1 Thursday, 24 March 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning.
6 The Chamber is seized of the Prosecution's motion for the
7 testimony of a certain witness to be heard via videolink. I was told
8 that the Defence is in a position to respond to this motion orally.
9 Are you, Mr. Tolimir, prepared to respond this morning in the
10 courtroom? Mr. Tolimir doesn't have a proper translation.
11 Mr. Gajic, did you receive interpretation? The problem is
12 solved, I was told.
13 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I hope so.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to repeat. Is the Defence in a position
15 to respond to this Prosecution's motion?
16 Mr. Gajic.
17 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. We will give
18 our oral response. If I'm not mistaken, it concerns a Prosecution motion
19 of the 18th of March of this year concerning a witness; I don't know if
20 it's a protected witness so I don't want to mention his name. In any
21 case, the Defence position is that we will leave it entirely in your
22 hands. I was only asked by Mr. Tolimir to tell you that the only thing
23 we don't want to happen is that this videolink testimony becomes standard
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I think there is no --
1 there's no need for being worried because we have up to now heard nearly
2 100 witnesses and this is the first time that the Prosecution filed such
3 a motion.
4 The Chamber will consider the application.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Prosecution's motion of the 18th of March in
7 relation to Witness Ramiz Husic, he is not a protected witness, is
8 granted. The necessary arrangements should be made.
9 The witness should be brought in, please.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Please sit down.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome back to the courtroom. Thank you for
14 your patience. I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the
15 truth still applies.
16 Mr. Tolimir is continuing his cross-examination.
17 Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
19 peace reign in this house. I'd like to greet everyone including
20 Mr. Smith, and may today's proceedings be concluded in keeping with God's
21 will and not my own.
22 WITNESS: RUPERT ANTHONY SMITH [Resumed]
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Smith, yesterday we discussed all of the
25 topics concerning Zepa. You mentioned that I was involved with some
1 prisoners on a number of occasions, thus hindering an exchange
2 all-for-all. Do you recall having stated that and that you wished to
3 discuss it further?
4 A. I don't recall stating it that you were hindering an exchange in
5 the way that you've expressed it there, and I certainly didn't say I
6 wanted to discuss it any further.
7 Q. Thank you. Then I apologise. Yesterday I asked you if you
8 recalled those prisoners you mentioned returned immediately prior to
9 crossing over to Muslim-held territory and that that piece of information
10 arrived from the command of the forces in charge of the operation. The
11 information was to the extent that the Muslims refused to surrender. It
12 was on the 28th. Were you familiar with that?
13 A. You -- I'm not familiar with the particular issue that you're
14 discussing. I don't know this case, the particular case that you're
15 talking about. I would need reminding and then I might find I knew. But
16 I don't see how this is connected with the previous question.
17 Q. Thank you. I will try to make the link.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see D173 which is
19 Edward Joseph's statement. Page 4, paragraph 19. Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. We can see the statement and we'll look at para 19 in both
22 versions. I will read it out. I quote Mr. Joseph:
23 "The previously-mentioned group of slightly wounded men boarded
24 probably the last bus. I recall them being a group of 12. As they were
25 of military age, they were problematic in terms of evacuation. Viktor
1 and I went to General Tolimir of the VRS who was in this area of the
2 centre of town. I asked him if he would allow these 12 to go through the
3 Serb-controlled territory without being disturbed and he clearly replied
5 This is probably the group in question. You received information
6 from your associates that I approved for them to leave and that the group
7 was later returned. I wanted to ask you this: Did you know that this
8 group on the last day, the 28th, was returned from the separation line
9 between Muslims and Serbs in Kladanj where they were supposed to cross
10 over into ABiH territory because it was at that point in time that we
11 learned that not all Muslims wished to lay down their weapons, and it was
12 then ordered that any further implementation of the agreement be halted?
13 A. I didn't know that what you have just stated had occurred, nor do
14 I have any evidence that it did occur. All I reported in my statement,
15 as I recall it, is that I was told that you had removed a number of
16 people from a bus, that is to say, a number of wounded soldiers from a
18 Q. Thank you. Did you know that General Mladic ordered for all
19 those who came to Zepa handing over their weapons be exchanged and the
20 same thing went for all those who were implementing the agreement in full
21 and abiding by his instructions?
22 A. I did not know it as you have stated it there. I knew that we
23 were evacuating these people. And my understanding was that once they
24 were on the bus, they were clear to go.
25 Q. Thank you. Tell us this, please, your personnel in Zepa
1 monitoring and assisting with the evacuation, did they report to you that
2 anyone was held in Zepa by the VRS and that someone was prevented from
4 A. Yes. Amongst others I was told that you were holding Palic.
5 Q. Thank you. We will see that. There were witnesses here
6 testifying to that effect.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us see the list which is P434
8 in e-court.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. While we're waiting for it, can you tell us whether you knew that
11 Palic was held by the VRS following the entire evacuation and that he was
12 taken to Boksanica? He was then handed over, but not to me; he was
13 handed over to the Rogatica Brigade.
14 A. My memory of what I knew at the time was that he was -- I was not
15 allowed to see him or talk to him and that my understanding is that he
16 had probably been shot.
17 Q. Thank you. When you were there he was probably still with the
18 convoy because he escorted each and every one. We will see now that he
19 was not finally killed and we'll see that in Mr. Bezruchenko's report
20 once we are done with the document I initially asked for.
21 Have a look at this document, please, and the list of POWs. It's
22 an OTP document. All those who were held back following the Muslim
23 refusal to honour the agreement and that they were all registered by the
24 ICRC on the 28th. They were all put in a jail.
25 I'm reading the first paragraph:
1 "Since the 28th of July, 1995, the following Muslims have a
2 status of prisoners of war placed in the military holding centre in
4 The following persons are on the list. We see them here.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please go to the next page
6 for the witness to see. We can even go to page 3.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Forty-five persons so far. Let's go to the next page, please.
9 There is a reference to their health in item B. And then we can see that
10 they were all accommodated there, including Avdo Palic, in the
11 penultimate paragraph. The pseudonym used for him is "Atlantis," as the
12 OTP stated when presenting this document. It's stated here that he was
13 placed in a different location.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we go to the last page of the
15 document now.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. This was drafted by Captain Zoran Carkic. He also referred to
18 Avdo Palic and he stated that they were all registered on the 28th. In
19 this report we can also see, if we look at the penultimate paragraph,
20 that some people had their personal items taken away and that I
21 personally ordered an investigation in order to establish who took away
22 their possessions so that the person in question could be appropriately
24 It reads as follows:
25 "The above-mentioned Muslims complained to General Tolimir and
1 myself, saying that it was done by men under the command of a short man
2 with black hair wearing a black beret and limping. It is obvious that it
3 is Lieutenant Matic, who at the moment of separation of the Muslims came
4 to the spot and carried out searches in the school and in the yard of the
5 school. General Tolimir demanded that this case be investigated and
6 money found."
7 Given that the person in question was from the Drina Corps who
8 was Carkic's superior, I personally requested of him to specifically
9 mention my request in the report. Did you know that on the 28th all of
10 them were placed in detention, registered by the ICRC, and put on a list?
11 A. No, I didn't. I knew that the ICRC, who had no responsibility to
12 report to me, but they had told me that they had seen some people at
13 about this time.
14 Q. [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. We will have a look at what Mr. Bezruchenko had to say about it,
18 who was there.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is D55.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. He stated that everyone was informed --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at paragraph 117 of the
23 document before us. "The Fall of Zepa" drafted by Mr. Bezruchenko as an
24 investigator of the OTP. It is page 33, paragraph 117.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. On the 28th of July, the commander of the 285th Brigade
2 Avdo Palic was in VRS custody as General Tolimir reported that the
3 285th Brigade commander Avdo Palic provided information about the
4 minefields in Zepa."
5 In the footnote he refers to a particular document; it is
6 footnote 174. Did Mr. Bezruchenko tell you that Avdo Palic was detained
7 on the 28th? Could you have heard that from him?
8 A. I'm sorry, I -- where does that -- where is the bit about --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should go back one page in the English.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May we have paragraph 117 again.
13 THE WITNESS: Ah, I've got you. No, he didn't tell me, and I
14 don't know that he knew that on the 28th of July. He's compiling a
15 report of reports. I don't know when he found out the information in
16 paragraph 117. It certainly doesn't say that he knew it on the
17 28th of July.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. Did you know that Mr. Edward Joseph testified that he
20 followed the vehicle in which Mr. Avdo Palic was taken to Boksanica from
21 the centre of Zepa? He stated that he was with Bezruchenko. They were
22 with Avdo Palic up until the moment he was handed over to the
23 Rogatica Brigade.
24 A. I didn't know that, no.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, good morning. I'd like a transcript
2 cite for that proposition. If I understood it correctly, the General's
3 position, what he's putting to this witness, is that Ed Joseph and
4 Viktor Bezruchenko were with Avdo Palic until he was turned over to the
5 Rogatica Brigade. I'd like a transcript cite for that.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you able to provide us with a
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I can't
9 provide you with that. I recall what Mr. Joseph said while testifying;
10 he said that Avdo Palic was arrested in the UNPROFOR base and was then
11 taken to Boksanica hill. He also stated that he and Bezruchenko followed
12 the vehicle. I just wanted to ask him about that particular detail,
13 whether they told General Smith of their knowledge of Palic's arrest. As
14 for his exact words, I can't quote them now. I just wanted to know
15 whether they conveyed that information to him since they were on the
16 spot. The witness is now saying they did not. Perhaps someone else
17 could locate that particular transcript page. I could go back through my
18 notes, given sufficient time though.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you just said, "The witness is now
20 saying they did not." This was not the answer of the witness. The
21 witness said he doesn't know and didn't know, if I recall correctly.
22 THE WITNESS: I knew that Palic had been taken by the Bosnian
23 Serbs. That ... someone told me that. It could have been Joseph or
24 Viktor. But what I don't know is the -- is the point that, you know, I
25 do not know it in the form that the question was posed to me.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. That was my understanding of your
3 Mr. Tolimir, it is always helpful for the parties and the Chamber
4 to give a reference from which part of the transcript or document you are
5 quoting or referring. Therefore, please bear that in mind. Continue,
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will
8 gladly do so at the earliest possible opportunity. I can't come up with
9 it right now. I'm sorry.
10 Could we now go back to one of the documents we saw a moment ago.
11 In Mr. Bezruchenko's report, we referred to paragraph 123 yesterday, I
12 believe. Could we please have it on the screen to jog the witness's
13 memory. I won't quote from it. I simply have a question about it and
14 about the detainees held by the Rogatica Brigade. We can see paragraph
15 123 now.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. We could see that according to the Muslim sources of the
18 30th of July everyone had pulled out from Zepa. You can recall the
19 document we saw stating that they went to Serbia, et cetera. My question
20 is this: If they had all left from the protected area in Zepa as stated
21 by Bezruchenko based on ABiH documents and if they were all registered in
22 the detention unit as referred to in P1434, which we just saw because we
23 could see their first and last names, there were 35 -- sorry,
24 45 registered prisoners, then is there a possibility that the
25 representatives of UNPROFOR and civilian authorities were not in Rogatica
1 on the 28th and that the ICRC was? The ICRC registered them? Did you
2 know that en route to Rogatica one needs to pass by that detention
4 A. Let me answer the last question first. I knew that there was
5 the -- a possible site, detention site, in Rogatica and that you would
6 pass it. I don't -- I can't speak for the ICRC and what dates they were
7 there. They are an independent body. And I don't know if the civil
8 affairs people from UNPROFOR were there on the 28th or not. What I can
9 say is that I was trying to make sure that every person in Zepa was
10 accounted for and so I would like to think that my people and the ICRC
11 were trying to locate these people and register them.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the clarity of the record, Mr. Tolimir, you
13 just mentioned P1434. In fact, we saw the document P434. Probably you
14 misspoke. Please carry on.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I must
16 have misspoken. I often do that, permutations of numbers. The number is
17 as you had put it. Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Were you informed that after the 30th, as
20 paragraph 23 [as interpreted] says and as the army wrote, there were no
21 soldiers or civilians left in Zepa after the 30th? Did you have
22 information to that effect from any source whatsoever? Thank you.
