1 Tuesday, 22 March 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody. Now we are sitting in
6 Courtroom I. That might be a test, if this courtroom is perhaps more
7 convenient because, in the near future, there are not so many trials in
8 this Tribunal, and we can see how it works.
9 The witness should be brought in, please.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 WITNESS: RUPERT ANTHONY SMITH [Resumed]
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Welcome back to the
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell
16 the truth you made at the beginning of your testimony still applies.
17 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has additional questions for you.
19 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much.
20 Yesterday, you gave us information about who was involved in the
21 evacuation operation of Zepa. My follow-up question to that is: Who was
22 the overall in charge of this operation?
23 THE WITNESS: It depends who -- as far as the UN was concerned, I
24 was in charge of the operation. But that was only the UN element. There
25 was still -- I didn't control the people, I didn't control the BiH, the
1 Bosnian army, or any elements of theirs, or the Bosnian Serbs. And we
2 were all involved in the -- in the affair. But for the actual sort of
3 command of the UN forces, then that would have been me.
4 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. In your view, then, was the evacuation
5 successful? Did it go well?
6 THE WITNESS: Given that it had to happen, we were able to remove
7 the vast -- and certainly all the women and children from harm's way in
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. The next question relates to
10 Srebrenica, actually, and in the Prosecution's summary, you -- according
11 to the Prosecution summary, you had been on leave but was recalled on
12 11th July and arrived at UNPROFOR headquarters in the early hours of 12th
13 July. And then it goes on to quote you as saying, by the end of 13th
14 July, you believed that the BiH had broken out of the enclave.
15 From what I have read, am I right in thinking that there were
16 active combat actions or activities going on in the enclave prior to that
17 the between the BiH and the Bosnian Serbs?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, there were. The BiH -- the Bosnian army, had
19 attacked out of Srebrenica. I was saying it was in early June. It
20 turned out it was -- I beg your pardon, in early July. It was in late
22 JUDGE NYAMBE: So when you say that the -- the BiH had broken out
23 of the enclave, where did they go? Do you have information?
24 THE WITNESS: At the time, my understanding was that they had
25 broken out in the general direction of Tuzla. The -- I am clearer now,
1 as a result of other reporting and so forth, that that was very broadly
2 the -- the direction. But there was a much more -- people went in a
3 number of directions. Some went to Zepa. And the -- but my
4 understanding at that particular period that they had broken out in a
5 north-easterly direction.
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. And I think this is the last one, and
7 more a general question. In the war situation where there are a lot of
8 casualties, but with particular reference to the wars in the former
9 Yugoslavia starting from 1991, what happens to the war dead, the people
10 who get killed in a war?
11 THE WITNESS: Are we referring to the combatants or the civil
12 population amongst whom they are fighting?
13 JUDGE NYAMBE: I'm particularly interested in the combatants.
14 THE WITNESS: As a general rule, this is an -- and most armies
15 appear to have this, certainly those I have served in or alongside, there
16 is a process of recovering your dead and burying them and accounting for
17 where they're buried because subsequently they're often dug up and the
18 bodies are centralised or got home to their -- to their dependants. So
19 that's the sort of general procedure, but the precise details will differ
20 with the army and the circumstances.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: Do you know what happened in the particular case
22 of the former Yugoslavia?
23 THE WITNESS: There was -- again, where I could observe this, was
24 with the Bosnian army, and particularly in the vicinity of Sarajevo, then
25 bodies were buried and usually by their dependants because the soldier
1 came from that particular vicinity. But not always. And there was
2 also -- a process which I was aware of, but this was conducted by the
3 civil affairs people of the UN, a process by which bodies were exchanged.
4 The exchange between the two sides, usually for a fee, as to -- and so
5 that they could be buried by their dependants.
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you, General Smith, for your clarifications.
7 I appreciate it.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has additional questions.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [No interpretation]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't receive interpretation at the moment.
12 Please repeat.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, General Smith.
14 I do have a question for you relating to what you said yesterday
15 which is recorded on page 52 of the transcript, according to the page
16 numbering of the transcript yesterday.
17 According to the officer in charge of civil affairs,
18 Mr. David Harland, it was to be expected that most of the people going
19 out of Zepa should be captured. However, you had said that this was not
20 the case and that there was a possibility for these people to get out
21 with no harm. So this -- the contradiction in these statements surprises
22 me slightly, especially coming from someone so extremely credible among
23 the people who were on the ground.
24 Therefore, I would like to ask you, based on your experience on
25 the ground, the following question: You had contacts with people from
1 the ABiH and with General Mladic and his assistants, and, of course, also
2 with Muslim representatives. So was there any will to exterminate or
3 kill or capture Muslim soldiers, once they had been separated from women,
4 children, and elderly people, of course?
5 THE WITNESS: Perhaps I should go back to the -- the beginning of
6 your question to try and sort out this, if you like, apparent confusion
7 between David Harland and I, and I thought I had touched on it in another
8 of my answers.
9 The first point to make is that David Harland is the civil
10 affairs officer of Sector Sarajevo. Sector Sarajevo had responsibility
11 for the Zepa enclave on a day-to-day basis. The Ukrainian's forces were
12 under command of Sector Sarajevo. Sector Sarajevo provided the French
13 forces that I had in Zepa with me. But I -- I was aware, and
14 David Harland was not aware, that Carl Bildt in Belgrade had been
15 conducting a negotiation so -- so that the people who had -- were hiding
16 up in the high ground in the mountains in Zepa could exfiltrate out over
17 the river Drina and in Serbia and thus to a form of safety. They would
18 still be interned, they would still be detained, but it would be possible
19 for the ICRC to register them and monitor the -- what happened to them.
20 David Harland did not know that that negotiation was going on, but I did.
21 So our point of view about the safety of the people of military age,
22 whether they were armed or not, was different, because our knowledge was
24 The second point is that, if -- it isn't a question of whether or
25 not they had not been captured or not, I just saw that there was a
1 possibility of them being able to exfiltrate out of the enclave and into
2 Serbia. I was quite clear that if they started to try and move in any
3 other direction, then there was a high probability that they would be
4 captured or killed. Whether or not they could have been or would have
5 been killed or captured, I cannot say. But my supposition, particularly
6 as we were beginning to get increasingly clear that the missing men from
7 Srebrenica were not alive, was that they would be killed if they were
8 taken. Either killed in the taking or killed on being taken. And,
9 hence, Carl Bildt's negotiations with Serb -- Serbia, in order to try and
10 get them to be able to exfiltrate over the Drina.
11 Does that explain my understanding of the position at the time,
12 but also the difference between David Harland's reporting, which is the
13 reporting of the subordinate headquarters, to my understanding of the
14 situation at the time?
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] All right. This is a sufficient
16 answer for me for the time being. Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, now you may commence your
18 cross-examination. You have the floor.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Peace on to this house
20 and may this day in court and the final judgement reflect God's will. I
21 would like to greet Mr. Smith and wish him a pleasant stay here in our
22 midst and I would like to congratulate him on his retirement and wish him
23 a life of peace and happiness among his family.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Now I would like to start with the questions
1 that were put to you by Judge Mindua and Judge Nyambe. First of all, I
2 believe it would be fair, both from your side and mine, if we were to
3 tell the truth about the role of Slobodan Milosevic in these events.
4 Because, in these proceedings, as we see on the basis of different notes,
5 and on the basis of the statements of many witnesses who are protected, a
6 reference was made to the role of Serbia and Slobodan Milosevic using the
7 vocabulary that was used in wartime you and I know. I would like you to
8 ask you to tell this Trial Chamber clearly whether Serbia made it
9 possible for all of those who wanted to cross the Drina to go into Serbia
10 and then to move on to third countries in accordance with their wishes.
11 Do you know about that? Thank you.
12 A. To the best of my knowledge, those that crossed the Drina were
13 interned and then subsequently moved to other countries or, at the end of
14 the war, back to their homes. Or back into Bosnia. I am not sure what
15 the proportions are. And my knowledge of this is -- is anecdotal rather
16 than having read it or anything like that.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us whether
18 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic and Serbia were the ones who actually resolved
19 this problem for these people who wanted to get out but not surrender to
20 the Army of Republika Srpska? And did he keep confidential all this
21 information before this actually happened? And did the international
22 community mediate in resolving this humanitarian issue? Thank you.
23 A. I don't know details of the negotiation or who Mr. Bildt was
24 actually talking to, and I think the information was kept confidential
25 but, again, I don't know that. It -- it certainly wasn't discussed, as
1 it were, in my presence in Bosnia during the rest of that year.
2 Q. Thank you for having said this. Just tell me another thing.
3 Could somebody negotiate in Serbia, could anybody negotiate in Serbia,
4 except for Slobodan Milosevic about the arrival of some other troops into
5 his country and with or without involving international organisations
6 like the Red Cross and the army and the police, et cetera? Thank you.
7 A. I thought you asked me whether -- who the negotiation was taking
8 place with. I don't know who that was. I'm -- I am quite prepared to
9 believe that the process of this negotiation was reported up to the
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us now, tell the Trial Chamber,
12 when you found out that such negotiations were under way? I'm referring
13 to the actual date when you found out. Thank you.
14 A. I don't know the date, but I think it was after the
15 London Conference. So it would be sometime after the weekend of the 23rd
16 of July, which I think was a Sunday.
17 Q. Thank you. In order for us not to look at Harland's reports, as
18 was the case yesterday, and in order for us not to read them and not to
19 see what corresponds to what - he after all made the assessments that he
20 made - I would like to ask you -- or, rather, you said that you saw
21 General Mladic carrying in his hands the agreement, on the basis of which
22 the Muslims accepted the evacuation of civilians. Do you remember that?
23 A. I remember there was such an agreement. I can't remember when I
24 said that I saw him carrying it in his hand.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us when this agreement came
1 into existence, when the Muslims signed it, and when he agreed to allow
2 all the Muslims to leave Zepa, as you had said? Thank you.
3 A. Again, I -- I -- I don't recall the dates of these events that
4 clearly, but I think this occurred after the -- the London Conference.
5 Q. Thank you. Since I think -- or, rather, was this before the
6 23rd, before the negotiations started in Serbia regarding the evacuation
7 of civilians and soldiers from Zepa? Thank you.
8 A. I don't have a recollection of the precise chronology of this --
9 these events to be able to tell you whether I learnt of the negotiation
10 before I saw any written agreement or signed agreement between Mladic and
11 the population in Zepa.
12 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us when you found out from the
13 Muslims that they wished to leave Zepa safely? Which is why the
14 negotiations did take place in Belgrade. I mean Bildt negotiating. When
15 did you find that out from the Muslims in Sarajevo? Thank you.
16 A. The -- I'm pausing because I have a -- I don't think -- I don't
17 agree with you that the negotiations in Belgrade was a direct result of
18 people wanting to leave Zepa. The reason, I understood, Mr. Bildt
19 started his negotiations was because we had the group of men up in the
20 mountains separated from the women and children. Again, we'd have to --
21 I'd have to look at some diary or record of reporting, but I think I
22 understood that the women and children wished to be evacuated from Zepa
23 fairly early, probably immediately after my return from the
24 London Conference. But it might have been just before. But my -- my
25 belief is that it was immediately after the London Conference.
1 Q. Thank you. I understand you. Nobody can remember exact dates
2 but what is important for us is this: You remember that Carl Bildt knew
3 that the Muslim soldiers who had been separated from the women wanted to
4 cross to the other territory and that was the gist of his negotiations
5 with Slobodan Milosevic, which ended up in a positive way, and everybody
6 still alive.
7 So could you tell us: When was it approximately that he received
8 information from the Muslim side that those soldiers wanted to go and
9 cross into Serbia? Thank you.
10 A. I don't know what he received from the Muslim side. He was
11 certainly seeing my headquarters, the reporting from my headquarters. I
12 don't know what he -- if he was talking to the Muslim side or he received
13 anything from them.
