1 Monday, 1 November 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon. The next witness should be
6 brought in, please.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to the Tribunal.
9 Would you please read allowed the affirmation on the card which is shown
10 to you now.
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
12 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: VINCENTIUS EGBERS
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down. I hope
16 you will receive Dutch interpretation. Is that the case?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Thayer has some questions for you, I suppose.
20 Mr. Thayer.
21 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you and
22 Your Honours. Good afternoon to the Defence. Good afternoon, everyone
23 in the courtroom.
24 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
25 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. Would you please state and spell your name, for the record.
3 A. I am Vincentius Egbers, E-g-b-e-r-s.
4 Q. And, sir, do you recall testifying in this courtroom over a
5 period of three days in October of 2006?
6 A. Yes, absolutely.
7 Q. And did you recently review all of your testimony in that case,
8 the Popovic case?
9 A. That's also correct.
10 Q. And when we met some weeks ago, were two errors noted at that
11 time? And I'll go over them in a moment.
12 A. Very well.
13 Q. If we look at page 2715 of the transcript.
14 MR. THAYER: And we don't need to call it up on e-court. It's
15 pretty minor -- minor typos.
16 Q. At line 25, there is a reference to the shelling of your position
17 at Bravo 1 wherein, at line 25, it states that:
18 "One of my privates was injured."
19 And, in fact, two UN personnel at that location were injured; is
20 that correct? And you wanted to correct that?
21 A. That is correct. That is indeed what I wanted to correct.
22 Q. And very quickly if we go to 2882 of the transcript.
23 MR. THAYER: We don't need to put it up on e-court.
24 Q. There is a reference at page -- I beg your pardon, at line 14
25 referring to the VRS shelling of the column of civilians fleeing from
1 Srebrenica town to Potocari. There is a reference to 40 metres from the
2 colony, and you wanted to change that to 40 metres from the column; is
3 that correct, sir?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Now, do you also recall reviewing your Popovic testimony in
6 connection with your name being listed as a potential Prosecution witness
7 in the ongoing case against Radovan Karadzic? Do you remember doing that
8 in 2009?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And in that --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could the Court Usher assist the witness, please.
12 MR. THAYER: I think the witness is -- just try not to
13 electrocute yourself.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your kind words.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Thayer, please continue.
17 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. In connection with that review, and for the benefit of the
19 Defence, I am looking at the witness statement of the witness dated 4
20 September, 2009. This isn't part of the package before this
21 Trial Chamber but for the benefit of the Defence. During of course of
22 your review of the Popovic testimony in 2009, you noted that your answer
23 at page 2863, line 1 should have been:
24 "That is not correct."
25 You told the investigators at that time that, and I quote:
1 "I did see armed Muslim men flaunting the fact that they had new
2 weapons, but this was in July 1995 after the fall of the enclaves, I
3 stated at page 2862, line 18, and not in May 1995."
4 Do you recall telling the investigators that, sir, and do you
5 stand by that correction?
6 A. Yes. I agree with the correction.
7 Q. And just for -- to be a little even more complete, you further
8 added, and I quote:
9 "When I answered 'that's correct,' on page 2863, line 1, I was
10 still thinking of July 1995 since I had just previously been discussing
11 seeing Muslim men with weapons during the fall of the enclave in July
13 Do you recall saying that to the investigators as well?
14 A. That's correct.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer. Please look at line 19 of page 3 --
16 no, sorry, line 21, of page 3, there is a reference to the Popovic
17 testimony in 2009.
18 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. That reference to 2009 -- and
19 I'll just clarify this with the witness.
20 Q. 2009 is when you met with the members of the Karadzic Prosecution
21 team and reviewed your Popovic testimony from 2006; is that correct, sir?
22 A. Are you asking me or the Judge?
23 Q. I am asking you, sir. Do you recall that it was in 2009 when you
24 met with the members of the Karadzic Prosecution team and reviewed your
25 Popovic testimony from 2006?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Okay. Now, bearing in mind, sir, those three corrections that
3 we've noted for the record, can you attest that the testimony that you
4 read accurately reflects what you said during the trial in the Popovic
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And can you attest that were you asked the same questions today
8 that you were asked back in October of 2006 in the Popovic trial that
9 your answers would be the same?
10 A. That's correct.
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender P1142,
12 the transcript of the witness's testimony in the Popovic case.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
14 MR. THAYER: And I have a number of exhibits to tender. The
15 Prosecution would tender P1144 to P1166, recognising, obviously, that we
16 will deal with P1143, the NIOD statement, and P1167, which is the Dutch
17 version of the witness's OTP statement during his examination-in-chief,
18 since those two items were not part of the 92 bis package originally.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, the exhibits P1163 through P1166 and
20 67 were not used -- were used but not admitted in the Popovic trial. Are
21 you going to use them today or tomorrow with this witness?
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I will use P1164, P1165, and P1166.
23 Upon an additional review are the unmarked maps which were then marked in
24 the Popovic trial by the witness. So they are simply two maps which you
25 have a marked-up version of, so although it will leave two P numbers
1 hanging out there, I think we will not -- we will withdraw our motion to
2 tender those two exhibits, and I do intend to show the witness P1167.
3 P1163 I had intended to ask the witness a couple of questions about, but
4 then took it off my list to save some time, but now you remind me that
5 it's one of the documents that were not actually admitted in the Popovic
6 case. So I think it is important enough for the Trial Chamber to have
7 before it, so I will ask a couple of questions on that document, unless
8 the Trial Chamber is willing to accept it based on its use in the Popovic
10 Again, it's one of these documents that was shown to the witness,
11 he was questioned on it. I think it's important, therefore, for the
12 Court to have the full context so you can see the document even without
13 me asking additional questions. Absent that ruling, decision, then I
14 will use it today.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The Chamber will receive the
16 documents P1144 through P1162. As you know, the procedure this Chamber
17 is following would need an additional showing the relevance of the other
18 exhibits we were talking about. You may tender them at the best point in
20 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Before I read the
21 92 bis/92 ter summary for Mr. Egbers, I do have a couple of corrections
22 to note which are independent of the witness's testimony, and I don't
23 think there is any dispute about this. I haven't had a chance to let the
24 Defence know, but they are simply corrections that -- two mistakes that
25 were made to some exhibit numbers in the transcript.
1 The first is at transcript page 2917, one of the Defence counsel
2 referred to Prosecution Exhibit P02045, that's a video. However, that is
3 the wrong cite. There is no such video. The correct number should be
4 P02047. I just wanted to note that for the record so there is no
5 confusion when the Trial Chamber is reviewing the witness's testimony is
6 looking for a P number that is incorrect.
7 Similarly, at transcript page 2925, Defence counsel calls out
8 Exhibit D225 and the proper number should be Exhibit 2D00025. And,
9 again, at transcript page 2928, Defence counsel calls out for
10 Exhibit D224, and the correct exhibit number is 2D00024.
11 I think the exhibits will make a little bit more sense when you
12 are matching up our exhibit list and the Registry's exhibit list with the
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This is helpful.
15 MR. THAYER: And I think my witness summary will take a couple of
16 minutes. Again, this witness testified concerning a number of matters
17 which are central to the forcible transfer case.
18 The witness served in the Royal Dutch Army from 1988 to 1998. In
19 July 1995, he was a first lieutenant serving as a platoon commander in
20 DutchBat's Charlie Company, located in Potocari. By July of 1995, owing
21 to VRS restrictions on leave, his platoon was reduced from 30 to 20 men.
22 DutchBat could not carry out its mission owing to VRS restrictions on
23 fuel, ammunition, food, and leave.
24 On 8 July, the witness was ordered to take up a blocking position
25 to the west of Srebrenica town, near the road leading from Srebrenica to
1 OP Alpha. He commanded four APCs that remained at this location, near
2 the area of Bajramovici and referred to as Bravo 1 for four days, from
3 the evening of 8 July until 11 July. From his position, he saw a VRS
4 tank fire on Srebrenica and his position, as well as VRS soldiers with
5 dogs entering homes in Pusmulici village and burning them. He did not
6 see the 9 July order from Major Franken to prevent with all available
7 means a breakthrough by the VRS into the town.
8 While he was at Bravo 1 on 9 and 10 July, the VRS fired directly
9 on his position. When his position was first shelled by the VRS, he was
10 not sure if he was the target because there was a Muslim artillery piece
11 nearby, an M-48, though it was never fired. He, the witness, and two of
12 his men were injured by the VRS shelling and the APC was damaged. When
13 he moved to another position nearby, the VRS shelled him again. This was
14 direct shelling of his position which followed him as he drove away from
15 the position, so close air support was ordered.
16 After the close air support on 11 July, the VRS tank which had
17 been firing at his position was no longer firing, so he returned to the
18 Bravo Company compound in Srebrenica, where hundreds of civilians had
19 gathered. He accompanied the fleeing Muslims north to Potocari, carrying
20 wounded and mentally ill on his APC. On the way to Potocari, they were
21 shelled on the left and the right by the VRS.
22 On 12 July, the witness escorted the first convoy to Kladanj,
23 which had Major Boering toward the front, although they did not know
24 where the convoy was headed. En route, people in Bratunac screamed and
25 threw things at the buses. Along the road, Serb soldiers were deployed
1 every 20 metres facing south, some firing. There was an anti-aircraft
2 gun on a vehicle near Sandici. Near Nova Kasaba, he saw between 100 and
3 200 men kneeling on a football field, lined up with their hands on their
4 necks and guarded by the VRS. He also saw a table and men walking on the
5 road with their hands on their neck walking towards the football field.
6 On 13 July, in the morning, he saw men being separated from their
7 families in Potocari; the men were taken to the white house and the women
8 were pushed inside the buses. He then heard a woman screaming. When he
9 asked her what was happening, she told him that her man had been taken to
10 the white house. He entered the house which was guarded by VRS soldiers
11 who told him that the men would be taken to Kladanj. The men's
12 belongings were in front of the house. The men were terrified, and when
13 they asked him what would happen to them, the witness repeated what the
14 VRS soldiers had told him, namely, that they would be taken to Kladanj.
15 However, the Muslims did not believe that and told him that they would be
16 killed. They included elderly men and younger boys. The witness saw a
17 convoy with the men and boys leave escorted by peacekeepers; however, he
18 was told that the VRS forced the peacekeepers out of their vehicle at
19 gunpoint near Bratunac.
20 Later in the morning of 13 July, he escorted another convoy to
21 Kladanj. En route, Bosnian Serb soldiers took his helmet and vest at
22 gunpoint. There were hundreds of Bosnian Serb soldiers along the road.
23 When he passed the football field near Nova Kasaba again that morning, he
24 saw a few hundred Muslim men there.
25 On the way back from Kladanj, Bosnian Serb soldiers stopped his
1 car at gunpoint and took it. He joined about a dozen other peacekeepers
2 who had also been escorting convoys and who had been stopped by
3 Bosnian Serb forces at Nova Kasaba and had their vehicles taken. When he
4 asked to see the commander of the local Bosnian Serb forces to complain
5 about the Serb forces stopping the peacekeepers, taking their equipment,
6 and threatening them, he was introduced to Major Zoran Malinic, who told
7 him that he was in charge of the headquarters there and of the soldiers
8 who had stopped the witness. Malinic was headquartered in a nearby
9 school building and had an office with his name on the door. Malinic's
10 office had maps of the enclave marked with the UN OPs.
11 With the help of a Bosnian Serb soldier who translated, the
12 witness compiled a written complaint of the Bosnian Serb soldiers'
13 conduct towards the peacekeepers, including stealing UN vehicles and
14 equipment, and forcing a Dutch peacekeeper to ride on top of a stolen APC
15 driven by a Serb soldier and tell the Muslims in the woods it was safe to
16 come out. Malinic told the witness that he did not have anything to do
17 with the troops who were along the road all the way the Bratunac and that
18 he had to contact his commanding officer, Colonel Beara, who was the
19 person who could get the peacekeepers returned to Potocari safely.
