1 Monday, 28 March 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
6 As you can see, only two Judges of this Bench are present this
7 afternoon. Judge Mindua has some medical problems and is not able to
8 attend and the Chamber decided to sit pursuant to Rule 15 bis of our
9 Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
10 The -- Mr. Thayer, I see you are going to take the floor.
11 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
12 Your Honour. Good afternoon to the Defence. Good afternoon, everyone.
13 Just a quick proposal for the Trial Chamber. We are currently
14 scheduled to sit in the afternoon this Thursday, and we were wondering on
15 behalf of the Prosecution, whether we might be able to change the sitting
16 to the morning, and I'd just if inquiry could be made if that's okay with
17 the Trial Chamber and the parties and everybody else involved. That
18 would greatly convenience our team.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
20 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Hello to everybody.
21 Mr. President, the Defence does not object to have the sitting
22 in the morning on Thursday. Our current schedule is such that on
23 Thursday we are probably going to be in the middle of the direct
24 examination of the following witness which is probably going to take a
25 little bit longer, or it is going to be the end of the cross-examination
1 of Witness Obradovic. So we think that it is perfectly okay to work in
2 the morning on Thursday.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Judges who are present at the moment in the
4 courtroom would agree to that. But we have to, of course, liaise with
5 our colleague, if he will be available that morning. We will let the
6 parties know as soon as possible. Thank you.
7 The witness should be brought in, please.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir.
10 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome back to the courtroom. I'm happy that
12 you could make it in time.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell
15 the truth still applies.
16 WITNESS: RUPERT ANTHONY SMITH [Resumed]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Tolimir is continuing his
19 Mr. Tolimir.
20 Before you continue, Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
22 Welcome back, General Smith.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
24 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just need to ask a small question in relation
25 to -- I think your last answer at the last session, which is -- which was
1 in the transcript at page 73, lines 3 to 4. I have -- if I'm -- I quote
2 you incorrectly, please correct me. In answer to General Tolimir's
3 question, you had your answer as follows:
4 "I think it would have been wholly impractical in the
5 circumstances of -- of 11 July and thereafter ..." I think it was to
6 protect -- his question was to protect the villagers within the enclave.
7 My question, if I've quoted you correctly is as follows: Why
8 would it have been wholly impractical for UNPROFOR to protect the
9 villagers in their homes where the VRS forces would not enter the zone?
10 THE WITNESS: There were just not enough forces. If my memory
11 serves me correct, when the initial study of the Srebrenica safe area was
12 made in 1992 or 1993, 1993, a -- a force of some possibly as high as
13 30.000 troops, certainly 20.000, was going to be required to defend the
14 safe area.
15 Now, my memory -- this may have been all the three safe areas,
16 not just Srebrenica, so my figures can be out. But they certainly
17 weren't the -- under a thousand that we actually had there. And that was
18 all that was supplied by the troop-contributing nations over the period
19 of the willing -- the safe areas by the Security Council and the forces
20 being provided or some forces being provided to make them safe.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now, Mr. Tolimir, it's your turn. Please
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
25 you, Judge Nyambe. May peace reign in this house. May peace be upon
1 everybody here. May this day of the proceedings and the whole trial
2 finish in accordance with God's will and not in accordance with my will.
3 I would also like to greet General Smith again.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
5 Q. [Interpretation] General Smith, we have just heard the question
6 of Judge Nyambe who thereby connected our previous proceedings with
7 today. My question is: Was the international community surprised by the
8 speed with which the Muslims left Srebrenica and by the fact that they
9 all gathered in Potocari? Thank you.
10 A. I can't speak for the international community. The UNPROFOR did
11 not expect the enclave to collapse at the speed it did, or the defence of
12 the enclave to collapse at the speed it did. But we -- I don't think we
13 were surprised by the population grouping themselves around the
14 Dutch Battalion's camp.
15 Q. Thank you. I would now like to take a look at your statement.
16 It's 65 ter 7247. I would like to have the page on which you speak about
17 this same topic. It's page 20.
18 You said that you were surprised that the Muslims hadn't left the
19 enclave on the 13th. It's page 17, paragraph 3. And this is what you
20 say. Line 7, page 17, paragraph 3, line 7. Thank you.
21 And it's page 16 in English. And I'm reading from the sixth line
22 from the bottom in the penultimate paragraph:
23 "Until the 13th of July, I believe that the defenders managed to
24 escape, but it wasn't clear what were there numbers and what was their
1 Did you expect the Muslims to flee from the enclave and did you
2 know of their plans? Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please help us to find the relevant
4 part in the -- oh, it's the last paragraph, just in the middle, "By the
5 end of the 13th of July ..." Thank you. We also need an indication not
6 only for B/C/S, also for the English page.
7 Sir, do you see that part? The last paragraph --
8 THE WITNESS: It's in the last paragraph, not the penultimate.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, in B/C/S it's the penultimate but in English
10 it's the last paragraph.
11 THE WITNESS: Oh, I see. Yes, "By the end of 13th ..."
12 I didn't know that your question was the -- where are we? No, I
13 didn't expect the people to flee from the enclave and I didn't know their
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. Now, let us take a look at the same page, the paragraph above
17 this one where you say -- have you heard the words "after a short break,"
18 so in B/C/S, it's the second paragraph from the top, and in English it's
19 the third paragraph:
20 "On the 11 July, after a short pause, the BSA resume their attack
21 and close air support was used against the BSA. Despite this support,
22 the Bosnian defence crumbled and the BSA entered the town without any
23 real fighting. The majority of the population gathered around the
24 DutchBat compound at Potocari.
25 "Due to the gravity of the situation, I was recalled from my
1 leave," and so on and so forth.
2 So bearing in mind this, was it a surprise -- was it a surprise
3 also for the people who were in the base in which the population
4 gathered? Thank you.
5 A. I don't -- I don't think -- given that it had fallen, the enclave
6 had fallen, the -- the population going to the UN battalion, I don't
7 think surprised me. That we had not prepared for that, if that's what
8 you mean by surprise, no, we had not prepared for such an eventuality.
9 Q. Thank you. Did UNPROFOR, in Srebrenica, know that the Muslims
10 were preparing a breakout? Thank you.
11 A. Not to my knowledge.
12 Q. Thank you. I asked you because you said that you expected them
13 to flee on the 13th, to move from the enclave to Tuzla. So you were
14 recalled from your leave, and you were expecting that to happen on the
15 13th. Does that mean that you had some previous information in your
16 possession pointing to their intentions? Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I don't think that's what
19 General Smith's testimony was, that he expected them to flee on the 13th.
20 I think his answer was clear on the record. And it seems to be a point
21 that General Tolimir is trying to pick up or insert. So I want to make
22 sure there is no lack of clarity on the record about the answer.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm convinced that this witness is able to
24 provide us with his knowledge, probably. Are you able to answer the
25 question, sir?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes. The statement to which we are referring, the
2 last paragraph on page 16 in English, "by the end of the 13th," it refers
3 to my belief, not the actions of the defender. I came to understand by
4 the end of the 13th that the defenders had broken out.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Smith, for the
6 reference that I quoted. Also for the convenience of Mr. Thayer. Now,
7 let us take a look at 1D655. Can we have 1D655. That's also your
8 statement. And I would like to tender this statement. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, last week I asked you if you were
10 tendering the statement of the witness, and then you said you will not
11 tender it. Now are you tendering it. There's no misunderstanding, I
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I think
14 that it was the Prosecutor who said that they were going to decide about
15 it later. I wanted to use the statement when you asked me about it. So
16 if I said something to that effect, then I made a mistake. I think this
17 statement should be in evidence. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D193, Your Honours.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to take a
21 look at paragraph 17 in both languages. This is a statement given on the
22 12th of January, 2000, by General Smith to the representatives of the
23 NIOD, from the Netherlands. Okay. So now we can see paragraph 17 in
24 Serbian. In the fifth line, we can see, "ABiH fled." I think that we
25 are going to see the same thing in English where it says, "The IBiH
1 [as interpreted] fled."
2 So the IBiH fled and suddenly, Mladic with his troops found
3 himself in the centre of Srebrenica. According to Mladic, all this
4 happened totally unexpectedly. He was sorry that a Dutch soldier had
5 been killed, and so on and so forth.
6 We already explained earlier how that happened.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question is: Bearing in mind that the VRS entered Srebrenica
9 without any resistance, do you maybe know why the Muslims did not want to
10 put up any resistance? You spoke with General Mladic in Belgrade
11 on 16th of July, that's what we can also find in the same paragraph. So
12 do you maybe know why they didn't put up any resistance? Thank you.
13 A. I would like to make the point this is not a statement of mine.
14 This is someone else's record of an interview with me, and I don't
15 entirely -- while I accept its thrust, I don't necessarily accept exactly
16 his construction of what I said.
17 And in answer to your specific question, I don't know what the
18 intentions were or reasons for the Bosnian army's actions.
19 Q. Thank you. When you met Mladic in Belgrade on 16th of July, did
20 he tell you that he too was surprised by the fact that he was able to
21 enter the centre of Srebrenica very quickly? Thank you.
22 A. I don't remember him telling me that, no.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you meet General Mladic on the 16th of July?
24 A. Yes, I did. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know whether General Mladic was in Belgrade also on the
1 15th of July? Thank you.
2 A. I believe he was, yes.
3 Q. Thank you. As we can see here in paragraph 17, fifth line in
4 Serbian, it says that:
5 "Mladic gave permission for the ICRC to visit the prisoners. At
6 the time he was not concerned about the report that the BSA had separated
7 men and women in Srebrenica because the BiH army did the same when they
8 would take over certain villages."
9 My question is: Bearing in mind that General Mladic approved the
10 visits to the prisoners in Potocari, and that he was in Belgrade on the
11 15th and 16th, do you know how come those prisoners were not visited,
12 although they were in Potocari? Apparently he promised that and
13 certainly he would have kept his word. Thank you.
14 A. Where does it say in paragraph 17 that he promised it?
15 Q. It's the following page in English. The paragraph continues onto
16 the following page in English. Thank you to Aleksander.
17 A. And your question was then?
18 Q. My question was: Bearing in mind that UNHCR received promises
19 that they would be able to visit the prisoners in Potocari while
20 General Mladic was in Belgrade, what was it that could have happened that
21 they did not find any prisoners in Potocari? Or maybe, if you know, did
22 UNHCR find some prisoners in Potocari? Is it possible that somebody
23 changed the previous orders given by General Mladic and that the
24 situation thereby changed as well? Thank you.
25 A. I have no idea. I left that meeting with the understanding that
1 Mladic would approve the ICRC visiting prisoners. And, to the best of my
2 knowledge, that never happened.
3 Q. Thank you. Since we're still dealing with Srebrenica, and I
4 don't have much time anymore, let me remind you of what you said
5 concerning Srebrenica and Tolimir.
6 On page 66 of the transcript of two days ago, that is, last week,
7 the first day we -- of your direct examination.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you give us -- for the clarity of the record,
9 can you give us the date or the day of the week of last week?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The 21st of March. Page 66 on that
11 day. To Mr. Thayer's question, Mr. Smith replied about Tolimir:
12 "He was this charge of security. That's an important position in
13 the command process. I saw him at Zepa. I didn't know that he had been
14 in Srebrenica. I met him in the west of BiH," and so on.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Here's my question.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Go ahead, Aleksander.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
19 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we're talking about
20 page 11588 of the transcript.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
22 Mr. Tolimir.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Here's my question: Did anybody tell you that he had seen
25 General Tolimir in Srebrenica? Any co-worker of yours or anybody from
1 UNPROFOR, or a soldier? Thank you.
2 A. I don't recall being told that. Certainly not at the time in
4 Q. Thank you. Later, on the same page, Mr. Thayer asked you whether
5 General Tolimir had to be in Srebrenica. Would your statement be
6 different if you had knowledge of him not being there. And you said on
7 page 67, I believe it's line 8, you said:
8 "No, it would not change my mind. If Mladic was in Srebrenica,
9 he didn't need a second person around. But it wouldn't surprised me if
10 Mladic had sent out one of his assistants," and so on.
11 Tell me whether the OTP possibly put to you that Tolimir was in
12 Srebrenica and, therefore, asked you such a question? Thank you.
13 A. I can't remember the record. Can't we see what you're asking in
14 the record? I was answering a question, so if it was from the
15 Prosecution, it's there in the record.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, would it be possible to tell us the
17 page number Mr. Tolimir is referring to?
18 Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, that's transcript page 11587, line 1.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will have it on the screen soon, I hope.
