1 Monday, 12 September 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.26 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom and
6 to those watching and listening our proceedings.
7 We apologise for the late commencement of the trial today. There
8 were some unforeseeable circumstances which -- which caused this problem.
9 Are there any procedural matters to raise at the beginning of
10 today's hearing? I don't see anybody on his feet. Then the witness
11 should be brought in, please.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 WITNESS: JOHANNES RUTTEN
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to the Tribunal.
15 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please read aloud the affirmation on
17 the card which is shown to you now.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
19 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
21 yourself comfortable.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Rutten, Mr. McCloskey for the Prosecution is
24 commencing his examination-in-chief. Mr. McCloskey, you have the floor.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, everyone.
1 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
2 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Could you first tell us your name and your
4 A. My name is Jan Rutten and my rank is lieutenant-colonel.
5 Q. And you have testified both in the Popovic case and in the Krstic
6 case; is that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And if you were asked those same questions that you were asked in
9 those cases, would your answers be the same?
10 A. Yes, my answers would be the same.
11 Q. And did you testify in those cases truthfully?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Therefore, Mr. President, I would like to offer
14 the testimony of the colonel in the Popovic -- the Popovic case, which is
15 65 ter 7137.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7137 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit P2629. Thank you, Your Honours.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I would also like to add --
20 offer all the documents under the next heading associated exhibits
21 starting at 65 ter 7138, ending with 3361.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it that two of them are already in
23 evidence. This is P1506 and P1491. All the others will be received as
24 exhibits and given a P number by internal memorandum by the Registry to
25 save some time.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. And, Mr. President, I now have a -- a
2 summary to read, and -- given the importance of this witness, the
3 four-hour estimate of the Defence, and the summary is a bit longer than
4 normal, but I do not have any intention of asking the colonel any
5 questions, so this should be the Prosecution's main presentation, this
6 summary, aside from allowing the colonel to give us a brief update now
7 before I get to the summary of his career since he's last testified.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. Please go ahead.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Colonel, can you just give us a brief update on your career since
11 the time you testified a while back in the Popovic case.
12 A. Since the end of 2006, I was stationed in Munster, Germany, in
13 the 1st German Netherlands Corps as head of personnel affairs over there.
14 And during that period up to now, I was in a mission abroad in Iraq,
15 Baghdad, for the NTMI mission, NATO training mission Iraq, during the
16 elections in Iraq in 2010. After that and during -- and the period
17 before, I also was stationed in Germany and had a job as a brigade
18 personnel affairs officer for the 1st German Netherlands Corps over
20 Q. Thank you, and we're glad you made it back from Iraq looking
22 A. Thank you.
23 Q. I'm going to read to a summary and if I get anything wrong, you
24 can - I'm sure as you will - correct me if I have made a mistake.
25 Colonel Rutten testified in the Krstic trial as a viva voce
1 witness and as a result 92 ter witness in the Popovic trial. This
2 summary reflects both trials.
3 The colonel joined the Royal Dutch Army in 1979 as a conscript
4 and served as non-commissioned officer in a variety of posts and places
5 until 1991, when he entered the officers' training school which he
6 completed in 1993 where he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant, and he
7 served with the 41st Armoured Infantry Battalion.
8 In 1994, he began his service with the 11th Air Mobile Brigade as
9 an anti-tank platoon commander, and subsequently as a deputy commanding
10 officer of a company.
11 From January through July 1995, he served with DutchBat III as a
12 1st lieutenant during which time he was a patrol co-ordinator and
13 intelligence officer for Charlie Company. During the seven months then
14 Lieutenant Rutten served with DutchBat III. He saw and learned of a
15 decreasing movement of convoys to the enclave by the Serb forces. The
16 decrease in the number of UNHCR convoys began around the end of February
17 or beginning of March, and the supplies in the warehouse in Srebrenica
18 were getting lower. There was not enough food for the civilian
19 population, and the situation in the enclave became so bad that people
20 would go through DutchBat's garbage when it was taken to the dump site.
21 He identified a photograph he took while on patrol of civilians
22 surrounding the dump truck.
23 The DutchBat also had to minimise its consumption of supplies,
24 and this became more severe at the beginning of March. In addition, from
25 April onwards, DutchBat did not have enough personnel for its activities
1 within the enclave since the Serbs did not allow Dutch soldiers who had
2 been on leave to return. DutchBat was also insufficiently armed as it
3 had not received sufficient ammunition supplies and that the ammunition
4 was not safe any more and needed to be replenished.
5 On 10 July 1995, he heard severe impacts behind the compound from
6 a rocket launcher based in Bratunac. Following the shelling, they found
7 an unexploded rocket just behind the compound; that is, DutchBat did.
8 The shelling became heavier in the following days and stopped during the
9 late evening. Colonel Rutten's view of the purpose of the shelling was
10 to intimidate DutchBat from leaving the compound and as an act of terror.
11 On Monday evening after the attack began, he and others heard
12 from Bravo Company that the situation in Srebrenica was getting out of
13 hand and that refugees were on the move towards Potocari. He then
14 received an order to cut a hole in the rear side of the compound fence to
15 let the refugees in, if necessary. Bravo Company soldiers arrived on the
16 evening of 10th July with the first refugees who were kept at the bus
17 compound, or as the colonel called it, the bus remise, because he had not
18 received an order permitting them on the compound and he closed up the
19 fence again.
20 On Tuesday, the 11th of July, Lieutenant Rutten was ordered to
21 re-open the hole in the fence. Lieutenant Koster led a group of DutchBat
22 soldiers at the bus remise. At this time, he, Lieutenant Rutten heard
23 that a large group of refugees were heading towards Potocari and that
24 Bravo Company had to leave Srebrenica because of the shelling and the
25 chaos there. The first group of refugees began arriving at the rear side
1 guided by Koster and his men at the bus remise. Refugees arrived all day
2 on the 11th until approximately 5.00 or 6.00 in the evening at which time
3 Lieutenant Rutten was ordered not to let in my more refugees because the
4 factory hall itself was completely filled. He was then ordered by
5 Major Otter to form three groups of ten men to secure the area of the bus
6 remise where the refugees were. There were many refugees in that area,
7 and they placed white tape around the whole area as the only means
8 available to make it clear that it was meant to be a secure area under UN
10 On the morning of 12 July 1995, small-arms fire was followed by
11 mortar fire and Serb soldiers set fire to houses in the area near the
12 location of the refugees. The first Serb soldiers to arrive were
13 described by the witness as more or less Rambo types. He informed one of
14 the Serb soldiers who looked like the leader that they could not cross
15 the tape because it was UN territory. That Serb soldier just laughed and
16 stepped over the tape, as did others. Serb soldiers then stole equipment
17 and personal items belonging to his men securing the bus compound.
18 On 12 July, Lieutenant Rutten saw General Mladic and his
19 body-guards arrive followed by a truck carrying bread and a fire truck
20 with water. The distribution of bread, water and candy was filmed.
21 Immediately after the filming stopped, the handing out of the bread,
22 water and candy stopped. The Serb forces even took back some of it from
23 the refugees. He did not see the Serb forces distribute anything else
24 after that to the refugees on 12 or 13 July.
25 Later on 12 July as the buses were arriving, Serb soldiers
1 threatened him to give up his weapon, flak vest and radio sets. He
2 refused and told the soldiers that he needed to speak to their commander.
3 Subsequently, a Serb soldier who appeared to be a commander arrived and
4 again demanded the equipment while another Serb soldier grabbed
5 Lieutenant Rutten's weapon. He again refused until the soldier pointed a
6 gun at his head and demanded his radio set. He then gave up one of his
7 radio sets and used the other to inform his superior office that he'd
8 lost his weapon to the VRS. His men then also gave up their weapons and
9 vests at gunpoint. He and his men were then taken to the bus compound
10 and placed under guard by two Serb soldiers.
11 He protested to a man he identified in a photograph as
12 Captain Mane that he -- that he was being held and that they had lost
13 their equipment, but Captain Mane sent him back to the rest of the group.
14 When Captain Mane returned a few hours later, Captain Mane sent
15 Lieutenant Rutten and his squad of ten men escorted by two Serb soldiers
16 back to the compound where they spent the night.
17 On the morning of 13 July, he was on duty in the Operations Room
18 where he heard that Lieutenant Versteeg saw two buses loaded with men
19 leave the vicinity of the white house. He ordered Versteeg to follow the
20 two buses because they were not leaving with the larger group of buses
21 along the road. Versteeg followed the bus to Bratunac, then radioed that
22 it was not going to Kladanj but turned in another direction and that he
23 was being instructed by Serb soldiers from following the bus.
24 Lieutenant Rutten instructed Versteeg to follow the bus, but the Serbs
25 grabbed Versteeg's car and then hijacked it. Consequently, he never
1 learned where those buses went.
2 Because of this incident with Versteeg, Lieutenant Rutten decided
3 to go to the white house himself under the pretext of delivering a
4 wheelbarrow with packages of water, and he was accompanied by a sergeant
5 major. At the gate at the entrance to the white house he saw a huge pile
6 of rucksacks and belongings. A few metres further were all kinds of
7 identity cards and passports on the ground. The white house was well
8 guarded by Serb soldiers who refused them entry, but he went around the
9 side of the house and managed to get in. Once inside he saw a Muslim man
10 hanging from the staircase by one arm, so he asked the Serb soldier to
11 lower him to the ground. While this was being done, he tried to enter a
12 room on the right side from which he'd heard voices but was prevented by
13 a Serb soldier in a green uniform who -- using a gun to prevent him from
14 going in.
15 He then stepped outside and saw a Serb soldier at the gate
16 telling men arriving at the house to throw down their things, and a few
17 metres later telling them to throw their identity cards.
18 Lieutenant Rutten went back inside and upstairs where he found two rooms
19 filled with 50 men and boys from age 12 to 55. He photographed both
20 groups of people but stopped because a Serb soldier was arriving with
21 more. He then left the house. It was clear to him that this was no
22 normal interrogation as normal procedure with POWs would require a system
23 of identifying the prisoners; whereas, it was very clear to him that the
24 men in the white house would not need their IDs or belongings.
25 Later that evening, the Serbs set fire to the belongings and IDs
1 which were outside the house. The fire burned for two days. He
2 identified a photograph he took of the smoke rising from the fire. He
3 did not see any signs of violence or torture during the times he visited
4 the white house.
5 After leaving the white house he went to an area where
6 Lieutenant van Duijn was posted with a blockade of four APCs. At that
7 location, a local interpreter informed him that there were rumours that
8 men had been killed near a well on the road on the Budak side. He,
9 Sergeant Major van Schaik, and Koster then passed through the APC
10 blockade and followed a dirt road. In a very bushy area they found a
11 small stream on the left behind a house near a meadow. As soon as they
12 saw the meadow they saw some bodies lying nearby the stream. He
13 inspected the bodies which were nine men in civilian clothes lying with
14 their faces towards the stream. All had small calibre gunshots to their
15 backs. The men were approximately 45 to 55 years old. He touched the
16 bodies which were warm. The blood was still running and there were no
17 flies on them yet. In his view they had not been shot long before that
18 time, and he said that there were no evidence that the bodies had been
19 moved to that location.
20 He told van Schaik to pick up the identification that was on the
21 grass in front of the bodies and he took a photograph of Koster kneeling
22 between the bodies. He also photographed all nine bodies. At that point
23 there was firing in their direction. He told van Schaik to drop all the
24 identification which he had picked up and they had to leave. He reported
25 that what he had seen -- he reported what he had seen to
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans who told him he would pass his report up to
2 a higher level. When he returned to Holland he turned his camera over to
3 someone from the army intelligence branch but was later informed that
4 something had happened during the development and the photos were never
5 developed or seen.
6 Back in Potocari he then remained at the blockade where he took
7 some pictures of what the Serbs were doing and observed a DutchBat
8 lieutenant and some DutchBat soldiers actually what he viewed as
9 assisting in the deportation of the population by doing their best to
10 help the Muslim refugees leave the area. Because there were Serb
11 soldiers sitting all along the road with their weapons,
12 Lieutenant-Colonel Rutten felt that Dutch was helping in this process.
13 He told this to Lieutenant van Duijn who had a different point of view
14 and was just trying to help the refugees move out of the area.
