 actual date was that you were at the bridge in Bratunac, that being the
20 21st of July?"
21 And your answer was:
22 "It's difficult to say it jogged my memory, because I simply at
23 that stage, working seven days a week, everything was -- it was pretty
24 hard to remember what day let alone what date. I have no reason to doubt
25 the date shown on the document."
1 Now, do you recall ever accompanying General Nicolai on more than
2 one trip to Potocari, sir, or to Bratunac in July of 1995?
3 A. No. There was only one trip, and as far as chronology is
4 concerned, it definitely took place after the village to -- Tuzla and
6 Q. And again, sir, do you have any reason to doubt, as you said in
7 Popovic, that you don't have any reason to doubt this date here of the
8 21st of July as being the date of the withdrawal of DutchBat from
10 A. No. I've got no reason at all to doubt the date on the document.
11 Q. Now, on this occasion when you accompanied General Nicolai for
12 the withdrawal of DutchBat, you told the Trial Chamber about
13 General Mladic taking you, for example, to see a Serb cemetery, and you
14 also described, I think, heaps of rubbish or refuse that were left by the
15 refugees at the UN compound. Do you remember that testimony from earlier
16 today, sir?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber this location that
19 you visited on that occasion? Just generally, what did this UN compound
20 look like? What did it consist of where you saw these big piles of
21 rubbish, if you can remember?
22 A. The recollection of the compound itself is not the clearest. We
23 were outside on a straight road and then in front of us, behind a sort of
24 fence/wall, I think there might have been HESCO Bastion walling, but
25 again, I'm not sure if that's genuine recollection or memory playing
1 tricks, there was a large building complex with a compound around it.
2 And where we were standing, as I said, was outside on the road, and it
3 appeared that there'd clearly been people in numbers on the road in front
4 of that.
5 Q. And did you actually go into any of these buildings?
6 A. I don't recall going into the UN -- the DutchBat buildings, no.
7 We were with Mladic somewhere else for lunch at Bratunac and then went
8 into the village itself and through some other buildings, but those
9 weren't previously UN occupied.
10 Q. And as we saw on the VRS order for your passage with
11 General Nicolai, it spoke of travel from Bratunac to Potocari. Was it
12 your understanding that where you were when you saw this, for example,
13 big pile of rubbish was Potocari? You referred to a village in your
14 prior testimony at transcript 16272. Is that what you understood you
15 were being shown was the village of Potocari?
16 A. I believe it was, yes.
17 Q. So do you recall actually every making it all the way down into
18 the town of Srebrenica that day, or did you stay up in the Potocari area,
19 which is north of Srebrenica, the actual town of Srebrenica?
20 A. Yeah. Thinking it through, I think if we got to Srebrenica it
21 would have been outskirts rather than centre, and to be honest, it's
22 possible we didn't actually get beyond Potocari. I simply don't recall,
23 but I don't recall it being -- what we saw, I don't recall it being a
24 town of the size of Gornji Vakuf or Bugojno or anything like that.
25 Q. You also today were trying to recall the name of the French
1 legionnaire, and you recalled it as, I think, Jardine or possibly
2 Jardinier. Do you remember spelling it out? And I'll just again cite
3 for the trial transcript, this is 16277 in the Popovic case, do you
4 remember actually spelling out his name at one point for the record in
5 the Popovic case?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Do you remember spelling it J-e-r-m-a-i-n-e, Jermaine? Do you
8 recall that, sir?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Now, you testified in the Popovic case, and this is at
11 transcript page 16289 to 16290, that you as well as the two JCOs with
12 whom you travelled to Zepa were unimpressed with the Ukrainian contingent
13 there in the Zepa enclave. You even testified, and this is at 16334 to
14 335 of the Popovic transcript, that you caught a Ukrainian peacekeeper
15 trying to pilfer from your Land Rover. Do you recall that testimony,
16 sir, from the Popovic case?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
19 question goes beyond the framework of cross-examination. It was not
20 discussed in cross-examination at all.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, can you give us a reference?
22 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. I'm -- actually, my next
23 question will, I think, make that pretty clear. Today --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Put the next question.
25 MR. THAYER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. I was just about to
1 do that.