23 Page 11587, line 1.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. While we're waiting, let me ask you, Mr. Smith: Did your staff
1 in Sarajevo tell you that that they were in telephone contact with
2 General Tolimir and that they agreed to hold a meeting with him in
3 Srebrenica on the 11th and the 12th, but they didn't appear. Did they
4 inform you of that given that they were in telephone contact with the
5 Main Staff? Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, do you see it now on the second screen?
7 THE WITNESS: I don't see the specific bit, but I've got the page
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Page 11587, line 1.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, right.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let the witness answer.
14 THE WITNESS: I'm just trying to remind myself of what the actual
15 question was of -- of this page of the transcript.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. I asked you whether your co-workers, when returned to
18 the UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo, tell you that they were in telephone
19 contact with General Tolimir and that they had called meetings with him
20 on the 11th and 12th in Srebrenica? It was General Nikolai who did so.
21 Was that related to you? Thank you.
22 A. I don't remember it being related to me. But, remember, I've
23 just come off leave, so I would have had a briefing in which all of these
24 events were told to me in one go. I don't remember that specific bit of
25 it, if it was included.
1 Q. Thank you, General. We asked General Nicolai when he was giving
2 evidence why he didn't come on the 11th, and he replied because of the
3 air-strikes and that there was no need for him to come. And they also
4 didn't come on the 12th, although General Mladic had approved their
5 coming because the UNPROFOR representatives claimed that UNPROFOR wasn't
6 engaging the VRS from Srebrenica, and I claim the contrary. And
7 General Mladic said, Let General Nicolai come and you come with him. And
8 he waited for them on both days.
9 Did you know that UNPROFOR engaged the VRS from the Srebrenica
10 protected zone? Thank you.
11 A. By engaged, you mean firing at them?
12 Q. Thank you. I may have been misinterpreted. I said that they
13 engaged the VRS, by which I mean that they fired at the VRS during the
14 combat operations. Thank you.
15 A. The specific details I don't recall, but I remember that -- it
16 being reported that fire was exchanged.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you were referring to the testimony
18 of General Nicolai. Could you, for the sake of the record, give us a
19 reference where we can find this relevant part of his testimony.
20 THE ACCUSED: Thank you. My legal assistant will check -- that
21 he already has. General Nicolai said that on page 4184 in lines 11
22 through 17. I quote:
23 "Based on what you said" --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That is not necessary. I just wanted to know
25 where we can with find it on the record. Please continue your
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1184, lines 11 through 17.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Since General Nicolai here confirms that he was supposed to come
5 to Srebrenica on the 12th of July, my question is: Whether you know that
6 UNPROFOR was firing to -- at the units of the VRS from the protected zone
7 of Srebrenica on the 10th, 11th and 12th. That is, three days in all.
8 Thank you.
9 A. As I've said, I recall -- or, rather, my memory is that there had
10 been an exchange of fire or exchanges of fire. The details I don't
11 recall at all.
12 Q. Thank you. General, sir, we'll see now what Mr. Franken says
13 about that, who was deputy battalion commander at Srebrenica. And he
14 stated that on the 1st of July, 2010, while giving evidence in this
15 trial, on transcript page 3473, line 6, to the question of the Defence
16 why he issued the green order, he replied, "It must have been in the
17 evening of the 9th of July." And on page 3453 of the transcript, he
18 explained what issuing green order meant. In lines 16 through 19.
19 Could we please see page 3453, line 16 through 19.
20 I quote:
21 "The rules of engagement" --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Wait a moment. Wait a moment. We should have it
23 on the screen. And that is now, please carry on.
24 But, please, slow down while recording. It is very difficult for
25 the interpreters and the court recorder. Go ahead, please.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. "The rules of engagement given to us before as a UN unit, one of
3 our problems, we were only to use our weapons in self-defence, were ruled
4 out and we went back to the rules of engagement of an army ... in
6 In lines 23 through 25, he says, I quote:
7 "As of the issuing of the green order, we were in combat with the
8 VRS, and the VRS was a target for us, and, in fact, the opposite is
9 realistic and true as well."
10 And on page 3484, in lines 1 through 6, he says:
11 "My mandate had changed considerably. From the moment when we,
12 the UN, issued the order to defend Srebrenica, and was the reason why I
13 issued the green order. After that, the rules of engagement," et cetera,
14 "all restrictions as to the use of weapons were no longer in force
15 because that goes hand in hand with the order to defend something."
16 Now my question is: Did the UNPROFOR, by taking sides or siding
17 with one of the parties to the conflict, commit a breach of its mandate?
18 Thank you.
19 A. I -- could you tell me who this man, Major Franken, is it?
20 That -- you said he was Franken. I don't recall who he is.
21 Q. He was the deputy of Colonel Karremans. Thank you.
22 A. Right. Thank you. So he is the second in command of this unit?
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Of the DutchBat, yes.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes. And we've -- the page flicked as I was
25 starting to read it, so I'm slightly unsighted. But I think I can
2 What you are saying is that he then changes the rules of
3 engagement by -- in his argument that he produces this other order. And
4 these are not the UN rules of engagement. Is that what you're telling
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you. Did he not state clearly here that he -- that he
8 starts to apply combat rules instead of UN rules. He says:
9 "My mandate changed considerably from the moment the UN issued me
10 the order to defend Srebrenica."
11 That's page 3484, lines 1 through 6:
12 "And that is the reason why I issued the green order."
13 Thank you.
14 A. I'm hesitating to answer because this whole of the account that
15 you've produced in front of me, I don't remember anything about green
16 orders or any other coloured order, nor do I recall that there was a --
17 in -- emanating from my headquarters and this must have been happening in
18 my absence, that we gave them an order to change their rules of
19 engagement. My memory is that the rules of engagement we had were
21 So I'm -- I don't know what this is about, and without reading
22 the whole of the transcript, I'd be pressed to answer your question with
23 any confidence at all.
24 Q. Thank you. After reading this part of the transcript without the
25 testimony of Mr. Franken, who commanded the troops on the ground, can you
1 confirm that the UN fired at the VRS units on the 8th, 9th, 10th, and
2 11th? Thank you.
3 A. No, I can't. If it says it in this statement then that's what
4 that man said. I can't -- the most I can remember is that the UN force
5 in Srebrenica engaged the Bosnian Serb army on at least one occasion.
6 The dates and circumstances, I cannot recall.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Tell us, please, was the command in -- or,
8 rather, the headquarters in Tuzla the superior command of the units in
9 Srebrenica? Thank you.
10 A. That is correct, yes. They answered to the -- the Srebrenica
11 unit answered to the Tuzla headquarters. The sector headquarters in
13 Q. Thank you. Let us take look at 1D369. It may have a different
14 number now. What does this report say about that? The command of the
15 2nd Corps sent it on the 9th of July to the president of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, and the commander of the BH army,
17 Rasim Delic, and the chief of the operative command,
18 General Hajrurahovic [phoen].
19 Now we can see it. In paragraph 1, it says that on 9 July 1995,
20 a meeting was held at the corps command between the 2nd Corps chief of
21 staff, Brigadier Budakovic, and the acting UN commander for the
23 Now let us see bullet point 3. It says:
24 "The commander of the Dutch Battalion has issued an order to open
25 fire on the aggressor's soldiers launching the attack."
1 Thank you. Did the north-east command of the UN inform you that
2 the commander of the DutchBat had issued attack orders? Thank you.
3 A. No. And I'm on leave at this period. If he had given that
4 order, which I don't find surprising that he has told him to defend
5 Srebrenica, then it would have been reported to the headquarters in
7 Q. Thank you. We see that under the last bullet point on this page:
8 "Furthermore, Colonel Brantz inform us that the air-strike
9 procedure is under way," and gave us an example of three NATO aircraft
10 were capable of destroying about 70 targets. Thank you.
11 Here is my question: Did you have information that in Srebrenica
12 NATO aircraft were supposed to attack and target all targets around
13 Srebrenica? Thank you.
14 A. We're talking of the 9th of July?
15 Q. The bombing was on the 11th. But he speaks that they were
16 informed on the 9th by Colonel Brantz. Thank you.
17 A. I don't know what Colonel Brantz was telling them.
18 Q. Thank you. Up there, we can also read:
19 "In addition to demanding that they leave the UN safe area, he
20 also requested freedom of movement of convoys during the talks between
21 Brigadier Nicolai and the aggressor's forces, General Tolimir."
22 We see them confirming that Brigadier Nicolai spoke to me about
23 this situation. Thank you.
24 A. Yes, I can see that. I might add also that three aircraft
25 couldn't carry enough bombs to attack 70 targets. So at the bottom of
1 that page. It's -- it's not credible.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you know that Colonel Karremans held a meeting on
3 the 10th in the evening with the Muslim side, and at that meeting he
4 requested the Muslims to leave the so-called safe zone so as not to be
5 affected by the bombing that was to start against the positions of the
6 VRS? Thank you. On the 11th.
7 A. I don't know that he did that.
8 Q. Thank you. In this trial, on several occasions, the statements
9 of the president of the War Presidency, Nikolic, and the interpreter for
10 Karremans, have been used. But I don't intend to use them now. They
11 said then, however, very clearly, that Karremans said that everything
12 around Srebrenica would be targeted whether it was walking on two, four,
13 or 100 feet. I'm now paraphrasing but I'm not going to go more deeply
14 into that because you say you don't know anything about it.
15 When we were speaking about Zepa, at one point you said that you
16 noticed that the soldiers carried uniforms similar to those of the VJ.
17 Do you remember that? Thank you.
18 A. Which -- this was when you were -- you were showing me a film
19 about Zepa?
20 Q. Thank you. Did you see the insignia of the Army of Yugoslavia on
21 those uniforms? Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the witness asked you to clarify if
23 you are referring to this video we have seen in the courtroom or to any
24 other parts of his evidence.
25 Could you please clarify that.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I asked
2 the witness whether he remembered saying that the uniforms were much like
3 those of the Army of Yugoslavia. If he doesn't remember, okay. If he
4 does --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please listen carefully. The
6 witness asked you, to be able to answer your question, if you are
7 referring to the video which was shown in the courtroom last week to the
8 witness, or are you referring to his knowledge or whatever.
9 Are you referring to that video?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. No, I'm not referring
11 to the video. I'm referring to what the witness said, but I'll find it
12 and remind him once I find the exact page. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You -- the witness asked you -- didn't ask you
14 for a page number but if you were referring to that part of his evidence
15 last week when you asked him to identify uniformed people to be seen on
16 the video. That was the question.
17 Are you referring to that video?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I said
19 that I wasn't referring to the video but to the witness's statement.
20 It's 65 ter 7247, page 20, the last line in Serbian, where the witness
21 speaks about that in his statement.
22 Could we see the statement in e-court if it is that important,
23 but I wasn't going to waste much time on that. So it's 65 ter 7247,
24 page 20.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is now D193. You have to
1 decide if a question you are putting to the witness is important or not.
2 But if you put a question, you should help the witness to understand the
3 question. This is all what he was asking for.
4 I hope we have the right page now on the screen. Page 20 in
5 Serbian. And what is it in English? Which page in English?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's the following paragraph.
7 Actually, on the following page. I kindly ask my legal assistant to help
8 me with the page reference in English. It's the previous page, or the
9 previous paragraph. We will see in a minute. Thank you. I'll read out
10 the Serbian text.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, please wait until we have the relevant page
12 on the screen.
13 Mr. Thayer is going to assist you.
14 MR. THAYER: We have the correct page on the screen,
15 Mr. President. It's the first paragraph right at the top.
16 THE WITNESS: I've got it, yeah.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
18 Now you may read it.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. May I continue,
20 Mr. President.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I quote -- Mr. Smith stated the following, I quote:
24 "It was of note that the Bosnian Serb soldiers who had taken part
25 in the decisive action in Zepa had the appearance of a special forces
1 organisation. From the preponderance of black fatigues with VJ flashes,
2 they certainly appeared to be VJ and mercenary members. In contrast,"
3 and so on, "... the approaches to Zepa were controlled by regular units
4 of the BSA."
5 Here is my question: Did you see any one member of the VJ in
6 Zepa or Srebrenica, or maybe your assistants or co-workers did? Thank
8 A. I don't -- what I'm reporting there is -- is what I saw. Whether
9 they were really VJ or not, I couldn't tell you. What I saw was what is
10 recorded in that paragraph.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Did the sides to the conflict use NATO
12 uniforms? For example, did BiH army wear uniforms usually worn by NATO
13 country, and I mean fatigues worn by that army? Thank you.