14 Q. Thank you. But do you know whether those soldiers were informed
15 that they could go to Serbia and that they would not be facing arms over
16 there, but, rather, they would be registered and processed properly. Was
17 that known to them? Thank you.
18 A. I -- again, I don't know that it was known to them. I can
19 suppose that since a number of them crossed the Drina this option -- they
20 were aware of this option. How they came to be aware of it, I don't
22 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you said that you knew that a door was
23 open, and now I'm asking you: It means that those soldiers should have
24 been informed one way or the other that a door was open for them to cross
25 into Serbia? Thank you.
1 A. Yes. Just because I know the door is open doesn't follow that I
2 know how it was opened or whether anyone else knows it's open.
3 Q. Thank you. But it was sufficient that you knew, because you were
4 a UN representative, one of the persons who took part in the whole
5 negotiation -- negotiating process. So it is also probable that other
6 people knew about it as well, people who took part in the effort to bring
7 this to a successful resolution.
8 So is there a possibility that somebody, after the
9 London Conference, took the initiative in order to bring this to a
10 successful fruition or is it, on the other hand, possible that everything
11 happened spontaneously? Thank you.
12 A. As I've said, I know that Carl Bildt was conducting this
13 negotiation and I knew it at the time. I knew that it had achieved
14 the -- the result that it was possible for people to cross the Drina.
15 How this was done, who informed who other than the -- that I was told
16 that this limited information that the negotiation was under way, I have
17 no other knowledge at all, and I didn't have any at the time.
18 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, on page 51, I wouldn't know what the
19 official numeration is, in line 6 you said: "I had evidence that people
20 were crossing into Serbia."
21 So while your other associates in good faith didn't know anything
22 about it and wrote their reports, such as Harland did, you said that you
23 had evidence about people crossing. So I would like you to tell the
24 Trial Chamber a little bit more about this. What is it that you were
25 trying to say when you said that? Because I think that the Trial Chamber
1 has to have a fuller picture, and maybe it would be better for us to
2 avoid going through all the documents and all the reports page by page.
3 Thank you.
4 A. Could I see the setting of what you are quoting me as saying?
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have yesterday's page 51 on
7 the screen. From line 6 onwards, or maybe even from line 1 onwards.
8 Then the witness will be able to see what exactly he said and then
9 clarify. Lines 12 and 13. Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Could you take a look at the whole page, 51, and then can you
12 tell us exactly what was it you were trying to say there.
13 A. I'm -- I -- we're talking about one of Harland's reports, and I'm
14 trying to explain why this is -- again, why my view of the situation at
15 the time and decisions I'm making aren't exactly the same view as that
16 expressed by Harland. And my -- and I'm saying here at this point that I
17 have those -- that information. Presumably I was told this. I can't
18 remember who I was told it by, possibly Carl Bildt. And that's all I
19 needed to know at that stage.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
21 MR. THAYER: And I think just to orient everybody a little bit if
22 we go back a couple pages. I don't think this will be a dispute. This
23 is a report that's dated 2 August just so we can put some time-frame on
24 the question that General Tolimir is putting to General Smith. It's Zepa
25 report number 15 that General Smith was talking about, dated 2 August.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I'm not sure if we can move
2 the transcript of yesterday at the moment, because this was just deleted
3 because of the re-numbering of the pages.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Registry is trying to keep the transcript of
6 yesterday -- the Registry is trying to keep the transcript of yesterday
7 with the numbering of the pages in the old-fashioned way so that it is
8 easier for you to put questions to relevant parts of the transcript of
10 Now we have the new numbering but there is also the -- the
11 other -- old version. Now we can see it again, page 51.
12 Mr. Thayer made the proposal to go some pages back to see -- I
13 think we can see it here. On page 50, lines 16 and the following.
14 Tab -- he said yesterday: "Tab 17 in the English version."
15 And then we can see line 22: "We can see from the date, it's 2nd
16 of August 1995. Report from David Harland ..."
17 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Thank you, Mr. Thayer. I really have to apologise. However, I don't
20 speak the English language and I don't know exactly what is on the screen
21 at any given moment.
22 So can we look at page 52 [Realtime transcript read in error
23 "352"] --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There is no reason for any apologies.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 So can we show to the witness page 52 where, in line 6, he said:
2 "I was not so much worried about what was going to happen because I knew
3 that the back door was going to be open for them to cross to Serbia."
4 So, based on this, my question is -- and the witness should
5 answer only after he read the relevant part.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... I would like
7 to make a correction in the transcript. It says "page 352," but we heard
8 clearly the interpretation, "page 52." We should have the full page 52
9 on the screen, please, if possible. Thank you.
10 Now put your question, please, Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. This is what I would like to know about: When exactly did this
14 happen? What is the operative time? We had different reports at
15 different times about the events in Zepa. So when exactly were you
16 slightly less worried about what was going to happen because you knew
17 that the back door was open to Serbia? Thank you.
18 A. I can't tell you the timings. All of these remarks, as it has
19 already been pointed out, is me trying to explain the difference between
20 the Harland report and my previous statements and the reporting from my
21 headquarters. I don't remember at what point I am slightly less worried
22 than David Harland. That's the point I'm trying to explain here.
23 Q. Thank you. Was it during the negotiations about Zepa evacuation?
24 Am I correct about that?
25 A. At some point, it -- we have this negotiation going on which
1 allows people -- eventually will allow people to cross the Drina. What I
2 am trying to explain in this exchange that is in front of me and occurred
3 yesterday is the difference of the reporting between David Harland and my
4 understanding of what was going on, because I was privy to a piece of
5 information that he did not have. And this meant that I was, in contrast
6 to him, less concerned than he was about those people.
7 Q. Thank you. Did you know at the time that the Muslims in the
8 forests, separated from their families, and generally the Muslim
9 representatives who were aware of the situation and the negotiations
10 conducted by Mr. Bildt, did you know that they were going to be saved by
11 crossing the Drina river? Thank you.
12 A. No, I didn't know they would be saved. I knew that this option
13 was, in the first instance, being negotiated, and then the negotiations
14 had succeeded at some later stage.
15 Q. Thank you. So this is not really that important to us and the
16 Trial Chamber. But while the negotiations were going on, did you know
17 that they were going on?
18 A. Do you mean that while my negotiations are going on, did I know
19 that Carl Bildt was negotiating?
20 Q. Thank you. The exact time is not that important to me. What is
21 important is that you said that the negotiations in Belgrade commenced
22 after the London Conference, after the 23rd. So did you know after the
23 23rd that there were negotiations with the country of Serbia in order to
24 achieve a safe passage of the Muslims from the Zepa enclave across the
25 Drina river into Serbia? Thank you.
1 A. I knew, as I've said, that these negotiations were taking place.
2 I think they started after the London Conference to give a -- the
3 opportunity for people to exfiltrate out of Zepa over the Drina.
4 Q. Thank you. Did the Muslim leadership in Sarajevo have certain
5 information about the arrangements being made by Mr. Bildt and about the
6 fact that the Muslim soldiers from Zepa would be saved and that the
7 international community was taking part in those efforts. Thank you.
8 A. I don't know and cannot speak for the information held by the
9 Bosnian government in Sarajevo. It -- they must have known that at least
10 the UN was taking part in these negotiations in Zepa because they knew I
11 was involved in it, and I was telling them what I was doing. But other
12 than that, I don't know what other information they had.
13 Q. Thank you. Was it discussed in the meeting on the 15th, when you
14 were in Belgrade together with Mr. Bildt talking to the president of
15 Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, to Ratko Mladic and others? Thank you.
16 A. What was discussed? Zepa or the opening of a route over the
18 Q. Thank you. The opening of a route over the Drina. But also, if
19 anything about Zepa was discussed and you know about it, could you tell
20 us about it? Thank you.
21 A. I do not recall Zepa being discussed, except possibly as a place
22 that needed the resupply by humanitarian convoys. I certainly don't
23 remember any discussion about routes over the Drina.
24 Q. Thank you. So does that mean that this topic was discussed
25 possibly only between Mr. Bildt and Mr. Milosevic, with the possibility
1 of his closest associates also being present, in order to keep it all a
2 secret? Thank you.
3 A. I don't know. I wasn't there. Well, not there in those
5 Q. Thank you. I apologise. A moment ago, when you were reminded
6 about what you said yesterday on page 51 you said that you had evidence
7 that people were crossing to Serbia. When did you receive the first
8 evidence about it? And can you tell us when exactly you found out about
9 it? Thank you.
10 A. I am probably guilty of the misuse of the word "evidence." I --
11 my -- I don't remember being given evidence, like there was a list of
12 people who had crossed or anything like that. What I think I remember
13 being told was that some people had crossed. Crossed the Drina into
15 Q. Thank you. The word "evidence" is not that important for us.
16 What is important is whether you had information about it. Thank you.
17 So now we are going to see Exhibit 211. Excuse me -- thank you,
18 Aleksandar. It's D111. And that's the list that you mentioned. So what
19 I want to know is whether simply you had information about that.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a small correction on the transcript. In
21 page 17, line 1, Mr. Tolimir said as reference to the transcript of
22 yesterday, "it was on page 51," but this sentence was on page 52.
23 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So bearing in mind all this, I want to know the following. So
2 there was a flow of information that such a project was under way and
3 that the UNPROFOR took part in it. Did you have any information on it?
4 Were you aware of it? And is that the reason that you said that you were
5 slightly less worried? Thank you.
6 A. I've just explained that UNPROFOR was not part of -- of this
7 project. I, as the commander UNPROFOR, was told that this negotiation
8 was taking place. I did not involve the rest of my command in this
10 I've told you what information I had on it and I was aware, but I
11 cannot recall, and I am -- again say I was incorrect to use the word
12 "evidence" in that -- that implies I had a concrete piece of paper or
13 something. But I knew, or recall knowing, that some people had started
14 to cross the Drina.
15 I imagine, because I don't know, that I was told this by
16 Mr. Bildt.
17 Q. Thank you. I think that the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution
18 and not even me, nobody is going to take it against you the fact that you
19 said, "I had evidence." That is simply a way of expression, you had
20 information. We are not seeking evidence about it here.
21 So here on our screen, in e-court, we see a document. This is a
22 list of all persons who crossed into Serbia in accordance with that
23 agreement. Can you also take a look at the second, the third, and the
24 fourth page so that the witness could see for himself that not a single
25 woman is on this list. Because yesterday you said that there were also
1 some women who wanted to cross. So what I want to know is, did you have
2 information about it? Or was it simply something that you were told by
3 people who wanted to tell you that women were worried.
4 I remember that Mr. Thayer even asked you whether there were some
5 rapes, and you said that you didn't hear anything about it.
6 So what I want us to see from this list is there were no women on
7 this list and that not a single woman crossed into Serbia. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In my view, we had not the right pages on the
9 screen. In English it starts with number 31; in B/C/S, with number 38.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we take a look at all the pages
11 so that the witness can see for himself whether there are any women on
12 this list.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was told that not all the pages have an English
15 translation. But perhaps it is not necessary to see all names on the
17 THE WITNESS: From my limited memory of the names used in that
18 part of the world, I have not seen a female name on the lists.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 Mr. Tolimir. Mr. Tolimir, you have received your answer. Please
21 carry on.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. My question is: If there are no women on this list, and, as you
25 told us yesterday, you didn't hear that there were any rapes in Zepa, can
1 we then agree that there were no women among those people and that they
2 were all able-bodied men and they were not older than 60 at the time?
3 A. I can agree that of the list you've shown me, which purports to
4 be a list of people who crossed the river Drina, there are no women
5 amongst them. I didn't read the list to work out their ages, of the men.
