1 Thursday, 3 March 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody.
6 Before the witness will be brought in, I would briefly raise
7 some -- two matters. One or two documents tendered through
8 Witness Hagland. I was told that there are -- there's one document which
9 have two P numbers. This is just in duplication, and I would like to
10 invite the Prosecution to put it on the record how to deal with this
12 Are you able to do that, Mr. Thayer, or will you do it at a later
14 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good
15 afternoon to the Defence and everyone. Ms. Stewart is writing furiously.
16 If you bear with us for about ten seconds, she'll have the answer. And I
17 think we can deal with it.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the meantime, I can raise the other matter.
19 Last year, before the winter recess, we invited the Prosecution to update
20 us with the estimation of the length of the Prosecution case. We got the
21 message that the Prosecution is considering the withdrawal of some
22 witnesses and some other measures. I would like to ask the Prosecution
23 to provide us with a view at the beginning of the hearing on Monday, next
24 Monday, so that we have an update and have an idea about the length of
25 the Prosecution case.
1 There's no need to discuss it at the moment, but the first
2 matter, Mr. Thayer.
3 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. P1331 can be removed.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. This will be managed by the Registry.
5 Now the witness shall be brought in, please.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 WITNESS: EDWARD JOSEPH [Resumed]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, Mr. Joseph. Welcome back,
9 hopefully the last time. I have to remind you that the affirmation to
10 tell the truth you made at the beginning of your testimony still applies.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I hope and I say to the Prosecution
13 as well that we can finish with the examination of this witness quite
14 soon, at least during the first session today.
15 Mr. Tolimir, please continue your cross-examination.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I wish a
17 good day to all those present, and God's peace unto this home and may His
18 will be done in these proceedings and not mine, and I wish a good
19 afternoon to the witness and wish him a pleasant stay with us.
20 Could we now have in e-court 1D609, please, and I will have some
21 questions relating to this document.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, sir --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. The number is not correctly
25 recorded. Could you please repeat the number.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D609. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Now it's clear.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Sir, yesterday, you told us about your proposal for
5 demilitarisation. What I'm showing you now is a booklet on war law or
6 the law of war for the armed forces, and therein is provided the
7 definition of demilitarised zones. Now, my question for you is this:
8 When you set forth -- when you put your proposal to Alija Izetbegovic,
9 what did he reply? How did he respond to that?
10 A. Thank you, and good afternoon to the Chamber and as well to the
11 accused and his attorney, and thank you for the good wishes.
12 I'm going to answer in -- in two parts, because you raised our
13 proposal again, and it was the concluding testimony yesterday but just
14 before we closed, and I was asked to be sure that I addressed your
15 question, and I want to be very, very clear for the record about this
17 The question that we closed on yesterday was why would
18 David Harland and I propose NATO air-strikes as an inducement for the
19 Serbs to accept this demilitarised zone if, as General Tolimir points
20 out, the Serbs had already accepted that, and I need to be, if the Court
21 please, just to explain very simply. The reason we felt compelled to
22 include that inducement on NATO air-strikes was because we doubted that
23 the Serbs who were poised to vanquish the -- and take this territory and
24 empty this enclave would accept a simple proposal for demilitarisation.
25 Here they had entered and were poised to take the second of the three
1 eastern enclaves, the first being Srebrenica, and simply coming to them
2 and saying, "Wait. We'll make sure it's demilitarised. Would you please
3 withdraw?" We doubted very seriously that they would do that when they
4 were poised to achieve a much greater objective, which would be actually
5 taking the territory and emptying it of its Bosniak population. And the
6 reason why -- what's important here for the context for the Chamber to
7 understand is when we use the term "enclave," it's important to remember
8 that the only reason these - Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde - were even
9 enclaves in that sense is because the surrounding Muslim majority
10 population had already been expelled, and so this was a crucial strategic
11 objective for the Serbs, and so therefore simply offering them
12 demilitarisation when they were poised to take the second of three
13 enclaves, we doubted very seriously they would accept.
14 And just as a quick mention to Mr. Gajic and General Tolimir so
15 they understand, I'm not singling out the Serbs here. The -- a very
16 similar situation was in Krajina where the concentration of Serbs posed a
17 strategic problem for Franjo Tudjman and Croatia, and that Serb
18 population was subsequently expelled. And so that's -- I wanted to just
19 be clear to have that answer there and to also, if the Court please,
20 state the reason that we felt we had to have an inducement on the Bosniak
21 side was, as General Tolimir pointed out in David Harland's report, we
22 had suspicions about their cynicism. And I want to here offer to
23 stipulate, as was suggested by the accused yesterday that, yes, it's
24 quite possible is that in the negotiations over Zepa that the --
25 President Izetbegovic, who was apparently rebuffing the pleadings of
1 Colonel Palic in Zepa, it's possible that they were, as David Harland's
2 report suggested, it's possible they were cynical in their motives. We
3 don't know that for sure, but it's quite possible that they were cynical,
4 and it's for that reason that we included the other inducement, which was
5 to communicate to the Bosniaks that if you refuse, then we will take that
6 into account, we, the United Nations, will take that into account in any
7 request for airpower. So we understood that very well, the point that
8 the accused had raised yesterday.
9 So it is in that context I -- I apologise for taking the
10 Chamber's time, but I felt it necessary, and mentioning
11 President Izetbegovic and their side, I can now answer the accused's
12 question and say to him that, in fact, this proposal, as far as I know,
13 was not presented to either side. It was not presented. David and I
14 drafted it and raised it in our hierarchy, and it was -- it was not
15 pursued. David and I, our objective there was to avert a potential
16 catastrophe and the complete fall of Zepa and the casualties that would
17 ensue, and who knows what would happen, and that was what David and I
18 were trying to avert, and our proposal was -- was not then embraced by
19 our senior leadership and my understanding is it was never proposed
20 either to President Izetbegovic or counterparts such as Radovan Karadzic
21 or others on the Serb side or General Mladic.
22 Thank you, and again, thanks to the Chamber for allowing me to
23 state that.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you inform Sarajevo of the fact that Generals
25 Tolimir and Mladic showed interest in your proposal? Did you send this
1 information through to Sarajevo? Thank you.
2 A. General Tolimir, yes. Yes. As David Harland's reports state, I
3 dutifully communicated our communication on the subject, and I believe
4 that General Gobillard had a discussion with you and possibly with
5 General Mladic as well on the issue, and I believe the fact that you and
6 I had discussed this, and that General Gobillard and senior VRS
7 leadership, possibly such as yourself, had discussed it. This was
8 communicated, yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Of course, I would not accept it had General Mladic
10 not agreed to it, but he authorised me to actually give my consent, and
11 that's why I did.
12 Now, my second question is: Is it the case that your proposal
13 stipulates that the Serbs would be threatened with NATO air-strikes,
14 whereas the Muslims were to be induced to accept it? In other words, you
15 would induce them by launching an air-strike on us, so how -- how can
16 that be understood?
17 A. It -- it can be understood very clearly, General, by the military
18 reality on the situation. They were on -- had or were on the verge of
19 capitulating. Your forces were on the verge of capturing the enclave.
20 Our objective was very, very simple. It was to avert a potential
21 catastrophe, to avert the casualties, both military and civilian, that
22 would ensue, and to avert the condition of damaged survivors as we saw
23 coming out of Srebrenica. So that was our objective, was to avert a --
24 another Srebrenica, and it's for that reason the military reality was
25 such as it was.
1 The -- the Armija in Zepa was in -- in no position to resist your
2 forces, and the evidence for that, General Tolimir, is really in the
3 paragraph that you read into the record yesterday from
4 Viktor Bezruchenko's report, in which it stated very clearly, the amount
5 of armament that the Armija had. And I'm going from memory, but I recall
6 only two mortars there, and I don't recall any mention by -- in
7 Mr. Bezruchenko's report of cannon, artillery, armour, or aviation
8 assets, and you would know far better than I how many of those assets
9 General Mladic and your colleagues on the senior VRS staff had massed
10 around Zepa, and you know very well what would be the inevitable military
11 outcome of -- of continuing that situation.
12 Q. Thank you. My question was: How would you implement the
13 proposal that you had by bombing Serbs, whereas the Serbs had already
14 accepted the proposal? So could you give me a specific reply. Did the
15 UNPROFOR actually consider this and how to resolve and how to actually do
16 both these things?
17 A. The answer to the second question is: I don't know how UNPROFOR
18 actually considered this, so again you'd have to consult others in the
19 UNPROFOR hierarchy. I just testified that the proposal was not formally
20 presented to President Izetbegovic, and it was, as you know, informally
21 presented to you, General Tolimir, and also, through General Gobillard
22 perhaps, as well to General Mladic.
23 To answer the first part of your question, again you seem to be
24 mystified as to why the threat was necessary upon the Serbs. The threat
25 to bomb Serb forces, General, would be only in the situation where one
1 side had accepted the proposal and you had refused. So as long as the
2 VRS accepted the proposal, that is, accepted that Zepa would be
3 demilitarised and demilitarisation, of course, would mean that your
4 forces would have to withdraw, and that would mean, of course,
5 General Tolimir, that the Bosniak population of Zepa would remain, and
6 that would mean that Colonel Palic and his forces would remain, without
7 weapons, of course, but that they would remain and that enclave would
8 remain and that would remain in Eastern Bosnia. And whether or not that
9 accorded with Serb objectives is something that you will know better than
10 I. But it would be only in the situation where your side rejected
11 demilitarisation and that you would withdraw. It would only be in that
12 situation that you would be subject to NATO air-strikes for Zepa. As
13 long as you accepted the terms of the proposal, there would be no -- no
14 threat, nor would there be -- nor would NATO have been called on in that
16 Q. Thank you. Thank you for your reply, but Mr. Joseph, as the
17 Serbs had accepted to discuss and negotiate on this proposal, both with
18 you and General Gobillard, why then did you bomb the Serbs after the
19 operation was completed and after it was clear that Alija Izetbegovic was
20 not going to accept it, because he said as much in Torlak's presence and
21 he also said to Avdo Palic that he would not accept the disarming. Thank
23 A. General Tolimir, I'm sorry, I'm not clear here. When did NATO
24 bomb Serb targets with respect to Zepa? I'm -- I don't have the right to
25 pose a question to the -- I'm the witness, so I apologise. I'll phrase
1 it as a statement. I don't understand a reference to NATO bombing in
2 connection with -- with Zepa.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, sir, you are right. It's not your
4 position to put questions to the accused. But Mr. Thayer is on his feet.
5 MR. THAYER: Well, Mr. President, if it is the General's
6 proposition to the witness that NATO did employ air support in connection
7 with Zepa, then there needs to be a good-faith basis for that proposition
8 to be laid, and I'd be curious to know what that is, since we've not
9 heard any such evidence ever. If he's talking about some other
10 deployment of NATO air support or power at some other time, then okay.
11 But let's hear what we're talking about, so the witness can answer the
12 question intelligently. Without a date, it's very unhelpful.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you put your question in a way
14 the witness is able to answer.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Joseph, are you aware that, on the 29th of September, there
18 were negotiations in Belgrade between Serbia's delegation and
19 Republika Srpska delegation on their trip to Dayton? This was made
20 public, and the Serbian patriarch also attended this meeting. Thank you.