15 On the other side of the line at the buses, Serb soldiers were
16 carrying out the separation of men from their families. UN soldiers were
17 not working with the refugees at the point where the men were being
18 separated from the women. The witness clearly saw the separation of men
19 from the women and children.
20 He was then ordered by his company commander to escort the last
21 bus that was leaving. He and his driver prepared a jeep and parked it
22 next to the compound entrance while waiting for the last buses to leave.
23 As they waited, he told his driver to accompany them back to the white
24 house so that he could have as many witnesses as possible. By that time,
25 the pile of belongings was huge and many more IDs and passports were
1 laying on the ground. They went to the previously empty left side of the
2 house and saw two Serb soldiers on the staircase which was filled with
3 Muslim men. He could see the total fear on the faces of the Muslim men
4 and boys. They then walked back to the front of the house and saw the
5 balcony totally filled with men and boys. He estimates that almost 300
6 men were in the house and on its balcony.
7 By the time it was clear that the last buses were filled up later
8 in the day on the 13th, the battalion had stopped escorting convoys
9 because it was no use any more in his view. He asked his company
10 ops room if he could make an attempt to escort the last buses and was
11 given the okay. So he quickly drove to the head of the convoy which was
12 heading towards OP Papa. After driving approximately 1 to 1.5
13 kilometres, a private car containing three Serb soldiers in green
14 camouflage uniforms came up behind him. Next another car containing two
15 Serb soldiers came up from the side of the road and blocked the road.
16 The Serb soldiers pointed their weapons at them. The actions of the two
17 cars appeared well organised. At his instruction, his driver then made a
18 U-turn and returned to the compound. As a result, the convoy was not
20 When he returned to the compound he was told to accompany a truck
21 and some medical personnel who were going into Srebrenica to pick up the
22 last elderly people left behind along the road. En route he was stopped
23 by Serb soldiers who ordered him, his driver and a sergeant in the back
24 seat out at gunpoint. The Serb soldiers told him that they would have to
25 continue on in the truck. When they reached the Bravo Company compound,
1 he saw Serbs looting the compound and driving Dutch APCs filled with
2 stolen material. The Serbs had also emptied the weapons collection
3 point. Along the road they found a few elderly people whom they placed
4 in the back of the truck and took back to Potocari with them.
5 There were several more days in Potocari, as you know, but I will
6 stop the summary there and turn the witness over to General Tolimir.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I take it that there are no
8 questions during the examination-in-chief by the OTP.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct, Mr. President. And I -- as you
10 recognise, there was a bit more detail, and I think that has helped save
11 us some time and hopefully be as efficient as possible.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, Judge Nyambe wants to put questions to you.
15 THE WITNESS: Okay.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have the floor.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. It's just a few clarifications.
18 Before the Defence starts asking you questions, I just need some
19 clarifications. The first one is at page 11, lines 5 to 8, the statement
21 "The battalion had stopped escorting convoys because it was no
22 use any more in his view." "In his view" means "in your view." "And he
23 asked his company ops room if he could make an attempt to escort the last
24 buses and was given the okay. So he quickly drove to the head of the
25 convoy which was heading towards OP Papa."
1 I have some difficult to appreciate just how the sequence of
2 events took place with regard to the escort of the convoy. You have said
3 you were of the view that battalion had stopped escorting convoy because
4 in your view because it was of no use any more, and yet in the next
5 minute you are seen ordered -- actually, you are seen asking if you could
6 make an attempt to escort the last buses after you've already made
7 that -- that conclusion that it is of no use. So can you please just
8 explain the sequence of events, how it happened.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes. It's no problem. It looks like now the
10 sequence is that it looks minutes later, but it took quite some time to
11 fill up the buses and trucks with people. Approximately 60 till 70
12 persons were on a bus or a truck, and there was a long line of trucks and
13 waiting before it was filled up, so it was quite some time in between.
14 The moment I saw an opportunity to -- to get -- to escort the total
15 convoy as it was leaving, so there was some more time in between than it
16 looks like here now in the summary. And it was to my own judgement that
17 I heard from my company commander. So if there is a possibility, please
18 take the opportunity and try to -- to escort these convoy. It was one of
19 the last convoys that was leaving with the last people, so that could be
20 an opportunity then to follow them as much as possible to get a clear
21 view of was -- of what was happening with the refugees that left the --
22 the enclave.
23 JUDGE NYAMBE: The clarification I'm looking from you is the
24 impression created as if the idea to escort the convoy was your own. You
25 gave up.
1 THE WITNESS: Yes. That was my own. We had to -- to make an
2 estimation whether it was meaningful or even possible to try to escort
3 the convoys because we -- we lost a lot of vehicles and personnel to try
4 to escort previous convoys that left the enclave. So -- and our people
5 were held on the road two Kladanj in several houses, and I -- I was known
6 before that a lot of DutchBat members were held there. So -- but we need
7 to had a clear view of what was really happening with the people, so that
8 was the reason that I made another attempt to -- to escort the convoy.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: [Microphone not activated] Forgive me. Then at
10 line -- page 10, line 13 to 16, you are said to have said UN soldiers
11 were not working with the refugees at the point where the women were
12 being separated from the men. Why were UN soldiers not working with the
13 refugees? Do you know?
14 THE WITNESS: I don't know exactly what you mean with this --
15 with this question, because there were -- with the APC blocking where
16 Lieutenant van Duijn was there were UN soldiers there, but it was not my
17 specific job to work with my men and the men under my command to assist
18 Lieutenant van Duijn at the APC blocking. We were free. We had free
19 movement, so we tried to make an estimate of what was happening exactly
20 near the white house and tried to get an overview to -- to inform my
21 company commander of what was really happening outside the gate. So the
22 question that you're answering is to me not that clear, if I may say so.
23 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. Let me try to rephrase my question. In the
24 context of what you've just said, you have said UN soldiers were not
25 working with the refugees at the point where the men were being separated
1 from the women.
2 By your statement, I understand that the UN soldiers were
3 supposed to be working with the refugees; is that correct?
4 THE WITNESS: No. I don't think that we were working -- my men
5 were not working with the refugees, because it was not our job to collect
6 the refugees and brought them to the buses -- and bring them to the
7 buses. That was my point of view, and that was in fact the basis of the
8 argument that I had with my colleagues Lieutenant van Duijn. So if
9 you're aiming at that, that's a different situation. Working together
10 with the refugees does not mean that we were not helping them or
11 assisting them. We were there to -- just to monitor what was happening,
12 in my view, and not to be active in the role to help them get -- to get
13 out of the enclave. That was not our job. That was not our mandate, and
14 that's perhaps the difference in view on this topic.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. Somewhere you have said you opened the hole
16 in -- in some building --
17 THE WITNESS: No. No. It was -- sorry if I'm interrupting you.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: No, no.
19 THE WITNESS: It was at the rear side of the compound. There was
20 a small river and there was a bridge over that river, and that was
21 connected with a small dirt road to the bus remise. There were a lot of
22 refugees collecting also the evening earlier. So we tried the evening
23 earlier to make a hole in the fence that if it was necessary, that we
24 could immediately start to transfer the refugees to the compound itself,
25 but in the evening it was not necessary already, so we closed the fence
1 later on the evening. The next day, we opened the fence because the
2 pressure was getting too much and we let in approximately 4- to 5.000
3 refugees on the compound and they stayed in the factory itself.
4 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. Your action to assist the refugees to
5 come in and enclose and open the following day, does that -- was that
6 part of your mandate as you say you were monitoring?
7 THE WITNESS: I think that was part of our mandate, because our
8 mandate was to protect the civilians of the enclave of Srebrenica, and at
9 that point it was quite clear that there was a lot of pressure coming on
10 the bus remise and Serbian soldiers were coming in. So there was a
11 larger threat to the refugees themselves. So that was the moment I
12 checked by my superiors the next day and I said, "We have to leave in now
13 the refugees," because I got the message from the other colleagues that
14 were on the bus remise, and they said there were more refugees and the
15 pressure was getting higher and higher. And that was the point that we
16 left and that we leave -- we opened the hole again and we left in the --
17 the refugees.
18 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just one last question. At page, I think, 10,
19 lines 9 to 11, you are saying: Lieutenant-Colonel Rutten felt that Dutch
20 was helping in this process. He told this to Lieutenant van Duijn who
21 had a different point of view and was just trying to help the refugees
22 move out of the area.
23 Can you clarify the difference of opinion between you and the
24 other lieutenant on this issue? Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: During that process I was also making photographs
1 of what was happening near the line of buses and trucks and on those
2 photos clearly were some Serb -- Serbs that I photographed, this I make a
3 picture of, and looking through the camera it was not a nice view that UN
4 soldiers were, in fact, it looked like if they were in fact helping the
5 evacuation of the refugees from the enclave, and that was surely at that
6 point not in our mandate, because if you can't escort the convoys any
7 more, it's out of hand. You're not in control any more, and that was the
8 reason that I saw that there was a larger trap to the refugees when they
9 left the enclave.
10 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has another question for you.
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. The interpretation continued
13 so far. That's why I'm waiting with the question.
14 Witness, Colonel Rutten, I with like to ask you something about
15 the photos. When you returned to the Netherlands, you handed over your
16 camera to an army officer who told you that later they were unable to
17 develop the photographs. I would like to ask you if you have kept any
18 photographs of the events you recorded after you left the white house
19 when you encountered Lieutenant van Duijn and by the roadside Budak. Do
20 you mean to say that you have no photos left?
21 THE WITNESS: I had a second roll of -- film roll of photos that
22 I took along also to the Netherlands, and I handed in only one film roll
23 with the specific photos I earlier spoke about of the nine killed
24 persons, but the other photos I handed also a few of them in here to the
25 court itself in earlier cases; for instance, the photograph of the
1 garbage truck on it, and some other photos of burning of the documents
2 outside of the white house. I have some other photos, but they are
3 actually of no interest. That was -- that were the photos on the second
4 film roll. The photos on the first film roll, they were the ones that
5 were destroyed.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. The photo of the garbage
9 truck and the burning materials were within the -- the exhibits mentioned
10 that he had identified in the previous trial, and they -- I can -- I
11 think they're marked in -- in the exhibits, but I can double-check that.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 Judge Nyambe has an additional question.
14 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. Just one -- just one more question, I
15 promise. I just need to come back to the issue of the photographs.
16 At page 9 of today's transcript, you are stated as having said:
17 "He also photographed all nine bodies and at that point there was
18 firing in their direction. He told van --" I'm sorry, I can't pronounce
19 the surname, "to drop all the identification which he had to pick up and
20 they had to leave."
21 I want you to clarify a bit about the issue of you telling the
22 other gentleman who was with you to drop all the identification which
23 were picked from the nine bodies. Can you clarify what was going on in
24 your mind when you asked him to drop all the identifications and leave?
25 THE WITNESS: That was not in the summary before that
1 Mr. McCloskey gave, but the thing is that --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, it was in the summary.
3 THE WITNESS: Yeah, it was in the summary, but not the
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Oh, yes. That's true.
6 THE WITNESS: Sorry. Sorry for that. But not the explanation
7 for it.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You're absolutely right. That is the reason for
9 the question.
10 THE WITNESS: The reason was that we -- we got fired at us, and
11 at the same moment I was taking the last picture, and you can tell
12 whether the firing is quite close or not, and it was quite close. I then
13 gave immediately the order to drop the -- the documents, because we had
14 to go through the line with the APCs where the Serbs were to get back to
15 the compound, and so it felt not safe of having documents with us when we
16 had to go through that line again back to the compound. And we actually
17 got to -- got through that line by picking up one of the stretchers where
18 one of the wounded people was on, and it looked like to the other ones
19 that we were helping to bring a stretcher along, when in fact we were at
20 the other side of the line and we saw something that might had some
21 effect later on and that was the -- the things that we saw with the --
22 with the nine bodies. So it was to me it felt unsecure to have documents
23 on us of Muslim people that were killed already.
