1 Monday, 22 November 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
6 The next witness should be brought in, please.
7 MR. THAYER: If I may, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, good afternoon.
9 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon to you and Your Honours. Good
10 afternoon to the Defence. Good afternoon, everyone. Your Honour, I just
11 wanted to alert the Trial Chamber and the Defence to a development with
12 respect to Mr. Haglund. I can do that perhaps at the end of the
13 witness's testimony. It pertains to his availability next week.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, or at the beginning of the next session.
16 Good afternoon, sir.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome to the Tribunal. Would you please read
19 aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to you now.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, for the Prosecution, is examining you
25 now. Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 WITNESS: OSMAN SALKIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
5 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. Would you please state your name for the record.
8 A. Osman Salkic.
9 Q. Sir, I want to show you a document.
10 MR. THAYER: It's P01373. It will appear shortly on the computer
11 screen in front of you. And if we could have the original version. What
12 we are seeing now is actually what has been uploaded as the translation.
13 If we could have what's in e-court as the original, please. It's the
14 92 bis package. Perfect. Thank you. And if we could go to page 4 of
15 this document. There.
16 Q. Sir, do you see in front of you a copy in your own language of a
17 witness statement you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 4th of
18 December, 2004?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Do you recall providing that witness statement to
21 Investigator Garry Selsky on that date?
22 A. Of course.
23 Q. We see here a signature on the lower right-hand corner. Can you
24 identify whose signature that is under the date of 26 January 2007?
25 A. It is my signature, that of Osman Salkic.
1 Q. Okay. Do you recall meeting with representatives of the ICTY on
2 that date in 2007 to certify this 2004 witness statement so that it could
3 be used in court without having you need to come here to testify?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And did you have an opportunity to recently read your 2004
6 witness statement?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. And can you attest before this Trial Chamber that that 2004
9 witness statement accurately reflects what you told the investigators at
10 that time?
11 A. Of course.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we please have the English version on the
13 screen as well.
14 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Your Honour. We'll just need to go to
15 the translation. What we've done, Mr. President, is uploaded as the
16 original statement the B/C/S version, which the witness signed in 2007,
17 and as the English translation we've simply uploaded the actual witness
18 statement as it was taken in 2004, which the witness also signed, but
19 that was the English original version back then.
20 Q. Now, sir, can you attest that if you were asked the same
21 questions today that you were asked back in 2004, would your answers be
22 the same?
23 A. Of course they would. I stand by everything I said then.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender P01373.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received with this number.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. And, sir, just by way of background, did you also testify in
4 Belgrade in the state court there in connection with the Prosecution of
5 several members of the Skorpions Unit?
6 A. I did.
7 Q. And that testimony was in approximately 2006 and 2007. Do I have
8 that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay.
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'd like to read a very brief 92 ter
12 summary for Mr. Salkic.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please go ahead.
14 MR. THAYER: The witness was born in Fojhari, two kilometres from
15 Srebrenica, and during the war lived in Joseva, a village that overlooked
17 The witness was a member of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
18 served as a military policeman owing to his previous experience in the
19 JNA as an MP. He was present in Srebrenica when General Morillon came in
20 1993. After Srebrenica was declared a safe area, the Army of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina was still organised but it was not really active. He no
22 longer served as an active MP and stayed around the house to try to take
23 care of his family.
24 The witness described the attack on Srebrenica that began on 6
25 July 1995, and the decision on 11 July that the women would go to
1 Potocari and that the men would walk north. He further described his
2 experiences as part of the column that formed during the night of 11 July
3 and set out from Susnjari. He was with his father and brother-in-law,
4 Azmir Alispahic, who was 16 years old at the time. They were ambushed at
5 Buljim and at Kamenica. He last saw Azmir near the road they were trying
6 to cross. The witness reached the Muslim-held area near Nezuk. And he
7 also identified Azmir in five photographs shown to him by the OTP.
8 Q. Now, sir, the Trial Chamber has your 2004 witness statement as
9 the basis of your testimony. That was just a summary of some of the main
10 points. I'd like to ask you a couple of follow-up questions to gain a
11 little bit more detail about your experiences. When the war began, sir,
12 where -- or beg your pardon, with whom exactly were you living?
13 A. I lived with my parents, my wife, my daughter, and my sister, who
14 was 18 or 19 at the time. She was with us in the house.
15 Q. And just to orient the Trial Chamber a little bit, we don't need
16 to pull out a map, but can you tell the Trial Chamber approximately where
17 the village or the settlement in which you were living during the war was
18 located? And let's say, for example, can you tell the Trial Chamber
19 where in relation to the village of Bajramovici was your village or your
21 A. Joseva was closer than Bajramovici. It was just above Fojhari.
22 We could see Srebrenica from an elevation. Joseva is some two and a half
23 kilometres from Fojhari.
24 Q. And are Joseva and Fojhari to the north of Bajramovici, sir?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And are they to south of Potocari?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. And in your statement, I think you said that the
4 settlement was on an elevation which had a view of Srebrenica. Did
5 Srebrenica fall to the east or west of your settlement?
6 A. To the east.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir. Could you tell the Trial Chamber just a
8 little bit about your educational background and what your trade is.
9 A. By education I was a mining technician. I was born on the 12th
10 of October, 1966. I completed my education in Srebrenica, which is where
11 I was when the war broke out. At the beginning of the war, I was in
12 Srebrenica and if there are any details that you are interested in, feel
13 free to ask.
14 Q. And just prior to the war and during the war, how were you
15 working? How were you employed?
16 A. Before the war I worked in the Sase mine in Srebrenica as a
17 mining technician. I began working in 1987 and the war broke out in
18 1992. I was quite young at the time.
19 Q. And can you just give the Trial Chamber an idea of what kind of
20 work you do now.
21 A. Currently I am employed in a private company in Sarajevo which
22 provides mechanical safety equipment for facilities.
23 Q. Now, turning your attention to your OTP statement, you said - and
24 this is at page 2 of the English, page 6 of the B/C/S - that before
25 Srebrenica was declared a safe area in 1993, you were a soldier in the
1 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that you served as an MP.
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. And you also stated that after Srebrenica was declared a safe
4 area, that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was still organised but
5 that it was not really active.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How would you describe for the Trial Chamber the strength and
8 organisation of the Bosniak forces in the enclave after it was declared a
9 safe area?
10 A. I believe, or rather, I know that when Srebrenica was declared a
11 safe area, what followed was that all heavy artillery had to be handed
12 over to UNPROFOR soldiers. They arrived with a list of heavy weaponry
13 which had been seised from their positions, and when I say "their" I mean
14 Serb positions. Hence, all heavy artillery had to be returned.
15 However, it remained part of the establishment. The units
16 remained the same in terms of numerical strength, the same people
17 remained on the list, and smaller groups of people were tasked with
18 performing reconnaissance in order to try to preserve the military
19 regimen. There were no civilian authorities in Srebrenica at the time
20 and people were left to their own devices. The situation was quite
22 Q. Now, just to clarify, what are you referring to when you speak
23 about heavy weaponry which had been seised from Serb positions?
24 A. Mortars, Howitzers, armoured vehicles; all of that had been
25 seised from Serb positions. Finally, it was returned to the UNPROFOR
1 base in the outskirts of Srebrenica.
2 Q. Okay. And who was it that seised all of those heavy weapons to
3 begin with?
4 A. The soldiers. Muslims seised that weaponry from Serb positions.
5 Q. Okay. And I take it that happened during the early part of the
6 conflict from 1992 to 1993, just to be perfectly clear?
7 A. Of course. Of course.
8 Q. How would you describe the nature of the command structure of the
9 army in Srebrenica, particularly after 1993? That is, can you comment on
10 the experience and qualifications of the military officers who commanded
11 the various units of the armija?
12 A. As you all probably know well, in Srebrenica there wasn't a
13 single professional policeman throughout the war. The army that fought
14 against the Serb army were simply the people who took up arms to defend
15 their homes and families. We had seen the things they had done in
16 Vukovar and we simply had to put up resistance even though we had no
17 weapons. We didn't have a single professional officer in Srebrenica.
18 Q. Okay. Well, how about Naser Oric who everybody hears so much
19 about, or Zulfo Tursunovic, which the Chamber has heard testimony about,
20 or Ramiz Becirovic? What about those gentlemen, sir?
21 A. Well, the defence in Srebrenica began by the local communes
22 organising themselves. Each local commune elected one leader, and there
23 were five such local communes in Srebrenica. Since Naser had certain
24 experience because he was in Milosevic's security detail, he was elected
25 the person number one of the defence system in Srebrenica. Zulfo
1 Tursunovic was also elected in his own area, but he passed away a few
2 days ago.
3 Q. Maybe there's a translation or some other -- something going on.
4 Did I understand you correctly to say that Mr. Becirovic had passed away
5 a few days ago or did he pass away some other time ago?
6 A. No, Ramiz Becirovic died, I'm not certain, but it must be nine or
7 ten years now. Zulfo Tursunovic is the one who passed away a few days
9 Q. Okay. Now, to your knowledge did any of the -- those three
10 individuals, Mr. Oric, Tursunovic, or Becirovic have any professional
11 officer training?
12 A. Only Ramiz Becirovic had been a reserve military officer who had
13 worked in the TO Staff before the war. I don't think he had any military
14 background, though.
15 Q. You mentioned, sir, a few moments ago that after Srebrenica was
16 declared a safe area the armija maintained the same fighters on its
17 rosters and still engaged in reconnaissance. Did I have that correct,
19 A. Yes, you did. There were no military activities. A lot of
20 weaponry had been handed over, and the units preserved the manning
21 levels. We all awaited an inspection where the end of the war would be
22 declared so that people could see for themselves who did anything in
23 terms of defending Srebrenica.
24 Q. And did the Bosniak fighters in the enclave completely abandon
25 their positions after Srebrenica was declared a safe area, or did they
1 maintain them to some extent?
2 A. They withdrew from their positions. All positions and elevations
3 were handed over to UN soldiers. The Serb soldiers made the best use of
4 it. They put up their check-points as closely as possible to UN
5 positions so as to have a clear view you of the town and to oversee the
7 Q. Okay. I just want to be clear. Is it your testimony that the
8 Bosniak military forces in Srebrenica completely relinquished any of
9 their positions in the enclave after it was declared a safe area, or did
10 they maintain some form of being able to have visibility on what was
11 going on in the enclave?
12 A. No, we didn't hold a single line or position once the UN soldiers
13 arrived, until the activities in 1995 when it became clear that there was
14 going to be an attack on Srebrenica, and then things happened the way
15 they did.
16 Q. Now, did you ever hear anything about helicopters delivering
17 weapons, equipment, and uniforms in 1994 and 1995?
18 A. Yes, certainly, but they never brought them to Srebrenica. It
19 all came to Zepa. Which part of it, if any, reached Srebrenica, I don't
21 Q. Did you ever hear about Bosniak forces from within the enclave
22 exiting the enclave to execute sabotage missions on Serb targets outside
23 the enclave?
24 A. No, I never heard about that, but I know people sometimes left
25 the free territory to bring back food or livestock because there was
1 really nothing to eat in Srebrenica. That's the only reason I am aware
2 of why people left the enclave.
3 Q. And, sir, do you exclude the possibility that small units of
4 Bosniak fighters were engaged to perform such sabotage activities?
5 A. I don't know anything about that.
6 Q. And after demilitarisation, sir, are you aware of whether or not
7 there were trenches that were maintained by any of the Bosniak forces in
8 the enclave?
9 A. You have to believe me when I say that I had no occasion to go
10 around all the defence lines and I didn't go to every corner of
11 Srebrenica, but the lines earlier held by the Bosniak army had been taken
12 over by the UNPROFOR, so they -- the trenches probably remained and were
13 kept up by the UNPROFOR.
14 Q. Okay. And I understand, sir, that you served as a military
15 policeman and not as, say, a member of the regular infantry, but did you
16 ever become aware that there were what some people considered three rings
17 around Srebrenica; there was what the Serbs considered their ring, there
18 was what the UN considered its ring, and there was also what the Bosniaks
19 considered their ring which defined the zone, the three respective zones,
20 around the safe area? Did you ever hear that? If you didn't, that's
21 fine; I just want to find out what your level of knowledge was at the
23 A. I didn't. I know certainly after the arrival of the UNPROFOR,
24 there was no military activity anymore except perhaps locally people
25 stood guard, things like that.
