1 Thursday, 10 March 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.
6 I was told that the Prosecution has some update for documents
7 which have now a translation.
8 Mr. Elderkin.
9 MR. ELDERKIN: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning everyone
11 Yes, there are nine new translations have been updated and I
12 think a paper has been distributed, but I can read through the relevant
13 exhibit numbers, if Your Honours would like that.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That would be helpful. If you can, without any
15 explanation, just give the number -- oh, they all have already a P
17 MR. ELDERKIN: Yes, I see that from the list. P1307, P1308,
18 P1311, P1542C, P1542D, P1562C, P1563C, P1565B, and P1569C.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. They are now exhibits.
20 MR. ELDERKIN: One further matter, Your Honour, is that having
21 sent an e-mail last night about the sequence of witnesses, starting with
22 today's witness, today's witness is in fact indicated he has moved his
23 meeting on Monday and is able to continue, if necessary, on Monday, so it
24 will treat him as a normal witness, we don't need to break his testimony
25 in any way.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this information.
2 If there is nothing further, we -- the witness should be brought
3 in, please.
4 Mr. Elderkin, in between, I have a question. In the list of
5 witnesses for this week, there was an indication that David Wood would be
6 as 92 ter witness. I think that should be a mistake. If I'm not
7 mistaken, the witness is a viva voce witness.
8 MR. ELDERKIN: That's absolutely right, Your Honour. I
9 understand that a revised list was sent correcting that error.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Welcome to the courtroom.
13 Here is the Bench; I am speaking.
14 Would you please read allowed the affirmation on the card which
15 is shown to you now.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: DAVID JOHN WOOD
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
20 yourself comfortable.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin, for the Prosecution, has questions
23 for you.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
1 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Examination by Mr. Elderkin:
3 Q. And good morning to you, sir.
4 A. Good morning.
5 MR. ELDERKIN: Can I ask to briefly go into private session.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
7 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment.
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now continue, please.
4 MR. ELDERKIN:
5 Q. Sir, can you please state your name.
6 A. David John Wood.
7 Q. What is your nationality?
8 A. British.
9 Q. And what's your current occupation?
10 A. I'm currently a non-executive director of a number of companies.
11 Q. And what was your previous occupation?
12 A. Previous to commerce or previous to my current position?
13 Q. Previous to commerce.
14 A. I was in the British Army for about 20 years.
15 Q. And remind myself and for your information, because we're
16 speaking the same language I'll try to leave a pause after I finish my
17 question and if you could leave a pause as well.
18 Could you tell us what years you served in the British Army?
19 A. I served from 1979 through to early 2001.
20 Q. And what was your rank on your retirement?
21 A. I retired as a lieutenant-colonel.
22 Q. Where were you serving in 1995?
23 A. In 1995, I was serving in Bosnia as part of the
24 United Nations Protection Force.
25 Q. And what was your role?
1 A. I was in command of an organisation there known as the Joint
2 Commission Observers, the JCOs.
3 Q. And, briefly, what did your role and the role of the JCOs
5 A. Well, the JCOs were an organisation that were set up to try and
6 overcome some of the communication and verification issues that were
7 beset UNPROFOR at the time, and I was the commander of the unit that was
8 assigned to the role of -- of joint commission observer, so I was a major
9 at the time and I had about 20 or 30 soldiers that were acting under my
10 command as JCOs.
11 Q. Where were you personally based?
12 A. I was personally based in Sarajevo and I was based in the
13 residency there working directly for General Smith, who, at that stage,
14 was the commander of UNPROFOR, and I had with me a small staff of Joint
15 Commission Observers and I also had Joint Commission Observers who were
16 out in the various trouble spots, if you like, in the various enclaves at
17 the time who were reporting to me and I was able then to report to
18 General Smith and to tell him what was going on and to provide a sort of
19 focus for -- as I say, information, reporting, verification, and, indeed,
20 sometimes often a negotiation of action on the ground.
21 Q. Did you work closely with General Smith?
22 A. Yes, very closely. I spoke with him every day, several times a
23 day. I used to attend with him all of the various or certainly most of
24 the various meetings he had with the senior leadership of the
25 Bosnian Serbs, the Federation, the Bosnian Muslims, the Croats and so on.
1 So I was with him -- I was with him for a large part much most days.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it possible to move a little bit further to
3 the microphone.
4 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
6 THE WITNESS: Is that better?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, much better.
8 MR. ELDERKIN: Also ask that you try to speak a little bit slower
9 so that the interpreters can keep up.
10 Q. Who were the principle Bosnian Serb officials with whom you were
12 A. I personally, of course, wasn't dealing with any of them. Well,
13 that is not quite true, I suppose. Speaking personally then, I was
14 dealing regularly with a Bosnian Serb army officer called Milenko Indjic,
15 who was based at a barracks at Lukavica and who was the Bosnian Serb
16 officer responsible for liaising with UNPROFOR, so I dealt with him
17 personally frequently. But General Smith, of course, was dealing, and I
18 was helping him deal, with everybody from Karadzic through Mladic,
19 Tolimir, and down the chain, effectively.
20 Q. Did you meet then with some of the generals from the Bosnian Serb
21 army on occasion?
22 A. Oh, yes, on occasions, yes.
23 Q. And could you tell us about -- starting from the top down, did
24 you get to meet General Mladic?
25 A. Yes. I met General Mladic on several occasions, I would guess
1 four or five in total, always with General Smith -- not always with
2 General Smith. Usually with General Smith. On one occasion, with
3 General Nicolai, who was the Dutch Chief of Staff. And, generally
4 speaking, we met him for the purposes of meetings between Smith and
6 Q. And how about General named Milovanovic?
7 A. I am pretty sure I met him but I don't really remember him very
8 clearly, to be honest.
9 Q. And General Gvero?
10 A. Again, I know I met him because I have seen a video of me in --
11 with him, but I don't really remember him very clearly.
12 Q. And how about General Tolimir?
13 A. I met General Tolimir several times with General Mladic and I
14 have a clear recollection of him.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: At this point I have to interrupt you. I would
16 like to clarify one sentence, I'm not sure if that was recorded
17 correctly. Page 6, lines 5 through 7, you are recorded as having said:
18 "But General Smith, of course, was dealing, and I was helping him
19 deal, with everybody from Karadzic through Mladic, Tolimir, and down the
20 chain, effectively."
21 Is that correct.
22 THE WITNESS: It is probably my fault for speaking too quickly
23 again. What I was trying to say was that -- I was trying to
24 differentiate between my own dealings with the Bosnian Serb authorities
25 which was mainly confined to dealing with Indjic and General Smith's
1 dealing which were, obviously, with Karadzic, Mladic, Tolimir, and so on.
2 And I met with these Bosnian Serb generals as part of General Smith's
3 entourage on several occasions. That was the point I was trying to make.
4 I'm sorry if I didn't make it clearly.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
6 Mr. Elderkin.
7 MR. ELDERKIN:
8 Q. In what circumstances did you first meet General Tolimir?
9 A. I first met General Tolimir at Pale on, I think, the 30th of
10 April or thereabouts. When we went to Pale -- when I say "we" this was
11 General Smith, his entourage, myself included, and Mr. Akashi at the time
12 and his entourage, and we went to Pale to peak with Karadzic. And there
13 was a joint press conference of some description there, and I met
14 General Tolimir on that occasion. We had a lunch together and we had
15 lunch all together. And I -- and I, in fact, I sat opposite
16 General Tolimir during that lunch.
17 Q. And did have you any opportunity to speak to him on that occasion
18 or learn about his work?
19 A. Yes. I was introduced to him. He either didn't speak English or
20 didn't want to speak English, so it was a limited conversation since my
21 Serbo-Croat is not extensive. But he clearly knew who I was, because he
22 said to me at one point, You and me, we are in the same business. And I
23 took that to mean that he recognised that I had a role that was linked to
24 intelligence of some sort.
25 He also took the opportunity to show me a little leather pouch he
1 wore in his belt in which he had a grenade and he said something to the
2 effect that, I carry this with me all the time. They will never take me
3 alive because I will use this to kill myself if they do.
4 So that was the sort of conversation we had. It wasn't a fluent
5 conversation because we were sort of talking in different languages and a
6 lot of it was by gesticulation and by a little bit of interpretation.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I remind you really to slow down while you're
8 speaking. It is very difficult to catch everything for the interpreters
9 and the court recorder and please pause between question and answer.
10 Mr. Elderkin.
11 MR. ELDERKIN:
12 Q. You mentioned that first meeting with General Tolimir was around
13 the 30th of April. Could you just confirm for our written record what
15 A. I'm sorry, 1995.
16 Q. And what role did General Tolimir have during this meeting?
17 A. My understanding was that he was responsible for intelligence and
18 security for the Bosnian Serb army. So my interpretation of that was
19 that he was General Mladic's right-hand man, if you like, with regard to
20 ensuring that Mladic knew all that he needed to know about what was going
21 on in Bosnia, going on in UNPROFOR, and so on.
22 Q. Did you attend any other meetings at which General Tolimir was
23 present, other than the one around the 30th of April of 1995?
24 A. Yes. The next meeting that I can recollect meeting Tolimir at,
25 was on around the 19th of July when we met at a restaurant which I've
1 subsequently discovered was called the Jela restaurant, but at the time I
2 don't think I was aware of its name. And at that meeting, Mladic was
3 there, Tolimir was there, Smith was there, and Smith's entourage,
4 including myself. And the purpose of that meeting was to sign an
5 agreement between Mladic and Smith and obviously the rest of us were
6 essentially helping in that process.
7 Q. Based on your observation, how was Tolimir's relationship with
8 General Mladic?
9 A. It seemed to me that there was a very close relationship between
10 them. Certainly there appeared to be a mutual respect between them. And
11 during the meeting of the 19th that I'm referring to, there was an
12 occasion where General Tolimir was interrupting the process of forming
13 the agreement and wanting to change little things in it. And
14 General Smith made a joke to General Mladic and said words to the effect
15 that, General Tolimir is what we in the British Army would call a
16 military shit. And by that what he meant was he is a -- that he is a
17 very picky officer, professional officer who wants to see everything done
18 perfectly. And when this was translated to General Mladic,
19 General Mladic laughed very loudly and he held up his right arm like
20 this, and he said, Yes, General Tolimir, he is like my right arm. And
21 then he looked around the room and he saw Colonel Indjic and he took
22 Colonel Indjic's head under his arm here and sort of patted him on the
23 head and said Indjic is likely little toe.
24 So he was appearing to make a contrast between the importance of
25 Indjic and the importance of Tolimir. But it was very clear that he
1 regarded Tolimir as his right arm.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, I saw you on your feet.
3 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would have a
4 suggestion to make whether it's down to the speed or something else, we
5 sometimes receive misinterpretation. For instance, in Serbian we heard
6 what the relationship was between General Tolimir and General Smith, and
7 I see that the transcript reads something else.
8 So we kindly ask the Prosecutor and the witness to adopt a slower
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. Both very fast speakers.
11 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But, in fact, this question by Mr. Elderkin was
13 recorded as we heard it in the original English language. Your
14 observation how was -- Tolimir's relation with General Mladic.
15 Please carry on, but slowly.
16 MR. ELDERKIN:
17 Q. I'd like to ask if you attended any meetings accompanying
18 General Smith in Serbia during July of 1995.
19 A. Yes. I attended a meeting with him at Mrkonjic Grad. I'm sorry,
20 when -- Serbia, yes, of course. I attended a meeting with him in
21 Belgrade which -- or to be specific, I attended Belgrade with him.
22 However, I did not attend the meeting that Smith had with Milosevic in
23 Belgrade. So I went to Belgrade with him as part of his group, but I was
24 not at that meeting.
25 Is that clear?
1 Q. Yes, it is, I'm just leaving a slightly longer pause.
2 A. Sorry, yes.
3 Q. Do you recall whether that meeting in Belgrade was before or
4 after the 19th of July meeting that you've just mentioned?
5 A. I'm pretty sure the meeting was before. But I can't recall the
6 exact date.
7 MR. ELDERKIN: Could we now go to Exhibit P740, please. And I'd
8 like to start actually right at the beginning of that video, if we may.
9 It's just a short extract.
10 Q. I'll play a short piece of video and afterwards ask you some
11 questions on that.
12 A. Sure.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 MR. ELDERKIN: Pause here, please. And that's paused at
15 1 minute, 19.8 seconds.
16 Q. Sir, do you recognise the two men in that picture starting first
17 with the man wearing the camouflage uniform who has just been working at
18 the printer?
19 A. Yes, that's me.
20 Q. And the man who we see just in the centre right of the picture
21 with the moustache?
22 A. This is someone called Milenko Indjic, who was either a major or
23 a lieutenant-colonel - it seemed to fluctuate slightly - who was the
24 person I referred to as the liaison officer based at Lukavica barracks
25 liaising between the Bosnian Serb army and UNPROFOR.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. ELDERKIN: And if we could continue playing the video a
3 little further.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 MR. ELDERKIN:
6 Q. Sir, do you recall the meeting as we've seen it take place on
7 that -- on that video?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. ELDERKIN: Could we see, please, Exhibit P603.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you continue with this -- with the next
11 video -- Mr. Elderkin, before you continue with the next video, I would
12 like to ask a question to the witness.
13 Mr. Wood, where was this meeting? Just to clarify.
14 THE WITNESS: Sir, the meeting was held at a restaurant called
15 the Jela restaurant which was close to a village called Han Pijesak,
16 which was the place where the Bosnian Serb army had its headquarters. I
17 never went into Han Pijesak itself, and the restaurant was chosen by
18 Mladic as a meeting-point for this -- which was one of maybe two or three
19 meetings that we had with Mladic out of the glare of publicity, if you
20 like, and slightly private meetings.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you recall how you got there?
