1 Thursday, 8 September 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.40 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom and to
6 those listening and visiting the proceedings here in the courtroom.
7 As you can see, there are only two Judges present. Judge Nyambe
8 is not with us at the moment. For reasons I can't tell you at the
9 moment, but especially because of the videolink which was established,
10 the remaining Judges decided to sit pursuant to Rule 15 bis of our
11 Rules of Procedure and evidence.
12 I know we want to discuss some procedural matters today, but we
13 should do that at the end of today's hearing because of the videolink
14 which was set up. There were some technical problems, I was told, and
15 therefore we have a certain delay of our proceeding today.
16 I would kindly ask the Registrar to set up the videolink.
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. We are -- we have now a
19 connection to another country. We see on our screen here in the
20 courtroom the face of the protected witness who has to testify today,
21 together with a Court Officer sitting next to him.
22 First I would like to know, do you understand me and do you
23 receive a proper interpretation, sir?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Please rise and read aloud
1 the affirmation which is shown to you now by the Court Officer.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I solemnly declare
3 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: PW-014
5 [Witness testified via videolink]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
8 yourself comfortable.
9 You are informed about the proceedings. You have protection.
10 Your name -- your real name should not be mentioned in these proceedings,
11 and nobody will see your face.
12 First, the Prosecutor, Ms. Hasan, will put questions to you. And
13 after that, the accused, Mr. Tolimir.
14 Ms. Hasan, you have the floor.
15 MS. HASAN: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
16 Your Honour. Good morning to everyone in and around the courtroom.
17 Examination by Ms. Hasan:
18 Q. Good morning to you, Witness.
19 MS. HASAN: To begin, could we have the pseudonym sheet
20 65 ter 7520 shown to the witness without being broadcast.
21 Q. Witness, you will now be shown a piece of paper, and without
22 reading it out loud, could you please confirm that the name that appears
23 underneath PW-014 is your name.
24 A. Yes, it is my name.
25 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I would offer 65 ter 7520 into
1 evidence, under seal.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 7520 shall be
4 assigned Exhibit P2616 under seal. Thank you.
5 MS. HASAN:
6 Q. Witness, I just want to remind you that there will be some
7 questions I will ask you that may reveal your identity. I will only do
8 so in what we call private session. This means that nobody outside of
9 this courtroom will hear what you say.
10 And just a reminder, to me and you, to just speak slowly so the
11 interpreters can interpret what we say.
12 Mr. Witness, have you recently had the opportunity to listen to
13 your testimony that you gave in the Popovic et al. case on the
14 2nd and 3rd of November, 2006?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was the evidence that you gave in that trial true and accurate to
17 the best of your knowledge?
18 A. Yes, it was completely truthful and accurate.
19 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I would then offer the admission of
20 his Popovic testimony into evidence. The under seal version has already
21 been MFI'd with number P2237, and the public version of that transcript
22 has 65 ter number 6510.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Both versions will be received, the first one
24 under seal.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 6501 [sic] shall be
1 assigned Exhibit P2237, under seal.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask you to check the 65 ter number in the
3 list. I have 65 ter 6509.
4 THE REGISTRAR: For clarification, 65061 -- 6510 had been already
5 assigned P2237. 1 -- 6509.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think you should -- we have many problems on
7 the transcript now. Please check again. I think 65 ter 6509 is that one
8 which was marked for identification, and it will be now received under
10 The other one is we are 6510 and should be given a P number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 6510 shall be assigned
12 Exhibit P2617. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 Ms. Hasan, please carry on.
15 MS. HASAN: I then move to offer in -- the exhibits that were
16 admitted through the witness's testimony in Popovic. There are a number
17 on the list that already have -- were already admitted as exhibits in
18 this case, so I offer the remaining documents; namely, 65 ter 1373 and
19 1374; 65 ter 1020; and 1021; 65 ter 6511 through to 6515; and 65 ter 3343
20 and 3344.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received and given P numbers by an
22 internal memorandum to save some time.
23 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Mr. President. And I will --
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, internal memorandum shall be
25 distributed as soon as the numbers have been assigned. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
2 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
3 And with your permission, I will now read a summary of the
4 witness's testimony from the Popovic case.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please do so.
6 MS. HASAN:
7 Q. Witness PW-014 resided in the Srebrenica municipality in
8 July 1995. He was 16 years old at the time. Around 9 July, the witness,
9 along with his father, mother, and siblings, moved to the centre of
10 Srebrenica town to escape the shelling of his home village. On
11 11 July 1995, the witness, along with his father and brother, decided to
12 follow the crowd in the direction of Tuzla. His mother and sister left
13 in the direction of Potocari.
14 The witness was situated towards the rear of the column and
15 recalled the shelling and ambushes that took place over the course of
16 11 and 12 July. He was separated from his father and brother in Buljim.
17 While searching for them, he came across some 50 armed Muslim men and
18 eventually found his father who had been injured during an ambush. He
19 saw other men who had been shot dead.
20 On 13 July, the witness arrived near an asphalt road. From
21 there, he heard calls for them to surrender and saw what appeared to be
22 an UNPROFOR personnel carrier and blue helmets. The soldiers promised
23 safe passage. After receiving two ultimatums, the witness, along with
24 his brother and father, surrendered.
25 The witness was taken to a meadow. There, soldiers asked --
1 sorry, before reaching the meadow, soldiers asked everyone to hand over
2 money and valuables and to drop their belongings in piles before reaching
3 Sandici meadow where the witness was detained with approximately 1.000
4 other men. He watched as the Bosnian Serb soldiers took men to a
5 cornfield. Those men did not return.
6 That afternoon, on 13 July, the witness was told to fetch water
7 and distribute it to the other prisoners. He heard cries from a house as
8 he passed by it. A bus carrying women and children arrived at Sandici
9 meadow and stopped near to where the witness was collecting water. The
10 driver of the bus told the witness to get some water for him and put it
11 next to the wheel. While the driver was speaking to some soldiers, the
12 witness got on the bus and hid under some luggage.
13 Early in the morning, the witness reunited with his brother in
14 Dubrava after being transferred there from Kladanj.
15 During his testimony, the witness recalled the identities of
16 various people whom he saw in the column and at Sandici meadow, including
17 his father, whom he saw for the very last time at Sandici meadow.
18 MS. HASAN: If I may now have P991 played, and this is the
19 Srebrenica trial video.
20 Q. Witness, you were shown some clips from this video, and you have
21 previously identified various locations and individuals depicted in that
22 video. I am going to show you a clip that you have seen before.
23 MS. HASAN: And for that, Mr. President, we will have to go into
24 private session.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
1 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 MS. HASAN:
3 Q. Witness, do you see --
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session. Thank
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
7 MS. HASAN:
8 Q. Witness, do you see the image in front of you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I'd like to ask you about the person who is to the very left
11 of that image. Do you recall --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan, we don't see a picture in front of us.
13 Perhaps we have to go to another channel. I have no idea how to get it.
14 Thank you. We have it now in e-court.
15 MS. HASAN:
16 Q. Witness, this is an image taken from the video we just saw, and
17 I'd like to ask you about the person to the very left on that image. Do
18 you recognise that person?
19 A. Yes, I know that man personally. I know his name and I knew him
20 back in Srebrenica.
21 Q. Can you tell us his name.
22 A. His name is Almir.
23 Q. To your knowledge, did Almir survive?
24 A. When we came to the house, just after this portion shown in the
25 picture, Almir was told to take off his shirt. And they said to him,
1 Where did you get that shirt, you mother fucker? That's what the
2 soldiers said. And they left Almir at that house. He never came to the
3 meadow. And I know that Almir was buried this year in Potocari.