1 Q. Okay. Now, sir, you testified in Belgrade in the Skorpions trial
2 -- and this is, for the Defence, this is at page 29 of the Cyrillic
3 transcript. You testified that the Serbs carried out an attack on the
4 Vidikovac neighbourhood and that that was considered to be a test by the
5 VRS to see how the UN would respond. Do you recall testifying to that
6 effect, sir?
7 A. I remember.
8 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber anything more about what you
9 recall about that attack: Approximately where it occurred, what year or
10 month, if you recall, and whether there were any casualties.
11 A. I remember that very well. That was perhaps 15 days before the
12 fall of Srebrenica. The attack started at 4.00 a.m., just before
13 sunrise, and according to later analysis, we came to believe they had
14 come through the tunnel that connected Srebrenica with Sase or perhaps
15 from Zagrici, and a woman named Semsa was killed. Her house was up
16 front. It was a volley of fire, actually, and I'm certain it was a test
17 to see how the UNPROFOR would react and if they would react at all.
18 Q. Okay. I just have one question about your statement with respect
19 to the actual VRS attack on the enclave in July of 1995. You say in your
20 statement that your village was shelled on 11 July from Zalazje and
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber where those locations are?
24 A. It's not so easy to explain. Zalazje is east of Srebrenica and
25 east of Joseva. In Joseva there was no activity at all the whole
1 duration of the war and it was probably never even necessary to shell it
2 earlier. However, on the 11th of July, the main road from Srebrenica
3 towards Susnjari went through Joseva. It was a shorter route and a safer
4 one. And they probably saw the column moving along that road and that's
5 why they shelled.
6 Q. Those two locations, sir, are they within the Srebrenica Opstina,
7 the municipality?
8 A. Yes, inside the municipality. It was approximately the positions
9 where the observation posts of the UN were.
10 Q. Okay. I'd like to turn your attention now to the column of men
11 and boys that set out from Susnjari on the night of the 11th. Did you
12 carry a weapon, sir, when you set out?
13 A. If you are asking about me personally, yes, I did have a hunting
15 Q. And you said in your statement that you were towards the front of
16 the column. Can you describe how well armed that portion of the column
18 A. For the most part those were semi-automatic and automatic rifles
19 and if there were 3.000 men in that first group, perhaps 1.000 of them
20 had rifles. That's one in three.
21 Q. And when you set out, who did you set out with among your family
23 A. My father and my relatives and Casmir [phoen] --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the last name well.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the brother of my wife.
1 MR. THAYER:
2 Q. Sir, we just need you, for the sake of the record, to repeat the
3 last name again so that we can have it clear.
4 A. Alispahic, Azmir.
5 Q. Thank you. And I'll be asking you a few more questions about him
6 in a moment. How old was Azmir when you set out?
7 A. He was born in 1978; that means he was 16.
8 Q. And how about your father? Can you tell us how old he was when
9 you all set out?
10 A. His year of birth is 1939, and that made him 52 or 53.
11 Q. Okay. Maybe 56 or 57, depending on how you do the math, but I
12 think we are in the right -- we are in the right ballpark, so it's not a
13 math test here, sir, don't worry about it.
14 A. He was born in April 1939. That's when my father was born.
15 Q. That's all we need. Now, you described in your statement being
16 shelled first at Buljim on 12 July and then being ambushed again at
17 Kamenica later that morning. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what
18 it was like during those ambushes.
19 A. It's very hard to describe unless you've lived through it, but
20 I'll try, very briefly. From the time we left Srebrenica, a column
21 formed, heading for Buljim. We were trying to decide where to go, in
22 which direction. The first shelling where I was involved was on the
23 12th. I was already at Buljim, and that's where I witnessed the first
24 shelling. And when I say "shelling," that means a lot of artillery
25 weapons targeting flesh and blood, and who survives, survives.
1 We survived the first shelling, and the next ambush came just
2 before we reached Kamenica, in the area of Bratunac. Then we took a
3 small break, forming columns to go on. However, when we were supposed to
4 make the decision and head for the tarmac road towards Konjevic Polje,
5 just before sun -- just before sunset, the fiercest possible shelling
6 started and our column was bisected and the people heading for free
7 territory became separated.
8 Q. And how many days did you spend in the woods before crossing over
9 into free territory?
10 A. Six days.
11 Q. And you said in your statement that you crossed over near Nezuk.
12 Did you pass by the VRS positions and trenches in the area of Baljkovica
13 before reaching the free territory?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. And do you recall whether there had been fierce fighting prior to
16 you passing through Baljkovica between members of the column and the VRS
17 forces at those positions in Baljkovica?
18 A. Well, I remember that, yes, there was fighting. However, we
19 broke through the defence line so that 2.500 to 3.000 of us managed to
20 cross over into free territory.
21 Q. Now, before we begin speaking a little bit more about Azmir
22 Alispahic, you have another brother-in-law named Jusuf Ahmedovic. Can
23 you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to him?
24 A. He remained in another part of the column that was separated from
25 us. He realised he couldn't pass through. He returned to Srebrenica.
1 They made some sort of trenches, dugouts in the forest, and they managed
2 to survive two and a half months. And then when combat activities
3 ceased, they crossed over unhindered.
4 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit about your
5 relationship with Azmir Alispahic. For example, how often would you see
6 him before the war and during the war?
7 A. I know Azmir from the second year of primary school, and when I
8 was dating my wife, I used to see him every day. Later on, when my wife
9 and I moved in together, or rather, she moved into my house, Azmir
10 visited very often, so I saw him growing up.
11 Q. And please tell the Chamber as precisely as you can remember,
12 when was the last time you saw Azmir Alispahic?
13 A. The last time I saw him was at Kamenica near Bratunac, before the
14 fierce shelling started. He was still a child, though, he couldn't dodge
15 the shells. He was overwhelmed by panic and he probably perished.
16 Q. Now, I want to show you some photographs. These are referred to
17 in your OTP statement as photographs 9, 10, 11, 12, and 16.
18 MR. THAYER: Let's start with P01374, please, in e-court.
19 Q. Can you tell Trial Chamber who either of the men in this
20 photograph are? Let's start moving from the right-hand of the screen --
21 or I beg your pardon, let's start from the left-hand of the screen and
22 move to the right.
23 A. The first one with his head bent, his arms crossed on his back,
24 in a blue shirt is Sidik Salkic. And the second one is Azmir Alispahic.
25 Q. Now, the first man that you identified, Sidik Salkic, is he any
1 relation to you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what he did during the war?
4 A. Sidik Salkic was a driver in the medical service in the health
5 centre in Srebrenica. And I believe as they were moving, he recognised
6 Azmir and took him under his wing to protect him. Some stories
7 circulated that they were captured in Zvornik. And Srebrenica had links
8 with Zvornik between health services, people came from -- people went to
9 Zvornik to get treatment, and that's how they knew each other from before
10 the war.
11 Q. So basically this relation of yours, Sidik Salkic, drove an
12 ambulance during the war; is that fair to say?
13 A. What do you mean "relation," "connection"?
14 Q. I am sorry, there may be a problem with the word I used. This
15 man you've identified as Sidik Salkic, is it fair to say that he drove an
16 ambulance during the war?
17 A. Well, there were no ambulances in Srebrenica during the war.
18 There was not a single car in Srebrenica going around except for those
19 little vehicles.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand. Could the
21 witness be asked to explain the word he used.
22 MR. THAYER:
23 Q. Sir, we are having a hard time understanding the last word you
24 used to describe the small vehicles. Could you just try again, please,
25 so we can have it clear on the record.
1 A. When I use this term, I have to stress before the arrival of the
2 UNPROFOR you could not drive anything in Srebrenica because there was no
3 petrol, there was no diesel, there was no petroleum for the petroleum
4 lamp, for the oil lamp to sit down to have dinner under the light. It
5 was only with the arrival of the UNPROFOR that we began to get certain
6 amounts of fuel. Second of all, not a single car was able to leave
7 Srebrenica, but in Srebrenica itself you did not practically need cars.
8 Everyone -- everything was done on foot or using carts, but Sidik did
9 work as an ambulance driver as part of his work obligation.
10 Q. Okay. So was that before the war, then, sir?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. THAYER: Now, let's look at P01375, if we could.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask an additional question to clarify
15 something. You said Mr. Sidik Salkic was a relative of yours. Could you
16 describe your relation?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let's say that my grandfather and
18 his grandfather were brothers.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: And, Your Honour, I'll go ahead and tender P1374
21 while we are getting P1375 up.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, are you tendering the last photograph
23 we have seen on the screen?
24 MR. THAYER: Yes, 1374.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 MR. THAYER:
2 Q. Now, sir, we are looking at the second of the five photographs
3 you identified during your interview in December of 2004, very similar to
4 the one we just looked at. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether you
5 identify any of the individuals in this photograph?
6 A. The first one is Sidik Salkic, the second one is Azmir Alispahic.
7 When I say "first," I mean the man looking down, with his head bent, in
8 the white short-sleeved shirt -- in a blue short-sleeved shirt.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We have still the first photograph on the screen,
10 or is it quite similar to the last one?
11 MR. THAYER: Yes, they are very similar.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 MR. THAYER: And the Prosecution would tender P1375,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
16 MR. THAYER: May we have 1376, please.
17 Q. Sir, do you recognise anyone in this photograph?
18 A. Azmir Alispahic.
19 Q. And just for the record, he is the only individual whose full
20 face you can see in this image; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders P01377 [sic].
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
24 MR. THAYER: 1376, beg your pardon, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, yes.
1 MR. THAYER: I was jumping ahead.
2 Q. Now, just one question while we are looking at this photograph:
3 You said in your witness statement that when you last saw Azmir Alispahic
4 he was wearing a white T-shirt and a black leather jacket and jeans, and
5 we can see in the photographs that we've seen that he is not wearing a
6 black leather jacket. He appears to be wearing a blue or green sweat
7 shirt or top of some kind. How do you account for the difference between
8 the two?
9 A. It had been raining and they were captives. It's possible that
10 he had lost his jacket and was looking for something dry to wear. It's
11 also possible that they took his jacket away from him and gave him a
12 shirt. He had proper shoes on his feet, or trainers, but when we
13 identified his remains, we found only soles of the shoes.
14 MR. THAYER: May we have P1377, please.
15 Q. Again, very similar to the last photograph, but just wanted to
16 show you the exact photographs that are referred to in your OTP witness
17 statement. Do you recognise the individual in this photograph, sir?
18 A. Yes; Azmir Alispahic.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders P1377.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be admitted.
21 MR. THAYER: And lastly, may we have P1378.
22 Q. Do you recognise anyone in this photograph, sir?
23 A. The first person is --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the names.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. Sir, could you just repeat the name of the first person.
2 A. Sidik Salkic.
3 Q. And are you referring to the first person on the right or on the
4 left of the image?
5 A. On the right.
6 Q. Do you recognise anyone else in this photograph, sir?
7 A. Azmir Alispahic is the second person in the row.
8 Q. Again moving from right to left; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, of course.
10 MR. THAYER: Prosecution tenders P1378, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This will be admitted into evidence as well.
12 MR. THAYER:
13 Q. Sir, I just have one final area to ask you about. You mentioned
14 in your Belgrade testimony in the Skorpions trial - and this is at page
15 44 in the Cyrillic, for the Defence's benefit - that it was very painful
16 for you when you saw people from Bratunac and they were using the word
17 "balija" towards the Muslims. Do you remember saying that during your
18 Belgrade testimony?
19 A. Of course I do.
20 Q. Now, the Trial Chamber has heard that the Muslims sometimes
21 referred to the Bosnian Serbs as "Chetniks" and that the Bosnian Serbs
22 sometimes referred to the Muslims as "Turks." Is there a difference,
23 from your experience as a Bosniak, between using the word "Turk" and
24 using the word "balija"? And if so, what does it tell you about the
25 attitude of somebody who uses the word "balija"?
1 A. Well, if someone calls you "balija," it means that you are the
2 lowest of the low and that that person does not see you as a human being,
3 or anything positive, for that matter. When they say a Turk, what I
4 could say is that they probably believe that we have some Turk ancestry,
5 Turkish ancestry. It was very difficult for us to be so humiliated,
6 because in Srebrenica, before the war, there were exceptionally good
7 neighbourly relations among the people.