6 Nor does the list tell you whether they're all able-bodied or not.
7 Q. Thank you. Well, we are not going to go into this. We are going
8 to leave this task to the Trial Chamber and they're going to make their
10 My question for you is as follows. The BiH army also reported
11 something that the Prosecution expert, Mr. Bezruchenko, mentioned in his
12 report; namely, the fact that everybody left Zepa using various ways.
13 Some of them went to Serbia; some of them went to the other side.
14 So my question is as follows. Did you receive any information
15 from the BiH army about the fate of the population and the soldiers of
16 Zepa after the evacuation had been completed and after the UNPROFOR
17 forces had left Zepa? Thank you.
18 A. I don't recall receiving any information myself. It may have
19 been received elsewhere in my command, but I don't recall any.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have the report by
22 Mr. Bezruchenko, which is D55. Page 35, paragraph 123. Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let's look at line 6 of paragraph 123, which describes the
25 situation of crossing over into Serbia.
1 It reads as follows: "Led by Ramo Cardakovic and assistant for
2 security, Salih Hasanovic, crossed into Serbia and surrendered to SRJ
3 authorities. The number involved was 800 soldiers. The main body of the
4 brigade split into several groups and each was acting to its own plan
5 without centralised command. A group of about 200 men, under
6 Hurim Sahic, succeeded to reach Kladanj across VRS-held territory on
7 2 August. Another group of about 50 men, originally from Visegrad, under
8 Samir Cocalic set off for Gorazde or Priboj in Serbia. Another group of
9 up to 300 soldiers originally from Srebrenica who arrived at Zepa after
10 Srebrenica collapsed, went back to Srebrenica, hoping to break through to
11 Tuzla along the same route used by the 28th Division. Yet another group
12 about the size [sic] of a company under Sefik Zejnilovic went in the
13 direction of Susice in the area of Crni Potok where it was going to stay
14 for a long time. This plan was based on the fact that there was a big
15 cache of food hidden in the area. A small group of about seven men
16 crossed the VRS-held territory and joined the BiH army 243rd Motorised
17 Brigade in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Corps. Another small
18 group, numbering 14 soldiers reached Gorazde on 3 August."
19 In footnote 183, Mr. Bezruchenko refers to the original document
20 of the Army of B and H, speaking of the fact that everyone had left the
21 enclave of Zepa. We can look at that report of the Army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina which will tell us precisely who left and by what
24 My question is this: Did you have any knowledge gained from the
25 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina about the fate of the inhabitants and soldiers
1 of the enclave following their departure from the enclave and whether
2 anyone remained behind?
3 A. I did not have knowledge of the detail or specificity that you've
4 just read out. The knowledge that I had was -- was that that was
5 reported in the documents that emanated from my headquarters.
6 Q. Thank you. Did the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina ever thank
7 you for the mediation and protection offered by the UNPROFOR to their
8 population in Zepa and for a successful rounding up of the entire
10 A. I don't recall being thanked over this issue.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 65 ter number
13 6039 in e-court.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. It is your letter of the 14th of July sent to
16 General Ratko Mladic.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I -- we have seen two documents
18 today, D111, and D55. Astonishingly, they are not to be found on your
19 list of exhibits to be used with this witness. I have received during
20 this session the latest version, but I don't find it there. Please check
21 it and all documents listed should be on the list.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
23 apologise for having omitted those. We will take note of your guidance.
24 We will strive to remove any such problems.
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... Just for the
1 accuracy of the record, 65 ter 6039 has been admitted into evidence
2 yesterday as Prosecution Exhibit P2087. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. We can see the letter of protest of the 14th of July. In the
8 first paragraph, you point out that there was an ultimatum issued for the
9 evacuation of the Ukrainian soldiers from the enclave. Based on this
10 letter of yours, can you recall who you received that information from,
11 about the VRS requesting the UNPROFOR in Zepa to leave the enclave?
12 A. I don't remember how this information reached my headquarters,
14 Q. Thank you. I showed this document because the date is the 14th
15 of July, and we will see in the next document, which is P596, and it is
16 an internal memorandum of the UNPROFOR in Sarajevo, the date is the 13th
17 of July.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 2 in e-court, please. We're
19 interested in paragraphs 8 through 11.
20 Thank you.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Please tell us when you've read it so that I can put my next
24 A. You want me to read paragraph 8 downwards or the whole page?
25 Q. Look at paragraphs 8 through 11, please.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please let us know when the page should be
3 THE WITNESS: Yes.
4 Please turn.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. I believe you managed to read that.
7 Is this document, or the meeting referred to therein, the basis
8 of your letter of protest sent to General Mladic?
9 A. I -- I don't know. It's going on in a different headquarters,
10 but I imagine that they -- this -- the consequence of this meeting was
11 then reported to my headquarters, and that's how I am taking action. But
12 I can't recall the track of events at all.
13 Q. Thank you. Since you cannot recall it, I will not put any
14 further questions about the topic.
15 Do you perhaps recall whether General Mladic had sent a letter of
16 protest to you, prior to your letter, whereby he addressed a situation in
17 the enclave? If you cannot recall, it is 1D617, which can be used to jog
18 your memory.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have that in
20 e-court. Perhaps it will help the witness recall the letter sent to him
21 by General Mladic on July 10.
22 THE WITNESS: Is there a translation?
23 THE REGISTRAR: There is no English translation.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. In that case, I will
25 read it out so that it interpreted to you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. "I received your letter of July 9, 1995. The enclave of
3 Srebrenica has not been demilitarised in keeping with the agreement of
4 April 19 and May 8, 1993. The Muslims" --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction 1995.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. "The Muslims have not handed over their weapons, mines and
8 explosives and combat assets to the UNPROFOR. The Muslim forces abused
9 the special status accorded to their zone and the presence of your forces
10 in order to prepare and carry out terrorist and other combat activities
11 against the Serb population and territory of the RS."
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please scroll up.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. "I wish to remind you that since that time and to date, the
15 Muslim forces used attacks and infiltrated sabotage and terrorist groups
16 in order to kill over 100 and wound some 200 Serb civilians. A number of
17 Serb villages adjacent to the area were torched down with unthinkable
18 massacres committed over civilians. In the last few days, they carried
19 out a comprehensive military operation, in order to link up the enclaves
20 in the area of the village of Zepa and burn down the villages of Visnjica
21 and Banja Lucica. They killed the population. Even UNPROFOR members
22 were not spared in the carrying out of their evil deeds. Although your
23 forces were protecting them, they, too, became their victims."
24 He concludes by saying: "I wish to convey to you that UNPROFOR
25 members, as far as we are concerned will remain safe as they have been up
1 to now. Signed by Ratko Mladic."
2 Based on what I have read, I want to ask you this: Do you recall
3 having received such letters in which General Mladic was addressing the
4 situation with the Muslim armed forces and the activities they carried
5 out or were carrying out from inside the enclave towards Serb-held
7 A. Are we referring to letters in general, or to Srebrenica and this
8 particular set of circumstances in -- I'm not clear which the question is
10 Q. Thank you. I was asking you this: Did General Mladic send
11 letters to you, trying to warn you of the enclaves Zepa and Srebrenica
12 being used by Muslim soldiers to carry out attacks against Serb
14 A. I recall receiving some such letters. The -- when I received
15 them, I am uncertain as to the timing of them, and I don't remember this
16 particular letter that you have been reading to me. But, then, I was on
17 leave on the date of this letter, so it is possible I never saw it.
18 Q. Thank you. In that case, I won't put any further such questions.
19 I will remain with your yesterday's answer where you said that you and
20 UNPROFOR representatives received a lot of information about attacks
21 being carried out from the enclave out. Perhaps we can agree on that,
22 and even the Prosecution do not dispute that the existence of the
23 enclaves was abused, to a certain extent.
24 A. I'm sorry, is that a question?
25 Q. I apologise. I wanted to ask you whether the UNPROFOR had
1 information about such attacks carried out from the Muslim enclaves into
2 Serb-held territory.
3 A. Yes, we knew that the Bosnian forces inside the enclaves were
4 conducting attacks from those enclaves.
5 Q. Thank you. Were any UNPROFOR soldiers killed while you were in
6 command by VRS soldiers to the extent of your knowledge?
7 A. By VRS soldiers, yes, there was a -- there were people killed in
8 Sarajevo on at least one occasion.
9 Q. Thank you. We'll get to the bridge at Vrbanja. For the time
10 being, we'll stay with Zepa and Srebrenica. Could you please tell me
12 A. In Srebrenica and Zepa, I don't recall an incident, no. And it
13 wasn't Vrbanja bridge I was thinking of. It was a driver of a piece of
14 engineer plant that I recall being killed.
15 Q. Thank you. Was he killed on purpose, or was there an accident?
16 Was he killed by chance because he happened to be in a place where there
17 was an exchange of fire?
18 A. No. He was killed on purpose.
19 Q. Thank you. I wasn't informed of that case. In any case, I
20 wanted to know about Srebrenica.
21 Do you recall General Mladic, in his letter, expressing his
22 regrets for the killing of a soldier Rensen ^ who wasn't killed by the
23 Serbs. He was actually killed by the Muslims in their attempt to stop
24 him from withdrawing from his location?
25 A. I remember this incident was referred to by General Mladic. I
1 don't recall whether -- whether the -- the particulars of what he said.
2 But I do remember it appearing in a letter, the incident appearing in the
4 Q. Thank you. Do you recall General Mladic and the VRS keeping in
5 mind the safety of UNPROFOR soldiers and that they even sent orders to
6 the units in that regard? There were measures taken to ensure their
7 safety, given the fact that there was a number of reasons which may have
8 caused tension between the members of UNPROFOR and the VRS, due to some
9 attacks on the soldiers?
10 A. I don't recall being shown by General Mladic or any of his
11 officers any orders that he issued.
12 Q. Thank you. It wasn't standard practice to send such orders, but
13 I will show you one which was, by way of example. It is 1D644.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is for Mr. Smith to see that,
16 indeed, such orders were issued, and then I can put my next question.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have used the document 1D617, are you
18 tendering it, Mr. Tolimir?
19 Mr. Gajic.
20 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. The letter sent
21 by General Mladic to General Smith is something that we wish to tender.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be marked for identification, pending
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D617 shall be
25 assigned exhibit number D185, marked for identification, pending
1 translation. Thank you.
2 And, furthermore, 65 ter document 1D644 does not have English
3 translation. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Since we don't have a
5 translation in English, I will read the heading: "The Main Staff of the
6 Army of Republika Srpska, strictly confidential." The date is 12th of
7 March, 1995. Sent to the commands of all corps personally to corps -- to
8 the corps commanders, as well as to the security department which was
9 tasked with providing security to the UNPROFOR.
10 "The mandate of the UNPROFOR in Republika Srpska has been
11 verified by the People's Assembly of Republika Srpska and the most senior
12 levels of government in Republika Srpska. Given that UNPROFOR forces in
13 Republika Srpska are on a peacekeeping mission (irrespective of the fact
14 that both we, the VRS, and its Main Staff and other institutions in
15 Republika Srpska have a number of complaints concerning a biased approach
16 by UNPROFOR members, which is something that is continuing and is being
17 discussed at meetings with UNPROFOR representatives, we are firm in our
18 belief that these UN forces should be accorded full support in the
19 implementation of their tasks.
20 "At the same time as was communicated to the UNPROFOR commanders
21 for the former Yugoslavia and the former B and H, the Main Staff of the
22 VRS, as well as the state leadership of Republika Srpska will keep
23 insisting on full reciprocity and a symmetrical approach to the treatment
24 of the UNPROFOR or the treatment of the UNPROFOR" --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: To the treatment of
1 all warring parties by the UNPROFOR equally.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. "We will also insist on the reciprocity the UNPROFOR should
4 display in its relations with Republika Srpska and the VRS."