4 MS. HASAN: May we have 65 ter 3343 shown to the witness.
5 Q. Witness, this is an image that you were shown during the Popovic
6 trial. Do you recognise the location?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. And do you recall making the red markings that are on this image?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Would you then please orient us using what you have already
11 marked on this image and show us or tell us where it was that you
12 collected water from.
13 A. Where this house is, looking to the left at the screen, the spot
14 where it says "tank," it's a hundred metres to the left, the place where
15 we drew water.
16 Q. When you went to collect water, were you the only person to do
18 A. No. There were others, I believe four boys of my age who also
19 went collect water.
20 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, if we could revert back to private
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private again.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 17738-17740 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan, at this point in time I would like to
6 ask you: You have used two documents, 65 ter 6512, and 65 ter 3343, are
7 you tendering them?
8 MS. HASAN: Yes, Mr. President, they are amongst those that were
9 shown -- admitted through the witness during Popovic, so they are part of
10 the 65 ter numbers I read out earlier.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This clarifies the
12 situation. Please carry on.
13 MS. HASAN:
14 Q. Let's turn our attention then to, Witness, when you were still in
15 the hills, before you started to hear calls for your surrender. And I'd
16 like to ask you about those calls. Do you recall what you were being
17 told, whether it was over the megaphone or otherwise?
18 A. I remember that they used megaphones.
19 Q. And can you tell us what it is that they were telling you.
20 A. Well, you know, there were two ultimatums before we came down to
21 surrender. The first time, they said, Surrender, nobody will do anything
22 to you. Resid is here, the former chief from Bratunac.
23 And all that time they were telling us that the blue helmet
24 soldiers from UNPROFOR were there. "Nothing will happen to you." We
25 could see the asphalt road from where we were, and we could see an
1 UN transporter driving by. I knew it very well from Srebrenica. And,
2 yes, we could see blue helmets. Our impression was that what they were
3 saying about UNPROFOR was true. That's why we were sure that UNPROFOR
4 soldiers were there and that there was a chance that we would stay alive,
5 that they would not kill us.
6 [Prosecution Counsel Confer]
7 MS. HASAN:
8 Q. Witness, thank you very much for testifying once again and for
9 answering my questions.
10 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, that concludes my direct examination.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
12 Before Mr. Tolimir commences his cross-examination, Judge Mindua
13 has a question. And after that, we should have an earlier break today.
14 Judge Mindua.
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness. You said that from
16 the place where you were you could observe a UN vehicle and that you
17 could also see several blue helmets down there. However, when you came
18 down, was it really -- when you surrendered, was that really a UN
19 vehicle? Were they -- were those really UN soldiers, blue helmets?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we did see the UN vehicle and
21 the blue helmets on the asphalt road that we could see from the hilltop
22 where we were. As we started walking down to the meadow, we were in a
23 state of shock because our first contact with the Serb soldiers revealed
24 that they were the ones wearing the blue helmets and that they wore UN
25 flak jackets. They were not UNPROFORs. They only used their gear. And
1 the transporter, the Serbs were on the transporter. They were the ones
2 who were using it. I saw some 10 or 15 soldiers who sported the same
3 gear that UNPROFOR wore in Srebrenica. We were in a state of total shock
4 when we came down and when we realised that they were not UNPROFOR
5 soldiers. And then we saw that we -- that was just the bait for us, to
6 lure us down from the forest.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should have our first break now.
9 And before we break, I would kindly ask Mr. Tolimir to give us an
10 estimation of the length of his cross-examination. Are you able to give
11 us your estimate?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
13 God's peace reign in this courtroom and may His will be done in these
14 proceedings and not necessarily mine. I believe that I will need more
15 than one hour, thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
17 We must have our first break now, and we will resume 10 minutes
18 before 12.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 11.20 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.53 a.m.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: As you can see, the Bench is complete now. We
22 are sitting with three Judges again.
23 Sir, you know now it's the turn of Mr. Tolimir to conduct his
24 cross-examination, and he will put questions to you.
25 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
2 like to greet everybody in the courtroom, including Judge Nyambe, who has
3 just joined us.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
5 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to greet the witness - I don't want
6 to mention his name - and all those who are in the same place where the
7 witness is. May today's day complete in keeping with God's will, as well
8 as the whole trial.
9 I would like to invite the witness to answer my questions based
10 on what he remembers and knows about the events.
11 Sir, I'm not going to mention your name, but let me tell you that
12 we will talk about your statement. Under tab 1, 06516 is the number of
13 the exhibit. We see the statement and now we will look at the third
14 paragraph in the statement, and I will read from it.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is under seal and should not be broadcast.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are waiting for 65 ter 6516, under seal.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's correct. Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. We can see this document. Sir, could you please tell us whether
21 you remember how was decision reached on leaving Srebrenica and
22 separating men from women, the elderly from the able-bodied men, how was
23 a decision reached to start walking over the mountain towards Tuzla?
24 Thank you.
25 A. The decision for us to start walking across the woods and for my
1 mother and my sister to go towards Potocari was made exclusively by us.
2 That was a decision made by ourselves. I knew that if I were to go to
3 Potocari that would mean a certain death, and we hoped that if we went
4 across the forest that there was a good chance for us to stay alive.
5 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us if you made that decision
6 for your family? Who was it who made the decision for all the families
7 in Srebrenica, for women and children to go to Potocari and for the men
8 to go through the wood? Can you tell us that?
9 A. No, I can't.
10 Q. Thank you. Are you saying no because you don't want to tell us?
11 Can you explain how come that all the families were unanimous in their
12 decision? Was it just a chance happening, or was there a previous
13 decision made at a higher level?
14 A. I can give you my opinion, only. I believe that after everything
15 that happened in the course of 1992 and 1993 and the shelling that
16 happened on the 6th of July, we knew what the Serbian Army wanted to do.
17 They wanted to kill us all. And in my view no smart person would have
18 ever dreamt of heading towards Potocari. My opinion is that everybody
19 decided for themselves to go through the forest.
20 Q. Yes, that is your opinion that you share with us now. However,
21 at the time, what was the decisive factor for all the families to make
22 that decision? Your father was also a soldier. You said it yourself.
23 Did somebody tell him to impart that decision on his family?
24 A. You know, my father was a soldier just on paper. His name was on
25 records, but he was not an active soldier. He did not have weapons. As
1 I've already told you, he just registered as a member of the BiH Army.
2 And as for the decision, I can't tell you whether some higher force, as
3 it were, or higher command decided that, but everybody was afraid and
4 everybody made their personal decisions or they just followed the
6 Q. In that case, could we please look at the third paragraph in your
7 statement, where you say, and I quote:
8 "I was in a group of people that first gathered in the village of
9 Kazani, in the vicinity of Suceska. When we reached Buljim, some
10 officers from the Bosnian army tried to organise the column of several
11 thousands of people with different army units leading them."
12 My question to you is this: In view of the fact that your
13 departure with the military column was organised by army officers, is it
14 possible that army officers conveyed that message to all the families,
15 through soldiers, for family members to go to Potocari and for men and
16 soldiers to go to Susnjari? Is that a likelihood? Is this how things
17 may have transpired?