8 MR. THAYER: Thank you, sir, I have no further questions.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Thayer. Sir, now,
10 Mr. Tolimir has the right to cross-examine you.
11 Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
13 there be peace in this house. I would like to greet everyone present,
14 including the witness, wishing that the hearing today and the entire
15 proceedings should be concluded according to God's will and not my own.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
17 Q. Witness, since we speak the same language, we'll have to take
18 care that we pause between questions and answers so as not to overlap and
19 so that the interpreters could interpret everything. We will follow the
20 line of questioning used during examination-in-chief.
21 On page 21 and page 22 in lines 25 you explained to Mr. Thayer
22 the difference between the terms "balija," "Turk," et cetera. We know
23 what your answer was. You said that there were good neighbourly
24 relations in town, but can you tell us whether the Muslims wanted to
25 remain in this joint country, joint state, and were they invited to do
2 A. General, I think you know well the statement made by Mr. Karadzic
3 during the Assembly session in Sarajevo. You know what he said and you
4 know who levelled threats against whom and whose existence was
5 threatened. We know what was in store for the Muslims.
6 Q. Thank you. A moment ago you referred to Karadzic. Perhaps I was
7 unclear and I'll try to be clearer. In Serbia and from the FRY have
8 there been invitations to the population, Muslim population of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to remain part of the joint state after the secession
10 of Croatia and Slovenia?
11 A. I was not involved in politics, but I do know what things took
12 place in the area.
13 Q. Since you know what took place, can you tell us how it came about
14 that Bosnia-Herzegovina too seceded from the FRY? Because the Chamber
15 knows of the SFRY before the conflict.
16 A. You know well there was a referendum and that the population of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina opted for independence, to have an independent
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As for you, the army, and why you did not equally
19 defend both peoples, that is the question. Why did you allow this war to
20 take place?
21 Q. Does this correspond to the gist of what you said when you said
22 that it was painful for you to see it all because Muslims wanted to live
23 alongside Serbs, but now you are telling us that even before the war the
24 Muslims asked to secede from the FRY and the Serbs by way of the
1 A. Sir, I must say that there is a very strong political note to
2 your questions. Even nowadays, after the war, we still live together,
3 the Serbs and Muslims. In Srebrenica today no Serb touches me and I
4 don't touch anyone else. We still live together. We do again. Perhaps
5 you are at odds with this, but yes, we do share a common life. It is our
7 Q. Thank you, sir. I understand you. And I can't lecture you on
8 politics like you tried to lecture us, but I'm asking you whether before
9 the war the Muslims decided to leave the FRY, for the record.
10 A. Yes, yes, that is known.
11 Q. Thank you. That was my question, because you said that you
12 wanted to continue living alongside the Serbs, but yet you see that
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina held that referendum.
14 My second question is also based on something you said. Did the
15 Muslims first leave Srebrenica and go -- went to some other neighbouring
16 settlements at the beginning of the war?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were those settlements, in terms of altitude, higher than
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell us why they did that?
22 A. Given that the population in Srebrenica mainly hailed from the
23 periphery of the town, from the larger local communes, they went there
24 because they could join their relatives and felt safer there.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us who left Srebrenica first, the Serbs
1 or Muslims?
2 A. What do you mean "first"?
3 Q. Who was the first to leave Srebrenica, Muslims or Serbs?
4 A. Well, you can't say that anyone left anything. You know how the
5 war began in Bosnia-Herzegovina. People were afraid, that's why they
6 left Srebrenica.
7 Q. Thank you. That may well be your opinion and I won't question
8 it. That is not my task here.
9 Let us discuss the column you were asked about by Mr. Thayer.
10 There was a number of questions. On page 12 of today's transcript, line
11 23, he asked you where your village is located, and you said that a
12 column went through the village, heading for Susnjari, and that on that
13 day it was shelled for the first time. Do you recall that?
14 A. Yes, I do, and it is true.
15 Q. Do you remember having said that every third person in the column
16 had a weapon?
17 A. No, you misheard, and I'd like to complete my answer, if I may.
18 The question was related to the first group who went out as
19 reconnaissance, how many of them were armed. Sir, you know very well how
20 many people crossed over in the first group to the free territory in
21 Tuzla. You know how many were captured. You know well who handed in
22 their weapons and who searched the terrain. All of that terrain was
23 under the control of the VRS, and I had occasion to speak to some top
24 officials from the VRS who disagreed with what took place in the area,
25 and you know well what took place.
1 Q. Can you tell us, who did you have those discussions with?
2 A. I'd rather not go into that because of their safety or the safety
3 of that person. Most of the people who were in the Serb army in
4 Srebrenica yelled out to our positions from theirs. They communicated
5 with us. I know that you will dispute that because you tried to impose
6 the regimen of standing at attention, but I know that people were
7 actually doing that. They still live in Srebrenica, and I have the Serbs
8 in mind.
9 Q. Thank you. This is a court. If you believe that there is
10 something you shouldn't say in open session, please do not say that
11 because we cannot use that any further. If you want to tell us the name
12 of that person, you can tell us in closed session.
13 A. Why should I refer to his name when he doesn't want his name to
14 be mentioned.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the speakers please
16 be asked not to overlap.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. [No interpretation]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters ask not to overlap
20 because you are both speakers speeding up and I have to interrupt you
21 that we didn't receive any more interpretation. Please repeat your last
22 question, and then don't overlap.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
25 apologise to you and the interpreters.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. On page 13 of today's transcript, line 15, the witness said that
3 he had a hunting rifle. Actually, it is lines 14 and 15. Then he said
4 that 1.000 pieces of weapons were carried over, each and every person had
5 at least some weapon. That was in lines 14 and 15. My question hence is
6 this: If every third person in that part of the column you referred to
7 had a weapon, does this make the column a legitimate military target?
8 A. I don't know the military parlance and I don't know what a
9 military target is. I can tell you what the situation was, and then you
10 are there to explain what it is that you targeted.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us when the column was formed and when
12 it left Susnjari and the other villages surrounding Srebrenica?
13 A. There was no official time it was formed. As people were leaving
14 the town and as were being driven out of those parts of the town closest
15 to the Serbs -- I don't know if you are following?
16 Q. Yes. I apologise.
17 A. The column was formed spontaneously as people were withdrawing in
18 front of the advancing troops. That is why the column was formed, and
19 the women and children left the other way.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the women and children were headed
21 for Potocari and did you arrange with that part of the population that
22 you were to leave for Susnjari?
23 A. I would always take the forest route and I believe that it was
24 safer for the women and children to go down there.
25 Q. So before you left for Susnjari you knew that the women and
1 children would go to Potocari?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. After the break - because we only have four minutes left - we
4 will see some footage, but for now, can you tell us whether, since you
5 moved in that column for six days, were there any women in the column?
6 A. Yes, there were.
7 Q. Thank you. Since you were an active member of the Army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, can you tell us whether the Army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Srebrenica had women in its ranks?
10 A. I don't know what you mean by that, but definitely not. They
11 didn't carry weapons and there weren't enough pieces to go around for the
12 men, let alone women.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
15 1D05 for the witness to peruse it. Actually, it is 1D105. Thank you,
16 Aleksandar. I wasn't clear about the number. 1D105.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. While we are waiting for the document, I'll give a background.
19 This is a document of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Srebrenica,
20 sent by the secretary, Professor Suljo Hasanovic, from Srebrenica on the
21 1st of February, 1995. Do you know Suljo Hasanovic?
22 A. I do, but I don't know how this was sent.
23 Q. Did he have anything to do with the municipal organs?
24 A. Yes, he worked in the secretariat, I believe. But can I first
25 read the document to see what it's about?
1 Q. Yes, and you can do it out loud so that I don't have to read it
3 A. No, you go ahead.
4 Q. It was sent from the municipality of Srebrenica to the municipal
5 secretariat for defence in Tuzla. And he says that:
6 "We hereby inform you that 73 women volunteers, assigned to
7 military units of the army of the republic existing in the free areas of
8 Srebrenica municipality, are registered with this municipal secretariat
9 for defence, and three women volunteers are with the Srebrenica MUP. The
10 total number of women volunteers is 76. They are currently assigned to
11 the army and the MUP (units, staffs, institutions) and prior to their
12 assignment to the armed forces, they were not examined by recruiting
14 In the last paragraph, it says:
15 "These women lived and worked in the area of Srebrenica
16 municipality prior to the war. Considering the current situation in the
17 free territory of Srebrenica municipality, we are awaiting further
18 instructions from the Tuzla district secretariat for defence regarding
19 this matter."
20 So he sent this to the district secretariat for defence in Tuzla.
21 Signed by Professor Suljo Hasanovic, secretary. My question is, does
22 this document, sent by Hasanovic to Tuzla, speak to the fact that the
23 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had 76 female volunteers?
24 A. I am really not privy to these details. I don't know. I did
25 tell you that there were some women in the column, but I don't know
1 whether they were soldiers. I really don't.
2 Q. We are going to see the footage of the column advancing. Can you
3 tell us whether some of those women wore uniforms or parts of uniform?
4 A. Probably because they had nothing else to wear.
5 Q. Did you know any such female members referred to by Mr. Hasanovic
6 out of the 76? Have you ever seen any one of them, given your duties of
7 the military policemen?
8 A. Yes, some of them worked in the medical unit, but I don't know of
9 any women in the units. I really don't.
10 Q. Thank you. I apologise, can you tell us whether in the column
11 you saw a single women? We are going to see the footage. Please answer
12 with a yes or no.
13 A. Well, you needn't insist any further. I did tell you that there
14 were some women who also lost their lives in the break-through.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you see any of those women before they were
16 killed as part of the column having worked for the Army of
18 A. I don't know whether your questions are directly related to this
19 trial, but it is easy to verify. If there are lists testifying to that,
20 you should bring them here and show them to the Court. It's the easiest
21 thing to do. The army is now a joint force.
22 Q. Thank you. This Court is well aware of what it is that I can and
23 cannot do. I cannot do what you suggest from where I sit. The Chamber
24 may do that if they find it necessary, but they also have to draw
25 conclusions based on your testimony. If you are not testifying
1 truthfully to this topic, then we can't expect you to tell the truth on
2 other topics. Of course, you are free to answer the way you see fit.
3 A. I'm certain that I replied truthfully and honestly to every
4 question and my only goal is that the truth should out here and that all
5 those guilty should be proportionately sanctioned.
6 Q. Thank you. But please answer my question: Did you see a single
7 woman in that column of whom you learned later that was killed?
8 A. I did tell you that I did see them, but I don't know whether they
9 were on any army lists. I wasn't placed in such a way to be shown any
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could 1D105 be made
13 part of evidence.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I note that this was not listed in
15 the list of potential exhibits for your cross-examination. Is there a
16 reason for that?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm really not familiar
18 with such technicalities, but my legal assistant and I agreed before the
19 weekend that this should be on the list.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
21 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I apologise. It was
22 an oversight that I am to be blamed for.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this information. This document
24 will be received as an exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D133, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Since
3 there's only one minute left before the break, so as not to start a new
4 topic, perhaps we should take the break now and then start with the topic
5 after that. Thank you. I'd like to thank the witness and everyone else.
6 I would like to apologise again for the overlaps.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. It's a good proposal. We
8 have our first break now and we'll resume at quarter past 4.00.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer, I was told that you would like
13 to raise the scheduling issue.
14 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President, I do. We were just notified
15 this morning by Dr. Haglund, who was currently scheduled to testify this
16 coming Monday, 29 November, that he has had some unexpected heart surgery
17 - he has had something implanted, as I understand it - and he will not be
18 permitted to travel for some time. We still don't have details in terms
19 of what his prognosis or expectation is, for example, to be able to
20 participate, perhaps, in a videolink testimony, which we are exploring
21 scheduling for the end of next week.
22 Again, we are in only the earliest stages of exploring the
23 technical possibilities of that and, just based on prior experience, I
24 would say that they are next to zero, both because it takes a long time
25 technically to set it up, to get Registry on board, and moreover we have
1 a nine-hour time difference between here and Seattle where Dr. Haglund
2 lives, and for a man in his condition to have to get up and get to
3 wherever the videolink would be held from, I just don't see it working.