5 I won't go through the whole document, by General Mladic orders
7 "Number 1: Corps commanders will engage all available forces and
8 order searches and other activities needed to be carried out in order to
9 initiate pre-trial proceedings so as to identify the perpetrators of all
10 serious crimes, that they be found and criminal reports submitted, as
11 well as proceedings instituted. The UNPROFOR property needs to be
12 returned," referred to some UNPROFOR soldiers who had their equipment
13 taken en route in Sarajevo to Kiseljak.
14 "Number 2: The security organs and military police units will
15 undertake all measures from their remit in order to identify and sanction
16 the perpetrators of these crimes and that the property be returned to the
18 "Number 3: The corps commander -- commanders, will identify the
19 commanders of subordinate units who instigate such criminal activities.
20 They will also do their utmost to establish what happened with the stolen
21 motor vehicles and equipment as well as personal items taken from the
22 members of the UNPROFOR.
23 "Number 4: The corps commanders will submit criminal reports
24 against all subordinate commanders who have been identified as those had
25 instigated the commission of such crimes.
1 "Number 5: Specific measures will be taken against such corps
2 commanders in whose areas of responsibility such criminal acts are --
3 keep taking place. I will do so personally.
4 "Number 6: The corps commanders will inform me of the measures
5 taken and results achieved at the latest by March 31, 1995."
6 And we see his name below.
7 My question is this: Did you know that General Mladic was
8 personally taking measures against all those committing any type of crime
9 against the UNPROFOR?
10 A. I -- I had not had this letter read to me in this form before.
11 It -- I remember the -- the increase in robberies taking place at
12 check-points, robbery of UNPROFOR equipment and possessions, and this
13 gives -- I complained about it, and this is a -- and then these incidents
14 decreased to a large degree. And here's an example of General Mladic's
15 grip and command of his forces.
16 I -- as I say, I know that this incident or these incidents
17 occurred and that after we'd complained, the situation improved, and now
18 I've seen the letter, or had you read the letter, explaining what -- what
19 General Mladic did at the time.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think it's time for our first
22 We have to adjourn and resume at 11.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 As for this document that is on the screen, could it please be
3 admitted into evidence? Can it actually be marked for identification,
4 pending translation.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. It will be marked for identification,
6 pending translation.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D644 shall be
8 assigned exhibit number D186, marked for identification, pending
9 translation. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We're going to move onto a different topic, where the commander
13 of the Ukraine battalion was kept as a hostage by the Army of
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P584, could that please be shown in
16 e-court. It's a situation report for the 17th of July, 1995.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This is what it says -- while we're waiting for the report -- oh,
19 here it is.
20 Could we please have page 2 in Serbian. Thank you.
21 Now I'm going to quote what I am interested in. It's the
22 paragraph underneath the diagram, as it were. Can you see here that it's
23 the 17th of July, 1995 and down here it says Bravo and then it says
24 Charlie. I quote:
25 "According to the information received from BritBat through VSAT
1 phone call in the night from the 15th to 16th of July, the Bosnians took
2 as hostage the commander of the Ukraine company, Lieutenant-Colonel
3 Batalin and demanded to give them up all weapons, equipment and
4 ammunition, otherwise threatening to kill the Ukrainian commander. In an
5 hour when negotiations failed" --
6 And then can we have the next page in Serbian.
7 "16 men from special forces and 100 from regular troops
8 penetrated to Ukrainian company enclose and confiscated all weapons,
9 military equipment, vehicles, ammo and medicine. BiH side supported
10 their actions with fire at the Ukrainian company compound. Only four
11 vehicles left."
12 And then they're enumerated. And then it says: "The BH army
13 threatened displacing Ukrainians as a human shield against BSA attack on
14 their positions."
15 This is my question: Did you receive information, you or your
16 command, that the commander of the Ukrainian company, Batalin, was kept
17 hostage on the 15th and 16th of July as the -- by the BH army in Zepa
18 than all the equipment and weaponry of the Ukrainian company was taken
19 away? Thank you.
20 A. Yes, I remember this incident.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think it would be helpful to all
24 the parties to establish what the Defence's position is with respect to
25 this report. Whether it is the Defence's position that this report
1 pertains to the activities of the ABiH in the Zepa enclave, or whether
2 this pertains to the ABiH activities in the Gorazde enclave. I think
3 that is very significant to find out from the Defence what their position
4 is with respect to what this document represents. And I can elaborate
5 further outside the presence of the witness, if the Court feels that
6 appropriate, but I have a firm basis for putting this inquiry to the
7 Defence at this time, to ensure that this document is being properly
8 represented in this Court.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, I note that this document is not
10 listed in the list of documents to be used by the Defence.
11 Secondly, you may deal with that in re-examination, Mr. Thayer.
12 I don't see, at this point, the witness may explain what he knows, in
13 particular, about this incident, which is reported in this report.
14 You, sir, answered the last question of Mr. Tolimir by saying:
15 "Yes, I remember this incident."
16 THE WITNESS: I remember --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you can elaborate a bit on that.
18 THE WITNESS: Yes. In -- in the -- if you like, in the
19 narrative, the story of the fall of the enclave of Zepa, there is an
20 incident which I think, or thought, this was referring to, when the
21 Bosnian army seize and take the weapons of the Ukrainian detachment.
22 That's what I recall. And I'm -- and reading this particular document,
23 that's what I'm -- was reminded of. And here, I may be out of order, but
24 in the light of the Defence's -- I beg your pardon, the Prosecution's
25 remarks, I have looked at it more carefully and read it in greater
1 detail, and there's a second incident of similar nature in Gorazde
2 towards the end of August.
3 Now without checking, I can't remember all the names of the
4 various Ukrainians involved, but what alerts me to this, now that I have
5 been alerted to it, is the equipment listed as being remaining. And I --
6 I can't remember there being an excavator in the Zepa pocket, while I
7 think there was one, now I'm thinking about it more clearly, in Gorazde.
8 But other than that I can't be sure. What I recall, and hence my answer,
9 was that there was an incident in which weapons and equipment were seized
10 from the Ukrainian detachment in Zepa. And it's at about this time in
11 the narrative.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 Mr. Thayer.
14 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, again, this is why I precisely
15 stood up now rather than having to spend time on re-examination calling
16 up another document. Clearly the Prosecution has already adduced
17 evidence. There is no question that such incidents occurred in Zepa with
18 respect to threatening the Ukrainian forces there. That is part of our
19 case. There's been evidence, and I think some of that evidence came in
20 through General Smith already.
21 My point is, General Tolimir well knows that General Smith was
22 shown this very document in the Popovic case, and that this document
23 pertains to Gorazde and it should not be the burden on the witness to
24 sort that out when the Defence well knows the provenance of a document
25 and where it is from instead of misleading the witness by suggesting it
1 is from Zepa, when it is not. And when the record in Popovic and the
2 understanding of every party that has used this document before is that
3 that represents an incident in Gorazde.
4 That is my point. It should not be the burden on the witness to
5 undo that. The accused should properly represent the evidence before the
6 Trial Chamber that is he using in his examination.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
8 What is your position, Mr. Tolimir, to these remarks of
9 Mr. Thayer?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 It is possible that I misspoke, that I said Zepa instead of
12 Gorazde. This is a document from Gorazde, but there was an incident in
13 Zepa as well as the witness had said.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now this is my question. Because of these incidents that
16 occurred, vis-a-vis UNPROFOR and it was done by the BH army, were
17 Scotland Yard instructions ever followed in hostage situations? Because,
18 as mentioned in the report I just read out, the BH Army was holding an
19 UNPROFOR commander as a hostage. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, just to be clear on the record, are
21 you now dealing with incidents in Gorazde with this witness? I think
22 it's not part of our case here in this trial.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Perhaps
24 Mr. Thayer can say what he has to say, and then I can respond to you.
25 I am asking the witness about his powers as UNPROFOR commander
1 with regard to any kind of excessive behaviour towards UNPROFOR coming
2 from any one of the sides involved. I'm asking whether it was the same.
3 I mentioned by way of a criterion when the Army of Republika Srpska
4 seized the equipment of UNPROFOR, and then I referred to this document
5 too. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, again, in line with some of my prior
9 objections to the examinations, Prosecution has no problem with
10 General Tolimir examining on the conduct of the ABiH in Zepa or, for that
11 matter, in Gorazde. The eastern enclaves, as we've charged in the
12 indictment, comprise Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde is forgotten quite
13 often and it does not figure prominently in this Prosecution, but
14 nevertheless, it sun of the three enclaves that the theory of this case
15 is targeted by the VRS for the squeezing and strangulation. So to that
16 degree we have no objection to questions based on events occurring in
17 Gorazde. I think I understand where General Tolimir is going with the
18 question regarding Scotland Yard but we'll see whether he ties that to a
19 particular time or location, or not.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
21 Sir, I would like to repeat the question of Mr. Tolimir. He
22 asked you: "Because of these incidents that occurred vis-a-vis UNPROFOR,
23 and it was done by the BH army, were Scotland Yard situations ever
24 followed in hostage situations?" That was the question. "Because as
25 mentioned in the report I just read out the BH army was holding an
1 UNPROFOR commander as a hostage."
2 THE WITNESS: Yes. There were no instructions from Scotland Yard
3 that were being followed in any circumstances. I did ask for advice and
4 had some from Scotland Yard on dealing with hostages, but they weren't
5 instructions and they were certainly not a formal advice down through the
6 UN chain of command. This was me seeking advice at the time of the
7 hostage taking in May. The hostage taking by the Bosnian Serbs in May.
8 The -- and the general understanding of that advice formed my -- helped
9 form my opinion of how to behave in -- as a commander in these
10 circumstances thereafter.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I would like to clarify my remark
12 about Gorazde. I don't see any reference to Gorazde in the witness
13 summary for this witness. That was my remark, and, therefore, was -- I
14 wanted to clarify if you are now examining the witness in relation to
15 events in Gorazde.
16 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
17 Mr. Gajic.
18 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like to
19 add something.
20 In the summary for this witness in the Popovic case, there was no
21 mention of Gorazde. Of course, many aspect of his testimony were not
22 mentioned either. That is not something that the Prosecution is expected
23 to do. However, hardly ever do we see what happened during
24 cross-examination in these summaries and what witnesses said during
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to interrupt you. I gave the floor to
2 Mr. Tolimir to continue. And I think your last remark was not in the
3 limits of your role in the courtroom.
4 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. President, since
6 these are attacks against members of UNPROFOR and about equal treatment
7 of those who take hostages and carry out attacks, I wanted to ask
8 Mr. Smith about these two situations, whether they were treated equally.
9 And were the Muslims threatened, as the Serbs were, all the time. Those
10 are the questions I wish to broach. To see whether UNPROFOR had an equal
11 position towards the sides involved, as regards the use of force and
12 weapons. Thank you.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So that is my question for General Smith: Whether, in these two
15 cases, when members of UNPROFOR were attacked in Zepa and Gorazde, any
16 kind of sanctions were imposed against the Muslim army. And why is their
17 attitude and enmity towards UNPROFOR not being treated in the same way?
18 A. I -- I'll deal with the Zepa incident first.
19 I viewed every case of hostage taking equally seriously, and
20 it -- whatever the circumstances. How they were dealt with differed with
21 the circumstances.
22 In the Zepa incident, as I recall it, the situation became
23 increasingly muddled because the Bosnian Serb forces were also holding
24 Ukrainians or it -- in some circumstances, the Ukrainians were disarmed.
25 They were muddled up with the Bosnian Serbs, and it wasn't clear that
1 they had any position of their own at all. And by the time I was in a
2 position to do anything about the Zepa incident, to all extents and
3 purposes, the pocket had fallen, the enclave had collapsed. The fighters
4 were moving into the hills, and we had the refugee problem that we've
5 discussed at some length already.