18 A. I believe that we were focussed on Srebrenica and what was
19 happening in Srebrenica in that moment. Susnjari, Buljim, are further
20 away from Srebrenica. When I said this, I meant that there was a
21 subsequent attempt to organise the column, because when we started
22 walking, there was no order among the people. I believe that they tried
23 to organise us in order to provide for a more efficient passage. In
24 Srebrenica itself, my opinion is, and I adhere by that opinion, that
25 nobody tried to organise people where they would go and how they would
1 go. I believe that all those decisions were made individually.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in the place where you were lined up
3 there were members of civilian authorities and military authorities from
5 A. Yes, I heard that.
6 Q. Thank you. Is it possible that they may have reached an
7 agreement to organise a column that would try to break through across
8 Baljkovica to the territory under the control of the BiH Army? Thank
10 A. I don't know. I don't know anything about that.
11 Q. Thank you. Please, did officers separate you and tell you what
12 unit to join, or was it up to you to join any unit you wanted?
13 A. I really don't know what units those were. I only know that I
14 was moving with a large group of people. I was tired. I fell asleep in
15 the evening on the 11th, and when I woke up on the 12th I was at Buljim.
16 I don't know what had happened in the meantime, whether people were
17 organised into what units. Speaking from my own perspective, neither me
18 nor my people were ever told what to do, where to go. We just followed
19 the crowd.
20 Q. Thank you. However, on the 8th of March, 1999, when you provided
21 this statement, you stated in the third paragraph, in the last sentence
22 or the last two sentences, this is line 7:
23 "A Bosnian army unit, the Mountain Battalion, led by Ejub Golic,
24 had the task to protect this part of the column of civilians. There were
25 about fifty armed soldiers among them [as interpreted]."
1 You were there, and that's why you stated what you stated. Do
2 you remember that?
3 A. Yes. I said what I saw at that moment at the place where I was,
4 and I heard that those people who carried those weapons, about fifty of
5 them, that it was their task to protect the rear end of the column.
6 Q. Thank you. Did you observe that they behaved in a military way,
7 and did they protect the flanks of the column? Did you see soldiers on
8 the flanks of the column and at its back?
9 A. No, I didn't see them.
10 Q. Okay. Let's move on to the 5th paragraph in your statement,
11 where you say:
12 "We went down the hill into a creek, 200 to 300 metres down.
13 Here I saw four or five dead bodies dressed in civilian clothes lying on
14 one side of the track. My impression was that they had been hit by
15 bullets to the head and chest area. I had heard firing going on in the
17 My question to you is this: Who could have killed those people?
18 Who could have inflicted such injuries on them, only in the head and in
19 the chest? Was that done from close range? Thank you.
20 A. I suppose that it was from close range. But that was the initial
21 shock. That was the horror of the entire situation. Those were the
22 first images of dead people. I was in a state of shock. The first time
23 I smelled blood. And my conclusion was that they were killed from a very
24 close distance.
25 Q. Thank you. And now let's look at tab 7, and under that tab we
1 will see D270.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, just a question. You have used the
3 OTP statement of the witness. Are you tendering it?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
5 like to tender the witness's statement into evidence. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 6516 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit D319 under seal. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And now let us look at D270. That was provided by a person whose
13 name I am not going to mention because the document is under seal. If we
14 look at the fifth line of the statement, we -- you will see that it
16 "When we left Srebrenica on 11 July 1995, a shell killed five men
17 in a ditch, but I did not know any of them."
18 My question to you is this: You followed the same trail, would
19 you say that those men or those bodies that you saw, is it possible that
20 they were killed by a shell, that they were not killed from a rifle and
21 sustained injuries in the head and in the chest?
22 A. I don't know. I don't want to speculate.
23 Q. Thank you. In that case, tell us, did you see the wounds on the
24 bodies by which you were passing, or did you hear the description from
25 somebody else?
1 A. I saw them myself.
2 Q. In that case, please tell us: Did you follow the same trail that
3 people had walked on previously? They did not belong to your group; they
4 belonged to some other groups. And those dead bodies, did they belong to
5 your group or to some other groups of people who had passed the same way
6 before you?
7 A. I don't know. I did not know any of them.
8 Q. Thank you. And did you see next to the bodies any eye-witnesses,
9 somebody who had seen how they were killed, somebody who told you that
10 they were killed with bullets hitting them in the head and in the chest?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you. Would you say that somebody should have approached
13 the column very close to be able to kill those people by firing in the
14 most sensitive parts of their bodies, in the chest and in the head?
15 A. I suppose so, yes. It must have been done from a very close
16 range. Maybe they were ambushed or something.
17 Q. Would somebody have informed you not to follow the trail to avoid
18 that same ambush?
19 A. No. Nobody knew where other people were going. The situation
20 was horrendous. There was shelling, shooting. I don't see how anybody
21 could convey any information to anybody.
22 Q. Thank you. Just a while ago, we saw that Golic, the commander of
23 the Mountain Battalion, was in charge of the safety of civilians. You
24 said it yourself in the third passage. Is it possible that he was the
25 one who was supposed to warn you? He was at the rear of the column and
1 he was supposed to protect the civilians. Was it his role to inform you
2 about any problems that you might encounter on the trail that you were to
4 A. I don't know. No.
5 Q. Thank you. In that case, let's go to the follow paragraph in
6 your statement, which is paragraph 6. That's tab 1. Let's go back to
7 tab 1, paragraph 6, your statement.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which is now D319.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's correct. Let's look at
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should not be broadcast.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. In the sixth paragraph. Now we can see the sixth paragraph,
14 where it says:
15 "I saw seven or eight killed soldiers from the BiH Army, and
16 their throats had been slit."
17 Do you see that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The trail that you followed, did it pass by the creek where you
20 saw some seven or eight dead Bosnian army soldiers with their throats
22 A. Yeah, the trail that I followed skirted them, and I could see
24 Q. Thank you. Did you learn from somebody how they had been killed,
25 how the BiH Army soldiers had been killed, or did you make your own
2 A. No, I did not learn the truth. Nobody informed me how they had
3 died. I just saw them.
4 Q. Do you remember whether they still had uniforms on which is what
5 made you conclude that they were soldiers? If they did wear uniforms,
6 what kind of uniforms were those? Did they also wear weapons?
7 A. Yes, they were in uniforms, which made me conclude that they were
9 Q. Thank you. And were there weapons on their bodies or next to
10 their bodies? Perhaps grenades, rifles?
11 A. You know, when there are bullets flying above you and when people
12 are running to save their lives, there is hardly time to look at the
13 details and to see who wore what or what was next to the bodies.
14 Q. Thank you. You said that their throats had been cut. For
15 somebody to cut their throats, for somebody to slit their throats, would
16 you say that they should have come very close, that they should have
17 touched them, that they should have wrestled them? What would you say?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Thank you. Okay, since you don't know, let's go to my next
20 question. But before that: Does that mean that there was fighting along
21 the entire trail that you moved on and that those five or six bodies were
22 the first bodies that you saw? Was there fighting, head-to-head
23 fighting, as it were?
24 A. I don't know. I can't speculate.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please pause and for the sake of the
2 interpreters so that they can finish their interpretation.
3 Now your next question, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, let's look at paragraph 7 in your statement, and I will
7 quote from it. I will read just the penultimate sentence, where you say
9 "Some shells fell very close and the shells for fired from
10 hand-held rocket-launchers. I had learned about weapons during high
12 My question to you is this: In order for somebody to fire a
13 shell from a hand-held rocket-launcher, does that person have to see the
14 target in order to be able to fire at it?