14 A. The Bosnian army had a uniform that was very similar to -- in its
15 camouflage pattern, to that of the United States.
16 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the United States participated in
17 the war on the side of the BH army, if you say that they wore the same
18 uniforms? Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, he didn't say that they were the
20 same uniforms. The witness said that they were very similar to -- in its
21 camouflage pattern, to that of the United States. This is a difference.
22 If you put a statement of the witness to the witness, please make sure
23 that the quotation is correct.
24 Go ahead, please.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Q. You said that the Army of Republika Srpska had uniforms similar
2 to the VJ. They are not the same -- they are the same army. And if the
3 BiH army had uniforms similar to the United States' army uniform, that's
4 not the same army. Is that what you are saying?
5 A. I'm not sure I've said that the Army of the Republika Srpska is
6 the same as the VJ. Where have I said that?
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. I just quoted from your statement, and we
8 see it on the screen now. The last paragraph in the Serbian language
10 However, that no longer matters because we don't have the time.
11 What I'm saying is this, if the two militaries use the same uniforms or
12 similar uniforms. Thank you. Well, we have it in the Serbian
13 translation, and the translation that I was provided with by the OTP may
14 be wrong. I don't want to waste any more time on that. In the English
15 version, you will find it on the previous page, actually. Thank you.
16 A. I'm sorry, I just don't understand what you want me to look at.
17 If you are referring to the first two sentences of the top
18 paragraph of the page, the number of which I think is 20, but I can't be
19 sure of that on my screen. Yes, 20, in English. There are two sentences
20 there. The first sentence I say that:
21 "The Bosnian Serb soldiers who had taken part in this decisive
22 action in Zepa had the appearance of a special forces organisation."
23 New sentence:
24 "There certainly appeared to be VJ and mercenary members of this
25 units from the preponderance of black fatigues with VJ flashes."
1 Q. Thank you. I thank you for having translated things properly for
2 me. In the Serbian translation, it says it was clear that they were
3 members of the VJ and mercenaries. And now, you have provided us with
4 the exact translation, and you said that they were similar to them.
5 Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now let's look at a different
7 document. Its number is 1D702. Can we see it in e-court. That is a
8 letter sent by the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska on the
9 4th of September. Commander Mladic sent it to the UNPROFOR commander in
10 Zagreb, General Janvier, via the command of the UNPROFOR command in
11 Sarajevo. And now we see that it says here:
12 "I received your letter dated the 3rd September in which you
13 informed me that you received -- that you had refused to receive my
14 letter and that that would be the reason for new shelling of
15 Republika Srpska."
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you remember that that letter was sent to Zagreb via your
18 command? Thank you. There is no translation in English. I have read
19 for you when the letter was sent, who sent it, and who it was sent to.
20 It was sent to you and General Briquemont. Thank you.
21 A. I don't remember us acting as the forwarding agency for Mladic's
22 headquarters, and I don't -- my -- I don't see that my headquarters is on
23 this distribution list that's on the screen anyhow.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber whether the
25 Main Staff had a direct contact with General Briquemont in Zagreb, or
1 when they wanted to get in touch with him, did they have to go through
2 Sarajevo? Thank you.
3 A. They may well have gone through Sarajevo. I don't recall.
4 Q. Thank you. Please, let's look at the third paragraph where
5 General Mladic says this:
6 "I have never heard of a case. I did not even read in literature
7 that a correspondence between two generals may be used as a cause at the
8 level of the international community for ultimatums, blackmails, and
9 pressures on one of the sides to the conflict and ultimately for that
10 people being bombed."
11 My question is this: Did you use correspondence to put pressure
12 on any of the two sides? Thank you.
13 A. I can't comment on this letter unless I have a translation.
14 I communicated with correspondence and by telephone calls or in
15 face-to-face meetings. In that, we had a correspondence. And they
16 occurred with both the Bosnians and the Bosnian Serbs. But it's the
17 message carried in the correspondence, that is, if it is going to apply
18 pressure, applies pressure.
19 Q. Thank you. In the third paragraph, General Mladic says in the
20 last sentence:
21 "Why did you not tell the general public the truth about what
22 happened at Markale II on the 28th of August, 1995?"
23 In the following paragraph, he says:
24 "Why didn't you inform the general public about the contents of
25 two telephone conversations that I and General Rupert Smith had with
1 regard to that severe incident? Why a mixed commission of experts did
2 not go to the spot to investigate? Why UNPROFOR and the Muslim side did
3 not allow independent ballistic experts to go to the spot as we have
5 Did you have agreement with General Mladic about all those things
6 that he is conveying to General Briquemont?
7 A. Who is Briquemont? Or are you confusing him with General --
8 Q. I apologise. It was actually General Janvier. Bernard Janvier.
9 I misspoke. I said Briquemont and I meant Janvier.
10 A. I didn't have an agreement with General Mladic on those matters,
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt you for a moment.
13 Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
14 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, General Smith, I just need some
16 With regard to the mandate of UNPROFOR in the context of the
17 evidence of -- is it General Nicolai, Mr. Thayer, the one who was talking
18 about the green order? Colonel Franken.
19 MR. THAYER: Madam Judge, yes, it was Colonel Franken. And to
20 some degree you are correct, General Nicolai commented and was asked a
21 fair number of questions on cross-examination about the green order as
22 well, but it was Colonel Franken who described the green order itself.
23 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. Thank you.
24 Now, following up on that, did the green order to defend
25 Srebrenica which translated, as I understand it, into direct combat with
1 one of the parties to the conflict, change the UN mandate, in fact?
2 THE WITNESS: No, I don't think it did at all. The -- the
3 mandate is -- let me use the correct word, the resolution of the -- that
4 the Security Council produced on the subject of the safe area and the
5 subsequent resolutions that covered it, were there to protect the safe
6 area and the civil population within it.
7 If -- as I remember, the UN rules of engagement, you -- the UN
8 force, you could work your way down through those rules of engagement,
9 or, rather, the situation would work you down the rules of engagement to
10 the point where you were having to act as the defence of the area.
11 What's -- where you got into difficulties is that the
12 troop-contributing nations did not necessarily have the same
13 understanding of each other as the UN rules of engagement and did not
14 necessarily interpret them in the same way as the UN, as a whole, had
15 drafted these rules of engagement. And what I suspect but don't know and
16 I don't ever remember reference to this idea of a green order, that isn't
17 to say I didn't hear it, I just can't recall it, is that what was
18 happening at this stage, is, if you like, the actions of this Dutch
19 battalion had started to become rather more Dutch than UN, and they were
20 falling back onto their own Dutch understanding of the rules of
21 engagement. That is what I suspect is going on here. But there is no
22 proof of that that I can produce you at this stage or from my memory.
23 JUDGE NYAMBE: But I'm just trying to understand military things.
24 My understanding is that the initial UN mandate was in
25 self-defence and in the defence of the population, civil population, and
1 so on and so forth. When the green order was issued by the UN to this
2 DutchBat soldier, it moved from self-defence to direct combat with one of
3 the parties to the conflict.
4 Is my understanding correct? Because that was his testimony.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes. First of all, I don't -- I would -- I would
6 want to go back myself and ask more about the green order because I don't
7 think that had anything to do with the UN, as the UN. I suspect this was
8 within the Dutch arrangements as to how you went down their rules of
9 engagement. I just cannot recall this idea of a green order.
10 Now, I've slightly lost. Can we go back to your question. You
11 were trying to see whether it changed -- they were in fighting.
12 Now, when you come to the point that you're actually defending
13 yourself, you are unavoidably engaging one or other party, and so, in
14 fact, you are in that situation. It's been created for you. You haven't
15 set out to do it, but, nevertheless, you are now in that situation. You
16 are a combatant.
17 In my own mind, in my own practice in my service, I understood my
18 way of thinking about this was to understand what the end result was
19 supposed to be; in this case, the defence of the civil population. And
20 so you were not engaging in this position in this combat for your gain,
21 except, and insofar as for you to carry out your task, you had to defend
22 yourself. And, therefore, you were a bit like a policeman who can use
23 force to defend himself and also achieve the objects of taking the
24 prisoner to court, or whatever it is that he is supposed to be doing, he
25 isn't engaged in this combat except as the officer of the law. And so
1 that's how I personally have understood my -- you know, myself and my
2 command in these sorts of circumstances. But it doesn't alter the fact
3 once are you fighting, you are on one side and the other person is on the
4 other one, and there is no getting away from that at all.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you for your answer.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, indeed.
7 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We don't have much
9 time. Therefore, I would like to move onto a different topic.
10 Can the court please produce 65 ter 7246.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. This is a book by General Rupert Smith. The title is "The Use of
13 Force: War in a Modern World." Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: While it is coming up, Mr. Tolimir, you have used
15 today three documents and you didn't tell us if you are tendering them.
16 They are 1D165, 1D369 and 1D702. I would just like to remind you that
17 you should decide what --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
19 you very much. I would like to tender those documents for admission.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
22 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just a remark, 1D655
23 has already been admitted as D192.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. We are now dealing with 1D369. If
25 I'm not mistaken, I haven't heard anything from this witness about
1 this -- the content of this document. And the witness didn't tell us
2 anything about the content of 1D702. That was the letter from
3 General Mladic to General Janvier. And in addition, the last one doesn't
4 have a translation yet.
5 Would it be appropriate to mark both documents for identification
6 to be used with another witness, for instance?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I don't
8 see a problem. The witness said that he couldn't testify about the
9 document, but because the document does not have a translation. Thank
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 1D369 will be marked for identification.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D194, Your Honours, MFI.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And 1D702 will be marked for identification but
14 also pending translation.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 1D195, Your Honours, marked for
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now look at
19 page 172 in e-court in this book. We are interested in paragraph 2.
20 There's no translation. I'm going to read from the book.
21 We are looking at the right-hand side page where it says, "The
22 Muslim pockets ..."
23 I'm reading that paragraph:
24 "The Muslim pockets were used by the Bosniak Sarajevo
25 government ... as pressure points on the international community for
1 firmer action. The longer that aid convoys were unable to reach them,
2 the greater the pressure on the mandate. When convoys did succeed, calls
3 for firmer action were unwarranted. Two weeks after the first successful
4 delivery, Muslims launched an offensive towards Bratunac (a Serb-held
5 town just outside the besieged Srebrenica). Thus the integrity of UNHCR
6 and UNPROFOR was undermined, further convoys were impossible and the
7 pressure for firmer action resumed."
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. What did you mean when you said that pressure was implied on the
10 international community for firmer action?
11 A. First of all, I haven't said that. This is a quote of a UNHCR
12 official that I have taken from the book referenced at the bottom of the
14 However, what is being referred to there is a concern as to the
15 state of the civil population and people demanding that the population be
16 fed and medicine, and so forth, be delivered to them.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you say this:
18 "This explanation ... reflects the true situation and it shows
19 how UNPROFOR and UNHCR became hostages or shields in that," and so on and
20 so forth.
21 Did you say this? Thank you.
22 A. Not as you quoted it. What I have written is this explanation,
23 the quote I have put in -- on the page, as, indeed, the situation it
24 reflects, shows how the UNHCR and UNPROFOR became caught in the first of
25 what I came to call the hostage or shield situations that marked the
1 story of UNPROFOR. They had no good choices.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Since we don't have any more time, we can
3 look at the text on our own. Let me ask you this: After the agreement
4 was signed on the demilitarisation of Srebrenica and Zepa, was
5 demilitarisation indeed carried out; or, alternatively, did the zones
6 remain militarised? Thank you.
7 A. The -- as I recall it, there wasn't agreement to demilitarise as
8 a single agreement. There was agreement about the safe areas in which
9 demilitarisation was part of it. And the -- and no, they were not
11 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us why is it then that we call it
12 agreement on the demilitarised zones of Zepa and Srebrenica? Thank you.
13 A. I don't remember them being called that. They were called safe
15 Q. Thank you. If we have time, I'm going to show you this agreement
16 on the demilitarisation of Zepa and Srebrenica. The Trial Chamber has
17 already seen it. And now, can we please look at page 174 in e-court. We
18 are interested in the last paragraph on this page, and I quote:
19 "If something must be done became the main approach to the Balkan
20 crisis, it was further complicated by the something being the desire to
21 use air power which emanated from the US. Washington was increasingly
22 involved in the debate as to what to do about the Balkans, not least due
23 to a powerful lobby by the Bosniaks and the Croats. The US stance was
24 clear: it didn't want to be involved on the ground and equally saw no
25 need to be neutral with regard to the sides."
