1 Wednesday, 9 March 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.
6 Welcome back.
7 The witness should be brought in, please.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, Ms. Sayer.
10 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome back. Make yourself comfortable.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell
14 the truth you made yesterday at the beginning of your testimony still
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, of course.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Tolimir is continuing his
19 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like
21 to greet all those present, and may these proceedings end in accordance
22 with God's will and not my own.
23 WITNESS: EMMA SAYER [Resumed]
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
25 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to greet the witness, and I wish
1 her a pleasant stay with us today. Thank you.
2 A. Thank you.
3 Q. You're welcome.
4 Yesterday we discussed the agreement of the 24th signed by the
5 Muslim army and the VRS. Among other things, it stipulates that all
6 could be evacuated to a territory of their own choosing for as long as
7 the war went on in keeping with the Geneva Conventions.
8 My question is this: Did you know that nowadays, in Srebrenica --
9 do you know that in Zepa - sorry, not Srebrenica - there are now people
10 living there who had moved out during the war?
11 A. I was -- I was aware there had been some return of former
12 refugees, yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you know that one of the signatories of that
14 agreement also currently resides in Zepa? He testified here before the
15 Chamber and he stated his position.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
18 I just want to make sure that there's no confusion on the record.
19 General Tolimir referred to an agreement signed on the 24th which he said
20 was signed by the Muslim army, so, number one, I'm -- I just want to make
21 sure we're talking about the agreement on the 24th, because I think
22 we're -- we would all be agreed that that was signed by Mr. Torlak. If
23 it's the General's position that he represents the army, then so be it.
24 But I just want to make sure because we've talked about three, possibly
25 four, agreements, one in a meeting on the 19th that was signed by
1 General Smith, the 24th, the 27th, and General Tolimir is now referring
2 to a witness who he is saying lives in Zepa, and I'd be curious to know
3 who that witness is. And we can put it on the record outside the hearing
4 of the present witness, if the Court thinks that's more appropriate, but
5 I'd just like to know who that witness is.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you clarify the background of
7 your question? Was it just a mistake or what was it?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is possible that there was a
9 mistake. I believe I said that the Muslim side signed it on the
10 24th of July, not the Muslim army. In any case, we will clarify who
11 represented the Muslim side when the agreement was signed. It will
12 become clear through further questions. I just wanted to know whether
13 this witness was aware that one of the persons who signed that agreement
14 now resides in Zepa. I didn't want to mention his name, since he
15 appeared here as a protected witness. If Mr. Thayer wishes to do so, we
16 can go into private session and then I can state his first and last name.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think this is a good proposal. I know that
18 this person was not a protected witness. He didn't have a pseudonym.
19 But we were all very careful mentioning his name.
20 MR. THAYER: And perhaps we can just save a little bit of time.
21 If it is the witness I think General Tolimir is referring to, a simple
22 transcript cite to the portion of the testimony where this witness
23 allegedly stated that he currently lives in Zepa would be helpful. I'm
24 not aware of any such testimony. So if he has it, I would appreciate it,
25 before this witness answers a question based on that proposition.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should first go into private session so that
2 there is no problem with giving the details.
3 Mr. Tolimir, just a moment, we go into private session.
4 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Madam, yesterday, at transcript page 1975 [sic], lines 16 to 23,
6 you said the following about the meeting of the 25th of July, 1995. I
8 We met with Mr. Torlak because he was a type of main
9 representative. He was introduced to us as the main representative of
10 the population of Zepa, of the Bosniak Muslim population. General Smith
11 was very interested in meeting him so as to be able to discuss things
12 with him and to convey the fact to him that from Zepa we were to go to
13 the Bosnian Presidency to meet with Minister Muratovic and the president.
14 We would be able to directly convey Torlak's concerns to them. Most of
15 the conversation had to do with the exchange of POWs.
16 My question is this: You said that Mr. Torlak acted as a
17 representative. Did he represent the Muslim population and the
18 Presidency as such, or how did he introduce himself during the discussion
19 General Smith had with him?
20 A. He was introduced to us by General Mladic as one of the members
21 of the Zepa War Presidency, and he at no stage said that he represented
22 the Bosnian military. It was made very clear that he was a civilian.
23 Q. Thank you. My question is this: During the meeting, did you
24 raise the issue of whether Torlak or some other members of the
25 War Presidency represented the population of Zepa and whether they were
1 in communication with the government in Sarajevo?
2 A. We -- we understood from how he had been introduced to us that he
3 was representing the civilian population in Zepa, and I don't recall
4 they -- them being in communication with the government in Sarajevo. Not
5 on the civilian side. I believe -- I believe there was a doctor going on
6 one of the convoys with the wounded into Sarajevo.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to mention for the record that the
8 page of the transcript of yesterday's hearing was recorded incorrectly.
9 Page 5, line 23, you are recorded to having said "at transcript page
10 1975." It is, in fact, page 10975. Just for the record.
11 Please continue.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for the
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. At transcript page 10976, lines 3 to 8, in answer to one of the
16 Prosecutor's questions about General Smith's conversation with
17 Hamdija Torlak you said the following:
18 General Smith tried to gain an impression about the atmosphere
19 and situation in Zepa and its population. At that stage he asked
20 Mr. Torlak whether anyone wished to remain in Zepa. My previous
21 testimony had to do with my clear recollection when I saw a type of
22 disbelief or shock on the face of Mr. Torlak when he heard that question
23 being put to him.
24 Next you said this. The question was whether Mr. Torlak
25 communicated with General Smith about his belief of what was going to
1 happen with anyone who remained. And you answered in lines 12 to 15:
2 Yes, it was clear that any Muslim, any able-bodied Muslim, who
3 remained, would be at the risk of being killed if they remained.
4 Did this part of the conversation have only to do with the
5 able-bodied men or the entire civilian population?
6 A. The entire civilian population.
7 Q. Thank you. In Mr. Torlak's response, did he mention the
8 able-bodied part of the population when responding to General Smith?
9 [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Did Mr. Torlak say, Yes, it was clear that any able-bodied Muslim
13 man remaining behind would be at the risk being killed?
14 Is this what Mr. Torlak said?
15 A. My impression, my recollection, is that he was speaking under
17 Q. Thank you. I heard your opinion. But is what you stated in
18 lines 12 to 15 correct, when you said that his answer was purportedly if
19 any able-bodied Muslim man remained in the enclave would be risking his
20 own death? I quoted you from lines 12 to 15. Do you stand by it or
21 would you deny it now?
22 A. Forgive me, but I don't have any copy of the transcript in front
23 of me, so I would find it helpful if I could see that. Would that be
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That would be possible, technically speaking.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yesterday's transcript, page 10976.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Lines 15 to 18. Apologies, lines
4 12 to 15.
5 THE WITNESS: Sorry. Okay. Thank you.
6 Yes, I stand by lines 12 to 15 of the transcript. It's exactly
7 what I said yesterday. They were repeatedly -- Mr. Torlak asked for the
8 use of helicopters because they did not believe that road transport would
9 be safe.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. I know -- I realize you stand by what you said, but
12 did you say yesterday that Mr. Torlak had the able-bodied men in mind
13 when answering? I believe you still haven't provided me with an answer
14 to that.
15 A. Yes. He -- he did mention that Avdo Palic was in charge of the
16 men of fighting age within the enclave. And when I've said in lines 12
17 to 14 that they were -- any man of fighting age was at risk, at risk of
18 death were they to remain in the pocket, yes, that is my recollection of
19 our conversation.
20 Q. Thank you. Since Mr. Torlak, in lines 12 to 15, is not
21 addressing the issue of the civilian population, the disbelief on his
22 face you saw, did it have to do with the men of fighting age or
23 civilian -- of civilians?
24 A. I can't speak to that.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you provide your answer then based on what you
1 could read on Mr. Torlak's face?
2 A. As I said yesterday, what I recall very clearly was the look of
3 shock or disbelief when Generals -- on Mr. Torlak's face when
4 General Smith asked him specifically whether anybody wanted to remain in
5 the pocket. And General Smith did not say whether any men of fighting
6 age wished to remain in the pocket. He said whether anybody wishes to
7 remain in the pocket. I hope that clarifies my answer.
8 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you testified during examination-in-chief
9 and you wanted to say whatever you felt like; is this in addition to what
10 you stated in your statement?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I would respectively request that
13 this type of question end now. We don't need this kind of harassment of
14 the witness. We heard some of it yesterday, and --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer --
16 MR. THAYER: -- to say that the witness is saying whatever she
17 wants, Mr. President, is inappropriate.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm not of your opinion. This witness was
19 present during this conversation. It is not a harassment. It is part of
20 legitimate cross-examination.
21 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I have no problems with him asking
22 her questions about what she saw, what she heard, what her opinion is,
23 what she thought somebody was thinking based on the demeanor. Again, my
24 objection is to the disrespect with which that question is asked. Where
25 he characterizes what she said yesterday as saying whatever she felt
1 like. We heard that yesterday, and I think it should end. He should ask
2 questions in an appropriately respectful manner of this witness, the same
3 respect that we ask for every witness that comes before this
4 Trial Chamber.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, Mr. Tolimir put to the witness the
6 following: "Yesterday you testified during examination-in-chief and you
7 wanted to say whatever you felt like; is this in addition to what you
8 stated in your statement?"
9 I don't see any harassment in this wording.
10 Mr. Tolimir, please continue. Or I would like to say, Ms. Sayer,
11 would you please answer the question.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
13 I don't really understand what you mean when you said -- when you
14 asked me if I -- if I said anything that I feel like. I'm doing my best
15 to answer the questions that you have asked me.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like
18 to thank Mr. Thayer and the witness, Ms. Emma. I will not put any more
19 questions on this topic if anyone feels irritated by them.
20 Could we please have a look at the footage which is Exhibit D108.
21 It was recorded at Boksanica on the 19th of July, 1995. I think
22 Mr. Torlak's there, General Mladic, and Mr. Kulovac. The footage only
23 lasts for 18 seconds.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... Yes, we can
25 do that immediately. But before we start with that, Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, we don't want to place any
2 limitations on the questions, substantive questions, that Mr. Tolimir
3 wishes to ask this witness. I want to make that clear. He's threatening
4 to move on to another topic because of what he says he says. If he wants
5 to ask more questions on that topic, that's fine. But again, to use
6 that, to threaten to take his marbles and go home, is not appropriate.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please let this document be shown to
8 the witness.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
10 D108, a footage from Boksanica where the witness was. We can see some
11 people that the witness met at Boksanica.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can you tell us whether you can recognise the faces of the people
14 in the still? And since you said you recall being in Zepa, do you recall
15 who the people you talked to were?
16 A. Yes -- yes, I do recall the people who I talked to. I don't -- I
17 don't recognise all the people in the still that I have on the screen in
18 front of me.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And which of them do you recognise?
20 THE WITNESS: I recognise the gentleman on the left-hand side and
21 General Mladic, who is on the right-hand side. I don't really recognise
22 the man in the middle.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That would not be a problem to mention the name
24 of the man of the left-hand side.
25 THE WITNESS: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour. I
1 believe the man on the left-hand side to be Mr. Torlak.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. And
5 thank you Ms. Emma.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The person in the middle you don't know is the person you met
8 when you were there with General Smith. It is Mr. Kulovac. Perhaps you
9 could recognise him if he had a hat on on this still.