23 A. I can't remember with the precision as to the dates. We'd have
24 to look at the documents coming from my headquarters.
25 Q. Thank you. At any rate, can you answer the question? On the
1 30th were there any Muslims in Zepa? The 30th of August, were there any
2 soldiers or were there any civilians there? Thank you.
3 A. Do you mean August or July?
4 Q. August, August. Thank you.
5 A. I don't think there were any civilians in Zepa on the
6 30th of August, that is to say, Bosnian civilians.
7 Q. Thank you. I promised you the day before yesterday that I would
8 show you a document which shows that on the 30th of August you bombed the
9 hill of Zlovrh in Zepa and you could not remember that.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So I would now like to ask for
11 1D689 to be displayed in e-court. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, perhaps it is a translation issue.
13 I don't think that it is appropriate to say "you bombed" the mount
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. UNPROFOR allowed the bombing using NATO air force. Now we're
19 going to show what the document says. I accept your suggestion and your
20 words of caution, thank you.
21 As this document has not been translated, I would read out part
22 of the first paragraph. This is what it says; this is a report of the
23 command of the 1st Podrinje Light Brigade, that's the Rogatica Brigade,
24 of the 30th of August, 1995. It was sent to the command of the
25 Drina Corps and it is entitled, "Regular Combat Report." And it says:
1 "This morning around 2.30 NATO air force bombed a facility
2 which -- in which the centre for communications was stationed previously
3 at Zlovrh. The Ustashas had torched the facility and over the past 10
4 days it was used for -- for our unit which was searching and checking the
5 territory with a view to mopping up remaining enemy forces in the former
6 enclave of Zepa. At the moment of the air-strikes in the building, there
7 were a total of 14 soldiers. In the immediate vicinity, three air-bombs
8 fell. One such bomb hit the building itself and as a result 10 soldiers
9 in the building were killed, whereas four soldiers survived, however they
10 were seriously injured."
11 And then the soldiers who were killed are listed.
12 Please, can you respond. Why was Zlovrh bombed at that point in
13 time? Why were these soldiers killed when in Srebrenica -- sorry, I
14 misspoke, Zepa, when in Zepa on the 30th of August there weren't any
15 Muslim forces there, the evacuation was over? This is one month later.
16 Thank you.
17 A. The -- as I said two days ago, I think it was, I don't recall the
18 targets that were attacked on the 30th of August or, for that matter, the
19 complete argumentation as to why they were chosen. This particular
20 series of attacks had no direct relation to the enclave of Zepa itself.
21 It was to do with the mortaring of Sarajevo and the consequence -- the
22 actions that took place thereafter were a consequence of the decisions
23 made at the London conference which were communicated to you.
24 Q. Thank you. This is my question: Is Zepa in the immediate
25 vicinity of Sarajevo? How far away is it, do you know? And can Sarajevo
1 be mortared from Zepa? Thank you.
2 A. The answer to your questions is, no, it's not in the vicinity of
3 Sarajevo; I do not know how far away it is; and with the weapons
4 available to the Bosnian Serb forces, you couldn't mortar Sarajevo from
5 Zepa. However, you are not hearing or taking account of my answer to the
6 previous question. You have to recall what you were told about the
7 decisions of the London conference to properly answer or to frame the
8 questions that you're asking.
9 Q. Thank you. I had asked you whether the decisions of NATO and of
10 the London conference were verified by the Security Council and you said
11 that you did not remember. Do you remember today perhaps, and do you
12 have a different answer today compared to yesterday? Thank you.
13 A. No, I do not recall if they were verified by the Security
14 Council. And the NATO decisions weren't made at the London conference.
15 Q. Thank you. Were procedures changed regarding air support,
16 air-strikes, et cetera, at the London conference? Were procedures for
17 making decisions on air-strikes, protection, et cetera, were they
18 changed? Thank you.
19 A. As I've told you, the decision was made to put the authority to
20 initiate air-strikes into the hands of the military commanders and in
21 NATO and the UN, and the force commander was, as it were, given back the
23 Q. Thank you. If you were given a key, did that mean that you could
24 hit Republika Srpska at random or did you have to abide by a certain
25 procedure in terms of target selection? Thank you.
1 A. Targets were chosen -- were not chosen at random.
2 Q. Thank you. This target in Zlovrh where there were no Muslim
3 forces whatsoever and where there was no conflict at all, was it chosen
4 randomly? Thank you.
5 A. I've just said they were not chosen at random. And we were not
6 attacking the Muslim forces.
7 Q. Thank you. I understand that, that you were not attacking Muslim
8 forces, because they were co-operative. This was a co-operative
9 democracy that punished only those who were not co-operative. Could you
10 please tell us why you did not target Muslim forces? And there were more
11 reasons for that; there were more attacks in Zepa itself against UNPROFOR
12 and in terms of the disarming of UNPROFOR, everything we discussed
13 yesterday. Thank you.
14 A. We were not attacking Muslim forces because they had not violated
15 the safe area of Sarajevo.
16 Q. Yesterday I read out a document to you. When they disarmed an
17 entire Ukrainian company in Gorazde, was that not reason enough to bomb
19 A. And I explained that it was not.
20 Q. Thank you. Do the procedures say that you can use fire-power
21 only against targets from which there was firing in order to protect the
22 forces that are carrying out the air-strikes and that are asking for air
23 support by way of their own self-defence? Thank you.
24 A. No, they didn't say that. And let me say it again: After the
25 London conference, the decisions made -- and let me start again.
1 At the London conference, the decisions that were made was that
2 should a safe area and in particular attack on the civil population in a
3 safe area occur, then air power was to be used and to be initiate -- and
4 the use of it to be -- it was to be initiated by the military commanders.
5 And air power would be used to enforce, if I recall the correct -- the
6 words correctly, that until the safe area was and the exclusion zones
7 around it were fully re-established.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have document 1D686 now.
10 Let us see what it says regarding legal grounds for NATO operations.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the document we --
12 you have just used and which was on the screen, 1D689?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
14 thought of tendering it. Thank you. I would kindly ask that it be
15 admitted. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be marked for identification pending
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D689 shall be
19 assigned Exhibit D187 marked for identification pending translation.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Can we
23 now have 1D686 in e-court.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. This is a document of the BH command for Sarajevo. It was
1 written on the 15th of August, 1994. It had to do with heavy weaponry in
2 various locations where it was kept so that it wouldn't be used. Thank
3 you. We see it now on our screens.
4 Let us now please look at the second paragraph of this document.
5 I'm going to read it out:
6 "At the present moment there is no legal basis (NAC resolution)
7 for any NATO action against weapons outside the TEZ firing into the TEZ
8 unless they are firing at targets inside Sarajevo city. NATO
9 air-strikes -- air attacks can only be used against confirmed heavy
10 weapons within the TEZ that are not withdrawn on order or endangering the
11 security of UNPROFOR personnel."
12 Thank you. On the basis of this, this is my question: Was any
13 member of UNPROFOR or any safe area under threat from the hill of Zlovrh?
14 Thank you.
15 A. Can I see the rest of this document, please.
16 Q. Thank you. It's a very lengthy document; it has ten pages. It
17 is ten pages long. I will let you take a look at it during the break and
18 then we can discuss it once we are back from the break.
19 A. Okay.
20 Q. Could you please just say whether at the moment of attack was any
21 UNPROFOR unit or any member of UNPROFOR, any safe area, endangered from
22 Zlovrh? You can say that without reading the document, can you not?
23 A. I -- the -- they were not directly endangered by forces in that
24 position of Zlovrh. But I keep coming back to the point that that isn't
25 the basis on which the actions at the end of August were undertaken. It
1 was based on the decision made at the London conference, which allowed
2 for a much wider interpretation of the exclusion zone policy. Which was
3 communicated to you and your headquarters either at the end of -- by the
4 end of July or early August.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. I said that we would continue discussing
6 the legal basis for the application of force once you read the document.
7 I am just asking about what happened at Zlovrh when ten soldiers were
8 killed and four wounded. Was that the case or was it something else?
9 Was it retaliation?
10 A. I'm not clear what the question ... You were discussing a
11 particular case and you were asking me about targeting decisions, and I
12 thought I'd answered that.
13 Q. Thank you. What was not interpreted to you is whether this was
14 retaliation; that's the word I used. Retaliation. Is that why Zlovrh
15 was targeted?
16 A. As I've said to you, I cannot recall the argumentation behind the
17 choice of the targets in -- at the end of August.
18 Q. Thank you. We see that today a decision was made to stop all
19 air-strikes in Libya and on the other hand each and every mortar in Libya
20 is being hit; is this part of that co-operative policy or is it about
21 something else? Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Again, like yesterday, I would remind you that we
23 are only dealing in this case with events happening in the former
24 Yugoslavia. If you need a discussion of principles, you should do that,
25 but not in relation to any event happening around the world.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I just
2 asked -- I mean, the point was co-operative democracy that is being
3 introduced by way of tomahawks. Egypt, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Bosnia;
4 those are the examples I wanted to give. It is very important for this
5 case why Republika Srpska was bombed. Was it bombed because it was not
6 co-operative vis-ā-vis NATO members that had air power or was it bombed
7 for some other reason. Well, thank you, I understand you. I'm not going
8 to ask if it has nothing to do with this case, but it does have something
9 to do with this case. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, can you answer the question?
11 This was the essence of your argument: Was it bombed because it
12 was not co-operative vis-ā-vis NATO members that had air power or was it
13 bombed for some other reason?
14 That was the essence of the question. Perhaps you are able to
15 answer this question.
16 THE WITNESS: I can say that the actions of the UN and NATO at
17 the end of August were a direct result and reaction to the mortaring of
18 the marketplace in Sarajevo which killed a large number of civilians.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. You just mentioned the Sarajevo marketplace. Do you
21 perhaps recall the letter that General Mladic sent to you in which he
22 told you that a commission was being established that would investigate
23 how come the explosion took place in the marketplace?
24 A. I can recall exchanges with General Mladic at that time which
25 included the idea of establishing a Joint Commission.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you recall your own communique and Mladic's
2 communique and all the communiques then, namely that at the time no one
3 knew who had fired the shell? And your assumption was -- or, actually
4 Mladic said in his letters to you that no one fired this shell, that it
5 was the Muslims themselves who committed this massacre in order to open
6 the door for NATO to strike?
7 A. I didn't make any assumptions. I carried out my own
8 investigation, and I decided beyond reasonable doubt that the
9 Bosnian Serbs had fired the mortar rounds that had killed these people.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Please, were you a ballistics expert?
11 Could you conduct an investigation yourself without ballistics experts
12 and without the warring parties that could contribute to an all-embracing
13 high-quality investigation? Thank you.
14 A. I am not a ballistic expert. I -- however, I was the competent
15 authority and the person that was required to decide, and I had a staff
16 to support me.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Do you cover every decision on the basis
18 of that competent authority, or should there be arguments and proof that
19 would make it possible for you to resort to force? Because that is not a
20 minor matter. Thank you.