6 In the case of the Gorazde incident, as I recall it, is that
7 the -- it -- it wasn't long after the incident was reported in the early
8 hours of that following day that I think the British battalion commander
9 in Gorazde got or achieved the release of the Ukrainian officer. But I
10 don't remember that in any great detail, but I think it was the actual
11 hostage situation, was resolved on the ground.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, in order to be fair to the
14 witness, I had to call up in e-court P55, paragraph 94, to see that there
15 was this situation in Zepa that the witness referred to as well. We are
16 going to read it out to see exactly what it was. I just wanted to point
17 out these two cases, in order to be able to put my next question. D55,
18 could that be displayed. Paragraph 94. It has to do with the fall of
19 Zepa, the report of Mr. Bezruchenko, who wrote this report as a
20 Prosecution expert and who was in Zepa as well, together with Edward
21 Joseph as assigned by General Smith. Thank you.
22 So can we have paragraph 94 displayed. 9-4, 94 is the
23 paragraph number. Thank you.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Now we see paragraph 94 in both languages. And you say:
1 "The defenders of Zepa saw the negotiations between their
2 authorities and the VRS as a sign of inevitable collapse of the enclave.
3 In this situation, they no longer cared for cooperation with UNPROFOR and
4 did not need UNPROFOR any longer. In an attempt to seize UNPROFOR's
5 weapons, on the 20th of July, ABiH attacked the compound of the UKR
6 company with heavy machine-gun fire and hand grenades. The second floor
7 was hit with a heavy weapon which destroyed the first aid station and
8 medicine stock. As fighting for the enclave continued, UNPROFOR Sector
9 Sarajevo described the situation in Zepa as of the 21st of July, as
11 And that is described by UNPROFOR document -- the UNPROFOR
12 document referred to in footnote 140.
13 Also, it goes to say:
14 "ABiH made threats to kill Ukrainian soldiers which VRS continued
15 shelling of ABiH positions."
16 And then footnote 141, describes that.
17 And then it says:
18 "The ABiH 285th Brigade commander Palic emphasised that a
19 delegation of BHC forward the Ukrainian battalion, UNHCR, ICRC, and UNMOs
20 should get to Zepa by all means. He made repeated threats to kill
21 Ukrainian soldiers if a helicopter with UNPROFOR representatives did not
22 arrive to Zepa."
23 That is document 142, from that footnote.
24 "Meanwhile a UN team on the way to Zepa was belonged in Rogatica
25 by VRS which wanted the ABiH to accept their terms of evacuation of
1 population from Zepa."
2 And then there is this document in footnote 143.
3 "All these developments were taking place against the background
4 of continued VRS shelling of Zepa."
5 Thank you. End of quotation. And now my question: These two
6 attacks against UNPROFOR soldiers in enclaves, did they both happen in
7 July of 1995, on the 20th and 21st? Thank you.
8 A. Which two attacks? You've got one in -- that I understand on
9 the -- on the -- going on in -- that's described in paragraph 94. Are
10 you still referring to the one in Gorazde? Because I thought that we'd
11 established that this probably took place in late August.
12 Q. Thank you. Now we also see the attack inside Zepa itself during
13 the relevant time. Let us spend some time on that.
14 Were you aware, at the time, that such attack was going on? Were
15 you made aware of that by the Ukrainian battalion in Zepa or Sector
16 Sarajevo? Thank you.
17 A. I was -- I knew that this had happened, and the reporting would
18 have come from Sector Sarajevo. I don't think I understood it in -- in
19 the detail that you have in this paragraph, but I knew such attacks were
20 taking place and that threats were being made.
21 Q. Thank you. Did the BiH Army ever receive air-strikes because of
22 that same thing? How did you solve the situation, generally speaking in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Were their positions ever bombarded because of this?
24 Thank you.
25 A. I -- are we talking about this specific incident? Or are you
1 talking about the whole of the war? What's -- what does the question
2 refer to?
3 Q. Well, first of all, I'm asking you about this particular
4 document. And then, later on, I would like you to tell us whether you
5 ever undertook any sort of offensive action or attack against the
6 Muslims. Thank you.
7 A. In this particular case, the -- as I recall it, the situation, as
8 it were, resolved itself into another situation, in which the enclave
9 collapsed, the defence collapsed. The Bosnian Serb army occupied Zepa,
10 and the Bosnian army elements retreated into the high ground. And I was
11 able to satisfy myself, or, rather, my subordinates were, that the
12 Ukrainian company, the personnel of the Ukrainian company were safe and
13 were not at immediate risk. I believe on the particular dates at some
14 time on the 21st of July, I'm in London, and I think -- I think that's
15 correct. I think that's the day of the London Conference, so I must have
16 been travelling on the -- at least on the afternoon of the 20th of July,
17 and I suspect the whole of this was actually managed by General Gobillard
18 in my absence, but I can't be sure of that without looking at a diary of
19 my own movements.
20 As to your -- the second leg of your question, there was no
21 occasion in the -- in the time that I was in command of UNPROFOR that air
22 power was used against Bosnian forces.
23 Q. Thank you. Bearing in mind that both these documents were
24 drafted before the London Conference - the Gorazde one on the 18th of
25 July, and the Zepa one on the 20th of July - did you apprise the
1 participants of the Geneva Conference of the fact that the UNPROFOR had
2 been attacked by one of the warring sides? Thank you.
3 A. I don't -- which Geneva Conference?
4 Q. Excuse me, maybe I made a mistake. I meant the
5 London Conference. Did you inform the participants in the
6 London Conference of the fact that the members of the UNPROFOR were being
7 attacked and kept as hostages and that their weapons were taken away from
9 A. I -- I believe that that was explained to the London Conference
10 by either myself or General Janvier - we were both there at this
11 conference - on -- when it was held on, I think, the 21st of July.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we move into private session
14 because I want to look at some documents that come from the UNPROFOR but
15 they are protected.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We move into private session.
17 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I note again that this document is not listed
3 in your Defence exhibit list.
4 Please carry on.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. This is on the
6 Prosecution list, and that's why we thought that we could use it.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question is: Were you personally aware that there had been
9 efforts to prevent you from receiving information about the attack
10 carried out by ABiH on the 20th of July in Zepa on the members of the
11 Ukrainian battalion? So you were prevented to receive this information
12 on the 21st during the London Conference. Thank you.
13 A. I'm not aware of what you've just put up on the screen, and I
14 don't -- and I don't think I was prevented from knowing it. I know -- I
15 think I knew this had occurred, as I've told you already. I may not have
16 received a letter about it, but I believe I knew about it.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, were the participants in the
18 London Conference apprised of the fact that the BiH army was keeping the
19 UNPROFOR members as hostages? Thank you.
20 A. Yes, I think they were told that. As I say, by either myself or
21 General Janvier.
22 Q. Thank you. And what was the reaction of the London Conference to
23 that? Was anything said that something maybe should be done about it?
24 Thank you.
25 A. I don't recall the particular issue being discussed any further.
1 It would have been part of either my report to the -- or
2 General Janvier's, and the matter under discussion in the
3 London Conference was not the specific issue of Zepa and what was going
4 on in Zepa on that day.
5 Q. Thank you. So now we saw that the real intentions about the
6 Sarajevo government in relation to Zepa were revealed. Silajdzic wanted
7 the people to stay there; but, at the same time, he wanted the Serbs to
8 have blood on their hands.
9 So can you give a comment about this stance of the Sarajevo
10 government and also give us the basis for your opinion on it? Thank you.
11 A. Well, my comment is that I'm not sure that what you've shown me
12 says that. I think that's what Captain Fortin is saying, is his opinion
13 of Silajdzic. I didn't read that and understand it as what Silajdzic has
14 actually explained to Captain Fortin.
15 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, when we talk about the UNPROFOR
16 structures and the Sarajevo command and the Bosnia command, did they know
17 at the time that that's what Silajdzic was thinking and that's what he
18 wanted at the time? Thank you.
19 A. No, I don't know what Silajdzic was thinking. And I don't know
20 what -- what -- what we have there is the -- a subordinate officer in the
21 headquarters to General Gobillard's diary, and, as I understand it,
22 that's the opinion of that officer, not the prime minister. And I don't
23 know, you know, on what he bases that opinion when he writes the diary.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you then tell us whether all other officers in
25 the UNPROFOR command also were of the opinion that the Muslims wanted the
1 Serbs to bloody their hands by killing their own people? Thank you.
2 A. No, I can't speak for all the officers, or any of the officers in
3 my command as to their opinions. And certainly not at 16 years' distance
4 from the event.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. We have been discussing the
6 London Conference and the fact that there had been efforts to prevent the
7 participants in the conference to obtain some information. Can you tell
8 us what was the purpose of the London Conference and who participated in
9 it? Thank you.
10 A. The London Conference was called by the British government and
11 hence its venue. And from my memory, all the troop-contributing nations
12 to UNPROFOR were invited and, to the best of my knowledge, were present,
13 as were principal -- representatives of the principal NATO allies that
14 weren't already troop-contributing nations. And the purpose of the
15 conference was to -- to announce, to come to and announce a change of
16 direction in relation to the safe areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And it
17 was being conducted on the basis of the fall of Srebrenica and the
18 probable and anticipated fall in the light of the circumstances and what
19 was going on of Zepa. And it was also being conducted in the light of
20 the previous -- of the events in May in which air power had been used,
21 hostages had been taken, and the keys, as I've explained to the Court
22 already, were taken away from the military chain of command and from the
23 UN point of view, lodged with the Secretary-General in New York.
24 The result of this conference was that it was decided and
25 announced that any attack on a safe area would be met by the use of air
1 power until it stopped and that this decision was made -- the political
2 element of this decision was made, and the keys were handed back to the
3 military commanders on the ground. That is to say, to the NATO commander
4 in Naples and to the Force Commander in Zagreb, General Janvier.
5 The initial announcement was that this threat of action against a
6 safe area was centred on Gorazde, but shortly after the conference, this
7 was extended to cover all the safe areas that remained. And in the
8 following -- the week that followed Srebrenica - I think it was as quick
9 as that but it may have been a couple of weeks - senior officers from the
10 British, France, and America came and explained exactly what the -- this
11 change in the safe area regime was and the threat that was implicit in it
12 to the Bosnian Serbs.
13 I think that's all -- I think that's a summary of the
14 London Conference and its purpose.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment, please. Judge Mindua has a question.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, General Smith, I
18 followed your answer to the Prosecution [as interpreted] question, but I
19 wonder whether I didn't miss something. Because it is the second time
20 that the Defence is dealing with this topic. It's the second time that
21 the Defence is alleging efforts being made at the conference to avoid an
22 intervention. This is on line 10 of this page of the transcript. And if
23 we go back to page 45, line 13 of the transcript, we again find a
24 question there, saying that efforts were made, aimed at preventing you
25 to -- from getting certain information about the attacks, the attacks
1 from the ABiH against your troops.
2 So I would -- I wonder whether you could answer this question,
3 because up to now, I haven't got a precise answer to that question. Have
4 there been efforts made aimed at preventing you from getting information?
5 THE WITNESS: I don't know if anyone made an effort to prevent me
6 getting information, but I don't believe I didn't have this information.
7 I knew about this particular attack against the Ukrainians in Zepa.
8 Now, I cannot be absolutely specific at the point I got this
9 information, but I -- I don't believe I was prevented from knowing it, if
10 at all, for very long.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you for this answer.
12 But since the Defence comes back repeatedly on that question, I
13 wished to know which -- where the basis for this question. In other
14 words, what kind of efforts could have been made in order to prevent the
15 commander from having information.
16 THE WITNESS: I find it very difficult to answer this question in
17 that I believe that I was informed. The -- and it was the practice of my
18 command to inform me, particularly of bad news.