10 They were there as civilian representatives in any case.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please play the footage to
12 see what their demands were. It's only 18 seconds long.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. Tolimir,
16 Mr. Tolimir --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We saw the footage but I'm afraid
18 not the sound.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, that was the sound. We could see
20 that it was the highest possible sound.
21 This witness is Ms. Sayer. Her first name is Emma. I just want
22 to remind you to address her in the appropriate way. Please continue.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Ms. Sayer, could you hear what the people were -- in the still
1 were saying? If not, we can replay it and try to put the volume up a
3 A. I couldn't hear it very clearly, but I can read the subtitles
4 that are in English at the bottom of the footage.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Can you tell us what it was that you were able to read in the
9 A. Does anybody wish to stay, and then I did hear General Mladic
10 say, Koliko, how many? And then the two representatives talked about --
11 about ten families wishing to stay.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We could try to play it again because we have now
13 another size. If you wish, Mr. Tolimir, that could be possible.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We heard
16 them refer to a full ten families that have remained in Zepa.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Ms. Sayer, did Mr. Torlak say something similar at the meeting
19 with General Smith on the 27th of July, 1995, if you recall?
20 A. I don't -- I don't recall him mentioning that there were a number
21 of families that wanted to stay, no.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show P1979. It's Baxter's
24 report on the situation in Zepa of the 26th of July, 1996. And we're
25 interested in page 4 in Serbian and page 3 in English. Paragraph 10.
1 P1979. Thanks. We have paragraph 10 in English. You can read it. And
2 we'll have it shortly in Serbian.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. This is what Mr. Baxter had to say, and I'm quoting from
5 paragraph 10:
6 "General Smith asked whether anybody wished to remain in the
7 enclave. Torlak replied that the general atmosphere was that everyone
8 wanted to leave on the grounds of security. He had no details about the
9 handing over of weapons and said he would have to check with Avdo Palic.
10 Torlak stated that if the men in the enclave were more confident that the
11 Bosnian government would agree to the POW exchange, the mood of fear
12 would immediately alter."
13 This is my question: Was basically the concern that
14 Hamdija Torlak had the issue of security and whether the government in
15 Sarajevo would agree to a prisoner exchange? Thank you.
16 A. Yes, he did -- he did speak about the -- that nobody wanted to
17 stay in the pocket of Zepa on the grounds of security. And it was clear
18 that there was concern about whether the Bosnian Presidency would agree
19 to an all-for-all prisoner of war exchange.
20 Q. Thank you. Was his main concern whether an exchange would be
21 agreed to and whether they would be able to leave Zepa, since they had no
22 intention of staying there? Thank you.
23 A. My recollection is that he -- he was very concerned about whether
24 the prisoner of war exchange would happen and that that question mark was
25 causing a lot of uncertainty and fear amongst the men of fighting age
1 within the pocket.
2 Q. Thank you. Was his fear down to what the Bosnian government
3 would decide with respect to the exchange or down to what the Serbian
4 side might decide to do with the prisoners? Thank you.
5 A. My recollection is that he was concerned that the prisoner
6 exchange would not be agreed. And the implication was then that the men
7 of fighting age, you know, would -- would be at grave risk.
8 Q. Thank you. Given the answer you've given me, I have to repeat
9 what Mr. Torlak said to General Smith so that both you and the
10 Trial Chamber and all of us can have a look, including the Prosecution.
11 And I repeat. Torlak stated --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Tolimir,
13 Mr. Tolimir, this is a waste of time. You have read it to the witness.
14 We have -- everybody in the courtroom has it on the screen. There's no
15 need just to repeat. You may put a question to the witness.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. My question was: Was he expressing his concerns about the
18 exchange or about the position that the government would take in relation
19 to the prisoners of war exchange, which would ultimately lead to their
20 release to freedom? Thank you.
21 A. My recollection is that the concerns focussed on the -- on -- on
22 the prisoner exchange, on the fact that if a prisoner exchange was not
23 agreed, the men of fighting age within the enclave would -- would be at
25 I'm not sure I quite captured what you meant about the position
1 of the government.
2 Q. Thank you. I was giving you my understanding of Mr. Torlak's
3 words. I was basing my question on what he said to General Smith. I
4 can't construe his words in any way. My question for you was: Were his
5 concerns about what the Serbian army would have to say about the exchange
6 or what the Bosnian government's position on that would be? Did you know
7 at all -- at all if he was able to know what the VRS position with regard
8 to the exchange was?
9 A. To clarify, my recollection is that Mr. Torlak was concerned
10 about the Bosnian Presidency's response to the suggestion for the
11 prisoner exchange. And I -- I can't speak to the question, the
12 supplementary, that you've asked about the VRS position. I have no
13 knowledge of that.
14 Q. Thank you, Ms. Sayer.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show Exhibit D54. This is a
16 letter sent by Mr. Izetbegovic to Mehmed Hajric on the 19th of July,
17 1995, wherein he states, and I'm quoting.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You have it there in English now. I'm quoting from paragraph 3
20 of the letter sent by Alija Izetbegovic to Effendi Mehmed Hajric,
21 president of the War Presidency of Zepa on the 19th of July, 1995.
22 You'll see his signature at the bottom later on. I'm quoting from
23 paragraph 3:
24 "My plan is to move out as many civilians as possible. All of
25 them, if possible. The troops stay on and continue to resist. We will
1 do everything in our power to help you by supplying materiel and
2 technical equipment, volunteers, and offensive action in your direction.
3 I do believe this is going ahead today. If we do not succeed in this,
4 you will try to push on along those roads. You know which. But this
5 time without the burden of women and children who would, in the meantime,
6 be pulled out."
7 First of all, were you present during the talks Alija Izetbegovic
8 had with General Smith on these issues? Thank you.
9 A. As I said in my testimony yesterday, I was present at the meeting
10 very late in the evening, started at 2340 hours and after our first day
11 or afternoon in Zepa with President Izetbegovic. I was present at that
12 meeting, yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you give us the date of that meeting, please, for
14 the record? Thank you.
15 A. It's the 25th of -- of July.
16 Q. Thank you. So it happened seven days before the letter he sent
17 to Zepa.
18 So did he, seven days later, in the presence of General Smith,
19 present his view of the situation in Zepa? Thank you.
20 A. I may be a little confused but the transcript I have in front of
21 me says that it happened seven days before the letter he sent to Zepa.
22 Is that just a mistranslation? Because ...
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't know, but it seems to be wrong.
24 THE WITNESS: Ah, okay. Okay.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The meeting you attended --
1 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- took place on the 25th.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, that's right.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's just the other way around.
5 THE WITNESS: Which is -- the other way, which is after - thank
6 you - which is after this letter. They -- we had a long conversation
7 between General Smith and President Izetbegovic, and also the two
8 ministers were there, Muratovic and Masovic. And there was a long
9 exchange of information with General Smith updating the president on what
10 had happened during our visit to check-point 2 in that -- that afternoon.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. Can you remember what he had told you about the
13 evacuation of the civilian population from Zepa and the remaining behind
14 of the able-bodied men? Did he make any points on that? Thank you.
15 A. Minister Muratovic was very keen to know from General Smith
16 whether the Armija forces, particularly Avdo Palic was mentioned at this
17 point, had signed the agreement of the 24th of July that had been signed
18 by the Zepa War Presidency, and he led the questioning of General Smith
19 about that particular element.
20 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, you testified to the 65 ter document 6072
21 that was shown to you by the Prosecution. This is the so-called Baxter's
23 Can we call it up, please, and specifically item 16 which refers
24 to this issue.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And this is now P1979.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. We see paragraph 16 where Izetbegovic tells General Smith as
5 "Izetbegovic told General Smith that he expected a new UN
6 resolution in the next few hours enabling UNPROFOR to assume all the
7 arrangements for the evacuation from Zepa and asked him whether he was
8 ready to implement such a resolution."
9 Do you remember this issue, since you were present at the meeting
10 Mr. Baxter is writing about? And, if so, do you recall what it was that
11 Alija Izetbegovic had in mind when he spoke these words to General Smith?
12 A. Yes, I remember this particular exchange. And
13 President Izetbegovic explained that he had been speaking to a number of
14 different people from different countries, was the impression that he
15 gave, to try to increase support for a new UN resolution that would alter
16 the UNPROFOR mandate to allow us -- to allow UNPROFOR to implement the
17 arrangements for the evacuation from Zepa.
18 My recollection is that General Smith was very clear that,
19 obviously at the time, our existing, our existing mandate, you know, was
20 what it was.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you remember the date of this particular meeting?
22 Thank you.
23 A. This particular exchange happened in the very early hours of
24 the -- the 26th of July. So, you know, almost 1.00 in the morning, is my
1 Q. Thank you. Was the evacuation of the civilian population from
2 Zepa over by then? Thank you.
3 A. No. No, it wasn't.
4 Q. Thank you. We'll look at reports speaking to this later on.
5 Let us now look at the rest of paragraph 16, starting from
6 line 4, and I'm quoting:
7 "Muratovic complained that UNPROFOR had assisted the evacuation
8 of Zepa without the permission of the Bosnian government and that
9 UNPROFOR should be responsible for compiling lists of the refugees on the
10 buses, escorting them safely to Kladanj, and comparing the figures and
11 names on arrival in Kladanj."
12 This is my question: Does it follow from this that the operation
13 of evacuating the population from Zepa was conducted with the assistance
14 of UNPROFOR and that these people were on the buses, as Muratovic says?
15 So did you see civilians in Zepa on the 26th?
16 A. This -- this meeting note refers to the 25th, to our experiences
17 in the Zepa on the 25th rather than 26th.
18 And my -- as I mentioned yesterday, my colleague
19 Captain Tom Dibb, who had been down in Zepa town, had seen, you know,
20 civilians down actually in Zepa town. This exchange between
21 Minister Muratovic was very heated. There was quite a lot of tension
22 because Muratovic was very concerned that similar problems with the
23 evacuation of the civilian population in Srebrenica on buses would occur
24 in Zepa, and he -- he really was very keen that UNPROFOR should keep
25 detailed records of every person that got on a bus driven by a Serb out
1 of the Zepa pocket. And that -- I remember the conversation being quite
3 Q. Thank you. But you do see that this is contradictory to what
4 Muratovic had to say. He criticised UNPROFOR for participating in the
5 operation of compiling lists and for matching the lists compiled in Zepa
6 with those compiled in Kladanj. Were you aware of this? Thank you.
7 A. Forgive me that that is not correct. Muratovic was insisting
8 that UNPROFOR should compile lists of people on the buses and that, you
9 know, it says -- it says quite clearly here "and that UNPROFOR" -- oh,
10 I've touched the screen, I'm sorry, it's gone. Sorry.
11 "And that UNPROFOR should be responsible for compiling lists of
12 the refugees on the buses, escorting them safely to Kladanj, and
13 comparing the figures and names on arrival in Kladanj."
14 And Muratovic's main contention was that that level of detail and
15 UNPROFOR security was not being given to the refugees, and that's what
16 the Bosnian side was so worried about.
17 I hope that clarifies the language that I've used. And I did
18 author this report, and you can see my signature at the bottom.
19 Q. Thank you. Let's look at the first sentence of this
20 paragraph or, rather, the first part of this sentence.
21 "Muratovic complained that UNPROFOR had assisted the evacuation
22 of Zepa without the permission of the Bosnian government and that
23 UNPROFOR should be responsible for compiling lists of the refugees on the
24 buses," and only at this point do we have a comma in the sentence. Is
25 that a phrase that is independent or is it dependant on the rest of the
1 sentence? Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the English text I don't see a comma. Perhaps
3 it's a translation issue.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President, yes.