21 A. Are we now talking generally or about that specific case?
22 Q. Thank you. We were talking about this specific case where -- and
23 a comprehensive investigation should have been carried out so that there
24 would not be all these manipulations so many years later to this day
25 because the investigation had not been completed. Thank you.
1 A. I am content with the decisions that I made at the time.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Did you know beforehand what would be
3 bombed when and did you make decisions about that too?
4 A. I don't -- do you mean say -- are you asking me whether targets
5 had been prepared against this eventuality?
6 Q. Thank you. I'm asking you this: Were there cases in which you
7 chose targets beforehand, planning air-strikes on them?
8 A. In my headquarters this was not being done. I believe, but you
9 would need to get a NATO officer to confirm or deny this, that they had
10 prepared a number of target lists. This doesn't mean that you would
11 attack them; it was so that you had the information available,
12 particularly to do with air defences.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have a look at
15 1D635. Once we have, I'll have a question for you.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. We are about to see 1D635. It is a document of the State
18 Security Service Department of Gorazde of the 2nd of July, 1995. They
19 are reporting of the contact they had on the 1st of July, 1995, in the
20 evening with the UNPROFOR commander. In the second paragraph they say:
21 "On that occasion Colonel John conveyed to us that Karadzic's
22 terrorists, in order to relieve the burden of their forces around
23 Sarajevo, will carry out an attack in the area of Sapna and Kalesija in
24 the course of the next few days (he didn't know what the precise date
25 would be). The area in question is nearby Tuzla."
1 In the last paragraph, it is stated:
2 "We mention that -- we also mention that Colonel John Riley in a
3 similar situation in mid-May 1995 told us that on a certain day Tuzla was
4 to be shelled, which proved correct. We have acquainted you with that
6 My question is this: Did you through these British sources pass
7 on information to the Muslims about certain things which would -- which
8 might be taking place that you allegedly had information on?
9 A. No, I didn't.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you see here that in the last paragraph it reads:
11 "He told us or he conveyed an information -- information to us
12 that Tuzla would be shelled on a particular day. He was proven to be
14 And we also had this presumption that Sapna and Kalesija would
15 come under attack and that certain measures were being planned because of
16 that. Later on we'll see that Sapna and Kalesija were not attacked but
17 that there was an attack from the protected area of Tuzla on the entire
18 area of the Drina Corps, and I will present information about the
19 casualties involved.
20 A. I can't see that; it's in Serb or Serbo-Croat. But I'm -- I
21 would observe that because there is a coincidence it doesn't mean to say
22 that there's a cause.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Chamber how did you know that on a
24 particular day Tuzla would be shelled, which is why you later on applied
1 A. I don't know. And this document, as you're reading it to me,
2 doesn't say I know.
3 Q. Thank you. It says that this colonel said, this British colonel,
4 told you that and that he had learned that -- well, I'll refer you
5 exactly because I haven't read the entire document.
6 This British officer is reporting to the forces in Gorazde about
7 certain activities in Tuzla. That is why I'm asking you whether you knew
8 and whether the British intelligence knew that on a certain day Tuzla
9 would be shelled, which would then be used to carry out air-strikes and
10 retaliate against Republika Srpska in areas such as Zepa.
11 A. I've told you, I don't know, didn't know.
12 Q. Thank you. I want to read out the first paragraph, since we do
13 not have a translation and I apologise for it.
14 "We wish to inform you that on the 1st of July, 1995, in the
15 evening we were invited to sit down by the UNPROFOR commander in Gorazde,
16 Colonel John Riley. His explanation was that he was prepared to offer
17 some information to us again by way of a telephone conversation with
18 General Smith."
19 My question is this: Did he receive the information I just
20 referred to a moment ago through that telephone conversation with you?
21 A. I keep telling you, I don't know.
22 Q. Thank you. Were you in telephone contact with Colonel John Riley
23 around that time on the 1st of July, 1995; can you recall that?
24 A. I don't think I was. I think I am on -- going on leave.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you know that Edward Joseph testified? He stated
1 that many targets were bombed because the Serbs were targeting Tuzla.
2 A. I didn't know he'd said that, no.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER: Again, I just want a transcript cite for that,
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you give us -- Mr. Tolimir, can
7 you give us a reference to a transcript page or to a document?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I asked him whether he knew that
9 Mr. Joseph, when testifying in these proceedings, stated that some
10 air-strikes came about --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I know that you asked that. It is
12 recorded. This is another question. I wanted to ask you, and I repeat
13 it, can you give us a reference in the transcript of the testimony of
14 Mr. Joseph?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I cannot
16 off the cuff. If the witness does not recall that, I will not put any
17 further questions on the topic. I just wanted to know whether he
18 remembers it and whether he knew.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the witness was not present when
20 Mr. Joseph testified. If you want to put a certain part of the testimony
21 of Mr. Joseph to the witness and ask him about this specific context, you
22 should put that part of the transcript on the screen and then ask the
23 witness about it. Otherwise, it's a waste of time.
24 Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, I'm in no great need to see a
1 particular page of a transcript if we can just have some specificity as
2 to what General Tolimir is talking about. If he's talking about
3 air-strikes which were conducted on the 25th and 26th of May, as the
4 Trial Chamber has heard considerable evidence about, then he can put that
5 level of detail to General Smith, rather than generally referring to the
6 testimony of some other witness and putting a completely vague
7 proposition to him. He's talking about events and an alleged
8 communication in July from a Muslim MUP report that may have some
9 connection to May, but we can't tell from the question what he's talking
10 about. So my request for a transcript cite can be mooted if we just have
11 some specificity in the question itself.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this addition. In my view that was
13 not necessary because I want to see the specific part of the transcript
14 and especially the witness should know what the other witness testified
16 Mr. Tolimir, bearing that in mind, you should continue.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will
18 bear that in mind. During the break I will find it in my notes. As you
19 may recall, I intentionally asked him whether it was carried out because
20 of Pale and whether the Tuzla event was in May. He said it was not. He
21 then said that the targets were targeted in such a way. In any case, for
22 the sake of precision, we'll find it over the break and we'll show it to
23 General Smith, because it was stated that targets were targeted because
24 of Tuzla later on.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To clarify this statement, I would like to know
1 what you mean if you said "I intentionally asked him whether it was
2 carried out because of Pale." Are you referring to this current witness,
3 Mr. Smith, or to the other witness? I don't understand this statement.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I was
5 referring to Mr. Joseph so as to remind the Chamber that it took place in
6 these proceedings recently. The date of the strike was disputed and
7 there was some discussion about whether it was because of Pale or Tuzla,
8 and then I asked him whether the Tuzla event took place in May, and he
9 said no, that it was in August. He was trying to point out that these
10 were two separate events. We'll find that reference. And Mr. Thayer
11 asked for the same thing then, to provide an exact reference. I do not
12 object to that, but I don't wish to waste any further time until I have
13 that reference.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. My next question is this: Did the British intelligence service
16 forward information to the warring parties such as in this case about
17 certain activities and plans of the enemy and whether they forwarded
18 official information from the field to either of the sides?
19 A. I was a United Nations officer and as far as I'm aware, certainly
20 United Nations officer as the -- sorry. The United Nations and UNPROFOR
21 did not pass information to either party about the other party. And I
22 cannot speak for the actions of the British government in these
24 Q. Thank you. Does it mean that this piece of information which he
25 specified as having learned in a conversation with you that on a certain
1 day Tuzla would be shelled and that an air-strike would follow, did it
2 come from the British intelligence service or was it based on the
3 activities in the field which you observed and conveyed to the opposing
5 A. I've told you already, I have no idea where he got had this piece
6 of information from or even that it is correctly reported that he had
7 this information. And I don't think you've told me that an air-strike
8 was to follow any of these attacks when you read out bits from this
10 Q. Thank you. I showed you a document referring to it. I have
11 others in which we can see that it was this particular channel of
12 British -- the British intelligence which was used to pass on information
13 to the Muslim side.
14 Was it customary to provide information to one of the parties
15 about the other party about its military activities? And I'm asking you
16 this because you were the UNPROFOR commander and must have been familiar
17 with it.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the witness answered this question
19 already, that he was a United Nations officer and that he cannot speak
20 for the actions of the British government in these circumstances. Please
21 carry on.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. That is why I asked him
23 whether this piece of information came from the British government or
24 whether it was gained by UNPROFOR forces by having observed activities in
25 the field, and he can answer with a yes or no.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the witness answered already that he
2 can't comment on this document because he has no knowledge about it.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I understand you.
4 But his name is mentioned. The source, this British colonel, says that
5 he was told about that by General Smith. That is why I'm asking it. In
6 any case, I will abide by your instruction and I will move on to the next
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Did you know that in the first on-site investigation in Tuzla it
10 was concluded that the shell was fired from a distance of 21 kilometres?
11 It struck Tuzla, causing a number of civilian casualties. Based on that,
12 a member of the VRS was prosecuted. Did you know that?
13 A. I -- you've lost me completely. Which of the many cases of Tuzla
14 being shelled are we talking about?
15 Q. Thank you. The shelling of Tuzla, when it was allegedly shelled,
16 when over 80 people were killed in the centre of town. Do you recall
17 that event and the date?
18 A. I remember an actual case of Tuzla being shelled. It's
19 associated with the bombing in May. I think it's the night of the day we
20 first bombed the ammunition depot at Pale. And it can't have been
21 alleged if you then prosecuted somebody. It would appear to be proven.
22 But I didn't know that that had occurred, that is to say, the
24 Q. Thank you. Did you know that in the first official on-site
25 investigation, the results of which were handed over to a court,
1 Colonel Djukic was sentenced? He is serving his sentence now. The
2 conclusion of the investigation was that the shell came from
3 21 kilometres away.
4 A. I didn't know that.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the Defence managed to prove that
6 the zone of 21 kilometres was the exclusion -- within the exclusion zone
7 and that it was actually in Muslim-held territory? It could not have
8 come from Serb-held territory.
9 A. Again, I don't know it.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you know, then, that there was a retrial a decade
11 later and that a new expert was engaged by a Bosnia-Herzegovina court who
12 apparently concluded that the shell had come from a distance of
13 28 kilometres?
14 A. Again, no, I don't know.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you -- do you know that the very expert testified
16 in the Radovan Karadzic case? He was a protected witness. He was asked
17 why ten years later he reconstructed the scene in which he established
18 that the shell had come from a 130 millimetre cannon which was to the
19 front of the lines.
20 A. No, I didn't know it.
21 Q. Thank you. As a soldier, do you know that 130 millimetre cannons
22 are never put at the front and that artillery pieces are deployed in
23 depth to a distance at least two-thirds of range so as not to be exposed
24 to enemy artillery fire?
25 A. I know that such theories abound, but I personally have moved
1 artillery right forward into the -- with the leading elements of my
2 attack, even on some occasions ahead of them.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you know that in the Karadzic case it was
4 established that the shell was thrown off the roof of a nearby building
5 and that on the footage it could be heard someone -- someone could be
6 heard saying that the stabilizer fins should be brought which had been
7 left on the roof? That was in a conversation between the people
9 A. I don't know this about the Karadzic case.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the results of investigations are
11 still pending concerning the incident in Tuzla and that it is unknown
12 precisely how the shell was activated or the direction from which it
13 came? However, you seem to have used that as a basis for your conclusion
14 to carry out air-strikes.