4 But we are going to explore it because we want to fill as much time as we
5 can and not have any gaps, so we'll explore that. I don't think it's
6 going to be fruitful, so what we'll do next week is we will just move all
7 the witnesses a day earlier, which means we'll have Mr. Mandzic returning
8 for the remainder of his cross-examination, Mr. Razdoljac, who has been
9 subpoenaed by the Trial Chamber, and then Mr. Gavric. If we have any
10 time left over, we'll try to come up with somebody to fill the gap.
11 I can also tell the Trial Chamber, and I believe the Defence
12 wishes to be heard orally with respect to our recent motion to amend the
13 65 ter list to include numerous exhibits in connection with the Mladic
14 notebooks, we will have Mr. Blaszczyk available, should the court admit
15 his additional exhibits. We'll have him available any time, starting
16 today, although I don't think there will be possibility for him to go
17 today for many reasons, but he will be prepared as soon as the Trial
18 Chamber rules on the motion, I understand that the Defence wishes to be
19 heard on that as well, but that's the brief snap-shot of where the
20 scheduling stands.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, thank you for this information and
22 the efforts to fill the court time in an appropriate way. One question:
23 Mr. Haglund, if he is not able to testify next Monday, is there another
24 witness available for Monday out of those who are scheduled for next
1 MR. THAYER: Yes. What I meant by moving everybody a day forward
2 was we'll move everybody a day earlier. So Mr. Mandzic will be in place
3 of Mr. Haglund, Mr. Razdoljac will be ready to testify Tuesday the 30th,
4 and Mr. Gavric after Mr. Razdoljac. And if we have a gap after those
5 three that are currently scheduled for next week, we'll find somebody.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Gajic.
7 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me first greet
8 everyone in courtroom. We are sorry about Mr. Haglund not being able to
9 come. We'd like only briefly to state our position regarding the
10 testimony of Mr. Blaszczyk. The Defence remains on the same position as
11 represented by Mr. Tolimir; that is, we leave it entirely to the Trial
12 Chamber to decide about the testimony of Mr. Blaszczyk and the scope of
13 his evidence. That means the Defence will take no particular position
14 regarding his testimony.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But this is not the only issue regarding the
16 application by the Prosecution we received this morning. That was in
17 fact a motion to add several documents to the 65 ter exhibit list. What
18 is the position of the Defence to this motion in this respect, and do you
19 want to respond to this motion in written form or orally? What is your
21 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't think there
22 is any need for a written submission. We are concerned about the
23 quantity of material that the Prosecution want to add to their 65 ter
24 list. That is our only concern. As for the rest, that's precisely what
25 I meant when I said we will take no particular position regarding the
1 testimony of Mr. Blaszczyk. That includes the extension of the 65 ter
2 list. We leave it entirely to the Trial Chamber to decide on their own
3 conscience about these missions and the testimony of Mr. Blaszczyk.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this explanation. Then I
5 take it that we can't expect a written response or an oral response to
6 this motion by the Defence and the Chamber will consider the motion of
7 the Prosecution. Is that a correct understanding?
8 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely right.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The Chamber will consider
10 the motion. Nothing else at the moment? In that case, the witness
11 should be brought in, please.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome back, and please sit down. Please sit
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir is continuing his cross-examination.
17 Yes, Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. At the
19 end of the first session we said we would show the Srebrenica video,
20 P991. I would like it to be played because we've already asked certain
21 questions concerning the video, of this witness, and there will be more.
22 P991, please. First of all the forming of the column until minute 14 and
23 then from 33:18 to --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear where the video
25 should stop.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you please repeat the end -- the
2 time for the end of the playing of the video?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, from 33:18 until 36:46.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please go ahead.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The video stopped at 35 minutes point 05 seconds.
7 Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You saw the beginning when the column was being formed and you
11 heard that man saying, at 11:15:09, "I want to sell this tape to Ramzo
12 [phoen]." Did you recognise that man who said it?
13 A. No, I did not, but it's not Ramzo, it's Revda, and her husband is
14 Suad, who is on the list and did not survive.
15 Q. Correct. Thank you. And do you know this man who says, "I want
16 to sell this tape to Revdo," or Revda?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you recognise yourself in this passage that was shown?
19 A. Anyone can look for me here, but I'm not there for sure. And if
20 I may add, in the first passage there is a clear indication of time and
21 date, and in the second part at -- there is a point when somebody says,
22 "Just let the people in Pragas be pulled out of there." So that was
23 filmed when we were already emerging at the boundary of the free
24 territory, and you can see exactly how many people had weapons. I even
25 overestimated the number. You can see on this film that one in five or
1 one in six only has a weapon.
2 Q. You must know that we did not edit this. This is a film provided
3 to the Trial Chamber and to the Defence by the Prosecution. We did not
4 tamper with it in any way.
5 A. I see there is no date.
6 Q. Did you see at the beginning, where it says 11 July, 15:09?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it the time when the column began to be formed?
9 A. I have to repeat this once again: I am in possession of all my
10 mental faculties and I said in all my statements that on the day when the
11 offensive began I left my house, went down to the centre of town, people
12 were gathering and trying to decide where to go. I don't know where it
13 was filmed because you cannot see any landmarks. This can be in Susnjari
14 or in Srebrenica, and it takes two and a half, three hours of walking to
15 get to Susnjari from Srebrenica.
16 Second, regarding the fall of Srebrenica, Srebrenica definitively
17 fell when the NATO bombed positions around Srebrenica. You can check at
18 what time that was, and that's the time when Srebrenica fell. I watched
19 it all from my house. I was at home at the time, not in the column.
20 Q. On page 4 of this transcript today, line 25, the Prosecutor said
21 the column was formed in the night of the 11th July. I am asking you,
22 when was the column formed, considering that the Prosecutor later moved
23 on to questions about Azmir and I don't want to confuse the two topics.
24 A. I don't see the point of your question.
25 Q. When did the column begin to be formed? Date and time.
1 A. My dear sir, I'll repeat to you once again: The forming of the
2 column was spontaneous. Some people left Srebrenica earlier while others
3 were still arriving from peripheral areas. That's how the column was
4 formed, spontaneously and gradually.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, I would again remind both speakers
6 not to overlap. You should pause between question and answer. It's very
7 difficult for the interpreters and for the court record.
8 Secondly, the question was, when was the column beginning to be
9 formed? Despite the -- your answer that was formed spontaneously, but
10 can you give a time estimate?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 11th, before the final fall
12 of Srebrenica people, were already starting to leave, heading towards
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Tolimir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. On this film, did you see a part of the column that was filmed
18 during the day of the 11th at 15:09? That's 9 minutes past 3.00 p.m.
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. When did you leave Srebrenica, can you tell the Trial Chamber?
21 A. After the bombing, when I saw a column of Serbian troops coming
22 into town in a column two by two, I realised that the NATO forces had not
23 done their job. I knew that was it. I locked my home and left.
24 Q. I understand that, but do you remember what time it was? Was it
25 the morning, the afternoon of the 11th?
1 A. The afternoon.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you remember when the planes bombed the positions
3 of the VRS; in the morning or the afternoon?
4 A. The afternoon.
5 Q. Do you remember where the VRS assets were at the time when they
6 were bombed?
7 A. On the elevations around town.
8 Q. UNPROFOR soldiers testified here that they had looked for tanks
9 as targets on that day, and that they located tanks of the VRS two
10 kilometres far from Srebrenica. Do you know how wide the encirclement
11 was? Were the UNPROFOR positions ahead or behind of the Bosnian army
12 positions around Srebrenica?
13 A. I don't know what you are asking. We all know very well from
14 which direction the VRS troops came. They passed unhindered by the
15 UNPROFOR soldiers. Nobody stopped them. Why, I don't know.
16 Q. Can you tell us if they were stopped by the BH Army in Zeleni
17 Jadar? Did they try to stop them from passing by the UNPROFOR?
18 A. Yes. There were certain defence lines there. I don't know in
19 which position, but, yes, they were there.
20 Q. Did they come in fighting or without any fighting?
21 A. Most of the time without fighting.
22 Q. Can you clarify that?
23 A. There was nothing to enable us to give an adequate response. We
24 had nothing.
25 Q. Did the column leave Srebrenica before the VRS came into the
1 demilitarised zone of Srebrenica?
2 A. No. No. The Army of Republika Srpska was pushing the defence of
3 Srebrenica and the population further and further in. They came in from
4 Zeleni Jadar and they pushed the children and women towards Potocari and
5 the men left in another direction.
6 Q. We understand that, but did you see any VRS soldiers from the
7 column in which you were at a Susnjari?
8 A. What do you mean did I see them?
9 Q. If the VRS troops came into the demilitarised zone before you
10 left, did the column see VRS soldiers? Did the VRS soldiers try to stop
11 the column from leaving Srebrenica and Susnjari?
12 A. From Susnjari there is no visibility towards Srebrenica, but they
13 shelled us all the time, hindering our movement. You can really not
14 imagine, dear sir, what kind of feeling that is when they are not letting
15 you leave Srebrenica and they are not letting you live in Srebrenica.
16 That was the only reason why we left; to survive.
17 Q. That was your reason, but do you know that Srebrenica was a
18 demilitarised zone and that if it had remained demilitarised, if there
19 had been no armed attacks from Srebrenica, it could have remained?
20 A. That's your theory. Just as you say that Muslims killed each
21 other. In Srebrenica it was not possible.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I kindly ask e-court to show us
23 D53. While we are waiting, I'd like to say it's a document from the
24 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, its General Staff, written on the 11th of
25 June, 1995, one month exactly before the Srebrenica events, and it's
1 called "Preparation For Offensives Order." Submitted to the 28th
2 Division of the land forces.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You can see it now. Preparation for Offensive Combat Operations.
5 It says:
6 "Pursuant to a verbal order issued by the commander of the
7 General Staff of the BH Army, General Rasim Delic, and in connection with
8 the great success achieved by units of the BH Army ..." et cetera
9 et cetera, "I hereby order: Execute all preparations in the command of
10 the 28th Land Army Division to execute offensive combat operations with a
11 view to liberating the territory of the BH, overextending the A/S and
12 inflicting losses on them, co-ordinating action with the BH Army forces
13 carrying out operations in the broader Sarajevo area."
14 If you look at this, is it the case that the General Staff from
15 Sarajevo ordered the forces in Srebrenica, including the 28th Division,
16 to prepare for launching an offensive?
17 A. Wait a minute. Your question is not clear and the text is not
18 clear, because you know that the command and Delic were in Sarajevo,
19 whereas we were in Srebrenica, and I'm probably not even aware of these
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the number of this document is not
22 recorded. Could you please repeat the number.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It is
24 D53. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see the connection between
1 Sarajevo and Srebrenica. It says here Sarajevo, and I was in Srebrenica.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I'll show it to you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
5 D52 to see the connection between this order and Srebrenica. Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. On the screen we see another Army of BH document issued by the
8 command of the 2nd Corps on the 8th of July, 1995. At the time of the
9 events in Srebrenica. It says: "Information on combat results of the
10 units and commands of the 28th Ground Army Division of the 2nd Corps of
11 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina." We'll skip the first paragraph. I'll
12 just read out the first two lines of it:
13 "The soldiers of the 28th Land Army Division located in
14 Srebrenica" -- I apologise. "... located in Srebrenica and Zepa,
15 although completely encircled and facing big problems," et cetera,
16 "decided to contribute to the fight," et cetera.
17 In the second paragraph it says:
18 "A number of successful sabotage actions were carried out deep in
19 the temporarily occupied territory where the following results were
21 The first bullet point: "60 Chetniks were liquidated and,
22 according to unconfirmed reports, the aggressor suffered even greater
23 losses and had many wounded."
24 Then they refer to some seised weaponry. My question is this:
25 Is there a link between Sarajevo and Srebrenica if we look at the
1 activities carried out following the initial order carried out by the
2 soldiers of the 28th Division in the territory controlled by the VRS,
3 whereas they seem to have killed 60 members of the VRS?
4 A. I neither can comment or assess -- nor assess these documents.
5 I'm not familiar with these events. I see that there is a certain Suad
6 Delic in the signature block.
7 Q. For your information, the OTP ran their checks and they received
8 this information from your command in Tuzla.