5 I think my last answer sort of explained that Muratovic was
6 unhappy that we had been in the pocket of Zepa and had observed
7 civilians, you know, preparing for the evacuation of a civilian
8 population from the Zepa pocket but that we hadn't -- UNPROFOR hadn't
9 taken, you know, the full responsibility for it. It was a Bosnian Serb
10 army operation. It was not an operation that UNPROFOR was in any way
11 controlling. So I hope that clarifies, in answer to your question.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to clarify with you to
13 which comma you were referring. In the B/C/S text or in the English
14 text? I see only a comma after the word "autobusima" in the B/C/S or
15 "refugees on the buses" in the English text.
16 Was that the comma you were referring to or to another? A comma
17 in the beginning of the sentence between the first and the second part
18 would change the meaning. But there is no comma, in my understanding.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said that a comma
20 came only after "the buses," so whatever is written ahead of the comma
21 relates to that particular clause. In other words, Muratovic complained
22 that UNPROFOR had assisted the evacuation of Zepa and that UNPROFOR
23 should be responsible for compiling lists. So this report refers to a
24 protest that Muratovic lodged with UNPROFOR.
25 Let's see what Alija Izetbegovic had to say further down.
1 Paragraph 16, third line from the bottom:
2 "Izetbegovic thanks General Smith for his help an efforts and
3 said that the government would await the outcome of the new UN resolution
4 and, in the meantime, speak to Dr. Kulovac and continue its efforts
5 through Masovic and the prisoners of war exchange commission."
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This is my question: Do you remember, what was it that
8 Alija Izetbegovic was thanking General Smith for? Thank you.
9 A. President Izetbegovic was thanking General Smith for actually
10 going out to the check-point 2 as -- himself, personally, after the
11 morning meeting with General Mladic. And he was thanking him for his
12 personal, you know, feedback from that meeting about the situation on the
13 ground. And also he made reference to the fact that General Smith had
14 sent a headquarters UNPROFOR liaison team with independent communication,
15 of -- the Ukrainian company was there, into Zepa town itself with civil
16 affairs support, and President Izetbegovic was expressing gratitude for
17 the course of action that General Smith had taken in this regard.
18 Q. Thank you. Since General Smith will testify here, he will tell
19 us what it was that he was discussing with Izetbegovic. Therefore, I
20 won't ask you to interpret his opinion.
21 Let's look at D173 in e-court. It is a report drafted by the
22 same people that were referred to. General Smith sent that report to
23 Zepa. Without going back to paragraphs 15 and 16 of this document
24 because they are quite lengthy.
25 Thank you. We see a statement of one of those people by sent by
1 General Smith to Zepa.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we go to page 3. He arrived
3 on the 19th, pursuant to General Smith's orders. Let us go to page 3,
4 please, paragraph 16, and paragraph 17. Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. This is what is stated in paragraph 16. I quote:
7 "We created written lists of the evacuees. And as far as I can
8 recall, we had a separate list for each vehicle. I handed over those
9 lists later, either to UNHCR or someone in UNPROFOR. We also tried to
10 place one UNPROFOR soldier to each vehicle, but I'm not sure if we
11 managed to do it all the time during the evacuation."
12 In paragraph 17 it says:
13 "The evacuation lasted probably three days ..." he arrived on the
14 19th. And he goes on to say, "or a bit longer. The atmosphere was quite
15 tense throughout, but we managed to get all those people on board who had
16 come to the centre and were willing to go. In my estimate, approximately
17 7.000 people were evacuated."
18 This was paragraph 16 and 17 of D173. This particular witness
19 testified before you.
20 Can you tell us this: At the time when General Smith was there,
21 when the meeting with Izetbegovic was held, were you able to find any
22 civilians in the enclave of Zepa?
23 A. As I testified yesterday, the meeting with Izetbegovic was held
24 on -- in the very early hours of the morning of the 26th and related to
25 the events of the 25th of July. So there were a number of -- when we
1 arrived --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it would very polite if you could
3 listen to the witness when she is giving you an answer.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 So when we first arrived on that first afternoon, on the 25th,
6 there were a number of vehicles in the area of check-point 2, and that's
7 when we had the opportunity to meet up face to face with the headquarters
8 UNPROFOR liaison team, and specifically Captain Dibb. And I believe that
9 at that stage General Smith did have an opportunity to speak to both
10 Captain Dibb and, I think, the civil affairs teams.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. Have you read this report written by civilian
13 affairs? Did that person send any reports about the evacuation to
15 A. I personally have never seen this piece of witness statement
16 before or my -- my role at the headquarters was not to read the civil
17 affairs reports. So I'm aware that information was transmitted by my
18 colleague Captain Tom Dibb and the civil affairs team throughout their
19 whole time that they were in the Zepa pocket, but I didn't personally
20 read all of it.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the clarity of the record, this document on
22 the screen in front of us is witness statement of Mr. Joseph of 2005.
23 Were you referring to this statement when you were mentioning a
24 report of civil affairs, Mr. Tolimir?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 I did have the statement in mind, and I asked the witness whether
2 she ever received reports from Mr. Joseph. I do not dispute that the
3 evacuation took place on 15th, the 16th, and the 17th, but he was in
4 charge of the evacuation and he probably reported on it.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, that was not my question. I was
6 referring to your question you put to the witness, page 25, line 11. I
7 quote: "Have you read this report written by civilian affairs?" To
8 which report written by civilian affairs were you referring to? Or were
9 you referring to the witness statement of Mr. Joseph? That was the
10 matter I would like to ...
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 I wanted to ask whether she read any reports sent by
13 Edward Joseph as the civil affairs officer. That is to say, any reports
14 sent by UNPROFOR command to Zepa.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is really a different question now. The
16 witness may answer that. But in the meantime, I would like to see the
17 first page of this witness statement of Mr. Joseph again. It will be on
18 the screen shortly.
19 Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: And while that's coming up, Mr. President, I don't
21 think there's any dispute but perhaps General Tolimir misspoke with
22 respect to the dates. We have the 15th, 16th, and 17th. I don't think
23 there's any dispute that we're talking about the 25th, 26th, and
24 27th of July, just so there's no confusion when we go back to the record
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what we have on the screen is on the head of
2 the ICTY OTP information report. Submitter, Olli Salo; subject,
3 interview with Edward Joseph; date, 9th of February, 2005; witness,
4 personal details. And then we have a witness statement.
5 But your last question was whether the witness read any reports
6 sent by Edward Joseph as the civil affairs officer.
7 Ms. Sayer, could you answer that question.
8 THE WITNESS: The civil affairs reports that I would ordinarily
9 read as part of my role related normally to the Bosnian Muslim or the
10 Bosnian Croat side. So the reports that I read from the UNPROFOR liaison
11 team that was in the Zepa pocket over this period were all coming from
12 Captain Dibb as opposed to Mr. Joseph.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you. I quoted paragraphs 16 and 17 from the statement. Is
15 it clear from those paragraphs that Mr. Joseph also took part in the
16 creation of lists of those who were to be evacuated? And was he also in
17 charge of assigning personnel to escort the buses?
18 A. I can't speak to that. My recollection about the personnel on
19 the buses was that that was the responsibility of the French military
20 contingent of UNPROFOR, as opposed to civil affairs.
21 Q. Thank you. I am not familiar with your tasking, but I just
22 wanted to go back to paragraph 16. Here, it is stated that they created
23 written lists. That means the persons who wrote the report of the
25 "And as far as I can recall, we had separate lists for each
1 vehicle. I handed over those lists later, either to the UNHCR or someone
2 in UNPROFOR. We also tried to place one UNPROFOR soldier to each
3 vehicle, but I'm not sure if we managed to do it ... throughout the
5 My question is this: Did any civil affairs, UNHCR, and UNPROFOR
6 representatives take part in the evacuation of the civilians from Zepa?
7 A. As I have referenced yesterday in my testimony, I was aware that
8 this took place actually in Zepa town where I was never present. But
9 from my conversations with Captain Tom Dibb, you may recall from
10 yesterday's testimony that there was quite a significant debate and some
11 tension between the ICRC people and the UNPROFOR people that actually
12 were in the Zepa pocket over -- over the difference sorts of activities
13 that they should undertake or be willing to undertake. So I did not know
14 that there were written lists for each -- each vehicle, for example. But
15 I did know that there was an attempt to put an UNPROFOR person on each of
16 the vehicles. And I remember there being an exchange between
17 General Smith and General Mladic when that hadn't happened, when, you
18 know, UNPROFOR soldiers were forbidden to get on a number of vehicles,
19 and General Smith raised this as a matter of concern with General Mladic.
20 So that's the extent of my knowledge relating to this.
21 Q. Thank you. Were UNHCR and UNPROFOR representatives, as well as
22 civilian affair representatives and Mr. Dibb, allowed to evacuate any
23 person from the centre of town and was willing to leave? We can see that
24 in paragraph 16 -- 17. Are you familiar with that?
25 A. I am aware that an evacuation took place, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the VRS had no participation in the
2 checking of IDs, age, and those put on board those vehicles? Not a
3 single person was checked out of the entire civilian population that was
4 to be evacuated.
5 A. My -- in yesterday's testimony, I explained that I have seen
6 Captain Tom Dibb on the afternoon of the 25th at check-point 2, and he
7 had told me that there was a Serb military doctor who was involved in
8 looking at the condition of wounded and that they had been involved in
9 that process.
10 Q. Thank you. This is when the wounded were in question. But did
11 he tell you that anyone hindered the evacuation of the civilian
12 population and whether -- of the Palic or UNHCR or UNPROFOR
13 representatives requested that the rest be evacuated as well.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Tolimir repeat
15 the entire question. The interpreter simply did not understand.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters asked you to repeat
17 the question because they are not sure if they understood it correctly.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Based on what you could see in the reports of UNHCR and UNPROFOR
21 representatives as well as civilian affairs representatives, could you
22 conclude that the evacuation of civilians from Zepa was carried out
23 without any hindrance by the VRS, as Mr. Joseph wrote in his report and
24 as he testified here before you?
25 A. I -- I reflected yesterday in my testimony on the atmosphere
1 amongst the civilian population, as described to me by Captain Tom Dibb,
2 being very tense in the Zepa enclave and that whenever there were
3 Bosnian Serb, you know, military people around, you know, the tension
4 levels were very high. So that's really all I can speak to on -- on that
6 The people I met from the Zepa War Presidency, I think I've also
7 reflected that the impression that I formed very strongly was that they
8 were frightened and under duress. So I can't really speak to anything
10 Q. Thank you. Let us look at reports of some other people involved
11 in the evacuation.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have P585. It is
13 Louis Fortin's diary. Page 143, please, in the Serbian, and 140 in the
14 English. It is the entry for the 21st of July, 1995.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This should not be broadcast because it's
17 THE WITNESS: Excuse me, I wonder if I may have some more water.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, of course. The Court Usher will assist you.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 We have it in the English language but not in Serbian still.
23 Page 143 in the Serbian please.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. It reads as follows:
1 "A meeting between General Gobillard General Harland on the
2 21st of July' --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please give a reference from which
4 part you are reading.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We can see on the
6 screen that it concerns the 1st of May, 1995.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P585, page 143 in the Serbian, and
9 page 140 in the English. The entry for the 21st of July, 1995, and not
10 for the 1st of May, 1995. 21st of July, 1995. We can see it now.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, we don't have it in English yet.