20 Nearby the school, there was a small structure in which 20 to 30
21 [Realtime transcript read in error "230"] men and boys were detained, one
22 of whom had a black eye and one of whom had a stomach wound.
23 The next morning, Colonel Beara arrived in a luxury civilian car.
24 Beara was a tall man with grey hair and the atmosphere of a colonel. The
25 witness remembered him as a big, giant colonel. The witness and Beara
1 saluted each other and were introduced to each other by the Serb
2 interpreter. The witness gave Beara a written copy of his complaint
3 about the conduct of the Bosnian Serb forces. The witness also
4 complained to Beara about Serb soldiers pretending to be UN
5 peacekeepers --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I think you should slow down a bit.
7 MR. THAYER: I will.
8 The witness also complained to Beara about Serb soldiers
9 pretending to be UN peacekeepers by wearing stolen UN clothes and driving
10 stolen UN vehicles. Beara took the complaint and entered the school with
11 Malinic. After about an hour -- I beg your pardon, after about half an
12 hour, Beara left. The witness identified Beara from a video he was
13 shown. Later that evening, after there were no buses left to be escorted
14 to Kladanj, the witness and the other peacekeepers were taken back to
16 When the witness returned to Potocari he typed up a report the
17 detailing, among other things, his experience at Nova Kasaba and contacts
18 with Malinic and Beara which he submitted the next day, 15 July 1995.
19 Now, I recognise that was a lengthy summary, Mr. President, but I
20 think it will help place in context some of the questions I have for the
21 witness, as well as, I expect, a certain amount of the cross-examination
22 and potential redirect, although I hope some of the redirect may be cut
23 off by some of the questioning I have now.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Thayer. If you look at line 18 of
25 became 10, you will find the number at the end of this line. Could you
1 please clarify if this is the correct, to have "20 to 230."
2 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, for catching that. That's
3 "20 to 30."
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 Q. Sir, I have a few questions for you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, I think it's again recorded in a different
7 way, it should read "20 to 30" and not "230"; is that correct?
8 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. I think we have got it now.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Sir, when you left the Royal Dutch Army in 1998, what rank did
12 you hold?
13 A. At the time, I was a first lieutenant. And in 1998, I
14 transferred to the airforce.
15 Q. And would you please provide the Trial Chamber with just a brief
16 overview of your employment from the time you entered the airforce to the
17 present, including what rank you currently hold?
18 A. In 2000, I started working as a captain for the
19 Royal Dutch Military constabulary, that's the military police for the
20 armed forces. I am now a colonel for the same Royal Dutch Military
22 MR. THAYER: Now, if we may have P1163.
23 Q. Colonel, I would like to ask you a couple of questions about this
25 Please the Trial Chamber just briefly what is this document that
1 we are looking at?
2 A. This is a questionnaire drafted in English that was presented to
3 me in 1995.
4 Q. And do you recall how soon after your departure from the enclave
5 was this questionnaire given to you to complete?
6 A. I don't remember the exact date anymore. Isn't it at the bottom?
7 Q. I am afraid it isn't, sir, but let me ask you this: If we look
8 at the first page, just to give us a range of possible dates, there is a
9 question here, it says:
10 "It may be necessary for staff of the international tribunal to
11 conduct a further interview ... please indicate any date when you would
12 be unavailable."
13 You indicate here 10 to 18 August of 1995. Is it thus fair to
14 say that whenever you filled this out it was sometime between the time
15 you left the enclave and the 10th of August, 1995?
16 A. Of course, we completed this immediately after arriving in
17 Zagreb, but I am not sure what the exact date was.
18 Q. Okay. And just to be clear, Zagreb was your first stop after
19 leaving the Srebrenica enclave; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Okay. Now, if we go to the second page in this document, and I
22 think you testified to some degree about this topic in Popovic, but I
23 think it could bear a little bit of clarification or repetition here.
24 There is the question:
25 "How many persons carried out the capture?"
1 And you indicated on the first page that your freedom of movement
2 had been restricted, and here you write:
3 "We were not captured. We were free to go, but the BSA couldn't
4 guarantee our safety. We tried to drive back with three UN Mercedes.
5 After 500 metres, two of them were stolen."
6 Now, in Popovic, and I just note at transcript page 2760, you
7 testified quite plainly that you were not free to go, and you said the
8 same thing in the Krstic case. So my question to you is: Can you
9 explain your answer here on this form, on this questionnaire, and what
10 you meant when you testified in Popovic and in Krstic that you were not
11 free to go?
12 A. When I was at the school in Nova Kasaba, I was not handcuffed, my
13 hands were free, but that didn't mean that I could leave. Guns were
14 pointed at me, but I wasn't locked up. That's why my description was
15 somewhat awkward in this respect when I returned to the enclave. We
16 couldn't leave, but we weren't trapped in a prison or cage as the Bosnian
17 men were kept.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. THAYER: Okay. Your Honour, at this time the Prosecution
20 would tender P1163.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as P1163.
22 MR. THAYER: And if we may have P1164, please.
23 Q. Now, sir, what we are looking at here on the left in English is
24 an English translation of a document which you filled out by hand in
25 Dutch. The --
1 MR. THAYER: I note two things for the record, Mr. President.
2 First is that the actual -- unfortunately, the actual Dutch official
3 version which was referred to in the Popovic case, for some reason, was
4 not part of the 92 bis package. The translation -- the English
5 translation and the B/C/S translation obviously are, and they are in
6 e-court, but the original Dutch version was not part of the 92 bis
7 package. But we have uploaded it and the Prosecution would tender it as
8 it is obviously the core document for the English translations which were
9 part of the 92 bis package. I'd just discovered that problem this
10 afternoon, and I think we've managed to get the Dutch version uploaded
11 into e-court.
12 Is it possible to display the Dutch version? If not, I can put
13 it on the ELMO. We can just look at it very quickly. And then we will
14 go back to the respective English and B/C/S translations.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. We have a problem with our
16 screens. We don't have the transcript at the moment. I think we need a
17 technician to assist us.
18 MR. THAYER: I think the time changes caught everything
19 off-guard. Okay. I have got a hard copy. We can put the Dutch version
20 on the ELMO very quickly, please, with the assistance of the usher.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have the transcript in e-court at the
22 moment. I was told the same happened to the other courtrooms. We can
23 only follow the transcript on LiveNote, which brings up another problem.
24 We can't see the ELMO and the transcript at the same time, but we should
25 use the time as best as possible.
1 MR. THAYER: I will be very brief, Mr. President, with this
2 document. And what I can do is, once the witness has talked about a
3 couple of the pages, I can circulate that hard copy to the -- to the
4 Chamber, and if the Defence doesn't have a copy it can be passed on.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We have now the document on the ELMO on our
6 screens. Is everybody able to see that document on the ELMO?
7 Mr. Tolimir, do you have this document on the ELMO in front of
8 you? Okay.
9 I take it that you can continue.
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Colonel, can you identify what this document is on the ELMO for
12 us, please?
13 A. This is once again a debriefing form, a report that I completed.
14 Q. Okay. And if you would kindly just remove that first page and we
15 will look at the second page very quickly. In English there is, in the
16 middle of the page, a paragraph which states the following:
17 "This is the end of the first operational de-brief."
18 Do you recall who was conducting this debrief? Was it the UN,
19 was it the Dutch government? Do you have any recollection?
20 A. This was Dutch.
21 MR. THAYER: And if we could just move the page up a little bit,
22 so we could catch the bottom, please.
23 Q. Can you just read what number 2 there says into the record, and
24 we'll look at the translation shortly, but if you could just read what
25 number 2 in your handwriting says.
1 A. "Regarding our safety, filed a complaint with Major Zoran (see
2 report head S2/3), escorted convoys as assigned, BSA unable to guarantee
3 our safety."
4 MR. THAYER: And if we could remove that next page and look at
5 the next document.
6 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what this document is, sir,
8 A. This is the document I drafted in the enclave on or around 15
9 July 1995 in Dutch that I gave to my head of section 2/3.
10 Q. And what is section 2/3, sir?
11 A. In the battalion staff we had an officer responsible for
12 operation and intelligence, and I gave it to him. S2 is intelligence; S3
13 is operation.
14 Q. Okay. So typically those are two separate cells, and in this
15 case, is it fair to say it was one person performing both jobs?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. I think we are done with this document for
19 MR. THAYER: Now, Mr. President, are we technically capable of
20 looking at -- of having LiveNote and regular e-court? Or are we -- we're
21 still down. Okay. Well, let's look at P1164.
22 And with the Court's permission, we'll just proceed then by
23 talking about what we have in front of us.
24 Q. Sir, we are looking at an English translation on the left-hand of
25 the screen. Is that a translation of the Dutch document that we just saw
1 on the ELMO?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Okay. And you were shown these documents in the Popovic case,
4 and I just wanted to go over a couple of matters with you. If we look at
5 paragraph 5, the question is:
6 "Did you observe the selection of refugees by the BSA? Please
8 And your answer was:
9 "Yes, all the men were gathered near a house. I was there.
10 Reassured and told them that they would also be taken off to Kladanj.
11 Unfortunately this was not carried out."
12 You testified in the Krstic case --
13 MR. THAYER: And just for the record, this is at transcript pages
14 2886 to 2887.
15 Q. -- that you believed at the time what you were told by these Serb
16 soldiers, that these men and boys in the white house would be taken, as
17 the women, children, and elderly had been, to Kladanj. And you suggested
18 in your testimony in Popovic that you may have been naive at the time.
19 Can you please elaborate on that just a little bit for the Trial Chamber.
20 A. The men were in a state of panic and they were happy I was there,
21 and I was trying to reassure them by asking the Bosnian Serb lieutenant
22 what was going to happen with them. And in response, they told that
23 first they would see exactly who these men were and that they would then
24 be sent to Kladanj. And, of course, I looked at it, being trained in the
25 Geneva Convention, that you treat people humanely, and I tried to
1 reassure these people by sharing the story that I had been told with
2 them. And when they shook their head and moved their finger from ear to
3 ear along their throats, they were trying to tell me that it was
4 otherwise. And although I was able to escort their wives and children up
5 to Kladanj in the packed buses, from what I understand it didn't happen
6 on this transport. The escort, after a while, with the weapons on the
7 head was removed from the transport by the Bosnian Serbs, with the weapon
8 point at the heads, and he couldn't tell me what else happened with these
10 What I saw in the house were rooms filled with men, boys, old
11 men, who were being gathered there while their wives and children were
12 sent on to the buses. That made a deep impression on me.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. THAYER: I understand that other folks in the courtroom might
15 not be able to see what I am seeing. Okay. I am looking at a transcript
16 at page 19, line 3, and it reads --
17 Q. And I don't know if you have it in front of you, sir:
18 "The escort, after a while, with the weapons on the head was
19 removed from the transport with the Bosnian heads with the weapon point
20 at the heads and he wouldn't tell me what else happened with these
22 I think something got lost along the way, sir, to the transcript.
23 Can you just, please, clarify, maybe repeat your answer. What you are
24 talking about in this portion of your answer?
25 A. You want me to start at the beginning?
1 Q. No. If you could just tell us what you were referring to with
2 the escort, and apparently there was a weapon pointed at somebody's head
3 along the way, and if you could just share that portion of your answer
4 with the Trial Chamber, because it didn't come out intelligibly on the
5 transcript for some reason. What happened to the DutchBat escort who
6 tried to escort the bus with the men and boys to Bratunac?
7 A. That convoy was escorted by Lieutenant Versteeg,
8 V-e-r-s-t-e-e-g, Versteeg. And he told me that a gun was pointed at his
9 head and that he had to return when the transport rode on.
10 MR. THAYER: And just for the Trial Chamber's convenience, that
11 very far, Lieutenant Michel Versteeg is witness number 28 in this case,
12 whose testimony has been accepted pursuant to Rule 92 bis, so his
13 testimony is available for the Court's review.