9 A. Oh, the Suad Delic of Tuzla. Well, let me tell you this: One
10 should be ashamed to be such a general or brigadier, whatever he was at
11 the time. When we managed to reach Tuzla, he took off his insignia, his
12 rank insignia, and put them in his pocket, he was that ashamed. If this
13 is the Suad Delic that I have in mind.
14 Q. I don't know when it is that you saw him. Perhaps you can tell
15 the Chamber.
16 A. When we arrived there after the break-through, he greeted us
17 there, but first he took off his rank. I don't know why. Perhaps he was
18 too ashamed.
19 Q. Thank you. At page 7 of today's transcript, line 3, you were
20 asked by Mr. Thayer this:
21 "What do you mean when you say that -- that it was taken from TO
22 of OP RS?" And you say the Muslims captured heavy weaponry from Serb
23 positions. Do you remember that?
24 A. Yes, and I reiterated that a moment ago.
25 Q. Thank you. These Muslims who killed the 60 Serbs, were these the
1 people involved?
2 A. Well, you seem to be merging two things. At the outset I said
3 that during offensive operations some of it was seised. What you are now
4 saying, that there is a connection between what I said previously and
5 this, I can only tell you that I never heard of this. I don't know about
6 that. I do know that there were incursions and that cattle were stolen,
7 but I'm not familiar with events such as this. If you have a list of
8 killed Serbs, killed on specific dates, perhaps you should show it to us
9 so that we can all see it.
10 Q. Thank you. The Trial Chamber will indeed have occasion to see
11 it. Since you are in the witness -- on the witness-stand now, perhaps
12 you can tell us if you know anything about this. That's all I'm asking.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just to -- so that we can make sense
15 of the record later, page 43, line 11, General Tolimir appears to be
16 quoting a prior part of the transcript but I'm not sure where that is
17 from because it doesn't look familiar, particularly the reference to "TO
18 of OP RS." I'm not sure anybody has used those acronyms in that way
19 today. So just so that when we go back to the transcript, we know or
20 have a better idea of what Mr. Salkic was answering there so we have a
21 correct understanding of what the question was, I'd like to have that
22 repeated. Or if General Tolimir can tell us exactly where in the
23 transcript or what line that came from, if it's just as easy for him to
24 ask the question again, I don't need a chapter and verse, I just want to
25 know what the question was, but we can't tell, I think, from its current
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it you are referring to page 43, line 14,
3 in e-court?
4 MR. THAYER: Yes. I think that's the -- yes, it's line 16 on my
5 screen, but that's -- we are in the same ball-park, Mr. President, yes.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
7 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps I can be of
8 assistance. I think it is page 8, lines 3 to 5. Occasionally the
9 transcript runs a bit late after Mr. Thayer's question, or Mr. Tolimir's
10 question, and since Mr. Tolimir does not understand the English language,
11 occasionally he notes down a wrong reference.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you can help your client to have the
13 right quotation that he can put the question to the witness again.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I don't
15 need assistance because Mr. Gajic doesn't know what I was about to ask.
16 I put my question regarding examination-in-chief. I think it is page 8,
17 line 3. Mr. Thayer asked:
18 "What do you mean when you say that heavy weapons were seised
19 from the VRS?" This is what I wrote down in shorthand. I don't know
20 what the transcript looked like later on. Then the witness said, on page
21 8, line 5, the following: "The Muslims captured heavy weaponry from Serb
22 positions." I can now put a new question to the witness because he has
23 already answered this one.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, to have it clear on the record, I
25 would like to quote page 8, line 3. Mr. Thayer is recorded to having
2 "Okay. And who was it that seised all of those heavy weapons to
3 begin with?"
4 The answer was: "The soldiers. Muslims seised that weaponry
5 from Serb positions." That is on the record in English. Please carry
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Since I
8 don't speak English, I find this of assistance. I asked the witness
9 whether the same soldiers killed the 60 Serbs in the territory controlled
10 by the VRS, and he provided an answer. If Mr. Thayer would like me to
11 ask that again to receive the answer again, I can only put a new question
12 in relation to the previous one. My question is, or was --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If that's the question, I would like to receive
14 the response of the witness.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only want to say once more that
16 the discussions I had with the investigators about the capturing of heavy
17 weapons, that took place during combat activities prior to the UNPROFOR's
18 arrival. As for this operation or any seising of heavy weapons, that is
19 something I'm not familiar with following UNPROFOR's arrival.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. First of all, I asked you about the combat order sent by the main
22 command of the army from Sarajevo on the 17th of June, and you said that
23 you don't know about that and that you had nothing to do with Sarajevo.
24 Next I quoted to you the order of the corps where the 60 killed
25 Serbs in July were referred to. Perhaps if you want me to tie it all up
1 with Mr. Thayer's questions, then I want to ask you this: Can you tell
2 us whether, before Srebrenica was demilitarised, did you take part in any
3 operations involving the seising of weapons from the VRS, since you spoke
4 about that?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether your unit participated in the
7 capturing of heavy weapons?
8 A. Again you put -- you are putting words in my mouth. You say "the
9 unit that you were part of ..." I didn't take any part in any captures
10 or operations.
11 Q. Perhaps I may have been imprecise.
12 A. I think you are doing it on purpose.
13 Q. I'll repeat my question and then you can answer. Can you tell us
14 this: Did your unit, the unit that you were in, take part in any
15 capturing of the artillery pieces of the VRS?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Very well.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we next see D120.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The document was issued by the command of the 8th Operational
21 Group in Srebrenica on the 7th of March, 1994. The title of the document
22 is "Supplement For the Guide to the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 17,
25 please. It's page 23 in the English version.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. The third paragraph begins with "The 1st of May, 1992 ..." It
3 further goes on to say "the enemy was sabotaged in the Zutica sector."
4 It refers to the enemy, which is mentioned in the penultimate sentence of
5 this paragraph. It says, inter alia, that you were also a member of that
7 A. Can you tell me what unit?
8 Q. Well, I'll tell you. So item 3: "Dates, locations, and brief
9 description of all significant combat activities from the time of
10 establishment until the 31st of January, 1994. On 1 May, 1992, the enemy
11 was sabotaged in the Zutica sector." The unit referring to is the 281st
12 East Bosnian Brigade. What brigade did you belong to?
13 A. I was only a member of Military Police Company. Let me tell you
14 this: If you have lists and rosters, it's no problem to establish
15 anything. There were three Osman Salkic's in Srebrenica in the company I
16 used to work for. It's easy to prove anything, but let me see what
17 people this refers to specifically.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, just a moment. This document was
19 received under seal and should not be broadcast, just for the record.
20 Please continue.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. It says here that the 281st East Bosnian Light Brigade carried
24 out its attack on 1 May 1992. It was a sabotage operation against the
25 enemy in the sector of Zutica.
1 A. Take my word for it, I was never up there.
2 Q. Thank you, but let me finish reading and then you can tell us
3 whether you participated or not. Then it says: "On 1 May, 1992, enemy
4 sabotage of the command staff at Viogor was avoided." Were you at Viogor
5 on that date?
6 A. I'm not certain.
7 Q. On 2 May and 3 May, 1992, a strong artillery and infantry Chetnik
8 attack was repelled with the assistance of a group of soldiers from the
9 Potocari TO. Then there are further activities of the unit up until
10 1993. At the end of this paragraph, it says Visica, or Visnjica in the
11 last line, "On 7 June, 1992, the enemy was successfully" et cetera.
12 There seems to be something missing there.
13 And then we have a number of names. In the third row, it says
14 "Osman Salkic." The cursor is there. It says Osman Salkic. Can you see
15 it? Then it says Mustafa Mujic, Kadrija Mujic, Bekto Memisevic, Sefik
16 Zildic, et cetera. Do you know any of the people on the list?
17 A. Sir, once again, it's very easy to check the list of military
18 policemen. I don't know any of these persons. If I were afraid of
19 anything, I would ask to be a protected witness, but I'm testifying here
20 in open court. I'm not ashamed of anything or anyone.
21 Q. Thank you, I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm really asking
22 whether you know of any of the people here.
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. Can you answer this question because you were not
25 able to answer this one: You said you were a military policeman. To
1 which unit, according to establishment, did your unit belong?
2 A. We were 20 or so.
3 Q. That's not what I asked. Did you belong to a brigade or a staff?
4 A. I think a staff.
5 Q. If you think you were a staff unit, then we'll go back to the
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, let me interrupt you for a moment.
8 At line 15 of this page, 49, there is an indication that the answer was
9 not interpreted I heard in Serbian the answer No, and therefore I would
10 like to put to the witness again. Sir, Mr. Tolimir, asked you, "I'm
11 really asking whether you know any of the people here." What was your
12 answer? And "here" means on the list in front of you. What was your
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We'll
17 see the document now. A document from the unit to which this witness
18 belonged, he just said they belonged to the staff. It's P957.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. While it's being uploaded, I'd like the witness to explain to the
21 Trial Chamber which staff he meant. Is it Naser Oric's staff or the
22 staff of one of the brigades in Srebrenica?
23 A. The staff of the command of Srebrenica Defence.
24 Q. Where was that inner circle of the command? Where was its
25 location in 1992, 1993?
1 A. At the Territorial Defence staff.
2 Q. We now see this document, again issued by the Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and since you say at the staff, for the record to be
4 clear, it says command of the operation's group Srebrenica, is that the
5 unit where you were a military policeman?
6 A. My dear sir, many of your questions are totally confusing to me.
7 Q. Look under 1(a) Lovac, Stari Grad, Srebrenica. Then (b), command
8 of the operative group Srebrenica, up to (e). In which of these bases
9 were you based?
10 A. None of these.
11 Q. Where was Naser Oric based, if you were with his staff?
12 A. At no point did I say that I was with the staff of Naser Oric.
13 Naser Oric had a team of young men who were constantly with him.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The question was where was he based?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean Naser Oric?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes indeed.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most of the time the command was at
19 the Territorial Defence staff.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And where was that located?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the staff, I said. Although he
22 never sat in an office. He was mostly in the field, on the front lines,
23 visiting troops. He never sat in an office.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Where was the staff located?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The building from before the war
1 which housed the Territorial Defence staff, and that was kept later by
2 the BH Army for its command. I hope I'm clear enough.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you tell us where this building is located?
4 Where is it situated?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the centre of town.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You mean Srebrenica?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness, as a military policeman, did you ever stand guard,
12 provide security at the building where the staff was based?
13 A. To anticipate some of your questions, I'll tell you straight
14 away: I led five or six men in the military police. I was the duty
15 officer in an office and I gave them assignments.
16 Q. Was that office in that staff?
17 A. No, it was in the old police building.
18 Q. How far is that from the staff?
19 A. Perhaps one kilometre.
20 Q. That old police building, did it belong to the staff and did the
21 police provide security for the staff?
22 A. Honestly, nobody provided security at the staff. There were no
23 guards because only our army was in town. There were these young men
24 around the commander and every unit had someone like a receptionist.
25 People with guns went mostly to the front line and those were people who
1 stayed in town. They knew each other.
2 Q. Since you said a moment ago that you sat in an office and you
3 gave five men assignments for security missions, did you participate in
4 any of these security missions at the staff? Did you go to the staff?
5 A. Yes, I visited the staff, but on no particular assignment. Only
6 if I needed to pass on some information because we had no radio, no
7 communications. And to finish my answer, they did not only on security
8 assignments to the staff, they also went to pass on a message, on another
9 errand, because our police commander lived there. As a military man you
10 probably find this illogical, but in Srebrenica we moved around on foot
11 or on horseback. That's the only way.
12 Q. I understand, but I want to know if your unit had any assignments
13 in the staff, or did you go on assignments elsewhere?
14 A. There was no security for that staff. We were more like a
15 messenger service.
16 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber, what was the purpose of your unit?
17 A. In all brigades, I believe there were two military policemen.
18 And anything that happened within a brigade, breach of regulations, would
19 be reported to the military police and then a military policeman would
20 invite the offender for an interview.
21 Q. What was your responsibility? Did anyone physically secure the
22 staff? When Naser goes out into the field, he has his own security men,
23 and then you said that people with guns went to the front line. If all
24 the weapons were on the front line, did anyone secure the staff?
25 A. None of the military policemen did, but there were always people
1 who did some work at the staff.