15 A. I didn't know that the -- that there was an investigation pending
16 on the incident in Tuzla, and I'm at a loss to understand this is
17 connected with a decision by me about air-strikes.
18 Q. Thank you. Well, a moment ago you said that you targeted Pale
19 over Tuzla; is that correct or have I misunderstood?
20 A. I haven't said anything of the sort.
21 Q. Did you say a moment ago that you decided to target the warehouse
22 in Pale because Tuzla had been shelled?
23 A. I didn't say that a moment ago. The continuing attack on the
24 ammunition depot in Pale in May, that is to say, the second attack, was
25 because the weapons were still not back in the weapon collection points
1 and there had been this further shelling of the safe areas and -- of
2 which one case of this had been the attack on Tuzla.
3 Q. Thank you. So there is a link between the shelling of Pale and
5 A. I didn't shell Pale; I bombed an ammunition depot near Pale. And
6 Tuzla had been attacked after I had started the bombing. And I had
7 started it because the exclusion zone regime had broken down and my
8 demands that the weapons were put back into the safe -- into the weapon
9 collection points were not being heeded.
10 Q. Thank you. While this document is still on the screen, can you
11 tell us how come that you on the 2nd of July, 1995 -- sorry, the
12 1st of July, spoke with John Riley, and how did you know that on a
13 certain day Tuzla would be shelled? You announced that beforehand. How
14 are we to understand that, this announcement of yours? And it is still a
15 number of dispute so many years after the war. Some people were
16 prosecuted and sentenced, still serving their sentences, and many more
17 were killed.
18 A. I don't understand how you're connecting an event that is
19 reported to have happened that I don't know anything about on the
20 1st of July is connected with events that we've just been talking about
21 which are going on at the end of May.
22 Q. Thank you. This is what it says:
23 "We would like to note that in a similar situation in mid-May
24 Colonel John Riley conveyed to us information to the effect that on a
25 certain day Tuzla would be shelled, which proved to be true, and about
1 which we provided you with timely information."
2 How come you know everything in advance, even individually-fired
3 shells, and then that is used as a basis for air-strikes? Thank you.
4 That was my question.
5 A. Your question to me is wholly and utterly illogical. It is based
6 on the assumption that the document that you have on the screen is --
7 that I cannot read and that you have read to me and has been translated,
8 is actually factually correct. I have no idea whether this document is
9 correct in what it states or not.
10 Secondly, and even if it is -- he did warn them that this would
11 happen in Tuzla in May and it then did happen, I do not see that the --
12 necessarily that there is a connection. There is maybe a coincidence,
13 but there's no evidence of any connection whatsoever. And apart from my
14 name being mentioned in this document, I don't see that I have a hand in
15 it at all.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we must have our first break now.
17 And we will resume at 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 I would like to move to the next document. But before that I
23 would like to tender this one.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have a problem with this. We
25 don't have a translation. We don't know anything about the content
1 except those parts you have read out in the courtroom. And this witness
2 couldn't give any knowledge, any -- provide us with any knowledge about
3 the content in this specific document. He said he doesn't know anything.
4 Perhaps you should reconsider your position and offer this with another
5 witness. I'm not sure if we have heard anything about this document,
6 about the authenticity and the content.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Since
8 John Riley is not going to testify and this document mentions only
9 John Riley and this witness, maybe we could now mark it for
10 identification because this document is very important for me. It speaks
11 about the information at the disposal of the General, and I think that
12 this is important. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 Mr. Thayer.
15 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think we can see, as the
16 Trial Chamber has already pointed out, there are in fact two sources
17 behind this document. It is a document emanating from the, I believe,
18 the Bosnian MUP summarizing a conversation allegedly with this
19 Colonel Riley who allegedly is in turn summarising a conversation he
20 alledgedly had with General Smith. Now, there's nothing to prevent
21 General Tolimir from calling Colonel Riley or whoever this other
22 individual is who signed had this document. There's nothing to prevent
23 that from happening and from Colonel Riley coming into this courtroom and
24 testifying about this document. So to say that Colonel Reilly is not
25 going to testify in this case is not necessarily the case. I just want
1 to point that out so General Tolimir fully understands what his rights
2 are as an accused in this courtroom.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The Chamber will mark this document
4 for identification at a later stage in this trial.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D635 shall be
6 assigned Exhibit D188 marked for identification pending further
7 identification. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber would like to know the
9 reason why you stated that Colonel Riley will not testify in this
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said it because he is
12 currently not on the witness list. And the only two protagonists of this
13 event are John Riley and General Smith. General Smith said that he
14 didn't remember this conversation and that's why I stated what I stated.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But indeed, Mr. Thayer pointed out that
17 Colonel Riley is not listed as a witness for the Prosecution, but we
18 don't know anything about your Defence case yet. And if you are willing
19 to call him or other people who could testify about this document, it is
20 purely in your hands. You may decide by yourself.
21 Do you want to comment on that, Mr. Tolimir?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. There is no need for me
23 to comment anything. If it's necessary, we don't have to use this
24 document at all. However, it is very important because it speaks about
25 the sequence of the events that led to the bombardment. It says that
1 information was received that on a certain day Tuzla was going to be
2 shelled, and that's exactly what happened later. And the investigation
3 about this is still being dragged on. So if you don't want it, I don't
4 have anything against it.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is not the matter we are
6 discussing at the moment. It's only the question if you are calling any
7 witness to testify about this document. For instance, Colonel Riley.
8 Mr. Thayer, I saw you on your feet.
9 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. I suppose this is as good a
10 time as any to offer, I think, an observation that has gained some
11 currency in the last hour or so of General Tolimir's cross-examination.
12 And that is, especially in the context of a self-represented accused, I
13 think it is important that he understand that unless and until either a
14 witness adopts something that is put to him in a proposition by
15 General Tolimir or sheds some light on the proposition, be it from a
16 document or from a statement from General Tolimir, or somebody connected
17 with that document comes and testifies, then simply stating the
18 propositions that we have heard in the last hour or so that something was
19 concluded in the Karadzic case, for example, that there are open
20 investigations still pending, all of these statements from the accused
21 without being adopted in any fashion by the witness have zero evidential
22 value. And I think it's important that he not be under any
23 misunderstanding that when he simply makes those kinds of statements that
24 they carry no evidential weight unless and until there is some evidence
25 that is given by a witness in connection with the document of some sort.
1 Because we heard a torrent of these characterisations, particularly so, I
2 think, in the last hour referring to findings in other trials,
3 Prosecutions, sentencings, but as yet without any factual basis
4 whatsoever. And when we feel the need to ask for a factual bases, as the
5 Court is aware, we get on our feet. But I just want to make sure that
6 General Tolimir is under no misunderstanding about that fact as he
7 continues his self-defence.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir has legal assistance. I'm quite sure
10 that he knows about his rights and his position in this trial.
11 Nevertheless, thank you for your position, Mr. Thayer.
12 Mr. Tolimir.
13 Judge Nyambe has a question.
14 JUDGE NYAMBE: The question is to Mr. Thayer or to the
15 Prosecution specifically. Do we know whether John Riley would be
16 available to be present to testify in the court?
17 MR. THAYER: I have no idea, Your Honour. I presume if he's
18 alive and he's of sound mind and body and he's not deployed in a hot spot
19 that he can't get out of without reasonable notice, he would be available
20 to either the accused or to the Trial Chamber. He's not on our list
21 because, as you can see, this -- this document has, in our view, very,
22 very little, if any, probative value to any issue in this case. But like
23 any other witness, I'm sure he's available. If he's active service in
24 particular, I think the British military has proven very co-operative in
25 making their active and retired members available for this Tribunal.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. If this
4 document is not important and has no probative value whatsoever, then why
5 does the Prosecution stand up so much against it being tendered? Maybe
6 we should ask General Smith once again.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you have a conversation with Colonel Riley, John Riley, while
9 he was the UNPROFOR commander in Gorazde? Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think we received the argument
11 from the Prosecution that this witness couldn't testify about this
12 document and therefore it is marked for identification. And the question
13 you now put again to the witness was put to the witness already and
15 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: -- if I may, in line with our stated policy from the
18 beginning of the trial, we've no objection to the admission of this
19 document into evidence. My words with respect to General Tolimir's
20 cross-examination had to do with a completely different issue, and I
21 think everybody understands that.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead, please, Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
24 you, Mr. Thayer. I have my legal assistant who can also give me advice.
25 Thank you to everybody. I tendered this document pending the
1 translation, of course. But if the Court deems that it is not important,
2 we don't have to have it in evidence at all.
3 Now I want to move on to another document. It's 1D634. Can we
4 have in e-court 1D634. Thank you. We have it now on the screen.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. It comes from the state security sector in Gorazde, which is part
7 of the BiH MUP, not Republika Srpska. And this document is again about
8 the contacts between the members of this service and the members of the
9 British forces in Gorazde. And it says:
10 "Related to your request from the previous telegram, we hereby
11 inform you that in order to verify our earlier information we had a
12 conversation with Colonel Roger from BritBat. In this conversation,
13 Roger confirmed our information that had been received from officer Allen
14 and said that they had observed the movement of forces belonging to the
15 aggressor whose strength was two or three brigades and which took place
16 in the general area of Trnovo. He said that we shouldn't worry about it
17 because his estimate is about 1.500 to 1.600 aggressor soldiers."
18 And the last sentence:
19 "As for the situation in Srebrenica, he said that it was stable
20 and that no attack is expected on that enclave in the foreseeable
22 Thank you. My question is: Did the British officers in Gorazde
23 convey the information about the VRS to the BiH army? Thank you.
24 A. Not to my knowledge they didn't.
25 Q. Thank you. More specifically, persons mentioned in this
1 document, did they convey any information to the BiH army related to the
2 movements of the VRS forces? Thank you.
3 A. I'm not sure who they're referring to. I don't recognise the
4 names. That doesn't mean to say they're not real people; I just don't
5 recognise the names. And I don't know of what this report is about.
6 Q. Thank you. Did NATO have as part of its mandate to convey the
7 information about one warring party to the other warring party? Is that
8 something in accordance with the NATO mandate? Thank you.
9 A. I wasn't part of NATO, but I don't think it was anything to do
10 with the NATO policy at all.
11 Q. Thank you. I apologise, I made a mistake. I was talking about
12 the UNPROFOR mandate. Conveying the information about one warring party
13 to the other warring party, was that part of the UNPROFOR mandate? Thank
15 A. No, that wasn't what the mandate was about at all.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
18 document. And, of course, it should be only marked for identification
19 pending the translation. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we are in the same position as with
21 the last document. The witness couldn't say anything about this
22 document, about the content and the authenticity. We only can mark it
23 for identification, not pending translation, but just for identification
24 at a later stage if you are going to use it again.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. You are,
1 of course, aware of the fact that these documents originate from the
2 territory of the BiH army. I cannot call any witnesses from that
3 territory to testify on my behalf. Even the Prosecution has problems
4 when they call witnesses from there. But to expect that they will come
5 to testify on my behalf I don't think is going to happen. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is not correct. You may call
7 every witness you need for your Defence. You may of course call
8 witnesses who are citizens of the Republic of Serbia or of the Federation
9 of Bosnia and Herzegovina or from the Republika Srpska, wherever you need
10 to call them, you may propose them to the Chamber. It is your right.