15 A. I don't see anything strange there. Your soldiers were there and
16 there were moments when we could hear them shouting to each other. They
17 could easily throw grenades on us. They were very close to us.
18 Q. Since you say you learned about weapons in school, can you tell
19 us the range of a hand-held launcher? Does there have to be visibility
20 for the person holding the launcher?
21 A. I am no expert in weapons.
22 Q. Thank you. Would it have been more logical for the shooter to
23 shoot at you from a greater distance than coming close to you to have
24 visibility with a hand-held launcher?
25 A. There was no need. Your soldiers never exposed themselves to any
1 danger, because there was no one armed in that column. If we had been
2 armed, I would have said, Okay, it's legitimate to keep at a greater
3 distance. From where I was, I saw around me only civilians at the time
4 when the Serbian troops were shooting at us. They could choose whether
5 to shoot or to throw grenades.
6 Q. I wouldn't like to go back to anything we've already dealt with,
7 but let me remind you that you were scattered among the units of the
8 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that correct?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you. But why did you state that, then, in the third
11 paragraph of your statement, in the sixth, seventh, eight, and ninth
13 A. That is a misinterpretation, a misrepresentation. I said I was
14 towards the tail of the column, which doesn't mean that when we were
15 moving from Buljim along those brooks, across these hillocks, there was
16 anyone armed around me. I didn't see anyone armed around me, nor could I
17 see where the firing was coming from, where your soldiers were. You must
18 be misreading my statement.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I jump in at this point.
20 Sir, I would like to read the specific sentence to you again:
21 "There were about fifty armed soldiers among us."
22 Can you tell us where you have seen these 50 armed soldiers?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw them at Buljim, at Buljim.
24 Later on I don't know where they went. I didn't see them in the column
25 again, none of those armed soldiers.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you. And do you recall that in paragraph 3, line 2, you
4 "When we got to Buljim, some officers of the Bosnian army tried
5 to organise a column of several thousand people led by several army
7 Is that again a misreading? That's what you stated.
8 A. That's what I stated, correct.
9 Q. Thank you. Please tell the Trial Chamber, was it indeed the
10 case, as you stated it, or was it different?
11 A. That's not the way it was. I emphasize again: I was only
12 following the bulk of the people, and I didn't see again any of those
13 armed units all the way to Sandici. I didn't see anyone firing back. I
14 did not see any organising at all. I'm just telling you what I saw.
15 Q. But in your statement you said you saw seven to eight dead
16 soldiers of the BH army lying with their throats cut in the low grass.
17 That's what you describe in paragraph 6 of your statement. Were they
18 armed soldiers? Were they soldiers at all?
19 A. They had uniforms on; that's why I called them soldiers. But
20 they had no weapons. We saw them lying in the grass with their throats
21 cut. It was hot. We could smell the blood. That's what I stated.
22 Q. Let us look at paragraph 9 of your statement, lines 1 through 6.
23 I will read it all out, because we're going to discuss it:
24 "However, suddenly we saw -- we heard a strange noise like a
25 strong gust of wind. We realised we were ambushed, encircled by the
1 Bosnian Serb army. They started shooting from all sides, from hand-held
2 weapons, and they started throwing grenades. We saw many people get
3 killed, but I don't know how many. I decided that we should try to break
4 out of the encirclement and try to get to Kravica. We managed, and I was
5 helping my father. We got to the top of a hillock when we still heard
6 the shooting. It was dark by that time."
7 My question is: Can you remember any more details that could
8 help the Trial Chamber, together with the statements of other
9 eye-witnesses, which locations that was, and whether it's the same event
10 that you are talking about? Do you have any more details to provide?
11 A. The only detail I can give you about that is that there was a
12 mass of people, really a lot of people - I can't tell how many; I don't
13 want to speculate - at the time when the shooting started from all sides.
14 That something I have flashbacks about to this day. When you see people
15 being shot, when a bullet grazes your face, burning your skin without
16 actually hitting you, and when you manage to get away unscathed and get
17 to the top of that hillock I mentioned in the statement, and when we were
18 still alive at nightfall, and when we realised that we had been ambushed,
19 and when your soldiers got there -- I'll tell you one detail I hadn't
20 mentioned many times because it's shocking, and when from that distance
21 someone saying, "Take your underpants off. Fuck your balija mother,"
22 that's the detail that tells me it was an ambush and many, many, people
23 got there -- many, many people got killed there.
24 Q. [No interpretation]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't receive interpretation at the moment.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Were you in shock and that's why you don't want to speculate
4 about the number? You don't want to give a number that's lower or higher
5 than the actual number; is that why you did not tell us the exact number
6 of people?
7 A. I can only say it was a mass of people.
8 Q. Thank you. In that case, since you can't determine how many, I
9 would like to read to you from one statement.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tab number 5, D268. We will not
11 say the name of the person who gave this statement, but we'll quote from
12 the last paragraph, the second half of this paragraph.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So I'm not going to mention name. This person told us later that
15 during the withdrawal of 285th and 282nd Brigades, sometime around 1000
16 hours --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have that page on the
18 screen anymore.
19 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Tolimir be asked to repeat this
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters had some
23 difficulties to follow because the relevant page disappeared from the
24 screen at that moment. Please repeat the last part of your question.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will repeat.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. "Sometime around 1000 hours on the same day, a Chetnik
3 paramilitary unit opened strong artillery fire on other -- on the
4 remaining brigades and civilian population that happened to be in Buljim,
5 where," according to his statement, "around 1.000 soldiers and civilians
6 were killed. The shelling was from anti-aircraft weapons, Pragas,
7 zoljas, and RPGs."
8 Based on this passage from this eye-witness, can you determine
9 whether it was the same incident, whether it indeed happened that way,
10 the horrible way that he describes?
11 A. I'm not interested in the details provided by others. I'm here
12 to tell you about what I personally experienced and saw.
13 Q. Thank you. I only wanted to refresh your memory, because you
14 didn't say anything about that, and to try to determine the location. Do
15 you know where that happened and the name of that location so the
16 Trial Chamber can have an idea where the column was attacked?
17 A. I think Kamenica.
18 Q. Thank you. Is that Pobudjanska Kamenica, or some other Kamenica,
19 maybe the Zvornik Kamenica?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Thank you. Please, since you said that you fell asleep on that
22 spot and you couldn't find your father and brother, you found them only
23 later, can you tell us perhaps whether they told you how this ambush had
24 occurred, along with the other circumstances that you were unable to
25 describe in your statement?
1 A. [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: There is no sound from the witness.
3 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please stop for a moment. We didn't hear the
5 answer of the witness. It was not heard and not interpreted and not
6 recorded. I would kindly ask the witness to repeat his answer.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
9 Mr. Tolimir.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you, Witness. Have you spoken to your brother and father
12 at all about how it had come about that you were separated while you fell
13 asleep and how come they left you there? Have you ever discussed it with
15 A. How can you speak to a father whose whereabouts I never learned?
16 He was never identified, even, and I didn't speak about it to my brother.
17 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at page 3 of your statement, where
18 you say:
19 "After a while --"
20 Page 3. That's the same statement of this witness, page 3, first
22 "After some time --"
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, first you said page 3 of your
24 statement. Now you say statement of this witness. Are you now referring
25 to D268?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D319. I stressed page 3. It's
2 page 2 in English.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. "After a while, things were quiet again. I found my brother, and
6 then I fell asleep again. When I woke up, it was already in daytime. I
7 couldn't find my brother or father. There were about 15 dead bodies
8 lying there, in civilian clothes, some of them had their throats cut and
9 some of the bodies were cut into two or in fragments, blasted to
10 fragments. From the stench and the sight, I started throwing up. I was
11 terrified and ran away."