21 Were you aware of it?
22 A. Before I can answer that specifically, General Tolimir, I'm
23 completely confused. You're speaking about the 29th of September. I
24 thought we were discussing events in Zepa which took place in July of
25 that year.
1 Q. Thank you. Well, that's precisely what I'm referring to, because
2 on this day, on the 29th of September, NATO issued their threat that they
3 would bomb Republika Srpska if they did not agree to be part of the
4 Serbian delegation, as opposed to going to Dayton independently. I
5 participated in those talks, and I know this for a fact. So I'm asking
6 you, therefore, why was this threat actually -- why did it materialise,
7 and why was Zepa and Zlovrh, why were they bombed when this was agreed on
8 this meeting on the 29th of September, and after this the Zepa mountain
9 and Zlovrh were also bombed.
10 A. Thank you, General Tolimir. I -- my understanding was I was
11 called before the Tribunal and this Chamber as a fact witness with
12 respect to events in Zepa on and around the July 1995 period. The
13 bombing by NATO that occurred in, going by memory, August and into
14 September, I'm hazy on the dates but I believe it was August and
15 September of that year, as you know very well was not in response to
16 events in Zepa but, rather, in direct response to events in Sarajevo, in
17 particular a shelling which caused numerous civilian casualties.
18 I'm not here -- my understanding is I'm not here as a -- as an
19 expert witness to -- to discuss those events but, rather, as a fact
20 witness on -- on Zepa. The only context that I could supply here is --
21 is in that context of safe areas where you, I thought quite fairly,
22 raised the point about weapons being in there -- in there, and I
23 stipulated that in fact, yes, there were weapons in there and you pointed
24 out from Mr. Bezruchenko's report that had the list. And I've just
25 pointed out how we should also compare how that arsenal, which was
1 probably, you and I would agree, was mostly small arms, how that would
2 compare with your arsenal, and so that's the context in which we've been
3 discussing this.
4 The only thing that I can add is about this question you seem to
5 be quite concerned about, and I know it was a major preoccupation for the
6 VRS and the Serb -- the RS leadership during the war. The only context
7 that I could supply, General, is the basic context where the
8 United Nations had -- the Security Council had, much earlier, imposed an
9 arms embargo on the entire former Yugoslavia, and as you know, that left
10 in place the substantial arms advantage in your favour, that is, in the
11 VRS favour, including, in particular, heavy weapons. And it was in the
12 context of that arms embargo that eventually, following developments in
13 Srebrenica in 1993, the Security Council put forward the safe area
14 Resolution which allowed the United Nations to call on NATO air-strikes.
15 And as you raised, it appeared at times that the Bosniak leadership,
16 under President Izetbegovic, might have been cynically allowing, for
17 example, situations of trying to exploit it so that -- so that airpower
18 might be called upon, so that NATO airpower.
19 And I affirm for you that there was cynicism on the part and
20 that -- and that doing so cynically and -- and putting one's population,
21 perhaps, at risk for political objectives, is wrong. That would be
22 wrong. But the context here is -- the relevant context is there was an
23 arms embargo and that that left in place this very substantial arms
24 advantage in -- in your favour, and people like David Harland and I and
25 General Smith and others were in the middle, trying to mitigate the
1 damage and trying to ensure that casualties on all three sides were --
2 were minimised. And so that, I believe, hopefully, provides the
3 necessary context, and perhaps we can move to a different line of
4 inquiry. Thank you.
5 Q. Thank you. This is my question: Did you know that Zlovrh was
6 bombed after there were no more Muslim forces in Zepa, and Zlovrh is
7 close to Zepa. There are a couple of dozen Serb soldiers there. And
8 that this was done at a time when negotiations were taking place related
9 to the Dayton and delegations were being put together?
10 A. General Tolimir, I would very respectfully point to my previous
11 answer. I'm here as a fact witness with respect, most precisely and most
12 directly, with events in Zepa of July 1995. I am not directly familiar
13 with the targeting that NATO working with UNPROFOR employed the following
14 month and in August. We should be very clear, Zepa had -- was completely
15 taken by your forces in July of 1995, and so the safe area no longer
16 existed. There was no Bosniak population there. As you have pointed out
17 yesterday, the Armija population had fled, you pointed out in a report
18 that where Mr. Bezruchenko had provided that in great detail. So that
19 issue -- the enclave had been taken by your side, vanquished, and I can't
20 really shed light on NATO targeting in the following month.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a very brief question to you and I
22 would be happy to get a brief answer. If we are talking about NATO
23 air-strikes in August or September 1995, were you, in any way, involved
24 in the decision-making in the NATO or in the UN?
25 THE WITNESS: No, sir.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. This proposal of yours with about the use of NATO aviation and
6 the threats to the sides, was it just a prelude to the NATO strikes which
7 followed in August and September? Thank you.
8 A. I don't think it was.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber if the Security
10 Council, at any point in time, gave their consent to use NATO against the
11 VRS through strikes, air-strikes? Thank you.
12 A. The record and the decision-making of the United Nations Security
13 Council is a matter of record on beginning, my recollection is with
14 developments in Srebrenica in 1993, and there were a number of
15 UN Security Council Resolutions on that that spoke to the employment of
16 NATO airpower, and there were also discussions and refinements at high
17 levels between the United Nations and NATO about how to employ that, and
18 those are all a matter of record and I'm not here to shed any light --
19 any particular light on that.
20 Q. Thank you. I asked, for the record, if you knew whether the
21 Security Council at any point in time gave a green light to UNPROFOR to
22 bomb Serbs. Thank you.
23 A. Because of the way you've characterized this, I am very reluctant
24 to answer directly, and I'm going to simply restate what I just said,
25 which is the decision-making of the Security Council is completely a
1 matter of public record. Those -- the only thing that comprises a
2 decision is the Resolution that the Security Council issues, and that's
3 completely a matter of public record, and the authorisation that you are
4 asking about either existed or didn't exist, and that's a matter of
5 record and one can simply look at their decisions and find out the answer
6 to that. This witness does not need to, and cannot, add anything in
7 particular about that.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
10 In your proposal to high authorities in the UN system, you used
11 NATO strikes as a possibility or an inducement. What particular
12 authority did you have to refer to anyway referring to NATO strikes? Did
13 you have a particular authorisation from the United Nations Security
14 Council authorising the use of NATO power in that area and in that
16 THE WITNESS: Let me answer the Honourable Judge's question. We
17 had every authority to interpret the mandate of the United Nations; we
18 were officers of the United Nations. We were civil affairs officers.
19 What -- what authority did we have to be in Zepa in the first place?
20 What authority did we have to go to Zepa and -- and have communication
21 and -- and work with General Tolimir and General Mladic, to assist in the
22 transportation of Muslim civilians from their homes across in a line.
23 The authority to do that stemmed from United Nations Security Council
24 Resolutions that provided the mandate for our organisation, UNPROFOR, to
25 be there. So that -- we had our work. Everything that we did, including
1 conversations with -- there and working on the ground with General
2 Tolimir, General Mladic, and Colonel Palic was all pursuant to the
3 mandate of the United Nations that was given. And to answer this --
4 complete my answer, Your Honour, the mandate of UNPROFOR also, with
5 respect to the safe areas, also included the right to call on NATO for
6 air-strikes, and we as civil affairs officers had the right to provide
7 and supply advice and recommendations to our hierarchy. So we -- we
8 were -- we were totally acting within our authority.
9 We didn't -- David Harland and I did not go in the media and call
10 for air-strikes, and we did not send a message to NATO and say,
11 conduct -- we simply made a recommendation in our chain in order to avert
12 a -- another Srebrenica.
13 I hope, Your Honour, that I've answered the question. I'm --
14 JUDGE NYAMBE: You have. All I wanted was a specific reference
15 to a specific United Nations Resolution if you have one, and if you
16 don't, just say you don't have, but that's all I wanted.
17 THE WITNESS: I see. I didn't know you wanted a reference to a
18 specific Resolution. The -- the safe area Resolutions began in 1993. I
19 don't recall the numbers any more. At the time David and I had them and
20 we had copies of them there, but they were there. They were refined
21 periodically. The Security Council had identified, I believe, six or
22 seven locations, including the three eastern enclaves that were
23 considered safe areas and Zepa was -- was one of those, and we were very
24 cognisant of that -- those Resolutions and what they were when we drafted
25 what was a proposal, but it was a recommendation to our senior
1 authorities to, here you go, here's a proposal that could avert a
2 potential catastrophe and the fall of Zepa.
3 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
7 you to Her Honour Judge Nyambe.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said that the framework for your activity was the Security
10 Council Resolutions, and you mentioned 836 and 998 as the Security
11 Council Resolutions in your statement. My question is do these
12 Resolution allow for the use of force by NATO against the warring
13 parties? Thank you.
14 A. General Tolimir, I didn't mention those specific Resolutions, you
15 did, and that's a contribution to the record here, and I'm going by
16 memory. It would be a lot better to review them, but going by memory, I
17 believe they were adopted under chapter 7, and I believe they did
18 authorise in some degree, but to be sure, I would have to review them,
19 and anyone could review them.
20 Q. Thank you. Since we are speaking for the sake of the record, let
21 us look at your proposal once more, which is document 65 ter 2438, page
22 13 in English and 15 in Serbian. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we still have one document on the
24 screen, but in fact you didn't use it with the witness; is that correct?
25 We only saw the first page, but the discussion was not related to the
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll look at page 4.
3 We'll shorten our examination since -- it doesn't matter if the witness
4 is a Prosecution witness or mine. The witness is supposed to testify
5 about facts.
6 Can we have page 4. My apologies. Thank you, Mr. President, for
7 reminding me.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So there on page 4, it reads "Definition of a demilitarised
10 zone." This is, of course, a definition under international law. It
12 "A demilitarised zone represents an area which meets the
13 following terms," and I have to read this out because we don't have a
15 "(a) all combatants have been evacuated as well as portable
16 weapons and portable military equipment."
17 That's one condition. Second condition:
18 "(b) no enemy use of fixed military installations or institutions
19 was effected."
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please excuse me, but I just wanted
21 to ask what is it about this document? I didn't want to invite you to
22 deal with this document if you wanted to have another document on the
23 screen and put questions to the witness. You have a limited time, and it
24 takes always time to read a portion of the document. If you left already
25 this area and was going to deal with another one, you should do, but it's
1 in your hands.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I am
3 under obligation to tell you that this is Article 60 of the
4 Additional Protocol to the First Geneva Convention which defines safe
5 areas as opposed to demilitarised areas, and I am reading out here what a
6 definition of demilitarised zone or area is, because it is relevant and
7 important for any case. It is in effect until the signatories to the
8 Geneva Conventions and Protocols change it or modify it. So I am reading
9 under 112, definition:
10 "A demilitarised zone denotes an area which meets the following
11 conditions under:
12 "(a) where all combatants as well as portable weapons and
13 military equipment have been evacuated.
14 "(b) there has been no use on the part of the enemy of fixed
15 military installations or institutions.
16 "(c) no act of hostility has been committed by an authority or
18 "(d) all the activities related to military efforts have ceased."