22 THE WITNESS: We drove there. We -- at the time, we tended to
23 drive in a two-vehicle convoy, usually a Range Rover with Smith, his
24 driver, myself, and Baxter in it. And then a Humvee with a communication
25 team behind and we drove there from Sarajevo.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You mentioned three persons: Yourself,
2 General Smith and Mr. Baxter.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, and a driver as well.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did that mean you were four people in this
5 delegation arriving there?
6 THE WITNESS: Well, there was also the communication team which
7 followed behind. And in the communication team vehicle, usually a woman
8 called Emma Bliss tended to travel as a translator, and if it wasn't her,
9 it was sometimes a man called Tom Dibb, but there was almost always a
10 translator with us who tended to travel in the other vehicle.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How many people from the Bosnian Serb side
12 attended this meeting which we have seen in the video?
13 THE WITNESS: From my recollection, there was Mladic, Tolimir,
14 Indjic, plus a collection of drivers, body-guards and so on. So there
15 was perhaps six or seven of them in total.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you recall how they got there to this Jela
18 THE WITNESS: Well some of them were there when we arrived and
19 had already occupied the restaurant, if you like. On this particular
20 occasion, I think I'm right in saying that Mladic arrived by helicopter,
21 in a Gazelle helicopter, more or less as we arrived. He certainly
22 arrived at one of the meetings in a Gazelle helicopter. On other
23 occasions, he arrived by car, like we did.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Elderkin, please
1 MR. ELDERKIN:
2 Q. And while we're waiting for Exhibit P603 to come up onto the
3 screen, we saw the scene where Generals Smith and Mladic were signing the
4 agreement and making some comments about that. Do you recall where you
5 were in the room while they were sitting up and being filmed up at the
6 top table?
7 A. I don't recall exactly where I was, but I was -- I mean, there
8 were a number of us in the room out of shot, if you know what I mean, and
9 I think I was one of them. I had printed the agreement as you saw, so
10 I'm pretty certain I was there in the room but not in the camera shot.
11 Q. Sir, could you now look, please, at the document on the screen.
12 Let us know when you have finished looking through the first page. And
13 I'd ask then to move onto the second page.
14 A. Yeah. I'm familiar with the document.
15 MR. ELDERKIN: Could we see the second page now, please.
16 THE WITNESS: Okay.
17 MR. ELDERKIN:
18 Q. Sir, is this the document that you printed out and which was
19 signed at that meeting?
20 A. Yes, I believe so.
21 Q. And at the point, C, at the top of that second page, the document
22 provides for DutchBat to withdraw on the 21st of July of 1995. Were you
23 present on the occasion of that withdrawal?
24 A. Yes, I was. The -- I had two men -- sorry, two JCOs and an
25 interpreter who were in Srebrenica during the time of the Serb attack and
1 capture of the pocket. And so on the 21st, I went with General Nicolai,
2 who was the Chief of Staff of UNPROFOR based at Sarajevo, and we went
3 to -- to -- to witness, if you like, or to help in the evacuation of
4 DutchBat, including my two men from -- from the pocket.
5 Q. And did you have any opportunity to visit Srebrenica itself?
6 A. Yes. On the way there, we stopped at a restaurant, and I can't
7 remember exactly where it was, and met with General Mladic and his small
8 entourage and had lunch at the restaurant somewhere outside Srebrenica.
9 And after that lunch, Mladic led us down into the village of Srebrenica
10 which, by this time, of course, was occupied entirely by Bosnian Serb
11 forces and which -- and had no civilians in it anymore. And Mladic took
12 us on what I would describe in military terms as a battle-field tour, so
13 a visit around all the key points, if you like, describing what had
14 happened and how the battle had unfolded and essentially telling us how
15 well his men had done. And when that was finished, we then began to move
16 down towards the Dutch battalion camp at Potocari, I think it's called,
17 and as we neared there, Mladic said something like, I have another
18 appointment now, or There is something I must do, or something, and he
19 then left us at the point and that is the last time that I saw him at
21 Q. And that was all on the 21st of July?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Apart from this point C at the top of the second page, what --
24 what was your view at the time of the rest of this agreement?
25 A. Oh, the agreement was a -- was what we would call a paper
1 exercise. At the time, you must remember that Mr. Milosevic, in
2 Belgrade, was giving orders to General Mladic, essentially, and telling
3 him to sign whatever agreements needed to be signed in order to keep
4 UNPROFOR happy at the time. So my interpretation of this agreement
5 signed on the 19th was that it was agreement that neither party attached
6 any importance to and that both parties were signing because it was -- it
7 was just part of a dialogue process, really.
8 Q. I'd like to turn now, please, to the 25th of July.
9 Did you attend any meetings on that date?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And where did you attend a meeting?
12 A. Let me just remind myself which meeting this was.
13 Can I just refer to my statement?
14 Q. It may indeed help if I call up one document on the screen --
15 A. Right.
16 Q. -- which is Exhibit P1978, please.
17 And while that's coming up, sir, that's report of the 26th of
18 July from, I think from Colonel Baxter -- Colonel Baxter or Captain Bliss
19 and it describes a meeting on the 25th. So take a moment to look at that
20 and let me know if that helps refresh your memory.
21 A. Yes, of course. Yeah. Yes, this is another meeting at the Jela
22 restaurant. I mentioned that we had two or three. And at the end of
23 this meeting, we moved to Zepa.
24 Q. And, indeed, if we look at paragraph 2, it describes how after a
25 two-hour meeting, General Smith decided to move to Zepa and resume the
1 meeting with Mladic in order to assess the situation for himself and to
2 initiate with Bosnian agreement the evacuation of the wounded.
3 So as far as you recall, that exactly how the events unfolded?
4 A. Yes. We had a similar meeting at the Jela restaurant that I
5 described earlier. And as Baxter has clearly said, we then moved from
6 there, all of us together, to a point in the woods just above the village
7 of Zepa where the meeting then continued.
8 Q. Can you describe that location, as far as you recall. How did it
9 look? What, if any, facilities were there?
10 A. Yeah. The -- the village of Zepa is in the bottom of a very
11 steep valley, wooded valley. And the road that ran down to it from the
12 direction that we arrived was a zigzag road that ran down through the
13 woods, and at the top of that slope, so we're talking about, you know, a
14 kilometre or two away from Zepa and quite a lot higher, in some woods
15 there, was a flat area in which there was some tents drawn up, some
16 vehicles parked, and that was where we had the meeting -- or, that was
17 where Smith had the continuation of the meeting with Mladic in order
18 to -- in order, as he says, to co-ordinate, if you like, the evacuation
19 of wounded.
20 Q. How did you and General Smith and his entourage travel to that
22 A. By vehicle again.
23 Q. Do you know how General Mladic travelled there?
24 A. I can't remember exactly, and I mentioned before that he had
25 arrived and departed in a helicopter on a previous -- or, on one of the
1 meetings. It is possible that this is the meeting that he arrived and
2 departed by helicopter; but, if not, then he drove.
3 Q. And who was present up at this -- this higher location above the
5 A. Mladic was there, Tolimir was there, Indjic was there. Obviously
6 from our side, Smith, Baxter, myself. I believe Tom Dibb was there; I
7 can't recall him there, but I believe he was there. And I believe
8 Emma Bliss may have been there. And then there were quite a collection
9 of other Bosnian Serb officers and soldiers that were there as part of
10 force that had captured the village of Zepa.
11 Q. Sir, I'd just like to refer briefly to your statement and
12 understand whether when you say Tolimir was present at this hilltop
13 location, if that's actually your recollection, or whether you saw
14 Tolimir at another location in the vicinity that day?
15 A. Well, I saw Tolimir -- I mean, remember that I was at that
16 location at the top of the hill for quite some time. Later on, I went
17 down into the village of Zepa where, again, Tolimir was, but he certainly
18 had been at the top of the hill at other points in the day, because I --
19 I've been shown a video that shows him, I think, at the top of a hill at
20 some point on one of those days. But that is not to say that he was not
21 in the village of Zepa later on when I went down there.
22 Q. And apart from the UNPROFOR members and the Bosnian Serb army who
23 you saw at the location at the top of the hill, did you see any
24 Bosnian Muslims at that location on that day?
25 A. There was one man who was -- I would describe him as being late
1 30s, early 40s, tall, dark hair, wearing a pale-coloured shirt who was
2 described as being the mayor or some sort of local head of the community
3 down in Zepa. And he was there at some point in the meeting in order
4 to -- in order to make some agreement with Mladic, effectively, at that
6 Q. From what you observed, how was he behaving?
7 A. He looked shaken and frightened.
8 Q. Did you have any opportunity, yourself, to communicate with him?
9 A. Not that I can remember.
10 Q. And you've mentioned already that you, at some point, were down
11 in the Zepa village. How did you travel down to the village?
12 A. At some point in the time spent at the top of the hill, I was
13 asked to go down into the village, I think to find some more people to
14 come up to be part of the meeting, but I'm not certain about that. But I
15 drove down with Major Indjic and with the -- and with one of the Serb
16 officers, drove down in one of the vehicles, and drove down this zigzag
17 hill into the village of Zepa that was maybe a kilometre or two away.
18 Q. Do you recall anything about this other Serb officer?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And can you describe for the Court what you saw as you travelled
21 down from the hilltop location towards the village.
22 A. The first thing that I recall is that at the top of the hill,
23 having left the clearing area that I described and gone onto the track
24 that led down into Zepa, at the top of the hill, parked on the left, was
25 a captured British manufactured Saxon armoured personnel carrier, which
1 had been obviously captured by the Bosnian Serbs at some point and had
2 been re-sprayed green and black in camouflage, because, of course,
3 previously it would have been white, that was parked up at the top of the
4 hill with a collection of Bosnian Serb soldiers standing around it.
5 We then drove down into the village of Zepa, and as we came into
6 the village, we drove through various orchards and little fields that
7 surrounded the village and in those fields I could see small groups of
8 Bosnian Serb soldiers who were doing what I would call regrouping after
9 an action. So they were collecting themselves together, they were
10 refilling magazines, they were cleaning weapons, they were generally
11 sorting themselves out after having been busy. And we drove on down into
12 the village itself where we stopped.
13 Q. Can you go on to describe the scene when you arrived in the
15 A. Well, the village of Zepa is a very small village, very
16 primitive. My recollection is that it consisted entirely of wooden huts,
17 wooden houses. I remember a water wheel at one point that was turning
18 and, presumably, milling grain or something. And in the middle of the
19 village was a slightly clear area, not really a village square, but a
20 slightly clear area, in which there were a number of buses drawn up. I
21 remember maybe four or five buses drawn up, and what appeared to be quite
22 a large number of mainly women and children, but also some old people,
23 men and women, who were being organised in the square prior to being
24 loaded onto these buses and evacuated. And these obviously were the
25 occupants of Zepa.
1 Q. Who was doing the organising; did you see?
2 A. Yes. In the square was a group of about seven or eight
3 Bosnian Serb policemen and they were being directed by General Tolimir.
4 And General Tolimir, who I recognised, obviously very clearly, from
5 having met him on previous occasions, was walking around, directing the
6 movement of these women and children and directing the activities of the
7 policemen loading the women and children into the coaches. And he had
8 his pistol out, sort of held up like this, and was -- was -- I saw no
9 violence being visited on the people, but it was a very threatening
10 atmosphere. And the people there, you know, were clearly very frightened
11 and distresses, and it was being directed, as I say, by General Tolimir.
12 Q. For the record, sir, when you said that General Tolimir had his
13 pistol held like this, you had raised your right arm, bent upwards with
14 the forearm pointing towards the ceiling.
15 And so the Serb policemen --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you state that [Overlapping speakers] ...
17 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I -- I --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
19 THE WITNESS: I should explain, sorry. He was -- I remember very
20 clearly General Tolimir. I remember what he was wearing. I remember him
21 walking around, and he had as -- as I have been -- as I have been
22 reminded, he had his right hand -- held his pistol in his right hand. He
23 had it pointing up at the sky. He wasn't pointing it at anybody. He
24 wasn't overtly threatening people with it, but he had it in his hand and
25 it was held, you know, pointing up at the sky at about shoulder height.
1 And the whole -- the whole episode was a little bit like -- was a
2 little bit like being in a 1940s newsreel. There was a sort of sense --
3 there was a sense of the Holocaust about it. If it had been black and
4 white, it would have been more -- you know, it would have been more in
5 keeping in sense with the scene that was unfolding around me. And it was
6 a very strange experience for me to be standing there as an UN soldier in
7 a blue beret standing there amongst what was very obviously an unpleasant
8 act of, admittedly non-violent at that stage, ethnic cleansing that was
9 going on, directed by General Tolimir and his men.
10 MR. ELDERKIN:
11 Q. How were the Serb policemen dressed?
12 A. I don't remember exactly. But I suspect -- I remember them as
13 Serb policemen and the Serb policemen at the time used to wear a sort of
14 blue and black camouflage uniform. So my assumption is that's what they
15 were wearing, but I don't remember clearly what they were wearing.
16 Q. Were they armed?
17 A. Again, I don't clearly remember that they were armed, but I'm
18 almost certain they must have been armed.
19 Q. You mentioned you recall how General Tolimir was dressed. Could
20 you describe that.
21 A. Yes. He was wearing -- he was wearing the normal green
22 camouflage clothing that you have seen photographs of. He was also
23 wearing a sort of sleeveless green top on top of that, and he was wearing
24 his little peaked Serb officer's cap with the short stubby peak on it.
25 MR. ELDERKIN: And could we go back again, please, to
1 Exhibit P740 and this time just play a short clip from 20 minutes and
2 26 seconds.