24 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you for your answer.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, now it's your turn to commence your
1 cross-examination, to put questions to the witness. You have the floor.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I wish
3 peace unto this house. I wish that this day in court and the whole
4 proceedings end in keeping with God's will, not mine.
5 I would like to welcome Colonel Rutten and wish him a pleasant
6 stay with us in this courtroom.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, sir, let's begin with the last question
9 when you were asked why you discarded the documents of the nine people
10 killed. My question is: Why did you throw away evidence that nine
11 people had been killed? Was there any other reason other than fear from
12 the people at the check-point considering that you should have let the
13 Serb side know as well?
14 A. It was not -- you mean -- you used the word "fear." It was not
15 fear. I used another word, and I -- and it was secure and unsecure, and
16 we felt unsecure to get through the Serb line to get to our own people
17 again. It was pure a matter of protecting my two colleagues and myself
18 to get back again, and I'm well aware that it was evidence, but this is a
19 decision that you have to make in a split second.
20 Q. Thank you, Colonel, could you tell the Trial Chamber was your
21 task to protect yourselves or to protect the refugees and the evidence?
22 Why did you throw it away? What would have Serbs done to you if they had
23 seen passports on you? They could have only seized them. Did you fear
24 something else? Did you feel something else would happen, or was there
25 any other reason why you discarded the passports? Were there some real
1 reasons or not?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Tolimir's microphone be adjusted so
3 he speaks closer into the microphone.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I count about five questions in that group and
6 that's, I think, just too much for anyone to have to go through. If he
7 could break it down, I would appreciate it.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. Indeed, Mr. Tolimir. Quite a lot of
9 questions in one, and therefore it's much better to split it up and to
10 put one question after the other, and please avoid repetitions. Please
11 carry on.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Was your task to protect refugees and to
14 record all incidents, and did you have to throw away passports which were
15 evidence of the incidents?
16 A. Our task was to protect refugees but not at all costs, and I
17 considered that as an unsecure situation. So that was the reason that I
18 gave the order to the sergeant major to throw away these documents. But
19 then again, were they of any significance later on, because in front of
20 the white house your people were collecting the documents and working
21 permits and passports from the Muslim people themselves, so -- and they
22 were burned afterwards. So, yeah, I don't see the -- the reason of that
23 question then, sir.
24 Q. Thank you, Colonel. On page 8 of today's transcript, line 10, if
25 I could note it down well because you spoke faster than the court
1 reporter, you said:
2 "And he saw that people were throwing onto the ground everything
3 they were carrying."
4 Did prisoners of war also throw away everything on the ground
5 themselves, and did they also discard their IDs, passports, like you did?
6 A. Sir, it's not quite clear to me what people you are referring to.
7 Do you mean the Muslim people, or do you mean other people, because
8 that's not quite clear in your question.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Could the colonel be shown the transcript on
10 page 8 beginning with line 10. If I noted it down well, because I don't
11 know the language and the court reporter does not always follow the
12 speakers, and it says -- Mr. McCloskey was speaking:
13 "And he saw people throwing onto the ground everything they were
14 carrying. He photographed both groups going behind the house."
15 That was page 8, Mr. McCloskey speaking.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to assist you. On page 8, line 12
17 through 14. I read, I quote:
18 "He then stepped outside and saw a Serb soldier at the gate
19 telling men arriving at the house to throw down their things, and a few
20 metres later telling them to throw their identity cards."
21 This is slightly different from what you put to the witness now,
22 and again this is part of the summary Mr. McCloskey read into the record.
23 A Serb soldier at the gate telling the men to throw down their
24 things, the identity cards. That is the essence of this sentence.
25 Please carry on.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I said
2 at the beginning that my stenogram might be different from the transcript
3 because I was writing down the translation, the stenographic notes.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No reason --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But if you don't want me to ask the
6 question, I needn't.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have just explained that and I
8 just -- sorry. I'm talking. I just wanted to assist you and put that on
9 the record and I know this is very difficult for you. I understand that.
10 I'm not prohibiting putting questions to the witness, it's your right,
11 but I wanted to assist with you the right wording. There's no need to
12 explain it further. Please put the question to the witness.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, but I
14 need assistance while the transcript is running so that my notes are not
15 different to the transcript, because I put my questions on the basis of
16 my own notes, and Mr. McCloskey said in translation:
17 "He saw that people were throwing down on the ground all the
18 things that they were carrying with them."
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, to avoid any misunderstanding and
20 any conflict, I was assisting you. Please understand that. I read to
21 you what was to be found in this transcript, and now you know what is in
22 the transcript and now put a question and don't argue with me. That is
23 guidance, and that was assistance for you. Please put your question to
24 the witness.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I was
1 just pointing out the difference between the translation and the
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Now, Colonel, let me ask you this: Did you see the things being
5 thrown onto the ground?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. And why did you throw documents away? Why did you
8 discard documents? What was the reason for that? What would have
9 happened to you if you had them on you?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The first part of the question was already
11 answered twice, but the last question you should answer. What would have
12 happened to you if you had them on you?
13 THE WITNESS: We were searched earlier by Serb soldiers if we
14 were carrying anything, other things than -- than we -- than they could
15 see. So that could be a threat that we have different documents with us,
16 different -- I mean, documents from Muslim people carrying along with UN
17 personnel. So that could raise questions, and that could deliver an
18 unsecure situation for us at the moment. At that very moment we were --
19 we had not any weapons or whatsoever on us, so that was the reason that I
20 made that decision.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, tell us, how could you have carried out
23 your assignment of documenting the fact that nine people had been killed
24 if you didn't have documents telling you who they were and what they
25 were? How could you report back to the forces and your commander that a
1 crime was being committed? Thank you.
2 A. The reason for that is it's quite easy. I made some photographs,
3 and that was enough evidence for me to get back to my unit again.
4 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, could they have confiscated your camera
5 and all that evidence? Could the Serb soldiers have done that? Yes or
6 no? Could they have confiscated all those things?
7 A. Yes, that was possible, but it was to me the most valuable thing
8 to hide and that was possible, so -- and carrying a lot of documents with
9 us was not that easy, because wearing only a trouser and a T-shirt and a
10 cap, there is nothing much to hide beneath your clothes any more. So
11 that was the reason that I kept the most valuable thing, and that was my
12 camera at the moment, with me and not the documents.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, Colonel, your statement, is it valid if you have
14 no evidence from the scene itself, the so-called scene of crime, as you
15 call it? Thank you.
16 A. I think there was a lot of evidence, because I was with two
17 colleagues, a sergeant major of the Royal Netherlands Army and another
18 lieutenant from the Royal Netherlands Army. So we were working there as
19 UN personnel, so we saw with our own eyes what we had seen at that scene.
20 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, can you tell us this: The UN soldiers
21 from the base, did they carry out dead Muslims around the base, and could
22 they then have portrayed the situation as having been caused by the
24 A. That was simply not possible, because we had very less personnel
25 outside. The personnel that was outside was small groups led by a
1 lieutenant, small groups of ten personnel led by a lieutenant under close
2 surveillance. We had no manpower whatsoever to bring out dead Muslim
3 people because we didn't find any dead Muslim people in the compound or
4 next to the compound by UN personnel other than we reported.
5 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now may we have 1D53 [as interpreted]
6 displayed, please. Thank you. And while we're waiting for that to
7 appear on e-court, tell us, please, whether you and your group, the group
8 you went with to this location that you photographed, did you find any
9 dead bodies, and did you report back to your command except for the ones
10 that you've mentioned? Thank you.
11 I said 1D953, 1D953. Thank you.
12 Now, my question was whether you and the officers who were with
13 you with those nine dead bodies, did you find any other bodies apart from
14 those dead bodies, and if you so, did you report back to your command?
15 Thank you.
16 A. The occasion that I just spoke about and was earlier reported in
17 the summary, that was the only nine bed Muslim people that we saw on the
18 trip to the small stream in -- next to the meadow. We found at that
19 specific timings no other dead people.
20 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now would you take a look at the document in
21 front of you. It is dated the 21st of June, 2011, and it is the -- it
22 says "Defence minister to reveal secret grave." And I quote:
23 "Defence Minister Hans Hillen agreed to reveal the whereabouts of
24 a mass grave in Srebrenica during an interview with TV programme
25 Nieuwsuur on Monday evening.
1 "He was reacting to claims by a former DutchBat soldier that
2 during the Bosnian war in the 1990s seven Muslims died in the Dutch
3 enclave and were buried there. The soldier, Dave Maat told the programme
4 that the Defence Ministry has photos and a map with the co-ordinates of
5 the grave but had refused to release them."
6 And my question to you is this, Colonel: Do you know anything at
7 all about this grave, where is this located, what the co-ordinates are,
8 and how it came into being? Thank you.
9 A. I saw that same news footage on TV as well. During the last two
10 days two people died on the compound, and that were the people that we
11 let enter the enclave -- the -- through the fence that I opened. Two
12 people died over there as I know of. They were buried on the compound
13 itself. Now, this news item here refers to that situation that on the
14 12th or 13th of July, a few Muslims died and they had to -- they had to
15 be buried, and that happened on the compound itself. I don't know where
16 the Defence Ministry -- why they are not disclosing this -- this fact,
17 because it was well-known also to that soldier that there were no more
18 people buried there.
19 And a lot of soldiers that have problems after -- years later
20 after this happenings, and I know this soldier myself because he was a
21 member of a company of the 3rd platoon and his name is David Maat, I even
22 know his first name, and I know also that he has some problems of coping
23 with the situation of the enclave and the situation that he had
24 afterwards. So he has some mental problems as well. So that is the
25 reason probably that this get in news now and then and is -- yeah, that's
1 the only thing I can say about it.
2 Q. Colonel, but you still haven't answered my question in actual
3 fact. Do you know where the grave site is, the one that the Ministry of
4 Defence refers to in the document I just read out and what the
5 coordinates are, and do they coincide perhaps with the co-ordinates where
6 you took photographs of those nine dead bodies?
7 A. As I stated earlier, the people were buried on the compound
8 itself, and it were to my knowledge two people. The site that I referred
9 to of the nine bodies is near the Budak hill, near to a stream, and I did
10 some drawings myself here and on the maps where that exactly was. So
11 this is much different than the situation you are describing, and if I
12 may say so, sir, I don't know the co-ordinates by heart.
13 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, can you tell me whether it was by
14 chance that all the evidence was lost about the location where the dead
15 bodies were found, nine dead bodies, and that 16 or 17 years later what
16 the minister said has still not been disclosed about the grave that the
17 command of the Dutch Battalion dug while it was in Srebrenica? Thank
19 A. I don't get quite your question, because you're referring now on
20 two different situations. One I explained you already of the nine bodies
21 and where that was. That was exactly not on the compound. And the two
22 Muslim people that I am referring to and also in the Dutch news footage
23 that we see over here is on the compound itself. And I don't know why
24 the minister isn't revealing this news if it is well known. You better
25 ask the Ministry of Defence, because I'm only working as an officer for
1 the Ministry of Defence.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, may I ask you for one clarification. We see
3 on the screen this document of the 21st of June, 2011. In the second
4 paragraph it refers to seven Muslims died in the Dutch enclave and were
5 buried there. There is a difference between the two you are mentioning
6 and these seven, and it is said here "in the Dutch enclave," and not "in
7 the Dutch compound."
8 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Have you any idea why this could happen, why this
10 is formulated in this way in this Dutch news document?
11 THE WITNESS: What we see after all these years is that people
12 are not tracking the right words, and in the collective memory is --
13 enclave has been mentioned here in this news footage, but it's also --
14 but it's merely -- it has to be base or compound, because the two were
15 buried, at least to my knowledge, to -- on the compound.
16 The soldier that is describing of seven is to his knowledge that
17 there could be seven on the compound itself, but I have a colleague who
18 was then a captain, and we spoke about this, and he said that, "We never
19 buried seven people on the compound, only two." And I spoke this
20 colleague only I think two or three weeks ago as I met him, because he
21 was then the company commander of the medical unit that came along with
22 us to the enclave.