19 The -- whether messages were passed very quickly, or delayed for
20 some reason, I just don't know. But at -- I don't have a situation that
21 I can recall when I suddenly found something out that had been concealed
22 from me.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please go ahead.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
1 you, Judge Mindua. Thank you, General Smith.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now, in order to illuminate this issue even further, could you
4 tell us the following. Did you ever consider the situation and what was
5 to be done in case of an attack from the enclaves directed at the
6 UNPROFOR, within the protected area? Thank you.
7 A. I -- the -- the situation of being attacked in an enclave was
8 covered by the need of our detachments to defend themselves, and each
9 detachment was required to do this.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you ever consider a situation in which you would
11 have to use the authorities given to the commander of UNPROFOR and use
12 the air force, in order to prevent, for instance, taking hostages in the
13 enclaves or taking weapons from UNPROFOR in the enclaves? Thank you.
14 A. In the situations you're describing, I was not able to use air
15 power. I've told you the keys were taken away from me.
16 Secondly, if it had been a situation of the defence, of
17 self-defence, then I would have had great difficulty in bringing air
18 power to bear because of the close proximity of all parties and the civil
19 population in those sorts of circumstances.
20 Finally, and as I've already explained, the situation of
21 self-defence lasts only so long as the person in question that you're
22 trying to defend is actually being attacked.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, since you say that the -- the authority was
24 taken away from you, can you tell us, did the London Conference give back
25 that authority to you? Thank you.
1 A. Yes, it did. It gave -- I had it, as it were, from sometime
2 after the 22nd or 21st of July. At least I had it in theory.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether the Security
4 Council ever confirmed the decisions made by the London Conference which,
5 after all, is not the Security Council? Thank you.
6 A. I don't recall whether the Security Council then confirmed these
7 decisions or not.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether the Security Council ever
9 gave you the authorisation to use air power against the Bosnian Serb
10 army? Thank you.
11 A. Insofar as the Security Council resolutions covered the exclusion
12 zones and the safe areas, and insofar that the violation of that safe
13 area was conducted by the Bosnian Serbs, then I think the Security
14 Council had authorised the use of air power.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. You resided in Sarajevo, and that's where
16 UNPROFOR command was. You know that the 12th Division attacked from
17 Sarajevo, which was supposed to have been a protected area.
18 Can you tell the Chamber whether the Muslim army undertook
19 attacks from the protected area of Sarajevo, Tuzla, Srebrenica, and Zepa
20 against the VRS? The list should also include Bihac, because it was
21 another protected area.
22 A. The Bosnian army did attack out of Sarajevo and Srebrenica, as
23 we've said, and in the Bihac, yes. And we can include Zepa as well.
24 I don't think they attacked exactly out of Tuzla itself, but
25 certainly in the vicinity of Tuzla. And they -- and those attacks
1 occurred during 1995.
2 Q. Thank you. In that case, can you tell us whether air-strikes
3 ever were ever used to stop Muslim attacks on Serb-held territory when
4 such attacks came from the protected areas of Sarajevo, Tuzla, Gorazde,
5 Zepa, and Bihac?
6 A. No. Air power was not used.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to put a question to the witness, a
8 clarification, please.
9 On page 51, lines 6 and 7 you said -- you were asked, did the
10 London Conference give back that authority to you.
11 Then you said: "Yes, it did. I had it, as it were, from
12 sometime after the 22nd or 21st of July. At least I had it in theory."
13 Could you please explain a bit the last part of your answer?
14 THE WITNESS: The -- first of all, the threat, as it were, hadn't
15 been transmitted to Pale and the Bosnian Serbs, so -- which was part of
16 the decision of the London Conference. So although I would have -- it
17 would have been harder to use if you hadn't actually explained to the
18 other parties what -- what the -- the threat was. So that was one of the
20 In purely practical terms, the situation as I've explained did --
21 of this change had not included Zepa, so the fact that we were still
22 engaged in Zepa and all muddled up between the forces and so forth, had
23 not been part of the -- of the decision of the London Conference. This
24 referred to Gorazde and the other safe areas. As I say, that came about
25 a week later, the subsequent decision.
1 So again, in practical terms although I knew this key was now in
2 my pocket, as it were, or, rather, in General Janvier's pocket, it wasn't
3 there to turn yet because these other -- (a), those other safe areas
4 hadn't been threatened; and, (b), we hadn't explained this new situation
5 to the other parties.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I have another question about the London Conference.
11 Could NATO issue --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Tolimir please
13 repeat the question.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters didn't catch your
15 question. Please repeat it.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
18 Q. Is the given mandate accorded to the UN by NATO or the
19 London Conference? Or was to supposed to have been done by the Security
20 Council of the UN?
21 A. I think I am correct, but the authorities of the
22 London Conference were taken under the United Nations resolutions about
23 the safe areas and -- and the exclusion zones. And, as I've said, I
24 don't know, I can't remember whether or not there was any subsequent
25 resolution by the Security Council. Resolution subsequent to the
1 London Conference.
2 Q. Thank you. You bombed Zepa in August, between the 29th and the
3 30th of August, when there were no civilians or soldiers there, Muslim
4 soldiers. There were only Serb soldiers left. Can you tell us why that
5 decision was made at that time? Why did you bomb Zepa at the time,
6 killing about a dozen Serb soldiers?
7 A. I -- I don't recall the -- the particular discussion of that
8 target in the bombing at the end of August, and I would need evidence
9 that we did actually attack a target in Zepa at that time on those days,
10 because I'm not sure we did.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you know when you destroyed what target through
12 air power? For example, Zlovrh was attacked during the night between the
13 29th and the 30th. An ultimatum was issued that certain targets would be
14 struck unless an RS delegation joined the Serb delegation in Dayton.
15 Could that have been sufficient reason to use air power?
16 A. I would need -- I don't understand what you're -- the basis of
17 this question. The -- I don't recall the UN demanding a RS -- a
18 republican Serb delegation to appear at Dayton against the threat of
19 attacking certain targets. I don't remember that at all. And even if it
20 did occur, it certainly didn't occur on the 29th/30th of August.
21 Q. Thank you. There's also a communique on that issue which we will
22 see tomorrow. There was, indeed, a meeting at which Mr. Milosevic and
23 others arranged it because the Federation did not wish the RS to appear
24 as an independent party at negotiations. They demanded that it be made
25 part of the Serbian delegation, and the HVO had to be made part of the
1 Croatian delegation.
2 My question is this: At the London Conference was any decision
3 made about the evacuation from Zepa? Because, as you say, Zepa was
5 A. No, I don't recall any decision about the evacuation from Zepa.
6 And I didn't say that Zepa was discussed. I said that I or
7 General Janvier, or both of us, would have, and did in my case, report on
8 the situation in Zepa. It's not the same as discussing it.
9 Q. Thank you. Perhaps I can clarify. At the London Conference, was
10 there any mention of an evacuation of the civilians in Zepa?
11 A. There probably was mention of the evacuation of civilians. The
12 detail of it, I don't recall.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you recall the general conclusion, was it not to
14 enable the population to go to safer areas where they could receive
15 humanitarian assistance for the duration of the war?
16 A. No. I've just said, there was no conclusion about Zepa.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you know that representatives of the VRS and
18 representatives of the Muslim population in Zepa had begun negotiating as
19 early as the 12th of July, considering the evacuation of civilians and
20 the army from Zepa?
21 A. I don't think I knew it as early as the 12th of July, no. I was
22 certainly -- I am aware that there is some form of negotiation going on,
23 and I'm not sure whether this is just before the London Conference or
24 after it, as to when I become aware of this. I think it's -- I think
25 it's probably after the London Conference, but it may not be. I may have
1 learnt it at the meeting when I met with Mladic and, as I recall it,
2 yourself, on the 19th, the day before I travelled to the
3 London Conference.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you learn anything at the time from the Civ
5 affairs representative, Mr. Joseph and Mr. Bezruchenko? Because you had
6 sent them to attend the negotiations on the evacuation of civilians from
8 A. I -- I wouldn't have had their reports directly but, no doubt, I
9 was informed of what they were saying. Again, I don't recall on what day
10 it was they were sent in.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Chamber what it is that you do
13 A. About what?
14 Q. About the reports. About the negotiations between the Muslim
15 population and the VRS, which is something you learned in your
16 conversation with General Mladic on the 17th.
17 A. I don't think I learnt about it on the 17th. I don't think I met
18 with Mladic on the 17th. I said it was possible I learnt about it from
19 Mladic on the 19th.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving any
21 interpretation. I only heard that the witness did not meet with Mladic
22 on the 19th but -- on the 17th, but on the 19th, and then ... the
23 interpretation stopped.
24 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I stopped speaking.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. There's nothing else recorded, and we
1 didn't hear anything else in English.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise. I don't
3 mean any harm.
4 Could we again have D55 which we had on the screen moments ago.
5 It is Viktor Bezruchenko's report. The title of which is: The fall of
6 Zepa. We're interested in page 23, paragraphs 86 and 89. I apologise,
7 86 and 88. Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You can see it on the screen before you?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, we don't have -- we don't have paragraph 86.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I can see it now in both versions. I wanted to quote from it.
14 "At this point, UNPROFOR Sector Sarajevo began preparations for
15 evacuation of civilians from Zepa. UNPROFOR operations order dated 20
16 July made the following assessment of the situation: BiH defence of Zepa
17 has collapsed and surrender of the enclave to the BSA has been accepted.
18 Large number of DPs wishing to seek refuge in the -- in
19 Federation-controlled territory will therefore have to be moved."
20 There is a document referred to in footnote 131 which is the
21 UNPROFOR order. Next in paragraph 87, it reads: "The order determined
22 the UNPROFOR mission as follows: Together with the BiH government and
23 UNHCR, UNPROFOR is to coordinate the evacuation of DPs from Zepa to
25 In paragraph 88, it reads:
1 "The evacuation operation was supposed to be executed in three
2 stagings and involve UNPROFOR forces of Sector Sarajevo, Sector
3 Northeast, Sector Southwest, as well as HQ UNPROFOR (rear)."
4 In support of that, the footnote refers to a document that
5 Mr. Bezruchenko had in mind.
6 My question is this: Since you were a participant to those
7 events, and you responded to some questions put by Judge Nyambe, tell us
8 when the preparations for civilian evacuation began, as regards UNPROFOR?
9 When did UNPROFOR commence its preparations to evacuate the civilians
10 from Zepa? That would be my question.
11 A. From the -- on the basis of this report that we have on the
12 screen, and I don't know whether it's possible and easy to see the order
13 that is referenced, but my expectation is that what happened and probably
14 being done quite properly by my Chief of Staff as I'm going to London and
15 in the light of the experience of the -- dealing with the refugees from
16 Srebrenica only a few days before, this order was issued by way of
17 preparation so that people were warned as to what they might have to do
18 and who would be involved and so forth.
19 The -- that's what I think this order is likely to be covering
20 and would be, if you like, a prudent preparation for an eventuality of an
21 event that could be anticipated with some certainty.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... If you could
24 clarify, please? I'm not sure if you were recorded correctly: A prudent
25 preparation for an intervention, did you say?
1 THE WITNESS: No, an event.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Event.
3 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I didn't read it as it was coming.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: A prudent for [Overlapping speakers] ...
5 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers] ...
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Of an eventuality of an event.
7 Okay. Please carry on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Let us look at another 65 ter document, 02140, which is an OTP
11 THE REGISTRAR: This document has been admitted into evidence
12 yesterday, pursuant to an oral order by the Trial Chamber under exhibit
13 number P2098. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Let us look at page 3 of the document. This is it.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. We see towards the bottom that it says the document was sent by
18 the Main Staff of the VRS on the 19th of July to the UNPROFOR commander
19 in Sarajevo, General Smith. It reads as follows: "Dear General."
20 It is page 3 in English.
21 We can see it now. It is Mladic's letter sent to you.
22 "Zepa surrendered. The Muslim delegation that I had received at
23 1800 hours accepted the surrender conditions.