1 My question is this: Did the US forces and representatives tell
2 you clearly that they wanted to use air power in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 Thank you.
4 A. No. I never discussed this with the US forces, and certainly not
5 in the sense that you're asking the question. I'm talking about
6 something that's going on in 1992, or 1993, in those paragraphs, and I
7 didn't have conversations with the US forces.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you feel a bias towards Croats and Muslims when
9 you talked to US representatives? Was their attitude towards Croats and
10 Muslims different than their attitudes towards Serbs? Thank you.
11 A. When am I having these conversations?
12 Q. I asked you whether you felt that. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, you were additionally saying, "... when you
14 talked to US representatives." And the witness asked you to which talks
15 you were referring, which time.
16 Could you help --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I may have been speaking very fast
18 so my -- the first part of my question was missed.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And that was whether you felt that. Okay. Did you ever hear
21 from US representatives that they wanted to use air power against the
22 Serbs? That was one question. Thank you.
23 A. I have sat as a -- as part of a delegation in the North Atlantic
24 Council and heard the United States representative arguing in the case
25 for a no-fly zone, for example. Yes.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you help us: When did that happen?
2 THE WITNESS: I think it's 1993.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE WITNESS: And I think if we turn the pages of the book that's
6 what I'm -- that paragraph that we've had at the bottom of the page,
7 whatever the number is, goes on to talk about the establishment of the
8 no-fly zone.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's go to the next page to the -- to the top.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When did this meeting of NATO happen you were
12 mentioning just now?
13 THE WITNESS: I -- I'm afraid I can't remember the month. It's
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
16 THE WITNESS: But I --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let's look at the --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to be able to put it into context --
19 THE WITNESS: Yes.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- that's the reason why I ask.
21 Please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My apology, Mr. President. Let's
23 look at page 184 in General Rupert Smith's book. There's a reference to
24 the London Conference which took place in 1995. Thank you. And he says
25 this. In the first paragraph he says this. We can see it now:
1 "We could be sure Mladic would take measures to counter our
2 threats. I explained I was quite happy to fight the Bosnian Serbs but
3 not on only one pretext, defence of the British, and in the one place,
4 where they had the initiative, and I was unable to reinforce and had no
5 weapons other than air power in range."
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber, you said that at that
8 meeting, the Americans requested for a no-fly zone to be established.
9 Would that have been the same type of measure as those that were used
10 against Republika Srpska when you targeted everybody? Is that the same
11 situation as in Libya, where the Brits are in charge and when -- where
12 Libyan citizens are being liberated under their patronage? Is that the
13 same situation? Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you again. We are
15 dealing with Bosnia and not with Libya. I told you two times last week,
16 and it's not an appropriate way to conduct your cross-examination.
17 You should consider this question during the break. We must have
18 our first break now, and we will resume 20 minutes past 4.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.24 p.m.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Can we
23 have page 187 of the same book in e-court. Page 187 of the book written
24 by Mr. Smith about the utility of force. Thank you.
25 Can we have page 187. It's in English. We are interested in the
1 last paragraph where it says, and I quote:
2 "With the start of the second phase of the NATO-UN action, the
3 Croatians and the Federation launched a joint offensive towards
4 Banja Luka from the positions gained in south-west Bosnia and the
5 Krajinas in August. They made rapid progress, aided, no doubt, by the
6 effects of the bombing. By the 14th September, we were beginning to run
7 out of targets to attack, but Richard Holbrooke had brought the
8 negotiations to the point at which that same day, Milosevic pressured the
9 Bosnian Serbs into a cease-fire," et cetera.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. My question is: Did you write this in your book?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you stand behind what you wrote? Thank you.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Were Muslims and Croats supported by the NATO
16 bombardment carried out at UN request in this offensive in which they
17 went from Zagreb to Banja Luka? Thank you.
18 A. No, they were not supported in the sense you're stating it. The
19 two events were coincidental.
20 Q. Thank you. Was there a lack of the targets within the Republic
21 of Srpska Krajina in Republika Srpska because the targets were either
22 destroyed or simply there were no more targets?
23 A. I wasn't conducting operations in the Krajina.
24 Q. Thank you. However, here you say that you were beginning to run
25 out of targets to attack. And then Richard Holbrooke use this force in
1 order to exert pressure on Milosevic who was then to pressure the Bosnian
2 Serbs; isn't that true?
3 A. I say that we were beginning to run out of targets, but you said
4 in your question, was there a lack of targets in the Krajina, in the
5 Republika Srpska Krajina, and I said I wasn't operating there.
6 Q. Thank you. Did NATO bombard all the targets in Republika Srpska
7 Krajina, including the Udbina airport? Thank you.
8 A. On the assumption that I am understanding the Republika Srpska
9 Krajina as that part of Croatia in which the Croatian Serbs had lived, I
10 don't think NATO conducted any air attacks in that area.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have page 7 in e-court.
13 The penultimate paragraph goes as follows. You can also read it on the
14 screen now. The penultimate paragraph. Thank you. I would like to
15 tender this document that we just saw on our screens.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, how many pages does this book have?
17 I mean not the pages in e-court. The pages in e-court or the pages of
18 the book?
19 Mr. Gajic.
20 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I'm not mistaken,
21 this book consists of more than 300 pages. I can't give you the precise
22 number right now. It was also used during the cross-examination of
23 General Smith in the Popovic case. We think that this would be useful
24 material if we were to have it in evidence, both for the parties and the
25 Trial Chamber.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, do you know if that was tendered in
2 the Popovic case and admitted into evidence? I mean the whole book.
3 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that it
4 wasn't. It's hard to follow the transcript in the Popovic case because
5 their practice was different. The exhibits were not immediately put into
6 evidence but only subsequently. However, it is quite clear that certain
7 segments of the book were used, although they were not admitted into
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have used, if I'm correct, the
11 pages 172, 174, 184, and 187 in e-court.
12 To admit the whole book would be a heavy burden, especially for
13 the Trial Chamber but also for the parties, when we come to the end of
14 the trial. Is it perhaps possible that you just tender these pages which
15 are important for understanding of today's hearing and also the -- the
16 front page of the book so that we know that what it is about?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 I think it would be very useful for the Trial Chamber to admit
19 the whole book because, if you read just the parts, you are not going to
20 understand the context. This book is in English so it didn't even have
21 to be translated. I personally don't need it because I am aware of the
22 events. General Smith also doesn't need. You need it. You really need
23 it. And I think that I'm going to use this book on some other occasions
24 before the end. I don't have much time left, and if we don't admit it
25 into evidence, then we are not going to have all those points that I will
1 be unable to touch upon until the end of my cross-examination.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, presumably the issue of whether the
5 selections that General Tolimir put to the witness should be in context
6 should be clear from the questions themselves. The questions as they are
7 put should be in a proper context, so there should not be a separate
8 exercise by the Trial Chamber to go make sure that the questions were put
9 in the proper context to begin with.
10 That said, the procedure which Your Honour has outlined is what
11 took place in the Popovic trial. Only the selected pages of the book
12 were placed in evidence. We're just as happy to have the entire tome in
13 evidence. I don't think it affects General Smith's royalties one way or
14 the other, and it's -- our philosophy is the more the merrier, as you
15 know. But, again, the procedure that was followed in Popovic was just
16 the selected pages went into evidence.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think not to waste time with this witness we
18 should postpone the decision on the admission of this document and come
19 back to that later.
20 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In that
22 case, can we have 1D121. This is a segment from a book about
23 intelligence services and the war in Bosnia in 1991 and 1992, and this is
24 part of the study on Srebrenica made by the Dutch Institute for War
25 Documentation. 1D211, I apologise. I may have misspoke. 1D211.
1 Can we have page 3 this e-court, paragraph 5 on the right-hand
2 page. I can't see a thing. I quote:
3 "Finally, the secret operations are of interest because various
4 statements pointed to the conclusion that the clandestine supplies
5 usually led to rapid transit to the eastern enclaves, such as Srebrenica
6 and Zepa. The VRS complained that the supply of new weapons usually
7 facilitated new sorties from the enclaves into Bosnian Serb villages and
8 military positions, which in turn provoked a response from the VRS. This
9 action-reaction cycle again put UNPROFOR troops in danger. In the
10 enclaves, the ABiH actually all too often used the observation posts as a
11 cover in military actions against the VRS. It is important to
12 reconstruct the secret arms supplies from Iran via the Croatian pipeline,
13 and the black flights to Tuzla, because this will make clear that
14 different NATO member states had different political and military views
15 on the possible consequences," and so on and so forth.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. My question is: Did UNPROFOR take any measures in order to
18 prevent the BiH army from using observation posts in enclave to carry out
19 their sabotage actions in the territory of Republika Srpska? Thank you.
20 A. Are we referring to this generally or specifically in those two
22 Q. Thank you. I was speaking generally. But you can also comment
23 more specifically.
24 A. The -- and I'm speaking of 1995, which is when I'm there. To the
25 best of my knowledge, we did not allow the Bosnian army to use our UN
1 positions to conduct operations. It certainly wasn't done under any
2 orders of mine.
3 Q. Thank you. Are you aware of the fact that the BiH army soldiers
4 were deployed along the same line to which the observation posts held by
5 the DutchBat belonged? And from that same line, they acted together with
6 UNPROFOR as Mr. Preker [as interpreted] said on the 9th, 10th, and the
8 A. The line in Srebrenica - which is what you're now talking about,
9 am I correct --
10 Q. That's correct.
11 A. -- was coincidental in a number of places. Not in every case was
12 the OP line the same as the Bosnian army line and if -- as you described
13 in that previous account, which I've said I'm unable to comment on, it's
14 not my account, then the UN force was firing on the Bosnian -- on the
15 Serb -- Bosnian Serb forces.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just so we have a clean record later,
18 page 39, line 11, I see there's a reference to a Mr. Preker, and I think
19 we just need some clarification as to who that witness is, and I'd also
20 like to know whether there's any transcript cite or other support for
21 whatever this statement is.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The page numbers have changed. In e-court, we
23 have now page 7. In LiveNote we are on page 40.
24 Can you please repeat -- I see it "Mr. Preker." "And from that
25 same line, they acted together with UNPROFOR as Mr. Preker said on the
1 9th, 10th and 11th." I think there must be a misinterpretation.
2 Mr. Gajic is able to help us. Mr. Gajic.
3 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. Tolimir referenced
4 the testimony of Mr. Franken.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 3454. Line 23 to 25.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. We heard this name earlier,
7 Colonel Franken, from DutchBat.
8 Sir, do you recall the question?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes. And I think I'd understood him to be talking
10 about that -- that reference, that he -- that was in the previous
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Smith, since I don't have much time left I would like to take
16 a look with you, page 4 in e-court, I'm interested in the
17 paragraph describing the various attitudes within the American
19 Will quote just one sentence. You can see it here. It's in the
20 second paragraph, line 4, and it is underlined in red. I quote:
21 "Everyone did realise that the Balkans would provide the United
22 States with better access to the Middle East."
23 My question: Can you tell the Trial Chamber how would it be
24 possible for the United States to have a better access to the Middle East
25 via the Balkans? Thank you.
1 A. I don't what -- I can read the underlined-in-red sentence. I
2 don't know what it's -- who is saying it, when this conversation or idea
3 is being discussed or the author is reaching this conclusion. Can you
4 help me there?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And please help the Chamber. I don't know if you
6 introduced this document by mentioning the author and the title of this
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I said at the beginning
9 that this was 1D211 and excerpt from the book by Cees Wiebs:
10 "Intelligence and the War in Bosnia 1992-1995." That is part of the book
11 entitled: "The Report on Srebrenica," and the author is the Dutch
12 Institute of War Documentation. Mr. Smith also gave an interview to that
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We can now see what it says on
16 page 6 in e-court. It is also underlined:
17 "Meanwhile Holbrooke was becoming increasingly frustrated that
18 the Croatian pipeline was not progressing well. Lake once described
19 Holbrooke as high maintenance. Holbrooke, therefore, proposed to deliver
20 arms and ammunition ... via third party countries. Lake ... always
21 accepted such covert operations. However, he found the plan too risky in
22 this particular case. The Secretary of State Christopher shared this
23 view. Holbrooke's proposals lead to a debate within the administration.