23 So that is the only knowledge that I have mixing up words after
24 all these years and reporters telling something in a news footage that I
25 see over here on screen.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that clarification.
2 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you, Colonel. To avoid any misunderstanding, what I'm
5 asking you is this: Do you know what happened to those seven who were
6 buried in the enclave that the Defence Ministry is referring to? Thank
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness sit closer to the microphone,
10 THE WITNESS: It's not to my knowledge that there were seven men
11 buried in the enclave or on the compound as I just spoke about. The
12 mixing up in words between "enclave" and "compound," I think that here is
13 the question. And that's the only thing that I can say about this.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Colonel, could the minister have misinformed the
16 public with imprecise data or is it some other -- other matter, some
17 other case that you don't know about?
18 A. I simply can't -- can't answer this question to you.
19 Q. Thank you. Now take a look at what the soldier that you
20 mentioned says, Maat, where he says "16 years." The title is "16 years,"
21 that portion.
22 "When Maat revisited the area recently, he discovered that the
23 families of the dead had been looking for the bodies of their loved ones
24 for the past 16 years. On his return, he approached the Defence Ministry
25 and asked for information about the location of the grave but was told
1 this information was confidential. According to Hillen, the ministry
2 misunderstood the question. The DutchBat soldiers were debriefed on
3 their return from Srebrenica, and what they said is confidential. The
4 minister thought Maat wanted this information."
5 Now, my question to you is this: Apart from these seven, were
6 there any more, any others that were buried and which was confidential
7 and whom they informed about upon their return from Srebrenica? Thank
9 A. Not that I know of. DutchBat or better the UN Battalion,
10 DutchBat III, to my knowledge has not buried any other Muslim people near
11 on the compound or in the enclave itself.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Other than the two you spoke of.
13 THE WITNESS: Other than two. Sorry, sir. Yeah.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 Mr. Tolimir.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. Colonel, could be more precise -- or, rather, since
18 I'm speaking in court, would it be more precise to say that you know of
19 no others apart from those two, but since the minister spoke about it and
20 the soldier spoke about it, then we should ask them and seek information
21 from them? This is fresh information dated the 21st of June, 2011.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is exactly what the witness
23 said. "Not that I know of." He is giving you his knowledge. Please
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I didn't
1 understand. That's why I asked again. So the colonel needn't answer
2 that question. Now could we have 07140 displayed on e-court, please.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it that this is a 65 ter number,
4 Mr. Tolimir. Do you tender the last document, the press report, 1D953?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you. We are tendering document 1D953.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 1D953 shall be assigned
9 Exhibit D320. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Colonel, you can probably recognise the general Potocari area and
12 the base. Could you mark where the location was where you photographed
13 those nine dead bodies. Could you mark it in on the map. It was
14 probably close to the base. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please, with the assistance of the court
17 THE WITNESS: Here. It was here between the bushes, because the
18 bushes are hiding that road that follows through the woods here, and here
19 is a small stream as well, and this is the Budak hill area. So it was
20 quite next to this road here what he -- I'm just marking it out again.
21 This is along the houses, the road, and it is in this wooded area.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we take it where you marked at the left
23 part -- wait a moment, please. At the left part of your marking where
24 you made a circle, is that the place where you saw the dead bodies?
25 THE WITNESS: Yes. It's exactly down here.
1 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you don't have the floor. Please
3 wait until you get the floor. I'm just talking to the witness.
4 Please --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, could you please put a number 1 near to this
8 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
10 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Wait please. Wait please. You will get the
12 floor. You know the procedure, Mr. Tolimir.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And in addition to that, could you please mark,
15 if you recall, where the two Muslims who died in the compound were
17 THE WITNESS: That was in the back of the compound as I know of,
18 and it was at the rear side of the compound, and that was more or less at
19 the -- in this area. And I mark a 2 over there.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
21 Now, Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor again.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Colonel, please, would you put a number 2 at the actual location
25 of the base.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is not --
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. -- thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is not preferable, because we have already a
5 number 2. Would you like that the witness uses a number 3 for that?
6 The location of the base as Mr. Tolimir calls it. A number 3,
8 THE WITNESS: That was a total blue marked area that was the
9 compound of DutchBat.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. And you indicated that with a number
12 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And thank you, Colonel.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this into
17 evidence now please and my next question is as follows.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please wait. Please wait. You are tendering a
19 document. This marked photograph will be received as an exhibit.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7140, which is
21 Exhibit P2632 marked in court by the witness shall be assigned
22 Exhibit D321.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You were asked by Judge Nyambe, and we heard from the Prosecutor
2 during the examination-in-chief, that you didn't work with refugees at
3 the point where the men were separated from the women. I'd like us to
4 look at document D174 next, please, D174. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you to the technicians for
6 the e-court material.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. We now have this document of the United Nations before us,
9 received by Mr. Annan at the United Nations, and it was sent by
10 Mr. Akashi from the UN peace forces in Zagreb. The date is the 11th of
11 July, 1995, and this document concerns UN policy.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we have the second page of this
13 document displayed, please. Thank you.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Witness -- accused.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you see paragraph (d) [as interpreted], and below that it says
17 and I quote:
18 "After consultations with the Bosnian government and in order to
19 avoid a humanitarian catastrophe, the Bosnian Serbs will be asked to
20 allow all the inhabitants of Srebrenica, including the men, to go to
21 Tuzla if they so wish. The Dutch will be instructed --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry for interrupting you. In paragraph (d) I
23 can't find this part you are quoting or reading.
24 Mr. Gajic.
25 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Line 7 of paragraph (b). Paragraph
1 (b), line 7, or thereabouts.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Mr. Tolimir, please
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let me repeat -- or, rather, continue.
6 "The Dutch will be instructed to remain in the Srebrenica enclave
7 at least until arrangements have been negotiated and finalised with
8 Bosnian Serb authorities for the departure from the enclave of those
9 people. Ideally, UNPROFOR will remain an armed and substantial presence
10 in the enclave at least until the departure from the enclave of all those
11 wishing to leave has been completed. This preference will need to be
12 balanced against the Dutch government's desire to evacuate its forces
13 from Srebrenica with the shortest delay. UNPROFOR will with the support
14 of the UNHCR will also endeavour to reach agreement with the Bosnian
15 Serbs to escort any convoy of refugees from Srebrenica to Tuzla."
16 Now, my question to you is this: Was it UN policy to see that
17 the UNPROFOR command in Srebrenica should assist the evacuation of the
18 refugees from Srebrenica going to the territory where they wished to go?
19 Thank you.
20 A. This is the first time I see this document, and it's quite clear
21 to me that UNPROFOR supports the evacuation of the Muslim people, and
22 that's the only thing I can say about this document.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, if this was indeed UN policy, your position was
24 it -- was it then contrary to UN policy at the time when you expressed it
25 and when you told Lieutenant Duijn what you told him?
1 A. This is a letter from the highest level of the UN. The situation
2 on the ground was much different as you're well aware of. Your personnel
3 were collecting and disarming UN personnel from their weapons, even
4 myself. I was disarmed by your personnel. So there was quite a
5 different situation than the statements here in the letter from the
6 highest level from UN. So on the ground, it was different from what is
7 described here.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber whether
9 you were disarmed because previously you had opened fire on the Army
10 of -- the Republika Srpska Army, not only you but the whole UNPROFOR
12 A. We did as -- the moment I was disarmed, I was not opening fire.
13 I was merely disarmed because I was a threat to them because I was
14 spreading news over what they were doing next to the road and in the
15 direct environment to the Muslim people. So if you respect this document
16 on one hand and being one of the leaders of the Bosnian -- no, of the VRS
17 army itself, then we have here a typical situation, because your men, as
18 I encountered them, were differently instructed as what -- what I read
19 here in the letter, and they told me myself. So VRS military personnel
20 acted differently from this UN document.
21 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I'm asking you on the 8th, 9th, and 10th,
22 did you fire at the Army of Republika Srpska in keeping with the orders
23 you had received, in keeping with the green order?
24 A. This question -- I myself was not firing, and I cannot comment
25 this question any more than that.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we started a bit later today that
2 therefore we have our first break later, but I think now it's time for
3 our first break. We will resume 25 minutes past 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.55 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.28 p.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we continue, I just want to raise one
7 matter. In the meantime, we received a CD with document Exhibit P1301,
8 which was previously marked for identification pending the delivery of
9 the CD. Now it is in front of us. The document is in evidence now,
11 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Please, Colonel, you said here that you were disarmed, and I
15 asked you if before that you had been at war with the Army of Republika
16 Srpska. You said you knew nothing about it, and you were not involved in
17 any such war.
18 My question is: What about other soldiers who were subordinate
19 to you? Did they really shoot at the VRS soldiers in keeping with order
20 green from the UNPROFOR command?
21 A. First in what you say, in the first piece of your question, I
22 never said that I did nothing -- that I knew nothing about it, and I also
23 didn't say that I was not involved in any such war, because I was on the
24 ground and there was actually -- actually one of the witnesses on the
25 ground. So I don't know where that came from. But to your question,
1 soldiers who were subordinate to me did not fire at the VRS army. There
2 were some soldiers in my company that fired at the VRS during the 10th
3 and the 9th in the happenings around the blocking positions in the road
4 south to Srebrenica.
5 Q. Thank you. Let us see what Major Franken says. He knew what
6 soldiers did, and he issued the green order. He appeared as a witness in
7 this trial, and in July 2010, and the 1st of July, 2010, on page 3473 the
8 question is:
9 "When did you issue order green?"
10 His answer was:
11 "It must have been on the night of the 9th July."
12 And on page 3475, lines 8 through 10, he says:
13 "As I said before, we were in a state of war with the VRS. We
14 opened fire together with the Muslim army."
15 And to the question:
16 "Was your mandate to destroy VRS weapons and go to war with the
17 VRS, the Army of Republika Srpska, after the issuing of the green order?"
18 On page 3484, lines 1 through 3, he says:
19 "No, it was not within our mandate, but again my mandate changed
20 significantly from the moment when the UN ordered me to defend
21 Srebrenica, and that was the reason why I issued the green order. So in
22 that sense, yes."
23 My question to you is: You members of the UNPROFOR in
24 Srebrenica, did you have a mandate to take sides, to side with one of the
25 warring parties and wage war together with that side?
1 A. To the specific question from your side, I have to stick also
2 what the Major Franken said. The situation changed dramatically after
3 the 9th of July, so we were forced to protect the Muslim people, to fire
4 at the VRS. So I think that Major Franken made also quite clear that
5 there was a different situation than our initial mandate, and still we
6 was not acting accordingly to the mandate to fire at one of the parties,
7 but nevertheless, to protect the other party we had to do something.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel. You are a military man. If somebody's
9 shooting at you, even if it is UNPROFOR, is it logical that at least the
10 minimum step of disarming them should be taken to disable that person or
11 persons from firing at you again?
12 A. You could say that, Mr. Tolimir, but there is one big difference
13 to that, and that is if you disarm the other party, meaning in this
14 situation UNPROFOR, you have to disarm them all, and that was a thing
15 that you did not do with the VRS. You armed [sic] only specific military
16 personnel, meaning UNPROFOR, the ones who got in the way. For instance,
17 me myself, I got in the way of seeing something, of collecting
18 information, and that was the reason why I was disarmed. So more
19 colleagues were disarmed because they saw something or got in the way of
20 the VRS actions.
21 Q. Thank you. And do you remember that in the examination-in-chief
22 you said you spent one night in isolation, you were put in isolation
23 which by the Army of Republika Srpska?
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, he was not examined during
25 examination-in-chief. There was no examination-in-chief. That was the
1 summary read into the record by Mr. McCloskey, just for the record.
2 Now the answer of the witness, please, about the isolation you
3 were put by the Army of Republika Srpska in.
4 THE WITNESS: I was for a short period in isolation, the moment I
5 got disarmed with my men, and shortly afterwards I was brought back to
6 the compound, as earlier stated by Mr. McCloskey in the summary.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. I apologise for saying this, but it was said on page
9 7 that Captain Mane took you back to the remise, but never mind. Let's
10 not go back to that.