3 Q. This is taken from a video shot on 26th of July, so I'd simply
4 concentrate on the image rather than on the surrounding events.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. ELDERKIN:
7 Q. Sir, did you recognise any of the individuals we've just seen in
8 that footage?
9 A. Obviously I recognise Mladic and Tolimir.
10 Q. And having seen how Tolimir was dressed in this footage, does
11 that correspond with how you recall he looked on the day you saw him in
12 Zepa town?
13 A. Yes. He -- he wasn't -- on the video, he wasn't wearing the sort
14 of little jacket on top, but --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we perhaps go back a bit in the video and
16 stop at a certain point in time that you really can identify the persons
17 shown in this video.
18 THE WITNESS: In fact, I am mistaken. He is wearing the jacket.
19 There we are. I didn't see it in the first instance when he came past.
20 That is Tolimir in the centre of it, wearing the cap that I described,
21 wearing the clothes I described, and wearing the little jacket that I
22 mentioned to you.
23 MR. ELDERKIN:
24 Q. And for the record, the video is paused at 20 minutes,
25 36.8 seconds.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, sir. Regarding this picture,
3 you've given us a description of General Tolimir, because, see, there is
4 a belt, and I see something near his belt. Could you tell us what we can
5 see there? Is this -- what is this? Is it a pouch for grenades? Or
6 what can we see there?
7 THE WITNESS: I think, looking at it, that that is the pouch that
8 I mentioned to you earlier on, that -- in which he kept a small grenade.
9 Perhaps if we advance the video a frame or two, it would make it a
10 clearer picture.
11 MR. ELDERKIN: In fact, Your Honours, I think the clearest shot
12 is right at the beginning of the clip that we just played. So it would
13 help to go back to 20 minutes, 26 seconds.
14 THE WITNESS: Yeah. Yes. You can see that is a little pouch,
15 and that is the pouch that he showed me when we met at Pale in April that
16 had a little round grenade in it.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
19 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much.
20 Page 22 of today's transcript, lines 2 to 4, you were describing
21 General Tolimir. You say:
22 "He had his right hand -- he held his pistol in his right hand
23 pointing up to the sky."
24 THE WITNESS: That's correct, yes.
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: In the circumstances in which you were, how else
1 should he have held his gun? Can you explain that to me as a soldier?
2 THE WITNESS: Well, as a soldier, myself, at the time, if I was
3 supervising people, women and children to get on a coach, I wouldn't have
4 had my gun out at all. I'm not sure why he had it out, because he
5 wasn't -- certainly, when I saw him, he wasn't actually pointing it at
6 people to threaten them to do things. He was just waving it around as a
7 sort of a -- like a status symbol, like a sort of power symbol, if you
8 like. It's not something I would have done, but that is -- that is what
9 he was doing.
10 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
12 MR. ELDERKIN:
13 Q. Sir, just to follow up from Judge Nyambe's question, if a soldier
14 or officer has a handgun, where can they put it, apart from having it in
15 their hand?
16 A. Well, most soldiers would have a holster. Most of them would be
17 on the belt, some might have a shoulder holster. And most of the time,
18 generally speaking, the rule is, that unless you want to use the pistol,
19 you leave it in the holster. You only take it out if you want to
20 threaten somebody with it, or shoot somebody with it.
21 Q. Were you carrying any weapons on the 25th of July, 1995?
22 A. Yes, I had a pistol too, and it was in my holster.
23 Q. Sir, did General Smith travel down to Zepa village on that day?
24 A. No, he didn't. As far as I recall, I was the only person of our
25 party who went down into Zepa that day.
1 Q. How long did you spend down in Zepa that day?
2 A. Probably no more than 20 minutes, half an hour or so. And I
3 don't really remember whether we achieved whatever it was we were sent to
4 do. I don't remember bringing somebody up from the village. I think
5 that -- I think that when we got there, it was clear that there weren't
6 any other men that we could take up to be part of whatever was going on
7 at the top. So after 20 or 30 minutes, we simply drove back up the hill
8 and rejoined the meeting.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt for a moment. I just want to
10 know, we have this video and the still on the screen at the moment. Were
11 you present during this situation when General Mladic, General Tolimir
12 were there? What is depicted here?
13 THE WITNESS: This video, I believe, is taken on the 26th. Am I
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No. At the moment it's a question for you.
16 Do --
17 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have seen the video --
19 THE WITNESS: Right.
20 JUDGE FLUGGE: -- can you recall the situation which is depicted
21 in this video?
22 THE WITNESS: No. I don't believe that I was there on the 26th.
23 I'm not certain I was not there, but I don't believe I was there. I was
24 there on the 25th and there on the 27th, and I may have been there on the
25 26th, but I have no clear recollection of it, and I don't recall being at
1 the meeting that is depicted in the video. I think that was an entirely
2 Serb meeting.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Elderkin.
5 MR. ELDERKIN:
6 Q. Just to stay a moment longer with your time in the Zepa village,
7 what was the atmosphere while you were down there?
8 A. Well, as I said before, and at the risk of sounding too dramatic
9 about it, it was little bit like standing in a scene from the Holocaust,
10 in the sense that there were maybe 300, 400 women and children, around
11 about that number, and some old people, all of whom seemed obviously very
12 distressed, very frightened, a lot of children, and were all being herded
13 onto the buses prior to being taken away. The atmosphere, therefore, was
14 one of -- was one of fear, threatening, no actual violence, but certainly
15 the threat of violence. And, for me, it was very uncomfortable because
16 it was -- you know, it was clearly a very -- a very significant event and
17 standing there as a -- as the only member of UNPROFOR in amongst it, and
18 really unable to intervene and not in a position to intervene, it was a
19 very strange position to be in.
20 And I remember talking to Indjic, who stood beside me, and asking
21 him very pointedly whether he had children, because many of the people
22 were children, so there were lots of mothers with babies and with
23 toddlers, and so on. And Indjic said to me, Yes, I have a daughter of
24 13 and a son of 7, or something like. And I said to him, you know, So
25 how do you feel? And he didn't say anything. He didn't reply. I don't
1 know what he felt, but I felt that he ought to be ashamed of this sort of
2 conduct being done, you know, in his name by his colleagues.
3 Q. Did you speak to General Tolimir at any point during your time in
4 Zepa village?
5 A. At the time in the village itself, no.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
7 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, I just wonder if you can amplify on your
8 statement at page 27, lines 19 to 21.
9 THE WITNESS: Could I --
10 JUDGE NYAMBE: I'll read it out for you.
11 You state:
12 "As the only member of UNPROFOR in amongst it, and really unable
13 to intervene and not in a position to intervene, it was a very strange
14 position to be in."
15 As a member of UNPROFOR, if you had intervened what would you
16 have done? Or what should you have done?
17 THE WITNESS: It's a good question to which there isn't a very
18 good answer.
19 Had there been actual violence, in other words, if I had actually
20 seen one of the policemen beating or threatening or shooting one of the
21 non-combatants there, then I would have certainly intervened to prevent
22 that or tried to prevent that from happening.
23 As I said before, I didn't see that. There wasn't any actual
24 violence that I saw while I was is there, and, therefore, there was no
25 practical intervention I could have taken, really. In a sense, I felt
1 that being there was probably acting as a slight deterrent from actual
2 violence being visited upon these people by the Serb forces. But,
3 nevertheless, there was, as I described, this palpable sense of fear,
4 threat, disruption, if you like. And as to what I could have done about
5 that, the answer is nothing much.
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question. You said:
8 "... then I would have certainly intervened ..."
9 In a case, if you have observed any direct violence, what do you
10 mean by "intervened"? What means did you have?
11 THE WITNESS: Well, not very much, I accept. And we're talking
12 here hypothetically, obviously, because it didn't happen. But I would
13 like to think that, as a British Army officer and as a member of
14 UNPROFOR, if I had seen, let us say, one of the Serb policemen beating up
15 one of the women or children or taking her away, you know, for something,
16 then I would like to think that I would have at least been able to
17 verbally remonstrate. And if the worst came to the worst, been able to
18 use force, although I was by myself, to prevent that from happening.
19 Remember, UNPROFOR was authorised to use force only in
20 self-defence, essentially, and remember that I only had a pistol with me,
21 so there is a limit to what I could have done. But my experience in
22 these matters was that, generally speaking, if one confronted people with
23 the magnitude of what they were doing, they sometime would back down and
24 stop, so although this didn't happen, I do stress this didn't happen, I
25 think that had there been violence there, I might have been able to
1 prevent some of it by simply being there and by simply witnessing it and
2 remonstrating, if you like, with the people who were doing it. That's
3 what I meant.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this clarification.
5 Judge Mindua.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, you see very well that
7 this portion of your testimony is extremely important for the Chamber and
8 it's quite troublesome for me as well. I'm wondering if we're talking
9 about the same reality.
10 On page 27 of the transcript, you say - I'm going to try to
11 translated from French to English myself, or English to French, rather --
12 you're saying that this situation seemed like a scene from the Holocaust.
13 We all know what that means, of course. But then, at the same time, in
14 answering a question put by Judge Nyambe, you say that you could not
15 intervene directly because there was no direct violence. And you are
16 giving an example, a situation in which a member of the UNPROFOR would
17 have been violated upon. So I would like to know, could you have reacted
18 against a very small amount of violence against a member of your mission,
19 of the UNPROFOR, or could you have not done anything with respect to
20 something that you, yourself, called the Holocaust?
21 So if I understood correctly, this is quite a dramatic situation.
22 I mean, I don't know if I understood you correctly.
23 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure that I understand the question you're
24 asking me, but I can re-stress the fact that this was, as you say, quite
25 a dramatic situation. There are relatively few points in one's live,
1 certainly in my life, when you find yourself at the point of history, if
2 you like. You see something happening around you that you know is highly
3 significant whether you're part of it or not. And this is one of the
4 occasions in my life where I have felt very strongly that I was at the
5 point of history. I was witnessing with my own eyes activity that was
6 historic in the sense that it was something that people would pour over
7 in the future and be brought to account for in the future, which is one
8 of the reasons why I recollect it so clearly, because amongst all the
9 episodes I witnessed in Bosnia, it was one of the most significant.
10 But I don't -- I may not have answered your question clearly
11 because I'm not quite sure what you were asking me in your question.
12 Perhaps you could rephrase it.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] No, I will not rephrase my
14 question. I will not put my question again. Maybe I'll just make a
15 comment here.
16 You're talking about a very dramatic situation and you say that
17 this situation will be part of history. At the same time, you, yourself,
18 recognised your incapacity of reacting because there was not a sufficient
19 amount of violence against somebody from your mission, for instance.
20 This is what astonished me. This is why I am surprised. I'm quite happy
21 with your answer, actually.
22 THE WITNESS: Okay.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You want to comment on that, please do.
24 THE WITNESS: Well, thank you. The only comment I would make, if
25 it helps, is that part of the problem with UNPROFOR was that it was
1 insufficiently resourced and insufficiently mandated to do many of the
2 things that one might have wished to have done in the whole episode of
3 the Balkan wars. What we're looking at here is one tiny episode that
4 really encapsulates that.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a follow-up question.
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes. Just following up on my earlier question and
7 on Judge Mindua's comments, and I may not refer to a particular page of
8 the transcript, and if I recollect wrongly, please do not hesitate to
10 You have given evidence today which suggests that you met
11 General Tolimir on a number of occasions. You had lunch, meetings that
12 were quite -- not as dramatic as the scene you are explaining now. You
13 have told us about how he talked to you about the pouch with the hand
14 grenade, and what have you. Here, you are standing at the point of
15 history, a situation which you are describing is ethnic cleansing
16 directed by General Tolimir with his gun. Don't you -- is it possible
17 for you to have then have intervened by, saying, asking General Tolimir,
18 not to hold his gun in the way he held it because you perceived it as
19 something that was frightening the population around you.
20 Is that something that you could have done? Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps it is. But
22 we're overlooking the fact that General Tolimir knew very well what he
23 was doing. He was holding his gun that way in order to frighten the
24 population. So me asking him not to do it would not have necessarily
25 been helpful. It might have helped my conscience, but it wouldn't have
1 helped the situation necessarily.
2 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin, please continue.
4 MR. ELDERKIN:
5 Q. Sir, did you go back to Zepa after the 25th of July of 1995?
6 A. Yes. As I mentioned before, I certainly went back on the 27th.
7 I may have gone back on the 26th, but I don't recall clearly. But after
8 those two days, I don't believe I went back at all, no.
9 Q. And, finally, do you recall attending a meeting on the 31st of
10 July of 1995 at Mrkonjic Grad?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Perhaps we could see, please, Exhibit P594.
13 MR. ELDERKIN: And, again, this is a video, to start, please, at
14 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 39 seconds.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have the video played.
17 MR. ELDERKIN: We were just calling it up, Your Honours.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 MR. ELDERKIN: And just pause the video at 1 hour, 2 minutes,
20 59.3 seconds.
21 Q. Sir, can you tell us if you recognise anyone in the shot now?
22 A. Yes. In that room, you can see standing -- you can see
23 Colonel Baxter. Sitting half turned from us is Emma Bliss. Sitting
24 facing the camera, but half hidden, is myself. And I think the blurred
25 figure sitting down is General Smith. Go you rewind a frame or two, I
1 will be able to confirm that.
2 Yes, that is it General Smith then sitting between Emma Bliss and
4 Q. And we have just gone back to 1 hour, 2 minutes 58.3 seconds.
5 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, I understand that this video has
6 already been admitted as P594. What was not admitted at the time of the
7 video's admission was the accompanying transcript. I would propose that
8 be admitted simply to make sense of what's already effectively contained
9 within the video, and that's 65 ter 1757.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm not sure what was the reason why we just
11 MFI'd this document. Perhaps we didn't have a transcript at that time.
12 Can you help me with that?
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. ELDERKIN: I believe the transcript was simply overlooked at
15 the time. As for the reason this was MFI'd, I understand that because
16 it's a compilation video we're intending to present other witnesses to
17 cover the range of material. Sorry. I understand that the exhibit
18 itself isn't MFI'd at all. So I'm referring to a different compilation.