19 Below that it reads:
20 "A necessary agreement. The status of a demilitarised zone shall
21 be confirmed by agreement among interested parties," and this was the
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So my question is: Was it because there had to be an agreement
25 that you expressed this threat to be carried out by NATO and which was
1 subsequently materialised, the threat, by NATO and UNPROFOR. Thank you.
2 A. General Tolimir, I believe I have already testified that
3 air-strikes that occurred the following month were as a result of
4 shelling that was determined by UNPROFOR, and you can question
5 General Smith, if you have any questions about this, directly, was
6 determined by UNPROFOR to be shelling from your side that killed dozens
7 of civilians at a market in Sarajevo, and that was the triggering
8 mechanism for the air-strikes that occurred, and it had -- I -- I had
9 nothing to do whatsoever with anything that David Harland and I wrote and
10 had everything to do with the actions of your forces.
11 Q. Thank you. For the sake of the record, can you be specific and
12 tell us when it was that our forces opened fire on Sarajevo causing
13 casualties? When was it? Was it Markale? Can you remember the date or
14 not, or was it -- was it this event that motivated the attacks on Serbs
15 six months later?
16 A. I'm quite confused now about the question and the mention of
17 attacks on Serbs six months later, because the war was over six months
18 after that. The war was finished. The Dayton agreement was signed in
19 November. So I'm confused about the reference to six months. And I've
20 already stated I'm not here to testify about the events and the call for
21 air-strikes in September. I've -- I've repeatedly testified. I've told
22 you what I know. I've provided the context that I thought was helpful
23 for the Chamber, and whatever line is attempting to be introduced here,
24 it's not the role of this witness to either dispute or affirm it. So
25 we've reached the limits of my ability to be helpful with you here,
1 General Tolimir.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have ten minutes left. You are
3 going to deal with another -- with --
4 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, I am talking. I am talking. Please wait.
6 You have ten minutes left, and you are just going to call another
7 document which probably has something to do with this witness and his
8 knowledge. You should use the last ten minutes in an appropriate time --
9 in an appropriate way.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. If we look at the document we have on our screen, and I'll read
13 it out since there's no translation. Under (a) it says --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you didn't listen to my guidance.
15 You have ten minutes left. You wanted to talk to another document which
16 has something to do with this witness. He clarified that he can't
17 testify about this context with this [indiscernible]. You should bear
18 that in mind and not read into the record. This is available.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, thank you, but this
20 has nothing to do with Sarajevo. It's got to do with the demilitarised
21 zone of Zepa. With full respect of Their Honours, I will not be putting
22 questions any more.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't agree with this comment. I didn't stop
24 your cross-examination. I gave you guidance to use the final time in the
25 best way in your interest.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I thank
2 the witness. I have no further questions of him. Thank you for coming
3 here. Thank you to the Presiding Judge and everyone present in the
4 courtroom, and -- and I apologise to all those I may have irked with my
5 questioning, and I also apologise to Her Honour Judge Nyambe who I
6 interrupted as she was waiting for the witness's answer yesterday.
7 Thank you, Mr. President. The Defence has no further questions
8 for this witness. Thank you.
9 Mr. Joseph, I wish you a safe journey. God bless you, and I --
10 you have my best wishes. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it is your decision to -- to
13 conclude your cross-examination in this way you did. I wanted to invite
14 you, that was my guidance, to put questions to the witness in relation to
15 a document you asked for on page 16, line 13. You wanted to put
16 questions in relation to the document 65 ter 2438, and this is the packet
17 containing reports by David Harland, and I think, in relation to this
18 witness, but it's your decision in which way -- whether you want to
19 conclude your cross-examination. Do you have questions in relation to
20 this document?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I don't
22 have any questions in relation to that other document. The document
23 lists the numbers of the Resolutions Mr. Joseph referred to in his
24 proposal. I stated what these Resolutions were for the record, and I put
25 my question as to whether they empowered NATO to employ force against any
1 of the warring parties. I have completed my examination. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One final question. Do you tender the document
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll be grateful if
5 you admit it. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received. It will marked for
7 identification pending translation.
8 THE REGISTRAR: The document under 65 ter number 1D00609 will be
9 assigned D00180, marked for identification.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Thayer, your re-examination.
12 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
14 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. Yesterday, General Tolimir asked you if UNPROFOR had a double
17 standard about the use of airpower. This was at transcript page 10710.
18 And you noted that one needs the proper context to answer that question,
19 and you pointed out that when NATO conducted air-strikes earlier in 1995,
20 that resulted in the VRS taking peacekeepers hostage. That was on the
21 same page of yesterday's transcript. Do you recall that testimony and
22 those questions?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Okay. You referred, during the course of your answers to those
25 questions, to the shelling of Tuzla town during the course of these
1 events, and you mentioned that it killed about 70 people, a number of
2 them young people, and General Tolimir repeatedly suggested to you that
3 that shelling occurred in August. Your recollection was that it was
4 April or May, and then I think you said April, but it would be easy to
5 find out what the date was. Do you remember all that testimony from
6 yesterday, sir?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And I'm going to slow down. I predict some trouble with the
9 interpretation based on our speed so I will slow down, again, because we
10 speak the same language?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have an objection.
13 My question was in what way were the May events related to those in
14 June --
15 THE INTERPRETER: In July, interpreter's correction.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So then I asked the witness when
17 these events had transpired. Was it in July, August, or May to see that
18 there was this five or six-months interval between those events and
19 Srebrenica. So my question only wanted to elicit what his memory of
20 these events was, nothing else. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, it is always helpful to have a
22 reference to the page number of yesterday's transcript. Then we can
24 MR. THAYER: And I provided that, Mr. President, it's at 10710.
25 The accused repeated references to August is at 10711.
1 Q. Now, sir, if we could have P756 on e-court, I'd like to clarify
2 this issue of when this shelling of Tuzla that you testified about
3 yesterday took place.
4 Do you see a document on the screen before you, sir?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Okay. We can see that the date is the 7th of June, 1995. The
7 author is Ken Biser and the acronym after his name is SCVAO. Can you
8 tell us who Ken Biser is and what his position was in June of 1995?
9 A. Ken Biser at that time was senior civil affairs officer in Tuzla.
10 That is a civil affairs colleague of mine.
11 Q. We can see here that the subject is "Tuzla incident," and if we
12 look at the message it says, "Following is the initial report with a
13 suspected location and an UNMO report with their initial crater
15 If we could go to the second page in both versions, please. And
16 we'll need to go to the third page in the B/C/S. Thank you.
17 Sir, this report is headed "Shelling of TAB." Can you tell us
18 what that acronym stands for.
19 A. Tuzla Air Base, I presume.
20 Q. Okay. The heading is "Shelling of TAB Tuzla Air Base and Tuzla
21 Old Town 25 May 1995." It states:
22 "As a sequel to air-strikes administered by NATO at Pale Ammo
23 dump, BSA resorted to massive retaliatory artillery shelling against
24 Tuzla town and Tuzla Air Base, which is considered deliberate targeting
25 of UN troops and Tuzla safe area. The shelling commenced at 1910 hours
1 simultaneously at Tuzla Air Base and Tuzla safe area, total of 31 impacts
2 were recorded until 2100 hours. Out of these 13 impacted in and around
3 Tuzla Air Base, rounds falling within 500 metres to 2.5 kilometres of the
5 I want to focus on this last portion, sir:
6 "The remaining 18 impacted around Tuzla and Zivinic area. One
7 out of them hit old part of Tuzla city centre, a place where young people
8 flock together, as a consequence 66 people were massacred to death and
9 170 were wounded, amongst them 31 were critically injured."
10 My question to you, sir: Is this date of 25 May -- well, let me
11 start first. Did the events described in this passage, the shelling of
12 Tuzla city centre, the old part where young people flocked together, 66
13 people massacred, 170 wounded, to your recollection is this the same
14 event which you were describing to General Tolimir earlier in your
16 A. It might -- it might well have been -- it might well have been
17 that event.
18 Q. Are you aware of any other shelling of old Tuzla town which
19 resulted in mass casualties of civilians, including young people, as you
20 described yourself in your testimony? Are you aware of any other
21 shelling in 1995 of Tuzla town?
22 A. That -- there might have been other shelling, but that caused
23 this many casualties, no, I'm not, and therefore this is, in fact, the
24 incident that I was referring to.
25 Q. I want to turn your attention to another topic that
1 General Tolimir addressed yesterday. And, again, I'm going to try to
2 slow down and provide some pauses between us.
3 General Tolimir suggested to you yesterday that the Armija, the
4 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Muslim army, attacked UNPROFOR on the
5 20th of July, and he further suggested to you, and this is at transcript
6 page 10715 to 10716, that that attack, in his words, and I quote, "Marked
7 the beginning of combat activities directed outside from the enclave."
8 Now, this topic also ties in, I think, and we'll try to kill two
9 birds with one stone, into your answer to one of Honourable
10 Judge Nyambe's questions yesterday, where you noted that in order to
11 properly answer General Tolimir's question and I'm quoting you now, "We
12 would have to bear in mind when bombardment commenced," and that was at
13 transcript page 10720.
14 What I want to do is nail down some of the dates in this regard,
15 and I want to --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt you for a short moment.
17 Mr. Tolimir wants to have the floor.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I didn't
19 say that the posterior events came after the anterior events as
20 Mr. Thayer put it. What I said was that the attack on the Zepa enclave
21 was the beginning of the cessation of hostilities and the violation of
22 the agreement that Torlak signed with the Serbian side, and that was the
23 agreement on the basis of which Mr. Joseph arrived at Zepa. I would like
24 to be quoted more precisely. Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The -- to be very precise, in your question
1 yesterday, you said, I quote:
2 "Did the attack of the 20th of July, the attack carried out by
3 the BH Army on the UNPROFOR in Zepa represent a breach of the agreement
4 that had been signed and can you also tell me whether that marked the
5 beginning of the combat activities directed outside from the enclave,
6 including the attack on the UNPROFOR?"
7 That was the question.
8 Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. What I would like to do, sir, is start off by showing you a
11 document which General Tolimir used with you yesterday. This is
12 65 ter 2438, and we're going to be going to tab 3 of this document, which
13 is at page 9 of the English and page 8 of the B/C/S, if I'm counting my
14 pages correctly.
15 Okay. I see that we've got both the B/C/S and the English up.
16 If we could advance one page. For the record, we can see we're at tab 3
17 of this packet of reports.
18 We have here a fax transmittal sheet. It's a cover page. Let's
19 go to the next page.
20 And we see that this is a memo from David -- a report from
21 David Harland dated the 21st of July, but if we go forward two more pages
22 we'll see your demilitarisation agreement that we've been talking so much
23 about. There we go, that's it in English. And one more page in B/C/S
24 and I think we'll have it.
25 Okay. The first thing I'd like to do is just follow up on one
1 question General Tolimir had for you. I think he said in his question to
2 you that in your testimony you had referred to several Security Council
3 Resolutions and you corrected him and said that you don't recall having
4 testified about that. I presume what he meant to say, and I think he
5 mentioned this towards the end, was that this demilitarisation agreement
6 refers to several Security Council Resolutions. Do you see those
7 Resolutions listed in this demilitarisation agreement, sir?
8 A. I do, and these are, in fact, the Resolutions that, in answer to
9 Honourable Judge Nyambe's question, when I said that that at the time we
10 had these very fresh and had them in printouts with us, in fact, this
11 does refresh my memory and those were the Resolutions that we were
12 referring to.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, this document, this report, is
14 dated on the 19th of July, 1995.