12 Tell me, is it a different location now? Did you run away to
13 that hillock, fell asleep, and then woke up in a different place where
14 you saw this? Can you tell us something more about this location?
15 A. I can't tell you anything about this in particular. Nothing new.
16 I stand by what I said.
17 Q. Thank you. We are still on D319, paragraph 2 of your statement.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which is under seal and should not be broadcast.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In Serbian it's page 3.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. "Sometime later I came across another group of people, and we
22 continued along the track made by those who had passed ahead of us.
23 There I found my father and brother again. We heard the Serbs calling
24 for us to surrender on their megaphones."
25 At this location, did you find out from your brother or father
1 how come that you kept falling asleep and then became reunited with them
2 when such horrible things were going on?
3 A. No.
4 Q. [Microphone not activated]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. After leaving Srebrenica, when you came to Dubrava, and later,
8 did you discuss the events in Srebrenica with your brother, and did he
9 tell what had happened on the 13th of July around 1.30 p.m. while you
10 were sleeping and they had already left and you were unable to find them?
11 A. No, I don't like to talk about it.
12 Q. Thank you. In that case, let us look at tab 2, statement 5933.
13 Page 3 in Serbian, paragraph 3.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The number is P933.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
17 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, this statement is not under seal, but
18 it's probably, out of an abundance of caution, better to not broadcast
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And should not be broadcast. Thank you.
21 Mr. Tolimir.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I am quoting from paragraph 3, that's page 5 in English.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Aleksandar.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Quoting from what your brother said:
2 "After that incident, around 0400 hours, from a distance of about
3 500 metres, Serbs called us on their megaphones to surrender. We
4 lingered for a while, and then the young man who had opened fire on those
5 men who were supposedly Serbs gave me a rifle and told me and another
6 young man to go up to the hill and check if there were Serbs around.
7 Suddenly, we were told to stop and someone asked us where we were headed.
8 We told them we were from Srebrenica, and they replied they were members
9 from a mountain battalion of the Bosnian army. When we approached them,
10 I recognised one man from this battalion. Actually, he was a distant
11 cousin of mine," I won't read out the name, "I don't know his last name.
12 He was a messenger this battalion, and I told him about the shooting
13 incident. And then this man," whose name I'm not going to read out,
14 "confirmed that the three men were from their -- his unit and told us to
15 go back and inform the others about this."
16 Does your cousin say here, in line 6, those who were supposedly
17 Serbs; does it mean that he doubted they were Serbs? And later, in
18 lines 9 and 10, we see that he found those were actually members of a
19 mountain battalion who was supposed to protect you. Can you tell us, is
20 it possible that at this location described by your cousin you were shot
21 at by a unit of that mountain battalion holding themselves out to be
22 Serbs, and they even told you to withdraw?
23 A. Only if that mountain battalion was driving an UNPROFOR APC and
24 wearing UNPROFOR uniforms and calling us balija mother fuckers, only in
25 that case it could be true. But I doubt it.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to clarify one matter.
2 The statement the witness could see and read, and you have quoted from,
3 Mr. Tolimir, is this statement from your brother or your cousin?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, sorry, I'm asking the witness.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this is
7 my brother's statement. I never saw it before. He personally did not
8 tell me anything about this statement either.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm asking you that because Mr. Tolimir used the
10 term "your cousin," but at the beginning, "your brother."
11 Ms. Hasan.
12 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, and there seems to be -- I mean, to be
13 fair to the witness, the passage that General Tolimir read out is
14 referring to a time when this witness was not with his brother, as can be
15 seen from paragraph 5, on page 3 of the English version, where he says
16 that he later joined -- found his brother and joined him. And the
17 witness was seemingly answering the question with an understanding that
18 this incident that the brother describes in the paragraph that
19 General Tolimir read is, in fact, an event that took place later when he
20 was present and heard the calls to surrender.
21 So we're talking about two different things, and I think it's
22 confusing the witness.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on, but bear that in
24 mind if that is correct what Ms. Hasan said.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In my
1 previous questions I asked the witness whether it was possible that they
2 were shot at by soldiers from the Brcko Battalion. He said, "No."
3 Later, I read a part of his brother's statement where it says that they
4 were shot at by the Brcko Mountain Battalion.
5 Let's look at P933, second page, second paragraph, or the
6 paragraph before the one that we have just read.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Where it says, and I quote -- I'm quoting from paragraph 3 of the
9 witness's brother's statement, where it says:
10 "A young man in my group --"
11 I apologise. I didn't say that that document was under tab 2.
12 And I repeat my quote:
13 "A young man in my group, I don't know his name, told me to lie
14 down. He had a machine-gun and wanted to fire upon those three men who
15 he said were Chetniks. He opened fire, he killed the two in uniform and
16 hit the third one with a first aid kit in the knee. He remained lying in
17 the grass next to a creek. He asked for help. He said that he was a
18 Muslim but nobody believed him. We left him in the area."
19 And later on, I would like to say that in the third paragraph of
20 your brother's statement we saw that your cousin told your brother that
21 those soldiers were from the Mountain Battalion of the Bosnian Army.
22 That's what he stated in line 6, paragraph 3.
23 I'm asking you this: Does it transpire from this that the
24 soldier who had an automatic rifle and who said to your brother to lie
25 down opened fire and killed the Bosnian army soldier, having mistaken him
1 for a Serb? Is that what it says in your brother's statement?
2 A. I don't know, and I'm not interested.
3 Q. Thank you. I know that you're not interested in this; however,
4 please, did people open fire at each other? Did they kill each other?
5 And did you see and hear that while you were moving through the forest
6 before you surrendered?
7 A. People went mad. I saw a case when a man through a grenade and
8 killed a man in his vicinity, but that was not happening on a large-scale
10 Q. Thank you. Where were you when things were happening as
11 described by your brother in his statement in passages 2 and 3, where he
12 says that Muslims were the ones who were killing BiH Army soldiers?
13 A. I did not have a measuring tape. I could not know where I was,
14 at what distance. I don't know where he was, what he was doing. I told
15 you that I lost him on two or three occasions, and I don't know what he
16 saw, what he did. If you have questions for me about what I saw, I'm
18 Q. Yes, I do have a question for you. Let's go to paragraph 4 in
19 your brother's statement, where it says:
20 "When I returned to the young man, he had the automatic rifle and
21 I told him that our soldiers were in the area and I gave the rifle back
22 to him. He told us that we could not join them as we did not have any
24 My question: Does it transpire from this part of your brother's
25 statement that he had warned the soldier who had given him the rifle that
1 he was actually killing "our own men," and returned the rifle to him?
2 Did -- would you agree that your brother saw that this man in his group
3 was killing BiH Army soldiers?
4 A. I don't know.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
6 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, there's been a line of questions now
7 about passages from his brother's statement, when clearly the witness was
8 not present. If it's simply to confirm what the document said,
9 respectively, I submit, there's not much value in doing so, in just
10 reading out passages and seeing whether the witness is confirming what
11 the brother has said in this statement.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is really a question whether this kind of
13 question is helping to find out the truth, that's true, especially
14 because P933 is already in evidence. On the other hand, Mr. Tolimir is
15 entitled to put these parts of this statement to the witness if he is
16 able to confirm the content or not, and he receives the answers the
17 witness could give him.