19 This one, the video is admitted. The transcript itself was overlooked.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You were giving us the 65 ter number as 1757
22 related to the transcript.
23 MR. ELDERKIN: That's correct.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And that's uploaded and it should be part of the
25 video so that we have only one P number.
1 MR. ELDERKIN: Yes. Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And this transcript will be part of P594.
3 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you very much. And I don't have any further
4 questions at this time for the witness.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Wood, now Mr. Tolimir has the opportunity and
8 the right to put questions to you during his cross-examination.
9 Mr. Tolimir.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good
11 morning to everyone. May there be peace in this house and may God's will
12 be done in these proceedings and not mine.
13 We will follow up from what the witness has just been telling us.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
15 Q. [Interpretation] You presented here this view of yours, your
16 vision that it was Tolimir who was walking across the village wielding a
17 pistol. Do you have any eye-witness who would be able to confirm this?
18 We've had a number of witnesses appearing here, none of whom mentioned
19 this detail. Thank you.
20 A. If you mean eye-witnesses who are not members of the Bosnian Serb
21 army or, indeed, part of the Muslim population, then, as I said before, I
22 was the only member of UNPROFOR who was down in that village at that
23 time, as I recollect.
24 So apart from myself, the answer is no.
25 Q. Thank you. Was it Mr. Edward Joseph and Mr. Bezruchenko, as well
1 as the president of the War Presidency of Zepa, Muharem Hajric, and
2 Avdo Palic who boarded the civilians onto buses, or was the
3 Army of Republika Srpska that was doing this? Thank you.
4 A. I have no idea on whose authority it was being done. I saw the
5 actual boarding being done by the policemen I described earlier and you.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now show D173. This is a
8 report by a witness appearing here before you, Mr. Edward Joseph, and we
9 will be quoting from his statement as to what it was he had to say about
10 the evacuation. Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. You see the statement there.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we turn to page 3, please.
14 This is Mr. Joseph's statement.
15 Let's look at paragraph 14 on page 3 which reads:
16 "Evacuation started the same morning when several Serb-owned
17 buses and trucks arrived to the centre. We started to organise the
18 civilians boarding in the vehicles ... Viktor, and at least one French
19 officer -- I, Viktor, and at least one French officer were very active on
20 this as well as some of the Muslim civilian leaders. Can I recall seeing
21 also General Smith there, observing the evacuation.
22 "I remember a group of wounded ABiH soldiers being among the
23 evacuees. Soon after the evacuations started, a medical examination was
24 conducted for them ... by a French and Serb ... doctor," et cetera.
25 Can you tell Their Honours, are you at all acquainted with
1 Edward Joseph and Viktor Bezruchenko? Thank you.
2 A. I don't remember either of them. You might have to remind me
3 about who Edward Joseph is.
4 Q. Thank you. Since you don't remember, there is no need for me to
5 remind you. Well, he was a civilian representative of UNPROFOR.
6 Since you're not familiar with them, did you see any UNPROFOR
7 representatives in Zepa at a time -- at the time that you arrived there?
8 A. I've already stated that I did not. In Zepa.
9 Q. Can you give us the time and date of your arrival there?
10 A. Well, the date you already have. The time, I would be
11 estimating --
12 Q. Can you please state it for the transcript, nevertheless.
13 A. Let me just refer to my statement so I make sure I get it
15 It was the 25th of July. In terms of the time, I would only be
16 estimating; but, given that we had -- well, in fact, in my statement, I
17 say later in the afternoon. So it would simply be an estimate, but I
18 would say between 3.00 and 4.00 in the afternoon.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, could you tell us at which papers
20 are you looking at --
21 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. I'm looking at my own statement
22 given -- I don't know -- has a reference number on it. But the statement
23 I gave in --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When?
25 THE WITNESS: The statement was given on the 14th of April, 2008,
1 and given in London. And I believe I'm looking at a version of the
2 statement which I believe has been provided to the -- to the accused.
3 And on page 2 of that, paragraph 5, I describe the meeting in the
4 Jela restaurant and then the movement to Zepa.
5 And I say about four lines down:
6 "Later that afternoon, while Smith and Mladic met at the table on
7 the top of the hill above Zepa, I went down into the village ..."
8 So my estimate is that it would be sometime mid-afternoon.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This statement was given to representatives of
10 the OTP, of the Prosecutor's office of this Tribunal; is that correct?
11 THE WITNESS: I understand so. I understand that -- I forget
12 what the term is, but a version was given to them, yes.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
14 MR. ELDERKIN: It would help to clarify, Your Honours, the
15 statement is an OTP witness statement provided during an interview by
16 members of the OTP with Lieutenant-Colonel Wood, and following the UK's
17 Rule 70 clearance of redacted version of the statement, it's been
18 disclosed to the Defence. And I believe it appears on their list of
19 potential exhibits as 1D613.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. David, you shouldn't mind me asking for the exact time and
25 date. Since this was registered by UNPROFOR and VRS, we know exactly
1 where Tolimir was, whether he was in Zepa, accompanying the first convoy
2 or the second. You shouldn't mind me asking for that. After all, I am
3 defending myself in a court of law.
4 Let's see what Joseph has to say about the weapons and this scene
5 which gives you a sense of Holocaust.
6 At page --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Can Mr. Tolimir repeat the transcript page of
8 Mr. Joseph's testimony. It was too fast.
9 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: At the moment we don't receive interpretation.
11 Please repeat the page number.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It's
13 transcript page 10601, lines 6 through 7, where Mr. Joseph said:
14 "But, General Tolimir, you were in down-town Zepa. I do not
15 recall whether you, yourself, carried any weapons."
16 My learned friend Mr. Elderkin can have his say now.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Elderkin.
18 MR. ELDERKIN: It's only fair if General Tolimir is going to
19 refer to Mr. Joseph's evidence to state the date on which he is talking
20 about, and that's the 26th of July. The witness has confirmed that he
21 was in Zepa on the 25th of July, the day before.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said that
24 Edward Joseph testified on the 1st of March.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. My question is this: If he doesn't recall me carrying any
2 weapons, how do you reconcile the fact that you remember me wielding a
3 gun, so -- and that it was so firmly impressed in your memory that it
4 reminded you of Holocaust?
5 A. Well, I think that it's been established we're talking about two
6 different occasions here. And on the occasion that I saw you with your
7 gun in your hand, there was no one else of Mr. Joseph's description in
8 Zepa with me.
9 Q. Thank you. You say that you weren't accompanied by anyone. You
10 saw what he said in his statement, that he drew up lists in the morning.
11 Let's look at paragraph 16 and 17 of the statement you have on your
12 screen. I'm quoting from paragraph 16, and this is what Edward Joseph
14 "We created written lists of the evacuees, and, as far as I can
15 recall, we had a separate list for each vehicle. I turned over those
16 lists at a later date, either to UNHCR or someone in UNPROFOR. We tried
17 to place one UNPROFOR soldier on each vehicle, but I'm not sure if we
18 managed to do it throughout the time.
19 "The evacuation lasted probably three days or longer. The
20 atmosphere was very tense throughout the time but we managed to board all
21 the people who had come to the centre and were willing to leave. I
22 estimate that approximately 7.000 people were evacuated."
23 This is my question: If Mr. Joseph, who was involved in the
24 evacuation and the drawing up of lists said, and I'm quoting only the
25 relevant portion, "We boarded all the people who had come to the centre
1 and were willing to leave," does this mean that the Army of Republika
2 Srpska did not engage in any sort of triage, screening, or separation of
3 individuals but, rather, that it was done solely by the individuals I
4 referred to earlier on: Mr. Bezruchenko, Hajric, Avdo Palic, and they
5 had a say in who was to leave or not? Thank you.
6 A. I have no idea what process was used to organise the people who
7 were evacuated from Zepa.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we must have our first break now, on
9 technical reasons.
10 We adjourn and resume at 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue your
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. David -- sorry, Mr. Wood, we have been discussing the
19 beginning of the evacuation for which you said happened on the 25th. You
20 said you arrived at 3.00. My question is whether the evacuation began
21 when you arrived or has -- had it already been under way?
22 A. You remember that I estimated it was around 3.00. No, the
23 evacuation appeared to have -- to be under way already. But I hadn't
24 seen any evacuation prior to that, obviously.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us why, in your view -- or why do you
1 believe there were only members of the VRS in Zepa and not those
2 mentioned by Mr. Joseph in his statement, who organised the evacuation
4 A. I have no idea.
5 Q. Thank you. You could see in his statement that he said he
6 evacuated all those who arrived in the centre, so no one was left. Do
7 you know from any source whether anyone was singled out, taken off the
8 buses and returned during the process of the evacuation you were able to
10 A. Well, going back to Edward Joseph's statement, I think it has
11 been established that his statement concerns the following day, not the
12 day I was there. In answer to your question about whether I know of
13 anyone taken off the buses, the answer to that is no.
14 Q. Thank you. General Joseph's -- sorry, Mr. Joseph's statement was
15 given before the testimony and it concerns the entire evacuation. I
16 quoted a particular part in which he says he cannot recall whether I had
17 any weapons on me. It wasn't actually his statement but a single
18 sentence that I pointed out. Actually, it was from his testimony on the
19 10th, I believe. This is but a small excerpt. I think he uttered it on
20 March 1 at transcript page 10601.
21 Did you know that the War Presidency, itself, and Avdo Palic, as
22 well as UNPROFOR representatives, organised the evacuation process from
23 Zepa and that it wasn't done by the VRS. It wasn't the VRS soldiers who
24 carried out any screening or who decided who was to board the buses or
25 not. Were you able to observe that in the centre of Zepa?
1 A. I've already told you what I saw in the centre of Zepa, which was
2 you organising a group of, what I took to be, Bosnian Serb policemen,
3 organising the loading onto vehicles of a few hundred women and children,
5 Q. Thank you. You said that I was wielding out a gun, thus carrying
6 out ethnic cleansing. I'm asking you, as a soldier, does a general
7 secure the soldiers in his environment or that are a part of his escort;
8 or are they there to secure, to provide security for the general? Does
9 General Smith take out his handgun when you are a part of his escort?
10 A. I don't think there's much doubt that there's a big difference
11 between the sort of general that General Smith is and the sort of general
12 that you are.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But this doesn't --
14 THE WITNESS: The point I'm taking -- sorry.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers] ... the real response to
16 the question of Mr. Tolimir.
17 THE WITNESS: Well, I would not normally expect a normal general
18 to be wielding his pistol in these circumstances. That's really my
19 point. Why General Tolimir was wielding his pistol at that -- on that
20 occasion is something we can only speculate about. But -- but the
21 question he asked is: Is this something a general would normally do, and
22 the answer is no.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, the question was slightly different:
24 "Does General Smith take out his handgun when you are a part of
25 his escort?"
1 THE WITNESS: No was the answer. Sorry.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
4 you, Mr. Wood.
5 Let us look at D51, which is agreement of the 24th of July.
6 We'll look into how it came about that the population was evacuated.
7 We'll see the agreement itself. It is on the screens now.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. This is the agreement on the disarmament of the able-bodied
10 population in the Zepa enclave, signed by the Rogatica Brigade commander,
11 Rajko Kusic; Dudnjik Semjon, who was there as the UNPROFOR commander for
12 Zepa; as well as Ratko Mladic and Hamdija Torlak. It was signed on 24th
13 of July, 1995; that is to say, one day prior to your arrival.
14 Let's look at item 1. It says:
15 "A cease-fire between the parties to the conflict shall be
16 implemented immediately."
17 My question is this: If there's cease-fire, why use weapons? Of
18 what use are weapons in that situation?
19 A. I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure how to answer that question. If
20 there was a cease-fire, then I would not expect weapons to be used.
21 Q. Thank you. Would it be logical for General Tolimir to take out
22 his weapon surrounded by inhabitants of the area who were departing, who
23 were actually civilian? Does it make any sense?
24 A. Well, as I said earlier, I can only speculate as to why you had
25 your pistol out. But it makes sense if the purpose was to frighten the
1 population. Otherwise, it makes no sense.
2 Q. Thank you. Why would I try to scare them if they were to leave
3 for the territory where I lived and worked and they were supposed to
4 traverse many kilometres? Why would I try to scare them by pulling out a
5 handgun? Can you explain that to the Chamber perhaps?
6 A. Well, again, you're asking me to explain your actions and I'm
7 unable to do that. I can speculate that, for whatever reason, you wanted
8 to continue the atmosphere of fear and intimidation that was evident in
9 Zepa that afternoon, but I cannot explain your actions.
10 Q. Thank you. Did the inhabitants start running away when they saw
11 me wielding the handgun and did they give up on being evacuated?
12 A. No. The inhabitants that I saw were thoroughly frightened, very
13 frightened, and many of them, as I mentioned, were either old or infirm
14 or they were mothers with children. So I didn't see any run away. But I
15 would question whether any of them could have run away, even if they'd
16 wanted to.
17 Q. Thank you. Please, you told the Chamber that you saw me wielding
18 a handgun, pointing upwards, conducting ethnic cleansing. Let's look at
19 item 3 of the agreement, and there you can see perhaps whether I ordered
20 the ethnic cleansing to be carried out or was this a provision of the
21 agreement, mutually agreed to by both sides, and I merely took part in
23 Paragraph 3:
24 "The civilian and able-bodied population of Zepa shall assemble
25 around the UNPROFOR base in Zepa, which will be a sign to the Army of the
1 RS that the units under the command of Avdo Palic have accepted the truce
2 and will not try to take advantage of it."