11 My next question would be: Since you said here on page 4 that
12 you had seen people taking food from dumpsters -- sorry. The Prosecutor
13 said that reading the summary. My question is: Is it the case that to
14 this day in all countries in the Balkans, all dumpsters containing waste
15 and rubbish are being gone through to find useful scraps, and it's not as
16 organised as it is in Western countries?
17 A. To my knowledge, sir, it was well organised in Srebrenica before
18 it became an enclave, because we even used the formerly dumpster trucks
19 from the municipality of Srebrenica and used them to got rid our own
20 garbage. So they got into the garbage of UNPROFOR because no convoys of
21 the UNHCR came into the enclave anymore because they were stopped by the
23 Q. Please answer this question: Is it the case that to this day in
24 all the countries of the former Yugoslavia people look through dumpsters
25 and waste, generally, to separate various items unless that is organised
1 by the state?
2 A. I've been recently not to -- to former Yugoslavia, and also
3 before I was in the enclave I made some several vacation trips to
4 Yugoslavia when it was one state, and it was always well organised. So
5 there were always people searching in dumpsters, but not for food, I
6 reckon. And your country was well organised before the war, the
7 Yugoslavian war, started.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel, for this answer. My question is: Does
9 rummaging through rubbish indicate that somebody's hungry or that they
10 are looking for useful scraps that can be sold or used for another
12 A. Our estimation and our belief and what we saw daily happen when
13 we dumped the trucks also on my personal patrolling along that side to OP
14 Romeo and Quebec where we dumped our garbage that the people were looking
15 for food and not for other items they could use.
16 Q. Thank you, Colonel. We won't deal with this any more, because
17 all things are possible in war.
18 Can we now look at 65 ter 07144. That is your statement dated 23
19 July 1995, which is recorded as confidential. I don't know if it's still
20 confidential. Perhaps the Prosecution can tell us.
21 THE REGISTRAR: This document is Exhibit P2636 now. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I take it that it is not under seal. Please
23 carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Since we see it on the screen and it's not under seal, I will
2 note again that it is an interview done with you on 23 July 1995, just 13
3 days after the events in Srebrenica. Here is what you say, I quote from
4 the first line in the first paragraph towards line 13:
5 "I am the patrol co-ordinator for Srebrenica. On the morning of
6 11 July 1995, there was a rumour in the local refugee camp that seven
7 people had been shot and the bodies were near the well in Potocari. As I
8 was the patrol coordinator, I knew the area very well. I drove with
9 Lieutenant Koster and Sergeant Major Van Schaik to the well. As we
10 approached the well I saw one man running from that direction, and a
11 Muslim woman whom we had asked about the bodies. She pointed us to the
12 direction of the bodies. On arriving at the scene, we saw nine dead men
13 who appeared to have been shot, lying face down with their heads almost
14 in the well. Beside the bodies were passports and ID cards. I gave
15 instructions to Sergeant Major Van Schaik to pick these up, which he did.
16 We then took photographs of the scene, including the bodies. As we were
17 leaving the scene, we heard gunshots, and we saw a Bosnian Serb Army
18 soldier who appeared distracted. I told the sergeant to get rid of the
19 passports and the IDs which he did. The film has been sent to Holland to
20 be developed."
21 My question is: Does this description reflect the actual scene
22 and the event as you experienced it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You go on to say:
25 "On Monday night, people started moving down from the mountains
1 and other areas within the enclave into the DutchBat Compound. The
2 DutchBat housed approximately 25.000 refugees in two compounds. On
3 Tuesday, General Mladic came to the refugee camps with a camera crew."
4 Does this description correspond to what you described?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. My next question: If you had driven, as you say in
7 line 4, with Lieutenant Koster and Sergeant Major van Schaik, where was
8 your vehicle when you were passing by the barricades, as you said?
9 A. This report was translated from Dutch into English. We never
10 drove, because we haven't -- we hadn't even got enough fuel for driving
11 because we were patrolling the last few months with donkeys to get to the
12 OPs. So it must be a mistake in the translation of this document,
13 because we had no cars at that moment, and we were not driving with cars
14 from the compound to the site that I spoke about in this document. It
15 was quite near.
16 Q. Thank you. If in line 4 we see a mistranslation, is it the case
17 also in line 10 which says:
18 "I gave instructions to the sergeant major to pick these up,
19 which he did."
20 My question is: How did he them up, and what did he put them
21 into? He couldn't just hold them in his hands.
22 A. No. That's quite true. He picked them up and put these
23 documents -- he looked at them and put them in his camouflage uniform
24 trousers, because we have on even sides pockets on the camouflage
1 Q. Thank you. Would you agree with me that the way this is written
2 this sounds as if you put these documents into some sort of vehicle?
3 Right or wrong?
4 A. No. I don't see that like -- no. No. It may be something about
5 translation, but I don't see that. There was simply no vehicle, so we
6 couldn't put it in a vehicle. It is just a mistranslation about walking
7 or driving, and that is no thing that happened in this document, I think.
8 Q. Thank you. Is it then possible that in this part of the
9 statement when it says: "I driver with Lieutenant Koster and sergeant
10 Major van Schaik and I told him to pick them up," is it unclear from this
11 how you travelled there and how he picked these things up? Can you
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is again repetition. The witness explained
14 in detail how that could have happened that the word "I drove" came into
15 this statement.
16 Please avoid repetitions. It's a waste of time. Move to the
17 next question.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Colonel, let us look at line 1 as the President says. It says:
21 "I am the patrol co-ordinator for Srebrenica. On the morning of
22 11 July 1995, there was a rumour in the local refugee camp that seven
23 people had been shot ..."
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have read -- you have read all of this into
25 the transcript already. There's no need to do that again. Put a
1 question to the within, please.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I read this out in
3 order to ask my question.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. In the course of this discussion, it was said that you found this
6 out from one of the interpreters. So which version is true? Was it a
7 rumour that circulated around the refugee camp or was it something you
8 found out from one of the interpreters?
9 A. In answer to your question, there were a lot of rumours. That
10 morning there was a lot going on. But specifically answering your
11 question, it came from an interpreter that we got the news of probably
12 the seven men that were shot.
13 Q. Thank you. If you were told that by an interpreter on the 11th
14 of July, 1995, do you know whether VRS soldiers were at that time at the
15 location where you found the bodies?
16 A. As I described earlier and the moment that we came to the site
17 where we find the nine men, at that point where we had to leave, we saw
18 VRS soldier chasing a woman who was running away from a house. And that
19 is in the my other statements as well. So there were VRS personnel in
20 the immediate area that I described earlier.
21 Q. Thank you. You did not say that soldiers were chasing her. You
22 said that close to that woman you saw a Serb who looked distracted. You
23 did not mention in your statement that the woman was chased by VRS
24 soldiers. Is that correct?
25 A. That was correct what you're saying, but meaning Serb, there were
1 no other Serbians not in uniforms around at that moment. There were only
2 VRS personnel around near the road and near the houses that I described
4 Q. Thank you. If this happened on the 11th, as you say in your
5 statement, is it possible that these men had been killed on the 10th
6 during combat before the VRS came to the area of Potocari and Srebrenica?
7 A. Sir, if I may say so, I answered this question earlier, because
8 the moment we came to the nine bodies, they were warm and the blood was
9 still running, and a day later a body is not warm any more, and the blood
10 isn't running, because temperature at that moment was almost 30 degrees.
11 Q. Yes. Thank you, Colonel, but that was on the 11th. If the
12 temperature was so high, was the VRS close to your base in Potocari,
13 because in the same statement, you say: "On Monday night, people started
14 moving down from the mountains and other areas within the enclave," and
15 then three lines below you say: "On Tuesday, General Mladic came."
16 If General Mladic came on Tuesday, could the troops have been
17 there on the 11th, on Monday?
18 A. There was already VRS personnel in the enclave pouring down from
19 the hills as I described earlier. This question was asked earlier for
20 the same dates. So I'd -- they were around. Your personnel was around
21 on the 11th already before the Mladic came to the bus remise.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, when did the
23 air-strikes against Bosnian Serb positions in Srebrenica and around
24 Srebrenica occur, on what day?
25 A. That was also on the 11th.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us were you able to inform the VRS about
2 it on the same day as well as your commander, and does that feature in
3 your reports?
4 A. I don't understand your question, because you know as a soldier
5 that I, as a UN member, the VRS is not in my chain of command.
6 Q. Thank you. I know that, but were you able to report on that on
7 the 11th and to keep in touch with the VRS while combat was going on and
8 while -- while the air-strikes were still underway, while you were firing
9 at the VRS?
10 A. The reports that I made were directly to my commander and even to
11 the battalion commander, so everything was reported, but not to the VRS,
12 because as I stated earlier, the VRS was not in my chain of command. I
13 don't see the -- I don't get your question quite well, sir.
14 Q. Please, should the VRS be blamed for something that happened
15 before the 11th, before the VRS came to Potocari, or should this be
16 blamed on someone else who was there on the site?
17 A. There were a lot of happenings before the 11th, and the
18 air-strikes came in in the early morning, and that was on their -- is the
19 VRS accountable? Because the shelling of the compound and the -- they
20 came in from the south in the enclave, the VRS, was the days before the
21 11th. So the VRS was actually entering the -- entering the enclave
22 before the 11th.
23 Q. Thank you. On what positions and at what time was the VRS bombed
24 in the enclave during the 11th? Where were those positions?
25 A. I don't understand your answer -- or your question, because
1 you're saying, "At what time was the VRS bombed?" I don't understand
3 Q. That's correct. At what time did the air-strikes occur against
4 the VRS positions in Srebrenica?
5 A. I don't have the exact timings right now by heart, I don't know,
6 but it was in the early morning.
7 Q. Sorry, could you say for the record which day -- date it was?
8 A. To my knowledge right now, it's on the 11th.
9 Q. Thank you. If the VRS was bombed on the 11th on access points to
10 the enclave, is it possible that on the 11th in the morning or just
11 before when you saw these bodies they were already in Potocari? Could
12 these bodies have been victims or casualties of combat?
13 A. As I described earlier in my statements, this was -- they were
14 shot quite nearby with small-calibre weapons, and as the way they were
15 laying in the meadow with their faces down to the -- to a small stream,
16 it was quite clear to us, not only to me but also to my colleagues, that
17 they were executed on that place, and it was nothing what looked like
18 that there was a fight going on or was going on at that point.
19 Q. Thank you. Is it possible that somebody killed someone on the
20 11th in the morning before you arrived, or during the night perhaps,
21 between the 10th and the 11th, because they didn't want to defend their
22 positions or because they weren't withdrawing from their positions or for
23 some other reason? Might they have been killed at that way?
24 A. I don't know. I described earlier that these bodies were -- it
25 was -- they were -- I described it that the bodies were still warm and
1 the blood running, so it couldn't happen the night earlier. So I don't
2 know where you're aiming at, but this couldn't happen earlier.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you hear that the Muslims in front of your
4 UNPROFOR soldiers killed soldiers next to your APCs? They killed their
5 own soldiers right in front of your APCs. Have you heard about that?
6 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
7 Q. Thank you. And do you know about the case of the killing of
8 soldier Rensen and whether any incident took place at that time between a
9 BH Army soldier and a soldier belonging to UNPROFOR? Thank you.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber what this was all
12 about, this incident, what happened?
13 A. At that time that that happened, it wasn't quite clear to us what
14 had happened exact -- exactly, but one of the soldiers that was above the
15 turret of the APC got injured at the moment the UN APC was withdrawing
16 from a position. Later on we heard that possibly BH Muslim soldiers
17 could have been responsible for that. And that was at the time that we
18 were in the enclave that I heard about this.
19 Q. Thank you. And the debriefing -- during debriefing, did you hear
20 statements by eyewitnesses, and did they say how the soldier was killed,
21 how soldier Rensen was killed? Did you hear about that? Thank you.
22 A. I heard about that -- I heard about that, but I never heard --
23 personally spoke to the colleagues that were involved in that -- were in
24 that group.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber what you actually
1 did hear, because you didn't talk to any eyewitnesses.