15 MR. THAYER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. And in fact, that's what I would like to focus on for the next
17 series of questions, sir, is the date here. We see that it's the 19th of
18 July, and if we look down at this document where it says, "Situation," we
19 can see that it says you and Mr. Harland had drafted this.
20 "Bosnian Serb forces continue to bombard the safe area of Zepa
21 and its civilian population with heavy weapons and continue to make armed
22 incursions into the safe area. These actions are being taken in defiance
23 of the Security Council," and then you refer to those two Resolutions
25 You and Mr. Harland in this proposal go on, we can see the two
1 following paragraphs. I won't burden the record by reading them in, but
2 if you take a moment, reacquaint yourself. The VRS forces have attacked
3 UNPROFOR. At the same time, the Armija has threatened to use the
4 Ukrainian peacekeepers as human shields. Okay.
5 You've testified consistently that this was on the 19th. Can you
6 tell the Trial Chamber, given that you're reporting here that the VRS has
7 continued to bombard the safe area and its civilian population, and this
8 is on the 19th, what were the types of sources for this information that
9 you included here, that the civilian population and UN peacekeepers had
10 been attacked by the Serbs? Can you tell the Trial Chamber, just
11 generally speaking, what were the type of sources that you would have
12 relied on to make this statement in this proposed demilitarisation
13 agreement, that the civilian population and UN were being attacked by the
15 A. I can't speak to a specific source but the question asks for in
16 general, we would have had reports from the Ukrainians in Zepa, from the
17 Ukrainian UNPROFOR detachment in Zepa and any other UNPROFOR assets there
18 that might have been what were termed the JCOs. They might have also
19 sent reports.
20 Q. Okay. Well, let's look at a couple of reports, including
21 Ukrainian reports, very quickly and see how this corresponds or not with
22 your recollection of what was being reported to you and included in that
23 19 July demilitarisation agreement.
24 MR. THAYER: If we may have P00583, please.
25 Q. Sir, do you see a document on your screen, an UNPROFOR document,
1 dated 2 July 1995?
2 A. Yes, I see this document.
3 Q. Okay. We can see that it's from Mr. Harland, and the subject is
4 "Sector Sarajevo, Weekly Situation Report." Can you just briefly tell
5 the Trial Chamber what were these weekly situation reports, and what was
6 the purpose of them within, in particular, focusing on the civil affairs
7 office that you were in.
8 A. These reports would aggregate the key developments in the --
9 one's area of responsibility, both military and civilian, and especially
10 military developments that would have an impact on the overall security
12 Q. Okay. And just focusing for a brief moment on this first page
13 where we see the heading, "Highlights." Do you see the portion where it
15 "The Serbs have bombarded the UNPROFOR base in Zepa, and have
16 said that they will continue until UNPROFOR leaves the pocket."
17 Do you see that, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It's the third bullet point.
20 A. I do see that. Third bullet point.
21 Q. Okay. Let's turn to page 4, if we would, please, in the English
22 and page 3 in the B/C/S.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The subject matter on which
25 Mr. Thayer is now questioning the witness was not the subject matter of
1 either examination-in-chief or the cross-examination. Furthermore, we
2 haven't seen any document from the UNPROFOR saying that the Serbs
3 targeted them. The Serbs never targeted the UNPROFOR and I would like
4 that to be taken into account. Thank you. What I was talking about on
5 two occasions were the attacks of Muslims on the UNPROFOR.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the transcript cites that I've
8 already provided to the Trial Chamber, as well as several lines of
9 General Tolimir's cross-examination over the last two days have clearly
10 gone to the issue of when the bombardment began, who began the
11 bombardment, was there bombardment at a particular time and by whom?
12 What I am showing the witness and what I think we will be able to
13 accomplish in this redirect is to establish specific dates which underlie
14 the documents which the Trial Chamber has already seen. So we get a
15 clear record and an evidentiary record based on the very types of reports
16 that General Tolimir just asked for. As I said, we will see Ukrainian
17 reports, and we will find out from the witness to what degree these
18 reports underscored or underlaid the statements that he made in his own
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I think this is a fair conduct of
21 re-examination related to threats and bombardment on the UNPROFOR.
22 Please carry on.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Thayer could have
1 asked the witness about this topic in his examination-in-chief. I think
2 that there is no basis for this questioning as part of redirect, because
3 this was not the subject matter of examination-in-chief or
4 cross-examination. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have ruled on that. Mr. Thayer
6 explained and gave a reference to your -- the cross-examination, and I
7 ruled on that, and let him carry out his examination.
8 Continue, please.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Sir, I want to direct your attention to the portion of this page
11 that's headed "Ultimatum in Zepa." The first line, as we can see, states
13 "The Serbs have been bombarding the UNPROFOR facilities in the
14 Zepa enclave.
15 "On Tuesday (27 June), most of the UNPROFOR observation posts
16 around the perimeter of Zepa were targeted by Serb mortars, as was the
17 company base in the middle of the pocket. On Friday (30 June), the
18 bombardment resumed with the company base taking three direct impacts. A
19 Ukrainian APC was destroyed and there was other damage to the compound,
20 but there were no UNPROFOR casualties.
21 "The commander of the Ukrainian company was told by the local
22 Serb commander that the attacks would continue until UNPROFOR agreed to
23 leave the pocket altogether. The harassment of UNPROFOR may be a prelude
24 to a general assault on the enclave."
25 Now, again, sir, this is very specific information that's being
1 provided by Mr. Harland of your office. Tell the Trial Chamber in your
2 experience what the basis for these types of statements, this specificity
3 of information, was.
4 A. Let me answer for the Chamber and restate the same proviso I had
5 when asked about Mr. Harland's report and Mr. Bezruchenko's report that I
6 had for the accused, to state that, of course, the obvious, that this is
7 the report of David Harland, not mine. David and I are close colleagues,
8 and I would say -- add in general that I had the highest regard, without
9 exception, for David Harland's ability and his integrity. I state that
10 for the record.
11 And to answer specifically the basis for what were David's
12 reports, so I can't be a hundred per cent precise here, but the -- David
13 was very, very careful and thorough, and he would have had access to
14 UNPROFOR reporting of a nature that I've described, both from the
15 Ukrainian, and if there was a JCO detachment there he would have had
16 access to that and he had a very close and good relationship with the
17 UNPROFOR military chain that would have received those reports.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a question to you.
19 THE WITNESS: Please, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I see here in the same paragraph Mr. Thayer read
21 into the record that the commander of the Ukrainian company was told by
22 the local Serb commander and so on and so forth. Do you recall who was
23 the local Serb commander?
24 THE WITNESS: It's -- going from memory there, it might have been
25 Kusic. That might have been who the reference there, but I can't be a
1 hundred per cent certain with that reference could be. But that could be
2 the individual.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Mr. President, I see we have five minutes until the next break.
6 I think it would be helpful to save a little bit of time if we took the
7 break now, just a couple minutes early, and I might be able to reduce my
8 examination a bit and cut out some documents and focus on one or two in
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is the time you need for conclusion?
11 MR. THAYER: Fifteen minutes, Mr. President, I think.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have a different proposal. You should try to
13 finish now before the break, because the next witness will have
14 protective measures, and during the break everything can be prepared for
16 MR. THAYER: Okay. I'll cut as I go.
17 Okay. I've cut a few documents. Here we go.
18 Q. Sir, again focusing on these events, on or about the 19th and
19 20th, again the demilitarisation agreement we just saw was dated the
20 19th, you've testified that on your first trip to Zepa during these
21 events, and this is at transcript page 14162 to 163 of the Popovic
22 transcript, which has now been marked as P1949 in evidence, on the first
23 trip you were there, you testified previously that you'd been there for a
24 while and I quote:
25 "Towards the latter part there, after we'd been there for some
1 time and nothing had transpired, we then heard the onset of cannon fire
2 outgoing from nearby us, ammunitions firing, and General Mladic and
3 others, he had gotten up and was talking to some of his guys, but I
4 recall him suddenly becoming very serious and then the demeanour from
5 friendly changed to rather dismissive and we were told to get out. Get
6 out." That's in quotes in the transcript. "And this was as this firing
7 had commenced."
8 You further testified that:
9 "It was coming from where we were there, positions there. This
10 was outgoing from nearby us, the Serb positions nearby us," and you added
11 that, "I couldn't visibly see the direction, but it was rather clear to
12 us that this was outgoing fire towards the target below of Zepa."
13 And then I won't read the rest in, but just to refamiliarise
14 yourself with these events, do you --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is, to assist the witness, on the screen
17 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Do you recall those events on that first visit, sir?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Okay. Now, what I'd like to do is go back in this document 2438,
21 the packet of Mr. Harland's reports --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The court usher is asked to help the witness with
23 the water.
24 Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Would it
1 be possible to state what is the basis for this redirect examination on
2 which this topic is now being discussed when this topic was not mentioned
3 in either the examination-in-chief or the cross-examination?
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We haven't had the question yet by Mr. Thayer,
5 and then we can figure out that.
6 Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I think it will be
8 abundantly clear, and I'd rather not state where I'm going with the
9 witness in front of the witness at this point as I think you'll see. I
10 just want to make sure that his recollection remains his recollection.
11 So if we could go to 2438, please, 65 ter 2438.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was used during examination-in-chief and in
13 cross-examination several times.
14 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President. I want to focus on
15 tab 2, which is page 6 of both the English and the B/C/S. Thank you very
16 much. And if we can go one page. I note for the record we can see tab 2
17 here on the screen. If we can go one page in each.
18 Q. Again, General Tolimir used this report with you yesterday, and
19 what we see here, sir, is a report dated the 20th of July, and if we can
20 focus on the portion that mentions you and Mr. Bezruchenko, and we'll
21 need to go to the next page in B/C/S and just scroll down a teeny bit in
22 the English, please, we can see from the document on its face that
23 Mr. Harland is writing about events that took place on this day, the 20th
24 of July, he says at the top at about 10.00 a.m. this morning, and in the
25 portion that deals with you, sir, we can see it says:
1 "Later in the day, civil affairs officer Bezruchenko and Joseph
2 met with General Mladic."
3 Do you see that there, sir?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Okay. And again I won't read through what this report says
6 Mladic told you, but if we could go to the next page in English. We can
7 stay where we are in B/C/S.
8 We can see that it says:
9 "Mladic stated that his forces would resume their attack on the
10 pocket at 7.00 p.m. this evening, if the Bosnians had not agreed his
12 Is that an accurate reflection of what transpired when you were
13 there with Mr. Bezruchenko, sir, as stated here in Mr. Harland's report,
14 Mladic stated that his forces would resume their attack on the pocket at
15 1900 hours that evening if the Bosnians had not agreed his terms?