3 My question is: Were the VRS and its officers in any way
4 outnumbered or in an inferior position, vis-a-vis the local population,
5 so as to feel they had to defend themselves in this way?
6 A. No. As I've already testified, there were probably 3- or 400
7 people, local inhabitants there, and there were, in my estimate, about 8
8 or 9 -- 7, 8, or 9 policemen and yourself there so they were not
9 outnumbered -- so they were outnumbered, I beg your pardon. But they
10 were outnumbered by women and children and old people. There was not, in
11 my opinion, a reason to -- to use military force, by which I would mean
12 the brandishing of weapons or the using of weapons, in order to achieve
13 the objective that you appeared to be trying to achieve, which was
14 loading them onto the coaches.
15 Q. Thank you. Would such conduct divert people's attention away
16 from the process of evacuation or would they help evacuation in any way?
17 A. When you say "such action," you mean waving guns around?
18 Q. Precisely. Would brandishing a weapon by any Serb officer
19 further persuade those Muslims to leave, or would it divert their
20 attention or put them in a position which they would decide not to
21 proceed with the evacuation?
22 A. Well, as I've previously said, I can only speculate as to why you
23 had your weapon out. But my speculation is that you may have wanted to
24 do so, in order to further frighten the people who were already quite
25 frightened so as to encourage them to conform with your instructions and
1 to get into the buses and leave quietly. But that is purely my
2 interpretation of what it is you were doing. I don't know what your
3 purpose was.
4 Q. Thank you. Before we move on to a footage to see how it all
5 began and whether they were, indeed, afraid of my gun, which, by the way,
6 I did not even have, let's look at item 7 [Realtime transcript read in
7 error "3"]:
8 "In accordance with the Geneva Conventions of the 12th of August,
9 1949, and the Additional Protocols of 1977, the civilian population of
10 Zepa shall be given the freedom to choose their place of residence while
11 hostilities continue."
12 My question is this: Since they were provided freedom of movement
13 during the hostilities, is it ethnic cleansing, indeed, because the
14 agreement is quite clear on the issue of evacuation only while
15 hostilities continue?
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
17 MR. ELDERKIN: Just for the record, it seems that General Tolimir
18 is quoting from item 7, rather than item 3 as it appears in the
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Indeed.
21 Now the answer, please.
22 THE WITNESS: I am not quite sure how I can answer this question.
23 The -- I don't have a definition of what "ethnic cleansing" is or means.
24 It is clear to me -- it was clear to me, standing in the square in Zepa,
25 that those who were being loaded onto the buses were being evacuated from
1 Zepa against their will. If that is what is defined by "ethnic
2 cleansing," then that's what was occurring.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. I'm asking you whether you said that General Tolimir
5 ordered for the ethnic cleansing to take place. I believe that was your
6 formulation. But telling us that I took out a gun and brandished it, did
7 you try to present the situation as a situation of Holocaust in order to
8 give a certain impression for the Court, or did you have any other
9 motives for that, any other reasons?
10 A. Well, you've asked two questions there. As to the first one,
11 whether you ordered it or not, I do not know that. I've only testified
12 that you were directing it. I can only speculate as to whether you
13 ordered it, and I'm making a distinction between the physical carrying
14 out of the action on the ground which I saw you do and the orders for it,
15 which I did not see, and I cannot comment on who gave.
16 With regards to the second question, what I have tried to do for
17 clarity is to explain the sense that I got, as I stood in the square in
18 Zepa and saw the actions of you and your men, and I have equated it to
19 visions of the Holocaust simply to convey the sense of fear, the sense of
20 oppression that I witnessed. As I've stressed already, I did not see any
21 direct -- any direct acts of violence, but what I did see was the use of
22 military force, fear, and coercion to evacuate a civilian population
23 which, at that point, consisted almost entirely of women, children, and
24 old people.
25 Q. Thank you. Let us look at P5704. It is a footage taken in Zepa
1 on the 25th of July. Let's have a look at it at 36 minutes, 15 seconds,
2 to 37 minutes, 50 seconds. Actually, the exhibit is P740.
3 [Video-clip played]
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please stop.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We see a person in uniform in the centre of the screen. Do you
7 know who it is?
8 A. Do you mean in the near ground? Close to the camera?
9 Q. Thank you. There's a single person in uniform in this still. At
10 this moment, his back is turned to us, but when we play it again, we'll
11 see the face.
12 But, in any case, do you already know who that person is?
13 A. I don't believe I do. If you rewind it a couple of frames, I'll
14 have another look.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. We did rewind. Do you know Avdo Palic, commander of
18 the Zepa Brigade?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you. Is this person part of the VRS in the way he is
21 moving about, or do you believe that he is freely moving about -- moving
22 among the population as part of that population?
23 A. Are you talking about the person on the screen now? This person?
24 Perhaps you could rewind the video so that I can see what you are talking
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we need always for the record the time
2 when the video was stopped. I think this is at 37 minutes, .6.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We should rewind a bit more, as
4 requested by the witness, so that he could see whether this particular
5 person is escorting anyone.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You can see him move.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Can you see the person holding the papers in his hand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please stop.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Did you see the person with some papers in his hand?
15 A. I saw him. If you could rewind again, I can get a better picture
16 of him.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please stop.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You saw it well, I believe. You saw --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir. Mr Tolimir.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. -- a number of sheets of paper --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Again, Mr. Tolimir, we stopped at 37.21 minutes.
25 We saw two people with paper in their hands. Are you referring to this
1 person on the right-hand side of the screen in the blue shirt?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, that is the
3 person. And there was another person whom I don't know.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know who the person in the blue shirt is with the stack of
6 paper in his hand?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you know the president of the War Presidency of
9 Zepa, Mr. Mehmed Hajric?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Thank you. From the documents sent by UNPROFOR representatives
12 from Zepa, did you ever learn that he and the other person who we could
13 see created those lists and that they were in charge of evacuation,
14 deciding who was to board what bus at what time?
15 A. Well, that is what your document appears to say, but you're
16 showing me a video of a different event from the event that I described
17 to you.
18 Q. Thank you. The Chamber will ascertain whether this footage was
19 taken on the 25th.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We will go on playing the video.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please stop.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Am I holding a handgun or shaking hands with the gentleman who
25 was the Zepa Brigade commander?
1 A. You're shaking his hand.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The video was stopped at 37.45 -- 49 minutes.
3 You should indicate that, Mr. Tolimir. It's not my duty. It's
4 your examination. But we need to have it clear on the record.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I've
6 just only realised where it was that you were reading it from. I can see
7 it now clearly on the screen, 37.49. My apologies.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you see three individuals here, one of whom is me? Do you
10 recognise the other two?
11 A. I don't recognise them, but you have told me that the man shaking
12 your hand was the ex-commander of the Zepa Brigade. But I don't
13 refreshing either of the other two.
14 Q. Thank you. Please have a good look at the other individual
15 because you'll see him in another frame as a negotiator. I can't
16 remember his name now.
17 Don't you see here that I'm in contact with representatives of
18 Zepa who signed the agreement on evacuation? Since this is one of the
19 negotiators and the other person being the brigade commander, does it not
20 transpire that they agreed to the evacuation?
21 A. Again, I cannot possibly comment on what they may or may not have
22 agreed with, with you. What you have shown me is a video-clip of you
23 appearing to greet or maybe say good-bye to a man on the right who you
24 tell me is the ex-brigade commander. I have no idea what passed between
25 you, either before or after that video.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. That wasn't my question. I wanted to tell you
2 this: Do they in any way exhibit fear? We have the other individual
3 smiling. So did they react with fear when they saw me? Thank you.
4 A. Again, I must emphasise, I was not present when this video was
5 taken, so I can't comment on whether they were frightened or not. In
6 this particular frame, they don't look particularly frightened, I will
7 agree. But, then, again, they knew they were being video'd I cannot make
8 a comment as to whether they were actually frightened or not.
9 Q. Thank you. This is the beginning of the evacuation on the 25th.
10 And this is there for the Trial Chamber to ascertain. The footage was
11 provided by the Prosecution, not by me. Can we play it -- oh no, that's
12 the extent of the footage.
13 Let's read something to see how the evacuation came about. Can
14 we have P740. It's the same footage but we'll be reviewing the portion
15 from 25 to 26 minutes, and if the audio is too poor, I'll read out later
16 on what was said.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we stop there? Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. A moment ago, in the frame showing the centre of Zepa, was it
21 this individual that you saw there? Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For the record, the video was
23 stopped at 25.19. Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: It looks like the same man.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now continue playing the
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Please pay attention to what you can hear and read.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please pause there.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. When General Mladic asked, What do you want? The person in the
10 white shirt said, He doesn't know. I'll speak. And that's
11 Hamdija Torlak, the signatory to the agreement I showed you a moment ago,
12 pursuant to which the evacuation took place.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we continue playing the video,
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Stop, please. We need the time when you stopped
16 the video. Every time you stop the video you should indicate, like all
17 parties have to do that.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
19 video was stopped at 25 minutes, 49 seconds.
20 Can we continue playing it, please.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we pause there.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Did you hear the representative or the signatory to the agreement
25 say, We called our government.
1 Were you able to hear this, or read this? Thank you.
2 A. I didn't see that, no. Perhaps you could rewind it till --
3 Q. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to say this was at
6 26 minutes, 8 seconds when we stopped the footage. And the witness wants
7 it rewound in order for him to see and hear what Mr. Torlak said. So can
8 we rewind, please.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Rather than waste time by reviewing this footage which the
12 Trial Chamber has had occasion to look at repeatedly, I would like to
13 draw your attention to some of the interesting parts of the transcript.
14 We've stopped the clip at 27 minutes, 3 seconds. And I'll tell you what
15 transpired in these several minutes, since the audio was quite poor, at
16 least from what I was able to hear. The transcript says:
17 "We called our government," et cetera, "now we've come here to
18 try and arrange one thing. We agreed that under the circumstances, the
19 issue of Zepa is best resolved by having the entire population of Zepa
20 leave safely and of free will."
21 That's what Hamdija Torlak said, who signed the agreement and
22 asked for the evacuation of the people. He was the president of the
23 local government and, at the same time, the president of the
24 War Presidency of Zepa.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you should call up the transcript.
1 In the subtitles we have seen, there was a different language. There
2 was -- I didn't see anything about that these people have called their
3 government. I didn't see that. And if you are reading from text, you
4 should call -- call it up on the screen.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have a
6 transcript of the video which I was reading from. And as for the video
7 footage itself, I don't know -- I don't speak English. He said, We
8 called the government. He didn't say, We called the government in
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we need the document on the screen,
11 the transcript. I don't have it. We have to check it. And if you want
12 to put a question to this part of the transcript to the witness, he
13 should see it.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 13 of the
15 transcript? Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which is the document number?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 740. Thank you. That's from
18 25 minutes to 26 minutes. That's the portion of the footage.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This can't be the relevant part of the
20 transcript, at least in English.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said page 13.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In both languages?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. As we can see, line 27, in Serbian, that's where I'm reading
1 from. In English, that's line 2 or 3.
2 It reads:
3 "Hamdija Torlak says [unintelligible]," so the person
4 transcribing couldn't make it out. "In our work," et cetera, "we came to
5 try to arrange one thing. We agreed that in this situation the issue of
6 Zepa would be resolved in the best way if the entire population left the
7 zone of Zepa safely."
8 That's the line that I wanted to read out and that was the
9 foundation for the question I was going to put.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
11 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honour, I still don't see any reference to
12 the government or any of the quote that General Tolimir previously read
13 out, and I think it would help, since he spent some time narrating that,
14 to identify where that is, please.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, that was my concern as well. Page 55,
16 lines 5 through 9, Mr. Tolimir, you told the Chamber the transcript says
17 and then you quoted:
18 "We called our government," et cetera, "now we have come here to
19 try and arrange one thing. We agreed that under the circumstances, the
20 issue of Zepa is best resolved, by having the entire population of Zepa
21 leave safely and of free will."
22 I don't see this text here in the document in front of us. It is
23 it quite similar, but without this mentioning of any government. Could
24 you please clarify that.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You see where it reads "unintelligible" as written by someone
3 who, for the purposes of the Prosecution, transcribed this. And then it
4 goes on to say, "In our work," et cetera. However, in Serbian, we can
5 hear the person say, "We called our government," et cetera, and then from
6 there continues the text. "We came here to try to arrange one thing. We
7 agreed that in this situation the issue of Zepa would best be resolved if
8 the entire population left the zone of Zepa safely."
9 I don't know what the English reads because I can't speak
10 English. Thank you?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There's still a difference. We can't make it
12 out. You should put a question to the witness.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So based on what you see here, who asked that the civilian
16 population be evacuated, a representative of the VRS or a representative
17 of the civilian population, here in the person of Hamdija Torlak, in the
18 process of negotiating with General Mladic? Thank you.
19 A. Well, it appears from the transcript that you've offered and the
20 video that you've offered that that -- that the person who you've
21 identified as the lead Bosnian Muslim says, We come here to try to
22 arrange one thing. So the implication is that they are seeking to
23 arrange something.
24 But you're asking me to comment on -- on a dialogue that I was
25 not present at, that I have no knowledge of, and so I can't really tell
1 you what was meant by either party in that conversation.
2 Q. Thank you for your answer. I put this to you because you said
3 that I had ordered ethnic cleansing, whereas, it's the president of the
4 executive committee of the municipal assembly doing that. Thank you for
5 your answer.
6 A. I am sorry.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
8 MR. ELDERKIN: I object to the question because the witness was
9 very clear about saying he had no knowledge of who ordered the ethnic
10 cleansing. He simply saw General Tolimir directing the process down in
11 Zepa town and it appears to be a deliberate misstatement of the witness's
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We can go back to the transcript of today.