2 A. I heard that BH soldiers possibly could have killed soldier
3 van Rensen at the APC.
4 Q. Thank you. If the soldiers of BH killed UNPROFOR soldiers for
5 withdrawing from their positions, is there the possibility that they
6 might have killed their own soldiers, members of the BH Army, their own
7 combatants, to prevent them from withdrawing faced with the Army of
8 Republika Srpska?
9 A. You say UNPROFOR soldiers. It was just one soldier, but one too
10 many, I think. So I have to correct that. And then I'm not aware of, as
11 I earlier stated, that BH soldiers shot down their own man. So that is
12 enough questions. I don't think that it's the right point now, 16 years
13 later, to do an estimation of what BH soldiers could have done then.
14 Q. Thank you. Very well. Since you say that, why do you think that
15 they must have been killed by the Serbs if you have not a shred of
16 evidence as to who shot at them and if there are no eye-witnesses? How
17 is that possible, then? How can you arrive at that conclusion then?
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you now referring again to the nine dead
20 bodies the witness testified about?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. That's right, Mr. President.
22 Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. If it was your conclusion that the nine bodies were killed by the
25 Serbs, did you have any evidence that they were actually killed by the
1 Serbs, or did you have any eye-witnesses which would lead to that
3 A. I explained earlier that we saw Serb soldiers running around
4 quite near to that area. There were no other Muslim armed personnel that
5 we saw in the direct vicinity of that area, and clearly Serb forces were
6 in control of that area. There was no other military personnel in the
7 direct vicinity. So -- and what I earlier stated, they were shot a few
8 minutes ago, the moment we came. So -- or shortly. So it is -- yeah.
9 It is to me quite unbelievable, because we never encountered any Muslim
10 military personnel around that area on the 11th any more. So I never
11 said that I'm sure that VRS personnel could have done that, but all the
12 things that I said earlier lead -- leads to this conclusion, and that was
13 the question you asked me earlier, if I could -- on what basis I made
14 this conclusion.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, did you protect the woman that the Serb was
16 chasing, as you said, who had been distracted, according to you?
17 A. We had no -- at that time she was running away, we had no
18 possible means to protect her, because we were unarmed ourselves at that
19 very moment.
20 Q. Thank you. And on the 11th in the morning, were you disarmed or
21 did you have weapons? Thank you.
22 A. We were already disarmed.
23 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber at what time you were disarmed on
24 the 11th in the morning and who disarmed you? Thank you.
25 A. I said earlier that a group of the Captain Mane disarmed me. I
1 don't have the exact timings any more.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, Captain Mane, did he come to Potocari, to your
3 base on the 11th in the morning to disarm you, or was the situation
5 A. He was already on the 11th near the road to the place where the
6 blocking positions were.
7 Q. On the 11th in the morning, was there a blockade along the road?
8 Was there a blockade put up on the road? Thank you.
9 A. There was a blockade southward to -- in the direction of
10 Srebrenica, and that was formed by APCs, and it was controlled by the
11 Lieutenant van Duijn.
12 Q. Are we talking about the place that you marked right next to the
13 base? Is that what you're talking about, or are you talking about
14 another location controlled by the colonel and some other -- the captain
15 and some other barricade?
16 A. It was somewhat southwards, because it was just in front of the
17 bus remise, if you know the exact point.
18 Q. Thank you, Colonel. But according to what you've said so far,
19 all the witnesses and everything else, nobody says that Colonel Mane was
20 there and the Army of Republika Srpska was by the base. Everybody says
21 that that was on the 12th, after the agreement had been signed on the
22 evacuation, the agreement between the Muslim civilian population,
23 General Mladic, and Colonel Karremans. Do you remember that perhaps?
24 Thank you.
25 A. No, I'm not aware of that. No.
1 Q. And do you remember when Colonel Karremans had a meeting with the
2 Muslims to inform them that there would be bombing of the Army of
3 Republika Srpska?
4 A. That was earlier than the 11th.
5 Q. Thank you. Might that have been the 10th, in the evening?
6 A. It could have been, yeah.
7 Q. If it was indeed on the evening of the 10th and the incident with
8 the nine dead bodies on the morning of the 11th, do you remember whether
9 it could have been the Army of the Republika Srpska who was next
10 to your -- which was next to your base and had control points at the time
11 of the bombing? Thank you.
12 A. Sorry, what is your question, sir? I don't see the question
14 Q. The question is: The Army of Republika Srpska, could it have
15 held the control point, the check-point, with its APC in Potocari right
16 next to your base on the 11th in the morning, when you on the 11th were
17 by the nine dead bodies? Thank you.
18 A. You're bringing everything out of context, because I walked
19 through that blockade to get to the position of where the nine -- where I
20 found the nine people somewhat higher uphill to the Budak area. So I
21 don't see your point right here.
22 Q. Thank you. I apologise for having to repeat. On the 11th of
23 July, 1995, in the morning, rumours went around the camp saying that
24 seven people were killed and that their bodies were next to the stream by
25 Potocari. Since I was the co-ordinator of the patrol, I knew the area
1 well, and I drove off with Colonel Konings [phoen].
2 Now, is it possible that you could have gone there since there
3 was no Army of Republika Srpska and that that might have been in the
4 morning before the bombing? Thank you.
5 A. No, that was not the case.
6 Q. Well, thank you. I'd like to remind you, could the soldiers of
7 Republika Srpska have been in your base with NATO deciding to bomb the
8 Serbs later? Would that have been an absurdity or not? Thank you.
9 A. I don't see the question. I don't understand the question here.
10 He's asking me something that I don't understand.
11 Q. Thank you. Let me put it this way -- or, rather, let's look at
12 D20. It's the debriefing on Srebrenica. Page 38, please, paragraph
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, at this point in time may I ask you, had
15 been the VRS in the UN compound, in the base itself, at that point in
16 time when the NATO bombing started?
17 THE WITNESS: No, they were not in the compound itself on the
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if we could -- I mean, the
21 testimony and the summary of the testimony and the dates thereof have
22 been completely left out, and we're concentrating on a early statement
23 where July 11th was mentioned. If the questions can be put in the
24 context of what's happening on the ground, I think this will be -- make
25 more sense for the Trial Chamber and everyone else, because the dates by
1 themselves can be confusing.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, try to make clear to which specific
3 time you are referring and continue your cross-examination.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, and thank
5 you, Mr. McCloskey, for your assistance. I'd like to ask the witness to
6 take a look now at paragraph 3.58 that we have on our screens, and since
7 I can't read English very well, perhaps he could read the text from the
8 third sentence on, and then I'm going to tell him how I understand this
9 passage. Perhaps I misunderstood.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you should explain for the witness
11 on which kind of document he is looking now so that he can understand the
12 context. You're just saying "debriefing," but you should explain to him
13 what kind of document it is.
14 Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: If he could also briefly see the 11th and the
16 12th so we can put this in the context of -- of -- of what this is about
17 as opposed to just a few lines that says the 10th, because I -- it's easy
18 to say particular dates, but without the context it doesn't mean much.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is the witness looking at, Mr. Tolimir?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What the witness is looking at is
21 debriefing on Srebrenica provided by the members of his battalion when
22 they arrived in Assen, and it was conducted in Assen in 1995. Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now, we're reading what actually happened on that 11th of July.
25 It says:
1 "At around noon on Tuesday, the 11th of July," the fourth line
2 down. I'm reading from the fourth line.
3 "At around noon on Tuesday, the 11th of July."
4 May I continue, Mr. President?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And I quote:
8 "At around noon on Tuesday, the 11th of July, a number of shells
9 struck the area near the armoured vehicle. The abandoned OP (Observation
10 Post) was also shelled. Chaos prevailed among the BH. Internal fighting
11 broke out once again. That evening, the OP crew were permitted to leave
12 because they were willing to take the wife and children of a local BH
13 leader with them," and so on.
14 My question is the following: Can we see from this that on the
15 11th fighting was still going on right up until the evening, as it says
16 here? Is that evident from this passage? Thank you.
17 A. Yes. This is OP Mike where you're referring to. I know
18 personally the sergeant who was commanding that APC and this OP. We had
19 given him the order by our operations room to leave OP Mike because a lot
20 of VRS shelling was going on, and it is exactly what's described here,
21 because it was VRS shelling that he had to fall back again from the
22 OP Mike, and he took along family members of the BH leader. There was
23 chaos going on at that moment, and it was quite clear to us in the
24 operations room as well.
25 Q. Further down it says:
1 "When the two BiH soldiers with the anti-tank weapons attempted
2 to prevent their departure, they were shot in the head by the BH leader."
3 So the BH leaders shot their own soldiers; is that right? That's
4 my question. Did the BH leaders shoot their own soldiers in the head?
5 A. This is a statement, I think, from Sergeant Mueller who was then
6 the OP commander at the spot. I know him very well, and he made that
7 decision to leave OP Mike, and -- and there were people shot amongst BH
8 personnel, yeah.
9 Q. Thank you. Did that happen on the 11th of July? And everything
10 described here in this paragraph, did it all happen on the evening of the
11 11th of July? Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a problem with the 92 ter. The testimony
14 of this witness as it came into court is that these bodies happened on
15 the 13th of July, and that's what the summary says. Now, there has been
16 one statement which General Tolimir has fairly brought up where this
17 witness has said on the 11th of July, but there's clearly just a mix-up
18 in numbers, and -- and I think that needs to be addressed now. I've --
19 I've not objected up until this time, but now it's getting beyond --
20 beyond any -- any sense. He needs to address the issue, I believe, of
21 his testimony in this court along the lines that he's always testified
22 into what happened the 11th, 12th, and 13th, and that's when the bodies
23 happened. So that's what's on -- that's what it's in his evidence. If
24 he's going to question him on that, he needs to put that to him. Fair
25 enough that he can put the statement from the debriefing where he says
1 11th to him as well, but it's only fair to the witness to put both to him
2 and let the witness sort it out as opposed to assuming that the 11th is
3 the date each time.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, the Chamber understand your
6 position. However, it's the right of the accused to put different
7 documents to the witness and to conduct his cross-examination the way he
8 wishes, and especially this witness seems to be very capable to
9 distinguish between different events happened -- which happened in July
10 1995 in this area. You may deal with that again in your re-examination.
11 Sir, but I would like to refer you again to the question of
12 Mr. Tolimir: Did that happen on the 11th of July? And you may explain
13 what is your recollection on that, if you recall the context.
14 THE WITNESS: Could I -- could Mr. Tolimir put up this question
15 again, because --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let me do that.
17 THE WITNESS: Okay.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's no problem. Your last answer was:
19 "This is a statement," you think, "from Sergeant Mueller," I
20 think you said.
21 THE WITNESS: Mueller.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: "Mueller, who was then OP commander at the spot.
23 I know him very well, and he made that decision to leave OP Mike. And
24 there were people shot amongst BH personnel, yeah."
25 That was your response. And Mr. Tolimir asked you:
1 "Did that happen on the 11th of July?"
2 THE WITNESS: Yes.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Tolimir, please go ahead.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. My question is this: If this was on the 11th of July, this
8 situation at the OP, could the base have been blocked on the 11th of
9 July, of your command and your unit in Potocari, blocked by Captain Mane
10 and the other Serb soldiers? Thank you.
11 A. It's difficult for me to -- to say something about the sequence
12 of the blockings, because on the night earlier, I was also outside at the
13 bus remise. So it's difficult for me to say something about the exact
14 timings after 16 years.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, please, since you said a moment ago that on the
16 11th you threw away these documents, can documents be thrown away -- or
17 if the Serbian soldiers did not confiscate them from you, and did you
18 throw away documents that were evidence of some event that had taken
19 place or were hiding something, or were they thrown away for some other
21 A. I don't understand this question.
22 Q. I'll repeat the question and make it shorter. On the 11th, the
23 morning of the 11th, in -- when you returned from the location where you
24 had photographed the dead, did you have to give up their -- throw away
25 their passports and ID cards if there was no check-point between there
1 and Potocari to confiscate the IDs and passports? Thank you.