2 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, for the record, what were you doing
3 until 1992, until the mobilisation? To which unit did you belong and
4 what kind of work did you perform?
5 A. I was just a military policeman.
6 Q. Were you independent in your work or did somebody give you
7 assignments? Because you said you belonged to the staff.
8 A. We had a military police commander who lived there in the same
9 building, upstairs. He knew everything and he gave us work to do.
10 Q. Who was your commander?
11 A. He was an active-duty policeman, a professional policeman.
12 Sakib -- let me remember his last name. He is no longer alive.
13 Q. If you can give us his last name, and then when we find him we'll
14 find your unit.
15 A. I think it might be Krdzic.
16 Q. The time it takes us to find him on the list, can you tell us if
17 you knew Naser Oric, the division commander?
18 A. Of course I did. I know him from high school.
19 Q. Did you know him from the war?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you ever carry out any assignments, any work in the building
22 where the operations group command was based, where Naser Oric was based?
23 A. Did I have any assignments there? No, I did not have occasion to
24 do any work for him. He had a team of young men with him that was his
25 permanent entourage.
1 Q. I'm sorry, I have no more time to try to establish where you were
2 during the war, I'm giving up on that, because you don't want to tell us.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think this is not a correct statement, to say,
4 "you don't want to tell us." The witness has the duty to answer every
5 question here in the courtroom, but some of your questions are not very
6 helpful to assist the witness to answer. If you want to know where the
7 witness was working during the war, I think he told us a lot about that,
8 but I would like to put the question again. Can you tell us where you
9 were during the war? This was the question of Mr. Tolimir, the last one.
10 Can you repeat that, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a member of the military
12 police in Srebrenica.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what else do you want to know?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
15 nothing more on the subject because being a member of the military police
16 in Srebrenica is a very broad concept. It gives me no information, but
17 I'm not going on if he doesn't want to tell me.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not that I don't want to, I
19 just don't know what you expect me to tell you. I'm telling you, Naser
20 had an elite team of men that he took with him everywhere. There are
21 many things I didn't like in the war. I chose the military police, in
22 fact, I was assigned to the military police because I had been in the
23 military police in the JNA in the 1985 class, under the command of
24 Captain 1st Class Jeftic. That is why I got assigned to the military
25 police. My philosophy was I only wanted to survive the war. I didn't
1 want to wage war, I didn't want to fight, I just wanted to get out of
2 there alive.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I'll come back to my previous question, page 8, line 5, where you
5 said Muslims had seised heavy weaponry from the Serbs on their positions
6 before the demilitarisation. Can you remember where those positions were
7 where the Muslims captured Bosnian Serb weapons?
8 A. Where all their lines fell around Srebrenica, on each them, on
9 each of the Serbian lines some weapons were captured.
10 Q. That means that the BH Army in Srebrenica was the dominant force
11 that could seise weapons from Serbs any time they wanted?
12 A. Whether it was dominant or not, I don't know, but the fact is
13 they seised some weapons. They had to, because the people in Srebrenica,
14 my dear sir, had nothing to eat. Just like you are trying here to defend
15 yourself in every possible way, that's what we did in Srebrenica. When
16 night falls and you have nothing to give your child to eat, just ask
17 General Morillon what the people who housed him in Srebrenica could give
18 him to eat. I was there.
19 Q. When you came to that assignment to General Morillon, did you get
20 that assignment from the division commander staff or from a brigade
22 A. Commander Sakib gave me that assignment, to go there and to see
23 what's going on.
24 Q. Did that mean that your commander could decide on his own, he
25 didn't have to ask anyone above him?
1 A. No, these were small matters he could decide on his own. Just
2 one more thing I want to tell you: In Srebrenica there was no military
3 regimen like in the Army of the Republika Srpska. When you take a
4 weapon, you never know what the reaction would be, whereas you had order
5 and system in your army. It was very different.
6 Q. Let me go back to your statement. Maybe it will be easier.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now show -- my legal
8 assistant will give me the number. P1373. Page 3, please. Paragraph 2.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. The witness should take a look at his own statement, maybe that
11 will help him answer. Thank you. We now have the right page. Paragraph
12 2 starts with the words: "In the spring of 1992." It says:
13 "In the spring of 1992, I joined the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 in Srebrenica."
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is another page in the English.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. "I didn't go to the front line but I did work in the brigade. I
18 provided security to the staff headed by Naser Oric."
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page is it in English, please?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is page 2, the one before this
21 one in the English.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. My question is this: In your statement you say that you didn't
25 go to the front lines but that you worked within the brigade and secured
1 the headquarters of which Naser Oric was the commander. Can you tell the
2 Chamber what it means when you say that you secured the HQ?
3 A. What I said a moment ago: Sakib would send us if something
4 needed to be done. We didn't have standing shifts or duty there. We
5 simply conveyed messages, et cetera. It was sort of logistical support,
6 if someone had to go somewhere, convey a message, et cetera. We weren't
7 providing security for Naser in Srebrenica. There was no one to guard
8 him against. He had a group of his own men.
9 Q. Do you know the names of those guys and were they members of your
11 A. What guys?
12 Q. Those who were providing security for Naser Oric.
13 A. They were not members of my unit. They were with him all the
15 Q. You saw your statement?
16 A. I want to repeat something: I was never with Naser Oric. I
17 never provided security for him. It says here "secured the command," but
18 there was nothing really to secure.
19 Q. Thank you. I simply wanted to quote your statement, and then you
20 can tell us whether it is correct or not. Perhaps it was erroneously
21 noted down. I don't know if that's what you said or not.
22 A. Well, you can imagine for yourself what sort of tasks I could be
23 assigned to. As I said, sometimes I would be sent to the HQ to convey a
24 message or to bring something, et cetera.
25 Q. Thank you. Look at the second paragraph, the last sentence. You
1 say: "I could hear Serb soldiers over military radio stations, and some
2 of them spoke in Serbian accents." My question is this: Based on what
3 you could hear over the radio, is this what you based your conclusion on
4 about those people speaking with the Serbian accent taking part in the
5 activities around Srebrenica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. That was in 1992. Let me ask you this: Did you know
8 that in 1992 all Serbs were driven out of certain parts of the Bosnian
9 Croat Federation and that those people came to Eastern Bosnia?
10 A. I didn't know that.
11 Q. Did you know that for a while in the RS the Ekavian dialect was
12 mandatory, it was made mandatory by an Assembly decision, and it was the
13 same dialect that was spoken in Serbia?
14 A. I wasn't aware of that.
15 Q. Did you also know that by virtue of the same Assembly decision,
16 the Cyrillic alphabet or Cyrillic script was made mandatory, as it is in
18 A. I didn't know that. Before the war we were taught both in the
19 Latinic and Cyrillic script. I can understand you very well, whichever
20 language you use.
21 Q. Did you know all Serbs who were in the positions around
23 A. Of course I couldn't know them all, but there were Serb
24 neighbours who yelled out across the lines. They would say who they were
25 and wanted to communicate.
1 Q. Was what you heard over the radio the basis on which you conclude
2 that there were Serbs from Serbia who came to Srebrenica to wage war?
3 A. In Belgrade, at the trial there, I said had there been no Serbia,
4 there wouldn't have been the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this applies
5 to any kind of support, be it in logistics, manpower, or anything else.
6 Q. Let me ask you this: Could the war have been avoided had
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina remained the part of the same state with Serbia?
8 A. Well, you are asking too much. I don't know. It was decided on
9 by the political leadership. Here people are held accountable for the
10 loss of human life, not for political decisions.
11 Q. Well, I'm asking you whether there would have been a war if
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina decided to stay.
13 A. Well, why would you not honour the will of the Muslim people,
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Thayer is on his feet.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed, Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think we've travelled this ground
18 already to some degree today. I think the witness has answered
19 consistently when he has been asked essentially the same questions in a
20 slightly reconfigured fashion. Unless there's some new ground that
21 General Tolimir wishes to cover along these lines, I think we've
22 exhausted these very large-scale questions which the witness, frankly,
23 just told General Tolimir is not a matter for his testimony, and frankly,
24 at this stage, with this witness, not fruitful usage of the Court's time.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber always would
1 appreciate if the parties not repeat questions already answered by a
2 witness. And I think this is the case at this moment as well. Please
3 move on.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, but I put
5 my questions based on what the witness said. He said that there would
6 not have been the war if the Muslims had been asked, but I asked him
7 whether the Muslims wanted to leave Serbia -- sorry, the FRY where the
8 Serbs lived. That's all I'm asking. He can say yes or no.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And this question is already answered by the
10 witness at the beginning of your cross-examination.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. A moment ago you said -- you asked me why we didn't defend the
14 referendum held in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I'm asking you this: Wasn't I
15 supposed, as the soldier, to protect the country that some people wanted
16 to secede from? Wasn't I there to protect its constitutional order?
17 A. I don't think this is an appropriate question. Who were you
18 defending Yugoslavia from? The Muslim people voted in the referendum,
19 they voted in favour of secession, so why would you not honour that?
20 Q. Thank you. In the SFRY were the Muslims in the majority or the
21 minority, and are you familiar with the procedure applied to any changes
22 of the constitution of the FRY?
23 A. If I were that familiar with politics, I wouldn't be a worker, I
24 would probably be an Assembly deputy and be much better off in terms of
25 living standard.
1 Q. Look at the fourth paragraph --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, at the outset of the testimony of
3 this witness, we heard about his education and his position as a military
4 police. I'm not sure if this helps your Defence to discuss political
5 questions about secession of a part of the former Yugoslavia with this
6 witness. You should decide to put such questions perhaps to other
7 witnesses. Please focus on those issues the witness can provide answers
8 to you in a sufficient way and carry on.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, but he
10 touched upon the problems of the causes of the war. I'm now moving on to
11 paragraph 4 of the statement.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The fourth line says the dam at Perucac. The witness apparently
14 heard artillery in the environs of the Perucac dam. Was that an
15 important facility for Serbia and Republika Srpska? And was it supposed
16 to defend the dam at Perucac?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We couldn't hear the
18 reference in the statement.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was a hydro-electrical
20 plant there.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Were there any sabotage operations carried out by any units from
23 Srebrenica aiming at destroying the dam and the plant?
24 A. I don't think it would be so easy to destroy it, although I'm not
25 familiar with whether there were any attempts.
1 Q. Was the FRY tasked with defending the dam from any sabotage
3 A. If no one was shelling Serbia, why was Serbia shelling Bosnia?
4 Q. Thank you. If Afghanistan did not shell the USA, why did the USA
5 shell Afghanistan?
6 A. Well, you should ask that of someone else. Might makes right?
7 Q. Let's move to page 4 of your statement. In paragraph 2, you say
8 that you worked as part of the security detail for General Morillon when
9 he came to Srebrenica, et cetera.
10 A. Yes, I was there when he was there.
11 Q. Before that you say that shells landed in Srebrenica from the
12 direction of Ljubovija. It is the first paragraph on page 4.
13 A. Yes. Shells landed the same day when General Morillon was there.
14 Some landed even a hundred metres away from the spot where he was.
15 Q. That's what I wanted to ask. Were there any ballistics experts
16 present in Srebrenica to ascertain the direction of firing?
17 A. That's a ridiculous question, General. You are trying to say
18 again that Muslims were killing Muslims or that UNPROFOR soldiers fired
19 at Morillon? You killed so many people, you should acknowledge that,
20 stand up and say yes, it was us, don't put it on someone else. Just
21 acknowledge that so that we could go on living in Bosnia.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to interrupt you. I'm very sorry for that
23 [Overlapping speakers] ...
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: ... this is really understandable. On the other
1 hand, it's not a correct statement to say this is a ridiculous question.
2 It is up to the Chamber to decide if a question is appropriate or not.
3 Please, this is the right of Mr. Tolimir to cross-examine you, to put
4 questions to you, and it's better for you to come down a bit, to keep
5 control about your emotions and just answer the questions put to you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, would that be a good time for the
8 second break so that everybody could come down? Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if I could ask, we need an accurate
10 estimate from General Tolimir about how much more he has left. We have
11 another witness who is ready to go and we would prefer not to have him
12 waiting around for no reason if there's no realistic chance he is going
13 to start today.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you indicate how much more
15 time you need?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like
17 thank Mr. Thayer for reminding us. We notified that we would use the
18 whole of today's day for this witness, and if you are in no position to
19 grant that, then ...