16 A. Waiting for the translation. I want to be very precise for the
17 Chamber. I have vivid memory of the bombardment, the ordnance, and
18 General Mladic's sudden change in his demeanour. I can't recall at this
19 time Mladic's precise words, so I cannot at this time recall whether it
20 was precisely this formulation that Mladic relayed to us and that that
21 formed the basis of David's reports. Again, I just restate that David
22 was extremely careful with his reporting. We might well have been the
23 source, but I can't at this time, 15 and a half years later, precisely
24 recall that it was in this formulation that -- that we received this
1 Q. Okay. Well, let's look down two paragraphs where it says:
2 "Just after 7.00 p.m., I received a message from Zepa that the
3 Serbs had resumed a heavy bombardment of the enclave, and that the UN
4 team on the spot had been told by the Serbs to return to Sarajevo."
5 Now, my question to you is: That UN team on the spot, who was
6 that team that had been told to return to Sarajevo by the Serbs?
7 A. That was Viktor Bezruchenko and myself.
8 Q. Okay. This heavy bombardment that's described here, is that
9 something you personally observed?
10 A. That's what we had heard and that was the commencement of that
11 that coincided with being ordered to leave.
12 Q. Okay. Now, the next paragraph reflects that:
13 "At 8.30 p.m., I," and that's Mr. Harland, "received a message
14 from Prime Minister Silajdzic."
15 Now, we don't need to go into the rest of that paragraph because
16 that's not relevant for our purposes. What is relevant is the next
17 paragraph which says:
18 "At about the same time, the Ukrainians in Zepa reported that the
19 Bosnian forces had begun to attack their compound with small arms, heavy
20 machine-guns, and rocket propelled grenades."
21 Now, you will recall yesterday that General Tolimir quoted to you
22 from Mr. Bezruchenko's report and specifically cited a document which
23 described the Ukrainian compound being attacked by the Armija with small
24 arms, heavy machine-guns, and so forth, and General Tolimir put it to you
25 that this was the commencement of combat activities.
1 How does that fit or not fit with your recollection of events,
2 having been there at the time?
3 A. We at that point were only permitted to advance as far as OP 2.
4 OP 2 was on the high ground above the village, was in a steep gorge
5 below, heavily forested. So we did not have access to the village to
6 witness such events, which means I'm not -- I'm not disputing that
7 they -- I'm not suggesting that they didn't happen. I'm simply saying
8 we -- Viktor and I at that time did not have a chance to advance down
10 Q. Okay. And do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of this
11 report where Harland reports that at about 8.30, the Ukrainians reported
12 that the Bosnian forces had begun to attack their compound at that time?
13 A. No. I -- cekam prevod. I have no reason to doubt the accuracy.
14 Q. Now, just two quick areas, I hope, sir. One is --
15 MR. THAYER: And again, Your Honours, just for the sake of the
16 record, the last line of questioning was also relevant to
17 General Tolimir's specific question at transcript page 10721, asking
18 whether the witness saw any shelling carried out by the VRS on 20 July.
19 Q. Now, just a quick question, I hope, sir, on an issue that
20 General Tolimir raised. He showed you D173.
21 MR. THAYER: And if we could have that up on e-court, please.
22 Q. We can -- we can see that this is a 9 February 2005 information
23 report, and it is the result of a telephone interview between yourself
24 and an OTP trial attorney and an investigator. Do you remember that
25 telephonic interview, sir?
1 A. I can, in general terms, recall having had such an interview.
2 Q. Okay. General Tolimir asked you to look at paragraph 14, which
3 is on page 3 of the this report and page 3 of the B/C/S as well. He read
4 into the record the paragraph. I don't need to do the same, but he
5 specifically read in the portion at the very end where it says:
6 "I can recall seeing also General Smith there observing the
8 Now, do you recall addressing this very issue in your Popovic
9 testimony, which has now been entered into evidence, about this statement
10 here where it says that, "I can recall seeing General Smith there
11 observing the evacuation"?
12 If you don't recall, that's okay. It's in evidence, and we'll go
13 through it.
14 A. I don't understand "this very issue," what that refers to, "this
15 very issue."
16 Q. The issue of whether you saw General Smith in Zepa down observing
17 the evacuation. If you don't recall, I'll just pop up the transcript on
18 e-court and we can look at it.
19 A. In fact, I don't recall --
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. -- this testimony.
22 Q. All right this is P1949. It's the 24th of August, and we're
23 looking for page 14285. Sorry, 14284 is where the question begins. And
24 that's page 143 in e-court.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, there are a couple of pages of the
1 transcript to review. I note that -- I think the witness has a hard
2 copy. Unfortunately, we're -- we're well into the break time. I only
3 have one other short area to go over with the witness after this one
4 issue. I would just perhaps renew my request that we just take the break
5 and maybe he can read these pages so he doesn't -- we don't have to sit
6 here while he's reading through pages of transcript he couldn't recall.
7 I just suggest that at this point.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was too optimistic. The indicated 15 minutes
9 are now 20 minutes, 25 minutes, but nevertheless, it's better to have the
10 break now. I was hoping that the break would be used for setting up all
11 the technical things for the next witness, but this is not possible, but
12 you should try to come to an end quite soon.
13 MR. THAYER: I will, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will have our break now and resume at half
15 past 4.00.
16 THE WITNESS: If the Court please, may I know what pages I'm
17 meant to read in this?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, that would be helpful.
19 MR. THAYER: Again, that's 14284 through 14285.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Two pages. That's fine.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That could be done during the break.
23 We adjourn.
24 --- Recess taken at 4.02 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.35 p.m.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, how many more minutes do you need?
2 MR. THAYER: I think about five, Mr. President. I don't know how
3 much with this transcript we're going to have to work, but I don't think
4 much more than that to get through this. One never knows, but I think
5 five more minutes.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. Continue.
7 MR. THAYER:
8 Q. Sir, did you have an opportunity over the break to read
9 transcript pages 14284 to 14285 of your Popovic testimony?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Okay. And we, again just to put this back in context, we just
12 looked at the portion of D173 where the information report of a telephone
13 conversation with you states that: "I can recall seeing also
14 General Smith there observing the evacuation." And you were asked about
15 this in the Popovic trial. The Trial Chamber has the page in front of
16 it, and you provided your answer. I suppose the quickest way to ask you
17 is do you stand by your Popovic testimony? Do you have anything to add
18 or subtract from it with respect to this issue? I think we can save the
19 most time that way.
20 A. Yes, I stand by my testimony in the Popovic trial.
21 Q. And do you have anything to add or subtract or do anything to it
22 or just leave it the way it is?
23 A. I think it reflects my understanding pretty well and my
24 skepticism about the fact that it was reported in the original statement
25 that General Smith was there, so --
1 Q. Okay.
2 MR. THAYER: I don't think we need to actually go through reading
3 the rest of that transcript. The pages are on the record. The Trial
4 Chamber can peruse those two pages at its leisure, if it hasn't already.
5 Q. So let's move on to my last topic, sir. You mentioned this
6 morning, in answer to a question from General Tolimir, and this was with
7 respect to the demilitarisation agreement that you drafted and proposed
8 on the 19th of July, you were trying to put that in some context, and you
9 said that you doubted very seriously that the Serbs would simply withdraw
10 their forces from Zepa without the element in the agreement of close air
11 support being threatened. Do you remember those questions this
12 morning -- this afternoon, sir?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Okay. And you stated that:
15 "We doubted very seriously that they would do that when they were
16 poised to achieve a much greater objective, which would be actually
17 taking the territory and emptying it of its Bosniak population."
18 Do you remember giving that answer this afternoon, sir?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Okay. My question to you, sir, is: These two things that you
21 talked about in that answer, the taking of the territory and the emptying
22 of its Bosniak or Muslim population, focusing on the second part of your
23 answer with respect to what you said was their greater objective,
24 emptying the enclave of its Bosniak population, is that based on your
25 observations on the ground --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in the course of my
3 cross-examination, I showed a document in which the general warned
4 UNPROFOR that the zone should be demilitarised so that we do not proceed
5 to do it, whereas here mention is made of taking control over territory,
6 and I never talked about taking control of territories. I only talked
7 about demilitarisation of this area. So I would appreciate it if this be
8 handled in that manner rather than adding some qualifications.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Thayer quoted from -- from the
10 record, where an answer of this witness was recorded. We have the
11 quotation on the screen now, and that was in relation to taking the
12 territory and emptying it of its Bosniak population. That was directly
13 related to that.
14 Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
15 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. So, sir, with respect to this second element that -- that you
17 refer to as being part of this much greater objective of the Serbs, the
18 emptying of the enclave of its Bosniak population, based on what you
19 observed on the ground, based on your relevant experience during your
20 time there, you've referred to your experience during this war, was that
21 removal of the civilian population, you referred to it a number of times
22 as forcible expulsion, was that collateral to, and by that I mean is that
23 a consequence of or a byproduct of the VRS attack on Zepa, or is it
24 something else? And that's my last question to you, sir.
25 A. This is my answer to the Chamber: The -- the context in which
1 Mr. Harland and I drafted that proposal was with the understanding, both
2 from the immediate context, which was the fall of Srebrenica just a
3 matter of days earlier, not more than a week or so, in which the entire
4 population was expelled -- and I shouldn't say entire population was
5 expelled, of course. The female population and children were expelled.
6 Obviously the male population had a different fate. But it was in the
7 context of the immediate fall of Srebrenica in which the expulsion of
8 population was clearly a primary -- an overriding objective of the Serb
9 forces. And in the wider context of the war, and Mr. Harland and I had
10 been there at that time three years, going on three years, in which the
11 Bosniak majority population in that region of Eastern Bosnia, from
12 Zvornik in the north to Foca in the south, those are municipalities, and
13 every municipality in between in which the Bosniak population had, prior
14 to the war, been the majority population, had already been expelled, and
15 this was the genesis of the term "ethnic cleansing," and so it was
16 abundantly clear to us in the wake of the Srebrenica events that this was
17 the same -- the same objective would apply here in Zepa and, therefore,
18 the objective would be the expulsion of the population, differentiated,
19 perhaps, between male and female, and it was for that reason that we --
20 because it was on the verge of that that we drafted the proposal the way
21 we did, with the incentives and disincentives to each side the way we
23 If -- did I answer the specific question?
24 Q. I'm just reading.
25 A. Okay. I might spare the Chamber's time and re-reading now on the
1 screen, your specific question to me is it was not a byproduct. The
2 expulsion of the population would not be a byproduct collateral to
3 military action. It would have been an objective of military action
4 which would have been aimed at vanquishing both the military threat that
5 existed and expelling the population.
6 Q. Thank you, sir.
7 MR. THAYER: I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
9 Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this concludes now your
10 examination here in this trial. Thank you very much that you were able
11 to come to The Hague again and provide us with your knowledge and
12 expertise, and especially with your evidence. Now you are free, finally,
13 to return to your normal activities, and again, thank you very much. The
14 Court usher will assist you in leaving the courtroom.
15 THE WITNESS: If I could say, Mr. President, thank you. I thank
16 the Chamber very much. Danke Schoen. Thank you, Honourable Judge, je
17 vous remercie. I appreciate it very much, your leadership here and the
18 timely questions, and if I can just say after these four days here, my
19 wish that hopefully the -- these proceedings or others will reveal what
20 happened to those like Colonel Palic and the hodza whom we worked with in
21 Zepa. And if I could just say --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I should stop you here. That's --
23 THE WITNESS: Okay.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's not necessary to conclude your own
25 testimony. Thank you very much for your attendance, and now you are free
1 to leave the courtroom.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I just wanted to say to General Tolimir
3 and Mr. Gajic. [Interpretation] My greetings and good-bye.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, that concludes my business before the
7 Chamber this afternoon. May I excused for the rest of the session.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, you are. Thank you very much.