24 Clinton and State Department officials considered supplies via
25 Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan. This was nothing new. In the 1980s,
1 Saudi Arabia had already supplied arms worth 500 million dollars, via the
2 CIA, to the Mujahedin fighters in Afghanistan."
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. If you look at this paragraph in this book on intelligence
5 affairs, we see that they were trying to find ways to clandestinely
6 supply arms to the Croats and Muslims in Bosnia. Did UNPROFOR or your
7 government take a position on the issue of secret arm supplies to the BiH
8 army and Croatian army? Thank you.
9 A. First of all, the paragraph doesn't say what it -- you say it's
10 saying. You actually got the Secretary of State. It's being said that
11 he did not support lift, arm and strike.
12 So -- this is a description, as I read it, of discussions going
13 on and the various parties to it and their positions in that discussion.
14 As for my government, you must ask them. I don't know what their
15 position was. And UNPROFOR had no part in supplying arms to either side.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have page 7 in e-court. I'm
18 interested in the left-hand side, the penultimate paragraph. It has also
19 been marked:
20 "On 16th of April, 1994, Galbraith spoke with religious leader
21 of the small Muslim community in Zagreb, Imam Sefko Omerbasic. Who later
22 informed the Iranian ambassador that American diplomates had urged him to
23 purchase arms for the ABiH. The CIA managed to gain access to a report
24 of this discussion and they suspected that Galbraith was engaged in a
25 secret operation."
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Do you know who Galbraith is?
3 A. I think he was the United States ambassador to Croatia.
4 Q. Do you know that during the Operation Storm he appeared on a
5 Croatian tank? This was shown even in this Tribunal. And during the
6 Defence case of Ante Gotovina, and it was claimed that the Americans made
7 the plans for this operation.
8 A. I don't know that he appeared on a tank. I don't know that he
9 did. And I don't know who made the plans for the Croatian operation.
10 Q. Thank you. I don't know if you saw that video footage.
11 Galbraith can be seen riding on a tank from Zagreb during the offensive
12 which in your book was described as the offensive from Zagreb to
13 Banja Luka. So the United States did not hide their involvement in that.
14 My question is: Do you know that the Americans took part in
15 planning of that operation? I mean Operation Storm 95. Thank you.
16 A. I told you, I don't know who made the plans.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether you received any information
18 from the VRS about the secret arming of Muslims via the Tuzla airport?
19 Thank you.
20 A. Not in the sense that you've described. Mladic, on at least --
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please let the witness answer. You are putting
23 questions to the witness, you should give him the chance to answer the
25 Please continue, Mr. Smith.
1 THE WITNESS: Mladic, on at least two occasions, told me that
2 aircraft were landing at -- on one of the air strips in the Tuzla
3 vicinity and that -- and very much wanted me to stop them.
4 The implication was that weapons, and so forth, were coming in
5 that way, but we never intercepted any of the airplanes to know if that
6 was actually the case.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now have in
8 e-court, 1D662.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. That's a memo from the Main Staff of Republika Srpska, dated 24th
11 of February, 1995. It was sent personally to General de Lapresle in
12 Zagreb and also personally to you in Sarajevo. So you can see that the
13 date is the 24th of February. And now take a look at the third
14 paragraph where it says, "Generals," this is what Mladic says to you:
15 "Generals, you took upon yourself the obligation to control the
16 air-space above the former BiH, and you are extremely diligent both in
17 practice and in words when it is about the Serbian side. That is why it
18 is incomprehensible that in front of UNPROFOR's eyes at Carovici and
19 Tuzla air strips, Muslims can receive weapons and military equipment
20 right at the time when agreement had been reached about the four-month
21 ceasefire agreement which was initiated and sponsored by the most high
22 functionaries of UNPROFOR."
23 Can you tell me whether you received this letter from
24 General Mladic? Thank you.
25 A. I don't remember it specifically, but I am quite prepared to
1 agree that received that letter.
2 Q. Thank you. In this letter, General Mladic, at the end, says,
3 that he expects you to ensure that UNPROFOR prevents the arming of
4 Muslims and the violations of this agreement.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
6 document before we can move on to the next one.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are tendering the document. Please wait a
9 It will be marked for identification, pending translation.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D196, marked for identification,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Tolimir, at this point in time, I would like to ask you how
14 much additional time for your cross-examination you need? Because you
15 have now reached, more or less, the time of 11 hours.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was told that I still
17 had ten minutes, so that's why I planned to finish within the next ten
18 minutes. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Just for planning purposes,
20 Mr. Thayer, have you any idea how much time you need for re-examination?
21 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think I'll need a session. But I
22 think I can finish today. If -- if we end in the next 15 or 20 minutes.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
24 Mr. Tolimir, go ahead. Please.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
1 you, Mr. Thayer. Could we please see P4130. We can see it -- or,
2 rather, no, not yet. It's a letter dated 6 March 1995 about a meeting
3 between General Smith and General Mladic held on 5th of March, 1995. It
4 was written by Mr. Woute [phoen], the commander's adjutant or, rather,
5 General Smith's adjutant.
6 And in line 4 of the letter, in paragraph 1, we see -- actually,
7 we actually can't see it yet. I apologise. Could we please see P1430 on
8 the screens. P1430. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
10 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I can see various
11 variations in the transcript. [In English] It is P1430.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please repeat.
13 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] P1430.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's see if it works now.
15 Mr. Tolimir, you have the document on the screen.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. We can see in line 4 of this document where it says that Mladic
19 initiated the meeting. Thank you.
20 And in line 7, in English, and it's line 8 in Serbian that:
21 "Tolimir also attended throughout?"
22 Let us take look at paragraph 2, subparagraph (b). It says:
23 "Tuzla: Mladic alleged the use of Tuzla air field for supply of
24 arms to the BiH covered by NATO. General Smith stated that he was
25 satisfied that NATO was not escorting or was in any way associated with
1 the alleged landings of aircraft at Tuzla."
2 Since you stated that NATO didn't cover this flight, could you
3 tell us who did and who stood behind the organisation of these flights?
4 Thank you.
5 A. I don't know the answers to those questions. The -- once we
6 began to investigate these, and I would add that we were -- we were also
7 aware that we were having airplanes in the vicinity. I should perhaps
8 explain, the Tuzla air field was a large Yugoslavian Tito-period air
9 field, consisting of a main runway and a number of reserve air strips.
10 These aircraft were landing, or flying very low over the -- one of the
11 reserve strips some distance from the main strip where the UN base was.
12 They had reported the sounds of -- at night of low flying airplanes, and
13 which coincided with these complaints of Mladic, so I was in no doubt
14 that this was occurring.
15 I equally, having challenged NATO, established that they were --
16 had nothing to do with it, but who it was, I have -- I don't know, and
17 the flights stopped once we started to investigate.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see D67 now. This
20 is a document of the intelligence administration of the BH army. It was
21 sent out on 13 July as an interim report. And it's a report in which
22 Alija Izetbegovic is informed after the fall of Srebrenica about the
23 activities by the BH to supply weapons to the enclaves before the fall.
24 And in paragraph 2, it reads:
25 "Specifically the following has been done for Srebrenica and
2 And then they go on to state how much materiel, ammunition, and
3 so on, were supplied, and so on.
4 And bullet point 2:
5 "Seventeen helicopter flights were carried out, in each of which
6 a helicopter was hit."
7 And bullet point 3:
8 "In this way, we transported a number of seriously wounded," and
9 so on.
10 Bullet point 4:
11 "As a preparation for the upcoming operation of linking up the
12 enclaves, we brought and returned four brigade commanders," and so on.
13 It's on the following page in English.
14 Could the witness now be shown the following pages as well for
15 him to be available to inspect it visually. And, later on, I'll ask my
16 question. Thank you.
17 Thank you. You can see here an overview of what was sent to
18 Srebrenica and what was sent to Zepa. That was on the previous page.
19 Now it's continued on this one and the following one. And once you see
20 all this and Delic's signature, could you please return to page 2 where
21 the beginning of the table is, where the summary of everything that was
22 sent there.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And now my question is about the flights from Tuzla to Srebrenica
25 and Zepa to supply weapons. Were the people in Srebrenica and Zepa aware
1 that there was an air-lift in place for the supply with weapons and
3 A. I'm sorry, who -- which people?
4 Q. Thank you. Did UNPROFOR members in Zepa and Srebrenica know that
5 there was this air-lift to supply arms to the Muslims in Srebrenica and
7 A. In my time in 1995, I received no reports from either enclave of
8 this resupply happening.
9 Q. Thank you. Please tell the Trial Chamber whether it's possible
10 for a helicopter to land at night without it being observed by UNPROFOR,
11 or unheard by UNPROFOR? And is it possible for a helicopter to fly at
12 night without special equipment? Thank you.
13 A. I don't know what equipment the Bosnian army helicopters had, and
14 it is possible to do this, and there was relatively few UNPROFOR in a
15 large space. And I don't know where these aircraft were landing in
16 either of the enclaves.
17 The -- both sides were flying helicopters, and they are extremely
18 difficult to pick up when flown close to the ground, so we were getting
19 no coverage of this by the NATO forces doing the no-fly zone.
20 Q. Thank you. Did UNPROFOR tolerate the resupply of Muslims with
21 armaments in the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica? Thank you.
22 A. I don't know what you mean by "tolerate."
23 We didn't know it was going on. And to the degree that we could
24 stop it, we could suppose it was going on, but no more.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 1D606. Thank
2 you. Could we please see 1D606, 605. Here we have 606. Thank you.
3 Please take a look at it. It says in the letterhead:
4 "Bosnia-Herzegovina embassy, to the Republic of Croatia,
5 military-economic mission, Zagreb.
6 "We forward from a document from the Bihac district office to the
7 5th Corps."
8 And it says down there:
9 "Please provide confirm of received materiel or problems
10 concerning reception. Truck number UNHCR 10379."
11 And this is a overview of armaments and ammunition received in
12 Bihac from Zagreb via UNHCR.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Did you known that the UNHCR was being used to arm the Muslim
15 army? Thank you.
16 A. Where does it say that UNHCR carried that?
17 Q. The following page in English. Thank you.
18 A. That it has been numbered, that doesn't make it an UNHCR
20 Q. Thank you. About the transport from Zagreb to Bihac through
21 Serb-held territory, was it -- were all these accompanied by UNPROFOR or
22 were they able to pass through on their own? Thank you.
23 A. I don't recall every convoy. But in most cases, particularly in
24 the Bihac area, I think the UNHCR ran their own convoys, and UNPROFOR did
25 not escort them.
1 Q. Thank you. Are you saying that UNPROFOR did not escort UNHCR
2 convoys from Zagreb to Bihac? Thank you.
3 A. No, I'm not saying they didn't. I'm saying that my memory is
4 that, in most cases, they didn't.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 1D605 now.
7 We're waiting for it.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. It says:
10 "Armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina 5th Corps.
11 They are sending those to the embassy of the Republic of BiH to the
12 Republic of Croatia. It is a logistical report on receipt of a shipment
13 of war materiel through UNHCR. Regarding your document," number
14 so-and-so, "of 18 May 1993, we hereby inform you that we have received
15 this shipment of 17 May with some small differences which are not
16 important. There was no problem with the takeover of the equipment;
17 however, we caution you again that it is necessary to exercise maximum
18 secrecy regarding this channel, engaging the smallest possible number of
19 persons to carry out this work."
20 And now they are asking for a shipment, the details of which are
21 described below, and they end by saying:
22 "This is ammunition that we absolutely lack and material needed
23 in special purposes weapons," and so on.
24 It is signed by the 5th Corps commander, Ramiz Drekovic?
25 This document also speaks about arm supplies for the 5th Corps
1 through UNHCR. Thank you.
2 A. Yes, I can see that up at the top where it says "logistics
4 Q. Thank you. Did you receive reports about this practice, that
5 this embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia supplies arms and
6 ammunition to the Muslims through UNHCR?
7 A. No, and this is new news to me.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 1D607. Thank
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. It's the embassy that is now writing to the command of the
13 5th Corps, and saying that 70 tonnes of D-2 fuel have been sent from the
14 army fuel contingent for the 5th Corps.
15 Was this supply channel through the UNHCR from Zagreb in function
16 as early as 1993? Thank you.
17 A. Well, the later is dated 1993. But it also makes the point that
18 the UNHCR doesn't know where the diesel comes from. So they appear to be
19 innocent party being used in this.
20 Q. Thank you. I've showed three documents from 1995 and 1993 for
21 you to be able to see the continuity of supplying the BH army through
22 UNHCR for two years.
23 And now my question is: Is it possible for such a channel to be
24 in existence for two years without the UNPROFOR knowing the first thing
25 about it, although they are escorting these convoys through Serb-held
1 territory? Thank you.