2 A. I said earlier about the timings and dates. It's quite difficult
3 for me to -- after 16 years to get that exactly in timings, as you are
4 asked specifically right now referring to other documents.
5 Q. Thank you for this answer and for all the answers given in this
6 statement 07144, but you gave that statement on the 23rd July 1995, just
7 after the events when your memory was fresh. That's why I just wanted to
8 confirm yes or no. Was this statement given on 23rd July 1995? Could we
9 please display 65 ter 07144.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which is now P2636. P636.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lieutenant. Did you give this statement on 23rd
13 July 1995?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I with like to
17 tender this statement. Oh, I see. It is already an exhibit with a P
18 number. Thank you. I apologise.
19 I thank Mr. Rensen, and I don't want to discuss this statement
20 any more. Mr. Rutten. I'm sorry.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now I should like to move to a different set of questions. You
23 have been asked here whether you had a difference of opinion with your
24 mates about the involvement of UNPROFOR in the evacuation. I should like
25 to take a look together with you at what Mr. van Duijn says and then to
1 hear your comment.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we display 65 ter 07162.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Let us look at page 9 in e-court. It's page 13 in English. Page
5 9 in Serbian. The first line. Paragraph 2 in English.
6 "The witness made contact with Captain Groen who said that he
7 should arrange it."
8 Now, let us look at the last line on page 8. It says:
9 "The first option was that the Serbs organise the deportation,
10 and the second option that the UN organise it. The witness made contact
11 with Captain Groen who said that he should arrange it."
12 My question to you is: Did Captain Groen order van Duijn to
13 organise this evacuation from Srebrenica as we see in this statement on
14 the page that is displayed on the screen?
15 A. I wasn't aware of that at the time I was in the enclave.
16 Q. Did Mr. Van Duijn tell you when you asked him who ordered it that
17 he had no time to explain it to you? Do you remember that?
18 A. Yes, I remember that.
19 Q. Thank you. Could we now look at page 10, under "14 July." It
20 begins on page 14 in English and continues on page 15.
21 I quote -- third page in Serbian.
22 "The buses came rather quickly. "
23 It's the next page in English.
24 "The Serbs were still not there. They started filling the
25 buses. Men were boarding the buses, too, while there were no Serbs
1 there. This lasted for about two and a half hours.
2 "At this point, some MSF personnel had arrived who had set up a
3 facility for the wounded."
4 My question is: Did UNPROFOR members themselves organise the
5 evacuation from Potocari without any Serbs?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you left out two small sentences
7 while you were quoting from this document. I will read that.
8 "The Serbs arrived at 8.30 hours. They just went on."
9 Now you may answer the question of Mr. Tolimir.
10 THE WITNESS: There were already Serbs there. That's the thing I
11 wanted to stress. And my colleague, van Duijn, started to organise in a
12 correct manner that the Muslim refugees could leave the enclave as they
13 were eager to leave the enclave, because they were in a rather nasty
14 situation at the moment. And that was what I witnessed that morning.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, from 6.30 to 8.30, did your
17 colleague Mr. van Duijn organise the boarding of buses and the evacuation
18 alone, without any presence of Serbs, and the men were boarding buses at
19 that time as well?
20 A. At that moment I wasn't present because that was the same morning
21 that I was in the operations room, and later on I -- that morning I went
22 outside to go to the blocking positions where van Duijn was.
23 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, did your colleague van Duijn
24 participate together with Serbs in putting people on buses, those
25 refugees how were leaving Potocari to the territory of the Federation of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina in keeping with the agreement?
2 A. He with his UN personnel, and "he" I mean Lieutenant van Duijn,
3 wasn't actually putting Muslim people on buses. He was just looking at
4 it and to guide it in an orderly manner, that no one would get harmed by
5 VRS personnel.
6 Q. Thank you. Doesn't he say that for two full hours -- two and a
7 half hours, in fact, he organised the evacuation himself? Is that what
8 he says or not?
9 A. That is a statement that he made himself, so he is responsible
10 for his own statements, I think.
11 Q. Let us then look at another statement where he says the same
12 thing, and before that I should like to tender this one. 07 --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this statement that we see on
14 the screen be admitted into evidence?
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received. This is the statement of
16 the witness van Duijn.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7162 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit D322. Thank you, Your Honours.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I now call up 65 ter 07159.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. That's another statement of Mr. van Duijn's given to the
22 International Tribunal for Criminal Prosecution on the 25th of October,
23 1995. And since you see this cover page, let us go to page 5, paragraph
24 6. That's page 6 in English.
25 Thank you, Aleksandar.
1 Paragraph 4. In fact, let's first see who is the man he was
2 talking to. He's talking about a certain Mane.
3 "By talkie-walkie, I informed Captain Groen. Soon after, a man
4 in camouflage approached me. His assistants introduced him as Mane,
5 commander of the military police battalion --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Platoon, interpreter's correction.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. "He was about 1.85 metres tall with a corpulent build and short
9 brown hair. He was 29 years of age. We conferred about the deportation
10 of the refugees. At that stage a number of trucks and buses were already
11 parked in readiness on the road outside the compound. I arranged with
12 him that we would concern ourselves with the refugees. He would tell us
13 how many people could be allowed through to the buses. When the moment
14 came, we co-operated in this way, and as the contact between us had gone
15 quite well, I was able to ensure that families were kept together as much
16 as possible."
17 My question is: Are you aware that there was an understanding
18 between van Duijn and Captain Mane, military police commander, that the
19 evacuation would be organised by UNPROFOR; whereas, Mane would only
20 determine the number of people allowed to board the buses?
21 A. I was aware of that, but the problem here is my colleague
22 van Duijn, and that was the dilemma we had together and we spoke about,
23 that he got in a situation where he did not see the total context of what
24 was really happening along the road. So working together with the VRS
25 expelling - or evacuate - people from the enclave could have been easily
1 seen as UN helping to work together with the VRS for ethnic cleansing.
2 So that was the discussion I had with my colleague, and as colleagues
3 among each other, I tried to coach him in a way that he would understand,
4 but at that very moment he was not in a situation that he could
5 understand that. And that was what I tried to do down the road, because
6 I had a perfect overview of what was really happening, and he was right
7 in the middle of that situation.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we must have our second break now,
9 and we will resume quarter past 6.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.19 p.m.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Colonel, sir, you here, and the Judges asked their questions, but
16 anyway, you objected to your colleague van Duijn for co-operating with
17 the evacuation. Now, did you know whether that was perhaps an order
18 given by Major Franken and other superior officers? Thank you.
19 A. Later I heard that that was an order, but not at that specific
21 Q. For the record, thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But let's look at 65 ter 07160 on
23 e-court, please.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we have still on the screen 65 ter
25 7159. Are you tendering it?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7159 shall be
4 assign Exhibit D323. Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Let's look at 65 ter 07160 next, please. Page 17 in English.
8 It's a report, a conversation with van Duijn conducted by Mr. Bakker on
9 behalf of the parliamentary commission engaged in the investigation of
10 Srebrenica on the 11th of November, 2002, in Holland, in The Hague, the
11 parliament in The Hague.
12 And may we take a look at page 17 in English now, please, and
13 it's page 14 in Serbian. It's the fourth entry.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And I quote Mr. van Duijn:
16 "When five minutes later things calmed down, I contacted the
17 operative centre of the battalion straight away and asked for
18 Major Franken. I then pointed out what I have actually already said,
19 that we would stay there, and he said that he agreed with that because it
20 fitted in with humanitarian aid. He also asked whether I still needed
21 any more equipment and people. It was clear to him that at the time I
22 was still -- it was still not clear to me that the refugees would have to
23 go away. So he therefore said, 'I know about it. Stay there and just
24 say when you need anything.'"
25 Now, since you answered in the affirmative to this question
1 already, all I can ask you is this -- or, rather, put the question a
2 different way. From this does it follow that Major Franken ordered
3 van Duijn to remain during the evacuation of the refugees, to remain at
4 the location where the evacuation was taking place? Thank you.
5 A. This is the first time I see this document and I read it, what
6 you already read in to this courtroom, and I heard it, and that's what
7 I'm just seeing here.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now take a look
9 at page 19 of this same statement, 65 ter 07160. Or, rather, it's 19 in
10 the Serbian and 23 in the English. Thank you, Aleksandar. And then we
11 can move on to page 24 of the English when we've looked at page 23.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Let's look at the entry where van Duijn is talking and -- talking
14 about the problem, how it came about in relations between him and those
15 with photographs.
16 "Of course --"
17 I'm reading the third line from the top.
18 "Of course, but that wasn't the intention of -- of course, but
19 at the time that was not the intention which I got from the man who I
20 sent away then; Lieutenant Rutten did not have a camera round his neck
21 when he came. He didn't, in fact, tackle me then, and --"
22 Next page, please.
23 "I said I was ready to explain everything to him but that I
24 didn't have time. He then got into a discussion with the Serbian
25 fighters who were standing there. The result of this was that I had to
1 explain to the Serbian commander why the Serbian fighters were called
2 Nazis. He also reacted very emotionally to this. He said to me, 'My
3 father fought with Tito's Partisans against the Nazis, so I don't want to
4 be called a Nazi.'" That is what a Serb soldier said. I forgot to
5 emphasise that.
6 Now, my question is this: Did you really call the Serbian
7 soldiers Nazis, and was that why there was a conflict between you and the
8 soldier and that is what van Duijn refers to here?
9 A. It was actually a discussion that I had with my colleague, and
10 the Serbs were interfering at that very point, yeah.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether this was proper for you to
12 call Serb soldiers Nazis or not? So were you biased in your reactions
13 there, or were you guided by something else to refer to them in that way?
14 Thank you.
15 A. I was guided by something else. I said earlier that I did some
16 discoveries along the road, and van Duijn was not aware of my
17 discoveries. He said that also in the same statement that is here in
18 front of us that he thought that I was quite clean when I came to that
19 point, but the thing was I wasn't clean as he described it. I earlier
20 saw things happen that to me seemed to me quite differently than as he
21 estimated the situation.
22 Q. I'm sorry, let's see what Mr. van Duijn says about that on page
23 20. It's the same page in English. We're reading the second entry.
24 Asked by Mrs. Heringa, van Duijn says:
25 "After Lieutenant Rutten had tackled me, he started talking to
1 the Serbian soldiers saying, 'This is like what happened 50 years ago
2 with the Nazis.' The Serbs understood this as being branded as Nazis.
3 They thought this was unacceptable. That was why one of them pointed out
4 that his father had fought with the Serbian troops with Tito against the
5 Nazis. I got Colonel Kremer to escort Lieutenant Rutten back to the
6 camp. Then I was confronted by the Serbian commander asking me, 'Why are
7 you branding us as Nazis?' The result of all this was that the
8 transportation had to be stopped for one and a half hours. Because of
9 this, our soldiers had to intervene because people were collapsing at
10 temperatures of about 30 degrees Centigrade. This caused a lot of
12 Did Colonel Kremer take you away from this place where you had a
13 confrontation with the Serbian soldiers over the use of the term "Nazi"?
14 A. I came along with Colonel Kremer and I spoke with him, and he had
15 the same opinion as I had, but he said he cannot do something else at
16 this very moment. And we spoke about that, about the situation that was
17 along -- happening along the road.
18 Q. Did you have any other personal confrontations with your
19 colleague van Duijn, or was this clash over your difference of opinion on
20 this one issue?
21 A. We had a clash of a difference of opinion, and I tried to explain
22 him what I was seeing through the camera when I was along -- alongside
23 the road, and that was not a good view if you look through the camera in
24 what the -- what the UN personnel was, in fact, could have been seen
25 actively helping to -- to -- with the deportation of the UN -- with the
1 Muslim refugees.
2 Q. Thank you. But Mr. van Duijn says that he had managed to save
3 many families from being separated, and when he objected, only those who
4 were older than 18 were separated or below age 60, according to his
5 agreement with Captain Mane; is that correct?
6 A. That's not correct, because I was in the white house, and I made
7 some pictures of very young men who were in the house, even boys that
8 were in the house in -- in the second floor of the white house in the
9 opposite of the compound.