14 Now, if we could just go to the next page in both versions,
15 please, and I think we will actually have to advance one more in each.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am afraid that we don't have the right spelling
17 of the name of this officer on the record. The name is, in fact,
18 V-e-r-s-t-e-e-g, Versteeg.
19 MR. THAYER: Thank you, again, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now it's correct.
21 MR. THAYER: Okay.
22 Q. Sir what we have here on the screen, hopefully what you are
23 looking at as well, on the right-hand side is the English translation of
24 the report that you spoke about a few moments ago that you saw in the
25 original Dutch on the ELMO that you wrote on or about the 15th of July,
1 1995; is that correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 MR. THAYER: Okay. And I, again, just note for the record there
4 is a translation error. In the heading on the English it should read,
5 "Head of S2/4," not head of "S2/34." I think that comports with what
6 Colonel Egbers told us when he was looking at the original Dutch version.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We have this number in both versions, in the
8 B/C/S and in the English version.
9 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President, I see it's been replicated.
10 Q. Now, just to make one matter clear from the Popovic case. If we
11 look at paragraphs 6, 7, and 8 of your report, and I am not going to ask
12 you to recount what this information is in these paragraphs, but can you
13 tell the Trial Chamber, please, what was the source of the information in
14 paragraphs 6, 7, and 8? Who or what was the source of this information?
15 A. As I said regarding paragraph 6, I am recounting what
16 Major Zoran - as I called him at that time - told me. I am recounting
17 what Major Zoran told me. Major Zoran Malinic, born in 1961, is the
18 source of the story.
19 Q. And who was the source for the information in paragraphs 7 and 8
20 as well, sir?
21 A. That information is from the same major.
22 Q. And if we look at paragraph 10, you have reported here that you
23 met with Colonel Beara, told him what had happened, which had been
24 written down, and you note that Colonel Beara has the originally, a copy
25 is held by section 2/3. What you are referring to here in this paragraph
1 10, what is the document?
2 A. When I arrived at the school, I asked for the highest ranking
3 officer, and I wanted to make an arrangement with him to be able to share
4 our opinion and our feelings with him. I was received by a soldier
5 speaking -- who spoke Serbo-Croat and English, and he advised me to draft
6 a joint document in which I stated on behalf of the United Nations what
7 was wrong, such as driving through the forest in an armoured vehicle. On
8 the front of the armoured vehicle was a Dutch sergeant, and he had to
9 call out to the Muslims in the forest that it was safe and that they
10 should come to him. I also reported the stolen and used vehicles,
11 uniforms, and helmets. There was no longer any difference between true
12 UN soldiers and Bosnian Serb warriors. We wrote that down and I
13 presented that to Colonel Beara.
14 I -- I submitted the copy to my own section 2/3, and I never saw
15 it again.
16 Q. And, sir, did you become aware that at some period of time
17 following the take-over of the enclave by the VRS forces, that members of
18 DutchBat destroyed sensitive documents and other materials so that they
19 would not fall into the hands of the VRS forces?
20 A. I saw that. They burned a lot.
21 Q. So have you ever actually seen a copy since the day you submitted
22 that copy of the complaint to your S2/S3, have you ever seen a copy of
23 that since?
24 A. Never again.
25 Q. And how did the document that we saw on the ELMO a little while
1 ago in Dutch, the report, this 15 July report that we are looking at the
2 translation of now, how did that make it out of the enclave?
3 A. I brought that with me, myself.
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, at this time I would formally move
5 to, I guess, add the Dutch original that actually forms the basis of the
6 document that's already been admitted to our Rule 65 ter list of exhibits
7 and tender it along with the B/C/S and English translations which already
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Dutch original is already admitted?
10 MR. THAYER: No, no. The Dutch original is what I am moving to
11 admit. It forms the basis of the English translation and the B/C/S
12 translations which have already been admitted.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I take it this is uploaded into e-court.
14 MR. THAYER: It is now, actually, as we were -- as we were
15 working it made it onto the system.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 MR. THAYER: And I think it can retain the same 65 ter number if
18 you think that makes it easy for everybody.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. And this will be admitted into evidence
20 all together, the Dutch original, the English, and the B/C/S translation
21 as P1164.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Now, if we may have P1167 on e-court.
24 Q. Sir, can you tell the Trial Chamber what this document is that we
25 are looking at?
1 A. This is a witness statement that I made on 24 October, 1995.
2 MR. THAYER: And if we could scroll down just a little bit.
3 Q. Do you recognise your signature anywhere on this page?
4 A. My signature appears at the left.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. THAYER: I note for the record that the English version of
7 this statement has been admitted as P1145, and there is a B/C/S
8 translation of that, naturally. What we are looking at now was not
9 admitted in the Popovic case, although it was shown to the witness. What
10 I'd like to do is ask Colonel Egbers to look at a couple of the
11 attachments to this, one of which was also shown to him in the Popovic
13 So if we could go to page 10 in the e-court, please, we will be
14 looking at two sketches so there is no translation as yet.
15 Q. Do you see a sketch, sir, before you?
16 A. Yes, absolutely.
17 Q. Okay. We can see a circle at the bottom right-hand with some
18 letters and then some other markings. Can you please just take a moment
19 and explain to the Trial Chamber what this sketch shows; and there is
20 also some Dutch, and if you would kindly translate some of the Dutch
21 portions for the Trial Chamber.
22 A. The circle at the bottom of the sheet of paper depicts the
23 enclave Srebrenica with some observation posts. The line directed toward
24 Bratunac depicts the road to Bratunac. Then if you look from the word
25 "Bratunac" to the left, the road continues, and I've indicated during the
1 interrogation that the road was filled with Bosnian Serb soldiers. It
2 reads "four loops [phoen]," that's a piece of anti-aircraft weapon with
3 four barrels pointed at the forest. Just a bit further on --
4 Q. Let me just stop you for a minute because we are going to do a
5 little bit of marking and translating as we go. So if you would take the
6 stylist, there should be a little magic pen with the court assistant's
7 help here. Ah, you got it. Okay.
8 You just referred to four lopes loops, or an anti-aircraft gun.
9 If you could just circle what you are referring to and maybe write AA gun
10 next to that so we know what you are talking about, please.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Okay. And we can see a lot of little circles that are -- you've
13 drawn on along the roads and some arrows pointing in various directions.
14 Can you tell the Trial Chamber what those little circles are?
15 A. Those little small circles depict groups of up to three soldiers,
16 and the arrow is the direction of their line of vision. They were
17 focussing in the direction of the enclave, that's what they were looking
19 Q. Okay. And sir, if you would, please continue describing what
20 you've drawn here. And if you think it helps to mark additionally any of
21 the elements, please do.
22 A. I would like to apologise for this unclear drawing, but I didn't
23 realise that I was going to need to explain it 15 years later. Past the
24 anti-aircraft gun, I've written: "Roadblock Konjevici." The road was
25 closed off there and we had to turn left in our vans. The road from
1 Konjevici to Simici, that road was also filled with soldiers. There were
2 a lot of Bosnian Serb soldiers, and again they were looking in the
3 direction of the enclave. And I've drawn a small football field, I'll
4 circle it, that's the Nova Kasaba football field where I saw all those
5 men kneeling with their hands on their neck on the football field. And
6 just a bit further I wrote down, I'll underline this school, that was
7 where we were being held.
8 The buses rode on toward Kladanj, and I'll underline that as
9 well, that's where the buses stopped. The large arrow that I drew, and
10 that's a bit strange because I wrote that in English, Muslim people,
11 that's the direction in which the Bosnian Serb men and boys were walking
12 toward the free Bosnian area.
13 And, in fact, all of this is a trap, a trap by the Bosnian Serb
14 soldiers to catch the Muslim men.
15 Q. Okay. Let me just stop you right there, sir. I think I heard
16 you say that that arrow represented the Bosnian Serb men and boys walking
17 to the free Bosnian area. Did you mean Bosnian Serb men and boys or
18 something else?
19 A. I meant the refugees that were in Srebrenica and independently
20 walked to Tuzla, or, in any case, the free area, and those were the
21 Muslim youths and men.
22 Q. Okay. And just lastly, the -- in the upper right-hand corner,
23 there is something written in Dutch, and if you would kindly just
24 translate what you've written there. Or, perhaps, just read it in Dutch
25 and the translators will do it for us.
1 A. I -- the English word doesn't come to mind, but a "fauk [phoen]"
2 is something -- so a trap or a net in this case, that's something that
3 fish swim into, and I hope our interpreters can interpret that properly.
4 THE INTERPRETER: In the context mentioned by the speaker, it is
5 a net, says the translator.
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. Okay. And what else have you written here?
8 A. It reads: "Net by BSA, Bosnian Serb army, to catch BiH, Muslim
10 Q. Okay. Thank you, Colonel. That was very helpful.
11 MR. THAYER: If we could save this document now.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received, but I would clarify the
13 situation. The original sketch was an attachment to the document P1167
14 or P1145. In fact, what is the difference between these two documents?
15 MR. THAYER: It's attached originally to P1167, which is the
16 Dutch language original witness statement. When the statement was
17 translated into English, the sketches didn't carry over, that's why we
18 have to work with the Dutch original because that's the version that has
19 the sketches attached to it.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. And we want to receive the
21 number of the marked sketch.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1302 [Realtime transcript read in
23 error "P10002"], Your Honours.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have not the right number on the
25 screen. Perhaps it can be repeated.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, the number is P1302 [Realtime
2 transcript read in error "P1032"].
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's again wrong, 1302. Thank you.
4 We have still a problem with e-court. There is no connection on
5 some screens, only one Judge is in the position to follow the transcript,
6 not the other two judges. I don't know what is happening here, but
7 Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
8 MR. THAYER: Okay. If we could go to the next page in the
9 document, please.
10 Q. I am not going to ask you to go into too much detail about this
11 sketch, Colonel. Can you just tell the Trial Chamber who drew it and who
12 made the markings in English?
13 A. This is also my handwriting. I drew and wrote this on 24
14 October, 1995.
15 Q. And without going into the particulars, because I think they are
16 pretty self-explanatory, can you just tell the Trial Chamber what this
17 sketch depicts?
18 A. At the top you see the road from Simici to Konjevici -- may I
19 writes on this?
20 Q. Certainly.
21 A. I am circling the roadblock. Here I am circling the roadblock
22 that stopped all our vehicles. The vehicles were parked there on the
23 square. Here men and boys were being held. I already stated there. We
24 were staying at the school, whereas here dogs were held. On the square
25 were mortars and Bosnian Serb armoured personnel carriers.
1 Q. And you just referred to some dogs. Can you tell the
2 Trial Chamber what you were able to observe about the dogs that were at
3 this location? For what purpose could you discern that these dogs were
5 A. They were German shepherds, aggressive dogs, used by the
6 servicemen. I saw similar dogs days earlier in the enclave in the house
7 by Pusmulici, I am not sure whether they were the same dogs.
8 Q. And did it appear to you that these dogs were part of the
9 military unit that was headquartered here or were they part of some other
10 unit, from what you could see?
11 A. They were part of the unit of that Major Zoran.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you, Colonel. I think we can save this document and
13 move to the next one, please. When we get the number.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This marked sketch will be received as an
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1303 [Realtime transcript read in
17 error "P10303"], Your Honours.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have again a problem with the number
19 of this document.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. The number again is P1303.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry, Mr. Thayer.
22 MR. THAYER: Okay. If we could turn to the next page, please.
23 And may I proceed, Mr. President?
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please, carry on.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. Colonel, we have a sketch in front of us. Again, the heading is
2 "Nova Kasaba." Please tell the Trial Chamber who made these markings and
3 whose writing is on this sketch?
4 A. This is not my handwriting but that of the person who
5 interrogated me. I did sign it at the bottom right of this page.