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The time estimation given to the Chamber was
21 slightly different. If I remember correctly, you said two up to three
22 hours, and not the whole day. This is a difference. And therefore I'm
23 very glad that the Prosecution had a reserved witness available today
24 because this is the best way to avoid waste of time. If you need the
25 whole remainder of the -- today's hearing, I think -- do you want to add
1 a something? Do you want to add something?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if my legal
3 assistant promised that we would wrap it up in three hours, I will do so.
4 If there's any problem.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I just want to make it clear: As the
7 Prosecution, we have no problem with an expanded estimate for
8 cross-examination, we just simply need to know what it is so that we can
9 avoid having the witness sit around. We are perfectly comfortable with
10 going the entire day with the witness. I do have some redirect
11 examination just simply based on some of the documents that were used
12 already, I can tell the Trial Chamber that right now.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Tolimir, this is always
14 the understanding of the Chamber. It is just a question of your
15 estimation. That's all. You told us you need the whole day and
16 including the examination-in-chief, I think the next witness should be
17 released for today.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have our second break now and resume
20 quarter past 6.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we continue, let me tell you the
24 following: Mr. Salkic, I know it's the first time that you are giving
25 evidence here in the Tribunal, but please be aware we are in a court, we
1 are in a trial, and have to find out the truth. We are not in a debate
2 on political issues, and we are not in a parliament. And therefore,
3 please think about some of your responses and try to be not too
4 emotional, although after everything you went through, it is
5 understandable. But it doesn't help anybody in the courtroom. I hope
6 you will understand my words.
7 And, Mr. Tolimir, please focus on those areas the witness can
8 provide you with answers as a military policeman and not with -- don't
9 expect too many valid answers on political aspects of this case.
10 Please carry on.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
12 Defence has checked and we have established that so far we have spent one
13 hour and 35 minutes and we have announced that we would need three hours,
14 so we are still within our time-framework.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are absolutely correct, Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see page 5 of the
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Where we see that the witness in paragraph 2 speaks, and that's
20 in the last sentence, where he said:
21 "I went home after various attacks and we were certain that
22 Srebrenica had been captured." Do you recall that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. My question is this: Did all the military and civilian
25 leadership go to Susnjari in this same column that Mr. Thayer spoke about
1 earlier? Thank you.
2 A. Yes, they had to go via Buljim from Susnjari, that's correct.
3 Q. Thank you. Who took the decision for your family to separate and
4 that women go to Potocari and you to Susnjari which happened at Lipjan?
5 Now, you mentioned this in paragraphs 1 through 8.
6 A. Well, I took that decision because it concerned my wife, my
7 mother, and my children.
8 Q. Thank you. Was the same true of other families, did the male
9 paterfamilias take the decision?
10 A. I wouldn't know anything about others.
11 Q. Thank you. Did that mean, since you were the one who took that
12 decision, that part of the military column deliberately left Srebrenica
13 before Srebrenica fell and sent some men, some women and children to
14 UNPROFOR? Is that the decision that was taken by the civilian and
15 military leadership, because they joined you on their way to Susnjari?
16 A. Well, yes.
17 Q. Was there any connection between Susnjari and the central office
18 in Sarajevo? And I'm referring to the military and civilian leadership.
19 A. Well, let me put it this way: I'm certain that all
20 communications had been cut before we reached Buljim because I had a
21 radio -- a transistor radio with me. On the second day spent in the
22 woods, I was listening to a news report broadcast by Radio
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina which said that the lines in Srebrenica were holding
24 and they were probably just offering support to other fighters, and of
25 course, I expected that we would get some help.
1 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 4 of your statement, you say that during
2 the night of the 11th and 12th of July, we formed a column and that you
3 were close to the beginning of the column, together with Muslim men and
4 that this column was about seven kilometres long.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. My question is this: Who was it who decided that you should be
7 at the beginning of the column?
8 A. Well, no one really made that decision.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, who determined how long the column is going to
10 be? Can you tell us about that?
11 A. Well, I really don't know the details, I don't know who
12 established the column and how that went. Now, you try to figure out
13 when 10.000 to 12.000 people set off from Srebrenica, how long do you
14 think the column should be if they are actually taking the most remote
16 Q. Thank you. Well, maybe I wasn't clear enough in my question. My
17 question actually was this: Was it the civilian or the military
18 authorities who decided that the column should take this remote path
19 through forbidding terrain?
20 A. Well, I really don't know that, but in view of the fact that
21 Naser and several other platoon and company leaders were -- had been sent
22 for training, I don't know who it was who actually took this decision.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, were these people sent to Tuzla for training or
24 did Naser go there on his own initiative, if you know?
25 A. Well, you are asking me about several things, but I'll try to be
1 brief. They took him, they took him there, I know, because the
2 helicopter had come to pick him up. Now, had he taken the forest-path,
3 like I did, I would say that he was a traitor of his own people.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, could we please see document
6 P67 [as interpreted] to see the reasons why Mr. Oric went to Tuzla.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. While we are waiting for the document to come up, which is D67,
9 in order to save some time, let me say that this is a document that the
10 General Staff of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the 13th of July,
11 which means after the fall of Srebrenica, sent via their 1st Corps
12 through Mustafa Hajrulahovic's commander to the president of the
13 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, and this document is
14 in fact a report that has to do with some activities involving Srebrenica
15 and Zepa. Now, we can see the document before us, and I would just like
16 to refer you to the fourth paragraph. That's page 2 in English. So
17 bullet point 4 on page 2.
18 I will read it: The preparations for the future operation of
19 linking up the enclaves we brought four brigade commanders and the chief
20 of the 28th Division -- the Chief of Staff of the 28th Division, which is
21 Naser Oric. And then it says: The division commander did not return.
22 The division commander, who was meant to go on the next helicopter
23 flight, did not return. After the final flight ended tragically, Naser
25 Then in the next bullet point it says that there were 17
1 helicopter flights and each time the helicopter had been hit.
2 Now, this document is familiar to the Trial Chamber because
3 Mr. Thayer asked you in his examination-in-chief whether you knew whether
4 helicopters came to Srebrenica, and you said that they did, so I have no
5 further questions regarding this document, but is it clear to you now
6 that the corps commander -- the corps command and the state command, the
7 army command, actually planned for the linking up of the two enclaves,
8 based on what we read in this document? Could you answer that?
9 A. Well, no, but if I just add, you mention company commanders.
10 Now, I can't really say who the persons were by name, but I know that
11 some of them had gone and then returned. Now, Naser remained there. I
12 don't know why he did not return.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, do you know that on the 11th, the night of the
14 11th, there were negotiations going on in Srebrenica while you were in
15 Susnjari for the refugees to be evacuated from Srebrenica to Kladanj?
16 Are you aware of that fact?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you ever have occasion to see on television a
19 video film where -- which shows Mladic negotiating with representatives
20 from Srebrenica?
21 A. Well, I believe everyone saw that film.
22 Q. Thank you. Based on that footage, could you see that at the time
23 there were negotiations going on at Fontana Hotel between the civilian
24 authorities in Srebrenica and the army of the VRS -- of Republika Srpska
25 about the evacuation of your family, since you had fled to the woods, and
1 for them to move towards Kladanj?
2 A. Well, I believe I know more about this than you do. They did
3 negotiate, but the people who had come to the UNPROFOR protected zone,
4 and I believe at that time Naser Mandzic, Muhanovic's father, that was
5 the interpreter, they were the ones who took part in the negotiations.
6 They were already on the base --
7 Q. Thank you. Now, among you, the men, you said 10 to 12.000 men
8 who had left, was it clear to you that there would be any negotiations
9 going on about the evacuation of civilians to Kladanj? Why did you send
10 them off then when you set off? Because I'll remind you of your words:
11 You said that you were the one who took the decision for your family to
13 A. Well, of course, because I expected UNPROFOR to protect them.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, was it also logical, then, for you to expect
15 that there would be negotiations about this?
16 A. What do you mean; about the women and children or about us?
17 Q. Well, I mean primarily the women and children and then we will
18 also touch upon the subject of the men.
19 A. Well, had you, the Army of Republika Srpska, not organised the
20 transport the way you did, probably the UN or the Red Cross or the
21 international community would have intervened and transported them.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, let's talk about the military column. Did you
23 in the military column expect that the Army of Republika Srpska would
24 allow you to pass through without -- and you were carrying weapons, to
25 allow you through without any fight, fighting?
1 A. Well, I don't know what to say, but there were stories going
2 around about exchanges of territories, and I believe you are very well
3 aware of this, and I believe it was a major trap, in fact, because why
4 would so many Muslims actually surrender to the Army of Republika Srpska
6 Q. Well, thank you, but did you expect the military column and, as
7 you said, every third man was armed, did you expect that the Army of
8 Republika Srpska would allow you to go through this territory without any
10 A. Well, perhaps it would have been smarter had they allowed us all
11 to go through, but for fear of having casualties, maybe that's why they
12 didn't do it, so that's what happened.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Thayer, on page 15 of today's transcript,
14 asked you whether you went through Baljkovica and whether there was any
15 fighting in Baljkovica, and you said yes, 2.500 to 3.000 of us crossed
16 over to the liberated territory. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us a bit more about the fighting there? What kind
19 of fighting was it and what kind of casualties did both sides incur?
20 A. Well, I really can't tell you specifically about any casualties
21 and losses. I know that it was pouring with rain immediately preceding
22 our break-through and I know there were already -- it had already been
23 rumoured that the corridor would be open for us to pass through. I
24 believe some tanks were captured, and a Praga and so on.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us, please, who was it who captured
1 these tanks and Pragas? Was it the Army of Republika Srpska or the Army
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. Well, it was the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- the Federation
4 army. They captured these weapons on the line along which we were
5 supposed to pass.
6 Q. Thank you. Did you go through Baljkovica under fighting
8 A. Not me, but others have.
9 Q. Thank you. We heard in this footage that one person said that
10 Praga and weapons should be taken along.
11 A. Well, that was a reference -- it was from that place.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, did the army remove and take away with them the
13 weapons, Praga and other weapons, from Baljkovica?
14 A. Well, I really don't know. I went by there, I went through
15 there, but I don't know what happened there exactly, but I know that
16 immediately following that the lines were recaptured again, and what
17 happened specifically, I don't know, but of people who did go there, they
18 never came back.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you see any casualties there, where the Muslim
20 Army was going through the territory in Baljkovica which the Army of
21 Republika Srpska was defending?
22 A. Well, I know the men who were killed, but I don't know who was
23 wounded because there were a lot of people there, a lot of our people.
24 Q. Can you tell us any names?
25 A. Ejub Golic, one of the commanders, got killed during the
2 Q. Can you tell us how many other people got killed during the
4 A. I can really not give you any figures with any certainty. If I
5 had prepared for this, I could have found some figures on the internet,
6 but I really came here without any preparation on purpose. I wanted to
7 say only what I know. I was overjoyed simply to see that I'm still alive
8 and free. That was where it all ended for me.
9 Q. Thank you, but you are a witness who went through the column all
10 the way through Srebrenica and participated in the break-through at
11 Baljkovica, as Mr. Thayer asked you. And based on that, I'm asking you,
12 have you seen any Serbian or Muslim losses in Baljkovica or anywhere?
13 A. Well, I gave you one answer, Ejub Golic, I saw him got killed but
14 I didn't see any Serbian casualties.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Tolimir be asked to slow down a
16 little and not overlap with the witness.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, first of all, please slow down and
18 don't overlap. It's very hard for the interpreters and they ask you not
19 to overlap. And secondly, you should switch on your microphone. Carry
20 on, please.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You said there were about 1.000 rifles. Were there perhaps more?
24 A. You were able to see on your own video how many people carried
25 rifles. That was my rough estimate. We never once lined up and counted
1 how many weapons we had.
2 Q. Let's take, for instance, D126, where Naser Oric says how many
3 weapons there were in Srebrenica.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you move to another document, Judge Mindua
5 wants to put a question to the witness in relation to this document on
6 the screen now.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. Tolimir.