14 Page 22, lines 10 to 14, and I quote:
15 "It was a very strange experience for me to be standing there as
16 a UN soldier in a blue beret, standing there amongst what was very
17 obviously an unpleasant act of admittedly non-violent ethnic cleansing
18 going on directed by General Tolimir and his men."
19 This was -- the witness who has testified about this situation
20 this morning, this is the basic -- we are now discussing on and
21 Mr. Tolimir is putting questions in relation to that.
22 We should be very precise in choosing our words.
23 Mr. Elderkin.
24 MR. ELDERKIN: I don't have the direct reference but I clearly
25 recall an answer where the witness distinguished, in his view, military
1 terms between ordering and directing. I think that should be reflected,
2 if the question is put back to him.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed, he was asked later in relation to
4 this first answer. The first answer included the words "directed by
5 General Tolimir and his men."
6 "Directed," I repeat. So later on there was a more precise
7 explanation. I don't know where it is in the transcript, but you should
8 continue, Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you remember a frame from the video featuring an individual
12 whose name appeared on the screen as Hamdija -- or, rather,
13 Mehmed Hajric, who had that blue shirt on and had those papers in his
14 hands that His Honour asked about? So do you remember this individual
15 and the other one next to him carrying papers in his hand? Thank you.
16 A. I remember you showing me the video of these people, yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you observe that they were the ones directing the
18 boarding and evacuation? Did you see any members of the Army of
19 Republika Srpska present there or was there only the president of the
20 municipal assembly of Zepa wearing a blue shirt, accompanied by a man
21 with lists in his hand? Thank you.
22 A. Well, there are two points to make here. The first is that
23 earlier on in the same video, there was in the background a group of what
24 appeared to be soldiers from the Bosnian Serb army. So they were present
25 at the video you have shown me.
1 But, secondly, as I've said previously, you were showing me a
2 video of an event that I was not present at, at that time. I don't know
3 exactly when this video was taken but it is not a video of the evacuation
4 that I stood amongst. So you're showing me two different things.
5 Q. Thank you. You had a camera and could have filmed it, and the
6 Prosecution would have showed it then. This is a Prosecution video, not
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
10 MR. ELDERKIN: [Microphone not activated] ... any basis at all
11 for the comment that General Tolimir just made. If he has got a basis
12 for that, can he please put it, that if the witness had a camera and
13 could have filmed it.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We'll
16 show Mr. Gibb's statement later on about the equipment brought in
17 precisely by the members referred to by the witness. Now, if we need to
18 show it now, we can drop this line of questioning for the time being and
19 present it at this stage. I can put this question to the witness right
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Does he know what sort of equipment his colleague Dibb brought
23 into Zepa illegally or legally? Thank you.
24 A. I have no idea.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, did you have a camera with you, when you
1 were in Zepa?
2 THE WITNESS: I personally did not have a camera. I don't
3 remember there being any cameras there. I do remember some video'ing
4 going on at the top of the hill during the meeting between General Smith
5 and General Mladic that preceded my journey down into Zepa that was
6 video'd by the Serbs, by the Bosnian Serbs. But I certainly didn't take
7 a camera down into Zepa myself, and I didn't have a camera, and I'm not
8 aware of any other cameras that might have been down there. And I don't
9 know whether Mr. Dibb had a camera. I would rather doubt it.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And my question and the answer of the witness was
11 in relation to -- was in relation to your question, Mr. Tolimir, page 60,
12 lines 13 through 15. You said to the witness:
13 "You had a camera and could have filmed it and the Prosecution
14 would have showed it then."
15 And Mr. Elderkin was asking for a foundation for this statement
16 that this witness had a camera.
17 But we have received an answer now, that he didn't have a camera.
18 Please carry on.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
20 apologise to the witness. I said "you" and I meant UNPROFOR
21 representatives. Later on, we'll show a document and a statement wherein
22 Mr. Dibb stated that he was able to bring in special equipment illegally.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please tell us, the frame where you saw the president of the
25 War Presidency of Zepa and other associates of his carrying papers, was
1 it filmed in Zepa or outside of it, in your view, including the
2 evacuation of civilians from Zepa?
3 A. I don't know, and, therefore, I can't give you a categorical
4 answer. It looks to me as if it was filmed in Zepa but I only went there
5 once -- into the village once in my life, so I can't be certain about
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
8 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
9 At page 60 of today's transcript -- sorry. Yeah, page 60,
10 lines 6 and 7, you have stated as follows:
11 "Well there are two points to make here. The first is that
12 earlier on in the same video, there was in the background of what
13 appeared to be soldiers from the Bosnian Serb army."
14 Earlier in the same video, we were looking at another soldier in
15 uniform who you failed to identify. Now, the uniform that was worn by
16 soldiers of the opposite sides how -- how would you be in a position to
17 distinguish between soldiers wearing Bosnian Serb army and soldiers
18 wearing the camouflage from the Muslim army? Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: That's a very good question. And one of the
20 problems in Bosnia at the time is that they all wore, more or less, the
21 same uniform. The reason why I made the distinction in the video that I
22 was shown, and this is the first time I have seen that video that I can
23 recollect, was because the soldiers that I pointed out as soldiers were
24 armed. They were carrying weapons. And whilst you are quite correct, I
25 don't know for certain that they were Bosnian Serb soldiers. I find it
1 highly likely that they were Bosnian Serb soldiers because they were
2 armed and, if not directly supervising the evacuation, they were
3 certainly standing around and accompanying it.
4 So it is a deduction, really.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 To be fully precise and correct, let's show D112, which is
9 Mr. Dibb's statement. Specifically page 2.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Let's see exactly what it was that Mr. Dibb said. He didn't
12 refer to filming equipment but to highly sophisticated or sophisticated
13 equipment. Let me quote. We have is on our screen, and the last
14 paragraph on both pages of page 2 reads:
15 "On the 25th of July, I was -- I was woken up at midnight and
16 told that a plan had been created to send a team into Zepa. This was to
17 include Joint Commission Observers, two men: A SAS captain and a
18 staff-sergeant. I was to accompany them. I believe I was chosen to go
19 because of my language skills. Our job was to report back directly to
20 General Smith's HQ exactly what was taking place in Zepa. We had with us
21 sophisticated radio equipment. I do not think that the VRS knew what
22 equipment we had or they may not have let us into Zepa. We were told
23 that we were going to Zepa for two to five days with secure
24 communications to report back to BHC what was happening in Zepa. I was
25 to report through the JCO's Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter and through him to
1 General Smith."
2 This is the reference I made to Mr. Dibb.
3 This is my question: Did you, and I mean your members, when you
4 were in Zepa, were you members of the British Army? Thank you.
5 A. I -- for the whole of my service, I was a member of the
6 British Army, as were all of my men. The -- the UN Protection Force in
7 Yugoslavia, UNPROFOR, was made up of contingents of different
8 nationalities, soldiers of different nationalities, who were attached to
9 UNPROFOR, seconded to UNPROFOR. They remained members of their own army
10 in that period, but while they were working in Yugoslavia, they were
11 attached to UNPROFOR. So my role there, and the role of my men, was to
12 remain a member of the British Army but be attached to the
13 UN Protection Force.
14 Q. Thank you. To be more precise, I believe we ought to say that
15 you were a member of the British Army, not a member of UNPROFOR. Were
16 you officially a member of UNPROFOR; that is to say, of the international
17 peacekeeping force, or were you primarily a member of the British Army?
18 A. I and my men were officially, and in all practical purposes,
19 seconded to UNPROFOR. We were members of UNPROFOR by any definition you
20 might care to apply. We were also, of course, members of the
21 British Army that we came from and that we returned to. But if you are
22 trying to suggest that we were there as -- we were there and that we were
23 not members of UNPROFOR then that is not correct. We were there and we
24 were members of UNPROFOR.
25 Q. Thank you. Who was your immediate superior? Who were you
1 subordinated to?
2 A. My immediate superior was General Smith.
3 Q. Thank you. Was he your superior with regard to the British Army
4 or with regard to UNPROFOR? Because each command has its own structure
5 and unit. So what structure did you belong to?
6 A. Well, as you know, and as you correctly state, each
7 troop-contributing nation has a head of their contribution. And in our
8 case, in the British case, the head of the British contribution to
9 UNPROFOR was for most of my time -- was a guy called Brigadier Pringle,
10 who was based in Gornji Vakuf. He was technically in charge of all
11 military forces who were in Bosnia at the time. However, in practical
12 terms, my -- my boss, my immediately superior was General Smith, because
13 I lived and worked in his headquarters in the residency in Sarajevo and
14 because my role and function, and those of my men, was to support his
15 work in Bosnia.
16 Q. Thank you. Had something happened to you in the war, who would
17 have been responsible for that? The Security Council of the UN, the UN
18 command structure, or the British Army?
19 A. You have to explain what you mean by something happened to me.
20 Do you mean -- what do you mean by that?
21 Q. When serving with the UN, a soldier can suffer any kind of fate,
22 including the worst one. Had something happened to you, who would have
23 provided for your pension to be paid out?
24 A. Well, that's not something I paid much attention to. But my
25 understanding is, and you would perhaps have to get a more expert witness
1 to tell you about the detail of the status of forces agreement between
2 the countries and the UN and so on. But certainly my understanding is
3 that in the event of death or injury of an UNPROFOR soldier, then the
4 troop-contributing nation takes responsibility for his treatment, his
5 care, repatriation of body and so on. But I'm not really an expert in
6 that so you would have to ask somebody who is.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt for a moment and put a question.
8 Sir, who was the direct superior of General Smith during that
9 time he served in Bosnia?
10 THE WITNESS: As I recall, his direct superior, I think, was a
11 French General, called General Janvier, who, I think I'm right in
12 remembering, was based in Zagreb and who had responsibility for all of
13 the forces in the Balkans, I believe. So General Smith, while he was
14 working in Sarajevo, was, if you like, an UN general and had a
15 responsibility through an UN chain of command up to General Janvier and
16 then to, I think, the Security Council. The question that the defendant
17 asked me was in relation to the national command, which was sort of an
18 administrative and legal command, if you like, that went back through
19 heads of forces, back to their own countries and applied to all nations
20 that contributed forces there.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Please tell us this, Mr. Wood: Could General Janvier issue
1 orders directly to you?
2 A. To -- issue his orders directly to me? No.
3 Q. I didn't ask you whether he did. I wanted to know whether he
4 could issue orders directly to you; whether General Janvier, who was
5 superior to General Smith, could issue orders directly to you.
6 A. Again, you would probably have to ask somebody with a more
7 detailed knowledge of the precise wording of the various status of forces
8 agreements to see what the legal limits on orders were, and I don't know
9 really. Because for practical purposes, all the orders I received were
10 from General Smith and I cannot think of a scenario where General Janvier
11 would have asked me directly to do something. But if there was a
12 scenario where he had a personal requirement to deploy the JCOs into some
13 particular area, then I'm sure what he would have done is told
14 General Smith and General Smith would have told me. But I don't recall
15 that ever happening.
16 Q. Thank you. Tell us this, please: Could someone standing in for
17 General Smith, who otherwise was his subordinate, in General Smith's
18 absence, issue orders to you?
19 A. Yes. Because, like any military command structure, there is
20 scope to -- to operate successfully if a particular part of that
21 structure is missing or absent. And if General Smith had been absent on
22 duty or unable to issue orders, then either his deputy who was a French
23 general, called General Gobillard, or his Chief of Staff, who was a Dutch
24 general called General Nicolai, would have given orders.
25 As it is, I can't remember any circumstances when they did give
1 orders to the JCOs, but they could have done so, because they would have
2 been acting in the name of and with the authority of General Smith.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you recall whether anyone issued an order to you
4 personally by-passing General Smith? Did anyone issue any orders to you,
5 save for General Smith, while you were in Zepa and attending to your
6 other duties?
7 A. I need to ask you to clarify. Do you mean anyone within
9 Q. Anyone other than General Smith. In practice, did that happen?
10 A. Nobody in UNPROFOR that I can remember issued me any orders,
11 aside from General Smith. If you want to get into the area of whether
12 there were in the national orders issued to me, then I think that we are
13 moving into an area that I'm not permitted to comment on under Rule 70.
20 [Private session]
11 Page 11153 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Sir, can you tell us whether your stay in Zepa was legal from the
16 standpoint of the authorities of Republika Srpska?
17 A. I -- the answer to that question is that I -- I can't comment
18 from the standpoint of the authorities of Republika Srpska. I have no
19 idea what they would regard as legal or illegal. I was there legally as
20 a member of the UNPROFOR under the orders of the UNPROFOR commander, and
21 that is as far as it goes.
22 Q. Thank you. Are you responsible or answerable to any warring
23 party for your actions in the time of war; or are you only answerable to
24 your own command and your own national forces while acting in a territory
25 controlled by the warring parties?
1 A. I'm not sure that I understand your question correctly. Perhaps
2 you could rephrase it.
3 Q. Thank you. I will.
4 Do you have any obligations vis-a-vis the side whose territory
5 you used while performing your tasks; or is your only responsibility
6 towards the -- towards those superior to you within your national
7 contingent or those you were directly subordinated to?
8 A. I see. Again, you would have to refer to a more -- to a more
9 expert witness than me to discuss the -- the detail of the status of
10 forces agreements between the various elements here. But from a
11 practical personal perspective, my responsibility was to my commander,
12 and I had no responsibility as such towards any of the warring factions
13 within whose areas we operated.
14 Q. Thank you. Does it mean that you could stay illegally in the
15 territory of those warring factions, and that even in such a case you
16 wouldn't be called to task to explain your actions to any of the warring
17 factions but only to those you were subordinated to?