12 Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: I just wanted to mention it's still the wrong page.
14 The page number is correct as quoted by General Tolimir. Page 140 does
15 reflect the meeting on 21st of July. So I'm not sure. Maybe there's a
16 different version in e-court. There we go. Got it.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. This is page 143 in B/C/S and 140 in
18 the English.
19 Please go ahead, Mr. Tolimir.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank Mr. Thayer.
21 Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we should consider if it's
11 appropriate to read this text into the transcript because it's a
12 confidential document. But I'm not quite sure if that is really the fact
13 because we saw some pages with redactions. Can you tell us, or perhaps
14 Mr. Thayer, if we have the redacted version of the confidential version
15 on the screen.
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, there are two levels of redactions
17 going on. One is that -- which were imposed upon the OTP by the
18 provider. The second -- and that is placing it under seal and referring
19 to the contents in private session. So, Mr. President, you are correct.
20 I was actually discussing with Ms. Stewart whether to stand up, given the
22 The redactions that we see, to which Your Honour is referring,
23 the blacking out, refers to very, very personal, purely personal matters
24 which Colonel Fortin had wished to be redacted. This, again, was a
25 personal diary of his. I think you heard about this when he testified.
1 So that's what the actual blacked out parts refer to. That's independent
2 of the Rule 70 restrictions that were placed upon us.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you can help us if there is any problem
4 with reading out some portions of this diary into the record, or should
5 that be in private session and the public part be redacted?
6 MR. THAYER: I think it really should be in private session,
7 Mr. President, to comply with the Rule 70 restrictions.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In that case, we should turn into private
10 And the parts you have read out, Mr. Tolimir, should be redacted.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 11029-11030 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. By my mistake, we left the
10 courtroom for our first break in private session. We are now back in
11 open session.
12 Before Mr. Tolimir is continuing his cross-examination, I would
13 like to ask Mr. Gajic to clarify one thing. We heard your submission,
14 your response, to a motion of the Prosecution to convert some witnesses
15 from viva voce to 98 bis respectively, 92 ter. Your response was only
16 related to one witness, you discussed yesterday, and not the others.
17 Does that mean that you will respond to the motion of the Prosecution in
18 writing? Just to clarify the situation.
19 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, of course, my
20 response had to do with one witness only. We will submit the remainder
21 of our response in writing. We will do so because that is what the
22 Court Officer asked to us do.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This is clear now.
24 Mr. Tolimir, you may continue your cross-examination. Will you
25 still deal with the last document we had -- or still have on the screen?
1 In that case, we should go into private session. Otherwise, you may
2 continue in open session.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will
4 not be using the document anymore. I will be asking the witness about
5 her knowledge. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please continue.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Please, Ms. Sayer, a moment ago we discussed a document which
10 contained a public statement made by Silajdzic to the general public and
11 UNPROFOR. Therefore, it was in the public domain. Do you remember, we
12 just discussed it, if General Smith --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you see Mr. Thayer on his feet.
14 Mr. Thayer.
15 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, I'm going to keep getting on my
16 feet if General Tolimir is going to build into his questions statements
17 that are just unsupported by the record. If he would just the question
18 without building in these misstatements. I don't think there's anything
19 in that portion that suggests that it was a public record, that it was a
20 public statement. To the contrary. It was a meeting between
21 General Gobillard and Mr. Silajdzic.
22 So I'm going to keep standing up as long as he keeps
23 misrepresenting the facts.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think Mr. Thayer is correct. We
25 saw a record -- a reference to a specific meeting which was not a public
1 meeting. Please continue.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I wasn't referring to
3 the meeting. I was referring to Mr. Silajdzic's statement for the press
4 and UNPROFOR, which is clearly referenced here. If Mr. Thayer wants to
5 keep this confidential, he may do so, but I do believe that the public is
6 already aware of this.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... No, this is
8 not the problem. You said, We saw a document about a public statement
9 made by Silajdzic. The document was not related to a public statement.
10 Perhaps there was a public statement, but the document was not referring
11 to that. Please choose your words very carefully.
12 Continue, please.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. This is my question: Did you hear a public broadcast of a
16 statement where Mr. Silajdzic stated that he wanted to assist the
17 evacuation of civilians from Zepa but that he also wanted them to stay
18 there in order for the Serbs to have blood on their hands once they
19 capture Zepa? Is this something you heard broadcast? Thank you.
20 A. No. I don't recall hearing a broadcast, a public broadcast, in
21 that regard.
22 Q. Thank you. Since you were present at meetings where you were
23 able to hear things and you read reports, this is my question for you:
24 Did General Smith, through his action or inaction in stalling the
25 negotiations surrounding the all-for-all exchange, contribute to the wish
1 of Silajdzic to have the Muslims remain in Zepa in order for the Serbs to
2 be compelled to seize it and to get blood on their hands? Thank you.
3 A. I am not aware of any action that General Smith took in order to
4 stall the negotiations surrounding an all-for-all prisoner exchange.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show D56 now, please. Or
7 D55. Whichever is easier for e-court. Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. While we're waiting for the document to appear, I'll put my
10 question to you. We'll have a look at what General Smith was doing. We
11 see the fall of Zepa there. This is a document produced by Bezruchenko.
12 You must have met him in your time there. He was at the UNPROFOR HQ and
13 appeared as an expert for the Prosecution here. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is not an appropriate way to
15 ask for a document. This or that. You should decide which document you
16 want to have on the screen.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I want
18 this document, page 30. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which one is it? D56 or D55?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D55. Page 30, paragraph 108.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I'm quoting from paragraph 108. You have it there.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown the
1 paragraph which is at the bottom in English.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. This is what Mr. Bezruchenko had to say as an expert for the
5 "Following the meeting between General Smith and Hamdija Torlak
6 on 126th of July, 285th brigade commander Avdo Palic sent a dramatic
7 appeal for help to BIH President Alija Izetbegovic and General Staff
8 commander Rasim Delic."
9 What follows below is the entire telegram which I'm not going to
10 quote in its entirety but only one portion.
11 It reads:
12 "President, at about 2100 hours, negotiations in Boksanica ...
13 were concluded at which General Smith; Torlak, Hamdija, president of the
14 executive board of Zepa, and war criminal Ratko Mladic were present."
15 I would like to skip the next four or lines to quote from line 6:
16 "During the negotiations, General Smith stated that our side did
17 not accept the agreement about the exchange of all for all and that our
18 side was looking for some additional concessions. Hamdija Torlak
19 remained at the place of negotiations in Boksanica and he was told that
20 if we were ready for an all-for-all exchange, during the night or until
21 0800 hours in the morning, General Smith will let us know, so that a plan
22 of helicopter evacuation could be prepared."
23 What is the extent of your knowledge about this, since on the
24 26th, as you say, you were present at a meeting with Hamdija Torlak,
25 General Mladic, and General Smith? You were able to see an image of
2 A. My recollection is that there was a discussion between -- well,
3 General Smith reflected the comments that President Izetbegovic and
4 Minister Muratovic and Minister Masovic had made the evening before, and
5 there was definitely conversation, I can recall, about a helicopter
6 evacuation being supported by UNPROFOR. But I don't believe that the
7 Bosnian Serb side agreed to the helicopter evacuation.
8 Q. Thank you, Ms. Emma. My question didn't have to do with
9 helicopters. Can you tell me whether mention was made at the meeting and
10 whether General Smith said that the Bosnian side was not agreeing to the
11 all-for-all exchange and that it was asking for additional concessions?
12 Thank you.
13 A. I'm afraid I don't recall that, no.
14 Q. Thank you. Can we have line 11 of the same text now, where it
16 "We cannot believe that this problem looks like you will not
17 solve it. If this problem is not resolved in the course of tomorrow,
18 we [sic] must make a decision tomorrow to make a breakthrough in your
19 direction with 2.000 men and 10.000 rounds ... whoever will cross over,
20 and you have the picture of Srebrenica," and so on.
21 This is my question: In this telegram that Avdo Palic sent to
22 Izetbegovic, did he express his protest about the fact that the army was
23 being compelled to break through out of the encirclement?
24 A. I am reading this document in front of me for the first time.
25 And I should probably let you know that I never personally met
1 Avdo Palic, so I cannot speak to whether this is an accurate reflection
2 of what he said or not. I have no knowledge.
3 Q. Thank you, Ms. Sayer.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at line 16 now of the
5 same telegram sent by Avdo Palic to Alija Izetbegovic.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. It reads:
8 "I am appealing to you on behalf of combatants or fighters who
9 have for the past 15 days been fighting like lions. I ask you in the
10 name of fallen soldiers. And in my ranks have I sons or parents of those
11 who died. I ask you in the name of the evacuated families and children
12 who are -- who can't wait to meet with their fathers who are left on the
13 Zepa mountain to be slaughtered or annihilated in any other way. I ask
14 you again in the name of my soldiers to make it possible for us to defend
15 Bosnia in some other battle-fields."
16 Since you were saying yesterday that General Smith was not aware
17 of Avdo Palic's position, did he express his position in public to his
18 Presidency in the telegrams, and did he not in this document publicly say
19 that he supported Torlak as his representative who was waiting at
20 Boksanica for a response? Thank you.
21 A. I refer to my earlier answer, that I've never seen this document
22 before or met Mr. Palic.
23 So General Smith -- the only conversation that I am aware that
24 General Smith had about Avdo Palic was when Minister Muratovic was
25 pressing him very hard to state whether Avdo Palic had signed the
1 agreement of the 24th of July that had been signed by the
2 Zepa War Presidency.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, how can I understand your last
4 question? You said: "Did he express his position in public to his
5 president in the telegrams?"
6 What do you mean by the words "in public"? Is your understanding
7 that a telegram to a president is a public statement?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for
9 allowing me to state my mind.
10 I should have said "clearly," "jasno," rather than "publicly,"
11 "javno." Maybe I misspoke. What I meant was, did he not state it
12 clearly to Alija Izetbegovic.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This clarifies the
15 Please carry on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Can we go back to page 23 of this report now. This is
18 Bezruchenko's report about the fall of Zepa. Let's look at paragraph 86
19 on page 23. Thank you. We see it there.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko says:
22 "UNPROFOR, Sector Sarajevo, at this point UNPROFOR
23 Sector Sarajevo began preparations for evacuations of civilians from
24 Zepa. UNPROFOR operations order dated 20 July made the following
25 assessment of the situation."
1 And I'm quoting the translation from English.
2 "BiH defence of Zepa has collapsed, and surrender of the enclave
3 to VRS has been accepted. Large numbers of displaced persons wishing to
4 seek refuge in the Federation-controlled territory will therefore have to
6 And in footnote 131 you can see the original title of the
7 document in English. Have you read it? Do you remember? Thank you.
8 A. In my role at headquarters UNPROFOR, I did not read OP orders
9 from Sector Sarajevo which was commanded by General Gobillard. They
10 would normally have been dealt with either by the Chief of Staff,
11 General Nicolai, or -- or by Colonel Baxter. So I haven't seen this
13 Q. Thank you. Let's look at paragraph 87 now. The order determined
14 the UNPROFOR mission as follows; I'm quoting from the English
16 "In conjunction with BiH government and UNHCR, UNPROFOR is to
17 coordinate the evacuation of displaced persons from Zepa to Zenica."
18 And in footnote 132, we have the referenced document, which you
19 would have to read for yourself in English. I don't read English.