10 Q. Since you said that it was not so, tell me, how many soldiers in
11 total were taken away from the white house? How many prisoners of war
12 were removed from there, just to determine how many were separated.
13 A. Let me first correct something. They were not prisoners of war,
14 because when we in military establish a line to clarify who is a prisoner
15 of war, we have an exact procedure of identify who is combatant and
16 noncombatant. If -- as we know of in earlier statements, you saw in
17 front of the white house every man that came in had to throw down his
18 belongings and also the sets of ID. So that's the reason I object to the
19 word "prisoners of war," because to my opinion we have there in military
20 a different procedure for that. That's the first thing.
21 The moment I got into the house, as you said, they were not
22 youngsters that were in the house. I myself, together with the Sergeant
23 Major van Schaik saw that there were youngsters on the second floor in
24 that house. So the situation that van Duijn describes is his statement,
25 and I am now saying what my opinion was along the road, and history now
1 is saying to me - and we can read it all - that the 8.000 peoples or
2 7.000 were found dead afterwards, so I don't see the point here right
4 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you, those 7- or 8.000 people, did they
5 pass through the white house?
6 A. Not all, but a few hundred did pass the white house, because you
7 asked me exact figures. I didn't count them. It were a few hundred,
8 because several times buses full of men left the white house, and that is
9 also in my statement.
10 The other men, as you're well aware of, were leaving earlier the
11 enclave on their own on another road near the Jaglici area and near
12 Milici area.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question at this point in
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: Just a clarification really. At page 70, lines 13
16 to 16, you said:
17 "They were not prisoners of war, because when we in military
18 establish a line of -- a line to clarify who is a prisoner of war, we
19 have an exact procedure of identifying who is a combatant and
21 So what were they, these people, according to your military
23 THE WITNESS: These people to me were all refugees and people who
24 lived -- civilians who lived in the enclave.
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Please let us look at 65 ter 07142 to see what you exactly said
5 in your statement because I was unfair asking you about numbers that you
6 said you can't recall now.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
8 statement on the screen.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are tendering 65 ter 7160; is that correct?
10 Because that was not a statement but an interview by a parliamentary
11 commission. It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7160 shall be
13 assigned Exhibit D324. Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to note that the last two documents
15 were not on the list of documents to be used during the cross-examination
16 of this witness.
17 Please carry on.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If the statement was on the list,
19 65 ter 07142, we could see it in e-court, if not, then we don't need to.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 07142 has already
21 been assigned Exhibit P2634. Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I was referring to the last two
23 documents. They were not on the list. Please carry on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Could we
25 now look at P2364 [as interpreted]. Here it is.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P2634.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now look at
3 page 5 to see what the witness told the Prosecution on page 5. Paragraph
4 2 in Serbian. That's page 5 in English, page -- sorry, paragraph 3.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. "It was clear that this could not go on. I went to see
7 Major de Haan, the Dutch UNMO official, but it was to no avail. Together
8 with Sergeant Major Rave, I tried to arrange the release of some of those
9 in the house. The Muslim men held until the house were frightened to
10 death. My impression was that the evacuation of some would not improve
11 the situation, but as it was, the situation was untenable. I then went
12 to one of the Serbian leaders and told him that he aught to arrange
13 something for the evacuation of the Muslim men. The Serb arranged for
14 two buses to be driven to the house. The men from the house filled the
15 buses, and I think there were 60 to 70 in each. I heard later that the
16 men were taken to Bratunac. The house remained full even after this
18 My question is: If there were two bus with 60 to 70 men in each,
19 does that mean that the total was between 120 to 140 men taken to
21 A. On this specific occasion, yes, you could say that.
22 Q. Thank you. Were you talking about 13th here, 13th of July?
23 A. That could be the case, yes.
24 Q. If that many people left on the 13th, was it possible that some
25 more left on the 13th if you had your soldier monitoring the buses and
1 escorting the buses?
2 A. I don't understand the question, please, no.
3 Q. Did you have a soldier whom you assigned to monitor the buses and
4 to determine how many were leaving on buses towards Potocari?
5 A. Yes. There was a driver who was standing on call. That was a
6 Private Verbugt who was -- I asked him to count the number of buses and
7 trucks, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, my question is this: Since they didn't --
9 weren't evacuated with the civilians, were they prisoners of war and
10 taken from the white house?
11 A. These were to me, as I earlier stated, they were civilians. They
12 were men and youngsters and were earlier separated along the bus line by
13 the VRS.
14 Q. Thank you. I agree with your opinion, but once they'd separated
15 them, did they tell you why they were separating them, why they weren't
16 going with the civilians? Did they give any reason for this? Thank you.
17 A. Because they were males between the age of 12, 13 years old and
18 60, I think, in total, yes. And that was the reason. All men that could
19 have been BH soldiers.
20 Q. Thank you. Did any of the Serb soldiers answer the question of
21 why they were being separated, the men from the women? Thank you.
22 A. They said that it was for interrogation purposes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: May we now go back to 65 ter 07160. It is D324
25 now. It's the stenographic report of the Hearing of the Parliamentary
1 Committee of Inquiry on Srebrenica held on Monday, the 11th of November,
2 2002, in the old Assembly room of the Lower House of the States General
3 in The Hague. And I'm interested in page 25. Actually, it's page 30 in
4 English and 25 in Serbian. Thank you.
5 Let's look at van Duijn's answer to Mr. Bakker's question. It
7 "Yes. It says in the report that I had driven over people were
8 my armoured vehicle. That is not correct. It's not true. It is true
9 that during the return trip, people fell off two armoured vehicles. This
10 was not my armoured vehicle but the other armoured vehicle that, together
11 with mine, took over more and more small blocking positions to protect
12 the convoy of refugees. As soon as the armoured vehicles were
13 stationary, people fell off the front of the vehicle."
14 Now, my question to you is this: Did you -- were you blaming
15 Mr. van Duijn of this as he said earlier on in response to Mr. Bakker's
16 question? Do you blame him for that? Thank you.
17 A. This is at hindsight what I'm reading now, so that's -- in the
18 week in July that we speak about, I was not aware of the fact that --
19 that this happened, but I was aware of the fact that APCs from our
20 company were trying to protect the civilians that were coming out from
21 Srebrenica towards Potocari to the bus remise and later on as part of
22 them to the compound, and that was a very chaotic situation, but what
23 exactly is described down here, I wasn't aware of that in the moment --
24 in the first week of July in the enclave.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber what you mean
1 by the term "remise"?
2 A. The remise is the bus -- the old bus remise, bus station, you
3 could call it, quite near to the UN compound near Potocari.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know anything at all about whether somebody
5 was run over or whether it was as Mr. van Duijn describes it? Was
6 anybody run over when the refugees were transported from the firing
7 positions to the base?
8 A. At that moment in July, I wasn't aware of that.
9 Q. Thank you. And do you know now at this point in time whether
10 anybody was run over when the refugees were transported? Thank you.
11 A. No, but there was another occasion when they fell back from
12 OP Mike with an APC there. People were hit by an APC I heard later.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us the number? How many, and what was
14 the fate of those people? Were they just hit, or did they die as a
16 A. I'm not exactly aware of these happenings any more.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell me this: Does UNPROFOR and the
18 Dutch Battalion, does it have any records showing how the people were
19 killed, the people they know were killed, and that they were on the spot,
20 on the actual spot?
21 A. Not that I'm aware of.
22 Q. Thank you. And can we have a list of names found in the grave
23 that the ministry referred to? Is there a list? Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What kind of grave are you referring to,
25 Mr. Tolimir? I would like to understand your question.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm referring to the grave that was
2 mentioned on the 26th of July this year by the minister. He said that it
3 was confidential, and we admitted the document into evidence. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this is the reason why I asked.
5 First you refer to the ministry instead of the minister, and the second
6 was I think you heard a lot of answers by this witness. He can't give
7 you a list of more than at the most two buried people there because he
8 doesn't know anything about others. You should rephrase your question.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I won't
10 rephrase it, because I've already received an answer.
11 I have no further questions for this witness.
12 So, Colonel, thank you for coming and answering my questions. I
13 thank you for all that, and I wish you every success in your military
14 career, and I'm happy to see you here in uniform, because you're the
15 first -- actually, the second witness who has come into this courtroom in
16 uniform. So thank you.
17 The Defence rests. We have no further questions for this
18 witness, Mr. President. We thank all the participants in today's
19 proceedings, and that concludes my cross-examination. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
21 Mr. McCloskey, do you have re-examination?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, and I will try to -- to get
23 through this in the time we have.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. Please go ahead.
25 Re-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
1 Q. Yes, Colonel, you were very -- on the chronology and the dates,
2 the general showed you, I think it was the first report you made just a
3 few days after your experience in the enclave where you suggest on the
4 11th of July you see the bodies, and we went over your summary of your
5 previous testimony where you had been consistently [sic] with your
6 chronology of the bodies happening on the 13th of July. Is it possible
7 you've been confused a bit by the actual dates of these events?
8 A. The problem is, and I reckon this to my own responsibility, that
9 16 years later, it's hard to define whether it was on the 11th, 13th, or
10 12th, but the sequence of happenings was as I described here in front of
11 the Court.
12 Q. And as the summary reflected those sequences on the 10th, the
13 11th, the 12th, the 13th, to the best of your recollection, was that
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. And you also said on page 70 that you had a different procedure
17 for POWs, and when you were telling the general that the Serb soldiers
18 were making the men and boys throw their -- their belongings and ID away.
19 Can you just describe us briefly how your forces would appropriately
20 determine whether someone was a combatant or a noncombatant?
21 A. Yes. We -- we put up a line to identify whether they have
22 personal belongings that could relate to if they are military or not, and
23 that could happen with ID cards, with tags, with everything that relates
24 to if you're working within the military or not. If you have other IDs,
25 meaning that you could be a civilian, for instance, you collect working
1 permits of local personnel, then it's quite clear that they were not in
2 the military. So we set up this line of identifying who is military or
3 not to later on use it in the interrogation that follows that first
4 identifying moment of people that you collect and military that you
5 collect during a -- an action so to get a perfect view of what units are
6 involved and what personnel is involved in the action that has military
7 been taken.
8 Q. So by requiring the men to dispose of their IDs and then burn
9 them like you've described, would that reflect any serious interest in
10 determining whether or not the men were in the military?
11 A. No. Then you -- in fact you are saying that you don't have any
12 interest at all in identifying who you are collecting. The only reason
13 that I can imagine to do that is to get rid of not only the personal
14 belongings by burning it and the ID cards by burning it but also of the
15 people itself, because that is the natural way of -- to get rid of every
16 piece of evidence that you have from the people that you're collecting
17 and actually deporting from the enclave. That was my opinion at that
18 very moment.
19 Q. If your army took several busloads of young boys and men into
20 custody, would you also be required under -- well, any sense of humanity
21 as well as the Geneva Conventions to provide them with food, water
22 medical help?
23 A. Yes, we are obliged to.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I have nothing further,
25 Mr. President.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question for the witness.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness. Colonel Rutten, a
4 moment ago you said it is - 84, page 84 [as interpreted] of the
5 transcript, line 13 - that there were boys aged 12 and 13. How were you
6 able to establish the age of these boys? Did you have access to proof by
7 which you could establish how old they were with certainty?
8 A. I refer to what I saw in the white house, and these were sons of
9 the men who were also in the white house, and the moment I make -- made
10 pictures on the second floor in that white house, I could easily see that
11 there were youngsters and by the age that I already referred to. So I
12 was -- my own age was then, in 1995, 35 years old, and I can easily see
13 then who is approximately 12 or 13 or 14 years old.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we all agree that it was a reference to
15 page 74 and not 84, just to have a clear record.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. That's right. I said page
17 74, line 13. And it's where the witness was speaking about boys age 12
18 and 13.
19 But thank you for your answer, Witness. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this
21 concludes your examination here in this trial. Thank you very much that
22 you came here to testify and to help us with establishing the truth.
23 Thank you very much again, and now you are free to return to your normal
24 activities. Thank you very much.
25 We have to adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow
1 morning at 9.00 in this courtroom. We adjourn.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day
5 of September, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.