18 A. Again, the details of the agreement by which UNPROFOR was present
19 in the former Yugoslavia are an area you should explore with somebody
20 else. But my understanding of it is that UNPROFOR could go anywhere and
21 do anything for practical reasons without either needing the authority of
22 or being responsible to any of the warring parties. In practice, of
23 course, that simply wasn't possible because many of the warring parties
24 failed to abide by the agreements that had UNPROFOR there in the first
25 place, and so UNPROFOR had very limited freedom of movement in practical
1 terms. But in legal terms, I believe, but I stand to be corrected if
2 somebody more expert can do so -- in legal terms, I believe UNPROFOR
3 could go where it wanted.
4 Q. Thank you. Somewhat later, we will show you the agreement on the
5 movement of UNPROFOR across the territory of the warring factions; in
6 this case, the RS.
7 Could we next have 1D614, which is your statement, paragraph 4,
8 on page 2. You provided the statement to the OTP, and it will serve as
9 the basis for my next question.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's have it on the screen first.
11 Yes. Paragraph 4, please. 1D614.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
13 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honour, I'm seeing something on the screen
14 now that appears to refer to an unrelated protected witness and shouldn't
15 be broadcast.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It shouldn't be broadcast, indeed. Mr. Tolimir,
17 you should check the right number.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My legal assistant is telling me
20 that the number is 613, rather than 614. Thank you, Aleksander. I
21 apologise for having provided the wrong number for e-court.
22 It is 1D613.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Is this the statement you signed?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 2, please, paragraph 4,
3 lines 1 through 3.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. We can see it now in both languages. This part was not redacted:
6 "In Bosnia, I was based in the residency and commanded the JCO
7 teams deployed throughout Bosnia."
8 You stated as much in your statement.
9 My question is this: Why was it called "Joint Commission
10 Observers"? Perhaps you can explain to the Bench why the word "joint"
12 A. The establishment of the Joint Commission Observers preceded my
13 arrival. It had been running for I think six or maybe nine months before
14 I arrived. And my understanding is, remains, that the Joint Commission
15 Observers was set up to provide a verification reporting and facilitation
16 ability to assist the joint commission, which, if I remember correctly,
17 was made up of all parties and surrounded the Cessation of Hostilities
18 Agreement that was signed in, I think, 1994. So the Joint Commission
19 Observers were sort of borne out of that Cessation of Hostilities
20 Agreement as a means of verifying, facilitating and reporting what was
21 going on, so that the agreement might hold together; in fact, of course,
22 it didn't, but the Joint Commission Observers continued after that time.
23 That's my understanding of the origins of the title.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us for the record who organised it and
25 why it was called joint? Were there a number of forces from a number of
1 countries, or did only the British Army participate in it; that is to
2 say, the special unit of the British air force?
3 A. My understanding is that when it was originally conceived it
4 would be a multi-national force. It was to be a multi-national force; in
5 particular, including the French and the Dutch. The reality was that by
6 the time that I came to command it and it was effectively a British unit,
7 but it was serving as part of UNPROFOR and was, therefore, an UN unit.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, whether the unit took part in
9 guiding air-strikes, since it was a unit of the special command of the
10 British air force?
11 A. The JCOs were governed by exactly the same rules of engagement as
12 applied to all UNPROFOR forces in Bosnia, and they essentially were that
13 they could uses military force to protect themselves, that was
14 fundamentally the justification. So they had no additional offensive
15 role, if that's what you're trying to imply.
16 Q. Thank you. Did they take part in the guiding of the air-strikes?
17 Were they forward air spotters?
18 A. Any soldier with a radio can direct an air-strike.
19 Q. Thank you. I asked you whether you and your men directed any
20 air-strikes; for example, during Operation Srebrenica, or the operation
21 in Zepa? Did you direct air-strikes?
22 A. During the operation in Srebrenica, there was occasion for my men
23 to call air support in order to safe-guard themselves and those whom it
24 was their duty to protect, and on that occasion they used NATO air.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And in Zepa, during the operation in Zepa?
1 THE WITNESS: No. I had no men in Zepa prior to the elimination
2 of the -- of the enclave by the Bosnian Serb forces. And, of course,
3 after that, there was no fighting there anyway.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 Mr. Tolimir, we must have our second break now, and we will
6 resume at 1.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue your
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Wood, we left off when I was asking you if your soldiers in
14 Srebrenica had participated in guiding aviation. Can you give me a
15 direct answer to that question, if you can?
16 A. I thought I had given you an answer. Yes, they had in Srebrenica
17 been involved in guiding a NATO air attack, yes.
18 Q. Thank you for your repeating that answer.
19 Tell us, were they given the opposite order by the commander of
20 UNPROFOR forces in Srebrenica, his deputy, or somebody from the UNPROFOR
21 HQ in Sarajevo? Or, in fact, who was it who issued the order to them to
22 establish contact with the aviation? Thank you.
23 A. A soldier does not need to be ordered in order to defend himself.
24 They came under threat and they defended themselves. Throughout that
25 action they were in touch with me directly and so if anyone was giving
1 them order, it was me. But they didn't needed to be ordered to defend
3 Q. Thank you. Did any of them go out into the field to search
4 tanks -- Serb tanks in Srebrenica? Were they told by anyone that they
5 had to search and detect tanks and indicate their position? Were they --
6 these sort of orders given to the soldiers in the field? Thank you.
7 A. Well, you must remember, as I've stated before, that their job
8 was to report accurately, clearly and in a timely fashion what was going
9 on. So in the case of Srebrenica, they provided minute-by-minute
10 response and information to me -- minute-by-minute response and
11 information to me and what was going on. So to that extent, they
12 obviously were identifying all of the warring factions' forces and
13 reporting their positions to me.
14 Q. Thank you. Since you were the one issuing orders, can you tell
15 us where you were located when NATO opened fire on the VRS tanks in
16 Srebrenica? Thank you.
17 A. I was in my headquarters in Sarajevo, in the Residency.
18 Q. Thank you. While you were in the Residency, does that mean you
19 were not a member of UNPROFOR at the time, since you were not billeted in
20 UNPROFOR quarters? Thank you.
21 A. I've already made it very clear to you that I was a member of
22 UNPROFOR at that time and all the times I was in Yugoslavia, and I was
23 billeted in UNPROFOR accommodation. In the Residency, as you may
24 remember -- the Residency accommodated probably 150 people of UNPROFOR
25 within its grounds and I stay -- and that's where I lived.
1 Q. Thank you. Tell us, who did you receive orders from to have NATO
2 open fire on the VRS? Thank you.
3 A. Again, I have already stated quite clearly, a soldier does not
4 need to be ordered to defend himself. The soldiers who I had under my
5 command who were in Srebrenica during the period in which the
6 Bosnian Serb army attacked Srebrenica came under fire themselves, and
7 they were fully authorised to use whatever force they required in order
8 to safeguard themselves or those whom its their duty to protect. And
9 they didn't need me to order them to do that.
10 Q. Thank you. Please tell the Trial Chamber this: When your
11 soldier is in contact with a plane, is that soldier armed with the same
12 weapons that an aircraft would dispose of, such as rockets, et cetera?
13 A. I think you know the answer to that very well. Most soldiers do
14 not carry around rockets or bombs. A soldier of this sort that I
15 described has a radio through which he can communicate to an aeroplane
16 that is able to deliver weapons carried on aeroplanes, such as rockets
17 and bombs.
18 Q. Thank you. Tell Their Honours then, does that mean that the
19 soldier would have at his disposal all the combat hardware that the
20 particular aircraft is equipped with? Thank you.
21 A. Well, if you take yourself back to the time in question, you'll
22 recall that UNPROFOR, operating on the ground in Yugoslavia, enjoyed the
23 protection when it required it of the NATO air forces that were based at
24 the time in -- mainly in Italy. So that when and if UNPROFOR needed to
25 utilise air power in order to protect itself or those whom it was its
1 duty to protect, then it had the option of requesting that air support
2 which was then delivered by NATO. So, in a sense, therefore, your
3 question -- or the answer to your question is, did any soldier who has
4 legitimately got reason to call for air support to protect himself or
5 those whom it is his duty to protect has access to whatever weapons
6 systems are available on the NATO aircraft at the time. But, of course,
7 the NATO aircraft at the time are operating to their own rules of
8 engagement, and you have to have a witness here who is familiar with
9 those to tell what they are or they were.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Wood. Does this mean that every soldier would
11 independently take decisions as to when a NATO intervention would be
12 warranted because of the actions of any of the sides? Thank you.
13 A. Well, as I recall there was a process by which UNPROFOR could
14 request the support of NATO in order to protect itself. I was not part
15 of that process because it was a -- a request, I think, that had to be
16 made from General Smith to General Janvier, from General Janvier to
17 Admiral Smith, who was commander of the NATO forces in the area in order
18 to release air support. So --
19 Q. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let the witness continue with his answer.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I was just, therefore, going to say
22 that -- that -- that clearly -- clearly you cannot have a situation, and
23 we did not have a situation, where every single soldier can ask for NATO
24 air power whenever they wanted. That is not the case. However, where
25 there was a case for airpower to be released to support UNPROFOR and
1 where that request was made and was accepted and granted, then, as I said
2 earlier on in my evidence, any soldier with a radio can then direct that
3 air power on the ground.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. You said that General Smith was in command of NATO, I
6 may have misheard. Who was it who demanded NATO?
7 A. No, sorry. There is an understandable confusion there.
8 General Smith was in charge of UNPROFOR and there was an America admiral,
9 called Admiral Smith, who was the -- if I remember correctly, was the
10 senior NATO officer. You are not the only person to be confused by that.
11 Q. Thank you for clarifying the roles that Rupert Smith and
12 Layton Smith played respectively.
13 Is it necessary for the Security Council to approve the use of
14 NATO aviation as well? Thank you.
15 A. You're asking the wrong person here. I'm not really familiar
16 with the operations -- or the operating of the Security Council. I've
17 given you my understanding of how it worked at a local level, and you
18 would have to get another witness to describe to you how it worked at the
19 Security Council level.
20 Q. Thank you. My assistant said that it wasn't properly recorded in
21 the transcript where I said Layton Smith and Rupert Smith.
22 Once we rectify this error in the transcript, tell me, were you
23 subordinated to NATO and I mean your unit, the British contingent, or
24 were you subordinated to someone else in accomplishing missions involving
25 the use of aviation?
1 A. I repeat what I said before, which is that the unit that I
2 commanded, the Joint Commission Observers, was seconded to UNPROFOR
3 solely. We worked for UNPROFOR, and we operated under the rules of
4 engagement and the legal authority of UNPROFOR only.
5 Q. Thank you. I am told that the transcript doesn't reflect that I
6 said combat use of aviation.
7 My question was: When air power is employed, in that instances,
8 under whose command would your troops be, under NATO or UNPROFOR command?
9 A. You're making what in English we would say is a mountain out of a
10 mole hill here. The -- as I've said to you very clearly, my soldiers for
11 the entire time they were in Bosnia were under UNPROFOR command and they
12 operated under UNPROFOR's command only, abiding by UNPROFOR's rules of
13 engagement. On occasions when UNPROFOR required to use NATO air to
14 protect itself, then it was necessary for my soldiers, just like any
15 other soldiers to direct NATO air. But, on those occasions, they were
16 still operating as UNPROFOR's soldiers under UNPROFOR's rules of
17 engagement. There is no change in their status just because they
18 happened to be using an air-strike.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show D173.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. While we're waiting for it to appear, let me go back to your
23 answer. You didn't answer my question. I didn't ask what the status of
24 soldiers was, but, rather, who they would receive orders from while
25 aviation is used to engage land targets.
1 A. Well, with respect, I think I have answered that question because
2 I have stressed several times now that throughout this period they were
3 operating under UNPROFOR's command and under my command. That did not
4 change at any point.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And, Mr. Tolimir, indeed, the witness has
6 answered this question in particular several times.
7 Please go ahead.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 I apologise to e-court. I called up the wrong number. We need
10 D137. My apologies. Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Wood. What we see here is the transcript
13 entitled: "Srebrenica's Death Fields," a documentary film of
14 Radio Television of Serbia, broadcast on the 9th of July, 2010.
15 Let me direct your attention to third paragraph where it reads:
16 "Hakija Meholjic, member of the Srebrenica War Presidency, 1993
17 to 1995, in other words during the relevant period of time.
18 "In the meantime, Karremans arrived requesting a meeting. I told
19 him five more minutes so we can first agree amongst ourselves because we
20 have no reason to trust you anymore. We arranged everything, then we
21 received him for talks and he said that NATO had informed him that on the
22 following morning at half past 5.00, a death zone would be set around
23 Srebrenica. Everything that moves about on two, four, or 100 feet, or
24 100 wheels, one wheel, or on two wheels, that it would be destroyed."
25 This is my question: Was this order issued by someone from
1 UNPROFOR or was it NATO that determined when the death zone would come
2 into effect?
3 A. The simple answer to that is, I don't know. I don't recognise
4 the term "death zone." There were, as you know, some zones that were
5 referred to as safe havens. As to who gave the orders relating to those,
6 I have no idea.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you know if the planes took off from Italy to open
8 fire on the Army of Republika Srpska in the demilitarised zone of
9 Srebrenica at the time of the relevant events in Srebrenica?
10 A. If you're asking me whether I know where the aeroplanes came
11 from, then, as far as I'm aware, most of them came from air bases in
12 Italy. But I don't know that for a fact. That is just my impression.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you know if the aeroplanes took off from the air
14 bases in Italy in order to carry out the strikes as described by
15 Hakija Meholjic here, who was, in turn, informed about it by Karremans
16 who learned it from NATO? Thank you.
17 A. You are asking these questions of the wrong person here. I have
18 no knowledge of NATO's orders at the time or the orders given to the
19 aeroplanes at the time. If you want to know that, would you have to call
20 a witness that had knowledge of those things, and I don't.