6 Q. And again without going into too much detail, can you please tell
7 the Trial Chamber, just generally speaking, what does this sketch depict?
8 A. You see two vehicles driving north along the football field, a
9 large bus with refugees, and behind that my Mercedes, and the little dot
10 is me. To the right is a football field where Muslim men and youths were
11 kneeling, and people, Muslim men and youth, along the road on their way
12 to the football field. And on the football field I saw about 20 soldiers
13 and a table. I was driving at 40 to 45 kilometres an hour along this
14 football field. I was riding behind the bus.
15 Q. Now, Colonel, in your Popovic testimony you stated that you
16 passed by this football field on more than one occasion on the 12th and
17 13th of July. When we see here on the sketch where its written: "Almost
18 whole field covered with people," was that the case for all the occasions
19 when you saw this football field; for example, the first time on the
20 12th, or did it apply to the 13th or both? If you could just tell the
21 Trial Chamber or give the Trial Chamber some indication when the football
22 field was almost completely covered with people.
23 A. That was the first time I drove past it on the first day of the
24 deportation. Later on, it was not as full any more.
25 MR. THAYER: Okay, Mr. President. The Prosecution would tender
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
3 And I would like to ask the witness one question related to the
4 sketch on the screen. You told us that we can see your signature on this
5 page and the handwriting was done by the person who interviewed you. Who
6 made this the sketch itself, the football field in the street and the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not entirely certain anymore
9 whether she did that or I did that, but in any case it's exactly as I
10 remember it.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I see we're coming up on
14 the break and I am about to start a new series of questions, so with the
15 Court's indulgence, if we could take the break now that would be
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is a good proposal. Has everybody the
18 transcript in e-court again on the screen? All problems solved,
19 Mr. Gajic? Yes, okay. That's fine.
20 We must have our first break now and we will resume quarter past
22 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, please continue.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. While we are dealing with, Colonel, your 24 October 1995 witness
4 statement, let's look at the English translation for a moment.
5 MR. THAYER: This is P1145. And there is a B/C/S version of that
6 as well, but if we could P1145 in e-court, please.
7 Q. Okay, sir, we have here the English translation of your OTP
8 witness statement from the 24th of October, 1995.
9 MR. THAYER: If we could go to page 5 in both the English and the
10 B/C/S version, please.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There is a loud typing noise from your side.
12 Perhaps you can use the other microphone, it could reduce the amount of
14 MR. THAYER: Will do. Ms. Stewart is --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: She's always busy.
16 MR. THAYER: She's always busy.
17 Q. Now, if we could focus on the paragraph that begins:
18 "Convoy 3 ... ," please, there is a reference. Well, let's just take a
19 look at the paragraph, and you refer here to another one of the convoys
20 carrying the women, children, and elderly. You said:
21 "I rode with Lutke again and we were last in the line. We were
22 regularly made to stop by Bosnian Serbian soldiers. They wanted our
23 bullet-proof vests, helmets, and weapons."
24 And you go on. And then you state:
25 "I heard over the radio that other vehicles were being robbed as
2 Do you see that, sir, a little bit further into the paragraph?
3 Just take a moment and let me know when you read that -- reach that
5 You state that you heard radio reports that this stripping of the
6 UN escorts was also happening to other Dutch peacekeepers. Based on your
7 own experience and what you heard being reported, does this appear to you
8 to be a random occurrence of stopping, stripping, disabling, the
9 peacekeepers, or did it appear to you to be co-ordinated in some fashion?
10 A. We drove behind the bus and were in touch with each other over
11 the radio, and I understood that all white UN vehicles were being stopped
12 and that our helmets and bullet-proof vests were being requested. Only
13 by pointing at my rank was I able to retain my own things. This had
14 happened to all of us. It was not an isolated occurrence that it
15 happened to somebody, this was carefully thought out.
16 MR. THAYER: Now let's move to a different document if we could,
17 please. This is P1148.
18 Q. Okay. Just to save a little bit of time, sir, what we have here
19 on the right is an English translation of a debriefing statement that you
20 gave to the Dutch authorities. That statement, and its original form
21 being in your own language, so what we are looking at here is the English
22 translation. This is a statement that you gave on 11 September, 1995.
23 Do you recall providing this debriefing statement at Assen?
24 A. Absolutely.
25 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could go to page 4, please, of this
1 document. And this will be page 4 in both the English and the B/C/S.
2 Q. I want to draw your attention, Colonel, to the very first
3 paragraph where it says:
4 "With each new battalion, the BSA had clearly shifted the
5 boundaries. As a result, the enclave was getting smaller all the time.
6 As January 1995 approached, the BSA also came closer and closer to the
7 enclave borders. After a while UNPROFOR was no longer allowed to enter
8 the so-called Bandera Triangle. It was unclear why.
9 "Both the Muslims and the Serbs did whatever they pleased in the
10 Bandera Triangle. If the Serbs wanted to stop a convoy, then they did,"
11 et cetera.
12 Can you please explain a little bit more what you were talking
13 about here and what was going on with respect to the activity of both the
14 Muslim fighters, or presence in the triangle, as well as the VRS presence
15 in the Bandera Triangle.
16 A. As you did indeed read out, it turned out that with each new
17 battalion, the borders were once again a subject of debate. And upon our
18 arrival in January 1995, we observed that the BSA was moving closer in
19 the direction of the enclave. We had just arrived in the enclave and did
20 not know how to respond to this. Then some Muslims took their own
21 initiatives to ensure that their enclave didn't shrink further. They
22 wanted to ensure that the Bosnian Serbs remained at a distance and
23 through this measure deprived us of access to the Bandera Triangle. We
24 were in there, in fact, but it's not so that Serbs and Muslims were
25 intermingled or that it wasn't clear. The enclave border remained in
2 Q. And when you say in this briefing that both the Muslims and the
3 Serbs did whatever they pleased in the Bandera Triangle, can you provide
4 any examples or just provide a little bit more clarity about what you are
5 referring to?
6 A. The Bosnian Serbs fired grenades from outside the enclave in the
7 triangle. We heard many explosions to the south of OP Alpha, and the
8 Muslims prevented us from getting access to that triangle so we didn't
9 know exactly what they wanted to do over there. So it's not so much that
10 it was unclear. The border remained in effect and was enforced. There
11 was additional shelling by the Serbs in that triangle, and the Muslims
12 tried to resist.
13 Q. Now, during the VRS attack on the enclave, say from approximately
14 6 of July through the fall of the enclave, on or about the 11th or even
15 the 12th of July, depending on how you look at it, did you become aware
16 ever of any information indicating that there was any Muslim resistance,
17 reinforcements, military activity, that was coming out of the Bandera
18 Triangle, weapons, men streaming out of the triangle, any reports of any
19 kind of such activity with respect to the Bandera Triangle?
20 A. No, it wasn't that way at all. The attack of the Bosnian Serbs
21 was directed at the south of the enclave. Nothing at all was happening
22 in that Bandera Triangle. There were no warriors or arms there. There
23 wasn't anything there.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. THAYER: If we could go to page 15 of this document, please,
1 and that's in both versions. I want to ask you a quick question about a
2 topic that I don't think was raised in the Popovic case.
3 Q. About three quarters of the way down the English, and it's going
4 to be about smack in the middle of the B/C/S, there is a reference here
5 to your return to the compound, and I take it that's your return to the
6 Potocari compound, the Charlie Company compound. And you refer here to:
7 "Before the lighting point, he had seen a dead woman who was
8 probably overcome due to heat and exhaustion."
9 Now, I am not sure you have ever been asked in the Krstic case or
10 the Popovic case about this dead woman that you saw. If you could cast
11 your memory back a little bit and just share with the Trial Chamber
12 whatever you can recall about where exactly you saw this dead woman and
13 anything he else about the circumstances.
14 A. I escorted the first transport of buses, and all those buses
15 stopped in the middle of the forest. We got out to see what was wrong.
16 The very first convoy stopped and the women and children thought that
17 they were going to be killed there. From the bus, they made motions
18 across their neck from their left to their right ear; after all, we
19 stopped in the middle of the forest. I tried to reassure them and they
20 basically passed the body of the dead woman outside -- over the heads of
21 the other women. So I walked on to the point where the buses were being
22 unloaded further on. It was well organised. The doors of one bus
23 opened, the women and children were told to alight and to walk on to a
24 certain road without knowing exactly where. This happened in the forest
25 at that border where most of the women thought that they were going to be
2 Q. Just to further orient ourselves, this is at the location from
3 which these women, children, and elderly had to walk an additional
4 several kilometres to get to the free territory; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And do you recall anything further about this woman who died, her
7 approximate age, were you told anything about what caused her death?
8 A. At that point, I couldn't pay the attention to her that I would
9 have liked to because at other points women and children had to alight,
10 and that was a very emotional occurrence. It was about 35 degrees
11 centigrade. She wasn't old, around 40, I believe. But as for the cause
12 of death, I was unable to determine, but I assume it had something to do
13 with the emotion, the heat, the tension. It could have had something to
14 do with those factors. She wasn't -- she didn't have any gun-shot
15 injuries or anything like that.
16 Q. Okay. Let's look at another document, Colonel.
17 MR. THAYER: That's P1143.
18 Q. Again, just to move things along a little bit, what we have here
19 on the left is a transcript, in Dutch, of your 2 September 1999 interview
20 with the representatives from the NIOD or NIOD organisation, the Dutch
21 Institute for War Documentation. Do you recall providing that
22 information, sir?
23 A. Yes, absolutely.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. THAYER: I believe there is a B/C/S translation which should
1 be available in e-court. If not, my friends have been given a copy.
2 There we go. Okay. If we could have page 14 in English and page 21 in
3 the B/C/S, please. We will be looking at paragraph 206.
4 THE WITNESS: It is in Dutch on the right.
5 MR. THAYER: If we can get the B/C/S up, that'd be great, please.
6 And in the meantime -- and again, that's page 21 in the B/C/S.
7 Q. If we look at paragraph 206, Colonel, you say:
8 "I did see a lot of lines on the way there, a lot of
9 communication equipment, telephone lines that went along the cliffs.
10 About ten for sure. They did have good communication lines. Not in the
11 air, because then they could be located. I sometimes used my radio, but
12 the Serbs did not like that because the Muslims could locate you and then
13 they could fire mortars at you there. They thought that the Muslims
14 could do all that which, of course, wasn't so, and so they used land
15 lines a lot."
16 My question, Colonel, is when you refer to: "They having good
17 communication lines," what you are talking about? Who is "they," and if
18 you could give some examples of some of the communications lines that you
19 observed and where you saw them?
20 A. [Interpretation] What I saw was that from the school where the
21 headquarters were and Major Zoran, communications -- communication lines
22 ran in the direction of Nova Kasaba. And when there was any
23 communication along these lines, this was impossible for others to tap
24 into. So that's why military units always use these lines to communicate
25 exclusively with each other without others eavesdropping. And my
1 impression was that this was well organised. Many lines were deployed to
2 different telephones.
3 Q. And can you explain what, again, what the reaction was of the
4 Serb soldiers to you when you tried to use your UN radio. What was their
5 response? What did they tell you?
6 A. I was prohibited from doing this and a gun was pointed at me.
7 They were all armed and they were afraid that others would be able to
8 eavesdrop or determine their position. That's what they told me.
9 Q. Now, going back to the period of the attack itself on the enclave
10 from 6 to, say, 11 July, 1995, how were your communications abilities,
11 yours personally, as a DutchBat officer, with your other units with your
12 command, and, from what you could hear from the radio traffic, among
13 other elements of DutchBat during this attack?
14 A. On my blocking position 1, I always had good radio contact with
15 the captain supervising me, but I also had to ensure with my vehicle that
16 other vehicles in the south of the enclave would be able to have contact
17 with this commander as well. So I had radio contact and that was
18 maintained by my vehicle radio.
19 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could go to page 17 in the English and
20 page 26 in the B/C/S, please. We'll be looking at paragraph 264.