9 Good afternoon, Ms. Hasan. You were hiding behind the column. I
10 couldn't see you, but welcome to the courtroom. The next witness is
11 ready to -- to testify?
12 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour. He may be brought in.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He has protective measures, so therefore we
14 should first go into closed session.
15 MS. HASAN: Correct.
16 [Closed session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 Good afternoon, sir. Please be patient for a moment. We have to
3 wait while the screens are going up.
4 So good afternoon, sir, again. Welcome to the courtroom. Would
5 you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to you
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. I solemnly declare
8 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
10 yourself comfortable.
11 Just to remind you, there are still protective measures in place
12 for you like face distortion. Nobody will recognise you outside the
13 courtroom, and you will be addressed not by your normal civilian name but
14 by a pseudonym.
15 Ms. Hasan for the Prosecution has questions for you.
16 Ms. Hasan, please.
17 Examination by Ms. Hasan:
18 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. To begin with, may we have 65 ter --
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. May we have 65 ter 7207 displayed.
21 Witness, without reading the document that will be displayed on
22 your screen shortly, without reading anything aloud, I'm going to ask you
23 to confirm whether the name that appears under pseudonym 018 is your
25 A. Yes, it is my name.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I offer this pseudonym sheet,
3 65 ter 7207 into evidence.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal.
5 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 7207 receives number P1963,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Under seal.
9 MS. HASAN:
10 Q. Witness, have you recently had the opportunity to listen to your
11 testimony from the Krstic case?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And I understand that there are some clarifications you wish to
14 make to the evidence that you gave during that trial. If we can start
15 off with the clarification you wish to make to the testimony you gave
16 about the two men in Susnjari who explained that the women and children
17 were to go to Potocari. And I'll just give the transcript reference,
18 which is page 2313 to -- sorry, 3213 to 3215. Could you please provide
19 the clarification you wish to give in relation to that testimony.
20 A. Certainly. These were not people from Susnjari village. We were
21 in Susnjari. They just happened to come along the road there. The point
22 is that when some of these people provided statement to the
23 investigators, there were some men there. Some of them were soldiers,
24 but I cannot really confirm that they were soldiers, because they didn't
25 have any weapons, and they had no insignia or anything of that sort that
1 would identify them as soldiers. True, some of them did have some parts
2 of military uniforms, but that was about it. So some investigators
3 mentioned that there were two soldiers there, which is probably something
4 that they misunderstood, because the way the interview went was they
5 would put questions to me, then I would give them some answers, and then
6 five minutes or so later they would just write it down. So maybe that's
7 where the error occurred.
8 There was mention of two men. They were in uniforms or in some
9 parts of uniforms, but they were not soldiers, or there was nothing that
10 would explicitly identify them as soldiers, no insignia or weapons.
11 Q. Thank you. In relation to your testimony on page 3215, line 23,
12 you wanted to clarify something about the use of the term "breakthrough."
13 Could you provide that clarification.
14 A. Certainly. The word "breakthrough" can mean in daily parlance to
15 break out of something or break through something either with some forces
16 or through an area that may be dangerous. What I meant when I used the
17 word "breakthrough" was not the sort of exercise that involved any
18 military activity. So when I said we wanted to break out of the area, I
19 meant simply traverse an area rather than engage in a military action
20 breaking out of somewhere. So this is a term that could be understood in
21 several different ways.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. HASAN: And for the next question, it may be prudent to go
24 into private session as the witness may identify --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
1 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
23 MS. HASAN: Thank you. I'll just repeat the question.
24 Q. At transcript page 3220, line 3, you provided some -- you gave
25 some evidence about the 28th Division that you wished to clarify. Could
1 you please provide that clarification.
2 A. Could I have a document or something where my statement is
3 contained, because I really don't know at this stage what it was that I
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps we could have P170 -- no, sorry, P1173 on
6 the screen. Page 3220.
7 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, it may be helpful if we actually
8 display page 3219 to start with. And that would be page 34 on e-court.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should read the relevant part to the witness,
10 if he's not able to read this text in English.
11 MS. HASAN: Certainly.
12 Q. Question -- this is from line 18:
13 "Q. Sir, you were living in the locality close to Srebrenica
14 which was part of the demilitarised zone. Tell me, please, did you ever
15 hear about the existence of a military formation called the
16 28th Division, under the command of Naser Oric?
17 "A. Yes, I did know of the 28th Division, everyone knows that,
18 but it was the Territorial Defence and that was at the beginning.
19 Simply, everyone defended his own village until Srebrenica was
21 "Q. So after the demilitarisation of Srebrenica, there was no
22 28th Division nor Naser Oric there.
23 "A. I'm not saying that they weren't there. Naser was there; I
24 saw him. But as for the army, it was not there. I didn't see them."
25 Witness, does that help you in recalling the clarification that
1 you wish to provide to your testimony?
2 A. That's right. What I said is correct. That's how it was.
3 Q. Thank you. In that case, we can move on.
4 Now, taking into account the clarifications you've just provided,
5 does the evidence that you gave in the Krstic trial, is it otherwise true
6 and accurate to the best of your knowledge?
7 A. Mainly it is accurate. The substance is correct. Perhaps there
8 were minor errors or perhaps I misunderstood the question or didn't
9 understand it fully, and in some other instances I could have provided
10 better explanations, but that's all. In some places I observed that
11 there was a question put by one of the accused which asked whether in the
12 statement I gave to the investigators there were some additional things
13 put to me by the investigator and my answer or my clarification wasn't
14 good enough.
15 As I've said today at the outset, normally the investigator would
16 hear me out, would listen to what I have to say and would then type out
17 my statement. In some instances, I would say something right at the
18 beginning and would then proceed to say something else, but the
19 investigator would write what I said at the outset at the end of the
20 statement, and then when the statement would be read out to me, somebody
21 would ask me about certain matters. I would say, yes, it's possible, but
22 I wasn't quite positive about these things.
23 Q. Witness, with that clarification, can we take it, then, that the
24 rest of the evidence that you gave in that trial, the substance of that
25 evidence, was accurate to the best of your knowledge?
1 A. Certainly, of course.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I would then offer into evidence the
4 documents that have been provisionally given the Exhibit numbers P1172
5 and 1173, which is his prior testimony.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Both documents will be received with these
7 numbers, P1172 under seal.
8 MS. HASAN: In addition to that, I would also offer into evidence
9 the associated exhibits which were admitted through this witness at the
10 trial, namely the documents that also have provisional Exhibit numbers
11 P1174, 1175, and 1176 with 1174 and 1175 being under seal.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received, and the first two of them
13 under seal.
14 MS. HASAN: Thank you. And with your leave, Mr. President, if I
15 may now read the summary of the witness's evidence.
16 The witness is a Bosnian Muslim. He was a member of the Bosnian
17 Army until June or July of 1993.
18 On 11 July 1995, in Susnjari, the witness heard two men explain
19 that the women and children were to be sent to the UNPROFOR base in
20 Potocari. The men and -- the men and a few women stayed behind and
21 formed a column which left to Susnjari -- sorry, which left Susnjari in
22 the early morning hours of the 12th of July, 1995.
23 The witness, who was situated in the middle of the column,
24 carried with him an old hunting rifle and five to six bullets. There
25 were others in the column who carried weapons.
1 On the morning of the 13th of July, the witness reached an open
2 space that was located between Konjevic Polje and Nova Kasaba. Two
3 thousand to 3.000 persons had congregated in this area as they could not
4 pass the Konjevic Polje road -- sorry, Kasaba-Konjevic Polje road which
5 was blocked by Serb units. From the surrounding woods the witness saw
6 the Serb soldiers surround this group of people. Approximately 200 to
7 300 of the Muslims gathered there were killed. Those who survived were
8 taken towards the Kasaba-Konjevic Polje road.
9 The next day, the witness and five others managed to make their
10 way across the Kasaba-Konjevic Polje road and towards Baljkovica. They
11 reached Baljkovica on 18th July. Shortly after their arrival there, the
12 witness heard shots in the vicinity and calls by the Serb army for them
13 to surrender. With the few men he was with, the witness decided to leave
14 and continue through the woods. On the 19th of July, the witness and
15 these men took rest in some bushes near some Serb trenches. The Serb
16 troops called out for them to surrender. This call was then followed by
17 some heavy shooting over their heads and another call for them to
18 surrender. One by one, the men surrendered. The Serb soldiers, some of
19 whom had yellow insignia bearing the word Krajisnici or Krajisnik on the
20 left arms of their uniforms kicked and beat them with their rifle butts
21 as they emerged from the bushed. The men were then order to lie down on
22 their stomachs with their hands stretched out and their heads facing the
24 Stari, the commander of the soldiers, and the soldiers themselves
25 asked the other men where the rest of the army was. One man revealed
1 that there were around 500 men that had stayed behind. Stari got on the
2 radio and instructed another unit that the 500 men mentioned should be
3 "finished off," after which he told his own soldiers that the Vukovi or
4 the Wolves would deal with that.
5 The witness and the men he was with were then forced to give up
6 their documents, their valuables, and money. In turn, they were then
7 interrogated. The first to be interrogated was a boy between the age of
8 15 and 16. He was asked some questions and then taken a few metres away
9 and shot. The second in line to be interrogated was another young
10 disabled boy. He, too, was interrogated and then taken some 3 metres
11 away, after which a single shot was heard.
12 In a similar fashion, the witness, who was next in turn, was
13 interrogated and taken away. Before the soldier opened fire -- opened
14 fire at him, the witness came across the dead body of one of the men he
15 was with. The soldier then shot the witness in his left shoulder.
16 Despite the injury, the witness lay as still as he could so that he would
17 not be shot again, and as he lay there, he heard other men being taken
18 away and shots being fired.
19 After dark, when all the Serb soldiers had left, the witness
20 called out to see if anyone else was alive, but he heard no response. He
21 managed to get up, and he escaped to Nezuk.
25 In the July 1995 events, the witness lost his father, his
1 brother, and other members of his family. He is the only surviving male
2 in his extended family.
3 That concludes my summary. If we may now have P1175 displayed on
4 e-court. This document -- I apologise. The number I'm looking for is
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should not be broadcast, 1175. It should be
7 removed from the screen, please.
8 MS. HASAN: Yeah, if we could --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 MS. HASAN: If we may have P1176. I apologise for that error.
11 Q. Witness, you'll see on the screen before you a map that you used
12 during your testimony in the Krstic case. Can you take a look at this
13 map and tell us whether the dotted line on that map traces the
14 approximate route that you took from Susnjari to Nezuk?
15 A. That is roughly the route. It could be some 100 to 150 metres to
16 the left or to the right, but that would roughly be the route, yes.
17 MS. HASAN: Can we just magnify the map a little bit so that we
18 can see a bit closer, we can see the dotted line a bit better. Perhaps
19 slightly closer. Thank you.