11 There should be no doubt about that.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
13 like to move on to the next document and that's the document that the
14 witness has read.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document on the screen will be marked for
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D634 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit D189 marked for identification pending further
19 identification. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Can we
21 now have 1D686. That's a UN document related to the heavy weaponry under
22 the UNPROFOR control and the collection points.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The document speaks about the zone of the exclusion of heavy
25 weaponry. I'm interested in the third paragraph which says:
1 "It seems today that there is no legal basis for handing back
2 heavy weapons for use inside TEZ unless they are firing at targets inside
3 Sarajevo city. NATO air attacks can only be used against confirmed heavy
4 weapons within the TEZ that are not withdrawn on order or endangering the
5 security of UNPROFOR personnel."
6 My question is -- have you read it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Does that mean that on the basis of this not even NATO wanted to
9 act against the targets that did not present immediate danger for the
10 NATO personnel or facilities protected by NATO? Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you please help me. The first
12 sentence you read into the record I saw on the screen; where can I find
13 the remaining parts of your quotation?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I read the third
15 paragraph. First we see reference, then we see A, B, and C, and what I
16 was reading --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That was the first paragraph.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was reading the paragraph
19 immediately below. Immediately below C. And I read the whole paragraph.
20 That's at least the translation that I have here at hand. That's what I
21 can also see just below C. That's the entire paragraph that I read.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now I see that you first read from the third
23 paragraph on this page and then from the second paragraph.
24 Sir, do you recall the question of Mr. Tolimir?
25 THE WITNESS: I do. Yes, I have read the whole of this document.
1 It is an internal memorandum to the headquarters in Sarajevo. It is
2 dated in August 1994, and it does not speak for NATO; it is saying what
3 these staff officers who are having this internal discussion within the
4 headquarters think NATO's -- and think the position is vis-ā-vis NATO.
5 It does not say what NATO thinks as NATO.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you. Now, bearing in mind this answer, this is my
8 question: Was the NATO resolution binding for the warring parties and
9 was it also verified by the Security Council?
10 A. As I think I've said, I don't recall what the resolutions and
11 their -- that were decided within the North Atlantic Council and then
12 within the Security Council, I don't remember the steps and the
13 chronology of these occasions. But the basis on which the exclusion
14 zones and safe areas were set up were covered by the UN resolutions.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you remember whether the protocols that were
16 attached to the agreement about a total exclusion zone allowed for the
17 possibility that the warring parties could reuse the weapons that had
18 been taken away from them in case that it was needed for their
19 self-defence? Thank you.
20 A. Yes, I remember that that was part of the arrangement.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you remember whether VRS was attacked by the
22 BiH army at the time? Thank you.
23 A. At what time?
24 Q. When you attacked the warehouse near Pale.
25 A. And what are we saying? That the ... I recall that there was
1 fighting along the confrontation line around Sarajevo that -- and that
2 the civil population were being shelled which is why -- by weapons that
3 had been taken out or were being used from the weapon collection points,
4 and it was for that reason that I wished them to be, A, cease-firing,
5 and, B, put back into the weapons collection points.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now take a look at
8 paragraph 5; it's page 6.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, we have -- please leave -- go back to the
10 first page of the document. Judge Nyambe has a question in relation to
12 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. I just need some assistance to
13 understand the relationship between UNPROFOR and NATO before I ask my
14 next question. What was the relationship between UNPROFOR and NATO
15 specifically in the context of this document we are looking at?
16 THE WITNESS: What I'm about to describe to the best of my
17 knowledge covers not only this document but the events. The
18 United Nations - I won't discuss the membership of the Security Council,
19 United Nations, and NATO; I assume knowledge - was responsible for
20 UNPROFOR and directed its actions, and the commanders of that force were
21 under the direction of the United Nations. The NATO forces directed by
22 the North Atlantic Council, the political body, were not stationed, with
23 one or two exceptions, in Bosnia itself. They were conducting their
24 operation in the skies above Bosnia. So there is a -- if you like, the
25 one is superimposed upon the other in a spatial sense, but they are
1 separate in their political direction and command structures.
2 The -- I said that there were one or two members of NATO in
3 Bosnia. The ones that -- the one that I can remember with great clarity
4 is the liaison officer, and I think there may have been two other people
5 with him, in my headquarters that was a direct link to the NATO
6 headquarters in Naples, which was the overall command for the, what NATO
7 called the southern command, essentially the Mediterranean area.
8 Neither was in command of the other. This was a relationship
9 that required co-ordination and co-operation and it was in -- and this
10 was the significance of the two keys because if you've got two
11 organisations conducting operations in and over the same space, operating
12 to different political direction, there needed to be some means of
13 bringing this together. And the North Atlantic Council when considering
14 this command and control problem arrived at some time in early 1994, as I
15 recall, but it may have been in late 1993, with this idea that you had
16 the two keys that had to be turned but particularly in the case of the
17 safe areas and exclusion zones.
18 Does that answer the question? Or I can develop it further if
19 you need me to, but if you would like to take me where you want to go,
20 I'll try and follow.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: Let's see whether for the time being if I
22 understand you correctly I'll ask you my second question. And now it's
23 in the context of the document on the screen, where it says:
24 "NATO air attacks can only be used against confirmed heavy
25 weapons within the TEZ that are not withdrawn on order or endangering the
1 security of UNPROFOR personnel."
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, I see that.
3 JUDGE NYAMBE: In your position as UNPROFOR commander, although
4 you are not the author of this document, is that a correct
6 THE WITNESS: I think that was the situation in August 1994.
7 This was how UNPROFOR understood the arrangements. But I recall that
8 there was considerable tension between the NATO and UN as to this
9 interpretation of these ideas at the time. So I think this is a -- and
10 I'm -- that is what the staff in this headquarters, and I presume that
11 this was being conducted in order to brief the then-commander
12 General Rose, but it is as you can see at the back a discussion document.
13 And the author of the document is recommending further discussion as to
14 how this is managed and dealt with.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: How was it eventually developed; do you know?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes. You can see that by the time, nearly a year
17 later, you have -- and I think air power has been used in the latter part
18 of that year, the understanding of how to do this between NATO and the UN
19 has improved, and it gets used at least two more times during the latter
20 part of 1994. You then get the cessation of hostilities agreement and
21 then I arrive on the scene. And as far as I'm concerned, these sorts of
22 issues don't get raised to me again. This is one of the reasons I wanted
23 to read the whole document is that I wasn't familiar with the -- I
24 couldn't recall anything like this sort of discussion in my headquarters.
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much for your clarification,
1 General Smith.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on your examination.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
4 you, Judge Nyambe.
5 Could we please show paragraph 5 on page 6 in the English version
6 and the appropriate paragraph in English. My legal assistant says that
7 it is actually on the screen right now.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'm going to read this out in Serbian:
10 "The protocol to the WCP agreement in Sarajevo recognizes the
11 Bosnian Serbs' legitimate need for self-defence. If their battle
12 positions along the confrontation line and the Serb civilian population
13 were attacked, it is assumed that UNPROFOR would be required to intervene
14 and use all necessary measures to stop the BiH attack," that's
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, "or to allow the Serbs to use their heavy weapons to
16 defend themselves."
17 And now this further interpretation that this person is
19 "The preferred option is to allow the Serbs to remove their heavy
20 weapons from the TEZ either in total or in part initially and to allow
21 their use from outside the TEZ."
22 Now, this is my question: Since you said a moment ago that fire
23 was coming from both sides, did the Serbs then have the legitimate right
24 to take weapons for self-defence, as the drafter of this paragraph 5 on
25 page 6 says?
1 A. The -- first of all, I repeat, this is a discussion document.
2 This has no authority as such. It is an internal discussion document
3 within a headquarters. Secondly, I have already said that there was a
4 recognition that there was a need for the -- for both parties to have
5 weapons in case there was a need for self-defence. There is nothing in
6 this that states that the weapons were to be taken without clearance by
8 Q. Please, why did you bomb the Serbs, then, and not the Muslims in
9 order to stop these attacks? Thank you.
10 A. I told you both at the time and in this court that in -- the
11 bombing in Pale was to have the weapons put back into the weapons
12 collection point from which they had not been released by UNPROFOR and
13 were being used within the exclusion zone to shell the civil population
14 in Sarajevo.
15 Q. Thank you. Were the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska
16 being attacked from Sarajevo in these so-called total exclusion zones?
17 Thank you.
18 A. There was fighting along the confrontation line, yes.
19 Q. Does that mean that the Serbs then had the right to use their
20 very own weapons for self-defence that they had placed under your control
21 of their own volition, provided that there are no attacks launched
22 against them? Thank you.
23 A. I repeat: The weapons were removed from the weapons collection
24 point without any clearance by me or from UNPROFOR and they were being
25 used to shell the civil population.
1 Q. Thank you. Does the protocol not say that the parties can take
2 their weapons back for self-defence? Thank you.
3 A. My recollection was that UNPROFOR could release the weapons in
4 cases where they were needed for self-defence.
5 Q. Thank you. Well a moment ago you said that there was fighting
6 along the confrontation line. If there is fighting, is there not a need
7 for self-defence? Thank you.
8 A. No, that does not necessarily follow when you have other forces
9 available to you.
10 Q. Thank you. Answer this then: Did you bomb the Serbs although
11 they had the right to take weapons from weapon collection points for
13 A. I'll repeat myself, I fear. I bombed the ammunition depot at
14 Pale in -- because the weapons had been removed without any clearance
15 from UNPROFOR from the weapon collection points and were being used to
16 shell the civil population.
17 Q. Thank you. How can you claim that it was used to target
18 civilians when military targets were actually being hit in Sarajevo? And
19 we will see later on in documents that they were carrying out their
20 spring offensive from the entire zone of Sarajevo and you knew that full
21 well. Thank you.
22 A. Is that a question?
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think so. "How can you claim" was the
24 beginning of the sentence.
25 THE WITNESS: Right. Yes, I see that. Yes, yes. I thought it
1 was a statement thinly disguised as a question.
2 Because I was there and saw what was going on.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please look at document 1D660 and then
5 I'm going to put a question to you so that we don't spend all this time
6 on Sarajevo because we have quite a few other questions regarding Zepa
7 and Srebrenica.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the Trial Chamber please
9 admit into evidence this document 1D686 because the witness recognised
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness testified about it. He didn't state
12 that he recognised it.
13 THE WITNESS: I did not recognise it, no.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D686 shall be
16 assigned Exhibit D190. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could 1D660 please be
18 displayed in e-court. Here it is on the screen.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. What we see here is that it was written on the
21 15th of June, 1995, information on the combat situation in the area of
22 responsibility of the Drina Corps. It is being sent to all the units of
23 the Drina Corps, and the first paragraph says:
24 "The spring Muslim offensive is still underway. The Army of
25 Republika Srpska has successfully stopped enemy break-throughs throughout
1 the territory of the republic and created" --
2 "The Muslim spring offensive is still underway. The Army of
3 Republika Srpska has successfully stopped enemy break-throughs throughout
4 the territory of the republic and created appropriate conditions for
5 launching counter-offensives in certain operational axes."
6 Now, this is my question -- oh, sorry, this is a bit too loud.
7 Did you have any knowledge about the spring offensive that the Muslims
8 were carrying out in 1995 including the date of the 15th of June when
9 this combat report was written? Thank you.
10 A. I knew that they were conducting an offensive, yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Please look at the second paragraph from the bottom,
12 the last sentence there.
13 A. It's not in English or anything, it's in -- you'll have to read
14 it and have it translated.