2 A. I just told you, I don't think we did escort the convoys into
3 Bihac very often, if at all.
4 Secondly, I've just pointed out to you that it appears from the
5 1993 letter that the UNHCR don't know the provenance of what they're
6 carrying in their trucks.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I kindly ask the President to admit
9 into evidence document 605, 606, 607, unless they are admitted already.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understand they aren't.
11 They -- all three will be received as exhibits.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D196 through Exhibit D199,
13 Your Honours. 98, I'm sorry.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That means -- we already have D196.
15 THE REGISTRAR: My mistake, Your Honour. Exhibit D197 through
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
18 Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Could we
20 please see 1D211 in e-court. Page 14. Thank you. We can't see it yet.
21 So it is 1D211. We see it now.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. As can be seen on the right, this is about the Tuzla air base.
24 To avoid reading it out because I lack time, my question is: Was the
25 Tuzla air base one of the largest air fields in Eastern Bosnia used by
1 both the NATO forces and UNPROFOR for their needs in Eastern Bosnia?
2 Thank you.
3 A. What did you say about NATO?
4 It -- as I said, I described the air field. Yes, it was one of
5 the largest air fields. The UN were based on the camp by its main strip.
6 NATO wasn't there in 1995, but NATO established a base there in -- you
7 know, took over from the UN base in 1996.
8 Q. Thank you. A minute ago you said that the auxiliary air field
9 was used by helicopters of the BH army, and we also saw a document about
11 My question is: Did the BH army, or NATO, or UNPROFOR, have
12 control over the -- over Eagle air base in Tuzla? Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, again, I understand that
15 General Smith can handle himself, but his testimony is clear, and I don't
16 think he said anything like the ABiH was using that air field. I don't
17 think he ever said that.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, are you able to answer the question?
19 THE WITNESS: I was about to say -- go further, and I didn't say
20 helicopters either.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you. I have no time to return to the transcript, but a
23 short while ago you spoke about it while we were reading that letter, or,
24 rather, the report from the meeting that you had with Mladic and me when
25 Mladic protested because of the misuse of Tuzla air field. And you said
1 that there was an auxiliary strip that they used.
2 So if you want to reply, okay; if you don't want to, well, we can
3 move on to the following question. Thank you.
4 A. I did say there were reserve strips, one of which appeared to be
5 being used or flown very low over.
6 Q. Thank you. I don't want to go into the black flights now because
7 I don't have time.
8 Just one more question and we'll finish.
9 Please let us see 1D211, page 16. Thank you.
10 This is about the reporting of UNPROFOR. I'm now quoting:
11 "On Friday, 13 February, the daily overview report of UNPROFOR
12 headquarters in Sarajevo stated at that there was continued evidence of
13 BH army resupply [sic] activity. Since early January 1995, the convoys
14 from Croatia with arms and ammunition had increased considerably, and in
15 other parts of Bosnia the same observations were made. In the spring,
16 DutchBat would also establish that the ABiH received new arms from Tuzla
17 and that training was being stepped up. This news spread rapidly, and in
18 due course, this could only have negative consequences for the
19 clandestine arms supplies to the BH army [sic]. The American pressure on
20 Le Hardy was apparent increased, because he became involved in a
21 acrimonious exchange with Americans on this subject. Under apparent
22 American pressure ... he produced a second report on 18 February in which
23 he state that his earlier report was incorrect and he made
24 recommendations for achieving more accurate reporting ... according to
25 him, no one had seen the aircraft - which wasn't true - but only heard
1 it. He also made a number of suggestions so that the Norwegians could
2 report better. This second report is remarkable: On the one hand,
3 Le Hardy states that all alleged observations of the Hercules were wrong,
4 but, at the same time, he makes a wide variety of recommendations,
5 including stationing a Danish tank on Tuzla air base, to control the
6 highway strip and to occupy more favourable positions, to improve the
7 chance of actual hard observations."
8 Here's my question: Since you were UNPROFOR commander in Bosnia
9 in 1995, in Sarajevo, did you get this report and this information and
10 similar information about the supplying of the BH army with new armament?
11 Thank you.
12 A. Who is Le Hardy?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It hasn't been interpreted to me.
14 I don't know what the General asked me.
15 THE WITNESS: Who is Le Hardy?
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You will see it in this UNPROFOR report. This was issued by
18 UNPROFOR about the man who was in charge of implementing those secret
20 A. I'm not looking at UNPROFOR report. I've got a page from a book,
21 which, I think from it, my memory of the number, is the same one we saw
22 written by a man who'd been on the Netherlands war document inquiry
23 or ...
24 Q. Thank you. He obviously worked pursuant to some documents. It
25 says here, on Friday, the 13th of February, the daily report of UNPROFOR
1 staff in UNPROFOR stated that there was continued evidence of ABiH arms
2 resupply activity.
3 In other words, he stated that, based on some reports; right?
4 Thank you.
5 Please, if you look at paragraph -- at the following paragraph,
6 that is. The previous paragraph on the left-hand side, you can see it
7 already. If you look at the third paragraph where -- paragraph where it
8 says that on the 16th of February.
9 Do you see that, do you see the paragraph starting with:
10 "The 16th of February, the second C-130 was seen, and on the
11 following day two more were seen. The British daily press even
12 established a connection with a visit by Holbrooke to Turkey on the
13 7th of February. But that was not the end of the matter because a
14 further four flights were observed where one aircraft was seen by a
15 British UNMO using night-vision binoculars. On 17th and 19th February,
16 UN personnel made 16 reports of helicopters that landed on Tuzla air
18 Thank you. End of quote.
19 A. I can read that too. I wanted to know who Le Hardy was. I
20 thought you were asking me about his report. He, I don't think, was
21 anything to do with the daily situation report that you referred me to,
22 and I've acknowledged that we were having these reports. I've already
23 said that for you, that we had these reports of aircraft landing.
24 Nothing like the number being reported here, as I remember it, but
25 that -- that this was going on at Tuzla was -- I acknowledge it was
1 happening. I don't acknowledge it was necessarily as many flights as
2 being put here.
3 Q. Thank you, General, sir. I have no more time. I don't want to
4 abuses either the Chamber's time or the OTP's time. I would like to
5 thank you for coming here to testify. I apologise for all of my
6 questions. I had to put them because I defend myself. Thank you for
7 everything. I wish you a safe journey home. God bless you and I wish
8 you to fully enjoy your days of retirement.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is as much as I
10 had to ask the General. We have no further questions, and, in any case,
11 we don't want to abuse anybody else's time. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 Mr. Gajic.
14 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, an omission on the
15 part of the Defence. We would like to tender 1D211.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How many pages does this document contain?
17 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, the document before
18 us -- I apologise - please bear with me for a moment - currently, 33
19 pages have been uploaded into e-court, but we would like to reduce that
20 to some 15 pages that speak about the Croatian connection, and this is
21 what Mr. Tolimir discussed with General Smith and the flights for Tuzla.
22 And we're talking about the 15 pages that we would like to tender into
23 evidence of all of the pages that have been uploaded into e-court.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is looking forward to a proper motion
25 to admit these documents so that we know what you are talking, which
1 pages you really are tendering. Thank you. We postpone the decision on
3 Mr. Thayer, now your re-examination, and I hope it will be
4 possible to finish and let Mr. Tolimir exceed his time a bit as the
5 Prosecution did at the beginning in the examination-in-chief.
6 Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
9 Q. General, good afternoon.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. I'd like to turn, first, to an issue that was raised this
12 afternoon by the Honourable Judge Nyambe with respect to the green order
13 that you heard a little bit about of.
14 MR. THAYER: May we have D193 in e-court, please. And we'll need
15 page 16 in both the English and the B/C/S, please.
16 Q. General, I'd like to draw your attention to the paragraph, and
17 it's the third paragraph on this page that begins with:
18 "July was dominated by the fall of the enclaves."
19 A. Could my screen go up one size, please?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's quite difficult because it's a large
22 THE WITNESS: That's fine. I've got the paragraph.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. And for the record, we're looking at a copy of your OTP witness
25 statement from 1996. You state here that:
1 "The attack on Srebrenica started on the 6th July and was seen at
2 the time as a local affair and as a punishment for attacks by the
3 Bosnians from inside the enclaves."
4 You go on, and you describe:
5 "The attack intensified during the 8th, 9th and 10th. On the
6 8 July, the built-up area of the town was engaged by artillery and UN
7 observation posts were taken by the BSA using tanks. UN troops were
8 taken from two OPs and moved to Bratunac north of the enclave. It was
9 believed at this stage that the objective of the BSA was merely to limit
10 the size of the enclave. During the evening and night of the 8 July, the
11 shelling of the town intensified and many civilians entered Srebrenica
12 from the villages in the southern part of the enclave. On the morning of
13 the 9 July, BSA infantry attacks supported by tanks progressed up to the
14 heights just south of Srebrenica town. Four UN OPs were surrounded and a
15 Dutch Battalion APC was captured. The ABiH resisted with small-arms and
16 mortar fire, but were reported to be easily outgunned."
17 And then you refer to 30 Dutch personnel being captured and were
18 surrounded by BSA troops.
19 You provided this context, sir, in your statement, and I wanted
20 to focus now on the next paragraph:
21 "In the early hours of the morning of the 10 July, the BSA
22 resumed the attack, and by the end of the day had secured the heights
23 around the south of the town. The UN force established a blocking
24 position on the road leading into Srebrenica and issued an ultimatum
25 threatening the use of air attacks if the attack on Srebrenica was not
2 And then go on to describe the use -- the employment of the close
3 air support.
4 Now, you were asked a series of questions by General Tolimir
5 about this so-called green order which was issued down the DutchBat chain
6 of command on the 9th of July. What I'd like to show you now is a copy
7 of that green order.
8 MR. THAYER: And if we could have P00601. The original is in
9 Dutch, but let's look at the English and the B/C/S.
10 Q. We can see that this is dated the 9th of July in the evening
11 hours from Major Franken to Captain Groen. Now the Trial Chamber has
12 heard testimony about a warning that was issued by UNPROFOR to the
13 Bosnian Serb army about its establishment of these blocking positions
14 that you described in your report.
15 Can you tell the Trial Chamber just generally what the purpose of
16 those blocking positions was.
17 A. This is very much a memory. The purpose was to provide a clear,
18 as it were, line in the sand, not only as a defence on that axis, but as
19 a clear point at which the UN, as the UN were becoming engaged in the --
20 in -- in defending the enclave.
21 That's my memory of it at that time. But, remember, I'm -- this
22 is me learning of this at -- by radio calls and then being called off
23 leave and being told about it in more detail.
24 Q. And what had to happen, General, for the UN to become engaged?
25 A. Oh, the attack had to continue and seek to penetrate that
1 blocking position.
2 Q. And if we look at this document, we see that the assignment is
3 listed as preparation an arrangement of defence of the southern edge of
4 Srebrenica. And it lists some routes, and it refers to position B1, and
5 the Trial Chamber has heard that that's a reference to a blocking
6 position, Bravo 1.
7 And then we see in the order:
8 "Prevent with all available means a breakthrough of the BSA ...
9 into the town.
10 "Nota Bene: This is a seriously intended green assignment."
11 Now, General, the Trial Chamber has heard that this term green
12 assignment refers to, in a manner, the taking off of the blue helmet and
13 the placing of the combat green helmet. At this point, General, with
14 these blocking positions set up, as you've explained it, in order, again,
15 for the DutchBat forces to be engaged with the VRS, what has to happen?
16 A. Well, the position has to be -- their blocking position has to be
17 attacked and the -- and the -- the attack has to continue, if you like,
18 in order to have this engagement.
19 Q. And do you recall that, in fact, tanks were observed moving
20 northward, penetrating and firing upon some of these blocking positions?
21 A. I recall that there is armoured, Bosnian Serb armoured vehicles
22 there, because they become part of the targets, if I recall correctly, of
23 the close air support.
24 Q. And, fundamentally, what's the purpose of preventing a
25 breakthrough of the BSA into the town?
1 A. Would continue to keep the town a safe area for the civil
2 population, albeit it's being shelled at the time.
3 Q. And the VRS attacks on the UN positions, did those constitute a
4 violation of any of your mandates?
5 A. First of all, it was an attack on the UN.
6 Secondly, yes. The civil population is being shelled in their
7 houses in Srebrenica, and the enclave is being attacked.
8 Q. General, I want to spend a little bit of time discussing the
9 basis, the authorisation for UNPROFOR's use of its air power available
10 through NATO.