20 This is my question. In these operational orders issued by
21 UNPROFOR that I've just quoted from, is there a position expressed that
22 UNPROFOR should get involved in the evacuation of the population or,
23 rather, of the displaced persons from Zepa to Zenica? Thank you.
24 A. The text says that UNPROFOR is to coordinate the evacuation of
25 DPs from Zepa to Zenica, which is rather different than to organise.
1 Q. Thank you for stating with precision what was written there.
2 That's true; UNPROFOR was supposed to coordinate. Thank you.
3 If you can, look at paragraph 88, which states as follows:
4 "The evacuation operation was supposed to be executed in three
5 stages and involve UNPROFOR forces of Sector Sarajevo, Sector North-East,
6 Sector South-West, as well as HQ UNPROFOR."
7 And he explained it in footnote 133. He said that these were the
8 organisations that UNPROFOR was supposed to coordinate. Is that what you
9 had in mind when you specified that it had to do with coordination
10 between UNPROFOR? Was it these other organisations that were supposed to
11 be involved in that? Thank you.
12 A. I should clarify. I haven't seen any of the specific OP orders
13 that are referenced in the footnotes to this document. But normally a
14 military OP order would, you know, include a great deal more detail than
15 the very small extracts that have been highlighted in this report that
16 you've just read at paras 88 and -- yeah, at paragraph 88.
17 Q. Thank you. If you didn't read or see them, does it mean that
18 there were no documents produced on the 20th of July as operational
19 orders of the Sector Sarajevo HQ? Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what is that kind of question?
21 She -- the witness clearly stated that she hasn't read it. You -- you
22 can't draw from that that there were no documents like that. This is not
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I put my question, and
25 she can say, I know, I don't know, whether the question is stupid,
1 logical, or illogical. I merely put it as it is. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: Well, then my answer would be that the question is
3 illogical as -- merely the fact that I haven't --
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. -- read it doesn't mean that they don't exist.
7 Q. Thank you. This is my next question: Were you actively involved
8 in the developments surrounding Zepa? Can you tell us when it was that
9 UNPROFOR commenced engaging in preparations for the evacuation of the
10 civilians from Zepa, and what did it -- the preparations involve? Thank
12 A. Perhaps I can clarify, as I testified yesterday, that my primary
13 role within headquarters UNPROFOR working for General Smith was as the
14 liaison officer with the Bosnian Presidency and the Croat -- and the
16 It was unusual for me to be involved in Bosnian Serb-held
17 territory, and the only reason that I was involved in the meetings that
18 was discussed at length yesterday was because my colleague
19 Captain Tom Dibb was already deployed in the Zepa enclave. My role is --
20 was largely on these visits to keep notes, to act as an interpreter when
21 required, and to, you know, observe as -- as part of General Smith's
22 party, what was going on, on the ground.
23 I hope that helps explain that I did not have a role in the
24 strategy or the operational control of UNPROFOR's operations at that
1 Q. Thank you. In that case, my question is this: Did General Smith
2 and his party, together with you, do anything to allow or to create the
3 conditions which would allow the civilian population to remain in Zepa?
4 A. One of the documents that we saw yesterday made reference to
5 UNPROFOR's mandate, and General Smith was very clear throughout the time
6 he was on the ground at check-point 2 what UNPROFOR could do and what we
7 couldn't do. Specifically we were not able to guarantee any part of the
8 agreement that was signed, for example, on the 24th of July by the
9 Zepa War Presidency.
10 So I hope that answers your question.
11 Q. Thank you. Do the provisions of that agreement provide any
12 security guarantees to the departing population in keeping with the
13 agreement itself, any guarantees during the period of the war? And we
14 refer to paragraph 7, I believe.
15 A. Paragraph 7, I believe, as we saw yesterday, did reference the
16 Geneva Convention. The point that I'm making is that General Smith,
17 my -- I have a very clear recollection that General Smith was extremely
18 clear with both General Mladic and the members of the War Presidency that
19 UNPROFOR could not sign or be party as a guarantor to that agreement.
20 Q. Thank you for stressing that.
21 Does it mean that under the agreement provisions the population
22 of Zepa was supposed to be evacuated and eventually allowed to return
23 once the war was over? Were they allowed to do that? Thank you.
24 A. I believe we spoke yesterday about the phrase "to freely choose."
25 The population were supposed to have the ability to freely choose where
1 they wanted to live. And as I reflected yesterday, from my conversations
2 with Captain Dibb, the impression that was formed by him and passed to me
3 was that the local population did not feel that they had freedom to
4 choose. They were leaving because they were afraid and they felt there
5 were no other options. Yeah.
6 Q. Thank you. Tell us this, please: Does Dudnik's signature, who
7 was UNPROFOR representative and UNPROFOR commander in Zepa, provides any
8 legitimacy to him to sign that agreement? Was it his -- done on his
9 personal own behalf, or did he do that on behalf of UNPROFOR?
10 A. I can't speak to what was in Colonel Dudnik's mind when he signed
11 the agreement.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether it was the position of
13 General Smith in his conversations with General Mladic and Torlak was his
14 own personal position, or did he act on behalf of UNPROFOR HQ? Who did
15 he act on -- on whose behalf did he act?
16 A. I think, really, that's a question for General Smith. But
17 General Smith was commander of UNPROFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so ...
18 Q. What about Colonel Dudnik? Was he not the commander of UNPROFOR
19 in the enclave of Zepa?
20 A. He was the colonel of the Ukrainian contingent of UNPROFOR in the
21 enclave of Zepa.
22 Q. Thank you. Was the UNPROFOR contingent under the command of
23 Sector Sarajevo and the UN forces in Bosnia?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Let us look at some footage concerning Zepa to see
1 what the representatives at the negotiations had to do about the security
2 of the population. It is P740. You can see some people in this still
3 whom you had recognised as being Mr. Torlak and General Mladic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you now play the footage,
6 [Video-clip played]
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Were you able to hear what General Mladic said or perhaps to read
10 the subtitles? What did he tell Mr. Torlak about the able-bodied men as
11 part of the column that was passing through the Boksanica check-point?
12 Didn't he tell him that there were some able-bodied men there?
13 A. The subtitles indicated that he did refer to able-bodied men.
14 Q. Thank you. Could you hear Mr. Torlak's answer? What did he tell
15 the General?
16 A. No, sorry, I -- I heard the bit about the coffee and the sugar.
17 But I'm not sure about his answer to the last bit.
18 Perhaps if it could be replayed, if that's important.
19 Q. Thank you. It is, since they were not taken out of the convoy
20 but were actually allowed to proceed.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Were you able to read Mr. Hamdija's response whereby he said that
25 there weren't that many?
1 A. Yes, I did read that in the subtitles.
2 Q. Did you hear General Mladic say, I don't want to see any more of
3 them coming in?
4 A. It's up on the screen in front of me at the moment.
5 Q. Does it mean that they were actually allowed to proceed? And
6 they were able-bodied men, as both Mladic and Torlak agreed. Because
7 Torlak said that there weren't that many.
8 A. I have -- I have no knowledge of this exchange.
9 Q. Thank you. You could hear it, and you also saw Mr. Joseph's
10 report, where he says that he managed to evacuate everyone from the list
11 successfully. Does it mean that the VRS did not at all check the age in
12 order to ascertain who -- which men were of military age and which were
13 not during the evacuation of Zepa?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we next see Exhibit P585
17 again. It is Fortin's diary. Could we have page 56, the entry for the
18 25th of July, 1995.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should not be broadcast. And if you want to
20 read anything from that document, we have to go into private session, I'm
21 afraid. But this ...
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I wanted to read out
23 certain portions. Because Mr. Fortin did not want to have that under
24 seal. We made use of this in public session when he testified. In any
25 case, I will abide by your instruction.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps Mr. Thayer can help us, if there is a
2 need to go into private session.
3 MR. THAYER: Well, Mr. President, as of yet, I don't know exactly
4 what portion we're talking about. So I'm afraid I can't help the Court
5 right now. In a moment I may be able to, but ...
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The same portion was
7 read out during Mr. Fortin's testimony. I will read it out. If
8 Mr. Thayer believes that it should not be made public, I will not object.
9 However, it was red out in public once before.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would be very helpful if you could give us the
11 relevant part, indicate the page number, to check that.
12 MR. THAYER: In this section of Colonel Fortin's diary, there are
13 a number of entries for various meetings and conversations throughout the
14 day on the 25th. So if we could have page numbers, as Your Honour asked
15 for, and a time, because he identifies a lot of these meetings by time,
16 that would be particularly helpful.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It is
19 P585. P585. It is already an exhibit.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is on the screen. We were asking for a page
21 number and a date of the entry you want to read out.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Page 156. The entry
23 for the 25th of July, 1995, concerning the enclave of Zepa. It is about
24 a meeting between General Janvier, Smith, and Gobillard. The last
25 paragraph --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page is it in English?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The same page in the English.
3 MR. THAYER: Mr. President --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER: Again, I -- the reason I asked for the time is that
6 there are a number of meetings. If we're referring to the meeting that
7 begins at 0930 hours, that begins on page 155 in the English, not 156, if
8 the General is interested in the witness being able to read the actual
9 account of the meeting from the beginning. It begins on 155. It's a
10 meeting at the airport, 25 July, 0930 hours. I don't know if that's what
11 General Tolimir is referring to, but that's where it begins in English,
12 page 155.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't know if that is the page we have on the
14 screen at the moment. There is mentioning of a meeting between
15 Generals Janvier, Smith, and Gobillard at the airport, 25th of July,
16 0930 hours. But I don't see that -- oh, yes, it's also on the B/C/S on
17 the left side of the screen.
18 Is there any problem to deal with that in a public session,
19 Mr. Thayer?
20 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think to stay on the right side of
21 the Rule 70 restrictions that have been imposed we should remain in
22 private session whether or not it came in, in public inadvertently
23 through Colonel Fortin. I think, as the Trial Chamber's already noted,
24 that is the requirement for this document from the Rule 70 provider.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. We will turn into private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Page 11049 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Could we please have P1980. We saw that document yesterday. It
12 is the Baxter report. The witness provided some answers regarding it in
13 view of some Prosecution questions.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I wanted to ask you this: Do you recall whether Mr. Louis Fortin
16 attended the meeting as well? The meeting was held on the
17 28th of July, 1995. Sorry, the 27th.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which meeting are you referring to, Mr. Tolimir?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The meeting between Smith and
20 Mladic that Mr. Baxter refers to in his report. It was on the 27th, and
21 I believe the report was drafted on the 28th. It was discussed yesterday
22 during our hearing.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Where in this document - page 1 we have on the
24 screen - can we find a reference to that meeting? It would help the
25 Chamber and witness.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Paragraph 4.
2 Could we also have that paragraph in the Serbian.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. My question is this: Was the meeting attended by Mr. Fortin, who
5 actually referred to the meeting here?
6 Apologies, no, this is the Baxter report. And we will see
7 Fortin's report about the same topic a bit later.
8 A. I don't -- I don't recall Mr. Fortin being at the meeting. There
9 were a number of Sector Sarajevo staff in the -- the Zepa enclave. It's
10 possible that he had travelled in one of their vehicles, but he certainty
11 had not been part of General Smith's party, in the vehicles that -- that
12 we travelled to check-point 2 in.
13 Q. Thank you. Let us look at para 4:
14 "General Smith explains to Mladic that the Bosnian government
15 were unlikely to accept this agreement as they had had no direct
16 involvement," as you yourself stated during your testimony.