18 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. In order to arrive at the absolute truth, I will put another
22 question to this witness.
23 In the last part of this fourth paragraph, your brother says:
24 "He told us that we could not join them as we did not have any
1 My question is this: Did the BiH Army soldiers have a special
2 mission or a special task, given the fact that they did not allow those
3 without weapons to join them? Thank you.
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. [Microphone not activated]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did they need men with weapons only because they had been given
9 the task to kill people, in view of the fact that civilians were an
10 integral part of the column?
11 A. Could you please repeat your question? Your microphone was off.
12 Q. Since you were deployed as civilians with the Mountain Battalion,
13 how come that all of a sudden they told people that they could not allow
14 civilians without weapons to join them, although their task was to
15 protect civilians? Was that because their task was to kill people and
16 that's why they only needed men with weapons? Thank you.
17 A. First of all, I was not deployed anywhere with any unit. And as
18 for who killed whom, we shouldn't be the judge of that. We have the
19 Judges to be the judge of that. And if you are trying to put to me that
20 I saw members of the Mountain Battalion in Buljim and if you are mixing
21 up my words with the words of my brother, I respectfully don't agree with
23 Q. I'm not mixing things up. I'm just quoting from your statement
24 where you said that you were lined up by BiH Army officers, that you were
25 lined up by them to form a column. You said that on page 1 of your
1 statement, D319, line 2 and 3. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is your question in relation to this?
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. My question is this: Why were you mixed up with the military
5 column? Why did Bosnian army civilians deploy you with a military column
6 and you were civilians?
7 A. There was no military column. Let me repeat: Buljim and
8 Kamenica and Sandici, where we were, are not one and the same thing. If
9 there were some attempts to organise a column in Buljim and
10 Jaglic [phoen], and that column consisted of civilians - I would like to
11 emphasize that - I don't see what kind of a military column are you
12 talking about. Who was it who made up a military column? I don't see
13 much point in your question. What you are implying? What you are trying
14 to say?
15 Q. Thank you. You stated, in lines 8 and 9, There were about fifty
16 armed soldiers among us. This means that you were mixed up with the
17 soldiers of the Mountain Battalion; am I right or not?
18 A. There were fifty armed soldiers in Buljim, but that does not mean
19 that those soldiers walked with any of the groups or with me, personally,
20 from then on. I only stated that I had seen them in Buljim and never
21 again after that.
22 Q. Thank you. I have just quoted from a statement, and I don't want
23 to mention the name of the soldier who provided the statement. In that
24 statement, the soldier says, and this statement is D --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Tolimir repeat the number, please.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please repeat the number again of this statement.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tab 5, D268. Paragraph 3. We will
3 not mention any names. In paragraph 3 of this statement, line 11.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. This is the third line from the bottom, where it says:
6 "On that occasion, the 285th Brigade set out first, and it was
7 followed by the 282nd. And his father and his brother were with the
8 latter brigade, and I don't know about -- anything about their fate from
9 then on. Enver told us further on that when the 285th and the
10 282nd Brigades ..." and so on and so forth.
11 My question is this: Do other witnesses speak about the brigades
12 and where they were deployed, were they were mixed up? Can you conclude
13 that from this statement?
14 A. I don't want to interpret other peoples' statements.
15 Q. Thank you. In that case, let's look at tab 9.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to clarify if we have reason to
17 redact page 40, line 19, because there was a name mentioned. I think we
18 should. I see agreement by the parties. We will do that.
19 And please wait for the next document, and then put the next
20 question to the witness.
21 Tab 9 is the document D180.
22 MS. HASAN: Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
24 MS. HASAN: This document is not under seal and I don't see the
25 basis for the redaction. Perhaps we need to go into private session.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We go, for a short time, into private session.
2 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session. Thank
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
19 Ms. Hasan, I see you on your feet.
20 MS. HASAN: I'm very sorry, Mr. President. I think we have to go
21 back into private session.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
23 [Private session]
11 Page 17771 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session. Thank
4 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And now we see in front of us: "Handbook on the Law of War for
9 Armed Forces." This was published by the International Red Cross. It
10 brings The Hague and the Geneva Conventions and how they regulate the
11 rules of war. You said that you were not a military analyst, but let's
12 look at pages 3 and 5, paragraph 56, in the Serbian and English
14 Now we can see paragraph 56. Can it be zoomed in. It's the
15 first paragraph from the top where it says:
16 "A military target remains a military target even if civilian
17 persons are in it. The civilian persons within such a target or object
18 or its immediate surroundings share the danger to which it is exposed."
19 My question to you is this: If civilians are mixed up with a
20 military column or in its vicinity, would you say that they also become a
21 military target? Thank you.
22 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, before --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
24 MS. HASAN: If I may, before the witness answers this question,
25 the witness was 16 years old at the time. He's not a legal expert nor is
1 he a military analyst, as he's already said. I don't see where this
2 question is going, and I don't think this is an appropriate witness to
3 put that kind of a question to.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Even if I agree, I would say the witness could
5 provide us with exactly such an answer.
6 Sir, are you able to answer this question of Mr. Tolimir?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, I will answer your
8 question. In no case was this a legitimate military target. My answer
9 is this: There were no legitimate military targets because there was
10 nobody there but civilians. If we're talking about the column as it was
11 up to Sandici, under no definition could that be considered a legitimate
12 military target.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you, Witness. Bearing in mind what the Prosecutor said and
15 bearing in mind how old you were, that's why I quoted this. You said you
16 were not a military expert, but those military officers who mixed you up
17 with a column should have been aware of the rules of war. Would you
18 agree with that, yes or no, those who lined you up at Buljim and mixed
19 you up with the military column, were they supposed to know what they
20 were doing in accordance with the military rules and laws?
21 A. I don't know that.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm not sure if this is a correct representation
23 of what the witness told us about the soldiers and the composition of the
24 column where he was in. Please be careful in phrasing your questions.
25 Carry on, please.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
2 no further questions about this. I know that the witness was young and
3 he was not in a position to know anything about that, but there were
4 soldiers there and they should have known.
5 In any way, thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Now, please, could you tell us whether you have recently heard of
8 a problem or a projection of a film about Srebrenica in Sweden and
9 Muslims have protested against that. I don't know where you currently
10 live; that's why I am asking you.
11 A. No.
12 Q. Do you know that on television in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in
13 the Republika Srpska there was a programme featuring eye-witnesses of the
14 breakthrough and how the massacre happened. Do you know who Meholjic is?
15 He was one of the eye-witnesses.
16 A. Meholjic does ring a bell, but I did not see the programme and I
17 did not hear those statements. I would love to hear them.
18 Q. Thank you. In that case, we will now look at the statement of
19 Mr. Meholjic. It's under tab 3. It's D277. The title of the document
20 is: "5.000 Muslim Heads in Exchange for a Military Intervention." That's
21 an interview with Hakija Meholjic, president of War Presidency of
22 Srebrenica, given to a Bosnian newspaper called "Dani." I will just
23 quote from the introduction:
24 "In your accusations against the state leadership, and
25 particularly against President Izetbegovic, saying they are partly to
1 blame for the tragedy in Srebrenica, the departure of the Srebrenica
2 delegation to Sarajevo in September 1993 for talks about the fate of this
3 enclave is an inevitable subject."
4 And then the interviewer asks:
5 "So you rejected Izetbegovic's offer?"