11 General Tolimir asked you a number of times whether the
12 Security Council ever gave you authorisation to use air power against the
13 VRS. He asked you which Security Council resolution did so, and so
14 forth. So I want to address those specific questions.
15 MR. THAYER: And if we could have P2087 quickly, please.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, may I ask you in the meantime, I was
17 told there is another witness waiting. Is it probable that he will
18 commence his examination today?
19 MR. THAYER: It is not, Mr. President. Thank you for reminding
20 us. If we may cut him loose, that would be great.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Should be released for today.
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. General, we saw this protest letter earlier in your testimony.
24 And you refer in it in the second paragraph specifically to: "Security
25 Council Resolution 836."
1 And you say that you shall feel free to recommend the use of NATO
2 air forces to meet your obligations. We saw that --
3 A. Mm-hm.
4 Q. -- that before. Let's take a look at 65 ter 2438 before I put my
5 next series of questions to you, General.
6 MR. THAYER: And that has now been marked as P01208.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, you have switched on two microphones.
8 One is enough, I think.
9 MR. THAYER: May we have page 9 in e-court, and that will be
10 page 10 in the B/C/S, please.
11 For the record, we can see that we're at tab 3. If we can move
12 four pages more in the English. And that will be page 15 in the B/C/S.
13 Q. I think we also saw this document earlier in your testimony.
14 This is a proposed demilitarisation plan that was put to you by
15 Mr. Joseph and Mr. Harland on the 19th of July. And I just want to focus
16 on the references first. You can see that there is reference to
17 Security Council Resolutions 824, 836. And, in particular, I'm going to
18 want to focus on the North Atlantic Council decisions of 22 April, and we
19 can see here that Mr. Joseph describes the continuing bombardment of the
20 civilian population of Zepa and the attacks on the UNPROFOR troops.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, you left out the date of the
22 North Atlantic Council decision of the 22nd April.
23 MR. THAYER: 1994, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That is helpful for a better
1 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm going to be putting up a series
2 of these resolutions, but I see we're at the break. Perhaps now is a
3 good time.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. We must have our second break now for
5 half an hour. And we will resume at quarter past 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 May we have 65 ter 7266, please. And if it's possible to enlarge
11 it just a little bit.
12 Q. Okay. General, can you see that we've got Resolution 836 up on
13 the screen.
14 A. Yes, I can. Yeah.
15 Q. It's dated the 4th of June, 1993. And towards the beginning, we
16 can see that it reaffirms Resolutions 819 and 824. And then it precedes
17 through a number of findings and other language referring to the ethnic
18 cleansing and plight of the civil population in the safe areas.
19 MR. THAYER: If we could go to the next page, please. And that's
20 page 3 of the B/C/S, please.
21 Q. We can see that the Security Council is alarmed by the plight of
22 the civil population in Sarajevo, Bihac, Srebrenica, Gorazde, Tuzla, and
24 Condemning the obstruction by the Bosnian Serb party of
25 humanitarian assistance.
1 In the middle of the page, we can see that the Security Council
2 stresses that there must be complete cessation of hostilities, withdrawal
3 from territories seized by the use of force and ethnic cleansing,
4 reversal of the consequences of ethnic cleansing.
5 Now, what I'd like to do is go to the next page and focus on a
6 particular paragraph. Two particular paragraphs.
7 If we can focus on paragraphs 9 and 10, please.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should be the next page in B/C/S.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. That's absolutely right.
10 Q. And I won't take the time to read it into the record. We can all
11 see it.
12 General, can you tell the Trial Chamber the connection, if any,
13 between paragraphs 9 and 10 of Resolution 836 and the operation of NATO
14 air power through UNPROFOR?
15 A. I mean, the paragraph 9, if you like, creates the condition in
16 which the Dutch Battalion is conducting that -- the action that we've
17 seen already, or discussed already. They are occupying a blocking
18 position where, if they are attacked, they will be acting in
19 self-defence. And they take the necessary measures, including use of
20 force, to deal with the -- that situation. And -- which is spelt out.
21 You have got the bombardment of a safe area, which, if I recall this
22 document, defined earlier on by reference to the places and so forth.
23 Oh, it is said, silly me. It says it in paragraph 5 above.
24 And then an armed incursion into them and also any action that is
25 inhibiting their ability to move.
1 Q. Thank you, General.
2 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution will tender
3 65 ter 7266.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2133, Your Honours.
6 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I have already reduced my
7 re-examination significantly. I would like to be able to finish today
8 and if I could, I would like to tender Resolutions 819 and 824, basically
9 from the bar. They're both referred to in the indictment. We've heard a
10 lot of references to it. I think they essentially speak for themselves.
11 It is referred to again, explicitly in this document. I think it might
12 save some time, and if there is no objection from the Defence, I think we
13 can move through this in time to get General Smith home today.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are there any objections?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Since this is mentioned in the indictment, maybe it would be
17 useful to use only those which are mentioned in the indictment. And
18 maybe it would be useful if we could work with this witness and go
19 through them witness, witness [as interpreted] and then introduce them
20 into evidence. Thank you.
21 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm not sure if that is an objection.
22 Again, these are mentioned in the indictment. We've seen references to
23 them. Frankly, I don't think we need to go through them with this
24 witness. I'm not sure if there is going to be another witness to walk
25 through the resolutions that, again, are a matter of historical record.
1 I think we're quite safe in just admitting them.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I'm not sure, Mr. Tolimir, if I
3 understood your position correctly. I didn't hear any objection to
4 admissions of the two Security Council resolutions that the Prosecution
5 is tendering; is that correct?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no objection to
7 the Security Council resolutions. My objection pertains to all other
8 documents which were not considered here.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: At the moment only dealing with these two
10 Security Council resolutions.
11 They will be received as exhibits.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2134 and Exhibit P2135, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. But for the record, Mr. Thayer, you
14 should state the 65 ter --
15 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I was about to do that.
16 Resolution 819 is 65 ter 7267; and Resolution 824 is 65 ter 1980.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
18 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 May we have 65 ter 7268 on the screen, please.
20 Q. General, when we looked at Ed Joseph's proposed demilitarisation
21 agreement before the break, there were several resolutions and a
22 reference to a 22 April 1994 NATO decision. I'd like you to just take a
23 look at this. We can see from the top a reference to condemning the
24 recent Bosnian Serb attacks against Gorazde. It reaffirms the readiness
25 of the Alliance to protect the safe areas. And again here's the
1 reference to Resolutions 824 and 836.
2 MR. THAYER: And if we turn the page, in paragraph 9 we can see
3 that NATO agrees to several things.
4 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber when you've had a chance to take a
5 look think, General, how this fits in with the authority you testified
6 you had to enforce your mandate through the use of NATO air power.
7 A. Yes. This is the -- if you like, the essential linking decision
8 of NATO that is as much an authorisation to their subordinate commanders
9 to act in support of UNPROFOR and allows UNPROFOR to call on the -- on
10 NATO should they find themselves in certain situations as listed in this
12 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 7268.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is there a translation available?
14 MR. THAYER: No, there is not, Mr. President. So we will ask
15 that it be MFI'd.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. It will be marked for identification,
17 pending translation.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2136, marked for identification,
19 Your Honours.
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. General, General Tolimir asked you last week why you had bombed
22 the Zlovrh facility, and I -- I think we understand that when I say
23 "you," I'm referring to you in your role as commander, why you bombed the
24 Zlovrh facility in Zepa at the end of August. And you couldn't remember
25 why it had been selected as a target.
1 Do you recall that series of questions?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Okay. Let me show you a couple of documents. The first is 7264;
4 65 ter 7264.
5 General, do you recall being shown a combat report dated the
6 30th of August from the Rogatica Brigade, describing the attack on the
7 Zlovrh feature? Do you remember General Tolimir showing that you?
8 A. Yes, I remember that.
9 Q. Okay. What we have here is a very urgent report. It's the same
10 date, 30th of August, and the subject is NATO air-strikes in various
11 corps area of responsibility. We have a partial translation, the full
12 version, obviously, is in B/C/S. And I want to focus your attention on
13 this portion that we have translated. And we will see in a second that
14 this is authored by General Mladic. He writes:
15 "During these two massive attacks, the enemy fired at the general
16 area of the Main Staff of the VRS without consequences."
17 And you will see here at radar position of an air surveillance
18 warning and guidance centre, a radio relay centre in Jahorina. The
19 Stolic and Kmur repeater --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir --
21 MR. THAYER:
22 Q. -- and the former radio rely centre in Zlovrh, among others.
23 And if we could go to the next page in English, please.
24 General Mladic writes:
25 "The goal of enemy activities was obviously to damage and destroy
1 the command posts, communication centres in order to paralyse the command
2 and control in the VRS on strategic and operational level, which might be
3 an introduction into more extensive activities and engagement of the
4 rapid reaction forces."
5 General, does that help refresh your recollection about what the
6 targets were of that attack, and, in particular of the Zlovrh repeater
7 that we saw.
8 A. It certainly refreshes the -- the general thrust of the targeting
9 was to do what the -- is to attack the command and control facilities,
10 particularly those to do with the air defences.
11 Q. And this facility that is listed here that General Tolimir asked
12 you about, the radio relay centre at Zlovrh, can you just describe what
13 the importance is of a radio relay centre?
14 A. If it's the -- the nature of the communication systems, often you
15 need to put repeater or relay stations into the system in order to link
16 them all up, and I would think that that was one of those facilities.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 7264.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You said only a part of the document was
19 translated; is that correct?
20 MR. THAYER: That's correct, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we see the second page of the B/C/S
23 Can you provide us with any reason why only a part of that was
25 MR. THAYER: Time, Mr. President. We -- we were only able to, in
1 the time we had, focus on the -- the pertinent part and we will get the
2 rest of it translated.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In that case, we should mark it for
4 identification, pending a full translation.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2137, marked for identification,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. May we have 65 ter 7263.
9 Q. Now we don't have a translation into B/C/S of this document and
10 I'll just read in some of the relevant portions.
11 It's dated, again, the 30th of August, and it is from
12 General Janvier to Mr. Annan, and you are copied in for your information
13 regarding the NATO air-strikes and Rapid Reaction Force action.
14 Paragraph 1 states that:
15 "NATO air-strikes began at 010 [sic] hours and continued until
16 0445 hours this morning. The strikes were predominantly targeted against
17 the Bosnian Serb integrated air defence system; that is, radar, missile
18 and communications sites."
19 Again, sir, does this help refresh your recollection about what
20 the nature of the target at that Zlovrh radio relay centre was that was
21 struck on the 30th of August?
22 A. Yes, in the general pattern. Again, I can't remember the
23 specific target list, but it would have fitted into that description of
24 the integrated air defence system.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would ask that 7263
1 be admitted pending translation, MFI'd pending translation.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be marked for identification, pending
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2138, marked for identification,
5 Your Honours.
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. Now, I'm going to cut this portion a little short. But you were
8 shown the agreement --
9 MR. THAYER: And if we could have D0051. D51, please. This
10 agreement on the disarmament of the able-bodied population in the Zepa
11 enclave of the 24th of July. You were shown that a number of times. In
12 particular, paragraph 7. Let's just bring that up for a second.
13 Paragraph 7 reads:
14 "In accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and
15 the Additional Protocols of 1977, the civil population of Zepa shall be
16 given the freedom to choose their place of residence while hostilities
18 Q. Now, you testified that both sides in the conflict were in the
19 habit, you said, of sprinkling their argumentation and documents with
20 references to the Geneva Conventions. And I want to discuss with you in
21 this context those conventions.
22 The Honourable Judge Mindua pointed out that the Article 17 would
23 apply to the movement of some of the people and that it is encouraged.
24 So let's take a look at that, if we could. That's 07269.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it you're referring to 65 ter list?
1 MR. THAYER: It's a 65 ter number, Mr. President. Unfortunately,
2 it wasn't on our list. Again, this is something that has come up on the
3 fly, as it were. It is on the list of re-direct documents that we sent
4 to the Defence.
5 If we could blow that up, please. Great, thank you.
6 Q. Here we have Article 17, and it's of the 4th Geneva Conventions,
7 12 August, 1949. I think we're all agreed that this is what would apply,
8 theatrically, to what was going on. And let's look at the actual
9 language of the Article. We can see that it states:
10 "The parties to the conflict shall endeavour to conclude local
11 agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of wounded,
12 sick, infirm, and aged persons, children, and maternity cases, and for
13 the passage of ministers of all religions, medical personnel and medical
14 equipment on their way to such areas."