17 I continue:
18 "... and they ultimately held the POWs who were being offered for
19 exchange. Mladic scornfully replied that Muratovic had had ample
20 opportunity to meet with Mladic at OP-2 but had consistently refused the
21 offer. Mladic asked General Smith to inform the Bosnian government that
22 the agreement had been signed, and those men in Zepa who refused to
23 surrender their weapons by 1800 hours would be liquidated."
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see what else Baxter has
25 to say -- sorry, Fortin, at page 585.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... again, very
2 confusing. You should put a question to the witness. You have read out
3 into the record a certain part of this document. You should put a
4 question to the witness before you move to another part of it.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Did you discuss the word "liquidation" yesterday as something
8 that General Mladic told General Smith, which astounded you, as you said?
9 A. It wasn't the word "liquidation" that astounded me yesterday.
10 But yesterday we did talk about my recollection specifically of this
11 phrase that they would be liquidated if they refused to surrender their
12 weapons by the deadline of 1800 hours; that's correct.
13 Q. Thank you. Is this standard military lingo, a military term that
14 would be used in order to treat an enemy who is refusing to lay down
15 weapons, especially if it is all taking place within a demilitarised
17 A. I don't believe it's standard military terminology to talk about
18 liquidating people of the opposing side, no. Certainly not in English.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how the British Army interprets what
20 needs to be done with the enemy if they continue providing resistance in
21 a territory already under the control of the British Army? Let's use the
22 example of the Falkland Islands, for example.
23 A. Well, if there is a battle going on, as there was in the
24 Falkland Islands, between two parties, it continues until there is either
25 a surrender or some form of peace accord. So the fighting would
1 continue --
2 Q. Thank you. Do you remember how many --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... the witness
4 has not finished the answer.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 But, you know, in -- using the Falklands as an example, I do not
7 believe that, in any of the books I have read about the Falklands from
8 the Generals who were responsible for that campaign, the term, you know
9 "liquidating the enemy" was not used. Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. Did the English army invade the Falkland Islands and
12 their population? Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we are not dealing with the Falkland
14 war in this courtroom. The witness is not called as a witness in this
15 trial to testify about the Falkland conflict.
16 Carry on, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The witnesses herself
18 said that in Britain weapons were not used to prevent such occurrences.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you tell us, did you have any knowledge about there being
21 fighting going on between the Serbs and Muslims in Zepa?
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is a misstatement. The witness
23 didn't say that. Put a question to the witness in relation to the facts,
24 to Zepa, and the involvement of this witness in the negotiations and the
25 UNPROFOR activities.
1 Carry on, please.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Please, Ms. Sayer, tell us, were the Muslims in Zepa armed, and
5 did they mount resistance to the Army of Republika Srpska? And was it
6 for this reason that negotiations were taking place for their surrender
7 of weapons and for the agreement that -- that was ultimately signed?
8 Thank you.
9 A. I'm aware that there was a -- an armed force of Armija BH
10 soldiers within the Zepa enclave. Indeed, we've spoken about their
11 commander, Avdo Palic. But, as we mentioned, has already been mentioned,
12 part of the discussion between Minister Muratovic and General Smith
13 focussed on whether Avdo Palic had been party to the agreement that had
14 been signed by the Zepa War Presidency, because the -- Minister Muratovic
15 felt that Mr. Palic had not, that this had not been signed with the
16 agreement of the Armija troops on the ground in Zepa.
17 I hope that clarifies my answer to your question.
18 Q. Thank you. Tell us, following the talks between General Smith
19 and Muratovic, did Muratovic realize that the army in Zepa agreed to lay
20 down their weapons and not to take part in any further combat? Thank
22 A. I recall General Smith explaining to Minister Muratovic that he
23 had not met Mr. Palic during his visits to OP-2 in Zepa. So they would
24 not have had that exchange that formed the part of your question.
25 Q. Thank you. Did representatives of UNPROFOR talk to and were they
1 in contact with Avdo Palic? And did Avdo Palic pass through Boksanica as
2 each and every bus carrying inhabitants of Zepa traversed the area?
3 Thank you.
4 A. I'm not aware that he passed through the check-point 2 at any
5 time. I have no knowledge of that.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now show P585, please.
8 Page 136 in Serbian and 156 in English. This is Fortin's diary which
9 speaks to the same event --
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... I've just
11 stopped you because we have to go into private session first.
13 [Private session]
11 Page 11056 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. This is my question: Were you present during the part of the
11 negotiations when General Mladic told General Smith that Muslim soldiers
12 should turn over their weapons or else fighting will continue and they
13 would be killed if they hold on to their weapon? Thank you.
14 A. Yes. I was present.
15 Q. As a soldier, you were a soldier at the time, do you believe it
16 legitimate for a commander to decide to continue engaging in combat
17 against those who refused to sign agreement on cessation of combat? Is
18 that a legitimate decision, in your view?
19 A. In my view, if you were in a combat situation and the fighting is
20 continuing and you end up having a situation where you are able to take
21 prisoners of the opposing side, there should be no question that
22 prisoners would be liquidated simply because they had refused to
23 surrender their weapons. Once you've taken them prisoner, you have to
24 abide by the Geneva Convention on the rule regarding prisoners. So it's
25 perfectly acceptable to remove their weapons from them and hold them as
1 prisoners. It is not, in my belief, acceptable to kill them once you've
2 taken them as prisoner.
3 Q. Thank you. Did General Mladic refer to taking these soldiers
4 prisoner or about continuing with the fighting unless they agreed to
5 surrender their weapons? Thank you.
6 A. I refer back to the note that I largely authored about this
7 exchange, where Mladic gave an ultimatum that if the men of fighting age
8 refused to surrender their weapons by the deadline he set of 1800 hours,
9 that they would be liquidated. I -- I wrote -- my notes accurately
10 reflected what General Mladic said.
11 Q. Thank you. Tell us, did the Muslims refuse to surrender weapons
12 up until the deadline indicated in the agreement and in General Mladic's
13 statement? Thank you.
14 A. I -- I -- we weren't in the enclave at the time of the -- the
15 deadline, so I -- I believe that there were men of fighting age that
16 refused to surrender, but I didn't personally see them.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you come to learn from anyone, either from
18 UNPROFOR or from any of the warring parties during the negotiations and
19 your three-day stay in Zepa, that the Muslim army did not wish to
20 surrender weapons and to surrender at the UN base, as indicated in the
21 agreement? Thank you.
22 A. As I think I've reflected in my testimony already, I did -- my
23 impression from speaking to Captain Dibb and others was that the members,
24 the men of fighting age within the enclave who were part of the Armija
25 force, had little confidence in their being treated properly as prisoners
1 of war if they surrendered their weapons. And certainly that was a fear
2 that was also relayed at the meeting that happened in the early hours of
3 the morning at the Presidency on the 25th/26th of July.
4 Q. Thank you. Are you testifying here about what it was that
5 soldiers whom you didn't see were thinking or about what General Mladic
6 said to General Smith about the agreement and adherence to it or
7 violation of it by one of the two sides? Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, your question put to the witness
9 was: "Did you come to learn from anyone, either from UNPROFOR or from
10 any of the warring parties during the negotiations," and so on. You were
11 asking for that. So that I'm surprised by the way you put the next
12 question to the witness.
13 Go ahead, please.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'm
15 asking her, in the question that surprises you, whether she's testifying
16 about the views held by the soldiers who refused to surrender weapons or
17 about the events that happened in the relevant time-period. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: And I -- my answer relayed the impression gained
19 from Captain Dibb who was within the Zepa town throughout that period,
20 and also, you know, the questions that were asked by members of the
21 Bosnian Presidency in the meeting between General Smith,
22 President Izetbegovic, and Ministers Muratovic and Masovic on the late
23 evening of the 25th of July and early hours of the morning of the
24 26th of July, when, you know, President Izetbegovic and
25 Minister Muratovic both expressed their fear that even if they agreed to
1 an all-for-all prisoner exchange, that the fighters, the Bosnian fighters
2 within the Zepa enclave, would -- would still be subject to atrocities by
3 the Bosnian Serb army.
4 Q. Thank you. Was their fear justified and was it materialised, in
6 A. In my opinion, their fear was justifiably based on the experience
7 that had just occurred in Srebrenica, which, in conversations between
8 General Mladic and General Smith, General Mladic had claimed had been
9 finished in the correct way, and yet, in this particular period, there
10 was a growing amount of information and evidence that suggested very
11 significant numbers of people, of men, had been killed, as they -- as
12 they sought a way to Federation territory from the enclave of Srebrenica.
13 So, in my opinion, I could understand why President Izetbegovic
14 and Minister Muratovic were afraid that the situation in Zepa would
15 deteriorate along the same lines, and this is why I believe they were
16 very keen to have any weapons that would be surrendered, surrendered to
17 UNPROFOR and not to BSA, and Minister Muratovic was desperate for the
18 evacuation to take place by helicopter rather than by road.
19 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you spoke of the agreement by the
20 War Presidency on the surrender of weapons.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have P736 shown. Thank
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. It was signed by the three-member Presidency, as discussed in
25 your cross-examination yesterday.
1 Do you recall that?
2 A. Yes, I recall us speaking about it yesterday.
3 Q. Thank you. Since you remember this, do you see here a document
4 which the War Presidency of Zepa issued and signed? It was signed by the
5 three representatives of the War Presidency of the municipality of Zepa:
6 Mehmed Hajric, Hamdija Torlak, and Amir Imamovic.
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I can see it in front of me.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show the body of the text of
11 this decision in English. Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We'll be reading the first paragraph of the decision, below the
14 headline decision.
15 "All the able-bodied men aged 18 to 55 shall surrender their
16 weapons to representatives of the Army of Republika Srpska in the
17 presence of UNPROFOR at the UNPROFOR base in Zepa. All the able-bodied
18 men shall be registered by the ICRC and shall be guarded by the forces of
19 the VRS in the presence of UNPROFOR in Zepa until an agreement on the
20 exchange has been reached.
21 "All the able-bodied men registered by the ICRC shall, once the
22 agreement is reached on the exchange and the exchange of prisoners of
23 war, be safely escorted by UNPROFOR and evacuated to the territory of
24 their choosing. Urgently inform the Muslim authorities in Sarajevo of
25 this decision and carry it out forthwith. 27th of July, 1995," signed by
1 the three members who took the decision, as well as by Rajko Kusic and
2 General Mladic, who kept this as a guarantee that weapons would be
4 This is my question: In keeping with the decision of the
5 War Presidency, did the Muslims surrender their weapons to the VRS and
6 UNPROFOR, and did they ultimately came to the UNPROFOR base? Thank you.
7 A. I -- I -- I don't know the full answer to that question, I'm
9 Q. Thank you. And did Muslim soldiers come to the UNPROFOR base to
10 surrender their weapons, as this decision indicates? Thank you.
11 A. I'm afraid I can't speak to that, as I was never at the UNPROFOR
12 base in the centre of Zepa town. That's where my colleague
13 Captain Tom Dibb was.
14 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you testified to this document, and it was
15 admitted through you. Is there anything you can tell us about this
16 document that you have knowledge of?