24 "I ask you to inform a representative of the ICRC to be at the
25 check-point in Rogatica tomorrow at 1100 hours. I also ask you to send
1 50 trucks to transport the population that expressed their wish to travel
2 to the territory of the Muslim-Croatian Federation. Also, four fuel
3 trucks with D-2 fuel and one fuel truck of gasoline should be sent for
4 the needs of the UNPROFOR Ukrainian battalion unit.
5 "I expect you all at the Rogatica check-point at 0900 hours in
6 order to keep an eye on the implementation ever this agreement,"
7 et cetera.
8 It concludes with the following words: "I ask you to pass to the
9 Muslim representatives my wish to cooperate in order to conduct this task
11 "Sincerely yours. Commander Lieutenant-General Ratko Mladic."
12 My question is this: Do you recall this document; and do you
13 recall any activities undertaken by UNPROFOR in keeping with this letter
14 and in keeping with the arrangement? Did it, indeed, inform the Muslim
16 A. I'm pretty certain I informed the Muslim side. And I recall the
17 document. I recall this -- the letter from Mladic.
18 Q. Based on that, do you remember that on the 19th, the parties to
19 this conflict, as well as UNPROFOR were familiar with this wish of the
20 population to move out?
21 A. Oh, I think I'd understood if -- from the meeting with Mladic
22 earlier in the day quite apart from this letter, but I may be running the
23 events together, that the population were keen to be evacuated now that
24 the enclave had collapsed.
25 Q. Thank you. If the population wanted to do so, did someone try to
1 prevent them from doing so? Was it done by either the VRS or UNPROFOR or
2 the government in Sarajevo?
3 A. At this stage, do you mean; or do you mean later in the
4 evacuation? I can remember incidents, for example, of people being taken
5 off -- or being reported to me of people being taken off a bus or buses.
6 Q. Thank you. I know that you recall that, and I will give you an
7 opportunity to address it. But I am now thinking of the situation at the
8 beginning. Did anyone try to prevent the Muslim population from moving
9 out, in keeping with their wishes, be it UNPROFOR, the Serb side, or the
10 Muslim government?
11 A. I don't remember anybody preventing them -- move physically
12 stopping them once someone start to the move. But the negotiations went
13 on for some time. We were still talking about this when I got back from
14 the London Conference, so -- and I'm not entirely clear at this range of
15 the -- of events between the 19th and, let's say, the 24th. But I don't
16 recall a case of anybody being, at that stage, actually being stopped
17 from moving once they were in a vehicle moving. But the -- there was a
18 whole lot of negotiations going on over this period.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we must have our second break now.
20 And we will resume at 1.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. We were discussing whether any of the warring sides, or the
2 UNPROFOR, was trying to prevent the Muslim population to evacuate from
3 Zepa. I apologise for repeating the question, but I'm trying to give the
4 context. Your answer can be very short. Simply yes or no.
5 A. The answer was no in the specific case. But it is in the context
6 that is where my hesitation lies. It would be the terms under which they
7 left that was the business of the discussion, the negotiation.
8 Q. Thank you. Did the Sarajevo government want the civilian
9 population in its entirety to leave the Zepa enclave or not? Did you
10 have any discussions to that effect with them? Thank you.
11 A. There was certainly discussions over the movement of the
12 population and where they were to be moved to with the Bosnian
13 government, yes.
14 Q. Thank you. Now let us take a look at D60, D60.
15 Let us take a look here at what Alija Izetbegovic said explicitly
16 way back on the 18th of July, 1995. It's a letter that he sent to
17 General Delic.
18 We have it now on the screen but not the English translation.
19 Ah-hah, here it is in English as well, thank you.
20 So I'm going to read the following into the record:
21 "I have just been talking to General Smith. Perhaps I could have
22 women, children and the elderly evacuated from Zepa by UNPROFOR. Would
23 you accept this?"
24 My question is: Was Alija Izetbegovic inclined to accept the
25 evacuation of women, children, and the elderly from Zepa through
1 UNPROFOR, and did he seek the approval from that way back on the 18th of
2 July, 1995, because that's what we can see from this document. Thank
4 A. In my meetings with him, I don't recall him being anything but
5 concerned for the civil population in this particular event. I -- I
6 can't vouch for that document. That's him writing to somebody else,
7 General Delic.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, again, I have a problem. This
9 document is not listed in your Defence documents. I don't see who signed
10 this document. Perhaps you can explain something -- I see a date.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. President, I had to
12 say but didn't that this is the document sent by Alija Izetbegovic to
13 Mr. Delic. It bears his signature. It says Alija Izetbegovic, and then
14 mentions the word Selam. And in item 4, now that I will already
15 explaining it, with he can see that there is a stamp of Bosnia and
17 The Defence received this as part of the disclosure from the
18 Prosecution. So in item 4, to get back to that Alija says --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, just a moment. We don't see the
20 name, Alija Izetbegovic in this document. Only the first letters, A. I.
21 Just to have it clear on the record.
22 Please continue.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then maybe we should
24 enter into the record that this was verified by the General Staff
25 communications centre, the cryptographic data protection centre. So the
1 centre certified that it received and transmitted this cable and that it
2 was received from the person who signed it, and whose initials are A. I.
3 And it then went on to Rasim Delic.
4 So in item 4 we found: "An evacuation plan for the population of
5 Zepa has been made here in case that both items 1 and 2 above would fail.
6 I'm sending it to you.
7 "I'm waiting for your answers to the above.
8 "Sarajevo, 18 July 1995.
9 "Selam, A.I.."
10 Which means that it was Alija Izetbegovic writing to Delic.
11 That's the way he signs his documents. We had a witness here who said
12 that this was, indeed, Alija Izetbegovic's signature.
13 However, my question is: Who made this evacuation plan for the
14 population of Zepa? Do you know that? And does this document tell us
15 that this plan was drafted by Alija on his own or in cooperation with the
16 UNPROFOR? Thank you.
17 A. I don't know who made the plan, and couldn't know unless I saw
18 it, that he is referring to in this document.
19 Q. Thank you. Was there any mention of the evacuation of the Zepa
20 population on the meeting that you had with Izetbegovic on the 18th? You
21 told us that you spoke to him on that date.
22 A. He says I did, and I suppose I did. I don't remember that
23 particular meeting as I sit here. The -- and whether or not -- whether
24 or not we talked about evacuating the population, I don't know. I don't
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, do you have problems with
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I heard the last part.
4 I think that was enough.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I simply wanted to put an emphasis on this, in order for you to
7 realize that this is an authentic document. When he says: I had just
8 finished talk to General Smith. So my question to General Smith was
9 whether he had a conference with Alija Izetbegovic on the 18th of July.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness answered that he doesn't recall on
12 this specific issue and this specific date.
13 Please continue.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Did Alija Izetbegovic, in his meetings with you, ever showed you
17 any short of plan for the evacuation of the Zepa population? Thank you.
18 A. No. I don't recall being shown any such plan.
19 Q. Thank you. In items 2 and 3 of this plan, we can see that Alija
20 was considering the possibility of the army going on with the fighting
21 and even to reinforce it with 500 or 1.000 volunteers.
22 Are you aware of any plan by the Bosnian authorities in which
23 they would want to evacuate the population but the army would continue to
24 fight? Thank you.
25 A. No, I was not aware.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have 1D171. It's a
3 document dated 19th of July made by Mehmed Hajric, the president of the
4 War Presidency of Zepa. The document was sent to Alija Izetbegovic on
5 1300 hours on the 19th. Or, more precisely, 1317; we can see it on the
6 document when it appears on the screen.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we move to the next document, Judge Mindua
8 has, in relation to the last document, a question for the witness.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, the document was not on the
10 screen but it's back on screen again. Very good.
11 Listening to the answer of the witness, I think I understood that
12 he has not talked with President Alija Izetbegovic about this topic on
13 that specific date and that he has not been aware of any plan concerning
14 the continuation of the fights of the combats on the part of ABiH.
15 So, General Smith, I would like to know whether you had frequent
16 contacts with President Alija Izetbegovic during the first fortnight of
17 July, or let's say during the entire month of July.
18 Have you had any opportunity, any frequent opportunity, of
19 discussing with President Alija Izetbegovic in that period of time?
20 THE WITNESS: I didn't say I didn't have this meeting on the
21 18th, I said I couldn't rather having a meeting, or if I did, what we
22 talked about.
23 The -- as to the frequency of my meetings in -- with Izetbegovic
24 in July, during -- and I don't think I meet with him in the early part of
25 July at all because I'm on leave, if -- and then there is a series of
1 meetings at a greater than normal frequency during the time of Zepa and
2 the London Conference. If -- the number of which I cannot remember and
3 the dates. I'm sure there's a record of these. Each one that I had
4 attended would have been attended by a member of my staff who would have
5 written up a report about it, so if we need to find them, I'm confident
6 that that can be found. And whether they started on the 18th or later
7 than that, I just don't remember.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have been
9 checking what has been translated into English but it is exactly what I
10 said. I was wondering whether you had contacts, because in that letter,
11 that seems to be from the president, the president does not talk about a
12 meeting. All he says is that he talked to General Smith. It could have
13 been over the phone. Could it be that you were talking to him over the
14 phone, because then you do not have any assistant that would take down
15 any notes.
16 THE WITNESS: No, I don't remember ever talking to the president
17 on the telephone. These were always face-to-face meetings.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much.
19 This will be my last question for the time being. Would it be
20 possible for President Izetbegovic to sometimes talk about his military
21 plans? Let's say battalions that would have to be deployed somewhere,
22 for instance?
23 THE WITNESS: He would not have talked about that to me.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we should have 1D171 on the screen.
1 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. All right, now we can see what people in Zepa say. A moment ago
4 we saw that you received something from General Mladic on the 17th. On
5 the 18th Alija Izetbegovic had a meeting with you. He immediately
6 apprised Delic with the fact. And now we can see that on the 19th he
7 notified Zepa about it. We can take a look at the top where it says:
8 "The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Army of RBH, Zepa Brigade, strictly
10 And it goes to Alija Izetbegovic personally, and we can see that
11 it was September by the president of the Zepa War Presidency,
12 Mehmed Hajric. And in the letter he says: "Reply to your memo of 19th
13 of July, 1995 which we received at 1317 hours."
14 So he is replying here.
15 "Dear Mr. President: The telegram is discouraging but we should
16 not lose hope in Allah's grace. I wish to raise several questions.
17 "First what was the Security Council discussing and can the UN
18 compel the Chetniks to allow the entire population to be evacuated,
19 perhaps by helicopter?"
20 So this is what he can ask him on the 19th.
21 "Has a request to ensure such an evacuation been offered to the
22 Security Council?"
23 And item 3: "Do you have any Chetnik prisoners who could be used
24 as a kind of ransom? And then it says please convey our greetings to the
25 Armija and so on and so forth.
1 My question is, can we see from this telegram sent to
2 Alija Izetbegovic as a reply to his earlier letter that the inhabitants
3 of Zepa wanted to evacuate from Zepa and that they wanted to the Security
4 Council to be apprised of that wish of theirs? Thank you.
5 A. Can I go back to the first page, please?
6 I can see that this is a letter. I'm try to see whether it was
7 in reply. It's only [indiscernible] it's a reply.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You can see in the headline: "Reply to your memo
9 of 19 of July of 1995" [Overlapping speakers] ...
10 THE WITNESS: Oh, I beg your pardon. Thank you very much
11 [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers] ... which we received at
13 1317 hours.
14 THE WITNESS: Now I see it.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just so we don't have real confusion.
17 Is it the Defence's position that the document that they just showed
18 General Smith is the document to which this reply is replying?
19 I think it's important to find out whether that's their position.
20 Whether there is another document to which the document that is currently
21 on the screen is responding to.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
23 I would first like to ask the witness, have you ever seen this
25 THE WITNESS: No, I haven't, no.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Have you any idea if this is a reply to his
2 earlier letter that we have seen on the screen?