15 So, General, the Article that we're talking about that would --
16 would apply to the situation, can we see here that it's limited in any
17 way to a particular class or -- or group of people, generally speaking?
18 A. Yes, it is. I mean, they're described as the old, the sick,
19 children, and maternity cases.
20 Q. Okay. So any encouragement of such agreements, can we agree
21 perhaps on the word "vulnerable," would that cover this general group of
22 people, perhaps?
23 A. If you would like to call them that, yes, we could label them
25 Q. Paragraph 7, as we just saw, and if we could go back to D51, we
1 can see that this reference in this agreement to the Geneva Conventions
2 as parked, as it were, right in the middle of the agreement, without any
3 reference to the particular class that we just spoke about?
4 A. Mm-hm.
5 Q. Is that correct?
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. How does this citation, having seen the actual relevant Article,
8 fit with your prior understanding or experience that both sides were in
9 the habit of sprinkling, as you said, their argumentation and documents
10 with references to the Geneva Conventions?
11 A. Well, it -- it rather confirms that point of view. It also, you
12 note, it doesn't cover those vulnerable people in any -- with any
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender
15 65 ter 7269. Actually, we would offer it as marked for identification,
16 pending translation.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Although I'm not persuaded that it is necessary
18 to tender international agreements as a basic of -- yeah, kind of law, it
19 will be received but only marked for identification, pending translation.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2139, marked for identification,
21 Your Honours.
22 MR. THAYER: Judicially noticed, Mr. President.
23 Q. Now, General, General Tolimir asked you a number of questions
24 pertaining to your testimony about the negotiations that you were privy
25 to between Mr. Bildt and President Milosevic towards the very end of
1 July 1995.
2 Do you remember your testimony and then the cross-examination on
3 that topic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And General Tolimir put it to you in various forms and fashions
6 that everybody made it safely across the Drina and it all ended up in a
7 positive way and that these people were free to go to Serbia. Are you
8 aware, General, as to whether or not the Bosnian Serb -- let's start with
9 the military leadership, was aware of these negotiations?
10 A. To the best of my knowledge, they were not aware.
11 Q. And was that something that was done deliberately?
12 A. I don't know. Certainly I wasn't discussing it with them. This
13 wasn't my negotiation. And as I think I told the Court, I was aware of
14 it but not party to the negotiations at the time.
15 Q. And, General, are you aware what actions the VRS took regarding
16 those men and boys as they were trying to cross the Drina during those
17 couple of days and nights at the end of July?
18 A. No, I'm not aware.
19 Q. Did you ever hear reports that they were shelled by the VRS, as
20 they tried to cross into Serbia? Does that ring any bells? Did you ever
21 hear that, sir?
22 A. No, I don't think I did hear that. No.
23 Q. Moving onto another topic, General.
24 Do you recall General Tolimir suggesting to you that the VRS kept
25 in mind the safety of UN soldiers, and he showed you an order from
1 General Mladic regarding the robbery and theft of property at
2 check-points, at VRS check-points; do you remember that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And you testified that you complained to Mladic and that the
5 robberies decreased, and that this, as you said, showed Mladic's grip and
6 command of his forces; do you remember that?
7 A. Yes, I do, yes.
8 Q. Well, I want to just ask you a couple of questions about another
9 occasion, and you talked about this a little bit already, when the VRS
10 had an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the safety of
11 UNPROFOR, and I'm talking about the taking of the UN hostages following
12 the air-strikes in May of 1995. You've spoken about the grip of
13 General Mladic and the discipline in his army. Did you form any
14 conclusions about whether the hostage-taking in May, the 400 or so
15 hostages that you testified about by the VRS, was spontaneous, committed
16 by rogue elements or some other conclusion?
17 A. My conclusion was that this -- this was centrally conducted and
18 was initiated at Pale from the centre.
19 Q. And when you say "at Pale from the centre," what are you
20 referring to, General?
21 A. Well, the political headquarters was there. That's where, if I
22 recall correctly, certainly that was where the first hostages were
23 seized, and I was rung up and threatened with their murder, if the
24 bombing didn't stop. And from memory, it was there that I -- I spoke on
25 the telephone with Mladic.
1 Q. And to what extent, based on your experience an observations at
2 the time, did you make any conclusions concerning the involvement of the
3 VRS in the taking of these hundreds of hostages?
4 A. Oh, in the reporting of them being taken, that they were being
5 seized by VRS people, and also it was noteworthy that the Russian units
6 were not being afflicted in the same way, which was another indication
7 that this thing was -- this -- this hostage-taking was being controlled.
8 Q. Let's take a look at another document, General. It's
9 65 ter 7265.
10 What we have here, General, is a communication from the VRS
11 Main Staff intelligence and security sector. The date is 27 May, 1995.
12 Subject; NATO air-strikes. It is type-signed by Lieutenant-Colonel
13 Jovica Karanovic indicating on the authorisation of the chief. And this
14 is the same Jovica Karanovic who authored a document that General Tolimir
15 showed you in which Mr. Karanovic, a member of the intelligence and
16 security sector in the VRS, was advising General Tolimir of developments
17 at the airport.
18 Do you remember that document?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. And we can see here that Lieutenant-Colonel Karanovic reports
23 that they have information that the NATO session was finished, how the
24 operation was allegedly going to be led, and then if we look at the final
25 paragraph, General, we see it states:
1 "Familiarise commanders with this information and recommend that
2 captured members of UN forces be placed in an area of a possible NATO
4 Can you please comment, General, on how this document corresponds
5 or not with your prior conclusion that this was being centrally run.
6 A. Well, this fits that, you see, the intelligence and security
7 sector of the Main Staff issuing from the -- from the -- the headquarters
8 this information with the recommendation as to that's what they do, that
9 they seize captured members of UN forces and put them into the area of
10 possible NATO air-strikes.
11 Q. And what did you actually see happening, General, in the day or
12 two after the initial round of air-strikes?
13 A. Much the same. I mean, the initial hostages were put on -- one
14 on -- in the close vicinity to the target we had already attacked, and
15 from memory, on at least one other target around Pale. And then the
16 others were moved, although much of our knowledge about where they were
17 moved came when they were debriefed on their return, but they were all
18 placed in -- in possible target locations.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender
20 65 ter 7265.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2140, Your Honours.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Now, while on this same series of events during this period of
25 time in May, you testified that following that first round of strikes on
1 the 25th, all of the safe areas were shelled. And you mentioned in
2 particular Tuzla being shelled, where scores of people were killed. And
3 General Tolimir put a number of questions to you, suggested that that
4 shelling was not done by the VRS.
5 Do you remember that question and answer?
6 A. Yes, I do, yes.
7 Q. Now, based on the reports you were receiving at the time of this
8 shelling across all of the safe areas, again, did you come to any
9 conclusions as to whether this shelling, following the first round of
10 air-strikes, was spontaneous, done by rogue elements or some other
12 A. No. I concluded that this was, again, centrally directed and
13 it -- not least part of that was that the targets were all safe areas.
14 And, secondly, the shelling all occurred in a relatively close tight
15 period of time.
16 Q. And can you give the Trial Chamber some idea of when you say
17 close period of time are you talking about?
18 A. My memory is that all the attacks occurred within about half an
19 hour of each other.
20 Q. And at what level, General, would you -- based on your
21 observations at the time and your experience with artillery, and if you
22 need to explain a little bit, please feel free, what level in the VRS
23 would this have to have been co-ordinated from or by?
24 A. As a general rule, and like all general rules and theories, this
25 can be broken. But as a general rule, you command the artillery at a
1 level that equates to its maximum range. So if you've got a piece that
2 fires, for sake of example, 20 kilometres, then the -- all the size of
3 the formation that is within a radius of 20 kilometres would be the
4 headquarters that would command the artillery.
5 By and large, that equated to corps levels, in my observation, of
6 the Bosnian Serb army. The -- but it -- it all depended upon how much
7 the area is in -- covered by the force, rather than just the size of the
8 force, corps, division or whatever size it is.
9 I want to draw a distinction though between the command of the
10 artillery and the application of its fire. The -- you might command the
11 artillery at corps level, but you might tell a much more subordinate
12 commander that he can use that fire to support his attack, and then
13 you -- when he has finished that attack, you can allocate that fire to
14 another position, another target.
15 In this particular case, the -- the -- these weren't supporting
16 any specific attack. This was what one would call in my service an
17 artillery raid. You -- you were using your guns as though they were
18 airplanes, for example, in a bombing raid. And in this case, I would
19 expect it to have been initiated by the artillery commanders in -- I beg
20 your pardon, the orders for firing to be coming from the artillery
21 commanders at the corps or possibly divisional level. But to get the
22 co-ordination of time that they're all arriving within that, plus/minus,
23 half an hour, someone above them, the Main Staff, I think, would have
24 been the -- would have told them to -- You are to attack these targets at
25 this time or between these times, or some other centralised instruction
1 that initiated the attack itself.
2 Q. Just a couple of more questions, General.
3 General Tolimir asked you a number of questions about
4 Colonel Palic. And he showed you a document, and I won't show you the
5 document now. But in the process of asking you these questions, he
6 claimed that Colonel Palic was not finally killed, to use
7 General Tolimir's words. And this is a transcript page 11762.
8 Do you remember him saying that in one of his questions, that
9 Colonel Palic was not finally killed and he was going to show you some
11 A. I do remember him saying that, yes.
12 Q. And you testified about seizure of Colonel Palic, as witnessed by
13 Ed Joseph. General, do you know what happened to -- and I'm going to
14 start with the hodza, the cleric, Mr. Hajric, one of the signatories to
15 that 27 July decision that General Tolimir spent so much time showing
16 you. Do you know what happened to him, sir?
17 A. I don't, no.
18 Q. How about Mr. Imamovic, one of the other of those three
19 signatories, the civil protection chief?
20 A. I don't remember. If I knew, I have forgotten, and I don't know
22 Q. General, would it surprise you to know that their remains, along
23 with the remains of Colonel Palic, were all found in a single mass grave
24 just a couple of kilometres from Rogatica?
25 A. It wouldn't surprise me.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this was not subject
3 of cross-examination. The witness is being asked to speculate.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, Mr. Thayer. We are not persuaded that
6 putting this question to the witness is helping to clarify the fate of
7 these individuals.
8 MR. THAYER: Well, Mr. President, if I may just ask, because
9 General Smith was about to, I think, provide some more information. I
10 would like to ask why it wouldn't surprise him to learn that those three
11 men were found in the same grave. I think that would be helpful to the
12 Trial Chamber.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I put a question to the witness.
14 Do you know anything about the fate of these individuals, sir?
15 THE WITNESS: No.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, we are beyond the time of today. We
17 wanted to finish by the end of today's hearing with this witness, to
18 enable him to leave, as he indicated earlier. But Judge Nyambe has again
19 a question for the witness -- at least one or two questions for the
21 MR. THAYER: That was my last question, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Thayer.
23 Judge Nyambe.
24 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just one short question.
25 At page 44 of today's transcript, in answer to a question about
1 Pale, you have stated that:
2 "I was rung up and threatened with the murder if the bombing
3 didn't stop. And from memory, it was there that I spoke on the telephone
4 with Mladic."
5 Who rang you up? Do you remember?
6 THE WITNESS: The initial telephone call was by -- it was a
7 Canadian voice, in that, that was the accent and so forth. Either
8 immediately after that, in other words, the telephone was handed to
9 Mladic, or subsequently that day, I think I had a conversation with
10 Mladic, and he was at Pale.
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. The last question. Just a few lines
12 down from that portion I have quoted, you are reported as saying:
13 "Oh, in the reporting of them being taken, that they were being
14 seized by VRS people and also it was noteworthy that the Russian units
15 were not being afflicted in the same way."
16 THE WITNESS: It was noteworthy. Yes, there were two Russian
17 battalions in my command, and there was something of a special
18 relationship between those battalions and the Bosnian Serbs, and it was
19 observable that in the general taking of hostages none of the Russians
20 were being taken. And I considered that to be indicative also of someone
21 being in central control.
22 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. Thank you very much for your answers.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you will be pleased that this finally
24 concludes your examination and your testimony here in the courtroom. The
25 Chamber would like to thank you for your attendance again in The Hague
1 that you could help us with your testimony, and now you are finally free
2 to return to your normal activities.
3 I think it is still in time for you to get your flight wherever
4 you are going.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
7 We have to adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow in
8 the afternoon in this same courtroom, at 2.15.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of March,
12 2011, at 2.15 p.m.