21 Q. Thank you. Were your soldier given any sort of task related to
22 the mass scale engagement of aviation in Srebrenica at the relevant time?
23 Thank you.
24 A. Well, what I've said to you already, several times, is that a
25 soldier does not need to be ordered in order to defend himself. My
1 soldiers that I had in Srebrenica came under direct attack from
2 Bosnian Serb forces and they used all the means at their disposal in
3 order to defend themselves, including NATO air. They didn't need orders
4 to do that; that's their job.
5 Q. Thank you. Did they need as many as 40 aircraft to defend
6 themselves from the attack you referred to? Thank you.
7 A. I don't know where you get the figure 40 from. But they needed
8 whatever they needed, in order to defend themselves, whatever that figure
9 was and whatever NATO could provide.
10 Q. Thank you. In the paragraph below, it reads:
11 "Hasan Nuhanovic, UN interpreter in Srebrenica."
12 Please look at what he has to say. He speaks of an ultimatum
13 given by the Serb side and then mention is made of some 40 to 70
14 aircraft. Let's not waste time. Does a single soldier require for his
15 own defence upwards of 40 aircraft? Thank you.
16 A. You -- you're asking a hypothetical question. It depends
17 entirely on the circumstances. In a scenario where one aeroplane under
18 one bomb will solve the problem, then that's all he needs. In a scenario
19 where a hundred aeroplanes and a hundred bombs are needed to solve the
20 problem, then that is what he needs. There is no fixed answer to that
22 Q. Thank you. We'll put these questions to Mr. Karremans, who was
23 the source of information provided to the Muslim side.
24 Let's look at your statement again. We had it on our screens
25 before. It's 1D613. Thank you.
1 Thank you. Can we show page 3, paragraph 6, lines 1 to 3. Thank
3 We have it in both languages. You say:
4 "Near the buses and trucks, I saw seven to eight Serb policemen
5 in paramilitary uniforms lining up people to board the buses."
6 A moment ago, we saw what was the first day of boarding. Did you
7 see in the footage today soldiers lining up civilians and boarding them
8 on the buses? Thank you.
9 A. In the video you showed me, which, as we've already established,
10 was not the same occasion which I described in my statement, but in the
11 video you showed me, then there were a number of armed men who I believe
12 were Bosnian Serb soldiers. In the video you showed me, they were
13 standing around and watching. However, on the occasion that I described
14 to you, I remember seeing people like that, and I don't know if they're
15 the same people or people like that who were organising and lining up
16 people, women and children, to get onto the buses in Zepa.
17 Q. Thank you. Does this mean that they were not members of the
18 Army of Republika Srpska since you saw them as you say in paramilitary
19 uniforms, or can you explain Their Honours -- to Their Honours what
20 paramilitary uniforms means?
21 A. I have no -- I have no way of telling whether they were formally
22 members of the Bosnian Serb army or the Bosnian Serb police, or any other
23 group. I can't tell that by looking at them. Because as we've already
24 discussed between Their Honours and myself, the uniforms were very
25 similar. It is very difficult to tell. So -- but they were clearly
1 paramilitaries, they were armed. They were, in effect, soldiers, and
2 that -- that's what I saw.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber as a soldier
4 what the hallmarks of a paramilitary uniform would be, since you used the
5 term in your statement? Thank you.
6 A. Well, I use the term, really, to indicate that they were -- that
7 it was a uniform, not necessarily a formal uniform as you would find in a
8 formal army, where everyone dresses the same and looks exactly the same
9 and there's a standard formula for the dress. Paramilitary uniforms,
10 generally speaking, are more informal. For example, they might not wear
11 hats or they might have different coloured T-shirts under their uniform.
12 My uses of the word "paramilitary" was merely to -- to make the point
13 that these were people who were clearly soldiers in one form or another
14 but were not necessarily regular soldiers, formal soldiers in any regular
15 army that I recognise.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to clarify one thing, I see in paragraph 6
17 of your statement that you are referring to seven to eight Serb policemen
18 in paramilitary uniforms.
19 THE WITNESS: Hmm.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is the reason to classify them as policemen
21 rather than army soldier?
22 THE WITNESS: No reason, really, Your Honour. I think I had
23 assumed at the time that they were policemen. I don't know now whether
24 they were policemen or soldiers, and I think the distinction between the
25 two is probably a fairly blurred distinction. I can't be sure that they
1 were policemen, but that's what I said in my statement.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you consider the VRS a para-army, a paramilitary, and is that
7 what you meant to say in expressing this view in your statement? Thank
9 A. Well it's a matter of record that Republika Srpska was an
10 unrecognised state with an unrecognised army. Equally, it is foolish of
11 anyone to pretend there was no army. So they seemed to me to fit quite
12 neatly into the definition of a paramilitary army in the sense that they
13 were not a formal army of a formally recognised state, but they were
14 clearly armed men going about military activity. That is a pretty neat
15 description of a paramilitary force.
16 Q. Please, tell us what does -- what do the laws of war envisage
17 that different warring parties need to be -- need to wear in times of
18 war? What kind of uniform needs to be worn by, say, international forces
19 and by those present locally?
20 A. Again, I don't pretend to be a legal expert on the basis of
21 uniforms in war. The reality is that one expects any military force, and
22 UNPROFOR is an example, the British Army is an example, to wear a
23 recognisable and distinctive uniform and insignia so that it is possible
24 to distinguish friend from foe, combatant from non-combatant.
25 Q. Thank you. Since you used the terminology that was otherwise
1 used by the Muslim side in the war, for their own purposes, did you just
2 now express your own position about the VRS or the Muslim position; or
3 did you rely in your answer on the laws of war, which state that any
4 member of the army needs to bear the insignia of that particular army and
5 that the insignia need to be displayed in open view and that they had to
6 wear specific uniform and use specific weapons?
7 Did you rely on the terminology as can be found in the laws of
8 war or did you put forth your own personal position or the position of
9 the Muslim side, or someone else, for that matter?
10 A. In all of the evidence I have given, I have given my own personal
11 opinion and my own personal observation of what I saw. In describing the
12 uniform as being paramilitary, whether that term is used by other people
13 or not is, frankly, of no concern to me. My impression of it was that
14 the uniform worn by these people was, if you like, a casual non-standard
15 nature that I recognised as being generally worn by people like
16 Republika Srpska army. I'm not trying to make a big thing about the form
17 of their uniform, and, to be frank, it seems to be something of a
18 diversion, really. But I certainly am not using any terminology or
19 taking any position that is derived from anybody else. I am giving you
20 my opinion and my observation.
21 Q. Was General Mladic, too, a member of the paramilitary, given the
22 uniform he wore and given the fact that the other members of the army
23 wore the same uniforms?
24 A. Well, I have to say that I'm not sure that we're -- that my --
25 I'm not sure that my opinion as to the legal status of the Bosnian Serb
1 army is very relevant here. But General Mladic was clearly a regular
2 officer of the regular Yugoslavian army, and, generally speaking, he bore
3 himself and wore his uniform and conducted himself in a manner consistent
4 with being a regular officer of a regular army. I'm making a
5 distinction, really, between that sort of conduct and uniform and the
6 sort of conduct and uniform that one finds in less -- in irregular forces
7 or in paramilitary forces.
8 Q. Thank you. In order not to have to go back to the Zepa footage,
9 because we will have ample opportunity to see it with some other
10 witnesses, I'd like to thank you now for having testified here and for
11 having come here. Thank you for all the answers you provided. I wish
12 you a safe journey home and may God bless you. I hope you return home
13 safely in keeping with God's will.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is it, as far
15 as our questions go. I would like to thank all those who assisted us
16 through the process today, and I believe I made a number of mistakes when
17 stating out numbers for e-court. I apologise yet again.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question for the witness.
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I have one last question
23 for you.
24 Let's go back to your description of General Tolimir. On page 8
25 of today's transcript, lines 11 to 14, you said that he was -- he carried
1 a small grenade at the belt in -- in a -- sort of a pouch, and you said
2 that he told you himself that he would use it against himself if he was
3 captured so that he is not captured alive.
4 So I would just have two questions for you, a few small
5 questions, short questions.
6 Can you please tell me why is it that that detail stayed engraved
7 in your memory? How come you told us about this? What does it mean for
8 you? This gesture, the fact that he was carrying a small grenade in his
9 pocket? Why is that so important for you?
10 A. Because it's unusual. I have met many, many, soldiers from many,
11 many, armies all over the world in my military career. I have never met
12 a man before who carries a grenade in his pouch or his pocket ready to
13 kill himself if he's going to be captured. So what it said to me was one
14 of two things: Either General Tolimir was a fanatic and was concerned
15 that he knew things that he didn't want to be revealed were he to be
16 taken alive; or it meant that he was simply - how can I put this
17 politely - somebody who liked living a sort of macho part, if you like,
18 of having such a thing on his belt, so -- and I believed the former
20 So it seems to me that it said something about the man that he
21 felt that he had to carry a grenade in a pouch at his belt. And I would
22 also point out actually that he was the one that raised it. He -- he
23 pointed it out, if you like, because it was part of -- my deduction is it
24 was part of him establishing himself in our minds as somebody who was
25 important and dangerous.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. I must say that you've
2 answered to some questions that I wanted to put to you later. I'm just
3 telling you because I wanted to know what logic I was using here.
4 But, in fact, this is what else I wanted to know. Given your
5 military experience, is it usual that armed forces in the country to see
6 a high rank officers to behave this way in the NATO tradition and in the
7 Soviet blocks, according to the Soviet block tradition. But I think you
8 have already answered in a way, didn't you?
9 A. I think so. I mean, I think that there are big cultural
10 differences between the way that the Warsaw Pact generals would conduct
11 themselves, if you like, and the way in which NATO generals, roughly an
12 east/west sort of divide, and typically those ex-Soviet or ex-Warsaw Pact
13 officers that I have had the pleasure to know have tended to be much more
14 rigid, much less independently minded than the NATO officers that I have
16 So in that sense, it is understandable that Tolimir should ask
17 questions about who gave orders, et cetera, because in the culture in
18 which he grew up, I would speculate that he is used to people having to
19 have orders before they do things; whereas in the NATO western culture,
20 there is much less requirement to give a specific order for someone to do
21 something, for example, defence themselves, because it is assumed that a
22 soldier of the British Army or the French army or the German army or the
23 Dutch army knows he has got to defend himself, but I can understand where
24 there is a cultural difference there between ex-Warsaw Pact and NATO.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
1 So I would like to know this as well: General Tolimir was afraid
2 to be captured by whom, by the BiH, or by NATO forces or by the UNPROFOR?
3 What do you think?
4 A. He didn't say. I would be surprised if it was by UNPROFOR
5 because, of course, at the point I'm talking about, UNPROFOR had a very
6 relatively passive role, and I don't think that Tolimir and his
7 colleagues were very frightened of UNPROFOR. So I don't think it was
8 UNPROFOR he was concerned about. It might have well have been the BiH
9 that he was concerned about or it might just have been, if you like, a
10 general unwillingness to be captured. But, I don't know is the answer.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. And one last
12 question: Were you convinced by this explanation? Because you knew of
13 the situation and you knew him in a certain way.
14 A. I'm sorry. Convinced by the explanation about the grenade or
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, because I'm
17 under the impression that there was an exchange in the way that he told
18 you something private, so when he explained to you why he was carrying
19 the grenade, did you believe him, were you convinced that that was the
20 real reason why he had this grenade on him?
21 A. No. I think that -- I mean, I didn't sit down and analyse it at
22 the time. But I think that my impression was that it was more an act of
23 bravado than a genuine attempt to make sure that he could be captured. I
24 think it was slightly for show, if you know what I mean.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much indeed.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Mr. Elderkin, have you any estimation about the length of the
4 MR. ELDERKIN: Very precisely, Your Honour, nothing.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is an appreciated answer. Thank you very
7 Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this concludes your
8 examination. There is no need to stay during the next week in The Hague.
9 You are now free to return to your normal activities, and the Chamber
10 would like to thank you that you were able to come here and to provide us
11 with your knowledge. Thank you very much again.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much. My pleasure.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the Court Usher will assist you leaving the
15 But I have to come back for a short oral decision, an urgent
16 decision which both parties need in relation to another witness.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is seized of the Prosecution's motion
19 to convert seven viva voce witnesses to Rule 92 ter witnesses which was
20 filed on the 22nd of February, 2011, and provided to the accused in B/C/S
21 on the 7th of March, 2011.
22 The Chamber notes that one of the seven witnesses referred to in
23 the motion is Witness 187, who is listed on the Prosecution's list of
24 witnesses for the month of March. For this reason, the Chamber will now
25 issue an oral decision pertaining to Witness 187 only.
1 The Chamber heard the position of the accused during the session
2 on Tuesday, the 8th of March, during which Mr. Gajic submitted, inter
3 alia, that the conversion of Witness 187 from viva voce witness to a
4 Rule 92 ter witness would result in a much greater burden on the Defence
5 while preparing for Witness 187's testimony.
6 Although the Chamber acknowledges the Prosecution's effort to
7 reduce the time required for its examination-in-chief of Witness 187, in
8 light of the fact that Witness 187's testimony is now scheduled to occur
9 in the week of 28th of March, in noting the additional preparation which
10 would be necessary for the accused to carry out in a short time-frame,
11 the Chamber is of the view that, in this specific circumstance, the
12 portion of the Prosecution's motion which pertains to Witness 187 should
13 be denied.
14 Witness 187 shall be heard viva voce.
15 This concludes the hearing of today and for the week. We adjourn
16 now and resume next week on Monday in the afternoon, 2.15 in this
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 14th day of March,
20 2011, at 2.15 p.m.