15 Q. Thank you. I'm going to translate the entire paragraph then:
16 "Along all other axes, our forces took energetic action and thus
17 the enemy sustained major losses and was returned to their initial
18 positions. On this occasion, as in the case of the incursion by the
19 sabotage group in the area of Trovrha, Debelo Brdo, and Borak hill, in
20 the zone of responsibility of the 5th Gorazde Brigade, when the commander
21 of the Brigade personally led the operation of breaking up the sabotage
22 tactical group, so in the combat operations yesterday, the commanders of
23 brigades Colonel Andric and Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic and the chiefs
24 of staff of the 1st Vlasenica Light Brigade Major Sargic and the 1st
25 Bircanska Brigade Lieutenant-Colonel Vlacic personally led the combat
1 operations in the most endangered areas (Vis, Sokolina, Memici)."
2 My question is the following: Did you see from this document
3 that this spring offensive had to do with attacks from the entire part of
4 Central Bosnia against the Drina Corps? Thank you.
5 A. I don't know necessarily. I recognise most of those names as
6 being around -- and I'm not even sure of that now. I'd have to look at a
7 map to be sure that I could agree with you.
8 Q. Thank you. In that case, in order for me not to read any further
9 documents about the losses, et cetera, and not to get maps out, tell us
10 what you remember from that period and what you remember the Muslims
11 having attacked during that spring offensive of theirs. Thank you.
12 A. My recollection is that the spring offensive starts in March with
13 two large attacks, one in the west and one in the north-east. These are
14 not particularly successful, if they are successful at all. And the next
15 large event, in my memory, is an attack out of Sarajevo, which is
16 occurring at about this time, middle of June.
17 Q. Thank you. Tell us, then, the bombing of the depot in Pale, was
18 that de facto co-ordinated action with the Muslims who were attacking
19 along the entire front line, because the NATO air force destroyed the
20 ammunition and the reserves of the Army of Republika Srpska in that part
21 of the front line near Sarajevo? Thank you.
22 A. No, it was not.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know what you exactly destroyed in Pale during
24 that bombing? Or, rather, if you could tell the Trial Chamber what it
25 was that you had targeted. Thank you.
1 A. I think I've already done this. We attacked the ammunition depot
2 near Pale which consisted of a number of bunkers, each in a protected
3 band. I don't recall how many bunkers there were in the whole of the
4 depot. The first attack was on two of the bunkers, if my memory is
5 correct, furthest from Pale. The second was on two or maybe four, again,
6 I can't recall, the next closest ones to Pale itself.
7 The reason the target was chosen was that it was a military
8 target of something that I considered and the NATO command considered was
9 of value to the Bosnian Serbs and that it would be most unlikely, being
10 an ammunition dump, to have any civilians in its vicinity.
11 Q. Thank you. Could you please say whether it is advisable to
12 destroy all ammunition reserves to one side when the other side is
13 attacking them from all sides along the front line and from Sarajevo?
14 A. I wasn't interested in your relationship with another side.
15 My -- this was an attack upon the Bosnian Serbs because they had broken
16 the exclusion zone and I wanted to see, as I've explained, the shelling
17 of the civilian population to stop and the weapons put back into the
18 weapon collection points.
19 Q. Thank you. It seems that what I said has been misinterpreted. I
20 said whether it is necessary to destroy all the fuel and weaponry and
21 ammunition of one warring party when it is being attacked by the other
22 warring party; is this what the Security Council authorised you to do or
23 not? This is something I've just added to my question now. Thank you.
24 A. Well, we weren't attacking the fuel or at that point the
25 weaponry. It was what I was authorised to do.
1 Q. Thank you. Could you please just say -- you said a moment ago
2 that you had been authorised, was that authority from the
3 Security Council or from NATO?
4 A. I've explained it was from the Security Council.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber on the basis of which
6 resolution the Security Council approved of that attack that you carried
7 out against the ammunition depot near Pale? Thank you.
8 A. I can't recall the number of the specific Security Council
9 resolution. I think there were some 74 that covered my -- the whole of
10 my operation. The -- and no Security Council resolution is as specific
11 as naming targets and time of attacks.
12 Q. Thank you. As concerns all the activities of NATO and UNPROFOR
13 vis-ā-vis Republika Srpska, is that something that you managed to do on
14 your own or did you have to have a Security Council resolution regarding
15 each and every point in respect of every one of the warring parties?
16 Thank you.
17 A. I cannot speak for NATO. I'm talking of myself as a UN
18 commander. And I was operating within the Security Council resolutions
19 that had formed the force and given its and decided its purpose.
20 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us whether the attack against
21 Pale was retaliation or humanitarian bombing, like the one that is being
22 applied now in NATO air-strikes against Libya? Thank you.
23 A. I am not going to make any comparisons with Libya. This is
24 occurring some 16 years ago. It was as I have said, to achieve the
25 cessation of the bombing -- of the shelling of the civil population in
1 the safe area of Sarajevo and for the return of the weapons into the
2 weapon collection point.
3 Q. Thank you. We saw in item 5 that the side that is under attack
4 had the right to withdraw their weapons from the collection points in
5 order to defend itself. How does that tally with your decision to bomb
6 the same side? Did you bomb the Muslim positions used to target Serb
7 civilians and RS territory?
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, as we have only the B/C/S text on
9 the screen and this is from the command of the Drina Corps, I'm not sure
10 that this statement is really correct which you put to the witness.
11 Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER: And in any event, Mr. President, I've lost count of
13 how many times this question has been asked and answered. It's been
14 asked in different forms, different ways, from different directions, but
15 is it the same question and the same answer has been provided innumerable
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I'm quite sure that you will receive
18 always the same answer to your questions on this specific matter. You
19 should be aware of the time you have at your disposal for concluding your
20 cross-examination. Please carry on.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did you carry out humanitarian bombing of the RS in the period of
24 time when you bombed Pale?
25 A. I do not understand what you mean by "humanitarian bombing."
1 Q. Thank you. Well, you said that you wanted to protect the
2 civilian population but from that very area where the civilians lived,
3 attacks came against the RS. Did you, therefore, justify your decision
4 by humanitarian bombing, much as is done nowadays when NATO is justifying
5 its bombing of Brindisi [as interpreted] and [as interpreted] Libya, and
6 this also includes the forces of France?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is not a correct way of
8 conducting your cross-examination. You should stop comparing the events
9 in Bosnia with nowadays events in other parts of the world. The witness
10 answered your question several times about the reason why the bombing on
11 the ammunition depot near Pale was carried out. Please go ahead with
12 your questions and move to another topic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. However
14 the link is very strong because all bombings carried out by NATO in
15 Republika Srpska and in Serbia and in Iraq and in Libya and in
16 Afghanistan have to do with --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to interrupt you, Mr. Tolimir. I gave you
18 this guide-line yesterday and today again. That might be your position.
19 That is a fair point. You may deal with that but not to put this area
20 and these historical events to this witness. He is testifying here about
21 the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina and nothing else. Please carry on and
22 move to another topic.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We will then move to Bosnia and
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Did the forces which carried out the bombing of RS -- of the
2 RS support Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from the then joint state of
4 A. Are you referring to NATO?
5 Q. Thank you. Well I think the bombing was carried out by UNPROFOR,
6 and NATO merely used its military force.
7 A. That's what I want to understand. So you're asking me whether
8 the United Nations supported the secession of Bosnia-Herzegovina from
9 Yugoslavia; is that your question?
10 Q. I asked you whether the forces which bombed the RS supported
11 Bosnia's secession from the federal state of Yugoslavia to which
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina belonged prior to the secession.
13 A. The forces I represented and commanded in Bosnia in 1995 had no
14 political position whatsoever. We were there, amongst other reasons, to
15 conduct the safe area policy, the exclusion zones, and so forth in
17 Q. Thank you. Then perhaps you can tell us why only the Serbs were
18 bombed in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in all of Yugoslavia which existed
19 before this secession. Why were only the Serbs bombed and not the rest?
20 A. Because the Bosnian Serbs gave cause by attacking the civil
21 population in the safe areas and by removing their weapons from the
22 weapon collection point.
23 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you said that you were on official business
24 in NATO when the people of Serbia were bombed. Can you tell us why
25 Serbia was bombed for 78 days? Why? I certainly wouldn't like others to
1 enjoy the same fate.
2 A. This was -- you are now referring to the Kosovo operation; is
3 that what I am to understand?
4 Q. Thank you. Yes, you understood it well. You bombed all of
5 Yugoslavia, Zemun, the bridges over the Danube, which had nothing do with
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to remind you, Mr. Tolimir, that the
8 witness is here to testify as a representative of the United Nations at
9 the time in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. Not to testify in his later
10 position as a NATO official in 1999. This is a waste of time to deal
11 with the Kosovo conflict here in this trial. Please carry on.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It is
13 important to point out the continuity of bombing Serbs as a nation. It
14 is very important. If only the Serbs are being bombed in Bosnia and then
15 in Serbia, then there must have been a reason for doing so.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: Again, Mr. President, our position is we don't have
18 any objection to this line of questioning, given General Smith's
19 experience, if the answer -- or the question isn't asked 18 times. If we
20 have -- we have no objection to it being answered once. And if it's
21 answered, then it's left alone, and then it's not repeated over and over
22 and over again with the same answer being elicited.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In that
25 case, I won't ask any further questions. I wanted to ask this of the
1 witness because he held a position in the North Atlantic Treaty
2 Organisation during the bombing of Yugoslavia and Serbia. It wasn't by
3 accident that I asked him that, but because he held that position.
4 I seek to tender this document pending translation. Thank you.
5 It refers to the Muslim spring offensive which was confirmed by the
6 witness. And if we admit that, I won't have a need to go into the number
7 of casualties and the areas covered by the offensive specifically.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we please see the next page of this document.
9 What is the basis, Mr. Tolimir, to tender this document which we can't
10 read, that is one point, during the examination of the
11 Witness Rupert Smith? He explained his and he told us his knowledge
12 about the spring offensive and what he recalled. We don't see any
13 relation to this document to this witness. I have a problem with that.
14 You may call other witnesses to testify about that. At least we should
15 have first a translation so that we can judge on that, otherwise we
16 should only mark it for identification and we will wait for a later time
17 to check it. Are you in agreement with that?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I wish
19 to continue. I would like to ask e-court --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be marked for identification.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 1D660 shall be
22 assigned Exhibit D191 marked for identification pending translation and
23 further identification. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please look at
1 1D655. It is General's statements provided on the 12th of January, 2005.
2 He provided that information to the Dutch Institute for War
3 Documentation, or the NIOD. We're interested in page 1, paragraph 2, in
4 which the General says the following. Paragraph 2, we have it.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. The General says:
7 "It is obvious that some information came by way of national
8 channels, but he specified that there was no national prioritization of
9 tasks and that is why there was no optimal national input. The only
10 source Smith had at his disposal were the JCOs. His personnel or staff
11 was dysfunctional because the members of the staff received orders from
12 their --"
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we turn to the next page.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. -- "from their capital cities."
16 My question is this: Could you explain to the Chamber how you
17 verified or checked such data received through national channels to see
18 whether they are credible and whether they reflected the interest of the
19 providing nations participating in the UN operation?
20 A. Can I see the whole of the paragraph in the English, please.
21 Q. Thank you. Have a look at the rest of paragraph 2 of your
23 A. This report is -- is someone summarising a long conversation that
24 I had with the team that visited. It's their -- if you like, their
25 product from these -- this conversation, and I haven't -- I've seen it
1 before, but I never saw it before it was printed and produced. You
2 are -- the question was, again? Yes. I draw a distinction here, and
3 this is, I think, comes out in that paragraph. I'd like to draw a
4 distinction between information and intelligence. And I've used and am
5 in the habit of using the two words differently. Intelligence being a
6 subset, if you like, of information. And you did get information from
7 capitals; you were visited by people from capitals; your
8 troop-contributing nations or the representatives of those
9 troop-contributing nations would visit you, well, the military, and so
10 forth; and you had information in that -- from those sources. And of
11 course, all of this was put in the balance and checked with what was
12 going on around us, just as we were briefing back to the -- these people
13 when they were visiting us but also to the -- our own superior
14 headquarters in Zagreb.