2 Q. Today General Tolimir showed you a couple of agreements that
3 were -- or that bore the signatures of various representatives of the
4 Zepa civilian leadership, and today at page 47, line 11, and 56, line 10,
5 General Tolimir specifically pointed out to you, noted for you, that
6 these agreements were also signed by an UNPROFOR representative, in this
7 case Mr. Sejmon Dudnjik, the local Ukrainian commander. Do you remember
8 those questions from General Tolimir today, sir?
9 A. Yes, I do. And to your previous question, do I remember the
10 pilfering incident from my previous testimony, yes, I do to that too.
11 MR. THAYER: May we see P492, please.
12 Q. Okay. I don't think you've ever been shown this document before.
13 It's a daily combat report. The date is 14 July 1995, and the signatory
14 is Lieutenant-Colonel Rajko Kusic, and you've testified in these
15 proceedings and obviously previously that you were familiar with who
16 Colonel Kusic was.
17 This daily combat report is being directed to the VRS Main Staff
18 and the Drina Corps command and its forward command post.
19 What I want to do is focus on the paragraph in this daily combat
20 report that's headed "UNPROFOR."
21 It says:
22 "Check-point number 2 Boksanica, where the UNPROFOR commander is
23 located, has been put under the command of our forces. An agreement was
24 reached with him not to attack his positions under the condition that
25 they do not open fire on our combat formation, which he accepted with the
1 request to leave his positions where they are, and he will in turn
2 provide us with information on enemy activity and will not call in NATO
3 Air Force."
4 Now, you were pretty clear in the Popovic case about the lack of
5 confidence that yourself and other peacekeepers and UNPROFOR officers had
6 in the Ukrainians once you were on the ground there. Can you tell the
7 Trial Chamber, having read this portion, how this paragraph in this daily
8 combat report from Colonel Kusic corresponds or doesn't correspond with
9 your observations and your lack of confidence in the Ukrainian contingent
10 that was down there during these events?
11 A. As you said, it's the first time I've seen the document, that I
12 recall seeing the document.
13 On the face of it it's a fairly extraordinary statement, but it
14 does to a large extent tally with my impression of what was happening in
15 the Ukrainian camp, that discipline appeared to be extremely low. I
16 believe I said in one of my previous statements that their relationships
17 with the Serbs were particularly close. And I do remember on the very
18 last day, which was possibly the 2nd of August, or the 3rd, 2nd, I think,
19 when we were leaving that the -- the Serbs at the time said they still
20 had business -- remaining business to do with the Serbian [sic] forces.
21 So there was clearly something going on that wasn't on mainstream
22 UNPROFOR radar or radar used figuratively.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to clarify, Witness, you were recorded
24 saying this -- this page, line 5:
25 "The Serbs at the time said they still had business -- remaining
1 business to do with the Serbian forces."
2 Are you really referring to the Serbs?
3 THE WITNESS: Sorry. The Serbs said they had business to do with
4 the Ukrainians.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 And I thank you, sir. I have no further questions.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just a clarification in line 22 to 23. Just now
12 you said in answer to the question from Mr. Thayer:
13 "As you said, it's the first time I've seen the document, that I
14 recall seeing the document."
15 A. Yes, it's the first time, I believe, that I've seen this
16 particular document.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: All right.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I myself have a question. I would like to
19 take you back to a question of Mr. Thayer, page 75. I will quote it.
20 When you were asked about Potocari, you were asked:
21 "Was it your understanding that where you were when you saw this,
22 for example, big pile of rubbish was Potocari? Is that what you
23 understood you were being shown was the village of Potocari?"
24 And your answer was:
25 "I believe it was, yes."
1 What made you believe that it was Potocari?
2 A. I think it was Potocari rather than Srebrenica central, in that
3 it was a slightly smaller -- more of a village than a town, and hence
4 I -- my memory is hazy, but I believe it was the village of Potocari
5 rather than Srebrenica itself that we were looking at.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Tolimir, you have used two documents with this witness; the
8 two OTP statements, 1D278 and 1D279. Are you tendering them?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you for reminding us.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Both documents will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 1D278 will be Exhibit D112. 65 ter 1D279
13 will be Exhibit D113.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this
15 concludes the questioning for you. You are now free to return to your
16 ordinary activities, and we would like to thank you on behalf of the
17 Chamber and all participants in this trial for your assistance, for
18 your -- your assistance and that you were able to come to The Hague
19 again. Thank you very much again, and have a nice evening.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are at the end of today's hearing. We resume
22 tomorrow at 9.00 in this courtroom.
23 We adjourn.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day
1 of September, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.