21 Q. If we look at paragraph 264, you say:
22 "There was also a big threat when I came back with all those
23 refugees. A stream of people came in. Lieutenant Versteeg stood there
24 with a radio in order to act as backup as a forward air controller. At
25 that point he also had to call off all the missions because the
1 Bosnian Serbs were threatening us, not only to butcher the 30 Dutch
2 people in Bratunac but also all the refugees and the UN personnel in
4 Can you help place when this threat occurred? Just give us a
5 little bit of context for this threat?
6 A. On that day, I was very close to the attack by the NATO F-16s on
7 a Bosnian Serb tank. Because the tank had stopped firing, I was able to
8 go to the village of Srebrenica where, together with all refugees, I
9 walked in the direction of Potocari. The mortars dropped to the left and
10 right of the refugees walking together with us to Potocari, the
11 5 kilometres.
12 When I arrived at the headquarters, I spoke with Versteeg who
13 told me that we had to stop the air attacks immediately because otherwise
14 we would be bombed. That's why he assigned the pilots to cease their
15 close air support.
16 Q. So this information contained here in paragraph 264, the threat
17 to kill the 30 Dutch people in Bratunac but also the refugees and other
18 UN personnel, who related that threat to you?
19 A. That information came from the Bosnian Serbs. Exactly how it
20 came to him is a mystery to me, but he was expected to carry out the
21 assignment to cease the close air support immediately.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could go to page 35 in the English, and
24 this will be page 54 in the B/C/S.
25 Q. I want to look at paragraph 586 and then put a couple of other
1 things to you before asking you my question.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The B/C/S page is not the right one. I think it
3 must be the previous one.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. If we could go back one
5 page. Yes, thank you.
6 Q. You say that:
7 "We only got permission to fire at the Serbs. When I reported
8 that the Serbs seemed to be approaching the town of Srebrenica in a
9 column of units, walking in a column, I was told 'Fire at them.' My guns
10 had a range of only 800 metres and they were kilometres away. It didn't
11 make sense."
12 Now you testified in the Popovic trial that you never saw the
13 order from then Major Franken through Captain Groen to use all available
14 means to prevent a breakthrough by the VRS into the town. You never saw
15 that order. Here you state that you had permission to fire at the Serbs
16 and you were told to fire at the Serbs.
17 Can you explain what your understanding of your order was at that
18 point, what the circumstances of your situation was if you never saw what
19 we refer to as the Groen order from Major Franken?
20 A. Major Franken put together a fax in which he formulated
21 instructions and he sent that fax to Major Groen, as the commander of the
22 Bravo Company in the south of the enclave. I was out in the field, not
23 at a post, and of course I never sought that order. That's unusual.
24 It's unusual for him to give me instructions over the radio, and this was
25 a translation of his instruction to me in the field.
1 Q. So is it fair to say that your understanding of your assignment
2 was the same as that contained in the Groen order but you just never saw
3 it. You never saw the actual order, but the substance of the order was
4 communicated to you. Is that fair to say, or do I have it wrong in some
6 A. That's correct. I took the question: Have you seen the orders
7 literally, and the response to that was: No. But I did observe how
8 Major Groen, at the time Captain Groen, translated that into instructions
9 to me.
10 Q. Now, Colonel, you testified in the Popovic trial, and this is at
11 page 2796, and I quote:
12 "I don't think that we were under attack by Muslim fighters."
13 You testified in the Popovic case about Private van Renssen being
14 killed by a Muslim fighter. You testified about your own APC coming
15 under fire from Muslim fighters in Srebrenica town when they thought that
16 you were withdrawing, possibly for good, your APC came under fire. Can
17 you explain to the Trial Chamber your answer that despite those
18 incidents, you did not believe that the UN was under attack by Muslim
20 A. At Bravo 1, blocking position 1, we were positioned with two
21 APCs. We were the only protection remaining for the Muslim warriors
22 present there. They all -- they were all very lightly armed. You could
23 say that all they had were rifles. They never threatened me, but one of
24 them, perhaps in a moment of panic, shot at our vehicle when we were
25 assigned to proceed to the city of Srebrenica.
1 The strange thing is that the board gunner of our vehicle is not
2 armoured, so he was unprotected on top. That's how it was decided. That
3 made him very vulnerable, just like Raviv van Renssen who died because of
4 one of warriors wanted to keep the vehicle there and responded that way.
5 I did not feel threatened by the Muslim warriors, more so by the Bosnian
6 warriors who fired at us with tanks.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask what you mean by "Bosnian warriors," in
8 your last sentence?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those are the refugees in the
10 enclave with a rifle.
11 MR. THAYER: Okay. I think matters got us slightly more confused
13 Q. Colonel, and I'm just looking at the transcript, the transcript
15 "I did not feel threatened by the Muslim warriors, more so by the
16 Bosnian warriors who fired at us with tanks."
17 I guess my first question is: Who had the tanks?
18 A. I used the word "Bosnian Serb," but perhaps it would be better to
19 say Serb in this case, or BSA, the tanks were in the hands of the Bosnian
20 Serbs. They fired at us. And I was also fired at by a Muslim warrior
21 with a rifle, but I didn't feel threatened by that. When I arrived in
22 the city of Srebrenica, where thousands of refugees, men, women, a big
23 jumble, were I mounted the vehicle to show that we were staying there and
24 that we would not all retreat to safety.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. On page 43, line 6 to 7, Mr. Thayer is
2 reading to you a portion from a previous transcript where you are
3 reported to have said:
4 "I did not feel threatened by the Muslim warriors, more so by the
5 Bosnian warriors who fired at us with tanks."
6 Can you just clarify for me, were these -- does this relate to
7 the incident where a DutchBat soldier was killed?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was -- earlier there was just
9 a reference to the killing of Raviv van Renssen, the Dutch soldier who
10 was killed in the enclave. I wasn't present there. All I can do is say
11 what I have heard about that. What happened to me was that with an APC I
12 drove from my blocking position to Srebrenica, and the armoured vehicle
13 was shot at with a rifle there, and the board gunner sustained mild
14 injured in that incident, but it's not comparable to the shooting by the
15 Bosnian Serbs, or the firing by the Bosnian Serbs with tanks, at our
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. So you are saying the incident referred
18 there is not the same as the incident you were involved in here?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was involved, when I read 586,
20 I -- we are talking about 586, aren't we?
21 MR. THAYER: Yes, we are, just to clarify, two things, we are
22 referring to paragraph 586 of the NIOD statement, and maybe I can clarify
23 one matter. The portion that I was quoting to the witness, and I'll
24 quote it again:
25 "I did not feel threatened by the Muslim warriors, more so by the
1 Bosnian warriors who fired at us with tanks."
2 That portion is of a transcript that just appeared a few moments
3 ago. And if I'm not mistaken, that was an incorrectly interpreted answer
4 from the witness. So we are not talking about, as I understand it, any
5 Bosnian Muslims with tanks. I -- if I understand it, Colonel Egbers has
6 clarified that he's referring to Bosnian Serb forces with tanks. Maybe
7 we can start there and then get back to 586 to help you answer the
9 Q. First of all, just so the record is completely clear, were you
10 ever referring in your answer to Bosnian Muslim forces with tanks?
11 A. No, I didn't do that.
12 Q. And the incidents that you've testified about today where your
13 APCs did come under light arms fire by Muslim fighters, you said that you
14 weren't -- you didn't feel threatened by that, but those incidents were
15 separate from the incident in which Raviv van Renssen was killed by
16 Muslim fighters; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And turning back to the paragraph 586, when you refer to being
19 ordered to fire at the Serb column that you saw approaching Srebrenica,
20 can you give us some idea in terms of, if not the actual date, if you
21 can't remember the actual date, that's okay, but approximately how many
22 days after Private van Renssen's death did the events in paragraph 586
24 A. I believe that's two days later.
25 MR. THAYER: And he's back in Your Honour's hand.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: No, no.
2 MR. THAYER: I am sorry for the intervention. I just wanted to
3 make it clear because I don't think I had made it clear enough what I was
4 quoting from when I quoted from that prior answer.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: I appreciate your explanation, actually. It
6 clears some confusion in my mind. I still have one question for the
8 The attack on your APC came two days after the DutchBat soldier
9 Renssen was fired at and killed, and you still did not feel threatened by
10 this attack on your APC two days later?
11 A. Of course I was very shocked by the death of a soldier from our
12 unit, but my assignment was to put up a blocking position elsewhere,
13 coincidentally in the same area where the Bosnian Muslim warriors were
14 and I started by contacting them. I did not feel threatened by them. I
15 even asked them not to fire because otherwise the Bosnian Serbs would
16 think that I had fired at them and they obeyed. The piece of mortar that
17 was hidden there was never fired.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much for your clarification.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have interpretation at the moment.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Is it better now? Can you hear us? Can you
23 hear the English interpretation on the English channel? Thank you very
24 much. Sorry.
25 Could the Judge, please, repeat the question. Thank you.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to ask a
2 question regarding the terminology you used. Up until today we are kind
3 of used to the term VRS, that is the BSA Army in English, and we are used
4 to the terms ABiH, so the army of the Muslims of Bosnia.
5 One witness came to testify and talked about Muslims, civilian
6 Muslims, who took place in an incident which caused the death of soldier
7 van Renssen. However, today you also talked about Muslim warriors, so
8 Muslim soldiers, and you also talked to us about Bosnian warriors. You
9 told us that you were attacked by a tank of -- filled with Bosnian
10 warriors, so I would just like to make sure I understood you correctly.
11 When you were talking about Bosnian soldiers, or warriors as you
12 mentioned, you are talking about the VRS or the BSA, so the Serb Bosnian
13 army, I guess. So if that is the case, when you are talking about Muslim
14 warriors or combatants or soldiers, are you talking, in fact, about
15 Muslim civilians, the same people mentioned by that particular witness,
16 or are you actually talking about the ABiH? Now we are faced with four
17 different terms, so that's just what I wanted to clarify. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The men in the enclave were not a
19 military unit as we know them to be in western countries. There were
20 many refugees gathered but those -- that did not make them soldiers.
21 Some were armed but that doesn't make them an army or a brigade or a
22 division. Although the Bosnian Muslims, the BiH, told with pride about
23 their huge fighting forces in the enclave. That was only propaganda.
24 They had nothing. The men who were wandering around there with rifles
25 were not organised. When I consider the Bosnian Serb army, the BSA, they
1 all had uniforms, tanks, communication devices, that was an army in the
2 enclave. They were refugees with -- who were armed. I can't attribute
3 the same status to them as to the Bosnian Serb army. They communicated
4 through notes and pencils, and when the Bosnian Serbs started the attack
5 on the enclave in the south, they openly started wearing uniforms and
6 bearing arms hoping to be able to do something against the attack, but
7 they didn't have anything. You really can't call it an army.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness. I
9 understood your answer. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe again.
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just to follow-up on the question from
12 Judge Mindua, and really this is a hypothetical question. Suppose there
13 was a unit of soldiers who were suddenly - how shall I put it? - who are
14 suddenly without a leader, without uniforms, wandering around but armed,
15 what would you call that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you could see that at the
17 moment in question. When there was an attack on the enclave, they will
18 act in a structured manner and that's not the case. What I saw was a
19 number of willing and able young men taking rifles to the south from
20 blocking position 1 to try to neutralise a tank. Most men later
21 assembled in the north of the enclave to break out, but there was no
22 pattern or structure in the enclave that was visible to us. We knew who
23 the military points of contact were, but you can't compare that to a real
24 army in which soldiers are trained and armed.
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: No, I am just trying to understand the -- sorry.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Pardon, pardon.
2 JUDGE NYAMBE: Oh, I can continue. Yes.
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Dutch on English channel]
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Stop for a moment. We have here now the Dutch
5 translation. We have heard the Dutch interpretation. Hopefully we are
6 back now on the English.