6 And Meholjic answers:
7 "We rejected it without any discussion. Then he said: 'You
8 know, I was offered by Clinton in April 1993 (after the fall of Cerska
9 and Konjevic Polje) that the Chetnik forces should enter Srebrenica,
10 carry out a slaughter of 5.000 Muslims, and then there will be a military
12 My question to you is: Have you ever heard anything about this?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. Can we turn the page now to look at page 2, where the
15 interviewer asks Mr. Meholjic the following question:
16 "Even after the fall of Srebrenica in 1995, you had occasion to
17 address President Izetbegovic?"
18 Meholjic answers:
19 "At that time, I requested that a state commission be established
20 to inquiry into the responsibility of the international community, the
21 responsibility of the president, the General Staff, the 2nd Corps, and
22 our own responsibility ... people are missing ... and he," meaning
23 President Izetbegovic, "asked me: 'And what would that give me?'"
24 Do you know that this topic was on the table in 1993, in 1994, in
25 1995, even after the fall of Srebrenica and the tragedy in Srebrenica,
1 and that it's still topical in the public opinion of Bosnia and
3 A. In 1993 to 1995, my only thoughts were about finding some food to
4 survive. The rest is rubbish. I didn't care what was going on around.
5 I know only what happened to me. I don't care about what Hakija said or
6 what Clinton said. I know that my family and many other people were
7 killed. There was 67 men in my village before the war, and now we are
8 four men. They were all killed. What Hakija and all these people are
9 saying, I don't care, and I couldn't have heard it, anyway.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you. The first
11 reason is he was really a boy at that time, 1993; he was 14 years old. I
12 think you should focus on what you can gain from him and which knowledge
13 he has from his point of view.
14 We must have our second break now. I would like to ask you how
15 much time you will need for the remainder of your cross-examination, have
16 you any idea?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
18 witness said that he would like to hear what Meholjic said, so I showed
19 him. And I have one minute of video footage to show him what Meholjic
20 said, and after that I will move to my final questions. Thank you.
21 I will need perhaps 15 minutes.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We must have, on technical
23 reasons, our second break now. But before we break, I have to discuss
24 one matter in private session. We turn into private session.
25 [Private session]
11 Page 17777 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session. Thank
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 Sir, we must have now our second break. We will resume 5 minutes
8 before 2.00. And I hope very much that we are able to finish the
9 examination of this witness during the next session and that we are able
10 to discuss procedural matters about the further planning of this case.
11 We adjourn and resume 5 minutes before 2.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 1.25 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 2.00 p.m.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session for a moment.
15 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue your
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Could we now see in e-court 1D952, a clip from a documentary
6 about Srebrenica shown on Dutch television. 03:00 to 03:30, just
7 30 seconds.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you able to give us an idea when
10 this was broadcast, by which Dutch television channel?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This has
12 been shown more than once. This statement of Meholjic is -- can be found
13 in a hundred different places. References were made to it during the war
14 and after the war. But we'll find exactly the provenance and we'll let
15 you know.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. My question for the witness: You heard what Meholjic stated as
19 an eye-witness participant in the events, who has gone even a longer way
20 than you. You heard what your brother said about the involvement of the
21 soldiers of the Mountain Battalion in the killing of civilians in the
22 column. So can you tell us, as an eye-witness, anything about how the
23 soldiers of the Mountain Battalion treated the civilians who were
24 together with you in the column? And do you know if they were
25 participating in putting into practice this idea of President Clinton of
1 the USA?
2 A. I can only comment on what Meholjic said. That would be the same
3 as if someone told me to kill a certain number of Serbs. Nobody can make
4 me, force me, do something that I am not willing to do.
5 Q. Thank you for the answer. Let us now move to the last part of
6 your statement, on page 4, paragraph 4. It's tab 1, 06516, already
7 admitted as D319. I forgot to say this statement has not been admitted.
8 I should like to tender it.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The statement from tab 2 which
10 is -- in fact, Aleksandar tells me that it has been admitted already.
11 Thank you, Aleksandar.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's now P933 under seal.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sorry.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. In the meantime, you were able to read your own statement,
16 paragraph 4. I quote:
17 "Then a bus full of women arrived from that direction, as well as
18 a car."
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you wait, please, until we have it on the
20 screen. You were referring to page 4, paragraph 4. Are you referring to
21 the B/C/S version or to the English?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Both English and B/C/S, page 4.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Now it is on the screen. Please
24 carry on.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I quote:
2 "The second time I went to get water --"
3 No, sorry, that's the wrong paragraph. Paragraph 4.
4 "Then a bus full of women arrived from the same direction as the
5 car and stopped next to the fountain. A driver came out of the car to
6 get water. I dropped the jerrycans, sneaked onto the bus, and hid
7 between the seats. I put some bags on top of myself."
8 My question is: How are you able to get onto the bus when the
9 driver did not come out nor did the soldiers who were guarding the
10 civilians? How could you get in unnoticed and without permission when
11 you were getting water for the driver of the car that was escorting the
13 A. This is obviously a mistake in the recording. I never said that
14 the driver got out of the car. Every time I spoke about it, I said
15 explicitly the driver of the bus got out and crossed the road to speak to
16 the soldiers who were standing there. This must be a mistake in the
17 statement by the person who recorded it.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, I think we can clarify the situation.
19 In the English translation, I quote:
20 "The driver came out of the bus to collect water."
21 Which is exactly the same as the witness just said. In the --
22 when Mr. Tolimir read this part into the transcript, it was interpreted
23 as "came out of the car," which is not the English version.
24 Mr. Gajic.
25 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the two versions
1 differ in this passage. The Serbian version says "automobile," not
2 "bus." If you look at the relevant paragraph, line 2, you will see the
3 word is "automobile." It is written in the same way or in a similar way
4 as in English.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are absolutely right, but now we have
6 received the clarification from the witness. He is referring to the
7 driver of the bus.
8 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sir, you saw where the problem is. It must be a wrong
12 translation. I'm asking you: Were there any soldiers guarding the
13 civilians on that bus in addition to that car that was guarding the bus?
14 A. I never saw those soldiers. I saw the driver coming out of the
15 bus. I didn't see any soldiers on the bus.
24 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session. Thank
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 I would like to thank the witness for having participated in
22 these proceedings. I wish him all the best. I wish for all of his
23 wishes to come true. God be with him.
24 The Defence has no further questions for this witness. This
25 brings our cross-examination to an end. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 Ms. Hasan, do you have re-examination?
3 MS. HASAN: No re-examination, thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this
5 concludes your examination here in this trial. The Chamber would like to
6 thank you that you were able to provide us with your recollection of the
7 relevant events. The Chamber, like Mr. Tolimir, wishes you the best for
8 your future, and now you are free to return to your normal activities.
9 Thank you very much again that you were able to communicate with us via
10 videolink today.
11 I would like to ask the Registrar who is present there if
12 everything is prepared to conclude the video conference.
13 THE REGISTRAR: [via videolink] [Microphone not activated]
14 Your Honours, I hereby confirm that we are ready to conclude. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am very sorry, but we couldn't hear the answer
16 because, I think, this is only in the B/C/S channel.
17 I think this brings everything to an end.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank the Trial Chamber for
19 inviting me to provide my testimony. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The videolink is concluded.
21 [Witness stands down via videolink]
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, last week we heard from Mr. Gajic
24 that he will be able to provide us, one week after the conclusion of the
25 testimony of Mr. Butler, with the estimate and your planning for the
1 further trial, for your Defence case, how much time you will need, and
2 what are your intentions. We would be very glad if we could receive now
3 some more information about your plans.