3 THE WITNESS: I don't -- while I had missed the couple of lines
4 you read to me, I still don't see that it -- that it refers directly, in
5 its responses, to that one that went to Delic. So I don't -- I don't
6 know what he's replying to.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 This shows us the attitude of the Zepa leadership. Can we now
10 have D54, so that we can see what was Alija Izetbegovic's plan. I asked
11 this witness whether Alija Izetbegovic ever shared his plans with him.
12 The witness was unable to reply, so now I want to show him what it was
13 that Alija Izetbegovic presented as his plan to his associates and the
14 Zepa population.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. All right. We now have D54 --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is a misstatement. The witness
18 was not unable to reply; the witness said that President Izetbegovic
19 never shared his plans with the witness. This is a big difference. You
20 should rephrase your question.
21 Mr. Thayer.
22 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, this is precisely why I stood up
23 before, because General Tolimir well knows that what he has in his hand
24 and could have shown General Smith very easily was precisely what's being
25 called for now. Instead, there's a deliberate attempt to obfuscate
1 what's going on, and only when he is pressed does the relevant document
2 get shown. That is why I intervened before, Mr. President, because he
3 knows that there is this other document that is specifically responsive
4 to the issue.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you heard the concern of the
6 Prosecution. They were asking you not to mislead the witness.
7 I have no idea about the way you are going with this witness, but
8 you should not mislead the witness.
9 Please go ahead.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I only
11 want to get a yes or a no from this witness. I never wanted to mislead
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
14 Q. Here we can see this document. And it's a letter send by
15 Alija Izetbegovic to the president of the Zepa Presidency,
16 Mehmed Efendi Hajric it was sent on 19th of July, 1995, from Sarajevo,
17 where he says:
18 "Here are my answers to your questions of last night."
19 It means that he is responding to the questions posed by Zepa the
20 previous night. This is his reply to the questions raised by Mr. Hajric.
21 And in item 2, he says: "An evacuation is possible only by land
22 under the supervision of UNPROFOR."
23 Which means that Alija Izetbegovic gives his permission for the
25 He goes on to say: "I am in contact with General Smith everyday.
1 The Chetniks are dragging out the talks deliberately. General Smith is
2 guaranteeing the security of women and children. You know that there is
3 no absolute security. As their first condition, the Chetniks have asked
4 that the men lay down their weapons and their investigation and so on,
5 which I refused categorically for reasons I do not need to explain to
7 My question is when we look at item 1 and item 2, do we see that
8 Alija Izetbegovic replied to the president of the War Presidency of Zepa
9 when he had asked him whether an evacuation was possible and how it
10 should be performed and under whose auspices? Thank you.
11 A. I'm still not clear whether the document on the screen at the
12 moment is the answer to the document from the war president in Zepa, or
13 it precedes the Zepa document, which is an answer to this one.
14 And I would also make the point that it doesn't give permission
15 for an evacuation. It talks about one being possible.
16 Q. Thank you. I gave you this document so that I could then ask a
17 question. I don't want to ask a question without the document. This is
18 the document sent by Alija Izetbegovic as a response to the previous
19 document sent from Zepa, because he says here at the beginning of this
20 document: "Here are my answers to your questions of last night."
21 And then he says an evacuation is possible. It means he is not
22 against it. He thinks it's possible. He also says that he is in daily
23 contact with you on the matter. He goes on to say that an evacuation
24 should be performed in UNPROFOR's presence and so on and so forth.
25 He also says that an evacuation could only be made by land under
1 the supervision of UNPROFOR.
2 My question is: Did Alija Izetbegovic ask you whether you wanted
3 to perform the evacuation of the civilian evacuation [as interpreted]
4 from Zepa? Thank you.
5 A. I don't recall being asked such a question. It is quite evident
6 to me, I believe at the time, that should an evacuation be required, then
7 it was my business to make it as safe as possible for those being
8 evacuated. I think that was more an assumption on which everyone was
9 working rather than I was being asked a specific question.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to ask you the following. In this
11 document, we see the sentence in item, paragraph 2: "I am in contact
12 with General Smith every day."
13 And you were already asked about the frequency of your contacts
14 to President Izetbegovic. Could you confirm or comment on this sentence?
15 THE WITNESS: Well, I -- I don't know how much he is trying to
16 encourage or impress his subordinate. But it would fit, if the record
17 shows me over those three or four days that I'm there talking to
18 Izetbegovic every day, then that's what was happening. I have no memory
19 as to whether -- not least because in the middle of all this, I
20 disappeared to the London Conference. So I'm not -- you know, this could
21 be every day, every two days and then there's a break of three or four
22 days and I come back again, and I can't recall with any precision at all.
23 But our contacts were frequent during this event.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Were there contacts in another way, through other
1 THE WITNESS: No, I would go to the Presidency and meet him.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Have a look at the third sentence where he says -- that is the
7 third line in the Serbian. "General Smith is guaranteeing the security
8 of women and children. You know that there is no foolproof security."
9 Based on this, I want to ask you the following. This was stated
10 by Alija Izetbegovic to the president of the War Presidency. Did he ever
11 ask you whether you could provide guarantees, since he seems to be
12 suggesting that you guaranteed the security of women and children, as he
13 wrote on the 19th of July in Sarajevo?
14 A. Again, I don't recall the absolute precise words, and I don't
15 think I ever used the word "guarantee." But it's a long time ago, and
16 we'd have to look at the record of those meetings to be sure as to what I
17 had said. There would -- if I had said something as categoric as that, I
18 would be surprised if my staff hadn't written it down in the account of
19 that meeting, whichever one it was that I said it in.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, General Smith.
21 Could we please look at the third paragraph of this letter of
22 Alija Izetbegovic sent to Zepa. I quote, and I believe you can see
23 paragraph 3 in the English language as well. "My plan: Move out as many
24 civilians as possible, all if possible. The troops stay on and continue
25 to resist. We will do everything to help you by supplying MTS
1 volunteers, and through offensive action in your direction (I believe it
2 is starting today). If we do not succeed in this, you should try to push
3 on on those roads (you know which) but now without the burden of women
4 and children who would in the meantime be taken out."
5 My question is this: Did Alija Izetbegovic have a plan to
6 extract the women and children and did he ask for any UNPROFOR guarantees
7 in order to do so, whereas, at the same time, wanting to continue
8 fighting through the presence of his troops there? Were you familiar
9 with it, or were any of your associates familiar with it during the
10 period when you were absent from Sarajevo.
11 A. None of what is in paragraph 3 was discussed by me -- by me or
12 with me with President Izetbegovic.
13 Q. Thank you. Could UNPROFOR have assessed what the plan was of the
14 Muslims in Sarajevo vis-a-vis the population and soldiers in Zepa?
15 A. Oh, we could have and did, no doubt, deduce that such a plan or
16 options were available to them. And, indeed, on the ground, we could see
17 the separation of the men of military age and the women and children.
18 Q. Thank you. Was the separation in Zepa carried out by the army or
19 the Muslim civilian authorities?
20 A. I've -- I don't remember. I don't even know whether I would have
21 known the difference at that time.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, if you know, whether, on the 19th of
23 July, when the letter was received, there was a meeting with the members
24 of the War Presidency at which the Muslim representatives put forth their
25 wish for the entire civilian population to be evacuated from Zepa?
1 A. Who was the meeting with?
2 Q. Thank you. It is the video recorded meeting that was shown here.
3 Yesterday you saw a excerpt where we see Kulovac, Mladic, Tolimir, and
4 others in attendance.
5 A. [Previous translation continues] ... I just wanted to be sure
6 that's what you were referring to. Of course, I know it was there, I was
7 present at it.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Just to make sure we have an accurate record, I
10 don't believe there was any video shown yesterday showing the accused.
11 Perhaps he is thinking about a different meeting on a different day, but
12 the video-clip that was shown yesterday to General Smith did not include
13 the accused.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could check your last question.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. My question to the witness was whether he knew that at Boksanica
17 on 19th of July there was a meeting with members of the War Presidency of
18 Zepa, at which the Muslim representatives expressed their wish for the
19 entire civilian population of the enclave to be evacuated. And I told
20 him that we saw some footage yesterday showing that on that date there
21 was a meeting, and we see the witness himself on that footage being
22 present in Zepa. I believe some questions were put to that effect by the
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Again, Mr. President, I -- I think the General is
1 conflating meetings. We well know from the evidence in this case that
2 there were a number of meetings that were held over a period of days in
3 Zepa and at Boksanica, in particular. And the video-clip that was shown
4 yesterday was of a very specific date, and if General Tolimir wants to
5 talk about that specific date, then he can put that date on the record
6 and put that to the witness. If he is talking about another meeting with
7 other participants, then he should put the details of that meeting on the
8 record so it is clear what he is talking about. Because there were a
9 number of meetings, as we all know, with different participants attending
10 different meetings.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you give a precise indication
12 about which meeting you want to put a question to the witness.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 I want to ask the witness the following, and then it is up to him
15 to respond the way he wishes to.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I will no longer try to jog his memory or offer any suggestions.
18 Did you know that, on the 19th of July, at Boksanica, there were
19 meetings with members of the Zepa War Presidency, and the Muslim
20 representatives at those meetings expressed the wish to evacuate the
21 entire population of Zepa?
22 A. At -- I come back, I was present at a meeting that I know about.
23 Again, without the record of the meeting in front of me, I can't be
24 absolutely sure of the details of the conversation, but the subject of
25 the evacuation of the population was certainly part of the discussion.
1 Q. Thank you. Let's look at D55 in e-court. Page 25, paragraph 94
2 which refers to ...
3 Thank you. We've seen that already; my mistake.
4 My question is this: Did you, in UNPROFOR, given the fact that
5 there were UNPROFOR representatives in Zepa, did you know that the
6 civilian leadership -- that the military leadership as well as the
7 population of Zepa all wished to see the population evacuated to the
8 territory controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
9 A. Yes. I knew they wished to be evacuated.
10 Q. Thank you. There's an allegation that the Serbs were responsible
11 for the carrying out of that evacuation, but it seems that we all
12 participated in the process of evacuation on the basis of the evacuation
14 A. Let me be quite clear: The situation that the people wished to
15 be evacuated from resulted from the collapse of the defence of the
16 enclave and the presence of the Bosnian Serb army amongst them.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether members of the VRS entered
18 Zepa while the civilians were still there? Do you have any knowledge
19 about that; and were you informed of any such thing by your team in Zepa?
20 A. It was reported to me that you, amongst others, were in Zepa,
21 that you and the others were armed, and that the -- and were telling the
22 population to leave.
23 Q. Thank you. Tomorrow we'll see footage about that and how it
24 actually took place.
25 Was I entitled to implement the agreement? This is also
1 something we'll address tomorrow. Perhaps, for the time being, you can
2 offer your view of whether myself or the UNPROFOR representatives present
3 there were authorised to see through the evacuation process, as per the
4 evacuation agreement which was signed by all those involved.
5 A. I can't speak for anybody but my own command, and they were -- or
6 told by me to be there and to oversee what was happening to the civil
8 Q. Thank you. Since you referred to yourself and the civilian
9 population, can Bezruchenko or the UNPROFOR commander in Zepa be held
10 responsible for a decision made by the Zepa leadership to evacuate the
11 civilian population for the duration of the war? Could they be held
12 accountable for what happened, if they were merely present there?
13 A. They're not accountable for the other people's decision, no. But
14 they were accountable for -- to me for reporting and, where possible,
15 maintaining the presence there so as to look after the interests of the
16 civil population.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you are running out of time. We
19 have to adjourn for the day and to resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in
20 this courtroom.
21 The court usher will assist you again. Thank you.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of
25 March, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.