7 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, I just wanted you to explain for me the new
8 terminology that has been introduced that Judge Mindua has referred to in
9 describing what was happening in the enclave. Is the term "warrior"
10 meant to cover, for example, the hypothetical question I've put to you, a
11 band of former soldiers may be confused, running around, are those the
12 ones you are calling warriors? Or who are the warriors you are referring
13 to, basically?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am referring to refugees who were
15 given rifles and had to join the fighting without military training or
16 uniforms but who did their best to defend the enclave.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, you get the floor back, but I would
19 like to note that you already used more than two hours instead of one
20 hour you have indicated before the witness appeared in court.
21 MR. THAYER: I am --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead, please.
23 MR. THAYER: -- painfully cognisant of that fact, Mr. President.
24 I am winding down. I do feel like I am wading in molasses, but I think
25 again that, if I may say so, that some of these issues are central issues
1 to not only to Colonel Egbers's Popovic testimony that we are fleshing
2 out and that's why I have gone into those topics, because even after a
3 second or third review of the Popovic transcript of his testimony, some
4 matters can still not make sense, and that's one of the reasons why I
5 want to go over some of the these areas, but I am winding down.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am not worrying about the content of your
7 questions but the length. This is -- of course the Chamber has to make
8 clear that we should try to be as speedy as possible.
9 MR. THAYER: I will do my best, Mr. President.
10 Q. Based on your -- just following up on some of the questions from
11 the Trial Chamber, Colonel, based on your observations, based on your
12 experience in the enclave, the men who you described as willing and able
13 to do their part to defend the enclave, based on what you saw, were those
14 men capable of handling, let's say that they had been armed with more
15 sophisticated weaponry, or let's say that they had been armed with more
16 weaponry, based on what you had seen in terms of their training and
17 military abilities, would they have been able to make good use of that
19 And my second question again, I am sorry to but two in one, but
20 my second question is: Did you see any evidence of these willing and
21 able soldiers being armed to the teeth, armed with sophisticated
22 weaponry, every willing and able-bodied men armed with some type of
23 weapon? Did you see that yourself?
24 A. No. I saw refugees who dug trenches and later walked about armed
25 to ensure that the attack would stop, but from my point of view that's
1 not an army. And I apologise for the confusion that I caused, but there
2 was an army outside the enclave, the Bosnian Serbs. Inside were
3 refugees, some of whom were armed. But from my professional perspective,
4 they did not constitute an army, they were not a force, they do not
5 communicate with one another, and they were poorly armed.
6 Did this answer your questions sufficiently?
7 Q. I think at this point I would actually ask the
8 Honourable Judge Nyambe just to make sure that, Your Honour, that your
9 question was answered sufficiently. I think some of the follow-up
10 questions I had were trying to get at the nub of Your Honour's question
11 in terms of what you would call whatever the forces were that you saw
12 constituting the Bosnian Muslim resistance to the VRS. You've said it
13 wasn't an army, what would you call it if there -- if you do have a word
14 that you would call it, if you don't then, okay, but if there is a word
15 that sort of captures how you would describe them in one word, what would
16 that word be?
17 A. [No interpretation]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't receive interpretation at the moment.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A group of men, some of them in
21 uniforms, some of them armed with small calibre weapons, as they are
22 called, so rifles, some of them had an RPG, but far too few in number to
23 do anything against an organised army. Basically they were armed
25 MR. THAYER: If we could go to page 38 in the English, which is
1 page 58 in the B/C/S. This will be our last paragraph in this document.
2 And actually we will need to see the Dutch version for a moment.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am very sorry I have to interrupt you again,
4 Mr. Thayer. Judge Mindua has a question related to that.
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I am sorry I have to intervene
6 once again. I hope this is my last question for this witness today.
7 Witness, what you have just said is very important for me in view
8 of the things that we have discussed so far. When we are talking about
9 combatants or civilians who were disarmed, they didn't have their own
10 structure, they didn't have -- they didn't undergo military training.
11 You, as a military commander, you belonged to an army where you were
12 properly trained, and you also had appropriate equipment. How would you
13 react if you asked to restore peace within the armed civilians --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
15 continues] ... the military care about structure. The military care
16 about structure. I am waiting a moment.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we don't have French interpretation.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The military care about structure,
19 there should be leadership.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now it's working.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They should be armed, not only with
22 rifles, but to prevent an attack on the enclave, they should have
23 mortars, tanks, thousands of soldiers to protect that. They need to be
24 trained and there should be communication devices within the enclave.
25 And I didn't see any of those. The commander of the artillery device at
1 blocking position 1 wrote a brief note to Ramiz with my request that the
2 artillery device not be used. That's what he had.
3 So from my perspective, there was no organised army in the
4 enclave, but there was outside the enclave. The Bosnian Serbs of course
5 did have that tank, communication devices, uniforms, training.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answer, but I
7 think we were talking at cross-purposes here. This was a hypothetical
8 case. You are a military commander. On your side you had an organised
9 army and equipment, and on the other side there was a population, a
10 civilian population, among whom some were armed. And in this
11 hypothetical example -- for example, you are asked, you, as a military
12 commander, to restore order. How would you react? Would you apply
13 military measures of the kind that you would apply among your own troops?
14 That's my question, and it's rather hypothetical, I agree.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If there were armed civilians who
16 were not organised, you can't regard them as an army. And, of course,
17 throughout the world there were armed citizens and they will have to be
18 disarmed when a conflict arises in a certain region. And it's difficult
19 to say how you would do that in practice in a hypothetical situation.
20 Disarming is a separate project, and you would need to contact the
21 representatives of that civilian population and ask them to organise
23 There are different opportunities, not merely military ones, and
24 that hypothetical situation conceivably it might be agreed how we should
25 proceed. But if I may be so free as to refer to the conflict where I was
1 present, that didn't happen there and they were fired at with tanks,
2 mortars, and their houses were set on fire. The people were driven --
3 they were driven away.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, back to you again.
6 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Just quickly to follow-up on His Honour Judge Mindua's question,
8 can you tell the Trial Chamber what efforts DutchBat was able to take to
9 disarm people with guns inside the enclave that patrols, for example,
10 would encounter in the field or in town?
11 A. From January until June 1995 there were many patrols of the UN
12 soldiers in the enclave to see whether any weapons remained. If we saw
13 people who were armed, we would pursue them into their houses to
14 confiscate their arms and to hand them over to the manager of the weapon
15 collection point in Srebrenica. Patrols went out daily with these
16 instructions. Only when the attack on the enclave was launched did the
17 Muslims bear their arms openly.
18 Q. And how successful would you characterise the peacekeeper's
19 efforts at seizing these weapons that you should occasionally see people
20 in Srebrenica bearing? You had testified that they had run into their
21 homes, for example. How successful overall would you say DutchBat was in
22 disarming, to that degree, those who were armed in the enclave?
23 A. If we saw their arms, we would act, but at the end of the enclave
24 it turned out that there were many arms that we hadn't seen or they were
25 being brought into the enclave at that point. But we did what we could,
1 we couldn't do any more than that.
2 MR. THAYER: Now, back to P1143. Great. We will need to go back
3 one page in the Dutch, please.
4 Q. Sir, I would like you just to read paragraph 624 into the record.
5 I think when we met, you noted that there was a somewhat significant
6 error in the English translation of this portion. So I just want to
7 straighten that out, so if you would please read paragraph 624 into the
9 A. "Only of that Versteeg, who was at the compound, and of others
10 who heard the threats of the BSA that mortars would fire at us from
11 Bratunac, those are the only effects that I heard. And, however, I did
12 hear mortar fire to the left and to the right of the refugees. They kept
13 on firing to, as it were, keep people going."
14 Q. Now, my first question, sir, is: With respect to the mortar fire
15 that you've testified about in Popovic and you've spoken about today, to
16 the left and right of the column of refugees fleeing from Srebrenica to
17 Potocari, did you just hear that mortar fire or did you actually see it
18 landing yourself?
19 A. I both heard and saw it.
20 Q. Okay. And in this last sentence here where it reads in the
21 English translation:
22 "They continued to shell in order to stop the movement, as it
24 I take it that's the direct opposite of what is in the original
25 Dutch version which is:
1 "They continued to shell in order to keep the column moving."
2 Is that correct?
3 A. That is correct. It says, "They kept on shelling to keep it
4 moving, as it were."
5 Q. And do you stand by that statement, sir? Is that accurate?
6 A. Of course I do.
7 Q. Okay. Just a couple more questions for you, Colonel.
8 MR. THAYER: But first, Mr. President, I would like to tender
9 P1143 before I forget.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Now, somewhat related to this passage that we just read from your
13 NIOD statement, in the Krstic case, and this is at transcript page 2214
14 if anybody is following that, you testified with respect to the VRS
15 shelling of Srebrenica town, you testified, and I quote:
16 "I think they wanted to scare the refugees who were in the city
17 of Srebrenica so that they would go north to Potocari and they could
18 enter the town. They were scaring them, and, of course, they were
19 wounding them, killing them."
20 A. Was that a question?
21 Q. I just wanted to make sure you got the translation.
22 A. Thank you.
23 Q. Okay. My first question is: Do you stand by that testimony? Is
24 that testimony accurate and do you stand by it?
25 A. [Interpretation] Absolutely.
1 Q. Now, based on the shelling which you observed from Bravo 1 from
2 your other observations being in the town itself, what options did the
3 civilian population in Srebrenica town have in terms of where it could
5 A. Only to Potocari.
6 Q. And, again, why? What was happening that made Potocari the only
7 place that those civilians could go?
8 A. Because thousands of people were in the village of Srebrenica on
9 the market-place and the mortars were being fired by the Bosnian Serbs or
10 there was firing of different things, so the only road free to them was
11 the road to the north to Potocari. The road to the south was, of course,
12 closed by the Bosnian Serbs.
13 Q. I thank you, Colonel.
14 MR. THAYER: I have no further questions at this time.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the last sentence of the answer was not
16 complete. The road to the south was, of course? And there is a word
17 missing. I think I heard "closed." Perhaps you can clarify it with the
19 MR. THAYER:
20 Q. Colonel, I don't know if you heard the Presiding Judge's
21 intervention, and I don't know if you have the transcript in front of you
22 to see exactly what he's referring to, but is there a missing word in
23 your last answer, at least in terms of the transcript that you can
25 A. Of course the people could no longer go to the south because the
1 Bosnian Serbs were there.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. So what was the case in terms of the road? Just to clarify that.
5 The transcript reads:
6 "The road to the south was ..." and then there is nothing.
7 A. Closed [Interpretation] Closed.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Judge Nyambe.
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just have one more question for the witness.
12 Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding of your testimony is that
13 you disarmed the population, the Muslim population, and put their arms in
14 a secure area. Do you know whether these demobilised Muslim soldiers
15 left the enclave or stayed in the enclave?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The weapon collection point where
17 the arms of the Muslims were stored existed before we started working in
18 the enclave. In the past, as agreed, weapons were surrendered there and
19 maintained by the Muslims who surrendered them or handed them over, or
20 where those men or women were I can't tell you that.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, now it's your turn with your
23 cross-examination. I just want to note that we didn't receive a list of
24 documents you are going to use during the cross-examination.
25 Mr. Gajic.
1 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have not submitted
2 the list because we intended to use only the documents provided by the
3 OTP in their list. However, given the nature of this witness's
4 testimony, and especially in its part, in the course of the evening we
5 will submit a list of some 10 or 15 documents that we intend to use with
6 this witness tomorrow.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
8 Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
10 like to greet everybody in the courtroom including this witness. May
11 God's peace reign in this house and may God's will and not mine be done
12 in these proceedings.
13 Since no documents have been submitted, as Mr. Gajic as just told
14 you, we are going to use the witness's statement, number P1145 which was
15 tendered by the OTP and which has its translation.