4 Mr. Gajic.
5 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, our estimate is that
6 we have a lot of time and we believe that we will be able to start
7 presenting the Defence case after the winter recess. We still have a lot
8 of material to review, some of it I have to receive in Belgrade after the
9 end of the Prosecution case. Our experts still have a lot of work to do.
10 Unfortunately, Mr. Butler testified very recently and it will take some
11 time to review his testimony. However, we will do our best to be ready
12 as soon as the winter recess is over.
13 As for the 65 ter list of exhibits that we want to use during the
14 Defence case, we would like to submit that on the eve of the winter
15 recess so as to enable everybody to prepare adequate translations during
16 the winter break.
17 As for the Defence case, don't hold me to my estimate because we
18 still have to establish the number of witnesses, but we believe that we
19 will need about a month to present our case if we continue working four
20 days a week.
21 And I would kindly ask both the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution
22 to take this as a rather realistic estimate, more to the detriment of the
23 Defence than anything else, because there is really a lot of material
24 that we have to review in the meantime. We have had some problems with
25 translations. Mr. Tolimir does not speak English. The transcript is
1 voluminous, which poses an additional difficulty. I don't know whether
2 you believe me when I say that all of our team members are engaged in
3 translation. Obviously, we need some time to translate our expert
4 witnesses' reports, and we will do our best to provide all those
5 translation before the end of the winter recess.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it, Mr. Gajic, that the whole Defence case
7 will last one month. Is that your rough estimation for the moment?
8 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Unless we are
9 not given enough time for preparations, a month. What we can announce
10 already now, that in addition to the witnesses we will also submit a
11 request to bar -- to tender some of the exhibits from bar table, and
12 this, I believe, will facilitate the entire Defence case.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Nevertheless, I am quite astonished to hear that
14 you are requesting a four-month break for preparation of the Defence
15 case. This is a rather long period. If you compare that with other
16 cases in this Tribunal, this is really a rather long time.
17 Does the Prosecution have something to submit in that respect?
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, good afternoon. Good afternoon,
20 Your Honours. I think I will largely put that ball back in your court.
21 It is a long time. The general is mostly representing himself and there
22 is a lot of material, and I'm happy to hear that it's only a one-month
23 Defence case. But having said that, I would, again, rely on the
24 judgement of the Trial Chamber to do the best thing on this issue.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Gajic.
2 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I hate to object. You
3 said four months, but that also includes the winter recess, which starts
4 in mid-December and ends around mid-January, and we have counted that in.
5 I could have also told you that we can start on the last day before the
6 recess. The recess will be a working time for us, unlike some other
7 Defence teams which had two Defence counsel, Case Managers, and
8 investigators. I have to say that this is the smallest Defence team in
9 the history of the Tribunal. There is a lot of work, a lot of
10 translation work; that is why I appeal to you for your understanding.
11 During that time, this legal advisor will have to travel
12 thousands of kilometres, not only between Belgrade and The Hague but also
13 to some other destinations where we will have to interview some potential
14 witnesses and obtain certain documents. Unfortunately, things take time.
15 When we submit requests for documentation, it also takes time for those
16 documents to be located and to be sent. And I believe that my learned
17 friends from the Prosecution will understand when I say that when they
18 receive a document, they first have to check what of those things are
19 relevant, what not. Some of those documents are already ready for me to
20 pick up. I have to go personally to those locations and to pick up the
21 documentation, but I don't know what I will find there. Also, we have
22 received some materials pursuant to Rule 68 from the Prosecutor only
23 recently. We have to review those. We have not had time to do that.
24 There are some other disclosure as well. Yesterday, or the day
25 before yesterday, you had an occasion to hear how many documents are
1 there in the Pecanac collection. All those are factors that I believe
2 have to be borne in mind when considering the time required by the
3 Defence to prepare. Also, our experts have a lot of things to do.
4 During the trial, I have slept four hours a night, but I can't
5 expect the same from our experts and other individuals who are going to
6 be involved in the preparations for the Defence case. Obviously, we
7 would like to prepare our case so that everything runs smoothly without
8 any glitches or delays. Obviously, if things are well prepared, that can
9 be done and we will be able to present all of our Defence case within the
10 scope of one month.
11 One more thing we have had in mind: When bringing our witnesses
12 in, we don't want to bring those witnesses who will repeat things that
13 already are on file. We want to provide the Trial Chamber with some new
14 information which may be of a very high relevance for this
15 Trial Chamber's decision.
16 On my internal list, I already have somebody who may be called to
17 provide an adequate testimony, but first I have to check whether this
18 will indeed be of help to the Trial Chamber or whether this will be a
19 repetition of things that are already known. We don't want to go over
20 the same grounds again. We would like to provide the Trial Chamber with
21 new things, something that they have not heard before. We want our
22 experts to provide proper and good analysis. Unfortunately, all that
23 takes time, and we believe that the time-span which brings us to the end
24 of the winter recess is an adequate period of time.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this.
1 Before I give the floor, Mr. McCloskey, I would like to confirm
2 that Mr. Gajic was not sleeping enough during the trial. One night we
3 received at 4.00 in the morning and 16 minutes an e-mail from Mr. Gajic,
4 which I read only in the morning, not during night-time. This is just a
5 confirmation of what he just said.
6 Thank you for your information about your proposed work. The
7 Chamber will take that into account, of course.
8 Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: It may be helpful if we can get an estimate on
10 when the experts will be done with their reports, because if there are
11 experts, like a military expert, as suggested by Mr. Gajic, and if they
12 are Serbian, it is, of course, important for us all to have an English
13 translation. And if it's a lengthy Butler-type report, that will, of
14 course, take some time for CLSS. And I don't -- a matter of this import,
15 we really will need an English translation prior to cross-examination.
16 So that's just one logistical detail to bear in mind.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The Chamber will consider the
18 submissions by the parties and the request of the Defence. We will come
19 back to the parties next week before the close of the Prosecution case.
20 Mr. Gajic, you have the floor again.
21 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, to Mr. McCloskey's
22 question I would like to answer by saying that when we requested this
23 period of time to prepare for our Defence case, we have had in mind this
24 concern of his. Obviously, we would not want to call the witness without
25 giving the Trial Chamber an opportunity to review the material that such
1 a witness will be discussed in the courtroom.
2 I will do my best to chase our experts and ask them to finish as
3 soon as possible, but there are a lot of materials. They will have a lot
4 of work. I repeat, I will try to concentrate on only the most important
5 and relevant things. Please rest assured that the time-period that we
6 have requested is only the minimum time-period that we really need.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, again. I think we have now everything
8 on the record, and we will take it into our consideration.
9 One last matter I just want to raise. On the 7th of July, last
10 year, 2010, we heard Witness Zlatan Celanovic, and during
11 cross-examination, Mr. Tolimir, you used parts of the book "Chronicles of
12 our Graveyard." The same day, the Chamber invited the parties to try to
13 find an agreement which parts of this book should be tendered and
14 received into evidence because the translation of the whole book would be
15 a heavy burden for the Translation Unit. Therefore, I would kindly ask
16 you next week to provide us with your common understanding about the
17 parts of this book which should be translated. There is no translation
18 yet of the whole book. Therefore, in order to finalise these things
19 before the close of the Prosecution case, we would be glad if we could
20 receive such a submission next would, too.
21 Thank you very much. This concludes the hearing of today. We
22 will resume on Monday, 2.15, in this courtroom. We adjourn for the week.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.46 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of
25 September, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.