15 The -- and the more a specific a nation was about its interest,
16 and I've referred to the British in Gorazde, the more you tended to hear
17 about that interest and that particular place because they had a
18 detachment or a -- or a unit in that vicinity.
19 Q. Thank you. Did members of the staff at UNPROFOR command receive
20 or could they receive orders from their capitals? because it says here
21 that they did. It was the last sentence of my quote in the first
22 paragraph or the first part of the paragraph.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we go back to the previous page, please.
24 THE WITNESS: I don't think it did say that. I specifically
25 state that there was no national tasking.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you. Please look at paragraph 1. It says here that "Smith
3 received intelligence from the US and NATO." Here they have in mind
4 specific intelligence. Could you please explain the entire sentence,
5 bearing that in mind?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Unfortunately we have two paragraphs number 1.
7 Are you referring to the first number 1 or the second number 1?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I think I said that we
9 should look at paragraph 1 where we see the mention of NATO and the US.
10 I meant the first first paragraph.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is that sentence which is marked by, yes, the
12 cursor. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: Again, I'm not the author of this or nor did I sign
14 it or see it when it was written, but it seems to me that the author is
15 running together answers to a number of questions that that were
16 specifically to -- or the answers were specific to certain times in my
17 time in Bosnia rather than a more general observation. And to explain:
18 A, you can see the point I've made already that I think there's a
19 difference between intelligence and information. That the -- and as I've
20 said, NATO was the organisation doing the targeting, that is to say, the
21 specific business of working out how to attack a target, what it looked
22 like so that the pilots and so forth could be briefed. And that then I
23 think he's run something else together in that, as the Court knows, I was
24 involved in the British Ministry of Defence, and the job I had before I
25 went to Bosnia I was the -- on the staff in the Ministry of Defence and
1 one of my responsibilities was the British contribution to this operation
2 in the Balkans, to the UN operation in the Balkans.
3 And so I'm now saying, I think, that -- and what he's run
4 together into one paragraph, is that I had some understanding of what was
5 happening from British sources when I was sitting at my desk in London.
6 This was not available to me by the time I get into Bosnia in 1995 in
7 January. And I then build up this hypothesis which you've heard about.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you. In that case, please look at paragraph 3.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to ask e-court to show us
11 paragraph 3.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. It reads:
14 "At our repeated insistence, supported by examples to the effect
15 that there was available intelligence at Codeword Cobalt level (by the
16 way, he made a note of this), Smith asserted it decidedly: 'There were
17 no forewarnings regarding an imminent attack on Srebrenica.'"
18 My question is this: Did you receive warnings and available
19 intelligence as you said here as part of Codeword Cobalt? And perhaps
20 you can explain to the Chamber what it stands for.
21 A. It doesn't say I received forewarnings in this paragraph. It
22 says the opposite. And to this day I don't know what Codeword Cobalt is
23 or means.
24 Q. Thank you. In that case, can you tell us this: When we look at
25 paragraph 2 where you mentioned the JCO, please explain to the Bench what
1 it stands for, what its role was as part of UNPROFOR.
2 A. The JCOs were part of UNPROFOR. They were deployed -- they were
3 a British unit deployed from -- in -- sorry, not from, in 1994, I think.
4 And they -- their name stands for -- the -- there was a Joint Commission,
5 and I can't remember which of the cease-fires it was that this first --
6 this phrase joint title, this Joint Commission, becomes used, but these
7 people were initially employed to act as the observers and to inform a
8 Joint Commission over the efficacy and the handling of the cease-fire
9 that had been agreed. As I say, this occurred in 1994 in the time of my
10 predecessor General Rose.
11 They -- their role developed and they were -- because they
12 travelled and were able to move across the confrontation lines, they were
13 a useful source of information, particularly as they were also talking on
14 a fairly regular basis to the Bosnian Serbs again in particular around
16 Q. Thank you. Since it was a British unit, was it answerable to the
17 British armed forces or only to the British UNPROFOR commander?
18 A. They were answerable to the UNPROFOR commander.
19 Q. Thank you. Was Mr. Wood a member of the unit?
20 A. It depends what time we're asking. He was certainly a member of
21 the JCOs, and I think you're referring to a Major Wood at the time, in --
22 during the summer of 1995. I can't remember when his tour ended.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether he received his salary from
24 the British forces, since it was a British unit, or for from the UN? And
25 also, who would pay any indemnity or benefits should anything have
1 happened to him?
2 A. Perhaps it would help if I answered this, this command and
3 control question, fairly fully. Every -- the position of the UN when it
4 wants to form -- the Security Council had decided to form the force is
5 that it appeals to the member nations of the UN to provide forces. These
6 forces rest that they provide, they then become called the
7 troop-contributing nations or a nation. Of course, the forces that they
8 provide owe their standing, their origins, and their legal position as a
9 soldier to that state and its laws. And that state is responsible for
10 them as a soldier, as a profession. They would pay him or her and so
12 The UN, in cases where a nation finds it extremely difficult to
13 provide the forces because of the state of their economy, will provide
14 funds that help pay the soldier for this foreign service and the
15 alliances and so forth. But in a military sense, this is understood by
16 the use of a certain nomenclature and principles. And we talk, in the
17 military, and this would apply to most nations, they will -- the words
18 might change slightly, but generally the command rests with the
19 legal-founding authority. And therefore the command in a full sense of
20 the word for his discipline, welfare, payment, and ultimate purpose rests
21 with the state that he comes from.
22 And you then hand either command or control to the other
23 authority that you've handed them to, and there's whole gradations of
24 this as to how much you hand over in the specific purposes. And from my
25 memory, the troop-contributing nations were placing their forces under
1 the UN command under the heading of operational control, by which it
2 means that you can assign missions to them, tell them what to do and they
3 are to do it, but they -- but the authorities for paying them,
4 disciplining them, and so forth remains with the parent state.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that. We must have our first break
6 now -- second break now. And we will resume five minutes past 1.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.08 p.m.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Smith, we discussed the JCOs; and in relation to this, my
13 question is: Were you the only one who issued orders to Mr. Wood in his
14 position of the commander of the unit in order for him to be able to
15 perform his duties and carry out his tasks? Thank you.
16 A. Yes. To carry out his duties and tasks in relation to UNPROFOR,
17 I was the one who gave him the orders, yes. Or they came from me, the
18 orders that he received.
19 Q. Thank you. Your superior in Zagreb, was he able to issue orders
20 to him? Or on the other hand, was maybe one of your subordinates able to
21 issue orders to him, such as Gobillard? Or did all orders have to come
22 from you?
23 A. My superior would have, if he wanted something done, he would
24 have requested that of me and I would have decided who and how it was
25 done. General Gobillard when he was acting as my deputy in my absence
1 could give orders to the JCOs because he was acting as commander of
2 UNPROFOR. And if I had placed a JCO detachment into someone else's
3 command, then in the way I have described of how one can pass your
4 formation, your organisations, down the hierarchy of command, then in
5 those particular -- for those particular circumstances that commander
6 could have given orders to a JCO detachment.
7 Q. Thank you. Since you call them Joint Commission Observers, could
8 you tell us, were they the only ones within the UNPROFOR structure who
9 guided the planes in order for them to reach their targets? Thank you.
10 A. No. There were forward air control parties for this purpose.
11 Q. Thank you. Were they also used to guide the planes? Thank you.
12 A. JCOs could and did act as forward air controllers.
13 Q. Thank you. And one more question on the same subject. When they
14 were in a situation to guide the planes, were the land observers,
15 including the JCOs, in a formation with the planes, military speaking, or
16 could we say that they were the eyes and ears of the planes on the
18 A. I'm not clear who these land observers you are including with the
19 JCOs; who are they?
20 Q. Thank you. If people who were the members of JCOs were in a
21 situation where they could guide the plane, engage in an action against,
22 say, a Serbian tank in Gorazde or Srebrenica, did they have then a direct
23 relation to targeting devices who were actually performing the targeting?
24 Thank you.
25 A. If they were acting as a forward air controller, yes, they were
1 communicating with the aircraft or, rather, with the pilot in the
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In order to act expeditiously, I
5 would like to tender this document. It's 1655. His statement given to
6 the NIOD. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is the wrong number. It is 1D655. This
8 document will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D655 shall be
10 assigned Exhibit D192. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now have in
12 e-court D147. 174, I apologise. D174. It's a memo sent by Mr. Akashi
13 to Mr. Annan, and among the recipients we find the name of General Smith.
14 I would like to look at paragraph 2. More precisely, 2(b).
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. The subject is UNPF policy and information for the
17 Security Council. Thank you.
18 Mr. Smith, this document is dated the 11th of July. You received
19 it. And it defines the UNPROFOR policy; we can find that in the subject
20 line. Were all the structures within UNPROFOR bound to act in accordance
21 with the policy defined here? Thank you.
22 A. Can we go to the beginning of the document. I'd like to know
23 what is -- it is. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And could it be, please, enlarged a bit.
25 THE WITNESS: Okay, you can turn.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Can you give us your answer based on the first page. And the
4 question was: Were all the UNPROFOR structures bound to act in
5 accordance with this policy? Thank you.
6 A. I'm still trying to understand what the policy is, so I can't
7 answer your question. And what it appears, from the preambular
8 paragraph, is that this is informing Annan of what -- as to his
9 intentions. I don't know what these intentions fully are yet until
10 you -- I'm allowed to read the second page, please.
11 Q. Mr. Smith, if you permit me, I'm going to ask questions based on
12 what I can read. Because if you're going to read the whole document, we
13 are going to lose lots of time. It's a large document, similar to many
14 other documents from UNPROFOR.
15 A. Yeah, but you're asking me to talk about a policy. I can't
16 answer your question till I know what the policy is and therefore can
17 then answer the question as to whether or not everyone was bound to act
18 by it.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
20 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'd simply ask that General Smith be
23 given the courtesy that every other witness before this Trial Chamber
24 has. He's asked to have an opportunity to read a document which the
25 accused wishes to put to him. And if he needs extra time to do that,
1 then we can perhaps give General Smith some more homework that he can do
2 at a break. And when he's had an opportunity to read it, he can then
3 answer the question. But to blame General Smith and then claim he
4 doesn't have a lot of time, I think, is not helpful.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
7 nothing against General Smith reading all the documents tendered by me.
8 But I simply thought because, for instance, here my question is based
9 solely on the subject where it says the UNPROFOR policy and that's all
10 that my question pertains to, nothing else.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness answered:
12 "But you're asking me to talk about a policy. I can't answer
13 your question unless I know what the policy is and therefore can then
14 answer the question," and so on.
15 You received this answer. It's not helpful just to repeat it but
16 you should rephrase it or give the witness the opportunity to read the
17 whole document whenever this is possible. Please continue.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then I'm going to move
19 to my following question.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Was UNHCR bound to observe the UN policy? Did this policy also
22 pertain to UNHCR? Thank you.
23 A. UNHCR are mentioned. And, of course, if the UN has a policy,
24 then its subordinate organisations are trying to follow it. But as I
25 pointed out at the beginning, this document looked like, from the
1 preambular paragraph, a -- more a discussion as to what Mr. Akashi
2 intended to do than an expression of UN policy.