8 Witness, we are talking about this column, and you were at the
9 beginning of the column, the head of the column, and you talked about
10 1.000 rifles, that one person out of three had a weapon. If I understood
11 you correctly, you did not notice any losses on the VRS side. Now, this
12 is my question: While you were in the column I would like to know
13 whether there was any fighting going on. I mean, you were part of the
14 military, so were there any shots being exchanged between the two sides
15 or was this people wandering, you know, at random, with guns?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was fighting, yes.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So there was fighting. VRS troops
18 shooting at you and members of the column that were shooting back?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now see D126.
23 It's a statement made by Mr. Naser Oric which he gave in several
24 instalments to the newspaper Oslobodjenje after the fall in the enclave.
25 We see his photo. I'll read out certain passages and then I'll ask you
1 my question.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I'm reading from the second line of this statement, where it says
4 "Demilitarised Zone." Second paragraph, second line. You know this
5 language, it says: "Demilitarised Zone. At any time of day or night --"
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's the second page in English.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. "At any time of day or night from the beginning of the war until
9 June 1993 when Delic took over, I was in contact with Commander Sefer
10 Halilovic by radio. He was the only man who knew exactly what was going
11 on there. When the order on demilitarisation came, the commander told me
12 to turn over only those weapons which were out of service and useless and
13 heavy guns that we could not hide. That is what we did. We kept defence
14 lines and our weapons."
15 Now, my question is this: After the demilitarisation, were there
16 any weapons on the lines and were Muslim soldiers armed?
17 A. Really, I did not walk along the lines and God knows why Naser
18 made this statement. Maybe it was meant as psychological support. When
19 the UNPROFOR came, they came with a list of weapons they needed to
20 receive, that needed to be turned over for them, with numbers and type
22 Q. Did you see that list?
23 A. No, but I know they looked for weapons on their list.
24 Q. Now, look at the penultimate paragraph in the fourth column. It
1 "Then Zulfo Tursunovic" -- it's page 3 in English. "Then Zulfo
2 Tursunovic and I made a plan and first we cleared Chetnik villages and
3 then we attacked the town and entered the town. Srebrenica was liberated
4 in May 1992 and that was the first town to be liberated in the Republic
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
6 Now, my question is, from whom did you liberate Srebrenica?
7 A. I don't understand the question. What do you mean "from whom"?
8 The town was held at the outset by Serbs and with a creation of this Army
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and a defence of some sort, and with the
10 assassination of one of the leaders, Goran Zekic, the Serbs left
11 Srebrenica on their own. You can ask why Goran Zekic was liquidated. He
12 was a man who grew up together with Muslims, maybe he was at odds with
13 the leadership of Republika Srpska; I don't know. And there's nothing
14 you can really get from my answer, whatever I answer, because we don't
15 know, we don't have a list of Serbs who were killed in Srebrenica, but
16 there is a list of Muslims, old people, who were buried by the Serbs as
17 they were leaving Srebrenica.
18 Q. Did you participate in this liberation?
19 A. Certainly not.
20 Q. Let's see the story on the other side. Let's read the last
21 column, where it says:
22 "Guard duty on the line." "Guards along the lines." The last
23 column of the interview, that's it.
24 "We did not want the Chetniks to see the weapons that we had not
25 turned over. That would have given them an argument to refuse to sign
1 the agreement and God knows what else. We certainly had 2.000 rifles
2 that I know about, and I did not know about everything."
3 And then in line 6 -- sorry, line 9, he says:
4 "We left 20 cannons with four barrels which we turned into
5 one-barrel guns. And let me explain, we hid every weapon we captured
6 from the Chetniks and we got them out when we went into action.
7 Everybody hid weapons from everybody. Only the boldest ones, the real
8 soldiers, reported on their weapons. Others hid them until they were
9 needed. It is understandable. So we had probably some 4.000 rifles and
10 it became manifest during the break-through," et cetera.
11 Were you aware that there were weapons inside Srebrenica apart
12 from those that were turned over to the UNPROFOR, less than 200?
13 A. I really don't know.
14 Q. Were those weapons on the defence lines held by the BH Army
15 around the Srebrenica enclave? Because Mr. Thayer asked you about that.
16 A. I really don't know.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have P956.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Meanwhile, I'll tell you it's a document from the BH Army, from
20 the command of the 28th Division of Srebrenica, its security section,
21 drafted in June 1995, a month before the fall of the enclave. That's a
22 monthly report, and when you have looked at page 1, it's a document from
23 Srebrenica sent to the 2nd Corps in Tuzla.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to look at the second
25 page, referring to the military police. Page 2. This is it.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. It says, item 4, "The work of the military police." That's where
3 you were.
4 "The military police has been used in keeping with rules and
5 regulations. The military police platoon of the 282nd Brigade has been
6 engaged since 6th June, 1995, on the lines at Ljubosavici [phoen].
7 Another Military Police Company of the same brigade has been engaged from
8 the 13th to the 22nd June, securing UNPROFOR check-points or observation
9 posts in their zone of responsibility."
10 Were you ever engaged on such duty, securing check-points?
11 A. I was in the military police from the -- from -- until 1993.
12 That means that at this date I wasn't with the military police.
13 Q. Well, if the demilitarisation had been carried out, who would
14 have been in a position to provide security to the UNPROFOR in this month
15 of this year?
16 A. I don't know to whom this document was sent. It was maybe just,
17 what they call it, psychological support purposes or maybe to satisfy
18 some military regulation.
19 Q. Were there any Muslim soldiers on those defence lines around
21 A. In which period?
22 Q. The period relevant to this trial, in July 1995 when there was
23 fighting around Srebrenica.
24 A. Yes, during the offensive operations, there were brigades that
25 offered resistance.
1 Q. Where were you then, since you were demobilised?
2 A. I was at home.
3 Q. Now, could you tell the Trial Chamber if you had had any duties
4 after 1993 and after the demilitarisation of the UNPA Srebrenica?
5 A. No. And even when I got to Tuzla I wasn't involved in anything
6 except I was maybe perhaps recorded on paper, but I wasn't doing anything
7 because I didn't want it.
8 Q. Was that entirely up to you?
9 A. Nobody could force me. I wouldn't have anyone make me do it
10 because the end of the war, for me, was when I got out of Srebrenica.
11 Q. But while you were in Srebrenica, could somebody make you go to
12 the lines?
13 A. Maybe, but that would have been difficult because there were more
14 volunteers than rifles, plus there was nothing to eat in Srebrenica, and
15 anyone who volunteered to stand guard on the lines at least got one meal
16 a day. Still I didn't want to do it. I stayed at home. But the
17 situation slightly improved when the UNPROFOR arrived. Until the
18 UNPROFOR, there was a different period; you have to distinguish between
19 the two.
20 Q. You said that after the arrival of the UNPROFOR you managed to
21 receive small amounts of fuel. How was that?
22 A. Well, through some channels. I don't know.
23 Q. Does that mean that the UNPROFOR provided you with fuel?
24 A. Yes, for certain purposes, like the hospital, for generators,
25 et cetera.
1 Q. Did the army receive humanitarian aid and fuel that was meant for
2 the civilians?
3 A. I really don't know how that worked.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have completed my
6 cross-examination. We tried to fit in within the time allocated. I
7 thank you, Witness, for your answers. Please don't hold it against me.
8 I have to put to you the questions that I have to.
9 I apologise to the interpreters and the Trial Chamber because of
10 the speed of my questioning and the overlapping.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I'm grateful for that,
12 Mr. Tolimir.
13 I would like to put a question to the witness. If I understand
14 you correctly, you left the military police in 1993; is that correct?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What was reason for that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we knew that was the end of
18 the war for Srebrenica. I wanted to spend more time with my family. I
19 had obligations towards them because your only source of livelihood was
20 what you could raise in your own vegetable garden, and I had no other
21 option. You can check for the exact date. It was three or four days
22 after the proclamation of the UN protected area. They just told us one
23 fine day there's no more work, that's it.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You didn't receive any salary after that time you
25 left the military police?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no salaries in
2 Srebrenica for the army or anyone else. There was nothing for anyone.
3 Only the troops on the lines, in positions, received food, but no money.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was it your decision to leave the military police
5 or was it a decision by the military?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My only idea was to survive the
7 war. I felt safer in the military police because we were not exposed to
8 action on the front line. Plus, it was my former duty during my military
9 service in the JNA. That's why they assigned me to the military police.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers] ... you didn't understand
11 my question. Was it your decision to be demilitarised and to leave the
12 military police? Or was it the decision of the police?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Someone up in the command must have
14 said that the military police was no longer to function, and that's when
15 it all stopped.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe a few MPs remained who
18 did some work for the brigade.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Thayer, do you have
21 MR. THAYER: I do, Mr. President. I'll try to get it done so we
22 don't have to bring Mr. Salkic back. Part of it may be done, I think,
23 outside of his presence; it concerns a particular document.
24 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
25 Q. Just to follow up on the Presiding Judge's question, Mr. Salkic,
1 did I understand your testimony correctly that the various brigades that
2 were present within the Srebrenica enclave had their own military
3 policemen attached to them?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And were you yourself ever attached to a particular brigade?
6 A. No.
7 Q. General Tolimir showed you a document earlier, that's D120, in
8 which he purported to establish that you were a member of the 281st East
9 Bosnia Light Brigade, based in Suceska. Do you recall those questions,
11 A. I do recall the questions.
12 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how far Suceska is located from
13 your village of Joseva?
14 A. Between 15 and 20 kilometres.
15 Q. So based on the geographic composition that the 28th Division
16 followed in Srebrenica, would you have had any reason to be part of the
17 281st East Bosnia Light Brigade which was based in Suceska?
18 A. I really never belonged to that brigade, but I did say that
19 Salkic was a common last name. I know at least another two people
20 bearing the same name, however, I never was a member of that particular
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. THAYER: And, Your Honours, I have some additional work to do
24 with this particular document. I can tell the Trial Chamber I warned the
25 Defence about using this document for a couple of reasons, but we don't
1 need to do that in the presence of the witness. We can take care of that
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you have additional questions to the witness?
4 MR. THAYER: I do, Mr. President, on one other topic, but if Your
5 Honour has a question, certainly you'll take precedence.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. Judge Nyambe.
7 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just now in answer to a question from Mr. Thayer,
8 line 15, page 82, he asks you, "And were you yourself ever attached to a
9 particular brigade?" And your answer is, "No." My question for you is:
10 Where were you within the structure of your organisation?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have a precise answer. I
12 don't know what unit we exactly belonged to and who were we subordinated
13 to. Believe me when I say that. For example, we never had a single
14 lineup to perform in Srebrenica.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: How did you come to be in that position? There
16 must have been some call-up or something?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What position do you have in mind?
18 I was assigned to the military police by the secretariat, because they
19 had lists of those who had served in the JNA, with our military
20 specialties. It was for that reason that I was assigned to the tasks of
21 a military policeman.
22 JUDGE NYAMBE: Understood. But a military policeman working
23 within which structure? You were not part of a brigade. What were you
24 part of?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably that of some inner
2 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I think we have to continue tomorrow
4 with re-examination, but I have a follow-up question to Judge Nyambe, the
5 same topic, I would like to put it to the witness.
6 Mr. Thayer asked you: "Did I understand your testimony correctly
7 that the various brigades that were present within the Srebrenica enclave
8 had their own military policemen attached to them?" And your answer was,
9 "Yes." And then the follow-up question was, "And were you yourself ever
10 attached to a particular brigade?" And then you said, "No." I indeed
11 don't understand that. Perhaps we can clarify that.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. What was the reason for
13 that? All of the brigades were based on geographical distribution. One
14 area had one brigade, another area had another, the third had its own.
15 So the brigades were comprised of the local population, and inside each
16 brigade, two or three people were selected to co-ordinate. We, however,
17 were in the town itself and we were a link between the brigade military
18 policemen and the command.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, I'll just call the Trial
21 Chamber's attention to page 49 of today's transcript, just for the
22 clarification of this issue and I will have some obvious follow-up
23 questions along this which I think will clarify where the Trial Chamber's
24 questions lie with respect to Mr. Salkic's assignment. I think it's not
25 too complicated or it's not as complicated as it possibly seems at the
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 I'm very sorry, Mr. Salkic, that we have to adjourn for the day.
4 We are over time already. And we will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in
5 this courtroom, and you have to come back again. Be reminded it is not
6 allowed to have contact to either party during the break. We adjourn.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of
9 November, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.