16 Could the Court please produce P1145 in e-court. Thank you.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see the second page
19 of the statement to give the witness an opportunity to see what I am
20 going to ask him. Thank you. Could we please focus on paragraph 2,
21 lines 7, 8, and 9 on page 2. Page 2, paragraph 2, lines 7, 8, and 9. We
22 can see that on the screen.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
24 Q. [Interpretation] And we are talking about your statement, sir,
25 number P1145. You said in your statement at the beginning of paragraph
2 "On Saturday, in July 8 1995, soldier van Renssen died from a
3 bullet wound in his neck."
4 I just read out this sentence to indicate the beginning of the
5 passage that I am interested in. Now you look at the lines 7, 8, and 9,
6 where you say as follows:
7 "We did that because we wanted to find the location of Bosnian
8 Serbs and the Muslim fighters, and also to see where the confrontation
9 line was."
10 My question is this, sir --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you. My question is this: Can you tell us why was it that
14 on the 8th of July, in the evening, you checked the positions of the Army
15 of Republika Srpska and the positions of the Bosnian Army as you stated
16 in lines 7, 8, and 9 of your statement? Thank you.
17 A. That evening, I drove in my APC to the south and my instructions
18 were to check whether Bosnian Serbs had penetrated further into the
19 enclave and how the Muslims had responded if that were indeed the case.
20 And my instructions were also to avoid becoming involved in any defensive
21 position, that was why I was driving to the south.
22 Q. Thank you. Further on in line 10, below line 9, you say this:
23 "About 4 kilometres before these posts, hand-grenades were thrown
24 between our vehicles by the Muslim fighters."
25 I am going to read one more sentence:
1 "I know they were Muslim fighters because they were not wearing
2 uniforms and because it was still Muslim territory."
3 Could you please explain where this activity took place. You
4 said that that was about 4 kilometres before the post. Which post was
5 it, 4 kilometres before the Muslim post or 4 kilometres after the Muslim
6 post or 4 kilometres before the posts of the Serbian Army? Could you
7 please be more precise and tell us what you meant when you stated this?
8 A. We drove from the city of Srebrenica to the south, and
9 approximately 4 kilometres before the observation posts inside the
10 enclave this incident occurred.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Please, could you tell us why did that incident take place and
17 why did Muslims throw hand-grenades at your vehicles? Thank you.
18 A. That evening in the south of the enclave there was heavy
19 shooting. We were not warring parties in this. The white UN vehicles
20 were not involved in the fighting that was in progress in the south. Why
21 the two Muslims threw hand-grenades at my vehicle is a mystery to me. I
22 would imagine, but then I am speculating, that it was because the rising
23 tensions in the south at that time and the first armoured vehicle that
24 had left the observation post in the direction of Potocari.
25 Q. Thank you. We are talking about the 8th of July when
1 soldier van Renssen died, they threw grenades at you again. And you say
2 that after that you returned. You say that: They returned and we headed
3 for the Bravo Company in Srebrenica. Did the Muslims want to intimidate
4 you? Why were they attacking you? Why you, given the fact that you were
5 there to defend their positions? Thank you.
6 A. I don't know why they threw them. It was an act by an individual
7 Muslim. I reported it and received new instructions to go to blocking
8 position 1. It may relate to the fact that several armoured vehicles, at
9 least one in any case, with the soldier van Renssen were riding in the
10 direction of Potocari so that nobody else was involved in their Defence
11 in the south.
12 Q. Thank you. Was your task to defend the Muslim positions in the
13 south? Thank you.
14 A. Which Muslim positions are you referring to?
15 Q. Thank you. I am talking about the positions from which Muslims
16 had thrown grenades at you when soldier van Renssen died and when they
17 hit your two tanks. Were you there holding a position with those two
18 tanks or were you just passing by? Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: It's Monday afternoon court, Your Honour. We have
21 had a lot of glitches. I am not sure what's responsible for this one,
22 but I am not sure there has been any reference to any two tanks by either
23 the witness or, until now, by General Tolimir. It may be an
24 interpretation issue or something else, but I don't think there has been
25 any reference to tanks, so if we could have some clarification about what
1 General Tolimir is referring to, I think that would be helpful.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed.
3 Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Thayer, for jogging
5 my memory. Those were not tanks. They were two APCs that were targeted
6 by the Muslims and they threw grenades between them. The witness stated
7 that. I can remind you well.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Tell me, why did they throw grenades between your two APCs, why
10 did they kill soldier van Renssen, why did they open fire at you? Why
11 did they do all that, whereas you did not fight them? On the contrary,
12 you had been given the green light to fight against the Serbs. Thank
14 A. On 8th July, we had not received any green light. I was en route
15 to the south of the enclave to see where exactly the Bosnian Serbs might
16 have entered the enclave. While I was en route, Muslim warriors --
17 Muslims, did indeed throw a hand-grenade among our APCs. Why they did
18 that is something I don't know.
19 Q. Thank you. You confirm that they did throw grenades, just as you
20 stated in line 10. I was supposed to tell you exactly where you stated
21 that but now you have confirmed that you know where you stated it.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have our second break now, Mr. Tolimir.
23 We will assume quarter past 6.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.52 p.m.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir. Please continue.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Awhile ago I asked you the question: Why did the Muslims start
7 killing you as of the 8th and to target you with weapons, although you
8 had not provoked them in any way, you had not deserved it from them in
9 any way, as it were.
10 Does this mean perhaps that the Muslims resorted to terror in
11 order to force you to move in front of them towards the VRS?
12 A. You're asking me why they started killing us. I note that one of
13 our soldiers was indeed killed, probably by a grenade thrown by a Muslim
14 warrior. I was not present at that point but I was told that the
15 observation post was fired at by a Serb tank, that they were barely able
16 to leave the observation post and that, perhaps, the Muslims in the
17 surroundings of the observation post thought that they were on their own.
18 When facing Serb tanks, you're alone in that case.
19 Later that evening, when I drove to the south in my armoured
20 vehicle to see whether there might be a roadblock somewhere, two grenades
21 did, indeed, fall in between my armoured vehicles. I was able to drive
22 back to the compound of the Bravo Company and received different
23 instructions. If you ask me why these Muslims tried to keep us in the
24 south, all I can answer is that probably your tanks in the south of the
25 enclave were the reason.
1 Q. Thank you. Was it perhaps the case that the Muslims had the
2 intention of attacking the UNPROFOR in order to elicit a reaction;
3 namely, their airforce targeting Serb positions? Do you think that there
4 was anything that was indicative of that?
5 A. I've seen that men dressed in civilian attire in the enclave
6 threw those grenades at me. They were very clearly Muslims, so I can't
7 imagine that they hoped we would think that they were Bosnian Serbs. The
8 answer is, therefore, no.
9 Q. Fine, thank you. We are talking about the Muslims at this point,
10 whom you saw near your positions, and you say on page 3 -- or, rather, on
11 page 2 of this statement, the first paragraph, lines 18 to 21, I will
12 quote it for you. You say:
13 "That evening and that night, we noticed different groups of
14 Muslim fighters in the area. Generally speaking, they wore camouflage
15 uniforms or Ukrainian uniforms. They had bought the uniforms in Zepa
16 from some Ukrainians. I saw that they were carrying AK-47, Kalashnikovs,
17 and machine-guns. The groups were moving in a north-westerly direction
18 away from the enclave."
19 My question is: Did you have information before that they bought
20 weapons and uniforms from Ukrainian soldiers in Zepa, or was that the
21 first time that you noticed that?
22 A. That was the first time.
23 Q. Thank you. Were all the Muslims in the position which you have
24 described wearing such uniforms and carrying such weapons which they had
25 procured in this way? Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I didn't object the first time that
3 the question was asked, but I need to now just to clarify matters.
4 General Tolimir asked the question at page 64, line 24:
5 "My question is: Did you have information before that they
6 bought weapons and uniforms from Ukrainian soldiers in Zepa, or is that
7 the first time that you noticed that?"
8 And the witness answered.
9 Up to that point there had been no indication in the statement.
10 The portion of the statement with which the witness affirmed dealt solely
11 with uniforms. And there was no information about any weapons being sold
12 or bought -- sold by the Ukrainians or bought by the Muslims from the
13 Ukrainians. I let that go. But then it's incorporated again into this
14 next question, so I would ask to make sure that the witness understands
15 that he's being asked two questions, one about uniforms and one about
16 weapons, and whether he has any information about actual weapons being
17 purchased from the Ukrainians by the Bosnians.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Presiding Judge. I am
20 not quite sure what Mr. Thayer is driving at. I am actually quoting the
21 witness, so let the witness give us an answer, both to Mr. Thayer's
22 question and to my question. Thank you.
23 MR. THAYER: Again, my problem, Mr. President, is he's not --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: -- quoting the witness. He's building in premises
1 into the questions, and if he wants to ask those questions, I've got no
2 problem with that. If he wants to ask the first question: In addition
3 to uniforms, did you have any information that the Ukrainians sold
4 weapons to the Bosnians? I have no problem with that question. But
5 building it in without any foundation, and when we have an answer to a
6 compound question, that's part of the problem that we have here is we've
7 got multiple premises being built into a question with no real foundation
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To shorten this discussion, I would like to ask
10 the witness: Sir, do you have any information that the Bosnian Serbs
11 got -- sorry, I mean Bosnian Muslims got any weapons from the Ukrainian
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that point, I didn't know
14 anything about it.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What do you mean by "at that point"?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You asked whether I knew that at
17 the time. All I can do is describe what I saw at the time which was that
18 some wore camouflage gear, others were armed, but I didn't know at the
19 time what the origin was of those arms. I still don't know, but they
20 were, in my view, in my opinion, Ukrainian uniforms.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Have you now some knowledge about weapons gained
22 from the Ukrainians?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have any knowledge of that
24 now either.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated].
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You need your microphone.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I ask a leading question or can
5 I ask a question about anything that I need to know and do not know. I
6 fail to comprehend why I am being limited in asking my questions.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Again, Mr. President. This is not any effort to
9 limit General Tolimir's questioning. I hope I have made that clear on
10 this occasion and other occasions. The question is solely the proper way
11 of asking the questions so that we don't have a record that is misleading
12 that we can't make sense of at the end of the day, and that's the problem
13 with compound questions and questions that incorporate premises that have
14 no foundation. So there is no limitation as far as the Prosecution is
15 concerned with these questions, they just need to be asked in a proper
16 way. That is all.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, compound questions are always a problem
18 as we have seen earlier today. You have heard the position of the
19 Prosecution, Mr. Tolimir. Just put the next question to the witness.
20 Carry on, please.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Presiding Judge. This
22 is a Colonel who is able to give us an answer to these questions, so I
23 should like to repeat.
24 Q. You say they bought the uniforms from some Ukrainians in Zepa.
25 This is what you say, line 20. Mr. Thayer has expressed doubts about the
1 use of the word "bought." Is this a fact?
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, this is a misunderstanding. Please put just
3 your next question. It's much better than to repeat some concerns again.
4 Go ahead.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Did the Muslims buy their uniforms from the Ukrainians, to the
8 best of your knowledge?
9 A. I saw that they were wearing them. I was not present at the time
10 of purchase, of course. But because they were wearing Ukrainian
11 uniforms, it could have originated from them, but I don't know that.
12 Some Muslims were wearing such a uniform and I did make a statement about
14 Q. Thank you. Did you observe any insignia that told you that those
15 uniforms were, indeed, Ukrainian?
16 A. I can't remember that anymore.
17 Q. Thank you. I will not belabour this point.
18 In your statement on page 2, paragraph 3, lines 1 to 5, I will
20 "The next day, Sunday, 9 July 1995, two British SAS units
21 arrived. They requested a Netherlands forward air control.
22 Sergeant Bosch and his crew drove to the southern part of the enclave to
23 find out where the Bosnian Serbs were. Later, the group was replaced by
24 the quick reaction force of the Charlie Company. An hour after Bosch had
25 left, he told us over the radio that he had been surrounded by Bosnian
1 Serbian soldiers at the Swedish shelter, that they had been disarmed and
2 were being taken to Bratunac."