3 And we can turn again. Thank you.
4 On this one very quick read, I don't think this is in itself a
5 policy document. It is a discussion document about policy, and
6 Mr. Akashi is reporting to his superior in New York the situation on the
7 ground as at 11th of June. He is describing the problems that he faces,
8 and he's proposing or suggesting that he might do certain things. And if
9 this is to be done, he would like the Security Council to take certain
10 actions which he lists. And he then -- and he finishes by asking for
11 the -- all business of the safe areas to be reconsidered or in the
12 United Nations and their commitment to this idea.
13 And he has sent this to his subordinates, of which I am one, so
14 that we understand the nature of the debate as to our future that is
15 going on around us. To that extent, I for one when I read this, which I
16 imagine I did although I don't recall doing so, would have taken my own
17 decisions in the knowledge that this debate was going on and what
18 Mr. Akashi was proposing to Mr. Annan.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I draw your attention to item 6 on the
20 screen, the last paragraph.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Does it show which kind of document this is?
23 THE WITNESS: I think it does. It is a discussion document in
24 the sense of informing his superior. He's going to keep him closely
25 informed both of developments on the ground as well as how our thinking
1 develops in Sarajevo.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Can you now take a look at item (b) on page 2. I'm going to read
6 the relevant part. You can see it now, and it says:
7 "UNHCR reports that 80 to 90 per cent of the population of
8 Srebrenica (total population is 40.000) are displaced persons who fled
9 fighting earlier in the war. Thus they do not have long-standing ties to
10 homes and property in the enclave and will probably be interested in
11 leaving for Tuzla. A UNHCR local staff member in Srebrenica reported
12 today that virtually everyone in the enclave wishes to leave. The
13 UNHCR SE will discuss this issue as well as immediate humanitarian
14 requirements in a meeting tomorrow in Tuzla with the Bosnia Minister for
15 Refugees Mr. Cero. Following consultations with the Bosnian government
16 and in order to avoid the continuing humanitarian catastrophe, agreement
17 will be solicited from the Bosnian Serbs to allow all residents of
18 Srebrenica, including all men, to leave for Tuzla if they so wish. The
19 Dutch will be instructed to remain in the Srebrenica enclave at least
20 until arrangements have been negotiated and finalised with Bosnian Serb
21 authorities for the departure from the enclave of those people. Ideally,
22 UNPROFOR will maintain an armed and substantial presence in the enclave
23 at least until the departure from the enclave of all those wishing to
24 leave has been completed. This preference will need to be balanced ..."
25 And so on and so forth.
1 My question is: Did UNPROFOR command have this information by
2 UNHCR which, as we can see, was sent by Akashi to you? So did you
3 receive information contained within this paragraph, more specifically,
4 that all the inhabitants wished to leave Srebrenica? Did you know about
5 that? I mean, you people who were deciding about the events that were to
7 A. As I've said, I'm sure we received this document, and while I
8 don't recall the precise figures or anything like that, I'm -- I was
9 quite clear that the population wished to leave Srebrenica after the
10 enclave had collapsed.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether VRS or, more specifically,
12 General Mladic was requested to permit the evacuation of all the
13 inhabitants of Srebrenica? Did anybody from UNPROFOR request that?
14 Thank you.
15 A. I don't recall that. And it may have happened before I got back
16 from leave.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, in that case, can we take a
19 look at P991. It's the Srebrenica video that I want to see, from
20 46:29 -- from 46:23 to 48:29. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we have still on the screen the
22 document D174. That is not an exhibit yet. It was tendered through the
23 Witness Edward Joseph. It was at that time marked for identification and
24 you were given the opportunity to tender it through the current witness,
25 Mr. Smith. Are you tendering it now?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course. Thank you,
2 Mr. President. But we should also keep it close at hand because we are
3 going to use it later on again. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as an exhibit, as D174.
5 Mr. Tolimir, you may continue.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have the Srebrenica
7 video, from 46:23 to 48:29. That's P991. Thank you.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You were not present there, but you now had the opportunity to
12 see it. My question is: Did Colonel Karremans in accordance with the
13 orders that he mentioned, orders that came from the UNPROFOR command for
14 Bosnia and from the UNPROFOR command for Sarajevo, was he tasked to take
15 care of the refugees and also to get in contact with the Serbian side in
16 relation to their situation? Did he do that in accordance with your
17 instructions? Thank you.
18 A. What date was this record -- this video made?
19 Q. Thank you. The video was made in the evening hours of the 11th.
20 That's when Mr. Karremans invited General Mladic. Thank you. And you
21 saw that at the beginning General Mladic said, Here I am, what do you
22 want? You requested me to come here.
23 A. Yes, I did. I saw that bit. I wanted to know what the date was.
24 He is clearly saying that he received those orders. I have said to you I
25 wasn't present in my headquarters on that day and I don't know in any
1 great detail what orders were issued by the Bosnian -- I'm sorry, the
2 headquarters in Sarajevo, the UN headquarters in Sarajevo.
3 Q. Thank you. Please, from the moment when General Mladic accepted
4 what Karremans had asked him for, why did the UN change its rhetoric?
5 Why did they say that it was Mladic who carried out forcible movements of
6 the population and when all of this is written in all the documents that
7 Mr. Annan and you and everybody else in UNPROFOR commands knew about, and
8 in the UN? Thank you.
9 A. All of what is written? That Mladic forcibly removed the
10 population? Or that Karremans said this to camera on the 11th of July?
11 Q. This is what I'm asking you. Is Karremans telling General Mladic
12 on behalf of the civilians that they had requested to be evacuated; yes
13 or no?
14 A. My memory of the video is that he, Karremans, is asking to
15 negotiate, or asked, for the conditions for the -- to get the people out.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, because it is that way, why was the rhetoric
17 changed later by UNPROFOR? And why is it being said all the time that
18 Mladic arbitrarily carried out this evacuation from Srebrenica, of the
19 Muslims from Srebrenica, whereas he was the one who had asked him to do
20 that? Thank you.
21 A. Can you show me where everybody is saying that this didn't happen
22 and Mladic forcibly evacuated everybody? What I think everybody is
23 saying, to the contrary, is that Mladic carried out this attack that led
24 to this situation.
25 Q. Thank you. Did the attack from this demilitarised zone against
1 Mladic's population and army cause that attack and he as commander was
2 supposed to protect that population and his own troops?
3 A. It was one of the reasons for carrying out the attack. It was
4 a -- it could be understood as the proximate cause of the attack.
5 Q. Thank you. That's why I'm asking you, why was the rhetoric
6 changed? If in the beginning UNPROFOR is asking for evacuation, why is
7 it later on being replaced by the term "deportation" or something like
8 that when it was actually what UNPROFOR had been asking for? I'm asking
9 you, why this change in the rhetoric?
10 A. I can't answer the reason for the -- what you call the rhetoric.
11 I would need to be given an example of what you're talking about. But
12 what I can say is that UNPROFOR is asking for an evacuation because of
13 the consequences of the attack by Mladic's forces and the mass refugees
14 it had created specifically around the Dutch position at Potocari.
15 Q. Thank you. Please tell us whether you heard in this part of the
16 video when Mr. Karremans says that the Dutch would be given instructions
17 to stay in the enclave until the departure of these people from the
18 enclave is organised? Thank you. Did you hear that part? Did you hear
19 him speaking about that?
20 A. I don't remember that bit in the video, but that, indeed, as you
21 can see from the other document you've shown me, was what Mr. Akashi had
23 Q. Thank you. In that case, I don't want us to go through all these
24 documents yet again, but could you just please tell us whether an
25 instruction had been issued to the Dutch Battalion to stay in the enclave
1 until they are given other instructions? Thank you.
2 A. I don't think it was couched in those terms. The instructions
3 were to look after the refugees and see to their -- to their evacuation
4 with Mladic, and then your, the Dutch, evacuation would be considered.
5 Q. Thank you. In that case, tell us, please, did anyone in UNPROFOR
6 ever look at the following possibility: That members of UNPROFOR in
7 Srebrenica, in this case the Dutch, stay on in Srebrenica together with
8 the civilian population after the army, as we had seen, left Srebrenica,
9 and was that option ever offered to the population, to the Army of
10 Republika Srpska, and UNPROFOR? Thank you.
11 A. No, the option wasn't. It was a wholly impractical option. We
12 couldn't have fed all those refugees or housed them.
13 Q. Thank you. Wouldn't have been -- wouldn't it have been
14 reasonable for these people to have stayed at their homes and in the
15 territory where they had lived and then to have the Army of
16 Republika Srpska and UNPROFOR protect them? because, after all, the Army
17 of Republika Srpska had asked for the demilitarisation of Srebrenica.
18 Was that ever offered? Thank you.
19 A. The people in -- those refugees did not want to be protected by
20 the Bosnian Serb army. They did not trust the Bosnian Serb army. They
21 were very frightened of the Bosnian Serb army, which is why they were all
22 clustered around the Dutch base in Potocari.
23 Q. Thank you. Perhaps I misspoke or perhaps I was misinterpreted.
24 Was this variant ever looked at: That UNPROFOR protect the population in
25 the territory where they lived, in their villages and houses, whereas the
1 Army of Republika Srpska would not enter the zone because they had
2 actually asked for its demilitarisation? Thank you. Would that have
3 been one of the reasonable solutions, as I think it would have been?
4 Thank you.
5 A. Again, I think that would have been wholly impractical in the
6 circumstances of 11th of July and thereafter.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we must come to an end for the day.
8 Could you give us your estimation of the remaining time you need for
9 concluding your cross-examination? I think you used 9 hours and
10 40 minutes, approximately the time during cross.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I think
12 that I'm going to finish within the time that we had asked for. I don't
13 think I'm going to ask for any extension of time, which is not to say
14 that that will never be the case with other witnesses. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 Sir, yesterday I asked you if you would perhaps be available next
17 week for continuation of your examination.
18 THE WITNESS: As promised, I've made some -- I've rearranged
19 things. I can be here for all of Monday afternoon's session. But I'm
20 not available, at least not with any ease, for the rest of the week.
21 I've pushed the events of -- planned events of Monday into Tuesday and
22 then I'm supposed to be in another country altogether on -- at the end of
23 this week.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber appreciates your co-operation. Thank
25 you for that. I think I can promise you that your testimony will be
1 concluded the next day of the hearing, that means on Monday.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If there's nothing else -- no. Mr. -- I see
4 Mr. Gajic on his feet.
5 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just have a
6 small request for the Trial Chamber. I think that yesterday or the day
7 before yesterday you did have some praise for Courtroom I in view of
8 these proceedings. The Defence would kindly ask that this courtroom be
9 used only if it is absolutely necessary. I think we have strong reasons
10 for that. As for this place where Mr. Tolimir is sitting and also the
11 place where he spends his time during the break, he is handcuffed and a
12 different procedure is applied. I've had the opportunity of seeing that
14 Also, the climate, as it were, is a bit unpleasant in this seat
15 where Mr. Tolimir is sitting. So if the Trial Chamber accepts our
16 suggestion that we go on in Courtroom III or in Courtroom II, well, of
17 course if necessary we can conduct hearings in Courtroom I, we will not
18 be opposed to that. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this submission. We will
20 take that into account. But at the moment there is no need for any
21 decision in this respect because we are scheduled to sit in Courtroom III
22 in the next week and the following weeks, as I am aware of.
23 Thank you very much to everybody. And we have to adjourn now and
24 resume on Monday, 2.15, in Courtroom III.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 28th day of
3 March, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.