20 And if I may ask if the court usher could provide the witness
21 with a pen, because as -- I'm going to ask him to mark this map?
22 Q. Witness, I'm going to ask you to place an X at the approximate
23 location where you encountered the 2.000 to 3.000 Muslims who were
24 gathered in the open space and then surrounded by the Serb soldiers.
25 A. Are you referring to the 13th of July?
1 Q. Correct.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Thank you. And on this map we can see a black circle that's
4 shaded in near the word "Baljkovica." Can you tell us what that circle
5 is meant to mark? Do you see the circle? It's towards the top of the
6 map there, a black circle shaded in in a grey colour.
7 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
8 Q. Can you tell me what that circle -- what that location -- what
9 that circle's meant to mark?
10 A. That would approximately be the location where we were shot,
11 executed. I think that would roughly be the location. I believe it was
12 me who initially drew this.
13 Q. That is correct. Thank you.
14 MS. HASAN: And, Mr. President, at this point I will tender -- if
15 I may tender this map with the witness's mark on it into evidence as the
16 next Exhibit.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This marked map will be received as an exhibit.
18 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P1964, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
20 MS. HASAN:
21 Q. Witness, you testified that you were carrying an old hunting
22 rifle that belonged to your father and that there were a few other people
23 that you saw in the column who were carrying weapons. Why were you
24 carrying a weapon?
25 A. Well, we carried weapons to defend ourselves, and that's a fact.
1 If we were able to defend ourselves at all, though admittedly what I
2 personally had was insufficient. It could not have served as a means of
3 defence. It was a trophy weapon that we kept in our home for quite a
4 long time. And of course it was weapons, and if we would have been able
5 to defend ourselves, we would have defended ourselves.
6 Q. Were any of the men that were with you on the 19th of July, 1995,
8 A. Well, it is possible that there were, though the situation was a
9 very difficult one, and such was our exhaustion and hunger that it was
10 difficult to carry weapons. If you keep on running for eight days on
11 end, and if you come across ambushes, it didn't really matter if you
12 carried one or not. You could find one along the way as you ran, though
13 the problem was it was difficult to carry one. And it was difficult to
14 defend oneself. We were in such a poor condition because of hunger and
15 everything else that our line of vision was not -- wouldn't take us
16 further than 20 metres. That's how it was.
17 At any rate, we didn't really count on any sort of defence. With
18 the sort of weapons and the number of men we had, it was impossible to
19 mount any defence.
20 Q. Were you carrying your weapon when you were captured on the 19th
21 of July?
22 A. At the time, yes, but by the time I was captured, I had already
23 discarded it.
24 Q. And when you were captured and you emerged from the bushes, did
25 your captors say anything to you or about you?
1 A. Well, for the most part these were expletives, and I was pretty
2 much pummelled and punched. I had -- I was wearing a green shirt. They
3 were saying, "Look at him. He's a true Balija," because I was wearing
4 that colour shirt. But it was all happening so fast. As they were
5 punching me, it was even difficult to listen to what they were saying.
6 Q. And as I understand, you were the third in line to be
7 interrogated and subsequently shot. Can you tell us where the bullet
8 penetrated your body.
9 A. It penetrated my left shoulder from the back and exited next to
10 my collarbone here near my neck. I can show it to you. This happened
11 without a doubt. The distance between me and the soldier shooting at me
12 was perhaps 1 metre. So when you stretch out a rifle, you've got only
13 half a metre left between him and me, some 50 centimetres. So it was a
14 close shot.
15 MS. HASAN: The next document is under seal, and it is P1175. If
16 we could have that displayed on our screens but not broadcast.
17 If we could also possibly zoom in on the B/C/S version so it can
18 be read.
19 Q. Witness, if you're familiar with this document, can you please
20 briefly tell us what it is.
21 A. This is a letter of discharge from the Kalesija hospital. I
22 received this document as I was released from the hospital -- or, rather,
23 the infirmary, as we called it. It was at Tojsici. There was a shop
24 that was empty at the time and was, therefore, readapted as an infirmary.
25 There were some beds there, and it would receive the wounded arriving
1 from Srebrenica. The physician was probably from Kalesija, because the
2 war hospital in Kalesija was not far away from the place where I was, and
3 the documentation is accurate.
4 Q. And it indicates that you were admitted on the 20th of July and
5 surgically treated for soft tissue injuries above your left clavicle.
6 MS. HASAN: Could we now have 65 ter 7210 displayed on the
7 screens. That does not appear to be the correct document. It was --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now it's coming up.
9 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
10 Q. Witness, what is this a photograph of?
11 A. This is the part of my body where I was wounded. That's what I
12 can see on this photograph, and that's how I can see the area when I look
13 at myself in the mirror.
14 Q. Thank you. And do you know when this photograph was taken?
15 A. I know.
16 Q. Can you tell us?
17 A. About two days ago. Yes, two days ago. Exactly two days.
18 Q. Thank you. And would you please circle the scar where the bullet
19 entered your left shoulder.
20 A. I can't see it really properly. I think probably here it
21 entered, and then the other one must be the place where it got out.
22 MS. HASAN: Can we perhaps go to page 2 of -- the second page of
23 the document. It might be slightly --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then you will lose the markings.
25 MS. HASAN: That's fine. I don't think the witness was able to
1 see it clearly.
2 Mr. President, if I may just approach the witness's screen to see
3 if he can see the picture clearly.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is sometimes a problem with -- especially
5 that screen. If the witness would raise, perhaps he can see it more
7 Just stand up for a little bit. Sometimes --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. So this is the entry
9 wound, yes.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The court usher will help you with the pen.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So this was the entry wound, and
12 this here would be the exit wound.
13 MS. HASAN:
14 Q. Could you mark the entry wound. Outside of that circle, could
15 you mark it with a number 1, please.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And then could you draw a circle around the exit wound.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And mark that with the number 2.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I offer this photograph with the
23 witness's markings into evidence as the next exhibit.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P1965, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the original document will be added to the
2 65 ter exhibit list, because I didn't see any objection to that by the
4 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Witness, after the Serb soldiers left the execution site, where
6 did you go?
7 A. After that, I went towards the free territory, by that time in
8 the territory controlled by the BiH Army. It was very difficult, and
9 it's not easy to describe it. It was night-time. Before I was shot, I
10 was able to hear certain things. For instance, I could see the defence
11 line. That was before I was captured. And I assume that that was some
12 sort of a line separating the Serbian Army and the BiH Army. So that's
13 my assumption. That's something that I saw before I was shot.
14 After that, after I was shot and while I was lying down, I heard
15 some sounds from the mosque. So that's what enabled me to conclude that
16 that would be probably the territory that for me would be a free
17 territory. By that I mean the territory controlled by the BiH Army. So
18 I continued going downwards throughout the night. It was very difficult.
19 I was very tired.
20 To put it simple, I had to go. On the other hand, I knew that I
21 wouldn't be able to endure all this if it lasted any longer. I lost lots
22 of blood, and I knew if it lasted one more day I would not survive it.
23 So that's why I decided to cross, although there were many obstacles.
24 It was very difficult. Shells were landing around, around me,
25 while I was walked during the night. So I was thinking is it possible
1 that they could see me even during the night when it was complete
2 darkness. But then in the morning when I crossed over to the free
3 territory, and at the time I didn't know it was the free territory, I
4 came across a lad who was standing on top of a hill. It was fields. I
5 didn't know who he was. I could see that he had a rifle on his shoulder,
6 a very old rifle. It was an M-48, as we used to call it. And he was
7 facing the direction opposite to the direction from which I was coming,
8 so I was getting closer to him, and it was a very unpleasant situation,
9 because I didn't know where he was. And when I came about 10 to 20
10 metres, I called out to him, simply to alert him to the fact that I was
11 approaching him, and he was so much afraid that he dropped the rifle when
12 he heard me calling out to him.
13 So then I approached him, and I asked him who he was and where he
14 was. He answered that he had no idea where he was. He was very sad. He
15 said that his father and his brother were going with him during the
16 night, that there was shelling around them, that he was caught in this
17 crossfire, that he lost his father and his brother, and he was now trying
18 to look around to see whether they would reappear.
19 We stayed there for about ten minutes, and then we continued
20 going towards the village, because we wanted to figure out where we were,
21 whether we had arrived or not.
22 Q. And if I may just go back a little bit. How were you able to see
23 the defence line before you had been shot?
24 A. That was exactly the place where we were captured. That was a
25 hill that looked exactly like an elevation. You know, that was really
1 the highest point in this area. And there was some kind of trenches on
2 that hill. Now, I wouldn't know which army made them, but I can tell you
3 that that was the highest point there. So when we arrived there, we
4 looked around. It was done very quickly. We didn't spend much time
5 there. And then we could see down there at some distance, 1 kilometre or
6 maybe 2 or 3, I really can't tell you precisely, we considered there was
7 some sort of a field, and there were many tanks and transport vehicles,
8 soldiers stretched out along maybe 1 or 2 kilometres. I cannot be very
9 precise again.
10 So you could see that that was probably their last line. On the
11 other side you could see a mosque, and that mosque had not been
12 destroyed. More precisely I'm talking that the spire hadn't been
13 destroyed. So that would be some sort of a proof that that must have
14 been under the BiH control, because if it was under the Serbian control,
15 the spire would have been destroyed. It wasn't possible to see a spire
16 next to a mosque if it was under Serbian control. So that was an
17 indicator telling me that that was probably the direction into which I
18 should be going.
19 Q. And do you recall the name of the village that you arrived at?
20 A. The name of the village was Nezuk. Now, there are two Nezuks. I
21 learned that only later, of course. I didn't know that until I arrived
23 So there is a village called Nezuk which had a mosque, and you
24 could see that mosque from the position that we were at, and that was a
25 Muslim village. Right next to it. It wasn't really a great distance,
1 maybe 500 metres, maybe a thousand metres, there was also another village
2 called Nezuk. I saw that when I came there. And I arrived exactly in
3 that other village which was quite badly burned down. And then I went to
4 this other Nezuk, the Nezuk containing the mosque.
5 So first I arrived to the village which was burnt down, but it
6 was completely empty, full of vegetation, and then later on I went to the
7 other place. And then when local people asked me where I went, I showed
8 them by hand, and then they told me that it was probably a Serbian Nezuk.
9 I think that it is -- that its name is Nezuk. I think that both villages
10 are called Nezuk, but I'm not 100 per cent sure.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MS. HASAN: May we have 65 ter 7211 displayed. Could we -- could
13 we magnify the map where it says "Nezuk" in the top centre. You see
14 Baljkovica on the left-hand side and Nezuk. A little bit closer than
15 that. If we can go a little bit closer. Thank you.
16 Q. Witness, do you see the orange circle there with the crescent
17 above it? It's marked -- it's right next to "D. Nezuk."
18 A. Yes, I can see that. Some sort of a red point. It marks a spot.
19 Yes, I can see it. That's it, yes.
20 Q. That spot with a half crescent is a marker for a mosque in the
21 village of Nezuk, D. Nezuk. Would that have been the mosque that you
22 heard the call to prayer from and that you saw from the hill where you
24 A. That's it. If you have a marking for a mosque here, then that
25 must be it, yes.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I tender this map into evidence.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be added to the 65 ter exhibit list and
4 received as an exhibit.