17 A. Yes. I can testify again that when General Smith spoke to the
18 three members of the War Presidency that had signed this document, and
19 General Mladic, he explained that he felt it was unlikely that the
20 Bosnian government would accept the agreement, and I -- I did -- there is
21 a part in the meeting note. There is a couple of paragraphs specifically
22 about that that we did read yesterday.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, did you and General Smith know which
24 were the provisions because of which the Bosnian government refused to
25 accept this agreement, or was behind it the intention harboured by
1 Silajdzic to have the Serbian army capture Zepa and bloody their hands?
2 Thank you.
3 A. I can tell you what General Smith said at the time and is noted
4 in the meeting note was that the -- he felt the Bosnian government were
5 unlikely to accept the agreement because they had not been party to it.
6 And there had been a long exchange between -- of messages that we had
7 conveyed from the Bosnian Presidency to General Mladic, trying to find an
8 agreement between the two sides, for Minister Muratovic to meet with
9 General Mladic. And as I said yesterday, General Mladic refused to go to
10 the airport and Minister Muratovic refused to come to check-point 2. And
11 so General Smith reiterated the fact that he felt it was unlikely that
12 the Bosnian government would accept it, as they had not been party to
13 drawing it up.
14 I hope that answers your question.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you know if the Muslim army was aware that a
16 meeting had to take place between Mladic and Muratovic, and was it -- was
17 that the reason why they did not surrender their weapons? Thank you.
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Do you know who gave up on signing the agreement? Was it the
20 Army of Republika Srpska or the Muslim side for whom this decision was
21 intended, to begin with? Thank you.
22 A. Could you please clarify which agreement you're referring to?
23 Are you referring to the prisoner of war exchange or this particular
24 agreement that we have in front of us?
25 Q. I mean the agreement we have in front of us. We read a moment
1 ago Palic's statement that General Smith had said that the Muslim
2 government was placing additional conditions on the signing of the
4 A. I believe that the statement that we saw from Mr. Palic was that
5 General Smith had reflected they were placing additional conditions on
6 the prisoner of war exchange rather than this agreement. But perhaps I
7 misunderstood you.
8 Q. Thank you. My question was this: Did the Army of
9 Republika Srpska give up on this decision, or was it the Muslim army,
10 members of whom should have surrendered their weapons and who were the
11 subject of this decision? Thank you.
12 A. My impression was that General Mladic's patience had run out and
13 that is why he gave the ultimatum of, you know, the deadline of
14 1800 hours for the total surrender of the Armija forces within the Zepa
15 enclave. He certainly, in that exchange that we saw in the meeting note,
16 was adamant that he would not meet, you know, Muratovic at the airport
17 and said that Muratovic had had plenty of opportunity to come to
18 check-point 2.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think it's time for our second
21 We must have our break now, and we'll resume at 1.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we continue, I would like to raise,
25 briefly, a minor matter. I've heard from -- that the Prosecution would
1 like to change the surrogate sheet for the Exhibit P594 because it
2 incorrectly refers to P1756. If that is correct and my understanding is
3 correct, then this will be granted.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. That is correct.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. You may do that.
6 We should continue. And I would like to ask, Mr. Tolimir, can
7 you give us an estimation of the length of the remainder of the
8 cross-examination? Is that possible?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I think
10 we'll take another 15 minutes, depending on the answers I receive. The
11 rest is beyond my ability to assess. Much will depend on the answers I
12 receive from the witness.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's absolutely fine. Please continue.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Ms. Sayer, you wanted to see what Mr. Palic had to say about what
17 Smith told Torlak at the meeting. Perhaps I can give it to you, if you
18 still insist on seeing that. Otherwise, I'll move on. It is a single
19 sentence which I can quote.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have D55. Page 30,
21 paragraph 108. It is Mr. Bezruchenko's report which he drafted as an OTP
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We see page 29 in the English and page 30 in the Serbian.
25 Let us again look at line 6, in the third paragraph, where we see
1 the text in small font. It says:
2 "During the negotiations, General Smith stated that our side
3 deadlined to accept the agreement on the exchange all for all and that we
4 were asking for additional concessions."
5 Next, he also says that we cannot believe that you seem unwilling
6 to resolve this issue.
7 Then in line 16, it says:
8 "I am asking you on behalf of the fighters who have been fighting
9 during the last 15 days," and so on.
10 Perhaps now can you tell us what you wanted to say about whether,
11 in this telegram by Avdo Palic sent to Alija Izetbegovic, Palic said that
12 he - that is to say Izetbegovic - was unwilling to resolve the exchange
13 all for all and was this conveyed to the Muslim side, since you were
14 present at the meeting?
15 A. The meeting I was present at late in the evening of the
16 25th/early hours of the 26th of July between General Smith and
17 President Izetbegovic, at that meeting, President Izetbegovic had stated
18 that he was very open to pursuing an all-for-all prisoner exchange but
19 that they were -- the Bosnian side was concerned that the BSA would not
20 uphold their side of the agreement.
21 I -- at that meeting in the late hours of -- of 25th/early hours
22 of the 26th, there was no mention of concessions -- sorry, of additional
23 concessions being required by the Bosnian Presidency side that this
24 document on the screen in front of us refers to.
25 Q. Let us look at line 8 where it's -- Avdo Palic says:
1 "During the night, or that is to say in the morning before 8.00,
2 General Smith needs to be informed so that a plan could be drawn for the
3 helicopter evacuation."
4 Can we see that in the telegram by Avdo Palic whereby he refers
5 to the meeting of 8.00 which you have just described?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: A part of that sentence we can see in the English
7 version in line 1 and the following lines.
8 A. Yes, I can see -- I can see the lines on the screen in front of
10 Q. My question is this: Was UNPROFOR making any plans for
11 helicopter evacuation, such as referred to by Avdo Palic?
12 A. The question of helicopter evacuation did -- was raised by
13 Minister Muratovic at that meeting, and General Smith -- I recall
14 General Smith discussing it, and I believe he stated his view, that he
15 thought that it was unlikely that General Mladic would allow a helicopter
17 Q. Thank you. And we saw that in the agreement General Mladic was
18 willing to release them. So was it all left to whether Smith and
19 Muratovic could be believed or not, or were there any other positions
21 A. I don't believe that the agreement makes any mention of
22 General Mladic agreeing to release the men of fighting age by helicopter
23 evacuation. So I'm not sure what -- what your question refers to.
24 Q. Thank you. Having quoted this document, we are now going back
25 again to the War Presidency decision to see what it says there.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] However, in the meantime, could we
2 go on to page 31 in the Serbian of this document. We can stay on this
3 page in the English. I'm interested in paragraph 109.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Alija Izetbegovic says as follows, on the 26th of July, 1995.
6 I'm quoting paragraph 109, the small print:
7 "There is information that a certain number of your soldiers is
8 moving towards the village with an intention to surrender. I do not know
9 if it is correct. Warn them about the danger and put them under control.
10 Negotiations about an exchange are in progress. We have sufficient
11 arguments to obtain good conditions for the exchange because we keep a
12 great number of their prisoners. However, we have to be careful about
13 what we are doing. Something else, by the way, it is important to burn
14 the entire archive and letters."
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now go to page 110 --
16 actually, paragraph 110, which spills over to the next page.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Let's look at this portion that we can see and then we'll move on
19 to the next. On the 26th of July, 1995, at 700 hours, Colonel Palic sent
20 his last desperate message to President Izetbegovic. This time Palic was
21 direct to the point of being impolite. I quote:
22 "Mr. President," you can see the two first lines in English, "we
23 received both your letters and the agreement you sent to us. I ask you,
24 and let this remind -- remain only for you and me, are you ready to
25 exchange us, the people of Zepa, which number about two and a half
1 thousand with the people who arrived from Srebrenica, for all the
2 Chetniks? We emphasise that half of the people have no weapons, and we
3 have no chances of breaking through. Reply to us until 8.00 in the
4 morning so we know how to behave, because our representative
5 Hamdija Torlak and criminal Mladic are still at Boksanica. And one more
6 question, are you ready to pay for the expenses of our evacuation by
7 helicopter if UNPROFOR accepted it?"
8 My question is this: Well, it also says, in paragraph 110,
9 Mr. Bezruchenko states that this message did not end with the traditional
10 greeting of "Salaam" and that therefore he deemed it as a last desperate
12 Was Palic stalling any surrender so that the civilians be allowed
13 to leave Zepa and so that what Silajdzic had said would come true,
14 meaning that the Serbs would have blood on their hands by having been
15 forced to take Zepa by force?
16 A. That's not my impression from the document. My impression from
17 the document is that he was requesting information from the president of
18 the Bosnian government as to what action he should take as the head of
19 the Armija forces within the enclave.
20 Q. Thank you. In this telegram is he reporting to Alija that the
21 official representative of Zepa, Mr. Torlak, was at Boksanica?
22 A. That's what the English translation from the previous page did --
23 did say, yes.
24 No, on this page, sorry, on page 31.
25 Q. Thank you. I promised to show you again P736, in paragraph 2 of
1 the decision. I will make good on this promise, and afterwards I will
2 conclude my cross-examination.
3 We can see again the Presidency decision, the third paragraph,
4 which reads: All able-bodied men ... registered by the ICRC ... shall,
5 following the signing of an agreement on the exchange of POWs, be -- will
6 be safe and escorted by UNPROFOR. They will be evacuated to a location
7 of their own choosing.
8 Can you see General Mladic's signature on the document at the
10 A. I can see it in the Serbian version, but -- yes, now. Now I can
11 see the translation on the right-hand side of the screen.
12 And can I clarify, this is actually the War Presidency, the
13 Zepa War Presidency, decision, rather than the Bosnian Presidency.
14 That's correct, isn't it?
15 Q. Thank you. Did you ever act as a military analyst during your
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Since you did, is it your conclusion, then, that it
19 was Palic who was asking the Presidency whether they were ready to accept
20 something? Was it your conclusion whether the commander of the army in
21 Zepa, Mr. Palic, was actually being suspicious of the intentions of his
22 Presidency on the evacuation of the soldiers from Zepa?
23 A. Actually, my conclusion is somewhat different. My conclusion
24 from the document that we've seen, from the telegram from Mr. Palic to
25 President Izetbegovic, is that it has a note of desperation in the form
1 of language that is used. And that is perhaps indicative of Palic's
2 recognition that the time is continuing to pass rather rapidly towards
3 the ultimatum that General Mladic has given the Bosnian Muslim men of
4 fighting age whom Palic commands.
5 So that would be my conclusion, that this is a request from the
6 military, the Bosnian military commander on the ground, for clarity from
7 his political commander, his president, as to what course of action he
8 should take.
9 Q. Thank you. Was Palic's request in accordance with the military
10 situation on the ground?
11 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question. I think it --
12 Palic's request seems to emanate from the military situation on the
14 Q. Thank you for this answer. Thank you for all the answers you
15 provided during your testimony. I thank you for coming here. On behalf
16 of this Defence and my own, we wish you a safe journey home. May God
17 bless you. We have no further questions of you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this concludes our
19 examination of the witness. I'd like to thank to all those who had
20 sufficient patience to bear with us, since I believe we made a number of
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for your words, Mr. Tolimir.
23 Mr. Thayer, do you have re-examination?
24 MR. THAYER: Briefly, Mr. President. I should -- I will conclude
25 before the end of today. If we could have that document back up, just
1 very quickly. That was P736. I just want to pick up where
2 General Tolimir left off.
3 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
4 Q. And, ma'am, good afternoon to you.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. General Tolimir read you to the paragraph that's just above Roman
7 numeral II in both versions. He referred to the portion where this
8 document states that the POWs would be escorted by UNPROFOR. I want to
9 just focus your attention for a second on the paragraph that's right
10 above that one, where this document says that: "All able-bodied men shall
11 be registered by the ICRC and shall be guarded by the forces of the VRS
12 in the presence of UNPROFOR in Zepa ..."