3 My question: Had these soldiers gone to Srebrenica before this
4 or were they just there the next day when, as you say, on Sunday, the 9th
5 of July, the British SAS arrived?
6 A. Could you perhaps phrase the question more clearly because I
7 can't understand whether you are asking about the British or the Dutch?
8 Q. Thank you. I am asking about the British unit because you say,
9 "The next day on Sunday, 9 July, two British SAS arrived." I am asking
10 about them. Was it that they arrived on Srebrenica only on the 9th of
11 July, the Brits?
12 A. In this statement, I describe that I was at blocking position 1
13 but that on Sunday, 9 July, two British SASers arrived, so they had been
14 in the enclave before that, but that day they arrived at blocking
15 position 1.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether these soldiers were part of the
17 UNPROFOR or were they a distinct SAS unit outside the UNPROFOR structure?
18 A. These soldiers were assigned to our special forces and had
19 been -- had already been in the enclave for quite some time under
21 Q. Thank you. Was the SAS subordinated to the commander of the
22 Dutch battalion in view of the fact that you say they requested a
23 Netherlands forward air control?
24 A. They worked with our special forces and were under our authority,
25 so I assume that that's what your question concerns.
1 Q. Thank you. Were they part of the UNPROFOR quota or contingent
2 and that of the Dutch battalion or were they separate, were they outside
3 that structure because you say they requested a Netherlands forward air
5 A. Based on their expertise they thought that it was a good place
6 from blocking position 1 where we had a clear view of the south of the
7 enclave to deploy any forward air controllers. So they were being
8 accommodated on our compound and worked with our special forces, and they
9 arrived on sight and said that it would be a good idea to deploy a Dutch
10 forward air controller here. I agreed with them, and that's what I
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you. The SAS unit, did they report to your
13 commander or to somebody else within or outside the enclave?
14 A. I don't know that clearly, but they were not part of my platoon
15 at that point. They were part of the special forces, and they arranged
16 how the reporting would proceed. But if you mean something more
17 specific, I will try to help you with that.
18 Q. Thank you. Did they receive orders from Karremans or from
19 somebody else? Thank you.
20 A. I don't know exactly. At that point in the enclave they had
21 multiple communication devices, but I can't help you with that.
22 Q. Thank you. You said in the third paragraph, second line:
23 "Sergeant Bosch and his crew drove to the southern part of the
24 enclave to find out where the Bosnian Serbs were. Later, the group was
25 replaced by the quick reaction force of the Charlie Company. An hour
1 after Bosch had left, he told us over the radio that he had been
2 surrounded by Bosnian Serbian soldiers at the Swedish shelter, that they
3 had been disarmed and were being taken to Bratunac."
4 Have I quoted you faithfully? And if I have, tell me why did he
5 go to find out where the Bosnian Serbs were and why did he immediately
6 request for a Dutch forward air control?
7 A. I am going to have to explain this to you. Blocking position
8 Bravo 1 were APCs and that blocking position was a good location to put
9 forward air controllers in position because they had a good view of the
10 south of the enclave from there. That's how it reads. And after that,
11 it says that Sergeant Bosch went with his crew to the south of the
12 enclave. This was simply an infantry group in an armoured vehicle. And
13 that was in the south of the enclave, the Swedish shelter, and he had
14 instructions to investigate whether the Bosnian Serbs had already
15 penetrated the enclave in the south, and what you can infer is that one
16 hour after he drove from my position with his infantry group to the
17 south, he was surrounded by Bosnian Serbs and disarmed. That's separate
18 from the forward air controllers.
19 Q. You use the sentence "to find the Bosnian Serbs." Can you tell
20 us where the Bosnian Serbs were then and where the Muslims were then
21 relative to you and relative to Sergeant Bosch?
22 A. At that point I was in blocking position 1. We had no view of
23 the activities of the Bosnian Serbs in the south. Ordinarily, the
24 Swedish shelter would have accommodated Muslims. He was supposed to go
25 there, and the moment he arrived there he was surrounded by Bosnian
1 Serbs. We might infer from that that the Bosnian Serbs had penetrated
2 the enclave in the area of the Swedish shelter, surrounded Sergeant Bosch
3 there and disarmed him and transported him off to Bratunac. The Muslims
4 were concentrated more in the north, some of them near my blocking
6 Q. Thank you. How far was that from Bosch and from the Swedish
7 shelter? How far back was that? What was the distance between that
8 place and the Muslim positions in the centre of the enclave in
10 A. I would have to check on a map, but I estimate about 2 kilometres
11 as the crow flies.
12 Q. In front of you, between you and the Swedish shelter there were
13 no Muslims. Why did Sergeant Bosch look for the Serbs then? Why did he
14 venture among the Serbs knowing there were no Muslims there, there was
15 nobody to protect them -- protect him there? Is it possible that he
16 wanted to protect the area although there were no Muslims there?
17 A. His instructions were to determine whether Bosnian Serbs had
18 already penetrated the enclave, and he did find that out because he was
19 surrounded and disarmed. But we had no perception, no observation in the
20 south of the enclave because our observation posts were fired at and
22 Q. Can we then say that Sergeant Bosch entered the Swedish shelter
23 which had already been in the hands of the Army of Republika Srpska by
25 A. I don't know. All I know is that the sergeant travelled to the
1 south from my blocking position and made this announcement over the radio
2 to me. I don't know exactly what it was like on site there, whether
3 Bosnian Serb troops were already in the Swedish shelter or whether they
4 were en route.
5 Q. I asked you because you say, in your statement, and I quote:
6 "In the Swedish shelter, he was surrounded by Bosnian Serbs, they
7 disarmed him and took him to Bratunac. There was no fighting. He was
8 just disarmed there."
9 Let me ask you, was there any fighting there or not? And based
10 on your answer we will try and conclude whether he had fallen into a trap
11 which was the Swedish shelter in the possession of the Serbs, or whether
12 he was disarmed after some fighting.
13 A. I don't know whether he was involved in fighting. He reported to
14 me that he was surrounded and disarmed.
15 Q. Thank you for your answer. A while ago, you said that you were
16 not sure whether they got their orders from Karremans or from somebody
17 else. Based on your answer, I would like to ask you this: Was he
18 perhaps disarmed because the Serbs knew that he was not a member of the
19 DutchBat but, rather, that he was a member of the SAS, the special forces
20 of the great British army? Thank you?
21 A. I think I have explained clearly what the situation was like.
22 Sergeant Bosch was a Dutch sergeant who, with his Dutch infantry group,
23 drove to the south. There were only two British in the enclave and they
24 stayed with me in the blocking position. So in the south, only Dutch
25 UNPROFOR soldiers in Dutch attire in a Dutch armoured vehicle were
1 present. The two British remained at Bravo 1. Sergeant Bosch is a
3 Q. Thank you for your explanation. Thank you for telling us that
4 Sergeant Bosch was a Dutchman. Did he receive his orders from the SAS to
5 go to that place where he was then surrounded by the Serbian army troops?
6 A. The two British military in the enclave had a lower rank and were
7 accommodated with our special forces. They had no influence whatsoever
8 on Dutch UNPROFOR troops. They did not command anybody. Sergeant Bosch
9 was instructed by Captain Groen to drive to the south. The two British
10 are entirely outside of this.
11 Q. Again, thank you for your explanation. You say page 2, paragraph
12 4, lines 2 and 3:
13 "On several occasions I saw a tank approaching them from the
15 Whose tank was that and who was the tank approaching? It is not
16 very clear from your statement, could you please explain.
17 A. In the statement, I state that I saw a Bosnian Serb tank entering
18 the enclave, firing a number of times, and then leaving again. It was a
19 Serb tank 54/55.
20 Q. I am reading from your statement. I am quoting you, and
21 additionally you said:
22 "I didn't see what part had been hit, but I saw smoke."
23 My question is this: That tank that you had previously seen or
24 that you saw at the time, was that tank hit and was smoke coming from the
1 A. The Bosnian Serb tank entering the enclave fired at the city of
2 Srebrenica as well as at villagers in the surroundings. The tank was not
3 hit. The tank caused the smoke. I couldn't see exactly which house was
4 hit. I did see smoke rising up.
5 Q. Again, thank you for your explanation. Did you have the
6 authority to fire upon the tank because that tank had previously opened
7 fire on a sector, on a facility, or a military target that you, yourself,
8 did not observe or see? Thank you.
9 A. Are you asking whether I was allowed to open fire at the Serb
11 Q. I am asking you: Were you authorised to open fire if you didn't
12 know whether it was targeting a firing position or if it had hit a sector
13 or an empty facility or a target that was unknown to you; in other words,
14 you didn't know what the target was?
15 A. At that point I knew that the firing was not at us, UNPROFOR, but
16 a Serbian village or at the city of Srebrenica, and that's what I
17 reported to my commander, Captain Groen. And he kept asking me, Is there
18 firing at us or somebody else? And if they were firing at us, I would
19 have been authorised to return fire, but I did not have equipment,
20 weapons, to fire at a tank. All I had was a weapon with a range of 800
22 So regarding your question as to whether I was authorised to open
23 fire independently on a Serb tank, the answer is no.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Just while we are here to save a little bit of time
1 later on, there is a reference in the transcript to page 75, line 15, to
2 a Serbian village. The answer is:
3 "At that point I knew that the firing was not at us, UNPROFOR,
4 but a Serbian village or at the city of Srebrenica, and that's what I
5 reported to my commander."
6 I expect that there is an error somewhere in that. I won't say
7 much more than that, but just to save some redistrict, I guess, if we can
8 deal with it now.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir could you clarify --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Maybe it would be best.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I state that I did indeed not
12 say that, that I said a Bosnian village, such as Pusmulici.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That clarifies the situation, in my
15 Mr. Tolimir, now is your last question for today. If you are
16 looking at this clock here in the courtroom, it is wrong. We are
17 approaching 7.00 already. But you have still time for a last question.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And my last question is on page 2 where you say in the last
21 paragraph, in the last two lines of that paragraph, page 2, paragraph 4,
22 lines 10 and 11 where you say:
23 "At one point fire was opened at us, either from a tank or
24 artillery weapons from south-east. Fire was opened five times. It is
25 possible that Serbs opened fire on Muslims. They were 5 to 10 metres
1 away from us."
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't find this relevant portion in the
3 transcript. Could you check that, please.
4 MR. THAYER: We just need to go to the next page, Mr. President,
5 at the very top. That's the portion.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Okay.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, it's on page 3 in the English
8 version, and my question is as follows.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Was the distance of 5 metres from you visible for that tank, and
11 that was where the Muslims were, according to you. And could the firing
12 positions be discernible from the tank if that's where you were and if
13 that's where the Muslims were?
14 A. At blocking position 1, a artillery device of the Muslims was
15 indeed positioned. I asked the commander -- I requested the commander
16 not to fire with that piece of artillery because we were very close by,
17 perhaps 50 to 60 metres from there. They jotted that down on a slip of
18 paper and reported that to their commander and since then that piece of
19 artillery was not used.
20 When we were under fire, I could not say with absolute certainty
21 to my commander that the fire was directed at UNPROFOR. It could also
22 have been directed at the Muslims that had a piece of artillery there.
23 That was the situation. When we were fired at, we moved to a different
24 position. Only later on when that position came under fire as well did I
25 tell my commander that the fire was directed at us. The grenades that
1 hit, in the passage of text you are referring to, they fell right near us
2 and resulted in a minor injury.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for your answer. It is two
4 minutes past 7.00 already and therefore we have to adjourn for today, and
5 we will assume tomorrow in the afternoon in this courtroom, 2.15. May I
6 remind you that it is not allowed during the break to have contact with
7 either party about the content of your testimony. Thank you very much.
8 We adjourn.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 7.03 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday, the
12 2nd day of November, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.