5 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P1966, Your Honours.
6 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Witness, I'm going to turn now to the 19th July 1995, but I note
8 the time, and it is perhaps a good point to take the break.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, it is time for our second break, and I
10 hope you will be able to finish quite soon after the break.
11 MS. HASAN: I have one area to cover after the break.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 We adjourned and resume quarter past 6.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Ms. Hasan, please continue.
17 MS. HASAN:
18 Q. Witness, do you recall giving the names of the men you were with
19 on the 19th of July at the execution site to the Bosnian police in August
20 of 1995?
21 A. Of course. Of course. They were mostly my family and
22 neighbours. Maybe one of them wasn't close to me and I didn't know his
23 exact name, but they were mostly people that I knew well. Simply put, my
24 neighbours. Relatives as well, my father's family, my brother's child,
25 my brother-in-law. My sister was married to him.
1 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, if we can go into private session.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 10812-10816 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
8 Mr. Tolimir, now your cross-examination. At least the beginning
9 of your cross-examination.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Peace
11 unto this house and unto all those present here, as well as the witness,
12 and may God's will be done in these proceedings and not mine.
13 I wish him a pleasant stay with us, and a safe journey home once
14 he has finished his testimony. Since we both speak the same language,
15 I'd like the witness to pay attention to the transcript and to make sure
16 that he does not start answering my question before everything has been
17 recorded in the transcript. Thank you.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
19 Q. [Interpretation] At the outset of your testimony, at page 47,
20 line 15, the Prosecutor asked you to give your clarification which had to
21 do with your testimony in the Krstic case, and then at page 49, you
22 clarified that bit about those two men telling you that you had to go to
23 Potocari or to Susnjari. My question is this: Is this something that
24 you said to the investigators at a time when they were taking a statement
25 from you, because you did refer to investigators, were these the
1 investigators the investigators of the ICTY or the investigators of the
2 state security of the Federation who were taking a statement from you?
3 Thank you.
4 A. Well, as you know, I gave more than one statement, and there are
5 several written documents as a result. As I am now in the courtroom, I
6 would have to look at the document in order to be able to tell you which
7 exactly the statement was.
8 Q. I'm referring to page 49, line 24 of today's transcript where you
9 say: These were not people from Susnjari. They did wear parts of
10 military uniform, and that's probably how the investigators wrote it
11 down. That's it. Perhaps they wore parts of uniforms, something to that
13 Do you recall that this is something you said today to the
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. When you were referring to the investigators here, did you mean
17 the investigators of this Tribunal or some other investigators?
18 A. I was referring to the statement I gave before my testimony here.
19 There were three statements that I gave to the investigating officers in
20 Tuzla. Each of these investigators, as they were taking a statement from
21 me, took the information they thought was relevant, because if you took
22 all the information of my journey between the 11th and the 20th of July,
23 that would have to cover a lot more pages than it did. They took the
24 information that they believed I could testify to and that they believed
25 they needed. So they didn't take all the information I gave them. So
1 one of them said -- please go ahead, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry for interrupting you. That was exactly
3 what Mr. Tolimir was asking you. Were these investigators in Tuzla
4 investigators of the ICTY, of the Prosecution of this Tribunal, or from
5 another institution? Do you recall that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that they were
7 investigators of this Tribunal. I think that the first statement was
8 taken by a man from Lukavac who worked as an investigator at Lukavac.
9 Now, who he worked for, I really don't know. I think he was the person I
10 gave my first statement to, or maybe the second statement. At any rate,
11 there were also ICTY investigators in Tuzla whom I gave a statement to as
12 well, at a later date.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I just wanted to assist Mr. Tolimir
14 to clarify this.
15 Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Please look at the statement that will appear on our screens in a
19 moment, which is 65 ter 01562, which the Prosecution disclosed to the
20 Defence, it's P1174. So can we have it on the screen, please, in order
21 for us to clarify some issues. Thank you.
22 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, this is a document that's under seal.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should not be broadcast.
24 MS. HASAN: Yes.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we only broadcast
1 it for the benefit of the witness and nobody else.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tell us, who did you give this statement to, if you recall.
4 A. Can I see the entire statement through to the end, please? If I
5 can just browse through.
6 Q. Yes. You see the bottom there. You see your signature.
7 A. Yes, but this is only one page of my statement.
8 Q. We will be going through it page by page and you will have an
9 opportunity to see all of it. So did you give a statement to the
10 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of Interior, State Security
11 Service, SDB Tuzla, on the 26th of August, 1995?
12 A. The 26th of August. Well, I gave this statement in the Lukavac
13 municipality, as we can clearly see here. So I gave this statement in
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. So these were not ICTY investigators. This was an investigator
17 from the state security of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I believe.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, since you were referring to that statement you
19 gave to the ICTY investigator, I want to refer to this statement. Can we
20 have the second paragraph of this statement which reads, I quote -- I'm
21 quoting from the first line of paragraph 2:
22 "At the beginning of July of this year, at the peak of the
23 infantry and artillery attacks by the Chetniks which were at their
24 fiercest from the direction of Zeleni Jadar, I was on the defence lines
25 in the area of Susnjari and Jaglic together with most of the
2 This is my question: Was this a defence line or was this your
3 village? You said earlier on that this was your village and not a
4 defence line?
5 A. Yes. That's how I said it. This was my village, which was at
6 the same time on the defence line. In other words, my village was
7 located on the defence line, and that's where I was when these two men
8 happened upon us, or two soldiers, if you insist on this. At least
9 that's how I understand your first question, that I'm denying that these
10 were full-fledged soldiers. Well, I don't know that. They may have been
11 soldiers, but there was no inscription on them. They had part of
12 military gear on them. When I was answering to his questions, the
13 investigator was writing what I was saying, and he may have noted it down
14 as me saying these were soldiers or civilians. What I'm saying is they
15 may have been soldiers, but they didn't have any insignia, and they
16 didn't carry weapons.
17 Q. Thank you. You've answered my next question so I will not be
18 putting it to you but answer this first question of mine, please: Was
19 the defence line covering every inch of your village or was it across a
20 swathe of land, since you said earlier on that it was some 500 metres
21 away from your home? So can you please clarify this for Their Honours.
22 A. Well, let's illustrate this with an example, and I'm giving you
23 an example. When I was leaving home to attend the trial, I told my wife
24 and my family that I was going to The Hague. In other words, I wasn't
25 telling them the street name or the address of the Tribunal. I would
1 have said that I was going to such and such a street on such and such a
2 number. I said that I was going to The Hague.
3 It so happened that my village was on the edge of this line and
4 that there was an APC belonging to UNPROFOR which was some 500 metres
5 away from my home, or that's to say away from my village. So it's very
6 difficult for me to say that the line was passing along where the -- the
7 APC was. Maybe that particular land plot had a specific name to it, but
8 that would be something that we in the village would be privy to and not
9 the investigators asking about it. So I didn't go into all these details
10 because I took them for granted. When I said that the defence line was
11 where my village was, then I meant that it was there some couple of
12 hundred metres away.
13 Q. Thank you. Would you agree with my view that a defence area
14 is -- covers a larger area than a defence line? Were there any soldiers
15 on this strip of land where the APC was?
16 A. Are you referring to the troops of the BH Army or some other
18 Q. Thank you. I'll -- it's not my place to hold any opinion. You
19 tell us which soldiers these were.
20 A. Well, there were some five soldiers accompanying this APC. Since
21 it was 5.00 or 6.00 p.m., roughly, we didn't carry watches and weren't
22 interested in the time of day, really, these same individuals under heavy
23 artillery fire which you, General, probably knew was being opened, left
24 the APC and joined the group of us locals, and they offered everything
25 they had, the APC and their weapons, to protect us, because the fire was
1 so heavy that it wasn't possible to discuss these matters as normally as
2 we do here in this courtroom now. We were under heavy artillery fire,
3 shells. You know that shells were landing nonstop. And they offered to
4 try and help us to stop the fire, but you know that there was no Armija.
5 There was no army. The weapons were turned over to the Dutch or
6 Canadian Battalion. The United Nations took upon themselves the
7 obligation to protect us, and we expected them to do so.
8 At that point in time, there were these five soldiers on the
9 line, and as these things were happening, a short while later they left
10 too. So there was no line to speak of. If you can call a place where
11 there is an APC a line, then so be it.
12 Q. Can you please be brief in your answers. If you say that there
13 was no line to speak of, then there was not one. We will not argue about
15 Tell us, was there an observation post belonging to UNPROFOR? If
16 there was no line there, were there any VRS troops opposite that line
17 close to Susnjari, if you could see that far?
18 A. The name of the place is Jaglici. You have the village of
19 Jaglici, and beyond that village, some hundred metres beyond the village,
20 there was the point where these soldiers were located. From that
21 location as the crow flies, a thousand metres away there were VRS
22 positions, but the Serbian Army did not engage in a breakthrough with
23 their infantry on that day. They only opened artillery fire. They were
24 advancing on the other side of Srebrenica, from Zeleni Jadar.
25 The safe area was not that large, and you were able to see the
1 village on the other side from our vantage point, especially if you see a
2 large group of people, of refugees fleeing as the army was advancing.
3 But there was no infantry attack to speak of.
4 Q. Thank you. Since a moment ago you explained for Their Honours
5 that the two persons who wore parts of uniform and of whom you said you
6 didn't know who they belonged to, they arrived and you say, for instance
7 in line 5:
8 "Two soldiers arrived in Susnjari --"
9 I'm referring to this statement of yours, paragraph 2, line 5:
10 "Two soldiers arrived in Susnjari, unknown to me, letting the
11 people know that the women, children, and the infirm should move to
12 Potocari towards the UN base and the able-bodied men should embark on a
13 breakthrough to the free territory."
14 My question is this: Did you say as these two individuals told
15 you to --
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the last part of
17 Mr. Tolimir's question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, that's right. At that
19 time you couldn't seek guarantees. There wasn't much you could do.
20 These were the very last minutes that we spent in that area. Whoever
21 would come across us and tell us anything, we would hear them out. We
22 would accept what they said, because we didn't have any other
23 information. We couldn't treat them as unknown soldiers, because if
24 anybody was truly unknown to that area, they would not even dare show
25 their face there.
1 Q. Thank you. Tell us, do you remember what it was you told to the
2 ICTY investigators in relation to these two individuals? Do you
3 remember? Was the statement identical to what you just said now or was
4 it different?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That is the last question for today.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm telling you what happened. I
7 think that I gave the same statement to everybody else. I think that all
8 my statements are identical. Maybe some of the investigators changed a
9 letter or a word, or maybe they didn't manage to catch everything, but
10 all my statements are something that I stand behind, and I can state that
11 here in public today.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it's time to adjourn.
13 Sir, we must adjourn for the day, and we will resume next Monday.
14 I apologise that you have to stay here over the weekend, but there is no
15 other way to conclude your examination.
16 The court usher will assist you. Thank you very much.
17 We adjourn and resume on Monday at 2.15 in this courtroom.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day
21 of March, 2011 at 2.15 p.m.