13 My question to you is: Based on your experience on the ground,
14 participating in the various meetings, discussions, how did the Muslims
15 in Zepa feel about ever being guarded by the VRS?
16 A. My impression is that the Bosnian Muslim population in the Zepa
17 enclave were extremely nervous about the proposal of being guarded by the
18 Bosnian Serb army at any time. And that as the time passed, over the
19 three days, the request for UNPROFOR to take a more active role than
20 observing became more regular.
21 Q. War is a nerve-wracking experience and people are often nervous
22 in war. Was there anything that you were aware of in terms of the Muslim
23 population that was communicated to you that suggested to you why they
24 were nervous about ever being guarded by the VRS?
25 A. When I met with Captain Tom Dibb, he did reflect that some of the
1 people that he had spoken to in Zepa town had spoken to people who had
2 arrived in the town in the wake of the Srebrenica events. And as a
3 result, you know, rumours of what had happened at Srebrenica had spread
4 amongst the civilian population in Zepa quite rapidly, and for this
5 reason they -- there were -- they were very afraid of being left in the
6 power of the Bosnian Serb army, whether they were women or men of
7 fighting age.
8 Q. Now, at page 8 of today's transcript, line 22, you stated that --
9 and I'll just quote exactly what you said. You said:
10 "They were repeatedly -- Mr. Torlak asked for the use of
11 helicopters, because they did not believe that road transport would be
13 The -- I just want to ask you what you understood from your
14 discussions and attending these meetings this reference to, as you put
15 it, "the road transport would not be safe" referred to? Are they afraid
16 of driving off a cliff, are they afraid of pot holes? What about the
17 road transport was it that they were afraid about?
18 A. Okay. To clarify, they were afraid that the -- that the buses
19 would not be allowed through to the Bosnian-held territory without
20 interference from the Bosnian Serb forces. Specifically they were afraid
21 that there would be segregation of men of fighting age and also perhaps
22 women of a certain age, as had happened in Srebrenica.
23 Q. Okay. I think just before the last break we took there were some
24 questions put to you about the term, the meaning of the term "liquidate"
25 and your testimony about General Mladic using that term.
1 Do you remember what you said in your OTP witness statement
2 exactly about the impression that you drew from this particular encounter
3 with General Mladic when he made this statement?
4 A. Yes. I do recall in my witness statement reflecting my
5 impression that General Mladic's demeanour had hardened over the course
6 of the three days, and I specifically noted the use of the phrase
7 "liquidated" to make sure it went into our record of the day, day's
9 Q. And do you recall exactly what you said with respect to whether
10 liquidation would apply to armed Muslims, unarmed Muslims, both, or
11 neither? Do you remember exactly what you said in that regard?
12 A. I believe I said it was -- it would apply to anybody that
13 remained in the -- in the pocket.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Mr. Thayer asked the witness for her opinion, and the witness
17 said in her answer "I believe."
18 I think this is irrelevant for the establishment of facts. The
19 witness was asked about this issue in cross-examination as well.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. And this is perhaps the reason why
22 Mr. Thayer is dealing with this part.
23 The witness was not asked for her opinion. Mr. Thayer asked her:
24 "Do you recall exactly what you said with respect to whether
25 liquidation would apply to armed Muslims ..."
1 And then later, in the second part of the question: "Do you
2 remember exactly what you said in this regard?"
3 This is it not a question with which he asked for an opinion.
4 Please carry on, Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. And why don't we --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the interpretation
7 we received was "what do you think about," et cetera.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That might be an interpretation issue but I heard
9 it as I read it to you, and that is recorded in that way. Thank you very
11 Please continue, Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER:
13 Q. I want to ask you a question, ma'am, that ties into two topics
14 about which General Tolimir cross-examined you. He put it to you at one
15 point, or he asked you, whether the fear of the Bosniaks in Zepa was
16 justified and whether it ever materialised. I think he asked that just
17 before the break.
18 Do you recall that question or those two questions, ma'am?
19 A. Yes, I do recall.
20 Q. Okay. I want to show you a document which will address that
21 question and I think also tie into another topic that General Tolimir
23 MR. THAYER: If we could have P00755 on e-court, please.
24 Q. We can stay on the first page in the English because we can see
25 from the original which is next to it that this is type-signed by
1 Commander Rajko Kusic, the commander of the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry
2 Brigade, also known as the Rogatica Brigade. Did you ever have occasion
3 to meet him or hear about him during your time in Zepa, Colonel Kusic?
4 A. I have heard his name, yes.
5 Q. Do you recall ever meeting him?
6 A. It's possible that he was among the Bosnian Serb military who --
7 officers who were part of General Mladic's company. But we were never --
8 I was never personally introduced to him.
9 Q. Okay. I understand you never had the pleasure of his
11 If we look at the date, it's 8 August 1995. We can see that it
12 is a daily combat report to the Drina Corps Command. It refers
13 specifically to events, as we can see, that occurred on the
14 7th of August, 1995, in the afternoon. There's a reference here to the
15 canyon of the Praca river and five remaining -- and Colonel Kusic uses
16 the derogatory term "Balija" who were, after the fall of Zepa, travelling
17 along a certain route. And he indicates that they went down to the
18 railroad tracks at Dub and tried to reach Renovica walking on the
19 railroad tracks and that this group was liquidated. He goes on to say
20 that the group was separate and it travelled for ten days.
21 And I'd ask you, if you could look at the original, do you see
22 the portion where it says, "the group was separate and it travelled for
23 ten days"? Do you see that in the original Serbian, or B/C/S, as we call
24 it here?
25 A. Yes. Yes, I do see it.
1 Q. Okay. We have the English translation here and I'll just read up
2 to a point. It says:
3 "The same day, in the vicinity of Luke, an unarmed Ustasha, borne
4 in Srebrenica, 24 years old," and we can see how it's been translated. I
5 want to ask you, can you see what word is actually used here in the
7 A. Yes. It -- the word used is - my pronunciation is bad, I
8 apologise - "likvidiran."
9 Q. Okay. And is that the same verb that General Mladic used in that
10 encounter that you were asked so many questions about?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The report goes on, and it says: "Before he died," referring to
13 this unarmed man, "he said that he fell behind the others and he was
14 looking for ... food."
15 My question to you, ma'am, is: From what you can see here in
16 this report, how does the fate of this young unarmed hungry man
17 correspond to the fears that you personally saw expressed during your
18 time in Zepa by the Bosniak population?
19 A. It would appear to bear out their justifiable fears, the
20 Bosnian Muslim's justifiable fears of what would happen after the
21 deadline had passed.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I object
24 to the question because the Prosecutor put the question without knowing
25 how the soldier perished. Was it after the fighting for the enclave of
1 Zepa or whether it was at some other front. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer was reading from the text in front
3 of us.
4 Mr. Thayer, please continue.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
7 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, that concludes my re-examination.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question for the witness.
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness. Good afternoon,
11 first of all. I would like to ask you the following. Actually, I have
12 two questions for you.
13 But before I put these questions, I would just like to remind
14 you, of course, not to hesitate to let me know if I misunderstood what
15 you said. I do not want to take up any time in order to look for the
16 exact reference on the transcript, but I believe you said with respect to
17 the letter of Colonel Avdo Palic who sent therefore that letter to
18 President Alija Izetbegovic as being a letter which was a desperate call,
19 and this is something that you mentioned when you talked about the
20 evacuation by helicopter of the men from Zepa.
21 So this was my first observation.
22 Second observation is that you said today as well that
23 General Smith did not believe that General Mladic would accept the
24 evacuation of the men from Zepa by helicopter.
25 So, as I mentioned that I had two questions for you, I will now
1 put the first question. So do you know what made General Smith say that,
2 when he said that General Mladic would never accept the evacuation by
3 helicopter of the men from Zepa?
4 A. When the evacuation by helicopter was first raised by Mr. Torlak,
5 General Mladic was party to that conversation between Mr. Torlak and
6 General Smith. And my recollection is that General Mladic indicated that
7 he would not -- that this would not be an acceptable resolution, to
8 evacuate the men of fighting age by helicopter, and he kept referring to
9 all of the buses and road transportation that the Bosnian Serb army had
10 organised for the evacuation.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much.
12 Now I have a second question for you. I wanted to know if the
13 UNPROFOR was charging their services in case of helicopter evacuations,
14 so I wanted to ask you the question, before you actually said that
15 Mr. Torlak -- or that, rather, General Mladic, had already said and
16 expressed his hesitance in terms of that type of transportation to
17 Mr. Torlak, so I would like to know if Colonel Avdo Palic knew that
18 General Mladic would not pay or would not allow for or does not support
19 this helicopter evacuation of the men from Zepa, do you know why did
20 Colonel Avdo Palic ask President Izetbegovic if he was willing to pay for
21 transportation fees and to charge them to the UNPROFOR?
22 A. I -- I do not know why Colonel Palic believed that UNPROFOR would
23 charge a fee to be -- to arrange the evacuation by helicopter. At none
24 of the meetings that I was present at was any form of payment for
25 UNPROFOR discussed, in terms of helicopter evacuation or road evacuation.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
4 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
5 Just to follow up on Judge Mindua's question, the issue of who
6 would pay for the evacuation if it was undertaken by helicopter did arise
7 in some of the -- in one of the documents that was presented today to
8 Court, if my memory serves me right.
9 Do you agree that it has -- let me rephrase my question. Do you
10 agree that it was raised?
11 A. I -- the document that we saw, the telegram from Colonel Palic to
12 President Izetbegovic, I believe that's where there is a question about
13 whether the Bosnian government would pay UNPROFOR.
14 And I don't recall at any of the meetings where I was present
15 there being any notion of UNPROFOR charging anybody for evacuation by
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: My question is: Which came first? The telegram
18 to the president about the cost, if it -- the cost of the evacuation if
19 it was under taken by helicopter; or General Mladic's use of the term
20 liquidate, liquidate them?
21 Which came first?
22 A. I'm afraid I don't recall the date of Mr. Palic's telegram to the
23 Presidency. But I do -- can speak to the meeting at the Presidency in
24 the late hours of the 25th of July and the early hours of the 26th, where
25 Minister Muratovic was very insistent that the evacuation of the
1 population of Zepa should be by helicopter.
2 So that was certainly mentioned by the Bosnian Presidency side at
3 that meeting and is memorialised in my note of that meeting.
4 My recollection of the term "liquidate" is at -- is memorialised
5 in the meeting note, the summary, as at 0800 on the 28th of July, I
6 believe. But perhaps it might be helpful to -- to check that on -- on
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I may be able to save us some time.
10 The reference to the telegram from Colonel Palic to President
11 Izetbegovic, which General Tolimir used during his cross, is at
12 paragraph 110 of D55, and the report indicates that telegram was at 0700
13 on the 27th of July.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Sayer, you will be pleased to hear that this
17 concludes your examination in this trial. Thank you very much that you
18 came to The Hague and provided us with your knowledge and memory. Now
19 you are free to return to your normal activities. The Chamber would like
20 to thank you very much.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have not only reached the time of the
23 end of today's hearing but we are over time now. We can't start with the
24 next witness, although Mr. Elderkin entered the courtroom. We have to
25 adjourn and resume tomorrow at 9.00 in this courtroom.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of
4 March, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.